JOURNEY OUT OF DARKNESSPart Twelve
Jack van Rijn had become a very important figure in Woodstock. He owned and was the CEO of Rotron Manufacturing Company, which made highly technical cooling devices for airplane engines and other equipment. Van Rijn and Yvonne's father, both Dutchmen, had been colleagues as students in Delft University, Holland. At a time in the past Van Rijn had offered to fund Tom's further college education.
Yvonne kept urging Tom to call Van Rijn and ask for the use of his exclusive board meeting room, situated on the second floor of his stable of prized horses. It would be ideal for staging this important Baba presentation.
Darwin and Jeanne Shaw would be coming down from Schenectady for this meeting, and the Winterfeldts were to come up from New York City. We felt it was going to be a very significant event.
An acquaintance of ours, Gerd Stern, invited two ex-Harvard professors to come from a new-age community in Milbrook, New York, across the Hudson from Kingston. They were Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert. Both these men had left their positions at Harvard, because of disapproval over their experimentations with LSD. Both Leary and Alpert were enthusiastic over the coming event. When the day came, a Saturday in the month of September, they invited a young associate, another Harvard man, named Allen Cohen, to come with them. All were very excited to learn about this important mystic, a great Master of inner states of consciousness from India.
Fred Winterfeldt brought with him from New York a film of Meher Baba giving darshan in India. Darwin Shaw, a long time follower and disciple of the Master, would give an introductory talk on the life and work of Avatar Meher Baba.
The colorful film of Baba in India was the first I had ever seen. I noticed, everyone was taken with the film. Afterwards I noticed the young man, Allen Cohen, selecting a printed pamphlet from a table of Baba material. He slipped it into his pocket, as if he didn't want anyone to see he was anxious to know more.
Then I remember talking to Timothy Leary, who was standing with his friend, Richard Alpert. I remember talking enthusiastically to Leary about some significant events in Meher Baba's life. I noticed how Leary kept turning to Alpert and saying to him as I talked, "Did you get that? Did you hear all that?" I could see Timothy Leary had been moved by our whole presentation, but it seemed to me this fellow Alpert might prefer to sit on the fence for a while.
There was a momentum, a great energy in all that was happening in the town of Woodstock during this late summer of 1964. Tom speculated with profound seriousness, "Soon Meher Baba is going to have to break His silence. The time must be growing very near."
I felt sure he was fight. We were all becoming intoxicated with the Divine fragrance, for the Glory of God seemed to us absolutely imminent.
1998 © Craig Zenner
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