Encounters With Mystic Adepts of Our Century
by ARRAN STEPHENS
Elton Wolf Publishing
Arran Stephens kept a wonderfully detailed journal of his years in India with Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, one of the truly great mystic adepts of our age. He has captured the essence of his experiences with the master and his successors in this engrossing, devotionally charged account of his own spiritual quest.
Reminiscent in some ways of Paramahansa Yoganandas Autobiography of a Yogi, Paul Bruntons A Search in Secret India, and Norman Paulsens The Christ Consciousness, Journey to the Luminous tells in sublime and melodic language a story of miracles, mystical experiences, and the authors joys and struggles along the spiritual path.
The story begins when Arrans idyllic childhood on his familys Vancouver Island farm is torn apart and he ends up as a teenager on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, forced to scramble for survival in the drug culture in the 1960s. A deep spiritual yearning propels him to India to sit at the feet of Master Kirpal, who has mysteriously appeared to him in his dreams and who now begins to change the course of his life.
The devotee has learned his masters lessons well; sincerity, dedication, insight, and absence of ego motivation are subtly apparent in Arrans writing. He has included numerous direct excerpts from Kirpal Singhs words and writings, the power and veracity of which frequently lifted me up as I read along.
Returning to Vancouver, B.C. in 1967, Stephens opened Canadas first vegetarian restaurant; an arranged marriage took place the following year in India. The story continues as he and his new bride go back to the West to found LifeStream Natural Foods, a trailblazer in the organic foods industry and a national cultural icon. LifeStream/Natures Paths success in Canada and the United States proves that a large company can consciously embrace spiritual values and survive quite well in the commercial world.
This is a real-life story of ups and downs, of laughter and tears, and, ultimately, of spiritual practice bearing fruit. This fellow has had quite a life so far, and it makes for an inspiring and enjoyable read.