William Samuel - The Teacher's Teacher
Questions often asked of William Samuel and his work -
(From Wiliam Samuel's Lollygog Notes - 1982)
Q: Were you ever a Christian Scientist?
A: Yes, for many years--until I awakened to the fact that all philosophies and religions exist within the awareness I am. All churches are member of me to the exact degree I identify as the awareness within which they appear. I was raised in C.S. and for many years was an unlisted practitioner. I withdrew from the movement voluntarily in order to write philosophy without the censorship required by the church rules. I perceive Christian Science now as only one of many lovely flowers blooming in the garden of awareness and it is unique in its insistence that God is all.
Q: How long have you been a teacher?
A: I've been telling my own story--how it happened and what it has allowed me to understand--for over 30 years. That is not the same as being a teacher.
Q: Who comes to study with you?
A: Folks from all walks of life and from all parts of the world--at first primarily metaphysicians but now people of all religious and philosophical outlooks, Eastern and Western.
Q: Why are you called "The teacher's teacher"?
A: Perhaps because so many teachers have come to study here. There has been an inordinate number of philosophers, theologians, and members of the academe. In the past few years, physicists and mathematicians. I seem to get the most earnest and dedicated students of Truth--and, differing from most of the metaphysical groups I know about, as many men have studied with me as women. Quite a number of Taoists and Buddhists have found our message and come to study-even some who are called Masters. Many have gone from here to become authors, writers and teachers. In some marvelous way my story has been found by the metaphysical and scientific elite of all the world – at least by a few. When it is told perfectly, my whole world will hear.
Q: Do you have a foundation or are you sponsored by one?
Q: Why not?
A: Perhaps someday there will be one if it can be arranged so I may remain unattached and unbeholden to it. The Seminal Idea of Truth is capable of standing on its own, without an intermediary, however. Once upon a time I looked out and saw Samuel groups springing up everywhere. I was honored to think it was evidence I had developed a mode of expression my whole experience could understand, not just philosophers and metaphysicians. Perhaps it was, but as an organization began to grow, I disassociated myself from it as quickly as possible.
A: I found myself writing to a group instead of my whole selfhood, the world. And Samuel began to get personal credit that doesn't belong to a person. It belongs rather to the Awareness who perceives and understands person. You see, every time the Seminal Idea has appeared in the world as an articulated philosophy that can be understood and put to the living test, it has been distorted by its own cult of leader worship. In all history, there are few Lights who have withstood the temptation to accept personal veneration. Most began to believe the high praise heaped upon them--and at that moment, their statements lose consistency. Look what churchdom has done to Jesus, and what a golden calf Christian Scientists have made of Mrs. Eddy. How much time is spent worshiping the fountain rather than drinking its water!
Q: But wouldn't a foundation be a good way to get your ideas to a greater number of people?
A: Yes. I'm sure it would help. But that is for others to do. Not me. This is a difficult point to make clear but--listen softly--I am not getting ideas to people! Identified as awareness, as the Self-awareness of Isness, all humanity lives and moves and has its being, here and now, within (as) consciousness--GOD-consciousness. As I live this Selfhood honestly, striving to understand the Scene-I-be, "humanity" gets the message—and so do principalities and powers and trees and mountains and galaxies and angels. Life is the message.
Q: Then why do you teach at all?
A: People come here and ask questions. To answer those questions if I can, and as honestly as I can, seems the tender thing to do.
Q: Why do you go out and lecture?
A: I don’t often. I pay my bills with the gifts from those who are benefited by such talks. And I only go where I’m invited.
Q: Why do you not permit a following?
A: I think that's been answered already. It isn't that I don't permit a following; I simply don't encourage one. I go to great lengths to stop any personal veneration of Sambo. Please understand, to whatever extent I allow Samuel to be the object of praise and veneration (instead of God-self) to that same extent I create the tangible situation which must appear to bring Samuel down in the eyes of the venerator. That is self-flagellation I can do without. It is difficult enough already for the few of us on earth who have been given the task of waging worldwide battle against the power of belief. Most tenacious among those beliefs is the insanity that one must be either a leader or a follower. Allness leads what? Singleness follows whom? The Seminal Idea discloses Identity to be nothing less than the Ineffable's very own Self-awareness. Every grain of sand and star in the heavens shouts the proof of this fact. Every flower that bloom and wild bird that flies verifies the changelessness of this fact. When the story is told properly--and listened to as a child listens--the individual awakens to DOMINION, to his birthright, his heritage from the beginning and there is no more need of teachers. SOMEONE must make the honest statement in such a manner; and at this moment that one is me--and shall be--until it comes to me to do otherwise. Tell me, if on the world scene I have been successful in disclosing DOMINION to those who have come to me, would this produce a following of sycophants? No. We are a camaraderie of living Light and Love to whom the entire world will turn when our time has come. Like LaoTse who lived his Light silently and alone while working square in the middle of the teeming scholasticism of his day, we avoid human entanglements and personal popularity like the plague. We honor the Light that is Life, that every person is. We may very well appreciate a mirror that speaks to us with clarity and honesty--and we may consider that mirror unique among mirrors--but the authority lies with the awareness that looks into the mirror, and not the mirror.
Q: You have mentioned a new method of communication you are beginning to use. Is that correct?
A: Yes, but I doubt if it is new. Perhaps we are just now becoming consciously aware of something that has been around as long as words. In any event, it is a use of words in such a manner that allows one to reach out beyond the ordinary limit of words and communicate beyond intellectualism.
Q: This sounds terribly arcane and mysterious.
A: Just the opposite. It is so simple and obvious it has been overlooked.
Q: What is the importance of communicating "beyond intellectualism"?
A: Because the Seminal Idea and its peace are "past finding out" intellectually.
Q: Aside from your style of writing, how does your work differ from others in the same field.
A: In very significant ways--ways that allow the earnest and heart-led to find the little Chinese librarian hidden in his basement office (yet the only one on earth who could make the statement he did at that time). Ways that allow the sincere to take up the undistorted mirror that discloses the scene as it is, warts and all, and not as a desireful ego hopes to see itself, smooth words and all. To start with, on all the earth there is only a handful in THIS field. In philosophic terms, "this field" is Deific Solipsism. That is to say, it is a position that begins with the intellectually unknowable Ineffable, or Godhead, as all in all--and perceives consciousness to be God's own Self-comprehension in action. The honest statement of "Deific Solipsism" starts here and STAYS here. This "field" should be limited to the statements that do this. Unfortunately, however, there are ten thousand messages from leader-led followers who proclaim the allness of God (Mind) then turn right around and unwittingly -write from the standpoint of a HUMANISTIC Solipsism. Deific solipsism approaches absolute SIMPLICITY and arrives effortlessly upon the surrender of a me-identity, a me-mind, etc. Humanistic solipsism approaches absolute COMPLEXITY and confusion. But, just as the shadow leads straight to the tree, so does the examination of self ultimately frighten one into the discovery of Self, which has been here all the while.
Q: In what ways does William Samuel's work differ from others?
A: Among the Nag Hammadi Library scrolls just published in English, I was delighted to find this statement in THE TEACHINGS OF SILVANUS (vii,4): "Put all words to the test first before you utter them." Every word I've published, I have lived. I do not write from theory, speculation, nor from the opinions of others--only from my own LIVED experience. It seems most important to me to put every revelation and glimmer of light to the living test. I've done just that and have published nothing that did not first prove fruitful in my own experience. For A GUIDE TO AWARENESS AND TRANQUILLITY, I had still another criterion. Nothing is included in that work that had not only borne fruit for me but had also proven to do the same for others who had put it to the same test as I. An intellectual difference, perhaps, is consistency. For me, mentation begins as awareness. I write from that same starting place. To make something clear, I may venture into the human view of a situation, but before I've finished I have returned to the God-view, the perfect view, and I won't let that go. In this regard, I was informed recently that the British Philosophic Society had finished an examination of my "papers" (books, I guess) and found them to be a "thoroughly supported philosophic system."
Q: What does that mean?
A: That every statement in those papers has been properly supported with the necessary reason and logic a philosopher considers necessary. Apparently, I have made a statement for the allness of God which is intellectually sound even to the most demanding members of the academe--the philosophers. To address the Heart without galling the intellect is a feat indeed. Human intelligence couldn't possibly do that, but Awareness is that feat in action.
Q: Why are there so few in the world who write as you? If you have truly found the cornerstone that produces an inner peace and answers many of life's enigmas--and you say many have found it--why aren't they all writing as you are?
A: Oh, for many reasons. I haven't time to list them all. For starters, while the experience of "Illumination" is common to all of us, few of us recognize it for what it is. All an Eastern "Master" is is one who can tell his student, "This is it!" and be believed. Ah, but LIVING a divine solipsism, living the world and one’s experience as subjective doesn't go well at all with all the prior conditioning. Few can hack it--and many fake it. The me-sense doesn't yield easily--and those of us who dare help our greater sense of self sunder the veil they seem to cherish as much as life itself can take an awful battering. While that battering is harmless and extremely instructive, it grows old in a hurry. Most simply turn from it, as unnecessary self-flagellation, and disappear into the forest as Huang Po did. Yet there are those who are given to understand that, by the stripes of the Self-to-self-to Self dialogue, their view of the world is "healed."
And there are many other reasons. As Meister Eckhart said, it is almost the assurance of physical starvation. But that keeps us humble, he said. LaoTse said, "Everyone else has an aim and purpose in life, but I alone am confused and wander aimlessly like a child with no home."
Q: Are you married?
A: I remarried a little over a year ago. Rachel and I have four grown sons between us. We also have ten thousand birds and at least fifty million tree frogs. The birds talk to us by day, the frogs at night and our boys--occasionally--between.
Many of the audio recordings are available at William Samuel Woodsong Journals