It was many years ago.
I was among a large lecture audience, watching this man lead
the participants through a guided meditation. His voice was calm
and gentle and just hearing it, one felt safe . As I sat there
listening to the inspirational motivational, almost hypnotic
voice of Brad Steiger, a strange and comforting peace filled
my heart and I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we had
a deeper connection that spanned the very fabric of time and
space. That was decades ago. Since then, Brad and I have become
close friends. I probably would not be an author today had it
not been for his encouragement, his inspirational and motivational
counsel and assistance.
We have lectured together,
spoken at seminars together, laughed and joked together and still
do so after all these years. An added honor and benefit was my
getting to know Brad's wife, Sherry Hansen-Steiger who is also
an author and teacher. Yet, no ordinary person is this. Her accomplishments
and contributions would fill volumes. Together, Brad and Sherry
write, travel and lecture. Every once in a while our paths cross
and then, in a tiny, mid-western cafe, you may find us past the
hour of midnight, sharing our experiences as we delight in seeing
each other again.
I share with you, parts of
a conversation with my friend, Brad Steiger.
are often referred to as the leading "New Age" author.
The words, "New Age" have been understood in totally
diverse ways by different people. How do you define the New Age?
I am not at all
secure with labels and categories. When I published my first
book in 1963, I wished to become recognized as a serious communicator
of metaphysical concepts and as a reporter of the kinds of remarkable
phenomena that fascinated me as an individual. I have always
written the kind of book that I would most like to read. It is
up to the readers to accept or reject the information as they
wish, or they are free to shape it to fit their own construct
of reality or their own cosmological reference points.
I am today exactly that which
I was in 1963--a searcher, an explorer, a communicator.
When people speak of New Agers
and start trying to define them, they simply prove my contention
that we should never attempt to derive a definition of any group
that pretends to fit all of the members within that group. New
Age enthusiasts embrace a wide variety of individual belief constructs.
There is no single New Age Creed.
you have written over 200 books in the category of what some
people will term "New Age".
I often refer
to myself as a "phemomenologist." A journalist once
called me a "science faction" writer. I have written
a book about the contemporary revelatory experience; numerous
books about UFOs; four books about Native American belief constructs:
and dozens of volumes about various types of phenomena, both
physical and spiritual. On the other hand, I have written biographies
of movie stars, true crime books, and a good deal of fiction.
I truly desire to explore as completely as possible both the
seen and unseen worlds of our universe. I am not a "New
Age" writer nor a science fiction writer. I cannot call
myself a biographer or a writer of detective novels. And yet,
I am all of those and much more. The parts are contained in the
whole, but the whole is far greater than any of its parts.
you could never claim to be a skeptic or a totally objective
journalist. You obviously have a bias toward the spiritual side
Of course. I would
never deny such a bias. I am very much a transcendentalist. I
passionately believe that our one, truly human factor is our
spirituality, and that most wonderful aspect of what we are may
never be fully revealed by scientific elucidation.
As I have stated in a kind
of creed that I prepared in the late 1960s, I believe that our
artificial worlds of the various sciences are no truer than dreams,
visions, or inspirations. The quest for absolute proof or completely
objective truth may always be unattainable when it seeks to limit
know the answer to this one, Brad, but just for our readers,
do you believe in God?
This is the favorite
question of media interviewers, John. I believe in the God within
and the God without. I believe in an eternally powerful energy
source with which we may interact. I believe in what Yogananda
terms the "Father-Mother-Creator- Spirit." I most certainly
believe in the Holy Spirit and the amazing grace that It may
I consider myself a mystical
Christian. I believe Jesus promised that we may each become "christed"
if we follow the methods of self-discipline and spiritual growth
that he outlined as "the way." I believe the promise
that we, too, may create miracles. And I know that love is the
most powerful energy in the universe.
wife, Sherry, is an ordained Protestant minister. How does she
feel about your beliefs?
At this point
in her own searching, she, too, considers herself a mystical
She is a very disciplined person.
She had to have been a dedicated seeker or she could not have
survived the remarkable number of trials and tribulations which
she has undergone. And, yet, she remains a highly spiritual person
who emanates love and good will to all. She is certainly the
wind beneath my wings. She is my hero, as well as my best friend,
and my life partner.
disturbs you most about the so-called New Age movement?
The fact that
so many of its adherents have retained the kind of prejudices,
hatreds, distrusts, and ego displays that would seem to contradict
the very beliefs that they claim to espouse. They speak of having
left mainstream churches because they wanted to escape the hypocrites,
the back-biters, and the clerical hierarchies that had turned
them off from organized, orthodox religion. But then they join
a metaphysical group and perpetuate the very same negative behavior
patterns in their so-called new way.
Sadly, it seems, in all forms
of organized spiritual expression, there are within the ranks
those self-appointed judges who feel somehow empowered to decide
what is truth and who has the only proper path to God. And, of
course, any one who disagrees with their analyses is damned to
some kind of hell or other.
I like to quote the American
poet Edward Arlington Robinson who observed that the world is
a vast spiritual kindergarten--with everyone trying to spell
"God" with different alphabet blocks.
One of my favorite books of
my own body of work is Revelation: The Divine Fire. I
am convinced along with William James that all religions and
all philosophies begin with the individual mystical experience,
a pure revelation. And then, generally speaking, it is the followers
of the various prophets who begin to add and to superimpose dogmas
and ecclesiasticisms on the original spark of the divine fire.
Perhaps that is why individual shamanism is becoming once again
so popular: People are beginning to return to the truth of their
own dreams, their own visions, their own revelations.
do these people then become channelers?
We all have the
cosmic birthright to "channel" for ourselves through
our personal dreams, visions, and revelations, but there can
be great dangers in seeking to apply our personal truths to others
and to large sections of the mass populace. A teaching received
in a vision may have been intended strictly for our personal
growth and gaining, and we should therefore not seek to demand
that others follow our individual revelation.
We must also learn to test
the various spiritual entities who may claim to be our guides
or our angels. We must practice discernment and continually test
such beings, for there are many spiritual tricksters on the various
levels of reality.
of tricksters, I know that you have probably written more books
about the UFO mystery than any other author. Any conclusions
I believe that
our species has been in contact with something even before we
straightened our spines and began to walk upright. The UFO mystery
is so complex, so multi-layered, so far-reaching in all its many
manifestations and implications that we may never as a species
fully comprehend its complete range. As Sherry once said in a
speech before a group of UFO researchers, the phenomenon touches
all aspects and facets of our society, from our sciences and
religions, to our social interaction and species evolution.
I have consistently perceived
the UFO enigma to be paraphysical or multidimensional in nature.
It has been with us since our earliest beginnings, and it will
somehow carry us into the future.
the many years I've known you, Brad, you have always been involved
in exploring new and different areas. What are some of your recent
We have been adding
British material to our book Strange Powers of Pets, which
was a Literary Guild selection in hard cover here in the States
and which was released in paperback from Berkley. Headline Books
in Great Britain brought out the book in an enlarged edition,
so we added photographs and stories with a British flavor. I
also have a book entitled Cats Incredible published in
the U. S. by New American Library and in Great Britain by Pan
And then, of course, there
are the many workshops, lectures, and appearances to which we
are committed. We also plan tours to Egypt, Israel, Italy, and
Greece, and return research trips to Peru.
Steiger, 'The Amazing Kreskin',
John Harricharan, Anita Bergen
in Omaha, Nebraska
it's always a joy and an inspiration to see you and Sherry. Although
we've met so many times, each time seems so new. There are millions
who are grateful that you've written so many wonderful books.
You've inspired many of us
to share our thoughts with the world, much as you are doing.
It was because of your encouragement and example that I wrote
When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat. You were even
kind enough to write the introduction for me. In those days,
I was so afraid to ask you because I thought that you'd turn
me down. Instead, you were all love and understanding. I'm eternally
grateful to you, Brad.
It was a pleasure
to be with you again, John. Stay in the Light and be in the "Oneness."
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