1969, February 18: Letter from Peter to G&H

Unlike most of these letters, this one is typed. (For the first two pages, anyway.) Oddly, it’s typed in a non-monospace typeface; I didn’t know there were typewriters that could do that.

Side note: I’ve made a couple of small changes to the way I’m presenting these letters; in particular, notes from me are now in double square brackets and italics. (Though I might change that style in the future.)

18 Feb. 1969

5419 Foothill Blvd.

Oakland, Calif. 94601

handwritten (415) 536-9407

Dear parents--

So many changes happening! Dorothy, Marcy, Jed, and Peter went to the City two weeks ago and attended the first session of the Johrei (pron. joe-ray) classes, and we haven't been the same since… Our teacher was is (on the other side of his life) a mechanical engineer at Lockheed, but he has been a member of the Joh-rei church for years and was well qualified to teach us about the physical aspects of this method of spiritual healing… We learned that all disease and pain is a symptom of a process of purification taking place on emotional, mental, or spiritual levels, and that orthodox medicine in effect treats only the symptoms and never reaches the causes… If this process of purification is attenuated or suppressed altogether by medicines or surgery, the cause still remains, the impurities (or "spiritual clouds" as they are called) are still operative, and the process of purification must begin anew, perhaps expressing itself on some other level, or in some other area… The technique of Johrei is to channel the Divine Light of God into the person's spiritual body, and this radiant energy clears away or dissipates or disintegrates the spiritual clouds… The order induced in the spiritual (or innermost) body of the person in this way, will radiate outwardly and bring order to the person's mental, emotional, and physical bodies centrifugally…

Crops and food may also be purified by Johrei, and the crops grown by this method of "nature farming" need no insecticides or chemical fertilizer, since insects only attack plants with toxins (such as insecticides and chemical fertilizers…)… Joh-rei may also be given "by proxy" to a person at a distance, making use of the "spiritual cords" (or binding ties) which exist between persons having strong emotional or familial relationships…

When we entered the small church each day for the class, we were invited to receive Johrei in front of the altar… A member of the church, after praying that God's Light would permeate our being and effect order on all levels, according to our need, holds his hand a foot or two away from the recipient's body, and a current of Divine Light passes down through the channel's head, coming out his palm, and is directed at all the centers of purification in the recipient's body, and a current of Divine Light passes down through the channel's head, coming out his palm, and is directed at all the centers of purification in the recipient's body (the pate, the forehead for pineal gland and sinuses, the throat for thyroid and parathyroid and tonsils and adenoids, the armpits for lymphatic nodes, the heart, the navel, the occipital region, the neck and shoulders, the kidneys and adrenals, the stomach, the appendix, the solar plexus, the prostatic ganglion, and the sacral region, in addition to any localized areas of purification such as sores, boils, pimples, rashes, cuts, bruises, wounds, burns, etc.) Of course, we all felt wonderful as the Holy Light of God suffused our bodies, and felt very fortunate and privileged for being given this opportunity to learn how we could also act as channels for this Light, and serve as God's instruments in disseminating this radiant healing energy to people undergoing even severe purifications, to alleviate their suffering and hasten the purification process, so they might be healthy and happy and vital once more…

On the following weekend, 14-16, we returned to the Johrei Center for the concluding class sessions, in which a Japanese minister instructed us about the more spiritual aspects of Johrei, and on Sunday we received our Sacred Focal Points, these being parchments imprinted with the Japanese character for Divine Light, as written by Meishu-sama, the original channel of Johrei. These bothx protect the channeler from any feedback of the recipient's elements, and also strengthen the power of the Divine Light by providing spiritual ties to all the other members of the church (including Meishu-sama, who has departed this mortal coil, but toils indefatigxably on the inner planes)… Consequently, Dorothy, Marcy, Peter, and about fifteen other students are now able to serve as instruments for channelling God's Holy Light and effecting miracles of spiritual healing…! (There are about half a million Johrei church members in Japan, and about 1600 in this country now…) Another woman in Modesto, long interested in healing techniques, learned of the classes through her friend who was in our astrology-Tarot-Kabbalah class, and also completed the Joh-rei course.

Since there are now two qualified Johrei channels living in Modesto, and since Marcy and Peter had told Chappells they would be leaving by the end of February, and since Peter was unable to obtain employment in Modesto (the interview for a position as science teacher-aide in the high school came to nought), we have come to the conclusion that our work in Modesto is finished, and we are moving to Oakland to live in a beautiful house here with 10 friends. Peter will seek employment with the Oakland telephone co., and there are openings that he is qualified for…

We are still planning for Peter to go back to school in the fall and get his degree: we have heard of a program called the internship program wherein a person gets his BA, goes to school the same summer, teaches high school one year at three-quarters salary, returns to school the next summer, and obtains his MA, with a permanent California teaching credential and credit for student teaching and for a fifth year of school… This sounds very attractive to us, and we are looking forwardx to taking advantage of this opportunity…

In the meantime, we will be saving money for tuition and expenses, growing a garden in the backyard here, enjoying our fellowship with these good friends, and getting to know our new friends in the Johrei church, and playing with Jedediah a lot (he is walking 12 and 15 steps at a time now, and has SIX teeth, hurray!)(of course he remains in excellent health, and we channel Divine Light to him daily now).

We are eating very well, Marcy baked 10 loaves of whole-wheat bread today and some rolls, we're eating mostly grains and vegetables, rich seaweed soups, delicious salads, and bracing herbal teas…

Well, this letter is just to let you all know how well we're doing, and how good we feel about everything, we know that you all know that everything is working out according to God's Divine Plan for this planet, and we hope you all are learning (as we are) the reasons for everything happening the way it does, and finding out (as we're beginning tox find out) how things work…

We send you our love and best wishes for health, happiness, and full life--

God is Love one another,

handwritten Peter, Marcy, & Jedediah

handwritten (copies to Marcy’s parents & John & Dave)

The rest of this is handwritten on the back of the typed letter.

Dear Mother & Dad——

I typed the previous two pages to make carbons & save time & duplication of effort, but wanted to add some more personal words to you——namely, THANK YOU so very much for the loan making it possible for us to take this course… we’ll get it back to you as soon as possible…

A very interesting thing happened——Monday night the 3rd at 9:30, we still had no idea of where the money was going to come from, then a dairy farmer named Hurley* called up & asked, “didn’t you say you had experience milking cows?” “yes” (12 years ago in Kansas) “want to work as relief milker?” “i can only work until Friday morning, we’re going to the city at 4:00” “fine, my regular milker’s coming back then, so come at 2:30 (in 5 hrs.)”

So I worked all week, from 2:30-9:00 a.m. and 1:30-7:00 p.m. (12 hrs/day), sleeping 3-4 hrs. at a time, very tired from heavy work & little sleep… Friday morning he gave me a check for $62. Fri. evening we learned that the course fee was $25, & 1st year’s dues were $6… 2($25 + $6) = $62! the exact amount of the check! But we’d already cashed that one, so paid 2 year’s dues with your check + $2 [2(25+12) = 74]——you might save the cancelled check when it comes back——it probably has very high vibrations!…

all love –

peter, marcy, jed

* who’s taking our astrology course…

Peter doesn’t name the church in this letter, but it was the aforementioned Church of World Messianity, a.k.a. Sekai Kyūsei Kyō.

I feel like this letter gives the impression that the church was opposed to Western medicine, so I want to add that the church repeatedly and explicitly said (quoting its founder, I think) “Do not condemn physical methods”—which is to say, don’t avoid getting medical help from doctors.

This letter also seems to suggest an everything-happens-for-a-reason attitude that I have always been put off by, but I don’t remember my parents espousing that attitude in most contexts.

…I knew that my parents believed in the tenets of the church, but I nonetheless always thought of our family as being largely irreligious. (At least, I was pretty much agnostic from at least age 10 onward, and my parents never particularly pushed religion on me.) But many of these letters are filled with thoughts about God and prayer, to a degree that I associate with people to whom religion is central to their lives. It keeps surprising me as I read the letters.

I wonder what George and Helen thought about the religious parts of these letters. (They were Lutherans.)

Facebook post for this letter.

2 Responses to “1969, February 18: Letter from Peter to G&H”

  1. 1969, late February: Letter from Peter to Dobe and David – Peter, Marcy, Jed, and Jay

    […] lot of the material here duplicates stuff that Peter said in the previous letter, to his parents. But this one also includes a fair bit about his spending a few days in jail for […]


Join the Conversation