A Lifetime of Guidance
A Childhood Mystery Revealed
I was a child of eight or nine. My mother had taken my brother and me out to eat at a restaurant in St. Louis. After we finished eating, my mother paid the bill and gave each of us a penny for the gum-ball machine.
My brother put his penny in the slot, cranked the handle, and a gum ball popped out.
Then it was my turn.
I put my penny in the slot and turned the handle. It jammed. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the handle free. I thought I'd lost my penny forever.
As I started to turn to tell my mom what happened, I became aware of someone standing behind me. I turned back around to find a man dressed in a brown tweed suit and matching hat.
Time stood still. The world around me disappeared, leaving only the stranger, me, and the gum-ball machine.
"Here, let me get that penny for you," he said, pulling out his pocketknife. He dug around in the coin slot until my penny popped free. "Here's your penny back," he said, handing it to me.
"Well, thank you," I said, gratefully.
"Well, thank you," he replied.
I turned to tell my mom about the nice man who had helped me, but when I looked back, he had disappeared. I soon forgot all about this experience until some forty years later at an Eckankar seminar in Las Vegas.
I was volunteering in a workshop at the seminar, when the facilitators invited me to stay and participate. In one of the exercises, the facilitator led us in a spiritual exercise to visit a museum on the inner planes where famous writers from the past kept their writing instruments. We were asked to think of a writer from the past we would like to meet.
"What writer am I interested in?" I asked myself. Immediately Paul Twitchell, the modern-day founder of Eckankar, leaped to mind.
We began the exercise, and in the inner museum I found Paul Twitchell's pen in a glass case. I gently removed it and held it in my fingers. It began to glow with a golden light. I carried it to a writing desk and sat down. Sri Harold Klemp, the current spiritual leader of Eckankar, was standing next to me on my left.
Suddenly, Paul Twitchell appeared on my right. "Well," he asked, "Are you going to look at it, or are you going to write with it?"
"I'm going to write with it," I replied.
"Well, OK," he said. "Write this."
As I put the pen to paper, Paul began to retell the forgotten story of my childhood experience with the brown-clad man and the jammed gum-ball machine.
When I'd finished writing, I was surprised at what I'd recorded.
Paul told me that he had been with me for many lifetimes. It was he who removed the penny that was stuck in the gum-ball machine all those years ago, and it was his voice that had been guiding me throughout my life.
"I was always with you," Paul said, "and made sure the opportunity to step on the path of ECK again was presented to you."
Thus I learned my life had been touched by this great ECK Master years before the modern-day teachings of Eckankar were founded. Just as he helped me recover my lost penny over forty years ago, his writings on Eckankar helped me rediscover the teachings of the Light and Sound of God and step onto this amazing spiritual path once more.
If I hadn't volunteered to help with the seminar that day, I still would not know.