by Harry Palmer
This article is transcribed from the opening address to the first Avatar Professional Course on October 10, 1992. The speaker is Harry Palmer, author of the Avatar materials.
What I would like to talk to you about tonight is the evolution of Avatar and my own personal evolution. There seems to be some connection.
This week is the sixth anniversary of the first delivery of Avatar.
In January of 1987, when we first started to deliver Avatar to the public, we considered that it was a good product, that it was very simple to learn, and that we were good teachers. When the Avatar processes are understood and properly applied, they are amazingly effective at changing conditions. The course is self-paced and respectful of what people already know or believe. These qualities make the whole experience integrative rather than confrontational. People love doing the course, and they tell their friends about it.
The trainers at that time, Avra, Sue, Miken, and myself, had just come out of a ten-year stint of poverty working 60- and 70-hour weeks for a religious organization, which, for one reason and another, I had lost faith in. That's another whole story, but the point is I was quite tired of religions, ministers, and non-profit organizations—especially the non-profit part.
Actually, I had drifted away from that organization several years before the others and was quietly waiting for them to either confirm my skepticism or to renew my faith. Well, you know how
that went. During that fence-sitting period, I began exploring the world as a small-business entrepreneur. In three years I started five businesses, all of which were more or less successful, but not very exciting.
So that is where I was in 1986. I was pretending to be a member of a religion that I didn't believe in; I was running businesses that I didn't enjoy; and I was waking up every morning feeling that the answers to life were slipping a little further away from me.
That's the dark cloud part.
The silver lining is that this state of affairs led me into the sensory deprivation research, which eventually led to the creation of The Avatar Course. I've pretty well covered this research and development in my upcoming book, Living Deliberately.
Let me describe the motivation behind our early delivery of Avatar. In our minds, we had developed breakthrough psycho-spiritual materials that we could teach people to use, and they would gladly pay us for the experience. The product and service was so effective that we could even offer a money-back guarantee. And there were virtually no dissatisfied customers. Quite to the contrary, graduates raved about the course, and with little or no advertising we continued to grow just from word of mouth.
It was a pretty simple business plan. People would pay us, and we would ensure that they understood the materials and see to it that they knew how to use them. It was a very simple win-win, everyone benefits, transaction. Then, they would tell others, and the cycle would repeat. Now you'll have to excuse my immodesty, but the reason why this worked so well is that no one else in the world was offering a mental technology that was even close to being as straightforward, simple, and effective as The Avatar Course. So we grew very confident and probably even a little arrogant. Okay, maybe a lot arrogant.
In my mind I imagined that our customers would say, "Harry, I see how I was blocking myself, and now realize I can create the life I desire."
And I'd say, "Thank you very much for taking the course. We're glad you enjoyed it." And the deal was done.
But—and again this may seem immodest—we had underestimated the benefits of Avatar on people's lives. One day a prominent NY psychiatrist, who had sent his entire staff to do The Avatar Course with us, pulled me aside and with the most excitement I ever saw him display, asked, "Do you really know what you've got here? Do you have any idea of what you've discovered? You're teaching about methods of consciousness transformation that are far more effective than anything I learned in eight years of training in psychotherapy."
So now you can understand why we were arrogant.
After finishing the course, people's understanding of what they had experienced continued to grow. They realized they were truly free from old restraints. Many experienced an ego-free consciousness that they called enlightenment. Energy levels shot up. We received letters describing how the Avatar tools had created miracles in people's lives. At first, we just considered the letters as good marketing endorsements, but they were more than that. They were insights from people who had learned to turn the struggles and suffering of their lives into valuable lessons. And they wanted to share the lessons. Of course, that's how The Avatar Master Course came about.
Avatars are not only experiencing themselves as the source of their own thoughts and beliefs, they are edging up on the mystical experience of a cosmic source. Recently, after several hours of running one of the processes, one student commented, "I feel like I'm on the threshold of becoming
The vast majority of Avatar graduates continue to evolve into higher, wiser, more peaceful persons. They gain confidence in their abilities to create. They feel secure—some for the first time in their lives. They can make decisions without encountering guilt or doubts. They learn to align their beliefs and actions with their goals. They become appreciative of life, and many become successful.
They are awake and ready to deliberately participate in creation. I don't have to tell you this. You know what I'm talking about.
Sometimes when the graduates shook my hand, they were reluctant to let go. They would look into my eyes with a fully awake look that asked, "What should I do now? Is there something in the world that needs to be done?"
I have turned myself inside out looking for the answer to that question. Is every attempt to better the world really just a resistance to be discreated? Is it enough to return to the peace and calm of one's own center and just watch the world? Appreciating all, understanding all, beyond it all? Or is there something more to be done?
You see that's the question behind the look. That's what kept people holding my hand and wondering into my eyes. What do we do now? Now that we have found the answers we were seeking, what do we do with them? In the past, we kept ourselves unconscious by not knowing, but now we know.
Anyway, I have already taught them too much to try to pass for their guru, so I just reflected the look back. Is there something more you would like to do?
I think that when you pose a question with enough sincerity and are willing to have it answered, the universe will find a way to answer you.
Is there something more I would like to do? A lesson came back to me. It came in a dream image of a holy man who spoke to me. I wish I could do a great Indian accent, but.... He said, "The collective consciousness is not in your head. Your head is in the collective consciousness."
I guess I once knew that, but in my arrogance I had forgotten. It's not enough to just work for yourself. There is a point where personal evolvement turns from self-examination into social examination. The collective consciousness is not in your head. Your head is in the collective consciousness.
And then the handshakes and the looks from the Avatar graduates drifted back to me and began to make sense. They are evolving beyond self-examination. They have made it through the labyrinth of illusions. They are present in and looking at the world.
In its own way the universe explained why the Avatar graduates were sticking around. I guess it comes down to this: if you have somehow acquired the ability to create a civilization that is more peaceful, wise, and of higher quality than what exists, it's no longer enough to sit on the beach and contemplate your navel.
So today when the Avatar graduates give me that questioning look, I look right back and say, "I'm contributing to the creation of an enlightened planetary civilization. Would you like to join me?"
Wow, would they ever!
This awakening to a broader responsibility is why our Avatar Master courses are always full. Even people who have no experience with counseling or teaching get stars in their eyes when they deliver Avatar to someone. It's fantastic. How would you like to present people with the experience that, knowingly or unknowingly, they have been seeking for lifetimes? And get paid for doing it!
Delivering Avatar in the framework of a for-profit business is a good thing all around. You're contributing to something worthwhile, but you're not doing it as an unappreciated sacrifice. I think that's why the Avatar network keeps growing. It creates relationships that are free of hidden obligations, belief systems, or guilt trips.
When you look at a successful Avatar Master, the first thing you will notice is that they are compassionate and real. This is no phony business. You won't find Avatar Masters shuffling their feet, hat in hand, asking you, pretty please, for a donation. Nope. If they did, people would wonder how much to give. Did they give enough? Did they give too much? The whole transaction is surrounded with question marks. It's not compassionate to create guilt or doubt in another. Masters just set a fair price and stick with it.
When people look at a successful Avatar Master they will see that they deliver a valuable service for a fair price. It's more than a fair exchange, because the product is the only product that doesn't ever wear out and keeps getting better for the rest of a person's life. Hey, what a deal!
For me, and I think for all of the trainers here, it has been a long haul from the sensory deprivation tank of October, 1986, up to tonight. Some days it seems like several lifetimes. Over the last six years I've met some of the worst people you can imagine, but also many of the best and brightest. And I think the best and brightest are right here.
I'm not sure how to express the deep appreciation that I have for your presence here, or for your support or for your friendship. I think I'll just express my appreciation by continuing forward and contributing what I can to the creation of an enlightened planetary civilization. Feel free to join me if you like.
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