Saturday, October 8, 2011

Franklin Merrell-Wolff

This is related to the Instant Karma Part 2 post where we gathered evidence in support of the premise 'Every man and every woman is a star'. I made the statement:

"This release of light and energy upon death can be sensed and felt, particularly by someone very close to the person who died."

What follows is an eyewitness account of the death of an extraordinary explorer of Higher Consciouness, Franklin Merrell-Wolff. It's quoted from a biographical piece on Merrell-Wolff by Dr. Richard Moss who knew him well. The whole piece is worth reading.

"When I entered his room, I stood silently at his bedside, gently holding his hand. I could feel his energy, exquisitely fine and open, but nearly gone. He didn't seem to be conscious. Reaching deep inside myself, I began to speak softly to him. I told him that his work was now complete, that his body had been prepared for release by the illness and was now ready. Then I was silent for a long moment and told him from the depths of my heart, "We all thank you." Suddenly, he roused himself, and with what seemed at once like genuine sincerity and the old mischievous humor I loved so much he replied, "You are all entirely welcome." These were his last words. He passed away peacefully a few hours later.

His body was brought back to his home where he was dressed in his finest teaching suit and laid on the couch in the room where for years he had had his Sunday meetings. Then, because it had been his request, I and two of his oldest students began to whisper the First Bardo from the Tibetan Book Of The Dead repeatedly into his ear. He had been quite clear that he wanted to have the First Bardo read to him, and only that Bardo. The words instruct the "Nobly born" to receive the Pure White Light of Consciousness-without-characteristic of any kind. For him it was to be the Pure White Light or nothing. We took turns reciting the First Bardo for six hours until dawn.

In those hours and throughout that first day after his physical death the energy that radiated from him became stronger and stronger. It was like standing before a door onto the Infinite. I realized then that we can do our deepest work in service to Consciousness, as the Tibetan Buddhist's teach, in the final moments of life if we can release all self-contraction and become transparent to the Infinite. Forty-nine years before, exactly half his lifetime ago, this is what happened to Dr. Wolff at the time of his realization. Now it seemed it was happening again in the hours after his physical death."

Franklin Merrell-Wolff

I'm currently reading and enjoying Wolff's book Pathways Through to Space - A Personal Report of Transformations in Consciousness. The title explains itself. The New York Times blurb on the back says:

"Beautifully written ...
a prolonged soliloquy by one who ...
sought to arrive at his own liberated self."

Another description of it by Ron Leonard:

"Henceforth, he began writing, not merely about Transcendental Consciousness, but from it. Because he intends Pathways to be primarily an autobiographical report on the process itself, including spontaneous reflection on a variety of topics and issues, he presents the philosophical dimension informally, rather than systematically. He is sharing the journey, which may provide personal inspiration for the reader’s spiritual path. "


  1. I absolutely loved "Pathways Through to Space" & "Transformations in Consciousness." I'd love to see Franklin Merrell-Wolff catch on in a big bad way!

  2. I'm a recent convert - will have to read "Transformations in Consciousness." next. Also heard that a bio of FMW will come out this year.

  3. I think about Merrell-Wolff every time I read a book by John Lilly. I have just stared reading his "Simulations of God" Merrell-Wolff was obviously very important to Lilly and I have been maning to get hold of one of his books. Is this one the best one to start with?

  4. "Pathways" seems to me like the place to start though I haven't read anything else by him. It was Merrell-Wolff's initial effort. Writing was suggested to him as a way of grounding his "Awakening" or whatever you want to call it.

    "Simulations of God" is a favorite of mine too!

  5. I guess I will have get a copy of "Pathways" from Amazon. John Lilly was one of a kind, but I have only read and watched/ listened to him. You have met him so you know better than me, but from watching some videos of him doing workshops, he had a wicked sense of humour, which might not come across in his writing.

  6. I never did meet Lilly but do have some close friends who were close to him, and have heard some rare recordings of him. He did seem to have a wicked sense of humor.