The I AM Story
From The Mount Shasta Story
By Arthur Francis Eichorn, Sr. 1954Used with permission from the Mount Shasta Herald
The "I AM" chapter of the Mt. Shasta Story was in many ways the most
difficult to compile. During our initial research into this unusual story, we
were confronted with many distorted fragments of hearsay that very nearly discouraged
our attempt to include this important and certainly integral portion of the
mountain's past. The local citizens of the Mt. Shasta region had many varied
versions of what was known as the "Saint Germain Legend," yet few,
if any, were near the truth. The story in its original form was truly amazing
but the invented variations were pure conjecture, elaborated beyond recognition
with each telling.
Local interest in the "I AM" group began in the year 1934 with the publication of a book entitled "Unveiled Mysteries" written by Godfre Ray King. The author was actually the late Mr. G. W. Ballard, founder of the world famous Saint Germain Foundation. The origin of the nom de plume "Godfre Ray King" was derived according to Mrs. G. W. Ballard as follows: "The God Free Ray is King, which means, the flame of God's own heart, which we know as the Great Central Sun, which is the Great Sun behind our Physical Sun."
In his book Mr. Ballard revealed a truly astounding experience that not only affected the local citizens of the Mt. Shasta region, but also deeply affected the vast membership of the "I AM" Activity. The members of this group, who now number over twelve million, are widely scattered. The membership consists of people from every state in the Union as well as people in Europe and large memberships in New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Scotland and South Africa.
Since the original story of Mr. Ballard's experience on Mt. Shasta during the summer of 1930 has become distorted and disparaged by local waggery, we will attempt to correct these deceptions for the layman by briefly quoting directly from the original form with the gracious permission of Mrs. G. W. Ballard. So without further comment, we offer the original version of Mr. Ballard's strange and unusual experience.
"Unveiled Mysteries" was written, according to Mr. Ballard, ". . .in the embrace of the majestic, towering presence of Mt. Shasta, whose apex is robed forever in that pure, glistening White, the symbol of the 'Light of Eternity.'
"I had been sent on Government business to a little town situated at the foot of the mountain, and while thus engaged, occupied my leisure time trying to unravel this rumor concerning The Brotherhood. I knew, through travels in the Far East, that most rumors, myths, and legends have, somewhere as their origin, a deep underlying Truth that usually remains unrecognized by all but those who are real students of life."
"I fell in love with Shasta and each morning, almost involuntarily, saluted the Spirit of the Mountain and the members of the Order. I sensed something very unusual about the entire locality and, in the light of the experiences that followed, I do not wonder that some of them cast their shadows before."
"Long hikes on the trail had become my habit, whenever I wanted to think things out alone or make decisions of serious import. Here, on this great Giant of Nature, I found recreation, inspiration, and peace that soothed my soul and invigorated mind and body."
"I had planned such a hike, for pleasure as I thought, to spend some time deep in the heart of the mountain, when the following experience entered my life, to change it so completely that I could almost believe I were on another planet, but for my return to the usual routine in which I had been engaged for months."
"The morning in question, I started out at daybreak deciding to follow where fancy led, and in a vague sort of way, asked God to direct my path. By noon, I had climber high up on the side of the mountain where the view to the south was beautiful as a dream."
"As the day advanced, it grew very warm and I stopped frequently to rest and to enjoy to the full the remarkable stretch of country around the McCloud River, Valley, and town. It came time for lunch, and I sought a mountain spring for clear, cold water. Cup in hand, I bent down to fill it, when an electrical current passed through my body from head to foot."
"I looked around, and directly behind me stood a young man who, at first glance, seemed to be someone on a hike like myself. I looked more closely, and realized immediately that he was no ordinary person. As this thought passed through my mind, he smiled and addressed me saying:
"'My Brother, if you will hand me your cup, I will give you a much more refreshing drink than spring water.' I obeyed, and instantly the cup was filled with a creamy liquid. Handing it back to me he said: "'Drink it.'
"I did so, and must have looked my astonishment. While the taste was delicious, the electrical vivifying effect in my mind and body made me gasp with surprise. I did not see him put anything into the cup, and I wondered what was happening."
"'That which you drank,' he explained, 'comes directly from the Universal Supply, pure and vivifying as Life Itself, in fact it is Life-Omnipresent Life-for it exists everywhere about us. It is subject to our conscious control and direction, willingly obedient, when we Love enough, because all the Universe obeys the behest of Love. Whatsoever I desire manifests itself, when I command in Love. I held out the cup, and that which I desired for you appeared, See! I have but to hold out my hand and, if I wish to use gold - gold is here.' Instantly, there lay in his palm a disc about the size of a ten dollar gold piece. Again he continued:
"'I see within you a certain Inner understanding of the Great Law, but you are not outwardly aware of It enough to produce that which you desire direct from the Omnipresent Universal Supply. You have desired to see something of this kind so intensely, so honestly, and so determinedly, it could no longer be withheld from you."
"'However, precipitation is one of the least important activities ofthe Great Truth of Being. If your desire had not been free from selfishness and the fascination of phenomena, such an experience could not have come to you. When leaving home this morning, you thought you were coming on a hike, that is, so far as the outer activity of your mind was concerned. In the deeper, larger sense you were really following the urge of your Inner God Self that led to the person, place, and condition wherein your most intense desire could be fulfilled."
"'The Truth of Life is, you cannot desire that which is not possible of manifestation somewhere in the Universe. The more intense the feeling within desire, the more quickly it will be attained. However, if one be foolish enough to desire something that will injure another of God's children, or any other part of His Creation, then that person will pay the penalty in discord and failure, somewhere in his own Life's experience.'"
In Mr. Ballard's book, "Unveiled Mysteries," the learned stranger continues for many pages to reveal the great eternal law of life to Mr. Ballard. And then he commanded:
"Sit still a few moments - watch me closely - and I will reveal my identity to you."
Mr. Ballard relates: "I did as he requested and in perhaps a full minute, I saw his face, body, and clothing become the living, breathing, tangible 'Presence' of the Master, Saint Germain, smiling at my astonishment and enjoying my surprise."
"He stood there before me -- A Magnificent God-like figure - in a white jeweled robe, a Light and Love sparkling in his eyes that revealed and proved the Dominion and Majesty that are his."
This, in the. words of Mr. Ballard, was the first of many meetings with Saint Germain. The second meeting took place a few days later. Mr. Ballard arrived at the trysting place first and sat on a log waiting the arrival of Saint Germain.
"As I contemplated the wonderful privilege and blessing that had come to me, I heard a twig crack and looked around expecting to see him. Imagine my, surprise, when not fifty feet away, I saw a panther -slowing approaching. My hair must have stood on end. I wanted to run, to scream - anything - so frantic was the feeling of fear within me. It would have been useless to move, for one spring from the panther would have been fatal to me."
"My brain whirled so great was my fear, but one idea came through clearly and held my attention steady. I realized that I had the Mighty 'Presence of God' right within me, and that this 'Presence' was all Love. This beautiful animal was a part of God's Life also, and I made myself look at it, directly in the eyes. Then came the thought, that one part of God could not harm another part. I was conscious of this fact only."
"A feeling of Love swept over me, and went out like a Ray of Light directly to the panther and with it went my fear. The stealthy tread ceased and I moved slowly toward it, feeling that God's Love filled us both. The Vicious glare in the eyes softened, the animal straightened up, and came slowly to me, rubbing its shoulder against my leg. I reached down and stroked the soft head. It looked up into my eyes for a moment and then, lay down and rolled over like a playful kitten. The fur was a beautiful dark, reddish brown: the body long, supple and of great strength. I continued to play with it and when I suddenly looked up, Saint Germain stood beside me."
" 'My Son,' he said, 'I saw the great strength within you or I would not have permitted so great a test. You have conquered fear. My congratulations! Had you not conquered the outer-self, I would not have allowed the panther to harm you, but our association would have ceased for a time."
" 'I did not have anything to do with the panther being there. It was part of the Inner operation of the Great Law, as you will see before the association with your new-found friend ceases. Now, that you have passed the test of courage, it is possible for me to give much greater assistance. Each day you will become stronger, happier, and express much greater freedom."
"He held out his hand, and in a moment there appeared four little cakes of a beautiful golden brown, each about two inches square. He offered these and I ate them at his direction. They were most delicious. Immediately, I felt a quickening, tingling sensation through my entire body - a new sense of health and clearness of mind. Saint Germain seated himself beside me and my instructions began."
The teaching and instructions thus attained from Saint Germain, became the decrees and doctrines which were in turn later passed on to the membership of the "I AM" Activity of the Saint Germain Foundation, by the special appointed messenger, Mr. Ballard.
In the preface of "Unveiled Mysteries," Mr. Ballard states: ". . .I wish to say, that these experiences are as Real and True as mankind's existence on this earth today, and that they all occured during August, September and October of 1930 upon Mount Shasta."
In the years that followed the publication of "Unveiled Mysteries," plans were quietly inaugurated to establish a permanent headquarters for the "I AM" Youth Foundation in the town of Mount Shasta. Special envoys were sent into the region to purchase property. In the first year $60,000 was spent in this way.
While searching through the archives in the files of local newspaper offices, your author noted that this new influx of spending. did not in all cases inspire welcome. In some quarters it induced a feeling of envy, suspicion, and resentment. Thus was born a campaign of persecution against the "I AM" membership. Unfounded rumors were manufactured, accusing these people of many weird and fantastic acts. It was felt by these gossiping groups, that people who did not eat meat, or flesh in any form, did not smoke or drink intoxicants, dressed in clothing of pastel colors, minded their business, bothered no one, were people to conjure about. This slanderous campaign continued for several years. In 1948, Mrs. G. W. Ballard was the special guest of the Mount Shasta Chamber of Commerce. She was invited to this meeting to explain the functions of the "I AM" Activity. Over two hundred citizens attended to hear this interesting talk. Again and again Mrs. Ballard emphasized that the work of her group was constructive and that their aim was to better the world through construction and beauty. She gave a slight insight into their beliefs and doctrines. She said that theirs were based upon the "universal energy and the power from above, also these beliefs are based on the Christian Bible."
Speaking of persecution, she said, "that many have been persecuted, including Jesus, but that 'He came out all right.' " In referring to the prevalent rumors around Mount Shasta, she declared,". . .that people talk most about what they know least."
At one time in the questioning the inquiries became very pointed, and President Jack Hammond reminded the audience that the meeting was for the purpose of learning of the business relations only, and was not a religious discussion.
Time wore on in the Mount Shasta region, and a trend toward acceptance developed. This feeling expanded to a full manifestation of acceptance in the late summer of 1955. This was the year that the general public was invited by Mrs. Ballard to attend the pageant presented by the students of the "I AM" Activity each year at the conclusion of their annual Conclave. The setting in 1955 was the beautiful amphitheatre located on upper McCloud Avenue, just outside the town of Mount Shasta. A crowd of over 3,000 witnessed the thrilling and beautifully presented pageant depicting the Life of Christ. To say that the crowd was awed would be mild praise. Many were actually stunned at the beauty and the perfection of the presentation. The final scene was of Jesus' ascension. He climbed a winding path up the hillside back of the stage, said a few final words to the assembled angels and multitude below. Then on an ingeniously concealed elevator that appeared as a stately pine, he rose skyward and disappeared in a flash of light.
This was followed by a final address by Mrs. Ballard after which she and her official family, carried the American flag to the ascension lift and had it born aloft as a symbol of America's ascension as a nation.
On September 1,1955, seventeen business concerns of Mount Shasta purchased a full page advertisement in the Herald, thanking the "I AM" Activity for the invitation, and warmly praising the group on the majestic portrayal presented.
This pageant is presented each summer during the month of August in the beautiful amphitheatre on Quail Hill, and people travel thousands of miles to witness this never-to-be-forgotten portrayal of the Life of Christ.
Thus we have, in brief form, the "I AM" Story. True, it is not the complete story; it would take several volumes to present all the facts, but we anticipate that in our small way we have helped to present the true facts, explaining why the people of the "I AM" Activity look upon Mt. Shasta with special symbolic significance. For here it was that their founder met the ascended master - Saint Germain.
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