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To write an autobiography one has to look back at one’s life. I looked back at my life. Then I looked again—this time more closely—and was astounded. I’ve never known of any life, so diversified, with such a high degree of success. It’s embarrassing to say something like that about one’s own life, but it’s the truth. It’s a sure thing I didn’t do all those things on my own.
Let me explain.
One day, several years ago, I had thoroughly exhausted myself trying to get help from someone in the U.S. government. I was almost too tired to take a vacation. I selected a place where no one would know me, Blackberry Inn in the hills of Tennessee. I planned to do nothing and plenty of it.
When I arrived at the Inn I noted it was attractively furnished, and everybody there was extremely nice. There were 1,100 acres of wooded property and one could drive a golf cart around it. I’d brought two books with me: In Search of the Miraculous by P. D. Ouspensky and The Complete Essays of Mark Twain. In the morning I would take the golf cart down to a beautiful little stream with a few chairs scattered near it. Each day I would sit in a different place and read.
I started with In Search of the Miraculous, which I’d read years ago. It’s a story of Ouspensky’s meetings with Georges Gurdjieff, a superbrilliant man, extraordinary in many ways. Some called him a mystic. The book is deep. I skipped around in reading it. On the third day I read (Mr. Gurdjieff talking to Mr. Ouspensky):
“Man is a machine. All his deeds, actions, words, thoughts, feelings, convictions, opinions, and habits are the results of external influences, external impressions. Out of himself a man cannot produce a single thought, a single action.... It all happens.”
That stirred a memory of Mark Twain’s “What Is Man?” which by coincidence, probably not by coincidence, was in the other book I had with me. In it, The Old Man talking to The Young Man says:
“Personally you did not create even the smallest microscopic fragment of the materials out of which your opinion is made; and personally you cannot claim even the slender merit of putting the borrowed materials together. That was done automatically—by your mental machinery, in strict accordance with the law of that machinery’s construction.”
Mr. Gurdjieff and Mark Twain don’t need my concurrence, but they have it.
I’d like to go further. If something happens in an individual’s life that can be of great importance to the rest of the creatures on this earth, it may not be that it “just happened.” It is almost a sure thing that the life was influenced from above. Most of my life I have been an agnostic. I’m not now.
My life, remarkable as it has been, is not important. In it I was trained in probabilities and objectivity, and was given an unbelievable amount of money. Without these aptitudes and the money, I would not have been able to follow up on a piece of luck that took me out of a depression. The luck involved finding the drug Dilantin. The truth about this medicine is spreading rapidly, internationally, much of this due to the efforts of the Dreyfus Medical Foundation. The medicine is now being used in China, Russia, Ghana, India, and Mexico for over fifty symptoms and disorders. Although this drug was introduced in the United States fifty-eight years ago, it is still only listed with our FDA for one use. This is a great tragedy.
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