Balance. Purpose. Enlightenment.
Shangri-La is a mythical, almost inaccessible Utopia where almost everyone is happy, healthy, and content. But did you know that for over seventy years there has been a real Shangri-La in California? In 1943, Dr. Robert Stelle wrote:
Our own Shangri-La is closer than you imagine. Those who work here can tell you how hard it is, in Gateway’s peaceful quiet, to realize that feverish war activities are only 40 miles away. Except for occasional war planes high overhead, we wouldn’t know great encampments and barracks lie just beyond our protecting mountains.
James Hilton’s Lost Horizon caught a generation’s imagination, inspired two films, and put “Shangri-La” in the dictionary. This haunting story touches deep longings in human hearts. A certain magic confers many blessings including greatly extended life, as we learn the youthful guide is 97, and the High Lama over 200!
Yet, some who had lived in this paradise for many years eventually grew discontent. They could leave, but at their mortal peril. The gift of extra years didn’t travel. This was dramatically shown by the apparently young woman who fled the hidden retreat with the hero, only to age rapidly and die a short time later.
The truths in Lost Horizon help it endure. Its inhabitants expressed great patience, a virtue so rare today that may have been a key to their paradise, for as the Kauri of West Africa say, “At the bottom of patience one finds heaven.” And they had a sense of humor, expressed in their saying, “Everything in moderation – even moderation.” Any who found Shangri-La were free to stay or to leave. Those who stayed had a sort of grace period during which they purged themselves of compelling outside attachments and influences. After several years they could join the community, and their physical aging began to slow.
There are parallels with Shangri-La in California – the real enclave of Lemurians earnestly pursuing enlightenment today, known as Gateway. The positive atmosphere generated by a group sincerely working to create a better life is indeed conducive to physical and mental wellbeing, and many devoting their lives to this endeavor earn the health and energy to work well beyond retirement age. A feeling of peace visitors often notice pervades the grounds. No one is expected to fit in without a period of preparation. Only after carefully guided training in the Lemurian Philosophy is anyone ready to really appreciate and try to harmonize with what they find at Gateway. And one is always free to leave, but just as in Shangri-La, something vital is lost when this opportunity is relinquished.
But there are distinct differences between Shangri-La and Gateway. People don’t stumble into the home of the Lemurian Order accidentally. Contact with the Lemurian Work comes after a conscious search for something missing in our lives. It takes unusual personal effort to earn the longer, more fulfilling lives the Masters experience and we aspire to, and these lives are not without challenge. How else could we grow stronger and nobler? They are exciting, rewarding lives as we learn to harmonize and overcome differences and obstacles that have brought down every civilization since the original Shangri-La, commonly known as Lemuria. Our goals are not a secluded life free of problems, or even greatly extended life, but the chance to work with others who understand and live by universal laws to overcome the human problems common to all, and build together toward a more perfect civilization.
Copyright © 2016 Lemurian Fellowship
14 thoughts on “Shangri-La in California”
Thanks Chris, from a cook! We who have that privilege learn so much, even from the simple preparation of a meal, what harmony and peace can be. First the gardens, well planned and cultivated, providing delicious nourishing ingredients…all worked on in harmony by many of us. Then whether the main cook or a helper, we enjoy the peaceful acceptance of our efforts, sometimes with encouraging instruction as needed, and again, in harmony, prepare and serve together. They say the proof is in the pudding, and sitting down together to enjoy our bounty is one of the proofs of the Lemurian way of life’s effectiveness, sometimes literally, in the pudding!
For me Gateway is more than the peaceful harmony and positive atmosphere depicted in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon. It is giving me the opportunity to fulfill aspirations and longings of an earlier time. When I was in school and later navigating through a career, I never really felt at home with what I was doing. Where was all this experience and training taking me? Gateway allows me to tie up those loose ends by drawing on a variety of past experiences to join in a constructive and meaningful way with others to help make Gateway the Shangri-La it is. And that is deeply rewarding!
I appreciate your comment, Oleg, as it says what is happening in my life as well. Gateway and the Philosophy it represents are the fulfillment of a life’s yearning and no doubt the yearnings of many lifetimes. It truly is everything!
It’s where I find a sense of peace and balance.
I think the food served there has something to do with it.
The peace that one discovers at Gateway moved our six year old son to tears as we drove away after our first family stay. The feeling has remained for our family for decades and touches our lives all the time.
Like Leo, I, too have earned the privilege of living at the new Shangri-la, the home of the Lemurian Order at Gateway. And I was struck by the similar theme in the last two blog articles, this one and “Lemurian Map into Marriage”. Both talk about using God’s Universal Laws to bring personal happiness. That’s what we try to do at Gateway, and it works.
In my youth I had heard smatterings of some of the principles promulgated by the Lemurian Fellowship and over time had even gathered together some rudimentary information about the virtues and other cosmic principles, but I could never seem to find a coherent and definitive source of such inspiring ideals. One day I decided that, rather than simply reading about them, I would actually try to implement what I had read about the virtues. I elected to first work with the virtue Tolerance and as I went through my day I was quite surprised to see, perhaps for the first time, the depth of my intolerance.
It was a little dismaying to see the extent of my faults, but at the same time it was exciting as I was discovering a source of true direction in my life. Shortly after implementing my decision to take action on the information I had gathered rather than to simply read and dream, I came across the website of the Lemurian Fellowship. With a certainty that defies explanation, I knew without question that it was the source I had been seeking, and that I had come upon it because of my sincere effort to work with what I had already been given. I filled out the online enrollment form and soon thereafter began the training in the Lemurian Philosophy which has proven to be the greatest blessing of my life.
My first visit was in the early 70s from Chicago. My wife and I often alternated vacations for the privilege of coming here to serve. It has been my life goal to be here, now fulfilled as I am living at Gateway.
This sounds like such a peaceful place. I’m sure it would be wonderful to experience, even if just to visit.
I am sure that a visit could be arranged if ever you are in the area. There is a presence on the grounds that no picture can capture, nor words describe.
The feeling of missing something in your life is prevalent these days. Material things don’t fill the void. One needs the missing spiritual components of character, virtue and morality that will bring the peace and harmony each of us is really looking for.
I watched and enjoyed the movie Shangri-La many decades ago and never prior to reading this article made its connection to Gateway. Although my work at Gateway is, for the most part, commonplace, there lies behind it the nobility spoken of in this article. For me, there is a subtle mystery to Gateway, drawing me ever deeper into the wonders of a life lived as God intends me to experience. As mentioned in the article, there are challenges but behind each I have found the steps to reaching a deeper understanding of what is expected of me and how much more I need to do to reach the bottom of patience.
Sad as it is to observe, perhaps as the world strife increases in contrast with the harmony of Gateway, the appeal of a shangrala will increase, and the challenges of overcoming old world habits and instilling cosmically sound principles will be embraced.