AN INVITATION TO OPENNESS CHAPTER 9 page 183Published June 18, 2019
Comments from the author: This chapter introduces the turning point that changed my life for the better, forever. William L. Ingram/Author
AN INVITATION TO OPENNESS
Without opening my eyes, I reached over to the radio and turned
the dial to find a familiar station. A classical melody was playing,
so I paused to hear what program it introduced. The taste of
dried tears was in my mouth. Then, I heard the distinctive voice with
its crisp, clear, and very British accent. His name was Roy Masters.
His program was called How Your Mind Can Keep You Well and a
Moment of Truth. Directly, he launched into one of his tirades.
Masters’ tirade was more of an inspired rant; he spoke like a prosecuting
attorney, railing against the psychotic jungle mankind was
entrapped in. He used everyday words, but in very specific and
insightful ways. He was talking to me. I lay there; my eyes shut
against the dim afternoon light, and listened intently. I’d never heard
anyone speak so truthfully and powerfully before! My heart soared
and my mind was alive with wonder. He apologized for not taking any
calls (on what was usually a radio call-in show). Then, after an advertisement
from his program’s only sponsor (a house moving business),
Masters returned to his harangue. He was a firebrand whose righteous
anger was directed at shaking us out of our spiritual lethargy.
Roy Masters had to pay for his time on the radio, like many
preachers on LA’s religious radio stations, but he seemed unconcerned
about making people feel good. Neither did he attempt to
manipulate hearers into feeling guilty about their pasts, nor offer
them simple-minded salvation that eventually resuscitated their high
opinions of themselves.
He never spoke a word about Jesus Christ or God during that tirade,
and yet, I understood that he was talking about them. “Whatever saves
you, claims you!” Masters repeated several times. That notion resonated
deeply in my feverish mind, as I listened to the traditional religious
programs that followed Masters’ show. Whatever saves you,
The next morning, I waited hungrily for the beautifully inspiring
music that introduced Masters’ program. I dared not change the station.
I didn’t want to miss a word of what he was going to say. His
early morning program was a short one, a mere fifteen minutes to
deliver a message and direct listeners to his afternoon call-in show.
After the music, came that voice. He introduced himself humbly and
apologized for taking much of the prior afternoon’s program with his
He welcomed new listeners and spoke about the purpose of the
Foundation of Human Understanding, his organization that was
located on Western Avenue in Los Angeles. The foundation was a
nonprofit entity that depended on tax-deductible donations from
loyal listeners. No dues or tithes were required, and one couldn’t join
or belong to the group. There were no courses (only weekly lectures)
at the foundation office, which was open to the public.
Masters spoke briefly, and encouraged followers to be patient and
not prejudge his program. He claimed that objectivity was required
to gain insight into his teachings. He offered a meditation exercise,
taught by way of a long-playing record, to help followers achieve a
state of objectivity. His “be still and know” meditation was a simple
technique; it addressed negative thinking, emotional damage, and
With mild skepticism, I listened as he explained that he believed
this wordless prayer-type meditation was practiced by the early Judaeo-
Christians. He hurriedly explained that, although it bore some
resemblance to other Eastern forms of meditation, its direction was
totally different. He offered the recording for whatever one could
afford. I folded some cash and a note into an envelope and set it
beside the radio.
To be continued in part 2