Died in 2011. "Aged 16 she read Rudolf Steiner's Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and found herself seduced by his talk of "different levels of reality and different modes of consciousness". The book started her on a spiritual quest that would last a lifetime.
"In her late teens she attended a meeting addressed by Dr Frank Buchman, founder of the Oxford Group (later Moral Rearmament), an evangelical movement centred round the idea of "Listening to God", but whose search for Absolute Honesty, Absolute Purity, Absolute Unselfishness and Absolute Love demanded a constant round of confessing and "sharing" ones sins...
"After the war she met Rodney Collin-Smith, better known as Rodney Collin, a leading disciple of the "Fourth Way" spiritual development gurus PD Ouspensky and GI Gurdjieff, and author of such works as The Theory of Eternal Life and The Theory of Celestial Influence. The latter was an ambitious attempt to unite astronomy, physics, chemistry, human physiology and world history within a theory that the planets rule different organs of the human body.
"Collin – whose brother, Derry, Joyce would marry – became her mentor, and in the early 1950s she travelled to Mexico to practise the Gurdjieff "work" at his commune in the suburbs of Mexico City. One day, on top of the Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan, she turned towards Collin and experienced a sudden epiphany: Here, standing before her, was the imaginary playmate of her childhood: "You're my brother! You're my brother!" she cried. "Very likely," Collin responded. "There is certainly a Karmic link."
"But the euphoria of rediscovering her long-lost sibling did not last. On May 3 1956, Collin died after falling from the tower of the cathedral in Cuzco, Peru. He was found in a position curiously resembling the crucified Christ and there was speculation that he had attempted to follow Ouspensky's teaching that it is important to "die consciously" a bit too literally.
"Back in England, Joyce moved on to Pak Subuh, the Indonesian "Messiah" who, in the 1920s, had founded an international spiritual movement called Subud and claimed to be a channel of latihan kejiwaan (spiritual energy) from a higher power. In 1956, when Subuh and his wife Ibu visited London, Joyce experienced the "releasing" effect of latihan, but became perturbed by the sometimes violent cleansing that was part of the process and by an element of sexual stimulation that "rose to such a pitch that people were breaking up their marriages and linking up with others, and again others, like a perpetual version of an old-fashioned 'excuse me' dance."
"Perhaps inevitably, in the early 1960s Joyce moved on to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who initiated her into the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in his early days in the West. Feeling that she had finally found "a genuine master – a Guru", she spent about eight years with the Maharishi and also served as his driver.
"After a while, however, she began to feel that the guru was beginning to lose "his cleanness of intent". She noted that he was becoming "rather ruthless" in the use of his spiritual power, showing no concern when people began breaking down as a result of practising TM (she herself was once driven to the brink of suicide as a result of overindulging in the practice), demanding big fees for "spiritual benefits", and discarding those followers who could not pay.
"It was the beginning of her disillusionment with him. The final straw was the arrival of the Beatles.
"In the mid-1950s Joyce Collin-Smith had taken a diploma at the Faculty of Astrological Studies (an institution founded in London in 1948). After leaving the Maharishi, she set herself up as an astrological consultant, Tarot reader, esoteric writer and spiritual teacher of her own groups.
"In 1988 she recorded her spiritual adventures in an autobiographical work entitled Call No Man Master. Other works include The Pathless Land, an exploration of esoteric experience "from Astrology to Zaphkiel", and two novels, Locusts and Wild Honey and Of Fire and Music." [https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8317131/Joyce-Collin-Smith.html
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