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Norman Paulsen and Sunburst
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Vincent van Gogh. Alba sui Campi. 1899. Section
"Don't discard anything that is unfamiliar to you just because it is uncommon. It can still be of great value one way or another."

Norman Paulsen, Surburst and what is called Sirian messages Norman Paulsen was born on 3 February 1929 in Santa Barbara, and passed away on 30 December 2006. His spiritual quest led him to the guru Paramahansa Yogananda and his SRF monastery. In 1951 he left the monastery, and later the group that is now called ◦Sunburst was formed to promote simple, natural living and high thinking. He inspired thousands and taught meditation too. In the early 1980's Norman published his autobiography, Christ Consciousness, which details great experiences in his life. I have not heard one bad word about that great being by responsible persons.

After Norman passed away in 2006, his teachings, called the Rainbow Path, live on.

From a tender age Norman Paulsen was blessed with revelations. As Norman grew up, he began to realize how trapped he had become. He wanted God, and found that those men and women that had seen and heard God, saw a certain light. And at least some of them knew in seconds far more than they were supposed to know, perhaps.

He began to contemplate, and this eventually led him to Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), who thought highly of the ability to bend the tongue so far back that it got into the nasal cavity with much training -

Normal's greatest desire was a bit different, though. It became to bear witness that God was alive, and that we are here to link up with God. These are the wonderful gifts to lay hands on. Bending the tongue far back is just a step towards it - and not likely to be necessary either. [From Our Divine Birthright by Norman Paulsen]

You can get trapped in platitudes, and not just by big baits.


Falling Down - From the Life of Norman Paulsen

In Norman Paulsen's book Christ Consciousness he describes a close-enough-to-death experience.

Once on a time Norman was working as a lineman for the telephone company along the coastline of Santa Barbara, but he failed to check that his safety strap was secured. So at one time Norman fell backward and thought "Oh God, this is it!" about thirty feet above the ground. But cats, grown-ups and even babies have survived even higher falls, newspaper tell of from time to time. Norman survived it too.

On the way down he tried to prepare himself for meeting the ground, but all in all he was pulled away from his body. He heard Hum and Om. He stretched his arms forward and flew higher and higher. Below him was the coastline of California. A thought occurred to him: "To leave the earth I must exit through the north polar vortex."

Moving northward he realised that he had not said goodbye to his dad. And then the Northern Hemisphere was spread out beneath him. He saw a force descend through the earth's core at the North Pole.

The physical body of man is similar, Norman teaches; somewhere connected with the head we find the door inside at that magnetic north pole of man. The magnetic south pole of man is the lower end of the spine, or his central bottom area (the perineum) if you like. Between these poles the Spirit spins and weaves and upholds the images it needs and solidifies them into visible form - a body.

The physical bodies of man and woman on earth evolved, he says. Human beings, sons and daughters of man in simple and self-conscious states, know little of the gyrating forces that are administered by the angels (higher forces inside ourselves and otherwise). These paramundane forces find it difficult to spin or move the folks that need it the most - it so happens.

Such things or at least very similar things passed before Norman as he looked on the earth beneath. But again he thought of his father and wanted to say goodbye to him. And very soon he found his body lying at the foot of the telephone pole, covered with blankets. He entered it and saw faces looking down on him. There was presumably no need for that final goodbye; for Normal recovered.

His unrecognised dilemma:

  1. You glide back to the body but recover: In that case there was no need for the goodbye you longed for.
  2. You glide back but don't recover; then there was a need for a goodbye - but you are dead.


Norman Teaches

Overview 1 - Norman teaches yang meets yin or something similar

Norman Paulsen considers two forces in his yoga teachings - a male force that looks like Yang - and a female force that appears to be like Yin. Yang and Yin are complementary sides to a life. A rendering follows:

The serpent power (also called "Kundalini" in Hindu teachings) can be induced to rise up from the base of the spine. As it ascends, the force can be felt as a gyrating motion. It is often experienced as heat, and can be imagined as flames and associated with the feminine part of God inside.

There is another and masculine force that descends through the inner tunnel. The two forces gyrate in opposite directions.

The male force can be felt as a gentle pressure on the crown of the head, sometimes like a gentle breeze stirring your scalp. As awareness increases, we can feel such things.

Raising the feminine force without at the same time drawing in the masculine force, could bring about upheavals, even great ones.

Norman Paulsen describes how he once was face to face with God and beheld the rising forces meeting the descending forces. Their union occurred on the altar of the heart - the profound marriage of something like Great Yin and Yang, if one may put it that way.

Overview 2 - Yang and Yin caught

[AS YANG:] Great Spirit moved with desire to the smallest of all places. There, at the centre, Spirit felt the largest of all places [like Yin in Yang].

[AS YIN:] Divine Spirit desired to live and dance in thought-forms, moving outward from the centre into life and fields, created ripples and waves into motion. Ecstasy and time were born, and good light [that is of Yang].

[It's all much condensed by me.]

A Savoury Way of Life is like Milk and Honey -

When he was a grown man, Norman was given instructions for diving directly by I Am What I Am - God - to bless and favour others.

His swami teacher, Paramahansa Yogananda, named his own mission the Church of All Religions. That is a Hindu concept, as Hinduism is very syncretic (somehow like a slowly working melting-pot).

Norman's teachings, called the Rainbow Path, propose a way of life where contemplating (meditating) deeply should bring you to the place of true prayer, the divine centre of consciousness within your soul - the divine spiritual embryo in the heart. You should be able to do that in freedom.

Adjusting to the necessary virtues of solid, right living along with prayer and contemplation, your mental compass needle should remain directed toward "the polestar" God.

Norman's kriya yoga - 1

Norman says this universe is the living, visible body of God. But when you dive inward, something else is bound to be experienced:

When practiced every day, Norman's technique of meditation leads you on an inner dive, such an exploration - He talks of an inner-dimensional tunnel of light, and what he came across at the end of the tunnel. Norman's Sunburst meditation method parallels the Kriya Yoga of Paramahansa Yogananda, as it once was taught to Norman. Norman claims that kriya will take you as far as face to face with I Am What I Am.

Norman's kriya yoga - 2

Under Paramahansa Yogananda Norman practiced an advanced form of Kriya, one that Yogananda did not teach to the general public. It involved kechari mudra [which involves "tongue lifting", better explained on top of the page]. Few can do it as taught the Indian kriya yogis, but Norman could. Therefore he practised kriya more along the lines that Yogananda's teacher Sri Yukteswar taught it, to learn in the end that tongue-lifting was dispensable(!). So what's the fuss?

Yogananda in America had modified the technique to expose it to Westerners and at least get people started. But Norman once did what Lahiri Mahasaya spoke of when he said, "You must penetrate the star" - that brilliant Sun that Yogananda spoke of as the Sun of Cosmic Consciousness. Directly from inside that quivering star Norman was informed to teach Kriya without kechari mudra, for "tongue lifting" was not indispensable -

HO It took someone who was able to put his tongue in his nose to stand up and say the feat is not needed -

We are also told that the Sunburst Meditation technique is a further refinement of advanced kriya, even of what Babaji taught Lahiri Mahasaya. Words of recommendation like these are found too:

"In a visitation some years ago with Norman, Mahavatar Babaji indicated that the technique that Norman is now teaching was being taught correctly for the new dispensation. In a visit with Norman recently, Yogananda expressed his support for what Norman is teaching and verbally endorsed the book Sacred Science as bringing together the spiritual cultures of the East and West." [Excerpted. I hope there were witnesses, for they are often good to have -]



His organisation was first named Solar Logos; now it is Sunburst.

The Foundation

Norman's organisation looks rustic to an outsider; it is meant as a compliment.

Sunburst fellowship was founded by Norman Paulsen in 1969. It offers teachings that promote special thought, action, and being with God. The founder was a direct disciple and ordained minister of Paramahansa Yogananda.

At least the mid-life Yogananda desired people to form self-supporting communities where a group of thirty or so could live and work and meditate together for the good of planet earth and inhabitants on it. Collective quantum fields of such a well-run group can stimulate individual spiritual growth and sincerity, it is held in the Sunburst and in other, not different groups. A much similar idea has been launched by proponents of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's transcendental meditation (TM) program too, where such joining of forces is said to lead into far better general conditions (through what is named the Maharishi Effect). There are methodological difficulties to handle before a substantial appreciation of such a hovering idea may be had.

Sunburst Communities

Sunburst fellowship colonies lie near Point Conception, California, north of Santa Barbara, and there is an organic farm nearby. Seminars are held during the year, offering instructions and guidance in meditation, breath work, and healing through diet and exercise.

"Prepare the vessel of your soul to bring forth your Pure Self, the image and reflection of God", is the teaching. And "Draw closer to God" is another facet of it.

A word of advice: There are small families and large families, good and pleasant families and bad and dogmatic families. Much depends on what sort of group you venture to join. And still more seems to depend on who steers the resources - your money, that is. It often shows up in retrospect that it was largely unwise to part with it.

"The wind in one's face makes one wise." (Proverb)


Great Stars - ☼

Hot Tip

There should be a "regret button" somewhere for those who join groups and fellowship they know too little of, so that fellows do not find themselves stuck or bound by rashly made promises of loyalty they are made to swear, as in Yogananda's fellowship.

At any rate: It is how we use the precious moments, that stores merit (the sterling worth) or not. "Man . . . should make himself a lot of good karma, " says Buddha. Yogananda on the other hand teaches a method to "roast" the seeds of good and bad karma, as he says. Then, if something untoward happens sometime afterwards, your good karma cannot be counted on any more, to the degree it was roasted, made ineffectual. Now, that is a problem.

1. Monastics and their UFO Expressions

In SRF members and disciples are told that on one occasion Yogananda and the present vice president were walking in the desert around Twenty-Nine Palms in California when she said, "I don't believe in UFOs." Next he called down a UFO for her. Norman Paulsen goes into UFOs too, and there is a wide-spread belief in them in some countries, for example Denmark.

A report from the 1960s shows that 90 percent of UFO sightings may be identified with other phenomena, such as birds and hot gases. UFO reports vary widely in reliability. However, a small percentage of the most reliable UFO reports indicate extraterrestrial visitors, according to some researchers. So there is a wide variety of opinions on UFOs. And so-called "contact events" where activities besides sighting have been reported, have been found most frequently to involve dreams or hallucinations. [EB "unidentified flying objects"]

I can confirm that on the SRF Summer Convocation in 1971, Swami Bhaktananda of SRF told of an incident that involves Mrilanini when she was no Mata (mother) or SRF President, but 'sister' (monastic). Onece she said she did not believe in aliens. Yogananda took her for a stroll in the desert and then an UFO came down - said Bhaktananda among other things to a group that had flocked around him in the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. I heard a few other stories about aliens that circulated among SRF monastics-to-be and monastics at the time too.

2. Consider the tales you were told as a child and reconsider

The so-called wise men who were led by a wandering star, were not led by a star (sun) at all, for stars don't move about as described in the Bible. They don't move such as the gospel describes. They shine uniformly over the side of the earth that turns toward it. However, a UFO is quite typically said to emit strong, white light and move about . . .

COMMENT: Don't believe literally all you read in the gospels. A star (sun) could not behave in the way the star of the nativity tale does.

On an SRF-attached discussion board an anonymous poster wrote that "One of the senior monastics (Bhaktananda, I think) had told him that PY once said that if America were ever at war and losing badly . . . aliens . . . would intervene to help out.

COMMENT: Yes, Bhaktananda told that. I heard him loud and clear, at about one metre's distance.

3. Make a fit effort, at least

"The great Light of the pure Self within is there now and it always has been. Meditation, as taught by The Solar Logos Foundation can take you as far as you want to go but you must be sincere and willing to make the effort." - Norman Paulsen, in Christ Consciousness.


It matters to get wise and stay that way. For all that, it could be wise to be reluctant to tell your opinions and sightings in public. But who can tell? There may not be any general rules in this matter.


Sirian Teachings?

There are freaks and counterfreaks. See who freaks out below:

1. Lasswell's formula can be applied

Accusing a group bluntly and savagely of being a sect or cult without fit evidence, is not fit. A communication formula by Harold Lasswell is a boon to know of.

Who says what to whom along which channel and with what intent? is a modification of it.

That some persons has followers and they deviate from the norms and practices in the large society, do not make them a cult. Authoritarian practises and framing structures are also needed for that: To the degree these are missing in a group, we have no good cause if we rally against a group. To be labelled a sect or cult justly, a group has to meet several criteria (in more or less foolhardly ways).

Writing off groups by talking down on them and abusing some - without showing any good proof of one's opinions - is bad.

Lasswell's formula can help in studying and assessing groups. For example Sunburst. Their core teachings - are they odious? Says whom? What are their core teachings? - I think I have summed up some of them above. Is anything wrong with a group's basic teachings and structures, then be able to document it - prove it. If not, you are dogmatising, which is one mark of a cult (and sectarian-minded fellow too, I think).

2. Ask: "Where is the evidence?"

The excerpted messages of the Sirian High Council were found on the Internet for the following exchanges. - TK

Q. Are you seeking to gain converts for Sunburst? - very disturbing.


"Let us look again, and again, and yet again . . . to recognize the fear . . .

What is at the core of this growing terror? . . .

Is your terror the lurking madman . . . ?"


We should not write off groups as cults without evidence of it. I wanted you to document the diatribes that a schizophrenic started and you catered to.

Q. You summarized the views of Sunburst.

For the sake of presentation fairness.

Q. Evidently you're a member of this cult . . . I'd be interested to know how long.

There has been no contact between the Solar Logos, Norman and me to this day. [Added later: In November 2007 I learnt that Norman has passed away, and that what started as Solar Logos is called Sunburst now. I have updated their name throughout here.]

Q. Where's your proof of the claims made in your Sunburst pitches?

I do not have to furnish that sort of evidence, for I am not responsible for their claims. I have presented some Sunburst teachings like a reporter. Why don't you ask Sunburst to prove these things?

Q. And Sunburst is a great example of a cult.

I dislike branding a group as a cult without evidence. I think it is wrong. Further know that the criteria of cults are difficult. Learn to check before you judge, to say the least.

'Tis skill, not ballyhoo, that needs to govern the ship."

We also bear in mind "He is not the most confused who knows he his confused [Chuang Tzu]." As for criticism, those who need it the most may not be able to take it, not all at once at any rate.

3. A time to admit that all that glitters is not gold

To assist you . . . we are determined to help you pull out all the stops and get 'Sirius' about what is going on. - From "Let There Be No More Secrets", Ch. 1

Q. "I hope . . . you're one of Norman Paulsen's extraterrestrials that have gained access to this planet via one of his "light tunnels". [Fun extraction]

Many people fall out of SRF only to join other Kriya cults.

Well, here is your scheme so far: "If you don't have a case, fart one." But more important still:

Time it is that you consider how your perpetual state of mind affects not only your personal reality but that of all that surrounds you. - THE SIRIAN HIGH COUNCIL, March 5, 2003

You have chosen to disregard what I clearly told: "There has been no person-contact or mail-contact between the Sunburst, Norman and me to this day." I have used publicly available sources only.

Q. This is a diplomatic response, the type of which I'm very familiar with.


Q. You say there has been "no contact" with Sunburst and "no hours and no days" as a member. This is not a straight forward answer.

Isn't it?

Mind the need for evidence, the need of fair presentation. You go on and on AS IF - I cannot take you SIRIUSly after this.

Advance toward clear, balanced presentation. "Twin fools; one believes anything and the other believes nothing." You disregard this basic point: Make sure before you tell (in public).

The weight of evidence is on you in this: you have to prove the UFOs do not exist if you dismiss the possibility that they do. A scientist learns to investigate duly before he voices his opinion. He will have to document it - prove it. Many things depend on how strict we are, in what arenas we speak, though.

Q. I think I need a stronger, more penetrating look into these issues.

Foolish, dogmatic, or persecutional urges and surges need to be stopped. I find fairness attractive.

Q. Yes I catered to fear. I think it's important that I back up my claims and will continue to do so.

You have to learn how to and stay out of jail too.

Q. *No* yogi has been able to show their *yogic powers* under close scrutiny in front of people educated in knowing what to look for.

To the contrary: There are many articles in scientific journals that contradict that mistaken creed. On kriya yoga too. [Kalama Sutta for rational enquiry]

No one should attack a group, as Sunburst and its founder, Normal Paulsen, without good reason and good evidence: You must be able to substantiate your claims. Learn from Russia to "Believe, but make sure." Also favour: "Believe as little as well-nigh possible". See what Buddha taught of it: [More]

One is to be found "not guilty" somehow till proven otherwise, or self-respect could dwindle or perish. It is not good to disrespect that standard by bastant claims over and over without fit evidence and perhaps be dragged into court for it either.

What matters is that you shine your brilliance down those dark halls where minds are still shadowed in fear. That is the ultimate battle . . . Fear is the darkness. - Sirian High Council, through Patricia Cori, Message of April 2004 (Added in 2007).

Norman Paulsen, Sunburst, added thought, Literature  

Ak: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1975.

Ap: Mieder, Wolfgang (main editor), Stewart A. Kingsbury, and Kelsie E. Harder: A Dictionary of American Proverbs. (Paperback) New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Ay: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 1st ed. New York: Theosophical, 1946.

EB: Encyclopaedia Britannica. Online or yearly DVD Suite. London: Encyclopaedia Britannica, e.g. 2015.

Op: Simpson, John, and Jennifer Speake. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Pa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Autobiography of a Yogi. 11th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1971.

Say: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Yogananda. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1958.

Particular links (added 2007)

Patricia Cori. "Messages from the Sirian High Council."

Patricia Cori. "Messages from the Sirian High Council."

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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