I have followed the teachings of light and sound for about 30 years. In that time I have been an active chela (student) of Sri Gary for about 20. Prior to MP I studied all of the "dominant " world religions" ( Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, etc... and have embraced (willingly and devotedly) many specific religions, doctrines, philosophies, systems, and so on.
( Please note that I'm by no means "listing" my spiritual info check list for the sake of ego. It is neither for nor against anyone's credit to "know a bunch of stuff" when it comes to soul. In fact, to arrive at a teaching that is as refined as a divine discipline without wading through 40 years of everything else is likely much more evolved)....I offer this pre-historic outline of my process as a matter of reference if at all applicable).
From my early youth I followed, rebelled, believed, disbelieved, challenged, studied, questioned.....continuously searching for the Truth i have always known must exist. Finding pieces and parts of it as I journeyed and certainly gaining a substantial amount of "academic information" and more importantly, personal experience both on the 'inner" and outer, including social and cultural. Positive and negative, attracting and repelling. Teachers, leaders, gurus, shamans, prophets, givers, takers.
Master Path, The Science of Light and Sound, The Teachings of the Saints and other names and titles down through the ages are, for me, the clear and un-breaking thread which ties together all I had journeyed through prior to meeting Gary Olsen.
The various comments and (often) arguments on the topic of, specifically, Gary Olsen and more broadly, the Master Path teachings are understandable and valid as far as they go. Those who are analyzing from the outside (those who are looking at the .org, forums pro and con, etc...) and those who have studied through Gary ("members", personal experience) are speaking through their own perceptions and experiences through life.
All are worth consideration.
To the point(s) ....(some of you thinking " 'bout time!").... 1. This particular teaching and practice is not for everyone at this time. This teacher and the related membership/ students have no interest or concern with adding to the numbers so to speak. In my understanding and experience, the nature of the teachings and the teacher are as such that only a very small percentage of humanity is even drawn (guided) in this direction. Stay or go. Or never come at all.
2. "There is nothing new under the sun" Shakespeare. All the Sat Gurus through history have made it clear that these teachings have always existed. In each age of these teachings being recorded/written down or simply spoken there is a human through which it is made available to the world.
In many of the comments I've read there are references to Eckankar and it's founder and that Master Path and the writings that Gary Olsen has published are simply taken from the aforementioned, that he has not offered anything new or original. Well no kidding. Paul Twitchel's teachings, as oh so many before are not "Original" All are a time and culture-relevant offering of the same principles and guidance that has existed prior to our own origins. Any examination of previously defined "Sat Gurus" and their message will reveal this specific point. Sri Gary's claims on this point are completely congruent with those who have gone before.
3. The reality (or illusion depending on which side of the coin you identify with) of human nature is to accept, reject or be neutral. This is certainly experienced in how we regard other people, their personalities, and how or even if they have some impact on us. A "sub-reality" is that, given time we will eventually experience positive negative and neutral, all three, perceptions of anyone. The more focus we have on someone, for whatever reason, the more relevant.
At the most fundamental level of one's journey, one's "liking or disliking" of anyone or anything is irrelevant and indeed a major lesson in balancing and releasing those polar swings. Considering that we are currently our own karmic creation, and if one has an aversion to a teacher, guru, or even a parent... anyone who may be a source of information that one seeks or needs, one may want to consider that this is an important lesson in and of itself. A bit more objective way of putting it... don't miss the message because you don't like messenger.
Or- follow the immediate promptings and react accordingly to "like" and "don't like" . There is no way one will not learn something no matter what.
One of the basic questions I have learned to asked myself through all of my encounters with teachers, gurus, guides and groups from academics to trade skills to martial arts to spiritual realization is..." what is required of me to be taught by this vessel? Am I sacrificing something physically, mentally, emotionally that directly strengthens or empowers that which I follow."
My experience with Master Path, and Sri Gary as my outer master (teacher) is the only teaching and practice that has never infringed on that which is mine...never in any way implied that I should offer anything in order to "grow" or "add to" the one I'm looking to for my own growth AND had the longevity in my life to be something I continue to practice and learn from and that I recognize to be present in my experiences, changing as I do but never wavering...whether I've been in direct contact with the "vessel" or not - as has been the case on occasion for years at a time.
For those who experience some level of friction regarding the teacher or the teachings and have chosen to share your view point, I can accept the challenge to- or - the validation of my own lessons. By the simple premise of this discipline, I if I am true to my own Divinity (or even just the idea of that possibility), anything which is relevant to my growth - pro or con- must be given consideration.
As to what any of this has to do with your (individual you and collective ya'll) own process is not for me to give conjecture.. I simply expect that any result or manifestation is the most perfect.
Thanks for staying with this long substitution.
Always test for your own experiences.
Thank you sincerely for your willingness to search.
Review from Guidestar
My 2 year experience with MasterPath was positive. It is a self improvement spiritual based program cobbled together from Eckanar, Sant Mat and Hindustani teachings. Nothing seems to be his own teachings. Although he presents them that way. After 2 years I decided it wasn't for me. The people are nice and friendly and much of the teachings, although taken from other programs, are interesting. It didn't resonate with me as being a single path to truth as Sri Gary claims in many of his satsangs. He claims to be the only, or one of a small number of living masters walking the earth. After I did some research I found several past Eckanar members who, like Gary, claimed the same mantle. I think there are 5 including the current Eckanar master. Anyway, that seemed coincidental that all these current masters walking the earth came from Eckanar and all claim they are the true master. MasterPath being the 3rd or 4th successful group in terms of membership size from what I could find. Anyway, I wish all its members well. And enjoyed the satsangs.
I do agree that Gary and Joy benefit greatly from the organization. They both draw nice salaries, monthly expense accounts, health insurance, car allowances, personal assistants, etc. Claim to rent a small house in the desert. But the house, although in a remote area is owned by MasterPath and is incredibly landscaped, with multiple structures in the fenced compound. MasterPath also owns the 5 acres to the north, east and across the street. All with small houses. Creating a much larger compound of residences then Sri Gary and his top aids portray. They used to publish their annual expense and revenue online but no longer do that. I found that a bit skeptical. Why try and portray a lifestyle different than what exists? If you are a living master with absolute truth. Just seemed contradictory.
It seems it could be interpreted that the MasterPath organization was built as a way to create a very nice lifestyle for Gary and Joy Olson. Similiar to the model Paul and Gail Twitchell created at Eckanar.
But I wish everyone well on their journey. MasterPath had too many tricky parts from my perspective.
I have read every review on this page regarding Masterpath. All reviews fall into two categories: either 5 stars or 1 star, either love it or hate it. Why would that be? I also noticed that the 5-star reviews all pretty much stated the same things:
- the organization holds the highest values and the writers have sensed no manipulation
- many of the writers have been involved for more than 10 years
- all the writers stated that Masterpath is about personal choice and a personal spiritual path
- the monthly fee, the cost of bound books, the cost of seminars are reasonable
- the writers seem happy with their choice to continue
The 1-star reviews all seem to say similar things:
- Gary Olsen is a fraud and his teachings are destructive and manipulative
- Gary Olsen claims to be the current "savior" equating himself to Jesus Christ
- Gary Olsen claims to be God incarnate
- Gary Olsen is in it for the money and he is using the Masterpath organization to that end
Quantitatively, on this page it seems to be a ratio of about 5 good to 1 bad review. There seems to be no middle ground on opinions.
Qualitatively, the flavor of the positive reviews are pleasant but not over-the-top enthusiastic, the writers seem happy with their spiritual attainments, and they emphasize their own perceived rewards rather than give accolades to the Mr. Olsen. The flavor of the negative reviews are absolutely caustic. Also, it was hard to determine the length of time that the negative reviewers were involved with the Masterpath organization but I sensed it was generally not long. To me, what this adds up to is an extreme divergence of opinion and perspective. There must be a segment in the middle that we are not hearing from, which may actually constitute the majority who are not particularly involved and not particularly unhappy. Therefore I see that Masterpath is a choice that is not for everyone and that one's level of satisfaction has more to do with the reviewer than the message. Personally, I don't think that the negative reviewers are people that I would like to associate with.
The thing about MasterPath, is that it's not about MasterPath, its about you. If you want to know your Self in a deeper, more intimate way, these teachings are absolutely priceless. There is no force or coercion here, only go for it if you are drawn to. There is nothing cultish about it, its about you and your own inner relationship with yourself. I personally have nothing but the utmost respect and gratitude for it and will happily continue on!
Review from Guidestar
I am happy that there is no "ceiling" to one's realization of both one's True Self and God. After 21 years of spiritual study and practice with the guidance and love of Sri Gary Olsen I feel very fortunate to trek inwardly, ever deeper into my own spirit and Soul.
God, as we're taught, is omnipotent (having unlimited power), omniscient (the capacity to know everything infinitely) and omnipresent (being present everywhere at the same time). Is that something you can wrap your mind around? Conceptualize maybe, imagine maybe but to BE, KNOW and SEE these realities is beyond the mind's ability.
Mind knows, through it's intellectual senses, about matter, energy, space and time.
Let me ask, does the mind know the soul it's attached to? If you answer yes to this question please go back to the beginning of this note and ask yourself "am I consciously omnipotent, omniscient and omnipotent". Soul, being created by the Divine, holds these attributes as native. The mind simply can't even begin to.
If in our mind we don't know or even recognize soul (that divine part of our human experience) then how are we to learn about it. Have you found a conventional western or eastern religion that focuses on soul? How about philosophical studies? New age teachings? If you have, how can you KNOW what you're leaning is the truth? My answer is provisional faith.
As a seeker of truth I inherently know and have the utmost faith that my true identity is soul. There is a part of my mind that wants to learn the truth of my existence. Why I'm here and who I truly am. After years of exposure to many of the aforementioned avenues I came to realize that none of them had the answer. None of them focused on soul.
Then one day I listened to a lecture by Sri Gary and read an introduction written by him. I was immediately attracted to the ancient and divine teachings of light and sound BECAUSE the whole focus is to awaken soul from within. Provisional faith played a tremendous role in moving forward so as I performed the exercises, absorbed the lessons and practiced living more consciously I also looked for any indication that the teachings or the facilitator were a manipulation. Sri Gary has NEVER crossed the line of personalizing his Divine mission. He is impeccably consistent in his teachings and ALWAYS directs his students to NOT depend on him and to develop their own personal relationship with Spirit, by using their attention.
After 12 years of study and practice within MasterPath my provisional faith has transformed into a rock solid knowingness that Sri Gary Olsen is the way shower. A living, breathing example of how to shift my human experience from being directed by my mind to consciously living through soul. He is the ideal, the model, the guide who's mission is to serve the Divine by guiding ready souls back home.
I gladly pay a very small monthly fee of $30 to cover the costs of the monthly written discourse sent to all initiates. These are treasures, sign posts, that build on each other and provide valuable insights into the journey Home. I also attend regional and major seminars throughout the year, gladly contributing $120 for the opportunity to be present with Sri Gary while he speaks.
I remain a student of Light and Sound by choice because the journey and experience are invaluable. After all, why would I choose to return to the sensual / intellectual dictates of my mind. To me, that would be like returning to the life and awareness of a new born infant.
MasterPath fits the definition of a cult, and has been destructive to many of it's followers and their families. Followers of Gary Olsen mistakenly attribute spiritual growth to MasterPath, believing he has given them access to their own soul. Olsen's followers are explicitly taught that he is the living master, and the "word made flesh". In other words, he claims to be the current Jesus Christ. Several of the reviews on this site come from people who actually believe Gary Olsen is God incarnate. Therefore, their credibility should be seriously questioned. Anyone looking for more information can simply Google Masterpath and find extensive information on this cult, including the experiences of former followers who were close with Olsen. It should also be noted that Olsen does not believe in or support any charitable or humanitarian causes, because karma is always fair. This philosophy extends to people wiped out by famine, war, and even the September 11 attacks. Olsen is well known for his fear mongering about bird flu in 2006, when he instructed his followers to stockpile and prepare for the coming apocalypse. This is a cult led by a megalomaniac. Current followers who are very happy with their experience are certainly entitled to devote their lives to MasterPath. The same way Marshall Applewhite's followers were entitled to love him as their savior...and were joyed and elated to be following him to outer space through suicide. MasterPath is just more spiritual manipulation of the worst kind. Period.
I thought I knew it all, and I knew deep in my intellect and spiritual heart that all that I had discovered was the ceiling of my mind. Nothing more.
I knew, how can I put it into words, I "sensed" that Truth must be out there somewhere, because I am very smart and I knew I had not found it through all my efforts with science, math, the arts, religion, relationships, family life.
When I met Sri Gary Olsen in 1994 I was re-introduced to something you cannot acquire with the mental apparatus: the absolute Truth of who we really are, why we are here, and what we need to do to get home. It rocked my world! It was so simple, that only a child could grasp it... not a mind! And not much is really required, other than finding the Path that resonates within, and following it full-on, and providing provisional faith in one's chosen Teacher and Teaching.
Making choices and choosing the higher has turned my life around.
For those interested in getting to the essence of it all, perhaps checking out MasterPath and the Teachings of the Light and Sound would be an apt choice?
For me, MasterPath has provided great insights, experiences and direction in the area of spiritual growth. I find the literature very compelling and the recommended practice is very rewarding. I feel the modest monthly fee is very reasonable.
The website is very informative (www.masterpath.org). The seminars are run very professionally. Gary Olsen is a good speaker. He is humble and has a good sense of humor, but clearly he's dead serious about helping people qrow spiritually. The vibe I get from everyone involved in the organization is very loving.
I have been a student of MasterPath and Gary Olsen for eighteen years now, and my life has improved almost 95%! I’m MUCH more happy, serene, and peaceful ! I have tremendous respect for Gary Olsen and his high level of integrity and the truth and love that he speaks and acts.