Global view

Wizards of Oz
The Australians have conjured up a rather clever idea.
Connect 2000, Elan Vital

Glenda Wright lives in the tiny town of East Gresford, New South Wales. Some while ago, she heard Maharaji speaking at a Sydney public event. She really enjoyed this and decided that she wanted to receive Knowledge herself.

At this point, Glenda found herself facing a possible obstacle to progress. There were no people with Knowledge living in her vicinity. The nearest video events were in Sydney and, to attend these, she would have had to make a weekly 540 kilometers round trip. Meanwhile, the folk who live up in Darwin were facing a much greater distance challenge. By comparison to someone in Glenda's isolated position, the five people in this city were entitled to consider themselves a big bustling community. Even so, their nearest video events were in Adelaide; some 2,500 kilometers away. "The old bush telegraph system of smoke signals," explains Gordon Berg, "was hardly an appropriate way to address this difficulty"

Gordon acts as what, in other parts of the world, might be called a "local contact". In Australia though, contact is often anything but local. Rising to this unique challenge, the Australians have conjured up a rather clever idea which Gordon helps to administer.

Called a "postal video circuit", it works like this: if you live in a remote location, you add your name to a register. As soon as each new tape becomes available, it is mailed to you. You hold on to it for a day or so, while you watch it, then you put it back in the mail, readdressed to the next recipient on the list.

Several such circuits exist across this vast land. There is one in Tasmania and another to cover both Victoria and New South Wales. Here the circuit encompasses nine different addresses. Six addresses form the Queensland circuit, while the South Australia circuit has been geographically extended to include people, like those in Darwin, who live in the Northern Territory.

Connect 2000, Elan Vital Mail deliveries don't take place every day in the smaller places, but they do come through fairly frequently. Thus, by van, bike or light aircraft, little packages of inspiration gradually make their way across the huge tracts of uninhabited outback. Often, the parcels will be opened eagerly by just one or two recipients. They will then be watched at home or, if numbers are sufficient to make it viable, in a neutral venue, hired for the purpose.

A further postal library of older tapes is also available for individuals, who wish to request specific videos and hang on to them a little longer. In the case of people who are waiting to receive Knowledge, the circuit will be run in such a way as to ensure that appropriate tapes are sent. The national aspirant coordinator is then kept informed of who has been able to see what. Glenda Wright used to receive her tapes in just this fashion. At first, she watched them all on her own. Eventually she mentioned her interest to Sharon O'Brien and Michael White, two friends who live in the (fairly) nearby township of Paterson. Sharon and Michael started watching the videos too.

Last year, when Maharaji came to Australia, all three managed to travel to see him in person. They requested Knowledge - and in all three cases, the request was granted. So now, whenever the mailman finally makes his way to East Gresford, he no longer brings only aspirant videos - but videos specifically for people with Knowledge.

One Tasmanian resident also received Knowledge recently - but not by traveling to see Maharaji while he was in Australia. Ursula Schroeter, at the age of 80, was too frail to travel. Maharaji heard about her keen interest and Elan Vital in Australia made special arrangements for instructor Belkis Shah to go to see her. Belkis is one of the people who assist Maharaji with Knowledge sessions. And under these special circumstances, this elderly lady received Knowledge in this remote corner of a very distant land.

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