An Interview with Torkom Saraydarian
The following was taken from an interview with Torkom Saraydarian in 1991 by Leon Fermanian.
Q: How do you conceive of the ideas you write about?
I write about these methods after I try them on myself. There are methods, for example, where you can transcend the consciousness of your body, the consciousness of your emotional life and mental life, and the moment comes that you stop being a human being. You penetrate into superhuman existence. Now, this is the Teaching and this Teaching cannot be spoken about. If you do not do it, you will never understand it. For example, I am saying that this man doing this meditation went out of his body, and for the first time realized that there is no time and space. Through meditation he found out that he was not limited by his human body, and he became space conscious. He realized for the first time that there is no time and space. For example, you can be anywhere anytime. You can feel anything, anytime, anywhere when you reach that stage. Now, this kind of experiences cannot be explained. Why? Because there is no formulation in the mind of average people through which you can translate these experiences, these transcendental experiences. So the best thing is to pass through the discipline and to actualize yourself.
That is what I wrote in The Science of Becoming Oneself. That book sold thousands of copies, and many psychiatrists and psychologists commended me on the techniques I was giving. Now it is used in many, many places because they found out that it is doing much better than the things that they were doing. So in that book I tried to formulate a discipline that starts by doing good to other people and ends where you can find your True Self.
Who are you? The average man thinks he is the body. And some advanced people think they are their emotions or mind or ideas. Well, that is not what they are. Man is destined to be Infinite. On that Infinity path, where are you? Are you living like an ant, when your destination is the stars? And eventually you are going to get rid of space and time. We are limited in our body. But I have had a teacher who can come right here and talk to us, while being ten miles away. If you talk and write about these things, people think you are crazy. That is why we must not talk about these things. We talk about the way people can develop and they themselves taste it.
Q: Let us talk about Turks and Armenians because you are a child of genocide; you cannot escape it. Should we forgive and forget?
T: This is not a matter of forgiving and forgetting. It is a matter of future survival. If your hatred is going to continue forever, you guarantee that your hatred and separatism will never create peace and mutual survival. So we are going to create a new diplomacy. Real diplomacy is to relate to each other in such a way that both sides are favored, both sides are nourished, and the mutual interests are met. Righteousness cannot be fulfilled otherwise.
Let us say that you stole from me and killed my family. You and I are in a position that we cannot solve this with hatred, with fighting, and with throwing bombs at each other. This kind of psychology must end. And we must think of other ways and means of how to secure each other’s survival, and deal with each other in such a way that you are benefiting and I am benefiting with our relationship. It is a matter of high diplomacy.
If I bring your consciousness into a level that you start seeing that you did wrong in the past, I have a chance to make you right your wrongs. But if I hate you and kill you, if I scare you, it is not going to work. We are together; we are going to live on this planet. The sooner you start finding this kind of diplomacy then both sides will benefit from the relationship. And sometimes it is even good to wait a time until you raise the political consciousness of your enemies so that they start seeing what wrongs they did in the past.
For example, I proposed that we print books in Turkish and, very honestly and beautifully, without hatred, explain what kind of suffering we passed through because of their politics; and distribute these books to the Turkish people. Let the people of Turkey understand and meet the reality, instead of threatening them with “we will attack you.” Let them understand first of all what they did. It will work in such a way that their consciousness is expanded.
We have to take a new diplomatic approach to these problems, and instead of threatening and spreading fear, we are going to approach their intellect and tell them that “we want your survival, and we want our survival too.” And eventually these dialogues that we start on a high level will expand to the general public.
Take American history. The founders of this nation, they were all very advanced Rosacrusians, Freemasons; they were translators of many Indian and far eastern philosophies. And that is how they gave the Constitution.
An idea is not limited to anybody. Hiawatha and Dekanawidah, they created the real Constitution. Hiawatha gave the new World Order, new world diplomacy. I researched and read over 150 books on Hiawatha, and people from all over the world sent me books.
Q: How did the Aquarian Educational Group start?
T: It started in my garage in Van Nuys. I went to the library looking for a book about electricity and cosmic electricity. There was a lady there who asked me why did I want to read these things? She asked me to go to a meeting. I asked her what I was going to learn there? She did not know I was full of these things, you see. Then I went to their home and they did not know what they were doing. I tried to tell them, in my badly spoken English that they did not know what they were teaching. So the next week four, five people came to my home and said we want to learn from you. Then I cleaned up my garage, more people came and six months later forty came. Then we had to find a meeting place and went to Agoura. Three times a week we were getting 130-140 people. Then the smog situation got so bad, we built another center in Sedona.
Then I systematized my teaching. I created many kinds of lessons, courses. I have now maybe thousands of students all over. They are very advanced classes. And in my teachings and letters, I try to give them a systematic approach, and degree by degree they develop and reach to some understanding. Just like a jigsaw puzzle, they put it together.
(Meditation courses and training programs are now available through TSG University, a spiritual training Center conceived originally by Torkom and is now continuing under the direction of his daughter Gita Saraydarian.)
Q: What is the keynote of these courses?
T: The keynote of these Teachings is “know yourself, and know other people, and know God, and know that all three are one and not separate.”
Q: Take a person dying of cancer: the body is in pain, the mind is not functioning. How can I go and tell that person, “You are it”?
T: I do it. I have been very successful. For example, I use The Bhagavad Gita, the song of the master. In that book there is a chapter and I take it to the hospital and give it to people who are terminally ill, and this brings them great comfort and hope. It’s the second chapter of The Bhagavad Gita. I went to other people and spoke to them that the body is our clothes. In some way we goofed and made our body very sick and I explain Karma to them. They died in two, three days in great peace. Even now, some doctors and psychiatrists invite me to talk to those people.
Meditation is a method that is most misunderstood. Real meditation is expanding your consciousness. I have brought many meditation teachers here, and I exposed them. I told them their meditation was leading people into psychological sickness. If you do not do right meditation, you are endangering your life.
Q: What can go wrong in meditation?
T: Take, for example, chanting meditation, chanting of mantrams. These make you attracted to your subconscious urges and drives. And eventually when your subconscious erupts from the storage of all your experiences, suddenly it surfaces in your mind to such a degree that you cannot control it.
In my book Psyche and Psychism, for the first time in the history of meditation, I proclaimed that meditation is a very dangerous business, if you don’t know what you are doing, because meditation creates the state of consciousness that reflects yourself – your nature and relationships. If you have a wrong state of relationships, you a have a wrong life. So I wrote 40 pages on it; then I wrote another article. These writings are going all over the world, and these people who are doing monkey meditation are stopping.
Today an Armenian girl came here, and this girl had done all kinds of meditation. She came here half out of her mind. I told her to stop meditating, reading until her nervous system finds its natural state, and then we will give her a meditation that will bring her health and sanity back.
Well, I wrote a technical book on the Science of Meditation, and every creative person must read these writings because I think you are handling a great responsibility and affecting the consciousness of the public. I know that thousands of people practice unhealthy meditation. They write to me, call me, and I told them this kind of meditation is wrong. But they are so brainwashed with various methods that it is difficult to reach them if you are not close to them. Because of this, I wrote why we must be so selective and discriminating, about what we are doing mentally.
Q: How do the dark forces take charge of the mental mechanisms?
T: Dark forces are our own negative and destructive activities: our negative emotions, like hatred, fear, revenge, jealousy, and so on, and also mental vanity and totalitarianism, greed, and separatism. These are entities, these are thoughtforms, and they can possess you and obsess you. You have to get rid of them before they take over you – and take over groups and nations. If you are possessed by hatred and you are in the highest position, you will use all your nation to satisfy your hatred. So, dark forces are within us – we are half dark and half light. We have two angels; we are going to discriminate which one we are going to follow.
Q: Who is the enemy of the dark forces?
T: The enemy to these is your Essential Self, your reasoning, your logic, your sincerity, your honesty. This is inherent in all of us because, I believe, the One Who created this whole existence, He couldn’t create something that is not in His image. We have inherent goodness within. So I believe that, no matter what, in essence a human being is good and that goodness must be developed.
Q: What goes wrong?
T: Bad education, bad life conditions. Suppose you are attacked by bandits and beaten, etc. You decide to fight them and become more evil than them.
Q: So what do you do? Turn the other cheek?
T: That turning of the cheek is stupid. That virus entered into Armenians. My father used to tell me that during the genocide deportation of the Armenians one Gendarme came and 500 Armenians followed and the priest was there. The people wanted to kill the Gendarme. But the priest said, “No, turn the other cheek,” and they were all massacred in a small gorge. The massacre continues because we are hopeless and negative. We lost our beauty.
Armenians in their depth are very precious jewels. If you really approach the Armenian heart and Armenian spirit, they are so infinite and beautiful and creative. But because of the circumstances of life, we became bitter. To get out of it, we must think otherwise. Instead of orienting ourselves in hatred… If you educate yourself and reach a high position, that is better “revenge.”
Some person read my books and said, “What is this trash?” “All right,” I said, “I will take my revenge.” I wrote more and he read and said “You know, I will be your servant.” Now he is my student and teaches from my books. That is revenge.
Q: What is exciting you these days?
T: The Independence of Armenia. I was so joyful. And I thought, eventually they DID it, no matter what. That is the beginning of national upliftment, national pride. I take Armenia as part of humanity, and any part of humanity that is getting independence is a progressive process for the sake of all humanity. When you do not have a national independent identity, you are in anarchy. And when any group is in anarchy, it is not beneficial for the whole. Every nation must get freedom so that, like the wheels in a big machine, they cooperate in creating identification within humanity. It is integration.
Q: Have your books been translated into Armenian?
T: I received a letter from Armenia and they will be translating The Psychology of Cooperation and Group Consciousness and also The Sense of Responsibility in Society. [Books have since been published in Armenian.] Without cooperation, you cannot have integrity. Without sense of responsibility, no sacrificial and daring action is possible to make your nation better. I hope they will do it.
Q: Have you met any other advanced and illuminated Armenians?
T: There is a top teacher. He is a Rajput prince, and he is a great universal mind, a masterpiece. He wanted to have students to teach them very advanced methods to communicate with higher consciousness. He made a list of forty people, and nine were Armenians.
Q: Are they here in the United States?
T: Some have passed away, but the others live here in America. We leave each other alone. What we do is we correspond. It’s such a delight to bring your consciousness to that level of discussion. I wanted them to have a center to transmit, to spread wisdom. These Armenians are really advanced. When I was in New York, I visited one of the groups. The Armenian was very old, maybe 84. He was talking about self-actualization, and I wish he put these talks on paper. A masterpiece, integrated, illuminated one!
Q: Why don’t they?
T: They have all their reasons that people aren’t ready for these things yet. My choice is different.
Q: What else are you excited about these days?
Q: What are your working habits?
T: As a whole I think I write five hours daily.
Q: Do you channel?
T: I believe that whenever a man or woman depends on any outside source for his inspiration and creativity, he weakens. That source is within me. I do not need help from the outside. There is so much to write about. Today I wrote about sixty pages. Suddenly the idea came to my mind that everything that takes place in the universe is nothing else but a chemical reaction. Love is chemistry. I am not teaching you this. The idea came. Now it unfolds and unfolds, as I am remembering.…
[End of interview] Leon Fermanian – Writer
(Go to About Torkom for more information about Torkom and his works.)