by James C. Ingebretsen
Gerald never answered questions directly and never closed a subject. Rather, nurturing a spirit of curiosity and wonder, he would usually respond to an inquiry with a quotation from a seemingly unrelated source.
The Gerald to whom Ed Opitz had referred was Gerald Heard. Born in London in 1889, he had been educated at Cambridge and then worked in a variety of fields, including a stint on BBC radio as a science commentator and at Oxford as a lecturer. In 1937 he and his friend, Aldous Huxley, chose to emigrate to the United States, and both eventually settled in the Los Angeles area. Here, Gerald busied himself with far-ranging explorations into science, religion, and mysticism, finding much to appreciate in the wide array of cultures and ideas that had taken root in southern California. When I first met him, he was making his living as a speaker and had authored nearly thirty books. Ed Opitz had been responsible for introducing me to Gerald at a luncheon in New York shortly after I became president of Spiritual Mobilization (SM) in the spring of 1954. I knew immediately that I was in the presence of an expansive, deeply penetrating mind, one grounded with a shrewd eye toward everyday relevance, and a playful, wickedly wry sense of humor – a combination that made him an unfailingly charming, sparkling conversationalist. Intrigued with Gerald’s ideas, I attended several of his public lectures in Los Angeles. These talks stimulated me to approach Gerald about writing one or two essays in SM’s monthly magazine, Faith and Freedom. I was delighted when he agreed.Read More