A few words about myself, since you have given me considerable insight into your ways of thought. I am not a scientist or mathematician. I have a Doctorate in philosophy, though the thesis for the degree was actually done in comparative literature. I taught in various colleges and universities, also in high schools for several years. So I'm only an academician who has strayed into borderland sciences and psychic research. My occult background is in what is called modern esoteric Qabalism -- which is no child's play, I assure you. I found it more valuable than anything else I ever studied. Academic distinctions don't amount to a damn to anybody who has even begun to grow up -- I mean UP, except as a means of livelihood -- in teaching. You may have a dozen degrees, for all I know; if you have, you'll undoubtedly agree with me. They don't necessarily indicate even a good I.Q., and often spell pedantry and intolerance. Enough of that stuff; I only want to say that my mental [2] outlook is colored by this background and is of a feebly philosophic sort. I'll add that I'm about 25 years older than you, which means you have a great edge on me in a half-dozen ways. (Mr. Layne was 63 at the time.) I'm a pretty active feller though, and can still climb mountains and run up stairs -- when I'm fool enough to do it.

I confess I have not read your Amazing Story article, but shall if I can get a copy of this issue. I have been reading Graydon, and sometimes I read Eddington and Russell and Whitehead in a sketchy way. But in general it's just too much effort and takes too much time for me to penetrate a new physical theory, with my limited equipment. I want to get what I can of your ideas, but my reaction to them won't be worth anything, critically speaking. I would not dream of passing on their value. If I have a chance in the Beyond, I hope to learn something of such subjects.


One subject I shall only mention, on account of its complexities, the concept of a homogeneous ether. Most theorists seem oblivious of the inherent contradictions of this concept -- and yet it seems to be a postulate that is necessary. I do not lose sight of the distinction between picture thinking and math expressions, but that does not solve the problem. A homogeneous substance or stuff is not matter at all, since all matter we know anything about is particulate. And a homogeneous stuff cannot possibly move, or transmit energy or motion; yet motion is a primary datum of experience. Apparently the homogeneous ether identifies with space. The Einsteinian concepts certainly do not obviate the necessity for a homo-ether; nor do the Morley-Martin experiments disprove it, since the Lorentz contraction takes care of the negative results. To my mind science is at a metaphysical impasse, and no cloud-cuckoo land of Hindu metaphysics is any more mystical. Lodge's calculations alone show the impossibility of a homo-ether having any natural properties and yet, to repeat, I think the concept is a postulate . . .

From what little I know of you, Roger, I should be inclined to say either (1) as you think possible, you are in rapport with powerful minds on the "other side" -- or else (2) you have the peculiar type of consciousness which enables you to receive material direct from your own High Self, or Augoeides -- as Edgar Cayce did, though in trance. From what I have learned about you, I should strongly favor the second hypothesis. But this need not necessarily exclude the first.

(Scan of Page 3, featuring brief bios and portraits of Meade Layne and Riley Crabb.)

The danger -- if you'll allow me to seem almost impertinent here -- is the natural one, that any person with this type of consciousness is likely, unless fully instructed, to attribute everything to his own personality, and hence develop a powerful egoism or egotism. Certainly I do not accuse you of such folly. But it is [4] a real danger. But the poet or musician, or genius in any form, who simply hears or sees, and then sets down in words of colors, or wood or stone, knows very well that it is not he-as-personality. He knows it is not his virtue and excellence. It is that which comes, or is given; and he is the instrument; and he is humble and grateful -- if he is wise and not obsessed with a childlike egotism. But how hard it is for most of us, to stop saying "I did this; see what I can do!" instead of saying "I am the channel and the instrument" -- in all this using "I" to mean the personality and the brain consciousness.

I have had touches of this sort of thing. Now and then, through the decades past, I have written verse which poets have called poetry. Now, every line I have written which has received recognition has been one which "came", which I "heard" with the inner sense, or almost objectively -- but which I did not create -- as a personality. It might as well have been told me by some passerby, so far as my share in it went. I would be a great fool to take credit, plume myself. I don't say that every contribution of the sub- or super-consciousness is valuable and good; but every work of genius, invention and discovery appears to be rooted in such communication, from beyond the borders of brain awareness. The intellect refines, elaborates, perfects; but its creative power is small. In science and math this continues to hold good -- or so I firmly believe. No man is in greater danger than the inspirational genius, and I believe you are of this calibre. Doubtless you are well aware of the risks of which I have been speaking, and have kept clear of them.


It may be you do not accept the psychological background which seems valid to me, in broad outline. This happens to be a kind of special interest of mine, and I only say that all of my own thinking is conditioned by it. The subject is enormous and I won't dilate on it or argue it. It does not necessarily imply reincarnation, though of course associated with that belief. I think you will come in time to see that no "plane" can be understood in itself but only by reference to another which lies above or behind, so to speak. The atom, the plant, the animal, the human being, all come out of dark backgrounds of formative energy. All the "realities" of science: matter, electricity, energy, force, gravity and so on are principles known only through manifestation. A law is a mode of activity of a principle. It is simply the way things act. There is no power in a law. It is a formulation. Formulae exist in mind, or minds. If laws exist apart from our thinking them, they must exist in of cosmic life -- maybe a cosmic consciousness. This is my own way of thinking. You may have other and better ways. But many real scientists would agree quite readily with what I have been saying. But don't think me dogmatic, or that I am trying to be instructive -- which God forbid!


I quite agree with your general position about "truth", if I understand you correctly. Absolute truth, if it exists, is not for us. 2 plus 2 seems to be a truth because it represents a natural functioning of the normal mind -- that it equals 4. That Na (sodium) plus Cl (chloride) gives common salt is a truth in the sense of being a fact of experience. But the truth or falsity of non-Euclidean geometries, and the truth about the structure of matter -- in these cases the word is almost meaningless. A coherent logical theory of matter is true, I suppose, in the sense of being coherent and logical. It's a relative truth, because the actuality of the universe is inexhaustible, and we can never have all the data. I don't decry such systems. They represent the progress of knowledge. But like you, I don't like the word truth except under rigorous definition.

To accept things and fact and work with them, that seems to be very wise, and about all we can do. But nobody knows what a "thing" really is. Bertrand Russell says "an atom is a wave of probability with nothing to wave in". That doesn't negate science, but it points to the unpassable limitations of science. I believe, as you do, that we are basically in agreement in many ways, though we might express ourselves quite differently. Certainly I would like to have you writing for Round Robin, but the trouble is, Roger, to find the right stuff for you, having the RR readers and limitations in mind.


The idea of the Round Robin is about like this. It stands for what I call the New Realism, or the higher realism. I mean the realism which accepts a great mass of psychic and occult data as factual, as established, and deals with their implications in a cold-blooded way, without religionism, without "uplift", without cultism.

Round Robin does not want to argue the case for elementary psychic happenings. It is written for people who already know and accept such things. If people don't believe in survival and commun- ication, in materialisation, apports, levitation, ectoplasmic phenomena and so on -- that is all right -- but let them go to the ten thousand books dealing with such subjects. I don't give a hoot what they believe.

If you were publishing a journal on chemistry, you wouldn't write for sceptics who doubt that H (hydrogen) and Cl (chloride) will combine. We have a great body of borderline facts, not yet accepted by "official" science, though known to thousands of individual scientists. There are methods of work which are valid and scientific, but still outlawed by official science.

Round Robin (BSRA) does not carry on propaganda, except for realistic acceptances. The masses are babes in arms. I will not thresh old straw if I can help it. Take telepathy, for instance, [6] it's been proven so often that one is nauseated by the thought of arguing about it. I know it isn't proven to professor X, Y and Z. But what is proof? You can prove the theorem about the hypotenuse of a right angle, and that H (hydrogen) combines with O (oxygen) to form water, and that the binomial theorem is logically correct; and in a court of law you also have rules of "proof" based on a preponderance of evidence, and on a definition of evidence. You can't prove that you have a pain in your neck. That's a fact, but it's personal, and so undemonstrable. Now, in a psychological laboratory, or a seance room, or in occult operations, you have proofs also, of their own order, not of the 2 plus 2 order. Certain facts exist. The argument nowadays is not about the existence of occult phenomena, but about their meaning, their significance. That is what RR is concerned with.

The basic problem of contemporary psychic research is psychological. Just what is the structure of the human mind-body complex? Unless we know what the here-living person can do, we can't distinguish the acts of the "dead" person -- that is, give proof of survival. I don't believe such a line of demarcation exists. We constantly operate on both sides of the line -- in both planes of consciousness. But the psychological problem remains supreme. So, RR (BSRA) gives much space to problems of doubles, and poltergeists, and projection and so on, because they bear on the structure of personality.


A third objective, which may seem fantastic to you, is that of getting people to try to help the newly dead. I refuse to argue the questions whether people survive death, and can be reached and helped. Round Robin is addressed to people who accept these facts. Folk who cannot believe such "stuff" must go elsewhere for their instruction.

A fourth present objective of Round Robin is Huna (Hawaiian magick as interpreted by the late Max Freedom Long) which offers a practicable healing method based on the most ancient wisdom in the world. All students of occult matters will recognise this at once; and Round Robin makes no effort to "prove" these relationships, or that Huna works -- except by offering it to those willing to try.

Of course Round Robin throws its weight about a bit, to make the reading livelier; but we do not want the propaganda of cults, or controversy in the usual sense. Instructive differences of opinion should be expressed, of course. A good deal of the stuff seems inconsequential, but that's to keep it from being too heavy. The main idea is a cold-blooded realism in the field of psycho-occultism, with all the principle phenomena assumed as accepted by the readers as to factuality -- though not as to significance. It is for people who have begun to grow up in these matters.


I come finally to your check of $10, which is generous and needed and helpful. I think Round Robin does some good and there is a place for it. You yourself know that publications of this type, that do not carry advertising, cannot possibly make money for anybody. The costs constantly increase. If it were not for such help as you have generously given, I could not carry on. I have almost no resources of my own. I get very fine letters from scholarly people, and sometimes checks from them. Their approval cheers me, but the checks pay the printer. I'm very greatly obliged for your help.

Meade Layne

Mr. Layne shunned the limelight and personal publicity; so this is about the only autobiographical material he left behind him in the files when we took over in 1959. We thought it a fitting introduction to his best work, "The Coming of The Guardians", and it is valuable as a clear statement of the purposes and principles of our organization, and of the publication policy of our Round Robin Journal of Borderland Research.

It was because of his New Reality that Meade was ready to accept the presence of the Visitors and the Invaders from Outer Space a good eight months before the term Flying Saucers became popular through Kenneth Arnold's sighting of the UFOs near Mt. Rainier, Washington, June 27, 1947. He researched and verified the sighting of a UFO over San Diego, California, Oct. 9, 1946! One of the hundreds of San Diegans who saw the Flying Saucer in the night sky was Mark Probert, channel for the Inner Circle.


It was through Mark Probert that control Lao Tse, the Chinese sage, made these observations about Flying Saucers in 1948. We quote from "Coming of the Guardians":

"They have often come simply in quest for knowledge, just as you send expeditions to far-off places, to the Polar regions or to Central Asia. They are not here with intent to interfere in your affairs -- nevertheless if there is another world war employing nuclear energies, they may be forced to intervene. The release of atomic forces has disturbed their sphere of existence rather seriously.

"Let it be understood that if ever such intervention becomes necessary, it will be wholly impersonal. There will be no taking of sides. It is contrary to the Law, that any one plane should interfere with the processes by which another works out its destiny.

"They are vastly your superiors in science -- though every plane has its special forms of development and progress; so that we speak of differences, but not often of superiority or inferiority.

(Concluded on Page 21)


Lao Tse, as painted by Mark Probert.

"The Etherians are large people, up to fifteen feet in height. I would say they belong to the human order of evolution. That is, you would not call them Devas or Nature Spirits. Yet the great forms you have seen and photographed, in the clouds and on the surface of the earth also, somewhat resemble them.

"You ask why they now suddenly are present in large numbers. Always, when a civilization, a culture has reached its height and is destined to collapse, the Etherians have appeared in numbers. They come to make an examination and final record, for their own knowledge, of the status of that civilization -- somewhat as you might do with disappearing tribes and races. And it is true also that they have been alerted and disturbed by your release of atomic energies. But all past civilizations and races have had their day, and failed in some way, and passed out of earth existence, so with your civilization. The Etherians came and observed and made their records; so they come now."


  1. Layne, Meade. The Coming of the Guardians: An Interpretation of the "Flying Saucers" As Given from the Other Side of Life. San Diego, CA: B.S.R.A, 1954. Print. [Expanded re-issue available through BSRF: <#B0016, "Coming of the Guardians">]