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A Message from John and Carla Sherman

Learn more about John & Carla Sherman.

October 23, 2012


Dear friend,

We believe that what we are about here is radically different from everything that has gone before. We believe, for example, that the sole cause of all pathological personality traits in human beings is the fear of life. We believe that fear of life comes upon us accidentally at or near our birth, and we believe that all hatred of self and others, all greed, all pathological aggression, all narcissistic preoccupation with self and lack of regard for others are the fruit of that fear.

We know that anyone who will try to do the simple movement of the mind's eye that we call 'looking at yourself' will see the sense of fearfulness and distrust that ruins the experience of life quietly dissolve. And when the fear is gone, it's gone for good and in its absence, a profound regeneration of the personal psychology begins that culminates in full reconciliation with our own lives. We go sane, and our ability to use the light of natural human intelligence begins to blossom and to bear new fruit. We fall naturally into love with our lives. It's that simple.

We know all this to be true because of our own shared experience over more than thirteen years together, and also because of the reports we receive from thousands of people all over the world who have done this ridiculously simple act and are themselves experiencing that reconciliation in their own lives.

The act of looking that causes this is a perfectly natural and easy movement of attention, and it is just as natural and easy to suggest it to friends and acquaintances. It is, in fact, so easy to do, and its harmlessness is so self-evident, that just listening carefully to its description will most likely cause it to be done on the spot. And once it's done, all that follows is automatic and, so far as we can see, irreversible.

Carla and I, together with a growing number of people all over the world, believe that this simple act offers the possibility of nothing less than the full redemption of human life for all human beings.

With that in mind, we have developed a project with the sole purpose of bringing the suggestion to look at yourself to the ears of at least ten percent of all of humanity within the next three to five years. We seek ten percent because that percentage of people has been proven to constitute a critical mass from which news of the act of looking, its promise, and its results should spread like wildfire throughout the entire species.

If you are new to our work, and unsure what exactly we are talking about, Carla has prepared a web page with a selection of pages on our website to show you what we mean.

The project has two components:


1. A grassroots campaign

First and most importantly, we will develop a comprehensive grassroots campaign to spread the news of what we’re doing in the ordinary way humans speak with one another about their lives.

People who join us in this grassroots effort will learn and teach one another how to use personal ads in local newspapers, letters to editors, public bulletin boards, bumper stickers, business cards and the like to bring the basic idea of the looking to the wider public.

But the most effective means of bringing this idea to the world will be found in ordinary, natural conversation between those who have seen the results of the act for themselves and the people they spend time with throughout the course of their ordinary lives: at work, at home, shopping, commuting, watching TV, doing the dishes, and so forth. That kind of communication requires something much more interesting and skillful than mere evangelistic fervor; it requires that we learn quietly to attend to the conversations we find ourselves in, so that the matter of the fear and the looking can arise unforced and naturally in the course of the conversation.

This person-to-person communication is by far the most effective of all means for bringing new ideas to the attention of large communities quickly.


2. A media campaign

The second part of our plan is to make use of the combined power of the public media — radio, tv, billboards, the internet, movies, etc. — to touch the eyes, ears and minds of a very large number of people for a moment just long enough to describe the act clearly, so that they can attend to the suggestion and try it. This very fast injection of the idea into the consciousness of the human community should on its own create a huge leap in the recognition and awareness of the looking in world, and that wide awareness should also bring about a widespread willingness and desire to learn more about it.

We believe that the combined effort of the grassroots campaign and the public media campaign will quickly trigger an exponential expansion of awareness of the looking throughout the entire human community.

We already have the technical resources and a sound base of operations in place to maintain the grassroots component of our project. And we are confident that, as the grassroots campaign begins to gain traction in the world, the money and expertise needed to carry out the public media component will quickly become available.


Imagine a world…

Imagine for a moment what it might be like to live in a world in which all human beings are free of the cloud of existential fear altogether. A world in which selfishness in human affairs has pretty much vanished; a world free of hatred, greed, and pathological aggression; a world in which all humans have come to know the experience of their natural, existential connectedness; a world in which all have come to notice and attend to the power of human community infused with the light of human intelligence.

Imagine a world where the power of human intelligence, now wasted on matters pertaining mostly to egotistical issues of self-defense and the struggle to dominate, has automatically returned to its natural interest, which is the quest for greater understanding and skill in the adventure that is the natural experience of human life.

We believe that world is now within our reach. Not by faith or surrender, nor any form of understanding, transcendence, transformation or escape from human life; not by miraculous events in consciousness brought about by magical incantations or group meditations, nor by any other thing that directs attention away from actual human life.

We believe that this is the world we will have, if we can get this one simple, harmless act of looking to be heard by enough people in a short enough period of time, so that the news of its power reaches the ears of all human beings.

Now, we know that all this might sound, well, to put it politely, a little too good to be true. It often seems that way to us, too.

But the reports of success keep coming in — in emails, forum postings, notes sent through our AnonTalk app, postcards and letters in the mail, conversations in meetings online, in person, and on the phone, comments made in the request forms for the free downloads on our website, messages left on the foundation phone, and chance meetings with people that we run into at the grocery store here in Ojai — a slow, steady rain of confirmation of the power of the simple act of looking to change everything.

We have the organizational base. We have the technology, we have the structure, we have people freshly freed from the fear, and willing to help get the word out about what we believe to be the actual cure for all human misery. What we don't have is enough money. And when we look around at the millions of dollars routinely being raised for projects and good causes everywhere, the amount of money we need seems trivial in comparison.

We can do this.

People all over the world speak about how the looking has changed their lives.

Click on CC for closed captions.
Click here to watch this video in your browser.


If you feel drawn to the promise and the possibility of what we are speaking of here; if you have noticed the effects of the loss of the fear of life begin to appear in your own life; if you have an interest in helping us in any way, please do. Help us test the power of this simple act to bring about the fulfillment of human life by bringing news of it to all of humanity.

Please don't hesitate even for a moment to chip in whatever you can. And please join the conversation in the Community Center forums. That's where the effort to understand the power of this act and translate the redemption of our lives into useful, self-reliant work in the world is already taking place.

Thank you for your time and attention.

John & Carla

RiverGanga Foundation
PO Box 1566
Ojai, California 93024
Phone: +1 (805) 649-1600

Copyright 2002-2012.  RiverGanga Foundation.  All rights reserved.