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Journey to the Luminous
the Spritual Quest of a Contemporary Seeker
by Aaran Stevens

"Write down what you see and hear, that you may not forget," Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj, one of the great contemporary Mystic Adepts, advised his young disciple, Arran Stephens in 1967. Arran's diary of experiences and observations on his quest for spiritual enlightenment became the genesis of his newly published book, Journey to the Luminous. In an amazing tale spanning several decades and continents, Nature's Path Foods' founder, Arran Stephens, spins the story of his journey from farm life in British Columbia through bleak experiences on the streets of Los Angeles to a search across the Indian subcontinent for meaning and truth.

"Spirituality has always been the leaven to the loaf of existence," says Arran. "With sustained inner practice, even the most limited mind begins to soar free from its usual ruts. We then see how we are interconnected with every other being, like points of light in a radiant, networked universe. Human compassion and the desire to serve this expanded Self begins surging in our veins, and in a million little ways, the innate nobility of the soul finds expression in deeds. In a society that flows towards selfishness and sensual gratification, the truth seeker appears to move upstream, swimming against the current of the status quo."

Anyone interested in the search for Truth will resonate to Arran's intimate observations. Through his eyes and heart, the ecstasy and sometimes anguish of the Path are movingly portrayed. As part of a chosen entourage traveling between ashrams and villages, Arran tells you of momentous experiences, explorations in the nature of miracles, he describes a brief descent into hell as well as flights into higher planes of consciousness. His story is a personal memoir transformed into a universal story of every heart's search for meaning and truth.

Arran's spiritual quest becomes intertwined with success in the commercial world. This part of his story is filled with ups and downs, of mistakes and recoveries, all bound together with human understanding and the joy of spiritual practice bearing fruit. "I am an artist, idealist and businessman," says Arran, "an admittedly odd combination. I was privileged to participate in the birth and flowering of the natural food business in the late 60's and my involvement with various entrepreneurial vehicles continues to this day." Arran's company, Nature's Path Foods, is the largest organic cereal company in the Americas. His grounded insight captures the value of meditation and moderation in our world and demonstrates the struggle and reward of living a spiritual life.

His book, Journey to the Luminous, is richly illustrated, containing 70 photos portraying life in India with several spiritual Masters along with illustrations by the author. It is the story of one man's path to spiritual consciousness and is deeply respectful of the traditions of all religious seekers in the great quest for spiritual awareness.

Arran Stephens will be in Portland on Friday, June 23rd sharing his story at the Friday Evening Forum sponsored by New Renaissance Bookshop, 1338 NW 23rd Avenue, Portland. Tickets are $15 and available from New Renaissance, tel.: 503-224-4929. For additional details, see page 19. Also, an excerpt of the first four chapters of Journey to the Luminous can be found on the Nature's Path website: