See You Tube Video: A Tribute to Charlie Lutes

Charlie Lutes

Healer, Lecturer, Clairvoyant

Charles F. Lutes
Charlie Lutes

A Friend Remembers Charlie.



It was a Friday night in 1974 and I was in the SRM Center on Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, California, and I was getting my meditation checked before Charlie’s weekly Friday night lecture. One of the checkers was in one of the rooms with another person and I was waiting outside in a bigger room, sitting in a chair looking at all the pictures and smelling the sweet scent of incense and flowers that permeated the air. A few minutes before the lecture was to start, Charlie walked into the Center as if he was on fire, yet totally controlled. As always, when he walked into a room he demanded your attention just by the nature of his powerful being. It was like he was a walking sparkler, kicking off energy and sparks in all directions. I looked up and stared at him from my chair. He was so vital and powerful. It wasn’t so much that he was a big man, it was more; he was bigger than life itself. He was unlike any other western man I had ever met. Actually, unlike any man I had ever met, period. At times it was like looking at a Greek God, full of energy and light. If there ever was a person who looked like you pictured a movie star to be, it was Charlie Lutes.

I had been meditating only a few months at this point. I loved hanging around the TM Center for the Friday night Charlie lectures that were so electric and powerful, but always followed by cookies and milk. It may sound weird, but after what I had been through during the late sixties and early seventies, cookies and milk were just what my soul needed. Shelter from the storm was the order of the day at “this do or die” spiritual junction point in my life. I was in my early twenties, but I had lived a hard life of experimentation and rebellion that made me feel like I was forty physically. I am fifty-four now, but when I was forty I didn’t feel as old as I was that day in my early twenties.

Charlie looked down at me sitting in the chair and asked, “getting checked again?” I proudly answered, “Yep.” And Charlie smiled his famous smile, as if he had the sun in his throat and behind his eyes and said, “Good job. Stay focused. This is the most important thing going on in your life at the moment. Nothing else really matters.” I just sat there with nothing to say, not because I didn’t want to say something, but because I knew I was meant to listen for once in my life and words had nothing to do with what was going on here. The profundity of the moment that was in the air was something I had waited, it seemed like forever, to experience. I was almost just enjoying the silence of the moment, like I had never experienced it before, and then at the same time, it was like I had never left it either.

Charlie went into another room and was thrashing about and making some noise as he was trying to find something in the papers stacked on his desk, it seemed. I couldn’t see him, but could hear him. He was in a controlled hurry. The lecture was to be next door very soon and there were probably at least two-hundred people that were waiting for him. Many, like me, had gone through the whole week of work or school just waiting to get back here for Friday night, as if all the other days didn’t matter except for this one, because whatever was happening during those Friday night Charlie Lutes lectures, it seemed as important as life itself. There was a sweetness and specialness that was as profound as a birth and as natural and easy as a flower. I was young and knew no one at all attending these Friday night lectures, but it was like I was meeting with all my best friends and my parents and uncles and aunts and grandparents, none-the-less. I felt finally at home, although I knew none of them by name or face. Home sweet home, finally at last.

I was coming into the TM Center each week to get my meditation checked before Charlie's lecture, but they were running late that night. I was there getting checked each week because, after all the chemicals and other things I had ingested into my poor physiology as a college student in LA during this time, the new found peace of meditation was competing with all the stress and imbalances of my physiology, and that is what I was experiencing. Many would go months without getting checked and others never got their meditation checked at all, but for me, this checking procedure was like realigning my heart, soul and body with the way it was meant to be, and it felt so good to be finally getting a chance to settle down and come home and back to my real Self once again. Where had I been? Where had I been hiding?

My once a week TM checking was like practicing the piano each week for a big end-of-the year concert. Somehow my soul knew that if I kept getting checked and stayed at this meditation, that everything I ever wanted out of life would be mine. On the other hand, I also knew, with every cell in my body, that if I didn’t get checked and didn’t stay with this meditation, I was in for more trouble with life than I could ever deal with effectively; that I wasn’t going to end up with a life of my dreams. Instead, I would end up looking for my dreams for the rest of my life and never having a chance of ever finding them.

I was a confused and troubled young man, just like the other 95% of my generation at the time and frankly, we didn’t know if we were coming or going. In retrospect, we weren’t doing either right. We were lost and we were seeking, everywhere. We could smell the trail of the good, pure life as clear as a blood hound chasing a rabbit on a hot summer day, but we hadn’t a clue where the trail started and where it finished. Somehow we were just running round and round and hoping for the best. Little did I know, that very night, I was about to get a major taste of the mystical promised land and be shocked back onto the track of my life in a way I hadn’t even known enough about to be able to desire it.

I also came each week to get checked because I had these migraine headaches and the checking would relieve them. The headaches started back six years earlier when some guy in my dorm at school brought back something called acid. His older brother had gotten it at his college and it was called, window pane. It was LSD. We had all heard about this because, after all, it was the 1960's and everyone was talking about drugs and getting high and rocking and rolling and “tripping”. There were about five of us in the dorm room that night. We all looked at this little piece of whatever that was wrapped up over and over again in this white paper. We all agreed to take it together. Who was going to go first? I was the youngest, but I also was the oldest. A deal was a deal and I figured it would start with me. We were brothers, after all. Boarding school has a way of doing that to you.

I swallowed what was decided by a friend of a friend of my friend’s older brother to be the proper amount of whatever. We were reckless. We were seekers. We wanted God. We wanted more than we were experiencing out of life and more than what we were being taught life was about. We had seen through the illusions that were being shoved down our youthful throats. We wanted something that was real, something that was profound, something that was deep. We wanted something that was going to take us back to where we belonged. Within five minutes, my fraternal brothers had broken the sacred bonds of family dorm life and decided that they were going to wait and see what happened to me first before they took their well proportioned share. They would do it another night, if I was alive when they awoke in the morning. What was the hurry? We had class early in the morning and it was now about 2 AM. They wanted to get to bed.

We had all traveled to get back to boarding school earlier that day and it would be three months before we went home again. What was the hurry? I was left alone. They left the room after a few minutes of jokes about me dying and then my roommate shut out the light. He had just traveled all the way from California to Indiana . It had been a long day. I didn’t know it, but I was about to experience the hardest and scariest night of my life and I wouldn’t finally sleep for another forty-eight hours. After not being able to sleep and after starting to hear trucks as loud as a truck stop running through my head, I got up and went into the bathroom only to find my brains running out of my head and all over the floor as a sat on the toilet. Also, my feet melted into the bathroom rug. On the way out, hours or seconds later, I caught a look at my melted self in the bathroom mirror. My nose grew to the size of an oak tree and my face pores became as big as the Grand Cannon craters. When it was all over and then right thru the other episodes of my bonded brothers, when they finally got up their courage and kept their delayed and diluted part of our bargain and circle of trust, I started to notice I had these really wicked headaches. They would stay with me long after the window pane LSD had worn off and opened my physiology to a new form of pain I would carry around between my ears day and night, week after week, year after year. And now six years later, I could feel it pounding away.

Charlie burst back into the room, like the Lone Ranger on Trigger. He smiled at me, but was as serious as a doctor about ready to cut someone open and deliver a baby. He said, “Take your time getting checked and then come up to the lecture hall when you are comfortably done. Don’t rush. Enjoy yourself.” He headed quickly for the door about thirty feet away on his way to the lecture hall.

For the last three months all I heard about was Enlightenment and if I kept on meditating for many years, I might have the chance to get to this ultimate state of awareness or consciousness, this state of nirvana, total bliss consciousness, the state of ultimate human enlightenment, a state where you and the will of God were one. Through years of meditation, I could obtain a state of God consciousness, where I was fully aware of the real Self, and all the illusion of life would be stripped away - a state of all knowingness, total knowledge, a state where man could live a life of perfection and fulfillment in accorded with all the laws of nature, doing no harm and only good for myself and for my fellow man. In this state, I would be able to live being able to see everything in its unified state, no separation, only the oneness of all living things, all of creation.

Since I had been in pain for so long, I really needed some heavy duty cosmic help. I needed to find a way to someway bring myself back to square one, to a state of basic purity, a state where I was before all the drugs and alcohol and everything else we had done along our seekers' path to self-realization. I needed to get back to where I once belonged. To that state of wholeness, and innocence, like a little child. From there I could begin to evolve and meditate each day and get a jump on this evolution thing and maybe, just maybe, I too could get enlightened someday.

I had heard that after just two years of meditating, Charlie had reached a state of non-changing bliss, a state of unity or God consciousness, much quicker than most could ever hope for. Just like the famous saints of India, the rumor was that we had our own saint amongst us, besides Maharishi, a western man. Part of the deal was that an Enlightened man never told you he was Enlightened and most of the time it isn’t even obvious who is enlightened and who is not. Charlie was a regular guy, he had a job, was married, drove a car and he was a man of the world. But somehow in my heart I felt he was different. When I listened to him each week, I would read between the lines and if I was hearing correctly, Charlie had reached his state of enlightenment. All heaven had fallen in on him one day and he was walking around like a normal Joe, but now he was seeing the world through different glasses. Through cosmic glasses he was seeing the world for the first time, each moment, totally in touch with his inner eternal Self, but was doing this while waking, dreaming and sleeping, and witnessing his every move, thought word and action from a state of unbounded, unshakable bliss.

As Charlie headed towards the door, I inwardly challenged him with a heartfelt plea out of desperation. I screamed out quietly to myself, where only I could hear inside, but as loud as I could muster up, “Charlie, if you are truly Enlightened after all, as they stay, please help me. Please help me. I am in pain and I want to be free and clear in my mind and my life.” That was my simple, all encompassing request and prayer to this man as he walked away from me towards the door, as if he could hear nothing of my pleading.

Charlie opened the door with his back towards me and started thru the door and then, he poked his head back around the door and looked back at me. At that very second, out from Charlie’s glasses came a sparkle and a beam of light, a cosmic thundered bolt, like a laser search light emanated from his being into mine. It hit me right smack in the chest. I was knocked off my chair and onto the floor. My heart felt this purifying pain like it was hit by an arrow, but it was blissful at the same time. I coughed a few times and picked myself up off the floor, as if embarrassed that I had fallen down to begin with. I regained my composure and looked up, but the door was shut and Charlie was gone. What had just happened? Did anyone see me on the floor? Did anyone see any of this? I looked around the room. Did I see any of this? What had just happened?

A few minutes later, I was sitting there still shaking and the door to the room where the other man was being checked opened. Out came the checked and the checkor. This sweet older man motioned for me to enter the checking room as the other person passed me smiling. Like Charlie, the checkor had a sparkle in his eyes as well, but no thunderbolt showing. I half smiled at him and sat down. I wanted to fully smile at him like the other man who had just passed me did, but I realized my face wasn’t working correctly. My face felt crusty, like layers of the stress of the world had mummified it in my short twenty something years on earth. Then, I realized in a flash that there was a fresh glow, or little light, that seemed to be trying to emerge from inside of me. The checkor had me close my eyes. I wanted to tell him everything that just happened. I had a thousand questions. I wanted answers, but somehow the glow inside of me was where I wanted to go more. I settled down inside myself for the first time in many years. Everything was quiet and I had this sinking inside myself feeling. It felt good. I realized in a flash that I had a long, long ways to go, but somehow I was now released to pursue my own inner happiness. Some block had been removed. It was all happening so fast, but all I really knew in my heart was that there was now hope to be happy once again. The bliss of my childhood was somehow momentarily restored. A freshness was emerging. I just got a glimpse of feeling truly good again, but that was enough. For a brief second I felt like I did when I was a child. “Oh yeah,” I said to myself. “I remember this feeling. It feels so good to be alive.”

After my checking session I asked the man if I could ask him some questions unrelated to my meditation experience. He said, “That would be fine, ask away.” I asked if he thought Charlie was enlightened. He told me he had known Charlie for many years and that he was a very, very special person. He said that there is no way to know if a man is enlightened unless he wants you to know for sure. He said he didn’t know what exact level of consciousness that Charlie was in, but he knew he was a very evolved human being and that he had spent many years close to Maharishi, so he was sure some of this had rubbed off on Charlie in a big way. This wasn’t the exact confirmation that I was looking for, but it was enough. Somehow I knew the truth even without asking the question, but I was just looking for another person’s confirmation to rest my restless intellect upon. In his own way, this sweet man gave me his own version of the message I was looking for.

My heart still stung with this love sweet pain, yet it was now much fresher. Something inside of me was fundamentally different. I was more human than I was an hour earlier; more alive, more pure, more light.

In retrospect, with his lightening bolt cast in my direction, Charlie must have slayed some demon or rakshasha that had invaded by body during those times of youthful drinking and drug taking excess that must have opened me up to such an invasion. By him purifying my body this way, I was now released from the boundaries and ignorance that must have been camping out in my body, and I don’t think I have ever had a migraine headache since that day. My dear friend Charlie was a very special man, a great soul - much higher and much greater, I am sure, than most ever gave him credit for. If it hadn’t actually happened to me, I would have trouble believing this ever happened. That being said, it did happen, just the way I described here. All I can say is, Jai Guru Dev Charlie and my love and gratitude will be with you always.

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