William Samuel (September 2, 1924-May 22, 1996) was a modern mystic and prolific writer of spiritual awakening. He was known by some as the “teacher’s teacher”, perhaps because so many teachers come to study with him — philosophers, theologians, and members of the academe. In the later years there came physicists and mathematicians. It seemed to William that he would get the most earnest and dedicated students of Truth. Quite a number of Taoists and Buddhists had found William’s message and came to study — even some who were called Masters. Many have gone from his study to become authors, writers and teachers themselves.
Mr. Samuel did not embrace the idea of being called a teacher, saying “I’ve been telling my own story — how it happened and what it has allowed me to understand — for over 30 years. That is not the same as being a teacher.” It becomes very clear in these later days that William was a master teacher who has found a way to communicate honestly and clearly his insights on the Absolute and the premises of the metaphysical and Non-Duality.
“Every teacher, book, writer, practitioner, sage, guru or peanut vendor, by whatever name, title or label they go by, is an aspect of the Awareness (Identity) “we” are. We take the book from the shelf most likely to render a specific service at a given moment. Exactly so, we have appeared to go to the philosophy, teacher, church, friend, stranger or peanut vendor that has unfolded as sufficient for the moment–but that philosophy, teacher, church, friend or stranger is WITHIN the awareness WE are. So is the peanut vendor. We are forever looking at our Self.”
William Samuel was quite well known, but he never encouraged a following. He would go to great lengths to stop any personal veneration.
“To whatever extent I allow Samuel to be the object of praise and veneration (instead of God-self) to that same extent I create the tangible situation which must appear to bring Samuel down in the eyes of the venerator. That is self-flagellation I can do without. It is difficult enough already for the few of us on earth who have been given the task of waging worldwide battle against the power of belief. Most tenacious among those beliefs is the insanity that one must be either a leader or a follower. Allness leads what? Singleness follows whom? The Seminal Idea discloses Identity to be nothing less than the Ineffable’s very own Self-awareness! Every grain of sand and star in the heavens shouts the proof of this fact. Every flower that blooms and wild bird that flies verifies the changelessness of this fact.
When the story is told properly–and listened to as a child listens–the individual awakens to DOMINION, to his birthright, his heritage from the beginning, and there is no more need of teachers. SOMEONE must make the honest statement in such a manner, and at this time that one is me–and shall be–until it comes to me to do otherwise. Tell me, if on the world scene I have been successful in disclosing DOMINION to those who have come to me, would this produce a following of sycophants? No. We are a camaraderie of living Light and love to whom the entire world will turn when our time has come.
Like Lao Tse who lived his Light silently and alone while working square in the middle of the teeming scholasticism of his day, we avoid human entanglements and personal popularity like the plague. We honor the Light that is Life, that every person is. We may very well appreciate a mirror that speaks to us with clarity and honesty–and we may consider that mirror unique among mirrors–but the authority lies with the awareness that looks into that mirror, and not the mirror.”
The growing demand for his clear, brilliant, and effective instruction, even since his passing, is testimony to the fact that his work is universal and timeless in its profound wisdom. Those who knew him best considered him a humble, unpretentious, soft-spoken teacher who communicated truth in a tender, simple and yet powerful way. Those who listened and heard his message were brought to find a peace and understanding that carried healing on its wings.
Samuel enjoyed a worldwide correspondence with those he has helped find the fabled “peace beyond understanding.” And now, those who find his work to be a clear, brilliant, and effective instruction are passing along his name, as his work reaches even greater numbers today.
William Samuel was one of those rare people who could synthesize the teachings of Eastern thought and Western religions. His work offers a clear explanation of the nature of enlightenment through simple uncomplicated language. He has a genuine gift of communication, a method of communication that uses words in such a manner that creates a synergy that allows the reader/listener to hear a message that transcends the ordinary limits of words.. He communicates beyond intellectualism.
William discovered that he had a unique gift that allowed him to teach that which is most often said to be ‘un-teachable’. He found a way to write in layers, sounding overtones, much like music; the words are like the single notes coming together creating chords. Then, layer upon layer, the right chords are struck and the heart hears the full message in the way one hears a whole symphony. Because of this gift, his work is best read gently and without struggle to understand. William often said about his message, to read and listen to with the Heart.
William Samuel devoted his life to the search for truth, a quest that took him twice around the globe and included the years he spent in China during the Second World War, a period which his books describe in some detail. William was brought up in the beautiful hills of Alabama where he spent his childhood. His mother was a practicing Christian Scientist and she brought young Samuel to church with her every Sunday. William’s father was Jewish and the enforcer of the discipline and academics in William’s youth.
William was very bright as a child and appreciated and learned from life’s situations, questioning and seeking understanding even at this young age. William’s favorite pastime was to wander the back woods, rivers and trails, hunting ancient arrowheads, listening to the bird songs, enjoying the old trees and meadows and being immersed with nature. His love of the outdoors lasted his whole life. Although William was a gentle and thoughtful boy, his father sent him to Clemson College South Carolina which was a military school. Young William was about 14 years old. A brilliant student, with genius IQ, he spent 4 years attending the military academy, learning and gathering much of his wisdom through the adversity and pain of these harsh surroundings. His natural inclination to seek greater understanding through all life’s situations was the key that got him through those difficult years. This wise approach continued throughout his life.
At 18 years old he was made captain of infantry and was sent to do battle in China, during WWII. As an American infantry captain who fought in some of the fiercest battles of World War II Samuel lived and tested his spiritual insights on the battlefield. While combating Japanese troops for two years on the Chinese mainland, his translator was a venerated Taoist monk, Mr. Shieh, who was to become his friend, guide, and spiritual teacher through those years.
Soon after the war, Samuel returned to China and continued to study with Mr. Shieh for several months. Mr. Shieh would give William ‘assignments’, such as sitting at the fountain square in town and having to find ‘something good’ about every passerby.
After leaving China, William’s quests to study at the fountainheads of the world’s ideas took him twice around the globe, into the remotest places, including several years in the Orient and India. In India, William was the first American to visit and sit in silence with a guru who, William tells us, later became world famous, though he does not state specifically the name of this guru.
In the 1950’s, married and with three young sons, besides his writing, William had become the proprietor of his father’s small bakery and restaurant in Birmingham. However, by 1952 he had been called once again to war. For many months he lead troops through the Korean War, which he reports had been even more devastating than the battles fought in China.
“During the Korean War, an artillery round burst among my men on the left flank. Several bodies were hurled about and I ran to see the extent of the damage and whether the platoon leader was still effective. Sick to my stomach at the sight, I sat down among three of the bodies sprawled along the slope. I became aware of a visual “Presence” hovering beside them. A misty, blue-white light of sorts. A different kind of light, primal, persuasive and powerful. I could not explain what I saw then, nor can I now, but with the sight, and because of the sight, I was absolutely certain within myself I was being shown evidence of the deathlessness of Life — the survival of the Child, the Soul of men. Like Arjuna, in awful combat, I was instructed in certain of the Mysteries and learned the sense of senselessness. More significant, that Peace has not forsaken me since those days, at least not when I was mindful of It nor when the chips were down and I called for It. How do I call for It? I bring forth the Child of Me.”
When he returned from his Korean duty, he went back to his family and the restaurant and bakery business. During these years he wrote his first book titled Two Plus Two Equals Reality. Though it was a small book with only 60 pages, it was filled with tremendous insight. This book brought many to notice his wisdom and people began to gather around him to listen and to study. He had also become a well-known practitioner and healer among the growing metaphysical crowd. Soon folks from all walks of life and from all parts of the world came to see him. At first primarily metaphysicians but then people of all religious and philosophical outlooks, Eastern and Western began to show up. Many would come to his Birmingham bakery where he would enjoy longs talks and philosophical discussions with the varied people and groups that sought him out or happen to be just passing through. At this time, he also devoted himself to writing, and teaching, and lecturing. He wrote and taught about what he called “a new way of understanding.”
“The world is not as it appears to the busy, troubled mortal. Behind every appearance–overspreading everything–is a pure and perfect harmony. There is an unseen Perfection-before-words permeating everything. Concrete and tangible confirmation of this fact awaits everyone willing to acknowledge this presence as real and as all in all. How does this confirmation appear? As inner light, as illumination, as understanding, as Self-discovery, as a continuing and expanding sense of all-rightness!”
By 1968 he had written and published his most noted book, A Guide To Awareness and Tranquility, and completed its companion book, The Awareness of Self-Discovery, in 1970. By now he had sold the bakery and gave himself entirely to writing and to the many people whom he corresponded with and to those who came to study with him. His love for the outdoors was such that he held most of his classes under the pine trees of his home in Mountain Brook, Alabama and aboard his houseboat, “the good ship Lollygog,” as it drifted along the banks of Alabama’s Coosa River.
The stories that lead to his own enlightenment are told throughout his books and audio recording. His work is iconoclastic on the one hand; tender and warm and inspiring on the other. He has the unique genius of being able to bring together Western Christian metaphysics and Eastern thought, offering an indispensable guide for any seeker wishing to peace and understanding. One of his students wrote that Bill’s awakening occurred in the 1960s and was triggered by seeing his reflection in the water of a pond near his home and realizing that “who and what he is was the witness of that reflection and of the image called Bill.”
“With honest and straightforward simplicity, I am here to tell you that you can never be free of personal trials and tribulations until you make your own discovery of Reality, God. You will never find more than the most temporal, ephemeral happiness until you make a personal discovery of God, Isness – until you get off your soft sofa and actually make your own determination of Reality, of Truth, of Fact. You will never permanently rid yourself of the grind and grate in the pit of the stomach nor find yourself free of that feeling of impending doom until you make your own, individual determination of exactly what God is to you!
If you have tried everything else and are still periodically miserable, if you still contend with one problem after another, if you still have not yet solved the problem of fear and increasing pressure, and if you are really ready to stop suffering, it is time to do yourself a favor. Start now, this minute, to begin your own determination of what God, Reality, Truth is. One can never be happy nor self-satisfied until he does. One can never be free of trials and tribulations until he does. One can have no permanent sense of health or wealth until he does. No one will ever be free of personal fear or insecurity until he makes a determination for himself of just what God is to him.”
William Samuel’s writing isn’t based on theory. On the contrary, he lived the words he wrote, and passed the wisdom on to us. In doing so, he left us extraordinary insights and discoveries which help us rediscover the Divine that already resides within us. In William’s own words:
“Every word I’ve published, I have lived. I do not write from theory, speculation, nor from the opinions of other–only from my own LIVED experience. It seems most important to me to put every revelation and glimmer of light to the living test. I’ve done just that and have published nothing that did not first prove fruitful in my own experience…. and I had still another criterion;. Nothing is included in these works that had not only borne fruit for me but had also proven to do the same for others who had put it to the same test as I. An intellectual difference, perhaps, is consistency”.
William was informed by the British Philosophic Society, who had finished an examination of his book ‘A Guide To Awareness and Tranquility‘ that they had found this book to be ‘A thoroughly supported philosophic system. Every statement in his work, has been properly supported with the reason and logic a philosopher considers necessary. Mr. Samuel has made a statement for the allness of God which is intellectually sound even to the most demanding members of the academe — the philosophers. To address the Heart without galling the intellect is a feat indeed’. In William’s humble and honest style he responded “Human intelligence couldn’t possibly do that, but Awareness is that feat in action.”
By 1986 he had written and published his final book The Child Within Us Lives! A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Metaphysics. This book charts a practical and livable course through the labyrinth of the objective sciences and religions into the mysterious states of the new quantum sciences and metaphysics, further, we are taken to the transcendence of such divisions, by way of the discovery of our original nature, the Child within. In this book Samuel speaks to the primal nature of light and linear time and to the necessity of understanding them.
“The Child and Its guidance are essential in our search. If one thinks his religion, his philosophy, or his theology is the means to finding the FINAL Answer, he is mistaken. The Child of Light and Love is the pathfinder, the guide, the wayshower up the mighty mountain in Kwangse Province. Science, religion and philosophy can take us a great distance, but the Child takes us to Dominion. It is absolutely essential that we actually get in touch with the eternal Child. Now, with absolute assurance, I can tell people, old and young, their lessons can be learned under the most difficult and trying circumstances. Better that we leave our nets after we’ve learned their lessons. Better that we call on the Child because the Child knows what to do. The Child and the Presence are the same one Presence and It is right here where we are, transcending this world’s time and space.”
Samuel’s brilliance combined with his keen awareness of spiritual life is evident in his ability to write in a gentle, unpretentious style. He is powerfully iconoclastic on the one hand and tender, warm and inspiring on the other. He speaks the Truth without the stilted jargon of Eastern non-duality or Western Theology. In his work you will find a nonsectarian view-unconventional beauty-beholden to neither establishment nor organization. William’s books are filled with personal stories telling us how he put his insights to the test, showing us exactly how we can live and prove these precepts in our own lives.
Excerpt From: THE AWARENESS OF SELF-DISCOVERY
“Then how do we study?
With the gentle grace of Light examining Itself. From the position of Intelligence already intelligent, happily examining and being amazed by its infinite detail.
We study by tangibly, practically, actually LIVING the Light of our Self that has already been disclosed and by ending our reticence to surrender the uttermost farthing of the former(more limited) concept of Self.
We study by learning the lessons that come from living our Light enthusiastically–and by telling “others” of the wonders we have found. But we study best by returning to the native, intuitive, heartfelt Child we are.
The “profundities of paradox” may titillate and inspire us but the Child we are understands them…….
Gentle Reader, “I” means IDENTITY, not a suffering, human concept of Self. See these words as your own: I let go the role of an awakening student.
I end the identification of gendered mortal learning this or that. I am not a member of the human race, a one among many, working, striving, struggling, straining, arriving at Truth line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. I am an identity INFINITELY greater, grander than that, and I am not ashamed to say so to my world of appearances even when the charges are that of vaingloriousness and self-deluding insanity. I take the Divine Awareness of GOD to be “my” identity. I am THAT. That is “me” and I do not hesitate to SAY so to whomever may be interested.
Furthermore, I live this identification to the best of my ability, despite the fact this appears to be running up-stream, contrary to the world’s way of doing things. And I maintain this position to the best of my ability, reminding myself as often as necessary that AWARENESS is the WHO I am, the WHAT I am, the WHY I Am–and that identity is not a human one, not a worldly one, not a sick, sinning, ignorant or quarreling one but the HOLY WHOLE SINGLE ONLY ONE, AND THAT AM I!
We know what we have found. We know of the inner peace, the light, love insight and wonder of Being we have found Truth to be. The Heart of the one who reads this knows what the Truth has meant over the years. All the hell-fire and damnation the “world” can muster cannot efface the Grace we have felt. The challenges we face, like lions in Coliseum, may appear to tear the old nature apart, but all that is torn, or can be, is a concept that was never real. The Grace of IDENTITY stands untouched, untroubled, singing…..
It has been said that the discernment of Identity is an uphill struggle but it isn’t really. We are what we are whether it is seen or not and the simple knowledge of this fact is an immense aid in our discernment. Awareness is our identity and awareness functioning is ever effortless, ever going about its business of seeing, hearing, feeling and including thoughts all within itself just as it is about the business of seeing print on this page at the moment.
Much of the effort goes out of our daily affairs the instant we expand our sense of identity from the body-point from which “things” are observed, to awareness doing the observing. As this expanded identity the body-point is not excluded but seen as the central point within an infinite identification that includes all “body-points” within itself. This grander identity looks on human intellectuality and knows that it pertains only to the body-point and its relationships with all the images. It sees that the Intelligence beyond intellectuality is its own Self-knowledge of singleness, aloneness, wholeness, oneness. It sees that intellectuality can only know Isness indirectly, via qualities and attributes. But, identified as awareness, we know “God” directly as God’s Self-awareness. As awareness, we know as God knows Himself to be. We see with the Eye by which we are seen. So, we live this “child of God” that we are already, and we live it without effort, without struggle, and most wonderfully, without inhibitions.
You see, this conscious awareness being “us” is Deity’s Self-awareness in action, for which Deity alone is responsible. The weight of the world is lifted from our shoulders the instant we stop trying to be something of ourselves–a human personality, an ego, a phantom big cheese protecting his family from the outspoken teachings of this one or that one, intent on healing Perfection when Perfection stands tall and perfect, quite without need of healing. To question the wisdom of this utter discard of personal, ego–responsibility is the natural reflex of the ego bent on self-preservation at all costs. But, in one way or another, we are finally brought to gird up the loins and LET God be the Alone One on the Scene–even as God really IS the all and Only One. Right here. Right now. Already!
LIGHT IS LOVE
The “final days” (and this is all that is significantly meant by those ominous words) is the arrival of the world’s final enlightenment. These days are in progress already. The light is dawning because it is already here. New ideas are coming into focus and old landmarks are passing away. Cherished notions, some the them the very pillars of society, are being shaken to the roots. We are finding most of them built on sand.
Many institutions charged with the revelation of God, Truth, Reality, are found not to be giving freedom to their charges but withholding it; not dispensing Light, but darkness; not unbinding men, but shackling them; not seeking out the new Rays of Light and investigating them impartially, but, for conscious or unconscious reason of self-preservation, doing everything in their power to keep new Light from being seen–for fear, say they, their present Light will be adulterated. As if the Truth needed protection!
Oh, but let it be understood, these very institutions are a blessing and they are serving a most necessary purpose.
How could we know that Identity is Omniscience itself without first attempting to place that omniscience “out there” in a bible or institution or philosophy?
How would we learn beyond all doubt that Light itself is being our Identity without first living the futility and impossibility of a weary traveler trying to reach the Light?
So now, to make this statement from still another direction: We come to see the Light which reveals that we are the Light. I have found that acting this Identity “on faith” first helped disclose the Light-I-am that removes every doubt. And this Light of Self-discovery blooms in illumination and insight–fragile, fragrant, and flowery display of beauty and love divine. Sparks! Enthusiasm! Zest! Strength and youth flooding back! The bloom of Light Divine — the simple Love that is Identity, revealed.”
More Excerpts from William Samuel’s writings can be found online here: