The Integratron
Landers, CA

Sunday,  October 14, 2001

Greetings,

For years, The Integratron, a one of a kind structure, has been a best kept secret from the masses.  That is, until two nights ago, when Huell Howser went to The Integratron and told all of us, his viewing audience, about it on his show, California Gold.  

When I am overly attentive to this "reality," I can be just plain obtuse to inner promptings.  There are no accidents, only intended events that I don't always understand or grasp at the time that they occur.

Once in awhile, out of the blue, I'm gifted with crystal clarity, however fleeting. This time, the convergence of events was obvious; the design, transparently clear. 

I was feeling a strong pull. The synchrony of watching of Huell's show, the proximity of Landers to us (see map), my attraction and connection to rocks, and the stuck images in my mind's eye of Giant Rock and Huell in the sky chair, experiencing a sound bath, was not lost on me.

Imagine that -- being bathed with crystalline sounds!  Well, it was time to put some reality to that imagining, and I was having a DIN (Do It Now!) moment. 

I checked out The Integratron's website. The following description was irresistible: 

"Sound is heard and consumed through every pore in our bodies, not just with our ears. Its influence can quicken the rhythm of blood circulation, awakening and arousing to greater passions, or calm and soothe the nervous system by bringing peace. Sound becomes visible in the form of radiance, absorbed by the physical body... [Sound] recuperates and charges [the body] with new magnetism." ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan

The Integratron was built specifically to recharge energy into living cell structure for the purpose of rejuvenation. The Integratron is a multiple-wave sound chamber. The sound bath uses quartz crystal bowls and recorded music to produce a quantum music sound bath.
The overall effect on the body is like a deep massage on the atomic and molecular levels. It produces waves of deep peace and relaxation that restore the body and refresh the soul. 

Re-attune, de-stress and rejuvenate through sound."

 

 

For those coming from Los Angeles, getting to the Integratron requires an investment in time and mileage.  Located on the high desert -- The Mojave -- in the town of Landers, with a population of 1500.  Already in the hinterlands, for us, it is just an hour's drive away. The Integratron is open for tours on the first three Sundays of the month. Perfect. 

It's off the beaten track, and therein lay its particular charm. By midmorning, we were on yet another road less travelled.  [See yesterday's entry]

To get to The Integratron, you do not pass verdant hills, verdant anything.  Born and raised on the windward side of Hawai`i,  we were surrounded by tropical lushness.  Here in California, in the 'burbs, our idea of the outdoors is manicured, green lawns with suburban landscaping at the fringes; in the mountains, we live among tall pine trees.

The desert is foreign to us, and for the first half hour, its opulent barrenness was jarring, if not downright jolting:

Sand. Sand. And more sand. The occasional tumbleweed.  Dry washes. Sparse vegetation.  A barren, moon-like terrain.  

"There are none so blind 
as those who will not see, 
nor none so deaf 
as those who will not hear." 

The passing miles allowed me to passively absorb the desert views,  and I accommodated it into my reality.  An hour later, on Old Woman Springs Road, I began seeing the desert without judgment, without filters.  

The desert has NO clutter. It is starkly beautiful, with open spaces, occasionally punctuated by Joshua trees  below a cloudless blue sky. In two words, the desert is: Simply Zen.

 

 

Its location out in the openness of the Mojave Desert is what makes this unexpected tourist attraction unique -- and, I'm to discover,  quite special:  

Click here for details:
 The Integratron Website

We missed the turnout road to The Integratron on the first pass, turned around, and backtracked to Linn Road (see map). As we drove up the hardtop road to Belfield Road, there it was.

The Integratron is nothing you'd ever expect to see in the middle of nowhere, or anywhere, for that matter. Actually, that it exists is mind-boggling.  A mere 38 feet high and 50 feet across,  this remarkable white-domed structure is not huge like the Capitol's Rotunda, the Duomo, or St. Peter's Basilica, but it's not exactly wee, either. Off Linn and just on to Belfiend, The Integratron is announced with a sweet, discreet sign:  Tours $5, Sound Baths $5.  

I was reminded of Don Shimoda's $3 biplane flights in Richard Bach's book,  Illusions.

 

 

We were warmly greeted by a spritely couple, full of good spirits, even as they were hard at work. We later learn that they are a Net-based business couple, who fell in love with The Integratron; its owners, who they met a few months ago; and now the desert itself.  As volunteers, they were manning the ticket desk and the information stand.  Their enthusiasm for The Integratron was unrestrained, and their joyfulness was palpable and contagious.  

We then met Jim, a well-read, knowledgeable fellow visitor and as we were to learn, a writer.  And we became a group of three, well, five with our two furkids.  Unfortunately, the day before, a retreat group had a dog that had rudely pee'd in The Integratron, and so our well-behaved, very house-broken dogs, O and Freddy,  were left tied outside to the entry door's handle.   

The two docents are The Karl Sisters, also the owners of The Integratron and the ten acre property it sits on.  A day later, as I write this, I find my mind's eye images of them alternate between the women I met and two flowers blooming in the desert.  

I digress for a moment:  There is nothing as wonderfully striking as seeing a desert in bloom.  Years ago, our buds, Chris and Peg, gifted us to a spring day in the desert at Joshua Tree National Park. We saw for ourselves how the winter rains come and go, but in the springtime, the desert floor is transformed and literally blanketed with startlingly bright, gorgeous blooms, gifts of the life-giving rains.

Someone Upstairs has showered The Integratron with life-giving blessings. Unlike their delicate and ephemeral desert counterparts, The Karl Sisters are perennial bloomers.

Beautiful women, these two.  Nancy Karl, the raven-haired former dot.com marketer; JoAnne Karl, the light-haired angelic former nurse.  Looking into their eyes and feeling their energy, I know that their beauty is enduring and hardly superficial. 

Their strong sense of purpose to perpetuate the dream of a visionary who built The Integratron.  He was George Van Tassel, a former test pilot for Howard Hughes and Douglas Aircraft and UFO abductee, by inviting the public to share it with them, as well as their individual fortitudes, are communicated to their guests with clarity.  By sharing their own unique experiences and personal encounters at The Integratron, they impart a sense of respect and reverence for this special place. 

Reading between their spoken words, I sensed that they possessed a childlike wonderment about how they were "chosen" as stewards.  They were called there, plain and simple.


 

The tour is a FULL AND SATISFYING EXPERIENCE. The Integratron's rich history is nothing short of fantastically fantastic. The integrity of the building and its architecture is evident everywhere.  Built without metal that would interfere with the generated electro-magnetic fields, intricate woodcrafting with dowels, instead of nails, keeps the structure together. Solidly built, it handily withstood the 1992 Lander's earthquake, the most powerful U.S. earthquake in 40 years. 

I won't share the particulars of The Integratron tour here. Take the tour for yourself.  I do not wish to color the personal experiences that await you if you are fortunate enough to be drawn to The Integratron and The Sisters Karl.  Better, I think, to not seek a predetermined result. Just be open to whatever is there to be experienced. 

With Giant Rock nearby, the area was once a spiritual center for the indigenous people. A vortex. No words can describe the subtle, but powerful energy that is there. 

Those who are "on the path", that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they would be spiritually are drawn here, as there is also a gigantic sense of Presence. Who would have thought that Huell Howser was a wayshower!  For me, that's exactly what he was.  It was, after all, Huell's lounging in the sky chair in the domed upper room, being sound bathed that attracted my attention.

After removing our shoes, we climbed up a steep staircase to a domed upper room, which serves as a multiple-wave sound chamber. Nancy, our docent,  urged each of us to stand in the middle of the room, right under the center of the dome, and say something.  

I felt a strong urge to chant in Hawaiian. I did. Then, I said, "Wow!"

Later, we learned that the most common word people will spontaneously say is "Hello,"  and when they hear their voice amplified, the most common second word is, "Wow!"

After Nancy treated us to a beautiful mini-concerto on the quartz bowls, I went downstairs to check on the dogkids.  Meanwhile, DD asked JoAnne if we could sign up for Huell's floating sky chair and sound bath experience. 

"We're already solidly booked," she told DD. "Earlier today, we had to turn down a young man who wanted a sound bath for his birthday."

When he climbed down the steep stairway, DD broke the disappointing news to me. If it was meant to be, it would have happened.  If even a birthday boy doesn't get his sound bath, well, sheeesh!

Ah, well.  Everything in its own time. 

 

 

As we were leaving, the congenial woman at the ticket desk gave us a map to Giant Rock, urging us to climb up Crystal Hill.  

I wasn't feeling completed, and I asked her if there was a chance for no-shows for the sound bath, we'd check back after four-wheeling the badlands nearby to see Giant Rock, the airstrip, and the hill.

"The private sound baths may be sold out," she explained, "but ANYONE can just show up for the group sound bath."  

"Come back at 5," she urged. "Join us for the group sound bath."  

Woo hoo!  Mahalo e ke Akua.

 

To Be Continued

 

More info on The Karl Sisters::

 

More info on The Integratron and George Van Tassel:

 

 



"Life is a Gift."

Until next time, 
Author Unknown

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This web journal was created on a September Morn, September 29, 2001.
September Morn 2001