The Words of the Fleisher Family
My name is Alice Elizabeth Hamaker Fleisher. I was born in Los Angeles, California to John and Edith Hamaker. My parents were faithful member of the American Theosophical Society (Adyar Branch) and raised their family in that tradition. This faith tradition was begun by Madam Helen Blavatsky in the 19th century and is a blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, spiritualism and spiritualized evolutionary teachings, though the foregoing explanation is extremely simplistic and hardly does justice to this faith tradition. I was raised as a vegetarian and imbued with the teachings of reincarnation, karma, and spiritual world, at the same time my spiritual grounding was devoid of any understanding of sin, a Messiah or a personal God for, in my concept, God was a cosmic consciousness, a cosmic mind possessing no heart. Just as an aside, my parents did encourage my three brothers and I to attend the East Whittier Friends Church (Quaker) in our teen years so that we could develop some understanding of the Christian faith tradition within our American culture.
The first significant spiritual event that prepared me to meet the True Parents occurred when I was around 12 or 13 years of age. At that time I was grappling with such dilemmas as whether to pursue a spiritual life, whether God really existed or whether to seek worldly success and advancement. In pursuit of a resolution to my desperate internal struggle, I often spent time in the midst of my "normal" life snatching moments of meditation in earnest pursuit of my spiritual quest.
During one such meditative time a momentous event occurred to me. I had climbed up into the loft of the garage that my father had built, ostensibly to practice my violin but actually to continue my spiritual quest. In the midst of a soul directed meditation, my spiritual senses were opened and I was transported into a mystical dimension in which I encountered a cosmic presence/being/consciousness whose "body" consisted of pulsating golden energy -- I met God.
Even though this youthful encounter with God did not enable me to grasp the core essence of God, that loving and broken heart of our Heavenly Parent, I can absolutely testify that God is real and does exist. What was even more remarkable in this encounter was the response that exploded from within my very core -- I was euphoric and filled with such joyfilledness and I knew without a doubt that the purpose of my life was to become one with God for eternity. Those anguish filled questions regarding my life's course had been resolved and the path that I should follow had become crystal clear to me; I would pursue spiritual perfection (for I understood that to be a perquisite to attaining oneness with God) at whatever the cost.
Following that experience, based on discussions with my father regarding the substance of a truly worthy life course; I arrived at another monumental decision. I determined to become a Bodhisattva or one who would forgo reaping the fruits of my own spiritual perfection in order to save others -- at that young age I chose to walk the path of a spiritual teacher, to turn around and guide others ahead of me into Nirvana.
Fast-forward seven or so years: I was a student at San Francisco State College while also in the midst of another spiritual quest. This time I was seeking to personally confirm whether Theosophy was in fact the highest truth; crucial because I knew reaching spiritual perfection could only be accomplished in conjunction with the highest spiritual truth. I didn't want to stay with my childhood faith tradition just because it was my parent's belief. I was in the beginning of my spiritual journey to study all existing religions and faith traditions, including Theosophy, in order to discover the ultimate truth when I met the Unification Church.
Mrs. Oni Durst and Karen Kardel Rozier initially witnessed to me, though I did not actually make it to the center until a third witness was shared through Diane Swank Weber (number two was a pamphlet that was passed onto me through a non-member friend, and which I pretty much blew off). I spent about three months studying and fellowshipping with the San Francisco Unification Church community but, when pushed to join, always refused, until one significant weekend workshop.
This particular Friday night, after arriving at the center for a weekend of study and yet again refusing to join, I excused myself and found an empty sister's sleeping room. I sat softly down on the rug and quietly asked God the following question: "So, what do you think of the Unification Church?" That was all my Heavenly Parent was waiting for: I found myself again transported into a mystical dimension, into a vast expanse of dark, empty space, though off in the distance I could see a golden shape. Then, suddenly I was in the very center of this golden shape -- our Unification Church 12 Gates Symbol -- and the God whom I had met as a young girl let me understand that the only way to become one with my Heavenly Parent (symbolized by my standing in the inner circle of the symbol) -- was through the Unification Church (symbolized by the 12 gates symbol).
I have no idea how long this experience lasted but when I emerged from my trance I ran to find my spiritual mother, Diane Weber, and demanded that she let me join the Unification Church right now!!!! That was November 2nd, 1968. Now Diane, being rather skeptical of my sudden change of heart, required me to wait until the following morning to actually join -- which I dutifully did. So I count my spiritual birthday, the day I officially signed the membership paper, as November 3rd, 1968.
I have had many experiences since my spiritual birth; all of which contributed to a growth in my understanding of the Divine Principle, the being and preciousness of our True Parents, the instruments through which God sent His ultimate truth, Heavenly Father's 3rd Adam and Eve and the Second Advent of the Messiah; the matching and Blessing and our mission to build the Kingdom of God upon this earth. I share this experience with you to testify that the Divine Principle, the Unification Church and our True Parents are the only way, the highest truth and the ultimate source of true love, life and lineage. They are our Heavenly Parents' instruments to not only open the door and show us the way to achieve individual perfection but also they hold the key to the establishment of God's Kingdom on this earth.
I would like to share one experience I had with True Parents that I hold particularly close to my heart. I was given the privilege of being part of the first class of our Unification Theological Seminary (class of 1977). As the spiritually eldest of the eight sister in that first class, I was asked to be a part of True Parent's service team. It was our honor to prepare and serve meals whenever True Parents would visit UTS in Barrytown, NY; so when visits occurred, our small team would drop everything and immediately leap into action.
Every day that our True Parents would visit, from my perspective, began with my running up Mount Everest followed by a slightly slower downhill journey at the end of the visit, with each days efforts always punctuated by glimpses of Heaven's grandeur. During each of those days, while I focused on preparing my spirit so that I could achieve harmony and resonance with the True Parents' spiritual atmosphere and vibration in order to provide the highest quality of service, I was also tasked with the challenge of breaching the immense, swirling spiritual hurricane that True Father constantly generates.
Yet, though my preparation efforts might be likened to the experience of catching up with and then entering a hurricane, being in the True Parents presence was more like being in the eye of the storm -- full of peacefulness and joy. At the end of each visit by Our True Parents, I, at least, was completely exhausted while also being absolutely exhilarated and happy. Through these experiences I could, at least in one small way, glimpse and grasp the intensity, seriousness and true love of our True Parents. The imagery of the True Parents that I carry from this memorable time of my life is one of God's loving Champions rushing forward at top speed churning up this fallen world and transforming it into a Godly place. They operate within a totally unique dimension, constantly dashing forward at a breakneck pace empowered by their commitment to comfort the Heart of God by accomplishing the Will of Heaven!
I offer all praise and glory to our Heavenly Parent and our True Parents and thank you for the opportunity to share my small testimony with you.