Throughout history there has been confusion between the concepts of “fate” and “destiny.” One definition of destiny in Webster’s unabridged dictionary is “that which determines events by either necessity or of a supernatural nature.” This same publication defines fate as “the power to determine the outcome of events before they occur. This is inevitable and unchangeable by man.” I will differentiate between these two terms by emphasizing the principle of destiny versus that of fate. Whereas we feel victimized by fate and caught in its web, destiny will be applied to a free and flexible influence over our future. Destiny is our purpose or destination, what we choose to be and do, our prime intention in this life. We fulfill our destiny by exercising our free will.
By converting your previous concept of fate to destiny, the first step toward empowerment is achieved. In Greek and Roman mythology there were three goddesses of Fate who controlled human destiny. They were:
The word fate originates from the Latin fatum, signifying a decree spoken by the gods. The obvious contradiction between fate and free will has haunted mankind since its inception. If all was predestined, why petition the gods with prayers, why offer them sacrifices, why strive for better things to come about? The answer to the ancient question, as urged by the priestly scribes, was silence: “Out of the silence, the magi said, the answer would be made clear: ‘The gods love the silent man more than him who is loud of voice.’” Man was exhorted not to search too deeply into the hidden ways of the gods, but to accept their decrees although they might seem unjust, and yet walk in the way of righteousness.
Here we will focus on taking the proverbial bull (destiny) by the horns and gaining the kind services of the good goddess Fortuna or Luck. The development of the concept of free will led gradually to a conviction that an abiding natural and human law, the foundation of an individual ethic with a social or political conscience, existed in man. We can cite Epicurus (342-271 B.C.) who taught that the gods existed but they did not trouble themselves with the affairs of men, and that although subject to the powers of Nature which could be studied scientifically, man yet had free will and was, within certain bounds, master of his fate.
Free will was a concept proposed by those who emphasized self-determinism and saw volition and action as sometimes being determined by the will of the individual and not only by some outside deterministic or materialistic fate; that is, they are capable of being independent of external influence or internal conditions. Here we have the theory known as indeterminism, which holds that it is possible for an individual to choose a course of action independent of the stimuli affecting him, or the motive prompting him at the time he makes his choice. With the evolution of man’s intelligence, the concept of free will and self-determination became established.
Nothing in life is static. Our universe is in a constant state of flux, thus allowing the illusions of fate to be replaced by the grandeur of empowerment and destiny.
A Convict Turns Fate Into Destiny
Throughout this book, techniques utilizing self-hypnosis will be described. The case I am about to present is one of the most fascinating examples of empowerment I have ever read. I discuss this in detail so that you can get a true feel for what it is like to be in a seemingly hopeless situation, yet create a most fulfilling destiny out of the ashes of fate. The novelist Jack London wrote his greatest masterpiece called The Star Rover in 1915. In this novel the main character, Darrell Standing, survives the torture of a device known as “the jacket” by using a self-hypnotic technique today called remote viewing. This out-of-body experience has been referred to as “astral projection.” London called it the “little death.”
This wonderful story was based on the true-life experiences of one Ed Morrell. Morrell’s autobiography was published in 1924 and titled The 25th Man. Morrell was the twenty-fifth member of a group of pioneer settlers who became outlaws as a result of a land dispute with the railroad. This took place in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California. Morrell was sentenced to life imprisonment in Folsom Prison but was later transferred to San Quentin. It was in San Quentin that Morrell used astral projection techniques to survive the torture of “the jacket” and eventually led a movement that resulted in reform of the barbarous prison system in many states in America and in Canada. Jack London conducted a series of interviews with Morrell in 1912 and particularly focused on the torture Morrell experienced in “the jacket” in San Quentin. Morrell was not your typical criminal. He was merely an activist fighting a war against the railroads, which were cheating the settlers out of their homes and land. Consider how you would respond to being sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for the “crime” of protecting your property rights and those of your fellow settlers. As Morrell describes his sentencing:
“Life!” angrily thundered the judge. . . .
“Let your fate be an example to other misguided young men who might be tempted to emulate your career of outlawry. The sentence of the Court is that you shall be confined at the Folsom State Prison to hard labor in the rock quarries for the balance of your natural life!”
In Folsom, Morrell was subjected to a particularly cruel torture consisting of being suspended by his wrists from a derrick in the “back alley” section of the prison. His torture consisted of hanging on the derrick for five hours daily for ten days. When not hanging, Morrell simply lay on a cold stone floor. His nourishment consisted of a few ounces of dry bread and a sip of water once a day. His wrists were severely cut from the weight of his body on the steel handcuffs. The guard was amazed at Morrell’s resistance to this punishment. He stated:
“By the heavens, Morrell, you’re the first man who has ever stood that in the history of Folsom. They usually go out in ten minutes. And you never whimpered.”
Ed was the first man in Folsom’s history who ever walked upright from the derrick. After two years of this torture, Morrell was transferred to San Quentin. Morrell was placed in the dungeon in San Quentin and one of the guards, the “One-Eyed Pirate,” introduced Morrell to a torture device called “the bloody straightjacket” which later was simply referred to as “the jacket.” Morrell was the first victim of “the jacket.” He was accused of possessing knowledge of firearms hidden in the prison, and this torture was used to extract that piece of information. The Pirate was convinced Morrell was holding out on him:
“You are biding your time playing a waiting game in the hope you will wear down the prison officials and make them believe you are innocent. After your release, then the fireworks!”
The prison officials sentenced Morrell to thirty-six days in the dungeon on bread and water. Later he was confined to solitary for the rest of his life. The cruelties that history reports of the Spanish Inquisition, the Chinese practice of chopping off the hands and feet of condemned prisoners and the Malaysian method of pouring oil on their victims and setting them on fire carried over to the American prison system in the early part of the 20th century.
During “the jacket” torture, Morrell was gagged and had to endure his bodily excretions, over which he had no control, eating away at his bruised limbs. Numbness was all Ed could feel in fingers, hands and arms. On one occasion Morrell spent four days and fourteen hours continually in “the jacket.”
The universe’s test of the inherent goodness of Morrell’s makeup consisted of this terrible torture and the intense suffering in order to annihilate his old self and prepare him for his destiny, which was to provide a very special service to humanity. He described an early experience of astral projection as follows:
“Mine was a strange sleep. I seemed to be awake and yet I was dreaming. I was conscious of the nearness of friends, a host of them, and yet no living being could enter that dungeon save my natural enemies. Suddenly I felt myself being led. Voices commanded me and I did their bidding without hesitation. Without fear or protest I performed many daring feats and passed thru unimaginable tests of bravery. It was like going thru the rites of a weird initiation.”
After this initial disorientation, Morrell became aware of a great job. He was no longer in the dungeon of San Quentin but over-looking a vast ocean with the sun glancing on the crests of rolling billows. It was at this time that Ed heard a distant voice saying:
“You have learned the unreality of pain and hence of fear. You have learned the futility of trying to fight off your enemies with hatred. You have seen that your sword of defense was double-edged, cutting deeply into your own vitals rather than overcoming the evil that has been working against you.
“From today a new life vista will open up, and you will fight from a far superior vantage point. Your weapon will henceforth be the sword of love, and as time progresses and your power unfolds, this new weapon will cut and hew away all evil forces that now oppose you. And to prove the power that envelops your life in this dungeon, even the straitjacket will have no terrors for you. It will only be a means to greater things.
“Your life from now on must be a work of preparation, and when the time is ripe for your deliverance you will know it. The proof will be a power to prophesy to your enemies, not only the day of your ultimate release from this dungeon but also from the prison, when the great Governor of the State in person shall bring your pardon to San Quentin. Peace and love is yours!”
Following this experience, Morrell felt like a new man. His mind became crystal clear and his senses became more acute. His sense of faith skyrocketed and now he was imbued with the awareness of a higher power from another dimension coming to his aid. Feelings of hate, remorse and vengeance were excised from his soul. He described more advanced trials at his little death as follows:
“I started concentrating upon the willing to death of my body. It was not as Jack London described my little death, not a willing to die of first the toe and joint by joint and bit by bit the rest of the body, but the entire body at one time. .
“Then flashings of light danced before my eyes. . . .“Now my heart apparently stopped beating and there was nothing but blackness. I was asleep, at least physically; dead to all appearances; oblivious to sensations yet mentally awake.
“There was a period of brain enlargement, an expansion of time and space, a receding of the walls of my cell and even of the outer walls of San Quentin, and leaving my old pain-racked body laced tightly in the dungeon straitjacket, I bounded away, no longer held to earth but on a quest through space and an eternity of time.”
The Pirate and others continued in their attempts to break Morrell. Ed simply smiled and mastered the power of love. The dungeon no longer represented a place of torment and damnation. Morrell’s mind controlled the destiny of his body. He could now instruct his subconscious to leave his body and roam at will, witnessing events occurring in the outside world. Later these sightings were documented.
For example, Morrell projected to the deck of a shipwreck just outside the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This was a progression into the future as the Golden Gate Bridge was not built until 1937. He noted a man adjusting a strange apparatus and floating to safety as the ship sank. Morrell later patented such a device as the
Morrell Life Saving Suit. In subsequent astral projections Morrell’s soul played a part in the lives of people he was later destined to meet, some of whom were to aid materially in his rehabilitation and freedom. On several occasions Morrell followed a certain man in Alameda County for hours at a time. These little death experiences were termed by Morrell his “new life in tune with a power divine.” Morrell could at times travel great distances over deserts, over oceans, mountains and prairies. He particularly favored travelling about San Francisco.
Floating above Market Street at first seemed exciting, then Ed found himself walking amid crowds on this busy street. The unhappy people he saw affected him strangely, and he kept his distance from the city people in future trips. Ed described a trip to a Sunday church service in San Francisco as follows:
“One time I entered a large and beautifully lighted church. I was drawn there by the sounds of the organ. The congregation was standing, singing a hymn; and fearful of disturbing them in their devotion I stole along through the main aisle looking for an empty seat.
“I found one beside an elderly woman, up near the railing. She was singing in a rich, well trained voice. All through the service I was conscious of her presence and registered how happy she made me feel. Still, I did not lose a word of the pastor’s sermon or any of the wonderful singing of the choir, and I felt that I wanted to stay there forever. To me, that church was a shrine of peace and love.”
One fateful day Morrell traveled out of his body to a schoolhouse in San Francisco. He tried to apologize to the teacher for interrupting her class, but she did not register his presence. His attention was focused suddenly on a young twelve-year-old girl sitting to the right near an open window with her head bent low over a book. When he approached the girl, she raised her head as if to acknowledge Morrell’s presence. He described his intro- duction to this girl as follows:
“When I entered the class room I noticed that just a few of the young faces were cloudy, almost in shadow. But the little girl, my little girl whom I picked out from among all of them, was fairly radiant with light. Her blue eyes were frank, open, and trusting, and she had a sweet smile that encouraged confidence.
“In a vague instinctive way, I knew we were not strangers. Still she was startled at my sudden appearance. I feared that she might lose her poise and hurried to say a few reassuring words. She moved over in her seat. It seemed to be an invitation to sit down.”
But something unusual happened following Morrell’s prophecy concerning his release. His ability to project himself beyond the walls of San Quentin ended. He could roam about the prison in spirit, but could not venture outside its walls. He did keep the image of that schoolgirl in his mind to detach himself from the excruciating pain his physical body was undergoing.
Morrell made the following prophecy to Pirate shortly after being released from the jacket:
“Just one moment, ‘Pirate,’ I have a little prophecy to make, . . . This is the last time I will ever be tortured in the jacket! One year from today I will go out of this dungeon never to return to it; and better still, four years from the day I leave the dungeon I will walk from the prison a free man with a pardon in my hand. More, the Governor of the State will bring that pardon in person to San Quentin!”
Soon after this experience a new warden took charge in San Quentin. This was the very same man Morrell had followed in Alameda County on several of his astral trips. Aside from this, Morrell had no previous exposure to this man. This new warden revoked Morrell’s previous sentencing to the dungeon and placed him in a regular cell. Morrell weighed only 96 pounds and was finally able to be in a position to regain his health. Ed was appointed head trustee of the prison. This was the most responsible position a convict could hold in prison. It carried nearly as much power as the warden himself had. Other prison officials objected vehemently to Ed’s appointment, but to no avail. Four years later the rest of Morrell’s prophecy was fulfilled. Lieutenant Governor Warren P. Porter, then Acting Governor of the State of California, presented Morrell with his pardon on the night before Morrell’s release. Morrell described this scene by stating:
“The scene was ordinary until the Governor spoke. They did not know that a great bond of friendship existed between us, and his words were a surprise.
“With his hand resting upon my shoulder he said solemnly, ‘Ed Morrell, here is your pardon! God in his mercy knows you have earned it! In giving you your pardon I do not know of anything in the world that could make me happier. Tomorrow, when you step through that gate to liberty, with all your rights as a citizen restored, I know you will make good. Your sterling character and ironbound determination must spell success for you. There is a great work ahead and the world is waiting!’”
In 1912 Morrell visited Jack London for a few months at the London ranch in the Valley of the Moon. Here London compiled the material for his novel Star Rover. Not only were the heroic efforts and character of Morrell detailed in Jack’s masterpiece, but also the horrors of the entire American penal system.
Some years after his release, Morrell met a friend of his in San Francisco. Another meeting was arranged for later that evening. When Ed rang the doorbell at the specified address a young woman of eighteen answered the door. She was the schoolgirl Morrell visited while in prison. This twelve, year-old girl had grown up to be the woman Morrell fell in love with and married. He relates this synchronicity by stating the following:
“‘I have known you always,’ she said. ‘The moment I opened that door I recognized you as the man in stripes who had come to me in a vision in the school- room. It is surprising but I have felt your influence guiding me from that day to this.’ “I was happy beyond measure, but a thousand times happier still when she promised to be my wife after her school days had ended. Thus was completed the chain of my prophecies. The last, the best one of all.”
Now I trust you can see why I presented this case of fate turned into destiny. There is a further happy ending to this quest of Ed Morrell. After his release from prison, Morrell went on a campaign to reform the prison system. The press treated him as a celebrity, and his work became known nationally. Morrell designed what was called the Honor System, and with his influence, spearheaded a movement that resulted in Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, Washington State, Pennsylvania and Canada implementing this system.
Morrell spoke to a joint session of the Pennsylvania State Legislature in Harrisburg in 1917. He was the first ex convict in the state’s history to address this political body.
His social circle included governors, judges, statesmen, noted newspapermen, poets, foreign dignitaries psychiatrists and a plethora of other renowned figures of the time. He launched The American Crusaders for the advancement of “The New Era Penology” with headquarters in Montclair, New Jersey. Arizona Governor George W. P. Hunt wrote the foreword to The 25th Man. In it he states: . . .
“When a man has been tortured well nigh unto death, and punished for things of which he was not guilty, and then has been able to rise above the baser human passions and forgive his enemies, he has achieved a victory that the ordinary man finds it difficult to understand. . . .
His victory over a barbarous prison system is tremendous. The contribution of Ed Morrell to society in calling attention to the cruel, inhuman and utterly indefensible prison system, is a service that only men like him are competent of rendering.” Ed Morrell summarizes his life’s purpose as follows:
“I not only projected my mind through the power of self-hypnosis out of the dungeon and into the big living, moving world of today, influencing the lives of some who were destined to play a great part in my future life. . . I was privileged in the dungeon to understand many strange complexities of my checkered career and the purpose for which I had been marked for suffering. . . . I am satisfied that I have lived and suffered for a purpose.”
Ed Morrell’s life may sound like some metaphysical anomaly. Do not make that assumption. His ability to see into his future and empower himself is attainable by all. You may not experience remote viewing (astral projection) during your hypnotic exercises, but you will be able to control your own destiny.
These events that helped Morrell weren’t simply coincidences, but actual synchronicities directed by Morrell with cooperation from the universe. You will note that his loss of hatred and vengeance and adoption of love, as well as a belief in a higher power, coincided with his miraculous transformation.
My methods do not require such a conversion. This is not a twelve step AA program. It is just one step, empowerment. You can maintain your current religious and political convictions as well as other paradigms and still custom design your own destiny using these techniques.
If Ed Morrell can do what he did, custom designing your own destiny by following the simple recommendations I present should be “a piece of cake.” Failure to apply these techniques may very well result in some time in “the jacket.”