Norman Paulsen, founder of Santa Barbara’s Brotherhood of the Sun community, is another direct disciple of Yogananda. He resided in the SRF ashrams for four and a half years, from May of 1947 to November, 1951.
Norman had a heart almost as big as his body…. Not at all interested in the theoretical aspects of the path, he understood everything in terms of devotion….
“I don’t know any of those things!” he would exclaim with a gentle smile whenever I raised some philosophical conundrum. “I just know that I love God.” How I envied him his child-like devotion! (Kriyananda, 1979).
Obvious problems, however, can easily arise from such a simple perspective. Thus, in a plot worthy of George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, Paulsen regards human beings as having been created in the “lost lands of Mu” by “The Builders.” That is, created by peace-loving space refugees “from other worlds that had been destroyed by [their] evil conquerors [or ‘Fallen Angels’]” in a distant part of the galaxy. Such Builders were believed to have outrun their pursuers, half a million years ago, at speeds exceeding that of light. In that view, human beings are a genetic cross between The Builders’ own species and homo erectus.
The aforementioned “lost lands” were now-sunken island continents near to (and including) Australia, allegedly destroyed twelve thousand years ago by huge meteorites sent by the Fallen Angels, thus being “literally blasted out of the Earth’s crust” by those collisions. Fiji and many of the other islands between Australia and Hawaii, Paulsen claims, are simply the peaks of mountains from those submerged continents.
The “prequel” as to how those Fallen Angels came into being boils down to a group of unduly intrepid early Builders venturing into a forbidden area of the galaxy. There, they became trapped within a violent magnetic storm, and were predictably adversely affected by the negative energies of that region. Marooned on a (logically) “Forbidden Planet” in the same zone, “dark and sinister” forces so moved the physical bodies and minds of these unfortunate souls that
[s]uddenly the fallen Builders felt the urge emanating from within them to conquer and enslave the entire galaxy (Paulsen, 1984).
Their—and our—story continues following the refugee Builders’ creation of the human species, with their (Builders) having been discovered here 350,000 years ago by their pursuers.
The Builders finally lost the war to defend the Earth against their fallen brethren, the Dark Angels, twelve thousand years ago. However, after their defeat, they vowed to return and take the Earth from the evil darkness of the Fallen Angels who now possess it. That vow is beginning to manifest itself today [via UFO encounters] (Paulsen, 1984).
Those insights are based on Paulsen’s own numerous meditative experiences/revelations. Indeed, in his view Jesus was “a Builder returned” to Earth. So too was the late shabd yogi Kirpal Singh. Further, the man himself claims to have been abducted by a UFO piloted by Builders from Jupiter. (Another “believer” with him, however, could not see that craft, when it later reappeared to Paulsen’s vision.) Also, to have constructed a “free energy” (i.e., perpetual motion) machine based on one-half of that abducting ship’s drive systems. And to have destroyed Lucifer himself in an astral battle.
Ah well, even the wise Yoda was never more than one letter removed from “yoga” anyway; just as the “Force,” or subtle means by which Aurobindo allegedly influenced world events, appears equally well in George Lucas’ world. (Lama Serkong Rinpoche’s “furrowed face and large, pointy ears had supposedly been the model for Yoda in the film Star Wars” [Mackenzie, 1995].)
Of course, one would not attempt to hold Yogananda or SRF responsible for every idea purveyed by disciples who have since left the organization. Nevertheless, when it comes to UFOs one cannot help but draw a connecting link. For, according to one of the respected and loyal direct disciples of Yogananda whom the present author personally met at the SRF Hidden Valley ashram, Paramahansa himself predicted that “if America were ever at war and losing, space aliens from UFOs would intervene.”
Well, let us pray it never comes to that.”