Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
A Passion for Beauty
Your life path is a living canvas of changing scenes and
shifting colors--a stage with an ever-flowing cast of
characters. Your destiny (script) is shaped by your passions,
beliefs, choices, actions, setbacks, and successes. Deep
passions are core values that call us into action throughout
life. Some of us have a passion for political action, sports,
cooking, business, art, dancing, or music. A passion for
beauty resides in each of us. When awakened, its call connects
us to a higher order.
We are meant to meet certain people and take away an idea,
inspiration, or piece of knowledge. I met Ruth Drayer years
ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Friends had urged each of us to
meet because it seemed we had so much in common—we were both
divorced, interested in art, and had two small children
enrolled in the same school. We finally met at a social
gathering in 1974. A casual remark about wanting to change my
name led Ruth to offer to do a numerology reading for me. Her
reading opened the door to a subject, which was to become a
fascination and, surprisingly, a central part of my life’s
Journey of Soul Mates
Still good friends, Ruth and I keep in touch with each
other’s projects. Now living in New Mexico, Ruth is the
author of an exciting new book, WAYFARERS: The
Spiritual Journeys of Nicholas & Helena Roerich.
Obviously soul-mates, the Roerichs—she a writer of spiritual
philosophy and he an artist and world-wide teacher of
transcendental ideas on art and beauty—were an exotic pair.
Their mysterious adventures and work during the early 1900’s
have not, until now, been fully explored and understood. Ruth’s
book on their lives and teaching is the result of years of
arduous work digging in old records, travel to India, and
personal interviews. Both the Roerichs’ story of bringing a
message of truth and beauty in difficult times, and Ruth’s
own struggle of bringing this book to fruition can remind us
that despite difficulties, our Soul’s work will be done. Our
life purpose functions as a thread, which tugs us through
discouraging difficulties and keeps us connected to what
The Call of Color
"I have a tremendous love of color, which has
propelled me for many years," says Ruth, now an age-less
sixty-seven. "For years I tried to figure out what I was
meant to do with color. It was color that connected me to
Nicholas Roerich. I first saw his paintings at the Nicholas
Roerich Museum in New York City. Never before had an artist’s
work affected me the way his did. His colors and visions
stayed in my mind for days. I dreamed about them all night
long. Who was this person who could create art that could
touch me so deeply?’"
Ruth, who had belonged to a spiritual organization for over
twenty years, found out that her teacher had visited the
Roerichs’ son in India years before. She was also given the
name of a woman who had once lived for a few months with this
son in Bangalore, India. "When I visited her, I remember
standing in front of a print of one of Roerich’s painting
and thinking to myself, ‘I commit to doing whatever it takes
to bring this work into the consciousness of America.’ I
continue to wonder to this day, what possessed me to do such a
Ecstasy and Fear
The call of our destiny can often seem too big, too scary,
too much—and yet the deep intuitive knowing pushes us beyond
our comfort zone. Ruth remembers feeling ecstatic for a couple
of days after seeing the painting in the woman’s apartment.
"It was like a little door of heaven had opened up. In
that instant I saw myself involved with Roerich’s
work." Ruth wrote to the Roerichs’ son in India who
responded almost instantly, closing his letter with: "Let
us hope we will meet in the future." Never having had any
desire to visit India before, when her mother volunteered to
give her the money she would need for the trip, Ruth knew it
was confirmation, and made the arrangements. "When I saw
how far away India was on the atlas map," she remembers,
"I got so scared I had to close the book! But, in spite
of my fears, there was no doubt about my going. I had never
had such a strong compulsion."
The Power of Beauty to Change the World
Nicholas Roerich was born in St. Petersburg in 1874 and
died in India in 1947. Early in his professional career, he
was a set designer for Russian theatre and ballet. He
passionately believed that beauty was the answer to the world’s
problems. He thought that if people would focus on beauty—if
there were paintings in utilitarian places like subways and
prisons—there would be no crime or illness. Ruth says,
"His ideas about the importance of beauty lined up
exactly with what I believed, for I had come to the same
conclusion while staying in an Italian village in 1977. There,
despite illness and other difficulties, I realized that beauty
makes everything bearable. As a painter, Roerich was a master
colorist. Extremely bold in his treatment, he’d paint red
next to orange, next to green, next to purple. Color had not
been used this way before."
Roerich was also a well-known and avid archeologist. While
staying at the home of a colleague on the way to a dig, he met
his future wife, Helena. Five years younger, Helena came from
aristocracy. Roerich was captivated by her youth, beauty, and
intelligence. Despite the objections of her aristocratic
family, he started courting her. Eventually, the family
allowed them to marry after she recounted three dreams in
which her deceased father was telling her to marry him. They
married in 1900 and had two sons.
Of one mind, they shared all their interests. "With
Helena, Nicholas naturally began to study the world’s sacred
literature and teachings of Buddha, Lao-Tsu, the Indian
mystics, and the Theosophical Society," says Ruth.
"After they were married, Helena translated Theosophist,
Madame Blavatsky’s, now-famous book, The Secret Doctrine
from English into Russian. Later her writing helped bring the
discipline of Agni yoga to the world.
"My book, WAYFARERS, is different because most
of what I had read about Roerich’s work as an artist seemed
very narrow in focus. I wanted to know what was going on in
the world around them--in music, literature, spirituality, and
politics—all things which would have influenced this amazing
couple. Filling out this tapestry of research led me to put
together pieces of the puzzle that no one had connected
before. While most biographers talked about his involvement
with the Theosophical Society, few people realized how deeply
influenced he was by Buddhism. Before the Bolshevik
revolution, Buddhism and Communism were seen to have many
similarities. Both of these philosophies appeared to be ways
to help the down-trodden masses."
In 1912, a lama came from Tibet to St. Petersburg and
received permission from the Czar to build a Buddhist temple.
Roerich became involved in that project. "This
lama," says Ruth, "was the first person to talk to
him about Shambhala. Shambhala is considered by the Buddhists
to be a place one achieves when one is sufficiently evolved.
It’s also considered to be a non-physical plane of existence
where the plan for humanity is held. I’ve noticed that the
mere mention of the word Shambhala seems to light a fire in
our hearts. That fire is our core desire to live in peace and
Authenticity in Creativity
Always directed by their spiritual guides, the Roerichs
came to the United States in 1920. Among their many goals was
the desire to create a school where all the arts were taught
under one roof. They believed that people would be more fully
developed if they expressed themselves in several mediums,
rather than focusing on just one. Their innovative school in
New York City attracted an amazing array of well-connected and
creative people. At that time, American art was not considered
very important. It was de rigeur to study art in Paris
and educate oneself in European culture. Roerich, on the other
hand, traveled all over America advocating not only the
importance of art and beauty, but urging artists to stay home
and paint their own truths.
"Ironically," says Ruth, "Roerich’s work
was diminished by art critics because few other artists copied
his painting techniques. However, my research in New Mexico,
for example, where he taught for awhile, quickly revealed how
his lectures catalyzed the formation of artistic societies in
which artists supported one another in developing their own
ideas. For instance, several artists in Albuquerque formed the
Transcendental Painting group. Another group of artists known
as Los Cinco Pintures (The 5 Painters) began the now-famous
artistic enclave of galleries in Santa Fe known collectively
as Canyon Road.
"Roerich taught internationally and his message was
always peace and unity. He didn’t like borders or visas or
licenses. Ahead of their time, both he and Helena, who almost
always traveled with him, but usually stayed behind the scenes
and wrote while he appeared in the public eye, were active
Following their spiritual guidance they traveled to Central
Asia where Roerich had dreamed of digging up hidden lost
cities, crypt libraries, and tunnels leading to buried
artifacts. He also wanted to paint a panoramic view of Central
Asia. But their deepest desire was to search for signs of
Maitreya—the prophesied Buddha to come. His appearance was
predicted to signal the beginning of the prophecy of Shambhala,
a time when humanity would live in peace and harmony.
Do the Work You Were Meant to Do
Ruth says, "Like the Roerichs, my guiding belief is
that one person can make a difference. I don’t spend time
reading the newspaper or watching television I concentrate on
doing my art and writing. I don’t see the point of feeling
helpless and talking about the problems of the world. I feel
like I just have to keep doing my work, so that whatever I put
out carries with it peace and beauty. I don’t respond to
angry emails about politics. Reading these things stops my
flow, and I ask people not to send them to me anymore. When
people ask me how I get so much accomplished on my various
projects, I tell them it’s because I don’t watch TV!
"I think color speaks a language that transcends words
and goes right to your soul. There are lots of benefits in
reading the writing of Helena Roerich, however, her words may
not really speak to you. Yet when you see any of Nicholas
Roerich’s over 7,000 painting, nothing blocks you from
getting their message."
Roerich’s output was prodigious considering he traveled
almost continuously by yak, camel, and horse to far-away
places. During his life, he was attacked for all kinds of
things, such as being only after money and was denied re-entry
into the United States because of income tax evasion. During
their arduous four-year expedition to Central Asia, the
Roerichs were held in captivity for four months on the border
of Tibet. Accused of being communists and Bolshevik spies,
Roerich died without ever finding out why they were held
prisoners. Ruth says she found nothing in her research that
indicated they were spies.
"I think he was living on another plane of existence,
focusing on spirituality, teaching, and his art," she
says, "No one at that time understood what this couple
was doing. This is the material I go into in the book. Though
their lives were filled with adversity, they persevered in
living their beliefs. The power of their philosophy is more
relevant to us than ever.
Everything Has a Purpose
Everything in life is about the choices one makes.
"You can choose to watch TV or you can choose to
paint," says Ruth. "The choice for the Roerichs was
to follow that deep spiritual call in their hearts.
"Now that my book is done, I feel as if I had been
preparing for it my whole life. I see that the place I was
born, where I’ve traveled, the books I’ve read, the
spiritual traditions I’ve studied, the music I’ve listened
to all contributed to it. I don’t believe adversity means
you should stop doing something you are deeply committed to.
For example, when I came back from India, I was so sick, the
doctors weren’t sure if I were dying or not. I was allergic
to everything. Still, I would drag myself out of bed and
write. Then for years, I kept getting turned down by
publishers, who said ‘This is beautiful. This is
well-written. Good luck.’ People told me that biographies
are the hardest books to sell, especially if the person is not
well-known. I was so happy recently when someone thanked me
for writing this biography because biographies are the only
way to learn of people you don’t already know about. Through
all those years, I didn’t get paid a cent to do the research
or write. But, how many times in your life do you get to have
the feeling that you are really doing what you are meant to
Follow Intuitive Guidance to Develop Destiny
Besides being an author and numerologist, Ruth’s career
as a painter is now taking center stage. The change in
direction emerged from the intuitive voice. "When I was
in India, I wasn’t sure where home was going to be for me.
Spirit gave me a clear message, ‘You are going to move to
Las Cruces and paint.’ At that time I didn’t paint or want
to paint. Las Cruces? I didn’t want to move there, either.
What about my numerology, I asked myself? The answer came, ‘You
will always be a numerologist, and you are going to paint.’’
A few months later, a psychic fair brought Ruth to Las
Cruces, New Mexico. In 1994 she wrote, The Power in
Numbers: A Right & Left-Brained Approach. "It was
the easiest assignment I could have had. Through it I learned
that I could write and finish a book and I believe it was a
necessary preparation to writing the Roerich book. Now I
realize all that time I was researching and writing, I was
also studying with a master colorist! How could I not paint?
Just as Spirit predicted, I now live five miles away from Las
Cruces, and I’m painting. I think all these things happened
to get me to the painting, but I have no idea where it’s
going to take me."
Ruth Drayer’s book is called WAYFARERS: The Spiritual
Journeys of Nicholas & Helena Roerich (hardcover,
$39.95, paperbound $29.95). A companion video($19.95) contains
sixty of Nicholas Roerich’s paintings and is narrated by
Ruth. Books, videos, paintings, and original prints are all
available at www.zianet.com/ruthdrayer.
Or call toll free 1-888-541-5381.
© Copyright 2004 Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.,
is an internationally-known workshop facilitator and
author whose books have been translated into over fifteen
languages. Her latest book is When Life Changes, or You
Wish It Would. Oprah hailed, The Purpose of Your Life:
Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity,
Intuition, and Uncommon Sense a must-read. She is also the
author of The Numerology Kit. An electronic copy of Your
Child’s Destiny—a numerological guide for parents is
now available at www.CarolAdrienne.comm.
Carol is available to for keynotes, workshops, and seminars
and can be reached at Carol22@sonic.net
or (510) 528-2226 weekdays 10 am to 6 pm PST.
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Fri Feb 6 SAN FRANCISCO, CA,
The Learning Annex. WOMEN OVER 40--Stop
Being Single. (see description above for
Jan. 15) 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm. Register online at
www.learningannex.com $44. Or call (415) 788-5500.
Thur Feb 19 EVERETT, WA.
Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St. SINGLE
WOMEN OVER 40 workshop. Discover
past patterns and belief systems that keep you
from the relationship you want. Learn how to
increases your chances of meeting someone special
this year. 6:00 pm- 9:30 pm. $49. To register
or call (425) 388-9100.
Fri Feb 20 EVERETT, WA.
Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St. YOUR
NUMEROLOGICAL LIFE PLAN. Learn the basic
tools to uncover the hidden meaning of your birth
name and birth date. Apply your knowledge to
family and friends! 6:00 pm- 9:30 pm. $49. To
register visit: http://www.evcc.ctc.edu
or call (425) 388-9100.
Sat Feb 21 EVERETT, WA.
Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St. DEVELOP
YOUR INTUITIVE EDGE. Eliminate doubt and
confusion when facing new decisions. Tap into your
natural navigating system. Learn the difference
between the voice of Ego and the intuition. 9
am-12 pm. $39. To register visit: http://www.evcc.ctc.edu
or call (425) 388-9100.
Sat Feb 21 EVERETT, WA.
Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St. HOW
TO CLARIFY AND ATTRACT WHAT YOU WANT. 1 pm
to 4 pm Learn how to identify your ideal job
situation, relationship, or whatever else you want
to manifest in your life. Use this simple
three-step process and create the conditions you
want. $39. To register visit: http://www.evcc.ctc.edu
or call (425) 388-9100.
Tue Mar 2, 9,16 & 23 12
noon Eastern -- 4-Week Telephone Series, Discover
the 8 Indicators of Your Life Purpose.
Clarify your top needs, core motivations,
life-long interests, spiritual destiny,
& transition timing so you can change careers
or move forward into your new life. For details
and to enroll: http://www.Teleclassinternational.com.
Class # C3014810. $115. 24 Max