Henry Templeman was born on February 17, 1956 at 6:51p.m. in Corona, California. He was raised in San Carlos, California with one older brother and three younger sisters. His father worked for IBM as an accountant, and his mother was an artist and homemaker. Templeman spent much of his time as a youth exploring the local parks near his home. He felt deeply connected to nature, spiritual teachings and philosophy, and in particular appreciated the works of Heraclitus, who said "No man ever steps in the same river twice."
Templeman attended a number of colleges in California where he studied foreign language, mathematics and science. Through a student exchange program he worked as a stagehand at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, and learned the German language by following the theater plays "Death of Socrates" and "Faust" by Goethe. He was introduced to the work of Rudolf Steiner, learned about Steiner's rejection of the claim by Annie Besant that Jiddu Krishnamurti, a young boy from India, was the incarnation of a new Buddha and the next "world teacher", and about Steiner's break from the Theosophical Society and the formation of his own Anthroposophical Society. Although Templeman politely attended these lessons and found them interesting, he preferred the quiet of the countryside, the solitude of long walks, and contemplating life beneath the cherry trees in the nearby orchards. For Templeman, nature and personal "think time" were infinitely more valuable than whatever any classroom could offer.
In 1977 Templeman returned to California where he studied the German language and works by Herman Hesse, Carl Jung, and Friedrich Nietsche. His interest in foreign language and "wanderlust" continued and a year later he returned to Europe where he studied french at the University of Bordeaux in France, worked as a farmer in the Pyrenees mountains, and earned a living as a bread-baker and gardener in northern Germany. During a visit to London, England, Templeman was invited to attend a talk by the "world teacher" Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park School. He enjoyed the talk immensely, found the beauty and peaceful surroundings of the school appealing, and accepted temporary work as a kitchen helper and gardener. During this period he encountered Krishnamurti a number of times, as well as David Bohm, a notable author and physicist. He describes his encounters with "K" as "extraordinary" and felt he was one of the most beautiful human beings he had ever seen. Templeman left Brockwood to learn yoga from Vanda Scaravelli in Fiesole, Italy. He lived with Scaravelli at her home, received private lessons from her daily, and also attended classes at a yoga studio in nearby Florence. The lessons Templeman received by Scaravelli had a significant impact on him. He describes one particularly significant lesson as follows:
"Following a long yoga session, the body felt unusually supple, light. Seated cross-legged with straight back, the breathing exercises began. She (Vanda) was seated directly in front, also cross-legged, nearly touching and gently guiding the exercise. The brain was quiet, attentive, and focused solely on the breathing. After an unknown period, a sudden stream of intense energy began to emerge. It originated at the base of the spine, traveled upwards through what felt like a wide, deep, empty tunnel. The tunnel was empty and within the emptiness was the energy. It was palpable, penetrating, whirling upwards with tremendous power. It overwhelmed the senses and forced the body to laugh. The body laughed out loud, and she (Vanda) also laughed at what was taking place. Whatever happened was an extraordinary."
The experiences Templeman had during his time with Sacravelli revealed an aspect of life he never knew existed. In 1980 he returned to California with the intent to teach yoga, however he suffered a back injury which brought his yoga practice to an end. In 1981 Templeman obtained a job as an Activity Director at a convalescent hospital in Burlingame, California where he met Clara Vera Cruz, married and had two children. He looked for work outdoors and volunteered at a local county park with the hope for full-time employment. Unable to secure a job, in 1985 he accepted work at the City of Hayward as a crime scene technician where he learned to process crime scenes for physical evidence and fingerprints. Templeman found the work interesting, began to study fingerprints, and eventually became a Certified Crime Scene Analyst and Certified Latent Print Examiner with the International Association for Identification (IAI). For over a decade he studied forensic science, immersed himself in the field of fingerprints, and became a respected member of the fingerprint community.
In 1996 Templeman came across the phrase "Ageless Body Timeless Mind" on the cover of a book by Deepak Chopra. The phrase "Timeless Mind" struck a chord with him, recalled his encounters with Krishnamurti, Bohm, and Scaravelli, and spent hours of "think time" contemplating the concept of time and timelessness. He discarded all books and the opinions of others, carefully thought about it for himself day after day, until unexpectedly he felt an "insight" about it that created a surge of energy unlike anything he had ever experienced. He sensed enormous inner freedom, a new kind of intelligence, and a significance to life that he had never felt before. He began to talk about it with his friends, family, and coworkers, however it became quickly obvious that it was not something people could readily accept or understand. Only Scaravelli seemed to understand what he was going through (Link). Eventually Templeman kept it to himself, stopped talking about it, and did not explore it any further. The energy he had once experienced began to fade until it seemed to disappear altogether.
In 1998 Templeman accepted work as a latent fingerprint examiner with the City of San Jose, became a senior fingerprint expert, taught classes, and, for fun, designed a mathematical model for fingerprints (T-Model). He studied the works of Frances Galton and Karl Popper, and in particular, he appreciated the work of Richard Feynman, a colleague of Bohm, who emphasized the need for careful and honest experiment to learn about things, the importance to approach life with doubt, and how he felt he knew nothing with absolute certainty. Templeman worked at San Jose for 15 years, and the energy he had experienced years earlier was a distant memory.
In 2013 Templeman retired from San Jose, and found himself with an abundance of free time. He initially began to focus on his physical health, and learn about diet and exercise from notable authors including Ray Kurzweil and Sanjay Gupta. He also started to take regular long walks, which renewed his love and appreciation for nature. His favorite walking areas include the trails of Point Lobos, the Monterey coast, and Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California.
During these walks Templeman began to think deeply about things, about life and death, violence and peace, love and hate, and so on. He spent hours carefully thinking, reflecting, and contemplating everything that he observed and whatever ideas came to mind. Most importantly he spent long hours in meditation, which was a meditation that did not involve any system of thought, but instead was a way of looking at things without the filter of thought to distort the observation. He describes it as follows:
"It was not a forced meditation and did not involve any book, pattern of behavior or system of ideas. It was effortless, natural, and involved observation without comparison, without judgment, without any form of thought of any kind. It meant looking and listening without memory, without the past, and with no projection of the future, which means no goal, no desire, and therefore no division with the actuality, with the movement of the present. The present was without time, and meditation was the key to it. It was the door that revealed a field of existence devoid of time, a field of life that was timeless, and the mind that came upon that timeless other, was not separate from it. They were the same."
It was during these periods of meditation that Templeman felt an awakening of the energy that seemed to lay dormant all those years. Similar episodes of the “timelessness” began to emerge. It brought with it a similar energy he had experienced before, however it had greater depth and intensity. Templeman described the energy as follows:
"The field of vast, immense energy comes and goes on its own without warning. It never comes invited. Thought cannot approach it or be the instrument that reveals it. Only when the will for it falls away, and meditation remains, that the door opens and it is able to reveal itself. It is not a deliberate or forced meditation. It is not a meditation that involves effort, desire or any movement of thought. All that must end for this other to come. The energy is not an idea and that's the beauty of it. It's real." --- Writing #239
However, the event that inspired Templeman to write about this energy, the timeless mind, and all of the things that followed, is described in the first entry of a diary he began to write as a result of that inspiration:
"It was late morning. The body was well rested, relaxed, and seated upright in a hard cushioned chair, comfortable, but not too much so. The brain was unusually alert, watchful, absent of the chatter of thoughts and ideas. The process of thinking seemed to completely subside. Thinking is the movement of thought, and thought is limited. The whole movement of thought was finished and as a result the brain was free to watch and listen. Outside there were the sounds of passing cars and a gentle breeze was blowing the tree branches and leaves. The room was bathed in soft shadows and the morning sun slowly creeped into the East windows. The room was peaceful, silent. Unexpectedly a presence filled the room. It permeated everything. It touched, connected with, and was intimate with everything. There are no words that can describe it. It was infinitely gentle, penetrating, separate from and mixed with everything. The vastness of it was mesmerizing. It seemed to force all bodily senses, the eyes, muscles, breathing, to freeze in awe, wonder and unspeakable humility. Time appeared to stop. The intimacy, the immense, infinite other, whatever it was, remained for an unknown period. The quietness and sensitivity of the brain seemed to invite, attract, or somehow summon it. It came unwanted, without warning or expectation. After a while the spine began to ache and feel pain. Normal breathing returned and suddenly it vanished. Afterwards the brain felt cleansed, new, young. The room, walls, windows, and floor all seemed purified. No words can come close to describing it. Words are so petty and incapable. It was outside the movement of thought, which means it was not limited in any way. It was unlimited and infinite. It was a sacred thing." --- Writings #1
The diary of Henry Templeman is a collection of numbered and random notes, observations, and experiences about everyday living and matters that concern all humankind, which includes what he describes as "the sacred other" and what it means for anyone to come upon it. The first entries of his dairy is published under "Writings:The Sacred Other".
Henry Templeman currently lives in Pacific Grove, CA. He continues to keep a diary today.
A favorite walk near Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, CA