CHRIS AND EMMA
An English couple who work is an 'enlightened' team
This article is taken from The Book of Enlightened Masters: Western Teachers in Eastern Traditions, by Andrew Rawlinson, Open Court, 1997, ISBN 0-8126-9310-8. Tells of the lives and teachings of nearly 200 influential Masters. Drawing a background for understanding these teachers as part of a phenomenon, Rawlinson presents his version of the story of the blooming of Western Teachers, and then looks at their meaning and significance in terms of comparative religion and spiritual psychology, all of which is presented in a separate section that may be left unread if one merely wishes to gain entrance into the life and work of any one Master/Teacher. Please purchase this encyclopedic work from a local bookstore or the Internet.
I sent the original version of this entry to Chris Orchard in January 1995 for him to look at. He returned it with one correction (which I incorporated) and the single comment, "Otherwise, seems OK". Nine months later, just as the book was going to press, I received the following letter from the secretary of the Orchard Foundation:
"Dear Andrew, Since you sent Chris the proposed entry to your book . . in January 1995, the nature of Chris's teaching has altered dramatically. Chris's teaching is a living vibrant teaching and information about him inevitably is going to he distorted by the past and will therefore be irrelevant. Please do not include in any form copyrighted material published by Chris Orchard or the Orchard Foundation in your book. This includes the material published in The Final Discovery and Mastering Love and Life Today. Our policy is to rigorously protect the copyright of the Orchard Foundation. May I wish you and your book every success.
In effect, this is someone trying to suppress his own work-and using the U.K. copyright laws, which were designed to protect authors, to do it. I have therefore rewritten the entire entry, paraphrasing what he said rather than quoting it. (Actually, since I am told that one can quote two consecutive words and not risk transgressing the copyright laws, I have done so on occasion. Let no one say that I have not gone to the limit for my readers.)
According to the anonymous Foreword to Mastering Love and Life Today, Chris Orchard is an "enlightened master". I know very little about his life. He was born in 1960 and went to art college to study graphic design. When he was 23, he met a 'Living Master'-"basically a nobody", he says, "just someone I met on the street"--who caused him to examine his life. A few years later, he went on to another master (likewise unknown)--and was following a life of meditation and celibacy when, in 1990, he met Emma Lea, who turned out to be the catalyst for his enlightenment.
She was born in 1967. At the age of three, she realized that Truth consisted of nothing more nor less than "Being Alone". In Chris's terminology, this is the state of consciousness prior to the arising of all forms and images. She was never bored as a child but this was not because she was constantly occupied; rather the opposite: she did not feel the lack of anything. Her "natural state" was "happiness". As a teenager, she did not go looking for thrills or for truth, for that matter. She did not actively seek anything; rather, she knew, without being told, that Truth could only be found "in relationship". But she did not find anyone who could accept this until she met Chris. (All this information taken from The Final Discovery).
At first, having spent several years looking for Truth from Eastern teachers, he resisted the idea that an English girl of 23 could actually be it. But she was adamant that she was the "very form" of God that he had been seeking (The Final Discovery, 5). In the end he did accept it. Between them, they formulated the teaching of Chris and Emma, also known as the Chris and Emma dynamic. Chris refers to himself and Emma as "The One"; she is Femininity and he is Masculinity, the two "polarizations" of Truth (ibid., 6).
In fact, Chris does nearly all the talking-because it is man's nature to conceptualize, whereas woman (when she is being a true woman and not trying to fit into an image foisted on her by man) is content to just be. According to Emma (in one of her rare pronouncements), the East has taught that enlightenment is a solitary pursuit and that men and women cannot enter it together. But they can. The West will produce men and women who can find Truth "in relationship" (ibid., 9).
Chris says exactly the same (as we would expect if he is Emma talking):
"Western enlightenment" is a man and a woman "loving rightly", "unqualified love", which is woman. It is the "mystery of woman ""something she IS". And he himself has learned this truth from "divine woman (Mastering Love and Life Today xiii).
This original state is beyond the emotions and the mind, and therefore further removed from men than from women. It is God/consciousness/emptiness/love. It has no problems and can deal with those that arise in the world of the body, emotions and mind without difficulty. This is the 'master consciousness' and it is presently being transmitted through Chris Orchard's brain and body. Through him, the master as an "outer symbol", one can realize the inner master (ibid., 5). Realization of this state makes a man a 'Divine man'. It enables him to see that woman already 'possesses' this state and therefore has no need for the creations of the mind in order to 'attain' it.
The real significance of all this is that it is only when man recognizes what woman truly is (and when woman also recognizes what she is--but this is much easier for woman to do than it is for man) that real relationship is possible. "Enlightened consciousness" is not contrary to "intimacy", whether of relationship or sex (ibid., 14). But the traditional Eastern ways are no use to us here because they have opted for the ideal of celibacy (or occasionally for what Chris calls 'tantric nonsense'). Now a Western master is here to show that it is possible to bring together "sex and God". Chris has done this himself and can therefore show how this "way of being" can be attained. And once a few have done it, it will be easier for others to follow (ibid., 89).
This is the Western way. It is the next evolutionary step (ibid., 5)-Chris even says that the people of the West are "the new reality" (ibid., 14)-and therefore requires a Western master. The master loves those who come to him until all 'problems' are "resolved". But while this is an important step on the path, it is not the crucial one; that is the "never-ending intimacy" of one's lover (ibid., 3).
This never-ending intimacy is called the 'Divine Marriage' (ibid., 76)-and Chris and Emma got married in 1994. (At the same time, the Chrisemma Foundation changed its name to the Orchard Foundation.) Emma still says next to nothing; and she is never mentioned by name in Mastering Love and Life Today. It is Chris who is giving the teaching-at £20 a throw-to those who want to hear it. But I think it is fair to say that their followers-perhaps 20 in all, most of them ex-Rajneesh people and all of them couples (naturally)-see Emma as the source and Chris as the expression. So the Chris and Emma dynamic is still in full swing.
I have attended one meeting-before the dramatic change in his teaching mentioned by his secretary (see above--which consisted of the two of them sitting on a sofa, she saying nary a word and he going round the room asking those present-all of them committed followers-how their lives were going. The answers were all in terms of their relationships. Children were not mentioned once. I asked about this and Chris said that children were unnecessary; women only wanted them because they themselves felt unloved. "And any way, most children are disgusting-greedy, manipulative, selfish."
As the father of four, I can see what he means . . . But there is another side to it and maybe you have to be a parent to know it. Perhaps being enlightened by one's children is the next evolutionary step (after the Chris and Emma dynamic, that is).
Not so long ago, Emma said that the two of them are interested in meeting other masters (The Final Discovery, 8). 1 have been told that she went to see Barry Long (whose teaching has much in common with Chris's) and that there was some recognition" (although she did not say anything). The Final Discovery also has the transcript of a meeting between her and Christopher Titmuss-but they were evidently talking at cross purposes and I found most of what they said difficult to follow. However, Chris told me just recently that this desire to meet other masters is "not applicable now".
It is early days for Chris and Emma-they have only been together for a few years-and we will have to see what will develop. I wonder what gays will make of this unequivocally heterosexual teaching; or what Chris and Emma make of gays, come to that. And what will Chris say to a Pakistani or a Japanese who comes along and says 'This is the teaching for me!' 'Er, I'm afraid not-you're not a Westerner'? Surely being a teacher for Westerners is as much a limitation as any other. So are there, then, two kinds of teaching, one Eastern, one Western, and everyone has to decide which one applies to them? It seems a bit unlikely. The whole point about the phenomenon of spiritual psychology is that it crosses boudaries; it does not set up new ones. On the other hand, according to the Foreword of Mastering Love and Life Today, although he started off being "deeply involved" in Eastern teachings, he now lives from "self-knowledge"; and being a Westerner, his teaching is quite different from the "meditative practices" that we find in the East. It seems that he, at least, has crossed boundaries. And maybe this is the true Western way.