What Price Firewalking, Measuring Aka, etc?



Max Freedom Long

Charles W. Kenn, HRA and F. H. F., our good friend who is rapidly becoming the recognized authority on the Hawaii of yesterday, and who gave us the book reporting on the Honolulu firewalking (eg. walking on hot coals) tests some months ago, questions the experimental work of the summer. He writes, as of October 3rd, from Honolulu:

      “Your last Bulletin was interesting. But I still believe that it is not important that we find some logical reason to explain why things happen as they do in Huna. The very fact that they do happen is all that is necessary to know. The Polynesians tell the story of Maui, the culture hero, who succeeded in accomplishing six deeds for the benefit of man, but with the seventh, in trying to find the secret of indefinite earthly life, he perished.  This gives us a deep insight into the ways of thinking of these peoples, as well as the suggestion that they, too, realized that it is folly to inquire into the why of spiritual things, The Huna concept of immortality lies in the idea of ancestor worship, ho`omana kupuna, that a descendant is only a continuation of ancestors, a germ of that spark within him was taken from all ancestors down the line, and the ceremony ofoki piko cutting the umbilical cord of the first born starting a new clan, lahui, is for the purpose of perpetuating that new line indefinitely through descendants in a straight line. … The idea of measuring this or that aka body seems rather far-fetched from where I sit. I presume. that every man has his own ideas about certain things which appear to govern his actions more than what really is or is not basic Huna philosophy. Remember the story of the boy who took his father’s watch apart to see what made it tick, but found that the ticking had stopped and that he could not get the watch together again? Maui, in search of the secret of immortality (his seventh deed), entered the open mouth of the sleeping monster (mo`o) and went on into its insides to examine its heart.. On his way out, having learned the secret, the mo`o awakened and closed its jaws, crushing Maui to death.”

      THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN…HRA Kenn is on firm ground when he objects that the measuring of aka bodies of men and thoughts are not a part of basic Huna (Ho`omana). In self-defense I must make my position clear. Years ago, when I was trying to learn what the na kahuna of many kinds and classes knew or had known, believed or had believed, and did or had done, I found myself up to the ears in the pieces of a jig-saw puzzle mighty few of whose parts matched.

While I learned after a fashion what rites were observed and what things were attempted and what were accomplished, I was not at all satisfied. I wanted to know WHY. I still want to know WHY. I am made that way. And, by the same token, I affirm that UNTIL one knows the hows and whys of any action of body or mind or energy, one is working more or less in the dark. That was where I came in. I'm irresistibly urged to go on down and have a look at the heart to see what makes it tick, to get at the Secret. When and if I come up with that Secret, and it the jaws close on me, I will at least have followed the paths dictated by my particular cast of mind. I am not content at all to know the exact ritual and precise facts of the rite of cutting the umbilical cord of the first born. I want to know how those ancestors of ours got to be na Aumakua and WHY they should be worshiped. At this point in my long search after thirty years I still have not learned exactly how I should construct a thought form cluster to make my prayer, or exactly how to generate and use the mana which I am convinced that the na kahuna used. If an instrument, be it a pendulum, a Biometer or HRA Cameron’s invention, will measure the size and shape of a thought form cluster I make, and. tell me how long it endures or where it goes or how to make it radiate more strongly — even if that isn’t basic Huna — I'm all for it. After all these years of sniffing around in the facts, beliefs and all pervading superstitions, of other men — most of whom have been dead for a very long time — I now want a few simple things which will WORK.

I know that this seems very much like the seventh deed of Maui, and I admit that some of the matters touched upon in our HRA studies are indeed far-fetched in their relation to what we accept as “basic Huna” the Huna of almost no ”whys” at all.


      This quotation from Mark 9:24 describes the state of mental confusion of most of us.

We accept some set of rites and beliefs, affirm our complete faith in their verity and in the fact that if we believe completely, we can get our prayers answered. But, even as the hopeful but fearful father in the New Testament story, we affirm and beg for help to confirm our belief — all in the same breath.

      CHILDHOOD FAITH AND DOCTRINES has been derived for most of us from early BELIEF IN Church training, teaching, contacts and personal observation and experience. As children we have been encouraged to believe, and to pray. Most of us learned very early in life that our prayers were seldom answered. We may have felt a great sadness because of this or because we observed the prayers of our elders go unanswered. In any event, our forming minds received deep impressions of doubt which lasted down the years,

What renews and strengthens? Evidence? Is “seeing believing?” Yes, our greatly weakened belief to both, provided there has not been an emotional reaction in childhood or later, to the lack of answers to our most earnest prayers — a response amounting to an emotional storm which left in its wake a series of fixed hurts and doubts, to say nothing of almost inevitable resentments. To get rid of these fixations or to hurdle them, requires far more than a single convincing piece of evidence showing that God is in His heaven and that He or His angels hear and answer prayer.

Where a at strong set of fixations exist, no amount of pounding with evidence will cause the slightest change. Ancient Huna and modern Psychology teach us this. Then how to “…help thou my unbelief?” Will some Savior do it for us? Improbable at this late date. The only way we know to get rid of fixations is (1) to find them,. and (2) to rationalize their cause and thus drain them off.

      For a number of years I have advocated this approach. I still advocate it. I am still busy using it myself. I have gone back to my early days to search for the origin of my personal fixed doubts. When I find such a source, it always is accompanied by the damning rationalization and complete and irrefutable proof that I first prayed, and that, as a result, secondly, I got no resultant answer. The instant I touch such a sore spot — unhealed for all the years — I am slapped in the face and across the heart by that old logic which is the blind behind which the emotional content of the fixation lurks. That Is why, some years ago, I saw that, at least in the majority of cases, it was necessary to make a fresh start, to find the best possible set of beliefs, to accept them logically and emotionally, and to begin the slow work of rebuilding the crushed belief in a Higher Power, and faith in the possibility of an answer to prayer.

Armor against fresh frustration and the danger of awakening and strengthening the old fixed doubts, lies, at least for me, in having in hand and ready for use at all time, a LOGICAL EXCUSE OR REASON by which to explain to myself WHY I made a prayer action and WHY I got no results. Huna has been a godsend to me. It tells me (1) what I have to do, and do correctly, to make a successful prayer-action. It tells me the conditions that will or will not permit the proper action on my part the limitations under which I must be willing to work. I must not hurt another. I must not have a guilt sense to prevent the low self from making the contact with the Aumakua and sending the mana, the carefully readied thought-structure of the condition desired, etc. (2) I must keep doubts from entering in as I make my picture of the desired conditions lest the structure contain the things I desire to avoid, I must water my prayer-plant in the Aumakua garden each day with the water of mana. I must not change my picture — pull up my plant to see if it is taking root. I must hold the faith unfalteringly, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and, if the game is worth the candle, year by year. (3) I must make certain that I do not mention my prayer-action and the follow-up to someone who will curse the entire project with a sneer of scorn or word of doubt. This is to be avoided at all costs. Mental attitudes rub off of one of us on to another like soot and black contagion. The slightest whisper of doubt will hit us with trip hammer force as powerful suggestion because old doubt fixations are so easy to revive. The need to “go into your closet to pray” is a very great need indeed. Nothing Is so fragile as the thought picture of the prayer, so easily shattered -or so brilliant with the light of Faith and that Love whose overshadowing we must come to know as Real beyond reality.

To the simple mind of an islander — a kahuna of yesterday – there was I grant you less need for the elaborate rationalization and complete understanding which are an utter necessity for me. He had not been treated to such large doses of a religion which bad retained outer form but had lost its workable knowledge of both low and high magic. Perhaps, as a child, he had seen the prayer-actions made, the rituals gone through, careful step by careful step, and had seen the gods respond and the fire-walk made possible. Contrast such a proof ,such a powerful physical stimulus, with the vague or even contradictory answers to prayer in Christian circles . Even a simple belief must be based on something, but a belief complexed by fixations resulting from repeated failures in demonstration cannot be rebuilt except on new and massive foundations of proof and repeated proof. I would that each of us could perform the rites and be given the proofs of fire-immunity before every major effort of prayer.

      Lacking an ever-ready firewalk for proof, to help my unbelief, I grasp at all straws. My need is immediate, not a matter of tomorrow or something to talk to death or fritter away in speculation, I sit twice, or more often at times, each day in the TMHG ritual, and I have the burden on my heart and the uplift under my spirit, of the needs of those who work with me.

Some of my friends are ill, a few are blind, many are in trouble of one kind or another. Anything that will bolster up my faith and help my unbelief is priceless. If Verne Cameron can let me make a thought picture of a vase on a shelf, then find it with his gadget and measure its size and outline its shape tell me how long it remains there as a real structure, that helps me to know that Huna is right. —my accepted belief — and that I can and do make forms by thinking, actual and substantial forms, even if of matter too fine to be seen by the eyes or felt by the hands.

The same can be said of every bit of corroborative proof that there are thought-form-structures, that things do radiate a form of energy, that invisible cords do connect people, things and man with his Aumakua…Heaven knows that I have one answer to prayer after another; and that hardly a day. passes without the arrival of letters telling that my friends are getting definite answerers to their prayers and to their TMHG prayers in which we work together as a congregation through telepathic aka thread contact. These proofs would be far more than sufficient for a simple and unhampered mind which remained a stranger to the doubt fixations I have known, but for me, such proofs need to be renewed as the offices on the altar, daily, yes, almost hourly.

No, not basic Huna — but for me, basic necessity.

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