It is not my intention to be Vitvan's biographer. He himself
dismissed all such proposals. "My life is my work,"
he declared. "Know my work and you know me." He was
right, of course. The man is plainly visible in his work. His
character and the profundity of his insight are demonstrated
on every page.
But my own deep sense of gratitude to the man and his accomplishments
insists I write this slender volume. It is a prologue, only,
to that greater biography that a grateful world will one day
May 31, 1975
White Pine County borders 8,904 square miles in the North,
Northeast corner of Nevada. The population is 1.5 persons per
square mile. At the southern most tip of the county, near the
boundary between Nevada and Utah, is the township of Baker: population
Six miles west of Baker is a quiet, isolated farm, distinguished
only by a weathered sign hanging at the gate:
School of the Natural Order
Past the farmhouse and beyond the scrubby orchard a rough
trail intercepts the road and climbs a sagebrush hill. On the
further side of a barren knoll, out of sight of the farm, the
trail ends at a small private cemetery. No grass grows here.
Only the natural foliage of cactus and sagebrush. The cemetery
is chain fenced against marauding wolves and coyotes. The hills
slope down to the Snake Valley below. Above, Mounts Wheeler and
Moriah silhouette the sky.
In this quiet earth a partial few reside. They lie companion
to one whose marker reads:
Ralph Moriarity deBit
December 25th 1883 - June 29th 1964
Unnoted as a setting star he passed
And sect and party scarcely knew
When from their midst a sage and seer withdrew
To fitter audience where the great live on
In God's republic of the heart and mind.
This book by Richard Satriano represents a sincere and vivid
picture of a really genuine Gnostic teacher who has lectured
all over this country and written extensively. Paradoxically,
Vitvan is little known to the vast mass of contemporary occult
readers. Many factors are probably responsible for this anomalous
situation. First, some of his writings were privately published.
Generally speaking, this does not insure them of an immediate
wide distribution. It takes many years for them to percolate
down to the general public.
Another factor, perhaps more significant, is that he was a
firm disciplinarian in spiritual and psychological matters. This
would not endear him to those he customarily referred to as "metafizzlers."
One of the most outstanding of his achievements was the coupling
of general semantics with the age-old Gnosis. Few other teachers
have attempted this - see some of the letters, for example, in
Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley, or Insights
for the Age of Aquarius by Gina Cerminara - but not one of
them has been half as successful in this area as has Vitvan.
It may well be that this alone will gain him and his teaching
about the Light-energy world we live in true immortality.
"Few mystics or occult teachers have taken general semantics
to their bosoms. Most of them, I fancy, know nothing about the
subject. A few hold it in disdain, perhaps out of fear. With
considerable pleasure, I urge every student to read The Problem
of Good and Evil or The Christos by Vitvan (School
of the Natural Order, Baker Nevada). Both of these books attempts
to correlate the ancient wisdom both of the East and the West
with the techniques of Count Korzibski who developed general
semantics. Reading this literature should considerably broaden
the mental and spiritual horizons of the sincere and serious
student. It will also help him keep a level head where the occult
jungle is concerned, so that he will not fall prey to the vast
mass of fantasy and hysteria which has sadly infiltrated this
The above paragraph was originally written several years ago.
It was included in an introduction to a new edition of an old
book of mine. What was written then still strikes me as being
valid today - even more so, when the whole field of occultism
and mysticism, and all that may be included in these terms, is
expanded beyond belief.
I have known of the writings of Vitvan for at least a score
of years. Those who first introduced me to his work gave me tantalizing
little tidbits of personal data which assuredly did help in making
him come alive as a human being. This excellent introduction
by Richard Satriano is most illuminating and informative where
the fundamental biographical events of his life are concerned.
Many of the facts described herein I was not familiar with at
all. To mention one example: I experienced a great sense of pleasure
in discovering a few details of his relationship with Mozumdar,
his teacher. There are references here and there in Vitvan's
writings about this teacher, but nothing quite so explicit and
detailed as those written about by Satriano.
All in all, this slender volume by Satriano should prove invaluable
in introducing the general reader to Vitvan. It is a well-written,
thought-provoking, and inspiring little book, presenting a warm
and at times a profoundly moving appreciation of a great Teacher.
The author has drawn heavily on Vitvan's own words. Satriano
hopes thus we will the better appreciate Vitvan's spiritual experiences
from which he abstracted his present-day Gnosis. It is most reminiscent
of what Mme. Blavatsky wrote decades ago in The Secret Doctrine
that the latter is "the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages .
. . It is useless to say that the system in question is no fancy
of one or several isolated individuals. That it is the uninterrupted
record covering thousands of generations of Seers whose respective
experiences were made to test and verify the traditions passed
orally by one early race to another . . . No vision of one adept
was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions-
so obtained as to stand as independent evidence - of other adepts,
and by centuries of experiences."
Vitvan went through the same processes, and checked and verified
all the ancient findings. His modern presentation of the ancient
teaching, however, is couched in the language of the 20th century
- the century when the sciences triumphed to make fantastic excursions
into space. The "inner space" which they have neglected
became his special province. And all that he wrote and taught
over the long years was in elaboration of this, the structure-function-order
of the Eternal Wisdom.
Many years ago I used the phrase, "the days of the giants
are over." Indeed they are. Vitvan was one of those remarkable
giant-men who appear so rarely in world history and of whom there
are so few that they become in due course of time milestones
along the trail of our evolutionary struggles. Credit is due
to Richard Satriano in Vitvan: An American Master to have
so clearly depicted and painted a full-size picture of what a
giant thought and felt and did. No one previously has quite accomplished
what Vitvan did. Most teachers have been partitive: expounding
this or that phase of the ancient Wisdom. Vitvan attempted to
present an over-all view of the Gnosis couched in current scientific
and philosophical language. He makes demands on his readers.
His work does not permit a cursory overview from cover to cover.
He stands relatively alone. He was a gigantic figure in a
desert inhabited only by a mere handful of human Joshua trees
whose arms are uplifted to the Infinite and Eternal.
School of the Natural Order Home
Studio City, California
27 September 1976