All Things Stewart Mineral Springs
What Happened to Stewart Springs? Cont'd
What Happened to Stewart Springs? Cont'd
Continuation of 12-part sussing by a former insider, a nuanced analysis and (fairly) informed ranting on how the springs came to be in the current dire straits -- and how it can be redeemed with the intentional focus of enough fans.
(Article began here)
Dead man walking;
Making Springs unbareable (reprise)
There's another issue that greatly complicated operations in the recent past, one which residual energies continue affecting the present, until it's (hopefully) finally banished.
As mentioned, the late co-managing husband Ted Duncan had been diagnosed with late-stage liver disease. What many maybe didn't realize is that it happened around the same exact time the couple secured their 10-year contract back in 2006.
Aside from former profit-maxing mandate and their conventional lifestyle druthers, at jarring odds with cooperative, semi-bohemian, down-home tradition of place, with both he and senior-managing wife dealing with critical health issues (she herself underwent an hysterectomy), energies were further diverted. It seemed almost impossible to run the place with the dedicated focus and lighthearted spirit that befits any genuine healing spa when death was knocking at the door of management.
In a way, the place became his own semi-private hospice. Naturally one can't be on the ball and at ease, helping others relax and keep staff mellow, with such calamities in the air.
Facilitating spa-ing nude -- the free-spirited practice epitomizing a full-tilt embrace of life's simple goodness, patrons taking simple delight in mini-vacation from an overdressed world in the healing arms of nature and amping up the palliative benefit of the spa regimen -- wasn't something anyone freaking out over a looming medical death sentence could get too enthused about.
It's a pity former 'owner' John Foggy didn't see they perhaps weren't best managerial fit given the circumstances. Possibly the dire condition wasn't yet diagnosed at their hiring, or it was kept secret after diagnosis, whether made before or after hiring, for fear of losing/not gaining position if known to him.
In any event, one was left to wonder why they didn't claim medical hardship at some point and get out of the 10-year contract so he could enjoy his remaining time without needless aggravation of running what at times could be an incredibly demanding operation, even in the best of health, and the legal steward find healthy (and, ideally, more progressive-minded) management. An early Paul Simon lyric came to mind: "...and all your wealth can't buy you health."
Maybe he was hopeful the waters would, more than simply slow the inevitable, somehow effect a full recovery that conventional pill and procedure medicine couldn't. Or at least keep the inevitable at bay. And so he clung to the co-manager position like his life depended on it, as in a way it did. Perhaps he'd hoped to die working in the saddle, if only to cover the soaring health insurance premiums and leave hia partner better provided for. Again, one can only wonder if he indeed secured the position after getting the terminal diagnosis and so having 24-hour access to purifying waters was worlds more important than the modest joint salaries and free lodging the position provided.
Let's Make Place Unbareable!
Affecting shock over a supposed deck incident, the former manager, no doubt if true reported to prospective new 'owners' how the place was becoming a hotbed of moral degradation that she was hard-pressed to get a handle on despite her most valiant efforts: "We've got Trouble! I say right here in River City! With a capital 'T', that rhymes with 'B', that stands for Bare!"
It was surely hurting business, repelling droves of more respectable, family-value visitors -- that is, better-heeled, more refined, properly body-alienated, conventional-thinking travelers and vacationers, seekers of charming, quaint rural resorts; clothes-minded dabblers of therapeutic mineral springs, various new age disciplines and perhaps undiscriminating culture vultures in general...
...deeper-pocketed visitors who -- while no doubt loving the grounds and maybe thrilling to the prospect of indulging in the time-honored royal decadent delight of "taking the waters" -- had precious little understanding or appreciation how any real, down-to-earth springs resort worth its salt (or silica), dedicated to deep cleansing and purification and rejuvenation, realized that needless body covering could all too easily interfere with optimal relaxation, enjoyment, and palliative benefit...and so clothing was optional and simple mindful nudity permitted.
And even some state-siders, both local and traveling, were also put off by the nudity, what with its potential power to variously distract, arouse, and/or disgust -- plus, of course, confuse kids' body-shame and false-modesty societal programming, making dutifully conformist parents uncomfortable indeed -- alas, fully understandable for the way the c/o scene was essentially left in free-fall. No mindful guardrails were ever put in place. The policy, unsupported by a mostly bohemian-indifferent management, left the scene wide open for abusive, lower-consciousness behavior to crop up amid the daily visitor mix.
(For an egregious, mind-boggling example, see Famous Last Words - scroll to item headed"......" in third article)
But how far does one go to accommodate what many were convinced was in fact an over-influential minority, at the expense of a significant, now-alienated fan base that deeply valued the open-minded Euro style option -- or was at least okay with it given people behaved?
Again, one might've cynically viewed oppressive change as reflecting the determination of both old and new managements to purge the place of bohemian-friendly visitors as a rude offense to their rigid morality mindset and conventional lifestyle druthers.
Many had been dismissed, stereotyped, even vilified, as low-spending, wild hippies, mostly locals, hurting business by scaring off more respectable, deeper-pocketed, perma-dressed visitors unable or unwilling to cope with seeing the essential human form in everyday life...being painfully reminded of their own lifelong-programmed body alienation...visitors who, like contented spies, were content staying undercover, thank you very much, and wished to hell everyone else would be too.
Fifty years ago that might've indeed been the case. No more. With each passing year the alternate culture's lifestyle values are becoming more and more ingrained in the life-affirming segment of global mainstream culture.
Over time, radical body freedom -- along with yoga, conscious plant-based diet, cannabis and magic mushroom medicine, transcendental meditation, recycling and pre-cycling, clean energy, tiny homes and appropriate lifestyle and livelihood -- has spread FAR past the mere lunatic fringe of mainstream awareness.
Those enthused by such things, or open to learning about them, had often formed the overwhelming patronage of the Springs, thus allowing the place to become the thriving success it was...treasured as a nominally bohemian healing and rejuvenating refuge, well-ensconced in nature yet easy to reach for being only a few miles off the interstate highway.
^ Nude anti-war protest statement, San Francisco's Ocean Beach, 2003
Gone with the wind?
Banning simple nudity, along with emptying the altar in the spring-source gazebo and ending the time-honored sacred sweatlodge and bathhouse spa service, could, again, well prove a series of fatal, fumbling, futile, self-defeating missteps. Ones generating such a sea of ill will it could doom whatever re-purposing plans are afoot from ever succeeding, having the seeds of their own ultimate self-destruction baked in...
...that is, short of having millions more to float it without being dependent on
< Ashland, OR 2003, impending Iraq war protest in Lithia Park
operation's former reportedly quarter-million/year net -- again, sum largely garnered from former loyal repeat visitors. And new 'stewardship' perhaps not giving a flying leap
what now-alienated patrons think...that is, beyond whatever bad press they might generate. And so obtuse, they can actually enjoy 'owning' their little paradise, convinced they're helping make the world a better place by 'saving' the springs from the heathen rabble so more respectable, select people can enjoy and benefit it, while at the same time pursuing their own private pet fringe-psychology shtick.
They possibly wondered (or not) why, right after c/o ban took affect, visitor volume fell off the cliff. Place's former thriving locals day became a desolated ghost town overnight. With Sweat lodge removal and word of other misguided actions, like tearing out the tubs, circling the globe, visitorship continued to nosedive, leaving the grounds an empty vestige of its former self, a beloved sanctuary for a thriving, natural-healing-minded public.
Obviously it was no great mystery. For with unfolding misguided plans, suddenly disenfranchised were legion of the place's long-supporting devotees -- open-minded visitors of diverse lifestyles and income levels, a thoroughly diverse sub-group, making shambles of any stereotype how low-spending, wild locals with kinky penchant for running about nekkid were ruining the place for more respectable, deeper-pocketed and properly body-alienated -- or at least so duly resigned to prisons of cloth that they had no desire to get freed from them save in private, thank you.
They were, in fact, a rich variety of visitors, ones for whom the option of experiencing the exhilarating freedom and enhanced comfort simple mindful nudity afforded in the course of spa purification played a crucial role in nurturing a profoundly more integrated, awakened, holistic way of living...
...people from all walks of life, some of whom, instead of having a spa, came together in the sacredsweat lodge to cleanse and heal and grok the spiritual essence of America's prehistoric roots, gaining profound new spiritual awareness and a sense of grounded community.
Obviously, more and more were awakening to all-inclusive, diverse-lifestyle mingling, as the consciousness of planet kept rising to dramatic new levels in which people found common ground and came together beyond the age-old illusion of separateness.
Meanwhile, those yet asleep and bent on garnering more material riches while flirting with doing a few ostensibly good works -- almost as if to try to fill the gaping spiritual void in their lives -- seemed intent on making life on earth as miserable as possible for others...those refusing to longer be part of the soul-less culture of mass consumption, mindless power and wealth scrambling, and asleep-at-the-wheel existence.
Can present 'owners' be so determined -- and deep-pocketed -- to weather such a drastic drop in business? Be so indifferent that they just don't care how they've devastated a once-vibrant, mindful, aware global culture of genuine spa fans in the course of unfolding their dubious diversion of the place -- one for seven generations dedicated to healing and rejuvenating greater humanity?
Peace on earth -
what a concept!
What such catering is blind to is the age-old vision many of the realm's more aware
< Longtime spontaneous spring gazebo altar,
now sterile and forlorn
hold dear: mankind learning to live in harmony with nature and one another. Such age-old envisioning, now perhaps closer than ever to actually manifesting, naturally holds that providing appropriate rural places like
Stewart's -- at which to purify, heal, experience feel-good physical liberation and discover and honor spiritual medicine of First Nations people -- are CRUCIAL to hastening global transformation that current 'absentee stewardship' claims to be all for.
As said, neither the former 'owner' nor managers ever seemed to resonate with the time-honored regimen of authentic healing mineral springs resorts, allowing people the option of appropriate simple nudity to better purify and heal...though they finally did permit it during last 16 years (and no doubt weathered tiresome jabs about running some kind of weird hippie nudist camp), if only because it proved great for business.
Many fans might hold that whether one has bucks or not or is or isn't into any organized thing isn't important. Spirit is a free gift from a loving Universal Father. Trying to commodify it inevitably leads to things like Jesus driving the money lenders out of the temple.
What's important is nurturing places of full-tilt dedication to healing, fostering a universal spiritual awakening of body-mind-spirit -- like Stewart's was (again, last time full-tilt in 1970's under the Goodpastures) -- never obsessing over the bottom line or even thinking of repurposing the place, to the detriment of healing potential of greater humanity under a simple, forthright public-service mission.
Both spiritual and material prosperity naturally thrive when doing the right thing and putting the horse in FRONT of the cart.
And because the last managers were side-tracked by serious health issues on top of the ceaseless pressure to maximize profits, Stewart's c/o scene, six years old at their start, seldom achieved -- short of times when place spilled over with a conscious, like-minded crowd -- more than the faintest semblance of integrity and a relaxed and safe atmosphere...as so mindfully, low-keyly nurtured at every other popular, long-established rural c/o springs in wider region.
Instead former managers coasted, gritting teeth, suffering the place's modest body freedom, so shockingly distasteful... (Along with, eventually, the sweatlodge. Writer remembers around 2001 the old manager, Mary H., saying Foggy told her he sometimes would've liked to see it gone.)
So they let c/o scene erode through lackluster, reactionary ("No yoga in sauna" sign), at times outright asleep-at-the-wheel operation.
Such a quaint
Since lodging bookings could bring in more money than the spa's limited water supply and bathhouse hours allowed, the place was touted more as charming resort nestled in nature than the selectively popular, unassuming, sacred healing spa retreat it was...beyond hollow lip service in blurbs, like "Indulge your Soul." As a result, increasingly attracted were overnight visitors with little or no appreciation of any deeper historic and prehistoric focus of the purifying and healing spirit of the place -- including, obvious now, the latest 'ownership'. Any such appreciation took a back seat to intent to pursue decidedly un-public-minded uses.
Let's commodify everything!
A healthful spa experience, the original reason for the operation starting ages ago, began to be relegated more of a mere extra feature, a quaint novelty or decadent indulgence. With visitors no better attuned to the process, soaking all too easily became little more than a superficial, mostly ineffectual flirtation with purifying and healing; sometimes soakers on Instagram bragged to enviable friends stuck at home how they'd ventured into the wilds and were "taking the waters" ala European royalty of olde.
Former management no doubt fumed overtime for their hands being tied to scrap clothing-optional policy, before the surviving one finally did on leaving. For it had long been part and parcel of earlier ambitious progressive management changes under late Mary H. (assisted by writer) that at the turn of millennium helped spur visitor volume through the roof.
This was the bottom line for the 'owner,' John Foggy, who, redeeming virtue, was from liberal-minded San Francisco and became okay with simple nudity, realizing it appeared good for business (and possibly sensing he was earning serious points for being alternative-culture friendly).
One didn't mess with success if wanting to keep in good graces with the boss, so the indifferent-to-hostile management endured the c/o situation even while dreaming of one day ending the scourge so obviously ruining enjoyment of the place for more respectable (i.e. wealthier), perma-dressed people.
Though only achieved on the way out by her working with incoming new 'owners', the policy change must've provided some measure of weird satisfaction. "Thought you'd go naked there forever, did you? Think again, my pretties...hee-hee-hee-hee!"
Trying to co-opt sacred
land for gain or private use
always ends badly
If the new, nowhere to be seen stewards wanted the place to evolve and thrive as an exceptional, all-inclusive, culturally diverse and spiritually-focused healing resort,
it behooved them to become sensitive to the place's far-flung, once-loyal visitor base and appreciate how deeply it embraced progressive c/o policy and bathhouse soaks, old gazebo's love-offering altar and venerable weekly sweat lodge ceremonies.
They ignored this simple fact at their peril...and so are now reaping a thorn-choked harvest.
Big duh elephant
Mountains of business goodwill built over generations were destroyed along with place's treasured natural wild and free spirit.
All because they didn't get the Big Duh. Or found it irrelevant, bearing private-minded re-purposing intent all along.
Such thinking was oblivious to an obvious fact: those into alternative-culture and open-minded, bohemian-friendly ways are ALWAYS be attracted to natural mineral springs retreats that are dedicated to natural, alternative healing.
Again, the former, aware visitorship was so large and longstanding that coldly disenfranchising them all but guaranteed their misguided, inappropriate efforts will fail in the long run from loss of business and endless bad publicity and condemnation by spring aficionados everywhere (not to mention increased stress on Gaia).
Meanwhile, the dreary unbridled focus of former money-hungry, power-jonesin', fly-by-seat-of-pants ownership/management seems to be continuing in new variation, now under the banner of an ostensibly benevolent, nonprofit organization locked into its new twist on clinical psychotherapy.
Though maybe not meaning to or, more likely, accepting the consequences of their actions as a doable loss, it obviously oppresses what clamors to be a positive light-healing realm, one unfettered by ANY profit motivation or private-minded concerns putting own specialized agenda ahead of greater good of humanity...
...at the tragic cost of place losing its wild and free beauty of spirit, its profound ability to heal by working intimately with nature.
By the new 'ownership' imposing its conservative lifestyle values and repurposing intent on the place, it, again, loses sight of Stewart's historic dedication to serve and affordably heal all.
Universal spirituality outshines religion any day of the week -- at least the kind serving to rationalize or mask uncharitable, private-minded actions as organized, watered down, quasi-religions.
The Springs founders' daughter, Katy Stewart Lloyd, in late 1940s refused to sell the place to old moneybags Vanderbilt; she knew he'd shut place to public (in his case without even a veneer of benevolent intent, but in order to turn the place into exclusive playground for rich and famous). see history
As time forever proves, trying to co-opt sacred land to make a buck and/or co-opt for diversionary private use, in the process shutting out everyday people in constant need of purification, healing, and rejuvenation, always ends badly.
Again, the now-abandoned hope of writer was that they'd become aware of mindful nudity's easy and effective ability to amp both the place's healing power and visitor volume -- a win-win situation...
...that they would then naturally give the green light again and re-activate clothing-optional on a new, well thought-out and maintained level once trading notes with region's successful c/o rural resort managements...establishing a healing climate any open-minded visitor could and appreciate and respect management would be comfortable with.
Dream on, McDuff.
Tragically, years of what countless now estranged fans of place felt was inappropriate profit preoccupation by former 'owner', having set such a rigid focus, with management doing bidding, has continued under depressing new variation. The nnprofit parent group is essentially turning place upside down in order to serve as a retreat and bureaucratic world headquarters for its private gig in the lucrative shrink field, while hoping to keep luring (now) lodging-only, group retreat/event traffic to subsidize Pneuma headquarters operation and ownership costs a trifle.
Damaged one-winged angel, long on the creek island below bathhouse, could not fly. It fittingly reflected state of place's earlier profit-driven management.
Meanwhile, though having lost serious momentum, the place straggles on, still coasting on historic reputation and knowing it's an 'owners market'. Now it's shut down and dismantled the bathhouse, thereby subverting 145 years of tradition, having zero interest in any longer offering affordable, quality retreat for spa-savvy, growth-minded beings on life-affirming paths...those who automatically gravitate to nature's special healing realms like flowers to sunshine and whose patronage made the place the roaring success it was, to the benefit of greater humanity.
Past is Present
Former late co-manager Ted D.'s slowly dying over a ten year period exacerbated the situation incalculably, derailing its chance to evolve any more gracious, clear-thinking, free-flowing operation -- even had absent 'owner' and rest of management been open to it, which clearly they weren't -- essentially weakening the place's dedication to the point that outside parties became interested in snapping it up for their own, diametrically opposed purposes.
As said, the former inertia of place continues to affect the present operation so long as new operation coasts on pattern of opaque, control-freak, money-money-money, control-control-control, shallow-courtesy management approach rather than break out in a fresh, can-do cooperative, nonprofit spirit of healing, working hand-in-hand with visitors on a joy-of-service basis that honors nature's sacred realm. (Million to one odds that present, absentee stewards could ever make such a dramatic transformation, barring a miracle of their hearts melting.)
Making what grounds improvements past managers did, while laudable, never made up for the lack of heart and spirit. Instead, ceaseless pressure to increase profits, plus medical freak-out and resulting intolerant authoritarian stances to cope, made more than a few visitors feel like they were somehow imposing on them even as they forked over their hard-earned cash.
After having heard such wonderful things about place and anticipating relaxing healing visit in tranquil solitude of nature under kind stewardship, wistful hopes were often dashed to hell and gone on arrival. Countless fond dreams shattered over time.
What obviously escaped the former's notice -- while preoccupied upgrading material side of place, hoping to attract a more upscale, mineral-springs-culture uninformed mindset -- is how on-the-ball, genuinely gracious, can-do management energies or lack thereof always make or break every even remotely spiritually conscious visitor's experience -- regardless of the state of amenities beyond basic creature comforts like adequate room heat and plumbing.
Back to the Future
or Hooray for the riff-raff
As shunning Stewart Springs gains ever greater momentum, through word of mouth, social media, and spiritually-oriented groups cancelling workshops, and visitor volume plummets, current and would-be supporters of Pneuma will at some point realize the self-defeating karma that Foundation members have created for themselves. "Operation Refine and Homogenize Culture to Support Shtick" will never gain the critical traction needed for the place to even begin to pay for itself in the long run or be privately enjoyed by 'owners' and their networks with any abiding peace of mind...
...especially if depending on high visitor volume and booked group retreats/events/workshops to make any appreciable dent in the place's ongoing costs. (As mentioned elsewhere, operation must clear some $77. every day of the year just to cover county property taxes on the for-profit operation it is.)
'Owners', finally tiring of hemorrhaging investment capital and/or any possible tax write-off exceeding the point of being worthwhile, will then likely throw in towel, conceding they were clueless how to steward the beloved, unique northern California healing spa operation (or think they could possibly get away with willfully detouring its seven generations of healing service to suit their own private designs...likely having been fatally misled by example of past absentee 'owners' and management's profit-jonesin' preoccupation...and in fantasyland for thinking that merely shoveling a pile of cash entitled them to steal place away from the public...an operation so drastically at odds with the former budding, universal, open-circuit energies of the realm that had been fitfully re-activating founder's original public-service mission...and sacred native use before that.
Again, seeing the light, they'll relocate to more suitable headquarters, selling the Springs land at a reasonable price to new, appropriate stewards who get it in their sleep...thereby redeeming themselves for having enabled restoring a cornucopia of purifying, healing and rejuvenating to benefit greater humanity.
With a management that instinctively realizes the crucial importance of making the place a legal nonprofit in order to provide a crucial affordable relaxed healing atmosphere, they'd promptly re-instate clothing-optional policy on a new, more mindful level...
...and invite Karuk sweat lodge to return if they're so incline)...
...steward(s) who -- after in-depth research, with help of any so-inclined legal-minded friends of Springs -- would in time, after hammering out detailed vision of structure for place's future operation, file paperwork and set up place in perpetuity as a nonprofit organization. One dedicated to the well-being and enlightenment of the public at large. (As reportedly Oregon's Jackson Wellsprings did ages ago.)
Envision such a good-karma future stewardship! Thousands of empowered creator beings -- who we are, or are on the road to becoming -- focusing on such a special common goal with laser intensity can indeed manifest such a miracle.
Envision a perfect, thriving Springs...under enlightened new nonprofit ownership...even now hovering over current tragic scene, ready to descend and hit the ground running.
Place in the sun,
mon, to sun me buns
To help hammer out a new viable c/o policy, future managers and/or staff of future stewards need only go on fact-finding tours to various regional c/o spring resorts (once Covid's faded away), experiencing and witnessing firsthand their integrated c/o scenes and spa layouts...
...picking the brains of management to discover how they work to keep the high-octane energies that public nudity can release on the more chill, respectable side; how they balance policy with concerns of visiting families. (Southern Oregon's Jackson Hot Springs, for instance, allows c/o only after nightfall, for adults only, the rest of the time requiring minimal cover-up, thus accommodating both families, everyday mineral spring goers and freebody enthusiasts who've resigned selves to daytime limits and tan lines.)
In time Stewart then might at long last join the sisterhood of the wider region's progressive mineral spring resorts.*
* During Foggy sisters' management days, around 2006 the management of historic Wilbur Hot Springs, some 200 miles away, reached out to Stewart's with an invitation to join existing reciprocal free-pass trade arrangement between the staffs of Wilbur, Orr and Harbin Springs when visiting each other's places. Stewart's, forever feeling like an orphan, couldn't appreciate significance of the offer to join the sisterhood of regional spring resorts. As far as writer knows, management never even responded.
A future stewardship will intuitively appreciate how the human body can be seen either as either sacred or profane, depending on the level of one's awareness. Mindfulness of management, following the lead of ownership setting the tone, makes all the difference: between the sometimes tawdry scene that the Springs, at its worst, became and one that's respectable, genuinely healing, and life-transforming.. Becoming a simple mindful c/o sanctuary can go a long ways towards normalizing the sight of the essential human body.
Of free spirit
or Old dreams die hard
As disastrous actions mounted, shattering hopes of all who wished only good things for the place with the change in stewardship, banning c/o shocked countless on an unspeakably deep level (as did kicking out the sweatlodge), almost akin to a death in the family.
The new mandatory cover-up policy left the suggestible writer's first view of new, dutifully wrapped bathhouse visitors in late 2016 with the surreally bleak impression that patrons had donned mourning apparel...as if in bereavement over option to spa nude having met sudden demise! The mind boggled.
The cherished healing realm had become essentially imprisoned in outdated, oppressive, guilt-based morality and false modesty (til shutting down the bathhouse outright made it all moot).
Bourgeois mediocrity was getting sweet revenge.
The place was now held hostage by forces not understanding -- perhaps not caring -- how mandatory clothing (and removal of sacred sweatlodge) absolutely defeated the deepest purpose and gift of the realm, severely crimping the place as a genuine and profoundly healing center for ALL people.
It might as well have been mourning clothes indeed ,for the way simple-nudity ban in effect mandated body shame...spelling death to fostering enlightened body acceptance so crucial to the place's deeper ability to purify, transform and rejuvenate, reintegrating body, mind and spirit onto higher levels.
Can genie ever be put back in bottle?
Not with conscious body freedom, in appropriate places, being accepted and embraced by more and more all the time. (Everyone, after all, is a natural-born freebody, before inhibitive social conditioning takes its toll).
Only in some impossible alternate universe coulld the genie ever be put back in bottle without the Springs losing an incalculable measure of its magical transformative healing power.
Writer, after long holding out hopes of new stewards eventually coming around, was radicalized at last and regretfully joined the groundswell of former Stewart Springs devotees shunning the place, stunned, infuriated and brokenhearted over the utter betrayal of the long-venerated, blessed realm's healing tradition.
Droves of people refuse to aid and abet the current self-interested, quasi public-minded forces, trusting they will in time see the light...meanwhile failing miserably in the woefully misguided effort to wrest the sacred healing realm from the public -- but (hopefully) being aware and conscious enough that, duly chagrined, they work to find appropriate stewardship to transfer land to and thus redeem their now-tattered honor... thus ultimately gaining positive legacy in the realm's ongoing story.
Recap on possible intents
Writer is now far out of loop and as much in dark as most everyone else on current property holders exact intention (assuming they actually have one and aren't just playing it by ear, as in "Let's try this awhile and see how it flies..."). Can only analyze situation and report on things as filtered through Pneuma's website, own intimate knowledge of place's operation in the recent past and, for what it's worth, intuition.
Again, the two main contenders of absentee steward's long-range intent are:
1. Privatize the place for own Pneuma group's exclusive use, general public no longer welcome. Gates slam shut and new signs growl Keep Out.
(If true, lotsa luck finding one shred of peace of mind for having enacted such community-insensitive cultural destruction, believing end justifies means, creating a veritable Mount Everest of bad karma by alienating legions of place's former supporters around the world.)
2. Keeping it open to the public on group basis to subsidize costs while shifting focus of place to primarily serve as Pneuma retreat center, classroom and world headquarters, pushing own shtick with workshops advancing academic/training agenda, leaving little to no room for the former, open-spirited, culturally diverse and enlightened enjoyment of what facilities remain after ending spa service; yet dependent in symbiotic union on select, legacy-indifferent group bookings to help defray substantial ownership and operational costs.
If the latter's the case, casting a laser on how the de facto hostile takeover disenfranchised and disrupted conscious lifestyle of myriad of place's longtime supporters -- and prevents a sea of would-be newcomers from turning on to it for optimal, affordable healing experiences, as it did tens of thousands over decades past -- might forever put a crimp in place's ever taking off in whatever misguided direction it hopes to go.
viva la causa
The second possibility, though still depressing enough, holds more encouragement. Operation, barring amazing change of heart by 'owners', might fail in due course from growing de facto boycott by a critical mass of the global fanbase and accompanying social-media condemnation jinxing ever gaining viable traction and, equally important, community acceptance.
If so, again, eventually they'd give up, realizing they'll be worlds happier and productive somewhere else, no sea of people painting them as villains for having stolen the public's treasured retreat handicapping their efforts to do good according to their lights.
They'll take one big deep collective sigh, chalk it up to experience and move on, land (and operation) put back on market for a hopefully hand-in-glove benefactor to redeem, along with re-activated volunteer, hired, and work-trade help of community at large, helping to take place over the top again, inspired more than ever by the long held group vision of making the place a nonprofit healing community center.
Assuming this is case, every devotee of place can work, as many already have, on manifesting new appropriate stewardship through meditative visualization of a positive future for the place.
Given enough Springs defenders, it would simply be a matter of concentrating group-focused energy, bending time to manifest the desired future. See it as already here, in glorious, fine-tuned detail, hovering overhead, ready to descend and activate at the perfect moment.
Place might then at long last join Breitenbush, Orr, Wilbur, Sierra, Jackson Wellsprings and Harbin as thriving West Coast mineral spring resort sanctuaries, light-years away from Babylon's lingering and now-intensifying darkness.
Stewart Mineral Springs might then, four decades after the last relatively mellow, down-home owner operation by the Goodpastures in 1970's (see History), shake off its wayward,
terminally dysfunctional past. It can make a truly bold new start...one with free-flowing, dyed-in-the-wool, super-grounded, can-do spirit that the place naturally inspires in conscious managers. One making the realm paradise both for locals and legions of growth-minded travelers worldwide.
The first baby step is imagining a future legal stewardship, management, staff and visitors in harmony with the healing realm, with simple body freedom returning on a mindful level along with the venerable Karuk sweat lodge (again, if members are open to it) -- once again honoring and celebrating the universal spirit of the place to affordably purify, heal, and rejuvenate todo el mundo.
Imagine the combined energies of myriad fans causing current misguided stewards to receive and accept a giant reality check and thus ultimately save Stewart Mineral Springs, liberating it for the thriving sea of rural mineral spring resort aficionados and natural healing proponents around the world.
Envision a miracle
Me? Writer's no mover and shaker, just a recluse living in the woodlands with a dream of rescuing the place he dedicated 20 years of his life to. Resurrect the founding couple's lost dream and, as much as modern times allow, the spirit of the super-natural healing ground of native cultures before them.
I haven't networking skills to speak of, including Facebook. Only this one dedicated site, kind encouragement of others to tell it like it is -- and a long-abiding conviction that Stewart Springs is meant to play an important role in now-unfolding world transformation IF enough conscious beings who love and treasure the place INSIST on it.
If the current stewards wake up to the realization that letting go is the best thing they can possibly do for a place they too love in their own way, transferring it to appropriate hands, then the great medicine wheel of Stewart Mineral Springs might merrily spin once more.
Waiting for Godot? Ghost dancing? Dreaming the impossible dream? Maybe, maybe not...
...the simple truth is it's whatever enough conscious beings want and focus on manifesting.
Nothing more and nothing less.
is our friend here
Even though the last 'owner' held the place for 34 years, two of the six previous post-Stewart family stewardships only lasted a short time. This one appears possibly on track to becoming the third. see history
Why? The property legally changed hands during a Mercury retrograde period. According to time-proven astrological influences, on the subtle plane this can bode for potential chaos, confusion, and great uncertainty for any new 'owner' of an existing operation if at time of legal change energies are un-centered and not in their fullest integrity -- which, according to insider eyewitness report, they didn't at all seem to be.
When they got together at the grounds restaurant to celebrate sealing the steal -- er, deal -- the vibe reportedly was one of mad scrambling discord according to the person serving them...not unlike corporate raiders after pulling a bold hostile takeover and drunk on the audacity of the act and enormity of the haul, squabbling over how to divvy up the spoils, oblivious or indifferent to how their misguided privatizing schemes would trigger devastating heartbreak and lifestyle disruption for thousands of longtime Stewart Springs fans regionally, nationally, and around the world.
So this periodic apparent backward-motion influence in heavens might serve us well indeed. In time it could cinch the abject failure of current diversionary efforts.
Since intent vibration at the start of any new enterprise stays with it throughout, the seeds of its ultimate self-destruction were planted at the very start.
Most unfortunate for them. But oh, well...
Meanwhile, envision the PERFECT future stewardship manifesting at the perfect moment -- maybe even see it as already here hovering over the realm... it at long last being redeemed by an enlightened stewardship. See it in fine-tuned, people-friendly detail, ready to descend and hit the ground running,
The same is true if their intent is only to lah-de-dah and repurpose place, general public essentially subsidizing their quasi-new-age shtick, continuing to price-out and lifestyle-out myriad once-dedicated fans, place's former lifeblood who recognized and honored the sacred realm and reason that the place's unassuming namesake started operation some 145 years ago: to affordably enable people from everywhere to purify, heal and recharge amid the glad tidings of nature...
...not for the place to become some bland, quasi-prestigious resort, visitors having only the vaguest notion of -- sometimes, even remotest interest in -- the spa's time-honored dedication to radical cleansing of body, mind and spirit like any genuine mineral springs spa. Or an even worse fate, as it turned out.
But if dread privatization is the ultimate goal, then, after spreading word and appealing to the higher natures of all concerned, one can trust in a just and merciful universe to show the absentee stewards the utter folly and unconscionable selfishness if thinking they could ever shut such a priceless treasure beloved by countless; how nothing meaningful or honorable can ever come from such action -- one all but bereft of mindful integrity and ultimately self-defeating if, as their mission statement implies, they're really wanting to work towards the greatest good for greatest number in healing and uplifting our planet.
Whatever the actual intent is, unless they melt their hearts on the full realization that they hold a sacred trust to safeguard the Springs for the sake of ALL humanity -- rich and poor, sick and well, young and old, gay and straight, bohemian and convention-locked, local and world traveler -- and return the realm to serving as an open-circuit, progressive-minded, affordable healing retreat rather than diverting into some public-supported, semi-private shtick, spa-bereft corporate headquarters...
...then, one more time, they owe it to all -- especially themselves -- to redeem their now-frayed integrity by transferring legal stewardship at a reasonable price to parties that WILL, and relocating to more appropriate headquarters, a place blissfully free of the grave controversy that now hampers their efforts to do real good with their shtick to facilitate people learning to actualize their Greater Self.
Bestir your imagination. Envision a thriving, affordable healing refuge for growth-minded people everywhere, one under a future in-sync, nonprofit stewardship working hand in hand with Mt. Shasta region's conscious community.
Myriad fans are absolutely certain the place deserves no less.
see New Day Dawning
also new intro to Rants & Raves
Writer served as SMS work-trade assistant manager and grounds keeper 2000-2002 under Mary H, while living on grounds, and built and maintained the bathhouse cold plunge for 14 years. He self-published books on body acceptance and body freedom, inspired by own experiences at Stewart's.
All Things Stewart Springs
Exploring & Defending the
Once & Future Magical Healing Realm
Remember, contained within Chinese character for 'crisis' is 'opportunity'.
Have people treasured the place enough to INSIST it now fulfill its higher destiny as a purifying, healing and rejuvenating ground, one everybody the least bit open-minded and aware can enjoy, freely and affordably and help bring about planetary peace?
Fans could start a 'Friends of Stewart Springs' focus group
If anyone thinks starting a social group dedicated to manifesting a rescue, contact me. Maybe we can gain enough interest to eventually form a nonprofit corporation that can receive grants towards purpose and operation. At the least we could build up a focused group, ready to plug into helping the place along under a new, like-minded steward. Tell me your thoughts. email