Richard Rose Timeline (1917 - 2005)

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March 14, 1917 Born in Benwood,West Virginia. Richard Baby
1922 Age Five, before entering St. Alphonsus orphanage for primary education. Richard age 5
1929 Rose Family
(front row: Richard, Jr., Joseph, James and young Vincent;
second row: Richard, Sr. and wife Marguerite Orum Rose)
Rose family Circa 1929
  Recent discovery of documents has revealed that Richard Rose left
St. Alphonsus School in 1930 (not 1929) after Grade 8 and that would have
meant he entered the Capuchin Monastery at age 13, not age 12.
Richard age 12
  Recent discovery of documents has revealed that Richard Rose was a senior at
Wheeling Central High School during the year 1935/36, not 1934/35. He was around
21 years of age when he enrolled at West Liberty State College (now a State University).
Richard circa 1934
1938

Enters West Liberty State University to acquire a major in English.
However, he focussed most of his studies on chemistry and physics.

 

 

1939 to 1945 Travels the country taking various jobs, including working as a chemist and
metallurgist. He also worked on riverboats on the Ohio as a very young man,
recalling those being some of the most pleasant experiences of his youth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard in Baltimore, circa 1942. His brother James Lloyd Rose becomes the
first boy in Marshall County, West Virginia to be killed (drowned) during a
WWII incident when the USS Delisle is destroyed by a German torpedo.
James and Richard were very close, and after his death Richard said he
received visitations from his brother. This disturbance may have propelled
him further into his spiritual search.
Richard age 25
1947 Travels to Seattle, Washington to find a job and propose marriage to a girlfriend. He also joined the United States Coast Guard on May 12th but when the illusion of the
love affair fell away, he experienced the complete picture of humanity and journeyed
through a total death of the mind - Satori, Enlightenment, Samadhi – these are just a
few of the terms used to describe the complete Death Experience or death of the ego that
he experienced. (see The Albigen Papers, “Three Books of the Absolute")
Richard circa 1948
1948 Richard on the back farm about one year after his experience in Seattle Richard circa 1948
1957 Richard married Phyllis Elizabeth West of Wheeling, WV in 1950.
They had three children (shown from left to right), Ruth, Kathleen and James.
Richard's first family
  Circa 1957 or 1958 Richard begins writing The Albigen Papers Richard age 42
  Richard sitting under the sycamore tree on the family farmstead, age 57,
when lectures were first starting on college campuses. First lecture was at
the Theosophical Society in Pittsburgh, attended by a young University of
Pittsburgh student, Augie Turak, who encouraged Richard to do more
student lectures.
Richard under the sycamore age 57
November 1975 Richard at Harvard University.
By this time he had already started the lecture circuit at such campuses as
Kent State, University of Pittsburgh and Brown University in Providence, RI
where he met his future wife, Cecy.
Richard circa 1975
  Construction of the Community Building begins around early 1970’s based on
the design of the Capuchin Monastery.

 

 

1976 Richard and a crew of students, summer of 1976, who attended his lectures
and came to his family farm to begin construction of the Chautauqua building where,
each summer, dozens of people would come to attend seminars.
Chautauqua Building construction
1977 Richard lectures at seminars across the country. Two students from Pittsburgh,
Dave Gold, author of After the Absolute (Duquesne) and Augie Turak (U. of
Pittsburgh), acted as coordinators for these “Chautauquas”.
Lecture Circuit
  From around 1971 until he became incapacitated with Alzheimer’s Disease,
Richard held quarterly meetings on his farm where students from across the
country gathered to hear him talk and receive advice concerning their own search.
Around this time he created an organization known as the TAT Foundation,
standing for Truth and Transmission.
Humorous moment on the farm
1980 Birth of a daughter, Tatia, to second wife, Cecy Rose. Cecy Rose holding the newly born Tatia Rose
1988 One year before a head injury (caused by getting hit by a car while on foot),
that would launch him into the early signs of Alzheimer’s, he stands with his
eight-year-old daughter at Tappan Lake in Ohio, one of his favorite spots to
visit on a Sunday drive.
Richard with Tatia circa 1988
Early 1993 Richard retires from the lecture circuit due to Alzheimer related problems.

 

 

1997 Richard enters a local nursing home and is then transferred to Weirton.

 

 

  Richard walked the farm every autumn with his wife and daughter.
A painting of this scene (by Cecy Rose) hangs on the walls of the
Alzheimer Unit at Weirton Geriatric Center as a memoriam to one
of its more notable residents.
The Long Goodbye
July 6, 2005 The early morning of July 6, 2005, Richard S.V. Rose, Jr.
passes away at WGC in Weirton, WV.

 

 


Richard at homeRichard Rose was one of the most profound and unusual spiritual teachers this country has ever produced. A native son from the hills of West Virginia, Mr. Rose underwent a cataclysmic spiritual experience at the age of thirty that left him with an intimate understanding of the secrets of life and death. He is often referred to as a "Zen Master" by the people who knew him because of the depth of his wisdom and the spiritual system he conveyed to his students. But he did not expound traditional Zen, or any other traditional teachings. What he taught was unique because it arose from his direct personal experience of the Truth.

Though he was the author of several books on esoteric philosophy and lectured widely in universities across the country, Richard Rose has remained

largely unknown. He has been described, in fact, as "The greatest man no one's ever heard of." He appeared in newspaper articles and on local talk shows during lecture tours, and was featured in spiritual journals from time to time, but his teaching is a throw-back to that of the stern Zen masters of a thousand years ago, and his hard-edged, uncompromising approach to life and spiritual work is not a path for the masses.

From a very early age, Richard Rose was a man on a mission: to find an answer to the great riddle of life. One of his earliest memories is writing over and over in an awkward child's hand, "Many are called, but few are chosen." At the age of twelve, encouraged by his parents, he entered a Capuchin seminary in Pennsylvania to study for the priesthood. His mother was most adamant about his becoming a priest, while he wanted, simply, to find God. After five years he left, however, disenchanted with religious life and its constant admonitions to be content to believe church doctrines, not to seek a personal experience of God.

Richard Age 12Disillusioned with religion, he focused on physics and chemistry in college. He hoped to find the keys to the universe in atoms and molecules, but eventually realized that logic and science were yet another endless tangent. He then turned to yoga and asceticism, and in his twenties he maintained an extremely disciplined lifestyle. "I decided to make my body a laboratory," he said, "not a cesspool." He became a vegetarian, did not smoke or drink, and observed strict celibacy. He also spent long months in solitude on his remote farm in the hills of West Virginia. "Solitude is beautiful," he says. "Those years of celibacy and solitude were the most joyful of my life."

But Richard also knew he needed to seek out information about the spiritual path, and find others who were on it. And so he often crisscrossed the country in search of someone who might have achieved true wisdom. This was in the '30s and '40s, however, and there were few books available, and even fewer honest teachers. He must have presented quite an appearance in those days. He kept his head shaved, wore a goatee, and in keeping with his years in the seminary, perhaps, dressed entirely in black, including a black snap-brim fedora reminiscent of the gangsters of the day.

He would travel hundreds of miles by bus or hitchhiking because he had heard a certain book may be available in a distant library. He met with spiritualists, witch-doctors, shamans, healers, psychics, yogis, and gurus, most often coming away from these meetings disappointed, but wiser for the experience. He joined every spiritual and psychic group he could find, learned what they had to offer, then ended up rejecting almost all of them.

Along the way, he began to develop his own unique way of sifting through the mountain of information and misinformation available, looking for that which was most likely to be true. His training as a scientist led him to approach the abstract realm of the spiritual scientifically, whereas the norm was usually, blind faith, wishful thinking, and confusion. This scientific approach to spiritual work was the genesis of what he would later call the Albigen system.

He wanted to unravel the Gordian Knot, and lived only for that purpose. He decided he would rather suffer insanity or death than be ignorant of his destiny, his source, his true Self. Those who knew him then found him to be a man possessed by an insatiable desire to find out what lay behind the curtain of pretense so often accepted as a "wonderful life." He doubted everything, and questioned everybody he met about their philosophy of life--and death. He sought only one thing: a final answer that would dissolve all his doubts and questions. He wanted THE answer.

Then, at the age of thirty, after a life of asceticism, searching, and eventually trauma, Richard Rose had a Spiritual Awakening of great magnitude. Years later, he discovered in the writings of Ramana Maharshi a descriptive term for what he had undergone--Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi--the Hindu term for the maximum human experience possible, in which the individual mind dies, and the individual awareness merges totally with the source of all life and awareness--the Absolute, God, Truth. Maharshi metaphorically spoke of this experience as that of a drop of water merging with the ocean.

For many years afterwards Mr. Rose struggled to understand the implications of his Enlightenment experience, and to translate it into a system that might help others achieve the same Realization. Finally, he distilled his mountain of notes into a handbook for spiritual and philosophic seekers, outlining the many pitfalls, as well as illuminating the essential elements for success on the spiritual path. It is entitled "The Albigen Papers." Later, the spiritual path that this book describes became known as The Albigen System.

Richard Rose lived, spoke, and wrote without the pretense or arrogance so often found in spiritual and philosophic work. He has never charged any money for his teaching, and has never closed his door to any sincere seeker, or to anyone who was troubled and wanted to discover an avenue to peace and mental clarity. Since his first public lecture in Pittsburgh in 1972, he maintained a lifestyle unaffected by opportunities for wealth, fortune, and fame. He was, and is, a simple, humble man, who had the determination, inspiration, and dedication it takes to discover, possibly by accident, the total answer to the riddle of life.

Richard Rose passed away on July 6, 2005, in a nursing home, on a floor that specializes in patients with Alzheimer's disease. See the Epilogue to "After the Absolute: The Inner Teachings of Richard Rose" by David Gold with Bart Marshall, for the poignant description of one long-time, former student's reaction to Mr. Rose's condition.


Richard Stephen Vincent Rose, Jr.
passed away on Wednesday morning, July 6, 2005 at 5:50 A.M. A stream of friends and students from all across the country made the trip to the geriatric facility in Weirton, WV, the funeral home and finally to the graveside of the family farm to pay their last respects to this man whose profound teachings were cut short by the onset of Alzheimer's disease some ten or so years ago. The poem at the right hints at a prophetic glimpse of his final journey. He has left us a legacy of books and recorded lectures that will provide seekers a lifetime of insight into their true nature, but the spark of his presence will be deeply missed. Thank you Richard Rose, father, husband, friend and spiritual teacher, for reminding us there is hope for final realization and that we don't have far to seek and find it.
Richard Rose "I Will Take Leave of You"
(From Carillon)

I will take leave of you
Not by distinct farewell
But vaguely
As one entering vagueness
For words, symbols of confusion
Would only increase confusion
But silence, seeming to be vagueness,
Shall be my cadence,
Which someday
You will understand.
Richard Rose, age 24, Baltimore, MD
March 14, 1917 - July 6, 2005

QUOTES FROM A NOTABLE TEACHER

“We must ride the wild horns of the paradox, all the way. Since this experiential world is one of polarity, no frontal assault on Truth is possible for us. This book may seem largely controversial. The main theme to be remembered here, is that we shall approach Truth by retreating from untruth. By truth, I mean, that which is most likely among different attitudes or evidences. By untruth I mean the least likely. By Truth, which I capitalize for emphasis on the difference, I mean – the absolute state of being.” From “Social Illusions”, the first paper of The Albigen Papers.



"The highest form of spiritual work is the realization of the essence of man. The final definition of man. And with this definition -- the definition of all things, and a realization of the Nature, Absolute, or God behind all things."



"What is reality? We can only know the truth by teaching ourselves to face the truth in all things. If we encourage our computer to come up with erroneous answers, because they are more desirable, then we are developing a computer that we may never be able to trust. Truth is that which Is."



"Experience is a worthless and transient existence unless the experiencer is known."

"Man demands that God prove Himself in terms of symbols and paradigms or be considered as non-existent."

"For those who are somewhere in between the folly of youthful hedonism and the indifference of old age, some system needs to be salvaged from the experience of those who managed to make a grand assault upon definition, and who admittedly found an answer."

"The path to Truth begins with the self. We cannot properly isolate, identify, or analyze the self, because it is the subject about which we know the least."

"We live in a cloud of illusions and rarely realize that we are spinning this web of fiction for all the hours and days of our lives, unless we are fortunate or unfortunate enough to die slowly. Perhaps slow death may be the only moments of reality for the total life of many earthlings. Because the dying person is forced to face the fact that he is about to become zero."


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