Auction at the Sadony Labs

Auction Featuring Sadony Lab’s Old Equipment Drawing Interest
Friday, August 05, 2005
By Dave LeMieux
Muskegon Chronicle Staff Writer

A Challenger Chris Craft Dyneto outboard motor by Owner Corp. The caller insisted that the ultra-rare item listed on a handbill announcing the auction of the contents of Valley Research Corp. didn’t exist. “But there it is, big as life,” said auctioneer Roger Schultz. The vintage outboard motor stood amid a dusty array of obscure and obsolete machinery and laboratory equipment in what was once one of the company’s airy lakefront workshops.

Schultz will be selling the contents of the building at 7139 Old Channel Trail at a public auction beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Built as the Sadony Bros. Boat Works on the shore of White Lake’s Indian Bay in the early 1930s by Joseph A. Sadony Sr.’s two sons, the rambling 10,000-square-foot building was later converted into a state-of-the-art research facility. The elder Sadony was renowned for his lifelong study of the mind’s powers of intuition and his ability to foretell events.

After service in World War II, Sadony’s sons Joseph Jr. and Arthur turned their own talents to invention. With their father as a consultant, the Sadony brothers organized Valley Research during the closing days of the war, working to develop waterproof packaging for military material.

Sixty years later, sunlight streamed through mammoth plate glass windows as Schultz and two others sifted gingerly through the contents of musty cement-block building on a recent afternoon. Outside, a meticulously restored wooden speedboat bobbed at anchor in Indian Bay. Schultz says he has already received numerous calls from people across the state interested the in the partial list of contents he’s circulated. Valley Research Corp.’s labs and workshops were once equipped with such esoteric devices as an Elmendorf tearing tester, an International clinical centrifuge and a precision penetrometer.

In the post-war years, the company worked on a variety of products including a sonic device for Continental Motors Corp. that detected flaws in metal parts. The lab also patented a home humidifier and a machine that wrapped, folded and sealed food packages in moisture-proof material. But by the late 1950s, business at the lab had tapered off, said Arthur Sadony’s daughter Jennifer Sadony Westrate. Both brothers walked away from the lab and got jobs as supervisors at Howmet Corp.’s forerunner, Misco. The labs and workshops were left largely untouched for the next 45 years.

“It’s pretty much like they walked away in the late 1950s, closed the door and that was it,” said Sadony Westrate. Sadony Westrate recently filled four dumpsters with water- and rodent-damaged contents in preparation for Saturday’s auction. Out of respect for their recently deceased mothers, Sadony Westrate and her cousins, Joseph Sadony III and Arthur C. Sadony, have waited until now to sell the property. The trio have hired Schultz, a local auctioneer, to sell the contents to the highest bidder.

The granddaughter of one of Joseph Sr.’s foremen has purchased the building and plans to convert it into a summer home. Saturday’s auction will include laboratory equipment and furniture, office furniture and boating equipment. Among the items on auction are a double mahogany Herman Miller office desk, a large band saw and Graus 2 kilo lab scale.

Schultz has been working as a auctioneer since a fall in 1985. Over the years since then, Schultz and his partner, Joe Cook of Lowell, have auctioned off the contents of countless farms. But family farms are fading away and Schultz is doing fewer and fewer farm auctions. Saturday’s auction at Valley Research is unusual for the variety of vintage laboratory equipment being offered for sale.


A Mind Of His Own
Friday, August 05, 2005
By Dave LeMieux
Muskegon Chronicle Staff Writer

Forty-five years after his death, the name Joseph A. Sadony Sr. can still raise eyebrows around Montague. Sadony was renowned for his lifelong study of the mind’s powers of intuition and his ability to foretell events “When some people saw grandpa coming, they would cross the street,” says Sadony’s granddaughter Jennifer Sadony Westrate. “Grandpa said things that would scare them. They were afraid he could read their minds,” says Sadony Westrate.

But Joseph Sadony’s life is more fascinating than scary. The German immigrant worked for President Roosevelt (the first one), performed feats of athleticism and endurance, competed with and was consulted by great minds around the world, built an estate and laboratory on the corner of White Lake, wrote books and a newspaper column, and conducted extensive research on the power of the mind. And he scares some people with the abilities of his mind.

By cultivating his intuition, Sadony made 38,000 accurate predictions during his lifetime, says Sadony Westrate. “He felt it was a gift from God. Others felt it came from the other side and were scared,” Sadony Westrate said. Stories of Sadony’s prognostications are the stuff of local folklore.

Although Sadony died a year and a day before she was born, Sadony Westrate, 43, grew up listening to her father’s stories about her grandfather’s abilities. Mere months before he died, one of her grandfather’s last predictions made certain she’d be born, Sadony Westrate says. Sadony Westrate’s father, Arthur J. Sadony, the youngest of Sadony’s two sons, married late in life. Arthur Sadony was in his 50s and Sadony Westrate’s mother, Beatrice, was in her early 40s when the couple married. Beatrice was 42 when her first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth which led to the discovery of numerous tumors in her uterus. The doctor recommended an immediate hysterectomy. “Dad said, ‘Can you wait? I’d like to call my father,’ ” Sadony Westrate said. “He called grandpa and grandpa said, ‘You tell ’em to put her back together. She’s going to have another daughter in a year and a half.’ ” Beatrice gave birth to Sadony Westrate on Sept. 3, 1961.

In his later years, Sadony became a reclusive figure at his estate and the stuff of local legends. “My grandmother (Freida Meinert) used to deliver eggs and produce down to him in the early 1950s,” said local auctioneer Roger Schultz. “I remember he’d come out to the car with that silky white beard and that black suit.” Sadony’s grandchildren have hired Schultz to sell the contents of Valley Research Corp, where Sadony worked as a consultant for his sons Joseph Sr. and Arthur in the late 1940s and 1950s. “You never heard anything bad about old Joe,” Schultz said. “He was kind of mysterious because of that white beard and of course we always saw a lot of big fancy cars going in and out of there.”

A self-educated turn-of-the-20th-century philosopher-scientist, Sadony’s biography reads like a story written by popular science fiction author Ray Bradbury. He was born February 22, 1877, in Germany’s Rhine River valley, not far from Frankfurt. The family moved to Kalamazoo in 1884 when Sadony was 7 and later moved to Chicago. According to the 1936 edition of “Who’s Who in Michigan,” Sadony hiked 1,800 miles through the Arizona desert as a young man, checking conditions on Indian reservations for Theodore Roosevelt. He performed on the flying trapeze for P.T. Barnum and bicycled from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico via Denver. Sadony could hold his breath underwater for 3 minutes, 45 seconds and saved 28 people from drowning.

In 1906, Sadony moved to White River Township and bought the 81-acre estate he named Valley of the Pines near the current site of the Old Channel Inn. Sadony built a power plant, stables, laboratory, library and machine shop. Over the years, he held a number of public offices including constable, justice of the peace, deputy sheriff and director of the district school board. For nearly 30 years, beginning in the late 1920s, Sadony wrote a daily advice column for The Muskegon Chronicle. He also self-published a variety of newsletters and journals over the years.

He was a prodigious letter-writer and his personal files were said to contain letters from over 300,000 people from around the world. When British Royal Astronomer Sir Harold Spencer Jones announced he had calculated a more accurate distance from the earth to sun in December of 1941, Sadony claimed his own “as yet incomplete conclusions” had preceded Jones’. The flap erupted two days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and it appears Sadony did not pursue his claim to the discovery.

His mental abilities remain his main claim to fame. According to Sadony Westrate, the Chicago and Detroit Police Departments both kept her grandfather on retainer, calling on his peculiar talents for help in solving difficult cases. Throughout his life Sadony insisted he never accepted payment from individuals for his predictions. Sadony’s chief pursuits were cultivating his intuition and formulating what he termed “Prevenient Education.” Sadony established the Educational Research Laboratories to further his work on both ideas.

In 1949, Sadony described his work to reporter John A. Chisholm in a eight-part series published in The Muskegon Chronicle. Explaining some his ideas on intuition from his unpublished book “The Human Radio,” Sadony told Chisholm, “Everything radiates. Everything broadcasts its own nature. People sense each others’ thoughts and feelings without knowing it.” Chisholm offered a brief explanation of “Prevenient Education” — “The basic contention of Mr. Sadony’s book ‘Gates of the Mind,’ is that thinking in words can confuse and mislead as readily as clarify; that the most reliable form of thought is that which might be termed ‘sensing.’ In explaining something, Mr. Sadony shows instead of tells.” Despite his notoriety, Sadony always remained something of a mystery.

In his 1949 series, Chisholm wrote, “Even those who have met the man, who have visited his home, seem at a loss for words when faced with specific questions. His capacity for friendship seems enormous, but even friends of many years who express their high opinion in unqualified terms bog down when it comes to details and specific questions.”

The Strange Sixth Sense of Captain Mohr

“The Strange Sixth Sense of Captain Mohr”
By Don Farrant

Captain Charles A. Mohr didn’t just “happen upon” that battered old schooner in 1930. It stands as one of the strangest episodes in the history of the Great Lakes.

No, it was not a chance encounter when a steamer captain had a “sixth sense” and , following his urgings, was able to make a dramatic rescue.

The date was Sept. 26, 1930. Captain Mohr, commanding the self-unloading steamer William Nelson, was already something of a hero on the lakes. In four separate incidents, he had been the savior of vessels in distress and each time had saved lives. Now he was bringing his ship down Lake Michigan with a cargo of sand, bound for South Chicago.

Mohr, heading into a violent storm on his downlake course, might have done the prudent thing and anchored in the lee of Washington Island, near Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, to wait until the gale moderated. Instead, against all accepted rules of cautious seamanship and common sense, he ordered the ship to be steered down the eastern shore – the often dangerous Manitou Passage.

The captain was obeying a compulsive force which strangely directed him on what almost seemed a suicidal run down the more hazardous side of the lake. The men in his crew muttered among themselves that the old man was losing his mind.

Not far distant on the shore near Muskegon, a group of people stood talking as they watched the storm. One of them was Joseph A. Sadony, a friend of Captain Mohr’s and a man who often surprised his friends by predicting coming events with great accuracy.

On this occasion, Sadony talked of a sailing ship in big trouble out there in that gale. He described a schooner with sails tattered and a hold that was filling with water. He added that the ship, even though well out of normal shipping lanes, had a good chance of rescue because even now another vessel was drawing near.

Meanwhile, Captain Mohr had turned away from his southward course and was now heading westward in the direction of Sheboygan, still following his mysterious “promptings.” Around 3 p.m. he came upon an old wooden ship, bare-poled and helpless, wallowing in the huge seas. It was here that he knew – positively – why he had been urged to follow this strange course. The men on the schooner needed help – and he could save them!

The vessel was the Our Son, one of the last of the sailing schooners, with a cargo of pulpwood destined for Muskegon.

Built in 1875, the venerable old ship was 182 feet long, with a beam of 35 feet and a gross tonnage of 720. She had three masts, the highest of which stood 130 feet above the deck. With her 35-year heritage of noble service, she now drifted helplessly, at the mercy of mountainous waves.

The Our Son carried a crew of six under 73-year old Captain Fred Nelson, a veteran seafaring man who had spent 45 years on the lakes. He was proud of his old ship, which he had skippered for the past six years. The only “jinx” in the long life of the Our Son had occurred at her launching when the owner’s son had nearly drowned in an accident – this being the source of her name.

The aged schooner carried no radio. Nelson, a religious man, knew his ship was doomed in this storm and prayed with deep conviction that he would not have to give the order to abandon ship. The yawl, he was sure, would have no chance in that furious sea.

As conditions worsened, he ordered the flag lowered, then hoisted it upside down as a distress signal. He knew theOur Son’s only chance, a slim one at that, was that another ship would come upon them in this little traveled part of the lake.

As if preordained, a steamer loomed in sight, oddly bearing the same last name as the mast-er of the sailing ship. Captain Mohr flashed an SOS, hoping to draw another vessel to the spot. He might need help in his rescue attempt, and he figured it was a safeguard in case his own ship needed assistance, as well.

Mohr soon received as answer from Pere Marquette Car Ferry No. 22, saying she would come to help, making as much head-way as the giant, plunging seas would permit.

Captain Mohr waited until he could see the smoke of the approaching car ferry. Then he spread oil on the surface to round off the tops of the breakers and effectively calm the seas. He hoped to draw alongside the Our Son, standing by long enough to allow the men to jump. Care was needed to prevent the awful possibility that the two ships would crash together, and such a collision might prove fatal to both.

On the schooner, one crewman, the cook, refused to come out of the galley! It seems he thought the end was coming and he told himself that if he had to die, his galley was the very best place to stay.

Finally, with rescue imminent, Nelson talked him into joining the others on deck. Now the entire crew gathered in a knot on the port side, just aft of the foremast ….waiting….waiting. As the mercy ship closed in, men all leaped – and all seven landed safely.

A few minutes later on the bridge of the Nelson, the schooner captain, tears in his eyes, pumped the hand of the man who had done so much to save his crew. Meanwhile, the ferry, having witnessed the whole thing, signaled the story to the outside world.

So it was that when the Nelson docked at South Chicago the following afternoon, an excited crowd had gathered to meet the ship. Reporters sought to interview both captains, as well as the six crewmen of schooner.

For his heroism, Captain Mohr was given a congressional medal for what was termed “One of the most daring pieces of expert seamanship in the history of navigation.” this was reported to be the only such medal ever awarded to a Great Lakes mariner.

The next time Joseph Sadony met his old friend, Captain Mohr, the two had plenty to talk about. Sadony told of psychic urgings on that day of storm — and Mohr, far from disbelieving, could only smile and affirm that certain promptings had indeed beckoned him to the exact spot on the wild lake where he was needed.

It was later revealed that Mohr and Sadony had previously held a conversation in which each agreed they would pay attention to their own hunches, then some-day get together to compare notes. This they did, at length, as they re-lived their experiences of September 26, 1930.

One thing is certain: but for the extra-sensory impulses that were somehow transmitted (from Sadony on shore?) To Captain Mohr, aided by the Almighty Ruler of the waves, the schooner would have gone down with all hands. It would have been another unexplained Great Lakes shipping disaster.

This article originally appeared at The Great Lakes Pilot.

Joseph Sadony: Give Thought

“Give Thought”
Selections from Joseph Sadony’s Muskegon Chronicle column

Have you learned to measure your success not by the competitors you have beaten, but by the new friends who have come to make your acquaintance?

Joseph Sadony staffIf so, then you have, not doubt, also learned to be cautious whom you call your friend to your real friends, or you may be betrayed in your absence.

One often acquires new doubtful friends by the closeness of real ones; and, like familiarity breeding contempt, close contact often blinds loyalty and virtue because no wound has yet been made. But consider how the tears of an infant give a mother the claws of a tigress.

If you want a stronger hand of friendships, listen to a friend’s interest, making his memory a part of your own. This always forms a stronger bond by the union of both worlds of experience under one law of fidelity.

If you can’t hold friends when you’ve made them, you will make yourself your own enemy by deception in your forced intention of friendship… with a subtle purpose outside of your just possessions.

And, as a final thought, if a supposed friend does not appreciate and understand your sincere efforts in his behalf, do not condemn him. Just forget him as unworthy of your consideration. Save your efforts for those who have suffered as you did, thus forming a lasting friendship worth all your regrets.

joseph sadony

Do you do all the forcing, or are you the one who is forced? In either case you but circulate counterfeit money according to the law adopted, while genuine currency may often be considered justified counterfeit, and counterfeit genuine, according to the law of justice.

If you are paid a week’s wages for labor done, does the wage in silver lose its value just because your neighbor trades only in paper representing gold? Does a kind deed deserve an unkind act in return? Should not deeds be measured by the sacrifice, the value of labor be determined according to what is expected and agreed up[on]? Should not an agreement be deemed a law, so that all concerned may understand the honor involved, and may know that a penalty or a forfeiture is demanded, regardless of the injured asking mercy for the guilty… for would not the unpunished be encouraged, the loser lax in law and order, and would not both thus unbalance the law of justice and normalcy?

The honest man has one recourse when persecuted. He knows the value of his own policy that right and justice will survive a guilty conscience and injustice, where time will execute the penalty and where he apparently loses today, but gains tomorrow, with compound interest. So sayeth the law throughout the world. Guilty to him who guilty thinks. Respect and honor to him who thinks in this trend.

joseph sadony

Have you noticed a tendency to feel blue and despondent before bedtime, given to worry, regrets, and a premonition of failure and ill health? Still, have you not always felt more hopeful the next morning?

You should stop to realize that at night your vitality has been lowered, and that sleep will recharge you. You are thinking with a tired brain, tired thoughts which are only as you feel and think. Just compare the night with the morning a few hundred times, and it may convince you that its wet powder has no more force than that much wet sand.

So from now on the moment you begin to think with tired thoughts force yourself to realize that it’s O.K. until, as with a discharged battery, rest and recharging will bring out the sunshine of smiles once more. A good motto to remind you is, “Let not the mind reason when clouds obscure the sun.”

Everyone should have something to worry about, but he should not worry about it. A reasonable cause for worry keeps one cautious and charitable, reminding him of the inevitable, the law of adjustment and the danger of negative thinking. But worry itself plays on one string of the harp until out of tune, throwing the whole song out of harmony. A wise man know[s] that it is useless to worry over what cannot be helped, and what can be helped calls for action, not worry.

joseph sadony

Supposing I developed a new kind of an apple, then grew an orchard and gathered in the apples but removed the seeds. I could well afford to give them away at cost, realizing that no one could grow them and that if I spread them far enough, many would want more, or offer a high price for seeds.

Well, that has been done by certain writers of spiritual books more concerned with picking the Bible to pieces and criticizing various doctrinal interpretations than with providing self-sustaining truth and inspiration.

If a man has the true faith it should teach him to judge not the faith of another lest he weaken his own. Why pick out of each religion that which sounds questionable? If one insists on criticism let him compare each ism or religion with the Golden Rule of every Master and great religion of the past, and if it does not agree in the use of a level, plumb or square, it will judge itself and condemn itself in the same way that 2 and 2 prove 4.

Instinct belongs to life without reason. Reason belongs to man without intuition. Intuition is of the soul what instinct is of the animal kingdom. Hence animals will ever be animal, to perpetuate themselves for the benefit of man. Instinct has its limitations and territory, but intuition is the eye of the soul that differentiates the mental from the physical, the spiritual from the mental. Thus the spirit of life functions in the animal, and the intellect in man’s mind as an instrument, while the soul with its ever-seeing eye uses the intellect as its body to manifest itself like the fingers of a musician on the keys of the piano to interpret the melody.

Now there’s the seed if you know how to grow it. Why should you pay a high price for it all wrapped up in fancy words as an “ancient secret”?

joseph sadony

When a child is taught to begin life without mistakes, it needs no later correction. If a man lives within his means, he assumes no debts; he need not apologize nor hesitate, reflecting apprehensive, careless, thoughtless-ness of responsibility. What a student assumes, he is not apt to return (over years of habit) to rectify. It seems more appropriate to “cover up,” to patch, to substitute for his power and honor of self-respect: a substitutional foundation of the times, such as it may be… but inharmonious to what will be, to meet and accuse it as false. Then one is forced to return and rectify, or be judged according to the mistakes made, knowingly or through ignorance. The latter may be tolerated, but the former is always condemned.

So you see it is always best to be sure of a solid foundation before you build a structure of knowledge or hope upon it. It is far better to have a solid foundation and a weak structure, than a weak foundation and a strong structure. Should the building collapse, you can still rebuild, to correct your mistake and feel assured of your efforts. But not so with a weak foundation that that can never support weight or power.

As roots are always the foundation of blossoms and fruits, so should your first step always be toward the goal of ambitious expectancy, so every step may be measured in confidence of a happy ending to your journey.

joseph sadony

When people forget how to play, it is time to beware; for it is a symptom that their culture has stopped growing under the stresses and strains that are sure to cause a play-less group or civilization sooner or later to decline or collapse. So you can make your own diagnoses. You need not worry about America so long as our men and women, boys and girls, still play… and that means not only games and sports, but hobbies and even hard labor not because one has to, or because he gets paid for it, but purely for the joy of it. That is the essence of freedom and sure sign of individual and social, local and national cultural health.

Find the individuals, the groups or the nations who do all they do under the compulsion of grim necessity, real or imagined, with never anything done for the pure enjoyment of self-expression free from all necessary objectives… find these people and you will have located the source, the cink, the cause and the victims of what is wrong with the world today. Where the soul of man has lost its capacity for innocent fun, “liberty” is a word without meaning, “equality” has lost its only social and cultural foundation, “fraternity” is replaced by bonds of fear and mutual suspicion, the unfailing symptom of spiritual atrophy. For Play is the root of which Religion is the blossom. Give that a thought and learn the deeper meaning of those words, “Except ye become again as a little child.”

joseph sadony

Have you forgotten that each human being has a nurse and a servant in his reflex action? When you bump your shin, who rubs it, even against your own will? When you have a toothache or a headache you hold your hand over it, even without realizing it. When one arm is lame the other does the work of both gladly, to avoid the pain.

Who puts you to sleep against your will, when you need it? Who makes you cough when necessary , and though you know no better, while you are sleeping? Who makes you drink plenty of water when you haven’t sense enough to quench the thirst that reduces your fever; and who is it that creates nausea in order to prevent you from disorganizing your system? By this time you ought to have sense enough to have gotten acquainted with your servant and your nurse, and to give them a helping hand. As far as you can remember since childhood what part did you take in your physical and mental development? Did you make any extra preparation? Did you take interest in avoiding possible colds and contagion? If it was all the law of reflex, of cause and effect, then give it a respectable thought and learn its laws, and who does it all, and why. Even if you don’t solve the problem, you have at least introduced yourself to it, and are bound to profit by it.

joseph sadony

For each of us there comes an hour in which we must be all alone, faced with our conscience, meditating how far we can go in passing through the door of the grave. When a man expects a duel, are not the weapons chosen? Will he not practice with them? Then why not seek a little solitude, to become used to it. Get acquainted with yourself, depending upon no one for the time being… as it will be when you stand before the Universal Judge to give reason why you expect admittance to the Great Unknown.

Have you ever knocked at the door of a Lodge or a Club, and wondered what was beyond it? You came of your own free will. Why? Bear in mind that the greatest Lodge is that at the door of which you will then stand… and every human being must knock at those portals, whether he wills it or not. If unwilling, one is but the lost sheep returning. So seek solitude occasionally. Be convinced of an individuality designated by the thumbprint of your right hand. And know that nature thus far has tolerated you because you were worthy, or it would have sent an executione r long before this to terminate your activities.

In solitude you will realize all these things, influenced not by fashion or creed, but only by the album of your memory and the ancestral paper and ink upon which it is recorded.

joseph sadony

You may lose your faith and still survive if you have hope left to stimulate you to find what you think you lost. For hope is the root of faith, and in your hopeful search faith will be reestablished.

That is why it is so important for you to hold in reserve some personal interest as a companion to you in the solitude of later years when retirement is forced upon you. It would be fatal to you then, if separated from the only interest you possess.

An ax may be perfectly tempered and keen-edged, still it must have a handle of the very wood it is designed to cut. The handle must have a strong pair of hands to hold it, the hands must have arms, the arms a brain, and the brain must have thought to direct the ax where to strike; with reason and selection of timber for what the first motive intended.

There are many facts like these to which people give little if any thought. Another is that it is just as important to get tired, as it is to get rested. Through all our lives there must be that give and take which make up the alternating currents of interest. There must be a beginning and end to every story. If you speak of eternity that is where stories of time are written, to remind you of you.

joseph sadony

Are you inclined to be apprehensive about something because you allowed a doubt to grow to man hood and become father of a lot of fears? Then just make up your mind to single out your greatest fear and face it. Dig it up. Meet it boldly; and see how wrong you were in magnifying it daily until you expected to find a mountain when it was only a little molehill.

Just try this out and you will find you were bluffing yourself all the while, adding layer upon layer of imagination, like a corn that created pain because of constant chafing. Remove the top of it and the pain will disappear. It’s better to go bareheaded than to wear a ten-pound high hat and get a headache. Likewise with your imaginary disasters that never happen unless you force them to come true by constant belief.

We are what we think we are, and what we think we think. We become so because we have thought it. So think what you want, and become just that. And remember that one who always procrastinates develops a psychosis to fear fear.

joseph sadony

Some people say it was “fated” after a deed is done; but can we say that it will be fated when our will has that choice, for or against? What fatalists fail to realize is that fate has its limitations, and destiny its boundaries, so man may “will” over those things within his jurisdiction. He does have power to change things, to harness power or release it.

Fate and Destiny have real existence only above the power of man. It is his own fault if he becomes a slave to circumstances through fear and failure to exert his power of choice and will in achievement and prevention.

But there is a limit to man’s jurisdiction also. One can say, “I am the master of my fate” only when the criterion becomes a lifetime… when you judge the battle from a distance, and not from man to man. We can govern circumstances with the help of time if our willpower works in harmony with our soul of intuition. For then our Will is the captain, while the soul sails in that little ship created by God, and called “man”. But if you are truly the captain of your soul, then the soul is your ship, while the heavy, leaden keel that prevents it from capsizing, and holds it on its course, is your mortal responsibility on your way to the Destiny of God.

joseph sadony

Have you ever noticed how a very simple little thing can change your entire day? Note what you start with when you get up… the difference between a good breakfast and a poor one… a good cartoon in the morning paper… good or bad news in the mail. If you let them, such things as these set the tempo and temper of the entire day.

See how it is if you miss a bus, train, or plane, or get a flat tire when just starting out. And, on the other hand, see the effect of finding more gas in your car than you thought you had. See the effect of a morning smile instead of a criticism. Are all these things magnified because of your low pressure on awakening, still relaxed and feeling that you have not had enough sleep? Or perhaps you had too much and are suffering a “hangover”. But watch those first blows or smiles of the day. They can be manipulated a little, by you and all concerned. It makes the wheels of life move a lot more smoothly.

The first seeds you plant in the Spring are apt to come up first, are they not? Well, why not think of this in planting thought on awakening every morning, and find weeds strangled before their destructive roots get hold on your emotions.

joseph sadony

No matter what trouble you may have, your forefathers had it before you. Did not their religion of faith sustain them long enough to give you birth, and a chance to better their record?

Why not search beneath your rubbish of false pride, standing on bare ground away from your present power, looking at the same trouble as you will at the moment of your passing, all alone? Just practice it now, with a little forethought, and your passing may be as glorious as your mortal achievements, a fitting climax of your record.

Where are the glories of the past with its tinsel, fragrance, beauty and power? What is its value if but momentary, with so long a time to regret? Is it not like the poor girl, disillusion ed for a moment’s mistake, leaving a stain on the head of innocence?

Where is your artificial pleasure, when genuine is its neighbor?

Straw to cattle is roughage, to regulate and strengthen the digestive organs. Likewise physical exercise to a man’s health, and what he creates with it for his happiness. And likewise also with adversity and apparently avoidable sorrow. So before you complain find what seed has been planted, by whom, and why.

joseph sadony

Some of the best suggestions in life are the most simple, the most obvious, and the least attention is paid to them. For example, when you think yourself miserable, just let your mind check up on a few people you know are far worse off than you are, but seem more contented than you are. How many times has this been suggested to you? Have you ever really done it? If so, what is the difference between them and you?

And another thing worth trying when you otherwise might not think of it. If you are a prisoner physically, why not open your mental eyes by a book of travel? Go with the author. Make that a state of mind, and to you it will be a reality, for a little while at least. Then come back to your “prison” and you will find the iron bars removed. You may even ask to have them replaced as a protection from the outside.

Did you ever realize the wonder of your memory, where you may live over your joys? But how often do you do so. Your regrets, yes; so you may complain, or demand sympathy. But just look over your photograph album of younger days. What is wrong if it does not give you a thrill? It’s your world, yours only. Why not repeat your fine mental dinner, and see its effect?

joseph sadony

When you find yourself discouraged, why not seek the source, as you do when your new unpaid-for car knocks. You did not happen to think of it, because in your brain there is a janitor that is more patient to bear your mistakes until the last straw, while the first little straw in your carburetor ends your trip.

Give it a forethought, because nature will take care of your vital organs, but will pay you in years of life if you will but prevent the skin from being scratched. Likewise will your soul lead your spirit through the dark ages of man’s mistakes, if you will but believe in the resurrection of your own common sense out of the mire of superstition.

Are there not greater things to believe, to adopt, to accept, that are more human, normal, and beneficial, than the goblins of fools? Whoever invented appetite and the foundation of bread, also invented hunger to lead us on to beg, pray, fight, and labor for the release of all bonds that hold us subject to slavery… regardless what chains may hold us, as long as the mind of man is superior to all things on earth, proven by the fact that he can imagine what he will and materialize it to his will and pleasure. He has overcome, and will do so always, and much sooner if honest with himself.

joseph sadony

Can we not with all confidence and assurance trust in the story of Christianity when all other religions have run so parallel with it for thousands of years? If it were only a myth, what kept its growth flourishing though kings and dictators tried to destroy it by propaganda and sentence of death? Still it came out victorious where all else was forgotten. So where and what is its power of sustenance, its enduring patience, its power to awaken faith, create martyrs , and conquer bestiality in producing moral, intellectual human beings.

Is this not evidence enough? One cannot refute or deny it, because it is an exhaustless and eternal source of truth and wisdom that is far beyond the logical reason of man. We believe it blindly because it is incomprehensible to our understanding. It is like an immortal ambition to seek a goal. When once reached, there comes the next one, the progress of eternity. For ambition and energy are immortal and transformative; the singing of birds in the Garden of Eden still vibrates through the air to be heard if sensitive enough to hear it. We do see the form of waves on the seashores of millions of years ago, by examining the strata of rocks. Nothing really dies. Even our flesh and bones are left for nature to preserve in some form, and our deed s in the living memory of friends and loved ones.

Remembering Joseph Sadony

“Remembering Joseph Sadony” by Thomas Boaz

As the name and works of Joseph Sadony are familiar to some readers of Life in Action I thought it might be of interest to describe my own meeting with him many years ago.

My mother, Eleanor Boaz, became one of Joseph’s students in 1952 and continued as such until his death in 1960. She was a regular recipient of The Valley Caravel, the newsletter that was Joseph’s primary contact with his students, and they also maintained an ongoing personal correspondence. Part of my recollections is based upon items from the file she maintained of her association with Joseph (as he seemed to be known by all). As a preface, it may be worthwhile describing what The Valley Caravel was for those who have never seen an original issue.

josephy sadony studyThe Valley Caravel was written and published by Joseph. He described it as a “journalette,” an apt though rather modest term. In that era, before the advent of desktop publishing and when photocopiers as we know them were rare and expensive to use, newsletters were often produced on a mimeograph. This was a common and very inexpensive method of producing a limited number of copies. The output was readable, though the blue ink was crude and smelly and no artwork could be included.

That, however, was not Joseph’s way of doing things. A typical Valley Caravel issue ran eight to ten pages and was professionally printed on glossy, high-quality 10.5 x 6 5/8-inch stock. In addition to the text, every issue was filled with the kind of layout and art work seen only in expensive publications. This included its logo, a stern view of a caravel under full sail on the crest of a wave. Use of that logo had a meaning of its own: caravels were sailing ships associated with the Age of Discovery. The logo was surrounded by a number of short aphorisms best described as a sort of metaphysical Poor Richard.

Each issue contained one or more articles by Joseph, as well as sections titled “The Caravel Letter-Box” and “The Caravel News.” The latter was “…for `The Few’ by the few who may have something to say about The Caravel, its Captain, adventures and crew.” The back page was devoted to a section of aphorisms titled “Give Thought.” The result was a publication as elegant to the eye as its contents satisfied the soul. In spite of the obvious expense of producing the Caravel, it was not available by subscription. One received the publication only by being a friend of Joseph, or a friend of a friend – and then only after making written application to receive the publication.

Joseph’s personal letters were written on 8.5 x 11-inch yellow foolscap paper imprinted with the caravel logo and the address of the Educational Research Laboratories in Montague, Michigan. These were typewritten, succinct, and filled with kindness and practical advice about the subject at hand. He must have spent an extraordinary amount of time in correspondence with his students over the years. Letters were folded into brown envelopes roughly 3.5 x 6.5-inches with a printed return address. The envelopes were sealed with red wax bearing the device of a double-headed eagle and a now-illegible motto. This device no doubt had heraldic meaning to Joseph.

My mother had visited Joseph once or twice, such visits being planned well in advance due to his busy schedule. These were coordinated with William J. Percy, who was evidently Joseph’s secretary. He not only arranged the meeting schedule, but also offered helpful advice on such things as suitable hotels in the area. She arranged another visit in 1954 or 1955, and that time I was old enough to tag along. Moreover, she wanted me to spend a few minutes discussing my own problem with Joseph.

I was a scrawny eleven or twelve-year-old at the time, and like a number of other boys in my school I was being tormented by the school bully. He was a nasty fellow, maybe a year older, who enjoyed making life miserable for a number of students he disliked. Threats followed by kicks, and punches were his stock in trade. Rarely a day went by without some hapless boy going home with a favorite belonging stolen and his face black and blue. We were afraid to ask the principal for help because of the retribution that would be visited upon us by this miscreant. We could not get away from him, nor could we do anything about him. The situation seemed impossible.

It was my mother’s idea for me to discuss this with Joseph. I readily accepted because my youthful perception of him was that he obviously possessed mystical powers when it came to dealing with life-crises.

I think it took nearly a day’s driving to get to his place. According to his obituary, Joseph lived on an 80-acre estate named “The Mouth.” I remember it as being an exceedingly impressive manorial house on landscaped grounds and containing a library the size of which would have been the envy of many regional libraries. There were also some out-buildings, one of which was his laboratory.

As I recall, Mrs. Sadony fixed lunch for us and spent time with me while my mother met with Joseph. Their meeting concluded, Joseph gave me a tour of the laboratory before we had our own talk. It was quite interesting because the building was filled with all kinds of humming, blinking electrical devices. I believe Joseph was an expert in certain fields of electricity, and made a considerable income from the developmental work he did for the government.

He than asked about my problem, which I outlined in great detail. It is worth adding that Joseph was then about seventy-eight-years-old but gave the impression of being ageless. He wore a Van Dyke beard and, customary for men of the time, was dressed in a suit or blazer and tie. In my eyes he was a combination of Zeus, Santa Claus and a college professor rolled into one. As I told him about the bully I was sure he would supply me with an esoteric incantation or, better yet, the ability to generate some powerful energy field, either of which would render the fellow powerless.

Instead, he simply said the words I remember to this day: “The next time he bothers you, just punch him as hard as you can.”

I was flabbergasted. Who ever heard of a spiritual teacher recommending punching someone? Anyway, what good was that kind of advice against the nastiest kid in school? To say, the least, I was disappointed and my mother could hardly believe Joseph had said such a thing. We concluded that maybe he was just too far spiritually advanced to be able to deal with the mundane problems of schoolyard bullies.

It was not more than two weeks later when I was walking home from school with the younger brother of a friend. The bully appeared suddenly and began to threaten the young boy. Even for a bully, threatening young children was beyond the pale, and I told him to stop. Without a word, he turned and punched me in the eye. I don’t know if it was a defensive reflex, or the power of Joseph’s advice, or some combination, but I struck back hard and kept striking. Nearly fifty years later I still recall the odd clarity of pummeling that fellow until he had a bloody nose and ran away, crying. It was the ultimate humiliation for such a brute, who instantly ceased being a problem.

My mother was aghast at the bruise on my face, but to me it was a badge of honor. I knew the school network would be abuzz and that the next day at school would be wonderful. Indeed it was; no emperor ever entered Rome in as much triumph as I enjoyed walking into school and basking in the compliments of my schoolmates for eliminating the malefactor from our lives. We were free again. Joseph Sadony’s advice to me, strange as it sounded at the time, turned out to be perfect. But then, he was no dewy-eyed theorist dreaming about eventual perfection in all things. In addition to his work he was a husband and father, and at various times served his community as justice of the peace, constable and deputy sheriff. He knew life – and people – and how to deal with both. I think one attraction of his work was that it focused upon the practical use of metaphysics to improve peoples’ souls and lives in real-life situations, not in some future state of existence. That involved dealing with people and events, not all of them pleasant, on a day-to-day basis.

He understood what we all need to occasionally remember: that there are times in life when decent people (and decent nations) simply have no choice but to defend themselves against the evil that preys upon perceived weakness.

– Reprinted with kind permission from Life in Action magazine, April-May ’05.