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John Sherman’s Story:
Late in 1975, when he was 33 years old, John discovered the perfect idea of perfect Social Justice, and set out to become the perfect Communist revolutionary. He joined with a small group of anarcho-communist radicals, and embarked upon four years of bank robberies, property bombings, gunfights with the police, two escapes from federal prisons and two years on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List; all done in the name of supporting the struggles of the American worker for justice. In the end it came to nothing.
In January of 1976, he was shot and captured during a bank robbery; in March, he escaped.
In 1978, after two years on the run, robbing banks and organizing property bombings, John was captured by the FBI, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In March of 1979, he escaped again from the federal prison where he was serving his sentence. In April of 1981, after two years on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, he was finally captured for the last time and returned to prison.
In June of 1994, in the fifteenth year of his imprisonment, the American spiritual teacher Gangaji came to the prison where John was serving his sentence. John found himself face to face with her and, in that meeting, discovered himself to be eternally and unconditionally free. He spent more than a year in the fully open awareness of spiritual awakening, which collapsed suddenly, leaving him bereft.
John spent the rest of his time in prison trying to find something that he could do that would bring him back to the state of indifference and apathy that he had enjoyed prior to meeting Gangaji and being taken by the false promise of freedom. This effort unexpectedly brought him to true freedom by means of an extremely simple act of attention.