I am penning these lines in a little hamlet in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Central California. The impressions I received yesterday are still fresh in my mind, and the experiences which caused them were as real to me as any other experiences caused by the events of every-day life. Nevertheless, they were of such extraordinary character that I cannot persuade myself that they were more than a dream, but I know they were not a dream.
Having finished a long investigation of the history of old Spanish documents and studying old worm-eaten books, moldy manuscripts hardly legible from age; having passed days and part of nights in private libraries which contained collections of personal experiences of different individuals; and after having collected and copied everything that seemed to be of any value for the objective in mind, I had at last finished my preparation for seeking out the experiences of a place rumored to be some place in the Sierra Madre Mountains where lived an ancient people of which little was know but much heard.
Many strange tales were rumored, but nothing evil ever was said. Even in the ancestral folk-lore regarding this place, people seemed to stand in awe, but not in fear of any evil.
Perhaps here I would find some great Teacher or Master who could guide me to the place I sought.
This might be the cache of ancient teachings and manuscripts which might give me the wisdom to know the difference between the conglomerations of books and other writings in today's confused world, where teachings are sold and not given as they were in the ancient of days. And so I was determined to find this place -- or at least to try . . .