It was in the 80’s that I was working for a company called the Mystic Trader in Melbourne, Australia and we were promoting a Stuart Wilde seminar (The Warriors Wisdom) with some one night gigs in a few of Australia’s capitals. When it came to the big wide world I was very green, but there I was in the thick of it with the world’s funniest and most controversial motivational speaker.
The sweet dazzling veneer of the 80’s was an era of silly fashion, some rather naive ideas about positive thinking and of course the not so brilliant music. But it was the era when the new age mantra of personal growth started to became mainstream and in some ways brought together the thinking of the prior few decades and translated it into something you could actually get your teeth into and even take down to the bank.
It was about sharing your personal growth story – or dumping it on people, depending on who you were “sharing” it with. It was no longer considered too crazy for men to talk about their feelings and to say they were off to yoga. Or for women to tell men that in order to get in touch with their feminine side they should massage the heart chakra and snort miso powder instead of cocaine.
Despite it’s unwholesome reputation it was an important decade of the last few generations. These consolidated new ways of thinking about personal growth just started to kick on. Stuart Wilde was at the cutting edge of bringing such teachings to a wider audience.
Anyway enough of the 80’s – getting back to the story. The first evening lecture was to be in Melbourne followed by another in Sydney and Stuart had this brilliant idea that we should drive – not in a car but in a van. There would be four of us. Michael, Stuart, Gillie and myself on an adventure – driving to Sydney, then from there we would go on to Canberra.
It was my job to load up the van with stock – mostly boxes of Stuart’s books. We had a good hard think about it for about 30 seconds and decided that the boxes should be stacked up on the sides of the walls of the van. Michael and I would be up front sharing the driving. Stuart and Gillie would be in the back on a mattress with the stock stacked up around them. Hooray – off we go!
This was Stuart’s approach to all things. Many people coming to his lectures and reading his books would think that he would be flying form city to city first class and living it up in style. But it often wasn’t the case. He truly was enigmatic. He loved mixing it up and going on unusual adventures which s why it was so much fun, not to mention the drama and crises that usually followed.
The journey was 9 hours plus stops, so it wasn’t long before Stuart fell asleep on his comfy mattress. This was noted by the snoring which was easily heard vibrating throughout the van above the sound of the playing music. At some point into our journey there was a god almighty yelp and cry and “stop the van”. We pulled over, jumped out, and I opened the sliding side door. Stu and Gillie struggled out and Stu was holding his back in what look like distressing pain. Obviously we were very concerned and after a little chat Stu said he was hit by a box. I checked the van and there it was – a box of The Force had tumbled from the top of my pile and struck our cherished teacher.
Stuart was a little cross but after some care and attention he was OK. We all then began to laugh and ponder: Why ‘The Force’ and not ‘Miracles’ or ‘Trick to Money’ or ‘Affirmations’? Well it just had to The Force – of course.