On a mountainside in Northern California there lived, until his death in the fall of 1987, a man who had something urgent to say to every person pursuing the inner-transformative path.
Robert S. de Ropp, born on February 1, 1913, was a household name among the "counterculture" of the sixties. His book, The Master Game, became a bestseller, not only within the "fringe element", but also within mainstream society, and was given recognition in such distinguished journals as The New York Times, The London Times and TIME Magazine.
London-born de Ropp explored diverse cultures early in life. His childhood experiences included living and working on a peasant farm in Lithuania and a sheep farm in Australia.
A biologist with a Ph.D. from the University of London, de Ropp determined at an early age to be a professional scientist and realized this aim in the area of plant and animal cell research,cancer research and on the uses of drugs and biofeedback for altering consciousness.
In his autobiography, Warrior's Way, he describes how his childhood fascination with magic, ritual and the mysterious aspects of life naturally led him to laboratory research into the mysteries of nature. He always had the greatest reverence for life and respect for the laws of nature, as opposed to much human behavior which he found to violate both nature and common sense. For de Ropp, Man's spiritual development is a part of natural law; but it is a part that requires deliberate effort on the part of Man (the individual) to carry to completion--a responsibility that he found most individuals unwilling to assume.
As a young man de Ropp became a colleague and friend of Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts, Charles Lindbergh, Timothy Leary, Carlos Casteneda and J.G. Bennett. He also studied for years with P.D.Ouspensky and Madame Ouspensky, which many regard as the catalyst in his transformation.
De Ropp's writings are simple parables told in the chronology of his everyday life. They are sometimes reminiscent of a Buddhist or Taoist monk, and at other times intellectually scientific--probing the metaphysical/spiritual depths of existence. He is a true example of what it means to live an examined life, in the Socratic sense, as a true philosopher or lover of wisdom. More than a doomsayer, far more than a scientific observer, beyond the limitations of a utopian dreamer, Robert de Ropp spoke out with the integrity and acerbity of an Old Testament prophet.
Robert de Ropp is gone, his writings and his work is this life are complete. But he leaves us this important message: it may not be too late for you to choose life and assume the requisite responsibilities.