Biography

John Starr Cooke Biography Project

Work is currently being done on a projected biography of John Starr Cooke, co-authored by Michael C. McCann and Mark Walker. Input is welcome from people who can provide support, and useful information and insights on John Starr Cooke.

Chamba Cooke, son of John Starr Cooke, has written an outline of the book project:

I’m Chamba Cooke, and I urge you to help me produce a book about the life of my father, John Starr Cooke, an American mystic and spiritual teacher. We aim to review the bulk of my father’s papers, and record valuable memories and insights of select family members.

John Starr Cooke (1920-1976) was a seminal cultural figure whose life story has gone untold, outside a small circle, for far too long. His ideas, personal magnetism, and generosity of spirit directly influenced and triggered the counterculture movement which flowered in San Francisco during 1966–1967.

My father lived a rich, complex, sometimes tragic, always dramatic, and highly interesting life in which he influenced and befriended some of the most iconic figures of his day including Cole Porter, G.I. Gurdjieff, Pyotr Ouspensky, Meher Baba, L Ron Hubbard, Leonard Cohen, Brion Gysin, William Burroughs, Michael Bowen, and Timothy Leary.

His life and teachings culminated in the doctrine of “One Consciousness,” initially communicated to my father and a close circle of friends through a combination of daytime group meditation sessions on Point Lobos, California, and nightly Ouija board sessions at his Carmel Highlands home near Big Sur in the early 1960s. The transcripts and group meditations were the basis for a highly original set of Tarot cards which John himself painted, entitled T: The New Tarot for the Aquarian Age. The texts were subsequently published in book form as The Word of One.

– Chamba Cooke

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