Perhaps one of the most famous psychics in contemporary America, Jach Pursel, is best known for channeling the spirit Lazaris, a non-physical being who refers to Jach as “the Channel.” Lazaris first appeared to Jach in a meditative state during the early 1970s, and since that time Lazaris has spoken to thousands through Pursel’s books, audiotapes, and lectures.
Lazaris is probably one of the best-known spirit advisors in communication today, and has been publically thanked by celebrities like Shirley Maclaine, who expressed gratitude for his friendship in her book It’s All in the Playing, and actress Sharon Gless of Cagney & Lacey fame, who included Lazaris in her Emmy for Best Actress in a Television Series acceptance speech. Through Pursel’s company, Concept:Synergy, hundreds of workshops, pay-per-view videos and private sessions have now become available to more people than ever around the globe.
Jach Pursel was born John “Jack” Willets Pursel in 1947, but changed his name after studying the ways in which numerology and particular letter-number combinations can influence the trajectory of a person’s life. He had a happy and average childhood, moving often with his family due to his father’s job as a travelling salesman before finally settling in Lansing, Michigan.
It was there, in Lansing, Jach met the love of his life, Penny Lake, who would also change the spelling of her name to “Peny” for numerological reasons. Jach and Peny were married in 1968, when Jach was twenty years old and they were both juniors at the University of Michigan.
Although both Jach and Peny had aspirations of attending law school after graduation, Jach ended up taking a position a claims adjuster with State Farm insurance rather than continuing on to postgraduate work. Peny became interested in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and studied voraciously subjects like meditation and parapsychology while Jach was at work. In 1972, Peny encountered an article in Cosmopolitan magazine on Silva Mind Control and convinced Jach to accompany her to one of their courses on mental and clairvoyant development through meditative practices. Jach went along begrudgingly, and was initially unenthusiastic about the benefits of such meditation.
Two years later, Jach was on his way to an upper management position with State Farm and was attending a five-day conference and training session at the home office in Bloomington, Illinois. Recalling how the Silva course had taught him relaxed breathing techniques, Jach for some reason decided to try meditating in his hotel room one evening, and found himself entering a trance-like state in which he would first encounter the entity Lazaris.
According to Jach, after several minutes of controlled breathing and relaxation, he began to spontaneously visualize a green footpath running through deeply wooded forest. He was amazed by the amount of lucid detail he experienced, from the smell of the soil to the vibrant colors of the ferns and the sounds of the woodland brook beside which he found himself.
Jach often recounts that it was the verisimilitude of this dream world that allowed him to forget his skepticism and completely immerse himself in the experience of the trance. Following the foot path, Jach discovered a small cabin, which he later described as “Americana,” and, intrigued, stepped inside. It was at this moment Jach met a figure who referred to himself as “Lazaris,” a “multi-leveled consciousness” that was simultaneously aware of many different, nonphysical realities. Jach awoke from his trance and immediately called Peny on the telephone, who was equally excited by this encounter.
When Jach returned from his business trip, he alleged forgot all about his dream and the being he had met there until Peny was impelled one evening to encourage Jach to meditate once again. On October 3, 1974, according to Jach, he relaxed on the bed while Peny asked him a series of questions and then fell asleep, awaking some time later and apologizing to his wife for drifting off.
According to Peny, it was during this time of “sleep” that Jach was actually engaged in an objective, full-trance channeling of Lazaris who answered her questions at length and expressed a desire to communicate with her, through Jach, further. Lazaris instructed Peny on a more effective method for Jach to enter a trance-state, and asked that Jach enter into such a state every day for two weeks in order that he might properly calibrate his vibrations to channel with more fluidity.
At first, Jach was hesitant but ultimately agreed and for the next fourteen days allowed himself to be put into a meditative state every evening after dinner. Throughout these sessions, Peny recorded everything Lazaris said and then relayed the information back to Jach once he had been revived. For the next two years Jach says he avoided dealing with the reality of these full-trance channeling sessions, and it was not until Lazaris was already leading his own workshops that Jach came to fully believe in him as a separate entity.
Lazaris’ philosophy is one of love and compassion. He refers to himself as a “spark of consciousness” and speaks in great detail about his nonphysical existence on multiple levels of being. Lazaris refers to himself as “we,” because he exists multiply and without form, although Jach refers to him as “he.” Initially, according to Lazaris, he began to use Jach as a channel so that he could speak with Peny, whom he referred to as a “very special person.” After Peny’s death in 2001, however, Lazaris has continued to communicate through Jach in order to learn and teach various perspectives on reality. Lazaris has stated he will only speak through Jach, and will cease to communicate with this world when Jach dies.
Synergy Foundation and Concept:Synergy
In 1977, Jach, Peny, and their friend Michaell founded the Synergy Foundation, a nonprofit organization and self-described “clearinghouse” of materials designed to forward the metaphysical philosophies and techniques introduced by Lazaris. At this point in time, Lazaris was already recognized internationally as a high-level spiritual entity and renown as a source for spiritual awakening and development.
In 1980, the Synergy Foundation moved to Marin County, California and was reconfigured as Concept:Synergy, a for-profit corporation that distributed Lazaris materials and organized workshops and retreats. In a lecture that same year, Lazaris prophesied that California would be at the center of change for the next ten years.
Concept:Synergy continued to make the teachings and writings of Lazaris available throughout the 1980s, when the New Age movement embraced his message and garnered him even larger audiences. At the end of the decade, Jach, Peny and Micheall opened Isis Rising, a New Age, metaphysical gallery on the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Although not officially a “Lazaris Center,” Isis Rising sold Lazaris material and attracted more interest in his teachings.
Jach Pursel Today
For years, Jach travelled between the East and West coast offering Lazaris seminars and appearing on television and radio programs. In 2000, Jach announced he would no longer be travelling and that all workshops and lectures would take place in Orlando, Florida, where Jach, Peny and Micheall had relocated. In 2001 tragedy struck, and both Peny and Micheall died suddenly, leaving Jach alone to continue his work with Lazaris and Concept:Synergy. Today, Jach still receives and communicates Lazaris’ messages through his website and occasional web-seminars. Most recently, Jach has offered seminars in San Francisco and Los Angeles as well as a pay-per-view event from Bali.
Tens of thousands of people now consider themselves “friends of Lazaris,” and have taken to heart his messages of compassion and love. For many, he is a gentle voice in a time of chaos, still reminding us that all realities are temporary ones, and that many things are always possible. Jach Pursel will forever be known as a controversial figure in psychic and metaphysical circles, but one who has had a lasting influence none the less.