How It All Began

The Undiscovered Worlds Press started out as the inspiration of Stephanie and her son, Hartley Healey, in Berkeley, California in the late 1980's. Later, they were joined by Rachman from England. The three partners had the aim of creating a publishing company which through its publications, would attempt to express a way of viewing the world, that welcomed and acknowledged those stray golden threads of spirituality, which at times drift in and out of our lives.

We did manage in a short space of time to print one issue of the Undiscovered Worlds magazine, three newsletters, two softback books, and two chapters of Mas Prio Hartono's book, The Mystical World of JavaThe Grand Old Man and Nogososro, The King of the Krises.

We happened on an article by Mas Prio Hartono and we asked to publish it in an upcoming newsletter, and Mas Prio agreed, and then, as it happened, he had to withdraw his permission owing to the objections of the principal character on which his article was based {the "character" suffered from an over inflated sense of self importance, as it happened}. Mas Prio kindly offered to write us another article. One thing led to another, until finally we were joined by Mas Prio as a partner, who functioned as a sort of high-octane spiritual force reverent helper. We three partners (R. H & S) all lived together and Mas Prio made visits when he could, usually to work on his own book, The Mystical World of Java, which R and S were editing, and attempting to put into acceptable English. Mas Prio was aware that his first book, Inner Wisdom, had many mistakes in it, which we also volunteered to correct.)

Our attempts at publishing set us off on an adventure that took us from Berkeley to Palm Springs and Denver, Colorado. Sparkling opportunities seemed to slip through our fingers and the illness of one of the partners quickly drew down the curtain on our time in Denver. Evicted from our house owing to this illness, we had to flee, willy-nilly, seeking some safe place where we could make a new start.

S's sketch of the back garden of our house in Palm Springs with the San Jacinto Mountains in the distance.
Circa 1990.
Unfortunately, we had to abandon most of our belongings, including irreplaceable manuscripts, computer disks, and hundreds of photographs given to us by Mas Prio. When we left Denver for good on one snowy January night, we put everything into storage, even dragging a photocopier through the snow and ice. We made payments promptly every year to the storage company. All for nothing, as in the end, we never returned to Denver, and funds grew so tight one year, that we had to give up the storage rental. We called the storage company, rather plaintively, but we were told that the contents of the storage locker had already been disposed of and could no longer be traced.

Every so often we still bemoan our losses but at least our experience enables us to have some empathy with the losses suffered by people in Florida when hurricanes Charley and Frances swept ashore, let alone those whose homes have been devastated by some of the Californian fire storms.

After our return to California in the early 1990's we turned our attention to finding jobs and getting our lives back into order again. Over the years, our attention drifted away from our publishing efforts and we slipped into a waste land of forgetfulness. We had tried to finance the publishing through doing various odd-jobs but by doing that, we never seemed to have enough money and jobs had a curious way of quickly swallowing all our time and energy. We lived for a number of years in an RV by the San Pablo Bay and it was there, at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais—The Sleeping Lady of Indian legend, that we wrote the main part of our children's book, Elephant Hill & The Path of Light.

Mt. Tamalpais—The Sleeping Lady of Indian legend, Marin County, California
Circa 1998.
Business affairs became so bad for Prio Hartono that he was finally compelled to return to Indonesia. He resumed his job as a professor at the university in Surabaya, Indonesia, where he rather suddenly passed on, having suffered a fatal stroke as he lectured his students.

Undiscovered Worlds has always been for us a lodestar and itself a living theme we have used in two of our books. A few years later, things changed again when H married an Englishwoman and sailed away to England to live in Sheffield, the "rust capital of the world."

Now we are down to two in California, while the two in England's green and pleasant land are busy raising a family while still keeping in touch through the internet. As we explored the internet we began thinking of the publishing again. We had seen that there was no way we could finance the printing of books, but we were becoming enchanted by the internet and saw that this provided us with a way to resurrect our publishing aims. Yes, it was now quite clear, we would publish our own and perhaps other people's writing on the internet. While we have not risen in glory from the ashes like the phoenix, at least we were struggling free from the wasteland of ashes!

In 1988 and 1989 we found ourselves for a brief moment the focal point of a loose knit, world-wide community of "kindred spirits." Many of the people who encouraged us in our early efforts we never met and quite a few have now gone on before us to the adventures of the Great Beyond. We—the straggling remnant, still see the possibility of reconnecting and finding that community again, mainly through our writing. And that community will span from the back roads of Java to a bed-sit in Maida Vale, London. We ourselves have always seen ourselves as hobbits, making our way (often cautiously and nervously!) through this world, and it's just nice to know that one belongs to a little community, even if its members are spread far and wide over the globe.

It was Laurens Van Der Post in his book, Jung: And the Story of our Time, who commented on the fact, (perhaps as result of many of his readers writing to him) that he became aware that there is a community of people in the world, who share common spiritual values (responding in a variety of ways to spiritual impulses) but have as it were, no brick and mortar institutions that adequately express this reality.

It has been interesting for us to go over our early newsletters and find to our astonishment that the themes, and ideas we talked about then still interest and engage us now. So rather than just publish facsimiles of our newsletters we have decided instead to publish a selection of articles which we believe are timely. Over the years we have looked on and off for what we call a "center" as we describe it in the article: Centers (Centres, British spelling) of Culture and Wisdom.

Copyright© 2007, Undiscovered Worlds Press