“Dr. John” (as we all know him) came into Bill Kiefert’s life at a time when Bill’s own writings had been limited, in his own words, by his writing abilities. The funny story is that after a conversation in which I encouraged Bill to enlist the strengths of a local university (my idea had been for him to try to apply for an honorary degree based upon his life’s work), Bill’s approach was to run an ad in the local paper, “Philosopher Wanted.”
Dr. John’s sister saw the ad and called her brother to share it with him: “You won’t believe it!” As John has explained, it may be the first and last classified in the history of the printing press announcing such a call for a philosopher.
Within a year of meeting, though the name on the “byline” remained William C. Kiefert, the quality of the publications quickly began increasing in focus and astuteness. To this day, Dr. John continues helping me by fielding questions about this subject matter, and in 2013 when I published “The Practical Side of Heaven,” one of the joys was in sending Dr. John his copy, and receiving his reply. He wrote:
“Opening the book at random, I am reminded of the years that Bill and I spent together in my office, I at my computer, Bill in a chair next to me; and all the while we struggled to say precisely what Bill wanted to convey. I brought years of background in philosophy, a knowledge of Greek, and some background in religion and theology to our partnership. Bill was amazing. He had read widely, and he was definitely a creative thinker. Creativity is required for originality, and both qualities were part of Bill’s personality and are evident in the book. Bill also brought enthusiasm and a sense of missionary zeal to his ideas. This, in part, was his charm… and certainly his attractiveness to many ladies! He was alive with life and love and spirit!”
In 2012, author Chuck Dunning published a fascinating interview with Dr. John on his blog, The Mystic Way of the Heart. I encourage you to read both parts, and thought I’d also share an excerpt where Dr. John was asked what the term “God” means to him.
Dr. John F. Miller, III: “I can conceive of God as a spiritual Presence and Power, a creative Force, expressing itself as Love and Wisdom, at once immanent in the universe and yet transcendent to it, the Source of Life and Consciousness or, better, Life Itself and Awareness/Consciousness Itself, expressing Itself as Nature, yet being not merely identical to the universe, at once the entirety of reality (Brahman), yet in essence one with our own human spiritual nature. As Jesus said, ‘I and my father are one.’ As John writes in his Prologue to his Gospel: the Logos, the creative expression of God, is the ‘light’ within everyone who comes into the world.”