Once upon a time…

 

 

The idea for a harmonious life began to germinate in the mind of a young boy—a boy with four first names, Patrick Joseph-Terry Michael—a long time ago. The Adirondack Mountains provided the fertile setting of the first three institutes—a pine tree, the Windsor Hotel and the Fire Tower, which were a series of actual places where the boy went to ruminate in safety and peaceful solitude about the age-old question: What does it mean to be happy? Patrick Joseph-Terry Michael felt threatened by many conflicts, troubling events and forces, both from within himself and from without. No one he knew had the answer to his questions.

No one.

 

The first Institute for the Advancement of Humankind was in a pine tree! The boy with four first names would shimmy up and disappear among the branches, swaying in the breeze, looking out from Hurricane Mountain to other high peaks of the Adirondacks. Here was a magical place of dense pine and spruce forests, of hemlock “bearded with moss,” of legend and history, once the home of the Iroquoian tribes. Here, time seemed to stand still, and Patrick Joseph-Terry Michael felt a little bit like Rip Van Winkle, the man who slept through it all, only to wake to a new reality. In the pine tree, he was part of the myths and stories he had read in the library of Hurricane Heights, his uncle's old house in the even older Elizabethtown.