Recently an old friend died - not that he was so old. He went before retirement age, and we have not had contact for over four decades. But he was a friend. Until religion interfered.
His passing scratched open wounds from my teenage years that I thought I had made peace with.
This man was a lovely, intelligent boy with a good nature and a kind heart. He was also from a different religion - and a different language and culture. He was keen on me, and the feeling was mutual. We were teenagers, exploring relationships and being adults.
When I realised that this was more than a passing interest, I was happy and concerned - so concerned that I went to see the minister. I had many questions about the ethical and moral rights and wrongs of having a relationship with someone from a different religious group. I am not talking about anything extreme. He was a Methodist, and I was in the Dutch Reformed Church, which made us both Protestants. The point was that he was not a member of the Dutch Reformed Church.
Today this sounds like a laughable exaggeration, but at the time my world was wobbly because of the magnitude of the decision I had to make about the relationship. The easy way out was to stop seeing him, which is what I did. I knew I had hurt him, and I was hurt, but the blinkers were solidly in place.
Now, four decades later, I know how incredibly childish and immature that decision was, and how different my life would have been if I bit the bullet and broke away from that restrictive cult. In my defence, I was a teenager who grew up in a God-fearing home and I only discovered in years that God is in fact a God of love.
During that same period, when I was already a young adult, my best friend got married. I did not attend her wedding. Why on earth not? Because she was a member of the Apostolic Faith Mission - where people actually enjoy going to church, and they show it with music and singing and praising God. My fear and indoctrination were such that I could not even see my way open to attend her wedding. That was cruel, but at the time it was the only option that I could see.
The friendship remained strong, and she actually attended my wedding.
That memory represented another big loss to me, and to this day I can remember being at home on that day, wishing with all my heart that I could share my friend’s big day and her joy, but at the same time knowing that the ostracism following the decision to attend would have been unbearable.
Little did I know that about a decade later, I would experience that same ostracism at full blast anyway when I got divorced.
Over the years I had more experiences that confirmed for me how vicious religious people can be. I worked in Ireland, a country still in the grip of a smothering Catholic Church, and saw the worst side of religious judgment - where a mass grave of babies and orphans was discovered at a convent, and where children in general were not safe from any men or the cloth. I lived in England, where it is totally acceptable to remain married and have several relationships after leaving the marital home, because of the social and religious judgment of the Church of England if you actually go through with a divorce. I am not sitting in moral judgment. Spirituality has taught me the importance of finishing unfinished business, and the church does not allow that.
Does this mean everything about religious is bad? On the contrary. If you read the holy scriptures of many religious, you will find the gems and the beauty in each one of them. And of course, there are many good people for whom religion and their religious practices form a resting place for their feet.
For me spirituality is my home and my comfort. There is nothing that cannot be resolved by Spirit, and there is no greater solace than what I get form communing with Spirit.
I was a qualified psychologist for many years and gave up that title because I encountered situations where no amount of psychological training could help me.
As a psychologist and a Christian, I was never taught in which box to put the person who came to me, desperate for help halfway during a sex change and feeling suicidal. Spirit had an answer.
As a psychologist and a Christian, I was never taught what is the best way to council a prisoner who called me from death row in the US two days before his execution, for a psychic reading. Spirit had an answer.
I have since been through experiences in my own life that got me close to breaking point, and I was able to learn and see patterns and get explanations that do not appear in any religious scripture or academic textbook. I now help people who go through similar experiences. Spirit had an answer.
This is what will be covered in Module 13:
Is God mean? Why does God allow things like sick babies and wars? Should we fear or love God?
Why do people do things to me? Do bad things happen to me because I am a bad person? Do I attract bad luck?
Living your life script. What is a life script? What is my life script? Can I change my life script?
Life, death and reincarnation. What does reincarnation have to do with my life? Have I reincarnated, and will I do it again? What is death?
The importance of past lives. Why are my past lives important in this life?
Book your seat by clicking on the top right button for payment.
I look forward to welcoming you at the workshop.
Have you ever worked very hard to get out of an untenable situation like a dreadful job or a destructive relationship? Have you worked even harder to make a dream come true – like finding that brilliant business idea, or finally getting rid of a health issue?
Have you tried everything – all sorts of approaches, business plans, affirmations, any creative idea you can think of, and all that happened is that you are left exhausted and disillusioned?
It is because you don’t understand the creation process. There is a logic behind creation that we overlook. As a result, we believe that we have failed, and we get depressed, physically and emotionally tired, and despondent. We stop believing in what we know to be true.
We need to follow the creation process that God spelt out for us. We need to understand that we should approach creation the way God did when creating everything.
Are you saying God is the only Creator, and we should not even think about creating like God?
Did you know the Vedas, the sacred Hindu texts, tell us there are 8000 species in this world?
Do you know how many of these species have the gift of creation? Only one species – and if you read this, you are part of that species.
Think about it. Have you ever seen a painting created by a giraffe? Or read a book written by an elephant? Or listened to a beautiful piece of music composed by a mosquito? No. Only humans can create, and we got the gift of creation from God.
So where do we go wrong? What is it that leaves us exhausted with nothing to prove as part of our creative efforts when it comes to the really important issues in our lives?
We forget about the importance of the creative cycle, and especially the rest period at the end of the creative cycle.
Remember, God created the earth in six days, and rested on the seventh day.
Yes, it is true that we spend a lot more time on creating the answer to our prayers – because we often lack faith and say those affirmations while crossing our fingers.
We need to understand that it is important to create for six units of time – however long that is – and then to rest during the seventh unit of time.
A unit of time might be one day, but more often a unit of time is much longer. We live our lives in cycles. We could spend an entire cycle of up to seven or even nine years creating, and then get to the rest period. But then we are so exhausted that we forget everything about the process, and we get despondent – especially if the rest period lasts for a few months. We don’t understand that we have just come out of a long period of creation, and that the rest period is in fact relatively short.
How many hours are there in a day? Did you say 24 hours? If that is the case, then why do we need to add a day to the calendar every four years? It is because we got the duration of a day wrong.
Maybe if we had more time, we would be better at understanding what a unit of time is?
We use the Gregorian calendar. Most countries stopped using the Julian calendar in 1562. In England the only way to make the transition was to gain a few days. People went to sleep on 11th September of that year, and woke up the next morning to the 1st of September.
In many European countries both calendars were used side by side until the early twentieth century.
And that is only one calendar. We are not even talking about the current Jewish calendar and other ways where we showed our lack of understanding of time.
Take for example the changes from British Summer Time to British Winter Time and vice versa. Why do we do it? A Native American remarked that only white people would cut a piece off a blanket, sew the same piece to the other end of a blanket, and believe they made the blanket longer.
We don’t understand time, and yet we want our creations to materialize sooner rather than later. We don’t want to rest for a unit of time after creating for six units of time. We want things to materialize, and we want it now.
There is of course the matter of timing – where things happen when the timing is right for everyone involved. We can try and make things happen, but we will simply end up feeling more exhausted, or we won’t understand how things can go so wrong despite our best efforts.
The alternative is to understand that after creation comes rest, and to honor and enjoy that rest period before miracles start to happen and we see how our creation manifest.
I will give you an example. Someone I know wanted to move back to his home country after many years abroad. He packed up everything and had his belongings shipped to his home country. However, he could not make the final move without any income. He was then offered a permanent job in the country where he had been staying for many years. That did not fit in with his plans, but he needed the money and accepted the job, while surviving on the bare minimum.
He could have been disappointed, but he understood the creation process and the matter of rest and timing. The time was obviously not right yet for everyone involved. A few months into the new job, out of the blue he received a job offer that would enable him to finally move back home. At the same time there was a family crisis that required him to be back home. All fitted perfectly together. He was able to accept the job offer, move back home, and be available to deal with the family crisis. This was the end of a cycle, and also the beginning of a new cycle.
When you feel that your creative efforts came to nothing, remind yourself to be patient and have faith. Look back to see more or less how long your six units of time were and remind yourself that you need a seventh unit of time to rest. Be kind to yourself and rest as much as you need to.
Then, when miracles start to happen, you are ready for the new cycle in your life. Whatever you create always materialize, but not necessarily when you expect it to do so. Patience is a virtue.
Do you know Trevor Noah? He is a brilliant comedian who is the host of The Today Show in the US. The other day I watched a skit he did on the British occupation of India. Part of the confusion was that the British believed their occupation of India was ordained by God - but this really confused the Indians, because they did not understand which of many gods
So whose god is the true God? Is the true God the one which each reborn Christian discovers when they get reborn? Is it any of the Hindu gods that have been worshipped for millenia? Or is it the Christian God who will reincarnate sometime soon, although Christians assure me they don’t believe in reincarnation? Did Jesus truly rise from the dead after three days? Was this when he reincarnated, and has the Christian world been waiting in vain for over two hundred years for that reincarnation? Is it the God of Islam, who enforces sharia law? Or is the true God the God who insists that Jews now switch on lights on the Sabbath?
Or are we all wrong, and the true God is only represented in the United States, where prayer meetings are held to drive any witchcraft away from the country’s fearless current leader? And I kid you not – adults who have a right to vote swooned around one such preacher while he was yelling something like “yaba daba doo” to drive those spirits – who have way too much common sense to follow the leadership farce – away, so that the next election can be won and the tragi-comedy can continue. I think God was not sure whether to laugh or cry in Her hands – or is it His hands – at that circus in the name of God. And I think Fred Flintstone turns in his grave every time that video gets played.
I know when I talk about God, I am as ignorant as the next person, because we can at best guess about the nature of the true God.
I am currently reading Hare Krishna material that explains the Personality of Godhead – and the one thing that becomes clear when you read the material, is that the most explicit language on earth can only give a weak imitation within the limits of words and sounds, of the Personality of Godhead. But I suppose part of our journey here is to get one tiny step closer to understanding this during this lifetime, as part of our eternal journey.
Part of the puzzle for me is the division of the one true God into a Father, Son and Holy Ghost. So, this is one God which is in fact three gods, and that is right, but the multiple Hindu gods are wrong? Or should it really be the Father, Sun (as in the sun which shines every day) and the Holy Ghost (which proves the existence of spirits, reincarnation, and an eternal life)? After all, pagan beliefs have been around for many thousands of years longer than Jesus and his crowd – that is, if Jesus actually existed – for me, the jury is still out on that one.
So, who and what is my God? I see God in the smiles and hugs of my loved ones. I feel God in the early morning when the day slowly breaks. I taste God in a fresh meal. I hear God in songs like “The sound of silence”, and in Mozart’s music, and in the talents of young people who sing and play music that make my toes curl. I feel God in quiet moments, and in those times when I feel gratitude for both large and small miracles, and in the satisfaction of a job well done. I smell God in a peony, and in a rose, and I see God in a clavia and foxglove. I have felt God in moments of closeness and intimacy. And the list goes on and on. This is my God.
What if my God is the true God for me, but not for anyone else? Do I try to convert that person to my God? Absolutely not. Many years ago, a good friend told me that she goes to church on a Sunday because her Christian faith is a resting place for her foot in a very busy world and a demanding life. I immediately grasped the truth of that, and I have never tried to convert anyone to my faith or my belief system. As far as I am concerned, each one of us is a facet on a diamond called God, with at least seven billion facets. Who says I am right, or more right than you are? It does not matter who is right – we all are, because we all are on an eternal journey.
So, if my God is the true God, and people offend my God, how do I deal with it? People like to say “oh, my God”. I personally don’t find that offensive, because quite often they see a true reflection of God in that moment, even if they may not be consciously aware of it.
However, I heard a reborn Christian say the other day that when someone says that, he feels offended, and he expects an apology. I would not expect an apology, and neither would I give one. People often use words that don’t resonate with me (which I would rather not repeat here), and my solution is simple: I ensure that I don’t use those words. Do I stay in the company of the person who uses such offensive words? It depends. Do I feel comfortable in the company of those people? If so, I simply draw a shield around me that protects me from the energy that emanates from those words. If I don’t feel comfortable with the person, I simply leave. I don’t give a sermon, and I don’t demand or expect any apology. I simply make the world a better place by starting with myself, rather than by trying to change others.
What makes your God better than mine? To be honest, I don’t care. Let’s just live in peace together, each worshiping our own version of God, and each respecting the God of others.
I have recently discovered meditation and have been meditating for twenty minutes daily for the past two months. I have already experienced some wonderful benefits, for example an increase in my confidence and realizing that I was going to do something wrong before I did it.
I have tried very hard to reach the deep meditative stage where I can directly connect with God and get answers to my questions. At the moment I am going through a lot of changes in terms of my career, and I am really worried about making wrong decisions. I feel that no matter how hard I try to connect to God to get help with these decisions, He is just not there.
What is the process for connecting to God? I am worried that I have selected the wrong career and want God’s opinion before it is too late.
There is an urgency in the Western world to find means of slowing down and becoming calmer and more peaceful.
One of the commercial successes (apart from the myriad books on mindfulness) is the new rage for colouring books for adults.
Of course you will not find fairies or clowns or animals in these colouring books. The purpose of the books is not to practice holding a crayon or staying within the lines. The purpose of the books is to help adults relax by focusing on repeating patterns and on no particular topic.
Quite often mandalas are used in these adult colouring book. Mandalas are complicated repetitive patterns that originated in Eastern philosophy as an attempt to make a symbolic representation of the Universe more tangible.
In this enlightening book, internationally renowned psychic, coach and author Elsabe Smit breaks down some key concepts of spiritual development into short, highly accessible articles, and provides ways in which the reader can achieve spiritual growth.
Inspired by a lifetime of facing sometimes seemingly insurmountable challenges, Elsabe examines the subtle nuances that influence our lives, and explores these age-old questions: Why are we born? How can we get closer to enlightenment? Is there life after death?
Be aware of who you are, and that will help you in your relationship with others.
I have many negative people in my life. It feels like the more I grow spiritually, the more people tell me I am not good enough or not up to standard (meaning their standards).
I know in my heart I am a good person, and I feel that even more after meditation. How can I love myself more, and how can I love the negative people around me without letting them drag me down?
Asking for help means you give meaning to the lives of those who are willing to give.