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 Video 2:
What is religion? Is spirituality a cult or a religion?
Universal Law and Religion. Which is best – religion or spirituality? Do you leave all religion behind when you follow a spiritual path, or do you take the best from religion? What is the best from religion? What is universal spiritual law and how does that relate to religion? Which religion is relevant to spirituality? Is spiritualism another religion?
Eternal Life and Death. Does eternal life exist? What is death, and how does death relate to eternal life? Is reincarnation real? Why does the church believe in eternal life, but not in reincarnation or spirituality? What does eternal life and earthly life have to do with spirituality? What is a medium and what is a psychic?
Meditation or Prayer? Which fits better with spirituality – prayer or meditation? What is prayer? What is meditation? Can you use both prayer and meditation when you are spiritual? Do you have to use either? Do you have to use both?
How Do I Deal with Religious Friends and Family? Does a spiritual path mean that you are now enlightened and therefore better than your religious friends and family? How do you deal with people who still choose religion? What do you do when you are spiritual, and you get invited to religious activities? What do you say to people about religion as opposed to spirituality?
I look forward to getting your feedback on the video.
Are you a beginner on your spiritual path?
Are you thirsty for knowledge but you don’t know where to start?
Do you want to know more about who you are, without becoming a medium or a psychic?
Then this course is for you.
More and more people are turning their backs on churches and organised religion because they are disillusioned with all the scandals and double standards that are always in the news.
If going to church is not the solution, then what is?
Staying away from church is also not a solution, because that leaves a void, and you float in the ocean of life, rudderless and with no compass to guide you to your destination.
Have you tried going to the spiritualist church? You may find a home there, or you may find that spiritualism and the spiritualist church are just another form of religion.
This course will guide you through that no-mans-land where you cannot go back to religion, and you don’t know where you are heading, and you need some structure, so that you can find your own path.
The important part is for you to make your own way through life. This is a scary thought, because there are so many views and so many practices to choose from.
This course will give you a solid foundation, so that you can then choose which path is for you to follow.
You will no longer need to remain in this no-mans-land of not knowing and wanting to move forward.
You will learn how spirituality is part of every day, and how we practice it without even being aware of it. You will learn simple skills for making your life better, and for planning your future and seeing those plans materialise.
Will you be able to practice as a medium or a psychic after the course? Probably not. You will be able to distinguish between what are known as “card readers” and “cold readings” on the one hand, and real, honest to goodness psychics who don’t guess or use props or pepper you with questions on the other hand.
You will understand why things happen to you and how you relate to the people you come into contact with.
There are many people in the esoteric world who make the right noises, but how do you identify those who can be followed and those who are followers posing as leaders?
You will be able to separate the spiritual wheat from the chaff, and decide what your future focus will be, based not only on your passion, but also on solid knowledge.
I will be presenting a series of videos on the topic I Want to Know About Spirituality ....
The price is £20 (R365 or $25) per video.
The videos for the I want to Know About Spirituality ... series are:
Click on the video you are interested in to invest in this opportunity.
There will be a follow-up series of seven videos (Learning the Universal Language) with more complex topics such as universal law, the domino effect, the basics of energy healing, coincidence and synchronicity, numerology, cycles, discernment and reincarnation.
There will also be a final series of videos (Using the Universal Language) for people who want to learn about psychic skills, energy medicine,tarot, applying quantum physics and exploring their own intuitive gifts.
Now is a good time to get answers to your questions and get your copy. Click on any of the topic links above to guarantee your copy.
Phew! I had no idea that me being a woman can be so intimidating to men that a flight can be delayed. Seriously. If I wasn’t there, and if I was not the cause of a commotion, I would not have believed it myself. And all I did was to occupy a randomly allocated seat on a plane.
Anyone who know me, will know that I am curious about all sorts of religions, philosophies and faith systems, because I believe having an open mind is important, and there is always a gem in the beliefs of others that I can benefit from.
I am still struggling to see the gem in this experience.
I was on a late-night flight from Krakow to London. The flight was delayed by over half an hour, and it obviously had been a long day for the flight crew. To add to the stress, the flight was overbooked.
There was a group of about ten Hassidic Jewish men in the departure hall. They kept to themselves, away from the other passengers. Nothing wrong with that – I guess if you believe, act and dress against the mainstream, you can have bad experiences, and deliberate isolation is a weapon against unwanted attention.
When it was boarding time, the group was first through the gate. No big deal, since everyone had a paid seat, and the seats were pre-allocated by the airline – unless you wanted to pay extra for picking your own seat. All I wanted was to have a seat, and to get home. I got a window seat, and although I normally prefer an aisle seat, I decided to do nothing about it, because I intended to sleep anyway.
So, we got on the plane – a crowd of tired people, eager to get home.
I found my seat and got settled. After a short time, most of the passengers were seated, but three of the Hassidic Jews were still standing in the aisle – in fact, not standing, but mulling around as much as you can do this in a cramped airplane. The very patient steward probably asked these three men seven times to please have a seat, while he was closing overhead lockers, and dealing with other pre-flight stuff. But they kept mulling around and talking to each other and the rest of the groups, clearly agitated.
Eventually the steward told them that they had to sit down, because the plane doors were closed, and the flight was ready to depart. Suddenly they all understood English, and one of them (a well-fed one with a plastic bag containing cigarettes and tin foil-wrapped food) pointed at me and I heard the word “woman”.
It turned out that the reason for them not taking their seats, was that none of them wanted to sit in a middle seat where there was even the remotest possibility of them even touching me, a mere woman.
And this on an overbooked plane where there are no spare seats, at 10.30 pm. Seriously, brother …
What was I to do? Give up my seat so that we could just get home? For a split second I thought of doing that, but then I thought no, God created me and each one of them and each one of their mothers, and God did not make a mistake. They clearly wanted the world to turn their way, and not in a pleasant or considerate manner either. Behind the prayer shawls and other garb were ordinary mortals who have obviously learnt to use their appearance (with long hair locks over the temples) and their dress code to manipulate the world, even if it is at the expense of other people.
I sat there and looked each one of them in the eyes in the friendliest possible way, and smiled.
The end result was that two other passengers offered to change seats, so that Tom, Dick and Harry could for heavens sake just sit down and we could get going.
Does this make me intolerant or disrespectful? Let’s see.
We got to London – by now it was close to midnight.
The plane was still taxiing, when the three musketeers and the rest of their crowd unfastened their seatbelts and gathered their stuff. I had never seen anything like that. The plane only came to a standstill about three minutes after the first of them got up. They were already crowding the aisle. I think the stewards were equally surprised by this.
The well-fed one was standing in the aisle next to the couple who did them (and everyone else) the favour of changing seats. The man in the aisle seat made an effort to get up – as passengers normally do when the plane comes to a standstill.
And guess what Mr Well-Fed did? He actually pointed a finger at this man and told him to stay seated. Like you would address a naughty pet. The man was as astonished as I was and remained seated.
So the crowd of Hassidic Jews marched off the plane, and everyone made way for them, because the alternative would have been a confrontation and God knows what the outcome of that would be in politically correct England.
But that was not the end of it.
I got my luggage and waited in the queue for the shuttle bus to the car park. There they were again – at the front of the queue. So? Of course, they can be at the front of the queue – first come, first served. Don’t be petty.
And the bus came. And Tom, Dick and Harry and their entire crowd got onto the bus and grabbed all available seats. Forget the couple with a small and restless baby. Never mind the elderly couple and the pregnant woman. They had their seats.
Do my observations indicate religious bias? Or did I happen to observe a group of exceptionally rude men who otherwise would probably have been punched on the nose, but who got away with this behaviour purely because they are big bullies in black garb with prayer shawls? You tell me.
I was just too happy to get home. And I still don’t subscribe to any religion, but rather believe in the philosophy of “live and let live”.
How would you have acted?
I grew up in an extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian church. We were not allowed any dancing, smoking, TV, radio, or associating with outsiders, and women were not allowed to wear trousers.
When I was a little girl I was sexually abused by a man in his 60s. I told my parents, but they insisted that it was a bad dream. My mother told me that God and prayer would heal me. As a result I never received therapy.
I spent years avoiding all men and grew up with a total aversion to sex.
I am now nearly 30 and feel lost and detached from my life. I have tried counselling and Christianity but it made no difference. God does not seem to be helping and counselling is very slow and expensive.
I am now in my first relationship and I am going to lose this man because I am disgusted by all forms of affection – even kissing.
I would like to heal my broken spirit and be happy in a relationship. How do I do that?
I think of myself as a kind, decent person from a good family. I was brought up to believe in a God of love and was involved with the church when I was a kid. My mother is a devout Christian and a beautiful person.
I know many people whom, in my opinion, don't care about God or religion but they seem to have their own way and get whatever they want. It seems that these people have such an easy life.
About ten years ago this so-called loving God took great pleasure in ripping my family to pieces. My father contracted a chronic illness which left him an angry, nasty man needing constant care.
My mother became his full-time nurse against her will and had to give up all her freedom. My dad aims all his frustration at me, and my brother tries in vain to be a peace-maker.
As if that was not enough, God then decided
I often wonder about religion, faith and tolerance.
This time my questions were triggered by an item about a postcard advert for a non-emergency phone number for the police. The postcard featured