I think the utter craziness of my life can be summed up via the events of the two trips to Copenhagen I made back in 2004. It first came about because I was working one night at a spiritualist church in Oxfordshire; this was during July 2003 before I moved to Wales. There was a Danish lady, Annie, in the congregation whose company had an office in Oxford and she was temporarily assigned to that office. She approached me after the event and asked if I could go to her house and do some private work. We arranged a date, and one Saturday morning I ventured over to Oxford. We ended up doing meditation and healing, as well as the private reading. She asked if I could do the same for a friend who would be visiting, and we arranged that I would go back within the coming weeks. The ladies explained that they had engaged the services, on many occasions, of a lady medium from England to go to Copenhagen and carry out private readings etc. At the time this sort of thing wasn’t very common in Denmark. They went on to explain that the lady was now getting older and she found it quite difficult to make the trip, so would I be interested in going. I didn’t need asking twice, and it was arranged that I would go to Copenhagen during the first week of March 2004; you may recall my snow shenanigans? Well, I made the second journey roughly six weeks later. Annie was back in Denmark by this time and I stayed in the basement flat of her amazing house for the duration of both trips.
The crazy thing was that I was just a bloke who was technically homeless (I had to leave the Court of Circles and at this point there was no caravan in place at Keith’s mum and step-dad’s place) and I virtually didn’t have a bean to my name. Many of my clients in Copenhagen however, lived in a world that I could only dream of. One man owned a management training company and a publishing company. Annie’s friend, who I did the reading for, had some sort of high-powered job and another lady was a director of one of the largest recruitment consultancies in Denmark. During a break in the workshop I ran during my first trip, I was chatting to a lady who casually informed me that she was a lawyer at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, and her day job was as a lobbyist at the Court of Human Rights AND, she had come home specially for the weekend so that she could attend my workshop with her mother. Annie herself was a director of a big company and has extensive experience in clinical Oncology. She has since changed jobs, but to give you an idea of the kind of work she does, during my second trip, she got up one morning at “silly o’clock”, drove to Copenhagen Airport and caught a flight to London Heathrow. She then got a taxi to Oxford and attended a two-hour meeting; after which, she took a taxi back to Heathrow and caught a flight to Copenhagen. She got back home at 11:00pm that night; and these people were coming to ME for guidance? You most certainly couldn’t make it up. To quote Madness, it was..well.. “Madness”.
Well, I almost completely forgot about this little item that I wanted to share with you. A combination of trying to manage my Chronic Fatigue and working on the book are the reasons for this. Oh, by the way, I’m now on chapter 20 and I think that 21 will just about finish it off. As you may probably recall, I used the “Who Am I?” series of posts as a blueprint for the book, but I didn’t realise how bad some of my writing was in those posts until I started working on the main project, sorry about that peeps! As things stand we are still looking at a June release for Eyesight To The Blind, but I’m not going to rush this one, so if it turns out be later; then so be it.
Anyway, back to the main subject of this post. It concerns my ordination day. The venue at Stoke Gifford was a spiritualist church that I’d served for a few years. But due to the church changing hands, closing and then opening again, it must have been a good ten years since I’d been there. Me being me, I had an idea in my head as to where the venue was, but I didn’t bother to refresh my memory before the big day came. As a result of my very typical behaviour, it wasn’t until I left the M4 motorway and was driving down the exit road to the traffic lights and roundabout, that I realised that I couldn’t remember if I took the left or right-hand lane. Certain indicators told me that I took the right-hand lane; that part of my memory returned, but as I approached the roundabout I then realised that there was something akin to a “spaghetti junction” of lanes going around the aforementioned roundabout, and I simply didn’t have a clue which one I was meant to take.
I pointed the car in the general direction of “in front” as I drove onto the roundabout and its four traffic lanes. At some point the lanes split into 2 x 2, as opposed to 1 x 4, and at the point where they split they were separated by a stretch of tarmac clearly marked as a “no, no” for motorists to drive over. If you were in the wrong lane, tough! You had to go all the way round the roundabout again and have another go at getting it right. I realised that I didn’t have a clue where I was going, and then I noticed I was indeed in the wrong lane. As my car then drove over the area of tarmac which was not for driving over, I realised that even though my hands were on the steering wheel, it wasn’t me that was driving the car; a higher power just seemed to take over.
As the car changed lanes I expected to hear other motorists tooting their horns like crazy at me. But when I glanced around, there was not one single car to be seen anywhere; I had the roundabout all to myself. I was then further relieved when I looked up to see a signpost that said, “Stoke Gifford”. Great! At least I was on the right track.
Then it occurred to me that in the years since I’d driven this way, there had been major changes to the road layout, and Stoke Gifford wasn’t exactly prominently signposted. It was dark anyway, which didn’t help, but I really didn’t have a clue. Every time I came to a junction or roundabout the car just automatically took the right route. It was only when I saw a familiar landmark that I seemed to have the wheel again, and I arrived at my destination with plenty of time to spare.
Incredible as it seems… I wasn’t even surprised…
The draught for my latest book is coming along nicely. I’m currently working on Chapter Nineteen; I estimate that there will be another three or four. I thought it would be a good idea to give you a sneak peek, so here is an extract from Chapter Eighteen:
There was one little incident of note that is worth sharing with you here. The business of “surrender” is something that I know a lot of people struggle with. In an ideal world, we would all love to surrender unconditionally to the Divine, and just lay back and bask in all the rewards. But in practise, it’s quite difficult. However, during my visit to Sai in 2010, I experienced first hand that when you surrender to God, nothing can harm you. Every day after darshan, devotees, if they wish, can pass through the Mandir. It’s one of those things about Prashanthi that can be quite frustrating, because on one hand, it is an amazing experience to behold the interior of the temple. But on the other hand, you are ushered through so quickly by the seva dals that you don’t even have time to blink. The knack is to understand that all is just Swami’s play, and as grand as the inner temple is, it is only matter and will one day exist in a different form; also, it helps to remind ourselves that all frustrations are simply egoic and the result of thwarted desires.
So, the protocol is that after darshan, those wishing to file through the temple form an “orderly” queue starting from the front of the dais. At some point the seva dals give the signal to move, and devotees step up onto the dais and file through the temple and out again. On this particular day the crowds were so vast that I didn’t even think about trying to get close to Swami, I just sat somewhere towards the back of the hall where I could be as comfortable as possible. After darshan I continued to sit and soak up the God-man’s vibrations. As I did so the queue for the temple had grown so long due to the hoards, that it was now continuing to form where I was sitting and further on towards the back. I just sat there with my eyes closed basking in Swami’s love as chaos ensued around me. I was then aware of people falling on top of me.
I felt that basking in Swami’s love was more important than avoiding being crushed, and decided that I would just surrender myself to him. At that point I felt myself sliding along the concrete floor. I opened my eyes to see an Indian man with a look of horror on his face as he held my arm. He’d seen the people falling on me and dragged me away. He’d leapt into action; rather like Superman, the only difference was that he wasn’t wearing his underpants outside his trousers. I smiled and thanked him; it was a very smooth ride.
Hi good people. Thought I would check in with you and update you on what’s happening. I’ve been quiet on the blog post front because I’m working on my book, Eyesight To The Blind, at the moment. I’m just putting the finishing touches to Chapter Eighteen, and I estimate there will be another 4-5 chapters. As things stand, I am looking at a launch some time in June this year.
I couldn’t communicate with you without sharing a beautiful spiritual insight that I came across recently. Hope you enjoy it:
Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear. When you seek to know it, you cannot see it. You cannot take hold of it, but you cannot lose it. In not being able to get it, you get it. When you are silent it speaks; when you speak, it is silent. The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, and no crowd is blocking the way – Osho
This gallery contains 16 photos.
Here’s the best photos and a video from my ordination service on 18 February 2018.
Well, as I write it is only another five days and I will be ordained as a Spiritualist Minister; the Reverend Ricky, yeah, it’s got a ring to it! As I mentioned in my previous post, Another Arrow To My Bow, as part of my ordination ceremony I will have to make a pledge or promise, whatever you want to call it. When I first saw what that entailed it made me feel quite uneasy, because it seems to be very religious in nature and not what I’m about or what I want to be involved in. Then after taking a few moments in contemplation, I realised that this pledge goes much deeper than what is on the surface. I also remembered what the ordaining minister said to me when we spoke on the phone; she said that it’s my ordination and therefore it is about what it means to me. In view of this, I thought I would share with you the questions I will be asked whilst making my pledge, I am also going to make this the subject of my address. Here goes…
Do you turn to Christ?
Yes. I turn to the Christ within, because that’s who I am.
Do you repent of your sins?
This is a good question, and one that is closely linked to Question Three; to answer we must first understand what it means. “Sin”, is one of those words that is generally not understood by those who follow organised religion, and it has been used by the church for centuries as a means of putting the fear of God into people (no pun intended). Sin comes from the ancient Greek, and it means to miss the mark. Literally, it means to miss the mark in the same context as someone firing at a target and missing. In the spiritual sense a sin is anything we do that is not in line with our soul purpose; our reason for having incarnated into flesh. Swami Vivekananda once said that if there is such a thing as sin, it is the failure to acknowledge our own Divinity. Therefore to “repent” of our sins has nothing to do with imposing austerity on ourselves. It simply means to give up anything that does not serve our soul purpose and to recognise the Christ within ourselves. But we can even take that a stage further by saying that we are not REQUIRED to renounce anything. It is simply a case of when we evolve naturally, by way of our experiences here in the physical, we reach stages where we no longer have the desire to undertake actions that constitute sin. All experience is valid in this paradoxical world, but as we grow in awareness we naturally discard that which no longer serves us. So yes, I repent of my sins.
Do you renounce evil?
As with the previous question, we must first understand what is meant by evil. It is very easy to make a personal judgement and say that something is evil, but what does it actually mean? It’s another of those words that the church loves to use in order to keep the masses living in blind ignorance and fear. So, to answer this question we must briefly return to the previous question. When we are “sinning” (acting in ways that do not serve us), we are living blindly. When we do not understand how the world functions (i.e. cause and effect etc.) we are also living blindly. When we live blindly we inflict pain and suffering on ourselves and others. This is what is meant by evil. So, in the repenting of my sins I am also renouncing evil. The sin is the desire (which comes from the ego) to carry out the act; evil is the act itself.
Do you believe and trust in God the Father, who made the world?
Who or what is God the Father? Is it an invisible man with a beard, who is always angry, who will get really jealous if we do not love him in the way he demands, who will seek vengeance if we do not love him in the aforementioned way and who will ultimately pass judgement on us when we leave this life? Quite simply, No! We should also understand here what beliefs are. A belief is a mind construct, a thought that we have about a certain person or thing. Beliefs will create our reality, but they are not necessarily representative of truth. God the Father is another term not understood by those of organised religious persuasion. To me, God the Father is Infinite Awareness, the “All That Is”; it is Consciousness in its purest form that exists beyond vibratory creation. It projected me into the form of an individual soul in its own image (of the same “stuff”). It also projected into form what we see and interpret as the world; so yes, I believe and trust in that higher power, regardless of what name you choose to call it.
Do you believe and trust in his Son, Jesus Christ who redeemed mankind?
“Son of God”, is another term widely misunderstood by organised religion. It doesn’t refer to a man of flesh. Indeed, it was only at the First Council of Constantinople in 325 AD, that King Constantine decreed that Jesus Christ the man, was the one and only begotten Son of God. Constantine also removed a lot of the text from the Bible that he did not want the masses to be aware of, and he replaced them with his own version of events. When Consciousness projected itself into form, thus creating the world and individual souls, there had to be a way for those souls to awaken to their truth; that is, the truth of their being. So Consciousness also secreted the Christ Intelligence (Son of God) into and throughout its creation. So by undertaking spiritual practise, the individual would eventually awaken to its true nature (Christ Consciousness or Son of God) and merge once again with source (God the Father). Jesus the man, like many highly evolved souls before and since, was awake within the Christ Consciousness, even though on the surface of things he looked like an ordinary man. He reflected the Christ Intelligence wherever he went, and it was this that people were attracted to, not his physical body. Jesus never encouraged anyone to follow his physical form. It was his teachings, that he epitomised in his daily living, that he encouraged people to follow. The message of Jesus the man was very simple. He told us that there is only One soul, that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us, that we are all Gods and that each and every one of us is EXACTLY the same as him. This is why his true message has always been suppressed by the church, because it affirms that each and every one of us is powerful beyond our imagination; this is the redemption of Christ.
Do you believe and trust in his Holy Spirit who gives life to the people of God?
What is the Holy Spirit? If we look around us, we will see an abundance of people and objects. The people and objects we see are only those within the scope of our vision, although we know that beyond our own limited periphery there is a whole universe of “things”. If this is the case, that there are vast amounts of “things” all existing side-by-side and in relation to each other, how do we think it is all held together? What is stopping everything from just disintegrating and hanging suspended in empty space? Sound vibration is the answer to that question; the eternal Om, or Holy Spirit. Om is also known as “Pranava”, which means, “to pervade life”. This highly sacred, one-syllable word first appeared in the Vedas, which are the most ancient of all spiritual texts. Om, is also spelt A-U-M, which represents the three states; waking, dream and deep-sleep. There is a fourth state called the “Turiya”. This is the few seconds at the end of each individual chant where the sound tapers off and the three sub-syllables of A, U and M merge into the silence. This symbolises another example of the three-dimensional nature of the world (waking, dream and deep-sleep states) merging once again into the formless. It is worth noting that the Christian Amen was derived from Om. Yes, I believe and trust that as long as there is a function for me to perform in the world, the eternal Holy Spirit will be right there vibrating within me and around me.