Silver Medal Syndrome


Image by Alexey Hulsov from Pixabay

I was perusing the books of Neale Donald Walsch recently on eBay, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a “Book Four” in the Conversations With God series. I have found the CWG trilogy to be a very significant part of my spiritual evolution, so when I saw that there was a fourth part, I just had to have it. It truly is amazing how “The Absolute” has its unique way of reaching out to us when we need support and guidance, in EXACTLY the way that is most suitable and relevant to us at the time. I have been asking so many questions lately, and like some kind of Divine Christmas present out of the blue, this book has provided me with answers. I have barely started reading the book, but already, like a piece in a Divine jig-saw puzzle it has just slotted into place in my life and, as well as answering some of my questions, it has also given me the inspiration to come up with an analogy that I have called, “Silver Medal Syndrome.”

I think that many people reading this post will be able to relate to what I mean here. Regardless of what the media would have us believe, there is most definitely a shift in consciousness going on, as I type even. People are gradually waking up to their true nature. However, for many, and I include myself here, we “know” from the perspective of knowledge, that we are already awake and have nothing to seek. But, we do not have the “knowing” of our awakenedness. What I’m getting at, is that there is a difference between knowledge and knowing. Knowledge comes with words, but knowing only comes with experience. So, we have the knowledge that our true nature is consciousness, but in our physical form we are not yet evolved enough to know this experientially. This is where the analogy comes in.

At the moment, we have the silver medal. It’s better than bronze, but it’s not quite gold. From my own experience, when we have Bronze Medal Syndrome, we are on the path but we think we know more than we actually do. Then, we ascend to Silver Medal Syndrome (SMS). It’s not bad, in fact it’s a great effort, but we still only have knowledge. One of the draw backs of SMS is that even though we know that we are awake but not quite there, we still sometimes think and act in ways that we know are not conducive to our spiritual evolution. We might even follow this up with feelings of guilt after the event.

It is important however, to try and not beat ourselves up when this happens. Remember, it’s all a part of the training, the experience of life…and we are all ultimately GOING FOR GOLD!

Distant Healing


Photo by Arina Krasnikova: Pexels

I’ve not mentioned this before, but I have had an illness since the Summer of last year, which peaked at the tail-end of December and throughout January. I am much better than I was, although I still have an ongoing niggle that restricts the way I go about my daily life. As well as the conventional treatment, I have also had a lot of distant healing sent to me from various sources. Those of you who either know me personally or who are familiar with my writing, will be aware of my experiences with the psychic surgeon, Stephen Turoff, back in the early 2000s. Well, back in May of this year I was getting so frustrated with my condition that I decided to explore the possibilities of receiving healing from Stephen once again. I elected to choose his distant healing service as his practice is quite a distance from where I live, and I thought that it would save me a journey. Below, is my account, observations and thoughts of the experience, which comprised of 32 consecutive days treatment. I hope you find it interesting.

Day One – 20/05/22
I didn’t receive the email advising that the healing process was to start today. However, it all got sorted in the end and I did as advised and found my quiet space after 7.00 pm. Nothing out of the ordinary during the first session. I felt the usual presence of spirit around me and also saw Stephen in my third eye. I felt very good afterwards. Mantras used: So-Hum, Yes-God, Thank You – God, Gayatri and Sai Gayatri.

Day Two – 21/05/22
Much stronger this evening. It worked out as with the previous day, that I went to lay in the peace at around 7:30 pm. I saw Stephen again and was enveloped in very strong energy. A couple of times I felt as though I was just going to drift away into nothingness. It made me wonder if I was a nano-millimeter away from experiencing Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Mantras used: So-Hum, Yes-God, Thank You – God, Gayatri, Sai Gayatri and Samasta Loka

Day Three – 22/05/22
Slightly later this evening. As soon as I began to relax I started to silently chant the “Yes God” mantra. Immediately, there was a sensation of heat in my stomach, which went on for quite a while. Two things learned from this evening’s session. 1) My ego is doing its utmost to disrupt the healing. Because I have started this journal, my mind kept trying to make me wander off by thinking about what I was going to write, instead of concentrating on the healing. 2) You can never try to guess how the session is going to go and what it will consist of. The energy didn’t seem so strong this evening, and when the heat had gone from my stomach I felt that the session was winding down. But just when I was contemplating coming out of it, the energy suddenly intensified and my body seemed to be locked in position. So, it’s as though I had two mini sessions in one this evening.
I only had a fleeting glimpse of Stephen this time, so I don’t know if it was just my mind putting it there. Mantras used: So-Hum, Yes-God, Thank You – God, Gayatri, Sai Gayatri and Samasta Loka.

Day Four – 23/05/22
Completely different again this evening. Went to lay down at a similar time. The energy took a little while to build up, but as it did so, I started to feel a very subtle warmth in my stomach; as opposed to the heat of day three’s session. I was thinking that today’s session was quite unspectacular, but it then occurred to me that I’d been quite spoilt and was now expecting too much. The energy may not have seemed as strong as the previous day, but it was still strong nonetheless, and appeared to ramp up just before the end. Used the same mantras as the two previous days.

My Observations So Far
I first became aware of Stephen when I went to buy a specific book, but the book “Psychic Surgeon” jumped out me. So, I left the shop with 2 books instead of one. It took me a while to get around to reading it, but once I did, it blew me away. During the period from 2002 to 2004, I made 3 or 4 visits to the Miami Hotel; having 2 operations myself and also taking a friend and my mother to have ops. Incidentally, in 2004 Stephen took away my friend’s throat cancer and she is still going strong today.
At that time it was £20 for a face to face visit and £10 for distant healing, so I balked a bit when I saw that the cost was now £50. Once I was over the initial shock and weighed everything up, the price became immaterial. Already, I have had an incredible experience and I am not even 1/6th of the way through my treatment. When you work it out, the cost equates to around £1.56 per day, give or take a couple of pence. So, to have this for 32 consecutive days represents an absolute bargain in anyone’s language. Yes, it’s true that the treatment may not take away the problem that I want removing, but there is no way that anyone could go through this experience without having a positive outcome, whatever that outcome might be.

Day Five – 24/05/22
The longest session so far. I went to lay down a little earlier this evening; just after 7:00 pm. Used the same mantras as before. The energy was very strong, but didn’t seem to be concentrated on any particular area. I was simply enveloped within an incredibly strong energy. When the energy subsided, I looked at the clock and saw that it had been going for about 30 minutes. However, I was so knocked out by the experience that I continued to lay down. Then the healing seemed to start up again but as a completely different experience. It was as though I was being gently brought back after having had a “good zapping.” This continued for a while and when I eventually got up, the process had been going on for around 45 minutes.

Day Six – 25/05/22
I had to go out this evening, so I wasn’t able to lay down peacefully until after 10:00 pm. I was enveloped in energy quite quickly, and it was particularly strong around my head. I felt really tired and decided that I would just trust the healing process and settle down in bed for the night. I ended up only laying quietly for around 15 minutes, but I’m sure that this is immaterial to the process. Used the same mantras.

Day Seven – 26/05/22
Went to lay down just after 7:00 pm. I felt warmth again in my stomach as soon as the energy enveloped me. A bit of a strange one this evening. I kept losing concentration as I was silently chanting the mantras (same ones again) as though I was drifting into a slumber. I looked at the clock and saw that I’d been laying down for roughly 30 minutes. I lay back down again and must have gone into a bit of a doze. I got up at around 8:10 pm.

Day Eight – 27/05/22
I felt the heat again in my stomach. Not as subtle as the last couple of times, but also not as hot as the first time. Very strong energy around me once again and my mind constantly trying to disrupt my concentration. I have not mentioned before that I always feel slightly transfigured during these sessions. I didn’t think it was that important because this is something I feel regularly; hence I didn’t mention it. But, this evening it was much stronger. I felt like I wanted to doze again, which again interfered with my silent mantra chanting (same mantras). All good!

Day Nine – 28/05/22
Another very different session. I didn’t lay down until nearly 11:00 pm as I was attending an event in Bristol. This is the only session up to now that has not taken place in my own home. As I started to relax, the energy built up quite slowly and enveloped me again, becoming very strong. There was again a sensation of warmth in my stomach and I felt completely transfigured from my head down to my legs. Same mantras.

Day Ten – 29/05/22
I had to go out this evening so I didn’t lay down until just after 9:30 pm. The energy built up slowly and was very strong once again. I felt heat in my stomach area for a while during this session and also felt transfigured again. I have another feeling that is very difficult to put into words (the same for all of this journal really, as words cannot aptly describe what I am experiencing), but I will endeavour to try further down the line as things progress, if the feeling continues. I used the same mantras and am now exactly 1/3rd of the way through my treatment.

My Observations So Far
There has undoubtedly been an improvement physically, although maybe not to the extent that I would have liked. However, I have another 20 sessions to go. I do feel though, that there has been some sort of subtle transformation at a deeper level of my being, and I am quite excited to see what the eventual outcome will be.

Day Eleven – 30/05/22
Once again there was quite a slow build up of energy, but it became very strong and completely enveloped me. I felt some gentle activity going on in my stomach and I also felt transfigured again. Same mantras.

Day Twelve – 31/05/22
Things really went up a notch this evening; I just hope that I can find the words to accurately describe what I experienced. Firstly, the heat in my stomach was quite intense again. While I was experiencing this, I again felt gentle activity, as though someone was fiddling around in my stomach. When this experience tapered off the energy enveloping me became more intense and very strong. Then something incredible happened. There was a tangible shift, as though the energy had been raised up to another level. At the same time it became more subtle, but it was very noticeably at a higher level of vibration. It’s very difficult to explain, but it seemed to become bigger, and as a result I felt as though I was higher up than I was. What was also significant here, was that my ego was working overtime to try to distract me from the wonderful experience I was having. It didn’t stop throughout the session. Then another amazing thing happened. I was aware of an arm and hand moving in a clockwise direction, exactly in the way Sri Sathya Sai Baba used to do when he was manifesting vibhuti. After a while it changed to anti-clockwise. The crazy thing is that not only was the hand moving quite slowly, but I couldn’t see either the hand or the arm. It reminded me of when Baba used to come to me in dreams, I very often couldn’t see him, but it was unmistakably him. Had it not been for a really annoying itch on my right eyelid, I would not have been aware at all of my physical body. In the end, I couldn’t stand it any longer and had to scratch the itch. I settled back down thinking that was probably it, but the energy enveloped me again. This time it was much softer, as if it was saying to me, “I’m going to ease you down nice and slowly.” The whole experience lasted about 45 minutes. I again felt transfigured and I used the same mantras.

Day Thirteen – 01/06/22
Another incredible session. Things started very slowly and there was no concentration of heat in my stomach nor the sensation of someone fiddling around in there. The energy was quite subtle, but nonetheless very strong, and as it built up I became completely transfigured once again and unable to move (not that I wanted to move). I just lay there, chanting the same mantras silently in my head and enjoying what went from an incredible experience to something that no words on earth can describe properly. This was the most complete transfiguration yet, as though someone was nestled nicely inside my physical form. I’m not sure of the exact order of the next two things, so I will just relate them. At some point, my third eye expanded with a very pale green light. Because I have been experiencing things going on in my third eye for over 20 years, I didn’t think it was worth mentioning anything I had seen, such as lights etc., during these sessions. However, the energy involved with this experience was very different to what I’ve been used to in the past. This would tie in with last night’s events when I felt a tangible shift in vibration. At some stage, whoever had transfigured me started to move my lower arms. Not a great deal, it was as though the soul was trying me out for size, like going to the shop and trying on a suit. Then after a while, my lips (especially my top lip) seemed to get thinner and started to move. Whoever it was, was not my regular companion. The truly amazing thing is that I may well have instigated these sessions because I require physical healing, but I seem to be more concerned with the spiritual transformation that is taking place. I obviously do want my physical problem to clear up so that I can live a normal life again. But, everything else that is going on is just so incredibly exciting. A mildly amusing thing is that I have even started to speculate as to what the outcome will be, but I know full well from past experience, that where the Divine is concerned, whatever you think it is… it isn’t…

Day Fourteen – 02/06/22
A very slow start again, but the energy (although quite subtle) became stronger and as usual, I couldn’t move. I felt transfigured again, although not as powerful as yesterday. My lips only very momentarily seemed to go thin and my lower left arm moved and my left hand opened and closed, and opened again. I used the same mantras, although I have been chanting the Sai Gayatri more consistently than the others. The reason for this is that when I think of God I don’t think of an entity, I think of the formless totality. But, when I think of God with a form, I think of Sai Baba; hence I chant the Sai Gayatri more than the other mantras.

Day Fifteen – 03/06/22
I only chanted the Sai Gayatri this evening and the session lasted for nearly an hour. Another interesting event indeed. Things started slowly again, and I decided that I would let the session run for a while before I did any mantra chanting (this is a first; I normally start chanting pretty much straight away). I immediately felt heat around my solar plexus and during the course of the session it gradually made its way down my stomach until it disappeared. Once again, I couldn’t move but the energy was very gentle. I was transfigured again, and early in the session my right arm placed itself across my chest. After a while it returned to my side and at various stages during the process there was further movements of both arms. It was generally uneventful (I know, I’m really spoiled and expecting bells and whistles every evening). I guessed that I had been laying down for more than half and hour, and was kind of expecting things to wind down. Like I said, things seemed pretty uneventful, I was enveloped in gentle energy, unable to move, and with periodic movements of the arm and only one instance of my lips seeming to go thinner; then it happened… It was incredibly gentle, but I felt as though I was inflating. What was happening was that my friend, whoever that may be, was making his/herself comfortable within my physical body. As before, my friend seemed to be trying me for size and very gently shook my head rapidly from side to side. I felt completely transfigured, but just to make sure it wasn’t me putting the movement in myself, I sent out a thought, “just so I know I didn’t imagine it, can you do that again.” Sure enough, my head shook rapidly but very gently from side to side. I’m going to miss all this when it’s over…
I almost forgot to mention, that at about the half-way stage, I saw a woman’s face in my third eye. She had dark hair and was smiling at me. She looked really familiar but I just can’t place who she is.

Day Sixteen – 04/06/22
I reverted back to chanting all the previous mantras, but I chanted the Sai Gayatri much more extensively than the others. I quickly felt heat in my lower stomach, which made its way up to my solar plexus. The heat was maintained the entire length of my stomach, as opposed to being limited to isolated areas as it moved upwards. The energy built up slowly again as I became transfigured and the heat in my stomach subsided; once again, I was unable to move. My “friend” seemed mainly concerned with my face this session and it was as though he/she was having a practice to open and close my mouth. There was also minimal arm movements.

Day Seventeen – 05/06/22
I immediately felt warmth in my stomach. Once again it was a slow build up of energy and I couldn’t move. At one point I had to almost force movement of my arm to take care of an annoying itch on my eyelid. Same mantras again. No arm movements this session, but again there was movement in my head and mouth.

More Observations
I am now past the half-way point. There has been slight physical improvement. I didn’t expect things to have been like this, although, I suppose I didn’t really know what to expect. With regard to the spiritual aspect of what has been going on, I can only describe it as being like some sort of graph showing the performance of stocks and shares. The sessions started off quite low key, then there was a spike, then things tapered off a bit, then there was another spike. I’m now going through another lower key period. I can only assume that wherever the sessions are meant to lead me, it has to be done in stages so as not to cause me to have any adverse effects.
For over 22 years I have experienced some incredible things. I estimate over 200 out of body experiences. I have experienced other realities whilst being on my astral journeys and interacted with other souls who are not on earth in the physical body. I have had so many amazing experiences that I now have trouble remembering them. Now, these sessions are adding to the list. As much as I love them, I do feel that I’m getting a bit attached to them, my ego is also constantly trying to interfere with my concentration. I’m well aware that as long as “I” am having these experiences and “I” am enjoying them, there will be no Samadhi for me anytime soon. However, I shall cherish and enjoy the remaining sessions and embrace with gratitude whatever outcome materialises.

Day Eighteen – 06/06/22
Today I cut out the Sai Gayatri and the Samasta Loka mantras, just chanting the other four. I felt a gentle warmth in my stomach and I was again transfigured to the extent that I couldn’t move. The energy was very powerful but gentle. I felt some movement within my face and lips but there was no opening and closing of the mouth or movement of the arms.

Day Nineteen – 07/06/22
I went back to using all of the mantras today. Gentle warmth in my stomach followed by the usual envelopment in energy and being unable to move. There was a degree of transfiguration this evening, which seemed to increase towards the end. When the transfiguration intensified I felt a tightness across my chest for the first time. It was gentle, not the kind of tightness across the chest you would associate with being ill.

Day Twenty – 08/06/22
Once again there was quite a slow build up before I was enveloped in very strong but gentle energy. My left arm placed itself, of its own accord, across my torso with my left palm flat over my solar plexus. I felt expansion within my third eye and there was an interchanging of light green and lilac pastel colours. I used all the usual mantras.

More Observations
Wow! Session number twenty has been and gone. How does all this imaginary time fly past so quickly? There has been a definite physical improvement, although I am not out of the woods yet. For the first time since just before Christmas, I have been sitting normally for longer periods today with either minor soreness and irritation or none at all. This is a huge step forward.

Day Twenty One – 09/06/22
I felt that the mantra chanting was becoming a bit mechanical, so I decided to not use any mantras this session. Instead, I regularly expressed gratitude. I immediately felt heat within my stomach area and the usual enveloping in powerful but gentle energy. There was once again transfiguration with some movement of the arms.

Day Twenty Two – 10/06/22
For the first time, I fell asleep during this session. I felt warmth in my stomach as the energy enfolded me and things seemed to intensify when I started to silently chant the Gayatri. I also chanted the Sai Gayatri and Samasta Loka, but no other mantras. My right arm moved across my chest and rested with my palm down; there was also a bit of movement with my left arm. The rest is a blur, as I fell asleep.

Day Twenty Three – 11/06/22
I tried an experiment this evening. A few weeks back, I acquired the most beautiful CD of Tibetan temple bell music and I decided to play it at a low volume through headphones during the session. I didn’t use any mantras, but frequently sent out thoughts of gratitude. The results were interesting, but of course, there is no way of telling whether my experience would have been any different had I not used the CD. Almost immediately after laying down, my right arm moved across to my chest with my hand palm down. After a while, my left hand moved to my stomach and rested there palm down. I was transfigured by two different souls. Firstly, my new friend that I’ve only known since these healing sessions began drew close, then to my surprise, my regular companion of many years nipped in and transfigured me. My new friend then came in again and stayed for the duration. Throughout the session, which lasted the best part of an hour, the energy peaked and troughed. It was very powerful indeed, although very pleasant and gentle. It would intensify to levels of the highest that I’ve experienced since my healing started back on May 20, then it would drop off before rising again. At some point both of my arms moved back to my side, although my right palm did again move to my chest area. There was a lot of movement with my mouth too, as though once again, my friend was trying out my body for size; like trying on a suit.

Day Twenty Four – 12/06/22
I went back to silently chanting all of the usual mantras this session. I was enveloped in the energy, but nothing else of note occurred this evening. I seemed to have a doze and was laying down for the best part of an hour.

Day Twenty Five – 13/06/22
Silent chanting of all mantras. Enveloped in very powerful but gentle energy. Minimal transfiguration. After just over half and hour I turned onto my side. I stayed like that for a short while, but felt warmth in my stomach so turned back onto my back. My right arm then moved across my chest and my palm rested just below my left shoulder. I felt a lot of warmth coming from my palm.

Day Twenty Six – 14/06/22
A strange one today. I had been unwell for most of the day, with what I guessed to be very mild food poisoning. I spent the afternoon in bed and suddenly started to feel better. My high temperature started to drop and was almost back to normal as I went to lay down for the healing session. The energy was once again very powerful and I was transfigured. There was some movement of the arms and at one point both my palms moved to be face down on my chest, just below my shoulder. It felt very warm, but not quite warm enough to describe it as hot. All mantras silently chanted.

Day Twenty Seven – 15/06/22
My unwellness returned before I went to bed last night so I had to call in sick today. Very strong energy again and felt warmth in my stomach early into the session. Same mantras.

Day Twenty Eight – 16/06/22
I decided to give the temple bell CD another go this evening, so the session comprised the full hour running time. No mantras, minimal transfiguration and usual strong energy.

Day Twenty Nine – 17/06/22
Enveloped in strong energy again. Minimal transfiguration. Used all mantras.

Day Thirty – 18/06/22
Ditto above.

Day Thirty One – 19/06/22
I felt a gentle pressure in between my chest and solar plexus. There was a feeling of very subtle movement as though someone was fiddling around inside me. Very strong energy similar to what I experienced when things really ramped up during session 12 on 31/05. My right arm also moved outwards and for a short while it was as though someone was holding my hand. I seemed to be transfigured by two different souls (same ones as before). Just when I thought the session had come to an end and I was contemplating getting up, I felt a gentle warmth in my stomach so continued to lay for a while. No mantras this evening.

Day Thirty Two – 20/06/22
Final session. Strange feeling really. On one hand, it feels right that it ends now, and on the other hand, I’ll miss the routine. I just don’t know how 32 days have gone by so quickly. As far as the session itself goes, it was a bit of everything this evening.

Final Thoughts
The main problem that I wanted healing is still there. That’s OK; I knew there was no guarantee. There has however, been a shift of sorts. It’s very difficult to put into words, but it’s as though a transformation has taken place. I am also aware that this kind of healing doesn’t just cut off, the process continues until it fades out; a bit like the end of a song. I’ll just add some final observations, because there are a few things that have always been common place that I didn’t feel needed to be added to my accounts of the individual sessions and also a couple of other things worth mentioning.
Firstly, every session seemed to start with activity within my third eye; like pressure. This is something I have experienced every day for many, many years, so it did not seem worth mentioning. Also, I did a hell of a lot of snoring whilst still being awake during the sessions. The energy seemed to take me towards sleep, but apart from one occasion, just left me on the brink; hence the snoring. Another thing was that, during every session, my ego was going completely mental in an effort to fill my head with nonsensical stories. I had to keep reining it in.
A final couple of observations. Because I didn’t see Stephen again after the third session, I’m wondering if it was just my mind that created the image in the first place. These were my first dealings with Stephen for many years and I was quite excited about it. Of course, either way, whether I really did see him or not makes no difference to the energy and the outcome. Finally, over many years I have been blessed with an incalculable amount of incredible experiences; some of them took place during my visits to the Miami hotel. I can add to my “list” my experiences during sessions 12, 13 and 15. However, sometimes I feel as though my blessings work against me in a funny kind of paradoxical way. When I experience incredible phenomena, my ego just wants more and more of the same. Of course, this cannot be; this is not why I am here. I know that all phenomena are ultimately temporal and not the reality, but it doesn’t stop me from becoming attached and wanting more and more of the same.

All in all, a fantastic experience and worth every penny.

Pointing The Way


I really love parables; especially Zen parables. The reason I love Zen parables so much is that quite often they are tongue-in-cheek, but at the same time very profound. As with all parables, we have no way of knowing if the stories actually happened, and because the meaning is never in the story itself, but in the subtext, I suppose it doesn’t really matter whether the story actually happened or not. The parable that I’m going to share with you is one of those rarities where I really hope that the story is a complete work of fiction. You will understand why as you read on.

Many centuries ago there was an old Zen master, who would raise his index finger in the air after engaging with disciples. Whether it was to an individual or a group, after imparting some wisdom, the master would raise his index finger in the air. This was a source of great amusement to a young boy in the village, and he would constantly mock the master every time he saw him by raising his finger in the air too. One day, the boy saw the master walking through the market place, and as usual he raised his index finger in the air in a mocking manner. As quick as a flash, the old man caught hold of the boy and cut off the finger. As the boy screamed in agony the master looked at him, raised his finger in the air and walked off.

A harsh lesson indeed and as I said, I really hope it isn’t true. However, the parable contains a beautifully profound message. It’s similar to the old story that says if you want to see the moon and stars, you have to look beyond the finger that’s pointing to them. For me, it is also an indication of the difference between a master and a teacher. A teacher will teach us what’s in the text book, everything that’s gone before; all the old stale stuff. A teacher will contribute to our conditioning, along with priests, parents, peers, media etc. Indeed, everything that shapes our thoughts about who we are as we are growing up. A master, on the other hand, treats everyone who comes to them as a unique individual and “points the way.”

A master doesn’t teach, in fact, I’ve heard it said that a master is the antidote to the teacher. A master points the way by giving us the key to ourselves. The greatest knowledge is Self-knowledge, and that isn’t something that can be taught. It is experiential and very unique to the one having the experience. The boy in the parable may have been young, but the master’s actions were saying, “I’ve cut your finger off, what are you going to do now? Look beyond the finger.”

Two Eternities? I Don’t Think So!

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Those who know me will be aware that I accept that organised religion can help people find a purpose in life and a blueprint for “right” living. However, I also know that ultimately, organised religion can only ever be a stepping stone to absolute truth. I hold this view mainly because the whole purpose of the spirit is to be free and to evolve within that freedom. This of course, includes the freedom to make mistakes. With organised religions you are required to believe things; things that quite often have no substance or credibility. Whilst it is true that our beliefs create our reality, it is also true that our beliefs are nothing more than thoughts and opinions, which are not necessarily representative of truth.

A classic example of this, is the concept of going to either Heaven or Hell. As a Westerner, I am of course, talking about Christianity; it would be unfair of me to use another religion as the example because I don’t have enough experience of other religions. Let me first just clarify a few things. In Christian mythology, it is stated that the world, the universe and beyond was created by a personal god. Presumably, the god created everything, not just a bit of this and a bit of that. So surely, that must include the mechanism via which everything functions. A religious person would probably refer to this as “God’s Law.” But, depending on what your leanings are, this could also be referred to as Natural Law, The Laws of the Universe, Spiritual Law or The Laws of Physics. I think we can agree that it is all pretty much the same thing. Either way, these laws are very precise and cannot be interfered with or altered.

We are told, that when we die we have to stand before God to be judged. If we are deemed to have been good we ascend to eternal life in Heaven. Alternatively, if we are deemed to have been bad, then we descend to eternal damnation in Hell. Now, it has occurred to me that having already established that the god’s own laws are very precise, and also that whether we go to Heaven or Hell, it is still an eternal life; be it one of bliss or damnation. Regardless of the name of the place, eternal life must surely take place in eternity, which in accordance with the god’s laws “does exactly what it says on the tin.” What I mean is that eternity is just that; it is eternal, boundless, unlimited, infinite.

So, forgive me for questioning religious dogma, but how can you have two different eternities? This would imply that there is a cut-off point or boundary between Heaven and Hell. Or even, a boundary between Heaven and a kind of no-man’s-land and another boundary between that and Hell. If there is a cut-off point or boundary, then either Heaven and Hell are not eternal, or they are one and the same place. I would even take this a step further and say that if we “GO” to Heaven, Hell or eternity, whatever name you want to use in the example, then there is no such thing. How can you go somewhere that is boundless? Where is the cut-off point that distinguishes between where we are now and the place of eternal life? How can infinity have a cut-off point?

The truth is, that Heaven and Hell are mind-made concepts that we create for ourselves here on earth. We already have eternal life, we are just experiencing an aspect of it here in the physical body, and when we eventually shed our bodies, we will go on to experience another aspect of it.

A Blast From The Past


Well, here I am, with my first post since November 20 last year. I must admit that I’ve struggled for inspiration and even considered abandoning this little project. But, once a writer, always a writer and surely, the world of wordery is a bottomless pit. I feel that I have come to the end of an era and eagerly await where the next fork in the path may take me. As I sat musing, well aware that I had not written anything for months, it occurred to me that this blog will be 11 years old this coming April. It also occurred to me how my writing has evolved with me as I have gone through several phases of change. So, purely out of nostalgia, and I suppose in celebration of getting the blog up and running and keeping it going for all these years, I thought I would repost my first ever blog article from 25/04/2011. It’s a piece entitled “God Goes Home” and I hope you like it.

PS I’ve also got an idea for another article, which I will post soon.

God Goes Home

Easter Sunday 24 April 2011 started off as a normal day.  I was in no hurry to get out of bed, eventually doing so at around 09:20. Whilst having my first cup of tea of the day I went about my morning routine of going online and posting my thought for the day on Facebook and checking other online stuff. I went into one of my email addresses and there was one solitary email, from my friend V in South Africa. It was very short and to the point; it said quite simply “Swami has left”. I was quite numb at first. My beloved Swami, Sri Sathya Sai Baba had left his physical body. There had been signs for some time that Baba was getting ready to go, and in recent weeks it became increasingly apparent that devotees were going to have to accept that this was the case.  It was still hard to believe though; you don’t expect Swami to go, simply because he has always been there.  For a number of hours I cried intermittently; not out of grief, for I know there is no such thing as death, but for the sheer love of Baba and the realisation that he gave so much to us, yet took nothing for himself. His love was, and still is, boundless and I am truly blessed to have been touched by Baba’s love on many, many occasions.

I count my blessings that I received the call to go to Baba’s ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam (abode of the highest peace), on two occasions in the 18 months preceding his physical departure.  It was during my second visit in February 2010 that I got my first hint that “Divine Mother Sai” may be preparing to leave.  I was chatting to an American guy who had an apartment in Puttaparthi, where the ashram is situated. He was saying how Swami’s physical health had been going rapidly downhill and that he had made an unprecedented gesture.  Baba had made an announcement formally inviting devotees from all over the world to attend the ashram during 2010, on a pilgrimage basis.  My friend told me that this had never been done before in all the years that Baba had been resident at Prashanthi (since the 1940’s).  My friend went on to say that he felt Baba was getting ready to leave his body and this was his parting gesture of love to devotees worldwide.  Because of the sheer volume of people the pilgrimage was organised with the utmost precision and only so many countries at a time could attend, for periods of ten days only.  Of course, this only applied to the organised pilgrimages; anyone can go to Prashanthi as long as they receive the inner calling  “not even 20,000 horses can bring you here if you are not called”  Baba

At the time I remember thinking that this was not to be taken seriously, and I politely humoured my American friend.  Little did I know how right he was.  Now as I sit here and muse about this strange day it hasn’t quite sunk in that Sri Sathya Sai Baba has left his physical body.  Probably because I’ve had so many inner experiences with Baba… and a physical body has never been essential to our relationship in the past… so why should it be now?  He always touched me with his love across time and space; so often my eyes welled up with tears of joy as he enveloped me in his loving light.  On one occasion he even blessed me with an astral experience by lifting me from my physical body and carrying me off into the ether.

I suppose that, at some stage, even God has to go home…but I don’t expect it to change my relationship with him.

Jai Sai Ram

Do We Get Punished By God?


Photo by Monstera from Pexels

So, do we get punished by God if we are “bad?”  That is a question that can be answered very easily. No, we do not. For a start, if that statement were true, there would need to be a God to do the punishing.  This God would have to exist along the same lines as the God of religion.  In other words, an individual entity separate from the rest of the universe and beyond.  The God would also have to possess all the worst egoic, human traits you could imagine; just like the God of religion.

First of all, it would have to make a judgement that we had done something bad and then dish out the punishment.  Being judgemental is a trait of the egoic mind that does not exist within consciousness.  By way of an individual choice, we may choose to refer to Infinite Consciousness as God, but this is just one of many names conjured up by humans to describe the uncreated wilderness of bliss∗ that is our true nature.

The only punishing is inflicted by ourselves in ignorance.

∗ “Uncreated Wilderness of Bliss” – a phrase coined by the yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda, as a description of our inner truth.

The Court Jester


I absolutely love this little parable from early 2019, so I’m posting again.

A king became exasperated with his court jester, who simply wouldn’t stop jesting.  Seemingly every minute of every day, the jester would be cracking jokes and playing the fool.  Eventually, the king decided he’d had enough and he condemned the jester to be hanged; ordering that he be taken to the dungeon to await his fate.  The day of the execution arrived and the king started to have second thoughts.  He felt that good court jesters were hard to come by, and after all, the poor bloke had only been doing his job.  But, the king also felt that he couldn’t go back to the way things were, so he wrote out the royal pardon on official parchment and added the condition that the jester was not allowed to ever crack a joke again.  He put the royal seal on it and gave it to one of his courtiers to take to the executioner.

The courtier ran to the gallows, and arrived in the nick of time to see the jester already standing on the trap door with the noose around his neck.  The courtier blurted out that the king had changed his mind and that the execution should be halted; he then proceeded to read out the pardon.  As the reading of the pardon came to an end, the jester just couldn’t contain himself and quipped, “no noose is good news”.  He was hanged.

Of course that rather amusing story isn’t actually true, but it aptly explains how we function in accordance with our conditioning, as opposed to our true nature.  When we are born into this world, we are pure, open and still aware of the love that we are.  Gradually, as the years pass, we become conditioned; we are told that we are good or bad, beautiful or ugly, intelligent or thick etc, etc; and we become what we believe (or at least we THINK we have become what we believe).  Then we enter adulthood and we get a job or career, adding that to “who I am” as we go along.  In the case of the jester, “jestering” was what he did, it was not who he was.  However, he was not able to drop the egoic belief that, “I am a jester”, so when the opportunity arose, he couldn’t resist the quip and was promptly executed.

Whether you are an ugly professor, a beautiful cleaner or a good retail assistant, the professor, the cleaner and the retail assistant are what you DO, they are not who you are.  As to whether you are ugly, beautiful, good or bad, these are only judgements made by other people that you may or may not believe.  They are also not who you are and do not have to define you.  So, in life don’t be a silly jester; or the joke will be on you!

The Body; Real Or Unreal?


It’s amazing how our views and perspectives change as we evolve through this life. If somebody asked me the question, “the body; real or unreal?” even 20 years ago, I’d have thought they’d been on the funny stuff. I remember when I was completely immersed in the darkness of ego, there was no question whatsoever that the body was real. After all, is it not who I am? Then as I found my spiritual pathway and I started leaning towards the Eastern school of thought, I adopted the view, “the body is unreal, an illusion.”

The only trouble with that is, that I was also leaning towards the view that the body is irrelevant, that it didn’t matter. Of course, this is not true, The body is essential to our experience in the physical because it is the only vehicle available to us. I have now gone full circle, and my statement to you today is, “yes, the body is real,” However, this doesn’t mean that I have regressed back to the darkness of complete unconsciousness. What it means is that my perspective has changed, therefore that statement is made in a different context.

The body is real in that it is made of the same stuff as my eternal reality. Infinite Consciousness has precipitated, or intensified itself billions of times over into tiny pockets of physical energy that we call human beings; and one of them is me! So, the body is real in that it is made of Infinite Consciousness that has temporarily veiled itself in ignorance. What is unreal is the form the body takes, although to the logical mind it is as real as falling off a log. Consciousness veiled in ignorance as an individual soul, perceives the bodily form, the finite mind and the world to be the reality.

To use an analogy, imagine a play being acted out in a theatre. Imagine all the colourful costumes and scenery, and all the lines uttered by the actors and their mannerisms as they act out each scenario. All of that only happens because they are all bringing the script to life. On its own, the script is inanimate; just words on pieces of paper, just still, doing nothing. But, it is the underlying reality of what is going on during the time the play is being acted out.

We are all acting out the script of Infinite Consciousness, the world is our theatre and the body our costume. Consciousness in its normal state just exists as it is, in eternal bliss. But when it veils itself in ignorance on this dreamland stage that we call the world, it dances out its story; it gets to know itself in its own experience as opposed to the eternal emptiness that just contains possibilities; albeit, an infinite amount.

So, to sum up. Yes, the body is real, but not the form. Rather, the underlying reality, which is Consciousness. Consciousness, as the body and the world vibrates at varying degrees of frequency. What we see as the body and the world is simply the image created by our minds as the interpretation of that frequency. Therefore, the one and only reality is Consciousness itself.

Passing Clouds


Cumulus_2In the physical sense, human beings do share quite a lot together; information and food are two examples that immediately spring to mind. But this only relates to the illusion that is life on this dreamland stage we call the earth. In truth, we are all just passing clouds regardless of our relationships with each other. Whether friends, siblings, parents, offspring, work colleagues, or even so-called enemies, we are all nothing more than ships that pass in the night. The only thing truly shared between humans is the experience of being.

Our true nature is that of infinite consciousness, which is all there is. The experience of “being” is the experience of our true nature; all else is an illusion.

 

Hope


Thanks to Nick Fewings of Unsplash for the image

There are two ways of looking at Hope; like everything else, I suppose.  On one hand it’s great to have, especially from a religious perspective. To have hope in a world that has seemingly gone mad is surely a very positive thing.  But, I’m going to look at hope from a deeper spiritual perspective.  First of all though, what is it?  For me, hope relates to an event or something in the future that is going to be responsible for making me happy.  There’s only one drawback with that.  If I don’t get the thing I’m hoping for, or if the event I’m hoping for doesn’t happen, I’m in danger of my hope turning into pain and suffering.

Hoping for a certain thing or event to happen really keeps us blind to our true reality, which is the One eternal Self.  This truth can only be realised in the Now, or present moment.  Past and future constitute imaginary time and do not really exist.  The past that shaped and conditioned us, happened Now, and the future that everyone is worried about and that contains the hoped for things that we have spoken of, can also only happen Now.

Yes, hope can be a positive thing when it is understood for what it actually is, but it can also be a jailer, keeping us locked away in the mind-made prison of imaginary time (past and future).