Left Or Right? Does It Matter?


Those of you who followed my story of personal evolution, will know that I come from a working-class background; and indeed, you may have deduced that I am proud of my roots and would not swap my life for anything.  My politics have always been very left; simply because I have always detested bigotry and prejudice of any kind.  In the UK (I can’t speak for any other country) we still have a ridiculous class-system that should have been confined to the rubbish bin centuries ago.  Indeed, the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” seems to be growing wider by the second.  Also, unless you have been living in your own bubble this last few weeks, you will be aware that the UK had a visit from a certain POTUS recently, that caused a stir, to say the least.

These days I try very hard to look at things from the bigger spiritual perspective, although I must admit, that if I see something on social media that appeals greatly to the old me, I can’t resist the odd retweet or repost here and there.  So, what is the bigger spiritual perspective when it comes to the murky world of politics?

Well, I’m sure it may mean different things to different people, but what it means to me is this.  Everything in this illusory world only exists in relationship to its relative opposite; in fact, if it ain’t got a relative opposite it don’t exist!  To take that a step further, you can only experience or express something in this world if it has a relative opposite.  Without grief there would be no joy, without the bitter there would be no sweet; the list is endless.  So, the implications are that when you express something, a political view for example, you are actually helping to endorse its polar opposite.  The left can only exist because of the right, and vice-versa.

We must also remember that old chestnut, “as without, so within”.  So, when the circus comes to town, as it recently did in the UK, what we are seeing, and in our case what the majority of people ridiculed, was only a reflection of what is going on within ourselves at some level of our being.  Making that statement doesn’t mean that I agree with the person in question’s views.  But, what I am saying is that right and wrong are only relative in relationship to each other, and are concepts constructed by the mind about a certain thing.  It is also worth bearing in mind that nothing can happen unless the collective consciousness of our species wills it so.

So, what’s the answer?  Once again, this is just my personal point of view.  First of all, scroll up and read my opening paragraph again.  Did it seem quite negative in parts?  My use of the word “detest”, for example?  Even though I only wrote that paragraph from the perspective of my actual experiences in my own country, there was a hint of aggression in there; and the left are supposed to be the good guys! (There I go again).  I honestly believe that the answer to this conundrum is in my good friend, Zen.  Zen is a state of Being; or pure Consciousness.

There is no relativity in Consciousness, and Consciousness is our true nature; therefore there is ultimately no left or right, no right and wrong etc. So, whoever you are and wherever you find yourself at any given time, simply act from the perspective of Consciousness, to the best of your ability, and be an example; a shining light, to others.  That is all any of us can do really.  Once we understand that the world and all its shenanigans are simply the crazy construction of our own minds, we can go about helping to reduce its craziness.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I want to finish by using an old Zen saying that I’ve used many times before.  “Be as a hollow bamboo”.  In other words, don’t “do”, don’t be left or right, right or wrong; just be as a hollow bamboo and allow the higher power to work through you.  Allow magic to work through you; indeed, allow yourself and the example you set to those around you to be magical.

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What Now?


Indeed; what now?  I’m really glad that Eyesight To The Blind is out there in paperback form, and the kindle version will launch some time later this month.  But I appear to have entered a flat phase and am continually asking myself, what now?  This really is a weird time of transition for me, I’m no longer working as a medium, my day job is stale and way past its sell-by date, my writing project has finished, so yes, to say I’m feeling quite flat at the moment would be an understatement.

I wanted to write a post last week, but “what to write”? I thought to myself.  Anyway, the most important thing is to be in communication, so I thought I would share three quite different and random things with you.  Two that came along recently and one from around 18 years ago.

Firstly, and I can’t quite believe that I’ve never written about this before; anywhere!  I’m going to share with you the one and only experience I’ve ever had of spirit manifesting itself objectively; in other words, right before my eyes and not on the inner plain.  I think the reason I’ve never written about this before is because it has simply slipped my mind.  It’s also not something that I would attach a lot of importance to these days, but it was very interesting at the time and I’m sure some of you will also find it quite interesting.

It happened round about 1999/2000.  It was when I was going to the open circle at the spiritualist church.  A man named Tom would quite often take the sessions in those early days.  We were sitting there in our circle, not in the dark but with the room dimly lit, and all of a sudden as I was looking at Tom, slightly behind him and to his left, there was a build up of spirit; literally.  The image of a man I believed to be Tom’s dad literally built up from the floor until it was a full manifestation.  He looked elderly and he had a briar pipe in his mouth.  The manifestation was not pure white, as you would probably imagine, but a very faint blue.  The image remained for a few moments and then disappeared.

The second thing I want to share with you happened very recently; less than two weeks back from the time of writing.  I wanted to spend a night away from Tetbury, so I had a look on Airbnb and saw a nice cheap room with en suite facilities.  I then realised that it was in a town called Highworth, which I knew quite well from my time living in Swindon, as they are in close proximity to each other.  I booked, and to my pleasure, the hosts turned out to be a lovely couple; she being a yoga teacher and he being an extremely learned and well-read man who worked as a creative writing tutor.  They were both very interesting to talk to.

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will probably have realised that I don’t have a very high opinion of the church, and even though I do not accept the Biblical version of Christ, I do actually embrace the concept of a man who was called Jesus Christ and who walked the earth more than 2000 years ago.  However, my view of who he was differs drastically from the story pedaled by the church.  My male host, I will call him Peter, during a discussion said that there is no evidence anywhere, and there never has been, that Christ even existed.  I knew I was not as well-informed as him so I did not contest his view; instead, I listened intently.  Then he said something else, that was so obviously true, that it had never occurred to me before.

I’ve always felt that there is very little truth in the Bible, but Peter said something that gave me a bit of a eureka moment.  He said that there is only one passage in the Bible that has any significance; the rest you can just throw away.  That passage is in Exodus 3:14 where Moses asks God what he should say if, when he goes to the Israelites, they ask him the name of, “the God of their forefathers”, who sent him.  He gets the reply, “I AM, that is who I am”.  That statement,  “I AM, that is who I am”, must surely be the most profoundly true and powerful statement in the entire history of history itself.  That seven-word statement tells us everything we would ever want and need to know about that great and old chestnut; the meaning of life.

No beginning; no end.  No birth; no death.  The all and everything summed up right there and then in one seven-word statement.  You are already that which you seek.  Spiritual awakening is the realisation that you are already awake.  I could go on, but I won’t; thanks Peter!

Thirdly, after stating in Eyesight To The Blind, that my out-of-body experiences are very few and far between these days, what happens?  Yes, I not only have an astral adventure, but quite a humdinger too!  There was a hell of a lot going on; it was like three different stories playing out during the course of my journey.  I’m sure it all had some sort of meaning, but unless I experience something truly spectacular these days, I will not be going into detail anymore; simply because I no longer see the relevance.  I just found it quite ironic, that after making that statement in the book, quite a detailed out-of-body experience followed during the early morning of July 5.

Anyway, where was I, oh yes… what now?

 

Eyesight To The Blind – Extracts 2


I’m now nearing the completion of my manuscript.  21 chapters written, but just a few little additions before the book is finished.  Here is another little snippet to whet your appetite!

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”.

Ghost Driver


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…

Eyesight To The Blind – Extracts


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.

A typical darshan in Sai Kulwant Hall

What’s Ricky Doing?


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:

Empty Sky

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