My interest in spirituality has been with me since childhood, it was a dharma calling.
I grew up in southern Africa. Today, looking back it is amazing to recall how as a teenager in the early seventies in Africa, I could get access to the Upnanishads, courses in Yogi Philosophy and books on esoteric Christianity, the Zohar and so on. The Theosophical Society in Pretoria made much of my childhood learning possible. My father sent down copies of books in Yogi Philosophy (Yogi Ramacharaka), the Hare Krishna movement made the Bhagavad Gita available, and of course there were the Jesuits, and Christian mystics, Rosicrucians, and the other evangelistic group, the Muslims who too were not shy in parting with literature and arguments. There were the gnostic-type movements, the Spiritualist Church, Edgar Cayce books. Thanks to the diligent work of the Jehovah’s Witness people, one could learn ancient Greek and read Greek/English interlinear New Testament translations.
My grandfather had written a book on learning to hypnotise people and many a schoolmate in boarding school in Rhodesia has gradfather to thank for the amazing feats they had accomplished in exam scores, memory tricks and athletics from hypnotic suggestions.
By the time I had reached my twenties I made good money and had started businesses. I got married before I was nineteen. In my early twenties, Karma got me into a head-on clash with the Baptist Church in South Africa whom I tried to take to court to stop the cultish brainwashing abuse of my pre-teen children. However, because their mother (my ex) was a willing participant and active member of the movement, I learned lessons in humility and in the depths of human ignorance. I had to stand by and watch my children being emotionally and mentally abused, and my anger toward the folly of ego and the business of religion caused necrosis in my soul. I had to find sanity, visits to India helped a little. Business took me to the edge and showed me another aspect of the abyss. It turned out I was good at making money, but bad at liking money enough to jeopardise my soul for it.
In late twenties, I sold my businesses. I had met Adele. Oh wow! Adele… My lover, Adele and I (we did get legally married, but she will never not be my lover and concubine) started social upliftment and rescue programs for destitute girl children on the streets of Hillbrow, the slum of Johannesburg City. Together we studied a four-year program at a distant education Christian Seminary and completed a degree in World Religions, as part-time studies. We were later ordained in the orginal Ancient Church of the East (Kashmir) and practised as ministers of that non-Christian, Wayist faith.
I am a slow learner, it turns out.
Real learning for me only started in the early 1990s when I made it to India a few times, after studying mountains of books and academic programs.
In India, I met Michael (this story of my awakening is elsewhere published, it should be here).
I also met with simple folk, unlearned, unspoilt by books, people who simply Know that Jesus walked in their valleys in Northern Jammu-Kashmir state. They relate stories their grandmothers know from their grandmothers and so on. They told tales and traditions of the Master’s teachings in those valleys and hamlets. What I learned in those little smoke-filled mud houses made hundreds of pennies drop from years and years of prior learning. Things that, as an academic I thought I knew, all passed by, died right there and were replaced by a deep knowing, a love, a oneness that made everything clear. I had a massive changearound, an incredibale existential experience that changed me forever. It created a filter for all further learning.
In the ensuing years, we learned to not just theorise about souls and stuff like that as in academic books that mostly seem apologetic when speaking of the soul and know not even the difference between soul and spirit. We learned to see, touch, heal and work with souls. Chakras are soul minds; we learned to heal those. All my booklearning—nothing could prepare me for this. Prana became not only real but a constant compannion. The Lord no more was a distant ethic for me but had moved in, yes, inside.
Everything changed. Everything I used to know, came to naught. Subsequently, every year of further study in the traditions of the Sufi, the Vedas, Christian Mystics East and West, and Wisdom literature and Mahayana Buddhist Sutras and so on, all led to more and more of nothing, beautiful, simple nothingness.
Every book, every teacher, helped me to know more and more that I know nothing, and more peace took the place of all the knowing. Learning from books is one thing, but higher learning is always to meet the gods face-to-face and one of the easiet places where to make such a meeting possible — the Lord is present in the smile of an innocent heart — seek and you shall find.
Today, in 2018, I am happy to say that I almost really now know nothing. I am such a novice, all is new. My teachers are not any more wise old men from Kashghar, Srinagar and Chennai, but two-year-old children and illiterate aunties in the villages of rural Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal and China and so on. I am surrounded by age-old trees, wise to things I had never before considered, and rice paddies that have seen things of human nature that one cannot put in print or movies—some unspeakable passions of cruelty and bloodshed in the rice paddies, and some unmentianable passions as hyperventalating almost-dilerious lovers unite under the moonsky starting bonds and families that would last for ages to come. Some of those children who were conceived alogside the rice-paddies would move lightward, some darkward, each one a future teacher to a searching soul out there. Every aspect of nature now teaches; the delicate change in the breeze and the many, many different smells of rain and ancient souls in the rocks of temples who had witnessed humans migrate through here since the year 800CE.
So many teachers, so few minutes in a lifetime.
If, one day, our paths may cross and I may show you even just one of those minutes, and you too can unlearn just one thing, my heart will jump for joy.