Category Archives: suffering

The Original Hero: Why We Have Got It So Wrong

heromanWe all admire heroes, yet so many of us – for whatever reason – mock the one hero whose incredible qualities inspired all the rest.

There are a lot of people who seem to be utterly confused about this phrase:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

For some bizarre reason, people seem to think that this means you MUST believe in organized religion, that you MUST worship God accordingly, that you MUST religiously follow the Christian faith and that if you don’t, you’ll be condemned to the fires of hell …

Nope … It just means that you believe in being what Jesus was: loving, compassionate, forgiving, strong and not acting on evil thoughts that may be forced into your head. It really doesn’t matter what device you follow as long as you live with these things in your heart and do your best to do right by others and yourself. And, personally, I feel that those who choose to be evil, who live just to hurt others, who do sick twisted things like kill innocent people or rape little babies, they deserve to be thrown into the fires of hell (wherever that may be; I’m not necessarily talking about a pit of lava). I can’t think of any decent person who wouldn’t agree with me. How then can people get angry when we’re told that those who don’t believe in Jesus will be condemned to hell? The only ones facing this are the ones who do things such as those mentioned above because they are doing the opposite of the representation of Jesus, not of the Christian religion itself. That’s my theory anyway.

“True religion is real living; living with all one’s soul, with all one’s goodness and righteousness.” – Einstein. 

Well, that’s exactly what Jesus was all about; self-sacrifice, goodness and righteousness. He wanted to set an example to others; nurturing our good side and fighting our bad side. And every great story in history has been about good vs evil because it doesn’t get much greater than that, sacrificing oneself and protecting the underdog. Are you a fan of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, the Hunger Games and the majority of books out there which have a heroic protagonist? All of them are brave, noble, honourable and think of others before themselves. Every great hero in history, however everyone may view them, (Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Jose Rizal and so many more) also had these qualities. The parents who sacrifice themselves for their child have these qualities, the friend who drops everything to help his companion has these qualities, the soldier who willingly gives his life for his captain has these qualities. By the logic of these jeerers who scorn at Jesus, they surely also sneer at these ordinary individuals who become extraordinary heroes because of their remarkable deeds. Jesus Christ was the first of these great heroes – and he is still being mocked today, just as he was when they crucified him. Imagine the pain and suffering of being tortured, laughed at, whipped, beaten and ultimately murdered simply because you want to share the love in your heart or fight for a cause you believe in! It personally angers me that anyone could scorn or laugh at someone who had such courage, compassion and resilience.

aaaIt’s a shame the name of Jesus itself has been twisted and tainted by religious zealots who use it for their own selfish means or pompous ‘educated’ individuals who view him as old-fashioned, outdated and even laughable – how many times do these people express contempt for someone who claims to love Jesus, even though they don’t understand what the name of ‘Jesus’ actually means? For the meaning stays the same and it’s not one I’d take lightly.

Jesus does not mean being forced into a religion; it doesn’t mean going to church every week; it doesn’t mean following the scriptures; it doesn’t mean condemning homosexuals into the fiery pits of hell; it doesn’t mean following the rules of a priest or a bible. It means love, compassion, understanding, sacrifice, doing what’s right when it would be so easy to do what’s wrong and courage in the face of adversity. Jesus means putting others before yourself, being selfless as possible and doing your best to live with these qualities in your daily life, even though the evil inside you is always fighting to get out; it’s a never-ending war with evil in yourself and evil in others.

So it doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself religious or not – if you believe in all these things, then you believe in Jesus.

I personally believe in a whole host of things: God, reincarnation, negative entities, positive entities, good people, bad people, angels, demons … the list goes on. And I believe in Jesus because his heroic qualities and deeds are worthy of admiration and respect. This belief is the foundation for all sorts of faith and faith is the foundation for strength. And when you work with compassion and love, not selfishness and evil, it’s imperative to be strong in this world for yourself and others because this world is forever doing its best to bring you down.   As a person who’s looked right into the face of demons, both in human form and spiritual form, I can’t ignore what’s being placed so blatantly in front of me. That there is good out there, there is evil out there and there are warriors fighting on each side, always fighting for us to join them, swarming around us all the time, even if we can’t see or hear them. Jesus was a warrior and he exemplified everything great and good about this world and showed us what we ourselves are capable of: strength, determination, compassion and forgiveness. Why hate or mock someone like that, simply because a few bad eggs have managed to taint his image? Maybe people shouldn’t allow themselves to be influenced so easily and instead make their own minds up, perhaps realizing there is nothing about Jesus that is worthy of resentment or hatred, other than that there are those certain people who came after him that do their best to crush the very reason he died for us in the first place.

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The Warrior & the Artisan

Chapter One: The Mission

 

The Soul left its sect and floated through the vast whiteness that served as the habitat of the endless Souls that dwelled there. Why it had woken, it did not know. Or perhaps it did. That ringing in its ears was all too familiar and was usually the call to action that it could never ignore. Perhaps it was the apprehensive tinge that crept up on itself that was feigning ignorance, rather wishing it could return to its beautiful, glowing sect and remain blissfully inside the love and happiness that surrounded it.

Not that the Soul was cowardly; oh no, not by any means. The Soul had not only returned to Earth numerous times but had actively volunteered to go down in order to try and help other Souls who were currently incarnated on Earth and had lost their way. These Lives were particularly gruelling because the suffering levels usually shot up by a good few bars and if there was one thing that every Soul secretly dreaded it was experiencing the misery of human life. With regard to helping the lost Souls, sometimes it was successful, other times not. It was always wonderful to stumble across a Soul that had been saved once returning to the Whiteness, reminiscing in nostalgic memories from their time down below. But the sadness of an unsuccessful attempt at Soul Restoration always remained in painful memory for the one who had endeavoured it, and there had been a few of those. Not to mention several Lives where it had almost lost itself in the process.

No, it was not cowardice that perpetrated the feeling of trepidation within itself. Rather it was the knowledge of what it had to face, if indeed this was another call to action. All the Souls were aware that the Earth had been getting worse; sinking even further with each passing earthly year, slowly losing sight of what truly mattered and indulging in materialisms that meant very little in the grand scheme of things. The evils that had long plagued the Earth were truly beginning to take their toll and there had been many whispered conversations among other Souls that mankind was on its last legs. No need to incarnate soon, many of them said, for there won’t be a planet left to incarnate to! More and more Souls were being lost to the Darkness … In fact, the Darkness was having a high and mighty time of it all, even convincing many who were on Earth that the dark side didn’t even exist. At one time this would have been believed to be impossible. Now it had become very much a reality.

The Soul was no different to any other Soul. It did not particularly enjoy incarnating into Lives, knowing full well the horrors and suffering that awaited it. Still, this was duty and refusing an incarnation simply because of fear was not something the Soul had a tendency to do. It happened, of course. Some Souls preferred to bask inside the beautiful light and actively rejected going down; certainly there were a few that had already experienced unimaginable horrors and had earned their right to a good basking rest. No one would be condemned for choosing to bask, for condemnation did not exist in the Whiteness. But it did halt the Souls’ levelling process and they all knew how important it was to evolve. The evolution into absolute love was the height of every Soul’s ambitions. Some chose to do this quickly, others at a slower pace. Staying pure and not losing oneself to the dark side was always the ultimate challenge once incarnating.

The ringing in its ears grew louder. This was because it was getting closer to the Power and, within moments of reaching it, it gave a very small sigh, now fully convinced that this was a call to action. The call to action often meant there was a specific mission the Power wanted them to undertake and, like a seasoned earthly warrior, it felt both exhilarated and disheartened at the same time. The ringing abruptly stopped once it halted outside the Power’s dwelling. Few Souls lingered here, only the most evolved ones, the ones who had incarnated time and time again into the most challenging lives. They were distinguished by the crystal clear glow that softly emanated around them. Many of them had already reached the height that others strove for. They were no longer able to incarnate into human bodies but instead they were known to mankind as the ‘guardian angels’ or ‘blessings’; on Earth, they were that kind word from a stranger, that whisper to carry on living even when all hope seemed lost and the protection from dark forces, the same dark forces that were constantly fighting to bring the Souls into the blackened, tortured realm. Their gentle light greeted the Soul as it came to rest outside the Power’s dwelling.

Looking around, it noticed there was another Soul there who did not have a crystal glow.

“Hello,” said the Soul to the other.

“Greetings,” it replied.

The Soul noted the fiery red colour that radiated around its new acquaintance.

“You are a Warrior,” it commented.

The other Soul nodded.

“Indeed,” it said. “And you … are an Artisan? Am I correct?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“I thought so. Sorry if I was a bit confused just then. Sometimes I cannot tell the difference between the Artisan and the Sage. It must be the blue around you.”

This rather blunt statement was quite typical of a Warrior Soul. They were known for their forthright manner and, to put it simply, saying whatever they thought. There were seven different types of Soul: the Artisan, the Warrior, the Sage, the King, the Priest, the Server and the Scholar. Each had its own sect and brought its own personal attribute to Earth during incarnation. As Souls they could be defined by the colour that glowed around them.

“I tend not to spend much time here if truth be told,” continued the Warrior Soul. “There are an awful lot of battles to be fought on Earth. Bringing lost souls back to the light is usually what I go down for. Though I had a rather bad time of it last time I was there. I spent longer than I usually do inside the sect when I returned.”

“Was it very painful?” asked the Artisan Soul.

“Oh yes. Losing someone you love in the most unimaginable way possible is the most horrific thing to experience as a human. Of course, we forget that death is just another step forward once we incarnate; we really have no idea if we will ever see them again. There’s the pain, the guilt, the plunging into earthly vices … I almost lost myself. So tell me, what brings you here?”

“I heard the ringing,” replied the Artisan Soul. “I came as soon as I heard.”

“Ah, the same as me then. I heard it and wondered if I was the only one who did. None of the other Souls in my sect heard it. Do you know what it is for?”

“I do not. But callings from the Power always have a certain type of importance.”

At that moment, several other souls who were not from the highest evolved type joined them. Observing the glowing colours around them, they saw there was a Priest Soul, a Sage Soul, a Scholar Soul and a King Soul. The Artisan and the Warrior hailed them and it was then that they began to suspect this was going to be a Zenith Mission.

“A Zenith perhaps?” said the Warrior Soul in a low voice to the Artisan, voicing aloud everyone’s thoughts. “There are six of us gathered here. The only one missing is the Server. I have never embarked on a Zenith before. Usually only the most advanced Souls are chosen for those. I did not think I was quite ready.”

“Nor I,” said the Artisan.

For a while, the six Souls simply floated on the spot, radiating their purity and love out to one another, waiting for the Power to arrive in order to inform them as to why they had been called to action. There was an atmosphere of curiosity about them, for none of these Souls had ever been on a Zenith before. A Zenith Mission was one that focussed on influencing others, rather than oneself; it was one that often changed an aspect of the world if successfully completed. Zenith Missions were usually done in groups, often in threes or fours, and more rarely in sixes or sevens. Different Souls from each type were chosen, though not necessarily one from each. Four Warriors could be sent on one mission, whereas on others, a Priest, Scholar and two Servers could be asked to go down and so forth.

The Power was not long in greeting them. It was always a greatly pleasant feeling to be in the midst of the Power, for it was the absolute height of love and purity. Even the memories of Lives on Earth left the Souls for a time when in the company of the Power.

“Welcome,” it said to them. “Please listen closely, my Souls, to what I am about to say, for it is with love that I say it, yet the horrors of which I speak of are absent from love itself.

“Mankind becomes more lost with each Earthly year. Souls lose their way swifter than ever before. Greed and corruption eat at their hearts and crush them; the Darkness claims them for its own and we lose them in their thousands. Why is this, you may ask? It is because Mankind no longer believes in believing; without belief, without the desire to believe in the goodness of oneself and the good in others, the world slips into decline, morally and spiritually. Why does one side of the world grow fat while the other side starves, where the man in his riches and land will give little or nothing to the child who dies from hunger? Why are the heroes of the world now those who are aesthetically beautiful but plain inside, when the true heroism of mankind was once those who lived for honour, courage, compassion and humility? Why is the body, which turns to dust in the blink of an eye, now more valued than the soul, which lingers on forever? Why does each leader live for materialism and power, rather than spread benevolence to all those who are suffering and in need? Why does mankind continue to destroy Nature, the very thing that provides him with life, with continual inventions designed to benefit him and him alone? Why does the Earthly Soul of today treat his brothers, the animals, with contempt and disregard, destroying their homes, taking their land for their own and killing them for their uses? Their duty is to protect and love them, not terminate them. Why do demons who wear the masks of angels have such influence over the vulnerable and weak, claiming righteousness, yet acting callously and cruelly? Why does it become increasingly acceptable to act with cowardice and indifference when faced with the suffering or pain of others? Why do so many Souls become more and more arrogant, falling into their Egos and believing that there is no greater being or purpose than their earthly selves? No, my Souls. The world is not as it should be. You will have heard rumours that Mankind is close to annihilation; indeed this is true but not in the way that some may believe. There will be no destruction of the planet, other than by the hand of Man himself and this will be many earthly years in the future. The extinction of Mankind will be when humans continue to walk the Earth, but without Souls; where Darkness reigns supreme and no Soul from the Whiteness will return to that cursed world. Only the Soulless and the Dark will prevail; such a time is not far off and should this happen, we ourselves would have little purpose in our existence … For us to love them as we do, to witness the deterioration and decay of those who lost their way … My Souls, the rain that floods the Earth is nothing to the tears that we will shed.”

The Souls who were listening stayed silent. The Power continued to speak.

“Each one of you that has come here has been chosen to play a crucial role in saving Mankind. You are not the highest evolved Souls but you have attained a great deal of experience; you have expressed resilience and fortitude in your past lives. You do not have to accept this mission; the knowledge of suffering that you will be exposed to is tantamount to what Souls in the final stage of evolution go through. You are advanced but not advanced to the point of becoming a ‘guardian’ and this is what this mission requires.”

Who I Was In My Past Life

I have wanted to write about my experience with a Past Life Regression session for a while now so I have decided to talk about it here. Apparently, I am one of those people that is known as a ‘sensitive’. The experiences that have happened to me have been unexplainable and downright unusual, but they have happened all the same. Skeptics and critics are quick to dismiss paranormal experiences as works of the imagination or the first sign of lunacy – but I tend not to take such people very seriously. There is a narrow-minded stance about them that oozes of ignorance; that foolish belief that if one has not experienced or seen something themselves, then it must not be real. That’s like saying that if you haven’t seen the pyramids of Egypt then they must not exist. Mindbogglingly stupid.

Going back to being sensitive, I am the epitome of the word itself, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. In the physical sense, I cannot even open an onion without my eyesight being blinded by water and in the emotional sense I am quick to burst into tears at the slightest inkling of pain and suffering of another, especially animals or children. Mentally (and emotionally) I experience the feelings and thoughts of others as though experiencing them myself and it makes me especially susceptible to other peoples’ distress. I despise crowds because of the overwhelming amount of emotion running through people and if I must enter one, I much prefer to enter it drunk, so I can at least numb out the myriad of feelings. Spiritually, there have been a number of times I have had interactions with spirits, not all pleasant ones – in fact, mostly negative ones – and on occasions, dreams that have had significant impact in the reality we are used to.

So I decided to go to a Past Life Regression therapist, out of sheer curiosity if anything. My view on past lives before embarking upon the session was simply neutral; I did not believe nor disbelieve; I went in with an open mind as I do about many things. I have been told by a number of people that I am an ‘old soul’ but I never really took much notice of it. The only thing I knew about ‘old souls’ is that they are souls that have lived many times before, in many different eras and bodies, and they learn a different lesson each time they incarnate back to earth. So I hunted around for a while, looking around for someone who could attempt to ‘regress’ me. I ended up speaking to several different therapists but the lady I chose was the very first one I spoke to. I liked her immediately and had a wonderful feeling about her; her genuine nature shone through. I booked my session with her and met her in Kensington some weeks later.

We went into a small, simple office and as soon as she started talking, strange shivers ran through me and I was absorbed in everything she had to say, even though most of it was small chit-chat. The more she spoke, the more I felt what she was feeling and thought what she was expressing. When she spoke about an experience she had where a close friend was involved in a car crash, tears came to my eyes and I felt her sadness. She carried on talking for some ten minutes. the shivers still running through me, and afterwards she told me that the reason she spoke to me was because she wanted to gain an idea of how well I could connect to her; she told me she strongly believed that, though it was my first time, I would regress quite easily.

The session began. I will not go into detail of exactly what was involved; I will only say that it took about half an hour to get me into the state of complete relaxation where my mind could be freed of all worries, anxiety, weight and anything at all really; and it was a truly wonderful feeling. The lady asked me questions about what I could see; at first, I recalled an extreme reluctance to speak and I knew why. The person I was now was a man and he felt embarrassed about speaking in a girl’s voice. But I (as in me the girl) pushed this aside and responded. I was wearing sandals and around me were several mountains. I was waiting for a friend to arrive. I was a big, strong man too, no doubt about that, and dressed in some kind of tunic. The lady asked me what had brought me to this place. Without hesitating, I explained that my wife lived here and I had moved here. We had two young sons. I was then asked my name; I recall the names ‘Adam’ and ‘John’ flashing through my mind as though they were part of some kind of slot machine, but then ‘Philip’ appeared and it stopped on that name; and I knew my name was Philip. The lady then asked me to fast forward to a number of years; when I did, a complete horror overwhelmed me; it was dark and there were men on horseback setting fire to my village, killing the inhabitants. She asked me where my family was. I burst into tears and told her I couldn’t see them. I explained to her that we (I and the other  men) had tried to fight back but the men on horseback were too powerful. I cried continuously. I was then asked to fast forward again. When I did, I was sitting in an empty hut and there was a drink on the table. The lady asked me where I was; I simply replied that I was alone. She then asked me where my family was; well, I told her they were dead and then I started to sob, and this indescribable pain seeped through me. I was asked to fast forward to the age of 60 but I couldn’t; she then asked me to come to the end of my life. So I did and I knew I was 57. She asked me where I was; I told her I was on a cliff. I was standing on this cliff looking down into this black nothingness. She asked me why I was there; I explained that I was going to jump and that is exactly what I did.

After that, it took about five minutes to bring me back. When I opened my eyes I was back in the room again and quite exhausted from all the crying. The lady told me that I had to forgive the people who had killed my wife and sons but I couldn’t quite see how that was possible. She told me that the lesson of that life was not to commit suicide; and I think I’m doing pretty well up til now, but there is always something inside me, whispering at me to do it; however, I know I won’t because a successful lesson usually means acquiring a load of strength. The lady told me that I was a very old soul (‘How do you know that?’ I asked, to which she replied she didn’t know how she knew, she just did) and that I was a beautiful soul also, which was lovely to hear. I went away from that experience, not allowing doubt to overshadow my mind, and I knew that I had gained from it.

For it makes much sense to me; when I was very young, about five years old, I can vividly recall that if a member of my family had gone out somewhere, I would be gripped by this terrifying fear that they would not return, that they had met an accident or some other fatal catastrophe. I’ve always felt a very strong need to protect people I care about and if I fail to do this, a piercing guilt prevails. When I became depressed it was triggered without warning and for no reason; and this was no ordinary ‘adolescent depression’ this was a matter of life and death that took years of fighting to overcome. There was always that voice telling me to end it and even now it will slyly creep up on me; but I choose to fight back, not give in, and for this reason I am proud of my soul and what it has accomplished. There are many things I don’t fear and one of them is death, because my soul has known the worst, to lose the ones he loved the most, only to take his own life at the end. Hence any challenge that comes, I know I can face it head on.

Whether you are a believer or a skeptic, there is no denying the existence of the soul. It just depends how open you are to allow yourself to experience such things or how humble you are in realizing that arrogance is one of the worst human traits, and it is arrogance that causes a person to believe that if they have not seen it, then it never was there. In reality – and this is what most so-called realists fail to recognize – there is very little that we know at all and that is why nothing that is worth knowing can be taught, as the esteemed Oscar Wilde said. I believe that Philip is only one of my past lives; one other that I know of was a male musician who died at the age of 14. But he is another story, just one of the many stories that my soul has to tell me and, if I have the faith in myself that I truly believe I do, this life will be right up there with all the tragic, but crucial, stories my soul has already written.

Mr Devil & The Art of Suffering

In my poem ‘Mr Devil & The Art of Suffering’ I hope to express why suffering is sometimes considered a blessing in disguise and that in order to grow as a person, trials and hardship are necessary; for only by hardship can true virtues demonstrate their strength; and real beauty can only be exposed by ugliness.

 

Out of suffering emerges beauty;

Torturous, masterful, yet painstakingly slow;
A torment of which few actually know;
Behind each line and permanent scar;
Define the lives of those who avoided lies;
Who conquered deceit and the obstruction of fear;
Who lived far away yet remained so near.

The devil crept and built a home inside her mind;

From betrayal he drove each rusted knife;

Into her heart for he wished to claim her life;

Yet not just the life, but the soul and the will;
For the devil is nothing short of mightily skilled.
Years passed;
Fighting;
Screaming;
Pleading;
Defying;
True danger prevailed when one path was lying.
But at last we have a tale worthy to tell;
The darkness, the ugliness, it grew so weak;
Weakness that slowly turned pitiful and bleak;
For festering beneath;
Lay love and compassion, it was the horror that woke it;
And with it he had to submit to defeat.
He was forced to flee from the tortured mind;
For ugly is ugly only to those who are blind;
The trickster’s mistake? Disturbing it from its sleep;
He failed to see;
That beauty is beauty only as skin is so deep.