Watchet, Somerset, UK, 10th April 2020 22:55

Today is Easter Friday. An important date in the Christian calendar. This is probably the most unusual Easter in a a century.

I am not a religious person, I have never been. I was brought up by practising atheists at the time when Spain was coming out of four decades of a fascist dictatorship which had the Roman Catholic Church at its ideological core. I was beaten and mistreated by priests at school and made to study a religion to which I didn’t feel like I belonged. These experiences with organised religion created in me a rejection towards anything which had the word God in it.

I never felt the need to seek metaphysical guidance from a higher being. But on the other hand, I have always been interested in the Transpersonal and the Existential. Who are we? Where do we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?

In my teens, I read Castaneda, Huxley, Nietzsche and others. I experimented with psychedelics because I wanted to open the doors of perception and expand my consciousness. I did open the doors but I found that, once opened, they remained opened, which took me to both Heaven and Hell without having to die.

The story of how that went will be told elsewhere but, suffice to say that I ended up in a rehab centre in Somerset, where I was told that in order to recover, I needed help from a Higher Power. This obviously brought up my deeply embedded resistance against religion. It was perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of my therapy: to deal with long established personal views and patterns of thinking and behaviour. I had to open my mind and surely my ass would follow.

It started slowly by having faith in a group of people who made up the therapeutic community in rehab. Then I slowly extended that to 12 Steps fellowships and then to other things such a the natural world and its wonderful inhabitants.

Over time I developed a relationship with a Higher Power of my own understanding. I came to understand this as a deep and meaningful relationship with the universe in which I can trust it to provide me with what I need. But for this, I need to give something to the universe, not in return but to balance things out. I came to understand that if I live my life being true to myself and treating others the way I would like to be treated, then the world will respond to me in the same way.

I have followed the above principle/attitude for 13 years and it has worked out for me. I don’t necessarily see this as spiritual but there have been times when things have happened to me that I have no rational explanation for. And I have come to realise that I don’t need to have an explanation. I just have to take what the universe gives me and send it back out into the wheel of life. I have followed the 12 Step maxim of “we can only keep what we have if we give it away”.

In the current situation, I can imagine that a lot of people are turning to religion, spirituality, etc for comfort and guidance. I haven’t found myself doing this but I have a deep sense of faith that we will be alright in the end, that this too shall pass. But it will only be so if we treat each other with kindness, empathy and compassion.

At the heart of all religions is the idea of loving thy neighbour, thy enemy, thy mum and dad, thy community and thyself. These beliefs are not owned by one religion or another but they are what makes as human and has been so since we sat huddled in a cave, terrified of nature. We are again vulnerable against nature, like we were all those thousands of years ago. We need to go back to basics. It is imprinted in our hardware, we just need to update the software.

Good night all

OneLove OneHeart

Tonight’s choice of music is by Patti Smith: Gloria, In Excelsis Deo (Live in Germany 1979)

World-wide confirmed cases: 1,684,833

World-wide deaths: 102,136

World-wide recovered: 374,509

UK confirmed cases: 74,605 

UK deaths: 8,974

UK recovered: 379


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