Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.
Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.
This well known long-term approach to development supports dignity and freedom. Gestures of charity are replaced with an enduring strategy of friendship and respect, which enables people to support themselves.
This surely is also the best way to approach spirituality. Instead of feeding people beliefs and experiences, our job is to give people the tools and strategies to manage their own spiritual journeys.
The short-term fix can be a life-saver and also very gratifying for the donor’s ego, but in the long-term we all deserve independence and respect. It was because of this that my parents were hostile to religion and spirituality. They were committed to social justice and human rights, and they thought that religion and spirituality were just superstitious and manipulative ways to stop people thinking and acting for themselves. They were good humanists.
Like many children, however, I was having spiritual experiences from an early age, feeling the wonder and magic of existence. I was also empathic and could easily sense energies and vibrations, occasionally having clear psychic experiences. But because of my parents’ scepticism I could not talk to them about any of this.
They were so hostile to anything religious that when I was twenty-five years old and took a two-year spiritual retreat, my dad was certain that my only motivation for leaving the country was to dodge taxes. For him, tax-dodging was more acceptable than spirituality.
My inner parents
For better or for worse – I think for the better – I have had mum and dad in my psyche all through my spiritual journey. They are part of an ongoing internal dialogue in which I explain spiritual ideas to a sceptic or cynic.
Sometimes I entertain myself with the idea that my mum and dad finally understood spirituality shortly after they had died and, astonished, found they were still alive. In fact, I strongly experienced my father coming back to me soon after his death and saying warmly whoops sorry I like it here forgive me I love you.
So, partly because I am their son, I have a careful mind that always monitors my spiritual journey, looking out for the usual daemons of delusion, pomposity, elitism and ignorance. I especially scan for any attitude that might undermine freedom and intelligent enquiry.
A new voice in my head
It therefore was not easy for me when twenty years ago I suddenly heard a voice in my head wanting to speak through me. Embarrassed and confused, I told my wife, Sabrina, what I was experiencing. She comes from a long line of healers and psychics and was very relaxed. ‘Let it speak,’ she encouraged.
This voice then wrote a book through me. This was a very strange experience and totally different from writing my other books.
I feel uncomfortable about my role as a channel or medium. My parents, my doctorate in psychology, the decades of watchful meditation, my disciplined training as an energy worker – all of this makes me cautious around channelling and suspicious of someone (in this case, me) who doesn’t think for himself, but just acts as a conduit. Paradoxically of course I am very comfortable with being an open vessel when it comes to healing or surrendering to the flow of spirit.
So I decided to remain silent about this voice in my head.
I put the manuscript away in a cupboard for ten years, but then a friend found it and encouraged its publication as The Christ Sparks. Still embarrassed, I didn’t publicise the book at all and was grateful when it did not sell well and went out of print.
Nevertheless I stayed in communication with the voice and enjoyed its company. Often, when faced with situations that I cannot understand, I ask for its perspective and receive useful insights.
Then earlier this year, in a deep meditative state, I was contemplating the Orbs phenomenon and that voice popped up again. It said that it was responsible for the Orbs phenomenon and that it would be good to work again on the manuscript, edit and add to it, and publish it anew.
I resisted and then agreed.
Of course, spheres of light and energy have been around for millennia – usually, it seems, as souls and angelic beings – but nowadays there is this widespread phenomenon experienced by many thousands. The information in Enlightenment Through Orbs is one way of explaining it.
Luckily, I like what the Orbs say. They say that they are a swarm of friendly beings who have come as friends to help and heal the human family. They explain how, because of ancient history, human beings feel more trusting with plants, nature and animals than with each other. They say they can help heal this sad wound that divides us. They talk about the way in which we form groups with people we never see and how our bodies are connected and interdependent. They give many useful insights and their message is hopeful. They also suggest many ideas and activities that we can explore for ourselves.
Nevertheless I can still hear echoes of my mother’s sceptical voice with her lilting New York accent. ‘Really, wouldn’t you rather be lecturing at Yale or Harvard!’ she once admonished when she heard I was touring America giving lectures on angels and meditation.
But she is on the other side now and probably knows more about Orbs and angels than I do, perhaps attending or even giving lectures in the Great Halls of Learning. In that dimension, she probably accepts all phenomena in the same way that we enjoy a soft, warm summer rain.
All my love, William