THE BOOK HAS NOW BEEN COMPLETED! Here is some new information about it, including contents headings. As you can see from one of the attached images below, it now stands at 560 pages and has 203,000 words in a Large-Format (6″ x 9″) paperback size (known as Trade Paperback size in the USA). This started out at the beginning of this year as an article but, over the months, it has turned into a huge project with more than a million characters and nearly 600 footnotes. It contains a Prologue, 7 Chapters (with 195 sections and sub-sections), an Epilogue, and 10 Appendices. Read the rest of this entry »
CHRIST SAID SOME VERY CHALLENGING WORDS about the pathway for the genuine spiritual pilgrim: “Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it!” Wow! Just meditate on those words for a while; for they sum up what is demanded if one is to be a serious disciple of Christ and follower of His Light. The gate is narrow and the way itself is difficult. The deep spiritual life is not attractive to the superficial dilettante, for such a person knows that there is the need for total dedication and personal sacrifice but comparatively few people are serious about personal change and genuine spiritual revelation… As Christ also said: “If anyone wants to become My disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me”. This is the diametric opposite of the narcissism and self-obsession which is so prevalent across humanity.
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THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF “CONVERSION” in the world of religion and spirituality. One takes place at the superficial level of the emotions and subconscious and is more religious in nature, bringing about some changes in outward behaviour and attitude. We see this in churches and temples the world over. The other kind of “conversion” takes place at the profoundest level possible in the human psyche and is totally transformative on the deepest psychospiritual levels, revolutionising the mind and life entirely and taking one down roads never dreamed of before. The first type of conversion is a cheap imitation and counterfeit of the second. Although there are superficial similarities, religion and spirituality are as different as chalk and cheese. Religion is about the accrual of intellectual theological knowledge at the expense of the power of spirit. Spirituality is about the eschewal of mere intellectual knowledge leading Read the rest of this entry »
In which Greta is Recruited and Nathan Learns some Lessons
[Extracted from my book “Reluctant Angels”]
Even in the cosiness of his bed, Nathan could sense a crispness in the air outside. The temperature had dropped sharply overnight from Autumn to Winter. He walked to the window and looked down onto the normally verdant park below. The first frost of the season lay on the grass, on which starlings hopped about, leaving their footprints, like fifties teddy-boys beating the bounds of some new territory. Down the road, to the right, the same van was there as had been for some five days. Its colour was an orangey brown, rather like the hue of diarrhoea after eating at a dubious Indian takeaway. Two men, one in a suit, the other more casually dressed, sat in the front seats, who Nathan presumed to be agents from the Group for Citizen Realignment — euphemistically known in government public liaison circles as “Group R” — a psyop outfit jointly run by the military and police, designed to straighten out dissidents with “re-education” using a mixture of intimidation and wave technology. One can recognise them by the array of electronic gizmos built into the rear windowsill and a tiny antenna-like device on the roof which, appropriately, he always thought resembled a grinning goat’s skull.
(Includes an Illustrated Journey through the Bishop’s Brain)
From the elevated position of his elegantly carved wooden pulpit, Paul Altara (or the Reverend Paul Altara, as he was then known) looked down at the assembled crowd in the church. It had indeed been his pulpit, a sacred space from which, week after week for nearly seven years, he had been able to deliver adventurous, contemplative explorations — though always within the religious limitations from which he was now being liberated. During those years, many had been challenged, some had been puzzled and a number had walked away. Various threatened dignitaries and authorities had tried to undermine him through malicious gossip and takedowns. He had even drawn the intense attention, as a dissident, of the government’s euphemistically-named Religious Liaison Unit (RLU) — a department which, through legislation, punitive enforcement and incarceration in special prisons known euphemistically as “Reattunement Camps” (where state-of-the-art technology would be used to alter permanently one’s thinking), ensured that religion and all religious meetings were supportive of the state, non-dissenting and did not pursue their own objectives too radically. In return, they also enabled legislation outlawing any criticism of a religion or belief as “hate-speech”. This was therefore a department to which all churches unequivocally submitted without question and even took pride in doing so. To Paul, though, it was a sign of the times for the church to kowtow to such an office, especially with the fulsome sycophancy it did so.
Julianne Rediscovers her Father (and Herself)
A CERTAIN DARKNESS found its way into Nathan’s awareness — one which dreamed like a mattress filled with horsehair floating on a lake of poems and tears at the dead of night. He saw it from the corner of his eye yet it filled his vision in full panoramic technicolour.
On the other side of the restaurant, a woman sat alone. Gloweringly.
[A sample chapter from my book “Reluctant Angels”]
Homesick snores and the scent of starched, overclean sheets invaded Nathan’s senses every night. It was like a cacophony of lost little piglets restlessly seeking their mummies across the dark, so they could suckle and receive comfort in the wilderness. The dormitory was entirely dark except for a dully lit sign over a door in one corner saying “FIRE EXIT” (though the door was always locked). The bulb behind the “F” had never worked for as long as Nathan could remember; so, in fact, it said “IRE EXIT”, which he found most amusing, in view of all the combative and often bullying behaviour he witnessed every day throughout the establishment, whether from teachers, pupils or other staff — but not from the gardener, Mister Jasper, as he was called (for all non-teaching staff, like servants in colonial times, were known only by their first names, preceded by “Mister” or “Miss”. His full name, in fact, was Jasper Burrows). Nathan had a special and formative relationship with Mister Jasper [as will be revealed in greater detail in a later chapter], whom everyone thought to be “simple” but who Nathan recognised as a fountain of quiet genius. On one occasion, as his father was driving him back to the school after a weekend away, Nathan had pointed out to him Mister Jasper, who was working among the rhododendron bushes at one side of the entry drive.
“Look! There he is! That’s Mister Jasper!” said the boy excitedly.