Bette Davis, my
dear friend, colleague and sweetheart has great respect, regard and reverence
for you. She feels you are one of the most fascinating people she has met in her
entire life .If you were living in Canada, I would have come to see you
personally and interview you. Since we are thousands of miles apart, I am taking
the liberty of sending you a few questions hoping that you would answer them. As
you are aware I am a poet, a writer and a practicing psychiatrist and
psychotherapist who was born in the East and now living in the West. I have
developed a keen interest in Creative and Mystic Personalities. These days I am
working on my next book titled
Breakdowns and Breakthroughs.
Creativity, Insanity, Sexuality, Spirituality and Psychotherapy
In that book I am exploring the dilemmas and dreams of people who have creative,
psychotic and mystic encounters and highlighting that traditional psychiatrists,
psychologists, family therapists and mystic teachers have not been able to
communicate with each other because they belong to different disciplines and
traditions and use different languages to share their encounters and
philosophies. There is also a wide gap between Western Psychotherapy and Eastern
Spirituality. I feel in the 21st century we need to break down those walls and
build bridges between different disciplines, traditions, philosophies and
cultures. To build such bridges of communication we need to have an open and
honest dialogue. This interview is my humble attempt to build that bridge and
open those new channels of communication. I am asking you questions as a
representative of a professional who was trained in the disciplines of science,
medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy. I would like you to share the milestones
of your personal, philosophical and spiritual journey and the highlights of your
knowledge, experience and wisdom as a Spiritual Therapist who has been offering
seminars and workshops to help people heal from their emotional wounds and get
in touch with the spiritual dimension of their lives. I am quite aware that you
are a very busy person and people from all over the world come to visit you. If
you can spare some time and share your philosophy and wisdom, I would really
appreciate it. It would help me in my new project.
Did you grow up in
a religious family? What were the belief systems of your family, school and
I had a somewhat
odd upbringing. Born at the later end of World War 11, told I was an orphan
which turned out much later to be not true (in my 40's I met both parents, both
married other people) Adopted into a Victorian family at the age of about 3, the
family comprised the original spinster and her mother. Two of us were adopted
(not related to each other) we were looked after by Eileen the family help, and
paraded at around 5 pm for an hour with the adults. The brother/son was then a
curate in the Church of England. We had little to do with him, his wife and his
3 children. He later became a Bishop. We went to church on Sundays however I was
early disillusioned and later very rebellious. Early on noticed that the
'gossip' was about who was there and what they were wearing not about
spirituality. We had to go to be seen and little else. Much later when the
Bishop was a rural dean he looked after one church in which I found the
contradiction of atmosphere and personnel too profound for me so I used to faint
with monotonous regularity, which was a huge embarrassment to all but me!
Dispensation was given to drink tea, eat biscuits and all sorts but always I was
out, and carried away by two burly churchwardens to be revived on a grave stone
outside. We saw little of the community being mostly confined to house and
garden, and rarely accompanied the adults on outings.
Was there a time in
your life that you believed in God, Prophets and Scriptures?
I always believed
in a force beyond our understanding but was more critical of the church’s narrow
views the more I was exposed. It was normal to me to speak to plants, rabbits or
whatever. The pictures around that denoted scriptures, and the stories about
prophets were less real than my own experiences so I was not too impressed. I
did try to describe some of these experiences particularly to the guardian's
mother who was a more broad-minded lady. She said I had a vivid imagination and
should keep quiet and fit in. After a few attempts in this direction, I saw the
wisdom in doing just that and realised that what was 'real' to me was not always
to others. My saving grace at this time was spending time with the gardener Mr
Blake, who seemed to take pleasure in explaining the mysteries of growth and
evolution amongst animals, vegetables and minerals for which I am forever
grateful. My critical assessment with the clergy continued and grew, it did not
make me popular and I felt impotent to challenge it constructively so kept
quiet. (at that time!)
In your search for
personal truth did you ever become an Atheist?
No never, at one
time I felt very frustrated and abandoned and out of touch but never lost my
faith in something bigger 'out there'. Seemed so logical to me that if the sky
was that big and there were so many stars in the cosmic system we knew, there
must be some force administering and organizing the movement that took place
each and every day, that allowed things to relate to each other but stay in
movement. If that was so vast and outside of that was so much more there must be
something. What I always had/have trouble with is those who dis-empower others
from direct research and experimentation.
How did you get in
touch with the spiritual dimension of your personality and life?
More and more,
after experimenting with nature, and elementals I used to do what I would now
describe as telepathic experiments, but had no words for then and would not have
dared to mention it anyway. I spent a
lot of time on my own, and so it was central to my well being. I also realise
with the wisdom of hindsight I was not very respectful of people unless I felt
they were in their integrity. I appeared to be
able to 'know' how they were inside and when their external presentation was in
contradiction with this, it confused me hugely.
Did you belong to a
spiritual tradition and discipline and follow a Spiritual Teacher / Master /
Guru or did you develop your spirituality on your own?
On my own until I
was about 27 ish, then I met someone with whom I was able to discuss things.
He was/is an osteopath who had studied extensively, and who enabled me to study
too which I then did for 7 years.
What inspired you
to become a Spiritual Therapist? Did you have to go through formal training and
supervision and appear in some examination before you could graduate and
I had no intention
of becoming a spiritual psychotherapist. One of my daughter's contracted
meningitus twice in two years, (aged 5 & 7) the first
time it was Type B the second viral. My youngest son also contracted it within
hours of his sister (20 months). The medics were great however not so great
when it came to after help. Sarah suffered from triple vision for a long time
after and Andy was unable to speak properly until he was 12. The systems answer
was special schools and live with it. My
husband was a paramedic (ex Navy later Red Cross) I was a journalist so we
decided to research and explore anything that could 'normalise' the status quo
and not put the 2 children in a different section of society
from their 2 peers (another son and daughter). The kids were back in ordinary
schools within 6 months and flourished. One is now a well known TV producer
and the other a researcher/writer within the music
business. Teachers and doctors etc were clearly impressed and started to put
their 'hopeless cases' our way. It is quite one thing taking risks with
your own kids, quite another other peoples. We were all so grateful and it had
put our family through such a huge growth experience, we wanted to pay back
through serving others. So we decided Ray should
continue with his work and I should train and get some qualification. And the
opportunities presented to go that route so we did. It may sound twee but I so
did not want others to have the anquish that we had had without some kind of
'navigations aids'. So I studied for 7 years with a College of Spiritual
Psychotheraphy - great training - block of theory then sent into the community
to see if we were able to apply it. Of course it pressed a lots of buttons.
Yes we were supervised and took exams every year. I
was lucky enough to do really well overall and so was offered a teaching post
after finals. I took it and worked at the college for another 7 years.
During this time it seemed to me that teachers were getting a bit 'new agey' and
were allowing people to pursue an escape route into spiritual practise without
due thought to what this was doing to their families, careers etc. So I kept
advocating the practical support and encouragment to deal with the problems not
fighting them, escaping them or running amok. It did not go down well, so
eventually I left and Second Aid was born.
What were your
expectations when you started the Second Aid Program and how has it grown
different than your expectations?
It started in 1983
My expectation was to give people permission to be experiencing what was without
getting in their way. To support their grief as to what was not anymore, to
help them extract the essence of their learning to date and to marry it to what
was a realistic prospect here and now. That meant supporting and giving
permission for the perceived imperfections and working at maximising what was
there 'now'. What I did not expect was the huge market need for information on
communication and relationships and the requests to address specialist aspects
of those subjects. My idea had been find them, inform them and pass them on as
quickly as possible if they were unable to be self responsible enough to
function. It did not work as quickly as I had anticipated so it turned into a
much longer committment than first thought. They would not go away!
Sometimes for years! Bit like the kids, freed themselves from home, then kept
coming back and bringing friends etc. Just got bigger and bigger. Neither
did I expect so much personal learning ie guarding against needing to be needed,
personal ambition, publicity etc. etc.
How is Spiritual
Therapy different than psychotherapy offered by psychologists and
psychotherapists from different universities?
It concentrates on
the point of most need. It is an acute practise rather than the chronic
conditions. Psychologists deal more with behaviour patterns and possible
modification in individuals and collectives. Conventional psychotherapists
with detection of reasons and a potential of betterment. Spiritual
psychotheraphy promotes a choice as to beliefs, skill remits, reactions and
attitudes. Of course they all interface and overlap and I think that any of
these practises is only as effective as the work the therapist has done on
themselves. My eldest son is a PhD and a lecturer in social psychology and has
a Masters in counselling and between you and me, I don't think he has had the
experience in life as yet to develop compassion and empathy for where his
students/clients are at. That is not to belittle him in anyway, he will be
great but he is still to anxious to 'make it better and solve the problem'.
How is meditation
that you practice different than meditation practiced by other therapists and
mystics? Do you feel meditation used for relaxation in the West different than
the meditation used in the East for personality
transformation and enlightenment?
I don't know that
it is different. Isn't most meditation seeding ground, fertilising and feeding
that growth, and allowing it to flower and celebrating
that. Meditation for relaxation is good and works for some as an instruction
to the body systems to all work to their optimum and harmonise one with another.
Some of the Eastern meditations encourages the
disciple and then begins to discipline them. Aren't we all trying to mix and
marry the best of all these days? Developing the in-tuition and the empathy
towards those you are working with/for allows more
point of apparent need application, and the only sin is to give up. Maybe
overcoming the fear of crossing boundaries, breaking down bias, prejudice,
bigotry is a part.
What do you think
of those mystics who leave their families and
communities and go to mountains and monasteries for the rest of their lives to
That certainly was a requirement when these people were trying to introduce new
frequencies to the world. They are here now and we need a more hands on, plain
clothes, inclusive approach. If we
go we all go together, we should not be selfish and abandon those we profess to
care for. Why do we want enlightenment if not to spread that light amongst
those we love. Maybe it is our hang up if we think it is OK to leave our
families/jobs etc and walk off onto the mountainside and what are we intending
doing with the enlightenment when we get it. Use it all
for ourselves? Are others going to receive us well if we have walked out on
the problems that most others stay and try and face. We have to be careful not
to put ourselves in a superior role at any time, sure we
all have different roles but all players are needed to stage a show.
How is a Spiritual
Therapist different than a Priest or a Minister or a Rabbi who claims to provide
A priest/rabbi or a
minister have a duty of care not only to their parishioner but also to the
hierarchical structure of their discipline. They have to toe the line to a
certain extent and cannot go beyond certain guidelines laid down. Sure there
are some great priests etc. who do great work. A spiritual therapist believes
in the soap powder not in brand names, so they have a capacity to 'pick and mix'
what works making them focused but not blinkered in their chosed support of the
client group. No-one should
work in isolation and we should all be able to work as teams ideally.
How can people
differentiate genuine mystics who help people discover their personal truth from
pseudo-mystics who make cults and misguide, exploit and abuse their students and
The genuine ones
work to free and empower, not to contain or isolate. And they should have
references and success stories that can be checked. They should charge a
reasonable but not excessive fee, and
colleagues who speak well of their work. There should be a history of success
and a code of ethics that have stood the test of time. All people would do well
to interview those who do not meet these criteria
and be empowered to walk away after the initial meeting freely. Those who do
not reccomend others as well as themselves should be treated with suspicion The
whole family should be able to be involved as it
is a part of a group dynamic. We all deal with people at their most vulnerable
and we should be able to be held accountable. Use and abuse of people is just
not acceptable, if the practice is restrictive
and contraining I would be very suspicious. The "I've been on a course for a
weekend" merchants worry me.
Do you believe in
miracles? Do you believe mystics do not have to
follow the scientific laws of nature?
mysteries. A miracle is a mystery that has not been
solved yet. It will be subject to the laws of nature for sure. Scientific
law will quantify it in hindsight the miracle will be foresight. If you look
Nobel prize winners, two/three people will get an idea not all will action it
and work at it until it is able to be used by many. Those who do have the
bottle to keep on keeping on will breakthrough and a miracle
occurs. The mystic can get hold of information and through focussed thought
can bring it down within the limitations of their skill remit, overcome the
challenges and produce something that is needed/better
than before or whatever. If someone works to change their level of awareness
and does so that will be a miracle to them and potentially to others. If
someone has an accident and breaks through it will be
shocking for sure, it is a gift you do not remembering asking for, so if you get
it it may feel more like a curse until you are able to manage it.
When did you get in
touch with the Spirit World? What do you think is
the relationship between the materialistic world and the Spirit World.
I don't know that I
am in touch with the Spirit world, I might be in touch with a bit more of it
than I was before, and not as in touch with as much as I would like. That is my
wish and my hope. All my life I have been able to commune with something
beyond what is considered 'normal'. I deliberately suppressed it in the
interest of becoming more acceptable. When Sarah was ill the first time it
came back only more
so. All my life I have taken notice when the less visible became more so, the
unheard was heard, the feeling that could not be explained. Can't everyone do
that? Or couldn't they if they paid more attention?
A part of it must be where we put our attention. The spirit world contains
all else within it doesn't it? So if we put our emphasis on the material that
will take precedence. It is a part of it, but not a part that holds me
enthralled. Warmth, food, water, clothing, computers, washing machines very
nice and useful, so we enjoy them but they are not a priority. Nice to feel good
but sometimes you feel good when feeling pretty bad too, so again not the be all
and end all. Nice to learn and have various disciplines and skills at our
disposal but there is more and that is what truly interests me. So I believe
we enjoy each and every bit but keep our focus on the totality as best we can.
If we isolate ourselves within the
material it is all that we know and gains a significance and so self limits.
What is Kundalini?
Did you experience it yourself?
Each chakra works
independently and links closely with the endocrine system, so each will need to
be cleaned out of its genetic inheritance be it physical, emotional or
intellectual predisposition. Each one will make a radical difference to the
state of being of that life. If all clear to a level that can acknowledge
their interdependence then a channel is made where all can harmonise with one
another. An analogy of an orchestra comes to mind. Violins can sound lovely,
as can percussion etc. When all areas
work together and they tune up it sounds dreadful, the conductor comes in and
the orchestra plays it is more wonderful than one could imagine. Kundalini is
when all works together and the electical magnetic
interface changes everything. If the way is clear it is uncomfortable and
disconcerting but other than weird and inconvenient OK. If the way is not
clear all sorts of psychological physical complications can occur. It can appear
to run down the spine and or up.
Yes I have experienced it more than once (3 times to be precise) and it was odd
and frightening as it was unknown but I was lucky, quite fit, quite open to new
experience and flexible enough for it to be disruptive
but to be able to integrate it well enough. And I knew enough of the theory to
take a guess at what was going on.
Do you consider
yourself an enlightened person? When did you receive
enlightenment and how did that change your life?
than I used to be and not as enlightened as I may become. It is a station on
the journey that has been passed through not a destination as yet. Certainly
each station changes your life as you sense things differently and so react to
the world in an updated way. Then others around you have to accommodate the
changes or not, so it can be somewhat disruptive. It may require us to
restructure our lives somewhat and recatogradise our colleagues, friends,
clients etc. so perhaps it is the
inconvenience of it that makes us reluctant to proceed. However we get over that
and get on with it and I suppose each time we practise this the mechanics of it
become easier and less daunting to manage.
Why do you think
some people experience nervous breakdowns as they are traveling on the Spiritual
I think this
question is really interesting. When we push ahead of time (spiritual
ambition) our physical vechicle is not able to manage, so the potential
breakthrough becomes a breakdown. All changes in the
levels of awareness make us anxious and the nervous systems appear to be at the
end of the process. Not sure if this is the nervous systems coming to a level
of agreement as to process or whether they overload.
Make haste slowly my boss used to say and I never understood what he meant by
that, but having seen many people breakdown rather than breakthrough, it seems
that striving to give birth to the new ahead of time
Do you agree with
those people who feel that people who are emotionally weak and fragile,
especially those who have suffered from physical, emotional and sexual abuse
have great difficulties in finding spiritual enlightenment and need traditional
psychotherapy to heal emotionally
before they can grow spiritually?
Certainly I think
it helps. They have to have an acceptance of what has gone on previously and
be supported in taking some responsibility for the events of the past. Trust
in others is easier under these circumstances than trust in yourself. If they
can be supported by skilled practitioners the dislocations at any level of being
can be relocated and rather than an us and them situation, there comes a oneness
and a wholeness that then allows them to move forward on their spiritual path.
Forgiveness and release of the pain of the learning to date has to be dampened
if not eliminated prior to this being a happening thing.
Do you think people
can become mystics on their own or do they always need a Spiritual Teacher?
Anyone who can
resolve the mystery of living in anyway is a potential mystic don't you think.
They may need help with the mechanics of the process but that old saying, 'when
the student is ready the teacher
appears' seems to hold true. Whether people recognise the teacher is another
question all together.
Do you believe in
re-incarnation? Have you met people who had re-births?
I think we rebirth
ourselves all the time in this life eg babyhood to childhood, childhood to
adolescent, teenager to adult, single to couple, couple to family etc. It
seems logical to me to carry this forward
and backwards. Certainly I have met many people who believed and remembered
previous lifetimes and it certainly explains certain predispositions and
problems in this life. It is so well documented now,
that it is hard to believe it is all imagination, especially the details which
can be documented and have been. So yes, is the answer. I believe the
Earth is a planet of learning and until we have learned we continue to exist in
one form or another.
Do you think human
beings can be re-born as animals as some Hindus believe?
I have difficulty
with this. I think all evolution moves forward one step at a time. And that
each and every kingdom of nature has a purpose. All kingdoms being present in
humans. Mineral content bone and grief related in humans, vegetable glandular
and fear, animal circulation and fight and flight reactions etc. Part of the
human learning is to discipline these kingdoms within so that they all work
together self responsibly and harmoniously.
How much do you
think human beings have a choice of their own life and future?
Not much! I think
we all spend an inordinate amount of time trying to control and manipulate the
plans pre-agreed prior to birth. We live in a planet of free choice, so if one
party renages, then plans will change. However our attitudes toward what goes on
is a very different kettle of fish. We can be grateful and gracious or not.
One we learn to work with theplans and collaborate and cooperate with
generousity and good heart, our futures get brighter. This investment into our
future may change plans again.
What is your
philosophy of human suffering?
Past misdeeds being
redressed and rebalanced. And learning to be flexible. Some of my best times
have intermixed with some of the worst. Perhaps it is a learning to not judge,
blame, criticise or condemn
ourselves and others and to 'be' more and 'do' less.
What is your
philosophy of spiritual enlightenment?
Letting go and
surrendering to higher forces and powers the need to fix, change, rescue and
protect ourselves and others. Working with and inproving what 'is' rather than
striving for an idealism that comes from our imagination of how things should or
What do you think
is the difference between Poets and Prophets?
comment to improve the past events, whereas prophets usually comment on what is
potentially to come. So both are 'out of time' and in spaces that do not belong
to the present moment. How much
time they spend in their respective spaces can be and is useful so long as they
relate it all to invest in the gift of the present.
What do you think
of the opinion of some scientists and neurologists who believe that poets and
mystics have very sensitive temporal lobes. They
believe that the voices of the right brain are perceived by the left brain as
coming from outside and believed to be coming from angels and spirits
and gods? They think mystics like Joan of Arc suffered from temporal lobe
In my experience
most people who are changing their level of awareness display symptoms of being
mildly paranoid. We appear to be left brain dominated in our society, so those
who are right brain orientated only and too impatient to pass that through to
the left brain to find a gap in the market and so present what is required
rather than isolate themselves
through ambition, superiority, greed etc. get into lots of trouble. Then then
claim to have instructions and so try to dominate rather than to
present. When the 'dragon' brain joins the party they run their own agendas as
well which can be confusing to one and all. We use so little of our brains
in a conscious sense, that the 'bleed' from one area to another can be
disorientating to say the least. All areas have to be on the one side rather
than hostile to one another. How much of our brain we
are able to access depends on our state of mind and heart as well as on our
capacity to evolve.
Do you think
scriptures are words of God or words of Wise Human Beings?
Beings who have had
a God experience documenting same. I think that is why there is a discrepancy as
well as a similar theme running through recorded works. Those who have had these
experiences certainly change,
and they will feel they have to record these happening as a road map for those
who follow them. A policeman once said to me that if they get statements that
concur too much they are suspicious, as one persons
view on something will differ from anothers although they witnessed the same
event. Journalists are well known for slanting stories their way, and it is
something they get famous or written off for. Straight reporting answers the
questions, who, when, where, why, what and how only.
Why do you think
there is so much anger, hatred and violence in the world?
Tribal cultures say
that we work to improve the historical and genetic inheritance of 7 generations
back and invest into 7 generations hence. If we take that further we can say
that the historical records of hu-mans inhumanity to hu-mans is stored in the
earths atmosphere. As it moves from the less conscious to the more conscious
people suffer anger and frustration at the hatred of times gone by. They then
have a choose to subscribe to the love to hate, or to convert that hatred to
more loving ways of being. That can make people violent and does. If we get
in a big way we start to try to impose rather than to invite; to insist on
personal (be it a country or a person) power incites violence. Because we know
there is a better way to be requires us to administrate and organise things to a
higher standard. If we can do this with generosity of spirit it works, as in the
tsunami. If we do it to enlarge personal territory then violence ensues.
This history is trying to cleanse itself from the earth. Potentially that means
that things will be lighter and better, however before this can happen the echo,
shadows have to be reengaged and embraced - a daunting prospect and requires
unselfishness in the extreme and a trust in oneself and ones guidance to be able
to hold ones standards while under extreme pressure.
How do you propose
bridges can be built between Western Psychiatrists and Psychotherapists and
Eastern Mystics and Spiritual Teachers?
Contact and a real
willingness to share. Most sharing are selective and not comprehensive. If
we want to move beyond barriers of language, culture, disciplines and a need to
guard our own territory we have to meet, exchange and overcome barriers erected
between us. That is a lot of work as we have to examine our dogma, bias,
bigotry and cleanse as much as we can if we are to take anything useful to this
party. And we have to be willing to be 'seen' at the most profound levels so we
run the risk of being observed as not good enough, and so try to insure and
ensure this will not happen. And we have to create a structure that enables
really open exchange of information so we must be able to teach and to learn.
What are your
dreams for your own life and philosophy and movement that you are leading?
I want to grow more
internally for sure. It would be nice to
have an intimate relationship again. I want to learn more about the mind and
am doing a home study course at present which I am loving. I would like to
investigate previous life study more so as to better understand how it relates
to this life. A team of us are working on creating a 'virtual space' on the
web to represent the Second Aid information which is exciting. The centre here
is changing its form and will become what it is supposed to be. Although
instrumental in that I don't see it as a long term
activity for me personally but we will see.