The Return to Normal Reality
A return from a realm of abnormal perceptions, aberrant lifestyles and deviant attitudes back into mainstream society in order to communicate certain spiritual, mystical and philosophical ideas to the wider world.
My life has been something of a deviation. During my early adulthood I can see clearly now in retrospect that I experienced a dramatic fall in life which landed me in the dark and lonely outer fringes of society. This change of circumstance was accompanied by a subtle but distinct impairment of my normal mental qualities. Once settled in this degenerate state I went through an extended process of exploration during which I learned new ways of thinking. I also gained new ways of looking at the world and reality as a whole. Subsequent to this I decided that the purpose of my life was to communicate to the wider world the knowledge I had acquired and visions that I had seen. Here I describe my re-integration back into mainstream society and my return to normal reality.
The year is 2000, I was 30 years old and almost my entire adult life had been spent in a state of separation and alienation from normal society, the world of careers, child raising, mortgages and paying taxes. I now had it in my mind to come back into the world and share the things that I had learned. I was on a mission to try to explain to the wider world this idea that a person's true identity was really God and also that the prophesies or predictions found in the World's religions were manifesting in present times. I was very fired up with zeal and enthusiasm for all the tasks that I wanted to accomplish, but at the same time my years of personal neglect and dysfunctional living, had left me inadequate with respect to the goals that I had set myself. For years, to the neglect of most other things, what had occupied my time was reading, writing, thinking and meditating. These activities defined my life from the time of leaving home to go to university right up to the time currently under discussion. So as a result of this I was quite unworldly and quite lacking in some of the basic skills required for modern living, such as waking up at a decent hour, being able to hold down a job and keeping appointments with people. There followed a period of preparation and training, where I identified the skills I needed and then set about to acquire them.
The first thing I needed to acquaint myself with was the world of religion. If the purpose of my life was to communicate the truth about God then it was necessary for me to know what people thought about God and also what the World's religions had to say on the matter. So from around the year 2000 onwards and also slightly before, I set about going all over London to join in with religious activities and also to talk with religious people. I would visit churches, temples, mosques and the headquarters of various sects and cults. This field study was much augmented by book learning and the things I would read at any one moment would have correspondence with the places and religions that I was visiting during that time. So for instance, If I happened to be visiting a lot of Buddhist temples and meeting a lot of Buddhists then I would spend a lot of time reading buddhist scriptures and also learn about the history of Buddhism from various sources. And during the time I enrolled on a 10 week introductory course into Christianity, I would read the bible a lot and also books about Christianity. This was a good thing because it allowed me to discuss with the appropriate religious people, the things that I had read and which would be on my mind. A lot of these conversations turned into debates. I had a definite idea of what the truth was i.e. that everyone was God, and this was often not the same view that other religious people had.
It was during this period of investigating into the nature of religion that I learned that the idea that everyone is God can be found at the heart of all the World's faith traditions. This came about partly as a result of the fact that around this time I was trying to convince religious people of various faiths that their true identity was God. So in order to do this I had to learn about their faiths in order to communicate with them in a way that they could appreciate. This led me to systematically read up on the history and development of the World's religions, which led to the following discovery. Almost without exception, a pattern repeated in the evolution of all the world's religions is that the idea of a person's true identity being God, was the seed and catalyst that would kick start and stimulate the formation of religion in the first place. A prophet would experience being one with God and it was this which was key to the initial formulation of religion. Then over the course of time this truth would be obscured, censored and suppressed so that later on this central idea behind all World religion would become forgotten and lost. So in present times the situation with all the World's religions is that the idea that everyone is God is only believed by a very small minority, belonging to small esoteric sects that exist far from the mainstream of their respective parent faiths. For example in Islam this is the case with some Sufi and Shiite sects and in Christianity some modern day Christians adhere to a very Gnostic version of their faith. Anyway, back to my story...
So I was preparing myself for what I had to do with my life which was to communicate to the world the idea that everyone is God and also that the prophesies of the World's religions were manifesting in present times. I decided that a key skill I needed to get to grips with was how to implement websites and to learn how the internet and world wide web worked. It was rather fortuitously that in the fall of 2000, I was put on a government run training program which taught unemployed outcasts like myself how to write HTML, or hyper text mark up, which is the language in which internet websites are written. Later after the course finished, I stayed on with the organization which ran the web design course working as a trainer. This enabled me to sharpen my web design skills. It also gave me a 9 to 5 routine of having to wake up at a decent hour and going to an office like environment five days a week. This helped my reassimilation into normal mainstream society. This routine lasted about half a year into the Spring of 2001. During this time I also kept up my religious studies and also taught myself a lot about information technology, including things which I considered useful for my mission. This included new developments in IT that had occurred since I finished my degree in computing science some 10 years previous to this time. And so in this way I equipped myself with technological skills useful for communicating religious and mystical ideas.
It was in the year 2001 that it occurred to me that I needed to become a public speaker and a proficient one at that. At first I thought the best way to go about it was to first concentrate on the written word by producing literature outlining my ideas and somehow getting these distributed to my initial audience whoever they were, for at that time I didn't have any idea. But I slowly realized that I had to get people's attention in the first place and the only way of doing that was to present my thoughts and ideas in public talks. So from the Summer of 2001 onwards it was always on the back of my mind to get myself ready to start public speaking and this I did early in 2002.
My first public speaking appearance was on the 14th of February. It was to a crowd of 20 or so people at a venue in Kings Cross, London and it was an evening that was hosted by a small underground esoteric organization called the 'Vision Network'. It was a strange collective of odd and unusual people who got together to host talks about various matters concerning mysteries, esoterica and spirituality. Before I gave a talk for them I had already attended several sessions in the year or so leading up to that time. I remember that the quality of the speakers and the number of people in the audience would be extremely variable. Most of the people who attended the meetings were very low status and low income, people who hadn't achieved very much in their lives and who existed on the margins of society. It was very much a scene for outsiders. However it was this crowd that gave me my first opportunity to give a live public presentation of my message. This context was entirely appropriate for my first public speaking appearance for I was myself a total outsider who didn't have very many friends and who still existed only on the outer most fringes of society. So it was these people who first showed an interest in the things I had to say and who accepted the validity of my truth.
This first talk I gave was an introduction to the idea that everyone is God presented from a mainly philosophical and religious perspective. I also talked about the prophesies contained in the scriptures of the World's various great faith traditions in relation to current events. The talk went down very well and I was much encouraged by the positive feedback. So much so that immediately in the weeks following this first appearance I prepared and promoted myself for a further 4 more talks in order to say all the things I couldn't fit into the first talk. This was a lot of hard work as I had to now hire the use of the venue myself and it was down to me to get people to come and be members of the audience. I gave a talk a week and I remember that this was a very intense time. I had to prepare and memorize the material but then I also had to do all the promoting. I would telephone just about everyone I knew to ask if they would like to come. Also I would ask anyone I met or came into contact with whether they were interested in learning that their real identity was God and that the prophesies were currently unfolding. In retrospect it all seems a little bit pathetic and desperate but at that time I was too fired up with zeal to notice. As a result of my enthusiastic efforts in promoting my series of talks I actually managed to get people to come which in retrospect was quite an achievement. Effectively I was able to arouse sufficient interest in people that they would want to come and hear a lonely outcast unemployed man talk about God, the universe, the meaning of life and everything else too. The attendance was modest averaging around 10 people or so but I never had an audience of less than eight people. I was so passionate about communicating my message that even if no people showed up I would have given the talk to the walls of the venue but luckily this never happened. After I had done these four talks which covered and elaborated upon the main themes of my message, I felt emboldened by the experience. I had discovered that I could give a longish public talk, hold peoples attention and cause people to become excited and enlivened as a result. People came, people stayed listened and encouragingly people also came back. So I decided to look for more public speaking challenges.
Here are some photographs of me public speaking. In the first one to the left I am speaking at London's speaker's corner. The place was always lively and I remember it was usually a lot of effort to put ones ideas across. The other photo was taken at a talk I gave for a raw food vegan group, many of whom already believed that they were God, so I was really preaching to the already converted.
In the Spring of 2002 I purchased a mini step ladder from a hardware store and proceeded to spend my Sunday afternoons at London speakers corner, standing on my little platform giving condensed presentations of my message. Speakers corner, which is in Hyde park, is a place where anybody may say whatever they like to whoever happened to be gathered there at any time, though most people would know to congregate there on a Sunday. The place came about through an act of parliament in the 19th century which created this forum for free speech. Speaking there was something very different from the public speaking I had already done earlier in the year. For one it was in the open air with members of the general pubic and tourists wandering about from speaker to speaker. But the most noticeable difference was the amount and ferocity of the heckling. It was difficult to say a complete sentence without being interrupted and sometimes the barrage of heckling was incessant. This provided me with good public speaking practice even though most of the time was spent dealing with hecklers rather than delivering my message. I remember the first couple of times I was left rather shaken by the experience, but with perseverance I started to develop a thicker skin and the ability to deal more effectively with the hecklers. So I continued this routine of spending Sundays at speakers corner right through the Spring of 2001. During the Summer I didn't go as much and this was probably because I had arranged several talks which were held in rented indoor venues during this time. But I returned to speakers corner from the Autumn of 2001 right up to the time the weather started to become less hospitable around late November. Looking back on things I can see that this time spent at speakers corner provided invaluable public speaking experience, which made giving talks in more controlled and less chaotic environments seem much easier and more straight forward. It also gave me a chance to receive feedback from a diverse range of people who wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to hear my message at such an early stage in my development as a communicator.
I continued to systematically develop my public speaking skills and also to evolve my message over the next couple of years. In the beginning of 2003 I started using a new venue called Watkins esoteric centre located in the heart of London's West end. Located two doors away from Watkins bookshop, which is the oldest esoteric and spiritual bookstore in the UK, it was an underground speaking space that had a great atmosphere. I would end up using the place 9 times over a period of a year or so. During this time I saw my audience expand from around 10 people to around 40 when the venue became too cramped for any further expansion. It was great having a regular venue because it really allowed me to develop and fine tune my message. I also started to acquire a small but loyal following of people who would consistently turn up at each and every talk. A side effect of this was that I had to produce new material for each talk so that I wouldn't have to keep saying the same things and repeating myself. This forced me to expand my knowledge of things relating to spirituality, prophesies and mysteries that I could speak confidently about. So this led to a lot of studying new topics and interests that I otherwise wouldn't have delved into so deeply. This had the effect of accelerating my learning and intellectual development. Also the fact that all the reading and studying was geared towards giving public talks and handling people's related questions, meant that I was in a highly motivated state. This helped me to cover more ground and to absorb more information than would have been the case otherwise.
Starting in 2003 I started getting invitations to do public talks as a guest speaker for other peoples events. So I would find myself speaking at vegan gatherings, student events and various types of social clubs. This gave me further experience of speaking to different kinds of people. However due to the nature of my message, i.e. that everyone is God and the prophesies are now, my talks in these contexts were not always well received. These occasions, even the ones where the audience reaction was quite negative, were usually places where I would still make new friends and expand my mailing list. You could please most of the people some of the time and you could never please all of the people any of the time but you could always please at least some of the people almost all of the time.
I can see now looking back on things how the process of organizing and presenting my message in various public speaking contexts, was very helpful towards the goal of getting myself back together again. Having to regularly face an audience does wonders for a person's confidence and sense of self esteem. Also the fact that I was presenting and promoting my own talks meant that I had to do things like finding and hiring out venues. Then there was the significant task of getting people to come along to the talks, which involved contacting people, distributing fliers and generally selling myself. It is clear to me now that all these activities did a lot to make me more grounded and worldly. Most of my time from the start of 2002 right up to the Spring of 2004 was heavily concentrated on preparing myself for and promoting public talks about my message and related themes. But something would happen in April of 2004 which would cause my life to shift again in another direction. I decided to go into full time employment working for the church of England.
In the beginning of 2004 I was starting to look for new challenges and desired to expand my horizons, whilst continuing with my mission to explain to the World that a person's real identity is God and that the prophesies were unfolding in present times. In one of many synchronous little moments I was contemplating my next move when my mobile phone rang. It was a friend of mine calling me in order to tell me that the church where he worked was looking for someone to fill a vacancy. The church in question was St James Piccadilly located in the heart of central London and it was a place I knew well because of its associations with the new age and alternative religions. The post that needed filling was the position of verger at the church, which is sort of like a priest's assistant and caretaker of the church and its grounds. I was immediately curious and interested in the job and a few weeks later I was working for the largest cult in the country.
So I found myself employed as a verger working in perhaps one of the most controversial and progressive churches in the country. Here the whole issue of women and homosexual priests isn't an issue at all. Of the four members of the clergy, two are gay and the other two are women. The church also courted controversy due to its openness to and acceptance of alternative spirituality and interfaith sentiments. As a result all sorts of non christian beliefs would find a home and platform at the church, from the various strands of new age, to sufism, zen meditation and gnostic paganism. It was a place I felt quite at home in and working at the church has given me a good context for meeting interesting people, contemplating religion, developing my message and also at the same time enabling me to pay my rent. The work itself involves a great diversity of roles and tasks, anything from office work and handling money, to unlocking and locking the church to security guard duties. Also there are ceremonial roles which involve dressing up in a long black robe and taking part in church services, weddings, funerals and memorial services. There is generally a lot of social interaction and a typical day will involve dealing with a diverse spectrum of people, anything from beggars, aristocrats, tourists and tradesmen to spiritual types, retirees and children. The job allows a lot of autonomy and independence which I like, also it requires a lot of responsibility which is useful for me to acquire a sense of. At the time of writing, now being mid December 2006, I am still currently employed in this context and often find myself working on my website during my breaks at work. A good thing about the job is that a lot of the time my mind isn't taken up by work related duties, so this allows me to think about my mission and message. I often find myself thinking of ways to explain my ideas while standing about during some church ceremony say. Also because my mental faculties are not very taxed by the job, at the end of the working day I still have loads of energy left to work on the mission. Overall the time I am spending working for the church of England is generally very useful for helping me to develop my social and communication skills, whilst at the same time learning about religion in depth.
Here is a photograph of the church where I am currently working. Located less than a minute from Piccadilly circus the place has many different contexts and scenes. There are offices and conference rooms located in an annex and outside in the court yard there is an arts and crafts market. The work sometimes involves collecting market rents from the traders which is fun and gives me the opportunity to chat. Also there is a large garden and of course the spaces and rooms located within the church itself. The place is open 7 days a week all year round and being situated in the heart of London's west end means the place is quite eventful, which I like.
To sum up this section, what I have been doing for the last 5 years or so, is returning to the mainstream society and normal reality after an extended period spent living on societies margins. During this time I experienced strange things and embraced deviant ideas. I learned that my real identity is God and that world history was approaching the climax described in the prophesies that are a part of all religion. I also learned the purpose of my life which is to communicate to wider humanity the things that I had learned. In order to accomplish this I have had to return to the wider world. So the process of my life in recent years has been one of reintegration and developing my ideas into a form that people can understand. This process has also involved learning necessary skills such as writing, web design and public speaking in order to accomplish my mission. I am still currently in this phase of my life and have already made a good start towards realizing my goals. The story continues..