Eating the Forbidden Fruit

21st May 2008



Hello lovely people

I always find it fascinating that in one aspect, all adults act like obstinate children without being aware of it. We judge each other.

The only sermon I remember from my church-going days was about the Ten Commandments. The preacher had a revolutionary approach to them, in that he said that you do not HAVE to obey them. He said the real meaning was that you could ignore them, but then you would have to take full responsibility for your actions. That made sense to me.

I realized in later years that the first commandment in the Bible is actually “Thou shalt not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen 2:9). I thought that means we must not for a moment think that we have the capacity to decide whether something or someone is good or evil.

Why is it that we are not allowed to eat this symbolical fruits? Is the world not a better place when we all agree on what is right and what is wrong? Surely we all have a moral compass that we apply every day, and that is some form of judgment?

I do not like being told what to do or not to so, so I became curious about this, and did some research about this magical tree.

Like most symbols in the Bible, it appears that this image of a tree with the forbidden fruit existed even before biblical times.

In Greek mythology the Garden of the Hesperides is the grove that belonged to the goddess Hera. When Hera accepted Zeus as her husband, the goddess Gaia gave Hera some branches with golden apples on. Hera planted the golden apples and the result was a grove of apple trees that gave immortality to those who ate the apples. The Hesperides were given the task of tending to the grove, but they occasionally plucked some of the apples for themselves. Hera did not trust them and added a guard to the garden. It was a never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon named Ladon.

The same tree with forbidden fruit features in early Mesopotamian myths, going back as far as the year 669 BC. There is a myth about the Sumerian goddess Inanna who ate the fruits of a tree to acquire knowledge. She was joined by her brother Utu, the sun-god, and the Sumerian god Enki, the god of wisdom and knowledge.

There is a similar tree in Buddhism. The founder of Buddhism, later known as Gautama Buddha, sat under the Bodhi tree when he achieved enlightenment. This tree was a fig tree with heart shaped leaves.

In Hinduism the Tree of Jiva and Atman appears in the Vedic scriptures as a metaphysical metaphor concerning the soul.

The old Norse sagas also contain a famous tree, the World Tree, which is an ash tree. This tree is located at the center of the Universe and joins the nine worlds of the Norse cosmology.

Why are these symbolical trees so significant? And why is it so important not to eat their fruits, especially if eating the fruits of the tree will give us immortality and knowledge that will make life so much easier?

I think that eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is like breaking any one of the Ten Commandments – of course you can do it, but there are consequences that you must then live with.

Eating this fruit of knowledge and wisdom is exciting and inspiring, and it opens up a whole new life for us. However, there is no turning back, and that is why the fruit of this tree comes with a health warning. Once you understand that this existence is only a small part of the eternity called life, you tend to see life here in a different light.

We can still be irresponsible with our emotions, but we carry all of that with us for a very long time, and we become aware that these emotions are ours, not anyone else’s. We can do whatever we want, but where we hurt other people, we carry that action and that knowledge in our cells for ever. And we cannot blame other people or circumstances for what we think, say and do, because we become aware that we are responsible for ourselves.

Eating of the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is then not about judging others. It is about growing up and accepting our own judgment of ourselves. That is the result of eating those fruits – we gain immortality in our own manner, and spiritually we are never the same again.

When we read that we must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it is like saying to a child that it is not a good idea to drive a Ferrari racing car. Of course the child can drive the car, but what would be the consequences? Can the child deal with the consequences? But when the child is older, then it is so much easier to deal with the consequences, and then the adult can have fun driving the car.

Now that makes sense to me – and I understand why the tree bears “forbidden” fruit.

Early on my spiritual path, I was in a room where, during a reading, a spiritual teacher gave a very harsh warning to a man about playing with his own mental health because the man was adamant to become a medium even though he was clearly emotionally not stable. That stuck with me.

Does that mean that exploring our own spirituality is dangerous and we should not do it? On the contrary. We become our true selves when we explore who we really are, and we find joy and understanding. The warning is that we need to understand that we are dealing with something that is far greater than our human minds can conceive. We must not be greedy or try to run before we can walk. And we must understand that once we have taken on that responsibility, there is no turning back. We can no longer blame others for what happens to us, and we will never see the world in the same light again. But we will also experience indescribable joy and peace.

For some people things like clairvoyance and telepathy and energy work are second nature. For other people anything spiritual is like an awakening from a deep sleep. Nobody wants to awake from a deep sleep by means of an explosion. We want to slowly become conscious, then stretch out and leisurely open our eyes. And some people want to sleep on. We need to be patient with ourselves and one another.

I sometimes encounter fear and prejudice when I do readings for people – because I do not use tarot cards and I do not rely on the interpretation of any other cards. At least tarot cards and other cards have some entertainment value, but many people find the idea of just closing your eyes and “tuning in” scary. I have also encountered fear and prejudice that is so paralyzing that people avoid me and never explore the reasons for this behavior. How do I react? By loving them. It is not for me to “convert” people or to assume that everyone should share my beliefs – which are right for me now, but may change as I become more aware and awake.

This may be presumptuous, but I think I have had a tiny bite of the forbidden fruit, and I know there is no turning back. Of course you can take a bite yourself and experience the joy and peace and abundance, but are you ready for it? You will know in your heart of hearts and walk your own path.

I will be working at a psychic fayre at Worthing Pavillion Theatre, Marine Parade Worthing BN11 3PX, on 14 and 15 June 2008.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry. Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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Are children ever illegitimate?

18th May 2008



Hello lovely people

I am always fascinated by the rules around succession to a throne and how monarchs exclude their children that were born of some women, but include the children that were born to them of other women.  I get upset when children are described as “illegitimate” – as if God made a mistake with that child.  And not too long ago – in the youth of our grandparents – children that were born to unmarried parents were as a rule given away for adoption.  Some of those children never even found out that they were adopted, or finding this out was a very painful experience to them, because it reflected the “shame” of their births.

In some cultures children that are born “out of wedlock” carry that stigma with them for the rest of their lives, simply because their parents were not married when they were born.  In other cultures people fall in love, live together and have children, and later on they get married.   Are those children illegitimate?

All children come into this world because they have planned to do so, like us.  They choose their parents and they choose their paths in this dimension.  I believe that they also choose the experience of “being illegitimate”, probably because they have to deal with feelings of inadequacy and rejection. 

Why are the children “illegitimate”?  Because their parents were not married when they were born. 

Marriage should be a celebration of two souls joining together in love, and finding fulfillment in that love.  For most people marriage is also about raising children in a loving environment.

Does that mean that marriage has to be a ceremony with a legal contract?  No.  A wedding is any celebration of two souls joining in love.  The legal contract was added because of the rules of society.   Without a legal contract a mother cannot claim what is due to her children when people decide to end a relationship.  Without a legal contract a father does not have the right of access to his children.  What a strange world we created for ourselves!  Of course the church likes the idea of a legal contract between people, and so this legality was integrated into the traditions and ceremonies of the church.

I understand that the church can play a role in helping couples to understand the contract between themselves – that is the love contract.  But I am afraid I find it difficult to understand how people who chose to be celibate could think that they are in a position to explain and regulate the relationship between couples, when they personally rejected that type of relationship in the first place.  My own experience of being counseled by a man of the cloth about marriage was an attempt to give me a huge injection of fear and the threat of rejection from society, when I was emotionally in tatters.  Fortunately I was immune to this treatment.  I am also sure there are also people that gain much benefit in such situations, even though it did not work for me.

A marriage contract, like any other contract, can reach a logical end.  When that happens, there is a divorce.  When people get divorced, they reach the end of their love contract.  That is in most instances also the end of the legal contract between them.  In cultures where there is a stigma attached to divorce, there is a strong fear base.  Those cultures can be quite cruel and will often see people living in misery because they can no longer be their true selves in a relationship that has changed, but people would rather have that than have those people question the institution of marriage as a binding contract even if it destroys both parties.

In this context of messed up adults who create fear and who blindly follow the rules that are imposed on them, children happen  to come into this world to parents who are not caught up in the bureaucracy of marriage.  The children are then expected to take on the same heritage of fear and rejection when you do not toe the cultural and religious line.  Those children then take up an entire lifetime to fight that heritage.  And the more they fight their heritage, the more that heritage rules their lives, because fighting something means you put more and more energy into exactly what you do not want, and you make it real.

I am not saying that it is all right to have many babies from one or more relationships.  We all need to control ourselves and our destinies.  If our destiny is to be a parent to many children, then so be it, as long as we take responsibility for each one of those children and raise them in love.

Can we really look at a new-born baby, an innocent child, and reject that baby outright because the parents were not married?  Hardly.  Then how do we justify doing it when that same child is older and can understand the rejection, but cannot understand the reason for it?

We justify it by having our own warped understanding of love.  We do not open ourselves up to the beauty of unconditional love.

Every single child that comes to this planet is a legitimate child, because it is part of God’s plan.  And when that child grows up, it becomes an adult that is legitimate.  Whenever we question the legitimacy of any person on the basis of our own biases, we need to look inside, identify the fear that we project and eliminate that fear.  When we accept everyone on this planet as God’s creature, we will have more love for ourselves and the world will be a better place.

Read an extract from The Bastard to see how our biases and judgements can damage other people.

I will be  working at a psychic fayre at Worthing Pavillion Theatre, Marine Parade Worthing BN11 3PX, on 14 and 15 June 2008.

I will also be leading a workshop titled Conquering the Spiritual Mid-Life Crisis in Scottburgh, South Africa, on 25 May 2008, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 May 2008.   Please contact me for details if you are interested.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry.  Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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Extract from The Bastard

18th May 2008



Hello lovely people

He looked at the bees again and decided to leave them and go and ask his mother what the word meant.  He found her in the kitchen, ironing.  He liked the way the sun shone on her hair, and stood quietly watching her. 

Then she noticed him.   She put the iron down and smiled, bent down and hugged him. 

“And how was your day? Did you learn anything exciting?” she asked. 

“I don’t know, Mummy.  What is a bastard?”

For a moment she stood stock still.  Then she slowly opened the fridge door, turned around and said “Let me pour you some juice, you must be hot from the long walk.”

He took the glass from her and drank the juice.  He looked at her and asked again “What is a bastard?”

He was so innocent.  She did not know how to answer the question.  “It is a really nasty word, and I do not want you to use it.  People say that when they do not like others.”

“But Betsy told me today I am a bastard, and I do not know why.  Why would she say that to me?”

“My darling, people say nasty things to others when they do not understand.  You are a sweet boy, and you must not take notice of this girl.  She does not sound like a nice girl at all.”

“Yes mommy.”

“Now go and take off your school clothes, and then you can come and help me unpack this parcel I’ve received.”

He went off to his room, and the mother stood there, staring at nothing.  So the time has come. Time to explain.  Time to start building defenses. 

Read the whole story in A Tapestry of Life, a collection of short stories about moments that changed people’s lives. The book can also be obtained from Trafford Publishing.

I will be  working at a psychic fayre at Worthing Pavillion Theatre, Marine Parade Worthing BN11 3PX, on 14 and 15 June 2008.

I will also be leading a workshop titled Conquering the Spiritual Mid-Life Crisis in Scottburgh, South Africa, on 25 May 2008, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 May 2008.   Please contact me for details if you are interested.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry.  Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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The gift of wisdom from the elderly

13th May 2008



Hello lovely people

When I was young, we were taught to respect people that were older than us, regardless of who they were.  I, in my youthful rebellion, disagreed.  For me it was far more important to respect people for what they have done and how they have proven themselves. 

There is a tradition in my culture that where a person is more than ten years older than me, I am not allowed to call this person by his or her name, because that would be disrespectful.  I am supposed to call the person by the title of uncle or aunt.  However, in this instance a title does not convey respect.  The title merely conveys tradition.  The same tradition says that if a person is more than ten years older than me and has a darker skin color, then it is all right to call the person by his or her name, with the implication that the person is not worthy of the same amount of respect because of the shade of their skin. 

This is one of the reasons why I question the culture of my people.  I do not reject this culture, because it is part of me and who I am.  That does not mean that I have to accept everything blindly, because God gave me a mind to think with.  I have to accept that everything I grew up with is part of me, and love all those parts.  Only when I love everything about myself, do I become ready to change those parts.  Everything I have experienced up to this point in my life has shaped me into the person I am, and that is something to be grateful for.

I now understand how far I got it wrong.  Respect is not something that I can dole out to people based on my judgment.  I now understand that respect is a way of acknowledging every other soul on this planet as a creation of God, regardless of their age or what they have achieved.  Like me, they are here to achieve their own goals, but in a different way. Each one of us is here because we have something to learn about ourselves, and to help others learn about themselves.  This is reflected in the greeting Namaste, which means “the Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you”.

As we grow older, we become aware of the lessons that we have learnt.  We become less self-absorbed and integrate those lessons into our daily life.  We start to notice things about ourselves that we had previously taken for granted and we become humble.

We also notice things about our children and the people around us, and often it is not easy to hold back our advice on how they should live their life. This temptation results in a different kind of learning about ourselves.  We become aware of our pain at seeing others suffer unnecessarily.  We distance ourselves from their difficulties and feel frustrated because we can help but are not allowed to, or we step in and have to deal with the conflict that results because we help when help was not asked for. 

I now understand that every person that is chronologically older than me has a gift of wisdom.  They have in this life progressed further on their earth path than I have, and that gave them insights that can contribute to my path.

People contribute their insights in different ways.  There are those that are wise and share their wisdom in a very gentle manner.  They draw people to them.  There are those that are irritated at themselves for having wasted an opportunity, and who do not understand that they can still choose different experiences and emotions until the day they leave this body.  They push people away from them, and we learn in this way how not to grow old.  There are those that leave their body prematurely but not completely, and their loved ones have to deal with the consequences of dis-eases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.  That is a part of the learning of the loved ones.

Then there are those people that ignore the dictates of society to retire at a particular age.  Some people simply continue to work beyond that age and they retain their zest for life (noticed the 80-year-old lady who did a tandem parachute jump?).   Other people go into a deep depression at retirement age, and that depression is either resolved by them leaving their bodies, or by them discovering that they have a free will and are able to make choices.  They then start a new career and keep going, and forget that their bodies are supposed to dictate the course of their soul.  They realize that their bodies are in fact a reflection of their souls, and they seem to grow younger rather than older. 

I recently heard of a woman in a world philosophical movement for peace.  She had a very active life and at the age of 94 still had no desire to slow down.  When she left her body, her deputy was promoted – at the age of 92.  These women understood that we are not our bodies, and that a failing body is no reason for the spirit to become dejected.  A failing body is simply a reason to look after our bodies better.

Regardless of how people choose to grow old, they have a gift of wisdom for us.  If we start to ignore them because they are old, we ignore something very precious.  I often hear from people that they regret not having documented their parents’ memoirs from the world wars or other historical periods in their lives.  They have lost something precious.

It is now part of my truth that people have to be respected because of their age and also because they are God’s creatures and part of me.  It does not matter whether I call them by their name or by any title.  What matters is that I love them unconditionally for the wisdom that they provide by their words as well as their actions.

My intention is to grow old like the woman in Jenny Joseph’s poem When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.

Read an extract from The Young  to see how respect for the wisdom of the elderly is part of our culture.

I will be  working at a psychic fayre at Worthing Pavillion Theatre, Marine Parade Worthing BN11 3PX, on 14 and 15 June 2008.

I will also be leading a workshop titled Conquering the Spiritual Mid-Life Crisis in Scottburgh, South Africa, on 25 May 2008, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 May 2008.   Please contact me for details if you are interested.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry.  Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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It is time to experience the end of the world

10th May 2008



Hello lovely people

The British have always understood that time is a man-made concept.  We are reminded of this twice every year when Daylight Saving Time results in the clocks being changed in the UK to gain or lose an hour.

This idea was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, but the British adopted the practice in 1916.  It was appropriate for the British to do this because the Greenwich Meridian, which marks the starting point of every time zone in the world, is in England.  

How does this changing of the clocks benefit the people in the UK?  Good question.  For the first week after the changes people feel like they have jet lag, and they miss appointments and flights.  Then everything settles down for six months, after which the same thing happens again.  When you live in the UK, it is quite spooky to wake up on the day after the clocks have changed, and everything electronic – the TV, car radio, the VCR, reflects a time that differs exactly one hour from the time on a wrist watch that needs to be set manually – as if some techno geek ghost wandered around during the night and fiddled with all the electronic stuff to get it all sorted before we wake up.

This British mastery of time dates much further back than 1916. 

During the seventeenth century a British bishop concluded that the world was created on 22nd October 4000 BC, at six in the evening.

However, Dr John Lightfoot of Cambridge University disagreed and calculated in 1644 that God created the earth on Sunday 23 October 4004 BC at midnight in the Garden of Eden (this was 9am London time, before daylight Savings Time was introduced).  The implication is that time already existed more than 6 000 years ago, even before the earth was created.  Then when was time created?

Of course this date of 23 October 4004 BC was calculated on the Julian calendar which made the year too short, and by 1752 the calendar was 11 days out.  The British solution was to adopt the Gregorian calendar.  As a result 2 September 1752 was followed by the next day, dated 14 September 1752, and the problem was solved with typical British efficiency – a rarity nowadays.

To continue this mastery of time, British Telecom has already announced that time travel will be invented from 2051 onwards.  How do they know this? I have no idea.  Watch this timeframe . . .

We have always manipulated time to suit us, without even being aware of it.  Albert Einstein made us aware of this when he gave his famous explanation of the theory of relativity.  When you sit on a hot stove, two seconds can feel like to minutes.  However, when you are in the company of your loved one, two minutes can feel like two seconds.  Do we create time?

It is quite amusing to see people on a commuter train that is delayed on the way to work.  Most people take it in their stride, but there are the workaholics that get so irate that they would happily leave the train and run down the tracks to get to work.  Why?  And when they get so upset, they do this to themselves.  The job will not go anywhere.  Their health will eventually give in, and they will still not understand that their bodies reflect the state of their souls.  They will still be the slaves of this manmade concept called time.

There is an old Arab proverb: Man fears time, but time fears the pyramids.  The pyramids are the only ancient wonders that can still be seen and measured, because they are older than time.  They existed before we had any idea of measuring time as precisely as we do today. 

The inspiration for the pyramids originates from the same Source that provided us with time, and the ancient cultures were aware of this.  They used sundials to have a broad indication of time, but they also knew how to relax and go into a meditative state.  They understood that connecting with the Source of time was more important than time itself. 

Someone asked me an intriguing question the other day.  When the end of the world comes, the people in Australia will have 24 hours notice.  What will they do?  Where will they go?  Any ideas?  As far as I am concerned, we experience the end of the world every day – that is, the end of the world as we know it.

If we can believe the doomsday prophets (those people that still have sugar and tinned food stored from the previous catastrophe that never happened), the world will end in December 2012.  This is based on the Mayan calendar.

The Maya civilisation inhabited a region encompassing southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.  Apparently they flourished between the third and tenth centuries AD, but by 1200 AD their society had collapsed.  During the late 18th century explorers came across plazas, monoliths, temples and pyramids, each decorated with pictures and hieroglyphs, in the Guatemalan rainforest.

The ancient Maya had been keeping historical records, using a script which mixed ideographic and phonetic elements. Some of their writing still exists on stone monuments that record their calendric and astronomical knowledge.

The Maya identified four different Ages.  The First Age began with the creation of the Earth, which contained vegetation and living beings.  These beings did not please the gods and were wiped out.  In the Second and Third Ages the gods created humans of mud and later of wood.  These humans also failed to please and were wiped out. We are currently in the Fourth and Final Age, the age of the modern, fully functional human. In the Mayan calendar this Age finishes on December 21, 2012.

This is not just any date, and the translation from the hieroglyphs could not really be wrong.  At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun will rise to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic.  This will form a cosmic cross which is considered to be an embodiment of the Sacred Tree, also known as the Tree of Life, which is represented in most of the spiritual traditions of the world.

There are people that believe this alignment with the heart of the galaxy in 2012 will open a channel for cosmic energy to flow through the earth, cleansing it and its inhabitants, and raise all of us to a higher level of vibration.

We have some options here.  The first is to start buying and storing tinned food (and if you do not live in Australia, you have adequate notice).  The second is to understand that we are all energy, and that our vibrations have been rising for a while now, and this will only intensify over the coming years.  If you enjoy this blog, you are probably already part of this movement of consciousness that will just get stronger over the next four years. 

Have a good time!

I will be working at a psychic fayre at Worthing in the UK on 14 and 15 June. 

I will also be leading a workshop titled Conquering the Spiritual Mid-Life Crisis in Scottburgh, South Africa, on 25 May 2008, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 May 2008.   Please contact me for details if you are interested.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry.  Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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Let me tell you a story

6th May 2008



Hello lovely people

Stories have played a major role in all our lives.  When we were small children we looked forward to bedtime when we would hear a story from a parent.  If we were not so lucky, we would hear a story at school.  Those of us who went to Sunday school heard stories from the Bible that were meant to educate us, but often scared us into submission.  Sadly the different layers of the Bible stories are hardly ever explained to us.  Emanuel Swedenborg provided interesting spiritual explanations of various Bible stories.

Another fascinating website that sheds a different light on the hidden meanings of the stories in the Bible is this one where the author claims that none of the stories in the Bible are real or actually happened.

And by the way, it is not a sin to read these websites and then decide for yourself what you want to believe.  God gave you a mind so that you can use it to decide what is good for you.  Remember that what is good for you is not necessarily good for other people, and it is not for us to judge one another.

We all grew up with the tales of the brothers Grimm.  Those tales are seen today as fairytales for children, but they were originally meant for adults because each one of them contain a lesson that is much deeper than what a child would hear.  Each one of these tales is a metaphor that explains a facet of life.

And of course we are told stories every day on television.  The soap operas are not real at all, but for some people they are a window into the lives of an imagined family.  There are also various series that make characters familiar to us and we learn what to expect of the characters, like the heroes in science fiction or action movies.  We all have our favourite actors and actresses, because they are masters at weaving a web that we want to believe.  Sometimes these soap operas are used for edutainment (a combination of education and entertainment) to convey important information on health or civil issues, and this is more powerful than for example providing written material to people that have difficulty reading, or providing verbal warnings to people that did not have the good sense to heed such warnings.

Stories are part of many different traditions.  The stories of the Grimm brothers and comic characters such as Asterix and Tintin originated in Europe.

There are also the tales of the Arabian nights that reflect ancient life in the Middle East. The Arabian Nights is a collection of Persian, Arab and Indian folk tales that were handed down through the centuries.  Legend has it that a beautiful lady called Scheherazade had to tell a murderous prince a story each night to prevent the prince from killing her.  The result is a beautiful collection of stories including the famous ones about Sinbad the sailor and Aladdin.

The Hassidic Jews have their own traditional stories.  One of the disciples of the great Rabbi Baal Shem Tov was lame. One day, this disciple was asked to tell a story about his master.  He began to tell how the Baal Shem Tov used to leap and dance when he prayed. The disciple became so engrossed in his story that he stood up, and began to leap and dance as his master used to. At that moment, he was cured of his lameness, and became completely healthy. There is a beautiful story called Let the story choose me that explains the healing value of stories.

On the African continent stories often feature talking animals that convey important lessons in life.  Click here for examples of these tales. 

Who are stories so important to us? We use stories to share experiences, understand each other and create a sense of community.  Parents use stories to bond with their children.  Sages use stories to convey important life lessons and explain customs and values.  People express wisdom by means of a story.  Stories are used to break down barriers within and between groups.

Most stories have some entertainment or educational value.   The advent of the internet has brought us the genre of urban myths.  People’s need to believe things is often proven by the circulation of the most absurd stories, such as the one about the rapist who got into the car of a lady who was putting petrol into her car, or the various versions of the very ill children whose parents need money for emergency treatment.  A very useful website to get to the truth of these myths is this one.  We would do each other a favour by first researching even the most heart rending story before we circulate them.

Stories enable us to look inward and understand story patterns and characters that intertwine with the hard-to perceive forces that shape our lives. The stories also enable us to look outward, because story-threads join us to a larger cultural fabric. The most important stories may be those we share with family and friends.  All stories help preserve memory, explain our present, and imagine our future. Stories that evolve across time bind individuals to families and families to society, defining our collective values, beliefs and goals.

Stories also connect us to the eternal Source of creativity.  Professional writers know that the muse is a combination of discipline and inspiration.  That inspiration comes from tuning into another dimension that contains all the stories that we could possibly want – from Tolstoy’s War and Peace to the Harry Potter saga to all the Bible stories.

Here are two lovely short stories that convey lessons to us in a thoughtful manner.

The first one is about the young boy that wanted to become the pupil of an old priest.  The priest looked in the eyes of the boy and realised that the boy was not going to live long.  He decided to send the boy back to his family to die, but told the boy to come back the next summer.

A year later the boy was back, lively and happy.  The priest looked at the boy in astonishment and realised that the boy was not going to die for a very long time.  Never questioning what he initially saw in the eyes of the boy, he asked the boy to explain to him in detail what had happened during the previous year.

The boy told the priest how, on his way home, he saw a colony of ants trapped on some high ground in the river.  The boy found a long stick and held it over the river so that the ants could walk on the stick to dry land.  His arms got very tired, but he held the stick in place until the very last ant had reached dry land.  The boy then described the rest of the journey, but the priest was no longer listening.  He had realised that that one single act had wiped out all the bad karma that the boy had accumulated in previous lives.  That was why the boy was no longer going to die young.

 The second story is about two priests that were travelling together on foot.  They came to a river crossing where a woman was standing, looking frightened.   Brother Benjamin asked her: “Why are you looking so frightened?  Can we help you?”

“I need to get to the other side of the river”, she said, “but I can’t swim and am frightened that the water will take me.”

“I can help you,” said Brother Benjamin.  The woman got onto his back and they waded to the other side.  She thanked him and walked away.

The two priests walked in silence for the next two hours.  Brother Benjamin eventually realised that Brother John was silent because he was angry.

“You are very quiet, Brother John? Is something bothering you?” Brother Benjamin asked.

“Is something bothering me!  You swore a vow of chastity!  You promised never to touch a woman! And there you not just touched a woman! You carried her on your back in a most indecent manner! Shame on you.  Shame on you!” Brother John said.

Brother Benjamin stopped walking and looked at Brother John.

“Brother John,” he said.  “I put the woman down hours ago.  Why are you still carrying her?”

Read an extract from The Young to see how the story teller adds to the bonds of a community.

I will be working at a psychic fayre in Bracknell, UK, on 11 May 2008.

I will also be leading a workshop titled Conquering the Spiritual Mid-Life Crisis in Scottburgh, South Africa, on 25 May 2008, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 May 2008.   Please contact me for details if you are interested.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry.  Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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Do I look fat in this?

2nd May 2008



Hello lovely people

Botox.  Plastic surgery. Diet. Aerobic exercise. Sunbed. Manicure. Pedicure. Highlights.  Lowlights. Wax.

Ask anyone what they dislike about their bodies, and you get an answer in five seconds.  Ask anyone what they like about their bodies, and you get silence, or a counter-question:  are we supposed to like our bodies?

There is an entire industry that relies on our rejection of our ageing bodies.  And does it make any difference?  To our budgets, yes.  To our egos, yes.  To our appearance, yes.  But the difference only lasts for a short while.  If we want to look better – or at least different – for a short while, we need to sustain the outer changes.  If we want to look different permanently, we have to go for more drastic measures such as plastic surgery.

Regardless of the measures we take, our bodies grow old.  We become more aware of every single part of our body, not always because we love these different parts, but often because they become painful or more obvious as we grow older.

We often forget to listen to our bodies.  All physical ailments are a reflection of a part of our spirits that are crying out for attention.  What do we do?  We either live with the ailment, or we suffer from it.  In some cases we become aware of this link between the body and the spirit.  We become aware that our bodies reflect a spiritual dis-ease that we need to address.

Then the question arises:  how do we address the dis-ease?  Often we only get this awareness when parts of our bodies stop functioning, for example when our hearts or kidneys fail.  Or the dis-ease grows in specific parts of our bodies, like a cancer. Then people feel it is too late to do anything about it, and they simply give up living, and the slow process of bodily decay start.

It never needs to be like that.  I had a dear friend who developed cancer.  She had an agonizing time of anger towards herself (for being ill) and those around her (for being healthy when she was ill) and hatred of everyone and everything that reminded her of what she could have been.  I saw her physical, emotional and mental health deteriorate rapidly over a period of less than two years, and there was nothing anyone could do to remove this black cloud over her.  She did not want to have it removed.

During that time I read much about cancer and how people dealt with it.  I read about a man that was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live.  He decided to refuse all medical treatment and withdraw from the world.  He went to live in a cabin in the mountains.  His diet consisted of anything that he could find from the plants around him, and fresh spring water.  He found peace and prepared to die.

After three months he was still alive, and started a small vegetable garden.  He felt better in himself, and his body was far less stressed.  That man died peacefully of old age more than forty years later in that same cabin. 

My friend did not find the same peace.  She changed her diet and angrily shook the vegetable smoothies.  She danced like a maniac to get the right energy in her body, until she was exhausted.  She devoured books about cures for cancer, and tried each cure with a vengeance.  She refused to give up, and focused her entire being on not wanting to give up life.  And guess what? She got what she focused on.  She gave up life, being such an angry soul.  She refused contact with her friends and drove her children to despair with her fight against the cancer, and then left her body.  She gave strict instructions that she did not want a funeral or even a memorial service.  She was too angry even after she had passed on. 

Our bodies do not suddenly explode with such clues that something is wrong spiritually.  Most of the time we get more subtle clues, such as tension in our shoulders or headaches.  We gain weight when our bodies lose the fight against the quantity and quality of food that we consume.  We develop aches and pains from muscles and joints that do not get regular exercise.

Our bodies are temples of God.  That means our bodies are used as a visible expression of the soul that dwells within the body.  The Architect did a perfect design of our bodies. We build that design every day – not so perfect. 

I have seen people being totally self-destructive.  How do you explain the reasoning of a man that sees his dear friend slowly dying of emphysema, because he had been a heavy smoker all his life?  How do you explain them chatting in a sunny spot, one sucking on the oxygen mask, the other sucking on a cigarette?  Before you judge them, how does your own self-destructive streak manifest?  What do you do to sabotage yourself every day?

And we forget that all our physical ailments and our appearance are a reflection of the God that dwells inside of us.  On the one hand my body is a perfect expression of that God and does not need a diet or botox or highlights. On the other hand God gave me a body to look after and to take care of for as long as I want to use it.  These two arguments are equally strong.  We need to love our bodies as they are, and we also need to take care of our bodies.

Whenever I see my dad walking with difficulty because he gets no exercise, I remind myself that I do not want to grow old like that.  I will get around to walking a reasonable distance every day, and I will eat smaller portions.  I promise.  I only have about ten kilograms to lose – that is far less than other people have to lose, so I am OK.  I will go on a diet before I gain more weight.

As from today, I will turn a new leave.  I will walk more and eat less.  I will look in the mirror and see the perfection of God’s creation.  I will also see where I have messed up that creation and find something natural to do about it.  I will believe you saying this if you believe me writing it.  Why do we always wait for a health crisis before we really notice how our bodies reflect the status of our souls?

Read an extract from The Young, a short story that illustrates how our bodies talk to us

I will be working at a psychic fayre in Bracknell, UK, on 11 May 2008.

I will also be leading a workshop titled Conquiring the Spiritual Mid-Life Crisis in Scottburgh, South africa, on 25 May 2008, and in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 30 May 2008.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry.  Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light
Elsabe


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Extract from The Young

2nd May 2008



Hello lovely people

An old man who was sitting with his back against the trunk of a large tree, got up slowly. He unfolded his limbs like a very slow waltz on a concertina. He was in pain, but also in control of his body. His body was failing him, but he tried not to take notice, and to negotiate around the parts that would not cooperate.

His clothes were soaking wet. He took off his shirt and dried it out. He put it on again. He struggled to remove his shoes. They were torn and old. Only the toes still resembled shoes. The toes needed mending where the socks were showing. The heels were no longer heels. They were flat from giving in too much, and no longer bothered to stand up and fight back.

He removed his trousers and dried them out. His fingers were stiff and knobbly. It was a slow process. He did not want to hurt more than was absolutely necessary, but he also did not want to leave too much damp in the cloth.

He slowly put his trousers on again.

He looked around him and smelled the wet leaves of the tree. A bird perched on another tree and looked at him. He looked right back. The bird nodded its head, wiggled its tail and flew off again. The old man smiled in victory.

Read the whole story in A Tapestry of Life, a collection of short stories about moments that changed people’s lives. The book can also be obtained from Trafford Publishing.

If you would like to leave a comment on the website, click on Comments at the bottom of any entry. Alternatively, if you receive this by email, click here: click here. Then click on Comments at the bottom of the entry. A block will open where you can leave a much appreciated comment.

Love and Light

Elsabe


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