Meeting the Wizard of Oz
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not: ‘Eureka! I’ve got it!’ but ‘Hmm…That’s funny…’ – Isaac Asimov
Throughout my life this phrase has been my ever present friend and benediction. I have found it to be the essence of my experience as a human being. My greatest breakthroughs, whether spiritual, physical, emotional or creative have always been found with an “isn’t that funny” and a little chuckle; often a hearty laugh, especially when it’s been a bit of a trying experience. Metaphysically it is a little pearl of absolute truth. For – any of you who have dabbled with some sort of self exploration – will know, it’s at the moment that we finally let go of what we think we know, that the answer finally presents itself from the depths of our inner being; from our intuition.
My spiritual journey has been one fired more by mysticism than by the burning desire to cast down a facade and look behind the curtain. I always felt there was something greater, something divine and all I wanted was to get as close to it as I could. I was fortunate to have a religious mother and a scientist/engineer father. From both of these powerful, highly caring parents I was given the opportunity to constantly explore and assess my relationship with God/Goddess/All That Is. I was given free rein to find inspiration in places like the Lord of the Rings, the Bible, Writings on Zen and the Mysticism of Herman Hesse. With my mother passing away when I was young, I was taught the invaluable lesson that even those who believe they are near to God may leave us early, with a life incomplete. And, I was shown that no matter how brief our stay here, it’s up to us to make our visit on earth one of quality. With my father’s choosing of a new wife, I was taught that we must all heal and move on. My stepmother showed me how to uncover my own creativity and how to take a stand on being myself, with no compromises.
I excelled in all the areas that I was expected to excel in at school, taking on leadership roles and playing sport for the shear love of the physical activity; although that did not mean I didn’t like winning. However, the competitive nature of sport and playing it at national levels was something that I always found distasteful and soon pushed me out of team sports, where the level of competition eventually destroyed the love of the game. Although I was always a good student, there was still that constant desire to be closer to the spiritual, closer to something I could not name or see.
Growing up in Cape Town may be one of the reasons that my path was more one of mysticism and inner reflection; the mountain and the seas around the Cape are magical and mesmerising, and afforded a young romantic the perfect climate in which to find a way to be close to the divine, without needing a man made structure or dogma to get in the way of that communication. As I tramped through Newlands forest, Deer Park, climbed up the mountain, surfed for hours all around the peninsula, I was constantly in a space of reverie for everything I saw. But, at around the age of fifteen or sixteen I began to read Hesse and Castaneda with ardent fervour. I discovered Israel Regardie and other books on magical teachings. These books were simple confirmations of what I knew to be true; that there is a great work to be done, far greater than simply choosing a career and settling down to produce the next generation of the species.
So, from the ages of fifteen to eighteen I completely immersed myself in books, either directly or indirectly dealing with the esoteric, the metaphysical. By the time I was eighteen I had read a lot, but what I found frustrating was that the practical modern application was missing. I wanted to know how to get closer to the ‘I AM THAT I AM’ which these books spoke about. Of course, when you ask the Cosmic for something…Duck!
Not long after my eighteenth birthday my stepmother took me to see an aura-somist. This woman looked like Glenda “the Good Witch” in The Wizard of Oz, a first in a series of “hmm..that’s funny”. To cut a long story short, her dousing rods told her I needed calcium and then she assisted me to choose an aura-soma bottle and a blue tachyon. The aura-soma bottles carry two natural oils with colours linked to the chakras. I was instructed to mix the oil and add it to my chakra points and to add it to my bath. This I did. My step-mother gave up on the process and thought it was just silly hocus-pocus. But on New Years eve of 1999 I finished the bottle, whilst staying in the mountains in Du Toits kloof. I put the last few drops on my body and then, on a whim, immersed myself in the water of a beautiful mountain stream. Inside my head, as I completed it, there was this booming voice that said: “IT IS DONE!” And I felt as if something had been lifted from me. It was also as if the entire mountain came to life, and I could sense the nature spirits laughing with me. Quietly, in my heart I said to myself: “I want more of this and I want to offer this feeling to everyone I meet, I will find a way to do so.”
Well, as I said earlier, when you make a pronouncement…Duck! That night I had an incredible dream. It started with me opening the gates to a huge fairground. Inside the gates was a clown doing the most outlandish pirouette. His harlequin suit was made of the colours of my aura-soma bottle – orange and blue. And he was grinning at me in a rather disturbing way. Next minute, I was running down the street I grew up on, in Constantia. I was being chased by the kalidahs from the Wizard of Oz. I managed to climb onto one of the plain trees along the street. This plain tree stretched over the wall of a friend of mine from childhood and I was about to drop from the tree into his garden when one of the kalidahs launched itself into the air and grabbed me by my right arm, terrifying me into waking consciousness.
As often happens, I thought “Hmm..that’s funny” and forgot about the dream and went back to sleep. Until a month later, when my stepmother came home with a brochure for a course called Esoteric Mastery Stage 1. Following my intuition, I decided to attend the programme. It was brilliant. It was structured completely around practical metaphysics. But that is not all. The programme was being run by a young fellow, who was a student of the guy who had created the programme, a Mauritian sorcerer who lived in Australia. And this guy, Patrick Desplace, was visiting the country during the programme. I remember arriving on the third night of the programme, and there he was, slightly balding with long white hair in a ponytail, standing on the veranda welcoming people into the session. I parked my bike and headed up the stairs and my heart jumped right into my throat…it was the clown from my dream, and there he was in the flesh, and I had never seen him before in my life. Well, that first meeting was the beginning of an incredible friendship and a lifelong adventure in metaphysics. I now offer courses inspired by what Patrick created, blending my own uniqueness into them.
I have had many more moments like that one, where indeed, all I can say is, “Hmm..that’s funny” and as Harry Potter says: “I love magic.”