“Whole Person, Whole Life, Whole Systems”
A one day international conference, May 16th 2014, Liverpool
Owning and Sharing My Beliefs,
Nice to see you. To see you, nice. To own and to share my beliefs have at times taken courage. I have been a voice hearer since the age of eleven and to be a voice hearer is at times helpful, frightening and confusing.
I know that this sounds crazy but I think that we have all lived before. I believe myself to be Jesus having lived before as Judas Iscariot, a Cathar (13th century French “heretic”) and James VI of Scotland/James 1 of England. I am anti-sexist, anti-racist and anti-homophobic. I think that reincarnation, astrology and complementary therapies can help to realign the mentally “ill” in society.
I may be right in terms of what I say. I may be wrong. Unamuno, the 20th century Spanish philosopher, said that a religion that does not doubt itself is not a religion. I agree. A man who does not doubt himself is not a man. A woman who does not doubt herself is not a woman. It could be that one part of my brain is OK. The other half is not. I had a long and difficult birth. I was a breach baby and my mother’s waters broke two days before I was born. However,although my brain is possibly not OK, I believe that I have a contribution to make to society in the 21st century.
In my assessment, people who hear voices and/or see visions are saints, prophets, shamans, geniuses and/or gurus. Or the potential for such. It could be that people who have had or have mental health problems are saints, prophets, shamans, geniuses and/or gurus. Or the potential for such.
By the year 2020, according to the World Health Organisation, more people in the western world will have mental health problems than physical ailments. In this regard what we are possibly seeing in modern times is the coming of Heaven to Earth as outlined in the Lord’s Prayer or, in the words of William Blake, the English poet,the marriage of Heaven and Hell.
I am a member of the Conservative Party because I believe in voluntarism, freedom, responsibility and family and as we are all children of God, I believe that the Jesus of two thousand years ago is the Son of God.
I have not always owned my beliefs because I have at times found the beliefs frightening. Voice hearing helped me through school but sometimes the experience was petrifying.
I have had more help from astrology (an analysis of one’s astrological birth chart) and complementary therapies (Lavender oil, past-lives regression) than traditional western psychiatry. Traditional western psychiatry told me in 1983 than I had a bio-chemical imbalance of the brain and that I would have to wait seven years for a cure. No cure was forthcoming. I would be lonely without my voices.
Voice hearers from the past and present include the Prophet Ezekiel, the Prophet Isaiah, Jesus, Mohammed, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Zoe Wannamaker. The Old Testament of the Bible is full of voice hearers. In excess of 50% of people labelled by psychiatry as “schizophrenic” are survivors of childhood sexual abuse and it could be that certain voice hearers of the Old Testament such as the Prophet Ezekiel and the Prophet Isaiah were sexually abused as children. Significantly, Jesus in the New Testament said that if one hurt one of these (referring to children), one may as well be thrown into water with a millstone around one’s neck.
Mae rhai bobl yng Nghymru yn meddwl bod Lerpwl yn prifddinas gogledd Cymru ac achos ein bod ni yn Lerpwl,rwy’n mynd i ddweud rhywbeth yn Gymraeg. Mae Cymru yn wlad arbennig ac ysbrydol ac rwy’n credu,fel rhai eraill,bod yr iaith Cymraeg yn iaith y nefoedd. Mae gan Cymru hanes Cristnogol pwysig.
Some people in Wales think that Liverpool is the capital of North Wales and because we are in Liverpool, I am going to say something in Welsh. Wales is a special and spiritual country and I believe, like certain others, that Welsh is the language of Heaven. Wales has an important Christian history.
I share my beliefs by writing, campaigning, thinking, speaking and by philanthropy. I support Christian causes and other charities and causes as well as the hearing voices movement globally. I believe in God, miracles and recovery.
When one think of the growth of the hearing voices movement since 1987,one may wish to recall the words of Apple’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs :
“Here’s to the crazy one. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them,disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
I tribute the crazy ones because in the words of R.D. Laing, the late Scottish psychiatrist, “madness is the birth pains of a higher consciousness”.
As a volunteer in the mental health voluntary sector, I thank family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues for allowing me to be involved in Mind in Pembrokeshire,Wales and England, the hearing voices movement and the International Mental Health Collaborative Network. In particular I wish to thank here Paul Baker, John Stacey and John Jenkins of IMHCN. They with others gave me the courage to talk and to listen in a world of extreme change.
Chairman: Hearing Voices Network Cymru (Wales)
May 16th 2014