His bedroom walls were painted a shiny gold and his bed had a red silk duvet. He applied cheap, clumpy mascara each morning and on the gold wall next to his mirror, he dabbed his mascara wand to rid it of excess. One day, in detention, someone told him about dream boards, and so he spent the hour making one to put up on his bedroom wall. There was a sketch of a Grammy there.
He drew the back of his head performing to an arena. He came out when he was But he had a lot of friends. There were no other openly gay boys. He fell in love with straight boys. He could barely picture a future when one of them would look back at him with lust or sexual curiosity, let alone love. And still he was happy. He grew comfortable in his longing.
People sometimes made fun of him, but so what? He understood who he was. He had a manager from the age of 11, then another, then another, each promising him that he would become very famous very soon. He moved to London, where he tended bar. The rest — the album, the tour — it all happened fast.
He woke up the day after the Oscars, saw the chaos online, apologized, and slunk off. People loved his music, but they were turning on him. Then, one day, he went to Australia for a show, and afterward had a talk with his publicist there, a gay man who lives with his partner of 18 years. The publicist took Mr. Smith to the Stonewall, a gay bar in Sydney, for a drink one afternoon. He decided to help educate him, taking him to a gay bookshop. Smith said. Next, the Australians introduced him to drag. They crammed his feet into thigh-high, high-heeled boots.
They had barbecues and played Madonna and danced. I just went gay clubbing a few times with some straight friends and with some girlfriends of mine, and then I became famous. I never got an opportunity to find my people in the gay community and find my friends. He decided not to drink or smoke or be with a man, even just kissing, for a long time, while he was figuring all this stuff out.
He was trying to understand how he fit into the gay community at large. He began seeking out the art that struck him as truest. Then he found George Michael. He had always been a fan of his music. He was 15 when he saw him in concert. But now, reading and watching interviews with him in his last years, after Mr.
Michael came out, Mr. Smith found him to be a great mentor. What happens to us when we die is something about which we are all curious. Others believe that we go on — but to what? This book provides answers not just to what happens when we die, but to many other questions as well. I hope it will have an incidental effect of helping to make life easier for everyone, including, ideally, freeing us from fear, generally. Some of these guides are loved ones who have passed over; others are souls at an advanced level of consciousness who want to help all others who are not yet at that stage.
All are familiar with life and its challenges, and are, therefore, in a position to guide us through the minefield of potential worries that inhibit our lives. I have been on a momentous, life-changing journey in which I have developed active communication with my own guides over many years. I think that one of the greatest things about life is the fact that we all have our own individual styles — we have our own way of doing things, and our own outlook on life. Our guides can help and encourage us in anything we choose to do, in whatever way we choose to do it.
In no way do they impose on our free will; in fact, they encourage and help us to find our ideal form of self-expression. The ways they can help us are manifold, and the philosophy I have developed — and expanded, through individual consultations, workshops, talks and writing — is based on encouraging people to find and be comfortable with their lives and their individual style of living.
This book has been inspired by my communication with a soul who has acted as a spirit guide for me throughout my life — although I did not even become aware of it until I was in my 40s. Other guides have made significant contributions to the philosophy of life that suits me, and I have filtered the details of that philosophy throughout the book. I feel deeply privileged to have survived long enough to be able to share this information with those of you who may be drawn to read it, and I hope that it may help you to see the apparent conundrum of life and death in a light-hearted and wholly reassuring way.
As a child, an adolescent, and even into early adulthood, fear of death was more or less my constant companion. Not my own death — but that of my father. I was born in in a rural location in County Clare, Ireland, the third of seven children. There was a sort of magical, mystical aura to the place where I grew up; the existence of ghosts and fairies was taken for granted, and the pathways that led to their fairy forts were out of bounds for walking on or even crossing.
When I was a child I firmly believed that crossing a path or walking through a fairy fort would bring bad luck. In fact, until the age of 10 or 11 my life was dictated to an extent by the promise of good or bad luck, depending upon my actions. It was just the way things were. From an early age I was accustomed to the idea that there were two worlds — physical and non-physical. As a result it has never been a huge leap for me to believe that there may be something other than what we see around us. Storytelling was a feature of the rural location in which I was raised.
Goodbye Mr Chips
An old man — I thought he was old, but he was probably much younger than I am now — who lived about a quarter of a mile from my first childhood home had a seemingly endless repertoire of stories, and I spent many a rapt evening listening to him. The fact that a lot of them were ghost stories made them even more enthralling for me — except that in order to get home I had to travel along a dark boreen a little road with bushes on each side of it.
I was perpetually convinced that a ghost was going to jump out from behind every bush. The religious ethos of my childhood was extremely orthodox Catholic. Heaven beckoned to those who were pure and truly good; Purgatory was the destination for those of us who were a mixture of good and bad. Hell, however, was for those who had committed even one mortal sin, and it was there that they would burn in hellfire for all eternity. My father had given up practising religion when I was about 6 years old, and I was terrified that he was going to end up in Hell. Without religion, my father could not be released from his sins and he would not be spared.
The thought of this — and his likely fate — haunted me. In contrast to my father, my mother was extremely religious. So was I. I used to worry a lot about what happened to people when they died — no doubt influenced by my concern for my father. One element of my religious conditioning was completely untainted by fear. Guardian angels were a constant reality for me as a child, and when things were at their darkest I felt that they were always there to help me.
I just thought of them as loving beings flying around helping people. But their loving presence and my belief in their ability to guide me through my life — and protect me and those around me — was an important part of my childhood. Each night, before I fell asleep, I used to ask them to mind me — and everybody else in my family. After the festivities were over, my father accompanied me to the bus that would take me back to Dublin. It was then that I had my first memorable psychic experience.
Although, to me, he had no obvious appearance of illness, as I said goodbye to him I knew with an inner certainty that I would not see him alive again. I resolved that I would write him a long letter, saying all the things that I had always wanted to say but had never been able to. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him. But I had not yet put pen to paper when I got a call, in February , to tell me that he had died after a brief illness. I felt deep regret that I had not written that letter to him.
As I sat there, I recalled how affectionate he had been towards my siblings and me as children, and I experienced an almost unbearable feeling of sadness. Other people came and went during the night, only staying briefly. They commented upon how peaceful he looked. I wondered where he was and what was happening to him. I knew there had been no obvious deathbed repentance and it was hard to contemplate that even as I sat beside his still body his soul might be undergoing the unimaginable punishment of hellfire.
I wished I could have talked to him more freely, particularly about my ever-present concern for his eternal salvation. I felt bereft and confused, but still hopeful that we would meet again. I returned to Dublin, troubled and distressed by the passing of my father. But life has a habit of carrying on, no matter how deeply traumatised we become, and so it was with mine.
I continued working in the Civil Service, got involved in amateur acting and directing, and began dabbling in writing. I got married, became a father of two children, a boy and a girl, and settled into domesticity and the furtherance of my career. My only other memorable psychic experience was a dream that a horse called Never Say Die would win the English Derby. It has been closed since that day, long ago, when a friend betrayed and hurt it or when someone dear to it denied it love.
It wants to open, but can't. It is therefore distrustful and fearful of other hearts. So it keeps to itself, and it becomes estrange from the whole world. It suffers terribly from want of fellowship, of companionship, of friendship. Sometimes when it can stand its loneliness no longer, it reverses itself. It takes the first step toward remedying the situation: it tries to feel its way out, resolving to forget the old wound and directing its response to the wounds of the One whose heart has suffered and endured the worst cruelties ever inflicted on man by a friend and a group of people.
If it persists then in due time it will understand, and from this understanding will come the fire that dissolves all human coldness. There are many hearts thirsting for the fire of justice. They are found here and there and everywhere where there are victims of tyranny, victims of miscarriage of justice, victims of inequity, victims of power politics, victims of greed, victims of evil doers.
Some of them live as oppressed subjects. Some are celled in ghettos. Some are languishing in jails. Some are working in the fields. Some are slaving in offices.
- True Confessions (album) - Wikipedia.
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The world being imperfect and chaotic as it is and human justice being a part of such a world, the cries of hearts wanting fair judgement and vindication are always going to be heard everywhere. However, their thirst for the fire of justice can be fully satisfied only if they turn their heavings to the Dispenser of Divine Justice who never fails to give every injured heart its true redress.
There are many hearts thirsting for the fire of love. This is the most agonizing thirst of all. Some hearts have no love. Others cannot love. And there are those which do not want love or will not love. Regardless, they all suffer much. If a heart loves and is not prepared to go beyond common passion, it is bound to suffer the throes of a thousand deaths.
It may want to die, but can't. Instead it will live on and on to feel the pangs of total rejection, of excruciating torments of body, mind and spirit. Let us suppose that heart is you. You thirst for someone to love, but none is found. Or if one is found, she does not return your love.
So you pine in secret. The secret is a hidden pain, a harassing loneliness. You thirst for any good one to recieve your passion, but none is found. Or if one is found, she is not a good one. She is venal or sordid or useless. A shock of great disappointment hits you, and you begin to lose your sense of wonder and romance. You thirst for someone to listen to your tender words of adoration and to your pledge of life devotion, but none is found. Or if one is found, she turns out deaf to things worth hearing and to have ears only for the things she is desiring; and you become apprehensive that your wedding pledge might become a promised curse.
So you despair. In your painful thirst for love you wish to cast your affections to the winds, hoping they will blow them into the lap of a soul who might be your fate's proper choice. But you hope in vain.
Goodbye to All That
Nobody wants you. Nobody cares about what you want to give - - genuine love. Nobody wants to accept it. Everybody thinks your offer is suspect. And you are yourself suspect. Perhaps because you are a stranger or you lack something in you as a giver as assessed by worldly eyes. You are not socially acceptible. Perhaps you are not rich enough. You are not powerful enough. You are only ordinary. You need good credential, even as a gift giver. You have been found wanting in things the world values most: money, power, fame. These are things worth receiving. And what you are giving is common: Love.
So be not surprised it is rejected. This thirst for the fire of love kills. It killed Christ. Often my heart thirsts for the fire of beauty when I am in the midst of ugliness; the ugliness of the human zoo where men and women try to blacken their hearts with hate and revenge and jealousy and violence; the ugliness in the gallery of life where people are racked by poverty and disease and ignorance; the ugliness in cement jungles where women with chemical faces and men with mechanical outlooks vie with each other in job and sex competition; the ugliness in the arenas of culture where I see so much shock in information, so much trash in letters, so much sham in sociality, so much shame in politics, so much monstrosity in art, so many cults in beliefs, so many frauds in commerce, so many tin gods and heroes, and so many schools of disenchantment.
The canvas of civilization is getting filled with painted eyesores. My faith is small. Hence weak. Hence faint. Hence unshining. So my heart thirsts for the fire of faith. My faith is like a tiny part of a fagot which must be kindled so that it will give the light that will enable my heart to conquer all kinds of darkness: the darkness of the body; the darkness of the mind; the darkness of the soul; the darkness of the spirit.
Disease, blindness and other affilctions are darkness of the body. Ignorance, pride and quackery are darkness of the mind. Sin, lawlessness and lovelessness are darkness of the soul. Fear, doubt, faintness and laziness are darkness of the spirit. Unless my heart has the fire of faith it will continue to grope, unable to see clearly where it is going, and surely end in a hellish pit. To have the fire of faith is not easy. It is a divine property that only God can give. All man can do is pray and beg for it. And of course, strive hard to deserve God's gift. This my heart must do, if ever it hopes to magnify my faith and endow it with eternal flame.
Our non-material heart has a will. It is a will different from that will of the mind. In order even to win a great prize or to achieve a great goal, you must use the will of the heart more than that of the mind. A person who wants to stop smoking says to himself "I must stop this habit. For the mastery of any resolution depends upon the combined exertion of both the will of the heart and the will of the mind. Forget that we have long been hardened to the popularly sustained belief that only the mind has a will; the heart has a will also.
Without the cooperation of the will of the heart you always fail. How often do we hear somebody urge another, saying: "Set your heart on it. To insist that the above are metaphorical expressions is to divest thought and feeling in language and let words from the lips fend for spiritless meaning. We might as well say, All speech is metaphor. Capability implies power. The heart has not only will but also a power which we do not yet know or fully comprehend. Therefore we do not use it, though some wise men already believe its presence in the heart.
As the late Teilhard de Chardin says, "When Man at last finds the means to control and utilize the formidable resources of the heart, it will be in his History like the second discovery of Fire. Our heart has a will distinct and separate from that of the mind and body. It has a will distinct and separate from the will of the body. The will of the mind proceeds from the resources of the intellect.
The will of the body proceeds from the resources of the instinct.
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But the will of the heart stems from all the concentrated resources in the human being. It includes the resources of the body, the mind, the soul, and the spirit. These resources are part of the Omnipotent Will. When the heart's will is backed by Omnipotent Will, it acquires an extraordinary power. Hence the will of the heart has a tremendous all-embracing capability or power. This has never been availed of because it has not really been known. Only some remarkable individuals, among them saints, whose life performance was backed by Omnipotent Will and power had known and exercised it.
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For only when the heart aligns its will and power to the Omnipotent Will can it have and show extraordinary capability.