Another shooting….

Good day,

So we had yet another shooting…… A bit more than two weeks after the Aurora shooting, roughly a year after the Oslo carnage (to which the picture above relates). And in spite of the controversy in the US around the question if people should (be allowed to) carry weapons and around the prevalence of violence in TV-series, films and video-games it’s fair to say that the US don’t have the monopoly on violence amongst civilians or of civilians against state institutions. Nor does violence always involve the use of fire arms. In the preface to my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ ( I pointed at a series of events which took place early 2011. As I suggested by then (August 2011) I was sure that it wasn’t over yet. On the contrary. And it goes to show: earlier this week the town hall in my place of birth (Waalre, The Netherlands) was set fire to during the night by driving two previously stolen cars into the building. The town hall has been destroyed and until now no one has the slightest idea who is responsible for this and what their motives are. Mind you: Waalre has some 16,000 inhabitants and how I remember it, it has nothing of a metropolitan dimension. Just a peaceful quiet little town. Until a few days ago, that is.

So it seems that everybody’s tolerance towards everybody else is getting to an absolute low. Engaging in traffic increasingly involves violent interactions between people as I can read in the papers each day. Going out for a drink often meets with violence. It seems we want to have it our way and our way only and without any delay. Gratification must be immediate, require no further creative engagement on our end (other than to thoughtlessly consume it) and seems to be aimed at dulling the senses rather than providing an uplifting experience aimed at attaining a more refined state of consciousness for instance.

In my blog of Feb 1st I introduced 4 levels of interaction ( when we are faced with a situation:

  • the drama
  • the facts & figures
  • the different options for reacting
  • what wants to make itself shown?

To stick with the last question: I choose to believe that as mankind we’re facing the transition to a radically new era with radically new ways of viewing ourselves, all others, the world we live in and radically new ways of treating each other and our world. It seems to me that our current institutions and structures in all areas of our world are rapidly becoming obsolete. Without having meaningful alternatives in place yet, our future looks very unstable and insecure with all of us looking for something to hold on to. Clearly, saying our farewell to the old era, to the paradigm all of us alive have been brought up with and to various degrees gotten used to, is causing fear and anxiety. And clearly this transition needs to take place with lots of turmoil, violence and unrest.

But why exactly?

I’m wondering what we could do, collectively, to make the transition smoother, much more peaceful. Is it possible at all? I know it won’t help those who have died on the Aurora massacre. Or in the Oslo carnage. Or Alphen (Netherlands) shooting in May 2011. Or in the Winnenden (Germany) killings in 2009. Or in the Columbine shooting. And so on.

What I really would like to know from all of you: Is there anything each of us and therewith all of us could do to prevent further outbursts of this raging violence? To prevent us from injuring and killing our fellow-men? Ruining the lives of those who are left behind? Which is not limited to victims of shootings but it would include everything that we just know is not right but fail to make it right up until today. It’s clear this requires a radical overhaul of our current thinking and practices and the solutions are going to be systemic. It’s not just telling people not to carry guns. Or to punish those who do carry one. It’s about changing everything that has led to our non-productive practices. From education to nutrition. From (health-)care to the distribution of our abundance. Since the solution does not involve just an incremental change from where we are now, I’m not looking at our self-proclaimed leaders who have been brought forward by the current system. Both presidential candidates in the US could not demonstrate this more clearly as they carefully avoid mentioning the possibility of banning fire arms from being held by civilians. They feel they have to think about their constituent lobbies in order to get (re-)elected. Furthermore they are as much part of the drama as most of us and can contribute as much to the transition as all of us.

So, really, what is it that you and me can start doing as of today? Help me, please?

Love and Blessings,



A life without Self….

Good day!
Today I came across the announcement of Jack Stephen’s (twitter @organicjack) new book ‘Soul Self’ ( Here’s  part of the preface I checked out on Amazon:
“Although I experienced various successes in my life, they never seemed to last or bring a true sense of fulfillment. Like many people in modern society, I spent most of my life doing what I learned as a child – striving to please others, looking outside of my Self for direction and competing for recognition, affection and seemingly scarce resources. I let subconscious programs, unhealed trauma, and opinions of other people control my life. I learned about the power of positive thinking, but I mistakenly believed that a few minutes of constructive thought every now and then would overwrite the deeply buried, firmly ignored or resolutely avoided destructive thoughts, feelings and beliefs that were creating my reality 95% of the time. I could convincingly talk about positive, healthy living, but I could not yet match those words with my actions.
Knowing that we want to be happy, yet continuing to make choices that cause unhappiness is all too common, but I felt alone in my feelings of confusion, self-criticism and despair. I had a difficult time accepting that I was worthy or capable of experiencing health, wealth and true, loving partnership. I did my best to disguise my insecurities, and over time, I accepted that while I was neither a dismal failure nor a grand success, the life I was living was the best I could expect. In nearly every area of my life, I settled for less than I was capable of creating.”
I don’t know about you guys, but it strongly resonated with me. I recognise my life in what Jack wrote and I must say I’m looking forward to read his book as he is coming from experience rather than being a smart consultant. It left me pondering once more about our beliefs. About my beliefs… Again they prove to be so strong, even if we don’t recognise them and even if they live far below the surface of our conscious perception. Perhaps as a result of one or more experiences in our childhood. Like parents telling us to fit in. Teachers telling us to do as we’re told. Others telling us we can’t play along. Well, in my perception that’s exactly what all of society did when I grew up.  Today, I feel it leaves me on a journey of which I know I haven’t completed it yet. Over the last few years I’ve gained tremendous insights in who I am and what I’m here for. But I feel, I sense there’s still more to the story that will eventually really set me free and get all of my talents going. The score until now? OK, well. according to my clients I am an excellent executive/transformational coach. And I really love doing that work as I know it’s part of who I am. Last year I published my first novel ‘The Glass Dome’ ( and I’m writing my 2nd one (working title: Water Colours). It took a while (of actively fighting it) before I could accept that the novel wanted to manifest itself in my life…. (What do you mean: limiting stores I was telling myself and therewith blocking the flow of energy?) The third leg has to do with music. And actually, writing this, my thoughts go back to a meeting last week with an old-time friend with whom I hadn’t hung out for a long time. He mentioned that the first thing I told him when we first met (this goes back to 1982 or so) was that I rather wanted to have become a guitar player but had decided for studying economics in stead….. I must confess, that kind of hit home. The experience is similar to being called by my first boss ever following me inviting him for the book launch in Amsterdam last year november. Laughingly, he shared that it had been one of the first things I had told him: that I wanted to write a book. Oyyy…. so I guess I have become at least partially blind to that what wants to manifest in my life. And hence I got my portion of struggle.
Well, anyway…. as I said I’m still on my journey of discovery. With the biggest challenge finding ways to interact and engage with all of you out there. Somethign I find very hard to do. So if you have any insights or experiences you’d like to share….. I might have a few in return (but only if you want to)!
All love and blessings,

Invitation to co-create


Indeed, this is an invitation to co-create a novel. Last year my first novel ‘The Glass Dome’ was published ( ) and now I have started writing a sequel to it (working title: ‘Water Colours’. Initially it seemed to look like it was going offer the perspective of the main character’s wife on what turbulence her husband’s transformation caused. However, having started to write on it, it seemed to me it was going to be almost  a carbon copy of ‘The Glass Dome’. Of course, faced by the crisis of her husband leaving behind his career, Karen Woudenberg (now the main character) will go through a process of transformation herself as well, with similar resistance to embracing new insights as her husband struggled with. But somehow it’s clear to me that her transformation will go faster and deeper. And I feel I would like to explore more specifically the road ahead of us. I choose to believe that as mankind we’re at the start of enormous changes. The result of that would be a radically different global society. Although I have some ideas of how that would look like I would like to explore how the process towards that new society would look like.

What I’m requesting of you

  1. I’m inviting you to share your ideas about how the world will look when we have gone through this transformation.
  2. Tell me how this process will take place.

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I choose to believe that eventually the world is going to be one inclusive community (as opposed to a set of opposing exclusive communities that are frantically competing and fighting each other). Following a jump in our collective consciousness, resources are shared much, much more evenly than they are now. The rules of the game will have changed radically and will probably be less law-based but much more consciousness based. It will be a world where individuals celebrate their individual freedom (and accountability that comes with it), allowing others theirs. So it’s kind of living apart together 🙂 People will want to deploy their talents in flow for those meaningful causes for which they have been designed and they will experience fulfillment from that. How will survival be arranged? How do we maintain our health and education infrastructure? And indeed: what about our roads, bridges, airports, ports, energy? What will we be doing when acquiring as much material possessions as possible is no longer the main driver? Will it be a world without money? Will there be other ways of facilitating exchange?

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It looks like we’re heading for a series of crises that has only started to grow in intensity and severity and which are taking down our current system(s). Specifically I’m interested in your thoughts about the role of money in our economic system. It seems to me that we have banks creating money, which they lend out and expect to get more in return, what they are going to lend out again. Following Charles Eisenstein’s thoughts, our economy is debt and interest based which necessitates growth and leads to our society being monetized. We get to pay for everything, be it goods or services. States urge as many people as possible to engage in paid work as that increases their income. E.g. a mother staying at home, taking care of her family vs a mother, hiring a nanny, or buying a place at day care center for her toddlers, eating out or sending for meals yield different results. Currently the focus is on preferring the second option. However, by now it seems the possibilities for creating new services are close to being exhausted.  On a macro level, most states are having (severe) problems balancing their budgets. Countries  like Greece, Italy and Spain have so much debt that an increase in their interest rate is threatening their very existence. So it seems to me that a lot of instability is going to be around for a long while.

How does it (the process) work?

If and when you’re interested in contributing to the new novel send me a comment to this post or a mail ( When we get our little community together I would be in touch with all of you, sharing in more detail what I’m thinking of. My idea is to publish the book in an e-book format that people can download for a tweet or a like. Possibly a ‘regular’ publisher will pick it up later and will want to transform it into a real book. The idea behind all of this is to try to reach as many people as possible around the globe in order to allow them to become more aware of the big changes announcing themselves so that collective intelligence can start getting mobilised. Perhaps a small contribution can be made in making the transformation process a little less bumpy than it is now.

Technically, we’d probably get started on Google docs or something similar. Or perhaps I’d collect and distribute the work in progress via Dropbox. Let’s just see what works best for us.


Why co-creation?

OK, so this is not about me suffering writer’s block 🙂 I think co-creation is the manifestation process of the future, in which those who want to and are able to contribute. I would expect the result to be better (defined in whatever way) than when somebody tries to figure out stuff on his own.

What’s in it for you?

First of all a great experience of co-creating a story that will be read by I don’t know how many people around the globe and thus contribute to the unavoidable transformation. You will be mentioned in the foreword as co-creator and the book will have a list of all of you (including your contact details and website if you like) who will have contributed. You may get recognition for being a thought leader in this matter in your own community and perhaps be able to create meaningful economic opportunities from that. If you’re in it for the money, I think it’s only fair to say that it’s far from sure the book will generate any kind of income. I’m not saying it won’t but it seems to be unlikely at the moment.

If you’d like to have a peek at the first chapter you can find it here:

OK, I’m really excited to get started on our project!

All love and blessings,


All we need is love

Love matters

Hello to you out there!


Over the last few weeks I’ve received many questions about the main character, Peter Woudenberg,  in my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ ( It’s basically the same question over and again and it is asked by senior executives from various organisations: why is Peter so much about ‘love’ all of a sudden? Why has he turned into a weak, gullible character? Can’t he deal with the pressure no longer?

Every time I hear these questions I smile. And I explain why he chooses to connect to this all-encompassing force. Why he chooses to be love rather than talking or preaching about it. And that it has made him stronger. Perhaps less dominantly present than before and less concerned with the impact he is making at any given moment. It has taken him a bit of a journey but he has come to peace with it as he realises it has always been a them in his life as long as he can remember. Peter addresses it rather directly in his farewell speech to his team at the office in London.

“So I’m aware that, in my attempt to describe what I went through and how that has changed me, I’ll be using vocabulary you are not used to hearing from me. Rest assured though that I’ve not gone bananas, nor have I started smoking stuff you can find in just about every coffee shop in Amsterdam.”

Another bout of laughter rose from the audience and Peter went on.

“I have started to develop and accept a notion of where these insights will lead me, without everything being clearly outlined for me. But that’s OK. By now I have learned to trust that the required answers will show up at the right time. And again, I fully realise this must sound wishy-washy to you, especially coming from someone who was a high-ranking officer in this no-nonsense, ‘we-get-things-done’ professional organisation. Where I’ve felt everything from absolute joy and bitter frustration over these weeks, most of all a feeling of gratitude and appreciation starts to emerge.”

He looked around and hardly saw any reaction. Perhaps they were actually thinking he had gone crazy after all and were they looking at him with compassion, hoping this embarrassing situation to end as soon as possible.

“OK, here’s some new stuff, probably for most of you anyway. One of the things the conversations over the last weeks have led to is that I’ve chosen to believe we are all unique and that we all have a unique calling that has the desire to manifest in our lives.”

The audience continued to listen to him in silence. Peter wasn’t sure if they could relate to what he was saying but he really couldn’t care less. Having started to convey his actual message he felt liberated.

“I’m not done yet,” he said with a smile and feeling confident now. “There’s something else. Increasingly I feel that my calling has to do with love.”

Now some people were looking at each other, quietly exchanging short comments. That didn’t disturb him in the least and he smiled at the group.

“I know this sounds weird to you guys but I feel love when I look at a beautiful flower. I feel love when I look at a new-born baby. I feel love when I look at a masterfully crafted piece of art. I feel love when I look at a homeless beggar in the street. I feel love when I see people struggling in the corporate world. I feel love because there’s not enough of it going around, scared as we all are to let go of the illusion of separation, scared as we all are to show ourselves who we truly are and to live the life that we are called to. And to allow ourselves to completely unfold our vast potential, for our own benefit and at the same time for the benefit of all on this planet. I feel love and that’s what I want to feel.”

By now science is proving what many spiritual traditions have known for ages: everything is connected. There’s no void but a plenum, as Aristotle already knew. How this connection looks like is rather irrelevant if you to try to grasp it in terms of matter. Is suffices to acknowledge it’s there. We influence ourselves and each other every moment of the day with our attention and intention, with what we think and how we feel. When we are love our world changes right away, and for the better as I choose to believe. Dr Masaru Emoto illustrates the point quite powerfully with his water crystals (

Masaru Emoto hado positive intention

For those of you who haven’t seen this before: it’s a picture of water to which some kind of positive intention has been sent. Then he freezes it following a well documented scientific protocol. In the process of thawing crystals form with beautiful shapes like the one above.

Here’s how Peter describes to his friend Isabelle, who has accompanied him throughout an important part of his transformation, what discovering love as a main theme in his life means to him. They meet in Amsterdam, a few days after his farewell speech in London.

“What else is going on?” she [his friend Isabelle] asked. “Did you find a job?”

“No I haven’t been looking for a job yet. I guess I’m finally beginning to accept what wants to manifest in my life and am giving it some thought about how to give it a place in my daily life.”

“OK, sounds good. Tell me more.”

“Well, I have finally accepted and embraced the notion that I have a personal destiny too and in a recent conversation with my coach I’ve declared what had been hanging around for a while anyway.”

“You’re getting me all curious here, tell me more. This sounds exciting!”

“Well, I don’t think it comes as a surprise to you but at the deepest level it is about love.”

“Great,” she said softly, “so it’s official now.”

“About love as a power that we carry and that we could have carrying us all. A bond between all people. There’s simply not enough of it going around and I know the world will look totally different when we can really see each other in our uniqueness.”

Arguably most songs and stories ever we listen to are about love. It is fascinating, yes, but more than that experiencing it is uplifting, enjoyable, improving our health, bringing peacefulness, oh I guess I could go on here for ever. Let’s just stick to this Beatle title: All You Need Is Love ( and make our world fuller of love now than it was yesterday. It’s our natural state anyway 🙂 Love is All (

Love, all love and blessings.




Spirituality vs Religion: The Tenacity of Dogma’s

Guten Tag,

Last week I watched a discussion program on German television, called Anne Will. The central theme was something like this: All are looking for meaning (of life) – does the church still has answers? (link) The discussion, or better: coarse debate as such was a disaster; the usual disaster perhaps when spiritual matters are subject of a conversation. It came close to a war in the trenches with most of the participants sticking to their fixed positions. It got hijacked by a man, unconditionally believing and vehemently defending anything the pope and the church come up with. Quite an unpleasant contribution to the discussion, I must confess. The other participants were a psycho-therapist who positioned herself as self-declared atheist, a man who grew up in a strict catholic pilgrimage town in Bavaria and who had suffered the unloving, dogmatic and hypocrite side of that. There was this elderly protestant man who has been seeking regular refuge in catholic cloister for the last 30 years. And there was this éminence grise, also an elderly man who could see and think beyond the artificial boundaries dogma imposes. Last but not least was the 38-year old banker turned nun (at the age of 32) with the order of the Benedictines, who also showed the capacity to talk from an essence connection and transcend the limitations of ancient dogmas.

Dogma is sticking to beliefs.

No one, except the latter two, could leave room for a different viewpoint, the sharing of a different spiritual experience. The four loudest speakers were sticking to beliefs they once had accepted and with which they identify themselves and which, in their view, is the only and absolute truth. And all thinking differently are wrong and need to be convinced of that. To me it seemed those four all live in fear, unable to open up to life and immersed in a relentless need to judge everybody and everything all of the time. And I felt quite sad about that.

In my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (, the main character Peter Woudenberg finds himself seated next to a catholic priest at a dinner party. The conversation they enter addresses some of the issues, related to sticking to old dogma’s by the catholic church. Here’s an excerpt.

“Would you say it’s easy to be a priest in the catholic church today?” Jean didn’t answer right away but was apparently consciously enjoying the lobster salad Peter had prepared.

“Delicious,” was the first thing he said and more guests made similar compliments. He took a sip of his white wine, consciously tasted it and then looked at Peter. “I’m sorry, I did not mean to ignore your question. No, I don’t think it’s difficult at all to be a priest in the catholic church today.” “I’m sorry if I sounded offensive,” Peter reacted to Jean’s answer. “I had no intention of doing so.”

“I’m pretty sure part of the reason for you to ask this question lies in the numerous scandals that have surfaced over the last years.”

“That did pass my mind indeed.”, Peter spoke softly.

“Fair enough but for my work, the work that I’m doing in my parish, the work I know I have been called to, those scandals don’t mean a thing.” Jean took another few bites of the salad which gave Peter time to digest what he just said. With his glass of wine in his hand he tilted his head a bit in order to study the structure and colour of it. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m appalled as anyone by these continuing horror stories of sexual abuse. And it is clear that has nothing to do with what the essence of the catholic faith stands for.”

“What does it stand for?” Peter asked.

“Love,” was the factual answer right away but it didn’t particularly come across as factual. Rather it seemed to come from a place where it had a deep meaning. “Love is for me the essence. Pure love for me is glue for the entire human family across the globe,” Jean stated.

Peter was struck by the natural way his discussion partner talked about love and he wondered briefly if he would ever be in such a position.

“And it’s clear that since the faith started to become a male dominated institution, with countless rules, regulations and conventions that sprung from mental processes aimed at controlling the internal and external organisation, the fluid character of the essence became more fixed and hence the application of the essence dogmatic. In other words: the focus shifted from being love to preaching love and talking about it. Needless to say that this gives different results. Contact with the essence was lost. However, I choose to remain with this essential energy as, at its most basic level, everything in the universe is energy, which changes all of the time but which never disappears. Material manifestations may, but energy not. Energy transforms all of the time but lives forever.”

“You sound, how shall I put it, quite convinced about your viewpoints. How do you reconcile that with being part of the catholic church?”

“I get a tremendous satisfaction by doing the work I’m doing, which is helping people to make sense of the things that take place in their lives. And in return, that helps me to grow spiritually and to try to make sense of things for myself as well. In no way am I trying to convince them that the catholic faith or church or bible is the sole means of support for them. What I do see in these turbulent times is a growing need for experiencing spirituality which is true and pure. And liberated from interpretations of certain events that may or may not have taken place. The experience is the important thing here. Experiencing spirituality is different from talking about it and I have the impression there is a growing number of people seeking this experience.”

Here, Père Jean stopped for a moment. He emptied his glass of wine and seemed to contemplate what he had just said. Peter too drank from his wine and swiftly looked around the room where he saw all in conversation with each other. Most of the guests laughing, he was sure not many were engaged in the type of conversation he was engaged in. Somehow he wanted to go to Isabelle and enjoy the seemingly careless state she was in. But he felt compelled to listen to what Père Jean had to say. The latter put down his glass on the table, laid his hand to rest next to it and looked at Peter.

“The name of the club is irrelevant once you make a connection on essence level. Muslims, Hindus, Jews, whatever are able to experience a sense of connectedness and meaningfulness that goes beyond the dogmatic and artificially created boundaries of what we call religions. When you connect to this essence, there’s neither much room nor need for interpreting. As it is the heart that speaks in its powerful language without words. The heart, or the soul if you like, speaks from deep wisdom and knowing. It speaks from love as it does not know otherwise and when doing so greatly enhances the person’s awareness and peaceful, loving presence. You’ll experience something similar as everyone else who experiences it and that only becomes different when you start using words to label it.”

As Père Jean I choose to believe that giving room for each other’s spiritual experience yields better results than trying to rally all behind some concept where a few men tell all the others what it is all about. I see it as a step towards of being able to really see each other therewith allowing all of us to live in freedom and to have our spiritual experiences in freedom as well. There’s great learning possible if and when we can leave our spiritual experiences and our accounts of those as belonging to whoever expresses them, therewith knowing they have no intention to convince us of their views and opinions. Sadly the current practice is different as we can read in the newspapers every day. Being open and willing to listen to other viewpoints may contribute to the regular maintenance our belief system needs.

The conversation between the two men continues and Père Jean makes clear what he thinks of the church being a male dominated institution, having lost its connection with its true essence and why it cannot sustain that. In the process one could notice he lives his life very much in the moment.

“I guess that makes clear why you did not make a splendid career within in the church,” Peter was too quick to comment.

“When you mean with career ‘moving up the ladder’, my life has been a total failure,” he looked at Peter and burst out laughing. Their glasses refilled, they toasted again while Jean was still laughing. “When you mean with career ‘living what you’re called to be’, it’s a tremendous success and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Besides I have the privilege of working with young talented managers from all over the world as I’m a visiting professor at a business school nearby as well.”


“I understand my viewpoints may sound conflicting with the laws and rules of the church as you may have come to know them. In that respect it’s no different from working for a company. If you don’t share the same attitude and beliefs, you’re no longer part of the inner circle and your career won’t advance. I’m sure you know about this yourself.”

Peter acknowledged what Père Jean just said and wondered if he thought the institution of the church would be around much longer.

“You know, some say a process of de-institutionalisation can be expected based on the belief we’re moving into a new cosmic era, with different characteristics and values which will change the way people treat each other.”

“I don’t know much about cosmic era’s but I could see the church, as the fixed materialised institution it has become, will be falling apart. Not the essential energy, as energy is always conserved, but rather the fixed forms that have been constructed over the past 20 centuries or so with all its well established interests. As science progresses and the results of that become available faster and faster to more and more people, it’s difficult for me to see how we can seriously continue to see the pope as God’s sole representative on earth. I mean, we elect this male member of the organisation through a dim process of voting. And why should senior church management be privileged to men? Are women worse managers? Do they lack the ability to lead? Do they have limitations, we don’t know of, that prevent them from having spiritual experiences?” he sounded undignified.

Peter liked his clear viewpoints and somewhat militant attitude and intuitively felt there was much truth in what Jean was saying.

“Let me ask you,” Jean addressed Peter and looked inquisitively at him from his brown eyes. “Do you believe in God?”

Peter felt uncomfortable having to answer the question and many thoughts raged through his mind trying to come up with an answer as neutral as possible. “Uhhh, yes, well, I guess I do.”

“Whoa, that’s a struggle to answer that simple question,” Jean laughed. “You strike me as an intelligent man, so tell me: Where does God live?” “It sure is fun to ask questions that no one knows the answer to,” Peter tried.

“Oh come on, Peter, you can do better than that: now, where does she live?” Jean probed.

“I don’t know,” Peter shyly said.

“Suppose he would live within you,” Jean said.

“Within me? Yeah, right.”

“No, seriously, suppose she would live within you, how would that affect the way you view yourself? Your friends? All of us here celebrating? The world? The universe?” Jean drew widening circles with his right arm as he spoke.

“I would…,” Peter tried to find an answer.

“Now wait a minute, let me add something. Suppose he lives with you as much as she lives within me,” Jean interrupted him.

Peter looked at him in utter concentration, asking himself what trap Père Jean was leading him to. One point he had noted is the changing use of the male and female form. A thought sprang to mind and in spite of his attempt to stay somewhat at a distance he released it without further processing it.

“We would all live in God’s energy field as he would live in ours. Then all would be one. All would be one,” Peter answered without hesitation which actually surprised himself.

Jean looked flabbergasted, his eyes staring at Peter, his mouth half-open for a second. Then his face relaxed, he smiled and put his hand on Peter’s shoulder.

“Yes, we are all one,” he finally quietly said. “All is one. A truth many ancient spiritual traditions all over the world hold high. A truth modern science is starting to prove. A truth meeting much resistance from scared and confused people. And sadly those will cause much grief.”

“Why do you think so?”

“Partially because they have vested well established interests in things staying the way they are. There’s quite a bit of power involved. And partially because they’ll just panic.”

“Don’t you find it unsettling, the insights science is leading to?”

“On the contrary, what will happen is a meeting of science and spirituality as in essence they talk about the same things. And in a way it’s funny to see so many respected women and men struggling to prove something I have been knowing all my life. And many great thinkers did so before me.”

Peter carefully acknowledged what Jean said.

“When you can accept that God resides within you as much as she resides within Didier, Fabienne, Isabelle, me, everyone…..there’s no difference in religion anymore except for your personal experience. But if you could leave that to be your personal experience, and allow others to have theirs, and do not try to convince each other which one is the right one, one major obstacle to world peace would have been removed.”

Père Jean’s face shone with happiness and he took a firm drink from his wine. “And you know what? All of the so-called world religions are struggling with this. I have friends from various major denominations and when we get together we manage to create a special sacred space. Just by gently and quietly focussing on our hearts and atuning to our being together. Not by adhering to a strict and fixed order of actions. But just by being open-hearted and present to the moment. What results is an atmosphere of refined energy that all experience as very uplifting. You cannot summon God to be present and participate in your conversations the way you would like her to. She will still be there but perhaps more at a distance. When invited, rather than ordered, she may show up and her presence will give different results. A famous fellow countryman of yours, Erasmus, wrote this once ‘Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit’, which means ‘Evoked or not, God is always present’.”

If you like what you just read, you can find the entire novel here ( I would also love to hear what you think about what you just read.



Religion vs Spirituality

Today this facebook post by the Dalai Lama caught my eye:

“More fundamental than religion is our basic human spirituality. We have a basic human disposition towards love, kindness and affection, irrespective of whether we have a religious framework or not. When we nurture this most basic human resource – when we set about cultivating those basic inner values which we all appreciate in others, then we start to live spiritually.”

I don’t know what it means to you (perhaps you want to share?) but for me it gets down to the essence. Following the french philosopher Pierre Teilhard the Chardin (We are not a human beings in search of a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings immersed in a human experience) I too choose to believe that we as humans carry this basic human spirituality with us. It shows itself in this willingness to help others or in this sense of curiosity when we meet each other. The systems we have been creating over the past centuries lead to different outcomes and often take us away from our very nature: the desire to connect and share in freedom.

In my view religion invariably becomes dogmatic and filled with people, who are leading and managing the organisation that gets built around it by sticking to and expanding the dogma. Where for some dogma may have some advantages, I see four major disadvantages:

1) to quote the famous 2005 speech by Steve Jobs: dogma is the result of other people’ s thinking. It blocks a flow of energy that is needed to keep the essence and the connection to it organic and alive. It tends to make interpretations of accounts of historic events fixed, not leaving room for more accurate interpretations, based on scientific research for instance.

2) religious dogma forms a disconnect from the original essence. For instance in my novel “The Glass Dome” this is illustrated by the catholic priest telling the main character during a dinner party that nowadays the catholic church preaches love and talks about it whereas the essence is being love. And that contact with that essence has been lost. Quite a difference. Oh, and of course ‘being love’, does not require to be talked about as it just is.

3) because religious dogma tends to be fixed, leaving no room for different interpretations (or to put it differently: it’s not open to change) it gets intolerant with the risk of becoming fundamental and (extremely) violent. This is the stage where even groups of people of different factions of the same religion start waging war on each other because of the differing interpretation of a written document for example.

4) it enhances the illusion of separation as the dogmatic communities are exclusive. It introduces right and wrong (based on dogma that is) which means that we and those who are with us are right and all the others are wrong (and should be stopped from promoting their viewpoints; see pt 3 above)

What might be the way forward? Well, it won’t come as a surprise when I tell you that in my view ideally all religious dogmatism would be reevaluated and judged on its connection with the original essence. In order for the original essential energy to surface again. How different would it be when we all allow our own individual spiritual experiences to be what they are: our own individual spiritual experiences, still knowing that we are connected of course. I would enjoy my experiences and you would enjoy yours. Of course we could share them but preferably without one trying to convince the other of the supposed superiority of his experience. Learning from your experience could possibly enrich mine and vice versa. As long as we present our spiritual experiences as our own and merely as an invitation to observe and learn if we want to. Our experiences are different but they stem from the same source. As we do. What a peaceful world would result, or?

All is one. We’re all God’s children and no one is a child of a lesser God.