Living in a Foreign Land

Twice I have now lived in another country. (Three times, if you include Scotland!.)

Everyone should do it. I think because it broadens the mind and will increase your sympathy for immigrants in your own country at the same time.

USA

Moving to Texas was not at all easy. You would think the US was an easy place for a Brit to go and live but let me tell you something. It is an alien world. It took an entire calendar year to even gain a sense of the rhythym of life there. Texas has its own culture and that involves everything from general expectations to mindset. Customer service though wonderful can be annoyingly over the top. People are superficially cheerful and this can grate on your nerves too. I realized very quickly how negative we sound just in our choice of words…

“How are you?”

“Wonderful thank you. What a glorious day. How are you?”

“Not bad.”

Not bad. Sounds OK in the UK but in the US it sounds….. negative.

There is a superficial side to life in the USA I found. Everyone is superficially happy and providing wonderful service and attention. Yet, deep, intimate and lasting friendships seem rarer to me there than in the UK.

Of course, these are generalizations. Yet, the US culture is very different. Impermanent, fleeting even. There is little history and nothing really seems built to last. It is quite material and the spirituality on display is often very fundamental christian, reminding one of its roots. I had never thought of the word ‘damn’ as a swear word but for some, it is a deeply offensive swear word at that. There even is a falseness about even that spirituality at a certain level as well in that the flamboyant TV evangelists are plainly and obviously hypocrites in the main. Yet despite that, there is also often a genuinely simple spirituality at work in their flocks.

Distance is another thing. Everything is big and things are far away. Convenience is an aspect of life that perhaps helps to balance this out. It’s a long way to the bank but when you get there, you needn’t get out of your car. There are many other areas of difference – sports, vacation time, dining and more. It took several years to blend in. But, I almost always enjoyed it.

What did I learn? I think in the end I learned that material possessions do not make you happy. In fact, they sort of put you on a treadmill to hell as you work faster and harder to keep your status of things… I also learned to try to speak more clearly and to value friendships more as something rather special. I think I also learned something about poverty and wealth in the sense that in the USA some have everything and many have nothing at all – and I’m not talking about possessions but health, education and even hope….

Czechia

The Czech Republic on the surface would seem an easier place except for the language barrier. People have more of a European attitude. But after a while, you notice that many Czechs are well…. dour. Unsmiling and not very friendly. Customer service is rare and it is mostly a fight to get any attention whatsoever in a store. The workers seem interested only in getting to go home having dealt with as few other humans as possible.

Over time, you also get a sense for the game playing, jealousy and spite that some exhibit. With some Czech’s it seems near impossible to have a normal and straightforward relationship. Everything is a battle or a game in which they are determined not to let you benefit or get ahead and if you do, they will work behind your back to undermine you. Smiles are rare until alcohol is involved. Insults are perceived in your tone, word choice and actions that simply didn’t exist and they want vengeance for those perceived insults.

But the longer I live here, the more I get a sense of something deeper. Some flaw in the nation’s psyche. Many seem to not want to be happy and they do not believe you should be either. The games go deeper and become more subtle. Cheating on your partner isn’t just normal but expected. Their comedy movies clearly show this just as the Carry On films exposed British attitude’s towards sex.

Again, it’s a generalization. The more people have travelled and the more interaction they have had, the less this culture seems to be in evidence. The younger generation are not afflicted the same way as the older although this behavior begins in school and is exhibited even by the teachers – I have observed.

Again, I like living here. Its a nice place to be and it lacks a lot of the woke, PC nonsense that so infects the west and makes life miserable. Again, it is hard to describe without sounding negative.

What did I learn? Here I have learned to be happy and that happiness comes from inside of yourself. It is not given by things nor by wanting things. It comes from a sense of well being and self love (in a positive way) that glows within you. Yes, there I times I forget but the dourness of the Czechs at times reminds me – I am who I am and it is fine and you know, I am happy. I have also learned that holding a grudge, being jealous of someone else’s success of possession is something that drags you down and darkens the soul. It is better to be happy for others success and to boost their confidence.

At the end of the day, I’m sure every country has it cultural negatives and positives. In experiencing these and contrasting and comparing, I think and hope it makes us better people. More accepting and more tolerant. Dealing with living in a foreign country simply broadens the mind.

In both countries, I have found a vibrant culture that has profoundly impacted the way I look at life. In a sense, it has adjusted the lenses I was given to see through by my upbringing and now I see things a little differently. In the US, I found the value in self responsibility and hard work. In Czechia, I have found an aspect of spirituality outside and inside of myself that I was unaware of previously.

Talking to Yourself

I wish I could open up and let you in

Let you feel my feelings

Think my thoughts

Experience my memories

You would see me differently

Know what made me tick

Feel my hurts, share my joys

And understand our inter actions

The walls would come crashing down

You could not hate

Cruelty would ebb away

And everything you say

Would be said as if talking to yourself

For we are One

Divided by common purpose

And watered daily with fear

Fear of each other

Tended with suspicion

In a garden of lies

Painting differences in pallets of hate

A recipe for conflict

To divide this Ocean

Of consciousness

A fractured God

Deity divided

Sanity derided

A crowd of one.

Revisiting the King’s Table

This weekend, I needed to get into nature – into the bosom of the Goddess so to speak. For me, the connection to the land and to the Goddess is something that fades if I let it dragged away kicking and screaming by the mundane everyday. Then suddenly, I wake up again to her call and realize….. it’s been too long.

A few months ago, I got a message out of the blue from a guy in the USA. Over the past few months I hear from him periodically. I don’t know how he found me. He doesn’t want anything except to tell me a few things it seems on a spiritual level – to share a few of his moments with the Goddess and connect. Last Sunday, out of the blue, he sent me a message… “Hey, shaman! You need to get into nature.” He was right.

So yesterday, off I went. I took a friend along as well and we had a really nice day. We stopped off initially at Velehrad and explored the Earth energies either side of the alter. He could feel it too – he even picked it up at the same point I did, which was reassuring. Renowned for its healing energies, my purpose in visiting was to send some the way of a friend who needs it.

However, a couple of new thoughts about the place emerged as well. First, Velehrad could be thought of as ‘Big Castle’ or similar except there is no Castle and it isn’t a big place. Though it could also be a pointer to it’s possible history as the capital of the ancient Moravian Kingdom as ‘Great Castle’ or similar. Now, I suspect the church is built on an ancient pagan center – a spring. It struck me, that perhaps it is actually named or the Slavic deity – Veles? Veles’ Castle. That resonates with me.

Second, an exploration of the area around showed a stream passing close by and, as my friend remarked, the water was extremely ‘clean’ looking. I suspect it is spring water and hasn’t traveled far. I suspect the site was a pagan site of worship and marked by a spring. Can’t prove it but….

From there we went to Kraluv Stul. The so called King’s Table and I dowsed along with my friend who was amazed to find he could do it and that he picked up the same features as I. Firstly, the vortex off center in the circle and not by the big stone at all and secondly, what seemed to be three energy lines passing through the vortex and…. marked by small stones in five of the six instances.

I again did a little meditation aided with a candle, some small polished stones and some water from a well in Yorkshire. I again aimed healing energies where they were needed and made a few silent requests of my own. I had hope the activity would change the energy of the place – wake it up so to speak – but I can’t say I felt any difference. Who knows? Certainly, several other people visited that day and one or two of them demonstrated a reverence that suggested to me, the site was actively used already.

After a 10km hike through the misty, damp forest – through the bosom of the Goddess – we returned to the car for the trip home in the twilight. I felt a sense of renewal and connection again. And I made a vow, to try to stay more focused from now on.

Slavic Tales

A new book of poems out on Kindle and I may add the paperback later…. These are my most recent musings and seem to deal primarily with aspects of Slavic spirituality and the inner self. This last year I was investigating the Slavic Pantheon and connecting with the landscapes and Slavic culture and sometimes it truly touched my soul. It also appeared to re-awaken within me the search for the divine feminine and Her expression within me and outside of me in terms of finding a soul mate. I hope this collection finds a small audience somewhere and that it resonates. All of the poems were previously published on my blogs.

The cover is one of my photos taken with my trusty iPhone and it is of the Brno skyline here in Moravia. I am also somewhat obsessed with lamps and lighting as you can see in my work.

The dowser and the magician

I was the guest of dowser and house healer, Tim Walter recently. Despite a few internet issues, we made it through a laughter-filled and quite joyous chit chat about magic and dowsing and so on. If you do not know of Tim, I can really recommend his video channel as being filled with informative content.

He describes the video as follows;

The Dowser (me) and the magician, author Gary M Vasey, in conversation. It is fascinating to talk to people who have had unusual experiences in their lives. It’s especially interesting when those people have a scientific/logical based training and understands that life is not what it often seems. Author Gary M Vasey is one of these people and it was an absolute pleasure to talk with him about his life, about the nature of real magic and of fear, ghosts poltergeists, earth energy and dragons and manifesting in the magical energies of creation. This is part 1 of two parts. Part 2 will be uploaded soon.

I had also interviewed Tim a while ago for my own podcast – The Magical World of G.Michael Vasey and you can catch that chat here….

Listen to “Episode 14: House healing, Dowsing and the Nature of Reality with Tim Walter” on Spreaker.

Silenced

Back in my student days, we had debates about all kinds of issues in the Student Union. You know, abortion, Palestine, patriotism, northern Ireland etc. etc. I recall being at first a fascinated participant and later a disenfranchised cynic. I mean who cared what the predominantly left leaning students at Aston thought anyway? However, it was democracy at work and I took that for granted. I could grab the chairperson’s attention and get up and make my points – for or against the motion. I may get cheered and booed from various factions but I was allowed, if not actively encouraged, to speak.

In fact, I enjoyed quite an illustrious political career as a student. I spent 3 years on Student Council (elected by the general student body annually) at Aston and 2-years at Strathclyde where I gained my seat by being electing Post Graduate Convener two years running in competitive elections. The secret was to work to get the overseas students vote….there were rather more of them. However, as an aside, this required a little deftness and tact – especially as the Iran-Iraq war spilled out onto campus…. Can you imagine – me? deft and tactful? Wow! Things have changed.

I also was a successful campaign manager – yes, for the main positions in the students union – which were sabbatical positions – there were campaign managers. I had an exceptional record at getting my candidate elected even when they belonged to the Liberal party! Having achieved that feat, I was in demand. I do believe this was the beginnings of my career as a marketeer… it came natural.

I learned about politics doing all of this and soon got bored. I saw how it worked. I saw what was involved. I was unimpressed after my initial enthusiasm. Being approached in an under street crossing by a suspicious looking suited gentlemen who asked me if I might like to keep an eye on the ‘lefties’ didn’t help. I realized even then that the state had long tendrils… I kept quiet about that until a story broke in The Sun or similar about another student having a similar experience. Anyone right of center was being asked to ‘report on dangerous lefties’ it seemed. Yes – I was in the young Conservative movement the entire 6 years I was at college…..

Anyway – what was my point? Well, I can’t imagine that things are the same on campus now. In fact I know they are not. Imagine making an anti-abortion argument these days just as an example…. you would be skinned alive, canceled and hated as a fascist misogynist asshole and barred from the debate. Democracy and freedom of speech as I knew it have all but disappeared on campus. Back then, you were asked and encouraged to take that view to drive the two sides of the debate! I’m not sure how you feel about that but I feel very sad…. generations fought and died for us to have those rights and now they must be turning in their graves as the young voluntarily give these rights up.

I guess in the end, what put me off politics as well was ideology – on both sides. Imagine arguing a position because that was the party line? Yet – that is politics todays just as it was then except meaner and nastier. All the issues that we had motions on and debated at Aston for example, I felt had a sensible middle ground achievable with common sense. I still think that. I wish others did too……. do you?

Unfortunately, I think with tactics like cancellation, abuse and so on, common sense was the first casualty in politics and I avoid politics now like the plague. I feel I have been silenced and if I wasn’t me – annoyingly vocal and tactless – I would have been.

First, catch your..? #cancer

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“… knowing you are going to die makes clearing out the cupboards so much easier!”

The sound of choked laughter came through the phone. “You should write that,” said my friend, once his calm was once more regained. The sentiment had, I think, taken him off guard, but it was a simple observation. Even in such circumstances, there are up-sides.

Like, I seem to have pretty much ‘retired’. At least, temporarily. I certainly won’t be back at work until the chemotherapy is done… and who knows after that? And all my worries, although they are exactly same as ever, are now definitely finite. Except, that has always been true, I just know now that they are. And that conscious knowledge is the only thing that separates me from any other person in the street.

We are all dying by degrees, as part of the natural lifecycle… but being aware of…

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A Questionable Science?…

I agree…

Stuart France

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‘If the Test works – Why the False Positives?

If the Masks work – Why the Six Feet?

If the Six Feet works – Why the Masks?

If all Three work – Why the Fear Tactics?

If all Four work – Why the Vaccine?

If the Vaccine will be Safe – Why the No Liability Clause?

If COVID 19 exists – Why has it not been isolated?’

Felenti

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