From the perspective of Rick Pursell, 64, a spiritual coach from Wolverhampton, UK.
Do you believe people arrived in their present form on Earth?
I think it’s apparent that we’re evolving as a species, from a simple organism to the more complex organism that we inhabit today. Our brains have evolved from the simplified reptilian brain to one of amazing complexity and detail. So no, I believe we have evolved.
Do you think a supernatural force has been guiding our evolution?
I believe a supernatural or higher force is the source of all things and that there is a plan which is unfolding. We are co-creating within this process. The source is sometimes referred to as the Unified Field, from which everything arises.
Does it trouble you that we descended from apes?
This is a one-sided question addressing physicality only and we are much, much more than meat bodies. What if we were a combination of evolution and Darwinism? What if the consciousness that we are chose to evolve through the mono cell in water, merged into amphibians, took to the forests and became the ape and on to the human form we inhabit today. Is this reason to be troubled? I don’t think so. What is important is what are we going to evolve into next, spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.
What does it mean to you to be human?
For me it means to be whole, authentic, genuine, heart-centred and in service to others. This means transcending the ego’s fear and separateness, which dominates much of humanity at this time, but is changing rapidly.
Philosophers say that human suffering proves the existence of God, that some people must endure enormous tragedy and sadness in order to find their path to God. What do you think?
One cannot experience God through the mind; it has to be through the heart. So we could pose philosophic questions all day and never reach a consensus. The heart, I believe, is the path to the soul, which in turn is connected and inextricably linked to spirit or the divine (whatever name we choose). Personally, I don’t wait for a tragedy or suffering to occur as a catalyst to find God, when it is so much easier to find source through direct self-enquiry and practicing being and living in the heart.
What about the Asian tsunami of 2004 that killed around 250,000 people? In your opinion, where is a god in such a biblical natural disaster?
To assume there is a judgmental, vengeful God who punishes us for our sins is a very primitive and outdated mindset. The Asian tsunami and other ecological disasters are a result of our collective thinking and behaviours. The Earth is a living entity – Mother Earth – and we as a human species have caused an inordinate amount of damage and disharmony and she is trying to bring about balance and stability. Every one of those who “perished” in the tsunami knew before they were incarnated that they would sacrifice their lives for the growing consciousness and increased responsibility of human kind. It took the tsunami to really awaken humans to the environmental and ecological damage we are inflicting on our Mother Earth, just as it took the World Trade (Center) towers’ collapse to awaken us to the insanity of our separateness and unfounded fears.
Do you think the chaos and trouble caused by people, including wars, is the product of a Devil-derived evil or purely free will?
We undoubtedly are the cause of these events, brought about by the individual’s and our collective ego-minds, relentless needing to be separate and superior to everyone and steeped in its own fears. As long as we choose this path, wars, terrorism, poverty, crime, etc, will continue. When we choose the opposite, which is love, we see the emergence of the new human being who operates from the heart, showing appreciation, compassion, forgiveness, humility, understanding and great courage. The “Devil-derived evil” is a human construct, designed to entrap and control people into subservience and compliance with social norms.
Why do you think the Universe is such a gigantic place, yet the only apparent intelligent life as far as we’ve been able to detect is on Earth?
You have chosen the right word – “apparent.” It is an apparency that we are the only intelligent life in the Universe and the source of this idea is the ego and ignorance. We have not even explored the minutest portion of the Universe and yet we claim we are the only ones. We need to open our hearts and minds to other possibilities, beyond the five senses of the three-dimensional body; and when we do that, we discover more life than we could ever imagine.
Scientists tell us the Universe started off from an incomprehensibly dense dot and exploded into what we see today, and is expanding. In your imagination, what did the cosmos blow up into?
Ha, ha – you are standing in it! From the Big Bang occurring some 14 billion years ago, the Universe and its bigger brother, the Cosmos, began and is still expanding. The Universe is just a small portion of the Cosmos and encompasses everything imaginable and un-imaginable, beyond description and labels. The source of this is unknowable through the mind, but can be experienced through the heart.
Although impossible now, if a probe could reach the furthest parts of space, at the point where matter was still expanding, and if that probe could jump ahead of the matter, where would it be?
There is only one time frame and that is now. The future and past are time-space constructs. Everything that has ever happened or is yet to happen exists now and that is where the space probe would find itself.
Atheists maintain that religion is nothing more than a fairytale and that adherents are deluding themselves. They say there’s no proof of the existence of any controlling entity or creator and that it’s foolish to believe in one. Are they deluding themselves?
No, they are just like you and me, voicing an opinion. The proof of existence of a “controlling entity” or “creator” cannot be found through the mind alone. Quantum physics is now saying what the sages of old have been telling us for ages; so we are getting closer to the acceptance of a source. Once we dismantle the inauthentic myths and stories about our existence and replace them with our own personal experience, we will find like-minded people who have discovered the same “truths.” While it may be true for some people at this point in time – and it will not always be this way – that the existence of source cannot be unequivocally proven to everyone without a smidgen of doubt, then that doubt will remain. But can they prove that source does not exist? We are alive, are we not? We came from somewhere, did we not?
Does it worry you that your presence on Earth might be nothing more than a chance alignment of primordial amino acids and that we are totally alone and when you die, that’s the end of your consciousness?
This idea does not bother me at all, as I do not subscribe to it. For me there is no such thing as death. Yes, the body stops breathing, trees fall down, fungus shrinks lifelessly away into the ground, but life-form energy persists and in some cases chooses another form or body. Everything is energy and energy merely transforms into another form. And so the energy or consciousness that is really us passes into transition into another form.
What’s the wonder of being alive?
Beautiful question, but you do not have enough space for my answer. Here are a few: The extraordinary process of a tiny sperm penetrating an egg and finishing up like you and me. How full of wonder is that? Or a sunset, birdsong, taste of French vanilla ice-cream, the touch of a child’s cheek on yours, or the smell of freshly baked bread. Then there is stepping on dog poo on the pavement, getting a tax bill, tasting durian, hearing the piercing cry of an injured puppy or seeing the atrocities of war. You see, if we just chase after the good stuff, we finish up disappointed and disillusioned, but when we embrace everything as one, then we lead very richly rewarding lives full of wonder. After all, they came from the same source.
If you could say something directly to a God and get a direct answer, what would it be?
Having spent 33 years in Australia, it would probably be G’day mate. Seriously, though, I would say: “Thank you for this gift of life. I am so grateful for being part of this amazing journey and for everyone and everything that has crossed my path along the way. How may I serve you better?”