From ‘The Life between Live’ to The past and the present
‘The Life between Live’
Tony D’Souza in his article ‘Double Cross’ (20 August) gives us a beautiful example of exemplary Zen logic – if we follow these steps, then that will happen. But is it that simple? I have tried this for a ninety-four-year lifetime but without success, as there always seemed to be something missing. To my delight I may have found this ‘something’, so may I pass it on?
It is quite simply a better understanding of the relationship between our physical life in this world and our life in the spiritual world and the overlap between them, which has been called ‘The Life Between Live’. The research behind this was led by a psychotherapist Michael Newton, using his gift of hypnotism to explore our incarnations in this world within the wider context of our true spiritual home – see: The Journey of Souls (Michael Newton 1995) and the Newton Institute publications.
I resonated with Tony Stoller’s review of Jews Don’t Count (30 July). I have attended Quaker meetings since the mid-1970s and joined the Society in the late 1980s. But I have also worshipped at my local Liberal synagogue for over twenty years.
I am sad that when I speak about antisemitism in British society and the Society I often get a patronising explanation that it’s not antisemitism, it’s anti-Zionism. If I were a person of colour, LGBT or a woman asserting racism, or homophobia or sexism, I wouldn’t expect to be heard and told I don’t understand a hate crime.
Too often when I reveal my ‘Jewishness’ to Quakers the conversation immediately turns to Palestine, I am conflated with Israelis in settlements in the occupied territories. I explain that Liberal Judaism does not support the government of Israel uncritically, I am not an Israeli citizen, blah blah blah. However I am a Zionist in that I support the right of a democratic Jewish homeland to exist within secure borders, but then most people in the UK do.
A few years ago I was asked to write about my visit to Auschwitz for the Meeting newsletter, I was tracing my wife’s grandparents last journey, they were murdered there in January 1943. It was published opposite an article asserting that the foundation of the State of Israel was a direct outcome of the Holocaust, a myth intended to delegitimise the State.
I attended a Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM) session on antiracism and was disappointed that race was defined in terms of ‘skin tone’ though I understood this was subsequently revised. A useful first step for Friends would be to recognise that antisemitism is racism, not just at BYM but in Meeting houses.
(From time to time I am asked how can I attend both Meeting house and synagogue. For me it’s simple: I think like a Quaker but I feel like a Jew.)
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