Cults and Belief Systems, Trance and the Group Mind (2) The Two Williams. Two actors who are not involved in Cults.
Turning aside for the time being from Adam Crabtree and Bruce Alexander and their recent books on the trance states we all live in, and the globilization of the addiction to money and violence, and the cultivation of the group mind, and submission to authority within the armed forces, I would like to take a brief look at the cult following of soap operas and science fiction adventures. I have met some viewers and readers who actually believe that these fictitious stories are real, and that the characters within them really exist.
Of course, the actors are alive and well, as themselves, but not as the characters they portray. For example, "Star Trek" has had a cult following for many years, and so has "Coronation Street" but two of the chief actors in these series, whose careers have spanned a similar time period since the 1950s have themselves kept clear of cults, and remain original thinkers, as their recently published autobiographies show. It is good to see clear thinking from well-known actors, in these times when billions of people around the world are still entranced and indoctrinated by out-worn beliefs and traditions, the cause of the general malaise around the world - material and financial problems, violence and terrorism and gang warfare in our city streets. This is the situation, in spite of the fact that five billion people out of our global population of nearly 7 billion ostensibly subscribe to one of our world religions, another billion are atheists, or at least materialists, and the remainder, some five per cent of the population, are Spiritualists. That is to say, just about 350 million people have a knowledge of the Spirit World. Some of these belong to the religion of Spiritualism, while another section belong to these major world religions, but are at the same time are in touch with the Spirit World in their own way. The remainder are independent of any belief system, but remain in touch with the Spirit World. Our psychics and mediums belong to this 5% Spiritualist segment of the population. This may not seem a very large number, but to them we owe the sanity of the world at large. Spiritualists and mediums must live in the material world amongst us all, and for those who become enlightened or have a religious experience, the direct contact with the Spirit World can only last for a few brief moments, or an hour at the most, although it may take them a week, or a month, or even years, for them to write about what happened to them to radically change their world-view.
I could venture to say that 100 % of the world's population, that is, all of us, are Spiritualists, since whatever our beliefs and whatever our paranormal ablitites, if any, each one of us comes from some part of the Spirit World, and will eventually return there. We have come into the material world to experience different conditions and to learn and evolve in different places and cultures.. Concentrating on our tasks, our addictions, our cults and beliefs, during the learning process, may separate us temporarily from the Spirit World, but we are permanently attached to it even as we go about our affairs here. But only the Spiritualists, in the larger sense, as a group, are aware of the connection.
William Roache has been acting the part of Ken Barlow
on the British soap “Coronation Street” for over fifty years
now. On October 16, 2007 he made an appearance on
ITV’s talk show “Loose Women,” which is similar to
ABC’s “The View” co-hosted by Barbara Walters. He
was talking about his recently published book “Soul on
the Street,” which is autobiographical and describes
his lifelong search into spirituality and the meaning
of life. He and his wife have a family, but lost a
daughter while still an infant, and somewhere along
the way he has come to receive evidence of survival
from Spiritualist mediums, and so he has a firm belief
in the afterlife.
We were on holiday in England, and managed to
tape most of this program as we were watching it.
From my notes I present as much as we were able to
record, so here is my unofficial transcript for your
Host: I read your whole book through quickly from
start to finish and I was so surprised to find that it
wasn’t just tales of the theatre and show business. I
realized that spirituality is very important to you.
William: Well, yes it is, so it’s not an ordinary
celebrity autobiography as such, it is really the
record of a personal journey. As a child I had fears
of death and infinity. I wanted to find out more
about that. I realized that all my life I had been
looking and searching, and then we lost a daughter at
18 months old. I don’t want to impose my views on
anybody, but I get a lot of letters after I’ve done
shows like this where I talk about what I understand
and this book explains why I had to find out about
life after death, why I had to do it, and how to go
about it, and what I found out.
What I understand at the moment is that belief is
a dangerous thing. Up to a point belief is only a
temporary faith like a stepping-stone. For example,
if you believe in what a leader says, and he’s very
charismatic, and he tells you to do something awful,
and you go out and do it, it’s a dangerous thing.
It’s a personal journey. I can’t prove what I
know to anyone. I’ve reached a stage where I
recognize certain truths – and we’re all searching for
Sherrie (another former cast member of “Coronation
Street"): Can I stop you a moment. I loved your
book. Absolutely loved it. Do you believe that in our
journey, we start when we are a baby, and we can only
learn in stepping-stones?
William: Yes, that’s in this incarnation. We’re
spiritual beings and as such the good news is that
we’re immortal. We cannot be killed. We’ve come from
the spiritual realms which is our natural home and we
go back there when the body dies. So, yes, you’re in
this vehicle, you learn about the things on this
planet, good and evil and those sorts of things, then
you go back home, which is a vibrant, living place.
There are universities and hospitals with nurses, and
many different places – everything you can think of.
It’s not a place where you sit on a cloud and wait and
your loved ones just hang about around you – though
love is a great connector. It’s more vibrant actually
than being here.
Host: Where do you get this information and
knowledge about the afterlife?
William: I’ve studied and meditated and read about
religion and Buddhism and other Eastern religions and
mystical faiths and I talk about this in the book. My
biggest argument with the Church of England, which I
am still loosely connected with, though I belong to no
religion now, or organization, group or church, I’m
just a seeker after the truth – my biggest argument
with the Christian church is that they don’t say
anything about life after death, as other religions
do. If you don’t read for yourself, you won’t find
out much. You’ve got to make the effort. You have to
read, study, meditate, then you come to realize that
there’s something common to them all.
I used to be out walking along and suddenly feel
“Yes, that’s right!” I was reminding myself, because
actually we already know these things, inside, without
reading any books.
Host: If you read every book going, unless you had
a personal experience, how can you believe in it all?
William: It isn’t just reading every book going.
Unless you really want to understand, it won’t sink
in. You’ve got to want to do it. The biggest
handicaps to finding out and knowing are our beliefs
and opinions, because if you’ve grown up with certain
beliefs and then you hear a great truth, you might
reject it. So you have to do a self-evolvement, you
have to go through a process of allowing yourself to
open up, or lay everything down, which is quite
frightening, but then you begin to see things clearly.
A short general discussion on spirituality
followed before the program came to an end.
Reading William Roache's autobiography, "Soul on the Street" Hay House, 2007, I find that he, like William Shatner, had a fear of death, and of infinity. It was these fears that sent him on a spiritual search, meeting mediums and talking in Spiritualist churches and discussing spirituality on television shows. This search continues, while he still leads a very active life in show business, performing on television and leading a happy family life. Linus Roache, one of his sons, is also an actor, who appeared in the American series "Law and Order," as well as more recently in "Coronation Street" and other television drama. He previously spent 15 years with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. A daughter Edwina died in infancy, but returned with messages of love through various mediums, including Peggy Kennard. "Love, always love," is the gist of her messages.
The book is full of spiritual insights, and William is a meditator and he believes in reincarnation. The topics discussed reflect all the ideas that are currently being discussed here on the Spirit Guides website. We can be glad that a man of his calibre with strong spiritual values speaks out so well in public whenever he can. It is interesting to compare his tone and attitude with that of journalists and media hosts who tackle the subject of Spiritualism.
Journalists are usually so tongue-in-cheek, as recent Cassadaga and Lily Dale articles indicate. Spiritualism is depicted as quaint, eccentric and a thing of the past. Far from it, of course. Thanks to our present-day mediums, and advocates like William Roache, the reality of our eternal spiritual nature is gaining greater acceptance out in the world, bit by bit. That is the important thing to pay attention to, not all the flim-flam and snickering in the twilight.
Listening to radio is less addictive and is more thought-provoking, and it is here recently that I heard William Shatner talking on CBC about his third wife’s alcholism. He had hoped that his love and attention in the marriage would provide a cure. But it was too late to help, and his wife died two years later. The addiction had too strong a hold.
Bill Shatner had another interesting thing to say. The veteran actor of stage, films and television, and a prolific writer, recently came out with his autobiography, “Up Till Now.” (St. Martin’s Press/ Thomas Dunne Books. 2008). He hopes to live another few decades and follow his life story with a sequel, but one thing which he admits great fear of is DEATH. One would imagine that after playing the more or less immortal Captain Kirk in “Star Trek” he would be immune to this type of fear, which in itself is a kind of trance state, in this materialistic world of our. The theme of Star Trek suggests immortality for the human soul, going against the current belief in one body, one life, and after it’s over, “that’s all folks!”
I don’t know if sending him to a medium, or talking of Spiritualism would allay his fear. An event in his life, a chance meeting, reading a book on the subject, a vision, death of a relative who returns, something might happen that would catch his attention, and lead him to investigate. That’s the only way, I think. We can’t go round trying to convert other people to what we know, even when we can prove it, if they are not ready or willing to listen. I don't think it is helpful to stand on street corners handing out pamphlets.
It is very difficult to talk reasonably with some fundamentalist Christians or radical Muslims, and it is equally hard to convince atheists and humanists and hard-nosed sceptical scientists of the reality of the Spirit World. Holy Bibles are distributed free, as are copies of the Koran, but few can distinguish the factual truth within them from metaphorical imagery, distortions, errors and additions. Some editions of the Koran are now being published with additional notes and interpolations, specifying that in the jihad, the enemies are specifically named as Christians and Jews. Now this is NOT in the original Koran, so this is subversive activity, corrupting the teachings of the Prophet, and causing further entrancement into a mindless atmosphere of hate and dissension.
Some actors do have an interest in mediumship and Spiritualism; Kelsey Grammer, for example, who is an executive producer for “Medium,” Joyce De Witt (from “Two’s Company” fame), and Mike Farrell (“Mash” and “Providence”) and Henry Winkler, who has produced the show "Sightings" about the paranormal. Other actors are still entranced by cults (Tom Cruise, notably, and the star of “Phenomenon,” John Travolta).
But in return, some mediums have taken well to the media and are able to express their truths to a larger audience. Among these are John Edward and his "Crossing Over" and James Van Praagh and his television programme "Beyond", and his part in producing the series "Ghost Whisperer" and Alison Dubois with "Medium" and in the U.K., Colin Fry is one of many mediums furthering the cause of Spiritualism on television and radio. Many mediums are also giving demonstrations and talks through the Internet on YouTube. You could say that they are gaining a cult following, but not in the old addictive sense of producing an audience by entrancing spectators with a manufactured illusion. They have a following of truth seekers.
Submit Your Own Article