The Spiritualist Church

In the 1980’s two friends took me to visit the Spiritualist Church in an inner West Sydney suburb. I have no idea why they thought the expedition would be of interest. It was a humble building, unadorned; we entered its gloom, where people seemed to meditate, one per pew, sitting or kneeling with head bowed, some sideways, as if quietly conversing with a child. We moved through the meditative atmosphere, then I seemed to enter an experience, that registered like an afterimage that follows staring injudiciously into the sun. But it was unlike any other, unlike even that quiet dreamlike state of artistic inspiration.

Suddenly I seemed to see each person in the church communing with a small figure of light draped on their shoulder, there was a rope of light/energy that connected to the human praying/meditating. The tone of the experience was gentle, not in any way dominating, there was no attempt for the experience to impose itself forcibly onto my consciousness.

I suddenly remembered the experience when a US friend emailed me about the sudden death of her brother. We all need to come to terms with the various rites of passage that comprise our lives. Violent death such as occured in Aurora Colorado encourage us to remonstrate with, and struggle against what is after all inevitable. We pride ourselves as sentient beings that we deal rationally with these experiences. Gentle reconciliation is the preferable mindset. I know, when my sister phoned me to say that mum had died in hospital, I went up to the roof of my apartment building. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by an experience of being held, being loved. My mum was a true earth mother, she had absurd ideas about my being gay, like any virgo she complained about being everyone’s servant. BUT she loved me fiercely. I was so grateful for that demonstrative leavetaking.


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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