My host is called John. John Hendry. He’s been my host for 74 years now so we’ve got to know each other pretty well. His first inkling that he was my host appeared when he was six or seven. He called it awareness and hoped to find others like him. This hope lasted into his teens and he finally gave up the quest when he concluded that either he hadn’t met anyone with it or, if he had, they were keeping quiet about it. It left him with the conviction that he was an outsider.
If you’d asked him as a boy or teenager how he defined this awareness, he would have frowned with thought and found it difficult. He might have said that he felt different from other people and that the difference involved being more thoughtful and sensitive, less extravert. He would say unusual things. One difficulty he would have had about this is that it made him sound as if he felt superior to others and this has never been the case. He sees himself and others horizontally rather than vertically. He had a kind of overview on life and it was no accident that he chose to study Philosophy at university …Philosophy is systematic overview.
John has the notion that one of the aims in life is to become the person you want to want to be (sic). He would be the first to admit that, even with advanced years, he’s nowhere near achieving that aim, e.g. his reclusiveness.
When John was told recently that he had bladder cancer, his immediate thought was I’m in for an interesting adventure. This wasn’t bravado: it was 100% genuine. Also he isn’t afraid of dying or the hereafter. He found a statement by Buddha helpful: The awakened are not afraid. He then realised that his aware was awakened.
He has recently found these words of Eckhart Tolle’s helpful: You are not the thinker. The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realise that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You may also realise that all things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. Until this insight he would have said he was the thinker. A recent example of the Tolle idea in practice was when he was preparing for a piece of artwork: his thinker told him Your artwork is crap – don’t bother. But his overviewer told him Have faith. And he was able to proceed.
In recent years he’s come to focus on what he has in common with people rather than the differences. I modestly rather hope that that’s my influence.
After another near death experience recently he is mindful of dying, with equanimity, and recognises, having the evidence of two positive peri-mortem messages, that consciousness survives dying. That’s as far as he wants to go on post-dying survival at the moment.