sunrise

This page under construction.

Please bear with me. The author will soon think of something interesting to say about himself, but for the moment, well, it’s not particularly exciting. If you can think of anything he should talk about, please contact him at: bernard@pauloandthemagician.com.

Oh, this reminds me, there is a funny story I heard recently:

In Paulo’s Domain some few hundred years ago, a king’s council of ministers was preparing for the annual meeting with the public. In strolled a beggar off the streets and walked up to the front of the crowd. He quickly made himself comfortable in the front row just before the ministers, taking a seat on the plush cushions reserved for the highest ministers. Intrigued, a court official approached the beggar and informed him that this place was intended for others much higher than he.
The beggar replied, “I am much higher than they!”
“Oh, is that so?” replied the official. “And so you must be a minister, is that right?”
“I am much higher than a minister,” the beggar answered.
The official asked, smirking, “Then you must be, let’s see, the prime minister perhaps?”
“Oh, no! Much higher than the prime minister,” said the beggar nonchalantly.
At this the official began to get a little irritated. “And thus you are the King himself, is that it?”
Again the beggar retorted, “No, higher. Higher than the King.”
Having reached his limit, the official cried, “But there is nothing higher than the King!”
“You are quite right,” answered the beggar, smilingly. “I am nothing.”

This is a story taken from the Advaita tradition (Hindu Vendanta), but it applies somewhat to students of ACIM as well (since both belong to the family of non-dual traditions). Sigh… I only wish there were even a small part of me which thought it was nothing, but for the moment it thinks it’s a pretty big something.

Okay, here’s another story.

Yes, you’d call it ‘my story’, but I think it’s probably just another story.

Born in Australia in 1963, of South African parents, one of three children. Grew up in the suburbs of Sydney, loved bike riding, skateboards, fishing, body surfing. Went to a rather traditional private high school (we wore kilts on Fridays!), hated it, loved it, and went through much heartache. Missed my father a lot who was always travelling on business. Parents divorced. Mum into spirituality and psychology.

Left Australia after (not) graduating from high school, headed for Europe. Spent one year learning German in Austria (fabulous – I remember eating lots of ice cream), then a year in Japan looking for Yoda (disastrous – he was absent on a movie set that year). Applied to university in the USA, unexpectedly accepted to a school in Boston. (They were hard pressed to fill the place reserved for kilt-wearing Aussies that year.)

Signed up for psychology, anthropology, sociology… then dad said, ‘Forget all that namby-pamby stuff – you’re going to study business!’ So I sighed, grunted, and graduated in Economics. I actually made it to grad school, and managed a M.A. in Finance, landing myself a job on Wall Street. It seems that particular year they had been searching vainly for a kilt-wearing Australian (what is it with these Americans and their fetishes?).

Er, it wasn’t exactly my scene, investment banking. Poor dad. I quit my job six months later. But New York left me one gift of immeasurable value. As I roamed the coffee shops looking for the meaning of life, and a good coffee (which wasn’t easy before Starbucks), my nose stuck in a book on Seth, a guy came up to me and said, ‘I think you’d be interested in this book called A Course In Miracles.’ Right, thanks. Say, your name, again?

I bought the book and took it home and it sat on the dresser for a while. It looked big, imposing, and seemed to diffuse a kind of heat into the room. When I finally picked it up and read the first few words, I knew it was the answer I had been waiting for.

Married in New York, moved to Paris, worked for the O.E.C.D. for two years. My job wasn’t very demanding; I didn’t do much other than read A.C.I.M. An amazing time. Heard about Ken Wapnick’s teaching institute, did nothing about it. A mistake?

Didn’t pursue with the O.E.C.D.; like Wall Street, wasn’t interested in the ‘golden handcuffs syndrome’; became a freelance corporate trainer. Moved to a village in the Southwest of France, started living the simple country life.

Simple country life becomes extremely complicated. Can’t find peace, despite serious work with A.C.I.M. No more training work. Marriage on the rocks, we separate. Finances down the tubes. Move into a ramshackle house, no heating or hot water, it’s winter, it’s very lonely and very cold. Desperate call for help. FINALLY make my way to Ken’s Foundation in Roscoe. Paradise found.

Return to France with one idea in mind: get to grips with my chosen philosophy. A time of intense devotion, remarkable breakthroughs. A thought dominates my mind: I am going to write a book about this. I don’t know how, I’ve never written before. But something was bubbling and churning under the surface, and wanted to come out. More than anything, I felt I had to share this. It was just too amazing to keep to myself.

Started three different book ideas, stuck with Paulo and the Magician. Needed to find new work, began building houses (yes, silly, wasn’t it?). Met Patricia (we’re still together and still holding hands and laughing). Eventually became a tradesman drywaller, then drywall finisher, and writer on the side. Self-publish Paulo in 2009.

Likes:
Action movies, silly romances, documentaries, waterfalls, snow, coffee shops, warm woollen sweaters, (“whiskers on kittens…”) kicking dry leaves, African music, finger picking guitar. Lots of other things too numerous to mention. And you, what do you like?

Dislikes:
Vacuum cleaners (they never follow me and bump into furniture), clothes pegs (we can send men to the moon but can’t replace stupid clothes pegs with something easier to manipulate when your hands are full of wet laundry??), dull chainsaws (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve ever used one), breaking ice to wash my hands at a job (bright red not my favorite hand color), shoes that don’t fit (you ask, why do I where shoes that don’t fit?), my silly insistence on making separation my preferred state of mind.

A very dear wish:
To hold your hand as we walk Home together, discovering new ways of talking about the same Love that fills our hearts and lives.