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SPIRITUALITY: Go back to basics and find the real you; Spirituality provides a massive umbrella term under which a bewildering array of beliefs and people gather, as Chief Feature Writer Paul Groves discovered.

Byline: Paul Groves

We have a lot to answer for in the media sometimes. We ignore something, then decide to pick it up, puff it up, run with it for a short time and then go back to ignoring it again.

'Spirituality' is a case in point. New age thinking became, dare I say, quite fashionable not so long ago and we had all sorts of coverage on myriad subjects.

But there are new trends to explore now and so curiosity has died down. At least, that's the impression. It prompts me to ask Lynne Kirwan if she has detected an upsurge in interest in what she does. 'It is difficult to say,' she says. 'I have been doing this full-time for 25 years so there has always been a high level of interest.'

Lynne is director of the Birmingham Astrological Centre and has run her own astrological consultancy business, AstroRainbow, for 20 years.

She has taught psychological and spiritual astrology for Birmingham Adult Education since 1982, running an average of seven courses a week for 20 years in schools and colleges all over Birmingham. That is some level of interest. Lynne sees herself as a modern day wisdom teacher.

'I do regard myself as a spiritual signpost,' she explained. 'Spirituality to me is getting to know those parts of yourself and others that are not physical. Spirituality has always been part of our lives, but we do seem to have lost that ability to care for ourselves and others in a spiritual way.

'I see my role as pointing people back in the right direction.'

Lynne specialises in karmic astrology, is a trained colour therapist and sacred circle dance teacher. She also has a background in transpersonal psychology, child psychology, counselling and past life therapy.

'What kick-started all this within me is discovering that we only ever use ten per cent of our brain power,' she continued. 'I wanted to know what was happening with the other 90 per cent.'

Similarly, Peter Dawkins has studied many ancient philosophies and beliefs to help create Zoence - a modern development and interpretation of early cosmological and geomantic science and art. It invites comparisons with Chinese feng-shui and Indian vastuvidya but, as it is grounded in the cultural and spiritual traditions of the West, it is possibly more suited to the western psyche, culture and environment.

Peter, who runs an organisation teaching Zoence from his home in rural Warwickshire, describes it as a science and art of living in harmony with ourselves and the environment - or, knowing the right thing to do in the right place, at the right time, and with the right orientation.

Like Lynne, he believes it is difficult to pigeonhole spirituality. 'What we are talking about is a way of life that is not as orthodox as, for example, being a member of a church,' he said.

'I was brought up as a Christian and I still consider myself to be one, but not in the sense of worshipping a personality.

'I do not like personality adulation, or the teaching that Jesus was God and no-one else can reach that pinnacle. It is the same with other religions.'

More convinced by the importance of wisdom than the official doctrine of the various religions, Peter started to study the ancient philosophies and cultures that taught universal lessons.

It was also here that he started to finds answers and explanations to the visions he had received since childhood.

Peter trained and worked as an architect for ten years, a role which taught him the importance of environment and how it impacts on us every minute of every day - something the ancient cultures had also known.

There are set stages we have to go through, based on natural laws and principles which, when successfully applied, are said to bring health, prosperity and happiness to both man and nature.

Peter is also a leading light of the Francis Bacon Trust, which researches and provides education in the philosophy, life and works of Sir Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, the Rosicrucians and other key exponents of the Ancient Perennial Wisdom.

'We are governed by various abstract cycles and certain things will happen which we cannot do anything about,' he continued. 'But there are so many others because we have the choice and we have the freedom to make changes.'

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Life, the universe and everything can be explained
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 13, 2004
Words:733
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