by Floria Thames
…a writer and artist… only occasionally, otherwise too busy with merciless day jobs.
Note from Ellis: Floria sent me this article before Christmas. Unfortunately being without internet till now, I’ve not been able to publish it. Enjoy…it’s great!
It was the end of 2008 and my daughter got on the phone. “Who will you spend your New Year’s Eve with?” she asked. “With Arthur Guirdham” I replied. As it happened, I had just purchased another book by Dr. Guirdham and I was planning to delight in it through the bank holidays. Little did I know that my cagey, ‘unassuming’ joke was to prove downright prophetic in no time. I opened the TV program and what do I see? Not one hour too soon, not one minute too late, a Channel 4 documentary about MY Secret Hero (himself a secret to just about the whole world, until now) was scheduled at 9 pm sharp, on 31st December 2008. Could I be dreaming? The “disclosure” is finally taking place? The wall of silence is coming down? Reason to celebrate?
To describe it better, I need to go back in time, and spray the past with my present awareness, like with a contrast dye, so that when I x-ray my life, the pointers on my path will shimmer and become visible. With my then-awareness, I could not see them.
We all know that feeling when, after many years, we look back and we realise that our entire life, since early childhood, unknowingly, prepared us for a certain event, a certain encounter, experience, knowledge, achievement or role. Or disaster, like in Thomas Hardy’s “Convergence of the Twain”: “Till the Spinner of the Years said “Now!”
Sometimes years after years and decades after decades seem to pass and lead to nothing much, the Spinner of the Years stubbornly refuses to say “Now!” and you wonder, what on earth were you born for? So let’s put it this way: if my only achievement on this 3D planet would have been to discover and read all Arthur Guirdham’s books, this in itself would have redeemed the void, the absurdities, the pain and the disasters. Of course, Faith is also required. Love too. But for me, I need more than love and faith to be able to hold on. Like the Cathars, I must have the Gnosis.
It was 9th March 1991 when I arrived in England, with a ferry from Ostend to Dover. In passing, “The Jungle” was not yet at Calais, of course, and I was a fairly unnoticeable (legal) migrant; who, 24 years later (and not any longer in England) is looking back at that day and sees it shimmering as Arthur’s last birthday.
Time went by and, in 1996 I went to the National Theatre to see a Ken Campbell play, one of his incredibly original and ground-breaking one-man shows: “Violin Time: or The Lady from Montségur“. It was a period when I used to go to all Ken’s plays, “Mysterious Bruises” being another one which triggered my own “open period”. God bless you wherever you are now, Ken, as you brought joy and enlightenment to others.
So. The play was brilliant, it moves me and inspires me to this day. But on that day in 1996, in the National Theatre foyer, there was a stand with books on Cathars, and other topics, connected to the show and I remember buying some; but I also wrote down two other titles I meant to order later: “We Are One Another” (I liked the ring of that) and “Cathars and Reincarnation” by “one” Dr. Arthur Guirdham. I misspelled Guirdham (I keep that note). Then, came spring 2007 and, for some reason, I decided to order those particular two titles I had written down 11 years ago. After reading them in a trance, many more books followed. I was, maintaining the proportions, like Henry Lincoln discovering Rennes-le-Château secrets, who, himself, had invoked Howard Carter’s Aha moment. I was starting to live again. I was onto something BIG. Why isn’t everybody talking about Arthur Guirdham? (Luke 4:24 “Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country”). Anyway, accepted as prophet or not, I did not know ANYTHING about the author.
It’s December 2015 as we speak. But back then, it was 2007 and 2008. Googled right and left, back and front and nothing, no info whatsoever. Found this one though:
…yet, can’t remember exactly when the actual answer was posted (surely, this showed there were other people, not just me, interested in knowing some basics). No such thing as a Wikipedia page until May 2010. What I do remember though, is that, for a frustratingly long time, I didn’t even know if the author of these trail-blazing books was “dead or alive”, let alone other biographical fineries.
So, no trace of Dr Guirdham, in here or in the beyond. No net resources, no reviews, no photographs, no film footage, no voice files, no obituary, no nothing, all records gone. It felt sort of like Sandra Bullock in “The Net”. In this state of fumbling in the dark, the fateful documentary surreally got scheduled on Channel Four. Wow. Waited for it with bated breath, recorded it too, so that I could watch it over and over again (only that it soon became obvious, there was no need for that).
It was so disconcerting for me to see how, without any of the two presenters batting an eye, Arthur’s lifelong work and research were trivialised, reduced to soap opera, and he himself was described as “a nutter attracting other nutters” (especially infatuated women patients).
Let me make a due amendment that, on one level, I sort of found passable watching this “docudrama”. For a New Year’s Eve TV viewing at 9 pm, when most people had a few (drinks) already, it’s only predictable to be offered a mix of entertainment (what else) with a little dose of detective story, spooky special effects, medieval horror and “scientific research”. Tony Robinson: he is très sympa, a bit like John Sergeant in “Strictly”, you’re left with no choice but to like him, whatever he does or he doesn’t do. I was not familiar with Becky McCall though. Notwithstanding, she turned out to be pleasantly decorative, with her melancholic big eyes and enigmatic Mona Lisa smile. It was the tried and tested formula, the couple of investigators, à la Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in “Lethal Weapon”, even more fittingly, Scully and Mulder in “X-Files” (well, sort of).
For one thing, I did not quite understand Becky’s job title: “scientific journalist” (what does this actually mean?) But not to worry, I was reassured by Tony, from the very beginning, that, “she is very, very bright and very sceptical, which is probably a good thing”. (why “probably”? – but never mind, they were ‘probably’ just supposed to read a bright script with an entertaining intonation…and hopefully, the professionals did the real job, based on some homework.
No such joy. The mental health professionals advanced the idea of “Folie à deux”, adopted with candid zeal by Tony and Becky (maybe because the term sounded posh). In fact, the term means something totally different, and I recommend its explanation from “The Psyche in Medicine“, pages 181-182, by the very man accused to have suffered from it. A more appropriate terminology would have been “Psychic Ignition” – and Dr. Guirdham’s entire book “Silent Union – A Record of Unwilled Communication” was dedicated to this phenomenon.
And, LOL, the trip to Toulouse, for spending 30 minutes in the world of academia! I guess a trip to South of France is usually a good thing (reminds me of Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Lost in France’) but seriously now, did they really need to verify Arthur Guirdham’s findings, as if they could double-check in 30 mins what he researched for many years in the Inquisition archives, in historical resources and through lengthy correspondences with historians? Did they just want to (casually) make sure he didn’t grossly mislead us? Sometimes you just have to take someone’s word for it, when that someone already wrote the books he wrote – the problem is: you have to READ (maybe all) those books first, not just the odd paragraph. Talking of reading: in the credits, “Bibliothèque de Toulouse” was spelled “Bibliotechque” – I know, I am nitpicking and mean-spirited here, I make spelling mistakes too (this is why I will never be offered a job in television).
Not lightly, but in the end I could get over my G.P.S. (grammar pedantry syndrome). However, there was something else which got the better of me: not once, but twice, in the documentary, it was clearly stated that Arthur died in 1991. I looked it up on the Internet, and found an Ancestry site, with Cumberland families, including Arthur Guirdham’s, and his d.o.d. was entered as 2nd February 1992. Who was right?
I wanted to understand why such a prestigious Channel Four production, with a crème de la crème research team, would come up with something so blatantly inaccurate. Not just the d.o.d. but portraying one of the greatest British geniuses of all times (who could easily belong at least in the same league with William Blake), in a batty, wacky, dubious light, smirking at his life-long achievements – and it just so happened that he was my hero (even though I had no idea what he looked like). I took it personally that New Year’s Eve and, in early January I started to write – politely – to people and institutions I thought would know about Arthur’s life. When did he really “die”? Where is his obituary? Where can one find more resources to research? Why doesn’t he have at least a Wikipedia page? Are there any scholars who have studied his work? Just maybe some scholars-to-be wrote their PhD theses about him? I attempted to approach those who I hoped could answer my questions, and some who probably even met the great man. Some replied, some didn’t.
Maybe I shouldn’t have insisted, but I did – it’s fait accompli now. I’m not sorry – unless I hurt some sensitivities along the way, which I did not mean to and I apologise – but I wanted to stir-up people into acknowledging this unique, fantastic legacy, key to the universe, left unnoticed on their own doorstep. Stop obsessing about Jung, Adler and Freud, guys…For heaven’s sake, YOU HAVE ARTHUR GUIRDHAM! Conversely, through enquiring about Arthur I had the chance to connect with a few wonderful people and this in itself has been a great honour (thank you, you know who you are, in this world and, by now, in the next).
I started with the Royal College of Psychiatrists – where he had been a member for many years. After a few e-mails, a very nice and helpful clerk informed me that, because Dr. Guirdham stopped paying his membership fee (he would, wouldn’t he, if he wasn’t around any more! I suspect I would have done the same) his file has been deleted. Unfortunately, no information at all about him is kept on record. I was only asking about his d.o.d., nothing else.
R.C.P., you’re kidding me, right? I know a thing or two about data bases and there are such things as “active” and “passive” records. If someone as prominent and distinguished in his field as Dr. Arthur Guirdham sadly passed away and thus stopped paying his membership fee, surely his details can be logged into the passive section. Why everything about him should be totally removed? Obviously, it’s not about the people working there, it’s about the system, which is run by those “principalities” (they – we – know who they are – too).
There is one false adage around (among many others): “Nobody came back from the dead to tell us about the other side” – or variations on this nonsense. Not just one or a few, but many men and women have come back from the so called “dead”, over many centuries and they have told us things. À bon entendeur, salut! It’s only that the establishment does not want us to pay any attention. Dr. Arthur Guirdham (otherwise Oxford trained, Senior Psychiatrist Consultant) had an unparalleled, privileged access to this disputed source of knowledge. He was able to receive information from the other realms, communicated by (clearly identified by him) beings who had left the incarnation cycle and whose levels of vibration were very high. Last but not least, after more than 30 years of working as a NHS psychiatrist in Bath, Dr Guirdham saw (first hand) evil and possession at work in humans. The Powers That (Shouldn’t) Be don’t like the word “POSSESSION” anywhere near when it comes to mental illness. They only like a lot of expensive and harmful medication and institutionalised patients. Even the (anything but mainstream) “New Humanity” journal was stating in their Tribute: “Not many journals wanted to publish Arthur Guirdham. They feared that they would be accused of being “politically incorrect” which for them was socially unacceptable. We, at “The New Humanity” were more spiritually honest.”
Unfortunately, the Cathars “Who’s Who” remains the most appealing part of Arthur’s perceived legacy. This is a great shame, as there are other worlds (including our most intimate), which would blow our mind, if discovered in his books. Nonetheless, even this “medieval reincarnation” side of things gets unintentionally misconstrued even by Arthur’s most sincere fans. It gets a bit messy and confusing when readers go only for those paragraphs with glamorous personages, eagerly recognising themselves and their loved ones in them, in a New Age pick-and-mix style, overlapping and entangling mistaken identities, names and time-lines. I found ever so refreshing what (the late) Roger J. Woogler Ph.D. wrote about his own “very unglamorous past life” during the Albigensian crusade:
Attached here is a highly useful table from “The Lake and the Castle“, a ‘must’, to be consulted before venturing into any personal projections and assumptions. And anyway, to be occasionally referred to when reading (ideally) ALL Arthur’s books.
This posting has neither the format, nor the context, to go into “everything you need to know about Arthur Guirdham” – it would be impossible and amateurish. Although, some amateurs are often-times (not always) way better than the so called “professionals” in tackling controversial topics. The great irony is that Dr. Guirdham was NOT an amateur and yet, he is treated like one.
So I will end my ranting with some personal (incomplete and abridged) conclusions. Despite the Cathars signature and hallmark, the most decisive incarnation of Arthur was during the Eleusinian Mysteries, described in “The Island” (1980).
This was a long, long time ago (13th century Before Christ) in Creta, and Arthur was as evolved as in the 20th century. This exposes the hogwash that claims that we are here to “learn”. He didn’t come back in so many arduous incarnations to “learn”, but to suffer, to take the world’s pain upon himself. His name then was Milas, Betty’s was Electra, and Clare Mills was Daria. This was the blue-print for all their incarnations to come. Arthur and Betty, the so-called predestined “twin-souls” in New Age lingo, were never “happy”, never fulfilled or victorious against circumstances. Electra (alias Camillia, alias Brigida, alias Hélis de Mazerolles, alias Henri A. and alias Betty) and Milas (aka Berenice, aka Mercantius, aka Roger-Isarn de Fanjeaux, aka Raymond Guirdaud and aka Arthur Guirdham) were never “together as a couple”. Maybe we should change our fairy-tales’ artificial paradigms. In fact, fairy-tales are sinister stories anyway (see “The Little Girl with the Matchsticks” (by the way, merry Christmas you all) or “Red Riding Hood“, you name them).
Arthur Guirdham was more than a fad for reincarnationists and Cathars enthusiasts. More than an outstanding doctor and psychiatrist. More than a Gnostic philosopher, a therapist, a psychic and a mystic. He came to this plane over an over again to do the dirty work of Christ, like some of us are called to do, and to also write his books, to let us all know what we’re in for. Times and times again he did not want to write any more, he wanted to stop. But the “revenants“, the “returned”, as he called them – you know, those people who died and never came back to tell us how it is, somehow, despite his will, persuaded him to carry on writing, as there will soon come a day when these things will become extremely important.
I found it very difficult too to write this article, I feel it went all over the place, sometimes not in the best of places. And I regret it is not the tip-top piece of writing I would have liked it to be. Arthur’s books are not an easy read either (no comparison here, just noticing the blockages and the adversities always in the way of making the important things acknowledged and understood). But, à la guerre, comme à la guerre, we have to make do.
Quotes from Dr. Arthur Guirdham:
From “For a Message” – Watkins – London 1974, chapter IV
“All the deep loves of life are not only unconscious but anonymous. I am loved by a woman who died in Ephesus and a beggar unborn in a New York slum. Sometimes I am closer to and more loved by the dead than the living. When we talk of love we think of the highest individualisation of which we are capable. What we do not know is that our deepest loves are for those divested of personality”.
From “Paradise Found. Reflections on Psychic Survival” – Turnstone Press Limited, 1980
“There are individuals and families prone to disaster, in the form of death, disease or tragedy of some kind. It is significant that, in particular, persons prone to disaster are often exceptionally good people who least of all merit the tortures they endure. Does a person contrive his own hell because his capacity to emanate goodness attracts towards him the forces and agents of darkness as a magnet attracts iron fillings? Or one’s hell might originate in past incarnations”. page 27
“It is a toxic lie in the soul, poisoning our deepest tissues, to believe we make our own hells. This is a lie engendered by priestly and secular pundits to hide the fact that, through no fault of our own, we are involved in a pattern we cannot alter, that in our darkest moments this pattern appears to us a trap and a predicament, but nevertheless, it is the destiny of each one of us to make our way through it. […] Whatever our aptitudes we go on reincarnating until we have learnt finally, by the multiplicity of our pains and the subtleties of our joys, that we would be better off elsewhere.” page 34
“In the meantime we are in hell”. page 13
From “The Island” – Neville Spearman (Jersey) Ltd – 1980
“…do what I might, I was destined to receive into my heart the spears of the world’s evil. I knew I had done it in the high temple so many hundreds of years back, that it was given to me to absorb in my being the evil and tension that made others sick, and, under the beautiful, indifferent moon, I was afraid but in a distant and impersonal way because I knew that there was nothing I could do to avoid it.” page 92
“After that there was nothing in the cave but an unbreathing darkness and the conviction, almost concrete, that I was an instrument designed to draw all the evil of the world upon myself and that it was concentrated on me in this moment. Now I was beyond the grip of the Furies. The fall of Orpheus has been easier. He had only suffered at the hands of possessed human entities. I felt all the darkness in the world running through my veins instead of blood. Then suddenly, simply, with a great heave of the earth, in which sound, like a great curse, replaced the force of evil, the night came down and the world had ended”. pages 172-173
From “A Foot in Both Worlds. A Doctor’s Autobiography of Psychic Experience” – C.W. Daniel Company Limited 1991
“You can love those you have never met. I was haunted by these words. Then I told myself that it was all very beautiful but a little unreal. I did not know that her words were prophetic and that what she said would be proved within a year”. – page 144
“I did not know that the battle between good and evil is at its most intense on the psychic plane. Nor did I know the deeper truth that for all those with psychic endowments there is a moment when good and evil converge on the opening psyche. When it first spread its wings, the vultures gather. In the first light of goodness we are blinded by our emergence from matter. Then a shadow sweeps the sky. The force of evil descends to strike before the soul has taken flight. I did not know that I have now moved to the plane where Dualism operates at its maximum. Because of my out-of-body-experiences I had become a sensitised battleground for good and evil. I was living the Dualist conception of man as the reflection in miniature of the macrocosm. The battle in my own heart was identical with that in the universe. […] The Cathar in me was coming to the surface”. – pages 41-42
From “Silent Union. A Record of Unwilled Communication” by Francis Eaglesfield (A.G.’s pseudonym) – London Stuart & Watkins 1966
“I cannot discuss here the mechanism whereby the torment of years can cease after a single meeting with another being. I can only say that if the relief is to be immediate, as in a case like D’s, you must encounter the right being and probably only one exists for you. By right being one means not anyone specially gifted, or with great skill and insight. The person you meet you must have met before and suffered with, or from, or even caused to suffer. Of course, if you meet a saint or a great healer, your nightmares may cease, like any other torments, suddenly, completely, like the stopping of a clock. But when symptoms cease on meeting such as I, the sufferer is depending on the impact of two psyches which have met before and have still something to say to each other”. page 76
“For such things to happen is wonderful. You must be thankful for them and forget them as quickly as possible. Just one or two, that’s enough for a lifetime”. “Why?” “Because a single such experience goes on and on. It reverberates throughout the world. Just one full contact and the good which arises from it is endless.” “You really believe that such contact can spread?” “It can keep on spreading. It can go on forever”. page 47
THANK YOU, ARTHUR