This book was inspired by a dream that refused to go away.
In 2005 my wife Kathleen and I took a vacation on the Caribbean Island of St. Martin, a place that is a delightful mixture of French culture and Dutch enterprise. After our third night there I woke up in the morning with the vivid memory of a strange dream. A beautiful “being’’ bathed in wondrous light appeared and spoke to me. His presence filled me with awe, especially as he seemed to know all about my hopes, feelings and desires. We spoke together for some time and it was he who gave me the insight that you see above: “You are the result of what you think and what you eat.” He then suggested that I needed to find out more about the significance of those words in my own life, and that I should share my insights with the world.
But this wasn’t the first time that I had encountered the idea. I had read of it before in a book about the American psychic, Edgar Cayce, famed as the “sleeping prophet”. The words were from one of the thousands of readings that Cayce gave while in trance states, states in which he received information from spirit. “We are what we think and what we eat,” emphasizes both the power of the mind to create an individual’s reality and the responsibility we all bear to take good care of our bodies. Cayce taught that the body is “the temple of God”. He and his followers believed that the source of those particular insights was Jesus Christ.
All of Cayce’s readings are still available in a library maintained by the A.R.E. (Association for Research and Enlightenment) located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This organization has been in existence since 1932 and is still very much active today. I will discuss its work more fully at a later stage in the book when I describe my near-death experience. I’ll just say for now that the A.R.E. helped me to make sense of what I had gone through. And perhaps the roots of my St. Martin dream flowed, at least partly, from that life-changing event.
In the morning after this dream I had the urge to explain it all to Kathleen, my wife. She didn’t laugh or tell me I was crazy, she was just very puzzled – as was I. But after that we both filed the dream away in the backs of our minds and got on with our lives. Everyday routines and the pressing business of making a living took over, as they always do. But the dream was not willing to forget about us. It returned every month, repeating the same message: I needed to reflect on the importance of our food and our thoughts, and to share my insights with the world.
Then I began to rationalize the experience away. I decided that it was a sort of ‘wrong number’, a perfectly good dream for someone, but clearly not meant for me. After all, literature and writing were never my strong suits, even in my native France. And here in Canada, with English not being my native language, the idea of writing a book seemed even more ridiculous. None of this mattered to the dream. It continued to return every month like clockwork. Finally one night, I decided to stop arguing, and said that I would accept the suggestion and try to write the book. But I insisted that I get help so that I wouldn’t make a fool of myself. I was told that as I went along everything would fall into place and that no one is ever alone. All I had to do was honestly observe my life experiences and report truthfully what I learned.
But before I could begin I had to ask myself if I saw any basis for hope, both for myself, and all of humanity. What must we do in order to evolve spiritually? We are told that the present millennium is destined to be a time of spiritual awakening. But this is difficult to believe when all we see around us is human short-sightedness and the endless repetition of harmful acts. I asked to be guided and pleaded to be made worthy of such an undertaking.
Even so, I began by doubting everything, and constantly procrastinating. Many years went by in this way until one day in 2008 I found myself resenting my work as a chef for the first time, work that until then had always been a source of great pleasure and satisfaction. The very next day I woke up with painful shingles on both sides of my body, and also on my chest and back. Yet I still went to work and kept on going. My reasoning was that I had “much to do’’.
It seems that at your soul level or that of your sacred self, all is possible. In my case my spirit had clearly decided to give me a wakeup call. Since I hadn’t been listening to the message from my dream – that I was supposed to be writing a book – something had to be done to get my attention. But of course I still kept on working. So I received another reminder. This time the pain in my body was dramatically increased. Both ankles swelled up and turned a dark red, and being on my feet as my job demands, became agonizing.
I did call a dear friend, who is also a chef, to help me finish the next day’s work as I had made a commitment that I felt I should respect. But as soon as the preparation was done, I went to the local hospital. I was barely able to walk. The nice doctor was puzzled by the overall picture and asked for a long list of tests to be done. He finally sent me home late at night, but I was given no pills or treatment of any kind since the results of the tests were not yet available. I was to see my own private family doctor the next day and he would decide what course to take once he had received the test results from the hospital.