Hello Gerdean, Tootsie, Arcfixer, Coops, Hank & All
Ta stax for the welcome. I feel welcome
Gerdean asked "Where did you get such mastery of the English language? Is English the native tongue of South Africa?"
Thank you for the pleasant compliment - I mean, "mastery of the English language". But to answer your question: Under South Africa's old apartheid regime there were two official languages (presently we have eleven), namely Afrikaans (my mother-tongue) and English. By law all students (age 6-18 yrs) were compelled/obliged to study their mother-tongue on Higher Grade level and the second language (which was either Afrikaans or English) on what was referred to as a Standard Grade level. Pupils hailing from "indigineous" backgrounds received education in their mother-tongue … but was also forced to learn the two official languages … which resulted in Afrikaans being a neglected language by our new regime and struggling to survive … but that smacks of politics and I HATE politics
… Soooo … I think the above answer your question.
Yes, I get along very well with the English language, but as a typical Afrikaner, speaks it with a guttural accent. And of course, as you would have noticed from my posts so far, most of us get our tenses gloriously mixed up, as well as the prepositions (if we're not very careful) and that pesky "singular-S". When I'm busy with a translation (I'm a free-lance translator - English to Afrikaans - one of the many "things" I occupy myself with down here in the village) I give the task at hand all my linguistic attention. But when I'm rambling away I'm just NOT so attentive to grammar-and-such-likes, blundering along, happily chatting away in the hope that le message will hit home.
Gerdean said "I've made the internet acquaintance of a woman Urantia Book reader who lives in South Africa, about 30 kilometers east of Johannesburg, I think she said …"
Hmmm, maybe I know the woman as well. I mean, I think I've had email contact with her sometime during June, but that was it. Do not appear to me that she wants local contact. She told me that there was a small TUB-reader's group in Cape Town as well, but well, that was the first and last I've heard about that. I've formed the opinion that the contacts that was given me via American and Dutch readers, well, the prospective contactees don't want contact. POINT.
And that is how I eventually got registered on Truthbook. I've tried some others (all in lurk mode), daring once to poke my head out on a certain group by just posing a Urantia Boek-related question whereupon I've received a few great replies … but I don't like the general tone … anyway, I'm distracting myself. Happy to be here.
Gerdean: But how wonderful that the Urantia Book has made such inroads into a country so far away.
Hmmm (again) … Yes I agree with you. I'm just wondering most often than not exactly HOW MANY readers there are in South Africa? It is a vast country, and when considering the aspirant-contactees which were made available to me, well, I don't need both hands to finish the count (sigh). But on the other hand, each one to their own. I should be greatful for having a fellow "rookie"-discussion buddy right on my doorstep.
It's actually remarkable how he became interested in TUB - but that is a story for another chilly night around Truthbook-hearth …
When I consider myself and TUB, well-well, I'm just shaking my head this way and that way and smile with a deep, inner, and warm satisfaction.
For many years I've followed what you can call a nature-based spiritual path. PAGAN, to be blunt. Since 1987. I've been happy in my chosen path most often than not, but it wasn't the answer. As of late I have been more and more discontent. I think you could say that I got caught up in some kind of "existential crisis". Last year I gave Mormonism a good go. I purchased all purchaseable literature and subscribed for a year to all their magazines. Studies the Church's history and lurked on a discussion group … and read widely on the net. Eventually I made up my mind that the Mormon philosophy was not for me … a bit too way out and spaced-out for my liking, may I say, insulting to my lil intellect? I didn't renew my mag-subscriptions, and dropped the whole excersise as so much futility straight into my spiritual file 13.
Ah yes, during my spiritual lamentations I made contact with SDA as well as JW-groups (and lo! I even have a JW "fieldworking" lady on my tail right here in my very own village. (Talk about diversity in a micro-cosmos? Jissis!) Anyway (again), sometime during May this year I ended up in a situation where I literally sat with my head in my hands, just like the guy here at Truthbook whos icon whose icon shows same.
I needed to make contact with God (who or whatever she/he or it was/is/might be) With my head in my hands I was weeping uncontrollably, silently, very quiet so that no one could get the idea that I've moved into a mentally unstable mode (I guess I actually WAS rather unstable at that point in time). Everything seemed so futile and senseless and hollow and empty. While sniffing and snorting and blowing my nose, a word popped into my consciousness, bright and clear: URANTIA and THE BOOK OF URANTIA.
I know full well that the previous sentence above sounds a bit whacky and even, OCCULT? Let me explain. It wasn't the first time that I've heard the first word, and the second phrase was the way in which my mind remembered the book. During conscription (1986) I happened to have a buddy called Vic. Now Vic had another buddy whom I never met (where said buddy was in DB at that point in time). The guy who was in the detention barracks, well, his mom posted him the Big Blue Book with a hard cover. He was not allowed to have it in DB. So Vic ended up with it and, well, I ended up as Vic's sounding-board. The odd thing is that way back in 1986 the phrases Thought Adjuster (with which Vic was very much intrigued) and Paradise Father stuck in my subconscious. But I wasn't really impressed with the urantian-gospel-according-to-vic. He used to be smoked-up whenever he invited me to discuss "Urantia" with him, and, let me admit it, I used to get nicely smoked-up too whilst he was ranting and raving about the Paradise Trinity and Though Adjusters. I just listened zonked out of my mind … Forced conscription became bearable … So, that was my intro to TUB, and I forgot all about it for 20 years!
And now, during the month of May, there I sat extremely dissatisfied with life in general and myself in particular. But I knew there is so much more to it all … and, as I've said, the word URANTIA entered my consciousness. I "googled" the word, and life has never been the same. Unfortunately (or the opposite maybe) I ended up on a list where during that point of time the "Sources" was hot topic. Quite a heated debate it turned out to be, and there I was, caught up, in my brand new quest for sanity between the crossfire of the "believer" and "doubters". But I was determined not to be side-tracked. Iive waded through every conceivable website that was even remotely connected with the term URANTIA. I ordered my own TUB and … the rest is history … I think I've found the COMMUNITY I've been looking for.
As a parting shot (I'm typing during the wee-hours of the morning and soon it will be bread-kneeding-time) allow me to just mention the following i.c.w. what the Book did for me. I never had a good relationship with my late father. Somehow, whenever I was thinking about God, in a strange way I got my mortal father's personality mixed up with God. When I read that very first chapter in TUB, I cried again, but this time with overflowing joy. Everything I read just rang true and took root somewhere way-way down in my very being. God the FATHER became real to me! For the first time of my existence GOD WAS/IS A REALITY AS WELL AS A REAL FATHER. And the rest I was reading followed suit … I have never been so at peace with myself, my fellow humans, and the universe, as I am lately. I'm starting to experience that so-called Peace Beyond All Understanding as a reality. It needed the contents of TUB to give me a view of sanity in a world with all its differing viewpoints and isms and what nots gone mad.
I am so happy to know what I know since the message of TUB came into my sphere of existence. It even fills me with a kind of "missionary zeal" that I always detested in others. The message is just too awesome to keep to myself … It must be shared, and yes, I'm happy to say that I'm sharing it!