The following is a transcript of the discussion between Younus AlGohar, Steve Bell and Hugh Reilly at the ThatChannel.com HQ.
Hugh Reilly (H): Hey everybody, it is me, Hugh, with Liquid Lunch. This is actually a surprise get-together today. We have HH Younus AlGohar and Steve Bell from the Messiah Foundation UK. You guys were going to go to Edmonton – which is a real journey from Toronto, since you were going to drive there – but I heard the weather was bad and it is really no fun driving the snow.
It is great to have you here. We had the [Unitarian Spiritualism] event on October 29th at the Steelworkers Hall. Really, I guess the message that you are bringing is unitarian spirituality: we’re all human beings and we have to learn to get along with one another and that’s what we are trying to do.
Let’s talk about what true spirituality is.
Who makes a good spiritual leader?
Steve Bell (S): True spirituality is regarding the spirits. It is to do with the spirits. His Holiness Younus AlGohar quite clearly says that we have seven souls in our body. And spirituality is all about reawakening those souls. For those souls, they can visit their respective realms once they have been regenerated with divine energy.
Not all the souls are positive; they all have different functions. We very clearly have a negative soul in us; when we are born, this negative soul is active which is why we find it so easy to hate; negatively comes very easily to human beings. The positive, loving side, takes a bit of work.
His Holiness often says, ‘It is very easy to hate and you don’t need to learn how to hate. But to learn to love, you have to make a bit of effort.’
You always have to tell a child to share a toy. It is quite in the nature to be negative.
True spirituality is reawakening those spirits and souls. [The way] is not by reading books or going to worship places. The only way you can reawaken those souls is through a true spiritual master. A true spiritual master will reawaken your souls for you. It is not just a pipe dream; you can feel the presence in your heart. After some time, you can feel yourself becoming a better, more loving, human being.
A true Spiritual Master is somebody that can unlock that door and open your heart and souls.
H: You got me curious: what are the seven souls? You mentioned they’re not all positive and there are some negative ones in there.
S: The [Spiritual Heart] is the key to connect with God. Once the heart reawakens, that is how you can communicate with God.
We’re not against any religion, as we have said many times before. But we are not in the business of worshipping God; our business is loving God.
We teach people how they can love God through the connection of their heart. So that’s the main soul [that we focus on]. The other souls have different functions in the breast; they also need divine energy to do what they’re supposed to do.
Once that first step has been taken and they’re reawakened, then they know exactly what they’re supposed to do.
The heart was given to us to love God. It doesn’t need to be taught that. Our spiritual master, His Divine Eminence Gohar Shahi, says it beautifully that once that heart awakens, it is like a chick waking up. You don’t have to teach that chick how to chirp. It already knows how to do it.
Once your heart reawakens, it already knows how to worship God because that’s what it was there for. You feel so joyful after you have that [Opening of the Spiritual Heart].
H: You’ve had that experience?
As we’ve mentioned before about love, once you have God’s love inside your heart, then you start to see everybody else as having that same love of God. You cannot hate that person. You feel unification, which is what we are talking about.
H: This is one of the things that you do. In fact, I saw you on the 29th giving [the Opening of the Spiritual Heart] to a woman who came up.
S: There were other people who didn’t want to come up [to the stage] but they wanted a bit of a private session [for the Opening of the Spiritual Heart]. They took the name Allah Hu. It is about getting that name into the heart; it doesn’t matter what you use to call upon God because once [the name of your preference] enters the heart, that is what does all the work. They felt straight away their heart beating and warmth in their heart. Quite a few people took that on [the day of the Unitarian Spiritualism programme].
H: A lot of people talk about spirituality. What is the importance of spirituality in religions?
Younus AlGohar (Y): As far as my understanding is concerned, I see religion as a physical exercise of different rituals. You worship God with your body. Whereas spirituality is about enlightenment of the souls, strengthening them, making a spiritual journey, arriving at a destination in the ethereal world (which is not this phenomenal world).
It is interesting how the Gospel of Thomas talks about the Kingdom of God that Jesus promises to his disciples. I want Brother Steve to comment on what Jesus [meant] when he said, ‘I will take you to a world which eyes have ever dreamt of and no hearts have every desired.’
H: That’s interesting because the Gospel of Thomas is not part of Bible, but they call it the apocryphal text. Steve, are you familiar with this?
S: Yes, I’m very familiar with this. It talks about love and spirituality which is not always what the church wants us to learn. They’re very much into dogmas.
H: I guess Constantine wanted that book buried, right?
S: Right. Once you have that divine energy, when you read such scriptures, you have to have more of an understanding of it. Jesus did say to his followers, ‘I promise you a kingdom that no eye has seen, and no ear has heard of.’
If you really look into that and think about it, there were prophets before: Abraham and Moses came and spoke about God’s kingdom and told people how to get to God’s kingdom.
Jesus, when he came, he told them, ‘It is a place you’ve never heard of or seen.’
He was talking about his own kingdom. Another very important work we do is showing people the path to Jesus through this [Opening of the Spiritual Heart]. Jesus is actually here and he is gathering his people. He is letting their souls mingle with his. Again, it is not a worship, it is love – a connection.
H: That is an interesting distinction: you’re not worshipping, you’re loving. Arguably, I guess this is what the message of Jesus was.
S: We were in Mexico City last week. There were well over 800 people who are Catholics or were Catholics (but it never really leaves you, does it?). When we said that, there was a huge relief and cheer that we were talking about making the heart the worship place and that you don’t have to go to churches. We [told them], ‘We are not going to show you pictures of Jesus suffering on the cross. We are going to show you the true image of Jesus – the live image of Jesus.’
I think this is what people want to hear. I think they’re a bit fed up.
H: These days, it seems to me that people are possibly fed up with their religions – but they’re also possibly concerned about the directions things are headed in the world. We’ve got terrorism – Islamic and otherwise.
Y: But the thing is, do we not need to find out: what could be the reason why people are fed up with their religions?
Y: And then why [this is happening to] a religion like Islam, which has been around for almost 15 centuries and produced wonderful spiritual leaders like Rumi, Shirazi, Hafiz and all these great Sufis who only talked about love and brotherhood. They never promoted hatred; they mingled with followers of every religion and never talked about exclusion. Then suddenly, we have this in front of us where people are saying, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ and there is a bomb blast.
This is scary. Some people will jump to conclusions that Islam is teaching all this hatred. Some others have reservations and some others are confused. But the thing is: how, having served humanity for the past 14 centuries, has Islam been dragged to a position where people don’t want to hear the world, Islam?
To my understanding, it happens when spirituality is taken off religion – when people lose connection with God. When people do not know how to revive the human instincts and human characteristics in them that, of course, are adhered to the souls and spirits, not to the body. The body is just a container.
If the soul inside the body is pure, the body will act pure.
If the soul inside the body is impure, then obviously these things will happen. This is the case with every single religion today. Since they divorced spirituality from the religions, religions have lost their systems of spiritual enlightenment.
We need to understand that spirituality is the core of every religion.
When spirituality is separated from a religion, what is happening in the name of Islam right now is what will happen.
S: We recognise that this battle that is going on is not between Christians and Muslims; it is about love and hate. There were two cases in the news just last week: Jihadi Jack and the White Widow. I mean, they’re saying that they’re being attracted to Islam, but they’re not being attracted to the loving, tolerant teachings of Sufism. They’re being attracted to the hardline, hateful Wahhabis. They’re being attracted to hate; they’re not being attracted to love.
We’re building on the love side and telling people, ‘This is a big cover-up. This is not about religion. This is about the great divide on the end of love and hate.’
H: Sometimes I think somebody has got an agenda to just divide people. I know you travel the world trying to spread the message of love and spirituality. The kind of hate you just mentioned where people do commit acts of terrorism or are about to hurt other people – how can you root that out?
Y: We can only do something partially. For example, the youth who haven’t been yet affected by radicalisation, we can give them the right interpretation of their religion. We can tell them, ‘No, [the meaning of the holy text that the extremists give you is not true]. This is not what it means.’
We need to nip the devil in the bud. When they have already been radicalised, then you can’t root that out from their lives. They’re gone, they’re history. They’ll do what they want to do.
In order to be able to have a good society in the future, we need to work on the youth, not these people who have already been indoctrinated into hatred. Nothing can be done about them, honestly.
H: I agree with that. You try to reach young people, but then you may not reach everybody. Maybe some of those people [you influence] will reach such people.
Y: Of course. But we should do whatever we can do. Whatever is humanly possible.
H: Yeah. We are very fortunate, we live in prosperous, Western countries. But some people, even though they have all the luxuries of life, they are lacking inner peace. Is there anything we can do about that?
S: Inner peace is all to do with the restlessness of the heart and souls. The whole purpose of coming in this world, we say, is that you should reconnect your souls with God.
You should manage to reawaken your souls. Everybody in their life gets the chance to do that. It is about grabbing that chance. Once that energy enters your heart, then the restlessness goes.
You can see so many people converting from one religion to another. We spoke about the importance of religions [during the programme]. Do we need religions? Another problem is that when people do leave religions, they can join some self-concocted following. We’ve travelled quite a lot to mind, body and soul expos. The things that you see there are just unbelievable. You know, hair reading, palm reading, etc.
H: I guess that won’t work for everybody!
S: Yeah, it won’t work for everybody. Chakras is another word [for spirits]. They talk about balancing the chakras. They do all sorts of things to balance these chakras and it can work temporarily. There is energy everywhere, so you’ll feel some temporary energy but it is not serving that purpose. That is why people are still going to be restless; they will be going for more top-ups of these sessions.
It is not just about balancing the chakras. They need to be reawakened and energised with divine energy. Then, people won’t be going back to these places and spending their hard-earned money. Spirituality is free; it is from God.
You shouldn’t have to pay money to connect yourself to God.
H: For people watching this right now, what would you advise them to do to deal with these issues? I really think that people do have a need for some kind of connection to the divine. If they don’t get that, you have got to find an outlet somehow – so what do you recommend?
S: To connect to God, you have to find a spiritual master – somebody who has got power and authority. You can’t just do it by reading books; you could watch somebody fly a plane your whole life [but] it won’t allow you to fly that plane. Similarly, you need somebody how to teach you how to reawaken your heart and souls. You need a divine, spiritual master who will connect you with God and reawaken your souls.
H: Do we know anybody who fits that description?
S: We know somebody who is very close by.
S: This is the beauty of our message. It has been made so simple. You don’t have to leave your workplace, family or opt out of society to join the spiritual path. You can quite simply go on TheAwaitedOne.com or GoharShahi.us. You can go to YouTube – we have AlRa TV.
So you can go on there. Every evening at 10 PM GMT, His Holiness does speeches. He explains further teachings of spirituality. He teaches the youth [and started an initiative known as Young Sufis of Great Britain]. He will answer any questions submitted there. The beauty of this is that you don’t have to watch it live; you can check them out anytime on YouTube.
You can go to the website and look at the true images of HDE Gohar Shahi and Jesus Christ. You can just ask for your heart to be opened.
H: You can do it on the website?
S: You can do it on the website, just looking at those images. Another option is that you can look at the Full Moon, where we say that the image of HDE Gohar Shahi and Jesus are prominent – and you can ask directly to the Moon.
H: Really? Okay. When is the next Full Moon?
Y: I want to say something.
I reflect on this point: if God really wanted us to kill people, and this is how we will make him happy, then by doing this, everybody will be dead. Who will go into the temples and mosques? This is so silly.
[Some individuals] claim to adhere to some religion and they don’t practise or understand that religion, yet somehow, they want to sacrifice their lives and claim others’ lives. What is the driving force? What is the benefit of doing this? This is crazy. It doesn’t make sense to me.
H: No, it doesn’t make sense. But it still happens. What would you do about it though?
Y: I really am dazzled and boggled. I do not know how to go about it. I can only reach out to the youth and tell them, ‘Look this is not exactly what God wants from you. You want to love everybody and respect everybody.’
If you think God wants you to kill everybody, I don’t think I should believe in such a God.
H: We’re talking about a universal spirituality, in a sense. As a counter-action to a religion or religious institution that’s gotten into a state where they’re preaching a misguiding philosophy of hate (that sometimes happen in religions where they’ve gotten that negative message). It also seems to me today that there seems to be a growing sense of atheism. Maybe more in the West than elsewhere.
Y: What do you expect from people when they practise a religion and they learn hatred – and they’re killing people in the name of God? This is what will happen: people will become atheists, obviously. People who are law-abiding citizens – who want peace in their lives and who don’t want hatred – they will think, ‘This crap is coming from God. We’re better off without not having God in our lives.’ This is why people are becoming atheists every day. I don’t blame them.
Reaching Out to Atheists
H: The message of universal spirituality – is that a message that can get through to atheists?
Y: If you are eating a rotten banana and your stomach is upset, the best possible solution that I can think of is to give you another fresh banana and tell you, ‘That one is going to make you ill. So take this banana [instead].’
If one philosophy of a religion is messed up and it has been adulterated on a larger scale where you can’t fix it, you better introduce a new philosophy: a philosophy of spirituality which can benefit you immediately.
When people have the counter-philosophy of divine love in front of them, probably, they will embrace it. We need to switch to spirituality from religions.
H: Let’s imagine for a second here that we are talking to an atheist. What message would you give that person?
Y: ‘Awaken your soul.’ Because you are not your body. You are more your soul. In order to reap the benefits of having a soul in your body, you need to enlighten your soul so that you can have all the power in you which is provided by your soul.
So to all the individuals who practise atheism, who do not believe in God: forget about believing in God. I want you to believe in yourself and be at your optimum. In order to be at your optimum, you need to at least revive your spiritual characteristics. That’s all. Simple.
H: We hear stories of people who are healed through their faith, spirituality or religion – even through divine energy. Can you talk a little bit about healing with divine energy?
S: As we said, negative energy is within us. We’re drawing in negative energies through everyday life – watching the television or even breathing the air. Once that negative energy attacks the cells, it causes whatever illness that you have. Even if it is an illness that is incurable medically, once the positive energy enters your veins, then that positive energy negates all the negative out. It will go straight into your blood system and become a healing process. Your heart will just generate divine energy continuously, even when you are sleeping. Throughout the whole day, you will be given this positive energy that just surrounds your body.
We’ve been very successful in spiritual healing.
H: Even with people that are, maybe, near the end? A fatal diagnosis?
S: Well, you’ve met Mir Ali quite a few times now. He was in quite a bad way in the UK. I think you’d be very surprised to see how he is now. We’ve had many people in these expos [who we healed].
A man, Joseph, at the New York Expo, was diagnosed with HIV. We did quite a lot of extensive healing on him. I returned to New York some months later and we did some more healing on him. The next time we saw him a year afterwards, he said he had the all-clear. That was quite remarkable.
There has been quite a lot of in Mexico queuing up to receive spiritual healing. Many hundreds of people came for healing in Mexico. People do recognise spiritual healing. Definitely for atheists, if they have tried God in other ways and it hasn’t worked for them, and they have given up on God – then why not try this? It is free! If you are taking medicine, you don’t know who made it, but you take it because you think it will work.
So we’re saying, ‘Just try it. Try another path. If you don’t believe the way to connect yourself to God was a religion, then try spirituality.’
H: People can go to the website and get the [Opening of the Spiritual Heart] through the website. How long are you in town for?
Y: We’ll be here another few days and then we will go back home to the UK.
H: So you have AlRa TV, which I know that you use to reach out [to people]. One of the things that you are doing that I am aware of is helping to deradicalise Islamic youth in the UK and elsewhere. What other kind of messages are you trying to get out through AlRa TV?
Y: This is a very hot issue right now. Every night when I speak at 10 PM UK time, people from all over the world send in their questions about the right interpretation [of their religion]. It is not just Muslims. They come from different religions.
H: Because this is a universal message.
Y: Yes. I reply to them in details. Most of these people are satisfied and then they change their ways. Many people, having listened to my lectures, have sort of shunned their radicalised intentions. They were regretting and saying that only God knows how they got into this [nonsense].
They are very much part of this love and peace movement now. So it is working. People from as far as Australia, Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Indian, Bangladesh and even Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia [are watching my videos]. A lot of young people between 17-25 years of age come to listen to my lectures from Saudi Arabia. The good thing is they’re changing and they’re really happy. They say that they never heard such a wonderful interpretation of their religion before. All they heard was aggression, revenge, taking over the world and putting up the flag [of Islam] in Washington DC – and [we told them], ‘No, it is not all about that, my friends!’
H: I’ve met some great people from Saudi Arabia and a couple of them were actually working here at the station. They were awesome.
Y: Good people are everywhere.
H: Exactly! And the stereotypes we hear only cause us to really misunderstand people. People are people no matter where they come from.
Y: There are more good people.
Good people have outnumbered bad people. But the thing is, good people are quiet and the bad people are noisy.
All we hear is the noise so we think, ‘Oh, the world is corrupt; everybody is bad.’ Every bad person is making noise and every good person is sitting quietly.
H: It only takes one bad apple to spoil a whole bunch.
Y: We need to root out that bad apple out!
H: You’re doing the speech every day. So you must always be writing and getting prepared.
Y: No, I don’t do it.
H: So it’s all spontaneous?
Y: It is intuitional and inspirational.
H: So do you know what your next topic will be?
Y: I don’t know, it depends on people. Whatever people ask, I just open my mouth and I speak, honestly.
H: It is probably divinely [inspired].
Y: I don’t know how it happens and where it comes from, but it happens. I speak and speak and they hear it.
H: It was great to have you here always! It has been great to have this conversation. I hope you have a great trip back to the UK and all the best with AlRa TV!