Is there more between heaven and earth than we can see?
I had finished my presentation on Diospi Suyana at the Gereformeerde Kerk Brunssum. At the door of the church I get chatting to Peter Kouwenhoven. It is very exciting what he tells me about his life. I get out my camera and take the above photo. The young pastor next to him knows Peter’s story well. “Could you email me a short version of your life-story?” I ask the Dutchman. Yesterday, seven weeks later, I receive Peter Kouwenhoven‘s long awaited text:
“’I do not believe in God, but I believe that something exists.’ A phrase we hear frequently. And I searched for this “higher thing”, because I wanted to learn more about this supernatural world. And what an exciting search it was.
My parents had brought me up as a Catholic, but it was not long until I had totally distanced myself from this religious view of the world. For 18 years I had zero interest in any faith in God. Deep inside of me I knew that there is something between heaven and earth. One day a teacher told me about “transcendental meditation”.
Wow, it sounded so amazing that I just had to take a course in it – in total I paid more than 50,000 Gulden (almost €20,000) to learn about this kind of meditation.
My ears tingled when I heard what I was promised: I could easily become a totally different person, I would become even more intelligent and my body would be fully calibrated which would cause me to have a better inner balance. It would be a walk in the park for me to stop smoking. All I needed to do was to follow the way that Guru Mahariji Mahesh Yogi showed me. At the end of this process I would live on a much higher spiritual level and be completely healed spiritually.
What amazing things were promised me! I learnt all sorts of tm-techniques and dived headfirst into the writings of Baghwan and Krishna. And indeed I did experience change: I learnt to manipulate others and to influence others with my inner energy. I felt happier and gained the impression that I really did have a better hold of my life. But, looking back, I must confess that in reality dark spiritual powers held sway of me.
I opened myself to these dark powers and I cannot tell you how wonderful the feeling was to be able to control myself and others. But at the same time I began to notice how addicted I was to tm. I needed more and more and more of it.
During a holiday in Indonesia I caught a tropical disease and was treated by doctors for months. During this time I planned to learn about new age and read daily in the “Daily-Word-Diary” – which also referred to Biblical texts. Then the day arrived when I reached for the Bible. Job’s story spoke to me in a unique way: rich Job lost everything he possessed and was as ill as I was. In his despair he wanted to know whether there was a hidden deep meaning behind all the suffering. The book of Job makes clear that God is omnipotent and stands above everything. My conviction grew bit by bit that God exists and loves me personally.
During this time my body also grew weaker and weaker. I could only lie in bed and was terrified of death. I thought: “I am sure I have got AIDS and that is why there is no remedy for me.” I my deepest despair I screamed to God and begged him to heal me. And, God heard my prayer. I noticed how I gradually recovered and was delighted and thankful. It became clear to me that if God loves and saves me, he also has the right to have a say in my life.
As soon as I had recovered, I travelled to Israel in order to break once and for all with my burdened past. It was in the Garden of Gethsemane that I drew the final line under tm and new age. I put all the stuff I had used for practising the occult in a rucksack and threw it into a bush. Finally I was free. There in the Holy Land I met Gretel with whom I will hopefully celebrate our silver wedding anniversary in two years. It is my biggest wish to live in God’s presence forever.