My name is Bede Clifford. I am a 65-year-old man who was born in New Zealand.
I have a Masters of Applied Science and received formal training in various forms of Western psychotherapy. I have a background in theology, philosophy, psychology and comparative religion. As a young man, I spent some time in a Roman Catholic religious order.
The purpose of my going to India was not motivated by an academic interest. It was because of a recurring unhappiness that I had never seemed to be able to resolve. I suffered from all the various forms of human unhappiness that tend to plague us as human beings.
When I went to India, I had the opportunity to study my life in the light of a teaching unfolded by a remarkable Hindu monk. I am not a Hindu and so did not go there to become a Hindu or change my culture.
I was and still am only interested in universal spiritual principles that apply to all of us, which can be verified in our daily experience. If it does not pass this test, I am not interested.
I don’t believe that any particular religion or spiritual teaching contains the truth. It is my belief that at its best, a spiritual teaching or religion can be instrumental in revealing the Truth that sets us free. Because this Truth that sets us free is beyond all names and forms, it by necessity can never be restricted to any culture, race or religion.
Dayananda was a remarkable example of a teacher from the Hindu religious tradition. He was a teacher who could help ordinary people like me, to see our lives in a clear and undistorted way.
He unfolded a vision (a way of seeing) in which we can learn to abide in while living.
I went to India to study the psychology of the Gita, as unfolded by Swami Dayananda. He unfolded universal spiritual principles that when understood, transform ALL of us, no matter what religion or spiritual orientation we have or what culture we belong to.
Dayananda’s “psychological teaching” is like a doorway to a life transforming wisdom. This wisdom comes from a very ancient spiritual tradition that is normally very difficult to approach for secularized Westerners like me.
I am not a Vedanta teacher nor am I enlightened but rather, I am just an ordinary human being who is interested in sharing what I learned from my 14 months studying in India.
What is important is Wisdom and LEARNING to live that Wisdom in our daily lives.
This is the whole purpose of this blog.