Extracts From An Interview With James - Delphi 2007
James - Delphi is a rather unusual and interesting place for you to be based. What brings you here to live ?
Well, it was a little over 18 years ago at the age of 32 that I first came to Delphi. I have to admit that I only came on this first occasion for a "day trip" as a tourist! However, while I was here on that first visit I had this immense religious or spiritual awakening; a sudden realization that there were other ways of looking at things from the way I had been used to in England. I had never been a religious or spiritual person in my younger life, but when I came
to Delphi I felt for the first time that I was in a holy and sacred place. I suddenly had this tremendous feeling of the existence and power of the divine, and specifically an awareness of Apollo. I just knew that I had come and needed to spend more time in this very special and sacred place. I have spent more than 12 years living here on and off over the last 18 years.
Sorry if it seems an obvious question James, but is Delphi a special place for Apollo?
Yes, I truly think so. We can find Apollo's influence at work all over the world and indeed we can take his spirititual light in our hearts when we travel and live outside Delphi. However, I recommend that people who feel something for Apollo make a pilgrimmage to Delphi - so that they can feel and be reminded of his spiritual light more clearly and take it away with them in their hearts.
"Apollo's spitual light in our hearts" - what do you you mean by that James?
As you may know, Apollo is our God of sciences, not just medecine, but mathematics and all the other sciences as well. He is our God of all the arts, music, and the God of prophecy, the mantic art. In other words, Apollo is the God of the "higher conscience" of humankind, our higher human spirit. In addition he is referred to as the God of light. This is not the light we get from a lantern, but the inner light and spirit in our hearts and minds. In other words,
he is a divine energy that drives us towards goodness and virtue and away from darkness and badness in our thoughts and actions. He leads us towards the spiritual light and away from darkness and evil. He has always been around I believe, all over the world, helping human kind in all sorts of ways with things such as scientific and artistic development although we may not be aware of it. The "Renaissence" of intellectual, artistic and spiritual thought in the 16th century was to a large part I believe
driven and supported by the God Apollo. I think at this particular moment of human existence there is much darkness in the world which takes many forms; from greed and selfishness causing things like poverty and global warming, to a complete absence of positive role models for many young people causing a prolifiration of drug taking, depression and suicide rates. It is for this reason that Apollo is now making himself known in all sorts of ways to many people around the world, and that there is a sudden
revival in the numbers of people who are beginning to worship and listen to him either consciously or sub-consciously in the depths of their souls. The human race is at a critical threshhold at the moment, unparallelled in its existance. This is why Apollo is making himself more known again, so that he can help us overcome our difficulties as individual people, nation states, and as a global community of men, women and children.
So you believe Apollo is coming back to help us at this time James.
Yes; in a way I do. In truth, he has never realy been away from us. He has helped us all through the generations, unselfishly and sometimes unknowingly to us. Few people have ever thanked him for all his efforts against darkness on our behalf, and for the positive guidance he has given us towards the light. Apollo is sometimes referred to as the God who helps us from "afar". We sometimes think he is not there careing for us and has deserted us; but the truth is that
he has always been there for us and often helps us from "afar", and of course he is still there for us now.........
......... You told me earlier about the ancient Oracle of Apollo, and that you are giving spititual guidance and help to people who ask for it by arranging to meet pilgrims who come here to Delphi.
Yes that is quite correct. I feel "called" as it were to do this work for the Apollo since I first came to Delphi. When Apollo touches us or begins to reveal himself to us it can be confusing at first as I know from my own personal experience 18 years ago. If pilgrims come to Delphi I try to be available as much as I can to talk about these and other matters with them, and offer some guidance where I can.
But why do you follow Apollo James, and commit yourself to him?
I suppose there are many reasons, but essentially its because it gives me a deep and inner happines inside, and that is why I follow Apollo and the Gods in the first place. When I say happy, I do not mean the quick and temporary happiness that some people get from getting drunk, or many young people find in taking drugs. I mean a deep inner happiness and contentment, that my life has worth and purpose even if there are difficulties along the way. I mean that I do not suffer
from the diseases of consumerism, finacial greed, power seeking or other dark afflictions. I am free from these, or rather I try to be, with Apollo's help and guidance. I am trying to build a temple for Apollo; not a temple of mere bricks and mortar, but an inner temple in my heart for Apollo and the hearts of other people who wish to do the same. These are the temples which I truly believe are the most important to Apollo, not the temples of bricks and mortar.
Are you trying to convert people to your faith or way of thought? If so, how do you view other religions?
I must look to the philosopher Socrates for the best answer I have found so far to this question. He says that everybody naturally thinks that their own God, (or Gods!) and religion is the bestů. so why bother to try and convert people? He said that the important thing is to love God and to love one another whatever faith you have or wherever you live. I say wherever you live because people's faith is largely an accident of birth although a relatively small number of people
change faiths during their lives. For example, if you were born in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Saudi parents, then there's a very good chance that you will be a Muslim and think Islam is the way and it is very natural that you should. The same applies if you were born in the Bible belt of America, or say in Italy or Spain to committed Christian parents; you are going to think that the only way to God is through Christianity. Naturally, the billion or so Hindus in the world also think that they have the best religion
in the world. Socrates says why bother to try and change people from these fixed beliefs and traditions if they are happy and content with them?
Trying to change people from one faith to another has caused hostility, prejudice, intolerance and war throughout the ages. The most important thing by far is to be a good Muslim, or to be a good Christian, or for many people simply to be just a good human being, and to live peacefully in respectful tolerance and co-existence with other people. To love your God and to love one another is the most important thing that all the ancient prophets told us. Everything else was secondary
to them. Socrates advises us to worship the gods of our own country. So definitely "NO", I'm not trying to "convert" anyone from their chosen faith to follow Apollo if they are happy and content with the faith they have.
On the other hand, there are many many people these days (especially younger people) that seem to have no faith in the divine at all or other spiritual awaresness. Some of the older more established faiths with their man made dogmas and rituals seem to be turning many (or even most) young people away from the divine. In these circumstances I only wish to make people aware that there are many "faiths" in the world they could explore, and this "still" includes
the worship of the ancient Gods of Greece such as Apollo. This is not an extinct religion and in fact many many thousands of people still worship the old Gods of Greece both in Greece and around the world.
As to the last part of your question I have no problem with the other religions of the world and indeed have a lot of respect for most of them. There is no jealosy or animosity on my part. Apollo would be the first to say that he is not the only God or divine force present in our world.
Do you belong to a religious group or organisation youself James?
No, I don't at this time. I have many good friends in most other traditional religions and have no problem about visiting them and the religious organisations they belong to as a welcome guest.
Would you refer to yourself as a pagan?
This is not really a "label" I am entirely comfortable with since of course the ancient Greeks never called themselves pagans. It's a derogative post Christian word of Latin / Roman origin put on worshipers of some non-Christian faiths. The word is derived from 'paginus' meaning peasant or country bumpkin in the derogatory sense of the word. Ancient Greek science, art, theatre and philosophical thought was hardly the stuff of country bumpkins. I prefer simply to think
of myself as a worshiper of Apollo rather than a "country bumpkin"
What type of people arrange to meet you here in Delphi, and is anyone welcome?
I am happy to meet with any pilgrims here in Delphi who wish to see me. By pilgrims I mean people who have a feeling for Apollo and an open mind about him even if there are other deities and religious faiths which these pilgrims follow, and Apollo is not the person's main religious faith. As far as possible I will try to fit in with people's travel plans to meet with them if they wish.
(Please allow a week or so for replies.)