“Why are we here? What is my purpose?”
These fundamentally existential questions have vexed humankind throughout our recorded history. Complex origin theories, scientific study, tomes of philosophical musings, politics, religions… some things are actually just simple if we would let them be.
These questions would become the life focus of Raymond Kros – son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, seaman, businessman, navigator… From his very early years, Raymond had a nagging awareness of complex contradictions in religiosity and what appeared to be horrendous suffering as a result of blind religiosity. His understanding of God was one of Love, not of bigotry, supplication, domination of one over another, or wholesale conflict causing irreparable suffering at the hands of others, perpetually. God was to be loved not feared.
For Raymond, through his remarkable journey in this life, Truth became simple: God’s Love as espoused by Jesus. Love for one another. Why then was this powerfully simple truth being bent to suit the political and treacherous whims for 2000 years? Furthermore, why has the early, organised Church rejected Jesus’ message of Eternal Life for a finite understanding of Heaven and Hell? Why did those early political masters deem this the appropriate steer for what would become a dominant world religion, one that would supplicate millions upon millions of people and be exploited to justify war, poverty, torture, pillage, disenfranchisement and countless social ills in the name of God? Everything that we have been told Jesus taught us that was wrong!
As captured in his three books – Space Station Earth, A Soul Called Raymond and Navigator, Raymond regales the reader with charming recollections and reflects deeply upon his extraordinary life experiences and how they shaped his own process of journeying towards a deep and simple appreciation of that which binds us in our common humanity, but that which has been used and manipulated to divide us as humanity – religiosity and what he refers to as Churchianity.
Raymond was born in Cape Town in 1931 – his childhood memories were happy ones of living in Green Point when he was six, where he frolicked in the seas and caught crayfish with the older boys. To then moving to Kimberley where he attended Christian Brothers College, learning through the use of a cane or a rap over the knuckles about the “wrath of God”, all under the stern tutelage of the Christian Brothers. Despite being involved in the Church as an altar boy, he became a schoolyard scrapper. He was smaller than most boys his age and, to ensure he was not bullied, he needed to show his strength. This fighting followed him through his naval training at General Botha, where he joined the boxing team despite his size. Through his journey in the navy and during his travels he met many people of different faiths – devout and good people – and the teachings of the Church seemed to contradict what he was seeing and experiencing and this began to worry him. This concern would continue to niggle at him throughout his life.
His children remember him in his early years as being stern and tough as he believed a father’s role to be, yet knowing deep down it was his way of being there to support and encourage. In his later years he was consumed with reading, researching, discussing, praying every night as he knelt at his bedside – kissing the well-worn Bible before he retired for the night. He would spend his days writing and editing and meditating on all he had learnt. He would share this thoughts with whomever would listen, even inviting in the unsuspecting Jehovah Witnesses who knocked on the door expecting to save his soul and left profoundly bewildered.
Raymond believed the process he went through on his journey was Preparation, Purification and Illumination.
As part of his Preparation Raymond first wrote Space Station Earth in 1990. This was hours and hours of thought and writings, which he condensed into a simple look at our purpose and journey on earth. He believed strongly that it was time for humanity to busy itself with God’s purpose. To celebrate our ‘oneness’, being our individual and collective divinity imploring us to practise unconditional love for one another irrespective of religion, colour or creed. His purpose is to help you understand that you are soul. Soul is Life. Life is for ever. You – the Soul – are for ever.
By way of Purification – A Soul Called Raymond was born. After hours of introspection Raymond raised his head to the heavens and prayed:
“Lord, who are you?
Who am I?
Why am I here?”
And a loud answer came back – “Ask Raymond!”
“But Lord I am Raymond”.
“Then ask your I AM Raymond.
“Who is I AM Lord?”
“I AM is the name of reality, yours and mine, it is your divinity and immortality”.
So indeed, Raymond did ask a SOUL called Raymond and his book of questions and answers began. This book Raymond dedicated to the teaching of Love, Harmony and Eternal Life, as taught by Jesus and to whoever else teaches it. His hope was that it would bring much comfort and understanding to those searching for answers as he had done all of his life.
In 2009The Navigator was born through Illumination… a look back at where he began and how he navigated his way through this journey of a Soul called Raymond’s life to his understanding of our soul’s purpose. His passion was to try and help people to think for themselves and not be tied down by the controlling dogma of religions, but understand the true meaning of Eternal Life. Religion, he firmly believed, was developed to control the thinking of people to keep them in check and in fear of God – ‘God-fearing’ – instead of us following the love and humanity taught by the prophets. The Navigator charts us through his delightfully humorous adventures from boyhood and through the murky waters of apartheid and the bigotry of religions. Raymond’s destination for you is to challenge you to appreciate and celebrate your own divine individuality in search of your own Spiritual Vision!
Raymond embraced his life’s challenges with passion and vigour and looked at them as opportunities to gain new and enhanced insight into his and our spiritual gravitas. He firmly believed that each one of us – now and for ever – is Soul, each with wondrous purpose, each of abundant Love, and each on their own journey of eternal life.
Raymond’s body gave up after a painful battle with cancer at the age of 81. His body was tired and his soul needed a new one so he passed over on 30.6.2012. His family know that a Soul called Raymond is still on his eternal journey, yet still looking over them as they navigate their own journeys, but they do look forward to meeting up with him one day when their souls too need to move on to new life lessons and experiences that make one’s purpose so much more exciting and meaningful.
His final message.
“Are you body with a soul or a soul with a body?
You are eternal. You are divine. You are always navigating. Now.
Enjoy the trip.”