The journey begins when you are born. You become an apprentice human being and your Masters are your parents.
The role of the Master is to pour love into you and teach you the ways of the world.
As you grow, your apprenticeship moves through phases, especially as you develop the desires for what you like to experience. Perhaps that is swimming or sport, drawing, fabrics, model making or a million others things that children love to engage in.
Perhaps all you have is a muddy yard full of filth to play in. No matter, your imagination will offer you great opportunities to be happy merely playing with a couple of stones.
Take a moment for gratitude for the apprenticeship you have, for it may offer you so much more than others to stimulate that divine imagination.
As you continue to grow, your Master may be your school teacher and you may well have other Masters who teach you things too, such as scout masters or girl guiding Masters, or trainers in some chosen activity that you desire to learn, filling your heart with the joy of experience.
But always, you are the apprentice, the one willing to learn.
As you grow, your Master will teach you more practical things, like the skills of some trade that will enable you to gain income and make your way in the world.
My first such Master was Tom, a great artist from Salford who tried to teach me commercial art, but this was unfortunately a mismatch as the apprentice had no such artistic ability whatsoever. However, Tom poured love and patience into me and I loved being with him and watching him execute great paintings. At lunchtimes we would walk the back streets of Salford sketching the buildings and Tom would then deliver a wonderful rendition on hardboard in oils. I have no idea where some of those paintings went, but the love of them is still in my heart.
I had left school at 15 years of age without qualifications. It was 1966 and I just went to work as an apprentice. By 17, I was living more than 200 miles away from Tom and teaching myself how to run a hotel. One day, I was collecting food supplies for the hotel from a ship’s chandler stores and the man in charge was about 23 years old. When we had loaded the car with the supplies he asked me to come up to the office for the invoice.
As I entered the office, I saw him typing the invoice. I had never seen a man type before. I was completely taken to see this amazing skill being displayed, yet I had seen my mother typing all through my childhood and it had never called to me. Later that same day, I apprenticed myself to a new Master. A Pitman’s Typing book.
I began immediately on the hotel typewriter, just typing anything that I could. Was it desire or something deeper that drove me in this direction? It was certainly an overwhelming force that could not be resisted. I had no choice but to gain this ability.
By the age of 24, I had left the hotel business and was back in the city of Manchester, having apprenticed myself to a new Master, Kevin, and also to a sight and sound typing course to improve my accuracy and speed. Kevin was a Journeyman Compositor, a Master in the art and craft of setting type for printing. At the time Kevin served with his Master, it was a six year apprenticeship and I was about to serve a similar term.
As I continued to grow, I started my own typesetting business and some years later Kevin came to work for me and I also had an apprentice of my own, Chris. It was now my time to be a Master. Chris’s abilities blossomed and he went on to teach typesetting at Manchester University and later started his own typesetting company using the traditional skills that his Master had taught him. If you have ever read any of my books, Chris assembled them. I am very proud of his achievements.
But one’s apprenticeship does not end when you become a Master, for there is always a greater Master awaiting those who have the vision to see.
I ran my typesetting business for many years but by the end of the late 1980s, personal computers had reached the desktop publishing phase and most of our clients were investing in young people and the new technology and so traditional typesetting was rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Many companies went out of business during that phase, but in the meantime a new Master was calling me.
I was in my late 30s when strange things began to happen to me. Pressure was building up in my physical body to the point where I thought I might explode on some days. The pressure also had strange effects on my mind, such as making me very distracted or being taken deeply within myself. Suddenly the pressure began to flood out of my hands as heat and I swear I could occasionally see lightening coming from my fingertips, too. This phenomenon was confirmed to me many years later as I sat with a highly intuitive teacher, who casually said to me, “Do you know you have lightening coming out of your finger-tips?” However, at the time I was first experiencing this phenomenon, I considered that perhaps I was seriously disturbed and needed to find some help.
I didn’t realise that I was being apprenticed to a new Master at the time, and that this pressure was his introduction. It took quite some time to understand this. About three years in total. I went through what can only be described as a kind of breakdown. Everything that I was or did was smashed. My business went, home went; marriage went. All was taken until I was empty and ready to begin my new apprenticeship.
It was then that my new Master sent people to explain what was happening to me. Through various convoluted means, people came into my life commenting upon my light or energy. I had no idea what they were talking about. What light? What is energy?
“Are you healing yet,” they would say.
“Healing? What is healing?” I would reply.
“You are here to be a healer. You are having a healing awakening,” they said.
“Not me,” I thought. I don’t want to do any of that kind of work. It isn’t me. I wouldn’t know where to begin. I have no understanding of it. I am a back room boy, a problem solver, a thinker. I am a practical every day sort of a guy.
No, you are going to be a healer, came the reply from somewhere in the ether.
Since the initial lightening phase, it was now 3 years on, and I was a practicing healer. My Master had poured so much light and energy into me, there was only one place it could go, which was into others. But yet, he had still not shown himself to me, but I knew he was there. In fact, I had known he had been there since I was a child and he lets me know that I don’t need to see him because my knowing of him is complete.
From the time of that first pressure building up, my life is now some 28 years further on and my apprenticeship is going very well. I am very happy with it and my Master pours so much love into my heart that I almost burst with it some days. He pours it through my finger-tips too when they are on the keyboard, such as right now.
There are other days, when I am set tasks to learn, challenges to overcome, attachments to dissolve and matters to deal with that require more trust than you can imagine. Trust is not an issue for me though because I have been taught well with gentle guidance. When I used to slip off the path, the hand was so swift to hit me with love on the back of my head that the pain was a good awakener, indeed. My Master taught me the meaning of instant karma.
I think that my apprenticeship to this Master will run for at least another 28 years and I am hopeful that it will continue into the next life and beyond, and of that I have no doubt. When this particular Master calls you to your apprenticeship, you know that there is no letting go, no going back and no choice. When he chooses you to serve under him, you can be certain of the most amazing apprenticeship in life, never ending and ever opening into new and limitless possibilities.
In order for him to call to you though, first you have to seek him, but seek and indeed, you will find.
From travelling with my healing couch from house to house in those early days to being shown how the universe works, I have travelled many miles with my Master guiding me. I bless the day that I signed up for this latest apprenticeship, even though I had no idea that I had signed up. Clearly, it was him who put the fire into my heart when I signed up to the Pitman’s Typing course.
Quietly, he whispered his fire into my heart, “You are going to need to be able to do this.”
With my deepest Love and Blessings.