A SHORT PERSONAL STORY
Grian’s Biography in his Own Words
Being a story writer, why not write a short personal story?
I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, as the son of Spanish emigrants, in May 1957, and I was very sorry to leave that Paradise seven years later. Since then I have longed to return to my lost Paradise in the Americas.
Life gave me the privilege of living and experiencing many different things, from recording LPs as a member of two progressive rock bands in the late 70’s and playing and coaching rugby, to playing the role of Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar in a semi-professional company in the 90’s. I have also helped to fight forest fires in a volunteer brigade, run a morning radio magazine show with some success, and worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice as well as, later, as a sports psychologist in the World Rally Championship. Finally, in recent years, I have blocked the headquarters of multinational oil companies, and bridges and avenues in the city centre of Madrid as a climate activist for Extinction Rebellion.
In addition, Life presented me with the gift of a daughter by genetics and two sons by cohabitation: Diana (1984), Govinda (1980) and Marti (1998). And I also knew the experience of migration, my wife and I being welcomed with respect and affection in the green Scotland, when our own country denied us bread and butter.
But beyond all these experiences, I have lived in love with Life and Beauty, with the friendship and brotherhood of my ‘tribe’, and with the breathtaking landscapes of Gaia, this beloved, living, conscious Earth that gave us being and sustains us.
So I confess that I have intensely lived, and I trust that, when the moment comes to ‘drop the mantle’, I will be able to stand satisfied before the Great Mystery singing my Song of Death.
As for what is usually told in these cases, I am a writer, with almost 20 books of fiction and essays published, with an international bestseller, The Gardener, translated into languages I never thought my work could be translated into, and with more than 25 printings in Spanish. I am also a psychologist, educator, social science researcher, translator and, as I mentioned above, social and environmental activist.
I hold an international cum laude PhD in Social Education from the University of Granada, Spain, and out of this research came a global project with which I am trying to do my bit to avoid, or at least mitigate, the climate disaster we are heading towards, trying to transform our civilisation into a just, peaceful and sustainable one. This global project is called The Earth Stories Collection.
As for my educational work, apart from having given courses, workshops, lectures and presentations, invited by different organisations, entities and universities in Asia, Europe and America, I am currently part of the staff of the online educators of Earth Charter International, at the United Nations University for Peace in Costa Rica.
In spiritual terms, I am very much a free verse, having found and developed my transpersonal relationships in the sacred temples of the forests and mountains. I also drank for a time, in my youth, from the Rosicrucian mysticism of Harold Sammuli, in The Rosicrucian Fellowship; and in the early part of this century I was initiated into a Persian Sufi order whose origins go back to the 14th century. I was a member of this order for four years, to then deepen the Sufi path for many years as an Uwaisi. Ultimately my spirituality is the spirituality of nature, though I must admit that from Rosicrucianism, and especially from Sufism, my soul has drawn abundantly.
That is how I could describe myself to the world. But, if you ask me how I describe myself to my own heart, I will simply tell you that I am a mystic of the Fedeli d’Amore lineage in the purest chivalric style, in love with the Divinity who on a distant day stooped to pronounce his words in my heart, and in love with my lady, a woman called Marta, pure Presence, who has not ceased to fascinate me after almost 20 years and who grants me daily the numinous gift of the contemplation of Beauty.
Grian, at Ridaura, 27th March 2023
On Hunger Strike
Along with Irish activist Karen Killeen, Grian has been the longest hunger striker in protest against government inaction on climate change, having gone without food for 33 days between August and September 2021, as part of the Earth Fast campaign organised by Extinction Rebellion from the UK. The hunger strike culminated in a global campaign in support of Karen and Grian, which forced the Third Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, to receive them in an audience.
THE TWO MASKS
Every human is like the dance of light and shadow of the hearth fire in a dark room. The flames lift them to the heavens of their divine nature, while at the same time they create frightening, shapeless shadows on the walls of the room. It is the double nature that we all participate in; the two masks that we all wear in the theatre of life.
Grian, in The Gardener
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