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by Hans TenDam

In a past life, about 30 years ago, I was quite normal – I think. I took things as they came. But I didn’t take people as they came. Oh no! I had all kinds of thoughts about them. I weighed them, classified them, judged them, categorized them and stamped them. In short, I had opinions about them. I was a good judge of people. Even my wife sometimes agreed with me.

In my present life that all changed. I am a therapist AS you know, even worse, a regression therapist. Even worse than a regression therapist, a past-life therapist. Come to think of it, even worse: doing all kind of nonsense: remote sessions, releasing spirits, guiding people through non-physical experiences. I no longer take things as they are: I suspect backgrounds everywhere. But I do take people as they are.

It is a zoo out there. Actually, it is a zoo in here, too. But that’s another story.

Talking about zoos: the Fourth World Congress is nearing! A collection of strange animals, stranger animals and strangest animals. All different: different perspectives, different ways of working, different ideas, different aims. Fons Van den Heuvel listed the differences between workshop leaders and panel members during the First World Congress (see the article on the EARTh-website) and I don’t thhanstendam_400ink the differences are much smaller than they were.

By the way: there are no fences at the congress, no separation between animals and visitors. For the duration of the congress, the visitors are their own zoo. Feeding times you find at the program on the website of the congress ( . Also outside the official times and places you can get nourishment and nourish others.

What nourishment we provide one another at the congress? Of course, knowledge and experience and wisdom and all that. But something more primitive as well: company.

Therapy is a lonely business, regression therapy is a very lonely business. Conventions and congresses are places where we meet each other at a common watering hole.

I remember one of the free discussion groups during the Third World Congress in 2008 near Rio de Janeiro. The strongest common themes were a sense of coming out of isolation and a sense of expansion, a sense of belonging to an expanding field. The World Congresses are the essential antidote to professional isolation.

So sniff and be sniffed at, bump into and be bumped into, meet strangers and be excited about unexpected similarities and unexpected differences. And be passionate about both. And if you are confronted with new ideas: try them out if you can. (Later please. When you are safely home. Not during the proceedings.) We all have to find our own way of working and if we are lucky that will change and develop through time.

I hope to meet you there, at the Aegean seaside. During the Congress we plan to incorporate a new sister association to EARTh, called HEAVen (Holistic Extraterrestrial and Alien Venture). We will encourage all strange animals within EARTh to change to the new association, so we will stay with – yes – the normal people. So if you meet, by any chance, a normal person during the congress, make him or her EARTh member. I know where I have to go.

For all pessimists I want to explicitly denounce that there will be any HELL. Anyway, not in Kusadasi, not during the congress. As Sartre said: Hell is others. During the congress there will be no others. We will be among ourselves. See you soon.

No fence. Promise.

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Sjoerd Bruijnen