I am a Long Term AIDS Survivor, witnessing how dynamics experienced by the Gay community in the 1980-90s are being played out on a much larger, global, scale, for in the Age of the Coronavirus everybody is involved.

Diagnosed HIV+ in 1990 I lived as a PWA (Person With AIDS) from 1995-8: I wrote articles for London based magazine Positive Nation and was very focused on exploring alternative treatments to the deadly medicine, AZT, that was killing my friends, and alternative understanding of the cause and nature of the condition to that of the medical-biological model. In the HIV world we had our outright virus-deniers, and many more of us who were just prepared to try anything we thought might help. I explored Chinese medicine, Kombucha, spiritual healing, flower remedies and dived into the ‘New Age’ ideas of Louise Hay (‘You Can Heal Your Life’). I took a pro-active, positive approach towards my own healing, did not simply surrender to the medical system, which, I came to realise, was limited by its materialist, entirely biological approach. As my journey with HIV progressed I woke up to the fact that this was not simply about an infection gained through sexual activity, this was a multi-levelled health crisis, of body, mind and soul.


Restrictions in place on where, how and how many people we can meet.

A battle raging for control of our minds, between beliefs, ideologies, conspiracies.

Our souls, like the planet, are battered by materialist, consumerist, conflict-driven paradigms, in fact the soulless, materialist military-industrial paradigm is killing life on Earth, we have to start caring for our home, and for each other, or we die.

These conditions remind me a lot of living with AIDS.

Physical illness restricted our movements; we listened to the conflicting messages of doctors, hiv-denying activists and of course the sometimes hateful words coming from ‘religious’ people and the authorities. (The Chief of Police in Manchester said the gay community was ‘swirling in a cess pit of their own making’). My own personal revelation was that my body was dying because my soul was seriously neglected. I was not seeking to understand life, to grow in knowledge or wisdom, to find my place in the bigger picture, to discover my own unique magic. I had bought into the idea that my ‘education’ was over post university and now I just had to function, being just a chance happening in a meaningless reality. I seriously lacked goals, but my saving grace was that I did seek love, more than anything – when I sat down to think after my diagnosis I worked out that the one thing on my bucket list was love. I found it with a wonderful French man, we met in a bar in Soho in 1993 and were together for seven years, lovingly caring for each other through the aids experience. Having achieved that goal, a new one appeared – I wanted answers.

I had become an atheist aged 12, when the rational, scientific outlook was educated into me. Up until then I had been quite as ease with Jesus and God, but I had worked out that the teachers did not really believe the religious stories that got trotted out in school assembly. HIV motivated me to sit down and think about life for the first time, in my late 20s. If I was going to die, why had I been born in the first place? What was the point? I suddenly wanted to know.

I had studied History at Churchill College, Cambridge in the mid 1980s, so I approached this question as a historian would – going to the source materials, and studying the evolution of humanity’s ideas about the meaning of life ever since we started recording them. At first I thought that was during ancient Greek times, or the Vedic scriptures of India, but in fact we have been leaving messages for future generations ever since the rock carvings, stone circles and pyramids of the Stone Age.

It soon became clear that you cannot simply study the meaning of life, you have to embrace the inner search and transformation that the world’s mystics and teachers have been talking about for millennia if you want real answers. I came to see, and experience, that, at their core, all the world’s great mystery traditions are speaking of the unity and interconnectedness of life, love, nature and spirit it became clear that this is a basic root fact of existence of which the modern world is in complete denial. Our ‘civilisation’ is built on the principle of separation, domination and division. We abuse the planet, we fight each other – in complete denial of the wisdom that the icons of our various religions and philosophies gave us.

More than this – there is an active energy in the world promoting the idea that there are no answers. It seems that the ruling and influential people in the world have entirely bought the materialist world views that life has no meaning, no purpose; that our consciousness is a chance by-product of our biology; that the universe sprang out of nowhere in a big bang, etc. I’ve noticed mainstream media loves an opportunity to mock astrology, criticise ayahuasca ceremonies, etc, though usually it just ignores the massive surge in interest in spirituality that is going on in the world. For example the BBC on a Sunday will feature god-denying humanists one moment, god-addicted Christians the next. The rest of the week secularism rules the roost. The voices of mystics, of astrologers and holistic healers, of those who have seen beyond the much-hyped differences between religion and science, or between the faiths, and perceive a united spiritual existence here on earth, don’t get airtime.


Life makes perfect sense when we live with an open heart and mind, when we allow the voices of the wise ancestors to inform us, when we accept that we are part of a oneness, not separate except through the illusion created by our own minds and bodies, these miraculous vehicles that exist for us to experience existence.

Crisis drives the search for answers, and the world has been plunged into crisis like never before – with much larger ones on the horizon if we do not address the very real question of how humanity’s actions are unbalancing the climate, in fact the whole eco-system. HIV was the kickstart I needed to wake up and see that life is a spiritual journey, not simply a material one, and that if I wished to heal and feel whole I needed to embrace all parts of being – body, mind, soul and spirit – as sacred. As an educated man it did not take long to work out that life is a mixture of reason and mystery – we need to welcome and operate in both fields to grasp life’s fullness. And yet our modern culture would rather we didn’t. It took that close shave with death for me to shift my mind from a mundane to a profound outlook on life, and that is why I can say that COVID-19 presents an opportunity for the whole species to get to a higher level of consciousness.

While facing AIDS I heard the message of the mystics that the deep seated beliefs we hold in our minds and hearts are always being heard by the cosmos as prayers to which it responds. So to believe in a pointless, random life is to conjure that experience. Equally, to believe in a dominating, angry Father God who judges everything you do is to create the experience of that. This is how religions have been used to control the people for centuries – we maybe think totalitarianism was invented in the 20th century, but in fact under the Roman Empire, Christianity, once it became the only religion permitted in the late 4th century, was already well engaged in this project. During the Middle Ages, alternative Christian outlooks to that of the Roman Catholic Church – such as those of the Cathars, Knights Templars, Bogomils and Free Spirits – ended up on the receiving end of Catholic swords, or Inquisition fires. So did many witches in the early Modern era, as the Christian religion, by then fired up even more by the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation, as the Churches determinedly tried to stamp out any vestiges of the belief in the nature religions of ancient Europe.

The so-called ‘Enlightenment’ came along and the grip that religion held on power and belief started to falter, but as much as they keep trying, atheists have not taken over the world. The human spirit won’t let them. The search to understand life is humanity’s oldest quest, yet I was educated in the 20th century, brainwashed even, to believe this quest was pointless, that no answers could ever be found. Facing looming death I wasn’t satisfied by this deflection any more. As I dived into spiritual search my understanding and experience of life entirely changed. Yes it was very confusing at first, but I could sense a clear light source from which all humanity’s imaginings arise. I kept my focus on that light and walked through the darkness with firm determination until my entire being had transformed.

I believe that the human species is ready to make the leap to the next level of consciousness. This involves accepting we all share the same root consciousness, that we can create a world built on oneness, a world of peace, prosperity and harmony, if we recognise that oneness and make all our decisions and choices from that place. It doesn’t matter how we each perceive that Oneness, whether as a Father, a Mother, a Friend, a Lover or an entirely impersonal presence. But once we find that Oneness within ourselves we become a force for the positive evolution of the species.

There is way more evidence for the ongoing paradigm shift away from division and separation on YouTube and the rest of social media than you will ever find on the mainstream channels. There are a lot of confused ideas too of course. Our task becomes to find our own truth, make sure we are not being manipulated into ideas strongly espoused for others, and then to walk in it.

From the place of Oneness, a virus is not simply an enemy – it has a role in pushing the exploration and evolution of medicine, of community, of consciousness. HIV never felt to me like a simple sexually transmitted disease – it is much more than that, a life changing guest in the body that has the potential to assist us to open up and heal our minds, hearts and spirits. That was my experience, HIV revealed to me that Healing Is Vital – ie healing from the paradigm of separation and suffering that grips the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity for humanity to question the way we do things, to evolve quickly to better ways of living in harmony with each the planet and each other, but we have to grasp the opportunity and get on with it.

As a rational, educated human being who was faced with a crisis of mortality, I dived into study of humanity’s attempts to understand its own nature, from religion to magic to science and philosophy. After an initial rush of excitement about the wonders hidden from view in the modern world, I settled into a steady life pattern that generates health and well being through communion with nature, attunement to planetary and cosmic cycles, and knowing myself integrally as part of the planet, part of the solar system, part of the divine mystery. As far as I can see the biggest lies running on the planet today are that we are separate individual beings, that life has no direction or purpose, that life’s mysteries can never be solved. Try believing something else and see where it gets you, that’s my recommendation. Confusion is the biggest conspiracy on the planet today.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Notes from an AIDS Survivor.

Diagnosed HIV+ in 1990, I lived with what we termed ‘full blown’ AIDS from 1995 to ’98, eventually turning the corner when my body responded to the new protease inhibitor drugs. As the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic shakes human societies across the planet to the core in Spring 2020, parallels and comparisons with the AIDS years are appearing on the internet. For some of us Long Term Survivors it does feel like we went through a training for the apocalypse, that we were some kind of ‘advance guard’, receiving important lessons in plague survival which can now be shared.

Writer Mark Matousek gets straight to the heart of the lessons we learnt on the AIDS front line in a piece entitled ‘Practice Dying: Waking Up in Perilous Times’:

For the first time in recorded history, human beings around the world are confronting our mortality in real time together, fighting a common adversary that would like to put us all out of business.” He acknowledges the general thrust happening globally to find meaning in this crisis, also the xenophobia; altruism, camaraderie, and gratitude for the smallest things”, but sees greater potential:

The coronavirus has given humankind the chance to “practice dying” (as Socrates described the central mission of all philosophy) together as an endangered species. Besides the threat of personal illness, we have the unique opportunity to share this dread with everyone else we know, who are facing their own mortality. If we can acknowledge the truth of our plight, I believe, and heal ancient rifts in the human family, we have a chance to turn this catastrophe into a major boon for humanity’s future.

I know that this is possible because I’ve lived it. At the height of the AIDS crisis, 30 years ago, I saw how death and dying could enlighten a whole community. For more than a decade, we waited for the guillotine to fall, surrounded by thousands of others on the same chopping block. Terrifying and painful as these years were, they were also the most transformative of my life. Emotional walls collapsed, compassion exploded across social lines, and spiritual values became the norm, as we waited in the shadows of another virus. Sick people took care of sick people. Nobody was completely safe, which brought us even closer together. Love showed up in guises we never expected.“

Mark says that “Without the threat of mortal loss, I would have never had had the conviction — the fuel — to become the person I wanted to be or to find my way through terrible dread to something stronger than my fear.”

This was also my experience – AIDS was an unexpected kind of spiritual grace for me, because through confronting my mortality I discovered parts of my soul that had been previously hidden, and as I recovered from sickness a new, much more engaged, emotionally and spiritually connected new life began for me. I call AIDS my ACCELERATED INDIVIDUAL DISCOVERY OF SELF, and I have often wondered if the unfolding revelation of the soul’s mysteries that I experienced might be at some point coming to the species en masse.

I came out of the AIDS years with a view that a virus has a job to do. My mind opened to the possibility of consciousness as a unified field of experience – with an eventual destination ahead of love-fuelled cosmic oneness in full glory on this planet – and I came to see HIV as an awakener to the fact that we are each individual embodiments of one divine wholeness, and that life and death are two versions of the same experience, just like day and night.

By facing death, losing the fear of it, even befriending it (and beings who live on that side of the veil!), we have the chance to release the potent creative powers in our bodies, minds and souls. So much of our human nature is veiled behind our fears. Love is the antidote that reveals the way. Love for our selves, our partners, friends and family, our tribes and all living things. This is the potential in the human heart – to rise above the conflicts and delusions of the ego, the part of us that believes itself separate from everything else – and form a culture of compassion and self-discovery that celebrates all forms of love, all forms of joyful sexuality, and the ecstatic mystery held within the human body, in nature, in life itself. It is through the heart that we can know directly our sacred oneness with each other and all existence.

In this mystical view, the Coronavirus is part of us and its name gives us a clue to its ultimate goal. The Crown Chakra at the top of our head opens our energy fields up to the spirit, to the multidimensional universe, to the ability of our soul to fly between worlds. Fear blocks access to this light. Surrendering fear and embracing love and trust brings internal connection to the powerful and subtle forces of the universe. We do not need science to tell us if these other dimensions exist or not -we have the perfect instrument, designed by Nature Herself, with which to explore them, our own bodies, minds and emotions.

I replaced god with science and became a self declared atheist at the age of 12, when events at school brought home the shocking revelation that the teachers did not actually believe the religious platitudes they espoused daily in assembly – particularly in relation to death and the afterlife. I had proposed that a way to deal with overpopulation in the world would be to create places where people could choose to go and die when they had had enough of being here – in my innocent mind would simply return happily to heaven. I think even at that age I was aware of old people shut away in care homes, no longer engaging life actively and simply waiting to die. I could not understand why we tried so hard to keep them here in a state of suffering.

The teachers were of course horrified, I was taken aside for a very serious chat! Five decades later western culture faces ongoing crises in care provision for elderly people. Coronavirus erupts around the world and there is great outrage and shock expressed left, right and centre about old people in care homes dying from it – about 50% of the deaths across Europe so far we recently learned.

From where I am standing however this virus is offering souls who have completed their life mission here a chance to get out., so of course it’s finding willing hosts in care homes. Our death-phobic culture will not let people go peacefully with grace at a time of their own choosing, so the ‘Angel of Death’ has to intervene. I’m not saying there is no tragedy, or ‘accidental’ deaths along the way, but the Coronavirus is also delivering grace.

Of course this Angel of Death is doing a lot of things for us – offering us a chance to gain some perspective on our lives, individually and collectively, through this enforced time of quarantine for nearly half of the world’s population – to review how we are living on the planet, reconsider how we are treating her and each other, what we make our priorities. We are going through the most profound collective paradigm shift our species has ever experienced – it is happening quickly, and it is very difficult and challenging. Yet it is exactly what we have been waiting for, and what some of us have even been pre-trained by life to be ready for.

Hank Trout writes on, that “We need to remember AIDS lessons learned.”

We elders in the tribe who lived through the entirety of the AIDS pandemic, have learned we need to take care of our own. We know how to do it.”

Mark S. King, author of Myfabulousdisease has written of the Coronavirus prompting flashbacks to the AIDS wards of the 1980s, and while at first, like some others, resistant to drawing comparisons with our experience of AIDS – this time after all world governments acknowledge its existence and are applying resources, something we had to fight hard to get, (no need to remind you i’m sure of the virulent homophobia that erupted) – he too speaks of the grace that will be accessed through this time of trial: “We haven’t yet seen the best our humanity has to offer, It’s coming and you’ll know it when you see it.”

One commenter on Myfabulousdisease called COVID-19 “a walk in the park” compared to AIDS. Kevin Jennings on described the “level of attention and alarm for the coronarvirus versus the apathy that greeted HIV is life a slap in the face.” The New York Times reported that the pandemic is bringing “for HIV survivors, a feeling of weary Deja Vu.” (their caps)

Californian blogger Martina Clark says that compared to HIV, Coronavirus is a “supersonic bullet train” – HIV was for most of the population ‘somebody else’s disease’ but this virus “knows no borders and does not discriminate.”

Well – fair enough….. however, HIV didn’t infect everybody it could have, AIDS didn’t kill everyone it might have – me for example. The materialist paradigm puts us at war with nature – and this virus is nature, can be seen as nature’s response to the way we are treating the planet – and ultimately therefore at war with ourselves. Fear of death and ignorance of the multidimensional mysteries of the consciousness keep humanity gripped in a three dimensional drama of tragedy and torment. But facing the fear and seeking direct personal knowledge and understanding of our spiritual nature as conscious living beings, are what will reveal the deeper layers of what is going on to us a species and our own individual part within that.

There is no faster way to wake up to the soul

to escape the illusions that humanity has fallen into

and to rebirth yourself as a timeless entity

on a mystery adventure called life

than to face the end, and make it your friend


you are eternal – stop fearing death

release each fear with an outbreath.



there has never been a more miraculous time to be alive.

The 2020s will be a DIVINE DECADE

Society will shake, there will be plagues and earthquakes

but humanity will finally be more AWAKE.

Interconnectedness plain for all to see

I’m another YOU, and You another ME

the journey we’ve been on is called History

now it’s time to evolve and be free.


Our species united, through love or through fear

A new way of being together is near

Advanced understanding of our creative gifts

Finding a new divine way to live.

All paths have been leading to this time

All paths become One

Divine Self online.


Since 2012 as the Mayans said:

the Old World is Dead!

But the new one barely yet born.

Some fear the End and read the signs

but others know there is more to these times:

Ancient hands still guide our way

There will be a brand new day…

Prophecies and predictions have long foretold

of a total break with ways now old:

Since 2012 the light of superconsciousness shines

but is only visible to those with 3 eyes,

Planet Earth has into two divided –

there are some in the light

but most dwell in the lies

espoused by religions, politicians and the unwise.

Everyone can have a voice in the internet age

but those who listen to their own inner sage

are the ones who are really turning the page.


in this time of trial there are many lessons to be learnt

just as there were in the time of AIDS.

We were vanguards, scouts on the edge

living and dying in the aids pandemic.

For 15+ years our trial did endure

and still there is no vaccine or cure –

we learned about community, compassion and care-giving

we gained insight into mystery

learned about death

also learned a lot about isolation,

learned to be patient as well as kind

for healing and transformation can take time.