Good Reading : March 2008
34 goodreading ı MARCH 2008 word of mouth mind body spirit Everything about books www.goodreadingmagazine.com ONLINE when ego is a dirty word A way of travelling beyond the ego and towards love and understanding is the inspiration behind Take Me to Truth by Tomas Vieira. Tomas talked to ROSAMUND BURTON. Sitting at a café near St Leonards Station in Sydney, and in between eating scrambled eggs, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes,Tomas Vieira explains that he came to Australia because his parents immigrated here in 1979. ‘I’d come from bombing out in the States and Canada, where I was supposed to be at college, and actually I was learning to be a very good disc jockey,’ he says with a laugh. He arrived in Australia in the early 1980s and got a job running a nightclub in Brisbane. At around the same time he entered a Saturday Night Fever-style dance competition with his sister- in-law, which they won; with a mop of black hair and being of Portuguese descent, he does look a bit like John Travolta.The prize was a week for two in Cairns, but as he’d recently moved from Detroit to then tiny Brisbane, the thought of going somewhere as small as Cairns was anathema to him. Nevertheless, two years later he found himself opening a late night coffee shop in Cairns, and he has been based there ever since. His first encounter with the co-author of Take Me to Truth, Nouk Sanchez, was when she came to his café and ordered ‘chilli con carne without the meat’. Tomas and Nouk became friends and then fell in love. ‘One night we were on the beach professing our love for one another,’ Tomas says. ‘We believed that love was forever, and yet both of us had experienced wrecked relationships. So we made this vow to each other that no matter what, no matter who seems to come between us, we would never abandon each other.’ In 1987 they got married, in 1988 their daughter Rikki was born, and by 1990 their relationship was falling apart. They were continually arguing and endlessly trying to blame each other, which Tomas believes was due to all the uninvestigated beliefs they had brought into the relationship and the dysfunction within themselves. Tomas was born in Hong Kong, the fifth of six children, and because his aunt was a spinster and wanted a child, he was given to her to bring up.There were many times when Tomas longed to be with his immediate family, and when aged ten he finally left his aunt she threatened suicide and was put into a mental asylum.Tomas always believed that what happened to her was his fault. ‘So my issue was abandonment,’ he explains, ‘and the counteraction to that is controlling and misogynistic behaviour. From Nouk’s side it was dependency, wanting to be looked after. So we had this dance going on – the victim and the perpetrator.’ Then Nouk discovered A Course in Miracles, which was written by Helen Schucman and William Thetford, two psychology professors from New York, and published in 1972. Helen Schucman and William Thetford were having such difficulty working together that they agreed to find a way to overcome the tension which existed between them. Soon after, Helen began to have very vivid dreams of a highly spiritual nature, and a voice told her this was ‘a course in miracles’. She telephoned William and they agreed to write down what she was hearing. So every day for the next seven years she dictated what she had dreamt and William typed it up. The book is a self-study system which illustrates he path to universal love and peace. Tomas and Nouk started to study this book nd work on moving beyond the ego – which is elieved to be based on fear, scarcity and continual udgement and criticism, both of the self and thers – towards consistent love and happiness. By 1999 they both had very different outlooks n life, but found that within their marriage to me extent they were still doing the dance of e victim and perpetrator. So they decided that, if they were truly serious about moving beyond the ego and living lives of love and peace, they should separate. A year later they divorced and Nouk went to America, where she met a man called Nick, whom she married.Tomas describes Nick as ‘like a brother’ to him. Nouk and Tomas realised that the principles from A Course in Miracles had set them free, so they decided to write Take Me to Truth to help and inspire others. It is a very practical book, which draws on A Course in Miracles as well as the concept of the enneagram and the work of author Katie Byron, and comes with a hugely enthusiastic foreword by the bestselling author of The Disappearance of the Universe, Gary Renard. Now Tomas and Nouk want to share the message of Take Me to Truth, and this year they are giving workshops in America, Australia and Europe. Tomas admits that he has a far greater love for Nouk today than he would have ever believed possible when they were married. It appears they have kept the vow they made to each other over twenty years ago on the beach in Cairns. Take Me to Truth: Undoing the Ego by Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira is published by O Books and is avail- able in Australia through Brumby Books, rrp $29.95. A Course in Miracles by Foundation for Inner Peace is published by Foundation for Inner Peace, rrp $39.95.