It Is What It Is

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About the author:
Thomas attended Eastleigh Primary and Edenvale High school and matriculated in 1970 before being detained by the apartheid South African army in solitary confinement for refusing military training. After his 512-day incarceration, he worked at the Jehovah's Witnesses head office in a voluntary capacity but, due to personal conflict with this organisation as a gay man, he was excommunicated. Abandoning all ideas of religion, he pursued a career in information technology. He and two other friends started a computer science business in 1984, developing bespoke software systems for some of South Africa's leading banks, government and other companies. The venture flourished. Thomas took his interest in astronomy as far as possible, lecturing in the Johannesburg Planetarium for nearly a decade. He also scripted and presented a 6-part series for SABC 3 TV and hosted a popular astronomy radio show every Saturday for four consecutive years. Thomas held a private pilot's licence and flew his own aircraft. But, all of this wasn't enough - some deeper purpose, a reason for life, still eluded him. Inspired by Ram Dass's teachings, life took a pleasant turn in his forties. He soon sold his commercial interests and turned his time, attention and resources to helping others. Thomas now runs a well-respected, professional and busy transformational practice at his home, Protea Ranch, near Johannesburg and Pretoria. Thomas has won multiple international awards for his transformational work with others.

It Is What It Is

Grace through acceptance

Authored by Thomas W E Budge
Cover design or artwork by David Ross, Martin Meerholz
Edited by Dr Peter Merrington
Edition: 1

Thomas's book is autobiographical. It reads like a novel. As one of an initial group of white English-speaking conscientious objectors to refuse military training under South Africa's former regime, he was held in military custody in the Detention Barracks in Voortrekkerhoogte, Pretoria shortly after matriculating in the early 1970's. Of the 512 days of his incarceration, most of them were spent in solitary confinement and as much as a year in total isolation with a concurrent period spent in the notoriously awful dark-cells, a punishment that broke the spirit of many a young man.

Whilst detention was an obviously difficult period for Thomas, it was extra tough because, as a gay man, he had to hide his sexual orientation from his family and friends out of fear. He had to live a double life: on one hand being the faithful child adhering to the strict dogma of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the religion under which he was raised; and simultaneously suppressing his sexual identity which he couldn't eradicate from his being. Deeply conflicted and misunderstood, soon, matters had to come to a head and he was excommunicated from the Witness faith because he chose to be himself.

Excommunication (called disfellowshipping) is the Witnesses harshest form of punishment. Any disfellowshipped person is shunned - literally. No Witness is allowed to associate with a disfellowshipped person - not even eating a meal with him or her. And so, having been freed from apartheid policies, Thomas found himself punished yet again. This time having to face the loss of his family and community support - a sentence that lasted to the present, some thirty-five years on. At the time of his disfellowshipping, his father said: 'Today is the day my son died.'

It took a few decades for him to find his way again, and only after he was introduced to his spiritual teacher Ram Dass who gave him a different and more positive perspective on life. Thomas is a motivational councillor who has worked with many thousands of people, many from the influential ranks of Johannesburg's rich and famous. Their stories, melded with his own, is a recipe for the creation of some really useful life-skills. His book is uplifting. It has a refreshingly different perspective on life.

Thomas says in his introduction: 'Part of my story is about injustice, the ways in which the state, society, and creed systems often suppress the life of individuals like you and me. But, through and out of this, I also speak of the release and deeper transformation that comes from wise and courageous choices.'

Publication Date:
0620555017 / 9780620555012
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6.69" x 9.61"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth

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