As the only child of Jewish parents who fled Vienna in 1939, I was born into a small community of refugees who found sanctuary in Londonderry, N. Ireland. Growing up in a sectarian society such as N. Ireland was confusing, as it did not have an atmosphere which fostered any kind of spirituality for someone brought up as Presbyterian of Jewish parents. So began my long search from my early teens, sitting in a library, searching for a spirituality I could relate to. At the time Buddhism seemed the closest to what I was looking for.
After my first marriage we emigrated to S. Africa, where I spent eleven years. I encountered the Spiritualist Church and learned much about the inner world, especially about healing. After my divorce in 1972, I migrated to Melbourne, Australia with my twin sons, then eleven years old. It was here that I discovered Jung. This opened up a whole new world for me and led to me doing a Psychology degree as a mature age student, part time, while working in IT and bringing up my teenage sons. It took me eleven years. During this time I underwent six and a half years of analysis with a Jungian analyst and also became a hypnotherapist. While still searching for a ‘religion’ which appealed to me, I spent time in Siddha Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism, before finding the Universal Sufism of Hazrat Inayat Khan. This was what I had been longing for. After being initiated as a Sufi I was given the name Nuria. So began my long practice in being a Sufi and travelling the inner path.
I have given talks at the C G Jung Society in Melbourne, Interfaith gatherings and lead meditation groups, and retreats, as well as a regular Sufi Group in Melbourne. I am the National Representative of the International Sufi Movement in Australia and have written articles for the Sufi Journal, Towards the One, which is unfortunately no longer published (since the GFC). Story telling is one of the major tools in Sufism and luckily my Sufi guide and teacher is a great story teller; so this has been a source of insight and understanding for me.
As a Jungian, I have been interested in dreams, myths and ancient stories, ever since I was a child. My mother taught me by telling me stories about my alter ego called Monika, and a very mischievous monkey called Afferl (German for little monkey) – also an alter ego. I realised early on that many fairy tales are indeed very ancient and contain hidden wisdom on life’s inner journey. These stories have been handed down for thousands of years as an oral tradition.
My Teacher, Nawab first introduced me to the Chinese Han story called Gold Chisel and the stone Ram. This opened my eyes to the truth as reflected in the story and which is behind spirituality and mysticism. From a Sufi point of view, these truths still hold. Nawab then gave me other stories which I then wove into this book, in the section which I have named The Weaving. It is in this weaving together of the truths, I found myself unravelling my own story, with some surprising results.