My father Joseph Raffa was born in 1927 in Fremantle, Western Australia. The second son of Italian immigrants, Dad enjoyed an idyllic childhood roaming the bush and the seashore with his brothers. In his teens he became a dedicated atheist, looking to science for answers to the riddles of life and the universe. However, as a young father in his early twenties, he experienced a moment of spiritual discovery that transformed his life.
When I was growing up, our home was a hub of family gatherings with many lively discussions about everyday and philosophical matters around the kitchen table. It was also a haven from the worries of the world, a place where those who were troubled and facing challenges in life could come for solace, a listening ear and spiritual guidance.
Dad always insisted he was an ordinary man but those of us who shared his life knew him as someone with an extraordinary capacity to touch the lives of others.
Writing was one of the interests Dad and I shared, though our focus was in different areas. My passion has always been writing for children but I spent most of my working life as a journalist and editor. Dad was inspired to write spiritual pieces that encouraged people seeking truth to turn their attention inward, rather than looking for answers to the meaning of life in the outside world.
When Dad died of cancer in 2010 he left me his spiritual writing “to do with as you see fit” and there was never any doubt in my mind of what that should be—I would make it available to those who are interested via regular blog posts. I am also publishing digital collections of his work.
This, then, is Joseph’s legacy: a wealth of spiritual writing that can help spread the message he shared so willingly with all of us—a message of love and a gentle urging to look within.
The mind is the link between the past and the present.
Time is the bridge over which we travel to somewhere.
In travelling, though we seem to be going somewhere new, we never leave the precincts of the self.
– Joseph Raffa