Thursday, April 2, 2020

Erwin K. Thomas, Ph.D., Educator & Interfaith Writer

Erwin K. Thomas, Ph.D., Educator & Interfaith Writer

Major Website

"The website Best Primal Essence (Dfurstane) is meant to foster interreligious understanding.  It expresses the ideas and comments on the teachings of a cross section of the many religious traditions and secular humanists' beliefs."

The Best Primal Essence Website’s symbol is the flower Lily of the valley. Its presence is captured in perfumes, weddings, songs, and gardens. In many cultures this flower symbolizes humility, happiness, chastity, and purity.

Other Websites

Curriculum Vitae
In 2010, Guyanese-born Erwin K. Thomas, PhD–served as vice president of the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) Old Dominion University, Virginia Beach, VA. After 28 years he retired as a professor and director of the Graduate Program in the Department of Mass Communications & Journalism at Norfolk State University, VA. He formerly taught at the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee (1978–79), SUNY–Oswego (1972–74), and University of Guyana, Georgetown (Summers 1981 & 1988).

Thomas did research at the University of Guyana, University of the West Indies–Cave Hill, Barbados; Port of Spain, Trinidad; and Mona, Jamaica. He graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia–Ph.D. International Journalism & Broadcasting (1978), Brooklyn College of CUNY–MS Television (1972), and University of Oregon, Eugene–BS Radio-TV & Film (1970). His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “The Beginnings of Broadcasting in The West Indies, 1920–1949 (Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago).

Thomas was the recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship (1975–78), awarded a Gannett Foundation Scholarship (1975–76), named by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), a Fulbright Senior Specialists Candidate (2002–07), and was for many years a consultant to the Ministry of Information, Georgetown, Guyana. Thomas was a radio newscaster at KWAX-FM, Eugene, OR (1968–70), producer-director BCTV, Brooklyn, NY (1970–71), desk assistant CBS Radio Network News, NYC (1972), producer-director OSUTV, Oswego, NY (1972–74), news writer Columbia Missourian (1974), reporter KBIA-FM (1975), and KOMU-TV Columbia, MO (1976—77). His six “Plain Talk” series were aired on WSLJ-TV, Watertown, NY (1973–74). Some 20 shows on which he worked in various crew positions while at BCTV, were aired on WNET-TV and WNYC-TV–NYC (1970–72). At Norfolk State University he was news director of WNSB-FM (1980—85).

Thomas has authored Make Better Videos with Your Camcorder (TAB Books 1991); co-edited a Handbook on Mass Media in the United States and Mass Media in 2025, Greenwood Press (1994 & 2001) respectively; A Weekly Encounter (2015), Keys of Faith (2016), Gifts of God (2017), Life’s Passages: From Guyana to America, and Guyana’s Seawall Girl (2018), CreateSpace Independent Publishers, Heaven Bound (2019) and Dfurstane’s Spiritual Beliefs (2020) with He is a member of Hampton Roads Writers (HRW), Virginia Writers Club (VWC), PEN America, and American Academy of Religion (AAR). For years, Thomas was a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), of the International, and Minorities Divisions, and the Religion & Media Interest Group. His research interests are: International media systems, social media, ethics, broadcasting history, devotionals, and world religions & beliefs.
Thomas is a lifelong member of the Church of the Holy Apostles–an ecumenical community of Episcopalians and Roman Catholics, Virginia Beach, VA–where he has served on the Vestry Council, Eucharistic minister, and social media administrator. Presently he views his spiritual beliefs as a religious naturalist, who is married to Mary Barta Thomas.  They are the parents of Matthew J. Thomas, who lives with his wife Shannon in Charlottesville, VA.

Spiritual Beliefs
After many years of dedicated study and meditation of the major world religions from both the Eastern and Western faith traditions – history, dogma, ethics, myths, rituals, festivals, and sacred writings the writer was able to create a unique spirituality based on the following concepts:

1) God like Nature is infinite in every way.  God isn’t anthropomorphic – having human attributes or characteristics.  Some might think that this Primal Essence is impersonal, but believers’ intuition tells them that God does intervene in creation.  Although it could also be through “chance” that people are born in certain families, and the way they will die.

2) Spiritual beliefs are always evolving, and like all of nature nothing remains the same.

3) Dfurstane (Best Primal Essence) is all in all, predictable and unpredictable, the existence of a mystery, and always greater than conceived.

4) The Timeless Spirit is the glue that holds all manifestations together.

5) Through Dfurstane all elements, structures, and people are created.

6) On entering the world all living and non-living things take some form, and at the end of their existence they become invisible.

7) At times the consciousness and health of all living beings are determined by “chance.”

8) Sin and free will are human constructs, but “good” and “bad” exist—different sides of the same coin.

9) People pray by their thoughts, deeds, physical exercises, and works.

10) Rational thinking causes growth, development, discovery, and healing.

11) “Positive” and “negative” polarities cause cultural norms, but eternal reality is diverse in nature.

12) Prayer only works as a regulator of “cosmic wholeness.” It has to do with interdependence, and interrelationships of all structures. Believers should pray for “harmony.” Lack of “harmony” is how the world experiences disruptions of all sorts. This reality has nothing to do with the way people are living, but could be due to God’s intervention or by “chance.”

13) Living in “harmony” with nature is the key for a successful life. This entails having a balance life: a) helping the mind grow in understanding; b) caring for one’s physical body; c) serving society’s poor, homeless, and destitute; and d) building up the world through love and compassion.

14) In nations the people should be the sovereign in determining their destiny.

15) Religious literacy helps believers discover the diverse paths that are essential for spiritual growth.

16) Believers by following a spiritual path will merge with Dfurstane (Eternal Essence).

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Partition Guyana?

Partition Guyana?

Guyana is in turmoil
Since the Jagan-Burnham days
The nation was split
Between East Indians and Blacks
This is the legacy that has taken hold
And it makes no sense blaming the British
For that’s the way of politics

Since this division in the 1950’s
Voting in Guyana has always been suspicious
With East Indians and Blacks vying for power
International observers monitor the national elections
But still some results of the past were suspect along racial lines
American President Jimmy Carter headed one such team

The 2020 elections has again been marred
With accusations between the Afro-Granger and Indo-Jagdeo camps
There are accusations of rigging in Region 4
So once again there are upheavals with Blacks and East Indians
Where there was violence,
Innocent Guyanese terrorized, and some were killed

One great thing that has happened is Guyana now has an oil boom
With its population less than one million
There’s a forecast that millions would be flowing into its economy
Why squander these resources with the country in turmoil?
It appears the best thing to do is to divide the country
Administratively and economically equally between the races
This will mean that Guyanese might still stand a chance to live in peace
Will partition be the answer?

“Gracious Creator, help Guyanese to work out their differences amicably.  Let its leaders show wisdom and good judgment in this country torn by racial strife.”
@ (Dfurstane) Website      

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Pandemic is Deadly

A Pandemic is Deadly

It could kill millions!
A pandemic spans the globe
Historically there were more flu pandemics
The flu pandemic of 1918 was the deadliest
It killed some 20 to 50 million people
Worldwide over 500 million were infected
Many victims of this influenza were healthy adults

A flu pandemic in the 19th century killed 1 million
In the 20th century the Asian flu’s death toll was 2 million
So in the 1950’s and 1960’s 3 million died
But during the 21st century HIV/AIDS struck
It was first said to be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
And in its wake left 36 million deaths
Globally some 2.2 million to 1.6 million still die from this disease

But the 13th century witnessed the deadliest of all pandemics
This was the Black Death that swept through Europe, Africa, and Asia
This disease was thought to originate in Asia
And took the form of a plague caused by infected rats living on merchant ships
The fleas of these rats caused the bacterium transported from port to port.

“Merciful and Omnipotent God, help us in our battle with the present outbreak of the COVID- 19 pandemic.  Guide all sectors of society worldwide in using their best judgment necessary to overcome this scourge.  Give wisdom and the scientific knowledge to our leaders for keeping people safe during this crisis.  We are help-mates and co-creators in your Universe. God help those who help themselves.”
@ (Dfurstane) Website   

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Dove of Healing

Dove of Healing

Had a dream while fast asleep
Of a white dove hovering overhead
While watching in amazement
I was struck that it was flying towards me
Fluttering it landed on my lap

What does this mean?
The world is in crisis over the coronavirus outbreak
I was stressing about all those who have died
And the many more suffering
With respiratory ailments and infecting others
Is there hope in these uncharted times?

Certainly there is!
A white dove symbolizes peace and tranquility
It is love, simplicity, and friendship
My dream was a vision
And a blessing from the Holy Spirit
Yes! The world will heal
Suffering will pass
And there will be normalcy again

“Omnipotent Spirit, give us the will by taking the steps necessary as people struggle with the coronavirus outbreak.  Guide us to be mindful of the vulnerabilities this threat poses to our loved ones.  And help us in our quest to heal the broken-hearted and find relief.”

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dfurstane's Spiritual Beliefs

Dfurstane’s Spiritual Beliefs @

People are the product of their culture.  Profoundly their beliefs are shaped by the way they were raised.  And many are bound together by strong family ties.  They are taught from an early age how to view the world, behave, and what’s right and wrong.  Since they are from different cultures their experiences may differ, still there will exist some commonalities in their belief systems.  To very many people religion is an early teacher concerning how they are raised and valued.  Most of these believers belong to one of the major faith traditions – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and some are secular humanists.  Yet the influence of Judaism that’s comparatively small with its number of adherents has greatly influenced the monotheistic faiths of Christianity and Islam.  But seeking has moved this original Anglican believer to become religious literate, and in formulating what’s described as a Dfurstane’s Spiritual Beliefs.

@ (Dfurstane) Website

Saturday, February 15, 2020

God/Nature Fights Back

God/Nature Fights Back

All life is interrelated and interdependent.
God/Nature is what we see, hear, touch, smell, and experience in diverse ways.
But still mankind has lots to learn about how nature works.
Mankind attempts to alter the face of nature for its convenience, health, and profit.
But nature has laws by which it functions that can’t be broken without serious consequences.
Entrepreneurs have developed an industrial society, and are pouring tons of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
For years there have been the uses of spraying on land and by air that have killed pests, an abundance of trees, wildlife, and animals alike.
These poisons have the effect of disrupting the metabolism in humans so many of us are dying from cancer.
Our world is armed with atomic bombs, and the radioactive fallout in some cases has poisoned our water supply.
Yet some leaders persist in making decisions that are harmful to human life.
So God/Nature has always fought back with the death, and deformities of millions and millions of species – animals, reptiles, birds, fishes, trees, and shrubs.
Many living species die immediately from the onslaught of poison, others linger, showing signs of malignancies, and there have even been noticeable effects on the weather.
Humankind is still to learn how to live with God/Nature in acceptable ways because God/Nature always retaliates with doomsday scenarios.
Living well with God/Nature has become an imperative that people can’t afford to ignore.
It’s for our own well-being, safety, health, and doing what’s right for the preservation of future generations.
@ (Dfurstane) Website       

Saturday, February 8, 2020

What is life?

What is life?

Life like God/Nature is infinite.  People are born and they die.  But with this Primal Reality evolution is nothing more than the natural process with all living things.  All entities are constantly being recycled back to the Universe as elements again.  So humans are no different from this God/Nature that has always existed as One Substance with many components that are in constant flux.  Like God/Nature all living things in some way are infinite and Omni-present.

—Erwin K Thomas, Interfaith Writer
@ (Dfurstane) Website