When Noel Tuan told his mother that he was quitting his high-flying banking career of nine years to be an Akashic Records consultant, she reacted badly, to put it mildly.
She believed he had joined a cult.
“My mum was the biggest non-supporter of my decision. She told me, ‘you joined a cult, you must have joined a cult’.”
“She asked me, ‘why are you leaving a secure, high-paying job to be a hippie? What is wrong with you?” Noel shares emphatically. “She thought I was brainwashed.
If you are as unfamiliar as I was with what the Akashic Records is about, Noel describes it as retrieving one’s information from a “unified field” or otherwise known more generically as a “universal consciousness”.
“Imagine a funnel from point A, the Akashic Records, to point B, yourself. I am the go-between that sends the information to you. So, I’m just a messenger.”
The Records is believed to hold “memories” of all “events, actions, thoughts and feelings that have occurred since the beginning of time”. Accounts of its existence have so far been purely anecdotal.
Noel speaks at length about how the goal of the Akashic Records is to help human beings evolve, and how it provides guidance for people to live a life free from “mental and emotional afflictions”.
But he makes sure to clarify, “I am not a fortune teller, and I’m not here to predict the future.” He describes what he does instead as “allowing others to discover their true self”.
It is a concept that not many are open to accepting or able to grasp, and Noel is well aware of that.
So how did a high-achieving investment banker, albeit an “emotionless machine” at the time according to him, get caught up in something so out of left field?
The story, Noel shares, has to go back to his childhood.
When he was a child, of what people were going to do or say before it happened. Such feelings of deja vu were “very prevalent” from his memory of his early life.
This played out in Noel’s uncanny ability when he was about six or seven years old, in predicting winning 4D numbers for his dad.
“I went into a quiet space [in my head] and was able to see the numbers, and I knew that those were the numbers that were needed,” says Noel. To prove that it was no fluke, he says he managed to do this four weeks in a row.
“My father was like, ‘whoa, you’re on a roll, you’ve got to keep doing this’.”
Noel decided “it wasn’t fun anymore” and refused to continue despite his dad’s requests.
As if hearing our thoughts, Noel adds that even if he wanted to now, he probably won’t be able to do it. “Because it’ll be driven by greed, rather than innocent fun.”
He rejects the suggestion that he has been blessed with a unique gift, believing instead that all children are born with such extra-sensory abilities, just that they forget about it as other things in life take precedence.
For Noel, making sure he did well in his studies was one of them. Like many Singaporeans growing up, this requirement was drilled into him at an early age by his parents.
But the turmoil from his parents’ divorce, which happened around the time that he entered secondary school, saw his grades plummet.
From being a pupil in one of the top classes in primary school, Noel failed five of his eight subjects in Secondary 1.
“My mother told me not to bother [about the divorce], and to just focus on doing well in school. And I somehow used that as a mechanism to avoid the feelings that I was feeling, be it sadness or fear. I just made it a point to achieve, and be the best that I could be.”
That was the turning point in his transition to becoming like “a machine”, says Noel. He was focused on achieving, and not just academically. Noel also took part in competitive sports and dancing — two of his biggest interests at the time.
After graduating with a degree in computer engineering from the National University of Singapore, he stepped into the banking industry on a fast-tracked career path. He scaled the corporate ladder quickly, rising through the ranks from associate to director in six years.
At the time, he eschewed all matters of faith and spirituality, after a period of religiosity in his teenage years.
Baptised a Christian at birth, Noel became a follower of a Japanese Buddhist movement in secondary school after his parents’ divorce. He ended up being even more devoted than his mum, and shares how chanting religious “sutras and mantras” daily came naturally to him, even though the practice meant waking up early in the morning before school to do so.
But at 16, he renounced his faith, swinging towards self-determinism and proclaiming himself an atheist.
Describing his thoughts at the time, Noel shares: “All this aimless chanting is not going to change my life. I thought it was rubbish, that life is in your hands, and I would go and create the life I want.”
Then living in Hong Kong at the peak of his career, with yet another promotion on the horizon, Noel felt an inexplicable emptiness.
He was going through a breakup with his Singaporean fiancee then, after a seven-year relationship. The pair were also co-founders of a health food business in Hong Kong.
“After the split, I reflected on my life and asked myself, ‘what am I here to do?’ It just seemed to be an endless chase of climbing the corporate ladder.
“What was I really achieving in life, other than getting more money, awards and building a reputation in the industry that I was in? I felt very empty,” he adds.
“She had gone on her own journey after our breakup, going to Guatemala to learn the Akashic Records,” Noel shares.
After she came back, she offered to do a reading for Noel, but it was met with incredulity.
“I was like, you want to read me to tell me about my life? You’ve been with me for seven years,” says Noel, laughing at the memory. “So I was not a believer. Logically, I could not understand. How can you get to know somebody’s life with just their name, without Googling or going to Facebook?”
What changed his mind was when they had a booth for their business at a spiritual fair in Hong Kong. There, his ex-fiancee gave Akashic readings to fair-goers and other participants.
As word spread of her accuracy, which Noel himself witnessed, he saw the line grow steadily as more people joined the queue. By the end of the day, he was helping her take down the contact numbers of those who were still in the queue as the fair was closing.
“I went [to the course] with a lot of scepticism and as a disbeliever. Part of me felt all this is just bulls**t. Only the weak-minded will want to do something spiritual.”
The first time he opened his Akashic Records, however, Noel describes feeling “so much love”.
The experience broke down the metaphorical walls that he had put up internally.
“I was quite emotionally dead at the time, and I could compartmentalise my emotions very well. But this white light gave me so much love and warmth, and it was something I had never experienced before in my life.”
At the end of that session, he was a convert. He thought, “Okay, you this thing called the Akashic Records, I believe that you exist.”
As his practice with the Akashic Records deepened, Noel felt himself detaching more and more from his lifestyle and from his banking career.
In his office, Noel would take time out to meditate, and find himself taking sabbatical leave for his spiritual practice. From being mostly carnivorous and one who would “pick out every bit of green on my plate”, Noel became a vegan.
Two years after his first brush with the Akashic Records, he quit his job as an investment banker.
A year later in 2017, Noel closed his food business and flew home to Singapore to become a full-time Akashic Records consultant.
And he hasn’t looked back since.
He acknowledges that his past career success, in monetary terms, has allowed him to live a life without much worry now.
“Being an Akashic Records consultant, being a Kundalini yoga teacher, they do cover my day-to-day expenses and more, thankfully.
“But [my past] has also taught me to better manage and invest my finances.”
“It is so important for me to do the work because I enjoy doing it, and not because I need more money to pay my bills. Then the intention becomes very different.”
And as for his mum, she has since accepted the change in him. “So now, her story [to others] is that I’ve retired,” says Noel, smiling.
“I’m not here to convince everybody. I believe that everyone has free will to experience and choose. I can only share my experiences. But if you’re a sceptic like I was, I think it’s important to be critical, but don’t go to the extreme whereby it prevents you from embracing new experiences in life.”
Compared to before, Noel’s definition of success has also shifted in a major way.
“Previously, success to me was always measured in comparison to my peers to see if I can do something better than them — could I achieve more? Could I make more?
“Today, I would say a successful life is really one where you’re able to tune in to your soul, to really pursue the things that your soul is calling for you to do. I think that is living a successful life.”
Asked if he misses anything about life as a banker, Noel laughs.
“Not at all. Because when you’re living life in the moment, what is there to miss? Every day is something amazing to look forward to.”
Text: Candice Cai/AsiaOne