Spiritualism Christ-centred and welcoming all Faiths
I am first minister of the New Spiritualists Society UK. I have been in Spiritualism for many years and have utilised my journalistic skills - I was a sports journalist both freelance and publishing editor of Sportswoman magazine and managing editor of Sportsworld among other publications. I won Magazine Sportswriter of the Year in 1988 and had the book Women and Sport published in the same year. In 1994 I edited the SNU newsletter New Communicator and in 1996 I was appointed editor of old established weekly Spiritualist newspaper Psychic News. I contribute to Psychic World quarterly and compile and edit the community magazine Littleport Life. I was a speed skater and ice hockey player and ran a speed club and ice hockey club. I also became a coach and referee. I am president of the Great Britain Bandy Association which I founded and director of the Ice Arena Project. I am PO for the Littleport Society and Chair of the Scout and Guide Hut committee. I am mother of 6, grandmother and great grandmother. I am married to my partner of 37 years Cathy.
Taking a fresh, Spiritualist, look at the scriptures and finding much activity that we can understand in the light of Spiritualism’s modern knowledge of spirit dimension activity and manifestation of spiritual practice, mediumship and healing, here on earth – in the perceived physical universe.
Acts Chapter 16 verses 25-34
We must stay positive in times of trouble and positively search for the light in times of darkness.
A lot has been said and written about whether there should be hymns, songs and or music in places of worship over the centuries past. Even in Modern Spiritualism only established 164 years, our meetings are often divided on the subject.
The fact is that prayers – asking for help – and music – to raise the psychic energy levels – are both deemed powerful vehicles for spiritual upliftment and also as an aid to spirit manifestations. Other world impacting on this earthly plane on which we presently live.
There are extreme examples noted in the Bible. Especially noted is absence of light… In fact it seems we are closer to God and spirit when we are in a dark environment or in a sad or “dark” place within ourselves. Recorded in Acts Chapter 16 verses 25-34 Paul and Silas were in prison in Philippi. They were in a place which was cold and dark, both in their surroundings and as persecuted, beaten and imprisoned individuals. On both counts nearers to the Source.
They did not give in to despair, but as people who understood the power of good and Holy Spirit, they began to sing prayers and songs. Not only did this uplift their mental condition but it raised the vibrations so much that it caused the whole prison building and its contents to shake. The manacles that held Paul and Silas were also opened! Perhaps they sang Psalm 18. Verse 28 says: ‘Lord you light my lamp, you light my darkness’. or Psalm 27 opens with verse 1: ‘The Lord is the light of my salvation, whom should I fear!’
They knew that whether in the dark physically or mentally the secret is to know that you are not left alone; that you can overcome and influence yourself and your feelings and as a consequence your surroundings, with spirit-side help. Just as Paul and Silas did by lifting their own spirits,their energies, thereby becoming connnected more fully to the realms of light and the heavenly hosts, so can you.
The prison doors -and their shackles – were opened at midnight. The jailer was so shaken both literally and figuratively, that he took Paul and Silas to his own home and he and his family became followers of Jesus’s way too. May there be light in your darkness from now on.
ARE YOU EVER TOO OLD TO BE OF SERVICE TO THE GREAT SPIRIT, GOD AND HOLY SPIRIT.
Taking a look at an exemplary example; Exodus Chapter 3 verse1-6.
You are never too old to embark on a new spiritual venture. Moses was over 80 years of age when he was startled to hear a voice calling him by name literally out of the blue! Well out of a burning bush to be precise! What’s more, as he looked he realised that the bush had flames all around and within and yet it wasn’t actually being consumed by the fire!
Then he was told, by what he soon came to realise was the voice of the Lord, to take the tribes of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt and lead them to the promised land…You can’t blame Moses for balking or even not believing that he could do it. But after God had demonstrated His power by turning his staff into a snake – and turning his hand leprous then healing it, Moses – whose name reflected his beginnings, ‘found in a basket’, agreed to undertake this momentous task.
Moses then got into what the texts call ‘enquiring of the Lord’ in a ‘tent of meeting’ in ‘thick darkness’. What we understand as holding a seance and receiving communication in trance. So we should find in all this much encouragement, no matter our start in life or increasing years.
Reverend Lyn Guest de Swarte casts her net to catch ‘Mermaids: The Body Found’ screened on Animal Planet and Watch TV and examines its contents. The word science refers to the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.
It doesn’t confer any particular approval or certainty about the conclusions that may be made subsequently, and the word itself may be misused in an attempt to give credibility to less than believable argument or stance.
It isn’t inherently good or bad but it is much like a weapon inanimate of itself, dependent on the person or group of persons wielding it,that determines its use and the outcome. Science is also mooted as a discipline attaching itself to Spiritualist thought and practices. In this matter, there have often been pronouncements – where any are made at all – that the phenomena associated with Spiritualism is part of that scientific approach to life on earth, and that other worldly dimension exists as a purely ‘natural’ adjunct.
However, Spiritualist science should be considered as offering a metaphysical viewpoint to life on the earthly plane, with input, via well developed mediums, from spirit sources being able to give an insight into a material world that would shed a supernal and revealing light onto its often puzzling conditions and situations where they arise.
Take the fairly recent couple of discoveries made that were expanded upon and presented in television documentary style with dramatic ‘re-enactments’ of the finding of possible ‘merpeople’.
Entitled, ‘Mermaids: The Body Found’ it takes the actual reports of whales beaching in great numbers around the world – but in particular on the Washington, USA coast – and a recording made of sounds made by large sea mammals that also produced sounds previously never heard that were more complex, called ‘Bloop’ by the scientists involved, and proposes that this sparked a hunt by ‘scientists’ for a ‘new species’ aka the mythological mermaids who they infer may be dwelling in the deepest sea areas of this planet.
It was only possible to give popular credence to this story by drawing on that other now deep-rooted belief in the theory that we are all descended from apes… The image of an ape-like creature with webbed hands and a fish’s tail is seemingly captured on a young boy’s mobile phone. We see him poking said ‘a-l c’ and it rearing up baring its teeth before the inevitable blank ending.
In amongst all the rest of these fervid imaginary projections we hear about how our common ancestry divided and when we climbed down from our bedrooms in the branches of trees, some of us were drawn back to the water from whence – apparently – we’d already come according to evolutionary theorists, and waded further and further out in our hunt for the fish – the consumption of which we are assured assisted our brains to grow as they did – then came the time when our fur fell out and this particular section of hairless apes then grew scales and learned to actually live in the sea.
All this definitely took place over several million years…The script writers are meticulous in their chronology…We go from 7 million through stages to 4 million. Of course there isn’t actually any proof of this, but then we’re used to not asking for any when it comes to the origin of species! The closest to the mermaid hoax I can think of is that perpetrated by Leakey in the 1950’s and his ‘discovery’ of a ‘missing link’ an ape-like but human skull the scientific minds of the day accepted and called the ‘Piltdown Man’.
Out of interest, when one of the actors playing at the role of bona fide scientist talked about the autopsy of the remains of a mysterious sea creature resembling a human with a tail, and said ‘but this pelvic formation would support legs’, one of my helpers from that other dimension of life chimed in – ‘well that’s because there would be legs’….For just a second I wondered if this meant that there was such an anomaly in existence – enclosed legs and a tail – but in the cold light of reason I realised that I was being told that this situation did not exist in reality.
One of the things that give one the advantage over such spurious scientific mumbo jumbo is to check stuff out against the story that we are told through great mediumship – close connection with the Highest Spirit – in the writings we call Genesis – the beginning.
If the film makers had used some of that instead of those other potted theories about human beings living in the seas they could have claimed more credibility methinks. After all, it’s suggested that the Garden of Eden lies between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers that run down into the Arabian Sea.
They could have opined that perhaps after Adam and Eve had received knowledge, the first part of which was to realise they needed to cover up a bit, another couple of humans had been banished into the waters naked to hide for all time – or would they have considered that scenario too far fetched?
When we contemplate the story of Genesis, the spare rib of the male human being used to create the female is an interesting but I think possibly unnecessary mechanism for the Creator of all there was, is, and ever will be. Perhaps the scribe writing down the text thought it a likely reason for a missing rib – or should it be true, that the ramifications regarding the interactions between the genders were in that way similarly dreamed up and written down.
Then there’s the problem of language and many copyings by hand for centuries. Today we read in the English language that woman is so named because she came out of man. Now there is no relationship between the words for man and woman in Greek or Latin.
However, Hebrew unsurprisingly does have; ish for man and ishah for woman. This is the starting point of reference for people who would quote the account in Genesis that they posite puts women in a subservient role. The errors in translations are easier to spot in the texts than the difficulties in relaying communication from Higher Spirit to the recipients!
For instance in Genesis, Chapter 1 verses 26 and 27; Chapter 2 verse 24 and Chapter 5 verses 1 and 2, it clearly states that God made both male and female and that this latter was not written of as a ‘helpmeet’ – the word did not exist in the old languages but surfaced in Elizabethan England – she was a ‘face to face’ equal in that relationship, and it also meant a suitable arrangement for procreation of their species.
Now Jesus is recorded as quoting Genesis 1:26-27 in Matthew Chapter 19 verses 4 and 5 in his answers to some Pharisees who were trying to find out his religious philosophy after the news of his healing ministry had spread.The reply he made is of significance for Spiritualists. Although it’s written ‘He made them in His image’ in the New Testament Gospels, in the original it is written ‘Let Us make them in Our image after Our likeness’…Jesus would not have misquoted those verses, especially in his own native language.
As well as knowing now that Jesus had many women among his followers and that some of their texts were ‘lost’, we know that those in the upper echelons – and the Uppermost when communicating with this earthly world, refer to themselves as Us…Jesus was – and is – very much a part of that Us. Interestingly too, the Hebrew, ‘elohim’ which is ‘Spirit’ plural, is often translated as God singular…’Ruach’ is translatable as wind, breath, or spirit…
In compiling their footage the film’s animation and special effects team produced stereotypical images of youthful mermaids on the one hand – and snarling apish looking monsters on the other. The film’s writers and directors had actors playing professorial researchers unconvincingly stuttering their supposed findings. In general they produced a script and treatment with a predictably atheistic raison d’etre for the existence of an almost moderately intelligent species of humanoids hiding away for millennia in the ocean depths.
It made a laughing stock of evolutionary theory and left spirit and the Holy Spirit right out of it so to that end I enjoyed the spoof.
If you’d like to throw in your lot with us – and help us to spread the word – please go to our donation/membership page and give what you can! We’ll send you a partnership certificate with our thanks of course.
Although we are serious about our Spiritualist ethos and knowledge we are also a good humoured and friendly bunch of people! Here’s a picture taken at Littleport of a few of us as we gather for a spiritual Spiritualist meeting.
DEMONSTRATING A NEW ‘ADVANCE’ IN SPIRITUALIST HEALING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT THAT RESTS ON PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS
One of the most important tenets expounded by Jesus who we might care to also consider as occupying the status of our Elder Brother was that the followers of his spiritual way should understand the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Further, that we are all of that spirit, the One Spirit; that we come from that condition of spirit, are spirit here and now, and that it is back to that realm of spirit we return after physical death.
Jesus said: “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven…’The son of man’ is appended here – another name given to Jesus, but in fact it is a generic term in Hebrew that means ‘person’ – ben adam… Jesus also averred: “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have so spoken to you are spirit and life.”
Jesus is recorded as having made these wonderful and true statements by his follower and disciple who was there at the time, John, in the Bible texts written in his name headed Chapter 3 verse 13 and Chapter 6 verse 63. And as Spiritualists we wholeheartedly agree, and understand those words. Jesus also said: “He that believes in the work I do, he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do.”
He further said that signs, such as the healing of the sick, would follow for them that believe. Let us take a brief look at the atmosphere and understandings of the people and places that Jesus, who was to have such an impact on the life of the world, was born into.
Let’s move away from religious argument over whether he was God incarnate as a man, whether he was begotten not created; born of a virgin, the messiah, or whether or not he was simply a prophet in a long line of prophets. Let’s not dwell on the various factions that have sprung up ever since his crucifixion by the Romans, possibly given up by the sanhedrin, even to this last 165 years of modern Spiritualism, and get back to what was, and is, spiritual reality and truth.
If we acknowledge the Biblical texts that state that Jesus, called Yeshua in his native tongue, was born to a family from Nazareth in the north of Israel and belonged to the tribe of David which was Judah – although his mother Mary (Miriam) was related to Elizabeth of the priestly tribe of Levi, mother of John (Yochanan) the Baptist, we have a historical basis for what would have been his cultural and ethnic background and awareness.
He famously said he’d come ‘to fulfil the law (Torah) not to destroy it. The tanach or torah is the 5 Books of Moses. These are called Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
If you look at these first books of the Bible as a Spiritualist, you will find much that is obviously spirit, and Holy Spirit, generated. In Genesis 24 for instance Abraham told his eldest servant Eliezer, who was obviously someone who sat in his Circle, to go to his father’s house and get a wife for his son Isaac. He told him that an angel would guide him, and he and Eliezer understood that this would be so.
Why and how do we know this? Because when Eliezer got to the city of Nahor, he sent out his thoughts – linked in to spirit – and asked that the girl he’d come to take back to Abraham would visit the well he sat by (water being very significant in spiritual terms – and the first requirement for physical life) and that she would say special pre-ordained words to him. Before he’d finished his request to the Great Spirit he saw a girl.
Unbeknown to Eliezer she was actually the daughter of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The words he had asked for her to say were indeed spoken back to him. When he accompanied her to the house he told his psychic story which is reported in this same Chapter 24, and it continues as Isaac himself is reported to have been meditating in the open countryside as they returned, after he’d visited a well named ‘the Living One who sees me’…
Further on in Isaac’s story we hear of him getting old and receiving a message from ‘the Lord’. Incidentally, the word ‘Lord’ and ‘God’ translated thus from the Hebrew is most often, elohim – a plural.
We know, as Jesus grew up knowing, that this messaging from the spirit world is a fact. Now the historic chronicles in these records of ancient times are full of primitive and violent actions and attitudes. However, the spiritual mediumship was then as now – some better than others, and some more mixed with the thought processes and social conditioning of the times in which the mediums lived.
Jesus would have been familiar with the story of Jacob – Isaac’s son who had been so aptly named ‘supplanter’ as he’d later taken Esau’s rights as his elder brother by trickery. But Jacob was a good spiritual channel and was given the new name of Israel after a psychic encounter with what it seems was the Great Spirit actually speaking to him. (In Genesis 28.)
Indeed the Apostle Peter, Cepha, quoted from this story in the New Testament in the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 3 verse 25. Then later in Genesis 40, the story of Joseph of ‘Technicolour Dreamcoat’ fame, who was the medium and interpreter of dreams in the court of Pharaoh.
This section ends with Joseph saying that they would leave Egypt for ‘the land’ as God had sworn to Abraham, Isaac and to Jacob.
The second ‘Book’ of Moses, Exodus, would have been a source of historical and spiritual and psychic knowledge for Jesus. In amongst the murder and mayhem, the Great Spirit, Holy Spirit, moved amongst the exiled Israelites and eventually led them guided by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. The children’s clothes grew with them and they were all fed and watered for 40 years.
As a personal ‘for instance’ of this psychic manifestation in the present day, my mother knitted me a jumper when I was size 12. A couple of years ago, clearing out a drawer of old jumpers, I ‘found’ it again. Now over the years I’d got to be a size 18/20.
Ah I sighed as I pulled it out and held it close. Remembering the first day I’d received it and was told to put it on by my mum. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I unfolded it. It had ‘stretched’ while laying tucked away unseen. It looked like my current size of clothing. I tried it on and it fitted perfectly. It’s been worn and washed many times since then and hasn’t shrunk back!
Reverend G. Maurice Elliott, the stalwart campaigner for the recognition and acceptance of Spiritualism by the Established Church of England of which he was a minister, recorded a similar present day miracle to the biblical account of Jesus and his disciples in Capaernum on the shore of the Kineret (Sea of Galilee) needing money when they had none to pay their tax.
Jesus told Peter to cast a hook into the sea and told him there would be the money to pay for both of them in a fish. This was proved true.
The Rev and his wife, medium and writer Irene Hallam Elliott, were on a short holiday staying in a vicarage about 10 miles from the sea. The weather had been bad but had cleared so they decided to spend this one fine day at the beach. Relaxing on deckchairs and probably thinking about lunch, they realised they’d come out without any money. As they were packing up to go back, Irene’s guide spoke to her: “Stay where you are, you needn’t go home” which information she duly relayed to her husband.
So they stayed. Suddenly a wave threw up at their feet a small object that looked like the heel of a slipper covered with shells and seaweed. On closer inspection Rev Elliott tells us that it was an old purse clasped tightly shut. In it was a shilling, a sixpence and five pennies which was sufficient for food and drink for the day!
As he said: “Such supernormal occurrences do regularly and constantly happen today in the lives of Spiritualists who are in touch with the heavenly messengers whom God has ordained and appointed to ‘succour and defend us’.
That ‘today’ to which Reverend Graeme Maurice Elliott referred was then the pre second world war 1930’s… In our today, the teen years of the 21st century, we can still all bear witness to the truth of his statement!
He also expounded the necessity of prayer and the reality of its power.As he was also wont to say:”All believers in psychic science have learnt to pray without ceasing.” Jesus’s healing ministry and that of his disciples and followers of his spiritual way as Christianity was called in his own time is well documented – although the account of it attributed to John says at the end: ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did. If they should be all recorded one by one in detail, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain or have room for the books that would be written.’
Looking again at the effect on him of the religious tradition and learning into which he was born and grew up, Jesus has been called a ‘Moses Man’. I would add ‘and Elijah’ to that. The Law-Giver together with The Prophet.
In the Book of Kings that relates to the Kings of Israel and Judah in the 9th Century BCE (Before Christ) many ‘ men of God’, prophets – or as we would call them mediums linked to the higher spiritual realms rather than those who work mostly with the lower or astral places of other – worldly existence, are recorded.
The one who was to come to be regarded as the representative of all the prophets, and the forerunner of Jesus, Elijah, (Eliyahu, meaning My God is Yahweh in the Hebrew, aka Jehova, the symbolic Hebrew letters used for God being yud hey vov hey) demonstrated superb psychic, spiritual, and healing, aptitudes par excellence! What’s more it was further said that Elijah must return, be reincarnated, before the coming of the expected Messiah.
In the first book of Kings, Chapter 17 Elijah was told by the Lord to go to a particular widow’s home in Zarephath, Sidon, where she’d also been told to expect him. (She must also have been a medium of course – a fact not mentioned in the accounts.)
There he performed two acts that were of the same kind as Jesus nearly 900 years later. One, he provided her with food that didn’t run out until the famine producing drought in her area was over, and two, when her son grew sick and apparently stopped breathing, Elijah lay over the child’s body and fervently prayed: “Oh Lord my God, I pray You, let this child’s soul come back to him.” And he revived and lived.
It is known that Jesus was observed by three of his followers, Peter, James and John, speaking to the recognisable figures of Elijah, and Moses, about his imminent departure from this world into theirs. Jesus’s disciples that he’d chosen to be with him for this occasion had fallen into deep trance prior to waking and perceiving their Master transfigured into his shining spirit body deep in conversation with those from what we would conjecture to be his group in spirit.
We Spiritualists understand all the Biblical reports of psychically manifested eventualities, and this event and those others in Elijah’s life completely and need no convincing of their truthfulness.
The New Spiritualists’ Society has been given instructions on delivering healing from the Holy Spirit which has proved very beneficial to those giving the healing and to those receiving it.
The New Christian Spiritualists’ Society held special healing sessions inspired by the highly evolved spirit group ‘Iconoclast’, moved so to do by the Holy Spirit, who instructed their medium accordingly. We know that the spirit within each being is linked to spirit without, and that restorative energies are able to activate and empower from the higher dimensions of spirit through that linking channel into that which holds the framework of flesh and blood together and functioning.
Here is a template that you may care to use at your own meetings. It can last from 10 to 20 minutes and you can use as many healing channels who are willing to serve. We know that God keeps his promises, and Jesus said that “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I shall be also”.
Here is a suggested format for a particular kind of public healing service. A simple ABC for a medium linked in to Higher Spirit dimensions – Invocation for Spiritual Healing
A – An appointed by consensus Healing Leader who must also be a sound and spiritual medium says:
“ Great Spirit, Holy Spirit, we ask you to allow your messengers, your angel helpers from the realms of light to descend into our earthly atmosphere and send your healing comfort to all here in this hall/room/church/sanctuary who are afflicted with problems of health, whether in mind or body, and whether themselves, or suffering from seeing family and friends in problematic situations or conditions. We ask all those assembled here to participate, to join in asking their own guides and helpers provided by God, that the Holy Spirit to come and give that healing through their own private prayers of supplication and request.
B – The Healing Leader then says: “I ask you to close your eyes and join me in prayer as (and here you give the names of those who are willing to serve ) X and X and X place their hands on the shoulders and heads of those so requesting direct help tonight/this morning/this afternoon.
Dear Lord we pray for the comfort now and freedom from worry and stress for those persons receiving now the laying on of hands.”
Now the Healing Leader uses their mediumistic abilities to allow their helpers and guides to give them a prompting as to what specific problems might assail those being given the laying on of hands and prayers. For instance they may be inspired to mention a bad back or legs or domestic situations that need relief or worries regarding money or children etc., to let the Spirit move them.
C – The Healing Leader will say “Amen” after a minute or two of spoken – out – loud prayer as indicated in A. And so on until finished. Usually about 4/5 prayers are required beginning with B and finishing at C.
Praising God in a closing prayer of thanks should also be given.
Include thanks to the healers and all the congregation for their own prayers made that assists the good outcome for all concerned. We also give inspirational prayers for healing in any situation.
The first rule is to remember that spiritually ‘like attracts like’ therefore it is an obviously good idea when embarking on any spiritual quest to try and live as mindful of living in and for the ‘Light and Love’ and only for ‘Good’ as humanly possible.
In normal circumstances this means to most of us that we should behave in a kindly and non-hurtful manner towards our fellow beings and other creatures of the earth, and to take on board the fact that we come from spirit, are of the One Spirit, and that after our physical life is done here, that we shall return to that world of spirit as the beings of spirit we were, are and will always be.
So, in order to pursue a connection to the highest spirit guidance to which we can aspire, we must first follow that understanding, and then learn to ‘heighten’ our state of consciousness away from its basic everyday concerns. We do this by setting aside a time of quietness and safety in our daily round of activities, to enter into a more peaceful and tranquil state of mind by means of meditation.
In fact by disciplining your mind to literally ‘rise above’ the trials and tribulations that assail all of us on a daily basis, you will find yourself changing your response and behaviour patterns over a period of time that will not only be beneficial to your life, but will become noticeable to others.
Contact and communication with what for ease of understanding we may call the ‘angelic realms’ is far removed from the lower, or astral, planes of spirit existence. Mediumship that connects with relatives and friends, loved ones, who wish to give a message of comfort and prove their personal survival into the dimensions of spirit is the bedrock of Spiritualism by which millions have been convinced that we all live on.
But the implications of that validation beyond the egocentric gratification of the individual receiving that immediate comfort are for the most part not addressed, generally ignored. Where there is a sense of something more, it’s often explained in quasi religious terms…We go to a better place – or a less nice place according to some vague notion of judgement at some later date!
The transmission of messages from those whose ever onerous task is to improve the spiritual quality and as a consequence the material conditions of life on the earth plane for its inhabitants is much less popular – as it has ever been so since the beginning.
There isn’t exactly a rush to learn this aspect of mediumship that is commonly called ‘trance’. This is a mediumistic practice that could never be classified as ‘for entertainment purposes only’ or as ‘an experiment, the outcome of which cannot be guaranteed’. An unfortunate and vast number of practising mediums and psychics in the UK describe their work within those categories, encouraged so to do by various Spiritualist organisations and groups who should not only know better, but who sell their members insurance policies.
The New Spiritualists’ Society is exactly that. It was founded as a direct result of its founder’s refusal to accept the edicts of these other organisations, and to offer a spiritual protection to Spiritualist exponents of all kinds of mediumship.
However, if you have got this far, and are in agreement, you’re probably the kind of spiritual Spiritualist who is already with us or who we would welcome into our NSS group of friends.
So to continue with the task in hand, you will have to have already grasped the rudiments and practice of meditation as a preparatory groundwork. If not, you can find meditation exercises in The Spiritualists’ Handbook, to listen to on the Iconoclast CD downloadable from the internet, or on the following links.
Having dealt with that, we press on. As for any kind of calming relaxation, you need to find a quiet space and time where you will not be interrupted for say fifteen minutes. Phone lines unplugged, mobiles and computer speakers turned off – a general condition of in communicado with your usual earthly surroundings.
In addition to your usual prayers, before ‘sitting’ for your spiritual development, you must make your statement that everything you do is only for good, for the light, for love and truth. This simple avowal sincerely meant will bring good spirit, Holy Spirit, to your aid and will therefore protect you against any untoward influence emanating from the spirit world.
When you have done this and settled into your chair (or reclined if that is your usual position in life) close your eyes and take two or three regular breaths in and out, to the count of three in and three out. Now you have to develop the skill of distancing yourself from your usual concerns of the mind. Whatever it is that you have going on in your life, whatever worries or indeed joys, must be deliberately ignored.
Focus on the image of a ladder placed before you, from the ground to the sky – or at least skyward – with some angelic beings quite a long way up holding it firm for you. In your mind’s eye begin to walk or glide up the ladder.
As you reach a level, a platform will appear where you can sit and rest. Here is the ‘place’ where your group of guides and helpers will begin to attempt communication with you. As you repeat this excursion, perhaps on a weekly or twice weekly basis, you should build up a rapport and find you are increasingly tuned in to the frequency required to hear, to receive audible input, with your etheric self, your spirit body.
This is the duplicate of our perfect physical appearance – no matter how badly formed we have been from birth, or maimed or scarred by sickness thereafter, our etheric template is perfect. The catch lies in the physical manifestation in ever-imperfect matter. So we have a duplicate of our senses that operates on a higher frequency and relies not on the physical.
It is a good idea to either have a trustworthy friend to sit with you in order to hear and write down whatever is given to you as a message to repeat, or to have a ‘tape’ running, a recording device, to capture any words you may be able to relay even from the first session. Do not expect this process of higher spirit communication to be easily attainable, it will take time and effort.
After a few minutes, make your decision to leave that platform and descend once more to the ground. Let the ladder disappear from your consciousness and feel once again that you are back on the ground, in the place where you began this special meditation.
When you feel the weight of your body again just wriggle your toes and fingers or whatever your extremities to restore your circulation and on opening your eyes take a drink of water. After all you have been exercising!
Keep a log, a diary, of your sessions with spirit for future reference. Good luck and every blessing to you on your spiritual journey.
Here is an unsolicited account sent in for publication by someone who has experienced an exorcism first hand.
Ms Jacqui Burford states: I have lived in my house since 1980. It is an old school built around 1897. Ever since I moved in there I have found it hard to get on with all those necessary chores, tasks etc., just wanting to sit down and read. This has got worse over the last few years and I had a feeling that there was someone here.
A few weeks ago two friends from my church, Lyn Guest de Swarte and Cathy Gibb, came and stayed with Poppy my dog, whilst I was doing a tea party in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease charity (the illness from which my husband died )and they spent their time dog-sitting watching the men’s Wimbledon tennis final on the TV. They didn’t remark on anything untoward about their afternoon.
A short while after this occasion I thought I’d ask Lyn if she had sensed anyone in my house while she had been there. She gave me a searching look and then said that actually she had, but would not have mentioned it. So saying, she then offered to come over as my friend but also in her official capacity as a Minister with my other friend who is also her Deacon, Cathy, and perform an exorcism.
They came yesterday and proceeded with the exorcism; whilst it was happening and we were praying I got pains in my side and head, and started coughing. As soon as The Lord’s Prayer was completed, the pains, the coughing and my headache were gone. I felt as if a ton weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
Last night I slept well; this morning I got up feeling good, and the house now seems peaceful and light. Today I have been out shopping, doing lots of chores, finishing on a high with a night out at the Maltings cinema with Lyn and Cathy to see ‘Liberace’. Whilst I was sceptical that this would make any difference, I can definitely say both I and the house feel different today!
18.08.2013 Jacqui Burford
As a rider to this story Rev Lyn mentions how Poppy the dog was instrumental in bringing this happy ending about. Firstly by needing a sitter while her beloved mistress was out that afternoon organising that fund-raiser, and secondly how Poppy sat in for the entire exorcism , including the Holy Communion and she was seen to bow her head and place her front paws over her eyes when Rev Lyn said, “Let us pray”. When the Rev had been sprinkling the Holy Water she’d been prompted to sprinkle some over Poppy’s bedding, toys, and to put a drop in her drinking bowl.
Afterwards, when it was all over, Poppy ran round the house appearing to be looking everywhere – and obviously finding the previous unpleasant energy absent – proceeded to leap around joyfully more than usual!
Those who believe that evolution is a fact, which means that something has to be based on demonstrable evidence, and not a theory, which is that which is only ever a supposition requiring little or nothing to support it in reality, then those who accept it should ask themselves how that evidence compares to that for Intelligent Design and the existence of a multi-dimensional universe of both spirit and matter.
By the same token, those who say that the physical and material life is all there is, that the universe and this world within it came about by accident, and among those are many who profess a nominal adherence to a particular religion while denying that all life is based on an eternal exterior existence of spirit, should be made aware that this can be proved by a better scientific extrapolation than that pressed into the service of supporting the theoretical basis for believing in evolution.
As for all those who count themselves as believers of their own religious faiths, the majority are quite satisfied to allow a group of the more than usually inclined to the spiritual aspects of life to lead them in their devotional deliberations, and to interpret for them the revelations of spirit given information relayed by those we commonly call prophets– particularly on how they are to lead their material lives – and that have been written down by a literate minority through the ages past.
So it isn’t really surprising to find so many who are sceptical of the part a Creator has played to produce the place they presently live in, claiming affiliation to any religion that removes the responsibility of actually thinking very deeply about its origins, or indeed its rituals, laws and ceremonies. All religious groupings offer spiritual leadership with advice and comfort and give a sense of belonging and purpose in this life to which all human beings respond.
They all also speak of a life beyond the physical…Whether they promise a paradise for the faithful as an immediacy on the death of the body as in Islam, or a sleep until the last trump when all the faithful shall be resurrected in their old bodies to be sent to heaven after judgement, as in Judaism and orthodox Catholic Christianity, or to be clothed in glory to be with Jesus the Christ as soon as they shuffle off this mortal coil, these major world religions all promise their followers a life eternal.
The problematic triune question for them, sceptic and believer alike, given they feel themselves to have followed the ordinarily ethical precepts as laid down for them by their respective religious leaders, accepting the notion of deity and so be deserving of living on in these Elysian conditions, is where is this place to which their essence travels, of what substance is their essence, and can this state of immortality be true?
Spiritualism of course contains all the answers, embodied in one. We are all spirit, of the One Spirit that both completely pervades and encompasses the universe and we can all be aware of those who have lived in it physically and are now discarnate living on in another dimension through the practices of genuine mediumship.
Indeed it was through mediumship, the ability to access the highest spiritual realms and those entities there residing being able to communicate with willing (or even not so willing) mediums, those sensitive to spiritual emanations on the earth plane, that many teachings were given, and manifestations of spirit origin took place, that were either written when they occurred or recorded orally and later written down, to be considered rightly, considering their inspirational sources, as sacred texts.
For those questioning the veracity of a created universe, the idea of a spirit world coexistent with the physical would concomitantly be considered ludicrous. There must be great difficulty for them in being expected to accept supernormal, supernatural or metaphysical narratives within their own religion’s writings. However they could do a lot worse than reread these texts from the viewpoint of Spiritualist understanding.
Let us take the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, for even those who accept those books within its canon are often convinced that the spirit engendered happenings therein, if they happened, are only of the times in which they took place and no further revelation has been made.
Neither do they have the knowledge to which Spiritualists are privy that would not only give them a faith grounded on the reality of Spirit and spirit input, but would also allow them to see how some of the strictures and many of the prohibitions came to be written…
The question of talking to the dead and indeed entering into conversation with them has always fascinated huge swathes of the human population since time began… With the dawning of self-consciousness comes an awareness of both a spiritual aspect of oneself and of some greater invisible world without. There also appears to be an inbuilt understanding of everything having been brought into being by purposeful thought. A feeling of God within and God without.
Humankind has always expressed this awareness by coming together in groups with their various interpretations that always seem to require some associated ceremonials and rituals to accompany the information that has been relayed through those individuals sensitive to spirit world emanations and communications.
Unfortunately these various interpretations have led to many a schism within religious enclaves even where they express themselves to be of the same ilk, taking for an obvious instance those of Moslems, Jews and Christians. While we know that some followers of these major religions have Spiritualist leanings, the most marked differences are those heightened by the existence of those who identify themselves as Spiritualists within Christianity, and many whose denomination is in fact Christian Spiritualist.
There are many Christian sects who do not admit of what we term Spiritualist understandings. Indeed, those wonderful Biblical reports of Spirit and spirit generated activity, prophecies, messages to individuals from individuals in the spirit realms, sundry communications from the Most High and His angels, healing and other ‘miraculous’ events are accepted as ‘acts of faith’ or assumed to be only of that time, therefore ending around 70 CE/AD.
The sciences of geology and archaeology used in support of evolutionary theory have authenticated many of the historic events in the Bible that had been party to those spiritually inspired elements that were recorded albeit thereafter, if not at the actual time of their enactment. Of course the one doesn’t validate the other in a court of law – but there are those witness statements.
Now there is in Spiritualism, as well as the philosophy and science, the same desire for comfort, advice and spiritual (often construed as emotional) wellbeing as there is by those followers of more ‘orthodox’ religions. One thing individual Spiritualists benefit from in their religious belief is the agreeable human centred focus of receiving a message from Beyond, whether privately or from a platform in a Spiritualist meeting/service.
How the recipient of a communication from a loved one in the realms of spirit – or even from ‘someone they didn’t know very well’ or ‘must have been a neighbour’ – feels a happiness to be the spiritual, non physical focal point of another human being’s attention for an amount of precious time – and the purveyor of said celestially imparted information, also feels good from having someone’s undivided concentration on them for a while too, both from spirit and down here is a fact of life.
Now whether or not such contact with the spirits of the dead produces a constant stream of irrefutable self identifications, astounding memory links and information about their loved ones’ current earthly situations etc, or offers the odd correct item per reading – it is a demonstrable fact that human beings do live in a multi dimensional universe of spirit and matter and are able to prove their immortality by sending messages back, via any kind of human medium, having shuffled off this mortal coil.
All this proves to us that in this complex modern age, we have the same inner concerns as in ancient times. The human race as a whole has never had much time, and a vast percentage of it not the inclination, to dwell on the spiritual aspects of its incarnation.
So from early on, individual people, either singly or in groups, who have concerned themselves with their own, and others’ spirituality, have been and are relied upon and resorted to in those matters. This fast moving impersonal technological material world of almost instant communication and networking has had little impact and effected no change in that state of affairs.
Groups holding particular spiritual beliefs and sharing rituals, ceremonials and customs arising from those beliefs, are still antagonistic to others – an antagonism that can mix with political views and socio-economic conditions which added to volatile situations can cause violent confrontations and conflict, and are doing so even now somewhere on this planet.
All sacred texts are held by too many to be works of fantasy, notwithstanding historical authenticities and latterly since 1848 and the advent of Modern Spiritualism scientific proof of spirit generated and manifested contacts and events.
Materialist evolutionists, who hold Darwin’s many times corrected and republished ‘On the Origin of Species’ as their sacred text, appeal to the same egocentric element of humanity that wishes to feel at one with the environment in which it finds itself, important yet deprecatory of self satisfaction, by telling it that it walks the earth, indeed, peoples the universe, by accident – along with every other creature, fauna and flora.
It tells us we were all born out of some primeval soup, all human beings having a common ancestor, an ape. They also point out that our dogs also are ‘descended from the wolf’, elephants grew smaller and horses grew bigger. On that note alone, I would ask you to look at your dog. Mine has short fat hairy legs, short fat body and a propensity to bark. The last time I saw a wolf it was a bit on the large side with very long legs and it howled.
At no point have we been treated to a fossil, so beloved of evolutionary theorists who wave the trilobites and dinosaur bones at us, of a wolf emerging into a sheep dog, or dare I say it, a Jack Russell.
Darwin himself knew that his conjectures were flawed by lack of such real evidence. He wrote: “Why, if species have descended from other species…do we not see everywhere innumerable transitional forms? He also wondered, “Why do we not see them embedded in countless numbers in the crusts of the earth?”
And of the famous author of ‘The Water Babies’, Reverend Charles Kingsley, he was most admiring as the Reverend had remarked that ‘the theory of ‘natural selection’ was ‘just as noble a conception of Deity’… The Water Babies was a spirit-filled morality tale from beginning to end.
Darwin also wrote at the conclusion of his book expounding his theories that has given so much ammunition to atheistic materialists as well as racists et al, ‘Life, with its several powers having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or one…’ With a stroke of his pen giving the lie to his entire suppositional thesis! Lord Alfred Russell Wallace, Darwin’s companion and fellow scientist distanced himself quite early on from his friend. He was known in Spiritualist circles. On a lighter note, we might ask, what of the turnip?
It appears that the self centred human is happy not to concern themselves over much with the possibilities of an evolution of vegetables, or why the turnip can salve human famine as it can lie unharvested in a year of glut to be dug up and eaten should the year after prove unfruitful.
Or the spiritual aspect of this plant that hides its edible root in the soil good or bad and has green leaves that are also nourishing and grows and is eaten in many countries from East to West.
On the spiritual note, the old Celtic and Pagan religionists used hollowed out turnips as lanterns at their Halloween/ Samhain ceremonies and celebrations, while less spiritually inclined perhaps, famous Roman, friend of the tyrant anti Christian Emperor Vespasian, Pliny the Elder, who died with his friends in Pompeii in 79CE/AD praised the turnip as both fodder for farm animals and as a prevention of famine in humans.
Spiritualists in the UK had been worried by rumours spread by individuals about government directives that could – or indeed – would block Spiritualist websites. We dispel those rumours.
The Principal Minister of the New Spiritualists’ Society has been in correspondence with the Government of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, since someone informed us that there was a growing concern among those who described themselves as Spiritualist or spiritual that our websites would be blocked by portal providers as a result!
Having trawled through all the information, both printed newspaper and internet promulgated,and having seen a petition antagonistic to monitoring websites that was using a journalist’s rather jumbled article that mentioned the blocking of those deemed ‘esoteric’ to rally those spiritual and Spiritualist to its cause, the unconvinced Reverend Lyn contacted the Prime Minister, The Right Honourable David Cameron MP, for clarification.
The Prime Minister directed her query made on behalf of the New Spiritualists’ Society to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. A member of the Ministerial Support Team has confirmed Rev Lyn’s original argument that the generally innocuously spiritually oriented and religiously inclusive Spiritualist websites would not fall foul of any governmentally generated directives basically aimed at protecting children from pornographic and other potentially damaging websites with its considered response.
The Department has stated through the person so designated thus:
‘I’d like to clarify the Government’s position on parental internet controls. In his speech on the 22nd July, the Prime Minister announced a set of new measures for the internet industries to help parents keep their children safe online.
From the end of this year, when new customers set up a broadband account, they will be prompted to set up parental controls. If a customer repeatedly clicks ‘yes’ to get through the set-up quickly, filters will be automatically selected. Parental controls are easy to for the account holder to change, so customers who do not want filters can simply switch them off.
The Government is clear that parents are responsible for their children’s activity online but Government and industry have a role to ensure they have access to the information and tools they need to keep their children safe. We are also alive to the need to protect freedom of expression and legitimate content by guarding against over-blocking and we will ask the internet industries and charities to progress this issue.
I also note that members of your congregation may be concerned about the classification of ‘esoteric’ material. While Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees the right to hold a particular belief, it is a qualified right. This means that any manifestation of one’s beliefs may be subject to legitimate restrictions, such as limitations that are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
The Government believes that the right to freedom of opinion and expression is a vital component of a free democratic society. We have a long tradition of freedom of speech in the United Kingdom; however, we have been clear of the need to balance the right to freedom of speech with adequate protections.’
Naturally we support those clearly defined sentiments as we know that in this earthly world there are many who make it an even more difficult place to live in in peace and harmony and with the basic right, in the magical British Isles in this particular instance, to the quiet enjoyment of their homes without affront of all its peoples from the cradle to the grave – and beyond! We can look forward to viewing this website for a long time to come!
Since 2008 members, mediums and affiliated centres to the ‘SNU’ have been ordered by their organisation, that promotes itself as a company that represents the religion of Spiritualism in its articles and memorandum, to issue disclaimers. These to state: ‘for entertainment purposes only’ or as ‘an experiment- without guarantee of result’.
This sorry situation has been disputed and argued against publicly ever since by Reverend Lyn Gibb de Swarte and the New Christian Spiritualists’ Society. The SNU have now withdrawn those erroneous orders 5 years later after ‘taking advice’!
When the European Directive came into force in 2008 under the new Department for Business Regulatory Reform and the government were to repeal the once upon a time hard-fought for Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951, the founder of this Society as a lone voice argued that it should be retained.
The Spiritualists’ National Union whose executive members had been in the forefront of getting the legislation passed originally that was to prove so beneficial to Spiritualism and its exponents, was her unexpected protagonist.
Reverend Lyn wrote to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as the monarch and Head of the Church of England, His Royal Highness Prince Charles and His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, who all graciously replied by post. The reply from HRH Prince Charles was ‘Private and Personal’…
However, the FMA was repealed in a blanket move among many and various others.
I still maintain that this government was in error. Blame cannot be apportioned solely to the government though. They may well be forgiven for assuming that psychic and mediumistic practices were part of a trade or business! After all there was a show biz element with mediums presenting themselves in theatrical venues receiving substantial remuneration and on television programmes devoted to relaying messages from the ‘dead’ – and then the proliferating ‘psychic phone lines’ charging astronomical fees per minute, either purporting to do the same – or offering psychic readings and forecasts.
The SNU, who naturally presenting themselves as arbiter of all things Spiritualist to the uninformed actually supported the repeal!
No voices from any of the Spiritualist organisations or groups in the UK had been raised to object in advance of the abolition of the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951. Rev Lyn appeared on morning and breakfast time television – on the radio – even on ‘Kerrang’ one evening arguing with the SNU’s spokesperson Graham Hewitt (with whom she was acquainted as a friend!)at her own expense.
She was quoted in The Times, Guardian, Sun and other papers – even getting a mention on ‘Have I Got News for You’. But to no avail. She produced a newspaper whose raison d’etre had been to prevent the repeal for a few months out of her own pocket, but had to shut shop when her funds ran out.
Reverend Lyn’s argument had simply been that the presentation of mediumship and healing within the religious persuasion of Spiritualism was not and never had been a trade! That it was not to be regarded as entertainment or as an experiment. That a fee or donation for spiritual services rendered was acceptable as Spiritualist practitioners or ministers do not receive a stipend or even honoraria from their Church.
However, those who practice their mediumistic and or psychic abilities outside of the Spiritualist religious framework, may well be perceived as being part of a trading industry. There was a quick response to the repeal of the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951 by a group set up as the ‘Spiritual Workers Association’.
They were only too happy to dwell on the trade aspect and proceeded to sell insurance policies against claims of malpractice to those engaged outside of the churches…The magic words were Department for Business Regulatory Reform. This struck terror it appears into those presenting mediumship wherever they were so doing.
The SNU instructed their members and affiliated churches (called centres more usually by them for preference at the time) to issue disclaimers saying that mediumship – an integral part of our Spiritualist philosophy and belief system, was to be viewed as an experiment – or worse perhaps – as for entertainment only. They also sold insurance.
This New Spiritualists’ Society now with the additional Christian included as the New Christian Spiritualist Society came into being to further Spiritualism and its basic principles as it was in the beginning. It was decided to ignore the other organisations and groups that had decided to become insurance salespersons and who required annual subscriptions to belong to groups that thereafter issued orders and rules and regulations to the people paying them.
The Society has published guidelines for all those who seek the truth about life and after-life based on the concept that Spiritualism is indeed a Christian denomination in so much as it so closely follows the Spiritual Way mapped out by Jesus and too recognises the power of the Holy Spirit. This is why so many from other denominations, including clergy, flocked to its banner and cause at its inception in the mid 19th century.
It began by a group of neighbours gathering to hear spirit communication – grew organically by other groups forming circles to develop their own contact and communication skills, and this is how we have progressed ourselves. In the last two years the Society has attracted many, many good people. Not all of them mediums or healers necessarily but people of like mind, who understand the truth of life everlasting and the implications for living a better life on earth with their fellow creatures. Neither do we issue disclaimers or sell insurance.
Now the Spiritualists’ National Union has taken advice apparently and have told their members and churches that they have withdrawn the edict previously in force regarding experiment and entertainment – as ‘inappropriate’ – although if mediums want to they can still buy insurance – called ‘mediumsure’.
The President of the SNU’s National Executive Committee therefore the organisation, is Reverend David Bruton – although the SNU refuse to apportion the title ‘Reverend’ on their ministers as being too like other religions, even though in common usage in the British Isles if not elsewhere.
On that score you might like to know that the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer and any ‘trappings or ceremonial’ belonging to any other religion are not allowed in their places of worship; neither do they recognise any Spiritualist group organisation or church that follows a ‘religious leader’or whose ministers and deacons etc wear clerical clothing. And they forbid, proscribe, any churches or Spiritualist gatherings that hold Holy Communion.
The SNU being both a company limited by guarantee and is also a charity was obviously cognisant of the fact that the Directors of a company, all its officers and those of its committees of which it has many, would be held responsible for any trading malpractices by them or its members, who only recently in his Blog their President referred to as ‘external stakeholders’ within a pontification on ‘Corporate Image’. I quote:’ All documents to create a single image will bring uniformity across the organisation.
Manual will be developed to be issued to all departments and external stakeholders’. ‘Rules for churches’ will detail employment law ask for membership numbers and fees’. They are putting out a book called ‘The Philosophy of Spiritualism’.
He also made a point that the local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education has been approached. (These are local to every area in the UK so if you want to contact and donate our Spiritualists’ Handbook that would be an idea!)
The SNU have also got a chart out for members who attend their churches. Talking of ‘launching’ something called ‘Respect’ – common knowledge has it that squabbling has always been a problem in their committees, one chart says – and imagine if you will a cross – they made a kind of diamondish shape .
At the top it says ‘My Attitude – at the foot it says ‘Your Attitude’ left – ‘Your Behaviour’ and right, ‘My Behaviour’. That probably says it all! Point of hidden history as I call it on the subject – Eric Hatton, who served latterly until his passing with the Trust that publishes a magazine called Psychic News, was President of the SNU – got upset – said he resigned and left the room where the NEC were sitting and when recovering his composure returned some few minutes later he was told after he apologised for the outburst and said of course he hadn’t meant that – he was told they accepted his resignation and the Vice President was already President. Lovely stuff!
They have 51 churches under ‘supervision’…and ‘membership numbers have stalled for years’… Prospective members have to do a correspondence course then an interview before getting full membership (for which they pay of course) after a year’s probation.
The SNU President’s Blog certainly gives us food for thought. It certainly had all the hallmarks of a business marketing exercise. Interestingly in amongst all the office speak, a ‘Head Office’ is mentioned, he also referred to the SNU’s ‘Churches’ with a capital ‘C’. It seems to me this might be another lurch in the direction of other religions?
So, no more announcements that what is to take place are experiments in SNU churches then – or entertainment. Better come to our meetings that have never succumbed to that misunderstanding. Or start your own – all you need is a place to hold one, start with a circle,in yours or your friend’s home for instance – the desire to do that and our ‘The Spiritualists’ Handbook’ tells you how and gives you lots of help in the right direction.
There is a great responsibility on us all now if we care about our Spiritualist way of life. The first point of contact with Spiritualism is through our mediums. Then our speakers. We have to ensure that there is no room for error under scrutiny.
No sermon or address that offends others’ belief systems or faith but that complements a general spirituality while promoting our understanding of other sacred texts as well as the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus and the ministry of his followers.
We recommend commentaries on the Bible by Rev Maurice G Elliot – ‘The Psychic Life of Jesus’ & ‘When Prophets Spoke’ and to read the Bible and discuss it from a Spiritualists’ understanding of its phenomena with others you can invite to a circle or group. To help yourself and others to come together to develop your own abilities as an organic process in a non-hierarchical manner.
Here are some points to ponder – and perhaps debate with friends in a non-confrontational philosophical way! The results for Spiritualist mediumship of ‘teaching’ programmes by some organisations leave a lot to be desired when it comes to those who’ve elected how to develop their latent abilities by a course of learning, and to thereafter attempt to produce evidence through demonstrations of mental mediumship that all survive physical death.
We have all been subjected to watching mediums standing in front of those of us gathered at Spiritualist meetings throwing out disjointed scraps of information and asking for anyone who can ‘take’ or ‘understand’ any one or several items mentioned to ‘please either speak up’ or otherwise signal their acceptance of same.
We have listened askance to many of these same mediums tell their audiences that their ability to gather and impart said information relies on some kind of energy or even energies plural, emanating from these hopeful recipients, to enable this mental interaction between this world and the next to take place. The equivalent exhortation by the non-scientifically minded is the ‘send out your love to the medium/me’ brigade.
We may even be treated to further explanations of the reasons that more information is perhaps not being easily relayed owing to the sort of energy the individual in spirit brings with them – reflecting on their character in life perhaps – and other words to that effect.
When Einstein postulated that E=MCsquared he wouldn’t have had any idea that having brought his concept of energy output to the general public’s notice in a big way, that Newton’s laws of motion and thermo-dynamics would also stir the imaginings of those involved with some sections of the Spiritualist community. Or that Spiritualists of a certain mind-set would attempt to explain the fact of survival of the spirit after physical death by applying a physical energy principle to it.
Who can recall when the notion of ‘intelligent energies’ crept in to the common parlance of some healers being taught by teachers from these particular Spiritualist organisations? It became an easy, natural, cross-over concept sliding into the spheres of a less finely attuned mediumship serving the spirits of friends and relatives gone before, rather than acknowledging the ministry of angels – highly evolved beings providing comfort from the more rarefied realms of light.
The problem inherent in teaching Spiritualist subjects is that the student is subject to the prevailing diktat of the Spiritualist faction – group, church, centre or organisation – of which the tutor is an adherent.
It is obvious that the outcome in terms of philosophy/doctrine and methodology of presentation of Spiritualistic practices, especially in the rendering of prayers, addresses (as Spiritualist sermons are commonly called) and mediumistic demonstrations to offer evidence of survival of those passed over to the world of spirit in public, will differ commensurately and in direct relation to those many differences.
It is often declared within its enclaves that Spiritualism itself has no doctrine, and yet in its many concatenations along with the basic principle common to all Spiritualists and Spiritualism, that there is life after this life and it can be proved through mediumship, attendant doctrine is just as often used to preserve the unity, to bolster the sense of fellowship, and to foster the idea that the members of these various groups are correct in thought and practice.
The organisation with the most property and therefore churches centres and meeting places is the one that came into being as a company and a charity at the turn of the 20th century to enable itself to own property and to raise funds amongst other aspects that company and charity law in England allow.
It has a myriad rules and regulations as required by its constitution, and also offers many courses for the would -be Spiritualist practitioner. Like all the other Spiritualist organisations in the United Kingdom it has its own interpretation of all matters Spiritualist. Where Spiritualism meets the population at large, its mediums and speakers, it is most active and most dictatorial. It issues awards to all categories of Spiritualist exponent, and withdraws them if the exponent steps out of line according to their stipulations.
This company is the Spiritualists’ National Union. It used to say that it was the religion of Spiritualism – but now at least states that it represents the religion of Spiritualism. It gives the Seven Principles as its substantiation, incorporated at its inception as a legal requirement, but then has expanded its own concept of what Spiritualism is. It was noted in 1939 in the ‘Report to the Archbishop of Canterbury’ on Spiritualism that it was ‘one considerable Spiritualist organisation… definitely anti-Christian in character’.
It may be of interest at this point to note that Ms Mercy Phillimore, Secretary of the London Spiritualist Alliance and the Quest Club concluded her evidence as a witness thus:
‘….rightly understood, wisely taught and practised, it [Spiritualism] could serve the Church in meeting the needs of the 20th century…….if the Church could find a way of adopting this new experience….the Church would most surely receive vitality and impetus. The Spiritualist movement badly needs leadership. Either this will come from outside, in which case Spiritualists will form another church, or the Church could incorporate Spiritualist teaching and practice.’.
While the New Spiritualists’ Society accepts that all kinds of demonstrations of mediumship given the individuality of the gifts of the spirit and the different methodologies of expounding those gifts are taught by a myriad different teachers from many different Spiritualist groups, it is the end result, the evidential proof of survival to the public that is of the essence as a first necessity, we wish mediums to place their communicators’ messages direct to their chosen recipient.
In that way there is no room for accusations of fraud, deception or mistakes when a clear yes, no, or don’t know suffice as a response. As for Christianity, if it wasn’t for Christianity there would have been no Modern Spiritualism. The first 19th century mediums who began the movement were Methodists. Spirit rappings that were the harbinger of our movement were first heard at the house of the founder of Methodism, the Wesley house in England – but had been ignored some years earlier.
It is considered that adopting methods redolent of the sporting coach would benefit aspiring Spiritualist practitioners, rather than the teaching method employed up to now. To encourage students to become better than their mentor rather than just aim to be ‘as good as’ their teacher.
To shed the quasi scientific references to mediumistic work that may only serve to confuse prospective mediums – and thereafter via them to the public who may become confused. To have circle leaders who desire to help circle members develop at their own rate as a spiritual exercise. For circles to set up their own groups for the public to have access to our understandings that will only complement their own religious beliefs or faith, welcoming all.
To include all who would join them on the spiritual pathway to Spiritualism as the denomination, the church it should be and is. To follow the pathway of one who gathered followers to spread the word that love is the key and to shed light in a dark world.
To be the ‘new church’ that was forecast to the Archbishop founded on good practices by coaching as a participant in others’ development encouraging them to research and discover and discuss their findings and progress with them rather than offering teaching that includes brainwashing from a lofty height!
WE ARE THE NEW SPIRITUALISTS’ SOCIETY CHURCH! Just like Methodists, Baptists and other denominations of Christianity, we are Spiritualists. It was mooted at a meeting of bishops, archbishops and interested laypeople in England before the last World War that there might be another [Christian] Church formed by Spiritualists in the future…
There always have been Spiritualists who consider themselves to be basically Christian anyway – and as the established religion in the country is the Church of England with 1,091,484 of its inhabitants recorded as attending one of its 16,000 churches every week in 2011, and over two and a half million going to its Christmas Services – that in itself is unsurprising.
It’s also no surprise that there have been many independent Spiritualist churches that have been set up over the years that either mention the word ‘Christian’ in their title or are similar in their services to those in both the Church of England in some respects and those that are non-denominational congregations. Then there is ‘The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association’ – was ‘League’ and the ‘White Eagle Lodge’ who are markedly Christian although the latter less overtly than the former.
The other large and similarly old established administrative body with around 2,000 individual direct subscription paying members and an indirect membership through their affiliated church membership’s own annual paid-up list of their own members, is an overtly non-Christian, or come to that non-any other religion, Spiritualist organisation called the Spiritualists’ National Union or SNU. This bears a distinct resemblance to the National Association of Spiritualist Churches in the United States with its claim to be a stand-alone religion and heavily bureaucratic structure of presidents, committees and ministers.
It was granted a charter under the United States freedom of worship legislation as a religion. There are also many other Christian Spiritualist religious groups and organisations that are less emphatically marketed…The divisions between all these go largely unremarked although there has been a continuous dissension as there has been in the UK. There are nearly two hundred million people who call themselves Christian who belong to the many different denominations in the USA.
Throughout the time that Spiritualism as an option has been in existence in England it has been riven by internecine arguments that have occasionally attempted to find resolution by the establishing of ‘Councils of Spiritualists’ that have been convened to bring together all the variously constituted major Spiritualist groups with best intentions, but have all foundered within a short space of time.
There is said to be that world-wide there are 38,000 Christian denominations, 38,000 different sets of people/churches who have their own definitions of Christianity. 38,000 who have at least one factor in common, that they accept the teachings and example of Jesus Christ, the designation Christ being the shortened version of the Latin Christianus and Greek Christianos, meaning the anointed one, from which their very name emanates.
The first use of the appellation Christian was recorded by Paul in the Bible in Acts 11:26 and Chapter 26:28, and in 1 Peter Chapter 4:16. In fact the followers of the spiritual way espoused by Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) were called Nazarenes and Jesus himself Nazoraean for many years. In the Arabic language Christians are called Nasrani, basically if they hail from a Christian culture in general, or Masihi if known or assumed to be of the Christian faith. In Hebrew Messianic Jews who do not call themselves Christians are called Meshihi’im. Christians are still called Notzrim by today’s Israelites – meaning Nazarenes.
As for the numbers of Christians currently on the planet, there are hundreds of millions. Huge percentages of the populations of the North and South Americas, Europe, Australia, some African countries and Asia’s China and the Philippines are followers of Jesus Christ. These all make up the many and various versions manifest in that aforementioned figure of 38,000 different sects within that following.
There is a simple definition of religious belief in what is called Christianity. Past the obvious avowel to follow the lead and example of Jesus – the anointed one of the Lord as the Christ – we come to the pronouncements and apparently authoritative statements as to what constitutes the practice of actually being recognised as a Christian, and within which faction, for factions there are.
A major problem is that some of those factions, large in number or small, are wedded to the interpretation of some passages within the canon of books that comprise together the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. These have given rise to not only schisms in the Christian Church itself, but has led to persecution of other Christian factions, and indeed perhaps even more seriously of followers of other faiths.
There is evidence that there were written texts circulating among those early Christians and their churches from AD50 to 150. These were collections of teachings, epistles and memoirs – some attributable to the actual apostles – homilies and the Gospels as we know them. Justin Martyr writing in the period AD143 to 163 refers to the memoirs of the apostles (gospels) and Paul’s letters to the churches: Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossaeans, 2 Thessalonians, Philippians, Titus and 1Timothy…And gives an account of Jesus’ baptism by his cousin John: ‘When Jesus went down in the water – fire was kindled in the Jordan and when he came up from the water the Holy Spirit was upon him. The apostles of our Christ wrote this.’
Iranaeus who was connected to Polycarp thus to John so we can assume an authority, said that the Four Gospels instituted the Four Pillars of the Church. All the evidence points to the New Testament existing as a canon of books by 200AD/CE.
As for the Councils of Nicaea in 325 and other councils of the priesthood of certain sections of Christianity, they were concerned with administration and emplacing rules of religious observation orders of services and much else besides – including excommunications for transgressing their edicts, dogma and doctrine.There are no records of much discussion of the contents of the Bible.
At the Synod in Laodicea in 363 it was decided on which books should be read in churches. 22 Old Testament and 26 books of the New omitting Revelation.
It is more than possible to follow the original spiritual way, as it was originally called, revealed by Jesus as a Spiritualist. It would seem harder to deny his simple philosophy than to declare an acceptance. And if that translates to Christian then that would appear to be that.
As for those who would impose their rules and regulations echoing those ancient councils and synods ad nauseam, let us leave them to ponder in their own complexities while we move on.
We shall be that ‘new Church’ contemplated in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s committee on Spiritualism back in 1939. We are the New Spiritualists’ Society, the Spiritualist Church, a Christian denomination. You are invited to consider and discuss all the previous points with friends in love and fellowship.