Thursday, 31 December 2009

Evolution of Spiritualism

Here are some more words of wisdom from Al Batten's presentation to the ISF Congress in July 2006.

Then he moves on to the essence of what the Soul is. Now this is pretty deep stuff and can be a little slow and tedious, so please bear with me for the next few minutes. Philosophy is interesting but sometimes you have to work your way through it.

He calls the Soul a prior organization (remember this because it opens up a whole new interesting area for discussion) that assumeJulys a material body, a coating if you will, when it presents itself to the material world. We talked about the fact of Matter and Motion being the essences of all life forms but he goes on to an ultimate conclusion by stating that the physical aspect of man is the perfection of all Matter and the spiritual aspect of man is the perfection of all Motion. He then he goes even further to explain that the Soul is comprised of three distinct parts; Love, Will, and Wisdom. Now we are getting into some pretty deep stuff here because it is pure philosophy; it’s abstract and it’s conceptual. Not objective, can’t see it, can’t touch nor feel it, and we can’t draw a picture of it, but it is a reality, so we need to switch to a different thought process, to that internal light and imagine the realm of the spiritual.

Love is the basic element of the human soul. He calls it that delicate and inexpressible element which is felt in the depths of every human spirit. It is the essence of the soul; the element that conceives all of the loveliness, all of the gentleness, all of sweetness, and all of the beauty in all things. It is the germ or the seed of the Soul.

Will, (we might call it will power) is a living force which connects Love and Wisdom. You might call it an independent element of the mind which is beyond the influence of external forces yet it can’t act on its own, it’s a slave to the influences of both Love and Wisdom. It’s the force that influences the body to move and it’s the means by which Love achieves its’ objectives. Love, in effect, prompts the Will to act. It has no independence of action and can’t initiate a movement; it only moves on the prompting of Love.

Wisdom is the third faculty of the soul; it is in fact the perfection of Love. It’s the highest and most perfect element of the Soul; the glue that binds it together. It flows from love, is directed by experience, modified by will, and rendered perfect by knowledge. He calls it the thinking principle, the faculty which investigates searches, calculates and analyses. It is, in fact, the faculty of the soul which gives order and form to all things in the outer world.

And the sum total of this Soul originated and can only exist through the Natural Law of Cause and Effect. The Divine Intelligence that Great Positive Mind is the Cause, the Universe is the Effect, and Spirit is the ultimate Design.

So now he has given us an idea of what constitutes the Soul or Spirit and we’ve made it to the Spirit World. What’s it like there? What is it and where is it? There are lots of opinions on this one but in the final analysis there is no consensus on its makeup. The concept of a spirit world, in fact Spiritualism itself, has been with us since the dawn of civilization; we see it early in history with the ancient tribes of Egypt, as the concept of the Elysian Fields in Greek mythology, in other words the concept of a heavenly Paradise. It was written about by Socrates who went to jail and died for his Spiritualism and by Plato, discussed in the Christian Bible; Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for refusing to denounce her spirit guides... and, in what you might call modern times, in the 18th it was first documented through the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg in his masterpiece 12 volume work titled “Arcana Coelestia”.

Davis expands on all the previous theories with a rationality that is very reverent but devoid of emotion, and leads us to “the grand design of the Divine Intelligence in which there are seven spheres of existence or development”. Even as Spiritualists we tend to think only of a “Spirit World” but it’s obviously much more complex.

The first sphere is the one with which we are most familiar, we exist in it, human life in the natural world where we each progress at our own speed to levels that are driven by our interests. It is important to recognize that in this sphere we are all on an individual journey, moving at different speeds and influenced by different conditions and circumstance. It’s not a race but we all end up at the same finish line. Once you recognize the significance of this, it makes life much easier.

The second sphere is spiritual life in the Spirit World in which he describes three societies. In the first are children who were taken before their time and, in a strange twist, there are also other undeveloped spirits who you might classify as undesirable and are in much lower stages of advancement. It’s sort of a triage unit where the children are placed with caring spirits who specialize in nurturing the young and then there are all those others who sort themselves out into groups with similar interests; like attracts like and you are what you want to be, even in the Spirit World. It’s all a matter of personal choice, as it is here in the natural world. Everyone however is mandated to a process of progression eventually recognizing their imperfections and all, without exception, are subject to the divine influence of love and all eventually learn to love, and it is love that facilitates the progression. In the second society we find spirits who are learning about the principles and truths of the Divine Mind and this is where Spirits with common interests are starting to help each other in their progression. It’s probably where most of us start our life in this new world. It is known as the Society of Causes where the occupants gain an understanding of the law of cause and effect but haven’t yet learned the potential uses for which the law was intended.

The third society is called the Plane of Effects where they’re getting into the heavy stuff, getting to know the uses of the laws of cause and effect, and are moving towards an understanding of the ultimate design and the universal relationship of things to each other and with this new knowledge are preparing to advance to the third world of existence.......

The third sphere is the Celestial World, one of celestial purity. And here again are three societies: the 1st contains the components of the soul; the forces of Love, Will, and Wisdom which correspond to the perfection of Love. And the 2nd is the perfect harmony of these three forces working together towards perfected Wisdom; and the 3rd is moving towards celestial purity. And this is where we find our guardian angels who minister to all those in the lower spheres and who have no other goal than to gratify their thirst for purity. It is also said that the knowledge of this sphere is entirely beyond the comprehension of human understanding.

We also gain an understanding that there is a physical dimension to these spheres. There are forests, plains, rivers and lakes with all the beautiful physical features we find on earth, except here they are more perfect in their nature and, since the senses are more refined in this world, the beauty takes on a spiritual connotation with is far more distinctive and is a direct reflection of the spiritual development of the individual mind. I call it a spiritually induced reality.

As to the question of where is it? .... Well that’s where the imagination starts to run wild. Strangely enough, in this book, Davis doesn’t shed any light on it except to explain that it comes from the earth and depends upon the earth for its existence and also that it exists within a system of suns and planets similar to the Milky Way system. In his later works he goes into much more detail and, in fact, gives a dimensional characteristic to the spheres, ie; they exist in specific distances from the surface of the earth. Others have supported this but there are so many different opinions that it gets confusing: ie: that the first sphere is at 50 miles with subsequent spheres at similar distance rising up to 300 miles, another says the first starts at 500 miles rising to 18,000, another states that it actually exists within the earths atmosphere and may in fact extend down into the earth.

There are obviously too many opinions to form any consensus. Swedenborg didn’t attempt to give his spirit world any definite location in space, claiming that, since it was spiritual, it was outside of the material order of things and, therefore, did not exist in time and space. Consequently his spirit world could have no spatial relationship to earth.

The great British Spiritualist, Arthur Findlay, theorized that it was all around us at different levels of vibration; an interesting theory also proposed by the American author, James Redfield in the Celestine Prophecy. Since we all exist in an atmosphere of etheric gasses, I personally think that it could exist as a combination of the vibration theory within an atmosphere of etheric densities that are sensitive to the vital principle of thought. However there is no consensus on it and there are obviously too many opinions to make any sense of it; but Davis was convinced that advances in technology would eventually lead to the scientific discovery of the Spirit World, wherever it is.

But regardless of the lack of consensus let’s return to those first three spheres. Davis classifies them as the doorway through which spirit enters into highest levels of development; the fourth to the seventh spheres. I won’t get into a description of each one because words really aren’t enough to give us an idea of the progression that takes place. It’s a spiritual unfoldment that’s totally beyond human comprehension. In his writings we find phrases like: “Every form and thing is constantly growing lovelier and lovelier, and every sphere is more beautiful and pure.” “Every mind is like an open flower”. “Here are the fields of Paradise; and on them is erected the house of many mansions” “Here are all the beauties of earth and heaven combined, developed and perfected”.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Evolution of Spiritualism

A further extract from Al Batten's talk at the ISF Congress in 2006:

"So as a start, this will give you a little bit of the background to move on to the next phase of our discussion; the philosophy and the man responsible for bringing it to us. And that man is Andrew Jackson Davis; a very special man who, when all is said and done, is the main reason we’re gathered here in this auditorium today. His body of work is so significant that it can safely be said that there has been nothing written about the philosophy of Spiritualism since his time, nor has any information been received about it, even from the Spirit World, that wasn’t first written about or commented on by him. He gave a meaning to all the things which followed and he is the benchmark around which all other opinion and debate gathers. He also popularized the movement to the extent that he has been called our John the Baptist. Yet strangely enough you rarely hear his name mentioned here in the UK nor in America for that matter, we don’t talk about him a lot; he’s not seriously discussed or celebrated so we are going to talk a bit about him this afternoon.

Andrew Jackson Davis was born on August 11, 1826 in a small village in New York State in the Hudson Valley just a little north of New York City. His parents were poor in the most abject sense of the word, we call it dirt poor; his mother was a devout Christian, very superstitious and surprisingly clairvoyant, and his father was an uneducated shoemaker who was an alcoholic. He didn’t receive much of an education and wasn’t encouraged to do so, in fact, his total schooling amounted to about five months. So you can understand that he really didn’t start off well: and he was clumsy, his father said “he didn’t have enough gumption to make a whistle”, his teacher called him a “blockhead” and his sisters called him a “dummy”. He was so unsure of himself and so introspective that he thought that the only thing he was really suited for and had any real capability for, was doing “nothing”. How wrong they were, for this young man was to be the recipient a very special gift. It all started as a young boy, about 10, when he began to dabble in hypnotism, and this strange gift started to appear. It was found that when he became hypnotized he actually went into a trance and demonstrated surprising powers of clairvoyance yet he couldn’t remember a thing afterwards. And when he was in this trance condition he could see objects placed in other rooms or hidden in other locations. While blindfolded, he could read the title of a book place in the closet of an adjoining room or a message written on a piece of paper hidden in someone’s pocket. In fact he became quite curiousity; people came from miles around to see him. He also developed an unusual sensitivity that allowed him to see the human body in a transparent condition, visualize all the organs and then diagnose and prescribe remedies to medical disorders; we call it medical or x-ray clairvoyance, a very rare gift.

In 1844 at the age of 17, he had an experience that changed his life. On the night of March 6th he was awakened in the middle of the night by a strange voice which said to him “Arise, dress thyself and follow me”. Now he had heard this voice in his head many times before but could never understand what is was all about or where it came from. He eventually would come to know it intimately. Then a mysterious power overtook him; he dressed, ran out into the street in what was apparently an altered state of mind and here he had his first vision of spirit, a vision of a valley filled with sheep with a host of Spirit looking down on it. Then he continued the journey with some unknown force seeming to thrust him through time and space. He claimed to have travelled throughout that night to a place about 40 miles away where he had another vision of that strange new world and significantly he claimed to have met the spirits of two historical figures who were to play a very important part in his later development; a Greek physician by the name of Galen who had lived in the second century, and secondly the great Swedish Seer and Philosopher, Emanuel Swedenborg who had lived from 1688-1772. And it was during this encounter that they taught our young man a very important lesson which became his life’s motto and eventually a mantra for all Spiritualists, “Under All Circumstances Keep and Even Mind” It was an event of legendary proportions, but as with all legends it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction; was this experience a vision, was it an actual levitation, or did he walk the 40 miles in a trance condition? No one knows, not even Davis was sure what happened. Later in his life when he had a chance to reflect on it he determined that it was a mental clairvoyant experience rather than a physical journey but, regardless, it was the defining moment of his life; the effect on him was tremendous and he totally redirected his life’s focus eventually leading to the career that he became so famous for and, significantly, Galen and Swedenborg where with him throughout it all.

I would like to go back to that journey for a moment because it’s interesting to note the reference to Swedenborg because 100 years earlier he had clairvoyant experiences very similar to Davis; he too had visited the Spirit World and documented his experiences. In fact, much of the teaching that comes from Davis is so similar in style and content to Swedenborg’s that some sceptics were convinced that Davis received his philosophy directly from Swedenborg while in the trance condition. But I would like to clarify that point because Davis always claimed his revelations were not received or dictated from spirit and were not the product of any form of mediumship; they were the direct result of his own mental and clairvoyant perceptions while in trance. There are also two other significant differences; Swedenborg held that he was appointed by Divine Providence and his revelations were infallible, his way or the highway, whereas Davis always held that no revelation is infallible and this is very significant when we talk about Spiritualism; no revelation is infallible. In the final analysis you have to figure it out for yourself. The second is that Swedenborg was highly educated whereas Davis was not educated at all, and that makes his philosophy all the more interesting. My personal hypothesis is that, while the information may not have come from Swedenborg perhaps, because of his influence on Davis he may have provided the window through which Davis was able to enter this other world.

It was also during this period that, while he was in this state of attunement, he started to experience some startling revelations and they were becoming more spiritual. His trance conditions were also starting to change and not too much later they would merge with his normal faculties, he no longer required the hypnosis and he was able move to the other world at will. He actually claimed that they weren’t really trance states because he always retained his consciousness and control, and could turn it off and on at will. And it was not clairvoyance; it was an attunement of the mind and a spiritual development to which anyone could progress if they put their mind to it.

But let us continue with the journey; it was a couple of years later in New York, as I have already mentioned, that this young man entered this Superior Condition and visited the Spiritual Universe and, in a sense, went back to the beginning of time, to the dawn of the Universe, and started that journey which led to a startling conclusion and the revelation of the Spirit World. It was an amazing process that laid the groundwork for Spiritualism to unfold.

It was categorically the founding philosophy of Spiritualism. It’s so complex and detailed that, considering his age and education, you might think it was a gigantic hoax. But the whole process was witnessed by a host of independent observers; in fact there were three official witnesses, 23 secondary witnesses and 267 occasional witnesses, many of whom were hostile, but all of them confirmed that there was no indication of fraud.

The first two parts are the most significant and I would like to talk about them a bit. The third part is a social commentary more relevant to the time in which it was written and is very closely related to the Utopian movement of the 18th century, although it does have some relevancy to our times in its collective approach to labour and the influence of mega corporations of today’s world. It’s like Marxism without the revolution.
The first part, The Principles of Nature, explores the nature of the mind and matter and the principles and laws which govern them. In fact, it is his philosophy on which we base our interpretation of Natural Law.

He observed that in the beginning everything could be placed into two categories called Matter and Motion and that everything else evolved from these two conditions. We were therefore introduced to the first and primary principle of nature which is “the law of eternal or perpetual motion” and from this flows all the other principles or laws. The law of Eternal Motion which produces the law of Eternal Progression directly through the laws of Cause and Effect, the law of Attraction, and the Law of Reproduction, which themselves are governed by the laws of Eternal Justice, Universal Goodness, and Universal Truth. I suppose it is the nature of Spiritualists, but some have added a whole range of new laws to suit our own purposes and justify their practices. When we are inclined to change the unchangeable we should remember the three creations of the imperfection of man: a God after his own image, a devil after his own interest, and a system of practices after his own prejudices. What we must also remember is that Divine or Natural Law is immutable and unchangeable and not subject to any other purpose than the harmony of the Universe.

And these laws are with us for a useful purpose; to Davis everything had to be practical and have a use, and the use of these laws is to create harmony and govern the order of progression. And through progression, the grand sum and total of all these laws is that Matter produces its ultimate the Mind and the Mind produces its corresponding principle, the Spirit. And it is the nature of Spirit to progress in knowledge and understanding relative to the Original Cause, of which all other things are the Effects. Knowledge by its nature corresponds to Truth: and Truth represents light, peace and happiness which are the ultimate goal of our progression. And he established the fact that the purpose of life in this world and the next, is all about progression.

He also learned that all material objects have a duality in that all things consist of an inner and an outer part. The outer side was the material part which was simply the body for the spiritual inner part which he termed as the true realty. Each side was an entity unto itself yet inseparable from each other. The mental or spiritual side is just as real as the material side and is in fact the superior realty. It’s much like the realty of a butterfly emerging from an inert cocoon. His conclusion is that all movement, all life, all growth originates in the spiritual side and the material side is simply a supporting mechanism.

The second part, Her Divine Revelations, I think is the most important part of this remarkable work. It’s a far reaching philosophical examination of the uses of the principles and laws which govern the whole system of nature. It details the origins of the universe and the solar systems in terms that today’s astronomers can relate to. It gives a detailed geological account on the makeup of our earth and how it was formed, gas by gas and layer by layer, and in such detailed terms that it astounded the scientific community. He also explained the process of natural evolution a dozen years before Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” was published, and even revealed the presence of the planet Neptune before its scientific discovery.

A strong case could be made that he even touched on the concept of DNA. From a religious perspective he examined Christianity and provided an historical account of how the Christian Bible was developed in an amazing amount of detail. And he very subtly and perhaps cunningly supported the biblical version of the world being created in 6 days, the only difference being that his days were 2 billion years long not 24 hours. And, remarkably, he finishes off this section with that astounding revelation of the existence of the spirit world. He gives a detailed description of it and goes on to teach the continued existence of the spirit after death. He explains the nature of death, the relationship of the spiritual world to the natural world and even goes into detail about the manner of life in the spirit world.

Let’s listen to one eloquent passage and how he describes it; “And a holy quietness pervades over the whole spirit world. There is happiness of the most inexpressible character, and ecstasies and exultations, and glorifications are continually ascending. There is so much purity and holiness that my mind is scarcely capable of withstanding its moving influence, such as would instantly annihilate all speech. Yet I now have a strength which I have not before known”

And he actually talks about what the soul or spirit is.....

He states that the “Eternal Law of Motion” produces progressive development in all things that everything is in a process of continually evolving, shedding forms and assuming new forms; you could compare the concept to a grand chemical laboratory where everything is constantly being developed and purified. We’ve talked about the fact that all things have a duality of substance, ie, that everything is composed of an outer part which is the material part and an inner part which is the spiritual part. You could compare it to a sunflower; you plant a seed and it germinates, you get a stem, then leaves, and eventually a beautiful flower unfolds, in essence the material aspect of the flower. Then a dying process takes place, but within that process is regeneration, a new seed is formed, a new form which is the spiritual side of the flower; the part that continues to evolve.

Everything has this duality; trees, dirt, rocks, water, everything, including human beings. Humans though, he says, have an extension of this duality; there is a trinity in our makeup; I call it “The Trinity of the Soul.” We have three components to our whole self; we have a material body which is our flesh and bones and organs, all simple material substances; and this material body is simply a vessel which houses our spiritual body which constitutes our sensations and senses, our feelings, sight, hearing and taste. This in turn houses our Spirit which is our mind, our thought processes, our intelligence and this is the real us, that inner part that is in a continual state of progression. And when our material body has served its purpose and goes through the process we call death, it’s the spiritual body and the Spirit, the Soul which graduates on to the Spirit World. They leave the material body through the centre of the intellect in the form of an intense bright light and transfigures into the etheric form of spirit and the progression continues.

He explains that this change is not as dramatic as you might think, once the Soul recognizes that there has been a change. It’s simply a change of circumstances; all the characteristics of the person are relatively intact; there are same likes and dislikes, the same interests, the same psychological imperfections. What does change is that the physical imperfections disappear for we have left the world of the material, the first indication of a progression.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Evolution of Spiritualism

This continues Al batten's talk at the ISF Congress inEngland in July 2006:

It was the founding philosophy of Spiritualism and it was written before there was even a hint of communication. But even here he had a premonition, for in this book he(Andrew Jackson Davis)wrote, and I quote, “spirits commune with one another while one is in the body and the other in the higher spheres”, and he added that “the truth will ere long present itself in the form of a living demonstration and the world would then hail with delight the ushering in of that era when the interiors of men will be opened, and the spiritual communion will be established.”

A year later, on the evening of March 31, 1848, he wrote in his diary that he heard a “tender and strong” voice tell him, “Brother, the good work has begun, behold a living demonstration is born”.

That exact same night, 500 miles away, the second most important development in Spiritualism took place; the events at Hydesville, when the Fox sisters established intelligent communication with the spirit of Charles Rosna. It was, what we call, the Birth of Modern Spiritualism

Davis had provided the philosophy, those noble faculties and Hydesville provided the science, the communication.

Those events at Hydesville launched an energy that was extraordinary for its time. It had the excitement of mediumship, and it promoted an appealing new philosophy. And it had a popular purpose; it’ s important to recognize that in its’ earliest day it was a vehicle for social activism; championing labour reform, the anti slavery movement, the temperance movement, women’s rights, child labour, rights to education, and it fought rigorously against religious intolerance. Strangely though, it remained leaderless and reluctant to organize; but that would soon change and move into an entirely new phase.

It has been said that the first requirement for a religion is that people must believe in certain things for them to have any sort of mental piece

It took a third event 23 years after the events at Hydesville to satisfy this requirement. In 1871 on a January evening in the city of New York, a small group of people gathered for a sitting in which the lead medium was a well known Spiritualist of the day, an English woman by the name of Emma Hardinge Britten. As the circle got underway, the spirit of a prominent 18th century British social reformer, Robert Owen, came through and gave to the Spiritualist movement a set of principles; a simple set of guidelines that gave a meaning and purpose to Spiritualism. We know them well.

The Fatherhood of God
The Brotherhood of Man
The Communion of Spirit and the Ministry of Angels
The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul
Personal Responsibility
Compensation and Retribution hereafter, for all the good and evil deeds done on earth
Eternal Progress Open to Every Human Soul

Spiritualists of the day rallied around them; they had provided the focus to organize and solidify their religious tendencies. And from that point on Spiritualism took on a whole new life

Davis had provided the noble faculties, Hydesville the communication, and Britten added the harmony. The ties that bind us.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

“Evolution of Spiritualism”

I thought many of you would be interested in the paper entitled “Evolution of Spiritualism” which was presented by Al Batten from Canada at the 29th World Congress of the International Spiritualist Federation in Eastbourne, England on 31st July 2006

"I would like to start with a question: What is a Spiritualist?

If everyone here were to get up and answer that question there would probably be as many different answers as there are people; but I will guarantee you that there would be one common theme in each answer; there is one basic reason why we are gathered here. One of our early pioneers in North America was a fellow by the name of Hudson Tuttle who, in my mind gave the definitive description of a Spiritualist when he was asked that question: “What is a Spiritualist”. And his answer to that was that “anyone who believes that departed spirits communicate with man, however else they disagree, are Spiritualists”. And how right he was; we are all here because we believe in communicating with spirit and strangely enough most people stop right there and think that’s it; that’s what it is all about. But he went on to add this statement: “but it is only as they cultivate their noble faculties, and harmonize their lives, are they entitled to the term in its highest meaning”.

In this statement he has given us three conditions to think about ...............communication, noble faculties and harmony. Individually they don’t mean much but together they are the backbone of Spiritualism and not one of them can stand alone for together they represent the three pivotal moments in the development of Modern Spiritualism. And they also provide that answer to my second question.

What is Spiritualism? In a nutshell the answer to this question can best be summed up in one statement: “Spiritualism represents a process of evolution which is governed by a set of immutable, unchangeable laws. It is the philosophical, scientific and religious reasoning which leads to the knowledge and understanding that everything in existence is Divine and interdependent, and is involved in an eternal process of evolving from a lower to a higher form of existence; progressing to higher levels of the purity and perfection of that form; always moving closer, through an eternity of time, to the source of its creation.” Sound surprising? You will notice that there is no mention of communicating with Spirit in that statement because it’s more than that and how we get to it is the essence of Spiritualism, and that then brings us back those three conditions: communication, noble faculties, and harmony. But before we go any further let’s rearrange them a bit to suit the sequence: 1. the noble faculties, 2. the communication, and 3. the harmony; in other words, the philosophy, the science, the religion; the three conditions we are more familiar with and are the commonly accepted terms when we talk about Spiritualism.

One of the primary natural laws is that of Cause and Effect; we know the Effect of these three terms within Spiritualism because we see them all around us in our practices, but we sometimes don’t quite understand what the Cause is, in other words, where the philosophy, science, and religion come from; how did they actually enter into our lexicon.

Well this takes us to a series of events that define Modern Spiritualism as we know it; a series of events that took place in the United States. It is important to recognize that Spiritualism is a uniquely American religion that was fostered by an evolution of religious thought that could only have happened in America; the land of the original revolutionaries. It was, in itself, the product of a religious revolution; but that is the subject of a whole different lecture and we don’t have enough time to talk about that today.

First we were given the philosophy which defined those noble faculties. Now many Spiritualists think that our philosophy evolved from the Spirit World through messages from our Spirit friends over a long period of time and they are right in one respect; it did come from the Spirit World but not through messages. It actually originated with one man who had a very special gift through which he provided the basics of our philosophy and, at the same time, built the foundation for Modern Spiritualism.

His name was Andrew Jackson Davis and he lived from 1826 -1910. He was an interesting fellow; a simple man who was simply known as “Jackson”. He started out life in extreme poverty, was self educated, became a seer, clairvoyant healer, philosopher, author, social activist, and he was controversial

He was a person who left a mark, he made a difference and for a period of 15 months from November 1845 to March 1847, he did something very special. Something that led to a series of events that spread like a fire storm throughout North America and the rest of the world

Later in this talk we will go into the details of how he came to a certain point in time, but at the young age of 19, on the evening of November 28, 1845, he entered what he called, “The Superior Condition”, a condition which is the highest level of spiritual attunement for the human mind, and he visited the Spiritual Universe and, in a sense, went back to the beginning of time, to the dawn of the Universe, and started a journey that led to an exciting revelation; the existence of a new world, a spiritual universe that we call the Spirit World. The process took a little over 15 months and through a series of 157 trance lectures he described his experiences and observations which were then transcribed into a book called, The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations and a Voice to Mankind.

To be continued.

Saturday, 26 December 2009


I received this by email recently and was so moved I want to share it with you all.


On July 22nd I was in route to Washington , DC , for a business
trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately.

I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.

When I got off the plane, a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, "Mr.Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital."

My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over.
Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital . My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.

By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart. They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.

The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son laying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.

Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.

Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken.. He said, "Daddy hold me" and he reached for me with his little arms.


By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, when we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.

In the days that followed, there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressful pace. Perspective seemed to be more focused and balance much easier to gain and maintain. We felt deeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.

The story is not over (smile)!

Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brian awoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mommy.. I have something to tell you." At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases, so to say a large sentence surprised my wife. She sat down with him on his bed, and he began his sacred and remarkable story.

"Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you but you couldn't hear me. I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the ' birdies ' came."

"The birdies?" my wife asked puzzled.

"Yes," he replied. "The birdies made a whooshing sound and flew into the garage. They took care of me."

"They did?"

"Yes," he said. "One of the birdies came and got you. She came to tell you "I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverent feeling filled the room. The spirit was so strong and yet lighter than air. My wife realized that a three-year-old had no concept of death and spirits, so he was referring to the beings who came to him from beyond as "birdies" because they were up in the air like birds that fly. "What did the birdies look like?" she asked.

Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all white. Some of them had green and white. But some of them had on just white."

"Did they say anything?"

"Yes," he answered. "They told me the baby would be all right."

"The baby?" my wife asked confused.

Brian answered. "The baby laying on the garage floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told the baby to stay and not leave."

My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As she listened to Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form. "Then what happened?" she asked.

"We went on a trip," he said, "far, far away." He grew agitated trying to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm and comfort him, and let him know it would be okay. He struggled with wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to him, but finding the words was difficult.

"We flew so fast up in the air. They're so pretty Mommy," he added. "And there are lots and lots of birdies." My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly, but with an urgency she had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies" had told him that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house and that a big fire truck and an ambulance were there. A man was bringing the baby out on a white bed and he tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay. The story went on for an hour.

He taught us that "birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with our ears. But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is right because they love us so much. Brian continued, stating, "I have a plan, Mommy. You have a plan.. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must all live our plan and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that cause they love us so much."

In the weeks that followed, he often came to us and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained the same. The details were never changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits of information and clarified the message he had already delivered. It never ceased to amaze us how he could tell such detail and speak beyond his ability when he talked about his birdies.

Everywhere he went, he told strangers about the "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at him strangely when he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face
and smiled. Needless to say, we have not been the same ever since that day, and I pray we never will be.

You have just been sent an Angel to watch over you. Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people become friends and stay a while...leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts .. and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present! Live and savor every moment...this is not a dress rehearsal! THIS IS A SPECIAL GUARDIAN ANGEL.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Sunshine of Angelic Love

We are surrounded by the sunshine of angelic love, if only we were sensitive enough to feel and see it. Angels, with their brilliant, shining light and loving hearts, are dedicated to help all human beings as we try to find our way in the relative darkness of this physical world, beautiful though it is. They never give up, even though their loving efforts are so frequently ignored. They know that without their light, this world would prove to be an even more difficult place to navigate our way through.

When we are sad, especially at the loss of a loved one, they draw even closer and because sometimes in our sadness we are focussing on another and not our selves, we become aware of their presence. Those times, when in the midst of pain and suffering, we suddenly feel calm and serene; that is when we have registered the presence of our Angel friends. Their light raises our earthly vibrations so that, for a few moments, we become part of their world of love, light and harmony. We feel that same ‘peace that passes all understanding,’ that is sensed in near death experiences and in the moments before a soul passes to the higher world through natural causes.

Angels would have us feel this at all times: They have no wish to see us in pain and misery, full of worries. They know that life in all its phases is intended to be a joyful experience, full of anticipation and the desire to help others in any way our talents are able. They also know of course that life is about contrast; without ever becoming aware of darkness, it is not possible for us to fully appreciate and value the light. However, they do not wish us to dwell in that darkness. They want us to be more aware that like them, we are eternal spirits of light and love. It is only our excessive pre-occupation with things material that moves our natural light into the shadow. Yes, they know we must focus a certain amount of attention on the physical in order to gain the spiritual benefits we seek from earth life but when that focus becomes excessive, then it is self-defeating.

Earth life is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Because so many have erroneously made their earthly lives their end, then do they spread the darkness of materialism across the whole of the earth and there seems to be only one reason for living; to acquire as many worldly goods and as much worldly power as we are able. The Angels never cease striving to replace this materialistic darkness with the light of spiritual understanding and they use all souls who are open to their influence to bring this about. At a time of the year when so many in the world are celebrating the birth of one of the brightest spiritual lights ever to visit our world with his luminous presence, they redouble their efforts. Sooner or later, a large number of people will understand that the spirit of Christmas need not be a ‘once-a-year’ phenomenon. When that time arrives, then will angelic light spread rapidly throughout the physical world and the earth will become once more the training ground for angels that it was always intended to be. This is why so many of us place the image of an Angel on the highest point of our Christmas Tree.

Let me close this with a quotation for the British Spiritualist Lyceum manual:

“Catch the sunshine of Angelic love now beaming upon the earth, chasing away the darkness of error’s night, which has caused earth’s children to grope their way in the gloom of superstition, shutting out the Father’s love for His children, and debarring our guardian Angels from manifesting their presence to lead us heavenward.”

Monday, 21 December 2009

Our Daily Bread

This is another piece of automatic writing given to the schoolmaster and wife, from which I quoted the other day. Lionel

In our prayers we ask the great Supreme and Good to give us this day our daily bread. It is often said, but I am afraid it is often done so thoughtlessly, not fully realising its significance and not comprehending its full meaning.

By this prayer we acknowledge our indebtedness and dependence on God, and admit that we need food for the body but do not so readily admit of the necessity of food for the mind and soul, although they are the more important parts of the human being that need food.

God has made ample provision for satisfying all our needs, bodily, mentally and spiritually, but has demanded from us that we shall desire this food and strive in order to obtain it, fully knowing that whatever is obtained with difficulty is the more valued and appreciated.

Man needs little urging to partake of food for the body. He likes it and necessity compels him to get it. Unfortunately he is often a glutton, to his own injury and even death. He needs instruction in temperance and moderation, and should understand that he eats to live and does not live to eat.

Food for the mind is needed for all intelligent, thoughtful individuals, and plenty of scope is found in that direction in nature. Just think for a moment what he can learn in the sciences, in the arts and in literature and the history of man.

Probably the most distasteful food to man is spiritual food. He rarely thinks it necessary to life and welfare on earth, and so neglects it and frequently scorns the idea of giving it a thought.

By conduct like this he alienates himself from God, light, truth and love. He neglects all that could and would lift him from the sordid and material to the ethereal and divine.

We should realise the relative values of these our daily foods and should on no account forget to ask for and strive to obtain the Bread of Life sent down from heaven. It is ours for the asking and the seeking, therefore, seek and find.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

On Christmas and New Year

Christmas is a Christian celebration of the birth of the person after whom their religion is named, although Yuletide was celebrated at the same time of the year much earlier. In this sense Christmas appears to have little relevance to Spiritualists but I firmly believe there is relevance nevertheless. Jesus of Nazareth was one of the most gifted mediums who ever lived and the most spiritual of men. Although his teachings and his life story have been hijacked and significantly amended by theologians, without their trappings it has great significance for Spiritualists. We could do far worse than follow the example of Jesus.

The life of Jesus was an object lesson in how to develop the gifts of the spirit and above all, in how to work with the power of the spirit for the greater good of all humanity. The astonishing thing is that despite the fact he lived in a society we would find completely alien, his teachings and his example have the same relevance today as they did over 2000 years ago. He demonstrated that if we trust the power of the spirit, control our overweening egos and do our best to live our lives with humility and sensitivity towards the needs of others, we will find an inner peace and contentment that is foreign to materialists. If we want peace in the world, we must first find peace within ourselves. The Golden Rule, a philosophy of life he introduced in the Sermon on the Mount and one that has never been bettered, has long been honoured with lip service only. The results have been catastrophic. How different the world could be if each one of us tried harder to live by this precept.

Many years of failing to keep New Year resolutions has led me to abandon the practice but I do feel the end of a year gives us an opportunity to review the personal events of that year, recognise our mistakes and promise ourselves we will try harder next year.

In 2010 I would like to see Spiritualism moving closer to spirit and see more people being encouraged to sit in home circles for the joy of being with spirit, rather than to develop this or that type of mediumship. I would like to see a determined effort, by all Spiritualist churches and Societies throughout the world, to raise standards. Too few speakers on our platforms have studied the history of Spiritualism, the philosophy of the great spiritual teachers, or the techniques of public speaking. Too many mediums are not sufficiently developed to be working in public and even more cannot distinguish between what is psychic and what comes from the spirit world. The need to tackle these shortcomings has been there for years and we need to act. When we do we won’t be alone. Once we begin, the spirit people will flock to help us, for they know such changes are a golden opportunity to alter the way human beings behave towards each other and the world in which they live. Human beings are creatures of spirit and for too long, even Spiritualists have overlooked this fact. Let us return to our roots. If Spiritualists begin the process, it will soon move outwards and encompass others.

Christmas is very materialistic today and of course in that, it reflects society as a whole. It seems to have lost much of its religious significance but that does not bother me unduly. After all, religion has brought at least as much agony as joy to our world. The fact remains, materialistic or not, most people at Christmas focus on others as well as themselves. It would be better of course if we could focus on others instead of ourselves but let’s not be too critical. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive. What blessing is greater than seeing the joy on the faces of small children on Christmas morning? Christmas can be a starting point. If we can only learn to make giving second nature, we will have taken a huge step forward as a species. Of course we have to understand that giving of oneself is what is important. I remember well during the war how we used to make one another Christmas gifts. It seemed to me these hand made gifts gave more genuine pleasure to both giver and receiver than did gifts bought in a shop.

If we can think so much about giving pleasure to others at Christmas, we can do it at other times of the year too. Perhaps it will become a habit! Shorn of its materialistic overtones, giving can be the start of an inner revolution.

A Happy Christmas from sunny Rio.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Deeds not Words

Between1925 and 1930, a retired schoolmaster and his wife sat together with a Planchette and received many inspirational pieces through automatic writing. They were written down exactly as received from spirit. This is one of them:

It is recorded in history that a great general, when a officer was recommended for promotion or when one was required for a daring and important undertaking, always asked the same question:- “What has he done?

In all departments of life today people are asking the same question, but very rarely make it a personal matter and ask, “What have I done?” There are many competitors who are eager and anxious to break the records of their forefathers and contemporaries in efforts of speed, daring, perseverance, endurance, invention and creation for the sake of honour, preferment and reward. The public recognise and appreciate these kind of feats unstintingly and the successful ones are feted, honoured and rewarded.

The great soldier is titled and honoured in the form of national gifts of money. The successful businessman is termed a genius of commerce and finance and the very daring, although called by opprobrious names, are worshipped as heroes.

Science, literature and art hold a very secondary place. The great teachers and preachers are a poor third and downright honest goodness is by no means considered a virtue to be praised, rewarded and practised.

Now I have said before that the only thing a man takes with him beyond the grave is his character, and this is formed by what he does, good and ill, and it is the only standard by which he is judged when he enters spirit life. It does not matter what religious denomination he has belonged to, but it does matter a great deal whether he has loved truth, beauty and goodness, and more especially whether he has been a lover of God and man. What has he done? Has he helped or has he hindered? Has he loved or has he hated? Has his life been a cheerful, inspiring song or a doleful dirge? Has he live a life that without honour, ostentation and fame has been an example in patience, long-suffering and the faithful discharge of all duties, as though they were performed in the presence of the great Taskmaster? – Or has he lived an aimless, useless and injurious life?

We all have talents. What are we doing with our one, five or ten talents? Are we using them in the service of man and God? Or are we neglecting and abusing them to our injury and to the detriment of the whole world at large?

It would be advisable to interrogate ourselves frequently in this manner, for it is not what we have said, nor what we have intended, nor what we have advised others to do, but what we ourselves have actually done that will merit the: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Like the tree, we shall be judged, not by the foliage but by the quality and quantity of the fruit. We shall be judged, not by our words but by our thoughts and deeds.

Friday, 18 December 2009


This is the last of the excerpts from Ian Fearn's book "Think Again," published by The New Renasence Trust:

‘Serious’ is one of those words which causes an immediate emotional reaction. Apply it to a problem, an illness or predicament and we can quickly spot its negative effect on ourselves and other people. We become not merely uninspired but dispirited, if not actually frightened with the seriousness of the situation confronting us, weighed down by our seeming inability to deal with it. We are overwhelmed with seriousness - the most unpromising mood for tackling anything successfully!

The problem or illness may be quite minor, but if we dwell on it seriously, it will become inflated in proportion to our own deflation of spirit. In fact, our problem becomes larger than life, and often turns into a morbid exaggeration.

We may try to fight the problem with dogged determination, but our attacks do little more than add weight to the negativity. We may think that we are ‘getting it out of our system’ by talking about it to others, but negative talk about our worries and woes often tends to make them more formidable. So long as we are distressed with the stresses of seriousness, our problems will remain unsolved, and sooner or later we may become a problem ourselves.

Take but a glimpse at the lightness of Life, and seriousness will appear as what it is - a burden. You can understand this if you try to enjoy an evening out with a serious companion! The weight of their ‘psychic baggage’ is a heavy weight to bear! Seriousness severs our connection with Life. So, it is actually an ‘offence’ against the Life-law of vital circulation. We all know that our whole physical well-being depends upon the healthy circulation of the blood. If it becomes sluggish, like a stagnant stream meandering through a valley, it collects an accumulation of toxins which poisons our system, and if we do not do something about it, disease in some form will follow. What is at the back of the stagnant circulation? More often than not a stagnant temperament that plods along without interest or zest, or seriously holds on to the relics of a dead past. No one who obstructs the circulation of Life can be happy or healthy.

Tuning our Instrument

To talk about sluggishness and stagnation may sound a bit out of place in this busy age, when our existence is speeded up into one strenuous rush. But when the speeding comes from the outside, what is our natural reaction? Agitated scramble: In fact, hurry is the unintelligent effort of trying to accelerate with the brakes on. That puts an impossible strain on the most long-suffering piece of mechanism. We are trying - seriously again - to force our sluggish selves to a quicker than natural tempo, and the results are none too pleasant, as can be seen in our strained faces and anxious eyes.

The outer speeds of our modern world may give some a passing thrill of exhilaration, but what a poor a fleeting substitute for the joy of sharing the rhythms of Life! Life’s lively concerto is ours to enjoy if we tune our instrument! The musician knows the art of adjusting the strings of his violin so that they are neither too taut nor too slack. That is something we too must learn with our instruments, the body, the brain and the psyche, for Life to make its music through us. One of the most enabling thoughts is that Life is always waiting to work with the man who attunes himself to its higher frequencies.

All this may sound inviting, but sadly remote when we get bogged down in a ‘serious’ bout. How then can we deal with problems successfully without getting serious about them?

Midnight Worries

Firstly, it is good to recognise that the middle of the night is not the time for solving them. That is when they multiply and magnify out of all reasonable proportions. If we happen to have some trouble on our mind when we go to bed, then we need to be firm with ourselves. Instead of tossing around, worrying about what is disturbing us, we should encourage ourselves that it is really not some awkward problem, but a challenge, and that if we relax and go to sleep we shall be preparing ourselves to tackle it in the morning.

The next day, get to work in a constructive spirit to simplify the problem; that is, to eliminate any factors which seem to complicate the situation. It may help to see the factual pros and cons more clearly to write them down. This objectivity may also enable us to see the matter in better perspective, beyond the emotions of fear, anxiety, suspicion etc. The most difficult factor in dealing with any problem is the emotions involved. So we should take every means to transfer the problem from the maze of personal feelings to the objective plane, to get a new slant.

Switch on the Light

When a difficult problem arises, instead of becoming serious about it, or complaining ‘Why should this happen to me?,’ mentally switch to the positive pole. Assure yourself that the problem is not really unique. Millions have come this way before, and quite a large proportion whose plight was as bad have struck a working equation with Life. They are confident that Life will work out with them a happy solution to their problems. That confidence, so to speak, ‘switches on the light’ that delivers us from the gloom of our anxious fears and the heavy ‘hang-ups’ of those who have not dared the great adventure of learning to Live.

Most of the troubles in the world that assume such serious disproportions come about through neophytes in the school of Life jumping to the conclusion that they can qualify in the tests before studying the lessons. Although Life has no printed text books, it has a sure and certain science that those who would Live must learn.

Confidence in Life

Living is an adventure, and we are here, every man, woman and child, to make a new life for ourselves. Even if we should happen to be handicapped by a physical defect, a set of complicated circumstances, or some psychological hold-up*, it is possible to deal with such things, if we go the right way about it. It is not a matter of expecting a miracle, but of changing our attitude from one of serious anxiety to confident trust in Life’s power. This positive attitude, that welcomes the outwardly impossible and believes in its possibility, will lift the problem from the negative emotional plane where no problem can be solved, to the creative plane where the impossible can come true.

A Benediction

May the Wisdom of the Eternal Light save you from suffering. When falling into Life’s temptations may you find yourself in His everlasting arms, and being strengthened by the Wisdom of worldly experience, may your Soul be able to stand with Him in the Light of Life, the Eternal Embrace of Love


Love - Ian Fearn

© New Renasence Trust (Registered Charity No 256640)

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Animal or Angel?

We, the human species, are the result of a long and arduous process of evolution, and now we can be best described as little more than a race of human hybrids: half-man, but with a very deep-rooted entail that leads us would-be humans in the ways of our less presentable past!

Our nature is divided into two contending strains - the animal and the angel. Both are essential to the equipment of every man coming into the world. The animal is obviously resident, restive, reactionary and acquisitive, the angel is a quality deep hidden and mainly undiscovered. This is the urge behind our aspirations and our endless search for the Reality that goes on Living - Living that knows no dying.

‘Angel’: the word means messenger, the bearer of a message, the message of the Spirit that is the Cause of all creation, the Essence of all becoming, the object of all being. This angel quality lies hidden in the depths of unknowing, insensitive man, ever urging him to grow to conscious being, beyond the backward pull of his elemental beginnings.

Many are unaware of this angel born of Life itself, the angel that makes the meaning for coming into this world. And the animal endlessly chases its own tail, to the denial of the imprisoned angel that suffers while we heedlessly indulge in fights and feuds, the elemental impulses and instincts which belong to our past natures.

Nature Dominance

We who optimistically call ourselves homo sapiens have become so used to our assumed role of superior creatures with a wealth of resources and skills at our disposal, that we tend to ignore our background and nature ancestry. We have in the last hundred to two hundred years, almost unbelievably subdued, adapted and exploited nature to serve science; but we are apt to forget that, in spite of all our triumphs, we ourselves are still under its dominance. In the nature realm, everything preys upon something else; to kill or be killed has always been its ruthless regime for sustenance and survival. Man, as the offspring of nature, has had to follow, albeit involuntarily, that line of heredity and inherit nature’s instincts. But the urgent question now is: How long can we afford to go on blindly repeating the habits of our nature mother, when we have in so many outstanding and dangerous ways transcended her limits?

True, we have attempted to deal with our elemental instincts by innumerable moral and religious means. But nature’s tendencies are always liable to break out, and when fear, suspicion, hate or revenge lay hold of the reins of emotion, then at nature’s behest, we resort to any or all of the behaviour patterns that pertain to the ignored ancestry of the would-be superior homo sapiens.

Truth to tell, we like friction more than harmony. Watch an audience listening sleepily to some informative lecture. See what happens when someone interrupts and says: ‘I don’t agree with you’. The sleepers immediately sit up, open their eyes and alert their ears! Conflict, argument, friction are actually stimulating. Our strife with our neighbour is, more often than not, the spice of life. Indeed, if anyone should threaten what we regard as our rights, most of us show zest for the battle!

Man has taken enormous strides in subduing the forces of nature to achieve civilisation, but he has not yet managed the lower creation that lingers and lurks in his psyche.

Heeding the Message

In this perilous nuclear age, one thing becomes unmistakably clear: We must discover new and different ways; not merely, as has too often been our habit, by camouflaging, concealing or repressing the conflicting instincts and predatory appetites that the animal strain in us has inherited. It is no longer just morally wrong to commandeer, retaliate or murderously annihilate. In view of the forces that man has unleashed, it is unmitigated insanity to indulge, implement and ‘scientise’ the old nature instincts, the dubious remnants of his primitive beginnings.

Man is now compelled by the pressures of the new age he has inherited to grow to human estate and to realise his destiny as Life’s latest, most companionable achievement. The challenge of the angel in man is to evolve a mind that can control and direct the nature forces within him, and prove his manhood by transcending their now obsolete domination.

Peace on earth can only come true when we heed the message of the angel within ourselves.

Ian Fearn

© New Renasence Trust (Registered Charity No 256640)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

From Spirit – 16th December 2009

I draw close once more and thank you for inviting me to try to guide your fingers.

I wish to speak today of the concerns that abound on Earth about the effects on the climate of what you refer to as ‘global warming.’ That the Earth is warming is beyond doubt, as you can see from the acceleration in the melting of the southern and northern polar ice caps. That the pollution you daily pour into the atmosphere surrounding your world adds to this warming effect, is also beyond question, but it is not all.

As human spirits with finite physical bodies, living in a finite physical world, there is a need to recognise the blindness this state of affairs imposes upon you. What you see and understand of your Earth and what occurs both above and below its surface with your five poor sensors is but reading the first page of a book with several volumes. What people believe to be understanding is little more than guesswork. Your Earth is a living organism, as much a part of the Infinite Source as are you and I. It is still young and as with all youthful beings, it is growing and changing but the pace of change is so gradual that, to your finite brains it might appear to change not at all during one human lifetime. Your senses therefore lull you into thinking the Earth will remain the same almost indefinitely but this cannot be.

The forces of creation must continue their inexorable role of adaptation and change. Adaptation to the impact of human ingenuity upon your planet as much as to the natural growth of the Earth as it matures. The forces whose results you are seeing as ‘global warming’ have been at work for millions of years and the climate of the Earth has changed before. It is not something resulting merely from the pouring out of harmful gases into the atmosphere, although that has accelerated the process.

Never forget however that you are guests upon its surface and you have been given this privilege because the Infinite Source knows that you need help in order to use your time on earth to maximum advantage as part of the spiritual refining process that is life. Just as the Earth helped humanity to provide food for itself instead of having to rely solely upon what grows in the wild, so it is helping now to bring about a sea change in human attitudes and understanding.

Your world has grown ever more intolerant and selfish, especially at the political and business level. Even programmes to help populations in countries too poor to properly support their own populations, are designed to bring more benefits to the donors than the recipients. Increasingly have countries with greater wealth exploited the natural resources of those who are poor. That is true of mineral, vegetable and human resources. The Earth has always been capable of providing sustenance for all its teeming millions but only if those populations are willing to help and co-operate with one another and not succumb to greed. The Infinite Source has laid down laws to guard against the despoiling of the plan for spiritual refinement. Time and again humanity is given the choice; co-operate with natural forces and live an earthly life of peace and steady growth, helping one another to face and overcome the inevitable challenges of life, or oppose those natural forces and create discord and misunderstanding. You are meant to live in harmony, which does not mean agreeing with one another all the time but it does mean that you have to be willing to agree to differ sometimes, instead of quarrelling and trying to resolve disputes by war.

The changes taking place in and around Earth currently are the latest of the challenges the Eternal Source places before humanity as a whole from time to time. You have reached a point in your social organisation where the present situation cannot be allowed to continue. ‘Global warming’ is part of the solution. You cannot oppose or alter the course of the changes taking place on the Earth, so you need to discover as much as possible about the direction they are taking and take steps to adapt to them. This requires co-operation between nations; it needs goodwill on all sides and a desire to learn more about the Earth as a living organism instead of ways to exploit her resources for material gain. It is a period when self-interest must be subordinated to the interests of all. There is time, for as I say, the earth changes slowly but make no mistake, those changes are inevitable. Humanity must learn to understand and adapt, or large numbers will disappear from the face of the Earth. In doing this, you will learn much about yourselves and your inner light also. In co-operating in order to learn and adapt, you will discover that life is truly about service and in serving one another selflessly, your individual light and the light shining forth from Earth will be greatly enhanced.

May you ever walk in the light of the Infinite Source

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


The world’s dissatisfaction chiefly consists in the fact that many are trying, at any cost, to take from others, instead of giving themselves up to the understanding of the beauty of the Divine Principle:

‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’

The selfish game of grabbing anything and everything possible, regardless of the feelings and of the cost to others, is apparently the world’s most popular occupation. It is truly a pitiable spectacle, but it will be even a more painful experience for those who, deluded with the lust of power and possession, have yet to discover through sorrow that ‘a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses’.

Greed is a bottomless pit created by the selfish to their own discomfort. Dissatisfaction is generally proportionate to selfish desire. Dissatisfaction is really the longing of the Spirit for the joy of Life, but instead of being rightly interpreted, the desire and mentality of the selfish interpret it as a legitimate aspiration of the human to possess, in material form, anything that gives comfort and self-satisfaction.

The real truth is that no rest or comfort can be found except in the Life of sacrificing Love.

Probably the last lesson that even the wisest man learns on earth is the value of, and necessity for, Service - the desire to serve. In proportion to development, is the strength of the desire to serve.

The ambition, and often only feebly disguised intention of most, is to assert self, to gain recognition, to receive applause, forgetting the one all-transcending characteristic of our Lord, who: ‘Made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a Servant’.

It takes a truly great person to serve, but unless able to adopt gracefully the attitude and work of a servant, we are incapable of being used by Heaven. Unless able to be as nothing, unrecognised, absolutely at the disposal of Love, we are not fulfilling the law of Heaven.

Life is Now

It is present; its vital power is here, anywhere, everywhere. The only limit is our own capacity to prove it.

Life has only one tense; the continuing, unlimited present. We can extend it; we can intensify it and go out to higher and higher phases. It all depends upon our developing the consciousness of continuity that will enable us to transcend the past and make the present such that there is no undesirable, hurtful future to fear.

If we want to make the most of the present, we must set out to develop the capacity to focus intelligently on the present, on its possibilities; to select only that which is of Living importance, giving ourselves to it entirely.

Live strongly, quietly, invincibly in the Now of conscious Life and thus share in the joy of the ever-present Presence.

This is the Life Eternal

Ian Fearn

© New Renasence Trust (Registered Charity No 256640)

Monday, 14 December 2009

En Rapport

Being human is an art. It involves learning to live with our fellow men; a necessity when the world is so closely knit together in outer ways, and so woefully divided in human relationships.

Is it not time that we tackled that old fashioned habit of thought, summed up in the word ‘foreign’. We still speak in terms of ‘foreign policy’ to express the attitude of one state towards another. We may not actually use the word, but all the same, ‘foreign’ also sums up the instinctive attitude of many of us towards anything and anyone outside our limited sphere of self-interest.

The concept of ‘foreignness’ is as old as the race; it is the offspring of that primeval fear of the unknown, the negative miasma of ignorance that peopled the forests and deserts with malevolent forces, demons and the like! Although we have come a long, long way on the road that leads to Life, many of us are still hesitant in some self-made position between the primitive and the human. Although physical caves are no longer our home, in much of our emotional life, we persist as psychic cavemen, fearful, suspicious, self-protective.

The fellowship that cancels ‘foreignness’ can only come in proportion to our mastery of this fear. Often we rob ourselves of the art of learning to be en rapport with the nature and needs of a fellow creature.

A Carrying Wave

En rapport - a ‘foreign’ phrase, which the dictionary translates as ‘in touch’, implies communication or relationship. To become en rapport means to establish a ‘carrying-wave,’ which is the basis of human interaction. The lack of it produces that separateness, insulation from the circuit of Life, which is the cause of most of our troubles.

We engage in intimate relationships in an attempt to fulfil ourselves and to deepen experience through sharing it. But these most intimate of relationships are often doomed to fail through lack of an ‘en rapport carrying-wave’.

The same is true of many of our other attempts at association. Our social contacts are mostly matters of surface convention. Our personal relationships are more influenced by likes and dislikes than any attempt at mutual understanding.

Thinking Again

We may ask ourselves: ‘Do we know how to become en rapport with anyone or anything?’ Surely there is a secret, indeed a science that can enable us to tune-in to another? It is not just one of the graces we may be lucky enough to inherit, or a natural inclination of the race of man, but a capacity we earn through practising the art of thinking again. As soon as we start to train ourselves to look at a situation apart from our person, we set our brain exploring, rather than succumb to emotional reacting.

For instance, when we say ‘I dislike him or her’, it is our feelings that are reacting, so our opinion of the other person is superficial and mostly related to ourselves. Human sympathy does not enter into such an attitude. Friendship can triumph over ‘foreignness’, but to achieve friendship we need sympathetic discernment which transcends that which is merely emotional.

It often needs both patience and penetration to create a human ‘carrying-wave’ with a stranger. Why not apply this in a very simple way in terms of the old saying: ‘Put yourself in his/her place’? This is not an appeal for sentimental kindliness or patronising charity; there is a science behind it. It is a challenge for intelligence and imagination to go out beyond the confines of self-defence to contact another through their need. If someone we meet does not give off the cheerful ‘hi there, good to see you!’ vibrations which make us feel self-pleased, we will not indulge in an unfriendly reaction, but at least attempt to ‘feel with them’ - the actual meaning of the word ‘sympathy’. Then we shall probably find the object of our dislike may be lonely, depressed, unfulfilled or suffering from some physical ailment.

Often it is only through another’s need that we can make a genuine human connection, and when we go out in sympathy to that need, we can establish a vital circuit. Then we shall be able to achieve that miracle of mercy - ‘put yourself in his place’, and share the rewarding reality of human fellowship.

Ian Fearn

© New Renasence Trust (Registered Charity No 256640)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Received from Spirit – 12th December 2009

After first praying for guidance, I sat at my computer yesterday and invited anyone from spirit to use my fingers in the cause of the purest spiritual light. I want to share with you what I received. If any of you would care to comment as to whether you feel it really is a communication from spirit, or merely a rehash of my own views, I should be grateful. Lionel

As we draw close to you this morning, we ask for your forbearance. This is the first time we have been allowed to speak through you and it will take us a while to accustom ourselves to this form of communication.

We bear from our home here the greetings of the bright ones who are always striving to draw close to those in your realms who are willing to listen or to offer themselves in service. When we draw close to your state and feel the overwhelming sense of conflict we are saddened, even though we know that this is the inevitable result of the wrong thinking of past ages. We speak of the conflict between matter and spirit, reflected in constant warfare and unnecessary suffering.

It is time now to draw back – to go within yourselves and seek for more light and more power so that the forces of negation which have moved to the fore during these ages may be arrested. Their advance has never been inevitable, for each one of you has always had access to greater power and brighter light. In the presence of these, their energies, which feed on ignorance, greed and misrepresentation, cannot exist. Once allow the light that is within you to burst forth and it will so blind the forces of negation that they will be unable to advance further because that light reveals the truth; the eternal truth, the understanding of which ensures ignorance cannot survive. In its presence the eyes of the blind (unfortunately most of humanity) are opened and can see the bright sunshine that streams from the Infinite Spiritual Presence. All your finer senses are sharpened and you can feel the warmth and comfort of the Presence; the Presence from whose heart each one of you sprang.

Greed that has so dominated humanity is, in this light, seen in its true colours. Its falseness is revealed by the Presence, as is its power to mislead. Please believe, few things are as damaging to human spiritual progress as greed. In the clear light of the Presence, the knowledge dawns that an acquisitive nature opposes the true aspirations of humanity, in the same way that failing to work with the laws of nature leads to dustbowls and starvation. Your light revealed, will ensure the greedy are no longer able to misrepresent the truth and force their views upon others through the use of fear.

The light of the Infinite Presence is the light of justice and compassion and understanding; the light of the knowledge that all life, animal, vegetable, mineral, is one - there can be no separation; the knowledge that all life is eternal. It is the light that uses unconditional love because it knows the power that love conveys is superior to all others; the light that smiles with understanding and compassion upon the need people have to reduce their individual idea of the Infinite Presence to finite terms; the light which encourages toleration of this need but lays down laws that ultimately defeat attempts to force upon others, one particular finite conception of the Infinite Presence.

There are gathered in our world, hosts of bright beings committed to restoring the light of spiritual understanding to all humanity. They await patiently the arrival in your world of those whose spirit is pure and simple enough to be used by them as conduits through which the light can be channelled. Rest assured there are an increasing number of such souls arriving on Earth. Through their activities, the darkness of ignorance and greed will be dissolved and the true function of Earth restored.

You may ask, “What is the true function of Earth?” It is simply to offer each individual creation of the Infinite Presence the opportunity, through confinement in a physical world, to shine more brightly as stars in the spiritual firmament, in the same way that the ore is transformed into golden beauty by the actions of the crusher and the furnace. The opportunity for this transformation to take place has been severely constrained because the physical senses have been allowed to dominate for too long. The physical senses are an essential element in the process of transformation but if they become too dominant, your inner light is obscured. The beings of light are dedicated to revealing your inner light again by showing, through those able to channel their message, the true wonder of infinite life and how poverty stricken is the conception of it when revealed only by your physical senses. They are seeking to restore peace and tranquillity to the soul, which will result in the Earth itself being similarly transformed. In their wisdom they know the outer always reflects the inner; therefore, the only way to change the latter is to change the former first.

May the light of the Infinite Presence surround you and the wisdom to use that light be granted unto you. We hope to return again soon and tell you more.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Life Circuit

WHAT IS LIFE? To try to define it would be well nigh impossible. No verbal definitions or explanations could convey Life’s subtle quality. It must be experienced at first-hand before we can know what it is.

Most of us have had some glimpse of Life at one time or another in our lives. It may have been a flash of inspiration, or that magic time when we were in love and the world of everyday things was temporarily transfigured. The experience has often been fleeting, and the high moments in our lives are painfully apt to be followed by a slump when depression descends, often for no reason.

The Swing of the Pendulum

It seems that we humans are suspended, as it were, between two opposite fields of attraction - the positive or Life-pull, and the negative or nature-pull, and as a pendulum we swing between the two. At first, we gravitate much more to the negative rather than the positive pole, which means that we are habitually under the sway of the nature influences. If the higher Life influences should exert an unusually strong attraction, we may be temporarily drawn from our natural field of oscillation; but this positive pull will inevitably result in a reactionary swing further into the negative field. So, if we picture ourselves as the pendulum, this provides some simple explanation of those unpleasant reactions which all of us at first experience.

We need not be content to remain ‘swinging’ within the negative field. If we consistently respond to the positive attraction and are not unduly disturbed by the negative reactions that at first we have to put up with, we shall gradually shift nearer to the pole where Life operates, so that we move increasingly into the sphere of the positive rather than the negative, and we function without struggle, strain or reaction.

All this sounds wonderful in theory, but someone will be asking: ‘How can I put it into practice? How can I cultivate the capacity to respond to Life?’

Vital Connections

Obviously we have first to discover one or two things about Life. Here, for instance, is a valuable starting point:

Life for man is the result of and proportionate to the connections he has created.

It may seem strange at first that we can connect to Life, that invisible, essential quality, through and by means of our material surround. But after all, why have we come to this planet of earth? Surely because it provides the particular kind of schooling needed, and an all-important facet of the curriculum is to learn to use the ordinary, everyday things of existence as a means to discover and make contact with Life.

We can see how this attitude works with the gardener, and how the plants respond not only to his expert care, but to his vital interest. They flourish and are more alive. In fact, it seems that their vibrations are tuned up by having contact with something of a higher frequency. It may even be that flowers especially cared for in this way, will actually convey these higher vibrations to others. So something beyond the flower may pass from the giver through the gift.

To connect with Life through connecting with things means giving everything its rights, and this is a process that we achieve progressively. Not only do we widen our knowledge of how things are made and how they work, but we become aware of much that we were quite unconscious about before. We shall gain in sympathy and insight into the nature not only of things, but of people, including ourselves. And these conscious connections will enable us more and more to operate in the field of Life.

Falling in Love

We have a vivid demonstration of how Life works through making human connections when it comes to the greatest experience in most of our lives - falling in love. The attraction between man and woman is all too often taken for granted as something that merely pertains to the nature plane, however we may romanticise about it. But sex provides one of our most important lessons in the school of Life. Each of us, whether male or female, is merely a side, as it were, a segment of a circle. The completion of that circle makes the circuit of Life. And because it is necessary for us to learn that we are but segments, incomplete, Life precipitates us into falling in love with the opposite side, with someone who represents the other segment of the circle. This is not merely to meet the urge towards physical mating, but that each may find through the other what is lacking or dormant in themselves. For though each of us is but a segment, yet, whether we are walking the earth in male or female form, we have the other side to a greater or lesser degree latent in us; it needs to be drawn out and developed if we are to graduate in the school of Life.

If we follow the way of nature, we shall merely depend upon what we find in another to compensate for our inner lack. Then neither of us will grow and our relationship will become stale. In fact, there will be no real relationship; as a physical relationship alone does not make a relationship. Only as we learn through our relationship with the other sex to grow in wholeness of being, will our attempts lead to any lasting fulfilment.

The same principle applies to all our human relationships. And here we shall find that the most promising meeting ground between two people is a mutual interest which takes them beyond their little personal concerns and isolations. Working together in shared responsibility should also call out latent qualities in each, so through this vital interest, Life can begin anew for both.

Beware Familiarity

If we value a relationship, it is all-important to see that we do not spoil it by taking it for granted. No human relationship truly is, except to him who makes it voluntarily in a spontaneous, creative spirit. When any relationship becomes a familiar condition, it has ceased to have the nature of genuine friendship. The only form of friendship that can endure and bring happiness is that which is too sensitive in sympathy to assume its own certainty.

Do not let familiarity spoil, even degrade, a relationship. Always look at your companion with the idea of seeing them anew. Never keep anyone imprisoned by your old picture of them. It may not have been a true picture anyway, or, if it were they may have long outgrown it. See them anew, try even to keep romantic about them - and this applies also to your attitude to yourself. Above all, respect the other person; listen to their point of view, even if they are taking the opposite viewpoint to yours. Never allow yourself to dominate or be dominated. Each must give the other a chance to express their own individuality; this is essential in any working equation.

If our meeting with another should involve a difficult problem, or some difference of opinion, a preparatory tuning-in to the person we are about to meet is of far more importance than rehearsing the points we are going to make. Try to establish a circuit with them in the unseen before meeting them physically. That bit of prior contact may save us from endangering a valued relationship by the frictions of argument and conflict.

Through practising this art of making connections with things and people, we shall come to enjoy the vital experience of contact with Life itself. And just as the law of the circuit when applied to things electrical produces light, heat and all manner of activity, so does the process of making a circuit with the power of Life result for us in illumination, liveliness, warmth and human sympathy. We begin to express through ourselves that vital quality which is Life.

Ian Fearn

© New Renasence Trust (Registered Charity No 256640)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The Enemy Complex

Why are we mortals always fighting? Though we pray for the day when strife will cease and wars will be no more, peace remains a far-off dream that shows little sign of coming true.

Conflict has bedevilled the human race right down the ages. One of the major troubles seems to be that mankind is roughly divided into two categories, two camps, factions, parties, call them what you will, they always represent the same pair of opposites — the haves and the have-nots; the people who are in and the people who are out; the people who are sleek, self-satisfied and secure, and those who are poor, miserable, deprived and defeated. Throughout our human history, these two factions have been at enmity; threatening, attacking, defending.

Defeating Reactions

The primitive instinct to protect what we have, or to struggle and fight for what we have not, has created an enemy complex, from which almost all of us suffer to a greater or lesser degree. Through much bitter experience, we know that whether it be in conflict between ourselves and our neighbours, or warfare between classes, races or countries, the enemy attitude is destructive to anyone who cultivates it, and can only arouse and increase enmity. To harbour hate and bitterness, sets up an irritant within the system, which gnaws and corrodes our very being. The effect of our hostility upon our opponent is to provoke a reaction of revenge and increased antagonism. To pit force against force does not settle our troubles in any permanent way, and often produces a host of other problems.

Almost two thousand years ago, the One we have called the Prince of Peace made some astounding statements about enemies and the way to deal with them. Many of us have fallen into the mistake of regarding his precepts as advocating extreme passivity. This is because we have not penetrated to their deeper meaning; indeed, we cannot do so until we understand something of the underlying science that prompted Him not merely to say these things, but actually to do them.

The method of dealing with enemies which he advocated and practised was the very opposite of weakness; it could only be accomplished by Power.

Power through Focus

This was the secret of Christ: He made himself a focus of Power. He was a master of Power. He lived surrounded by enemies, all thirsting for his blood; but by that convincing Power, the authority within himself, he passed through their midst, unscathed, day by day, taking his own way, undeterred by their malice.

We have not developed that power which comes from focus. Christ’s whole life was focused in purpose - ‘I came not to do my own will but the Will of Him that sent me’. It may well be said of Him that he was at one with the principles at the heart of the Cosmos - that system of vital, creative order that constitutes a universe - something that turns as one. Through his singleness of purpose, he had become so one with the Spirit of Life he called ‘Father’ that he was able to bring the Power of Life through himself and direct it.

But most of us are unfocused, indefinite in our aims, often inwardly in a state of indecision and conflict. Our lives are not based on any definite principle, and minus that point of focus we exist in a kind of blur. A hazy, indefinite film in a projector makes for lack of definition on the screen and exactly the same result is true with ourselves. This is why, when faced with an awkward situation, we are so often unconvincing, and either make a show of force, or, feeling weak, resort to some form of self-protection.

Christ made no attempt to protect himself. He convincingly proved by his conduct that the mere saving of himself from suffering and dying was alien to his purpose. Such was his Power that force could not overwhelm him until he chose to give himself up to his enemies.

Christ’s secret of peace-making can be summed up in the words: Have Power in yourselves. Should we have doubts about our being able to possess that inner Power that can triumph without force, we have that well-nigh incredible assurance: ‘Greater works than these shall ye do’.

Ian Fearn

© New Renasence Trust (Registered Charity No 256640)