Thursday, 30 April 2009

Silver Birch and Nature

The great teacher from the world of spirit, Silver Birch, who spoke thorough the trance mediumship of Maurice Barbanel, had some wonderful words to say about the Natural World.

“Take advantage of the summer, when tree and flower, mountain and sea, bird and beast, field and river and stream reveal themselves in all their beauty. Praise the Great Spirit, who has brought you such an infinite variety of His artistry as displayed in nature’s handiwork. Seek communion with those forces; strive to find the Great Spirit as He is expressed in the silence of the forest, in the lulling of the wind, in the trilling of the bird, in the nodding pine, in the ebb and flow of the ocean, in the perfume and scent of the flower, in the drone of the insect.

The pageant of nature is duplicated in every human soul. First there is the spring, with the awakening consciousness; the summer, when man’s powers rise to their highest; autumn, when life begins to wane; and winter, when sleep comes to the weary, tired soul. But even after the winter of the physical life, spring comes to the spirit as it awakens in another world to continue the cycle. Take from nature this message, and be assured that the laws which never failed will continue to operate in your case and in the case of every human life.”

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Oh Love That Will Not Let me Go

I adore this old hymn, which never fails to stir my heart whenever I hear it sung.

Oh love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee,
I give the back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean’s depth its flow,
Shall richer, fuller be.

Oh love that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee,
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze, its flame,
May brighter, clearer be.

Oh love that seekest me through pain,
I can not close my heart to thee,
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Please God Why?

Here is some advice on dealing with spirit and the information we receive from them. It appears in my book which can be obtained by visiting

In my experience, obtaining evidence of survival, like many of life’s experiences, is a very personal matter. Vicarious evidence is never as convincing or as satisfying as that received in person. Many books have been written on this subject and for readers wishing to discover just how wide-ranging and incontrovertible is the evidence, I would recommend three books in particular:

The University of Spiritualism, by Harry Boddington, published by Psychic Press Ltd. ISBN 0 85384 061 X

The Imprisoned Splendour, by Raynor C. Johnson, published by Pelegrin Trust ISBN 0 946259 30 5

The Archives of the Mind, by Prof. Archie E. Roy, published by SNU Publications ISBN 0 902036 13 0

Despite my reservations about the limited value of vicarious experience, I want to relate the evidence my family and I have received over the years*. I hope it will encourage you to seek for yourself, ever remembering the biblical caution to, “Test the spirit.” Be objective, do not judge on the basis of hearsay and never be afraid to oppose conventional wisdom when the evidence convinces you, you should. Never accept anything at face value but once you are satisfied there is no other reasonable explanation than communication from the world of spirit, accept it and treasure it.

...Had I not always been convinced that life in every form is spirit and therefore eternal, the foregoing experiences and many others, would have done so. However, evidence of survival does not just bring comfort and support. It changes our perspective; gives us a new understanding of the reason for human existence and helps us appreciate the responsibility we have towards those with whom we share this beautiful planet. Understood properly, it raises our eyes above the mundane to the glory and majesty which is our true inheritance. That is, once we have earned it through our struggles to overcome the distorting impact of our physical senses. We all pray or beg to be spared the painful experiences life holds for us. In reality these should be welcomed, for it is through learning to cope with pain and loss that we grow in spiritual strength and understanding. It is thus our characters, all we have to take with us when we leave this world, are built and enhanced.

* This evidence is not shown in this extract but does appear in the book.

Monday, 27 April 2009

World Peace Initiative

The following from The Daily Telegraph is a heart-warming story of one person's courage and ability, not only to forgive but to want an end to humanity's addiction to the use of violence in resolving conflicts.

Her initiative deserves the support of every thinking person but not, I believe by attending the 'event' in Trafalgar Square but by sitting quietly for ten minutes each day to create spiritual light within your mind. Once you become aware of that light, imagine it being projected towards a single individual who is in a position of power. Focus on one individual, say Benjamin Netanyahu or Osama Bin Laden, for one week, then switch to someone else for another week and so on.

I believe the power of the light of the spirit works best when the focus is tight. To focus generally on say Al Qaeda or World Peace is too general and the light will be dissipated.

Should it be considered silly or naïve to expect to bring world conflict to an end? With this pre-emptive question, Gill Hicks, who lost both legs below the knee in the July 7 bombings, launches a peace initiative next week that asks people to “draw a line” on conflict, on a festering rift or a stand-off, and start afresh – not only renewing themselves but doing their bit for wider harmony.

She has good reason to believe in the transforming power of individual actions. The terrorist attack four years ago almost killed her. Three times her heart stopped. If it hadn’t been for a chain of rescuers, each one refusing to give up on her after she was pulled from the burning carriage – too disfigured for them to know if she was a man or a woman – she would not have come through. To be alive is miraculous enough; to be so joyously alive is something else.

“Through my own experience,” she says, “I have learnt how precious life is. It takes great inner strength and courage to be the person who says, ‘Enough, let’s stop’ or ‘Let’s find a way other than violence’. I’m not Mother Teresa. I’m not an activist. I have no experience of peace-building. But I am not alive without conditions: I have to try to make a difference.”

She reveals her prosthetic legs, defiantly sheathed in zany black-and-white socks and gold trainers. “We have to make peace real, something you do, because this [she jabs her legs] is the product of the world of unrest that mustn’t happen again.”
Hicks has a funny-peculiar relationship with her legs, as though they are brilliant, wayward children and she never quite knows what they will do next. At night, they are just stumps – “my boys”, she calls them affectionately. But by day, extended by titanium rods, they are capable of astounding things.

Last summer, they took her from Leeds to London, a “Talkwalk” initiative to bring people of different backgrounds together – Leeds being the city from which most of the bombers came. Her prosthetist doubted such a feat was possible – he’d never had a double amputee wanting to walk 270 miles – but designed a pair of special suspension poles. They bounced her along at a cracking pace. “Can’t stop! Talk among yourselves!” she’d call out, leaving other walkers trailing in her wake.
On the last lap, the stumps became excruciatingly blistered but she made it to the finish at Trafalgar Square. The prosthetist came out from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, and advised alternately plunging them into hot and then ice-cold water. “It was hysterical,” she recalls. “I was sticking my stumps into each bucket for two minutes and thinking: this is how it feels to be an athlete. Champagne buckets were all the hotel had.”

Conversations with Hicks soon veer towards hilarity. From the moment she regained consciousness in the mangled carriage somewhere between King’s Cross and Russell Square, and decided this was not where she wanted to die, she has rejected victimhood and found humour in unpromising places. “I never compare the old life and the new,” she says. “Life Two is so extraordinary, so unpredictable, that I never wake up thinking: I can’t be arsed. I am too busy celebrating being alive.”
In 2006, she became ambassador for the charity Peace Direct and later an advocate for Leonard Cheshire Disability. She was awarded the MBE earlier this year and was named both Australian of the Year and Australian Woman of the Year in the UK. Mad (Making a Difference) for Peace is her latest conduit for change. On May 8, she invites people to “draw a line” – human lines or graphic ones – for peace and positive action.

“It is a symbol that change starts from within,” she says, “and that we can all shape the world around us. Inherently, we are better than the way we behave.”
With that, she abandons her walking stick, marches across a London street and unself-consciously dances with a lamp post, her shadow making a line on the pavement.

Gill Hicks and artists will be drawing lines for peace in Trafalgar Square on the morning of May 8. Email your Draw a Line pictures and story via

Sunday, 26 April 2009

The Blind Boy

O say, what is that thing called light,
Which I must ne’er enjoy?
What are the blessings of the sight?
O tell your poor blind boy!

You talk of wondrous things you see,
You say the sun shines bright;
I feel him warm, but how can he
Or make it day or night?

My day or night myself I make
When’er I sleep or play;
And could I ever keep awake
With me, ‘twere always day.

With heavy sighs, I often hear
You mourn my hapless woe;
But sure with patience I can bear
A loss I ne’er can know.

Then let not what I cannot have
My cheer of mind destroy;
Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
Although a poor blind boy.

C. Cibber

(Entry in 1956 in a poetry competition for 12 to 15 year olds)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Gift by Lionel Owen

Here is a chapter from The Gift, where Robert, the central character, shares the knowledge of his 'gift' with his sister.

Chapter 11 – Val Learns Rob’s Secret

In the meantime, Joan and Albert’s nervousness was increasing as they drew closer to their home. What would they find? Would it be safe to go in? How deep was the water in the cellar? They asked these and other questions to one another as they passed the scenes of devastation in the upper part of Sefton Road.

They were in for a surprise when they reached home. A fire engine was already pumping water from the cellar.

“Thank God!” said Albert.

Just then a man in brown overalls came up to Albert and said, “Mr Jones?”

When Albert nodded, he continued, “My name is Stephens, I’m a glazier and have been sent by the Council to see about repairing your broken windows and doors. I just need your signature, please, on this Bomb Damage Commission form.”

Luke had told Albert the bomb damage people were efficient but he still found it difficult to believe they acted this quickly. The glazier could see the surprise on his face,

“We try to give priority to houses that are not too badly damaged,” he said, “and especially where there are children involved.”

“I’m most grateful to you and your superiors. You’ve already made my wife and I feel much more optimistic.

“With luck, we’ll be able to work all day today and tomorrow morning. By tomorrow afternoon the house should be ready for you to move back in, provided the fire brigade is happy about the cellar.”

Joan and Albert realised they would only get in the way if they remained so decided to return to Velma’s house. Before leaving, Albert had a word with one of the firemen and arranged to return later that afternoon. By then, the fireman said, they should have pumped out all the water and be able to assess when it would be safe for the family to move back.

Having peeled the potatoes, Valerie and Robert were in the front room but their minds were not on their game. Robert had refused to say anymore about their mother while they were in the kitchen.

“Are you scared, Rob?”

“Scared of what?”

“Being evacuated, silly. We’ll be miles away from Mum and Dad and living with strangers. I know I’m going to hate it.”

“I think it’ll be nice on a farm with all the animals and Mammy says we’ll be alright. You might get better there, too.”

“There you go again. How can you say that, Rob? You never knew Mammy, she died when you were a baby.”

“She comes to talk to me when I’m scared of anything. She’s beautiful, she dresses all in white.”

“You actually see her?”

Robert nodded.


“Honest, Val, she does talk to me and I believe what she says. She’s always been right. She even brought Jim to speak to me yesterday.”

“Your friend that died in the air raid? That must have been scary.”

“Of course not, silly. She’s kind and gentle and she’s our mother.”

“Did she really tell you a Mrs Thomas would be looking after you in Wales?”
“Yes, and she said Mrs Thomas would be like a mother to me.”

“Am I going to be with you, Rob?”

“I don’t know, Val, she didn’t say.”

“Will you ask her next time she comes?”


“What else did she tell you?”

“She showed herself as she was when she was young and asked me to tell Dad what she was wearing and the writing on her ring.”

“Did you tell Dad?”

“Of course. I do everything Mammy asks me.”

“What did he say? Did he think you were crazy?”

“No, he didn’t think I was crazy. He said I was special but I mustn’t tell people about it ’cause they wouldn’t understand. He cried when I told him about the ring.”

“Dad cried? I don’t believe it.”

“He did, honest! He said he’d given Mammy that ring and the writing was her name before they got married.”

“Val, you won’t tell Mum or anyone about me seeing Mammy, will you?”

“Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.”

“Oh Val, don’t be rotten. Unless you promise not to tell, I won’t ask her if we’re going to stay together in Wales.”

“I won’t tell, stupid. I was only teasing. Can you ask her to come and speak to you?”

“No. She just appears.”

“Why don’t you try asking her to come? Now!”

“I can’t, Val. I don’t know what to say.”

“Go on, Rob, please. You’re mean if you don’t. Just say, ‘Mammy what about Val?’”

Just then Robert saw Elisabeth. She was standing by the piano on the far side of the room smiling at the two children. She seemed solid today and he felt that if he reached out his hand he could touch her.

“There she is, Val. Can’t you see her? She’s by the piano. She’s all in white and looking right at you. You must be able to see her. You’re scared!”

“I can’t see her. Rob, honest, but I’m not scared. Is she saying anything?”

“Just a minute. Yes, she says we are both to be very good because Mum and Dad have a lot to do to get us ready to leave on Wednesday.”

“Ask her about where I’ll be staying!”

“She says we’re not to be frightened. She’s going to look after us.”

“What about me, Rob?”

“Hold on. Give me a chance! “

“Please, Rob.”

“Mammy says we won’t be together. The people only have room for one of us. There are two other girls where you’ll be. The name of your farm and mine both begin the same. I think she said it was Pen something. It’s a good place and will help you get better.”

“That’s a funny name for a place. It sounds like we’ll be shut in like animals. Oh Rob, I’m more scared now I know we’re not going to be together.”

Robert held his sister’s hands. “Mammy says, don’t worry. It’ll be all right. You and those girls will be big friends.”

Valerie still seemed unconvinced.

“She says she has to go now but she’s going to give you a kiss. Try to feel it, she says.”

Valerie’s eyes were shining even though they were filled with tears.

“I felt it Rob, I felt it! She kissed me. I‘m not afraid anymore. Thank you, Mammy.”

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Hounds of Heaven

In 1893 Francis Thompson wrote a poem called “The Hounds of Heaven,” in which a man rails at God for deserting him, taking away so much that he treasured and having His hounds pursue him throughout his life. At the end God speaks and explains what really happened:

“And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited –
Of all man’s clotted clay, the dingiest clot?
Alack. Thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come.”

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Big Yellow House

I promised to post something about the history of the Big yellow House in Summerland, California. Here is another extract from my forthcoming book "The Keepsake" that does just that.


“Religious camps were much in vogue and Henry L. Williams, a wealthy man who had retired from government service to live in Santa Barbara, bought the Ortega Ranch between Santa Barbara and Carpinteria. His wife was a Spiritualist and he also became convinced of their teachings. He decided he wanted to build a community for Spiritualists. It would be similar to the existing camps but his plans were more ambitious. He offered small lots to Spiritualists and in many instances did not charge for them. Some people used their lots on which to pitch a tent whenever they visited but others bought several lots and built permanent residences.

Williams himself lived in the Ortega Ranch house but he also built a large house after his first wife died. At first it was rented by a medium but after Williams’ untimely death, his second wife lived there. This house is now the restaurant you visited.

He invited Spiritualists to rent or buy the houses and lots to create a community he called Summerland. Summerland was the name for the part of the spiritual world where children go when they die and it was visited by the seer, Andrew Jackson Davis, in one of his visions. However, most people believe Williams chose the name because of the wonderful climate it enjoys. He wrote in 1892, “Spiritualism, with its millions of believers, needs a home where its truths may be developed and taught in a systematic manner.” He had intended to build “homes for worn out mediums, sanitaria, colleges and other institutions of learning; to aid in the most practical way, the higher classes of mediumship.” These ambitious plans were never realised because oil and gas were discovered ten years after the launch of Summerland, which changed the nature of the town and its inhabitants.

Well known mediums were invited to give séances in the new town and almost every night there would be meetings and séances in the Liberty Hall which Williams had built. Remarkable phenomena occurred, like spirits materialising so they were visible to everyone present, looking just as they did when they were living on earth. Many such séances were held in darkness, even in those days but not at Summerland. All the phenomena took place in full view of the audience and in good light. People were attracted to the new community from across the USA. More houses were built and some streets were named after well known mediums of the time. Two were named after Britons. Hardinge Street, after trance medium Emma Hardinge and Evans Street after Fred P. Evans the great psychographer, or slate writer. He settled in San Francisco and his written evidence proving life after death was incredible.

Séances also took place at the Big Yellow House when tenanted by a Dr. Norton, a well known medium and mediums often visited when Williams’ widow took it over. The family claimed the upper floor was home to several spirits with whom they were on friendly terms.

The Spiritualist community finally dissolved when the freeway was driven through the town in 1951. Even their church moved to Santa Barbara and is still known today as ‘The Summerland Church of the Comforter,’ although Liberty Hall was demolished to make way for the Freeway.”

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

My Paradise

(Some lines penned on the day our
mountain house in Rocio was sold).

Rocio* descends and mountain crest
With cloudy wig is dimly dressed.
The towering tree tops disappear,
But still there’s peace and quiet here.

Peace that lifts your heart and soul,
Helping you reach any goal.
Peace that calms the tortured breast
And at days end; untroubled rest.

Beautiful butterfies, glowing bright,
Dance with joy that brings delight.
A humming bird with pinions whirring,
Kisses a flower - My spirit’s stirring.

Far above, the raptors hover,
Caressing the air as with a lover.
A nearby stream gurgles and bubbles.
Tranquil sound to soothe my troubles.

The sun is shining bright and clear,
Fluffy clouds o’er hills career.
Harmony fills my wondering eyes,
As I sit amazed, in paradise.

*Rocio means low cloud in Portuguese

© Lionel Owen 2009

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

The Great Invocation of the Theosophists

From the point of light within the Mind of God,
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let light descend on Earth.
From the centre where the will of God is known,
Let purpose guide the little wills of men –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men,
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out and
May it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power
Restore the Plan on Earth.

Monday, 20 April 2009

The Big Yellow House

The following is an extract from a book I am currently writing. Part of the story is set in Santa Barbara, California and near that city is a house, now a restaurant, known as The Big Yellow House that at one time was the centre of a Spiritualist community where remarkable physical mediumship took place every day. Leo is the narrator of the story:

"Five years ago we lost our only son David in a road accident. We were both devastated and for weeks couldn’t concentrate on what had been our normal life. I didn’t go to work and both of us became reclusive, didn’t we love?”

Charlotte, unable to speak, nodded her head in agreement.

“One day, we drove past the Big Yellow House and, just as you did, Charlotte felt an urge to go inside. We ordered coffee, read the history of the house and found it interesting but quite unbelievable. Charlotte visited the women’s room and didn’t return to our table for ages. Indeed, I was becoming worried about her when she appeared. She seemed even paler than usual but her eyes were shining and she seemed breathless.”

“Jim, Jim, he was there, I wasn’t dreaming, he was there.”

“I’m sure you weren’t dreaming honey but who was where?”

“David: Our little David, he came to see me in the washroom.”

“But that’s impossible Charlotte. Are you sure you feel OK?”

“I’m fine Jim. In fact I feel great and I can move on now. You see, David is not dead after all. Oh, his physical body is but when I was washing my hands he appeared before me as solid as you are. I couldn’t believe it until he said,
“Yes Mom, it really is me. I’ve been so worried about you and Dad though and they ‘persuaded’ you to come to this place where the special energy allows you to see me and know I’m not dead after all.”

“Jim, it was so obviously David I didn’t doubt what he said and you know how I had this sudden urge to come here.” He went on to explain;

“After the accident I sort of fell asleep and when I woke up Grammy and Pop’s were there. They told me I’d had an accident and was now with them in my new home. They would take me to see you and Dad, Grammy said but you wouldn’t know I was there because I no longer had my physical body. That had been buried in the cemetery. I said, you mean I’m dead Grammy? Yes dear, she said, but none of us ever dies, we just move into another part of God’s wonderful world. But Grammy I said, it doesn’t make sense. I want to see Mum and Dad to make sure you’re right.”

“Jim, he said he’s been to see us at home several times but got so frustrated because we didn’t acknowledge his presence. He created such a ruckus, it seems the powers that be in his new world arranged for him to appear to me. Isn’t it wonderful, our little David hasn’t gone from us forever after all? I’m at peace now Jim and can resume my old life. I know I shall be able to feel when David visits us at home and one day we’ll all be together again.”

“Leo, I took a while to be convinced but Charlotte made such a rapid recovery from her former depression, I was forced to acknowledge something remarkable must have happened. I’ve never seen David but in some way he communicates with Charlotte and once or twice she told me I was going lose some item at my office and not be able to find it for several days. She claimed David was going to remove it and then bring it back later. Sure enough, that’s what happened!”

Charlotte had recovered herself by now and said,

“Leo dear, I know this must all sound like a fairy tale to you but I swear as a friend it is true. Everything Jim told you happened. I no longer have any fear of dying and am able to accept that David was taken from us because it was his time to return ‘home’. I still miss him of course and wish he could have stayed but I know we’ll be together again when my turn comes to go home.”

Friday, 17 April 2009

Humanity’s Conceit

“And hark! The nightingale begins its song,
‘Most musical, most melancholy’ bird!
A melancholy bird? Oh! Idle thought!
In nature there is nothing melancholy.
But some night-wandering man whose heart was pierced
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Or slow distemper, or neglected love,
(And so, poor wretch! filled all things with himself,
And made all gentle souls tell back the tale
Of his own sorrow) he, and such as he,
First named these notes a melancholy strain.
And many a poet echoes the conceit;

From “The Nightingale” by William Wordsworth.

It seems that not just ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. As Wordsworth so tellingly points out above, human beings are so conceited as to suppose their individual woes are of such importance as to be mirrored by nature herself.

Of course the nightingale’s song is not melancholy; if it sounds so to us, then it is because we ourselves feel so. There is nothing sweeter than the beautiful song of the nightingale on a clear summer’s evening, especially in the hills and valleys of the English Lake District, where Wordsworth penned his lines. If only we could truly forget ‘self’ at such times, then instead of reflecting our own melancholy, the notes of the nightingale would bring us solace; would uplift our hearts in the knowledge of God’s love and the beauty of the earth which He has lent to us for the brief span of our physical life.

The natural world is ‘God’s vestibule’ and in her arms we can reconnect to the beauty at the heart of all things. Were you but permitted to see, even momentarily, the reality of a few grains of sand, you would be astounded at the light and colour surrounding each speck and would KNOW that the sand and you are one. “All are but parts of one stupendous whole; whose body nature is and God the soul.” The light energising the grains is the same light that vitalises you – oh for eyes that could see and ears that could hear - could hear the reality of the natural world!

You have those eyes and ears! They are part of the light within your heart and soul. Take time; be still; contemplate; let go; be humble! - Remember the Sermon on the Mount? “The meek shall inherit the earth.” - Then shall you be made aware; aware that the earth really is part of the spiritual world. Only the conceit of our ego-driven brain blinds us to this reality. Amid the pain and confusion of our hopelessly misdirected society lies its own salvation. ‘All is not what it appears to be’ is a truism which by ignoring we obscure. Even the meanest creation is a marvel of ingenuity and beauty if only you will allow yourself to see it with the eyes of your soul. “All chance, direction which you cannot see.”* All sounds are harmonious to the ears within. “All discord, harmony not understood,”* as Alexander Pope points out. ‘Listen’ to the stillness and hear the voice of God. Or as the psalmist put it, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Many people travel to the far corners of the earth to see its wonders, without realising that the greatest of them lie all around us. Particle Physicists are discovering this in the wonder and beauty within the microcosm of the atom’s nucleus, while once it was considered to be the ultimate, nothing smaller. They certainly know that all is not what it at first appears to be, although generations of materialistic scientific training is making it difficult for them to draw the obvious conclusions from their revelations. They are discovering that the heart of matter is light! Conversely, astrophysicists and astronomers are discovering the wonders of the macrocosm of ‘space’ which is turning out not nearly as empty as they thought for so long. They are increasingly conscious of the order and logic of the universe – no longer does chaos theory reign supreme. Neither does the universe appear to be finite, for no-one has so far detected the end or the beginning.

It may seem foolish fantasy to the materialist but we may be closer to discovering the purpose of life in the song of the nightingale than in all the painstaking research of science. Listen with your heart and look with your soul is sound advice if you would gain the most from physical life. The human spirit is not intended just to dwell in the rarefied realms of the spiritual worlds; it is meant to take part fully in physical life also. Its light is not meant to be hidden away behind the façade erected by the ego. It is meant to be free, to illuminate our earthly pathway and to resonate with the inner life of all that shares this planet with us – animal, vegetable and mineral. If you would be made aware of how wonderful and uplifting such sharing is, stand beneath a tree for a while and consciously imagine sharing your energy with it. It is certain that refusal to allow your inner light its freedom is behind much of the inner conflict that has produced so many ills and illnesses in our world.

All life is spirit and all spirit is light. Therefore all life is light. Human life is consciousness, which like spirit, mind, love and joy, cannot be measured physically, although like them, its absence is easily detectable. To the great Swedish thinker Emmanuel Swedenborg life was “light under the control of mind.” It follows therefore that if we use our minds aright we can direct that inner light in wherever we wish. We can follow the biblical advice and let our light so shine before men that even the most materialistic amongst them will obtain a glimpse of the truth and demand to know more.

Oh humanity, you should cry aloud each day, “Open my eyes that I may see…” - See how everything is interconnected and interdependent – See the mirage of materialism for what it really is – See through those two impostors, fame and fortune - See the light of every soul (no exceptions.) Your inner eyes will do nothing but enhance your earthly life, whereas reliance upon your physical senses only will deny your true, inner self and condemn you to a mere pretence of living. You will be ‘going through the motions.’ Human conceit is our own worst enemy. It fills us with self-importance, makes us fail to see the needs of others, gives us the impression that everything ends when we die and fills us with fear of that very end. If you would be free of such fear then turn inwards; first reach for the light within, next use it to reach upwards to that divine light - the source of all love and truth.

© Lionel Owen 2009 *Alexander Pope –“ Essay on Man.”

This will be my last post until Monday - I am away to the mountains and won't have access to the Web.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


Alexander Pope was one of the greatest of England's "Spiritual Poets." In his "Essay on Man" he sets out universal truths that echo all that Spiritualism propounds. Here are some extracts:

Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar;
Wait the great teacher Death; and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives the Hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Lo, the poor Indian! Whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul, proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topped hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no Angel’s wing, no seraph’s fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.

Vast chain of Being, which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach; from Infinite to thee,
From thee to Nothing. On superior pow’rs
Were we to press, inferior might on ours:
Or in the full creation leave a void,
Where, one step broken, the great scale’s destroyed:
From Nature’s chain whatever link you strike,
Tenth or ten thousandth, breaks the chain alike.

All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all and yet in all the same;
Great in the earth, as in th’ ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, blossoms in the trees,
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect in a hair as heart;
As full, as perfect, in vile Man that mourns,
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns.
To him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects and equals all.

All Nature is but Art unknown to thee;
All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see;
All Discord, Harmony, not understood;
All partial Evil, universal Good:
And spite of Pride, in erring Reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, WHATEVER IS, IS RIGHT.

Pope, in his rhyming couplets has pin-pointed two vital aspects of life. First humanity’s pride in its ability to reason and how in our arrogance, this has led us down many blind alleys, including thinking we are special and above all other creation. “From pride, from pride, our very reasoning springs,” he cries. Second, he pinpoints the awesome, beautiful symmetry of the natural world, whether in the fields, on the hills around us, in the heavens or in the heart of the atom. Unlike many scientists however, Pope recognises the need for humility and sees just how much we do not know and probably will never know whilst here on earth.

Extracted from the book "Please God Why?" by Lionel Owen

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Spiritualism and Christianity – A Comparison- Conclusion

Spiritualism and Christianity diverge in many respects but the life of Jesus of Nazareth, on which Christianity is founded, was pure Spiritualism in action. Unfortunately theologians and the corrupting influence of political power changed what was a religion of the spirit, based on the teachings of an incredibly spiritual man, into an organisation that for centuries sought to control people’s thinking and amass great wealth. There are encouraging signs that some in Christianity are attempting to return to the origins of their religion and open themselves to the work and the power of the spirit world. For instance Spiritual Healing is once more regularly practised in Christian churches (albeit with less understanding of the process than Spiritualist healers possess) and I have heard that some Roman Catholic priests hold regular circles to contact the spirit world and converse with those in spirit. However there is a long way to go, which brings me to the Spiritualist principle that most fundamentally sets Spiritualism apart from Christianity.

This is the understanding that eternal progress is open to every human soul, irrespective of religion, philosophical belief or of the way a person chooses to live his or her life on earth. This means everybody moves on at the end of this life but the quality of life enjoyed in the hereafter is determined only by how one has lived one’s earthly life. It matters not what you believe, only how you live. Eternal progress also means that the opportunity for improvement and reformation is ALWAYS available, here and hereafter – there is no such thing as eternal damnation. If each one of us is part of God, then even the most evil amongst us is capable of reformation and cannot be excluded from life eternal.

Bearing in mind that all individuals survive death, perhaps we should think more carefully about what happens when we apply capital punishment? Have we the right to send our problems to the spiritual world instead of trying more diligently to solve them here?

Alexander Pope the 18th Century English poet, in his “Essay on Man” states “all partial evil is universal good”. By recognising that the light of infinite intelligence shines within us all, we can conclude that those we see as evil have obscured that light with darkness of their own creation. In this way, we can begin to understand perhaps what Pope means.

Another great thinker, Emmanuel Swedenborg wrote, “Life is light under the control of mind”. That being the case, we should perhaps learn how to focus such light on those who have surrounded themselves with darkness. If we put as much effort into learning how to do this as we do into many less worthy areas of study, our world could be transformed.

I hope what I have written has helped you see a little more clearly that the philosophy of Spiritualism does have a unique contribution to make to human understanding of mankind, the natural world, the universe, the nature of God and the relationship between all these things.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Spiritualism and Christianity - A Comparison - continued

Does personal responsibility deny us access to the power of prayer? Certainly not! Through prayer many wonderful changes can take place in our lives. Through prayer we can make contact with the great power of which we are a part and in that power help others, receive strength and encouragement ourselves and open our minds to receive helpful and uplifting thoughts from those in the after-life. Thus, when we recognise we have done wrong, we do not have to face that realisation alone – our personal resources are supplemented and we can begin to make amends for whatever it is we have done wrong.

Linking with the power of spirit can take many forms. Meditation for instance enables us to go within our own spiritual nature and learn more about ourselves and our uniqueness; to deal effectively with worry and stress and to discover more about the nature of God and the universe. This is contact with the spirit within. Prayer enables us to give and receive help from outside ourselves and the various forms of mediumship enable us to receive absolute proof that the individual personality survives what we call death. Healing mediumship produces remarkable cures of medical conditions where doctors have abandoned all hope of a cure. Alternatively, it brings peace to the individual as he/she faces the trial of death. Physical mediumship (very rare today) enables people from the after-life to take on physical form temporarily so we can see and hear them again physically. This is how Jesus appeared to “rise from the dead” and walk with Mary Magdalene, his mother and his disciples.

Some people undergo the most incredible transcendental experiences, experiences that change permanently their understanding of life, the power of the mind and of the spirit. Is this another form of spirit communication?

Monday, 13 April 2009

Spiritualism and Christianity – A Comparison - Continued

We are each personally responsible for our own thoughts and actions and cannot pass that responsibility on to another person, no matter how wonderful and spiritually gifted he or she may have been. Were life on earth all there is, then the idea of personal responsibility might seem somewhat harsh and unforgiving. Life on earth is not the only life. All life is eternal, so what happens to us or what we do while living our earthly life is but an infinitesimal part of our total existence. Accepting this, one sees personal responsibility in a different light. It is a vital part of our development as individuals from ignorance towards knowledge and from darkness towards light.

Let us consider another aspect of Spiritualism, one many feel to be its most important. That is communication between departed human spirits (those who have died) and those who remain on earth (you and me.) Spiritualists accept that mind is the only true reality. The fact that physical form appears so solid to us whilst on earth is really an illusion, as indeed Particle Physicists are discovering.

Physical form is the creation of mind and Spiritualists believe ALL physical form has its spiritual or etheric counterpart. Therefore, talking for instance, although appearing physical, is in fact a mental process. Each word is a thought first and some people have been able to dispense with speaking and communicate by thought only – telepathy! In the afterlife all communication is telepathic consequently language is no longer an obstacle. Most communication from departed human spirits takes place through specially gifted people called mediums but it is also possible for our loved ones in the after-life to communicate telepathically direct. We may not always be aware of such communication but we do receive significant help in this way: Help that can explain the amazing ways we are sometimes able to overcome problems or meet challenges successfully, when they have seemed insoluble or insurmountable.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Spiritualism and Christianity – A Comparison

Over the next few days I am going to publish my thoughts comparing Spirtualism and Christianity. Here is the first section

“Do you Spiritualists believe in God?” This is likely to be the first question a Spiritualist is asked by a Christian. The simple answer of course is, “We do”. However, this can be a misleading answer without explaining exactly what the Spiritualist believes God to be. It is one of the defining differences between Spiritualism and Christianity. Spiritualism offers a unique way of explaining humanity’s relationship 1) with the natural world, 2) with other human beings, 3) with the universe and finally 4) with God. This is why Spiritualism can truly claim to be a universal religion. Those who say, because we believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man (which is true) we can scarcely be differentiated from most other religions are wrong. Let me explain.

To the Christian, God is Father, Son and Holy Ghost and this trinity is at the heart of their religion. There are two consequences. First they consider Jesus to be the only son of God. Indeed many Christians refer to Jesus as God. Secondly, they believe all other ideas about the Nature of God are false and the only way human beings can enter the Kingdom of Heaven is by becoming Christians.

Theologians claim (in my view as a result of misinterpreting the words of St Paul) that at some point in time a trumpet will sound and all Christians will be raised from the dead and go to heaven. Therefore they have a compulsion to try to convert others to their beliefs in order to “save them”. Not only Christians have this unfortunate compulsion of course and much human misery can be attributed to that sadly mistaken view of God and life after death. Compare this interpretation with what St Paul actually said: “The trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised, raised incorruptible.” No mention here of the followers of only one sect being raised but also no mention of physical resurrection. Neither does he say the trumpet sounds just once, as Christians conclude. It sounds for each individual at the time of death. Only the physical body is corruptible. (i.e. subject to decomposition). The spirit which is what lives on through eternity is not corruptible. Later, in this same letter to the Corinthians, St Paul explains that we have a physical body and we have a spiritual body and it is the spiritual body that is incorruptible. He actually states “and the corruptible cannot put on incorruptibility”. In other words, it is impossible for the physical body to be resurrected. Theologians pick and choose which words of St Paul to accept. This cannot be right – one either accepts all or none!

What St Paul was saying is that physical death is like a trumpet call and when we die ALL people rise to the next world in their spiritual body. This is exactly what Spiritualists know to be the case.

Let us examine how Spiritualists see God. To them God is a great power, “the Great Spirit” or “Infinite Intelligence”. God is not a person but is spirit/mind, not only responsible for all creation but actually part of every living thing. Thus do we all share and partake of the divine mind, whether we are human, animal, vegetable or mineral.

Jesus therefore was the son of God but not the only one – we are all sons and daughters of God. Jesus was an immensely spiritual person and a gifted medium possessing many spiritual gifts in great abundance. A great man but a man nonetheless and he never claimed to be anything else!! Consequently, if we wish to search for God we should do so within creation, not in some vague “out there”. This is why mystics have always urged us to look within. Spiritualists know that the power of the spirit can be found, not only within one’s self but also in every part of the natural world. Stand under a tree for instance and reach out to it with your mind. After a while, you begin to feel its spiritual strength and love uplifting you.

It can be seen therefore that the Spiritualist God is everywhere: God is the life force and because of this ALL life is “incorruptible” in the sense St Paul meant it. We all survive death because we are ‘of the spirit’. On earth our spirit self is forever trying to overcome the overwhelming impact of the five physical senses and the influence of our ego. On death, our true self, our spirit, comes into its own. It follows from this, that from a spiritual point of view, all human beings are brothers and sisters.

It also follows that if we are part of God and God is part of us, our life’s actions and thoughts are not judged by some external individual on “Judgment Day” as theologians would have us believe, but we judge ourselves. This judgment however, is carried out in the after-life, when we are able to see for ourselves the successes or failures of our life in spiritual terms, not just in the way people on earth assess success or failure. Consequently Spiritualists accept each person is his/her own judge and redeemer and rejects entirely the Christian doctrine of vicarious atonement.

Saturday, 11 April 2009


How can we escape from this apparently eternal cycle of violence and hatred?

Although Jesus of Nazareth and others pointed out the supremacy of love, our spiritual inter-relatedness and the efficacy of ‘turning the other cheek,’ it is the Old Testament dictum of “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” that has held sway throughout human history. This dictum is the rallying call of the ego and of materialism. It makes the ego feel that it is “doing something.” It appears to be the strong, manly reaction whereas turning the other cheek is the action of the appeaser and the coward. On the contrary, turning the other cheek, or following the more ancient advice of the Tao, requires a measure of spiritual and physical courage far beyond that needed to “fight fire with fire.”

Examine human history and see just how little has been achieved by strong action. Oh yes, it is often through preparation for war that remarkable advances in technology occur that go on to make physical life more comfortable and tolerable for some. Is the price paid for achieving these advances worth it? They would doubtless have occurred eventually without the war. Notice how in every war, organised religion has been present to “bless” the participants of both sides; this despite the fact their own founders deplored bloodshed and urged the spiritual way of life upon all. So far has religion departed from the spiritual path it was created to follow.

Surely having seen the futility of ‘strong action,’ it is time we tried the alternative? Why have we not tried it before? Because it is VERY difficult! It is not merely a question of doing nothing or indulging in civil disobedience, a la Mahatma Ghandi. It involves working hard to train the inner self, the spirit, to use the inherent powers it possesses. This takes time and involves living our lives with as little regard to self as we can. It involves learning to release the light that is within us and to share it unselfishly; to learn how to link with the greater light of those from the spiritual world who are always there to help us, if only we will ask for their help. “Ask and you shall receive, seek and it shall be given unto you.”

Once we understand about the light and the fact that spiritual light is love in action then we can take steps to change the established pattern of collective human behaviour. Understanding the light enables us, with help from those in the spiritual world, to focus it. The wonderful property of light (all light) is that it dissolves darkness without the need for the physical removal of that darkness first. By focussing spiritual light on individuals, groups or particular geographical locations, we can influence things for the better. People’s actions will be changed – they won’t understand why but that is not important. Individuals, whose influence for ill on the actions and thoughts of others, can be changed overnight if sufficient spiritual light is focussed upon them.

Remember, all human beings are spiritual sons and daughters of God; the light of pure spirit lies within them, no matter how effectively their selfish and/or evil actions have buried it. Focus sufficient spiritual light upon them and this inner light will be released and evil, negative actions become impossible for them.

Time is short. Negation is damaging our environment and all life within it at a rate unmatched previously in the history of the planet. We can no longer afford to sit back and ‘hope for the best.’ We need to act by finding time and giving effort to our individual spiritual development and enlightenment. Not the spiritual enlightenment of the theologian but that of the child. Remember the words of the Nazarene, “Except you become as a child, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Children accept things as they are, not as they would want them to be and above all they trust. They are content just to be! We need to learn to trust our spiritual instincts; to accept that we are spiritual beings who are temporary dwellers in a physical world; that we are dependent spiritually one upon the other. Only in this way can we begin the process of enlightenment. It is not an intellectual process, indeed brain logic, with its ego dominated outlook, obstructs it. Be content merely to be and see how your life changes.

All is not lost; Lizzie Doten’s “dark supremacy of ill”* is not inevitable. Look to the light; the light within you; learn to be still and together we can create heaven on earth.

*From the poem “God of the Granite and the Rose.”

Friday, 10 April 2009


I read today that many people have been arrested in North West England, suspected of planning an Al Qaueda bombing campaign this Easter in Manchester shopping centres. The article I read states that most appear to be from Pakistan; there are strong links between terrorists in that country and in England and the people arrested appear to have been trained in religious schools in Pakistan.

Religious schools! What can possibly be religious about training young people to kill and maim other human beings whose only ‘crime’ seems to be that they live in a country that does not choose to follow the intolerant and frankly evil, ways of their masters, the extremist mullahs? If there was a single circumstance that could persuade me to have nothing whatever to do with organised religion, the actions of religious extremists would be it.

It is not just Islam that is afflicted by extremists who do not hesitate to use violence to achieve their misguided and inhuman aims – Christianity and Buddhism have their share of such intolerant supporters too. Take those ‘pro life’ activists for example. Once any group of people abandon reasoned argument for force, backed often by the use of guns and explosives, it is because they have no reasoned argument to present. The tyrant throughout human history has followed the same destructive path, one that has from time to time plunged humanity into a series of dark ages from which it has sometimes taken centuries to escape.

How can a just God allow this kind of thing to happen and to go on happening?

God, in His infinite wisdom, has granted humanity the boon of free will but at the same time has created a series of natural laws with the object I believe, of persuading us through their operation, to use our free will with responsibility. Like the boy who quickly learns that to put his finger in the fire will result in pain and disfigurement, so the breaking of the less understood natural laws will result in pain also. Cause and effect are universal in relation to all natural laws, the effect follows the cause whether for good or ill, as surely as night follows day.

Throughout human history human beings have resorted to force in order to coerce others into accepting their particular religious or political way of life. This has continued, indeed it seems to have escalated during the last century, despite lots of evidence that it is ultimately counter productive. Most people agree violence creates further violence and hatred breeds greater hatred. All negative actions generate spiritual darkness. The darkness we have created in this way is why visitors to us from the spiritual world complain of the discomfort they experience when entering ‘our dark world.’

The difficulty lies in the human ego. It is the part of us designed to ensure our true spiritual self does not lose contact with the physical body and our physical surroundings on earth. It is designed if you like “to keep body and soul together.” Unfortunately the combination of the ego and the five physical senses in many cases completely overwhelm the higher, spiritual self and so most people come to suppose that there is only one type of life – physical. Consequently all thought and action become short term and materially based. I use the words ‘short term’ in contrast to eternity which is in fact our true heritage.

We choose to come to earth because, among other things, we know the battle to contain the ego and the five senses is difficult but if it can be won, it will result in the strengthening and growth of our soul.

Conversely, because we are spiritual beings, the conflict generated between our spirit and our ego results in deep-seated fear; principally the fear of death. This means we are more easily influenced by priests, ministers and theologians who promise paradise if we renounce all and allow them to do our thinking for us. Thus are the eager young disciples of extremist Islam (or any other sect) easily led to accept the argument that to kill ‘infidels’ and surrender their own lives in the service of Mahomet, will lead them to Paradise. God is not mocked. The natural law of compensation will exact a terrible price on the spirits of those mullahs and others who mislead the young in this way. The darkness into which their spirit will be thrust and the aeons, in our time, of hard, selfless service to others in the spirit world before they can regain their light, makes such action very costly to their soul. The fact they seem not to understand this, shows just how far removed from the spirit is their version of religion.

© Lionel Owen 2009

The remainder of this article will appear in tomorrow's post.

Thursday, 9 April 2009


Soon after the Spring Equinox when, in the northern hemisphere, new life springs up everywhere after the cold, dark days of winter, the Christian church celebrates Easter. It should be the most important event in their calendar because it symbolises the one event in Christianity that did more than any other to prove the immortality of human beings – ALL human beings, not just Jesus of Nazareth. Nevertheless it seems to me the purely physical events of Christmas and Good Friday are celebrated with greater fervour.

There is little historical proof that the crucifixion and resurrection occurred at the start of spring but the pagan celebration of the Spring Equinox was hijacked by Christianity in the same way as Yule was hijacked as Christmas. The symbolism of Spring and resurrection is inescapable. The cynicism of the early church in adapting existing pagan festivals to their own calendar is in keeping of course with their swing away from being a very spiritual organisation while their founder lived and for many years afterwards, to the established church of Rome under Constantine, with its almost exclusive focus on temporal power. Indeed for centuries afterwards the Christian church became the most powerful and feared organisation in the world.

To return to Easter: I have no doubt that Jesus, being probably the most gifted medium to have lived on earth, did “rise again from the dead,” as the New Testament puts it. What does that mean in reality, especially to those with experience of mediumship and materialisation in particular? It certainly does not mean that his physical body was resurrected, despite the story of the empty sepulchre. It means that because of the highly developed spirit Jesus is and the high quality of mediumship possessed by his disciples, he was able to materialise for lengthy periods and very soon after his passing. This is unlike the experience I and others have had with materialisation mediums in the twentieth century. Because only one physical medium was present at the séances we attended and those materialising were in no way as advanced spiritually as the Nazarene, our materialised forms could only maintain physical appearance for short periods of time.

Nevertheless, the scientific, I prefer to say ‘natural law,’ principles applied were identical. The Christian church sings “hallelujah’s” and talks of the resurrection of Jesus proving he was the only son of God and that only through believing this can the rest of us ensure eternal life. What a travesty of the truth this is and how Jesus must tremble with indignation at such twisting of his purpose.

Easter should be the greatest celebration on earth for it demonstrated that the human spirit is unharmed by physical death and simply moves on to another of those ‘many mansions.’ Furthermore it also demonstrated that “communication between departed human spirits and mortals” is as natural as breathing. It showed that departed spirits can temporarily don physical form again in order to prove their continued existence. What greater news can there possibly be for humanity? Spiritualists and those who have investigated psychic phenomena without preconceived prejudices, know that what happened on the first Easter has been happening ever since and it should be trumpeted loudly instead of being ridiculed and spoken of as “the work of the devil” by priests and journalists.

All over the world humanity is beset by fear of death and losing their loved ones; many appear to have lost all sense of reality so that they seek refuge in the false saviour of drugs and alcohol; psychological and physical illness seems to be increasing at an alarming rate and yet science, which seems powerless to prevent or cure their advance, is held in greater esteem than ever before. What an indictment of human perversity this is! Throughout human history seers, poets and mediums have shown the way. They have done more for the sanity of humanity than all the religions and why? Because human beings have paid insufficient attention either to the power of the human ego and its attachment to all things physical, or the corrupting influence of power. Every religion has shown that the possession of spirituality is in inverse proportion to the accumulation of temporal power. However this power has been most adept at ‘brainwashing’ multitudes into believing its twisted logic.

This is the time when those of us who KNOW that all life is spirit, that earth life is but a pale shadow of life in the spiritual worlds and that the individual personality is indestructible, should celebrate that knowledge openly and lovingly. We should stand up for what we know to be the truth and refuse to be cowed into silence by those whose only desire is to control the minds of other people.

The present economic crisis is bringing enormous change in its wake and it will, I believe, present unique opportunities to advance the spiritual understanding of all. It is a time for opening our souls to inspiration from on high and our hearts to our fellow men and women. May the true spirit of Easter restore your soul and give you the strength and determination to continue the fight to shine the bright light of spirit in our darkened world.


Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Earth Bound Spirits

What happens to those spirits that are earth bound and can they be dangerous or just bothersome as they try to get our attention for one reason or another especially when they come across someone here on earth that can see and hear them? Do they want to communicate - in fact do all spirits want to communicate?

It is important to establish first of all what is meant by earth-bound. Commonly, it is felt such spirits just cannot let go of their links to the earth when they die. This argument suggests they have taken a deliberate decision to remain close to the earth and usually to make a nuisance of themselves or worse. In my view this is not the case. Yes, such spirits have remained linked closely to earth’s vibrations but usually it is neither deliberate nor malicious. In my experience, such people have had no teaching or experience whilst on earth to equip them for the fact that life continues after death but in a non-physical universe. They survive physical death but do not realise they have lost their physical body and become frustrated when they try to attract the attention of those in the physical world around them, who they can see quite clearly, and are completely ignored.

When we die, we go direct to a place called the Astral World. This is the closest of the spiritual spheres to the earth and resembles earth in all its particulars, except for the pollution and degradation human beings have inflicted upon the planet. It is the "Paradise' Jesus referred to when speaking from the cross to the robber being crucified with him. Everyone goes there first - no exceptions. The ‘earth-bound’ spirit goes there too but unfortunately does not recognise he or she is not still on the physical earth. Consequently, they tend to stay close to the haunts they frequented when they had a physical body. Many remain like this for a number of our years before someone persuades them to accept what has happened and then they can move on to the spiritual world proper. Some during this time discover how to create the power to move physical objects and these are the ones who give rise to the scare stories about earth bound spirits being dangerous. Usually these are the people who have a deep anger or pain inside them as a result of some injustice they feel has been worked on them in their lives. However, to develop the power to make their presence physically felt, they must have access to some negative physical energy on earth.

Let me give you an example: Some years ago, a medium friend and I were asked to visit an English Pub where the landlord and his wife were being frightened by physical activities that seemed linked to haunting of some sort. The background was that a very cold area had recently developed in the cellar of the pub, even though the heating boiler for the whole building was in the same room. The landlady had become petrified by inappropriate sexual touching when no human being was in the room with her and her husband had been violently pushed from one side of the cellar to another by invisible hands.

We spoke to the husband and wife when we arrived and in answer to our questions discovered that a violent confrontation had taken place in the bar of the pub just before these unpleasant phenomena began. This explained to me where the spirit derived the energy from to make his or her presence physically felt. We then adjourned all four of us, to the cellar. Sure enough we quickly located the spot where the temperature was freezing cold, even though the boiler was close by. My medium friend and I tuned in to the spiritual world and I was soon in communication with one of my guides or helpers in spirit. He explained to me that the person causing the disturbances was a man who had been hanged outside the pub two hundred years before. My guide explained the building was an Assize Court at the time. (This was later confirmed by the landlord, although neither I nor my friend was aware of it) He had been convicted as a footpad, for which the punishment in those days was death by hanging. He was livid because he claimed he had been betrayed to the authorities by someone he thought was a friend. The good people in spirit had tried without success to convince him to move on from the astral world and out of the earth’s vibration but they had been unsuccessful.

It seems that once he obtained the ability to make his presence physically felt, he became attracted to the landlady and jealous of the landlord, which explained the events that had taken place. I asked my guide if there was anyone in the spiritual world for whom the man felt love but apparently not. It seems he had a shocking childhood having been orphaned at a young age and resorting to crime in order to live. He was full of anger and hatred. I asked again, “Are you sure there was no-one or no animal even that he loved?” Ah”, said my guide, “There was a dog of which he was very fond and that too died young.“ I asked if it would not be possible to bring the spirit of the dog to meet him in the hope that the rekindling of love in his heart would enable him to understand what had happened and move towards the light. My guide said they would try.

I heard nothing further from my guide but two or three minutes later, all four of us felt a complete change in the atmosphere. The freezing temperature had gone and the slightly malevolent presence my friend and I had felt was also gone. This demonstrated the vital importance of love. My spirit friends must have produced the spirit of the dog and once the man recognised him, two things occurred. Firstly, the man knowing the dog had died long ago, realised he must also have died and secondly the loving feelings he had for his pet enabled him at last to see the spirit people there with him and move with them towards the light and away from the earth. There were no more reports of trouble at the pub.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Ghosts and Guides

I am sure my granddaughter will ask me how she will know if the appearance is a ghost (earthbound) or a spirit that has made their transition thru the light and is maybe a guide? Would a guide appear suddenly like that to her? Might the ‘ghost’ my granddaughter saw and frightened her so much at College, be her Spirit Guide?

No Guide would appear in a way that would frighten your granddaughter and the apparition she saw at college is probably someone with connections to the building in some way. One must be careful using the term 'earth bound' for its use tends to make one think such spirits are in some way bad or mischievous. This is not the case. Many people who have no knowledge of an after life and particularly if they pass suddenly, become confused and cannot understand what has happened to them. All they need often is for a physical person to explain simply to them where they are and why physical people don't acknowledge their presence. That is usually enough to persuade them to accept the situation and once that happens they are free to move on to the astral world - the place we all go initially when we die. From there we move to the sphere in spirit to which the light we give off equips us.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Should strong natural mediums use their Mediumship?

I return to your granddaughter in order to answer this question. The reason I feel so strongly she should do something about it later in her life is because clearly the gift is natural and strong AND SHE IS A MEDIUM NOT JUST A PSYCHIC.

She has that gift for a reason and part of her purpose in coming to earth almost certainly was to use that gift in some way to help her-self and others. There are many ways to use such a gift in private - it is not necessary to draw attention to oneself. However, I think it is likely that spirit people will from time to time make themselves visible and audible to her and this being so, it is wise to find out how it works and how to control and use it for what she sees as good, rather than just to be used for the convenience of any passing spirit. I agree with you that forcing people to work as mediums, even occasionally from a platform is undesirable. However, sometimes a medium can see a person has a mediumistic gift but they need to be pushed a little to get the confidence to take it further. However, undue pressure is to be derided.

I do feel natural mediums should use their mediumship because the world is so full of worry, anxiety and fear, the greatest of which is the fear of death. Good mediums can transform these feelings by the evidence for the continuity of life that they can bring forward. In this way people who have these terrible afflictions will come to realise that we are all eternal, spiritual beings who, if we live our earthly lives in this knowledge, will lose all our fears, worry and anxiety. There are too few good mediums in existence and the need for them far outweighs their availability. Usually, when the gift shows itself spontaneously, the mediumship that can be developed is of a high class and this is why I believe they should choose to use their gift.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

A Narcissus

If you have ever doubted the existence of God, contemplate the narcissus.

As one of the first flowers to bloom after the cold, apparently lifeless English winter, it is tangible proof of God's love for humanity. In the beauty of its pale, almost white petals, its proud, yellow trumpet and its wonderful scent, it announces unequivocally that winter has ended and warmer, lighter days are beginning.

How effectively this simple flower throws into perspective our doubting, hesitant efforts to realise even a small fraction of our true spiritual potential. The proud, confident bearing of that pale yellow head announces so eloquently that it, at any rate, has absolute trust in God and absolute faith in its own destiny.

No-one could guess from looking at a narcissus in bloom, the struggle that lies behind its glorious, faith-restoring blossom.

No hint here of the initial stirrings of life inside the bulb in the depths of winter, when the earth above and around it was frozen hard as iron; or of the effort and faith required for delicate leaves to push against the dark, unyielding earth until they reach the light. Even then the air is cold and the wind often blows as though it would sweep away such impertinent growth as cares to challenge the dark supremacy of winter.

Undeterred, the leaves continue to grow, continue to battle with the elements, fed by the reservoir of God's power contained within the small bulb below the ground. Here is no doubt, no uncertainty, no questioning as to why God should decree that this particular flower should have to struggle against such enormous odds to achieve its glorious destiny. No criticism that life is so much easier for the lupin or the antirrhinum. No envy of the rose or the dahlia!

The narcissus accepts life as it is and does not waste its energies on trying to be what it is not. When eventually the bud bursts into bloom to encapsulate the spring sunshine, even on the darkest day, what cheer it brings to us. Winter fades into memory as we breathe in its soft, sweet fragrance and the promise of early summer seems to shine from its golden trumpet.

When finally the time comes for the bloom to fade and pass away, it does so in the certain knowledge of destiny fulfilled against all the odds. The spirit of God which shone so brightly in the flower, returns to the bulb to prepare next Spring's miracle.

Surely there is a lesson here for us all. It recalls for us that wonderful passage in the Bible:

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

In this hectic, modern world it is so easy to take nature for granted. By so doing, we miss many opportunities for spiritual understanding and enlightenment and thus are we the poorer. We need to remind ourselves constantly that we are indeed the children of God with His divine spark within us all; to recall those wonderful words:

"In contemplation of created things, by steps we may ascend to God."

Friday, 3 April 2009

Ghost or Spirit?

I am sure my granddaughter will ask me how she will know if the appearance is a ghost (earthbound) or a spirit that has made their transition thru the light and is maybe a guide? Would a guide appear suddenly like that to her? Might the ‘ghost’ my granddaughter saw and frightened her so much at College, be her Spirit Guide?

No Guide would appear in a way that would frighten your granddaughter and the apparition she saw at college is probably someone with connections to the building in some way. One must be careful using the term 'earth bound' for its use tends to make one think such spirits are in some way bad or mischievous. This is not the case. Many people who have no knowledge of an after life and particularly if they pass suddenly, become confused and cannot understand what has happened to them. All they need often is for a physical person to explain simply to them where they are and why physical people don't acknowledge their presence. That is usually enough to persuade them to accept the situation and once that happens they are free to move on to the astral world - the place we all go initially when we die. From there we move to the sphere in spirit to which the light we give off equips us.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Helping a young person who sees spirit unexpectedly

How and why is it a person might be contacted by spirit and may be able to see or hear spirit and how can it affect their lives? If we have a young relative that is able to see and hear spirit and is scared and confused by this, what should we tell them? How should they handle this - can they tell the spirit not to appear to them because it is scaring them and will spirit obey their wishes? How should we explain the "GIFT" to be able to receive the higher vibrations from the spirit guide or loved one?

The case of your granddaughter is interesting. She is clearly a strong natural medium and she needs to learn how to control the gift. I fully understand why she would consider it a curse but I feel we each have to accept the gifts that God has given us, the fact that people generally do not understand or accept mediumship notwithstanding.

It is a natural gift and one that properly used, can bring joy and hope to people, including the medium herself. I have no doubt you are correct about the origins of the gift being her grandparents for mediumship is an inherited gift as a rule. I am also fairly certain the experiment with the Ouija did open her to spirit influence before she was ready or in a position to properly handle it. However, the gift of mediumship can and should be controlled by the medium and not by spirit. You did quite right in advising her to tell the spirit who appeared suddenly before her, not to do so again because it frightened her. I am assuming however that when she saw the person who drove off the cliff, it didn’t frighten her and neither did her experience at the church. She is therefore already aware of the beneficial side of the gift

I believe as well as protecting herself by the use of white light, she needs to learn to talk in her mind to her guide and explain to him how difficult she is finding it to handle her mediumship. She should ask him please to help her withdraw from the use of the gift until she is older when she might want to find someone to help her develop and control it further. To approach her Guide she will need to prepare herself by filling her mind with love and good thoughts then begin to meditate on those thoughts. At the start of the meditation she should use the breathing exercise I recommend in Appendix 1 of “Please God Why?” and then meditate on the love etc. Once she feels relaxed and full of love she should mentally ask for her Guide to draw close. It matters not that she doesn’t know his name, that’s not important. She should feel a kindly presence and will find she can talk in her mind to him about her difficulties, asking his help to ensure she is in total control of her mediumship and spirit people will only draw close to her when she requests it. She should explain that at present she wants to avoid spirit contact entirely. He will help I know.

Because she is obviously very sensitive, there may still be circumstances, similar to those of the friend who drove over the cliff, where the spirit person concerned will make his or her presence known to your granddaughter. However it will be in a loving, caring manner, not scary at all. After all, in such circumstances, it is natural for her, as a friend, to be saddened by the passing and to think about the person and wonder how she is. That opens up her mediumship and in doing so I believe it brings much needed help and understanding to the deceased person. They will know your granddaughter has seen them and come to understand thereby that they still live on without their physical body. This is the part of the gift which is the blessing, in my view.

In time your granddaughter may learn to lose her fear of the sudden appearance of spirit people and begin to understand there is always a reason for such appearances. She will learn to talk to them in her mind, asking them to explain who they are and why they are where she is seeing them. Often such people have had sudden or tragic passings and have been unable to come to terms with what has happened. They are confused because the physical people they see around them almost never react to their presence. People like Jade can help such spirits by explaining gently what happens upon the death of the physical body and persuade them to look around them for a bright light and move into it. The episode of the pilot I describe in “The Gift” was a case in point.

Finally, because it is a strong gift and it has been given to her for a purpose, I feel that in time she must develop it further and use it. I don't mean she should do this in order to be a professional medium or even to work from a Spiritualist church platform. For the future it will be important for her to learn that being a medium (not professionally) or believing in spirit does not automatically mean one is weird. There are many perfectly sane and sensible, down-to-earth folks who accept life after death and communication between the two worlds. Of course, whether or not she chooses in future to acknowledge her gift and use it for whatever purpose will be entirely up to her. Many people have refused to accept being used for spirit communication. All I am saying is, if she doesn't even acknowledge it and learn more about it in future (not to use it to earn money) she could set up conflicts within her psyche that may lead to illness.

Once she is finished with college, I think she will find it will be easier to cope with her gift. There are more people than one thinks who are sympathetic and understanding towards such things and her Guardian will draw her into association with such people.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Where do we go when we die?

When a person's body dies here on earth and their spirit moves on without the physical body, do they always go to the light and transition into the spirit world right away or can the spirits be confused and not want to go to the light and enter the spirit world?

When we leave our physical body on what we call death, everybody without exception, goes to what has become known as the Astral World or Plane. This is absolutely identical to the earth with the exception of the pollution or deforestation etc that has happened on earth. There are towns and cities but they do not pollute the atmosphere and each individual arrives in the astral version of his own country on earth. In this way, any shock at finding one has ‘died’ is reduced to almost zero. The loved ones who have preceded you to the spiritual realms will be there to meet you and there will be a glorious family and friends’ reunion. While there are mournful faces and tears on the earth at your loss, in the astral world there will be a party to welcome you back! It is the paradise to which Jesus referred when he told the robber crucified with him “This day shall you be with me in paradise.”

How long one spends in the astral world depends upon many factors. The more attached to things and people of the earth a spirit is, the longer will it remain in the astral. A person who is knowledgeable about matters of the spirit and knew beforehand they would survive death, will spend just a few days there, as will those spiritual souls who lived a life of selfless devotion, without really knowing for sure what to expect after death.

Where does one go from the astral? To paraphrase your question, we go to the light but what does that mean? The astral is a halfway house between earth and the spiritual realms, although in reality, all worlds form part of the spiritual realms, including earth and the astral. In the spiritual realms beyond the astral there are numberless worlds or planes or spheres – whatever you choose to name them. These are the “many mansions” mentioned by Jesus and they each project a different intensity of light. The higher the sphere, the brighter the light.

What determines to which of these numberless spheres you will move? The short answer is ‘your light’. We cannot see it with our physical eyes, although with some people we can certainly sense it, but every one of us projects light from our being. Light is our very nature; spirit is light and all creation is spirit, so all creation shines. People who have been fortunate enough to have transcendental experiences have been allowed to see this glorious light. All such people claim two things.

1) The experience only lasted a few earthly minutes but it seemed to them it lasted an eternity.

2) The experience changed their lives forever. Never again would they doubt the interconnectedness of all creation, their part in it and its permanence.

Once we lose the physical body the light we project is visible to all in the astral world, even though the solid body is visible also. The brilliance or dullness of this light is determined, not by our beliefs but by the kind of life we lived on earth. Most people are much better than they give themselves credit for and there are many surprised individuals when they are told just how bright their light is. We tend to focus more on our wrongdoing and selfishness but all those little acts of kindness and consideration which we forget as soon as we have performed them, add to our inner light. Some however, have led selfish, even wicked lives; others have misled their brothers and sisters with their so called spiritual teachings. I refer to priests and ministers who have insisted on expounding the dogmas of their religion even when they doubted their truth and also those who persuaded others to die for their religion on the false promise of going to paradise. These people reflect that in the lower intensity of their inner light. The latter will have to visit every one of the people they mislead and apologise to them. No one can hide or pretend, as they could on earth; everything is revealed and natural law ensures each one moves to that sphere where the light most closely resembles the light that they themselves project.

Once there, the real work of the spirit realms can begin. Remember we do not have a physical body to feed, clothe or house and this releases us from all the hum-drum needs of earth. We can become our true selves and take up any one of thousands of tasks from learning more at universities and colleges, to painting and the arts, to helping others, human and animal, both in spirit and on earth. The diligence with which we perform our chosen tasks will be reflected in the light we project and eventually we will be too bright for our current sphere and have to move on to the next. We experience another death and rebirth in effect.