Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Torch of Spirit

The torch of spirit has been borne aloft by people of all types over the centuries. Some came from wealthy backgrounds like Guatama Buddha, others, like Jesus of Nazareth were from ordinary, everyday families. These are of course two celebrated bearers of the torch but behind and ahead of them, millions of anonymous people have suffered and even died in the cause of the spirit. None of them questioned the need to suffer or die. Where they were aware of it, they accepted it as part of their duty. Others, like Daniel in the Old Testament, dared to face up to and overcome the lions, with the help of his God, in order to keep trust with the spirit. He had no idea whether or not he would survive, he just trusted the power of the spirit, prayed to God and he was spared. “God stopped the mouths of the lions,” as he put it.

Coming closer to home, many pioneers of Spiritualism and especially mediums, suffered enormously in their service to spirit. To begin with, physical mediums were often cruelly bound and trussed (in the interests of science and to prevent fraud!). Other mediums and known Spiritualists had to run a gauntlet of cat-calls and worse whenever they left their homes. Still others, especially in England, were imprisoned because they were mediums, using the ancient Witch-Craft Acts. Many Spiritualists were discriminated against in different ways – especially by those professing to be “Christian.” Why such people persecuted the very one’s who could prove that what their founder had taught was true, always mystified me.

It is now our turn to carry the torch! In the present day, Spiritualists are still discriminated against by some and the press in particular seem dedicated to giving great publicity to the most ridiculous views of mediums and Spiritualists. Whilst Spiritualists are expected to prove beyond any doubt that their claims are true, arch-sceptics are applauded for their criticisms when many of them have never bothered to study mediums, mediumship or Spiritualism at all! The clamour of ignorance speaking against the truths of the Spirit is sometimes deafening.

However, compared to the pioneers, our lot is easy. Perhaps it has become a little too easy? In the days in England, for instance, when working as a medium could land you in prison and Spiritualist churches never knew when the ‘strong arm of the law’ would come pounding on their doors during a service, the energy and sheer dedication of ordinary Spiritualists was astounding. Churches were packed, the standard of mediumship was exceptional and the standard of public speaking was high also. A far cry from the situation today where most churches are sparsely attended, mediumship standards have slipped badly and really good speakers, able to propound the life-enhancing philosophy of Spiritualism, can be counted on the fingers of two hands at the most.

The solution lies in our own hands. If we really desire the work of the Spirit to flourish, as it did once, we have to rededicate ourselves to accept only the best and that means for ourselves, not just other people. To accept anything less is to frustrate the spirit world. Reaching for the best needs effort, dedication, honesty and trust; we must trust the spirit and trust our own sense of right. We must be prepared once more to “stand for the right” and not withdraw in order to maintain a quiet life. We must be outspoken but fair in our assessment of the readiness or not of individuals to use their gifts of the spirit in public. We must accept that the expectations we have of others will be just a rigorously applied to ourselves. Above all we must ‘practice what we preach’ and truly love one another – even those people we don’t like. We must be vigilant in guarding and maintaining high standards in all that we do but also be understanding and supportive when individuals fall short of those high standards. We can be positively critical but never judgemental. As the Bible says, “First cast the beam from your own eye before trying to remove a splinter from the eye of another.” We must be willing to make sacrifices for the Spirit - It takes time and dedication to develop fully our spiritual gifts – we must deny neither and must be honest with ourselves when people say that we are not yet ready to move into the public sphere with our gift or gifts.

The world is in crisis – a spiritual crisis. People are crying out for help and guidance. People sit at home despairing; others become deeply depressed and have no way of understanding that in many, even most instances, the cause is an inability to recognise and provide for their own spiritual nature. As a society we have fed people a diet of materialism for so long, the spirit is dying of malnutrition. Those who know the truth about the spiritual heritage of humanity and that individual human life does extend beyond the grave, have a responsibility to try harder to feed those starving spirits. This is the way I believe to carry the Torch of Spirit in our modern world. The challenge is enormous – even daunting, but the power at our disposal both from our own spirit and from those in the spiritual world, is unbelievable.

Our aim? - To seek the restoration of the power of the spirit in the lives of every human being.

Our reward?
- The resultant joy and happiness which will transform the world as we know it.

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