Monday, 31 August 2009

“…By bread Alone”

Many writers have compared human life with the seasons of the year. Our physical lives tracing their path from spring through summer to autumn and finally to winter – “the season of the slippered pantaloon” as Shakespeare described it in “The Taming of the Shrew.” However, life expectancy in Shakespeare’s day was far shorter than it is today. The change is dramatic and is a measure of the progress medicine has made in treating and caring for our physical bodies.

Due to that and to improved economic circumstances for many, the length of the seasons of our lives has changed. When first thinking about this I was intending to say that only our autumn and winter had changed but now I am not so sure. It seems anomalous but I believe whilst autumn and winter have lengthened considerably, conversely spring has in many instances grown shorter. Children seem to become young adults much more rapidly than even fifty years ago. To me this is a great pity, especially as our other seasons have grown longer. Having to face longer summers and much longer autumns and winters would logically seem to need a longer spring too in order to properly prepare ourselves. On the contrary, many young people at the age of 16 or 17 seem to be much more grown up, knowledgeable and sophisticated than I was at their age. Or are they? Is it just appearances deceiving us? Are they really still children at heart and completely unprepared, especially emotionally, for what awaits them when summer comes? I think this may be true and if so it would explain the growing immaturity that seems apparent in many adults.

So often we human beings focus our thoughts and our researches too narrowly and I believe the way we have tackled Shakespeare’s “Ages of Man” in this scientific age, demonstrates the weaknesses of that approach. We have made physical life so much more comfortable for ourselves and through the knowledge gained about drugs, medicines, nutrition etc., we have extended physical life considerably. Our success is manifested by the increased size of geriatric wards in our hospitals and the difficulty pension schemes are experiencing in funding longer living pensioners. However, what about our emotional and spiritual lives? Were we to spend one tenth of the effort and money on understanding our emotions and spirituality that we spend on research into our physical life, this world would be a much happier place.

I dream that one day the various scientific disciplines will wake up to these huge research gaps and begin to do something about them; that they will recognise the urgent need for greater balance in their efforts. The biblical caution that “man cannot live by bread alone” is frequently quoted but in scientific research is totally ignored. It is little wonder therefore that this lack of balance in scientific research is reflected in a clear lack of balance in human social organisation and understanding. We deify science, which is almost exclusively materialistic, at our peril. We are not intended to live our lives just on the physical level alone and by doing so we create huge inner conflict that reflects itself in external conflict – hence all the wars and the needless and irresponsible loss of young lives in those conflicts.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

“Into Every Life…”

I am staying near Boston in Massachusetts and when I arrived yesterday it was pouring with rain and the temperature was very low for the time of the year. It stayed like that all day and I saw the weather channel referring to it as “Soggy Saturday.” Today was a complete contrast with blue skies, after early morning cloud and temperatures very much higher and more summer-like. After all the rain, it was such a pleasure to see the sun again and not only was the air fresher but the colours seemed brighter too. Maybe it was just that they seemed brighter after yesterday’s dullness.

It made me think how similar this is to our lives and what happens to us. Every so often, no matter how positive or upbeat we may be as individuals, into our lives a little rain must fall. Something appears to go wrong or we react to some external event in such a way that we become upset, unsettled or worried. Perhaps someone on whom we depend lets us down, we lose a close friend or a loved one. Whatever the cause, for us the clouds hide the sun and the rain begins to fall, sometimes a light shower, sometimes a thunderstorm and sometimes persistent, heavy rain. It becomes difficult to remember what we felt like when the sun was shining and we often think it will never shine on us again.

However, if we are patient, the sun will surely shine again and just like today, we will see how much fresher and more colourful everything is because of the rain. We will be able to breathe more easily and see the road ahead more clearly. It is worth remembering also, that sometimes what we consider to be a setback, a disappointment, a sadness or even worse, turns out to be a blessing. It is often impossible for us to see beyond the immediate future and what has caused the rain to fall for us becomes an obsession and makes us blind. It is often the case that it is only with the benefit of hindsight, much later that we realise how our lives have improved as a result of what we considered to be a disaster at the time it happened.

It is difficult of course, but if we are able to do as Rudyard Kipling suggests and, “Meet triumph and disaster and treat these two imposters just the same…” If we could only remember in our sad and difficult times, that the sun will always shine again and the trial we are facing will strengthen us to meet other, sterner challenges later, the rain storms would be replaced by showers. If we could learn to welcome the rain in our lives because it will freshen and brighten everything up for us and enable us to see things more clearly, we would be so much happier and contented.

Friday, 28 August 2009


The last few days have been ones of wonderful freedom for me and I have revelled in it. No definite timetable, no working commitments and a freedom to choose where to go and what to do. Just for these few days I was able to totally relax and enjoy the wonders of nature and some of the wonders created by man also.

Of course freedom is relative and we can never be completely free because we have to share our world whether we like it or not. Although I did not write my blog every day I did feel a little guilty on those days I missed. Also, when driving I could not just ignore the presence of other drivers, for they have as much right to be using the roads as me. I guess the best part about our periods of relative freedom is the chance to meet different people and visit different places; the chance to look at the scenery and smell the flowers, instead of hurrying past because we have an appointment to keep.

It certainly helps if we are able to enjoy our freedom in a part of the world that possesses many beauties, both natural and created. I found my heart lifted again and again by the majestic scenery and the imaginative designs of architects and sculptors. Such things have the power to transform us if we are free enough to be able to really focus on them. The shy confidence of nature in the wild charmed me and persuaded me to remember just how much we can learn from the animals with whom we share this planet. The flowers too, reminded me to give without expecting anything in return and to be grateful for my senses of sight and smell which enable me to appreciate their unique contribution to our lives.

I am a very lucky person to be able to travel in the way I do and I rejoice in the many friendships that result from these travels. I have never appreciated more the truism that it is not so much what we see or what we learn that matters but who we have to share them with. Life is more about family, friends and sharing, rather than ambition and achievements. May you my dear friends always enjoy the company of many friends with whom to share your blessings.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

I Wonder?

Today I felt ‘on top of the world’, literally. I drove along Skyline Drive, in the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, which climbs to over 4000ft. It was a beautiful trip and because there were so few other cars, it was also very relaxing. The sun shone brightly, it was warm, in fact hot in the afternoon but it often felt as though I was alone with nature and a couple of times deer appeared at the side of the road and were not at all afraid when I stopped to photograph them.

I felt so lucky and could not help wondering why we spend so much time as a species arguing and quarrelling with one another, when we could be learning from nature that it is so unnecessary. As Kahil Gibran said, “The elm grows not in the shadow of the oak…” And although most animals are territorial, they rarely go beyond frightening away rivals. They do not usually find it necessary to kill one another. Before visiting Skyline Drive I went to a wonderful cavern at a little town named Luray. The variety and enormous size of the stalactites and stalagmites is incredible. It takes around 200 years for a stalactite to grow one inch and some of these were seventy or eighty feet long and with a circumference rivalling giant redwood trees! What a lesson this gave me in patience and also about eternity! Such fantastic growths underground formed merely by water dripping through limestone for millions of years, made me marvel anew at the greatness and ingenuity of the power that many call God. I don’t know if you have ever noticed but everything produced in the natural world using natural forces seems to be beautiful: Symmetrical and beautiful.

We human beings on the other hand are either in too much of a hurry or too busy counting the cost to produce much that is really beautiful. Look at our buildings, particularly most public buildings built in the last sixty or seventy years. Compare them with the buildings built by the Greeks, the Romans or the Egyptians. Because we build these days for utility rather than appearance, we seem to believe it gives us the right to build ugly. Of course I generalise, there are some beautiful modern buildings but very few really. I firmly believe the buildings we design reflect ourselves to a large extent and certainly they influence the attitudes and thoughts of people living within or around them. It seems to me at the very least, difficult to have ugly thoughts when surrounded by beautiful architecture and vice-versa.

We should all spend more time among the works of nature. We should study them carefully, as did Leonardo Da Vinci the human anatomy. He sketched the body and its parts thousands of times before he was satisfied that he could draw human figures accurately. He knew the beauty inherent in all creation and on a different plane, so did Albert Einstein. The more he discovered about the universe, the more he marvelled at its symmetry and beauty. He believed each discovery of science was akin to a religious experience.

Monday, 24 August 2009


As we become older, we tend to become less adventurous. This is understandable but it means we miss out on new experiences that could add years to our lives by peaking our interest and imagination. When we are young, all things seem like a big adventure and we enter into every new experience with our eyes wide and our awareness sharpened.

Touring the USA as I am just now, offers me a marvellous opportunity to break away from what I call my ‘maturing years conservatism’. Every day I am meeting new people and visiting new places. I am even experiencing some things for the first time! I am being stretched and challenged. It’s marvellous and I realise I am looking forward to each new day with greater eagerness. I recommend trying new things and undergoing new experiences to everyone, it makes you feel younger and I find it even makes me appreciate all the more the family, friends and things I do have.

I believe God intends us to anticipate each new day with eagerness and not with boredom or even a sense of dread. It is difficult to do this if we trap ourselves in an, albeit virtuous, circle we impose upon ourselves because we have become too comfortable and prefer to develop habits we do not have to think about than have to experience new things. Experiencing new things makes us uncomfortable. However, I believe such fear of change, for that is what it really is, is misplaced. Once we decide we will try something new, we restore our sense of adventure, we become younger in mind and that will have benefits for our body too. We also find there was nothing whatever to fear. Like all fears this one has more shadow than substance.

Try it! Resolve to look for opportunities to meet new people and experience new things. Don’t think “it is impossible because nothing new ever happens to me”. Once you decide you will do it, people and new experiences will flock around you. What’s more, you will feel so much better time will no longer hang on your hands and becoming interested means becoming interesting.

Friday, 21 August 2009

In Thanks to The Mississippi Valley Spiritualist Association

I have reached the end of a wonderful two weeks in Iowa where I have made many friends and also discovered a new strength in my links with the spiritual world. I found a depth to my mediumship that has surprised and delighted me also, even though I have worked as a medium for so long. It prompts me to remind myself that we grow all the time if only we are willing to stretch ourselves, to reach beyond our grasp.

Growth is irrevocably linked to change and although it is sometimes difficult to accept, change occurs because we are ready for it. The next step in our spiritual, mental and emotional evolution demands the change, for stasis leads to stagnation. Each time we take an evolutionary step forward, our aura sends out a signal to the universe. That signal attracts to us the conditions and the people we need to successfully complete the next step. Because we become too accustomed, too comfortable with the status quo, we frequently resent these changes. However, looking back on earlier changes in our lives, we quickly realise we could not have arrived at the point in our lives we are now without those changes. Be assured that where you are now is where you intended to be. Your inner self, obeying the dictate of your thoughts, has arranged it through the medium of the aura.

Our thoughts are king and we follow their direction unerringly, whether they are constructive and positive or destructive and negative. It is well for us therefore to guard our thoughts carefully. The attitude that it matters not what I think so long as I act well, is misguided in the extreme. No matter how much we fool ourselves into thinking the unwholesome thoughts we have are hidden away and will never be discovered, if as we frequently do, we persist in them in secret, they will ultimately bear fruit in our actions. We will inevitably become the type of person that reflects those thoughts we spend the most time dwelling upon, even if it is in secret.

Of course none of us can be perfect and most have minds filled with both good and unwholesome thoughts. The important thing is to recognise the vital importance of the mind and its product, thought and that it is possible to exercise conscious control over them. There is a definite need to try hard to exercise control, to discipline our thinking. It is far from easy and as with so many things in life, we will fail as often as we succeed. Remember, habit is ingrained in the human psyche and it is infectious – whatever habit you choose (and it is a choice, even if an unconscious one) to cultivate, the more you persevere in it, the easier it will become. If you develop bad habits they will grow; you will at the very best stagnate and at the worst become a bad person. On the other hand begin to develop good habits and they will grow too. You will turn into a much better person.

As I leave this beautiful woodland setting with its abundant wildlife and friendly people, I give thanks to the Great Spirit for the opportunity to come here, to work hard admittedly, but also to feel the beautiful interaction that takes place between ourselves, other people and the natural world when we give ourselves up to the wishes of our inner self.

Thursday, 20 August 2009


The nature parade goes on here in Iowa. This morning walking through the grounds, at the edge of the woods, were two Does and three tiny little Fawns. It was a delightful sight and the way the Does were so attentive to the fawns and nervously watched for any threats to their young ones was most touching. It set me thinking about our families and children in particular, in this modern age.

The Doe has to protect her fawns but also seems to be well aware when that time arrives when they need to fend more for themselves, although she is still close by. She knows unless they learn this, when the time comes that they really are on their own, they would not be able to survive. With us humans it seems these days we have forgotten that this applies equally to us and our children. I suspect we have become a mite too protective and want to shelter them from any risk. Even in the local parks where as a child, I was allowed to go by myself or in the company of brothers, sisters or friends, we fear accident or attack so much that we only allow them to go when accompanied, or even not at all..

I realise our fears seem reasonable but we seem to have forgotten ALL fear tends to attract the very thing feared. Children need to be given the opportunity to experience adventure as early in their lives as possible and unless they are, they grow up unprepared for the dangers and risks they will be exposed to as adults. Of course they may be hurt if they are not protected all the time but getting hurt is the way of learning. Protect too much and the lesson is missed at significant cost later. Accompanying our over-protectiveness is an absence of social responsibility. People are afraid to speak sharply even, to youngsters misbehaving because they may run to the police and accuse the adult of some kind of abuse. Children who misbehaved in public in earlier generations would not dare to tell the police or their parents of an adult speaking sharply to them because they knew they would be punished by their parents. It appears that shutting ourselves away in personal transport like cars and the growth in government interference in the lives of ordinary people, has given a sharp push to this social disengagement. It seems that everything that goes wrong is somehow “their” responsibility not ours.

Perhaps we need to revisit the whole question of risk, exposure to it and the need to blame somebody for accidents. It is impossible to make life risk-free and equally some accidents happen either due to the fault of those affected or due to no-ones negligence and blame cannot and should not be apportioned. What is clear is that in seeking such all-round protection, we have created a monster that is out of control and which we seem powerless to stop. We are never powerless, are collectively responsible for the present situation and also for taking corrective action. Our children are so dear to us I know but we are charged as adults, with responsibility to train them to become responsible adults in their turn and to prepare them to face life’s challenges. Instead we leave them unprepared by building fences around them and pass on to them all the fear that leads us to do this in the first place. Love is the legacy we should leave our children and true love eschews fear, is realistic and appreciates the need for low levels of risk taking now to avoid large problems in the future.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

When You Lose a Child

One of the most harrowing things that can happen to us is to lose a child to the spirit world. Having so eagerly anticipated their arrival and planned their future as far as we are able, to then lose them is a blow that leaves a permanent scar, even though we may eventually manage to come to terms with what happened.

Often when I am contacting the spirit for people, I find a child is brought back from spirit to spend a few moments once more in the company of mother or father. What happens with children in the spiritual world? First of all, no matter for how short a time a child has been in contact with earth, even if they are stillborn, miscarried or aborted, they are individuals who live on in the spirit world. Even where they have never physically met their parents, Mum is still Mum and Dad is still Dad. Their life is so short here because the experience of just touching the earth is all they need to help them with the next stage of their spiritual evolution. When they return to spirit, they understand the pain and sacrifice their parents have made, are forever grateful and surround their parents with love.

Having returned to the spirit world, from whence we all come, the child is required to undergo education, just as would be the case here. However, the education is very different in the spiritual world as Andrew Jackson Davis, the great American Spiritualist seer of the nineteenth century observed. He was taken to the schools in the spiritual world, which he claims were named Lyceums and he tried to reproduce their system of education here by launching the Lyceum Movement in New York in 1863. He found that instead of trying to force information into children which was the accepted way in the nineteenth century, education in spirit was designed to bring out what was inside the children. It was a ‘drawing out’ rather than a ‘forcing in’. Modern state education practices here are now more enlightened but still do not embrace the depth of education that schools in spirit do.

Children are therefore educated and in addition to learning similar lessons about the earth that we all learn, they are taught about the spiritual world, how it interacts with earth and the fact that both are merely different dimensions occupying the same space. They learn about mediumship and the role needed from spirit for communication to be possible between the two dimensions. They discover far more about the universe and its laws than we even understand at present and they are surrounded by love and not allowed to come into contact with negative forces until they are mature enough to be able to cope with them. They are also periodically brought to visit the earthly homes of their families so that they do not lose touch with their parents or any siblings they may have. It is important that they are able in this way to feel the slower, heavier vibrations associated with earth. It helps them understand more clearly the differences between the two dimensions.

In my experience, when spirits come close to me who have passed to the spiritual world as children, I become immediately conscious of the pureness and brilliance of the light they bring with them. It is very special and quite different for instance, from the light that comes with some of the people from higher regions in the spiritual world who work with me in that altered state of consciousness called trance. This is true whether they have passed recently or been there for many years. Also, irrespective of the time they have been in spirit, they show themselves as children or babies for recognition purposes. In spirit we all have the ability to show ourselves at whatever age we choose.

Although little equates with the devastation of losing a child, I hope that these words help to reassure those of you who have passed through such an experience. That they help you to understand that your child still lives, you are still its mother or father and he or she is brought to visit you. Above all, when your time comes at last to return to the spiritual world, you will be reunited once more and the joy of that moment is indescribable.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


I was watching a pair of Cardinals today, they seemed so attached to one another and that plus their incredible colouring gave me a great lift. I watched spellbound as those bright red flashes flitted among the trees, stopped to perch for a little while on a particular branch, then off they would go again. I felt so privileged as although there are some very pretty birds in Brasil, we don’t have cardinals. Their very colour exudes energy and joy and I felt they transmitted it to me.

I began to think about how wonderful, relaxing and uplifting is the natural world. It seemed to me that the beautiful bright red of the cardinals was like a beam from the heart of God. They seemed totally unaware of the effect they were having upon me. They were just being themselves and were glad to share unconsciously all their beauty and love. I would that we could be the same; that we were able to be ourselves more often and to live life with the joy that the cardinal clearly does. They face their challenges too – the need to find food and shelter, raise their young and protect them from marauding predators.

However, they are so relaxed about it and seem far more determined to express their sheer joy in living than in worrying about those challenges. Life is a joy and if we could just approach it with that attitude I believe many of our ‘problems’ would look very different and far less threatening. We would release the spiritual joy that lives within each one of us but which we all too often stifle by our fears, nervousness and concern about ‘creating a good impression’. We would also come to understand just how infectious joy can be and in a world where so often we are urged to focus on the unpleasant and the violent, what a wonderful alternative that is.

There is a lovely old song that we used to sing at the Lyceum, the Spiritualist Sunday School, when I was a boy. It is called “Joy Bells” and puts into words and song the joy that is available to us from our children here and from Angels and other bright beings who visit us from the spiritual world. The first verse and chorus are:-
Joy bells ringing, children singing,
Fill the air with music sweet,
Joyful measure, guileless pleasure,
Make the chain of song complete.

Joy Bells, joy bells,
Never, never cease your ringing,
Children, children,
Never, never cease your singing,
List, list, the song that swells,
Joy bells, joy bells.

I believe if we pay more attention to the natural world around us, to the birds, animals and plants in it and to our own children, we will capture that joy and once captured we can share it with everyone else. By doing that, life will take on a new dimension for us and we will truly be acknowledging the link that exists between all forms of life: The link that is the spiritual force at the centre of all things.

Take heart my soul as you feel the pulse of life around you and know the joy that living brings to those who make themselves conscious of how we take part in the symphony of life in the company of all God’s creation.

Monday, 17 August 2009


Worry is a strange thing. It is as though, for many of us, it is a valued companion and unless we have something to worry about we feel incomplete. Yet worry also causes so much stress and there is some truth in the old adage that “More people die from worry than old age.” I wonder why we worry so much and about so many different things?

We worry about failure. “What will ‘so and so’ think if I don’t succeed?” “How will I be able to manage if I don’t get this job, or pass this test, or finish this job in time?” We worry about success sometimes too. “Will I be able to handle the extra responsibility?” “Will I be able to motivate others successfully?” We all worry about the opinions of other people and many of our thoughts and actions are governed by this concern. Sometimes, this particular worry is beneficial by persuading us to do sensible or helpful things in order to keep the good opinion of others. It would be so much better though were we to do those things because we believed them to be good and necessary, rather than because we fear disapprobation.

We worry about getting old and when we are young we worry about being young and wish ourselves older. We worry about the weather and how it will affect our plans. We worry about the danger of every day life to our children and often over-protect them as a result. We worry about our health and above all, most of us worry about money. We worry about decisions we are called upon to make. Will they be the right ones? With all this worry, it’s a wonder we have time to enjoy life at all!

What can possibly be the reason for all this worry? I feel it has much to do with a lack of trust and a misunderstanding of life and our attitude to it. We are spirit beings temporarily inhabiting a physical body but so few are fully aware of this that we tend to measure almost everything against the yardstick of the material world. We become impatient because our senses tell us we have such a limited time in which to achieve our hopes and ambitions. This is only the case for those hopes and ambitions that are purely materialistic in character. The wider ones we have eternity in which to achieve.

We fail to recall our spiritual heritage and also do not realise that we chose to live this life at the time and in the family we are part of. Before choosing, we must have been made aware of more or less, what experiences awaited us which is the reason we chose to come when and where we did. I believe we are therefore always at the point we are meant to be in our lives and that our inner self, our soul or spirit, knows what we need to take the next step in our eternal spiritual evolvement. It therefore leads our steps in the right direction, even when those steps bring us difficulties, unhappiness or even grief. These things are really opportunities to strengthen our soul for the next part of our journey which we are intended to enjoy. Remember too that grief, in particular, only lasts because we fail to accept that life continues beyond the grave. Once we accept that, grief lasts much less time, for we KNOW that one day we will be reunited with the loved one we have lost..

By worrying, almost certainly without any need to, we prevent ourselves from enjoying the journey. We become unable to ‘smell the flowers’ as it were. That nagging impatience prompted by the senses that feel they have so little time left, blinds us to the beauty of this wonderful world in which we live. It also colours our reaction to events, makes us disappointed when things turn out to be different from what we would like them to be and the worry these generate forces us to react in negative ways that make matters worse than they should be.

Children give us the ideal example to follow. They are completely spontaneous. They accept things as they are and do not expect them to be different. If something hurts them they look forward and quickly forget the hurt in the wonder of the next experience. If only we could adopt the same attitude, we would find life a much happier and more positive experience. The challenges we face would not be magnified by worry or doubt and we would also know that by going within and being still, we can receive help and guidance from that soul which is wiser than the senses.

Sunday, 16 August 2009


I met a Ground Hog today, a fat little feller who at first seemed scared of me but once I stood still for a while, he plucked up courage and moved a bit closer. I guess because I continued to keep still, he sat up on his back legs and began eating, seemingly ignoring me completely. I was able to study him and as I’d not seen one up close before, was very surprised at just how big he was. I had always imagined they were more the size of moles in England. How wrong I was. They are several times larger but, I guess because they are so fat and furry, seem to be more cuddly.

He made me think about fear and our reaction to it. So often it seems to me we act like the groundhog did at first and we try to run away, thinking thereby to escape it. Become a little bolder however and hang around and perhaps, like him, we will find that the apparent threat that led to the feeling of fear, is more imagined than real. If we stop and look fear in the face, like my friend the groundhog did to me, it will just stop, as I did. Once it stops we can examine it more closely and of all things we meet, fear is the least able to withstand close scrutiny. While we are running, fear is like the king without any clothes, totally unaware of the fact and bent on its chief objective. Stand and face it and suddenly it becomes aware of its nakedness and runs for cover or at the very least, stands still and tries to cover itself with its hands.

I am likening the reaction of the groundhog to our own attitude to fear but I like to think he learned something from our encounter too. Groundhogs are very timid creatures where humans are concerned and they spend a lot of time underground, out of sight, where they feel safe and comfortable. However, a human being in a motor vehicle or on a tractor seems to pose not threat to them, so they blithely ignore us. I like to think that he learned maybe it might be worth trying to trust human beings a bit more. Don’t let them get too close but carry on normally if they are a distance away and especially if they are not moving.

Maybe we are the same. When fear approaches us in an unaccustomed garb, we are able to ignore it and carry on just as my friend would if I were driving a tractor. If that is the case, as I believe it is, perhaps we should try ignoring its presence when we do recognise it. Our fears often focus around the unknown or the unexpected, or result from misunderstanding. For instance, many people are afraid to be near a cemetery, particularly after dark. This is invariably due to our imaginations becoming over-active because of lurid tales we have heard or movies we have seen that exploit the ignorance surrounding death and the possibility of communicating with the living afterwards. For its own reasons, religious orthodoxy has encouraged such fears as a means of exercising control. It is far easier to control a person who is full of fear.

Once we learn the true facts about life, death and the continuance of life being as natural as breathing, such fear evaporates. It is the same with the fear of death itself. Huge numbers of people are petrified of dying, despite the fact that it is one of the few things of which we can be certain during our lives. The reason for this fear, which I believe, orthodoxy does little or nothing to alleviate, is ignorance of the true nature of life. In their rush to frighten people into becoming converts to their beliefs, these churches do not speak the truth about life. They do not tell us that God is not some vague being “out there somewhere” but is within each one of us. The light of God shines brightly within us for we are spirit here and now and always will be and the spirit is God. When the Christian bible speaks of us being made in God’s image this is what it really means. God is “The Great Spirit” and we are spirit also. Therefore to learn about God and his pure, unconditional love, go within yourself and be still.

All fear of death will disappear for we will know that we are divine, eternal beings that death cannot touch. Death is merely a change of consciousness; it is literally like moving into the next room. Our physical body is just like a coat that we need in order to express ourselves properly in a physical world. Once we are ready to return to our natural environment in the spiritual world, we don’t need it anymore. We are perfectly equipped to function in the spiritual world and we will find when we arrive back there, that it is almost identical to the physical world we have just left. To us as spirit people, everything there appears just as solid to us as everything here seems to our physical selves. There is absolutely nothing to fear. It has been said “The truth shall set you free”. It does so because it banishes fear that cannot bear the glare from truth’s light.

“For the thing unknown there is no desire” has also been said. I have never been able to fully agree with this because discoverers of some of the great mysteries of the universe were not afraid. I do however, understand and accept the implications behind the words. They are telling us that ignorance is something we need to correct in order to gain the most from this wonderful life.

I want to thank my friend the groundhog for his influence on my thoughts today and for the trust he showed in remaining near for quite a while before finally going about his business elsewhere.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Where Do I Turn?

I am imagining myself writing to a friend who is seeking understanding whilst facing a very difficult problem in their life. I hope what I say will be of help to you too.

God bless, Lionel

Dear Friend,

I know things have been difficult for you lately but please don’t give up. You are a very special person and one of God’s children, although this may be difficult to believe because of the problems you are facing. Try to relax if you can and really believe that such problems are the way in which change manifests and that change is growth. We are growing every day but sometimes that growth needs the development of additional strength and that is when the challenge becomes greatest and we have to fight hard to meet and overcome it. When we succeed then our spiritual ‘muscles’ become stronger and make us ready for the next step upon our ladder of eternal progress. A ladder leading from ignorance to knowledge and from darkness to light that goes on forever becoming more and more fascinating with each step.

When we become pre-occupied with problems it seems to make us blind. The world is a beautiful place and wherever we are it is possible to find this beauty. The colour and fragrance of flowers, the breeze blowing gently through the trees, the enchanting sound of birdsong, the gurgle of water as it flows happily along, even in the dingiest of surroundings. None of these things stop ever but when we are unhappy or depressed our problems seem to block us from being aware of them. Become aware and they have a magical effect upon us. They help us to see more clearly how we are not alone, that we share this beautiful world of ours with many others, human and non-human.

A big difficulty for most of us, particularly as we grow older, is that we want things to stay the same because that is where we feel comfortable. Because we are resentful that things appear to be changing, we view such change in a negative way and that makes the problem appear greater. However nothing stands still for long, for to do so is to stagnate and God’s wonderful universe is all about vitality and progress – about vibration and the impact of antipathetic and sympathetic vibrations that are going on all around us. Our subtle bodies, called by many ‘the aura’, respond to all such vibrations and are changed accordingly. These changes transmit themselves to our conscious mind and that is what we react to, calling them problems. If we can just make ourselves believe that all change, comfortable and uncomfortable, is part of a plan that has as its aim our future spiritual well-being we will be able to more easily adapt to change. We will be able to overcome even the most difficult and most challenging problems.

I want you to believe that God only gives really challenging problems to those of his children He knows have the courage and determination to face and to overcome them. I know you feel as though you are being left to face these things alone and you long for someone to share your fears and your hopes with. Please believe me, we are never alone – all around us there are people from the spiritual world, some we know and many we don’t, who are dedicated to bringing comfort and guidance to us as we struggle to understand the significance of what is happening to us.

My prayers and my thoughts are with you and I am sure the light of the spirit is surrounding you and trying to help you to see that this challenge you currently face, you will overcome and will move forward with a greater understanding that will bring you joy and satisfaction. May you always walk in the light of the spirit and be able to see the beauty all around you and respond to it.

Your dear friend,


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A Furry Friend

I had a chat with a squirrel today. He was sitting on the veranda and when I appeared he jumped off bur remained looking at me as he crouched on the path below. I began to speak and he pricked his ears up and then he sat up on his back legs, looking at me and even seemed interested in what I was saying.

I told him how handsome he looked and how attractive his coat was, gleaming in the sunlight. He responded to this by seeming to pull himself up and fluff out his coat. I received the distinct impression that he was used to people stopping to talk to him and he liked it. I felt as if he wanted to tell me about what fun it was to be a squirrel in this lovely, peaceful place where there were so many trees for him and his friends to play in. He seemed to be explaining within my head that he really enjoyed his life. He needed to keep an eye open for the eagles he said but apart from them, he didn’t think he had any enemies. Occasionally he would run about with the rabbits he said, or chase the groundhogs away just for the sheer fun of it. Life was good and he felt he was a very lucky squirrel, especially when humans like me stopped for a chat.

He said he was spending longer with me because I seemed to listen to what he was saying instead of just talking like so many others did. He was kept busy all summer and autumn storing nuts and acorns and things for when the winter was over and he would wake up from his hibernation so hungry and his store was the only place to find food. Then there was his dray. It took a long time to repair it each summer so that it would be proof against winter storms. Despite all this work he still found plenty of time to play and he was especially fond of teasing the young fawns as their mothers brought them to graze and play in the park. The young birds were great fun too, although he had to watch out because some of the mothers would fly at him and peck him with their sharp beaks. Once the chill winds of late autumn start to blow he told me he would climb up to his dray and fall asleep.

He told me he thought humans were strange. He couldn’t understand why we always seemed to be rushing around, coming and going and he felt this wasn’t something that made us happy and why did we do it? Why couldn’t we stay in the park all the time like he did? It is a beautiful place, there’s plenty to eat and because we are so big we wouldn’t even have to worry about the eagles. I tried to explain that we needed different food than he did and more of it because we were so big. He stopped to think about this and seemed to understand that we would need more food but no way could he understand all the rush. I had to agree that it was probably not necessary for us to rush about as much as we did and that we would probably benefit if we tried to be satisfied with what was around us, like he did.

I also tried to explain that because we were so big, we needed much larger shelters from the rain and wind that he did and we called them houses, but whilst he understood that we needed bigger places, he felt we didn’t need all the space that he saw when he ran in and out of some of the empty houses in the park. It made me think that perhaps he had a point. Do we use up too much land with our homes and need too many objects of all sorts with which to fill them? Could we not manage with less and if we did perhaps the earth would be in better shape. He thought that all those rooms were wasteful – “after all you can only be in one at a time,” he seemed to say, “And why shut yourself away in your houses when it’s so beautiful out here? You only come out first thing in the morning or when you are chasing off somewhere, or you’re cutting the grass, which I prefer to be long anyway.”

So this little squirrel has made me wonder about many things that we take for granted that perhaps we need to re-examine. Do we real ly need them or do we just want them to impress other people with how important or successful we are? I also fell to thinking that we could probably enjoy ourselves a lot more if we were more satisfied with what we had and took more time to appreciate the wonderful world surrounding us. It might take away much of the stress which is far too prevalent and without that we might be more considerate and understanding with one another. Thank you little squirrel and I hope we can chat again one morning.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


“Growth means change and change involves risk,
stepping from the known to the unknown”

Although life involves constant change, often so gradual we do not notice it immediately, we seem to be more nervous about change than almost anything. All progress involves change and without it it we will remain stuck. The objective of life I believe is to move from darkness towards the light and from ignorance towards knowledge. As we gain more knowledge and our generous actions and thoughts to others brighten the light within us, so we learn about unconditional love. Through love we learn wisdom. As Emmanuel Swedenborg said, “Love is the light of the world; wisdom is the light in which love sees.”

In order to learn and grow we have to undergo many different experiences in our lives. Sometimes we fail to learn a particular lesson and when that happens we will be given the chance to learn the same lesson through a different experience. Whatever happens, it is certain that things are going to change. If we learn to accept life as an exciting adventure then it will be much easier for us to embrace change. For some reason we often assume that change is not going to be good or we are so attached to our current situation that we wish it to go on and on and thus fear of change is born.

In my experience, although when we look back we sometimes yearn to return to what we saw as a happy time of our lives, when we take account of who we have become since then as a result of growth and change we realise it would not be suitable for us as we are now. I think it is important to understand that we are the sum of our experiences; we are to a large degree, what those have made us. Alexander Pope said, “Changed through all and yet in all the same,” meaning that we are still the same soul and spirit, even though learning and experience have changed us in many ways. Pope was talking about all humans when he wrote this but I feel it applies just as much to individuals as it does to us as a species. All we have been through remains with us and has moulded us – all that we will experience in the future will mould us further, so that when we eventually leave this world, we will take with us the sum total of all we have learned and experienced and that forms our character. It is all we can possibly take with us because we, of necessity, must leave behind us all the physical things we have collected in our lifetime. Even things which we feel are vitally important to us and to which we are strongly attached must be abandoned.

Through change we build our character and learn to relate more closely with those who share our lives here. If our fear of change becomes too obsessive then we do stand still and when we come to look back on our lives from the spirit world, we will regret the missed opportunities that mean we have to learn lessons in spirit that we should have learned on earth. Some change is dramatic and because of this we are disoriented and wring our hands, wondering why everything can’t remain as it was. I believe that although some changes do appear to us be dramatic and lead to huge upheavals in our lives, the reason for such changes can be found if we look. Often we find that an apparently small action of ours was what began the process. We bring about most of the changes ourselves, we are just not aware until the change manifests. Our inner self knows what we need, it knows why we chose to come to the earth in the first place and it will always strive to create situations from which we can learn what we need for the next step along our chosen pathway. Consciously we cannot recall why we chose to come into this life but inside we know. If we try to understand the process of change in this light, I believe we will anticipate it eagerly rather than fear it.

Monday, 10 August 2009


I am in the State of Iowa at present, at the Mississippi Valley Spiritualist Association Camp. It is set in beautiful woodland where deer, ground hogs, racoons and squirrels are seen and eagles occasionally fly overhead. It is so very peaceful and I can feel the wonderful energy from the trees energising me for my work with the spirit world.

We take trees and other wild plant life for granted most of the time, without realising their importance to our lives on earth. Much publicity is given to the destruction of rain forest because of its adverse affect on the climate but there is much more than that. The spiritual energy given out by plants and especially trees is phenomenal and can be a great help to us if we are willing to spend time in the woods and the countryside and attune ourselves to their vibration. If you are feeling down for any reason, spending time walking through the woods whilst allowing yourself to feel the energy all around you is one of the best pick-me-ups that there is.

All life interchanges energy unconsciously but because we have consciousness we can exchange energy intentionally. Sometimes we want to be alone. Human company is not desired at such times, so we will often “go for a walk.” In doing that, although we usually don’t realise it, we are inviting the healing energy of the natural world to work its magic with us. Invariably it works and we return from our walk refreshed and ready to face life again. I have sometimes sat down with my back against a tree trunk and it is not long before I feel the energy from the tree surrounding and penetrating my being. Unlike we humans, trees and other plants do not have to be asked to give of themselves. They do it all the time and to all, they do not stop to judge which one deserves and which one does not.

When we think of the world as a wonderful place that we are sharing with others, our mind tends to dwell on other human beings and animals and we overlook the fact that plants are there as part of the sharing process also. One of the great joys of earthly life is companionship and friendship. To share our joy as much as our pain is very important and this is what true friends and true companions offer to us. However, we should remember that there is spiritual, as well as physical companionship and it is vital for us to share such if we are to be complete as human beings. The difference between the two is that physical companionship requires the presence of the physical body of the companion and communication by word or thought. Spiritual companionship can come from such a situation too but it can also be provided by inanimate beings such as plants and even certain stones.

I feel we should not restrict our search for spiritual companionship to people or animals but should practice opening our awareness to the whole of the natural world, for every living thing is energised by spirit and exudes the power of the spirit. By extending our awareness when out of doors in parks or woods or fields, we open ourselves to receive the pure, unconditional, spiritual love given off by plant life of all kinds. In the case of flowers, for instance, their perfume, wafted to us on the breeze is part of their spiritual essence which is there for our benefit if we choose to accept it. Breathe in deeply when you receive the scent of flowers and see how you become energised by it. You may be surprised at its effect. Offer your own spiritual essence back by imagining your love flowing towards the flowers and this will set up a beautiful exchange of subtle energies between you.

“Go mark the matchless working of the power that shuts within the seed the future flower.”

Sunday, 9 August 2009


When the pressures of life seem too great, where should we turn? Sometimes it seems impossible to know because the pressures seem to create a barrier around us preventing us from feeling or sensing anything other than the immediate problem.

It is important for us to remember that we are never alone, there are spirit guardians and loved ones belonging to us in spirit who are always there just waiting to help us carry the extra burden that has appeared. Try to do anything that will help you to relax at these times. Listen to your favourite music and let it carry you away for a while – Read an inspiring poem and become lost in its imagery and emotion – Try to imagine yourself back in a place where you were particularly happy and allow the joy of its memory to divert your thoughts. These are the kind of things that will help you to relax, even in the most stressful situations.

When you are relaxed, then your helpers and loved ones in the spirit world can draw closer to you and help you to feel their presence. They can transmit to you, through your aura, their love, strength and energy so that you will feel ready once again to face the next round in the particular challenge that besets you. They cannot of course assume our burden but they can and do help us to find the strength and determination with which to overcome it. This is the wonder and beauty of God’s design, where the spiritual world and the earthly world interpenetrate one another. Spirit is all around us though most of us are unaware of that fact. When we face some of the harshest realities of life, then the spirit people make a special effort to draw close and be there for us. We need to learn how to play our part in the process by practising relaxation and being still whenever we get the chance. If we do that, it will be easier to create the right conditions for spirit to help us, when emergencies arise.

As spirit in a physical body, each one of us is able to become aware of the spiritual world in our own way. This does not mean we are mediums but just that we have the inbuilt capacity for transcending this earthly world for short periods in order to be refreshed and strengthened. Just as the physical body needs the right food to keep it running effectively, so the spirit needs to be fed also. Much of its food is obtained when we sleep and the spirit is freed to roam once more in the spiritual atmosphere which is its natural environment. However, the modern world we have created places individuals under so much stress compared to earlier generations that we need to feed our spirit selves during our waking hours also. We do that by creating an inner stillness and allowing our spirit to impress itself more firmly upon our conscious minds. This is the main purpose of meditation and learning a few basic techniques will stand us in good stead when life’s challenges present themselves.

Saturday, 8 August 2009


How often have you said when something unusual happens, “What a co-incidence” or “That was lucky”? Maybe when you meet someone unexpectedly or you find things working out just right for you, you would say “Ah, we met by chance,” or “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time”? Conversely we talk about being unlucky when things go wrong or we are involved in an accident.

Is there such a thing as chance? Do ‘accidents’ happen? I think not. We speak of chance and luck and accident because we have a less than perfect understanding of natural law. The laws chiefly involved in cases of chance and accident are those of “Cause and Effect” and “Attraction”. Both of these we only understand at the physical level and perhaps a little at the emotional level. Of the mental and spiritual operation of these laws we are largely ignorant and are likely to remain so as long as we persist in regarding the mind and the brain as being synonymous and investigate their operation based on this prejudice.

To try to explain what I mean, let us look at the case where ‘out of the blue’ or ‘purely by chance’ we meet a total stranger who turns out to be exactly the person we need at that time to help us cope with or work through a particular problem we are facing. I do not believe such a meeting happens by chance. When we need (rather than want) some particular guidance or help urgently, our inner self sends out signals through our aura, they may be electro-magnetic or they may be light but whatever they are, they are searching for the aura of another person who possesses the qualities we need. The person concerned is one whose aura will respond sympathetically to our aura at that time, although they usually have no conscious awareness of this. Like us, they believe the meeting is pure chance but it is not. As Alexander Pope the English poet said in his ‘Essay on Man,’ “All chance, direction which we cannot see.”

As to accidents, there is always a cause of which the accident is the effect. Sometimes the cause of an accident is obvious, like when we allow ourselves to be distracted when driving and because of that get involved in a collision. Often though causes are difficult or impossible to establish but we can rest assured there was one, even if it is something that occurred years before the ‘accident’ took place. Because of the mysterious way in which our inner selves operate through our aura, the cause of an event can often be due to thoughts another has had. Thoughts are real, no matter how ephemeral they may appear to us. Thoughts create waves of energy that travel through the atmosphere and these energy waves are picked up by minds sensitive to those particular vibrations. Most of us have strong enough minds to be able to reject such thought waves if they are of a negative nature but not everyone has such strength. Such people therefore act upon such thoughts without any conscious awareness of why and perform the negative action thought of by a total stranger. In such cases the cause is so far divorced from the effect, it is impossible for us to trace it but that does not mean it doesn’t exist. As to responsibility for such actions – who do you think should be held responsible, the one who sent out the thought or the one who acted?

The vibrational nature of thought explains why lots of people become involved in a particular way of thinking. For instance, at the moment more and more people seem to be obsessed with the idea that the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 is going to herald a huge change in human spiritual consciousness and some even think it heralds the end of the world. So many thoughts are being projected about his by speakers and over the internet that the atmosphere is full of them and thus more and more of us pick up on such thoughts and also become interested. It is not necessarily bad that this should happen so long as we are each aware of why it is happening and retain our objectivity, think it through for ourselves and try not to become too influenced by the more extremist ideas surrounding it.

We should all guard our thoughts as closely as we can, for a careless thought may lead to a regrettable action, not by us but by someone we might never know. The mind is the most powerful instrument in the universe and as thought is the product of mind, we must accept responsibility for thoughts as well as actions.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


I recall an old hymn from my Sunday School days that opens with the words, "Welcome messengers of light."

Ever since that time I have known that these messengers exist but unfortunately most of the time we are too wrapped up in our own little world to become aware of their presence. Nevertheless they are there and they offer this wonderful light they bring with them to us for our guidance and encouragement. If you are fortunate enough to feel their presence, you will notice yourself being lifted up. It is not physical but it feels as if it is.

As you rise up you feel as if you are leaving behind everything mundane and are only aware that there is beauty everywhere, that a celestial light not only surrounds everything that exists but also that same light seems to be emitted by all things, animals, plants and humans. You become conscious that the only reality appears to be the light and that everything and everyone is striving to perfect their light and thus reflect more of our divine creator. You become convinced for the brief time this experience lasts, that light is reality and everything is a different aspect of the light.

We should all try to reach for this light, for it is freely available to us all. However, it is not with our physical eyes that we see it. It is difficult to describe but it seems as though you feel it deep within your very soul. You seem to be suspended within its radiance and you feel totally at peace. To experience it you need to practice going within in meditation and seek inner peace in that condition. Just occasionally, the light will appear and you will feel transformed by it. You will come to know the truth of the words of another hymn -

"Walk in the light and you will own,
That fellowship of love,
His spirit only can bestow,
Who dwells in light above."

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


Spend time with children and you will soon get used to the idea that there is one question they ask more than anything else. Why? Even when you feel you have answered their questions, they still come back - But why?

I many ways we are all children throughout our lives. There are so many mysteries in our world and even things we think we understand, occasionally behave so differently we are forced into asking why. It is part of the excitement of living in our world. It is the uncertainty and the change that make it all so interesting, even if we are often confused or disorientated by them.

Asking why is the beginning of learning, whether it be the mysteries of mathematics or the complexity of the universe. In my experience the important thing is never to be afraid to ask and never be surprised when the answer you receive just leads to more questions. We are compelled to view our infinite life through finite eyes and reason it out using finite minds. We will naturally be tempted to place limitations upon everything because, to our finite minds, everything must have limitations. This is where we make a serious error. By expecting there to be imitations on everything, we restrict our ability to see the complete picture.

Even though it is certainly impossible for us to see the whole picture, we will be able to see much more of it if we free ourselves by opening up to all possibilities. The imagination is such a valuable tool because it exercises this quality constantly. This is why those who refuse to entertain even the possibility that there is more to everything than immediately meets the eye, consider imagination to be for children or the simple minded. How wrong that view is. All steps in the progress of humanity have been due to those who have been prepared to exercise their imagination and refuse to be bound by precedent.

The imagination can tap into the greater consciousness that is available to us all and where we can find information and ideas that will enhance our understanding of who we are, what this world in which we live really is and how we relate to it and to the greater power or powers that appear to control everything. It is the real tool that can bring us the solutions to the why and the wherefore. It can help us escape from the habit of thinking in a linear way; to appreciate that eternity means just that and there really are no beginnings and no endings but one continuous process of creation and realisation. To understand that we as individuals play a key role in the process of creation. It is not something that happens due to some external power but is something of which we are an integral part and our minds are the vital factor in this process.

Because we are spirit, our true, inner self, is part of the source of all life - God, the Great Spirit, the Great First Cause, Infinite Intelligence - whatever name you feel most comfortable in using to describe this great mystery. As part of this, we cannot escape being part of the creative process which never stops. Our thoughts help to mould the world in which we live even more than do our actions and never forget that every action is a thought first in any case.

Never be afraid to ask why. Ask it and then try to find the answer with a totally open mind. Put no restrictions upon yourself but also be aware that the answer will ivariably lead to more questions. This is the natural law and we should try never to despair just because we never seem able to answer all the questions. After all, we as eternal beings need something with which our minds can wrestle throughout eternity!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


I know my American friends have an annual celebration of thanksgiving because the Pilgrims held a special ceremony to give thanks to God for successfully surviving their first year after landing in Massachusetts.

I would like us to look at giving thanks in general because that is such an important part of life. I am not saying my American friends are insincere about their thanksgiving but the big problem with national holidays for whatever reason is that the original intention tends to get lost for most people in the hype surrounding the day and the commercial pressure applied to all.

It is so important I believe to say thank you for all that is done for us, whether it be by another person or by our God. I often receive messages from people in the spiritual world apologising that they did not say "thank you" while they were here. Now sometimes it is because they were too ill to do so but not always. I am sure you must know of people who have said to you how upset they are with themselves because they did not take the time to say "thank you" to a particular person before they died. We never know what tomorrow may hold, which is one of the exciting features of our life here on earth but it should teach us to try never to forget to express our thanks as soon as ever we can. Try never to put it off.

I know I have so much to be thankful for and I am sure you must be the same. I am grateful that after 75 years on earth I am still fit and well enough to travel to visit my friends in other countries and to serve the spirit. I am grateful to all my friends who never seem to tire of helping me in a thousand different ways and I am grateful also for the beauty I see all around me, for eyes with which to see it and for ears (imperfect thought they are now!) with which to hear the symphony of birdsong and insect humming that is all around and the loving words of my family and friends. I am so lucky to know love, happiness, joy - yes and sadness too - to feel all these emotions welling up in my heart and making me alive. Because of these emotions I vibrate to the music of life; I dance to the rhythm of creation. My family -those loved ones who I far too often take for granted, are a never ending source of the need for me to say "thank you".

I am so blessed and have a feeling that so are we all. In saying "thank you" to whoever, we are able to experience all over again, these many gifts given to us so freely. We should remember also that receiving thanks is something special too. Very few people perform actions in expectation of being thanked but it is always so good when the person you have helped does take the time to do so. It is all part of this wonderful experience of life on earth that we share - SHARING is the key. If we really do share our experiences and enjoy life's munificence in the company of others, it makes everything so much more poignant I believe. Giving thanks is part of that sharing experience and it helps us to stay together and continue to enjoy this wonderful life in the most marvelous company.

May God bless you.