Trusting Your Intuition

by Pam Meiser, 2017

In the 18th century, Europe and America went through what we call the Age of Enlightenment, which was an intellectual and philosophical movement that included, among other things, the idea that reason is the primary source of authority and legitimacy. Emphasis was put on scientific method and the increased questioning of religious orthodoxy. Inquiring minds were becoming more concerned with wanting to know and understand the world around them through reason based on tangible evidence and proof.

The Age of Enlightenment certainly gave us Western civilization as we know it today, with many desirable ideas such as liberty, progress, tolerance and constitutional government. Facts can be good things, but in fact, some might say that they can be inconvenient things. Yet there is something more than reason which can help to guide us throughout our daily lives, and that is something called intuition.

The dictionary definition of intuition is “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.” Some also refer to this as “trusting your gut.” A more thorough definition comes from SageThinking.com:1

Intuition is really nothing more than an internal mechanism, free from language, which assists us in making decisions. It is sometimes called gut feeling, instinct, inspiration, a sixth sense that tells us, non-verbally, to do something or not do something. The great thing about intuition is that it can be developed and is amazingly accurate and has only our best interest at heart. The problems arise when we begin to second-guess our hunches or fight against it because we either doubt ourselves or it is leading us in a direction we are resisting or don’t want to go. It takes courage to act on our intuition and go against what seems rational and obvious.

In their book Nutrition for Intuition, Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves add an additional definition, one that they received from their angels:2

Intuition is your ability to receive and interpret Divine healing and supportive messages for your journey. It gives you the clarity to know that you are going in the right direction, and to understand what changes you need to make in your life.

Here is a list of ten things that intuitive people do differently than the rest of us:3

  • They listen to their inner voice.
  • They take time for solitude.
  • They create.
  • They practice mindfulness.
  • They observe everything.
  • They listen to their bodies.
  • They connect deeply with others.
  • They pay attention to their dreams.
  • They enjoy plenty of down time.
  • They mindfully let go of negative emotions.

When is the last time you felt that something wasn’t right, or that there was an answer to a question you have been presented with, but you couldn’t explain why? Intuition is something that all of us have, yet because in today’s world it is so common to be cut off from our feelings, most of us do not even realize it is there, much less pay attention to it. As Sonia Choquette says, we must learn to “trust our vibes.”4

The cost of ignoring your intuition can range from a minor inconvenience to real problems: You had a feeling that you should have gone through town instead of taking the freeway but you didn’t, and now you’re stuck in a major traffic jam and you’re going to be late for work; You ignored that pit in your stomach that told you not to go out on a second date with someone, and as a result you end up married to an emotionally abusive individual (yes, this happened to me).

But is it just a matter of not trusting yourself? Or are you worried that others might be skeptical of your intuitive gift because you cannot prove it quantifiably? No matter what, you must remain true to yourself. Don’t let what others think or say cause you to deviate from what you believe to be the right path for you.

However, believe it or not, there can be an upside to ignoring your intuition. Sarah Prout says,5 “I believe that when you ignore your intuition and proceed in a direction you know is going to be troublesome, you are actually putting your hand up to learn some pretty powerful spiritual lessons.”

In my case, I definitely learned some powerful spiritual lessons, and although I went through a couple of very difficult years, I came out a much stronger and healthier individual. I am much more in touch with myself than ever before.

Learning to trust your intuition can have many benefits. It can help you learn who to trust and who to avoid, it can help you to discern real threats from imaginary ones, it can help you to ward off illness and even save your life, it can help you make better decisions, it can help you take smarter risks and it can help you help others.6

Still not convinced? Need more quantifiable proof? In a study published in the April 2016 edition of Psychological Science,7 intuition does indeed exist and researchers can measure it. Lead author of the study, Joel Pearson, associate professor of psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said that “Previous studies didn’t actually measure intuition because researchers didn’t know how to quantify it.” These previous studies simply relied on questionnaires that asked people how they were feeling when they made a decision.8

But Pearson and his colleagues came up with a series of experiments that helped them to determine whether people were using their intuition while making decisions or if they were simply using their judgment. The researchers defined intuition as the influence of nonconscious emotional information from the body or the brain, such as an instinctual feeling or sensation. When shown a series of both positive and negative subliminal images, study participants not only did better at the task they were assigned to accomplish after viewing the positive images, but reported feeling more confident in their choices and responded more quickly. This is because the subliminal images were meant to stimulate the type of information involved in intuition; they were brief, emotionally charged and subconsciously perceived.

Not only did participants show immediate results, but according to Pearson, the experiments suggested that the participants became better at using their intuition over time.

Maybe now I’ve convinced you. Great! But you may be wondering exactly how you can foster this precious gift in yourself. Here are some tips and suggestions to get you on your way.

In her book Trust Your Vibes, Sonia Choquette advises:4

If you want your vibes to guide you, then it’s up to you to be as open to them as possible. One way to do so is to become flexible in your thinking and actions – in other words, go with the flow. As your sixth sense guides you from moment to moment, it will often suggest that you abandon your original plans and redirect your course of action quickly, without question or resistance. Spiritual law states that in order to live in a higher way, you should only make loose plans and be open to following all intuitive urges along the way.

She suggests that you practice becoming looser by doing some gentle bending and stretching before you start your day, along with some mental flexibility stretches by asking your spirit what it wants to do. Say “yes!” to your intuitive impulses throughout the day and see where they lead you.

Kyle Gray, author of Raise Your Vibration,9 suggests the following: “As you follow the intuitive impulses you receive, you will raise your vibrations and your aura will be shining and golden.” He suggests an exercise which prompts you to listen to the voice within. Close your eyes and visualize yourself immersed in golden light. Say, “I am listening to my soul.” Then ask, “Where would you have me go today? What would you have me do today? What would you have me say? And to whom shall I say it?” Listen to what your soul shares with you. Trust it. It will give you many home truths. Act on them and you will connect more strongly to your intuition.

Spiritual writer and teacher Tova Payne has a list of six things that you can do to awaken your intuition:10

  • Start each morning with a 3-5-minute meditation. Consistency is key.
  • Ask a question – any question, such as, “What do I need to know?” Take 10 deep breaths by taking 4 counts to inhale and 4 counts to exhale. At the end of the 10 breaths, sit with yourself for about a minute (or longer if you can) and listen for any insights that arise. Sometimes an insight will arise immediately. Other times the insight may trickle in during the day while you’re at work or in the shower. Keep paying attention to insights that arise through your day.
  • Go out into nature, which not only helps you to revitalize, but helps you to gather insights.
  • Be on the lookout for signs and synchronicities. The more you pay attention to them, the more you’ll see them and be aware of them, which in turn strengthens your intuition.
  • Go with the Glow. When you’re making a decision, look at your options and do the thing that glows brightest even if it doesn’t necessarily make logical sense. (A “glow” means you feel an inclination towards it, it does not mean you’ll see lights shining over it!) The way to practice this and strengthen your intuition is to practice on things that you feel are minor such as which color shirt should you wear (black or blue) or what color apple should you choose. Sometimes you might see a glow over the yellow apple even though you thought yellow apples weren’t so tasty. But if you follow the glow you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. That yellow apple ends up being so good that it becomes your new favorite apple. After practicing little things for a while, you’ll become so accustomed to feeling and trusting the glow that when it comes to the bigger decisions you’ll be more confident in your ability to feel where the glow is.
  • Pay attention to your dreams. Our unconscious mind will often deliver us messages from our intuition and inner truth when it’s too much for our everyday-mind to accept. Intuition can feel scary when it asks you to go out of your comfort-zone—which is why we sometimes ignore it or question it. If you’ve been blocking your intuition for a while, your intuition will try to speak to you through your dreams.

Speaking more about dreams, in her book Practical Intuition, practicing intuitive Laura Day warns:11

It is commonly thought that dreams can foretell the future. In fact, intuition is at work in such cases. Dreams are your psyche working out the unconscious conflicts and experiences of the day. In that “space,” intuition can make use of the same symbolic language as dreams. But receiving information through intuition is not at all the same as receiving it through your dreams. A key difference is that, whereas intuition is objective and often predictive, dreams are always subjective and descriptive.

There is more to it than exercises like the ones I just shared with you. Being in touch with your intuition goes hand in hand with being in touch with your physical self. As Belinda Grace describes in You Are Clairvoyant,12 “These days most of us live in our heads without even realizing it. We are often unaware of the stresses we put our bodies through – a lack of exercise or excessive intake of stimulants such as coffee or alcohol can have devastating effects over time.” In other words, take care of your body.

In their book Nutrition for Intuition, Doreen Virtue and Robert Reeves agree:2

Nutrition, then, is the nourishment that your body needs to thrive – not just survive. You don’t want a body that just goes through the motions of life. Instead, you want one that’s filled with enthusiasm, motivation, and inspiration. So, aim for uplifting, high energy, fresh, easily digestible organic foods and beverages.

Everything you consume, whether food or drink, has a direct influence on your chakra system. With a diet that’s high in fats, carbohydrates, and processed foods, your outlook on life can become depleted and miserable. Constantly struggling to get on top of things, you see the world as a harsh environment, where nothing seems to work in your favor.

So, how do you know when it is your intuition talking? Consciousness growth mentor Kristina Mills has some insight:13

For some people, their sixth sensory insights fire up all the time. For instance, when I receive channeled messages, these messages come from many different sources. Some of them are useful and some of them most definitely aren’t.

The way I can tell the difference is the vibration that is attached to that message. What I mean by that is that each message I receive has a feeling attached to it. The higher the feeling of bliss that is accompanied by the message, the more profound the source is.

For instance, some people hear a voice from a deceased relative telling them to take that job or ditch that guy or something else.

That isn’t intuition. It’s simply your deceased relative trying to help you … in the same way a living relative would. It’s no different.

Just because they spoke with you doesn’t mean their advice is correct. And just because they have passed over doesn’t make them any wiser than they were when they were alive.

It is, however, an intuition if you’re in a present and calm state when you hear the message and what that deceased relative says to you gives you that AH-HA feeling and a sense of knowingness that the message is your truth.

I’d like to close with some inspirational quotes from some very successful and famous people regarding the importance of following your intuition:

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” ~ Apple founder Steve Jobs

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected, and we are able to know everything, because it’s all written there.” ~ author Paul Coelho

References

  1. Egle, Caron. “Fostering Intuition – Following Your Hunches.” Sage Thinking. com.au/resources/articles/on-running-your-brain/fostering-intuition-following-your-hunches/.
  2. Virtue, Doreen; Reeves, Robert. Nutrition for Intuition. Hay House. 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1401945411.
  3. Gregoire, Carolyn. “10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently.” Huffington Post Healthy Living. huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/19/the-habits-of-highly-intu_n_4958778.html.
  4. Choquette, Sonia. Trust Your Vibes. Hay House. 2013. ISBN-13: 978-1781802830.
  5. Prout, Sarah. “What Really Happens When You Ignore Your Intuition.” Sarah Prout. 2016. com/when-you-ignore-your-intuition.
  6. Warrell, Margie. “Trust Your Intuition. Not Doing So Can Be Costly.” Forbs Leadership. 2015. com/sites/margiewarrell/2015/05/12/trust-your-intuition/#257f5fb76c60.
  7. Pearson, Joel; Lufityanto, Galang; Donkin, Chris. “Measuring Intuition: Nonconscious Emotional Information Boosts Decision Accuracy and Confidence.” Sage Journals: Psychological Science. journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797616629403.
  8. Nierenberg, Cari. “The Science of Intuition: How to Measure Hunches and Gut Feelings.” Live Science. livescience.com/54825-scientists-measure-intuition.html.
  9. Gray, Kyle. Raise Your Vibration: 111 Practices to Increase Your Spiritual Connection. Hay House. 2016. ISBN: 9781401950361.
  10. Payne, Tova. “6 Ways to Awaken Your Intuition Today.” Tova Payne. 2016. com/2016/08/16/awaken-intuition-today/.
  11. Day, Laura. Practical Intuition: How to Harness the Power of Your Instinct and Make It Work for You. Broadway Books. 1997. ISBN-13: 978-0767900348.
  12. Grace, Belinda. You Are Clairvoyant: Simple Ways to Develop Your Psychic Gifts. Llewellyn Publications. 2011. ISBN-13: 978-0738727233.
  13. Mills, Kristina. “Is That Your Intuition Talking? Here are 7 Ways to Tell.” Kristina Mills. kristinamills.com/intuition/is-that-your-intuition-talking-7-ways-to-tell/.

Feelings

by Tricia Reed
2013

First understand that feelings come from inside.

Feelings: no one puts them there but you. No one makes us mad; being mad or annoyed, frustrated or disappointed is our reaction to a person or situation. Ten other people in the same situation will have a different reaction to the same experience. Their reactions/feelings are all true for them. But know that you put the feeling there. They belong to you. You own them. This is a good thing. Then only you decide what feelings you want to hold inside. This is freedom.

From Holly Riley: “How does a person know the different between a feeling and a thought?”*

A thought happens in mental space. It typically comes from conditioning and indoctrination; an already established perspective. A thought is usually a repeat of the past and is usually connected to other thoughts. A thought that you are attached to can seem like a feeling. But it’s actually very mental.

Now let’s talk about feeling. Feeling is guttural. Feeling has a sensation in the body. Feeling can happen without a single word or thought. Pure feeling is when we become the sensation without any mental language.

I saw Lake Tahoe for the first time from the top of the Mount Rose summit. The view is so beautiful it took my breath away. This is another way of saying that for a moment there was no thought, just the feeling of awe. That is a feeling that we might want to have, choose to have, decide to cultivate.

Let’s get back to the difference between feeling and thought: Thinking is a pointed, mindful, mental process. Both thinking and feeling have their places, but for the purpose of enjoying life, we have to wake up our ability to feel. For instance, focus on adding numbers: 2+2=, 4+4=, 8+8=, 16+16=, 32+32=, 64+64=, 128+128=…. Notice the attention of thinking. It’s pointed; in a clear direction; there’s no feeling involved.

Now feel your breath moving in your body with no words. Feel your bottom touching the chair. Listen for the vibration, for the hum of the present moment by moving your awareness outward. Feel a cloud floating by in the sky. Imagine being the cloud. Now map out in your head the directions to the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles office from where you are.

Which place has more access to intuition? Which is more open, more closed? Which feels more in touch with Spirit? Become familiar with the difference between thinking and feeling. Become aware of the inner energetic movement.

Examples of Feelings

As you read each example, see if you can notice a feeling response in your body: Pressure, excitement, pain, warmth, fear, regret, satisfaction, physical sensations (sounds, smells), guilt, gratitude, anxiety. Did you notice the feelings? Did you notice that some seemed heavier or lighter, some constricting or opening and some you liked and some you would prefer not to feel?

Feelings are happening all the time in us. We can be aware of them without thought and really feel them.

How does it feel being with others you like and respect? We have words for this: warmth, companionship, uplifting. Find your own word, right now; feel what this means, without the word, without the thoughts and without thinking about it.

Notice your breath … in and out…. Become quiet inside and feel what it feels like being here now.

Everything has a feeling.

The returning of birdsong in the spring, we love to hear this. How does it feel? How does seeing the trees and flowers blossoming feel, seeing the green appearing on the ground again? Can you feel it?

Notice your breath; be still and feel. When we go outside, we hear the birdsong for a moment, but then we don’t pay attention to listening anymore. Their song is still there but we don’t really hear it, just like with feelings. They are always there, sometimes subtle, sometimes loud. If we pay attention, we can actually feel something for a while and then we are back in our heads. If we slow ourselves down just for fun, as an experiment, we can find the feelings.

An exaggerated example is sticky jelly. I get some sticky jelly on my fingers; what does it feel like? I feel “ewww”; a feeling which leads me to the sink. Then I run some water over my fingers. At first the water is cold, but then it is warm. Feeling warm water on my hands, I appreciate it for being so available for cleaning and drinking. I watch the water bubble in my hands, playful. Now my hands are wet; what does wet feel like? Now I dry them, feel them comfortable, clean and dry again. Feelings are constantly going on.

Feeling flavors

Try this with me. Find the feeling of something sweet. I pick chocolate – chocolate cookie, ice cream, a thick candy bar. You pick your own. Now picture eating that, tasting that. Breathe in the feeling of eating chocolate. Now imagine taking a big bite of a jalapeno pepper. Go ahead, chew it for a while. Breathe in the taste of jalapeno. Now imagine sucking a lemon. Could you feel the nuances of the different feelings?

Do you have a favorite time of day or something that you look forward to doing? One of mine is going out to the corral at dawn. What’s yours? Find it. What does it feel like? You have a feeling about it that feels good, it is what you do it for, to have that good feeling.

Also music, colors, rooms in our homes; each one brings a feeling reaction. It’s like in the Helen Keller movie. Annie is walking little Helen around the yard, touching each thing – the ground, a tree, the water pump. She is telling her “Yes, everything has a word,” as she spells into her hand. I want to walk you through your day, by your heart, and say “Yes, everything has a feeling. Feel it!”

Everything we do is to get a feeling, of accomplishment, of satisfaction, of comfort, of success, of gratitude…. And then do we stop and actually feel the feeling, in our bodies, quiet, still, if only for a moment?

Think of something you want right now. It can be big or small, but choose something that is clear – a morning doughnut, a visit with a dear friend, having a healthy body, maybe still a bite of chocolate. Do you have a picture/thought about it? Now have the feeling of having what you want. Just feel the feeling of it, no words, no thoughts. Try noticing your breathing if you need help getting quiet and feel it. We do everything to have a feeling.

Guess what? You can give yourself that feeling whenever you want. Breathe it in. It feels like cheating, but is it?

Now feel this: feeling breathing, feeling smiling, feeling trees, feeling hugging … without words. Feeling is what you are hungry to do, where the joy is. Give yourself time to do this.

When you are totally in feeling you are very present, and when you are in feeling you are more open to being connected to the subtle energy field, open to receive messages for yourself and others.

One of the reasons we are constantly in our heads, talking, figuring, analyzing, is because we think we need to do this to be safe, to make things work out the way we want. Here is another way … TRUST. What does trust FEEL like?

* Holly Riley

 

The Seventh Principle

by Rosalee Jackson

I want to talk about the Seventh Principle in the Spiritualist Declaration of Principles and how it relates to our everyday lives. The Seventh Principle states, that “We affirm the moral responsibilities of the individual, and that we make our on happiness or unhappiness as obey nature’s physical and spiritual laws.” We are aware of both physical and spiritual laws, but are we aware enough to follow thru in our thinking and be aware enough to understand when we are disobeying nature’s physical laws?

We go to work, and work and work. We come home and keep going just like that little energizer bunny in the television commercial. We do not allow our bodies to rest. We do not allow our mind or spirit to rest. We are aware enough to know that we should be silent; to be still some of the time, but we don’t do that either. Then we eat too much and sometimes all of the wrong things. This is disobeying nature’s physical laws.

Did I mention complaining? I think complaining falls into both categories, physical and spiritual. When we complain it keeps us in a lower vibration. We may complain to ourselves or we may feel that we must complain openly to everyone who will listen. This keeps our energy low and keeps our spirit in a low vibration. We should be careful what we say and think. Someone said that your body believes everything you tell it. We should be aware of our thoughts. Think joyous, loving thoughts; even if we have to stop and rethink.

Make every attempt to avoid negative thoughts, people, and situations. Some of us fear living our lives more fully because of ancient religious beliefs we learned in childhood. We were told that it was sinful to be joyous, happy and to have fun, to laugh and dance, to love and look up at the stars. As a result, we have stymied our happiness by not thinking for ourselves. When we discovered that this was not true, we were too traumatized to break out of that mold so we felt guilty.

GUILT! Another way we disobey nature’s physical and spiritual laws. True spirituality encourages us to treat everyone as we wish to be treated; with respect, kindness and consideration. We must also treat ourselves with respect, kindness, compassion and consideration. One big problem most of us have is saying NO! Learn to say no. If guilty feelings come up when we say no say “Let me think about it” or “I’ll get back to you.” Being kind and considerate does not mean doing something that is not right for you. Saying no may be just the thing you should do.

There are emotions that we hold on to that keep us in a low vibration and make us ill. We disobey nature’s spiritual laws when we hold on to anger, resentment, hatred and un-forgiveness. Anger is a powerful emotion. You may get angry with someone and stay angry for a long time. There is constant chatter in your head about the incident. You can’t let it go. Then one day you wake up and think “It was all my fault.” Then you turn all that anger inward on yourself. You can’t let it go. You pull in some guilt with it too. You beat yourself up every chance you get. Its all right to be angry with someone or even with yourself, but do not hold onto it. Let it go. Discuss it with the person that made you angry if that is possible. Talk with a friend about it or just have a long talk with yourself and get over it.

These things that I’ve spoken of are simple things to do. We can remember to take care of ourselves first if we take the time to be still; to be still and listen. Listen to what Spirit is trying to tell you. Ask for help in eliminating negative emotions and negative thinking. Listen for the answer. Someone wrote; that your eyes believe what they see; your ears believe what they hear; your heart neither sees nor hears … listen to your heart.

Words, Thoughts and Feelings

A talk by a Society member

Are you a reviser? Do you hear something and want to change the wording to make it match your own reality, to make it make sense? You’ll notice in our songbook that some songs have been revised from the original words. Well I’m a reviser too. The last song we sing I change solemn vow to joyous vow. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. This is a joyous undertaking for me, not a solemn one.

I was reading a testimonial on the internet from a man who was recovering from a specific health condition. At one point he took all his difficulties and complaints to the doctor and explained why it was so difficult for him to follow the dietary list of do’s and don’ts, and follow all the doctor’s recommendations. The doctor listened to his long list with a calm demeanor. Then the doctor posed a simple question to the man: “Do you have It? Do you have what it takes to succeed with this condition?”

The man went home and decided he did have what it takes to succeed in regaining his health and went on to change his life, his thoughts and his attitude. So this is a dramatic example of the level of commitment we sometimes need to change our thinking and our attitudes and consequently our lives. It is a deep, strong commitment, and sometimes perhaps I need experiences like hitting rock bottom before I uncover this commitment.

Louise Hay and others have brought our attention to the significance of self-talk. The words we use habitually in our minds have an impact on our consciousness and our feelings. These get so ingrained in us that after a while they just run on automatic. That’s often the result of what we accepted or bought into early in our lives, such as in childhood. Holly Riley, a local author who spoke at the Spiritualist Society of Reno a couple of years ago, gives the example of what do you do when you look at yourself in the mirror. What do you think? Is it “Darn, that blemish is still there!” Or, “Those hairs keep growing out of my nose!” Or, “That wrinkle is getting bigger!” “My nose is too long!” “I need a face lift.”

Well here’s something practical that you can take away from this talk today. Greet yourself in the mirror! Not like, “Oh there you are again, you big ugly thing!” but “Hi, great to see you today, how are you doing?” Because if you look in the mirror and there’s no one there, that means you died and you didn’t even notice it! So if you show up in the mirror you are still here on earth and have the opportunity to improve your life for the better!

So many people are self-critical based on past experiences. They put themselves down or feel that they are not good enough. And it’s not all due to the manipulative advertising of the fashion and make up industries. So looking in the mirror is a quick way to assess your attitude towards yourself.

Holly Riley suggests that you might want to approach that person in the mirror as a dear friend. “Hi, it’s great to see you. Have a super day!” Smile.

While we’re on the subject, if you’re under the age of sixty-two you can use that time while you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face to great advantage. I am referring to Richard’s WPP program which stands for Wattle Prevention Program. Make faces at yourself in the mirror! Gurn! The muscles you strengthen will prevent you from turning into a chicken!

I’ve spoken here before about affirmations as an exercise to practice new thoughts in our lives. We can say them every day. Why not sing them, or put them to a melody that you enjoy? A famous musician said the following:

Once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life as much as talking, physical exercise, and religion? Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang while pounding grain, paddling canoes, or walking long journeys. Can we begin to make our lives once more all of a piece? Finding the right songs and singing them over and over is a way to start.
          Pete Seeger

Bringing in the musical aspect by toning or singing the affirmation engages the emotions and makes it more powerful. I used to work in retail and hear the same songs over and over again. I would dread the holiday music in December. Thank you Infinite Intelligence, I am no longer in retail! The subconscious just responds to where attention is placed. So it’s best to make affirmations positive, rather than negative; “I am well” verses “I will not get sick.”

Many people try affirmations for a while and give up when they hit resistance. You know, after several days on the wagon you start reciting your affirmation and you get a push back from yourself, like “Oh come off it, this is ridiculous” or “Let’s use this time more productively for something else.” What that means is that your attempt to start the new habit has finally engaged your attitudes, and hit some unwillingness to change. It’s always easier to maintain the status quo. But life is all about growth and learning. Life is about becoming, not standing still, and each has our own rhythm, our own pace and our own adventure.

So being open to practicing new thoughts is part of the solution. Staunch denial and avoidance of the old thoughts may appear to be a good short-term solution, but practicing denial in the long term leads to an unhealthy division of our thoughts and attitudes into acceptable and unacceptable categories. People manage their thoughts and emotions differently. A lot of it is based on what they learned in their families of origin.

One thing I’m learning from Holly Riley is that there is a stealth factor attached to the thoughts we think, especially the long-standing thoughts that run on automatic. And that is the thoughts which are accompanied by attitudes and feelings and moods that we may not understand when we buy into the thought.

When you were a kid did you ever dress up in a costume for Halloween? If you dressed up as a wizard or ballerina or knight or wonder woman or superhero, didn’t that evoke a different feeling or imagination that could help you pretend to be someone else for a few minutes? This is the basis of the advice sometimes given in business to fake it until you make it. Change your appearance and shift your imagination to new possibilities.

So the analogy is this: when you try on a thought, there is an accompanying feeling or attitude that comes along free of charge. And maybe thirty minutes later you have an undesired feeling or mood that came along with that thought. It’s easy to detect in certain areas of our lives. If you were hooked up to the blood pressure machine and were told to think of specific politicians over the last few years, you could probably detect a rise in your blood pressure. So the thought pushed your buttons and evoked both a feeling and a physical reaction.

Practicing meditation is a valuable tool to develop awareness of your attention and where it goes. And that same practice of noticing where your attention goes in meditation, and bringing it back to the focal point, whether it be your breath as Wayne described in mindfulness meditation, or the energy work as Jannet described last week, is valuable in the rest of our lives. To learn to live with awareness with eyes open, that is my challenge.

One of the rewards of meditation is that I become aware of my thoughts, and what buttons they may be pushing. Another benefit is that if I get another thought that is not habitual but seems like a different direction, that might be a hint from my spirit guides.

As Leslie mentioned in Rev. Lisa’s Spiritualist Development class, don’t make yourself wrong. It cuts off the flow of love. We all have had experiences in which we accepted the thought that we have done something wrong and that we were bad. Not simply that I had an experience and I can learn from that experience, but I did something wrong and that I am bad; Bad, bad, bad! That opens up the door to guilt and shame and all sorts of masochistic stuff. Let’s not go there! Let’s focus on gratitude for being in a physical body and having an experience which we can learn from.

So why bother becoming aware of my thoughts and words and feelings? What’s the point?

I have been slowly reading a book called “Spiritualism and Mediumship Studies” by Rev. Frances Scher, NST, (NST: Nationally certified Spiritualist Teacher). Under the “Laws of Attraction,” she says, “There are those of us on the Earth Plane who ask, ‘What kind of Spirit teachers do I have? Are they Masters?’” And then she continues, “Are you a master? What is the caliber of your mind? Do you read? Do you study? Do you sit in an unfoldment class? You can only attract to yourself those Spirit entities who are attracted by your mental thoughts and physical acts and deeds. If you are, indeed, a highly moral person, with strictly high moral standards … a person who is open-minded, who studies and reads, and investigates … if you are an individual who seeks knowledge, then will you attract to yourself, from the Spirit World, high caliber and intelligent teachers. But also you will attract people from the Earth Plane whose standards also are high and intelligent.”

Rev. Scher recommends leading an orderly, peaceful, highly ethical life* to attract the highest quality of spirits and people. The way to truly investigate the information provided by Spiritualism is to develop one’s own mediumship abilities through meditation at home and attending development circles, such as Jannet’s Wednesday night class.

Ever have the sensation of not being able to get a song out of your head? [The song plays] Over and over and over again! Why not start the day with a song or songs that you want to have playing in your head! That is a way to shift thought attitudes and feelings throughout the day!

Here’s something you can practice in the mirror as it is a beneficial practice towards self and others. This is an example of words, thoughts and feelings, all aligned for the highest and best good of myself and others:

I honor the place within you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place within you, which is of Love, of Truth, of Light and of Peace. When you are in that place within you, and I am in that place within me, we are one.
          Namaste.

 

*See Principle 6 of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, Declaration of Principles.

My Journey

 A talk by Pam Ponsart

I was born during World War II. That gives you an idea of my age. My Physical Life has taken many twists and turns, and yet, looking back, I can see how beautifully my spiritual journey has been orchestrated by Infinite Intelligence and my Spirit Guides. I am aware of many pivotal points in my life which represent to me occasions when I have exercised free will. And basically, I see my life as a series of stepping stones, and yet, I see my Spiritual Journey as a straight line.

Growing up with my mother primarily, [but also with] my half-sister and stepfathers, from time to time I realized at a young age that my mother was “different” when she drank alcohol. My mother was a very sweet, creative, vivacious, loving, Spiritual, woman, and yes, she was a very sick alcoholic. Her spirituality came about through the influence of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy who founded the Christian Science Church. She referred to it from time to time, and I specifically recall her encouraging me to use my Intuition when making decisions.

When creating a family tree through Ancestry.com, I was fascinated to learn a bit about my mother’s introduction to these teachings. This nugget of information came about while reading a biography of one of her aunts. I soon discovered there was much to learn about my heritage; some of which affects me to this day, …  I think.

Looking back, my sense of it is that the relationship with my Mother was key in ultimately opening the doors to an awareness of the possibility of a spiritual way of life.

While I was living in San Diego, I distinctly remember wondering why I had never met a man who was alcoholic. And guess what? Apparently this thought was the signal! (I have to say here that I am reminded that, according to Earnest Holmes “Thoughts Are Things” and that our mind is connected to The Universal Mind. I’ll talk a little more about Earnest Holmes as we go along here.)

I believe, that Infinite Intelligence and my guides decided it was time for me to begin this Lesson. And, much to my amazement, my very next encounter was with a man who was the same type of alcoholic as my mother. Of course, the lesson here had very little to do with alcoholism, although I would become aware during this time that the American Medical Association had declared alcoholism a disease.

As it happened, of course, the relationship with this gentleman was nothing short of a blessing! I was introduced to the Twelve-Step Program associated with Alcoholics Anonymous.

As a co-dependent in Al-Anon, I came to embrace (among other things) the words of The Serenity Prayer where we ask: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

This was my first step toward taking personal responsibility for the choices I would make in my life going forward. Prior to this time, I recall believing in nothing but my own existence.

Because I was associating with others who were practicing the Twelve Steps , I witnessed many miracles being experienced by these people. This gave me courage and a sense of the possibilities that awaited me.

 

At just about the same time, I was introduced to the teachings of Earnest Holmes, who in the late 1930s, founded The Science of Mind, which was originally known as The Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy. He explored the connection between science and religion. (This is NOT to be confused with Scientology.)

I began my education with Terry Cole-Whittaker when she created her church, based on his teachings, in a small room in The Women’s Civic Center in La Jolla, California.

There were just about two-hundred people who attended in the beginning and, as many of you probably know, this philosophy was contagious and her church, in particular, quickly mushroomed to around four-thousand followers. She had a terrific way of bringing his message to life. And, soon, many of us discovered if we practiced the principals, we saw the positive results in our lives. Many other churches sprang up; with the message also being taught by some other very gifted individuals.

The teachings of Earnest Holmes are very much alive and well today; however, currently, in an effort to re-brand the Institution, it is being referred to as The Center for Spiritual Living.

Between the two philosophies, (Al-Anon and Science of Mind), I learned how to lead a Spiritual Life and how to trust and rely on a Higher Power, which I came to know as God.

Earnest Holmes referred to “prayer” as “Spiritual Mind Healing” or “Spiritual Mind Treatment.” There is a slogan for this as well: “Treat and Move Your Feet.” This slogan reinforced my sense of personal responsibility.

I find this slogan to be very much like our very own “Prayer for Spiritual Healing” when we say: “I ask this in all sincerity and honesty, and I will do my part.”

Again, another reminder…. Coming to Spiritualism felt like a natural progression along my Journey.

Now, I can almost hear you wondering: “How did she get here?” [To become a member of the Society.]

Through the years, I have had some unexplained feelings within myself as well as some ‘other-worldly’ experiences; which is another great topic for yet another day.

Moving along here, basically, I have come to the realization that many of these feelings and experiences were connected to members of what I call my Extended (Human) Family . These wonderful people are not relatives by blood and yet I know my life would not be complete without them.

We connected about the time I was graduating from high school here in Reno. Dare I say, they are members of my Soul Family? Well, that is again another topic for another day.

Fast forward to present day … well, almost present day: I was about to learn a very important lesson; albeit in a very painful way.

A member of my extended family and I became a couple. His name was Willie Canepa. We had many years after his deceased wife made her transition for this to happen; however, neither of us was ready and it did not happen until the very end of his physical life. It was as if he knew he had something important to do before he left the earthly plane.

In spite of the fact that he seemed to know he was old (those were his words; he wasn’t much older than myself), he made a verbal commitment to our relationship. This happened just about ten weeks before his transition.

I remember thanking God for saving the best for last; everything felt so right.

Then, he passed suddenly and unexpectedly after only seven months together as a couple. I grieved deeply, and in fact, it was only after the first two or three months that I realized my grief was so deep that I hadn’t been able to view life in Technicolor; I only saw my world in shades of gray. Thankfully, this part of the grieving process lifted, and yet, I continued to wear the cloak of sorrow for about another twelve months.

At some point during those first few days, I realized that there was a lesson for me, and that was before I learned about “lessons.” Somehow, deep inside, I felt this relationship and this grief was different; that it had a purpose. I had lost others, including my parents and some friends, but with just a couple of exceptions, I was not affected the same way.

Eventually, I realized our relationship and his death catapulted me onto a path where I became a seeker of knowledge about “The Larger Life.”

I had been experiencing contact of different types, from beyond the veil, and I needed a place to go where I would be understood. Some of the books I read were very helpful in this regard; books by Dr. Brian Weiss and Dr. Michael Newton, for instance, really spoke to me and are available through our local library.

Because I couldn’t seem to locate grief support groups here in Reno, I looked online. I know you are surprised to hear this, but I am convinced to this day that I was led by Spirit to become aware of some very specific groups where I would be able to receive much needed education about, what I call “The Greater Life.” I had so many questions within myself and I needed answers.

One of the groups was hosted by James Van Praagh. He freely provided, among other things, message boards that dealt with every topic under the sun having to do with the world beyond. Sadly, those message boards are not available today; however, one of the members told me I was led to that group so I could receive education and so I would learn “the language of spirit.” This is where I learned so many things and of many wonderful books, which I read voraciously to help me come to terms with what I experienced. I have probably read sixty-five or so books since June of 2011, when Willie made his transition, and maintain a “Suggested Reading List” as a result. I am happy to share that list with anyone who is interested.

One of the books I specifically want to mention today is Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz. In the chapter “Death of a Loved One,” there were a little over twenty pages which spoke truth to me. One of my painful lessons dealt with empathy and compassion. These were only words until I found myself in need of expressing them. People I knew reached out to me with empathy and compassion and then I began to understand. And, now, I am able to reach out to others in the same way, as I have internalized the pain associated with loss.

No, reading the chapter “Death of a Loved One” did not dispel my grief but I felt like I could accept what had taken place because I felt I could understand the purpose. And, for sure, I am now a more empathic and compassionate person.

Because of another of the online support groups, I was guided to find a Spiritualist church. That online group is hosted by Christine Duminiak, and is still on-going. In fact, she has a Facebook page! All manner of after-death contact and communication is shared and discussed there. It has “Christian” underpinnings but, for me, it was great to see that we are all experiencing some of the same things.

And, thanks to one of those members who suggested I look to see if there was a Spiritualist church here in the Reno area, I found “Us.”

Looking back, I see that everything has worked together to bring me the awareness of the larger life. Previously, I had referred to “God” which I most often now refer to as “Infinite Intelligence.” I have also become aware of so much more.

I believe we are all Souls having a human experience. I believe I have a spirit team comprised of my guides, angels, healers and helpers and I am aware of how they work in my life as they assist me along my Journey. I am very grateful to them and try to remember to thank them often and also, for sure, before nodding off to sleep at night.

I have come to believe in the benefits of meditation and I attempt to practice this every day. No, I am not always successful, but it is on my daily to do list; so, I remain aware.

In closing, I want to say that this Larger Life has given me a belief in something vast and wonderful and allows me to live, purposefully, in peace and serenity.

I thank you all…

Namaste…

One Source, Many Paths!

by The Reverend Sandra Pfortmiller, NST
Originally printed in the March 2004 National Spiritualist Summit


“Do Spiritualists believe in Jesus? Are you Christians?” These are questions often asked by traditional Christians when first encountering Spiritualism. I heard one person answer, “Yes, we have based our teachings on the teachings of Jesus—Love, Law and Light.” That was probably a good answer for an opener so the person did not close their mind to our beliefs before they knew anything about them. Jesus was indeed a Wayshower and those people who are working to be Christ-like could be defined as Christians in a general type of definition.

Of course, there is so very much more, so many great inspired thoughts and minds in the various religions and teachings that have contributed to Spiritualism’s Philosophy. In addition to the truths brought by Jesus, we study and work to incorporate into our lives the truths taught by other great minds throughout the history of humanity: Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Moses, Buddha, Emerson, Swedenborg, and more modern thinkers such as Andrew Jackson Davis, Emma Hardinge Britten, Gandhi, Ernest Holmes, Corrine Heline, Gary Zukav, Terry Cole- Whittaker, Louise L. Hay, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Marianne Williamson, Sai Baba or the Dali Lama to name just a few of my favorite leading thinkers. Each time we hear, read or discuss the belief of another, it should challenge our beliefs so that we are continually growing toward truth.

This concept is something that Spiritualism encourages for we stress growth and an ever expanding awareness. We know that the evolution of each soul follows a spiritual principle or Natural Law. We are really a universal philosophy that seeks to develop the consciousness of oneness with Infinite Intelligence; the understanding that we are spirit now and that all that the Universal Source has created will never be destroyed, thus life is continuous.

Once I heard someone say, “I want to be whatever religion God is!” Interesting thought, for God is everywhere, in all things, therefore, God is in all religions. Truth is found in each belief system. If we try a brief, limited description of our God-concept it would include: Love, Light, Law, Life, Eternal, Goodness, Peace, Expansion, Spirit, Soul, Matter, Principle, Truth, Infinite Intelligence, Divine Mind, Nature, Reality, Universal Force, Originator or Absolute. The religion that works to include many of the Divine attributes is indeed a blessing to its congregation. Some may say that these explanatory words are more Eastern Tao, or Buddhism, or even Judaism than Christian. Interestingly most of the words came from a dictionary and a synonym finder.

A lot of religious groups are stifled with dogmas and creeds, layers of meaning, paradoxes, fear, the Devil, Eternal Damnation, complicated rules and closed thinking. These are not parallel to the descriptive words for God. This has caused many to have no religious affiliation at all. In a discussion of Christianity compared to Spiritualism, it was mentioned that the religious organization would grow faster if we just incorporated some of the Christian ideas, for after all there were about 160 million Christians, so if we just changed our philosophy in some ways we might have the opportunity to attract more numbers. “What would it look like to be Christian Spiritualists?” I asked.

Their response was, “Just a couple of things like to accept vicarious atonement, or Jesus as your Savior; and accept the triune God, or Father, Son and Holy Spirit. People could still believe in continuous life and spirit communication, and in phenomenon.”

My response was a Christian Spiritualist is a misnomer for the beliefs are quite different. How would one view the Devil, sin, damnation? Spiritualism believes in One Source manifesting in and through all creation, growth, lessons and continuous progression. There is a great difference between the personal Father God versus Infinite Intelligence, a Living Spirit, the One Source, the Absolute Cause. How can Natural Law be depended upon when the Christian God of the Bible does not always follow it? What about individual responsibility if we put our transgressions onto Jesus? Does Christianity take into account our inner Divinity? What about the original sin concept of Christianity? Spiritualism believes we are all born with the spark of Divine Energy. How could the Christian view of Heaven and Hell relate to the Spiritualist view of an ever progressive Spirit World? Spiritualists believe that Heaven and Hell are states of mind, and we do not believe in an actual place called Hell, in damnation, in a devil or Satan for we affirm that Infinite Intelligence is All Good, All Light, All Creation, so to create a destructive force would be to divide Itself. How would a Christian Spiritualist respond to spirit guides and helpers if they believe everything flows through Jesus?

It does not seem possible to tailor Spiritualist teachings to fit the teachings of Christianity, or the reverse without loosing basic concepts. Someone else commented, “Trying to be a Christian Spiritualist is like hedging your bets, so that you have a foot in both religions in case one is right and the other wrong.” Christianity promotes a difficult choice. Either Jesus was resurrected to take away the sins of humanity and you have faith that this is so, or your life is in vain and you will burn in hell for all eternity. This is definitely not Spiritualism.

We believe there is great power of mind and each person is encouraged to examine their beliefs, explore other beliefs and then take their conclusions into their prayer times and meditations. Spiritualists are taught to question the realities that are presented to them and test the concept within to determine truth. A. J. Davis gave us the “Magic Staff” rule, teaching us to keep an even, open mind. The Spirit of the Universe is in everything and communicates with us in many ways, expanding and inspiring. We are spirit now, a soul with a physical body residing on the Earth Plane to attain knowledge and understanding. Spiritualism affirms that the life we live today will affect the life we experience tomorrow, both in the physical world and in the Spiritual World.

Religion that is true cannot be put into a closed box. This is something that Jesus taught. In John 14:10 he said he believed it was the Father within him, and not he himself, that did the works. That each should know that the Father-God is accessible to them as well, if they have faith. In John 14:12, he suggested that we might do all the things he had done, and even greater, if we had faith. We should not worship the example, but strive to follow it, to become closer to the Divine Principle, to strive to sense the unity with Infinite Intelligence, to practice in our daily lives the examples of the avatars that show a way to Love and Light.

NSAC Spiritualism has basic beliefs, but our box has open ends for new truths to arrive and incorrect ideas to exit. Much of our Philosophy came from our spirit teachers and the information was received from mediums in the trance and inspirational states. The trance information from Andrew Jackson Davis, from the Fox sisters and from the mediums of the past and present are like a giant cross-communication information system. Truths received in England, Europe, Asia or the Northern Hemisphere become confirmation when translated, read and researched, for they are the same understanding. Spiritualism then tests what has been given, striving to see how the awareness fits into daily life and that it may be depended upon as a truth. We believe Universal Principle or Natural Law always guides us to right action.

An individual who has never received a paranormal event or spiritual message may say the Spirit World is a figment of our hopes and imagination. Yet, someone who has had a Near-Death Experience (NDE), an After-Death Experience (ADE), astral traveled into the next realm, or, someone who has received a spirit greeting that is so evidential that it takes away all doubt, will reply that for them life beyond the physical has been proven. A Spiritualist believes as strongly in the afterlife as they do in the fact that on this globe the sun comes up in the morning and sets in the evening. We know that we can and do communicate with these eternal souls through mediumship, telepathy, dreams and meditation.

Spiritualism is a philosophy of positive thinking—as one thinks within, so it is done unto them. We put our trust in the Love and Power of God—or we let go and let God, knowing that Infinite Intelligence is all Love, bringing the highest and best to our lives every moment. This belief helps us to accept life as it comes or as it goes by. As we release our load we become lighter or enlightened. There is a wonderful bumper sticker which says, “Let Go or Be Dragged!” This of course may be applied to items of the physical world, but it also relates to ideas, past beliefs, old behaviors, opinions, prejudices, attitudes, self-concepts, moods, grudges, selfish agendas and relationships. We grow as we are open to truth.

We are triune—body, soul and spirit. The soul is the intermediate principle between the physical body and the spirit, which helps to slow down the fast vibrations of the spirit, or the God Spark, so the physical awareness can communicate with the higher awareness of Spirit.

The followers of each religion feel theirs is the pathway to God, Allah or Infinite Intelligence. When deciding what direction your religious understanding will take, look and listen for inner inspiration, then honor and trust your guidance from within. Grant integrity to other religions for their beliefs guide them to a higher consciousness and even though all religions do not teach the same message, we might remember there is one Source and many paths to find the truths of Divine Principle. Let us praise our differences and enjoy our likenesses for humanity is really one.

The Power of Hope

by Kindra Phillips

My husband decided to leave the physical. It wasn’t unexpected, I knew it was coming. By the time he died, I was a shell of my previous self. I was drained and exhausted. My favorite song that we sing [in Society meetings] is Water by Daniel Nahmod.1 My favorite phrase of this song is “have you ever seen an eagle head straight into the wind.” I like this phrase because this is what I was doing for many years, struggling to keep us going, struggling to keep him going.

It was in this state of exhaustion that I had to deal with other people’s perceptions of my husband’s death. Some people didn’t know what to say so they ignored me, other people made suggestions on how they would have handled the situation better, and others just blamed me. I know that these people were dealing with their own issues, but it was hard not to take in the criticism.

I felt like my life was one of those choose your own adventure stories. In a choose your own adventure story you read a scenario and then have to choose what option you would take given the situation. For example, if you choose Option A, you would be instructed to turn to Page 15, and if you choose Option B, you would be instructed to turn to Page 20. I thought of my life as a choose your own adventure story gone horribly wrong, and I wasn’t able to flip the pages back to start again.

Recently, on a trip to Arizona, I saw a tree that had sores all over the trunk and it looked like blood was dripping from them. I was told that it was a bleeding tree. The bleeding tree is part of the weeping willow family and originates in Australia. Of course I was drawn to this horrible looking tree because I felt like that before.

I was told that every year the tree bleeds dark red sap and after it is finished bleeding, the trunk of the tree turns to a beautiful amber color. The amber colored trunk protects the tree from the harsh rays of the Arizona sun. I do believe that when we go through great diversity, it makes us stronger just like the bleeding tree. But how do you get from a place of pain and suffering to a place of abundance and joy? The answer might be different for everyone, but for me it was hope.

I received a reading by the Reverend Hoyt Robinette.2 I didn’t give him any personal information, he just started talking. Hoyt told me what would have happened if I choose to deal with my husband’s problem differently. He put to rest all the would haves and should haves that were constantly swirling in my mind. That was a blessing.

He then asked me if I wanted to know about my future. The question shocked me because I was still trying to understand the past. He told me a few things about my future. It wasn’t in the particulars of the future that made such an impact. Instead, it was an act of bringing hope back into my life. That distant ethereal hope that I had lost was brought much closer through his reading.

I used to work for a pharmaceutical company. In their drug studies, the drug was always compared to the effects of a placebo. In some cases, the effects of the drug were not much greater than the effects of the placebo. A placebo is defined as a pill prescribed more for the psychological benefit than for any physiological effect.

Anatomy_of_SpiritFrom the Brain Health Hacks blog,3 one author suggests that the definition of a placebo is a lot like the definition of hope. It is to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. It is well known that the placebo effect can greatly improve a patient’s health, so why not hope? The Japanese believe that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes in one year will be granted a wish. Isn’t this hope being put into action? Just like the expectation of getting well from a placebo pill? The power of hope is strong because, according to the Brain Health Hacks blog, hope is energy.

In the Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss,4 the author states that the physical body is surrounded by an energy field. This energy field is an information center and a perceptual system. It surrounds us and carries emotional energy created by our experiences and influences the physical tissue within our bodies. I know this because when my husband died my hair fell out. My emotional trauma caused a physical one.

The neurobiologist Dr. Candace Pert5 demonstrated that neuropeptides, the chemicals activated by emotions, are thoughts converted to matter. Practitioners of energy medicine can detect an area of the body that is not transmitting at its normal healthy frequency and this can indicate a problem.

The author goes on to state that it is vital that we maintain our own sense of power because power is the ability to generate internal energy and emotional resources. To increase our power, we can focus on the essentials that can help recover our energy. Every choice we make motivated by faith or fear, directs our spirit and affects our power. I choose faith.

Budda states “Since everything is a reflection of our minds, everything can be changed by our minds.” I believe that the energy of hope can transform the mind and body and get us that place of happiness, protection, and beauty.

A_Message_of_HopeIn order to understand the power of hope, I read a book by Lorna Byrne titled A message of hope from the angels.7 The author, who has seen and heard from angels all her life, states that there is an angel of hope. The angel of hope can be in many places at once and is a beacon of light in all our lives and that hope makes the impossible possible. The angel of hope is not there to solve our problems. It is there to give us strength and vision to get through to a better place.

Recently I saw a little girl who looked like me in the airport. She had brown eyes and brown hair. She was wearing a mask and unable to communicate. According to her mom, she was on the way home after chemotherapy treatment. As I smiled at her, she became really excited. But she wasn’t looking at me. It was like she was looking through me. It was a strange encounter, but perhaps she saw her angel of hope. With the angel of hope guiding us, we can take those steps to get us to our better place. But I wanted to know, what are those steps that would allow me to follow the angel of hope?

According to Thich Nhat Hanh in his book No Mud No Lotus,5 there are five steps we can follow to find our joy and happiness:

No_Mud_No_LotusThe First Step is to cast off or leave behind those beliefs that are really obstacles to joy and happiness. These beliefs may include your ideas on how things should be or what you should have in your life. If something was obtained, it may be even more difficult to let go. The author calls this fearful attachment. Having these beliefs can cause suffering, but letting go is too difficult because of the fear of the unknown. Practicing a meditation where you put all of your fears, hatred, anger, problems and other energy sucking junk away for a while may help you take leave from those joy blocking beliefs. Not only does it make meditation more pleasant but practicing putting the junk away can flow over into your everyday life.

The_SecretThe Second Step is called inviting positive seeds. It is a practice of watering those positive seeds that are inside us and around us. These seeds can be things like compassion, understanding, and kindness. Any positive quality in which you would like to incorporate into your life. For example, if you want to be more grateful for the people, circumstances, or things in your life, taking time to acknowledge what you are grateful for would be like watering your gratefulness seed and thus creating more people, circumstances, or things to be grateful for.8 If you don’t like some thoughts or feelings that you are experiencing, then learn to focus on the opposite of those thoughts and feelings. For example, you may utilize affirmations. According to the Tiny Buddha blog,9 it is recommended that you identify the negative self-talk, create positive affirmation out of those beliefs, begin using the new affirmations and see the magic unfold. After all, according to The Secret,10 your thoughts and feelings create your life. So why not create a good one?

The Third Step is mindfulness based joy. Mindfulness is when we bring our mind to the here and now. Mindfulness is an energy that we can use to touch happiness and joy that are already available for us. The author states that when we walk it can be a celebration, and when we breathe, with awareness it can also be a celebration. What we are celebrating is life. The conditions of happiness that we have are already sufficient as we are aware of the fact that we are alive. Examine those things that bring you joy and happiness and use mindfulness to be fully present in those activities. I like to listen to new age music and soak in the bathtub. I figure when I am going through rough times, at least I will be clean.

The_Power_of_NowThe Fourth Step is concentration. Worries and anxiety about the future are always there, ready to take us away from happiness and joy. We can see them, acknowledge them, and use our concentration to return to the present moment. When we concentrate, we have a lot of energy; this energy will help us to not get carried away from visions of the past or fears about the future. In The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle11 the psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. Fear comes in many forms like unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension and phobias. This kind of fear is always something that might happen not of something that is happening now. The mind can cope with the present moment but you cannot cope with the future. Therefore, utilizing mindfulness to concentrate on the here and now can eliminate fear and allow our minds to concentrate on watering those seeds so that they grow into fruition. Buddha stated that happiness and tranquility arise from concentration.

The Fifth Step is insight. If we can see what is there it can liberate us from negative feelings such as anger, jealousy and fear. According to Gordon Burroughs in Becoming a Spiritualist,12 mediumship opens the door between the physical and spiritual worlds, and in doing so, the other side of life gives us valuable knowledge. Without insight I think it is easy to feel confused, lost and uneasy as we navigate throughout our lives. It was nice to receive an insightful reading from Hoyt Robinette. However, we all can develop our own skills.

In the NeuroLeadership Journal, Mark Beeman13 states that an insight is often a long forgotten memory or a combination of memories. These memories don’t have a lot of neurons in our brains involved in holding them together. We only notice signals above whatever our base line of noise is. Everyday thought might involve millions of neurons speaking to each other. An insight might involve only a few tens of thousands of neurons speaking to each other.

He goes on to state that just as it’s hard to hear a quiet cellphone at a loud party, it’s hard to notice signals that have less energy than the general energy level already present in the brain. Hence, we tend to notice insights when our overall activity level in the brain is low. Insights require a quiet mind because they themselves are quiet. Psychologist Stellan Ohlsson’s14 Theory of Inhibition states that we need to inhibit the wrong solution for the right ones to come to our attention because the non-conscious processing resources are so much greater than our conscious ones. These psychologists agree that you have to let go of the problem for the solution to come to you.

I often cannot let go of a problem, I like to chew on it like a dog chewing a bone. When my mind is in this state, I turn to the physical. I have been practicing yoga for a few years now. Practicing yoga not only makes me physically stronger but it also releases the tension in my body. When the tension in my body is released, the tension in my mind is also released and I can let go of my bone.

My favorite part of yoga is the last ten minutes when I lay on the ground with my palms up. I will happily spend an hour sweating to get to this place of quiet and peace. Remember that the mind and body are connected. Therefore, you can also use your mind to release tension from your body. Meditation can release tension from the body and also quiet the mind, leaving space for intuitive thoughts to bubble up into consciousness. It’s not important how you get to that peaceful quiet place. What is important is that you get there. Taking time to unplug, unwind, imagine, play and zone out is like watering the seeds of your soul.

Since the physical death of my husband, I have stopped trying to fly into the wind and just let life unfold. I assure you that this was no easy task for me, I was holding on to what was for dear life. I knew I had to give in and surrender to live life again. This surrendering was not an act of defeat like I once thought but an act of hope for transformation to come.

Since I have learned to let go, many blessing have flowed into my life. I have so many people that have supported me, including our Spiritualist Society. For me the impossible did indeed become possible. I am still working on the five steps that Thich Nhat Hanh suggested: casting off beliefs that do not serve me, inviting positive seeds, mindfulness based joy, concentration and insight. But I know that with the power of hope I can transform myself into the happy, protected, beautiful, vibrant self I envision, just like the transformation of the bleeding tree.

References

  1. Mood, Daniel, Water CD, Humanity Music Company, 2015, danielnahmod.com/water.html
  2. Butler, Tom and Lisa, Sitting with Hoyt Robinette, Association TransCommunication, 2010, atransc.org/circle/hoyt_robinette.htm
  3. Brain Health Hacks, brainhealthhacks.com
  4. Myss, Caroline, Anatomy of the Spirit, Harmony, 1996, ISBN-13: 978-0609800140, amazon.com/Anatomy-Spirit-Seven-Stages-Healing/dp/0609800140/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
  5. Dr. Candace Pert, candacepert.com . Also, Pert, Candace, et al, Neuropeptides and Their Receptors: A Psychosomatic Network, The Journal of Immunology, 1985, candacepert.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Psychosomatic-network-peptides-receptors-Pert-JI85-Pert-820-6.pdf
  6. ByByrne, Lorna, A Message of Hope from the Angels, Atria Books, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1476700373, amazon.com/Message-Hope-Angels-Lorna-Byrne//1476700370/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
  7. Hanh, Thich Nhat, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering, Parallax Press, 2014, ISBN-13: 978-1937006853, amazon.com/No-Mud-Lotus-Transforming-Suffering//1937006859/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
  8. See the SSR Gratitude Circle on FaceBook: facebook.com/groups/ssrgratitudecircle/
  9. Tiny Buddha, tinybuddha.com
  10. Byrne, Rhonda, The Secret, Atria Books/Beyond Words, ISBN-13: 978-1582701707 2006, 2006, amazon.com/Secret-Rhonda-Byrne/dp/1582701709/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452809744&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Secret
  11. Tolle, Eckhart, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Namaste Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1577314806, 2004, amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577314808/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1452809949&sr=8-1
  12. Burroughs, Gordon, Becoming a spiritualist, Port City Press, ASIN: B0007FTLVM, 1962, amazon.com/Becoming-spiritualist-H-Gordon-Burroughs/dp/B0007FTLVM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452810834&sr=8-1&keywords=Becoming+a+Spiritualist
  13. NeuroLeadership Journal, neuroleadership.com/research/journal/
  14. Stellan Ohlsson, PH.D., Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, http://psch.uic.edu/psychology/people/faculty/stellan-ohlsson

Amazing Gratitude

by Joan Smith York
2015

For a long time, I resisted gratitude. When someone would say “Joan, you should be grateful for…” I didn’t always feel it.  However, life gave me another chance to learn about gratitude.

A few years ago, when I was in Fairbanks, Alaska, I tried a little experiment with gratitude.  A friend suggested it just as winter was closing in.  Mel and I were both having a hard time with the Alaskan winters and politics at work.  I was sure my boss hated me and took every opportunity to give me a hard time.  Knowing temperatures would soon dip below zero and daylight would shrink made everything much worse.  It was easy to get discouraged, and we were.

What Mel suggested was a daily email exchange.  Each day, without fail, we were to list three things for which we were grateful.  I started out with a certain amount of skepticism, struggling to find things I could list.  Day 1: “I am grateful for my morning coffee, that my house is warm, and that it’s the weekend.”  Work days were harder: “I am grateful that my boss is out of town, that my office has a window, and that my car started after sitting outside all day.”

It didn’t take long before I started to notice other little things for which I could be grateful.  My meeting with the principal went better than I expected.  One of my coworkers was actually decent.  I had a good conversation with a teenager.  It soon became obvious that my mindset had subtly shifted.  It even seemed like my experiences were becoming more positive.  I went from feeling “I hate my job and I’m trapped in this depressing place!” to “My job may have its challenges, but it does have some bennies, like sometimes I can actually help people…and the pay allows me to buy warm fuzzy things.”

Random good things started happening to me out of the blue.  In November, I got to go for a three-week leadership training in Kansas.  The training was inspiring, and when I got back, work was much better.  I was somehow able to get to the right people and solve problems.  My horrible boss got another job and the new boss was pretty great.  Then came my most satisfying year at work since I’d been in Alaska.  Melanie had the same kind of turnarounds in her life.  Our gratitude circle was starting to seem magical.

Gratitude helped me to raise my vibration.  As a Spiritualist, I believe “that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.”  Gratitude works through the law of attraction.  In The Power, Rhonda Byrne offers the Key of Gratitude: “Every time you feel grateful you are giving love and whatever you give, you receive.”

I encourage you to try a gratitude circle, especially if you’re experiencing difficulty.  It may take an act of faith at first, but I promise that you will find it worthwhile if you really commit yourself to the practice.

Probable Selves: Past, Present, Future

by Jannet Caywood
May 25, 2014

[Editor: Please see the endnote for current information relevant to this article.]


Most of the time we are focused on our physical existence and we see that existence in terms of linear time: a series of physical events; past, present and future. I have for a long time believed our existence to be much more dynamic and multidimensional.

I’ve recently read the book Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of The Soul by Jane Roberts.1 Since reading this book I’ve come to realize how truly multidimensional the soul is. While listening today some of you will say to yourselves “No, this is too much, I just can’t believe it.” Others of you will intuitively feel a resonance. Either way [after reading this] these ideas will now be part of your probable realities.

We create form (manifest) through our thoughts and emotions—we’ve all heard that “thoughts are things.” But our habit of serial thought and our three-dimensional attitude make it difficult for us to absorb or comprehend that our thoughts are real, they are probable realities. And if they are highly emotional, they can be more real than the thoughts we chose to make into physical events.

At any given moment in our daily lives, we make choices, some trivial, some important: what to eat for breakfast; to scratch our nose; pet the dog; cause harm to another; to reach out to someone in need. To us, life seems a series of actions taken, yet every thought is actualized, every possibility explored. Non-physical acts usually escape our notice and attention.

The Soul is not a finished product. It is always in the process of becoming. It has created for itself infinite acts in which infinite dimensions of fulfillment are possible. Reincarnation is but one facet in the whole picture of probabilities.

So, let’s take an example:

You are sitting reading a book when the telephone rings. A friend wants you to meet her later to take in a movie. You stand considering. In your mind you see yourself: (a) saying “No” and staying home to continue reading; (b) saying “No” and going somewhere else instead; or, (c) saying “Yes” and keeping the engagement. At that point, all these possible actions have a reality. They are capable of being actualized in the physical. Before you make your decision, each of these probable actions are equally valid. You choose one, and by your decision you make one event out of the three physical.

Though you have not chosen to actualize physically the other probable actions, they are as valid as they ever were. They are carried out as effectively as the one you chose to accept. If there was a strong emotional charge behind one of the rejected probable actions, it may have an even greater validity as an act than the one you chose.

When we don’t accept something as a physical event, we may fail to perceive its strength and durability. The unrealized connections that might have occurred, but did not, are worked out in other layers of reality. If you once wanted to be a doctor and are now in another profession, then in some other probable reality, you are a doctor. If you have abilities that you’re not using here, they are being used somewhere else.

Our probable selves are a portion of our identity as a soul. We are out of contact with them because our focus is on physical events and the belief that these events are reality. “Each probable system of reality creates other such systems, and any one act, realized, brings forth an infinite number of unrealized acts that will also find their actualization.” Each probable self has its own probable selves. “All exist simultaneously, each supports and adds to the other. This is true for probable selves, civilizations, Earths, universes and probable gods. But there is only one All That Is. The one All That Is, is aware not only of its own nature and of the nature of all consciousness, but is also aware of its infinite probable selves.”

To the extent that we are open and receptive, we can benefit from the experiences of our probable selves, gaining their knowledge and abilities. This often happens spontaneously, appearing as an inspiration while we are in the dream state, and is an experience not actualized on the part of another self. We tune in and actualize it instead and vice versa. “As an exercise, this can be done while in a waking state by imagining the “road not taken.” Your imagination will have opened the door and given you the freedom to perceive.”

Seth explains that, to “advance” as a consciousness is to become more and more aware of these other materializations of our own identity. The probable selves are to gain awareness of other probable selves, and realize that all are various manifestations of the true identity or soul.

Your thoughts and emotions, therefore, go forth from you not only in all physical directions but in directions that are quite invisible to you, appearing in dimensions that you would not presently understand. Now you are the receiver of other such signals coming from other probabilities that are connected with your own, but you choose which of those probable actions you want to make real or physical in your system, as others also have the freedom of choice in their systems.

According to Seth, there is a natural attraction between ourselves and our probable selves. This connection is electromagnetic and having to do with energy that appears simultaneously to ourselves and our probable selves in other realities and will show-up very strongly in the dream state as psychic connections that are emotional, sympathetic and uniting. In the dream state then, we have considerable communication between various parts of our entire identity or soul. We may have glimpses of probable paths not taken in this physical life but that did occur in another probable reality.

Also, we each have profound connections between ourselves and other individuals with whom we’ve had relationships or have been involved with in making deep decisions. These connections are of a telepathic nature in particular and may be beneath normal consciousness. Any unrealized physical connections with these individuals that may have occurred, but did not, are worked out in other probable realities.

One event can be actualized by more than one probable self and we will resemble some probable selves more than others. We can connect to some extent with the knowledge and abilities of other probable portions of our soul. These connections make for constant “bleed-throughs.” These “bleed-throughs” come quickly into our consciousness and bring a sense of strangeness as if they do not come from ourselves. For example: knowing things we could not have known; unexplained talents and attractions.

Seth tells us:

Where your vision fails, you think reality ceases … you must train yourself to look between events, between objects, within yourself when you do not seem to be doing anything. Watch out for events that appear to make no sense, for they are often clues to larger invisible events.

You can draw upon knowledge that belongs to these other independent selves. You can learn to focus your attention away from physical reality, to learn methods of perception that will enable you to enlarge your concept of reality and greatly expand you own experience.

It is only because you believe that physical existence is the only valid one, that it does not occur to you to look for other realities. Such things as telepathy and clairvoyance can give you hints of other kinds of perception, but you are also involved in quite definite experiences both while you are normally waking and while you are asleep.

Seth also advises this:

It is very poor policy to dwell negatively on unpleasant aspects of the past that you know, because some portions of the probable self may still be involved in that past. The concentration can allow greater bleed-through and adverse identification, because that part will be one background that you have in common with any probable selves who sprang from that particular source.

To dwell on the possibility of illness or disaster is equally poor policy, for you set up negative webs of probabilities that need not occur. You can theoretically alter your own past as you have known it, for time is no more something divorced from you than probabilities are.

The past exists in multitudinous ways. You only experienced one probable past. By changing this past in your mind, now, in your present, you can change not only its nature but its effect, and not only upon yourself but upon others.

Seth says that “Many people have at one time or another changed their present behavior in response to the advice of a ‘future’ probable self, without ever knowing they have done so.”

Pretend that an event that disturbed you is totally wiped out and then replace it with an event that is more beneficial to you. Do this many times, with great vividness and emotional intensity. The event you chose will automatically become a probable event that did in fact happen, though it is not the event you chose to perceive in your probable past. Telepathically, your idea will affect any one involved in the original event, though they may choose to accept or reject your new version.

Because there are “bleed-throughs” and interconnections, it is possible for us to tune into a “future event” while in the dream state. For example, one that is frightening to us, giving us the opportunity to choose to avoid the event and not experience it. Such a dream may be a message from a probable self that did experience the event.

Seth gives us the following analogy of the stream to help us understand probable selves:

The so-called stream of consciousness is simply that—one small stream of thoughts, images and impressions—that is part of a much deeper river of consciousness that represents your own far greater existence and experience. You spend all your time examining this one small stream, so that you become hypnotized by its flow, and entranced by its motion. Simultaneously these other streams of perception and consciousness go by without your notice, yet they are very much a part of you, and they represent quite valid aspects involved in other layers of reality.

You are as actively and vividly concerned in these realities as you are in the one in which your main attention is now focused. Only your focus of attention closes you off from them and from the events in which they are involved. If you think of your stream of consciousness as transparent, then you can learn to look through and beneath it to others that lie in other beds of reality.

Any creative work involves you in a cooperative process in which you learn to dip into these other streams of consciousness and come up with a perception that has far more dimensions than one arising from the one, narrow, usual stream of consciousness that you know.

Some of these streams of consciousness may involve the thoughts of what you would call a reincarnational self, focused in another period of history as you know it.

So, if you believe in what I’ve just told you, you can see our souls or identities have many more aspects than we’ve ever even imagined. We are, each of us, dynamic and multidimensional souls.


Editor’s Note

There have been and continue to be numerous people channeling entities. While some may be the result of an overactive imagination, some are supported by a growing body of scientific evidence.

Is it Seth or imagination?

As to the veracity of the Seth Material, a recent study examining the twenty-one years of the Seth Material, as compared to a large body of Jane Robert’s personal writing, strongly suggests that the material consistently originated from an independent intelligence.2

What does science say?

One of the ways the validity of the Seth material can be judged is by examining current science. In this essay, Seth reference to probable actions and actualized probabilities is consistent with current research on presentiment. This research shows that subjects can respond to information before it is presented, as if they are psychically sensing the growing possibility of the event. Our apparent ability to sense the future is closely linked with this concept.3

Seth speaks of probable selves and how they are part of our soul. This is consistent with the growing realization amongst researchers that our etheric personality (who we really are—one of many probable selves of our soul) is nonphysical whereas the physical body is more an avatar. The etheric self is increasingly seen as part of a collective within one Source called “All That Is” by Seth and known by Spiritualists as Infinite Intelligence.4 (This reference is not “scientific” but does represent some of the sources that seem to support Seth.)

Seth explains that to advance as a consciousness is to become more aware of other materializations of the self. This presupposes that people do not start out with full awareness of their other materializations of self. This concept is supported by current understanding that people unconsciously examine sensed psychic and physical information, and only becomes aware of the results of that examination and not the actual sensed information. In short, most of what people are aware of is filtered by their worldview. If other selves are not an accepted concept—not in the worldview—it will likely be ignored by the unconscious mind. The solution is to learn by some means, possibly mindful living, to become more aware of this unconscious process.5

Conclusion

It is important to test channeled material by seeking supporting concepts which are not derived via channeled material. Time has shown the Seth Material to be very well supported.


References

  1. Roberts, Jane, Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity Of The Soul, with commentary by Robert F. Butts, Amber-Allen Publ., New World Library; Reprint Edition (1994), ISBN-10: 1878424076.
  2. Cunningham, Paul F. (2012), “The Content-Source Problem in Modern Mediumship Research,” River University, rivier.edu/faculty/pcunningham/Publications/CunninghamJP_Fall-2012-Vol-76-(2)-295-319.pdf
  3. Parapsychological Association Frequently Asked Question: 5: Presentiment Studies, February 11, 2011, parapsych.org/articles/36/62/5_presentiment_studies.aspx
  4. Butler, Tom, Butler, Lisa (2013), “Hans Bender’s Message at Reno Séances,” Association TransCommunication, published in the Fall 2013 ATransC NewsJournal, atransc.org/circle/hans_bender_speaks.htm
  5. Carpenter, James C., First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, ISBN-13: 978-1442213906, 2012

Life After Life

 by Jannet Caywood

I’m pretty sure most of us here believe in life after death or our soul’s continuing existence.

How many of you have had some event or vision that has confirmed for you that belief? I had a vision.

I was in the water; in the middle of a choppy ocean. I could see debris floating around me and a man in a wooden lifeboat. He was dressed in an old fashioned seaman’s jacket and cap. He didn’t see me and didn’t rescue me. I felt panic and started to drown. I felt fear as I sank deeper and deeper, reaching up for the light that got smaller and smaller, finally becoming just a pinpoint and then total blackness. In a moments time, I saw millions of stars and galaxies in all colors. I felt oneness with All That Is and complete peace and love. I knew then that I never cease to exist.

But what is it like to live after death? Or, should I say living life after life?

I will share with you samples of what I have learned from reading these three books: The Afterlife Unveiled by Stafford Betty, Letters From The Light by Elsa Barker and In The Afterlife by April Crawford. The information in these books was gathered through the channeling of Spirits. Some of whom had never been in the physical on this Earth, some who had been dead for over a hundred years and some who had passed only a few days or months prior. In all cases this information was shared with us so that we might know we are loved, that we continue to live although in a different form, that we need not be afraid and that while we are in the physical we take the opportunity to learn and grow as souls.

the-afterlife-unveiled    letters-from-the-light    in-the-afterlife

Imperator, who described himself as “chief of 49 spirits,” and who was originally channeled by the 19th Century Anglican Priest William Stanton Moses, described a map of the afterlife: “We believe that we state what is accurate when we say that your earth is the highest of seven spheres; that there are succeeding the earth-life seven spheres of active work, and succeeding these, seven spheres of Divine contemplation. But each sphere has many states.”

The afterlife or Summerland as it is often referred to by those in Spirit, begins at the Earth’s surface and extends outward.

When we pass on to the afterlife we don’t become enlightened, angelic beings. As Imperator tells us: “As the soul lives in the earth-life, so does it go to spirit-life. Its tastes, its predilections, its habits, its antipathies, they are with it still. It is not changed save in the accident of being freed from the body. The soul that on earth has been low in taste and impure in habit does not change its nature by passing from the earth-sphere, any more than the soul that has been truthful, pure and progressive becomes base and bad by death.”

The Spirit world is a spectrum of realms stretching from lowly joys and satisfactions of a novice soul, to spheres of unimaginable radiance and fulfillment, to darker murkier regions where souls of a lower order reside. It’s a place of landscapes, seas, houses, and cities. It Is a material world but of a higher vibration. There are gardens, libraries, universities and hospices, but no landfills or smog. There is no traffic and the roads are covered with thick moss like grass to walk on.

Those in spirit do not become suddenly all knowing. They continue to work and grow, as here on Earth, towards enlightenment. Many are no more motivated in spirit than they were on earth in the physical.

Many fail to recognize their condition for a time, refusing to believe they have died, especially if they were certain death meant extinction.

Injured, sickly bodies are left behind, but all spirits carry an astral signature making them recognizable to others who knew them on earth in the most recent lifetime as well as previous lifetimes.

The astral is more vivid and intense and spirits have fewer limitations. They can communicate telepathically, move from place to place by willing to be at their destination, or they can walk if they wish. Minds are sharper and emotions, both positive and negative more acutely felt.

infinite Spirit, the Creator, places us on earth to challenge us, to see us grow in wisdom, love, and power and the use we make of our free will is crucial to our development at all levels.

Spirits gravitate to their rightful place. They must grow in wisdom and love gradually and cannot enter a vibration they are not ready for.

The astral world provides opportunities for every interest, from science to music and theology, astral architecture to homebuilding, and missionary work. It is full of challenges for those who desire to grow.

Physical danger and illness do not exist. Eating and sleeping are optional and unnecessary. There is no sense of linear time.

Many of those in Spirit maintain an interest in events on earth and long to help it progress. And often claim that most of earth’s brilliant achievements were inspired by Spirits telepathically communicating their ideas. Spirits also long to help their loved ones still in the physical through prayer in reverse.

Spirits do not meet an embodied God but an all pervasive, penetrating Divine Light, that does not judge. Spirits celebrate the presence of the Light with grand music, displays of light and amazing language. Music is the supreme art. Painting, dance, and theater are also held in high regard.

There are hellish regions in the Afterlife, often referred to as Shadowlands. These regions lack the vivid clarity of the higher realms and have a dull overcast. Shadowlands are populated by the temporarily lost or confused or stubbornly unrepentant souls. Missionary Spirits minister to these souls which can free themselves when they are willing to face their errors and crimes and repent. All eventually will. No Spirit will remain forever in the dark regions, but God will never interfere with our free will.

There are three basic ways to progress in the Spirit world: admitting to one’s defects in character, service to others, and a yearning for higher states.

There are no masks in the Afterworld, you cannot hide what you truly are. The quality of light that you shine forth reveals all.

Relatives, friends, spouses, teachers, some from previous lives, some long forgotten, may turn up and resume old friendships. Many Spirits are members of spirit families or Group Souls, that await them after passing.

Spirits sometimes meet Christ-like beings, Beings of Light that come from higher worlds to inspire progress towards greater joy and awareness.

As Spirits progress to the next world they slough off their astral bodies for a spiritual body of less density.

Spirits are not naked; they wear astral clothing fashioned by the mind.

Our prayers for those in Spirit are deeply appreciated. If forgotten by their earth friends and family, they can experience loneliness.

Children in Spirit are raised, they do not suddenly become adults after passing. Nurturing and educating these child spirits is one of the noblest professions in the astral world.

Many spirits continue to practice man-made religions until they discover a deeper spirituality.

Suicides do not end up in an eternal hell, but they do not resolve the issues they came into physical life to resolve.

Human dilemmas turn up in the spirit world as they do on earth. There is a story in Letters From The Light about Judge Hatch and a man with two wives. The man’s first wife passes and waits for him in the afterlife. He remarries while still in the physical and after a time the man and his second wife pass. The three come to Judge Hatch asking for his assistance in resolving a problem. The first wife feels that the husband should be with her since she knew him first. The second wife feels he should be with her or she would be all alone and she knew him last. The husband feels confused and also has the desire to reconnect with a sweetheart from long ago. Ultimately, the decision was up to the three and the judge urged them to work things out After a time the three returned and the first wife said that she had decided to let her husband spend some time with his second wife if he wanted. Judge Hatch wondered if the only way the husband could get away from the two would be to return to earth.

Reincarnation is one of the keys to soul growth and is therefore crucial to the divine plan. Spirits have the choice to reincarnate or not, but most choose to return to life on earth in order to experience the challenges that lead to soul growth.