Saturday, 15 June 2013

Where Does Your Guidance Come From?

I hope the day finds you well?

The air is a little fresher here in sunny East Yorkshire today following some torrential overnight rain. Good for the garden undoubtedly, some of the pots in the garden were very dry.  The good thing is because the season seems a little slow, about a month behind roughly because of the exceptionally long winter, we still have lots of late spring flowers out. 

I read quite a bit when I get the time, but it tends to be in snatches because mainly I don't have time to sit for a quality couple of hours to get a decent amount of a book read in one go, hence why I have about four books on the go at any one time. I have started my part time working hours now so with two days a week extra off, I am hoping to get some good reading done. I guess I can achieve more of a balance between not being seen to be lazy by her indoors yet doing what I want to do and that's to continue my education in a broad range of spiritual and eclectic subjects. My time is also going to be devoted to increasing the amount of healing and psychic and spiritual work. 

One publication I read is 'Two Worlds,' a monthly magazine founded in 1887 and now edited by Tony Ortzen. This is a spiritualists magazine with a nice mix of views, opinions, articles, reviews and revealing interviews. There are a lot of adverts, but then this keeps the cost down.

There is a regular article in which the 'teachings' of a spirit guide called Silver Birch are written. Briefly, Silver Birch appeared and spoke through a trance medium called Maurice Barbanell who died in 1981. Barbanell was an influential commentator on spiritual matters in the mid 20th century and a series of books were published which contains the 'teachings' of this spirit. I put teachings in inverted commas because I guess they are observations and opinions which in most people's eyes could be contrived, made up or provide a basis to make money through publishing books. 

My view is that they are legitimate spiritual teachings. His observations are wise, very interesting and very inspiring; he calls God the Great Spirit. He appeared as a native American Indian (who, as a race were very spiritual and very close to the earth and spirit) during seances but lived on the earth many millenia ago worshipping many gods but realised of course that there is only one true 'Great Spirit.'

The seances were recorded in writing and reproduced and the article of great interest to me this month is about talking to the dead. Now my wife, who is  a Jehovah's Witness believes this is a dreadful thing to do.  Of course like all Jehovah's Witnesses, they can quote relevant passages from the Bible and like many subjects, there are a few quotes that seemingly makes talking to the dead a taboo practice. 

The Old Testament is full of wrath and damnation and there are several quotes about 'mediums' in Leviticus, Deutoronomy and Chronicles  which frankly is not supportive of the practice (to put it mildly). Mediums and mediumship is conspicuous by its absence in the New Testament, it more relying on the teachings of Christ to guide us and listening to the teachings of Christ is of course perfectly right. But He is not the only teacher or provider or observer of divine wisdom. 

Most Biblical commentators and theorists agree that the speaking to dead people is real but is the work of Satan, sent to deceive and give us all false hope. There is a very unhelpful and confusing episode with King Saul and the Witch of Endor, contained in Samuel if you want to read it, where God brought back Samuel in spirit.

Back to the point. Silver Birch makes this very interesting observation about talking to the dead. His first recorded comment is about the Bible itself. He says that the Bible has been subject to the manipulation of man throughout the years, consisting of mis-translations, omissions (lots of them) and today's Bible is a "copy of a copy of a copy." He says there are lots of accounts in the Old Testament of "...deception, villainy, murder and violence that nobody can possibly regard as being a divine revelation." God cannot, he says have possibly acted in such a way like no tyrant on earth would even have acted. 

The Spirit accepts wholly that it is written that we should not communicate with the dead but then comes the conflict, one which I have always recognised but not until now has it really hit me when Silver Birch articulates it like this: 

"Why then in the New Testament does the Nazarene (Jesus) and three of his disciples have a seance on the mountain where there appeared to them Moses and Elias and communicate, although they had been dead for a long time?"

He says that the call came from Moses in the first place that you shall not talk to the dead and yet he was the one to return and talk. 

Of course there is the premise that some believe that the Bible (and many other religious and Holy writs) is definitive and authoritative and yet this man created object (first translated into English in the 7th century), like religions, contains no evidence of a divine authority other than our personal faith. 

This is not and must not be seen as a commentary on any beliefs you may have. If you have faith and part of a religion, good on you, you make a choice to do that using your free will.  Many religious people (and some readers of this blog are committed to their religion) are good people in their heart and do great things for their fellow man.

God is in your heart, is in my heart, is all around us, we don't need buildings to worship or talk to the 'Great Spirit' as Silver Birch refers to him. Use the Bible as a reference for your own exploration of the truth by all means if that's what you want because there is good in it - be that of no doubt. Does it give us good guidance for the 21st century? It gives us a basis, but to be so inflexible and rigid and unforgiving for any deviation from it is madness and takes no account of how man has evolved from the times of ignorance to a more enlightened and complex society than is referred to centuries and millenia ago.

The Bible or any other religious reference work cannot be used as a tool to 'control' mankind, society and communities any more. We should work with it where it helps us move forward and where there is no modern context for its guidance - ignore it.

Just be spiritual - in the broadest sense and that doesn't mean talking to the dead at all. Be good, be a good citizen, be kind, be thoughtful of others, don't accept horrible people and bad manners - smile and do a good deed without being asked.  

Why do I talk to the dead? Because it gives me hope and I have experienced so much unconditional love and compassion and care and positive guidance (with independent evidence) and I have seen it change people's lives for the better - much better - mine included.

I hope this hasn't put you off reading this blog, I don't push this subject in your face on a day to day basis because it is only a small part of the bigger picture of my life and what goes on in the world, but it does drive me passionately about understanding why the world is changing and what we can and should do about changing along side it to protect ourselves from an uncertain future both as individuals and our to protect our fragile environment. If we are to survive, we need to see and feel God in ourselves. If we don't recognise the need to adapt and change, we will fall by the wayside.  

I'm not an academic (as you can clearly tell), and this isn't an academic piece. I just give you my very personal point of view (isn't that the point of a blog), you are very welcome to comment, but don't drive a coach and horses through my arguments, I can do that for myself thanks.

Take a breath, enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Chat soon



  1. Keep posting RLS. All very interesting. I gave up organised religion when I was in my early 20s and I now have a similar point of view as yourself. I know that our loved ones who have died do come to us in dreams, especially when we are stressed or worried. People scorn spiritual issues because of fear, so please don't be discouraged and keep the posts coming.

    Best wishes from Carol H

  2. This is a very well thought out and written piece. Every one is entitled to their belief/faith as you so rightly say and I think if people could understand that right and allow others to follow their own path in peace, then perhaps the human race as a whole might live in a more harmonious way. Sadly though, we live in a society that tends to promote an ' im right your wrong 'attitude. particularly religiously. Im a so grateful that like yourself I follow a path that promotes a belief that god loves us whatever our belief system is.

  3. The above comment (14:35 15 June 2013) is by Linda Lee, an administrator for our (Google based) therapy website and not by me - isn't technology wonderful, it can't distinguish between us?

  4. Hi Carol
    Thank you so much for your supportive comment, I am very grateful. I have certianly had visits from loved ones in dreams, not often, but quite vivid and beautiful when they do.

    Hi Linda
    Thanks for the comment Hun, He does love us, no matter what our belief.

  5. As one who has loved, read, studied, taught and believed the Bible for nigh on 60 years, I daresay you and I could have a grand old discussion for several months or more. But it all comes down to Jesus Christ -- after all, "Christianity is Christ". Since I believe the Bible is the only word of God and John the disciple tells us that "the Word became flesh" -- that is, Jesus is the Word become flesh, then I live by the teachings of Jesus and therefore the teachings of the Bible. John and all the disciples believed Jesus is God. Hope that didn't drive a coach and horses through your arguments. I debated as to whether to reply, but we can still agree to differ -- after all we still have that wonderful place, East Yorkshire, to agree upon and I still enjoy your blogs and your point of view.

  6. Hi ChrisJ
    I knew you would reply and hoped you would. We are very close in our beliefs you know, I still pray and use His teachings and I respect you tremendously for what you believe and your strength to speak up for it openly and honestly. Your comment didn't drive a coach and horses through anything Chris, we are intelligent loving people having an exchange of views. What you and I don't do is fight, murder, use violence to stamp our views on others.
    I have to say as I get older and am starting to explore East Yorkshire more (I wish I'd done it years ago,) it is indeed a gentle and beautiful place with every aspect you could wish for, beautiful countryside, pretty villages and rugged coasts which you know so well.

  7. I found this very interesting reading, but I can imagine some lively conversations in your house too ;o) !
    Rose H

  8. I smiled all the way through your article Stephen. It's one of the nicest promotions for tolerance I've read. To me it's really simple. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" - Hebews 11:1 - KJB. I mean, you can't get much simpler than "Faith is the hope of something you don't know about yet".

    It's good to hope. Seems kinda silly that people can get so insecure and combative about the way they reach the object of their hope.

  9. Hi Rose
    Thanks for commenting, actually, we don't have those conversations any more, JWs have an answer for everything - I mean everything and as the Bible is the bedrock and absolute authority, they can't be argued with, so I don't bother, they don't accept anyone's contrary view.

    Hi Wheelie
    Thank you so much for your comment and thank you for your quotation and context, you are so right. If we don't have hope - what do we have? Not a lot.

  10. My feelig on reading through all of these comments and also your very well written piece RLS - is that what a wealth of views there are and how good to live in a society where everyone's views are respected whether one agrees or not.

    I personally take a Humanist stance and have done since my very young days.

  11. Hello Weaver
    Thank you so much for your keen precis and your contribution and I agree wholeheartedly.

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