Friday, 27 December 2013

At Christmas Time

At Christmas time - the Christ's Mass - a time of celebration for Christians or those raised in a Christian Society.  It was also an ancient celebration of the emergence from the deepest dark of days in the Northern Hemisphere.  Greeting the light, as we should greet the light of Spirit every day of our earthly life for this is the sustaining force and power of life - of all life.  Spirit is in everything that is; even a grain of sand is no less an evocation of Spirit than mankind.  Praise the beauty and wonder of all creation, give thanks for all that is.  No life is sustained other than by the will and grace of Spirit.  From Spirit you have come and to Spirit you will return to merge with the wholeness of Love and Peace to be at one with the Light of Spirit.  You have the freedom to be and to do what you will, to make of your earthly existence all that you can - to be, or not to be, as you see fit - but remember that you are responsible to all that is, to yourself and to Spirit.  Little wonder that some scorn their responsibilities, waste their opportunities and meander down many paths rather than follow their proper path.  The rewards, however, for those who strive, struggle and succeed is endless and vast.

Atonement is that reward.  To be at one with Spirit, to be at one with self, to be at one with the universe and with all creation.  No void, no limbo, no purgatory, no hell but the purity of Spirit.  When you are told that your loved ones in spirit are just as you remember them but without their ills or disfigurements, that they enjoy all that they did in earthly form you are seeing a half truth.  For your comfort you are given these things in the language of your earthly understanding. The truth is greater than your comprehension and your language is incapable of expressing it.  Be assured that the wonder of the coming experience is beyond your imagining, the closer to the Purity of Spirit you travel you will not need your language or limited understanding.   You will Be.

                                                                                                                                      R.E.B

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Happy Christmas



A Happy and Peaceful Christmas to you.

Sehastlivaya i mirnago Rozhdestva diya vas.

Ein gluckliches und friedliches Weihnachtsfest zu lhnen.

Un heureux et paisible Noel a vous.

Apa ke li'e eka khusa oura santipurna Krisamasa.

Een gelukkig en vredig Kerstfeest.

I do hope that Google translate has not led me astray and I also hope that I have not offended anyone by mistranslation.
Sadly my only language is English but I did want to greet my wider audience at this time.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Mo Yen







The Lord of Heaven sent the Cool Wind to a girl named Mo Yen.  It entered her womb and at that moment she conceived.  The Lord of Heaven did this to show that conception could take place without a husband.  He knew there was no man near her and that people who saw it would say, "How great is the power of the Lord of Heaven."  Their hearts would become filled with pure faith and they would devote themselves to bettering the karmic condition of all.
Mo Yen became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Jesus, whose father is the Cool Wind.  Some people were ignorant and said if she gave birth after becoming pregnant by the Cool Wind, then the whole thing was merely of this world.  If a Sage on High issues an edict, then everyone willingly will submit to it.  The Lord of Heaven dwells in heaven above and controls everything in heaven and earth.
When Jesus Messiah was born, the world saw clear signs in heaven and earth.  A new star that could be seen everywhere appeared in heaven above.  The star was as big as a cart wheel and shone brightly.  At about this time, the One was born in the country of Ephrath in the city of Jerusalem.  He was born the Messiah and after five years he began to preach the dharma.  His message to all living creatures was to do good.

Extract from 'The Lost Sutras of Jesus' - the wisdom of the Xian monks.


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mary

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Surah 19  Maryam
        Mary
Section 2

Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.
She placed a screen, to screen herself, from them; then We sent to her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
She said: 'I seek refuge from thee to Allah Most Gracious: come not near if thou dost fear Allah.'
He said: 'Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, to announce to thee the gift of a holy son.'
She said: 'How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?'
He said: 'So it will be: thy Lord saith, "That is easy for me: and We wish to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us": it is a matter so decreed.'
So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried in her anguish:  'Ah! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!'
But a voice cried to her from beneath the palm-tree: 'Grieve not! For thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;
'And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.
'So eat and drink and cool thine eye.  And if thou dost see any human, say, " I have vowed a fast to Allah Most Gracious, and this day I will enter into no talk with any human being." '
At length she brought the babe to her people, carrying him in her arms.  They said: 'O Mary!  Truly a strange thing hast thou brought!
'O sister of Aaron!  Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!'
But she pointed to the babe.  They said: 'How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?'
He said:  'I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;
'And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;
'He hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
'So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life again!'
Such was Jesus the son of Mary: it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute.
It is not befitting to the majesty of Allah that He should beget a son.  Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, 'Be', and it is.

Extract from The Holy Qur'an as translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali - 1934.
I think this is the most accessible of the translations of the Koran that I have read.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Bodhisatta's Birth

There was in Kapilavatthu a Sakya king, strong of purpose and reverenced by all men, a descendent of the Okkakas, who call themselves Gotama, and his name was Suddhodana or Pure Rice.
His wife Maya-devi was beautiful as the water-lily and pure in mind as the lotus.  As the Queen of Heaven, she lived on earth, untainted by desire, and immaculate.
The king, her husband, honoured her in her holiness, and the spirit of truth, glorious and strong in his wisdom like unto a white elephant, descended upon her.
When she knew that the hour of motherhood was near, she asked the king to send her home to her parents; and Suddhodana, anxious about his wife and the child she would bear him, willingly granted her request.
At Lumbini there is a beautiful grove, and when Maya-devi passed through it the trees were one mass of fragrant flowers and many birds were warbling in their branches.  The Queen, wishing to stroll through the shady walks, left her golden palanquin, and, when she reached the giant sala tree in the midst of the grove, felt that her hour had come.  She took hold of a branch.  Her attendants hung a curtain about her and retired.
When the pain of travail came upon her, four pure-minded angels of the great Brahma held out a golden net to receive the babe, who came forth from her right side like the rising sun bright and perfect.
The Brahma-angels took the child and placing him before the mother said: "Rejoice, O queen, a mighty son has been born unto thee."
At her couch stood an aged woman imploring the heavens to bless the child.
All the worlds were flooded with light.  The blind received their sight by longing to see the coming glory of the Lord; the deaf and dumb spoke with one another of the good omens indicating the birth of the Buddha to be.  The crooked became straight, the lame walked.  All prisoners were freed from their chains and the fires
of all the hells were extinguished.
No clouds gathered in the skies and the polluted streams became clear, whilst celestial music rang through the air and the angels rejoiced with gladness.  With no selfish or partial joy but for the sake of the law they rejoiced, for creation engulfed in the ocean of pain was now to obtain release.
The cries of beasts were hushed; all malevolent beings received a loving heart, and peace reigned on earth.
Mara, the evil one, alone was grieved and rejoiced not.
The Naga kings, earnestly desiring to show their reverence for the most excellent law, as they paid honour to former Buddhas, now went to greet the Bodhisatta.  They scattered before him mandara flowers, rejoicing with heartfelt joy to pay their religious homage.
the royal father, pondering the meaning of these signs, was now full of joy and now sore distressed.

                                      Extracted from 'The Gospel of Buddha' compiled by PaulCarus. 1915


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Heaven's Very Special Child

A meeting was held quite far from earth,
It's time again for another birth.

Said the Angels to the Lord above -
"This special child will need much love,
his progress may seem very slow,
accomplishments he may not show,
and he'll require some extra care
from folk he meets away down there;
he may not run, or laugh, or play,
his thoughts may seem quite far away,
in many ways he won't adapt
and he'll be called 'handicapped'.

So let's be careful where he's sent,
we want his life to be content,
and please Lord, find the parents who
will do a special job for you.
They may not realise right away
the leading role they're asked to play,
but with this child sent from above
comes stronger faith and richer love;
and soon they'll know the privilege given
in caring for this gift from Heaven,
this precious charge, so meek and mild,
is Heaven's very special child".

  Another cutting from my scrapbook from the late 1970's, simply signed M.J.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Magnificat




And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden:
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty hath done to me great things;
and Holy is His name.
And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with His arm;
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.

                         From the King James version of the Bible; St.Luke - Chap.1 - verses 46 - 53

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas is Coming

After seeing all the shops with their displays of festive goods, the decorations going up in shopping precincts and outside dwellings, the ever increasing advertising for festive goods and the milling crowds, I remembered a few verses I penned in December 1968.  Still very much relevant now.

                                                          ____________________

A Commercial Success Story.

See the joy and gay carousing
The mad folly of over-spending
On all that cannot really be
For those whose need is not.
Oh yes it's a success to be sure
We've never seen spending like it before,
And more to come next year
For fatter bank accounts.

Fountains and streams of flowing wine
To inebriate gutter staggering kine
Escaping from nothing into void
For no reason.
Oh yes it's a success to be sure
We've never seen spending like it before,
And we'll milk them dry
For a percentage.

Eat, drink and a merry life lead
Enjoy yourselves, increase your breed
To perpetuate the myth
Of economic affluence,
Oh yes it's a success to be sure
We've never seen spending like it before,
With population growth
For guaranteed success.

                                                                   R.E.B
                       _______________

kine = archaic plural of cow
gay = light-hearted, carefree, mirthful

Saturday, 30 November 2013

To Atone

To atone:  to be at-one.
Atonement:  at-one-ment

To be at one with the supreme deity; when a person truly repents of their wrong-doings, injustice to others, dishonesty,etc. and vows to be a better person, to right wrongs where possible and to do good deeds they draw closer to Spirit.  By adopting right thought, right action and right speech they become a better person and therefore more acceptable to their fellow humans and also to Spirit.  They reap the rewards of greater spiritual awareness and acceptance and in return become more acceptable.
The Holy Spirit flows through and over them once again, their Spirit rejoices and they become whole in body, mind and spirit for the greater good of humankind.
                                                                                                           R.E.B


                                                            _____________________



Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and today is celebrated there as Saint Andrew's Day.  As a former resident and lover of the land of Scotland I could not let the day go by without recognising it.

                                                            _______________________

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, I would ask you to light a candle for World Peace


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

In Principio........

In principio erat verbum verum.
In the beginning was the true word.

___________________________

The soul is a veiled light, neglect it and it will dim and die.
Fuel it with the sacred oil of love and it will burn with an immortal flame.
                                                           Sung at the Temples of Ammon Ra

___________________________________________________________

The value of life lies, not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them,
a man may live long yet live very little, satisfaction in life depends not on the number
of your years, but on your will.
                                                          Michel de Montaigne (1553-92)

___________________________________________________________

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished.
If you're alive it isn't.
                                                         Richard Bach  (Illusions)

_________________________________________________



Saturday, 23 November 2013

God's Spirit

Sometimes those who are filled with God's spirit are overwhelmed by divine bliss and fall into a state of faintness or even unconsciousness.  This is a reminder that flesh and blood cannot inherit the glories and blessings of the spirit world.  Only when our souls are set free from these mortal bodies shall we experience the fullness of spiritual peace where pain and suffering, sorrow and sighing, woe and death cease forever.

In the midst of polar ice fields, one can find flowing streams of hot water.  In the same way we can find, even in the midst of this loveless and sorrowful world, restful streams of heavenly peace.  It happens wherever the fire of God's spirit glows within human hearts.

                                                                                  Sundar Singh



Seek not to understand so that thou mayest believe, but believe so that thou mayest understand.

                                                                                 Augustine of Hippo

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Peace Blessing

The peace of God, the peace of men,
The peace of Columba, kindly,
The peace of Mary mild, the loving,
The peace of Christ, King of tenderness,
  The peace of Christ, King of tenderness.

Be upon each window, upon each door,
Upon each hole that lets in light,
Upon the four corners of my house,
Upon the four corners of my bed,
 Upon the four corners of my bed;

Upon each thing my eye takes in,
Upon each thing my mouth takes in,
Upon my body that is of earth
And upon my soul that came from on high,
 Upon my body that is of earth
 And upon my soul that came from on high.

      Anonymous prayer translated from the Gaelic by Dr.A Carmicheal and included in the
       'Carmina Gadelica'


Saturday, 16 November 2013

Thou art God

Thou art the peace of all things calm,
Thou art the place to hide from harm,
Thou art the light that shines in dark,
Thou art the heart's eternal spark,
Thou art the door that's open wide,
Thou art the guest that waits inside,
Thou art the stranger at the door,
Thou art the calling of the poor,
Thou art my Lord and with me still,
Thou art my love, keep me from ill,
Thou art my light, the truth, the way,
Thou art my Saviour this very day.
                                                          by David Adam

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A New Dawn

In my scrapbook I have a cutting from 'The Mail on Sunday' newspaper dated May 17th. 1998; it is headlined 'Petrol bomber who became a poet for peace' and has a photograph (taken in 1969) of a boy rioter in Londonderry's Bogside (Northern Ireland) wearing a gas mask and holding a petrol bomb. Below there is also a photograph, some 29 years later, of the man that boy became now married with a family and seeking to play his part for peace.  Here is the poem he wrote entitled 'A New Dawn'.

Pause, reflect: pray peace at last is near,
Each unto each must make love's message clear,
A land whose hearts are full of fear and hate,
Condemns its children to a joyless state,
Every biased, bitter word consumes a nation's soul,
Intolerance and bigotry can't make a nation whole,
Never forget, but learn to forgive, the wrongs of yesterday,
In remembrance can we steer our courage a calmer, kinder way,
Ring not the bells of victory before the battle's won,
Each must surrender something dear, all for the sake of the gun,
Let us reach out to each other, people of every kind,
Across the bloody barricades and borders of the mind.
Now the hand of history proffers happiness,
Dear God, please whisper in our souls an everlasting Yes.

                                                                                        by Paddy Coyle


Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in the UK and the Commonwealth countries on the 11th. of November - at the 11th. hour of the 11th. day of the 11th. month - in accordance with the Armistice signed that morning in 1918 to end the 1st. World War (1914-1918).  Memorial services are held at War Memorials in every town and village in the country on the Sunday nearest to the 11th. of November (that was yesterday) to remember all of the members of the Armed Services killed in all of the conflicts from the 1st.World War to this day.



Photograph by John Beniston

In Flanders Fields 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row,
The larks still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amidst the guns below.

We are the Dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up the quarrel with the foe;
To you from falling hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

Written by Lt.Col. John McCrae (1872-1918) Canadian physician, poet and soldier.  This poem was written on May 3rd. 1915 after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier, Alexis Helmer.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Durham Peace Mural




Across the length of the mural the River Wear moves from source to sea; it celebrates life in County Durham, past present and future.
The Mural was designed by Barrie Ormsby, fifty (50) people took a year to complete the work on twelve boards which when brought together measured 60ft. long by 10ft. high (18.28metres x 3.05metres).
It hung on a long wall near to Durham Market Place from 1987 to 2000 then it was removed to the Bearpark Artists Co-operative and subsequently divided into several pieces and auctioned for charity, it raised the sum of £500.
I remember that each time I visited Durham I would stand in front of it and find some new meaning in some small detail that I had previously missed.  It was a sad day when this disappeared from the city centre and even sadder when its fate was revealed; I strongly feel that it should have been saved for all to see and contemplate.

Photographs courtesy of Durham Peace Forum.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Final Chant

Long live the child
Long live the mother and child
Long live the people

Long live this wounded planet
Long live the good milk of the air
Long live the spawning rivers and the mothering oceans
Long live the juice of the grass and all the determined greenery of the globe
Long live the surviving animals
Long live the earth, deeper than all our thinking

We have done enough killing

Long live the man
Long live the woman
               who use both courage and compassion
Long live their children.

The Final Chant from the poem "The Body" by Adrian Mitchell (English Poet - 1932-2008)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Litany of Peace



As we are together, praying for Peace, let us be truly with each other.
Let us be at peace within ourselves, our bodies and our minds, our emotions and spirit.
Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves.
Let us be aware of the source of being common to us and to all living things.
Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion, let us open our hearts to receive compassion - for ourselves and for all living beings.
Let us pray that all living beings may realize that they are all brothers and sisters, all nourished from the same source of life.
Let us pray that we ourselves may cease to be the cause of suffering to each other.
Let us pledge ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive other beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live.
With humility, with awareness of the uniqueness of life, with compassion for the suffering around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and Peace on Earth.

                                              A Buddhist Litany of Peace

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Halloween

Today I have departed from my 'normal mode' to have a 'grumpy' moment or two!!

My Encyclopedia tells me that - "Halloween is the evening of 31st.October, when spirits of the dead are supposed to return to their former homes, and witches and demons are thought to be abroad at night.  This was the last day of the Celtic and Anglo Saxon year - many modern Halloween customs have their origin in the 'pagan' ceremonies.  Halloween gets its name from All Hallows Eve - from the Old English word 'halga' or saint - the evening of All Saints Day, the Western Christian Festival celebrating all the Church's Saints on 1st.November."
Now I put on my 'grumpy old man' hat and protest at the plethora of tatty rubbish on sale in many shops for the so called Halloween celebrations.  Parents, please don't encourage this commercial farce - the businesses will say that they are responding to public demand but I think this is another way of saying that they have found another opportunity to increase sales and to create a demand.  I'm sure my 'grumpy hat' will be out again for the commercial Christmas!
If you want to spend money on children there are many charities doing good work to provide aid for children in need of shelter, food, clean water, clothing and education. By all means give your own children a treat from your local shop but please don't encourage the waste of the world's resources on rubbish at any time of the year.
If you want to scare the kids then threaten to dance to the 'musak' when you take them to a supermarket, better still what about dancing in front of their friends at the school gate!  That could be much more scary than playing at ghosts or witches!!
Seriously though wouldn't it be better to redirect this day to trying to alleviate the 'scary' future that so many children in the world are facing; ignore the commercial temptations - the stores will get the message if you don't buy the goods - and instruct your children to care for others less fortunate than themselves in this world.
Celebrate All Saints Day with a light heart.
Grumpy moment over for the time being.  Do enjoy your celebrations responsibly.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Sweetness


                                                         Photograph by M. M. B.

Sweetness is closer to bitterness than it is to decay, no matter how sweetish its smell.
The evidence of everything on earth, seen and unseen, is spiritual.  On entering the invisible city my body is covered by my spirit.  Whosoever seeks to cleave the body from the spirit, or the spirit from the body is turning his heart away from the truth.  The flower and its fragrance are one; they are blind who deny the colour and the image of the flower, saying that it possesses only a fragrance vibrating in the ether.  They are like those, deficient in the scent of smell, to whom flowers are nought but shapes and hues without fragrance.
Everything in creation exists within you, and everything in you exists in creation.  You are in border-less touch with the closest things, and, what is more, distance is not sufficient to separate you from things far away.
All things from the lowest to the loftiest, from the smallest to the greatest, exist within you as equal things.  
In one atom are found all the elements of earth.  One drop of water contains all the secrets of all the oceans. In one motion of the mind are found all the motions of all the laws of existence.

                                                                               From the 'Spiritual Sayings' of Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Abou Ben Adhem



Abou Ben Adhem ( may his tribe increase! )
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said
"What writest thou?"  The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord".
"And is mine one?" said Abou.  "Nay, not so".
Replied the Angel.  Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still: and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men".
The Angel wrote, and vanished.  The next night
It came again with great awakening light,
And showed the names who love of God had blessed,
And, lo!  Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

                                                                 by James Leigh Hunt 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The water of a river.



The water of a river that has its source in one country may flow through many different countries before it reaches the sea.  It passes within the domain of many chiefs, rajahs and princes.  Yet no country has the right to stop it and keep it within its territory.  It is the common property of all, and wherever it goes, it quenches the thirst of all.  In the same way, the stream of life comes forth from the ocean of God's love, streaming to earth again as rain and then flowing as a river through the channels of the prophets and holy ones to irrigate the world.  In this way, it quenches thirsty souls, enriching and restoring the lives of people and nations everywhere.  Whoever desires it can freely take of this gift of life.

                                                                                                       Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Questions and Answers

We're seeking and striving, looking for You,
Oh! Infinite Spirit, what can we do?
In a world of darkness where life seems profane,
What spiritual knowledge could we attain?

In a world of terror, corruption and strife -
Where do we find the meaning of life?
Where is the answer we're trying to find -
Awareness of Spirit that man's left behind.

There's no use in seeking for God in the sky,
Or communication from somewhere on high.
We are spirit now, so look to within -
In a quieter self - let searching begin.

Spirit is now, though clothed and unseen,
The material world, the one that's a dream.
We can learn from our spirit which has the insight
To all God's creation, knowledge and light.

And this is the meaning of life upon earth,
To strengthen and hone our spiritual birth;
For it's not what we are - but what we become -
Can carry us forward when the body is done.

                                                                    Stella Townsend

                        Yet another cutting from my scrapbook from the late 1970's

Saturday, 12 October 2013

God Is.


                                                Photograph of a 'Sunset Scene' by M.M.B

I see Him in the strength and awesomeness of the sky,
And in the majesty of the clouds.
I see His light in the last sun-rays before dusk,
And in the glow which falls to earth.
I see His artwork in the slender boughs of winter,
And in the dry grass.
I see His purity in the snow and falling rain,
And in the streams that push along.
I see His Love in the wee brown sparrow,
And in the velvet petals of a rose.
I see His truth in a dear child's face,
And in a sweetheart's eyes.
I hear His voice in the softly stirring wind,
And in the full breaker's roar.
In all things, God is.

                                                       by  Christine Asbury

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Rebirth

No one can be saved, until he is reborn again.  If you want to be reborn, purify yourself of the irrational torments of matter.
The first of these is ignorance.  The second is grief.  Third is lack of self-control.
Fourth is desire.  Fifth is injustice.  Sixth is greed.
Seventh is deceit.  Eighth is envy.  Ninth is treachery.
Tenth is anger.  Eleventh is rashness.  Twelfth is malice.
Under these twelve are many more, which force the man who is bound to the prison of the body to suffer from the torments they inflict.  But by Atum's mercy, they may all depart and be replaced by understanding.
This is the nature of rebirth.  This is the only road to reality.  It is the way our ancestors trod to discover Primal Goodness.  It is sacred and divine, but a hard highway for the soul to travel in a body.  For the soul's first step is to struggle against itself - stirring up a civil war.  It is a feud of unity against duality.  The one seeking to unite and the other seeking to divide.
He who is reborn communes with the All-Father who is Light and Life.
You will only experience this supreme vision when you stop talking about it, for this knowledge is deep silence and tranquillity of the senses.

             Extract from the 'Hermetica', attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, Egypt about 3000BC.


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Goldfinch - Freedom



Autumn is now with us and the daylight hours are getting shorter, the birds have fewer hours in which to feed so we help them over the harsher weather by supplementing their food supply with a feeder containing sunflower seeds.  Within two days of putting out the feeder the first bird to appear was my favourite winter visitor the goldfinch, soon followed by greenfinches, chaffinches, dunnocks (hedge sparrows), blue-tits, coal-tits, a feisty robin and a black-bird; no wren so far. During the summer we rarely see these smaller birds, usually only larger birds like magpies, jackdaws, wood-pigeons, ring-doves and starlings; although once or twice a kestrel swooped low over the garden and a few times a red-kite could be seen gliding overhead.  Having said that in a gesture we like to think of as a thank you for winter feeding the parent goldfinches and blue-tits brought their broods briefly at one point in the summer much to our delight.
I have been distracted, my intention in posting a picture of the goldfinch was not to talk about feeding the birds or listing the garden visitors but rather to briefly mention the symbolism of this bird in many Christian paintings.

"The goldfinch represents the soul and the Passion of Christ.  Goldfinches like to eat thistles and thorns so the bird has become associated with Christ's suffering on the cross.  The red spot on its throat is said to represent the drop of blood that fell as the goldfinch drew a thorn from Christ's brow."

                                            ________________________________

Freedom

A bird in flight, her wings spread wide
Is the soul of man with bonds untied.
Beyond the plough, the spade, the hod,
A bird flies in the face of God,
Yet I with reason bright as day
Forever tread the earthbound day.
                                                           by Spike Milligan

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Peace will soon come to be.

Sun on the sea.
Waves on the shore
But in another land
Guns and bullets roar.

Chorus :-  I look around, loving
                All of the joys I see.
                 I close my eyes, praying
                 Peace will come to be.

Wind in my hair,
Rain on my face,
But in another land
People hope for peace.

Chorus :-  I look around, loving
                All of the joys I see
                 I close my eyes praying
                 Peace will come to be.

Dew on the grass,
Flowers that grow,
But in another land
Blood and tears flow.

Chorus :-  I look around, loving
                All of the joys I see
                 I close my eyes praying
                 Peace will come soon.

                                                  Another anonymous cutting from my scrapbook

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Michaelmas

Today is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel in the western Christian calendar.  
When I lived and worked in the Camphill Villages [some forty years ago] this day was especially celebrated as Rudolf Steiner [1861-1925] considered this the second most important feast after Easter.



O glorious prince Saint Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor; you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil; we turn to you with confidence as you enable us by your glorious protection to serve God more and more faithfully everyday.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Peace

"Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God."
St.Matthew   Chap.5 : V.3.

Peace is a difficult concept and the subtleties of interpretation are broad.  I read the following in 'The Spiritual Pathway' by Raynor Johnson.
"Two artists agreed to paint a picture with the title "Peace".  One painted a secluded valley with tall sheltering hills surrounding it.  In the bottom of the valley was a clear, smooth lake; not a breath of wind stirred the surface or marred the perfect reflections of the hills, trees and sky.  The second artist painted a bird's nest securely planted in the fork of tree.  The wind was blowing wildly through the branches and the foaming waters of a stream ran below.  But the nest was a haven of peace.
The first artist may have portrayed the peace of some worlds but the second artist portrayed the kind of peace that can be expected in this world."

In the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky
And rushing the clouds and towers by,
Is a place of central calm.
So here in the rush of earthly things
There is a place where the spirit sings ---
In the hollow of God's palm.

The writer goes on to say that accepting life is an attitude of mind and heart and is a precondition for the peace of which Jesus spoke when he said ---
" Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you."

If peace is dependent on an attitude of mind and heart we have a lot of work to do and we all need to start working harder right now.  The world is in need of a heck of a change of attitude if what is happening in the world at this time is any thing to go by.
When we sing - "Let there be Peace on earth and let it begin with me."  What are we saying, what are we seeking, what are we asking for?
If we are saying that we want war and civil disorder to cease then we have a responsibility to set an example of obedience to the laws of Spirit and of man.  In other words we must be good citizens of this earth, sit lightly upon it, do not waste its resources, become good caretakers and set the right example for the generations to come.  We have possessions yet we own nothing 'for naked we came into the world and naked we leave it'.  The Spirit, the soul, can be free to soar unencumbered to return to the ocean of Spirit.
Peace, in the civil sense, begins with harmony within the family and serenity within the home.  It continues to the neighbourhood and its ripples spread to encompass the globe.  This is perhaps a simplistic view.  But we do say that a journey begins with a single step, so how much more appropriate to begin a journey of serenity with a simple step from within the home.

This then brings us to the individual; being in a chicken and egg situation, ideally the home will have set the example for the individual and the individual the example for the home.  What comes first?
To advance spiritually we must seek the peace within, that calm haven of stillness and tranquillity that allows us to listen to our God.  For what do we hear in chaos and confusion, what do we hear in a babble of voices and noise, what sense can we make when all around is non-sense?  The answer is nothing, a great big zero, zilch.  Our response can only be confused, unreasoned and chaotic.

Man is a vessel of the Spirit, he holds peace within him, however he does not let the peace flow out as the Spirit would wish.  Peace flows into man like a river, it should flow out as a waterfall; splashing, running, cascading about the world and all that man comes into contact with.  Some allow a trickle to flow from them, some a stream, some non at all.  If man could only realise that there is no limit on peace and allowed himself to be used as the means by which it can be given on earth then there would be a constant, healthy flow into the world.  "Let it begin with me."  Stop and think how you may bring peace into the world, let it flow easily and readily to those about you.  Consider the words, thoughts and actions that you give to others.  Think before you speak, or act and as time goes on it will become second nature to be a person of peace.
Let the waterfall flow from you, you shall never run dry because the Spirit will keep a steady flow into and through you as you do His work, giving peace to others.

The calm tranquillity for which e strive as individuals will be reflected in our immediate circle.  Peace will come as the circle widens, as circles touch upon circles and the ripples spread to encompass all peoples.
Truly peace begins with us, we all bear the responsibility to become the children of God.

What of the future?  Down the ages Prophets of God have foretold of an era of  'peace on earth and goodwill among men'.  Abdul-Baha, the son of the founder of the Bahai Faith, wrote about the Most Great Peace ---

" In this marvellous cycle, the earth will be transformed and humanity arrayed in tranquillity and beauty.  Disputes, quarrels and murders will be replaced by peace, truth and concord; among the nations, peoples, races and countries, love and amity will appear.  Co-operation and union will be established, and finally war will be entirely suppressed.
Universal peace will raise its tent in the centre of the earth and the Blessed Tree of Life will spread to such an extent that it will overshadow the East and the West.
Strong and weak, rich and poor, antagonistic sects and hostile nations, which are like the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the lion and the calf, will act toward each other with the most complete love, friendship, justice and equity.  The world will be filled with science, with knowledge of the mysteries of beings and with the knowledge of God."

Let there be Peace on earth -------
                                                                                                       R.E.B



Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Mist Grey

I had intended to post another item from my scrapbook today but when I got up and looked out of my bedroom window all I saw was mist.  So I decided to post a few very short verses on the subject.
My diary tells me that Sunday, 22nd. was the Autumnal Equinox or in other words the beginning of Autumn - Fall to my American family- so mists are to be expected in this part of the world.
One of the great beauties of mist is the way that spiders webs are bejewelled by droplets of water, this makes them sparkle and shimmer like fantastical necklaces; flowers too are dew pearled. The downside is the constant greyness, the moisture that clings to everything and the difficulties posed to navigating paths and roads. Then the joy when the sun shines through and colour returns once more.

                                      _________________________________

Mist descending, rooftop hiding,
Leaves moistening, colours blending,
Mist grey.

Twisting and writhing, sinuous striving,
Crack creeping, door ducking,
Mist grey.

Cloak enveloping, thief concealing,
River blending, eye blinding,
Mist grey.  
                                                R.E.B

Saturday, 21 September 2013

International Day of Peace

My calendar informs me that today is the International Day of Peace; to mark the occasion I have decided to take four items from my scrapbook on the subject of peace.

                         ______________________________________________

Peace is not the product of terror or fear,
Peace is not the silence of cemeteries,
Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism.
Peace is generosity.
It is right, it is duty.
                                          Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador (1917-80)
                             ________________________________________

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with for-thought of grief.
I come into the presence of still waters and I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

The Peace of Wild Things (1968-extract) - Wendell Berry - American Poet and Novelist

                                _______________________________________

Deep Peace of the Running Wave to you
Deep Peace of the Flowing Air to you
Deep Peace of the Quiet Earth to you
Deep Peace of the Shining Stars to you
Deep Peace of the Angels of Peace to you.
                                                                        Based on a Celtic Benediction

                                 ______________________________________

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me,
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.
With God as our Father, brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now,
With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally,
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

                       This was sung at the end of every service at a Church in Durham

                                      ______________________________________

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Take Time

Take time to think - thoughts are the source of power,
Take time to play - play is the secret of perpetual youth,
Take time to read - reading is the fountain of wisdom,
Take time to pray - prayer can be a rock of strength in times of trouble.

Take time to love - loving is what makes life worth living,
Take time to be friendly - friendships give life a delicious flavour,
Take time to laugh - laughter is the music of the soul,
Take time to give - any day of the year is too short for selfishness.

Take time to do your work well - pride in your work nourishes the spirit,
Take time to show appreciation - thanks are the icing on the cake of life.

                  ______________________________

Our lives are measured by the deeds we do,
the thoughts we think, the objects we pursue.

                                                                                   Anon

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Holy Cross Day

Today is the Festival of the Holy Cross, or Holy Cross day in the Christian Calendar.





For me the Celtic Cross is not a symbol of execution but a symbol of humankind standing with arms outstretched, surrounded by Divine Light, ready to receive all of creation in Peace and Love. The outstretched arms are, in their turn, radiating out to creation Healing for body, mind and spirit reflecting the Light of the Divine.

Take time to send out your prayers,this day, for all creation; please also ask for Peace in this world of ours.

                                                                                                                     R.E.B

Friday, 13 September 2013

Retire into thyself.

Men seek out retreats for themselves, cottages in the country, lonely sea shores and mountains.  Thou too art disposed to hanker greatly after such things: and yet all this is the very commonest stupidity; for it is in thy power whenever thou wilt, to retire into thyself; and nowhere is there any place whereto a man may retire quieter and more free from politics than his own soul.

Marcus Aurelius - Roman Emperor and Stoic Philosopher (AD 121 - 180)

_______________________________________

Send down O God, O Gentle, O Compassionate, into my heart faith and tranquillity and stillness, that I may be of those whose 'hearts are stilled by the mention of God'.

Muslim Devotions

_______________________________________


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Words of Black Elk

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world.  And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.  And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the centre grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.
And I saw that it was holy.

     
Tree of Life, painting by Margaret M. Brownlow

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Remembering Romero

"Let my blood be a seed of freedom and the sign that hope will soon be a reality."
                                         ________________________________

"All pomp, all triumphs, all selfish capitalism, all false successes of life will pass with the world's form.
 All of that passes away.
 What does not pass away is love.
 When one has turned money, property, work in one's calling into service of others, then the joy of sharing  and the feeling that all are one's family does not pass away.
 In the evening of life you will be judged on love."

                                                                                         Archbishop Oscar Romero.

On the 24th.March 1980 Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was assassinated
 as he celebrated Mass.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Source of All Being

In the beginning was chaos, and all that is existed in a formless void - the breath of Spirit enclosed and moulded the chaos gently into order.  In all the vastness of time and space all that is became beautiful, controlled, wondrous and as then unknown to other conscious mind.  The life in the breath of Spirit formed the planets and the stars, ordered their courses and encouraged the ocean of life to consciousness.
All creatures and plants were formed and dwelt in love and peace together; supporting each other and acknowledging the Source of All Being.  Over many ages humankind evolved and was, like the creatures and plants, granted consciousness and was touched by the Source of All Being with the Light of Spirit.
From life comes life and each soul was endowed with the essence of Spirit - to grow and nurture.  The trinity of mind, body and spirit was given freely with freewill - and so history began.
Spirit speaks in stillness to all who will listen and over time many have listened, out of this some have sought power over others - the message distorted, misused and abused.  To each generation the message of Spirit is renewed to we who are of Spirit.  For all humankind is touched by the Source of All Being and is endowed with the essential Spirit within and we are charged with this spark of the Eternal to nurture and teach it, to grow in spiritual statue.  As we are all one, being humankind, it does not matter where we live on Earth; we do not own the Earth but are charged with its guardianship.
We are also charged with the care, love and support of each other, to assist each drop of Spirit to merge with the ocean of Spirit.  No matter how long or short the span of human life the life of Spirit is Eternal, so as each drop returns to the ocean it is renewed to reinvigorate another human soul.
The ocean of life ebbs and flows in the eternal ocean of Spirit and all are of Spirit.

                                                                                                                                R.E.B



                                                       Eternal Flame drawing by R.E.B 

Saturday, 31 August 2013

God grant me.

I have an illustrated book-mark, purchased about eighteen months ago and pinned on the noticeboard in front of my desk, with the following text on it:-
'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.'
 After posting my Blog on August 24th. I received a comment, from 'grasshopper', which contained the following; I would like to share it with you :-

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other,
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in life
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.
                                           Reinhold Niebuhr


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Meander 2

He brings disaster upon his nation who never sows a seed, or lays a brick, or weaves a garment, but makes politics his occupation.
                                                                                               Kahlil Gibran


To be closer to God be closer to people.
                                                                            Kahlil Gibran


To change people you must love them.  Your influence reaches only as far as your love.
                                                                                                       Pestalozzi


You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.
                                                                                             Thomas Traherne (1637-74)


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
                                                                                                     Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
                                                                                                  Ursula Le Guin


God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.
                                                                             Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61)


May the Angel of Peace embrace your life in the realising of Peace on Earth.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Be the best of whatever you are.

We all dream of great deeds and high positions, away from the pettiness and humdrum of ordinary life.  Yet success is not occupying a lofty place or doing a conspicuous work; it is being the best that is in you. Rattling
around in too big a job is much worse than filling a small one to overflowing.  dream, aspire by all means; but do not ruin the life you must lead by dreaming pipe-dreams  of the one you would like to lead.  Make the most of what you have and are.  Perhaps your trivial, immediate task is your one sure way of proving your mettle.  Do the thing near at hand, and great things will come to your hand to be done.

If you can't be a pine on the to of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley - but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass -
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us to here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail -
Be the best of whatever you are!

The piece of paper, in my scrapbook, on which this is printed shows no indication of the author but through the miracle of the internet I now know that the above was written by Douglas Malloch (1877-1938), an American poet. 

[ muskie - a fairly rare North American fish of the Pike family ]

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The First Duty.

The first and foremost duty prescribed unto men, next to the recognition of Him who is the Eternal Truth, is the duty of steadfastness in His cause.  Cleave thou unto it, and be of them whose minds are firmly fixed and grounded in God.  No act, however meritorious, did or can ever compare unto it.  It is the king of all acts, and to this thy Lord, the All-Highest, the Most Powerful, will testify.......
The virtues and attributes pertaining unto God are all evident and manifest, and have been mentioned and described in all the heavenly Books.  Among them are trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity of heart while communing with God, forbearance, resignation to whatever the Almighty hath decreed, contentment with the things His will hath provided, patience,nay, thankfulness in the midst of tribulation, and complete reliance, in all circumstances, upon Him.  These rank, according to the estimate of God, among the highest and most laudable of all acts.  All other acts are, and will ever remain, secondary and subordinate unto them......
The spirit that animateth the human heart is the knowledge of God and its truest adorning is the recognition of the truth that "He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth that which He pleaseth."  It's raiment is the fear of God, and its perfection steadfastness in His faith.  Thus God instructeth whosoever seeketh Him,  He verily, loveth the one that turneth towards Him.  There is none othe God but Him, the Forgiving, the Most Bountiful.
All praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds.

From the writings of Baha'u'llah (1817-1892), founder of the Baha'i Faith.



Saturday, 17 August 2013

I am your friend.........

I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.  There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven.  No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.  Take peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it yet within our reach is joy.  There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see - and to see we have only to look.  I beseech you to look.
Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard.  Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendour, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it and you touch the Angel's hand that brings it to you.  Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that Angel's hand is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an over-shadowing Presence.  Our joys too: be not content with them as joys, they too conceal conceal diviner gifts.
Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty - beneath its covering - that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
Courage then to claim it; that is all.  But courage you have; and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
And so, it is at this time, I greet you.  Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Letter from Father Giovanni (1435-1515) sent on Christmas Eve 1513 to Countess Allagia Aldobrancschi.
I had written this in my scrapbook, many years ago, but have only recently found out where it came from.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I will sing unto the Lord



I will sing unto the Lord with all my soul for He is the regnant presence within me.
Within all the kingdoms of my life He reigneth and toucheth unto melody the strings of my being.

Words by Rev.John Todd Ferrier (1855-1943) Founder of the Order of the Cross in 1904.
Text illuminated by Frank Buist.
Do visit     www.orderof thecross.org    for more information; I have no connection to the organisation but feel it may be of interest to fellow seekers.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Perfection


Dalescape - Oil painting on canvas by Margaret M Brownlow
_________________________________________________________

You ask me, my brother, when will man reach perfection.  Hear my answer:

Man approaches perfection when he feels that he is an infinite space and a sea without a shore,
An everlasting fire, an unquenchable light,
A calm wind or a raging tempest, a thundering sky or a rainy heaven.
A singing brook or a wailing rivulet, a tree abloom in Spring, or a naked sapling in Autumn,
A rising mountain or a descending valley
A fertile plain or a desert.

When man feels all these, he has already reached halfway to perfection.
To attain his goal he must then perceive that he is a child dependent on his mother,
A father responsible for his family,
A youth lost in love,
An ancient wrestling his past,
A worshipper in his temple, a criminal in his prison,
A scholar amidst his parchments,
An ignorant soul stumbling between the darkness of his night and the obscurity of his day,
A nun suffering between the flowers of her faith and the thistles of her loneliness,
A prostitute caught between the fangs of her weakness and the claws of her needs,
A poor man trapped between his bitterness and his submission,
A rich man between his greed and his conscience,
A poet between the mist of his twilight and the rays of his dawn.

Who can experience, see and understand these things can reach perfection and become a shadow of
God's Shadow.

                                                                                     by  Kahlil Gibran. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Suicide in Heaven

Harry Edwards asks:  Is he damned whom circumstance has driven to end his own life?

I have been asked on several occasions to give my views on the question of what happens to suicides after they pass over.  I am moved to do this now because a reader has written to me to say that his vicar told him that his relative who took his own life will " dwell in hell for ever and never reach heaven".

Moreover, there is a view that is commonly held that a suicide is a wanderer in spirit life, and is condemned to a long period of penance.

These ideas are archaic and out of touch with all enlightened views of what is reasonable to expect in the greater life.  Our ideas of evil and sin change with spiritual progress.  At one time it was considered a Christian right to own and beat slaves, and to send little children into the mines to warp their bodies at the loom.

At one time the idea of heaven was to enter by the pearly gates, and spend eternity reclining on couches, eating and drinking from golden plates and goblets while listening to harp-playing, singing, angels.

So it is, that the idea that a suicide is forever damned is likewise out of date.  We all cling tenaciously to life; therefore when one deliberately ends his or her earthly existence, it is because one is grievously ill.

Often the illness takes the form of mental stress and fear, it may be the seeking of release from the pain that is greater than the afflicted one can bear, or it may be through the loss of reasoning power.  One thing is certain in almost every case, the suicide is extremely ill, and this for no conscious fault of his own.

Sin is surely only a sin where there is a conscious, evil motive, and it would be hard to find a case where this applies to a suicide.  On the contrary, a sinner is usually a selfish person and the last thing he would do is give up his life.

So we view the suicide as a very sick person, possibly far more sick than those who enter the spirit life from other disease.  Therefore, there is all the more reason to believe that they are received into the arms of loving kindness to nurse them out of their fears and stresses, to help them to realize the infinite possibilities of spiritual progression and happiness.

It is the natural thing in earth life to help anyone who is in trouble and in sickness.  This is the inherent divinity within us.  If we know of one who is desperately ill either of the body or the mind, do we turn vindictive thoughts towards them?   Of course not, we do all in our power to soothe and ease the distress.

Are we therefore, to assume that those who have passed into the new life, and who have acquired greater wisdom and compassion, are less human than we?  If love is the mainspring of spiritual progression, as we believe it is, how can we reconcile this with the contention that when a tortured mind arrives in spirit it will be subjected to persecution and be outlawed?

I believe that a person considered to be a pillar of the church and yet who in normal  life is mean spirited, and who will take advantage of another, whose life-motive is the worship of self, of power and adulation, is far more likely to undergo a period of tribulation than an unfortunate woman who is driven to take her life through great grief.

 I wonder what will be the comparison between an archbishop or bishop who is so imbued with his self-importance, that it is beneath his dignity to go into a poor home to seek divine healing for a sick one (and who ever heard of one of these present day dignitaries doing this?) and a man who cannot face a blank future who knows that he cannot provide food for his family - and out of love for them takes them with him into death.  I suggest it may well be the ecclesiastic who will be found "wanting".

So, whenever we hear of an unfortunate who has through force of circumstance been driven to the extreme of ending his earthly life, let us think of him with love and compassion, and pray that he will soon be nursed through his stress into the happiness of free and spiritual progression.

And let us also consider how far it has been human responsibility in failing to help him in his time of need.

No one condones the act of suicide; we certainly do not, but let us consider it in its right perspective, and shun the idea that a suicide is eternally damned.

Harry Edwards (1893-1976)
Spiritual Healer - Teacher - Author



Saturday, 3 August 2013

Simple Faith

You can commune more freely with God when you are free from earth-clamour.  There are greater achievements born out of the unseen and unknown than were ever born of the visible and much applauded activities of man.
Rest, sleep, the peace of spiritual tranquillity, were ever more prodigious with growth, with achievement, than the restlessness of man's waking hours.  Visions and dreaming are held to scorn by modern man; and sleep is but an inconvenient intrusion upon busy life which he cannot avoid.  But I tell you that pure dreams are the life of the Spirit when the Soul relaxes its autocracy of Mind and man consorts in the spiritual, the plane of true being.  There is no meaningless incident in the life of man in his waking hours; neither in his sleeping hours when his will is temporarily suspended from conflict with  the spiritual truth.
Man must learn to become more still within himself and so become aware of the realities of life; a preparation for the life to come.  'Sleep awhile and dream', God gives all rest.  And death is but a little sleep and a glad awakening.

Another snippet from my scrapbook with no indication of author or source.  

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sadhu

The Master never wrote anything down, nor did he ask his followers to record his teachings.  His words are spirit and life.  Spirit can only infuse spirit.  Life can only infuse life.  The Master's teaching cannot be contained in the pages of a book.  Other great teachers left behind books to replace the living voice, to guide and help their bereft followers.  But the Master did not do this, because he has not left us.  He is always with us, and his living voice guides and counsels us.  His followers recorded his teachings after his ascension as a help to those who cannot yet perceive his living presence.  In the end, however, when people ask me, "What made you a follower of the Master?"  I can only answer: the Master.

The scriptures reveal much to us about the life and teachings of the Master and about the nature of God's love.  God the Spirit is the true author of the Bible, but this does not mean that every word, taken on its own, is holy or inspired.  It is not the words in themselves, but rather the meaning that is inspired.  The language used by those who wrote the books of the Bible was the language of everyday, not the language of spirit.  Only when we make direct contact with the author, that is, with God the Spirit, can the meaning become clear.  Just as many do not understand the Master, so too, they can not understand his words.

God has create us with spiritual faculties and powers, but these must be used or else they will decay and be lost.  Faith must be fixed on the living God.

Sadhu Sundar Singh- (1889-1929)
 - convert to Christianity - holy man - inspirational spiritual teacher. 


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Prepare Thyself



 Christ in Glory - Pokerwork and Acrylic on Birch Ply - R.E.B
Displayed in Lanchester  Parish Church, County Durham, UK.


'Prepare thyself for the Lord cometh'.  How to do this?  What do the words actually mean; is the Lord not always with you?

The Lord, who knows all and sees all is indeed always with you, you are part of Him, a part of His spirit.  How then is it said that He cometh?  He is indeed already here, always with you.  It is man's perception of the Lord that is the key here.  Man is not aware always of the Lord about him, hence the problems caused in the world.  It is only when man admits to knowing the Lord's presence is with him that good comes about and his knowledge of goodness is increased.

So to prepare for the Lord coming means merely to acknowledge the Lord and all His goodness.  Man then admits he is of the Spirit of the Lord and in turn must be goodness himself.  His physical body becomes a receptacle to hold this Spirit, which in turn helps his soul to fulfil its journey more peacefully and in greater Love.

Each person becomes a Church, or part of the Church of the Lord, which carries His message to others.  
There should be no need to preach this message, but it can be shown by example.  Tret others with love, concern and dignity and the message of true love will be given.

To trust in that love is a huge undertaking, especially when life seems to be hard, indeed is hard.  However there are reasons for this and to recognise that all is done in and with love is the greatest trust you can have in the Lord.  For He loves you enough to bear with all your protestations and denouncements yet guides you where and when you will allow.

Love is magnificent.  Love survives all impositions if it is truly given and felt.

Given to M.M.B, Monday September 6th. 2004