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Wisdom of Ramadahn by Ursula Roberts

CHAPTER NINE

 Pathways to God

 How can we recognise and absorb spiritual truths into our lives?

 This is a soul faculty. When strengthened by quiet periods of meditation and prayerfulness your own spirit may begin to learn truths rather than hearing them expounded by one such as myself. All real spiritual development and unfoldment comes about within the inner spiritual consciousness, which then stimulates the mortal brain, so that each person may discover truth according to their own particular needs.

 In trying to follow the spiritual pathway why do we feel so isolated?

 Forward-going development is not really lonely or isolated, but takes place in periods of aloneness. As you become increasingly aware of your unity with spirits of Light and with others in your world with whom you have a harmonious kinship, your feeling of isolation will gradually dissolve into a great loving unity with the whole of the natural and spiritual worlds. So remember always that you are spirit, using your soul and body for only a short period of time. Use them well, giving thanks to the great Master Creator for the precious experience of life.

 How might one attempt to redeem oneself while still on earth if one has done a terrible wrong?

 You cannot redeem yourself by fruitless regret. You must try to right the balance by understanding that sin or wrong doing is an upsetting of unity, or balance. If you have brought harm to some part of the creation, you can set it to rights by trying to give a greater amount of good or helpful action to that part which has been so harmed. If you have brought suffering to a child, or allowed it to die in peril or pain, you may right the wrong by trying to bring into being healing, care and love to other unwanted child souls in your earthly world. If you have allowed some man to slip from a precipice so that he was hurt, then attempt to heal and help men who are lonely or trying to harm themselves by their wrongful action. Or if by taking more than your rightful share of properties you have deprived others, then provide homes for the lonely or poor, that they may have a certain degree of security. Thus by your action you will right the balance, bringing yourself into harmony. When you leave the mortal body you can look back, not with the searing pain of regret, but feeling you have cleared your consciousness by trying to heal the wrong.

 If we can make amends in the spirit world for wrongful deeds done on earth, why is there any reason for reincarnation? Is this the law of karma?

 Not all spirits come back into the earth existence. Some who do so have a great desire to render a particular service to the world, such as expressing a gift of music which may harmonise earth's conditions, or to bring a special gift of healing to overcome disease. Others may come because they are still filled with a desire for revenge or a feeling they were deprived of certain things in the earthly world which they greatly desired. The law of karma is not completely understood by earth's dwellers; it is simply a law of sowing and reaping. If you sow goodness and harmony in the mortal life you will reap it in the spirit life, but if you sow harmfulness, discord and destruction, then although you may set right some part of this in the spirit, the harm may be such that you feel impelled to return to the mortal existence to bring about a greater degree of harmony and healing.

 Can you tell us about the kingdom of heaven? Is there such a place?

 Indeed there is, but we in spirit speak of it as the realm of peace, the realm of unity and love. As the soul progresses from plane to plane in the high places of spirit it emits its own inward note of power, drawing unto itself other souls who are in harmony. While they are bonded together in this state of sympathy, love and unity are established amongst them and we say: Here is a manifestation of the kingdom of heavenly peace. Groups of such spirits may number seven, seventy times seven or beyond, but where this unity and love exist there is a beautiful harmony of colour flowing between them in rainbow formations. Through these will flash from soul to soul streaks of brilliant light, the symbol of their sympathetic thought. Such unity and love creates beautiful blossoms in all the surrounding atmosphere, the air becomes clear and bright, and because harmony brings forth sound, music is evoked from the deep bell-like note emanating from the inward consciousness of each soul within the group. This is our understanding of the heavenly state.

 What about Christians, those who loved and served Jesus so willingly? Is there no place where they can be with him?

 There is such a place, the equivalent of the heaven created by the myriad men and women who have visualised this land of gleaming light in which white-robed throngs move with joy and in which the lovers of the Master Jesus dwell within his kingdom. This is known as the great realm of Christly love, where many of your people come when they end their earthly life experience, but not all who have been baptised into Christianity or who call themselves Christians, only those who have deeply and unflinchingly loved the Master Jesus. Throughout the centuries there are those in religious communities who devoted their lives in love unto him, those who nursed and sacrificed themselves in service for love of him. All these, receiving the blessing that flows from his heart may be rededicated to service and may come into your midst bearing his imprint upon themselves so that you sometimes say, "These are Christ-like souls," and may even think it is the Christ himself.

 The state of spirit experience known to you as the Summerland, the land of eternal peace and beauty, this too is a kind of heaven, a place to which gentle and kindly people come, those who have no deep inward religious convictions, but who have led lives of simple goodness and harmony.

 You speak of the Christ plane, or the plane of Christly love. Is it the highest plane in the spirit world?

 It is the highest plane which you who dwell in this land can understand because to you the aspect of the Christ is indeed the purest and highest one, but there are other planes of spirit influence which are equally beloved and high to which persons of other religious thought go. There is also another state beyond, but it is impossible to bring this into the comprehension of the mortal mind.

 It has also been said that the kingdom of heaven is within. What does that mean?

 Apart from its reality in the spirit world it is a state of consciousness, for you may find your kingdom whilst still in the mortal body. When you are with those you love and peace lies upon your soul like a silvery mantle, then indeed you are finding a small reflection of the greater kingdoms of peace in the life of the spirit. If you train yourselves to live lovingly with those around you, you gain such a heightened and purified state of understanding that you can come into attunement with the higher state of the kingdom of heaven and tune your heart to the Christly realm. Those you love greatly, the beloveds of your heart, your departed brothers, husbands or wives, while you tune your love to them: you may sometimes reach out to the Summerland wherein they dwell, or by raising your consciousness in the quietude of meditation you can find unity with the spirit group of your own particular affinity, through which waves of peace, music and colour may vibrate unto you whilst you are still on the earth.

 How do we know that what we believe is truth? Should we try to convince others when we feel we have that truth?

 The truth can only be truth to each man and woman according to their inner understanding. You should remember this. Because you find a certain truth is good or a certain pathway is right, you should not endeavour to force your brother or sister to go that way. The wise man and woman, the seeker after truth, says to others on the way: "I have seen this, I have heard this. This I have experienced." If what is said vibrates an answering chord within the consciousness of the other, then that one may desire to learn from you, but not all have the same thought. It is right for some to learn through the way of love, some through the way of simplicity or sacrifice, yet for others the way lies through beauty or service. For each soul there is an individual way which is right. It is for you to guide the steps of your seeking, groping brothers and sisters into the way which is right for them.

 But remember: unto the child must be given toys and a simple teaching, unto the wise man a thought which is pure and lofty. For some the way is in silence. Each of you, garnering knowledge and experience, may share what you have.

 The law of life and the law of the spirit is that there is continuous creation and re-creation. There is no stagnation. Therefore you must give and you must receive, pouring out that which you have so that an inner replenishment may come. You may not stand still nor keep your wisdom or your healing to yourself, for to do so is contrary to the law of the Master Creator.

 There are many beliefs and philosophies, yet all think their way is best?

 When you come to the end of your earthly experience and step forth from the physical body into the new life it will not be asked of you: "What religion did you follow? What belief did you hold?" There will be none to say: "Were you a Roman Catholic, a Hindu, a Jew or a Christian?" But those who have loved you in your earth life, these will come to you with love. They will look to see how much service you have rendered, how much love you have given to those weaker and less evolved than yourself, how much courage you have shown in dark and lonely experiences, for by this measure is the soul known when it comes to the spirit life. But where spiritual knowledge has given the soul increased ability to live kindly and peacefully, then we say that religious belief has its value. Where a philosophy helps to raise the thoughts on high, then that philosophy is a true one. But it is not true that worship in any one church or belief or any one religion is more important than the other?

 Why is it considered necessary by certain religions to make blood sacrifices?

 It is so because man in earlier states of progress and knowledge regarded the blood as something so potent, so wonderful and so mysterious that to him it represented the very essence of the being.

 In past centuries man was not able to peer into the body, to open it and see the marvels of circulation. His only knowledge came when the body was wounded or cut, and he then discovered that what appeared to be brown had become red, and what appeared to be black in the surface texture of the skin was stained by the wonderful ruby red flow which came from within. In the simplicity of his thought the blood seemed a most potent and mystic force. He worshipped it because he thought that blood was the actual life, and therefore the most wonderful offering he could give unto the Unknown. It is this mystic aspect of the letting of blood which comes through into your own world today, and is still embodied in the most beautiful symbolism which was given by the Master Jesus when he tried to take man's mind from the thought of blood unto the symbolism of the wine.

 As you move forward into a more subtle understanding, with the knowledge we are trying to release, men and women are coming to see that the soul, the spirit, is the living individual: it is apart from the blood and the wine. So men and women are learning to offer themselves, their thoughts, their own personal magnetism, offering it in service and worship as they give themselves to healing and to the blessing of earth's creation.

 We are hoping that in the passage of years people will meet in temples or churches with the simpler offering of holding forth their hands as the most mystic part of their spiritual ritual, that from their hands the magnetic force will flow, creating a living circuit that may become the emblem of healing and of renewal.

 Your healing circles will become more highly developed and will form the most mystic ritual in the services of an age which is still coming into being. Even as the blessing of wine only becomes truly sanctified by the magnetic force given through the fingers of the priest, even so the hands of your healers bless, and the searchers of truth may come to receive a true spiritual baptism transmitted from on high through the prepared vessels.

 How can the perfect God also be the God of evil?

 One of the aspects of the great Creative Spirit is to be found in creativeness or reconstruction, which means that if this is so there must also be destruction. So the power of the Master Creator is indeed in the destructive forces at work within His universe, but we would not call these forces "evil". The only evil we recognise is the evil force which man has set into motion within his own world, which is the desecration of his own knowledge of good. But even there the Master Creator cannot be separated from His own creation. As man is invested with a will of his own, I do not think it is either wise or good to ascribe unto the Maker of man the errors which man himself has perpetrated in his endeavour to learn how to use his creative power.

 How far can we believe the Bible sayings of Jesus? Is he the greatest of the teachers?

 The Master Jesus is not necessarily the greatest of the teachers, for all come with a message which is for the people of their time. The teachings of love which he gave have indeed been recorded and kept in a high degree of purity. Had those teachings been adhered to by the people who claim to be Christians, then indeed a great cleansing of the errors of man's fault-which we call evil-would have taken place. The teachings of Jesus are correct because they are the teachings of love, and for the people of his time he was indeed the greatest teacher.

 Have you, or anyone you have met, seen God?

 Not in the sense in which you speak of God. I have seen the glory, and I think it is the glory which is known to the people of earth as God.

 Before I decided to come back to labour amongst the people on earth, from the gateway of the seventh sphere I looked forth and beheld the glory of the spirit-the heart of Light-for such you will call it. I think it is this which has become known as God to the peoples of earth, who have captured this word from the singers in the ancient scriptures who spoke of the glory of God.

 It is not possible to describe in ordinary language the radiance and beauty of His power, but if you can visualise some mighty lake lying calm, translucent and unmoving, and then gleaming upon it the radiance of a sun which is soft, beautiful as moonlight and yet without the vagueness of moonlight; and within the heart of this radiance a centre like a glowing heart, rosy, gentle, palpitating and throbbing throughout the whole, and then try to feel that this enormous stillness, a radiance palpitating with life and love was flowing in and through you and through all things. . . then you might have some vague symbol of understanding of that which we know as the Glory.

I know someone who claims to have seen Jesus. Is this possible, or was it some other high spirit?

 Even as the beloveds who love each other in the earthly realm gather a likeness one unto the other because they faithfully seek to portray the qualities which they see within the beloved one, even so is it within the great Christ sphere of light. Those who love the Master with a mighty love can, after a time, take on his likeness and give forth a radiance like unto his radiance, so that some passing by will say: "Truly, is this not the Nazarene? Is this not the Master himself?" Who can divide the beloved from the lover? Who can say wherein the separation arises? None shall say, for within this mighty Christ realm of love there is such unity, such power, such beauty, that many who go forth to serve, drawing near to those who love the Nazarene in the earthly realm, because of their close likeness unto him will cause the earthly one to say, "Here indeed has been the Master in our midst."

 So, I think the one of whom you speak saw a serving spirit in the Master's group who, coming into earthly conditions, carries so strong an impress of the Master's love that he seems to the looker to be in the form of Jesus himself.

 Sometimes it seems we are in a position similar to that of Jesus in our efforts to give forth a teaching which is different to the orthodoxy of our time. We meet with much misunderstanding and hurt.

 This is partly true, for all that happens to the individual has been symbolised in the New Testament as that which happened to the Master Jesus. Therefore when you stand as a teacher of that which you have seen as true, laying before your neighbour your revelation, then in a small measure you outpicture through your own life many of the experiences through which Jesus himself passed.

 There will be times when all seem to misunderstand your meaning, times when you feel you are being crucified by the hands or words of others, through your time of little death when your dearest hopes or treasured desires have to be laid aside, as in the coldness of the tomb. In this you will be outpicturing some part of the Christly teaching. Then you will rise in new strength, confirmed in the power of your truth, aware of the influence of the angelic beings guiding you, and standing upon the pinnacle of your own experience from you light will stream forth, as it streamed forth upon the Easter morning.

 As you evolve, so you become an enchristed soul yourself, revealing in your fashion that which will illumine and heal some part of the soul of the world immediately surrounding you. Therefore, be strong! As you grow in knowledge eventually you become like miniature Christs, lifting upon your shoulders some part of the woe of the world itself, and suffering the taunts of the ignorant, slowly you transform it through your own love into purified understanding, which becomes wisdom. So, outward through you there streams the revelation of the spirit.

 Regarding the death of Christ. Was that ordained?

 It was not ordained, but Jesus involved himself in certain conditions of the earthly world; he fought the power of the priests and Romans, and therefore precipitated the crisis which culminated in his death, but he could have acted differently. He could have refused to go down to Jerusalem. Had he refused then he would not have been crucified.

 Which would have been the better way, to have gone or to have refused?

 I think it would have been better had he refused. A lot of people would not agree because they have grown into the understanding that through this death something more wonderful came to the world. But I think something just as wonderful would have grown in the world had he lived longer in the midst of his people.

 The Bible describes the Master Jesus as "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief". Can you comment upon this?

 That is a wrong description; those who were the writers of these manuscripts thought only of his suffering and of the pain he endured. They forgot that in himself he had a joy which attracted the children who loved to follow in his footsteps, as well as the simple men who, not being wise in the ways of wisdom, nevertheless could recognise goodness in another being. Would those simple fishermen of the earth have felt happy and at peace with a man who never smiled? Would they not rather feel oppressed by a man acquainted only with sorrow and grief? The Master Jesus, just as all others, feeling the great upliftment and power of the spirit knew such joy that he could convey it unto those surrounding him.

 It is said that Jesus went to other teachers or sources of wisdom to study and obtain knowledge; is this so?

 This is true, for Jesus the man is distinct from the spirit who overshadowed him. Even as you, a potential medium may go to see the works of other mediums and may learn in your own self, as distinct from the spirit who may overshadow you, even so did he. Is it not recorded that the voice came, the spirit overshadowed and descended upon him and spoke, saying, "This is my beloved child"?

 Jesus the teacher remains very close to this your earthly world, and in his influence may often project to those who love him some thought or expression of his own personality. It is quite true and possible that if you love this Master then he will direct to you his blessing and thought.

 Was the Christ spirit in Jesus when he was born?

 The boy Jesus was not overshadowed by the great spirit of the Christ until he reached the time of his baptism, when it was seen by those watching as something like the spirit of a beautiful bird descending from the heavens, for always the human eye must interpret that which it sees in the symoblism of the earthly world. But as this spirit spoke, saying, "This is my beloved son," Jesus and the Christ had indeed become one, as mediums become one with the overshadowing spirit who may teach or heal through them. In becoming ensouled by this great spirit of Divine love, the beautiful power of Christly love entered into Jesus and spread out all around and about him, so that the earth itself became interpenetrated by the love aspect of the Master Creator. When the life of Jesus the Master ceased, the Christly influence continued, as even now in your world today it still c6ntinues in beauty and power.

 What did Jesus mean when he said to those whom he was teaching "I come not to bring peace but a sword"?

 The Master Jesus gave unto his beloved ones the secret of the peace of the spirit symbolised as a sword, the sword of truth. But it is also a symbol of balance. A swordsman must first learn how to balance body, hand and brain so that he may quickly and safely use his sword, else his sword will destroy him. So, all who learn to use the sword, be it the weapon of defence or the spiritual symbol of the sword itself; equally they must learn balance. Until you have balance in the mind and the emotions, until you learn to use your eyes to discern truth and know truth in the world about you, how may you use the sword of truth harmoniously and well? Unless you are balanced within yourself you will destroy, maim and harm the spiritual souls of the people around you.

 But where is the point of balance? Where is the centre of rhythm and poise? It lies within the inward consciousness, in the central place of your own soul and spirit. So you must, each one, learn to find this and come back again and again unto this deep centre. For if in the midst of battle and destruction you know deep within your heart that all this is but the outward show and within yourself you are at peace, then all this activity will not destroy you or bring you harm, for this centre within the heart is of the spirit, and the power of the spirit can overcome all the restlessness and destructiveness of the earthly conditions.

 But it may often seem to you, immersed in this world of action, that the swirling movement or unrest is the reality, until such time that you gain your moment of spiritual understanding and see that the true reality is the power of the spirit.

 What is the true meaning of prayer?

 The spirit coming into earthly life becomes self-centred, for it is at the very centre of the being that it has created. But if the incarnating spirit is to return to the remembrance of its own spiritual state it must break out of its self-centred concern, and it is in this that the value of prayerfulness is to be understood.

 True prayer consists in reaching out from within unto something, a power, a person, an ideal. Thus a straight ray is thrust forth, so that as you pray you are creating the first living emblem of your desire to escape from the globe of etheric substance surrounding you.

 The child breathes forth some simply worded prayer, laying the first step by which it will later rise out of its inner concern with self, outward into a comprehension of the mighty powers surrounding it. The habit is established before the personality becomes too strongly formed within the inner soul and before the etheric substance surrounding the spirit has become an encasement hardened by years of experience. You sometimes say a person has become encased in a shell of selfishness. This shell is the hardening of the outer circumference of the spiritual aura, the protective etheric body in which the spirit itself is hidden.

 We cannot easily reach people on earth who are thus contained within this shell of their inward self-concern, until sorrow has evoked the desire for prayer. When prayer streams forth from the anguished spirit, then straight rays of endeavour and clear flames of prayerful thought emerge and the encircling activity in the aura is stilled. Then through the entries so created we pour in our spiritual comfort and wisdom, our desire to heal and free the beloved whom we have been longing to help.

 So, try to see your life and unfoldment as something dependent upon the steps of prayer. The simple prayer of childhood giving way to the surging prayer of the heart when in youth you pray for the person you love and things you desire to attain. For if in praying for things for yourself your prayer is later concerned in gaining these things that they may enrich the life of another, then it becomes a stepping stone unto true prayer, which is the forgetting of self in the remembrance of the needs of others. Later in life, when sickness occurs or death takes those who are beloved, still do you add further steps of prayer, in endeavouring to discover unity with the great Central Source of Power.

 Prayer truly expressed becomes a living quality which impregnates the chair upon which you sit, the articles you use and the very clothes you wear, for streaming out from the inner soul it is the living force of the spirit itself.

 Are prayers wasted when directed to selfish or unresponsive people?

 It may not be immediately received by them, but there is a law of the spirit which we call the "law of accumulative power or wisdom". Thus, if prayer is sent forth for a soul who is closed to reception of its influence, nevertheless this thought force will accumulate within the spiritual ether until such time as it may find its way through, bringing blessing and light. Meanwhile, the one who has loved and prayed is enriched because givingness always enlarges the consciousness of the giver.

 What is the best way to pray?

 I would say to you that you may deliver the message unto others, "Pray often and love much, for in prayer and in loving shall lie your strength."

 Often it is said, "We pray frequently and our lives are dedicated unto prayer," but where there is no love then there is no prayer. Those who love much pray often, for the life of love becomes a symbol of the life of prayer. Prayer truly is the shedding forth into the spiritual life the desires and searchings of the individual. Where there is much love then indeed is there a searching and a seeking into all the surrounding atmosphere for that which may be best for the beloved, and not only best for the one beloved, but for all those who are the beloveds of the heart.

 Therefore, love greatly, love frequently and love widely. Accept in your loving the hurts which may come to you through that lovingness, for these hurts truly are but the spurs which lead you on to greater prayer. Where the beloved brings unto you disappointment or hurt, then is there not the striving in the inward soul towards greater understanding and a deeper perception? This striving itself is the very essence of prayer. Where there is prayer and love within the human heart, then is there lit in the centre of the being a pure flame which spreads and glows and sheds its glory far and wide around you.

 Make of your lives the simple effort towards a greater lovingness and think not, "I should pause now to say my words of prayer," but rather say as you handle the substances of the earth and prepare work to be used by those whom you love, "This indeed is the symbol of my prayer in that my hands have served." When you look with the eye of affection and compassion upon those who come seeking for help, then you may say, "This truly is a prayer," for where there is love within the heart so also is that love expressed in the prayer of blessing which is the benediction given through the glance of your eye. As you grow in love, so do you also grow in prayerfulness.

 So simple is the way and so clear the key to understanding that it is for you, even in this time and place, to lift up your eyes and see how clear is the way before you, and yet in the multiplicity of the human life so soon do you fall from this understanding of truth, so soon become lost in the mazes of difficult thought.

 Inscribe upon your hearts and memories these simple words: "To love often is to pray much, and to pray much in the true essence of prayer is to love very greatly," and where love and prayer dwell together, then is the peace added unto peace, light added unto light, experience deepening other experience, until the soul indeed enters into the comprehension of its God.

 Is it better to pray as an individual or with a group?

 It is better to pray in your own individual and interior fashion, for these outward forms of prayer have come into being amongst organised religions of the world that the poor, the lost and the ignorant may always have some aid by which they can be drawn into a higher state of consciousness. The souls who are growing in knowledge, increasing in their own interior state of self-consciousness, these should come into the spirit through the quietude of interior meditation and prayer, for eventually the true way to unfoldment must be the individual pathway of the soul, and each one walks the way alone. It is only in the first stages of progress that community worship and community prayer is a help unto the soul. The further the soul advances, the more individual the way has to become.

 If we do not forgive a person who injures us do we also darken and injure the soul of that person?

 If you send forth hatefulness and bitterness toward that other one and they are sensitive to your influence they will certainly absorb some of the negative emanation you send forth. Forgiveness and understanding is of tremendous importance, not lust for the small personal hurts, but to forgive the wounds which the soul of the world experiences when great numbers of people die in fire, in water, in famine, explosion or war. The death and suffering of large groups of people makes a stain on the world soul because of the bitterness felt by their children, parents or friends. When you repeat your prayer and say, "Forgive us as we forgive them," remember that you are asking to make forgiveness for the community, for the world, and you ask that others may similarly learn to forgive. The pattern of your prayer is beautiful, so pray with understanding from the heart, giving forth love and forgiveness in every possible way.

 In the Bible it says "In the beginning was the Word". What is the word?

 The word is the causative sound. In the first stages of creation and in the higher regions of spirit existence all things resolve into sound or vibration; this is sometimes perceived as colour. It is from this vibrating sound that the atoms of your mortal world are set into motion and maintained in their particular patterns. These appear as trees, houses or human beings. When you seek for an understanding of the primal essence and the first great cause, then you discover there is Sound, known as the Word, for surely the Word and Sound are similar.

 Is sound applicable as a creative force in revival meetings where there is a lot of singing? Are the war cries of primitive people similar?

 Sound is created not only in the inner being of the ones who sing and cry forth but there is also an evocation of the power or energy which has been stored in the spiritual realm by those who have used that sound in preceding times. So when you sing or speak the Lord's Prayer, this invariably brings to the singer an energy, a blessing, for the sounding of the words evokes within the inner planes a response which brings to the sayer a prayer protection, an increase of spiritual force.

 In spirit I sometimes see the storage place of this sound of the Lord's Prayer like a twisted lily shape of light containing the crystallised sound vibration from the many people who have sounded the prayer throughout centuries of earthly time. Around this are guardian spirits who regard it as their holy prayer: Christian spirits who lived as nuns or monks, giving to it new energy and fresh light from their own being, that this prayer shape may still give to earth's prayers the blessing and power they need.

 Is there a Hell as described in Christian religion, a place of fire and torment?

 Yes there is. It has been created by the thoughts of men and women through centuries of earth time. They have visualised this place, creating a condition so fraught with fear that unenlightened spirits, not yet freed from their selfish desires, people it and may torment any who come within the radius of this realm, which is beyond the confines of the earth.

 But it is not created by the Power of all Good for the punishment of the errors of souls on earth. Those who enter this place are drawn only by their guilty desires or by the weight of their own inward state of selfishness. If within themselves they have the shining light of true love then they rapidly find their way out into truer planes of spiritual experience. So, do not fear "Hell". Do not fear punishment. Do not contribute to it any power of your thoughts, thus building it into a stronger pattern, but light the candles of faith and truth that such a place may slowly dissolve and fade from the consciousness of humankind and from the astral atmosphere near your earth.

 This place is slowly beginning to fade, but it still has its existence, just as the heaven visualised by people for hundreds of years, the heaven paved with gold, having structures gleaming with jewels. It is not a real place of spirit existence but a little heaven built by orthodox thoughts of those who subscribe to it.

 Sometimes if we can help a soul in no other way we take them to this little heaven, that walking therein for a while they feel, "Yes, this is what I expected." Then, as they grow tired of it, we may lead them on into other ways of useful service and further progression.

 The power of thought is of tremendous creative intensity: it has the power of the creative energy of God acting through the mind of the living soul of man. Therefore, learn to use your thought rightfully, hopefully, truthfully and lovingly, that you may create for those whom you love on earth their own little heaven, and in all the world about you light, peace and beauty, for these are the conditions you will later inherit when you leave your mortal body and pass into the higher heritages of spiritual experience.

 Will God allow man to destroy the world by nuclear bombs? Will He allow misuse of this knowledge to cause countless malformed babies to be born to future generations?

 This world, which you think so permanent, is but part of the worlds which have existed throughout long centuries of time, in which nations have risen and fallen, cities have been built and destroyed, forms of animal life have risen, taken their experience and have been transmuted into other forms of life. In this evolution, races of men and women have come, reached the final evolvement of their understanding, then they too have gone on to other worlds of experience.

 Why then should you fear? Why be so dismayed at the thought of some mighty change or cataclysm in this part of your mortal experience? The earth is old and has endured light and darkness, heat and cold; it has borne upon its bosom many forms of life. It has seen the rising of great joys, the tears of great sorrow, and yet the body of the earth endures, for it is a place of experience, the planet of sacrifice, the planet of purification.

 Shall this cease because one or two men in their search for understanding learn how to change the atomic structure? Surely such a thought is of the mind only and not of the spirit! The earth will endure until it is no longer a useful school for spirits needing purification, needing to learn the lessons of sacrifice. The earth will endure until the ethers have been cleansed, changed and bathed in the love of men and women, until the Master Creator no longer has use for the earthly planet within His great worlds of creative life.

 Therefore lift up your hearts from the darkened valley of fear, lift your consciousness into the great rivers of life and say, "All is well, all must be well, for we are part of a greater universe than ever we can see or know while we are bonded by mortal mind and mortal thought."

 Can you define spirituality?

 Spirituality is when the spiritual mind is dominant and overcomes the many activities and desires of the mortal mind, which are to be found in greed, acquisitiveness, restlessness, or the effort of gaining many things not always needful to the health or harmony of the body. When the mundane mind becomes blended with the spiritual mind, then many of these mortal attributes are dissolved, and the mundane mind will be used to accomplish work, to explain or be used in a concrete fashion for the work entailed, but it will not be the dominant mind just desiring or fulfilling its own pleasures, rather it is working at the direction of the spiritual consciousness.

 In dying, did Jesus take away the sins of the world?

 This belief and teaching that the Master Jesus died to redeem the world has within itself a deep and profound truth. He did not die to take upon himself the sins of the people, but in his dying and bearing of pain and ignorance he was able to transmute and transform them, setting into motion streams of healing, light and truth by which earth's ignorance became transformed and earth's sickness became healed and purified. In this way redemption took place even as it is taking place now in your world through the myriads of enchristed souls who are slowly giving themselves in love and service to redeem the earth from its errors, darkness and pain.

So be strong! Be strong in your moments of temptation and despair, remembering that when all seems dark this may be the moment when, by the death of your little self, the resurrection of the new enchristed self may come into being.

 Is there judgement after death?

 There is the soul's own judgement of itself, and often the most difficult moment for the soul is when it is divested of the pretences with which it covered itself in earthly life. We do not look upon the new-born souls with judgement: we look upon them with love. If into your midst now there came a child from the street, dirty and dishevelled, and when its garments were removed and the child stood before you naked you saw upon its body the soil which needed washing away, and the scars gained in battling with adverse conditions, you would not look with judgement but with pity, love and tenderness.

 Even so do those in the Places of Light look upon the soul newly come, for we have walked the way of the earthly experience, we had our failures, our times of stress and difficulty, and most of us bear upon our soul some scar of that suffering. How then should we judge the other beloveds when they come? Looking upon them we remember our own struggles and therefore we look upon them with love.

 This is how it should be in your ways of earthly life. Instead of looking upon each other in self-righteous judgement you should, by the depths of your love and understanding, reach out your hand to strengthen the weak and to encourage each other in times of despondency, so that slowly and surely you may come into fellowship and unity of soul.

 Does the festival of Christmas have any spiritual effect? Does it have influence upon the spirit plane?

 Prior to the coming of your Christmas time there is a great stirring and activity within the summerlands of joy. Parents and loved ones of those still incarnate within the body come close to the earth, imparting unto them rays of their happy thought. You will find that even those who have said they will take no part in Christmas finally become caught up in the great network of joyous friendship and happy giving. As this network of goodwill grows and brightens, showing here and there the bright stars of children's joy, so part of the dark pall of man's fear is lightened and the spirit ones come near to interblend their loving influence with the hearts and minds of all those they have loved as they gather in silent unity with family groups. Then light shafts of prayer begin to arise as hearts are opened unto the Christ Centre, that the blessing of the Christ may be received within the earth.

 Those who are the guardians, the guides, the watching angels, withdraw from the earth for a time, returning unto their rightful realms of light, there to hold their own festival by being reunited with kindred spirits, those they left when they undertook work for humanity within the mortal plane. These groups turn their attention upward unto the great Centre of light and peace, for at this season the Christ remembers again the world in which He once took his earthly journey. A mighty shaft of light, a great outpouring of love is sent forth to be received firstly by the guardian ones who have withdrawn for a time from their earthly labours, and then to those who wait upon the next planes, so that it becomes a mighty silver shower of light dripping from the fingers of one unto the other, dripping in rays of light from them unto others, flowing on and on until it comes to the happy family spirits who are united with those at the fireside places, that part of the Christmas joy and love may come to them too.

 Unto those who prepared their hearts in quietness of prayer and meditation, their attention turned upwards unto the Centre of light unto them Christly blessing comes clear and pure, not diluted or transmitted by family souls, but as a precious silvery dew taken into their hearts and shed out again in peace and holiness. With this great release of light and power a great cleansing takes place, causing all within the high places to sing together great hymns of joy. Those in the mortal body find themselves lifting up their voices in praise, joining in the hymns once known unto the parents and grandparents of old.

 Indeed it is a glorious festival, but man sometimes forgets to receive the beauty of the Christly power and thinks only that he may eat and drink. But you who are growing in knowledge may tune your heart to the Heart of Love to receive the Christly blessing.

 Apart from the star of Bethlehem, was there any other indication of the birth of Jesus?

 It was known unto the seers of that time that a boy would enter into earthly existence to undertake a special work. So when the infant child was brought to the temple, the old woman possessing the gift of seership could see by the spiritual light in this child's aura that here was an incarnation of a beautiful spirit, one who had a great spiritual destiny. She was also able to see those bright and shining guides or guardians who companioned him during the years of his earthly growth. Therefore, as she took the infant into her arms, so in a measure was she like the mediums of your own time, who rejoice when on holding a child thus, they are aware of the spiritual destiny of the little one.

 Is there a deeper meaning to the Christmas story?

 The essential truths of the soul and spirit are so simple that a child can understand them, yet because they are so simple men and women run hither and thither seeking for a deeper meaning, something which can be clothed in the cleverness of the earth language.

 Come back from the complicated study and enter into the beauty of this season with the simplicity of the child, for love and nobility were born into the world in the symbolism of the Christly child just as they are each time an infant lies within its mother's arms. Look upon the beauty of this symbol with eyes which see clearly the tremendous power of its spiritual truth, and think upon that which is pure, holy and beautiful, for the laws of the Master Creator are not complicated. They are the simple laws of sowing and reaping, of change and transmutation, of life and death, inbreathing and outbreathing. Hold fast to the beauty and simplicity of these rhythms and meditate upon the rise and fall of the life force manifesting in the changing seasons, and in the coming and going of the sun. These are as simple as the law of love, the truth that love endures and can transcend the many miles which may separate those upon earth, even as it transcends the separation which arises between life and death. These are the fundamental truths of your life and world: why complicate them? Divest yourselves of the garments of learning, lay upon one side the shields whereby you defend yourselves against the arguments of the outer world, and think upon that which is too simple for the comprehension of the ordinary mind and can only be understood by the soul itself in the purity of meditation and prayer.

 So, at this Christmas season reflect upon the beauty of love symbolised in the simplicity of the new born child bringing hope, peace and power unto all.

 If some of the Roman Catholic church teachings are in error, do Catholics find trouble with this when they die?

 Only partly, for inward truth is there to be discerned by a sufficiently sensitive soul. When they pass to spirit others who have preceded them, sisters, priests, enlightened Christians, will be there to meet them and bring the wider understanding they need. But some who enter holy orders simply fulfil the rituals without light, living in bitterness and unenlightenment. Such nuns, monks or priests leave the mortal body encased in their own aura of darkness, unaware of the power of the lighter spirits, and such remain in the lower atmosphere interpenetrating the earth.

 In spirit, is the Master Jesus in a human form?

 He projects his image into the imagery of human form, but in himself he is pure light, to be seen as pure light by those who seek to perceive him. If he desired to send a special message to one in the mortal body, he would project his blessing into one of the Jesus souls close to him in his own heaven, and that one would convey the blessing and might be seen as a Jesus spirit, but holding his own particular form. It could be likened to a degree of entrancement when a high spirit entrances one of a slightly lesser order, enabling them to penetrate into the heavier atmosphere surrounding the mortal world. So Jesus may not come directly in his own spiritual form of radiant light, but through one of his messengers.

 Can you explain the meaning of the remark made by Jesus at the Last Supper, when he said to his disciples, "This is my body, this is my blood"?

 I think he was but trying to symbolise that the body is composed of the matter of the earth. Even as the bread, the wheat, draws it life from the earth and is of the earth, earthy, so is the body of a similar nature. The wine is the fluid of the earth, the juice within the grape.

 What happens when a whole nation prays, for instance in time of war?

 The united prayer of a great body of people praying together in sincerity and purity of intent creates a mighty ray of light which rises through the near earth world upwards through the spheres of spirit experience until it reaches the Centre of Power itself. But if the prayer is tainted with the desire for acquisition, if the nation prays for victory that they may have domination over other peoples, then it does not so rise. Similarly, when it is shrouded in fear. But if the prayer is breathed forth from the agony of the human heart, winged with the protective love of mothers for their children, desiring spiritual help that the helpless may be succoured and the little ones protected, then indeed it rises in the purity of its light. As with nations so with groups, churches and circles. A prayer winged with earnest desire for the blessing of the whole rises to great heights and brings back great answers.

 Sometimes a person who never normally prays will do so when confronted with sudden dramatic circumstances, and their prayer seems to be swiftly answered. Why is this?

 Can you not see that such a one, having little understanding of spiritual things, must be encouraged to see proof of this power? Therefore when their prayer is breathed forth, the mother, husband or loving friend who is near within the spirit life will swiftly bring an answer to their prayer, that the flame of faith may be lighted to glow with new fervour, and their spiritual progression hastened by their belief in the action of prayer.

 But when you have steadfastly prayed for progress and spiritual growth with sincere desire from the depths of your soul, then carelessly sometimes you pray for things you desire as a child desires toys, then the answer may not be vouchsafed, for you are not children. In this way you will learn to wait patiently, bowing to the wisdom of wills stronger and higher than yours. But the prayer is taken, regarded, and kept in safe keeping by those who watch over you, and in good time the answer may be given and the power shown. Remember, it is the sincerity of your desire and the purity of your intent that gives your prayer wings.

 Man often says, "God has answered my prayer," but if he had the open eye of vision he would see a loved one standing near watching over the progress of this soul who says, "Here is a sincere desire which we will try to bring to fruition that the spiritual progression may be forwarded."

 What was the special revelation given by Jesus when he grew to manhood?

 He revealed the great love aspect of the Master Creator which became symbolised as the Christly spirit. Jesus was indeed a fine and beautiful vessel through whom the revelation of the Christ could be given unto the earthly world, especially in the need of that time when the harshness of the religious rulers had stolen joy from the hearts of the people. The Christ is the ensoulment of love, and through whom all healing, tenderness and beauty can be understood by earth's children.

 Of what nature is God and how may we grow toward Him?

 Firstly, you need new understanding of the relationship between yourselves and the great Creator of the universe. The old idea that God the father is in some distant place in the heavens to be approached with awe and trembling must be supplanted by the inner teaching of unity; that man's soul should be in unity with the power of the Creator manifesting through all things.

 The teachers of the past taught that your world is complete in itself. That is untrue. It is but part of a chain of worlds and stars strung out through all the vast spaces of the universe, each having its effect upon the other as are beads each one part of a string of pearls, with the string binding them together itself but part of the whole. The old thought that man is bound to the life of the world and that your God is concerned only with this little bead should be replaced with a purer comprehension of the power and majesty of the Creator who holds within his left hand the worlds which are revolving in shadow and in his right hand those revolving in brilliant light. The Creator who sets into motion the great laws of balance, one force balancing another, that all is kept harmoniously in a slow, beautiful ordered progression. Through this moving and balancing, the souls and spirits of the living creatures also take their ways from life to life and from star to star. As the string moves within the beads threaded upon it, so does the great life of the Creator move through all created things.

 Secondly, you must define how you yourselves symbolise God, and into what form and shape you desire to grow. Here in the spirit life our vision of God is this great creative love energy moving in and through all things. If you desire to grow towards this God, this great Master Creator, then indeed you must learn to look to the power and glory manifesting through all the creative world surrounding you. Look through the windows of your soul, feel with the fingers of your soul and listen with the ears of your soul and know the glory of your God.

 Take into your hands a raindrop as it glistens upon the bough and see with your inward soul that in this drop of water is all colour. Let your soul become conscious of the creative power of the Master Spirit who makes colour, then ask yourself by what creative effort has this drop of water been distilled from the sky, from that you can behold its visible nature upon your hand? As you understand the raindrop, so do you grow toward God. Then lift a tiny petal from the smallest blossom and behold the miracle of gleaming colour, its texture, shape and perfume. As you think upon it, grow toward God in remembrance that this is but one of a myriad unseen petals in untold splendour of beauty upon the lonely mountainsides and in the farmost places. Stretch your soul, growing away from your own immediate concern into the larger consideration of the works of God.

 Cease for a while the whirling thoughts that are concerned with your own life and look upon another human being, the one nearest to you. See the miracle of flesh and bone, the lines carved upon the face by laughter or sorrow, see the fire of anger, the softness of love. Look not with indifference but see them as the temple of the living God and let your soul stretch and grow. Feel with the soul's sensitive fingers the agony and joy which has taken place within this man or woman, then let your thought flow on and on to others of a like nature, to the aged and the young, the helpless and the able, those in far and near lands. So shall your soul stretch and grow, the tendrils of your awareness reaching out and out, growing toward nature, humanity, and toward God.

 Here in the spirit places we have to learn in this way. We gain no wisdom or expansion without effort, but only by growing in understanding the one of the other. Even so must you upon earth, for by loving the created and understanding the created, so can you grow toward the glory and the life of the Creator.

 We are told that some spirits are in purgatory while others are said to be earthbound. What does that mean?

 They are somewhat similar states. Purgatory, as it is called by some Christian churches, is really a self-examination of the soul, a review of its opportunities while on earth and its failures. Often the soul mourns and feels remorse. It inwardly burns in sorrow, for the person is facing himself. At last a desire to work comes and it is then he sees the helpers, in the robes of light. Earthbound spirits are those who after death do not at first understand what has happened to them and think they are still within the earth life. They do not feel regret at their actions like the others mentioned, but rather a desire for the earth-life to continue. The helpers cannot reach them while they remain in this state.

 Is this why earth rescue circles can help them more easily than higher spirits? It seems rather dreadful.

 That is true, but it is natural and governed by law. Think of air, water and earth which are separated states and, in a general way, one cannot penetrate the other. It is a natural law as with the various states of spirit. Higher spirits may with difficulty sometimes clothe themselves in a heavy garment more pertaining to matter and so penetrate the lower realms of spirit, but it is easier for them to work through earth people who are better attuned to those lower realms by their very nature being more material.

 How can these souls best be helped then?

 Help them now, in life. Let them be made aware of the truth. But if you meet them as spirits in your circles, tell them they have no material body now, but there is a heaven above them, a place of light to which they can go. Say to them, "Look up, look up to that light!" Then pray to the Shining Ones to come to their help and they will be led away.