The Opportunities Of Life

An Address from Brother Bernard

Given in the Summertown Church, Oxford, March 1988

Good evening friends.

It is indeed with joy that we come into your midst once again, coming from the other side of life, as you term it, speaking for a short while to give you one or two thoughts that might be of help to you during the coming weeks.

We do not come in order that we should tell you what you should do or what you should not. The function of the Guides, as you term them, from the other side of life is to help you to make your own minds up, to help you to look inside yourselves, to help you to consult the Spirit that is within you.

Each one of you, man woman or child, each animal, each vegetable, everything on Earth that has life has a part of Spirit within them, a part of God, it is that part of God that you term your soul or your spirit but it is the part of you that will go on when your earthly body has finished its journey upon Earth, when you lay it on one side as though you would take of an overall and you find yourself in another body, a body of light, a body of Spirit.

That change, which you call death, comes to everything that has life; and life is immortal. Have you ever stopped to consider what immortality really means? It is not that you just go on living after your body has finished it's time on Earth but it means that you were alive, you were living, before you took the Earth body. When you were in the Spirit World, before you came to Earth, you decided that you had certain lessons that you wanted to learn and those lessons could only be learned by acquiring a body of Earth; by coming down to this world of matter and by functioning in the circumstances that would best give you the opportunity to develop, the opportunity to grow in character, the opportunity to be of service to other people, the opportunity to make contacts with your friends, with your families, with the greater world around you. The main items in your life, whether they be difficulties or whether they be joys, are all opportunities for you to learn; you are not called upon to bear more than you can carry. If you have a hard field to plough, if your pathway seems more difficult than other peoples then it is because you have the power, you have the strength, you have the knowledge, the advancement that is necessary and therefore, because you are strong, because you have got the power of Spirit with you so perhaps you have to face a life that is more difficult than someone else's. You must rejoice, you must make the most of the opportunities as they come along.

We often think when we come back to Earth and get into your minds and start seeing your thoughts that is much easier for you to face the big tasks in life, to face the big obstacles, to deal with the great sorrows, the great troubles that come your way than it is to cope with the prickles of everyday life.

When you read your Bible, when you read any of the books that have been inspired from Spirit, when you enter into the silence and link up with Spirit yourself then you realize how advanced you are and then you realize how much you have still got to learn.

Your life on the Earth plane is so important to you, it is important that you tackle it to the best of your ability, it is important that you realize why you are here, that you accept the responsibilities of Earth and while you are in a human body you have to appreciate the fact that Earth's responsibilities are more important than those of Spirit. We are not asking you to forget Spirit, we know that you cannot do that, that once you have made contact with what you term the Spiritualist movement, once you realize that you have within you a spark of the Divine then you can never forget it but you have got to appreciate the fact that Earth, while you are on it, is more important than the things of the Spirit.

Of course you have got to give certain of your time to Spirit, it is necessary for you to take a few minuets, a little longer if you like, each day in linking up with Spirit, in sending out your thoughts to God, to your helpers, to your loved ones. That is necessary for you. But even more necessary is that you take the responsibilities of Earth and conduct them satisfactorily. You are not alone as you travel the Earth plane. You will meet people of all different races, people of different standpoints, of different beliefs, of different understandings, but all of them are spirits in a human body, even as you are, and everyone, whoever they may be, whether they be rich or poor, whether they live in the West or the East, in the so called civilized western world or in what you term the third world, all of them are on the same journey as you are.

One of the things which you say again and again is that you believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, have you stopped to think what Brotherhood can mean? It is easy for you to love the people who think as you do but it is far more difficult to love the vandal, the thug, those who commit the crimes that you read about day by day, it is easy to love people when they are a long way away but it is much more difficult to love the neighbour next door who annoys you day after day, the person at work who rubs you up the wrong way, those who are close to you but who aggravate you. Even as we said it is easier to deal with the big things of life than the little pinpricks but all those things are a part of life and when you come to the end of your journey upon Earth you will not go before a judgment seat, you will not have to face a judge and jury, the only person who will judge you will be yourself. It is only as you look back on your life, it is only as you weigh up the pros and the cons, it is only when you become aware of what you have left undone, of the things that you did during your Earth life that were not to the best of your ability, to the best that you knew, it is only then that there will be judgment and that judge will be yourself.

Everything in Spirit is geared to your progression and your progression depends upon how you cope with everything that is in life, how you deal with the circumstances, how you forge your character. That is why you are here and you who come into a Spiritualist church, who know something of the truth of Spirit, of the continuity of life, of the world in the next stage of existence, you have a great privilege and privilege always brings responsibility. So as you take up your cross and go through life dealing with the circumstances as they arise always remember that Spirit, which is within you, is within every other living thing.

We leave you with these few words praying that there will be a blessing upon each one of you, that you will see your pathway clearly, that you will follow it to the end.

Goodnight and God bless you all.