The Power Of The Individual

An Address from Brother Bernard

Given in the Carterton Church, Oxford

Good evening friends.

It is with joy that we come into your midst once again to speak with you for a few moments about something that, perhaps, will be a help to you in your busy lives upon the earth plane. We want to speak tonight about the power of the individual.

Each one of you, man, woman or child is an individual; you are different from anyone else. You know this is true in the physical sense because no two persons upon Earth have exactly the same metabolism; are built in exactly the same way; have exactly the same genes. As each one of you is individual physically so you are spiritually. You are on a pilgrimage; on a road that leads you from somewhere to somewhere. Your life upon the earth plane is just one stage on that road because, remember, if you are immortal then it implies that you were in existence before you came to the earth plane to inhabit a physical body, even as you will be when you leave your body behind and go forward. That part of you which is immortal, your soul, your spirit, your other self, has been in existence before you came to Earth as it will be when you have finished with the earth plane.

Your time upon Earth is like a lesson that you have got to learn. As you send your children to school you want them to learn to the utmost of their ability, you want their minds to be stretched as far as they can, you do not want them to be crammed, you do not want them to sit in the classroom in boredom because the work is too easy; you want your child to develop to the best of its ability. So it is with your spirits; with your souls. You come to Earth in order that you can learn certain lessons so that your spirit will grow and develop and when you come to the end of your days upon Earth you will leave behind the body of matter that you have been working in and you will step forward in the soul that is the real you taking with you the lessons that you have learned during your time upon Earth.

You will often have heard, as you make your way among the people of the earth plane, questions such as is there a God? How can there be a God if he allows such things to happen? Particularly when you hear about the tragedies that are occurring in various parts of your world.

You must remember that Earth will never be perfect because if it were there would be no point in your coming. It is the obstacles that you face while you are here, the lessons that you have to learn, the people that you meet, the difficulties that you overcome, the love which you share that will mould your character.

Remember the main circumstances of your lives were chosen by you before you came to Earth, not the small details because, as you have been told so often, you have free will. The main things that you come up against are what you saw when you were contemplating coming to the earth plane. You chose the parents that you had and in choosing those parents you not only brought your spirit from the other side of life but you came into a body that was governed by heredity, by the genes which you inherited from your parents, by the circumstances in which you were brought up as a child. All these things go to make you, to make you more whole, to rub off some of the corners, to develop your personality, to give you something a little broader than that with which you had the first instance.

If your life is difficult, if you do have a harder "row to hoe" than someone else. If, as you go through life, you seem to meet with so many failures and disappointments, remember it is because you have got the strength of spirit that you have these difficulties to overcome. It is through the troubles, through the hardships, that you will learn. You also learn through the happiness that comes to you on the earth plane, through the joys of everyday as you go about your business, as you go through the countryside and enjoy the beauty of nature, as you listen to the songs of the birds and see the wonder of the skies, they all have a part to play in life. Our message to you is to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.

You like to help. It is one of the things that gives you satisfaction when you have held your hand out to a fellow human being, when you have helped somebody to overcome some particular obstacle, when you have given comfort to someone who is despondent, when you have been able to give hope to someone in despair, when you have been able to help through your healing power and the power of healing from Spirit some physical condition, when people can come to you and pour out their troubles then go away feeling comforted. These are all a part of your lives and they are parts that will develop your soul, that will help you to grow.

When you come back to the Spirit World you will bring with you the deeds that you have done: the love which you have generated, the happiness that you have created. You will also bring the memories of your failures. You will also bring, perhaps, the envy and bitter hatred of some people on the earth plane but that is all a part of life, life as it is lived on Earth. Each one of you, wherever you work, whatever your circumstances, have the opportunity to show love to your fellow men and women. One thing which we want to urge you tonight is, not only to show love, but to accept love.

So often, you people on the earth plane, will claim that you are independent, you like to stand on your own two feet. You find it very difficult to accept help from others. Always remember, as you like giving help to others, if you are not prepared to accept help from others how can you give them the opportunity of giving that help? No man is a castle entirely to himself, you can never live your lives completely selfishly thinking only of number one. You came into this world as a helpless infant and you were dependent upon your parents, then upon your teachers at school then, later on as you grow up, upon your employers, upon your husbands or wives, even upon your children, and they are dependent upon you.

Be ready to accept help. Do not turn someone away when they offer to do something for you. Remember, when Jesus walked the earth plane he was willing to accept as well as to give. You know the old story of how Mary Magdalene came and washed His feet with perfume, his disciples were a bit put out about it because they thought the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor, but Jesus accepted what was given to him. He knew that the spirit that gave it was the spirit of love.

At the moment you are coming up towards the period which is called, in your Orthodox Churches, Easter time. A time when you think about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. There is much in the Bible that is exaggerated, much that is distorted, much that has been altered through the ages, yet the simple message that Jesus came to bring still comes to you from the pages of the Gospels. To love one another, do good to them that hate you, repay evil with good. Those are very simple words are they not? To love your neighbour as yourself, to do to others as you wish they would do to you. If only man could put them into action many of the problems that trouble your world at the present time would be things of the past and man would be able to live in peace and harmony with his neighbours.

There is nothing wrong during your lives upon Earth in acquiring the things of Earth; you have got to make do with what comes your way. The chief reason for your coming to the earth plane is for you to develop your character, to build upon the foundation of your soul something that will be of lasting happiness to you when you leave your body behind and come into the Spirit World.

We have said often in the past and we do not apologise for repeating it as we feel that it is one of the lessons that man has got to learn. When you come to the other side of life there will be no judgement seat, you do not go before a court and have people pleading on your behalf and pleading against you. The only judge of your lives upon Earth will be yourselves.

It is when you realise what you have done or what you have left undone, and that will be a gradual process, not immediately, but as you grow in Spirit so you will look back upon this particular life on Earth and you will see the good that you have done as well as that which you left undone, you will see the gratitude of people that you have helped as well as the envy and spitefulness of those who have been ignored. Remember no person on the earth plane can live a perfect life. Even Jesus of Nazareth gave way to temper on several occasions, particular when he drove the money changers out of the Temple, and when he cursed the fig tree. They may be just stories but they do show that Jesus was a human being, even as you are, and He had the same sort of temptations that you have but life in Palestine so many years ago was so different from your modern existence. You cannot cling to the things of the past, you have got to make your religion fit the atmosphere of today, you have got to grow: grow in knowledge, grow in love, grow in understanding and tolerance.

Of course there will be people who will laugh at you because you come to a Spiritualist Church, you will have to face, perhaps, ridicule and words of spite and envy, you will be told that you are heading for the devil, that you will burn in Hell, that you will be eternally dammed. But you have got to return love, realising that the people who deride you are speaking in ignorance. You have got to show by your lives what an importance this religion has for you, you have got to give love in every sense of the word, even a love that will stand by and let someone make mistakes because it is through those mistakes that they will learn.

There are so many aspects of life upon Earth that are completely different from life in Spirit, so many experiences, so many difficulties and problems to be solved, and always remember that while you are in a body of matter you have got the limitations of that body. You have the limitations of your minds, limitations of your upbringing, limitations of your heredity. Try to love yourselves as well as others, try to remember that you have got a spark of God, a spark of Spirit, within you, even as there is within every single thing that has life. Think of it as one thing being built upon another, a thread of Spirit that comes throughout the whole of your world.

You have come so far upon the road of life and now you have come into a Spiritualist Church and, perhaps for the first time, you have begun to look at your lives as a whole and perhaps you are dissatisfied with what you have seen but remember as well as the things that you have left undone, the sins that you have committed, there will be the numberless acts of goodness, the numberless deeds of love that you have performed in your lives; little things that come from day to day and they all go to build your character, to develop your spirit. The memory of all that happens within your life will be what you bring with you to our side.

May we leave you with our love and a blessing, praying that each one of you will show in your lives the difference that Spiritualism has made, praying that you will be able to send love far and wide in your world, love to everything that has life.

Goodnight and God bless you all.