Pause For Thought

An address from Brother Bernard

Recorded in an Oxford Church, U.K., on August 20th, 1991

Good evening friends. It is with joy that we come into your midst once again to speak with you for a short while and perhaps to leave with you one or two ideas that might take root within your minds and give you pause for thought.

You come to a Spiritualist Church. Many of you probably started your life in an Orthodox Church, of one form or another, and something has brought you to Spiritualism. Perhaps it was because you were dissatisfied with what you were taught in the other churches, perhaps it was because you were still seeking for God and you could not find Him in the place where you worshipped. Perhaps it was because you had lost a loved one and the ordinary church seemed unable to give you comfort, and so you turned to Spiritualism.

There are many things about this religion that must give you pause for thought; there are many aspects of it. You come to church week by week and you listen to the various addresses that are given. Sometimes from those is Spirit, sometimes by someone from the earth plane, and sometimes you find that you can agree with what the speaker says and it gives you a good feeling in your mind and when you leave the service you go home and you feel happy about it. Sometimes somebody will speak to you and what they say will make no impression on you whatsoever. Don't ever think that it is a waste of your time coming and listening because, even if you do not agree with the speaker, just remember that you thought differently a few years ago.

Every one of you is changing as you go through life as you gather the experiences of your Earth existence, as you hear different things, as you read different books. Things that you cannot accept today you might be able to accept in a few years time and things, which you thought at one time that you could never see the truth of, you find that you can accept them now. That is the process of growth, of understanding.

We have said before that each one of you is an individual; that you are at an individual stage of your existence. You have come to the earth plane with an individual set of genes and as physically you are different from anyone else upon your plane even so you are different spiritually. But each one of you has got the same opportunity to grow and to learn; to learn the lessons of life and to learn the lessons of Spirit.

Your pathway on Earth will never be straightforward; it will never be easy. You will never find that everything that you do turns out right; but that makes no difference to your development, to your progress. If you make a mistake then you will learn from it; that is the purpose of mistakes. As one of your great men said "If you never make a mistake you will never make anything". May we go back to the simile that we have used so often before, thinking about school and sending you children there, watching their progress through their classes. Just as you would not want you child to sail through their schooling without any effort on their part so it is with you spiritually.

You have to have the experiences of Earth because they are what you came to get! Remember that each one of you chose the life that you are leading now; you did not chose the little details of it but you chose the broad outline. You chose when you would come to Earth, even as you have chosen when you will leave it.

Often we hear you say "Why should my life be so difficult". Look upon it in this way. It is because you need the difficulty, it is because you have got past the kindergaten and the junior stage and you are coming into the senior. You have got to have the bad as well as the good; you have got to have the evil in your world as well as the good. It may seem to you that your earth plane at the moment is full of evil and yet, when you look around your own particular circumstances, when you consider that the people you meet, those you love, those you count as your friends, those who you just meet from time to time, purely by chance, or so it seems. When you look at those you will see the goodness that there is in the human character.

When Jesus walked the earth plane he did not come with power and majesty; he didn't claim to be the Son of God; that was a title that was given to Him afterwards by those who followed Him. He said that He came from the Father; but He also said that the things that He said and did were not of His own, but were of the Spirit within Him, and that Spirit is the same one that manifests in each one of you; that manifests in everything that has life; it is all a part of Spirit.

When we come to give you a little talk we do not come full of theology, we do not want to clog your minds with religious instruction, as it is termed, we just want to help you to think for yourselves, to make up your own minds to decide what you should do and what you shouldn't. That is why you are on the Earth! You are here in order that you may gain the experiences of Earth.

While you are here this is the most important thing in your lives: your living upon Earth, your taking part in the things of Earth. Acquiring material possessions, yes, because they are of the Earth and you have to experience them as well but you have also to remember that you are a Spirit here and now, and that you need the things coming from Spirit to you in order that you may develop fully.

We want you to play your part upon Earth. We want you take part in the activities of Earth; to take your rightful place as a citizen; to play your part in the affairs of your village, town, or city. You cannot cut yourself off from the everyday life of Earth by purely trying to concentrate upon Spirit.

One point which perhaps is worth reminding you of is that that is the reason why so many of the helpers who come from the other side who, when they were on the earth plane themselves lived the life of Nuns, Monks, Hermits or Religious Ascetics. Because they did not have the full experience of the Earth, and Earth matters, and, in contacting you people upon Earth, they are able to live vicariously with you, and through your experiences they gain knowledge and wisdom. It is a two way affair the linking of you with Spirit, and the linking of Spirit with you. You gain by your knowledge of spiritual things; by your knowledge of the continuety of life; but you also give to Spirit: by your actions, by the love which you generate, by the love which you give to those who are around you.

We often say that Spiritualism is very simple; the Gospel of Love. Doing unto others as you would they should do to you. Giving help where it is needed; giving advice when it is asked for; giving love unstintingly but being prepared to stand back and let your fellow human beings make their own mistakes; tread their own pathway; because, by that means, they will grow spiritually and they will develop. You cannot live the life of another person. You cannot understand the life of another person.

Your world today seems to you to be so very terrible. There seems to be so many happenings that make you shudder. There seems to be a breakdown in law; there seems to be a flouting of everything that you consider to be decent, but remember, you only hear what is bad; what is good is completely ignored by so many of your fellow men and women. It is ignored by the Media and it is ignored by your Press. If a thing is bad it makes news and so you hear about it but if a thing is good, if it gets any mention at all, it is just a postscript to the badness. So may we, once again, ask you to be messengers of good. When you find something that is praiseworthy, when you find someone who is doing good deeds, when you think of the love that you can share with your fellow men and women, then speak about it, make it known. Consider it as being news in the same way as when a piece of scandal happens that you are glad to repeat to other people. Do the same with the good things in life.

Over the last few years you have had an opportunity to see goodness at work in the love that has been generated among all peoples for those who have had tragedies on your earth plane. Money cannot buy happiness but it can alleviate some of the suffering and the fact that over the length and breadth of your country, and of the other countries of your western world, help has been given to those who are suffering in China, in Bangladesh, in India, in the other countries of the world; help given to the orphans in Rumania and to the starving in Africa. That is all good; that is all love being made practical. Some of you probably cannot afford very much but, whatever you give, if it is given with love it is enabled to do such a lot to help.

So, as I said at the beginning, we come to you bringing you our love; the love from Spirit. Asking only that you will take it with you when you leave this building and share it with those with whom you come into contact. Give love to all. Even to those whom you consider to be criminals; even to those who commit crimes that seem terrible to you. Day by day you hear of them. Give love to those who commit them. They will find that when they get to the other side they will have to atone for what they have done. You cannot judge them because you cannot get into their minds. You can condemn the crime, but you must give love to the criminal. One of the jibes that they made about Jesus was that He consorted with the poorest and the most vicious in the land. He gave them His love, even to the two thieves who were killed with Him on Calvary.

So, our message to you is very simple. Take love with you, share it with those with whom you come into contact; give hope to those who have no hope for the future; give help where you can and know that everyone is on the same pathway that will eventually lead to God.

Goodnight and God bless you all.