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Welcome to HAVANT SPIRITUALIST CHURCH

Thought for the week

Part of the religion of Spiritualism is philosophy     (the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience), and it is here that we will post our thoughts as a basis for your discussion or contemplation. Please read the articles, but don't take our word as the truth - think about it - find your truth.

Where were you on Wednesday evening? If you weren't at our Alternative Evening, you missed out on another lively, meaningful discussion. You ask the questions, and our guest speaker will get the ball rolling – everyone can take part, so you get the answers you have been seeking. See our Speakers page for dates and details.

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RELIGIOUS OR SPIRITUAL

Is there a difference?

I think there is. A person can be religious, and spiritual; or just spiritual, without the trappings of religion. But I believe there are some who are religious, without an ounce of spirituality.

It is the last group that cause me the most concern, for it is they who profess their righteousness, but with no compassion nor care for others. These are the ones who hunted witches, who instigated inquisitions, who divide communities. These are the people who, in the name of the Lord, have carried out genocide, religious purging, and terrorist atrocities.

But not all make the headlines or history books, some are just quiet individuals who honestly believe their actions and beliefs are of what a caring and loving god would approve. These are the ones who are indignant that ‘things’ are not being done, and that ‘someone’ should be doing them - but they won’t or can’t do them, and it’s not their job …

I believe that those who have a more spiritual outlook will always be closer to God than any religious zealot.

For Spiritualists, we only need our Seven Principles to guide us. #2 The Brotherhood of Man - surely it is the responsibility of all of us to look out for, and speak up for others - our spiritual brethren. #3 Personal Responsibility - you are responsible for your own actions - or inactions. Don’t pass the blame. #4 Compensation and Retribution - following on from #3, you will be rewarded for your actions - karma operates on all levels.

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BROTHERHOOD

Have you ever had one of those evenings with friends, where you are sat around, with no particular conversation going on, but everyone is chatting and talking about whatever subject floats to the surface?

Sometimes our Alternative evenings are like that. Last week, nobody had a particular subject to question, there were no strong points of view that goaded discussions in to life, but there was still a buzz of interest, of like minds, of people wanting to join in fellowship.

It is that feeling of fellowship, the bringing together of Spiritualists that gives us our Second Principle – The Brotherhood of Man. Without 'brotherhood' you may be a very lonely soul. To be ultra-gender non-specific we would have to speak of the sibling-hood of homo-sapiens – but that is a totally ridiculous place to be, and the Brotherhood of Man is perfectly well understood, and sufficiently well defined.

The SNU (Spiritualists' National Union) says: The Brotherhood of Man

Because we all come from the same universal Life source we are, in effect, one large family. This means that all mankind is part of a brotherhood. A brotherhood is a community for mutual support and comfort; we are all members of the same divine family. We have to understand the needs of other individuals in order to assist them as part of our service to each other. As we learn to give, so must we also learn to receive, thereby achieving the necessary balance for our lives.

It is times when we are together that the feeling of brotherhood is strong. We all have that sense of belonging, of being a community together. It is at other times, when we are apart, alone from the support of like minds, away from those in our 'tribe' who will give unconditionally to keep us going, that we could easily waiver. When we are alone and faced with opposing views, or people who will not support us, it is then that we need to draw on those memories, strengths, and the knowledge that we always have our Brotherhood behind us.

It is something that we can get by being members (of the Spiritualist Church, or SNU). One of the questions often asked when joining is, 'what do I get out of it?' The answer is, of course, physically, virtually nothing. But the more relevant, and brotherly question should be, 'what can I give to the church?'

So often people join an organisation for what they can get out of it. This is reasonable, as we would expect there to be some benefit to being 'in the club'. But there are few times when what we pay – the membership fee – is large enough to cover half of what we receive. Like all organisations the Church relies upon what the members give to be able to do its basic tasks.

And, the best things you can give are free – your time, your support, your love, your fellowship.

Oh, and, of course – money. I say that as a discussion point, because, at the end of the day money is just a form of energy used within the organisation to offset debt, expenses, maintenance of buildings and contents, rent, rates, water rates – all the usual items involved in running a business – which is all part of having somewhere to do some of our 'brotherhoodly' stuff.

What you get out of being part of our brotherhood depends very much on what you put in – which includes the conversations we have on Alternative evenings. So come along to our special Wednesdays, bring a friend, bring your questions, but most of all bring an open mind.

We look forward to seeing you.

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MEDIUM or PSYCHIC

Quite often, in the media, we hear talk of someone being 'a psychic', or 'a medium', or even 'a psychic medium'. What does that mean? Is there a difference, or are they all the same?

In short, there is a difference, they are not the same. Our discussion on Wednesday 21 February was led by Jenny Venebles.

Let's start with one who is 'a psychic'. It's probably better to describe them having psychic abilities, or, of being psychic.

A psychic reading is one where the reader will gather their information locally. They will read from the sitter's aura. The auric field we all have, changes with our moods, health, wellbeing, and personal situation. The skilled reader will be able to tell much about the sitter's concerns, and worries. The reader's careful questioning will add detail, and colour, to the picture gained from the aura.

Another psychic tool is psychometry. This is where a reader will pick up on the layers of vibrations that have been instilled in to an object over time. This could be a personal item like a watch or brooch. Old photographs can provide hidden clues, both through psychometry and through the situation portrayed in the image.

Once our psychic reader has gathered all the available information, they can, by using their own 'life experience' and intuition, make predictions, or assumptions, or even guesses, as to what they should tell the sitter, or what they think the sitter wants to hear. A psychic reading may include a prediction for the sitter's future.

A medium, whether trained and officially registered with a body such as the SNU (Spiritualists' National Union), or one who is aware of their own abilities, should not be using any of the information that the psychic reader is using. A medium receives their information direct from a person, or may be animal, who has passed to the spirit realms – whose life in the physical world has ended. The only information they need from the sitter is to confirm, or deny, that they recognise what is being given, and who the spirit person is.

Part of what is expected from the medium is evidence. For the message content to be properly understood, or believed, there must be some information that confirms the identity of the source. This could be the persons physical description, as presented to the medium, clothing, or a shared memory. A medium's reading should not normally include a prediction. A medium cannot summon a person in the spirit realms to make contact.

A medium will get their information in various ways. Clairaudience – clear hearing - is when a medium hears the message, not necessarily as sounds, but in the part of the nervous system that transmits heard sounds. Clairsentience – clear understanding – is when a medium feels emotions, illness, injuries, may be smells associated with the spirit person.

There are other types of mediumship, such as trance, and physical, but we won't discuss them here.

A 'psychic medium' must, therefore, be one who uses both aspects in their readings. A medium (acting as a medium for the spirit realm to communicate) may be able to read psychically, but a psychic reader cannot read mediumistically.

At Havant church, all the mediums are trained and registered with the SNU. If you have any questions about readings or mediumship in general, or to arrange a reading, please contact a committee member.

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GOD, GOOD, EVIL

The third Alternative evening of the year, 7 February, was lead by Kim John Webb, our guest speaker from Southampton.

The session opened with a discussion around our First Principle, The Fatherhood of God. Who is God? What does He – or She – mean to you? Many Spiritualists were brought up in faiths, or belief systems other than the religion they now follow. This means that their initial view of what God means for them may have changed. Their 'previous God' may have been an old man looking down from the sky, surrounded by angels, and dishing out vengeance and forgiveness in equal doses. Access to this God would have been filtered through, prophets or may be a son. Direct access was not encouraged. Others may have had The Great Spirit, the pervading power of nature, as their creative force. Whichever religion they followed, their God or gods were defined for them.

As Spiritualists, we are more comfortable with our God, for we can visualise a form that fits with our own view, with our understanding of the universal creative force – and we don't have our contact with that force filtered, we can go direct to the source. Of course, their 'previous God' is really the same as their 'current God' – because whichever religion they are following, the creative force is the same.

What does your God look like?

The discussion flowed on. The Big Bang Theory, the creative / destructive power of stellar super novas, alien life, Star Trek /Wars, ethnic diversity, dragons, unicorns, the subjects rolled in to each other.

Good or evil? Can a person be born in to this life with an evil personality, or is a person's goodness, or badness, a result of their life experience and environment? This subject is topical, as the 1993 murder of two year old James Bulger is being reviewed on television. This debate ended with neither side agreeing – perhaps a longer discussion is needed. Peace, as always, was restored with a cup of tea.

Is every baby born innocent and pure, sullied only by their experience? What do you think?

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DEVELOPMENT

The speaker for last Wednesday's Alternative Evening (24/01/2018) was Marilyn Webb, and she led a discussion about Spiritualism being an honest and simple religion, and development is a simple and honest process. We will continue with her topic ...

'You can only communicate with those beyond the veil if you are the seventh son, of a seventh son.' Or so some would say. Others would say that the whole thing is all nonsense.

But we are Spiritualists, and we know different.

There is nothing secret, no hidden agenda, in our religion. Our fourth principle is, 'The continuous existence of the human soul' – our spirit continues after the death of our physical body; and our seventh principle states, 'Eternal progress is open to every human soul' – that we all can advance in wisdom and love.

We all have the ability to contact spirit; to some it comes easier than others, but if you truly have the desire you can develop the skills.

How have you developed? Are you getting support from your friends and family, or are they discouraging, belittling your efforts? Are you achieving the success you are hoping for?

The only way to get answers is to ask. Ask at our church, we will find an answer for you. Ask yourself, sit quietly and you will get an answer. Ask for spirit help, wait and be open for answer – it may not be as words whispered in your mind, but a synchronous event that will bring a 'light bulb' moment. Results are proportional to effort. The more pure your approach, and practice, the better the results. By attending a development circle with skilled leaders you will find out about yourself, where you are on your spiritual journey, and who is the real you. This, in turn, will light your way.

You are not alone in your quest, we are all progressing – just at different speeds. Remember, don't worry about the final destination – enjoy the journey.

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LOVE

On Wednesday 10 January, we held our first Alternative evening of 2018. The guest speaker was Bill Roberts.

Bill's subject for the evening's discussion was Love. Not just the close family love we are all aware of, and hopefully that we share, but the unconditional, universal love that is a whole lot more difficult to understand, and to give.

Love can conquer all. We've all heard that, it's all very romantic, but is it true?

I suppose we'd have to define Love. The dictionary says, 'a strong feeling of affection'. Not very enlightening, but I think the relevant part is 'affection'.

Showing affection to family is not a problem. Normally we are kind, helpful, considerate, all the usual 'loving' things that we do every day.

But what about the person sat next to you on the bus, the person stood next to you in the supermarket? How do you love these people? A smile, a nod, reaching a can from the high shelf, waiting for them to go first, holding a door.

The beggar in the High Street, what about him? Throw a few pence in his hat, or how about fetching a coffee and sandwich from MacDonalds? A bit more difficult showing this love-thing to this dirty, smelly, sad person. Could you manage a smile?

Driving home, a man in a Range Rover cuts across you in traffic, you toot your horn, he flips you the bird. How do you love this guy? Hmm. Difficult.

Or the person who hits your wife, rapes your daughter, murders your mother, bombs your country? Darned near impossible to love these people, surely?

As Spiritualists, we strive to give unconditional love, other religions do, too. It is not easy. Our society does not really incorporate love on that level. We avoid looking at strangers in the bus queue, we don't make eye contact with the Big Issue seller, we feel uncomfortable if a passer-by smiles at us. We hate the drivers who cut us up, the aggressive, the criminal, the monster.

Spiritualists consider love to be an energy, like all thoughts. So, one way to send love is as a simple thought. It is not difficult. That smile you give so freely is a thought put into action is it not? That eye contact is another thought put into action. If we think of love, that is all we have to do, the rest follows naturally.

Bill's desire for global love (not the hippy, free love) is great, and as humans, it is an ideal we should aim for, to try and spread a little love as we go about our lives. As he says, you can send out loving thoughts, even if the people don't think they want them. They'll never know – but you will.

Let love be a habit. You may never perfect it, but trying is good.

 

 

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