Spiritualist Circle of Light

Your guide to improved life satisfaction


During the lifetime of Emma Hardinge-Britten, certain messages began to reveal common themes. Later, they became known as the Seven Principles of Spirit, as given to Emma Hardinge-Britten. They are attributed to Robert Owen Dale, who was considered a materialist by most, until his conversion to Spiritualism by Mrs. Hayden of Boston.1 The bearer of these tidings was Robert Owen Dale Sr. who brought these tidings to Robert Owen Dale Jr., who was also converted. Seven principles we revealed through her autobiography and other writings.

They are:

     The Fatherhood of God

     The Brotherhood of Man

     The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels

     The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

     Personal Responsibility

     Compensation and Retribution Hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on   Earth

     Eternal progress open to every human soul 

(Byrne, 2010)

     Our first principle is the Fatherhood of God.

Let’s not focus on the term God, because it conjures up something that often leads one to incomprehensibility. Therefore, we are going to make a minor adjustment and rewrite potential doctrine and consider The Fatherhood of Spirit. We feel this is more appropriate.


             Spirit, as defined in the Gnostic writing, The Secret Book of John, is Unity. Spirit is also of no specific quality and is more excellent than how we define God.[1] Spirit is the Source from which all emanate, making us the children of Spirit. The term Father suggests one whom many seek advice from, and Fatherhood suggests one who has offspring. We are the offspring of Spirit, and like children do, we have abandoned the nest in search of our own. Some say we are Spirit having a human experience, and that is exactly what is happening. We are experiencing the phenomenon called life, and like so many who take a trip, we often loose our map. This is why we turn to Father, for guidance and direction.


             Many fathers are the pillar of the family structure. They provide strength, assurance, and guidance. A good father does not do for the child, they instruct. We turn to Spirit, and its many emanations, such as Christ. In the Gnostic teachings, Jesus and Christ are not the same. Jesus was the vessel which Christ occupied. By seeing Christ in this light, we may better understand the message of Christ, particularly the teaching of the Father is in me, as I am in you. Referring again to the Secret Book of John, Christ is an emanation of Spirit and is a light. The pillar of the Fatherhood of Spirit rests within the trinity we know so little about, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


     While many look without for Spirit and guidance, we often forget or don’t know how to look within and bring it forth. There is another emanation sometimes referred to as the Comforter, this is Barbelo, the first emanation.[2] Sometimes she is referred to as Sophia, which means Wisdom. The Secret Book of John tells us Wisdom resides with humankind. For us to experience Wisdom, we must look within. We do this through contemplation and meditation. This seems to always provide the correct answer. We must quiet ourselves, quite our mind in order to hear the voice of Father, the voice of Spirit, the voice of Unity. Unfortunately, many are unaware that they need to bring forth what was discovered within. The only way to do that is to act; to act upon the wisdom revealed to us by the Fatherhood of Spirit, and Wisdom.




Byrne, G. (2010). Modern Spiritualism and the Church of England, 1850-1939. Woodridge, UK: Boydell Press.

Hardringe, E. (1870). Modern American Spiritualism: A Twenty Years Record of the Communion Between Earth and the World of Spirits. New York.: Emma Hardringe.

The Secret Book of John. (1984). In W. Barnstone, The Other Bible (pp. 51-61). New York: HarperCollins.


Image by Free-Stocks Photos from Pixabay.


[1] (The Secret Book of John, 1984)

[2] (The Secret Book of John, 1984)

     Robert Dale Owen, though we are not sure if this is Senior Owen or Junior, was a congressman and the founder of the Smithsonian.[1] In our last presentation, we learned that Senior and Junior Owen were very skeptical of what Spiritualism demonstrated until they attended a séance. The séance is often the primary tool for demonstrating the continuity of life and has been practiced under many labels. In contemporary Spiritualist churches, these public demonstrations are called spirit messages, readings, evidentiary messages, etc. and continues to be called mediumship.


     Spiritualism was not something brought to the United States but something the United States brought to Europe. In this instance, Senior Owen was the contact in Life’s Other Room working through Emma Hardinge. The intended recipient was Owen Junior, though Hardringe is credited with the Seven Spiritual Principles. Our focus is The Brotherhood of Man.


     Spiritualism is not unique in promoting the belief of the continuity of life. Every religion that has ever come into being has promoted some philosophy of the continuance of life. It is this belief that brings us together. The Brotherhood of Man can be interpreted in many different ways, but it comes down to commonalities drawing people together. They are not found in religious doctrine or practice. These common points exist in the beliefs of the individuals. Observations at seances suggests when participants inquire of life in the other rooms, the responses are according to the beliefs of the questioners.[2] This suggests the possibility of a universal foundation of the belief of the continuation of life and that it may very well be as diverse as the life we experience on this side of the veil. Brotherhood of humankind suggests a common link and through this link we have the opportunity to come together.


     The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man taps the underlying current of beliefs if not doctrine. Such terms are not unusual in contemporary practice. Jesus, before being taken into custody tried to impress upon his followers a teaching that left and continues to leave the narrow minded in confusion. The Father is in I, or Jesus. Here is the Fatherhood of God demonstrated. Jesus then tells us; I am in you. A demonstration of the Brotherhood of Humankind. Through the Fatherhood of God do we form a Brotherhood.


     In another lesson, this time by Paul in the second chapter of Galatians. He and Peter agree that the Good News is for All. There should be no separation between the denominations of the developing church, nor should there be a separation between contemporary religions either.


     We have been told this three times. We have been told by Jesus, the Father is in him and he is in us. Paul has told us there is no division in denomination, and Robert Dale Owen Sr. from one of Life’s Other Rooms has also told us, we are a Brotherhood.


     As we experience life, we may find this difficult to believe because ours is a divided culture. This has always been the way of those who lack awareness. When we learn to integrate what were once distractions, we begin to experience life in a different state of being. We begin to see the common threads that unite us. We no longer view the world as divisive but enter a new awakening. They called this being born-again because with the integration of the sensual, the experiential is forever changed.



Chapin, D. A. (2000). Exploring Other Worlds: Margaret Fox, Elisha Kane and the Antebellum Culture of Curiosity. Ann Arbor, MI: Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company.

Mishlove, J. (1975). The Roots of Consciousness: Psychic Liberation through History. New York: Random House Pub.

Image by Gerd Altman from Pixabay

[1] (Mishlove, 1975)

[2] (Chapin, 2000)

The Communion of Spirits and Ministry of Angels

     When Spiritualism was forming, there was no structure, framework, or plan. It was birthed through the public demonstration of communication with something other than human beings to a society going through social changes, a thirst for education, sensationalism, and especially equality.[1] The country was ripe for change and change came to them in the form something phenomenal. Just as Christ reintroduced seekers to something forgotten, so Spiritualism reintroduced those seekers to something forgotten. The idea of communicating with the so-called dead was not something they discovered, but rediscovered. In the process, they also discovered a line of communication with those ‘other beings’ often referred to as angels.


      The third principle given to Emma Hardringe-Britten is, ‘The communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels.


     To commune is to share. When we commune with those in Life’s Other Rooms, we are sharing as much with them as they are with us. Typically, we think of communication with them as short missives of guidance towards improving the harmony of our lives, there’s so much more. When we return to the idea of the Fatherhood of God, we may find that God does not seek servants, nor does God seek warriors, because God seeks companionship.[2] This was passed on to us by Andrew Jackson Davis, who is said to be one of the framers of Spiritualism. It's not that he directs us towards companionship with God, but that he relays to us information received during communion with those in Life’s Other Rooms and those we refer to as angels.


     Often, our first experience with Spiritualism is through the public séance, but what about afterwards? What draws people into our expression of the religion of Spiritualism? Is it the desire for balance and then discovering that harmony is the ultimate form of our creator?[3] If it's not, it should be.


     Much can be learned through communing with those in Life’s Other Rooms and those we call angels, and they too occupy one of Life’s Other Rooms. Arthur Conan Doyle tells us the lifting of the veil began with those such as Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, and Emmanuel Swedenborg.[4] Before this can take place, we must first experience the most fundamental part of Spiritualism, the public séance and then seek out anything that remotely represents communication with souls and intangible beings until we find this to be unsatisfying.[5] Only then are we ready for the life-changing wisdom those other beings are wanting to impart.



Chapin, D. A. (2000). Exploring Other Worlds: Margaret Fox, Elisha Kane and the Antebellum Culture of Curiosity. Ann Arbor, MI: Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company.

Davis, A. J. (1851). The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Universe (Vol. 2 The Teacher). Boston, MA: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co.

Morita, S. J. (1995). Modern Spiritualism and reform in America. University of Oregon.


Image by Murat Ilgarlar from Pixabay.

[1] (Chapin, 2000)

[2] (Davis, 1851)

[3] (Davis, 1851)

[4] (Morita, 1995)

[5] (Davis, 1851)

The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul

     Like so many other writings about spirituality, we are given the impression we are moving away from something. We began our exploration of Emma Hardinge’s spiritual principles with the Fatherhood of God or Spirit. We began with unity. Then came the Brotherhood of Man, or Humanity, unity of a different sort. Then the Communion of Spirits or Souls and the Ministry of Angels. Again, unity of a different sort. We continue with the next principle, which is a unity of still, a different sort.


The Continuous Existence of the Human Soul.


     The idea of the continuity of life is not new. While we would like to say this belief has been with us forever, we would be incorrect. We can trace the potential development of the belief to the Neanderthals, possibly 60,000 to 30,000 B.C., and only through the remnants of artifacts discovered in graves.[1] Later, with the theory that those responsible for the cave paintings in France, Portugal, and other locations including open-air carvings, suggest they may have been the forerunners of the Shaman. This is based on what are believed to be representations of entopic symbols, common to all who meditate.[2] The foremost responsibility of the Shaman was communicating with souls.[3] This is the earliest possible indication of the continuance of life, but more familiar indications come later.


     Every religion upon the globe is couched in some form of afterlife, but we are only concerned with the three main cultures of antiquity, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Mesoamerica. The development of the belief was most likely based on observations of nature,[4] the sun rises and sets or is birthed at dawn and dies at the end of the day only to be rebirthed. Life appears to die in the cold months with the withering of plants and was reborn in warmer months. In Egypt, and possibly other cultures as well, the human has three aspects, the Ba, the Ka, and the body. The Ba is the soul[5] and has the ability to move about after the body is used up. The Ka is the blended animating force from the mother and father, the spirit that animates the body.[6] The body requires the Spirit and Soul in order to become whole. The Mesopotamians saw life as a spiritual experience and provided a means for their loved ones to continue in their social status after departing this room.[7] After transitioning into one of Life’s Other Rooms, those in this room continued to consult them.[8] This practice developed later for the Egyptians but was part of the culture of the Incas of Mesoamerica. In this part of the globe, family bonds played an important role. It was not unusual for a family to house the remains of those who transitioned into one of Life’s Other Rooms.[9] Once a year, they celebrated by removing the bones from graves, cleaning them, dressing them, and dancing with them, and often sought advice from them.[10]


     The belief in the continuity of life is probably as old as civilization. In contemporary practices, we take comfort in the idea of heaven, nirvana, and paradise even hell. Within Spiritualism, we are comforted by the demonstration of the belief, through the medium, we are able to continue our relationships with those who have transitioned from here to another room, unity of a different sort. As the ancient Egyptians would say, no one departs dead, they depart alive.[11] For Andrew Jackson Davis tells us, it is no different than departing a depot. We are the same when we arrive as we were when we departed.[12]



Barrett, C. E. (2007). Was dust their food and clay their bread? Grave goods the Mesopotamian afterlife, and the liminal role of Inana/Ishtar. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, 7(1), 7-65.

Davis, A. J. (1851). The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Universe (Vol. 2 The Teacher). Boston, MA: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co.

Hinnells, J. R. (2007). Handbook of Ancient Religions. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Poo, M.-c. (Ed.). (2009). Rethinking Ghosts in World Religions. Boston, MA: Brill.

Rosso, A. (2014). Mummification in the ancient and new world. Acta Medico-Historica Adriatica: AMHA [Acta Med Hist Adriat], 12(2), 329-70.

The Trustees of the British Museum. (2010). Journey through the afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. (J. H. Taylor, Ed.) London: British Museum Press.

Whitley, D. S. (2009). Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit: The Origin of Creativity and Belief. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.


Image by Gerd Altman from Pixabay.

[1] (Hinnells, 2007)

[2] (Whitley, 2009)

[3] (Whitley, 2009)

[4] (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)

[5] (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)

[6] (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)

[7] (Barrett, 2007)

[8] (Poo, 2009)

[9] (Rosso, 2014)

[10] (Rosso, 2014)

[11] (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)

[12] (Davis, 1851)

Personal Responsibility

     The next principle distilled from Emma Hardinge-Britten's experience is one of the driving forces of the development of Spiritualism. Personal Responsibility.


     Many of our Spiritualist churches follow the teachings of Christianity, which is natural. Christianity is the doctrine we are most familiar with and provides a good foundation. There is one fundamental teaching that Spiritualists disagree with. The idea of asking for forgiveness from an all-powerful God, or deathbed confessions.[1] This concept removes something Spiritualists consider valuable, responsibility. The foundation of any religion should be concerned with a person’s ultimate value.[2] For the Spiritualist, and certain other religious practices, that value rests with a person’s deeds.


     Accountability is something many consider to be of value. Accountability is believed to end certain conditions we experience. Suffering is something many experience and certain religious practices seek to resolve. There are many ways to relieve this condition, one method is to embrace our suffering, become satisfied with it.[3] However, we must first recognize what causes suffering. Certain emotional and cognitive conditions such as hatred, lust, and ignorance may be linked to suffering.[4] If we were to examine these conditions, we may find they have a root cause or a common thread. The common denominator is the individual, and if we were to invoke logic, we will discover we are responsible for the underlying conditions we experience.


     The Gnostics, though their membership varied, were focused on the hidden truth,[5] or the mystery of the hidden God. Gnosis is about knowledge and Logos, or the word in action. Only through knowledge does one truly find salvation. For with knowledge, one may gain understanding, and it is through understanding does one become aware of themselves and of Nature as an expression of the Divine. Through this awareness, important discoveries occur. These discoveries are the driving force of those who move beyond the mundane or the common place.


     One of the teachings of Buddha was to, ‘work out your salvation with diligence.[6] In other words, deliver yourself, presumably from suffering. The Gnostics sought hidden truth, salvation, or deliverance. This points toward one of Spiritualism’s foundation stones, ‘encourage the individual to investigate on their own without the overbearing beliefs of traditional religions.’[7] All of these sources point towards the same direction, personal responsibility.


     We can only become accountable after the exploration of self. This is not an easy task and not one for those who lack courage. Meditation leads towards an intimacy with self, nature, and others. It provides an avenue towards awareness, cleansing, and awakening to the Divine within.[8] This is where the Principle of Personal Responsibility takes us, towards an awareness, a cleansing, healing, and the ability to commune with those in Life’s Other Rooms, angels, the Divine Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man.



Bahm, A. (1964). The World's Living Religions: A searching comparison of the faiths of East and West. Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Chapin, D. A. (2000). Exploring Other Worlds: Margaret Fox, Elisha Kane and the Antebellum Culture of Curiosity. Ann Arbor, MI: Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company.

Churton, T. (1987). The Gnostics. New York: Barnes & Noble.

Das, L. S. (1998). The joy of meditation and the natural great perfection. In A. Rapaport, Buddhism in America. Boston: Tuttle Publishing.

Das, S. L. (1998). Dzogchen: The innate great perfection. In A. Rappaport, Buddhism in America. Boston: Tuttle Publishing.

Leifer, R. M. (1998). Buddhism and psychotherapy. In A. Rappaport, Buddhism in American. Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing.

Morita, S. J. (1995). Modern Spiritualism and reform in America. University of Oregon.


Image by Gerd Altman from Pixabay.

[1] (Morita, 1995)

[2] (Bahm, 1964)

[3] (Leifer, 1998)

[4] (Leifer, 1998)

[5] (Churton, 1987)

[6] (Das, 1998)

[7] (Chapin, 2000)

[8] (Das L. S., 1998)

Compensation and Retribution

     Our sixth principle from Emma Hardinge-Britten’s encounter with Robert Dale Owen is Compensation and Retribution Hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on Earth. This seems to be a bit long. Perhaps we can shorten it to, Compensation for all deeds done on Earth.


     On the surface, this appears to be the same as the Law of Karma, which is the Natural Law of Cause and Effect. Compensation and retribution are values given to the cause or effect relative to accepted norms. The same can be said for good or evil deeds done on Earth.


     The Hermetic Principle of Causation puts it this way. For every cause, there is an effect, and for every effect, there is a cause. To say an event happens by chance is merely the inability to recognize the Natural Law being demonstrated.[1] The deeds we do are the causes to the effects we experience. The Law of Karma merely implies the effects of our deeds follow us beyond what we interpret as life, meaning this life and the afterlife. When it comes to reincarnation, it is the consciousness that moves from vehicle to vehicle.[2] This suggests it is the consciousness that is the soul, and the deeds done during a lifetime determine the conditions for when the soul descends again.[3] If this is the compensation and retribution being referred to, it’s hard to tell. This means we’ll have to resort to something else.


     Andrew Jackson Davis, in his The Great Harmonia, describes the journey to the spiritual realms in this fashion. ‘The passage from this sphere into the next is no more a change to the individual than a journey from America to England, excepting the almost complete emancipation consequent upon the change, from rudimental misdirection and earthly imperfections.’[4] He is not the only one to suggest this, John Newbrough, in Oahspe, offers a similar suggestion. In this account, we enter a realm similar to the one departed from, and we move through each subsequent realm on our journey towards the Father.[5] Some are never the wiser. In the Great Harmonia and Oahspe, the responsibility of deeds performed follow us from one realm to the next.


     In most religious doctrines, the deeds committed during a lifetime are the determining factor for a future life, whether that is one of eternity or of continuation. In any practice, the idea is to encourage us to act responsibly towards our fellow beings, whether they are of a different belief, ethnicity, or species. In the teachings of Jesus, this is reduced to the ‘Golden Rule,’ which is one of the nine Principles of Spiritualism in the United States, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ The Golden Rule of the fifth century B.C. is, ‘a man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do to him.[6] Sogyal Rinpoche suggests imagining another as a version of yourself. They to desire to be happy and avoid suffering. They too may experience sadness, helplessness, and fear as you.[7] Within Spiritualism, it has been determined that if we practice kindness and unselfishness, our spiritual growth will become much easier.[8] If we were to do this, there would be no need to concern ourselves with compensation or retribution in our afterlife.



Bey, H. (1961). My Experiences Preceding 5000 Burials. The Coptic Fellowship of America.

Davis, A. J. (1851). The Great Harmonia; Being a Philosophical Revelation of the Natural, Spiritual and Celestial Universe (Vol. 2 The Teacher). Boston, MA: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co.

Doyle, A. C. (1975). History of Spiritualism: Volumes 1 and 2. New York: Arno Press.

Newbrough, J. B. (1912). Oahspe (3 ed.). London: The Kosmon Press.

Newton, J. F. (1914). The Builders: A Story and study of Masonry. Cedar Rapids, IA: The Torch Press.

Rinpoche, S. (1992). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. (P. G. Harvey, Ed.) San Francisco: Harper.

Three Initiates. (1912). The Kybalion. Chicago: The Yogi Publication Society Masonic Temple.

Image by Whisperinglane ASMR from Pixabay.

[1] (Three Initiates, 1912)

[2] (Rinpoche, 1992)

[3] (Bey, 1961)

[4] (Davis, 1851)

[5] (Newbrough, 1912)

[6] (Newton, 1914)

[7] (Rinpoche, 1992)

[8] (Doyle, 1975)

Eternal Progress

     Our last Principle of Spirit is Eternal Progress is Open to Every Human Soul.


     In some of the old cultures, spirit and soul are not synonymous. For instance, the ancient Egyptians taught the soul is the essence or distillation of experience, or the personality, while the spirit is the animating force contributed to by the parents.[1] Much of what we term occult writings support this idea. Another explanation would be the consciousness of the individual continues.[2] While this application is often connected to reincarnation, it doesn’t have to be. Eternal progress, however, does suggest this is the case.


     Progress suggests some form of evolution. Many of the so-called pagan practices concur, or perhaps it is we who concur with them. One teaching suggests we move through seven rings or dimensions or layers. The upper most ring is where the Spirit or Divine resides. We may choose to say we are birthed from the Divine or are emanations of the Divine. For many, this was represented by the sun. When birthed, we move through the different layers obtaining greed, ignorance, etc. until arriving at the outer most ring, referred to as that of Saturn, where we enter chaos.[3] From this state, we must rise again, as though finding our way back from whence we came. This suggests a pattern of ascending only to descend once more. Many Eastern religious philosophies suggest this pattern.


     Observe nature and become students of spirituality.[4] This is how our earliest belief systems developed, through the observations of nature. Archeologists discovered the Neanderthals, which existed almost 200,000 years ago, buried their dead in a fetal position, oriented east to west.[5] Perhaps this was in response to the birth, maturation, death, and rebirth of the sun. The moon goes through its phases of change or evolution from new moon to new moon. The Egyptians based their belief upon these and other observations of nature.[6] Perhaps this is what gave way to the development of reincarnation? The belief can be found in the earliest Egyptian traditions, as far back as 1500-1300 B.C.[7]


     While the idea of the soul’s progress appears to be obvious, we have to question this. If we are evolving, towards what is our final destination? This is what many who subscribe to this idea ask. Eastern philosophy, and many others teach our final goal is reunification with the Spirit or the Divine. The assumption is that we came from the Divine and must find our way back to the Divine. However, when we gaze upon Nature for guidance, we do not see the young returning to their parents. Why should we? The young continue forward, which is what we do as well. We move forward so that others may continue. Some say we are moving towards perfection, only to choose to return.[8]


     If we use nature as our comparison, then yes, we are progressing. All we have to do is gaze upon the past. Our immediate past may not reveal much on an individual basis. If we look at our past as a collective, there are definite signs of progress. Progress is change, and there have been plenty of them in our lifetime, as individuals and as a collective. However, we no longer care about the collective, and only care for ourselves. Possibly, that is the goal we are moving towards. Not to come together as a single entity, but to see life as a vast creature lumbering inevitably forward. Thus, eternal progress is open to every human being.



Halifax, J. (1998). Being with the dying. In A. Rapaport, Buddhism in America. Boston, MA: Tuttle Publishing.

Hall, M. P. (1928). The Secret Teachings of all Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy. H.S. Crocker Co., Inc.

Redgrove, H. S. (1920). Bygone Beliefs: Being a Series of Excursions in the Byways of Thought. London: William Rider & Son, Ltd.

Rinpoche, S. (1992). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. (P. G. Harvey, Ed.) San Francisco: Harper.

The Trustees of the British Museum. (2010). Journey Through the Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. (J. H. Taylor, Ed.) London: British Museum Press.

Time Life Books. (1991). Earth Energies. (J. J. Ward, Ed.) Richmond, VA: Time Life Books.

Wegner, J. (2006). Beneath the mountain of Anubis. Expedition, 48(2), 15-19.

Image by Steve Buissine from Pixabay.

[1] (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)

[2] (Rinpoche, 1992)

[3] (Hall, 1928)

[4] (Redgrove, 1920)

[5] (Time Life Books, 1991)

[6] (The Trustees of the British Museum, 2010)

[7] (Wegner, 2006)

[8] (Halifax, 1998)

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