BRDNSKY and Spiritualist Circle of Light

Your guide to improved life satisfaction

Spiritualism

It's not about talking to the dead. It's about exploring the continuity of Life.

New articles appear at the top of the page.

Spiritualist Declaration of Principles: We Believe that the Phenomena of Nature, both Physical and Spiritual, are the Expression of Infinite Intelligence

     There are nine Spiritualist Declaration of Principles. This is principle two. We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.

     We’ve addressed the idea of beliefs, but what is phenomena? Phenomena is events witnessed by us. Nature is a conglomeration of events occurring simultaneously. When we considered Infinite, we ascertained through Anaximander that it is beginning or a continuous beginning.  Nature is continuously in a state of renewal, making it infinite. Expression is often connected to behavior, which is considered to be the expression of emotions. We say this because of the implied relationship between emotions and behavior by psychologists.  This allows us to suggest that Nature expresses the behavior of Infinite Intelligence. Behavior suggests a level of intelligence, which comes back to the idea of Infinite Intelligence being alive and not just words used to express an abstract idea.

     The physical behavior of Nature is what we witness, but what about the unseen aspect? The early Egyptians identify spirit as being the animating force known as ka.  In modern vernacular, spirit has come to be a catchall for anything remotely related to the Divine or metaphysics, including becoming interchangeable with soul. Archie Bahm directs us to the Latin Spiritus, which means breath.  He also states that many cultures had similar words. We associate breath with life, connecting spirit with the life experience, making us students of life.

     Another way of seeing this is that the expression of Nature is movement and repose.  These are Nature’s fundamental aspects, commonly referred to as male and female, active and receptive.  These terms become physical, being active, and spiritual, being receptive. While contemplating this, a thought was provided. Spirit is the active principle and soul the receptive principle. According to ancient teaching, spirit is the animating force. Spirit and soul may be the unity referred to in the Gnostic writing, The Secret Book of John. They are separate and not. Theirs is a subtle relationship.

     The Chaldeans believed Nature was the expression of the Divine.  We believe this to be true, though we use different words to express this, the meaning remains the same. We may venture further and say that because we are also expressions of Nature, we are also of the Divine, and because we are of the Divine, we contain the Divine and are representative of the Divine. Just as we resemble our parents.


References
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.
Kelly, E. (1893). The Stone of the Philosophers. In E. Kelly, The Alchemical Writings of Edward Kelly (pp. 1-50). London: James Elliot & Co.
Ninot, G., Fortes, M., & Delingnieres, D. (2005). Dynamics of self-esteem in adults over a 6-month period: An exploratory study. Journal of Psychology, 139(4), 315-30.
Pike, A. (1871). Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
Rosale, D. (2007). Ancient Egypt. In J. R. Hinnels, Handbook of Ancient Religions. New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Gospel of Thomas. (1984). In W. Barnstone, The other Bible. New York: Harper Collins.
The Pre-Socratics. (1998). In L. P. Pojman, Classics of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Image by Mikhail Y from Pixabay.


Spiritualist Principles of Declaration: We Believe in Infinite Intelligence


     Within Spiritualism there are Declaration of Principles. We hold these to be the solemn foundation of our beliefs. When experienced they help direct us on our path. Not everyone interprets these in the same fashion. We don’t expect you to interpret them in the fashion they will be presented. Many of us need a place to build from and perhaps this can be your cornerstone. How we interpret often changes from one understanding into another, we can only imagine the same will be for you.

     We believe in Infinite Intelligence.

     We begin with a belief. Beliefs are transient because they are often based on opinions, desires, and values. Nothing about them is a fact, though they may be based on the interpretation of facts, they are not factual. Infinite, to some means never ending, no beginning and no end. This may be why the term Infinite Intelligence is taken to imply God is never-ending. The Greek philosopher Anaximander was the first to use the term infinity in connection with the Divine.  He asserted that the source was of a different quality than the elements. That source was called Infinite. He also describes the Infinite, not as being endless, but as beginning.  What makes this so fascinating are the many teachings suggesting the ever-present. It's not about living in the present but existing in the present.


     Now we come to the matter of intelligence. In our Western culture the dominant interpretation of intelligence is cognitive, or how smart a person is. Intelligent people know this isn’t true. Theories about intelligence range from cognitive abilities to social and emotional intelligence and include adaptability. Clearly, intelligence is an abstract concept, meaning that it only exists in theory because there is no agreeable means of measuring. This leaves intelligence as being a discovery.  What has this to do with God?

     God also exists as an abstract phenomenon, just as intelligence, infinity, mind, and a host of other ideas that may never achieve substance in a recognizable fashion. However, there is something they all have in common, experience or an experiential quality. Infinity, if we accept Anaximander’s description, as being a beginning, and interpret intelligence as discovery, then we may also accept experience as the only means of qualification. This also suggests Infinite Intelligence is not something existing outside of us but must also be an experience which can only exist within. After we experience the Infinite Intelligence, the belief gives away, but not to fact. The belief in Infinite Intelligence gives way to a knowing, which becomes an abstract knowing.

References
Eris, B. (2008). Intelligence: An analysis of the American experience for the perspective of critical theory. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 8(1), 79-87.
Pojman, L. P. (1998). Classics of Philosophy. New York: Oxford University.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay.


Empathy

     What comes to mind when you hear the word empathy? Does sharing and understanding come to mind? How about creating space within to accept another? If any of these came to mind, you may want to get yourself checked. You are thinking like a psychology researcher. These are some general understandings or descriptions of what empathy is.[1]


     Empathy deals with emotions. In order to experience empathy towards another, we have to be engaged with them on an emotional level.[2] When we experience empathy, it is not we that are exerting any influence. The person we empathize with is influencing us.[3] From an energetic position, we are participating through female energy. We are receptive to another. We are allowing them to fill us. The person we empathize with exerts male energy. They are initiating contact with us and we are open to receiving it. When we become emotionally aware of another, we are in a receptive mode. We are also communicating with them. Communication is an exchange of information. If there is no exchange, then we are being oppressed. At the same time, if we are unable to separate our emotions from theirs, we have surrendered ourselves. Empathy is the ability to experience the emotions of another through our emotional and cognitive faculties.[4] When successfully done, we know which emotions are ours and which are not.


     Empathy can be thought of as a non-verbal language.[5] The communication typically occurs just below the threshold of what we call consciousness. This level of information transfer transpires through mirror neurons in our brain. A couple of things to consider. There are more neural pathways connecting the emotional part of the brain to the cognitive areas than any other parts.[6] The highest concentration of mirror neurons lay in the Broca center, or the areas tied to communication.[7] These neurons activate matching patterns in the brain.[8] In a sense, they mimic the information received. This is how couples who have been together for a number of years are able to know what the other is thinking and can anticipate their spouse’s reactions better. Again, this communication occurs beneath the conscious threshold. Those who are more aware are able to move beyond a sense of knowing to a sense of understanding.


     For a more involved level of communication to occur, participants must be emotionally engaged. For this to occur we must participate in the role of life. This means social activity, conversation, and the courage to reveal ourselves. For communication to occur, we must not only be willing to converse, we must be willing to comprehend. Verbal communication requires us to listen. Communication through emotions requires us to be open and at ease. In this arena, deception is difficult. Verbally, we promote falsehoods convincingly because we infuse what we say through expressions of our emotions and behavior. Our behavior is a distraction from the emotional content. Think of it as going through the motions. Act properly, and no one will be the wiser. This is not the case when communicating through emotions. They tend to be honest because it is difficult to mask dishonesty. Difficult, but not impossible.


     Bonds between people tend to be emotional. Trust is an intellectual expression of a feeling or emotion. We tend to define feelings as nuances of emotion. Intellectually, we try to categorize them, but they are as individual as the person experiencing them. Thus, anger, joy, and love are generalizations. There is no way to separate one from the other. Through empathy, the language of emotion is experienced. Emotions are experience, and because of this, deception is difficult.


     As we become familiar with our emotions through experience, we are able to empathize with others better. As we empathize with others, bonds develop.[9] These bonds are the communication lines. Through them, we attract and repulse those who are similar and dissimilar to ourselves.[10] This is where developing awareness becomes an important asset. Awareness allows us to discern our emotions from others. For those with an above average number of mirror neurons, they may become exhausted, experience guilt, or even feel responsible for what they are experiencing, even when experiencing another’s emotional barrage.[11] One way of developing empathy or even learning how to shape it is through developing emotional intelligence.


     Emotional intelligence is the ability to discern one’s emotional response from another’s, understand what is being expressed, and to respond in a fashion that is appropriate.[12] Through this development, we may be able to discern and respond to the needs of others without endangering our wellbeing. Consider these potential aspects of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.[13] Awareness of self and others coupled with discipline and desire allow us to become better human beings. When we consider the idea of spirituality being the experience and examination of life, the development of our empathic faculties is not only beneficial, but natural.


     If mindfulness is the development of awareness and to become receptive to events,[14] then group meditation through the practice of empathy may not only form intimate bonds between those involved but open a new path towards divine meaning. Not only do we become powerful unto ourselves but raise the potential to influence beings in our vicinity. We suspect there are cautions to be aware of. While power is neutral, to the undisciplined mind, it could be disastrous.


[1] (Park, Kim, Moon, & Kim, 2020)

[2] (De Waal, 2009)

[3] (von Knorring, Semb, Fahlstsrom, & Lehti, 2019)

[4] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)

[5] (Ruysshaert, 2009)

[6] (Bath, 2006)

[7] (Keysers & Fadiga, 2008)

[8] (Rothschild, 2004)

[9] (Park, Kim, Moon, & Kim, 2020)

[10] (De Waal, 2009)

[11] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)

[12] (Acebes-Sanchez, Diez-Vega, & Rodriguez-Romo, 2019)

[13] (Palmer, 2019)

[14] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)


References

Acebes-Sanchez, J., Diez-Vega, I. S.-G., & Rodriguez-Romo, G. (2019). Physical activity and emotional intelligence among undergraduate students: A correlational study. BMC Public Health, 19(9), 1241.

Bath, H. (2006). Wiring pathways to replace aggression. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 14(4), 249.

De Waal, F. (2009). The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society. New York: Three Rivers.

Keysers, C., & Fadiga, L. (2008). Mirror neuron system: New frontiers. Social Neuroscience, 3(3/4), 193-98.

Palmer, J. S. (2019). Emotional intelligence and homophobia. (1158, Ed.) Wake Forest Law Review, 54(4), 1135.

Park, H., Kim, E. K., Moon, K. J., & Kim, M. J. (2020). The mediating effect of spirituality between nurses' empathy and elderly care performance in the long term care hospitals. Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing, 31(1), 34-42.

Perez-Fuentes, M., Linares, G. J., Jurado, M. M., Marquez, S. M., & Martinez, M. A. (2020). The mediating roles of cognitive an affective empathy in the relationship of mindfulness with engagement in nursing. BMC public health, 20(1), 16.

Rothschild, B. (2004). The physiology of empathy. CPJ: Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal, 15(9), 11-15.

Ruysshaert, N. (2009). (Self) Hypnosis in the prevention of burnout and compassion fatigue for caregivers: Theory and induction. Contemporary Hyponsis, 26(3), 159-172.

von Knorring, J., Semb, O., Fahlstsrom, M., & Lehti, A. (2019). "It is through body language and looks, but it is also a feeling" - a qualitative study on medical interns' experience of empathy. BMC medical education, 19(1), 333.


Image by Moonzig from Pixabay


Creating and Directing Intention


     We all have needs and desires. How can they be fulfilled?  Sending out a call to the universe is a good way to start. The problem is the universe doesn’t always know what we need. So, it often provides us with the next best thing. Only we know what is needed, if we have the courage to speak our desire. We must be clear when we do this. Remember what happened when someone made a request in a mumble tone. We had to guess, and when that happens, we typically get it wrong. We could just write something down and forget it, but we can do more.


     Intention is about manifesting our desires and needs. Manifesting is about manipulating the subtle energies flowing around us. If we want our intention to become real, we must attract and focus the correct energy. Putting our intention in a prayer format, or even a poem is a good place to begin.


     Begin with an idea and shape it with words, shape it with an image. We can even shape it with a bulletin board and pictures. Just remember, be precise. If we generalize our idea, we get generalized results. 


     Writing our thoughts down has been a habit since grade school. So, write down what is desired. Don’t worry about grammar, just write. Later it can be distilled into a short passage that captures our idea. Myself, I prefer putting my desires in a poem. Using rhythm and rhyme allows me to memorize what is desired clearly. I say it aloud three times before meditating.


     Drawing or doodling a desire on a piece of paper also works. Refine it until the image portrays what is envisioned. When meditating, focus on the image. Visualization triggers the same areas of the brain as the actual hands-on experience. Don’t just visualize what you desire, visualize the experience. Experiencing our desire generates an emotional response. Emotions are the strongest energy we generate. Use it to attract energy associated with what is desired. 


     If a visual board is chosen, the steps are pretty much the same. The important thing to remember is to focus. Meditation by itself isn’t enough. Focus on attracting energy. Energy is found in events. Think of meditation as a high-power magnet attracting certain ideas, images, and anything else similar to what is desired.  


     When starting this process, be watchful. By this, we mean pay attention for developing events. When energy reaches a threshold, an event is triggered. The event is what we watch for, because events lead to clarifying and solidifying what we’re asking the universe for.


     We've used this method for a variety of desires. We write a short poem to be aligned with people who would benefit from what is being offered. Within several days, a basic tarot class was formed. One last thing. Do this routine for thirty days in order to build the energy.


Image from Shaeffler from Pixabay.

Some Simple Rules for Mediumship Development

Spiritualist Circle of Light presents some mediumship development guidelines. Spiritualism is a religion focusing on the demonstration of the continuity of life. Some claim this ability was active when they were born. Others, like myself, have take the time to develop this faculty. There are many books and guides on the topic. This doesn't necessary mean experience. What we share today is some of the experience of development.


Have questions? Contact us.

To Experience Interconnectedness

     Group meditation has demonstrated the ability to affect surrounding communities. Reductions in crime, violence, and a variety of social stressors have been experienced by some neighborhoods.[1] While small populations may benefit, does the group itself benefit? Of course, there are the obvious benefits connected to the practice of meditation. Is there something more?


     The popular practice is mindful meditation, because it has been the most studied. Mindfulness has been described in various ways, such as being fully in the present, being accepting, and mindfulness leading to enlightenment.[2] If we meditate for enlightenment, then we may have created the very act it is meant to prevent. A distraction. Thus, something more may lie deeper. Meditation also leads to increased awareness. This leads to an ability to foresee and then create potential events leading to a deeper understanding of the life experience. These experiential possibilities would only have meaning to the person creating them. Through this, we may extrapolate that mindfulness not only allows a person to extend the present through nonlocality, but also transition future potentials into present observation. How does this translate into a group experience?


     As adults, mindfulness offers the opportunity to experience the emotional exchanges of life. Often, these interactions test our knowledge of ourselves and our ability to reveal intimate aspects.[3] The typical meditation practitioner experiences the approach to mindfulness in a solitary fashion. In isolation, an awareness of interconnectedness may be one sided. Glimpses of how we are connected may tease us into a false experience. Group meditation offers an opportunity to connect with others[4] in a way that goes beyond the typical experience. Meditating in a group environment may offer an avenue to an interconnectedness that fulfills the act of becoming aware. Another way of approaching this is the perception of interdependence may exceed the solitary encounter of awareness. Such an act may reveal mutual existence with self-recognition. This may even lead to the creation of another form of identity or a more complete unification of self. After all, we are social creatures seeking like minds, companionship, and belonging. To fully accomplish this, a certain level of empathy may have to be developed in the participants.


     In the metaphysical or New Age movement, empathy brings to mind those who are sensitive to the emotions of others. Often this suggests a level of exclusivity. However, empathy is described through many viewpoints. Some of the common points are understanding, sharing and creating an internal space where we may accept others. This encourages others to feel understood and that they are not alone.[5] If we go beyond the accepted adjectives, we may even suggest it includes the ability to experience the emotional state of another through our emotional and cognitive abilities. This requires us to declutter our emotional and cognitive filters.[6] This may not be easily accomplished.


     Empathy requires us to engage others[7] on levels we may feel uncomfortable expressing. We must be emotionally engaged, which may include exposing areas of our personality that may not be as secure as we may think. The term that comes to mind is vulnerability. Only through such acts may a bond be struck. A bond is the means of connectedness through which we communicate with the Divine. If we subscribe to any of the esoteric teachings, then we are the Divine. Through others, we commune with the Divine. Such a link should not be entered into lightly, even if it is under the pretense of enlightenment. Through empathy we expose ourselves to others. More often than not, they are unaware of this communication. At the same time, many of us are unaware of such communications and through our immaturity may feel emotionally exhausted, some level of guilt, or even misplaced responsibility.[8] Such events are due to an inability to disentangle our emotions from those of another. Before we do this, we must first experience self-empathy. We must first embrace all our perceived imperfections[9] as beings of intelligence and emotion.


     Meditation experiences within groups allow us to develop the skills needed to embark upon such a transcendental endeavor. This is what being spiritual is about. The ability to examine the life experience and discover meaning. Through our discoveries, we become empathically linked to the Divine, or to each other.


     This raises mindfulness to the ability to immerse ourselves in the emotions of our environment without becoming lost. Mindfulness becomes the ability to remain at rest while being alert. Meditation within a group environment allows us to commune in a fashion that may bear no description.



References

Epstein, M. (1998). Therapy and meditation. Psychology Today, 31(3), 46.

Mantzios, M., & Giannou, K. (2014). Group vs. single mindfulness meditation: Exploring avoidance, impulsivity, and weight management in two separate mindfulness meditation settings. Applied Psychology: Health & Well-Being, 6(2), 173-91.

Park, H., Kim, E. K., Moon, K. J., & Kim, M. J. (2020). The mediating effect of spirituality between nurses' empathy and elderly care performance in the long term care hospitals. Journal of Korean Academy of Community Health Nursing, 31(1), 34-42.

Perez-Fuentes, M., Linares, G. J., Jurado, M. M., Marquez, S. M., & Martinez, M. A. (2020). The mediating roles of cognitive an affective empathy in the relationship of mindfulness with engagement in nursing. BMC public health, 20(1), 16.

Segalla, R. A. (2003). Meditation and group psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 23(5), 784-99.

von Knorring, J., Semb, O., Fahlstsrom, M., & Lehti, A. (2019). "It is through body language and looks, but it is also a feeling" - a qualitative study on medical interns' experience of empathy. BMC medical education, 19(1), 333.

Walton, K., Cavanaugh, K. L., & Pugh, N. D. (2005). Effect of group practice of the transcendental meditation program on biochemical indicators of stress in non-meditatirs: A prospective time series study. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality(17), 339-373.


Image by Anja from Pixabay.

[1] (Walton, Cavanaugh, & Pugh, 2005)

[2] (Segalla, 2003)

[3] (Epstein, 1998)

[4] (Mantzios & Giannou, 2014)

[5] (Park, Kim, Moon, & Kim, 2020)

[6] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)

[7] (von Knorring, Semb, Fahlstsrom, & Lehti, 2019)

[8] (Perez-Fuentes, Linares, Jurado, Marquez, & Martinez, 2020)

[9] (Park, Kim, Moon, & Kim, 2020)

To Love is to Act

     In the Gnostic Gospel of Philip, the author writes, faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe; but it is so that we may love and give, since if one does not give in love, he has no profit from what he has given.


     While faith and love are of equal importance, our focus is upon love. Love gives. Giving is action, not inaction. When asked what love is, the responders made statements such as respect and trust. In today’s vernacular, trust and respect are earned. Does this imply that love too is earned?


     We are going to propose love be nurture. While it isn’t the grand spectacle many would have it be, nurture is the best term to describe love. To nurture is to act. Action is a verb, it is movement. Anything that describes movement, regardless of how subtle the act is a verb by our standards. When we say the words ‘I love you,’ we are pledging to nurture the one whom we direct this to. This does not mean we stand afar and observe. This means we act in a fashion that moves the other forward. We act in a fashion that assists in the growth of the other. This does not mean we withdraw under the pretense of tough love. This means if we must withdraw, we should provide the opportunity to demonstrate by example. Too many are of the opinion their children should do as they say, and not as they do. This is not love. This is confusion. This is deception. This is self-serving. There is a way to determine if our actions are truly borne of love.


     In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna informs Arjuna that, ‘You have a right to your actions, but never to your actions’ fruit. Act for the action’s sake. And do not be attached to inaction.’ When we act in love, or in a nurturing fashion, the action calls us, and we answer. However, once we begin the bargaining process, love is no longer involved, and it becomes a transaction.

Remember Love

A guided meditation that reminds us that Love is more than just an intellectualized event. Words and Narration by Brdnsky Guide.

Music: Morning After by Livio, Amato. Sugar Doesn't Replace You at All by Livio Amato. Gone by Livio Amato https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Livio_Amato/20190415152516624.

Marina by Antonio Bizarro https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Antnio_Bizarro/The_Dark_Room

Music is licensed under CC BY NC SA 4.0. Images/ video from Pixabay.


If you would like to download this, become a member. 

Members have access to full length videos and downloadable material.


Spiritualism: It's Echoes, It's Foundation

When people ask where Spiritualism came from, most likely someone will point them to Kate and Margaret Fox. They are two of many who are responsible for the development of Spiritualism. However, we can find its tendrils reaching further back than any known religion. Join us as we scan history's horizon for activities identified today as being part of Spiritualism. You may be surprised where we find the bread crumbs of this natural part of life.We'll gaze towards the dawn of history to humanity's earliest vestiges of religion. Discover how divination began compared to where it is now. Uncover the oldest belief. Discern what Spiritualism may actually be about. It's not just about talking to the departed.Join us as we take a brief tour of how Spiritualism came about. This is not an in depth look. We'll follow buried connections, and perhaps you will make some of your own.

Now available at Amazon. Get your copy today!

Become a Member

Members have access to full length videos and downloadable material.

Spiritualism Demonstration: Seances and Circles

This is an Independent Spiritualist Association education video. This video was recorded 14 September 2019 at the Golden Light Spiritualist Church. We discuss the difference between a seance and a mediumship circle. We also encourage you to start your own mediumship circle.