BRDNSKY and Spiritualist Circle of Light

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Spiritualism

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

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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.


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Mediumship is about People

     Mediumship is about people, whether they are sitting next to us or they are in one of Life’s Other Rooms. Within Spiritualism and many of the so-called pagan religions, life does not end with the body. Within these natural practices, the deceased were treated as if they were still among us. Family members continued seeking advice from them regarding agriculture and social connections.[1] Other cultures held certain ancestors in high esteem, often to the point of deism.


     Early communications were often conducted through a Master of Spirit, otherwise known as the Shaman. Although the scattered clans of early humankind gave these people many titles, all performed similar duties. Eventually, as civilization developed a priest craft developed as well.[2] The Shaman became less important as social politics became an obsession. With the development of priests, the sense of self-importance and a thirst for power seemed to become more pronounced. During this stage, the communication with those who transitioned from this room became a ritualized process. This changed around 1843 when the Quakers began experiencing some odd events.[3]


     Some of the Quakers in the surrounding area of Rochester, New York became hosts to some devilish beings. Those in Life’s Other Rooms, in this instance some Native American Indians, began venturing into our room. The reliance upon rituals of old had become lost on the Christian denominations as they progressed in their teachings. Many of these Quakers believed the actions and rantings of their fellow parishioners were the Devil’s words. Unfortunately, the visitors they referred to were of an impolite sort. In other visitations upon other parishes the would-be infiltrators sought permission before entering another’s temple. This was a brief excursion that went largely unnoticed.


     In 1848, the Hydesville incident announced the arrival of more from Life’s Other Rooms. The popularity of communication with the so-called dead spread from the shack and into communities. Eventually, Mediumship began to rise in popularity. Communication with loved ones who had transitioned became a public spectacle. From these early vestiges developed those who sought to bring loved ones from both rooms together, along with those who sought to bilk the grieving of whatever they could.


     When approaching Mediumship, we recommend the student examine themselves first. If they are prone to self-deception, they will unknowingly deceive those they seek to serve. Mediumship is a service to others. As there are many that rely upon them in this room, there are also those who do so in the many rooms beyond our doors. The only way to be proficient in Mediumship is to observe and understand the experience. Such a requirement is needed for those disciplines in social work, psychology, and ministering. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We must take it upon ourselves to know ourselves, particularly because guides are not present.



References

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

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

Rosale, D. (2007). Ancient Egypt. In J. R. Hinnels, Handbook of Ancient Religions. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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

Image by Konevi from Pixabay


Phillip J Falcone

You Brdnsky Guide


[1] (Rosso, 2014)

[2] (Rosale, 2007)

[3] (Doyle, 1975)

Where Lies the Kingdom?

     Where do we seek God? Some go to the Bible seeking God’s words. Whenever we hear a person’s voice, they are generally close by. Where do we go when we want to hear the voice of God? Yes, we do hear the voice of God, at least some do, and others claim to. Well, we’re confident that some of you do hear and recognize God’s while others claim they don’t.


     The Bible is touted as being the written word of God, despite the claims of historians. Therefore, we’ll assume that if one were to seek God, one might look where the words of God are. However, Luke tells us in chapter 17, beginning with verse 20:


     Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say ‘here it is’ because the Kingdom of God lies within.”


     What Jesus implies is that if any are looking for the Kingdom of God, they will not find it. Reading scripture is observing the word of God. Thus, we will not find God there. However, we’re not looking for the Kingdom of God. We know it is within. Why do we say this? let’s turn to the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, verse 3 Jesus says, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the Kingdom of God is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you and it is outside of you…”


     This is quite different from what’s written in Luke. Not only is God’s Kingdom within, but it lies outside of us as well. Look around. What do you see? Now ask yourself, is this what the Kingdom of God looks like? Yes, this is what the Kingdom of God looks like. Do you like what you see?


     We should finish the verse from the Gospel of Thomas,” … When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you will dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”[i] When we know ourselves, we will become known. Known to whom? Known to ourselves. We already know who we are, don’t we?


     Consider this. From the time we are born, we are shaped in the image of our parents’ desire. We’re not talking about being good children, but of something meaningful to them, at least in part. For us to fulfill their dream of us being something productive or even of a desired vocation, we must carry this into our early adulthood. We pursue higher education as a meaning of gratifying their desire, we also take on the visage of the instructors of our chosen vocation. We enter society according to what we’ve been shaped into, only to discover we must also conform to the expectations of the firm that agrees to employ us. With so many facades, it’s difficult to know who we truly are. Some would say we’ve lost our authentic selves. Perhaps we have. This was something the author of the Gospel of Thomas discovered. Perhaps Jesus did as well, after all, he was very much in tune with nature, his emotions, and was very good at empathizing with others.


     Both texts imply we must peel away the surface of ourselves in order to see, or experience what God is. These are not the only writings to suggest this. Many ancient and not so ancient teachers implore us to look within and discover who we are. The method we suggest is self-exploration through mindful meditation. Through such endeavors we not only begin to understand what God’s kingdom is, but discover we truly are denizens in this great kingdom. We discover we are valuable assets and that no one can do what we do.


     Yes, many already know they are children of God, and they are valuable. However, have any become upset or even angry at someone this week? Have any participated in road rage? Have any railed against another? If any of this is true, not only did we become angry and rude at God, but also railed against God. Every action committed to another is an action to God as well. If we are of the opinion God will forgive us of these actions, think again. Were apologies offered to those offended? This is how God forgives, not arbitrarily but through us. When we ask for forgiveness from others, God forgives us. If a person chooses not to forgive us, or if they try to get even, they are the ones who dwell in poverty. They dwell in poverty of spirit. For being in spiritual poverty is not seeing that all are of the Kingdom of God. In God’s Kingdom, all stewards, and we can only be responsible for our portion.


     So, we go inside to visit the inner city. Some call this their special place. Often, meditation guides instruct people to take the white light and cleanse their inner being, to refresh and heal themselves. They may instruct them to prepare themselves for the week ahead, as though the coming days were to be feared. Sometimes, they tell you when you are troubled by the outside world to go within and seek shelter. What is it that we need shelter from? Perhaps we need shelter from others, from our supervisor, from those driving their cars in precarious ways, from crowded markets, from… hey, maybe it is us we shelter from. What if others are seeking shelter from us? Maybe they are going within because they think we are the one driving precariously. Oh, perhaps some of us don’t drive. We still go to the market.


     What is it that we find within? Peace and rejuvenation. In the Gospel of Thomas, verse 22, Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, “These infants being suckled are like those who enter the Kingdom.”

     

     They said to him, “Shall we then, as children, enter the Kingdom?”

     

     Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion an eye in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the Kingdom.”[ii]


     Wait a second, make the inside like the outside? Yes, make the inside like the outside. Look at this way, make the outside like the inside. Bring the peace we found within to the outside kingdom. Become active and receptive to the inner and outer kingdom. Compare the two kingdoms. Note what is different, and then fashion as being one.


     When bringing the inside to the outside, we bring forth the peace we carry inside. We now share that peace with everyone who chooses to be part of it. Slowly, all those desires of others we carried begin to fall away. The dreams we carry inside begin to manifest. Those who desire to be part of them will share their dreams as well. We have become a smile and a blessing, and smiles are contagious. Not only have we become who we truly are, but we have become known.


     Before we leave you, consider this. “The man who sees God in everything and everything within God will not be lost to God nor will God be lost to him. He who is rooted in oneness realizes that God is in every being; wherever he goes, he remains in God. When he sees all beings as equal in suffering or in joy because they are like himself, that person has become perfect in God.”[iii]



References

Mitchell, S. (2000). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation. New York: Three Rivers Press.

The Gospel of Thomas. (1984). In W. Barnstone, The other Bible. New York: Harper Collins.

Image by pieonane from Pixabay

[i] (The Gospel of Thomas, 1984)

[ii] (The Gospel of Thomas, 1984)

[iii] (Mitchell, 2000)

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.


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Being Awake, While Asleep

     Dreams can be useful if we know what they and what to look for. According to some Yoga teachings, dreams may be Karmic traces from previous incarnations.[1] The belief suggests the residue of past deeds get caught in our primal consciousness. Our primal conscious is the essence of our conscious. This is what moves us from incarnation to incarnation. Our primal conscious is our deep conscious and is aware of all.[2] Think of it as our quantum conscious. It speaks to us through our subconscious and into the waking conscious. These hidden traces find their way into our dreams through events we experience in our present incarnation. Through the dreaming process, we may relieve some of the burdens associated with our past karmic activities.


     In Tibetan culture, dreams are cultivated. They provide avenues towards a path of awareness. All life experiences are conduits towards awareness. Our nightly  Image by Alexander Fradellafra from Pixabay                dreams are only one of many avenues and demonstrate the dreamlike qualities of our waking life. We often wonder what is implied by dreamlike qualities. The belief of permanence is the dream we accept as reality. If the nature of all is change, then the delusion is permanence. Within the culture of awareness exists the belief that the same level of awareness we develop in our waking state should carry over into the dream state.[3]


     Dreams may also move us from a state of ignorance or sleep into a state of wakefulness or awareness. We suffer from two types of ignorance.[4] One condition of ignorance is innate. This is being unaware of our true nature of being. While we remain unaware, we are entangled in the delusions of duality. We become caught between opposing forces. When we awaken to these forces, we begin to realize they complement each other are intimately connected.[5] According to the Hermetic Principle of Polarity, all things contain their opposites. Between these opposing forces are many degrees of reconciliation or complementary conditions. Cultural ignorance is the second type of ignorance. In this level we are conditioned to accept circumstances as they have been laid down before us by institutions, our social realms, or our communities.[6] The communities we participate in, such as our religious community or those whom we chose to surround ourselves with tend to have a unique set of rules. We often adopt them as a condition of belonging. The circumstances they impose may not reflect their true nature or even truth. They are deceptions of those who operate from an agenda. Dreaming is a way of piercing the falsehood of such delusions. It is our ignorance that entraps us. Developing an awareness of the dream state allows us to see the same dreamlike traits in our waking state.


     Our Western culture emphasizes the need to interpret dreams as a means of direction and we should not seek to control them. Researchers tell us to be mindful of our emotions, as they are what drive the images we seek to comprehend.[7] In Dream Yoga, the emphasis is not on the meaning of the dream but on what it contributes to the life experience.[8] In any case, developing our awareness, whether in dreams, in our wakeful lives, or both, is beneficial to our overall wellbeing. Awareness slakes our thirst of curiosity. Understanding strengthens our immune system. Wisdom enhances our life experience.



References

Initiates, T. (1912). The Kybalion. Chicago: The Yogi Pubilcation Society Masonic Temple.

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

Wangyal, T. R. (1998). The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. (M. Dahlby, Ed.) Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion Publication.

Wilkinson, M. (2006). The dreaming mind-brain: A Jungian perspective. Journal of Annalytical Psychology, 51(1), 43-59.


[1] (Wangyal, 1998)

[2] (Rinpoche, 1992)

[3] (Wangyal, 1998)

[4] (Wangyal, 1998)

[5] (Initiates, 1912)

[6] (Wangyal, 1998)

[7] (Wilkinson, 2006)

[8] (Wangyal, 1998)


copyright 2020

Where Lies the Kingdom?

     Where do we seek God? Some go to the Bible seeking God’s words. Whenever we hear a person’s voice, they are generally close by. Where do we go when we want to hear the voice of God? Yes, we do hear the voice of God, at least some do, and others claim to. Well, we’re confident that some of you do hear and recognize God’s while others claim they don’t.


     The Bible is touted as being the written word of God, despite the claims of historians. Therefore, we’ll assume that if one were to seek God, one might look where the words of God are. However, Luke tells us in chapter 17, beginning with verse 20:



Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say ‘here it is’ because the Kingdom of God lies within.”


     What Jesus implies is that if any are looking for the Kingdom of God, they will not find it. Reading scripture is observing the word of God. Thus, we will not find God there. However, we’re not looking for the Kingdom of God. We know it is within. Why do we say this? let’s turn to the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas, verse 3 Jesus says, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the Kingdom of God is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you and it is outside of you…”


     This is quite different from what’s written in Luke. Not only is God’s Kingdom within, but it lies outside of us as well. Look around. What do you see? Now ask yourself, is this what the Kingdom of God looks like? Yes, this is what the Kingdom of God looks like. Do you like what you see?


     We should finish the verse from the Gospel of Thomas,


” … When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you will dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”[1] When we know ourselves, we will become known. Known to whom? Known to ourselves. We already know who we are, don’t we?


     Consider this. From the time we are born, we are shaped in the image of our parents’ desire. We’re not talking about being good children, but of something meaningful to them, at least in part. For us to fulfill their dream of us being something productive or even of a desired vocation, we must carry this into our early adulthood. We pursue higher education as a meaning of gratifying their desire, we also take on the visage of the instructors of our chosen vocation. We enter society according to what we’ve been shaped into, only to discover we must also conform to the expectations of the firm that agrees to employ us. With so many facades, it’s difficult to know who we truly are. Some would say we’ve lost our authentic selves. Perhaps we have. This was something the author of the Gospel of Thomas discovered. Perhaps Jesus did as well, after all, he was very much in tune with nature, his emotions, and was very good at empathizing with others.


     Both texts imply we must peel away the surface of ourselves in order to see, or experience what God is. These are not the only writings to suggest this. Many ancient and not so ancient teachers implore us to look within and discover who we are. The method we suggest is self-exploration through mindful meditation. Through such endeavors we not only begin to understand what God’s kingdom is, but discover we truly are denizens in this great kingdom. We discover we are valuable assets and that no one can do what we do.


     Yes, many already know they are children of God, and they are valuable. However, have any become upset or even angry at someone this week? Have any participated in road rage? Have any railed against another? If any of this is true, not only did we become angry and rude at God, but also railed against God. Every action committed to another is an action to God as well. If we are of the opinion God will forgive us of these actions, think again. Were apologies offered to those offended? This is how God forgives, not arbitrarily but through us. When we ask for forgiveness from others, God forgives us. If a person chooses not to forgive us, or if they try to get even, they are the ones who dwell in poverty. They dwell in poverty of spirit. For being in spiritual poverty is not seeing that all are of the Kingdom of God. In God’s Kingdom, all stewards, and we can only be responsible for our portion.


     So, we go inside to visit the inner city. Some call this their special place. Often, meditation guides instruct people to take the white light and cleanse their inner being, to refresh and heal themselves. They may instruct them to prepare themselves for the week ahead, as though the coming days were to be feared. Sometimes, they tell you when you are troubled by the outside world to go within and seek shelter. What is it that we need shelter from? Perhaps we need shelter from others, from our supervisor, from those driving their cars in precarious ways, from crowded markets, from… hey, maybe it is us we shelter from. What if others are seeking shelter from us? Maybe they are going within because they think we are the one driving precariously. Oh, perhaps some of us don’t drive. We still go to the market.

What is it that we find within? Peace and rejuvenation. 


In the Gospel of Thomas, verse 22, Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples,


“These infants being suckled are like those who enter the Kingdom.”


They said to him, “Shall we then, as children, enter the Kingdom?”


Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion an eye in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the Kingdom.”[2]


     Wait a second, make the inside like the outside? Yes, make the inside like the outside. Look at this way, make the outside like the inside. Bring the peace we found within to the outside kingdom. Become active and receptive to the inner and outer kingdom. Compare the two kingdoms. Note what is different, and then fashion as being one.


     When bringing the inside to the outside, we bring forth the peace we carry inside. We now share that peace with everyone who chooses to be part of it. Slowly, all those desires of others we carried begin to fall away. The dreams we carry inside begin to manifest. Those who desire to be part of them will share their dreams as well. We have become a smile and a blessing, and smiles are contagious. Not only have we become who we truly are, but we have become known.


     Before we leave you, consider this. “The man who sees God in everything and everything within God will not be lost to God nor will God be lost to him. He who is rooted in oneness realizes that God is in every being; wherever he goes, he remains in God. When he sees all beings as equal in suffering or in joy because they are like himself, that person has become perfect in God.”[3]


[1] Barnstone, W. (edt.) (1984). The other Bible. New York: Harper Collins

[2] Barnstone, 1984

[3] Mitchell, Stephen (trans.) (2000). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation. New York: Three Rivers Press


Rev. 3/2020

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Does Your Religion Resonate with You?

     Buddhism, like all religions, examines and analyzes. The purpose of these actions is to determine if our religious practice resonates with ourselves.[1] Does the religious practice we participate in resonate? If we were to follow a teaching that did not resonate with us, would we be doing a disservice?


     For example, in my younger years, Christianity was the teaching being followed. Although today, what resonates is different from what resonated yesterday. As a child, I sought to be like my Dad, who was Christian. Which denomination escapes me. I was a child and that didn’t matter. Suffice to say, he drew me into the religion. When he transitioned, a gentleman, by the name of Bob Hope, continued my indoctrination. I suppose what attracted me was the fellowship. Anyway, one morning during worship service something odd happened. We sang, we prayed, and then we listened to Pastor Reub. Afterwards, we sang again, and it happened. We all returned to our seats with one exception. Bob remained standing. All had turned their eyes on him. He didn’t know that. He was in communion with a soul. With eyes closed, he remained standing as though praying intently. The pastor looked at him perplexed. Just as he began to speak, it happened. Bob spoke. What he said, I don’t recall. I was a child. I would like to say that he had spoken something very profound, but I don’t know. What I do recall is that the voice was not his voice. He didn’t speak in a booming voice, nor did he speak in a timid voice. The voice was one of authority and chastisement. When he sat down, I told him how beautiful his words were. He turned, looked at me, as though he knew I had no clue as to the meaning of those words. Nevertheless, this convinced me of the validity of Christianity.


     I was somewhat satisfied with what was teaching me. Of course, we all grow up and begin to question. I was now different, and the answers received seemed empty. Dissatisfied, I picked up the Bible and began reading it for myself. I had read it several times before I began making connections. People like to tell us that they don’t read the Bible because of its contradictory nature. Well, this isn’t exactly the case. Incongruities exist between the Hebrew Testament and the New Testament, but they do not compare with the discrepancies in interpretation. I’m not going to go into the way people twist to serve their purpose. We already know. What I will say is that Christianity no longer resonated with me, but the Bible does.

One must pursue a meditation or religious practice that benefits others.[2] This statement either resonates or does not. The manner in which this resonates depends on how it is perceived.


     One of the teachings of Christianity, and many other doctrines, creeds, and declarations, is the idea of doing good deeds in order to enter some paradise in the afterlife. In my mind, this makes no sense. Do good works and you will go to Heaven when you die? This is a contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. When the Pharisees asked Jesus, when will the Kingdom of God arrive, he told them the Kingdom lies within.[3] In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus tells us if someone says the Kingdom of God is in the sky, then the birds will arrive before you. If the Kingdom of God is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you.


     If the Kingdom of God lies within, and I make the inside like the outside, as Christ says in the Gospel of Thomas, then the Kingdom of God is all around. Why do I have to do good works in order to enter Heaven, when I already dwell in the Kingdom of God?


     What does this mean? Most doctrines, creeds, and declarations of religions are a sham. The purpose of religion, or I should say a purpose of religion is to motivate us to do good works. By doing good works, we serve others. By serving others, we create value. By creating value, we worship God.


     Jesus said, one day we shall worship God in Spirit.[4] Jesus described the Spirit to Nicodemus as that of the wind, and the wind is air in motion.[5] The wind is movement, or action.


     As Arjuna stood in his chariot between his army and the aggressor’s in despair, Krishna spoke. Whatever you do, do it as an offering.[6] In other words, act without thought about the results of our actions. To do so is truly worshiping God. Those who follow doctrines, creeds, and declarations with the intent of reaching Heaven will do so. However, they will also fall back because they did not act with their heart.[7]


     What should resonate within us is not what we read, but how our religion serves others. So, I ask you, does your religion resonate with you?


References

Mitchell, S. (2000). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Rinpoche, R. (1998). Medicine Buddha teachings and empowerment. In A. Rappaport, Buddhism in America. Boston: Tuttle Publishing.


[1][1] (Rinpoche, 1998)

[2] (Rinpoche, 1998)

[3] Gospel of Luke 17:20-21

[4] Gospel of John, 4:19-24

[5] Gospel of John, 3:5-8

[6] (Mitchell, 2000)

[7] (Mitchell, 2000)


Revised: 2020

Death Perpetuates Life

     I’m sure we all remember the story in Genesis about the conversation between Eve and the snake, better known as the fall from grace. The snake convinced Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.  Eve refused, saying that to do so would be to incur death and suffering.  Many have laid the results of this event at the feet of women.  Never mind that the Book of Mormon tells us this was a necessity in order to fully appreciate joy and pleasure.  Who cares about the Hypostasis of the Archons, where Sophia in the guise of the snake and was responsible for humanity’s progression? Though, there is the suggestion the snake was Zoe, her daughter.  


     Neither God, nor man invented death.  Rudolf Steiner put it best this way, “Nature has invented death that she might have abundant life. ”  In order for life to be continual, the raw materials must be replenished.  These materials are matter and etheric energies. 


     Consider the manufacturing sector.  When raw materials for automobiles becomes exhausted, the assembly lines stop.  The factories close.  When energy costs exceed the costs of materials, factories close.  For raw materials to be replenished, autos no longer functioning are dissembled.  Usable parts are resold, and the rest is melted down, recycled.  When the raw materials of energy are brought back into the market, the costs come down.  Manufacturing is based on a balance.  The availability of materials verses items produced.  When one aspect of the balance is disturbed, the effects ripple throughout the system.  Life is the same way, from a material standpoint.  


     We’re not speaking about how we live life but that the life of the body occurs as a cycle. For life, any form of life to continue, the materials must be put back into the heap.  These bodies of ours are vehicles for the mind, which is composed of etheric energies. One feeds the others. However, if the axiom of as above, so below is true, then eventually Mind dissipates in favor of replenishing the Source.


     What raw materials does creation need to continually bring life forth?  Energy is what creation uses.  Energy is the source of creation.  Minute particles spin and attract similar particles.  We call this the Law of Attraction.  Eventually, this dynamic energy reaches a threshold and becomes matter.  What type of matter it becomes is determined by the energy attracted.  That lone particle may have coalesced into a tree, a frog, or a human.  Energy is specific in nature.  One only need examine the systems of the human body.  The respiratory system requires the energy provided by oxygen, while the immune system requires a specific type of white blood cell, and so on.  When the body decomposes, the chemicals go into the ground and into the vegetation until it is finally consumed by another human, only to produce another human.  The raw material needed by creation is energy. In this case, the energy is substance or potential energy. 


     The energy comprising the mind drifts. Perhaps it bleeds in the same fashion as electricity bleeds through high tension cables. Even when a person develops their mind into an instrument of influence, the influence may bleed through its confines influencing others.  Ian Stevenson  developed protocols for determining the process of reincarnation, thus proving it is a natural process with an attractor pulling us forward.  The mind is another raw material required by creation. Through the death of the body, its vehicle, it too is recycled, perhaps into another body.  


     While we wrestle with the idea of dying, and know it to be unavoidable, we still don’t like it.  To be immortal is unnatural.  Imagine everyone as being immortal.  Oh, wait, they made a movie about that. So, it has been imagined. With immortality, there would be no more children.  When mourning our loved ones, we should also thank them for providing nature with the means to recreate us in another form.


Works Cited

Hawking, S., & Mlodinow, L. (2005). A Briefer History of Time. New York: Bantam Dell.

Remi, J. C. (2005). European cases of teh reincarnation type [Review of book.]. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162(4), 823.

Steiner, R. (1972). An Outline of Occult Science. Anthroposophic Press, Inc.


2019

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.

Perhaps the Oldest Belief Known to Man

     One of the foundation stones of Spiritualism is the demonstration of the personality surviving death. A simpler explanation would be the continuity of life. We are not speaking of religion, but more of a cultural belief. Today, this belief is expressed through every known religion. The belief didn’t start with Christianity, but much further in history. We must turn our gaze upon the Ancient civilizations.


     When speaking of Ancient civilizations, we’re not referring to the Hebrews, Palestinians, Syrians, or any of the races listed in the Bible.[1] The civilizations we are referring to lie further back in time. Think of those nations as the second generation of humankind.[2] The first generation may have been the time of the Shaman, when civilizations consisted of tribes and clans. Perhaps this would make us the third generation. The people we are referring to are the Ancient Egyptians, the Mesopotamians, Mesoamericans, and early Asians. What may be considered intriguing about this exploration are their locations. They occupied different continents and had little, if any contact with each other. Yet, they managed to develop a peculiar belief simultaneously. They saw life as continuing despite the expiration of the body. We can only speculate upon whether communication with the so-called dead took place. However, we can be assured of their belief in the continuity of life. Thus, our focus continues here. After all, that may very well have been the forerunner to what we recognize as religion.


The Mesopotamians

     Mesopotamia is not a country or a race of people, it is a region known as the Fertile Crescent[3] or the Cradle of Civilization.[4] This breadbasket reached as far north as Southeastern Turkey and south to the Persian Gulf, specifically around the area of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Some archeologists put this near the city of Urfa, which is close to a group of monolithic stones.[5] Studying ancient civilizations has proven to be difficult for the professional and more so for the nonprofessional. The difficultly lies in the application of current beliefs to information discovered. For instance, earlier translations were based on the amount of information at the time, which is now considered limited. Many rushed to make a place for themselves in history and hastily interpreted discovered texts. As archeologists continued their explorations, new treasures were uncovered encouraging new ideas. Some were forced to revise earlier theories. For instance, some of the literature was found to be bilingual and some were trilingual.[6] Akkadian and Sumerian writing are very different and may have contributed to incorrect assumptions. Our interests though lie with their religious practices and beliefs, not their literary development.


     Our only evidence of spirit communication is not in the manner we employ today. To the Mesopotamians ghosts were perceived as dust clouds or will-o-the-wisps that were able to consume food and drink. These mysterious beings were often consulted, but they could never be touched.[7] Evidence suggests the practice was popular, more so than today. Our only evidence though appears to be in the literature of the time. In one of the stories of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, his companion, is questioned about an encounter with the dead. Enkidu relates a history of individual deaths and of how they were faring afterwards in the Underworld.


     During these early days, the pantheon of gods had not been organized as we know them today. It wasn’t until about 2,500 B.C. that the priests began organizing the gods after the nobility.[8] Prior to this, the idea of god lay within a family’s history or that of the clan. This type of worship often referred to as ancestor worship, was popular with many of the ancient Near East cultures. Most likely, the traditions were introduced by prior conquerors. Descendants often took the god of their father or a role model as their own.[9] This may be the source of the term, God the Father. We’re not searching for the origin of God, but this is worth mentioning. God, or any god appears to have a relationship with death and the afterlife.


     None of the Mesopotamian artifacts indicate a belief in physical resurrection, rebirth, or even reincarnation.[10] However, there remains a great deal to support the idea of a belief in the continuity of life on some level. The type of goods found in burial sites suggests the possibility of attaining some form of happiness or reward after the demise of the body.[11] The idea of some reward after death is evident in many of the present religions in the form of heaven, hell, nirvana, paradise, and purgatory. Our burial practices today mimic the idea of having an interest in the comfort of departed loved ones. Many are buried with letters, rings, and other forms of comfort and remembrances. While most of these behaviors are claimed to be for our benefit, this is not always the case.


     The popular concept of as above, so below one of its many references may be to one’s social standing remaining intact in the netherworld. Their belief was that the underworld mirrored the world above. A story recorded in the Gnostic text, The Secret Book of John, suggests Ildaboath created our world based on a reflection of higher existence. This may have been a carryover from the experiences of the Shaman. This suggests a clear indication of a belief in the continuity of life as Spiritualists understand it. Andrew Jackson Davis informs us that the transition is likened to crossing the ocean from one continent to another. Upon arrival, we are the same person as we were prior to departure. [12]


Egypt

     Research has not revealed where or how the idea of an afterlife developed among the Mesopotamians. They may have borrowed the idea from the Egyptians, though it is doubtful. The idea was well established before the development of written language. For the Egyptians, their belief of continuing life came from observations of nature.[13] In the morning, for those of us who are early risers, we witness the sun emerging from the eastern horizon. We go about our daily business only to watch the day expire with the setting of the sun. This simple observation has been the foundation for many religious philosophies, mystery schools, and doctrines when referring to a person’s life. When experiencing the seasons, life emerges from the ground in the form of awakening plants and later with animals conducting their mating rituals. With summer, life abounds. Newborns emerge and the first fruit of our agricultural habits begin to be harvested. As summer slips into autumn, those newborns have matured, and the plants are heavy with their bounty. Soon afterward, some animals prepare for a long sleep and the vegetation begins to wither. Finally, all appears to have died, though most have sunk into a deep sleep only to emerge once again. From these simple observations, the idea of life continuing is a natural development. As for the early Egyptians, “You have not departed dead, you have departed alive.”[14]


     In the Old Kingdom was the common belief of the ability of the deceased to move about though they were limited to the area of the tomb. Only kings were able to ascend to what was called heaven. Later, processions carried to the departed through the streets to the City of the Dead, which lay west of the city proper around the pyramids.[15] This accounts for the saying being carried into the West or living in the City of the West. As the culture transitioned into the Middle Kingdom, beliefs transitioned as well. The City of the Dead began to extend into our world. With its roots remaining firmly in the tombs around the pyramids. The Ba or a person’s personality began insinuating themselves amongst us. [16]


     Around 1500-1300 BCE, reincarnation became a popular belief.[17] The early Egyptian saw the body as having two aspects; life force and personality. The life force or Ka passed into the child via the parents.[18] This is more than just chromosomes being passed on. We are talking about the animating life force as described in Genesis. The unique properties of their life forces intermingled, bits and pieces of each coming together to ignite a new life. The second aspect, a person’s personality is what continues after the body is vacated. The personality inhabits the body, remaining within it until expiration. An example of this could be when the Christ spirit departed from Jesus during his expiration. Upon the demise of the body, the personality continues to move about. Like the rest of us, the Ba must rest and returns to the body.[19]


Asia

     Ancestor worship was most likely practiced in all of the cultures of the time; its significance warrants a brief mention. Evidence suggests the earliest recording of ancestor worship may have occurred during the Shang period in Northern China around 1200 B.C.E. The assumption is based on artifacts found at burial sites.[20] Before we begin entertaining the idea of figurines representing family ancestors, only those wielding a good deal of influence within the family were afforded that honor.[21]


     The earliest writings of the Hindus are the Vedas, specifically; the Rig Veda assembled around 1000 B.C.E.[22] The Vedas contain rituals regarding the care of ancestors. Within the Hindu practices, before becoming an ancestor, a specific ritual must be performed. During this rite, Agni is said to transport the departed from this world to heaven. This journey lasts a year. During this time, the son performs monthly rituals to feed the ancestor during their sojourn.[23] Afterwards, rituals are performed to continue support. For those not selected to become an ancestor, their only destiny lies in a dark underworld.[24] This is the first time a departed loved one truly dies.


Mesoamerica

     We have touched on the popular regions known to have given birth to civilization. A third location is Mesoamerica, specifically around Chile. Information about this region was sparse at the time of this writing. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning.


     The empire of the Incas spread throughout the region, adopting the technologies, socio-political structures, ideologies, of conquerors and comprised a very diverse ethnicity. [25] Whereas the Egyptians and Mesopotamians separated themselves from the places of their buried ancestors, the Incans maintained their family bonds. Some even housed the mummified remains of family members in their homes. During the month of November, the dead were removed from their graves, washed, dressed, and fed.[26] We probably know this better as the Day of the Dead celebration or Halloween. Sometimes, they even danced in celebration with them. Family members thought nothing about seeking advice from their mummified ancestors. Unlike the aforementioned cultures, these people were more interested in gaining information rather than their social status.[27]


     From the ancient civilizations of Earth, comes the oldest belief known to us. Many of today’s religions still hold to this ancient concept. Life continues, despite the demise of the body. Whether in Heaven or Nirvana or Life’s other Room, the most important part of the person continues. The individual personality survives. We may even infer that our soul, the essence of who we are may be our personality. Another concept these cultures have in common is the belief that there is something beyond our senses speaking to us.

References

Assmann, J. (2002). The Mind of Egypt. New York: Metropolitan Books Henry Holt and Co., LLC.

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

Bock, B. (2015). Ancient Mesopotamian religion: A profile of the healing goddess. Religion Compass, 9(10), 327-334.

Bowcawen, W. S. (1896). The Bible and the Monuments: The Primitive Hebrew Recordsd in the Light of Modern Research. London: Eyer and Spottiswoode: Her Majestey's Printers.

Curry, A. (2008, November). Gobekli Tepe: The world's first temple? Smithsonian.

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

Dibble, H. L., McPherron, S. P., Olszewski, D. I., Smith, J. R., Schurmans, U., & Chiotti, L. (2008). Africa's gateway to the world. Expedition, 50(3), 17-22.

Foster, B. R. (2007 ). Mesopotamia. In J. R. Hinnells, Penguin Handbook of Ancient Religions (pp. 161-213). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hornung, E. (1999). The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Afterlife. (D. Lorton, Trans.) Ithaca, NY: Cornell University.

John Wiley & Sons, I. (2009). Lucid dreaming - dreams of clarity. Contemporary Hypnosis, 26(4), 9.

Kemp, B., Stevens, A., Dabbs, G. R., Zabecki, M., & Rose, J. C. (2013). Life, death and beyond in Akhenaten's Egypt: Excavating the South Tombs Cemetery at Amarna. Antiquity, 87(335), 64-78.

Kramer, S. N. (1972). Sumerian Mythology: A Study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millennium B.C. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Li, L. (2000). Ancestor worship: An archaeological investigatin of ritual activities in Neolithic North China. Journal of East Asian Archaeology, 2(1/2), 129-164.

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

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

Nowicki, S. (2016). Sargon of Akkade and his god: Comments on the worship of the god of the father among the ancient Semites. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 69(1), 63.

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

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

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

Rosso, A. M. (2014). Akhenaten: New theories and old facts. Acta Medico-Historica Adriatica: AMHA [Acta Med Hist Adriat], 12(2), 329-70.

Sayers, M. R. (2015). The Sraddha: The development of ancestor worship in Classical Hinduism. Religion Compass(9/10), 182-197.

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


[1] Sometime between 195,000 and 160,000 modern man began to evolve (Dibble, et al., 2008).


Oct. 2019

Merkabah, Voyage of a Star Seed

This is a link and is not a product of Brdnsky or Spiritualist Circle of Light. This will take to a YouTube presentation.

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.

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A Different Kind of Séance

     Spiritualism rests on the foundation of being a religion, a philosophy, and a science. The science of Spiritualism rests upon the séance. The role of science is to investigate, and the séance provides a path to investigating the continuity of life.

   

     A typical séance is composed of its members and one medium. The members provide energy or power for the communication taking place through the medium. Often the energy is in the form of expectations on the part of those in attendance.


     The first public séance was the incident in Hydesville, New York which was a short distance from Rochester. This set the stage for early seances, as most of the communication occurred through raps. Shortly afterwards, during a private séance, Margaret, Kate, and Leah Fox were instructed by spirit to hold public seances as they travelled to New York in 1849. Attendees were charged $0.25 and $0.12. Exactly how these public seances were conducted is not clear, though we can assume they were similar to the Message Services of the Spiritualist churches. Yes, these services are public seances.


     In our present technological age, there are tools available to conduct an electronic séance. At the Golden Light Spiritualist Church in Highland, MI and the First Spiritualist Church of Prayer in South Bend, IN the EchoVox™ and Ghost Radar™ have been successfully introduce as means of exploring the realm of Life’s Other Room. These cellphone apps can be used to begin the formations of Circles. The success of Spiritualism was due in large part to these Spirit Communication Circles held in various homes throughout the country.


     Spirit has, throughout time, been referred to as a type of electricity. They communicate through the electrical impulses of our brain. This takes a toll on the medium. Using these electronic devices alleviates some of the strain. While a medium is still recommended, they may not be necessary in this type of exploration. When using the EchoVox™, the participants should have pen and paper at the ready. While the words heard through the EchoVox™ are often jumbled, they should rely on their own cognitive filters to retrieve their messages and quickly write them down. It’s time to form your own circle for Spirit Communication.