Sunday Message 4/26/20

                           

                             LIFE HERE AND HEREAFTER

I would like to share something written by James Dillet Freeman in 1966.

“Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Life is an Eternal Process, an Eternal Progress.  What we think of as eternity is not an alternation of life and non-life.  There is ONLY life.  The truth is that we cannot die, for we are life.   Life is energy.  Life is expression.  It cannot cease because it is ceaseless.  We may change form and vanish from view, but we cannot cease to be … not for a moment.  We cannot be separated from life.

Life is a road that winds among the hills of time.  With every turn in the road an old view vanishes and a new view appears.  When people die they do not cease to be.  They only pass beyond human physical sight.  Yet something still links us as one – just as the waves are one sea and all the islands are one earth.  Does not love link us with our friends though they be on the other side of the earth?  So those we love may pass beyond the reach of hands, but not outside the reach of the heart.”  “Every man is a minister.”

James Dillet Freeman was a poet laureate who passed away in 2003 at the age of 91. He was Cherokee, Choctaw, English and Irish. He identified with his Native American culture and saw the similarity between native American beliefs and Christianity. He was the director of training for ministers for Unity Church.

Doesn’t that quote of his express our belief of continuity beautifully?  I also want to share something by Maya Angelou.  She was a poet, author, dancer, activist and teacher.  She was chosen by President Clinton to read her stirring poem ON THE PULSE OF MORNING at his inauguration.  She also wrote a book called A CELEBRATION OF SPIRIT.  I am sharing an excerpt called IN THE SPIRIT.  If Maya wasn’t a Spiritualist she certainly could have been one.

“Spirit is an invisible force made visible in all life. In many African religions there is the belief that all things are inhabited by spirits which must be appeased and to whom one can appeal. So, for example, when a master drummer prepares to carve a new drum, he approaches the selected tree and speaks to the spirit residing there.   In his prayer he describes himself, his experience, and his expertise; then he explains his intent.  He assures the spirit that he will remain grateful for the gift of the tree and that he will use the drum only for honorable purposes.

I believe that Spirit is one and is everywhere present.  That it never leaves me. That in my ignorance I may withdraw from it, but I can realize its presence the instant I return to my senses.

It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.  I cannot separate what I conceive as Spirit from my concept of God.  Thus, I believe that God is Spirit.”    End of her quote

Steven King of Bangor, Maine and renown author recently lost an old ash tree on his front lawn in Bangor. He and Tabitha had chain saw carver Josh Landry do very intricate carvings on the large remaining stump which emphasizes many of their philosophies all in one carving. Perhaps if you go to the Bangor Daily News you can pull up the article or the Maine Sunday Telegram. The tree has changed and yet it still exists.

Mr. Freeman says we “pass from sight”.  Maya speaks of the INVISIBLE force.  Where is this space where spirit resides?  The Spirit World encompasses all space.  As each planet in the universe was formed the space surrounding it became the spirit world for that planet.  There are various planes and levels of spirit life and living and learning.  Some are all around us and perhaps others form rings or belts around the planet so that as each spirit grows and passes through them in their progression they ultimately reach infinity where the rings of all the planets meet.  Wouldn’t it be interesting and true scientific pursuit if some of the astronauts had been established mediums?  What communications would they have brought back to us?

What does this spirit world look like?  To spirit it is as solid and real to them as being right here in the material world.  Vibration of the molecules is the explanation here.  On the earth plane we vibrate at a much slower rate.  When we pass to Spirit we change vibration, but not immediately, to the high vibrational rate of the spirit world.  This is probably why my Father could appear to me so completely only about 10 hours after his passing.  He stood there in the kitchen in his green wool pants and red plaid shirt, leaning on his cane to see what was going to be served for lunch.  He stood there a good 30 seconds or more, then was gone.  I’ll always cherish that moment with its proof of continuity and love.  For just a moment he had again the appearance of the body of flesh of this plane and then he was back to his new ethereal body.  Vibrational rate or per the dictionary, harmonic motion.  Our soul’s vibrational rate is held down, slowed down and confined in this body of skin and bones.  When at death the soul is finally released into its ethereal body again it must feel like a bird being freed from captivity.  All of the spirit world is at the higher rate, therefore the Spirit World is just as real to them as the material world is to us. Perception.

As our 8th principle says “the doorway to reformation is never closed here or hereafter.”  We believe in a continuity of life and therefore a purpose in life.  Our progression, our growth proceeds on the other side.  Our clothing is ethereal, our surroundings are ethereal, but there are the educational facilities to help us progress and advance spiritually in the Spirit World. Through our spirit friends we also can progress and develop a philosophy of life, a way of life that will enable us to learn here while still on this earth plane.  We as spiritualists should not say that the living communicate with the so-called dead for they are not deceased but very much alive in another form.  It should be said that they, our spirit loved ones, communicate with us the living.  Through this communication we build our religious beliefs.  We should not live WITH Spiritualism but live FOR it.  We need to show we are happy and content with whatever work Infinite Intelligence has given us and prove our peace of mind is through our religion.

You can’t say “I belong” to a church, put your hands in your pockets and just stroll into heaven.  Let us take our hands out of our pockets, learn our lessons well and gain some entrance credits.  Let us lay up a bank account in heaven.  From the spirit within us we can build a spiritual life.  Study your religion.  Hold yourself with high regard that you are able to represent Spiritualism.  Allow yourself to attract only the best. Allow only the finest thoughts to invade your consciousness.  You will set an example for others.

Here are eleven things Maya Angelou told Oprah Winfrey in 2005 that she personally had learned.

  • 1st – I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  • 2nd – That you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these 3 things: a rainy day (me – no energy & curl up with a good book,) lost luggage (oops been there!), and tangled Christmas tree lights (carefully wrap them around a tube for storage).
  • 3rd – I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you will miss them when they are gone from your life.
  • 4th – I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life”.    (Amen to that one.)
  • 5th – I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. (My wonderful husband Mike)
  • 6th – I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.  (Feels great, too)
  • 7th – I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
  • 8th – I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I do not have to be one.
  • 9th – I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.  People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. (In light of Covid-19 send a card, call, or email. Many only have phones, even landlines)
  • 10th – I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.  (You should keep learning. It keeps you young.)
  • 11th – I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Together let us give balance, peace, harmony to the world around us with positive thoughts.    Amen       Rev. Beth Carter