The words of spirit guide Silver Birch on the problems of spirit communication.
Seldom, if ever, is a communicator able to impart the totality of his communication. It is possible only in exceptional circumstances. It is not as if you are making a communication on one surface of being like a telephone. Even that goes wrong many times; when lines are crossed, the machinery gets out of order and sometimes will not work at all. If you have these difficulties in communication on one surface of being, realize how much more difficult it is when you have two entirely different states of being.
You have to make vocal what begins as an image, a thought or an idea in the mind of the communicator. With a trance medium control is never one hundred per cent effective. The instrument is a human being. Control varies according to the guide’s success, partial success, or failure in blending with the medium’s aura. The guide takes possession through the subconscious mind and all the bodily processes that are controlled by it. Whilst doing so, he must transmit, if possible, the original image, thought, picture or idea that comes from the communicator. The medium can be tired, ill, out of sorts, bad-tempered, hungry, had too much to eat, to drink, to smoke, a thousand and one things; all can effect the closeness with which guide and instrument should blend.
There may be subconscious ideas in the mind of the medium, strong, dominant, which keep on thrusting their tentacles because they are trying to find expression. Often the only way to get rid of them is to express them and make them null. That explains sometimes why you get the medium’s subconscious ideas expressed by a guide. Sometimes the guide cannot help himself and is carried away by the onrush, the force of the subconscious promptings. Fog is bad, so is humidity. A cold, clear, crisp, electrical atmosphere is the best.
It is not easy. It requires much effort to return to your world. That is why the only ones prepared to make the efforts are those who love you. Love is the impelling motive for comforting, guiding, helping those to whom it is naturally and willingly bound. As long as people die, and they love those who are left on earth, they will willingly break through every barrier and overcome every obstacle to reach the one they love. That provides part of the impetus behind the whole of communication from our world.
Be tolerant. Do not blame the medium. Do not necessarily blame the guide. We do our best with the material at our disposal. To accomplish in trance, what is being accomplished now, requires a stepping-down process, the use of a transformer. That involves a sacrifice of the true individuality to a large extent, as you can appreciate. When you have to make it material you go one stage further. You have to materialize the spirit to have almost a complete reversal of vibration from the subtle, quick and delicate to the slow, heavy and ponderous. That, of course, also means another sacrifice of the whole individuality.
Then, again, there are subtle deviations of ectoplasm, according to the mental and spiritual qualities of the human instrument. Not all ectoplasm is the same because its basic foundation is extracted from the medium. The grosser the instrument, the less refined, the less mentally and spiritually evolved is the ectoplasm. Where you have a refined soul, mentally and spiritually, those qualities are reflected in the ectoplasm.
It does not follow that every person who desires to communicate in our world is able to do so, or, given an opportunity, is able to transmit the fullness of the message. It depends on the individual. A dominant, forceful individual will break through all the barriers. A shy, diffident, retiring individual will not want to make the effort.
Then there are all the processes involved in transmitting the thought, picture or symbol -- we do not speak words in our world -- through the medium’s guides, or even direct to the medium. If it is done by means of clairvoyance, all this is a very intricate process. Do not think that because you hear me talk with facility through this instrument that it is easy. Even I have to use what I call a multitude of “threads” to maintain my hold on this instrument. At any given moment, any one of these “threads” may be severed and away goes some of my power.
We have many problems to elucidate in the understanding of communication. Do not ever let it be said that it is always easy. When you have the right conditions, it can be very easy. But there are so many factors that can interfere, and sometimes because of these factors we are blamed. It requires the operation of very delicate, subtle conditions, even for one who is experienced to act as a go-between. There are so many factors that can go awry.
You realize that in this process of transformation, this stepping down, much of the beauty, lustre and radiance must be lost. But when spirit communicates with spirit direct, when mind communicates with mind and soul with soul, when there is inspiration or imagination, it merely means that the mind is being enriched with impressions from beyond. The more you worry about it the worse it becomes, because to be successful in its transmission the essential condition is a quietude, a passivity, a confidence based on the certainty that attunement is taking place. Once you set up wavering doubts, these by their very nature clog the lines of communication.
I do not wish to suggest that every thought which reaches your mind has its origin in our world. Obviously that would not be true, but it is true to say that you must not be quick to dismiss as imagination so much that is the result of deliberate effort to enrich your mind and soul.
Always remember that it is not like a communication in your world where there is only one plane, one level of consciousness involved. You have to reduce spirit to matter, two entirely different forms of expression, and in that process of stepping down many things can go wrong. We have a long way to go in perfecting the means. In our world there is constant experimentation, research and investigation in every field of communication, in the mental, physical and in healing. Always there is activity in trying to achieve a better result.
That is why you see the improvement made as years continue. That is the purpose behind gatherings such as this, because it is only through the constant providing of conditions that we can develop your powers and bring to bear a large measure of the power at our command. They have to be harmonized, so that the results can become effective in your world. The important thing is that the lines have been laid, the channels are open, and we can transmit. There was a time when there were hardly any lines, and hardly any channels.
Why people in your world prefer the darkness of ignorance to the light of truth is something I do not understand. We are always concerned with those who can reach and help other people. Every new channel is one more means of spreading knowledge, of spreading spiritual power and working towards the amelioration and betterment of the whole human race. This is a great truth which is part of an infinite truth. There is a serious purpose which underlies the whole of our work. I am only one of many ambassadors, part of a vast plan created in a world beyond yours, directed to help those who are ready to be helped.
We must keep on touching souls, awakening slumbering souls, getting them to realize the greatness that could be theirs. We offer them gifts of the spirit that bring with them the full lustre of their own dignity and grandeur. If obstinate man refuses this, he is turning his back on the greatest gifts offered by the greatest power in the universe.
We have nothing to offer but the truth, and it is the truth that will set men free. Why this should incur enmity, displeasure, hostility, opposition and misrepresentation, I do not know. Maybe they are mistaken. Their judgment has become warped and they are incapable of realizing that there can be truth outside themselves. Sometimes I think they must think that it is very wrong of the Great Spirit to reveal His wisdom outside their organization. But as it is said, “The ways of God are not the ways of man.” Perhaps it is good it is not so.
In the case of the churches you have a great difficulty. You have men who earnestly believe that theirs is the truth and they are defending what is to them something very dear. They do not realize that their system has been built on something which originally was divine in origin but has been overlaid through the centuries by what was devised from the mind of man. They cannot isolate the original from the wrapping. They worship the wrapping as being divine. If they have become fossilized mentally and spiritually, nothing can reach them. The Great Spirit has ordered it so that through some mental or spiritual upheaval you are given the opportunity of finding truth, but it does not always happen. If through trouble, sorrow, sickness or sadness their souls are touched, then the experience has been worth while.
The whole purpose of the return from our world to yours is to draw attention to spiritual realities. It is as simple as that. We could easily be unconcerned with your world and its activities. There is no compulsion to associate ourselves with you, and you have no means of forcing our attention. Our efforts are voluntary because we love you, with the whole of humanity, and desire to help you. It could even be argued that perhaps our love, like a good many forms of love, is a little selfish because we have seen so many come to our world unfitted human wreckages, not ready and poorly equipped. It becomes so much easier if they learned the lessons in the place where they were intended to learn them, the schoolhouse of earth.
The whole purpose is to draw attention to spiritual realities, to show that very being starts the physical course with a spiritual heritage conferred by the act of birth. The life force is the divine spark, spiritual in nature, which is intended to grow equally with the physical body. The majority of mankind concerns itself only with physical growth. Some of it is concerned with mental growth, and a few concerned with spiritual growth. The only enduring reality is spirit. If we succeed by a variety of means in making man aware of his spiritual nature which is his reality, it transforms the whole of his life. He sees its purpose, is conscious of his origin, becomes aware of his destiny and should live his life in the implications of the knowledge which he has received. That very simply is the plan behind all our activities.
When it is applied to daily life, then you will drive away all fear, worry, discord, hatred, disease, selfishness and pride, and there will truly be peace based upon a genuine spiritual brotherhood. Increasing awareness of these eternal truths makes your souls and your spiritual bodies receptive to the powers from our world. That is the magnetic link between earth and ourselves.
In order to reach your world, we must have the means of doing it. We must have the channels through which this power can flow. Part of your psychic and spiritual unfoldment consists in becoming more and more receptive to our influences. As your soul natures blend with your spirit co-operators, so they can transmit through you that power which can help in times of crisis, difficulty and danger. This power is hard to define because it is impalpable and intangible from the material standpoint, but it is none the less real. It is part of the force of life, it is part of the Great spirit, it is in essence the same as the power which gives consciousness and being to every facet of activity in the universe. It is the same power that enables the seed to grow and to blossom, and another seed to fruit, the tree to grow and a soul to unfold itself.
It has an infinite number of possible manifestations. It can revive, resuscitate, reinvigorate, recharge and revitalize. It can inspire, it can heal, and when the conditions are suitable, it can produce physical results in your world. When you retire into your own sanctuary for the purpose of giving healing to others, as a corollary you are also unfolding your own channel for receiving spirit power. The two go together. Often when people sit in circles for development and nothing apparently is happening, a great work is being done in strengthening and unifying the links between matter and spirit, for the transmission of spirit power is a highly intricate and delicate process.
If people were highly developed and their lives were more spiritual than material, instead of, as at present, more material and less spiritual, then the task would be easier because the common nexus between us is spirit. Alas, with the vast majority of individuals, the spirit is so deeply embedded, so embryonic, so latent, that it is with the utmost difficulty that it can be reached at all. Some are so engrossed in matter that the spirit within them is but a tiny flicker, so small that it produces practically no light. But it is there. When they are ready, after they have been in the crucible of suffering, then they too can be awakened, then they too can be aware, then they too can understand spiritual realities, themselves and the Great Spirit, the link between them and everyone else and all creatures, and realize the fundamental bond of unity that is part of the natural law.
When you open the door of your soul to one form of knowledge, you must not close it, but must allow the processes of unfoldment to continue. You will not attain perfection in your world, but you can strive to improve your mental and your spiritual outlook.
There lies always the larger task of teaching the many whose lot is not so rich as ours in mind or spirit, to bind up broken hearts to show how the sick can be healed, to emphasize those eternal spiritual truths which are the only foundations for societies to endure, to drive out and banish all the fog and mist, the error and superstition, the vested interests that are the obstacles to the full flowing of spirit power that can illumine and beautify and dignify the world in which you live.
It is not an easy task for people who are invisible, so far as you are concerned, and who are impalpable, so far as worldly sense is concerned, to make their impact on a world of matter. As long as you maintain a good heart, a willing spirit, a receptive mind and undimmed faith, then this channel is open and you automatically are the better for it in all respects, spiritually, mentally and materially. What so many people do not realize is that when they do not get the answers to the things that they want, it is because they themselves do not provide the channel by which the help can come. We have no hands apart from yours. In order for spirit to make its mark upon matter, it must have some nexus that is responsive to spirit and can express itself in matter. It is so simple when you realize it. All I would urge is to go on and know that the power which is sustaining and supporting you is the divine power and it will not fail in its task.
If you succeed in enabling one soul in darkness to find the light, one troubled, wearied individual to gain strength, if you comfort one mourner, if you heal one sick person, if you prevent exploitation of and cruelty even to one animal, then indeed your earthly life has been well worth living. Never weary in the fight for the things that matter. This is the greatest of all fights, the eternal war against materialism, selfishness, these cancers that are festering in your world today and lead so many on to foolish paths where they perish in the darkness without a realization of the purpose for which they were born into the world.
No effort for good is lost, no attempt to help is futile. Never be weary in your well-doing, never be disappointed if you do not see the results. Just go on and I know that every attempt to serve automatically calls to your aid beings from our world who will lend their aid to your labour. You never work alone. Always you are surrounded by the host of the shining ones whose arms will support you no matter what circumstances arise. Place your complete faith in and rely on the power which cannot fail you. There is no security in your world at all. The only security is in the unseen, the invisible, in the eternal realities which cannot be measured by any apparatus in your world.
Your security is the strength of the spirit, the majestic power which is the means by which the Great Spirit expresses itself everywhere. When all else has changed its form, either by being reduced to ashes or by crumbling into dust, the realities of the spirit will still stand, unchanging, immutable, as the unshakable base on which to build. I know it is very hard for you, living in a world of matter in which all is measured by your physical senses, to appreciate the nature of reality. It escapes you all the time. But if I can convey, in however adequate a form, the fact that spirit is the enduring substance of all eternity, and that nothing else matters, and if I can encourage you to build on truth and not on shifting sands, then at least I am helping to fulfill my mission.
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