British Union of Spiritist Societies

"Working together for a better world!"

Editorial: A Moment to Reflect by Adam Osborne

As we hustle and bustle through our ever increasingly busy and hectic lives, seeking the necessities of our daily existence and diverting our attention from what is important and fixating ourselves on the mundaneness that modern life brings, it is important for us to take a true moment of reflection to evaluate who we are, how we are and what we are doing.

How often do we really look at ourselves to observe, reflect and find ways to improve our being?

We might look at our health and think of diets, exercises or lifestyle choices that popular media dictates as being the current trend. Some might scrutinise their career and profession. Others may feel they need to be more charitable and decide to help others.

Most of the time, this is all temporary. A brief idea that passes after a few days or weeks.

We are taught with such frequency about how we should treat others, the level of respect, care and kindness we should offer. So, when do we stop to think about ourselves as a whole? When is it that we sit to ponder our actions, our accomplishments and our failures?

We do not like to think about the negative, as it brings bad memories, makes us feel sad, rejected, neglected, even ashamed. Often, when we try to reflect, we tend to react, with emotion, with anguish, with impatience.

We rarely have the courage to face these thoughts, to see what we can learn from, how we grow, how we can progress.

Forgiving others for what they have done to us is important, and so too is finding the way to forgive ourselves. There is an interesting old maxim: "Do not ask for forgiveness, unless you are able to forgive others first".

But we react when we think of how to forgive others and how to forgive ourselves. We get angry, upset, intolerable. And then we give up and distract ourselves from a small, albeit emotional, action that can easily help us progress along our own paths of inner reform.

"Love your neighbour as yourselves." Why is it not surprising that this message, received around 3500 years ago by the people of the Exodus from Egypt, is still not understood and comprehended. The care, kindness and affection we would want to receive from others is what we should show to them - and we should be humble enough to treat ourselves the same way too.

2016 has been a strange year for us all, and many people have seen that things have not "gone to plan".

I think it is important for us to take time to reflect, to think, ponder and deliberate the progress of our lives, to rationalise and critique our own actions, to forgive ourselves, forgive others and see how we can learn, what we can learn from and the best way to move forward peacefully, harmoniously and lovingly.

This should not be a difficult process. All it takes is a small amount of courage and a humble moment of peace.

“Life is difficult, I know. It is composed of a thousand nothings, which are pinpricks that end up hurting us. But we must consider the duties imposed on us, the consolations and compensations we receive in return, and then we will see that the blessings are more numerous than the sorrows. The burden seems less heavy when we look to heaven than when our brow is bent toward the ground. Courage, my friends.”

(The Gospel According to Spiritism: Chapter 9, Item 7: Patience)

Editorial:  Where are going wrong? By Maria Paula Gonçalves - Blossom Spiritist Society UK

We have never had so many medical resources yet be so ill. We have never had such ease to communicate and so many people on the planet, yet still be victims of solitude. We have never had so much information freely accessible, yet find it so difficult to make decisions, creating anguish and anxiety. Where are we going wrong? We go in a hurry, stressed and always without time, but to arrive where? And to do what? Life expectancy has increased, but do we live well in this extra time we have conquered through intellectual progress?

Clearly we live in a paradox. We are physically very close, with numerous scientific and technological resources, with many theories of morality, but in need of humanity.

There is a classic phrase which is accepted and stated in various religions, which says “We are all brothers.” For some, this concept is banal and disreputable, for others it is a truth accepted without much reflection because they lack the experience of the concept. Few truly comprehend the phrase in its entirety and make the effort to practice it.

The word “fraternity”, from the Latin frater (brother), signifies ‘kinship between brothers’ and is associated with the philosophical concept of equality and freedom. In other words, it demonstrates that we all have the same rights within the social organisation and expresses the dignity of the individuals. From this, it is easy to understand that we have been, as a society, lacking in fraternity and that this idea, although being old, still has not been fully comprehended.

We still face vanity, egoism and pride within these same religious groups, which hinders or complicates the accomplishment of the good work by those who treat each other like siblings, or at least consider them that way. There are also those who preoccupy themselves with the spotlight on their own self-promotion rather than the action of collective good work. How many times do we lose focus from our work and its objectives due to mundane, useless or personal reasons?

Blessed are those who have said to their fellow men: “Let us work together and unite our efforts so that when the Lord arrives He will find His work finished.” Then the Lord will say to them: “Come unto me, you who have been good servants, you who knew how to silence your rivalries and discords so that no harm should come to the work!” - The Spirit Of Truth, The Gospel According to Spiritism, Chapter XX, Item 5.

Where are we going wrong? Certainly in the lack of practicing fraternity! Fraternity leads us to self-knowledge, self-love, and the awakening of our sensitivity and our humanity. If we follow this, we will always be healthy, united and happ

EDITORIAL - Thinking, before making a decision by Adam Osborne.

 At the time of writing, this editorial has been written, re-written and started fresh various times, partially due to the chaotic turbulence that the UK has been through in the recent weeks.

On the 23rd of June, the voting public set off to village halls, schools and even old pubs to cast their vote, providing their opinion on the question of whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union. After many months of fierce debates, marketing campaigns and political turmoil, the results were announced in the early hours of Friday 24th that, by a small margin of only 3.8%, the UK had voted to leave the EU.

For some this was a joyous event, and for others sombre, dark and worrying. Mixed emotions were shared, tweeted, written about and aired around the world. Currency destabilised, racist attacks were being committed, and some started to complain that immense walls had not magically appeared around the borders of the UK.

Shockwaves of negative vibrations, anxiety and stress coursed throughout the country, with many people feeling betrayed, misled and upset. It was apparent that many people who voted to leave regretted it, as they, like many others, voted without knowing the full information of short-term and long-term implications, what would really happen with the economy, and what really would happen after the results were announced.

And yet we still do not know.

In our modern life, we are eager to do things quickly and to have immediate results. This is, frequently, due to pride which counteracts our humbleness and intelligence. As such, we do not always appreciate the time

we have been given to learn and educate ourselves to ensure that our actions have little, or preferably no, negative reaction.

Throughout the Spiritist Doctrine, and with messages from Spirits such as Emmanuel, Andre Luiz and Joanna de Angelis, we have reflections and examples of how to be patient and humble in order to fully understand a subject before making any decision, and the impact of misusing these natural abilities whenever there is any choice in front of us: the law of cause and effect.

There are also great parallels between The Spirits' Book (item 222) and The Gospel According to Spiritism (Chapter 7, item 13) regarding how we retain intelligence and morality from one incarnation to another, and how we should not let pride get in the way of our moral education.

We are unable to travel back in time to force ourselves to make different decisions. Whatever has happened so far in our lives cannot be undone - it is what as brought us to where we are today. Therefore, our key tasks are to learn, grow and improve ourselves, so that our future will be better than our past. This way, with love and humility, like the "poor in spirit", we can learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, and progress forward.

And this is a message we would like to send to our new Prime Minister, Theresa May. All decisions, no matter how big or small their impact might be, are important and need to be make based on full understanding and patience. We therefore also wish light, peace and harmony to surround this new Government during their difficult years ahead, with key negotiations that will affect us all. Adam Osborne

EDITORIAL by Elsa Rossi, BUSS

2016 is already showing itself to be a year of wondrous light descending upon those of good will. We started the year with an important meeting, attended by 16 Spiritist groups from around the UK. The main purpose was to give an opportunity for all Directors to meet each other, know each other and plan future events together, approving what we will embrace as a group. A decision was made for us to have more workshops for the preparation of Spiritist workers, as those who spread the light are the first to be enlightened.

Among the key events in the first months of 2016 was the Gathering of Spiritist Tutors for the Children and Youth, organised by the European Education Commission and BUSS, which took place in March.

In April, apart from the Spiritist Bookfair, which has been held for many years, BUSS will take part in the International Spiritist Council (ISC) Coordination for Europe meeting, which will be held in Basel, Switzerland, from 1st to 3rd April.

The main event of the year will take place in May. Divaldo Franco, Ambassador of Peace, will present two talks at Perrin Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, on 8th and 9th May. Please see the article on page 2 for more information.

The 2nd Gathering of the Spiritist Family will take place in September with the participation of renowned Spiritist author and lecturer, Professor Cosme Massi, creator of IPEAK (Instituto de Pesquisas Espíritas Allan Kardec). A seminar regarding Mediumship is also planned for September.

With all these events, we can only say that the Spiritist movement in the United Kingdom is developing with great fraternity and growth, which does not need to be rushed, but may it be always in an atmosphere of peace.

Editorial - 52        Reflection of 2015

 Our thanks go to all readers and groups who participate in our initiative of promoting the Spiritist Movement.

 Every three months, we have the opportunity to share with you the Spiritist events in the UK. The aim is to strengthen the fraternity and union between all Directors of this Great Spiritist Family.

 

During this period before the end of year festivities, hearts meet with the same loving harmony. A different and happier psychosphere can be felt in the air, along with warmth in our hearts. The lights in the streets, shops and homes, and the scented candles help our attention be with our family, and with those beloved ones who, even if it is only at this time of year, we exchange cards with messages of Peace and Health. This sentiment of fraternity is natural and transcends the concept of religion. What remains is a common religiosity based on goodness, that promotes love and peace among all people and nations.   

At Christmas, we Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, taking this time to show affection and attention to all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same Creator. I wish that this Christmas is a reality in our lives every day.  Peace to you all,

Merry Christmas and Happy 2016.    Elsa Rossi - BUSS Chairperson 

Editorial - 50    

On casually picking up Allan Kardec’s GENESIS, codified some 150 years ago, it fell open in the First Part (Chapter 6, item 32), where we found an interesting text about THE MILKY WAY. Let us take a look:

“On beautiful moonless starry nights, everyone can see that whitish glow which crosses the heavens from one end to another, and which the ancients dubbed the Milk Way… has become a vast field of unknown marvels…”

Further on: “In fact, the Milky Way is a prairie sown with solar or planetary flowers that shine throughout its enormous expanse. Our sun and all the bodies that accompany it are part of those resplendent orbs that form the Milky Way… However, the sun, notwithstanding its gigantic proportions in relation to Earth and the magnitude of its domain, occupies only an appreciable dot in this vast creation… By this approximate calculation one can judge the extent of the sidereal region… One can also judge the smallness of the sun’s domain; even more so, the nothingness of our tiny Earth. What would Earth be then, if one were to consider the beings that people the Milky Way!”

We hope these snippets have created sufficient interest for you to look more deeply into this amazing and scientific book, that talks of matters only now being discovered by Science, but also goes far beyond into the future. HAPPY READING!   The basic works of the Spiritist Teachings codified by Allan Kardec comprise 5 titles in sequence: The Spirits Book, The Mediums Book, The Gospel According to Spiritism, Heaven & Hell and The Genesis.   available at BUSS Bookshop - Please, call before: 020 3487 0508     [email protected]  

Editorial - 49  2015  - Celebration of the 150 Years of the book “Heaven & Hell” By  Allan Kardec 

One of the five basic works that make up the Codification of Spiritism 

Its overall scope is to explain the justice of God in the light of the Spiritist Teachings.

Heaven and Hell is the fourth of the five basic works that make up the Spiritist Codification. Its main purpose is to explain God’s Justice from the point of view of the Spiritist Teachings.

It is aimed at demonstrating the immortality of the soul and its situation in the spirit world as a consequence of its own acts. The book is divided into two parts: The first is a comparative analysis of religious theories on life after death. It discusses matters such as the death of children, individuals born with birth defects, collective disasters, and a wide range of problems that only the immortality of the soul and reincarnation can explain satisfactorily. Kardec seeks to clarify themes such as angels, heaven, demons, hell, eternal punishment, purgatory, the fear of death, the mosaic prohibition against evoking the dead etc.

Additionally, it presents the Spiritist counter explanation on the doctrine of eternal punishment. The second part, which is the result of practical work, is a collection of examples concerning the situation of the soul during incarnation and after discarnation. These are testimonies given by repentant criminals, hardened spirits, happy, average and suffering spirits, suicides and spirits undergoing earthly expiation.   Extract from the website EDICEI of America.  www.ediceiofamerica.com 

Editorial - 47   -   Rationalisation about the subject matter!  

This semester we are organising several talks and seminars emphasizing Mediumship Studies. We can see, in Kardec’s time, some of his considerations regarding this theme: 

“It would be difficult for us to compute the number of those who have come to us since we have been occupied with Spiritism and how many of those we saw who remained indifferent or incredulous in the presence of the most evident facts and were only convinced by rational explanation. There are also many others who were predisposed by reasoning. Then there are a number who have already been persuaded about the truth of Spiritism, though they had seen nothing, because they had read and understood the rationalisation about the subject matter! We therefore say, from our own experience, that the best method of acquiring knowledge of Spiritism is to first of all bring reasoning to bear on the subject and afterwards to confirm reasoning by experiment.   (Allan Kardec (Mediums’ Book, 1st part, Chap. III–Item 31)

“ In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Holy Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will have dreams.” (Acts, 2:17) 

“Mediumship is that light that would be spread upon all flesh and promised by the Divine Master in the time of the Consoler, now in course on Earth.” Emmanuel (The Consoler, question no. 382) 

“In the field of Mediumship, do not forget that a duty correctly fulfilled is the compass that will propitiate you the right direction.” Emmanuel (Religion of the Spirits

“The first enemy of the medium resides within his/her own self. Usually it is ego, ambition, ignorance or rebelliousness - in the voluntary ignorance of one’s own duties in the light of the Gospel. These are factors of moral inferiority that, quite often, will drive the medium towards lack of vigilance, frivolity and the confusion of unproductive fields.”   Emmanuel (The Consoler, subject 410) 

“In this manner, even if you feel imperfect, unbalanced, unhappy or ill, make good use of your medianimic forces by helping and enlightening, aiding and serving, thus assisting your fellow beings, because the good that you do will come back from those you helped to your own road, as a blessing from God to shine upon you.” 

Editorial   -  46   -   Spiritist Societies.    (written by Allan Kardec in 1869)  

All that we have said concerning Spiritist meetings is equally applicable to regularly constituted societies; and as we have frequently been asked for advice respecting the mode of organisation which may be usefully adopted by such bodies, we proceed to state briefly our opinion in regard to this point.

Spiritism, being in its infancy, is still too diversely regarded, and its essentials are still too little understood, by many of its adherents, to constitute any very strong bond of union among persons associated in a society of this kind. Such a bond can only exist between those who see its moral bearing, and who endeavour to make a practical application of its principles. Between those who see in it only an order of facts more or less curious, no strong bond of union can exist ; its members being more interested in facts than in principles, a mere difference of opinion in regard to the phenomena would suffice to create disunion between them. On the other hand, a society that should be united in principle, and in which mutual trust and kindness should exist to the exclusion of their opposites, whose members should assemble with the sole aim of obtaining truth through the communications of superior spirits, would not only be likely to live, but would be indissoluble. But the difficulty of bringing together elements really homogeneous, has led us to the conviction that Spiritist should aim at multiplying small groups, rather than at forming themselves into large agglomerations. These groups, corresponding together, visiting each other, and transmitting to one another the results arrived at by each, may, even now, form the nucleus of the great Spiritist family which will one day rally to itself all opinions, and unite all men in the common brotherhood of Christian charity.  Extract from The Mediums’ Book – item 334 

Editorial  45-  150th Anniversary of “The Gospel According to Spiritism”  

In 2014, when we are celebrating the 150th Anniversary of “The Gospel According to Spiritism”, we wish to call attention to readers of BUSS Newsletter about a letter from Krakow, submitted by the medium Mrs T. D., some seven years prior to the date of the correspondence at that time.

In this letter, the dear lady emphasises the progress of Spiritualism in Padólia, Poland and in the Ukraine. The Codifier had received a request from that same medium to join the Spiritist Society of Paris and she had sent four communications received through mediumship, signed simply "A Protecting Spirit", that were subsequently analysed by Allan Kardec.                         Two of these very beautiful messages Kardec then utilised in two chapters of "The Gospel According to Spiritism", now publicly available in PDF for free, from the Brazilian Spiritist Federation website, Chapter XI - LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF - item 13 - Faith and Charity, pg. 240 (Krakow, 1861)    Chapter XVI – IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO SERVE BOTH GOD AND MAMMON - Item 12 - pg. 335 (Krakow, 1861.)    Elsa Rossi