The True Mission of Christ
Posted on 18 April 2011, 9:23
On August 23, 1853, a spirit identifying himself as having been Francis Bacon, the 17th Century English philosopher when in the material world, took control of the hand of Dr. George T. Dexter, (below) a New York physician, and wrote, “Now we will try and give you views of the true mission of Christ on earth.” Bacon reiterated a previous message that he was not at a level where he had access to all truth and believed it would many thousands of years in earth time before he reached that level. “We are giving our opinions – opinions formed from the circumstances existing in the spheres where we dwell, the facts which come under our observation, and the ideas gleaned from those spirits in advance of us, who occasionally have intercourse with us.” Moreover, Bacon said he had never seen Christ because Christ was in a sphere much more advanced than the one he found himself at.
Dexter and John W. Edmonds, Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, were the key figures in a circle that met regularly to receive messages from the spirit world, many of the messages purportedly coming from the spirits of Bacon and Emanuel Swedenborg, the 18th Century Swedish scientist turned mystic. Both Edmonds and Dexter began as skeptics out to debunk mediumship. However, they quickly became believers and both turned into mediums themselves. Both Bacon’s and Swedenborg’s handwriting differed from each other and differed from Dexter’s.
Bacon (below) pointed out that the Jewish nation had been agitated upon the fulfillment of certain prophesies about the birth of a man who would restore the glory of the Jewish kingdom and establish a dynasty which would exist forever. “They ascribed to this personage attributes at once both earthly and divine – a being who would subdue all the nations who had oppressed their race,” Bacon began his explanation”…”
Bacon’s further explanations are abridged below.
“[The Jewish priesthood] could not submit to a limitation of power which had been for ages universal, and it became a matter of serious import to them that the very nature of Christ’s mission should be misunderstood. Thus, when we are told that Christ was to be born, we are also told that he was to elevate the people, he was to institute laws which would restore the might and power of the nation, and he was to rule as king, possessing powers derived from and almost equal to God. It was the policy of the priests to inculcate the material mission of Christ, the establishment of a material kingdom, and the institution of laws which should affect the material condition of the nation alone.”
“It is not strange, therefore, that when Christ was born in the lowly manger, that he was not recognized by priest or noble, that he was insulted, reviled, and at last crucified. It is not strange either that his true mission was by the masses misunderstood, and that when he stood in the highways and byways, discoursing on the true nature of man, his duties to himself, to others, and to the world, he could not be comprehended by those who expected him in pomp, in glory, and with all the power and magnificence of a sovereign.”
“To ascertain what was the true mission of Christ, we should attentively consider the character of the man as given in sacred history, and also in profane, and view his daily life and action in reference to the great work he was called to perform. The earliest indication of any positive ministration was his teaching in the temple when yet a child, and when he confounded the Priest and the Pharisee. At this time he reasoned of life, death, and eternity, and the groundwork of all his teaching was, that the moral purity of man’s life on earth was the guarantee of his happiness after death. From this period until the time of his death, he sought out every opportunity to utter those sentiments; and were we take the sermon on the Mount as the solitary evidence in support of our argument, we should triumphantly claim that Christ’s mission was the reformation of the moral condition of the world; that he taught all that we teach; that love, purity, truth on earth, are the incipient steps of progression; that eternity develops no sentiments more consonant with the nature of God than progression from these principles.”
“But what was the effect of Christ’s teaching on earth? He says, I came not to destroy but to fulfill. Let us ask what this fulfilling means. Does it not mean the fulfillment of the great design for which man was created? Before his advent, the world’s conscience was pinned on the sleeve of the priesthood; their faith was the faith of all, and what they chose to inculcate as religion or truth was implicitly recognized by the people. What did Christ teach? He taught men to examine their own hearts, that by the fruits of a man’s life was his moral condition to be tested. He says, Can a good tree bring forth evil fruit? Can the association with evil develop good? No; he charges his disciples to be humble, and merciful, and truthful, to regard others in all the relations of life as they would be regarded when similarly circumstanced. He presents the spirit as a part of God, and says it was from God in the beginning, and he requires that spirit to be pure even as God is pure, that it might dwell with the father forever.”
“Christ taught the doctrine of forgiveness, and when asked when man should pray, and for what he should pray, he refers him to God. He does not associate himself in any with the adoration of the Father, but says, Our Father which art in heaven. In every act of Christ, in every reference made to his power, or to the power of God, he distinctly refuses to be regarded as any other than a man and the son of man.”
“True, he says, I and the Father are one, but he conclusively refers to the accomplishment of the object for which he came on earth; that in spirit they assimilated, he in the holy and intense desire to elevate his race, and God in the boundless benevolence by which he had permitted man this opportunity for progression. Even when arrested in the garden, he says, I could pray to my Father, and he would send legions of angels to my aid; emphatically here he admits no power belonging to himself – he refers everything to God.”
“Christ found a world buried in ignorance. No true idea had been given of their destiny; and not until he dispelled the darkness which shrouded his whole moral nature did man make the effort to understand his true relationship to himself, the world, or to God. Looking back to Christ, we see the light which has been poured through the vista of years till it has now illuminated the whole civilized world, flickering as a spark, and scarcely affording a ray to guide the benighted footsteps of man. Now we feel its genial influence; now we walk in the glorious beams which lighten up life and death, and send its rays into eternity.”
“Christ opened the portals of the dark grave, and exposed the life beyond as one of progress. He brought man near to God, and bid him understand his connection with the Father. His conditions were, Repent, and in this he sums up all of spiritual doctrines. Repentance is progress, and progress the eternal happiness of the spirit.”
“How profoundly he understood the human heart! And in the picture which he drew of man’s disposition he leaped over centuries of time, and identified the man of his own day and generation with man of the present age in all his attributes and properties.”
“To me, in the consideration of this whole subject, there is a most beautiful thought in this mingling of his own elevated nature with the grossness and ignorance and perverseness of the common people. Teaching them by trite and simple parables, he descended to their comprehension, and came to the very door of the hearts which were not closed against him.”
“But there is one feature of his mission which has not been apprehended, or even noticed, by all the divines of every sect who have pretended to explain his teachings since his death, and that is, he spoke, when on earth, to the very feelings and thoughts which could and would improve by the knowledge which he taught. He kindled a fire in the hearts of all men, slumbering though it has. While ages have passed and nations have been born, and have been buried, too, with the past; while laws have been established and temples have been built; while those laws have passed away, and those solid temples have crumbled into dust, still this fire has slumbered, but it has been the slumbering of the fires in the mighty volcano of time.”
“In the teachings of Christ we have the fundamental principles of every revolution which has succeeded in establishing the rights of man on earth. In this we have an illustration of the mission of the Savior as a Reformer, and the effect of the progress of man. And we have, too, the first point of earnest inquiry which his teachings elicited, What is man’s destiny after death, and for what was he created?”
Michael Tymn’s forthcoming book, The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die? will be published in Summer 2011 by White Crow Books.
Next Blog May 2-3
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The Enigma of Reincarnation
Posted on 04 April 2011, 10:27
For those who have accepted the strong evidence that consciousness survives death and lives on in another realm of existence, there remains a major debate. It is the enigma of reincarnation. Outside of organized Western religions, most people accepting survival seem to believe in reincarnation. However, there is a fair percentage rejecting it.
Many spirit communicators – those speaking through mediums – have said that they have discovered that reincarnation is for real. Moreover, compelling evidence in favor of reincarnation has come to us through credible researchers, such as Dr. Ian Stevenson (Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation) and Dr. Brian Weiss (Many Lives, Many Masters).
On the other hand, intriguing books by Rosemary Brown (Unfinished Symphonies), Suzy Smith (The Book of James) and Betty Eadie (Embraced By The Light) further repudiate reincarnation, at least in the way most people think of it. “Reincarnation, as usually understood, does not really happen,” the spirit of the great composer Franz Liszt purportedly told Brown. “The truth is subtly different from the teachings of a reincarnationist on earth.”
In A Course in Miracles we read: “In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past or future, and the idea of rebirth into a body has no meaning either once or many times.”
Thus, there seems to be strong evidence for reincarnation but, at the same time, seemingly credible mystics and spirit communicators have said that it is not so. The conflict can easily lead one to reject all revelation coming to us through mediums, near-death experiencers, and past-life studies.
One possible explanation is that we do not become “all-knowing” when we cross over, and spirits in the lower spheres still believe as they believed when alive in the flesh. It is said that on the third sphere, often referred to as Summerland, many people still practice the religions they practiced on earth, and their beliefs remain the same. If they didn’t believe in reincarnation, they continue to disbelieve in it. If they believed in reincarnation, they continue to believe in it.
Most spirit communication apparently comes from the lower spheres because the spirits there are closer in vibration to those of us on the earth plane. The more one advances in the spirit world, the more difficult it is for him or her to communicate because of the difference in vibrational frequency.
When William Stainton Moses, one of the most credible mediums of the late 19th Century, asked Imperator, the name adopted by an apparently advanced spirit, about reincarnation, he was told that only the most advanced Intelligences are able to discourse on that subject and that it is not given to the lower ranks of the spiritual hierarchy to know. “There are still mysteries, we are fain to confess, into which it is not well that man should penetrate,” Imperator cautioned. “One of such mysteries is the ultimate development and destiny of spirits. Whether in the eternal counsels of the Supreme it may be deemed well that a particular spirit should or should not be again incarnated in a material form is a question than none can answer, for none can know, not even the spirit’s own guides. What is wise and well will be done…There are other aspects of the question which, in the exercise of our discretion, we withhold; the time is not yet come for them. Spirits cannot be expected to know all abstruse mysteries, and those who profess to do so give the best proof of their falsity.”
Imperator, who claimed to be on the seventh sphere, said that it was necessary for him to relay messages to Moses through spirits on lower spheres because of the difference in vibration.
Another possible explanation is one of definition or semantics. “You will find that the higher the ascent in the spiritual scale, the more recognition is there that there is reincarnation,” Silver Birch, another apparently advanced spirit communicated through the trance mediumship of Maurice Barbanell, “but not in the facile form that is so often propounded.”
Silver Birch explained that the individual personality on earth is a small part of the individuality to which he or she belongs. He likened it to a diamond with its many facets, pointing out that the personality on earth is but one facet of the diamond. “what you express on earth is but an infinitesimal fraction of the individuality to which you belong. Thus there are what you call ‘group souls,’ a single unity with facets which have spiritual relationships that incarnate at different times, at different places, for the purpose of equipping the larger soul for its work.”
Silver Birch also likened the soul to an iceberg in which one small portion is manifesting and the greater portion not manifesting. He apparently was referring to what others have called the “Higher Self,” the “Greater Self,” or the “Oversoul.” Trying to explain reincarnation to humans, Silver Birch added, is like trying to explain the color of the sky to someone who has been blind from birth.
The group-soul concept had earlier been advanced by the discarnate Frederic Myers through the mediumship of Geraldine Cummins. “When I was on earth, I belonged to a group-soul, but its branches and the spirit – which might be compared to the roots – were in the invisible,” Myers, one of the pioneers of psychical research before his death in 1901, communicated. “Now, if you would understand psychic evolution, this group-soul must be studied and understood. For instance, it explains many of the difficulties that people will assure you can be removed only by the doctrine of reincarnation. You may think my statement frivolous, but the fact that we do appear on earth to be paying for the sins of another life is, in a certain sense, true. It is our life and yet not our life. In other words, a soul belonging to the group of which I am a part lived that previous life which built up for me the framework of my earthly life, lived it before I had passed through the gates of birth.”
Myers further explained that the group soul might contain twenty souls, a hundred, or a thousand. “The number varies,” he said. “It is different for each man. But what the Buddhist would call the karma I had brought with me from a previous life is, very frequently, not that of my life, but of the life of a soul that preceded me by many years on earth and left for me the pattern which made my life. I, too, wove a pattern for another of my group during my earthly career.
Myers added that the Buddhist’s idea of rebirth, of man’s continual return to earth, is but a half-truth. “And often half a truth is more inaccurate than an entire misstatement. I shall not live again on earth, but a new soul, one who will join our group, will shortly enter into the pattern or karma I have woven for him on earth.”
Myers likened the soul to a spectator caught within the spell of some drama outside of its actual life, perceiving all the consequences of acts, moods, and thoughts of a kindred soul. He further pointed out that there are an infinite variety of conditions in the invisible world and that he made no claim to being infallible. He called it a “general rule” based on what he had learned and experienced on the Other Side.
In 1918, even before the communications by Myers, Liszt, and Silver Birch, a spirit entity identifying himself as Johannes of Glastonbury, a monk who had lived from 1497 to 1533, communicated by means of automatic writing a number of messages to Frederick Bligh Bond, the director of excavations at Glastonbury Abbey, concerning the layout of the abbey grounds in his day. Johannes alluded to a group soul when it was suggested by another spirit entity that Johannes might be “earthbound” and his recollection colored somewhat by “clinging to vanished dreams.” In fractured English, Johannes responded: “Why cling I to that which is not? It is I, and it is not I, butt parte of me which dwelleth in the past is bound to that which my carnal soul loved and called home these many years. Yet, I, Johannes, amm of many partes, and ye better parte doeth other things – Laus, Laus Deo – only that part which remembreth clingeth like memory to what it seeth yet.”
Communicating through Helen Greaves, Frances Banks, an Anglican nun when on the earth plane, said that she used to believe that there were souls with whom we had been in contact with in other incarnations and to whom we owed karmic debts or who owed us reparations for wrong inflicted. “What I believed may still be true in part, but now I realize that those souls who attract us are part of ourselves,” she communicated through Helen Greaves. “They belong to the same Group, the same Spiritual family, the same Group Soul. Their connection with us is deeper and far more permanent than mere earth contacts could make it. They may be part of the same Spirit as that Spirit is itself part of the Great Spirit, the great Company of Divinity, far beyond our comprehension, the Company of Heaven, the Co-Creators, the Divine and Beautiful Sons of God.”
In his 1939 book, Reincarnation for Everyman, author Shaw Desmond states that there are two approaches to reincarnation – the “terrestrial” and the “celestial.” The former view has the individual returning again and again as the same man, while the latter view has man “solely as spirit and his temporary inhabitancy of the physical body as but a tiny projection of the Greater Self, Thus, it may be that those mystics and spirits who have rejected reincarnation were rejecting it in the terrestrial sense but not in the celestial. “Think of an atom,” Liszt told Brown. “It is made up of protons and neutrons which all go to make up the nucleus surrounded by electrons. That is what a soul is like. These separate parts are held together in the nucleus, but the parts can be isolated. And it is the isolated parts of the nucleus of the soul so to speak which can manifest as various personalities in your world. These are what the reincarnationalist calls different incarnations – but they all belong to one soul which can choose which particular part of the soul it wishes to manifest.”
When Frederick Bligh Bond asked another of the Glastonbury spirits, a more fluent speaking one, about reincarnation, the spirit replied: “You understand not reincarnation, nor can we explain. What in you reincarnates, do you think? How can you find words? Blind gropers after immutable facts, which are not of your sphere of experience.”
Personally, I am content to view reincarnation as I view God – beyond my comprehension. It is enough to know that consciousness survives physical death and lives on in a progressive spirit world.
Michael Tymn’s new book The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After we Die is published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and all good online book stores.
Next Post: April 18
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