Editor: The Hamstringing of Christianity
Engaging with Spirit lies at the heart of all religions. And in all religions there is the corporate and personal experience, the communion with the Unseen as well as with one's fellows. Each religion has its holy books, with the teachings and experiences of spiritual forebears. These holy books and teachings are very necessary, for they embody the experiences and thought of great leaders of the past. But it is unwise to so much rely on our holy books, that we do not believe the evidence of our own senses, and experience.
For medicine, Hippocrates and Galen (the latter dying about 200 CE) were holy writ, and doctors followed their teachings, largely without experimenting themselves, until the 16th century CE.
In the case of the New Testament, the Resurrection of Jesus is seen as pivotal. And it is so for the Christian churches. But we have problems with the NT stories of the resurrection of Jesus as they stand. I Googled “inconsistencies in the resurrection stories” and found this reference from a sceptical article, which many scholars belonging to The Jesus Seminar would be happy to corroborate. Of course all these inconsistencies are not fatal to a belief in Jesus' resurrection: we can remind ourselves how St Paul visited St Peter in Jerusalem not so very long after the crucifixion, and spent two weeks with him, meeting James the brother of Jesus, and how Paul spoke of a personal experience of the risen Jesus, and made the crucifixion and resurrection a central theme in all his letters. We can also remind ourselves that Paul wrote long before the Gospels were written.
Such reasoning may persuade us that the resurrection of Jesus was a fact. On the other hand we live in an intensely materialistic society, and while an increasing majority of people in Western countries believe in some sort of afterlife, many academics are scornful of the reality of Spirit. And this does include a number of theologians.
Naturally, many people who are committed members of their religions are very spiritual people, and will have their own direct intuitions and experiences of Spirit. To be spiritual is to have a relationship with Spirit, and a desire to live in the light of that Spirit. Spirituality is a living affair, and by no means comes merely out of books.
But do we not need present day experience to confirm what we derive from the holy book?
Is it not of great importance that people have NDEs and OBEs? That a surprising number of people receive apparently bodily visitations from the dead, experiences with similarity to the experiences of the disciples of the risen Lord? Is not Christianity hamstrung, if it cannot refer to modern day instances of what was happening way back then?
[With regard to bodily appearances you may be interested in these two articles from Public Parapsychology. Article 1 Article 2 At the end of the article 2 there are links to two YouTube videos which are helpful and moving.]
by Nate Cull
The final paragraph reads:
"When we look at both
science (especially the science of living systems) and what the
mystics, and spirit communicators such as Stephen, say, we can see
that some of the deep mysteries of the Christian faith can be simply
and literally true. It's not completely within our understanding,
but it's not completely outside it either. There seem to be ways in
which the human personality can overlap in multiple times and
spaces, how groups of people can share a common bond of identity (in
the literal, philosophical, 'A is A', sense), and how ultimately,
perhaps, 'we are all one in Christ' can be a simple statement of
fact. At the moment, we're not quite able to see this in all its
glory. But one day we will." Maybe
reading this could be a priority
Search words: eternal present, lilies of the field, intelligent design, Green movement, living systems, recursion, self-organization, complexity, economic systems, materialism and the spaghetti monster, non-separation nature/supernature, frog and air one system, gaia, Bohm undivided whole-ness, non-separateness and the internet, “I and the Father are one” literally true.
The story of the Ross sisters, as communicated through the mediumship of Geraldine Cummins, perhaps the most accomplished automatist of the 20th Century, suggests that family grudges and feuds carry over into the afterlife if not resolved before death. The story also suggests that we can have concerns and regrets relative to how things, such as wills, were left at the time of transition from the physical world. Read on
ASPSI The Spirit in Out-of-body Experiences
HISTORICAL AND CONCEPTUAL NOTES
Carlos S. Alvarado
Carlos S. Alvarado has a Ph.D. in psychology and an MA in history. He is Assistant Professor of Research at the Division of Perceptual Studies in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences of the University of Virginia, and Adjunct Faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology.
This paper focuses on selected aspects of the history of out-of-body experiences (OBEs), namely case work and discussions published between 1860 and 1956 in which its authors defended concepts such as the spirit and subtle bodies capable of going out of the physical body. Read
Louis E. LaGrand, Ph.D., CT
Not a day goes by where someone somewhere comes face to face with the death of a loved one. Many of the survivors experience in their grief work what I have labeled Extraordinary Experiences (EEs). By definition Extraordinary Experiences are events in which a bereaved person is convinced that he or she has received a sign or message from the deceased loved one or a divine being.
James E. Beichler, Ph.D.
The acceleration of the Universe is, along with dark matter, the observed phenomenon that most directly demonstrates that our theories of fundamental particles and gravity are either incorrect or incomplete. Most experts believe that nothing short of a revolution in our understanding of fundamental physics will be required to achieve a full understanding of the cosmic acceleration. Read the lecture
The greatest truths and aspirations are perpetually at risk of being subverted from their highest possibilities. We see tendencies arising these days which are rationalized through a spiritual rhetoric yet lack a spiritual center and which therefore are at the mercy of distortion by the ego and its narcissistic demands. This is especially true when there is any opportunism, any possibility of telling the ego what it wants to hear, rather than telling the Truth. These can take the form of celebrity spirituality, quantum affluence, psychological polytheism, mythological paganism, mystical eroticism, ego-empowerment, get-what-you-want-mysticism. Each in subtle and not so subtle ways misplaces the center, and is therefore out of balance. Read on...
More on our October issue's the theme of Paranormal/Faith Healing
Causerie: “Finger of God”, and other healing ministries, by Michael Cocks
In our Anglican church with its liturgical services, we invite people up to the altar for the laying on of hands and anointing with oil for healing of mind and body. There is a great atmosphere of worship and caring, but, I am afraid, we would be startled indeed if a lame person could walk, or a blind person could see. In contrast to this we have healings within the context of evangelical and charismatic ministries. Read on..
A Sermon on Spiritual Healing by Nate Cull
Delivered at St Mary's Addington, Christchurch NZ
Nate quotes from a letter from his Pentecostal missionary brother, Paul Cull: "On the Sunday night we had a very special time of physical healing and there were a number healed of back problems, a lady was healing of a blind eye and another, who couldn't read her Bible due to far-sighted vision, was almost instantly healed. One young man was healed of a shoulder pain and then, later, a swollen ankle that he had (which apparently had been in plaster cast) went down as we prayed for it. There were many other healings which I can't remember now!"
Brian Longhurst's "Honest to Goodness" WebsiteShortly before publication we found the above website. There is much here that will be of interest to readers, but we are mentioning it because of what it has to say about healing. There is much of great value to be discovered here. At first sight we may be struck by how different the approach is from that of the Charismatic ministries just described, or from what is described in our October issue. But possibly the more we study what is to be found here, the more we will see similarities.
The section on Healing The Home Page
From “Patience Worth: A sorry tale” From the mediumship of Pearl Curran.
From preface to 'The Sorry Tale' (1915)
Read this Wikipedia article for an insight into the importance of Patience Worth, and an understanding of the background
1. Wind o' the days and
thou the searchers of the night,
Lend thou to me of thee.
Sun of the day, a-bath o'er Earth,
Lend thou of thee to me.
Rains of the storm,
A-wash of Earth's dust to a-naught,
Lend thou of thee to me.
Sweets o' the Earth, the glad o' day,
Lend thou of thee to me.
Prayers o' the soul, the heart's own breath,
Lend thou to me of thee.
Fields of the earth, a-gold o' harvest-ripe,
Lend thou to me of thee.
Dark o' the nights, strip o' thy robe,
And lend o' thee to me.
For I do weave and wash and soothe
And cloak o' one who needeth thee,
A one o' His, a-stricken,
A one whose soul hath bathed o' crime,
And Earth hath turned and wagged a nay to him.
Calm eyes a-look 'cross sea.
The seething waters lap 'pon sands
At feet of Him. The day, a-bathed of blood,
A-soundeth 'mid the soothing of the sea's soft voice.
Earth, old, olden, yea,
And yet so youthed, so youthed!
And He a-sit, calm-eyed, years youthed,
And wisdom olded past the tell.
And lo, His voice a-mingled there
With silvered tongues of speaking waves.
The rolling waters lapped
The very murmur of His prayer.
And e'en this day, methinks,
Tis tongued unto the earth.
The sand's soft clung about the feet a-bared
That still should trod 'pon stones a-sharped.
Yea, Earth e'en then did hold the greened tree
That burst the sod for upping of the cross.
And lo, the voices of the Earth
Cried out and sounded discord
'Mid the heaven-song of Him.
And He a-walked Him from the sea's calm shore
And through the vale, the bittered cup to sup.
Methinks that there within the garden place
I see me of His holied self a-stripped.
No brother of the flesh might know of Him,
For God be God and man doth fear to know.
And Earth doth stand it, still a-crying out
Against this song of love.
And yet, I do to see Him sit,
Calm eyes unto the sea
And wisdomed past the tell.
Visit the archives of Victor Zammit's weekly newsletter at http://www.victorzammit.com/archives/index.html for hours of fascinating reading. When you open this website you have the opportunity to request that these emails be sent to you every week, something that we strongly recommend.
We strongly recommend this site, as a source of much interesting material.
Editors' notes: Public Parapsychology is one of an increasing number of web sites that we should be aware of.. and subscribe to. Try this url: http://publicparapsychology.blogspot.com
“This web site is a compilation of information on the afterlife and other related critical concepts, such as the purpose of life and reincarnation, as they relate to souls here on earth. We have not created this site to convince anyone of the validity of this information, we simply invite you to read through the data, explore the sources we have used and visit other sources to learn more. Using spirit sources from Afterlife101.com and respected authors like Michael Newton, Allan Kardec, Jane Roberts and others, the results of our first investigations reveal 94.8% agreement on a variety of very specific topics. We believe this web site contains the largest correlation of spirit communications about the afterlife, all from respected sources, available anywhere. We will continue to expand this data as information is made available to us and our research expands.”
Click http://www.near-death.com/ for hours of fascinating reading
Read also http://www.near-death.com/experiences/reincarnation08.html A long list of extraordinary coincidences between the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy.
Electronic Voice and Instrumental Communication: