George Woods asks Brother Boniface about why the young people are not going to church. Brother Boniface responds that as of late, people have declined to accept what the church offers. The young have become more analytical, and have considered the claims made by the church. They are full of doubt and uncertainty. They no longer will accept the teachings of the church that don't have foundation and realization that will bring conviction.
In the old days, people accepted blindly, without question, what the church taught. The men in the pulpit were looked to as the mouthpiece of god. Today, the young see them in a different light. They see them as men, like themselves, often uninspired. Today, the young are digging more deeply. They're not scratching the surface, content to accept without question. However, it is to the young that we look for the furtherance of truth for future generations.
Those on the other side are searching for mediums that can take over the work of the spirit. Boniface explains that here, they find the greatest disappointment, because so often the young are disappointed, even with spiritualism. This is the tragedy that causes them great concern, that there are so few mediums who are able to expound these things and also bring the conviction so long desired and needed. The very young people are disappointed, because the evidence is not always forthcoming, and often those who are mediums don't fulfill the obligations that are placed upon them. They don't adhere to the truth.
At this moment, spiritualism, develop mediums who are in themselves able to demonstrate the reality of these things. Boniface says that there are very few who are capable and those who are capable overtax themselves mentally, physically, psychically, and spiritually. Spiritualists have to protect the mediums, but many mediums do not protect themselves. In some instances, they are anxious to serve too well for their own good and for the good of those searching. A medium, no matter how sincere, must protect himself and the power of the spirit. When that power is manifest and used, all is well.
Brother Boniface continues to explain that there are times, often beyond the medium's control, when those on the other side are unable to manifest. Many factors have to be taken into consideration. There are so few mediums, and too often, those who serve have a tendency to overtax their powers. The mediums are sometimes weak. Mediums must be spiritually minded to be good mediums.
There is a difference between psychism and spiritualism, between psychic gifts and spiritual gifts. They weave together. What we need are good psychics and above all, good, spiritually minded mediums. We need to make it so only that which is good will come from it. Very often, thought, it isn't manageable. Those on the other side can only do the best they can according to the power that is generated, according to the substance that they have to work with. They often deal with people in the Earth plane who are disappointed and disillusioned. He explains that those on the other side do their best to uplift and inspire, but they cannot force, and would never try to have mediums do something against their will. They desire that which is good, but are still subject to the conditions that prevail around the medium. They on the other side are no better than their contact and the medium they use. Nevertheless, they often succeed.
In his message, he then turned to the issue of the young in the church and spirituality. They are not easy to convince, he says. They often expect everything to be perfect, inasmuch as it can bear scrutiny and analysis. At times it does, and at times it does not. What they do not realize is that those on the other side are limited by the conditions that prevail at the time. Sometimes, a session may fluctuate, depending on so many factors. And the young don't realize that they themselves contribute to the conditions that make communication possible. Sometimes their attitude isn't as it should be in spite of their sincerity. They must learn to be humble.
Their education and the circumstances of modern life create barriers. Everyone seeking to understand spirit must be like a little child before they can enter into the understanding of the spirit. People must enter a seance or meeting with an open mind, unfettered, unchained by preconceived notions and ideas. They must be open in their approach and their hearts must be filled with love for all humanity and all of creation. In many instances, they do enter into this "contract" between the afterlife and Earth realm, and this foundation of goodness of love and peace and harmony and understanding and spiritual realization, but it is often a slow, laborious journey. Anyone who enters into this truth will not find it easy. By this, he says he means that for a person's eyes to be open to things of the spirit is difficult, for they are rising out of the mire. They must take unto themselves a new value, new understanding, new realizations, new purpose, and enter into a consciousness and state of being removed from material things. They must learn in consequence to adjust and give everything its true place.
That isn't easy for the young. It requires that they sacrifice things that seem materially important. For a person in old age, who has lived their life and made mistakes and assessed values, it is not so difficult to throw aside many material desires of the flesh and things that once seemed important. It is much harder for the young to reassess values, toss aside many material things that are important to them in their energy and young. Therefore, those on the other side will find their efforts insufficient because the young don't have the patience to seek greater depths and value. They make quick judgments and have been disillusioned with mediums whose quality is not the highest. They don't receive the inspiration they longed for, so they drift away.
Some are anxious to be of service and spiritually aware, but life in the world impedes them. People that they often become friendly with who think differently, make them become caught up with material conditions which by their nature close the door to spirit. They have great difficulty gaining the conviction and realization to work on the paths of truth and obey the laws of the spirit.
Some on the earth plane assume that those on the other side have risen far and away from the material things of earth. That's true to a point, but he stresses that we're all on the pathway to gradual progress. Some are manifesting themselves in a state of being far, far removed from the material world, where life is so far removed that it would be impossible to depict it in words that people on Earth could understand. There are those nearer and not unlike those on Earth, not in outward shape, but in attitude and mind and spiritual design.
All men, whatever their strata of being, have within themselves deep-rooted, latent desires for spiritual realization, spiritual consciousness, spiritual awareness, and the desire to overthrow the works of self. All of us are Jekyll and Hyde characters. He says that he is always aware of the simple teaching Christ gave: "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's." This, he explains, is an example of what they endeavor to imprint on those on the Earth, young and old. People should understand the spiritual aspect of the themselves, with all its potential and magnificence and beauty and power, not necessarily when they arrive on the other side, but while still on Earth. This is the great opportunity that is so often missed by all people, irrespective of creed or color. They do not suggest that people on Earth should abandon the material life. They say that people on this side should take it with open hands and be happy, enjoy that which is good from the Earth.
They understand the many temptations get in people's way. And they don't consider that some of the things that are considered temptation are such. They are often opportunities to gather knowledge and experience.
It is necessary to make mistakes, but one must learn and the only way to learn often is by error. Error isn't a good thing, but they don't' deny that often the mistake is necessary. A child, in ignorance and foolishness, does foolish things. But a child will learn by error, by doing things that are foolish. Many of the things that men refer to as evil aren't seen by those on the other side as evil.
The church is changing gradually. Though the churches are empty, those who serve the church are changing. The young parson is changing in attitude and outlook considerably from 100 years ago. There is hope for the church in this respect. The young in the church will see more clearly the errors of the past and try to rectify them. They will demonstrate the spiritual faculties and gifts in the church and many will return as a result. Those who heal the sick, those realizing the gifts of prophecy, those who realize that it is possible to go back to the early days of the church when it was simple, as children in humility and faith, partake of the power of the spirit.
He says that the early Christians saw and heard and knew that life is continuous, that death is not the end. That is where the early Christian martyrs got their tremendous hope and assurance, certainty, joy in their hearts. They received the power of the spirit manifested itself in many ways. They were assured. They had no fear of death. They had no fear of the release of the spirit from the physical body.
Untold numbers of people fear death today. They fear the sickness and illness and agony. Others fear the consequences and retribution, especially those of a religious turn of mind given by the church. But there is no judgment; no one judges another. We all judge ourselves. We all assess ourselves. When a man arrives on the other side, it is as though, in some strange way, he is conscious of himself for the first time. Man is stripped of all things and no longer can wear a mask or hide behind the false front built up through a lifetime. Boniface explains that many he has known have been aghast when they realize that in the world of spirit, there is no judgment, no condemnation, no need for fear or apprehension. Each man finds his own true level and works out for himself his own salvation.
What is intended in the Christian way of life is that one should follow the master, Jesus: to model oneself as far as one can upon him, to become like unto him, to do these things that are greater than ourselves. Man has the power within himself to save himself, to do things of God while on earth. Man is given the power from within to overcome the manifold weakness of the flesh, to realize that everything that transpires, everything that happens on Earth has its place, meaning, and purpose. One must learn the power of the spirit, the life-giving force, the essence of all goodness. God is power, God is love, God is the creative aspect of self, the energy and vitality, the realization of oneness with all creation.
If only man could see himself. If only youth could realize this because it is in the youth that great opportunities arise, with the life strength to create the brotherhood of man, the salvation of the world, to realize that the Earth world and afterlife are one world, not separate worlds. Those on the other side are unknown, but are part of our spirit on Earth, just as we are part of their spirit. He ends by urging us to open up to these things, see and know of the divine power that underlies all of life. True realization of this, which they give to us, is the foundation upon which shall be built an understanding of spirit for future generations. We on Earth live in difficult times. Man has created these conditions under which he finds himself. It becomes more difficult and frightening, and could be horrifying.
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