Articles about Spirituality

Dispatches from America - October 2009
By:The Reverend John E. Otey, NST CM


Important lessons can be easily overlooked when one relates to another an emotionally charged story such as what appeared in last month’s Dispatches. Lessons and thoughts that would serve as an epilogue to “The Rest of Her Story” can be summarised by the following four words: Cure; Time; Awakening; and Victory. The balance of this column will explain why these four words are so important, not only to Maude’s story but also to everyone.

All healing mediums strive to provide a cure to whatever sickness, disease, or affliction befalls another. The mission of the healing medium is to be the clear channel through which the unlimited healing power from God flows into the person seeking help and the ultimate outcome of course is the “cure”. We want to help provide, either directly or indirectly, conditions that result in a cure; the braces falling from the legs of the crippled Forrest Gump as he proceeds to run unassisted, earn a football (the American version thereof) scholarship to the University of Alabama, go to Viet Nam and be wounded and earn the Medal of Honour, go to China and play ping pong, form Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and make a “gazillion” dollars – type of cure, but in spite of our best efforts and selfless intent a cure is not forthcoming. Sometimes all that we can hope for, all that we might be able to reasonably expect, is that a healing will take place following the application of spiritual healing. Yes, we want a cure, but what becomes lost is the importance that spiritual healing provides when a change is affected in the symptoms that afflict the person seeking help. Imagine the blessed relief that is provided when a constant, mind numbing, sleep depriving pain is relieved for a time following spiritual healing. If the affliction recurs then the person need only go back for more spiritual healing to receive the anticipated comfort and resultant change in symptoms. Hopefully the duration of being symptom-free increases and the time of being pain ridden decreases with every subsequent healing thereby improving the person’s own quality of life. A healing medium’s sole emphasis on providing a cure can in fact be purely ego driven. There are also cases in which the person afflicted may never improve with the application of spiritual healing because of inherent lessons mandated by their individual life plan. There are personal lessons to be learned and life to be experienced by the person afflicted with disease for which no cure is possible. All depends on the compact made with the Creator before incarnation; no amount of spiritual healing may overcome a situation of this type. Perhaps the only way that Maude could have learned the true meaning of life would be to endure her sickness and experience the pain of physical death prior to her transition to the spirit side of life. Others have taught many through the example of their personal suffering. Pope John Paul II demonstrated that there can be nobility during a time of suffering as he carried on his pontifical duties while being afflicted by a devastating case of Parkinson’s disease. To overlook the value of healing when striving to find a cure is the functional equivalent of not seeing the forest for the trees.

Sometimes one of the most important benefits of spiritual healing, above and beyond the elusive cure, is time. Time, as we know it, is a man-made construct that is wholly irrelevant on the spirit side of life; conversely, here in the realm of the physical world time is of extreme importance. When one is told that they have only three weeks to live what a gift of three months can be; when one is told they have three months how wondrous the gift of three years can be. Maude received the gift of time resulting from her spiritual healing. She had the time to see her grand daughter accepted to a prestigious boarding school, time to dance with her husband at her daughter’s wedding, time to learn of the name of her yet unborn grandson, and time, to hopefully live like she were dying. Make no mistake about it that the additional time provided by spiritual healing, even if a cure is not possible, can be one of life’s most precious gifts. Since no one knows how much time one has on the earth plane, all time is precious, and even a second wasted could be one’s last second to waste. One should make the most out of time available and to live life to the fullest. One shouldn’t wait until one’s impending death is staring them in the face before one does the things one has wanted to do once before they die. Whether it be plumbing the depths of the deepest ocean or climbing to the top of Mount Everest, do it now instead of waiting for some uncertain time in the future. Put nothing off for tomorrow that which you can do today.

Our Spiritualist understanding is that at the time of one’s physical transition there is a brief condition resembling sleep and a subsequent awakening on the spirit side of life. The conditions around one’s passing can also be similar, for instance, if one passes in hospital then one’s entry would be a reawakening in hospital. Also important to consider is that one never makes the transition alone. Many have reported that their loved ones began to see those who have long ago left the world of the physical as the time of transition neared, and those same people often await the reawakening. Similar stories have been related in earlier editions of Dispatches. The importance of providing a calm, sedate, and loving environment to the person nearing one’s transition is made more important given that the awakening occurs in a similar environment. Remember from last month that Maude was lying in a sterile environment in hospital but the energy was changed once a more comforting atmosphere was attained by the playing of her favourite music, the reading of verse and such. This experience also underscores the value of hospice. It is the hospice environment that provides the calm, sedate, and loving environment not generally offered by the relative cold sterility of hospital. Most hospices are affiliated with a denominational religion, and if not directly affiliated, then many of those in the ranks of the pastoral care staff are naturally drawn from denominational religion. There is often accompanying dogmatic baggage that comes with denominational religion and this could prove to be a matter of discomfort to a Spiritualist awaiting one’s transition at a church-affiliated hospice. Imagine how valuable to a Spiritualist and also to like-minded non-denominationalists that a hospice would be if it were stripped of this dogmatic and creed-laden baggage. The June 2009 edition of Dispatches introduced readers to Mr. Dannion Brinkley, author of “Secrets of the Light, Lessons From Heaven”, who has made it his life’s work to found and promote a chain of spiritually oriented hospice across the United States. His compassionate work in founding this network of hospice is laudable and should be supported. Perhaps the time has come to establish hospice of, for, and by Spiritualists and our associated like-minded brethren. Perhaps two such hospice should be established, one in the United States near our Spiritualist home of Lily Dale, New York and one in the United Kingdom. Perhaps these hospices should be known by the corporate name of “Transitions” which would reflect our attitude toward the change called death and that our philosophy of life continuous would serve to be the underlying theme of our new experience.

The concept of victory when associated with the end of one’s physical existence can be hard to fathom unless one shares our Spiritualist perspective that views physical death as a change of environment and not the end of life. We are not asked to merely believe in the continuity of life as denominational religion asks its adherents to have faith of their eternal reward in heaven, but the eternal nature of the human soul is demonstrated and proven to us time and time again. This demonstration takes many forms and each individual demonstration is life sustaining and affirming. Your correspondent officiated at a funeral service of a church member during which several members of the decedent’s family told him that it appeared that the departed was breathing and your correspondent thought that he was the only one that witnessed this phenomenon. Readers need only remember last month’s column in which it was reported that Maude’s husband had the clear vision of his dear wife just weeks after her funeral. Every veridical message delivered by our mediums during demonstrations of clairvoyance affirms the continuity of life and proves to us that the human spirit is indeed eternal. The celestial scoreboard now reads Life “Infinity”, Death “Nil”. Death where is thy sting! We once again proclaim that there is no death, and there are no dead.