Freedom To Choose What Is Right

Brother Bernardís New Year Address

Recorded in a Spiritualist Church during January 1989.

Good evening friends.

It gives us pleasure to come into your midst once again to leave with you one or two thoughts that might be of help to you in the coming days.

This is the time of the year when you look back and you look forward. It is the time of the year when, perhaps, you have begun to make resolutions. Perhaps you have begun to keep them or perhaps they have already fallen by the wayside. But it is also a time when you can look back over the past year and try to analyse the circumstances that have occurred and you find yourself asking again and again "Why?" Surely that is the word that comes most often from the people on the earth plane, "Why"! Why should there be tragedies? Why is it that people set out in high hopes praying that there will be peace on the earth plane?

During the Christmas season you sing hymns of peace, hymns of love, and you feel within your hearts a blessing for all peoples and yet there come the disasters, there come the events that shake your world, the events that shake your faith, that make you wonder whether there is a God, and, if there is a God, how can He be a God of compassion, a God of love if He allows an earthquake to happen as occurred in Armenia, or allowed wicked men to plant bombs as happened in your own country? What you have to realise is that you have got free will.

When you come to the earth plane you come from Spirit because, as we have said before, the fact that life is eternal means that you, the spirit you that is within each one of you, was in existence before you came to Earth, even as it will be when your body has finished its task here and you leave it behind and go on into the next world. When you come to the earth plane you chose the circumstances that lie ahead of you that will give you the lessons that you need to learn.

Because man is in a state of progress, even as one of your mottoes says "Eternal progress is open to every soul", even though you see the circumstances of your life before you came to the earth plane, yet you come with another attribute that can alter events, can alter the circumstances; can throw a different light upon your pathway and that is your free will.

Man has a choice to make when he comes to the earth plane.

We often say that if everything in life were black or white then it would be a simple matter for you to choose the white; but life is not like that. Life on the earth plane is made up of shades of grey and you have to choose between one and the other and often it is very difficult for you to make a right choice; a wise choice.

Those who planted the bomb upon that aeroplane (Lockerbie) were acting as they thought right. You cannot see into their minds to know what was behind the reason for it, but rest assured that those who committed that crime thought that they were doing so from the highest motives.

It is so difficult for you to understand how these things can happen. How the minds of men can be warped and twisted so that they see white as black and black as white. Yet there are very few things that are done on your earth plane from evil thoughts. The majority of the crimes are committed by people who think that they are acting from the right motives and one of the most difficult things that anyone on Earth can do is to analyse to the n'th degree their motives for any particular action.

You know that life on the earth plane will never be easy. It is not intended to be! It is a school; a place where you have to learn and often the learning can only take place through bitterness, through disappointment, through failure.

You have to look at the life of the Master Jesus when He was on the earth plane. How much did He actually achieve during His short ministry? The men that He chose to follow Him, they were weak vessels. They left Him on His own in the garden at Gethsemini; left Him to agonise. They could not keep awake and when it came to the trial the one that He relied on most, Peter, denied Him. To all intents and purposes the mission of Jesus should have ended there. What could a small group of ignorant men, most of them, do with the message that He came to give ? Yet at Pentecost the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and they spoke to the multitudes and every man heard them in his own tongue. From that little group of men there grew the religion which you subscribe to; the religion of Christ; of Christianity.

Down through the ages, in spite of all the misunderstandings, in spite of the dreadful things that have been done in the name of religion the message came through loudly and clearly - the message of love. We have often said what a simple word it is and yet what a wealth of meaning it conveys - love. Love that can stand on one side and see other people helpless; that can reach out a hand and help them but that understands that everyone, every individual, has got to make their own journey.

You cannot live another persons life for them. You cannot alter the circumstances for someone else apart from when they are young you can teach them; teach them to be self reliant; teach them that within them there lies the spirit; the spark of God. Teach them that the lessons of Earth have got to be learned and have got to be learned on their own.

It is difficult during your life upon the earth plane to look at things from the broad standpoint of the whole world. It is difficult for you to rely upon the education that you have given some young child and watch that child make mistakes; and yet it is through those mistakes that that child will learn. You cannot live another persons life for them. You cannot clear all the obstacles because they are necessary for progress; the progress of the spirit.

Many of you as you come towards the time of life when you begin to look back on what you have done and look forward to the next stage, then you will see many things that you have done which were mistaken; you can see your failures. You can see the promises that you had that were not fulfilled but you can also see the victories that you have won. You can see the help that you gave to others: the words of comfort, the healing, the love that you sent out.

We have often told you that when you come to our side of life there will be no judgement seat. The only judge will be yourselves and you will not judge yourself immediately; you will not recall the whole of your life in one second of time, as you know it, it will be a gradual process. As you look back and see the circumstances of your lives unfolding before you one by one you will see the lessons that you have learned and those that you have still got to master.

The world of Spirit is a world of thought; it has no matter as such. And the life that you live when you leave your body behind will be the life for which you are fitted; for which you are at the right stage of evolution. You will meet your loved ones but you may not live with them completely; it will depend upon your progress in this world and theirs.

One of the problems that quite often arises when you are thinking about the next world is you wonder how you will recognise your loved ones. Those who were old when you were young. Those who are young when you are old. Those who passed over before you were born and yet who have an influence on you. How will you know them? The one thing to remember is the power of thought; the power of Spirit. The power which enables every being to be at several different stages of existence at the same time.

We have often said that time is very difficult to explain in the Spirit World. You are on the earth plane and you work by the clock, and the clock depends upon the time of day, and the day depends upon the time that your Earth revolves, even as the year depends upon the time your world goes round the sun. But time in the Spirit world is completely different. A moment can seem a century and a century can seem a moment. There are many things about life in Spirit which we cannot explain to you because you would not understand. There are many different aspects of Spirit; many different spheres if you like to term it so.

May we repeat a little story that we have often said which will indicate something of what we mean.

Imagine that three people, three beings from another world. A world that is very much larger than yours. A world where the time is very much longer than yours; where the days and nights are longer also the years. Imagine these three beings from that world given the power to transport themselves into the likeness of human beings are sent to the earth plane to discover what life on Earth is like; a little tiny world compared to theirs.

The three beings come to Earth for a period of two or three days.

One of them comes to the north of Canada among the Eskimos, the second comes to New York in the middle of the busy city and the third comes to the Pigmy tribe in the middle of Africa. They observe the life of the people around them and then go back to their world to say what life on Earth is like. Would they be believed ? Of course they wouldn't! They would be told that a little tiny speck like Earth could not be as different as all that. They would be laughed at; praised perhaps for their imagination, but the world from which they came would never accept that Earth could be so different. It is the same with the Spirit World.

We cannot give you an exact description of what life will be like because it will be different for each one of you. The only thing that we can do is to ask you to do the best you can while you are on the earth plane. Make the best of the circumstances of your lives. Gain as many experiences as you can possibly cram into your life upon Earth. Use the difficulties that come your way to make your spirit stronger. Rejoice if things are hard for you knowing that in working at, in overcoming, in sending out thoughts of love, you are building your home in the Spirit world; a home that can be anything you please.

Whether you prefer to live in the open or in a shelter. Whether you want a house a bungalow or a flat Whether you want to live in a tent or whether you just want to enjoy the outdoor existence. It does not matter; you will get what you want; what you have worked for; what you have earned. And eventually you will find your place in the Spirit world with those who are at the same stage of existence as you are.

There is one thing that you will take with you when you leave your body and that is the love which you have shared with those on the earth plane. The good that you have done. The achievements that you have made; the progress that your soul has accomplished. Accept what comes to you on the Earth knowing that you will receive in Spirit the reward of your endeavours; the stage of "next life" that you are entitled to.

We leave you with our love praying that each one of you will go forward in this life doing your best for yourselves and for those whom you come into contact with.

We say goodnight and God bless you all.

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