Tuesday, 16 September 2014

My Diary.... Do we really live in a civilized society? Kirsty Campbell's comments on the Seven Principles...Service of Acceptance for Irene McGilvray....


My Diary....

   17th – A short journey for me to take the service at Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church (SNU)
18th - Only a little further south to the Cumnock Spiritualist Church.

30th –A few hours after returning from holiday in the north of Scotland and Orkney when we were off to the Glasgow Association.  This was for the Service of Acceptance for Irene McGilvray.
31st – It is always a pleasure to travel to Fife and ASK Dunfermline.  As always there was a good turnout.  The committee work hard to promote Spiritualism at its best.


2nd - Neilston Spiritualist Church.
3rd – Prestwick Spiritualist Church.

Is the human race really civilised? With what we see on television and read in our newspapers we believe we in the West are - and the others in many parts of the world are not. But we have to remember that not too long ago we were in many ways just as barbaric.  
In 1727 Janet Horne was the last person to be executed in Scotland for witchcraft.   Janet and her daughter were imprisoned in Dornoch jail where they were both tried and found guilty of witchcraft.  Despite being old and confused Janet’s neighbours had accused the old soul of witchcraft.  The simple fact that Janet's daughter had a deformed hand may be the only reason why people accused her of this crime. Mother and daughter were found guilty and sentenced to death.  The daughter managed to escape but poor Janet was not so fortunate. The day after sentencing she was stripped and rolled in tar, then placed in a barrel and taken in a procession to where she was burned alive.  Janet was the last person to be burned in Britain for witchcraft.  So I am sure that Spiritualists are counting their blessings that they were born in  more enlightened times as far as Scotland is concerned.

Although we have most certainly moved on from those dark days we still have much to do before we can accept the accolade of being a civilized nation. 
In my life time; -
Look at the massive abuse of children, and even worse the cover-ups that kept all this silent.  These abused children had nowhere to turn for help as many of those in authority let them down
The introduction of factory farming that is hell on earth for the animals that live their entire lives in these massive buildings... 
Allowing renditions flights to refuel at our airports, knowing that passengers were on their way to be tortured. 
To have bombed Iraq when there was no need too, and in doing so killed so many innocent men, women and children.
To be part of an alliance that is regularly killing and maiming innocent men, women and children with drone attacks.
The number of horses that drop dead during or after a race yet we call it a sport.
We hear almost every hour of the day on 24-hour news channels new barbaric acts somewhere in the world...  Many countries that we call our friends and allies have torture chambers where each torturer tries to outdo each other by inventing new forms of torture to inflict extreme pain on their victims... 
Human trafficking is on the increase.  
Certain parts of the world are living as we lived several hundred years ago.  So as well as criticising those who commit evil deeds we should have at the back of our mind about our past and we are still not perfect today...
We in our infinite wisdom have done our best to educate and hurry other countries and peoples along to be more civilised, to have more compassion and understanding.  But this fast-tracking in many cases has sadly failed, creating a vacuum making situations worse.  There are other times we have been involved with the sole criteria of politics or securing oil rights rather than thinking what is best for that particular country and its people...  
So it is equally as important to pray for wisdom for world leaders as it is to pray for help for the victims.  Politicians, in solving one problem usually end up creating another.   One innocent man woman and child killed is one too many.  In every country there are good and bad and we have to pray that the good of all nations are given the strength, courage, wisdom and determination to conquer the evil in their area, then not to replace one evil with another.
So many put their lives at risk I hope that the Honours system from now on take notice of those who put their life in danger assisting Humanitarian organizations.

Some may think maybe my words are a bit too graphic for such a blog, but if others are willing to sweep the truth under the carpet we should not follow suit. Spiritualism the religion does not get involved in politics but we as individuals can play our part.  I have always been opposed to protest marches but we can do so much as individuals in other ways.  We can join pressure group like Amnesty International and Animal protection groups. We can also enter into debate with our elected representatives and keeping on with our complaints till something is done. 

I have asked friends if they would like to contribute something to the site and here is; -
 Kirsty Campbell’s views on our Seven Principles.
Within S.N.U. Spiritualist centres and churches you will often hear reference given to "The Seven Principles" and in particular, the fifth principle "Personal Responsibility"  Often mentioned together with the phrase, "That we are all responsible for all we think, do and say."  But this is a very glib way of explaining this principle and really doesn't explain much at all. This principle has a hidden depth to it and to be understood needs to be studied alongside the philosophy of our religion and should also be quoted alongside the 6th principle "Compensation and retribution hereafter for all good and evil done on earth"   Why?
The Seven Principles are neutral, they do not TELL us how to live or behave. They suggest.  They operate no matter what we think of them, they just are.   So if you disagree with them, it makes no difference because they are in effect anyway and none of us can escape our responsibilities.  This is what separates Spiritualists from Christians, because Christians believe that they can take their transgressions to Jesus and he will wipe them clean. The fifth principle says that this is wrong; we do not escape out responsibilities.  
So if we have responsibility for all we think, say and do- how far does this extend?  It extends for as long as time. What you do today has the potential to affect the experience of all around you and beyond.  You will often not know the result; it’s a chain reaction which will extend ad infinitumn. It's only when we die that we are shown the results of what we did, thought or said.
So as a Spiritualist, who understands this principle, we realise that to avoid the retribution of our negative behaviours we should strive to always think and behave in a positive way.  But we always have some measure of free choice and because this principle is neutral we can say "Ok I chose to behave negatively, I will still have to accept the consequences of my actions, either in this life or the next." 
Spiritualism is not the only religion to have this principal; most other religions have it in some form. Indeed Christianity is one of the few who doesn't.  
Isobel and I felt privileged to attend Irene McGilvray’s service of 'Acceptance for the position of Officiant or Celebrant as is the term in Scotland, at the Glasgow Association. The Officiancy, is granted to those who are considered capable of conducting services such as marriages, funerals etc and is by invitation from the National Executive Committee.
The service was taken by Judith Seaman Minister and Vice President (Spiritual) of The Spiritualists' National Union.  SNU Officiants or Celebrants in Scotland are very thin on the ground in Scotland and Irene is a welcome and much needed addition to the ranks.
The phrase “A great Ambassador for Spirit” is often abused but not in this case. Irene has worked tirelessly for Spirit and the SNU for many years.  Irene works in churches throughout the UK and overseas. She has dedicated her life to the Spirit World.  She is passionate about education, demonstrating and teaching within and out with the Spiritualist movement.  She believes that education is the seed that eradicates fear and ignorance, exposing and promoting the "knowing" that life truly is eternal and that Spiritualism is not only a religion but religion based on scientific fact that promotes a wonderful philosophy positively and profoundly changing people’s lives. Irene also does a lot of charity work, especially the work she does in South Africa, between raising money here and working with the people out there, she is totally devoted to this cause.
Irene’s Qualifications & Awards; -
Award holder SNU, DSNU  speaker, DSNU  demonstrator, DSNU  academic,
Advanced academic, CSNU speaker and demonstrator,  Arthur Findlay Collage tutor, Awarded Olive Hayward prize,   Course organiser for SNU courses: SD2, SD3, SD4, S5, D5, Marking tutor, SNU Education committee member,  SNU National Warden - S/I District, a member Scottish, Irish District Council. 
The above shows that Irene has put her heart and soul into Spiritualism and will continue to do so in her new role.
With all mentioned above one would wonder when Irene had the time to play a big part in setting up Glasgow Association of Spiritualism’s Church Museum.  Irene was responsible for instigating and developing and ongoing development of the museum