I was asked to be the "Inspirational Speaker" for a Spiritualist Church (Fellowships of the Spirit, Lily Dale, New York) the following is my "Inspirational Speech"...
We all have taken different paths to get “here” to being Spiritualists. I was born and raised Catholic. My parents can attest to the fact that from an early age - around 5 – I began questioning their beliefs. I
say “their” beliefs because I never truly felt I fit in – I just couldn’t hold the doctrine I was being taught as the “truth”. In high school, Catholic – and all girls – I sat out of many theology
classes because of my incessant questioning of the teacher (not a nun – thank goodness). Our family priest and I spent many hours having conversations about theology – him defending the church and I relentlessly questioning Catholic beliefs.
I just knew there was more…that the whole picture was just beyond what I was being taught.
So, my own journey “here” to this point, began
many, many years ago. It is amazes me when I look back and “connect the dots” of my experiences and synchronicities that led me, not always gently, to this point. To Lily Dale, to Fellowships, to school here at Fellowships…Embracing
my inner “hippie” if you will – the free spirit that has always resided in me.
Embracing Spiritualism is not the easiest of journeys. Unfortunately identifying yourself as
a Spiritualist has negative connotations. Most can define Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions but say you’re a Spiritualist and suddenly you are a tree worshiping nut…not an easy path at all.
On one hand we experience profound communion with our Creator – through visions, meditation and prayer. These solitary experiences can leave us feeling euphoric. Yet, it is because they are solitary, that when we attempt to share
our experiences, translating them into words falls flat and leaves the listener questioning our sanity.
I can share with you a vision that occurred shortly before my Son, Alexander was born.
I was resting on my living room couch; our living room has a large picture window and faces North. Bright, warm light filled the room, I remember thinking that the sun could not be shining into a north facing window. The soft, white light filled
the room and Jesus was standing there. I was surrounded by love that permeated my entire being. I can share with you how I felt connected to the Source and to all living things. The unbounded freedom and joy, the oneness with the Divine is
not downloadable from me to you. I can never verbally describe this experience adequately enough to allow you to feel exactly what I felt… thus, a solitary experience.
On the other
hand, we are “up against” those that follow an organized religious path. In a society that preaches acceptance, declaring that you speak to God – and he responds – is not only frowned upon – but also shunned – complicating
Our Spiritual journey surely does not have us skipping down the primrose path.
It is comfortable to sit here - in a Spiritualist
Service – with like-minded individuals – once a week, but, how are we living the next six days? Again, it is comfortable to surround ourselves with individuals that “get us” and have also embraced the Spiritual journey to connect
to the Source in a ‘non-conventional’ manner. Due to the solitary nature of the Spiritualist journey we can, and often due, find ourselves alone and marginalized for our beliefs.
isolation can cause two problems for us. The first being stagnation of our spiritual growth. We have “arrived” at Spiritualism - accepting the beliefs as truths – and now what? We share with people that accept us, defer questions
about our beliefs from those that don’t. Maybe we meditate daily, maybe we don’t, maybe we join in a development circle, maybe not. We continue our daily lives, outside of the euphoria that occurs when we connect to Spirit. There
are dishes to do and groceries to buy. The mundane aspects of lives need to be attended to. And slowly, unless we remain steadfast and speak our truth, our Spiritual growth is stunted.
will share with you a short example of this – upon returning from time spent in Lily Dale or at Fellowships of the Spirit – I am on a Spiritual “high” – all is right with my world. Three days out though – after dealing
with chores, tasks, and frustrating children – that - (gasp!) – have their own minds – my Husband will look at me and say, “Well, Lily Dale has left the building”.
all need to still function in this world. “After the Ecstasy – The Laundry” a book written by Jack Kornfield, sums up the journey of a Spiritualist. Daily, after a traffic filled commute and interaction with a stressed spouse
or child, a dinner to prepare, and indeed, laundry to be done, we are no longer interacting with others on a “higher plane”. We need to find a balance between both areas of our lives. The Spiritual as well as the mundane.
And now the second problem arises – when anyone of any faith professes to have God, the Creator, Infinite Spirit, front and center in their lives, they are judged by their actions. It is not enough to declare
you are Spiritual in nature. You must talk the talk and walk the walk.
Connection to Spirit comes through quiet contemplation. Florence Shinn says, “Prayer
is talking to God, Meditation is God speaking to You”. Make time in your daily, busy lives to be quiet and connect to the Source.
If we can center, ground and maintain
our connection to Spirit daily, we will operate on a higher level. Our Spiritual growth WILL occur… we will not be stagnant or allow outside influences to “chip away” at our resolve.
Concurrently, when we operate at a higher level our interactions with others will reflect our Spirituality. Live your life and speak your truth in a way that is non-threating and welcoming to fellow seekers.
Spiritualists do not recruit as some religions do. People find us because of their individual experiences. We need to be beacons to those searching for a deeper connection to the Source.
Let us all lead by example and allow our interactions with others to reflect how great a personal connection with God is.