Monday, 29 October 2018

Invictus Inspiration

If you saw Prince Harry give his opening speech at the Invictus Games in Sydney, I am sure you will have been as moved as I was. It was a truly inspirational speech and charismatic delivery which must have brought upliftment to hundreds of hearts and minds and hope for the future.

Speaking to the five hundred athletes taking part who were overcoming their mostly war related injuries, Prince Harry said: `You are the unconquered generation. You are the optimistic generation. You are the new generation of servers and you are the role models for us all.`

Harry also spoke movingly of his own experience of seeing fallen colleagues when he was on active service in Afghanistan, and how broken the wounded could be after their life changing experience. This had made him want to use his position to do something to offer them new hope and encouragement. Invictus means `unconquered; undefeated` - the greatness of the human spirit can triumph over all adversity. He wanted to encourage wounded and broken people that there were still wonderful and positive things they could do and my goodness he has certainly done that! I myself listened to an interview with one athlete who had won a medal during the games, and he said that this time last year he had wanted to take his own life as he felt so hopeless, and now he could see a new life opening up before him.

Well done Prince Harry - you are a shining star, and your radiance is an inspiration and example to so many, not only to wounded soldiers and their families, but thousands of us ordinary people, to keep on smiling throughout the many challenges which life on earth can bring. 

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

A Lighthouse in the Darkness

We recently received a comment on our Facebook page which has inspired me very much. The comment was: `Thank you for being there! Like a lighthouse in the darkness.`

Many years ago, talking in the London Lodge, White Eagle likened our work to being a lighthouse in the dark years of the second world war and the austere time which followed. The strong and constant light of a lighthouse shines out through fog and storms to guide mariners to safety. The light of White Eagle`s teaching and the ever-growing brightness of our shining star symbol, is always there, like a lighthouse. It is built on a firm rock foundation of the eternal truth of the ancient wisdom. 

This wisdom of the ages is unchanging in our world of ever changing technology and innovation.
When feeling buffeted by media storms and news of yet another tragedy in the world, I find it helpful to contemplate the lighthouse image and its symbolism. I have also started now to try to feel myself actually being a lighthouse! So as well as having the image of the external lighthouse shining out into the dark world, I try to feel in my own being the solidity and safety of the rock foundation - strengthening my inner core of faith in God`s perfect plan - and stand tall and shining through every outer gale....well that is my goal!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

'It is in dying that we are born to eternal life'

At this time of year, here in the Northern hemisphere, as the days get shorter and nights longer,  I am always reminded of my mother Joan Hodgson`s passing. The actual date was 8th October, very near St Francis day, and I am looking at a copy of his famous poem `Lord Make me an Instrument of Your Peace` as I write this. I read the poem at the opening of our Peace Day in the New Lands Temple just over a week ago, and the beautiful and evocative words never fail to touch my heart.

Even if we believe strongly that life continues after the physical death of the body, there is still bound to be some sadness and feelings of loss when a close friend, family member or loved one passes on. This is natural. Anniversary times are particularly poignant, and remembering our loved ones in no way `holds them back` in their new lives of greater freedom. 

As I think of Joan, my mother, at this time of year, I feel joy at her freedom, and also her encouragement that life really is eternal. It is indeed, as in the words of St Francis, that `in dying we are born to eternal life` she affirms, for we realise without any doubt that things go on in the same way. Life is more beautiful, yes, but it is not a question of sitting on a cloud with angels playing harps; that would be boring after a while! We make our life in heaven beautiful through our own efforts, our creativity and positive thoughts, just as we do whilst in physical bodies. There are still challenges to be embraced in heaven, lessons to be learned, hills to climb, but if we open our spiritual eyes wide, we can see with ever clearer perspective the glory of God`s great plan for our personal lives and indeed for the whole world. Our faith can grow stronger and stronger, and we can help our loved ones still in physciall bodies to feel this too.

White Eagle says in THE LIGHTBRINGER: `As they grow in spirit, people will no longer fear death because they will be quickened to life in spirit. Death with all its morbid trappings will be a thing of the past...Death will be swallowed up in victory, in immortality, because when men and women learn to live by the true spirit, recognising in each other the same spirit as that within themselves, they will know there is no separation by death.`

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Do Not Judge a Book by its Cover

Listening to the radio the other day, I heard an interesting talk on the theme `Do not judge a book by its cover`. I think one of the really positive things which is emerging in this age of Aquarius is a greater acceptance of `the many different ways of being` and a deeper understanding of variations from what has been considered the right way to be, to act or to look!

However, it is still all too easy to judge things by their outer appearance, or coloured by our own experience, our upbringing, religious conditioning from childhood and the culture in which we live. I notice this myself, and keep working on it! When we pass on, I think we are still bound in many ways to old restrictive patterns of thought, and it can take a while and considerable effort to free ourselves, as we shed the numerous layers of the old life, to reveal the sparkling jewel within.
A little while ago I was talking with a friend about the beautiful precious jewel - a ruby - and how much this stone meant to me. Amazingly, he showed me a ruby he had in its original form, encased in a brown stone-like substance, not beautiful at all, but what a treasure lay inside, similar to the finding of a beautiful pearl in a rough oyster shell! I thought of this as I listened to the radio talk. I also remembered Mother Theresa`s inspiring words about how, as she worked with the old, sick and destitute people she sought to help, how she always saw Christ in every soul, no matter their outer appearance.

The White Eagle teaching is full of inspiring words encouraging the reader not to judge in any way. One of my favourite passages is in The Quiet Mind and has the title `Respect your brother`: 'The true light is a gentle love which, rising in you, causes you to look on the world with understanding and compassion and respect. When you respect the soul of your brother or sister you respect their life in every way. This gentle spirit, this respect one for another, must come. For this is the generation of the one true light, and this true light is that of love.'

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Many Facets of Love

Do take the opportunity if it comes, to see the new sequel to the hugely popular film Mama Mia. I had heard mixed reports about it, but I found it very moving. It may stir the emotions of those watching it, but it is very positive. Sometimes we need opportunities for buried emotions to be released in harmless ways, to allow new acceptance, contentment and happiness to flow in and fill our lives.

I was truly surprised at the way in this one film (which hopefully will be viewed by millions) so many areas of human experience and different aspects of loving are highlighted in non judging and positive ways. Even love and care for animals - in this case a beautiful horse. As well as the thread of sadness which runs through the film, there is also a celebration of joy and fun, and a feeling of moving forward and embracing new life. And, what moved me most at the climax of the film, there was a clear affirmation of love continuing beyond the death of the physical body, and the ability which can come to us all of realising the continuing presence of loved ones.

I hope that many people will be encouraged in their own faith by watching this film - an example I believe of the positive way in which our Star prayers are indeed affecting the media and those in positions to influence the thoughts of others.

White Eagle reminds us in his Little Book of Comfort for the Bereaved: `Love disperses all mists....when there is love in the heart it shines through and disperses the the mist and he/she sees      loved is not a question of human kind being `here` and the spirit `over there` with a closed door in between the two. Understanding reveals that life is universal, that the life of the spirit is identical with life on earth.`