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Special Corner - Richard Rowley Various articles January 17, 2010

Re: Rescue Circles (26) and (27) Assisted suicide - is it a crime?

Each situation, time and place and circumstances will create specific problems to deal with, and whether you as the assistant, are a doctor, nurse, friend, relative or bystander. Maybe there is not time to think, only to act on the spur of the moment. Maybe you are in a hospital that is flooding, and have only time to rescue yourself; do you risk your life and try and rescue the person stranded,or pull the plug,or ease their pain before you go? Nobody will judge you except yourself, from a spiritual point of view, but if you are a doctor or nurse, you have responsibilities, and there are protocols and rules to follow, and relatives to consult, if a decision is to be made about assisting death. Is euthanasia technically suicide? Each state, country and religion has its own thoughts, rules and laws on this. We as Spiritualists know there is no death, and passing is merely leaving a vehicle behind, and returning to the greater soul entity. No life, or consciousness, is lost. Is extreme pain, or a condition of comatose vegetation sufficient grounds for assisting death? The motives of the person assisting death would be the factor to take into account. Is it out of concern, and loving care? As for true suicide, taking one's OWN life, unassisted, that personal decision is more clear cut. If you are healthy, in no way should you take your own life. Whatever the distress, whether facing financial ruin, debt, bad relationships, bereavement, or depression, it would seem you are placed in those situations as a test, to face up to them and DO something positive. Even if you fail, at least you have faced up to them bravely. If on the other hand you are extremely sick, or just old and feeble and no longer able to function, and you feel there is no more to do in this life, and there are no more responsibilites, then you can say a prayer, and you may pass in your sleep. Some yogis and mystics have trained themselves to leave their body, painlessly, when they feel their time has come. This is not suicide, but just a timely letting go. If you were a wounded soldier, and the alternative to your escaping comrade shooting you before he makes his getaway, is to be left to be captured and tortured by the enemy, then that assisted suicide would be an act of mercy. Similar extreme cases in the news, with ALS or other paralyzing conditions, assisted suicide is also an act of mercy, if the patients wants to let go, but cannot 'do it himself' because of his powerless condition. Is assisted suicide a correct or incorrect thought-form, you asked. I don't know if there IS such a thoughtform. It's certain not murder, unless the assistant gains from the death, and that, or hate or revenge is the motive for killing. If the person's valid life is over, with no hope of recovery, then assisting in the death, because the patient can't do the act himself or herself, and wants to pass, that would also be an act of mercy. But that very act might be in violation of a local code of conduct, or law, which might make the act a crime, not spiritually, but according to the law of the land. So there's the dilemma. We shoot a race-horse that has stumbled and broken a leg, putting it out of its misery. It's only in more terminal conditions that we meet this crisis with a human being. Then we have to have the courage of our convictions, as well as tending to the needs of the helpless. "How can we help a person in a helpless condition?" is really the question here. Only our conscience can help US, right then and there. If we are worrying more about how it affects our future spiritual progress, rather than about what the patient wants and needs, then we have lost focus on the problem at hand, and are worrying about ourselves. It's not an easy question, is it? But remember, there is no death. Does the patient know this? Perhaps if there had been time to discuss the realities of life and death long before the extreme conditions had been reached, another solution might have been found. This is food for more thought. Sorry to be so long-winded in musing about this.


Should a medium's services be obligatory at every spiritualist meeting or service?

I don't feel the giving of messages has to be made obligatory, EVERY meeting or service, especially if a developed medium is not regularly available. It's unrealistic to expect messages at every service or meeting or home circle, so perhaps it's a mistake to stipulate that there MUST be clairvoyance, or even healing, at every service, unless you have advertised in advanced that a particular clairvoyant or healer will be attending. Sometimes we sit for years with nothing, or there may be completely blanks séances from time to time, in otherwise eventful circle meetings. But something is always happening behind the scenes. Blank meetings may be building up towards a breakthrough in the future, and our prayers and thoughts never go unnoticed. On the other hand there may be unexpected happenings at a lecture. I was happy with the progress of a lecture meeting one Sunday at a Spiritualist church. Then when the meeting was almost done, a little Welshman got up, like a person at a Quaker meeting feeling inspired to speak. He was accepted and he just came to the front, not on the platform, and proceeded to give many evidential messages. He eventually came to me, seeing my father behind me, and gave me my second contact with him in the 40 years since his passing. That unplanned event alone would have been enough to convince me of survival, [had he not recently materialized for me briefly, in front of witnesses, to help me with a difficulty decision.] My sister's husband then came through, mentioning a pub we used to visit years ago which has since changed hands and been renamed. He gave the original name, and other evidential information. Later on, I told my sister this, back in England, and convinced HER of survival too! One things leads to another! The best contact with spirit comes unexpectedly and unsought doesn't it. I suppose we need to educate the public generally when they visit our meetings and services,or come for individual readings, telling them NOT to ask for a particular person or piece of advice, but to let the OTHER SIDE decide who should communicate, and about what topic or matter. If there is an urgent need here to be met, THEY know, and will find means of contacting the person concerned, even if they have to find a third party through whom to relay the message.

Re: Rescue Circles (28)

I guess like attracts like, so spiritual law applies in this situation of a distressed spirit being attracted to a young medium. Theophila Dittus, in ignorance of her own mediumistic abilities, and moving into what we would call a haunted house, picked up the resident ghost, a restless soul who had killed two children. Perhaps she saw in Theophila a means of obtaining help and rescue, and the rappings were to attract attention. This also attracted a multitude of other obsessive spirits. But maybe it was all 'planned' at a higher level, to bring Rev. Blumhardt into his work of rescuing and healing lost souls. I notice that a lot of former mental hospital buildings in New York and elsewhere are being turned into condos, and gentrified, becoming high priced though much sought after residences. The trouble is that the vast number of tormented souls who once resided there are still hanging around, and I fear there is going to be much need for further rescue work, especially if the new residents, either in ignorance or through a low life-style (drug culture or whatever) attract them in!


6Oth anniversary of a career in writing, teaching and music. I just realized that it's sixty years since my first remarks as a writer, in a film review, were published in the Bristol Evening Post. Around the same time I gave my first lecture, on the science and illusion of cinematography. Thirdly, I started learning and playing musical instruments, and fourthly that year, I had an NDE which changed everything. As someone said recently after a spiritual experience, we KNOW. Belief is secondary to experience.

I later wrote a piece in a college magazine about illusion and reality related to the cinema, and thirty years later I was studying Yogananda's writings for the first time and found that my piece was more or less a carbon copy of what Yogananda had written ten years earlier than my article, though at the time I wrote it I had never come across or knew about him. I belonged to the Anglican Church for fifty years, without really believing the myths and creed I recited. But I still felt the presence of spirit in the services, overwhelming at times. I have left all that now, but I did discover that Yogananda was a physical medium as well as being clairvoyant. He had a past life as the Norman King, William the Conqueror, and his meditation room was on occasion quite noisy when his former comrades in arms would materialize in full battle armor!

This more than anything proved to me that mediumship exists all over the world, and is common to all cultures. Religions have sprung up following different aspects of mediumship, and they are all paths to the truth. I think we have all belonged to many of them in the course of many lives on earth.

The NSAC membership application form has a section to fill out asking what religion we have converted from to become a Spiritualist. I wouldn't say that we CONVERT to Spiritualism. It is a realization of the truth. What we have experienced in the other religions or sects which we may have belonged to stays with us, and our knowledge, past and present, enriches us. We just discard the myths and legends, just as we grow up and no longer BELIEVE in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, but continue to propagate the SPIRIT of Christmas and Generosity. That's my experience, anyway.

God Bless.

Richard R.

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