The hardest thing that we ever have to learn, even though Jesus said it 2,000 years ago, is to love your neighbor as yourself. Most of us don't have a problem loving other people; the problem we have is loving ourselves. We always equate that with selfishness.
It has nothing to do with selfishness. It means having internal awareness that your God-center is linked up to God. You picked this life to come in to, and you have a theme to perfect, for God.
One of the tenets of our religion is: "The way of all peace is to scale the mountain of self. The love of others makes the climb down easier. We see all things darkly until love lights the lamp of the soul."
The Gnostic Christianity embodied by my church, the Society of Novus Spiritus, is very different from any other denomination of Christianity. As some of you might know, I'm a student of religions. I have been in many of them and have studied most of them; I'm from a Jewish, Catholic, Episcopalian, and Lutheran background.
Listening to priests, ministers, rabbis, and others, I always got the feeling that they "knew", and we didn't. They made us feel stupid. Through all of my studies, I began to realize that all of the messiahs said that if we were like children, we would understand it. The movement that everybody calls "the New Age" isn't new. It's older than time. It was around long before the time of Buddha or the time of Jesus, and it came about way before the Old Testament. The whole world believed in it, totally and completely -- we have had many lives.
We're Gnostics -- not agnostics. I want this to be a people's religion. We base our path to God on reason far more than on faith. Anything that you can ask can be answered. There are no mysteries. A truth and a reality that you never believed possible will manifest inside you. Believing on faith alone is exhausting. Reason is what we're bringing you. The whole idea is that God is in His heaven, and you're here. The reasonable idea is that you keep progressing, that whatever wrongdoings have been done to you, they are ultimately for a reason. Nothing is random or pointless.
This is the first time in 2,000 years that we're merging a belief in reincarnation into Christianity. For years and years, people didn't believe these two ideas went hand in hand, but of course they do. Scholars and theologians tell us that the Gnostics and the Essenes had extensive writings about reincarnation up until A.D. 325 with the Council of Nicaea. So did our Lord, because he studied in India.
I'm going to give you techniques so you can live more fully with your own religious beliefs. What you have to realize is that Gnosticism doesn't care whether you're Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, or Buddhist. We are an addition to your existing beliefs, not a replacement for them. The main issues in founding my church are:
* to love, not fear, God
* to get rid of guilt; and
* to show that through many lifetimes you perfect your soul, then return to the Other Side.
This knowledge also helps you progress faster and not have to come back so many times. If you want to, that's fine. But I'm sure most everyone is weary of it, or they wouldn't be searching. We're tired of the guilt, of the fear, and of laboring through life.
This doesn't mean that life can't be wonderful, but it's hard. This religion means that we're going to join hands, and make it from one shore to the other with all of us interconnecting, so you will always have a place to go and a back-up support system.
The reason, I think, that most religions have failed is that there has been so much fear and guilt, so much emphasis on hell and the devil. That's the biggest joke in the world. This is hell. You don't have to worry about devils. We have enough nasty, mean people running around. If you don't believe me, drive in rush-hour traffic.
The only time you should feel guilty is if you do something maliciously and with premeditation -- but how many of us do that? Do you feel guilty because you don't love your parents, or you don't care about them as much as you should? Maybe they're unlovable. Do you feel guilty because you don't feel that you're a good enough parent? Maybe you have lousy kids. Did that ever dawn on you? It has on me. That doesn't mean that you dump them somewhere, but understanding and tolerance gets better.
Don't get caught up in, "I should do, I have to do, I had better do," as do many of my clients. Nobody gives us a manual on how to live this life. We write our chart, but no one gives us pamphlets or says, "Look, this is what it means to be a good spouse, a good worker, a good friend, a good parent, or whatever."
Let's face it -- we all chose to come down. We even chose all of our family members, and they chose us. If there is no negativity in life, then you don't perfect for God. Now, I know what some of you are thinking: What was wrong with me when I picked these challenges? On the Other Side, as I've said so many times, everything is so wonderful and magnificent that we say, "Hey, I will handle that," because we're so happy and close to God. Then we get down here, in this vehicle we call the body, and it gets really tough.
Do Not Fear God
One message I want you to hear clearly is: Don't have a fear of God. Why should you be afraid of the Supreme Being from Whom you came? Wouldn't it be terrible if our children, every time they came in the room, crawled in on their hands and knees in a supplicating position? That isn't love. Love means standing proud: "I'm your child. I'm standing here with my head held high, feeling proud that you created me."
How could something that God created be putrid and unworthy? What are you unworthy of? Wouldn't you feel terrible if somebody said to you that your genetics stink? Of course, and that's really what we're saying by groveling around -- we're saying to God that His creations are not good.
If we've lived many lives, we're going to go through everything, but we have got to be able to hold each other's hands along the way. We've got to be able to say, "I'm here with you."
There is nothing you're going to escape. Everyone goes through trauma in life, because God is an "Equal Opportunity Employer". He doesn't give you just one chance to be a mess -- He gives you lots of chances, until finally the pattern stops. We keep going on until we get it right. The minute you realize what your pattern is, you can begin to release it from you.
But there is hope, there is joy, and there is love. We've got to be a beacon of light to others. Many of you who have been with me for years know my dream of the last 20 years: I want a temple, I want a hospice, I want an old people's home, I want a place for animals, I want a children's school, and I want a place where everyone can go regardless of faith or denomination.
Too many people think that we need huge cathedrals with crystal domes. I don't think so. We will meet in fields, or we will meet under the stars, in nature, holistically. Like I've said so many times to my people, don't come if you expect a big building. Come because you want to say to someone, "Are you searching?" And the other person says, "Yes, I'm intellectually searching, and I must find the answer."
You don't have to come to any one place, unless you want reinforcement. You don't need a lot of ritual or ceremony. We don't have to go to a church, because our spirituality is inside us, but every once in a while, we need to reach out and ask: "Do you feel like me? Do you think like me?" It's wonderful to grasp a hand and hear the answer, "I do." Then you don't feel so alone, so crazy, so ill.
I want you to have something to take with you that lasts you throughout the week. I want you to have a living, breathing religion. Before, it was "fear God and don't sin". The only sin that you can ever commit is against yourself -- by not loving yourself enough. If you don't love yourself, you can't love or care about anybody else, and you won't.
Live, Love, Laugh
Live your life with joy; allow yourself to be. Give yourself that sanction.
Loving yourself also means getting over yourself. Stop with this, "Me, me, me -- I deserve." Don't be dependent; be strong. The spirit of God moves in every one of us; the spark of God ignites. Is it a big formula? No, all you have to do is ask for it and accept it. That's really your baptism.
When I say that we have each written our chart, people say, "Well, that's so predestinationist." No, it isn't. Don't you realize that it's a security? Think about it rationally. No matter if you're the biggest mess in the world, you can't fail.
People ask, "Am I off track?" Yes, they can be, because the charts have a certain amount of freedom within them. Of course, it's when we veer off too far that illness starts. But the basic course of getting from one shore to the other is fixed; you better believe you're going to make it -- via spirituality and knowing that God is within you.
We're afraid to die, we're afraid to live, and in between, we're a mess. We have illnesses, we have anxieties, and we feel lost and useless a lot of the time. We don't like getting older, and we don't like being young. When we're young, we don't know what we're doing. When we're older, we feel that nobody is going to listen to us anyway. We don't know if we're on track, what good we have done in our life, if our life means anything, and what our purpose is.
The hardest thing you ever do is "climb the mountain of self." We've been programmed to serve our self, not only from this life, but from all of our other lives, from the overlays, the behaviors, and the phobias that we carry -- when in truth, your job is to get over yourself.
If you have a phobia, when you go to bed at night, surround yourself with white light and say, "Whatever phobia I'm carrying from any life -- of closed-in places, snakes, heights -- let it be released in the white light around me." You will either lose it completely or make it nearly insignificant.
Don't waste your time with people who enjoy their pain. Don't waste your time with martyrs. People say, "Well, isn't it my karma to suffer?" No. If you're aggravated about it, then that's a good sign, isn't it? Something is rising in your soul that means you're tired of it. It's your karma to act on that, separate yourself from it, and be done with it.
Trust yourself. God's finger does move inside you.
People use the word karma now, where they used to use hell: "It's my karma to live with this jerk who beats me up." What karma, that you're masochistic? If you stay on longer with something, like a job, or a relationship that irritates and really, really aggravates you, then you're not doing anything but upsetting your nervous system and creating an illness.
Loving unconditionally is the hardest thing to accomplish. To say, "I love the fact that you just exist in this world, that you passed my way, and that I could love you," is enough.
Can't we just get to the point that we're collectively loving, holding hands, and being in love? We Americans can't touch each other, can we? We're scared. Europeans think we're crazy. And such isolation can indeed make us nuts: Our nerve endings and the whole surface of our body get crazy. It really affects us; we become an island.
We're afraid of our emotions. Yet shying away from them is what causes illness. Why did God put anger and pride and everything else within us? Do we think it's because the flesh is supposed to be weak?
Flesh isn't weak. To this day, doctors don't know exactly how the heart beats. The physiological system is the most magnificent machine in the world. Can any other mechanism go on working for over 100 years?
Be joyous. Be happy. Be imbued with the true Christian spirit that God is love.
Don't be afraid to ask someone to hug you, or to oblige if you're asked. If you really want to know, psychically, what a person is truly like, you just touch them. Have you ever done that? You think somebody is a certain way, then you touch them, and then you know much more. Learn to do that. Psychic means no more than your power from God to discern truth. Everyone can have it. It's marvelously empowering; I believe that we can all become empowered in this way.
Depend on yourself first. Then reach out for others who can reinforce you. See the beauty of the soul in you, and find those who allow it to flourish.
Realize that you are an indigenous, individual, unique spark of God and that the God Consciousness is moving inside you. Say, "I'm a channel for the Divine". We're all God. Every one of us collectively makes up the emotional side of God. When we go to the Other Side, there is no one who judges us but us.
Living a "spiritual life" means this: "I'm going to do as much good as I possibly can and live the best life I can. I'm going to give as much love and healing, and bless as many people, as I can. Then I'm going to graduate and go Home." It's as simple as that. We can be religious without having dogma. The minute we start imposing rules, we get critical and judgmental of others.
No one is harder on us than we are; no gigantic entity sits on a throne and says thunderously, "Look at you, just a rotten, lousy . . ."
I also feel that this is important: You must have righteous anger. Don't be wimpy or let people abuse you or hurt your feelings without a fight. They don't have the right to do that to you -- to push you around, be mean to you, be hateful to you. That isn't compatible with the dignity of the God-self inside you.
I'm not suggesting that we should all have hatred and be mean and nasty. No, because that doesn't get us anywhere. But if somebody hurts us terribly, we need not allow it to continue. This is when you remove yourself from the situation.
You can stop the pattern of abuse in your life. You can stop being afraid and in the dark and alone. There is never a time when God isn't with you. Most people who are drawn to this message -- I don't care whether you believe this or not -- are on their last life, or want to finish up really fast. Francine says, "Anybody who embraces this philosophy wants to complete their perfection, go to the Other Side, and not return."
The Other Side
What is the Other Side like? It's a wonderful place in a dimension right on top of this one with religious centers, libraries, music halls, art centers, and everything that we have here -- except the erosion and pollution and negativity. As Francine says, even if we lived 80 or 90 years, it's like a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. This doesn't mean life isn't precious, but why do you take yourself so seriously? Don't get caught up in an ego trip of how bad you are, or how silly you looked, or if you did this or that right. Throw the dice, for God's sake, and live life the best you can.
This article is excerpted from the book:
The Nature of Good and Evil
by Sylvia Browne.
About The Author
Millions of people have witnessed Sylvia Browne's incredible psychic powers on TV shows such as Montel Williams, Larry King Live, and Unsolved Mysteries; she has also been profiled in Cosmopolitan, People magazine, and other national media. Her on target psychic readings have helped police solve crimes. Sylvia is the author of Adventures of a Psychic, Life on the Other Side, and The Other Side and Back, among other works. Contact Sylvia Browne at: www.sylvia.org or Sylvia Browne Corporation, 35 Dillon Ave., Campbell, CA 95008. (408) 379-7070.