5: The Rescue Work Begins

 

Grasmere by John HopkinsOn Wednesday, June 5th 1968, my twenty-fourth birthday, I awoke to the news that Bobby Kennedy had been assassinated. The following Sunday morning Theresa and I drove out to Olga’s for our Communion Devotions. By this time Olga, now seventy-seven years old, had handed over the role of ‘officiant’ to me. As I stood before the altar, facing outwards (toward any souls ‘in this life or the next’) offering the consecrated bread and wine for the students of the Sanctuary of Christ Peace, to all who seek after its Light and to all who desire our prayers, suddenly I was overshadowed by Bobby.

 

Bobby Kennedy is overshadowing you.  Your features have disappeared and his are there.

 

I knew that I looked like him; I felt like him and it was as if there were cobwebs over my head. As I ran my fingers through my hair to instinctively brush away the feeling of cobwebs, my hair felt exactly like I knew his hair would feel. My own hair is very fine and straight but Bobby Kennedy’s hair was thick, wavy and wiry — a totally different texture and feel. As this was going on and without my saying a word, Theresa looked at me and her expression became very startled.

Bobby Kennedy is overshadowing you, she blurted out. I can see him. Your features have disappeared and his are there.

Theresa’s knowledge of such things was gleaned from her family background of her mother being a spiritualist medium for many years, so although she was startled, she readily knew and understood exactly what was happening.

The feelings I was picking up from Bobby were of confusion. He knew he was ‘dead’, but he didn’t know what to ‘do’ about it. He was still earthbound; stuck in the etheric counterpart of the Earth life, in part at least, because of the sudden and traumatic way he had been catapulted from his body. I believe he knew he was lost and was desperately trying to find his way, looking for help. No doubt there was a beacon of spirit Light radiating from Olga’s sanctuary of Christ Communion and this had been seen by Bobby, who had been drawn to it, not really knowing what it was but being attracted by the fact that here was Light and he was in sore need of Light.

The fact that this sanctuary of Christ Light was in British Columbia, Canada and Bobby had been murdered in Los Angeles, some twelve hundred miles away, has no significance in the spirit world. There, ‘travel’ is instantaneous; by either thinking about where (or with whom) one wishes to be, or by desiring a certain thing or condition, one is instantly transported to such. Further, Jack, Bobby’s older brother, who by this time had been in spirit for about four and a half Earth-time years, will have known ‘the ropes’, will have been well aware of the plight of his newly passed-over younger brother. They were/are very close and he will, assuredly, have been in a position to help Bobby, even if Bobby was not, at that stage in his transition, aware of Jack being close by. This could have been in the form of a response to Bobby’s urgent plea for help, even if he was unaware of anyone being close.

We spoke to Bobby, explained what had happened, and blessed him in the name of Jesus, counselling him to ask Jesus to help him, and that this would either bring Jesus himself, or someone sent under his authority to help him. After a few moments, during which I had the feeling that this counsel was sinking in — bearing in mind that Bobby was in a state of deep shock and bewilderment — he was suddenly gone.

 

***

 

Later that month I had one of those dream experiences that are very real and that I interpret as events taking place out of the body during sleep, although they can just as readily take place other than during sleep time. In this experience, Olga, Theresa and I were enjoying a most pleasant Sunday afternoon cup of tea, along with (of course!) English biscuits, in my flat. It was a bright, sunny afternoon and we three English folk were in our element.

But there was a fourth person there, equally enjoying the fellowship and joining in the conversation. This fourth person was Jesus of Nazareth. By now, of course, I knew very well who he was, and he was so real, but at this still relatively early stage in my relationship with him, I still felt slightly unsettled. I loved him with all my being, and his very existence was manna for my life and soul, yet here, right in my flat (again!) was the mighty Lord, and I was not sure how to address him, behave toward him, or act in his presence, especially in a social setting. He was so obviously relaxed and enjoying himself, but I was somewhat tense and uneasy... feeling somehow on the outside, looking in.

 

There was a flash of puckishness in his eyes and in the way his mouth moved as he smiled.  Then he spoke, ‘I am the avenger.’

 

I wanted to join in the relaxed atmosphere of fun and pleasantness of the situation but this was proving difficult, feeling so on edge. Clearly this was no good and something had to be done to redress the situation. With some trepidation I said to him, How should I address you; by what name or title should we call you? He looked at me and there was love, tenderness, understanding in his countenance. But there was more, also; there was a sparkle of fun, a twinkle of humour, even a flash of puckishness, betrayed both in his eyes and in the way his mouth moved as he smiled. The moment was fleeting but completely unmistakable.

Then he spoke: I am the avenger. That was all he said, but he knew the impact those four words would have upon me. This was the 1960s! The Avengers was a global-phenomenon TV series about the British secret service. This was the era of James Bond; when derring-do with style, with flair, with bowler hats and furled umbrellas and figure-hugging leather trousers on karate-kicking, breathtakingly gorgeous ladies, was all the rage. I knew it only too well and he knew this was the image that word would instantly bring to my mind — as indeed, it did.

How the scene, the experience, ended I did not bring through to my waking awareness, but that was enough to have a huge effect on me. It jolted me to the core. Later, I looked up the word avenger in the dictionary and also in the Bible concordance.

The dictionary said ‘avenge’ meant to inflict retribution, exact satisfaction, on behalf of (person, violated right, etc.) According to my then understanding of Jesus’ ‘job description’, that seemed to be as apposite as possible.

The concordance showed several New Testament references to ‘avenge’ and ‘avenger’:

Lk. 18:7,8 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.

Rom. 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

1Thes. 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, …

Rv. 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the Earth?

Rv. 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou Heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Rv. 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgements: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the Earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

There are a number of other places in Old and New Testaments where the word avenge, or various derivatives, are to be found, but those shown above — all of which were new to me at that time because I was not extensively familiar with the Bible scriptures — clearly indicate that Jesus was well familiar with them when he used the word to describe himself to me.

My perspective on such matters now has grown somewhat, and I prefer to see the word and its application in the context of Jesus of Nazareth as being a person who puts right that which is wrong, or is not serviceable to the well-being of all. In a broader perspective it could be described as restoring to balance that which is out of balance (with the perfection of the Creator Spirit’s eternal scheme of things), which helps to remove the rather negative shadow around the word avenge caused by the etymological association of it with revenge.

I now see that words like ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are subjective judgements rather than absolute, unchangeable, fixed realities. We are all continually creating our own reality, and that changes, evolves on a moment by moment basis, until we have remembered fully who we really are and returned to our rightful inheritance of perfection in the Kingdom of Heaven. In the interim, as we journey back toward that Place of Being, it is a growing, ever-becoming process, just as is the growing of any organism — a baby in the womb, a lettuce in the garden, or anything else. It is something more, something greater in ‘this moment’ than it was in any ‘previous moment’. We may all say, for example, ‘killing another person is wrong and that is an unchangeable truth’, but history is full of killing where the killer justifies his actions as being ‘righteous’.

For instance, the loving spouse — whose partner is terminally ill, in pain, whose quality of life is less than zero— motivated by tender love and compassion, helps them to end it all. The law of the land may see that as a crime of murder — although this is under careful scrutiny and review now and it does not seem unreasonable to consider that the law may well be changed at some not-too-far-off date, even as it already is in some jurisdictions.

If we are rigid and inflexible in the posture that the ending of another’s life is murder under any and all circumstances, then it prohibits the expression of this so-vital a quality of the higher nature of humanity known as compassion toward another’s suffering. And if that suffering, terminally ill person wishes to end their suffering and is accepting of death as the only feasible way to do it, it could be reasonably viewed as an act of great compassion to assist in this release.

An act of compassion is an act of love, which enables a going forward in remembrance of our eternal, spiritual reality. Denial of such an act for reasons which may be based on self-imposed, restricted perception could therefore be construed as denying oneself an opportunity to grow spiritually. This is neither a statement for nor a judgement against euthanasia, but is an example of how attitudes are often taken for or against a particular matter without consideration being fully and fairly given to all sides and angles of the issue.

Further, in the eternal perspective there is no such thing as ‘death’, since living things, including humans, are not essentially bodies, but spirit, functioning in the physical world through the vehicle of a physical body. It is, therefore, the spirit that is the livingness of each being and the spirit does not die when it lays aside the physical vehicle through which it has found expression, because life is God — pure and perfect Spirit — and God is indestructible.

 

***

 

Later in that summer of 1968, I was becoming more and more disenchanted with the world of advertising. I felt one was expected to say what it was expedient to say rather than how it really is. I was waking up feeling sick and getting home from work at the end of each day with a migraine. Clearly, it was time to move on; you couldn’t have a conscience and be in advertising.

My former boss had been headhunted to run the British Columbia operations of Canada’s biggest chain of office supplies retailers, and he kept phoning to ask me to join him there. The idea did not appeal to me. My heart and soul were set on activities that would ‘fulfil the inner man’ and somehow the prospect of peddling paperclips and glue to the local businesses did not seem to offer much chance of achieving this goal! Nevertheless, my present employment was becoming unbearable and Paul kept on pestering me to join him. It seemed at least an escape-hatch to something tolerable, even if not inspiring, and I had always got on very well with Paul. Finally I accepted his offer, and at 8 o’clock on my first Monday morning as a sales rep for Willson’s Stationers, found myself sitting at the desk allocated to me in the large sales office.

There was bedlam going on all around me as the other twenty or so reps greeted each other and discussed the weekend’s events or other matters of varying import. I knew no-one, so sat there, silently wondering what I had got myself into. Instantly I heard a voice, loud and clear, speaking from a couple of paces away to my right, say, Don’t worry, you won’t be here for long. What a greeting on my first day in a new job! This was a voice from the spirit world, but it was as clear as if spoken by any of the others bodily present in the room. Moments after that, the meeting was called to order by the sales manager and my new ‘career’ was under way.

 

***

 

At the end of one evening in August 1969, after I had driven Theresa home, we sat in the car talking. She had been telling me of her years of nightmares — sleeping and waking — caused by intrusions from earthbound spirits. In one of the experiences she was in a Nazi death camp and the all-pervading, nauseating, terrifying fear was smothering her senses like a pall. As we discussed this I was suddenly aware of the features of another woman overshadowing Theresa’s appearance.

No words could adequately describe the look of stark terror in her eyes. There was a pleading, begging cry for help in them. I instantly knew this dear soul was the cause of Theresa’s experience. This lady, of whom I had the impression that she was a Dutch Jewess and whom we now believe to be named Rachel, had been living this terrible nightmare for, in Earth, or linear, time, well over twenty-five years; no doubt, without a single moment’s respite.

Theresa had no awareness of being overshadowed; all she knew was that she was experiencing everything this lost, tormented soul was experiencing, and had no idea why, nor any awareness of its origin. Without saying a word to Theresa I began speaking silently to this lady, explaining that she was now departed from the earthly life, that she was ‘stuck’ in the events prevailing at the time of her demise and was, perhaps unwittingly in her sheer panic, overshadowing Theresa; that this was no longer necessary because she could call upon help from the Realms of Light and help would immediately be sent to her; that even if she was Jewish and not of the ‘Christian’ faith, she would do well to call upon Jesus of Nazareth for that help and that either he himself would come or he would send other help under his authority and she would then be instantly released from her torment.

She looked at me with a look that portrayed partly disbelief and partly a desperate desire to believe what I had said. I assured her, still silently, that this was absolutely true and that she should now call upon this help without further delay. With barely a moment’s hesitation she was gone. Theresa, who had no knowledge of this silent communion, and who had herself been in terrible distress, let out a gasp and a sob of relief, for her torment had ceased at that exact, selfsame moment. I explained to her what had taken place.

The next evening, as we sat in the car outside her home again, the lady suddenly came back. This time there was a heavenly radiance about her and her face was full of joy and gratitude. Truly she had been released from her torment. She returned to express her appreciation for the guidance I had been able to impart the previous evening and to let us know that she had received the help, just as I had assured her she would. There was also a vibration indicating deep and profound regret for the distress with which she had unwittingly burdened Theresa. Our visitor was now soaring in rapture. I felt the thanks and the blessing outpouring from her heart. Then, in an instant, she was gone again.

The following day Theresa told me that Rachel had come to her as she knelt at her prayer sanctuary before bed, to thank her. Theresa said it was as if Rachel had ‘kissed her soul’.

We have had no further awareness of contact from her, although I dare say she has never forgotten the help given, and has been, or even still is, sending her blessings and help in some way to us. I am in no doubt that she is now able to help others to find release from similar experience and that such service brings joy and fulfilment to her life. Such a prospect is blessing enough for us that we may have been contributory in enabling it.

Anyone who thinks that earthbound souls who ‘possess’ the bodies of incarnate souls are all ‘evil spirits’ is sadly mistaken. This lady had no evil in her; just fear beyond imagining and a desperate need of help. The most helpful things she could be given were love, compassion, understanding; a rational, meaningful explanation of what was happening to her, and what she could do to bring this condition to an immediate and blessed end.

In a so-called civilised world, full of the clever, the proud and the scornful, the lack of awareness and understanding of such matters, although documented in untold numbers of books around the world, and available to all, is truly of epic proportion. The church equally has access to such documentary evidence and is resolute in its commitment to keeping its congregants and its ministers in ignorance about it. That is sad enough, but what is immeasurably more sad and unserviceable to humanity is the way the church has persuaded the populace at large, and particularly its congregants, that all contact with the spirit world is evil and that any such is the work of Satan, luring God’s children into a snare.

No wonder church attendance is at an all-time low and falling in Britain and much of the rest of the world. Even in countries where it is not falling, the narrow, exclusivist attitudes of the Catholic Church and many of the various schismatic Protestant denominations runs entirely counter to the embracing, inclusive, unconditionally-loving example and teaching of Jesus. How applicable are his words to the Pharisees for all too many of today’s religious leaders: But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of Heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. (Mt. 23:13). How much a reminder to us of the unserviceableness of denominational religions are the words given to a Light-seeker in Australia: …I have called them by their names but they have de-nominated themselves.

 

***

 

Theresa and I were married a few weeks later. We lived in the upstairs half of a house that had been converted into a self-contained apartment. Life was not quite idyllic but it had much to create an overriding sense of joy and contentment. I was newly wed to my darling Companion of the Way, and my relationship with my dearly beloved Jesus was growing all the while into an ever more palpable reality. What more could any living soul ask for?

One morning, not long after we were married, Theresa strained a muscle in her back, making it difficult to lift her arms above her head. After her morning shower before going to work she was unable to dry her hair by herself. Her hair was very short (Mia Farrow-style, for those who can remember!) and her usual practise was to merely towel it dry. On this occasion I did the honours. This was done with speed, loving tenderness and dexterity such as I had never known.

Her hair was fully dry in no time at all and there was absolutely no doubt it wasn’t I who had been in charge of the towel, but Jesus, coordinating the procedure through me. So personal is his love for us — all of us — that he had come to give this intimate demonstration of his caring in such a heart-filling way as we will never forget. We both felt powerfully, wonderfully uplifted and exhilarated by his visit and his loving, solicitous contribution to our new family unit. Truly, he loves to surprise us with joy.

On another occasion, after we’d come home from work and prepared our evening meal, we sat at the table to eat. As I was about to give thanks for the good food and bless it to our health and strength, the same voice that I had heard in the Willson’s sales office on my first morning there, spoke, this time from my left, a couple of paces across the room, Prayer is an attunement, not a pleading.

In December that same year, Pop, who had been to New Zealand to help the commercial development of the seaweed products there, stopped in Vancouver for a few days on his way home. On his last night with us Theresa’s parents had invited us all out for a meal. Theresa sat between Pop and me, and between courses Pop moved his chair back, and reaching behind Theresa, tapped me on the shoulder. Why don’t you come back to England and join the firm? he said.

Before I could speak Theresa blurted out, Oh, yes please!

I was flattered of course, but wasn’t sure what to say. I had placed my life into the care of Jesus, and was committed to living under guidance from him. He had given no indication that this, or anything like it, was on the cards. It was my understanding at that time that to take precipitate action without first receiving some indication from ‘above’ was putting myself out on a limb, placing myself outside the Master’s protection and guidance. I asked Jesus for his input in this matter but received nothing whatsoever.

Not a word, feeling, dream, vision or ‘throw-away line’ from anyone else that hinted at any sort of affirmation one way or another. Never had I felt such lack of any sense of contact when I could most have used it. After all, this would have been a big move geographically, a total change of direction career-wise and would, of course, have removed us from direct contact with Olga, a constant source of spiritual fellowship and mentoring, and in spite of a fifty-four-year age gap, a real joy to be with.

 

‘Why have you led me into this?’

 

 ‘I don’t lead you into these things; I lead you out of them.

 

Meanwhile, Pop returned to England, and when we went back into work at the beginning of 1970 the vibes there had undergone a radical change. As we walked through the front door (Theresa had recently joined Willson’s in their telephone sales department) it was like being slapped in the face, the change was so palpable, and the whole atmosphere had suddenly become unbearable. I felt as if this was like stepping out of the advertising frying pan into the stationery fire.

I felt let down by the Lord and said to him, Why have you led me into this?

His instantaneous reply was, I don’t lead you into these things; I lead you out of them.

I heard him very clearly and was in no doubt about what had been said, and who had said it, but I was in grave difficulty over it. It most certainly did seem as if he had led me into it because when I got into bed on the night I had accepted Paul’s job offer, the Master said, Well done, Little One. I had taken that very much as his seal of approval on my course of action. Now, barely fifteen months later, the job had gone very sour on me.

Over the years I have come to realise that in the eternal scheme of things there are what appear to us from our Earth-life, finite perspective, many subtle nuances, and when we are starting out along the path of spiritual awakening, our ability to see and understand these apparent subtleties is very limited. Truly, earthly consciousness and perception are very literal-minded. With the benefit of time my perception of these eternal realities has grown and I now see that there are several Laws of Creation, to which the Lord Jesus has referred on a number of occasions to me as ‘the Principles of Life of the Father’ (PLFs), which apply in a situation such as this.

We have free will to live as we choose and to decide in which direction to move at any and every moment. A single step does not radically alter the overall direction of that journey, which is ultimately guided by our own desire, deeply embedded in our heart and mind. Jesus and all the others from the Realms of Light who love us and are there to help us — including those of us in the Earth life who love and choose to follow the Lord Jesus — never impose their desires or choices upon us against our own will.

They always honour our choices and decisions and will help to redirect us if we have taken a step that is not in the general direction of our life’s journey and we have consciously chosen to co-operate with them and allow ourselves to be guided/redirected by them in such an event. That redirection may be by the outworking of circumstances rather than by their speaking.

I had taken the Master’s words Well done, Little One as meaning that this was his choice for me. The reality, I now perceive, was that this was not the case. He was simply saying that my decision to move on was something with which he was pleased, for my sake, not because it was his objective for me. This was a stepping-stone by which he could lead me out of the world of advertising. When the time came for me to move onto the next stepping-stone, he would, by the authority over my life that I had given him by my committed willingness to be guided by him, once again lead me out.

Never mind that each stepping-stone is not in itself our ultimate objective. Suffice it to be a way out of that from which we have become ready to move. Life in the illusory realm of time and place is a journey of sequential steps, each one being an experience in itself. It’s illusory because time and place are temporal, not eternal, and only Eternity can be reality. Each experience can start as being positive and exciting, but in due course it has served its purpose and it comes time to move on. This is growth. It is like the baby in the womb. At first it is comfortable, roomy and secure. But as the baby grows, it starts to feel confined and its freedom restricted. Eventually that place becomes like a prison and it is time to move on to the next phase, or stepping-stone, of life’s journey. Unfolding, sequential, creative experiences mark our route back Home to God.

 

***

 

Soon after Pop got back to England he wrote confirming that the company was interested in employing me and asking for my response, indicating interest or otherwise, so that a formal offer of employment could be made. But still there was no word of guidance or direction from the Lord. I was in a complete quandary. Theresa was really excited about the prospect, and so was I, but I felt it was only appropriate to make such a major move in accord with the authority and directing of Christ, under whose guidance I had voluntarily placed myself.

To decide independently, it seemed to me, would remove me from that authority and the protection it afforded from the world’s snares and pitfalls, into which I had no desire to fall. Days turned into weeks and Pop wrote again, expressing some surprise at my lack of response. So, under pressure to do something, I sat down at home after supper with pen and paper, not having the faintest idea what to say. I asked the Lord for guidance and began writing. It appeared to be rambling, taking no direction and I was aware of no inspiration coming in at all.

 

the guidance was there even though I had had no conscious awareness of it

 

After writing maybe a couple of hundred words and still not knowing how to answer Pop’s invitation, I put down the pen and decided to at least read what had so far been committed to paper, if but to see if it was complete gibberish and worthy only of consigning to the ‘round file’ and starting over again. At first it seemed to be a somewhat circuitous line of approach to the subject but after a while, having explained that there were a number of commitments that needed our attention — such as finishing off the repayments for Theresa’s loan for university studies (that would take a few more months) I read the words … but this is the direction towards which we will be working.

I was absolutely flabbergasted. I had apparently written that — meaning that we would be bringing our affairs into order in Canada so that we would be in a position to return to England to take up the job offer — without having any conscious awareness of having done so. This clearly indicated to me that the guidance was there — in my own within — even though I was completely unaware of it, and that this was the way forward.

It would take us some months to get everything in order, and it was the spring of 1970 by the time my official job offer had arrived and I had responded affirmatively to it. In April we went with great excitement to the travel agent to book our sea passage home via the Panama Canal, departing in November and arriving about a month later. We had had our annual holiday before we got married, so there had been no chance for time away on honeymoon. We asked the travel agent if we could have a table for two in the dining room on board ship, as we would be treating this month-long voyage as our honeymoon. He was delighted at the idea, and gladly complied with our request.

Meanwhile, Theresa, who had had all sorts of ‘female troubles’ since adolescence, and also a rotated pelvis as a result of being walloped in the base of the spine in her late teens by a hit-and-run driver, and had been told by more than one medic that she would never bear children, had fallen pregnant! Having understood she could not conceive, we had taken no contraceptive precautions. By January of 1970 she was several months pregnant, but all was not well.

She began to feel ill physically, but more sinister, she felt a serious and distressing sense of unease about the baby, and that something was wrong with its development. Her physical state was much more than just routine morning sickness. I was becoming deeply concerned and asked the Rector for his help and guidance as to what to do in this frightening situation. He immediately said in a very kind but firm and authoritative way, Do nothing. All is in our care and we will attend to this matter. A day or so later, on a Saturday, I went off to do the weekly grocery shopping, leaving Theresa lying on the sofa in some pain and distress, trying to get some rest.

When I came back she was in a state of great excitement.

As soon as you went out, the Rector came in with a number of other people from spirit, she reported. I was lying on my side, trying to get comfortable, and one of the men came up to me and rammed a huge hypodermic into my buttock. I felt the sharp pain of the needle going in and then the serum being injected. It was such a real experience that I checked afterwards and the red mark where the needle went in is visible.

She showed me, and there, large as life, was indeed a red mark from the injection.

Within a few days Theresa started to experience uterine discharge, not just of blood but of fragments of human tissue. A further few days and a lifeless, partially developed fœtus, badly deformed and disintegrating, came fully away. It was a boy.

Theresa’s periods had always been very erratic. She frequently went many months without one, and often they were very slight. On other occasions they ran one into another with hardly a break between. Having had surgery to remove a grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst in her teens, and been told she would never bear children, and since she was allergic to the pill we hardly knew what to do, but with her history it came as no surprise when she had no period for several months after the loss of this fœtus. As summer turned into autumn and we were getting excited about our upcoming journey back to a new life for us and career for me, she began to get strange feelings in her abdomen, and by September we agreed she should visit the doctor.

After a while he came out to me in the waiting room and enquired, "Mr Longhurst?" When I replied in the affirmative, he stuck out his hand and said, with a huge grin on his face, I don’t know whether to clout you round the ear or congratulate you; Theresa’s five months pregnant — you’re going to be a dad!

 

***

 

As we boarded the ship and gave our names to the crew member ticking us off on the passenger manifest, Theresa was six months pregnant, and very obviously so. The crewman looked at her bump very pointedly, eyed us both up and down and said in a voice that could be heard by all around us, Oh yes. You’re the honeymoon couple!

In those days the norm was to get married and then produce a family, and as far as he read the situation we were only just squeaking in under the door for that order of events. So it was, no doubt, for all the other passengers and crew who had witnessed this little encounter.

During the voyage home, on a number of occasions, I saw a little boy from the spirit world. He was a toddler, just stivering about, and clearly had not been walking very long. He had curly, blonde hair and mostly wore a navy blue toddler’s trouser-suit. He was radiantly happy and clearly belonged with us. He was never far from us and looking to us as one’s own child would look to its parents. I knew his name was Peter David. It seemed logical to me that this was the soul-body of the child Theresa was carrying within her, and I was over the moon about this. After several sightings I mentioned this to Theresa.

Oh, I am so glad you have been seeing him too, she said. "I didn’t like to say anything in case it was just my wishful thinking.

She also had seen him numerous times, and described him and his clothing identically to my observations — including the name!

That was it. This was definitely our son, Peter David, due to arrive in this world in only a few more weeks.

In early February 1971 the baby finally arrived, after a long and exhausting (for Theresa!) delivery. It was a girl! I was so astounded when the intern in charge of the delivery announced this that I said, in a state of utter disbelief, No, it can’t be; you must have made a mistake!

But his amused reply was unequivocal, I’m awfully sorry but she just ain’t got what it takes!

Yet, that was not the end of the Peter David saga. Theresa and I continued seeing him. On one occasion, a few months later, as I came home from work at the end of the day, there he was, his little head just visible above the windowsill, looking out of the window at me, waving to his daddy. Theresa and I saw him independently of each other on a number of further occasions and after some time it finally dawned on us that this was her first baby who had not made it through into the earthly life. It was our new daughter’s older brother, visiting us from the spirit world.

What joy that was to our hearts to know he was alive and well, with no deformity and full of the joy, exuberance and energy of life and love. Here was a classic case of knowing these things intellectually, so none of it should have been a surprise to either of us, but the actual experience, affirming all that we knew in principle was true, was so much more meaningful, wonderful and joyful to us. In a way, it is rather like saying that to know something in theory is a two-dimensional thing but to experience it adds extra dimensionality to it, bringing it into a living, pulsing reality.

There are millions of couples around the world whose children do not make it through into this life, either by miscarriage or termination. About one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage, so that is a lot of souls who never make it through to this world. With miscarriage there is almost always going to be grief and distress for the bereaved parents who have lost a much desired and longed-for child in their lives. For those choosing to terminate a pregnancy, for whatever reason, there will almost always be guilt added to all the other feelings.

For most, having no awareness or denying the reality of the living soul of the little one, who will naturally gravitate toward the parents he had chosen to provide his vehicle of expression, is depriving the parents of some very helpful and beneficial easement of their grief and guilt. This is such an unnecessary deprival. Such denial is not a spontaneous or natural state of being but one created by centuries of society being conditioned by dogmas and doctrines of institutionalised religion dominating society. Alternatively, knowing, experiencing that their offspring is actually alive and well and loves them and desires familial fellowship with them, would bring great comfort, if only they were aware.

This domination has been based on inculcating fear into the minds and hearts of the populace, not unconditional love. Is this what Jesus desires for his brethren in the earthly life? It is also worth considering that the soul of the little one will be profoundly confused by the fact that his parents are ignoring him, acting as if he doesn’t exist, when the simple sending out of love and blessings toward the one they love and miss (or feel guilty about), even if they have no perceptual awareness of him, will be a massive healing aid to all.

This is not intended to be an advocacy of actively seeking such awareness — that should always be a free choice — but it is not a blanket condemnation either. Rather, it is a cry from the heart to all in such a situation who feel the presence of the souls of their loved ones — offspring who don’t make it to term or much beyond, or older generations who have returned to the etheric realms after a full sojourn in time — to acknowledge and allow such feelings, even if they do not include, or lead to, a sensory awareness of the departed soul, to accept and welcome those feelings and/or awareness as being the blessing for all that they actually are.

Such a change of attitude can and will move us away from the fear of ‘death’ that so pervades today’s society, and into a much healthier understanding of the eternal continuity of life. This will, assuredly, be one more significant and substantial step forward towards the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.

 

***

 

In the spring of 1971 I was busy getting into my stride as a seaweed salesman and Theresa was busy making a home for us and our new baby daughter. Due to complications, she had had to stop breastfeeding after only a month and had switched the little one onto baby formula. When she was about three months old, I had gone away to West Sussex for a few days on business; my first time away overnight since she was born.

 

Theresa snatched her up and this jerking motion caused her to gasp and start breathing again.

It probably saved her life.

 

 

Early the first evening Theresa decided to go and have a look at her, asleep in her cot. To Theresa’s horror, she was blue and had stopped breathing. She snatched her up and this jerking motion caused the baby to gasp and start breathing again.

It probably saved her life.

We were living on the top floor of a Victorian terrace and Theresa had no car of her own, so she tore down to the ground floor of the building with the baby in her arms and frantically bashed on the door of the young New Zealand couple who lived there. Fortunately, Janine was in.

My baby’s dying, please help me, yelled Theresa.

Immediately Janine was galvanised into action. Still barefoot, she grabbed her car keys.

Come on, she said, where’s your doctor?

Within minutes they were at the doctor’s surgery, which was attached to his home. He saw them straight away.

Taking one look at the baby he said, Can you drive her to the hospital? It’ll be quicker than waiting for an ambulance. I’ll phone ahead and tell them to expect you.

Janine raced them to the hospital, where doctors and nurses grabbed the little one from Theresa’s arms.

Herein is a further story of how greatly we are helped from the Heaven Realms, here on Earth. Neither Theresa nor Janine knew exactly where the hospital was, although Theresa had an inkling of the general direction because that was where she had had the baby twelve weeks earlier. But because I had driven her there — at night — and had driven her home nine days later, and because she was a newcomer to the area, as was Janine, Theresa had only the vaguest idea of where to go.

They found their way there with no detours, however, but that was not the end of the story. The hospital was a mass of separate buildings set in a vast site, with lanes in all directions and signs that were at best inadequate and at worst, misleading. In spite of this, they drove unerringly straight to the pædiatrics unit, even though they had no conscious awareness of where it was. Truly they were under very close guidance, because minutes of further delay could have been decisive to the outcome.

The senior pædiatric consultant, Dr Jacoby, was there. I knew him because his son, Richard, had been at school with me and I had once helped Richard when he had badly injured his hand while we were out cycling together. I had called his dad from a payphone and he had come and rescued Richard, and expressed his profound thanks to me for helping his son. Now it was his turn to help my infant daughter.

After checking her heartbeat and finding it to be racing out of control at over three hundred beats per minute, he immediately injected digitalis straight into her heart! This stabilised her heart rate and undoubtedly — again — saved her life, although she was to spend the next several days in intensive care. The doctors told Theresa that if she had arrived at the hospital just five minutes later than she had, they would not have been able to save our daughter’s life.

After a few days I returned from my business excursion to an empty home, knowing nothing of these dramatic events, since at that time we had no telephone and Theresa had no way of contacting me because I was travelling about and staying at bed and breakfasts wherever I finished up at the end of each day. I was feeling sorry for myself, with a migraine, and went to bed. An hour or so later Theresa came in alone.

Where’s the little ’un? I asked, and Theresa immediately burst into tears.

As soon as she told me what had happened and that she was still in intensive care, I leapt out of bed, the migraine instantly vanished, threw on some clothes and off we flew to the hospital. There was the tiny, twelve-week-old with tubes and wires all over her body, looking as fragile as could be; but as soon as she saw me she began to perk up and not long afterwards was allowed home.

It turned out that the baby formula was too rich for her to digest and was going rancid in her intestine. This was poisoning her system and had set her heart racing. Much longer without the digitalis and it would have burnt out. Blessedly, she made a full recovery, with no lasting heart, digestive or brain damage.

 


 

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