How do we live a good and Spiritual life?
(From Sylvia Browne)
Most religions have general rules to follow designed to help secure your place in heaven. We do not take that route simply because every life is unique and general rules cannot be applied to unique situations. Our measure of a Spiritual life is totally contained within the word "intention." If all of your actions are done with pure intention, namely to truly help others, then you are living a morally sound and Spiritual life. Even if your actions have a negative impact, if your motive was pure, then you have not done a "wrong."
Here is a simple rule to help you decide on the right path to take in life: Firstly - realize that you will someday stand with God to review your life; Secondly - make all of your decisions and actions such that God will be proud of you on that special day. Jesus, one of the greatest teachers of all time said it simply, "Love God, Love Each Other." Ensure that everything you do in life reflects these ideals and you will stand before God with pride.
Is Sylvia's church really Christian?
The Society of Novus Spiritus, founded by Sylvia Browne, actually is Gnostic Christian (which differs significantly from today's Christianity) because we follow the same traditions and teachings which Jesus himself followed. Recall that Jesus gave us this Spiritual Directive, "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you" Matthew 7:7. These instructions tell us to use our intellect as we seek to understand God and our place in the world; hence, we use the word Gnostic (from the Greek word for knowledge) which means "seeker of truth."
Yet, the Society of Novus Spiritus does not exclude Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc. Every expression of religion is considered a valid path to knowing God. We simply feel that the Gnostic path rises above all dogma and creates a Spiritual umbrella under which all faiths can flourish. For a more complete discussion of this topic, see "Is Sylvia Really Christian?"
What was Sylvia's view of the Bible?
The Bible is a fascinating chronicle of the journey toward Spirituality. The Old Testament is best viewed as an analogy of the path each person will take as they perfect their soul; it takes you from creation, through war and strife, to defamation and the "dark night of the soul" - but then you come upon the wellspring of hope that lives deep within each of us. Then we have the New Testament which gives us an all too brief look at one of the world's greatest teachers, Jesus. His brilliant and moving lessons in Spirituality are as valid today as when he spoke them so many years ago.
Having said that, please realize that today there are about 25 different versions of the Bible in English, so the idea of the Bible makes no sense. Each time a new version appears the text changes, the meanings can differ, and the prejudices of the authors enter into the picture. So truthfully we cannot accept that "the Bible is the unaltered word of God." And then consider that the original language of Jesus was Aramaic, which he spoke and taught. Here is a simple example of how language affects meaning: In Aramaic the word "sin" simply means "to miss the mark" (as in shooting an arrow). So ask yourself how today's understanding of "sin" became such a horrible and evil idea? When you begin to question and study and find answers, then you have begun the Gnostic journey which Jesus suggested we all undertake.
How can I participate in Sylvia's church?
Novus Spiritus does not have church buildings all over the place, we do have two locations in which we meet each Sunday for spiritual celebrations - Campbell, CA and Renton, WA. There are also spiritual celebrations held on the first Sunday of the month in Taylor, MI and Las Vegas, NV. For everyone else "out there" who want to participate along with us, we have our Study Group program. The Study Group program is like a home study program. This is where people meet in their homes, usually once a week, to study Sylvia's theology and Spiritual teachings. There are many such groups established everywhere, and you can either join with an existing group or form your own. The program includes CDs of the Novus Spiritus minister’s spiritual sermons, a Minister liaison, and the opportunity to earn Lay degrees in the Society of Novus Spiritus. For more information about the Study Group program (click here) [http://www.novus.org/home/studygroups.cfm]
How can I contact my Spirit Guide?
It is not really hard at all, and you have probably done it many times without knowing it. Although, don't expect to get an audible voice in your ear or to see a full form apparition of your Guide. Some people can get that level of interaction but it is very rare. Most people feel a presence around them or get a sudden thought-message or even meet their Guide in their dream-time. For a wonderful aid to help you connect with your Spirit Guide get Sylvia's book with CD, Contacting Your Spirit Guide.
The Bible warns against psychics.
Actually the different versions of the Bible use terms like "sorcerers," "witches," "fortune tellers," "soothsayers," and "astrologers." This is odd because the Old Testament is full of prophecy and predictions. Even King Saul consulted the witch of Endor to get in touch with dead Samuel. You can read it for yourself. We agree that you must exercise extreme caution when consulting a psychic, the fraud rate is very high. Stay away from the (900) lines and be aware that the number one scam by fraudulent "psychics" is the old "You Are Cursed" garbage.
What books or scripture support Sylvia's beliefs?
We know there were hundreds of books written during the time of Jesus that never got into the Bible. You may have heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi Library, and many others. Such texts are just as valid as the books in the Bible, but were not included.
I am curious about the difference between Angels and Spirit Guides.
I am glad you asked this because this can be confusing. A Spirit Guide is an actual person - like you and me - who had a physical life at one time then passed over to the Other Side, as we all do upon death. A Guide has their own identity and life chart just as you do. Then before you come into a life on Earth you will seek out a friend to "watch out" for you while you are in life. That friend is your Spirit Guide, and they remain on the Other Side helping and protecting you during your journey on Earth. Your Guide is always with you, they are the little voice of conscience you often hear nudging you to do the right thing or telling you to beware. I like the term used by Ruth Montgomery who called them "companions along the way."
Angels, on the other hand, are special creations made by God who never live a physical life. They all have the same appearance, tall and beautiful, but they do not speak. They also come to your side when you need help, and will always come if you simply ask God to send assistance. So if you are hearing, or even sensing, a voice then it is your Spirit Guide speaking, not an Angel.
It is a good practice to allow your Guide to read your thoughts. No Guide, nor anyone else, can read your mind until you give them permission. So simply give verbal consent to your Guide allowing them to hear/read your thoughts and mind. Then they are better able to help you by knowing your concerns, worries, and hidden issues. If you simply yell "Help me God" your Guide will not always know what to do, so by letting them into your mind they can discern what needs to be done. Also, you can easily get the name of your Guide in dream state. As you are going to sleep tell your Guide to implant their name into your mind, then state to yourself that you will remember that name upon waking. Do this for at least three nights and you will have the name. Take your first impression, no matter how odd. Then you will have more personal chats with your Guide when you address them by name. However, they don't care what you call them, give them a name, and use the same name each time you address them. Francine's real name is Iyena.
Does everyone have a Spirit Guide?
Yes, everyone does have a Guide. The basic pre-requisite to being a Guide is having lived a physical life. It just makes good sense for a Guide to have the actual experience of life, which is hard, before helping a friend with their life. Most of us will in-turn become Spirit Guides for others. Being a Guide adds a great deal of spiritual evolvement to your soul.
Do Angels have wings?
(Sylvia Browne) For many years I believed that the wings depicted on Angels were simply an artistic concept rather than an actual fact (my logical mind was always asking why would anyone need wings if they were in spirit form?).
Yet when I was young I actually did see a vision of the most beautiful Angelic Being with very big golden wings. But then I have always had odd visions which seem to defy logic - at least until my intellect grew enough to see the bigger picture of reality. And more recently my granddaughter Angelia (also psychic) called me into a room with tall ceilings and pointed to an enormous winged Angel (yes, we both saw it).
So I finally asked my Spirit Guide, named Francine, about wings on Angels. She replied that wings only appear on Archangels, not on any others. It is meant to distinguish their importance and get our attention.
Why is meditation beneficial?
For all of man's history we have tried to get into the "inner sanctum" of our soul. This is the place of calm and detached reason where the mind and soul can rest, and even give answers to the problems that face you. During meditation you can get better communication with your Spirit Guide, get healing from Angelic Beings, and strengthen your connection back to God. Even the doctors will tell you that meditation can lower blood pressure, defeat cancer, and control pain.
I have never been able to meditate and "blank" my mind.
Sylvia Browne: Good for you! I do not know of anyone living in our society who can blank their mind. There is no reason to go blank anyway. Meditation is a place to let the mind flow of its own free will, but we just view those thoughts as though on a TV screen without any emotional attachment. A better technique is to mentally construct a wonderful place in your mind, and make that a destination for your meditations. Some people like a sea shore setting, where you listen to the waves while sitting against a palm tree in the warm sand. Allow the sun to gently warm your face and know that the light is actually God's hand touching you. Gently demand that all of your pain and worries drop away like sweat to be absorbed into the warm sands around you, leaving you cleansed and purified by God's love. The more often you do this the more real that special place becomes. Eventually you will be able to get there and back in five minutes, feeling refreshed and wonderful.
Why does science say that Near Death Experiences are nothing more than a lack of oxygen to the brain?
Sylvia Browne: I personally had a death experience at age 42 during surgery. I went through the "tunnel" and saw my beloved grandmother. But I came back to complete my work for God. My short visit to the Other Side was not due to oxygen deprivation, it was an allergic shock from the anaesthetic given to me. Just before "going out" I said to the doctor, "I think I'm dying..." and then was gone. The entire trip lasted two minutes, with plenty of oxygen getting to my brain the whole time. So that is my personal viewpoint from actual experience. I wonder if any of the critics have ever gone through the actual event? Generally not.
Now from a common sense perspective. The lack of oxygen theory does not hold water due to the fact that everyone having an NDE reports seeing similar places and experiencing similar events. This tells us that an NDE is an external reality that the soul goes to, not some internal jumble of personal experiences that a confused brain elaborates upon.
Now for an actual experience with lack of oxygen talk to a person who has ever fainted. Mostly they simply black out, with no experience at all, yet their experience really is due to oxygen deprivation.
And a final note, people from all religions report the same visions and experiences during an NDE; which again shows that personal viewpoints and predilections are not a factor in NDE.
Is Heaven simply a place of peaceful existence?
Sylvia Browne: While every soul is certainly peaceful we do not just sit on a cloud with a harp and stare at God. How boring that would be, for us and for God. The Other Side has libraries, music, arts, literature, research centers, gardens (no bugs), animals - if you love it then it is there.
Everyone has their full identity, their likes and dislikes, a love for learning, and we continue growing in knowledge of God and to perfect our soul. The most glorious aspect of Heaven is that we are always within the presence of God.
Since the Other Side is so wonderful why do we leave it?
The very reason that we leave Heaven is due to it being so perfect and wonderful. To truly test the mettle of your soul you must go to a non-perfect place. The Earth is one such testing ground for your soul.
Any physical life is difficult because we are not with our loved ones and we feel separated from God. We design our life in great detail to help us learn for God and to gain perfection for our soul. The physical world is a place for us to learn harsh lessons and be faced with the decisions regarding "right and wrong." You simply cannot experience those lessons while in Heaven, or it wouldn't be Heaven.
How does a curse work?
They work solely through the imagination of the believer, they have no power other than that allowed by the "victim." In other words - there is no such thing as a curse! But curses are very big business even today.
The scam usually goes like this: You go to a fortune teller (or whatever they call themselves) for a $5 reading. After you tell them about your life, and your various hardships, this person discovers the cause of all your troubles - You Are Cursed! Then, as luck would have it, this person is an expert at removing curses, a simple process of lighting some candles, but they are very special candles which cost about $80 each. It takes many, many of these candles to really fix the problem (a negotiable number, bigger number means more success). Of course, the entire deal must be cash only and kept secret. Please, turn these people in to your local police.
We can prove that curses do not work. Sylvia had gone on TV many times and blasted those charlatans. She was even on a show for an hour with woman who practices black magic (complete with human wax figures, big pins, etc.) and for the whole show Sylvia gave her holy hell! So you know that there are a lot of Sylvia dolls with pins sticking in them, but she kept on going, and going, and going ...
When Sylvia saw a spirit, what exactly did she see and hear?
There are three types of apparition: (1) an earthbound ghost (that is, one who did not make it to the Other Side); (2) a spirit residing on the Other Side (who is just visiting); and (3) a psychic vortex which is an imprint of events in the past. The easiest apparition to see is an earthbound because they are still attached to our world and have not yet attained the spiritual body.
For Sylvia, an earthbound looks as full and real as a living person, and she can hear their words with fair clarity (like a faint voice on a very bad phone connection). A spirit just visiting is much less clear and has a filmy look, semi-transparent, and almost no voice presence. They often use gestures and pantomime to get messages to Sylvia. The exception is a communicating guide, such as Sylvia's guide Francine, who trained for a long time to enable verbal interaction with Sylvia. But even with that Francine sounds like a high-pitched, fast talking chipmunk. Lastly, a psychic vortex has no real people with whom to communicate. It is like a swirling jumble of images, sounds, feelings, and (usually) pain/sorrow/fear. Such places are not really hauntings, they just carry lots of psychic power which has left an imprint on the world.
Some people do not make it to the Other Side?
The vast majority of people make the transition to the Other Side upon their "death." There are some folks who do not go right away, but in the fullness of God's time they will, of course, make it eventually. Those who do not make it are called "earthbound," meaning they are still bound to the earth and have not gone into spirit. Generally this is caused by not realizing you are dead, or some unfinished business you want to complete, or massive disorientation of the mind. Another cause is not feeling worthy of meeting God, being afraid of God, or being convinced you are damned to hell.
Loved ones who die, do they become Guardian Angels?
Your loved ones will certainly come around you and help in any way they can. They are not actually angels which are a separate creation of God.
But if you call upon them at night, ask them to visit you in dream state, they will come. And if you feel their presence then they are around you, talk to them! Tell them what you need, ask them to make things right, and give them errands and little jobs to help your life.
Is Suicide wrong?
Deliberate suicide violates your contract with God. And nobody gets away with that! The deal is that you agreed to experience life in many facets, including the hard parts. Since your soul really wants to make good on your agreement with God, then you will do what is necessary to fulfill the contract. If you take your own life, then you will immediately be placed back into an unborn baby and begin the process again. The catch is that you will again face the same situations, the same problems, and the same pain - over and over again until you get it right. The best advice is that since you have made it this far already, keep on going - just as it is - rather than start all over again. If the suicide is from medical influences, drugs or mental health issues, they do not come right back into life, they do go to the Other Side.
Is homosexuality wrong?
No, it is "charted" (that is, you decided on it prior to incarnating) as something to experience in this life. Just as you choose to be male, female, married, have children or not, etc. Often, but not always, it's like a female entity in a male body who still feels like a female, thinks like a female, and sometimes acts like a female while still being in a male body, or vice-versa. Also some people choose a "different" life where bigotry and prejudice will be directed toward them; such as different nationalities, different religious beliefs, odd body type, etc.