"The way of all peace is to scale the mountain of Self. Loving others makes the climb down easier. We see all things darkly until love lights the lamp of the Soul."
The above words form the first tenet of Novus Spiritus. Within them lies the basic philosophy of the Society, namely: Life is a long journey of discovery, wherein each person must meet - and love - themselves, overcome their own fears, and learn the truth about loving. It is a process of perfecting the innate, God-given beauty of the Soul.
Sylvia Browne, Founder
Sylvia's life has always revolved around God, being raised and educated in the Catholic faith, then going on to teach in the parochial school system for seventeen years. In addition, she has an unparalleled psychic ability. Since her late teens, Sylvia has been using her gift to help thousands of people. This prophetic ability has been tested many times, and each test turns into another testimonial of paranormal cognition.
The end result of Sylvia's devotion to God, and her gift of prophecy, is Novus Spiritus. Combining His love, with direct revelation of His plan, creates a New Spirit and a new understanding about life. Is this new view of life true? Each individual must make that decision, for we always say:
"Take what you like and leave the rest behind."
Yet the truth of Sylvia's words will become manifest of their own accord. When a person listens to the philosophy, and those words strike a cord of truth within the soul, then one must take heed. When those words have that familiar feeling of being correct, where the mind and heart say "that makes sense," then one must listen — for that is the God within asking for entrance to your mind. We believe that God can, and must, be understood.
Why Novus was Founded
Novus Spiritus stands in accord with all of today's religions. We feel that every church has fundamental Truth and we encourage each person to find a means of worship. Perhaps Novus will be yours. In addition, we find many people are joining Novus even though they are happy with their current faith. Our goal is to open each mind to the splendor of God, allowing the intellect to grasp the Divine.
Novus believes that any question asked can be answered. There is no need to rely upon faith alone. Just as God gave us an inquiring mind, so too, He gave us the means to resolve its questions. Novus appeals to those who need an intellectual basis for God; we do not appeal to those who are content to follow blindly and never question the basis of their beliefs.
Novus is a place of learning, growing, and sharing in the Spirit of Christ Consciousness. It is a way to be among people of common beliefs, to understand life, and to provide a means to help others.
Novus Spiritus regards understanding as more important than faith. We find that people today need to satisfy their intellect, in addition to their beliefs, where traditional religions do not address this issue. A lack of understanding can impede one's spiritual growth, for without a solid reason for life, many people will merely say:
"There cannot be a loving God, as evidenced by the pain and suffering in our world."
The task then is to disclose the cause, and meaning, of the pain and suffering so rampant in our world. The erroneous conclusion that God cannot exist is based upon ignorance of the meaning of life. We will show later how a loving God can exist even when set against the background of our world.
Notwithstanding the above, faith does have a role. The premise of God's existence cannot be proven in a scientific sense. Hence, we accept the following concepts without proof:
For the record, God is blameless. He is not prone to the human traits of vengeance, hate, or crankiness. He is a constant, pure, loving intellect. God does not sit around all day, then suddenly invoke damnation on a hapless person. Never. If that were the case, then God would be imperfect, which cannot be.
How then are we to recognize and understand God? This question has occupied mankind since the dawn of reason. Note here that primitive man does not ask such silly questions. For them, God simply is, which is sufficient unto itself.
The definition of God has eluded the greatest minds of this world. One philosopher stated, "God is that, greater than which, nothing can be conceived." Is this correct? Sort of, but there is much more to God.
A definition of God is not really the main goal here. Far better than mere words is the personal experience of knowing God. The act of touching the Divine provides all the definition anyone could want, and it usually defies words. There are many words describing this sudden knowing of the Divine, among them are:
God exists - God is perfect - God is pure love and intellect.
As stated earlier, God does not exhibit the many petty traits which afflict humanity. There is no room in the perfect Being for such nonsense. Attendant with His perfection is a steady love for His creations, a never wavering compassion, and a constant companion along the way. Whatever you experience, God too has felt it, right by your side. For within you lies a spark of the Divine.
God is simple; people are complex.
Only in the New Testament does the word "father" become a proper name for God. This was consistent with Christ's message to the world of a loving God, not the God of wrath as depicted in the Old Testament. Some other names used for God are:
The bottom line is that God has many names, and it is not very important which language is used. The important fact is to know that He is addressable, however you choose. Novus Spiritus likes to use "OM" as His formal name, and "Father" as an endearment.
Does the Bible offer any support for a female counterpart to God? Yes indeed! In fact, a very interesting statement was left in the Bible (Genesis 1:26, The New Jerusalem Bible, 1985) which supports a dualistic nature for God, namely:
"Let us make man in our own image,
Pay heed that the above quote uses a plural reference to God. Naturally one wants to know about these other gods. Could it have been a mistake in the Bible? (Even this has not been proposed by the established church.) Or is this a reference to the doctrine of a "triune" God, i.e., the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? No, it cannot be the Trinity either, for that was developed in the New Testament many thousands of years later!
The most simplistic explanation is the obvious one, that there are multiple gods. The exact number of gods is uncertain, but Novus accepts at least two: Om - the Father God, and Azna - the Mother God. We believe that the Gods are paired male/female just like all of creation, and just like the Bible tells us in Genesis.
How did the name Azna come about? Easily, through Francine, Sylvia's Spirit Guide. Francine reports that the Mother God is a vital and active force in the daily affairs of our world. In fact, Azna is the one to petition when you need Divine intervention to resolve problems. Where the Father God maintains a constant loving force, the Mother God will actively take an interest in helping you and can change things around to make life better.
Anytime we use the word "God," please understand that we imply both the Male and Female Gods. For together They made our world and are the loving Parents of humanity.
Love God with your whole heart. mind. and soul.
These above two thoughts form the basis for Christianity, and through them the entirety of heaven is open to you. We agree with Christ when he said (John 14:6):
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me."
Since Christ equates himself to "the way, the truth, and the life," a logically equivalent statement is:
"No one comes to the Father but through the way, and the truth, and the life."
Hence, if you follow the teachings of Christ then the doors of heaven (the eternal Home) open. Do remember however, Novus feels that Christ's teachings are simply the two statements above. We do not hold that Christ was God, nor that he died for our "sins," nor that he rose from the dead.
Every religion has truth, and Novus fully embraces people from every religion. Indeed, we could be called Jewish, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu, Taoist, etc. as well as Christian because we are a Spiritual organization, which means we look above religious differences to get to the Great Truth which covers them all. In fact, all religions (when stripped of their dogma) boil-down to a very simple creed:
Love God, Love One Another.
Fortunately, God sent many prophets to this world. And every one of them espoused the same basic philosophy of Christ. This, of course, allows all of God's children to find their way home. And God, in His mercy, has a way for every one of His people to return home. The paths are many, and all people will be saved. Francine said it very well:
"This philosophy will not save your soul, but it will make your soul worth saving."
Is the Bible the unaltered word of God? No. It simply cannot be, due to the centuries of social, political, language, and geographical changes. In fact, the current Bible is not even complete. Many books have been deleted in order to preserve the church's power. The most glaring purge was at the Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 ce.
Every person, indeed every sentient being, is like a newspaper reporter. And the main Editor for them all is God. This is the reason for life: to witness for God all of His knowledge. Along the way, we must learn the meaning of being good and to perfect our soul in the process.
Knowledge vs Experience
For example, if you read a book on how to build a boat, does that mean you can actually go do it? Not usually, for the knowledge is necessary, true enough, but it is not sufficient by itself to complete the job. To physically do something is entirely different from simply knowing about it.
Another example is the mystery of setting up your VCR. Even with diligent reading of the book, and endless diagrams, the task reverts to trial and error for success. Then (oh my God) add the complexity of cable TV and the brain simply fizzles. Those brave souls doing this always fear the day the VCR must be disconnected. Can it ever be reconnected?
Why then did God create us? Easy. To experience His knowledge. Does that seem imperfect? Why would the Divine ever need to rely on mere humans? How can we reconcile God's being perfect and then say that God actually needs us?
Emotional Side of God
The misconception most people have is that God is separate from us. Not true. That feeling is a result of being trapped on Earth, bound by time and space. Most of us labor with a homesickness our whole life, an incompleteness that has no name. This feeling is exactly the result of being in the physical world, where the soul is not free to love and be loved without bound. The body itself is a barrier to the total experience of another person, and the world is a barrier which prevents the total experience of God.
Since God is a static intellect, how does He experience His knowledge? Through His creations, us. How does God manifest His pure love? Again, through us. In fact, God's creations are the emotional side of Him. Put another way:
People embody God's love and emotion, not as a separate part of Him, but as the actual essence of His love. We are the experiencing, emotional God Himself.
This fact answers the question posed earlier: Is it imperfect for God to rely upon us for His experience? No, for we are Him. Please note that just because we are God's emotion does not imply we are also perfect. The discrepancy is due to the fact that we are not also His perfect intellect, and we have the free will to choose between positive and negative. This allows our emotion to become off-track without proper intellectual control.
Also, since God is perfect, all of us have always existed. He did not exist without emotion, suddenly decide to have some, then create us. Just as God always was, so too were all of us.
Perfection of the Soul
In the Bible, the story is told of man's fall from grace by grasping for knowledge. Novus agrees with that parable. To complete one's knowledge, people incarnate as a means to experience knowledge. In so doing, we actually leave heaven (state of grace) to inhabit the physical world (fall from grace).
The idea here is that true experience, with free will, cannot be accomplished in a perfect environment (namely heaven, the eternal abode, called the Other Side). So God created physical worlds (yes, more than one) as places for us to gain knowledge and perfect our soul.
Perfection of the soul is the primary goal for all of us. The way to do it is by living upon an imperfect world, choosing to do good or not. The world is our school, complete with tests, where you are the student. Just by living in this negative environment you gain perfection. Each soul must decide upon their own level of perfection.
The idea stated earlier, that we are reporters for God, has another twist. It is called your "Theme," which acts to flavor all of your experiences. For example, if you were assigned as the "Sports Reporter" for God, then your job is to view everything from the sports angle. You must see how world events affect the sporting scene, and to know its impact on the local sports fans. Your entire perspective is filtered through this sports analyzer.
Themes are much like the above analogy. Every person carries a major and minor Theme through life. The effect is to flavor all of your experiences as they relate to your Theme. Some Themes discovered so far are:
Altogether, Novus has found forty-five different Themes. A separate book is available which fully describes the Themes, their meaning, and how to determine yours.
The end result of living, surviving, and perfecting is to know the true meaning of being good. The road is not easy, but you can do it. The reward is to live forever in a state of grace on the Other Side, having earned your position with love.