Written for and published in the April 2017 issue of Psychic World - I take a look at some proof of the old Spiritualist maxim - there is no such thing as coincidence!

When founding editor of Psychic News, Maurice Barbanell, fell out with the newspaper’s major shareholders, that included the wealthy stockbroker and Spiritualist scholar and pioneer, Arthur Findlay, in 1946, he founded Psychic World as an alternative Spiritualist periodical.
He had started PN in 1932 as a weekly newspaper, basically at the behest of those in the world of spirit with whom he had communication, and where his journalistic skills were to be utilised in the service of the modern movement called Spiritualism.
He was the medium for the spokesperson of that group in spirit, Silver Birch, and the newspaper included teachings from him, channelled by Maurice anonymously.
And just as King Louis XIV said that ‘L’etat c’est moi’ - the state is me - so, produced by MB, the initials oft appearing on articles written by the PN editor, Psychic World became the doppelganger of Psychic News!
The words, ‘There is no death’ was writ large on the front page of those papers, and was the primary theme of both.
Spiritualism that stands firmly on that statement, and its attendant psychic and spiritual practices, has often been criticised by sceptics from an intellectual standpoint. And like the old Victorians visiting the zoo and seeing a giraffe for the first time, who exclaimed that they did not believe it, sceptics argue in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that they don’t believe it either.
The Church, that talks about life after death to its followers at every service, has its spokespeople saying generally that Spiritualism is all about death. One church, the Salvation Army, even had a slogan parodying us. ‘We believe in life before death!’ The Established Church has also complained that Spiritualism is human-centric and not God-centric.
We of course can retort, ‘We believe in life after life!’ And, ‘All human beings carry a spark of the Spirit Divine, God!’
When we come into Spiritualism, ostensibly by chance, we gradually become aware that it isn’t only those regular instances of messages that provide evidence of survival after physical death from public platforms, and in private sittings, of our loved ones, bedrock of Spiritualism as it is, that is the be-all and end-all of being a Spiritualist.
It’s the growing awareness, and acknowledgement, of that unseen world existing all around us, wherein are all those who have ever lived here on earth, and the incontrovertible truth of that universal continued existence for all, that makes Spiritualism into a way of life.
And that awareness is the key to respect for others’ lives and respecting our own, because we realise that we are all spirit incarnate.
Then the acknowledgement, that we too, as denizens of the world of spirit can, by opening our minds that are part of our individual spirit self, perceive the pattern of our own life being ordered and influenced by those with higher thought processes than ourselves, gives us comfort.
We also come to understand that all of this must be ultimately sanctioned by the Great Spirit, of which our spirit is a part, God.
Even the small things that happen to astonish us; items that go missing are found, people we would like to see, turning up out of the blue, phone calls at propitious moments. Then there are the big amazing things, like recovering from severe illness, getting a job or post that seemed out of reach, or a measure of happiness from an unexpected quarter when all seems bleak; even having to move from one place to another that may not be what you would want to do, but thereafter proves beneficial, all point to spirit-side intervention.
Spiritualism doesn’t just tell us that our lives aren’t meaningless. It proves it by encouraging us to expand our consciousness so that we can accept fortuitous events in our life as gifts from our loved ones in spirit, as surely as if it was a message given from a medium.
Spiritualists themselves are also very fond of saying emphatically that there is no such thing as coincidence, and as you travel through this life you can only join in the chorus!
For instance, can it be a coincidence, that as the old editor of PN, who sitting at what had been Maurice Barbanell’s desk, fell out with its then proprietors, and left it there as he had done, I have been asked to contribute regularly to Psychic World?
I used to print, ‘acknowledging the editor in spirit Maurice Barbanell’ on the staff list in Psychic News. This was deleted after I left… I am happy to see that ‘acknowledging the editor in spirit Ray Taylor’ and ‘assistant editor in spirit, Michael Colmer’ appears on the staff list in Psychic World.