We thought tonight that we would talk a bit more about approaches to rescues. We have been pleased with the way rescues have been going; between we all we have been doing some good work. We thought though, that we would talk with you and get down on record a few further points about rescues. The first thing we want to consider is: What is it that you are trying to do in a rescue? A spirit rescue is one in which a spirit's progress is being held up for some reason. Now, as you probably realise by now, there are many reasons for this and we do not propose to really go into those tonight. So, what we are trying to do is to break the pattern that this spirit has set up, so that they can react more with the spirit world, and start progressing, instead of being caught where they are. Now, you may ask, Why go to so much trouble? Why not just leave the person where they are if that is what they want? But this is a hindrance to the flow of the Godness through that spirit, through all spirits, including those who are in a material body. When we see someone on this side who is caught up, there is a natural tendency for us to want to help them to expand what they are experiencing, so that they, too, can experience the greater joys and experiences in the spirit world. We know that most people in your material world will react in this way when you see someone who is having difficulties in your world. And it is the same type of attitude with us over here, especially those of us who are linked in some way with that particular spirit. Now, the very first thing which you sitters have to do, is to find out exactly what is troubling the rescue. You should do things like checking out an ambiguous word. If they are simply saying 'they', or some other pronoun, ask who it is they are talking about: "Who do you mean by 'they'?", or 'he', whatever. It is very useful at first, if you have a spirit who is living a fantasy to go along with that, to speak as though you are part of it, and the rescue we have in mind is the rescue that you did with our friend from Arkansas. You somehow blended in to the picture that he was holding on to, around himself, and in this way you were able to get in with him. One of the things which you must be careful to do is to accept what the rescue is saying. Do not try to get them to react in ways that you think they ought to react - just accept it. Because, if you do not accept what they say - and this is the early part - you will set up a barrier between you, the spirit will not be so open to your influence, so amenable. I think you may be able to remember instances where you have been in this sort of position yourselves, particularly your relationships with parents; they expected you to think in a certain way. Can you remember how you rebelled against that? So be careful that you accept what they are saying. If you think that perhaps there is some psychological reason for that attitude then probe deeper, but do not try to impose your ideas on top of them. Ask questions about them. "What does this mean to you?" or "Why do you think that way?" This type of question. You see, it is quite dangerous to jump to conclusions about a person. You could be way off the track and so delay your understanding of what is going on. You may even side-track the rescue onto something else other than what is really troubling them. Now, the next thing which you have to watch for is to help the rescue shake off or get rid of attachments to the material world. You need to get them to look beyond, beyond where they are now; but not back at the material world. Except in certain circumstances - the exception to this would be the rescue you did with the lady who died in childbirth, and she needed reassurance that her baby was all right. But, generally speaking, do not deliberately try to remind them of material things, and this is especially important when you are passing into the, shall we say, second phase of the rescue. The first phase is when you are finding out what the problem is, getting to know the rescue, making friends with them, making contact, whichever of these phases you like to think of. You (then) need to start working with the rescue to get them to look beyond, and so in the second stage it is important not to take them back into the material conditions. Get them looking beyond. When you are over here, you have a much finer vehicle, and interactions over here can be much less restrained because of that, and so some physical activities are not appropriate over here because their effects can be felt much more. In the second stage you should be getting them to - how can I put it? - adopt a more spiritual approach to things. Get them to look more towards the spirit world and the greater opportunities there, the difference, the - I don't like using this sort of terminology but it is all I can get at the moment - the more superior mode of behaviour over here.

Gina: What if they can't see that?

Verna: It is your job to get them to see it. This is what you are trying to get them to see. Now, I referred just now to not trying to impose your ideas on them so I am going to suggest an exercise for you to try at the next rescue. I want you to avoid the words 'ought', 'should' and 'got'. Now that is going to be quite a task. We have the feeling that your work with rescues will also help you in the material world - it MAY. We hope it will help you when you are with people who have some sort of difficulty or problem. Perhaps you will be able to use similar techniques with them. I think I will leave you with that first exercise at the moment because that is going to be very difficult for you to do, and I suggest that it may be necessary for you to remind each other. You have already learnt many of the useful techniques, things to say, and so forth. We are quite pleased with your progress in this regard, and we assure you that you are doing some good work. But we thought it was time now to draw your attention to other things and this, we hope, will improve your effectiveness because, up to now, you haven't had really difficult rescues to do. But, eventually we may be bringing them through, so we are trying to 'hone your skills' before you reach that stage. And it is important too, for you all, if you get something you would like to check out with a rescue or to say to the rescue, DO say it. We know there are some people who are quite shy and hesitant about speaking up in a group situation like this. But if you hold back you are hindering the strengthening of the link between you and your guides because, very often these things you want to say will be suggested to you by your guides. And one of the things you have to do when you are starting in this work is to know whether the ideas you have come from you or from your guides. And one of the ways you can learn that is by speaking up in a rescue and seeing what the reaction is to your words. Now, if it is something from your guides, it will always be an appropriate thing; but this doesn't necessarily mean that that which is from you ISN'T going to be appropriate. This would be another aspect in which you, yourself, are learning a skill which will be very useful to you when you come over here. If you remember, we have often said to you that when you come over here what you bring with you are psychological attitudes and attributes, and work with rescues can give you some very useful skills.

Gina: Compassion, empathy, understanding.

Verna: Etc., etc., and also the courage to speak. We like to think that this circle is, for you, a safe place. A place where you will be accepted even if you have said something stupid because all of you, at some time, are going to say the wrong thing. But the other people in the circle will understand and will accept you. We hope that for some people, this circle could be that first step towards gaining some measure of self-confidence. We like to think that, anyway. So you see, what I have been talking about for the past few minutes - I am trying to point out to you that not only does the rescue benefit but you, yourselves, can benefit too. For some people, working with rescues could be the first step towards developing their clairvoyance, because speaking up will strengthen that link with their own guides.

Gina: Verna, during rescues people are saying things and it just sort of appears in my head as something to say. Or when you or Sertorius, or someone are giving a talk, and you seem to have problems saying something, getting the right word at some stage, and then another way of saying it suddenly appears in my head. Is that some sort of direction or is it just my imagination?

Verna: Very often we feel that you have contributed greatly to what we are saying and we feel that you are strengthening your link (with her guides). You do very often pick up the vibration from us and we are very pleased to have you speak up at appropriate times. Are there any questions, especially at the moment about rescues? Anything you want to check out or any specific point you would like to talk about?

Gina: You were talking about two phases, I thought there were more than two phases because first you've got to calm the person down, because when they get into the body they are usually going through the death process aren't they?

Verna: Not always. I did divide it into two very broad categories, and you are quite right - in the first phase - actually in both phases - you can divide it down even further. But I was just using two very broad categories tonight.

Gina: I was just wondering, because first you calm the person down, then you have to make them realise they are here and not where they think they are. Then you have to make them realise that they're dead.

Verna: You forgot about finding out where they think they are first.

Gina: Yes, then you make them realise that they are dead ...

Verna: (shaking her finger) Uh. Uh. Not 'make'.

Gina: Help them come to the conclusion that they basically have passed over, and once they realise that they are dead, then to start to get them to recognise there are other people here, apart from the people they are talking to, and then to go and greet them and start walking over. I thought those were the steps in it.

Verna: Well, each rescue is, in itself, rather unique. The second phase, or what I have been calling the second phase, is more set and settled than the first phase. But what you are doing is helping the person to see these things, not 'making' them. Asking them to do things, asking them to look around, asking "Would you like to go with them?" Or, this sort of approach.

Gina: Take them by the hand rather than push them from behind?

Verna: Yes.

Guy: If I get you right Verna, its been usual with us, or with me anyway to note: supposing the rescue is reliving the death experience. We very often start off by saying "Well, you are remembering this, it is not real." It does not quite seem to be in harmony with what you are saying, because, really, we are going against the person's experience, while you are saying we should go along with it. We should say "Yes, it is horrible, it is difficult". Whereas we say: "You are just remembering things". So which way should we go?

Verna: Well, as I did just say, each rescue is unique in the early stages. If you have someone who is experiencing a difficult death, reliving it over, they will be distressed, and the first thing you have to do in that case is to calm them down, to relax, to tell them that it is in the past. You often take a very good approach in that situation. To say "You are remembering", and perhaps you notice that once you have calmed them down, once you have got them to stop remembering, you still have to find out what their circumstances were.

Guy: In other words, once they know they remember, then we find out what it is they remember?

Verna: But where you have somebody who is distressed, as you say, the first thing is to calm them down. You have to get rid of that panic otherwise they will not accept what you are saying - they won't hear it.

Guy: In that case we are not going along with his experience but it is necessary to reassure that it is not really real.

Verna: And THEN you find out what it is they are really experiencing.

Gina: Something like repeating: Take a deep breath, you can take a breath now, relax?

Verna: Yes. But in that kind of thing you have to watch that they are not going to harm the medium. If they are making violent movements, perhaps banging this armrest, you don't want the medium to have a bruised arm the next day or something like that. It may be necessary in that case to get them to relax, calm down, watch what you are doing, don't harm yourself, this sort of thing.

Gina: But not in a forceful tone?

Verna: That will depend on how the rescue is reacting, some will react to a gentle tone and other you may have to be quite stern with. I remember some at John Dixon's circle that needed that, at least it appeared that they could be quite violent and possibly hurt the medium. Generally we can pull the spirit out if things look too difficult. You may have to tell them to stop doing something.

Gina: I get the impression that you can only learn so much while you are down here because you have to keep your orientation in your every day life. I feel you can only learn so much theoretically, and after that, when you try to expand the more esoteric parts, you don't have the words to explain it, and it tends to be irrelevant for me, for the experience I've got right now. So I resign myself to the thought that when I get over there I'll worry about that then.

Verna: That is a very good approach to take.

Gina: I'm more interested in the near future - when you pass on, pass over. That's very interesting, the Halls of Learning, finding out about those, finding out if there are any aspects there that we learn while we sit here. But the more esoteric things, you tend to lose me.

Verna: This is one reason why we try to frequently have a deeper meditation with this group, because we think that by doing that you will get these more esoteric things intuitively - sort of get it without words.

Gina: Total inspiration?

Verna: Yes.

Guy: To start the ball rolling, can I ask you a practical simple question. Our world is divided very much into believers and non-believers - people who have no religion, and people who say 'Ha, ha' to religion, and those who are very fanatically committed. Lets take an atheist - say a good member of the Communist Party - who completely denies any spirit existence - and he dies. Let us say that he has been a fairly conscientious honest man in his life, but he completely rejects any afterlife. Take one, for argument's sake, a Jehovah's Witness or Seventh Day Adventist, who is very firmly committed to a certain theological framework, and then, say, take a person who is aware of religious teachings, has noted them but really does not give much for them. Just lives his life in the normal way. Eventually they all three cross-over. What would be their respective positions as far as progress and situation in the Spirit World?

Verna: We feel one of the main criteria when you come on this side is more the moral intent, the openness to other people, the acceptance of other people. The very strong fanatical type of people are those who are more LIKELY to suffer some sort of hiatus or stoppage over here, because they are hemming themselves in. To progress over here you need to be more expansive, so that people who accept other people will have less trouble over here than those very strict fanatics. Now, atheists and those who were brought up believing there is no god, there is nothing after death, and that type of thing, are the types who will need a rescue, because they are still trying to live in the material world. They are the ones who would say that they have not these funny visitors in the house who won't talk to them, they are the ones who get free rides on the buses and feel guilty about it, because nobody takes the money they are trying to pay. Does that answer your question? It was rather complicated. Is there any point on which you want something more?

Guy: I think basically you have answered. But you haven't quite covered the person who is the most average person, who is aware of religious teachings but hasn't followed them.

Verna: It depends a lot on what that person's morals and standards have been. In some respects they are not too badly off because they haven't got these firm set ideas of what is going to be over here, like some of these people who think they are going to sleep until the last trump. So at least they are not hemmed in by set ideas. I assume you mean the people who do not have the strong idea that nothing happens after death? The sort of lukewarm people who say 'Maybe there is, may be there isn't'?

Guy: I had in mind a particular university lecturer who I discussed with the medium sometime ago. The man is very knowledgeable, but completely committed to scepticism. While he knows it all, he rejects it all. Though as a philosopher he ought to have a broader outlook, though I am not sure if he has. In other words, where would a sceptical philosopher go?

Verna: There is the possibility that that kind of person would have a bit of difficulty at first, but because - I am tending at the moment to speak specifically about this person - because he has dealt with these topics during his life, he is more likely to suddenly say 'Oh, yes, I remember that. That's right. So that's what was right.' And so accept it. You see, there is so much individuality and variance, so that kind of person, as I said, is likely to have a bit of a problem for a short while, but once they start seeing concepts that they have thought about during their lives they could be quite receptive.

Gina: How about a person I know, who had two daughters who at one stage were rather bitten by Christianity, and the Christian concept that unless you are a Christian you can't get to heaven. He basically told them that he will live his life the way he wants to, and his attitudes. And, if when he is dead, he finds out that he had made a mistake, he will stand before God and frankly state that he assessed the situation to the best of his intellectual powers and to the best of his emotional powers. If he came to a different conclusion, he will admit he was wrong, and if that God condemns him, he doesn't think the God worth very much. What about that attitude? What sort of problem would he strike?

Verna: The main problem with that type of person would probably lie in their attitudes towards other people. You see, religion isn't the only area in which people can be bigoted or hemmed in, so that kind of person may not have any difficulty in the religious aspect, but what is their attitude to other people, how accepting are they of other people?

Gina: He doesn't suffer fools gladly.

Verna: But he is not sort of bigoted on the grounds of race, or colour or that sort of thing?

Gina: I don't think he has been exposed very much to that sort of thing to form personal opinions on it. He is a white Caucasian Australian.

Verna: And some white Caucasian Australians may learn a lot in the coming years.

Guy: Let's progress to a different type of man. Take a religious hermit, a Yogi, living in his mountain cave, who shuns people, who wants to be alone with God, who doesn't want to see anything distracting from his fast.

Verna: In other words, who doesn't want to live?

Guy: Yes. Who doesn't, in a way, want earthly life.

Verna: The person who can really live that way is a person who isn't living their life. They are retreating from it. It may be a person who is afraid of life. As this medium would probably say, what psychological hang-ups has that person got?

Guy: A monk in a monastery for instance?

Verna: Yes. There is the danger that they will become very set in what they expect to experience on this side. You see, all states and conditions have within them the possibility for difficulties and also the possibility for an easier progress.

Gina: But if they are a hermit, aren't they astral travelling and so they experience the other side anyway?

Verna: Not necessarily. It depends so much, they may attain these states but they may not. And we feel that it is far better to contribute to life, to the world than to retreat from that life. Because when you are on this side, those who have had experience in the world are much more effective at helping to guide people still in the material world. The hermits are rejecting the world, they are rejecting the gift of life. Now, they may have made spiritual progress, it depends on what exactly happens. Perhaps they retire for a while and, having attained a certain stage, they will come back into the world to bring to it what they have attained. And we would say that that person would be quite far progressed by the time they come on this side. But those who just retreat from that contact are not progressing, they are standing still.

Gina: There's many things to learn but I think there are just as many things to experience and I think it may be only a certain amount you can learn theoretically. You've really got to start applying it. What exactly are the Halls of Learning? The things we are being taught, are they from Halls of Learning?

Verna: This group of guides - actually it applies to most groups of guides - come from different levels, and it is unusual to have anyone from the highest level before merging, work through a medium in this way because to them material conditions are quite difficult to work through, and they try to work through other ways. Occasionally there may be a deliberate incarnation of course, or they may simply work through the other spirits in the group, so there is a sort of chain. or they may work more directly with the spirits in the Spirit World, the discarnate spirits. So for the rest of us, the guides and helpers, we are given impressions from these spirits in the Halls of Learning of what is beyond our personal experience. So what we bring through is a mixture of our own experience and of the impressions we have been given of what comes next.

Gina: Another thing I've been thinking of is that you said that everyone has reasons for being down here, things they've got to learn and things they've got to experience. Is there anyway of finding out these reasons concretely? Because you can blunder your way through life and never pick up the things you need to learn and experience to develop, basically so that you don't have to come back here again.

Verna: Well, there is nothing that you have GOT to learn and experience. There are only things which you have decided to experience. You can gain some idea of them in meditation practices that we have suggested, but I am not too sure that you really need to know it consciously anyway, because if you consciously think 'Ah, this is what I am here to learn' you may shut out a lot of other experiences, you may narrow your focus of attention. you may think that you have to experience certain things, but in reality there may be half a dozen things that you have to experience. so you may be focussing on the one and blocking out the others.

Gina: I didn't want to go through life and then afterwards find that you have to go back, because you have blundered through life and missed out on your purpose.

Verna: There is no GOT to go back.

Gina: Well, decide to go back because you didn't learn.

Verna: This is what we are trying to get across to you. You don't HAVE to come back to experience anything. You can experience it all on our side. Get rid of this idea that you have GOT to come back to experience or do anything, you can do it on this side. If you come over here with this idea that you have GOT to come into the material world to have certain experiences, you will put yourself back into the material world.

Guy: That raises an interesting question - why did we all decide to come here in the first place?

Verna: This is why we are trying to get across to you that you DON'T HAVE to reincarnate.

Gina: What was the reason that we decided to come back then?

Verna: Well, that is up to you to decide. This world is just an expression of Godness. You see we have often told you that you come with a broad outline of your life's plan. Now, we have also said that this can be changed. The broad outline contains situations in which you find yourself, but the undetermined quality is what you do with those situations. So you affect the outcome, and that, in turn, affects the next situation, you see? Think of the world as a sort of staging post - you are passing through it.

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