Silver Birch was a spirit guide who spoke through Maurice Barbanell (1902-1981), founder and editor of the Psychic News of London, England. He was one of the influential spiritual commentators of the mid-20th Century who drew our attention to the coming of a miraculous “New World.”
Word of Silver Birch’s teachings first began to circulate in the late 1930s (1) and, within forty years, nine books of his teachings had been issued, circulating widely in the Anglophone world.
The group was known as Hannen Swaffen’s Circle to keep Barbanell’s name a secret. It met monthly for four decades in a small flat in a pleasant part of London. (2)
Although “Silver Birch” spoke through a North American Indian vehicle on the other side, the higher spirit who sourced his message was not an Indian.
Of himself, Silver Birch would give few details. He imposed upon himself the burden of anonymity “so that I would make no appeal of illustrious personage, title, rank, or fame, but would be judged on what I said and what I did. (3)
His last lifetime occurred around 3,000 years earlier, during which lifetime he venerated many gods. He had to learn in the spirit world that “there is only one Great Spirit, Who has provided eternal laws for the control of every phase of life throughout the boundless universe.” (4)
In a passage in which he mentions the new world coming, he said that the teachings which he transmitted did not originate from him.
“I am but a humble servant, an interpreter for those who have sent me to expound forgotten laws that must be revived as part of the new world that is gradually dawning. Think of me always as a mouthpiece. I represent the voice of the spirit that seeks to make its presence felt in your world and which is succeeding in increasing measure.”(5)
His description of the group of communicators who harmonized their minds to create the messages that Silver Birch communicated to Barbanell is reminiscent of “Imperator’s” descriptions of his spirit circle in the late 19th Century.
“There is a vast concourse, all with wills perfectly attuned, with minds in harmony, with souls all at one. They use me, even as I use this instrument, to tell your world the truths that have been buried for too long but which are now being restored and given their rightful place in the lives of thousands of men and women”. (6)
“To you, this is a little room. To us, it is a grand temple. These little walls have vanished. There is radiance, illumination dazzling in its brilliance. Hundreds upon hundreds are assembled here….
“That vast concourse belongs to all peoples and nations, to the present and to the past. There are prophets, seers, sages, wise men of the East and the West, of high and low estate, philosophers of Greece and Rome, Syria, Chaldea, Persia and Babylon, mingled with those of later generations from Italy, France and Germany. They exchange their knowledge and focus it all so that it shall be at your service.” (7)
All of them were “servants of the Great Spirit. Some of us have evolved a little higher. Because of that, we return to give service, for service is the law of life.” (8)
What Shape was the World In at the Time?
When Silver Birch began speaking, the world faced the probability of a second world war.
“There is war in your world of matter, war that need not be, for if your world knew these truths and lived them, men would not kill.
“There is starvation, when there is plenty of the Great Spirit’s bounty.
“There are mean hovels where the children of the Great Spirit are compelled to live, deprived of fresh air, unable to catch the health-giving rays of the sun, forced to live below the line of sustenance.
“There is want and distress and misery.
“There are still superstitions to be killed. There are still aching hearts. There are still diseases to be vanquished. (9)
“Because man was not spiritually led, he was in danger of blowing himself up “with forces that he is not entitled to have at his command.” (10)
The world as it existed was competitive, even predatory, in its attitudes.
“You have tried to build a world where, when one man has something, instead of using it to help the others, he tries to keep it for himself, with the result that in time he makes a system that must collapse because its foundations are wrong.” (11)
Human beings refused to live by divine law.
“Your world is full of bloodshed, tears of misery and bitterness. In its blindness, your world will not live according to the laws of the Great Spirit. It has chosen the path that leads to darkness and to despair.” (12)
“In the midst of the global conflict, it looked to some as if humanity would destroy itself and desolate the planet. But Silver Birch assured his generation that “the Great Spirit will not allow His children to destroy themselves.” (13)
Nor did humanity have the power to overturn what was divinely ordained.
“No man, and no combination of men, have the power to thwart divine will. They can delay, they can harass and they can impede. Infinite wisdom and love rule the universe. These will prevail because that is the law. “(14)
Out of Destruction, a New World is Coming
Silver Birch was aware that what he chose to call “a New World” was coming, one that all spirits were lending their strength to bring about. He had been shown a vision of what was to come.
“There are many of us who have been allowed by those who are higher and above us to see your world as it will be one day. That conception we try to transmit to those who are receptive, to inspire them to go on with their work. The pictures I have seen make your present world more ugly than it is. I see what it could be like – and what it must be like. It is only a question of time.” (15)
As Krishnamurti was to later say, once one had seen the Divine Plan, one could not help but work towards its realization, it was so grand and beautiful. (16)
Silver Birch joined a congregation of spirits who were working for the advent of the new.
“Like many others, I have come nearer to the earth vibrations to help push forward that great new world which waits just round the corner.” (17)
Nothing humanity could do would stem the mighty tide.
“A great power of the spirit will descend into your world of matter.” (18)
“The mighty power of the Spirit has been launched once again in your world of matter, and the children of matter do not possess the power to stem that mighty tide.” (19)
“When Spirit brings forth its new dispensation, “there will be a revolution mightier than all the revolutions of war and blood.
“It will be a revolution of the soul and, all over the world, people will claim what is their due – the right to enjoy to the full the liberties of the spirit. Away will go every restriction which has put fetters on them.” (20)
There is much work for this divine force to do.
“In all [Earth’s] countries a mighty force of the spirit will be felt, for there is a great work to be done to counteract the selfishness and the ignorance of your world. … Plenty of workers have come to take their stand at your side. … When you think of those whose names you know, try to realise the countless host of the unknown, who serve without any desire to be known or recognised but who give their power to be used.” (21)
They would show that it is possible to sweep aside all the destructiveness in humanity.
“All jealousies and bickering, all strife and fratricide, all war and chaos, all envy, greed and malice can be driven from the earth. Compassion, kindness, gentleness, amity and co-operation can be the principles by which men rule everywhere because of the recognition of their common spiritual nature.” (22)
From the standpoint of a world at war, all looked like pain. Silver Birch could only say that the New World too would be born in pain.
“You are now in the midst of the crisis. As always happens before there is a birth, there is much pain. The birth of the new order means much pain. Even when the new order comes, there will be growing pains.” (23)
Many of us would swear that things had gotten worse.
“There will be many big changes. There will be break-ups and there will be many upheavals. There will be what you think is darkness and difficulty. You will say, “Things are worse.” But, all the time, there is behind it all a power which is making for the progress of the world.” (24)
But, gradually, from destruction would come new life.
“But after the storms and the wind have blown through the world there always comes the new life of the spring. When the snow lies on the ground and all looks very bleak, you are not able to see the freshness of the spring. But it comes.
“And gradually, as the great sun of life moves through the heavens of the Great Spirit, so the majesty of life comes to its fullest. Throughout the whole world of matter there is a great cloud of discontent. There will come the spring of dreams and the summer of fulfilment.” (25)
The New World Would Not Arise Quickly
Humanity had a role to play in how quickly this New World manifested. “It will come quickly or slowly as the children of the Great Spirit exercise their free will.” (26)
“The world will not be converted in a blinding flash like Saul on the road to Damascus. Gradually, the light of spiritual truths will break through, as more people become aware of the great knowledge and more instruments are available for the power of the Great White Spirit to use. You must remember that the things of the spirit require careful nurture and progress. Sudden conversions would not be enduring, and our work is intended to be permanent.
“Each soul that becomes an instrument for the Great Spirit, each soul that moves out of darkness into the light, out of ignorance into knowledge, out of superstition into truth, is helping to advance the world, for each one of these is a nail that is driven into the coffin of the world’s materialism.” (27)
Our help will speed its birth.
“The New World will come more quickly or more slowly, as more of you help us or hinder us in our efforts to co-operate with you.” (28)
“The perfect balance of the natural law would see that we get exactly what we deserve.
“You will not get more than you deserve or less than you deserve, for so perfect is natural law in its expression that its scales are always evenly balanced. They are weighted down neither on one side nor the other.
“I tell you of conditions that are operating and, as they continue to operate, what will be changed. Do not forget that you will reap in your world the harvest of countless generations of labour wrought by many pioneers, idealists and reformers, who made sacrifices to advance the lot of mankind.” (29)
The Old Order Has to Be Torn Down
The glorious New World could not be achieved without sacrifice.
“The old order must fall for the new to arise. That which is a part of the Great Spirit cannot be achieved without sacrifice. You cannot build up unless you tear down.
“In times of great material disaster, the people of your world begin to examine the foundations of the things of the spirit. When all the things of matter have failed, they look for a reed to clutch, and they look into the systems that have been tried and found wanting. Then the truths of the spirit begin to emerge, and they begin to build their new world – a world where the laws of the Great Spirit begin to play their proper part. Until you do that, there will always be great troubles.” (30)
The New World would be born amidst agony.
“The New World is born, born in agony of birth, with a baptism of tears and misery and sadness. But the New World is here. Its rays are beginning to pierce the fog of your world.” (31)
However, even with the birth of the New World, more will be needed to be done.
“The tide of victory rolls on. The old order dies, giving place to the new. The new world is coming. But do not think that, because of this victory, there will be no more dark places. There will still be much shedding of tears. There will be many aching hearts. There is great sacrifice to be made.” (32)
“Even in this New World all will not have been achieved. There will be plenty to remedy, to improve, to strengthen. There will still be weakness to be overcome, there will still be troubles to be eradicated. But there will be a new basis for life.
“Much of the needless misery, much of the needless deprivation, much of the needless starvation and sadness will have gone. The basis of life will be changed, for gradually selfishness will be overthrown and service will reign in its place.” (33)
The New World Would See the End of Separativeness
Many of my readers will by now be familiar with a description of what can now be called a unitive world – a world in which we have unitive rather than dualistic consciousness.
However, to Silver Birch’s readers, a half century ago, the end of duality could only be discussed as an end to separation.
“As our teaching grows in your world, it will mean the end of all separateness between peoples. It will mean the end of national barriers. It will mean the end of race distinctions, class distinctions, colour distinctions and all the distinctions between churches and chapels, temples, mosques and synagogues, for gradually all will learn that they have a part of the Great Spirit’s truth and that the part enshrined in the heart of every other religion in no way contradicts that portion which is precious to them. So, out of the apparent confusion, the divine pattern will take its shape and harmony and peace will come.” (34)
This new world would be filled with happiness and wisdom. Its foundation will be sure and strong.
“One day, there will arise a new race that will recognize that all politics, religion, science and knowledge are part of one thing. Then pain, sorrow, fear, mourning and unhappiness will be banished and your world will be a place of smiles and happy laughter. …
“When you have people who develop their gifts, which all come from the Great Spirit, and use them for the benefit of all the others, then there will be built a system founded on that which is eternal.” (35)
These are Old, Old Truths
Silver Birch stressed that these teachings were not new, but what Aldous Huxley called a “Perennial Philosophy.” Truth neither changed nor passed with time. It was eternal.
“They are not new things that we try to teach you. They are the old, old truths that those who have seen with the eyes of spirit have taught you for many, many years. But you have neglected them and so it is necessary to teach them to you once again, to show you that you must learn the lessons of the Great Spirit. You have nearly destroyed your world by the follies of your own ideas.
“Your world must get back to the Great Spirit and His laws. It is coming back. Slowly, I can see how the laws of the Great Spirit are coming into fulfillment.” (36)
The exploitation of the people of the Earth had to end.
“What you must try to learn is that the bounty of the Great Spirit must be properly divided amongst the people. You have people who have too little to eat and you have people with too much to eat. That of course must be wrong. You have to divide the things you have among the people you have. Is not that simple?” (37)
“We needed to end living life for self, and live life in service to others. The days of vested interests, like the Illuminati or New World Order, were gone.
“You must break down vested interests. The laws are perfect. If you live your own life, seeking only to serve others, then because of that the Great Spirit operates through you. That applies to you and it applies to all.” (38)
By Silver Birch’s Time, a Seed Had Been Planted
By the mid-20th Century, a seed had been planted which would not perish.
“There has been planted in your world a seed that will grow and the efforts of those in high places to destroy the seed will fail. It was said, a long time ago, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” That is going to happen.” (39)
“We know those ones “in high places” as the Illuminati, the shadow state, and we are seeing their efforts fail all around us at the present time. He reminded the generation he spoke that it was witnessing the birth of the New World.
“You are witnessing the birth of a new order and all around you are the signs that the old world, founded on selfishness, materialism, greed, avarice and cruelty, is dying.
“You who call yourselves Spiritualists are the custodians of a great truth, for you are the sentries guarding the outposts, helping to forge the new era. Think of yourselves as soldiers of the Great Spirit, fighting the greatest fight of all, for you are helping to vanquish all the forces that belong to the darkness of man’s ignorance and brought war, misery, chaos and bankruptcy to your world.
“You are helping to shape a new world in which all the children of the Great Spirit will share to fulfil the richness of the bounty He has freely given.” (40)
Silver Birch said, “I do not care by what name you call the dawn of the new world.” (41)
“This dawn was only the beginning. There is much to be revealed in your world, much to be discovered. You are not at the end of evolution. You are still in its early stages. …
“In its long history your world has had many disasters. Man has survived them. Man has progressed in spite of himself. He will continue to evolve because evolution is part of the natural law. And spiritual evolution is part of that same law.” (42)
If we would but live according to the natural law, we would have abundance.
“I come to teach you the laws of the Great Spirit and to show you how, if you live according to them, the bounty of the Great Spirit can be poured into your hearts and minds.” (43)
Teachers like Silver Birch come to tell us what role we are to play.
“I tell you these things, so that you can understand part of the great plan, the part that we who return from the world of spirit play in it, and the part that each one of you must play in it before your earthly course is run.” (44)
Towards the end of his mission, he looked back at what had been accomplished.
“I look back at the beginning of my mission with just one instrument. Then I was unable to speak your language with any degree of efficiency.
“I realize how fortunate we are to have reached so many people. Others will follow. They will have the means at their disposal of reaching far more people than we have done, because of technological devices that are to come.” (45)
We are those people and we have used our technological devices, some of them back-engineered from space technology, to bring news of the impending manifestation of that New World to all who will listen.
(1) Stella Storm, ed., Philosophy of Silver Birch. London: Spiritualist Press, 1975; c1969, 10.
(3) Silver Birch, Silver Birch’s Own Story, n.p.. Located at http://www.angelfire.com/ok/SilverBirch/SB.html.
(4) Silver Birch, Silver Birch, Silver Birch’s Teachings, n.p. Located at http:/www.angelfire.com/ok/SilverBirch/Tcon.html.
(5) Silver Birch, Light from Silver Birch. Comp. Pam Riva. London: Psychic Press, 1983, 63; Silver Birch Anthology. Ed. Wm. Naylor. London: Spiritualist Press, 1974; c1955, 130.
(6) Silver Birch, SBA, 130.
(7) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(9) Silver Birch, SBOS, n.p.
(10) Silver Birch, Guidance from Silver Birch. Ed. Ann Dooley. London: Psychic Press, 1986, 21.
(11) Silver Birch, Teachings of Silver Birch. Wisdom from the World Beyond. Ed. A.W. Austen. London: Spiritualist Press, 1962; c1938, 43.
(12) Silver Birch, SBA, 42.
(13) Silver Birch, TSB, 44.
(14) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(15) Silver Birch, TSB, 43.
(16) “The really important thing is … the knowledge of God’s plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful, so, because he knows, he is on God’s side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.” (Krishnamurti, AFM, 17.)
(17) Silver Birch, PSB, 27.
(18) Silver Birch, SBA, 40.
(19) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(20) Silver Birch, TSB, 26.
(21) Silver Birch, SBA, 40.
(22) Silver Birch, GSB, 21.
(23) Silver Birch, TSB, 42.
(25) Silver Birch, SBA, 51.
(27) Silver Birch, SBA, 40-1.
(28) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(30) Silver Birch, TSB, 38-9.
(31) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(32) Silver Birch, TSB, 38.
(33) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(34) Silver Birch, SBA, 45.
(35) Silver Birch, TSB, 43.
(39) Silver Birch, TSB, 42.
(40) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(41) Silver Birch, TSB, 44.
(42) Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.
(43) Silver Birch, PSB, 27.
(44) Silver Birch, SBA, 45.
(45) Silver Birch, LSB, 88.