North London Group—The members of this Group, under the secretaryship of Mr. Sydney Rist, 39, Mildenhall Road, Clapton, have, after much thought and mutual deliberation, decided upon a scheme of action which, while subject to modification and extension, shall serve as a good working basis for the combined energies of the Group. We have received from the secretary a resumé of the scheme drawn up as follows:—
- The primal object of the Group is to embody and gradually manifest in our lives, the actions necessarily following on the acceptation of the principles of the "Sermon on the Mount" as being the means whereby we can only realize the Divine Truth, and thus bring about the realization of the Lord's Prayer, and that our united effort may bring to pass that state of life consistent with our Spiritual and Intellectual Ideal.
- That each member becomes responsible for aiding any case of distress—financial and otherwise—as opportunity occurs, and where necessary advises the secretary, that he may have the matter considered generally. Financial help is only held to be a temporary assistance, and the vital work of the Group be to aid in bringing to light a greater realization of the higher mental attitude towards poverty, disease, and suffering. In this way only can we really help the individual to lift himself.
Under this will come the consideration of regular visits to hospitals and the care of orphans, etc.
- That any incident of interest to the Group be briefly reported at each meeting.
- That a subscription box be provided, and funds subscribed each month of such amounts as individual means will allow. We may thus collect a reserve, and not inconvenience members by probably two or three calls in a short time.
- That a private Committee be formed to aid financially any member who may through sickness or other reason become distressed. The spirit that brings us together disperses any idea of the conventional method of giving charity, as it is understood, and that a member requiring such aid is assisted in a pure spirit of brotherliness and sympathy. The secretary should be notified in writing or in person by the member desiring assistance, and he will call a special meeting of not less than two other members, who will take the necessary steps without delay.
- That a scheme be devised whereby cooperation can take place with other London Groups for the adoption of general lines of work, and that visits be exchanged by representatives of each Group from time to time.
- That as soon as possible social subjects be taken up, and occupations that require reform and general betterment be closely studied, and such steps taken that will aid and bring about a better condition of them, and general persistency in writing be adopted to bring the matters, through the press, to the public.
- That during the summer, rambles be arranged, and such persons to whom an outing would be a joy be invited, each member being responsible for one guest.
- That classes be formed—as opportunities present themselves and means allow, for mutual help to those seeking the Higher Life—classes to be led by members of the Group.
- That each member of our own Group become the representative of another Group, and keep in touch with it by periodical correspondence and occasional visits where possible. Reports to be read by representatives each meeting, and cooperative action taken when necessary.
- That the meetings be open with an invocation or hymn.
In addition to the above, it is thought that greater interest and mutual helpfulness would attach to the Groups if all the provincial Gatherings had each a member of one of the London Groups as their representative correspondent. This would afford facilities for introduction, especially with those members who travel, as well as for interchange of speakers, etc. Mr. Rist has now this matter under consideration.
West London Group—At the meeting of this Group on May 2nd, Mr. Physick gave an instructive paper on the "Non-existence of Evil," in which he dwelt on the truth that Good is all-in-all.
Birmingham Group—At the usual monthly meeting on May 10th, a paper was read by Mr. Akehurst.
Liverpool and Birkenhead Group—The usual monthly meeting was held on May 9th, when Mr. Edwin Allen gave a very interesting address on "What can we say about Evil?" He said that many of us had already got rid of the belief in a personal devil, or in personified evil, and that we were now struggling to rid ourselves of belief in a principle or power of evil. That good was real, abiding, and everlasting, and evil simply the absence of good,—a negation and unreality, though to the sufferer a painful if only temporary experience. He gave many illustrations, showing that only good was real, and its opposite unreal. A short discussion followed.
The June meeting will be held on the 13th, when members are asked to give expression to any helpful thoughts they may have derived from the essays in the June Number of the Light of Reason.
Mr. Edwin Allen has kindly arranged for the first of a series of monthly meetings to be held in the "Vegetarian Restaurant," Eberle Street, Liverpool, on Tuesday, May 24th, at 7:30 o'clock.
We have received applications for the formation of Groups from the following centers: Sheffield; Manchester; Barrow in Furness; Leicester; St. Albans; Cheltenham; Gloucester; Weston-super-Mare; Hyde; Weymouth; Plymouth; Banburry; Torquay; Paignton; Newcastle-on-Tyne; Bolton; Kidderminster; Newark; Mansfield; Macclesfield; Blackburn; West Hartpool; Derby; Great Shelford; Cambs.; Ottery St. Mary; Brecon; Birkenhead; Bootle; Okehampton; Longton, Essex; Reading; Braintree; Ventnor; Isle of Wright; Abingdon; Berkshire; Brighton; Jarrow-on-Tyne; Norwich; North Walsham, Norfolk; and Chicago, U.S.A.
Groups will be formed in these places when more names reach us. Readers wishing to join should write to the Editor.
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.