What Work Do Spirits Do?
Spirits do not Spend Their Time in Prayer and Praise
We are not likely ever to have to spend all our time singing hymns of adoration. That is an old idea. What is more likely is that we will be given work of a more creative kind. We will be doing what is most worthy for us in a field of spiritual values and learning things that at present we are incapable of knowing or grasping. (Gordon Burdick to Grace Rosher, TR, 37-8.)
It is rather laughable now to / remember what we were told as children: that we would sit upon a cloud and strum a harp and wit for eternity. There is too much work to be done for mankind to waste time like that.
Impelled by the Divine Love, we soon commence work for our brothers. (Donald Macleod in HT, 12-3.)
It is very difficult to tell you about work in the spirit world. It is allotted to each one his portion, according to how he has progressed. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 53.)
The spirit world is at all times a place where human beings can live in such comfort and happiness as they were meant to do from the beginning. We do not, therefore, spend our eternity in constant ‘prayer and praise’ because that mode of life would be not life at all, not even mere existence. We do not occupy our time – or waste it – in profound theological discussions upon obscure theories, nor upon the more commonplace ones for the simple reason that we have something much better to do, in every way more profitable and infinitely more entertaining and enjoyable. Our conversation is at all times rational, natural, and normal. We do not speak to one another in terms of religious texts and scriptural quotations, nor are we endowed with wide knowledge and keen intellectual perception the instant we set foot in the spirit world at our dissolution. We are deeply thankful that we are ourselves and not as others would have us to be. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 160.)
The occupations are varied by loss of the body, but occupation there is for all. (Spirit leader Imperator in Stainton Moses, MST, 48.)
All human faculties are here spiritualized and enlarged. We are given the finest education in all conceivable lines, and thus fitted for helping others. With spiritual power comes occupation in the highest sense, for we become teachers and lead others along the paths we have already followed. Some are fitted for one work, some for another; but all are in happy and con/genial employment. This is our work; pleasure is work, and work is pleasure. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 80-1.)
The Urge to Work
As you have seen for yourself, there is an abundance of useful things for you to do, the doing of which will bring great happiness to yourself and provide for your progress and advancement through the realms of this world. You will have seen too, my son, how we all perform our different tasks for the general welfare without though of personal reward. Yet the rewards come, nonetheless – lavish rewards – and so you will discover for yourself.
Whenever you feel so disposed the work awaits you, but that is not to say you must curtail your present explorations. No one in these or other realms would wish – nor, indeed, would they have the right – to put a definite term upon your desires for knowledge gained at first hand in this way. But there does come a time when the activity of the mind is such that there is a compelling wish to be doing something actively rather than to be a mere witness passively, as it were, to what is going on around you. (The Ruler of the Spirit Realms to Roger in MALIWU, 155.)
Common sense tells one to try to pull one’s weight in one’s own special way – mine seems to be in this ‘scavenging’ business, though it’s not what I should ever have imagined myself doing! (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 130.)
Sometimes I meditate on our ultimate destination, but usually I am content to leave this and carry on with my work. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 44.)
My task is man – his evolution. To this million-age duty I devote my power. For this I seek, through the efforts of my helpers near the earth-planes, my instruments. They must be much tempered and much tested. A focus even in dense matter I must have: it is no easy role. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 42.)
Soon we must settle down and make up our minds what our work is to be. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 89.)
We are not here for amusement, though we may be amused. We are here for knowledge and work: knowledge of spiritual conditions, work for the earth people that they may learn these conditions. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 79.)
The spirit of divine love animates the acts and in mutual blessing the spirits find their happiness. For them there is no craving for sluggish idleness; no cessation of desire for progressive advancement in knowledge. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)
What Work is Done?
If you only guessed half the activities which are going on all round you – and through you – you’d be surprised. Perhaps disconcerted! (Philip Gilbert to his mother, Alice, in PTS, 29.)
As to the way in which we work, that depends on the individual. There is plenty of activity connected with the mind and the spirit. The difficulty the questioner has is in understanding spiritual experiences in terms of physical measurement, but there are wide and boundless pursuits of the mind and the spirit, cultural, educational, purposive, actual in their effect on your physical / world, to engage us and occupy us for as long as we wish to be so occupied. (Silver Birch, SBA, 61-2.)
All the qualities of soul and mind continue to grow, to unfold, to / develop and to mature in our world. The mere fact that you possess these great qualities of the soul means that when you reach this world of ours, you soon desire to render service to those less fortunate than you. You find, or strive to find, people like yourself.
If you were a poet, you seek a poet, a musician, you seek a musician, like interests wherever possible, so that you can give freely all you have learned in your new world. The difficulty is to achieve the process of attunement. (Silver Birch, SBA, 80-1.)
Literary souls become great orators and speak and teach in eloquent language. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 54.)
One who has studied your earth-laws would go into the spirit-school as a teacher of justice. A soldier, when he himself has learned the lessons of Truth and Honour, will guide and help souls in any sphere or world to fight for the right faith in God. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 54.)
If he has a great talent, that he brings to perfection here; for if you have beautiful music, or any other talent, we have them here much more. Music is one of the great moving forces of our world; but, although arts and talents are carried to their fullest, it is the great work of all souls to perfect themselves for the Eternal Life. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 53.)
To tell you anything of our occupations, you must know first that we are taught to work for others, which is the joy of life here. Then we are taught various sciences and the methods of spirit thought. We are then allowed to go to other planes and study the conditions there. We can see all the life on the different planets and work there if we choose. We are free to choose our work; but, if later we find objections, we may change. Some are teachers, some are messengers, some welcome the new arrivals, many are caring for the little children, some study the other planets, and many will go to distant worlds to learn such new conditions as may be understood. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SWSL, 106.)
It is not possible to outline perfectly all of our interests and work. They are wide as the universe, as different as the thought of man or spirit. Wonder upon wonder, marvel upon marvel, unfold to our growing vision, and life is never for one instant lacking in interest. Nevertheless it is best to focus our attention, study, and thought on those things most interesting to each personality.
Some choose science, some philosophy, some invention, some the studies of other universes and other lives. (Unnamed spirit teacher in SWSL, 81.)
A job is not simply allocated to you here. As there is choice of occupation on earth, so there is even greater choice of occupation in what you may like to call “heaven.” I find the latitude in our choices here to be quite incredible. I don’t know what field I will entre at the present time. I will have to pray over this and inquire into various fields because once we are committed we are committed for a considerable time. Here we don’t so much work as individuals. We work more in bands and groups. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 89.)
Occupations are varied. The learning and knowing more and more of the sublime truths which the Great God teaches us; the worship and adoration; the praise and glorifying of Him; the teaching to benighted ones truth and progress; the missionary work of the advanced to the struggling and feeble; the cultivation of our intellectual talents; the development of our spiritual life; progress in love and knowledge; ministrations of mercy; studies in the secret workings of the universe, and the guiding and direction of cosmic forces; in short, the satisfaction of the cravings of the immortal being in its twofold aspect of intellect and affection. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
What Does it Take to Develop a Certain Faculty?
The difference between a painter and a musician, or between a poet and a novelist, is not a difference of qualities in the entity itself; for each unit contains everything except quantity, and thus has the possibilities of development along any line chosen by its will. The choice may have been made ages ago. It takes a long time, often many lives, to evolve an art or a faculty for one particular kind of work in preference to all others. Concentration is the secret of power, here as elsewhere. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter VI.)
The Joy of Service
Joy is so closely united with service here that the two can scarcely be separated. You are thinking that this would not be so with the weak or the wicked. Possibly true. But through sympathy, understanding, teaching, or companionship, we learn that we help, and are joyous in that unseen help. Congeniality is the foundation of friendship here, and it leaves no room for friction or jarring notes. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 92.)
We are happy, and glad to be of service to those who need us; and service is half of our life here. By this statement we do not wish to make service seem unpleasant. It never is. For the Joy of helping others is great; and too, it makes our own resting times or recreation times more happy. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 93.)
We Have a System of Exchange
We have a system or order of work and study, though what you call hours and minutes are not so counted by us. … I am thinking of how to tell you of the orderly way in which we work. Perhaps if I call it (this by way of illustration) a central office, where the plans are arranged and messengers sent to us when we are needed, it may help you a little. …
We are as busy as you. We exchange many things, which might be called barter. For instance, I study something I wish to perfect myself in, and teach, perhaps, my very teacher in some other branch. We exchange many things, sometimes work, sometimes ideas, sometimes the many acts of love and friendliness; but all without your medium of exchange, money. We have love instead, or, if to those we do not know, whatever courtesy suggests. So you see, we have a busy trading system, and enjoy it too, and no one becomes bankrupt. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth in SW, 95.)
No Need for “Rest”
A desire for change from what we are doing is a natural one common to both our worlds, but with us prolonged activities never lead to literal tiredness of the limbs or of the mind. We could pursue the course of our work far, far beyond the limits that are imposed upon you of earth without any loss of efficiency in our task. We could, and we do, work for a number of hours that would seem incredibly long to you, without the slightest ill-effect either to ourselves or to our work. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 44.)
With us rest is a very elastic term. One may take rest through so many varieties of ways. Indeed, it is perfectly commonplace to see someone busily at work here displaying all the industry in the world, to discover that in reality he is resting! So that anyone may be resting for all there is to show to the contrary. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 45-6.)
No One Compelled to Work
Nobody bustles you … to get on with things here. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 105.)
I drifted in this wonder-world for a long time. No one urges you to move on until you have completely saturated yourself with the vibs you hunger for. (Rosamund Lehmann’s daughter Sally in AL, 185.)
It was a sensation common to all, sooner or later – the urge to be doing something useful for the good of others. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 75.)
We have the constant urge to be doing something useful, something that be of benefit to others. However small [our] service may be, it will be valued as a service. To have only two forms of work with which to alternate is to give the lowest estimate. So many of us have a dozen channels through which we are usefully engaged. It must be obvious then that the supply of useful tasks is entirely adequate to the thousands upon thousands of us here. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 182.)
No one is compelled, either by force of circumstances or from the mere need of subsistence, to do any work at all in the spirit world. Remember that all work is undertaken willingly, freely for the love of doing it, for the pride in creating something, for the desire of being of service to one’s fellow inhabitants and to the realm in general. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 166.)
We continue with our work for jus that period during which we derive pleasure or profit from it. The moment we feel the need for a change of work or other diversion, we cease our work for the time being and turn to whatever we wish. The staffs of all the halls of learning are no different than others in this respect. They most certainly need change and recreation and so we find that the staffs alternate in their personnel as occasion demands. As some retire others take their places. It is the most natural thing in the world and the most practical. We need never fear that when we call to see some particular expert we shall be disappointed because he is not there. We shall be able to have all the help we need and, if it is vitally necessary to consult the absent one, either an instantaneous thought will answer our question or with equal rapidity, we can visit his home. We need have no misgivings about intruding upon him. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 178.)
The spirit world is not static, neither are all its inhabitants forever occupied upon the same tasks, unremittingly and never changing. The work may never cease, but there are regular occasions when we cease to work. Among the glories of the life in the spirit world are the opportunities for as constant change as taste demands. We do not stagnate, or travel in a groove from which we cannot extricate ourselves. The desire for change of some sort comes upon us – and we change forthwith. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 45.)
There is work here, but only that which is purposeful, necessary, and congenial. No one is forced to work at any task. He himself chooses what to do and if it helps with his spiritual growth, that is enough to make the angels sing, as the preachers say. But he will never be compelled to grow or develop. No teachers on this side to force Johnny to learn to read or spell, unless Johnny wants to grow and develop. Therefore we need to be stronger here than there. … There we are pushed against our will by loving parents and teachers to make something of ourselves. Here we’re left to our won devices and the lazy ones loaf by the wayside, without ever putting their feet upon the path and searching for the way. (Arthur Ford in WB, 16.)
No One Compelled to Do a Certain Line of Work
What one person regards as a restful occupation may well, by another, be regarded as work. It all depends on our natures and the type of occupation that appeals to us.
Your father, for instance, does not derive any great spiritual upliftment from joining in my social activities with the discussion group. He, usually, goes to the temple where Donald works, to spend a period in meditation while I am occupied with my visitors. He is chiefly concerned with directing and receiving power from the higher planes. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 46.)
Nothing is Done without an Object
Nothing is done without object. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
Rewards for Spirit Work Well Performed
You see the wonderful characteristics of spirit world precious stones, my son. They need no reflected light; their luster, their brilliance come from within themselves. If you could, by some means, take this star, or any other jewel, into the dark it would shine out like the sub in beautiful colour. Monsignor, I believe, has described it as ‘living light.’ That is absolutely so. The jewels on earth, lovely as they are, rely upon reflected light for their beauty and their effect. Take a priceless diamond, shall we say, into the dark on earth and all its glory is gone. There are many, many other wonderful jewels in the spirit world besides this one, my son, and all of them made of this same ‘living light.’ As I expect you know by now, these cannot be bought in the spirit world. …
No buying and selling here; only earning. And isn’t that true justice? It places us all upon an equal footing and each of us has the same level chance to earn many wonderful things – like this blue star. (Spirit known as “Blue Star” in Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 143.)
I expect you wonder what [these jewels] represent. In strict truth, they represent nothing but their own worth and beauty. They are what we would call adjuncts to our life and are personal rewards for various services rendered. …
These are not the insignia or jewels of exclusive orders, such as I understand exist on earth. Here they are open to all, without discrimination, who care to earn them, and they are not for certain privileged people as the custom is in some cases on earth. We carry no letters after our names because we are holders of such awards. That, I think, is a good idea because some of our names would appear very odd decorated in that way; and then there is no call for us to proclaim that we are holders of such an award. (Spirit known as “Blue Star” in Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 143.)
[The discarnate Bishop Wilberforce] describes Imperator:
I thought it strange at first to see the shining garments in which the elevated spirits are clad. Imperator’s robe now is of dazzling white, as though composed of purest diamonds lit up by rays of vivid splendour. Round his shoulders he wears a vesture of sapphire blue, and on his head is a crown of glory set in crimson circlet. The circlet indicates his love, the vesture of blue is his wisdom, and the brilliant robe his exalted state of purity and perfection.
Stainton Moses: How magnificent! What is the crown like?
It is seven-pointed, and each point is tipped with a radiant star of dazzling brilliance. (Bishop Wilberforce in Stainton Moses, MST, 39.)
Change of Tasks Natural
If any one feels impelled to take up any study, he is not held back from progress. No one is limited in time or opportunity. If it can come within the scope of this circle, (1) well and good. If more can be learned elsewhere, the student is free to go. Love and friendship prevail everywhere, and the best good of all is the one idea for all. (Unnamed spirit teacher in SWSL, 82.)
- (1) Mary Bosworth’s spirit communication circle on the Astral Plane, communicating through Charlotte Dresser.
There seems to be an idea among certain schools of thought upon earth that in the spirit world we are employed upon the same work for all eternity. Possibly this strange notion is but a variation of the absurd idea of a spirit life of ‘eternal rest’…. The spirit world is not static, neither are all its inhabitants forever occupied upon the same tasks, unremittingly and never changing. The work may never cease, but there are regular occasions when we cease to work. Among the glories of the life in the spirit world are the opportunities for constant change as taste demands. We do not stagnate, or travel in a groove from which we cannot extricate ourselves. The desire for change of some sort comes upon us – and we change forthwith. That is our fatigue as near as it is possible to describe it to you. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 44-5.)
‘What is your work over there?’
“Oh, how I wish I could make you see it as I see it! But it cannot be described exactly. It is with the undeveloped spirits, even with the criminal, at times. But you cannot know how love can find entrance even into criminal lives, until you see its results here. I love my work, and there is much besides the teaching also. There is study of the most delightful kind; there is travel, which I longed for on earth but could never have; there is my home – my home – and I can hardly tell you how dear that is to me who never had one of my own on earth. And then through all, over all, surrounding all, is a peace and happiness which can only come from the ever present love.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 117.) Having got through my “quota,” I very often add another or two contacted on the way.
Then having finished my “welfare work” (it is difficult to say how long it takes, as time is not the same) I go for a little light relief to one of the places of instruction. I do maths or I listen to music and often, when doing that, I use it as a sort of funnel and go out into a wider space circle and increase my power so that I breathe for a while the “air” of a further plane of existence. Music is one of the “corridors” for evolving upwards. Even a very unspiritual entity can, if he comprehends music, flash upwards for a brief period, but he can’t stay there, if his whole being is not in tune. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 33.)
If I am feeling like it, I act the fool with our band and sometimes we all go for a tour of places we knew and watch the antics of our old friends. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 33.)
Many Earthly Occupations No Longer Needed
Those who have spent all their material existence in merely physical labours have to learn everything when they come here. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 54.)
I want to try to give you some slight idea of the immensity of the range of occupations in which one can become engaged here in these realms.
Your thoughts will at once turn to the many and varied occupations of the earth world, covering every shade of earthly activity. But behind the earth world’s occupations is the ever-driving necessity of earning a living, of providing the body with food and drink, clothing and a habitation of some sort. Now, you already know that these last four considerations have no existence whatever with us here. Food and drink we never need; the clothing and the habitation we have provided for ourselves by our lives upon earth. As our lives have been on earth, so will our clothing and our domicile be when we come to spirit lands. We have, as you see, no physical necessity to work, but we do have a mental necessity to work and it is because of the latter that all work is a pleasure with us here.
Imagine yourself in a world where no one works for a living, but where everyone works for the sheer joy of doing something that will be of service to others. …
A great many earthly occupations have no application whatever to the spirit world. Useful and necessary as they are, they belong essentially to the earthly period of life. What then becomes of people who occupied such a position as I have just mentioned? They will discover, immediately they are fully aware of their new state, that they have left their earthly avocation behind forever. They will see that the spirit world does not offer the same or similar work for them. But this does not cause regret or unhappiness because the need for physical subsistence no longer exists with then, and in place of it such people feel gloriously free to engage themselves in some new work. They need never wonder what they are fitted for; they will soon find something which attracts their attention and draws their interest. And it will not be long before they are joining their fellows in learning some new occupation and thoroughly enjoying themselves. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 164.)
[Paying another visit to the city] we walk through many beautiful gardens, which at some period have all been designed and created. Here, shall we say, is the first means of employment that we come across. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 165.)
Now let us go into the hall of music and see what work we can find there. Someone, of course, had to plan and others to build the hall itself. … The work of the architects and builders, with their various expert assistants, is among some of the most important in the spirit world. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 165.)
Someone has to provide them with the necessary [musical] instruments. … And so the instrument makers of the earth-plane find themselves at home in their craft if they wish to continue with it in the spirit world. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 166.)
The librarians who take care of [the musical scores and books] and who attend to people’s wants in this connection fulfil another useful task. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 167.)
In the hall of fabrics we shall find the same industry, the same happiness among all those who are working there. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 167.)
In [the hall of fabrics] you can inspect thousands of the most wonderful materials and cloths, some of them representing the fabrics that were upon earth – all parts of the earth – during the course of hundreds of years. Others are types of material peculiar to the spirit world alone, both in design and in texture. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 70.)
Not that we need doctors but they can work here with their colleagues in investigating the causes of sickness and disease upon the earth-plane and they can help in alleviating them. Many a spirit doctor has guided the hand of an earthly surgeon when he is performing an operation. The earthly doctor is, probably, perfectly unaware of the fact and would ridicule any suggestion that he is receiving assistance from an unseen source. The doctor in spirit is contented to serve without acknowledgment from him whom he serves. It is the successful issue that he is concerned about, not who shall have the credit. …
The scientist, too, continues his researches when he comes here. In whatever branch of science he may be concerned, he will find enough, and more than enough, to engage his attention for a long time to come. And so with the engineer, and scores upon scores of others. Indeed it would be impossible, or if not impossible, a little tedious, perhaps, to run through the long list of occupations so well known upon the earth-plane, of which we have a counterpart in the spirit world. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 168.)
Nothing ever disturbs the ordered routine of our work. While the work continues, we may be retiring from it for a space, either to rest or to follow some other line of endeavor. We have no disputes, no domestic upheavals, no rivalries that produce dissatisfaction and unpleasantness. We have no discontented folk. We may have the urge to be doing something of greater moment, but that is not discontent, but the prompting from within that denotes the steps of our spiritual progression. The humblest of us is made to feel that whatever his work, however insignificant it may appear beside other and seemingly greater tasks, he is performing something vital and significant that will bring with it is own inevitable reward that none can withhold from us, none can take away. In the spirit world, to work is to be profoundly happy. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 171.)
Summary Example: Working as Horticulturists
Many there are who become experts in horticulture. (Cliffy McLean in LFM, 81.)
Both the house and the garden, [Edwin] told me, were the harvest I had reaped for myself during my earth life. Having earned the right to possess them, I had built them with the aid of generous souls who spend their life in the spirit world performing such acts of kindness and service to others. Not only was it their work, but it was their pleasure at the same time.
Frequently this work is undertaken and carried out by those who, on earth, were expert in such things and who also had a love for it. Here they can continue with their occupation under conditions that only the world of spirit can supply. Such tasks bring their own spiritual rewards, although the thought of reward is never in the minds of those who perform them. The desire of being of service to others is always uppermost. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 18.)
As I had already sent a message to the ‘owner’ of the nursery, he was awaiting our arrival. …
‘You see,’ [he] explained…, ‘in the old earth plants the flowers fade in due course and seed pods form so that you might have half the stem with blooms and half with seeds. You can see for yourself that, without this happening [here] and the whole stem being filled with blooms for its [entire] length, there’s no comparison [with early blooms]. There’s nowhere else but here – I mean, the spirit world – where flowers could be grown like these.
‘Cast your eyes on those hollyhocks. Did you ever see such beauties as those – with blooms from top reaching down all that way? And no fading or dying? That’s how we make them and that’s how they stay.’
As far as we could see were bed upon bed of such perfect flowers as incarnate eye never beheld. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 98-9.)
We can’t give [a flower animation]. That must come from another realm and we don’t ask for it until we are sure that what we have made is fitted to receive it. …
[When we are ready] what we do is to send to that higher realm I mentioned [a] message; after that, all we know is that there is a rapid descent of the power we ask for. Of course, originally, it comes from theSource, but it is passed on to us from another personage. It is a natural process and procedure and the fact that we have created the flower or plant is sufficient. Our desire for its complete animation is fulfilled; our request is answered without fail and without question. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 103-4.)
Summary Example: Working as Architects, Engineers, and Masons
Those houses / have not been raised merely mechanically, but are the outcome – growth, if you will – of the action of the will of those high in rank in these realms, and so of very powerful creative wills. (G. Vale Owen’s mother in LBV1, 51-2.)
“We are building and building, making halls and rooms and houses in the most exquisite way imaginable, and never for a moment have to halt for lack of means or lack of material. Truly the ‘many mansions’ are here, and beautiful beyond description. When you come you will have a home that will express your most artistic fancy and your greatest desire for beauty.”
‘Can you give us a description of the building you use as a meeting hall?’ /
“I will try. It is not of marble or wood or stone, but a beautiful building of white material, shining and pure, with dome of golden color, with halls and rooms and various meeting places and appointments for the different studies.” (Unnamed spirit communicator with an interest in architecture in SWSL, 59-60.)
Immediately upon the thought there follows the concrete article. I don’t mean for one moment that we merely think of what we need or desire and … there it is. … This house … was carefully thought about, planned, and then the masons and builders got to work. But their work was performed by thought alone. There were no intermediaries in the form of the procuring of materials and the erection of scaffolding, and so on. Those friends thought and thought produced this very real and solid house. And here it will remain. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 96.)
The act of building in the spirit world is essentially an operation of thought. It will not be surprising, therefore, when I tell you that nowhere were there to be seen the usual materials and paraphernalia associated with earthly builders, the scaffolding and brocks and cement, and the various other familiar objects. We were to witness, in fact, an act of creation – and as such no ‘physical’ equipment is necessary.
The ruler of the realm stepped forward a few paces and, with his back towards us, but facing the site upon which the new wing [of the library] was to arise, he spoke a brief but appropriate prayer. …
His prayer brought an instantaneous response, which was in the form of a bright beam of light that descended upon him and upon those gathered immediately behind him. As soon as this happened the architects and masons moved up close beside him.
All eyes were now upon the vacant spot beside the main building, to which we noticed that a second beam of light was passing directly from the ruler and the masons. As the second beam reached the site of the annex it formed itself into a carpet of coruscation upon the ground. This gradually grew in depth, width, and height….
Slowly the form gained in size until it reached the required height. We could now see plainly that it matched the original structure in general outline, while the carved devices [on the walls] similarly corresponded.
While it was in this state the architects approached and examined it very closely. We could observe them moving within it, until at length they passed from view. They were gone but a moment when they returned to the ruler with the report that all was in order. …
The downstream of light now became very much more intense, while the horizontal stream from the ruler and his collaborators assumed, after the lapse of a minute or two, a similar degree of intensity. We could now perceive the nebulous form acquiring an unmistakable appearance of solidity as the concentration of united thought laid layer upon layer of increased density upon the simulacrum.
From what I observed it seemed to devolve upon the ruler to supply to each of the masons just that quantity and description of force that each required upon his separate task. He acted, in fact, as a distributive agent for the magnetic power that was descending directly upon him. This split up into a number of individual shafts of light of different color and strength, which corresponded with his direct appeals to the Great Architect. There was no faltering or diminution of the application of thought substance to be perceived anywhere. The masons themselves seemed to work with a complete unanimity of concentration since the building attained full solidity with a remarkable degree of evenness.
After what appeared to Ruth and me a very short period, the building ceased to acquire any further density, the vertical and horizontal rays were cut off, and there stood before us the finished wing, perfect in every detail, an exact match and extension to the main edifice, beautifully alike in color and form, and worthy of the high purpose to which it was to be devoted. (1) (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 119-20.)
- (1) An interestingly-similar passage appears in Lord Dowding’s Many Mansions, taken from G. Vale Owen’s Life Beyond the Veil. It concerns a building built in “Sphere Five.” I do not know what Sphere Five would be in any other scheme of the planes: “As regards the creation of structures and buildings, there is a complete account of the building of a Temple or Laboratory in Sphere Five. It is given by Arnel, but is much too long to quote. The salient point is that: ‘It is not put together in bricks nor blocks as of stone on earth, but grows of a piece in one together.’ The design is first made, and then a company of builders under a powerful leader concentrate their minds creatively on the foundations, and gradually and very slowly raise the stream of their willpower from the ground up to the roof and produce the outer building complete in outline but faint and transient duration. This is repeated many times, the company spacing themselves equally around, until the outer shell is completed in form and solidified. Then the interior construction is undertaken in a similar manner and finally the interior decorations and ornaments are attended to. The leader attends to the final inspection and correction of details and finally a great Angel Lord comes down to perform the ceremony of Consecration.
This creation of willpower is universal in the higher spheres and animals and flowers can be similarly formed; but it seems that in the lower spheres more mundane methods of building are employed. Raymond speaks of bricks being made out of emanations rising from the earth and, in the hells, stone and wood is apparently quarried and hewn as on earth. (Lord Dowding, MM, 78.)
We have been inaugurating a new hospital, (1) a great and new thought creation achieved by the advanced….
The creation of a new and “permament” thought image is a solemn process and takes time. A number of the group get together and after thinking carefully over the details – our hospital is to use colour-sound as treatment – they have a combined meditation on an inner picture presented to them and, as they do this, gradually the image takes shape and becomes visible. But it is motivated mainly from intense concentration on a high level – built from those powerful thought rays of the advanced. Yet the group who work for them also contribute. It is a vast combined effort.
It has been known, in order to bring in some of the new arrivals here, to create for them bricks and mortar so they actually work on the building, or think they do.
But the real work is done, in the background, by the advanced, who, as you know, are the only ones with sufficient power to build “permanent” thought forms which can be used and seen by other people.
These building “thought rays” are very interesting. All our world seems to consist of fine “web-like” matter which responds to rays of thought. Several people converge, and, if you could see us, you might perceive around our oval-shaped form shells, a strong luminosity reaching upward to a point of power – the very advanced one who is the master. In this concentrated act, you would perceive this luminosity begin to quiver and vibrate with immense speed, and slowly become a mass of outgoing power rays, which, like little arrows, draw first an outline and then the mass of whatever it is that we are constructing.
Have you seen – I can remember it – one of those screen advertisements where a picture builds itself up before the eyes of the audience? That is something like the process I try to describe. If the matter is very important, our act of concentration must be quite a lengthy one. It took us quite a long time to get the outline even of our hospital. (Philip Gilbert, PTS, 74-5.)
- (1) Even though Philip Gilbert is probably referring to a sphere higher than the astral, the description is given here because it has similarities to the description given by Msgr. Benson.
Dad had taken me to the beautiful home that all that family had prepared for me. Each one had contributed some special feature. These “features” are materialized from our atmosphere by concentrated thought. … Our solids are prepared by a process of thinking-in the specific details; then, when the mental blue-print is made up in exact detail to our requirements, it is fixed in its required form and is beyond decay or dissolution, until the time comes when we no longer require it. Then, it can evaporate into our ether, as the concept and outward form returns to the divine source. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 30.)
Summary Example: Working as Spirit Healers
Radiant Wing’s principal work was that of a healer to incarnate folk, which he carries on through the agency of an earthly instrument. …
‘You will understand,’ [he] explained, ‘that it is essential for us to know all about human anatomy and the functions of the body, together with the many ailments that earth people suffer from, before we can even begin to heal them. We are no different in this respect from the doctors on earth. Our methods of treatment, of course, are entirely different. We use materials and forces which the earth doctors do not possess. They belong purely to the spirit world.’ (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 42-3.)
Summary Example: Working as Artists
I think the happiest people I have met on this side have been the painters. Our matter is so light and subtle, and so easily handled, that it falls readily into the forms of the imagination. There are beautiful pictures here. Some of our artists try to impress their pictures upon the mental eyes of the artists of earth, and they often succeed in doing so.
There is joy in the heart of one of our real artists when a fellow craftsman on your side catches an idea from him and puts it into execution. He may not always be able to see clearly how well the second man works out the idea, for it requires a special gift or a special training to see from one form of matter into the other; but the inspiring spirit catches the thought in the inspired one’s mind, and knows that a conception of his own is being executed upon the earth. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XVI.)
Summary Example: Working as Poets
There are lovely lyrics composed out here and impressed upon the receptive minds of earthly poets. A poet told me that it was easier to do that with a short lyric than with an epic or a drama, where a long-continued effort was necessary. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter .)
Summary Example: Working as Musicians and Composers
“Call our friend Peter Ilyitch, (1) Roger, and look for surprises.” …
We were shown into a spacious apartment that was both sitting-room and work-room. Close to a wide window there was a large table upon which were disposed many sheets of music-manuscript, some of which had already been written upon, while a further quantity of unused paper was ready waiting, and it was evidence that actual work was in progress.
Along one wall was a commodious couch upon which an old friend of ours was seated and who rose upon our entrance. He was presented to Roger as Franz Joseph and then resumed his seat. …
“[Our friend] Roger does not suspect … who you are…. I’m sure he doesn’t know who Franz is either.”
“Well, you know, my dear, we have changed a little since we came here.” …
“It amuses us greatly when we hear the announcement made on earth before a broadcast performance, that “this is the last work composed by so-and-so.” The last work. Naturally, one knows what is meant, but it sounds so funny to us, especially when one glances at those shelves [full of music manuscripts]. …
“That is why they put up statues and monuments to us, my dear friend, said Franz Joseph. “They think we are finished and done for; not a note left in us. And now they are perfectly certain they know what was in our minds when we wrote any piece, large or small. If any of us had given the plain reason: to keep off starvation, they wouldn’t have approved of that. Not nearly mystic enough. Ah, well. This is the life.” …
“Is it easier to compose music here or on earth?” asked Roger.
“Oh, here, without a shadow of a doubt. Consider how free we are from everything that might be – and so often was – a hindrance. Franz mentioned starvation, for instance. Call it plain hunger in this case and all that it means. In other words, caring for necessary bodily wants. We’re entirely free of that. Public apathy – there’s something else that’s thankfully missing here. Difficulty of getting one’s works hear or acknowledged. No trouble about that either – here. Somewhere pleasant to live: this little place is an example. Franz lives in a delightful house where he is as happy ‘as the day is long.'” … “No music critics,” said Franz with a chuckle, “though fortunately for me I did not suffer much from those peculiar people. Not … that my music was perfect but because I lived at a period when musical criticism was not the subject for every ignoramus who thinks he knows something about music, as I believe is now the custom on earth.” …
“It’s safer here. We’re among friends, we are free of all troubles and cares, especially that awful bugbear, the fear of writing ourselves out. We can always have a hearing whenever we wish, without going hat-in-hand to some objectionable fellow who wants to exploit us. And it’s nice to be among ourselves as composers and musicians and be pleasantly rude to each other with the greatest good will in the world, and knowing that no unpleasant intent is involved. It’s a pity that there are no composers to speak of on earth, at present.” …
[Monsignor Benson:] “You truly observed, Peter, that it’s been a good many years since any real composers came to join us here. Composers have undoubtedly come here but they were compelled to leave their musical monstrosities behind them. And there are others yet to come – and the same thing will happen to them.” …
“That is the way of the earth at the moment – the cult of the hideous, the monstrous, the gigantically ugly. The poison has seeped its way into all the fine arts.” (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 127-33.)
- (1) The reference is probably to Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. (2) The reference is probably to Franz Joseph Haydn.
“Here is [music] you must know, Roger,” I said, taking one of the scores from the shelf. … I hummed an air known the world over, much to the amusement of Peter.
“Good gracious,” cried Roger, “that’s from – .”
“From the book Monsignor is holding,” said Peter.
I passed the volume to Roger, who looked from the music to Peter, then turned to the first page where he read the title and composer’s name, and appeared rather breathless.
Franz, from his seat on the couch, watched what was going forward. “So, Roger,” said he, “you have discovered his awful secret at last. Does he, do you think, come up to expectation? Or did you expect someone far handsomer – like myself, for instance?” (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 135.)
As we walked through the woods, Robert expressed his delight and amazement that it should be so simple a matter to be able to talk and joke with a man whose name is a household word in the realm of music, in both worlds. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 136.)
Working with Spirit Transitions
The Work of Transition Guides
As you know, there are teachers here. Few of them are of the stature of my own Teacher; but there are many who make it their pleasure to help the souls of the newly arrived. They never leave a newcomer entirely to his own resources. Help is always offered, though it is not always accepted. In that case it will be offered again and again, for those who give themselves to others do so without hope of reward or even acknowledgment. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXVII.)
You will be interested to know that there are people out here, as on the earth, who devote themselves to the welfare of others.
There is even a large organisation of souls who call themselves a League. Their special work is to take hold of those who have just come out, helping them to find themselves and to adjust to the new conditions. There are both men and women in this League. They have done good service. They work on a little – I do not want to say higher plane than the Salvation Army, but rather a more intellectual plane. They help both children and adults. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XI.)
[Spirit communicates through a regular spiritual communication group:] We are not your usual friends. We came to this circle to watch its work, and we find it fine in every particular. We are of another group, and have for our special work, the teaching of new arrivals. You can hardly imagine the necessity of bringing the mortal thought into harmony with the heavenly. The mortal powers are for mortal minds, and are no longer used here. We love the effort to broaden their knowledge and turn their mistaken ideas of this life into true perceptions. …
Many seem to cherish the teachings, thoughts and tendencies of their earth lives, even when they are guided into better ones. But finally all go to their “own place.”
That place may be with pure and beautiful spirits, or with the evil ones who will not or can not forsake their sins for a time. (Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 124-5.)
“Many come into this life in such ignorance that they sink immediately into a long, long sleep; and they may lose years, sometimes many precious years, before coming into spirit consciousness. Tell all who come in the circle of your influence that they are making their future now, and can almost control this future condition, if they will only seek the truth and abide by it while still on earth.”
“I do not often preach, but I feel like a sermon tonight. For the souls that come to this side come in such multitudes that they can scarcely be counted, yet only here and there are the spiritually developed ones, the ones who can enter into this life with joy, and commence the development of spiritual power at once. The pity of it gets hold of us here now and then, and we feel like trying to bombard the earth with spirit bombs: – something to make people think, something to force them away from their material thoughts, pleasures and plans.”
“We are obliged to begin our work with them as we would begin with children; and not even in that way when they first come. They sink into a state that is hard to be described. They are not even ready to think. Brain and sense and heart and soul have so long been educated wrongly that silence and unconsciousness are the only remedies at first. Then there comes a confused awakening, with all their human habits of thought and all their evil selfishness predominant. What can be done then except to put strong forces in control, that they at least may be kept from influencing others. You cannot conceive of this work, I am sure, but it is very real here.”
‘But you do not do this [work yourself].’
“No, but I watch others in the patient, self-controlled effort, and I realize how strong must be their faith and hope to continue in the work. They do succeed at last, but it is often a long and weary way; and but for the strong, bright and enduring faith of such workers and teachers, it would be almost unendurable.”
‘Such spirits are kept separate, are they not?’
“Yes, surely. Each ‘goes to his own place,’ as the Bible says. But we can watch the work of transformation and we can give to the workers our own best thoughts and encouragement. That is our part of it.” (Unnamed spirit not engaged in transition work, describing it to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 152-3.)
You hear of individuals, who are new arrivals, wandering about aimlessly, apparently lost, and who do not seem to know what has befallen them. Can it be that they do not know that they have passed on?
Such is the state of spiritual enlightenment of the earth that in many cases these folk are completely unaware that they have ‘died.’ … This situation frequently arises among people who pass into the spirit world suddenly and perhaps without warning. Their lack of knowledge of conditions existing in the spirit world produces this state of bewilderment, and if there is added to that ignorance also the fact that, during their earthly life, they never gave any heed to a future life in the spirit world, then their situation becomes a doubly unhappy one.
But there is in the spirit world a vast organization of all its immense resources and it must not be thought that these bewildered souls are left to shift for themselves. They are soon taken in hand by others long resident in spirit lands – as you judge time – who devote their spirit lives to such work. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 20.)
Training of Transition Guides
[The spirit school we were sent to] is a place where we learn how to teach others who will, with us, make progress in the spiritual ways of living in this world and yours. We go thru a period of instruction from the great teachers of the past and from those who come to us from the higher spheres. It is like a college in some ways.
We are taught many things dealing with the great realities of life, both as we experienced it on earth and in the next phase of it in this world, and in the future on other planes of experience. I find it all very thrilling. We are taught these things so that we can better help those who are coming over to understand the true meaning of life and its purpose. (Gordon Burdick to Grace Rosher in TR, 49-50.)
My brother has offered to let me help him in his work: I am glad. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 32.)
I have been carefully trained before I could be employed on useful work. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 69.)
The Messenger … took me to a hall of instruction that I had never seen before. The hall was crowded. Those present wished to learn how to return to the realm of mists between the worlds to help new arrivals and to prepare the way for communion between souls already here and their friends on earth. It will be useful to tell you how we were trained to do this work. …
The Messenger led me to the centre of the hall. There the Teacher stood with pupils sitting around him, in ever widening circles, in eastern fashion.
The Teacher was dressed in a shining robe of flaming blue. When he spoke, orange and violet rays of light spread from him throughout the hall. He was an initiate. I hardly dared look at him. I bowed my head. He took me by the hand. The Messenger told him of my desire. I was led to a seat in the fourteenth circle and sat down. …
I found myself sitting in a row of soldiers who had come over early in the war. They were all strangers to me. Two sitting near me have become my constant companions and we now work together in the mists. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 56-7.)
The Teacher spoke to us through signs and symbols, by pictures and by colour rays and by what seemed like etheric photographs upon a screen. Our training was divided into three parts. It has lasted a long time and is not yet over, although some among us have already taken up our work.
In the first lessons we were instructed how to discipline our own emotions and desires. This is very difficult. No worker is allowed to return into the mists for service until the emotions have been disciplined. We were instructed on the relation between the mind and the will. We were told how to empty ourselves until God’s Mind and Will could be reflected through us without thought of self. …
The Teacher showed us his own mind. It was polished like a crystal and reflected many pure rays of light from the celestial sphere. He showed us how to empty our minds of useless thoughts, poor ideals, and vain images. He showed us on a screen the mind of a man still living within the fleshly veil. (Screen is the wrong word: it was an oval crystal globe bin which we saw the movements of chains of thoughts within the mind.)
This man represented a type. He was a successful merchant full of the desire to make money, ambitious, without thought of the spiritual wider worlds around him. His mind revolved for us to study. Here is one trail of thoughts I followed:
‘If peace is signed soon, I will visit New York and open a branch there; that will come in useful when Jack comes into the business; lucky he was too young to fight; wish the school bills were not so heavy; shall cut out the University now; wish I had a second boy; too many girls; it can’t be helped now; must try and get them married soon…. [Etc.]’
The trail of thought went on a long way. This man’s mental life was made up of almost endless chains of thoughts leading nowhere in particular. His mind was filled with unessentials. He had no time for thoughts beyond those which revolved continually around himself, his worldly interests, and his people. His was not a vicious mind, simply uncontrolled, self-centred, unillumined. It was shown to us as a common type.
The Teacher then showed us a similar mind belonging to a man who had just come across. He was lost in the mists. Some of the senior students among us went out into the mists to help him. He was a wanderer, without home or peace. It was long before the chains could be broken and the man released from the meshes of his mind. Now he is a student here, filled with the desire to make his life of service to his fellow-men.
By this and similar examples, showing the working of the human mind, we were instructed. Human will-power and its relation to the emotions; the cleansing of the human mind from sensuality; how to reflect within ourselves God’s Will, and through that Will (and not our own) to harness and purify the emotional life – all this we learnt gradually. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 57-9.)
I spoke to you before about the supreme importance of emptying oneself of self in order to reflect the Divine Mind – and this lesson was drilled into us by the Teacher as of immense importance. Only those of us who had achieved some measure of understanding were allowed to leave the hall of instruction and spend some time as novices among the workers in the intermediary realm. The Teacher often accompanied us on these occasions, he showed how to protect ourselves from turbulent sensual and fearful thoughts which shot in and out among the mists like crimson darts. Until we could protect ourselves from such attacks we were unable to protect others.
The darkness caused by fear and hate and lust forms itself into pungent gases (I must use your terms) so that we often nearly lost consciousness. It is difficult to protect oneself against the dense vibratory conditions brought over into the mist realm by human souls in torment.
The torments suffered by so many result from ignorance, from fear of the passage from one world to the next, also from what I call soullessness. This latter condition is only apparent and does not last for ever. It is seen among those who have lived utterly selfish or evil lives on your earth. I do not wish to dwell upon such conditions. They are met over here by purgatorial tests which gradually purify and ultimately release the souls in torment. Purgatory, unlike Hell, is a condition to be welcomed, to be bravely faced and lived through. I am beginning to rise above my own purgatory; otherwise I could be of no real service to others. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 35-6.)
The second part of our training was carried on in the mists which hang over the great River separating your world from ours. All souls must pass through these mists (1) on leaving their physical form for the last time. Three times I have succumbed to the influence of that dark sphere; my light has become shrouded and my mind darkened. One each occasion two of my fellow-workers carried me into a hall of healing where I slowly recovered consciousness and was able to return to my own home. Had I been selfless the evil conditions could not have overcome me.
We must train ourselves so that fear and sensual thoughts will find no response within our minds and fall annihilated by their own inherent lifelessness. Remember that all evil thoughts and forms have no life of their own. They disappear as soon as the truth is recognized and applied. The task of workers in the mists is to destroy the (apparent) power of conditions created by discordant human thinking; to light up the avenues leading from one world to the next with the torches of love, truth, and wisdom.
These avenues (2) need not be full of sorrow, fear and darkness. They must become illumined by the true joy of life and understanding so that the sting of death shall disappear. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 62-3.)
- (1) I believe that souls who have a strong belief in the afterlife or a deep spiritual conviction do not have to pass through these mists. (2) I.e., the misty regions.
Beyond the hall of instruction, a great avenue of trees leads up a mountain-side. Upon the hill is set a mansion known to us as our temple of initiation. When the group or circle to which I belong had been tested in the mists and had been taken through the under world (where further tests awaited us), the Teacher called us together in the hall of instruction and we were each given a new robe to wear, a sign that we were on the path toward the first gateway of initiation.
This language is symbolic. A thread of actual events runs through the symbolism. …
The Teacher arrayed us in our new and living robes and spoke of what lay ahead. We prayed together for illumination and the power to make our lives of greater service. It was a solemn, happy moment. We passed out into the avenue that stretched between the hall of instruction and the temple of initiation.
I must not dwell upon the various tests put to each one of us before we were allowed within the temple. Nor can I tell you much that happened there. …
There were nine of us in the group, all that had passed the tests out of eighty-one in the fourteenth circle in the hall of instruction. We were welded into an instrument of succour – we were initiated into spiritual mysteries – we were shown a portion of the plan, a small fragment which we are destined to fulfil. Each one of the nine was allotted a special task and a place in the ranks of the army of liberation. Our task us to free souls from the chains of their selfish thoughts which hang around them miserably upon their arrival on the borderland. You and many like you are members of this glorious army.
In the hall of initiation our teacher handed us over to a Master who opened the doorways of our inner understanding. Of this I can tell you nothing now. Remember how sad and broken I was when I first came over here! Now I have my use and can share my joy with you. Take heart, all who still find themselves enshrouded in the gloomy canopies of self!
At the Master’s bidding, an angel showed us the conditions surrounding the various states of Illumination, the variations of light and colour that could most effectively destroy the various kinds of darkness.
We were shown how to protect our own minds from gloom and fear; how to reflect light through our every thought and deed. We were instructed how to meet and transmute the evil gases let loose in the purgatorial regions by thoughts of fear and sensuality. We were taken up into the temple tower and shown a vision of the glories of the seven celestial spheres.
I am only allowed to indicate vaguely what it means to pass through the first gateway of initiation on the path of selfless service. Is it not wonderful that I am here? Am I not fortunate to have been chosen for such glorious work? Do not wait until you come over. Start at once upon the pathway that will lead you to the temple of initiation. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 63-5.)
The Time of Death is Known
Another whom you know will go out before long. Strengthen her with your faith. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XLVIII.)
Always when you’re coming over, [your loved ones] know ahead of time. There are no accidents. They are prepared and waiting for you. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 42.)
One of the elders always tell us by telephathy who to help and . This is usually ten to fifteen minutes before the final moment occurs; then we have enough notice to meet the soul and escort him to wherever he is meant to go. (Mike Swain in FMW, 56.)
No trouble is spared. We have infinity of time, a vast amount of patience, together with the services of a multitude of people always available. There is no bungling; there are no mistakes; nothing is left to chance. Our principal in the central office, … knowing us, sends us upon our missions to earth with complete confidence in his choice of ourselves, while for our part we have complete confidence that we are not being given a task beyond our powers of performance. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 13-4.)
Part of my work consists of helping people at the moment of their physical death, people of all kinds, of both sexes, of any religion – or none – and of all ages, from young folks to the aged. …
Now you may wonder how we come to know when our services are needed, and who or what directs those services into the required quarter. The answer is a simple one: the office of records and inquiries [See: “The Office of Inquiries.”] It is not part of our normal functions to be fully acquainted with all or any of the methods employed in the gathering of information by this central office. All that Ruth and I are called upon to do is to apprise this office with the fact that we are both free to undertake whatever task may present itself and we follow the simple procedure of awaiting notification that our services are desired. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 12.)
Some indication must be given [you will say] somewhere by someone to someone that the passing of a particular person is about to take place, within, shall we say, a matter of an hour or two of earthly time. It is hardly likely, things being what they are, that a direct message would be sent out to us from earth people intimating that assistance was required at an imminent dissolution. …
Strictly speaking, we who undertake this kind of work are not concerned with the minutiae of organization which terminate with our presenting ourselves at the side of the passing soul. That is part of the expert economic functions that are but a commonplace in spirit lands. This, however, can be said: the knowledge that a transition is about to take place, together with its precise location, is the result of a remarkable conveyance of information, passed from one to another, commencing with the important functionary, the individual’s personal spirit guide, and terminating with us who undertake the work of escorting folk from the earth world to their homes in the spirit world. Between the former and the latter there is a clear concatenation of minds, if I may so express it, an exchange of information carried out by thought transmission, accurately and rapidly. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 15-6.)
At the present moment, as Ruth and I were seated before our friend of the central office, all that remained was to receive our ‘sailing directions.’ These were given to us in this manner: our friend sent a message – by thought, of course – to the spirit person who was in attendance at the place of dissolution, to the effect that we were ready to assume charge whenever he deemed it advisable. This brought an instantaneous response. We could perceive the light as it flashed to our friend, and by a sort of confluence we were brought into the ‘thought-beam.’ We were now in direct rapport with our attendant friend ‘at the other end’; as you would say. And now – to use very unscientific language – we had but to project ourselves along this thought-beam to find ourselves in the exact spot where our services were needed. How this happens, I have not the remotest notion. All that Ruth or I could tell you is what we do, how we do it, but not how it happens! (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 16.)
I saw the most hopeless-looking cases staggering in; they were first received by a clairvoyant priest who could sense at once if they were actually dying and their hour had come; if so he took them to a lovely place where hypnotic sleep was given them if the end was already on the way. (That means if the aura had the ‘passing light’ – that is, the circle of light which enters when the ‘call’ has been sent out for the spirit to return.) (Sir Alvary Gascoigne in AL, 55.)
Transition Guides Receive Directions
The earth world, in its blind ignorance, hurls hundreds of thousands of souls into this our land, but those who dwell in the high realms are fully aware long before it happens, of what is to take place upon the earth-plane and a fiat goes forth to the realms nearer the earth to prepare for what is to come. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU 116.)
Death always seems to the beholder of it to be such a solitary business, as perforce, it must be to some extent. But our help is always at hand, though help comes usually after the severance of the magnetic cord when the spirit body is free from the earthly body. The severance will take place in a perfectly natural manner, just as the leaf will fall from the tree. It is then that the moment comes for us to step in and offer our assistance. I say offer assistance because we do not force our services upon anyone. However, in all our experiences so far, our offers of help have never been scorned. On the contrary, people are only too glad to leave themselves entirely in our hands. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 34.)
One evening we asked if they could find a lady who had passed to that side some fifteen years ago. Mary said she would send out messengers to inquire. After a few moments of quiet, she continued: –
“We cannot find her. Our guides think she has gone to higher planes. I called messengers and they went straight to headquarters, (Did you know we had this help?), but could get no information, so they returned. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 140-1.)
When the disembodied soul arrives here there is often an awkward pause. The new world into which he has entered is strange and he is a stranger. But the Agency which is at work here soon discovers what soul is friendless and alone. The angel who came to me was the servant of this Agency. The pause which is awkward is not longer than is necessary for the good of the new-comer. When he arrives he will, after this pause time, if there is no preparation personal to himself, be addressed by the Receiving Angel, who, as I explained, may or may not assume wings as credentials. If the arrival is prepared to receive the news of his awakening, there is little difficulty. There was none in my own and I was at once taken to those whom I knew. None of them were very near and dear to me or they would have been waiting for me. (Julia Ames, AD, 166.)
“Escort Duty” not to be Interrupted
The fact is that while we were [visiting two composers] a message was “flashed” to me, that was all. It was not urgent, otherwise I shouldn’t be gossiping here like this. The message came from someone who constantly visits the earth to speak to many friends there and as we were upon pleasure rather than business I responded at once that we were available. Had the message come when Ruth and I were upon “escort duty,” the same kind as we performed for you, Roger, I should have sent back word of what we were doing and in no circumstances would we have been expected to place ourselves at the disposal of anyone else, however illustrious. On the contrary, we should more likely get into trouble for leaving our work of the moment. Everything works upon lines of sound common sense and reason in these lands, Roger. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 139.)
Methods of Operating
We have to explain ourselves first of all, which may sound [strange]. We have to convince the newly-arrived one that we are not ‘ghosts,’ unsubstantial beings whose sole function is to frighten people. We have become accustomed to being asked the question, ‘Who are you?’ – when we first approach some soul just arrived and in difficulties. And we are obliged to explain that we are very much creatures of ‘flesh and blood’ and that we have come to help them if they will allow us to do so.
Sometimes the homeliness of our attire and its familiar appearance bring some measure of confidence and assurance to their minds. Our voices, too, seem to be perfectly ordinary and recognizable. For you must know that any suggestion of our appearing as ‘celestial beings’ would most likely terrify the newcomer and defeat our purpose before we had even commenced to work. Indeed, we are so very matter-of-fact, displaying no suggestion of religious tendencies in our conversation, and speaking to them and treating them as though their present situation were a perfectly commonplace state of affairs – which it is to us, but not to them – that it is not long before an intelligent, receptive mind will grasp the situation in its fullness, and be glad to resign himself to our care. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 37-8.)
Long experience has taught us that often the smallest, most insignificant incident can do far more to bring peace and mental quietude to the newcomer to spirit lands than would a hundred of the most brilliant dissertations. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 25.)
In our conversation with Roger [a new arrival], as with thousands of others upon whom we have attended, we are just ourselves. After all, this is a world of life and activity and truth, not a sham, shadowy, sanctimonious mockery of existence. … We prefer our form of ‘heaven’ to the strange conception current in some quarters on earth. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 25.)
[Ross’s] way of approach differs in method from mine – which was much compounded of fun, laughter and images. Ross seems to send out a quiet aura of knowledge and authority such as he hinted at in the flesh when medicine was in question. He is without fear and stands no nonsense. (Philip Gilbert in ITE, 26.)
Assisting at a Transition or Passing
I, in common with hundreds of other men here, go down to the battlefields to help to bring away the souls of those who are passing out of their bodies.
We are suited for the work, having ourselves endured the horrors of war. Spirits unused to it cannot bear the terrible sights and sounds.
We bring them away so that they may return to consciousness far from their mutilated physical bodies, and oh, Mum, I feel quite tired sometimes of explaining to men that they are “dead!”
They wake up feeling so much the same; some go about for days, and even months, believing they are dreaming. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 10.)
Ruth and I found ourselves in a bedroom of a house of modest dimensions, unpretentious, and moderately prosperous as far as earthly possessions were concerned. A nurse was in attendance and relatives were close at hand. It was evidence that they believed the end was not far distant and the doctor appeared to have done all that he could to make things easier for his patient.
There also seemed to be some evidence that a minister of their church had not long left the room. There were distinct signs that prayerful petitions had been sent forth, but these being couched in the usual terms of theological obscurity and in addition being totally inapposite to achieve any purpose whatever beyond giving doubtful satisfaction to those then present. This was a matter, however, that Ruth and I were quickly able – and qualified – to set right. We did so, asking for a downflowing of helpful power to supplement our own natural resources and abilities. It was instantly forthcoming and was clearly observable in the bright beams of light that diffused themselves round about us.
It was plain to see that in a brief space our friend would be joining us. Accordingly, we commenced our small preparations. Ruth stationed herself at the head of the bed within easy reach of the lad’s head and placing her hands upon his brow, she gently smoothed his temples.
We are never certain that our ministrations are perceived or felt unless the ‘patient’ reveals some sign or another that he – or she – has doen so. In this case, it was patent that Ruth was making a decided impression because coincidental with her placing her hands upon the boy’s head he turned his eyes with an upward motion as though seeking or trying to perceive whence the pleasant, soothing sensation came.
It was possible that he could actually see Ruth; if that were the case, so much the better.
We had both assumed a replica of our former earth habiliments. Ruth being attired in a gay summery garment, looking very natural and normal, and altogether charming. It is necessary to emphasize this since it was – and always is – our aim to appear as unlike ‘celestial beings,’ should our presence be observed, as it is possible to be. (When Edwin came to meet me upon my own transition, he revealed himself to me dressed in his customary earthly attire. Had he presented himself to me in his spirit clothes, there is every reason to believe that I should have been sufficiently terrified to fancy that if the worst had not come, it could not be long delayed!)
I perched myself at the foot of the lad’s bed and directed my gaze upon him and there were evidence signs of his seeing me. I smiled to him and gentle waved my hand to reassure him. So far, things were proceeding very favourably – would that all passings were as serene.
The great moment in the boy’s life had now arrived. I moved to a position at about the middle of the bed upon the side opposite to Ruth. The boy had lapsed into a gentle sleep. As he did so, his spirit body rose slowly above his inert physical body to which it was attached by a bright silver cord – the lifeline as it is termed. I place my arms beneath the floating form; there was the slight momentary twitch, the cord detached itself, retracted, and disappeared.
To the relatives in the bed-chamber, the boy was ‘dead’ and ‘gone.’ To Ruth and me he was alive and present.
I held him in my arms, as one would a child, while Ruth again placed her hands upon his head. A gentle movement of her hands for a minute or two to ensure that the boy would be peacefully comfortable and we were ready to start upon our rapid journey to our home.
Throughout the transit Ruth held one of the boy’s hands, thus giving him energy and strength while I supported him in my arms. The journey, as with all such journeys, was soon over; we had left the dismal bedroom and we were in our own beautiful land and home. Quietly and gently we laid the boy upon a very comfortable couch, Ruth seating herself beside him as I took a chair at the foot facing our new arrival. …
All there was for us to do now was to await the awakening, which, in the nature of the case, would not be long delayed.
Our simple, but usually effective, arrangements had already been made. The couch upon which he had been laid was placed close beneath a wide open window in such a position that, without even the slightest movement of the head, a most enchanting view was to be seen of the gardens without, while through a gap in a line of trees, a distant view of our beautiful city was to be had, clear and colourful. Upon the wall immediately facing the lad there hung a huge mirror so that the reflection of the rest of the room, with all that it suggested in comfort and ease, could be observed with the merest turn of the eye. Children’s voices could be heard in the distance, and the birds were singing with their customary vigour.
This was the pleasant situation awaiting our friend when he emerged from his short but refreshing sleep and >i>this is often the moment when the real work begins! (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 16-9.)
Explaining Matters to the New Arrival
Ruth was the first to speak when our friend had opened his eyes.
‘Well, Roger,’ she said, ‘how do you feel?’ (Our friend at the office has given us the boy’s first name, which was sufficient for all purposes.)
Roger opened his eyes still wider as he turned to Ruth. ‘Why,’ said he, ‘I saw you – when was it? A little while ago. Who are you?’ ‘Just a friend to help you. Call me Ruth.’
‘And you, sir, I seem to remember you were sitting at the foot of my bed.’
‘That’s right,’ I said. ‘The memory will become clearer in a moment or two.’
Roger started to sit upright, but Ruth gently pressed him back upon the cushions. ‘Now, Roger,’ said she, ‘the order of the day is that you just stay quietly there and not do too much talking.’
The boy stared out of the window.
‘Lovely view, isn’t it?’ I said, pointing through the window. ‘Feeling comfortable? That’s right. Well, now, you are wondering what this is all about. Have you any idea what has happened? Only a hazy notion. But the great things is that now you are feeling all right. All the aches and pains gone. Isn’t that it?’
Roger nodded and smiled as the realization seemed to come upon him. ‘Yes, rather, than you.’
The boy was obviously not of the nervous sort, and there appeared to be no purpose in withholding the truth any longer. I caught Ruth’s eye and she nodded in agreement.
‘Roger, my dear boy,’ I began, (1) ‘I have some pleasant news for you. You were perfectly correct, you did see Ruth and me a little whole ago. We were in your bedroom at home and you were very ill, so ill that the doctor couldn’t pull you through. So Ruth and I came to bring you through, through into another world, a lovely world. Do you follow?’
Then I’ve died. Is that it?’
‘That’s it, old fellow. You’re not frightened?’
‘No, I don’t think so.’ He paused. ‘I never expected anything like this,’ he added. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 20-1.)
- (1) I reproduce Msgr. Benson’s description for the sake of the light it sheds on one line of transition guidance, but I find his style of communicating to Roger to be condescending. I have considered not including the piece for that reason but have decided that the information it contains outweighs my reservations.
I spend a great deal of time entertaining people in my home, which to me is a very pleasant occupation. We have formed a discussion group to talk over the problems of the various members. Often, newcomers are brought along by their friends and in our genial social atmosphere they are able to adjust themselves to the new conditions. I could, probably, be called a social service worker. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 46.)
Counselling the Sorrowful
The turning, or converting, of the vibrations of sorrow into the vibrations which produce joy in the human heart … is a very beautiful study, but many perplexities enter into it because of the restrictions imposed on us by the sacredness of freewill. We may not overrule the will of any, but have so to work through their wills as to produce the desired effect and yet leave them free all the time, and so, deserving, in a way and in a measure at least, of the blessing received. (G. Vale Owen’s mother in LBV1, 49.)
Work Affected by Pre-Existing Knowledge of Spirit World
With a long experience of transitions upon which to draw, commencing with my own, I know this beyond peradventure: when the last earthly breath has been drawn, and life has begun in the spirit world, there is never the slightest inclination, at that vital moment, to think in terms of learned theological disquisitions or indulge in any ‘pious platitudes.’
Every soul who arrives in these or other realms of the spirit world completely untutored about life here is concerned with one thing and one thing only: what is to happen next? Just that. Because we are inhabitants of the spirit world, we have not become grand rhetoricians, who speak only in long, eloquent periods upon matters of the highest spiritual consideration. … We are normal, rational people, who speak and act in a normal, rational way. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 24-5.)
“The ME is here. What happens next?” (Unidentified spirit to rescue circle leader Doris Heather Buckley in SC, 22.)
“I can hear you. I cannot see you. I cannot feel you. What now?” (Unidentified spirit to rescue circle leader Doris Heather Buckley in SC, 24.)
“If I have gone on, where am I and what do I do?” (Disoriented spirit to rescue circle leader Doris Heather Buckley in SC, 44.)
A person who is uninstructed in spirit truths can be remarkably obstinate in clinging to his old earthly ideas of what exactly should have taken place when he ‘died.’ Some may have no views upon the matter whatever and so may be more amenable to reason and logic. Others may be good folk, but are completely dominated by orthodox religious views and this type, if anything, is perhaps among the worst of them all to deal with!
There is, over and above these, a certain type of religious mind that causes us a great deal of trouble and it is associated with those people upon earth whose religion is of a very crude, elementary description, founded upon a literal interpretation of the scriptures according to their own primitive ideas.
They consider themselves among the ‘elect’ who are going to be ‘gathered up’ in some mysterious fashion into the celestial realms, there to be suitably rewarded for their great ‘faith.’ Their whole religious concept is just as vague in its content and meaning as is this my description of it. The basis is ‘faith’ in particular scriptural admonitions and precepts and prophecies. They verily believe that their ‘creed’ will see them through their earthly life into the next world. They believe they will be met by a heavenly host and escorted to their home among the ‘elect.’
It never occurs to these people that a life such as they imagine for themselves in a heaven would, if realized in all its completeness, become a veritable nightmare to them. They picture themselves spending all eternity in some form of simple worship, which incorporates a vast deal of hymn-singing and conversational quotation from the scriptural books.
You can imagine for yourself something of the shock that awaits such souls when they arrive here in the spirit world to find that they are totally mistaken in the true state of things. At first they will gravitate to others of their own kind, if we find it impossible, for the moment, to convince them of their errors. At length, their homemade ‘heaven’ will begin to bore them, until they become thoroughly dissatisfied with their life and surroundings. Then we can step in and introduce them to a normal, natural way of living in the spirit world.
It is strange … that we should have to expend so much labour, undertaken by so many of us here, in explaining to people, ordinary, normal, pleasant, amiable people, the very truth of their being alive in every sense of the word! (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 36-7.)
The Incarnate May Serve as Transition Guides During Their Sleep
You know, for I have often told you, how when your body sleeps your soul comes over here and we spend hours together, you have sometimes dimly remembered things that happened as in a dream. Thousands of people come over in this way every night, and are more awake and alive while here than on earth in their mortal bodies. To do this, people must be spiritually evolved to a certain degree. Well, we go together to various places; sometimes we work on the third sphere among those who have just wakened in the spirit-world, and are bewildered, and puzzled, and strange in their new surroundings. We explain to them where they are and bring their friends to see them.
I know it seems curious to you that you should be able to do this even better than I, as you are still / in a mortal body; but that is the very reason. You see, you are the “half-way house,” as it were, for along that little cord that connects your soul and body are travelling thoughts and desires of the world in which you live. You are therefore more in touch with the earth and bring its atmosphere with you, and so feel more familiar to one who has just come over. You are still controlled and limited by your earth-body while connected with it. Night before last we were helping a boy whom we could not make realize his new condition, when his mother came, to whom he had been devoted (she had been in the spirit-world two years). He burst into tears and said, “I know now I am dreaming, for my mother is dead and I shall never see her again.” His mother put her arms round him and kissed him, and we left them together.
The meetings and reconciliations here are wonderful and touching; you and I often hug each other for very joy and sympathy. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 45-6.)
The Process of Voluntary Descent from the Summerlands to the Lower Planes
Help from Higher Visitors
I should say what’s completed [Roger’s] “cure” is Omar’s visit. Did you notice how he held the boy’s hand? If that wasn’t charging him with vitality I’m much mistaken. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson to Ruth in MALIWU, 25.)
[Roger] laughed and it was good to hear him for it showed more than anything else could, that the lad was mow clearly himself and that our task thenceforward would be the simple one of introducing him to the wonders of the spirit world, always an enjoyable occupation, in spite of the fact that we had gone though a similar performance times without number. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 30-1.)
The Difficulties of Working in Lower Planes
A difficult aspect [of working in the Lower Summerlands] is that the repressed “power” in me (1) which is “dammed up” when I “decrease my rate of vibration” is buzzing in me like a thudding dynamo and I can’t hold it in check for long so that (especially at first when I was not used to it) I was apt to “vanish” as far as the other person was concerned, which simply means that I have gone back to my real state. … Our “brakes” will only hold for a short period. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 32.)
- (1) Philip Gilbert is speaking from the Mental Plane.
Sometimes it is not a lower astral trip (though they seem to pick on me a good deal for these unsavoury jobs!). Sometimes it is the earth-bound or to the near-earth condition. But for both these jobs, I have to put the brake on myself as I described: it is quite a fatiguing effort of will and power. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 33.)
Sometimes it is not a lower astral trip (though they seem to pick on me a good deal for these unsavoury jobs!). Sometimes it is the earth-bound or to the near-earth condition. But for both these jobs, I have to put the brake on myself as I described: it is quite a fatiguing effort of will and power. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 33.)
Spirit Views on Funeral Rites
Our friends who are in communication with us and who have knowledge of the facts of life in the spirit world have given to the physical body its proper position in relation to their life on earth and their life after in the spirit world. They know that their physical body is a vehicle for their spirit body while upon earth. When the time comes for them to leave the earth world, and with it their earthly body, the latter is treated as something that is for ever done with. It has become utterly useless to them. It has been cast off – and our friends are never sorry to cast it off! What then becomes of it they are not the least bit concerned. They have no reverence for it. But so many people enshroud this cast-off body with a holy solemnity to which it is not entitled. The ‘dead,’ it would be asserted, should have a proper respect paid to them; the ‘dead’ body should be similarly respected.
Let us put the matter in another light. Who is there upon earth who has any deep respect and reverence for some old, useless, worn-out, shabby garment? It is finished and done with. Away with it, and let us see no more of it. In the spirit world we have a new garment, fresh and lovely; it fits us perfectly, and it seems to our eyes faultless in form, colour, and mode. It suits us now as no other garment possibly could. We have fashioned it ourselves from imperishable material, and by comparison with it our earthly garment was dull, drab, and dreary in colour, coarse in texture, ill-fitting, perhaps, in places, and although it served its purpose among surroundings that comported with it, we have now something infinitely better. In some such words would we describe our spirit attitude to the physical body that is ‘dead.’ (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 27-8.)
What we in the spirit world, who are actively associated with newly-arrived people, would like to see is the complete abolition of all attendance at burial grounds and similar places of all relatives and friends, leaving the physical body to be disposed of in a hygenic manner by those who are properly constituted to do so, and entirely unattended by anyone else. If it is felt that a religious service is right and becoming, by all means let there be one, but wholly purged of all erroneous doctrines and beliefs concerning the after life. No gloomy dwelling upon inappropriate themes from the minds of writers of hundreds of years ago. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 28-9.)
We need divine assistance in our work just as you do upon earth and often are our powers taxed to their utmost when we come to aid those who are making their advent into spirit lands as permanent residents. Long recitations from the psalmists, however beautiful may be their theme, are perfectly useless to us and to the newcomer we are helping. They produce no effect whatever upon the endeavours we are making.
A short prayer, efficiently directed, asking for help, will bring an instantaneous answer. That response will be invisible to you on earth, but to us here it means a downpouring of light and power that we most need for the case in hand. Pray that the soul may soon receive the light of understanding of the new situation in which he finds himself, if he is entirely ignorant of spirit truths, and that he may be happy and contented in the life upon which he has just embarked.
We have found by experience that where prayers are offered such as I have suggested in bare outline to you, we are enabled to carry on our work in the easiest, most effective, and most straightforward fashion. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 30.)
It would be the best thing upon the earth if cemeteries, graveyards, and all the visible and outward appurtenances of burial were entirely abolished. Large numbers of people would then be forced to relinquish what is a thoroughly bad practice from every point of view. It is unhealthy for mundane as well as spiritual reasons and can be the unconscious means of bringing distress to the newly-departed individual. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 30.)
Rewards of the Work
We three, Edwin, Ruth, and I, have made literally countless friends through the instrumentality of our work. So many of them regard us as the first face upon which they cast their spirit eyes when death had closed their physical eyes. They regarded us then as friends in need, who had come to save them from heaven knows what nameless ordeals, and, if for no other reason than this, our work is repaid a hundred-fold by the look of heartfelt relief upon their countenances and by the exuberance of their gratitude as we explain some of the pleasant things that are awaiting them. And never was gratitude more genuine! (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 35.)
The Gilberts’ Work as Post-War Transition Guides
He will soon realize his identity – his ‘Egoic self’ – and will continue his mission in which you will help him. For a while yet, he is in the aura of his incarnation, but his gaity and zest even now have their effect on those he meets. (Unknown Teacher of Philip Gilbert in PTW, 92.)
I was still … uncertain what to think … of strong ‘impressions’ crowding upon me … that [Philip] was an advanced Ego, and that he had deliberately incarnated and been plunged into every form of young man’s experience, in order to work in the astral world among ex-service men. (Alice Gilbert of Philip in PTW, 108.)
I tell you I’m having a grand time and I shall soon start working. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 92.)
They tell I’m picking up all this so quickly because I knew it all before, as you did. I’m staying near the earth for the time, but I had learnt things in the next planes before I came here. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 92.)
You know how interested I always was in people, don’t you? That’s to be my job here, when I’m properly established. There’s some queer specimens around! (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 92.)
They say that’s to be my job – not too savoury, if you ask me, but it’s a job all right. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 97.)
I’m not really working yet, and I still don’t understand much. They say that, as I have chosen to confine myself to this plane for the time, I have to remain bounded by its limit of consciousness, except in inner flashes. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 98.)
The real person … is alive and strong and well-equipped now and with a worthwhile job to do. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 99.)
– What is your work exactly? –
There is a mass of unevolved – unevolved to the point of pure negation – souls come across lately. Some are strong personalities with power to dominate. There is also a mass of young, untaught, earthy people cut off before they’ve developed much and not ‘old souls.’ The first crowd strive to overwhelm the second – to suck them into their magnetic current. This is the incessant battle going on, in this plane, and it is that I have to fight in.
– How do you fight? –
By the power of magnetic thought … and by the power of oratory. … Yesterday … I got in a group of confused airmen killed before ‘V’-Day and persuaded them to join in. I only had to explain to them. They could contact me because I am functioning on their plane, but they were too undeveloped to be able to contact anyone from the Higher Planes, yet, except to sense, vaguely, a glow of Light.
That, I think, was an easy job because they were not really bad, just heavy and stupid, spiritually. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 105.)
I was sent to the railway smash. They keep giving me jobs now. It’s almost a routine like on earth. What happens is that, at a certain ‘time’ regularly, I tune in (as you do to me) to what we might call, for want oof a better word, H.Q. and they tell me what to do.
I was sent to help some of these poor devils who had died – trapped under coaches. There were one or two evolved folks among them who soon came to and helped me with the others who were very upset and muddled. I thought myself into my uniform to help these people. I personally like to feel myself into my tweed jacket and slacks, but I find the uniform seems to re-assure earth-people who come over and to impress unpleasant ones like that Nazi. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 129-30.)
We have been among the newly-arrived. By newly, I mean within the last year or so. Yes – it takes so long and more to some to adjust. Those who have evolved so far as to be able to attract help get in touch at once with people here who can help them. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 122.)
The sphere in which you and I were working is the near-earth consciousness – the immediate post-death world. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 203.)
I have been very much occupied again, but this time it was an easier job. There was a group of little boys who had died in concentration camps. They are still in their child form, for their spirits had newly-emerged and are undeveloped by any earth experience, but they rapidly become entities here with a little help. At present, they are still frightened and think they are hungry because fear and pain had been so deeply impressed on them in life that their etheric bodies were affected as well as their physical. I managed to create a football for them and showed them how to play it, in a sort of skimming way; (1) they responded quickly and are now laughing and gay because they have forgotten. They needed a male entity to devise this way of curing them. Comfort from kindly ‘female’ (I mean ex-female) entities helped, but did not divert. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 135.)
- (1) “Skimming” is Philip’s term for a kind of floating motion that he has seen the individual is capable of by using thought as locomotion.
In the work I’m doing among newly-arrived people I have not so far failed, but sometimes I have to fight hard against that feeling of horror and fear when I come up against a really nasty bit of work. The only way is completely detached power to cope with these entities. It is true what you were told: they can only harm you by the fear they cause – but some can [make] a jolly tough attempt to arouse that fear.
But the surge of Power which comes over me when I project my thought towards our Old Man is so strong and so heartening that I easily feel myself stiffening against the ‘unevolved.’ (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 142.)
Last night, we both worked … at one of the hardest tasks in one sense, among some suicides. The Law, to me, seems hard on such people, but it is simply the inevitable consequence, I suppose. Spiritually, they are earth-bound unless they have been very highly evolved people who have performed the act for unselfish reasons. Any suicide for selfish reasons, however strong and urgent, finds himself tied to aura of his incarnation,’ as the Chief put it to you. He cannot escape to the Light, though he may see it. Yet, to those who have been sorely tried, help can be taken. It acts as in every case: if a person has been sufficiently in harmony to attract, magnetically, harmonious entities, then, whatever folly he has committed in earth-life, he gets help and inspiration here, in time. It may not be from the highest levels, but it is from higher levels than his own and there are billions of discarnate entities who have chosen to pay off debts of selfishness and greed by unselfish efforts to help in the astral world. They can often pay off ‘Karma’ in this way, just as well as by re-incarnating. There is no lack of help here – rather, a superabundance of it. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 144-5.)
I went with you last night to do jobs. We worked together again, amongst concentration camp victims. It is these folk who seem to need most help after death…. It’s not physical pain and hardship which upsets the etheric body. It’s that mental and spiritual stress.
The result of the sort of treatment these people had was to corrode the spirit, except in the case of very exceptional souls, to reduce it to a fear-soaked servile jelly constantly re-living the hideous incidents of its daily round.
We went together – I in my uniform, which always seems to carry conviction – tribute to the British navies! – and you in a sort of floating tulle effect which seemed to create a sensation and to set the female victims the pleasant task of trying to think themselves into a similar creation! We need our united psychic force to project rays of re-assuring peace so that they ceased to jerk and start.
Then I did a spot of magic and created a good spread of food for them and they sat down and thought they wee eating it, and I worked very hard, by memory, to create the taste for them so that they could get the right effect. They ate enormously – or thought they did – but of course had no indigestion to follow!
– It was all illusion, really? –
Oh yes – I think that’s what [Frederick] Myers meant by the ‘plane of illusion.’ But he did not make it clear that this post-death ‘illusion’ is often created for the newly dead by their more advanced friends and helpers – or by their enemies. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 152.)
We have unfolded to you our purpose. You are chosen for this task. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 154.)
I am getting busier and busier. This work has gripped my imagination, I think, though I always set a limit to it, in my mind. I say: ‘Till you come over, and then we’ll go exploring, at least for a while.’
But you see the need. The urgent need, for this ‘Cook’s courier’ meeting of those newly come will be reduced as the effects of the way die off. For, usually, in the case of the average death-bed, there are [discarnate] friends and relatives ready to help the dying over the barrier.
It is the folk plunged suddenly into Eternity, and some after frightful suffering, who sometimes are confused and unhappy. I who passed over just like that, and most unexpectedly to my conscious mind, not even with the half expectation one has on the battlefield, can help for I can visualize the confused muddle that I felt for the first hour or so, the strange inconsequence, the inability to grasp that I was killed.
But, in my case, the focus of my thoughts was a powerful occult centre. I had only to get there and I was at once one of the crowd.
So, I still go on with this work. With all the Quisling executions to come, there are foci of harm and ill-wishing to be let loose in this world, and they have to be coped with. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 156.)
I am at [my work] pretty well all the time. Sometimes it’s tracking down and helping people who need it, as I told you before – really similar sorts of jobs, among children, victims of cruelty and sometimes service men.
Each case is, of course individual, with its special needs, and that’s why the job is so interesting – no monotony, which you knew I hated. I have to use my wits, to think swiftly of some way to divert or teach which will do the trick. Hence, I’ve got to be the sufferer for a moment – to think myself into his thought processes so that a solution can come which just suits [the situation] – often something absurdly simple.
For instance, there was a middle-aged man killed rather lingeringly in battle. He’d not had a very bright life, either, a dull city life in a row of drab little houses, never any spare cash and no deep affection to sustain him. War and its horrors had upset him very badly and a long night dying untended in a ditch had not improved things. Getting into his thought images, it was quite absurd – I could see rows of neatly planted cabbages, runner beans, and so on, and I suddenly discovered that all he’d longed for was – an allotment! Just somewhere to dig and plant vegetables!
That was fairly simple to find. I know of several folks here who have got a good strong gardening thought world going and are as happy as mud-larks, so I took him there and it was wonderful how his state of mind improved.
Sometimes it’s grimmer. There was a very strong, dominating and possessive ex-airman pursuing his companion unceasingly. They’d had some sort of unlovely relationship on earth and the second chap was as weak as a rabbit. Yet he’d done many kindnesses and so deserved help and I was sent on the job. So I made a third in the party and talked magnetically to the rabbit and, being easily impressed, he began to listen eagerly to all I said. I then set a strong protective thought-wall around him and showed him how to concentrate. The other tried to butt in so I gave out power and held him back. He was an unpleasant, greedy brute and I willed him to gravitate to his correct sphere: he’d been so strong that he had temporarily resisted the magnetic urge to get to his kind. Finally, I saw him very slowly and unwillingly impelled towards a charming group of Nazis, Glascow thugs and a gangster or two. There he can find his own level! (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 166-7.)
Yesterday I put in a little time … in a job here. A young female – fille-de-joie – approached me. I didn’t know how she managed to get into my aura, but she did! She tried all her little tricks and, when they failed, as I merely turned a quizzical and glowing green eye upon her, she began to weep in a puzzled and thwarted way. I felt sorry for the poor mutt, as I sensed she was a decent sort so I sat down by her side very seriously and turned on all the battery of persuasive eloquence which I strive to cultivate here and soon she was looking soulfully upon me. I nipped in the bud any tendency to mother me or to be a soul-mate and led her to a vague conception of being a helper and I left her very pensive. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 173.)
Yesterday, I went scavenging again. I picked up (not in the earthly sense!) a very attractive young woman – at least, she had been attractive! But so intently had she concentrated on what is known as ‘make-up,’ even in her bed, on earth, that the absence of facilities for it really worried her very ‘earthy’ spirit. She had, of course, no idea how to create for herself and she hovered miserably around the beauty parlours. Mixed up in her very selfish, stupid mind-images was a conviction, brought from very strict teachings as a child that, as she was dead – she’d got so far as to realize that because she’d known she was dangerously ill – she would soon have to ‘meet her Maker’ and be judged – and to do this without any facility for tidying herself up was unthinkable to her.
Yes, I know it sounds fantastic, but you’ve no idea how literal and unimaginative people’s minds can be – how bound to the thought-rut they have created for themselves. During the war, that girl had frenziedly chased from shop to shop, seeking the exact brand of lipstick, the only cleansing cream for her skin. It had become an obsession and she spent far more than she should on it whilst a hard-working mother struggled at home on a minimum of comfort. It has become part of her astral ‘make-up.’
I was rather rough with this young woman. I told her very straight and in time she began to have a feeble glimmering of the truth. I left her trying to think herself back to her mother. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 175.)
You have a regular round just now – about 10 people whom you visit regularly – everyone ex-concentration camp. That sort of trouble seems to attract your attention most quickly – more even than those who have died in battles or accidents. You always hated being ‘ordered about,’ didn’t you? And you loathe cruelty so I suppose that’s why you gravitate to these folk in your work. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 178.)
An old acquaintance was trying to contact you last night. … It was that German boy Hans with whom I had tea once in Lausanne. Later on you told me how he came to your flat, and unburdened his heart to you about how distressed he had been when he was sent, being a prominent member of the Youth S.A., to Prague and saw it invaded and saw three 1914 veterans who refused to cross the frontier shot through the head like dogs by their officer. You’ve often wondered what happened to him.
He was shot – also by his own officer because he protested at cruelty to a girl in Poland. He’s helping [us] now with the band who specialize in coping with discarnate Germans, but I bumped into him last week. He is a very good sort. He was pleased when you thought of him kindly. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 197.)
Yesterday I coped with a queer character – a young man killed in battle who still wanted to kill Germans. It had become an obsession – a blood-lust. Unfortunately, he was an intelligent and quite powerful person and had got on to the idea of thought-creating bayonets. All he’d done so far was to succeed in giving a few Huns some very bad dreams, but he might have got on to much mischief, had he not been checked. I put him to sleep with a great deal of power – this is not usually permitted – and suggested thoughts of harmony and service, but I don’t think he is entirely cured yet – I shall have to keep a sharp eye on him (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 198.)
Last night … we had been to the lower strata and had coped with some of the Nazi gang. You felt throughout the presence of love and someone kissed you – it was me – in the midst of those rows of evil corpses.
We struggled together to subdue some of the Belsen crowd – the very worst, and most determined, who are trying to establish a certain domination over some of their discarnate victims, who are linked to them by deep hatred.
For hatred creates a strong link, just as love does. Those victims who had strong personalities, without any specially spiritual or high ideals, sometimes learned to hate with all the strength of their souls, the thugs who terrorized them. This is scarcely to be wondered at or blamed – and, yet, in the astral world, hate, because it causes intense pre-occupation of the mind with its object, draws, by inevitable consequence, the victim and the tyrant together in a dreadful bond. By hate, I don’t just mean indignation, dislike, defiance, but the real emotion of deep, brooding, revengeful ill-will for retaliation.
On this, some poor wretches fed. They passed their days in phantasies of revenge on their oppressors so that these images because part of their spiritual make-up and afterwards they have to seek out the hated object and a hideous battle of wills ensues. Such victims were waiting – round those gallows!
Yet, although their minds had become a sewer of hatred, many of these people had done, in the past, kindly, loving acts, and so we were able to help them. It is an unpleasant job and you don’t often go on it. But it was felt that you could help two women who had seen their babies gassed and had so brooded with this unhealthy hatred that the little ones were not able to be brought through this dense and murky aura of vindictiveness they had created. You managed ot persuade them that their children needed them and, little by little, you cleansed their minds, whilst I and others stood on guard, fighting off the evil though emanations which sought to penetrate your aura.
You see, I’m realizing more and more that the words of Christ usually contained deep, universal, scientific laws. “Do good to them that despitefully use you,” “turn the other cheek,” do not mean “weakly give in to oppression,” but they mean “Don’t think and brood evil revenge and hatred, because, if you do, you are actually forging a link in the astral world, an evil link which you will find difficult to break, and the stronger you are as a personality, the stronger link your thought-forms will create.” (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 198-9.)
I find myself still more and more busy for events, railway smashes, air-accidents seem to be incessantly precipitating crowds of bewildered persons over here, but the most of them are more or less routine. People are very ordinary in most cases. One just appears to someone – usually in one’s uniform – talks to them, tells them they’re dead, studies their reaction, usually amazement at finding they are more alive than ever, and, according to their intelligence, … gives them a short lesson in thought control and skimming. Some take to it like a duck to water – others are stupid and surrounded by a mass of firmly-fixed thought images into which one cannot penetrate. Most want to go and help their families, or someone they love, and one has to explain the difficulties they will encounter. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 201-2.)
Masses of average people are over here, not knowing where they are, flung here in violent and disrupting ways. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 205.)
A difficult aspect is that the repressed “power” in me which is “dammed up” when I “decrease my rate of vibration” is buzzing in me like a thudding dynamo and I can’t hold it in check for long so that (especially at first when I was not used to it) I was apt to “vanish” as far as the other person was concerned, which simply means that I have gone back to my real state. … Our “brakes” will only hold for a short period. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 32.)
Yesterday, … I met a queer person in my work. He sat staring intensely at nothing, looking utterly forlorn. When I spoke to him he did not move so I looked into his thought-images. There was a great tractor occupying the whole of his mind. He was sitting in it, trying to sow gold-dust. He said at last that he knew he was dead and that he had been given the job of sowing the gold for the pavements of Heaven! But his tractor would not work unless he concentrated on it as there was a devil holding it back.
In life I found he had been an ignorant but fanatically religious ploughman, believing literally in the Heaven legend. So, afterwards, his thought-images were presenting a strange muddled picture of his life and convictions.
I took him to the allotment garden thought creation that I told you of before and left them to deal with him. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 210.)
I was sent to cope with a batch of executed Nazis who were throwing their weight about.
– What about language – do they understand? –
Most Germans know either English or French, and I am learning German. … But as you know, we talk by thought here a great deal, but not at first so much – it’s better to create a sound form of words – they seem to grasp it more easily.
I must say that these little groups of war criminals are as nasty a job as I have to do. I unsay all I said in life about it perhaps being propaganda. I never imagined such filthy, perverted thought-images as circle round in their shrunken, stinking auras. They sometimes even try to make passes at me! There is really nothing to do for these people, though yesterday there was one who had begun as a fairly good sort, and had helped some children to escape once. I managed to detach him from the rest, and he followed me, but I could not save him from the hate-thought images projected by his victims.
You see when anyone dies at the hands of another in those dreadful ways, the face of the tormentor often imprints itself almost indelibly (for the time) on his mind images, hence he can easily, after death, gravitate there, usually filled with revenge.
Once, however, a saintly old Jew with the face of a picture of Christ came to a batch of those thugs whilst In was there and tried to drive off their victim enemies. It did not do much good to the Nazis, who were so debased that good revolted them, but all the hate-filled victims were permeated by that ray of divine forgiveness and followed the old man, who began to soothe and coax them as if they were tired children. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 211-2.)
I am getting more and more busy with people. I brought in a group yesterday, men and women. They were some of the survivors of that rail smash and they could not realize that they were dead – it had come so suddenly. They thought they had got up and gone to rest in a cottage. There were six of them, all a bit earthy, but on the whole decent sorts. That’s why they had stuck together. They were all much of a muchness. When they saw me in uniform, they crowded round and asked me to help them to get new ration and identity cards – they were dreadfully worried because they had all lost theirs. I could not at first make them realize they were dead. But I’m still becoming quite a magician in my own modest way – I can change my outer garb at will and I find this quite effective.
I did my Egyptian priest act, then my flannels and tweed coat, then a vigorous materialization as a good old cut-throat pirate, such as there was a picture of in my scrapbook, which impressed me a lot as a child, and eventually they had to concede that there was something odd! So then I got them to try to comer through the door without opening it and one by one they tried. It was funny to see their faces. That did the trick and once they realized the truth, then the new laws began to act and they faded away, some drawn to their families and some to further activities.
If people would realize how important it is to realize the nature of death, to help them make the best of the next existence. It may otherwise take centuries to get rid of their obsessions. Mental obsessions are so terribly strong, as you know, even in earth-plane conditions. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 215.)
You were with me last night. We were on our job together. We went to some women who were killed in air-raids. They had not yet emerged from their state of earth illusion because they were very material: two little shopkeepers in a small street who had been rivals, but one by a bit of backstairs, Black Marfket trickery, had begun to ruin the other who was just getting desperate when a ‘V2’ finished them both off, in the very middle of a terrible row, and they found themselves, still quarrelling, on the other side! In their minds was imprinted the strong conviction that each would get the better of the other, if not watched, and they would not move from each other’s company, though they both had relatives here who wanted to contact them but could not, till the obsession was removed.
You and I did the trick between us. You were rather tough with them. You said you did not like them, but you could see a bit of kindliness somewhere, especially in one of them, so you did your bit. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 230-1.)
I’m very, very busy just now: helping to train a few helpers, new to the job as I was when I first came over. There are a number of ex-Service men getting into our band, though we are not such a big crowd as the main Helper body. We have certain qualities – that humour you know of and what you would call on earth a ‘savoir-faire’ tolerance because we’ve all seen many aspect of life which are not so common. It means we get sent on some of the less pleasant jobs!! … In order to give the maximum help in grief or to promote evolution in another, one must have been through it oneself.
So we get some queer jobs to do, as I’ve told you! Yet the most difficult are not really in dealing with the dramatically ‘wicked,’ but in getting through to those people who have created a clear, vivid illusion for themselves based on earth-memories. These illusions are as real to them as earth-life is to you, and the only way to dissipate them is by exercising ‘magic,’ i.e., one’s own power over thought creation and striving to make the objects in their illusion act queerly.
For instance, there were three R.A.F. pilots frenziedly mending at their broken plane or what they thought was it. To them it was all reality. They were good chaps, if not very advanced in knowledge, and we want all the help we can get just now, so I and another helper appeared and by a rather difficult feat of power, I managed to make their illusion plane perform the maddest antics and to create many ‘cinema effects’ in front of their amazed eyes! Little by little, it dawned on them that this was not reality as they had known it and so we were able to explain. Then, it was a case of teaching them the ropes here and not easy: they did not pick it up very fast.
So you see what odd jobs one has to do! (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 233-4.)
They say there never has been in all man’s history such wholesale precipitation of souls into our world – very ordinary, unevolved people, too, not really bad, but not evolved enough to attract strongly advanced help by the operation of the Law. It is felt over here that these people did not have a fair chance as, had they lived out their complete earth cycle, they might have found themselves better off here and so we try to seek them out individually and to help them. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 235.)
[Sun-Ray, the guide of Mrs. Roberts:] He: Those wretched beings. It is terrible work. Wait… He is working among some evil spirits recently come over.
I: Yes – that Belsen crowd.
He: You know – we appreciate Philip’s ways so, here! He goes down into those dark regions with such a quiet ‘sang-froid,’ so casually, it seems, not appearing to notice and yet taking in every detail and he keeps saying: ‘Poor devils – I’m glad it’s not me.’ It’s a wonderful attitude. (Spirit Guide Sun-ray in PTW, 240-1.)
I am “promoted” as you would say on earth – a sort of captain viewed in army terms, though it is not really similar. I have some of the helpers under my charge. I plan out and give them ideas. Oh, yes, all these minor details of our work are left to the workers to shape out, just as with you. The great unchangeable “shape of things to come” is there, but we have to do the organizing. (Philip Gilbert to his mother, Alice, in PTS, 26.)
Working as Rescue Workers
Ed. For more descriptions of earthbound souls, see here.
Rescuing Earthbound and Fallen Souls
One of the pleasantest aspects of this new work of mine is to see the joy and change in the face of some poor muddled creature when I have succeeded in penetrating his illusion and putting him into the way of sensing and visualizing that light. It is worth all my trouble. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 53.)
Jack … has a very able band of workers attached to him on this side of life. They have built up a wonderful organization to aid souls in the realm of the “drifters.” These are the unfortunate souls who are entangled in the mists of uncertainty and seem to lack the initiative to raise themselves from this apathy.
Many, many of the lads who were precipitated into the realms of spirit on the world’s battlefields of all ages are held in this condition. Bewildered by their sudden passing and the ghastly circumstances attached to the death of their earth bodies, they brood continuously, feeling forgotten by God and man, alike. (Douglas McLean in LFM, 109.)
The Extent of the Task
They are all over the place – people stuck in the bog of their illusions: it is really terrible. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 31.)
It seems endless, the number of people needing help. Our control department has lists of them, running into millions – yes, literally! Of course, there are many helpers, too, but not nearly as many as we need, for these people often need more than one “visit.” They need first getting at and then “nursing,” in a way of speaking. In that way, it is just like real life welfare work. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 30.)
Methods of Operating
I have now the habit of “telepathing” to our H.Q. for my assignments of work to be done, and, having digested this, I go first and make all the needed enquiries as to the location of the person I am to seek out. If he is a bad egg and in the lower astral, I get in touch with some of the band to go with me as “bodyguard.” Sometimes it is a general “scavenging” trip there, to see if we can persuade a few people to follow us and escape. Those trips are very difficult and need all our determination. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 32.)
I have to apply certain laws of “vibration” when I contact some of my cases. With certain types of persons, I can, by projecting a ray, surround them with a “ring-fence” to protect them for a time and I can also alter the colours of the fence to suit the type. But I am limited in permission to do this. It can only be done if there is a focus of upward striving in the being concerned and if, on the whole, he has been “more sinned against than sinning.” For this fence is up to a point held (magnetically attracted) in place by the emanations from the entity. I create it, but they have to keep it going. If successful, it is an excellent barrier against one of the less evolved “gangsters” who are repelled by it and cannot get in. So the entity has a chance to integrate. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 64.)
Having located my objective, I usually by a certain power I have acquired – a power of imagining myself into other people’s minds – make myself part of his illusion first, and then I act as my intuition prompts me. That is why the job suits me; it is never monotonous. Each case is different. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 31.)
There was a woman who had died in an air-raid, but did not know it. … She had focused all her attention on her own flat which had become an obsession so that she spent all her time cleaning and polishing…. There she sat, “dead” in her flat, puzzled and worried because she could not prevent the dust accumulating. She kept trying to blow it away. I went and sat down in a chair, in my uniform, and she was outraged at first, especially when I proceeded to light a thought-produced cigarette and to knock the ash out on her carpet. She looked at me just as you used to when cigarette ash used to appear in unlawful places! She got into a tearing temper so I suddenly did one of my stunts – it was becoming the pirate of my child picture book, I think, this time. Then, for a flash, I became my advanced me.
I find these quick changes nearly always convince people. She soon got on to it that at least she must be dreaming. So I told her about the bomb and talked to her about the need to expand her boundaries and she picked up the idea quite quickly. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 55-6.)
In all rescue work the first step is to break down the barrier of selfish introspection. Once you are persuaded to forget your own troubles and look around you, the light begins to dawn. If you can be led to a group of sensitives on the earth, who are making a genuine effort to help, so much the better. They can give you the necessary boost that breaks the bond of earth fixation. Douglas McLean in LFM, 105.)
Like in a Dream
“Try to think of yourself in a dream, a long dream, and everything happening in ways that are strange, yet you do not wonder about it. Your dream accepts the things as true. That is as near as I can describe his situation. When he first came he was met by his father and sister, but they failed to reach his reasoning mind and he has wandered on in this condition through all these years.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 157.)
People cling desperately to whatever earthly way of life was familiar to them. They dread the unknown. Most people are terrified of death, whether or not they admit it. When they find themselves on the other side of the fence, they often make desperate attempts to break down the barrier and get back to the old familiar pasture. / Alternately they simply pace up and down, helplessly railing at their fate. Douglas McLean in LFM, 105-6.)
Seances – The Rescue Circle
“I was young and foolish. I don’t seem to have any place here. There is no trouble, but it’s lonely. I don’t know how long I have been here. It seems long. I came here in 1943 from England. … Talk to me.” (Unidentified spirit to rescue circle leader Doris Heather Buckley in SC, 73.)
There was so much I wanted to do on the farm. … My inability to get to grips with physical things irr/tated me beyond measure. But I felt it was a temporary disability. …
Then Clifford [Douglas’ equally-deceased brother] was persuaded to go to a Spiritualist church service. That was the time he gave you a message through a medium, Lel.(1) The whole jig-saw fell into a completed pattern. After he had made that contact, he was able, in time, to persuade me to join him in his excursions. I gradually came to see what was going on with other people who were floating around in a like predicament. (Douglas McLean’s account of how he realized he had died in LFM, 105.)
- (1) “Lel” is Douglas’ sister, Lesley, the automatist.
[Mary, of a spirit who has lived for years in a dream-like condition and has been brought to a spirit communication group for “rescue”:] “He is so surprised that he can hardly credit it at all. Yet he knows that only you could tell him some of these things. We will bring him again soon: it is a good beginning. He is startled, and can hardly believe; but will probably wish to investigate, as that is his turn of mind, and that is what we wish.”
We asked if they could explain how he had been getting along all these years without learning more.
You have been in contact with some of the souls who have come here without the slightest preparation, and you know how helpless they are in spirit vibrations. Few indeed come who enter into heavenly glory at once. Often there is great disappointment. Usually they remain unconscious for a long time, during which their guides are sending messages to the quiet spirits, and endeavoring to prepare them for an awakening consciousness. But even then it is many times difficult for them to perceive through spirit vibrations. And this is why we appeal to our earth friends to help them through the lower earth vibrations, which they more readily perceive. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 112.)
“He is dazed with the thought, but he will take it to think over as he did last time. You are certainly getting hold of him and we must keep it up.”
‘This is startling, Mary! How can such things be?’
“Will you believe that each one makes his own life; each one has the chance and must develop accordingly. Frank Chase’s condition was caused by too much doubt, too much unbelief in a spirit life. He would not believe he was in a heavenly sphere and would not believe that he needed help; but argued himself into a strange and persistent unbelief until the desire for anything different almost disappeared.”
The next time he came Mary wrote for him as follows: –
“I am here. Your teacher will write for me. I have been so unbelieving that I could get nothing, of course; and so I had no proof of the connection between the two worlds. But what you have said convinced me, and I am studying now so that I too can get in touch with mortal lives.”
Mary added: –
“There have been years, he says, when he believed he was on some plane above the earth, but he did not understand that this plane might be the beginning of heavenly life for him. It is hard to make you understand, and he says now it is hard for him to understand; and it seems to him more like a long, long dream than anything else he can compare it to. He is learning fast and is far happier than before and pursues his studies eagerly.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 157-8.)
[Mary describes Dr. David Walker, an acquaintance of Dresser’s, who has been in the spirit world twenty years and does not know he is dead:] “He has not developed far, for he was not advanced when he came to this side. He is not a stranger to us, though we have only now learned his acquaintance with you. He hardly realizes that he has passed over. He knows he is not at his home on earth, and he wonders about his conditions here. He was not a bad man, just indifferent toward all spiritual things, and thought that death ended all. He would have liked to have you place him, tell him where he is and how he came here. For he is in the condition of one who has partly lost his mind: the earthly brain gone and the spirit force not yet in control.”
‘I got the impression that he does not really know he has passed into another world.’
“No. He is really in a pitiful state, and we wish to bring him out of it. We think you can help.”
‘Tell me what to do.’
“When he comes again try to tell something about his earlier life, something that will strengthen his memory of the past. Through that memory we may bring him to realize his sickness and his death and his coming into this life.” …
‘You have been away from home some time. Do you remember being sick?’
‘Do you know what happened?’
“I do not remember.”
‘What happens when people do not get well? You have had such cases in your practice.’
‘Had you thought that your sickness might have ended that way?’ …
“That is not true.”
‘What makes you think it is not true?’
“I am alive.”
‘Yes, but you are living under different conditions, are you not?’
‘If you believe that you are alive, try to comprehend that there is a great future before you. That will help you to move forward into better conditions.’
“That is a new idea.”
Then after a short wait he asked: –
“Am I dead?”
‘Yes, what you think of as dead, – that is, your body is dead.’
He seemed to ponder over this a little, then asked again: –
“I am asking if I am dead?”
‘Do you not think it might be true? Are you not different from what you were?’
“I am surprised.”
‘Have you not wondered where you were?’
“I did not know. Can you tell me where I am?”
‘In the spirit world; – a certain portion of it, at least. You will see more of it after awhile.’
Again there was a little wait; then: –
“Are you dead?”
‘No, I am still on earth. Can you tell us what your surroundings are like where you are now?’
“Something like the earth.”
‘Do you not move faster?’
‘Perhaps you have not yet learned.’
“I have learned nothing.”
‘Do you see others about you?’
‘If you will tell them what you want I am sure they will help you.’ (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth and earthbound spirit Dr. David Walker to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 164-6.)
In contrast to those who stopped (1) in their final tests, the following episode depicts the results to the entity if the tests of this life are completed. This entity came through as though suffering and in agony. He had a cough that hindered him as he spoke to us.
“One thousand days of suffering is too long. The pain still exists. Is there no surcease? Where can help be found? If anyone can answer, in the name of God! Please!”
I did not know his situation so I asked: “Are you passed on to the other side?”
“That I do not know,” he replied. “It seems that I passed long agi. Again when the pain is more than I can bear I am in the body.”
“We will call on our teacher and ask what we can do to help you.”
“There is little that we can do at present,” Vernol of the Fraternity of Light said. “It will be but a moment until we receive him into this plane. He has suffered greatly, but it has been necessary. There is only this existence for him on your plane and then he goes to a much higher existence.”
The entity returned.
“Thank you for the help given me. Your thoughts help me through these last minutes.”
Here he breathed his last through Dan [the medium] and passed on. Dan’s body quit writhing and became relaxed and calm. Then the entity spoke again in a quiet, peaceful tone of voice.
“The peace and understanding of all the angels of light be with this gathering for helping me during those last moments. If, when I get to my destination, there is any favor I can bestow on you, believe me, from the depth of my soul, I give all. The blessings of God be upon you.” (Rescue circle leader Doris Heather Buckley in SC, 98-9.)
- (1) I.e., committed suicide.
Go warily. Learn a cool detachment. Give out sympathy but do not identify yourself with others’ troubles; help but do not join! (Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTS, 85.)
Rescue Work During Sleep
You have asked for information in regard to the conditions on the lower Astral planes, as you call them. Also, for details of the work done by the rescue teams that descend to these regions in an effort to lead the inhabitants up to a higher level.
For some time past, we have been taking you on conducted tours of some of these regions during your sleep state. I know that you have retained the memory of some of the people you met and the conditions under which they are living. So you will have some idea of what I am talking about. (Clifford McLean in LFM, 95.)
Wartime Rescue Work
Last night, you were working hard. We had a pleasant job. Four of the cases that you have been tending nightly, one woman killed in a blitz and two women and a young boy from a concentration camp had so improved in mind and general make-up that they were ready to be helped into a further stage. So far, we had only been able to clear their thought-web sufficiently to dispel partially the thickest greyness of despair and weariness. We used colour, so that the grey clouds became iridescent and shot with light rays. This was itself a source of pleasure and wonder, and your nightly visit, with friendly chat of nothing much, but all pleasant, had steadied their minds. We had also managed to hunt out one of their relatives for them.
Last night, we were able, by a united effort, to get a ray of real light through, and once that happens, the person is ready for further teaching, as he knows, once and for all, that there is something beyond his own self-centred and self-produced thought world. It is exactly like a steamship creating a smoke-screen out of its own bowels: this cuts it off not only from seeing but from being seen. This is the very way in which illusion works.
We got busy on your four. We were able to tell them a great deal and to teach them about real motion. They had been too tied up to earth habits to dare even to try to skim or walk through any earth matter they found themselves near. It’s amazing how unenterprising some folk are! But these four could be excused: their sufferings had been very severe.
We were delighted to leave them all busy learning by themselves: to-night we expect a great change. It is only at first that they need so much superintending because the fact that we have been able to get in touch in itself implies that their inner core had a magnetic attraction for creative harmony. So, once set on the way, they will be able to progress on their own steam. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 70-1.)
Yesterday I met a woman who had created a complete illusion for herself. She had been a mannequin (1) in earth life and she still went parading up and down to an imaginary audience. But there were gleams in her of a capacity for service. When I spoke to her, she at first thought it was the prelude to an adventure so I had to do some little stunts to show her I was not an amorous sailor! In fact I managed to wish myself into the garment of an Egyptian priest, for a moment, and then back again as the British navy once more – the poor thing thought she had one too many! However, little by little, I got her to understand that she had been killed by a ‘V2’ a year ago! At first she was rather upset, for she has little power of concentration, but, soon, being quite a sensible wench, she got the idea and perked up. Her first idea was to see herself in a few remarkable garments. She seems to have no relatives or friends here that I can find, but I think she has some intention of finding her family still on earth and parking herself near them, for a time.
You see how queer it all is, far different from the easy falling into heaven theories we were brought up on. It is rather like being reborn, into a new body – all to learn, unless you’ve done it before. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 163.)
- (1) A fashion model.
The rescue teams that were standing by were powerless to help us until we turned our attention away from the fighting. Not one of us, I am sure, had any idea that we had died. Not the bunch I was with, at any rate. There may have been others that knew of life after death and had moved on with those who came to help them. But we were very much on the spot.
We died a thousand deaths as apparently solid objects went through us. But we soon found that it worked both ways and that we could charge a ten foot wall and finds ourselves on the other side unscathed. I don’t know for how long this went on. For a considerable time anyway. At last I got a grip on myself and took time to think about it. i had moved back behind the lines and was resting. Soon I was joined by another fellow, with whom I started talking. I had not spoken to anyone about the odd things that were happening. But I had begun to think that the war had turned my brain.
We just talked quietly for a while on general subjects; how the war was going and so on. Then, he asked me if I wasn’t glad to be out of the fighting. He was one of the rescue squad and got round to explaining that there was no need for us all to be there at all. I couldn’t believe it at first. Then, my first reaction was one of relief that I wasn’t a blooming lunatic. I’d seen men crack up under the strain of the war and it wasn’t a pretty sight. I honestly thought I’d gone the same way.
There was plenty I wanted to know and he was very patient about explaining what had happened to Douglas and all my other mates who had gone west at Delville, for instance. He told me that most of them had elected to go to their homes for a time and that Douglas was back on the farm. Gee! I couldn’t wait to be off to join him. But first he wanted me to help him round up some of / the other fellows who were roaming around and this we did. He lectured them and tried to put it across to them what had happened.
The same thing was being done all over the battlefields, for friend and foe alike. Of course the stupid thing about was is the fact that a bunch of fellows, who have no personal animosity whatever, are set at each other’s throats and do their best to commit murder while most of the hating is done by the folks who are not fighting. The whole darn thing is engineered for the sake of power or money or both. The scales fall from your eyes when you reach this side and find the chaps you have murdered are spiritual affinities and friends. (Clifford McLean in LFM, 56-8.)
Both Douglas and I have become rescue workers over here. You have a better chance of helping people who have got a bit confused if you have experienced that condition yourself and can dispel a lot of their doubts by just relating your own experience. (Clifford McLean in LFM, 591.)
Rescuing Friend and Foe Alike
Q. Are you in touch with the spirits of the German slain?
P. I am a missionary spirit and know no divisions. This soul [a German officer] cried out to me, and I came to his aid. He had been over some time, wandering in darkness. I was with others, going into the highways and hedges of the “borderland,” and met this and other poor remnants of humanity cast on the void by this great and awful, yet holy, war. (Spirit communicator Philemon, discussing the arriving dead of WWI in LFOS, 24.)
Rescue Work in the Borderlands
- – See here
Rescue Work in the Lower Summerlands
- – See here
Rescue Work in the Winterlands
- – See here
Working as Spirit Teachers
The Task of the Spirit Teacher
There are teachers here who stand ready to help anyone who wishes their help in making real and deep studies in the mysteries of life – the life here, the life there, and in the remote past. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XVI.)
There is much sound sense and not a little nonsense talked about Adepts and Masters, who live and work on the astral plane. Now I am myself living, and sometimes working, on the so-called astral plane, and what I say about the plane is the result of experience and not of theory.
I have met Adepts – yes, Masters here. One of them especially has taught me much, and has guided my footsteps from the first.
Do not fear to believe in Masters. Masters are men raised to the highest power; and whether they are embodied or disembodied, they work on this plane of life. A Master can go in and out at will. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XLVI.)
It is always more difficult for controls from the very high spheres to establish contact with an earthly medium and a very long period of development is necessary. This is very rarely attempted. But, as you are aware, such an experiment is, at the present time, in progress. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 63.)
The Character of the Spirit Teacher
All human beings have in them the potentiality of mastership. That ought to be an encouragement to men and women who aspire to an intensity of life beyond that of the ordinary. But the attainment of mastership is a steady and generally a slow growth.
My Teacher here is a Master.
There are teachers here who are not Masters, as there are teachers on earth who have not the rank of professor; but he who is willing to teach what he knows is on the right road.
I do not mind saying that my Teacher approves of my trying to tell the world something about the life which follows the change that is called death. If he disapproved, I should bow to his superior wisdom.
No, it does not matter what his name is. I have referred to him simply as my Teacher, and have told you many things which he has said and done. Many other things I have not told you, for I can only come occasionally now. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XLVI.)
One time I saw my Teacher by his power help a mother to make herself seen and heard by a daughter who was in great trouble. The heart of my Teacher is very soft to the sufferings of the world; and though he says that he is not one of the Christs, yet he often seems to work as Christ works. At other times he is all mind. He illustrates the saying about the thrice-greatest Hermes Trismegistus – great in body, great in mind, great in heart.
I wish I could tell you more about my Teacher, but he does not wish to be too well known on earth. He works for the work’s sake, and not for reward or praise. …
He told me a story of one of his former incarnations, before he became a Master, and what a hard struggle he had to build a body. He could remember the smallest details of that far-away life. One day his mother punished him for something which he had not really done, and when he denied the supposed wrongful act, she chided him for untruthfulness, not realising – good woman though she was – the essential truth of the soul to whom she had given form. He told me that from that childish impression, centuries ago, he could date his real battle against injustice, which had helped develop him as a friend and teacher of mankind.
Then he went on to speak of the importance of our recovering the memory of our lives, in order that we may see the roads by which our souls have come.
As a rule, the great teachers are reticent about their own past, and they only refer to it when some point in their experience can be used to illustrate a principle, and thus help another to grasp the principle. It encourages a groping soul to know that one who has attained a great height has been through the same trials that now perplex him. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XLVI.)
[When I died] I met the crowd who seem to work round your room, including Grandpa and A.L., and, as you know, your Unknown Teacher, who is our Chief, himself manifested to me, which I have heard since, was a great privilege.
The first time, it was like a blinding light in which I could vaguely discern a centre core of being, but I couldn’t look – it was too blazing. But I felt a wave of goodness and of rather quizzical benevolence. Really I hadn’t connected what we know on earth as angels, (1) with a sense of humour, but that is most definitely your Teacher’s approach. The second time, I just grinned back, and a feeling of being completely understood came over me. Since then, I haven’t seen him – we rarely do. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 140.)
- (1) I am not convinced that the “Old Man” or “Unknown Teacher” is actually an angel. Philip may be using the term loosely to convey an evolved being who directs an endeavour. In my opinion, it is rare that an angel would be taking a direct hand in an operation as localized as this one appears to be. I could, of course, be mistaken.
People like the Chief, for instance. … They look as if they were made of radium. We rarely see them but now and then one appears, to inspire us. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 45.)
The Old Man is a mass of violet golden light. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 104.)
The first glimpse of the Chief – your Unknown [Teacher] – was enough for me to purge away my follies and misconceptions. I was so completely convinced, once and for all.
But an unevolved entity could not breathe in that vibration. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 237.)
The Chief – your Unknown – has manifested to us again, after a long absence. He addressed us – by thought-rays – on the work. We are nearing a stage, it seems. There will be a great change soon. His eyes are amazing – like piercing rapiers, but there is a wonderful, amused benevolence exuding from him. He seems to be composed of very powerful light rays! (Philip Gilbert in 1946 in PTS, 40.)
I can see very plainly a brilliant spirit figure, with shining spears of light blazing from him. (1) It must be your Teacher, I think. He is telling you that he trained Philip also – there was no much to do that he saw to it that Philip did not take long before he was able to enter the full knowledge needed to do the work he’s doing. (Mrs. Nesbit, a medium, to Alice Gilbert in PTW, 133.)
- (1) Known as the “Unknown Teacher.”
Your Unknown [Teacher] … is our Chief, [and] was, as you known, Chinese-Eastern, incredibly old, one whom we have known since our first entry into incarnation – a Tibetan Occultist. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 237.)
The Unknown [Teacher] … was, so Philip now told me, the Father of the Temple in Tibet where he and I had once been minks. (Alice Gilbert in PTS, xix.)
Our Chief is what all these occultist wallahs (1) call a ‘master,’ but there do not seem to be such clear-cut ranks here, as some would have you think. Common sense makes us, when the impact of tremendous power hits us in the eye from some personage who may happen to manifest, realize that he is to be reckoned with! But people here soon lose any snobbery. It is all too vast. (Philip Gilbert, PTS, xxiv.)
- (1) “Wallah” is slang for an important person.
Leo had suggested that we might like to meet some of the Masters whose co-operation has made these messages possible. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 120.)
We were welcomed by a being of such regal bearing that I felt I must be in the presence of a god. All that Leo had told us of these Masters had not prepared me for their dazzling spiritual radiance. I am not permitted to reveal the identity of the three to whom we were introduced, but all have lived and served on earth.
For all their exalted spiritual appearance, they greeted us quite naturally and quickly made us feel at ease. I have used so many superlatives in my attempt to describe / this sphere to you that I feel you are becoming impatient with me. I will not attempt to describe the interior of this beautiful palace, beyond saying that it appeared to be constructed of pearl, radiating purity and peace. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 120-1.)
The Master’s eye twinkled with mirth as he sensed my amazement. “We keep that [pumpkin] vine for the very purpose of attracting the attention of visitors,” he said. “It is such a perfect example of the logical working of the mind of God and it illustrates c learly what I am about to tell you. Here you have an example of the one-in-many and the many-in-one.
Just as the life force that gives energy to every fruit and tendril of this plant stems from the one root source so are the many human souls infused with the emanations of the one Spirit. This we call the Group Soul. As you will observe the fruits of this plant are all at different stages of development. Some have reached maturity, while others are as yet only at the commencement of their development within the flower. Yet all are united on the one vine.
It is thus with the souls of men. In the human garden of God, there are many such vines and, in the final harvest, the fruit will be gathered together and the seeds of that which has reached maturity will again be scattered, to take root and bear fruit. Not all who are born on earth return to earth, yet, just as each / individual seed of this particular vine, no matter from which item the ripened fruit is taken, will reproduce the characteristics of the parent source, so with the souls of men. This, in the latter case, you term reincarnation. (Ethel McLean in LF, 121-2.)
Our visit to this wonderful sphere in the great cosmic universe has made me feel very humble indeed. That three such exalted Masters should have descended from even higher spheres to this mutual meeting ground, to bless and encourage us, fills me with awe. (Ethel Mclean in LFM, 122.)
Spirits grow in light and beauty as they progress in knowledge and love. The crown which you see round the head of the Chief (1) typifies his exalted state, his purity and love, his self-sacrifice and his earnest work for God. It is a crown which belongs only to the noblest and most blessed.
The spirits of wisdom are typified by their robes and auras of sapphire blue in their appearance to other spirits; the spirits of love by the crimson which typifies their self-sacrifice and devotion. (Unnamed spirit teacher, member of spirit leader Imperator’s group, in Moses, MST, 50-1.)
- (1) The Chief is “Imperator,” who last incarnated as the prophet Malachi.
The Contribution of the Teacher
The earnest thoughts of those who seek enlightenment attract the attention of the Masters who come [to our temple] to give their aid and encouragement. These visitors are not always visible to the congregation, though they are, sometimes, seen by some and not by others. But their presence is invariably felt by all.
These teachers have the ability to contact the individual thoughts of the seekers and, from them, build up a theme of instruction which brings enlightenment to the whole audience. … This temple is also a great power-house for directing enlightenment to the earth. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 42.)
You will find that nearly all the great trance-lecturers of the present time are controlled by Egyptians, [Hindus], Persians, or Chinese spirits of a very high character and strong intellectual power. These Eastern Teachers have been adepts in the Occult art for centuries and they have been in the forefront of [the] present revival in the Western world. They have sought out those of mediumistic power and have developed many of your finest psychics and so, once more, in trace addresses they have become teachers of mankind. …
They are being used to break down the materialism that has grown up in all classes of society. They are bringing actual, scientific proof of the existence of the Spirit-world, are emphasizing the fact that there is no death, and are teaching that there is inherent Divinity in all mankind. This teaching is a powerful factor for good. (John Heslop, FMABL, 46-7.)
Do not fancy that most people go from place to place and from state to state as I do. The things which I describe to you are not exceptional; but that one man should be able to see and describe so many things is exceptional indeed. I owe it largely to the Teacher. Without his guidance I could not have acquired so rich an experience. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXXVIII.)
I am learning all the time. The Teacher is very active in helping me.
When I am absolutely certain of my hold upon your hand, I shall have much to say about the life out here. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter VI.)
I am strong to-day, because I have been long with one who is stronger. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter X.)
At first I took only your arm to write with, but now I get a better hold of the psychic organisation. I saw that I was not working in the best way, that there was a waste somewhere, so I asked the Teacher for instruction in the matter. By this new method you will not feel so tired afterwards, nor shall I. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter X.)
How the Teacher Works
I am withdrawn and speak to you, linked as always by the bond of thought with my aura, from a very far sphere where I pursue the plan in which you, my pupil, play your part and he who was your son in this earth life. (Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTS, 85.)
You could never imagine where I went the other day – to the great funeral of the Emperor of Japan. You could not go from Paris to Japan and return in so short a time, could you? But I did.
An hour before starting I did not even know that the Emperor of Japan was dead. The Teacher sought me out and invited me to go with him. He said that something would occur there which I ought to see.
His prophecy was verified. I saw a soul, a great soul, go out as a suicide. It was sad and terrible.
But as I write this the Teacher comes and stands beside me; he advises me to say no more on that subject. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXIV.)
At first I felt like a fish out of water, of course. Nearly everyone does; though there are exceptions in the case of very spiritual people who have no earthly ties or ambitions. I had so fought the idea of “dying,” that my new state seemed at first to be the proof of my failure, and I used to wander about under the impression that I was going to waste much valuable time which could have been used to better advantage in the storm and stress of earthly living.
Of course the Teacher came to me; but he was too wise to carry me on his back even from the first. He reminded me of a few principles, which he left me to apply; and gradually, as I got hold of the applications, I got hold of myself. Then also gradually the beauty and wonder of the new condition began to dawn on me, and I saw that instead of wasting time I was really gaining tremendous experience which could be utilised later. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXVII.)
The Master enjoys difficulties as a swimmer enjoys the resistance of the water. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter LIV.)
Spirit Teachers and Messiahs
“I did not know,” I said to the Teacher, “that you troubled yourself with any souls but those of considerable development.”
“It was your perplexity which I came to relieve, not that of those poor ladies.”
Then he began to talk to me about relative values.
“In a sense,” he said, “one soul is as much worth helping as another; in a deeper sense, perhaps it is not. Do not think that I am indifferent to the sufferings of the weakest ones because I give my time and attention to the strong. Like the ministering angels, I go where I am most needed. Only the strong ones can learn what I have to teach. The weak ones are the charges of the Messiahs and their followers. But, nevertheless, between us and the Messiahs there is brotherhood and there is mutual understanding. Each works in his own field. The Messiahs help the many; we help the few. Their reward in love is greater than ours; but we do not work for reward any more than they do. Each follows the law of his being.
“To be loved by all men a teacher must be known to all men, and we reveal ourselves only to a few chosen ones. Why do we not go the way of the Messiahs? Because the balance must be maintained. For every great worker in the sight of men there is another worker out of sight. Which kind of teacher is of greater value? The question is out of order. The North and the South are interdependent, and there are two poles to every magnet.” (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXXVII.)
I wrote the other day about Adepts and Masters. Jesus is a type of the greatest Master. He is revered in all the heavens. He grasped the Law and dared to live it, to exemplify it. And when He said, “The Father and I are one,” He pointed the way by which other men may realise mastership in themselves.
Humanity on its long road has evolved many Masters. Who then shall dare to question that humanity has justified itself? If one demands to know what purpose there is in life, tell him that it is this very evolution of the Master out of the man. Eternity is long. The goal is ahead for each unit of sufficient strength, and those who cannot lead can serve. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XLVIII.)
Working as Spirit Guides
The Work of Spirit Guides
A [spirit] guide is a soul who watches over those souls who are on Earth. Your soul is you. I watch over you because you are one of my responsibilities. (Thavis, TIH, 31.)
Great love will come from your teachers, from people you call guides. These are people who have been through the earthly existence, who know what it is to go through these incarnations and the lessons that must be learned. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 32.)
This is a learning period for me [too] and there is much for me to learn. When I am satisfied with my progress, I can choose to do other work, to go onward and upward toward the Light, who is God. (Thavis, TIH, 39.)
Your soul is there to learn. When you – your soul – comes back to us – to God – it is helpful to us to know what your soul has learned. If your soul has been injured during your time on Earth, we must know that so that we will be prepared to give your soul greater amounts of love and comfort upon its return. We also like to know what you have learned in the way of skills, what you like to do. This helps those souls who will be your counselors when you return home, who will help you decide on your future learning. (Thavis, TIH, 32.)
[I teach] what is true and what is not true, that it is true that you will not die, that it is wiser to live according to God’s Will than to defy it. (Thavis, TIH, 32.)
A guardian [from the astral realm] never controls your action, but he can give you support for original thinking. He can try to guide an individual into his own pattern and way of thinking, which will be helpful. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 63.)
The world little realizes how backward it is in acquiring spiritual knowledge. Nearly all would wander for a long time in darkness here were It not for the help that is given them. When you think of the multitudes coming all the time, and of the time it takes to influence many of them, you can get some idea of the multitudes of teachers and missionaries necessary here. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 121.)
We are all around you, without you seeing or feeling our presence. (Julia Ames, AD, 123.)
I was permitted to call you too, your highest ego (1) only – the I you hardly know, yet it is the core of your whole being. (Sigwart, BOTR, 68.)
- (1) We would say your highest Self. Sigwart is his sister’s guide.
You say you have heard so much of “Spirit-guides” to people on earth, and want to know who appoints these, and why? “Guardian Angels” I suppose they used to be called. Well, no one appoints them; they are spirit-friends attracted by something in the individual which appeals to them, and they try to influence and help those in whom they take an interest.
They may be earth-friends or relatives who having passed on still keep the bond of affection that held them while here, though they are often strangers attracted by mutual interests, who try literally to inspire those on earth. This does not mean in religious matters only; it applies to art, science, engineering, medicine, or any other subject.
Can’t you imagine a musician here, revelling in beautiful harmonies, trying to instil into the mind of an earthly musician some of the glorious sound which gives him such joy, and which he knows will benefit and uplift those still in the “bonds of the flesh”? or an artist surrounded by this exquisite beauty trying to inspire the mind of a friend, so that he may / see with truer, clearer vision the hidden wonders that surround him? or a man of science or an engineer trying to impress the mind of a friend on earth with a new discovery or invention?
These things are being done every day, and the “flashes of genius” which illumine the world occasionally are the result of the influence of spirit-minds on the minds of those still in the world. When men realize it is possible to get help from these sources they will do great things, for to those who have passed on, the sources of information, though not limitless, are vast in comparison with those on earth. The secrets of Atlantis and ancient Egypt are obtainable if they care to work to learn them. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 38-9.)
Every soul that has been, and is to be, born upon the earth-plane has allocated to him – or her – a spirit guide. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 184.)
Spirit guides constitute one of the grandest orders in the whole organization and administration of the spirit world. They inhabit a realm of their own and they have lived for many centuries in the spirit world. They are drawn from every nationality that exists upon the earth-plane and they function regardless of nationality. A great many of them are drawn from eastern countries and from North American Indians too because it has always been the case that dwellers in those regions of the earth world were, and are, already possessed of psychic gifts themselves and were therefore aware of the interrelationship of our two worlds.
The principal guide is chosen for each individual on the earth-plane in conformity with a fixed plan. Most guides are temperamentally similar to their charges in the latter’s finer natures, but what is most important the guides understand and are in sympathy with their charge’s failings. Many of them, indeed, had the same failings when they were incarnate and among other useful services they try to help their charges overcome these failings and weaknesses.
A great number of those who practice communication with the spirit world have already met their spirit guides and are in close touch with them. And fortunate, indeed, they are. The guides, too, are never happier than when they have established a direct link with those whose lives they are helping to direct. It would be safe to say that by far the greater number of spirit guides carry on their work all unknown to those whom they serve and their task is so much the heavier and more difficult. But there are still others whose lives upon earth render it practically impossible for their guides to approach within any reasonable distance of them. It naturally saddens [the guides] to see the mistakes and follies into which their charges are plunging themselves. Such souls, when they at last arrive in the spirit world, awake to a full realization of what they have missed during their earth lives. In such case the guides work will not be entirely in vain for even in the worst souls there comes an occasion, however transient, when the conscience speaks and it is usually the spirit guide who has implanted the better thought within the brain. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 185.)
When we perceive that our friends on earth are about to make some mistake or other that will eventually be to their disadvantage, we are naturally anxious to offer a word of caution or advice and so save them from the consequences. Alas, man is so often deaf to our promptings and the false move is made. Eventually, when our friend arrives in the spirit world, he sees the mistakes he has made and how he could have prevented them had he but listened. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 34.)
It must never for one instant be thought that the influence of the spirit guide [negates] or violates the possession or expression of free will. If, upon the earth-plane, you were to observe somebody about to take a false step into a stream of traffic upon the road, the fact that you put out your hand to stop him would in no way impinge upon his exercise of free will. A spirit guide will try to give advice when his advice can be got through to his charge; he will try to lead him in the right direction solely for his own good and it remains for his charge, in the exercise of his free will, to take that advice or reject it. If he does the latter, he can only blame himself if disaster or trouble overtakes him. At the same time, the spirit guides are not there to live a person’s life for him. That he must do himself. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 185-6.)
It has become a habit among a certain class of individuals of the earth-plane to ridicule the whole establishment of spirit guides. There will assuredly come a time when they will bitterly repent their folly and that day will be whereon they meet in the spirit world their own guide, who probably knows more about their lives than they do themselves! We in the spirit world can afford to pass by such ridicule as this because we know that the day will inevitable come when they will arrive in the spirit world and great is the remorse – and, in many instances, the self-pity – of those who have, in their supposed wisdom, made fools of themselves. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 186.)
Oh, if only people could realize how we long to make them happy, how we remove difficulties out of their way, and help to smooth their path, they would know that we are spirits appointed by God to minister to those whose aspirations go forth toward truth and purity and goodness. You cannot so aspire without attracting beautiful influences about you. Look up, look up, for pure spirits, God’s angels, are all around you and some day you will see them. (John Heslop, SABL, 41.)
Do not think that I am indifferent to the sufferings of the weakest ones because I give my time and attention to the strong. Like the ministering angels I go where I am most needed. Only the strong ones can learn what I have to teach. The weak ones are the charges of the Messiahs and their followers. But, nevertheless, between us and the Messiahs there is brotherhood and there is mutual understanding. Each works in his own field. The Messiahs help the many; we help the few. Their reward in love is greater than ours; but we do the work for reward more than they do. Each follows the law of his being. (“X’s” spirit teacher from LLDM, 230, cited in Lord Dowding, MM, 88.) Spirit-guides are not always attracted to those whom they direct, though this is usually the case. Sometimes they are selected for their own fitness. They are naturally apt to teach. Sometimes they are charged with a special commission. Sometimes they are picked because they are able to supply what is wanting in the characters which they train. Sometimes they themselves select a character which they wish to mould. This is a great pleasure to the higher spirits. Sometimes they desire, for their own spiritual progress, to be attached to a soul the training which is irksome and difficult. They toil upward along with the soul. Sometimes they are attracted by pure affinity, or by the remains of earth-love. Very frequently, when there is no special mission for the soul, the guides are changed as the soul progresses. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 25.)
Someone may send out a call wanting to know, “Now, what on earth should I do over this?” When they sit down to think about it, that sends out a great, huge question / mark, and we know according to the color of that thought form the level of the question. For example, “What shall I do about my bank balance?” gives us a sort of reddish color of trepidation with a little green and quite a bit of brown.
That’s not my color – I can’t help with money – but those who have been financiers and those who know how to deal in these areas will come. They will direct ideas and thought into the people’s auras – into their physical magnetic field – so that they may pick up a book, open a newspaper, make a telephone call, or get in touch with a person who can help them with their problems. This is the way they are helped. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 63-4.)
Many there are – and they the noblest and grandest Intelligences, the purest and most loving – whose mission is to spirits who have cast aside the body, and who cannot rise from being earthbound by the affections, or from the effect of an evil, base or sensual body in which their spirit was enshrined; or, to those, again, who have been prematurely ushered into the life of the spheres, and need careful and tender guidance. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
The True Guide is Within
The true guide is within ourselves. Only in our present state of evolution we, generally, can neither hear nor see and so the superior I in us attracts one of his kind to make a bridge. He uses a delegate. (Albert Pauchard in LO, 188.)
Everyone Has a Spirit Guide
We have many times been told that every one on earth attracted some spirit who tried to influence and guide their charge through all the vicissitudes of the earth life. This caused us to ask if even a criminal had such a guide.
“Yes, always. All have guides. But it is sometimes difficult for the guides to impress their charges. Usually in such cases there is more than one guide and influence. It would be very difficult for any one with high spirit development to be obliged to stay near an ignorant and coarse-grained individual.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 137.)
Spirit Guides Must Respect Individual Privacy
I cannot see you when you wish to be private. I would not want to do that. When I want to monitor you, I reach into your subconscious mind and I find out if I would be welcome. If the answer is yes, then I monitor you for as long as is necessary. But I cannot see anything, hear anything, know anything that would embarrass you. Or would embarrass me. (Thavis, TIH, 33.)
We do not go around indiscriminately spying into people’s lives. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 63.)
There is privacy around all people on earth which cannot be violated. Those of us in the astral world are not allowed to go around and see what is going on in a person’s life unless we are called to do so by that person.
I am allowed to go over the material I am putting though for you, (1) after it has been given, to see the impression it has on you and the various people who are sharing it. However, I am not allowed to go around and see what is going on in the homes of people anymore than I could do that, uninvited, when I was on earth. The privacy of people is respected. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 64.)
Spirit Guide May Continue Guiding After Transition
Frequently it chances that a guardian continues to guide a spirit after it has left the body, and carries on in the spheres the education begun in earth-life. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Earth Needs Guidance
Very few of the high thoughts expressed in earth’s literature were begotten by man himself. They are the result of his conjunction, unknown to himself, with the higher nature of his guardian angel. Man originates practically nothing. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 26.)
The earth has … a completely exaggerated idea of its own cleverness. You need to be resident in the spirit world to see just how foolish mankind upon earth can really be! Here the mistakes are plain for all to see and we are sometimes amazed at the ignorance displayed. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 33-4.)
The spirit world works constantly to make its power and force and presence felt by the whole earth world, not only in personal matters, but through individuals into a wider sphere for the good of nations and national policies. But so little can be done because the door is usually closed to the higher beings of the spirit world, whose range of vision and whose wisdom and knowledge and understanding are vast. Think of the evils that could be swept from the face of the earth under the immensely able guidance of wise teachers from the spirit world. The world of spirit does its best through the limited channels available.
But it is safe to say that there is no problem upon the earth-plane that could not be solved by the help and advice and experience of those beings I have just mentioned. But it would involve one thing – an implicit adherence to whatever they advised or advocated. Many a leader, either of the nation’s affairs or of religious thought who is here with us in the spirit world, is filled with sorrow when looks back upon the wasted opportunities for bringing about a revolutionary change for the betterment of his fellow countrymen. He will confess that he had the idea in his mind – he did know then that it had been impinged thereupon by the spirit world – but he had allowed himself to be overruled. These souls sigh for the state into which humanity has degraded itself.
Humanity has, in effect, allowed the evil forces to dictate to it. But the evil ones, so beloved by the churches, have appeared in a different direction from that which those same churches allege they have come. The men and women who practice communication with us in all seriousness and earnestness and who enjoy happy meetings with their spirit friends as well as with noble teachers from the higher spheres, are accused of dealing with ‘devils.’ That is rubbish. The real devils are far too busy elsewhere, in places where they can produce far greater results to their own evil satisfaction. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 188.)
Small though the earth world may be, man still needs help in conducting its affairs – and that is another discovery that he makes when he comes here. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 188.)
When we and our world gain full acceptance you will then know what it means to live upon the earth-plane.
But we have a long, long way to go yet. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 189.)
When those who love you come back to you, it is to comfort, guide, and instruct you. This helps, not hinders, their upward progress. Indeed, without our help in some form, your lives would be almost impossible. You must bear in mind that, though you do not realize our presence, we are with you just the same. We whisper words of consolation into your ears and raise your thoughts God-ward. We ward off evil influences from your homes, help your lives in a thousand different ways, and strengthen your bodies with vital forces. Often when you are wrapt in sleep we carry you, in your spirit bodies, into these higher regions for teaching and refreshment. To tell you that it is evil to desire our return only shows total ignorance of the facts. (John Heslop, SABL, 27.)
Spirits Influencing Earth Events
All the time I was translating [”Les Mysteres de Chartres” by Louis Charpentier] I knew I was reliving one of my own lives as a builder and architect and I gradually remembered how the plan came to me, waking and sleeping, without any understanding of mathematics of geometry. It came and was there. I had no need to question, / only to put the stones, which I saw so clearly in my mind.
Now, when I see architects sweating over plans, I long to say ‘Relax!’ and think as I did. Let the picture come through you. The ability has come back to me now and, when my problem occurs, I relax and ask for the great Powers to work through me. If only this technique was used more.
The thing to do is to make all preparations first that you can physically. I cut and collected the stone and left the unmasking of the design entirely to the greater Powers. People feel they must do it all themselves while here on this level the greatest forces for achievement on any plane. (Sir Ronald Fraser in AL, 175-6.)
Spirit Groups Influencing Earth Events
We are a large band, but divide our numbers many times and go to different places. We wish you to feel the spirit presence as you just now felt ours. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 84.)
We are exerting much thought force upon mortals, and we grow into stronger power ourselves by trying to help others. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 85.)
We are a band of workers and wish to add our knowledge. We wait not only in hope, but in certainty; for we go far and near and see all sides of the work among many people and many nationalities. There is a slow dawning of a great day. It is coming, coming surely; and we can watch it from afar. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 84.)
“You must remember that we are always trying to help the earth people in their progress. We usually keep this in mind in all our work, and if we feel that we have something, especially valuable for them, we try to impress some one with the idea. In doing this we are accustomed to work in large groups; we do not ordinarily work alone as we did on earth. When something new is discovered or thought of, it is usually common property, the combined thought of a large number. Then we try to influence as many as we conveniently can to work with us in sending this new thought earthward.”
‘Is this done by concentration?’
“Yes, that is the way. We have stated times for this, sometimes large gatherings in one place. We have been aware many times that this influence was felt on earth, and we believe that much of the progress there is caused in this way.” (Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 80.)
We feel that a general good effect results from our efforts, so we consider that we are repaid. Out of the great number on earth, we know there are some who will feel our influence. So we send a general impression and trust to its being picked up there by those who are sensitive. Then we wait for these to spread the influence among others. It is slow work; but evolution has always been slow.” We wish the truth might be spread more rapidly. But we have to fall back upon the belief that we are only asked or expected to use our little influence in the cause of the great truth.” (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 81.)
In Helping, Spirit Guides are Helped Too
When you go to church you are always accompanied by some of your spirit-guides and protectors. They will be greatly helped as they join in your devotions and through the spiritual food offered by the officiating clergy. (John Heslop, FMABL, 75.)
In all these various circles there are spirits who are progressing, who are giving experience and enlightenment, who are living the medium’s life, and mounting upward as he mounts; learning as they teach, and soaring as they raise him to their sphere.
It is a labour of love, this guardianship of ours, a labour which brings its own reward, and blesses us, even as we bestow blessings upon the medium and, through him, upon mankind. (Spirit leader “Imperator” in Moses, ST, 22-3.)
Working in Spirit Communication
Dad has pointed out also that great progress is being made on this side in devising ways and means of getting through to [your side]. Our greatest difficulty is lack of co-operation on your side. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 66.)
Mediumship is a development of that which is, in another soul, genius. Genius, the opened and attentive ear to spirit guidance and inspiration, shades away into mediumship. . . . Man’s individuality must be lost, as yours is now, before truthful and clear instruction can be given, and therefore it is that such messages, so given as we now give this, are the voice of spirit speaking with the minimum of human error admixed.
The opening of spiritual being to spiritual influence is what you call mediumship; it must be used for spiritual purposes, not for gain; nor for satisfying curiosity, nor for base or unworthy ends. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
The peculiarity is one of spirit only, not of body, seeing that it occurs in all varieties of physical frames; male and female, magnetic and electric, in the short and robust as well as in the puny and thin, in the old and the young. This alone would lead you to see it is not physical matter, and that conclusion is strengthened for you by the fact that the gift is perpetuated even after death of the earth-body. Those who on your earth have been mediums retain the gift and use it with us. They are the most frequent visitors to your world; they communicate most readily, and it is through them that spirits who have not the gift are enabled to communicate with your world. They are mediums for us, as you are for man.
Remember all gifts of talent or mediumship are precious, priceless helps to progress; to be fostered and tended with prayerful care; to be abused or prostituted with terrible risk. They do but mean that their possessors live nearer to God and the angels; are more readily impressed by them; more open to assault by evil; more amenable to influence for good; and so to be cared for and protected more earnestly. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
On Mediumship vs. Psychic Abilities
The best way to describe psychic ability is to give you some examples of its use. One would be having a premonition of danger. Or, if you’re trained, then all sorts of premonitions. Or, if you know how to do it, when the phone rings you know who’s on the line before you pick up the receiver. This kind of awareness is done with your own inner sensitivity. It doesn’t require the assistance of spirits. (Arthur Ford in PP, 94.)
Then there’s clairvoyance. That’s something you do with the visual receptors in your brain. Clairvoyant sight is perceived in the psychic body and then transmitted to these visual receptors. It’s also something the psychic does for himself. He may have a little assistance from friends on the inner planes who come to teach him how to do it better. But he is essentially doing it himself with his own psychic mechanism. The psychic impulse works outward from the inner being in the form of a premonition, precognition, creative urge, or that sort of thing. (Arthur Ford, PP, 94-5.)
Mediumship is something else entirely. Mediums are not necessarily psychics. Psychics are not necessarily mediums. A medium is someone who has an extra faculty that he worked very hard to earn over the span of several lifetimes. It’s an ability to step away from the physical personality and allow a spirit the medium trusts – in this case, me – to use his mechanism of consciousness for a span of time. (Arthur Ford, PP, 95.)
Mediumship vs. Hypnosis
We insist on the distinction between that which is normal and that which is abnormal; i.e., the direct work of spirit external to the medium, which paralyses and deposes his spirit, and the substitutes for it an intelligence, which more or less controls his physical organism. This we call abnormal, and we compare it to the control exercised by a mesmeriser over his patient.
What we call normal mediumship is that wherein the spirit is now entrusted with wider powers, and has its own capacities exalted and supplemented by the aspiration poured in upon it. No longer lulled to sleep, deposed from its throne, but supported and strengthened in the exercise of its powers, the soul is admitted to the counsel of those who have been its guides but are now its instructors. It is now educated in passivity, trained to moderation of thought, and to purity and singleness of intent and act. The soul is open, with all its perceptions, to the breath of inspiration. Ideas, conveyed painfully before by abnormal means, flow in upon it naturally. Its own inherent powers develop and abound instead of being dwarfed and stunted. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
The Purpose of Spirit Communication with Earth
The Masters are sending the truth to you through me in order that I may point the way and prepare your souls. (Sigwart, BOTR, 50.)
My mission is to put across to mankind / the realization that there must be no fear in awaiting death. In truth there is no death. … Man’s soul is immortal and goes on for ever. (Donald Macleod in HT, 11-2.)
[Eileen Garrett] emphasizes that the true purpose of mediumship is not just to prove the survival of the personality, but rather to indicate the sources of power, love, and wisdom which the personality can tap, while alive physically, to improve the quality of human life. (Robert Leichtman, PP, 137.)
You do not realize the necessity in your world for a stronger and more compelling spiritual belief. We think it possible to create that belief through the influence and teachings from this side. We are trying to exert a power for good upon a world that sadly needs our help. All influences for good are needed.
For many the church is sufficient; for some a future life must be absolutely proved; others require manifestations or messages from the unseen world. But beyond these are the few who seek the larger field of spiritual truth. All ways are needed, if through them we can teach the earth people that they are now, through their mortal lives, preparing either happiness or bitter regret or sorrow, for the future life. The thoughts, actions, habits of that life extend their influence to this one.
Lives filled with evil deeds, injustice, impurity, cruelty, dishonesty, cannot wash themselves clean by slipping out of the material body through that which you call death. Make it known, you who can see and tell it to others. Make it known to all who will learn! (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 9.)
We are not saints by any means, – just mortals, with the mortal part mostly eliminated and something a little finer in its place. But this something finer must grow through discipline and education even as it did on earth; and we are trying to help you to begin your education now, so that you will not have such a weary way to travel here as many earth lives do. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 82.)
If we are going to do anything at all with the material that I am being allowed to bring through, and I look upon it as a privilege to bring it through to you, then we must be aware that much we say will be old hat to some people. Much that you receive will be new, perhaps beyond other people. On the other hand, much will be just right for us. It is rather like the fairy story of the three bears. The porridge is too hot; the porridge is too cold; the porridge is just right.
There is a tension that builds up in all incarnate people when they feel that they are verging slightly onto knowledge of something they don’t know. It’s like going to the sea for the / first time in a year and you put your bare toe in the water to see what the water is like before you immerse the whole of you. Then there are the hardy souls who race down to the beach and go splashing into the water. They rise up and gasp that it’s very cold. There are very few who will throw themselves into the sea of the Holy Spirit. Some merely put their toe in and tentatively feel it. The years of putting toes in are past and the time has come to throw yourself in.
Through ‘inspirers’ where I am, I am allowed to see and to know and to appreciate. It is from them that I understand and know that there is this very wide project and this very big thought, that this is something other people shall know.
We are merely being used by a greater force – by God – to bring information through that will help those who are themselves primarily God-centered, but God-centered in a narrow sphere, and we hope to bring them into a wider sphere. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 32.)
You ask if it is possible for us to reveal to you Truth, and say that the conflicting statements made by spirits lead to the idea that there is no such thing as exact Truth, and a waste of time to endeavour to arrive at it.
If by Truth you mean accurate and precise statements about matters which, from their nature, transcend human knowledge, then no doubt neither we nor any can reveal to you exact Truth, seeing that you are not capable of understanding it.
But if you mean, as you should, a higher revelation of facts which concern man to know, which will develop his intelligence, and raise him to an advanced plane of knowledge, then we have come for no other purpose than to reveal to you such Truth. It is the very object of our mission. We come neither to amuse nor to astonish, but only to instruct and develop. All that we do has for its end the revealing of higher and more extended views of Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Advice for Psychics
When someone believes he may be psychic, he must take care not to launch his explorations into the psychic realms unless he first arms himself with large amounts of common sense and caution, If a voice spoke to you, saying I am your master teacher and I tell you to do so and so and then, after you’ve done that, run your car off a cliff,” you would dismiss that “spirit” rather quickly, because that device does not make particularly good sense. If any spirit came and ordered me to do anything, I would reply, “You’re not the kind of teacher I need” because a real spiritual teacher does not order. Spooks have no right to command physical people any more than you have the right to command one another.(Arthur Ford, PP, 118.)
It is impossible and unwise to attempt it. (1) They know not of the truth of spirit communion, nor could we manifest to them. Were you to tell them, they would receive your word as the idle tale of a madman. You would not be able to reach them. This is one of the sore trials of those who endeavour to communicate with the world which they have lately quitted. Usually they cannot reach personal friends. The very anxiety with which they strive prevents the realisation of their wishes. It seems to them so important, so desirable, that personal evidence should be given to their friends, that their very eagerness, coupled with the sorrowing tearfulness of their friends, places an impassible barrier between them. It is not till the eargerness is past, and they have soared above the atmosphere of personal feeling, that they are able to reach your sphere. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 117.)
- (1) Communication between the newly-departed and their grieving relatives.
Our friend who now communicates is shut off from those who were united to him by ties of kindred. Any attempt to force on them knowledge for which they are unprepared would be mischievous and fruitless. This is one of the unalterable laws with which we have no power to interfere; we can no more force on men a knowledge for which they are unfit than you can explain to a child the deep mysteries of science into which your sages gaze with wonder. … We … should retard, by unconscious forcing, the end we have in view, and should injure those whom we would benefit. No such attempt is made by the wise. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 117.)
The Process of Spirit Communication
“We try to form pictures in your mind of the things we wish you to know, and the choice of the words generally comes from your own consciousness. But the idea is ours. Do not forget that. The words used are often not the ones we wish, but we have to take the ones called up in your brain by the idea sent across.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 8.)
I do not count this [process of writing through an earthly medium] as writing; this has to be restricted by the limitations of the hand and brain of the transmitting medium. Also it has to conform to the powers of understanding of those who may read it and who have not as yet attained to the experiences it recounts; this means that the special powers and insights of this plane of being cannot be fully employed. In common honesty this has to be a factual account and so gives me no licence to create. … I [long] to express something of the splendour and awe of my experience in this marvelous phase of existence. World on world of ascending being are opening up to me in vision and by intuitive knowledge and the impulse to add to the human comment on their infinite vistas is not to be denied.
I am living in a withdrawn dream of timelessness and wonder and am well content to try to transmit its openings of beauty and awe. It is impossible to follow such experiences in earth terms so I forebear the effort. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 79-80.)
We are to journey to some friends on earth where Phyllis and I, and others, will exercise our awful propensity for talking and try to cheer our earthly friends. Goodness knows they need cheering – the whole earth needs it. And the people there could have it, if only they would all turn to us. (Spirit known as “Blue Star” in Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 144.)
In this manuscript, my thoughts merge with those of the physical writer because the writer’s consciousness moves with a kind of motion no machine possesses, to a place no map can indicate. There it explores my situation by “putting my thoughts on,” so to speak, as one might another garment; by donning my reality to the extent allowed by perceptive abilities that belong to the living as well as to the dead.
On my part, I am urged to comment, to add some insights available to me now though not taken advantage of in my lifetime. So from my position – in the balcony again – I call out from the sidelines to the writer, who listens and records what I say, turning momentarily aside from her own role; or rather in a kind of double acting as in a play within a play, she takes two roles at once: a major one, her own, and a secondary one in which additional lines are provided that the first actor missed.
To some extent I have the advantage since from my standpoint I can perceive the larger patterns of action formed by your world, while the writer – the actor in life’s midst – must rely upon the messages sent from my direction, so that her view of my times is secondhanded in that respect. She sees it through my mental eyes rather than her own, while I perceive your world from a distance, but in a more firsthanded fashion. (William James, ADJ, 145-6.)
We want to raise your thought into those higher regions of light and purity where we dwell so that for a little you may live above the fret and worry of your mortal life, in these realms of eternal peace. That is how heaven begins on earth. Heaven is a condition of spirit, as well as a place, though it is a place of radiant beauty. (John Heslop, SABL, 40-1.)
The human eye is used by us when we want to see people or things more clearly on the earth plane. We can also see a great deal in this way that is hidden from you for we look through and beyond the object while your eyes rest on its surface. In fact, we use your eyes much as you use a magnifying glass, to intensify and enlarge. (John Heslop, SABL, 42.)
I became aware of the cold feeling on my forehead which is the signal of [Gordon’s] presence. (Grace Rosher in TR, 32.
There is a homing beam – a beam on which, like homing pigeons, we home back in on a person. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 35.)
As I have volunteered for Borderland work, this helps me to learn the ways and means of intercourse with souls incarnate; [those ways and means] are many, each with odd limitations. It is an art as well as a science. (Philemon [Archdeacon Wilberforce] in LFOS, 55.)
The Value of Spirit Communication
So far as we know there is no one on earth who is communicating with unseen friends who does not at some time fail of the Truth. The conditions are difficult. The human mind acts so easily and in such unexpected ways. But we still think that much good goes to earth, and that with all its mistakes spirit communication is the great hope of the world. The power of the church has grown limited. The great public mind is very indifferent to religious teaching. The indifference to the various creeds makes some new and powerful influence necessary to draw life into consideration of and preparation for the eternal existence. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 140.)
If it were the intent of this interview to engage in such trivialities, (1) I wouldn’t be here! And I doubt that any of the other people involved in this series would be very much interested, either. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 82.)
- (1) The trivialities being referred to are evidential trivia designed to prove the validity of mediumistic communication.
You do not delay my progress, as was suggested to you, by keeping in touch with me. People on earth will not realize that you cannot “summon” spirits any more than you can compel men on earth to come and see you if they do not wish to do so. In the spirit-world people choose what is best for their own evolution.
If mortals desire the companionship of spirit-friends merely for purposes of material gain, it does not of course do either of them much good; but when love is the motive and mutual help the desire, it is good for both, for helping others is the way of progress. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 23.)
The Rise of a Group of Spirit Communicators
‘Can you tell us how you came to be leader of that circle?’ “Well, I was so eager for knowledge that perhaps I gained faster than others. Then my work with the newly arrived souls, many of whom longed only for knowledge of their friends, and to send word to them of their safety, made me begin to study communication – to add that to my other occupations. I found in this work so many ways through which I could give comfort, that I grew more and more interested. And gradually / others who were attracted to the subject gathered about me, until we simply became a circle. As I had studied the subject more than the others, the leadership was left to me. And so you see it was very simple. All a matter of attraction and congenial thought.” ‘Then your circle is primarily one for communication?’ “Yes, that is the main work of this circle. But we are not confined to the one study. You will find great diversity of study and tastes and acquirement when you come, and will realize that through variety we avoid anything like monotony.” (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 67-8.)
The Spirit Group that Works with the Medium – The Teacher – See The Character of Spirit Teachers
The Spirit Group which Works with the Medium – The Control
Fletcher trained me more than anyone else. I’m sure David would say that Rosie trained him more than anyone else. I’m sure Edgar Cayce would say that his friends trained him. This seems to be the way it works. (Arthur Ford, PP, 129.)
Then Arthur [Ford] bustled in and wrote in part, “This Lily is quite a guy. I sort of sensed his presence sometimes after I knew you [Ruth] in your plane [i.e., on earth], but he’s a brilliant white light of radiant power and a mighty good influence to have on your side, so don’t ever neglect him or fail to take full advantage of his help.” (Arthur Ford to Ruth Montgomery in WB, 11.)
Beloved, I bring you greetings from the Brotherhood of Light. We guard and protect these dear ones as they draw near to you in their endeavour to bring light and understanding into your lives that you, in turn, may share it with others and this complete their cycle of service. (Unnamed Member of the Brotherhood of Light in LFM, 95.)
I am eternally lost in admiration at the beautiful choice of words and lucidity of utterance of the Elder Brothers when they communicate with earth. They give forth a crystal clear stream of ideas, without hesitation and with hardly a pause. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 68.)
The Spirit Group which Works with the Medium – The Group
It requires the undivided attention of a vast number of workers on this side to establish and maintain a channel of communication of this strength and clarfity. Not only workers from this sphere, but the co-operation and skill of many highly-evolved souls from the Spheres of Light have combined in this work. …
If you could but glimpse the beautiful light that shines around you, which is reflected from your guides and inspirers from the Spheres of Light, when you are giving your attention to this work and feel the great outpouring of their love and protection, you would be more open to their influence. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 85.)
Had I realized in the beginning the enormous outpouring of energy that would be required and the vast network of human souls that would be involved, I doubt if I would have had the temerity to make such a request. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 122.)
You will be amazed at the vast organization and long-term planning that is required from this side, which if reckoned in earth years would extend over aeons of time. But here it is seen as a whole. (Donald McLean in LFM, 53.)
Conveying these messages to you has been a big undertaking. It has required a great deal of team work. We are all grateful for the help we have received from the many people who have been involved. (Ethel McLean in OLFM, 117.)
I know you have often wondered why I have made no mention of your inspirers from the Brotherhood of Light, who have made such a deep impression on your life. I have been asked to tell you that they are, indeed, an amalgam of the spiritual family to which you belong, (1) the one-in-many. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 118.)
- (1) I.e., the Group Soul.
The interesting thing about my work that you may be fortunate enough finally to get into print is that many of the people who spoke through me identified themselves by name. You have met Michael, who was my major friend in spirit in that lifetime. Fletcher (1) also spoke through me, but with a different name. There was a time when even you spoke through me. I am talking about a period of time before you were born as Robert Leichtman. (Edgar Cayce in Robert Leichtman, PP, 42.)
At times there were twenty to forty beings who would come in and speak. They identified themselves by name, whether it was their actual name or not. I was fortunate to entertain Madame Blavatsky for a short period of time. Much of the material on Atlantis came through her. She did not come through with that name, though – she used another. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 42-3,)
[Spirit communication] circles are drawn together by mutual sympathy and love. Our circle is large, for many, many, wish to hear from loved ones on earth. Yet not an alien thought, not an unwise criticism, not a word, question or look, which is not in accordance and sympathy with the rest. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 100.)
Now I am at liberty to tell you that this is not a solo performance on my part. Not by any means! There is a Band who help and guide me in the selection of incidents to be telepathed to you. In this Father Joseph is most helpful, as he had contacted your mind previously; your husband also helped in opening the way and was instrumental in your listening to my mind in the first instance.
There are others in the Band, and I understand that we are merely instruments in this work. (Frances Banks, TOL, 79.)
Later on [on the night Philip died], a shining Eastern person (1) appeared at the end of your bed [he is addressing his mother through automatic writing]. He wore a turban and a beard, and a sort of ray poured from his finger-ends over your head, and you fell asleep. …
I think I’ve seen your Unknown [Teacher] who gave you the messages. I’m not strong enough to look at him yet – he’s a blaze of power of some sort. He seems to know me very well. (Philip in PTW, 90-1.)
- (1) Abdul Latif, not to be confused with the “Unknown Teacher” in the next paragraph, a personage of much higher spiritual stature.
‘There is a band, a circle of protection round you, and no evil can touch you in this work you do. You get much spiritual instruction and are to give it out, but don’t strive – just go gently, giving it out as needed.’ … I felt very strong power and kept getting those strange and strong ‘electric shocks’ down the head and spine which, I am learning, mean the presence of a really powerful entity. (Alice Gilbert and medium describing her spirit controllers in PTW, 168.)
Now you can take it that it’s not conceit on your part to think that you are being helped by the gang here. They are your friends, some of a few hundred years’ standing…. They have, as you felt, used all their resources of power and suggestion to soften this frightful ordeal [of having to move to a locale distant from her son’s grave]. They’ve diverted your thoughts, cunningly, when you began to brood on the nasty physical side of it, they’ve crooned you off to sleep, quite disconcertingly to you. I’ve watched them at it. I saw them all there from the very first minute I got into your room that night – not only the Eastern detachment that some clairvoyants correctly give you, but all the family, with Grandpa in the chair, so to speak. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 169.)
There is an unwritten law here, a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ among the decent people here [when attending a spirit communication group from the astral side], not to interfere or push in on these controls, just as you wouldn’t cut in on telephone talks. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 203.)
You have many guides, some of whom are doctors. You are never alone even for a moment, two being always with you, for your comfort and protection. (John Heslop in the “Christ Sphere” to his wife, F. Heslop, SABL, 3.)
‘Are there foreigners in your circle besides the Chinese philosopher?’ “We have many visitors from other countries, but most of the members of our circle are Americans. It does not follow that it will always be so, for no nationality would be excluded. Nationality does make a difference at first. But study and experience, and the kindness that everywhere expresses itself, makes for unity and happiness.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 111.)
‘Does your circle have other interests than communicating?’
“Yes, of course. You don’t think we are bothering the old earth to speak to us all the time, do you? We do call ourselves a communicating circle, but we meet for all sorts of discussions, and also for just friendly social life – visiting, – you might call it. We separate at times and go our own various ways, and then meet again and relate our experiences – ask for advice perhaps, or maybe have some humorous story of adventure to relate. Do you believe this last?”
‘It doesn’t sound much like the old orthodox idea of heaven!’
“Not much it doesn’t! And we are glad. Heaven would scarcely be a place of endless enjoyment for us if psalm singing and harp playing were to occupy an eternity of time.”
‘Can you tell us what you have been doing today?’
“Yes, we would like to, if we can measure a day in your kind of time. We went ‘out in space’ with a teacher for a time, then returned and found a wonderful concert taking place in the temple of music. Then we went to look up some friends, ‘making calls,’ you would say, – and afterwards listened to a lecture on – well, on etheric, – no, thought waves. This took most of the time until we got your call and came here.”
‘How did you get the call?’
“Just a thought call. It comes like an impression on the brain.” ‘How many are here?’
“Not all the circle. Many were away with other occupations or with other friends. So chiefly your most intimate friends are here.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 130-1.)
The Spirit Group which Works with the Medium – “The Watchers”
We do not stay with you all of the time, as you know. But faithful watchers let us know immediately if we are needed. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 138.)
‘Is anyone here?’
“Yes, we are left as watchers and have waited for you to come.”
‘Where are the rest of the circle?’
“With friends, exploring some of the planes and circles where spirits dwell.” …
We are Just the watchers while the others are away. But we wish we could give you some knowledge, some realization of the life. (Spirit watchers to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 90.)
The Spirit Group which Works with the Medium – Messengers
There are a few especially gifted and versatile ones who can move from plane to plane, although these are limited to the number of planes, as you might say – limited by their own ability of understanding or of progressing, we would say. The messengers have a relay system, as you would call it on earth, the messages being repeated from one to another without the necessity of moving beyond their power of progression. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 175.)
The service is further defined in the following:
“We have a very perfect messenger service and can find many people. But in the multitudes that are here we do not always get descriptions clearly enough to send for them. And then, too, they may have passed on and away from this sphere entirely. It would take / an infinite mind to comprehend the infinite number here and the infinite space they occupy. Our messenger service is restricted in a way, for we call on those who are particularly the ones belonging in this sphere, and not on those who have moved on to other spheres. Many times the ones who are asked for have progressed beyond our knowledge.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 182-3.)
That great distances are covered is explicitly stated in the following given by a messenger:
“We are the spirits of the air who go from plane to plane as messengers, and carry the thoughts of earth to friends here, and the spirit thoughts to earth friends. We have a messenger service as complete as your own mind can picture, and through this we communicate to far-off zones and spheres. We can go to other planets, or to other universes if necessary, with greater speed than those not trained in the service.” (Unnamed spirit messenger to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 183.)
“I do not belong to the highest planes, nor to the very high ones, yet there is much diversity in those I visit. The messenger service is to me exceedingly attractive, bringing one into the presence of different occupations, different modes of enjoyment, and higher / studies. I do not know that I can describe them to you, as you have not yet learned to understand the first plane. But knowledge grows wiser, enjoyment deeper, and wisdom greater. It is a pleasure to come into contact with the higher spirits, and the time spent in preparing for the messenger service is also a pleasure, as all acquisition of knowledge here brings its own enjoyment. The language of the highest planes is far beyond me yet, but I am able to report successfully from many of the intermediate ones.”
‘Do you communicate by symbols?’
“Partly, and also by translating the language or symbols of the upper spheres into the language used here.”
I inquired more particularly into the requirements of the service.
“It is possible for any one who is willing to study for the work. It might be compared with a post-graduate course there.” (Unnamed spirit messenger to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 183-4.)
The Spirit Group which Works with the Medium – A Listening Post for Spirits
‘Do you belong to this circle?’
“No, not this circle. But I come here to get news from earth.”
‘A good many seem to come.’
“Yes, it is quite a ‘listening post,’ as the army boys used to say. All are welcome. Sometimes they can only listen, but now and then one wishes to talk, and that is the way I happen to be communicating with you.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 174.)
Sis asked how an old friend in the spirit world had found her. “The attractions on this side are more numerous and more subtle than can well be explained. But the desire to hear something from earth made him wander to the different circles which were communicating with earth. And these are not so numerous but that he could visit them all, and so he found this one. He heard your voice and was interested. He asked your name, and that is the way he found you.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 174.)
Edgar Cayce: The Planning that Goes into a Life of Mediumship
Leichtman: Would you comment on how much planning went into your incarnation as Edgar Cayce?
Cayce: Actually, in a broad view, several thousand years. The series of incarnations of any individual on this planet is leading toward an end – not an end in terms of the personality, but an end in terms of the work of the universe. In my case, I had several hundred lifetimes which all worked out in such a way that they led to a rather natural series of events which permitted me to work as a clear medium. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 46.)
Yes, there was a great deal of planning that went into my becoming Edgar Cayce, just as there was a great deal of planning that went into you becoming Robert Leichtman, or you [nodding to Colene] becoming Colene Johnson, or even David becoming David Johnson. But the planning is on a scale that transcends Edgar Cayce, Robert Leichtman, Colene Johnson, and David. It’s on a scale that encompasses one’s whole being. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 48.)
[David Kendrick Johnson] has a very complicated mind and a very funny sense of humor, filled with an inner joy. He is very comfortable to work with, for these reasons. This is the reason why, ever since he started trance work, he has gotten quality controls. (Eileen Garrett, PP, 155.)
I’m going to describe for you David’s feelings as he is going into trance, because I described it differently when I was doing my work. When I was a medium it felt one way, but now that I’m a spook I have a different perspective. Anyway, I think there’s a description in one of the books about me that I would become a spot of light and go through a tunnel: that sort of thing. David seems to pass through a “funny-dizzy” period at first. Then, one of the girls [one of David’s feminine spirit controls] usually comes in – Rosie or Martha or someone like that. They do something silly for a few minutes to relax David, until he lets go and moves further up into his inner being. He is still connected to his body by the famous silver cord business, but, while he’s in trance, he’s free to do something like astral travel – but it’s not quite that. If he’s on the astral at all, it’s the upper reaches of the astral. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 39.)
There’s a very delicate art to learning to open the back door of your subconscious for a being like me to come through and play the keyboard. Presuming to be a medium is not enough to prepare you to be one. Wishful thinking and pretense are no substitutes for talent and hard work. (Arthur Ford, PP, 95.)
David is the kind of medium we don’t have to take out in what is called a dead trance. He remains somewhat aware of what is going on, although he’s not specifically aware of what I’m saying. He knows my intent but not the language I am using. Until he listens to the tape, he’ll have almost no memory of what I’m saying, but David is in control of the situation. It’s not a dead trance. He knows it’s me sitting here – he can see me. He’s off doing something else, but does keep an eye on the proceedings.
He has given me full use of his body; God forbid, but should there suddenly be a fire in the house, David wouldn’t have to come running back to his body. I could get out the door with it. That’s part of the agreement David has with his teachers and guides because you never know.
This particular kind of mediumship is easier on mediums, I think, than dead trance. It does tire him, but there are more safeguards and David is in control. He gives me permission to use his body. This is a mature form of mediumship. Fletcher and I worked very much the same way.
This kind of arrangement also gives David certain experiences while he is out of his body. I can’t relate where he’s standing at the moment to this room because where he is standing is not related to this room. It’s hard to explain, but David has an opportunity, while he’s out of his body during trance, to learn and gain experiences on the inner planes. Often this opportunity to learn is directly related to the material being given in the sceance. That makes him a more useful part of the whole process.
The advantage of this type of trance is that, in the proper circumstances and with the right medium, it can be used to communicate and with the right medium, it can be used to communicate pure ideas at a preverbal level. The spirit does this by projecting abstract thoughts into the mind of the medium. It’s the medium, then, who translates the ideas into actual words.
Leichtman: But that sounds like more work for the medium.
Ford: Yes, but it allows spirits such as Chikamitsu [the Japanese dramatist Chikamitsu Monsaemon, who appears in the interview with William Shakespeare], who does not known English, to speak through David and carry on an intelligent conversation with you.
Then there is what is called the dead trance, which is sometimes a bit dangerous. There aren’t many mediums who are able to control it fully. That’s because mediumship has often attracted people who are not too intelligent – people who are not using logic, who are not thoughtful and careful. These are people who just want attention, Usually the real purpose of going into a dead trance is to manifest ectoplasm. There are some occasions when this has to be done, but it can be extremely dangerous to the health of the medium. David has take part in a couple of experiments in which he developed about three gallons of ectoplasm and then had to go to bed for two days because he was so tired. Nothing ever came of it. (Arthur Ford, PP, 97.)
A medium would have to go into a dead trance to make a table fly through the air or anything similar. These are extremely exhausting experiences because something of the medium’s physical strength has to be used to produce the ectoplasm, whether or not the body or the personality is directly involved. (Arthur Ford, PP, 98.)
One of the main advantages of the dead trance is that it does give the spirit near-total control of the medium’s body. This allows the spirit to use his own voice, speech patterns, and gestures – not the words and mannerisms of the medium. Even though it is dangerous, the dead trance is valuable at times because the messages that come through can be remarkably impressive and convincing. There are recorded cases, for example, of spirits speaking in obscure foreign dialects, unknown to the medium, but perfectly understandable to relatives attending the sceance.
The weakness of this type of trance is that it is very limited. I wish more people would understand that and not insist that all mediums must produce this type of phenomena in order to prove themselves genuine. In many ways, the lighter trance is much more versatile than the dead trance. (Arthur Ford, PP, 97-8.)
Then there is another kind of trance I’m sure you and several others here in the room have experienced, although you may not think of it as a trance. This is a condition in which you find yourself saying something that you know did not come out of your own mind. It’s a very light state and can be maintained indefinitely without being too wearing. I believe you [Dr. Leicthman] work in this state frequently when you’re typing. David types with Dr. Kammut … half the day and is not terribly fatigued – except that his chair gets awfully tired. (Arthur Ford, PP, 98.)
The other important point to remember about the different levels of trance is that the usefulness of the medium depends on his or her talent and intelligence, not the depth or style with which he or she works. The other significant factor affecting the quality of a communication is the integrity of both the medium and the spirit using the channel. (Arthur Ford, PP, 99.)
Oh, while we are diverting ourselves, I would like to depart a little bit and mention famous “extra organ” in here. [Cayce points to David’s abdomen.] You [to Robert Leichtman] once looked at it clairvoyantly and described it rather nicely, calling it a solidified solar plexus. This is another reason why it’s comfortable to come through David.
I had one of these, too, but didn’t understand its value to mediumship. At one time in my life I thought that I had been smoking too much, and that the smoking had caused this condition. But I now know that it was an “extra organ” in here. It might not be an organ that could be found on a dissecting table; it’s more a peculiarity in the nerves in the solar plexus region. I believe the most profound “extra organ” in modern times belonged to Sophia Williams, the medium and psychic. …
Hers was so well organized that the spirit could speak through it. It was almost as if she had two mouths. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 48-9.)
Frequently [Sophia Williams] didn’t even hear [the independence voice]. I think you’ve read about some of the experiments in which a microphone was hung over her solar plexus and, while she read a magazine, the spirits spoke to people in another room!
Since her passing she’s been accused of being a very clever ventriloquist. But, if she did practice ventriloquism, it was only for entertainment at parties – certainly not as a means for convincing anyone that she was conversing with a spirit. In fact, she did not hear much of the conversation that came through her solar plexus and was transmitted over the electric wiring.
Her “extra organ” was unusually well developed. There have been other psychics and mediums in other times who were able to develop it, too, but it is even rarer than the form of mental mediumship that I enjoyed in life and that David enjoys now. I’m using the word “enjoy” in a different sense than it is ordinarily taken. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 49.)
Trance Mediumship – Spirits’ Experience of Being Inside a Body Again
[Robert] Leichtman: Are you comfortable?
[Abraham] Lincoln: Well, a little bit. It’s like talking into a marshmallow and having the marshmallow turn your words into gibberish, if you’ll pardon the awful metaphor.
Leichtman: You didn’t have marshmallows in your day, did you?
Lincoln: Not that I remember. I’m merely picking up the symbols of this medium’s subconscious and using them to my best advantage. It may btake a while to get good at this. I don’t believe I have done this before. (Abraham Lincoln in DOA, 120.)
Incidentally, the reason why I am moving around a bit is not that I’m uncomfortable. I’m doing it because it is so fascinating to have a body again. (Abraham Lincoln in DOA, 120.)
[William] Shakespeare: I would rather not make an opening statement. And I’m afraid I won’t be able to deliver my comments today in my own style.
[Robert] Leichtman: Yes, I understand.
Shakespeare: Even though the Lump [David Kendrick Johnson, the medium] likes puns nearly as much as I did. (William Shakespeare, DOC, 15.)
Lumpy’s still a bit jittery. [Lumpy is a nickname used by the spirits for David.] We are having some trouble. (C.W. Leadbeater in ISL, 17.)
Will Rogers: Well, I made it. It’s like sliding down a slide into a bunch of mush and then trying to swim through it to get this mouth to work. [Laughter.] (Will Rogers in DOC, 94.)
[Alexander] Hamilton: Well, it’s going to take me a little while to figure out how to do this.
[Robert] Leichtman: That’s all right.
Hamilton: It’s sort of like putting your hands in warm grease. I’m trying to find the little knobs here that make the words come out. (Alexander Hamilton in DOA, 197.)
[Richard] Wagner: You know, this is actually quite comfortable.
[Robert] Leichtman: We aim to please. [Laughter.] (Richard Wagner in DOC, 179.)
Did you know that one time about five years ago Edgar Cayce was speaking through David and used David’s body to make coffee at the same time? Several people found this very disturbing. (Arthur Ford, PP, 96.)
Cayce: May I have one of those? …
Leichtman: I was going to offer you a cigarette. Would you like a cup of coffee too?
Cayce: No a cigarette would be fine. I’m going to smoke this as much for myself as for Madame Blavatsky [an ironic allusion to Madame Blavatsky’s desire for cigarettes whenever she appears through David.] As a matter of fact, the good Madame is close by and is also going to partake. I’m not sure I can do this as well as she could. [Laughter.] …
And speaking of enjoyment, H.P. is really enjoying the smoke, too. So excuse me if I’m being more silent than need be. (Edgar Cayce in PP, 48-9.)
Before coming through [David Kendrick Johnson’s body], I had to go to Rosie, who taught me how to take care of David’s body while I am using it – all the little foibles and problems.
Leadbeater had not quite graduated from Rosie’s course when he first came through. She was very angry with him. I’m putting this in hyperbole because I can’t render it quite exactly. We do have to consult with the spirit guide of the medium before we can come in – otherwise, there would be certain problems. Any medium’s body functions differently than the body we had in life. (Arthur Ford in PP, 93.)
[Thomas] Jefferson: May I let David up for a few minutes?
[Robert] Leichtman: Of course. (Thomas Jefferson in DOA, 25.)
We do project ourselves through a human ‘wireless set’ and if that set is of poor quality, then the reception suffers. ….
I stepped into the ‘sound-box’ – yes, it is! – I had to get into a sort of funnel and, looking down, I could sense the medium’s brain and etheric organs. Then, with a strong effort of will, I had to ‘plunge.’ It was a thick, sticky feeling. I found that I had a physical voice and was part of a mind. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 184-5.)
It’s a very queer, thick feeling to go back into the physical for a minute or two. If I do it again, I shall know better how to cope. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 185.)
It’s rather difficult, when inexperienced, to possess and speak through a medium. One has to hold on to one’s Ego in someone else’s brain – like using someone else’s voice through a telephone. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 187.)
There is nothing haphazard about our communication with you through automatic writing. It might be thought that a control can be established at a moment’s notice. This is not the case. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 63.)
Many things have changed since I began to write with you. At first I used your hand and arm from the outside – sometimes, as you remember, with such force as to make them lame the next day. Then, grown more familiar with the means at my disposal, I tried another method, and you noticed a change in the character of the writing. It began clumsily, with large and badly formed characters, gradually becoming clearer as my control of the instrument I was using was better established.
Now, for the last few times I have used still another and a third method. I enter your mind, putting myself in absolute telepathic rapport with your mind, impressing upon your mind itself the things I wish to say. In order to write in this way, you have to make yourself utterly passive, stilling all individual thought and yielding yourself to my thought; but that is no more than you do every day in reading a fascinating book. You give your mind to the author who leads you along, rapt and passive, by means of the printed page. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXIII.)
I … could not do [this] if you should constantly interrupt me by side-thoughts of your own, and by questions relevant or irrelevant. It is because you are perfectly passive and not even curious, letting me use your hand as on earth I would have used the hand of my stenographer, that I am able to write long and connected sentences. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXIX.)
OUT OF THE BODY, STAINTON MOSES WATCHED HIS HAND BEING USED BY RECTOR [Hippolytus]
“I wish we could impress on all that in proportion to the loftiness of their aspirations is the character of the spirits who come to them. The mental influences of a circle reach even to the world of spirit; and, according as they are directed, so are the influences that gather round them.”
He writes: During the whole time this communication was written, my spirit was separated from the body. I could see, from a short distance, the hand as it wrote. In my own room I felt an impression to write, such as I have not felt for nearly two months. I sat at my desk, and the first part was written. I presume I then passed into a state of unconscious trance.
The next thing I remember was standing in spirit near to my body, which was seated holding the pen before the table on which this book was placed. I looked at it and the arrangements of the room with great interest. I saw that my body was there, and that I was joined to it by a thin line of light. Everything material in the room looked shadowy, and everything spiritual seemed solid and real.
Behind my body, with his own hand held over the head, and the other over the right hand which held the pen, stood Rector [Hippolytus]. In the room, besides, were Imperator and several of the spirits who have influenced me for long. Others whom I did not know passed in and out, and appeared to regard the experiment with interest. Through the ceiling streamed down a mild, pleasing light, and now and again rays of bluish light were shot down on my body. When this was done, I saw the body jerk and quiver. It was being charged, as I may say. I noticed, moreover, that the daylight had faded; and the window seemed dark, and the light by which I saw was spirit-light. I could hear perfectly well the voices of the spirits who spoke to me. They sounded very much as human voices do, but were more delicately modulated, and sounded as though from a distance.
Imperator explained to me that I was seeing an actual scene, which was intended to show me how the spirits operated. Rector [Hippolytus] was writing; and it was not done, as I had imagined, by guiding my hand nor impressing my mind; but was done by directing on to the pen a ray which looked like blue light. The force so directed caused the pen to move in obedience to the will of the directing spirit. In order to show me that the hand was a mere instrument, not essential to the experiment the pen was removed from the hand, and kept in position by the ray of light which was directed upon it. To my great surprise, it moved over the paper, and wrote as before. A great part of what is written above was really done without the intervention of a human hand. I was told that it was not easy to write without human aid, and that the spelling of the words was wrong. I find that is actually the case in the part written as I describe.
I remember mentally wondering how such spirits spoke English; and, in reply to my thought, several addressed me one after another in different languages. They were not intelligible to me, but were interpreted by Imperator. He also showed me how spirits commune with each other by transfusion of thought. Imperator explained that the sounds could be made in the same way, without aid from anything material. I heard the sound of fairy bells at the time, and the air was pervaded by a subtle perfume. The spirits were dressed as I have seen them before, and moved about quite independent of the material obstacles round them. Some of the spirits formed a circle round the table at which my body sat. I seemed to myself to be garbed in white, with a blue cincture. There was some purple too, a sort of over-robe, I think. Every spirit was self-luminous, apparently, and the room was very light. I was commanded to return and write down what I saw. I do not remember the return to my body. I am perfectly certain as to what occurred, and report it simply and without exaggeration. (Stainton Moses in MST, 70-1. Version located to http://www.meilach.com/spiritual/books/morest/mspteach.htm .)
Automatic Writing – Spirit’s Experience
During the act of communication … it is … rather like a tunnel through which we can descend to get into your vibration. We have to shed something of our spiritual selves and draw around us something of our old physical condition to make the contact. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 68.)
There are many here who are revolted at the idea of undergoing this necessary change and refuse to make the effort. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 68.)
Automatic Writing – Many Spirits May Communicate Under One Name
The higher spirits who come to your earth are influences or emanations. They are not what you describe as persons, but emanations from higher spheres. Learn to recognise the impersonality of the higher messages. When we first appeared to this medium he insisted on our identifying ourselves to him. But many influences come through our name. Two or three stages after death spirits lose much of what you regard as individuality and become more like influences. I have now passed to the verge of the spheres from which it is impossible to return to you. I can influence without any regard to distance. I am very distant from you now. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
S.M., perplexed as to identity of spirits and names given by them, is told:
These names are but convenient symbols for influences brought to bear upon you. In some cases the influence is not centralised; it is impersonal, as you would say. In many cases the messages given you are not the product of any one mind, but are the collective influence of a number. Many who have been concerned with you are but the vehicles to you of a yet higher influence which is obliged to reach you in that way. We deliberate, we consult, and in many instances you receive the impression of our united thought. (Unnamed spirit teacher, member of spirit leader Imperator’s group, in Stainton Moses, MST, 51.)
Automatic Writing – What Spirits Can and Cannot See
‘I suppose we are invisible to you?’ “Yes, you are nearly as invisible to us as we are to you, for our vibrations are too high to be of use in earthly material. But we do dimly perceive, and by practice we can get a fair idea of human beings and earthly material.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 94.)
We are here in the room with you and can see you plainly; only we see your soul lives far plainer than your physical ones. But we are glad of that, for so we see the beautiful part of your spirit lives that are coming to us later. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 82.)
“You have taken our last message correctly, as we can see by reading what you have written.” ‘So you have acquired that ability?’ “Yes, I think I can read as fast as you can write. It is rather a new accomplishment on this side. That is, it is new in this application. We think in this way we can avoid mistakes, and can stop you when you allow wrong words or phrases to come from your subconscious mind.” ‘Do you actually see the writing, or do you get it in some other way?’ “We do see the writing, but not just as you see it. I fear I cannot describe the process so you can understand it. We do not get it through your mind, but neither do we get it through rays of light coming from the paper.” ‘Does it make a difference if my writing is less legible?’ “Yes, it does make a difference.” ‘Then of course you do get it from the writing itself.’ “Yes, but not in the way with which you are familiar.” (Spirit control Mary to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 90.)
Q: Are you able to see me as I sit here writing?
A: We do see you, but with other eyes than yours. Our eyes are not accustomed to the effect of light as you / have it on earth. Our light is of a different kind, a sort of interpenetrating element by which we are able to discern your inmost mind, and that is it to which we speak – to you yourself and not, of course, to your outward ears. So it is yourself we see, and not your material body, which is but an enveloping robe. When we touch you, therefore, you do not feel the touch physically but spiritually, and if you wish to apprehend our touch, you will have to keep this in mind and look deeper than the body and its mechanical brain. (G. Vale Owen’s mother in LBV1, 58-9.)
What do you mean exactly by inspirational mediumship?
We mean the suggesting to the mind the thought which is not framed in words. It is the highest form of communion, only practicable when the whole being is permeable by spirit-control. In such cases, converse with spirits is maintained mentally, and words are not necessary; even as in our higher states we have no voice nor language, but spirit is cognisant of spirit, and intercourse is perfect and complete.
You now write, in words such as you would naturally employ, ideas conveyed by us to your brain. There are concerned in this work four spirits who fence you round from external influence and preserve the proper harmonious conditions. The handwriting is selected solely as an evidence of individuality. The words used are such as you would use, only the thoughts are ours. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
I do wish people would stop sitting in circles, holding their hands and touching their knees and all that silly sort of thing that got going in the early days of Spiritualism. That’s one good way to pass around astral germs, and, if anyone in the room is a vampire, he can just suck up all kinds of energy free for the asking. I don’t see why people think such circles are necessary. They certainly add nothing to one’s receptivity to wisdom or healing energy. They do tend to cement a group mind. A group mind is never going to be any more intelligent than the weakest member of the group. (H.P. Blavatsky, BR, 71-2.)
Rigid organizations in occult-metaphysical studies are really a bad thing. When they get too rigid, you begin to contact a group mind instead of a real intelligence.
I better differentiate here. A group mind is the sum of all the energy put out by a group of people in an organization. A real intelligence is – well, it’s a spirit. (H.P. Blavatsky, BR, 71.)
No group of people who are making a genuine attempt to make contact with this side are ever disregarded or neglected. Every assistance is given and the same is done for individual seekers. So please do encourage people to form development circles and, if this is not possible, lone seekers should be advised to set aside a daily period for meditation. Even if they have no gifts for pronounced mediumship, this act of faith forms a strong link with this side and their effort will not be wasted. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 63.)
Seances – The Esoteric Circle
There is another side [of circles], the esoteric, where far other evidence is had of the beauty of spirit communion, where two or three meet in faith and sincerity to receive the word that comes to them. Where such circles meet, where the mind is pure and sincere, the aspirations exalted, and the plane of thought spiritual – where due preparations are made to purify the atmosphere and provide conditions into which the higher spirits can come – then results are commensurate.
Where the tone is one of pure affection, the friends who have gone before can oft return and identify themselves; or like-minded souls can come and speak words of consolation and good cheer. Or they who, like ourselves, are charged to enlighten and elevate the seekers after truth can come and instruct you in the science which crowns all other knowledge.
With due care, such circles might be made the vehicle for much enlightenment. But alas for the frailty of man’s purpose! The concentrated aspiration which is needed becomes irksome. The world engrosses, business presses, cares and troubles enter in, and the medium becomes worthless for our purpose; or friends soon learn all they can assimilate, and so our work flags. Hence it is that no circle can long endure, unless under circumstances rare to find. Development is slow, and many causes hinder. But so long as these sacred meetings are perpetuated among you, so long will there be an esoteric band, who know that the common notion, gained in ordinary circles, is not all the truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
We have spoken of the better side of Spiritualism as founded on the affections. In proportion as the affections are brought into play in pure and sincere aspiration, the best results are obtained.
Occultism is the intellectual side of Spiritualism, and teaches the student the latent powers of his own spirit, and its place in the great world of Spirit which surrounds it on every side. There is no room for affection in its simpler developments, but Wisdom governs all. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Seances – Materializations
I am told by Jack London that, for the building up of physical phenomena, which includes direct voice communication, materialization, and such manifestations, it is necessary to find an earth medium with certain necessary chemical components in his body which, treated from this side, can be used to produce ectoplasm. …
As you know, Jack London is an authority on this subject. He tells me that the team with whom he works devotes much time to studying the conditions surrounding prospective mediums on earth. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 60.)
No demonstration from this side is undertaken without a definite purpose and my brief dip down into the matter, when I materialized for you one Sunday afternoon as you were resting, formed a more solid link and opened up a strong channel through which our contact with the Brotherhood of Light has been maintained. (Donald McLean to his mother in LFM, 52.)
You are now troubled and perplexed about materialisation, but here [i.e., on Ascension Day] you have an instance of it. Christ’s body after his cruel death was a materialised spirit body, and He appeared only to His own friends when perfect conditions could be secured. You must remember that in your atmosphere there exist the essences from which all material objects on your earth are formed, and the spiritual body can accrete to itself atoms which make a covering for it. The substance which is thus formed, when moulded under spirit power, can produce an impression on your senses and also on the sensitive plate, and it is held around the spirit body by a process which is magnetic. We do not use scientific terms, but we hope you will understand our meaning.
One force (vital, if you like to call it so) unites you all at this moment and produces a connection, and, as it were, a harmony between you. Above you is a centre from which this force is spread, and where it is engendered. Within the circle thus formed manifestations occur; without it you have none. You can aid the generation of this force in various ways, as, for example, by rubbing your hands, by singing, etc.; and so we make musical sounds and breezes, and bring perfumes which produce a pleasant atmosphere and help to spread the force, for nothing is done without object. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
Seek not to evoke marvelous phenomena merely for the sake of wonder. Seek ever a spirit of teachableness and dependence on the All-Wise. Cultivate patience, trust and hope in God, and charity among yourselves. (Message written in very small print, readable only by magnifying glass, placed under a table from Imperator [Malachi], Rector [Hippolytus], and Philosophus [Alexander Achillini] iIn Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
There is in Spiritualism a growing and most fatal influence, a spiritual form of materialism which results from the study of phenomena only. Men care only for the force, and refuse to recognise the various forms of intelligence that underlie it. Matter is an accident, spirit is reality. … Owing to the materialistic atmosphere round the world, there is too great a tendency to smother Divine Truth under a whole host of phenomena. If people rest content with these only, it would have been better for them to leave the subject alone. We hope, however, that many will rise above the phenomenal aspects of the subject and seek for those higher spiritual truths to which the former have only served as an introduction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth
There are some things which are difficult to explain, others impossible. And some are forbidden to be explained. (Julia Ames, AD, 158.)
We have much difficulty in reducing the spiritual, the heavenly, the wonderful, into terms of human understanding. Then too, not all here are equipped with the power to perceive you of mortal life. Gifts are not all the same. On earth are the spiritual and unseen powers, and also the business and material opportunities. It is difficult to meet them all. We work half blindly, hoping that something of our thought and purpose may reach across the silence and help you to understand and to give to the earth people a new and satisfying view of this life. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 116.)
The laws governing the communications from this to your side are very exact. (Julia Ames, AD, 172.)
Materialization … requires an effort and the effort cannot be maintained beyond a certain point. (Julia Ames, AD, 173.)
I know it would comfort you infinitely to see me objectively … but all these things are a matter of law, just like any other. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 120.)
The people who can get through earth-pictures of themselves most easily are those nearest the earth-plane vibrations. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 119.)
The usual way is by manipulating rays and optical laws, to cast a picture on the clairvoyant’s mind. You saw me as if at the other end of a telescope. I was, in fact, on the ‘bus, and the retriever saw me, but what you saw was a ‘photograph’ of me, and Grandpa helped me to project it. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 119.)
There is an underlying truth in every wrongly transmitted message. Treat us not / as fraudulent because we cannot always pierce the darkness of your material minds. Do you always receive your telephone messages correctly? (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 67-8.)
The discarnate being who tries to convey his own thoughts and his conclusions concerning the spiritual world through the physical mechanism of another human being, is hampered to a very considerable extent. The possibility of such communication is not, as yet, universally admitted and he has also to make allowances for physical fatigue, the mentality, and the limited amount of time which the medium can place at his disposal. (Frederic W.H. Myers, CB, n.p.)
As a rule the only person who sees is one who is attached by this mental current [which unites the spirit here with the person to whom it wishes to manifest]. Whether the current be love or hatred does not matter any more than whether the wire that connects the battery is iron or copper. The indispensable thing is the interest which links. (Julia Ames, AD, 173.)
It is not easy for strangers to come and to talk freely. Some succeed, others do not. It is a great hindrance to the acceptance of many messages from here. We have told you of many of the difficulties of communication, but you will never fully understand until you come. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth, LHH, 43.)
I have reached a stage of consciousness where I am aware of a great difference between my rate of living and the tempo of all my activities and those of men still on earth, but taking one’s experience in working with a medium as a guide, I find that I can only with difficulty slow down my rate to work with a mind still subject to earth conditions. It is tedious and fatiguing and sometimes I think nearly impossible, but it can just be done. At a higher stage I imagine that a word for word communication would become impracticable and there would have to be just a swift interchange of thought. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 96.)
I understand why spirits don’t return and give more about the “make-up” of the spirit-world in a scientific way. There is so much that is so difficult to put into words at all, especially to have to imprint on another person (who is still in the limitation of the physical body – the medium) that which to us is a great shining light – the truth. We feel it, we move in it, we breathe it; but it’s too great and vast a thing to explain in an hour or so, for no sooner do I start to explain one phase, than I find it leads me to have to explain another, and then another, and so on. We are nearer the Infinite than you are, and are therefore more naturally conscious of the power of the Infinite, and do not require to have it manifested in detail or in finite form to the same extent as you do. People on the earth-plane clamor for materialization; they are not conscious of those passed over unless they can see them in some form. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 70-1.)
I sometimes can’t hear what I’m saying. … This is part of the difficulty of mediumship, I’m finding. I’m formulating the ideas and words in my own mind and then transmitting them through this vehicle here [the medium]. I don’t always follow through and monitor what’s coming out of the mouth. So it gets garbled up sometimes. (Will Rogers in MTR, 58.)
“Let me,” [Edwin] continued, “place a few considerations before you concerning this subject of communication with the earth world. You know full well that such is possible, but have you any conception of the difficulties surrounding it?
“Let us assume that you have found the means to communicate. The first thing you will be called upon to do will be to furnish clear and definite identification of yourself. Quite probably, upon your first declaring who you are, there will be some hesitation at accepting your name simply because it carried weight when you were incarnate. However important or famous we happen to be when upon the earth-plane, as soon as we are gone to the spirit-plane, we are referred to in the past tense! Whatever works of a literary nature we may leave behind us are then of far greater importance than their authors, since to the earth-world we are ‘dead.’ To the earth, the living voice is gone. And although we are still very much alive – to the earth people we have become memories, something permanent, more often than not memories that rapidly fade, leaving mere names behind them. We know, moreover, that we are very much more alive than we have ever been before; the majority of earth people will consider that we could never be more ‘dead.’
“You will be commanded, then, to provide a great deal of identification. That is quite proper in such circumstances, provided it is not carried to extremes as do often it is. After fulfilling this condition what next? You will wish to intimate that you are alive and well. If the people with whom you are communicating are no mere dabblers, no doubt will be placed upon your statement. But if you wish to send such news to the world in general through the customary channels, those who believe it is really you who have spoken will be those who already know of, and practice communication with, the spirit world. For the rest, who will believe it is you? None – certainly none of your former readers. They will say that it cannot be you, but that it is a ‘devil’ impersonating you. Others will quite probably take no notice whatever. There would, of course, be a number who would imagine that, because you have passed into the world of spirit, then you will at once have become endowed with the profoundest wisdom, and that all you say will be infallible utterances. You can see some of the difficulties that will confront you in this simple matter of telling the truth to those who still sit in the darkness of the earth world.” (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s friend Edwin to Benson through Anthony Borgia, LIWU, 7.)
[A recently-arrived spirit wishes to return to earth to broadcast the eternal verities and expresses his desire to his guide:] My companion made no attempt to interrupt me, but, as he walked beside me, I could see a half-amused, half-regretful smile play across his face, and when I had finished, he replied in his gravely quiet tone:
“There are thousands – millions of friends here who have been animated and swayed by the feelings which now move you; but, when the opportunity has come and they have proceeded to carry out their noble desires, they have found that which will yet be your own experience. In the first place, you will not be believed as to your identity and will be called upon to fight a long and by no means complimentary battle to prove you are a messenger from this life.
“Next, having gained this point in the presence of a few, they will begin to demand from you signs and wonders to strengthen this proof and gratify their curiosity. When you have succeeded in this and your heart is burning to begin your work, someone else will be brought in and they will demand that you shall go through the unwelcome process again for the gratification of the latecomer.
“In fact this is the normal condition in which they desire to circumscribe our work and the greatest care is needed not to drive them away before we have attempted to sow some grain of truth. When you reach this effort, you will find that they will claim to know even more about this life than you yourself and you must be prepared for contradiction and correction in everything you say while many of them will generously and frequently tell you that the error you are trying to teach savours very much of the realms of darkness because it is opposed to their teachings and beliefs. Let me advise you not to grow too enthusiastic over your anticipated mission to earth; the great majority of mankind at present prefer to postpone any definite knowledge of this life until they arrive here.” (Unnamed spirit communicator in R.J. Lees, Through the Mists, 218, quoted in Lord Dowding, MM, 97-8.)
Did those present know that we who come to earth on our loving enterprise were angels, (1) they would not have reviled our work of communion and those who rise above the ruck that we may make our whispers heard. No, but they do revile us and those our friends and brethren. And they shall plead their unknowing and their blindness with like effect as those who killed the Master Christ. … But we do never avenge ourselves – remember you that and remember it well. Nevertheless, in justice, and in love of our friends and co-workers in the earth plane, we do mete out punishment, and that of dirty, to those who deal with them unkindly. …
For the rest, we do not sue on bended knee. That let them also keep in mind. We do not proffer gifts which gold of earth cannot buy; and to those who are humble and good and of a pure mind we give these gifts of ability to understand the Truth as it is in Jesus, of certain conviction of life beyond and of the joy of it, of fearlessness of disaster here and hereafter, and of companionship and comradeship with angels. (Spirit communicator Zabdiel in LBV, quoted in Lord Dowding, MM, 98.)
- (1) Zabdiel means by the word “angel,” “messenger.” He is of the tenth Sphere and, therefore so far as I know, not an actual angel.
We spirit people have made great advances in our communications with earth. We have been greatly and enormously helped by the physical strength of the spirits of all the young men and women who passed over during the recent fighting all over the world; not only English, but all. They brought with them great physical power and determination, and we have been able, through this power, to break down many of the barriers which keep the two worlds apart. (W.T. Stead, BI.)
And so I try to give you some dim and faint picture of a spiritual beauty and perfection far beyond your ken, but just enough for an impression of the glory and beauty and joy of this other side. But it is only as you cultivate spirituality while you dwell in the earth-life that you can enter at the death of the body into this glory. You cannot even see or partake of it, until either on earth or on this side, you desire it beyond all else that the divine love may fill you and be expressed by you. (John Heslop to his wife F. Heslop in SABL, 9-10.)
Only those in spirit life realize the great difficulties we encounter when we try to impress people. Constantly the spirit is thwarted by cross-vibrations. These may be produced unconsciously by those near you at the time. Or they may be left in the atmosphere. When this is so, it confuses the message we desire to send, just as you may hear something not intended for you through a telephone when the connection is not perfect. Now when you receive a message from us that does not seem quite correct, wait a while, go alone into other surroundings, and see if the communication will not come more clearly.
Don’t rush to the conclusion that the faulty message proves that evil spirits are communicating nor that untruths are being told you from this side nor that your subconscious mind is deceiving you. Be patient with us and help us all you can. To reserve some spot, however small, where no one enters but yourself, is of inestimable value. Go there if you desire to communicate with us. Also in such a place the divine essence can be concentrated and much spiritual help can be given you. (John Heslop, SABL, 39-40.)
Sometimes we are asked about the Life-Work and Teachings of Jesus Christ when on earth, but these are questions only He can answer. Our love and reverence for the Divine Master are too deep for us to trouble Him with such matters and all those desiring knowledge regarding Him and His Work must ask for themselves and He will answer, if it is good for them to know. (John Heslop, FMABL, 5.)
Again there are questions given to us of so complicated a nature that to answer them a long and elaborate process is required, the message having to be passed down through many spheres and many spirit-bands before it could reach the inquirer. And then, when all this has been accomplished, it would not repay the labour involved, because probably the information given would not be accepted. (John Heslop, FMABL, 5.)
I have mentioned some of the difficulties we encounter in communicating with you, but there are many more. If the discarnate spirit has died in total ignorance of the possibility of communion, he may remain so for many years. Again, he may be in a sphere of probation and not permitted to return, or he may return and being unable to impress the loved one with his presence, he may be too discouraged to persevere. Or it may not be for the highest good of the one still on earth to continue to lean on the stronger kind that has passed on, and for the higher advancement of such a one, he or she must learn to depend entirely on Spiritual Help for guidance and consolation. And there are those among you, with certain unbalanced natures, to whom the opening of the door to the Psychic world may be dangerous in the highest degree. (John Heslop, FMABL, 6.)
Death does not change a man’s nature in any way and, because of this, you must “try (or test) the spirits whether they be of God.” Because a statement comes from our side of life, it must never be accepted as infallible. We are all in different spheres and stages of spiritual advancement and the controlling spirit may not be as wise as the people he tries to teach. If you grasp this fact, you will be saved much disappointment in your intercourse with us. (Therold, FMABL, 96-7.)
All our intercourse with the material plane is governed by laws which your science has not yet defined. Neither we nor you know as yet many of the causes which interfere with our power. We are not able to lay down laws for your guidance, scarce even for our own. With you the vast importance of the subject is little appreciated even by those who interest themselves in our work.
In many cases sentiments of mere curiosity predominate. With some, even lower motives obtain. No proper care is taken of our mediums. The instruments is out of tune, unstrung, or overworked. The atmosphere conditions vary. We know not always how to meet the various effects so caused. Circles are not properly composed; and many things combine to make it impossible that phenomena should always be similar in their nature, or be evoked with precise regularity. This will account for much of the erratic character of the phenomena, as well as for the influence which is exercised over the curious who obtrude themselves perpetually into communion with the spheres, and attract spirits congenial to themselves. Much might fitly be said on this topic, but other matters press. What has been hinted may suggest to you another reason for dealing mercifully in your estimate of the vagaries of some circles. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 90.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Finding a Good Medium
Mediumship is a rare thing. There are quite a few excellent mediums around, but they’re not necessarily as numerous as those who presume the title. (Arthur Ford, PP, 95.)
In their early years, practically all children are in close contact with the world of spirit. Some are more closely attuned than others. This is more particularly the case with solitary children whose minds are not distracted by contact with others. In towns and large cities, children’s minds are directed outwards and, in the clamour of many diversions that assail their senses, the inner perception is lost. …
Jack London says that very few of the people who could be great mediums on earth ever allow themselves to take up the work. Many, moreover, that could be developed become discouraged when they do not get immediate results. The skeptical attitude of their friends and relatives is a very great retarding factor; as they are necessarily people with sensitive natures, the fear of ridicule quickly puts them off. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 61.)
Many on this side who yearn to communicate some of these lofty truths to humanity cannot find a suitable channel through which to express themselves so they return to the higher spheres and what they would say is thus lost to the world. So we long greatly for the full development of those who, through purity of soul, are fitted to become the messengers of these Holy Ones. (John Heslop, SABL, 50-1.)
Great spiritual truths can only be delivered through an absolutely pure channel. It is a far higher and rarer form of mediumship which can see the heavenly influences, the “Shining Ones,” surrounding you. (John Heslop, SABL, 62.)
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit.” God gives these higher spiritual gifts to all who are ready for them. Spiritual things can only be spiritually discerned. If the nature is material, or has a low spiritual development, the highest cannot be acquired by such an one.
Tell her these gifts can only be developed by the co-operation of spirits on this side. The higher and more spiritual beings here will not come into contact with those who do not care for the spiritual in these phenomena. When curiosity, amusement, business, or any material good is the object in view, then there are always wandering border spirits, ready to pander to such a desire. But to use psychic gifts so is to debase them and serious harm often results to those who so use them.
But if the nature is spiritual, longing for fuller light and revelation, willing to live the higher and purer life and to submit to steady discipline, then the higher spirits will always respond to such a one and help to develop the psychic nature. (John Heslop, SABL, 60-1.)
What we want more and more is the spiritual nature united with psychic power, and both these in the cultured man and woman. Alas, it is rare to get these three conditions in one human being! But, when we do, there is much, oh, so much we can give to the world for its enlightenment and its comfort. (John Heslop, SABL, 53.)
We have been teaching our friend [over] here, for some little time, how to impress your mind so that she may send a message to her child. It all seems so simple to you now, that you are apt to forget how difficult it was at first to receive our impressions. But often you fail to understand our difficulties on this side. When you feel vague stirrings in your mind and odd words spoken, you may rest assured that some spirit is trying to tune the instrument through which he can speak. It is very difficult to us, sometimes quite beyond our power. There must first be sympathy between the two – an attraction – before the mind can be influenced at all.
The ease with which I can now write to you, my Beloved, is largely due to our strong affinity, the one-ness of being that is ours. The great essential is an absence of all fear. You must welcome the spirit when it comes. If you are frightened, the spirit is chilled and cannot communicate directly with you. …
One thing I would impress upon you: we cannot send messages through a materially-minded channel. We are not permitted to do so. If the channel through which the message comes is not clean, it will pollute it, and this is not permitted by the Divine Father nor the higher spirits. (John Heslop to his wife, F. Heslop, SABL, 3. Heslop is a resident of the “Christ Sphere”; his cautionary message may apply only to residents of the higher spheres or may apply to all spirits; I do not know.)
Under the present conditions of mediumship in general … there is too much self in both receiver and sender; there is too much desire for earthly benefits. All this must disappear and the true longing for the heavenly life must appear in both sender and receiver. Then a power could be established which would turn souls away from selfishness and draw the world into the brotherly love we hear so much about. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth in LHH, 53.)
From the generation that lives is selected the recipient of inspiration. He is the depository of divine influence, the connecting link between the present and future. To him is committed the deposit of Truth he is to hand down to those who succeed him. To minister to him are appointed the spirits specially assigned by God. They are solemnly separated for the work, sent forth to minister as the All-Wise sees fit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
SM: Who are the Spirits who return to earth? Of what class?
Principally those who are nearest to the earth, in the three lower spheres or states of being. They converse most readily with you. Of the higher spirits, those who are able to return are they who have what is analogous to mediumistic power on earth. We cannot tell you more than that we higher spirits find it very difficult to find a medium through whom we can communicate. Many spirits would gladly converse, but for the want of a suitable medium, and from their unwillingness to prolong their research / for one they [do] not risk the waste of time. Hence, too, communications vary much at times. (“Imperator” in Moses, ST, 26-7.)
SM: Are there others who are being prepared as I am? Do you influence any other?
I influence directly none but you. Many are being gradually prepared and wrought upon by missionary spirits. We have developed in you the most considerable means of intercourse between the higher spheres and earth which has yet been opened. Many will come to greet you as your mind grows more settled, and your doubts vanish. They cannot approach you as it is. We shall endeavour to find suitable exponents of different sorts of instruction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Stainton Moses, MST, 54.)
We are dealing with the Divine mission which we have in charge. Of the many difficulties which beset our path this is one of the most considerable, that those who are most congenial to our purpose, and whose co-operation we most desire, are usually so hampered by preconceived theological notions, or are so fearful of what seems to contradict some things which they have learned, that we are unable to influence them, and grieve sorrowfully to find that which is derived from God charged on the adversaries, and boldly attributed to an all-powerful and malignant Devil. Of all classes of our opponents these are to us the most sad.
The pseudo-scientific man, who will look at nothing save through his own medium, and on his own terms – who will deal with us only so that he may be allowed to prescribe means of demonstrating us to be deluders, liars, figments of a disordered brain – he is of little moment to us. His blinded eye cannot see, and his cloudy intelligence, befogged and cramped with lifelong prejudice, can be of little service to us. He can at best penetrate but little into the mysteries of communion with the spheres; and the foundation of knowledge that he could acquire, though useful, and valuable even, would be of little service to us in our special work. We deal with other issues than those which would principally engage the attention of those few men of science who design to notice the phenomenal aspect of our work. The mind long trained in observation of the phenomena of physics is best devoted to the elucidation of those facts which come within its province.
Our sphere is different, connected rather with the influence of spirit upon spirit and the knowledge of spirit-destiny that we can impart. And the ignorant and uncultured mind which knows not of what we would tell, and cannot know until a long course of preliminary training has prepared the way – this class of mind, though hereafter it may attain to a plane of knowledge on which we can work, is of no service now. To the proud, the arrogant, the wise in their own conceits, the children of routine and respectability, we can say very little. The more physical evidence is necessary to reach them. The story which we are charged with would be but an idle tale to them. Is it to the receptive souls who know of God and heaven, and love and charity, and who desire to know of the hereafter and of the haven to which they tend, that we turn with earnest longing.
But, alas! too often we find the natural religious instincts, which are God-implanted and spirit-nurtured, choked or distorted by the cramping influence of a human theology, the imperceptible growth of long ages of ignorance and folly. They are armed at all points against the truth. Do we speak of a revelation of the Great Father? – they already have a revelation which they have decided to be complete. Do we tell them of its inconsistencies, and point out that nowhere pretends to the finality and infallibility which they would assign it? – they reply to us with stray words from the formularies of a Church, or by an opinion borrowed and adapted from some person whom they have chosen to consider infallibly inspired. They apply to us a test drawn from some one of the sacred records which was given at a special time for a special purpose, and which they imagine to be of universal applications. Do we point to our credentials, and to the miracles, so called, which attest the reality of our mission, even as the attested the mission of those whom we influenced of old? – they tell us that the age of miracles is past, and that only the inspired of the Holy Ghost long centuries ago were permitted to work such wonders as evidence of Divine teaching.
They tell us that the Devil, whom they have imagined for themselves, has the power to counterfeit God’s work, and they consign us and our mission to darkness and outer antagonism to God and goodness. They would be willing to help us; for, indeed, we say that which is probable, but that we are of the Devil. We must be, because in the Bible it is said that false and deceiving spirits will come; and so we must be the deceivers. It must be so, for did not a holy and elevated Teacher prophesy of those who should deny the Son of God? And do not we practically remove Him and His work from the place in which God has placed it and Him? It must be so; for do we not place human reason above faith? Do we not preach and teach a seductive Gospel of good works, and give credit to the doer of them? And is not all this the work of the arch-fiend transformed into an angel of light, and striving to win souls to ruin?
It is such arguments, honestly put forward by those whose respect we fain would win, that are to us a bitter sorrow. They are in many cases loving, earnest souls, who need but the progressive tendency to make them bright lights in the world’s gloom. To them we fain would give our message; but before we can build on the sure foundations which they already have of knowledge of God and duty, we must perforce clear away the rubbish which renders further elevation unsafe. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 48-50.)
There are a varieties of mediumship, as you know, and there are divers modes in which spirit influence is exercised. Some are selected for the mere physical peculiarities which make them the ready vehicles of spirit power. Their bodily organisation is adapted for the purpose of manifesting external spiritual influence in its simplest form. They are not influenced mentally, and information given by the spirits who use them would be of trifling or even foolish nature, and untrustworthy. They are used as the means of demonstrating spirit power, the external invisible agency capable of producing objective phenomenal results. These are known to you as the instruments through whom the elementary phenomena are manifested.
Their work is not less significant than that which is wrought through others. They are concerned with the foundation of belief. And some are chosen because of their loving, gentle nature. They are not the channels of physical phenomenal action in many cases, not even of conscious communication with the spirit world; but they are the recipients of spirit guidance, and their pure and gentle souls are cultivated and improved by angel superintendence. By degrees they are prepared to be the conscious recipients of communications from the spheres; or they are permitted with clairvoyant eye to catch stray glimpses of their future home. A loving spirit friend is attracted to them, and they are impressionally taught and guided day by day. These are the loving souls who are surrounded by an atmosphere of peacefulness and purity of love. They live as bright examples in the world, and pass in ripe maturity to the spheres of rest and peace for which their earth life has fitted them.
Others, again, are intellectually trained and prepared to give man extended knowledge and wider views of truth. Advanced spirits influence the thoughts, suggest ideas, furnish means of acquiring knowledge, and of communicating it to mankind. The ways by which spirits so influence men are manifold. They have means that you know not of by which events are arranged as to work out the end they have in view.
The most difficult task we have is to select a medium through whom the messages of higher and more advanced spirits can be made known. It is necessary that the mind chosen should be of a receptive character, for we cannot put into a spirit more information than it can receive. Moreover, it must be free from foolish worldly prejudices. It must be a mind that has unlearned its youthful errors, and has proved itself receptive of truth, even though that truth is unpopular.
More still. It must be free from dogmatism. It must not be rooted and grounded in earth notions. It must be free from the dogmatism of theologies and sectarianism and rigid creed. It must not be bound down by the fallacies of half-knowledge which is ignorant of its own ignorance. It must be a free and inquiring soul. It must be a soul that loves progressive knowledge, and that has the perception of truth afar off. / One that yearns for fuller light, for richer knowledge than it has yet received; one that knows no hope of cessation in drinking in the truth.
Again, our work must not be marred by the self-assertion of a positive antagonistic mind, nor by the proud obtruding of self and selfish ends and aims. With such we can do very little, and that little must all tend to the gradual obliteration of selfishness and dogmatism. We desire a capable, earnest, truthseeking, unselfish, loving spirit for our work.
Said we not well that such was difficult to find among men? Difficult indeed, well-nigh impossible. We select, then, such a soul as we can best find, and prepared by constant training for its appointed work. We inspire into it a spirit of love and tolerance for opinions that do not find favour with its own mental bias. This raises it above dogmatic prejudice, and paves the way for the discovery that truth is manifold, and not the property of any individual. Store of knowledge is given as the soul can receive it; and, the foundation of knowledge once laid, the superstructure may be safely raised. The opinions and tone of thought are moulded by slow degrees, so that they harmonise with the end we have in view.
Many and many fail here, and we abandon our work with them, finding that not in this world of yours can they receive the truth; that old earth-born prejudices are firm, dogmatic beliefs ineradicable, and so that they must be left to time, and are to us of no avail.
Moreover, a perfect truthfulness and absence of fearfulness and anxiety are the steady growth of our teaching. We lead the soul to rest in calm trust on God and His spirit teachers. We infuse a spirit of patient waiting for that which we are permitted to do and teach. This spirit is the very reverse of that fretful, restless querulousness which characterises many souls.
Here, too, many fall away. They are fearful and anxious, and beset with doubt. The old theology tells them of a God, who watches for their fall; and of a devil, who lays perpetual traps for them. They wonder at the novelty of our teaching; their friends are ready to point to so-called prophecies which tell of anti-Christ. The old foundations are shaken, and the new are not yet laid; and so the adversaries creep in and tempt the wavering soul, and it fears and falls away, and is useless to us. Yet more, we must eradicate selfishness in all its many forms. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 39-40.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Finding Teachable Seekers
It is necessary that man be constantly reminded to seek spiritual gifts. We are come to teach, not merely to amuse or astonish. But we cannot teach where man will not be taught.
The scanty interest that the higher revelations excite render it very difficult for even the most advanced Intelligences to make satisfactory communication with your world. Men care little for being taught; they seek rather to be amused. We do what we can, hampered by many disadvantages, attacked on the one side by the ceaseless machinations of spiritual foes, and hindered from advance on the other by the dead, cold faith of man, or by his undeveloped and unreceptive spirit.
We wish we could impress on all friends who come within our influence that, in communing, in proportion to the loftiness of their aspirations, is the character of the spirit who come to them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – The Limitations of Language
We express things to you in language you can understand; but that language rather crudely describes our world or our life. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 110.)
The language of spirit is so different and so vast in its terms. There is so much to be comprehended which is not known even to your greatest scientists and philosophers. (Gordon Burdick to Grace Rosher, TR, 41.)
Much that now seems good to you, you will throw aside with the body. Your state now colours your views. Much we are obliged to clothe in allegory, and to elucidate by borrowing your phraseology. So that you must not insist too strongly on literal meanings of words used by us to describe what exists only with us, which finds no counterpart in your world, and transcends your present knowledge, and which therefore can only be approximately described in language borrowed from earth. This is a necessary caution.
Stainton Moses: Yes. That would account for discrepancies in spirit communications in some cases.
Such differences arise in many cases from want of knowledge on the part of the spirits themselves; from their inability to get their ideas through the channel of communication: from imperfect conditions at the time of the communication, and from other causes. Doubtless, one cause is that curious and foolish questions bring foolish answers from spirits on the plane of the questioner.
Stainton Moses: But would not a high spirit endeavour to raise the questioner instead of “answering a fool according to his folly”?
Yes, were it possible; but the foolish frame of mind precludes too frequently such raising. Like attracts like, and the silly, curious inquirers who ask from no desire for information, but only to gratify a whim or an idle curiosity, or to entangle us in our talk, is answered, if at all, by a spirit like himself. Such is not the frame of mind in which to seek communion with us. A reverent, earnest mind gains for itself that information and instructions which it is capable of receiving. The self-conceited, flippant, ignorant, and curious receive only what they seek, and are sent away without reply, or with such as suits their query. Flee such. They are empty and foolish. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 46-7.)
You are right to point out to our friend the great difficulties we encounter in trying to explain the spiritual, in words and similies of the material. Yet that is the only way in which we can give you a picture of this Christ Sphere. We try to do for you what an artist does when, for instance, he paints a woodland scene. After all, it is only paint and canvas, but his artistic power enables him to depict the spirit of the spring, which entered into his soul one day in the words. … When you look at his picture you do not think of the paint and canvas at all, only of the spring morning. (John Heslop to his wife, F. Heslop, SABL, 9.)
I am not of any particular name, age, or dramatic experience; yet I feet that all experience here is dramatic and wonderful beyond expression. Mary has tried repeatedly to give you some comprehensive idea of this life, but considers all descriptions thus far as failures so far as definite descriptions go, and she allows me to speak now, wondering if another influence may possibly give another viewpoint.
Life! What is it? Eternity! Why and how?
Could you put answers to these questions in words? We fail! Could you succeed? We are out in what is to you the Great Unknown. How shall we put that unknown into words? Time by human reckoning is no more! The present, fair, joyous beyond description. The future, a happy anticipation!
Terms of feeling, you say? Yes, that is true. For the concrete, the occupations, the activities, we scarcely have language to describe. Remember, when you are asking of our occupations, that you are asking for descriptions of activities, of materials, of joys, unknown to earth.
Activities? Can you conceive of spirit movement faster than light? Materials? The use of substance which in your language is not material, but in ours more solid and enduring than the earth itself? So how can we bring our activities to your conception? Science on earth is peering into the unseen: into electron, atom, ether, energy; yet has scarcely learned the first letter of the alphabet, has scarcely touched the outer rim of our world. (Unnamed spirit communicator in LHH, 54-5.)
I wish I had powers of description sufficient to tell you of my impressions of the life here. I do not know how human language can ever adequately express the beauty and charm of it all. (Newcomer to spirit in LHH, 37.)
A friend said:
“I am trying to learn the language of the different spheres that I may understand the expressions of those on higher planes.”
‘Is there a different language on each plane?’
“Yes, it takes on more delicate shadings; a more ethereal quality perhaps might express it, as it deals with more ethereal things. These languages are translated by the different messengers. We need to know the manner of expression to translate their words into something meaning as nearly as possible the same. Our language is not capable of expressing their finest shades of meaning. /
And if we of this sphere cannot translate it into adequate expression, what can mortal language do? I tell you, my friend, only a tithe of the higher teachings can get through our duller comprehension! Therefore I study and hope to be able to understand at least, whether I can give out the ideas to others in language eloquent enough or forcible enough to express what they wish to say.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 73-4.)
A messenger spoke of the need for further knowledge of languages as follows:
“There are worlds not so immersed in material thought as the earth; worlds where spirit predominates, and where communication with the unseen becomes a natural occupation with the people. It is one of our delightful tasks to go to such worlds to give and receive information. To make more easy such communication is part of our work, for language differs, and signs and symbols often have to be used. Yet when spirit predominates comprehension is easy without any language, just a reception of the idea without any spoken word.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 74.)
“The higher planes use different symbols, different expressions, and messengers who come to us must learn those expressions and interpret to us; like an interpreter of foreign languages, perhaps. (Mary Bosworth to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 118.)
If only you could see our difficulty of expression you would be patient with misunderstandings. We are not so in touch with material language and thought as to be able to express the marvels of this life by material words or imagery. We are of different conditions and different expression, yet we try to become material for the moment, that we may help you to understand; but often the language fails and we are confused by lack of right words.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 75.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – The Predicament of the Spirit Communicator
Sometimes the writing has stopped suddenly in the midst of a sentence. That was when I was not properly focussed. You may have noticed when reversing and shutting away the outside world, that a sudden noise, or maybe a wandering thought, would bring you right out again. It is so here. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter X.)
When we come here we are not in our own proper element, but that what to you is a natural environment is to us as a mist, and through it we have to work as best we can. (G. Vale Owen’s mother in LBV1, 58.)
You are apt to think of us as mysterious far-off beings who have no interest in your lives, no knowledge of your miseries, and no share in the troubles that beset you. You do not understand that we can enter into your feelings and know the hidden griefs that vex you, even more really than your fellow-man can.
You think of us as dissociated from earth, whereas we have very real knowledge alike of its sorrows and its delights. And you fancy that the miseries, physical and spiritual, which crowd around the lives of some are beyond our ken. It is far otherwise. We see far more clearly than you the causes that produce sorrow, the temptations that beset the criminal, the miseries that drive to despair, the hordes of the undeveloped who throng around and tempt to vice and sin.
Our view is not alone of material misery, but of spiritual temptation; not alone of the sorrows that meet the eye of sense, but of the hidden grief of which man knows nothing. Do not fancy that we are unable to see and to know your sorrows and crimes, nor that we can mix with your people, and breathe the atmosphere of your world without drinking in somewhat of its curse. What is the constrast from your life to that of the outcast in the noisome atmosphere of some foul den in a back alley of your crowded cities – the home of misery and crime – compared with that which strikes cold and chilling on us as we come to your lower spheres! We come from the land of light and purity and beauty, wherein is naught that is unclean, unholy, or impure – from a scene blurred with no disfigurement, where is no shadow of darkness – nothing but radiance and unspotted purity. We leave the society of the perfected, and the atmosphere in which dwells peace; we quit the light and love, the harmony and adoration of the spheres, and we descend to your cold earth, to a clime of darkness and despair – to an atmosphere of repulsion and sorrow – to an air heavy with misery and guilt – to a people disobedient, unbelieving, steeped in materialism, and dead to spirit influence – to a world crowded thick / vice, surrounded by the spirits of the undeveloped, and deaf to the voice of God.
We quit the home where God’s light and truth prevail, for the outer darkness of your earth, where only the faintest glimmer of spirit-truth, from circles rare and few, greets our eyes. Harmony and peace we exchange for turbulence and discord, for war and turmoil; the society of the pure and peaceful for the chilling company of the sceptic and scorner, or even of the drunkard and sensualist, the outcast and the thief. We leave temples where we adore the God of heaven for your nether world, where our God is unknown, and where a being of man’s own imagining reigns in His place, save when even that idol has been dethroned, and man has relapsed into absolute disbelief in all spirit and all incorporeal existence.
This we do, only in most cases to find a people who are deaf and dead to us; aye, and even those who do in a measure listen to our words so long as they please them, and coincide with what they have themselves fancied – even they will turn away from following when we would raise them to a higher level and show them a purer light. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, ST, 126-7.)
We complain, but we do not faint. Association with you and with your surroundings causes us to imbibe somewhat of the tone of your mind. We have said what we have said that you may know that we sacrifice somewhat, and that we are amenable to the same feelings which sway you. We suffer mental agony and spiritual distress. We feel pangs as real as those which wring the hearts of men. Were we not (as you say) human in our sympathies, we could not enter into your necessities.
You will know, too, one day, that by a law as yet unknown to you, the spirit returning to earth takes on much of the pure human tone which it loses when absent. It becomes assimilated to earth and earthly ideas. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, ST, 127.)
You must remember that those of us who operate on the plane of spirit rather than of matter, do so on your earth under conditions that are very delicate and precarious. Matter has faded from our gaze, and when we return to the material plane, we see nothing of it. All we see is the spirit. We could not present ourselves for a photograph, but we might commission other spirits to present an image of us. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
You may desire the return of a spirit, but such return might bring it again within the sphere of temptation. Sometimes a return to earth would be a step backward, and would militate against the law of progression. You may, in many cases, drag a spirit back to earth by projection of will-power, but it may be very inadvisable for him to return to you. Laws of progression are often violated by dragging spirits back to earth, your wills being more powerful than theirs; so far you provide the way.
Those who have passed away from earth very often cannot return, and, when they are able to do so, they find it difficult to give clear communications. The over-anxiety of the spirits themselves and of their friends on earth produces a kind of repulsion and destroys the rapport. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Spirits who have Gone Past the Medium’s Reach
“We cannot find her. Our guides think she has gone to higher planes. I called messengers and they went straight to headquarters, (Did you know we had this help?), but could get no information, so they returned. It is generally useless to try to find one under such circumstances, as we do not ascend to higher planes freely from this one.”
‘Do you ever under exceptional circumstances find anyone when on a higher plane?’
“We try, but seldom succeed. Sometimes on rare occasions some one from such planes comes to us for a moment, or sends their influence, just as old-time philosophers or teachers may occasionally send their messages to us, although they themselves cannot come. We have explained to you that those from higher planes cannot easily exist in this denser atmosphere or condition.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 141.)
I can assure you now that human souls born into this world after death in many cases pass on to a different level where there appearance is of a kind not known to any human being in earth.
They are not merely moving at a different rate; they travel on a different scale. On that scale and changed key, they are cut off from earth. Only when these souls drop back into the scale and slower rhythm and sequence near the physical can they project or put on the likeness of themselves as they were on earth. (Winifred Combe Tenant, SBS, 36.)
Q: Can the very advanced people come through mediums?
A: Wait. … I’ll get an opinion.
Yes, but very, very rarely, as it involves a tremendous act of “damming up” power for them to get into earth conditions. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 35.)
A difficult aspect [of working on the Low Summerlands] is that the repressed “power” in me which is “dammed up” when I “decrease my rate of vibration” is buzzing in me like a thudding dynamo and I can’t hold it in check for long so that (especially at first when I was not used to it) I was apt to “vanish” as far as the other person was concerned, which simply means that I have gone back to my real state. (1) Incidentally, this explains the swiftly vanishing appearances we make to clairvoyants – I don’t mean the purely pictorial “photographic” impressions that we project, but real visions. Our “brakes” will only hold for a short period. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 32.)
- (1) Philip is discussing rescue work on the low Astral Plane.
Generally speaking, the beings who come through mediums are not far away from earth conditions – or may have elected to stay so. A.L. [Abdul Lhatif] is remarkable: he seems to have so mastered the knack of, so to speak, contracting and expanding himself that he can go almost anywhere! (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 36.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Working with the Medium’s Mind
They all wish here that mediums could be trained better. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 186.)
I can’t say I enjoy getting into these mediums’ minds. It’s a queer sensation, rather thick and swampy, but I did manage to telepath a good deal, even a thought-image. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 114.)
If this is sounding at all disjointed, I am still getting settled in here. I hope it will get a little easier as I become more and more acquainted with the medium. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 83.)
I wonder if you have ever noticed how many texts in the Bible refer to the restful, still attitude of mind needed to realize the Divine impressions. “Be still and know that I am God.” “In quietness shall be thy strength.” “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him,” and many more, all pointing to the need of quieting the spirit so that the Divine voice may be heard, the “still small voice” with which God speaks to us. No one on this side can help to any great extent the restless spirit.
Before we speak, you must prepare the mind to receive the message. At first this is difficult to everyone, the calling in of the wandering thought, the soothing and stilling of one’s whole being. Do not weary in your efforts; it will become easier in time. Gradually every effort will become unnecessary and you will fall gently into the peace which passeth understanding. A mental and spiritual state, which can stay itself upon God. When this becomes your habitual condition, we can use your mind in a way you little dream of now.
Did it ever strike you that this is how all the gospels and epistles were written? The mind of the writer was made quiescent and God’s angels could dictate God’s message to the world. When there are imperfections, texts that seem to contradict one another, you may rest assured that this is the fault of the one who transcribed the message, not of the message itself.
Hence in Paul’s espistles, you see references to the Jewish ritual, that fitted in with his early habit of thought. This in many cases distorted the meaning of the passage as it came to him from this side. The same applied to other writers so that you must only accept that which is consistent with the teaching of our Lord. Thus, even the Bible is only a partial revelation because it is all influenced by the many human minds the message passed through. (John Heslop to his wife, F. Heslop, SABL, 71-2.)
We shall have to meet again. I am going now. I cannot hold the medium any more. (Silver Birch, SB, n.p.)
At another time, with a message partly written, a sentence was suddenly broken off and this followed:
“Will you stop thinking out our problem? We are trying to use your mind but it is not passive enough. It sidetracks our thought before we can impress it upon your brain. Just now we wished one thing and you thought another, and the ideas antagonized each other.”
“We wish you to be so spiritually minded that we can come to you at any time, but the conditions are often contradictory. Sometimes you are passive when not psychic, and sometimes psychic when not passive.”
‘Which is better then, psychic power or passivity?’
“We can come through passivity more easily than through the psychic condition alone. To give up one’s personality and let us take its place is true passivity, and sometimes that is lacking when the spirit is most desirous to receive.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 13.)
When we see the things that go across from here through the too credulous mediums we are glad of your skepticism. None of us wish a too uncritical attitude. There are two sources of evidence of the genuineness of our messages: one, the tests that have already been given you; the other, the messages themselves. These are definite statements, and in accord with high, spiritual life. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 19.)
Be critical, but be patient and fair-minded. Cast out everything that proves to be a mistake, but keep your faith in us nevertheless. Try to see the persistent effort we are making to draw you toward us; and if we sometimes fail, try to be patient with our failures and let us try again. You must understand that the psychic power here is as necessary for communication as it is there. Not all here have that gift. We do not have it in full degree, and you say of yourself that you are not strong in psychic power; so you may understand that we are not perfect senders and you are not a perfect receiver. But if you are patient and conscientious we may get much truth to you. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 18.)
The secret of all power to help man is for you to be just the passive instrument in God’s hands to teach, to show, to prove what He says. When self or unbelief comes in, there is weakness and loss of power. I don’t mean by self what people call selfishness. I mean the darkness of material things which shuts us out from God and His Truth. (Julia Ames, AD, 57.) The communication is inadequate sometimes because your questioning thoughts are not strong enough to reach me as a distinct language. Is it not conceivable that we can err when we have to transpose ourselves suddenly into your world? Through love only, by the greatest effort, do we attain the capacity to recognize the intent of your questions. (Sigwart, BOTR, 53.)
The unintentional coloring of the messages, the tendencies of individual thought, all have their part in changing, even ever so little, the messages sent from here. It is only through the most conscientious endeavor on both sides that truth can filter through. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 15.)
[David Kendrick Johnson, the medium] has been a very bad boy and hasn’t read any of my writings, which may make it hard for me to get some of my ideas across. (C.W. Leadbeater in ISL, 17.)
You know, David has asked us not to open his eyes very often unless he is around people who are familiar with mediumship and there are good reasons for this. If I were to open David’s eyes, which I can do, the people sitting in the room would be a bit disconcerted by the fact that his eyes would be aimlessly rolling around and somewhat pink. Also, it’s a bit hard on his eyes. I would not be looking through them, as I can see quite well without through David’s clairvoyant faculty. I have to use David’s clairvoyance while I’m talking through him. My own being can see clairvoyantly too, but not when I’m connected with David. I have to use his faculties. (Arthur Ford, PP, 96.)
Some unrest surrounds you today that makes it difficult for me to converse with you. I can succeed only when complete peace is within and around you. Should I find no echo because of lack of harmony, I am permitted to relate only half of what there is to say and my Masters tell me that I am casting sublimity to the winds! (Sigwart, BOTR, 43.)
Accept what is not self-contradictory. Do not look out too much for proof or disproof; but rather for consistency in these messages. We do not give you too much, but we give you all that will help you. Be critical, certainly, but not unbalanced. There is much more truth than falsehood round about you and your life. Look out more for the truth and you will find it. Beware of the false, but not superstitiously afraid. When you take your way along a mountain-path your mind is alert in two directions – for the right and safe foothold, and against the unsafe places. Yet you give more attention to the positive than the negative; and rightly so, or you would go slow on your journey. So tread that you do not slip; but, go forward also fearlessly, for it is those who fear who lose their balance, and come most often to disaster. (Astriel in G. Vale Owens, LBV1, 223-5.)
When ill or worried, seek not to commune with the spheres. A sick, ailing, or mentally disturbed member of the circle is a bar. The aura is violated, and objects take a distorted appearance. Harmonious and loving minds, pure and holy thoughts, healthful and cheerful bodily conditions, earnest seeking after truth, these are our best aids. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
We cannot teach you what you cannot receive. We can only dimly symbolise truths which one day your unclouded eye will see in their full splendour. We cannot speak with clearness when the spirit of our medium is troubled, when his body is racked with pain, or his mental state is vitiated by disease. Nay, even a lowering atmosphere, or electric disturbance, or the neighbourhood of unsympathetic and unfavourable human influences, may colour a communication, or prevent it from being clear and complete. Hence the various discrepancies which your minute gaze has detected. They are small enough and few enough, and they will all vanish when the difficulties are removed. Then will you recognise the superior insight which has guided you in a time of no ordinary difficulty and peril. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 71.)
What hurts most is jealous mistrust, angry feelings, unhealthy conditions of body or mind; chief of all, a prying, suspicious mind, bent on believing nothing, and proving all to be an elaborate lie. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Remember, friend, that your doubts and difficulties must, until they are removed, operate as a barrier to our further progress. They have already hindered us much, and caused us to withhold much. This is unavoidable. We urge you, then, to clear your mind once and for ever, by stern exercise of will, of all the mists which now becloud your judgment. This is what we hope for as the result of rest and isolation. It is all-important that the circle to whom we communicate should be in perfect harmony. Rising doubts are to us as the fogs of earth which bewilder the traveller, and hinder him on his way. We cannot work in the midst of them. They must be removed. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 103.)
Sometimes we are able to quiet and soothe, but not when every nerve is quivering, and the overwrought system is strained to an extremity of tension. We have little power then, and at best can only save you from the risk you run of being seized upon by undeveloped spirits who are attracted by your state. We urge you not at such times to place yourself in communion with our world.
We [are] wary of the future for many reasons. Your greater development, which is rapid and progressive, will render you more and more amenable to spiritual influence of all kinds. Such spirits will endeavour to approach you, and by sitting you facilitate their entry to the circle. You need fear no evil, but you may have disturbance. It is well for all highly-developed mediums to be chary of sitting in circles where influences other than those which surround them are gathered. Danger always attends such experiments, and your present tone and temper of mind lays you doubly open to assault. Try to bring to the circle a patient and a passive mind. Your evidence will be the more readily attained if you are content so to act. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 118.)
Doubt is sin in none. Intellectual inability to accept certain statements is not matter for blame. But refusal to weigh evidence fairly, and inclination to set up a personal standard of evidence which is fictitious and selfish, may end in grievous consequences, and this is the ground of our complaint [with you]. We respect your doubts, and shall rejoice with you when they are removed. But we blame and censure the attitude which makes it well-nigh impossible for us to remove them; which fences you in as with an icy barrier beyond which we cannot pass; which degrades a candid and progressive soul to a state of isolation and retrogression, and binds the spirit to the dark regions of the nether earth. Such temper of mind is the baleful result of evil influence, and, if it be not checked, it may become a permanent bar to progress. We have not deserved of you that you should receive us in such a spirit, or that all our attempts at communion should be viewed with jealous and suspicious eye. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 118.)
If we have not succeeded in effacing from your mind doubts that have lingered there, it is because the doubting habit of mind has become so natural that we have found only rare intervals during which we could penetrate through the fog. You have wrapped yourself in an impenetrable veil, and it is only now and then that it has been lifted. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 144.)
The spirit of mistrust and eager desire to entrap and ensnare us by a predetermined test is one which defeats its own end. If we be such as you suspect, it would be well that you have nothing further to do with such emissaries of evil. If that be to you a position you would not assume, then we counsel you to put aside mistrust, and cultivate a feeling of frankness and receptivity. A brief time spent with such a temper would enable us to do far more than many years of such intercourse as your present frame of mind necessitates. It is not, as you imagine, that we will not, but that we cannot help you now. We treasure up, indeed, the reasonable requests of our friends, and if we cannot comply with them literally, we do so in substance at another time. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 144.)
We would have you devote your care to higher spiritual teaching, and to leave the lower planes of objective evidence, which should no longer be required. We would have you progress. And what we say to you we say to all. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 168.)
SM: I suggested that development might go on till one became quite unfit for work in the world; so sensitive as fit only to be shut up in a glass case; so absorbed in spirit-land as to be useless for a workaday world: that, indeed, being the perfection of mediumship.
Doubtless it might be so with another type of spirit placed in other circumstances and under no guardianship. We shall see to that. We have made our choice with a view to it, and have preferred to risk delay rather than to choose an instrument who would be ill-regulated in mind, and a prey to the fantasies of every vagrant spirit. We have trusted that the fullness of time will lessen the weight of doubt and difficulty, and that assured confidence being established, and over-carefulness diminished, we may progress with speed and safety.
We cannot hasten that time; we would not if we could. But we shall not cease to urge on all our friends the necessity for higher aspirations; nor to impress on them that the physical foundation having been laid, it is time to raise the spiritual superstructure. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 168.)
You retard us by your very anxiety. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 169.)
When you respond to my call, wipe clean your mind as a child wipes its slate when ready for a new maxim or example by its teacher. Your lightest personal thought or fancy may be as a cloud upon a mirror, blurring the reflection.
You can receive letters by this means, provided your mind does not begin to work independently, to question in the midst of the writing.
I was not stopped this time, as before, by beings gathering round; but by your own curiosity as to the end of an unusual sentence. You suddenly became positive instead of negative, as if the receiving instrument in a telegraph office should begin to send a message of its own. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter IV.)
Now, I want you to do me a favour. You know what a difficult job I often had to keep things going, yet I kept them going. Don’t you get discouraged about the material wherewithal for your work. Work right ahead, as if the supply were there, and it will be there. You can demonstrate it in one way or another. Do not feel weak or uncertain, for when you do you drag me back to earth by force of sympathy. It is as bad as grieving for the dead. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter VII.)
You who write for me, I want to thank you for never calling me. You let me come always at my own time, and let me say what I wish to say without confusing my thought with either questions or comments. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter L.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Interfering Spirits
The very near-earth planes of consciousness, inhabited by those who are, as yet, in spiritual darkness, are what you would consider the danger points. It is here that there is often an obstruction, but it is not always intentional. Often the unwitting use of destructive power by the inhabitants of those regions causes a break or a blockage in channels that have been previously cleared for us. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 68.)
You need to take certain precautions to protect yourself against those who press round me.
You have only to lay a spell upon yourself night and morning. Nothing can get through that wall – nothing which you forbid your soul to entertain.
Do not let any of your energy be sucked out of you by these larvæ of the astral world. No, they cannot annoy me, for I am now used to the idea of them. You have absolutely nothing to fear, if you protect yourself. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter III.)
The wanderers in the so-called invisible world have no right to come and demand entrance through your organism, merely because it is so constituted that they could enter, any more than a street crowd would have the right to force its way into your home, merely because its members were curious, hungry, or cold. Do not allow it. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXIII.)
Tell the friend who is so anxious lest I do you harm by writing with your hand that that matter was thoroughly threshed out on this side between the Teacher and me before it began to take form on your side.
Ordinary mediumship, where the organism of a more or less unhealthy person on earth is opened indiscriminately for the entrance and obsession of any passing spirit, good or evil, is a very different proposition from this. Here I, who was your friend in the world, having passed beyond, reach back to instruct you from my greater knowledge on this side.
I am not making any opening in your nervous system through which irresponsible and evil forces can enter and take possession of you. In fact, if any spirit, good or bad, should make such an attempt, he would have to reckon with me, and I am not powerless. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter .)
I have taught you how to protect yourself against influences which you do not want, so do not be afraid. I will always stand guard to the extent of warning you if there is any danger of attack from this side. Already I have drawn a magic ring around you which only the most advanced and powerful spirits could pass, even if they desired – that is, the Teachers and I drew it together. You are doing our work just now, and have a right to our protection. …
Only you yourself could now let down the bars for the inrush of evil and irresponsible spiritual intelligences, and if you should inadvertently let down the bars we should rush to put them up again. We have some authority out here. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXVII.)
There are many occasions when conditions have not been satisfactory and insufficient power is available on this side to make a contact. Then you have sat in vain. Many helpers are needed here to build up power. It is not possible for one person to form a sustained contact. All communication circles are rigidly guarded, to obviate as far as possible interference from mischief-makers on the lower astrals. Many workers concentrate on this task.
Sensitives on earth immediately attract attention on this side to make a contact when they sit for development of their extra-sensory powers. Without this protective system from advanced souls, they would quickly become the prey of one of these bands of wandering mischief-makers who deliberately set out to confuse and confound the earthly seeker.
It is always vitally important, therefore, to establish a guided and guarded channel and this is established by asking, in prayer and in sincerity of kind and purpose. I should add that not all wanderers of the near-earth plane are trouble makers. There are many souls who are held there by their complete ignorance of an / after-life. They just do not realize they have passed through the veil. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 64-5.)
The lowest spirits, hovering near earth, are the ones that most frequently manifest at circles, and simulate characters that do not belong to them.
If men will put themselves in communication with the spheres under bad conditions, they do it at their peril. Evil influences are admitted, and danger arises. A circle should be composed of pure-minded people – seekers after Truth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
The dangers of false teaching from that side were called to our attention and summed up as follows:
“First, those newly arrived, with only their earth desires and knowledge. Second, the really wicked ones who /have not left their malicious influences in the grave, and will lead others astray if possible. Third, those who, though good, are mistakenly so, and still cling to the convictions of their earthly education, – its mistaken beliefs, creeds, etc. Those who wish to receive the truth from this side must cultivate discrimination, must desire the spiritual teaching, with its pure and unselfish conditions. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 19.)
I think you do not comprehend the difference in the intelligence of spirits, for some have only the conception of spirit life that was theirs when they left the earth. Many are like children and could not intelligently describe the life here. Others tell things that are not true, sometimes in ignorance, sometimes in mischief. Sometimes the newly arrived spirit may still be impressed by its own earth conceptions, and may send those mistaken views to earth. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 17.)
“Mary and Dee are here. We know some one interfered today, and that the watchers drove them away.”
‘How did they do it?’
“We have to use the power of the mind. But its sharp thrusts are sometimes almost equal to dagger points.”
‘Is that quite in the spirit of love?’
“You are told to resist evil, are you not?” ‘Yes, surely.’
“Well, when gentle means will not drive malicious forces away, we may use sterner ones, may we not?”
‘I suppose so. They wrote your names?’
“We know, and that is the way the watchers knew them as malicious.”
‘They must make you a lot of trouble?’
“Not at all. Our work is one of love, and a desire to be helpful to mortals, and that drives away any thought of trouble or weariness.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 102.)
Another spirit seized the pencil while we had turned away a moment. He was not criminal, just curious, and longing to try the experiment. The spirit world, you know, surrounds the earth, and spirits are ever wandering to and fro. We guard you from all evil ones, but this one seemed so anxious to try that we did not interfere for a moment. It is curious how amidst all the variety, all the attractions, and all the beauty here, the human mind slips back to its first home, and wishes to hear from the blessed old earth from which it came. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 102-3.)
Often, deceptive spirits come in to lead people astray by false communications. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
Beware how you submit to the guidance of unseen intelligences without ascertaining if they are what they pretend to be. We have nothing to fear from investigation made by honest and pure minds. The miracles you have seen here are the same in kind which Christ was enabled to work. The utterances you hear are precisely the same as those given by the Hebrew prophets. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
There are spirits who delight in such personation, and who have the power, under certain conditions, of carrying out elaborate deception. Such take names which they see to be desired, and would reply equally to any name given them. They may usually be excluded by careful attention to conditions, and by the efforts of a strong guardian who is able to protect the circle. Those who sit frequently and in open circles, where no care is taken of the spiritual conditions, and who have no powerful spirit friends to protect them, are in danger / of incursion from these.
In most circles, as far as we know, every facility is given for the intervention of tricky spirits. The phenomena are sought after in a spirit of mere curiosity. Personal friends are greedily summoned, and no pains taken to ascertain whether the spirit answering be indeed a friend or a deceiver. Foolish queries are addressed, and foolish replies eagerly swallowed. What wonder that such are the sport of the undeveloped! (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 163-4.)
Contradictory statements would surely have been made, personation carried on, and in the end the scanty faith you have would have sustained a rude shock. This is a real danger to you; for the introduction of false and contradictory statements would do more to foster a suspicious feeling in your mind than anything. In the end it would undermine us and drive us away. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 164.)
These [earthbound souls] are they of whom you speak when you say in haste, that the result of Spiritualism is not for good. You err, friend. Blame not us that the lower spirits manifest for those who bid them welcome. Blame man’s insensate folly, which will choose the low and grovelling rather than the pure and elevated. Blame his foolish laws, which daily hurry into a life for which they are unprepared, thousands of spirits, hampered and dragged down by a life of folly and sin, which has been fostered by custom and fashion. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 79.)
We have been particular in our statements, because we are anxious to reiterate the warnings we have frequently given, as to the danger of attack by deceptive and personating spirits, whom you know as The Undeveloped. Of late, too, we have told you that trouble and perplexity were at hand through this cause, and we gave you special warning lest you should fall prey to their attacks.
We have ascertained that the spirit who falsely pretended to be working with us is a personating spirit, whose aim is to injure and retard our work. We need to explain fully on this point. You have heard of the antagonism between the adversaries and the divine work which is in process amongst you. There is a direct antagonism between them and us, between the work which is for man’s development and instruction, and their efforts to retard and thwart it.
It is the old battle between what you call the good and the evil – between the progressive and the retrogressive. Into the ranks of that opposing army gravitate spirits of all degrees of malignity, wickedness, cunning, and deceit: those who are actively spurred on by the hatred of light which an unenlightened spirit has, and those who are animated by sportiveness rather than by actual malice. It includes, in short, the undeveloped of every grade and class: spirits who are opposed, for infinitely varying reasons, to the organised attempt to lead men upward from darkness to light, with which we are associated, in company with hosts of others.
It would appear that your inability to see the operations of these adversaries renders you unable to grasp their existence, or to appreciate the magnitude of their influence in your world. Not till your spiritual eyes are open will you really understand how great it is, and how present. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 158.)
As objective spiritual manifestations become more and more frequent, and as the inconsiderate craving for them increases, so will it come to pass that powerful instruments will be developed through whom our adversaries may be enabled to produce their frivolous or tricky manifestations, so as to discredit the true spiritual work. This is one of the special forms of opposition, and the most dangerous: for in proportion to the undeveloped character of the spirit will be its power over gross matter, its cunning, and, in some cases, its malignity.
Powerful agencies are even now at work, as we are assured, who will seize every opportunity of developing mediums through whom phenomena the most startling may be produced, so as to convince the inquirers of supernatural power so called. This done, the rest is easy. By degrees trick and fraud are allowed to creep in, the moral teachings are allowed to appear in their true light, doubt is insinuated, and the uncertainty and suspicion which have become the fixed attitude of the mind regarding phenomena which at first seemed so surely spiritual, gradually extend to all manifestations and teachings. No more sure means of discrediting the teaching of those who are sent to instruct, and not merely to astonish or amuse, was ever devised by cunning. For men say: We have tried, we have tested for ourselves, and we have found it out. Either it is connected with fraud, or it teaches base and immoral doctrines, or is full of falsehood; in short, it is diabolical.
It is no use to appeal to such, and tell them that they must discern between the true and the false, for their shaken faith will not allow of this. They have / proved what they trusted to be false, and the whole edifice of their belief lies in ruins around them. The foundation is not secure, and will not support the building. We say again that no more diabolical device for paralysing our work was ever planned. We solemnly warn you of it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 161-2.)
It remains to speak of the agency of a class of spirits who, from mischievous design, or from pure sportive fun, or from love of mystification, frequent circles, counterfeit manifestations, assume names, and give erroneous or misleading information. Such are not evil, but unbalanced spirits who lack even balance, and who delight in plaguing mediums and circles: in giving exaggerated tone to communications, in introducing false elements, or in personating friends, and reading in the thought the answer which they give to a query. The work of such is that which causes you to say that spiritual manifestations are frequently foolish or silly. This is due to the efforts of these spirits, who, from fun or mischief, counterfeit our work, and play on the feelings of those who trust them.
These are they who personate relatives whose presence is desired, and answer to their names. These are they who make true identification of friends in mixed circles impossible. Most of the stories current of such return of friends are due to the work of these spirits. These are they who infuse the comic or foolish element into communications. They have no true moral consciousness, and will pray readily, if asked, or will do anything for frolic or mischief. They have no aspiration beyond the present: no desire to injure, but only to amuse themselves.
These are they who allure to wrong paths, and suggest wrong desires and thoughts. They secretly influence mediums much, and prevent noble aspirations. They view with impatience noble and elevated aims, and suggest the material. They act as bars and clogs. They are greatly concerned with physical manifestations. They are usually shrewd and clever at such work, and they delight in presenting bewildering phenomena for the purpose of disturbing the mind. They victimise mediums in divers ways, and find a pleasure in the bewilderment of mind which they cause.
Obsession and possession, and the various forms of spiritual annoyance, proceed very frequently from such. They are able to psychologise a mind over which they have gained influence….These, again, are spirits who befool inquirers who have asked for personal information. They return plausible answers, and bewilder the deluded inquirers, or if a personal friend have once appeared, and given a good test, his or her place on the next occasion may be filled by one of these spirits, who takes the name and replies to queries, giving vague and unsatisfactory / replies, or telling false stories. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 165-6.)
Questioned as to testing spirits by asking if they worshipped the Lord Jesus:
No profession of faith can guarantee the truth of any statement. Creeds are dissipated to the winds when the spirit soars above the earth. Many spirits, with the best intentions, communicate the most erroneous doctrines as they have not lost the theological fog gathered during earth-lives. Those of whom you speak may be unknowingly the agents of the adversaries, who seek to perpetuate doctrines which we fight against with determined energy. We have descended to your world for nothing else than to reveal Truth to man.
If a spirit ennobles you and leads you to a higher plane of intellectual, moral, or spiritual development, or elevates your affections, then follow it; but, if it drags you down and leads you to that which is earthly, then flee such, for they are of the adversaries, who would burlesque spirit intercourse, and bring it into contempt and derision. (Unnamed Egyptian spirit in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
The medium’s mind has been tuned to the existence of a lower form of spirits, those amenable to invocation, elementaries, whom we prefer to call undeveloped spirits, and he has rather lost sight of fraud, the action of the unprogressed spirits of humanity. These are now the spirits that are dominant. We urge upon you our solemn warning to beware of the adversaries in the near future. There has been a large access of knowledge in your world, and the philosophy of spirit-intercourse has been advanced. This has irritated the adversaries.
The conflict raging amongst you is but the reflex of the conflict that is going on with us. A strife is going on in our world on the subject of the suppression of the fact of spirit-communion. The more darkness, the better it is for the adversaries. By the exercise of will-power, the obstacles to intercourse with your guardians may be overcome. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
We warn you again against deceptive agencies, which abound and will be increasingly active. You must expect many such assaults. Our mission is too important not to challenge envy and attack. We warn you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Short of absolute evil, much ground for assault is given by an ill-regulated, disordered mind, by minds unhinged and unbalanced. Avoid all such. They are frequently the ready agents of spirit influence, but of undeveloped and unwelcome guides. Beware of immoderate, unreasoning, excited frames of mind.
In calmness, in earnestness, in prayerfulness, and with a body peaceful, healthy and unexcited, seek for a message with us.
You all need appreciation of the delicate conditions under which alone true communion is possible. When these are not present, all we can do is to fence you round from the dangers into which you have obtruded yourselves, and in which, it seems to us, that men do not believe, because they are unable to see them; even as the ignorant do not dread the subtle, infectious poison of whose existence they can take no cognisance by their rude senses. You see not; therefore you know not.
Development in mediumistic power is accompanied by risk as well as by blessing. And when a strong band does not surround the medium the risk of invasion by undeveloped spirits is increased. Care and prayer are requisite. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Those who seek to penetrate the mysteries and are the chosen vehicles of truth must needs be open to attack. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Because the mixed circles and want of proper conditions invite the presence of the lower and more material spirits, who are more fitted for the work needed than the more progressed Intelligences are. The lack of proper guidance and protection for the medium leaves him open to deterioration. He is liable to become the sport of the elementary spirits who are attracted to him.
In many cases the atmosphere breathed in your seance rooms is to us as a wall to you, impenetrable and poisonous too. We cannot breathe it. The grosser spirits can, and the earthbound can use it too.
Why cannot such be kept away?
You invoke them, and then complain of us that we do not keep them away. They can only be kept away by your own hearts and lives and motives being purified, and also by such attention to conditions that we tell you of. You cannot keep the electricity from the conductor. If you do certain things, certain results will follow. This axiom applies to spirits too. Because you cannot see these spirits, you doubt their power. One day you will wonder at your folly. You do not know how far it extends; what results it produces; how far-reaching it is.
We deal with what is, not what you fancy ought to be. Deceptive spirits exist, and will continue to exist; nor will your ignoring them prove anything but a source of mischief to you.
They who evoke physical marvels to please wonder-seekers are too frequently the sport of spirits intellectually and morally on a low plane. You cannot even [realize] that you are at different times conversing with the same spirits; for they will assume names and forms, and take pleasure in deceit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
S. M. asks if the physical should be isolated.
That is absolutely necessary if progress be desired. From such spirits no true information or instruction can be had. We want to impress on you the necessity of separation between the two, the physical, and the spiritual. Aim to raise yourselves to spirit, not to drag spirit down to matter.
You saw once, friend, how an undeveloped spirit could seize on a medium to her hurt and sorrow. Careless communicating causes mischief to her, and she is still in danger. We would warn you that such danger besets all who are not guided and guarded rightly. We see that which you cannot. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
S. M. has been plagued by an undeveloped spirit. He is told:
You seek too persistently to evoke communications when you are not fit for them. Evil will ensue, as we have told you. No trustworthy communication can be held with you when mind and body are alike prostrate.
Withdraw for a time from communication with us. You must perforce do so, for we have decided to withdraw from you the power of communing, as it is in danger of being seized upon by the adversaries, and you yourself are in risk of possession by them, should you continue to seek communing with the spheres. You have seen somewhat of this. You know not how dire is the risk. We save you from it, in spite of yourself. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Can mediumship be developed by an evil agency, for an evil purpose?
Assuredly, seeing that unprogressed spirits are more powerful than the higher ones in dealing with your earth. The power would not be used by them for good. Rather they bring hurt to the medium, and discredit to the Cause. It is perilous, most perilous. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Conditions Prevailing at a Circle
There was much in what was said last night that was imperfectly said, and hurriedly, and that was not accurately perserved in the record which was taken at the time. It is of the [greatest] importance that, on a subject so momentous, we should speak with care, and that you should understand exactly what we wish to convey. We therefore wish to state more clearly what was said imperfectly to the circle.
The conditions of control do not always enable us to be so precise in speech as we are studious to be when communicating thus with you. Perfect isolation commands conditions suitable for precision and accuracy. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 48.)
Like attracts like and the silly, curious inquirer who asks from no desire for information, but only to gratify a whim or an idle curiosity or to entangle us in our talk is answered, if at all, by a spirit like to himself. (Unnamed spirit communicator (possibly Imperator) in SRE, 19.)
The conditions were bad last night for the music. You are yet to learn the conditions under which it may be had. Not until you hear the music of the spheres will you know the true poetry of sound. Music depends, far more than your wise men have dreamed, on these self-same spiritual conditions of which we say so much, the spiritual elements must be in harmonious arrangements before a good development of that which is attainable even on earth can be reached. Only then does the inspiration really flow in.
The room in which the boy was rendering the thoughts of the Master was filled with an inharmonious atmosphere; hence we say that the result was inadequate. It is with the musician as with the orator. An harmonious rapport must exist with the audience before the words can make their mark. This the speaker feels, though frequently he knows not that his words fall dead because the spirit bond does not exist, and the inspiration cannot run on the mesmeric chain between the orator and his audience.
The best results are had when the musician, the orator, is surrounded by a band of spirits who can so dispose his mind as to refine, harmonise, and spiritualise his thoughts, or the thoughts of which he is the interpreter. Even as there is a vast difference between a word coldly slurred or heartlessly spoken, and the same when it syllables the utterance of heart emotion, so is it with music. The body of sound may be there, but the soul may be absent. And, though you know not why, you mark the difference and feel the want. It is cold and trivial, and thin – mere sound; you shudder, and are not content. Again it is full, rich, the soul’s voice of melody, speaking thoughts that are born in fairer spheres and purer air than earth’s – spirit uttering cry to spirit. The sounds are instinct with soul; they have a language for the most irresponsive. They breathe their message to the spirit, the while they subdue the bodily senses, and harmonise the discordant jarrings of the mind. The dead body of sound is animated with the soul of music. You hear, and are satisfied.xx It is the whole difference between the body of earth and the spirit that soars to heaven: the gap that separates the material and earthly from the heavenly and spiritual. Hence it is that conditions under which true music is evolved rarely occur, at least on occasions of great public gatherings. It is in more harmonious air that the inarticulate voice of spirit best unfolds its story. (Unnamed spirit communicators [two composers] in Moses, ST, .)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – Hardships that Mediums Endure
The intensity with which the above message was written out was something quite new to me. The hand traversed sheet after sheet of my book, tracing the most minute characters, always emphasising the name of God with capitals, and paragraphing and keeping a margin, so that the writing struck the eye as a beautiful piece of caligraphy. The hand tingled, and the arm throbbed, and I was conscious of waves of force surging through me. When the message was done, I was prostrate with exhaustion, and suffered from a violent headache at the base of the brain. On the next day I asked the cause, and the following message was given, but much more quietly] Your headache was the result of the intensity of the power, and the rapidity with which it was withdrawn from you. We could not write on such a subject without displaying eagerness: for it is one of most vital concern to those to whom we are sent. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 28.)
Any awareness that comes down from – dare I say “on high” without being misunderstood? – requires a great deal of alertness to catch. It is so light and tiny, if I may put it that way. It’s very subtle. It’s the famous “still, small voice within.” And you have to be very alert to catch it.
The mind works like Grand Central Station used to be. It is terribly noisy, not in an unpleasant way, but because it’s busy. And the person in meditation or the medium is listening for his child’s voice way across this big, crowded, hectic room. And you do hear him, but it’s through attunement, not blankness. (Ruth Finley [“Joan”] in PP, 227.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – The Difficulty of Finding Convincing Evidence
We labour under one great disadvantage, as compared with human witnesses; we are not of your earth, and cannot produce for you the kind of evidence which would weigh in your courts of justice. We can but state for your acceptance the evidence on which we ground our claims to your hearing and acceptance, leaving to your mind in fairness to decide upon the points which we cannot clear up by evidence. For our own statements must, to a very great extent, be unsupported, save by statements of those who work with us. Many of us have told you of our earthly identity, and have given to you proof that ought to be conclusive that we are fully acquainted with the earth-lives of those whose names we bear, even in the minutest particulars.
If that is not convincing to you: if you reply that such information might have been gained by false and deceiving spirits, who might have gathered the facts for the very purpose of deluding, we point to the tenor of our intercourse with you, and remind you of the standards of judgment set up by Jesus Himself, “By their fruits shall ye know them.” “Men do not gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles.” We fearlessly refer you to the whole tenor of our teaching for proof that it is Divine. It would not consist with the dignity of our mission were we to dwell longer on this point. We are not surprised that you should have referred to it; but if our reply be not convincing to you, we have nothing further which we can add to it, and must await in patient prayer the time when the evidence will come home to you. We would not have you to accept our words before. We will patiently abide the issue. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 69.)
The Difficulties of Spirit Communication with Earth – When Errors Occur
The incident to which you refer (1) is susceptible of a ready explanation. The identity of the spirit was avouched by me, and you have at least found my words to be accurate. The error was committed by the manifesting spirit who wrote. The intelligences who are able to compass the particular manifestation which you call direct writing, and for which you had on this particular occasion expressed a strong wish, are few. Most frequently the actual writing is done by one who is accustomed to manifest in that way, and who acts, as it were, as the amanuensis of the spirits who wish to communicate. In many cases several spirits are concerned.
The error which arose in this way through inadvertence was during the séance corrected in a communication given through the table; but it would seem to have escaped you. It is well that you inquire patiently into seeming errors and contradictions. Many, so inquired into, would be found susceptible of explanation, even as this. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 117.)
- (1) A spirit, manifesting through “direct writing,” spells his name wrongly.
We often find channels of power and usefulness in the minds of very simple folk and it is through these we learn to speak and to manifest. Their very simplicity and absence of all doubt and questioning helps us to communicate. But here again we meet with obstacles, such as the want of education to give grammatical expression to our thought, and the inability through poverty to publish and circulate what has been received.
Then there is the difficulty of answering the tests you impose upon us. They seem so simple to you, but often they are impossible to us, while it may be quite easy to give you a voluntary test. So I would advise you when investigating this subject not to fix your own tests because if you try to confirm them – probably through a psychic who is new to us – and we fail, it has a disastrous effect upon the faith of the investigator.
Suppose, in order to prove the existence of a telephone, you demand that a special message, unknown to the operator, should be transmitted and this could not be done, would this be a real test of its existence and efficiency? Well, you impose far more difficult and impossible conditions upon us.
We know that you must have tests and we will give them to you, often when you least expect them. As you gain experience in inspirational or automatic writing, many beautiful things will be revealed to you of which you could know nothing in your normal consciousness and this bring conviction that it is we who are communicating. When we find a mind still and receptive we can give many convincing proofs. But, above all things, you must be patient with us and should there appear to be mistakes or things happen that you do not understand, just go on quietly, undismayed. Later the mistakes will often be explained and the doubts vanish. (John Heslop, FMABL, 2-3.)
The Do’s and Don’t’s of Spirit Communication
I beg you fervently to arrange for the possibility of working undisturbed for one or two hours because it is a trying experience for us if we must withdraw suddenly just as the stream begins to flow. (Sigwart, BOTR, 57.)
To forget the hour of devotion – as you did today – is harmful because a link is missing in the chain. … Learn to will, and subordinate your whole being to this will, then you shall become master of yourself. (Sigwart, BOTR, 70.)
What is undesirable, and often dangerous, is the employment of spirits of low development to display antics at circles for amusement or to gratify idle curiosity. If these displays of psychic power are used for scientific tests, that is different and is valuable as proof of spirit return. (John Heslop, SABL, 26.)
It is absolutely necessary that, in this age when the door of the unseen is opening to humanity as never before, they should understand the nature of the power that is being put into their hands. If thoughts of purity, love and holiness are sent forth, they will come back as messengers of light, with a halo from the unseen to bless and comfort mankind.
But beware of using these forces for amusement, for material good, or for the hurt of an enemy. Otherwise they will turn as a weapon of destruction into thine own heart. Never touch these subjects without reverence and prayer. (John Heslop, SABL, 64-5.)
Let your friend avoid intercourse with the spheres, lest he become a prey to the adversaries. We operate on none outside our chosen circle. Each is under his own guide, and must act under their guidance. We can but say that none should cultivate communion with the undeveloped. That course is fraught with risk. Flee the risk. Flee the spirits that lie and deceive. (Unnamed spirit teacher, member of spirit leader Imperator’s group, in Stainton Moses, MST, 51.)
Keep yourself as passive and quiet as you can. When overtired with work, or fretted with care, or exhausted, do not attempt to seek communion with us. Do not add to the circle any new elements which do but disturb and perplex conditions. Suffer us to perfect our experiments before you interfere to spoil them. We will advise you of any change we wish in the composition of our circle. Do not alter the room in which you meet: and strive in so far as may be to meet with a passive mind and a healthy body. (Spirit communicator “Doctor” [Athenodurus] in Moses, ST, 44.)
When ill or worried, seek not to commune with the spheres. A sick, ailing, or mentally disturbed member of the circle is a bar. The aura is violated, and objects take a distorted appearance. Harmonious and loving minds, pure and holy thoughts, healthful and cheerful bodily conditions, earnest seeking after truth, these are our best aids. (Unnamed spirit teacher, member of spirit leader Imperator’s group, in Stainton Moses, MST, 49.)
You have heard before that sitting down immediately after a meal is not good. The bodily conditions which we seek for are passivity and quickness of receptivity: but not the passivity which comes from sluggishness and torpor. No worse condition can be than that state of somnolence and torpor which follows on a plentiful meal during which stimulating drink has been taken. Such stimulus may aid the / physical manifestations in some cases, but it is a bar to us. It opens the door for the advent of the more material spirits, and stops our power. We have frequently found our plans frustrated by such means. You would do well to think of this and guard yourselves against excess in any way when you are about to seek communion with us. The body should not be heated nor torpid with food: nor the mind drowsy and inactive. Both conditions prevent us from operating freely. They react on us, and sensibly mar our power.
But a weak body and temper disturbed by want of food is bad, surely?
We do but counsel moderation. … When mind or body is predisposed to sleep or indisposed to sustained attention, or sick or suffering, it is better not to sit save under direction. Equally when the body is replete with food, the grosser spirits may be expected to be in the ascendant, and we are unable to operate. (Spirit communicator “Doctor” [Athenodorus] in Moses, ST, 44-5.)
We cannot operate when the body is overloaded with food, so now we say, that a system depressed and weak is not favourable for our purposes. We do not advocate the depression of the vital powers by neglect of due food any more than we countenance gluttony and drunkenness. We preach the mean in all things where it is knowable. Asceticism and self-indulgence are the extremes which are evil in their results. That is the mean for each which leaves the bodily powers in perfect play whilst it leaves the mental faculties unclouded and unexcited. A clear, active, undepressed yet unexcited mind we ask for, and a body whose powers are vigorous and neither in excess nor defect of their capacity. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 105.)
S. M. given rules for sitting.
Do not sit in circle soon after a heavy meal, or when mind or body is tired out, or when the spiritual atmosphere is inharmonious.
Do not, before sitting, enter into any argumentative conversation, nor any that requires severe mental exertion. The mind should be passive, the body easy. Do not meet in a room that retains in it a loaded atmosphere. Just before sitting, pass a current of fresh air through it.
If possible, exclude light three or four hours before you meet. Burn in the room a little (only) aromatic gum when you close it.
In sitting, seek not curiously for anything; it mars our plans to have a strong positive will present, fixed on any point. Maintain a serious and attentive mind. Above all, be earnest and prayerful, ready to hear, anxious for higher knowledge; soaring up, not bound to earth.
At times it is desirable to isolate you, and to preserve your aura intact. This is what is secured by isolation in a cabinet. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
S. M. asks about music at circles. Does it help?
Music, if good, is well, but not necessary. We prefer quietness and attention. Music helps the lower manifestations and inferior spirits. But such musical sounds as we usually hear do not help us, rather the reverse.
After a sitting when unpleasant scent had been manifested:
The odour was unpleasant because of the state of the spiritual atmosphere. . . . Our friends will learn that, before sitting, all conversation which may lead to argument or disagreement, or which is painful or exciting, is to be shunned. It is for this reason that retirement and meditation and fasting and prayer, are so often the attendants on successful spirit influence. The seers and mediums of the past have so found it. We have frequently told you that the body should be in quiescence and the mind in peace, or there is danger in sitting.
The force used by us in manifesting is only available when not denuded by bodily functions. When the brain is active, then the vital force is drawn to the brain. When the brain is passive, the force flows to the nerves, and is available for us. When the digestive organs are in active operation, it is required there. By a sudden shock the nervous balance is upset, and vital force temporarily dissipated. When passivity degenerates into apathy, it is bad. Sustained interest in what is being done causes a pleasant, regular flow of the magnetic aura, which establishes a perfect rapport between us and you. One who speaks in public is able to convey ideas more effectively when the sustained interest of his hearers keeps up the magnetic rapport. Anxiety is bad, because it is a positive state, and antagonistic to passivity. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
His guides having objected to his staying at a certain place where he was between two cemeteries, S. M. asks: How does that hurt me?
You are more and more sensitive to the exhalations which hang around graveyards. You ought not to sleep near or breathe air perpetually that is near them. It is charged with gases and exhalations which would not injure persons less susceptible, but which are hurtful to one so developed.
But they are not near.
You are between two, and the air is heavy with poison to your system. The decaying body throws out its exhalations and mingles with the air which feeds the living, and the earth-bound spirit hovers near. In all ways it is bad. And for the sensitive whose inner sensibilities are developed it is worse.
You do not like churchyards. Would you approve of cremation in preference to burial?
Anything would be preferable to the folly of entombing the moulding body in the midst of great living centres, so that the air they breathe may be poisoned. . . . When men know better they will cease to poison themselves thus. (Spirit communicator Rector [Hippolytus] in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Spirit’s View of Requests for Signs and Tests
In speaking of an event of which we had just learned, we were surprised to find that our friends on that side already knew of it. I said: – ‘Well, you missed a splendid test. Why did you not tell us about it? I rather think that would have appealed to the public somewhat more than the messages.’ “We know so surely of the life here that we forget the value of tests. We need some one to remind us constantly, for to us they seem foolish and unnecessary: like trying to tell one the sun is shining, when all can see the facts for themselves.” ‘Well, if there is anything to tell now, be sure that you do not overlook it.’ “There are no more events of that kind in the near future, but perhaps you may see some changes. But I will not foretell these; you must wait and see for yourself.” (Spirit control Mary to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 126 .)
If the world wants evidential messages all the time, when do they expect to be convinced? If ten or twenty messages are considered to be perfect evidence, how can ten or twenty more be any better evidence? We think part of this desire for evidence is simply a curiosity to see what new method will be adopted. Most of the sceptics pay no attention to what the evidence means. They simply decide whether or no it can be classed as evidence, and then pass it by. If any one really desires evidence just to decide him in his next step towards accepting all that such a truth implies, he will be satisfied with what evidence has been given. But, alas, too many really do not desire that the truth shall be proven.
It is only too apparent that many should change their mode of life, their manner of thinking, if they accept the truth. It is the same thing to many people as being converted to the ideas that the church puts forth. Many turn away because they do not desire the kind of a life that religion and the church teach as the one that should be followed. If they believed that death was the entrance into a life where only the unselfish and the pure of heart could find happiness they would of necessity change their mode of living. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 88.)
What I am trying to tell you is: – Do not expect clairvoyants to give you what they call “good evidence” from me by telling you how you cut your finger when peeling potatoes and swore a week ago, or tripped over the pup’s toe when getting your breakfast. It is only the near-earths who know these silly details and more often than not it is not a message but a clairvoyant reading of your thought web. (Philip Gilbert to his mother, Alice, in PTS, 28.)
Seek not to evoke marvelous phenomena merely for the sake of wonder. Seek ever a spirit of teachableness and dependence on the All-Wise. Cultivate patience, trust and hope in God, and charity among yourselves. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MST, 7.)
There is a point beyond which it is impossible for us to present evidence. Of that you are aware. We labour under one great disadvantage, as compared with human witnesses; we are not of your earth, and cannot produce for you the kind of evidence which would weigh in your courts of justice. We can but state for your acceptance the evidence on which we ground our claims to your hearing and acceptance, leaving to your mind in fairness to decide upon the points which we cannot clear up by evidence.
For our own statements must, to a very great extent, be unsupported, save by statements of those who work with us. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 69.)
For definite proof you must be content to wait until you, too, have rent the veil, and stand with unclouded eye in our company. The most we hope for now is the gradual establishment of conviction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 70.)
If you will now think carefully over what has been said, you will see that the nature of the case precludes more than presumptive proof being given of the validity of our claims. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 72.)
We say again, that God forces blessings on none. He offers: the responsibility of acceptance or refusal rests with you. The internal evidence will be admitted by you and by all to whom we are now concerned to address ourselves. None but those who are hopelessly involved in the meshes of the shallowest bigotry, who are bound by the fetters of a conventional theology, and shackled by an iron dogmatism, will refuse to acknowledge the internal evidence of a Divine origin in the creed which we put forward. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 72.)
Any attempt to prove identity by such imposed tests as you have put upon us would be worse than useless. It would probably end in failure; and would certainly fail to ensure conviction. It may be possible for us to give collateral proofs from time to time. If it be so, we shall gladly avail ourselves of the opportunity; and if your connection with us is prolonged, you will find hereafter that many such proofs are accumulated. But the validity of our claims must rest on some more solid foundation than that. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 101.)
We will give you a parallel from the very mouth of Jesus in His answer to those who asked of Him a sign. You know that none was given save one which He Himself selected. We care not now as to the why and wherefore. Perhaps it was impossible: perhaps it was undesirable: perhaps the very attitude of mind precluded the possibility of granting the request. Such is precisely the case with you in this respect.
The temper of mind which dictates such arguments as you have addressed to us makes it impossible for us to reply to them in terms pleasing to you. The reasons which presumably operated in the one case now operate in the other. And it should scarcely be necessary to remind you that it was not to the Pharisee, the Sadducee, or the wise in their own conceit, who came to Him seeking to entangle Him in His talk, that Jesus vouchsafed either His words of comfort or His miracles of mercy, but to the humble and the meek, to the poor in spirit, the faithful, earnest souls who were too careful to gather up the blessed truth, and to reap the precious fruit, to care very curiously to inquire in what form it came or under what conditions it was bestowed.
It was so throughout His earthly career: and in so doing He did but act as the Father Himself deals with man. The proud, dogmatic, haughty man who informs Omnipotence of what he wants, and murmurs if it be not instantly bestowed, is not the recipient of Divine benediction, but the humble, trustful, prayerful soul, whose cry from the depths of an earnest and loving heart is, “Father, not my will but Thine be done.” This is the law which governs all Divine manifestations. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 119.)
We complain that the positive tone of your mind, and the line of dogmatic argument which you have determined to follow, is one that is little fitting in your case. We are compelled, however unwillingly, to visit it with censure. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 119.)
Review the past. Let your mind recur to that phase of your life which you know to have been associated with us. Of the previous care of your guardians extending throughout your life you can have no knowledge yet. The watchful care which developed in you the struggling germ of progress; the tender care of those angel-guards whose watchful protection never failed; the preservations from evil; the guidance in difficulty; the direction in the onward path; the raising of your soul from ignorance and error to knowledge of the truth – this unseen working is to you unknown.
But our efforts have not been entirely secret. During the immediate past we have been around and about you day by day. You have known our words and acts; you have received from us constant messages, records of which remain with you. Did a word of ours ever strike your mind as false? Did an act ever seem to you mean, or selfish, or unkind? Have we committed ourselves? Have we spoken to you words that were degrading or foolish? Have we influenced you by wiles which were earthy, by motives that were sordid? Have we led you to a course that is retrogressive? In short, by our fruits if we are judged, has the influence on you been for evil or for good? for God or for His foes? You yourself, are you better or worse for it? more or less ignorant? more or less useful? more or less happy? We dare any to say of us aught that may reasonably reflect on us, on our acts, or on our teaching. We assert in the face of all who hear that it is God-like, and that our mission is of and from Him. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 119.)
We have placed before you a body of convincing evidence to which it would be difficult to add. We have not been chary of complying with your wishes for manifestations of power. Nay, we have even risked doing harm to you in our desire to gratify our friends by the exhibition of the more remarkable manifestations.
We have cheerfully granted all requests made to us, when it was possible, and as we, in the exercise of wider wisdom, judged desirable to do so. When we have refused your requests it has been because you have asked impossibilities, or because in your ignorance you have wished for what would do you harm. It is necessary to remind you that we see from a clearer standpoint, and with a more piercing vision than man has yet attained; and we are frequently obliged to refuse requests made in ignorance and folly.
But what has been refused, never without good reason, is as a speck to the mountain of evidence which has been given – evidence which is sufficient to prove over and over again the existence of a power external to earth, beneficent in its action, elevating in its operation, and blessed in its issue – a power which can come from none but God, since it is Divine in act and outcome.
Yet that power, so proven, so known to you, you distrust, and seriously question the statements which we make to you as to our identity. It is to you, forsooth, a stumbling-block that names which you have exalted should stoop to concern themselves with a Divine Work, under the leadership of Divinely-sent messengers, and designed for the amelioration of man’s destiny. And so you refuse credence, and, with daring ignorance, charge on us that we are, or at least may be, impostors, and that we are performing acts of beneficence with a lie in our mouths.
This you do though you know that you can devise no reason why we should deceive, no source but God from which we can be derived, no errand but mercy on which we can be sent, no end but man’s eternal benefit on which we can be employed. It is this that constitutes your fault, as we are bound to censure it in you. We tell you that it is in you sin, and that we will have no dealings with you on such terms. We will give no signs so demanded. We have reached the limits beyond which we will not go, and warn you that it is at your own peril that you despise what has been placed before you. We charge you solemnly that you meditate on the past, that you ponder its lessons, weigh its evidence, and pause before you wilfully put aside such a body of teaching, and such a mass of evidence merely for an idea. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 120.)
Your arguments prove at any rate that your mind has not grasped the true nature of our work. We are not able, nor indeed are we willing, to comply with the suggested tests which you prescribe. It is not thus that conviction is assured, and God’s messengers avouched. Compliance would but cause further demands; and conviction cannot be established by any such material means. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 123.)
The story of Jesus is fulfilled again. The people will wonder at miraculous works; they will follow so long as personal interest is excited, and personal curiousity gratified; but when we raise them from that level, when we cut out the egoistic element, and deal with eternal and imperial facts, they turn back – they are not able to receive what is too high for them. And so the designs of God are thwarted, and the benefits which we are commissioned to bestow are cast aside with thanklessness; and the chilling sense of threatened failure is added to our sorrow. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, ST, 127.)
When your demand for a prescribed test, on which your mind is strongly fixed, takes the form of a request for some special information, the answer, if given as you wish, would in most cases be imperfect and unreliable, from the admixture of your own mental action and that of the circle, so that in any case your end would be frustrated. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 144.)
Remember that there are degrees / of proof, and that evidence very insignificant in itself may be vastly enhanced by preceding or succeeding facts or arguments. That which seems to you vague now may be rendered precise by some further point long after; and many proofs extended over long time have a daily added weight. More especially is this the case when the general and special results show unvarying truthfulness in us who speak to you. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 144-5.)
We have tried to show you in progressive teaching, the truth we reveal. And we have testified by signs, even as Jesus did, to the divine nature of our mission. But we have also warned you [the signs] are subsidiary to the great work, that you seek not too ardently after them nor rest in them. They are but the husk. The manifestations of objective phenomena you call physical are important to us only in so far as they testify to our mission. They are necessary in the present stage of our work, and for some minds will always be necessary. Therefore we have produced for you from time to time marvels. We have warned you not to fix too strong an interest in them, and have told you that in many cases they are harmful. In all they are but secondary. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Excessive use of medium-power is exhausting. That which we do of this (physical) sort is strictly subsidiary to your work in the receiving of information from us, systematising and arranging it, and conveying to enquiring souls the information they long for.
You err in fancying that objective mediumship is the real. Frequently it is but the lowest form, dangerous to its possessor, and serviceable only to those who are learning the alphabet of spirit communion. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Many Advanced Souls Cannot Produce Phenomena
It is a literal fact that the spirits who frequent circles from which the spiritual element on your side is absent are unprogressed or undeveloped spirits, attracted by the dominant temperament of the sitters – earthbound spirits who love to bewilder and perplex, or to lure to vice and sin. Think of the philosophy of spirit intercourse, what it is intended to be, and what it has been degraded to. We tell you it is impossible for anyone to allow himself to be made the vehicle of spirits who are attracted to open circles without sinking, sooner or later, to their level – without mental, moral and physical deterioration. You go to a pest-house, and expect to escape scot-free; but one day you will find you have gone too far; a vampire has fastened on you, and you are possessed by a loathsome fiend, whom you must emancipate yourself from by laborious purification, or to whom you must become victim.
S. M. says he has seen plain and silly fraud in the midst of genuine manifestations.
Wishing to accomplish a certain end, a low class of spirits would use the readiest means without any thought of fraud. In the case of the materialisation of the full form, which is one of the cases in which inferior agents must act, the spirit would have no notion of deception in using the medium’s body in any way. It would do its work in the easiest way. Hence the mixture of open fraud, as it seems to you, with what you call genuine phenomena.
You may be watching the manifestations of the presence of a being without soul, and so without conscience. You will regard them as you would regard conduct of an untrained animal. With the lower grades of spirits you must make allowances, and expect nothing from them save certain evidences of power, which you must judge on their merits, sifting and probing, and not being dismayed if good and false are mingled. Such phenomenal manifestations are necessary to reach men who can assimilate no other evidence. They are not any sort of proof of our claims, no evidence of the moral beauty of our teachings; but they are the means best adapted to reach the materialist.
The phenomena are produced by spirits who can produce them best. Those spirits are the lowest and most earthly; either those who have passed through incarnation without progress, or those who have reached but not attained to it. These last are most powerful agents, but they know no distinctions of morality. It would be absurd and foolish to you if the progressed spirits of humanity were to be put forward as the agents in what you contemptuously describe as a moving of furniture. The mighty ones, who even in the flesh were spirits sent from God to enlighten your world, are not the agents who can be used in bringing home evidence of the kind needed by the materialist. They have no longer any power over gross matter, and would be unable so to act.
You should confine the phenomenal to circles where the best evidence can be given by spirits who are most able. From them you should ask nothing more; even as from the higher spirits you should not ask any evidence of the material kind. If material and physical ends are sought, they are obtained at the cost of spiritual progress as a rule.
Hence it is that circles should be graduated, and the purely physical relegated to where it is needed. The higher spirits will not frequent the circles where such an atmosphere prevails. No information should, therefore, be asked; only material evidence. But in the circles where such manifestations are not desired, information should be sought, and it should be the aim to raise as much as possible the spiritual tone by cultivating communion with the higher spirits, and by recognition of their mission of instruction and enlightenment. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
The Advanced Teacher Behind the Group Develops the Medium
Here we at least know by personal experience that there are higher strata and higher still: people like the Chief, (1) for instance. … They look as if they were made of radium. We rarely see them but now and then one appears, to inspire us. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 45.)
- (1) The spirit who is referred to as “the Unknown Teacher.”
I am the Master of physical matter. I am above the law because I do not break it. (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 58.)
The permeating mystic glow, which is my aura, shall never be cast aside. You are of it eternally, my child. Fear nothing. Human weakness, trifling follies, have no power to dispel these lambent rays and you have yourself established it in the inner chamber of the heart. (The Unknown Teacher in PTW, 221.)
My child, I am here – you have responded well to my signal.
In the hereafter, this signal shall be as a daily bell to summon you to work or conference. Eternity lies before you and your first steps therein will be very joyful. (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTW, 213.)
The Power of the spirit is latent – it is built up slowly. Each time that you overcome an impulse of inertia, of yielding to untoward conditions, such as a chilly, wind-swept room, and a heavy drowsiness, and keep your rendez-vous with me, each time the fibre of your power is toughened, though you feel you do nothing. (Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTW, 217.)
Open your being to the throbbing dynamo of Creation and so you shall attain true Power, for your struggles, if borne bravely, will fit you, little by little, for its inflow. (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert, PTW, 210.)
There is an alchemy of the mind, a subtle vehicle of Thought which ‘translates’ universal conceptions, emanating from without, into visual symbol pictures which ‘photograph’ themselves, and can be seen by the inner eye. This functions according to the quality of the brain or soul.
So intricate, so blended are those professes that to disentangle, to study, cannot be done by the finite eye or brain. Their energy force is electricity, but this is merely the producer of power, as steam drives an engine.
This web is Universal. In it and if it, swim and blend all thought creations, all Being indeed. It is the web of destiny, yet so subtly woven, so gossamer that it is of infinite mutability.
And now, I go and you come with me to those dim recesses of far-spun web. We will explore Time – come then into those silent depths of velvet darkness where is embedded the events of your Past. Come and study, for your instruction – Come! (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTW, 213.)
I too am part of a vast Being in Eternity. This process is for ever and ever – each part playing its part in a symphony of harmony. (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 47.)
We do not desire extremes. A body wasted by fasting is not in any way profitable: but neither is a body which is clogged and loaded by over-indulgence. Temperance and moderation are what help us. If you desire, friend, to facilitate our work, and to attain the best results, you should bring to the sitting a body healthy and sound, senses clear and watchful, and a mind passive and receptive. Then we can do for you more than you think. With a circle harmonious and properly constituted the manifestations would be more delicate, and the teaching given more refined and trustworthy. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 45.)
Some Mediums are Given Visions of Glory to Empower Their Work
I heard a rushing sound, like that which might be made by the beating of many wings, and suddenly there appeared, standing in the middle of the room, two forms. One was that of a man, the other that of a woman. They were clad in shining white robes. Around the head of each was a bright halo. The man stretched forth his hand and said:
“Be not dismayed; blessed shalt thou be.”
Then the woman spoke and said:
“Behold the Savior! And I am His mother.”
The face of the man was bearded and his hair was long, falling below the shoulders; both bear and hair were of a reddish hue. The features closely resembled those of the traditional portraits of the Savior. But in most of them the predominant expression is one of sadness, while the face which I beheld expressed joy far beyond that which I have ever seen depicted on any human face. And yet there was that about it which I have never seen depicted on any human face. And yet there was that about it which proclaimed infinite compassion.
The face of the woman was an oval type, very beautiful and aglow with love and tenderness. It was that which impressed me more than its bueaty.
The figures slowly faded from my sight and the room was again dark.(Joy Snell, MA, 14.)
[Snell is grieving the sudden death of her father:] After a long time, I know not how long, I became aware that the [church] service was over and that I was kneeling alone in the church, now dimly illumined by a few gas jets. Something like the calm that often succeeds the tempest had fallen on my storm-swept soul.
I raised my head and looked up, and for the second time found myself gazing at the white-robed figure of the Savior, surrounded by a bright light, which seemed to emanate from His own person. For a short time I gazed, spellbound by the indescribably tender passion depicted on that radiant face.
“Oh, help me!” I cried, “for I am afraid to live and yet I dare not die.”
The Saviour stretched forth His hands in a gesture of loving appeal, and said in tones that revealed a depth of sympathy and tenderness no human voice is capable of expressing:
“Come unto Me, weary one and stricken with despair, and I will comfort you and give you work to do for Me. Now go in peace.”
The vision faded from my sight. A great burden seemed lifted from my soul and I left the church resolved to begin a new life, a life that should be of some use to others. (Joy Snell, MA, 27-8.)
I’m sorry, would you repeat the question? There’s a rather large audience of spirits in the room and I was distracted by a comment that was being made over here. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the crowd or not [clairvoyantly]. (Albert Schweitzer, POG, 34.)
Encouraging the Medium
Give the truth to the world, let it be received where it will. Many will read the messages. Some will accept the truth, others will read through curiosity, a few will ridicule. Yet to all is the truth given, and to all remains the power of choice. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 8.)
I have told you that with your cooperation I must fulfill an important mission. I have received permission to stay in communication with you as long as you follow me. The time will come when I can no longer remain in this close connection with you. I hope you will be far enough advanced by then so as not to need my help anymore. (Sigwart, BOTR, 55.)
What you do in earth day-time is really so unimportant, emotionally – though you are doing work for the Old Man, but it will really be so short a time and then you will be back at your place here, making things hum! (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 137.)
You are ill (I was running a temperature). I warned you, didn’t I? You must be very careful.
For you have not yet done your work here – that is the important first. I know you would like to come into this plane, and it is a temptation not to fight against illness, but the Chief says: “No! she is to hold on – her work is not yet done.” (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 140-1.)
I am to tell you that what you did last night [offering psychic healing to another sick woman while ill herself] was a step on the path of understanding – this is how A.L. expressed it – of the laws of healing. The fact of being ill yourself need not stand in the way of pouring vitality on another for that vitality comes from outside you. And it has helped to cure you too. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 141.)
‘There is a band, a circle of protection round you, and no evil can touch you in this work you do. You get much spiritual instruction and are to give it out, but don’t strive – just go gently, giving it out as needed.’ … I felt very strong power and kept getting those strange and strong ‘electric shocks’ down the head and spine which, I am learning, mean the presence of a really powerful entity. (Alice Gilbert and medium describing her spirit controllers in PTW, 168.)
Myself: – Tell me, what is the meaning of that queer little tingle like a very mild electric shock that I get at times, on the top of my head?
Medium: – It is when one of us touches your aura. When you feel it, just greet us and ask mentally if we want to give you a message. (Alice Gilbert and medium in PTW, 168.)
The tinglings you feel are when we pass over your aura or sometimes touch your forehead. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 181.)
Really, it’s time you learned to trust your own powers, but as you don’t it does you good now and then to get it confirmed. So we all went in force – as you felt, when we sent shocks all down you. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 169.)
Because you have given yourself into the Divine keeping, nothing of any kind can ever harm you. Banish every vestige of fear from your mind – never be afraid. You are in God’s care and your guides will help to keep evil influences away. (John Heslop in the “Christ Sphere” to his wife, F. Heslop, SABL, 3.)
“Try to do your own work, your own little task, without fear and without doubt of yourself. Just use your psychic power as we give it to you, and then, trust the Great Power behind and above us all, whose will does accomplish miracles upon earth, and can bring peace and happiness and spiritual knowledge to those who keep the open mind.
“You fear your own mind is writing this. I tell you it is not, but is being impressed from here, from across the border, from the beautiful world beyond the tumult and discord of earthly strife. How can the world get a new revelation unless through the minds or souls that are in tune with the heavenly vibrations? Be at peace. Your work is not your own; it is guided from here. …”
“The messages that have come over to you will be a perpetual blessing to the many who will read and believe. It was not intended that all mortals should see through the gateway into the other world. It is not in accordance with the decision of personal free will, personal responsibility and choice. Yet in these latter days the spiritual revelation is more and more coming to the world, and it remains for the world to accept or reject, even as it was left to those of Christ’s time to accept his teachings or reject them. And the influence of His teachings, although accepted by such a pitiful few at that time, has been the great saving power of humanity.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 74-5.)
We have lately been able to act more directly on you, because of your increased passivity and more receptive frame of mind. We earnestly encourage you to prayerfulness and steadfastness, together with patient watching. Be not diverted from the purpose for which we labour. Meditate long and frequently on the sacred message which God now sends to earth.
Strive to throw aside obstacles and bars to progress. We would not have you neglect your daily work. The time will come when we shall be able to use you more frequently. That time is not yet come. It is necessary that you go through this additional trial and preparation; meantime, dear friend, remember that you need training, even as by fire. You must endeavour to rise above the plane of earth to the higher spheres, where the higher spirits dwell. This is our Easter message to you.
Awake and arise from the dead. Cast aside the gross cares of your lower world. Throw off the material bonds that bind and clog your spirit. Rise from dead matter to living spirit; from earthly care to spiritual love; from earth to heaven. Emancipate your spirit from earthly cares which are earth-born and unspiritual. Cast aside the material and the physical which have been the necessary aids to your progress, and rise from engrossing interest in the worldly to a due appreciation of Spiritual / Truth.
As the Master said to His friends, “Be in the world, but not of the world.” So shall those words of your Sacred Records be fulfilled in you: “Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 167-8.)
Encouraging the Medium: The Case of Stainton Moses
WHILE ENTRANCED, STAINTON MOSES VISITS THE SPHERES
He darkened the room, and, as there was no sofa, he put himself on his bed. Musical sounds took place, and globes of light appeared. He then lost consciousness, and when he awoke it was just midnight. He was impelled to get up and write the following description:
I have no recollection of losing consciousness, but the darkness seemed to give place to a beautiful scene which gradually unfolded itself. I seemed to stand on the margin of a lake, beyond which rose a chain of hills, verdant to their tops, and shrouded in a soft haze. The atmosphere was like that of Italy, translucent and soft. The water beside which I stood was unruffled, and the sky overhead was of cloudless blue.
I strolled along the margin of the lake, meditating on the beauty of the scene. I met a person coming towards me. I knew it was Mentor [Al Ghazzali]. He was clad in a robe of white of a thin texture, like very fine Indian muslin, and of a peculiar pearly whiteness. On his shoulders was a mantle of deep sapphire blue; on his head a coronet which seemed to me like a broad scarlet band, studded with bosses of gold. His face was bearded, and wore an aspect of benevolence and wisdom.
His voice as he addressed me, was sharp and decisive in tone: “You are in spirit-land, and we are going to show you a scene in the spheres.” He turned and walked with me along the margin of the lake till we came to a road which branched along the foot of the mountain. A little brook flowed by its side, and beyond was a lovely stretch of verdant meadow, not cut up into fields as with us, but undulating as far as the eye could reach.
We approached a house, very like an Italian villa, situated in a nook, amidst a grove of trees like nothing I ever saw before; more like gigantic ferns of the most graceful and varied description. Before the door were plots of flowers of the most lovely hues and varieties. My guide motioned me to enter, and we passed into a large central hall, in the middle of which a fountain played among a bank of flowers and ferns. A delicious scent filled the air, and the sound of sweet music, soft and soothing, greeted the ear.
Round the hall ran a kind of balcony from which I could see doors that led to the several apartments. The walls were painted in a sort of design, which was a continuation of the scenery through which we had passed. There was no roof but the cloudless azure of the sky. As I stood wondering at the beauty of everything that met my eye, a door opened and a figure advanced towards me. It was Imperator, as I have before seen him. On his head was the diadem with seven points, each point tipped by a star of dazzling radiance and each of different colour. The face was earnest, benevolent and noble in expression. It was not aged, as I should have expected, but wore an aspect of devotion and determination mingled with gentleness and dignity.
The whole air and mien was most dignified and commanding. The figure was draped in a long robe of brilliant white. It seemed to be composed of dewdrops, lit up by the morning sun. The whole effect was so dazzling that I could not look steadfastly at it. It reminded me at once of the description of the Transfiguration, and of the angels who stood at the sepulchre in shining raiment. I instinctively bowed my head, and a voice soft and earnest, with a strange, melancholy cadence, fell on my ear: ‘Come and you shall see your friend[s], and we will try to touch that heart of disbelief.’ He held out his hand, and I noticed that it was jewelled, and seemed to shine with an inner phosphorescent light.
I was astounded at the vision. The most solemn strain I ever heard fell on my ear. A door at my side was thrown open, and the sound of music drew nearer, and I saw the head of a long procession coming towards me. At the head marched one clad, as all the rest were, in robes of pure white, girt with cincture of crimson. The cinctures varied in colour, but the robes were all white. He bore aloft a cross of gold, and round his head was a fillet on which was inscribed ‘Holiness.’ Behind him, two and two, came the white-robed choir, chanting a hymn of praise. As they passed us, the procession paused, whilst each turned and saluted Imperator, who stood a few paces in front of me.
Among the procession, S. M. noticed several he recognised; his guides, Mentor [Al Ghazzali], Rector [Hippolytus], Prudens [Plotinus], Philosophus [Alexander Achillini] and Swedenborg; his friend S. [Bishop Wilberforce?] and Keble, Neale and others. A long procession followed. Then six figures came out, who advanced towards him. Five were those he had known on earth. The procession filled the balcony of the large room, of which the walls and roof were formed of the lovely flowers and a creeper which threw out tendrils in all directions. He says: “They faced inwards, looking towards Imperator, who offered an elevated prayer to the Supreme. The strain of praise burst forth again, and the procession retired as it came.
Explanation given by spirit writing:
S. M.: “Was that scene real?”
As real as that on which you now gaze. Your spirit was separated from its earthly body, connected only by the ray of light. That ray was the vital current.
S. M. says he was astonished at the wall being no barrier the scene seemed to be unfolded instantly. At once he was in spirit-land.
The spirit-world is around you, though you see it not. Your eyes being opened, you saw the things of spirit-life, and no longer beheld the things of earth-life.
“Then, are the spheres all round us?”
“The spirit-world extends around and about you, and interpenetrates what you call space. We wished to show you the reality of its existence. The spirits were gathered by Mentor [Al Ghazzali] at my request in the second sphere. They came from various spheres and conditions, and were assembled for a special purpose.”
S. M. notices that his friend’s robes were violet, shot with green, whereas the rest were in white.
He wore the robes from which you would recognise him from his description. The green typifies the earth condition which has not faded, and the violet typified progress. All with us is symbolical. The house open to the sky shadows forth the spirit’s dwelling with no bar to its upward aspirations. The flowers and scenes of beauty show the alleviations and pleasures which divine love casts round the lot of each. The procession of praise shows the onward march of the progressive spirit, with praise to its God as the voice of the daily life. The preceding cross typified purity, and the harps and music were symbols of perpetual praise. The girdles of divers hues showed the special pursuits and attributes of the wearers, and the crowns and fillets on their heads were emblematical of their characters.
“Did I see you as you are seen always? I shall never forget the dazzling robe you wore.”
You saw me there as others see me. But I do not always present the same appearance. And you could not gaze upon the scene which the highest spheres would present. Not in your present state. (Spirit leader Imperator to Stainton Moses, MST, 69-70.) His spirit (1) is now in the spheres, gone with the guardians for instruction. Others might gain the powers he possesses, were their spirits as noble, true and unselfish. Widen your sympathies. Sink self, and ye shall have powers ye dream not of. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)
- (1) I.e., the spirit of Stainton Moses.
Few on Earth Interested in Hearing about the Spirit World
“Why don’t you tell them [the truth about the magnificence of heaven]?”
‘You mean the public?’
“Yes. Why not?”
‘They have been told many times, but they will not believe.’
“No! Is that so? Well, I suppose they will have to be born again before they can know the reality of this life.”
‘It seems so. Most people do not seem to want to hear about it.’ (Spirit communicator “A.H.” to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 47.)
Why can’t earth people know what is here?”
‘You might answer that question. They will not seek that life, or try to know its conditions.’ (Spirit communicator “A.H.” to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 49.)
“If the world could know, if it could realize, all would be well and sin forever discarded.”
‘Mary and Dee are trying to spread the truth.’
“Yes, they are. But the trouble is, they reach only those who are already good and kind.”
‘The others will not listen.’ (Spirit communicator “A.H.” to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 49.)
Many in the Spirit World Not Interested in Communicating with Earth
‘Why has he not known of the work of communication?’
“Heaven is immeasurable in space and infinite in its occupations and variety of interests. Not all care to commune with earth; many have never tried, even in all the centuries they may have been here.” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 53, of a spirit who is communicating with earth for the first time after quite a long time in the astral world.)
Suggestions that Spirit Communications are Coordinated and Directed
I will postpone anything I may have to say about personal things, in order to tell you the message with which I am charged.
It is a message not personal to yourself, but general, and one which I wish you would publish in Borderland. We have not often so good an opportunity of addressing those who are still in their bodies so I beg you to allow me the full use of your hand and pen for an hour at least. (Julia Ames, AD, 78.)
Why shouldn’t we come back from time to time to help someone here or there understand more about subjects we are experts in?
In case anyone is wondering, there is no law in heaven prohibiting this. In fact, it is encouraged. The problem is that we find so few people who take an intelligent interest in spiritual matters. There are hordes who lust for a show of phenomena, like rose petals falling from the ceiling or spirit raps on the walls. But the world doesn’t need that phenomena anymore. A genuine spiritual aspirant does not need to be convinced in these ways and shouldn’t waste time looking for these “signs” because they aren’t being used now. It’s not a question that they cannot be performed, but rather it’s an issue that has been dropped because it attracted too much of the wrong kind of attention, even in my own time. (H.P. Blavatsky, BR, 16-7.)
The spirits who most frequently choose to communicate through mediums are not on any advanced plane of intelligence. They do not know better. The very fact of their returning unbidden (1) to the earth-sphere would show they are not progressive spirits. (Spirit leader Imperator in Stainton Moses, MST, 35.)
- (1) Imperator here suggests that the best communicators return to communicate at the bidding of someone, presumably a higher-spirit teacher or group.
It is true that Benjamin Franklin did discover means of communication by raps, and that he was greatly aided by Swedenborg in awakening interest among spirits in the subject. At the time of the discovery it was believed that all denizens of both worlds would be brought into ready communion. But, both on account of the obstinate ignorance of man, and of the extent to which the privilege was abused by spirits who assumed well-known names and personated them and so deceived men, that privilege has been greatly narrowed.(1) (Spirit leader Imperator in Stainton Moses, MST, 51.)
- (1) Here is another indication that spirit communication is, to some extent, monitored and regulated.
Spirit Communication Groups Have “a Plan”
The Plan for you is developing – just hang on – we are all busy with it because it is important and must be done in the best possible way. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 211.)
All, all, is well. The Plan matures. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 164.)
I can see the plan and the pattern, and your part in it. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 170.)
This loss you had of the two of them (1) was part of a Plan to form a triangle of you, female, in the body and the two powerful male spirits in the inner world so as to get the teaching through. It is very important. (Oga, Mrs. Roberts’ spirit control, to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 40.)
- (1) Philip, her son, and “Ross,” her friend. Alice Gilbert uses “the pseudonym “Ross” to refer to her friend and does not reveal his real name. Ross went through tremendous suffering in his life and his progress on the spirit plane is rapid.
The work you try to do [is] to show the Unity of the great Eastern – Chinese, Hindo, Egyptian – occultists with Christ and Christian ethics. They are all One – this is the lesson you are to give out.
Unity, Unity – Universal Oneness – the crowd is fairly shouting it in my ear! (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 170.)
For things are planned ahead – make no mistake. If earthlings realized how much of it is planned ahead, they would not struggle so strongly to avert certain catastrophes, as they view them, because why worry so much when it’s all laid out in front of you anyway? Just accept [it] as it comes, remembering always to do the very best that you can to lead productive, helpful lives, and let the future come to you unfeared; for whether it’s part of the divine plan for you or your own mission which you agreed to accomplish when you returned to your physical form, it’s there. So what is fear? Simply lack of faith in the plan. Be relaxed, available, willing to take what comes and do the best that you can. (Arthur Ford in WB, 14.)
Spirit Control Maps out a New Book to be Dictated
We will begin at once, if you [Ruth Montgomery] are agreeable, and will delve into the existence of life from one stage to another, telling how it differs with each stage. We will discuss the crossover to this phase as one sheds the mortal body, and as we progress with our account of life here, I will give you glimpses of the higher phases which are yet to come. (Spirit control Lily to Ruth Montgomery, WB, 12.)
Spirit Communicator on the “End” of the Book
I do not know when I will finish this composition, but I will suddenly know that I had added my last comments, written my last words as a tenant of my present psychological manse. (William James, ADJ, 160.)
Scientific and Other Research and Development
Spirituality Supersedes Science
I am studying science, which I always liked, – really and actually the science of life, the cause of things, – and something of the marvellous universe and of the natural laws which govern everything. There is nothing miraculous about them – in fact, there is no such thing as a “miracle.” What seems so is merely a novel use of some existing natural law. Nor can anything be “supernatural;” it may be “super-normal.” Man can create nothing; all new discoveries are merely further knowledge of how to use latent force or power. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 12.)
I always start off meaning to be matter of fact and scientific, and find myself slipping back to the great spiritual truths to which science is only the stepping-stone. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 70.)
The human race needs spiritual uplift far more than it needs further scientific discoveries. (Spirit control Dee to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 144.)
S.M. wonders if scientific enquirers should be told the facts about elementaries and physical circles.
Let them understand the facts are presented as evidences, cognisable by material senses, of the operation of a force of which they are ignorant. The air is full of spirit-life.
The elements swarm with various phases of spirit. The world, the universe, man, God Himself, is spirit.
Man conceives of spirit as his disembodied self. We found in your mind a conception of spirit no wider than this. Spirit to you, meant human spirit, disembodied, living in some far-off sphere, where it was placed on emerging from incarnation. Spirit-land, to you, was far away, and the new phase of your life meant no more than the setting up of a telegraphic communication between your sphere and ours.
Men know nothing, can picture nothing of the true state of spiritual surroundings amid which we exist. To them, spirit is man, only in another state. Did they know the universe is one vast home of spirit, in all its multiform phases of progression, from the formless germ up to the brightest angel, that man is but one of myriads of manifestations of spirit, and that below him are countless kinds of spirit growth, infinitely divergent in kind and degree, various as the forms of animal creation – nay, ten thousand times more various – they would find themselves unable to credit it.
Did they know that these forms of spirit-life, infinitely more various than your mind can understand, act on their own state, influence their lives, modify their actions, and are very real factors in their development, they would not credit the statement. ‘Let us see them,’ they would say. As though the material eye were the final channel of intelligence. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Let men of science take such facts as fall within their province, and leave the rest. If they wish to know, tell them they are surrounded by embryonic forms of spirit-life; by the formless growths; by the more developed elemental spirits; by the higher forms who are themselves minus their souls and their conscience; you may say, without their conscious vices too.
If they wish to know more, tell them that round them gather the earthbound spirits of humanity, who are too often attracted to them by the grovelling sentiments that fill their minds; that they act and re-act on the manifestations which they seek to elicit by sitting in circle with a medium.
If they do not like that company, tell them that the ascended spirits of humanity do not voluntarily enter such an atmosphere. They live in purer air, in spheres of thought other than these. Perchance a minister of mercy may descend, or a friend be lured down; but it must be on a way prepared by pure and sincere desire, for some loftier motive than an experiment, or to be cross-questioned by an investigator in all the pride of sceptical assumption. You say well that your work now is not with scientific men. The work that presses on you now is not the work of proselytising, nor of publicity, so much as it is the steady collection of facts and their collation; the gathering up of a store of truth from which, in the future, theory and law may be deduced. You are but laying the foundation. What is necessary truth to one is so far being necessary truth to all, and it may even be prejudicial to some. They may not need it; possibly cannot assimilate it; and so reject it. It is not good to scatter pearls of truth broadcast, for there be souls, as Jesus said, who will not accept them, but will turn and rend you for your services. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)
Earth Science Must Expand
Science should and must … broaden its frontiers, which are too small to contain important elements of human experience. (William James in ADJ, 139.)
If the electrical engineer and physicists would stop looking at their textbooks and journal articles long enough to start looking at reality, they might discover some very obvious truths which might revolutionize their understanding about electricity, magnetism, and matter. Reality, you know, is the original source material. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 48.)
You have to bring Eternity to the assistance of Time and to restore to the human race, on a scientific basis, the realizing sense of the continuity of existence on both sides of the grave. What a work this is, how immense, how multifarious, how deserving of the unremitting toil of the greatest minds generation after generation you can but dimly perceive. It will revivify and re-energize the whole religious and ethical systems of the world. (Julia Ames, AD, 176-7.)
In a very real sense, a human being is a “skin” between two universes. The inward universe is every bit as vast and as real as the outward one. Some day, some philosopher is going to figure out that consciousness is like a Mobius strip – the inward universe and the outward universe are identical. [A Mobius strip, named after German mathematician A.F. Modbius, is formed by taking a long, think, rectangular piece of paper, twisting it once, and connecting the ends.] An aware being is something like a Mobius strip; the outside is the inside. Of course, none of you look like that, but that’s the way it really is. …
The inner cosmos and the outer cosmos [are] really a continuous loop. An individualized awareness – like a human being – is really an inside/outside skin between the two. (Stewart Edward White in PP, 219.)
This is where science is going to have to go to survive – it’s going to have to accept the inward/outward universe idea. Many people are beginning to realize that. (Stewart Edward White in PP, 220.)
The whole field of science is going to be changing rapidly in these next few years. The “gentlemen in white upstairs” (1) are going to see to it. The basic occult teachings about the manipulation of astral matter – for instance, to effect a change in the physical plane – are going to be brought down to the level of the direct manipulation of physical matter.
There will be a scientist with a rather extended awareness who will be revising current scientific thought on these subjects. This is how the pyramids were built, you know. Someone knew those laws and how to manipulate physical matter. But most of your current teachings leave out that part. (Stewart Edward White in PP, 220-1.)
- (1) The White Brotherhood.
I wish science would realize how valuable the intuitive process is to its work! I know a lot of scientists are studying the few writings and ideas I left behind, to see if they can reconstruct my work. Let me tell them something: the greatest asset in trying to understand what I did would be the development of psychic awareness.
Understanding my work certainly requires a basic understanding of physics, mathematics, engineering, and mechanical phenomena, but it requires more than that, too. It requires an awareness of the invisible forces which influence the physical plane. And to understand these forces, you have to have a mind which can reach into the invisible realms of life and deal with the essence of ideas. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 62.)
I’m sure all of you here have had experiences where you have recognized a pattern or meaning in a collection of facts that made no sense at all to anyone else. That is because you have the ability to synthesize ideas. You saw something where others saw nothing. Yet everyone was looking at the same set of facts.
This kind of intuition is a necessary part of all genuine creative work. I don’t think science can really progress until this kind of awareness is recognized, honored, and studied. It isn’t enough anymore to simply study textbooks – not if you want to produce something worthwhile. You could be an excellent technician or draftsman by just studying the textbooks, but never an inventor or discoverer. That requires an intuitive capacity.
Science is nearing the end of its frontier, and the reason why is because it is so pigheadedly materialistic. Science believes that, if you can’t push it, knock it, shove it, or measure it, it just doesn’t exist. So it ignores most of life.
Many scientists have exactly this kind of attitude. They are like the people who used to believe the earth was flat. They need to accept the possibility that the universe goes beyond their own limited view. Beyond their horizon, there are invisible realms of existence waiting to be explored. That’s where science needs to go! (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 64.)
“Who made the law? Who decided that gravitation, cohesion, magnetism, attraction, and a thousand other laws must go to the forming of a world or of a people?”
‘Some think these laws always existed, were never created?’
“That is getting back into the unknowable and the unthinkable. We here do not go back farther than to the Creative Force that governs all things. Many in higher spheres have far more definite knowledge than we. Scientists on earth know nothing about it. They take their own conceptions for absolute law. But this life will disclose impressions, intuitions, as well as absolute knowledge, that will crush into nothing their manifold theories.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 117.)
‘Were you an astronomer?’
“I was one, or thought I was; but I see so many problems from this side that my knowledge looks too small to be named at present. We study, but with far better methods and far better conditions; therefore the little I learned on earth seems hardly worth remembering now.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 191.)
Not Everything in the Spirit World is Understood by All Spirits
There is … an enormous amount of things that are not told us not because they are deep secrets, but because we have much to learn first. The fact is that with our necessarily limited knowledge and powers of comprehension, we should fail to understand them in our present state of advancement. …
So we jog along and find we’re none the worse off for not knowing the answers. Everything fits into its proper place in these lands and none of us would be handicapped in our progression by lack of knowledge. The knowledge will be there at the right moment. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 90-1.)
In response to my question as to how [the fruits on his fruit trees] grow, [the owner] replied that, like so many other questions in this land, the answer was only possible from those of the higher realms, and even if we were told that answer, there is more than a strong probability that we should not understand until such time as we, ourselves, went to dwell in those realms. We are quite content, he said in effect, to take so many things just as they are, without inquiring into how they come about, and we know that those things provide a never-failing supply because they come from a never-failing Source. There is no real need to delve into such matters, and most of us are quite content to enjoy them with heartfelt thanks. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 26-7.)
There are many, many things here which we do not understand – and it will take eons of time before we even have a faint gleam of understanding them. But we are not asked to understand them: we are asked to take them as they are. It makes no difference to the soul’s progression. We shall be able to progress far – and far beyond that – before we shall ever need to think about understanding such things. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 34.)
There are many problems at present hidden even from the higher planes. Study and discovery are among the delights here. There is an infinite amount of undiscovered science still before us. We follow the thought of others, and advance step by step, inch by inch, and are held in wonder and awe at the dim visions before us of the powers and forces yet to be used. We are children yet in the infinite knowledge, and we of mortal birth move along in smaller circles than the spirits of other planes or universes. But can you conceive a little of the joy of acquiring the knowledge that leads us into such limitless wonders! Knowledge is growth, and growth is happiness; and all avenues of thought lead upward to infinite wisdom, justice, and love. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser in SWSL, 160.)
Not Everything in the Earth World is Understood by All Spirits
We are not all-seeing, all-knowing on this side and many things are unknown to us on the physical plane unless they penetrate the intelligence of one with whom we work closely, such as yourself. (Spirit control Lily to Ruth Montgomery in WB, 11-2.)
Medical Research Underway on the Spirit Planes
For the last few years I have been one of a band (1) who have been working on the cause and treatment of cancer and, in the fullness of time, we will give our reports and findings to mankind. It will interest you to know that Pasteur, Dr. Schweitzer, Madame Curie, David Livingstone, and some of the people who are working on this project are here. (2) Others are working on heart disease, leukemia and other chronic illnesses. (Donald Macleod in HT, 10.)
- (1) Macleod being with his medical band or group suggests that he is communicating from the Mental Plane. (2) Most probably, are attending the same spirit circle, on the spirit side, on which Macleod is communicating to his son. Frances Banks also met with Pasteur.
Many machines and medical treatments are perfected in our spirit hospitals and will shortly be given to mankind, thereby alleviating much of its suffering and distress. There are several spirit hospitals on each plane of spirit. (Donald Macleod in HT, 17.)
‘What do physicians find to do there?’
“Plenty and plenty. Those who come over mentally unbalanced, those needing kind and wise treatment to bring them out of sin or out of selfishness, and those who are projected into this world by accident or suicide or other sudden ways, all need spiritual physicians. The remedial agencies here are mental and spiritual instead of material; but physicians, if of the right stamp, soon learn to adapt their treatment to such cases.”
‘What happens to the mind that has been unbalanced here?’ “We have many specialists who take charge of these. Many are the result of disease or old age, but those are easily cured. For spirit does not require any gray matter or brain cells for intelligence.
“Sometimes a snap in the brain or in the arteries, and they come to us very quickly. In such cases it is without knowledge that they have passed out of the body. That is a condition that has to be watched and cared for here, else they remain very long in the dream state and do not progress. I have watched many cases on earth but never knew what happened on this side until I came here.
Physicians have work to do here. And their labor on earth, and their study of abnormal conditions there, help them here to heal the spirit that is beclouded by the physical; or, rather, the impressions made by the physical / while it had power over them. Spirit is very impressionable while on earth, and some of the impressions often remain for a time after they arrive here.” (Unnamed spirit communicator in SWSL, 226-7.)
The Possibilities of Scientific Study are Much Greater in the Spirit World
Think what it means to study any of the great sciences from this side! To study the stars and suns, for instance, the homes of multitudes of spirits. For each planet has a spirit zone surrounding it to which their own spirits go. There is, of course, intercommunication between the planets, and we are made happy by visitors from far away zones. They tell us of a spirit life the same as ours, but of differing conditions in each planet; and that their bodies are made to conform to the conditions. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 103.)
Indeed, the great scientists of the earth-plane find, when they come to live in the spirit world, that they have a completely new world upon which to commence a fresh course of investigations. They begin de novo as it were, but with all their great earthly experience behind them. And what joy it brings them, in company with their scientific colleagues, to probe the mysteries of the spirit world, to collect their data, to compare their new knowledge with the old, to record for the benefit of others the results of their investigations and discoveries. And all through they have the unlimited resources of the spirit world upon which to draw. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 91.)
Inventions and Discoveries Made and Perfected on Spirit Planes and Then Sent to Earth
We visited another circle some time ago where they are especially interested in scientific work. We found there a number of spirits who on earth were noted for their scientific achievements, and they have formed a sort of scientific society here. It is through their influence that some of your important inventions have been perfected; and they are trying to impress further ideas on your workers there.
It is a wonderful circle, and is doing much to help the human race. (Spirit control Dee to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 144.)
There are so many fascinating branches of study to which one’s time can be devoted and we are taught that our efforts here open up new fields of progress for the earth as well.
For inspiration is beamed back to receptive minds in all branches of progress. Scientific discoveries on earth are but a dim reflection of known and perfected plans which are in operation here. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 43.)
Any time within the next thousand years the lighter and more refined kind of hydrogen I told you about may be known to science, but it will not be known by any name we have given it here; it will be named and classified by man when he discovers it. /
I called it a “kind of hydrogen” because that is, it seems to me, the nearest approach to it on the earth-plane, and I must call it something that will present an idea to your mind that you can “grasp.” It is a definite thing. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 73-4.)
‘Could you descend into the earth?’
“It is through spirit that the treasures of the earth have been found. It is through spiritual impressions on the mind of man that he has been sent to seeking and using the hidden riches which are there for the finding.” (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 18.)
The earth world has the spirit world to thank for all the major scientific discoveries that have been made throughout the centuries.
The laboratories of the world of spirit are many decades in advance of those of the earth-plane. And it will be years before many revolutionary discoveries are allowed to be sent through to the earth world, because the earth has not yet sufficiently progressed. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 73.)
In the past ages all the epoch-making discoveries have come from the spirit world. Of himself, incarnate man can do very little. Most people are content to consider the earth-world as sufficient unto itself. Indeed it is not! The scientist is fundamentally a man of vision; it may be limited, but it is there nevertheless. And our spirit scientists can – and do – impress their earthly colleagues with the fruits of their investigation. In many cases where two men are working upon the same problem, the one who is in spirit will be far ahead of his confrere who is still on earth. A hint from the former is very often enough to set the latter upon the right track, and the result is a discovery for the benefit of humanity.
In so many cases humanity has so benefited, but, alas, in so many cases humanity has suffered sorrow and tribulation through the devilish perversion of those discoveries. Every one of them that is sent from the spirit world is for the advantage and spiritual progression of man. If perverted minds use those same things for the destruction of man, then man has only himself to blame. That is why I affirmed that the earth world has not spiritually progressed enough to have many more splendid inventions that have already been perfected here. They are ready and waiting, but if they were sent through to the earth-plane in its present state of spiritual mind, they would be misused by unscrupulous people.
The people of the earth have it in their power to see that modern inventions are employed solely for their spiritual and material good. When the time comes that real spiritual progress is made, then the earth-plane can expect a flood of new inventions and discoveries to come through from the scientists and engineers of the spirit world. But the earth-plane has a long and sorrowful way to go before that time comes. And in the meantime the work of the spirit scientist continues .
We were permitted to see the progress that had been made in locomotion, and we were amazed at the advance that had been made since the days when we were on the earth-plane. But that is as nothing to that which is to come. When man exercises his will in the right direction, there will be no end to the enormous rewards that he will gain in material progress, but material progress must go hand in hand with spiritual progress. And until they do the earth world will not be permitted to have the many inventions that are ready and waiting to be sent through. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 73-4.)
It was never intended that when the results of our scientists’ researches are communicated to the earth they were to be seized upon by the few to the exclusion of all others. Those that have done so find that they have to pay a very heavy price for their brief span of earthly prosperity. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 75.)
All the major discoveries that are of service to the earth-plane have come and always will come from the spirit world. If man, employing his free will, chooses to put those discoveries to base ends, then he can thank himself for the calamities that follow. Inspiration devoted to whatever cause or pursuit comes from the world of spirit and from nowhere else. If it be for the good of mankind, the source of equally good; if the inspiration is obviously not for the good of mankind, then the source is unquestionably evil. Man has it within his own hands as to which source of inspiration he will lend himself – to good or to evil. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 186.)
The earth world has given a poor exhibition of what has been through to it from the spirit world by putting to base uses what has been given for its benefit. Man has exercised his own free will, but he has been exercising it in a direction that ultimately brings destruction. The mind of man is but in its infancy and an infant becomes dangerous when he has free use of that which can destroy. Hence, much is held back from the earth world until man has reached a higher state of development. That day will assuredly arrive and a torrent of new inventions will come pouring through from the spirit world to your world. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 170.)
There are still good gifts in that earth world of yours which man has not yet found. But he has been guided towards many of the hidden gifts of nature, and will sometime find and use the rest. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 94.)
There is something I want to qualify in what I said the other day, that there is nothing out here which has not existed on the earth. Since then I have learned that that statement is not exactly true. (1) There are strata here. This I have learned recently. I still believe that in the lowest stratum next the earth all or nearly all that exists has existed on earth in dense matter. Go a little farther up, a littler farther away – how far I cannot say by actual measurement; but the other night in exploring I got into the world of patterns, (2) the paradigms – if that is the word – of things which are to be on earth. I saw forms of things which, so far as I know, have not existed on your planet-inventions, for example. I saw wings that man could adjust to himself. I saw also new forms of flying-machines. I saw model cities, and towers with strange wing-like projections on them, of which I could not imagine the use. The progress of mechanical invention is evidently only begun. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XII.)
- (1) Judge Hatch illustrates the predicament of listening to the newly-arrived.(2) The world of patterns may be the Mental Plane, where much scientific work goes on. Judge Hatch is writing in 1912.
Spirit Scientists Defer to Earth Names
We don’t name the particles or items of the great universal force or power that permeates and is the being of everything. It is only when it filters through to the earth-plane that you divide it and discover different parts and name them. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 74.)
Electricity is only one of the many constituents of the force, but we know there are other manifestations of power in it; but we don’t know what to call them yet, as they have not been discovered on the physical plane, where God meant all His work and all His goodness to be discovered by man. Man names these things and attains consciousness and understanding and control over them. In the spirit-world we don’t call them by a name, we understand it’s one enormous power, and we don’t give it a name – we just feel it, and know it’s there. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 65.)
How Lost Historical Knowledge is Transmitted
In the chapter on Messengers I have mentioned the fact that many mediums claim to have teachers from past ages. If these ancient sages have really advanced to a realization of spiritual truth, and really do send their wisdom to earth, it would seem that they are hardly in direct touch with the receiver here, if the following is correct: “Will you try to take a message from another teacher? He is from another plane and wishes to tell you of some of the studies and activities on his plane. It is the history plane; and perhaps he can tell you how knowledge comes down through the spheres. He is not a writer. I must write for him.” “He wishes to say that messages from sphere to sphere, and from plane to plane, are coming and going constantly. And, many times, century-old, or thousand-year-old communicants send down their expressions or their knowledge without coming themselves.” “You must understand that the etheric body becomes more and more etherealized as it ascends, and so comes less and less to lower planes. That is the reason that they send their intelligence, or their messages, through by spiritualized messengers on the different planes. That is the way that communications of history of thousands of years ago can come through, and how Egyptians, or Babylonians, or Hindoos, or other far-off personalities can communicate still with earth.” (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 118.)
Examples of Physical Thinkers Able to Bring Down Abstract Spiritual Essence
In physical life, I was what might be called a profoundly intellectual person who often neglected common habits and who didn’t think too much of the standard aspirations of the average person. I often completely lost myself in my intellectual pursuits and, frankly, did become drunk on the force of certain ideas and trains of thought and speculation. It is a risk any deeper thinker would take.
The fact that I was able to focus back into the physical plane certain inventions and ideas indicated that I had myself under control and could pull myself away from my fascinating intellectual pursuits enough to bring them back into the everyday world and put them to use. That’s part of the scientific method, too.
I was a very disciplined person, disciplined mentally and physically. I had some rather rigid personal habits – indeed, it was a rather peculiar personality, in retrospect – But I used the body and personality as an instrument for my mental workings. It was, therefore, very important for me to have a tightly disciplined personality and mind. Otherwise, the very force of the ideas I dealt with would have completely unbalanced me. It would be wise for people to understand this aspect of genius.
To borrow come electrical analogies, if you’re going to store or transmit a very great charge of electricity, your electrical hardware must be extremely well-made, well-insulated and grounded, or everything can explode in one blinding flash of electrical discharge. The force can burn out the circuits and destroy everything. In a similar fashion, the human mind is an instrument which is designed to carry an exceedingly high voltage [fifth-dimensional ideas], but only when it is properly prepared with a sensible, mature personality! Only when it has been trained in logic and careful observation, only when it has been trained to be pragmatic and empirical, is the personality then prepared to be a fitting vehicle to safely carry the tremendous force of real ideas.
This may not make sense to people who are used to thinking of thinking as the manipulation of ideas, but I don’t consider that genuine thinking. They end up primarily manipulating memories – perceptions they have registered, speculations they have entertained. They are registering only the sensory input of what their eyes have seen and what their ears have heard. There is no force of power to it so they wouldn’t be aware of the need for preparing the personality. But when I talk about thinking, I’m talking about a process that connects you with the abstract essence of ideas and that can be extremely powerful.
The abstract essence of an idea can only be contacted by a skillful, well-prepared mind. It is not contacted through observation or speculation alone – it is summoned from heaven by the intelligent and skillful focusing of an enlightened mind. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 36-7.)
I mentioned earlier that I now teach at a kind of Electrical College on the inner planes. Well, when I was in the physical, I was a student there myself, and that, too, was part of my preparation. Every night for a long period of time I would leave my body while I was asleep and go to classes on the inner planes. I would participate in experiments in actual laboratories, attend lectures which would add to my understanding of the phenomena and principles of electricity, and the come back to earth and wake up.
I often did not have an immediate recollection of what I had done, but I knew even then that I had an enriched ability to make sense of problems. I had answers to questions that had been on my mind the previous day. I had new perspectives, new solutions, and new projects to work on.
The inner planes activity is not just ordinary dreaming. There’s a different quality to it. I suppose it’s enriched intuition which is invoked and registered by your need to know something for use here on the physical plane. I would describe it as a rather intensive set of activities that I experienced when my consciousness was separated from my body and working on the inner planes during the hours of physical sleep. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 59-60.)
We are permitted to help, but with discretion. When people suppose that we ought to help them in scientific investigation, for instance, they surely forget that God has given them minds of their own to use in His service. And to that end they are left to tread their own natural way, and when they have done what they are able, we, now and again, point the way onward and help them to further knowledge.
Can you give me an instance in point?
I remember that once I was impressing a man who was investigating the laws of psychology in the matter of visions and dreams. He wanted to find out what was the cause of certain dreams being prophetic – the connection between the dream itself and the incident which it foreshadowed. He applied to me, and I told him that he must continue his investigations and use his own mind, and, if it were well, he would be given to understand.
That night I met him when he fell asleep and conducted him to one of our observatories where we experiment with the object of portraying, in visible form, / the events hovering about the present moment; that is, events which have happened shortly before, and those which will happen shortly in the future. We were not able to go far back or far ahead at that particular establishment. That is done by those in the higher spheres.
We set the instruments in order and cast upon a screen a picture of the neighbourhood in which he lived, and told him to watch intently. One particular item was the entry into the town of some great personage with a large retinue. When the display was over he thanked us and we conducted him back to his earth body again.
He awoke in the morning with a feeling that he had been in the company of certain men who had been experimenting in some branch of science, but could not recall what it had been about.. But as he was going about his work that morning the face of the man he had seen in the procession came to his mind vividly, and he then remembered several scraps of his dream experience.
On opening a newspaper a few days afterwards he saw an intimation that a visit was projected to the town and district of this same personage. Then he began to reason things out for himself.
He did not remember the observatory, nor the screen pictures we had shown him, as such. But he did remember the face and the retinue. So he reasoned in this way: when our bodies sleep we ourselves, at least sometimes, go into the sphere of four dimensions, That fourth dimension is such as enables those / who dwell there to see into the future. But coming back to this realm of three dimensions, we are not able to carry over with us all we have experienced when we ourselves have been in the realm of four. Yet we do manage to hold such items as are natural to this lower realm, such as the face of an earth dweller and a retinue in procession.
The connection, then, between such a dream as foreseen and the events themselves is the relation of a state of four dimensions to a state of three. And the former, being of greater capacity than the latter, covers at any moment a wider range of view, as to time and sequence of events, than the latter can do.
Now, by such use of his own mental faculties he had arrived at as great an advance in knowledge as I could have given him direct; and by so doing he had also advanced in mental training and power. For although his conclusion was not such as would pass muster here without rectification in several points, yet it was roundly and broadly correct, and serviceable for a practical purpose intellectually. I could not have infused into him more than he had found out for himself.
This, then, is the method of our work, and, when people find fault with us and impatiently demand that this method should be altered to suit their ideas of what is the proper way, well, we have to leave them to themselves, and, when their minds are more humble and receptive, we return and continue. (Astriel in G. Vale Owens, LBV1, 228-30.)
Examples of New Discoveries in the Spiritual World Applied to Spiritual Life
We have been working hard on some of our patients – this time in a kind of hospital where some of the earlier cases were taken. …
There is a new form of ray which we are trying, rather complicated. We alternate two types of rays. … It is used on people [in astral form], so many still suffering from the severe shock to the etheric body and so to the astral body which is built by it, caused by prolonged suffering inflicted by malice. … A combination of physical pain and mental horror at an evil malice inflicting it, as it affects an average person not advanced in spiritual understanding, does usually have a very bad effect on the etheric body of the victim. It seems to become numb, “shriveled.” The state of such people when they come over has been pitiable and we have found those cases difficult to heal, sometimes….
We could not get them to snap out of it until our research people found that by applying, in very swift alteration, two rays, one very tonifying, the other enervating, a result was obtained. (Philip Gilbert, PTS, 73.)
The distribution system of the telephone network is basically an enormous antenna system connected to the astral plane. The network is physical but acts as an antenna for the astral. By giving your attention to the astral while you are on the phone, you tune into that department [the low astral]. Even if you aren’t aware of this connection, you will be partially attuned to it. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 55.)
Suppose a spirit here, a few hundred years ago, had tried to explain “electricity” or “medium” to a medium on earth, how would he have done it? (I suppose incidentally the medium would have been burnt as a witch, or a wizard, and that would have settled the matter for the time being!) You can imagine he would have been unable to express his / ideas clearly. We are still in the same predicament. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 74-5.)
Halls of Science
[In the halls of science] the scientists (among them Lodge plays a great role) study the Laws and do research at will.
(Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 238.)
In the hall of science, every field of scientific and engineering investigation, study, and discovery was covered, and here were to be seen so many of those men whose names have become household words, and who, since passing into spirit, have continued their life’s work with their fellow scientists with the full and immense resources of the spirit world at their command.
Here they can solve those mysteries that baffled them when they were on earth. There is no longer any such thing as personal rivalry. Reputations have no more to be made, and the many material handicaps are abandoned forever. It follows that where such a gathering of savants can exist, together with their unlimited resources, the results must be correspondingly great. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 73.)
Perhaps of all the halls of learning, this, of engineering and chemistry, concerns the earth most closely since it is here that so many of the earthly engineering and chemical discoveries have their origin. Many new substances are invented in the spirit world that are subsequently transmitted to people on earth for the benefit of all.
As we passed from room to room we could see chemists and their assistants experimenting with a variety of substances which in time will, when combined, form an entirely new product exactly fitted for its purpose. We were shown how, by synthesis, exact replicas of earthly materials were compounded since it would be of no use whatever to invent a new substance of purely spirit materials which would not – could not – have any application to earthly uses. The scientist on earth must use earthly materials and the spirit world scientist must therefore work on a precise counterpart.
It so often happens, our guide told us, that a mere hint to an earthly scientist is enough to set him upon the track of a dozen or more other discoveries. All that the scientists here are concerned with is the initial discovery and in most cases the rest will follow.
Here also were new substances to be used as building materials for houses or large edifices and for many other types of building construction. New compounds were in process of being made that would eventually be converted into fabrics of all kinds, light and heavy, for personal clothing, for example, or for upholsteries in … homes. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 74-5.)
Matter and Energy
The energy units that go into making electrons and protons and neutrons and the subatomic particles are the energy units of the astral plane. We used to think of the physical atom as a little ball of something which had no parts; it was a unit unto itself. Then we discovered that the atom actually had all kinds of parts flying around inside it.
Scientists today think of electrons as very energized little units, but they are really very dense physical units. Compared to astral energy, they are a rather slowed-down, kinked sort of energy, held to a relatively concrete form and location. I am speaking loosely now, perhaps, but not if you look at this whole proposition from the perspective of the astral plane. If you were to break up an electron, you would have dozens of tiny units of energy which would be the “atoms” of the astral plane.
That is part of it, but it’s not the whole answer. Electricity as you know it is transmitted through the matter of the physical plane – actually, through the etheric levels of the physical plane. But an aspect of that electrical energy also travels through the astral plane. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 54.)
The transmission of electricity on the physical plane involves the motion of particulate matter, electrons, and so on. On the astral plane, it involves a different spectrum – energies similar to radio, infrared, and light. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 55.)
Dense matter … is a replica, within its limitations, of the astral, but is bounded and modified by the laws of matter. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 231.)
It is very curious: there seems to be a basic ‘type’ of power of an electrical nature which motivates all energy. Its laws seem to be somewhat those of electricity. It is very magnetic and the force of gravity is part of it.
Everything that takes ‘form’ through the operation of Thought (thought in some entity’s mind – the Entity may be so advanced that we never see him) is part of this magnetic force. ‘Form’ does not necessarily mean dense physical – we also have form!
This Power emanates … from a source, of which no one in my range knows the true nature. … This power permeates everything. Thought controls it – thought only – as far as its manifestation in Form goes, but naturally so complicated a type of Form as the earth must have been created by an omnipotent Intelligence and it has to work on unalterable laws – laws that must function, at no matter what cost to the individual. I’m beginning to see now the inevitability of events – accidents and disease, for instance. If you, as spirit, take on Form, your form is subject to the laws of Form.
So intensely full of Power – call it the life force, if you like – is the Earth that [the life force] must emerge, incessantly, into form, even if it is only a microbe.
(Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 219.)
This power I’ve been telling you about seems to go on flowing out endlessly. It seems to feed itself and that part of it we just can’t understand. We only know that it is there for the using, if we maser its laws. Electricity is a form of it – a diluted form. All its laws seem to be those of electricity, in a way; at least all I’ve learned so far.
You, and all human beings, are walking dynamos of electrified vibrations, physically but also spiritually. That is the part most difficult to understand.
That second body of yours – the astral body – is also an electrified form of vibrations so that the more, by willed co-operation with creative Force, one’s thought Force becomes impregnated with these power vibrations, the more one is powerful to act. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 222.)
Octaves of Energy
Because there are various octaves of energy in creation, there are subtle counterparts to everything existing in the physical octave. Well, it’s wrong to say the physical forms have subtle counterparts; it’s really the other way around. The essence is here [pointing above his head] and it has a lower octave down here [lowering his hand to the waist] as some variety of subtle energy, and then there is another octave lower yet which is still energy but more gross – perhaps even detectable by crude physical voltmeters. And yet there is an even lower octave – the octave of physical forms, mass, and matter. All these levels are octaves of the same essence. If you understand the essence, then you can understand everything below that and how the octaves interact.
For each octave, there is a certain pattern of amplitude and frequency. There will be millions of variations. Understanding this idea will give you a clue as to how to map human thoughts. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 42.)
Harmonies, Rhythms, and Resonances
You find that everything is the handiwork of the Creative Force of the whole universe, and that one of the primary laws of creation is order. It is an orderly universe. Everything hangs together and works together, somehow.
Life appears chaotic only to the inexperienced eye or ear – the eye that does not see and the ear that does not hear. The universe is orderly – the whole of Creation, really, is a beautiful mathematical creation. I would call it a mathematical or geometric creation. Someone more poetic might call it a musical creation.
My point is that there are harmonies and rhythms which permeate all of Creation. This idea is as fundamental to ordinary mathematics as it is to electricity. There are octaves of energy, definite waves and rhythms that can be measured, frequencies and amplitudes, and so on.
From these simple elements are produced an almost unlimited number of variations. You can go from the very subtle to the very dense in this way – from pure energy to a dense physical form you can touch and move around. (Nikola Tesla in NTR, 40-1.)
Because there are various octaves of energy in creation, there are subtle counterparts to everything existing in the physical octave. Well, it’s wrong to say the physical forms have subtle counterparts; it’s really the other way around. The essence is here [pointing above his head] and it has a lower octave down here [lowering his hand to the waist] as some variety of subtle energy, and then there is another octave lower yet which is still energy but more gross – perhaps even detectable by crude physical voltimeters. And yet there is an even lower octave – the octave of physical forms, mass, and matter.
All these levels are octaves of the same essence. If you understand the essence, then you can understand everything below that and how the octaves interact.
For each octave, there is a certain pattern of amplitude and frequency. There will be millions of variations. Understanding this idea will give you a clue as to how to map human thoughts.
One extra points needs to be mentioned. By applying a charge of external energy to a relatively closed system, you can selectively energize a given octave of energy. This is a simple process I used all my life, yet still only a few people have understood this subject. It’s the basic principle of resonance. Bt selectively applying a specific vibration, you strike resonance in one of the subtle bands of energy, and this then stimulates the lower octave, which stimulates a lower octave yet, until a stimulation of the subtle energy of the higher octave – normally invisible to the human eye – becomes visible.
This is what happens in Kirlian photography, although the energy is only being stepped down one level. A certain type of energy is applied to an aspect of the etheric energies, although it’s not exactly what the scientists think it is. It’s something else, but it stimulates the etheric energies so they can be photographed. (Nikola Tesla in NTR, 41-2.)
Let me try to use occult terms. If you stimulate the low astral, that will produce a corresponding effect in the upper etheric planes of matter. You could also then stimulate the upper etheric planes to produce an effect on the sense physical plane. That effect could be a photograph. I hope that will be clear to some. (Nikola Tesla in NTR, 42-3.)
An Individual Project
“Ross” Creates and Runs a Hospital
Alice, I am making a hospital. I have many ideas and am putting them into form. … I am trying to thought-build a mental hospital. I have got the walls and beds clear and am planning colour schism so as to give the patients baths in different colour rays, but first I must impregnate them with some ray of my own. (“Ross” in ITE, 27. “Ross” is the pseudonym that Alice Gilbert confers on this spirit. His real name is not known.)
I sit and concentrate [on the hospital] – it is right inside me, then it rises in front of me. At first it is only a blur but I can make bits of it remain when I stop thinking it – I add to them. (“Ross” in ITE, 27.)
It seems I have powers: all that agonized meditation on Yoga I did with such stress has been working on my inner being and now I can blend in the ray of the Master and use its force in my creativity. … The walls vibrate not only with many colours, but with music made by the colours. I have now three patients whom I have succeeded in linking in thought into its vibration. (“Ross” in ITE, 28.)
They are in various obsessive states of imagined misery. I try to talk to each one, to tune in to the inner being of each: it’s not easy yet. (“Ross” in ITE, 29.)
In my hospital much use is made of ‘massage by music.’ We actually create the music with thought, ‘cellos and violins or sometimes a full orchestra, if there’s a musician helping me: from them emerges music far richer and more delicate than from physical instruments. I find I can direct the trend of a patient’s thought by applied music for their thought is usually emotional. An obsession can be worked on and made to dissolve, if only temporarily, by the right combination of notes. …
I have now more patients, mainly folk with queer obsessions – they think they are being persecuted or see strange animals. These animals symbolize their inner selves yet they are so apparently ‘real’ that I myself can sometimes see them, but an act of concentrated thought on my part will dispel them. (“Ross” in ITE, 29.)
I am beginning to sense a vast multitude around me; sometimes they emerge as clear-cut individuals. It seems by my wish to heal medically, I’m drawn to some of the less respectable ones. The drips, down-at-heel, muddled, distorted shadows, yet it’s not one’s idea of hell. Perhaps it’s purgatory. They almost queue for the hospital. The thought seems to have gone round and I am kept very busy. There seems to be added luminousness to the walls and even the beds and tables vibrate and glow. (“Ross” in ITE, 30-1.)
The [hospital’s] vibration gets more powerful: I think it’s attracting forces of healing that are being directed from other sources. Any powerful thought form seems to become a focus for its own kind – like a sort of etheric gravity! Some of the patients are not easy: they cling to their obsessions like limpets. … But there is expansion in the hospital. Spears of light seem to break over it in a zig-zag pattern at intervals and to have a stimulating effect on the patients. Their heavy apathy slips away at least for a time: they straighten up and move swiftly and even smile. When the spears cease, the effect may wear off but not entirely. The patients move with more verve and respond more alertly. Philip has managed to manifest and do some of his quick change acts which create a sensation. I sleep and enter a world of harmony and light. (“Ross” in ITE, 33.)
The hospital … goes steadily like a beacon. There is a kind of path to it. They totter up and collapse before the door and as soon as their will is strong enough the door opens and they are in. (“Ross” in ITE, 35.)
There seems to be more responsibility coming to me and a deep sense of my duty to hold firm before the gates of my hospital as if it were in itself an act of manifestation against dark floods. I am a sort of spearpoint and behind me is the whole force of Light. My work opens out. (“Ross” in ITE, 37.)
I am like a rock at the hospital gate. There seems to be a great sword in my hand as if attack were feared. There is an immense Light and I am part of it. It seems my role is bigger than I knew and that something is imminent. (“Ross” in ITE, 37.)
Ross: You have sensed vast processes – preparation on a universal scale for whatever may come and somehow I am involve din it. You would be surprised if you could see me now – I look as if I came off a Christmas tree! I still view the situation from my earth angle and I am amazed, but the Power holds me. There is a great pattern of work alternating with the Silence, like the vast swathes of a great corn field half cut.
New methods in the hospital – a technique of very rapid-seeming motion in a rhythm of sound based on certain notes. These combined in a bar of music appropriate to the patient have immense therapeutic value. Nut there must be deep, pulsating intervals of Silence. It is a difficult treatment to apply. Colour as always emerges from the sound [phases], sometimes as a built-up thought image.
But I have created myself a little room to retire into for rest: I put an armchair and a divan and I sleep there. I still really enjoy my sleep, which comes so sweetly and easily. One establishes a sort of rhythm of being here which is very restful. I don’t know how long I sleep but when I sink into it, there is an ecstacy of beauty which surrounds me. After the stress of the hospital, it comes on me like the Voice of the Silence and I become it. It seems to be like a sort of Nirvana.
Philip: He enters the essence of Being in what he thinks is sleep – it is profound contemplation. You and I often go wandering, but his form of rest is merging. (“Ross” and Philip to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 38.)
Ross’s Hospital is his heaven just now in that it is the fulfillment of his earth aspiration which never materialized, but it is just as ‘real,’ perhaps more real, than any physical hospital. He has created a heaven out of his own hell on earth. (Philip Gilbert in ITE, 39.)
Ross: Sometimes the peace of the hospital can be menaced by sheer perverted hatred, dominating a patient, but, as all patients must have a core of Light at heart or they could not have got to us, we try to focus on that spot. Scenes are played over to him from his past and sometimes an outburst of venom treated like that will become pure Light.
Philip: The paradox of the Opposites is a deep, potent law of this aspect of Being. (“Ross” and Philip to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 41.)
Whether I create my own image to project a portion of myself as a form or create a thought dwelling as Ross does, I visualize it first and build into it with a putting of Me into It, which takes shape and form. It is an emotional act but sustained by my mind force and will. … First one IS the concept; then it takes a form in thought. In time, if strong enough, this will take a physical form. (Philip Gilbert in ITE, 42.)
Alice, I have built a great tower on my hospital, triangle-shaped, reaching towards eternity. On the upper point there shines a Star, scintillating, sending out a ray of light which is linked with a point inside myself – the point of creativity which is the focus of our being here; form it is built the whole of whatever shape we assume. You have it too in the physical over the Heart. But here it can be seen pulsating and even emitting sparks of force. The Heart is its physical expression – the first emanation on which is built the whole. (“Ross” to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 42.)
There’s so much work to be done here – an endless stream of miserable people appearing. (“Ross” to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 43.)
We are training the patients to think into light – to think points of light. When they do this, coloured flashes appear in their conscious minds. This convinces them. It is particularly good with those whose minds are negative, black blanks – people who have lived sordid, dull lives with fish and chips and pop music as their only light. Training such minds to be at all creative is a big task but we make a beginning. (“Ross” to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 43.)
I have just come from the hospital which now seems to be growing of its own accord, not by my conscious creativity. Will it go on expanding? (“Ross” in ITE, 44.) Philip. [Ross] could remain in the Light now but he comes back consciously and deliberately to the work he has chosen, yet he is not entirely aware when on the ‘hospital’ level of all this.
Ross. There are levels of thought, I find. I do know now that I can blend into a deeper stage in which the Hospital is an ‘illusion.’ Yet it is real in its place. … I am told that it will be permanent, that the power I generated was strong enough to build to last whilst there is a physical universe. Yet I feel a sort of shift of emphasis in my own being as if I were a part of another level of being even though I function in the hospital as vigorously as ever. (Philip Gilbert and Ross in ITE, 45.)
The hospital is linked always more strongly with the luminosity beyond it and on the other hand with the darkness from which emerge the seeking patients. I withdraw from it but I am still part of it. I find I can do two things at once. Three really because I watch you two. (“Ross” to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 49.
[Ross] is learning to project a part of himself from a deep central core as I do. (1) (Philip Gilbert in ITE, 49.)
- (1) Cf. Charles Leadbeater: “Remember, it is the soul we love, not the body; and it is the soul that we have with us here. It may be said, ‘Yes, that would be so if the friend were also dead; but suppose he is still alive; he cannot be in two places at once.’ The fact is that, as far as this is concerned, he can be in two places at once, and often many more than two; and whether he is what we commonly call living, or what we commonly call dead, makes not the slightest difference. (AP, 40-1.)
I have sensed the Eternal and it seemed to concentrate in one great Figure flashing out Light, like a lighthouse. Beams fell upon me rhythmically and all my being leapt to meet them. It was a harmonic progression! I have to adjust to this new phase of ‘here’ for I am working now definitely on two levels – the hospital always demanding but with intervals of a withdrawal or merging into a deeper awareness of vibration and reaction of a light which seems to penetrate my inmost self – to be circulating. (“Ross” in ITE, 49.)
I have been on a far trip – is ‘far’ the word? It seemed a century of experience. I went into a silent world of geometric patterns which spoke to me through their shapes; I seemed in this way to grasp the MEANING of us all – I don’t think I can formulate it in word concepts. (“Ross” in ITE, 50.)
Alice, I have merged deeper into the clarity which I sense as
beyond – the interlinking web of geometrical patterns which have an alphabet of their own which I am learning slowly. (“Ross” to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 50.)
I am bringing through much light to the hospital, Alice, by utilizing the geometrical patterns of the new sphere to create a channel for a kind of power I have tapped. … a rich pattern of mathematical functioning which is an ecstacy. (“Ross” to Alice Gilbert in ITE, 51.)
Work in the Christ Sphere
A Spirit Guide from the Christ Sphere
This Messenger (1) evidently came from the Christ Sphere. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 28.)
- (1) A messenger comes to Private Dowding from the Christ Sphere to warn him against communicating through a medium until his postmortem confusion had worn off.
The Messenger has become my guide; am I not fortunate? He comes to me at times when I am resting. (Private Thomas Dowding, PD, 60.)
Residents of the Christ Sphere Minister to Earth
It is down these pathways of light that we frequently travel to earth. When you hear of spirits being choked by the mists and fogs of earth, and sometimes unable to reach the dear ones left behind, it is because they have tried to return to earth without passing along the rays.
This is especially so with those newly arisen to spirit-life, but gradually they accustom themselves to the heavy atmosphere and can come and go as they will.
When we know in advance that our presence is desired on earth, we ask that the rays of light may be granted us to illuminate our path. Sometimes, as we approach the earth, the mists of evil or ignorance cling on either side of the rays and shadow them. If we are not very watchful, they are apt to disturb the conditions and impinge on the minds of those we are trying to help.
Hence, numerous Angelic Beings come and protect the rays and especially is this so when we try to communicate some great truth. Should one of the Higher Intelligences visit your earth, these Angelic Beings form themselves into a body-guard and so fulfil the words, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” (John Heslop, FMABL, 32-3.)
Spirit Communication from the Christ Sphere
Let us come and talk with you as one friend to another, rather than always as teacher and student. It is a great joy to a mother to speak to her son, she on this side and he on earth, as in the old days when they lived side by side. She was not always instructing him then and she does not want to do so now. She simply wants to be near him, to bask in his presence and watch his progress; but, oh, the joy if he realizes she is there and can respond to her love. (Therold, FMABL, 97.)
A Resident of the Christ Sphere Discusses Their Transition Guidance
In this Homeland, (1) our occupations are very varied. Part of our work is to help and teach those who come here ignorant of all spiritual life. When they pass from earth they are often confused when they wake up so we go to them and help them to realize where they are.
Everything being entirely spiritual here, if they have no spiritual insight they see no beauty around them. Hence you may remember in reading the accounts of such waking to spirit life, they say that they found a gloomy desert land, not the loveliness at all which they had expected. Now, when this is so, their distress and astonishment are very great and we go to any who can see us and try to explain and give comfort where we can.
Then, when spirits who have lived entirely for self come here, they are confronted with the record of their lives and the revelation often drives them almost to despair. And we tell them how the past may be redeemed and the evil atoned for and undone and take them to the place where they can do this and be helped to a higher life.
Others come timid and ignorant, but loving much. So, because they love much, there is a great welcome of love all ready for them and we being them good tidings and they are taught and comforted and their weary spirits soothed and rested.
Then, when the pure and noble of your world come to ours, we join the great company who welcome them, crying, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (John Heslop, SABL, 74-5.)
- (1) The Christ Sphere.
Reviving from Service Work
We do not feel as weary as you do, but there is need to be cleansed from the deflilement of earth and to re-adjust to the Divine Harmonies. So we pass into one of the many beautiful chapels opening from the main building [i.e., the Temple], and resting in the healing rays of light, we become bathed in their purity and are cleansed and revived. Oft-times in the calm and beauty of these chapels, enveloped in the incense from a thousand flowers, combined with strains of exquisite music, we rise into a condition of Trance, in which our spirits are wafted to Higher Spheres, where we mingle for a while with the Exalted Beings who inhabit them. (John Heslop, FMABL, 18.)
John Heslop Assists in the “Ninth Sphere”
My present mission is in two spheres above this [Christ Sphere], and its beauty is quite indescribable to anyone on your side. I cannot dwell in it habitually and still continue in close contact with you on earth; so while you are there, my Beloved, I can only visit this exalted region for a time. (John Heslop, FMABL, 86.) How I wish I could give you even a faint idea of the nature of my work in the Ninth Sphere, but, as I have told you many times, you have no words that I could use, no parallel of comparison. … The work is progressing, and will be completed in due time, when I shall return to our home in the Christ-Sphere for rest and refreshment. (John Heslop, FMABL, 85-6.)
My work in the Ninth Sphere was difficult and complicated, but it has all been successfully carried out so now I hope to come often to see you for I have returned home. (John Heslop, FMABL, 86.)
John has been too busy to come to you this morning. He is engaged with those Higher Spirits whose special work is to keep back Anarchy and Revolution from this dear land. Where clear judgment and the conciliatory spirit are needed, he is very successful and so has plenty of scope at the present time for the exercise of those gifts. (Mother of F. Heslop in FMABL, 87.)
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