exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
The Perfect Mate
Clarice and Frederick
a lover's rescue from the dark realms
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Editor's note: The following excerpts from The Mists Trilogy, channeled information from the afterlife, were transcribed by Robert James Lees.
Wikipedia: "Robert James Lees (1849 -1931) was a British spiritualist, medium, preacher, writer and healer of the late Victorian era and early twentieth century known today for claims that he knew the identity of Jack the Ripper, responsible for the Whitechapel murders of 1888... Lees claimed to have had his first psychic experience aged three. He later wrote:
I am personally aware that as a child I cried at being left in the darkness unless I saw a mysterious and, to others, invisible kilted Highlander who remained beside me talking or singing till I fell asleep. And even now, after a lapse of half a century the vivid memory of his strong but kindly face is as freshly recalled as if he had sat beside me whilst this New Year was born.
"Despite having had little formal education, Lees wrote a series of spiritualist books which continued to sell many years after his death. He claimed that these books had been dictated to him by friends from the spirit realm, and referred to himself as the Recorder. The best known is the three-volume series The Mists Trilogy (Through the Mists, The Life Elysian, The Gate of Heaven), written between 1898 - 1931."
In my 20+ years of reviewing hundreds of afterlife-information sources, not all of them worthy of recommendation, I judge Lees’s Trilogy as among the very highest quality in terms of accurate information. You will ask me now on what basis do make this assertion? and I will answer, Lees’s reports conform to the best scientific evidence of the afterlife, and are an extension of it. See what I mean: these writings seem heavy-laden with wisdom.
As I prepared to write this article, I once again reviewed his three books, and this time I noticed something new. The third book concludes with an account I wish to focus on – the rescue of a lost Twin Soul from "dark detention" by her faithful mate – however, it occurred to me that much of the information, in the first two books leading up to the rescue, provides philosophical basis, not only for the rescue, as such, but for the difficulties miring the lost Twin.
To maintain some semblance of brevity, I had planned on offering the reader only the account of the rescue, but the preliminary discussion I found to be so worthwhile that I felt compelled to present smatterings of it here, as well. I hope it all proves beneficial to you.
And now, selected excerpts from Lees's The Mists Trilogy.
Observations of the Dark Realms
Pain, like toil, naturally conduces to weariness, and when the fever of revenge and passion has run its course these spiritual prodigals come to their right minds, learn what has happened to them, accept the inevitable, and cease their useless warfare.
Passion on earth makes men insensible to pain. Not so with us, it makes the agony more acute; but such was the fury of the sin I saw that it grew defiant even as the soul quivered in its supreme suffering, and fought to reach even more daring exploits. Hungry, wolfish eyes glared with determination to destroy; greedy, trembling, twitching hands reached riotously out, impatient to drag down the irresolute, though every soul well knew the greater scourge would fall upon himself should he succeed...
In the true hell a man is brought face to face with the full account which stands against him, and he is called upon for payment of both principal and interest. Whatsoever he has sown he has there to reap, and the identical sin he is in process of discharging remains visible before his eyes until it is blotted out in his payment of it.
So long as these rebellious souls remain here and unrepentant, every act of sin brings about its own immediate punishment, until the futility of their course works towards repentance through despair, at the first sign of which we intervene and the prodigal is carried away to commence the discharge of the debt it has incurred in the remedial punishment of hell.
Editor's note: This report of "dark detention" from Spirit Guides working in the "rat cellar" is well in line with thousands of other testimonies concerning the "remedial punishment of hell." The emphasis is on education. Notice, the "punishment" becomes that which the prisoner inflicts upon himself. His or her own "defiance" exacts its own "supreme suffering," a natural "sowing and reaping." Also notice the strict justice in play, the "paying of the last penny's worth," as Jesus used the phrase. Why is there no "mercy" and "grace"? - because the real heaven and the real hell demand real change from people and not a "waving of a magic hand-sign" cheap-parady of the truth, as we've been taught. I have often stated that there is nothing to worry about here; that we can leave a bad situation for a much better one the same day, as soon as a repentant attitude manifests. This is why the Guides here state "at the first sign [of repentance]," that is, when the student finally stops fighting, then "we intervene." And what happens then? The mellowing student is "carried away" to better climes "to commence the discharge of the debt" -- a debt which may be primarily against himself, his own higher nature -- meaning, now real change and education can begin, the "paying back" to oneself "of the last penny owed."
[Regarding those who still want to fight and are not yet ready to change] their cup of iniquity is not yet full, and in the violence of their passion they elect to continue their course in seeking to effect the downfall of others.
Editor's note: As I recall, there's an aphorism in the Book of Proverbs, to the effect, "They lie awake at night plotting the injury of others."“And are they allowed to do so?”
“Yes, every individual is free to do as he wills in that respect. We have
no barriers of restraint, though all are continually and faithfully reminded of the consequences of their action, and a ceaseless watch is kept for the first sign of weariness in their futile course. Then, when the measure of their sin is known [that is, when they've stopped sinking lower into depravity, when they've stopped getting worse], they pass from hence to [commence remedial work].
“Then they do not actually endure suffering here?”
“Most mercifully they do, or vague indeed would be the hope of their
reclamation! Every soul ... is only adapted to existence in similar conditions to that which called it into being. As in the physical state fish prefer water and birds the air, so here every soul gravitates to its own place by virtue of adaptation. Here, however, lies the one awful fact we must ever keep in mind or we shall misunderstand everything: each individual soul on entering this life is strung to the same exquisite delicacy of sensation; the brightest saint and the vilest sinner are thus equally sensitive to the pleasure or torment of the position they have deliberately qualified for. In this provision is manifest the perfect justice of God…
Editor's note: The is what I call The Crystalline Entity Principle, a natural sorting out process, each person naturally gravitating toward those whose essential vibrational frequency matches that of the new arrival.
It is iniquitous that men should continue to be so wilfully blind, until they come here and the awful truth is practically forced upon them. Then they wonder that no provision is made [i.e., they seek to blame someone else for their situation] for their escape from the consequences of their own neglect, and rave at the injustice of sins of omission being treated as equal to those of commission.
Editor's note: Notice this riot! People end up in a dark place all angry that "no provision is made to escape consequences"; that is, they shout, "Where's the grace, where's the mercy? I went to church every week, I kept all the rules they said would save me, and here I am in this rat cellar!" They say, "I never robbed anyone, I never murdered anyone!" - in other words, they exalt "thou shalt not" to high art form. To this, if they truly desire an answer, a Guide would respond, "Yes, but you just sat on your hands and never did anybody any good, either, in your selfish life."
“Oh, the terrible responsibility of life!” I rather reflected than
expressed... “The failure to recognize and act upon the spiritual importance of it is perhaps one of the most remarkable and indefensible follies of the human race,”
"May I ask what these conditions are?” “They are two, of which the first and essential one is moral weakness or indecision in the individual tempted. In the presence of well-developed and resolute rectitude these spiritual brigands are utterly powerless. Evil in every form must flee from the man who is bold to resist it, since evil and weakness are synonymous, having no real power in themselves, but possessing a fatal ability to use such [temptations, good things used wrongly] as they may succeed in borrowing...
“You will already understand the principle regulating all divisions.” he
began - “every man to his own place, and no barrier or restriction but
that erected by character?” “Yes, I am familiar with that.” “Then you may regard the sphere of our operations as being the earthbound condition, by which I mean the temporary prison-house of those whose vicious passions and depraved natures still hold them in bondage to the earth and lead them to haunt the former resorts of their sin in the false hope of gratifying their evil desires, while every attempt they make recoils with its legitimate degree of punishment.”
in the spirit-world, people contact each other via thought-message, but the impulse must be focused and clear; here is an example of one, still on Earth, in a sleep state, wishing to contact someone on the other side, but his message is hesitant, concerned that his reaching-out might be dismissed
“Someone is trying to find you, but his sympathy is so feeble he is
unable to reach you of himself.”
“Who is it?” I inquired.
“I cannot say for the instant, but the connection is being established by
which I shall be able to find out. Yes. It is your father.”
“My father!” I exclaimed. “You are right, Zecartus, there, is such slight
sympathy between us that I almost wonder he should remember me.”
“It is not a matter of great importance upon which he wishes to see you,
or, apart from his estrangement, his wish would have, reached you in
more definite form. Will you answer it?”
“Certainly I will. Where is he? How shall we reach him?”
“His call and desire are very half-hearted. It is one of those cases
frequently to be met with, where the higher nature recognizes an
offence which will penalize the soul, and presses on the lower nature
the advisability of submission. The man is at war with himself, the
earth-side being strong in resentment, but the spiritual struggles for the
victory. Here cautious action on our part is necessary, that the higher
nature may be encouraged and supported without the lower finding any
occasion for vaunting itself.”
“I scarcely understand you.”
“Perhaps not; your experience of this sleep-state conflict between the
two natures is not yet a very large one. It is a condition in which a man
is truly divided against himself, and the issue has to be left almost
entirely to his own free will. We may extend some slight assistance
where the will is definitely in favour of improvement, and the weight of
character too heavy for the better resolution. Sin, however, is both
crafty and cunning, and though it may lose in a present struggle, will
find occasion, if possible, to retaliate, and by taunting insinuations
afterwards accomplish more than had been lost. It is for this reason that
caution is necessary, and until we understand your father better, I
should advise that we simply ascertain the locality he visits, then allow
him to find us rather than that we go straight to him.”
a discussion on the purpose of suffering, how the greater good is served by it; in the following case, the loss of a mother
“Left without a mother’s love and care?” she asked.
“Yes. She died as I was born. I never knew her until I met her here, and
all my life was a sorrow for my loss. But it was better so.”
“Better to lose her?”
“Yes. Far better. I know it now, and both of us thank God for the loss I
mourned for forty years.”
“Can I see your mother?” she inquired.
“Yes,” Arvez replied; “you shall be brought together if you wish it. But
where you go you will find a company who have had similar
experiences, from whom you will learn how tenderly and wisely God
deals with all His children. They will show you how groundless are all
your fears of separation, and make known to you the love of God in a
hundred ways you little suspect at present.”
“And may I go back to my little one again?”
“Yes. You will return several times. So long as the body will receive you,
you will be at liberty to go and come. In the meantime you will get to
know the new friends to whom I am about to introduce you,” said her
companion, “that when you finally come away it may be without regret
“Without regret or fear - are you sure of that?” she queried.
“None but the souls of criminals, anxious to escape from the justice of
their sins, either regret or fear to enter upon this life,” he replied; “and
of such you are not, or I should not be sent to bring you hither.”
During this ministry of consolation the rebellious sister was quietly
carried across the boundary line into the higher state where the native
assurances of God’s great and never-failing love were added to the
arguments employed to secure her submission to the inevitable. So far
it was the most painful case I had yet encountered of the resentment
often shown by professing Christians at the intimation that the time of
their departure is at hand. That summons is a genuine test of the soul’s
true conception of [God's hand in their lives] and a very suggestive revelation as to the actual reality of their religion may be gained by watching the effect as the death messenger first declares the purpose of his coming... then the true grip of godliness is tested, and a surface faith gives place to a paralysing dread. The foolish virgins are far more numerous than the wise when the cry goes forth to meet the Bridegroom.
babies and children who prematurely pass over to the next word are cared for in every way; here we are given a view of how children are educated in Summerland
I would repeat that the first object of every such institution is to foster
inquiry in the minds of the children. No instruction is forced upon an
unwilling or unready child, but ingenious devices are employed to
arrest attention and prompt a question as to the nature or utility of the
thousand objects most temptingly located in every part of the fairylike
domain. The principle here observed is acted upon in every stage of the
life beyond: - When interest is sufficiently aroused to prompt inquiry,
the mind is in a favourable condition to receive instruction, and
ministers are always at hand to suitably impart it.
[Speaking of children who die young and the need for further education in Summerland] those whose lives are cut short in infancy, since innocence is not righteousness, nor is non-intelligence holiness...
Cushna very kindly invited me to join one of the many groups of
children who were so pleasantly and enjoyably studying first lessons in
the school of Paradise, that I might become acquainted with the system
of education he has adopted.
A moment later, without attracting more than the slightest attention
from the thoughtfully interested children, we had taken our place near a
group of some twenty students who were listening to a lady explaining
the nature and beauty of a blade of grass which by its attractive form
and colour had aroused the curiosity of one of the little ones.
From the commencement of her lecture the speaker carried myself, as
well as her Lilliputian audience, into a romantic fairyland of botany in
her description of the life, habits and antecedents of her subject. Then,
by an apparently magical process I was altogether unprepared for, she
held within her hands a variety of other grasses from which she drew
comparison and contrasts: the coarsest and meanest of which she called
attention to as a representative specimen of grasses to be found on
Earth, the others were from different stages of the higher life. Every
inquiry from the children was answered by a simple and forcible
parable setting forth the truth she wished to fix upon the memory, and
she lingered with almost too-leisurely patience that her lesson might be
Editor's note: This is all astounding as teaching methods in Summerland represent the height of pedagogical wisdom. There is no forced memorization of dry facts here, no inculcation of information divorced from context. This master teacher takes one blade of grass and uses it as lead-in to other subjects. Perfect! All knowledge is connected, as all reality is connected, and it doesn't matter where a lesson might begin. The important point is to arouse curiosity and to light the fire of burning desire to accumulate knowledge! Notice in the following how the teacher leap-frogs from one aspect of knowledge to another, all from the single blade of grass! Stunningly wise and beautiful!
When all this was over I was further astonished to hear her announce
that if there were no more questions as to that part of the lesson she
would proceed to the practical consideration of it. Then followed a perfectly entrancing discourse upon the chemistry of that blade of grass and the process by which the constituents of the atmosphere are selected, attracted and utilized to produce the blade in the natural course. Nature was set forth as being a most beautiful but invisible machine designed by God to prepare all that was necessary for
the protection and sustenance of man, until such time as he should be
able to understand how to use the great available forces in producing all
the requirements by a much better and quicker process. This led to a
beautiful description of the difference between a man and other
agencies of creation by setting forth the nature and potentialities of the
soul, which possesses latent powers to accomplish all that nature
achieves, by a more expeditious process under conditions she set forth
and enforced by many illustrations. It seems almost incredible that such infant minds could be interested in subjects so profound…
The teacher went on to explain that perfection [of one's person] is only to be reached by study and the acquisition of knowledge, and the lesson ended by an arrangement to carry the subject farther on the next occasion, at the prospect of which the children were highly delighted, and I almost wished I could continue my studies with them through the whole course which had just opened so happily...
“How long do they remain with you [for education]?”
“That entirely depends upon circumstances. In rare instances the taint
of heredity demands an early isolation for more strict and guarded
treatment. Otherwise they remain until their interest is aroused in some particular form of study, to follow which they are passed forward.”
“Into schools of higher grades?” I inquired.
“No, the stimulating and favourable environment, together with our
system of education, tends to rapid development of intellect and
stature, which are synonymous in children. When, therefore, they leave
us, the law of attraction is in full operation, and each goes to its own
place, receiving all further necessary assistance in accordance with the
one great law.”
Cushna conducted me from group to group and scene to scene that I
might see the general arrangements for impregnating the mind with
information. The very atmosphere of the place created an almost
insatiable thirst for knowledge...
Editor's note: This is so wonderful! The children remain in this "school system," not to endure a strict regimen of receiving certain facts, but until each has been stimulated to independent study and investigation of life on one's own terms -- "each goes to its own place"; until "an almost insatiable thirst for knowledge" has been instilled!
missionary-Guides work to free the blinded and the selfish from old ideas rooted in religious superstition, fear, guilt, and self-loathing
“Wherever progress is attainable, side by side with it exists the
possibility of delay. Never forget that. Of course, the higher we ascend
and the more we are transformed into the image of God, the greater will
our energy be increased, and the less liable shall we be to tarry by the
Ladas and his friends are working for the deliverance of earth-bound souls, whose every faculty and power is given to and held in slavish bondage by the desire still to achieve earthly success or take some cruel revenge.
Ladas works to convince all such of the futility of their efforts, to point out the inevitable penalties they incur, and, whenever successful, to conduct the repentant ones - with such assurances of God’s unchanging love as he may be able to give to the place where their purification begins.”
“May I ask for information respecting the other stages in the Earth
“The whole region is occupied by the vast army of souls who on earth
lacked aim, purpose or moral energy. They neither helped nor resisted
anything, but simply breathed, ate, slept, and existed. Social, moral,
spiritual driftage which were equally objectionable and despised by
good and bad from lack of character. Like all other classes, they remain
the same here, lying helpless and stagnant between the two active
streams of life, and presenting the most difficult problem of
regeneration we are called upon to solve. Ignorance and wrongly
directed energy are simple cases of spiritual treatment, but in these
palsied souls we have first to recover the use of shrunken, withered, and
dried-up natural channels before the slightest sign of improvement is
visible. It is a work almost like the effort to reanimate an Egyptian
mummy, and were failure in any department of our work possible, this
is the field where it would be found. This [failure], however, is out of the
question, and though results are achieved so slowly, the real danger the
condition presents to Earth inspires the efforts of all engaged in this
part of our ministry.”
“Wherein lies the special danger?” I inquired.
“Stagnation is always a menace to health, and for this reason alone it
could not be allowed to remain. But the most serious aspect of such
existence is found in the dangerous sympathy such souls form with any
to whom they can cling. They are drawn to such as are drifting towards
their own conditions like needles to a magnet, and it is in this
connection you will experience more trouble than you imagine when
your mission to Earth commences.”
Editor's note: See the work of Dr. Carl Wickland, how aimless spirits, who do not know that they are dead, drift into the aura of others and become "attached" and trapped.
“Kindly explain to me what you mean.”
“The real danger of opening intercourse between ourselves and Earth
lies in the almost entire absence of the true Christ-spirit in the majority
of men. This, as you will well know by this time, establishes a close
association with kindred souls from this side, and the active hypocrisies
of men make natural draft upon those most like themselves. Our
invasion of the mortal sphere with the evidence of immortality has most
largely attracted men and women with greater development of
curiosity, or desire for loaves and fishes, than spiritual knowledge and
Editor's note: This Spirit Guide is saying that many people receive the scientific "evidence of immortality," not with a call and impetus to spiritual development but to a "desire for loaves and fishes," a hope for materialistic gain or entertainment.
This inquiry is naturally answered by souls who are themselves ‘of
the Earth, Earthy,’ who in turn prey upon this characterless multitude
for such information as may assist to establish a false identity, and thus
deceive the inquirers who seek gratification and marvels rather than
holiness and God.”
Editor's note: Let us take note of "establish a false indentity." It is chacteristic of the dysfunctional ego to identify with other entities in order to bolster itself in its neediness of "I am not enough." In this process it creates a "false identity," a "false self." This false self, via attachment to other spirits, can create a sense of "past lives," giving rise to the question, "whose memories are they?"
a discussion on the importance of Twin Souls, how their love-union forms a nucleus, a fundamental building block, around which all of Summerland society is built
"You must now learn to draw a distinction between relationships of the body and those of the spirit; the latter being the only ties we recognise here.” …
“What the future holds I know not, but, develop as it may, I can see only the possibility of forming groups of Twin Souls in the one great family of heaven... Such kindred souls are by no means unusual, and in their influence act and re-act upon each other and so are drawn together in a communion of which the Earth friendship [romance] can form but a very faint conception.
There, relationships are rightly termed blood-relationships, but flesh and blood cannot enter this life, and therefore kinship has to be lifted into another and more spiritual bond… God, who is Spirit, gives birth to such relationships, and ‘whatsoever God hath joined together no man can put asunder.’”
the love-story of Clarice and Frederick: rescue from the dark realms
"Has the memory of Clarice faded into forgetfulness?”
The quite deliberate enquiry was made with a most searching look, but
it was marked by more persuasive sympathy than accusation.
“Do you seek to open that old wound again” I asked, wondering at the
drift of the strange questioning…
“Aphraar, or [the Earth-name] Frederick as it was then, had just discovered his heartless desertion by one who was more to him then than life itself, and came to the conclusion that the cross were too heavy for him to bear. He staggered beneath it to the river side…
“I think it was about two months after this that you met poor Philip
Ranger, sadly in need of a friend, down in Whitechapel, and in helping
him you had an introduction to the Little Bethel where you found a
congenial sphere of labour among the helpless, erring and fallen.” [Frederick had distracted himself from the pain of losing Clarice by engaging in charitable work.]
“Was it as much as two months after” I enquired. “I thought it was
scarcely half so long.”
“Ah!” he responded, with a smile that carried a world of sympathetic
meaning; “the cross must have grown lighter to allow the time to slip by
so quickly. Yes; it was a day or two over the two months, before our
“‘Our second meeting’?” I re-echoed with incredulous astonishment. “What do you mean? Surely you would not insinuate -"
“No, my brother, I need not insinuate anything. The time has arrived
when I may boldly declare - when the veil may be lifted that you, in
looking back, may be able to understand some of the mysteries in which
your Earthly pilgrimage was occasionally enveloped, and recognize now,
all unknown and unsuspected, ‘God has given His angels charge
concerning thee’ to keep and guide thee on the homeward way…
“Your desertion by Clarice was due to no sin or shortcoming of your
own. In the sight of heaven you esteemed her above your own life, which
you would have gladly laid down in your loyalty when you lost her. Such fidelity is far too rare to be lightly dispensed with among the sons of
men; therefore when you went to lay your sacrifice on the altar, the
saving ministry of Moriah - where Abraham would have offered Isaac -
was called into operation, and I was the boatman [your assigned Spirit Guide] sent to your deliverance.
"But the work was only half-completed when I bade you Godspeed at Putney. The worker thus preserved from destruction had still to be directed to a field of labour where his talent and fidelity could
be employed in the Master’s vineyard, and when the opportunity offered
again, following in the Master’s footsteps, I took on ‘another form,’ so
that in the guise of Philip Ranger I could introduce you to a field where
the labourers were few and badly needed.
Editor's note: This Spirit Guide took on human form to help and encourage his charge.
"In that sphere you have been as faithful to God and your fellows as you would have been to Clarice. You are another seal added to my ministry for the Master - that is why I am here to greet you now. The fruit of your own labours and the bouquet of souls you have gathered from that mission as your offering at the dear Master’s feet, will be shown to you presently. But even now your work is not complete. You have voluntarily associated yourself with Myhanene’s mission, and are returning to earth in a desire to do for others that which I have been entrusted to carry out for you.
"May our Father, God, make you equally successful. Only be as faithful in this as in your former sphere, then great will be your reward. But I have
here a special case in which I would ask your sympathy and assistance,
if I may. I am speaking of poor Clarice.”
I started with surprise, but he took no notice and went earnestly
“She was but a [mindless] moth [following blind passion], and then not a rare one. She saw [another] mate with brilliant colouring, which she wished to make her own. She was burnt fearfully; fell into a labyrinth of trouble from which she can find no way out. Will you go to her? You will be able to do for her, by your forgiveness and sympathy in return for her perfidy, far more towards redemption than any other soul I know. Will you go?”
“If you think I am capable of helping her, there is no service I would
rather be entrusted with,” I answered, but I felt doubtful - very doubtful
of my success.
“All I need is to know your willingness to go; God will undertake the rest
with such a minister.”
With this he turned, moved away to join Cresvone, and was gone…
[Frederick speaks to a friend-advisor]
“Let me know in what I may be able to help you.”
“I scarcely know how to put it,” I began, with an uncertain diffidence;
“but since you first mentioned the case of Clarice I have wondered a
great deal about her - where she is, how she is placed, and whether I can
do anything to help her, should she need it.
"While hoping that I might be able to be of assistance to her, I heard of the work that Zisvené is doing in the sleep-life; presently I met her, and, if she might be permitted, I am sure she would be glad to join with me.
Editor’s note: Zisvené is a female Spirit Guide, but of unusual circumstance. It is commonly said that we, most of us, during our sleep-time, visit Summerland and begin to acclimate ourselves to our home-world even crossing over. Zisvené, still a mortal on Earth, has taken this principle a step further. During her sleep-state, she not only spends time in Summerland but has developed herself as a competent Spirit-Guide! – and with a specialty that Frederick will now call upon as he crafts a plan to rescue Clarice from the Dark Realms!
"Again, if I may, I would like to do something to express the boundless gratitude I feel to God for the great mercy I have received in the exercise of His super-abounding love, and I can think of nothing which so commends itself to me, as an expression of what I feel, as trying to help poor Clarice. Do you think I might do so, and would it be permitted for Zisvené to go with me?”
We were still standing where Myhanene and Omra met us, and as I
spoke I read not only approval of my proposition, but the great pleasure
it gave to Myhanene especially to hear me make it...
“Can you forgive her for what she did?”
“There is nothing on my part to forgive,” I replied. “The loss of her dealt
me a wound that would have been fatal had you [the Spirit Guide] not bound it up, but it did not kill my love for her - true love cannot die - is it not of God, eternal?
"Since I have met you and learned the wonderful story of your
interposition on my own behalf, that love has been resurrected,
strengthened, beautified, purified, and I feel as if I cannot go forward
until she joins me. May I not get the best assistance that heaven can
afford me, and do for her what so many have done for me?”
“Yes! In the strength of such a love you may do so, and you shall find it
omnipotent to save; but as to whether Zisvené will be the best to go with
you, you had better consult Myhanene.”
“So far as Zisvené is herself concerned there will not be any difficulty
either on her part or my own,” Myhanene at once assured us. “We must
ascertain where Clarice is to be found.”
With the faculties, and experience in the use of them, which each of my
companions possessed, the information was received in less time than
is required to write it. Clarice was in a very similar condition to that in
which Cushna at first found Marie [another lost woman]. Myhanene explained that Zisvené had already rendered good service to one even in a lower condition, and he was confident that in her eagerness to lift up the fallen she would be glad to assist me in my endeavour.
“Are you sure that all the circumstances are favourable to success?”...
It was a veiled question, cautiously framed in order to avoid even a
ripple of uneasiness on the surface of my ardent desire. I read its
compassionate intent before I solved the deeper meaning of its depth...
Myhanene smiled in his optimistic confidence of the success of our
proposed mission. It might be that we should find some initial
difficulties, but Zisvené had already displayed something of a genius for
surmounting them, and he had also noticed that she, being a sleep
visitor, was occasionally able to exert a more persuasive influence over
earth-bound souls, owing to being more physically sympathetic than he
found to be the case with the usual ministrants. This unexpected development in her casual service had prompted him to watch her
progress with interest, as possibly opening a new avenue in which the
sleep-life might be more closely interblended with the spiritual....
Cushna should accompany us on our visit, if Zisvené consented to go...
On Zisvené's next visit the scheme was instantly confirmed, and, under
Cushna’s guidance and control, the three of us found ourselves ... en route to my first practical mission of mercy.
It is no part of my desire or purpose to dwell in detail over the
sufferings of the frail unfortunates who, yielding to temptation, have
sought the shelter and oblivion of the soul’s dark cavern while they pay
the penalty and endure the purgation of their sins....
At the entrance of the cavern through the labyrinth of which we had to
find our way in search of Clarice, Cushna and I experienced that change
of dress which enables advanced ministers to meet the lower ones on
more equal terms; as for Zisvené her sleep-robe was already of neutral
grey from which the sheen naturally disappeared as we went forward
into the darkness, where we carried just sufficient light [so as not to alarm the disoriented inhabitants of the cave] to find our way through the apparently interminable windings.
Cushna led the way, enabling us, by the light he shed, to follow in
comparative safety, but even so, we shuddered at the thought of those
who had not only to find their way, but more so for those who were
compelled to dwell in the horrors of such a place. Whether we passed by
any who hid from us as we went by I cannot tell, but no one answered to
Cushna’s frequent call of “Clarice,” nor, as we listened, did we hear the
slightest sound of response.
Presently the rough passage opened into a cave of considerable
proportions, at the entrance to which Cushna stopped, and we saw him
raise his hand in an appeal for silence.
“She is here,” he said calmly, after a careful survey.
“Where? Let me go to her,” and I dropped Zisvené’s hand to hurry
forward. But Cushna restrained me.
“You must be both cautious and patient, or she will get away,” he said.
“In a place like this neither trust nor confidence is known. We have first
to discover whether she is in a violent or submissive mood, and act
But we had not long to wait before we heard a sharp, antagonistic
“Who’s there?...What do you want?...Have I not suffered enough?...I
have not injured you!...Why do you want to torment me further?”
The intense agony of the final appeal was terrible, but Cushna was
adamant in his demand for silence, until he was assured that her
invective was finished. Then, after a brief silence, he whispered:
“Now - speak softly and calmly, put all the tenderness and sympathy you
can concentrate into the word, and call her name.”
“Clarice!” And all my yearning soul rushed out in the lingering utterance of that name as dear as life.
There was a silence as of death. Then - was it a sob or a contemptuous “You!” followed by another silence. Then, at a second sign from Cushna:
What would the answer be this time? Would it confirm the sob or the
interjection? How can I record the intense eagerness with which I
awaited the reply which did not come. Then, for the third time: “Clarice! Do you not hear me?”
Silence again, and then a snarling sneer “Hear you? - Yes! and know you too and if you are not…” She had evidently slipped or fallen, with a groan. Cushna firmly held me back when I would have rushed forward.
When all was quiet again, I asked at his suggestion: “Do you forget - “
She stopped me there with: “Forget? Oh! who will teach me how to forget, to remember?”
“That is one of the reasons for which we have sought and found you,”
Zisvené instantly replied, at Cushna’s suggestion. “Won’t you come to
us, or let us come to you, and help you?”
“Who are you, and what do you want?”
“We are friends, and one is - “
“You lie,” she hissed. “No friends can ever come here. This is the pesthouse of fiends. Go! Your company would only add to my tortures.”
“Clarice, do you forget Frederick?” I asked, and as I spoke Cushna led
Zisvené towards where she was hiding in the darkness.
“Frederick? Did I not say you had come to increase my torture? Is not hell’s rack sharp enough without you coming to give its wheels another turn?”
While Clarice was thus speaking, Zisvené, guided by Cushna, had
approached and reached her. It was Zisvené who answered the enquiry.
“I would give it another - a backward turn, if you will allow me,” she
said with calm, sisterly sympathy. “Surely you have now been
sufficiently torn and mangled? Surely you have paid in full the penalty
of the errors you have committed, and the hour of your redemption has
As she spoke Zisvené gradually drew nearer and nearer, trying to
encircle the poor sufferer with an embracing arm, an effort which was
at first repulsed, then sullenly permitted as Zisvené continued. “You
have not been forgotten in your loneliness and desolation, but have
been watched over in love, and - “
“Stop!” shrieked Clarice, as she savagely tore herself away. “Never
mention that accursed word again in my hearing. Do tigers love as they
tear the quivering flesh from the bones of their helpless victims? [If it is] Love, then in pity’s name show me what hate is like!”
“I understand all you mean by tigers and victims, my sister,” Zisvené
replied soothingly as she cautiously moved forward. “But because some
ghouls pray upon - “
“Stand back! Stand back!” Clarice cried in wild alarm. “For when the
fires of this memory blaze up, I am aflame with fury. Don’t let me reach
you, for every tortured nerve of my body cries out for revenge!”
“I think we had better leave her,” suggested Cushna.
“Not just yet, Daddie,” Zisvené pleaded. “I am sure she will be
Editor's note: We now discover that Zisvené is the daughter of Spirit-Guide Cushna.
“I hope she may, but I fear it,” he replied, acceding to her entreaty.
Again Zisvené addressed herself to the distressed one.
“Clarice, will you listen to me for a moment and try to calm yourself
“Calm myself?” she ironically interjected. “Could you stand calm in the
path of an avalanche ? Could you keep cool in the embrace of a
“I am afraid not,” Zisvené admitted; “but let me beg of you to hear what
I wish to say to you, even though you refuse what Frederick wants to tell
“I know all he has to tell me,” she answered with stinging scorn. “He is a
man, and would retrieve himself by talking again of love. Bah!” - and
she broke into an outburst of hysterical laughter. “He! - who loved me
so faithfully that, when I left him, could throw himself at once into the
arms of a - “
“Stop!” I cried, for even for Cushna’s sake I could not longer keep my
silence. “Don’t perjure your soul by making groundless accusations,
Clarice. My love for you has never wavered or been trifled with, but is as
pure and sacred now as when I first laid it at your feet. When the blow
of your departure fell upon me, I lost my faith in women, as you have
come to repudiate it in men. Through the years I wearily waited,
watched, hoped and prayed for your return, and, could I have found you
- no matter how or where - I would have taken you back to my heart and
sheltered and defended you against the world. But I have only just
heard of you from the lips of one who saved me from taking my life at
the thought of losing you. What he made known to me revived my
lingering hope. I appealed to him for help to enable me to find and save
you. We have come for that - for that alone; for I love you so that I
cannot enter heaven and leave you here, now that I have found you.”
Whether it was the sting of her false accusation, or whether it was the
impassioned yearning of my soul to secure her liberty, I know not -
perhaps may never know - but as I began to speak, something arrested,
then stifled, her hysterical frenzy, and with a strange, almost ominous
silence she listened until, in the intensity of my feelings, I found myself
at a loss for words, and suddenly ceased. Then came a brief,
problematical and trying silence, before she answered in a voice as
quiet and calm as it had hitherto been furious, but with a keen and
“It was the act of a genius to make a lawyer of you. How Lucifer must
envy your magical power to make black appear white - your poetic skill
in the manipulation of a lie. It is my misfortune that I have met you
before, and am acquainted with your art, or you might impose upon me
and catch my feet in the net your lying tongue so gracefully spreads. Go!
Leave me! I had better bear my present torture than let you lead me into
something worse.” And the shudder with which she accompanied her
decision swept over us like an icy blast.
Again Zisvené stepped into the breach with the suggestion: “But you have not met me before. Won’t you allow me to try to help you?”
“Our not having met before may or may not be my misfortune,’’ came
her prompt and snappish reply. “Strangers must be content to be judged
by the company they keep. Your company may be your misfortune on
this occasion, and I want none of it.”
But Zisvené was persuasively, affectionately insistent.
“Are you quite sure that you are not mistaken as to what Frederick’s conduct has been in relation to you? Is it not possible that you may be doing him an injustice and, at the same time, yourself a terrible wrong, by
cherishing these feelings against him? When you knew him, valued
being in his company, and hoped to marry him, did you know him to be
the man you now imagine him to be? Would you have endangered your
own good name by associating with him, had you thought that others
saw him as you now charge him with having been?”
As she spoke Zisvené drew nearer, touched, then took her hand, then a sympathetic arm crept round the unresisting waist, as the speaker proceeded with an ever-increasing tenderness in her voice:
“I am asking you, not for myself, dear, nor for Frederick, but for your own sake, to consider what I suggest. You knew him intimately; I did not - do not. I am equally a stranger to both of you; but I am a woman, with a woman’s heart, a woman’s sympathy for those who are suffering, and a woman’s desire to help a sister who has met with misfortune."
Zisvené’s soothing appeal at once touched and commended itself to the
almost expiring or neglected sense of justice in the sufferer. The storm
of resentment and guilty humiliation at being discovered in such a
condition was arrested, and a brief period of doubtful uncertainty
trembled in the balance, as Zisvené continued. When she acknowledged
to being a stranger to both equally, Clarice gave a perceptible start, and
as the speaker ceased, she anxiously enquired:
“Are you really as much a stranger to him as to me?” [jealousy, more fear of loss, now plagues Clarice]
“Yes; almost equally so. I have known of him, but we have only met
once, before he mentioned you to me, and said how anxious he was to
find and help you. Then I asked to be allowed to join with him. Are you
curious to know why? I will tell you.” Zisvené had by now adopted an
almost maternal tone and attitude towards the half-distrustful, half-hopeful unfortunate.
“You will know me better presently; then you will discover how terribly I suffer at the sight or thought of even an animal in pain. I love them so that the sight of a bearing rein on a horse, the use of a whip, a heavy load, or inconsiderate pace up a hill, will torment me for hours; and if I feel so for the dumb brute, is it strange that I feel even more so for children and my fellow sisters? So when Frederick spoke of his coming to find you, you can scarcely imagine how I wanted to come with him. I did not know you - knew nothing about you, save that you were an old friend of his, but I learned that you were in trouble; and I wanted to help you. That is how and why I am here. And now that I am here, won’t you let me help you?”
“No, you do not know me,” Clarice responded with almost despairing
sorrowfulness. “If you did, you would not want to touch me. Let me tell
you what I have been and done.”
“That would make no difference, nor is it the least necessary for me to
know. It is enough for me that you are in need of help and sympathy.
You may be even worse than you would care to confess. If so, you stand the more in need of the Christ-like ministry that would say to you,
‘neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.’ I have come to you, in
that same spirit, to tell you that if you recognize that you have been
wrong, there is no necessity for you to continue [in this cave]. No one wishes for you to hide yourself here. Don’t you remember how you used to hear, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’? These were little more than a form of words to us in the thoughtless days that are past, but they have a life and death meaning to us now. I have felt the import of them; you have learned the awful truth of not heeding them. But they are still true.
"You are wanting to tell me what you have been, and done; but why
should you? He who reads the heart, in the wish to tell me, hears and
knows your full confession, and has already sent us to lead you out of
this vile darkness towards His marvellous light. Won’t you come? Is this
horrible place so much your ideal of happiness that you wish to remain?
Have you lost all desire for the innocent and unsullied pleasures of life?
Do you not wish for reunion with the friends of the past, before you fell
into the hands of [temptation]? Looking back from this place in which
your sensitive soul is quivering in loathsome agony, does the glorious
and vanished past possess no attraction for you? We want to lead you back. You may come. Won’t you? You have been here, alone, too long.
Will you not come back? Come! We know the way and will go with you.”
As Zisvené thus tenderly and patiently pleaded with Clarice, while
intently drinking in her persuasive arguments, I was carried away and
was again beholding that wondrous miracle of ... inner mystic meaning. While Clarice fell more and more under the spell of Zisvené’s entreaties, I saw a halo of that life-giving sympathy beginning to tremble around the
speaker ... as the sisterly sacrifice was laid upon the altar of affection. Oh, with what suppressed sighs of gratitude did I watch the progress of the ministry - the gradual snapping of the cords of resentment, the wonder excited by the tender and passionate pleading, the cautiously responsive yielding, the birth of confidence and hope, the first thrill of sympathetic response: then the fountain of feeling bursting forth, and Clarice fell in a paroxysm of repentance into the arms of her newly-found sister.
What she passed through in that awful spasm, neither of the three who
watched could possibly conjecture. That can only be known to the
sufferer and God. But, happily, it was of short duration, but it paid the
balance of the penalty. Presently the storm began to subside; Cushna
saw there was no need to continue his disguise, and the cave was at once softly illuminated by the natural light we possessed; the arms that clung so tenaciously to Zisvené ‘s relaxed; the storm-swept face was lifted, and with wondrously perplexed eyes Clarice looked upon the scene.
“Come, dear,” Zisvené entreated, “let us take you out of this horrible
“You cannot - there is no way out,” she sobbed.
“Are you quite sure, dear ? Come and let us try if we cannot find one.”
“I didn’t . . . . mean that,” she answered in a voice that was still broken
by sobs; “ there is a way . . . . somewhere . . . but no one . . . is allowed to pass.”
“Who or what is there to prevent us?”
“Is not the blackness, the innumerable windings, the many pitfalls” -
she shuddered - “and tortures by the way enough to defy our escape?”
“Not when you have a light to guide you; and the light of love which now
shines upon you will go with us all the way. Come, let us be going.”
“I cannot - dare not; much as I long to get away. If you knew the agony of the torture I should incur, you would not ask me,” and she shook as
with an ague of dread at the thought of it.
“May she not come, Cushna?” asked Zisvené. “You have been on these
missions many times. May she not come?"
“That is why we have been sent to help her. Come, my sister, we will
lead the way and guide you. There is nothing to hold and keep you but
your own refusal."
There was something in Cushna’s [fatherly] tone and bearing that seemed to arouse a degree of confidence in her. She took a step forward in the process of awakening, passed her hand across her eyes, shivered slightly, then looked around in an endeavour to realize what was really taking place.
“Oh! My God - My God!” she groaned as she shook herself free from
Zisvené ‘s arm and stood resolutely still “If only I could dare! But I am
not able to run the risk - to bear the light.”
“Let Zisvené and I lead and support you,” I volunteered. “and the light
will come so gradually that you will scarcely notice how gently the
darkness will loose its hold. We will hold you up while your steps grow
strong and certain. As we go your confidence will return, the terrors of
these caves will be overcome, the dread will be left behind, your
loneliness will be past, and our dear friend, Cushna, will show us where
you may rest in peaceful comfort, beyond the reach of this hell of
As I spoke Zisvené and I took hold of her on either side, Cushna going
on before. and so we moved slowly forward. Occasionally she brought
us to a stand as a recurring doubt caused her to hesitate. But patience
won the victory. Each step we took without our progress being
contested or any disaster encountered, tended to stimulate the slender
confidence our sympathy had inspired, and, presently, at every step a
sign of light began to make its presence known and imperceptibly
As the light grew her courage strengthened, hope began to rise. Doubts
and fears shrank back into the gloom. Seeing her way she gradually
freed herself from our support, but clung tentatively to the touch of
friendship and sympathy on either side. She did not speak, but an
occasional half-suppressed sigh revealed more than words had power to
convey. And so we were enabled to bring her back from her prison
house to the restful shelter [half-way house] Cushna knew, where she would be able to recollect herself, grow familiar with more healthful surroundings, receive our frequent visits, meet with new friends, and gradually grow into the modes and habits of the life that leads from the blackness of hell, through the daybreak of hope, into the unclouded noon of the eternal day which constitutes the soul’s true home.
After that never-to-be-forgotten episode in the cave - that strange
interblending of sorrow and joy - that daybreak burst from midnight
gloom - I returned alone to the garden. Zisvené suddenly left us as we
were nearing the open - she was awakening from her sleep and must
needs take charge of her body for its daily round of duties.
Cushna, well accustomed to administering to such requirements as Clarice immediately stood in need of, preferred to be left alone with his charge.
Clarice tearfully entreated me not to leave her, fearful, from her
knowledge of their past, that my going presaged another long and
But Cushna solaced her fears, persuading her to trust him, and, with promises that I would soon see her again, we parted...
Kairissi. I was deeply moved by the story of Mattie and Reuben, their standing at the grave site, with promises to meet in eternity. But the story of Clarice and Frederick is even more. I feel so devastated to think of her suffering.
Elenchus. We need to keep in mind that Clarice was no “fiend from hell.” She was just an ordinary girl who hoped to marry her boyfriend. But, for some reason, she became angry with Fred, couldn’t pull out of the downward spiral, stomped off, made a lot of bad choices in her life, and spitefully married somebody else on the rebound.
K. (sighing) He almost killed himself in the despair of losing her, in the grief of imagining her sleeping with another man; and would have committed this self-murder, but for the restraining hand of a Guide.
E. Look at her crazy reasoning that Zisvené had to beat down. It was all egoic puffing and blather! – not a shred of sense to it.
K. But it all seemed very real and very right to her.
E. I’ll tell you what really grabbed me. Right at the end, when Cushna is taking her to a rest-place, she suddenly starts to panic. He can’t come along just yet, and she becomes terror-stricken at the threat of losing Frederick again, just as she’d lost him for most of her life. She virtually cries out, “I don’t want to lose you again!”
K. You are quite right, Ellus – and this pervasive and poisonous sense of loss is the dead-center of her madness! In the blackness of that horrid cave, she believed she’d never again see the boy she’d always loved!
E. It was her endless nightmare.
K. (sighing) I guess what really bothers me about this story is that we’re not talking about some arch-criminal, some murderer or child-molester, doing time in the rat-cellar. We’re talking about an ordinary couple, ordinary lovers, who just wanted to get married -- like Emily and George, or Agnes and David, or many others – but, somehow, it all went wrong, as they, primarily she, became infected by the “madness maddened” of petty anger, creating more and more darkness in one's spirit, compelling one to sink lower and lower into incoherency. At this stage, truly, the angry mind enters a psychotic state, what Jesus called, "they know not what they do." It feels like the whole universe is against you. It's like drowning in victimhood and self-pity; you're suffocating -- but you can't get out of the hall-of-horrors. It's all illusion, you could walk away right now, but, for those caught in this make-believe, the chains seem very real. And I think the disturbing point for me is that this whole giant tragedy begins with a small decision to allow oneself to become miffed, offended; probably, over nothing.
E. Fred did exactly the right thing. He assembled a team of specialist Guides, highly skilled in this area. They were like a Navy SEAL commando unit – trained for rescue missions, not with physical hand-to-hand combat but, far more difficult, with psychological “martial arts” to liberate a darkened mind.
K. (sighing) Ellus… this story has a bad effect on me… I know it’s someone else’s history; and yet… it seems familiar.