Silver Birch: "The whole purpose of earthly life is to awaken the dormant slumbering souls to the reality of their existence. Your world is full of living sleepwalkers who go through the day’s activities in a dream."
Dr. Peebles, speaking via Mrs.Wickland: "Let us develop the truth within us - find ourselves. Do not let us look far away; do not let us look in the past, do not let us look into the future, but let us find ourselves in our present condition and let us be true to ourselves. Let us forget all theories and dogmas. Let us know and feel the nearness of God… Let us learn to find ourselves. While I am sorry to say many have not found themselves, let all of us here acquire knowledge so that when we go to the spirit side of life we shall go on to a higher life."
Cora Richmond: “We can only say, study your souls as you do your bodies, pursue the science as you do any other. Make the lamp of the human spirit the subject of your inquiries and investigations, and, like the happy astronomer who triumphed in the exercise of mathematical faith, you too shall triumph in the certainty of spiritual knowledge.”
White Feather: Coming to see the evidence for the afterlife is just the first step. "Once you have acquired proof that life is continuous and death is only a doorway through which all must pass, do not rest on your laurels. Expand your search beyond seeking evidence and discover for yourself the eternal truth and wisdom that awaits you. Be not content with mere snippets of fact, but find [within] also the joy of knowing your own unique purpose and place in the great scheme of life that is forever unfolding."
Jiddu Krishnamurti, the famous "dissolution speech," August 3, 1929: "Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path… Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it... You are accustomed to authority, or to the atmosphere of authority, which you think will lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another can, by his extraordinary powers -- a miracle -- transport you to this realm of eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is based on that authority... You are all depending for your spirituality on someone else, for your happiness on someone else, for your enlightenment on someone else… Organizations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you free; nor can organized worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organization, nor throwing yourselves into works, make you free… Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom of Eternity. So you will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built, looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for your happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves. You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what is your spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can tell you if you are beautiful or ugly within? Who but yourself can tell you if you are incorruptible?"
Frederic W. H. Myers, in the afterlife, transmitted to Juliet S. Goodenow: "You should cultivate your impressions, your intuitions - trust them as your guide where you travel and discover by sense. This faculty is easy of cultivation, when the student applies himself to the task. The cultivation of the spiritual will be slow as learning a foreign language; the material must be held in abeyance, or the dross of matter will obscure the transcendent realities awaiting discovery... Nations that overdevelop materialistic ideas lose the necessary spiritual balance to retain sufficient equilibrium. I deviate somewhat from my subject, to prove the essential things we should endeavor to obtain - knowledge throws upon experience a searchlight. We have learned that within is the universal way leading to this Wisdom... [Man] is himself the sovereign of his destiny, the master of his fate. Created in the Image of God, he is the Son of the Most High. Lighted by the lamp of conscience, he builds an empire within himself; his lordly possessions reach within to Infinitude... Why has man proceeded so far on his way without recognition of his destiny, his inheritance with the eternal nature of things? His vista of mind has encircled the globe; he reaches out and girdles the earth with the strength of his thought... You have the ability to think the thoughts of God, after Him, in conformance to this law - your mind is therefore the mind of a god, analytical - powerful."
Eliza Duffy, Heaven Revised: “I, who prided myself upon being a close and correct observer, a careful analyzer of all that came under my observation, and a deep and original thinker, have been overwhelmed with astonishment, not to say chagrin, in discovering how little I knew of even the surface life around me; how still less of that deeper and inner life which is the real and actuating power of humanity, but of whose existence there is so little realization until it comes to the surface here…Truly, yes, without disguises or concealments; and we shall learn to know ourselves as well. This self-knowledge is not acquired at once. I realize that it is only beginning with me; for when I have come to a thorough knowledge of self, I shall have acquired a knowledge of all things, even of God."
"You must measure success and failure within, not by anything I or anyone else might think."
the inner cosmos, the final frontier
Channeled testimony via the mediumship of W. Aber, presented in the book The Guiding Star: “The first thing is to make resolute search within your heart and make the great discovery of the aim and usefulness of your individual life. He who succeeds in this discovery, and holds firmly to it all his earth life, has made a success, whether he wears purple and fine linen, or homespun. You scan the heavens with telescopes, but far wiser is the man who becomes the astronomer of his own soul, [the inner cosmos]. You make analysis of the soil of the field, but more difficult, more desirable it is to make analysis of the soil of your own heart, and find what flowers may grow there best, and what noxious weeds must be guarded against. It is not what a man does that makes him great, but what he is. Action is merely thought dressed in visible garb. Being must ever precede doing. Below the surface which the world sees, are springs [see John, chapter 4] which feed the life. To keep these springs fresh and sweet, is the best object of endeavor. Study yourself carefully; and also study the seeming simple things of Nature, and you will learn that the secret of life is eternal Progress; and that the Earth life, which is of the utmost importance, is only the primary grade of life. Learn your first lessons well, that you may have a solid basis for your future unfoldment.”
Channeled information from medium Mrs. Elizabeth Sweet, The Future Life: January 19, 1856. A person on the other side, having lived an egocentric life on Earth, landed in a dark place, wherein he drifted and sought escape for many decades. Finally, in a more humble frame of mind, he called out for help. A Spirit Guide responded: “... thou hast not outlived all of Earth and its errors; yet thou wilt overcome them one by one, and daily thou wilt acknowledge that man's heart is a universe, wherein is contained all the mystery, all the beauty, and all the love of the divine Godhead, constantly unfolding a spark at a time; but never, never canst thou imagine the heights and the depths to which it shall reach in the unending cycles of eternal thought... Be not strangers to yourselves; listen to those intuitions which speak unmistakably to thy spiritual being."
George W. Meek, The Certainty Of Living Forever: George Meek, engineer and inventor, spent his retirement years traveling the world, gathering scientific evidence for the afterlife. (See the video on his life's work.) Using electronic equipment, he successfully communicated with his departed wife, Jeanette, and others in Summerland. (See Mark Macy’s report on George’s accomplishments here.) Aided by the advice of Jeanette on the astral plane, George created a stair-step diagram summarizing things to know for a harmonious transition to the other side. On the first “step,” the most important item, George wrote: “Seek first the Consciousness of God.” Then, on the second “step,” “Learn to know and to love your real self.” Only farther along on the roster does “Service to Others” make an appearance. All this is exactly right. So many want to put charitable works at the head of the list, but this is wrong. Unless altruistic deed is founded upon one’s “true self” linked to God, no lasting good will come from service efforts. See further discussion in my four articles on “Spirituality: How To Become A Good Person.”
Lord Dowding, Lynchgate: “Have faith in your innermost convictions: accept the words of no man: let your heart be your guide in truth and sincerity. Seek to understand in humility: offer your [altruistic] services.”
The Gospel Of Thomas: focuses on the “inner light,” the soul riches as part of having been “made in the image.” The Gospel Of John was written as polemic against Thomas as the former emphasizes external salvation rather than a personal link to and communion with God. READ MORE
Dr. Kurt Gödel: considered as great a thinker as Aristotle, Einstein, and Newton: “I don't believe in empirical science. I only believe in a priori truth.” “I am convinced of the afterlife, independent of theology. If the world is rationally constructed, there must be an afterlife.”
Marcus Aurelius: “Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.”
Andrew Jackson Davis’ Death And The Afterlife: Eight Lectures On The Summer-Land: "Put down the errors in the temperaments inherited from your ancestors. Become natural, and substantial, and wholly yourself. You cannot enter the ‘superior state’ by any way less straight. Become healthy in your inmost; then you will see the Summer-Land in visions of the night."
Know Thyself, from ancient temples in Luxor and Delphi: The ancient Greek aphorism "know thyself" or "gnothi seauton" is one of the Delphic maxims, inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, according to the Greek writer Pausanias. The phrase was later expounded upon by the philosopher Socrates who taught: "The unexamined life is not worth living." The aphorism may have [originally] come from … the ancient Luxor Temple [in Egypt], comprised of the External Temple, where the beginners would enter, and the Internal Temple, where a person was allowed to enter only after proven worthy and ready to acquire more knowledge and insights. One of the proverbs of the External Temple is "The body is the house of God." That is why it is said: "Man, know thyself". In the Internal Temple, one of the many proverbs is "Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods". (Wikipedia)
Editor's note: In I Cor. 6 the apostle Paul draws distinction between "sins that are without the body" (that is, relatively unharmful) versus those that are "against the body," the result of sexual liaison with a non-Twin Soul partner. Paul's phrase, "the body is the temple of the holy spirit," precisely reflects the sense offered in the Luxor-Temple teachings, "the body is the house of God."
(See an expanded discussion of Paul's I Cor. 6 Twin-Soul teaching in "The Wedding Song"; also note that ancient Spirit Guides, communicating to William Stainton Moses ["Spirit Teachings," 1883], refer to marriage as "the holiest and divinest law of life" but, nevertheless, condemn its current degradation as a "buying and selling," a "social slavery," a "deterioration and retrogression," because humankind has not learned that "the body is the avenue of the spirit.")
It is more than passing coincidence that Genesis metaphorically speaks of sexual coitus as a "knowing," a self-knowing, but such lofty perspective is available only to divinely-appointed Twins, not to John and Mary: to employ Luxor's words, they shall not "know the gods." Similarly, in this we find the heart of Paul's argument: a failure to "know thyself," the sacred deeper-self, makes it impossible to enter into authentic spirituality as one's link to God is facilitated only by way of the inner-person, the locus of consciousness.
David Hume, the great philosopher: He "puts man in the middle"; he analyzed himself, watched himself watching, which became for him a self-knowing. This introspection allowed him to overturn certain errant ideas, going all the way back to Aristotle.
Dr. Eben Alexander: The brain is a filter, a reducer, and dumbs down consciousness to a very slim trickle of information; the answers are within us all, but it's by going deeply within consciousness that we might know this
Judge John Edmonds: An afterlife-researcher, Edmonds offers advice given to him from the other side: "No one can begin to progress until he (or she) has correct ideas of the future existence, [along with] knowing our spiritual nature and destiny..."
a sense of individuality, the knowledge of self: the most pernicious program of all
Star Trek: Next Generation, episode I, Borg, featuring Hugh
“The sense of individuality, which he has gained with us, might be transmitted throughout the entire Borg collective, every one of the Borg being given the opportunity to experience the feeling of singularity – perhaps that’s the most pernicious program of all -- the knowledge of self, being spread throughout the collective, in that brief moment, might alter them forever.”
Emerson, Self Reliance: “Man is his own star [source of light, truth]… Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events… Great men have always done so [trusted themselves], and confided themselves childlike…”
Channeled information from medium Mrs. Elizabeth Sweet, The Future Life: November 30, 1854. "The Inner Temple: There must be within every living soul, a still, deep fountain, ever bubbling in freshness and sweetness, giving food and drink, sustaining and making beautiful, the temple which surrounds it. Make unto thyself a world of beauty within; an inner life, a holy of holies, a sacred palace where none may intrude, a spot dedicated in all its beauty and glory as the sanctuary of the most high God. This is within thee, it is a part of thee, it is all-sparkling and shining; it needs but to be pervaded by the holy presence, the essence of soul, the life of light.”
Kahlil Gibran: “My soul is my friend who consoles me in misery and distress in life. He who does not befriend his soul is an enemy of humanity, and he who does not find human guidance within himself will perish desperately. Life emerges from within, and derives not from environs… If they place me in vacuum, I will live together with my soul, the child of Love and Beauty…”
Raymond Lodge: fallen soldier of WWI, son of knighted British scientist, Sir Oliver Lodge. He transmitted messages, over a period of years, to his parents via psychic-mediums. On the other side, a sensitive, Freda, helped Raymond to communicate with his parents on the Earth, relaying this:
“If only people would go within themselves more, just now and then, they could reach out and get a good deal of what he [Raymond] has learnt [in Summerland]. But when they want to do things on the Earth-plane, they don’t wish to go within themselves, because they are afraid of reaching a decision against what they [that is, their lower natures] wish to do. That is the reason people can’t choose between right and wrong.” Raymond asserted, regarding the efficacy of “going within,” that this process “made everything on the Earth-plane, about religion, about right and wrong, clear - made it all so clear! [Raymond] often thinks that if he could come back [as a mortal], he could fly through life!” [with the success offered by accessing one’s inner person]
Editor's note: compare Raymond's observation concerning people's fear of going within to the following comment by Eckhart Tolle, The New Earth: "You may not want to [deeply] know yourself because you are afraid of what you may find out. Many people have a secret fear that they are bad. But nothing you can find out about yourself is you. Nothing you can know about you is you." Why is this so? - the true self is linked to the unfathomable God / Universal Consciousness; therefore, as God is essentially unknowable, so it is with the true self.
Cora Richmond, "the most famous woman in the world" of the latter 1800s: "The first sphere of spiritual existence [dark detention, not a pleasant place], like the first sphere of material existence, is thronged with human beings in pursuit of self interests... a selfish [existence]... instead of seeking the innermost stages of being. The result is a corresponding spiritual poverty; for you find that, when you have pursued self only, you are defeated..."
Private Dowding, fallen soldier in WWI: "Make yourself a vessel that you may receive the gift of the Spirit [that is, Universal Consciousness]. You will then require no teaching from outside. Revelation will come to you from within. Retire into the Hall of Silence. Think on these things." Editor's note: compare this with the apostle John's statement below.
Robert Benson, Life In The World Unseen: "The members of these [religious] communities [on the other side] know that they have passed on, [but] they think that part of their heavenly reward is to continue with their man-made forms of worship [attending church as the did on Earth]. So they will continue until such time as a spiritual awakening takes place. Pressure is never brought to bear upon these souls; their mental resurrection must come from within themselves. When it does come, they will taste for the first time the real meaning of freedom."
Channeled information from medium Mrs. Elizabeth Sweet, The Future Life: An address to the Circle of Hope, by Apollos Munn, who had lately passed to the other life - October, 1852. “Let each and all of you measure your own heaven by your own experience… Be content with the unfolding of the germ [of your expanding mind] which in due time will become a bud, and which, when the bud is sufficiently matured, will burst into a flower… My wish is, that every soul may see its own heaven. Oh, do not measure your own experience by one another's, but look within your own hearts, and receive the draught of happiness in whatever measure it may be meted out to you, and be assured that you receive as much as you are able to bear, though it may seem to come slowly... As ye seek so shall ye also find, and when the desires of your heart shall knock at the door of the inner world, it shall be opened to fill you with the joy for which you are seeking…”
Thomas Paine, from the afterlife: "In all things l believe that the mind and spirit of man is capable of adjudicating matters that pertain to human freedom, and human enlightenment, and to the knowledge of that which is divine. Beyond that reason, which is the external guide of human thought, there is the divine prompting coming from within; from a realm of which I had little knowledge when on Earth, but which now is the divine reality of being, viz., the realm of intuition, the realm of the spirit, the inner and diviner nature of every human being which determines for him [a sense of] the right, which declares to him the truth, which reveals to him the higher and nobler pathway."
Dr. Carl Wickland: "If you have not found the Joy within, then you might want to return [to the Earth]; those who have [found the Joy within], even if it were possible [to return], would never, ever do so."
Sir John Pensley, from the other side: "I determined to see for myself whether there was within me any true, unerring guide to lead me right; for I reasoned: If I am a spark of intelligence emanating from God, the Great Sun and Center of all Intelligence, is there not within me enough to show the light by which to travel back to the source whence I sprung?" See more of Pensley's channeled testimony.
Jesus of Nazerath: the gospel of John, chapter 4: "I will give you living waters of eternal life, and you will never be thirsty again!"
Editor's note: The Greek words for "living water" refer to an artesian spring which produces endless water-flow, naturally bubbling up to the surface from the depths - a perfect illustration by the Master Teacher of the inner riches of the soul refreshing the surface personality. In this illustration, we also find his meaning for the statement, "The kingdom of God is within you." And when he said, "Call no man your father," the sense of his message was, "Call no man your infallible guru or final word on anything." Father, as the term was sometimes employed then, meant "great teaching authority." We find the same prohibition against following Dear Leaders in the next item from John the apostle: instead of surrendering autonomy to any external source, we are to quench our thirst for truth via the artesian well of our own sacred inner-person.
the apostle John: attempting to counteract arrogant teachers who claimed that truth could be known only by their authority, John asserts that all important things of life are taught by "the holy spirit, the anointing," that is, the purified consciousness, and in this process no human teaching agency is required:
"I am writing these things about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you... his anointing teaches you about all things." (I John 2:26-27)
J. Donald Walters: "Intuition is the innate ability in everyone to perceive truth directly - not by reason, logic, or analysis, but by a simple knowing from within. That is the very meaning of the word 'intuition': to know, or understand from within - from one's own self, and from the heart of whatever one is trying to understand. Intuition is the inner ability to see behind the outer forms of things to their inner essence."
Rainer Maria Rilke: “There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus … Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, ‘I must,’ then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.”
Two Years In Heaven, Dr. C.H. Carson, from his wife Rose, her experiences in the afterlife: "My mind is filled with plans of what I hope to do. How glorious it will be to enter into active work and to realize that whatever I set out to do I shall be able to accomplish through the efforts I make! It seems good to be alive; to feel so well and strong that one’s whole being vibrates with new and wonderful life… Every moment of the time I spent in spirit life was occupied with something helpful and instructive… [to] furnish me with some helpful idea that I could impart to others to aid them in their progress toward higher, grander, and better things... My soul is alive and vibrant with plans for the future, and I am happy and more glad of life as each day passes, not for myself alone, but for those who are to follow after me and whom my influence is to lead heavenward... The consciousness that I have attained tells me this great truth: The soul aspiring for progress never retrogrades; it goes on and on, throughout all eternity, toward greater achievements and higher realizations."
Thea Euryphaessa: “Our destiny is aligned with our heart's innermost longing, a longing embedded within our soul before birth. This longing is a unique pattern or configuration reminiscent of the constellations in the night sky. When we express (press out) our unique configuration, it shines through us with an otherworldly luminosity, manifesting abundance in our lives and the lives of others. Our sole task is to yoke our inner destiny, thread it through our lives and weave it into the world. All else is just shadows and dust.”
Mary Bruce Wallace, The Thinning Of The Veil (1919), channeled information from the other side: “All power comes from within and is never generated from without. Great reforms will be accomplished when Inner Forces are brought into activity … We are illumined by our own Higher Self. It is to attain this [sense of independence, of relying on one's own inner life] that the Guides are given to us [that is, the very purpose of Spirit Guides having been assigned to us is to bring us to a state of heightened self-awareness, of helping us to 'wake up' to our own inner riches; compare this to the channeled teaching below via William Stainton Moses ]… The first intuition of the soul is usually the correct one…intuition guides one most unerringly… [the Guide] said: ‘Heed not the voices of the World, but at all times heed the inner voice of the Spirit.’ Within the soul of man shineth the Eternal One, invincible, all-conquering. The higher we rise, the more clearly we realize this… The coming age is to be a day of big things in the soul of man and then big changes in the external world. Prepare by enlarging your consciousness -- enlarge, I say, ENLARGE. Rule without from within. You can do more than you know by the power of thought which is the greatest force in the universe… As we rise in the scale of evolution, this becomes more and more clear to us. Realize your Divine Power. Use it with thankfulness and awe.”
The Essene Gospel Of Peace: "In the Garden of the Brotherhood, each shall follow his own path, and each shall commune with his own heart. For in the infinite Garden there are many and diverse flowers."
The Gospel and the Book of Thomas: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you” … "Whoever finds [the true] self is worth more than the world" … "Whoever does not know [the true] self does not know anything, but whoever knows self already has acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe" … “Beings that come from above derive their life from their own root."
Excursions to the Spirit World by Frederick C. Sculthorp: “Many spirits seem quite contented, as they feel well and do not tire, but their minds do not seek for, or know of, anything better, nor can they be pushed forward. The spirit law seems to be that the urge must come from within, which will happen in time... We are helped by our spirit friends in all ways, but the end, personal awareness, they cannot provide. This must come from within.”
Elizabeth Fry: speaking from the afterlife: "We all realize, automatically, within ourselves, what our part is, what work we have to do; and we realize that we are all interwoven, one with another. I think it is [that] we are all very conscious of this oneness of spirit... You cannot, surely, build a truly spiritual realization of God on something which is of a material conception. God is not found, in a sense, in buildings or places ... God is found within one’s soul, within one’s inner consciousness."
The following is channeled information from the other side via the mediumship of Robert James Lees, Through The Mists (1898): A new-arrival in Summerland is instructed concerning how God teaches everyone via the Spirit of truth, the “whispering still small voice” within each human being: Do not say that God spoke only “in the days of the oracle… Not so! Say rather that [communication from God] has ceased because of the unnatural and erroneous teachings [of the worldly rogue Church] which have gained the ascendancy… [The authentic, spiritual] Church in every age should … demonstrate this truth [of Spirit guidance]… [the Bible is not a] finished and perfect revelation [but only] containing the Word of God to a specific people, designed for guidance under certain conditions, and but a fragment of … revelation... Jesus wrote no law which was handed to His disciples with [no] command to keep, neither did He commission anyone else to do so after His departure. His injunction was to preach, and that only as the Spirit should give them utterance - that voice of the Spirit being the continuance of revelation until time should cease, leading His followers into all mysteries… the tradition and authority of the [worldly rogue] Church has usurped the living word and lively oracles of God, with the unavoidable result of error and confusion… [as] self-interested [religious] teachers promulgating error, by concealing certain aspects of truth for base and unworthy motives [In other words, the worldly rogue Church claims that the day of revelation ended with the apostles, but this position is taken only because it effectively offers the Church great power as the only arbiter of the divine will]… God has never left [the world] without a witness [of divine revelation]; faithful watchers in the temple [that is, the true spiritual Church] have always kept the lamp of revelation burning, and the oracle alive… the salt of the earth [true followers of Christ] who maintain the standard and show the possibilities from which the [worldly] Church has degenerated - these only emphasize the truth I am declaring to you… They are men and women who think for themselves - who, catching a glimpse of celestial visions, do not turn away and consult the opinion of any teacher as to the legitimacy or otherwise of listening to the voice which calls to them from the cloud of glory, but following the dictates of their own souls they answer ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth,’ and thus are drawn into that communion of saints which needs no mediator, seeks the aid of no priest, and is rewarded by a vision of the true shekinah from which the rended veil of doubt is torn away, bringing them into the hallowed presence of the Lord… [These the world vilifies as Satanic.] The faith of the [worldly rogue] Church is in these traditions of men, not in the living, ever-speaking God, hence it is no wonder that the days of miracles are past, and men laugh at the idea [of those living by the Spirit of truth]."
The following is channeled information from the other side via the mediumship of Robert James Lees, The Gate Of Heaven (1931): The “gate of heaven” is a metaphor indicating spiritual progress; that is, one’s taking up residence in Summerland after physical death, merely to lose the mortal body, is not the end of one’s advancement. Within Summerland, there is a further “gate” to the real heaven which is an accessing of the inner life, our link to God via our “made in the image” capacities. A Spirit Guide comments: “Well spoke the Master when He said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hidden in a field.’ It is the same figure as I have spoken of - the spiritual treasure in the earthen vessel … God never fails to answer the truly earnest and patiently waiting soul… It may take a long time to bring the soul into such delicate tune with the Divine that it may be able to catch the sweet modulations of the sacred Voice, but it is certain to be heard, when the attuning is completed. Get away from the tumultuous discord without; find the way into the silent shrine of your own soul; wait – listen for Him in the sacred hush, and you will presently hear Him.”
Dr. Daniel Robinson of Oxford on the work of Bishop Berkeley (paraphrased, from a lecture): “Without apperception, experience avails nothing; the Self is different from the idea; content different from the knower. Apperception is paramount to the process: to be experienced at all, the successive experiential data must be combined or held together in a unity of consciousness, which implies a unity of self, and this inner integration is as much an object of experience as anything is. Therefore experience, both of the self and its objects, rests on acts of synthesis that, because they are the [pre]conditions of any experience, are not themselves experienced.”
Editor's note: "Apperception" is not a common word. Consider these brief notes of definition: literally, "to - perception"; Descartes and Leibnitz coined the term; to apprehend as "not-self" and yet in relation to the self; a self-reflective activity, which cannot derive from experience, but is the necessary precondition to allow for experience; "conscious perception" the mental process by which a person makes sense of an idea by assimilating it to the body of ideas he or she already possesses. Dagobert Runes: In epistemology, "the introspective or reflective apprehension by the mind of its own inner states," one of which is the assimilation of data. Otto F. Kraushaar: for Kant, that which makes experience possible. It is where the self and the world come together; the uniting and building of coherent consciousness out of different elementary inner experiences (differing in both time and topic, but all belonging to self-consciousness). What is this "unity of self"? - a panscopic sense of self injected into all experiential data, lives apart from the data, therefore, this "unity of self" survives all experience with objects in the world. Kant distinguished transcendental apperception from empirical apperception. The first is the perception of an object as involving the consciousness of the pure self as subject--"the pure, original, unchangeable consciousness that is the necessary condition of experience and the ultimate foundation of the unity of experience."
Spirit Guides warn against emphasizing, too much, physical phenomena as evidence for the afterlife
William Stainton Moses, "Spirit Teachings," (1883): Moses channeled extensive teachings from Spirit Guides covering many subjects. The wisdom received is impressive and most valuable; but, for our purposes here, it should be noted that the Guides strictly cautioned against becoming too enamored with physical phenomena - i.e., rappings, table liftings, levitations, receipt of apports, and the like -- but, instead, one should focus on the inner journey of the soul, "the spark struck off from God." See the following excerpt from "Spirit Teachings":
low-level spirit entities unduly promote physical marvels
"Beware of encouraging the promiscuous evolution of violent physical power [when you seek for a psychic-medium]. Such comes generally from the lower and more undeveloped; and its development is frequently attended by spirits for whose absence you should pray. In the encouragement, especially in newly-formed [psychic-medium] circles, of undue care for physical marvels is a great risk.
do not rest in material evidence but seek for something higher
"Such are necessary to the work, and we do not in any degree undervalue their importance to certain minds. We desire to bring home evidence to all; but we do not desire that any should rest in that material form of belief, in an external something which is of little service to any soul. We labour for something higher… Nor do we rest content even with showing man that beings external to himself can interfere in the order of his world. If that were all, he might be so much the worse for knowing it."
These Guides are so adamant for us to experience the inner life, the true riches of the soul, that they fear we might be made “worse,” even by knowing of their existence; bedazzled and distracted by a messenger from heaven, diverting our attention from the real action within.
one sole aim
"We have before us one sole aim … to demonstrate to man that he is immortal, by virtue of the possession of that soul which is a spark struck off from Deity itself. We wish … to show him the life that leads to progress, to point him to the future of development and growth…"
even the scientific evidence of the spirit world, they say, can become a detriment if it distracts us from our primary task, that of realizing the “spark of God” within
Feel the flow of the Guides' argument. They say they have one “aim.” It is to inform us that we are “immortal,” that is, made in the image of God. By what demonstration? “by virtue” of the fact that we possess a divine “soul,” which is like a “spark," a particle of the divine essence, "struck off” from God. And how shall we assure ourselves of this divine possession? We will know that our essential life is divine and from God because it will reveal itself as a “life that leads to progress,” to a “future of development and growth.”
In other words, we can know that we are immortal, fit to “live with the gods,” by our awesome potential to enlarge and by a commensurate innate desire to improve, to become, to achieve, to soar. Granted, the “false self” has dampened this success-mindedness with its fear, guilt, despair, and anger – but these merely cloak and overlay and do not represent our natural state. We are to “go within” and discover who we really are, the "made in the image" heritage from which we derive. Special note: compare this desire to achieve and improve with Jesus' teaching, "Embrace this god-life, really embrace it!"
Restatement: What is the Guides’ “one sole aim”? It is not merely to inform us that we are “immortal,” that we'll live forever, but that we are “sparks” of God, an expression of the divine essence. The implications are huge. If we could truly perceive what this means, it would change everything for us: how we live and die, think and act.
physical phenomena, including the scientific evidence of the afterlife, should be seen as a mere first step to conviction, but then, as soon as we can, we are to move toward what really matters, the true evidence of the afterlife, which is coming to know God within
"If we use such [phenomenal] power at all it is because we find it necessary, not because we think it desirable, save always as a means to an end… Regard [the phenomenal] only as means of conviction, as so many proofs to your minds of actual intervention from the world of spirit with the world of matter.
the scientific evidence of the afterlife is merely the 'material foundation on which' is to be built 'the spiritual temple' of authentic experience with God via going within
"Look upon them as such only, and use them as the material foundation on which the spiritual temple may be built. Rest assured that they of themselves can teach you no more than that ... you must go on to further steps…
the physical evidence is as ‘nothing compared with the inner communing of spirit with spirit’
"When you can reach out beyond the phenomenal to the actual investigation of Truth for its own sake—when, in short, you can believe our pretensions—then we can open out to you a realm of which you are yet ignorant, and which has been far more fully revealed to earnest seekers in other lands than yours.
"To few, only, in your land have higher revealings of spiritual truth been vouchsafed. Even this means of communing by writing, which seems to you such an advance on the clumsy rapping out messages and such material means of communication is as nothing compared with the inner communing of spirit with spirit without the intervention of material signs… [we] encourage you to rise above the material to the spiritual plane.
the Guides ‘yearn’ for our maturity which will allow us to discard the physical phenomena and focus solely on ‘the higher revealings of Truth’
"Receptivity [to the inner communion with spirit] must precede higher development: but we yearn and pray for the time when you shall have shaken yourselves free from earthly trammels, and seek only after the higher revealings of Truth. To that end you must have singleness of purpose: you must have shaken yourselves free from human opinion, and have dissociated yourselves from the material plane, so far as an occupant of earth may do so."
Rainer Maria Rilke: “A billion stars go spinning through the night, glittering above your head, but in you is the presence that will be when all the stars are dead… Think... of the world you carry within you… your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.”
Editor's note: What are we to make of this long list of admonition toward "know thyself" and "going within," a virtual command to "enlarge"? We must conclude that the "riches within" constitute an unfathomable inner-cosmos of raw capacity to be actualized. Apotheosis is in our future. Father Benson appears to be correct: "no discoverable upper limit" to our potential.