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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity



excerpts from
Charlotte Dresser’s
Life Here And Hereafter



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75% of those crossing over will spend some time in a dark place 

“We think we can truthfully say that one-fourth of those who come to this side are made to understand the needs of spirit life in a reasonable time. But the remaining three-fourths are our problem and care. We do not mean that all of this large number is unable to advance, but that they are slow, and sometimes very slow. We have many, many, whom we seem unable to help at all. We do not know that it is impossible for them to advance, but we do know that many of them have made no advancement since we came; and we are told that some of them have been in this condition for centuries." testimony from the other side




Editor’s prefatory note:

At a business dinner meeting, a lady seated across the table told me of her occupation. In counterpoint, I offered that I worked as a writer and researcher, with a focus on “the scientific evidence for the afterlife.”

time enough for all that later, live one life at a time

Suddenly, her affable demeanor changed. “Pulling up the drawbridge” now, she defensively asserted that she wasn’t interested in such things: “time enough for all that later, live one life at a time,” that sort of thing.

The fear of death wears many guises, but I’d just witnessed a common one. The topic of the afterlife so terrifies most people that they will do anything to marginalize, devalue it, in order to dismiss it.

The dozens of testimonies below, from those who crossed over in this same mindset, instruct us as to the outcome of such philosophical positioning.

Life Here And Hereafter continues the channeled writings of Charlotte Dresser begun in Spirit World And Spirit Life. This present volume focuses on reports from the other side concerning the deleterious effects of Earthly materialism and belief systems on the mental frame of mind of those who cross over.

On the “Summerland” page, a great many attractions of that coming world are presented. However, before one can partake of these joys, one must activate one’s spirit sensibilities – without which one can easily transition to find oneself without sight or hearing. Let’s take note of the masthead quotation above: 75% of those crossing over will spend some time in a dark place.

The good news here is that, as I’ve outlined elsewhere, there is no need for overmuch worry. If you find yourself in a dark place when you leave this world, you can leave the darkness the same day. The very same day. So, don’t worry about this. The examples below help us to understand what needs to be done.

However, if we can leave a “prison of darkness” – an inability to see or hear – the very same day, why do so many linger in states of detention for days, months, years, or even centuries? This is a serious question for us, and we’ll want to know the facts on how things work over there.

Again. Do not worry. The fact that you are reading this indicates a desire to put oneself right. And so you are not likely to have much trouble. If something arises, you can solve it almost immediately. Nevertheless, as many do not solve this immediately, we can learn much about the process of natural law which governs one’s life and activities in the eternal world.

The testimonies below are managed, on the Earth side, by Charlotte Dresser (“Sis”) and Fred Rafferty. Charlotte, and to a lesser extent, Fred, had developed the ability to receive psychic messages from Summerland via “automatic writing.” On the other side, those sending messages, are Dee, sister of Charlotte and wife of Fred, and also Mary, a good friend of the trio.



the Earthly materialistic mindset creates a barrier for the soul's hearing and seeing

“It is a sorrowful condition we behold on earth, and we wish to try to give a new thought that will turn the world to better things… We know that materialism is leading many into habits of life and thought that will defer their awakening and advance here very seriously. This is not necessary for most of them, for they are not evil, and in many cases not especially selfish. But the strong thought that they hold, that there is no future life, reacts upon them to such an extent that they fail to respond to the influences here after they arrive. We have no influence upon such people while they are on earth, of course. If we did, they would not be adopting these wrong beliefs.”

“I am not a novice in this life any more. I have been on this side for fifteen years, and have been in active service most of the time. But I was a beginner at one time, as all are who come here. No one arrives with full-fledged spirit powers. It is easy for some to begin to use their spirit sight and hearing, but it was difficult for me. I had not given a thought in earth life to what would be necessary in this. I did believe in a future life, and I was not long in a really unconscious state after arriving. But I was grievously disappointed at first that I did not find the beautiful heavenly life which I had been taught to expect.

“It was not entire darkness; I could see dimly. But all that was visible was drab and unattractive. I could hear nothing, and could see no living being. You can imagine a little how surprised I was and how puzzled. I knew that my earth life was over; I had been very ill, and had been conscious until nearly the last. So there was no misunderstanding about the fact that I had died. But I could not understand what existence could mean, where there was so little I could see, and nothing I could hear.

“After a time,—I don’t know how long it was,—I realized that there were other beings near me. I was conscious at times of shadow-like forms that moved. I watched them, trying to understand what they meant. I was not particularly interested, for I did not in the least suspect that they were beings like me. If I thought anything, it was that they were animals of some kind.

“I was, of course, not in full possession of my reasoning faculties. When spirit first throws off the material envelope, there is a shock,—not always a severe one, but often sufficient to leave the mentality in a dazed condition, hardly more than a dream-like state. If I had then possessed full powers of reasoning, I could no doubt have soon concluded that the shadows meant something to me. But at first I simply watched them curiously. They came and went, sometimes a few, sometimes many. I think it must have been months before it dawned upon me that they might be spirits, and then I began to really think things out. I first concluded that possibly spirit was always rather ghostly; possibly these shadows were only conscious of me as a shadow. I pondered over this for some time. I finally concluded that there must be more to heaven than such shadowy creations. Something must be wrong somewhere. I made no attempt to study myself, I only wondered about the others. Why were they unable to make a more solid appearance?


a 4000 year-old report from ancient Egypt 

Editor’s note: The following is from “The Astral Plane: Its Scenery, Inhabitants, and Phenomena” (1900) by C.W. Leadbeater. The author quotes from an Egyptian papyrus, a testimony, seemingly, from one having undergone a near-death experience, astral traveling, or with information received from psychic-mediumship:

"For the seventh or lowest subdivision of the astral plane [the Dark Realms, a region between the Earth and Summerland] also this physical world of ours may be said to be the background, though what is seen is only a distorted and partial view of it, since all that is light and good and beautiful seems invisible. It was thus described four thousand years ago in the Egyptian papyrus of the Scribe Ani:

'What manner of place is this unto which I have come? It hath no water, no air; it is deep, unfathomable, black as the blackest night; men wander helplessly therein; in it a man may not live in quietness of heart.'

"For the unfortunate human being on that level it is indeed true that 'all the earth is full of darkness and cruel habitations,' but it is darkness which radiates from within himself and causes his existence to be passed in a perpetual night of evil and horror - a very real hell, though, like all other hells, entirely of man s own creation."



well, it couldn't be my fault that this is happening

“It was a long study; and only after extended cogitation did I suddenly begin to wonder if the fault might lie with me. This thought interested me tremendously. I began to speculate on what spirit sight might be like, and I soon saw that it would necessarily be different from earthly sight. I was not successful in my conclusions at first as to the method by which I would have to see, but I was able to perceive things more plainly just because I realized that I myself was the one at fault. When we realize our own short-comings, a great advance is made toward eliminating them, no matter what they are.

“I was soon conscious that I had greatly increased my powers of vision, for I could now see these other beings quite plainly. And I saw that they were conscious of my presence, even seemed to be trying to communicate with me in some manner. But no sound whatever reached my consciousness.

“It was a great relief, however, to discover that there was a change taking place, that I was really able to see things. I was amazed at the beings I saw. I could not believe now that I was in the right place, for I could not conceive that I could belong with such wonderful beings. You must understand that a spirit who has arrived at a full understanding of the life here, and who feels the urge to live the life of spirit love and service, such spirit expresses the purity of its character by its outward appearance. Not only the features become wonderfully beautiful, but the garments likewise are glorified. And to my unaccustomed eyes, these spirits about me could not be less than angels from on high. I could not feel I belonged with any such advancement.

“So I wondered and waited. As I watched, I became aware that these glorious shapes were communicating with each other. I studied this over, and as my mind became more active, I realized that hearing must be a spirit power as well as sight. No sooner had I reached this conclusion than I was conscious of sound. And, oh, the sweetness of that first musical tone! Heavenly music indeed! I was entranced! I was in heaven after all! Not only were there beautiful angels, but I surely was going to hear the heavenly choirs!

“It was not long before I could hear spoken words, and then everything was soon explained to me. It was a day of joy; an exhilaration that I probably will never experience again. But there has been no disappointment since. My education was not rapid, but I advanced surely, and I am now experiencing the pleasures that I only faintly glimpsed in the teachings of my earth life.

“When I first became able to understand the spirits about me, I was not sure that I would ever be like one of these wonderful beings; but I did begin to realize that there was opportunity for me to learn more of my new surroundings.

“I was never much of a student on earth and so for a time I was content to enjoy the beautiful scenes about me. I was curious, however, to learn what made the difference in appearance between myself and the others, and my questions were freely answered. I was told that it was necessary for me to work out my own advancement. I was to learn from all sources that appealed to me, and when I decided what I most wished to take up as a study, the rest would be easy.

“I was not interested at first in the work they were doing for the new arrivals. I was too much occupied in using my newly-found powers of sight and hearing. I was selfish, of course, in not thinking of all that had been done for me. But I had not been a model of unselfishness on earth, and my character did not change at once. I was gradually drawn to the work of helping others by the fact that several whom I had known on earth came to this side, and my curiosity led me to watch them. It was not long until one of them began to regain consciousness, and I was eager to welcome him and explain to him what I had learned. In this way my work for these new spirits was taken up; and for a long time I did little else.

“I was being slowly educated in spirit life by all that I saw and heard around me. And my inquiring mind finally caused me to realize that there were higher things to learn. I was not much inclined to join any class for study, but I did take time to go to other circles and see what was being done. I had always been interested in music, but was never a musician. It was something I never felt I could master. When I listened to the wonderful music here I was enthusiastic over its beauty. I wondered if it might be possible for me to do anything with it myself. I was led to undertake the study, and I am now progressing slowly.”


Harry Houdini, the great escape artist, transitions to a dark place and cannot break free

During his mortal time, Houdini had attacked and sought to ruin those associated with psychic phenomena. However, a confused and shattered discarnate Houdini is brought by Spirit helpers to Dr. Carl Wickland and his wife Anna Wickland, a trance-medium, for rescue.




Reprinted from the homepage; this kind of "tight-shut" disposition creates mental darkness: 

Saul rarely becomes Paul, instead minds remain tight-shut, and science advances one funeral at a time

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents, making them see the light, but rather opponents eventually die and a new generation grows... rarely, does Saul become Paul.” Max Planck, father of quantum mechanics - Editor’s note: Planck’s dictum is often paraphrased as “science progresses one funeral at a time.”


two business partners killed at a railroad crossing

“We would like to tell of our experiences, as they are a little out of the ordinary. We are two who were associated in business in earth life. We were in a western city not far from Chicago. We were not very well educated, but had many years of business experience, and had always been together. We were not interested in books or reading of any kind, except the items of local interest, and occasional articles that were concerned with business. We talked a good deal with people whom we met, and were, I think, considered intelligent.

“We were church members, but not active; attended occasionally when our families were persuasive enough. We gave no thought to a future life, just lived a day to day existence. We were not wealthy, but always had plenty to make us feel comfortable. We both had automobiles, and liked to ride when opportunity offered, which was usually on Sunday. “It so happened one Sunday that a few from our families wished to ride, so four of us were in my automobile including my friend and partner. We miscalculated at a railroad crossing and we two soon found ourselves on this side. That is, we left our earthly bodies. Here is where our unusual experience comes in.

“We had just been laughing and talking about an article in the paper concerning ghosts. After our spirits left our bodies, we each seemed to realize that an accident had occurred, but each thought himself uninjured. But each could see the spirit form of the other, and its peculiar appearance to his new powers of spirit sight, convinced him that his partner had been killed and that his ghost was still present. It was a comedy of errors if ever there was one,—right in the midst of tragedy. Each thinking himself in the flesh and the other a ghost, there was no attempt to speak, so the mistake was not discovered.

“After the first excitement was over we seemed to drift into oblivion for a time, and we think it must have been some months before we were aware that we were alive only in spirit. During that time we were separated. We were quite slow in gaining our knowledge of what had happened. Our experiences were not just the same, but nearly so. I think the realization that I had died probably came to me the earlier. When I did realize this I was so filled with despair at leaving my earthly existence, and so little used to spirit ways, that all thought of my partner was absent for a long time. It seems his experience was slightly different. At any rate, he thought of me, and at once began to search for me. Because of our close companionship he soon found me, and we have started on the road together.

“We had a hearty laugh over our ghostly experience, but also mingled with sorrow for our families left behind, two of whom were badly injured at the time we were killed. But as time passes, and we learn of the beauties and joys of this life, we realize that we have lost our desire to really return to earth life, and we anticipate now the things that we may attain in the future.”

a spirit-person from the time of Cromwell

“We think the earth people should be made thoroughly acquainted with what is in store for them here. It is not always happiness at first, and for some it seems that unhappiness is their lot for a very long time; and all because of too firmly fixed ideas of what the future is like.

“We have in mind one who has been under our direct care for a time. He is now a happy and joyous soul, but it seems that he has been here for generations, and all that time he has been in a purgatory of his own making.

“He was an Englishman, and left the earth in the time of Cromwell. He was a religious enthusiast, and had pictured the future life in terms of hell-fire on the one hand, and ages of bliss on the other. Not finding either, he conceived the idea that he had somehow missed the way, and was condemned to everlasting solitude. Can you understand what torment this would bring?” …

“We feel that he should have been able to learn more clearly what earth justice was, and that would have made him a different sort of a man. But he was opposed to anything contrary to his beliefs, and was unjust and oppressive to all who held them. This was something he should have been able to overcome despite his heredity and environment. We know that many who lived at that time had right ideas of justice, and administered the law with love and mercy. Such cases should have been an example for this man to follow. But he held the idea that only his way would take one into the realms of bliss in the future life, and he vigorously opposed any other belieftoo many set themselves up as judges, and fail to observe the arguments on the other side

“When we were trying to influence this man we found that he was only able to move from place to place, and to see dimly some of his surroundings. He was not able to see those who were trying to help him, and he could hear nothing. His own thoughts were all the company he had through the long centuries. We do not know just how long the time seemed to him, for of course he had no way of measuring it. But he says he can only express it by saying that it seemed endless.”

the small-town merchant

“I was a man on earth who thought he was living a pretty good sort of life. I did not gamble, or do dishonest things, in the little business which I conducted. But I was not much interested in other people, and I see now that many times I was hard and selfish, when it would have been so easy to be kind and generous instead.

“Life there is looked upon as a sort of grab game. He who is most skillful in grabbing is supposed to be the most successful. Not necessarily a dishonest practice, but surely a selfish one. I was not situated where I could seize anything of any great value, but where the odds allowed it, I saw that they fell on my side.

“I was a small merchant in a small town. I was successful in a small way, but I made of myself a small man personally. And when I came here and learned what this life meant, it was a very small niche that I occupied for a very long time.

“I am growing slowly, and am trying to overcome the habits formed during my long life there. I have reached a point where I feel that these handicaps are more imagined than real now. So I make light of them and try to be happy.

“It is a wonderful world here. It is a wonderful life that is open to everyone… When you come you will be able to see the results of selfishness in nearly every soul that comes, and will see that many have the feeling of being in the wrong place because they were unprepared. I was so unprepared that I did not even know that I was still alive for a long time. It was a surprise to learn the truth, and it was a hard road I had to travel.”

a woman’s experience

“I am a woman. I have been here many years. I was born and brought up on the Atlantic coast, and moved to one of your western states when I was married. But that was many years ago. The year was 1840. I lived a lonely life on a farm, and I had many hardships; raised a family; and finally left my weary existence at the age of 68. I was never a church member, although brought up by Puritan parents. In coming into the western country I brought none of that teaching with me, however. In some ways I think I would have been happier if I had, for I would at least have been looking forward to something after death. As it was, I was so weary of life; I looked forward to peace and nothingness. I was ready to give up everything, there was so little I cared for.

“When I finally realized that death had not ended my existence, I did not know what to make of it. I could see or hear nothing. But I knew I was alive and that I had left my earthly body. I was distracted. For I felt that now I could not rid myself of life, no matter how much I suffered, or how weary I was. But I soon found that I was not suffering, except from loneliness, and after a time I began to wonder what it all meant. Surely there was something I had failed to understand. I certainly was not meant to pass through eternity in this lonely condition. Somewhere, somehow, I would meet someone in like condition, and then we could talk it over and try to arrive at some understanding.

“By good fortune my mind was so undeveloped at that time that I did not have very bright reasoning powers, so time itself did not seem so long as it might. But I did finally reason that if I met someone and wanted to talk, I would have to make this person understand by new means. It seems that this thought of itself brought some light and understanding. For it was not long before I was aware that I was beginning to see and hear faintly. It was a delight, you may be sure, and you on earth can never conceive the joy I experienced when I first realized that someone was trying to talk with me. Of course it was not long then until I was taught how to use my spirit powers, and soon I was able to take up my new life. In contrast with my old one anything would have brought joy. But if I could make you comprehend even one small portion of the reality, you would still be far from realizing my full happiness.

“This is all. It isn’t much. But it may help some one poor soul there to understand, and I do so want all there to know the happiness that awaits them here.”

Editor’s note: This is an interesting account; rather unique. The majority of those who land in a dark place, it seems, do so because of unthinking adherence to rigid belief system, but this lady had not embraced doctrinairism. Why then was she in darkness? The answer seems to be, she had not thought about much of anything at all. By her own admission, she had not developed her rational faculties. And so, with her case, we’re able to formulate a more general rule concerning detainees in the Dark Realms. A strict cultish mindset, we might say, is the poison of choice for so many, and this will assuredly cause one’s sensibilities to atrophy. But, equally hazardous is the approach to life of mentally drifting, not thinking of much of anything worthwhile. Strangely, this mental indolence, too, will send one to a dark closet. This might strike us an unfair – but she herself, the higher self, dispatched her to dark solitude. But why? She wasn’t hurting anybody, just minding her own business. No, she wasn’t hurting anybody, but she was hurting herself, and the higher self seems to have no sense of humor about mentally “cutting class” and ever lollygagging.


the ordinary business man

“I was never given to mysteries, I was just a plain ordinary business man, trying to take care of my wife and family, and keep them from want, in either intellectual or physical ways. My sons went through college, my daughters to a boarding school, and I thought I had done pretty well by them all. But I did not bring them up in any spiritual thought: I left them to find what they could from church or books or papers. They are there yet, a worldly set, living only a material life. What can I do for them now? Is there any help? …

None of us thought of spirit life, none of us tried for silent influence or silent cultivation. In fact, we did not know the term. We thought all education was for the brain, and then to react in business or pleasure. The consequence is that I have been a long, long time in arriving at anything here that I could call happiness. And I want to preach a sermon to my family; and I cannot!

Sis: “All will be well with his family at last, but they will come slowly into the higher life because (we judge from what he has told us), they are absorbed in purely worldly social plans, and have little or no thought of this life.”

a conscious awareness of one’s unfitness to be in Summerland

“I am here, greatly to my surprise. I did not think of death, nor of heaven, nor of the future life, except perhaps in some flash of emotion that passed almost as quickly as it came… I have not been here very long, and perhaps that is the reason I look a little longingly back to the old home place on earth. Everything here is so far above me, so far advanced, that I feel sometimes that I do not belong here, that I am in a great and wonderful world without proper equipment; in a society of wonderful people, yet feeling myself hopelessly ignorant. Can you guess how that is?

“I have been slow to adapt myself because I had no fitness to begin with. I was not blessed with either a psychic or a poetic or a spiritual nature, just an ordinary man, working along material lines, and never dreaming that I needed any other outfit for this plane except an honest endeavor to live a decent and upright life. And here I am; glad to be accepted, but feeling my ignorance and unworthiness painfully.”

Editor's note: Part of this fellow's problem is how he looks at himself - just a "plain ordinary" person. There is no such thing. Every human being is endowed with awesome, virtually unlimited, godly potential. And his false humility is little more than self-loathing, which stunts one's growth and the capacity for it. He damaged himself with his "poor folks" attitude.

looking back longingly 

“My name is Julius. We would not be known to you. Many souls are wandering through the heavenly places, and many look back longingly to their old home on earth; for some of us have left there those we loved, and we wish to tell them that all is well. We are of those who wish to send good news to earth and tell those we love that Heaven is Heaven after all, for we were of a company who scarcely believed in any life beyond the grave, nor did we realize any God in the universe.

“We were [filled up] on realism and atheistic literature, and our lives were spent without hope of any existence beyond the earthly one. And so we have remained in the unconscious state for a long time,—years...

  • Editor’s note: Twenty-five years ago, when I first began to read the afterlife testimonies, I would at times come across a reference to self-induced protracted sleep of those crossing over. Usually, this state of inactivity occurred with believers “in their graves” anticipating the Second Coming, waiting for “the Seventh Trumpet.” Since that early research, I had assumed that a long period of unconsciousness might happen only due to a false belief’s power of suggestion. This view apparently is not altogether correct. Many people, we learn, fall into lengthy times of unconsciousness upon transition. The Second Coming “sleep” appears to be a subset within a larger malady. The auto-suggestion may play a part, but, as a general rule, the critical element seems to be the rigid, unyielding belief-system which closes down one’s mental faculties of judgment and discernment.

... I think, though one does not measure time here in that way. Now that we have come into the consciousness of life, real and unending life, we wish to send the wonderful news to those who like ourselves were groping in darkness.”


self-loathing, self-disrespect, will send one to a dark place 

Editor’s comment: We’ll want to take special note of these remarks concerning “I miss the good old days of the Earth so much”; or, “I feel so unfit to live in the spirit world, I wish I could go back to the old world where I was comfortable.”

This underpinning self-perception of unworthiness and unfitness, in many cases, among the low-minded, materialistic spirits in the shadowlands and even in Summerland, will form the foundation of a belief in reincarnation. It’s a way of escape from the soul’s mandate to face what one has made of oneself and to move forward from that basis; it becomes a dishonest attempt to run away from one’s debts – debts to whom? – to one’s higher self, one’s soul nature, and to lose oneself in the oblivion of new identity, new world, new environment.

Reincarnation is a worldly, materialistic concept. And now some will ask, how can that be as reincarnation speaks of many spiritual topics?” The answer is, do not confuse true spirituality with an object of thought. Talking about spirituality is not spirituality. Reincarnation is a materialistic notion because it preaches that something external to oneself, external to the soul-life within – a new world, a new body, a new situation – will transform the immaterial soul into something more advanced.

But the soul cannot be touched by anything in the material world. It stands alone, inviolable, unmoved. It was created in the likeness of its Maker, as such it is perfect and holy and requires no enhancement. What it does need is for us to remove the egoic illusions which block its effectiveness in our lives, a dispersal of “the dark thick clouds which hide the sun” of the true self.



'one world at a time'

“What a mystery! What a wonder! What a joy it all is! We are here trying to express the inexpressible! Can you understand?

 “I am another of this group. I am not Julius. I am one who never thought or cared for the future, the future beyond the mortal life; just interested in the occupations and pleasures of the present. What shall I say to help souls there to begin to think, really think, along the borders of the Unseen? Mortal mind cannot comprehend fully this life, the human brain is not capable; and probably a wise ruler intended that we should live one world at a time. But there is no reason why the human brain should not accept one thought and make it the center of influence in the mortal life. If I could give the thought, it would be something like this:— ‘I am living in a mortal world which is the first stage of the human existence. During this stage I am preparing for another one and that other and farther existence is dependent upon the unseen qualities of my soul, and the education I give to these qualities.”



Editor’s comment: Let’s take note of the phrase “live one world at a time”; it’s the same excuse for materialism that the lady at the dinner meeting used (see top of page).

Life is seamless – there is no death – and the life we now live carries on immediately and exactly as it was upon dissolution of the mortal body.

Let us not be confused. The mortal body is not our “life.” One’s link to Universal Consciousness, one’s soul, the “inner riches” constitute one’s life, which is wholly unaffected by the absence of the mortal body. Therefore, let us see clearly that there is no “this life” and “next life” but one undivided life. And what we do now echoes in the long corridors of an unending future. While we cannot destroy our “life,” as the soul is indestructible, we can set barriers in its way which will block the expression of its sentience. This calamity has been known by almost every reporter on this page.



a desire to warn friends

“I was a business man, and one of those despised creatures sometimes called politicians. We were a queer lot, and I often cringed inwardly at the selfishness and deceit we all practiced. But one selfish idea led to another, and I guess we were too deep in the mire to pull ourselves out onto firm land, to a firm basis of honesty and unselfishness. I had to come here to realize the depths of trouble and wrong-doing with which we were connected. And yet we passed for pretty respectable men there, and were looked up to as promoters of industry and big business.

“Well, I see clearly now. It is not easy to see clearly there, when manifold interests and many people are concerned in the success of a certain something…

“I wish I could say it! I wish I had the power to make my words sink deep, deep into the consciousness of every leader of men, of everyone connected with the moneymaking business of life! It does not need to be big business either, for the dishonest methods are insidious, and start far down the scale, with pennies and dollars as well as with millions of money. Ah, well! The old world will go on, I suppose, sending all sorts to this side. But there is an awakening here, and a poignant sorrow for wasted opportunities. That is all. I’ll go now.”

Then Mary added: “He did not get his whole message through because words failed him, failed to express his deep feeling and his desire to send a bombshell of truth into the midst of his old political associates. But perhaps you can get his feeling, his unrest, and his desire to do something to make things different."

a smothered consciousness 

“I had a life without the vision of any hereafter. I was antagonistic to religion and to what I had heard of God. We think strange thoughts over there, with only the human mind and human experience to help. I was moderately happy with my books and my solitude; but by and by sickness came. I went to a hospital and never came out of it into the earth life again. Will you imagine me in a hospital cot, hating the world, the future and the past, and wholly disbelieving in any kind Power above who would or could mitigate my disappointments and trials.

Everything was dark;—and then came total darkness! That was years ago, I think. How I passed over, how I came into smothered consciousness, only to lose myself in sleep and unconsciousness again, you may guess. After a long time, years I guess, a partial sense of freedom came. I could move, could see dimly. I became conscious that I lived! But where? That I could not tell. Through it all, unknown to me, loving guides were telegraphing to my consciousness the lessons which would lead me into the quiet and take away the antagonism.

“It was a long time. But at last I realized that I had left the earth, left my body, lost the old antagonism, and was ready to learn. I will skip the rest, and tell you that my spirit powers are developing, and I look forward with increased interest and wonder at the life here. Wonderful! Wonderful!”

a 'very large majority' failed to prepare for the next world 

“I am desiring to place before the world some information that seems to me of much importance. I am a lover of humanity, and a sort of caretaker of souls who come to this side. I have studied for many years the various attitudes with which these newcomers view the change. I find almost as many differences as there are different personalities. But I feel that I have learned to divide them roughly into three classes.

First and fewest are those who have looked forward with pleasure and understanding to a future life, believing it but a glorious continuation of the earthly existence.

Second are those whose number is very large, who have led lives of helpfulness on earth, who may or may not have believed in a future life, but who were ready to adopt new ideas whenever they felt that they were good.

“Then there is the third class, to which it seems to me a very large majority must be assigned. These are never able to understand the new life until after long and sometimes painful periods have passed.

“Now why is that so? Why should such a vast number be condemned to a slow and difficult progress? They are not all evil, not even a very large number are conspicuously evil. But they have somehow failed to obtain the proper education that fits one for entrance into this life. We have to care for them, nurse them and educate them. It is a blessed work for many of us, but such an unnecessary one. I wish I could present my ideas more forcibly, for I feel that the earth people should be made to realize these conditions.”

keen disappointment 

“Spirit has powers you can scarcely discern… Many worldly ones feel a keen disappointment when they first arrive, because all is so different, because all depends upon spirit knowledge, spirit powers, which they so entirely neglected to develop when on earth.”

wrapped themselves in darkness 

“I can see that those who believe that death ends all must have times of bitter grief.

“Yes, the belief that human life is limited to a few short years, and beyond, only darkness,—the darkness which they have wrapped about their own souls.”

shut up in shells of private belief-systems 

In talking with a friend of childhood days, Sis asked: “Before your death had you thought much of the life beyond?”

“Only in the old-fashioned way, as the ministers describe it. My father had been a minister, you know.”

“Did you find much to learn there?”

“Yes, I came with all the old orthodox teachings enveloping me, and it was hard at first to be rid of them, and know that the only hell is the one we make for ourselves, and that we need not endure it unless we obstinately hold onto our sins or our old beliefs. I was glad to be rid of both and start anew with hope and happiness and usefulness as my goal. Oh, I could tell you much of this life if I could find words for it all. But you may look forward to a happiness that will never fade, a kindly service for others that will give you untold joy.” …

Mortals are fashioning their future lives right now. The diversity here is great. But kindness of thought and purpose, and a persistent belief in this life, will carry one far toward the happiness that awaits them here. I never had any idea of following my father’s career there, but if I could go back now I surely would be an exhorter, a… I don’t know how to put it. But it would be such a passion for saving souls from all that is sinful, that life itself it would seem to me must be spent there in such service.”

Sis: “It is difficult. People are so shut up in shells of their own belief.”

“I suppose so. I hardly know that, for I drifted easily along in orthodox fashion, believing I was safe, and ticketed for heaven without fail! Believe me, I found much to undo and unthink before my ticket was accepted! Good bye.”

buried in one's own beliefs

“We have not been here long, but we wished to try to write, so here we are… We think we have been on this side a long time, for we were unconscious longer than we could know. When on earth we were not in accord with spiritualism. We had heard of it, but only the common medium, the fortune-telling variety, and we felt superior to that. If we had only tried it out, had only investigated in an unprejudiced way, we would have come into the heavenly life without the dreary waiting in darkness and doubt.”

Sis: “Had you no religion?”

“No, we were not even church members. We thought if we lived decent materialistic lives we would come into the heavenly one— if there was one, which we really did not believe. Our guides tried to help us, but we were buried too deep in our own beliefs, and had to suffer the consequences… it was a long time before we could see clearly.”

mental purgatories 

Mary: “When those who have led evil lives first realize that they have left the earth life they are often very hard to manage because of their disappointment. They think of their earth life as gone forever, and they have no desire whatever for anything of a spiritual nature; there is nothing to live for, and yet they are alive. It is much the same as life imprisonment on earth, and knowing that it was impossible to get free. Their disappointment often turns to rage and they become for a time nothing but mad creatures. It is a very pitiful sight.



Editor’s comment: Notice the psychology. The hard-core materialists are "disappointed" -- they'd bet all their money on a losing horse, that death equals oblivion, but when it didn’t work out that way, then they fall into rage that now they’ll be held accountable, after all, for their profligate lifestyle. Later, they have no "ambition" to do well. It's because they're suffocating in a sense of guilt and unworthiness.



Even when they begin to realize that their rage is useless, and they begin to listen to other spirits, it is still one of our most difficult tasks to arouse any ambition and get them started on the upward path. Then, if they have been the cause of much suffering on earth they have to pass through the stage of making compensation in some form.”

Sis: “How can you be happy when you know some have such difficult paths to tread? And that there are so many of them?”

“We are happy because we can help, and also because we know that they will finally come into pure thought and kindly lives, and will shed their criminal desires as an individual might shed an old garment.”

“How do they make compensation?”

“We think they go back to earth at times and try to undo their wrongs. They try to put good or fortunate impulses in place of evil and cruel ones, and sometimes succeed in bringing joy to those they have injured.”

“It doesn’t sound much like heaven when you speak of criminals there?”

“We are not talking of heaven when we speak of criminals. They are in the mental purgatories or spirit-hells the old writers imagined. There is no burning fire and no eternal punishment, but their mental suffering and final atonement are very real.”

two lovers, separated, filled with false theories and spurious wisdom 

“We are two [romantic lovers] who loved, sorrowed, and were separated in our earth life, one of us preceding by a long time the other into the spirit world. We were not believers in spirit communication there, and I, who came first, sadly wondering, and filled with false theories and spurious wisdom, could not find immediate joy. At last she came, and all sorrow disappeared in the complete happiness and companionship of this life.”

Sis: “Today is Sunday. Can you not give me a little sermon from over there?”

“Sunday! And a sermon! What should it be, what can it be, in this clear light, except truth, no other than truth, knowledge, great and glorious knowledge of this life and its never-ending joy.”

“Does ‘never-ending’ joy grow a bit tiresome, if there is no change, no contrast?”

“Never! An eternity of love! Happiness, increasing wisdom, knowledge, with an unknown and limitless universe for study! Satiety? Weariness? No, never! We cannot express it in any earth language. One must be here to realize its perfect satisfaction.”

Sis: “Is there anything more?”

“Yes, more, and much more, if only we could give it to you in mortal language. But to your thought we can only convey the sense of never-ending contentment and progress.”

Sis: “A spirit of the time of Mohammed came to me once to say that all this modern conception of heaven is wrong; that there is no ecstatic joy, etc.”

“Yes, there may have been for him truth in those very words. For such souls may still be submerged in their own ignorance and false belief that human life in its short existence on earth may make its entrance here one of doubting ignorance, or even one of evil thought and feeling, for a time. This is true, because the divine law is one of personal freedom. Each soul can choose its own future. Each soul, still embedded in its human life, is choosing that future now. The old theologians, in their half-knowledge, described this life of the human soul as either a harp-playing multitude about a golden throne, or a descent into a fiery burning hell to be suffered forevermore. But this was only a human, emotional effort to describe the indescribable. The life here is the reasonable result of one’s choice of one’s character.”



Editor's note: "the divine law of personal freedom" - which is the freedom either to pervert oneself in the darkness of belief-systems or to "open a channel" to be led by God into the light



cherishing the false teachings of the Earth 

“Heaven is wide and infinite in its possibilities. There are souls who do not come into realization of this life for a long time. Many seem to cherish the teachings, thoughts and tendencies of their earth lives, even when they are guided into better ones. But finally all go to their ‘own place.’ That place may be with pure and beautiful spirits, or with the evil ones who will not or cannot forsake their sins for a time.”

'have to go through the fires of criminality'

“The mystery of life there as well as here is almost beyond understanding. But the more we study it the clearer and more beautiful it grows. Do not be disheartened if you do not comprehend it in entirety. No one of us has arrived at that point yet. But take the blessings, yes, even the trials that come, knowing that all are in the way of education and progress. Can you not see already some of the beneficent effects of trial, disappointment and loss?”

Sis: “The wicked ones have trials and sorrows also, but it seems to do them no good?”

“Perhaps not as you see it. But sinners have to go through the fires of criminality, sin and sorrow sometimes before purification or advancement comes. Cause and effect. Cause and effect. That is progress,—or that is the way to progress. No effort is lost.”


Editor’s note: The need “to go through the fires of criminality, sin, and sorrow sometimes before purification [of the ego] or advancement comes” reflects a certain philosophical camp concerning how people change.

In the “500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” much debate was offered regarding “the dysfunctional 500” who believe that utopia on Earth is coming soon, that the world can be saved by better information, that world progress can be effected by, what I call, the “kumbaya” principle – “let’s all join hands, sing around the campfire, sprinkle the air with the stardust of well wishes, and thereby induce the betterment of all.”

However, there is another view on the other side, which I put forward as more realistic: this world cannot be saved, only transcended; cannot be fixed, only forsaken. And there will be no mass conversion of the world, but only a coming to the light, here and there, on an individual basis. While suffering is not required to effect personal change, for most people, as we’ve seen in our discussions on this page, suffering is the only way most people will change. And when the speaker, above, suggests that many will need “to go through the fires of criminality, sin and sorrow before purification comes,” he aligns himself with this second view on how people finally transform themselves.

I would strongly encourage you to carefully read the article “500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” as it’s one of the most important on Word Gems. Therein, among many vital topics to understand, you'll find a survey of these two aforementioned views on how people change. On that page, this information is offered near a photo of Emperor Claudius:

“Let all the poison that
lurks in the mud, hatch out.”



attached spirits

“When death interrupts the action of the [material] brain, all thought is then necessarily carried on by the spirit brain. It can sometimes do this at once, although usually only for a short time. In most cases it is unable to act at all for awhile. (Presumably this is because it has always relied on the assistance of the machinery of the material brain, and lacks experience in acting alone.)

"This we think explains the first unconsciousness after death. After a time it receives additional power, as we all receive it, and then can function alone. It is often in a very dazed condition, however, for a longer or shorter period, and much lacking in reasoning powers. In addition, it may not have learned how to see and hear, thus still further limiting its action. So a spirit is frequently a very helpless being for a long time.

It is when in this state that it [that is, a confused spirit] can sometimes take possession again of a material brain [via spirit attachment] and cause insanity. It is attracted by some force or impression, and clings to the new support like the proverbial drowning man catching at a straw. We do not think there are many cases where spirits willfully obsess a human. If they do, they are correspondingly difficult to dislodge.

“Some persons on earth have difficulty in thinking of abstract subjects. Such spirits are longest in comprehending the use of spirit powers. They are not always to blame. Many times they have inherited dullness that can never be overcome there, and are always much slower here. It is not the same as being materially-minded. Many bright, alert minds think only of a sensual material life. They are delayed seriously here.”

Editor’s note: Concerning “spirit attachment,” see much discussion on this in the 40-year research of Dr. Carl and Anna Wickland. There is no such thing as “demon possession” because demons and Satan do not exist; such are merely one of many fables offered by Big Religion. That said, there is a plethora of “spirit attachment,” some of it good but, probably, most of it, of a parasitical nature. Read the Wickland research.



Might the future be seen? 

“I will not foretell [the future]; you must wait and see for yourself.”

Sis: “Just how much can you foretell?”

“Not much. We can see circumstances and the probable results, and many are able to tell the future from them. But we are not gifted in that way.”

Sis: “We have read of a number of prophecies, and have wondered how far such things [concerning foretelling] were possible?”

“Some seem able to prophesy, but it is a psychic gift, or possibly a keen intuition, that can foresee results from certain conditions. We are not creatures of fate. Set that down as a truth not to be denied. We are free to live our own lives.”

Editor’s note: Might the future be seen? The short answer is no. We know this because of certain results, as we’ve discussed, from quantum physics. Nature goes out of its way to preserve a stable, non-contradictory “rule set” of information. See much discussion on the “Theory Of Everything” page and also “The Inferential Life” page.

All this acknowledged, if we could get to a “higher mountain,” with a clearer view of reality, we might be able to discern the direction or the preponderance of quantum possibilities. Notice what the person said in the above discourse. He spoke of “probable results” and “certain conditions.”

Yes, exactly. While, strictly speaking, and for the aforementioned reasons, there is no such thing as “prophecy” or fortune-telling, that sort of thing in any absolute sense, some quantum possibilities present themselves in such profuseness that a certain outcome is more than highly likely; in such cases, we might as well say that we can see the future.

Note, too, the rationale offered above. We have been given freedom and are not led by the Greek Fates. If the dice of the future had already been cast, then why bother with anything? But it doesn't work that way.

See the "Estelle Roberts" page for more discussion on future-seeing.



there is no instant make-over on the other side, and, no matter how long it takes, certain tendencies toward evil or selfishness must be overcome before we're allowed into Summerland 

“Do you imagine that an earthly life of selfishness and sin can suddenly change into a life of purity and love? Let us assure you that no such change can occur, but must be worked out patiently and slowly by the sinner himself. And it may be years, or lifetimes, or even centuries, before the awakened one can replace sin and selfishness with loving service for others.

“Make this clear [to others] if you can, and help mortals to awaken to the truth that selfishness is the foundation of all sin, and must be overcome before one can enter into the joy of heavenly life.”

Editor's note: In these discussions we find persons on the other side sharing the hard facts of life with us. Often, we find them using phrases like, it may require “long years” to right oneself over there; and, for the hard-core, even “decades” or “centuries”. In this disturbing realization of “no instant make-over”, we find the end of the road of the facile and breezy pronouncement, “I’ll worry about that when I get over there. One life at a time.” Yes, indeed, there will be plenty of time to worry about the afterlife; even, for the most cavalier, centuries to ponder one’s materialist and repressing mindset. Further, there is no present life and future life but, at all times, only one seamless life. This is why so many don’t even know that they’ve died; and, when they realize they've really botched their mortal existence, then so many of them want another reincarnational life to clear the slate and recast themselves. But there's always only one life, and we're required to deal with that one life, and the notion that we have a "choice" to come back for another is one more fairly-tale of the New Age movement.

Editor's note: Wistfully looking back on what we did and didn’t do, with a desire to re-do and modify, is part of the unenlightened human condition - this is why the time-travel movies are so popular. In my own case, I sometimes find myself, late at night, wishing I could go back to high school years. I was so detached and unaware back then, too disengaged for success, academically and socially. In my unguarded moments, it’s sometimes a burning desire for a “second act,” as I realize, today, how my lackluster performance resulted in “long years” and “decades” of less than optimal result concerning what lay ahead. But wishing cannot make pigs fly, and I won’t be going back to high school. In the larger scope of things, it doesn’t matter. There would be other ways to remediate myself; if we miss one train, another will be coming. It also does no good to remonstrate, “I wasn’t ready back then, I was too immature to see what ought to have been done, I want to do it over, it’s not fair, it’s not right, it later caused me to miss out on this-or-that opportunity due to my sins of puerility.” But, the system is aware of these seeming inequities, and there is a way for all yet to be made right and fair. In the meantime, we are required to deal with this one, singular life, as it is, as we’ve made it to be, whether we’re to blame or not. Life is a forward-moving dynamic, never retrogresses, and we need to work with “what is.”

 wasted, and worse than wasted 

“We are among those who on earth did not believe in this farther life. We lived a material existence in a material world, and looked forward to the long, long, unbroken sleep [to escape the consequences of our selfish ways]. When we came here we did pass into a long sleep, but awakened to conditions and possibilities for which we were not prepared, and another long time of unhappiness awaited us before we began to see the orderliness of spirit progression. Then we began—perhaps you might call it the first letter of the spiritual alphabet. And from the first small letter has come the whole perfect and beautiful story. But years have been wasted, worse than wasted, because we absorbed the time and power of beautiful spirits who might have long been in happier pursuits. So, for the human being himself, and for the beautiful spirit that might be called to watch and teach the stupid soul, I ask more light over there, more preaching of good tidings, more gathering together of the needy unspiritual ones for teaching and leading, that they themselves may become a power for good.”

the inundating tidal wave of materialism and its devastating effects 

Mary: “Well, we have just had a lesson from one of the great souls here, that we must bend our energies to help the cause of truth, purity and righteousness on earth; and we turn to you to help.”

Sis: “It is so difficult. What can we do?”

Wait, and the knowledge will come to you. Make the world believe in this life as a continuation of that. Do not preach the old gospel of golden harps and pearly gates for the few, while uncounted multitudes are bathed in the fires of hell. We must influence! We must bring wiser thought to earth. We have preached a sermon, but we were full of the subject, and felt that it was a good time to pass it on. You little realize the need for work to make the people understand. We see the effects of this wave of materialism in the souls who come to us.

“We have no trouble with those who have some spiritual thought. But how few these are! It is sad to see the multitudes who linger near the earth, drawn by no forces except the material ones that ruled their lives while there. We cannot reach these multitudes easily, and many we cannot reach at all. And we grow sad at the thought of the long years of darkness and misery that so many must endure. You must try to put the truth before the world, if not personally, by means of books and papers.”

nothing external to the deeper self can help one become more spiritual 

Editor’s note: Some might take solace in the statement, “We have no trouble with those who have some spiritual thought.” By “spiritual thought,” we must clarify, there is no allowance for “Jesus will save me” or “Buddha will save me” or “Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven will save me.” These are not spiritual thoughts as, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as any thought constituting the essence of spirituality (see discussion here). 

Editor’s note: Nothing external to us has power to make us more spiritual: a church service, a song, a reading, a sermon, an inspiring example – all these, at best but no more, are sign-pointers to spirituality. Even a so-called “spiritual thought” must be classified, within the meaning of the principle at hand, as “external.” Thoughts are part of the “exterior” person. Only the soul, the deepest inner Self, with its non-verbal awareness, finding confluence and resonance with the essence of God, will help us toward authentic spirituality.

Spirituality is aligning oneself with the God-life within. All true spirituality is internally based – because that’s where our own essence merges with the God-life (it’s really one and the same). And any talk about “Jesus or Mary will save me” is to focus on an external source of salvation; which doesn’t exist. And this is why the "Course In Miracles" Lesson #70 asserts, "my salvation comes from me." See the four articles on the nature of Spirituality.



We spend many years of education preparing for brief mortal existence, but then cavalierly believe that the next world, an eternal one, can be negotiated in a moment at the doorstep. 

Sis: "It is customary in this life to spend many of our earlier years acquiring an education in preparation for the years to follow. Most people, however, seem to proceed as though the eternal life beyond, if there is such a thing, will take care of itself. If any preparation is necessary, there is time enough to do it in the afterlife, they seem to argue, or else they believe that conformity to some creedal dogma is the essential requirement.

"There is time enough, of course; but we learn that dogma and doctrinal observances may hinder rather than help, and that very many have to go through the preparatory course after arriving on the other side. If this were all, the matter might not be quite so important. But we also learn that it is not necessary to waste these first years there in that matter, if certain things are done in the earth life and certain other things avoided. The education, if acquired in this life, is short and easy, and, moreover, is a great aid to a successful life here…

"But evidence from the life beyond indicates that many, very many, either through ignorance or through willfulness, have not been as successful in carrying out Christ’s teachings as they might have been, and as they would try to be, I am sure, if all the consequences were more generally known. We have learned that this education, when left for the afterlife, is too often complicated by the results of unkind deeds and thoughts in this life, and also by having to unlearn many things that have been wrongly learned or understood while here. This last is a handicap little thought of by those who have not investigated. It is frequently a serious one. It has been brought to our notice very strongly in various ways.”

a confused awakening 

“Many come into this life in such ignorance that they sink immediately into a long, long sleep; and they may lose years, sometimes many precious years, before coming into spirit consciousness. Tell all who come in the circle of your influence that they are making their future now, and can almost control this future condition, if they will only seek the truth and abide by it while still on earth.

“I do not often preach, but I feel like a sermon tonight. For the souls that come to this side come in such multitudes that they can scarcely be counted, yet only here and there are the spiritually developed ones, the ones who can enter into this life with joy, and commence the development of spiritual power at once. The pity of it gets hold of us here now and then, and we feel like trying to bombard the earth with spirit bombs: something to make people think, something to force them away from their material thoughts, pleasures and plans.

“We are obliged to begin our work with them as we would begin with children; and not even in that way when they first come. They sink into a state that is hard to be described. They are not even ready to think. Brain and sense and heart and soul have so long been educated wrongly that silence and unconsciousness are the only remedies at first. Then there comes a confused awakening, with all their human habits of thought and all their evil selfishness predominant. What can be done then except to put strong forces in control, that they at least may be kept from influencing others. You cannot conceive of this work, I am sure, but it is very real here.” …

“Of course all who come are not vicious; only unspiritual, living in the material thought. These are slow to come into the life of the spirit, but come far more rapidly than those whose evil natures have to be transformed.

“We were full of the subject, for we have been watching the work of some of our fine spirits with the low and debased ones of earth, and were filled with the pity of it; the unnecessary waste of lives there and the unnecessary waste of time here in bringing them into spirit lives. Then too, all these brave teachers who give themselves to this work might be released for other and pleasanter work, if only,—if only, the earth people knew the truth.”

Sis: "It is difficult for the earth people to learn the truth. This phase of it has not been very prominent in most messages from the other side. Moreover, it is difficult to comprehend the full force of the truth when it does come to us. Notwithstanding our surprise on learning of the slow progress that many make after leaving this life, even then we did not grasp its full meaning. And we are still startled at times as some new phase of undevelopment is brought to our attention."

75% of those who cross over will spend time in a dark place, a consequence of adopting rigid belief systems 

“We wish to tell you of our work among the circles of the undeveloped spirits. There are so many who have to be cared for, that it becomes a very great work; and as time passes, this has become very much systematized. Vast numbers are cared for, and when they begin to understand where they are, they are classified according to their temperament and ability, and put in the care of teachers who are best fitted for them.

“It is a wonderful sight to see the patience and judgment of these teachers. There is no lack of them, for they are recruited from the ranks of those whom they start on the upward path. So many are grateful for the help given them, that they in turn devote long periods of their life on this plane in aiding the unfortunates whose needs they know so well.

“When a spirit first arrives it is cared for much as patients are entered in a hospital. They are helpless, and often remain so for long periods. In this condition they are little trouble. When sensation and consciousness begin to show, they need attention. Many cannot be reached at all by their guides, as you know by those who have been brought to you. Sometimes they can be led from place to place, but that is all. Sometimes they need to be surrounded by guards to prevent them from running hither and thither without reason. When they can be made to realize that they still live and are in the spirit world, they can be easily managed. But the progress of each is according to the ability to receive and understand the teachings given them.

“We think we can truthfully say that one-fourth of those who come to this side are made to understand the needs of spirit life in a reasonable time. But the remaining three-fourths are our problem and care. We do not mean that all of this large number is unable to advance, but that they are slow, and sometimes very slow. We have many, many, whom we seem unable to help at all. We do not know that it is impossible for them to advance, but we do know that many of them have made no advancement since we came; and we are told that some of them have been in this condition for centuries.

“It is pitiful. It seems to us unnecessary. It does not seem to be so much because of difference in ability, as from a state of mind brought about by forming wrong opinions and ideas when in earth life. And the position they occupied in that life seems not to have much to do with it. This makes us think that it is unnecessary, and we wish some way could be found that would make the world understand what is needed.”


the Southern belle 

Robert James Lees was a famous London psychic-medium of the latter 1800s. He was involved in solving the Jack The Ripper case and claimed to know the identity of the sought-for criminal. Lees wrote a trilogy, the first of which, “Through The Mists” (1898), offers excellent information concerning Summerland. I praise him because, unlike so many reporters who are part of a dysfunctional group over there (see “the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” writing), Lees gets it right on many points of natural law. I offer the foregoing as credential of credibility regarding the following reference from his book.

He informs us of a man named Cushna, on the other side since the days of early Egypt – this could mean 10,000 years of residence in Summerland. Cushna, as revealed in Lees' book, exhibits qualities of the perfect gentleman, the perfect servant, the perfect friend. We take note that he has remained in Summerland to provide a service to dark-realm les miserables, has seemingly put down roots in Summerland, with no need to move on to purported upscale real estate in some other world.

However, for our purposes here on the “Sensibility” page, we find Cushna rescuing a young woman, Marie, in the Dark Realms. Every case is different, each tragic and dramatic in its own way. Marie had been the daughter of a very rich Southern plantation owner, prior to the Civil War. She was accustomed to having her way in all things. Not content with this, and merely for the sport of it, she conspired to break up engaged couples. This provided much amusement for her until her last adventure which backfired. She had been emotionally drawn to a fellow, but then he jilted her, prompting her to seek revenge.

This story is too soap-opera-like to recount more at the moment, however, all of the plotting and scheming for Marie proved taxing for her health, and she died at a young age. Upon crossing over, she found herself in a wholly foreign environment:

When I awoke it was dark - horribly dark; I could almost touch the blackness, and I was lying upon a bare floor, cold as a block of ice. I called [for my father]… But there was no response save the echo of my own voice, which seemed to mock and rejoice at the terror I felt creeping over me. Where was I? Great God! could it be possible that I had gone mad, or that I had been placed under restraint… I rose to make what inspection was possible of my surroundings, under the circumstances, but in the ague [chill] of my fear I fell - fell without the strength to rise. All my senses resolved themselves into the power of feeling; quickened and intensified a hundredfold that I might contemplate with horror the process of my own petrifaction - voiceless, sightless, sleepless.”

She remained in this “dark closet without walls”, nearly mad with terror, "for more than 20 years", until she finally called out for any power to save her. At that point Cushna made himself known to her. Recovery was very slow and agonizing. We do not heal our madcap, selfish spirits in a day, and she required substantial therapy. For some time, as she strove to regain her sanity, she lived in a small cottage with a “mother guide” who advised and looked after her.

Editor's note: As we learned from the "Franchezzo" testimonies, soul-persons in rehab are free to leave if they choose to. However, if they give up and bolt, they will sink back down into the putrid conditions of the "rat cellar". There is no escaping one's mandate to grow up, and what a fantastic and farcical joke is the notion of easy running-and-hiding that is reincarnation (see below).



argued himself into a perverse doubt, the result of adopting superstitious creeds 

Fred: A specific instance of the slow progress that can occur is given below, and it is a pleasure to think that we probably assisted a little in his enlightenment. In the succeeding pages are further instances showing conditions so astounding that they will seem almost unbelievable to one newly introduced to the subject. This first instance concerns a friend of Sis’s, one whom she knew very well in earlier days. I will call him Frank Chase. He was a man of high ideals concerning this life, but very positive in his beliefs. He held in ridicule all ideas of communication with the unseen world, if indeed he held a belief that there was such a world. His interest was most keen in the mechanics and scientific discoveries of the day. He passed over in early manhood. Sis had inquired about him several times, but received little information beyond the statement that he had not advanced very far, which she thought very surprising. Finally, when writing, we were asked quite unexpectedly:

“Will you send a message to Frank Chase? If you did he might like to come to this circle. If we can interest him in this work it will be well for him. He seems to question everything, and doubts even the spiritual life.


Editor's note: This profuse doubting does not mean that one should "simply believe" as Big Religion commands, but instead one must weigh the evidence and employ critical-reasoning faculties. To believe without warrant is worse than doubting everything. 


"He knows, of course, that he has passed away from earth, but is busy explaining that and many other things with a philosophy of his own. He has a bright brain, and we wish to turn it to the truth and lead him into the right thought here. That is why I asked you to send him a message. He does not know you are communicating. We believe that if he can find himself,—that is, realize that he is a spirit and living a spirit life already, that he will begin to study and grow.”

The next day … Sis said:— ‘Well, Frank Chase, are you really here to talk to me again after all these years?”

Mary said: “He does not believe it is you. Call to his mind something he used to know.”

Sis complied by asking: “Do you remember going to New York to see a young lady?”

“Will you tell him how she looked?” Sis gave a short description of the young lady, and Mary said: “Will you keep on. He is impressed.”

Sis asked if he remembered this young lady coming to where he lived. “Keep right on. He is interested. He knows now it is you, and is overjoyed to know it is possible to talk with and hear from earth, which he has never done before.”

After some further conversation, Mary said: “He is so surprised that he can hardly credit it at all. Yet he knows that only you could tell him some of these things. We will bring him again soon: it is a good beginning. He is startled, and can hardly believe; but will probably wish to investigate, as that is his turn of mind, and that is what we wish.”

We asked if they could explain how he had been getting along all these years without learning more. “Try to think of yourself in a dream, a long dream, and everything happening in ways that are strange, yet you do not wonder about it. Your dream accepts the things as true. That is as near as I can describe his situation. When he first came he was met by his father and sister, but they failed to reach his reasoning mind and he has wandered on in this condition through all these years.”

At another time he came of his own accord to Mary, wishing to talk. After a short conversation Sis asked if in all that time he had been there he had heard of the many wonderful inventions that had appeared here in the meantime. He had not, and wished to know about them. First was the telegraph. Yes, he remembered that. But the telephone was new, and the wireless and the automobile. Then we went on to tell of the Great War, the immense ships that carried our soldiers, and the terrible guns. He had heard a little of the war, but did not believe it possible to do such things.

“What are the good things of earth?” he asked… Sis spoke of the Red Cross work, the hospitals, the aid to the starving, etc.

Mary said: “He thinks the world must be in a terrible condition with so much science producing evil things. Tell him of the great vessel that was sunk by the Germans. Tell him about the ship that was sunk by an iceberg.”

We talked some time, and after some remark of Sis’s, he said: “What am I going to hear from you next? No one else could have told me the things you have. I did not know it could be done.”

Mary added: “He is dazed with the thought, but he will take it to think over as he did last time. You are certainly getting hold of him and we must keep it up.”

Sis: “This is startling, Mary! How can such things be?”

Will you believe that each one makes his own life; each one has the chance and must develop accordingly. Frank Chase’s condition was caused by too much doubt, too much unbelief in a spirit life. He would not believe he was in a heavenly sphere and would not believe that he needed help; but argued himself into a strange and persistent unbelief until the desire for anything different almost disappeared.”

The next time he came Mary wrote for him as follows: “I am here. Your teacher will write for me. I have been so unbelieving that I could get nothing, of course; and so I had no proof of the connection between the two worlds. But what you have said convinced me, and I am studying now so that I too can get in touch with mortal lives.”

Mary added: “There have been years, he says, when he believed he was on some plane above the earth, but he did not understand that this plane might be the beginning of heavenly life for him. It is hard to make you understand, and he says now it is hard for him to understand; and it seems to him more like a long, long dream than anything else he can compare it to. He is learning fast and is far happier than before and pursues his studies eagerly.”

This was an amazing experience for us. We had read something of such things, but it was all so strange we had passed it by. But this brought the truth to our realization with much force. Many have been brought to us in later months, and we understand there are other circles also engaged in this work. It seems that these unfortunate spirits can frequently be helped from this side, even when the guardians there can make no impression whatever. Most of them eventually find their way out of the fog in some manner, although there has been a hint that it is possible to be almost indefinitely delayed.

It is certain that many remain for years and years before they grasp the meaning of the spirit life. Such spirits have not necessarily led evil lives while here. More often this spiritual handicap is the result of too strong a belief in some superstition, some creed, or some philosophy on earth; a case of being certain that one way is right and all others wrong. Such beliefs and philosophies continue with them more or less strongly on the other side, just as superstitions sometimes cling to one here in spite of all the evidence there may be to show they are without foundation.

a self-announced teacher claiming to know mysteries and hard-to-understand doctrines

A spirit-person claiming to be an ancient teacher attempted to speak to Sis. His teachings related to mysteries, secrets, hard-to-understand doctrines:

Mary: “Yes, he is an ancient force or teacher, but is not the kind we trust. He has not learned the real truth in all the ages he has lived. He would teach you of … mysteries as they existed in the olden time. We do not wish the unseen to be represented by mysteries, rites and observances. Remember that we belong to an age in which the teachings of Christ have purified religious belief; and we in the unseen strive to make his teachings still powerful on earth. We do not know just what that other message would have been, but we do know that you, as well as we, wish for the truth as Christ gave it to the world. Are you satisfied?”

Sis: “Yes, that is what we wish.” …

Mary: “You trust us and that is well. Keep with us as long as we teach the truth that Christ taught on earth; humility, unselfishness, the love of humanity, and the striving to make the world better.”

[Fred] said it was astonishing how many were slow in developing, and how long they were in seeing the truth.

Mary: “Can you see how very long people or spirits may be fascinated with their own beliefs? They are so unwilling to be convinced! No wonder that Christ taught the people that they must become as little children.



Editor's note: Beware of teachers of religions which claim that certain knowledge cannot be known; beware of the "mystery cults." In the article "The Inferential Life" we discussed that Nature itself proclaims its intent to reveal hidden truth. Father Benson wholeheartedly agrees that the "mystery" ploy is a con-job:

the empty farrago of words

"The laws that govern the spirit world are not complex laws that none can understand. There are many things in spirit life which we cannot understand yet, just as there are many things upon Earth which cannot yet be understood... But [even now, before we understand everything] with all such matters, we can see plainly the reason for some law, or truth, or whatever it may be. [However] We are now treated to a farrago of words that collectively possess not one grain of meaning or sense, only to be told that it is a ‘mystery’, or something that under Divine Providence we are not meant to know."



fixed but erroneous ideas

Fred: Somewhere in our records is the statement, “the way is long and the road a weary one for those who have not learned their lessons on earth.” In later months this truth has been especially emphasized through both Sis’s pencil and my own.

Many stories of the difficulties encountered, and of the time wasted in overcoming them, have been related by various souls who have been brought to us. Little do most people here realize the conditions that will confront them as they enter the spirit world: the time that will be wasted by most because they are so material minded as to be unimpressed by spirit influence; the bewilderment that will cloud the path of many because they have no understanding of the use of spirit faculties, and so are hindered in their advancement by the dazed and incorrect impressions of sight and hearing, the miseries that will be the lot of some because of fixed but erroneous ideas of what heaven is like, which may cause them to wander long in darkness; while the number who cannot realize that they have even left the earth life at all is so great as to be appalling to one who is ignorant of conditions on the other side.

Only a few, it seems, are at all prepared to understand what the life there means, and only the occasional one enters quickly into the joys of the spirit world. As the reader may learn in our previous volume, “Spirit World and Spirit Life,” no one passes into spirit life “With consciousness at every moment of the change.” Most are unconscious for some time, partly because of weakened vitality from sickness, but frequently from inability to use spirit perceptions.

This period of unconsciousness varies from a few hours or a few days for the most fortunate, up to weeks and months and even years for one who may be selfish and materialistic …  it is insisted that all should familiarize themselves with two facts: that there is a future life, and that they will have to perceive and understand this future life by other than their present material senses. For, strangely, this knowledge seems to be possessed by an almost unbelievably small number. Added to these two facts is a third one that ordinarily should need no emphasis; it should be self-evident. This is that right living, a life of unselfishness, is necessary for spiritual advancement both in the mortal and in the spirit life.

I called out wildly and struck myself and tore my hair in passionate horror

The following is channeled information from the other side offered in the book, A WANDERER IN THE SPIRIT LANDS, by spirit-author, FRANCHEZZO; transcribed via the mediumship of A. FARNESE, 1896.

Editor’s note: This is the story of a young Italian man who had seduced many women. Before his untimely death, however, he had fallen genuinely in love. Upon arriving in the next world, he encountered total darkness and silence. The following excerpts reveal a portion of his misery, especially, his dreaded realization of having lost the love of his life.

And I knew not that I had died. I passed from some hours of suffering and agony into sleep — deep, dreamless sleep — and when I awoke it was to find myself alone and in total darkness. I could rise — I could move — surely I was better. But where was I? Why this darkness? Why was no light left with me? I arose and groped as one does in a dark room, but I could find no light — hear no sound. There was nothing but the stillness — the darkness — of Death around me.

READ MORE see a listing of the Franchezzo articles



the highly educated, trapped in hubristic private opinion 

Sis took the pencil here [concerning a Dr. Walker who did not know where he was], and Mary wrote: “He has not developed far, for he was not advanced when he came to this side… He hardly realizes that he has passed over… He was not a bad man, just indifferent toward all spiritual things, and thought that death ended all. He would have liked to have you place him; tell him where he is and how he came here… He is really in a pitiful state, and we wish to bring him out of it. We think you can help.”

Sis: “Tell me what to do.”

Mary: “When he comes again try to tell something about his earlier life, something that will strengthen his memory of the past. Through that memory we may bring him to realize his sickness and his death and his coming into this life.” …

Sis: “You have been away from home some time. Do you remember being sick?”


“Do you know what happened?”

“I do not remember.”

"What happens when people do not get well? You have had such cases in your practice.”

“They died.”

“Had you thought that your sickness might have ended that way?”

“That is not true.”

“What makes you think it is not true?”

“I am alive.”

“Yes, but you are living under different conditions, are you not?”


“If you believe that you are alive, try to comprehend that there is a great future before you. That will help you to move forward into better conditions.”

“That is a new idea.”

Then after a short wait he asked: “Am I dead?”

“Yes, what you think of as dead,—that is, your body is dead.”

He seemed to ponder over this a little, then asked again: “I am asking if I am dead.”

“Do you not think it might be true? Are you not different from what you were?” …

“Have you not wondered where you were?”

“I did not know. Can you tell me where I am?”

“In the spirit world;—a certain portion of it, at least. You will see more of it after awhile.”

Again there was a little wait; then:— “Are you dead?”

“No, I am still on earth. Can you tell us what your surroundings are like where you are now?”

“Something like the earth.”

“Do you not move faster?”


“Perhaps you have not yet learned?”

“I have learned nothing.”

“Do you see others about you?”


“If you will tell them what you want I am sure they will help you.” …

“Are they dead?”

“Yes, and they wish to help you.”

“I am not sure I am dead.”

I explained that I could not see him.

“No. That cannot be true.”

“Can you see me?”

“Yes. I see you as a shadow.”

“Do I look as people did on earth?”


“That is because you have left the earth.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, quite sure. Do you see a beautiful lady near you?”


‘Well, she will help you to understand about the things that puzzle you.”

 “No. I am not dead!”

“Mary, what shall I say to him? I am at my wits end.”

“I hardly know myself, but he will understand soon… his mortal beliefs were stronger than any influence from here.”

all these suffering ones are so dead sure of themselves 

“We are here. What can you tell us? We are two poor humans who are confined in darkness and distress. Can you help us?”

Sis: “How long have you been there?”

“I forget. It is all a blank.”

“How did you come to the place where you are?”

“We do not know. We found ourselves here and do not know who brought us.”

“Is it at all like the earth?”

“No, we never saw anything so unlovely.”

“Has it occurred to you that you have left the earth?”

“No, we have never left the earth, but we do not know where we are.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you have left the earth, and are what the world calls dead?”

“No, not any one that we believed.”

“It is true, nevertheless, and you are now in the spirit world.”

“No, we are not there. The spirit world is bright and this is dark.”

It seems dark to you because you have not developed your spirit sight. You must study for that.”

“Who could teach us?”

“Some of those about you.”

“No, we can see as well as they.”

“What do you remember of your earth life?”

“We had a home, children, and friends. Here we have no one.”

“Why did you leave your home and children?”

“We did not leave. We awoke and found ourselves here.”

“What put you to sleep?”

“We do not know.”

“I am trying to tell you that you have passed through the sleep called death, and are in the spirit life.”

“What are you telling us? That cannot be!”

‘Would you like to have your sight cleared so that you can understand?”

“Yes, if true.”

“We know that you can come into spirit sight.”

“We will try. What shall we do?”

“We think Mary can help you.”

“Mary? Where is she?”

We asked Mary if she was there. “Yes, and near them, but they cannot see us.” …

“Did you hear a sound?” “Yes, a little. Who was it?”

“That was Mary. I am sure you can learn to hear if you will try.”

“We will try. Tell us how.”

“Listen now. Mary will try again. Did you hear this time?”

“A little. I believe you tell the truth.”

“Can you see them?”

“Not at all.”

“You can learn.”

“We don’t know. How do you know?”

“Is there any one near you?”

“There is a shadowy form. What is it?”

“I think it is Mary. Will you try again?”

“We will try anything to get out of this.”

“Listen again.”

“We hear a faint musical sound. Is that our hearing coming to us?”

“I am sure it is.”

“We heard a word then. It was ‘love.’ Was that right?”

“Mary, did they hear aright?”

 “Yes, love was the word.”

We then asked the others: “Now do you believe you can get the rest?”

“We believe we can. And it is the first ray of light and hope that has penetrated this darkness. We will come again if we can find you.”

“We will ask Mary to bring you.”

“Will she? We will come if she will help.”

We asked if Dee had been present. “Yes, and listening and watching. It is wonderful how these earthbound souls need friends. With all our love and all our endeavor we have been unable to pierce the darkness of their still earthly perceptions.”

“Do you know anything about these two?”

“We think they have been here some months, perhaps years. We have no means of knowing as they have no perception of time. They were brought to us by another circle.”


the psychology driving those who wish to return 

The following is from "The Religion Of The Spirit World" (1920) by Prof. G. Henslow. 

... as the animal body disappears at death ... [and the new astral body] is now solely adapted for the existence beyond the grave. There, the spirit is everything, the terrestrial existence has gone forever. The great lesson of earth-life is, therefore, to adapt ourselves ... i.e., to live in harmony with the requirements of the next world.

This is why we are told that many on the other side long to return. It is because they find themselves unprepared and ill-adapted for the new existence, and [to their great dismay] they realize that they have neglected to begin to prepare by spiritual cultivation of the soul for the next world while on earth...

Editor’s note: The professor is exactly correct. When we cross over, we become aware of an entirely new environment, one that is regulated by our higher sensibilities. And if one is unprepared for the “software upgrade,” one might be thrown into panic and despair as what to do next.

In communication with me after his transition, my own dad asserted that he felt wholly out of place in the next world. His message essentially expressed, “This is nothing like I thought it would be,” and by extension, “The Church made a fool out of me with their empty teachings.”

the desire to reincarnate is a silent frenzy, an unspoken admission that one really botched this trip to planet earth, and 'can't we just start again'

Amidst perceptions of “I’m not ready to deal with this”, laced with grey feelings of self-loathing and cognitive dissonance, many are tempted to craft an immediate ad hoc “ego-repair” strategy – reincarnation. Instead of squarely facing the music of what one has done to oneself, there can be the attempt, or the wish, to run and hide, to play the victim, to annihilate one’s “spoiled self” by casting oneself into the hopper of one more go-round of mortal existence: “Maybe I’ll come out better the next time, what do I have to lose”?

On the "cultism" page, we spoke of the near-universal, untoward tendency of the dysfunctional ego to recraft and redistill reality, as it seeks to bolster itself in its dishonest ways:

more than drinking the koolaid

The long reach of cultism encompasses much more than crackpot churches. The root idea of cult offers the sense of "cut." This core concept of "cut" leads us to images of refinement and refashioning and, by extension, development, control, pattern, order, and system.

Cultism as systemization finds a ready home in religion and philosophy which seek to regulate and redistill the patterning and ordering of ideas. However, in a larger sense, the spirit of cultism extends to every facet of society. We find it scheming and sedulously at work in politics, academia, family, corporations, entertainment, science, artistry – anywhere power might be gained by capturing credulous and fear-based minds.

See the “cultism” page for a full discussion.


there is but one, only one, choice open to us

But reincarnation is not an option, no matter how much one wishes for it. Each soul is required, with open heart, to forthrightly and honestly judge oneself concerning one’s failings, and then to resolve to make amends by choosing – and this is the only choice open to oneself – choosing to live a life of service, of soul-perfection, of sacred introspection, of opening a channel to be taught, of moving forward toward one’s destiny as a mature son or daughter of God.

special note: In one of the ancillary articles related to “the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side”, we discussed Dr. Viktor Frankl’s psychology, “man’s search for meaning.” Human beings are driven to find meaning for their lives, and they will do this in a sane or otherwise manner. See the full discussion there.

Reincarnation is a pathological expression of this hope for meaning. It’s an attempt to manufacture meaning, but in a diseased manner. It’s an evasion of personal responsibility to grow up, an attempt to run and hide from the soul’s mandate to open-heartedly deal with the consequences of what one has made of oneself.



'he believed in the creed of the church,' and that hurt him

“There is one you have known who has come to us for help. He is not sure of himself, hardly knows himself as spirit, yet feels the difference from mortal life. What can you say to him?”

“You say it is someone I have known?”

 “Yes, and someone whom you can influence.”

“Has he lately passed over?”

“Not long since, but he feels himself unable to progress without help. He never thought of life here in the way he finds it, and does not know how to adapt himself to conditions.”

“Can you tell me his earth name?”

“No, but be came from a place that you lived in for awhile, not your home town.”

“Can he talk to me?”

“We will try. He says you were more advanced than he, and he thought you in the wrong, and now he wonders if you were right. He believed in the creed of the church— heaven, hell, day of judgment, golden streets or their similarity,—and has not found these things here, and he wonders if this can be heaven after all.” …

Sis: “Can you hear Mary?”

“A little, but not as well as you.”

You are still held by your old earthly ideas and sensations, it seems. You have not gained your spirit powers.”

“Well, that is it, then? And it makes it seem as if I were in a strange country and without a guide.”

“How much can you see?”

“Not a great deal. But it looks more like the earth than like the heaven I always imagined.”

“You will find as you advance in your spirit powers that you will see much beauty… you must first learn to use your spirit sight and hearing.”

“But how can I learn?”

“Can you hear Mary?”

“Yes, a little… Yes, I heard her… says I can learn both to hear and to see. Do you think so?”

This was written with much excitement. We assured him it was true. “Well, I will surely try. Is this my first lesson?” Mary thinks he will develop fast now.

“Well, I heard more clearly then, and begin to think you are right.”

After he had gone we asked Mary how it was that he could hear us and not hear her. “That is because he is still in the mortal vibrations, and memories of earth life are more powerful than the unused spirit faculties.”

'like waking from a nightmare'

“There is one here who says he knew you long ago. He is troubled and doubting his own identity, and we have brought him here to you.”

“Can he hear?”

“Yes; your voice better than ours. Ask him a question.”

“Do you know where you lived?”

“No, I forgot. I was very sick and they moved me to this place when I was asleep.”

Can you see anyone around you?”

“Not well. I must have lost my eyesight when sick.”

“Do you remember what happened when you were sick?”

“No, except medicine, doctors, nurses, and now and then friends to see me.”

“Do you know where I lived?”

“Yes, you lived in a place not far from where I was. I was not at home, I remember that now.”

“Are you John Romley?”

“No. I knew him though.”

‘Did you know he is near you?”

“No. Is he here?” ‘He was ill and died in a hospital.”

“No, he is alive, for I have seen him.”

"Perhaps, but John has passed through that which we call death. I suspect you have done the same, and do not realize that instead of dying, you are still alive.”

“No, I don’t see how that can be. This is not heaven, and it isn’t hell; and there are no other places for the soul to go.”

If with your eyes bandaged someone had led you to another place, would you have believed all was light when you thought it night?”

“No. But I would have torn the bandage off.”

‘You are now blinded by the bandages of your earthly memories and do not know of the light about you yet.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that you should tear off those earthly bandages and learn to use your new senses.”

“My senses? What are they?”

"Spirit sight and spirit hearing. Have you these?”

“Not much of either. I am nearly blind and deaf. What can I do?”

“Are you willing to try to learn?”

“Yes. Tell me what to do.”

“We have a good friend there whose name is Mary. She is near you. Can you see her?”


“Can you hear her?”

“No, I think not.”

“She brought you to me.”

“Mary? Who is she?”

“Mary, can you speak to him?”

“Yes, I will try.”

Did you hear anything?”

“Nothing but a whisper without any words.”

“Well, that is a beginning. Try again.”

“Yes, I heard a little sound then.”

“Keep listening and you will soon hear.”

“Is that true, that I am to listen and hear?”

“Yes, you will soon learn and will acquire wonderful powers.”

“Yes! Yes! I hope that is true! Help me! Help me! if you can!”

“Listen again.”

“I heard her. She said I was in heaven. Is that true?”

“You are in a part of heaven that is near earth.”

“That is true, you think?”

“I am sure of it.”

“Ask Mary, as you call her, to try again. I believe I can learn to hear.”

“Mary, did you hear what he said?”

“Yes, I will ask his name.”

“She asks my name! I can’t find it! What shall I do?”

“Don’t worry. You will soon find it.”

“Will she stay with me and help me?”

“Mary, what shall I tell him?”

“Tell him I or some other friend will be with him every minute until he becomes conscious of his own life and his own spirit powers.”

This was repeated to him. “Well I am so glad. I cannot tell you how glad! It is like waking from a nightmare.”

“Mary, what happened to him?”

“We have not heard his life history, but we think it is only a case of indifference toward all things spiritual, and possibly a little contempt for the weakness of so-called Christians in spending so much time in ‘preaching and praying and psalm-singing’.”



Editor’s note: I have sometimes employed, in my writings but especially with a certain friend, the metaphor of “the endless nightmare that is this world.” However, there are nightmares and then there are nightmares, and this is the latter. The nightmare of crossing over into a “dark closet,” and spending years in horrific lampless solitude before one’s superstitious religious ideas begin to burn themselves out is the real nightmare.



'he is surprised' that anyone wouldn't want to go back to the sewer-pit that is the egoic Earth

Still another one who had known Sis was brought to us. “We wish to have you take a few words from someone here. We will write for him. He says he knew you long ago when you were in another town.”

Sis finally guessed the place. “Yes, that is the one. We think your teacher is here and remembers you. He says you studied with him.”

“Well, well! It seems strange that he should remember me?”

“His memory is very clear. He died apparently in good health in the midst of plans for the future. He had never given much thought to this life and the change was difficult for him to make. He was rebellious at first and unhappy. But his guides were patient and have brought him into an understanding of this life. He was not unconscious long, and awakened to find his past had slipped away from him and his future a shadowy unknown. We have many such; but his mind, his mortal mind, was so vigorous that he could the less easily comprehend a condition in which the mortal mind was of no avail. He commenced as a little child might do, and has had a long time in initiation. But he has come into the light at last.”

Sis: “If the mortal mind failed, I should think the memory would go too?”

“No, not necessarily. The memory is a spirit power and is usually more keen in this life than in the other.”

“What is his occupation?”

“He has not been here in his spirit perception long enough to be brought into that for which he will be most fitted, but he gravitates toward music, and we think that will enter largely into his work.”

“How did he come to know you and to remember me?”

“We are communicating with mortals, and that was his great desire. He has been in the circle repeatedly, and at last recognized you as a former pupil.”

“Is there anything he wishes to say?”

“Not much, we think, because he does not yet fully grasp conditions here. But he was much pleased to know of someone who was sending words across what to him is the shadow land of death. He will become more and more satisfied with this life and will be happy beyond his present power of belief. Have you a word to say to him?”

Tell him I am longing for the happiness there.”

“We have told him and he is surprised. He cannot understand that attitude, for the earth life still weaves a strong attraction about him.”

“I remember him as one who might have had much human pleasure.”

“We think that is true. And his lack of comprehension, his lack of looking forward to this life while on earth, is a hindrance now. But he has made a great advance from his first dismal impressions, and will surely come into the light before long.”

burning hatred and plans of revenge - because others are certainly responsible for what has happened to me 

Sis: “When you were on earth what did you think when a friend passed away?”

I don’t believe I thought at all.”

“Did you have a family?”

“Yes, and most of them are here. Some of them have been awaiting my recovery for many years. Some of them are passing through experiences more or less similar to mine.”

“What did you do all these years?”

“I hardly know now how I did occupy my time. I realize now that only a part of me was alive, only a very small part. But that part seemed to feel the awful terrors and agonies as much or even more than any complete earthly personality could do.”

“Can you tell us more about it so we can tell others?”

“I ought to be able to do so, for even now the memories are terrible. I seemed to be in an unknown country, alone, and at all time filled with a terror that dangers lurked all about me. What these dangers were I could not have told. But I seemed striving all the time to escape them, and yet knew no place to go. I felt that everyone had deserted me. I was filled with hate that they could so treat me. Any thought aside from those of fear was mostly one of some plan of revenge on those whom I believed must be responsible for my situation. It was a long nightmare of dread and hate. I don’t think a material body could have long survived such tortures.

“After what seemed ages, I began to hear something like musical sounds, and these began to have a quieting effect. Later I began to sense that there were other beings about me. And eventually I acquired my spirit powers, and am now beginning to understand some of the great glories of the life here that I have been so long in comprehending.

“Do spread the word. Make people understand what even mere apathy concerning the future may cause.”

The above writer says he realizes now that only a part of him was alive. Undoubtedly this is true. Nearly all such cases evidence a dazed and bewildered condition in which the powers of reasoning are so deadened as to be almost lost. When they are brought to us the influence from an earthly personality seems to release their spirit powers in some way. It could almost be said that the doors of the prison in which they have been confined were thrown open by touching a spring that only an influence from earth could reach.


no one met him on passing over, nor did he see any spirits 

The following is from "The Religion Of The Spirit World" (1920) by Prof. G. Henslow. The author comments that while it is the general rule that new arrivals to the other side are met by loved ones, this is not always the case:

We find a contrast to this in Private Dowding's
experience. He describes himself thus: "I was
an orphan, somewhat of a recluse, and I made
friends very slowly." No one met him on passing
over, nor did he see any spirits; but after a time
he wrote: "I am no longer alone. I have met my
dear brother William. He could not get near me
for a long time, he says

"Strange," [Dowding] writes, "that the only person I
came across for a long time was my brother. He
tells me that I have never been alone.
The mist
around me, shutting me off, has emanated from
myself, he says. I suppose my loneliness of life
and character whilst on earth have followed me

"I begin to see now that my type of mind would
find itself isolated or rather would emanate iso-
lation...It is dangerous to live to and for oneself. Tell
this to my fellows with emphasis. ... I cannot
remember doing anything really worth while.
I never looked outside myself

All Spirits confirm this fact, that each of us is
responsible for his or her own special conditions
on the other side.

"Each of us" [Dowding] writes, "creates his own pur-
gatorial conditions. If I had my time over again,
how differently I should live my life! I erred, for I
neither lived enough among my fellow-men nor
interested myself sufficiently in their affairs.
Well, I have created my own purgatory. I must
live it through somehow."



'where is the happiness and glory I was promised' 

Mary: “We have here in the circle a man who has had much trouble in realizing that he has left the earth life. He was a thinker on religious subjects, but had reasoned things out according to his own satisfaction, and now cannot find conditions that correspond to his conclusions, and he cannot understand what has happened. He can both see and hear a little, but he thinks he is still among earth people, and among those who scoff at his ideas. So he will not listen to them. He has a few friends who have formed somewhat similar opinions, and they feel that they are a little party of apostles who are persecuted by infidels, or something like that. They do not realize that they do not have their physical bodies and material brains.”

Sis: “Can we talk with them?”

“We wish you would try. We think he will listen to you because no one has spoken to them from earth, and it may be that an ‘earth spirit’ can have more influence than we. We will bring him to you.”

Then after a moment: “We have told him that a friend wishes to talk with him.” I said to him that I understood that he felt that he was lost.

“Yes. I do not understand what has happened. I have missed my old friends for some time, and I do not know where I am. I was ill and fell asleep and must have wandered away from home.”

“Do you know how long you were ill?”

“No. It seems to me a long time, but I do not remember. I thought I was very ill.”

“Had you thought that your illness might have led to death, and that your falling asleep was the passing?”

“No, I had not thought of that. I wonder if that can be true?”

“I think it is.”

“Well, I cannot understand it. I thought the life of the spirit was one of happiness and glory, but I have found nothing like that.”

“I think if you will cultivate your powers of sight and hearing you will find some of the happiness and glory.”

“I wonder! You have given me an idea! I am alone here now, but have several companions part of the time.”

“Can you see anyone about you now?”

“Yes, there seem to be other beings of some kind.”

“Listen carefully and see if you cannot hear one of them talk to you.”

There was a slight pause. “Yes, one of them has just spoken, and he says you are telling me the truth.”

“Yes, I am sure I am telling you the truth.”

“Well, well! I wonder if that can be! You have given me the first understanding I have had of what might be the explanation of my plight. I had felt all the time that I had somehow wandered into a strange country and among unfriendly people. I could make no one understand what had happened to me, or where my home was. I did find a few who seemed to be lost in the same way, and we have tried to comfort each other, and have been waiting and searching for something that would give us some clue to what had happened.”

Then Mary wrote: “We think he will listen to us now, and if he does we can of course soon explain it all. We think just that hint was all that was necessary. We have tried to tell them these same things, but our influence seemed unavailing. It seems to be that the vibrations from one on earth are more penetrating, have a more convincing quality somehow.”

'I have to get back to my business - don't you understand?'

“We will bring one to you who is not yet conscious that he has died. He thinks he is lost and wishes to find the way. We will write for him.”

“I have been sick and wandered away. Why don’t my friends find me?”

“Were you sick at your own home?”

“No, I was ill in a hospital, but I am not there now. I must have lost my mind and wandered away.”

“Were you not too ill to walk?”

“I knew I was, but here I am, wandering about without either doctor or nurse. I must get back to the hospital again!”

“Were you not growing weaker and weaker every day?”

“Yes. I remember the weakness, but now I have strength to walk! I must be better!”

“You have strength because you have left that old weak body, and are now spirit with spirit strength.”

“That cannot be! Oh, that cannot be! I left my friends, my business, my home. I must go back. Which way shall I go?”

“You cannot go back to your mortal body, but you can develop a wonderful life there.”

Mary interposed with: “We are trying to have him listen, but he persists that he must get back to his business and to his home.”

“Did you have a wife?”


“A mother?”

“Yes. She is worrying about me. I must go to her.”

“She does not worry now, for she knows that you have died and are beyond all earthly worries.”

“That cannot be true! Where am I?”

“You are in spirit land and need no longer worry over earthly cares and troubles.”

“Must I forget my mother and my business?”

"Forget your business but remember your mother. Can you see?”

“Not much.”

“Can you hear?”

“I hear you.”

“Can you see someone near you?”

“No, I only see a shadow.”

“Can you talk to him, Mary?”

Mary wrote in reply: “He cannot hear me yet.”

“Try to listen.”

“I do not understand.”

“Mary is near you trying to help.”

“Who is she?”

“A spirit like yourself. Listen and try to hear what she says.”

 “I hear a faint sound. Is that Mary?”

“Yes. There are others near you, all trying to help.”

 “I am beginning to hear a little. They say I can soon hear and soon see and soon know there is joy in this life.”

Mary added: “We can take care of him now. When the earthbound spirit can hear and see, no matter how dimly, the worst is over. We can quickly teach him the rest.”

the once-shrewd businessman, man of the world, now just keeps on wailing, 'oh, where am I, why am I here' - poor me, so unjustly treated, couldn't be my fault

“We are bringing to you for help a man whose very soul was in his business and in money-making when on earth. We will write for him. He is not advanced at all, just keeps crying, ‘Why am I here? Oh, why am I here?’”

We spoke to him but received no reply. Mary wrote: “He is so little advanced that he scarcely hears you, but he wishes to have you tell him, if—as he says—you know anything about it, where he is and how he came here.”

“Do you remember any sickness or accident?”

Mary then wrote for him in reply: “I don’t know. I was at work. Something happened, and the next thing I knew, I was wandering around in the dark and trying to find some way out.”

“Well, when that something happened, you lost your material body, you died. And now you are in the spirit world.”

I don’t believe it! Damn it all, why don’t you help me?”

“That is what we wish to do. But you must be patient. Can you hear any one near you?”

“There is a mumbling sound; but they don’t know anything. I tell you I want to get out of this!”

“You must be patient if you wish help. You have left the body and are what the world calls dead.”

No! I know I’m alive! If I can once get out of this I’ll show you.”

“We wish to try to help you out.”

I’d rather be dead than here!”


Editor's note: "rather be dead" - as Bugs would say, "dat's rich"


“Do you not see some differences compared with what you left?”

“I don’t know: I don’t seem as large as I was. That’s because I can’t find anything to eat.”

“You say it is all dark. Can you see anything at all?”

“There are queer looking shadows and a mumbling of voices.”

“Did you ever in times past give a thought to what you would do, what you would be like, when death of the body occurred: how you would see, how you would hear?”

I never gave it a thought. I tell you, I was in the thick of the fight. Lots of opportunities, lots of opportunities for money-making, for the man who knew. And I knew how! I beat them all! And I’ve got a million somewhere back there that I must take care of.”

What were you going to do with your million?”

Why, what would I do, except to have a good time? Travel, fun, races, pool,—oh, loads of things to do, and a host of ways to spend a million. I made it, I tell you! It was mine to do with as I pleased. And here I am and can’t even touch it! Do you call that justice?”

I wonder if you practiced justice in your business?”

“Why, just the same as all business men, making money when I could; proud to beat the other fellows to it; proud that I had the judgment to step in at the right time and carry off the shekels!”

“How long have you been in this condition?”

“Not long. Don’t know when or how I came: just found myself here.”

“Did you have a family?”

“No, I lived alone. But I tell you I had a mighty good suite of rooms! Sporty, maybe you would call them; and sporty they surely were after business hours. You see I was an A-1 business man, and never let pleasure interfere with business.”

“Is your mother living?”

“No, she died long ago.”

“Were you ever married?”

“No, never wanted to.”

“Do you remember your mother?”

“Not much. She died before I got grown up.”

“Do you remember any good things you did during your life, any help to any one?”

“Gee! I don’t know. Yes, I do! I had to help a poor woman once who was burned out, and had nothing to feed herself or her children until some of us fellows got in and made up a purse for her.”

“Did that give you any pleasure?”

“I don’t know. I don’t remember much of that.”

“Did you do anything else?”

I used to give to churches and charity when asked, because it reacted favorably on my business. Oh, well now, I remember one thing I did: helped a blind girl to have an operation on her eyes. My, but she was grateful! Didn’t cost me much either. Wish I had done more of that sort of thing.”

“If you had, you might have had more happiness.”

“Bet you can’t tell me any way toward happiness in this hell of a place!”

“Well, if you want to get out of that place, and wish us to help you, you must do as we say. Now tell us more about what happened when you left your business and came here.”

“I was in my office. Someone came in. Said I had (the impression was to write the word ‘cheated’),—No, I won’t write that word. It wasn’t so! I only did what any smart business man would have done, made a little money on the side. But it happened to clean him out, and he blamed me. He pitched right into me. I don’t remember whether it was pistol or fist. But the next thing I knew I was here! That’s all the story.”

“Well, it is very clear from what you say, that he killed you. That is, your body was killed, but you are still alive. Only now you are in another world under other conditions. Do you not see the difference?”

“I see my hands do not look the same. I can see through them. Well, suppose I am dead! What are you going to do about it?”

“Help you, if you will let us. You say you want to get out of that dark place?”

“You bet I do! Tell me how.”

“Now listen carefully. Do you hear any one?”

“Y-e-s,—I do. Who is it?” Then after a moment: “Someone here is telling me that I can come into a beautiful life if I will try. But that I must give up selfish thought, and try first of all to help others. But, how can I do that? I can’t even help myself!”

“If you will listen carefully to what they tell you, you will learn how.”

“I begin to hear words plainly. Yes, and I begin to see plainer! Why is that?”

“You are beginning to learn how to use your spirit powers.”

“Is that true? Well, I guess I’ll have to believe it. But there is my old life! It looks kind of bad to me now. I never saw it look so before. Yes, I’ll try to be a better man if you will help me.”

“Mary is trying to help you already.”

“Where is she?”

“Right by you. Do you not see her?”

“Yes, I begin to see her. Why! She is dressed in silvery white! Someone else is with her. Will they help me?”

“Of course they will, if you will let them.”

“Well, I’ll try.”


I had hardened my heart to every whispering invitation to know the reality of God

The following is channeled information from the other side, July 31, 1854, via the mediumship of Mrs. Elizabeth Sweet, reported in The Future Life.

This is a story of a man who, while on Earth, prided himself with his materialistic knowledge of life, virtually daring, if there be a God, to come and appear to him to provide evidence. This was no honest and sincere quest for knowledge of the spiritual. In this willfulness, he blocked, from his spirit, “whispering invitations” to truth, around him every day. As such, he found himself in a dark place upon crossing over.

"I am wandering in a dark and lonely place. I see no other human being save myself; there is no light to guide me on my way but that which comes from a few straggling, distant stars. The road is uneven, and overgrown by brambles and briers, which impede my progress at every step I take, causing me pain and vexation. I cannot understand why it is that I am left alone to wander through this gloomy, death-like valley. I hear the wind rustling among the trees, but it does not cool my brow nor give comfort to my heart. I hear the rushing of waterfalls, but they sound so distant to my ear, that it might be a dream for aught I know. Shall I never get through this rugged place and tread again upon the smooth, green earth? It seems to me that a great change has passed over my being within a short space of time. It was but yesterday that I lived upon Earth, surrounded by those who loved me and whom I loved. I cared not for the future, I believed not in the reality of a future, in the existence of a supreme being whom men call God. What cared I for the future? It was naught but a blank, for I thought I should pass away even as the grass and the flowers, and be forgotten among the decaying mass of corruption. And I hardened my heart to every whispering and invitation which would come, in spite of my efforts, to draw forth my soul from its darkness and lethargy."

The man’s account continues, his gloomy wanderings in darkness do not cease, this is no light in his world, until he begins to open his spirit to other possibilities and an admission that he might have been wrong in his approach. At this point, Spirit Guides meet him.



the shop girl, filled with hate and revenge 

Mary: “We have brought a young woman to you who seems to feel that she has been injured in some way. We are not certain whether it is a physical or a mental hurt. But she still thinks she is living, and she is full of hate and revenge against someone.” (This proved to be more fear than hate.)

Sis: “Can she hear you?”

“We think not.”

We then spoke to her: “We are told that you wish assistance. Can we help you?”

“Who are you?”

“Friends who wish to help you.”

“Where am I?”

“Are you lost?”


“How did that happen?”

“I have been as if in a dream. I was trying to get away from someone, and I must have lost my way.”

“Was someone trying to injure you?”

“Yes. A man was hurting me, and I ran.”

“Are you injured?”

Yes. I scarcely know how… I was working in a shop… I think someone seized me, and—I remember struggling, and I remember my head hurting me. I was running away, and I must have lost my way.”

“Probably when the man seized you, he hit you on the head and caused your death.”

“Oh, that cannot be!”

“Yes, you are still living, but are in the spirit world.”

 “You do not know!”

“Yes, it is true. Are there people near you?”

“Yes, there are many.”

“Can you hear them?”

“No, I hear nothing. They are staring at me, and some seem trying to talk, but I hear nothing.”

“Do not be frightened. Listen to them carefully. Can you hear them?”

“I hardly know.”

“Try again. Be patient.”

“Yes! I hear a sound!”

“Isn’t a lady trying to tell you something?”

“Yes! I hear her. She says I am dead! I don’t understand!”

“She will help you. She will be your friend.”

“She says she will help me.”

Then the leader of the circle wrote: “We are comforting her, and are sure she will understand now. She is so frightened we can hardly make her understand. But she will soon comprehend.”

'I'm gonna get out of this and then I'll show you!' 

“We have someone here who needs help. He has not been here long, cannot adapt himself at all to conditions, and does not understand anything of this life.”

Can he hear?”

“Not well, but a little.”

“Can he see?”

“Just a little. We have been trying to help him, but he perceives so little of spirit impressions that we have brought him to you. We will write for him.”

“Well, friend, what can I do for you?”

“Who are you?”

“We are friends who wish to help you.”

“Where am I?”

“You are in the spirit world. You have left the earth life.”

“No, not that. I know it is not so, for I can walk, move, and now I can talk to you.”

“How did you get where you are?”

“I don’t know. I suppose I may have lost my way. But I don’t understand it. I have a pretty good sense of direction. How did I get here?”

“You died and left your earthly life behind.”

“No, I didn’t, for I am alive now!”

“Did you not know you had a spirit within you?”

“What do you mean?”

“We mean that you yourself never die, though you may lose your body through death.”

I am not dead, I tell you! Don’t be foolish!”

“Were you sick?”

“No, not that I know of. I was with a party of young men. We went fishing somewhere. Where under the sun was it! I don’t know! We were having a royal good time, smuggled a little of the forbidden aboard: some I had bought on the…”

“From ‘bootleggers?”

“Yes, I suppose so. We all drank and had a pretty good time. I think maybe the stuff was not good for me, for I remember now that I felt very sleepy, very sleepy. And I suppose I became unconscious in my sleep. Did they put me on shore while I was asleep? We were—we were—I don’t know how I came here. But here I am!”

“Well, either you were drowned, or the liquor was too much for you, for you have died and are now in the spirit world.”

“No! That can’t be! I can talk with you and hear you, and I can see, though not very plainly.”

“Can you see other people near you?”

“There is someone near me, several of them, in fact. I see them, but not very well.”

“Can you talk to them?”

“Haven’t tried. What is the use? I don’t know them.”

“Listen and see if you can hear any of these people.”

“I can hear, I tell you, though not very plainly. There is a woman near me—has on fine robes. She is trying to tell me things, but I don’t seem to catch on.”

“Listen carefully. I think you can understand her.”

“Well, I guess I do hear a little better. My! She has on a beautiful dress! Soft and shiny and flowing; I wonder where she got it?”

“What are you wearing?”

“I don’t know. I never thought of that. But, they aren’t mine! How did I come by them?”

“There seem to be a number of things you do not understand. Do you not think that perhaps we are right?”

“What do you mean?”

"That you are a spirit.”

“No! No!! No!!! I know that isn’t so! Someone must have taken me when I was asleep and carried me off!”

Pretty much like a fairy tale. Eh?”

“I don’t want a fairy story! I want my own life and my own home.”

“You will find we are telling you the truth.”

“No! I can move, talk,—and believe me, I’m going to get out of this queer feeling if I can!”

“Have you looked at yourself, at your hands?”

“Why! I am thin! My hands! They are almost transparent! Say!! What has happened to them?”

“We have told you what has happened. Did you never hear of spirit?”

“No, never heard of such a thing.”

“Did you not know that a part of you went on living after death?”

“Never heard of such a thing.”

“Did you never think what would happen after death?”

“No. I tried to put that out of mind. It isn’t good for a man to think of that sort of thing. When you are alive, why, live! Have a good time! Let the future take care of itself. The preachers talk a lot of stuff a man can’t believe. I made the most of my life; had a good business, plenty of money, and jolly good friends. Where are the rest of the boys, anyhow?”

“We have told you to listen to those about you. Are you not willing to try?”

“I don’t want to stay here. Tell me how to get out.”

“We have told you. Listen to those near you.”

“This woman dressed in white says I am a spirit now, and must learn the spirit ways of learning and thinking. Does she mean that I am alone; that my old comrades are gone; and I have nothing to do? No business? No pleasure? No…Oh, my soul! This can’t be true! What shall I do?”

“We have told you. Listen to the lady who is trying to make you understand.”

“I am a man! I don’t want to listen to a woman preacher!”

“Well, I am afraid we cannot help you unless you do.”

“What will she tell me?”

“She will probably tell you that you must be kind to others and learn how to live a different life.”

“I can’t be kind until I know where I am, can I?”

“We have told you where you are.”

“Well, I’ll take the advice of this one in the white robe. She says she can help me to understand.”

Then, as if in reply to something Mary had said to him: “All right. I’ll try.”

the excited boy from the football game 

“We have one here who does not know he has died.”

“A man?”

“No, a boy. A young boy, hurt in a ball game, and coming over here while unconscious. Speak to him.”

Sis asked if she could help him.

“Who are you?” ‘

“I am a friend who would like to talk to you. They told me you were playing ball?”

“Yes, and we were winning too. Why don’t they tell me the score?”

“Were you hurt in the game?”

“I was knocked out, I know; but what of that! I had been in training, and my muscles were like steel. I don’t know why they picked me up and brought me here.”

“How were you hurt?”

“In the scrimmage. When I had the ball under me the boys all piled on top of me.”

"Oh! It was football?’

“Yes, football. Gee, it was great!”

Do you feel your injury now?”

“Not a bit. Never felt so well in my life. Bet I could hold my own with any of them.”

“Do you see anyone near you?”

“None of the boys. Where are they?”

Mary says, he has not the slightest comprehension yet that he has died.

“Suppose I should tell you that in that scrimmage you were injured so severely that you died?”

“I’d say you lied. Oh! Excuse me! But I couldn’t help it.”

“No, it isn’t a lie. It is the truth.”

“No, I know better.”

“Have you looked at yourself?”

“Where are my togs? I never dressed like this!”

“That is because you have left the earth life.”

“Now you are trying to frighten me. You can’t do that!”

“What are your clothes like?”

“They are not mine. That’s all there is to that.”

“You must learn that you are in spirit land.”

“I don’t believe it. Tell me the truth.”

Then Mary wrote:— “We think we will wait and bring the boy another time. He needs careful guidance. We think he was a bright boy, with great ambition in athletics, as well as in his studies, and we do not wish a shock to come to him too suddenly. He will think of what you have said, and by and by we will go further and convince him that he has left his earth life. You need not expect him to fall gently into the idea that his earth life is over, and he is to begin again in an unknown world, with unknown laws of which he has never dreamed.”

At another time we talked to him again. “We have brought him. He is a bright boy, but still in a mystified condition.”

Can he see or hear?”

“Not well. He knows there is a personal and friendly influence near him that in some way comforts and directs him. But beyond that he has not comprehended this life.”

Sis asked if he could hear her.

“Of course. Where am I? How came I here?”

“You heard us telling you about it when you were here before.”

“Did I? Well, I don’t understand?”

“You know that people die, do you not?”

“Yes. I’ve seen the funerals go by.”

“Do you know what became of the people after death?”

“Why, they were put in the ground.”

“Do you think that was the end of them?”

“Yes. Couldn’t be anything else, I suppose.”

“Did you never hear that they lived in another world?”

“No. The doctors said they were dead. Dead! That’s the end of it, I suppose.”

"That was not the end of you.

“Of course not. I didn’t die.”

“Yes, the body you had on earth died, and was buried.”

“No! It never was buried!”

“Yes, it was. But you yourself, your soul went on living.”

“No! I didn’t die! I know I didn’t!”

All through the rest of the talk with him the pencil wrote very emphatically, and Sis’s hand was strongly controlled, showing the great excitement under which he was laboring.

“Is your body the same? Look at your hand.”

“Why, no! It’s thin! And—Why! I can see through it!”

“Could you use it for playing ball?”

“No! What happened?”

“When you were hurt in the football game, you left your earthly body, and it is your spirit, your inner self; that is now talking.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because we have talked with many who are like you. The spirit lives on.”

“What is spirit?”

This was explained to him as well as we could. “You are a spirit, and you will learn that you can enjoy life there, and can improve in every way.”

“Will someone help me?”

“Yes, of course. Did someone bring you here?”

“Yes. Someone, or something guided me here.”

“Can you see anyone near you?”

“I see a shadow.”

Keep real quiet and say, I am going to see. Does it help?”

“Well! I do see! How is that?”

“It is your spirit sight, and you can improve it. Will you try?”

“Well, I just guess I will!”

“Now can you see anyone?”

“There are two ladies. Oh, they are beautiful! Will they help me?”

“Yes, indeed. Can you hear them?”

“No. Can they talk?”

“Yes, and if you will listen quietly, you will hear them.”

“I hear a sound… I hear a sound! Can I hear, do you think?”

“Yes, if you will try. Listen for words.”

“They tell me they will take care of me. Do you know them?”

“Yes, we know them well. Will you go with them?’

“Can’t you come?”

“No, we cannot come now, but we will probably see you some time. Now go with these ladies, and they will take care of you. Don’t you want to?”

“I’d love to.”

We talked of him for a time, and then turned to Mary again: “He will be all right now, and will be very happy. Dee is entertaining him now.”

the salt-of-the-earth Illinois farmer

“There are so many here who need help. If you can speak to a man who is here, we will try to write what he may reply.”

“Have you learned anything about him?”

“We can read some of his thoughts, and believe he was sick and died from tuberculosis. He does not know what has happened, but realizes that he is not in his own home.”

“Well, friend, we would like to help you if we can. Can you hear us?”

“Who are you?”

“Just friends. Can you tell us how we can help you?”

I am not in my own home, and cannot understand why.”

“Can you see?”

“I can see that I am in a country that is not familiar to me. It is rather dreary and desolate, but I do not recognize it.”

“Where did you live?”

“I live in Illinois. I am a farmer, but have been sick a long time, and have not been able to work. I was very sick the last I remember, but I seem much better now, only I don’t understand why I am in another place.”

“Have you a family?”

“Yes, I have a wife and two children. I am wondering why they do not find me?”

“Well, I must tell you that when you were very sick, you died. And you have left your earthly body behind and are now in the spirit world.”

“I don’t understand. What do you mean?”

“We mean that you have left your body and are what the world calls dead.”

“I am not dead! I can talk, and can move about.”

“Did you ever think what would happen at your death?”

“Why, I would be put in the ground, of course.”

“Have you not heard that some part of you continued to live?”

“Yes, I think the preachers say something of the kind; but I never took any stock in them.”

“It is true, nevertheless. That accounts for your condition now.”

There was a wait of some moments. “Mary says, you have startled him so he does not know what to say.”

“Can you hear me?”

“Yes, I hear you; but what are you telling me such stuff for?”

“Can you see anyone near you?”

“I see some ladies, but I don’t know them.”

“Can you hear them?”

“Why, yes, I do hear some kind of sounds. What sort of a place am I in?”

“You are in spirit land, just as I said.”

“I am sure you are joking.”

“Can you hear what the ladies say?”

“Yes, they tell me the same thing.”

“Yes, because that is what has happened to you.”

No! It is not true! I am alive! I can talk and see and move. Dead people don’t do that.”

Again there was a short pause. “Mary says he is so puzzled we cannot make him listen.”

Finally he asked: “You say spirits can talk?”

“Yes. Do you not hear the ladies near you?”

“Yes. Am I a spirit?”

“Yes. That is what I am trying to tell you. You were very sick and finally died. Do you not feel well now?’

“Yes, I feel fine. But I don’t understand it at all?”

“It may have happened some time ago. What year was it that you were so sick?”

“I think it was 1900.”

“1900! Is that right?”

“Yes.” “Do you have any idea what this year is?”


“It is 1926.”

“Now you are joking!”

“No. It is the truth. Has not the time seemed long?”

“Yes, long enough. But I have not been awake part of the time. I seem to be sort of dazed most of the time. I thought it was because I was sick.”

“Had any of your family died before you were sick?”“

“I lost my mother.”

“Can you hear anyone else near you besides the ladies?”

“I see many.”

“Do you see your mother among them?”

“No. I don’t see her.”

“I am sure you will before long.”

“I think she would not want to see me, for I was not a good son to her.”

“Would you not like to see her?”

“Yes, of course, I do not know any of the people about me, but the lady who first spoke says she thinks she can find my mother.”

Then Mary added: “We can care for him now. He is still only partly convinced, but as we can now make him hear, we can help him.”

'I had a store, business was good, getting ahead; then, next thing I knew, I was in a dark place' 

“We wish to have your help just now, for we have a friend who has not recovered his sight or hearing since he came. Will you help him? We will write for him. We think he will respond to your words, as he is still so much in the earth vibrations.”

“Friend, we hear you need help. Can we assist you? Can you hear me?”

“Yes, I hear a voice, and it is a joy. Who are you?”

“One who may help you.”

“Who are you?”

“One who can tell you that you have left the earth life.”

“No, I have not. How should I leave it?”

“Well, you have not left it by aeroplane or balloon, but by death.”

“What do you mean? I have a body. Don’t you see it?”

“No, I do not see it. I only hear your voice.”

“Why is that?”

“Because you are a spirit and I am not.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your body has died, but your soul is alive.”

“No! You are wrong, horribly wrong! For I am here, body, voice, feeling and all. Can’t you see me?”

“No, I do not see you. Tell me how you look, and who you are.”

“I am about thirty years old, had a good business, but was taken ill, and I suppose when ill I just wandered away.”

“Were you in bed?”




“What have you on now?”

“I am dressed! How did that happen?”

“What are your clothes like?”

“I never saw anything like them. They don’t look like a man’s clothes at all. Who rigged me up like this?”

“Tell me what you are wearing.”

“It is a sort of loose, flowing robe, maybe like a Roman toga. Who dressed me, and what for?”

“You have left the body and are now in spirit land.”

“Where is spirit land?”

“Where you are.”

“Where are you?”

"I am on earth.”

“So am I.”

“What are you standing on?”

“Standing on! Why I suppose soil, or grass, or something. I can’t see it very well, but I know I am on a firm foundation.”

“Do you see anyone near you?”

“No, I wish I could. I am lost, and no one near to tell me where to go.”

“Do you not see a lady near you?”

“No, I don’t see any one.”

“What were you doing before you were ill?”

I had a store. Business was good, getting ahead. Then I took sick, fever, and got very weak. I went to sleep, and must have slept a long time and slept very soundly, for the nurse must have dressed me up in this way and let me walk around. And so I lost my way. Why doesn’t the nurse come for me?”

“You will never need a nurse again.”

“Why not?”

“Because you will never be sick anymore.”

“Gracious goodness! How do you know?”

“Because spirits do not get sick.”

“What do you mean?”

“Did you ever think of a hereafter?”

“I used to go to church sometimes, but I didn’t care for the sermons.”

“You have left your body, and are now living in spirit.”

“Why should I see my body then? For I have hands, arms and limbs; can talk and hear you, though I do not see you.”

“Keep still and listen.”

“Why should I? I’d rather get on my way to my home and family.”

“You cannot go back.”

“Oh, can’t I? We’ll see about that!”

“I am telling you the truth. You will never go back to your home.”

There was a long pause, and finally Mary wrote: “He is almost stupefied at this revelation.”

After a little he wrote excitedly: “Help me! Help me to understand! What am I to do? What can I do? I’m not in heaven or on earth. Where am I?”

“You are where souls go at the death of the body. Can you listen?”

“I’ll try. I hear a little. Someone is telling me I am in soul life now. What and where is soul?”

“The one who is near you we call Mary. She will tell you.”

“She says she will help me to understand. But how?”

“Listen and you will find out.”

“Will she tell me? Will she stay near me?”

“Mary says we can take care of him now. He will soon see and all will be well. He is not bad, only material-minded, and no perception at all of spirit life and spirit thought and action.”

'he is so ignorant of the deeper life of mind and spirit' 

“Here is one who has entered into this life without any comprehension of its value. Will you try to help him? He can hear earth sounds, but not spirit voices.”

“Friend, do you know where you are?”

“No, I wish I did. I seem to have wandered a long time, and I am very tired.”

“What caused you to wander?”

“That is what I would like to know. I have heard of people losing their memory, but I had no thought that I should have that trouble.”

“Were you ill?”

“I think so. I remember a hospital and a doctor.”

“Did you have friends?”

“No, I haven’t what you might call friends. I had no family, no near relatives, and I never comraded with men. I don’t know why; guess I liked my own ways or thoughts or ambitions best.”

“Did you grow worse when sick?”

“I suppose I did, and that is probably what is the matter: I lost my mind and wandered away.”

“Do you know that you have died?”

What? No, I don’t! Nor you, either! I am as much alive as you are.”

“Yes, but you are a spirit.”

“Spirit! Well! What do you mean by that?”

“Did you not know that you had more than a physical body?”

“What else could I have?”

“A spirit, a soul.”

There was quite a pause and then Mary wrote: “He is so ignorant, or so utterly thoughtless in regard to the deeper life of mind and spirit, that your words have not taken effect. Go on.”

“What do you think is wrong?”

“I’m blessed if I know! That is what I want you to tell me.”

“Can you hear?”

“I can hear you, but I cannot see you very plainly. But you are in some city, in some room. Tell me where, and how I can get there.”

“Did you never think there would be something left after death?” …

“No! I’m not dead and buried! Why! How can you talk that way? You are a fool!”

“Look at your hands.”

“What’s the matter? I grew thin while I was sick, I suppose.”

“How about your clothes?”

“Well! You’ve got me now! Someone has dressed me up in new clothes. Who did it, and when?”

“Can you see anyone about you?”

“No. I have pretty nearly lost my sight… Yes, by looking hard I can see two people standing near me.”

“What do they say?”

“They don’t tell me anything.”

“Listen again. Do you not hear a voice?”

“Well… Yes, I guess so. No words though.”

Then after a moment the pencil wrote very emphatically: “I don’t want to hear! I won’t believe it! She says I am dead! Great goodness! What a lie! Take her away! I don’t want to listen to such talk!”

We carefully explained the conditions to him, asking if the peculiarities and discrepancies did not indicate that we were telling the truth. Finally Mary wrote: “He is thinking about it now and we can help him.”

“Can you hear now?”

“Yes, I can hear, and they tell me I am a spirit, and that I can be a happy one. Oh, Lord! How can I understand this!”

We explained further, and after a little, he wrote: “Well, here I am, if this is so. I am as helpless as a newborn babe. But here goes! I’ll try.”

the factory girl, killed in a union strike riot 

“We have found a woman who is wandering alone and crying for help, that someone is killing her. We have succeeded in quieting her, but not in helping her to realize that she is in spirit life. Can you speak to her?”

“I am a friend. Do you wish help?”

“You may be an enemy. I have no friends.”

“What did you do? Why should you not have friends?”

“I didn’t do anything. Everyone was cruel to me.”

“Did you not love people?”

“No. I never loved any one.”

“Did you ever try to help others?”

“No. Why should I?”

“It might have made you happier.”

“No it wouldn’t. I had all I could do to take care of myself.”

“What were you doing?”

There was no reply from her, but Mary wrote: “We think from reading her thoughts that she was a worker in a mill, and thought she was being persecuted by other workers.”

“Do you know where you are?”


“Can you see any one near you?”

“No. I am in the dark.”

“Who brought you here?”

“I came alone. I was just wandering around and you talked to me. But I can’t see you, and I don’t know who you are. But you needn’t try to hurt me. I won’t stand for it! I can fight anybody.”

“Nobody wants to hurt you now. We want to help you if we can.”

“Nobody wants to help. They are all mean and cruel.”

“If we could help you to see, would you think we were friends?”

“Maybe. Maybe you would try some trick on me?”

“No, never. We feel sorry for you.”

“No one feels sorry for me! They are all just the same: bad and cruel.”

“Isn’t that because you think bad thoughts?”


Suppose you try to think a kind thought and see if it will not help.”

“What would I think? I don’t know of one.”

“Try to think someone is near you who wants to help you.”

“I don’t believe it!”

“Try it. Keep thinking it.”

“Why should I?”

“Because good thoughts help you.”

“That’s funny! Never heard that before.”

“Are you saying it?”

“Yes, I’m saying it. Don’t do any good though.”

Keep trying it. Keep saying, someone is kind to me.”

“There’s a streak of light out there! What is it?”

“Your thought is helping you to see. Keep on saying what I told you.”

“Well, I’ll try. I’ll keep it up, all right -- I can see a broader light! Someone is standing there!” “

“That is your friend.”

“No. I can’t believe it.”

“Keep saying it.”

“Will it come true?”

“Of course it will.”

Well, I’ll say it a thousand times if it will work that way. I see someone there! She says she will help me and there will be no more cruel ones. Is that right?”

“Yes, it will be all right.”

“Well! Where am I that such a thing could happen?”

“Were you sick?”

“No. I was turned out of the mill though.”

“Do you remember what you did that you were turned out?”

“I guess I forget. I don’t know. Only there was a sort of a strike, and everyone got to fighting, and I hit back—and—and—Why! I don’t know the rest!”

“When you hit back you were probably hit and killed.”

“Why, I wouldn’t be talking if I had been killed!”

“Did you not know that you had something within you that lived after the body was killed?”


“A spirit. Did you never hear of that?”


“You are a spirit now.”

“How do you know?”

“Because of what you say. Can you see any better now?”

“Yes, a little.”

“Look at your body. What is it like?”

“I haven’t got much. I’ve grown thin! What’s the matter? I haven’t on my dress! Everything is different!”

“You have your spirit body, and have spirit clothes.”

“I think I see the one you say will help me. Will she take care of me if I promise never to fight again?”

“Yes, indeed. You will be cared for.”

Then Mary said they would look after her and would soon make her understand.


long, weary years elapsed before I was able again to experience joy

Channeled testimony via the mediumship of W. Aber, presented in the book “The Guiding Star”:

A group of ministering Spirit Guides review the case of one in dark detention:

“This spirit when in the physical body, in a fit of jealousy, murdered one of his best friends, and now comes [to] report his experience:

“It is with considerable difficulty that I remember the original era of my being; and all the events of my period appear confused and indistinct. A strange multiplicity of sensations seized me, and I saw, felt, heard and smelt at the same time; and it was, indeed, a longtime before I learned to distinguish between the operations of my various senses

It was dark when I awoke; I felt cold, also, and half frightened, as it were instinctively. Finding myself so desolate, I remembered that my clothes were insufficient to protect me from the cold and night dews. I was a poor, miserable, helpless wretch! I could not distinguish anything around me, but feelings of pain invaded me on all sides. I sat down and wept.

“Soon, a gentle light appeared floating before me. Oh! what a relief - what a sensation of pleasure that light gave me! It moved slowly, but it enlightened my surroundings until I was able to see the radiant form the light came from.

"Why do you weep, my friend?" The radiant one questioned.

"Because I am so miserable," I replied.

Then he talked to me of my past life and explained to me that my condition was the result of my past life. If I had not deprived one of my fellow-beings of his earth life my sufferings would not be as they were.

"Arise, and follow me and I will show you wherein you have so grievously sinned," said the radiant one.

“We journeyed on and on until a familiar scene greeted my eye; then, horror of horrors! All the terrible past was again clear. Tears of bitter remorse streamed from my eyes! Gradually my feelings became calmer, if it may be called calmness; when the violence of grief sinks into despair.

“I must pause here, for it requires all my fortitude to recall the memory of the frightful events which I am about to relate in proper details to my recollection: The whole series of my life appeared to me again, but you are only interested in the particular part of my life that placed me in the peculiar position I was in.

"Through jealousy, I murdered my dearest friend. How can I describe my sensations upon beholding again, the scene of my dreadful crime? I cannot reflect upon that terrible time without shuddering and agony. Death takes away so many who were, one day, in the bloom of health, and the next day the prey of worms.

"Of what material was I made," I questioned, "that I could thus, resist so many shocks which, like the turning of the wheel, continually renewed the torture.

The radiant one reviewed my past life with me and showed me that it was only just that I should suffer, as I had caused suffering to others; and sorrowfully, I returned to the place where I had been so desolate.

"Don't leave me alone, oh, radiant one! " I cried; and he replied:

"I only go to bring others to you that you may be guided in the future to a happier place."

Long, weary years elapsed before I was able again to experience joy. If I had listened to the voice of conscience I would not have experienced the stings of remorse. Think not, you who deprive another of mortal life, but you shall enter heaven. The road hither is long and dark to all who take that which they cannot give.

“Atonement is not made in a day - no, nor often in centuries. All the minutest details of the past, present themselves to your vision so often that you feel that, any torture would be preferable to a view of the past; but go where you will, your crime will relentlessly follow you until you have purified your soul. Suffer any kind of injustice before you deprive another of life, for the earth life is only a day compared with eternity; and no matter how long the day, the twilight shadows will gather you in at its close and in sweet rest you will forget the unkind things of the day, and when the morning dawns you will arise with a glad heart to enjoy the many beauties before you.”

Editor’s note: We have stated, and rightly so, that if one finds him or herself in a dark place upon crossing over, it’s possible to leave for better quarters the very same day. This is correct.

With this, what some might consider to be a too-easy “get out of jail free” card, the cynic among us might declare: “I’ve got this all figured out now. I can live large right now, even hurting others with impunity, take all that I want, and when I cross over, all I have to do is say ‘I’m sorry, I want to do better” and some soft-hearted Guide will lead me to sunshine and flowers, and life will be good.”

But, it doesn’t really work that way. First of all, everyone has an aura indicating one’s state of mind, and the Guides read it like a book. There’re not so easy to con, you gotta mean it, or you can’t play.

However, for the purpose of our example, let’s say that one truly is remorseful after having lived an egocentric life, hurting others left and right. In such case, yes, the Guides will conduct one to a better teaching venue. If this is the case, some, like elder brother in the parable of “the prodigal son,” might fume: “We worked hard to do the right thing for a long time, and now this guy skates into ‘the promised land’ on a ‘technicality’ of claiming he’s all sorry now.”

But this does bring up a good point. Is there justice in the universe? Can we live a degenerate life, put ourselves first all the time, claim the chief seat, and then, virtually with a magic wand, make it all go away? – as per Leonard Cohen’s song lyric, “like some pilgrim who’s seen the light”?

Let’s remind ourselves that we’re talking about “natural law” in all of this. And no one gets away with anything. This is the message of Jesus’ teaching, “paying the last penny’s worth of debt.” But, we interject, we actually did get out of the dark closet the very same day, and the “rat cellar” and “sewer pit” are actually behind us, and the Guide really did lead us to better accommodation – maybe not full-fledged Summerland right away, but the living situation is not so bad now. Have we not “beaten the system”?

We would do well to consider again the testimony, just above, of the newly-crossed over. He was, in fact, led from a dark place into a new classroom. However, that’s the end of the good news. Notice his many lamentations concerning his intense agony, his long and weary road to full recovery, the many years of joyless existence before him, as he worked to settle the “existential debt” – both to his higher self and to his past victims. Let’s take careful note of his claim:

"any torture would be preferable to a view of the past [which constantly dogged him]; but go where you will, your crime will relentlessly follow you until you have purified your soul"

In one of the “Jesus articles” we met the Emperor Constantine who, like our just-mentioned friend, believing himself to have gamed the system with “saying you’re sorry” on the first day, had entered into a scornful scheme with himself that he would delay the (purported) sin-absolving baptism until his deathbed, because, until then, there were so many untidy crimes of violence that he needed to attend to. Arch criminals like Constantine, though his thuggish deeds occurred the better part of two thousand years ago, might still inhabit the “rat cellar.”

A long time ago - I think it was pre-Word Gems - I wrote an article on the parable of “Lazarus and the Rich Man.” This teaching of Jesus is sometimes used as evidence of a burning hell, but this is error. In the story, we find the Rich Man suffering a burning sensation. You can read the article for more details, but the Greek word employed denoted "mental torment and agony" for selfish and criminal deeds committed while in the flesh. 

The afterlife conducts itself on the principles of natural law, that is, what we are on the deep inside. Only real repentance, real change, becomes efficacious to one’s betterment. Everyone crosses over with some things to redress; however, some have a longer list of peccadilloes than others. Whatever the degree of malfeasance, all of it must be purged from one’s spirit before the real happiness might commence.

Granted, the atoning work might take place in somewhat pleasant lodgings, but the concomitant sorrow will be as real no matter where the repentance occurs.



a man killed while committing a crime wakes up in a pitch-black world with no walls

Editor’s note: The following testimony was received via the direct-voice mediumship of Emily French, as recorded in attorney Edward C. Randall’s book, “Frontiers Of The Afterlife.”

"I was not a good man among men. I was selfish, cruel, took human life, and was, as I now know, killed while committing a crime. When I awoke it was very dark, and, not knowing what had happened, I called out in anger, but my companions did not come. My voice echoed back to me again and again, and I began to think I was in a cave. I arose and groped about in the darkness, but I could not find the walls, though I walked for hours. I did not feel hunger or thirst, and days and months passed, while I was ever searching for the walls that threw back the echo of my call. Can you imagine the sensation that you would have, to be lost in an open forest with the sun in the sky, to say nothing of being lost in darkness? My sensations and suffering beggar description.

"After a very long time I saw a light, and as it approached I saw that it shone or radiated from the form of a man.'My brother,' the man said, 'you are in spiritual darkness; how can I help you?' He came and, putting forth his hands, would have touched me, but I was speechless and rushed away in fear. Thereafter when I saw a light I would hide, fearing I would be arrested, for at that time I did not know I had left my physical body. I became desperate, and the next time a light approached I waited. Coming to me, a man from whose body light radiated, as before, said, 'What do you wish?' I replied, 'I want to get out of this prison.' 'You are not in prison; you are dead.' I cursed him for making such fool statements, and he was gone.

"Again I was alone in darkness. How long this continued I know not, for, there being no day, I could not count time. Again there came one to me and again I demanded that I be released from my prison. He calmly and kindly replied, 'You are not in prison; you are a spirit.' That seemed to me the height of absurdity, for I was very much alive; but I listened and he told me 'that I had made the change' and brought another, an artist, who drew pictures of my youth and the faces of my boyhood friends, and, one by one sketched those acts and deeds and wrongs that I had done. Then the light faded and they were gone and I was left alone to think.

"When I had fully come to appreciate my condition and to regret the wrong done and the suffering caused by me, there came a desire to do what I could to make reparation. Then came other spirit people to encourage me and suggest what I must do to obtain spiritual growth and with it, the light. Not one offered to take my burden, or to undo the wrong that I had done; that was for me; they only pointed out the way. I was told there were none to forgive me, except the injured; no savior but himself.

"Step by step I went forward; hour by hour I made reparation and lived again each wrong and lived it right; and day by day, as you count time, I undid my wrong and added to the right. The way was long, the labor intense, but in it I found a happiness I had never known before. For I was building my character; the atom of good was striving for its spirituality. Now that is all behind me, and I live in the glorious and effulgent light of the spirit world, laboring among congenial souls. I was seared by the fire of selfishness and wrong. I paid, and paid to the last farthing, the penalty. Now I am at peace with all the spirit world, as it is with me.

"I send this message back to the world of men: 'There is not in the universe a method by which 'any one can escape the penalty of wrong.' Had I known this fact, I would have lived among you honestly and been fair with my fellow men. I did not know it, and I have paid in full, as all will pay in full, for ignorance will not excuse.

"It has been a privilege to tell through you of my experience in the earthbound zone of the spirit world. If one man will hesitate when contemplating a single selfish or wrong act, and turn from it because of better understanding, it will reflect upon me and better my condition."



a confused spirit-person, for years, lost in darkness, frantic, because he 'could not find his Savior'

Editor’s note: The following testimony was received via the direct-voice mediumship of Emily French, as recorded in attorney Edward C. Randall’s book, “Frontiers Of The Afterlife.” Randall comments:

I was in my own home one evening, alone with [direct-voice medium] Mrs. French. A storm had passed and there could be heard the low moaning wind in the great trees outside. It was absolutely dark in the room where we sat facing each other with only a small table between us. The discourse [with scientists on the other side] on the scientific aspect of the next state was finished; then came silence and expectancy. [Suddenly, another voice was heard.]

"I have wandered, for years, searching, searching, searching," a voice distressed and low, came out of the darkness; "and traveled, traveled, traveled; and I have found nothing but vegetation, and I am so weary."

Then this benighted spirit apparently realized that I was visible, and he seemed to turn toward me, and said:

"I don't understand. I am seeking my Savior; I was told He would meet me, but I can't find Him, and I am lost."

I replied: "No man is ever lost."

He replied: "I will be lost, if I don't find my Savior. I have searched so long!"

"Did it ever occur to you that you have no Savior but yourself?" I asked.

"That cannot be," he said. "All my earth life I relied on Him to save me, and I must find Him."

"Would it not be better to try to save yourself," I said.

"No man can be saved except he believe in Christ," he answered.

"We have no Savior but ourselves, and until we understand that fact and help ourselves and others, we don't find a very desirable afterlife. How do you account for the fact that you have traveled so far, met no people, and seen nothing but vegetation?" I asked.

"I don't know; I don't understand," he answered.

"I know and I understand," another spirit voice answered. "This man lived a narrow, selfish Christian life, simply relying on the Bible teachings, believing that the Savior would carry his burden and lead him to the great white throne, and when he realized he had passed the portal of death his first thought was to find that Savior that he had been taught to depend upon. This idea became an obsession and he started traveling with only one thought in mind. So intent was he, so centered was his thought, he saw nothing of the people or the wonders of the sphere in which he had advanced. He could not find what he sought, and he could not see or sense what he was not seeking. His journey will not end until he realizes that he is his own savior."

"That is a new idea. Who is that man?" he asked.

"A spirit like yourself," I answered.

"Is what he said true?" he asked.

"Has it not occurred to you in all this time, that, if your teaching were true, your Savior would have met you, and has not the fact that you were not so met, caused you to question your belief?" I said in reply.

"It has not before, but let me think. Have I been wrong in my belief? When I came over and failed to find Him, I should have questioned; but I did not. I thought I must search and I have searched so long," he said.

I had learned that when a spirit was really awakened ... friends could come and help. I asked: "Don't you want to stop traveling, and see some of your family or friends?"

"I certainly do - If I am wrong and have been wasting my life, I should like to know it," he replied.

"Look," I said: "It is growing light. How beautiful! See great throngs of people."

He said, "They are coming toward me, men and women, dead men and women, but they don't look dead. They appear just as they did before, and so do I. There comes a friend who beckons me. May I go?"

"Yes," I answered. "The thought that dominated you is broken and now you are free. Go with those who have come to help you, and they will show you how to help yourself."



a very rich, but selfish, man from Buffalo, New York lands in a dark room, with high walls, made of money, that block the light 

Editor’s note: The following testimony was received via the direct-voice mediumship of Emily French, as recorded in attorney Edward C. Randall’s book, “Frontiers Of The Afterlife.” Randall comments:

Among the many thousand of cases that came into our mission work, some ... stand out prominently. There lived in my home city a few years ago a man of great wealth. He had reached the age of four-score and ten, was of unimpeachable character and at the head of some of our largest financial institutions, but he was close in money matters, very close, and saved the pennies as well as the dollars. I knew him intimately, for I had an office for some years in the same building and saw him frequently. He was counted a good citizen, but not much given to relieving distress [of others] - such was the public estimation of his character.

The day came when he passed from the world of men, and was soon forgotten. Five years elapsed, during which period I went on with my work…

I recall vividly the evening I shall describe... This night I was not alone with Mrs. French; I had as a guest Louis P. Kirchmeyer, who had psychic sight and could actually see spirit people before they spoke, as could Mrs. French. If a spirit was personally known, either could call him by name, and if I knew him well, I could usually recognize his voice. This condition made identity in such cases beyond question. [Now we heard a voice]…

"It is so cold and dark," a voice came out of the darkness. Mr. Kirchmeyer and Mrs. French both psychically saw and recognized the gentleman mentioned above, and told me his name. After he spoke, I recognized his voice, which was somewhat peculiar. I had a high regard for this man, and, considering the lapse of five years since his passing on, was startled by what he said.

"Mr. W," I said, "I am surprised after this lapse of years to hear you make such a statement. Tell me more of your condition."

"There is around and about me a wall of money, nothing but money; it shuts out the light. It is so dark, and wherever I go I cannot get away from it, around it or over it," he replied.

"This man," said one of the spirit group who was helping in the work, "spent his whole life in accumulating money. It dominated his whole thought, it was all he builded, and in coming into this life he found only the condition he had created, and, never having developed his spirit, he sheds no light on his pathway."

Having from experience learned how to help in such cases by suggestion, I said, "Mr. W, I think you can see light if you will look. What do you see?"

"It is coming," he said, "just a ray, but wait, I see a highway leading away in the distance."

"And what do you see on that highway?" I asked.

"Nothing," he answered, "not a living thing."

"Look again," I replied.

"Yes," he said, "I now see sign boards along the sides as far as the eye will reach."

"And what, if anything, is printed on those sign boards?" I asked.

"I can only read on the first one the word 'charity.' What does it mean?" he said.

"I will tell him what it means," the same spirit who had spoken before answered. "This man never thought of charity, which is the helping of others, either by kindly words or by material aid, so with all his millions of money he came into this world a spiritual pauper. He has now found the light, will realize his misspent life, and must learn what charity is. When he has practiced it, he can read the second sign. That highway is his to travel; it is long, but it will ultimately lead him to happiness and to a wealth he has never known."

Editor’s note: This rich man, held in a prison with high walls of cash, reveals a certain teaching principle. Universal Intelligence will craft a lesson meaningful to our particular lives and sensibilities. Several years ago, via psychic medium, I endeavored to contact my great-uncle on the other side. This effort, it seems, was successful, but not pleasant. During his earth-time he was a wealthy farmer-landowner; and, like the rich businessman in the above account, had lived a very selfish life. I found uncle, by his own admission, walking and walking, always walking – endlessly traversing a vast expanse of farmland acres. As usual, he was churlish, and, at the present time, was not of a mind, not yet ready, to allow a disillusionment of endlessly counting his acres to lead him to a new wisdom.

Footnote: Uncle - on his deathbed, yet! - had given a very large amount of money to the local priest to save him from what he well knew would not be a warm welcome in the afterlife; but, to no avail.




Editor's note:

from the Gospel of Thomas:

[Thomas said] "These sayings that you utter are laughable and ridiculous to the world, for they are misunderstood. How can we go forth and preach them, since the world does not respect us?"

[Jesus said] "I tell you the truth: whoever listens to what you have to say and turns away, or sneers, or smirks at these things, will be held in a cramped dark place... They will be imprisoned there..."




a man whom many counted as a fine person had secretly lived a selfish and criminal life - he was not what people thought he was; after transition, for five years he wandered, in darkness, on the verge of terrorized insanity, unable to understand where he was or that he was dead

Editor’s note: The following testimony was received via the direct-voice mediumship of Emily French, as recorded in attorney Edward C. Randall’s book, “Frontiers Of The Afterlife.”

Spirit Guides brought a sputtering, suffering, near-insane one to the French-Randall team for counselling. Randall describes:

"I quickly recalled the individual described and spoke his name. He had been a leading citizen of a neighboring city, a large manufacturer. I recalled many evenings spent at his house with his family, and particularly did I recall his voice. On Sunday evenings he enjoyed the gathering of young people, and at such times there was often singing of popular songs, and many of the old hymns... He spoke my name as familiarly as he ever did in earth life, and I greeted him as cordially as I ever had in his home.

"I had believed that this man had led an exemplary life, for this was the general impression which prevailed in the community where he resided, and I thought he, of all men, would find the best conditions after dissolution. However, he did not yet realize that he had separated from his physical body. He knew some great change had taken place, but he had absolutely no conception of what it was, although five years had elapsed since it occurred.

"He told me that his wife and children no longer recognized him in his own home, that he spoke to them, that he called to them, that he got on his knees and shrieked their names, but he could not apparently touch them, he could not make them realize his presence; they passed him apathetically. His inability to make himself known in the home where he had always been the dominant personality, the indifference with which he was treated not only by his own family but by others with whom he came in contact, had driven him nearly to desperation.

"He could not understand the situation at all, and he was fearful that he was verging on insanity, if not completely insane.

"All was darkness about him, all things were unnatural, and he had become frantic... He was the same man, he had the same intellect, the same personality, apparently the same body. Why should he be ignored and overlooked by all whom he had known? ...

"Having in mind the exemplary life which he had led, I told him that I could not understand why he should find himself in such a mental state...

I wasn't the good person you thought me to be, I had a lot of people fooled

"... he replied that he had not lived the life for which he had been given credit...

"What shall be said of our civilization that teaches nothing of the conditions prevailing in the afterlife?"

there are people, nationally known, in the news everyday, who present themselves with 'big sloppy grins,' posing for cameras as benefactors, who, in reality, live criminal lives, bilking and milking the public, assiduously working against the common good

Recently, I was watching a movie, and suddenly, having nothing to do with the general plot, there was a short pericope about a national “Dear Leader.” A lady in the film now effusively gushed,

“Oh, I just love and adore him so much, he is so wonderful, I could just kiss him all the time.”

This disgusting mushy display issued well out-of-stream with the main narrative-line. Apparently, the script-writers, of a certain political persuasion, could not help themselves but to inject an anomalous maudlin panegyric for their favorite cult figure.

Our country is currently under attack, from within, by criminal elements, disingenuouly posing as benefactors, but accepted as such by a servile, unthinking, venal class of citizens. I’ve discussed this present threat elsewhere, and it's beyond the scope of our purposes at hand to further address this; however, these Dear Leaders, along with their most-rabid fawning and adulating followers, have a date with a dark closet, coming up fast.

There are no secrets in the afterlife. What you are, on the deep inside, will now be presented for all to see. No more hiding in censorship, manipulation, suppression of truth, masks of piety, propaganda, and general malfeasance. And those hard-core who think themselves so much more clever than others, those who make a good living at this and get up early each day to make it happen, as they engage in “off the record” criminal activity, aimed against the common good, will have to repay, to every victim, the last penny's worth of unjust gain. For some, this could take many centuries, even thousands of years, in the "rat cellar." We learn from the afterlife reports that some of the famous political and religious despots of history, even of a long time ago, are still working off their "pennies." This debt of restitution, which cannot be waived away, is directed toward the defrauded, but also to one’s own abused “true self,” the cloaked “spark of Divinity” within, the “made in the image” aspect of the sacred soul, whose development was stifled and ignored. Eventually, we're required to learn -- for 75%, in a dark place -- that natural law does not allow one to spurn, forever, the mandate to become more like God.

a vast confederacy of fools

Notice, too, that their cultish followers, ginned up with hatred, convinced of their victimhood, feeling themselves entitled to lord it over others, will not be held guiltless -- as judged by their own higher selves, not some external tribunal -- because they'd hoped to share in the unjust largesse of oppressing others.

I’m reminded of an editorial comment written by an Eastern European newsperson, well versed in the ways of brutal totalitarianism, and how these things develop, for his country had suffered greatly thereof. He stated, with profound insight and wisdom, to the effect,

“The USA can survive a single-term office of a knavish two-faced politician, but what it cannot survive is the vast confederacy of fools who put him there.”



'The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied... chains us all, irrevocably.'

STNG, season 4, episode "The Drumhead"

Editor’s note: Please accept this as footnote to the above references concerning the totalitarians in our midst, supported by their frothing minions. In this collection of reports we’ve seen how natural law effects its purposes in the next world. Those who have oppressed others, including their higher selves, abruptly find themselves on a short leash, with a tight collar. Let’s understand more clearly what all this means: We were made to love freedom, to luxuriate in personal liberties of self-expression, and to safeguard the same for others. The sacred soul derives its being as derivative entity, part of God, the author of liberty and freedom; as such, we are to reflect the Divine Parent

those who live by a standard of 'how can we fool'em today, how can we remove more of their civil liberties,' will have hell to pay

But those hard-core who live contrary to what we are on the deep inside, the “made in the image” mandate, in a heartbeat, upon loss of the mortal shell, unceremoniously find themselves in a pitch-black sewer-pit. If this were a football game, we’d say that penalty flags are falling, time out, and if the offender curses the ref, he’ll be quickly trotted off the field to cool off, no longer allowed, for a time, maybe for the season, to continue playing the game; if you see what I mean.



killing babies, under the perverted reasoning of 'choice', is just about the worst thing you could do to yourself, thereby, virtually ensuring an expedited flight to the rat-sewer

she had killed her babies with abortion, had smirked that it was her “choice,” and now she shrieked, like a lunatic in an asylum, as rats surrounded and crawled over her body, as she languished in the sewer-pit

Editor’s note: The following account is taken from one of the most instructive afterlife books: Heaven Revised by Eliza Bisbee Duffey. You’ll find the entire text on the “Afterlife” page, item #12. Much of the book is teaching from Spirit-Guide Margaret on Twin Soul marriage; it’s some of the very best on this subject. However, near the end of the narrative, we’re given a tour of the Dark Realms (very similar to what we learned from Father Benson). One of Margaret’s girlfriends - Mary, I believe her name was - has a ministry among the filthy, maggot-infested wretched there. Margaret's friend is known as “the shining lady” as she stops to encourage as many as possible during her missionary trip. But she is like Lateece, with a checkered past. There’s a particular reason why “the shining lady” spends considerable time in the “rat cellar”: somebody she loves is caught there, and he cannot yet bring himself to forgive himself for his past wrongs against her; she weeps with him, but then moves on. However, on this day, we are introduced to another hapless and frantic individual, someone who had aborted, had killed, her own babies. Mary is on duty:

ditches filled with slime

Still we descended. It became so dark that we had almost to grope our way, but, here and there, there seemed to be beacon fires, which lit up the scene with a lurid glare. At last we reached a plain. The path seemed to lie narrow and uncertain between morasses on either hand. Here and there ditches, half-filled with slime, were revealed in the fitful light of the fires.

Editor’s note: At times, I refer to the Dark Realms as the “rat cellar” and the “sewer pit.” No hyperbole, here’s what they saw, in the general environs: A huge serpent lay coiled at his feet... Lizards crawled over his feet, and rats and all sorts of noisome creatures ran or crept hither and thither about him.

Forms as of strange, hideous creatures crouched here and there, and glared at us with flaming eyes and hungry faces. I shuddered and cowered, and drew closer to my companion, who walked confidently and fearlessly along the path, her radiant atmosphere gleaming out in the semi-darkness. The path seemed to stretch far ahead through a landscape whose dreary monotony was almost unbearable. Low clouds hung over our heads, and they, too, were lit up with fiery touches by the fires. Great bats flapped their wings and circled round and round overhead, and once the melancholy call of an owl fell upon my ear. Presently other strange cries and wails reached me, causing my blood to run cold with horror. Involuntarily I exclaimed:

"Listen to the wails of lost souls!"

"Truly, yes," responded my companion; "souls to whom were given the light of truth and the guide of conscience, and the knowledge of the spirit, but who willfully turned their backs upon them all, and thus forfeited heaven and happiness. Their souls are lost in this morass, while the darkness which envelops them prevents their finding the path again without great difficulty. Here they must wander and struggle and wail and despair, until they willingly open their hearts to the truth, and reach out their hands for that help which will surely be given them when they sincerely desire it."

Here and there were rudely constructed huts which seemed to serve the purposes of shelter for the wretched inhabitants of this sphere. In front of one of these sat a woman with disheveled hair and distorted countenance, wringing her hands, and now and then uttering fierce cries. My companion paused to speak with her.

"Will you tell me the cause of your distress?" she asked.

At first the only reply was inarticulate raving; but presently the maniac, for so she seemed, became calmer, and with a confidence inspired by the sweet, pure face of the questioner, she wailed out:

she knows very well, in endless torment, what she did: she murdered her unborn babies

"I murdered my unborn babes one after another. I had not the excuse of shame which I wished to conceal. I was a fashionable woman, and I wanted my time to devote to society and my own amusement, and children would be in the way; so I murdered them, poor helpless things, murdered by the one who should rather have sacrificed her life to protect them. Oh, I am a murderess!" she fairly shrieked. "Sometimes their little innocent faces look down reproachfully out of the clouds, and then I go mad, mad, mad!" and indeed she did, manifesting all the symptoms of the most violent form of insanity...

"Do you ever call for your injured children to come to you? " my companion asked the wretched woman.

"Call for them!? How should I dare to do so? They would curse me!"

"No, they would come to love and bless and help you."

"Oh, if I only thought so! If I only dared!" and for a moment her ravings ceased in thoughtful silence.

"Learn to forget yourself and your own misery, and think of these little ones whom you might have loved and cherished. Learn to love them, and love will work wonders for you."

A gleam of hope came into the despairing eyes, and we passed on, leaving her with that new-born hope to comfort her heart.

"When she calls for them in love, then those little ones will be brought to her, and will help to lead her out of this terrible place," was what my companion said to me.

"You leave a word of comfort with everyone," I remarked...

Editor’s note: Our disgusting and poisonous politics today elevates killing babies to a status of civil liberty, a human right, a personal “choice.” Those who think this way, and allow this kind of atrocity, have no idea what they’re doing to their spirits, with the darkness they invite to themselves – which they will take with them to the next world. The worst of the lot are the power-hungry political leaders, those with the big sloppy tv grins, who say it’s ok to indulge in all this barbarity. Do not envy them. These hard-core enemies of society are perverting themselves to such degree that, very likely, they will not muster the moral strength to climb out of the sewer-pit, possibly, for centuries, or even, thousands of years. We have reports of the despotic villains of Earth’s history, some of whom are still in the lowest places, even after thousands of years. But this is not even the worst of it. In Father Benson’s account, concerning the lowest dark places, the inhabitants thereof do not even appear to be human anymore, but present themselves with long claws and animal-like features; mirroring their predator natures that, in fact, they secreted when you saw them on tv.

At what point in the development of a fetus does the human spirit enter the inchoate body?

The following is from Flashes of Light from the Spirit-land, through the mediumship of Mrs. J. H. Conant, by Allen Putnam , Frances Ann Conant, 1872.

Question: Is the spirit of the infant an emanation from that of the parents...

Answer. The infant is physically a physiological result of the parents’ life, but spiritually it is not. It is a spirit independent of either father or mother; you may be sure of this. It is from God, the Great Spirit, the Father and Mother, the Whole, the Universal Life.

Question. [Concerning] the spirit of the infantAt what period during the incubation does it take possession of the human organism?

Answer. At conception.

Additionally, Silver Birch, strongly advised against abortion:

“From the moment of conception, the spirit has incarnated into a woman’s womb. When it is aborted, it will continue to be a spiritual body, however immature, and grow and develop. You may have destroyed the means of physical expression, but you have not destroyed the spirit that was there.”

He also asserted, in line with the above report from Eliza Duffey, that those who abort their babies will yet meet their slain children to give account of their criminal conduct.

Special note: There are some on the other side who deny the importance of abortion and would grant license to this barbaric practice. However, there are also those over there who indulge the fantasy of reincarnation. In the “500 tape-recorded messages from the other side” writing we learned of an entire class of wanna-be teachers, many millions of them, in the next world, but condemned by those claiming to be wiser heads. Who is correct? When we cross over, one is not issued a “holy book” listing all truths. Instead, we must “go within” to consult with our own sacred deeper selves to find “the answer” on these and all other debated questions.



when does the soul enter the body 

Afterlife researcher Mark Macy, focusing on communications via electronic equipment, has received comments from spirit entities concerning abortion:

Mark's team asked scientists on the other side whether the soul of the being enters as soon as the cell has developed in the woman’s body. Swejen Salter replied:

Yes, at the moment the body disappears here and the conception has taken place on Earth, the soul has entered the cell.

Anne de Guigné (pronounced “geenyay”) was a remarkable French girl who died in 1922 at age 11. Today in the spirit-world she is head of “the Group to Protect Newborn Life.” She sent Mark Macy’s associates this letter, received on two different electronic devices, unconnected to the internet:

As a little girl in France I got very ill. I was an important source of information (for higher beings monitoring her life on Earth). Through spiritual insight and prayer I learned from the omnipotence that I was better able to understand the things I needed to know here on the third level and could do more for mankind from here than on Earth.

I desired the change into a multi-dimensional world and was allowed a fast passing over to a world some memory of which was still alive in me. It is the same beautiful world you have heard about from others like me.

There are 35,000 to 40,000 children dying daily on Earth. My task became clear to me. Together with other scientists, physicians and theologians I am in charge of a group for the protection of all newborn life. We are particularly concerned about those who have to die as children.

As you know, the concept of guilt does not exist here. However, we do not understand your overall attitude towards these entities who voluntarily walk the path of incarnation and are part of the all-that-is.

In particular it is your consciousness that bears the responsibility for your children, not only by evolutionary law but also by the natural laws of the all-that-is.

Be aware therefore that the wars and violent events caused by you, and from which particularly your innocent children suffer, are not sparing you part of the so-called purgatory [ie dark detention]. Just the opposite. Every debt you shoulder by sacrificing your own flesh and blood to wars is adding to the misery, the suffering that awaits you.

The more you create your own hell on Earth by your criminal deeds and negligence, the less it will be diminished for you here later. Therefore consider carefully what you do and be aware that everything will be observed and weighed

We know that those among you who are actively pursuing ITC in a positive manner, are not evil people. We want to encourage you to oppose crimes against the defenseless. You can do this by leading an honest life in accordance with spiritual cooperation.

Anne Guigné is greeting you, especially your children.



those who become unreasonable and belligerent at the mention of ‘the afterlife,’ rest assured, are afraid of something

Editor’s note: The following testimony was received via the direct-voice mediumship of Emily French, as recorded in attorney Edward C. Randall’s book, “The Dead Have Never Died.” The original discussion, rather lengthy, has been abbreviated.

Randall reports that a confused spirit made entrance, but unaware as to his location:

"By what right do you presume to compel my presence in this house?"

The room was in absolute darkness; the voice of one called by the world, "dead," trembling with anger broke upon the stillness of the night.

"Do you understand the situation in which you find yourself?" I asked.

"I do not, and will not allow any man to dictate to me," he replied.

"You are not afraid?" I said.

"Afraid! I am not afraid of God or man, and I will not remain here."

"It might be to your advantage if you would... For many years," I replied, "I have been engaged in psychical research, with this psychic who sits opposite me, trying to obtain a practical solution of that great physical change called death."

"What has that to do with me? I am not dead nor am I interested in the subject," he answered.

"Wait a moment, please. You will be interested when I tell you that I have discovered something of the daily life and environment of the individual after he has ceased to be an inhabitant of the earth-plane."

"You are entirely mistaken in your statements; there is no survival - no continuity of life. Death is the end."

"Are you sure?"

"Absolutely," he replied.

"Suppose," I answered, "I could prove to you here and now, that death, so-called, is but a physical change, the separation of the life-force from the flesh garment, that substance with which it is clothed during its journey on this plane...

"There is no such thing as life after death," he said... “I cannot accept a word you say about a life after death. There is no other life - there can be none - a man dies like a dog."

"I am going to try to explain what life is, before I give you the absolute proof of what I state.”

"Talk sense," he retorted, "we have all seen dead people, have seen their bodies buried, and you tell me there are no dead."

Again I said, "You fail to understand what I have been telling you. We bury the physical bodies but not the spirit bodies; one is just as material as the other."

"I don't comprehend you, and I don't care to continue the discussion. I think I will say goodnight... I am as much alive as you, and my body is quite as substantial as yours," he said.

"Hold up your hand as I do mine, and see if there is any difference between the two."

"Yes," he answered, "there is a difference, I now discover. Yours is opaque, but mine is transparent. I can see right through my hand. Is this hypnotic suggestion?"

"No," I said, "you are facing new conditions tonight.”

“I think now I have been very ill, and one always looks as I do after long sickness," he replied.

"Speaking of illness, what do you recall about your last illness?"

"My memory seems hazy, but it is coming back to me. I recall lying on a bed, the physician waiting, my wife and children sobbing. The doctor said, 'he is passing now.' That did give me a start; there were some who would like to see me dead - but I fooled them - for I did not die. If I had died, how could I be here?"

"What do you know about death?" I said.

"I don't know anything about it, and I don't want to."

"But when that time comes to you, you will be obliged to know, whether you desire to or not," I replied.

"Well, I am willing to wait, and I don't want to talk about it. I never did."

Editor's note: This latter is the classic guileful response: "One world at a time, one life at a time, I'll worry about that later." Each time it's used, the sophist believes that he's cleverly said something new.

"Suppose I tell you that you have already made that change."

"It would be foolish to tell me such a thing when I am here talking to you."

“You have been so intent on our conversation, I think that you have not looked around-look, what do you see?"

"My God! People, people, people! All strangers, and all looking at me, all with bodies like my own; what strange hallucination is this? Where am I? What am l?"

"You are no longer an inhabitant of this world but are actually living in the afterlife. Are there none you know among those you see, who, to your knowledge, are counted among the dead, so called?" I asked.

"Not one, but wait, there comes - John - my old partner. Why does he, of all men, come? He is dead. I helped bury him. I was his executor. Take him and that woman and the boy away. I won't see them, I tell you. They are dead, all dead. They are coming to arrest me. How can they, when they are all dead? Tell me, tell me tell me quick."

"What wrong did you do?" I asked.

"Wrong? Who said I did them any wrong? I was faithful to the trust."

In answer, another spirit spoke. "No, you were not faithful. You stole the money entrusted to you for my wife and child, and left them to suffer. There never was, and never can be a secret in the world. When you kept from my loved ones that which I left for their support and let them die in want, I saw, and all your friends in spirit life saw your act and the working of your mind."

"No secret in the world? My crime known! The dead alive! Have I, too, left my physical body to find life when I thought to find oblivion? Am I to meet all those I have wronged? I cannot face the future! Darkness is gathering! I am falling! God help me!"

The voice faltered, struggled for further speech, and was lost... he spoke no more.

We had participated in one of the most remarkable experiences that it has been the privilege of man to have. We had talked with one who had left the physical body, and witnessed his awakening.

Editor's note:

when ‘the afterlife’ is brought up in conversation, almost everyone becomes nervous, or feigns apathy, begins to bluster how it’s not important, wants to immediately change the subject

The average person hasn’t done anything so wicked in his or her life as to warrant breaking out in a cold sweat; when they do, however, this elevation of heart-rate is likely a product of noxious religious teaching, resulting in, what we called, a floating “existential guilt,” courtesy of the infallible teachings of Dear Mother Cult. Having been assaulted by her "fake news," low-information disciples will suffer apprehensiveness for now; nevertheless, for those just trying to make their way through this "endless nightmare" on planet Earth, there’s really no need to worry. Everything will be fine. Nothing that's befallen us is irreversibly calamitous.  (See the "holodeck" writing.)

However, for those like Randall’s house guest, blathering on how he “doesn’t know and doesn’t care” about what comes next, we can be certain that this is all he does care about: the gentleman "protesteth too much.” Some people have serious skeletons in their closet, and they have good reason to be wary, and they know it. They’re right in line with the above-mentioned totalitarian politicians.



those who 'can't hear you' today will find, upon crossing over, that they're unable to hear anything


Why is it that many people will hate you just for disagreeing with them? They cannot hear you – even if reasonings are cogent and information is accurate.

Many are so identified with an ideal that, if you disagree with it, they will hate you, and some, if they could, would try to kill you.

Why the vitriol? Why not just believe what you want to believe and turn away and not say anything? But today, more and more, we see the venomous political attacks, the vicious statements on social media, the hate-filled rhetoric of those who disagree -- and with an air of moral superiority.

the inability of true-believers to hear you is an expression of allegiance to Dear Leader

When we thoroughly identify with a thought-form, an ideal, a mental picture of utopia – especially, a vision promoted by a Dear Leader, who wears a “mask of piety claiming moral superiority, stoking the anger of a purported victim class – then the true-believer followers will feel justified to commit any atrocity in support of said utopian vision. The great psychologists call this sense of permission the "divine numen", ie, the approving "nod" from on high.

And what does it mean to “thoroughly identify with a thought-form”?

The dysfunctional ego is led by dark perceptions of “I don’t have enough” because “I am not enough.” And because it feels itself as “not enough,” it will seek for a “strong father figure,” a Dear Leader, under whose mantle the ego seeks for safety and shelter in a hostile world. The ego will “identify” with this external authority, that is, it will “make itself equal to” this faux authority, will psychologically attach itself to it.

And this is why we meet so many people who are so angry when they’re disagreed with. To them, it’s not just an argument to be lost, but it feels like they’re fighting for their lives. They’ve attached their existential sense of worth, and of life itself, to precepts issued by Dear Leader. It is the sought-for security of the little child finding refuge in the shadow of a godlike parent.

'I can't hear you'

Children play the game of "I can't hear you" with a mock, sing-song voice, and then pretend to create a barrier of noise with "la, la, la, la..."

Adults do this, too, when they block you out and can't hear you. It happens when they fully identify with some external authority.


In his seminal and prophetic work, 1984 (published 1949), George Orwell coins a term, “ownlife.” Totalitarians encourage their subjects toward a servile docility, an identification and psychological attachment. Those who resist such sublimation of autonomy are accused of clinging to “ownlife,” an insistence on individualization - and as such are deemed to be “dangerous,” “insurrectionists,” “domestic terrorists” by the dystopian autocrats.

a terrorized mind is incapable of listening

This state of total identification with an external source of salvation, a surrendering of self and critical faculties, is fueled by a terrorized mind – a dysfunction which believes “I don’t have enough” because “I am not enough.” This fearful mental state makes one incapable of living freely, incapable of listening, incapable of opening oneself to the messages of life.

a terrorized mind will block anything that threatens its security and safety

This is why, when you meet a true-believer such as this, you cannot talk to them; no matter how cogent your reasonings, they are incapable of listening. The fearful true-believer did not accept his or her beliefs on the basis of rational argument and careful weighing of evidence, and so they won’t be “argued out of” their mental positions by careful reasoning, either. More information, more content of the mind, will not help them, but only an upward shift in consciousness will solve this problem.

they can't hear you

The terrorized mind of the "inner child" blocks out anything that might threaten safety and security, which they believe will be secured by obediently following the dictates of Dear Leader as "strong father figure".

READ MORE on the "true self" page.



Julia on the other side states that losing one's soul is the same as losing one's true self 

The following is channeled information from the other side via the mediumship of William T. Stead (automatic writing), reported in the book After Death, or Letters From Julia (1905).

William T. Stead (1849-1912) was one of the greatest crusading journalists of the late 19th century, and also one of the most vocal supporters of Spiritualism. He promoted spirit photography, championed the causes of various mediums, and established the "Julia Bureau" for communications between the bereaved and their loved ones. Stead published a series of hugely influential campaigns whilst editor of The Pall Mall Gazette, and he is best known for his 1885 series of articles, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. He died on the 1912 ill-fated voyage of the Titanic; after which he communicated via various mediums his experiences in the afterlife.

Editor’s note: The communicating spirit Julia (below) employs the term “soul” to mean, in her own words, the “real self,” or, as we have denoted in these writings, the “true self.”



The Worst Evil of the Day (communicated July 11, 1897)

The worst evil of the present day is not its love of money, nor its selfishness. No, but its Loss of the Soul. You forget that the Soul is the thing. And that all that concerns the body … is of no [fundamental] importance.

But what you have to realize is that men and women in this generation have lost their souls. And this is a terrible truth. It is not what we used to think of losing the Soul in hell, after laying aside the body.

It is a thing not of the future only, but of the present. Your Soul is lost now. And you have to find it.

What Lost Soul Means

When I say lost, I mean it. You have lost it as you might lose a person in a crowd. It is severed from you. You are immersed in matter and you have lost your Soul. And the first, the most pressing of all things, is to find your Soul. For until you find it you are little better than an active automaton, whose feverish movements have no real significance, no lasting value. The Loss of the Soul, that is the Malady of the Day; and to find the Soul is the Way to Salvation.

How the Soul Has Been Lost

The finding of the Soul is the first thing and the most important thing. You will never find it unless you give yourself time to think, time to pray, time to realize that you have a soul. … All is rush, and jump, and whirl [in this world], and your Soul gets lost, crowded out of your life. You have so many engagements that you have no time to live the Soul-life. That is what you have to learn. No doubt your work is important, and duty must be done. But what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own Soul?

How to Find the Soul

Now I will go to speak as to how to find the Soul. There is only one way. There is no chance of salvation if you never give yourself time to think on things that are timeless, that transcend time, that will be when time shall be no more… And if you would find your Soul you must give time to the search...

The Importance of the Soul: It's the Real, the True Self

What seems to me quite clear is that the indifference to the Soul is caused by not understanding that the Soul is the Real Self, the only part of you which lasts, the Divine in you, which you are sacrificing to the things of the day.

What you do not understand is that it is through the Soul alone that you can commune with the Spiritual World that is all around you. And the Spiritual World includes all the world excepting the perishing things of time. When we say Spiritual World [where your loved ones are] all these are lost to you when you lose your Soul. For the Soul alone communicates with the Real World.

It is through the Soul you obtain inspiration. The Soul links you with the Universe of God, with the Soul of the World. And when you lose touch with your Soul you become a mere prisoner in the dungeon of matter, through which you peer a little way by the windows of the senses.  

Its Divine Powers

For what I say is that the Soul has Divine powers, but if you will but find your Soul, and develop its Divine potency, there is opened before you a new heaven and a new earth, in which Absence [from loved ones] is not [real], nor Death, and where the whole Universe of Love is yours. Yes, I maintain that what you call miracles are the natural capacities of the Soul. Miracles of Healing, Miracles of Movement, Miracles of Power, which you little dream of, are within the scope of the Soul.

'you are as caterpillars to what you might be'

All that you have read of about the power of Spirit over Matter is nothing to the reality. You are as caterpillars to what you might be.

But the doorway into the Infinite is the Soul, and the Soul is lost. When you have no time to think, no time to pray, you have no time to live…

The Cause of Misery

For the whole of the evils that afflict society arise from the lack of seeing things from the standpoint of the Soul. If you lived for the Soul, cared for what made the Soul a more living reality, and less for the meat and drink and paraphernalia of the body, the whole world would be transfigured; you have got a wrong standpoint and everything is out of focus

It is possible to lose your Soul in church as well as [in the affairs of the world]. If you have no leisure to be alone with your Soul — it does not so much matter whether the rush and whirl and preoccupation is ecclesiastical or financial — the Soul is lost, and there is nothing to do but to find it again.

Make the Soul the Center

You may sum up what I have to say in one or two words. What I wish you to do is to make the Soul the center, and make time to use the Soul, which alone can do all things. Make Time to save Eternity, nay, to possess it now and to know God [now]. JULIA.

Editor's note: See much discussion on "finding the soul," the "true self," on the "afterlife item #26" page.



Editor's last word:

95 - 75 - 20 - 5

Jiddu Krishanmurti, after 60 years of teaching the importance of personal responsibility for one's spiritual growth, said that 95% of people are not interested in "going within" and finding the locus of one's life. 75%, according to Dresser, are severely dysfunctional in this regard, and another 20% also have some "overdue homework to hand in." Only 5% are more-or-less spiritually minded upon entering Summerland; and of these, they say, only a very small handful have a good working knowledge of how the afterlife operates.

The 20%, however, allow themselves into Summerland; but, that's the end of the good news, for, as we find in "the 500 tape-recorded messages from the other side," so many in Summerland are still quite immature and materialistic in their thinking.

Why do 'the 20%' find themselves in Summerland if they’re not fully mature and still somewhat materialistic in their thinking?

Their higher selves allow them into Summerland; as this is the case, we might rightfully presume that whatever lessons need to be learned, they will be best learned in Summerland.

they only trouble themselves

The “20%” are not bad people. They like to talk about helping others and living a good life. They smile and are friendly, and won’t cause you any trouble. They only trouble themselves.

These “20%” view Summerland in a materialistic way. For them, it’s not unlike a trip to Disneyworld or the Caymans. So much to do, so many opportunities for good times and the good life. And that is true - it’s just that, if that’s all you have, you’ll soon be tired of Summerland just as you’d grow tired of Disneyworld or the Caymans.

There’s no need, say “the 20%,” to “go within,” to access the true self. "Why bother," they believe, “I’m already doing pretty well. I’m a good person, I try very hard to help others and do the right thing, so I’m ok.” But, as we’ve said, “the 20%” soon will fill the ranks of the “insane 500.”

aversion therapy

And so, why are they in Summerland with their materialistic view of life? Shouldn’t they be “working on their overdue homework” in some Shadowland? In their situation, apparently not. The best way for “the 20%” to “come to themselves” – a phrase borrowed from the “prodigal son” parable – in a kind of aversion therapy, is to enter into their materialistic delusions in a full and complete way, to sate themselves on it, and thereby gain a new perspective concerning the limitations of materialism.

We cannot, eventually, and forever, ignore the soul's mandate to know both itself and Source. God made us to be thoughtful, enquiring beings, living from a "sacred center," and we pervert ourselves to evade becoming who we were meant to be.

Summerland can become a prison cell, a great venue for existential crisis. As fun and pleasant as a trip to Disneyworld might be, we wouldn’t want to be trapped there with a sense that “this is all there is.” For “the 20%,” this disillusionment will eventually become a signpost leading them home.

additional note concerning numbers:

I came across this:

From Dr. Carl Wickland, “The Gateway Of Understanding”:

“Michael Faraday, distinguished English physicist and chemist of the Royal Institute, had refused, while in earth life, to recognize Psychic Research but upon entering the Spirit World realized his error and became interested in the interrelationship of the physical and spirit worlds. In a spirit communication from Faraday, detailed observations on obsession are given from the spirit viewpoint:

Not one in ten thousand enter the spirit realm with any true ideas of its realities. Thrown upon its shores like ship-wrecked mariners upon an unknown coast, without information or conception of its conditions, they drift in their thoughts and feelings to the only state of life in which they have ever perceived sensation and find themselves within the atmosphere of the earth to which they cling with nearly as much tenacity as though living in the physical body and seek no other pleasure than to still live there.

Faraday’s figure suggests that far less than one percent are prepared for transition. Even so, some of these dysfunctional ones allow themselves into Summerland; but this deficit will need to be addressed at some point as it's not possible to negotiate the "better neighborhoods" of eternal life with a materialistic mindset.

Editor's note: Please see my further commentary on the above reports, featured on the previous page