The Blue Island: Experiences of a New Arrival Beyond the Veil (2 of 2)
W. T. Stead, Estelle. W. Stead and Pardoe Woodman (eds.), (1922)
VIII - The Reality of Thought Communication
In trying to establish a definite form of communication between the earth sphere and the Blue Island, people are always looking for the return of the physical part of the individual. They find it exceedingly difficult to accept even the most pressing mental tests as being a proof of communication; and in giving so much attention to this physical form, they nearly all overlook the form of thought communication, which is much more personal and very much less tainted by outside influences, such as the medium's mind, or other sitters...antagonism, or bias either way. This thought communication is a much more real form than is accepted by the majority of believers in the possibility of it.
In concentrating the mind on any one spirit person, you are sending out real, live, active forces. These forces pass through the air in precisely the same way as electric waves do, and they never miss their mark. You concentrate on Mr. A. in the spirit world, and immediately Mr. A. is conscious of a force coming to him. In this land we are much more sensitive than whilst on earth, and when thoughts are directed to us by people on your side, we have a direct call from those currents of thought thus generated, and we are practically always able to come in close contact with the person who is thinking of us ; when near and acclimatized to his conditions we can impress thoughts and ideas upon his mind. He will seldom accept them for what they are, but will think they are his own normal thoughts or something of an hallucination. Nevertheless, if frequent opportunity is given he will be startled at the amount of information he can record. This applies to everyone, not merely to the believer in these subjects. Anyone who sits for a moment and allows his mind to dwell on some dear one who has "died" will actually draw the spirit of that person to himself. He may be conscious or unconscious of the presence, but the presence is there.
If people on earth realized the result of their thoughts upon those to whom they refer, they would be very much more careful in giving their mind free play. There are so many thoughts possible, and all of them are registered here ; many of them affect the people they concern, but all of them affect the people from whom they emanate.
Perhaps in telling you all thoughts are recorded I am making it more difficult for you to accept and understand. It will be better, therefore, to explain that by "all thoughts," I refer only to all "direct" thoughts. In reality every thought is registered; the personal ones are, as I have previously said, of no importance so long as they are not allowed to grow into destructive thoughts.
In speaking of direct thought I mean you to understand positive thoughts, about other people, pleasant or unpleasant, and not the thoughts of everyday trivialities.
Many people find it impossible to believe that every direct thought they have is registered, or that it can in any way influence or affect the person concerned, or return to influence themselves, but this is so.
You are fully aware of the influence given by any one person who is deeply depressed or more than usually excited and happy. Each of you has felt this influence. This is, of course, caused by the lowered or raised mental vibrations, giving out particularly strong currents of either depression or happiness.
They are equally strong currents in themselves although they act differently upon the people with whom they come into contact. It is in this way that all direct thoughts act. Frequently the subject is not conscious of these thoughts upon himself, but the influence is there in a subtle and greater or lesser degree of strength, and all these thoughts are very definitely registered in the mind of the thinker, long after the incident itself has passed.
When coming to this land, that whole record has to be dealt with. Not by a judge in wig and gown, but by our own spirit selves. In spirit life we have a full and clear remembrance of all these things and, according to the quality of these individual thoughts, so we are brought into a state of regret, happiness or unhappiness, despair or satisfaction. It is here that we meet with the desire to make return, to put right all the discomfort and distress, minor or major, as it may be, caused by thoughtless mind action whilst on earth.
This is why I say that whilst on earth it is not only advisable, but essential, to keep your minds under control and in order. It is only wisdom so to do. The difficulty is that people will not realize this whilst upon earth, although they know from their own inner consciousness that I am stating a truth.
I want you all to try and realize the results you are making, the unhappiness you are causing others, and the regret and sorrow you are laying up for yourselves in the next world when you have to face the conditions you have made. Remember that your minds are the generating houses. You are building up whatever is to be your next condition, precisely and exactly by the lives you are leading on earth, by your thoughts and by the degree to which your body controls your mind instead of your mind ruling supreme. So long as you are upon earth you are Body (Physical) and Soul (Mind) and Spirit (Self). When you come here you are Mind (Soul) and Self (Spirit) only. Therefore for your own future happiness it is essential that your Mind should rule during earth life. It is for you to say whether it shall do so. If you are willing to pay your bill when you come over, carry on as you are, but there is no further credit given, you have to settle it here. If you are a quarter as practical as you each and all think you are, you will see to it that the mind leads. It can lead very delightfully, although you may think it leads only to religious restriction—it does not only lead there; it leads to all earth's pleasures, all earth's enjoyments, but it always holds the ruling hand, and can stop at the right time, whereas the body cannot, and so it runs up debts which have to be paid, and paid sometimes very dearly and bitterly.
Earth was made beautiful for Man to enjoy—not merely to tantalize him—lead him on and then say "No"! That is not the way of our blessed Creator. He has given beauty and the faculty of enjoying beauty to all mankind, and so long as the mind rules it will continue to be beauty, but when only the body rules, influencing and degrading the mind as it will, then trouble lies ahead. Much trouble and much acute regret.
When we are here our minds work in the same manner, they obey the same rules, and the presence or absence of body does not hinder our thinking powers, and consequently there is no difficulty in coming into touch with some of our people left behind and being in close touch with them, influencing them greatly; although many of them are unconscious of it. I want you to think of this and to realize that your own people can come to you, that thought is all-powerful, and that you can build up or destroy, help or hinder, draw near you, or drive away from you the people incarnate and discarnate, who were and who are so dear to each of you by this power of thought.
Thought communication is the closest link between the two worlds, but it must be well ordered and well trained brain action. You must not imagine that every idea which enters your mind is put there by a spirit person; it is not so at all, but at the same time, if you train your mind in the way an athlete trains his body, you can then ask for and receive great knowledge and much help, both spiritual and material.
A subject of this importance and interest is full of queries. Each one has his own questions to put, and each brings what he considers a hitherto unnoticed point. I want, if possible, to answer a few of these constantly recurring queries now. I had many put to me during my investigations whilst on earth, and some of them I can answer at last. I want you first to realize that by the change of death you do not become part of the Godhead immediately. The mysteries of life are not revealed to you as a kind of welcoming gift on your arrival here. You must not think that I, or any, have full knowledge on all subjects, profound and trivial, the moment we come to spirit life....I cannot tell you when your grandson will next require new shoes ...nor can I tell you the settlement of the Irish question. I can only see a little farther than you, and I do not by any means possess the key to the door of All Knowledge and All Truth. That, we have each to work for ...and as we pass through one door we find another in front of us to be unlocked ...and another, and another.
But, on the other hand, remember that I do know considerably more than you do, because I am in more intimate touch with the Main Source of knowledge, and I have passed through an experience which is still ahead of you all.
I should like first to speak about the word "conditions" and its true meaning. It is a word which is grossly misapplied in all forms of psychic work. It is given as a reason for this or that failure—for a success—for any peculiarity in result, and it is looked upon as necessary in any apartment in which a meeting is to be held. Rightly and wrongly—usually wrongly. The main factor or essential in obtaining good results lies in the condition of the sitter's mind more than in the room he is in. The mental attitude and the physical state of the sitter is of very much more importance than the presence of draped windows, thick carpets, exotic perfumes, etc. etc.; it is the method of mental approach which matters chiefly. That is a feature often overlooked by even first grade sensitives....Certain "extras" if rightly used and properly directed round the apartment, such as a cheerful face, pleasant flowers, laughter and brightness, these are all quite useful assets, but they are not the essentials.
Some people always try to reduce to ridicule communication with the next world, one of the greatest of God's blessings to mankind, and complain of what they consider to be the senseless conditions ruling at a séance. Many of these conditions, as I have said, are meaningless and sometimes a hindrance, but at the same time others are necessary according to the kind of communication sought after.
To make my point, I must recall to you how conditions govern everything, and so much does everything depend upon given suitable conditions, that people do not even notice that this is so. The simplest and perhaps the most useful example of this, is in making a pot of tea. You must have the tea in a certain condition, you must have the water in a certain condition—if you do not, you get poor results. Your flowers—you have your seeds in a certain condition of dryness and you put them to earth when the climate is in a certain condition, according to time of year, and, once planted, you tend your plants, flowers, trees, everything according to the conditions they demand.
We demand conditions. Why should you think that this great scientific work can be governed, mastered by inexperienced hands at any take-it-or-leave-it moment? You cannot reasonably expect it, and if you do you won't get it! Conditions govern earth and all forms of life on it, from an earlier state than that when consciousness begins—but I tell you many of the conditions demanded by intelligent workers in this subject are futile, and worse—harmful. You cannot achieve success in anything, or along any line, by directing your force in opposition to your intelligence. A vast number do, in this subject, and that is why there is so much failure. You may as well try to take a photograph without putting any film into the camera and, because you get no result, say the whole thing is impossible and fraudulent. You must have conditions in order to secure success in any and everything. It is due to lack of these necessary conditions that we fail sometimes to influence a person to do or not to do a certain act. A father, in spirit life, may be fully conscious of his son contemplating a certain deed, say, suicide or murder, or anything of that kind. Such knowledge will cause great sorrow to the father, and he will work his utmost to influence the son, to direct his thoughts, and destroy the idea of whatever is contemplated; but at such time the son is in an abnormal state of excitement, which nearly always prevents our influence from getting to him and working upon him. It is not at all a state of happiness for the father, because he is fully aware of his son's acts, and he is powerless to prevent him.
In action we are free. Absolutely free. We have graduated in the Blue School. We are free to go amongst the other spheres. The lands where many or several—or none—of our own people are. We can go to them, and we can take help from those more developed, and give help to those less fortunate. Help by advice, help by demonstration, and help by association. We are still living on the Blue Island: not yet do we pass to the next sphere for domicile.
As we are able to travel among these other lands, so we are able to be in constant touch with earth. Thoughts of us sent out by people on earth reach us, and we can sense from whom they come, and can follow up the person, if so desired. We would not get every thought from anyone who happened to see our names and make a casual remark, but from anyone with whom we were intimate whilst on earth a thought of us will come straight, as along a telephone wire from one house to another, and if we wish we can come. In this way we are able to help people left behind. We can follow their actions and their minds, and influence them one way or the other, according to our idea of what is for their good; but we cannot do impossible things even for those dearest to us.
Whilst on earth one can give advice, but one cannot force it into practice—so here we can influence but not create. Having attained this state there is no parting, there is no sting in death, we can be with our own beyond us, with us, below us, and with those still on earth. Separation and partings are not known except by the law of attraction and affection. We leave people behind on the earth who dutifully mourn for us, who are genuinely upset at their loss—but after a while, short or long—their remembrance of us grows thin. They cease to think of us, to recall us, and to remember our companionship. Those are the only partings. In some cases even those people come back to our lives when they themselves come to this land. Gradually, as they throw off the influences which dimmed their remembrance of us, they find the foundation of the old affection. Sometimes it is untouched; sometimes spoilt but these are the only partings.
A spirit who comes here, and is anxious to get in touch with earth ties, may be made more unhappy by being with the earth people, for if they do not understand that he is still alive, they are all sadness, and they think of him as dead—as something finished. Although the spirit will go to them a great deal at first, the earth people will not know he is there, and seeing them but being unable to make his presence known causes him much disappointment and sorrow, and gradually he will go to them less and less. Realizing that they are ignorant of his presence and think only of him as dead, he will finally stay away altogether, content to wait until they join him.
This accounts for many people who are not apparently making any attempt to communicate, and for earth people to say that this cannot be true because their dearest so-and-so never made any sign to them.
When you are over in this life you will not be continually associated with people who are not of interest to you. On earth you eliminate, as far as practical, the people who tire and try you—but here that can be done effectively because those feelings and instincts are entirely mutual. The governing force is love. Affections bind people together, and if the love between any two, or any group, is a strong and real thing, then those people are in close unison and happiness together. But wherever the love is not on both or all sides, there is automatically a falling away of the affected party. Nothing uneven or unequal holds. When you come, through death, you are attracted by the ties of love into the set of people who vibrate the same affection, and if you have had an affection for another which is not equally shared, although you will at first be together, you will gradually and yet quietly cease to attract each other, and cease to be in each other's company.
X—The State of Freedom
Everything is ordered. I have touched lightly upon my first arrival and my impression of the new surroundings, and of my first return to earth and the manner of it. Without giving technical and scientific formulae at all, I think I have given you a fair picture and a rough idea of the next step after earth life. What I have said applies to all the human race. Whites, blacks and yellows—there is no differentiation; one rule holds for all races of mankind.
I shall pass for the present to a further stage.
I may return to say more about the Blue Island, but now I will leave all life there to continue on its way, and will deal with a further point of development—the state of being rid of most of earth instincts. Once rid of these we are able to pass with comparative ease, and almost at will, from one sphere to another and from this or another sphere back to earth; keeping thereby in close association with our own people—or those of them who desire it. We help by influencing them in their daily lives and actions, and we do this without in any way retarding our own work, development and construction of character. Character is the main thing to be studied.
Whilst on the Blue Island I studied, as all do, the secrets of self and of life, and I came to realize the vastness of Creation. It is not life on earth and then life on this island only. As progress is made and earth's inclinations and habits are put aside, so other interests take their places and then comes the desire for true knowledge. As others do and will do, so did I. I fell into line also, and as I learned so I progressed. Capacity for wisdom grew with the wisdom acquired.
I had learnt of the existence of other lands besides this island, and at one time it seemed as incredible as the possible existence of this land does to many now on earth; but eventually the time came when I was taken to these other spheres. I cannot tell where they are, but it was like traveling amongst the stars. It seems as if we left our world and traveled through space until we reached another star, another land.
There are several of these other lands, and they are inhabited by former earth people who have progressed sufficiently to qualify for entry into this or that land. These other lands are nearly all inhabited by a higher form of life, a happier form and, individually, a more powerful form, but there are one or two other lands of not so high an order, where happiness is less or not at all, according to whether life on earth was a well, or lightly-ordered thing. In these lands the people who are there fail and fail again to find the spirit in themselves to desire to rise, to improve and control themselves, although the necessary strength is offered and offered and even thrust at them.
All races have the gift of free will. All are free agents in determining their own destinies. At all times, not only after the body's death. Just as a father and a mother of a family order the day's routine for their children, and allow the children then to amuse themselves in their own way, so the races of mankind are free to develop and model their lives upon their own individual pattern-being given certain rules to conform to. All life is originally free but whilst on earth, through poor comprehension and mismanagement, the individual often thinks he is not a free personage with free will—but he is. As the same father and mother will influence and guide their children, the cause being love, so when we are here and find ourselves able, we do our utmost to help and influence those we love who are still on earth. Always it is the driving force of love which causes us to do our work.
We can be in close touch with our people on earth, and by suggestion and by close association we can influence them. Through our influence often much material good will come to them. We spirit people cannot give material riches to any on earth, but we can frequently advise as to the best step to take in a business matter which, if taken, will bring in considerable material wealth. Just as we can influence in a spiritual sense, so we can influence in a business way. We people over here can see both sides of the argument. When a thing is to be decided between two people we can see both points and can therefore see which is right, and if we play straight we throw our influence in with that, whether it is to the benefit of our earth friend, in a material sense or not. If we do this, and our earth friend loses or suffers from it, we invariably make it up later in a different way. If we throw our influence against our own conviction, only in order to help our earth friend, we pay for it here ourselves, and our earth friend, who thereby gains unjustifiably, pays for it later, either whilst on earth or when in spirit life. He will have to make return sooner or later, there is no escape, it is automatic.
In saying we can and do influence people on earth, I do not propose to go into the precise process of how we work. It is near enough to say that you know how you influence each other on earth: here the result is the same, although the process is quite different—but that is a matter which each one of you will deal with individually later on, when your own change comes, therefore it is not of necessity or of interest to you to know now.
You have on earth a saying that "coming events cast their shadows before." This is a truth. They do cast their influences, and sensitive people can always register them and can often make a guess at their origin.
There are many superstitions and many reasons given to explain what is called "premonition," but in almost every instance it can be traced to telepathy; there are so many forms of mental sympathy.
The chief form of premonition is that concerning the death of another, friend or relation. Now, always that can be traced to telepathy. You will argue that perhaps the person about to pass on was not anticipating his death. It may have been through a sudden accident, and yet "so-and-so" had a certain sign—a premonition—so many days, or such and such a time, beforehand.
To explain: Mr. A has a premonition about the death of Mr. B. It is followed up later by an accident in which Mr. B is lolled. The spirit friends who are interested in Mr. B have been in continual attendance upon him, and are watching him in order to be of use whenever possible; but they cannot make him do this or do that with any certainty, they can only influence him one way or another. Now all the actions of Mr. B's life are producing certain effects, some of which Mr. B himself is not at once conscious of....His spirit friends are, and they can see, a certain distance ahead, what the results of these actions—the general routine of M's life—will be. In this way they can see ahead what is going to occur to Mr. B, and although they will do their utmost to guide him they cannot act for him. He sets his own destiny in motion and he alone can alter it. At such a time, the spirit friends, realizing that Mr. B is in physical danger, will do their utmost to divert his actions and movements: sometimes they are successful, but in this particular instance they are not, and Mr. B meets his death. The influences being used by the spirit people have created a disturbance of thought-force around him and, although he was not conscious of it himself, his friend Mr. A has registered it upon his mind and it has reproduced itself in sleep, as a dream, or as a vision built up by thought-power and materialized through and from the physical strength of Mr. B. Distance between A and B makes no difference.
Premonitions concerning an arrangement made which is afterwards not fulfilled are caused by the influence of spirit friends trying always to guide their charges to the benefit of themselves. In this way you can figure out the cause of all so-called premonitions. In every case it is spirit friends trying to communicate with the person chiefly concerned—he often fails to register what another will pick up.
I come now to the last days on the Blue Island and the taking up of our residence on the next and far more permanent world. The Blue Island is a transient life; a land for acclimatizing the newcomer, and as soon as he's fit, he passes from it to what I might term the Real World, inasmuch as each one will be much longer on it than any has yet been on earth. We can at will return to the Blue Island, and many do so frequently, both to meet newly arrived friends and associates, and to help any person or group with whom we are in sympathy. These are only visits, and we do not ever again return there to live.
Travel here is a very different thing to the methods you all know, and we all set out in a large party for the Real World. Not our whole party, as on first arrival; many weren't ready to leave, but with us were many other spirit people besides those with whom we had originally arrived. There was the same sensation of flying, moving rapidly through the air; then we came to our new home. After the color and generally striking appearance of the Blue Island, this new land appeared less attractive at the outset. It was more toneless in color, the people more engrossed in their regular routine. It seemed as if we had returned to earth life again, it was all so like. I think, on arrival here, we must all have been attracted to different parts of this land, for my own seemed strikingly like parts I had known on earth, and there were also buildings I knew. Other people have told me the same, so I am confident that according to our race and degree of development so we are automatically attracted to different parts of this new world.
It is in this land that I and most of our people are, and certainly all will be, in due course. We continue our studies and our work of developing spiritually, whilst at the same time controlling and dispersing the few still-clinging earth habits and thoughts. We are all very much more conscious of each other in this land, and life resumes a much greater similarity to the life we have known on earth. We have our homes in the same way and our interests in other people, and according to taste so we are habited together in houses or on the open hillside country. Some people live in very elaborate palaces, and it is very curious to note that many of these people are those who have led very rough and hard lives upon earth. Their idea of Heaven is a palace and a life of ease. After a period of time, during which they must make specified progress in general development, these people are given their palaces in order to allow them full advantage of environment to make forward steps in their evolution. If they don't progress, they lose their palace and must re-qualify for it. This applies to everyone, each has to qualify in order to obtain his desired object; and in order to keep it he must continue his progress and his help to others.
When we come to this land, we have ceased to desire food, drink and sleep; we are now pure spirit in the rough state there is still more refining to be done in this next phase. Here, also, there are Rest Houses—Houses for Music—Houses for Scientific Research—Houses for all, and every kind of information and knowledge; and the entrance fee to each and all of these is Desire. We do not lead a life of continual cramming of information—we lead ordinary earth lives, but with a much keener social interest and much more freedom and exchange of thought. There is no distinction of the classes. Our earth life may be forgotten, in so far as our individual task on earth is concerned, when that task was a matter of little or no interest to us. It is only the spiritual and mental knowledge and development which hinders and advances the individual here; and spirit knowledge is not hindered by whatever one's job on earth may have been. In this respect there is a great and sudden broadening of the point of view of all comers to this land.
It is a land of freedom. A land of happiness and smiles. A land of happiness brought about through the real love of man for man. A land to work for—a land in which your place is made according to the knowledge you have had whilst upon earth and the way you have used that knowledge.
It is impossible to over-emphasize the degree of freedom in this new world, or the joy each and all has in it.
In saying that your happiness is gauged by the knowledge acquired on earth and the application of that knowledge, I am saying what is accurate to the smallest detail, but I would like to explain precisely.
On being established here, in the Real World, each one is interviewed by one of the Advanced Spirit Instructors and the whole record of earth is discussed and analyzed. Reason, motive and result. The full and detailed record contains everything, there is nothing overlooked, and this is the time for paying the bill. Each is interviewed alone, and there is a minute analysis of all events, acts and thoughts. Then there is the making good to be gone through, the sum total to be paid ...for all our thoughtlessness and our unkind acts and words—all that have had direct results must be paid for.
We have then to spend time in close touch with earth, in order, by influence, to make good for our past misdoings; make good as far as possible. Also we have the knowledge and full sight of the results of these earlier acts, and they do not bring happiness; but after that state is passed and we can bring all these things into proper perspective and form a table of work, which will gradually and continually be working out the results and troubles we have caused, then we can each one settle down to live here in freedom.
The form of life differs here enormously according to temperament, personality, and the influence of earth life. People vary in strange contrast to one another. Many of us carry on with our same work as on earth. Here we have no need to work in order to obtain daily livelihood, we work here solely for spiritual refinement and progress; at the same time we keep in touch with our earth interests as a form of recreation.
We are not always, without any break, in one house or another studying this, that and the other; we have a certain program to go through but it has many breaks, and in this "off duty" time we come back to our dear people on earth, and either out of interest and love, or from the desire to be useful, we try our utmost to help them in their material and mental difficulties.
We have every form of recreation here, as I have already told you when dealing with the Blue Island. Any habit or hobby formed on earth can be indulged in here, always providing it is progressive.
From this you can understand that life after death is a very normal and natural affair. We have still our affections, and those which last are still strongly binding links. Between families and friends we have the same affections—and yet not the same, because sometimes on earth there are differences which cause a silence between members of a family, and perhaps over here that family will once more be very united—the earth differences being based solely upon material things—once remove the material and physical and underneath the love often remains.
One great change which death brings is a much broader point of view and a much larger mind. A deeper understanding, a keener intuition, clears away immediately many former difficulties and misunderstandings. Once on this Real World, and once passed the first initiation and payments of debts, we are free to do as we wish, but we have to progress or we ourselves curtail our liberties. It is not an enforced progress, we can take our own time about everything, but we must not allow any of earth's instincts to increase in their power over us. We have to learn the new conditions and live for them entirely.
Once free, we can travel at will over our own world and over yours. So great is our speed and method of travel that we can be in two places almost simultaneously.
Everywhere we go we are conscious of the general love for one another. It is much more evident than on earth, and that great affection is the direct cause of the general brightness and radiance of this world. I do not mean that it gives off rays of light, but rather that the general atmosphere is light in quality and very invigorating and strengthening.
Life here is a grander thing—a bolder thing, and a happier thing for all those who have led reasonable lives on earth, but for the unreasonable there are many troubles and difficulties and sorrows to be encountered. There is a great truth in the saying that "as ye sow, so shall ye reap."
I have been away from my earth life now a number of earth years, and although I have been in constant and unbroken touch with my old conditions and affections, I have never, since leaving the Blue Island, had any desire to return to the earth for habitation.
There have been many occasions when I have very badly wanted a tongue for a few hours. With my extra sight I have known the right treatment when seeing certain situations being mishandled. At such times I have very badly wanted to return to earth for an hour, in order to be the means of bringing about great improvements—beyond these passing desires I have had no wish ever to take up residence on earth; my travels and my works and studies on this side of the grave have been of such vital interest. Since being here I have acquired greater knowledge, and have been able to pass to earth people some of that knowledge, at different times.
Ever since my leaving the world, your world, I have been keenly interested in its development, and very alive to all its internal and external difficulties. Patriotism still holds with me, as with most of us, and will continue to hold so long as I have personal ties upon earth. When there are no longer any of these personal ties remaining, my interests will gradually and naturally turn more exclusively to this side among my own people, and my place will be filled by another—and so the race goes on—always moving forward, progressing and evolving.
Looking back on it all since I first came to the Blue Isle, I have great satisfaction in seeing the advance I have made. Coming here was quite a shock to me. I had no idea that my death was so near when that particular year began, and I certainly had no desire that it should be soon. I had an overwhelming number of important things on my hands. Some of these I have been able to finish since, and I have followed the progress of many others. Soon after arrival I had grown acclimatized to the new conditions, the new appearance of everything, the new power of locomotion and communication. We do not talk to each other very much here, we have a more expressive and intimate way than that. Here, thoughts are communicated from one mind to another without the need of vocal expression, although we can talk in earth manner at will.
There are, of course, many and vast differences between my world and yours, but I always find one of the most blessed and merciful differences between the two to be the manner in which the mental is unhindered by the physical. You on earth have mental desires and ambitions of various kinds, for money, success in business, pleasure, power, knowledge, etc.; but always these desires are limited, cramped, often made impossible owing to your physical condition—here, when the mental desire is good, the field is unlimited. Any mental desire for truth, knowledge, be it what it may, can be gratified in a most astonishing manner in this world. Be it good or bad, it will bring its results, and if the desire is bad, it will grow in power and must be paid for; if good, it will grow in power also, and will bring strength and happiness with it,
I cannot emphasize to you too much, that as you are, so you will be.
You are now, whilst on earth, making your bodies for your next conditions. These are built up by your present lives and the quality of your thoughts. This world which I have been in a long time now, is the closest thing imaginable to your earth. It is full of mineral, vegetable, animal, and all forms of life. All the animals you have loved on earth and educated to understanding, will be with you here. Those other animals who belong to no one in particular are here too, but they are in their own places. You will say, "Oh, then it is only a reflection of our world." It is not that way—the earth is only a reflection of this world. Earth is not the lasting world. It is the training school. You are not only on earth to amass riches and enjoy life, just for what it is; you are there to learn the truth about your own character, and how to control and develop it, to make full use of all earth's beauties and pleasures, but you must be master, and not allow them to master you .
As I have said, looking back on my life here, I am satisfied with what has been done both in the personal and individual way and the bigger way. We spirit people have made great advances in our communications with earth. We have been greatly and enormously helped by the physical strength of the spirits of all the young men and women who passed over during the recent fighting all over the world; not only English, but all. They brought with them great physical power and determination, and we have been able, through this power, to break down many of the barriers which keep the two worlds apart.
These truths do not conform with the ideas of many people, but that is no reason for saying they are not true. Truth is sometimes unexpected and none too pleasant, but it is always the most powerful, and will make itself known—no matter whether it bring pleasure or pain.
Go, each one of you, in reality or imagination, to the edge of a high cliff overlooking the sea. Let it be a bright, starry, frosty night, and go alone. Stand there and meditate. Look down upon the lights of any harbored, anchored boats, and think; then look up to the stars. You know where you are, and you are fully conscious of the flickering and movement of the lights on the boats. You can see them. You are only a little way off ...and perhaps you could make them hear if you called, but it would be easier to wait till the darkness breaks when they can see you without any effort on your part. That is how we spirit people are; conscious of those left behind, some willing to wait, others fighting and struggling to make themselves heard. It is only a little way from earth, and between this, our spirit state and the Great Ultimate, there is as much distance as between you on the cliff and the farthest star.
We are only a little way on our journey—nothing yet forgotten. Love still remaining.
XIV. The Great Ultimate
My life here has been a very normal, healthy and interesting affair, just as my life on earth was. I have been invested with no powers generally attributed to spirits and fairies, I am still just an ordinary man with an ordinary plain, blunt outlook on life; the change has in no way altered me. The only change there is in me is my greater ability to move speedily and to act quickly. I am rejuvenated, and this is a condition which becomes more marked as time goes on.
Many people who give thought to these subjects, no matter what their particular point of view may be, ask the question, "To where is it all leading?" "What is to be our ultimate state?" This is a question of extreme difficulty to deal with on account of the limitations of the mind; both yours and ours.
I have explained to you that as you are, so you will be when you come here. When here you will qualify for a further state, which will be your lot in due time, and there you will be exactly as you have made yourself by your life here. Better or worse, happier or more unhappy. From that you will go to a further state, another sphere if you like, and there again you will have made your own conditions.
In this further state you will be more self-contained; a word I use to express a state of being less dependent upon other people and things for development and progress. In this sphere you will again come in contact with your whole record. A record in full, of all former states: and from this sphere, if your record has qualified to the point of allowing it, you will be given the choice of returning to earth again. Reincarnating. If your record does not qualify for choice in this matter, you will be directed either to return or to continue, according to what the Teachers—the Purified—consider will afford you most opportunity for re-creating yourself and cleansing yourself in the necessary way. It is from this sphere that spirits return to earth, but by the time the most progressed spirit has reached this state he has forgotten in detail his association with earth. I cannot give the shortest period of time which would be necessary to reach this sphere, but the sojourn in the Real World after the Blue Island is a much longer period than that of mortal life; and in each sphere as progress is made the sojourn is longer.
The spirits who have reached this "Return or Stay Sphere," and are purified and qualified in themselves, those who stand the tests and pass out as Grade I, pass to another and altogether different and lighter land—and each becomes impersonal. Impersonal in the sense that they are no longer Jack Brown or Madge Black, they are now pure spirit people, and their former love, which had been a personal and individual thing, is no longer for one but equally for all. All are alike to all. The purest tissue of God Love binds one and all.
I have given a brief outline, sufficient for you to form your own ideas, your own mental pictures of Creation and its process. There would be no point in my going further into details, because if I were to give the facts you could not understand the conditions ruling in those advanced states. I am not able fully to understand them myself, for as I have said, I am only a little way on my journey, but just far enough to grasp the intense beauty of life, and in life.
As one standing on a higher point than yourselves, and able to see a little more than you see, I can best explain to you that in these further states you receive not merely fifty, or sixty, or even a hundred per cent out of your lives in happiness and joy, but you receive comparatively six hundred per cent. This is simply a graphic way of indicating the degree of happiness that obtains here. Were I able to describe all the processes of our evolution, many would say, "Oh, but I don't want that!" But when progress has been made and intelligence brightened and Reality seen as Reality, not as Imagination, they will want it. If I said to an old man in an invalid chair that he could have a motor bicycle, he'd say he preferred his invalid chair, but if he were to be a young, robust boy of nineteen again, which do you suppose he'd choose? This is the underlying principle.
Do not think that this scheme of the World is hateful and unkind and full of continual partings from all other spirits who are dear to each individually. I have said that there are no partings. It is always possible and customary for spirits to keep in close touch with each other on this side. When the highest states of the impersonal are reached there are no partings from dear ones; only a wider opening of that same door of love—a higher, purer love, a Golden or God love, to admit not one or two or twenty, but to embrace all .
XV. Christ and Spiritualism
Unfortunately the word "spiritualism" has been associated with so many misconceptions that it affords scope for misinterpretation and, for this reason, thousands of people misunderstand the word and suppose that it deals only with forms of fortune-telling, and chicanery of all kinds, and must necessarily be wrong and dangerous—therefore the work of anti-Christ. For this reason it is a barred subject. Not only do these people know nothing about it but they are so horrified at the travesty they themselves have created that they would refuse to hear, see, or read a word upon the subject.
To all people who have knowledge of Spiritualism, this attitude is tiresome and regrettable; nevertheless it exists to-day, and in great force.
In my concluding chapter I want to say a few simple words on this point.
Spiritualism is not the work of anti-Christ. All the teachings of Christ are to be found in the teachings of Spiritualism. Christ taught love amongst mankind, generous thought and generous help for one another. "Love thy neighbor as thyself," and so on. Spiritualism teaches these same doctrines. Christ was imbued with the Divine Spirit, and He laid down laws upon which His disciples were to model their lives and their work, and in those laws you will find the laws which govern Spiritualism.
Because one of the disciples was a dishonest, weak man, and because some of the workers since then, workers in the churches of various and many creeds have been, and are to this day, weak and sinful in their lives, you do not, any of you, think for one moment that the whole is bad and evil. You realize that the teachings of Christ were of the highest. Always He spoke of Love as the binding link and the force of all good. I want you to understand, perhaps for the first time, that Spiritualism is based upon the same foundations. All its rules are the rules given by Christ Himself. All the creeds existing upon earth are based upon these same rules. They vary in minor points considerably. What one will allow another will condemn, and it is for the individual to decide which particular one of all is most fitting to himself. By his choice he will show his ability to grasp the meaning of God's laws, and according to his development so will he select.
The teachings of all alike are limited but some 90 farther, see farther, and understand more. Just as all roads May converge to a given point, so many creeds follow in the main the teachings of Christ—some by narrow little roads and byways, some by wide roads, and some by main highways.
Spiritualism is God's Main Highway.