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Special Corner - Richard Rowley Life here and hereafter January 16, 2010

Posted on SpiritualismList

Johannes, Hafed and Heather - Laws and Guides

Thank you Pastor Ray for the useful and concise article on Spiritual Laws.

I happened to be reading something about the law of Cause and Effect in an article in the "Two Worlds" magazine which fits in with your discussion. The Persian guide, Hafed, in his discussion of pollution was saying... "What man fails to appreciate is that he is witnessing the law of cause and effect in operation. He sees only the effect, without realizing that the cause lays within himself. It is only because he has fallen from grace and taken hold of man's inhumanity to man that he is creating the very substance which is poisoning all these things.

"It is born out of his greed and ignorance, whereas if he truly stayed in the life of God's peace and love that would not - and could not - happen because he would see that that is wrong. Mother nature is perfectly capable of controlling her own law in her own way. She can sustain the earth and all things in it, including the environment. When the environment is beginning to suffer, it is breaking down Mother Nature's chain that is forged together. If and when one of those links breaks, it is the collapse of life as you know it or understand. That is what we on the Other Side are fighting against."

I think we can look around at the present day storms, wars and epidemics and see what our mistaken actions are causing. A change in thinking, and values, is needed. We have to look at what we are doing with nuclear energy and various toxins in weapons of war, and pesticides...napalm, phosphorus, dioxins such as agent orange, depleted uranium, and so on. The mind boggles when we see that over half a million scientists around the world are spending their lifetimes devising weapons of war and destruction, which are bound to be used sooner or later, otherwise there will be no production profits coming from all that negative enterprise. . But enough of that, I am not pleading causes here, but looking at effects! This quote was taken from a fairly new book from the Essex medium Douglas Arnold (who passed in 1994) titled "A New Set of Values." Hafed originally communicated through medium David Duguid in the 1860s and his book, published in 1869, "Hafed, A Prince of Persia" is also probably still available in used bookstores.

Talking of guides, to reciprocate and complement Pastor Ray's article on Spiritual Laws, I'd like to offer a passage from "Heather," pen name of the author   Joyce Vivian, who died in 1936 at the age of 18 in a riding accident after writing her first book for children, "Riding with Reka." After her passing, over the next twelve years she dictated four other books to her mother, some about the lives of pets who had passed, through the mediumship of Hester Dowden, and also gave some clear descriptions of her life on the other side. Gwendolen Vivian's own book "Love Conquers Death" transcribed what her daughter had to say. Here is the passage on guides.

"The medium's guide or control is very important. He (or she) presides over the sitting and no one can pass through without his consent. That is why people call him a doorkeeper, though, of course, there is no door. Then there are the guides of the sitter and the communicator; these two do not take part in the messages unless there is some personal point to be answered; then they interfere and answer the question if it concerns names or personal memories. The word "control" usually means guide, the control being the spiritual presence who speaks through the medium. In some cases though it may be part consciousness of the medium; this occurs in trance sometimes, but in voice and writing it is individual, when the part consciousness acts as the control, acting as an individual.

Now you yourself as you are on Earth are only conscious in a small part of your consciousness, but I contact your larger consciousness when I visit you in sleep. On Earth you have as your guides souls whose personality is in sympathy with your own and who are willing to help you do whatever work you have chosen. These guides can work through you; if the work you on Earth have chosen is not psychic, these guides must then have on Earth medical helpers or helpers in the arts, then the human being on Earth who has an active guide is used as a means of expression for those on the other side; YOU, mummy, who are interested in psychic work, have Johannes (Hester Dowden's guide) to guide you, as well as another guide.

Every soul as it rises to higher spheres, has a succession of guides, each more advanced than the other. Look on the spheres as a chain of globes, inter-penetrating and dependent on each other, becoming each larger than the other, and more expanded. As you rise through them you reach higher and broader consciousness.

I think when the controls of mediums are definitely separate personalities such as Johannes, they must be akin to the medium in every sense, and so can act with the medium without any jarring of any kind. In the case of Johannes he is teaching her (Hester Dowden) through others by means of messages she gives to others.

Thus the functions of a guide of a living human being in your world are to develop his psychic side if desired and secondly to increase his knowledge in ANY direction, and to provide experience. Again, when any serious crisis arises, in the life, the guide must help his charge to adjust his mind to select the best way out of his difficulty. The guides from the highest stages or spheres help you if necessary, but their function is not connected with your ordinary everyday life, but with great moments whether of grief or joy: they only help on special occasions, but the ones on the lower stages can help you in very ordinary problems. At my stage I have no acquaintance with the higher guides. I can see our nearest guide if any serious crisis arises in my life or yours. All are however helping us.

I'll tell you a little more about the guides on our side, for we have our guides when we come here, of course. In your world you can't SEE the guides unless you are clairvoyant. No guide as far as I know is visible otherwise. Here, your guides are visible under certain circumstances: for instance, if there is a decision to be made, you can then see your guide who is helping you to make it; if someone you love is about to die, or has died, your guide informs you and in such cases you generally see him or her: you are CONSCIOUS OF your guide's presence in everyday life but you don't always SEE him. The message which comes with the death of someone on your side is a perfectly clear short message given at least three days before the death occurs. That gives time for us to be present and fetch the person from the moment. No death is an accident, even though it seems to take place in an "accident." There are records here that can be looked up so that the guide is quite sure about the time. This would apply to sudden death, in an accident or in war. We still know, about three days before it happens. If there is a means of escape, a premonition can be given in a dream, or sometimes messages are received clairaudiently, giving a warning. In some families there is a "family" warning of death, you call banshee. There is no use in worrying about possible accidents for they are not a matter of chance. Whether a warning can be received consciously or not, the mind is capable of receiving a message inwardly and the warning is in the mind, though not in the consciousness. When I died, (four days after the "accident"), towards the end I had a sort of inner certainty though I didn't tell anyone, but when I was dead I had no idea I had died, as I was not expecting it consciously. The last day, I was out of my body (physical) and then I knew I was going.

The mind and the consciousness are not the same thing. Imagine the soul as a great mass of life; it all belongs to you while you are developing at every stage. Consciousness is merely what you are AWARE of. The consciousness does NOT think, it merely takes in what happens from one moment to another. The mind is the thinking instrument and you may know a good deal with the inner mind but not be able to hand it over to your consciousness. The ego or individual personality is a combination of the whole mind and the consciousness, and this affects the soul and makes it individual - the soul as I speak of it being etheric body - mind and spirit.

It is quite easy for us here to know what you are doing and thinking about, but you cannot actually get into contact with us except through another human being who is a medium or link between two different states which you call the LIVING and the DEAD. The mind of the medium is very flexible and is able to use the conditions of both worlds. A very compact mind can't receive from us. The mind must respond easily to us and HELP us, and the medium must be highly sensitive to the atmosphere of both worlds, and be able to use the SUPER mind which is directly in touch with us." Heather.

"Heather's" books from the other side include "Hero," a charming autobiography of a dog's life and afterlife, "Yoyo," showing animal survival and the close friendship possible between human beings and animals, and "Fiddle-De-De," showing that pets don't die. "The Curtain Drawn" is highly recommended by Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding who says   "This book gives the clearest account I have read of the mechanics of mediumship as seen from the "other side." I consider the message very valuable."

If you want to track down any of these titles, try or other used bookstores. Good luck! Richard

Life here and hereafter (1a) - Afterlife not Proven" infers Raymond Moody

After watching last night's interesting television program on A&E "We See Dead People" and seeing several mediums at work and reliable psychical researchers like Gary Schwartz and Lloyd Auerbach, there is one thing that bothers me.

It is odd to note that psychiatrist Raymond Moody has spent most of his professional life exploring and writing about Near Death Experiences and communicating with spirits in his scrying or mirror-gazing techniques in his psychomanteum. Yet he still can't make up his mind and believe in an afterlife, in spite of having seen one of his deceased grandmothers in the mirror, and having countless clients relate their contact with dead relatives.

Personally I went over to the other side and met and talked with my grandparents and other spirits in an NDE when I was 11 and many years later Raymond Moody's books help remind me of the experience and make sense of it. I felt was not alone. Since then I have had many communications from other friends and relatives including my parents, so I KNOW as well as believe in survival and an afterlife.

What infuriates me about these so-called experts who deny the evidence before their eyes is their patronizing attitude. "Whether it is true or not is unimportant." they say. "What matters is that a belief in an afterlife is therapeutic. It makes the client feel good, provides consolation and hope and helps them deal with life."

What a bleak point of view! After all these many decades of psychical research, has it all been in vain? So many mediums and researchers have dedicated their lives to the cause of Spiritualism. Is it all just make-believe, like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy?!

I know WE know the truth, but mediumship and Spiritualism are still regarded by the mainstream establishment not as a reality but as fanciful superstition, one of the mainstays of Halloween and Horror movies. We can only persevere and continue to prove our point, giving real evidence and proof of survival to clients and sitters, one by one, and in our meeting, circles and services. Most of the other churches and religions have lost this living contact with spirit. Richard R.

Life here and hereafter (1b) More on Dr. Moody, Dr. Funk, the widow's mite

Hi Folks. The Widow's Mite, mentioned in Luke Chapter 21 verses 1-4 is a small coin like a cent, in currency at the time of Jesus. Funk and Wagnall's dictionary had an illustration of it, though in the first editions in the 1890s they showed a counterfeit coin by mistake, not the original. Now for the nitty-gritty!

The first scientific psychical research was probably done right at the beginning of the Spiritualist movement, fifty years before Dr. Isaac Funk. Professor Robert Hare, M.D. was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate of Yale College and Harvard University, and an Associate of the Smithsonian Institute. What better credentials could we have for a psychical researcher?   Exactly 150 years ago he published his 460 page report "Spiritualism Scientifically Demonstrated: Experimental Investigation of the Spirit Manifestations demonstrating the existence of spirits and their communion with mortals." I have the book in my hand right now, and apart from the Victorian turn of phrase, the thinking is quite up-to-date. I will just quote a couple of paragraphs, to give an idea of his style. His type of investigation has been replicated year by year ever since by reliable researchers, and yet for the most part this valuable work has been ignored or criticized by the scientific and religious establishment. This is why I and others in turn urge researchers like Raymond Moody who have done so much valuable work to add to our knowledge to really look at what they have been doing and support the survival hypothesis. They have a great responsibility to tell the truth as they see it, not as they think they ought to see it. Here is Dr. Hare's statement from 150 years ago, only a few years after the rappings at Hydesville, and with the Civil War not yet on the horizon:

"The practical influence on my mind (of the evidence of spirit communication) has been to make me far more happy, to remove all fear of death, and to render me more watchful as to my deportment in life. I know that my sainted parents, and other relatives and friends, my children who died in infancy, are around me, witnessing every act and exercising a limited power over my safety and my health.

Mourning for the dead now seems to be groundless, and at all events can be indulged only upon selfish considerations. But who would grieve deeply at a transient separation, even for years, from friends made happier by the change, when sure of a happy reunion ultimately?

No evidence of any important truth in science can be shown to be more unexceptionable than that which I have received of this glorious fact, that heaven is really "at hand," and that our relatives, friends, and acquaintances who are worthy of happiness, while describing themselves as ineffably happy, are still progressing to higher felicity; and while hovering aloft in our midst, are taking interest in our welfare with an augmented zeal or affection, so that, by these means, they be a solace to us, in despite of death."

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Isaac Funk died before the First World War without committing himself to a belief in an afterlife. Perhaps to make amends for his father's indecision, his son Wilfred, also a publisher, brought out in 1953 a book of research by a former skeptical British journalist Reginald Lester who was finally convinced of the immortality of the spirit after a thorough investigation of Spiritualism after the death of his wife of 26 years. He had served in both World Wars, and when he was contemplating suicide when his wife died in 1948, a friend urged him to talk with Air Chief Marshal Lord Hugh Dowding, the heroic leader of the 1940 Battle of Britain, which had thwarted Hitler's invasion of England and hence turned the tide of the war in Britain's favor. After his retirement in 1941, after a 40 year career in the services, Dowding himself had researched Spiritualism, doing soul rescue work in séances with Margery Flavell and other mediums, which he wrote about in his books, "Many Mansions," "Lychgate" and "God's Magic." Former pilots who had been killed in action communicated and were helped on their way to the other side.

Dowding was able to persuade the suicidal journalist Reginald Lester to investigate all aspects of Spiritualism just as he had done after so many lives had been lost in the course of the war. Lester's book "In Search of Survival Hereafter" gives a most positive account of the proof of survival after an intensive thirty month investigation of mediumship and Spiritualism. Another American researcher, Hamlin Garland, had a few years earlier done a longer "40 years of Psychic Research" published in 1936, and only a year before Wilfred Funk brought out Lester's book, a fellow serviceman, Roy-Dixon Smith had published his "New Light on Survival" in 1952, in which Leslie Flint's direct voice and Minnie Harrison's physical mediumship among many others are reviewed. Other servicemen like Air Chief Marshal Sir Victor Goddard and science professors like Raynor Johnson from Australia, Robert Crookall, and Hornell Hart did prolific psychical research in the mid Twentieth Century, all contributing to the wealth of information we now have on spirit survival and communication. Dowding's medium Margery Flavell came to North America, and brought through the well-known communications from the deceased Lutheran theologian and minister, A.D. Mattson. I am sure if all this research were brought to the attention of skeptics like Raymond Moody, they would have to reconsider their attitude towards the hereafter. However, people can't be coerced into changing their beliefs. Time and personal experience, sooner or later will bring about a revision of a person's attitude as the light of spirit begins to shine.

Those who make the effort to investigate Spiritualism are bound to find the facts of survival convincing. Lord Dowding said it very well to Reginald Lester in 1949: "No single incident will convince you, but only the accumulation of a mass of irrefutable evidence in due course." Only a serviceman of his caliber could have persuaded a skeptical journalist like Lester to undertake such a project. However, the lack of help from his Anglican priest over his bereavement also spurred him on to investigate for himself. The church had nothing to say about the afterlife except a few platitudes. He found the truth and consolation he was searching for in Spiritualism.

There are so many interesting links to follow up in the history of Spiritualism, so I hope these few notes have not bored you. The best...

Richard R

Here and hereafter (1c) Raymond Moody etc

I have to say "Yes, but.....!" This pussyfooting has been going on for a hundred years! Enough already! Here's what I mean to say. I agree that professionals like Dr. Raymond Moody risk losing their academic standing and credibility if they wander too far from the mainstream climate of thought. Exactly a hundred years ago Dr. Isaac Funk the editor and publisher of the Standard Dictionary of the English Language had the same problem. He was involved in psychical research, the findings of which were published in his "Widow's Mite" and "The Psychic Riddle." As his son Wilfred mentioned in 1953, "at his death my father could not accept spiritualism as a completely proven cause. As a devout Christian, however, he believed in the existence of a life hereafter, and he did not think it wholly incredible that some form of communication might be established between that other world and ours. He urged that scientists with trained minds should undertake these explorations."

It is significant I think that Dr. Funk did in fact communicate shortly after his death through Emily French, one of the mediums he had investigated back in 1905. Edward Randall, in one of his last sittings with Emily French talked with the spirit of Isaac Funk, and told him that because of his prominence, and as one who had investigated this important subject for many years, he could have been a great force for good; that many people in this world were interested in him and his writings and were guided by his conclusions, but that he had never published them in full. He had failed at the crucial moment and had nullified the good he could have done. This was a great misfortune not only to him, but to the world at large.

Dr. Funk's spirit replied "I realize that now more than ever. It is a fact that I was afraid of the criticism of men of science. I now regret very much that I did not fully publish my conclusions. In my own mind there was no doubt."

Let's hope Dr. Moody will make the brave leap of faith, BEFORE his passing, and so encourage the mainstream public as well as the scientific community to widen their horizons.

I might mention out of interest that we have at home here the 1907 seventh edition of Funk's dictionary, which contains the authentic illustration of the Widow's Mite coin. The 1890 first edition used a later counterfeit coin in its illustrations, but a message from a friend in spirit of the owner of the coins lent to Dr. Funk led him to find the coins he had forgotten to return, and before doing so, to check their authenticity and value with an expert at the US Federal Mint. It is curious note, also, that the 1964 edition of the authorized version of the Bible we have here at home continues to illustrate the Widow's Mite with the counterfeit coin!

Best regards. Richard R.

Life here and hereafter (1d) Give credit where it is due

Just a few more Saturday thoughts!

Credits to mediums and others for their part in psychical research and the building of a history of the movement.

I might mention that putting together the evidence for survival and other psychical research topics takes a lot of effort, time and money and cooperation from many people, past and present, plus a few nudges from the spirits themselves! When he retired from his business career at age 60, George W. Meek spent half a million dollars in pursuing psychical research and the study of EVP all over the world. Earlier researchers like Doyle and Lodge also sacrificed their reputations and careers in their search for the truth in supporting Spiritualism. Marilyn Awtry-Smith, your published work on mediumship and the history of Spiritualism is an invaluable contribution, and it is ironic that Lily Dale required that you still had to be tested, to `renew your license' so to speak. I know that we actors and musicians have to audition for work, again and again, and doctors, teachers and lawyers have to take exams to requalify or update their licenses when they move from state to state, or country to country, but it gets a bit absurd, when you have a natural gift, to have to go before a board before you can practice again!

My own efforts have had to be much more modest than George Meek's, but we are all helping to spread useful information and wisdom in our discussions, ideas, messages and prayers here on the List. I can sympathize with the situation of one of our members,   where she has had to put up with local opposition to her becoming a Spiritualist. It's difficult too in Canada in some parts of the "Bible belt!" A few years ago one researcher was publicly denounced and brought to court on quite unjust and unsubstantiated charges, but his reputation never recovered.

I have also to mention that I wouldn't have been able to make all the connections in linking up mediums and researchers and spirit communications on the survival issue without the A&E and other television documentaries on mediums, N.Riley Heagerty and his book "The French Revelation" for discussing the work of Edward Randall, Dr. Funk and medium Emily French, and Raymond Moody's books and interviews, suggestions from others on the List, and the writings of other psychiatrists, researchers and mediums, past and present, and books, dictionaries and Bibles in my own possession and the catalogs and booksellers services from all over the world represented by bookfinder, amazon, abebooks, alibris and other networks and internet resources, and public libraries.

Some people have good memories to rely on. Not me! I have to check everything out in my own library, or elsewhere. Also, not all internet information is reliable, and has to be double-checked.

All this compiling is not live, direct communication with the world of spirit, but it does help us see what has gone on before, and so enables us to assess with discernment the quality of live communications that we do receive from spirit. These communications can come through mental mediumship (clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience), trance or channeling (the same thing as far as I am concerned), automatic script, independent direct voice, psychic portraits, musical dictation and inspiration from spirit, healing and all the other phenomena of mental and physical mediumship, including now EVP and ITC).

So a big thank you to all you mediums and healers for providing your services, along with the evidence and proof of survival, and the spiritual truths and philosophy from higher sources.

The historical perspective also encourages us to suggest change in our own religions and organizations when they have lost touch with reality, or lost direct contact with spirit.

Richard R.

Guides are real people (3) - Spirit guides and communications

Hi folks. I wanted to move on a little from recent topics, and here's why.

The different sometimes conflicting information coming from spirit guides at first confused me. For example, Colin Fry's guide Magnus says there's no reincarnation.

This can be quite amusing sometimes. One medium took me to Scotland and produced my aunt for me, giving her name as Nellie and identifying herself by playing the bagpipes. Now my aunt is not Scottish, but she DID play the oboe, which to a non-musician does sound close to the sound of the bagpipes, especially when my aunt played it! (Forgive me for that crack, if you're listening, Auntie!) Her name was Lillah. So the medium was doing his best to interpret what he saw and heard. Other evidential information was spot on.

What comes through may be from guides and spirits who are on different levels beyond, and this again is interpreted as best it can be by the medium or conveyed through the medium in trance direct from the spirit. We have to weigh and evaluate the evidence and information, and in comparison with other information and teaching, we can put together a fairly clear picture of the spiritual universe and the different levels and planes or spheres of the spirit world, just as our historians, scientists, archeologists, biologists, astronomers and astrophysicists give us as clear an account of the physical cosmos as they can. We have to remember, too, that those from beyond who communicate with us may once have been experts in their own field on earth, and have now extended their knowledge considerably since then. The scale and extent of the spiritual cosmos seems infinitely greater than our material universe, which in itself seems gigantic to us. So the mind staggers in trying to comprehend it all. This is why it is safer to stay with our personal life close to home, and always come back to focus in the present reality, now.

With regard to reincarnation so-called, the trouble lies in the word itself. It means living AGAIN, or repeating incarnations, and that meaning can be interpreted and understood in many different ways, just as our creeds and declarations of principles can be. Herein arises all the bitter controversy between sects and religions, and people start feeling threatened and get defensive. I feel that if reincarnation were defined as `new life, new incarnation,' rather than a repetition of the old personality `recycling' itself, the idea would be more acceptable. When Latin was taken out of the Catholic liturgy a while ago, and other rituals changed or omitted, there were many who went through a crisis of faith, because the old and familiar was gone. I still prefer to sing the old Latin plainsong, or the Sanskirt mantra, rather than the modern words and melodies. But at the same time, I like to explore and open up to new ideas.

We live and work for our livelihood at whatever level of awareness we have reached so far. When I was a student, and later when we were raising a family, I wasn't ready for Spiritualism, although we were living in London right on top of it all, quite unaware. It was only 40 years later that I was led into the movement. My only regret is not having arrived sooner. That is why I like to share what information I have found now, without forcing my ideas on anyone. I am nor for or against anything, but just want to shine light on what may be true.

To finish, I'd like to quote a short excerpt from Oliver Lodge speaking through Kendrick Johnson in Dr. Robert R. Leichtman's book, "Sir Oliver Lodge Returns." This briefly sketches his point of view on how lifetimes and relationships link together. (In Valerie Hunt's book "Infinite Mind" a scientific view is given of our different lifetimes - which she calls `lifehoods,' and another perspective is given in Marie Cherie's "The Barbanell Report" in which Maurice Barbanell on the other side meets his former guide Silver Birch. They stay together for a while, then Silver Birch moves on to a higher plane, and Maurice is left to his own exploration. Life on the other side must be exciting. In other communications, through other mediums, Stephen Ward talks of attending the theatre and concerts, and going to art galleries (he was an artist and musician as well as a healer and osteopath, so continued his former interests.) He found all kinds of terrain and domestic animals, and groups of religious sects reassembling to practice their old rituals until individuals were ready to drop out, one by one, and progress towards a wider, more open experience. Others talk of their different accommodations and taking part in activities mirroring their former lifetime interests. Professor Raynor Johnson continues to visit vast libraries, and T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) writes poetry and actually enjoys making and binding books. His body, stunted in growth through an accident in childhood, reaches its full height and stature on the other side. A.D. Mattson, the Lutheran theologian talks of visiting the higher mental planes above the astral planes, and they all say that they continue to grow and progress.

Sir Oliver Lodge, speaking in 1973 through Kendrick Johnson: "Bear in mind that I am not now the son of my father from my last lifetime. That was one life episode. Neither am I the child of my parents in the life before that, or the one before that. Those relationships do not carry on, and it is a mistake to expect them to. They carry on for awhile after death: in the case of an elderly married couple who pass on within a few years of each other, for example, it is part of their healing and adjustment to be together again as man and wife briefly in the spirit and have what we can call a second honeymoon. But after they leave the vestibule, they won't think of each other as man and wife in the physical sense. They will, however, probably continue to be aware of each other; after all, their inner beings have probably known each other for a long time. That's why they chose to get married in that specific lifetime. ((I would corroborate this. My own mother and father were together for a while, but now my mother and aunt are together still, while my father, though still in touch, has gone off alone to pursue new projects. I have mentioned before my own former connections with my wife. RR))

Family relationships pertain to one given lifetime. I don't mean to disrupt the unity of the physical family with these comments. That's a sacred thing. But it is important to realize that everyone is so much more than the child of his physical parents or the child of his physical parents in his last lifetime or the husband of his wife ten thousand years ago. We can't hold all of these ties, and it was never meant that we should. On the other hand, we do know each other: I frequently talk with people I knew in a lifetime I had in the sixteenth century. We still know each other. We're friends, but we don't think of each other as relatives. After all, physical relationships aren't that relevant to life on the inner planes. But rumor has it that relatives are still somewhat useful in getting born into the physical plane! And ancestors too! And to learn simple lessons like human love you need parents and siblings and husbands and wives. On the physical plane, these relationships are very important. I do not mean to imply that family unity is nothing: quite the contrary. But when you consider that we live forever, then obviously any one of us has had ten thousand times ten thousand families. That's a lot of relatives! What I am trying to say is that over here the perspective on physical relationships is different than during physical life."

Now I have to get to work at my daytime job. All the best. Richard R.

Life here and hereafter (4) St Teresa and Swedenborg communicate

Following earlier excerpts of accounts of life in the hereafter described by those living there themselves, I'd like to quote two people from centuries past. First of all, St. Teresa of Avila from the 16th Century, and then from Immanuel Swedenborg returning in 1851 to Isaac Post.

Saint Teresa was a clairvoyant and clairaudient nun who had frequent contact with the world of spirit, and so was able in her autobiography to describe what she saw of other worlds in her visions, and hear what the spirits had to say.

Writing in about 1565 or 1566 she describes the different levels of the astral or heavenly regions, and their different inhabitants. "I thought I was being carried up to Heaven. The first persons I saw there were my father and mother."

A former provincial superior for whose soul she was praying "seemed to me to rise up, on my right hand, from the depths of the earth, and I saw him ascend to Heaven with the greatest joy. He had actually been very old, but, as I saw him then, he seemed to be about thirty, or even less, and his face was bright and shining....I could not doubt that this was a genuine vision - I mean that it was no illusion.   He had not been dead more than a fortnight at the time."

On another occasion she had the same type of vision of a nun, only a day and a half after her death, while prayers were being recited for her. "Half way through the lesson I saw the dead sister: her soul seemed to be rising on my right hand....there is no more room for doubting...."

On seeing a glorious vision of a very good Carmelite friar at a Mass, and afterwards learning that he had died at the very hour at which she had seen him, she comments: "I was amazed that he had not gone to purgatory."

Saint Teresa had an intuitive awareness of the Spiritual World, and could communicate with the Saints just as we in the present day can communicate with our guides. "Once when I was in difficulty and could not think what to do, or how I was going to pay some workmen, Saint Joseph, my true father and Lord, appeared to me and gave me to understand that money would not be lacking and I must make all the necessary arrangements." On another occasion, "On St. Clare's day, as I was going to Communion, that Saint appeared to me in great beauty and told me to put forth all my efforts and proceed with what I had begun and she would help me. I conceived a great devotion for her and her words turned out to be the exact truth, for a convent of her Order, which is near our own, is helping to maintain us."

During her prayers she was able to do rescue work. Praying to free a priest from an unconfessed sin which suggests "possession", she came under a series of psychic attacks from a hideous little spirit. She laughed and threw holy water at him finding that more permanent in its effect than the sign of the Cross. "Every time we pay little attention to them (elementals) they lose much of their power and the soul gains much more control over them. We always derive some great benefit from these experiences"

[These brief extracts are taken from "Four Studies in Mysticism" by Frances Banks, published by Churches' Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies. 1967. For a complete study, read her autobiography "The Life of St. Teresa" and "The Interior Castle or The Mansions." I posted the experiences of Frances Banks herself from the other side here last week.]

Swedenborg has more to say about the other side when he communicated through the pen of automatist Isaac Post in 1851, 300 years after St. Teresa, a hundred years after the commencement of his own spiritual experiences and visions while still alive on earth, and a decade or so after his influencing of Andrew Jackson Davis. Here are some extracts from his communications.

(August 13, 1851)

"We find ourselves here in a condition so far above our highest desires, that language would fail me to even faintly portray it.

As I had often the privilege of conversing with spirits, I supposed that I had a pretty correct idea of my future home. But not so. I was lost in wonder when I entered my new life, where I had a new body formed. I was delighted with my change. At first I could scarcely realize that it was myself, I looked for my hands, and there they were, I looked for my feet, and they too were there; and so of every part of my body, nothing was lacking. I cast a view at my old frame, that had done me good service heretofore, it now seemed too worthless to be concerned about, I saw my friends with sadness in their countenances, moving gently about as though afraid of waking me. Could I have spoken, I would have said `Only put it where it will not annoy you. I am as really with you as when I moved that body about.'

I found myself welcomed to my new home by congenial spirits, and such a welcome no man can fully realize until he leaves his cumbersome body. My new associates led me off to a view of distant objects, and to try my new body. I found that space was nearly annihilated - we moved with that speed of which you can conceive an idea of, by thinking of the magnetic telegraph.

My first journey was to visit a planet; it was delightful to pass thus as easy, as I formerly did to a neighbor's. I then returned to earth to see how my friends were managing with my former body, I as present at the funeral.

I felt a desire to speak out the words with which my mind was filled, I would gladly have told them that I was in their midst, the minister should have know this or not undertaken to teach spiritual knowledge. I have much to say; I want to speak of the condition of other spirits, but time fails.

(August 19, 1851)

"As I observed, happiness must always be in proportion to the labor that is bestowed. For instance, when kindness overcomes unkindness, satisfaction instantly flows into the soul, and as that feeling is continued, it will grow and bear fruit, flourishing until the spirit of kindness will fill the whole man, and so with every other feeling' All have their opposites, and each will increase. If the spirit of contention is allowed to take root, then its fruits must of necessity be manifest. If love is cultivated the fruits are of the most delicious kind; but should love, good as it is in its place, be not governed by discretion, then wretchedness is the result.

There are some spirits too low to perceive their condition. That is, their earthly lives were such that they cannot appreciate the higher or better attributes, such as love, kindness, disinterestedness, and purity; hence, you must be aware these cannot arise until they have a perception of their wants (lacks and deficiencies).

How sorrowful, that the circumstances in life's journey are ever such, and how it calls for every embodied, as well as disembodied spirit, to enlighten, as much as in them lies, the pathway of those that are, or are to be, clothed with bodies.

I will now turn your attention to the home of those that I am surrounded with; those that have been engaged to do what they could to better the condition of man.

We occupy a circle or sphere by ourselves, that is, we have our allotment or duties to perform; for, bear in mind, that a state of inactivity, even in the highest Heaven, would be tiresome - we pass and repass through the space that a kind and all-wise good and bountiful Creator saw best to plan; and as we thus pass through space, we do what we are capaciated (sic) to do, to enlighten, and make those that we come in contact with what will tend to their present and eternal welfare; and after a round of duty, we again rejoin the company of those of our affinity, for bear in mind, we have a home, a "mansion."

These and many other communications from well-known and lesser known spirits through the mediumship of Isaac Post were published in 1852 by Charles H. McDonell, Printer, Rochester, N.Y. A facsimile reprint was recently made by Elibron Classics

Happy reading! Richard R 

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