CHAPTER I VOICES OF THE LIVING DEAD
The suggestion that the dead have never died, when so little is known of that great change, is beyond the comprehension of the average mind. The fact that under scientific conditions those in the afterlife have had speech with us in the earth-life taxes credulity, but such is the fact. Sir William Crookes has had the experience of communicating with the dead and has written concerning it. Stead’s bureau in London, working with Mrs. Weidt, an American psychic, has done so with great freedom. For many years Daniel Bailey of Buffalo was able with the aid of Mrs. Swaine to get the direct or independent voice; he did a great work and has published the results.
I mention these instances to show that I am not the first who has been able to obtain direct speech with those in the next life. Thousands in other ways have obtained messages from the great beyond, but only on rare occasions have conditions been such that the dead could speak audibly. The independent voice is unusual, but when heard, it leaves nothing to conjecture.
“How is it possible,” one asks, “to talk with dead people?”
I confess that such a proposition is beyond the comprehension of many, and that a mere statement on the subject means nothing to the average individual, for one can appreciate only those things which he has experienced or of which he has knowledge. It is only by understanding that the spirit world is a part of this world, that it is here and about us, that it is material, that all life force finds expression only in the physical, and that people beyond the grave still inhabit their etheric bodies that one can appreciate the fact that speech with the living dead is possible. Even with such an understanding, it is necessary to create certain scientific conditions if one would actually converse with those of the spirit world. The conditions permitting speech are very delicate. The atmosphere at times interferes with results. For example, when the air is agitated before a storm, it is impossible to do this work; but on clear nights, when the air is quiet, the manifestations are beyond power of description. Absolute darkness is necessary to enable me to hear the direct speech of those people who, present in my home in their own spirit bodies, use their own tongues, and make their own voice vibrations. To do this work requires the aid of a person possessed of vital forces out of the ordinary. The group of people in the next life working with me utilized the vital force of Mrs. Emily S. French in conjunction with their own force, and created a new condition in which the vibrations were slow. It was then possible for the spirits to so clothe their organs of speech that their words sounded in our atmosphere. If we accept the hypothesis that spirit people have bodies, and that they are around and about us in an invisible world, it does not require any stretch of imagination to appreciate the possibility of speaking with those beyond the earth-plane. When we appreciate the fundamental fact that the Universe is matter and that life itself is matter, new possibilities open to us.
“Tell us of the conditions that enable you to speak,” I asked one who spoke to us. “There are in our group,” the spirit replied, “seven people, – all expert in the handling of the electric and magnetic forces, and when you and the psychic, Mrs. French, meet, the vital force that emanates from her personality is gathered up. We also take physical emanations-substances- from you and the others with you, while we contribute to the mass a certain spirit force. Now, that force which we gather and distribute, is just as material as any substance that you would gather for any purpose; it is simply higher in vibration. We clothe the organs of respiration of the spirit who is to speak, so that his voice will sound in your atmosphere, and when this condition is brought about, it is just as natural for a spirit as it is for you. You then have what is known as the direct or independent voice, that is, the voice of a spirit speaking as in earth- life.”
Since mankind came up out of savagery, the great problem has been and ever will be: What is the ultimate end? What, if anything, waits on the other side of death’s mysterious door? What happens when the hour strikes that closes man’s earth career, when, leaving all the gathered wealth of lands and goods, he goes out into the dark alone? Is death the end – annihilation and repose? Or, does he awake in some other sphere or condition, retaining individuality and identity?
Each must solve this great question for himself. Dissolution and change have come to every form of life, and will come to all that live. With opportunity knocking at the door, mankind has but little more appreciation of it now than it had when Phallic-worship swayed the destinies of empires. It may be that, as a people, our development has been such that we could heretofore grasp and comprehend only length, breadth, and thickness, the three accepted dimensions of matter; that in our progression we have but now become able to appreciate and understand life forces that find their expression beyond the physical plane.
Time was when all knowledge was handed down from one generation to another by story, song, and tradition. When the Persian civilization was growing old, and ambition towered above the lofty walls of Babylon; when Egypt was building her temples on the banks of the Nile; when Greece was the centre of art and culture, and Rome with its wealth and luxuries held sway over the civilized world, people did not dream of type and the printing press, applied electricity, or navigation of the air, and the many inventions that were to come. They were not ready for such progression.
The world cannot stand still. The great law of the universe is progress. Two or three generations since, the idea that a cable would one day be laid under the sea and that messages would be transmitted under the waters and over the waters from continent to continent, was laughed at as a chimera. Only a little while ago, the world could not understand how words and sentences could be flashed across the trackless ocean from ship to ship, and from land to land, without wires, in space. And who shall now say that it is not possible to send thoughts, words, sentences, voices even, and messages, out into the ether of the spirit world, there to be heard, recorded, and answered? Has man reached the end of his possibilities; will all progression stop with Marconi’s achievements and telephoning without wires? This is the age of man; we have passed the age of gods. If our development is such that we can comprehend the life and conditions following dissolution, it must be within our grasp as surely as progress has been possible at all times and among all people since the world began.
Our age is one of sudden and rapid changes. What was true yesterday assumes a different, one could almost say, a diametrically opposite aspect today. Our people are in a state of transition. New views come with changing times and conditions. Most minds are sensitive, alert, and versatile, and the present is fraught with unrest and a thirst for knowledge. This is a period that will be fruitful in scientific discoveries, and in the adaptation of the universal law of vibratory action. We need not be afraid of investigation. All truth is safe; nothing else will suffice, and he who holds back the truth, through expediency or fear, fails in his duty to mankind.
Some have come to know what awaits over the great divide, have solved the great problem of dissolution, and with the confidence born of knowledge, based on facts proved and demonstrated, are ready to speak with authority. As one among the many, I again give the world the result of my continued research in the new field of psychic science.
We have looked upon the discarded physical body, habitation or housing, occupied by one while developing on the earth plane, and have said: “He is dead; never again will his voice speak words of tenderness, his hands touch, or eyes look upon us, nevermore will we know his tender loving care; he is no more.” Such is the most erroneous conclusion ever reached by the human mind. When at night we lay aside our clothing, we ire the same. When at the end of a short span we separate from the flesh garment we have worn, we are not dead. We are identically the same person, mentally, morally, and spiritually as before, with the same etheric body, with power to think and function as in earth-life. I say with all the strength and force at my command that there is continuity of all life; that nothing is ever lost; that communication is possible, and has been had with those in the afterlife in many ways. My effort has been to create a condition in which it became possible for spirit people to clothe with physical substance their organs of respiration, so they could talk to us as when in earth-life. It has been my privilege to hear their voices, best of all methods, hundreds of times. Thousands of individuals have spoken, using their own vocal organs, and I have answered. From this source has come great knowledge, facts beyond the learning of men, not found in any books, and it is my privilege to give them to you.
Lay aside preconceived notions, discard prejudice, be fair and unafraid, while in simple language, I relate what has come to me from this wonderful source. If you are not impressed with its truth, discard it. If it appeals to reason, it will be a help not only here but hereafter.