CHAPTER XIII THE UNKNOWN LAND
Into the frozen north, into the terrible cold, at the cost of human life many explorers from time to time have gone on voyages of discovery, have braved the crags and climbed mountains of ice, have faced famine and desolation, until at last upon the bleak and barren plane, a man has reached the Pole and stood upon the top of the earth. Not satisfied that one place upon the earth’s surface should remain unknown, other explorers equally courageous have faced the storms and cold, have crossed the crevasses, have braved famine, until at last they have found the Southern Pole. Man has gone to the ends of the earth, has sounded the seas, mapped the wilderness, and now all lands are said to have been explored. But no ! there is another land, an unknown land, tangible, material, actual, real, and more intense and beautiful than any now known; this is the next field for exploration.
Into that land all the countless dead of all the ages past have gone, all the living and all those who will in the ages yet to come inhabit for a little time this physical world will go. This being a self-evident truth, what more important field of investigation can there be? Compared with it the discovery of the Poles or the opening of the Dark Continent is insignificant.
If there is a tangible and material, yet unknown land beyond the physical, inhabited by people, why has it not already been discovered? The answer is simple. Ignorance and superstition have been barriers more difficult to climb over than mountains of ice and snow, and notwithstanding the millions who have gone into that unknown land, little effort has been made to ascertain anything concerning it. An illustration may help to explain the reason for such indifference. Before language was written and largely before the advent of the printing press, knowledge was transmitted by word of mouth, and legends and traditions were handed down from one generation to another. Some of these were incorporated in books, and on account of being in print they found acceptance as facts. Chief among them were the stories of the creation and of the conditions following dissolution, and men without thinking for themselves or requiring proof, have blindly accepted legends and traditions in place of facts based on laws that appeal to reason. Herein lies, in part, an explanation of the indifference.
When man becomes satisfied that beyond the physical there is another world, inhabited by all the countless so-called dead, where those whom he has loved and lost, live and work, the purse-strings will be loosened, means will be provided, the spirit of exploration will be revived, and others as brave as Columbus, as reckless as Cortez, as heroic as Livingston, as fearless as Perry, will become pioneers in the unmapped wilderness of the Unknown Land. By their discoveries the world will be enriched a thousand times more than by the explorations of the ages past into the waste places of the Poles. But until the public intellect is startled, until the thought of the world is aroused, a few of us unaided must work alone.
In the afterlife I have father, mother, brother, and son. Others similarly situated may be satisfied with the orthodox teaching as to where they are and their condition, but I have not been, and I have labored to know something of their daily life and how and where in the vast Universe they live and work. Much has been written about spirits and spirit-life, of a Heaven and a Hell where the so-called dead exist, but it is so hazy, indefinite, and theoretical that it has not appealed to my reason or satisfied my desire for facts.
Do the dead live in houses? Why not? The plane where they live being material, why should they not build homes, furnish and beautify them? All the material in the universe is not confined to the earthland. Are they clothed? Why not? Their bodies being no less visible than when in the earth-life, they, having suitable material adapted to their necessities, make and clothe their nakedness, for modesty does not cease with dissolution. Do they require food? Why not? Their digestive organs were not destroyed in making the change. True the process is in a great measure refined so that they take the essence instead of the substance, as mortals do. In dissolution, do those addicted to opiates, liquors, or tobacco, lose the desire, is another question. No; in earth life, it was not the flesh tissue that craved opiates, but the nervous system, the etheric body, and there being no change in the etheric body, the craving continues and must ultimately be overcome. The physical cannot enter the etheric kingdom of God. Are the so-called dead homeless in going into the next life? A very natural query. Some people I am told have lived such degenerate lives that they find nothing waiting in the great beyond. A home may have been constructed by those who have preceded them, but they may be unable to reach it for years to come.
However, those in the afterlife ordinarily work and labor to create a home and make it ready for those whom they love to enter at once when the great change comes, just as preparation is made when the new-born child is expected into this world of men.
I know something of the difficulty of comprehending that the invisible can possibly contain anything real and tangible. We are in the habit of thinking, generally speaking, that nothing outside the visible exists; one has never seen that substance of which life is composed; one has never seen life because such substance is beyond our vision. We ordinarily cannot see the very great or the very small, only matter where movement is between certain fixed points, and we know little of what lies above or below. With the microscope and a drop of water it was first possible to discover minute matter; with the telescope we have discerned millions of stars and constellations, composing the family of the Universe, which move with perfect order and precision. The possibilities have not been exhausted, and all the secrets of the Universe will not be discovered by the inhabitants of this plane of consciousness. All discoveries, and all progress are the result of research for knowledge, and are gained by effort.
When I was first told that those in the afterlife were real people and lived in a world as tangible as this, the subject was beyond my mental grasp, for I had been taught that the world of spirit was intangible, and existed in space, with no suggestion that what we call matter existed beyond the visible; and I never could grasp its reality until I was taught that in this, our present plane of existence, we realize matter only in a certain mode of motion when it may be said to have three dimensions – length, breadth, and thickness. If others must undergo the process which I have needed, they should adopt the same method, and not attempt to grasp conditions prevailing in the afterlife until by research and deductive reasoning they have come to comprehend matter in its higher and more refined forms and in its different modes of motion. After reaching that point they will not find it difficult to appreciate a condition, beyond this crude plane in which people, once inhabitants of this world, live similar lives, with similar environment. Having cast off the slow vibrating flesh garment called the body they find everything as material as before. I am trying to explain this subject in a simple manner, so that any mind capable of reasoning and thinking may understand. I find it even then difficult, for the proposition is entirely new in physics. When this fact is finally accepted, thinking minds will work it out in detail and present it in a thousand provable ways of which I have not thought, and then people will wonder that the facts were never worked out before. In time all will come to know that this, like all other natural changes, is extremely simple.
Knowledge of the environment of the next plane, and of the conditions there prevailing can only come from those who are there, and it is from such that I have obtained my information. Let those who challenge the statement that I have had speech with the inhabitants of the afterlife remember this fact-that on an average of once a week for 20 years, under scientific conditions, I have done that identical thing and have had speech with thousands of different individuals who have proved their identity. Any one who would deny that fact should have had equal experience, in order to be qualified to speak on the subject. So far as I know no man has ever had the opportunity or received the information as to the actual conditions prevailing in the afterlife to a greater extent than I have.
It is a fact to be noted, that the information as to the conditions prevailing in the afterlife, obtained by all careful psychic researches substantially agrees.