16 Chapter XVI


In my investigation I was always anxious to obtain a description of the occupation and daily life of those who live in the plane beyond, and asked many practical questions.

“What is this death change that seems so horrible to the average mind?” I inquired.

“Death change,” one answered, “is simply the liberation of the spirit form from the physical body, composing the outer flesh garment, perfectly natural and painless. Every change in Nature is beautiful, and dissolution is no exception to the rule. One simply ceases to be an inhabitant of your world, and in an instant one becomes an inhabitant of the world in which we now live. The second world or plane is just as natural to us as the first, but, of course, we live under different conditions. We pass our daily life as before. Our spirit is just as perfect a human form as it ever was. For your clear understanding of the modus operandi of the death change to this plane we may say one parts with the physical body only. We lose none of our intelligence; neither is anything added to our understanding.”

“What of your daily life?” I asked.

“Our days are very busy,” he said. “There is no stagnation, but on the contrary intense activity among every one, that is, when we have emerged from the earth conditions. There are countless millions of children unborn physically who are plunged into this world of ours, and there are millions of women here who have never known motherhood in earth life, who take and care for them, watch and aid their growth, mentally and physically, and in that manner satisfy the craving of motherhood.

“The insane pass from the earth-life insane still, and countless numbers of our people are required to care for them and give them proper treatment so that their mentality may be restored to the normal. Murderers at war with humanity, hanged or electrocuted on the earth- plane, are liberated in this community, and we are obliged to do what the world of men failed to do-control and educate them. Then, again, we have the ignorant and vicious. The atom of Good that has found expression in them must be developed and directed. Few people come into this life with any conception of what or where it is, or of the controlling laws. The ignorance of the masses is pitiful. They enter our portals as helpless as the babe enters yours. So you see dissolution making no mental change, and life being material and continuous, there is just as great need for schools, colleges, and universities as exists with you. In fact, it may be said that everything you have in your earth life is but a poor imitation of what exists here and is largely the result of spirit influence and power.”

“What of your homes?” I asked.

“We have houses in which the family relation is continued, where every member-spirit is seeking enlightenment. The law of attraction is the dominant force here. We have a great number of thoughtful men seeking to discover and develop the hidden forces of Nature; we have great lecture halls where those who are learned discourse upon the hidden forces; we have teachers who develop the spirituality, and discourse upon that great force called Good and its function in the universe. It is a busy world where every one is doing his or her part. We do not have any strife for money or need for money; so you see the occupation of the great majority of your people is gone. It is only by helping others in this life – and this is equally true of the earthlife – that one betters his conditions and enriches himself. This is the law.

The only happiness that the inhabitants of earth really get is through being charitable, doing good, and making the world happier. The only wealth that any man carries beyond the grave is what he gives away before he reaches the grave.”

“Tell us something of your foods. Do you require nourishment?” I asked.

“Yes,” he answered, “but not in the manner or in the way that you do. Our digestive organs continue their functions, and we require food, but we take the essence while you take the substance. You take food day by day in earth life. The substance is absorbed in the physical garment, but it is the essence of the food that nourishes the spirit body from day to day. The substance is no longer necessary, but the essence is necessary just as it was before. So you see there is very little change in physical necessities.”

‘Tell me of your political economy,” I asked.

“There is,” Dr. Hossock answered, “no aristocracy in this land of ours, but mind and merit. The law of Nature which is the Supreme Force, called Universal Law, has to be obeyed, in order that each sphere may be reached. Every individual remains upon the plane for which he is fitted, until he subjects his will to the Universal Law. As he progresses, he learns new laws, but they are fundamentally the same, only they grow more intense and vital, until he becomes a part of that law himself.

“The political economy of the spheres has reference only to wealth, which being unbounded and free as air and light, can, of course, be appropriated by each and every member of society, according to his or her capacity of reception, the supply being equal to the demand. Hence it will be seen that we have no occasion for gold and silver which perish with the using; but the currency of moral and intellectual worth, coined in the mint of divine Love, and assayed by the standards of purity and truth, is necessary for each one.”

“Tell me something of your social life,” I said.

“With regard to the social constitution of the spheres,” he answered, each is divided into six circles or societies in which congenial people live together agreeably according to the law of attraction. Although the individuals composing such society unite as near as may be in thought, agreeing in the most important moral and intellectual features, yet upon careful analysis we find that the varieties of character in each society are almost without number. They are perfectly analogous to the numerous members of the different societies on the earth- plane. Each group has teachers more advanced than the members of the group, and teachers often come from higher spheres. They impart to us the knowledge that they have acquired in their progression in the different departments of science, which we, in turn, transmit to those below us, just in the same manner as we are transmitting knowledge to you now. Thus, by receiving and teaching, our intellectual faculties are expanded to higher conceptions and more exalted views of Nature’s laws. Our scientific researches are extended to all that pertains to Nature, to the wonders of the heavens and of earth and to whatever the mentality is capable of conceiving and comprehending. In this manner we get our progression and enjoyment. The sciences of astronomy and mathematics engage our attention. These subjects are inexhaustible. Chemistry is the most interesting of any of our studies, as it would be to you if you only appreciated the fact that all change in Nature is the result of chemical action.”

“You do not mean to say that all of your inhabitants are sufficiently advanced to do that work?”

“No,” he answered, “there are millions of inhabitants of this life who are not sufficiently advanced to take any interest in such studies. As we have passed beyond the rudimentary sphere, our intellectual energy is increased, our perception improved, and we can by intuition, as it were, more correctly and rapidly conceive and understand those principles and truths which are the basis of all scientific work.

“In addition to our research we have our diversion from which we obtain great pleasure. We come together in social intercourse, just as you do. Families meet and have reunions, just as you do. Not one particle of love is lost, but rather it is intensified. Everything is intensified to a degree that you cannot imagine. Your pleasure and amusements can in no way compare to those which we are privileged to enjoy.”

“What of the religious movement among your people?” I asked.

“In the lowest of the spheres, that is, in the earth-bound spheres sectarian strife and religious movement are just as strenuous among the people as they were before these persons left the physical body. That state of transition is but little removed from the physical, for, while the majority there know they have left the body, others have such an imperfect appreciation of the change, or have led such immoral lives that they are not conscious of the fact.

Here the dogmas of orthodoxy are dominant, and the old religious teachings are promulgated, and the priesthood still holds power. One would think that an individual having passed through the portal called death and finding nothing as he had been taught, or as he had believed, would give up the old notions and try to comprehend the economy of the natural law under which he continued to live; but, strange as it may seem, many even then cling to the old beliefs as if in fear, as if to doubt were sacrilege, and in many ways excuse their failure to find what they expected. They go into your churches and mingle with other people, a great invisible host, hear the same old teachings, say the same creeds and continue in the same mental attitude until some condition is brought about them that guides them into the avenue of knowledge, and as time goes on, one by one they break the shackles about their mentalities, and by progression, through individual effort, become inhabitants of the first spirit sphere.

“Everyday matters are no different in our sphere than in your sphere. You do not progress and obtain knowledge and advancement until you break away from the old beliefs and creeds. Neither do those out of the body in that earth-bound condition. You see there is but one law for you and one law for us. All of nature’s laws are universal.

“Our laws are meted out on a scale of exact justice. All Nature’s laws are exact laws, and from their award there is no appeal. Punishments are but the natural consequences of violated laws, and are invariably commensurate with the offence, and have reference to the reformation of the offender as well as to the prevention of future crimes.”

“What are the best results that will come to mankind through communication with your people?” I asked an inhabitant of the afterlife. He answered:

“I will briefly call your attention to a few of the most prominent of the beneficial results which will flow from spiritual intercommunion. It will settle the important question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ It will reduce the doctrine of the immortality of the human spirit to certainty, so that the world’s knowledge of the fact will not be the result of a blind faith, but a positive philosophy. It will show the relation existing between mind and matter; it will make men thinking and rational beings. It will establish a holy and most delightful intercourse between the inhabitants of the terrestrial world and the departed spirit friends. It will expand and liberalize the mind far beyond your present conceptions.

It will fraternize and unite all the members of the human family in an everlasting bond of spiritual union and harmonious brotherhood. It will establish the principle of Love to God and your fellows. It will do away with sectarian bigotry. It will show that many of the so-called religious teachings are but impositions on the credulity of mankind.”

“I am always anxious for a further description of yourselves, your pleasures, your intercourse with each other, and it is difficult for us who have only had experience with matter in its physical state in any way to comprehend life in another state,” I said.

“We derive much pleasure,” was the reply, “from the exercise of our talents in vocal and instrumental music, which far excels the noblest efforts of musical genius on earth. When we convene to worship God in our temples, whose halls and columns beam with inherent light, our voices are blended together in songs of praise and adoration to the Almighty author of our existence.

“We are moral, intellectual, and sensitive creatures. Instead of being, as many of you imagine, mere shadowy and unsubstantial entities, we are possessed of definite, tangible, and exquisitely symmetrical forms, with well rounded and graceful limbs, and yet so light and elastic that we can glide through the atmosphere with almost electrical speed. The forked lightnings may flash, and the thunders roll in awful reverberation along the vault of heaven, and the rain descend in gushing torrents, but we can stand unharmed by your side.

“We are, moreover, endowed with all the beauty, loveliness, and vivacity of youth, and are clothed in flowing vestments of effulgent nature suited to the peculiar degree of refinement of our bodies. Our raiment being composed of phosphorescent principles, we have the power of attracting and absorbing or reflecting the rays evolved, according as our condition is more or less developed. This accounts for our being seen by clairvoyants in different degrees of brightness, from a dusky hue to an intensity brilliant light.”