20 Chapter XX


The inhabitants of this invisible world influence and in some measure control the thought and conduct of every individual. They are more progressive than we, and having no, incentive to accumulate money, devote themselves to the acquisition of knowledge. They delve deeply into the forces of Nature, and dealing with matter in greater refinement, make from time to time discoveries, some of which are utilized on the physical plane.

Faraday, who first made practical the force known as electricity, did not cease his investigations with dissolution, but has been a potent factor in its development through suggestion to those who devote their time to the utilization of that force. Raphael did not cease to portray upon canvas his wonderful creations, nor did Michael Angelo lose his ability to chisel marble into forms of beauty when he ceased to inhabit this plane.

The years that have elapsed since they went on, have been years of opportunity and progress. Mozart, Beethoven, and all the other musicians who gave us our great compositions, have they gone down into the silent and relentless darkness, or have they continued their work, impressing on others from day to day new music that enriches the world? Milton, Dryden,

Pope, Goldsmith, Moore, Wordsworth, Burns, Browning of modern times, Seneca, Pliny the Elder, Plutarch, Epictetus, Tacitus and Cervantes, of an earlier period, were all their wonderful writings and philosophies produced without suggestion from the master minds in the more advanced spheres? I know this one fact, that people in the afterlife are so close, so in touch with our thoughts that it is difficult for any one to say that this or that is the product of his own intellect. Progress owes much to the invisible.

Robert G. Ingersoll, well known to me in the after life, speaking on this subject said:

“Let me give the most remarkable illustration of spirit suggestion – the immortal Shakespeare. Neither of his parents could read or write. He grew up in a small village among ignorant people, on the banks of the Avon. There was nothing in the peaceful, quiet landscape on which he looked, nothing in the low hills, the undulating fields, nothing in the lazy flowing stream to excite the imagination. Nothing in his early life calculated to sow the seeds of the subtlest and sublimest thought. There was nothing in his education or lack of education to account for what he did. It is supposed that he attended school in his home village, but of that there is no proof. He went to London when young, and within a few years became interested in Black Friars Theatre, where he was actor, dramatist, and manager. He was never engaged in a business counted reputable in that day. Socially he occupied a position below servants. The law described him as a “sturdy vagabond.” He died at 52.

How such a man could produce the works which he did has been the wonder of all time. Not satisfied that one with such limited advantages could possibly have written the master pieces of literature, it has been by some contended that Bacon was the author of all Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies.

It is a fact to be noted that in none of this man’s plays is there any mention of his contemporaries. He made reference to no king, queen, poet, author, sailor, soldier, statesman, or priest of his own period. He lived in an age of great deeds, in the time of religious wars, in the days of the armada, the edict of Nantes, the massacres of St. Bartholomew, the victory of Lepanto, the assassination of Henry III of France, and the execution of Mary Stuart; yet he did not mention a single incident of his day and time.

The brain that conceived “Timon of Athens” was a Greek in the days of Pericles and familiar with the tragedies of that country. The mind that dictated “Julius Caesar” was an inhabitant of the Eternal City when Caesar led his legions in the field. The author of “Lear” was a Pagan; of “Romeo and Juliet,” an Italian who knew the ecstasies of love. The author of those plays must have been a physician, for he shows a knowledge of medicine and the symptoms of disease; a musician, for in “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” he uses every musical term known to his contemporaries. He was a lawyer, for he was acquainted with the forms and expressions used by that profession. He was a botanist because he named nearly all known plants. He was an astronomer and a naturalist and wrote intelligently upon the stars and natural science. He was a sailor, or he could not have written “The Tempest.” He was a savage and trod the forest’s silent depths. He knew all crimes, all regrets, all virtues, and their rewards. He knew the unspoken thoughts, desires and ways of beasts. He lived all lives. His brain was a sea on which the waves touch all the shores of experience. He was the wonder of his time and of ours.

Was it possible for any man of his education and experience to conceive the things which he did? All the Shakespearean works were, beyond a doubt, the product of his pen, but the conceptions, the plays, the tragedies were the work of many brains, given Shakespeare by spirit suggestion. He was but the sensitive instrument through which a group of learned and distinguished scholars, inhabitants of many lands when in earth-life, gave to posterity the sublime masterpieces of the Bard of Avon.”

The writings of Swedenborg were produced in the same way. Sardeau wrote by spirit suggestion, and as a fact many of the best works of so called great men have been in part the action of the minds of those beyond our earthly plane, who, working in conjunction with man, do something for the uplift of the human race.

Knowing as I do the potent influence of spirit people upon the world’s thought, and how in every way they seek to enlighten us as to the change called death, I have wondered what spirit impressed this poem on a mortal mind,

“As the faint dawn crept upwards, grey and dim, He saw her move across the past to him

Her eyes as they had looked in long-gone years, Tender with love, and soft with thoughts of tears,

Her hands, outstretched as if in wonderment, Nestled in his, and rested there, content.”

“Dear wife,” he whispered, “what glad dream is this? I feel your clasp-your long-remembered kiss

Touches my lips, as when you used to creep Into my heart; and yet, this is not sleep

Is it some vision, that with night will fly?” “Nay, dear,” she answered; “it is really I.”

“Dear heart, it is you I know ! But I knew not the dead could meet us so,

Bodied as we are-see, how like we stand !” “Like,” she replied, “in form, and face, and hand.”

Silent awhile, he held her to his breast As if afraid to try the further test

Then, speaking quickly, “Must you go away? “Husband,” she murmured, “neither night nor day !”.

Close to her then, she drew his head, Trembling, “I do not understand,” he said.

“I thought the spirit world was far apart . . .” Nay,” she replied, “it is not now, dear heart ! ”

Quick, hold fast my hand, lean on me .. .so… Cling to me, dear ! … ’tis but a step to go !”

The white-faced watchers rose, beside the bed; “Shut out the day,” they sighed, “our friend is dead.”

This is a substantial description of what is actually occurring from hour to hour. In the change as the individual catches his breath in the etheric atmosphere, and his vision is clarified as a result of throwing off the flesh tissue, he sees spirit people, “like in form and face and hand,” so natural, so unlike what one has been led to believe that it is hard to understand. But let us remember that the change is a natural one, that all Nature’s changes are for our good, planned by the Master Intelligence, in order that our opportunity for development may be increased, and we may grow more God-like. Knowing this we can meet the dawn of the new conditions with confidence and courage.

Man is a part of Nature; his intelligence being developed and refined to a greater or less degree, he is an integral portion of that force which we term God. It is not necessary that we bend the knee and worship at any shrine or altar, but knowing that we are part of that intelligent force which holds dominion in Nature, it is incumbent upon us to do no act unworthy of our position, to live where the best thoughts grow, day by day to strive to maintain the integrity and standard set for us, and ultimately to do our utmost to increase that force called good, or God.

In all ages Man has pursued happiness by countless paths and innumerable roads. Some have thought that within the hollow crown that rounds the mortal temples of a king, it kept its seat; some have thought that on the throne it sat and smiled, and have waded through seas of blood to reach it; some have thought that behind the walls of splendor it made its home; others, despairing of finding it there, have pictured a world beyond, where happiness could be found perfect and complete. But let us realize that there is only one royal road which leads to happiness, and that is to practice the plain, old, yet incomparable maxim, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These sacred words uttered in different form six hundred years before the alleged birth of Christ, fell from the lips of the great Confucius, and are today found in nearly every sacred volume of the world.