CHAPTER XXIII FUTURE OF A CHILD
The orthodox teachings make no attempt to tell us what becomes of children who go out of the earth-plane in infancy. How many millions of mothers have had babies too young for speech, boys and girls just able to talk and walk, sink into a dreamless sleep, and having kissed for the last time the lips of love, have seen the little bodies lowered with tender hands into the grave, and as the earth fell upon the casket have heard from the lips of ignorance “ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.” With hearts without hope they have gone back to the house of sorrow, the toys, the little bed, the vacant chair, the ache in the heart, the tears that fall in countless thousands of homes, and the cries that go out in the night to know where in the vast universe the baby is, if it lives at all.
“What becomes of those who go out in infancy, you ask? “Do they develop in mind and body? Shall we know them and meet them again? Will they know us? Is there any one to comfort and care for them, and teach them?
Do they miss and seek the mother love?” These and a thousand more questions have been asked in the countless ages that have gone, and are being asked in every desolate home in the world today.
Let me tell what I have learned of those conditions through many years of speech with those in the afterlife.
I repeat what I have said before and shall say again, for it is the key to comprehension, that the infant at conception possesses an etheric form, at that moment clothed in a physical garment or flesh body. This etheric form is material, composed of matter, and as matter cannot be destroyed; it follows that etheric child-body cannot by any possibility be annihilated.
The infant etheric form by the process of dissolution passes out of the physical garment which it took on at the moment of conception, the same garment that it wore at birth, and becomes an inhabitant of the next plane of consciousness, where all is etheric, where nothing physical can enter. This change may be likened to an earth-birth. There are thousands of childless women, who never in earth-life found expression for the mother-love. These, with countless others who find their greatest happiness in doing good together with those of blood relation, attend at such a time and take and care for the little stranger in the new environment.
Let me give an instance that came under my personal investigation. It is a well known fact that children up to about three years of age are able to, and do see spirit people; some have spirit playmates. The instance I am about to relate was the passing of a little boy, only one week old, who had a sister a little under three years of age, with whom I was privileged to make an experiment. This little girl night after night saw the baby boy, and described him; he was in the same room with two spirit nurses in attendance, while another woman was from time to time described as being present. Again, this three year old sister often saw the spirit- baby when she was away from her home. On various occasions I verified these statements by inquiry from those in the afterlife during our investigation, and found that what the little sister related had actually taken place. The woman who appeared from time to time was the grandmother; she, assisted by two nurses, cared for the little stranger, and on several occasions, before he could articulate plainly, prior to his fourth birthday, I heard him speak to me. This was a most valuable experience.
Children in the afterlife are cared for very much as they are here. There are those who find their greatest delight in mothering the motherless, and teaching them words of speech and wisdom; so under such unselfish care the children reach mental and bodily maturity just the same as they would if they had remained in this world.
The etheric process of development is interesting; children need mother-love no less in spirit than in earth life, and as the mother sleeps, those in charge place the etheric baby-form close to her heart, where it rests absorbing the love so necessary to its existence. We little know how close the afterlife is, how close its inhabitants come to us, the influence they exert on us, or the result of our thought vibrations upon them. Then again, as the children grow, they keep in touch with us from day to day, and when we go out into the afterlife, they know and greet us as we enter the life that has no night.
There are in the next life kindergartens, schools, colleges, and universities of learning just as we have here, and what is more, the inhabitants do not cease to study and increase their store of knowledge when they reach a certain age, but there are great lecture halls where the advanced ones teach the supreme laws of Nature, where all are welcome and all go, and so the secrets of the Universe are understood. There is but one aristocracy in the life to come, and that is founded on the refinement and development of character. Measured by this standard, how very poor are our very rich ! I have often written that the aristocrats of the afterlife have gained their position by helping others less fortunate. They rise by raising others. Those alone stand erect who stoop above the lowly.
Here is what a sojourner in the next plane has said of the little ones:
“Many people have puzzled as to the state and condition of young children in the spirit world, and it is on that subject that I desire to speak, more particularly, tonight. There are millions of young children of all ages passing into the spirit world every year. Some of them are of very tender age, while others know right from wrong. It is an interesting subject to inquire as to what they do in the spirit life. At the outset, I must tell you that there is a divine law in the spirit world, that whosoever passes into that kingdom before he has reached to man’s estate upon the earth-plane, shall grow mentally to the stature of a man. You can gather from that that the 7 youngest child, even the infant which has been taken from you, will grow mentally and spiritually on the other side of life. Clairvoyants and others have often described young children in the spirit life, who have been recognized by mothers and fathers; they perhaps years after, have been somewhat astonished to hear of the child looking much older, and they have not been able to account for it. You will understand that the presentation of the spiritual form is in order that those in the flesh may be able to see them through the physical senses, and to note that they appear to be growing toward manhood and womanhood. I am afraid that many people upon your earth-plane today are neglectful of their responsibilities to their children. If God has given you such a flower as a child, it is incumbent upon you by example and precept to train that child in spiritual things, so that ultimately he will be with you in the kingdom of Heaven and will rejoice in the knowledge that you guided him spiritually when an infant. But how careless are many people with their children ! They forget that the child is all the time taking note, not of what they are saying, but of what they are doing. I assure you that if you are unmindful of your responsibilities toward your children, you will undoubtedly have to pay the penalty when you reach the spirit side of life.”
Too little attention has been paid to the going out of children; the world has little knowledge on that subject. No greater blessing can come to the fathers and mothers of every nation and tribe than to know that children with bodies too frail to carry them through the earth-life are not lost in going from among us, but in the other life go right on with their growth and development under the care and guidance of good men and women who for love of humanity do the necessary work, and so enrich themselves.
I am impressed not to leave this subject without a word of warning to do no murder. Know that at the moment of conception out of the mass of the universal good, out of the life mass, an etheric atom, a body infinitesimal in size and perfect in form is clothed, and no matter whether the physical birth is natural or premature, that life-force so individualized has commenced its journey back to God, and all the power in all the Universe cannot change its ultimate destiny.
I am told that into the afterlife countless millions of children have come and are coming who have never had the advantage of a natural physical birth and earth experience so necessary to their development, but that heartless mothers by abortive acts and with the aid of dastard physicians have done and are doing countless murders, more terrible in result than the taking of the life of a man, because the unborn infant is so weak and helpless. If this knowledge shall cause any mother to spare the life of her unborn child, blood of her blood, and bone of her bone, or the physician to pause in his criminal act, sorrow untold will pass both by.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox described perhaps better than she knew in her “Ballade of the Unborn Dead” the natural and logical result of child murder
“They walked the valley of the dead,
Lit by a weird half light,
No sound they made, no word they said,
And they were pale with fright.
Then suddenly from unseen places came,
Loud laughter, that was like a whip of flame,
They looked, and saw, beyond, above,
A land where wronged souls wait
Those spirits called to earth by love,
And driven back by hate.
And each one stood in anguish, dumb and wild,
As she beheld the phantom of her child.
Yea, saw the soul her wish had hurled
Out into night and death,
Before it reached the Mother world,
Or drew its natal breath.
And terrified, each hid her face and fled
Beyond the presence of her unborn dead,
And God’s Great Angel, who provides
Souls for our mortal land,
Laughed, with the laughter that derides,
At that fast fleeing band
Of self-made barren women of the earth.
Hell has no curse that withers like such mirth.
‘Oh, Angel, tell us who were they,
That down below us fared;
Those shapes with faces strained and grey,
And eyes that stared and stared;
Something there was about them,
gave us fear; Yet are we lonely, now they are not here.’
Thus spake the spectral children; thus
The Angel made reply:
‘They have no part or share with us,
They were but passers by.’
‘But may we pray for them?’ the phantoms plead;
‘Yea, for they need your prayers,’ the Angel said.”
“I want to tell you,” a teacher in the afterlife said, “of a little waif that came to us in infancy. We taught and carefully guarded, and schooled her in the pure conditions of our sphere until she approached womanhood, but she had no contrasts, therefore she could not judge of the relative purity and delights of her environment. In order that she should be able to enjoy her home and the glories of our world, it was necessary for her to have a knowledge of earthly conditions. And so I was instructed to conduct this child back to earth from time to time. When this child first returned to earth and was among your people, she could hardly endure even to examine the gross conditions, and could not understand how people could exist in such dark, crude elements. But, as I led her along from one condition to another, over the road she would have gone had she remained on earth for the ordinary allotted period, I said to her: ‘Had you lived your time in the body, you would have been in the condition in which you see these people.’ I also told her that they would look gross to her when they reached the spirit state, but that in course of time they would improve enough to assume the state of purity and peace that she enjoyed. And as we journeyed on, we met one whose earthly experience had unfolded, and the little lady said: ‘That one looks different.’ And I told her that this one had received a higher training. And we passed along to another place in the earth-life where there were children of the poor and ignorant, as well as of the rich and learned. And we tarried until my little charge thoroughly learned the different environments of children on earth, and the great contrast between their homes, daily life, and schooling and those in spirit-life. This child had never known anything but innocence and purity, and she was far removed from the ordinary conditions of the childhood of earth. It was long before she could, in any degree, recognize it as a reality.
“And, having learned of the methods of training in the institutions of earth, we pursued our investigations farther along; and, finally we came to where there was a great orthodox church; and there, unseen, we mingled with the congregation. She said: ‘This churchhouse is not like ours at all. What is taught here?’ Presently the services began. I told her to listen attentively to the minister, for here she would get the average experience of the church methods and be able to see wherein a great work, in brave hands, is greatly needed on the spirit side. Then, the minister proceeded with his discourse in his regular methodical manner, telling the people all he thought essential to prepare them to enter higher realms of the spirit. But the girl, now grown to nearly womanhood, could not accept the dicta of the minister, for she had up to now been raised in the spirit world and had learned nothing that was in harmony with methods attempted by the church to enlighten the people and prepare them for future realities. Therefore the teachings of the minister seemed to her so gross, so false, so out of line with all she had ever seen, heard, or read of in the land which had always been her home that she hesitated to remain, but I told her that her future work and welfare required that she learned as much as possible of the earth conditions in which your people live, and the kind of preparation such earth conditions make for their inheritance in our life. But the more the young lady heard of the sermon the more she disbelieved it. In fact, it was so much opposed to what she knew of the conditions on this side, and so different from what preparation while on earth for entrance to and enjoyment of spirit life should consist that at my suggestion she resolved to visit those who had just left the earth-plane, schooled under its teaching, and witness the effect of it; we, therefore, journeyed on.”