CHAPTER XXIV ACTUALITIES OF THE AFTERLIFE
After birth, death is the greatest privilege that comes to mankind. If death did not occur, there would be old age, feebleness, poverty, pain, and suffering forever; with it, splendid life on through the ages, progress, perpetual youth and vigor. Such is the heritage of all who have lived, or who shall live in the ages to come as inhabitants of this plane; such are the benefits coming through dissolution.
“Physically considered, in the final separation of the soul or spirit body from the flesh garment there are no discomforts. As the etheric form goes out through the process called death, pain ceases, and then for a short period comes what is usually called unconsciousness. During the passing of the soul, when the individual leaves the tenement of flesh, when the spirit of man hurries forth from the old housing, there is no sensation. That period of time may be characterized as a sleep; then comes the awakening the return of sensation, consciousness.
Such is the true resurrection, and the possibility of that perfect life, unattainable to an inhabitant of earth. After leaving the earth-plane the immortal has been divested of the physical, and progress is unlimited.”
Again, it was my privilege to have speech with those living beyond my vision. The room in my house in which I carried on my experimental work was intensely dark; as usual only Mrs. French and I were present. The thought, before so tense, had for a moment become passive; then from out of the silence came the deep-toned voice of him who spoke the above quoted words.
Ever alert to obtain the personal observations of those who have gone on, I said:
“I have been told that the afterlife is intensely real and that with you everything is just as tangible as it was when you lived among us. Tell me something of matter surrounding and composing the plane in which you live.”
“The most learned scientist,” he replied, “among the inhabitants of earth has practically no conception of the properties of matter, the substance that makes up the Universe – visible and invisible. I did not when I lived among you, though I made a special study of the subject. That which you see and touch, making up the physical or tangible, having three dimensions, is the lowest or crudest expression of life force, and notwithstanding my long study of the subject, the idea that the physical had permanent etheric or life-form, that that which you call space was composed of matter filled with intelligent and comprehensive life in higher vibration never occurred to me; so when I became an inhabitant of the plane where I now reside, I was wholly unprepared to grasp or comprehend the material conditions of the environment in which I found myself.”
“Tell me,” I asked, “of your awakening, and how things appeared to you as consciousness was restored.”
“Of course,” he replied, “there was the meeting and greeting of my own who came to welcome me, as naturally as one returning after a long journey in the earth-life would be welcomed. Their bodies were not so dense as when they were inhabitants of earth, but they were like my own. Then I was told that my body and the bodies of all those in that life were actually the identical bodies which we had in earth life, divested of the flesh covering. I was also told that that condition is a necessary precedent to entering the higher life, and that such bodies during earth life had continuity and, further, that in leaving the old, I had come into a plane where all was etheric, that is matter vibrating in perfect accord with my spirit or, technically speaking, etheric self. To me everything seemed perfectly natural to sense, sight, and touch.”
“Again, let me tell you,” he said, “that the outer flesh garment is not sufficiently sensitive to feel; the etheric body alone has sensation. This I have said as leading up to a clear understanding of what I experienced in meeting the new conditions here. I found little body- change – I had sensation and vision – and my personal appearance was in no way changed except that my body was less dense, more transparent as it were, but the outline of my form was definite, my mind clear, the appearance of age gone, and I stood a man in the fullness of my mentality – nothing lost or gained mentally.
What impressed me most after the meeting with my own was the reality and tangibility of everything and every one. All those with whom I came in contact had bodies like my own, and I recognized friends and acquaintances readily. Now I will tell you of the one thing that impressed me most on coming here, – that was that matter in its intense refinement, in its higher vibration, was capable of intelligent thinking and direction. Shape and grasp this proposition if you can; I could not in the beginning – nor could I comprehend at once that all in the Universe was life and nothing else. This fact, which we now know, will overturn all the propositions of science.
In all the orthodox teachings of nearly two thousand years not one law has been given tending to show how it was possible for individual life to hold continuity. Theology has claimed it without explaining how or where. This no longer satisfies the human heart or mind, a fact which accounts for the great unrest among your people in every land. For this reason it has been our aim to explain the law through which life is continued, and so simply to state the facts and explain the conditions that all may understand. The key to comprehension is first to realize that your Earth does not contain all the matter of the Universe, that all that you see and touch is but the substance used by life in growth. When one leaves the earth-condition, divests himself of the physical housing, he, through such change, ceases to be mortal. By becoming a resident of the new sphere he is said to take on immortality, but in reality he has always been immortal.”
“You regard the telephone as wonderful,” he said, “wireless telegraphy more wonderful still but we communicate with each other by simple thought projection. You regard the phonograph as a marvelous instrument, but it is crude beside the instruments in use among us. When you appreciate the truth that we live in a state no less material than your own, you will understand that with our greater age and experience we are much in advance of you, and make and use appliances and instruments that could hardly be explained to mortal mind. At some other time I may be permitted to discuss this subject more fully.”