Recorded by Anthony Borgia
The spirit communicator of this book has, in previous volumes, dealt solely with descriptions of the spirit world and life in spirit lands generally, and he has hitherto touched only incidentally upon matters concerning faith and morals.
In the present work, he abandons descriptions of spirit life, and instead shows the attitude of the spirit world towards certain theological beliefs with reference to a number of texts from the New Testament.
A common experience which so many of us undergo when we pass to the spirit world is that of the necessity of readjusting, in varying degrees, our views upon many things in the light of newly gained knowledge and altered position. Our very mode of living undergoes a drastic change.
If the laity find this need for the readjustment of views after ‘death,’ how much more so must it be the case in one who was a priest of the Church, and who on earth was compelled (at least outwardly) to regard all communications from the spirit world as ‘dealings with the devil’!
My friendship with the communicator of this book, who was a distinguished priest in earth life, began in 1909 (five years before he went to the spirit world) in circumstances of so pleasant a nature that we are both unlikely ever to forget them.’ His passing has not meant the severance of that friendship, but its intensification, and that has been accomplished in the one way possible—by direct communication with him.
In fact, since he took up his residence in the spirit world, I have had many more opportunities of meeting him, together with a goodly company of mutual friends, than would ever have been possible had he remained on earth. It has been my happy experience to act as amanuensis throughout the previous scripts, and in this latest instance to record some of the details of his revised theology.
In speaking to my friends on earth once again, there is one preliminary observation that I would like to make. It is this: the spirit world is a vast place, and the activities of its habitants are upon a gigantic scale.
That part of the spirit world in which it is my great good fortune to live represents but an infinitesimal part of the whole, but to attempt to describe every feature of that part any one time and within the covers of a single volume could be impossible. The problem is a common one that confronts every person who wishes to return to earth, when the opportunity presents itself, to recount his experiences the spirit world. When the theme has been chosen, what shall be set down: what shall be omitted?
Such being the case, some of my good friends on earth are bound, in some measure, to be disappointed because they have not dealt fully enough with some point which has aroused their interest. That I very much regret, and I hope that these few preliminary words will help to make the position clear.
In the matter of the theme of these writings I have not, at any time, relied upon my own judgment. But I have been fortunate in always having at my side wise and gifted counselors, whose experiences of life in the spirit world and of the varying conditions of communication with the earth world, are wide. These friends are constantly giving me the benefit of their sterling advice upon all matters relative to these writings, and I have in all cases followed their advice.
Hitherto we have confined our descriptions and discussions to the spirit world and the life which some of us, its inhabitants, live in these beautiful realms. Some people on earth profess to take little interest in the kind of life, which is led by a great community of us in spirit lands. They prefer, something a little less material, a little more elevated descriptions of delightful houses and gardens, of beautiful landscapes, of pleasant occupations and enjoyable recreations. They feel that such things do not accord with what should be their ultimate destiny in the life hereafter. But I would ask such folk to devote a few quiet moments to the subject, and to ask themselves just what they feel the life ‘ ‘hereafter’ really ought to be, if they had the ordering of such things.
Wherein would they find their happiness? Of what nature would they wish their surroundings to be? One cannot imagine such folk being contented to spend eons of time in the spirit world occupied in some form of spirit contemplation to the exclusion of all other forms of activity—if contemplation can, in this sense, be considered an activity at all.
My experience has been that people who call the loudest for a highly spiritualized form of life in the world are the first, when they come here to the spirit world to be profoundly glad to see about them the many examples of material beauty and grandeur taking an outward form that they can quickly and easily recognize and understand
Indeed, the multiplicity of delights that are to be encountered has the effect of speedily and effectively driving out of their heads any ideas of spending valuable time in contemplation—except to contemplate upon their great good fortune in finding things as they are, and not as they might have been inclined to advocate when they were incarnate. So many things are nicer in the abstract than in the concrete: a lifetime spent in contemplation might be one of them.
I have been advised that the time would be appropriate for me to leave for the present, at least, any further account of our life in these realms and, instead, to treat matters of equal importance concerning our two worlds, yours and mine. But before doing so, there are one or two considerations, which I should like to place before you since they have a direct bearing upon our principal theme.
You must know, then, that the spirit world has been in existence for countless millions of years of earthly time. The earth world is but a toddling infant by comparison with the seemingly incalculable age of the spirit world. Together with the age of the spirit world are the laws that govern it. These laws have remained constant, unvarying, invariable, and in absolute continuity of existence and operation throughout this colossal period of time.
The spirit world, with great hosts of its inhabitants, has seen the dawn of the earth world, and those same great hosts have watched, too, the formation of the spirit spheres that are situated, as I have elsewhere explained to you, in concentric circles around the earth. It is not my purpose to discuss the formation of the spirit spheres since it has no direct reference to our present subject.
Beings in the exalted realms have beheld the evolution ‘man on earth, and they have assisted in that evolution. They have watched man’s steady spiritual and material progression.
Man, as he now is, was not created upon the instant, as the Church teaches, in the image and likeness of his Creator. He was slowly and steadily evolved from a lower order of creatures. The image and likeness were to come later. The Paradise of Eden is the best attempt at an explanation of the ‘creation’ of man that man himself could that time evoke. The story of the first man and woman, whom the earth world has come to name Adam and Eve, is natural corollary to the legend of their creation.
Had the story ended with this supposed couple enjoying to the end of their earthly days the pleasures and delights their ideal abode, the earth world would have been saved immensity of pain and suffering, of persecution, wars, and bloodshed, and a score of other tribulations and calamities. But some explanation was bound to be given as why this earthly paradise was not still flourishing, and so there was invented the utterly nonsensical an completely false doctrine of the Fall of Man, and that from this fall the whole of mankind is for ever tainted with original sin.
The various Churches of the earth-plane are by no means of one mind upon what is exactly meant by sin. But the different interpretations of the doctrine have one point in common—they are all equally and completely erroneous!
It is the belief of the Church to which I belonged when I was on earth that Adam and Eve were immortal in their earthly bodies, that the process known as physical was as yet unknown. These two individuals, that were so constituted that they were living, as it were in two worlds at once. They were, in fact, partly of the spirit world and partly of the earth world.
It was the sin of these supposed first parents the Father of the universe to invent the death physical body. He cast them out of Paradise, condemned them to ‘death,’ and that ‘death’ became communicable like some pestilent disease, to all future generation of mankind. The whole fabrication of the history of the creation of man and his subsequent disaster is a gross insult to the Infinite Mind.
The complexity of Church doctrines and creeds that have their origin or basis in the fable of our first parents a totally inadequate attempt to explain what the early churchmen were completely unable to explain.
The Christian civilization of the earth world dates the commencement of its history at about two thousand years ago of earthly time. Two thousand years: they are but a grain of sand, one single grain of sand, in a whole vast desert of time. What was happening on earth before those two thousand years commenced?
The earth, you are taught to, believe, was mostly in a state of paganism, where the people worshipped a multiplicity of gods, and changed their gods as their fancy led them. The great Father had, in fact, more or less abandoned his earthly children for countless millions of years, and He only, at last, bethought Him to send ‘salvation’ to earth two thousand years ago, after eons and eons of time had passed by in neglect. Such, in effect, is what you are asked to believe, as we, of the spirit world, see it.
The devil, of course, appears in this story of the first man and woman. It is he who caused their downfall. One might ask: who is this mysterious devil who, ever since his first great achievement in the Garden of Eden, has spent its time and energies ‘wandering through the world for the ruin of souls’?
On a former occasion I spoke to you about this seemingly ever-present gentleman. After hearing so much about him when I was incarnate, one of the early questions that I asked concerned the existence—or otherwise—of Satan. Did such a person really exist? I was told that there was no truth whatever in the story that somewhere in the lowest realms there was a Prince of Evil whose sole object was to place himself in direct opposition to the Father of all good, and whose function was to lure souls into the commission of base deeds that would encompass their eternal damnation.
That, I was assured, was all sheer nonsense. If one were to traverse the dark realms and make a really comprehensive survey of those regions, one might, after careful elimination, find one or more souls who were considerably lower in the scale of evil than their fellows. Conceivably, one might even find one who was so debased that those in evil light feel inclined to regard him as something of a leader in evil ways.
That there is one who is indisputably the Prince of Evil—no, he simply does not exist. Every inch of the dark realms has been surveyed by beings of the highest realms, aid they have so far failed to discover this personage. Not that they set out for that purpose! The knowledge that all such high beings possess tells them that there is no such person as the devil. But in the sense that all evil people in the realms of darkness can be called devils, then there are many devils.
The devil is supposed to take upon him many disguises. In the story of the Garden of Eden he became serpent. At the present day upon earth, the Church claims that the devil manifests himself by masquerading as an ‘angel of light’ in the ‘séance chamber,’ where he carries on his fell work of luring souls to their doom. In such cases, then, the devil has even, on occasion, claimed to have been a former priest of the Church!
We can afford to smile at such stupidity. But we are also saddened by it. Living in the spirit world, as all the beauties and marvels, all the joys and delights, and the heaven-sent opportunities of doing good and useful work ever around us, we can see the profound darkness of so much of what we called religious thought when we lived on the earth-plane. We can recall how strenuously we upheld some doctrine or another as being vitally important to the soul’s ‘salvation’ only to find, when we came to live for all time in the spirit world that such doctrine counts for nothing literally nothing. It shows itself for what it is completely meaningless.
It becomes disintegrated by the great truths that are before us here. Such, for example, is soon to be discovered in the story of our supposed first parents and the story of original sin. It is as impossible to find Adam and Eve, or their equivalent, in the spirit world, as it is impossible to find the devil, and for the same reason. They simply do not exist. It might be possible to ascertain who were among the first of the earth world’s inhabitants to show the first signs of dawning intelligence, but who would be the better for the discovery?
The whole great organization of the earth world has been a slow process of evolution and progression Man did not suddenly come into being at the word of the Father of the universe, as it were, over night. The whole procedure has occupied thousands of years of earthly time and it is still going on, despite appearances to the contrary! The earth world and its inhabitants, whether man or beast, are corruptible.
But the etheric counterpart of the earth world—for such we might roughly designate the spirit spheres that are concentric with it—and the spiritual element of both man and beast, all these are incorruptible. Primitive man upon earth-plane was subject to the very same natural laws as are you at this moment of time. From the instant of its beginning, the earth world has been subject to the laws of corruption. Primitive man ‘died’, undergoing therein a process exactly similar to that which I underwent, though the circumstances of it might be widely different. That same primitive man is now resident in the spirit world.
His features have changed throughout the countless years until he has grown like ourselves in general conformation. He has progressed by virtue of his birthright, the same birthright that we all possess, you, who are incarnate, and I, who am discarnate, together with all the innumerable millions of souls in both worlds. And that birthright is the full and free title to, and the ability and opportunity for, limitless progression. Who is to say how far progression can be extended in each individual? To us here it seems limitless.
Primitive man, as the very early inhabitants of earth are called, is here with us in the spirit world. Such souls are the occupants of the highest spheres. They came here as they left the earth world—you would regard them as savages. Their features would perhaps suggest that appellation to you.
To the dwellers of the spirit world of those far-off times they were human souls, rough cast, maybe, lacking in knowledge of spiritual things such as you enjoy today, but nevertheless possessed of some glimmerings of spiritual light With their advent into the spirit world, they were soon taken In hand by wondrous souls who had never had an incarnate existence, but who belonged to the world of. Spirit, and to the world of spirit alone. Under such magnificent instruction and guidance, these primitive souls progressed out of all recognition of their former selves.
At this moment of time you would be unable to identify a being who was once called ‘primitive man’ now differentiate him from any other inhabitant from his own high realm. While primitive man was being carefully evolved into a higher being in the spirit world, his brother still upon earth was undergoing a similar transformation until he bore all the characteristics which are familiar to mankind at this present moment.
The spiritual and material evolution of man upon the earth-plane is still going on, and it will ever so continue. What is to be the great end is not for me to hazard a guess. Such things are the closely guarded secrets of the highest spheres, and it is problematical whether we should be the better off if we were to be fully informed upon the matter.
Religiously speaking, man has divided his existence so far into two epochs—Christian and pre-Christian. In the latter epoch, you are told, the world was spiritually dark. Mankind was still laboring as best he could under the supposed wrath of God for the commission of the great ‘sin’ of our first parents.
According to the ancient books and chronicles a ‘deliverer’ would be sent, but of the time and place and circumstances of his coming no man knew. At length, at a period which is reckoned at about two thousand years ago a great being was born upon earth. By some he was hailed as the long-awaited deliverer; by others this was rigorously denied. After nearly two thousand years have passed, there still remains the same divided thought as to whether God sent His deliverer.
The birth upon the earth-plane of that illustrious soul so many years ago was eventually to stir men’s minds as they had not been stirred before. Manuscripts were supposedly containing the many acts and words performed and spoken during his short life on earth, together with his teachings. From this, there has been built up a vast theology, so abstruse, so complex, so incomprehensible that no man can explain it, and so controversial that scores of distinct and separate and opposed religious sects have arisen upon the earth-plane, each claiming to be more or less the only true means of the soul’s ‘salvation.’
As a priest of one of the principal of these religious denominations, I upheld, when I was upon earth, all its doctrines and creeds. When I eventually came to live in the spirit world, I found that the whole of my theological ‘knowledge’ was completely negative or stultified by my first sight of the truths of the spirit world, of its people, and of its laws. I found that as far as the people of earth were concerned, they had never lived for one single fraction of a moment under the wrath of God, for the all-sufficing reason that the Great Father of Heaven cannot entertain wrath against any person or persons whatsoever for any reason or reasons whatsoever.
How do I know this, it may be asked? The answer is simple: it is common knowledge in the spirit world. We, in these realms, all know it. Therein lies the immeasurable beauty of it. It is apparent at every turn. The Wrath of God’ is a stupid and wicked fiction. Numberless false theories have been propounded from it, and numberless false doctrines have been formulated. The most elementary acquaintance with the laws of the spirit world will at once show that the ‘wrath of God’ is a contradiction of terms. The two words cannot exist together. That is also common knowledge in these realms, elementary knowledge. The wrath of God, indeed!
But that is not all. Jesus, the great teacher who was born upon earth two thousand years ago, was cast out of the earth world violently and shamefully by the people of earth. This tragic transition was an act of expiation to the Eternal Father for the wrath He felt and as a means of saving the earth world’s inhabitants. So it is still taught in the churches of earth. A blood sacrifice of His only son!
Such beliefs as these are primitive and barbaric, and monstrous when viewed in the light of the great truths of the spirit world as we know and understand them here.
Since the first moment when the earth world existed, exalted beings of the highest realms have had it in their charge. As you contemplate the chaotic condition prevailing at the present time, you may be disposed to think that these same beings have dismally failed in their task. That is not so. They have not failed.
When man was first evolved from a lower order of creatures, he was constantly watched and aided. As primitive man grew in intelligence, he was in active communication with the spirit world by the operations of those higher senses which are inherent in every soul, but which lie fallow and undeveloped chiefly through man’s ignorance, The progression of the earth world and its inhabitants has been slow, steady, and uninterrupted thousands upon thousands of years of its life.
Never for one instant of time were the two worlds out of direct contact. All this while, man was—and still is—exercising his free will. Sometimes he listened to the voices from the spirit world—then all was well. Many times his ears were deaf to those voices—then all was ill . The guidance was ever there. The ‘road of salvation' was always the same. To teach that one great soul should suffer all the torments of persecution and a horrible ‘death’ in order to save the world from ‘damnation,’ and to teach same that this same tragedy should be demanded by the Father of Heaven to appease His wrath, is not only revolting in itself to us here in the spirit world, but it is far, far worse the is the grossest libel, the greatest defamation—to put it at its very least—that could ever be contemplated upon the character and nature and the very essence of the Great Father of the universe.
We who live in the spirit world can see the might and majesty of the Father’s great creation—the universe. But we can also see what is far greater and far more majestic, man himself. It will be said, perhaps, that there cannot be anything very mighty and majestic about those hideous denizens of the dark realms I have described. No! In their present state most certainly not.
But resident within every one of those unfortunate beings there is the germ of spiritual evolution and progression. And therein lies his might and majesty. Remember those ‘primitive’ men who have so evolved and spiritually progressed that they are now dwellers in the highest realms, who are possessed of immense knowledge and wisdom, and who are, in every sense, wondrous souls.
Throughout the whole course of the earth world’s existence, there have been born into it great teachers of great truths. There has been a long succession of them in the past. And they will so continue to come in the future. It rests with man himself whether he heeds such teachers—or rejects them.
Entrance to the spirit world is gained in one way only—through the ‘death’ of the physical body. No person or persons can assign to a single soul any other place in the spirit world than that which that soul has merited for himself. He cannot be saved through the intermediation of another, whoever that other may be. His merits for a realm of beauty as his residence must be his own merits. No other person can share his burden if his life upon earth has been hideous. He pays the penalty himself, as I have already tried to indicate to you.
If this be the case—and it is—of what use is the constant repetition of elaborate creeds and the perpetual reiteration from dismal and protracted formularies, in both of which the spiritual life of incarnate man is hemmed in and suffocated? There is no magic formula upon the pronouncing of which a safe journey to the spirit world is assured and a salubrious destination procured. Our merits alone will provide those, and no one can plead for us before the Great Throne. Our life upon earth is our sole advocate—and our most eloquent—for the state of our being when we arrive in the world of spirit. And that same life is also our incorruptible judge.
The many orthodox religions that have sprung up during the course of the two thousand years past are all of them completely out of touch with the realities of the spirit world. They are all of them based upon entirely false values and conceptions.
Some religious bodies are presumptuous enough to profess to know exactly what is in the Heavenly Father’s mind. Others lay stress upon the ‘saving power of Jesus’, that great soul whom the earth rejected two millenniums ago. They claim that none can be ‘saved’ except they be saved through him. By constantly reiterating this in the many rather fulsome and frigid prayers that are said publicly, it seems to be believed that some magical process will be put into operation whereby the soul can be assured that wherever else it may go when ‘death’ takes place it will not go for all eternity to hell.
Indeed, it may be said that Orthodoxy bases its only hope of the soul’s ‘salvation’ upon the merits of another, it is in this respect that Orthodoxy has taken the spin and made of it a Christian spirit world, or, at least the religious teachers would say that the Christian element more than predominates.
As an inhabitant of the spirit world, I soon discovered that the spirit world is so much greater than what the earth world denunciates ‘the Christian religion.’ Indeed it is away beyond all earthly religions of whatever denomination.
It is made up of peoples from every quarter of the earth world, representing every school of earthly religious thought. In the realms wherein I dwell, we have cast aside forever the allegiance to the Church of our earthly lives. We have no orthodox religion here. We are all of one mind and that mind is regulated by the strict truth.
I have already recounted to you how in certain quarters of these realms one can find churches, such as are to be found upon the earth-plane, supported by adherents of a variety of religious sects. But that makes no difference whatever to my statement that we have done with earthly religions. These churches are permitted to exist under conditions that are perfectly understood and as perfectly defined. They merely form a carefully segregated community that is bound by strict rules. There is no harm in erecting a beautiful edifice in the style and manner of earthly ecclesiastical buildings. It is what takes place within them that is subject to the most exact laws.
The spirit world, in short, is undenominational. Orthodoxy may make as many claims as it wishes in respect of its self-arrogated right to be the guardian of man’s ‘immortal soul.’ Admittance to the spirit world is not through any one Church or collection of Churches; nor is it obtained through the merits of any one person or body of persons.
There is no saint of the ecclesiastical calendar whose merits will assist us to escape or dodge the results of our wrongdoing when we were incarnate. We must pay ourselves alone. Nor will membership to the Church which makes the greatest claims of assuring ‘salvation’ for ourselves avail us one fraction. We undergo the experience of passing through the portal of physical death alone, although we may have willing help in the actual procedure from those who are already discarnate. But it stops there.
Such helpers cannot assign us to any destination other than that which we have earned for ourselves. It is plain, therefore, as the noonday sun—and I speak from exact experience—that the tragedy that took place at Calvary nigh upon two thousand years ago, although a personal sacrifice of sublime beauty, yet that tragedy does not and cannot have any bearing upon the individual souls who have been born upon earth since that time, or who were born at that time or before it.
That great event demonstrated a profound truth of which I and countless millions are the living witnesses, namely, that the death of the physical body is but the beginning of a new life and that as we have sown during our life in the earth world, so shall we reap in the life of the spirit world. But great as that sacrifice was, neither its grandeur nor its merits are communicable, just as the sacrifice and merits of us all are incommunicable. We are each and every one of us responsible for our own misdeeds.
All this, you will perhaps say, is a far cry from the supposed story of our first parents. It is not so really. Adam and Eve were our first parents, so you are taught. They committed the first ‘sin,’ and were punished by being cast out from their ‘garden of paradise.’ Up to this time these individuals were strangely constructed. They were, in fact, immortal in their physical bodies while at the same time they were living upon a corruptible earth. They lost this strange attribute when they committed their ‘sin, ‘death’ was introduced. The whole race of mankind that was to come was involved in the crash, and it was only the promise of the visitation ‘from on high’ to the earth-plane of one who would redeem the earth world that made life possible upon it.
I have tried to show you that this story is fantastic and in doing so to bridge the immense gap between the formation of the world, with its subsequent steady evolution, and that era which commenced two thousand years ago. Adam and Eve as our first parents had no existence in fact. The story is a fantasy. Jesus was born upon earth two thousand years ago, and he is today an immense force upon the earth-plane. That is fact. The fantasy and the fact have no relation whatever to one another, but the Church has made the one dependent and consequent upon the other. From this there has arisen all the strange variety of religious sects and religious observances that are to be seen throughout the earth.
It is against every law of the spirit world that one person can assume responsibility for another’s wrong doing. There are no merits belonging to another person of which we can avail ourselves and by which we can evade our responsibilities. But, it will be said, this great soul who perished so tragically, is different. He is one apart. He is Divine. He is the Son of God come down to earth to redeem us. He is, in fact, God Himself. With God all things are possible. Therefore, by virtue of his Divinity, Jesus will wash away our sins if we have sufficient faith and do what the Church teaches. We must be repentant, of course, and being repentant, we have one who will plead our cause by the merits of his supreme sacrifice we shall he saved. That is a very comforting and comfortable thought belief, but there is just one flaw. It simple is not true.
IT has been remarked of previous writings that I have made no mention whatever of the great soul whom the world knows as Jesus of Nazareth, and that seemingly, as far as I am concerned, he might never have existed.
My abstention from all such mention so far has been deliberate. It was fully intended that such should be the case from the moment that we set down our first word in these accounts of my experiences in the spirit world. But the time has now come when it would be profitable to speak not only of the Nazarene, as he is so often called. But also to discuss the book, or some parts of it at least, in which are chronicled a few of the teachings, which he gave forth during his short life on earth.
For many hundreds of earthly years the New Testament has been claimed to be the inspired word of God. Opinions differ upon this one point, but there is still greater diversity of opinion upon much that is contained in the gospels. So wide is the latter divergence that literally hundreds of different Christian religions and religious sects have sprung up all over the earth world, each professing to be a true religion, if not the ‘true’ religion.
Some individuals go still further and claim that absolute belief in the contents of the book is itself sufficient for the ‘salvation’ of the soul, and that without that belief the soul is lost, condemned for all eternity to remain not only without the gates of heaven, but at a very great distance from them.
One religious denomination in particular proclaims itself to be the sole depository of truth upon earth, with an infallible interpretation of the gospels. How, then, do we in the spirit world regard the New Testament? Surely, it might be said, you in the spirit world have the opportunity of ascertaining the truth upon all such matters, especially upon the various texts in the gospels over which so much controversy has arisen, or which are still obscure in their meaning.
Certainly we have the means in the spirit world of getting at the truth in such a case. But suppose we were to give the truth, should we not be charged with giving just another interpretation and so adding to the confusion that already exists?
Should we not also be suspected of trying to found yet another religion upon earth that already contains far, far too many? Finally, why should any interpretation’ that I might offer to my friends on earth be considered the right interpretation?
It is a risk that is worth taking. In spite, therefore, of what one Church emphatically teaches, namely, that private judgment in such matters is heartily to be condemned, I would ask my friends who have followed my writings thus far to view what I have to say in the light of spiritual truths.
I would ask them to cast from their minds, at least for the moment, but better still for all time, such doctrines and creeds as they already possess, and to come with me upon a pleasant journey whereon we will explore some parts and passages of the New Testament.
We will not essay any new interpretation. We will merely take some passages of the gospels and see how they compare with the truth as it exists in the spirit world.
‘What is this?’ I can hear someone declare. Are you suggesting that Jesus of Nazareth did not teach the ‘truth?’ Most emphatically I am not suggesting such a thing. He told the absolute truth, but it remained for those who humbly professed to be his followers in after years to do just the opposite.
What has been set down in the four gospels is but a tiny fraction of the great body of teachings that were originally given forth. They have been inaccurately set down they were not—and are not—the inspired word of God.
They have been mistranslated, misinterpreted, suffered interpolations and distortions, and they have been tampered with until it seems more than remarkable if a vestige of the truth can remain.
From this chaos, there have arisen an immense variety of dogmas and ritualistic practices that have no bearing whatever upon the spiritual progression of a single soul. And in the very center of this distortion stands Jesus of Nazareth, who gave the truth in the first instance, and who, through the operation of that catalogue of accidents, which I have just enumerated as befalling the Scriptures, now finds himself elevated into the position of God Himself.
To Jesus, in virtue of his deified position, are attributed the most outrageously impossible functions and attributes. His life on earth is almost one of the major ‘mysteries’ of the Christian religion because he is God Himself, who has come down to earth to live there as man.
The whole doctrine of the incarnation is one of the most fantastic inventions of the theologians of past centuries on earth—to take just one instance from many of how the mind of man can build up strange mysteries concerning the spirit world where, in good truth, no mysteries exist.
The laws that govern the spirit world are not complex laws that none can understand. There are many things in spirit life, which we cannot understand yet, just as there are many things upon earth, which cannot yet be understood.
But just as you have great minds on earth who can—and will—eventually solve such mysteries, so in the spirit world are there still greater minds who can—and will—provide an answer to our riddles.
At the moment, our state of mental evolution has not sufficiently advanced for us to be capable of understanding were an explanation to be given to us. But with all such matters we can see plainly the reason for some law, or truth, or whatever it may be. We are not treated to a farrago of words that collectively possess not one grain of meaning or sense, only to be told that it is a ‘mystery,’ or something that under Divine Providence we are not meant to know.
When we come to discuss the New Testament, we shall find that a great deal of what it contains has no meaning whatever when viewed in the light of our knowledge of the spirit world and of spirit life in general. We are not here concerned with what may have been set down in the original documents, as to whether we are considering it is mistranslated. A reference to originals will get us no further forward.
In setting down these records, the writers of them simply filled in any hiatus that might have occurred in their work by thoughts and ideas entirely their own. Some of these interpolations—indeed—a great many of them claimed as the sayings of Jesus. None in the spirit world know positively whether any particular dictum—provided that it makes sense—can be of the authorship of Jesus because we know that he was himself under such supremely careful guardianship from the spirit world that no errors would have been permitted to him in the delivering of the spiritual teachings.
The untruth is not of Jesus, but of his chronicles and subsequent transcribers. It happens, then, that when we try to give some clear meaning to what obviously sounds preposterous as it stands, we find that the sense of the original has been so altered in many cases that words, in their ordinary, everyday use, have almost ceased to have any meaning. Theologians have become adept in twisting words beyond all recognition of their true import. With the adoption of such practices, there is no limit to the number of meanings or interpretations that can be accorded to any simple sentence of words.
An impediment would seem to arise from the belief that the Scriptures are the inspired word of God. Therefore, it follows that however much we should feel that a certain text is wrong as it stands if we take the words in their rational meaning, there must be a correct interpretation if one could only discover what it was. This the theologians have brazenly and presumptuously done. I say ‘presumptuously’ because in so many instances they profess to know and declaim the precise ‘will of God.’
What causes perhaps the widest departure from the truth is the work of interpolators that has been carried out through the whole length of the four gospels. When those of us who have some acquaintance with the gospels arrive in the spirit world, we can see so much that is in complete and total contradiction to so much that was rigorously upheld by us when we were incarnate. This revelation may be a shock to some of us. It is a shock, however, that we can soon overcome! A knowledge of spiritual truths and the experience of the life we live here in these realms are sufficient at once to demonstrate clearly what is a precise statement of incontrovertible fact appearing in the gospels and what is pure fiction.
The misadventures which the Scriptures have suffered at the hands of the recorders, transcribers and translators have given rise to the large company of theologians who have strenuously endeavored to make spiritual sense of what is utterly meaningless. Controversies have occurred where in some cases acute minds have perceived the truth, proclaimed it, have been branded as heretics by their brothers in religion, have been condemned, and finally have been ceremoniously deprived of their earthly lives. Such a vast structure of mystery and obscuration has been built around the Scriptures in the fantastic interpretation of them as to provide the earth world with scores of ritualistic practices and ceremonies as well as obscure creeds and dogmas, all of which, the earth is taught, are collectively or individually necessary for the ‘salvation’ of the soul.
Instead of making the spirit world and its laws, and the process of getting into it, a matter of plain, sensible fact, to be understood in the same sensible way in which you understand your ordinary functions on earth, the spiritual teachers of earth have circumscribed the whole subject with such enigmas and involutions that religion has become, as it were, a separate part of life on earth.
The very act of ‘dying’ is the operation of a natural law. By its operation, man casts off his physical body, which has served him for his life on earth. He then finds himself in the spirit world, there to be resident for all time. It is the normal, natural outcome of his earthly life. It is inescapable for all persons without exception, of high degree or low. It was never intended, under the dispensation that has provided the whole scheme of life on the earth-plane and in the spirit world, that the spirit world should be regarded by the incarnate as some fearful and frightening unknown destination for which all on earth are bound and from which no one has ever returned, or ever will return, to recount what has befallen him after he has left the earth world.
The spirit world has been wrapped in a deadly silence therefore, a silence which must forever remain unbroken. It is small wonder that so many of the dwellers of earth are terrified at the prospect of leaving it at their dissolution. In the meantime, to try to alleviate this fear, the Churches give voice to inexplicable utterances exhorting their followers to have ‘faith,’ and to cast themselves upon the mercy of God. And the great book that should have been such a treasure of facts concerning life in both our worlds, yours and mine, has been so mishandled by those who have claim—its custodians—as to offer very little light upon matters so important to all people.
What we have just set down are one or two observations, which I thought it expedient to make before we undertake to consider some passages from the New Testament. To these remarks I would add that we pursue a direct course, so to speak, but rather consider such passages as deal with a particular feature of spirit life or with spirit truths in general.
Once again, I would say that we are not here concerned with what may or may not appear in the original documents or in others of an early date, but only what appears in the printed books of this present moment of your time. Whatever theologians may know of the original is of little or no concern to the ordinary man. He wants plain facts in such a case, facts that are readily accessible, and, moreover, facts that are stated in terms that he can easily understand, not in words which state one thing but which, by the tortuous ways of theologians, are made to signify exactly the opposite.
In the chapter in which is set down the famous Sermon on the Mount, we find the sermon opens with a series of statements, each prefixed by the word blessed, and which are known as the beatitudes. Let us together examine one of them: Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. How? Wherein lies the blessing?
Incalculable millions of people on earth have undergone the crushing experience of bereavement. To those who have experienced it, it can be crushing. The loved one is gone; the voice that was so well known is silent, and seemingly silent forever. Nothing can fill the desolate blank that is caused by the departure for an unknown destination of that cherished soul. That is a doubtful blessing, to say the least, which requires such sorrow and sadness to call it down upon one. Or is it that the comfort is so sublime, so soothing to the troubled mind, a spiritual experience of such beauty, that it is well worth our while to lose some dear friend or relation merely to experience it? That would seem too nonsensical to be worthy of a moment’s serious thought.
Again we could ask: wherein lies the comfort? The comfort offered by ‘faith’ in some religious system, perhaps?
It is customary in some cases, where the mourners are of a simple turn of mind, for them to say that it is God’s will, and that He has taken their lost one. But yet they cannot understand why God should take him; for what purpose, especially if accident or illness has cut short the earthly life in its earlier years? So that the average person confronted with bereavement would like to perceive just where is the blessing in his mourning, and whence comes the comfort, for, he will tell you earnestly from the depths of his deep sorrow, he can perceive neither the blessing comfort—and it is comfort he so urgently needed—in his moment of desolation.
The theologian will find a great deal in those words, blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted, but they will be mostly empty words for he cannot answer the questions put to him as to whence the blessing and the comfort.
I can speak from my own experience when upon earth. When I was in the presence of some soul distraught with bereavement, the words of comfort I could give were few and seemed hollow. Indeed, what was there, out of a great fund of theological knowledge, so called, that I could offer to a soul in such distress? What real fact could I present? That sufferer in sadness wanted to know so much that I was powerless to answer from the Church’s teachings. The best I could do on innumerable occasions was to try to strengthen the friend in his faith; to offer the hope that prayers, coupled with the powerful intercession of the Church, would be bound to avail, and that the departed soul would be ultimately released from the pains of purgatory—and so on, with a deal more upon the same empty barren lines.
Always was there a feeling of the silence of the tomb. But it was—and is—a silence that is imposed by people on earth who regard the very thought of death of the physical body as morbid. To say from the pulpit or the sanctuary blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted to a congregation that includes just one mourner who is in dire need of comfort but cannot obtain it, is to give demonstration that there is something fundamentally wrong somewhere.
It has been suggested by a theologian of the Church that the person who is here blessed is he who mourns for his ‘sins.’ Could there ever be a greater travesty, a wilder distortion, a worse corruption of such a plain statement of fact as that the mourner shall be comforted?
Here at the very outset of one of the foremost books upon earth, in the very opening chapters, is the clue, one might almost say, to the whole work. What of death? It is nothing. But thousands upon thousands of people upon earth will at some time or another mourn the loss of their friends or family, and thus will the distress of sorrow be cast upon many who can find no reason, who can see no good purpose why such sorrow—and such crushing sorrow—as that of the mourner should ever come to pass.
Many an overwrought soul has asked. ‘Why does God allow it?’ They have a poor estimation of what they have been taught to believe is Divine Providence. The providence in this case is hopelessly absent. Even if, as some last hope, they turn to the New Testament, there they will find words, which they fail to understand, or understanding their plain meaning, will wonder where they are to find the fulfillment of them. They read that they will be comforted, but merely reading the words and trusting to some elusive spiritual experience to relieve their sorrow is of little or no value in such case. The sorrow’s intensity will swamp all other emotions and serve but to aggravate the sorrow by the hopelessness of obtaining relief.
Now, lest my friends should say that I have exaggerated the matter, let me assure them that I have not done so. When I was on earth, there were many occasions; such as will occur with any minister of the Church of whatever denomination, when a sorrowing soul has come for spiritual help and guidance.
The whole body of teachings which Jesus gave in those far-off days was concerned with a two-fold theme: spiritual guidance for people on earth founded upon absolute facts of spirit life and spirit laws and some account of spirit laws and their operation with full details of the facts of spirit life.
What is to be read upon the latter subject in the New Testament is but the sorriest fraction of what was originally delivered to his listeners by that great teacher. The larger proportion of those facts were unrecorded. The remainder have been so abridged and distorted, as well as undergoing unauthentic interpolations, they have been so mistranslated and have had cast upon them the wildest and nonsensical ‘interpretations’ that the whole book must now be treated with the greatest caution as to what is exact spiritual truth and what is not. The very ‘miracles’ that were performed by Jesus are demonstrations of the use of psychic faculties under precise and undisputed superintendence of elevated souls from the spirit world.
Even these have been transmogrified into the acts of divine being, who was in fact God Himself, and to whom therefore, all things were possible, even to ‘raising the dead.’
The whole phrase of blessed are they that mourn, in its present form, is an isolated statement of fact. It is, in very truth, but the text of a whole sermon, as are the remaining ‘beatitudes.’ As it stands, it belongs nowhere. As a theme for a complete discourse, it becomes a title of supreme Importance to every soul who is born upon earth, as was meant. The meaning is clear to us here in the spirit world, it should have been clear to us when we were on the earth-plane. It would have been clear to us had the full text been set down as it was originally delivered. Even if the bare substance of what was said had been recorded, a splendid result would have been achieved.
Orthodoxy, for hundreds of years, has been ignoring the true meaning of these words, fastening upon them grotesque interpretations to what is a simple statement of truth. Let the theologian search as far and as deeply as he will, he can find no means within the circumscribe orbit of his theology for demonstrating the truth of the assertion that comfort shall be given to the mourner. What discover among the Church’s creeds and dogmas that will bring that comfort? Faith, or the submission to the will of God? Will either of these afford the slightest comfort? But in place of vague and empty assurances, the truth of spirit laws and their operation will bring immense comfort the comfort must he sought.
It was never intended that the two worlds, you and ours, should be treated as two worlds apart, never having at any time, communication with each other. Why should not our two worlds hold regular and natural converse with each other? That intercommunication does exist, has always existed, and, moreover, will always exist. It may have been—and is—carried on by the comparative few, that is true, but that is the loss to the majority.
This Intercommunication is one of the true blessings conferred upon both worlds by the Great Mind that has the ordering of such things.
People speak freely and loosely of the will of God because loved ones have gone down into the grave (as they think), and are thenceforth silent. What of the sorrow of those they have left behind them on earth? It is the will of God, then, that such suffering should come upon them. What an infamous imputation it is to the Father of Heaven that He should deliberately plan matters in this universe in such a clumsy way that vast unhappiness should thus be caused throughout the earth!
We, in the spirit world, may know little of the will of God, but at least we know what He would never do. He would never cause suffering, of any nature whatsoever, to any single living creature, whether upon your earth or in the spirit world. From the Father of Heaven can come only that which is good and that which is for the happiness of humanity.
Every soul born upon earth must pass through the portal of ‘death’ before he can take up permanent residence in the spirit world. But with his thus passing to the spirit world with the death of the physical body, the natural and usual circumstances are that others should be left behind to continue their earthly lives until the time comes for them also to pass into these lands. It was not intended that an impregnable barrier of silence should be erected between the people who have passed into the spirit world and the people who are still upon earth.
The means have always existed whereby a natural and normal and happy intercourse between the two worlds should forever be enjoyed by the inhabitants of both worlds. If people in their dullness and stupidity, or in their blindness and stubbornness, wish to cast aside the greatest blessings that a wise dispensation has for their comfort, they have no one but themselves to blame for their consequent sorrow. But so many of the minds of the earth world regard the very thought of direct communication with the two worlds as rubbish, not proven, unhealthy, morbid, and even plain madness—according to their great wisdom.
The orthodox Churches uphold them in any objection, which they may bring forward. So long as it is an objection it will be sustained. At the same time, they will uphold the New Testament, every word of it, even that the mourner shall be comforted, though they have not the faintest notion what the words mean, or understanding, in any way, what the words might mean. They cannot conceive how the comfort is to be afforded, and they are certainly not in any position to provide it.
When Jesus spoke those words, he was making a declaration of absolute truth, and he then proceeded to develop his theme upon the true facts of spiritual laws. He saw about him in those far away times the same such bereavement as can be witnessed at this very day of earthly time. Humanity has not changed in that respect. There was—and always will be—sorrow at the departure of a friend or relative for the spirit world just so long as human affections endure. Human affections have their rewards, they also have their sufferings, and none so poignant the transition of a loved one.
Jesus observed this natural state of things about him, His teaching upon this particular occasion, among many of a similar description, provided the one satisfactory answer to that particular problem of human suffering and sadness. He was not content with merely making the plain statement that the mourner should be comforted, but he told his listeners how the mourner could find his comfort. And the means so readily at hand were not ‘faith’ or submission to the will of God, but the plain facts of communication between the two worlds and how it could be accomplished.
Who was there better qualified to speak upon such a subject than was Jesus himself? No one, for he practiced exactly what he preached. His own psychic faculties had been developed during a long period of years under careful guidance from the spirit world. He was able to tell his hearers that death is not the overwhelming tragedy that the folk on earth have always thought it to be. The earth world was in full possession of innumerable blessings conferred upon it by the operation of natural laws. Those same laws are in existence and in operation today. But they are brought into force not by the exponents of Orthodoxy, as they should be, but by the comparative few who are outside the realms of orthodox beliefs.
The problems that confronted Jesus in presenting his theme in full upon the eternal truth that the mourner shall be comforted were problems, which have their counterpart in the earth world at this moment of time. His chief opponent was the Church of his day. The chief weapon in the ecclesiastical armory of all times and all denominations is the weapon of fear, grounded upon strange mysteries and a total and complete misconception of the character and nature of the Father of the universe. The very Scriptures themselves are made to yield textual confirmation of many of the inexplicable beliefs and religious theories upon which Orthodoxy places so much reliance.
The book that should be giving earthly religious teachers the vital truth concerning one’s life upon earth and the nature of things that one can expect after earthly life is ended, that book has been made a battleground for religious contentions, with the consequent founding of hundreds of different religious denominations in disagreement with one another, some of them claiming that Jesus was very God Himself, others denying it. Had these same Scriptures not been grossly tampered with, the full truth would have been there for all to see. But with the truth to be seen by the full light of day, it would have pronounced the doom of Orthodoxy, as it was later to be known. Where would be the authority of any Church not founded and fashioned upon the truth, when the individual was able to provide for himself and through his own psychic powers all that was necessary for his spiritual life on earth, and for his safe conduct into the spirit world—unassisted by any obscure beliefs, by any elaborate religious performances, and entirely free from fear?
By the practice of this simple ‘religion’ of communication with the spirit world, not only would the individual be the recipient of spiritual teachings to the betterment of the position which he would occupy immediately upon his transition, but throughout his life upon earth he would be able to converse easily and constantly with such of his friends and relatives who had passed into spirit lands before him.
There would be no mourning, for the mourner would be truly comforted by the converse which he would be able to enjoy at all times with those who had ‘predeceased’ him. His friends in the spirit world would be able to tell him just how they were faring, just what had befallen them after the experience of ‘dying,’ even as I have been able to tell you, my good friend, of some of my experiences since I came to dwell in these lands.
Did you not regret my passing? I know that you did, but I also know with what joy you welcomed, in those early years, the news that I was well, and I was keenly sensitive of the still greater joy with which you welcomed my return to speak to you. Is there any other way in which this bright and happy state of affairs could have been accomplished? None whatever.
Jesus told those simple folk who sat before him exactly how the mourner could be comforted, and today we are putting into operation the self-same laws whose operation he expounded to them. Jesus had his own friends in the spirit world with whom he constantly spoke, even as is being done upon the earth-plane this day. He could compare the forms of orthodox religion that were about him with the grand truth, such as he knew it to be. And he set about bringing the ‘glad tidings’ before his own folk.
He used words and employed terms that his hearers would unfailingly understand. Occasionally, he veiled his meaning somewhat for reasons of policy, but in no case, turning the whole of one particular discourse, did he leave his audience entirely in doubt as to what was his precise meaning. He spoke as any normal person would speak who has knowledge of the facts, and he always had in mind the degree of mentality possessed by his hearers. They were simple people, unlettered and homely, who would be more familiar with homely things than with abstruse teachings upon matters, which were far and away beyond their limited comprehension.
The greatest and the simplest teachings of all have not been recorded in the gospels. The doctors of the Church have wrought havoc with what has been set down, and a wide variety of ‘interpretations’ has been given to a mutilated text. But in spite of them, the mourner will continue to be comforted in the only way possible.
THERE would seem to be no end to the ingenious interpretations, which have been placed upon some of the simplest statements that Jesus made during his short life upon earth. In so many instances, these interpretations are based upon false premises.
So much religiosity has been woven into almost every word that appears in the gospels that the truth of a really plain declaration has been lost in the portentous pronouncements of the theologians and doctors of the Church.
Perhaps it will be argued in the case of the beatitudes that if, as I assert, they are but the texts of full-length discourses, then the theologians have done the best they can with such meager material at their disposal. They cannot be expected to know the contents of the full discourse. And they would have no right to assume that such and such was said when there is no evidence whatever that it was said. That would be too dangerous a practice, and should be condemned at once.
We, of the spirit world, can see how authority has proceeded in its interpretations. The false premises, to which I have just alluded, are the assumption that the gospels are the inspired word of God, and that Jesus is Himself God.
The gospels have become the principal foundation for most of the religions of the earth world. Religion has become as a separate part of the life of man upon earth, to be practiced or to be ignored, as the predilections of the individual may decide. Religion, to so many of the incarnate, means a succession of church-going at regular intervals, or merely a blind belief in every word that is contained in the New Testament, whether it be understood or not.
If one particular religion prefers to introduce a little ritual into its services, that ritual is branded as superstitious by others of an opposing sect. But the truth, as we can see it in the spirit world, is that most religion, as it is at present constituted upon the earth-plane, is itself nothing but sheer superstition. It is superstition begotten of ignorance or lack of knowledge of the truths of life as it is lived in the spirit world.
The afterlife is regarded by the unenlightened as some holy place when, on the one hand, it concerns heaven; or ‘hell,’ it is not pleasant to think. But the Church keeps the prospect of it always before the minds of the ‘faithful’ as an instrument of fear, to frighten people into a proper way of living while they are upon earth.
Heaven, then, in the minds of so many church-goers is a religious place where the soul will be everlastingly ‘caught up’ in an ecstasy of pious fervor, where constant ‘prayer and praise’ will be the order of the day for all eternity—and a great deal more upon the same devout lines. If we behave ourselves while we are upon earth and do the best we can, then, when our time comes, frightful though it may be, we can always throw ourselves upon the mercy of God. Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
The interpretation of that is perfectly simple, the churchman will say. It simply means that according as we give mercy to others upon earth, so shall we receive mercy on earth, and so, also, will God be merciful to us.
Then we read that Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill.
Some renderings of this beatitude prefer the word righteousness to justice. The righteousness in this case is that of the person who seeks to acquire that spiritual attainment known as piety, a word which we do not like in the spirit world. It savors too much of sanctimoniousness, of the belief that mere piety will bring untold happiness in the spirit world to those who practice it on the earth-plane, it reminds some of us in the spirit world of the religion abominations that have taken place in the name of religion
In the spirit world, piety does not need naming. If by piety is meant reverencing God, then we reverence the Father of the universe without the necessity of being cajoled into it or threatened with dire penalties if we do not cultivate it. We do so without being told that it is His due, His right, and that He demands it. The very thought that a person should wish to acquire great piety when upon earth is not a true thought. Few people, if they are really honest with themselves, are filled with piety nor do they wish to be so.
With us in the spirit world, God is not some dread Being who must be constantly appeased, propitiated, and dreaded because of the fearful punishments with which He can inflict us upon the instant. We know that to be a completely fantastic conception of the Greatest Being whose desire is the happiness of all living creatures. God is regarded upon earth as the Great Dread Judge of all mankind, but a Judge who is merciful withal, if we merit mercy and ask Him for it.
But if mercy were thus being dispensed of what value would be the justice? Justice, strict justice—and that is the only justice there is in the spirit world—and mercy cannot go together in these lands. Mercy belongs to the earth plane, not to the spirit world. In what form, or under what conditions, or in what circumstances, could we in the spirit world accord mercy to anyone? There is no form, no conditions or circumstances prevail. Mercy implies the remission of some penalty or part of a penalty that has been incurred by the commission of an offence. If some person has committed an offence against us, the person who committed it has himself to blame for the consequences. We can forgive sincerely, but the penalty still remains. It is a penalty, which the individual inflicted upon himself. God has not done so. It is not an offence against God
No person on earth or in the spirit world can offend the Supreme Being. No base thought or idea, no act, however evil or barbarous, no vice, no obscenity, no blasphemies or maledictions, can come within a thousand miles of the Father of the universe. Any one of the catalogues of spiritual horrors, which I have just enumerated, can—and will —woefully injure a fellow mortal, but most of all they will injure the perpetrators. They have not offended God; they have brought dire disaster upon themselves. They have broken the laws of the spirit world, among the chief of which is the law of cause and effect. Would the Father of Heaven mitigate one iota of the punishment due to breaking of one of the natural laws? If He were to do so, where would strict justice be?
The idea that man is constantly offending God is crude. Allied with it is the similarly crude notion that God inflicts punishments not only upon individuals, but upon whole nations and continents. The wars that man wages upon earth are, so you are told by learned theologians, direct acts inflicted by God in punishment for the evil way of living which has been adopted by a belligerent nation or nations.
Both contestants are included within this condemnation so that we have the spectacle of two or more nations killing each other, depriving each other of their normal span of life on earth, as the considered method of an all-wise and supreme Being bringing punishment upon erring mankind. What a gross travesty! And when great storms and hurricanes and pestilences sweep through the earth world, leaving disaster and desolation and sorrow behind them, these also are the product of the same Infinite Mind. Another gross travesty!
Let me say once more: from the Father of the universe can come nothing, which is not of the highest and greatest good. Wars and storms and hurricanes are not the work of God. War is the work of man, and of man only: meteorological upheavals are the work of natural forces only.
The Father of the universe is not an awful Judge who shall come to judge the living and the ‘dead.’ He judges no one. Whence, then, comes the mercy and upon what account? Where can we in the spirit world show mercy? We cannot judge; we cannot condemn; we cannot sentence. Forgiveness for an offence—yes, we can give that, and we do so with heartfelt sincerity. But with all our forgiveness freely and fully and finally given, we cannot remove on element of the effects that certain causes have brought about in the state of him who has offended us.
We can—and we do—help such an individual with an expression of the fact that we have forgiven and forgive the fault in our brother to the fullest extent. We can help him to redeem the spiritual ground he has lost. Forgiveness has achieved nothing of itself beyond establishing the right kind of relationship between two people . We may wish with all our hearts that we could ameliorate their unhappy position; we might be filled with mercy towards those who have injured us. That feeling of mercy will translate itself into a deep sympathy and understanding but that is as far as it proceeds. The self-inflicted penalties remain just the same; we cannot abate them one fraction.
Mercy is a quality, which can only be practiced upon earth, and we merit a rich reward for our showing that splendid quality during our earthly lives. But as soon as we pass into the spirit world, mercy ceases. Justice takes its place, and justice is the operation of the law of cause and effect. It is a justice which is incorruptible, infallible, impartial, unfailing. There is no evading it; it must exert itself upon all persons alike, of whatever nation, creed color, age or sex.
Blessed are they that seek justice, for they shall have their fill. Many seek justice upon earth, and fall to obtain it. Here in the spirit world they receive their fill. The measure is full and brimming over, I do assure you. Those who have denied giving that justice when on earth, they, too will have justice. They will experience what real justice can be. Jesus knew this when he spoke those words. He saw the injustice that was about him in the part of the world in which he lived, and he knew where strict justice was eventually to be found—in the spirit world.
But he also knew that mercy does not come from God but from man to fellow man. It is the theologians who have built up this singular conception of the Father. It is they who have transmogrified the Great Father into a stern and awful judge.
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and all his angels. Here in the gospel we are supposed to have the very words with which God will condemn the transgressor. In the spirit world, it fills us with unspeakable horror to contemplate upon the enormity of any person authoritatively teaching others that the Father of us all could utter words of such fearful condemnation. And these words are put into the mouth of Jesus, although it must be conceded that, at long last, honest doubts are creeping into the minds of churchmen on earth that so much that Jesus is reputed to have said was, in good truth, never spoken by him at all.
Assuredly this evil sentence upon the transgressor must be placed first upon the list of utterances that were never made by Jesus. Indeed, he could not have given voice to such downright, unblushing falsehood. For there is not one atom of truth in it. Nor is there any truth whatever in any statement appearing in the New Testament wherein it is specifically asserted that man shall be condemned for all eternity, no matter how great may be the enormity of his sins.
There is no awful Judgment Day, whether it be alleged to take place immediately upon man’s passing into the spirit world or at some later and unspecified time. I have said this to you before. At the risk of being tiresome, I cannot refrain from repeating it.
The dread of Judgment Day or of being summoned before the High Court of Heaven to be judged and sentenced—either or both of these outrageous beliefs have cast a blight upon the whole earth world for hundreds of earthly years. It has filled many, many estimable souls with the uttermost despondency. Many others with sensitive minds have passed their earthly lives in a state of spiritual terror because of that dread day that is supposed to await them at the close of their earthly lives.
It is part of my work in the spirit world to be at hand when people are making their entrance into these lands as residents, so that I speak from first-hand experience when I tell you of the abject terror that consumes so many poor souls when their moment of transition has come. Instead of the winter of their earthly lives passing gently into the glorious fresh, fragrant spring of their new life in these lands, they arrive here with that terror full upon them. Such beliefs are relics of pure paganism, but this wicked fiction has been kept up and disseminated by the Churches of earth as a measure of inspiring fear into the hearts of their ‘faithful.’ As a former priest of the Church, I regret deeply and earnestly, that I ever gave tongue to such misguided teaching. And there are hosts of others like me.
Man has been branded by the theologians as something so evil; so much accent has been laid upon ‘sinful man,’ and the Father of the universe is alleged to be so stern and awful (always the Great Dread Judge), that there is little wonder that man upon the earth-plane turns with some hope, forlorn though it may be, to the mercy that might be given to him.
The most that the average man can do upon earth is to hope for the best, to hope that perhaps things may not be so terrible for him in the afterlife as he has been led to believe. He has no certainty of it, and the Church would say that he has no right to assume anything, but he can sometimes think quietly. And out of those quiet thoughts he may derive some measure of spiritual insight; he may receive a little inspiration from some unseen friend of the spirit world—and leave the theologians and official spiritual teachers to their incomprehensible creeds and dogmas and their spiritual presumption.
For no one is more presumptuous than the Theologian, who, knowing little or nothing of the truth of spiritual matters, professes to know a great deal.
Fear is the strongest weapon, the deadliest weapon, in the theological armory. For hundreds of years Orthodoxy has wielded this weapon to inspire fear in the hearts of mankind—by the supposed dire penalties which it will be their misfortune to suffer when they pass to the ‘next world’ if they should have misbehaved themselves on earth. The worst sentence of all is to be condemned to hell for all eternity where the ‘sinner’ will remain forever in strange fires that burn but never consume.
But let it not be assumed that there is not a day of reckoning for all mankind. Most assuredly there is. And that moment first presents itself immediately when we have cast off the physical body in ‘death.’ Thence forward, every day—to use earthly terms—every moment of the day becomes our time of reckoning. We judge ourselves as we go along in life in the spirit world. We do not hold a formal court of inquiry into our actions as we proceed in our life, but the inevitable law of cause and effect, being ever operative, provides us with the very essence of progression. We ourselves provide the cause: we thus set the law in motion. And the law produces the effect. That is how we progress in the spirit world. There is none to judge us but ourselves, and we can be stern and unrelenting to ourselves!
I want to make myself perfectly clear when I say that man judges himself. I am not speaking figuratively, neither am I suggesting that as each soul arrives in the spirit world it becomes so enlightened that it immediately perceives with full comprehension all the errors of its life. If that were so it would not be long before the dark realms and the gray lands were soon emptied of their inhabitants. I mean simply this: the law of cause and effect is in continual, perpetual operation upon every person who is born upon earth from the moment of his drawing breath upon that plane of existence, right through his earthly life, and so it continues after he has passed here into the spirit world. The operation of that law is, in its effect, precisely the same as though a complete process of adjudication were set in motion under the presidency of some individual. That is exactly what has happened, the individual who is presiding being ourselves.
Let us consider a simple analogy. If we should choose voluntarily to plunge our hand into the blaze of a red-hot fire, we should suffer the most excruciating agony from our burnt fingers. Could we blame a single soul for our most a foolhardy action? Most certainly not, for what we did, we did of our own free will. We were fully aware that it was a mad act to commit, but we persisted nonetheless. Could we blame the fire for burning us? Again most certainly not for it is the nature of fire to burn, and it is simply the operation of cause and effect.
My analogy is but an elementary one, but it has its direct application, because a misspent life, a life lived upon earth in a series of transgressions, will have the same effect upon us—an effect which will be fully revealed when we arrive in the spirit world—as though we had thrust our hand into the flames of the fire. We see what we have done we see the result of what we have done.
We see where the blame rests; we see just what we have done for ourselves. We perceive unerringly that it is our own fault, the fault of no one else, and therefore we blame no one else. What we did, we did deliberately and of our own free will. Our motive was bad, or, alternatively, our motive was not good. Applying this rule to our earthly lives for it is with our earthly lives I am treating at the moment, you will observe just where God enters into our true spiritual appraisement. He enters nowhere. He is not Judging us: He will not judge us, either at the moment of our transition or at some unknown later date. There is, in fact no need for Him—or for anyone else—to do the judging. We shall be compelled to do it most efficiently ourselves.
To return to my analogy, we have but to gaze upon our burnt hand for the whole story to reveal itself to our minds with full truth. Others, too, can see the dreadful burns, but they need not know how they were brought about. We are under no obligation to tell them, but there will come a time when we shall be glad to unburden our troubled minds of its load of misery and sadness.
Lest some of my good friends upon earth should take me too literally, or mistakenly to misapply my little analogy, let me hasten to assure them that there are no flames here in the spirit world. Those dreadful flames of hell do not have any place in the economics of the spirit world!
I am speaking to you at some length upon this particular subject of Judgment and Judgment Day because I have in mind my own earthly experiences, from which I know, as do you, the universal extent of the belief—and the fear, which it inspires. I want to remove that fear if possible, and in doing so to bring some brightness and gladness into the lives and thoughts of my good friends upon earth. But most of all, it is my greatest wish that my friends should have a better and deeper understanding of the Great Father of the universe since it is He whom the orthodox religions of the earth traduce so abominably and outrageously in their transforming Him into a grim and horrifying Judge from whom our principal hope is mercy.
From our discussion of justice and mercy, one or two subsidiary questions may come into your mind, which it is opportune to answer now. For instance, you might ask: how does justice actually operate in the spirit world? Justice, as we know it on earth, must be dispensed by someone or other. It cannot come about of itself if we are considering some particular cause.
Now that, my good friend, is a difficult question to answer unless one should be a spiritual expert or technician. Suppose I were to ask you how did the fire burn that hand? Of what is the flame composed and how does it burn? There I think we should find ourselves both in the same relative position. We can most of us say what happens in particular cases, and we can be very familiar with certain effects, but we are not all conversant with the actual forces that are set in motion, nor how they operate. We can, however, throw a little light upon this matter.
Justice, as we are now considering it, is a very comprehensive term. In the spirit world it means that not only shall the transgressor receive his just merits, it means also that all who have suffered during their earthly lives, whether from the evil deeds of others or from stress of adverse circumstances, or from illness and defects of the physical body, all such people shall be accorded a full measure of compensation through the natural means which are abundant and lavish in spirit lands. Justice, you will see, will be given to those who have suffered through the fault of no one.
A long chain of circumstances and events might have led to the eventual afflictions of one individual, but justice will be done to that person freely and fully. Perhaps you already have knowledge of some of the manifold delights which are to be found in these realms of light, and the supreme joy which they bring to all of us here, and will bring to the thousands who in future time are bound for these realms. Therein lies their compensation for everything which they might have endured, and I have yet to find anyone who is not in whole-hearted agreement with me that the happiness that is to be derived here far outweighs any and every unhappiness that was ours during our earthly lives. The incarnate need have no fear upon that score. Compensation is lavishly bestowed. But there is also the justice that comes to the evildoer.
The acts and thoughts of our earthly lives are registered within us, and thus our life’s history is indelibly recorded within our never-failing memories. In order to understand this you must first of all know one simple fact of spiritual knowledge. It is this: spirituality means light the absence of spirituality means darkness. I am not speaking figuratively, but literally. The light is real light, just as you have on earth in the noonday of summer, and is not some spiritual ‘experience.’ The darkness is Stygian, the complete absence of light, and it can be blacker even than the darkness of the darkest midnight of a bleak and bitter winter on earth, or of some deep tenebrous dungeon below the ground. The individuals who live in these two contrasting states of light and darkness exactly match their surroundings of brightness and gloom in their own persons. Their bodies and their very raiment will correspond minutely with their habitation. In the bright realms, wherein it is my happy fortune to live, our clothing and our physical frames are as full of light as are our surroundings. The same state of things exists in the greater and more exalted realms above us to a degree that is indescribable in ordinary earthly terms. In addition, the very countenances of the elevated beings that inhabit those realms have taken upon their lineaments the high spirituality of their realms.
In the dark realms, the reverse takes place. The denizens are hideous in form and feature, distorted sometimes out of all resemblance to their once human appearance. Indeed, when they were upon earth they may have been elegant in form and handsome in feature, but are now reduced to their true status. Their attire may be filthy rags, a mere mockery of clothing. They may present such a revolting spectacle that one would naturally recoil from contact with them. The base deeds of their lives have reacted upon them, both in body and mind. They possess no perceptible glimmer of light themselves, and their habitation is similarly devoid of light. You will see my meaning when I repeat that spirituality means light, the absence of spirituality means darkness.
You will also observe the monumental stupidity of Orthodoxy when, in its blindness, it pontifically pronounces that when we of the spirit world return to earth to speak with our friends there, we are nothing but devils of hell masquerading as angels of light! There is no such masquerading here, I do assure you, my good friend.
Nowhere in the spirit world is it possible for any person, of whatever description, to assume one scintilla of light which is not completely and absolutely his own. No person can endow another with light, temporarily or permanently. The light, which emanates from us, is the result of the working of the law of cause and effect—which is justice.
Another question, which may come to your mind, is this: how does each person go, automatically, as it seems to the exact place he has earned for himself? Who decides the matter?
To answer the last question first: no one decides the matter for any person; the person decides it for himself. He goes automatically to his right abode because that is the abode for which he is exactly fitted. He is attuned to that abode in a manner, which I will explain to you, for the same reason there is no fear of an individual over-stepping or escaping from the dark realms if so be it he has condemned himself to those regions. The reason is this: the kind of life which every soul leads upon earth reacts directly upon his spiritual counterpart; in other words, a person’s spirit body will possess just that degree of light which is resultant from his life on earth.
If his life has been bad in every sense, then his spirit body will possess little or no light. The sphere to which he goes in the spirit world will possess exactly the same degree of light as the spirit body itself, no more, no less. The two coincide perfectly; they are attuned.
We might draw a simple analogy from the oceans of the earth world. The sea, as you must know, is comprised of water of various densities in which myriads of creatures are living, segregated according to the different densities. They are fitted for the particular pressure of water by their physical construction. If, broadly speaking, creatures occupying water of one density attempted to enter that of another density, they would bring destruction upon themselves if they penetrated far enough. They would be forewarned of any encroachment or deviation from their rightful sphere by acute discomfort or suffering.
The barriers between these different densities are invisible, but they are there nonetheless. Now if we leave the ocean and come to dry land, we find that human beings will suffer acute distress and might even terminate their earthly life abruptly if they penetrate into regions of atmospheric pressure to which they are not accustomed, or for which they are unprovided with special apparatus with which to counterbalance such unaccustomed atmospheric density.
Perhaps you would find great difficulty in breathing when upon the heights of a lofty mountain. When venturing into high altitudes in the air, you must be fully protected or your earthly life will quickly terminate. Again, the barriers are invisible, but none the less real. So it is in the spirit world. In the dark regions of the spirit world the density, if so we might call it, is enormous, as you would compute such things. Inhabitants of higher realms can enter them only when suitably protected by the necessary spiritual 'apparatus.' I use the term 'apparatus' in a figurative sense only. We do not actually wear any special clothing or other impedimenta for the purpose. The particular protection that is needed is afforded through our mental abilities. We must all learn how to perform this mental process before we venture into the dark realms, and even then an experienced cicerone is indispensable.
When we are invited to pay a visit to realms higher than that which we normally inhabit, some dweller in the higher realm will always be present to equip us for the journey. That is a process, which we cannot undertake to do for ourselves since it needs extra force, which we do not ourselves possess.
When we walk across our own particular realm we shall eventually come to a spot or locality where we shall feel that we are not as comfortable as we were. We shall see and feel the light becoming stronger, and we shall be unable to withstand it. That is one of the invisible barriers of the realm (increased intensity of light may not, per se, constitute a barrier). That is where the relative density is beginning to change.
So it is throughout the whole vast dominion of the spirit world. We shall each dwell in that region where we feel most comfortable. Even in the dark realms that rule applies, although it may sound strange to your earthly ear to speak of comfort in those revolting regions. But whatever distress comes to a soul in darkness, it is not so much from the realm in which he lives as from the mental state into which he is plunged. The realm itself does not inflict tortures upon him. His fellow beings alone do that. He is not inevitably condemned to live there; his own spiritual state will keep him there until such time as he feels the urge to progress.
Thus you will plainly see that justice in the spirit world is the operation of the law of cause and effect, and that it requires no administrator but ourselves alone. We have inflicted upon ourselves the condition in which we find ourselves. To whom can we cry for mercy? The forgiveness, which we may receive from another, will carry us no further on the way. We pay the price to the uttermost farthing. Our wounds are self-inflicted; we can blame none but ourselves. The Father of Heaven has not judged us; He has not condemned us; we have not offended Him; He has nothing to forgive us. We have broken spiritual laws. That, and that only. Why should we beg for mercy? What right have we to beg for mercy? We knew that fire scorches and burns—to return to our old analogy—yet we deliberately plunged our hands into the flames.
Blessed are the merciful on earth. Blessed are they that seek justice for they shall have their fill in the spirit world.
I HAVE constantly emphasized, I hope not to the point of being tedious, that in the spirit world we do not live in a perpetual state of spiritual ecstasy nor are we existing in an atmosphere of perfervid religious emotion with life one ever-ending cycle of ‘prayer and praise’ and singing of psalms, and hymns, and spiritual caulicles’ offered up in unceasing flow to the ‘great throne.’
We are not what the earth-pla