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A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands

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Cynthia
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« on: December 21, 2008, 04:20:15 am »



A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands
by Franchezzo (A. Farnese)
[1896
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Cynthia
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 04:21:36 am »

A WANDERER IN THE SPIRIT LANDS.
BY FRANCHEZZO.
TRANSCRIBED BY A. FARNESE.

W. J. Sinkins, London

[1896]



Oh, Star of Hope, that shines to bless
The Wanderer through Life's Wilderness!
Angels of Love—say are ye come
To lead the Weary Wanderer home?



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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 04:22:22 am »

Preface by the Transcriber.
The following narrative was written more than a year ago, and in giving it to the public I do not claim to be its author, since I have only acted the part of an amanuensis and endeavored to write down as truthfully and as carefully as I could, the words given to me by the Spirit Author himself, who is one of several spirits who have desired me to write down for them their experiences in the spirit world.
I have had to write the words as fast as my pen could travel over the paper, and many of the experiences described and opinions advanced are quite contrary to what I myself believed to be in accordance with the conditions of life in the world of spirits.

The Spirit Author Franchezzo I have frequently seen materialized, and he has been recognized on these occasions by friends who knew him in earth life.

Having given the narrative to the public as I received it from the Spirit Author, I must leave with him all responsibility for the opinions expressed and the scenes described.

A. FARNESE.


London, 1896

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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 04:22:48 am »

Dedication by the Author.
To those who toil still in the mists and darkness of uncertainty which veil the future of their earthly lives, I dedicate this record of the Wanderings of one who has passed from earth life into the hidden mysteries of the Life Beyond, in the hope that through my experiences now given to the world, some may be induced to pause in their downward career and think ere they pass from the mortal life, as I did, with all their unrepented sins thick upon them.

It is to those of my brethren who are treading fast upon the downward path, that I would fain hope to speak, with the power which Truth ever has over those who do not blindly seek to shut it out; for if the after consequences of a life spent in dissipation and selfishness are often terrible even during the earth-life, they are doubly so in the Spirit World, where all disguise is stripped from the soul, and it stands forth in all the naked hideousness of its sins, with the scars of the spiritual disease contracted in its earthly life stamped upon its spirit form--never to be effaced but by the healing powers of sincere repentance and the cleansing waters of its own sorrowful tears.

I now ask these dwellers upon earth to believe that if these weary travelers of the other life can return to warn their brothers yet on earth, they are eager to do so. I would have them to understand that spirits who materialize have a higher mission to perform than even the solacing of those who mourn in deep affliction for the beloved they have lost. I would have them to look and see that now even at the eleventh hour of man's pride and sin, these spirit wanderers are permitted by the Great Supreme to go back and tell them the fate of all who outrage the laws of God and man. I would have even the idle and frivolous to pause and think whether Spiritualism be not something higher, holier, nobler, than the passing of an idle hour in speculations as to whether there are occult forces which can move a table or rap out the Alphabet, and whether it is not possible that these feeble raps and apparently unmeaning tips and tilts of a table are but the opening doors through which a flood of light is being let in upon the dark places of earth and of the Nether World--faint signs that those who have gone before do now return to earth to warn their brethren.

As a warrior who has fought and conquered I look back upon the scenes of those battles and the toils through which I have passed, and I feel that all has been cheaply won--all has been gained for which I hoped and strove, and I seek now but to point out the Better Way to others who are yet in the storm and stress of battle, that they may use the invaluable time given to them upon earth to enter upon and follow with unfaltering step the Shining Path which shall lead them home to Rest and Peace at last.

FRANCHEZZO.




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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 04:24:03 am »

PART I.
Days of Darkness.
CHAPTER I.--My Death.

I have been a Wanderer through a far country, in those lands that have no name--no place--for you of earth, and I would set down as briefly as I can my wanderings, that those whose feet are pointed to that bourn may know what may in their turn await them.

On earth and in my life of earth I lived as those do who seek only how the highest point of self gratification can be reached. If I was not unkind to some--if I was indulgent to those I loved--yet it was ever with the feeling that they in return must minister to my gratification--that from them I might purchase by my gifts and my affection the love and homage which was as my life to me.

I was talented, highly gifted both in mind and person, and from my earliest years the praise of others was ever given to me, and was ever my sweetest incense. No thought ever came to me of that all self-sacrificing love which can sink itself so completely in the love for others that there is no thought, no hope of happiness, but in securing the happiness of the beloved ones. In all my life, and amongst those women whom I loved (as men of earth too often miscall that which is but a passion too low and base to be dignified by the name of love), amongst all those women who from time to time captivated my fancy, there was not one who ever appealed to my higher nature sufficiently to make me feel this was true love, this the ideal for which in secret I sighed. In everyone I found something to disappoint me. They loved me as I loved them--no more, no less. The passion I gave won but its counterpart from them, and thus I passed on unsatisfied, longing for I knew not what.

Mistakes I made--ah! how many. Sins I committed--not a few; yet the world was often at my feet to praise me and call me good, and noble, and gifted. I was feted--caressed--the spoilt darling of the dames of fashion. I had but to woo to win, and when I won all turned to bitter ashes in my teeth. And then there came a time upon which I shall not dwell, when I made the most fatal mistake of all and spoilt two lives where I had wrecked but one before. It was not a golden flowery wreath of roses that I wore, but a bitter chain--fetters as of iron that galled and bruised me till at last I snapped them asunder and walked forth free. Free?--ah, me! Never again should I be free, for never for one moment can our past errors and mistakes cease to dog our footsteps and clog our wings while we live--aye, and after the life of the body is ended--till one by one we have atoned for them, and thus blotted them from our past.

And then it was--when I deemed myself secure from all love--when I thought I had learned all that love could teach--knew all that woman had to give--that I met one woman. Ah! what shall I call her? She was more than mortal woman in my eyes, and I called her "The Good Angel of My Life," and from the first moment that I knew her I bowed down at her feet and gave her all the love of my soul--of my higher self--a love that was poor and selfish when compared to what it should have been, but it was all I had to give, and I gave it all. For the first time in my life I thought of another more than of myself, and though I could not rise to the pure thoughts, the bright fancies that filled her soul, I thank God I never yielded to the temptation to drag her down to me.

As so time went on--I sunned myself in her sweet presence--I grew in holy thoughts that I deemed had left me for ever--I dreamed sweet dreams in which I was freed from those chains to my past that held me so cruelly, so hardly, now when I sought for better things. And from my dreams I ever woke to the fear that another might win her from me--and to the knowledge that I, alas! had not the right to say one word to hold her back. Ah, me! The bitterness and the suffering of those days! I knew it was myself alone who had built that wall between us. I felt that I was not fit to touch her, soiled as I was in the world's ways. How could I dare to take that innocent, pure life and link it to my own? At times hope would whisper it might be so, but reason said ever, "No!" And though she was so kind, so tender to me that I read the innocent secret of her love, I knew--I felt--that on earth she never would be mine. Her purity and her truth raised between us a barrier I could never pass. I tried to leave her. In vain! As a magnet is drawn to the pole, so was I ever drawn back to her, till at last I struggled no more. I strove only to enjoy the happiness that her presence gave--happy that at least the pleasure and the sunshine of her presence was not denied me.

And then! Ah! then there came for me an awful, and unexpected day, when with no warning, no sign to awaken me to my position, I was suddenly snatched from life and plunged into that gulf, that death of the body which awaits us all.

And I knew not that I had died. I passed from some hours of suffering and agony into sleep--deep, dreamless sleep--and when I awoke it was to find myself alone and in total darkness. I could rise; I could move; surely I was better. But where was I? Why this darkness? Why was no light left with me? I arose and groped as one does in a dark room, but I could find no light, hear no sound. There was nothing but the stillness, the darkness of death around me.

Then I thought I would walk forward and find the door. I could move, though slowly and feebly, and I groped on--for how long I know not. It seemed hours, for in my growing horror and dismay I felt I must find some one--some way out of this place; and to my despair I seemed never to find any door, any wall, anything. All seemed space and darkness round me.

Overcome at last, I called out aloud! I shrieked, and no voice answered me. Then again and again I called, and still the silence; still no echo, even from my own voice, came back to cheer me. I bethought me of her I loved, but something made me shrink from uttering her name there. Then I thought of all the friends I had known, and I called on them, but none answered me. Was I in prison? No. A prison has walls and this place had none. Was I mad? Delirious? What? I could feel myself, my body. It was the same. Surely the same? No. There was some change in me. I could not tell what, but I felt as though I was shrunken and deformed? My features, when I passed my hand over them, seemed larger, coarser, distorted surely? Oh, for a light! Oh, for anything to tell me even the worst that could be told! Would no one come? Was I quite alone? And she, my angel of light, oh! where was she? Before my sleep she had been with me--where was she now? Something seemed to snap in my brain and in my throat and I called wildly to her by name, to come to me, if but for once more. I felt a terrible sense as if I had lost her, and I called and called to her wildly; and for the first time my voice had a sound and rang back to me through that awful darkness.

Before me, far, far away, came a tiny speck of light like a star that grew and grew and came nearer and nearer till at last it appeared before me as a large ball of light, in shape like a star, and in the star I saw my beloved. Her eyes were closed as of one in sleep, but her arms were held out to me and her gentle voice said in those tones I knew so well, "Oh! my love, my love, where are you now; I cannot see you, I only hear your voice; I only hear you call to me, and my soul answers to yours."

I tried to rush to her, but I could not. Some invisible force held me back, and around her seemed a ring I could not pass through. In an agony I sank to the ground, calling upon her to leave me no more. Then she seemed to grow unconscious; her head sank upon her breast, and I saw her float away from me as though some strong arms had borne her. I sought to rise and follow her, but could not. It was as if a great chain held me fast, and after some fruitless struggles I sank upon the ground in unconsciousness.




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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 04:25:46 am »

CHAPTER II.--Despair.

"Dead! Dead!" I wildly cried. "Oh, no, surely no! For the dead feel nothing more; they turn to dust; they moulder to decay, and all is gone, all is lost to them; they have no more consciousness of anything, unless, indeed, my boasted philosophy of life has been all wrong, all false, and the soul of the dead still lives even though the body decays."

The priests of my own church had taught me so, but I had scorned them as fools, blind and knavish, who for their own ends taught that men lived again and could only get to heaven through a gate, of which they held the keys, keys that turned only for gold and at the bidding of those who were paid to say masses for the departed soul--priests who made dupes of silly frightened women and weak-minded men, who, yielding to the terror inspired by their awful tales of hell and purgatory, gave themselves, bodies and souls, to purchase the illusive privilege they promised. I would have none of them. My knowledge of these priests and the inner hidden lives of many of them had been too great for me to listen to their idle tales, their empty promises of a pardon they could not give, and I had said I would face death when it came, with the courage of those who know only that for them it must mean total extinction; for if these priests were wrong, who was right? Who could tell us anything of the future, or if there were any God at all? Not the living, for they but theorize and guess, and not the dead, for none came back from them to tell; and now I stood beside this grave--my own grave--and heard my beloved call me dead and strew flowers upon it.

As I looked the solid mound grew transparent before my eyes, and I saw down to the coffin with my own name and the date of my death upon it; and through the coffin I saw the white still form I knew as myself lying within. I saw to my horror that this body had already begun to decay and become a loathsome thing to look upon. Its beauty was gone, its features none would recognize; and I stood there, conscious, looking down upon it and then at myself. I felt each limb, traced out with my hands each familiar feature of my face, and knew I was dead, and yet I lived. If this were death, then those priests must have been right after all. The dead lived--but where? In what state? Was this darkness hell? For me they would have found no other place. I was so lost, so beyond the pale of their church that for me they would not have found a place even in purgatory.

I had cast off all ties to their church. I had so scorned it, deeming that a church which knew of, and yet tolerated, the shameful and ambitious lives of many of its most honored dignitaries had no claim to call itself a spiritual guide for anyone. There were good men in the church; true, but there was also this mass of shameless evil ones whose lives were common talk, common matter of ridicule; yet the church that claimed to be the example to all men and to hold all truth, did not cast out these men of disgraceful lives. No, she advanced them to yet higher posts of honor. None who have lived in my native land and seen the terrible abuses of power in her church will wonder that a nation should rise and seek to cast off such a yoke. Those who can recall the social and political condition of Italy in the earlier half of this century, and the part the church of Rome played in helping the oppressor to rivet the fetters with which she was bound, and who know how her domestic life was honeycombed with spies--priests as well as laymen--till a man feared to whisper his true sentiments to his nearest and dearest lest she should betray him to the priest and he again to the government--how the dungeons were crowded with unhappy men, yea, even with mere lads guilty of no crime save love of their native land and hatred of its oppressors--those, I say, who know all this will not wonder at the fierce indignation and burning passion which smouldered in the breast of Italia's sons, and burst at last into a conflagration which consumed man's faith in God and in his so-called Vicar upon earth, and like a mountain torrent that has burst its bounds, swept away men's hopes of immortality, if only through submission to the decrees of the church it was to be obtained. Such, then, had been my attitude of revolt and scorn towards the church in which I had been baptized, and that church could have no place within her pale for me. If her anathemas could send a soul to hell surely I must be there.

And yet as I thought thus I looked again upon my beloved, and I thought she could never have come to hell even to look for me. She seemed mortal enough, and if she knelt by my grave surely I must be still upon earth. Did the dead then never leave the earth at all, but hover near the scenes of their earthly lives? With such and many similar thoughts crowding through my brain I strove to get nearer to her I so loved, but found I could not. An invisible barrier seemed to surround her and keep me back. I could move on either side of her as I pleased--nearer or farther--but her I could not touch. Vain were all my efforts. Then I spoke; I called to her by name. I told her that I was there; that I was still conscious, still the same, though I was dead; and she never seemed to hear--she never saw me. She still wept sadly and silently; still tenderly touched the flowers, murmuring to herself that I had so loved flowers, surely I would know that she had put them there for me. Again and again I spoke to her as loudly as I could, but she heard me not. She was deaf to my voice. She only moved uneasily and passed her hand over her head as one in a dream, and then slowly and sadly she went away.

I strove with all my might to follow her. In vain, I could go but a few yards from the grave and my earthly body, and then I saw why. A chain as of dark silk thread--it seemed no thicker than a spider's web--held me to my body; no power of mine could break it; as I moved it stretched like elastic, but always drew me back again. Worst of all I began now to be conscious of feeling the corruption of that decaying body affecting my spirit, as a limb that has become poisoned affects with suffering the whole body on earth, and a fresh horror filled my soul.

Then a voice as of some majestic being spoke to me in the darkness, and said: "You loved that body more than your soul. Watch it now as it turns to dust and know what it was that you worshipped, and ministered and clung to. Know how perishable it was, how vile it has become, and look upon your spirit body and see how you have starved and cramped and neglected it for the sake of the enjoyments of the earthly body. Behold how poor and repulsive and deformed your earthly life has made your soul, which is immortal and divine and to endure forever."

And I looked and beheld myself. As in a mirror held up before me, I saw myself. Oh, horror! It was beyond doubt myself, but, oh! so awfully changed, so vile, so full of baseness did I appear; so repulsive in every feature--even my figure was deformed--I shrank back in horror at my appearance, and prayed that the earth might open before my feet and hide me from all eyes for evermore. Ah! never again would I call upon my love, never more desire that she should see me. Better, far better, that she should think of me as dead and gone from her forever; better that she should have only the memory of me as I had been in earthly life than ever know how awful was the change, how horrible a thing was my real self.

Alas! Alas! My despair, my anguish was extreme, and I called out wildly and struck myself and tore my hair in wild and passionate horror of myself, and then my passion exhausted me and I sank senseless and unconscious of all once more.

Again I waked, and again it was the presence of my love that awaked me. She had brought more flowers, and she murmured more soft tender thoughts of me as she laid them on my grave. But I did not seek now to make her see me. No, I shrank back and sought to hide myself, and my heart grew hard even to her, and I said: "Rather let her weep for the one who has gone than know that he still lives," so I let her go. And as soon as she was gone, I called frantically to her to come back, to come back in any way, to any knowledge of my awful position, rather than leave me in that place to see her no more. She did not hear, but she felt my call, and afar off I saw her stop and half turn round as though to return, then she passed on again and left me. Twice, three times she came again, and each time when she came I felt the same shrinking from approaching her, and each time when she left I felt the same wild longing to bring her back and keep her near me. But I called to her no more for I knew the dead call in vain, the living hear them not. And to all the world I was dead, and only to myself and to my awful fate was I alive. Ah! now I knew death was no endless sleep, no calm oblivion. Better, far better had it been so, and in my despair I prayed that this total oblivion might be granted to me, and as I prayed I knew it never could, for man is an immortal soul, and for good or evil, weal or woe, lives on eternally. His earthly form decays and turns to dust, but the spirit, which is the true man, knows no decay, no oblivion.

Each day--for I felt that days were passing over me--my mind awoke more and more, and I saw clearer and clearer the events of my life pass in a long procession before me--dim at first, then by degrees growing stronger and clearer, and I bowed my head in anguish, helpless, hopeless anguish, for I felt it must be too late now to undo one single act.



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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 04:29:11 am »

CHAPTER III.--Hope--Wanderings on the Earth Plane--A Door of Spiritual Sight

I know not how long this lasted; it seemed a long, long time to me. I was sitting wrapped still in my despair when I heard a voice gentle and soft calling to me--the voice of my beloved--and I felt compelled to rise and follow that voice till it should lead me to her; and as I rose to go the thread which had so bound me seemed to stretch and stretch till I scarce felt its pressure, and I was drawn on and on till at last I found myself in a room which, I could dimly see, even in the darkness that always surrounded me, was familiar to my eyes. It was the home of my beloved one, and in that room I had passed, ah! how many peaceful happy hours in that time which seemed now separated from me by so wide and awful a gulf. She sat at a little table with a sheet of paper before her and a pencil in her hand. She kept repeating my name and saying: "Dearest of friends, if the dead ever return, come back to me, and try if you can make me write a few words from you, even 'yes' or 'no' in answer to my questions."
For the first time since I had died I saw her with a faint smile upon her lips and a look of hope and expectation in those dear eyes that were so heavy with weeping for me. The dear face looked so pale and sad with her grief and I felt--ah! how I felt--the sweetness of the love she had given me, and which now less than ever dare I hope to claim.

Then I saw three other forms beside her, but they I knew were spirits, yet how unlike myself. These spirits were bright, radiant, so that I could not bear to look at them; the sight seemed to scorch my eyes as with a fire. One was a man, tall, calm, dignified-looking, who bent over her to protect her as her guardian angel might. Beside him stood two fair young men whom I knew at once to be those brothers whom she had so often spoken of to me. They had died when youth with all its pleasures was before them, and their memories were shrined in her heart as those who were now angels. I shrank back, for I felt they saw me, and I sought to cover my disfigured face and form with the dark mantle which I wore. Then my pride awoke, and I said: "Has not she herself called me? I have come, and shall not she be the arbiter of my destiny? Is it so irrevocable that nothing I can do, no sorrow, no repentance however deep, no deeds however great, no work however hard, can reverse it? Is there indeed no hope beyond the grave?"

And a voice, the voice I had heard before at my own grave, answered me: "Son of grief, is there no hope on earth for those who sin? Does not even man forgive the sinner who has wronged him if the sin be repented of and pardon sought? And shall God be less merciful, less just? Hast thou repentance even now? Search thine own heart and see whether it is for thyself or for those thou hast wronged that thou art sorry?"

And I knew as he spoke that I did not truly repent. I only suffered. I only loved and longed. then again my beloved spoke and asked me, if I were there and could hear her, to try and write one word through her hand that she might know I still lived, still thought of her.

My heart seemed to rise into my throat and choke me, and I drew near to try if I could move her hand, could touch it even. But the tall spirit came between us, and I was forced to draw back. Then he spoke and said: "Give your words to me and I will cause her hand to write them down for you. I will do this for her sake, and because of the love she has for you."

A great wave of joy swept over me at his words, and I would have taken his hand and kissed it but could not. My hand seemed scorched by his brightness ere I could touch him, and I bowed myself before him for I thought he must be one of the angels.

My beloved spoke once more and said: "Are you here, dearest friend?"

I answered, "Yes," and then I saw the spirit put his hand on her, and when he did so her hand wrote the word "yes." Slowly and unsteadily it moved, like a child's learning to write. Ah! how she smiled, and again she asked me a question, and as before her own hand traced out my answer. She asked me if there were anything she could do for me, any wish of mine that she could help me to carry out? I said: "No! not now. I would go away now and torment her no more with my presence. I would let her forget me now."

My heart was so sore as I spoke, so bitter; and ah! how sweet to me was her reply, how it touched my soul to hear her say: "Do not say that to me, for I would ever be your truest, dearest friend, as I was in the past, and since you died my one thought has been to find you and to speak with you again."

And I answered, I called out to her, "It has been my only wish also."

She then asked if I would come again, and I said "Yes!" For where would I not have gone for her? What would I not have done? Then the bright spirit said she must write no more that night. He made her hand write that also and said she should go to rest.

I felt myself now drawn away once more back to my grave and to my earthly body in that dark churchyard; but not to the same hopeless sense of misery. In spite of everything a spark of hope had risen in my heart, and I knew I should see and speak with her again.

But now I found I was not alone there. Those two spirits who were her brothers had followed me, and now spoke. I shall not state all they said. Suffice it to say they pointed out to me how wide was now the gulf between their sister and myself, and asked me if I desired to shadow all her young life with my dark presence. If I left her now, she would, in time, forget me, except as one who had been a dear friend to her. She could always think tenderly of my memory, and surely if I loved her truly I would not wish to make all her young life lonely and desolate for my sake.

I replied that I loved her, and could never bear to leave her, never bear to think of any other, loving her as I had done.

Then they spoke of myself and my past, and asked if I dared to think of linking myself with her pure life, even in the misty fashion in which I still hoped to do? How could I hope that when she died I should meet her? She belonged to a bright sphere to which I could not hope for a long time to rise, and would it not be better for her, and nobler, more truly loving of me, to leave her to forget me and to find what happiness in life could yet be given to her, rather than seek to keep alive a love that could only bring her sorrow?

I said faintly I thought she loved me. They said: "Yes, she loves you as she herself has idealized your image in her mind, and as she in her innocence has painted your picture. Do you think if she knew all your story she would love you? Would she not shrink back in horror from you? Tell her the truth, give her the choice of freedom from your presence, and you will have acted a nobler part and shown a truer love than in deceiving her and seeking to tie her to a being like yourself. If you truly love her, think of her and her happiness, and what will bring it--not of yourself alone."

Then the hope within me died out, and I bowed my head to the dust in shame and agony, for I knew that I was vile and in no way fit for her, and I saw as in a glass what her life might still be freed from mine. She might know happiness yet with another more worthy than I had been, while with my love I would only drag her down into sadness with me. For the first time in my life I put the happiness of another before my own, and because I so loved her and would have had her happy, I said to them: "Let it be so, then. Tell her the truth, and let her say but one kind word to me in farewell, and I will go from her and darken her life with the shadow of mine no more."

So we went back to her, and I saw her as she slept exhausted with her sorrow for me. I pleaded that they would let me give her one kiss, the first and last that I would ever give. But they said no, that was impossible, for my touch would snap forever the thread that held her still to life.

Then they awoke her and made her write down their words, while I stood by and heard each word fall as a nail in the coffin where they were burying my last hope forever. She, as one in a dream, wrote on, till at last the whole shameful story of my life was told, and I had but to tell her myself that all was forever at an end between us, and she was free from my sinful presence and my selfish love. I said adieu to her. As drops of blood wrung from my heart were those words, and as ice they fell upon her heart and crushed it. Then I turned and left her--how, I know not--but as I went I felt the cord that had tied me to my grave and my earthly body snap, and I was free--free to wander where I would--alone in my desolation!

And then? Ah, me! While I write the words the tears of thankfulness are in my eyes again, and I almost break down in trying to write them; then she whom we had deemed so weak and gentle that we had but to decide for her, she called me back with all the force of a love none dare oppose--called me back to her. She said she could never give me up so long as I had love for her. "Let your past be what it might; let you be sunk now even to the lowest depths of hell itself, I will still love you, still seek to follow you and claim my right--the right of my love--to help and comfort and cherish you till God in his mercy shall have pardoned your past and you shall be raised up again." And then it was that I broke down and wept as only a strong proud man can weep, whose heart has been wrung and bruised and hardened, and then touched by the soft tender touch of a loving hand till the tears must come to his relief.

I went back to my love and knelt down beside her, and though they would not let me touch her, that calm beautiful spirit who was her guardian whispered to her that her prayer was answered, and that she should indeed lead me back to the light. And so I left my darling, and as I passed away I saw a white angel's form hover over her to give her strength and comfort, who was herself my angel of light. I left her thus with those spirits, and went forth to wander till her voice should call me to her side again.

After the short troubled sleep into which those bright spirits had put her, my darling awoke the next day, and went to visit a kind good man whom she had discovered in her efforts to find some way by which she might reach me even beyond the grave.

If it might be that what she had been told about those people who were called Spiritualists was really true, she hoped through their aid to speak again with me, and prompted by those who were watching over her, she had searched out this man who was known as a healing medium, and by him she had been told that if she herself tried, she could write messages from the so-called dead.

This I did not learn till later. At the time I only felt myself summoned by the voice of her whose power over me was so great, and in obedience to it I found myself standing in what I could dimly distinguish to be a small room. I say dimly, because all was still dark to me save only where the light around my darling shone as a star and showed faintly what was near.

It was to this good man of whom I speak that she had gone, and it was her voice speaking to him that had drawn me. She was telling him what had passed the night before, and how much she loved me, and how she would gladly give all her life if by so doing she could comfort and help me. And that man spoke such kind words to her--from my heart I thanked and still thank him for them. He gave me so much hope. He pointed out to my dear love that the ties of the earth body are broken at its death, and I was free to love her and she was free to return that love--that she herself better than any other could in truth help to raise me, for her love would give me comfort and hope as nothing else would do, and would cheer my path of repentant effort. And she had now the best of rights to give it, my love for her had been so pure and true a passion, while hers for me was stronger than death itself, since it had overcome the barrier of death. He was so kind, this man--he helped me to speak to her, and to explain many things as I could not have done the night before when my heart was so sore and full of pride. He helped me to tell what of excuse there had been for me in the past, though I owned that nothing can truly excuse our sins. He let me tell her that in spite of all the wrong of my past she had been to me as one sacred--loved with a love I had given to none but herself. He soothed and strengthened her with a kindness for which I blessed him even more than for his help to myself, and when she left him at last I, too, went with her to her home, the light of hope in both our hearts.

And when we got there I found that a fresh barrier was raised up by those two spirit brothers and others to whom she was dear; an invisible wall surrounded her through which I could not pass, and though I might follow her about I could not get very near. Then I said to myself that I would go back to the kind man and see if he would help me.

My wish seemed to carry me back, for I soon found myself there again. He was at once conscious of my presence, and strange as it may seem, I found that he could understand much, although not all, that I said to him. He gathered the sense of what I wanted to say, and told me many things I shall not set down here since they concerned only myself. He assured me that if I were only patient all would be well in time, and though the relations might build their spiritual wall around my love, her will would at all times draw me through it to her, and nothing could shut out her love from me; no walls could keep that back. If I would seek now to learn the things of the spirit, and work to advance myself, the gulf between us would disappear. Comforted I left him and wandered away again, I knew not where.


I was now beginning to be dimly conscious that there were other beings like myself flitting about near me in the darkness, though I could scarce see them. I was so lost and lonely that I thought of going back to my grave again, as it was the spot most familiar to me, and my thought seemed to take me back, for soon I was there once more.

The flowers that my love had brought me were faded now. She had not been there for two days; since speaking to me she seemed to forget the body that was laid away in the earth, and this to me was well, and I would have had it so. It was well for her to forget the dead body and think only of the living spirit.

Even these withered flowers spoke of her love, and I tried to pick up one, a white rose, to carry away with me. I found I could not lift it, could not move it in the least. My hand passed through it as though it was but the reflection of a rose.

I moved round to where there was a white marble cross at the head of the grave, and I saw there the names of my beloved one's two brothers. Then I knew what she had done in her love for me; she had laid my body to rest beside those she had loved best of all. My heart was so touched that again I wept, and my tears fell like dew upon my heart and melted away its bitterness.

I was so lonely that at last I rose and wandered away again amongst other dark wandering shapes, few of whom even turned to look at me; perhaps like myself they scarcely saw. Presently, however, three dark forms which seemed like two women and a man passed near me, and then turned and followed. The man touched my arm and said: "Where are you bound for? Surely you are newly come over to this side, or you would not hurry on so; none hurry here because we all know we have eternity to wander in." Then he laughed a laugh so cold and harsh in tone it made me shudder. One of the women took my arm on one side and one on the other, saying: "Come away with us and we will show you how you may enjoy life even though you are dead! If we have not got bodies to enjoy ourselves through we will borrow them from some mortals for a little. Come with us and we will show you that all pleasure is not ended yet."

In my loneliness I was glad to have some being to speak to, that although they were all three most repulsive looking--the women to my mind even more so than the man--I felt inclined to let them lead me away and see what would happen, and I had even turned to accompany them when afar off in the dim distance, like a picture traced in light on a black sky, I saw the spirit form of my pure sweet love. Her eyes were closed as I had seen her in my first vision, but as before her hands were stretched out to me and her voice fell like a voice from heaven on my ears, saying: "Oh! take care! take care! go not with them; they are not good, and their road leads only to destruction." Then the vision was gone, and as one waking from a dream I shook those three persons from me and hurried away again in the darkness. How long and how far I wandered I know not. I kept hurrying on to get away from the memories that haunted me and I seemed to have all space to wander in.

At last I sat down on the ground to rest--for there seemed to be ground solid enough to rest upon--and while I sat there I saw glimmering through the darkness a light. As I drew near it I saw a great haze of light radiating from a room which I could see, but it was so bright it hurt my eyes to look upon it as would looking at the noon-day sun on earth have done. I could not bear it and would have turned away, when a voice said: "Stay, weary wanderer! Here are only kind hearts and helping hands for you. And if you would see your love, come in, for she is here and you may speak with her." Then I felt a hand--for I could see no one--draw my mantle over my head to shut out the brightness of the light, and then lead me into the room and seat me in a large chair. I was so weary, so weary, and so glad to rest. And in this room there was such peace, it seemed to me that I had found my way to heaven.

After a little I looked up and saw two gentle, kindly women who were like angels to my eyes, and I said to myself, "I have come near to heaven surely?" Again I looked, and by this time my eyes seemed strengthened, for beyond those two fair good women--and at first I could scarce believe it, so great was my joy--I saw my beloved herself smiling sadly but tenderly at where I sat. She smiled, but I knew she did not really see me; one of the ladies did though, and she was describing me to my darling in a low quiet voice. My darling seemed so pleased, for it confirmed to her what the man had told her. She had been telling these ladies what a remarkable experience she had had, and how it seemed to her like a strange dream. I could have cried out to her then that I was truly there, that I still lived, still loved her, and was trusting in her love for me, but I could not move, some spell was over me, some power I could dimly feel was holding me back.

And then those two kind ladies spoke and I knew they were not angels yet, for they were still in their earthly bodies and she could see and speak to them. They said much of what the kind good man had done, as to the hope there was for sinners like me.

The same voice which had bidden me to enter, now asked would I like one of the ladies to write a message for me. I said, "Yes! a thousand times yes!"

Then I spoke my words and the spirit caused the lady to write them down. I said to my beloved that I still lived, still loved her. I bid her never to forget me, never to cease to think of me, for I required all her love and help to sustain me--I was ever the same to her though now I was weak and helpless and could not make her see me. And she, ah! she gave me such sweet words in return I cannot write them down; they are too sacred to me, and still rest in my heart for evermore.


The period that followed this interview was one of deep sleep for me. I was so exhausted that when I left that room I wandered on a little way and then sank down upon the ground in deep dreamless unconsciousness. What did it matter where I rested when all was as night around me?

How long my sleep lasted I know not. At that period I had no means of counting time save by the amount of suffering and misery through which I passed. From my slumbers I awoke refreshed in a measure, and with all my senses stronger in me than before. I could move more rapidly; my limbs felt stronger and freer, and I was now conscious of a desire to eat I had not felt before. My longing grew so great that I went in search of food, and for a long time could find none anywhere. At last I found what looked like hard dry bread--a few crusts only, but I was glad to eat them, whereupon I felt more satisfied. Here I may say that spirits do eat the spiritual counterpart of your food, do feel both hunger and thirst, as keen to them as your apetites are to you on earth, although neither our food nor our drink would be any more visible to your material sight than our spiritual bodies are, and yet for us they possess objective reality. Had I been a drunkard or a lover of the pleasures of the table in my earthly body I should much sooner have felt the cravings of appetite. As it was, nature with me had ever been easily satisfied, and though at first I turned from those dry crusts in disgust a little reflection told me that I had now no way of procuring anything, I was like a beggar and had better content myself with a beggar's fare.

My thoughts had now turned to my beloved again, and the thoughts carried my spirit with them, so that I found myself entering once more the room where I had last seen her and the two ladies. This time I seemed to pass in at once, and was received by two spirit men whom I could but very faintly see. A veil seemed to hang between us, through which I saw those two spirit men, the ladies and my beloved. I was told that I might again give a message to her through the lady who had written my words before. I was so anxious to try if I could not make my darling write down my words herself as I had seen her guardian spirit do, that I was allowed to try. To my disappointment I found I could not do it; she was deaf to all I said, and I had to give up that idea and let the lady write for me as before. After I had given my message I rested for a short time and watched my beloved one's sweet face, as I had been wont to do in other happier days. My musings were interrupted by one of those spirit men--a grave, handsome young man he seemed to be so far as I could see him. He spoke to me in a quiet kindly voice, and said that if I truly desired to write my own words through my darling herself, it would be well for me to join a brotherhood of penitents who like myself desired to follow out the better way, and with them I should learn many things of which I was yet ignorant, and which would help me to fit myself to control her mind as well as give me the privilege I sought of being with her at times while she dwelt on earth. This way of repentance was hard, he said--very hard--the steps many, the toil and suffering great, but it led to a fair and happy land at last where I should rest in happiness such as I could not dream of now. He assured me (even as the kind earthly man had done) that my deformed body, which I was still so anxious to hide from my beloved one's eyes, would change as my spirit changed, till I should be once more fair to look upon, such as she would no longer grieve to see. Were I to remain upon the earth plane as I now was, I should most likely be drawn back into my former haunts of so-called pleasure, and in that atmosphere of spiritual degradation I should soon lose the power to be near my darling at all. For her own sake those who guarded her would be obliged to exclude me. On the other hand, were I to join this brotherhood (which was one of hope and endeavor), I should be so helped, so strengthened, and so taught, that when in due course my time came to return to the earth plane, I should have acquired a strength and an armor that could resist its temptations.

I listened to the words of this grave, courteous spirit with wonder and a growing desire to know more of this brotherhood of whom he spoke, and begged he would take me to them. This he assured me he would do, and he also explained that I should be there of my own free will and choice only. Did I desire at any time to leave I could at once do so. "All are free in the Spirit world," he said. "All must follow only where their own wishes and desires lead them. If you study to cultivate the higher desires, means will be given you to attain them, and you will be strengthened with such help and strength as you may need. You are one who has never learned the power of prayer. You will learn it now, for all things come by earnest prayer, whether you are conscious that you pray or not. For good or for evil your desires are as prayers and call around you good or evil powers to answer them for you."

As I was again growing weary and exhausted, he suggested that I should bid adieu to my darling for a time. He explained that I should gain more strength as well as permit her to do so if I left her for the time I was to remain in this place of which he spoke. It would also be well that she should not try to write for three months, as her mediumistic powers had been greatly tried, and if she did not rest them she would be much impaired, while I would require all that time to learn even the simple lessons needful before I could control her.

Ah! me, how hard it seemed to us both to make this promise, but she set me the example, and I could but follow it. If she would try to be strong and patient so should I, and I registered a vow that if the God I had so long forgotten would remember and pardon me now, I would give all my life and all my powers to undo the wrongs that I had done; and so it was that I left for a time the troubled earth plane of the spirit world of which I had as yet seen so little, but in which I was yet to see and suffer so much. As I left the room to go with my new guide I turned to my love and waved my hand in farewell, and asked that the good angels and the God I dare not pray to for myself might bless her and keep her safe for evermore, and the last thing I saw was her tender eyes following me with that look of love and hope which was to sustain me through many a weary, painful hour.



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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 04:50:37 pm »

CHAPTER IV.--The Brotherhood of Hope.

In the spirit world there are many strange places, many wondrous sights, and many organizations for helping repentant souls, but I have never seen anything more strange in its way than this Home of Help, conducted by the Brotherhood of Hope, to which I was now conducted. In the then feeble condition of all my spiritual faculties I was not able to see what the place was like. I was almost like one who is deaf, dumb and blind. When I was with others I could scarcely see or hear them, or make them hear me, and although I could see a little, it was more as though I was in a perfectly dark room with only one small feeble glimmer of light to show me where I went. On the earth plane I had not felt this so much, for though all was darkness I could both see and hear enough to be conscious of those near me. It was in ascending even to the little distance at which this place was above the earth that I felt the absence of all but the most material developments of my spirit.

That time of darkness was so awful to me that even now I scarce like to recall it, I had so loved the sunshine and the light. I came from a land where all is sunshine and brightness, where the colors are so rich, the sky so clear, the flowers and the scenery so beautiful, and I so loved light and warmth and melody; and here as elsewhere since my death I had found only darkness and coldness and gloom; an apalling, enshrouding gloom, that wrapped me round like a mantle of night from which I could in no way free myself; and this awful gloom crushed my spirit as nothing else could have done. I had been proud and haughty on earth. I came of a race that knew not what it was to bow before anyone. In my veins ran the blood of its haughty nobles. Through my mother I was allied to the great ones of earth whose ambitions had moved kingdoms to their will; and now the lowest, humblest, poorest beggar of my native streets was greater, happier than I, for he at least had the sunshine and the free air, and I was as the lowest, most degraded prisoner in the dungeon cell.

Had it not been for my one star of hope, my angel of light, and the hopes she had given me through her love, I must have sunk into the apathy of despair. But when I thought of her waiting, as she had vowed she would do all her life for me, when I recalled her sweet and tender smile and the loving words she had spoken to me, my heart and my courage revived again, and I strove to endure, to be patient, to be strong. And I had need of all to help me, for from now began a period of suffering and conflict I shall in vain seek to make anyone fully realize.

This place where I was now I could barely see in all its details. It was like a huge prison--dim and misty in its outlines. Later on I saw it was a great building of dark grey stone (as solid to my eyes as earthly stone) with many long passages, some long large halls or rooms, but mostly composed of innumerable little cells with scarcely any light and only the barest of furniture. Each spirit had only what he had earned by his earthly life, and some had nothing but the little couch whereon they lay and suffered. For all suffered there. It was the House of Sorrow, yet it was also a House of Hope, for all there were striving upwards to the light, and for each had begun the time of hope. Each had his foot planted upon the lowest rung of the ladder of hope by which he should in time mount even to heaven itself.

In my own little cell there was but my bed, a table and a chair--nothing more. I spent my time in resting or meditating in my cell, and going with those who, like myself, soon grew strong enough to hear the lectures which were delivered to us in the great hall. Very impressive those lectures were; told in the form of a story, but always so as to bring home to the mind of each of us those things wherein we had done wrong. Great pains were taken to make us understand, from the point of view of an impartial spectator, the full consequences to ourselves and others of each of our actions, and where we had for our own selfish gratifications wronged or dragged down another soul. So many things which we had done because all men did them, or because we thought that we as men had a right to do them, were now shown to us from the other side of the picture, from those who had in a measure been our victims, or where we personally were not directly responsible for their fall, the victims of a social system invented and upheld to gratify us and our selfish passions. I cannot more fully describe these lectures, but those amongst you who know what are the corruptions of the great cities of earth will easily supply for yourselves the subjects. From such lectures, such pictures of ourselves as we were, stripped of all the social disguises of earth life, we could but return in shame and sorrow of heart to our cells to reflect over our past and to strive to atone for it in our future.

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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 04:52:04 pm »

And in this there was great help given to us, for with the error and its consequences we were always shown the way to correct and overcome the evil desire in ourselves, and how we might atone for our own sins by timely efforts to save another from the evil into which we had fallen, all these lessons being intended to fit us for the next stage of our progression, in which we would be sent back to earth to help, unseen and unknown, mortals who were struggling with earth's temptations.

When we were not attending the lectures we were free to go where we might wish; that is, such of us as were strong enough to move about freely. Some who had left dear friends on earth would go to visit them, that, unseen themselves, they might yet see those they loved. We were always warned, however, not to linger in the temptations of the earth plane, since many of us would find it difficult to resist them.

Those who were strongest amongst us and who possessed the needful qualities and the desire to use them, were employed in magnetising those who were weakest, and who, by reason of the excessive dissipations of their earthly lives, were in such terrible condition of exhaustion and suffering that the only thing which could be done with them was to allow them to lie helpless in their cells while others gave them a little relief by magnetising them; and here I must describe to you a very wonderful system of healing those poor spirits which was practiced in this House of Hope. Some advanced spirits, whose natural desires and tastes made them doctors and healers, with the help of other spirits of different degrees of advancement under them, would attend upon these poorest and most suffering ones--where indeed all were sufferers--and by means of magnetism and the use of others' powers which they could control, they would put these poor spirits into temporary forgetfulness of their pain; and though they awoke again to a renewal of their sufferings, yet in these intervals their spirits gained strength and insensibly grew more able to endure, till at last their sufferings were mitigated with time and the growing development of the spirit body, and they in turn would, when fit to do so, be employed to magnetise others who were still suffering.

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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2008, 04:52:35 pm »

It is impossible for me to give you a very clear picture of this place and those in it, for although the resemblance to an earthly hospital was very great, there were many little points in which it resembled nothing which you have yet on earth, though as knowledge on earth advances the resemblance will become closer. All was so dark in this place, because the unfortunate spirits who dwelt there had none of the brightness of happy spirits to give into the atmosphere, and it is the state of the spirit itself in the spiritual world that makes the lightness or darkness of its surroundings. The sense of darkness was also due to the almost total blindness of these poor spirits, whose spiritual senses never having been developed on earth made them alike insensible to all around them, just as those born on earth in a state of blindness, deafness and dumbness would be unconscious of the things which were apparent to those fully endowed with senses. In visiting the atmosphere of the earthly plane, which was a degree more suited to their state of development, these poor spirits would still be in darkness, though it would not be so complete, and they would possess the power of seeing those beings like themselves with whom they could come into direct contact, and also such mortals as were in a sufficiently low spiritual degree of development. The higher and more spiritualized mortals, and still more the disembodied spirits in advance of them would be only very dimly discernible, or even totally invisible.

The "working" Brothers of Hope, as they were called, were each provided with a tiny little light like a star, whose rays illuminated the darkness of the cells they visited and carried the light of hope wherever the brothers went. I myself at first was so great a sufferer that I used simply to lie in my cell in a state of almost apathetic misery, watching for this spark to come glimmering down the long corridor to my door, and wondering how long it would be in earth time ere it would come again. But it was not long that I lay thus utterly prostrate. Unlike many of the poor spirits who had added a love of drink to their other vices, my mind was too clear and my desire to improve too strong to leave me long inactive, and as soon as I found myself able to move again I petitioned to be allowed to do something, however humble, which might be of use. I was therefore, as being myself possessed of strong magnetic powers, set to help an unfortunate young man who was utterly unable to move, and who used to lie moaning and sighing all the time. Poor fellow, he was only thirty years old when he left the earth body, but in his short life he had contrived to plunge into such dissipations that he had prematurely killed himself, and was now suffering such agonies from the reaction upon the spirit of those powers he had abused, that it was often more than I could bear to witness them. My task was to make soothing passes over him, by which means he would obtain a little relief, till at stated times a more advanced spirit than myself would come and put him into a state of unconsciousness. And all this time I was myself suffering keenly both in mind and in my spirit body, for in the lower spheres the spirit is conscious of bodily sufferings. As it grows more advanced the suffering becomes more purely mental--the less material envelope of the higher spirits making them at last insensible to anything like material pain.

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« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2008, 04:52:55 pm »

As my strength grew so did my desires revive and cause me so much torment that I was often tempted to do what many poor spirits did--go back to earth in search of the means to satisfy them through the material bodies of those yet on earth. My bodily sufferings grew very great, for the strength I had been so proud of and had used to so bad a purpose made me suffer more than one who had been weak. As the muscles of an athlete who has used them to excess begin after a time to contract and cause him excruciating pain, so those powers and that strength which I had abused in my earthly life now began, through its inevitable reaction on my spirit body, to cause me the most intense suffering. And then as I grew stronger and stronger and able to enjoy what had seemed enjoyment in my earth life, the desire for those pleasures grew and grew till I could scarce refrain from returning to the earth plane there to enjoy, through the organism of those yet in the flesh, whose sordid lives and low desires placed them on a level with the spirits of the earth plane, those pleasures of the senses which had still so great a temptation for us. Many and many of those who were in the House of Hope with me would yield to the temptation and go back for a time to haunt the earth, whence they would return after a longer or shorter period, exhausted and degraded even below their former state. All were free to go or to stay as they desired. All could return when they wished, for the doors of Hope's castle were never shut upon anyone, however unthankful or unworthy they might be, and I have often wondered at the infinite patience and tenderness which were ever shown for our weaknesses and our sins. It was indeed only possible to pity these poor unfortunates, who had made such utter slaves of themselves to their base desires that they could not resist them and were drawn back time after time till at last, satiated and exhausted, they could move no more and were like the unfortunate young man whom I tended.

For myself, I might also have yielded to the temptation had it not been for the thoughts of my pure love, and the hopes she had given me, the purer desires she had inspired, and I at least could not condemn these poor erring souls who had no such blessings granted them. I went to earth very often, but it was to where my beloved one dwelt, and her love drew me ever to her side, away from all temptations, into the pure atmosphere of her home, and though I could never approach near enough to touch her, by reason of this icy invisible wall which I have described, I used to stand outside of it, looking at her as she sat and worked or read or slept. When I was there she would always be in a dim way conscious of my presence, and would whisper my name or turn to where I was with one of her sad sweet smiles that I would carry away the recollection of and comfort myself with in my lonely hours. She looked so sad, so very sad, my poor love, and so pale and delicate, it made my heart ache even while it comforted me to see her. I could tell that in spite of all her efforts to be brave and patient, and to hope, the strain was almost too great for her, and each day she grew more delicate looking. She had many other things to try her at this time; there were family troubles and the doubts and fears suggested by the strangeness of her intercourse with the world of spirits. At times she would wonder if it were not all a wild delusion, a dream from which she would awake to find there was after all no communication between the dead and the living, no means by which she could reach me again, and then a dull despair would seize upon her and upon me also as I stood beside her and read her feeling, helpless and powerless to make her realize my actual presence beside her, and I would pray to be allowed in some way to make her know that I was there.

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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 04:53:23 pm »

One night when I had watched her sink into sleep after a weary time of weeping, I, who could have wept, too, in my grief for us both, was suddenly touched upon the shoulder, and looking up beheld her guardian spirit who had first helped me speak with her. He asked me if I would be very quiet and self-restrained if he allowed me to kiss her as she slept, and I, wild with this new joy, most eagerly promised. Taking my hand in his we passed together through the transparent icy wall that was to me so impervious. Bending over her the guide made some strange motions with his hand, and then taking one of my hands in his for a few moments he bade me touch her very gently. She was lying quietly asleep, with the tears still on her eyelashes and her sweet lips slightly parted as though she was speaking in her dreams. One hand rested against her cheek and I took it in mine, so gently, so tenderly--not to awaken her. Her hand closed half consciously upon mine and a look of such joy came into her face that I feared she would awake. But no! The bright spirit smiled at us both and said, "Kiss her now." And I--ah! I stooped over her and touched her at last and gave her the first kiss I had ever given. I kissed her not once but half a dozen times, so passionately that she awoke and the bright spirit drew me away in haste. She looked round and asked softly: "Do I dream, or was that indeed my beloved one?" I answered, "Yes," and she seemed to hear, for she smiled so sweet a smile--ah! so sweet! and again and again she repeated my name softly to herself.

Not for long after that would they allow me to touch her again, but I was often near, and the joy of that one meeting dwelt in our hearts for many an hour. I could see how real had been my kiss to her, and for me it was as an anchor of hope encouraging me to believe that in time I should indeed be able to make her feel my touch and hold communication with her.



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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 04:54:33 pm »

CHAPTER V.--Spirits of the Earth Plane.

The time came at last for me to leave the House of Hope and go forth, strong in the lessons I had learned there, to work out my atonement on the earth plane and in those lower spheres to which my earthly life had sunk me

Eight or nine months had elapsed since I had died, and I had grown strong and vigorous once more. I could move freely over the great sphere of the earth plane. My sight and my other senses were so far developed that I could see and hear and speak clearly. The light around me now was that of a faint twilight or when the night first begins to dawn into the day. To my eyes so long accustomed to the darkness, this dull light was very welcome, though after a time I grew so to long for the true day to dawn that this dull twilight was most monotonous and oppressive. Those countries which are situated in this, the third circle of the earth plane or first sphere, are called "The Twilight Lands," and it is thither that those spirits pass whose lives have been too selfish and material to allow their souls to reach any higher state of development. Even these Twilight Lands, however, are a degree above those "Haunting" spirits of the earth plane who are literally earthbound to their former habitations.

My work was to be begun upon the earth itself, and in those haunts which men of the world call the haunts of pleasure, though no pleasure is so fleeting, no degradation so sure, as that which they produce even during the earthly life. And now I found the value of the teachings and the experience I had gained during my stay in the House of Hope. Temptations that might once have seemed such to me were such no longer. I knew the satisfaction such pleasures give, and the cost at which alone they can be bought, and thus in controlling a mortal, as I often had to do, I was proof against the temptation such control offered of using his body for my own gratification.

Few people yet in their earthly envelopes understand that spirits can, and very often do, take such complete possession of the bodies of mortal men and women that, for the time, it is as though that earth body belonged to the disembodied and not the embodied spirit. Many cases of so-called temporary madness are due to the controlling power of very low spirits of evil desires or frivolous minds, who are, through the weakness of will or other causes, put into complete rapport with the embodied spirit whose body they seek to use. Amongst many ancient races this fact was acknowledged and studied as well as many branches of the occult sciences which we of the nineteenth century have grown too wise, forsooth, to look into, even to discover, if we can, those germs of truth with which all ages have been blessed and which are worth disinterring from the mass of rubbish in which succeeding generations of men have buried them.

The work upon which I was now engaged will seem no less strange to you than it did at first to me. The great Brotherhood of Hope was only one of a countless variety of societies which exist in the spirit world for the purpose of giving help to all who are in need. Their operations are carried on everywhere and in all spheres, and their members are to be found from the very lowest and darkest spheres to the very highest which surround the earth, and even extend into the spheres of the solar systems. They are like immense chains of spirits, the lowest and humblest being always helped and protected by those above.

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Cynthia
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2008, 04:54:52 pm »

A message would be sent to the Brotherhood that help was required to assist some struggling mortal or unhappy spirit, and such one of the brothers as was thought to be most fit would be sent to help. Such a one of us would be sent as had in his own earth life yielded to a similar temptation, and had suffered all the bitter consequences and remorse for his sin. Often the man or woman to be helped had unconsciously sent out an aspiration for help and strength to resist temptation, and that of itself was a prayer, which would be heard in the spirit world as a cry from earth's children that appealed to all in the spirit world who had been themselves earth's sons and daughters; or it might be that some spirit to whom the struggling one was very dear would seek for help on their behalf and would thus appeal to us to come to their aid. Our task would be to follow and control the one we desired to help till the temptation had been overcome. We would identify ourselves so closely with the mortal that for a time we actually shared his life, his thoughts, everything, and during this dual state of existence we ourselves often suffered most keenly both from our anxiety for the man whose thoughts became almost as our own, and from the fact that his anxieties were as ours, while in thus going over again a chapter in our past lives we endured all the sorrow, remorse and bitterness of the past time. He on his side felt, though not in so keen a degree, the sorrowful state of our mind, and where the control was very complete and the mortal highly sensitive, he would often fancy that things which we had done must have been done by himself, either in some former forgotten stage of existence, or else seen in some vivid dream they could scarcely recall.

This controlling or overshadowing of a mortal by an immortal is used in many ways, and those who foolishly make themselves liable to it either by a careless evil life, or by seeking in a frivolous spirit of mere curiousity to search out mysteries too deep for their shallow minds to fathom, often find to their cost that the low spirits who haunt the earth plane, and even those from much lower spheres, can often obtain so great a hold over a mortal that at last he becomes a mere puppet in their hands, whose body they can use at will. Many a weak-willed man and woman who in pure surroundings would lead only good and pure lives, are drawn by evil surroundings into sins for which they are but partly responsible--sins for which indeed those controlling spirits who have thus made use of these weak mortals, will be held responsible as well as the mortal sinner himself. For thus tempting and using another's organism those evil spirits will have to render a terrible account, since they have been doubly guilty. In sinning, themselves, and in dragging down another soul with them, they sink themselves to a depth from which many years, and in come instances many centuries of suffering cannot free them.

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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2008, 04:55:26 pm »

In my work I have had to act the part of controlling spirit many times, but I was sent to do so only in order that I might impress the mortal with a sense of the terrible consequences of yielding to sin, and also that I might, when not actually controlling the mortal myself, act as guard and watchman to protect him from the control of the wandering tempting spirits of the earth plane. My work was to raise the barrier of my strong will-force against theirs, and keep them back so that they could not come sufficiently en rapport with my charge to control him.

If, however, he had allowed himself to be already controlled by these lower spirits, they would still be able to project their thoughts and suggestions to him, though they did so with difficulty.

Although I did not know it at the time, and believed that upon myself would rest the responsibility of keeping safe those I was sent to guard, I was only the last link in a long chain of spirits who were all helping at the same time. Each spirit was a step in advance of the one below him, and each had to strengthen and help the one below him should he faint or fail in his task. My part was also intended to be a lesson to myself in self-denial and the sacrifice of my own comfort that I might help another. My condition as a spirit on the earth plane made me of use, seeing that I could oppose a material force of will against those tempting spirits in an atmosphere where a more refined spirit would have been unable to penetrate, and I as one of the earth-bound myself could come en rapport with the mortal more closely than a more advanced spirit would have been able to do. I had, by means of dreams when he slept and constant haunting thoughts while he waked, to impress upon the mind of the man I controlled what my experience had been, to make him feel all the terrible sufferings of remorse and fear, all the loathing of himself through which I had passed, and through which I passed again in bitter agony of soul while thus recalling them. All my feelings were transferred to his mind till he might truly have said he was haunted by all the terrible possibilities of his meditated sins.

Over this particular phase of my experiences I shall not dwell longer now, since it is one familiar to many on this side of life. I will but say that I returned from my mission with a consciousness that I had saved many others from the pitfalls into which I had fallen, and thereby had atoned in part for my own sins. Several times was I sent upon such missions and each time returned successful; and here I must pause to say that if my progress in the spirit world has been so rapid as to surprise most who knew of my first condition on entering it, and if I again and again resisted all the temptations that befell me, the credit is not so much due to myself as to the wonderful help and comfort that was given to me by the constant and unvarying love of her who was indeed my good angel, and whose image ever came between me and all harm. When all others might have pleaded to me in vain, I ever hearkened to her voice and turned aside.

When I was not helping someone yet in the earth body, I was sent to work amongst the unhappy spirits of the earth plane who were still wandering in its darkness even as I had at first done. And to them I went as one of the great Brotherhood of Hope, bearing in my hand the tiny starlike light which is the symbol of that order. Its rays would dispel the darkness around me, and I would see poor unhappy spirits crouching on the ground two or three together, or sunk in helpless misery in some corner by themselves, too hopeless, too unhappy to heed anything.

To them it was my work to point out how they could either be taken to such a House of Hope as the one in which I had been, or in other cases how they might, by trying to help others around them, help themselves and earn the gratitude of those who were even more hopeless than themselves. To each poor suffering soul a different balm of healing would be given, for each had known a different experience and each had had a different cause for his sins.



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