Mr. CHAIRMAN AND
words of my chosen theme this evening have not been idly
" The Occupation, Capabilities and Possibilities of Disembodied
Into the region of that
lies beyond death, and into that portion of it which it has been my
fortune to dwell for many years, I invite your cordial presence; a
which is possible if you will only free your minds from all fears
death, and assume that it is simply a voyage through another country,
to you by a traveler who has sojourned there.
It is usual to you to
your minds so much of time and space that, either with panoramic view,
or with the aid of word pictures which the traveler can portray, you
traverse distant countries, become accustomed to the habits and manners
of the inhabitants there, familiar with their laws, and, indeed, know
much of them as though you were really there in person. This is
concerning the spiritual life. If you unbar the doors of death,
away from the gateway of the angels the terror and fear that have so
sat there, and disencumber your minds of the thought that there is
in connection with the future life of which man has need to be afraid,
you will then easily perform the journey.
Death is no barrier at
the gate of
life; death is no fiend, shaped in hideous image to frighten you from
precincts of immortality, only a natural change--one which all must
and sooner or later pass through; the method of it is familiar to those
who have watched the departure of friends or dearly loved ones; the
of it is present ever, alike to the studious and to the
Surely in this theme there is nothing that should inspire with fear nor
profane the silent shadow with terror or despair. Birth into your
world were a more fitting opportunity for sadness and mourning, since
do not know into what scene of terror or misfortune the newly born
way be plunged in after life; but in the spirit world, when the body
fulfilled its outward function, and is again gathered to dust, there is
nothing to fear aside from what a man way take with him into that
namely, his own spiritual condition. No fiends of terror await to
plunge him into abysmal torment; no one watchful with vindictive glance
to judge of his slightest look, word, or deed in life; he has no more
monitor than his own conscience; than consciousness, when disrobed from
outward life, of being in spirit, perhaps impoverished by a lack of
in his external life and knowledge.
Into the spiritual state,
the usual human being enters as freely and as gladly as you would pass
from the winter clime of the frigid zone to the regions of tropical
and beauty. Into the spiritual life usually the spirit enters
as though freed from a prison, unfettered from chains, and released
the thralldom of the encasing physical clay, that even to the best of
beings is to some extent a bond upon the spirit. I can therefore
say that with the fullness of years and the consciousness of having
to do my duty, death came to me as a welcome messenger.
I knew little of the
state into which
I would enter, but I had an abiding faith that the Infinite Power over
rules these things and that we enter that state for which we are best
and that to me there could come nothing worse than, what I had
and in some way triumphed over during my earthly pilgrimage.
friends, the consciousness of this fact abode with me for many years
my departure from the earthly life, I assure you that I had gleamings
this sublime philosophy that fills the void between the outer and the
life, and that I therefore was somewhat prepared for the reception
seemed to await me in the spiritual spheres; a reception that more than
surpassed all earthly recognition, all visitation to home and friends,
all possible conceptions of outward life, since it was not marred by
thought of the absent, or by any approaching severance of the chord by
another change of death.
the human spirit speedily force themselves upon the consciousness of
affection, kindness, charity, the graces and thoughts that I had
in my earthly friends, were the real inheritance into which I came when
I entered spiritual life. I found that external surroundings,
of beauty, or usefulness, were in accordance simply with the needs of
spirit, and secondary to it, while all that pertained to the vital
of life--I mean to the thought of life, to its good qualities, to those
things that make up the real man or woman--these were apparent and
in the surroundings that awaited me.
abode of family affections, to which I was first admitted, I found the
kindred of my fireside, and of my spirit awaiting me as joyously as
I had been in long banishment, or exile, and was returning to
I found my youth, all impulses and hopes of early manhood, every form
young life, restored and more than fulfilled in the fruition of the
I found that the physiological change of death had wrought a greater
than Arabian wonders; it had wrought the miracle of absolute departure
of age, of infirmity, of pain, and the consciousness of it--of all
connected with matter, so far as physical suffering was concerned.
my sorrow that much of my life was not perfect, and that the portion
was not perfect was reflected in my brain, to which my friends,
kindly seemed to turn a blind eye and deaf ear, and only allowed me to
discover the imperfections. These imperfections were the results
which, of course, every human being possesses, and must ultimately
aware of--any lack in the mental or moral perfection of the nature on
Such lack is distinctly portrayed in the spirit, and unless there is
great moral perversion the spirit becomes distinctly aware of it the
disenthrallment from the earthly body takes place.
I was admitted into the abode prepared for me by the aspirations of
and the loved ones, who were present. I did not find the distance
far, although I presume upon actual measurement it would be many
leagues from the earth; but so rapid was the transition, and so sudden
was the rising from earth, that it seemed an instant and I was there,
I could look back upon the earth, and it appeared as a speck or atom of
dust in the atmosphere.
the spheres of spiritual life are not of necessity connected with the
atmosphere, except by mental or spiritual ties, and that those having
upon earth still hold an interlinking chain; but the orbit that
them with the earth and with the spiritual state may be far away.
sphere into which I entered was a vast belt of interstellar light,
seemed at first, as I approached it, to be like the Milky Way, of those
nebulous masses that the astronomer discovers when contemplating the
This belt was not limited to any especial planet or
but seemed to stretch far away in different directions through the
spaces, and each planet seemed to have an interlinking avenue
with this interstellar belt.
who appeared to me as a luminous star of light what sphere, by name or
number, I had entered.
"The spheres are not numbered to us, but for the purpose of external
they are frequently numbered. This is the second or interstellar
sphere--the heavens indirectly removed from the earth or other
state which the spirit enters in its second stage of spiritual growth."
"Then is there another sphere nearer the earth?" "You have passed
one," he says, "which connects those spirits with the earth who
more nearly allied to it, and whose affections and ties are of an
nature. Such spirits are earth bound, and have yet their
their prejudices, their human proclivities, to overcome. Look
and I discovered what I had not seen while passing through it.
masses, seemingly of vapor, floating over the speck that I called the
These dense masses the spirit, who seemed luminous and orbed with
told me were the first spheres of spiritual life beyond the earth into
which those spirits entered that from moral obliquity, earthly ties,
habits, or any external cause whatever, were still bound near the earth.
however, that even the dark masses swept away toward towards other
and he said there was a connecting link between the atmosphere of earth
and the atmosphere of every other planet in a similar stage of
growth, so that these lower spirits, or spirits less spiritually
were connected with whatever planet represented their average state,
frequently received an augmentation of their own shadow by the shadow
from the planet equally undeveloped.
however, which I had entered, there seemed no absolute moral
There were imperfections enough, the results no doubt of failures in
life to fully comprehend the nature of the spirit and its latent
I could readily see that these failures were not the result of
and that they were soon overcome, as indeed my own delinquencies seemed
to be overcome by my earnest desire to have them overcome. I
that is, I strove earnestly with myself to overcome whatever of
pride, ambition or earthliness might remain with me, and I beheld, as I
entered nearer and nearer the abode of my loved ones, a shining stream
that seemed to flow all around the borders of this sphere into which I
bad entered, through which I must pass to enter their abode..
I plunged into the stream, but instead of water, according to the
of that substance upon earth, I found each globule seemed life like,
was laden with some essential pungent power, that probed the weakness
my moral nature and expurgated it from me. Every globule seemed
and like a lash would scourge, at the same time leaving no sting but
consciousness of renovation.
sphere or state of self examination; and during my passage through this
stream I distinctly remember that all of the faults and failings and
imperfections of my earthly life seemed to pass before my mind. I
distinctly remember that I judged them all, one by one, and wished that
they might pass from me.
upon the other side I beheld my dearest friends extending to meet me;
members of my own family fireside group who had long since passed from
gaze were there awaiting me. These had prepared, as it were, an
bower, that shut out all view of the surroundings and scenery, but at
same time might open out any time directing my volition to it.
wealth, here was my greeting; here was the reception which for a long
I had awaited; how long I know not, for an age would seem as nothing
a moment an age in the consciousness of the joy of being disenthralled
from earthly sense, and in greeting again the friends whom I knew upon
out again into what seemed an open space, I was led by the spirit that
appeared from a luminous body of spirits, to contemplate the change
had come upon me. I found substances, new in name, but apparently
as tangible as those of earth life, and I found structures that had no
resemblance to earthly things, but at the same time were typical of the
thought, wish or desire of those who inhabited them. I found that
the atoms of these spiritual existences were transparent; that I could
see all the performances of life within my own frame as well as in the
frames of those with whom I came in contact. Thought itself
luminous, and I could distinctly tell by the radiations of light around
my companions and friends that their thoughts were toward
I soon understood that we had no speech; that it was not necessary to
vocal signs, as the thought itself became palpable to the comprehension
of the spiritual vision or consciousness of the other.
"Have we no physical senses here? Speech does not seem to be
and I do not require to hear when you think."
was the answer, "are but the measure of the human body and its
The spirit only wants avenues of expression and avenues of
If senses were here they would blockade and prevent the expression
you so much covet."
the earth," I said. "The sight is limited, the hearing can
only be relied upon at random, and the physical senses impede
the expression of the spirit."
more, then, in the spiritual state will they do so," said my
"when the spirit itself requires none of these outward avenues, but has
avenues of expression according to its own state !"
discovered that every mental vibration produced as distinct an
upon the atmosphere as though a photographic plate had been there to
its rays, and that this aura surrounding a spirit was at once a sign
token of the condition of the spirit, and of the, different thoughts
from the brain.
then a substance?" said I.
per se, but it affiliates with the substance of spiritual life,
vibrations upon it, as sound does upon the external or earthly
Hence if a person thinks in spiritual life it is equivalent to
in earthly life, the effect being just as palpable on the finer
of spiritual existence as is the vibration of sound upon outward
manner is thought received?" I said.
The corresponding wave of thought reaches your own spirit and produces
impression there, just as the wave of sound reaches the hearing and
I said, "of what use is this form?" for I perceived that I had a form
and conforming in shape, and I judged in appearance, with my earthly
except that there were no lines of age, or care, or pain upon it.
"The organs of physical sensation are but the expression outwardly of
sensation, hence they are a symbolic representation externally of what,
the spirit really possesses in a greater degree. Hence, sight and
touch, then, in spiritual life become submerged into one sense, but
of the avenues are preserved to complete the oneness, just as a
sound or chord is made by several notes in unison; so the senses of the
spirit are as separate notes of music out of which a chord of melody is
made; or better still, are as separate rays of light, of which a
single perfect beam of light is made. You do not use the
separately in spirit life, as on earth, but all sensation is alive at
through all the avenues, quickening, or receiving, in proportion as the
spirit thinks, or is acted upon, by surrounding spiritual intelligence."
I then discovered that the methods of this life must be widely
from those of earth, that the slowness and inadaptability of earthly
are vastly unfitted and unqualified to sustain anything like the
with which thought itself acts upon the mind and brain of
Speech itself is slow to human consciousness; thought is rapid in
its vibrations. The movements of the physical form are
cumbersome, and vary in grace according to the ability or construction
of form. In spirit life gracefulness of thought depends upon its
perfection, not upon the external expression, and he represents the
perfect beauty and symmetry of form and shape of life whose thoughts
the most perfectly formed, and therefore who expresses them the most
saw an entire
change to my comprehension in the manner of construction of
In the external life, you will observe that all things proceed from
properties and functions, and that life unfolds gradually from the germ
that is acted upon by extraneous influences and substances. I
in spirit life that all emanations proceed from the spirit itself; all
attractions, or accretions of matter, are the result of a greater or
degree of perfection in the mind or in the spirit, and that therefore
is no necessity for organic construction; that whatever construction
place in spiritual life, is what you term subjective in earthly life,
to the spirit is certainly objective; while all forms of earthly
and organic life upon earth seem to the spirit in my stage of existence
purely subjective and shadowy.
see the radiations
of matter, as I shall presently show you, not from the external but
the spiritual standpoint, and will endeavor to portray the changes in
senses and consciousness, while comparing the two stages of life, and
observation of substances in each.
I soon became
interested in these forms of external observation concerning myself, of
course my immediate interest in home ties and home friends disappeared,
and I became anxious to enter a wider range of observation, where, I
discover the various processes of the life into which I had
I perceived forms all about me, of beauty and comeliness, some of them
similar to forms on earth. I mean external objects, but all of
seemingly dependent upon the radiations of some given mind.
Hence if I approached the habitation of a spirit there were flowers and
forms of beauty, foliage, external objects it is true, but these all,
dependent upon and radiating around the spirit that was their life and
centre. If that spirit moved, the whole of this structure
scintillant with the thought of the spirit; if there, was a pulsation
joy it seemed as though the leaves and foliage were conscious of
and even the habitation in which the spirit dwelt became more luminous;
and I speedily discovered that the thought of the inhabiting spirit
all substances within the orb of its life, and hence that the
of other spirits, the home ties and all, were a congregation of spirits
of similar grade, who formed their habitation by the attraction of as
substance as their own minds could control; and that the power of the
will, its volition or consciousness, became the secret spring where
these substances were attracted.
then said: "how was it that my own habitation was prepared without my
been living upon earth," the attendant spirit said; "you have had
and occupations there, and whatever thought belonged to this stage of
instead of to the earthly, produced its impression upon this stage and
upon the corresponding substances here; so that your spiritual
was fashioned by you while you were an inhabitant of the earth life."
our spiritual habitations," I said, "while upon the earth?"
or imperfectly; the structure is fashioned according to the perfection
or imperfection of your thoughts; if they are continually broken and
by external things, or if the ties of matter encroach too strongly upon
the spirit, it makes habitation appear fragmentary and frequently very
imperfect, but that is speedily remedied by the spirit when it comes to
this state of existence."
I said, "Is there a continual connecting link between the earthly state
and this state of spiritual life?"
there are connecting links," says the attendant spirit, "between all
of matter in the universe, and certainly there are connecting links
all atoms of spiritual substances that make up the vast spheres of
that the occupations of the spirit begin not externally, as they do
earth, but inwardly. For instance, if on earth a young man wishes
to build a home he saves up a few dollars, he gathers together his
and he makes a habitation out of such substances as accord with his
While his mind may be very lofty, his aspirations very meritorious, he
cannot build a greater habitation than the dollars which he has will
him in erecting. He, builds his habitation and takes his
and they together make up the home; first, of course, from their
but the external property from the substances around them.
the novice enters seemingly without a possession, but be soon finds
he has laid up his treasures, or his lack of them, in heaven. His
lack of them will consist of a vacant space, which certainly he
occupy, and which, if he has any friends or kindred or loving thoughts,
will be measurably peopled by their kindness; but if he has been
lacking in spiritual graces and aspirations it will seem to be an
country into which he has entered. I am told that in the lower
of spiritual existences there are vast barren plains inhabited by
who have not had aspirations sufficiently spiritual to make
their home with any living thing.
am told that
there are barren deserts stretching far away into space, the outgrowth
of the earth and other planets, which souls must for a time inhabit,
they themselves have failed to create beauty in their thoughts.
in this sphere which I entered there was no such desolate places;
there were certainly many imperfect, and many that seemed devoid of
I would consider grace and beauty. My habitation, when I entered
that part of it that I myself had created, was sufficiently imperfect,
and I found it like another famous place in history "paved with good
and I speedily set to work to rear upon this somewhat substantial basis
the edifice of my new life. In doing this I did not look around
wood or marble, or any outward substance; I was told that I had
build from within. I said, "How shall I do this? I
the trees grow and all things unfold from within upon earth by
of atoms from the sunlight and the various substances of the
but I am not aware of any such property in man, except indirectly."
see," answered my attendant. "Give yourself no uneasiness about
habitation, but try to reform the methods of your thought."
methods of my thought? Have I then been inebriate? Have I
imprudent? Have I been immoral? Have I misjudged my kind? "
within my mental structure, and I discovered that the walls had largely
crumbled away since I passed from earth-life; that things very real and
very substantial to me in the external life were nothing; that precepts
and maxims which I had considered essential and important, became as
that they were mere shreds and sophisms. For instance, I
that the external policy of honesty, unless accompanied by the genuine
impulse, is void. Of course I always thought so, but I stated it
wrongly. I discovered that an external morality typical of life
void, unless there be a corresponding probity of spirit. I
this, but I was not sufficiently alert to its importance of being first
a Spiritual state. I was of the opinion upon the earth that the
inculcation will eventually produce the right kind of state, and that
semblance of it ought to be cultivated that the real may come. I
discovered that no semblance can imitate the reality; that the real
of all moral excellence must be by inculcation of it from within.
in modern science that outward observation and the pursuit of various
and mathematical discoveries would eventually lead to the perfection of
truth. I now perceived that wall, also, crumbling away, and
an insight entering my mind that outward science is but the form or
of the spiritual principle, and if that principle be not correct the
itself is void.
also I found that while I had no creed which made a barrier between me
and my Deity, or between myself and my kind, there was still a mistake
in the fact that I failed to recognize the absolute nature of the
Personality in the guidance of all worlds and men. Of
I believed that too much can be done by man himself; I recognized
too little the unseen agencies that are alive in the universe to shape
and govern all things.
must be pardoned
if I seem prolix, but in order to arrive at an accurate comprehension
the change which every spirit must pass through, I must give these
that as I unraveled one by one the meshes of external sophism or
philosophy, I seemed to be ensphered in an atmosphere far more
There were certain indications of fabric growing around me; I
that as my thoughts regulated themselves harmoniously there were
arches, and various forms of beauty like rainbow lights, around
"What is this?" The attendant, seemingly watching me from
said, "You will soon discover." And I at last found that my
entire method of thought became inverted, or introverted; that I looked
upon substance as a shadow, and upon what men call shadow as substance;
that I discovered in the external life no organic property separate
spirit. Remember this: "In atoms no organic property
from spirit"--that I probed to the very foundation of my philosophy and
discovered that nature has of herself no activity independent of the
inhabiting nature. I found this out in my own structure, and in
spiritual body which my soul animated and the life into which I was
"From this standpoint can I investigate outward science? Can I
become familiar with the processes of the contact of elements in
said: "From this standpoint only can you understand the
the external scientific man has no groundwork; he perceives at random;
he discovers seemingly, by accident; he follows no line of
and if he arrive at the truth it is simply because the truth is in his
way, not because he has a correct aim. "
"I may safely study the elements of than earth's atmosphere and
substances, and the laws governing their control?"
he said. "But you are not fitted to enter upon this study until
shall have at first perfected your own habitation. By this I
he says, "until you shall have become self-centered, properly poised in
your own sphere of life, and understand thoroughly the scenes by which
you are surrounded."
"I will follow your Instructions; I seek only for guidance.
Let me know the methods."
are still self-examination, still self-scrutiny, still the undoing or
the overthrowing of the thoughts that were with you on earth."
still more toward inward contemplation, and thought that I had not
power of spiritual growth to reach the point of my desire in the
of the investigation of the sciences connected with the elements of the
earth and the heavenly bodies. Soon, however, I became
and my mind was breathed upon by a consciousness of humility.
will study as a little child, and listen to these spirits or witness
they shall do until II learn."
groups further and further away nearing us, and that each seemed to be
occupied with their own pursuits, not intruding nor interfering with
others, but ranged in family groupings and in social order and
"How busily and constantly employed they seem to be! and yet I have no
clue as to what their occupation may mean, or the effect that it may
upon themselves or others."
in contemplation with the habitation unfinished, much as one would sit
on an unbuilt edifice for which he had no capital to proceed
My capital was gone; I had nothing further to invest; I did
not know how to proceed. By observation I discovered lines
of sympathetic light extending from one spirit to another, that formed
these groups. These lines of sympathetic light radiated, or
as they approached one another, and of one accord they seemed to
as I described previously. They then seemed to pass off in groups
further and further away, either into space, or sometimes they seemed
me to descend into darkness.
do they do? I then thought intently with a desire to know
occupation. I discovered that these were self-centered family
or social circles, who had a distinct line of thought and occupation in
spiritual life, and that this line of thought and occupation was
with some social state beneath them, or some planet to which they might
be attracted for use or for work.
"I have the clue: it mast be what they do for others that gives them
to increase their power of building their own habitations."
all the atoms in the fabric of my own habitation thrilled with this new
will seek some person, or spirit, or state, that is not as attractive
my own, and see what good I can accomplish." I was not long
in seeking. I seemed to pass into a stratum of atmosphere beneath
and darker than my own, among persons who seemed to be without the
to rise, and some without the aspiration; and I thought, as I breathed
upon them from my mind--this breathing being a real exhalation of my
you like to enter a region of greater brightness?" And a spirit
upward and said: "Oh, I cannot; there seems to be no way; I am
I have no unhappiness, no fixed condition of misery, but I am inert."
"Do something," giving the same advice that I myself had sought.
I do? there is no outward work for me to perform. Clothing is
we wave it seemingly of our thoughts; we, do not feed upon substances
those upon earth. I have no necessity for these things; and
one cannot always think; it is too inactive."
"Do you not know one in outward life whom you wish to benefit? Is
there no such one living upon earth?" I ventured this without
knowing that I myself could do it. "Is there no one that
would wish to benefit upon the earth?"
if I might,"
said be, "communicate with some one whom I love, that I might tell of
inertia that fills my mind, it would even be a blessing to do
"Think intently of the one whom you would like to communicate
And I saw that he was thinking, and with that thought he disappeared
earth, and there followed a portion of the light which seemed to come
the sphere that I inhabited with him as he went upon his way.
to my spiritual habitation, and behold! a recognition had taken place;
the formless portions were shaped and in order, and all around the
was seemingly the foundation of a perfect structure. It is well,
I thought; I will try again; and so little by little I went
the precincts of my own habitation, seeking to influence minds that
evidently less employed than myself. To my utter delight I
discovered on each return from such a visitation that my habitation
more and more complete; and when I had finished it so far as it is
for any spiritual state to be finished, I then was conscious of the
of the attendant who had advised me. He said: "You have
the process now of increasing your activity and powers; now you are
to study the elements." I said: "Why now?" "Because
spiritual is the centre here, and that must be in order and well
before any material thing can be touched. You cannot even
conscious the methods of outward life until you are conscious of the
of spiritual life."
"Are there no spirits in communication with the planets and with the
elements save those that are spiritually self-centered? "
"Are there no spirits in communication with the planets and with the
elements save those that are spiritually self-centered? "
but they are not consciously so, and have no knowledge of their office
or employment; they perform it mechanically, and act under the
of higher minds. I take it that you wish to act intelligently."
says, "come with me."
the stratum of atmosphere that we had seen as I was passing from
earthly life. I found there various unemployed spirits upon
plains; found them in habitations that seemed to be void of beauty and
Do you wish to perform anything upon earth?"
" I would like to find out, if possible, the methods whereby spiritual
beings, or spiritual forces, control and act upon earthly beings."
he said, "wish to enter the sphere of study of the elements in
with spiritual beings and intelligences?"
"Select from these persons whom you see those whom you consider most
to act upon."
am I to
select?" I said. "Think toward them," said he.
my mind upon one and another, I saw them in various degrees of
or slowness turn toward me and gradually come near. Those who
the most readily, and those who seemed the most anxious to respond to
thought, were chosen.
"Now, anything that you will these persons to do they can perform, but
it must be through your will and your knowledge, and not theirs."
aware that other spirits had in the same manner gathered around these
of spirits that occupy the plane nearest the earth; that they were
upon solving the problem of communication between the outward sphere,
is the earth-life, and the spiritual spheres; not only in the manner of
impression and guardianship, which I discovered to be a distinct
power, but in the manner of affecting the currents of the atmosphere
occult forces lying around the earth. I joined this school.
I speedily found that my attendant was one of the number, and
in the second sphere, which was my home, in a higher grade beyond me,
their habitation and group, or council, and that I really was to be
to this council as one of the message-bearers to the earth ! One
of the message-bearers! The thought itself electrified me.
Could it be possible then to open a direct line of communication?
me of the subtle force that a portion of my life had occupied intently
my thought and mind. Could it be through some such force as
electricity in one or other or both of its vibrations? Was
there some method whereby this substance which was spiritual and yet
to me, could be brought in direct contact with matter, and made to
the consciousness of man's spiritual life by the stepping-stone of
science? Here was a problem.
first studying gradually the forces surrounding the earth. I
the idea of electricity very soon, as I found it too material in its
and too directly connected with the elemental contact of the earth.
found also governed by the laws and currents affecting the earth and
atmospheres. Then I said there must be a still more subtle force, which
is amenable to the direct control of the individual will, and is
not so sensitive to the casual currents or changes of the external
as electricity seems to be.
I found electricity to be a simple vibration, and the result of
currents of magnetic life upon the earth, and which in their various
and rotations may be easily measured and guarded against, and placed In
accord with the various electric mechanisms of the earth, and adjusted
according to human wants and needs.
was not the force to be employed in connection with the contact of
beings with earth, or with earthly matter. I looked still
I discovered a subtle force or aura, surrounding minerals, and
all vegetable substances, and finally surrounding all human
I found that the aura surrounding mineral substances was not amenable
the action of spiritual volition or will-power. I found that the
aura surrounding vegetable substances was not amenable to the action of
will-power in the individual capacity. I found the substances
animals, especially the dog and horse, or bird, to some degree
so that under some circumstances of human contact or surroundings,
animals could be made to express an unusual degree of supposed
and to give tokens or signs of what would seem to be supernatural power.
upon these, I found that gradually the substances surrounding human
by an action upon the organs of the brain and sensation, would become
to the expression of volition, independently of the human being.
desired element. 'Upon this element, then, all the force in the
of message-bearers, to which I belonged, was intently fixed, and into a
particular vein or current of thought, which we, by converging our
at a given time and place, were able to send into that centre of
first expression of individual contact with matter, in connection with
the modern phase of Spiritualism. (See Rochester
I then said, "Is this a new thing? Is it for the first time
"said the eldest and centre of the band; "this has been known for
ages, was practiced in all the various forms of magic in ancient times,
and is the key that will finally unravel all these ancient mysteries"
he says, " It is the first time that it has systematically been
to the thought of modern science, in the light of science; but it
will soon grow to that degree of observation externally that it can be
tested, at least, by the usual methods of scientific observation, and
tested by actual scientific apparatus."
I found that no measure of electricity or external mineral magnetism
affect, or alter in any degree, the manifestations from our
I found that the outward atmosphere only affected them, by depressing
changing the nervous currents of the medial organization, and not
of any superabundance of electricity or magnetism.
I found that the nerve-aura consists of minute particles or globules,
form in themselves a radiating atmosphere around every human being, and
which, when properly directed, constitute the means of motion of the
organism, as well as constitute the means whereby a disembodied spirit
independently of that organism moves bodies and produces concussions in
the atmosphere. The concussions in the atmosphere are not the
of what may be called vacuum, are not the result of electric
but are the result of this nerve-aura which is centered at a given
and which produces by the rapidity of action, or volition, the action
table, chair, musical instrument., or the atmosphere itself.
of spirits in connection with these manifestations must be limited at
present time by their own knowledge, by the nature of the instruments
they have to employ upon earth or other planets, and by the
stages of thought and observation that qualify human beings to
step by step, the stages of these manifestations. The
at the present time are limited, as I say, by these things, and by
accompanying every external step in any science, and preceding it there
must be a prophecy of the philosophy itself. Spiritualism has had
that prophecy and that philosophy, and these must go hand in hand, or
attestation of the physical proof of it will have no corresponding soul
to vitalize it and keep pace with it.
are continually checked by falsehood, by deception, by discoveries of
by the various temptation to which humanity is liable, for the reason
the soul and its growth must keep parallel to the manifestation and its
demonstration; but remember that this is only in connection with
an intelligent contact of the two worlds, physically.
all this is a substratum of spiritual laws and forces of interlinking
and amenities, that continually unites the two worlds, whether there is
any outward demonstration or not, and makes up a complete chain of
even if there had never been a physical manifestation in the
Remember that the external expression is only the smallest portion of
sublime contact of the earthly and spiritual states, and of your
to spiritual beings and impressions by them. In whatever sphere
life, or in whatever state, morally or spiritually, you may be, you are
acted upon continually by spiritual powers, for good or ill, for your
or depression. These spiritual powers, by continually acting upon
your affections and sympathies, move your capabilities to surpassing
or gravitate with you toward those darksome places and conditions that
at some time form the bane of human life.
of spiritual existence I can only portray to you in a faint and dim
an outline itself so glorious that it can scarcely be believed by those
still immured in the external plane, but of which I as much have
as I have of my existence as a disembodied spirit.
can move one atom of external substance to do its bidding in response
its intelligent wish and will, then it solves all the problems of the
bodies, places us in communication with the great forces that lie
nature, and makes the revelation to our consciousness that planets and
well as men and immortal souls, are under the guidance of angelic
as the agents of the Divine Mind.
orb is left
to perform its functions and rotations without an ever-present and
intelligence; and yon lovely flower, [referring to a bouquet on
table] that is painted in the summer sunlight or destroyed by the cold
wintry blast, is in its every atom and function guided by the
power that lies behind the ray of light and behind the wintry blast, to
the end of doing the work of the spirit.
are within the human grasp. Do you not govern substances?
not the earth itself amenable to you? Is there any place upon it
that man does not intend to inspect? And may you not with the power of
mechanism, with the grand inventions of human thought, with the
explorations and impressions from spiritual sources, finally hope to
that which has been nearly vanquished--time and space and
messenger of electricity has already made the distance between the two
opposite portions of the world almost nothing, may not the more rapid
of thought itself finally supplant the slow method of electricity,
at last you shall converse together by vibrations of human thought?
of steam hag caused the ancient coach to disappear and the methods of
locomotion to seem tedious and heavy, may not the more rapid transit of
aerial navigation, by some still more occult force, become within the
and grasp of the next half or full century of time? And is it too much
to suppose that that mind which sets upon these substances from the
with so great success, is also able, when freed from the external form
and fetters, to act upon it with still greater success, if not by
worlds in their orbed places and guiding the elements to their
tasks, doing lesser things, not for the individual benefit of sections
or classes of people or conditions upon earth, but for the great
of the perfection of the planet or world ?
all these forces and mechanisms of nature the guidance of an
power and will. I see, as you see behind the helm of the ship; as
you see behind the engine that bears you across the country; as you see
behind the messenger that carries with lightning speed your thought to
the dearly loved one; so behind all these forces I see the powers of
disembodied minds that have risen from the limited comprehension of the
narrow place upon earth to a loftier and diviner comprehension of the
of life. They lie in the comprehension and the possibility of the
soul of man.
find it no
fable that Jupiter commanded lightnings or that Hercules might overturn
the world. I find these powers embodied in the thought of man;
the divine intelligence that shapes the infant's feet to do the simple
act of uplifting the body for the first time from the dust, is capable
of shaping the winged angel to the fulfillment of the task of moving a
world or a solar system.
of the gradations of thought that have come to me since I understand
glimmerings of that science by which man as an external and man as a
being can rise from the dust and triumph over human clay. --END.