The Spiritualist Chronicles is a series of articles that feature channeled descriptions of the afterlife. Spiritualism’s a religion that thrived in the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s, and it’s commonly associated with mediums and channeling. Like anything that has to do with these subjects, you’re encouraged to use discernment.
Some Spiritualists and mediums were eventually exposed as hoaxers who used a number of tricks to convince people that the orchestrated phenomena they witnessed were real, and this is why discernment’s always necessary.
The sensible descriptions of the afterlife we’ll explore here seem to confirm that not every Spiritualist was out to trick people, however, and some of them genuinely sought to connect with disembodied sources who gave detailed information. I don’t intend to promote Spiritualism, but I’m interested in the explanations it’s offered us about life after death.
How would you react if you left your body and discovered that consciousness exists after death and there are other realms beyond the physical earth? As we’ll learn here, most people seem to adjust to it more easily than you might expect, while for some, the process of realizing that life continues after death is long and slow.
Some people can easily adjust to the new life they experience when their physical body dies, but for others, adjusting to the conditions of their new etheric home is a little more difficult; they require assistance from the departed friends, family, guides, etc. who are there with them.
I’d imagine the best thing about passing into the fourth dimension is meeting every friend and relative who passed away before us. It probably helps the recently deceased cope with their death and get used to their new home, which I’m sure can be difficult if they don’t know what to expect.
We’ll hear from our usual channeled sources here, who’ll tell us that some people quickly realize where they are and what’s happened to them while others tend to require a little more time. They’re given all of the time they need, and their friends, relatives and guides are nothing if not patient.
You’d probably have to be patient with someone who just passed through one of the greatest (and most mistakenly feared) transitions we’ll ever experience, and after they come to terms with their physical death, their friends and relatives are there to help them explore what they can do in their new home.
A newcomer to the fourth dimension tells us that he was fortunate, because he didn’t have much to ‘unlearn’ upon his arrival.
“I had formed no very definite ideas of this life, but I did have a firm belief that personality continued. I was not ill long, so I arrived with little loss of vigor, and with little to unlearn. I realize that I was extremely fortunate, for I see so many who have much difficulty in understanding what this life means.” (1)
W.T. Stead, who was a well-known spiritualist when he was alive, describes his astonishment that life after death not only exists, but is better than he expected.
“Just as I was overcome with astonishment and satisfaction on first reaching conviction on earth, so I was astonished almost equally on my coming to this land and finding that my knowledge of this subject gained on earth was strikingly correct in nearly all the chief points.
“There was a great satisfaction in proving this. I was at once amazed and delighted to find so much truth in all I had learnt: for although I had believed implicitly, I was not entirely without grave misgivings upon many minor details.
“Hence my general satisfaction when I recognized things and features which, though I had accepted whilst on earth, I had scarcely anticipated would be as I now found them.” (2)
A.D. Mattson, who might’ve also been a spiritualist in life, tells us that she knows as much as the more evolved souls because she ‘did her homework’ before she passed away.
“You have to realize that I am a novice over here, very much a novice. But I must tell you I know nearly as much as some of the oldsters who have been here a long while; I did my homework before I got here. The more you know about it when you are in the physical, the easier it is for you when you get here.” (3)
Wellesley Tudor-Pole tells us that the fourth dimension’s greater than anything he expected when he was on earth.
“I came over thinking I knew something of what I could expect, but, I assure you, it is all beyond and beyond anything I could devise out of a fairly active imagination – and there is so little that can be expressed in words.” (4)
We’ll be surprised when we eventually cross over, because we’ll see that the afterlife is nothing like we imagine or expect. I’m sure every higher realm is beyond our ability to describe with earthly words, and as we continue to evolve, we’ll find that words don’t do justice to all of the amazing things we’ll witness and perceive.
We’ll perceive things that are so far outside of our physical perception that we basically can’t communicate them with our limited language, and we’ll also see that thought-based communication (what some people call telepathy) is much more prevalent than physical words.
In fact, we might not physically speak at all in the higher realms. We might solely communicate intricate telepathic impressions to each other, and like some people who’ve witnessed the realms beyond have told us, we can communicate seas of information in a single thought.
I’m sure the departed sources who speak to us here find it easier to communicate with thought-based impressions than with physical words, but since I’ve channeled before, I’m guessing the mediums probably received their communications as thought forms and vocally transmitted them into words.
Sigwart, an artist who died in World War 1, tells us about the importance of knowing that life continues after death.
“Of what use is erudition if man is ignorant of what happens after death? Now I would – if I were still on earth – rather forego all earthly knowledge than be deprived of one thing: the faith in the future after death! This is the fundamental thought and the sole truth; all else is void in comparison.” (5)
It’ll help to keep in mind that consciousness is eternal; that we won’t experience pure blackness or nothingness when our lives on earth are over. I think we should embrace living on this world and do as much as we can with the short time we’re given here, but it always helps to remember that the places we’ll go after this world are magnificent.
They’ll be heavenly to say the least, and when we’re having a bad day, we can remind ourselves that our reward will be pure etheric bliss when we’re done here. Our experiences after death obviously depend on our choices in life, and as long as we stay aligned and at least try to help others, our afterlife will be heavenly.
Now, we’ll explore the idea that some people take longer to adjust to the spiritual aspects of the afterlife. We’ll hear from an unnamed source who was apparently a politician on earth, and he’ll tell us about his journey from earthly life to etheric life, which was different from most people’s journeys.
First, he tells us that he was more involved in politics than self-growth when he was alive.
“I was well known on earth, and my name would be recognized by many. … I was a politician on earth, and was more interested in swaying the opinions of other men than in educating any special talent in myself. I was always interested in seeing my political party in power, and bent all my energies towards showing the people that it was the proper remedy for their ills. …
“I did believe in a future life, and I was not long in a really unconscious state after arriving. But I was grievously disappointed at first that I did not find the beautiful heavenly life which I had been taught to expect.” (6)
His journey started out rough, he tells us, and he perceived little more than darkness at first, which resulted from his unawareness of spirit.
“It was not entire darkness; I could see dimly. But all that was visible was drab and unattractive. I could hear nothing, and could see no living being.
“You can imagine a little how surprised I was and how puzzled. I knew that my earth life was over; I had been very ill, and had been conscious until nearly the last. So there was no misunderstanding about the fact that I had died. But I could not understand what existence could mean, where there was so little I could see, and nothing I could hear.” (7)
He eventually realized that there were presences around him.
“After a time – I don’t know how long it was – I realized that there were other beings near me. I was conscious at times of shadow-like forms that moved. I watched them, trying to understand what they meant. I was not particularly interested, for I did not in the least suspect that they were beings like myself. If I thought anything, it was that they were animals of some kind.” (8)
It took him a while, he tells us, to realize the presences around him were spirits.
“I was, of course, not in full possession of my reasoning faculties. When spirit first throws off the material envelope, there is a shock, – not always a severe one, but often sufficient to leave the mentality in a dazed condition, hardly more than a dream-like state If I had then possessed full powers of reasoning.
“I could no doubt have soon concluded that the shadows meant something to me. But at first I simply watched them curiously. They came and went, sometimes a few, sometimes many. I think it must have been months before it dawned upon me that they might be spirits, then I began to really think things out.” (9)
It stands to reason that we won’t be at our best or sharpest when we initially pass on, and with how jarring the transition can be (especially if we aren’t prepared for the afterlife we create for ourselves), it could take us a while to adjust and even to connect with other spirits.
We haven’t explored much of our politician’s story yet, but I want to reaffirm that his experience is in the minority. Not everyone experiences the initial darkness and unawareness he did, and again, our experiences are determined by what we do in life; how we cultivate our spirituality, which prepares us for the afterlife.
After a while of noticing these shadowy spirits, our politician started to think there must be more to the afterlife than what he’d witnessed so far.
“I first concluded that possibly spirit was always rather ghostly; possibly these shadows were only conscious of me as a shadow. I pondered over this for some time.
“I finally concluded that there must be more to heaven than such shadowy creations. Something must be wrong somewhere. I made no attempt to study myself, I only wondered about the others. Why were they unable to make a more solid appearance?” (10)
He finally started to realize that his perception was the problem – not the spirits he wanted to see more clearly.
“It was a long study; and only after extended cogitation did I suddenly begin to wonder if the fault might lie with me. This thought interested me tremendously. I began to speculate on what spirit sight might be like, and I soon saw that it would necessarily be different from earthly sight.
“I was not successful in my conclusions at first as to the method by which I would have to see, but I was able to perceive things more plainly just because I realized that I myself was the one at fault. When we realize our own short-comings, a great advance is made toward eliminating them, no matter what they are.” (11)
He’s right that huge changes can take place when we realize what it is about ourselves that keeps us from spiritually progressing. It’s easy to blame the external world for any failure, inability or unhappiness we experience in life, but it’s far more helpful to realize that we’re the source of it all.
If we want to change our world, we have to change ourselves. There’s no way around it, and we’ve heard this endlessly from spiritual teachers, channeled sources, and fellow seekers. It helped our politician to realize he was doing something wrong (as opposed to the spirits around him erring), and he quickly fixed his shortcomings when he did.
Once our politician gained a little consciousness, he not only noticed the figures in greater detail – he noticed that they were trying to communicate with him, even though he couldn’t hear what they were saying.
“I was soon conscious that I had greatly increased my powers of vision, for I could now see these other beings quite plainly. And I saw that they were conscious of my presence, even seemed to be trying to communicate with me in some manner. But no sound whatever reached my consciousness.” (12)
Even though he couldn’t hear the beings, he was relieved and amazed that his sight was sharpening.
“It was a great relief, however, to discover that there was a change taking place, that I was really able to see things. I was amazed at the beings I saw. I could not believe now that I was in the right place, for I could not conceive that I could belong with such wonderful beings.
“You must understand that a spirit who has arrived at a full understanding of the life here, and who feels the urge to live the life of spirit love and service, such spirit expresses the purity of its character by its outward appearance.” (13)
Since spirits who’ve been in the fourth dimension for a while naturally appear in ‘holier’ or more lighted garb, he assumed he was in the presence of angels.
“Not only the features become wonderfully beautiful, but the garments likewise are glorified. And to my unaccustomed eyes, these spirits about me could not be less than angels from on high. I could not feel I belonged with any such advancement.” (14)
We might all take on similar appearances when we’re in the fourth dimension – especially those of us who embrace love, spirit and service over greed, vanity and materiality.
The more we’re attuned to spirit and the more we openly and lovingly serve others on earth, the greater our appearance will seem in the higher realms because our selfless actions will have naturally manifested lighted garb.
Our politician could’ve died and immediately embodied the form of an angel himself, were it not for his self-serving actions in life. Despite what some of the more rebellious seekers out there might think, being a politician doesn’t automatically disqualify someone from experiencing a positive afterlife.
It’s possible to be a politician and be deeply loving, spiritual and selfless at the same time – we just don’t see it a lot. Our politician could’ve focused less on convincing others to accept his party’s political views and more on serving the people with an open heart, and if he did, his initial afterlife experience would’ve probably been a lot different.
After wondering how to gain back his hearing, he realized that it too is a spiritual capability.
“So I wondered and waited. As I watched, I became aware that these glorious shapes were communicating with each other. I studied this over, and as my mind became more active, I realized that hearing must be a spirit power as well as sight.
“No sooner had I reached this conclusion than I was conscious of sound. And, oh, the sweetness of that first musical tone! Heavenly music indeed! I was entranced! I was in heaven after all! Not only were there beautiful angels, but I surely was going to hear the heavenly choirs!” (15)
Even though I’m happy to be on earth, I look forward to hearing the heavenly symphonies so many fourth-dimensional sources have described. I play music like a lot of seekers, and it seems heavenly enough by itself. I can only imagine what it’s like in a higher dimension!
In our final quote, our politician tells us that his orientation begun once he could psychically hear.
“It was not long before I could hear spoken words, and then everything was soon explained to me.
“It was a day of joy; an exhilaration that I probably will never experience again. But there has been no disappointment since. My education was not rapid, but I advanced surely, and I am now experiencing the pleasures that I only faintly glimpsed in the teachings of my earth life.” (16)
This story goes to show that the life we’ll experience after death is nothing like our current. We’ll rely primarily on spiritual and psychic capabilities in the fourth dimension, and our physical perception will have died with our body.
This seems to be why so many people have trouble in their new etheric home at first – they don’t realize that their new method of functioning is less physical and more spiritual. This is also why we’re encouraged to develop our spiritual faculties here on earth, and none of the physically recognizable aspects of this reality will exist in the realms beyond.
Don’t get me wrong – we’ll have trees, houses, sunshine and other things we recognize on earth, but our perception will be different than it is here. It’ll have changed along with our reality, and we’ll have to adjust to it if we want to perceive our new home with any degree of purity.
I think we’ll benefit from practicing things like meditation while we’re alive, because they’ll familiarize us with a greater perception. They’ll help us attune to a higher state of consciousness that’s free of the hindrances of the physical senses, and we’ll have adjusted to the greater sights, sounds, etc. we’ll enjoy when our earthly sojourn’s over.
Life on earth is a blessing (depending on how we see it), but we’ll want to use our time here to do good work and prepare ourselves for the life we’ll experience when we’re done here.
Those who haven’t prepared might have to spend some time in the ‘darkness’ that’s caused by spiritual unawareness before they open their etheric eyes and ears and experience heaven, but by no means is darkness all we experience when we die.
We’ll experience it for as long as we need to before we access our etheric senses, and like our politician showed us, the party really starts when we can expand our minds. We’ll find angelic entities who accompany our departed friends and loved ones when we open up, and after so much selfless service, we’ll eventually embody the form of ‘angels’ too.
Everything comes down to the love we give and the excitement with which we selflessly serve others, so let’s enthusiastically serve everyone who finds their way to our work with appreciation for the place we’ll go when we’re done here.
- Fred Rafferty, ed., Charlotte E. Dresser, medium, Life Here and Hereafter. Author’s edition. Downloaded from http://www.harvestfields.ca/ebook/02/001/00.htm, 2 Feb. 2008, 38.
- William Thomas Stead, The Blue Island. Experiences of a New Arrival Behind the Veil. Estelle W. Stead and Pardoe Woodman, eds. London: Rider, n.d, 36.
- Ruth Mattson Taylor, ed., Witness from Beyond. New Cosmic Concepts on Death and Survival from the Late A.D. Mattson, S.T.D., through the Clairvoyant Margaret Flavell Tweddell. Portland, ME: Foreword Books, 1975, 42.
- Cynthia Sandys and Rosamund Lehmann, The Awakening Letters. Jersey: Neville Spearman, 1978, 77.
- Joseph Wetzl, trans., The Bridge Over the River. Communications from the Life After Death of a Young Artist Who Died in World War One. Spring Valley: Anthroposophic Press, 1974, 8.
- Unnamed politician in Fred Rafferty, ed., Charlotte E. Dresser, medium, Life Here and Hereafter. Ibid., 18-20.
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I’m a twenty-one year old writer, musician and blogger, and I created The Culture of Awareness daily news site.
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