FEATURED WORKS
Fiddler's Green Peculiar Parish MagazineWonderella Turns 21 - A poster by R. Black.

 

 


The Living
and the Dead

BY CLINT MARSH
EXCERPTED FROM “THE SPIRIT WORLD,”
NO. 5 IN THE CAMELOPARD SERIES

* * * * *

Spirits have appeared in mankind’s stories since the dawn of time. The earliest mention of a spirit in a written story occurs in the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Babylonian tale dated around 2000 BC. Belief in the souls of the dead returning to the world of the living goes back much farther, though. Archeological remains from prehistoric gravesites have shown that some of our ancestors were buried with hands and feet bound together, or weighted down with stones, leading archeologists to believe that early man meant to hinder the return of the spirit. Other cultures have similar traditions, carried out even today.

The modern Spiritism movement traces its roots back to the Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, a mentalist and author who visited the spirits of kings, popes, and saints, writing of his experiences and founding a spiritualist church. Swedenborg’s work greatly influenced later spiritist investigators, including William Blake.

Authorship makes us all immortal, in a sense, but Swedenborg was apparently not content with mere indirect influence on future generations of mentalists. Nearly eighty years after his death, Swedenborg’s spirit, along with the spirit of second-century Greek thinker Claudius Galen, appeared to the American shoemaker Andrew Jackson Davis. The ensuing conversation between the three changed Davis’s life, and within two years he had produced the spiritist manifesto The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind, in which he predicted that proof of the spirit world would manifest in “a living demonstration.”

After publication of The Principles, Davis waited for such a phenomenon to occur, and on March 31, 1848, he entered the following passage in his notebook: “About daylight this morning a warm breathing passed over my face and I heard a voice, tender and strong, saying: ‘Brother, the good work has begun—behold a living demonstration is born.’”

That very same day, two young girls in Hydesville, New York, began their soon-to-be famous communications with the spirit world. Seven-year-old Kate Fox and her ten-year-old sister Margaret came into contact with the ghost of a murdered peddler living in their family’s cottage. They found the spirit could answer questions posed to it by making sharp rapping sounds (one for “yes,” two for “no”) that could not otherwise be accounted for.

The congruence of Davis’s notebook entry and the beginning of the Fox sisters’s mediumship ushered in an era of intense interest in spiritism that consumed America and European society. Kate and Margaret Fox toured both continents, giving demonstrations of their remarkable abilities. London’s Ghost Club and the British Society for Psychical Research were founded to further investigate the spirit world. Séances became regular happenings at middle- and upper-class homes, and general interest in spirits reached a level not seen before or since.

Spiritism Today
The fervor associated with the spiritism craze of the late nineteenth century has died down, but people today have some of the same experiences as the mediums of yesteryear. Ouija boards and books on the subject of spirits continue to sell well. Mediums advertise in your local paper, and television shows feature evangelistic spiritists who promise to bring viewers in touch with the spirits of their loved ones.

Spirits do not start or stop appearing just because they are popular. They couldn’t care less about fads, ads, or television programs, and won’t manifest just because there is a public demand for them. No, spirits have their own reasons, their own agendas. In this pamphlet we will examine the various spirits that are waiting to communicate with us, and how we can seek them out ourselves.

Questions from Readers
Before we begin our examination of the different types of aetheric doubles that make up the spirit world, allow me to answer a few general questions that come up whenever this topic is discussed.

“What do spirits look like?”

Popular culture such as that presented to us by books and films paints a somewhat limited picture of the average spirit. It is often pictured as a semi-transparent figure, perhaps dressed in flowing robes or a sheet, emitting a low moaning sound. This is not always how a spirit appears to us. As you'll find, spirits are seldom as “ghostly” as we might imagine them to be. Quite often, in fact, spirits look exceedingly solid and “real,” and you may not realize you have been visited by one until it does something out of the ordinary, such as walk through a wall or appear or disappear abruptly—“into thin air,” you might say, although the spirit is merely flitting its visible form in and out of the material world vibration.

“Why do spirits return to the material world?”

While some spirits’s motives will never be discerned, people fortunate enough to be visited by a spirit sometimes learn why it has returned. Some spirits wish to communicate with a loved one or a person they didn't have a chance to bid farewell before leaving this world. Others come to issue a warning, or to give information that would never be discovered otherwise. Rare is the spirit that seeks revenge, but they do exist. More often a spirit comes to see that justice is done, that a culprit is found out or that the innocent are protected. The universal plan of the Secret Masters favors justice and order, so this is reflected in the motives of spirits a greater number of times than not.

“How is it that spirits walk through walls?”

This is an interesting question, as it would appear that some spirits have a mastery over solid objects such as walls and doors, and may pass through them with ease. If you are fortunate enough to see a spirit pass through a solid wall, for example, pay close attention to the spirit’s other movements and mannerisms—you may be surprised at what you notice. It is likely that the spirit can pass through the wall not because it has power over the corporeality of the wall, but because the spirit is very much removed from the reality in which the wall exists. Perhaps the spirit lived in human form on earth in a time before the wall was constructed, or perhaps the spirit has such a great need to get from one place to another that it will not let material-world obstructions get in its way.

One way we can compare this phenomenon with things that go on in our own lives is to think about what happens when we are “lost in thought.” Have you ever been so deep in your own head as you walk down the street or through your house that you run right into some obstruction, such as a wall or post? Some would say that we hit these barriers because we are not paying attention. In truth we are paying attention, just not to the material world around us but to an interior world of our own construction.

The difference between the spirit’s passing through the wall and our colliding with it lies in the degree to which the spirit is immersed in the interior world of the aetheric plane. When humans are lost in their own thoughts, they are still a part of the physical world. Spirits do not have such a strong connection to earthly life, and as such are less affected by it.

“Why is it that when spirits are present they are sometimes seen and sometimes unseen?”

If only spirits would act in a consistent manner, then we could say so much more about their true nature! Alas, it is not to be. At times, a spirit will appear very solid and “real.” Other times it will seem ghostly, and in some cases will not be visible at all. This phenomenon is partly explained by the aforementioned flickering of the spirit between the astral and material world vibrations.

Remember too that in the aether, our perception of reality is continually influenced by the notions and needs of other aetheric beings in the vicinity. When our own mental picture of life is weaker than that of another aetheric’s, our reality and perception can be overruled to accommodate their own. When spirits make themselves known to us, it is often because their presence in the aether is so strong that their form crosses the normal boundaries of perception.

More about
The Camelopard Series


* * * * *

Wonderella Home