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WHEN we first began to set down the joint experiences of Edwin, Ruth, and myself of our life in the spirit world, I was told that there would be some who would take exception to what I had to say upon one particular incident or another. Indeed, that was almost bound to happen among thinking people whose eye I should be fortunate enough to catch.
The thoughts of many persons still upon earth have come to us here in the spirit world as a consequence of the narration of those experiences.
Some there are who have thought to themselves, and, indeed, voiced the opinion to their friends, that the descriptions I have given of the spirit world, or rather, of that part of it with which I am acquainted, are almost too good to be true. An ideal state, they would say, that is too wonderful to exist in actual fact. The picture I have painted, they would continue, is an imaginative one, and has no existence outside the imagination.
Now, that attitude of mind is not confined to the earth. People who are newly arrived in the spirit world express exactly the same opinion upon thousands of occasions. They simply cannot realize the concrete existence of all the wonders and beauties and marvels that they see around them. At least, they cannot do so at first. When they do realize it, their joy is supreme. So that, if seeing these entrancing things brings with it an initial and temporary disbelief, then it is not surprising ‘In Life in the World Unseen’ and ‘More About Life in the World Unseen’ that mere descriptions of them should engender something of a similar disbelief among people still upon earth.
But the validity of my descriptions still remains, whatever adverse opinion or disagreement may be expressed upon them. I cannot alter the truth. What Edwin, Ruth, and I have seen, millions of other folk also have seen, and are still seeing and enjoying. We would not have one tiny fragment of these conditions altered. They are our life, and they afford us the greatest satisfaction and happiness. When the time comes for anyone of us to depart for realms higher above us in spiritual progression, we shall never for a single instant regret the period we have passed in these realms. They will always remain a fragrant and happy memory; and it will always be permissible for us to return to these realms whenever we so wish.
There is an enormous number of people throughout the entire earth that prefers to leave the whole subject of an ‘afterlife' alone. These people regard it as an unhealthy subject, and treat the very thought of 'death' as morbid. If such people were truly honest with themselves they would admit that such a state of mind merely increases their fear of 'death' and the 'hereafter', instead of reducing it. They believe that by sweeping the question completely from their minds they will also have dismissed the real fear that so many people have, an instinct, they would say, of self-preservation. Others who are more fortunate and who have no such fears, will divide the unseen world into two principal departments, namely a place where the wicked will go when they leave the earth, and a place where the not-so-wicked, in which category they would, perhaps, place themselves, will eventually find themselves.
The average earth-dweller has no notion what kind of place 'the next world' can possibly be, usually because he has not given much thought to the matter. How those very same people regret their indifference when they eventually arrive here in the spirit world! 'Why,' they cry, 'were we not told about this before we came here?'
Now, all this arises from the fact that the average person does not know of what he himself is composed. He knows he has a physical body, of course. There are not many who can easily forget it. But leaving the earth in the common act of 'dying' is a perfectly natural and normal process, which has been going on continuously, without intermission, for thousands upon thousands of earthly years.
Man will proudly point to the vast achievements that these passing centuries have seen. He will tell you of the world-shaking discoveries he has made, and remind you of the countless inventions for the greater happiness and wellbeing of man on earth. He will tell you how 'civilized' he has become by comparison with his ancestors of medieval times. He will tell you that he has exact knowledge of this or that, and that many years and vast sums of money have been spent in acquiring that knowledge. But officially, man has neglected the most important study of all, the study of himself, and, arising from it, the study of his ultimate destination when, after his very, very brief span of life on earth, the time comes for him to leave it at 'death' and to journey forth, where?
It is commonly understood that man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. The physical body he is fairly conversant with, but what of the soul and spirit? Of these two man knows little indeed. What he does not realize is that he is a spirit, first, last, and always. The physical body is merely a vehicle for his spirit body upon his journey through his earthly life.
The mind belongs to the spirit body. Every human experience, every thought, word, and deed, that go to make up the sum of earthly human experience is infallibly and ineradicably recorded upon what is called the subconscious mind through the agency of the physical brain, and when the time comes for man to leave the earth, he discards the physical body for ever, leaves it behind him upon the earth, and passes into the realms of the spirit world. His spirit body he will find, is a counterpart of the earthly body he has just left behind him. He will then find that what he called the subconscious mind when he was incarnate has now assumed its rightful place in his new scheme of existence. And it is not long before it begins to show its particular attributes to its owner. By its principal ability of ineffaceable and infallible recording, this mind reveals itself as a complete and perfect chronicle of its owner's life upon earth. The revelations, therefore, that are attendant upon the person newly arrived in the spirit world can be sufficiently startling.