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Spirit Teachings
Table of Contents: | Main Menu | Table of Contents | Book Cover | Forward | Biography | Introduction | Imperator's Band  |
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Section II

[ The answers given in this section are from the same source. The conversation commenced by some questions as to what the life of spirit showed to be most serviceable work in training school of life here. Much was made of the heart as well as of the head, and the orderly development of the whole powers of body, and intellect, and affection was insisted on. It was said that want of balance was a great cause of retrogression, or of inability, at any rate, to progress. I suggested the Philanthropist as the man who came nearest to the ideal. The reply was :--]

The true philanthropist, the man who has the benefit and progress of his fellows most at heart, is the true man, the true child of the Almighty Father, who is the great Philanthropist. The true philantropist is he who grows likest God every hour. He is enlarging by constant exercise the sympathies which are eternal and undying, and in the perpetual exercise of which man finds increasing happiness. The philanthropist and the philosopher, the man who loves mankind, and the man who loves knowledge for its own sake, these are God's jewels of priceless value, and of boundless promise. The one, fettered by no restrictions of race or place, of creed or name, embraces in his loving heart the whole brotherhood of humanity. He loves them as friends, as brethren. He asks not what are their opinions, he only sees their wants, and in ministering to them progressive knowledge he is blest. This is the true philanthropist, though frequently the counterfeit, who loves those who think with him, and will help those who fawn on him, and give alms, so the generous deed be well known, robs the fair name of philanthropy of that all embracing beneficence which is the true mark.

The other, the philosopher, hampered by no theories of what ought to be, and what therefore must be--bound by no subservience to sectarian opinion, to the dogmas of a special school, free from prejudice, receptive of truth, whatever that truth may be, so it be proven--he seeks into the mysteries of Divine wisdom, and, searching, finds his happiness. He need have no fear of exhausting the treasures, they are without end. His joy throughout life shall be to gather ever richer stores of knowledge, truer ideas of God. The union of those two--the philanthropist and the philosopher--makes the perfect man. Those who unite the two, progress further than spirits who progress alone.

SM: "His life," you say. Is it eternal?

Yes; we have every reason to believe so. Life is of two stages--progressive and contemplative. We, who are still progressive, and who hope to progress for countless myriads of ages (as you say), after, the farthest point to which your finite mind can reach, we know naught of the life contemplation. But we believe that far--far in the vast hereafter there will be a period at which progressive souls will eventually arrive, when progress has brought them to the very dwelling place of the Omnipotent, and that there they will lay aside their former state, and bask in the full light of Deity, in contemplation of all the secrets of the universe. Of this we cannot tell you. It is too high. Soar not to such vast heights. Life is unending, as you count it, but you are concerned with the approach to its threshold, not with the inner temple.

SM: Of course. Do you know more of God than you did on earth?

We know more of the operations of His love--more of the operations of that beneficent Power which controls and guides the worlds. We know of Him, but we know Him not; nor shall know, as you would seek to know, until we enter on the life of contemplation. He is known to us only by His act.

[In further conversation I alluded again to the conflict between good and evil; and a long answer to my question, or, rather, to what was in my mind, was written. The storm was spoken of as one that would rage, with intervals of lull, till some ten or twelve years had passed, when a period of repose would ensue. This is almost the only case I have noted in which a prophecy was ventured upon. Though the ideas in the message have since been conveyed repeatedly, and with more precision and power, I leave it untouched to show the character of the teaching at the time.]

What you hear are the first mutterings of a conflict which will be long and arduous. Such are of periodical occurrence. If you could read the story of the world with the spirit-sight, you would see that there have always been periodic battles between the evil and the good. There have recurred seasons when undeveloped intelligences have had predominance. Especially are such seasons consequent on great wars among you. Many spirits are prematurely withdrawn from the body. They then pass before they are fit; and at the moment of departure they are in evil state, angry, bloodthirsty, filled with evil passion. They do mischief great and long in the after-life.

Nothing is more dangerous than for souls to be rudely severed from their bodily habitation, and to be launched into spirit-life, with angry passions stirred, and revengeful feelings dominant. It is bad that any should be dismissed from earth-life suddenly, and before the bond is naturally severed. It is for this reason that all destruction of bodily flesh is foolish and rude: rude, as betokening a barbarous ignorance of the conditions of life and progress hereafter; foolish, as releasing an undeveloped angry spirit from its trammels, and enduing it with extended capacity for mischief. You are blind and ignorant in your dealings with those who have offended against your laws and the regulations, moral and restrictive, by which you govern intercourse amongst yourselves. You find a low and debased intelligence offending against morality, or against constituted law. Straightway you take the readiest means of aggravating his capacity for mischief. Instead of separating such one from evil influence, removing him from association with sin, and isolating him under the educating influence of true purity and spirituality, where the more refined intelligences may gradually operate and counteract the baleful power of evil and evil manifestations, you place him in the midst of evil associations, in company with offenders like himself, where the very atmosphere is heavy with evil, where the hordes of the undeveloped and unprogressed spirits most do congregate, and where, both from human associates and spirit influence, the whole tendency is evil.

Vain and short-sighted and ignorant folly! Into your dens of criminals we cannot enter. The missionary spirits pause and find their mission vain. The good angels weep to find an associated band of evil--human and spiritual--massed against them by man's ignorance and folly. What wonder that you have gathered from such experience the conviction that a tendency to open crime is seldom cured, seeing that you yourselves are the plainest accomplices of the spirits who gloat over the fall of the offender. How many an erring soul--erring through ignorance, as frequently as through choice -- has come forth from your jails hardened and attended by evil guides you know not, and can never know! But were you to pursue an enlightened plan with your offenders, you would find a perceptible gain, and confer blessing incalculable on the misguided and vicious.

You should teach your criminals; you should punish them, as they will be punished here, by showing them how they hurt themselves by their sin, and how they retard their future progress. You should place them where advanced and earnest spirits among you may lead them to unlearn their sin, and to drink in wisdom: where the Bands of the Blessed may aid their efforts, and the spirits of the higher spheres may shed on them their benign and elevating influence. But you horde together your dangerous spirits. You shut them up, and confine them as those who are beyond hope. You punish them vindictively, cruelly, foolishly: and the man who has been the victim of your ignorant treatment pursues his course foolish, suicidal sin, until in the end you add to the list of your foolish deeds this last and worst of all, that you cut him off, debased, degraded, sensual, ignorant, mad with rage and hate, thirsting for vengeance on his fellows: you remove from him the great bar on his passions, and send him into spirit-life to work out without hindrance the devilish suggestions of his inflamed passions.

Blind! Blind! You know not what you do. You are your own worst enemies, the truest friends of those who fight against God, and us, and you.

Ignorant no less than blind! For you spend vast trouble to aid your foes. You cut from a spirit its bodily life. You punish vengefully the erring. You falsely arrogate to yourselves the right law divine to shed human blood. You err, and know not that the spirits you so hurt shall in their turn avenge themselves upon you. You have yet to learn the earliest principles of that Divine tenderness and pity which labours ever through us to rescue the debased spirit, to raise it from the depths of sin and passion, and to elevate it to purity and progress in goodness. You know naught of God when you do such deeds. You have framed for yourselves a God whose acts accord with your own instincts. You have fabled that He sits on high, careless of His creatures, and jealous only of His own power and honour. You have fabricated a monster who delights to harm, and kill, and torture: a God who rejoices in inflicting punishment bitter, unending, unmitigable. You have imagined such a God, and have put into His mouth words which He never knew, and laws which His loving heart would disown.

God--our God Good, Loving, Tender, Pitiful--delighting in punishing with cruel hand His ignorantly-erring sons! Base fable! Base and foolish fancy, produced of man's cruel heart, of man's rude and undeveloped mind. There is no such God! There is none. He has no place with us: none, save in man's degraded mind.

Great Father! Reveal Thyself to these blind wanderers, and teach them of Thyself. Tell them that they dream bad dreams of Thee, that they know Thee not, nor can know till they unlearn their ignorant conceptions of Thy Nature and Thy Love.

Yes, friend, your jails and your legalised murder, the whole tenor of your dealings with criminals, are based on error and ignorance.

Your wars and your wholesale murderings are even more fearful. You settle your differences with your neighbours, who should be your friends, by arraying against each other masses of spirits--we see not the body; we care only for the spirit temporarily clothed with those human atoms--and those spirits you excite to full pitch of rage and fury, and so you launch them, rudely severed from their earth-bodies, into spirit life. You inflame their passions, and give them full vent. Vengeful, debased, cruel, earth-bound spirits throng around your earth- sphere, and incite the debased who are still in the body to deeds of cruelty and lust and sin. And this for the satisfying of ambition, for a passing fancy, for an idle princely whim, for lack of something else to occupy a king.

Ah! friend, you have much, very much to learn: and you will learn it by the sad and bitter experience of undoing here-after that which you have now done. You must learn the golden lesson, that Pity and Love are truer wisdom than vengeance and vindictive punishment; that were the Great God to deal with us as you deal with your fellows, and as you have falsely fabled that He will, you would be justly sent to your own imagined hell. You must know of God, and of us, and of yourselves, ere you can progress and do our work instead of our adversaries'.

Friend, when others seek from you as to the usefulness of our message, and the benefit which it can confer on those to whom the Father sends it, tell them that it is a Gospel which will reveal a God of tenderness and pity and love, instead of a fabled creation of harshness, cruelty, and passion. Tell them that it will lead them to know of Intelligences whose whole life is one of love and mercy and pity and helpful aid to man, combined with adoration of the Supreme. Tell them that it will lead man to see his own folly, to unlearn his fancied theories, to learn how to cultivate his intelligence that it may progress, to use his opportunities that they may profit him, to serve his fellow-men, so that when they and he meet in the hereafter, they may not be able to reproach him that he has been, so far as he could, a clog and an injury to them. Tell them that such is our glorious mission; and if they sneer, as the ignorant will, and boast of their fancied knowledge, turn to the progressive souls who will receive the teaching of wisdom: speak to them the message of Divine truth that shall regenerate and elevate the world: and for the blind ones, pray that when their eyes are opened, they may not despair at the sight which they shall see.