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selfishness and sin have brought about, then all sorrow is the register of the spiritual thermometer of our unbelief.” 1

The thought inevitably arises, as we have seen in dealing with Fechner, “With what body do they come ?” and spiritualistic teaching on this head seems to be on the lines of the Pauline spiritual body. There is a spiritual counterpart of the material body, but a so-to-speak improved version, which arises from the physical form at death. This is supported by many experiences of people who in illnesses from which they have recovered, or in other unusual states, have temporarily left their bodies, being quite consciously outside them—though connected by a "silvery thread,” as some put it—and able to look down on the material vehicle lying apparently dead. "When the soul leaves the body it is at the first moment quite unclothed as at birth. The spirit-body disengaged from the physical body is conscious, at least I was almost from the first.” (This is unusual: a period of sleep usually follows.) “I awoke standing by my dead body, thinking I was still alive and in my ordinary physical frame. It was only when I saw the corpse in the bed that I knew that something had happened. When the thought of nakedness crosses the spirit there comes the clothing which you need. The idea with us is creative. We think, and the thing is.” : Cloth

* Stead's “After Death,” pp. 17, 18. See also “The Undiscovered Country,” by Harold Bayley (Cassell & Co., Ltd.), for a collection of automatic writings describing conditions over there.

Several cases are described in my book, “Man is a Spirit.” Also see the famous case of Dr. Wiltse in “Human Personality."

""After Death,” pp. 26-7.

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ing on the other side seems to be at first a reproduction of earth-forms, but later a more "angelic” form of garment. It is a frequent thing for mediums to describe recently dead people as ordinarily dressed, and long dead or very spiritual people as draped in robes white and shining; and this when the medium has no normal knowledge of the people concerned, nor of the recency or remoteness of their death. There appears consequently to be some truth, whatever it may be, in this idea of progressive clothing.

This brings up again the much-debated question of the “reality” of the other side. Julia Ames, as we have seen, testifies that the idea is creative and that clothes are made at once when the need is felt. Similarly Stainton Moses was told that not only clothes but also the landscape is in some sense the product of the spirit perceiving it. On one occasion, after clairvoyantly seeing scenes in spirit-land, Mr. Moses asked for information and received it by automatic writing as usual:

These scenes, you say, are reab-Material?“No; but real. What you call material is nothing

Just as the scenes that surround you depend on yourself, as, for instance, in respect of colour, so are these scenes that you have visited externalised by the spirit who dwells among them. With us it would be impossible for a spirit at peace with itself to dwell in the midst of desolation and confusion; even as the Vain Ones could not dwell in the Valley of Rest."

In fact, then, a spirit makes its surroundings, and this is the meaning of the assertion so often made that we are building our house in spirit-land now?"

to us.

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“Yes, just so. You are making your character, and according to your character will be your home and the surroundings. That is inevitable. All gravitate to their own place. Those flowers, and gems, and tinsel fripperies, the mirrors of the Vain One, and the peaceful calm of the Valley of Rest, these are but externalised symbols of those who dwell there.” 1

This may seem to conflict with the often-repeated statements of spirits that the life there is as real as it is here, or more so. It may seem that a thoughtworld created by each spirit must be a tenuous, individual and phantasmagoric affair, as if each spirit were having his own hallucinations, so to speak, out of touch with his fellows. But the difficulty is, perhaps, only superficial. As Berkeley said, our earth-life here, solid though it seems, is itself very much of an individual hallucination. No two people see the same thing, not only because the ether-tremors which strike A's eyes are not the same but only very like those that strike B's—for they view it from a slightly different point or at different times—but also because A's eyes and brain are different from B's and therefore cause him different sensations and perceptions. The similarity of our experience is enough to make life and mutual understanding possible, but the likeness is only approximate.

Consequently it may well be that though each spirit makes or conditions his own surroundings—as indeed he does here by the sensations and interpretations being his own—the next world will be neither less real nor less a common possession than the present one. Indeed, it may be more so. If spirits gravitate together according to likemindedness and not in the heterogeneous fashion of our present existence, the surroundings of groups over there may be more nearly the same for each individual than is the case here; and may also, therefore, be more "real,” for we decide degrees of reality largely by consensus of experience.

* “L.S.A. Addresses," p. 21. (Reprinted from “Light.”)

CHAPTER VIII

CONCLUSION

WHAT, then, is the net upshot of the matter?

us . Belief in survival of bodily death had in the nineteenth century become a dead letter among people of scientific training or habit of mind. Exceptions there no doubt were, for great men like Faraday and Kelvin believed in a Super-nature, which left room for possible human survival; but, particularly after the biological advance associated with Darwin and his followers, which carried law and mechanistic conceptions into previously uninvaded territory, the belief in a real individual survival faded almost away for most scientific men and even for the thinking layman and priest, as Dr. Griffith-Jones says. It "receded from the foreground of consciousness,” even in the minds of religious people. There was believed to be no modern evidence in its support; and, where still held, it was as a hope, held with "lame hands of faith,” rather than a sure belief.

Then Spiritualism brought a true revival. It claimed to produce evidence of the same kind as that on which Christianity itself was based. Christ brought immortality to light by appearing to his followers after his death, thus demonstrating that he was

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