THE SENSATIONS OF DYING
WHEN I interviewed White Eagle, I asked him to tell me about conditions in the spirit world. The first question dealt with death. So many people fear passing because they think it is a painful process, that I asked whether there was any pain in transition. Doctors and others on this side who have had much to do with death often say there seems to be no pain.
“There is no pain in passing,” declared White Eagle. “There is with many a fear, but you and your friends in Spiritualism are doing a great deal to wipe out that fear. Some people, when they come to this side after they have suffered for a long time in your world—and sometimes after even a short illness—think they still suffer in this world, but we soon alter their thoughts and the ‘suffering’ ceases. If we cannot deal with them effectively at once, they sleep until they are ready for the knowledge that they are no longer subject to pain. “You see, the world of spirit is a mental world and for as long as you think you have a pain—well, you have that pain.
Here we have what could be called hospitals, homes of rest, to which most of the people who come here are brought, for a longer or lesser time. ‘While they are in these homes or hospitals, they have healing treatment even as healing treatment is given to you on earth. Sometimes that treatment is no more than one of our advanced spirits just passing through the room where they lie and shedding on them their healing rays, which take away all the gloom and fear. That to me is one of the most wonderful things in our world. I have seen it so often. I have given that treatment myself, but I am thinking more of those who are more advanced than I. One of my jobs in the spirit world is to treat people when they first come over.”
I asked White Eagle whether treatment in homes of rest was general or whether it applied only to those who died after a long illness or had had a difficult passing.
“It is usual to have to go to a hospital,” he replied, “because there is need of rest for a little while at least in every case. Often you Spiritualists have had communications from your loved ones immediately after their passing, and then you have had to wait before hearing from them again. In those cases, the spirits would be so anxious to let those they had left behind know that they were all right that they are allowed to do that. Then there is a little lull or resting time, which enables the soul to adjust itself to its new environment.”
LIFE IN THE SPIRIT WORLD
Then the guide spoke of some of the features of life in the spirit world.
“Music we have,” he said. “We have, too, schools of learning—not for reading and writing, perhaps, but for learning to live. There is such a lot in those three words ‘learning to live’—what that means to many people who come here you cannot conceive. Our music is grand and glorious. Some people might not realise the need for music, but it helps the individual to express himself and so expand—and live. Those who do not want music need not have it. That is the beauty of this world.
“But there are thousands in your world who have to earn their bread and butter in ways they do not like, and many are the things that they would like to do. So many of them would give anything they possessed to be able to play the piano, but they have no opportunity in your world. They have it here. Those who like to depict their thoughts and ideas in pictures cannot always do so in the physical world, but they can do so here. All these things are real—it is your world that is unreal to us.
“People may say, where is the space for all that life? They have said so to me. We have great difficulty in explaining some of these things, because while in the physical world you have only finite minds and we are trying to explain infinite things to finite minds, and we cannot do it. You have to wait for many of the explanations until you come here.”
White Eagle used the analogy of wireless to demonstrate how space can contain unsuspected sounds, which become audible only when the set is tuned in. The hard-worked word “vibrations”, too, explained it as well as anything. The spirit world was in a different vibration from the material world and was not subject to time and space.
“We have no night and day as you have them, because we are not governed by the sun,” he said.
“But do you not have periods of rest?” I asked.
“Yes,” he agreed, “but not day and night. We do not go to rest because it is 11 o’clock. We go to rest when we are tired. Much of our work is done in the night-time amongst you people. At night we visit the hospitals on earth. Some people who are clairvoyant and are in hospitals have seen us. We try to ease pain and to bring sleep. We find that in the night we can do so much more than during the day. Your minds are different at night—not so engrossed in material things—and therefore we are able to get closer to those who are sick. And there is such a lot of sickness in your world!”
“That is probably because of the way we live in our so-called civilisation,” I said.
“Yes, there are many causes,” said the guide. “A lot of it, to my mind, and I speak only for myself, is caused by the rate of your living. Think of just one day in your town of London. You are harassed from all points, and if you want to cross your roads it is quite an adventure. Nerves get on edge and, as you know, if you upset your nervous system quite a lot of things go wrong. That, to my mind, accounts for a lot of the sickness in your world.
THE EFFECT OF EARTHLY BELIEFS
I was anxious for White Eagle to tell me more about the conditions immediately after death, so I asked whether belief had any effect on one’s passing.
“I would say it would be easier for Spiritualists,” he said, “because they have a certain amount of knowledge. Of course, you have the exceptions. Some Spiritualists come over here who are far more fearful than those who have no knowledge whatever. We perhaps find that the very orthodox people do sometimes have greater fear because they get into their minds the idea that God is a god of vengeance—and there is the idea of hell. They sometimes get the idea, even though they are not wicked, that the little things they do are written down in a book and they have to pay for them, perhaps by being hurled into eternal torment. That is not so, of course, and once you get that idea out of the minds of people it helps tremendously.
“Our Catholic friends hold that idea very strongly. They have to be made to realise that there is no hell except of your own making. And there is no Judgment Day; you judge yourself. It says in the Bible that you go to the place prepared for you. Well, you go to the place you prepare for yourself by your lives in the physical world. Many orthodox people when they come here wait for years for the judgment day, not realising you judge yourself—and there is no greater judge of yourself than yourself. You can hide things from the man next door, from your greatest friends, from those who are nearest and dearest to you if you want to—but you cannot hide anything from yourself. And when you come here you judge yourself, and you go to the place that you have made for yourself.”
The guide spoke of the instruction that should be given to children in spiritual things.
“The greatest dream of my life is that there will be greater instruction for the children in the facts of Spiritualism,” he said. “That would help children to live without the fear of death. They would realise that whatever they did they, and they alone, would have to pay for. And it would help them to realise true brotherhood. If you get the realisation of true brotherhood in the individual, then you get it in the nation and then, and only then, will you get the peace that you so long for and pray for in your world, and which we pray for, here, too. You must instruct your children.”
THE FATE OF ATHEISTS
I again guided White Eagle back to a discussion of life just after passing by asking what was the fate of the Atheist.
“It takes them longer in some cases—not always—to realise that they were mistaken in their ideas,” he said. “But, you know, in spite of what these people may say, there are very, very few who really believe that when they pass out it is like the snuffing of a candle. They may think they believe it, but when it comes to the actual point of death they begin to doubt and they wonder. They sometimes get the realisation that there is something after their passing. There are some who do not, of course, and they are a little difficult. There are difficulties here, you know. But eventually the light penetrates even to them.”
AFTER SUDDEN DEATH
“How does a sudden passing—such as an accident— affect the mind after death?” I asked.
“We sometimes find it difficult to make them believe that they have passed on,” he said. “They sometimes wander on the physical earth rather more, but not always. Usually, they are taken in hand. We find, too, that once they can get through to their loved ones, that helps them to understand more quickly than anything else. “But there are occasions when people who pass through an accident cannot realise they have passed, because they are so much the same person immediately afterwards as they were immediately before. But there is help for everyone who comes over. No one is left alone. But it is more difficult to convince some than others. Sometimes we have to bring them back and let them speak through a medium, and help them in that way to understand that they have died.”
“From whom does the help come?” I asked.
“It comes from the guardian angel and perhaps from their loved ones,” White Eagle answered. “But it is usually given by the guardian angel and those whose work it is to receive the people who pass on. They have the ‘knack’ of it and it is the work they choose to do. The loved ones of the person passing usually leave them for a little while in the hands of those who are trained to help.” Asked about the “guardian angels”, White Eagle said they were not guides, as Spiritualists understood the term. Very often, no spirit guide was attached to anyone unless he showed signs of being used for spiritual work. “But your guardian angel has been with you all your life,” he went on, “always watching.”
I asked what sort of tie there was between the individual and his “guardian angel”.
“Usually, I would say, the tie of love,” replied the guide, who confessed that he had never considered the question before.
I wondered whether it was possible ever to lose our “guardian angels”. I thought perhaps the harmony between a person and his “guardian” might be disturbed.
“Never,” said White Eagle. “You never lose your guides, no matter what you do, because we are linked to you by the tie of love. We could not work with you if there was not love. We might leave you in the sense that we might advance and perhaps find it more difficult to penetrate to the physical world, but we do not leave you from choice. Your guardian never leaves you.”
I pointed out that it was possible to lose love in this world and if love ceased to exist between us and our guides or “guardians” then the link might be broken.
“In your earth loves you are more limited than we,” was the reply. “On earth, if a friend does something you think is not nice or good or right, you do not love that friend quite so much. But that is only because you have not a full understanding of why that certain thing was done. That does not apply to us, because we have a greater perception and we see the motive. Sometimes, although an action seems unkind, the motive might not have been unkind. And even if the motive were unkind, it is our job to help you not to do that unkind thing anymore, and therefore we stay.”
“You must find it very trying, sometimes,” I said.
“Yes, but then neither are we perfect,” remarked the guide. “It takes many, many centuries to reach perfection.
“Is perfection ever reached?” I asked.
“Ultimately, but I could not tell you how long it takes,” White Eagle replied. “You only have to realise our imperfections, and think of us as human. We are just one step higher up the ladder than you. Do not ever think of us as being perfect. If we were perfect, there would be nothing left to strive for—and if you take away that, all is gone. I say that perfection is reached ultimately, but when that is I do not know. You have to seek and seek. I believe we came from perfection and we return to perfection, that we came from God and that we return to God.”
“Then you think we shall become merged into the Great Spirit and shall not continue forever as separate individuals?” I said.
“I think we shall merge eventually,” he replied, “but when I do not know.”
WORK IN THE SPIRIT WORLD
The activities on the Other Side was the basis of my next question to White Eagle. “You work when you want to, and play when you want to,” he said. “People do not stay here very long before they want to work, but it is always the work they want to do. That makes all the difference. There are no square pegs in round holes. Some people want to learn music, how to paint, heal, care for the children, receive the people who come over here. Some spend a lot of time guiding and helping those on earth.
“I love the children. Over here, the children go to school and there are many, both men and women, engaged in caring for them. You see the joy on the faces of those who on earth could not be parents and who yet longed for children. Over here, to their joy, they are allowed to have the care of children. There are so many on your earth who would like to have the joy of looking after children; many who would like to heal the sick but cannot do it for economic reasons. Here, they can heal the sick on earth.”
“Are there any diseases that develop on your side?” I asked.
“No, because the ailments belong to the physical world,” said the guide.
“But there are those in the grey spheres. They need healers—mind healers.”
“Can they be treated in the same way that diseases of the body are treated here?” was my next question.
“On earth, your doctors do not always need to treat you with drugs and by operation,” White Eagle said. “Sometimes they help you by assisting your mind to understand, particularly if your sickness is of the mind. It is the same here, but it is healing all the same. It is taking healing thoughts and ideas to those people and so putting them into the right way of thinking. It all comes under the heading of healing, to my mind.”
I put to White Eagle the position of a selfish man who might die and was determined not to help others. How would he occupy his time in the spirit world?
“He would do just what he liked until the time came when he would realise how very selfish he was,” said the guide. “Of course, it is understandable that for a time perhaps people do not want to help others. Perhaps they worked very hard in your world and for a time they would want to do nothing but enjoy themselves. They would regard it as you regard a holiday—they would put down their tools and say they would do nothing for anybody for a time. But you get more tired with too much pleasure than you do with too much work, and after a time they want to do something useful.”
HOMES AND FAMILIES AFTER DEATH
“Do you live in families?” I asked.
“No, but we have homes,” he answered. “We make homes, but that does not mean that you have to live with your wife or husband, mother, father, sisters or brothers. You do if you truly love them, but there is no compulsion. You do not live with anybody if there is not a love tie. People sometimes ask me about the position of a woman with two husbands. That does not matter here. There is no marriage or giving in marriage, and a man can love two women. After all, the marriage law is a man-made law for the purpose of keeping order on your earth.
“You can love two people, and when you realise there are no physical elements in the relationship over here, you understand how little marriage means. But the basis of the marriage, which should be and usually is love, continues. In the case of a man with two wives or a woman with two husbands, they can all live together quite happily if they wish. You make your home with those you love, with whom there is not necessarily a blood relationship.”
In reply to a further question, White Eagle made the interesting observation that sometimes progress could be more rapid on earth than in the spirit world.
“It might happen that one would advance more quickly on earth,” he said, “because your trial is greater and you have not the same perspective, so it is harder for you to do the right thing sometimes. In our world we have greater perception and we can see the outcome of certain things and it is not perhaps quite so hard to be good.”
This was a new outlook to me and I realised then that, because of our temptations on earth we should advance more rapidly than if those temptations did not exist to be overcome. White Eagle seemed surprised that I should regard difficulties as opportunities for progress.
“I am very glad to hear you say that,” he said. “Sometimes people say,
‘Why do we have to suffer this and that?’ They want to know why their dead relatives cannot help them to be happy and get rid of all their troubles for them. We are not allowed to take the burdens away from you. We are sorry for you while you are going through your difficulties, and we can help you to bear them, but it is your difficulties, your trials and temptations that develop your character. Your unhappiness adds much more to your character than your happiness.
“When one is happy, one sometimes forgets and just accepts the happiness without another thought. Then there comes unhappiness and people say, we hope, ‘Here is something we have to get over. God help me to do it.’ They bring the thought of God into their lives, they forge ahead and overcome the difficulty and there is another jewel added to their crown.”
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