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The World Beyond (28)

By:Richard Rowley
Date: Tue,24 Aug 2010
Submitter:Richard Rowley

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The World Beyond (28) The researcher's account continues.

"After the celestial plane we pass to the cosmic or universal sphere. In this condition of heavenly life dwell great Beings which are now concerned not only with the earth life but with all life with the life of the universe. From this plane creative masters are sent forth, responsible for the life of the souls of lesser beings dwelling on other planets and in other spheres of existence. Thousands of years (I can only speak in terms of earth time) must elapse before the ego [personality] attains its full expression and development. and only after gaining all possible knowledge through physical existence does it pass beyond the Halls of Waiting, beyond even the celestial planes into a still higher plane. What term can prove adequate for the rapture of love perfected, of perfect fulfillment which is found?

When in transit between the mental and celestial spheres the soul becomes conscious of a spiritual element which it lacked before. This is due to its closer contact with the universal sphere, from which the creative ones, the exalted ones, may descend to merge themselves into an earthly existence, to take on themselves mortality by supreme sacrifice. [We may suspect who some of these might have been, but many remain inconspicuous and anonymous].

It is unnecessary for man to pass through physical death in order to contact all the planes of spiritual life. This is knowledge vital to the being and happiness of every man. For man has power to reach out, to contact, and to respond to the influences which emanate from all the planes of spiritual being even while enmeshed in the flesh; the difference being that when he is released, his spiritual life gains a sweet intensity. Having lost a physical body, the more surely does the soul-experience which he now undergoes afford him a richer and greater sense of reality in his being. Again and again we say all the spheres of spiritual life are, or can be, reached by incarnate man, who can thus draw his experience either from a hell of desire [sometimes called the lower astral planes, or a low bardo] or in contrast, a heaven of ecstasy [ in our terms, a place for creative spontaneity, harmony, love, assurance, intelligence gratitude, peace, cooperation and contentment].

At this stage of our discourse this question will arise: you will be thinking that all this is very interesting, but what about that vibrant human love and prospect of reunion with those who have gone before, which for so long has been our dream and longing – will this be ours in the spirit lands? What is the use, you will say, of becoming a formless mass of consciousness in those heavenly lands, like an egg without a shell? The prospect seems uninviting, when we have dreamed of love reunited, of love deep, rich and full, the fulfillment of which can alone make our earth life worth the price we pay for living it.

I can assure you there is indeed a special sphere in the spirit world, an almost heavenly place in the upper astral regions, far more beautiful than the Summerland, a sphere where souls unite once more. This is a place for the reunion of all grades of human life, which includes any incarnate souls which can soar thither from the earth. It is the place of family reunions, which might be described as family gatherings, where all souls which are bound one to another by living and vibrant love can meet and greet one another. Note, however, that these reunions do not necessarily continue for overlong. We on this side and you on yours have duties to which we must all return when the call comes. People in all grades of life have to return to the particular conditions or environment to which they are suited or to which they have adapted themselves.

There are periods of festivals in the astral world, much as you might celebrate a special birthday or anniversary, or seasonal or religious festival. On these occasions folk meet in love, happiness and peace in order to exchange experiences. Yes, indeed, a man from the earth can find his own beloved waiting for him, and dwell together in the happiness of a wonderful reunion. There also the people meet in massed concourse, in vast halls, temples or open-air cathedrals where they sing songs of praise, and by love and prayer express their profound thankfulness.

The person who has the higher spiritual quality can always raise the other, if only for a brief period. Time is nothing over here; all is but a question of human consciousness; by intensity of experience two souls may live a period in a moment and the time seem long. A light will then have dawned on the struggling younger soul, and afterwards he will strive with added zest to reach again that plane of consciousness where some marvelous moment of blissful reunion was lived.

There can be no separation in spirit – no separation. Do you understand the implication of this? It must be very difficult, but try to get this idea of spiritual affinity; for although there may be work to be accomplished by the two on different planes of life, there is always ONE point at which loving souls may find their contact, although possibly only at given intervals. At times you yourselves can reach a high spiritual range of consciousness. True, you may fail to sustain your contact, and fall, as it were, with a crash. Nevertheless you have had your moment. Surely to go to the spirit land for a space cannot be expected to make a man into an angel for ever? But once souls have merged in this way, there is no further separation. Even if they have to go their separate ways to service and to labour, they are bound, or rather, linked by that love.

There is no question of twin souls or soul-mates merging into one individual, or of the individuality of either becoming absorbed in the other, or both in one; but there may develop such perfect harmony of desire and understanding between the two that the two life-courses run as one within a single channel, [whether they are in each-other’s presence, or living separate lives in different places on earth]. When souls reach the higher spheres both their active and passive aspects still remain; in other words, they are still man and woman [or same-sex partners], and each will continue to contribute his or her particular creative ray of life-force to the universal.

I want to emphasise this truth again and again. With the eternal and absolute God there can never be any question of absorption; and yet it is all absorption. Here is a paradox – but do you not see? In becoming ONE you become a part of ALL; in becoming ALL you must become ONE with God. This is a magnificent and transcendent thought. Could man only grasp, if only momentarily or occasionally, some faint glimmer of this truth, world affairs might take a mighty turn for the better. World friction would cease because man would be translating himself from the personal point of view to a realization of his true nature.

[The foregoing communications as you probably guessed were from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, through the mediumship of Grace Cooke a year or two after his death in 1930. He first returned to speak to his family only ten days after his passing, when Grace Cooke visited Doyle’s home at Crowborough in East Sussex. I have reviewed and condensed a small fraction of the material to give continuity to the theme of afterlife conditions. The source is “The Return of Arthur Conan Doyle” edited by Ivan Cooke, and published by The White Eagle Publishing Trust in 1956, with subsequent editions. First published as “Thy Kingdom Come” in 1933, by Wright & Brown, London.

As well as describing the afterlife in this book, Conan Doyle also discusses the nature of mediumship and its development, the part nature spirits, elementals and angels play in our lives, and how to separate deceitful, impersonating spirits from genuine friends and relatives in spirit. The book is a useful source of spiritual information.

Conan Doyle has returned since then through many mental and trance mediums. You can hear him speak through the independent direct voice mediumship of Leslie Flint at There are also radio and film interviews of Sir Arthur which he made shortly before is death, and these are available at the British Museum and on one or two Internet sites.

Spirits can return within minutes of their death, or make an appearance after a few hours to close relatives and friends to show that they are all right, and still alive in some dimension of existence. Others have indicated that they have been asleep or in limbo for fifty years or more before being able to communicate, and in the case of King Henry the VIII, almost 400 years went by before he was awoken from a deep slumber, apparently with the help of the wives he so badly treated. [see “A Tudor Story” by Canon W. S. Pakenham-Walsh. Published by James Clarke, London, 1963]

In other articles, mention was made of Frances Banks’ experiences in the World Beyond. They are described in many books by Helen Greaves, in particular The Testimony of Light (1969), and The Challenging Light (1984), both published by Neville Spearman.

Another communicator who came back quite soon after his death was Lord Northcliffe, the British newspaper baron, proprietor of the Daily Mail and the Evening News. Eleven hours after his death on August 14, 1922, he put in the first of many appearances at a private home circle held by medium Clifford Potter in Forest Hill, S.E. London. He subsequently communicated through many different mediums, , and all this is recorded in a lively book, Northcliffe’s Return by Hannen Swaffer. Psychic Book Club. 1925.

In the first few sessions he was getting used to the techniques of communicating, but he showed that he was keeping a close watch on the editors of his newspapers in Fleet Street. But by September 7th, 1922 he started to describe what he was experiencing in the Other World.

"It is wonderful here. Beyond description. I never dreamt or read of such a place, I wish to God I had realized it in earth life. I would have given all my time to telling the world of it; and I am longing to do what I can now from this side. I feel that I shall do more now than I ever could on the earth side. I tell you for certain now that, if only you have faith, you can do more for the world than all my journals can ever do, or have done. If you but knew what the spirit world is like, and knew that it is made by the living in the earth life, then the whole of your life would be spent in living and doing the truth; but now I feel that I can do more than ever, and I’m setting out to do it.

Do you know, I half believed many of the truths of Spiritualism before I passed beyond {he had endorsed the publication of Vale Owen’s books about Heaven and the Afterlife] - but I had not the courage to confess my own belief. So that I ask you, friends, to stand forth and express your courage, and you will be rewarded. I failed in many things; see that YOU do not fail."

[By September 1924, it seems that he had made some progress on the other side] :-

"It seems quite a long time since I last spoke to you; and the earth I used to live on seems just a faint memory now – just a bad dream on my part. I’ve forgotten it; and I wish to remember it no more. It no longer has any part to play in my life. I feel that it belongs to my past, and I have done with it. I need it no longer, save as a warning of what it is hoped I may avoid in future.

I am now beginning to learn, I say advisedly BEGINNING, for as yet I am new to these worlds where centuries seem like chaff on the breeze. So I do not come to you to teach you anything. I have told you my opinions as to myself at the moment, and I trust they are opinions which may improve in the future; but at present I feel that there is very little hope for me to advance at all quickly. I am learning so slowly, and there is so much to learn. Every day I learn more and more of the vastnesses around me; and as I perceive more so I know that my horizon grows in like ratio.

Now this is not the mind of a newspaper[man], because the newspaper mind is self-centred…its possibilities are limited. I have taken my old self and put it from me, and been born anew."

[to be continued]. I would agree with what others have written. There is nothing better than to get first–hand experience, either by starting a home circle, visiting a medium, attending a Spiritualist Church or public meeting, and obtain personal contact with the other side. These records from the past will not convince anyone about the life of the spirit. But once a person has had some direct experience of spirit contact, life will never be the same again, and then these account will help put personal experiences in perspective. Well, I hope so, anyway, and that’s my reason for compiling these readings. Richard R.

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