Subject: The World Beyond (22) Raymond visits a higher plane
Raymoind continued to communicate at family circles and at sittings with different mediums in London. Here he is aappearing at a seance held on February 16th, 1916 when Lady Lodge sat alone with Mrs Leonard. Raymond's dialogue was reported by the medium's guide, Feda, though Sir Oliver often transcribed the conversations when he edited them for the book as direct speech, as I do here.
FEDA - Raymond is here. He has been all over the place with Paulie, to all sorts of places, to the mediums, to try and get poor boys [who have been killed] into touch with their mothers. Some are very jealous of those who succeed. They try to get to their mothers, and they can't - they are shut out.
RAYMOND - They make me feel as though I could cry to see them. We explain that their mothers and fathers don't know about communicating. They say, why don't they all go to mediums? It makes me wonder, too. [He describes his visits to mediums, and how he noticesd that a lot of prayers were said]. Prayer keeps out evil things, and keeps nice clean conditions. - [he jokes] - keeps out devils ! [He talks about the German air attacks with the Zeppelins].
FEDA - Someone called M.......[a deceased family friend] wanted her dearest love given. She's had to be away rather from the earth plane for some time, but Raymond has actually seen her several times. Conditions of war have brought her back. She had progressed a good way. She wondered if you realised it was not her will to leave you so long, but [it was because of her stage of] progression . She belongs to a higher plane. She knew something about this before she passed on [she had had a sitting with the medium, Mrs Piper, at their country house, Mariemont]., though perhaps it makes it easier to be always communicating. Her life on the earth plane [she she was a really beautiful character] made it easier for her to go on quickly after she passed out.
He said about someone that she's gone right on to a very high sphere indeed, as near celestial as could possibly be. He says William had gone on too, a good way, but not too far [so as to be unable] to come to him.
RAYMOND - Those who are fond of you never go too far to come back to you - sometimes too far to communicate, never too far to meet you when you pass over.
LADY LODGE - That's so comforting, darling. I don't want to hold you back.
RAYMOND - You gravitate here to the ones you're fond of. Those you're not fond of, if you meet them in the street, you don't bother yourself to say 'how-do-you-do.'
LADY LODGE - There are streets, then?
RAYMOND - Yes. [When I came here] I was pleased to see streets and houses. At one time, I thought it might be created by one's own thoughts. You gravitate to a place you are fitted for. Mother, there's no judge and jury, you just gravitate, like to like.
I've seen some boys (soldiers) pass on who had nasty ideas and vices. They go to a place I'm very glad I didn't have to go to, but it's not hell exactly,. More like a reformatory - it's a place where you're given a chance, and when you want to look for something better, you're given a chance to have it. They gravitate together, but get so bored. Learn to help yourself, and immediately you'll be helped. Very like your world; only no unfairness, no injustice - a common law operating for each and every one.
LADY LODGE - Are all of the same rank and grade ?
RAYMOND - Rank doesn't count as a virtue. High rank comes by being virtuous. Those who have been virtuous have to pass through lower rank to understand things. All go to the astral first, just for a little. I don't remember being on the astral myself. I think where I am now, I'm about third- Summerland - Homeland, some call it. It is a very happy medium. The very highest can come to visit you. It is just sufficiently near the earth plane to be able to get to those on earth. I think we have the best of it here, so far as I can see.
Mother, I went to a gorgeous place the other day.
LADY LODGE - Where was it ?
RAYMOND - Goodness knows ! I was permitted, so that I might see what was going on in the Highest Sphere. Generally the High Spirits come [down] to us. I wonder if I can tell you what it looked like ! [Here followed Raymond's account of his visit to the Higher Sphere, where he was spoken to by a highly evolved Master. Sir Oliver did not include it in this chapter, since it did not give direct evidence of survival, which was the focus of the book. Hopefully the account will be found in the Lodge family archives, and be published sometime. Meantime we have to be satisfied with the ensuing comments made by Raymond. The experience clearly astonished and affected him deeply, and he lived in its afterglow for some considerable time. R.R.]
I felt exalted, purified, lifted up. [Eventually I found] I was kneeling. I couldn't stand up, I WANTED to kneel. Mother, I thrilled from head to foot. He [a higher being] didn't come near me, and I didn't feel I wanted to go near him. Didn't feel I ought. The Voice was like a bell. I can't tell you what he was dressed or robed in. All seemed a mixture of shining colours.
No good; can you imagine what I felt like when he put those beautiful rays on to me ? I don't know what I've ever done that I should have been given that wonderful experience. I never thought of such a thing being possible, not at any rate for years, and years, and years. No one could tell what I felt, I can't explain it. Will they [the family] understand it ? I know father and you will, but I want the others to try. I can't put it into words.
I didn't walk, I had to be taken back to Summerland, I don't know what happened to me. If you could faint with delight ! I've asked if Christ will go and be seen by everybody, but was told, 'Not quite in the same sense as you saw Him.' I was told Christ was always in spirit on earth - a sort of projection, something like those rays, something of him in every one.
People think he is A spirit, walking about in a particular place. Christ [not the man Jesus, but one of the many names for Spirit Intelligence, the essence of life, prana or divine energy] is everywhere, not as a personality. There IS a Christ, and He lives on the higher plane, and that is the one I was permitted to see.
There was more given me in that beautiful message; I can't remember it all. He said the whole of it, nearly and word for word, of what I've given you. You see from that, I'm given a mission to do, helping near the earth plane [with rescue work]. Shall I tell you why I'm so glad that is my work, given by the Highest Authority of all ! First of all, I'm proud to do His work, no matter what it is; but the great thing is, I can be near you and father.
LADY LODGE - If we can only be worthy !
RAYMOND - You are both doing it, every bit you can.
LADY LODGE - Well, I'm getting to love people more than I used to do.
RAYMOND - I have learnt over here that every one is not for you. If not in affinity, let them go, and be with those you DO like. Mother, will they think I'm kind of puffing myself up or humbugging ? It's so wonderful. Will they be able to understand that it's just Raymond that's been through this ? Not Sunday school. I treasured it up to give you tongiht. I put it off because I didn't know if I could give it in the right words that would make them feel like I feel- or something like. Isn't it a comfort ? You and father think it well over. I didn't ask for work to be near the earth plane ! I thought that things would be made right. But think of it being given me, the work I should have prayed for !
LADY LODE - Then you're nearer ?
RAYMOND - Much nearer ! I was bound to be drawn [closer]. So beautiful to think, now I can honestly stay near the earth plane. Eventually, instead of going up by degrees, I shall take, as Feda has promised, a jump. And when you and father come, you will be on one side, and father on the other. We shall be a while in Summerland, just to get used to conditions. He says very likely we shall be wanted, to keep an eye on the others. He means brothers ad sisters. I can't tell you how pleased I feel - 'pleased' is a poor word. !
LADY LODGE - About what, my dear ?
RAYMOND - About being very near the earth plane. I've pressed on, getting used to conditions here, and yet when I went into the Presence I was over-awed. It made me wish, in the few seconds I was able to think of anything, that I had led one of the purest lives imaginable. If there's any little tiny thing I've ever done, it would stand out like a mountain. I didn't have much time to think, but I did feel in that few seconds..... I felt, [afterwards] when I found myself back in Summerland that I was CHARGED with something - some wonderful power. As if I could stop rivers, move mountains; and so wonderfully glad.
Don't bother yourself about trying to like people you've to an antipathy for, it's waste of you. Keep love for those who want it, don't throw it away on those who don't; it's like giving things to over-fed people when hungry chaps are standing by [starving].
Do you know that I can feel my ideas altering, somehow. I feel more naturally in tune with conditions very far removed from the earth plane; yet I like to go round with Paul, and have fun, and enjoy myself. After that wonderful experience, I asked some one if it wasn't stupid to like to have fun and go with the others. But they said that if you've got a work to do on the earth plane, you're not to have all the black side, you are allowed to have the lighter side too, sunshine and shadow. One throws the other up and makes you better able to judge the value of each. There are places on my sphere where they can listen to beautiful music when they choose. Everybody, even here, doesn't care for music, so it's not compulsory in my sphere.
I like music and singing, but wouldn't like to live in the middle of it always, I can go and hear it if I want to, I am getting more fond of it than I was.
Mr. [Frederic] Myers is very pleased. He says, you know it isn't always the parsons, not always the parsons, that go highest first. It isn't what you professed, it's what you've done. If you have not believed definitely in life after death, but have tried to do as much as you could, and led a decent life, and have left alone things you don't understand, that's all that's required of you. Considering how simple it is, you'd think everybody would have done it, but very few do. On our side, we expect a few years will make a great difference in the conditions of people on the earth plane.
In five years, ever so many more will be wanting to know about the life to come, and how they shall live on the earth plane so that they shall have a pretty good life when they pass on. They'll do it, if only as a wise precaution. But the more they know, the higher lines [levels] people will be going on.
LADY LODGE - Did you see me reading the [earlier] sitting to your father?
RAYMOND - I'm going to stop father from feeling tired. Chap with red feather helping [a healing guide]. Isn't it wonderful that I can be near you and father ?
Some people ask me, are you pleased with where your body lies ? I tell them I don't care a bit, I've no curiosity about my body now. It's like an old coat that I've done with, and hope some one will dispose of it. I don't want flowers on my body. Flowers in house, in my home.
LADY LODGE - Can you tell the kind of flowers I put for you on your birthday ?
RAYMOND - Don't think I don't appreciate them. I see some yellow and some white. I think it is some power I take from the medium which makes for me a certain amount of physical sight. I can't see properly.
[They talk about it being winter, and that the flowers came from their home.]
LADY LODGE - Isn't Feda tired now - I think Raymond must be.
FEDA - Well, power is going.
LADY LODGE - Anyhow, I must go. Some one perhaps of your brothers will come soon.
RAYMOND - I want no heralds, or flourish of trumpets, let them come and see if I can get through to them.
LADY LODGE - I am proud of all this.
RAYMOND - If I see any signs [of pride], I'll take you in hand at once; it shall be nipped in the bud ! Good night.
LADY LODGE - Do you sleep ?
RAYMOND - Well, I doze.
LADY LODGE - Do you have rain ?
RAYMOND - Well, you can go to a place where rain is.
LADY LODGE - Do you know that your father is having all the sittings bound together in a book ? [from which the present book was compiled].
RAYMOND - It will be very interesting to see how I change as I go on. Good night.
[to be continued] condensed from Chapter XX of "Raymond - or - LIfe and Death: with examples of the evidence for survival of memory and affection after death" by Sir Oliver J. Lodge. Methuen & Co. Ltd., London. 1916.
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