exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity
"a perfectly normal world, a life packed with thrills"
Afterlife testimony, via psychic Geraldine Cummins, from a soldier killed in World War I: Cummins reported that "Maclean [the once-fallen soldier] said he was having an amazing time. He's found his own crowd [fellow soldiers] and they, including himself, were all so immensely relieved to find that they were alive and, not only that, were neither in [a depressing religious] heaven [with harps and chubby cherubs], nor in [a burning, punitive] hell, nor in any other hot spot, but they were in a perfectly normal world, leading a [perfectly normal] life packed with thrills!"
Editor's note: We take note of "so immensely relieved." One of the greatest exhilarations of your entire eternal life awaits you when you discover that Big Religion's power-and-control bluster about judgment and an angry god is just fake news. My own Dad and Uncle Joe, all of their lives and upon crossing over, were caught in this disinformation campaign, but are ok now, are finally free of "dear Mother Church," and on their way to leading a happy and "perfectly normal life."
Editor's 1-Minute Essay: Summerland
The Scientific Evidence For The Afterlife
Editor’s note: Twenty Nobel laureates have critically examined the scientific evidence for the afterlife and have accepted its reality. Knowledge of Summerland, via psychic-medium, has always been accessible to humanity.
A small poetic example: In the movie, Gladiator, Russell Crowe, as the slave-General Maximus, stirs to battle his Roman legions with a thunderous, “What we do in life echoes in eternity!” Quite so; and, should an enemy sword find its mark, he continues, they will find themselves in Elysium [Greek: “abode of the blessed”] - the ancient term for Summerland! The famous street in Paris, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, refers to the Elysian Fields, the verdant and glorious home of the immortals, the destination for us all; a world as solid and convincing to the senses as our own… so near, all about us, an interpenetrating, overlapping reality… only one missed heartbeat away. Someday, you will step into that new world, the real world, a celestial splendor, as easily as you might walk from your living room to the kitchen.
“If only I could tell you what it is like! I just haven't the words to tell you how marvelous it is - the sense of beauty, the sense of freedom, the sense of love!”
"In my garden the flowers I love bloom and birds sing; the same birds that flutter about your gardens; the same butterflies also come into my garden that light on your trellises; the same bees make honey here that contribute to your table the sweets of the hive; the same grass that you have in your lawns, and the [same] trees abound. There is nothing unnatural here. Little toads hop along my path; and frogs leap and bound here in the pools about the garden; grasshoppers fly about and daddy-long-legs attract little children as they did on Earth... I knew that I had seen my home before; it seemed very natural. Here I found several of my favorite books; a friend had placed them there. Shortly after my home-coming, a number came in for a friendly chat; nothing seemed strange or unnatural here..."
"before us the countryside reached out in seemingly unending prospect, [and] in another direction [one] could perceive what had all the appearance of a city of stately buildings"
- excerpts from "Life In the World Unseen," transmitted by Father Robert Benson in Summerland via psychic Anthony Borgia:
Chapter 1: MY EARTH LIFE
WHO I am really matters not. Who I was matters still less. We do not carry our Earthly positions with us into the Spirit world. My Earthly importance I left behind me. My Spiritual worth is what counts now...
Chapter 2: PASSING TO SPIRIT LIFE
The actual process of dissolution is not necessarily a painful one... My end was not violent, but it was labored, as were so many that I had witnessed...
As soon as I had had this brief space in which to look about me and to appreciate my new estate, I found myself joined by a former colleague - a priest - who had passed to this life some years before. We greeted each other warmly, and I noticed that he was attired like myself. Again this in no way seemed strange to me, because had he been dressed in any other way I should have felt that something was wrong somewhere, as I had only known him in clerical attire. He expressed his great pleasure at seeing me again, and for my part I foresaw the gathering up of the many threads that had been broken by his 'death'.
For the first moment or so I allowed him to do all the talking; I had yet to accustom myself to the newness of things. For you must remember that I had just relinquished a bed of final sickness, and that in casting off the physical body I had also cast off the sickness with it, and the new sensation of comfort and freedom from bodily ills was one so glorious that the realization of it took a little while to comprehend fully. My old friend seemed to know at once the extent of my knowledge, that I was aware that I had passed on, and that all was well...
My friend then suggested that we should now go, and we accordingly moved away. As we departed, the room gradually became more misty until it faded farther from my vision, and finally disappeared. So far, I had had the use, as usual, of my legs as in ordinary walking, but in view of my last illness and the fact that, consequent, upon it, I should need some period of rest before I exerted myself too much, my friend said that it would be better if we did not use the customary means of locomotion—our legs. He then told me to take hold of his arm firmly, and to have no fear whatever. I could, if I wished, close my eyes. It would, he said, perhaps be better if I did so. I took his arm, and left the rest to him as he told me to do. I at once experienced a sensation of floating such as one has in physical dreams, though this was very real and quite unattended by any doubts of personal security. The motion seemed to become more rapid as time went on, and I still kept my eyes firmly closed...
After a short while our progress seemed to slacken somewhat, and I could feel that there was something very solid under my feet. I was told to open my eyes. I did so.
What I saw was my old home that I had lived in on the Earth-plane; my old home - but with a difference. It was improved in a way that I had not been able to do to its Earthly counterpart. The house itself was rejuvenated, as it seemed to me from a first glance, rather than restored, but it was the gardens round it that attracted my attention more fully.
They appeared to be quite extensive, and they were in a state of the most perfect order and arrangement. By this I do not mean the regular orderliness that one is accustomed to see in public gardens on the Earth-plane, but that they were beautifully kept and tended. There were no wild growths or masses of tangled foliage and weeds, but the most glorious profusion of beautiful flowers so arranged as to show themselves to absolute perfection.
Of the flowers themselves, when I was able to examine them more closely, I must say that I never saw either their like or their counterpart, upon the Earth, of many that were there in full bloom. Numbers were to be found, of course, of the old familiar blossoms, but by far the greater number seemed to be something entirely new to my rather small knowledge of flowers. It was not merely the flowers themselves and their unbelievable range of superb colorings that caught my attention, but the vital atmosphere of eternal life that they threw out, as it were, in every direction.
And as one approached any particular group of flowers, or even a single bloom, there seemed to pour out great streams of energizing power which uplifted the soul Spiritually and gave it strength, while the heavenly perfumes they exhaled were such as no soul clothed in its mantle of flesh has ever experienced. All these flowers were living and breathing, and they were, so my friend informed me, incorruptible.
There was another astonishing feature I noticed when I drew near to them, and that was the sound of music that enveloped them, making such soft harmonies as corresponded exactly and perfectly with the gorgeous colours of the flowers themselves.
Plato: "the music of the spheres"
Siren tomb statue from the
Dipylon Cemetery in Athens,
4th century BC
"In Greek mythology, the Siren was a creature half bird and half woman who lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of her song. In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus escaped the danger of their song by stopping the ears of his crew with wax so that they were deaf to the Sirens; yet he was able to hear the music and had himself tied to the mast so that he could not steer the ship out of course." The fabled Sirens' beguiling music provides metaphor of a mysterious life-principle thinkers have pondered for thousands of years.
Throughout his extensive writings, Father Benson somewhat-frequently speaks of a soft and subtle undercurrent of music suffusing flowers, flowing streams, even the very air and sunshine of Summerland's environment. We are tempted to label this as "the music of the spheres."
This kind of universal music of nature seems to be referenced in many love-songs where we find phrases such as "I hear a symphony" or "I heard music," and many similar statements. I feel this speaks to something important.
Editor's note: Hermann Hess's short-story "Iris" finds a courted woman delaying marriage as she wisely instructs her base-spirited lover: "I can live without flowers and also without music. But, one thing I cannot and will not do without: I can never live so much as a single day in which the music in my heart is not dominant. If I am to live with a man, it must be one whose inner music harmonizes with mine, and his single desire must be that his own music be pure."
I think that the very substrata of nature, of reality itself, is a form of music. Our souls, I believe, are constructed to reflect a certain musical harmony.
Tesla said that everything in the universe functions as "frequency and vibration." It is a short step from this view to a felicitously-ordered vibrational essence. This is what music is.
"John and Mary," lacking a soul-bond, cannot experience this, but, when true lovers meet, their sense of overwhelming affinity, of "coming home," of extreme delight, results from an in-phase blending of music issuing from their respective inner-persons. This phenomenon may happen unexpectedly, even without consent of the percipients - it is not a choice but an autonomic, higher-level function of the sacred inner-person, an emergent property of eternal love claiming itself and manifesting itself. Caught in this energy-field of ordered vibrational essence, lovers will speak of "hearing music." It will seem very real.
The music is real, but only they will hear it; a dedicated song, just for them; a melody which, since the lovers' creation, had lain dormant awaiting activation via the agency of a particular, destined person - think of "the sword in the stone" and the affirming shaft of light; no one would have chosen the little boy, and one's eternal mate will likely be a surprise, as well. The celestial soul-music is that shaft of light; it is heaven's sudden unveiling, an unscheduled heralding of the coming of the long-hidden but now-revealed sacred beloved; who, each for the other, will awaken the soul's music into symphonic riot, a surfeit of intoxicated well-being.
We've now entered a realm of cosmic romantic experience which Silver Birch speaks of as "happening only once, whether in this life or the next," issuing in a love "so magnetic, so overwhelming."
Yes, it happens only once - but, as Oscar Wilde instructs us, the lovers' part will be to recreate, during their unending romantic future, this singular profound event "as many times as possible."
"music fills my soul now, I'm not half I'm whole now"
Petula Clark, Happy Heart
There’s a certain sound, always follows me around, when you’re close to me, you will hear it, it’s the sound that lovers finally will discover, when there is no other for their love, it’s my happy heart you hear, singing loud and singing clear... feeling more and more, like I’ve never felt before, you have changed my life so completely, music fills my soul now, I’m not half I’m whole now…
I am not, I am afraid, sufficiently learned, musically, to be able to give you a sound technical explanation of this beautiful phenomenon, but I shall hope to bring to you one with knowledge of the subject, who will be able to go into this more fully. Suffice it for the moment, then, to say that these musical sounds were in precise consonance with all that I had so far seen - which was very little - and that everywhere there was perfect harmony.
Already I was conscious of the revitalizing effect of this heavenly garden to such an extent that I was anxious to see more of it. And so, in company with my old friend, upon whom I was here relying for information and guidance, I walked the garden paths, trod upon the exquisite grass, whose resilience and softness were almost comparable to 'walking on air'; and tried to make myself realize that all this superlative beauty was part of my own home.
There were many splendid trees to be seen, none of which was malformed, such as one is accustomed to see on Earth, yet there was no suggestion of strict uniformity of pattern. It was simply that each tree was growing under perfect conditions, free from the storms of wind that bend and twist the young branches, and free from the inroads of insect life and many other causes of the misshapenness of Earthly trees. As with the flowers, so with the trees. They live for ever incorruptible, clothed always in their full array of leaves of every shade of green, and for ever pouring out life to all those who approach near them...
I noticed, too, that a comfortable warmth pervaded every inch of space, a warmth perfectly even and as perfectly sustained. The air had a stillness, yet there were gentle perfume-laden breezes - the truest zephyrs - that in no way altered the delightful balminess the temperature.
And here let me say to those who do not care much for 'perfumes' of any sort: Do not be disappointed when you read these words, and feel that it could never be heaven to you if there were something there you do not like. Wait, I say, until you witness these things, and I know that then you will feel very differently about them.
I have gone into all these things in a rather detailed fashion because I am sure there are so many people who have wondered about them.
I was struck by the fact that there were no signs of walls or hedges or fences; indeed, nothing, so far as I could see, to mark where my garden began or ended. I was told that such things as boundaries were not needed, because each person knew instinctively, but beyond doubt, just where his own garden ended. There was therefore no encroaching upon another's grounds, although all were open to any who wished to traverse them or linger within them. I was wholeheartedly welcome to go wherever I wished without fear of intruding upon another's privacy. I was told I should find that that was the rule here, and that I would have no different feelings with respect to others walking in my own garden. I exactly described my sentiments at that moment, for I wished, then and there, that all who cared would come into the garden and enjoy its beauties. I had no notions whatever of ownership personally, although I knew that it was my own 'to have and to hold'. And that is precisely the attitude of all here—ownership and partnership at one and the same time.
Seeing the beautiful state of preservation and care in which all the garden was kept, I inquired of my friend as to the genius who looked after it so assiduously and with such splendid results. Before answering my question he suggested that as I had but so very recently arrived in the Spirit land, he considered it advisable I should rest, or that at least I should not overdo my sight-seeing. He proposed, therefore, that we should find a pleasant spot - he used the words in a comparative sense, because all was more than pleasant everywhere - that we should seat ourselves, and then he would expound one or two of the many problems that had presented themselves to me in the brief time since I had passed to Spirit.
Accordingly, we walked along until we found such a 'pleasant' place beneath the branches of a magnificent tree, whence we overlooked a great tract of the countryside, whose rich verdure undulated before us and stretched far away into the distance. The whole prospect was bathed in glorious celestial sunshine, and I could perceive many houses of varying descriptions picturesquely situated, like my own, among trees and gardens. We threw ourselves down upon the soft turf, and I stretched myself out luxuriously, feeling as though I were lying upon a bed of the finest down. My friend asked me if I was tired. I had no ordinary sensation of Earthly fatigue, but yet I felt somewhat the necessity for a bodily relaxation. He told me that my last illness was the cause of such a desire, and that if I wished I could pass into a state of complete sleep. At the moment, however, I did not feel the absolute need for that, and I told him that for the present I would much prefer to hear him talk...
I was already beginning to perceive many things, the principal one of which, and that which touched me most closely, being the totally wrong attitude adopted by religion in relation to the world of Spirit. The very fact that I was lying there where I was, constituted a complete refutation of so much that I taught and upheld during my priestly life upon Earth. I could see volumes of orthodox teachings, creeds, and doctrines melting away because they are of no account, because they are not true, and because they have no application whatever to the eternal world of Spirit and to the great Creator and Upholder of it. I could see clearly now what I had seen but hazily before, that orthodoxy is man-made, but that the universe is God-given.
My friend went on to tell me that I should find living within the homes, that we could see from where we were lying, all sorts and conditions of people; people whose religious views when they were on the Earth were equally varied. But one of the great facts of Spirit life is that souls are exactly the same the instant after passing into Spirit life as they were the instant before. Death-bed repentances are of no avail, since the majority of them are but cowardice born of fear of what is about to happen—a fear of the theologically-built eternal hell that is such a useful weapon in the ecclesiastical armoury, and one that perhaps has caused more suffering in its time than many other erroneous doctrines. Creeds, therefore, do not form any part of the world of Spirit, but because people take with them all their characteristics into the Spirit world, the fervid adherents to any particular religious body will continue to practise their religion in the Spirit world until such time as their minds become Spiritually enlightened. We have here, so my friend informed me - I have since seen them for myself - whole communities still exercising their old Earthly religion. The bigotry and prejudices are all there, religiously speaking. They do no harm, except to themselves, since such matters are confined to themselves. There is no such thing as making converts here!
Such being the case, then, I supposed that our own religion was fully represented here. Indeed, it was! The same ceremonies, the same ritual, the same old beliefs, all are being carried on with the same misplaced zeal—in churches erected for the purpose. The members of these communities know that they have passed on, and they think that part of their heavenly reward is to continue with their man-made forms of worship. So they will continue until such time as a Spiritual awakening takes place. Pressure is never brought to bear upon these souls; their mental resurrection must come from within themselves. When it does come they will taste for the first time the real meaning of freedom.
My friend promised that if I wished we could visit some of these religious bodies later, but, he suggested, that as there was plenty of time it would be better if first of all I became quite accustomed to the new life. He had, so far, left unanswered my question as to who was the kindly soul who tended my garden so well, but he read my unspoken thought, and reverted to the matter himself.
Both the house and the garden, he told me, were the harvest I had reaped for myself during my Earth life. Having earned the right to possess them, I had built them with the aid of generous souls who spend their life in the Spirit world performing such deeds of kindness and service to others. Not only was it their work, but it was their pleasure at the same time. Frequently this work is undertaken and carried out by those who, on Earth, were expert in such things, and who also had a love for it. Here they can continue with their occupation under conditions that only the world of Spirit can supply. Such tasks bring their own Spiritual rewards, although the thought of reward is never in the minds of those who perform them. The desire of being of service to others is always uppermost.
The man who had helped to bring this beautiful garden into being was a lover of gardens upon the Earth-plane, and, as I could see for myself, he was also an expert. But once the garden was created there was not the incessant toil that is necessary for its upkeep, as with large gardens upon Earth. It is the constant decay, the stresses of storm and wind, and the several other causes that demand the labour on Earth. Here there is no decay, and all that grows does so under the same conditions as we exist. I was told that the garden would need practically no attention, as we usually understand the term, and that our friend the gardener would still keep it under his care if I so wished it. Far from merely wishing it, I expressed the hope that he certainly would do so. I voiced my deep gratitude for his wonderful work, and I hoped that I might be able to meet him and convey to him my sincere appreciation and thanks. My friend explained that that was quite a simple matter, and that the reason why I had not already met him was the fact of my very recent arrival, and that he would not intrude until I had made myself quite at home.
My mind again turned to my occupation while on Earth, the conducting of daily service and all the other duties of a minister of the Church. Since such an occupation, as far as I was concerned, was now needless, I was puzzled to know what the immediate future had in store for me. I was again reminded that there was plenty of time in which to ponder the subject, and my friend suggested that I should rest myself and then accompany him upon some tours of inspection - there was so much to see and so much that I should find more than astonishing. There were also numbers of friends who were waiting to meet me again after our long separation. He curbed my eagerness to begin by saying that I must rest first, and for which purpose, what better place than my own home?
I followed his advice, therefore, and we made our way towards the house.
Chapter 3: FIRST EXPERIENCES
I have already mentioned that when I was first introduced to my Spirit home I observed that it was the same as my Earth home, but with a difference. As I entered the doorway I saw at once the several changes that had been brought about. These changes were mostly of a structural nature and were exactly of the description of those that I had always wished I could have carried out to my Earthly house, but which for architectural and other reasons I had never been able to have done. Here, Earthly needs had no place, so that I found my Spirit home, in general disposition, exactly as I had ever wished it to be. The essential requisites indispensably associated with an Earthly homestead were, of course, completely superfluous here, for example, the severely mundane matter of providing the body with food. That is one instance of the difference. And so with others it is easy enough to call to mind.
As we traversed the various rooms together, I could see many instances of the thoughtfulness and kindness of those who had laboured so energetically to help me reconstruct my old home in its new surroundings. While standing within its walls I was fully aware of its permanence as compared with what I had left behind me. But it was a permanence that I knew I could end; permanent only so long as I wished it to be so. It was more than a mere house; it was a Spiritual haven, an abode of peace, where the usual domestic cares and responsibilities were wholly absent.
The furniture that it contained consisted largely of that which I had provided for its Earthly original, not because it was particularly beautiful, but because I had found it useful and comfortable, and adequately suited my few requirements. Most of the small articles of adornment were to be seen displayed in their customary places, and altogether the whole house presented the unmistakable appearance of occupancy. I had truly 'come home'.
In the room that had formerly been my study I noticed some well-filled bookshelves. At first I was rather surprised to see such things, but upon further thought I could see no reason, if such as this house could exist at all with all its various adjuncts, why books should not also have their place within the scheme. I was interested to learn what was the nature of the books, and so I made a closer examination. I found that conspicuous among them were my own works. As I stood in front of them I had a clear perception of the reason, the real reason, for their being there. Many of these books contained those narratives that I spoke of earlier, in which I had told of my own psychic experiences after giving them the necessary religious turn. One book in particular seemed to stand out in my mind more than the others, and I came to the full realization that I now wished that I had never written it. It was a distorted narrative, where the facts, as I had really known them, were given unfair treatment, and where the truth was suppressed. I felt very remorseful, and for the first time since coming into this land I had regret. Not regret that I had, at last, arrived in the Spirit world, but sorrow that, with the truth before me, I had deliberately cast it aside to place in its stead falsehood and misrepresentation. For I knew that so long as my name lived, that is, so long as it had any commercial value, that book would continue to be reproduced and circulated and read - and regarded as the absolute truth. I had the unpleasant knowledge that I could never destroy what I had thus done.
There was, at no time, any sense of condemnation over this. On the contrary, I could feel a distinct atmosphere of intense sympathy. Whence it came, I knew not, but it was real and concrete nevertheless. I turned to my friend, who, during my inspection and discovery, had been standing discreetly and understandingly at a little distance apart, and I asked for his help. It was instantly forthcoming. He then explained to me that he knew exactly what had lain before me concerning this book, but that he was debarred from making any reference to it before I made the discovery for myself. Upon my doing so, and upon my subsequent appeal for help, he was at once enabled to come to my aid.
My first question was to ask him how I could put this matter right. He told me that there were several ways in which I could do so, some more difficult - but more efficacious - than others. I suggested that perhaps I could go back to the Earth-plane and tell others of this new life and the truth of communication between the two worlds. Many, many people, he said, had tried, and were still trying, to do so, and how many were believed? Did I think that I should have any better fortune? Certainly none of those who read my books would ever come within miles of receiving or crediting any communication from me. And did I realize, also that if I were to present myself to such people they would at once call me a 'devil', if not the very Prince of Darkness himself!
'Let me,' he continued, 'place a few considerations before you concerning this subject of communication with the Earth world. You know full well that such is possible, but have you any conception of the difficulties surrounding it?
'Let us assume that you have found the means to communicate. The first thing you will be called upon to do will be to furnish clear and definite identification of yourself. Quite probably, upon your first declaring who you are, there will be some hesitation at accepting your name simply because it carried weight when you were incarnate. However important or famous we happen to be when upon the Earth-plane, as soon as we are gone to the Spirit-plane, we are referred to in the past tense! Whatever works of a literary nature we may leave behind us are then of far greater importance than their authors, since to the Earth world we are “dead”. To the Earth, the living voice is gone. And although we are still very much alive - to ourselves as well as to others here - to the Earth people we have become memories, sometimes permanent, more often than not memories that rapidly fade, leaving mere names behind them. We know, moreover, that we are very much more alive than we have ever been before; the majority of Earth people will consider that we could never be more “dead”!
'You will be commanded, then, to provide a deal of identification. That is quite proper in such circumstances, provided it is not carried to extremes, as so often it is. After fulfilling this condition, what next? You will wish to intimate that you are alive and well. If the people with whom you are communicating are no mere dabblers, no doubt will be placed upon your statement. But if you wish to send such news to the world in general through the customary channels, those who believe it is really you who have spoken will be those who already know of, and practise communication with, the Spirit world. For the rest, who will believe it is you? None - certainly none of your former readers. They will say that it cannot be you, but that it is a “devil” impersonating you. Others will quite probably take no notice whatever. There would, of course, be a number who would imagine that, because you have passed into the world of Spirit, then you will at once have become endowed with the profoundest wisdom, and that all you say will be infallible utterances. You can see some of the difficulties that will confront you in this simple matter of telling the truth to those who still sit in the darkness of the Earth world.'
My friend's forecast grieved me considerably, but I appreciated the extreme difficulties, and I was persuaded to leave the project for the time being. We would consult others wiser than ourselves, and perhaps some course would be outlined whereby I could achieve my desires. I might find that with the passage of time - speaking in a mundane sense - my wishes might change. There was no need to distress myself. There was much that I could see and do, and much experience to be gained that would be invaluable to me if, in the end, I resolved to try and carry out my intentions. His best advice was that I should have a thorough rest, during which time he would leave me. If, when I was quite refreshed, I would send out my thought to him, he would receive it and return to me at once. So, making myself 'comfortable' upon a couch, I sank into a delightful state of semi-sleep, in which I was fully conscious of my surroundings, yet at the same time I could feel a down pouring of new energy, which coursed through my whole being. I could feel myself becoming, as it were, lighter, with the last traces of the old Earth conditions being driven away for ever.
How long I remained in this pleasant state, I have no knowledge, but eventually I fell into a gentle slumber from which I awoke in that state of health, which in the Spirit world is perfect. I at once remembered my friend's proposal, and I sent out my thoughts to him. Within the space of a few seconds of Earth time he was walking in through the door. His response was so bewilderingly rapid that my surprise sent him into merry laughter. He explained that in reality it was quite simple. The Spirit world is a world of thought; to think is to act, and thought is instantaneous. If we think ourselves into a certain place we shall travel with the rapidity of that thought, and that is as near instantaneous as it is possible to imagine. I should find that it was the usual mode of locomotion, and that I should soon be able to employ it.
My friend at once noticed a change in me, and he congratulated me upon my regaining my full vigour. It is impossible to convey, even in a small measure, this exquisite feeling of supreme vitality and well-being. When we are living upon the Earth-plane we are constantly being reminded of our physical bodies in a variety of ways - are of the mind, and that the Spirit body is impervious to anything that is destructive. We feel through our minds, not through any physical organs of sense, and our minds are directly responsive to thought. If we should feel coldness in some particular and definite circumstances, we undergo that sensation with our minds, and our Spirit bodies in no way suffer. We are never continuously reminded of them. In the realm of which I am now speaking, all is exactly attuned to its inhabitants - its temperature, its landscape, its many dwellings, the waters of the rivers and streams, and, most important of all, the inhabitants one with another. There is therefore nothing that can possibly create any unhappiness, unpleasantness, or discomfort. We can completely forget our bodies and allow our minds to have free play, and through our minds we can enjoy the thousands of delights that the same minds have helped to build up.
At times we may feel saddened - and at times we are amused - descriptions of the Spirit lands. What do these poor minds know? Nothing! And what would these same minds substitute for the realities of the Spirit world? They do not know. They would take away from us our beautiful countryside, our flowers and trees, our rivers and lakes, our houses, our friends, our work, and our pleasures and recreations. For what? What conception can these dull minds have of a world of Spirit? By their own stupid admissions, no conception whatever. They would turn us into wraiths, without substance, without intelligence, and merely surviving in some dim, shadowy, vaporous state, dissevered from everything that is Human. In my perfect health and abounding vitality, and living among all the beauties of this world of strict reality - a mere hint of which I have only so far given you - I am forcibly impressed by the magnitude of ignorance shown by particular minds upon Earth.
The time had come, I felt, when I would like to see something of this wonderful land, and so, in company with my friend, we set forth on what was, for me, a voyage of discovery. Those of you who have traveled the Earth for the sake of seeing new lands will understand how I felt at the outset.
To obtain a wider view, we walked to some higher ground, whence a clear panorama unfolded before the eyes. Before us the countryside reached out in a seemingly unending prospect. In another direction I could clearly perceive what had all the appearance of a city of stately buildings, for it must be remembered that all people here do not possess a uniformity of tastes, and that even as on Earth, many prefer the city to the country, and vice versa, while again some like both. I was very keenly interested to see what a Spirit city could be like. It seemed easy enough to visualize the country here, but cities seemed so essentially the work of man in a material world. On the other hand, I could advance no logical reason why the Spirit world should not also build cities. My companion was greatly amused by my enthusiasm, which, he declared, was equal to a schoolboy's. It was not his first acquaintance with it, however; most people when they first arrive are taken in the same way! And it affords our friends a never-ending pleasure to show us round...
- Editor's note: You will want to read the entire account of Father Benson's new life in Summerland. He transmitted five books of information via Anthony Borgia. They are available on the internet to read for free.