Introduction

Dear Reader, your humble servant here presents you with a somewhat curious, novel yet suggestive and thought-provoking work. So far as mere language is concerned, it might have been sent forth upon its travels up and down the world, clad in better raiment; but as I had nothing better than linsey-woolsey whereof to fashion its apparel, why, it must e'en take its chance in that.

A man's coat amounts to but little at the best, come pared to the man inside it,—and so of books. It is not always your gilt-edged annual that either carries the most precious freight, or does the most good in the world; hence so far as the verbal clothing of my precious babe, this child of my soul is concerned, so far as relates to the terms wherein that here offered is couched, nothing need be said apologetically. If the dress suits, well and good; if not, it is even well;—the writer has done the very best that could be done, no one can do more. In making the assertions, the weird and strange revealments contained within the lids of this book, no one can be better aware of the risk encountered of being laughed at by the wise people of this wise age, than I am. Doubtless there are those who will cavil, deride, sneer at and condemn the author and the work: but what of that? My truths, if truths indeed they be, and to me, they are intensly such, will live. Why? Because they were chipped off the Rock of Truth itself, and therefore will unquestionably survive {5} many a laugh, as have other truths ere now. They and their discoverer can well afford being laughed at. The author feels that when the great Reaper, Death, shall have done his work, these same truth-seeds will spring up into Form, Life, and Beauty:-all for the gladdening of the people:-and this feeling, this inner prophecy of and to the soul, contents and satisfies the being. Friendly reader, when this body shall have gone back to the dust whence it sprung in the hopeful years gone by; when this soul shall be nestling in the bosom of its Saviour and his God, people who then shall read these pages will find, if not before, more in at which the heart-weary one has here written, than either a psychological romance, gr the daring speculations of undisciplined genius.

The foregoing observations have reference more especially to the first part of this work, which is presented in the form of Revelations from the Dead. It does not owe its origin to what is ordinarily known as “Spiritualism”:—it did not, come either by the “Raps,” “Tips,” “Table-turning,” “Speaking mediumship,” “Writing,” or in any other of the modes so commonly claimed for the mass of “Spiritual” literature, now so widely circulated and read. The process by Which what follows came, is to me as weirdly strange and novel, as anything can well be, I call this process The Blending.

The people called “Mediums,” a singular order among men, set forth that their bodies are, for the time being, vacated by their souls, and that during the vacation, the soul of some one else, one who has died, and yet lives, takes possession of the physical structure, and then proceeds to give forth his or her wisdom or folly for the enlightenment or darkening of men's minds. Another class tell us that they are “impressed” by a departed one to give voice to the Spirit's thought; others declare that they are “obsessed.” Well, it may all be so, or it may not. I do not assume or presume to decide one way {6} or the other ::all that need be said on this point is, that this book does not owe its origin to either or any of these methods.

Machiavelli, the great Italian diplomat, is said to have gained a thorough and complete knowledge and insight of the state, frame of mind, and intentions of other men, through a wonderful power which he, above most, if not all men, possessed, of completely identifying himself by an intense desire and volition, with those with whom he came in contact. To such an extent and degree did he possess this power, that it was an easy task to circumvent and overreach most, if not all his diplomatic opponents. He placed himself by a mental effort, and physical as well, in the exact position occupied for the time being by his antagonists, or the person he designed to read.

No matter what the mood indicated by the physical appearance, or the outward manifestation of what was going on within, away down in the deeps of being, was he immediately moulded his features by the model thus furnished. “I am now in his place,” said he, mentally, “and will see how to act, think and feel from his position; and, for the time being, I sink my own personality, my opinions, views,—in short all my self-hood, prejudices, likes, dislikes, and all else beside;-in a word,; transmute Machiavelli into the other man:—which being effected, I shall be, to all intents and purposes, that other man for the time being, and of course will feel as he feels, see as he sees, know as he knows, and be impelled to action by the identical motives whereby he is prompted.

All the world knows that Machiavelli succeeded to a wonderful extent; and by this power of assumption, this easy, yet mysterious blending, he often, in fact, nearly always, baffled his foes, and the foes of the State, so that now a successful diplomatist is said to be pursuing the Machiavellian policy.

Almost any person can make successful experiments {7} in this—Science, shall I call it?-and will be surprised at the results. A man or woman appears before you with features bearing the impress of a certain kind of thought-and you can find out what kind by placing own features, so far as possible, in the same ape; keep them thus for several minutes, and you will become absorbed in the same that absorbs the individual before you, and in a short time will become an adept in the art of Soul-reading.

Many men, and a still greater number of women, who possessed the power alluded to, have existed in all times past; but, above all others, the age we live in has been prolific of such—so that now it is not at all difficult to find those who will enter at will, almost, the very abysses, labyrinths, and most secret recesses of your being. Indeed, persons abound in nearly all the great cities of the world who attain high honor and renown-to say nothing of the benefits of competence, and even wealth—by the exercise of this marvellous faculty.

There are many wise ones who admit the existence of this power, yet deny its attainability by the many, and who stoutly maintain that it is a special gift of the Creator to a favored few. Against such a verdict the writer begs leave most respectfully to protest; and these are the grounds upon which that protest is based:

All human powers and faculties are latent, until time, circumstance, and discipline bring them out. All human beings are created alike in so far forth as the germinal powers are concerned. All men naturally love sweet sounds, and, if this taste be cultivated at an early day, are capable of musical appreciation, if not of vocal or instrumental execution. The seeds of all unfolding lie perdu, or latent, in every human being; they are the property of Soul; in Soul-soil they are imbedded, and from that soil they must eventually put forth the shoot, the shrub, the tree, the branch, leaf, blossom, and finally the fruit. Every faculty, strictly {8} human, belongs to, and is a part of, every member of the species; and that–this fact being admitted, though any given one or more may be manifested most powerfully by some, and not at all by others-all of them are one day to be developed, called out, unfolded, in all, is a plain inference; nay, an absolute certainty. The power to see without eyes, demonstrated by scores and hundreds of clairvoyants, is not a gift peculiar to a certain man or woman, or to a certain order of people. It is a power that can be had for the trying, as any good mesmerist will affirm and prove.

It seems to me that the expression of the Crucified, “I and my Father are one,” contains a direct affirmation of the possibility of this blending. God was to Jesus the very essence of goodness; Jesus strove to be also most thoroughly good, and succeeded in reaching that point where Himself was in perfect blending with the entire universe of Goodness, and therefore with the Fount of all Excellence.

Perfect blending is perfect love; and whether that love be toward the person, the outer self, the body; o toward the soul, or the mental treasures, or the secret self of another, the results are in degree, if not in kind, the same.

Mental telegraphy will be a perfect success, whenever two persons can be found in whom the power of entering the region of Sympathia shall normally exist. A few can transmit thought to, and receive thought back from, others, even now; but presently scores of people will develop the ability.

Now, this blending is not a mere magnetic union of physical spheres, but is a Soul-process nearly altogether.

Love, in its essence, is a thing of the Spiritual part of us, though, alas! it is often put to base uses.

There was once, not many years ago, a woman to whom I felt such a love as that subsisting between affectionate sisters; for it was deeper, purer, calmer {9} than that which binds brothers together. In life, her soul drew near, almost fearfully near, to me; she thought my thoughts, read my spirit, sympatized with me in all my joys, my sorrows, and my aspirations. Often have we sat beside each other—that poor sick girl and I; and though no word broke the stillness of the sacred hour, yet not a region of our souls was there but was explored by the other; not a silent thought that was not mutually understood and replied to. Presently she died—the forms were forever separated, yet not for a day were the mystic soul-links which bound us together severed. No sister was ever more dearly loved than I loved her; and that love was fully and as purely returned. Everybody called her “Sister”—everybody felt that to them she was truly such.

Well, she died; and after a year or two had passed, I began to understand that at times her soul was near me, and many and oft were the periods in which I did not seem to be myself, but had an invincible conviction that I was Cynthia for the time being, instead of who and what I am. By-and-by there came a consciousness of this blending, so deep, so clearly defined, so calm, that at last I began to appreciate a mighty, almost resistless Will and Purpose behind it all; for I was myself and Cynthia-never simultaneously, as is asserted to be the case with many of the people called “Mediums”—but in separate instants—now her, then myself; at first very imperfectly, but gradually approaching an absolute and complete mergement of Soul.

This continued for nearly two years, at intervals, and after about eighteen months had passed, one portion of the process seemed to have reached completeness—for in a degree it changed, and instead of momentary, as before, the transmutations became longer, until at last, as now, the changes last sixty, and in one instance has reached two hundred and forty-five minutes.

It may here be asked: “Where are you in the interim? {10} and the answer is: “We are two in one, yet the stronger rules the hour.”

It will be seen, therefore, that this condition is as widely separated from those incident to the “Mediums,” as theirs is supposed to be different from the ordinary wakeful mood. They reach their state by a sort of retrocession from themselves; they fall, or claim to fall, into a peculiar kind of slumber, their own faculties going, as it were, to sleep. On the contrary, mine is the direct opposite of this, for, instead of a sleep of any sort, there comes an intense wakefulness. Nor is this all in which we differ; as are the processes and states apart, so also are the results different.

The revelations of Spiritual existences, moods, modes, and conditions of being, as given by nearly every “Spiritual Medium” of whom I have ever heard or read, are, to say the least, totally unsatisfactory to the great majority of those who seek for information on the vital question of Immortality—how, and why, and to what great end we are thus gifted and endowed?

Another, and equally important one, is that concerning the Soul-world, and the inhabitants thereof—how they live, where they live, and to what end and use?

I believe that light is, in this volume, thrown on all these great and vital points; such light, indeed, as will be hailed and appreciated by all who read and think, as well as by those who read and feel—two widely different classes, but to both of whom these pages are humbly, yet hopefully addressed.

The process, strange, wierd, and altogether unusual, to which allusion has been made, went on for a long time; and by slow degrees I felt that my own personality was not lost to me, but completely swallowed up, so to speak, in that of a far more potent mentality. A subtlety of thought, perception and understanding became mine at times, altogether greats than I had ever known before; and occasionally, ding these strange blendings of my being with another, I felt that other's {11} feelings, thought that other's thoughts, read that other's past, aspired with that other's aspirations, and talked, spoke, and reasoned with and under that other's inspiration. For a time I attributed these exaltations of Soul to myself alone, and supposed that I was not at all indebted to foreign aid for many of the thoughts to which, at such moments, I frequently gave utterance; but much study of the matter has at length convinced me, not only that the inhabitants of the Soul-worlds have much to do in moulding the great world's future, but that occasionally they so manage things that their thoughts are often spoken, and their behests, ends, and purposes fulfilled by us mortals, when we imagine that we alone are entitled to the sole credit of much that we say, think, and do, when the fact is, we doubtless are oftentimes merely the proxies of others, and act our allotted role in a drama whose origin is entirely super- natural, and the whole direction of which is conducted by personages beyond the veil.1)

Well, one day, it so happened that I repaired to a beautiful village in one of the New England States, on a visit to some very kind and well-beloved friends—the brother and the sister of the rare maiden whose wondrous thoughts abound in the volume now before the reader; and while there, the conversation ran on topics wide apart from either Mesmerism or its great cognate, “Spiritualism.” During the time that had elapsed since my last visit to the beautiful village, some two years, Death had been busily gathering his harvests in all the regions round about; or had he kept aloof from the house on the hill. No! cruel Death had been over its threshold, and Azrael had carried two precious souls over the Dark River. These were Cynthia and her mother.

After partaking of a sorrow-seasoned meal, mournfully {12} fully, and with aching heart and tearful eye, we, the left-behind and myself, took our way toward the ground where lay the sacred form of her we loved so deeply, so fully; and there I wept, and the great salt tears bedewed the sod—for, indeed, my heart, poor, weary, troubled heart, was almost breaking. Soon we returned to the house upon the hill, and I lay me down upon the sofa, near the window—the very sofa whereon her sainted form was wont to recline in the days now, alas! fled, with her, forever and forevermore—that same little sofa whereon she used to sit and converse with us, with her sister Clarinda, the gentle and the good John Hart, and her well-beloved Jonathan, with my humble self, and a few select and sober-minded lovers of the good and true; used to sit and converse upon the mysteries of the Great Beyond, and touching the realities of that other world, to which Disease was remorselessly, and with relentless purpose, fast urging her life-car. * * * And I threw myself upon the sofa; and as I lay there, with closed eyes, I beheld the flitting ghosts of many a dead days with all its troops of glad and bitter memories, when suddenly it seemed that I was no longer myself—for so deep and perfect was the blending, that I had not merely an insurmountable assurance that my body contained, for the time being, two complete souls, but even the very thoughts, modes of expression, and memory of the departed one was mine; and yet this possession did not, for an instant, subvert my own individuality. I was there, and so was she. For the time being, we two were not merely as, but to all intents and purposes, we actually were, one.

Arising from the recumbent position, my body assumed certain singularities of movement peculiar to her before she flew up to her home in the bright empyrean, and these words were spoken: “The experiences and history of a Soul must be written, for the benefit of the people. I, we, intend to write it. A {13} book shall be produced, containing the facts of a living, dying, dead and transfigured human being-containing the reasons why men live after death, and the methods of their after life and being. This book shall contain an account of the experience of two human beings—the one, while temporarily disenthralled; the other, when permanently so-shall contain the experience of Cynthia during her passage from earth to the grave of earthly hope and being, and a history of what befell thereafter.”

These were the spoken words. Once more I resumed my personality, and attended to the affairs of the busy world. In other days the promises were kept, and this first book was written.

Nothing further need be said by way of introduction to what follows, further than to observe that certain Soul-experiences, related in the second part, were mine-the writer's-while the reasonings are not wholly such.

{14}


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1)
That many of them are inhabitants of other spheres, beings who never lived on this earth, I am firmly convinced. My reasons will be given in the sequel to this present volume.