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Friday, 2 December 2016

The Change from Mortal Life to Immortality II

I [Arthur Wellesley] am now commanded to declare as a guide to the people of the earth, that though the dread of a futurity in mortal life is dreadful to apprehend, its terrors are doubly so in immortality, for it is always fleeting before the mind, and terrible is the sensation experienced by the terrific nature of the thoughts upon the future state. But after the interment of my body, I hovered around the ancient monster pile of worldly vanity months, at intervals flying with the swiftness of the wind to the most distant parts I had visited in life, hurrying from place to place with the velocity of lightning, viewing with horror and dismay the devastation I had witnessed while on earth—depopulated lands, homes, hearts, parents, and children—forced themselves upon my gaze, taunting me with the wrongs I had done them, and heaping upon me, with distorting features and gestures the injuries they had received from me. These were present at all times to my view. Again I visited my stately worldly residence; familiar friends were revealed to my view without the power of being able to manifest myself unto them by word or deed. The homes of old friends I visited in like manner, with the same results, and again and again to the last resting-place of my body. In this condition, I continued exposed to, and experiencing every specie of, what the world calls remorse of conscience with a few gleams at intervals of imperfect happiness, but still the dread of the future is always present to the mind. Finding my sufferings increased, I feared each successive moment’s revelation. Passing around the whole expanse of earth and sea, without permission to hold commune or to reveal myself to any other spirit, but compelled to remain and endure the taunts and reproaches of those who are living in various parts of the earth. So pointed were their assertions, as though aware of my presence, and they upbraided me for sufferings which they knew I had power to prevent. From this state I again found myself enveloped in the most loathsome darkness, where I listened with horror and dismay at the terrible and tumultuous discordant sounds, the yells of which shocked me beyond description. The darkness gradually cleared, and displayed unto me the most inconceivable and indescribable horror and confusion; thousands of persons flying with the greatest rapidity in every direction—screaming, howling, taunting, and pointing at each other—every one being accused, and every one accusing. The tyrants and oppressors, the murderer, the murdered, the falseswearer, the hypocrite, and every specie of wordly vice appeared to reign pre-eminent over the other—each one suffering the most acute anguish from those whom they compelled to suffer whilst on earth, and who had departed before and after them. To my horror, I then discovered my exact position and familiar faces of all classes and grades who had suffered at my merciless hands and under my iron rule. I was then torn through the groups of wretched beings whose whole occupation appeared to be inflicting misery and torment on each other. Alas, I found myself the object of revengeful taunts and buffeted with the execrations and reproaches of hundreds who were known and unknown to myself in this and other nations. But few there were on whom I had power to retaliate, and thus the sufferings of all appear to vie in magnitude with each other; therefore, all is indescribable misery, and all are driven through the atmospheric region, as it were, with fury, but are at times allowed to visit the scenes of their mortal existence, and are permitted, in some instances, to reveal themselves to the friends left on earth, and empowered to impart warnings, but, in this state, there are none permitted to know the exact period of their continuation, but in all cases it exceeds double the period of their material existence. Therefore, take warning; he who lives without injuring his fellow man by thought, word, or deed, will experience but little of what I have been commanded to describe, but he whose life is spent in oppressing and depriving his fellow creatures of their worldly comforts, and withholds from them that forgiveness which all flesh needs, and he whose hypocrisy hides from the world the deadly rancour of selfish worldly interest to the detriment of his fellow creatures in any way, will suffer in accordance with his deeds, in a manner which no spirit has power to describe and which human imagination cannot comprehend or conceive, and this suffering shall arise from the reproaches of those whom he has injured in mortal life. This is to the extent of the description I have power to give, but be assured that my condition is yet horrible, with the terrible dread of the future before me—for no spirit can reveal anything beyond its sphere. Therefore, make these assertions known, that mankind may forbear oppressing one another, and thus avoid participating in the horrible sufferings I have faintly described. My mission to the earth is complete, farewell to all.

First Sitting, 16 March 1856—A Message from the World of Spirits, J. G. H. Brown,  Holyoake & Co. London, 1807