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The Dichotomy of BeingKen Ramey Salem-News.com
A clergyman who participated in a séance and witnessed its phenomena said, ‘Death is a different thing to me now from what it ever has been; I am a changed man.’
(PASO ROBLES, Calif.) - The spiritual event is more truthful than what religion offers disciples as fact, for instance the absurd inferences of diabolism from which false horrors of the witchcraft mania arose.
Inclinations and passions strongly excited in favor of Catholicism that increases religious fervor may give the appearances of seeing the Virgin, and even Jesus, in a tea cup or foodstuff, etc., but they exist in the eye of the beholder as an objective reality [by inference] which every intelligent spiritualist would repudiate as in the highest degree improbable.
It is said that Mediumistic power is more frequent and energetic in mountainous country inhabited by less civilized races, and that the pure, dry air of California led to more startling manifestations than in any other part of the United States. [Are we talking Indians, Mexicans or Anglos? - I suspect Oregonians will appreciate this bit of fluff].
A clergyman who participated in a séance and witnessed its phenomena said, ‘Death is a different thing to me now from what it ever has been; I am a changed man.’ Spiritualism substitutes a definite, real, and practical conviction for a vague, theoretical, and unsatisfying faith in Christianity. Whereas Religion paints the picture of an afterlife, the wisest and most advanced thinkers hold, that no knowledge of an afterlife is attainable through faith alone. Spiritualism proves its case by contact.
Moral Teachings of Spiritualism
1. Man is a duality consisting of spirit [mind] and body.
2. Death is the separation of this duality, but effects no change in the mind, morally or intellectually.
3. Progressive evolution of the intellect and moral nature is the destiny of individuals; the knowledge, attainments, and experience on earth are the life forming basis of advancement in spirit afterlife.
4. Spirits are attracted to those they love or sympathize with, and may strive to influence them by mental impression; but, communications must be judged and tested just as we do our fellow men.
The essential teaching of Spiritualism is, that all of us, in every act and thought are helping to build up a “mental fabric” which will be and constitute ourselves more completely after the death of the body than it does now. Just as this fabric is well or ill built on earth, so will our [spirit] progress, and happiness be aided or retarded.
Just in proportion as we have developed our higher intellectual and moral nature, or starved it by disuse and undue prominence to those faculties which secure us mere physical or selfish enjoyment, shall we be well, or ill fitted, for the new life on which we enter.
Man is best educated by being allowed to suffer the natural consequences of his actions. There will be no religious reward or punishments; but every one will suffer the natural and inevitable consequences of either a well or ill spent life on earth.
Spiritualists dread to give way to passion or to falsehood, to selfishness or to a life of luxurious physical enjoyment because they know that the natural and inevitable consequences of such habits are future misery in a state of being where mental emotions cannot be laid aside or forgotten, and where our degree of happiness or misery is entirely dependent on the “mental fabric” we construct by our daily thoughts, words, and actions on earth. [Is “paradise” of eager virgins, then, just a ploy?].
Contrast this system with the arbitrary system of rewards and punishments dependent on stated acts and beliefs as set forth by all dogmatic religions, and who can fail to see that the former is in harmony with the order of nature, and the latter opposed to it.
The Roman Catholic “spirit,” for example, does not describe himself as being in the orthodox purgatory, heaven, or hell; the Evangelist “Dissenter” who died in the firm conviction he should certainly “go to Jesus” never describes himself as being with Christ, or as ever having seen Him; and so on throughout. Spirits have no more direct knowledge of those subjects than they had while on earth.
And spiritualists know that absolute dependence is not to be placed on individual communications. Yet converts may implicitly trust them and apply them universally, as if the vast spiritual world was molded to one pattern instead of being, as it almost certainly is, a thousand times more varied than human society is on earth, or ever has been.
Spiritualism abolishes the terms “supernatural” and “miracle,” and in doing so explains whatever is true in the so-called miracles of all ages. It alone is able to harmonize conflicting creeds, and lead to concord among mankind in the matter of religion, which has for so many ages been the source of unceasing discord and incalculable evil.
Spiritualism can do this because it appeals to evidence instead of faith, and substitutes facts for opinion; and can demonstrate the source of much of the teaching that men have often and for so long held to be divine.
Those who can form no higher conception of Spiritualism than as a means to detect crime or learn in advance the winner of the Derby, exhibit a partial mental paralysis which renders many unable seriously to conceive the possibility of a natural continuation of human life after the death of the body. But, Spiritualism is no mere curiosity, and should enlist sympathies alike of moralists, philosophers and politicians, and all who have at heart the improvement of society and the permanent elevation of human nature.
The cardinal maxim of Spiritualism is that everyone must find truth for himself. It rejects any claim based on hearsay, but expects that evidence not be rejected without patient, honest, and fearless inquiry.
Persons sensitive to the thoughts or will power of others, and are able to reproduce mental images conveyed to them by spirits - externalize those thoughts either in the waking state or as unusually vivid dreams. Some spirits produce visual, and/or audible hallucinations, and in some cases both at the same time.
A characteristic feature of these dreams, or other feature calculated to cause a lasting impression, is that they often occur just before news of the death reaches the percipient, an event that lends itself to a lasting conviction of spiritual existence.” [Ref: my dream two nights before my brother died].
[Search - Society for Psychical Research - on the web for general information, and to appreciate the intelligence of its past presidents. Its records describe an event in the life of a man living in Missouri in the1800s that mirrors what I wrote about, and describe in my article - Eternal Life - for salem-news.com. [Ken].
His sister, who had been dead nine years, appeared close to him at noontime perfectly lifelike, and he called her by name. He saw every detail of her dress and noticed she had a scratch on the right side of her face. When he told his parents, his father ridiculed him, but when he mentioned the scratch, his mother nearly fainted, and told them she herself had accidentally made the scratch after her daughter’s death, but had hidden it with powder; no living person but she knew about it. The mother died a few weeks later happy in the belief that she would rejoin her daughter - though mourned as dead - alive in a better world.” [The event may have been the precursor to the death].
[I believe there really is such a thing as a spirit world of persons who have died. When my brother sat on my cousin’s bed in Minnesota - he was in Oakland, CA - and said, “yes, Joyce, there really is a God,“ I believed, but not in the Christian sense].
I can’t imagine a rational man influenced by the probability of spiritual-life getting out of it practical results, anymore than I can imagine an earnest inquirer after religious truth being influenced in his acceptance of Christianity by the probability of its priests/ministers [or witches, for that matter] being able to affect the weather by prayer or satanic-magic.
On the other hand, it seems natural that many spirits, distressed at the disbelief or misconception that so widely prevail, should use whatever power they possess to convince us of our error.” [end of quotes].
Except for the purposeful design that religions impose upon their followers by pretending to be what is not [the Supreme Ayatollah in Iran being the latest falsely to claim infallibility, with power over life and death to satisfy his own ends] and the description supposedly of “paradise,” and promises made, the act of dying and entering a spiritual afterlife, even if it is wrong, are at least similar.
It is what happens next that is the dichotomy for all of which I speak, but to each according to what came before.
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