From the book "Neither Dead Nor Sleeping"  May Wright Sewall


THE third lecture is entitled : 'The Vibratory System of Communication Between the Two Planes, viz.: Earth and Ether,' but as this is too long a title, I shall abbreviate it thus COMMUNICATION BY VIBRATION.

"Now, take a new book, write the title and hold yourself quite passive while I dictate an explanation of this marvelous system, which may be compared to the nervous system of the human body, since as the nerves connect every portion of the body, both to its great centers and to its tenant, so the vibratory system connects all parts of the Solar System, of which it is a part, with one another and with their common center, which may be called the Cosmic tenant.

"This lecture you will find newer to your thoughts, more surprising and interesting than the others. Please be quick. Why do I hurry you so? Because we tenants of etheric bodies can not wait near you very well, as we have nothing to hold us down, and, besides, Rubinstein and Pere Conde are almost as anxious to get acquainted with you as you are with them, and it has been decided that neither may speak a word to you until your ability to receive has been tested by one more lecture."

Beginning of Lecture Proper

"Communication between spheres is made possible by the fact that ether, which is common to both the ante- and the post-mortem planes, and which is believed to be common to all spheres within the Solar System, has the quality which enables it to receive and transmit vibrations of all kinds, no matter on what plane or in what source they originate.

"Vibrations depend on threads of connection. These threads are furnished by means of memory on the one side and of hope on the other, so long as memory and hope continue to affect both the spirits who have departed from earth and those that remain on it. By these sentiments souls that are physically separated by death are brought together.

"Memory and hope, and all other sentiments, passions and emotions have each a material covering so very delicate that it is invisible and intangible to those still embodied in flesh. One of the first pleasant discoveries made by the departed human (who may be called soul, spirit, mind, ego, as you will) is that, although the flesh body was left on earth, he is not without a body, i. e., a covering for all his faculties and functions—i e., for himself. One of the qualities of this covering of the sentiments is that, when active, it is projected in the direction of the object of its desire.

"People who are reciprocally sympathetic, congenial as we say, are bound together by the sentiments we have mentioned. Those who love think of each other after death has separated them physically. Their thoughts, clothed in a substance as real as granite, but so delicate that a cobweb is gross by comparison, send this substance out like feelers. Such sentiments on the part of each act as magnets to the corresponding sentiments of the other; and being projected in the ether (which is the only atmosphere of the post-mortem state and also the intercellular matter and the envelope of the earth's atmosphere), and being reciprocally attractive, they find each other. A junction of this fine matter which constitutes the clothing of the affections and sentiments follows; and when this junction is effected the soul in the post-mortem sphere will know that such junction has taken place, and the joy which in consequence of this consciousness will agitate his whole being, will cause a vibration of this thread of connection which often results in a semi-consciousness and sometimes in entire consciousness on the part of the spirit still flesh embodied. Then the still flesh embodied person will often say, 'I feel as if were here.' 'I am conscious of his presence,' and he will sometimes add, 'I really could almost believe I felt his touch.'

"Who that has lost any dearly beloved friend has not had this experience?

"The mother feels as if the lost child were really once more pillowed on her bosom. The wife feels almost certain that her husband is present, trying to advise, aid and protect her. The simple fact is that the nominally dead and supposedly absent friend really is present.

"Sometimes, probably often, perhaps usually, when people die they do depart from their accustomed places; but when they do so, it is not death that compels or causes their departure. Death makes the occasion for them to depart if there is no permanent tie between them and those from whom death physically separates them.

"In cases where the death of the flesh body has not been seized upon as an opportunity to escape from uncongenial relationship, the soul, finding that it can reach its mourning loved ones by these threadlike garments of its emotions, which possess the curious qualities of expansion and contraction and of extension and withdrawal, works arduously, through these qualities, to awaken consciousness in those whom his death has bereaved.

"Love is the most vital, i.e., the most powerful of all the emotions, but it is not the only one that seeks to reach those still left on earth. Revenge, envy, hatred and all the evil passions have also this attenuated garment of finer matter, and souls that feel these passions are goaded by them into activity. They all seek their victims with the same result of effecting a juncture through the emotion, whatever it may be, that binds two souls together.

"Each of these fine threads of connection may be charged with the whole force of the soul experiencing it; hence the strength and consequent length of any vibration will be determined by the strength of the soul producing it.

"These vibrations are sometimes so delicate that their only expression, i. e., their only communicated appreciable influence, is a slightly reduced temperature that may be likened to the passing of the lightest of cool soft breezes over the face or hands. Again the breeze expressing the presence may be so strong, definite and pronounced that it would not be unlike an electric shock.

"The vibratory theory of the emotional connection of the two planes of being, here expounded, is comparable with and related to the vibratory theory of light, heat, motion and other qualities which either belong to physical matter or are expressed through it.

"Ether, almost infinitely more delicate than the earth's atmosphere, is of course proportionally more sensitive and more fluid.

"As a word uttered, even in a whisper, causes the atmosphere to vibrate and through this vibration carries the word to the ear, so a thought affects ether, causes a vibration in the etheric realm and is conveyed to the ear of the listener by a series of etheric waves which are set in motion by this vibration.

"There are many degrees of acuteness in the senses of hearing and seeing on the earth, or what we may here for convenience call the Atmospheric Plane, and whatever degree of acuteness one may seem naturally to possess may be cultivated or diminished according to its use.

"We know that much of nominal deafness is inattention arising from indifference; and we also know that a veritable impairment of the hearing may be retarded, reduced and almost defied by an alert attention and by that determined will to hear as much as possible which results in the habitual listening attitude.

"If the bereaved person who suddenly feels as if the departed loved one were present, instead of denying the possibility of such a manifestation, would assume the listening attitude, the receptive condition, whatever degree of sensitiveness to etheric conditions he may possess, would be augmented, and, moreover, such thoughts, desires, anticipations would continue the vibrations originating in the etheric realm; cause new vibrations responding to the former like an echo; and consequently would create gradually through the use of these vibrations a pathway for the planned, intentional interchange of thoughts, feelings, etc., between the Etheric and the Atmospheric Planes.

"This is so simple that it will be rejected by 'the wise in their own conceit,' but the really simpleminded wise will consider and test; they will apply the scientific method, for this is a matter entirely within the realm of science, not affecting religion at all, except as all increased knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and all new perception of the significance of the phrase that 'man is fearfully and wonderfully made' may naturally increase reverence and awe for the Power thus revealed through works, which man knows are not his works.

"This is not a question of faith in any other sense than planting a seed, manning a ship, firing an engine, etc., etc., is a question of faith. As has often been remarked, faith is the basis of all human relations and is at the bottom of all human operations. Thus faith in the universal operation of law—faith, that the same causes, under like conditions, will be followed by the same effects, which indeed may be called scientific faith—bases both inductive and deductive reasoning.

"If one can imagine the very first farmer, one who had seen neither' seed-time nor harvest, or rather one who, born at harvest, knew nothing of seed-time, one will see that it would require as much faith to see the oak tree in the acorn, the loaf of bread in the grass-like blade of wheat as it requires to realize communication between the post-mortem and ante-mortem planes of life by one who has never experienced it. However, this illustration is used to justify the assertion that this is a matter to be investigated by the scientific method.

"Science observes phenomena, discerns conditions and circumstances, classifies facts, draws inferences, and finally states a theory. The theory that bears the test of application finally comes to be regarded as a law.

"This is what is demanded by the theory of the vibratory connection of the two worlds. Shall it be found to bear the test of experience, it will have no effect on Methodism, Presbyterianism or any other form of religious belief. Science can and will prove one of the fundamental principles of Christianity, viz.: Immortality, which depends on the existence of soul, of mind (the intelligent tenant, under whatever name one pleases to indicate it) apart from matter as those still on earth know matter-i. e., apart from the flesh tenement.

"This method of communication has been known to great psychics of different lands for several centuries; but nowadays progress is tested by the distribution of its benefits rather than by distinct additions to them; and the time is at hand when this communication between the ante- and the postmortem states will be the privilege of all, and it will become as general as communication by the use of written and printed symbols now is.

"You say that it will be quite impossible for any but that small section of the cultured who are given to reflection either to understand or to acquire the use of this method.

"In reply, I will ask : How many people who use the telephone and the telegraph really understand the nature of electricity, the construction of the machines employed or the principles involved in their use?

"This general ignorance of substance and of modus operandi does not interfere with the use of those means of communication between people at different points of space on earth, nor will the general ignorance of psychology prevent people from receiving the benefits of this system of communication between people in different states and conditions of being.

"As there must be some who understand to some degree the nature of electricity, in order that they may manipulate telegraphic and telephonic instruments—so there must be some who to some degree understand the nature of ether and the qualities of etheric magnetism, in order that there may be intelligent mediums for communicating between the two sections of human life--for one who has died is just as human as one who is to die; I may say he is just as mortal—since neither is in himself mortal at all.

"Magnetism is the essence or substance next to electricity, when one regards their relative degrees of subtlety—and beyond magnetism, above it in subtlety, is thought.

"Thought is ultimately as independent of magnetism as electricity already is of wires. Now etheric magnetism is the wire on which thought travels between flesh-encased and unfleshed souls. This proves that this, .i e., etheric magnetism, is not properly identified with animal magnetism. A prejudice against magnetism exists in the minds of many who associate its generation with unpleasant personalities.

"That prejudice is akin to the feeling against the above-ground wires which in all large cities are so unsightly, inconvenient and even dangerous. The parallel may go further for the corpulent gross physiques which are regarded as the generators of physical magnetism are unsightly, disagreeable and inconvenient and their magnetic product is dangerous.

"What is etheric magnetism? It is the principle of vitality in that finer atmosphere which not only surrounds the earth planet and its atmosphere, but surrounds every individual like an envelope, isolating each in some degree from all the rest. We have the phrases, 'So and so has a pleasant atmosphere,' 'an agreeable atmosphere,' 'an harmonious atmosphere.' This is a literal statement of fact, just as real, just as provable as any other physical fact that can be stated about a person. Reduced to the scientific form, the assertion that you like or dislike a person means that you are affected agreeably or disagreeably by the magnetism that he generates, which is the expression of his personality.

"The envelope of the individual which is the extension beyond the physical form, (i. e., beyond the flesh encasement of the soul) is the ether which interpenetrates all the tissue of the flesh body, having the same form that the flesh has. This survives death, and is the body with which the mind, the entity, finds itself clothed after death. The element which is the life and power of ether is etheric magnetism.

"This element will be used Continually by Pere Conde, Rubinstein and myself as we minister to you, instruct and guide you. In all our work we shall be consciously demonstrating not only the vibratory theory which this lecture expounds, but also all of the principles of Psychic Law given in the first two lectures."

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