From the book The Guiding Star

Writings made by visible full-form spirit materializations
through the mediumship of William W. Aber

Buried alive, when only in a trance
Paul

There came to visibility in the arena, at the typewriting machine, the man spirit that usually does the typewriting, and presently entered into conversation with parties in the cabinet, as to whether the lady could take and write the dictation; and soon it was concluded to allow the lady to make the trial and the man spirit, going into the cabinet, met the lady spirit coming out of the cabinet, and the lady, standing at the typewriter, proceeded to write the dictation at about the rate of 150 words per minute, once in a while asking the dictator, in the cabinet, to utter faster, or repeat, as the case might be; and when done, the said writing was found to be as follows:

I have a strange story to relate and I do not expect that it will be believed by all of its readers; nevertheless it is true, in even the minutest detail. Back of the every-day occurrences of earth life are forces whose power and depth cannot be gauged by mortals.

My spirit name is PAUL, and it must answer for my earth name tonight. I was a minister of the orthodox church upon earth; and although I asserted the fact of man's Immortality, I had nothing to prove my assertions, except traditions of the past, of the hearsay of others. Therefore, I deemed it my duty to search for any clue which could give me the assurance that the doctrines I taught were true and transmute my faith to knowledge.

Students of mesmerism were just beginning their experiments; and after reading carefully all reports that came to my notice, I decided to try a few experiments myself, hoping to find proofs of Immortality. After a number of trials, I found that I could mesmerize myself. Knowing that my family would be prejudiced against anything of this kind, I practiced in secret; and while in an entranced condition I was discovered by a servant; and after a physician had pronounced me dead, I was buried. Oh, the agony I passed through when my spirit returned to my body ! It is beyond description.

My first feelings were of oppression. I found that I was in very close quarters. At first, I did not realize where I was. Then the horrible realization that I had been buried alive completely overcame me, and I lost consciousness. If I had only remained in that state, my sufferings would have been of short duration; but consciousness returned and I fought for my life as long as my strength lasted. At last I stood alone, on a high cliff that overhung a stormy sea. Icy winds seemed to pierce me through and through. This, I thought, is the result of God's anger for daring to attempt to solve the mystery of Immortality.

Then a voice, sweet and calm, replied: Not so; this is the result of breaking the magnetic cord that bound thy spirit to thy earthly body. I looked for the speaker, but no one was in the range of my vision. Then I cried : Lo, I am in hell ! I thought of heaven and all that might have been mine, had I not disobeyed my master. Thought, in the spirit world, is the same as speech in the material world. The unseen one answered : Thou art not in hell. Thou art in that strange condition that follows being buried alive, or murdered. Thou wilt feel oppressed as if by a heavy fog for some time, but thou wilt soon be in brighter conditions. Thus I entered into life in the spirit-world.

I had sought for Immortality, and had found it, but in a different manner from what I expected—as my purpose was to learn the secret of Immortality that I might impart it to others. That thought was uppermost in my mind when I left the body; therefore, my spirit hovered very near the earth plane for a long time. But at last I was released, and now I am striving to do all I can to bring the knowledge—the pursuit of which ended my earthly life, to others.

When modern Spiritualism was able to prove its claims to all who would give it an impartial hearing, I thought all the ministers had found just what they had been striving to find; but imagine my surprise when I heard them denouncing it as the work of Satan. Teachers of Immortality denouncing the proofs of their own assertions !

I wish to instill into the hearts of all church-goers that heaven and hell are only states, or conditions;—and no man can show you the way, your own feet must tread the road, and the lights that shall guide you to the realms of heavenly bliss are truth and purity of heart. Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you, was not spoken of material things, but of things spiritual.

It is only natural that I should protest against the hasty interment of those who are apparently dead. I, who suffered, all the agonies of the tortured damned, while enclosed in the narrow confines of the coffin, say : Be sure,—doubly sure that the spirit has left the body, before consigning it to the grave. The horrors of being buried alive are indescribable. The weight of thousands of tons, seems to be pressing out your life; and your frantic struggles for life avail you nothing.

The only proof that can be relied upon, at all times, is decomposition. Have the people of earth such small time to spare that they cannot wait a sufficient length of time to see whether life is extinct or not? Simple as the process seems, because of daily familiarity, the physiology of sleep is a mystery that scientists have not been able to penetrate. Then why should any physician presume to say that he can determine death? The custom of burying the bodies of your loved ones so soon after death should be abolished. The dead body cannot harm the living; and if life still remains, there may be an opportunity to resuscitate the supposed corpse.