From the book The Dawn of Another Life
Dictated by visible full-form spirit materializations
through the mediumship of William W. Aber
The Divine Order of Natures Laws
The world has always had its great leaders. In the realm of science, literature and philosophy they stand like heralds on mountain tops proclaiming the dawn of a new day of whose light they catch the first rays.
In the march of human progress there are patriots inspired by spiritual influences by a keen sense of justice and liberty who forge their way to the front and lead the people into higher forms of government.
There are those who delve into the secrets of the universe and find new forces of heat and light; there are those who peer into the skies and discover new planets. And what is true in regard to the realm of nature is true as to the realm of spiritual phenomena. The time ought to be past when one receives his teachings as a child; the time is at hand when you should use your own faculties and investigate for yourselves.
Men in authority as religious leaders, ought to be given to understand that what they give out to the people of the world must tally with facts. People who implicitly believe in religious leaders are robbed of many privileges; they are blinded by prejudices caused by ignorance or misrepresentation and deprive themselves of truth that would illume their minds and give joy to their hearts, you say these things are known, we say that never in the history of the Christian Church has the people given forth such uncertain and conflicting sounds as exist at the present age. The only truly satisfying doctrine that prevails today and has prevailed for ages and ages and that has given scientific and rational proof, is Spiritualism. As a result of our progress we have had intelligent advocates in the centers of civilization for centuries and centuries, and have searched nooks and corners of the world not dreamed of by mortal man.
But the question is sometime raised why such wonderful privileges are granted to us. The time was and is ripe and men were found to answer the purpose.
We have found men and women through whom could be made known the rational truths of Spiritual phenomena for the good of mankind.
What minds more fully trained in all the sciences devoutly disposed, earnestly and sincerely seeking to find souls in their homes that we could impress our presence upon them.
This truth is central to all other truths and without perceiving which the Scriptures cannot be rationally understood.
This is the light of everlasting oneness and we are able to see through the dark recesses of one's soul. These truths enable one to avoid the errors that are involved in the extremes : To Christianity these teachings show that however defective they may seem in the light of science or Christianity or in story, it is nevertheless a perfect vehicle of Truth, because the sense intended is Spiritual and written according to the law of correspondence between natural and spiritual realities.
It is shown, however, that there is no salvation by faith alone; it is grounded in charity and results in shunning all evils as sins and in the faithful performance of one's daily duties, making clear that it is impossible to separate the three constituents of the truly Christian life: Love, Faith and Good Work, without all of which there is no Salvation.
If it is indicated that Evolution is the Divine methods of creation, it is also shown that there is no Evolution without involution; that it always is and has been true that something cannot be created from nothing, that intelligence cannot be evolved out of matter—and that although the order has been to create successively, man has been immortal from the beginning, though the higher capacities were not enjoyed until he become regenerated. It is sufficient to fit man or woman for the higher gradation of Spirit, it is also shown that man or woman is not regenerated instantaneously, but that regeneration is a progressive work involving the constant co-operation of man and the constant operation of all Spiritual knowledge which is the law of all being.
If it is pointed out that man and woman are created, a form of the love of self and the world, it is shown that they are orderly loves from creation if subordinate loves; and it is also made clear that they are created with heavenly, degrees of mind, which can be opened more and more interiorly, thus making it possible for you to be born from above. If the teachings that the death of the material body is according to Divine order, as they would have it, it is also the teaching that if sin had not been introduced into your world, there would have been no disease and untimely deaths; man would have fallen asleep when the body no longer responded to the requests of the soul.
If in these teachings that there is no resurrection of the material body, the fact is made to stand out clearly and prominently that there is a resurrection of man in a Spiritual body, and in which body there is contained all the faculties of a human being the male remaining a male and the female a female.
If it is pointed out there is no Romish purgatory, it is made clear that there is an intermediate realm into which all persons go after the change called death and where the ignorant are instructed and where all are helped that have any real desire to be helped.
The intermediate world is not a place where character is formed, but where what has been involved is evolved, where the concealed is revealed. But if the work of real repentance has been begun in the material world, the work of regeneration and thus of preparation for the heaven they speak of can be continued in the region where the Spirits will come to, all the comers from the earth and minister to such as really desire to overcome the love of self and the world and become heirs of salvation.
The fact is revealed, however, that there is no reincarnation, no coming back again into material life in another body of flesh; it is because you are shown that there is plentiful opportunity in spirit life for the unfoldment of man's and woman's nature.
It is taught that heaven is a state not a place; it is also made clear that those who become receptive of the life of the Kingdom of God have an environment which is a perfect expression of their state of life. It is an evident fact that the Devil is not one great monster; the Devil is within you, don't picture to yourselves that there is a great monster waiting to devour you.
The possibility of communicating with spirits is conceded; it is also declared from experiences what good is evolved by coming into conscious association with those who are in the spirit world. For the purpose of accomplishing certain ends, as in the experience of sure prophets, etc., it is useful, because effectual under the divine law and under the care of Natural Laws and trust according to Order of things, but in some cases it subjects man to great danger because he comes under the influence and control of deceiving spirits who know man's weak qualities and use their subject for selfish ends.
It is therefore a fact set forth that man is in constant association with Spirits as to his interior life it is maintained that the orderly state in which one should live in unconsciousness of the fact, and that you should look to us (Spirits) alone for protection and strength and what is needful for man to know of a future life has been and is being revealed by the spirit world.
But says some one Where are the credentials? Am I to believe without evidence such stupendous claims? The credentials, friends of earth are, in these and the true phenomena woven around them.
The proof of what we say are in the daily fulfillment of matters and things concerned in your daily lives of which things we have prophesied much if the truth will not convince a man nothing will, for miracles close the rational mind while truths open it. We are here giving you thoughts that none but the finest trained minds and the most pious hearts could write. Here are thousands of sentences like polished crystals and the most beautiful cut diamonds, and the light they reflect is the light from the spirit world for they reveal the Secrets of earthly conditions in your world.
These forces are like telescopes; they bring near the things that are far away in the dim distance of by gone ages and make them reveal their secrets. What is above all else noteworthy, you are brought face to face with us.
There can be no faith without freedom. It is not faith to attempt or pretend to believe the things which you are told you must believe. Even to seek to comply is to prove your fear rather than your faith, your apprehension of some dreaded consequence attendant on failure to conform.
To say, I believe, lest a catastrophe attend the honest denial of such belief is to play the liar and the coward.
It is far better to have no faith at all than to weakly submit to a matter of opinion, and it is sufficient not only to one but to many other people; and it is worth arguing with, on its scientific side. If you take a wide view of spirit phenomena, a view in which alone the true analogies of things are to be clearly perceived, you will find that whenever these phenomena have been rightly understood, there has been a continual progress and advance along the development of a higher spiritual life. Science can not, and does not deny the fact that progress and advancement are by far the most constantly represented forms and conditions in life. Were it otherwise, you would not find the universe so varied as it is. This being true of physical things, why not concede that it is true of spiritual things ?
It is held by a few, and a few we are glad to say, that spirit manifestations beyond the point of obtaining satisfactory evidence that man is immortal, are hurtful and should not be encouraged, but we hold that it needs no spirit manifestation to demonstrate the fact that life is continuous, nor that the natural and spiritual worlds are separated only by a mere veil which may be drawn aside almost at will. The leaders and teachers of men in all ages of the world believed and taught that man should live after the death of the body; but aside from these teachings, the belief is imbred in every human being that man does not go into everlasting nothingness when his mortal body ceases to breathe, and he therefore, need no other evidence based upon faith alone than that given by his natural longing after immortality. But what of the knowledge and demonstrated theories which spirits possess? Are they not valuable to you, and should you refuse to be taught by the wise and the ripe in experience, who have gone to the other shore; and offer you the benefit of their experiences and observation? Most certainly not. At best you see through a glass. The doctrine that the universe is in the hands of a Creator so unjust, so cruel as to decree your eternal damnation unless you subscribe to statements you cannot indorse, or blindly to insist on the historic accuracy of incidents which you would discredit in any other relation, is ineffectual and without foundation on truth. The real difficulty in religion for the average man, however, lies not in the credibility of the historic statements of the faith, not in the logic of their syllogism; he is even willing to take many such things for granted; that difficulty lies in seeing any particular value or use in such articles of creed and history he cannot see why their acceptance should be regarded as the most vital thing in life.
At heart every man who lives above the brute is religious—that is he desires to realize in some way those soul and character ideals that grow within him and shine before him.
Man will not be satisfied with a faith that fails or does less than this. He cannot see how the perfunctory acquiescence—on his part with the, formal statements of the creeds would aid to his end. Suppose you throw aside other considerations and accept the Mosaic cosmogony—what light would that throw on the struggle in your soul and the divine? In what way will that help you to altruism? The truth, is that the church faiths are of yesterday, of which true faith is of today and forever. Faith is the hope in embryo of the future ; it is the confidence born in the heart of man that life holds better things, and thereby aids in life onward pressing, the finding of much valuable knowledge. The faith that dwells within you mortals of earth, is that which fills you with calm assurance that there is a goal, that the universe does not mock you, that the hopes and aspirations that burn within are but pulsations of the mighty law of life in creation. The faith that there was one a perfect man is an empty thing unless it becomes the power that pushes you on to nobler perfections; unless the facts of the past become for you the prophecy of the future.
All the history of the soul's direction toward it is a promised country. You must believe the past whenever the past shows the race coming into the fuller present, rising from lower levels.
The statements which men call faiths are commonly but the dead shells that once contained glowing life; they are like photographs of a sunset, the form is there but the glow, the color, the life has gone from it, into the realm of spirit. Each age has its visions, facing the future, looking forward with high hopes and bright dreams it sees the spirit realm then comes the heartogrophers, who care nothing about the spirit realm so long as they make its maps. They draw lines and lay on colors; they describe, prescribe, bound and limit that which their fellows of larger heart and hope have seen as a living glowing spirit. Thus from the visionless minds you get your creeds, or descriptions of yesterday's faith.
We do not believe that this age is less spiritual or more sordid than its predecessors. We know indeed, precisely the reverse. But, however, this may be in the minds of some is it not plain that if Spiritualism is to be moved by the remote speculations of isolated thinkers it can only be on condition that their isolation is not complete? Some point of contact we must have with the world in which you live, and if our influence is to be based on widespread sympathy, the contact must be in a realm where there can be, if not full mutual comprehension, at least a large measure of practical agreement and willing co-operation. Philosophy has never touched the mass of men except through religion. And, though the parallel is not complete, it is safe to say that science will never touch them unaided by its practical applications. Its wonders may be catalogued for purposes of education, they may be illustrated by interesting experiments, by numbers and magnitudes which startle or fatigue the imagination, but they will form no familiar portion of the intellectual furniture of ordinary men unless they be connected, however remotely, with the ordinary conduct of life. Critics have made merry over the spiritual philosophy which represented man as the center and final cause of the universe, and conceived the stupendous mechanism of nature as primarily designed to satisfy his wants and minister to his entertainment.
The material world, howsoever it may have gained in sublimity, has under the touch of science lost in domestic charm. Except where it affects the immediate needs of organic life, it may seem so remote from the concerns of man; that in the majority it will arouse no curiosity, while of these who are fascinated by its morals, not a few will be chilled by its impersonal and indifferent immensity. If in the last hundred years the whole material setting of civilized life has altered, you owe it neither to politicians nor to political institutions. You owe it to the combined efforts of those who have advanced spiritual light and those who have applied it. If our outlook upon the universe has suffered modifications in detail so great and so numerous that they amount collectively to a revolution, it is to men of science you owe it, not to theologians. But science is the great instrument of social change, all the greater because its object is not change but knowledge. And its silent appropriation of this dominant function amid the dim of political and religious strife is the most vital of all the revolutions which have marked the development of modern civilization.
But if it be remembered that this process brings vast sections of every industrial community into admiring relation With the highest intellectual achievement and the most ardent search for truth, that those who live by ministering to the common wants of average humanity lean for support on those who search among the deepest mysteries of nature; that their dependence is rewarded by growing success; that success gives in its turn an incentive to individual effort is nowise to be measured by personal expectation of gain ; that the energies thus aroused may affect the whole character of the community, spreading the beneficent contagion of hope and high endeavor through channels scarcely known to workers in the fields the most remote; if all this be borne in mind, it may perhaps seem not unworthy the place I have assigned to it. Its direct moral effects are less obvious; indeed, there are many most excellent people who would altogether deny their existence.
We have made a prophecy that science would yet become more religious than religion, and it is fulfilling itself. Realize but dimly the wonders of this stupendous cosmos, and the mind is overwhelmed and awed back into dullness in order that you may not yet burst the swaddling bands of your intellectual childhood, and may continue a while longer on your rudimental plane. But many of you are too dull to realize even dimly the miracles which surround you or those you carry about with you. Setting aside the miracle of the inflowing thought, think for a moment of the wonders of the physical organism you call your body. Try to conceive the matter the material of which it is composed. Think of the speculations to which the atom gives rise. You were also told that the atom itself is undergoing a course of evolution, a cycle of change. Starting its career as gross matter it goes through a cycle of transmigration through the mineral vegetable, and animal kingdom.
Animals preying upon animals keep matter grinding as it were in the organic mill, and the organisms get finer and finer in structure, as matter progresses, until they are fine enough to build up the physical structure of man. In man, you are told by the same great Master, it continues its evolution, and form visible, tangible matter certain finer particles are evolved that pass beyond the range of your fine senses, become invisible and intangible, and form the matter of the spiritual body within you, and also the spiritual universe it is to inhabit on leaving the earthly body at so-called death. This masterly conception completely reconciles the claims of Spiritualism. The materialist says there can be no after life, as mind and intelligence need a physical organism in which to function; and that as the body dies the mind dies with it. The conception of an etheric or spiritual body is as much finer than the physical body in structure, as its matter is finer, which leaves the earthly body at death, meets the materialists objection, as the mind is furnished with a more perfect body and more powerful faculties.
From what has been said and written in our previous works it will be seen that even the matter, the material of your body, is a wondrous mind baffling entity besides ,which the old world miracles are simple affairs compared with those of today. When you think of all that is implied in the building up of this matter into your physical form you are equally overwhelmed. To do this work consciously, you should require more knowledge than has been acquired by ages of scientific discovery, and more skill than is possessed by all your artists, engineers, and artificers put together. But you are only on the threshold of our scientific research. The experiences of the Saints, Martyrs and Mystics of all ages are profoundly significant, hinting at close relations with the immanent spirit of Nature than is realized in ordinary consciousness. The belief in magic throughout all time must have rested on some foundation. Beliefs of this sort, however mistaken, may be the interpretation of facts of experiences and are of great significance when rightly read. The belief in a great spiritual presence behind the appearance of things, of spirits endowed with more than human powers behind natural phenomena indicates in our opinion, unrealized and unused powers within yourselves. The experiences of the poets, and prophets are significant, and have been too little regarded as facts or experiences having scientific value.
The one conclusion to be drawn from all this is that you are greater than you realize; have stores of latent knowledge and powers that you are not directly conscious of. You are all heirs apparent to a vast kingdom of knowledge, of potentialities and powers by the right of Divine Order.
Long since you have outgrown the old theologian's god, the mighty man who made the earth with his fingers and guided the stars with his hands, who sitting aloft in the skies, dictated human affairs, awes one omnipotent sovereign, a king lifted to the highest degree. This picture once contented men. But you have outgrown your need of such being as will answer the problem of living in terms of your own lives, This is the search for God, reaching your hands into the dark night of the Infinite and Unknown hoping that you may find there the touch of a hand that can lead you through the shadows and feel the throb of a heart that will assure you of the unfailing goodness and rightness ruling through all. You seek not a King but a Life that answers in the measure of that living to your own.
You can never satisfy the heart of man with the most elaborate schemes of the blind force; the last word of science leaves much unspoken for the soul of man.
Only accept that which can be proven by physical demonstrations and do not let others do your thinking or investigating for you. What may be a proof to you may not be a proof to the other fellow; you are dependent upon the great controlling forces of the universe.
Religious leaders have called for change of heart because it means something vastly deeper and more significant than any emotional wave; it means changing the whole primal spring of the life. They have been trying to redeem the race by forcing men into the ways of virtue, making them walk in the straight paths by the persuasion of high and unscalable fences. They have been trying to secure salvation by legislation and restriction, direction and other mechanical means. They need not get at the spring of action, to change life at its real sources. Friends, does a man having the evil; can you turn him into virtue's paths at the point of a bayonet ? Just as soon as the man with a bayonet goes to sleep, the evil lover will flee to his old way. Friends, he needs that which will give him a love for the good as strong as his present love for the evil. Every man follows his own heart; it will be solved not by changes of administrations, not by fixing this law or that ordinance. Laws and ordinances are effective as they grow out of the wills and ideas of a people. No society can be made right mechanically; the right comes vitally by your hearts being set upon it; by its ideas becoming the passion of your whole being. For man to change his environments and begin life anew, he must be propelled by entirely different motives and seeking aims quite different than those once set before him. Men turn from self seeking to serve their fellows, and things incredible to those who have never experienced it, they find a deep satisfaction and keep joy in the one as in the other.
Spiritualism is recognized even in the various realms of natural science, and has given reverent tone to much of the scientific investigation of today. The physicist is discovering that back of all phenomena, and back of all the laboratory processes—beyond the point of his most extended observation and experimentation—there are mysteries at work, introducing him at once to a realm essentially spiritual. Science is becoming Spiritualized, and Spiritualism, in turn, tends toward the scientific method.
Friends, today, dogmas are losing their hold; ecclesiasticism is permeated more and more with healthy inquiry and liberty of thought; tradition and authority are yielding to the steady onslaught of scientific investigation ; man's pessimism is giving way to hope, and optimistic views of a spiritual existence take the dawn of another life.