from William Pelley's Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive

THE SKEPTIC with orthodox reflexes, who never has witnessed such phenomena, is puzzled or caustic because he does not know what happens. How in the name of sound sense can persons who have vacated mortal vehicles—and these vehicles been interred in cemeteries—possibly “come back” in organic equipment and give every evidence of being alive in former aspects of personality? Likewise, if this sort of thing is actual, why haven’t more people heard about it? The first is easier to answer than to second.

As you will have minutely delineated to you if you read more of the Soulcraft books treating with such paraphysics, the self-conscious soul of a human being—one hundred percent of human beings—is an indestructible and imperishable entity. Mortal life is a series of adventures in going into a physical body, using it for worldly purposes a given number of years, and “dying” out of it. But always it is the body that dies, not the soul-spirit. The soul of man is said in the Higher Realms to be a spermatozoic emanation of God Himself, thus accounting for sentient life in each and every instance. As I’ll relate to you in my next chapter, I have reason to believe that it was Mary Baker Eddy, beloved founder of the Christian Science Church, who made that clear to me that this indestructible and imperishable soul comes back again and again in many bodies over vast numbers of years, in different lands and civilizations, until it perfects its moral attributes so that nothing is ever to be gained further by coming back. Thereat it goes on about its higher cosmic business.

However, this happens—

The “thinking” of the soul-spirit is done in the intellectual mechanism of what is called the Light-Body, or the Pattern Body. This is the vehicle, operating at a higher frequency of atomic vibration that keeps the atoms and molecules of the physical body in one consistent pattern throughout the earthly sojourn. Remember, the molecules of every person’s physical body are completely renewed every seven years, but renewal or no; they always conform to the given design that keeps the physical organism recognizable from decade to decade. When the life-course is run, the business of “dying” is merely the process of this Pattern Body pulling out of the gross atomic body, and beginning to view life in its higher frequencies of Matter.

Consciousness, I repeat, is carried in the mental equipment of this Light Body, or Design-Body, else none of us would ever remember what had happened to us on earth, after we got to “heaven” … Very good then … This business of “spirit return”, giving it to something that will make the Light-Body or Design-Body tangible again in consistencies of Matter peculiar to this physical or material plane on which we are now living. So-called “Mediums”—like Bertie Lilly Candler or Mary Beattie or a hundred others—are women born with an excessive amount of phosphorus and albumin in their physical systems which under the stresses of trance they can release and provide for the use of others. Such phosphorus and albumin in combination is known by the technical name of Ectoplasm. They release prodigious amounts of it out of the orifices of their physical bodies and it becomes available for persons who have entered onto the higher frequencies of substance-in-Matter to use to infiltrate their Light-Bodies or Design-Bodies and make them appreciable again to the frequencies of this earth-plane. There is little that is necromantic about it—certainly nothing diabolical, unless we want to call all chemistry diabolical. Calling anything one doesn’t understand “deviltry” is, of course, nothing but the ruse of illiterates. What these “spirit” people truly do is “coat” themselves with a material substance provided from the medium, and when the coating is successfully consummated we say that a given “dead” person “materializes’.

THEY are emphatically not dead a person, of course, because there has never been any death. There is only metamorphosis from one rate of atomic vibration to a higher rate of atomic vibration. Higher rates of atomic vibration can be aware of lower rates but rarely the reverse. In other words, people on the more tenuous octaves of reality can be consciously aware of what is transpiring on the grosser and lower rates, but when they manifest it, usually the earth-people have an attack of heebie-jeebies at the “supernatural”… is there anything particularly supernatural about your turning your radio to get an orchestra in Cincinnati on a “low frequency rate” but a statesman talking in Europe on a short-wave frequency? The analogy is pat.

WE ARE finding now, in this age of radio and nuclear fission, that we have hoodwinked ourselves by saying that “if you can’t measure it, it has no existence”. There are all sorts and degrees of atomic vibration that you can’t measure, and yet one may not be aware of the other, in that both can operate in the same spatial area without their phenomena conflicting. That is what these materialized persons do. They operate in several spatial areas without their phenomena conflicting. They have never perished or gone off to the biblical heaven or hell when their bodies succumbed. They have simply pulled their soul-consciousness out of their defunct organic vehicles and operated on a higher velocity of atomic matter. When we ask them to present themselves to us in the séance room, we provide them with access to a coating or covering for their higher light-body atoms that make them recognizable to this earthly plane. Their Light-Bodies or Pattern Bodies are just as real to them as our physical bodies are to us. By coating them with ectoplasm they become real to us also. But the people inside them are exactly the same individuals that they were when their vehicles weighed 150 pounds on this plane, had to eat three meals a day to “keep their strength up” and get six to eight hours sleep o’ nights or find their nerves misbehaving.

It is a long and somewhat involved technical study, and I am giving it to you in a nutshell as I can, so that you may understand that there is little or no hocus-pocus in one of these séances when honestly conducted by an honest and competent medium. If you want more technical information about it, get the Soulcraft books Star Guest or Beyond Grandeur.

Actually it is the mass ignorance of hoi polloi that creates the phenomenon we call “grief” in this world. Truly informed people never grieve. Principally they lack anything to grieve about. Grief is a sign of ignorance—always remember that. If you know what is transpiring, you find nothing to feel sorry over or lament. I am giving it to you as I have had it expounded minutely unto me. However, this proposition about so few knowing about what goes on, is another story…

IN THE first place, it stands without argument that there are not enough bona fide and competent mediums to go around. In the second place, traditional religion—constructed mostly on allegorical theory—has built up a great superstructure of theological conjecture about the Afterlife, and protected itself by announcing that anybody who challenges or disproves it is in league with the Devil. Naturally the illiterate communicant doesn’t care to become classified as in league with the Devil, so whenever the phenomena of psychical research manifests itself, the orthodox communicant runs a mile. It is all very tragic; all very silly and childish and immature.

An age of Science is undoubtedly slated to put the blitz on the whole of it, but not for a little time yet. Science must pave the way to make spiritual emancipation creditable. It jolts some people to be told that if the optic ensemble of the human eye could accommodate a light wave one ten-thousandth of an inch longer than it does commonly at present, the whole aspect of the material world would alter. We would see scores of items and conditions that we do not see at present, whereas another score of items and conditions would become electrically invisible to us. Of course, becoming electrically invisible we would doubtless declare they had ceased to exist. I am told on reliable scientific authority that if the common human eye could accommodate rays of ultra-violet length, the race would suddenly become aware of the complete non-occurrence of death.

We should see the Light Bodies of those who have made the metamorphosis ahead of us, realizing they are often moving closely about us. It is their invisibility, owing to the enhanced rate of vibration at which they are moving atomically in their vehicle-composition, which makes us regard them as “gone”. Their entire world of material reality is similarly composed of a vibratory frequency swifter than ours. So it is intangible to us. Not sensing it commonly, we contend it is ethereal. But we are constantly getting indications that it has a reality equal to our world of slower atomic frequencies, that we are visible to those inhabiting it although they are not visible under ordinary conditions to us. Conversely, they tell us that there are octaves of reality above theirs that are quite as uncomprehendible to them as theirs is uncomprehendible to us.

References to discoveries of Science should not overlook the possibility that a gaseous chemical now being experimented with, may crack the enigma of death for the lay rank-and-file, making all the “invisibles” in a room where such chemical is released, opaque to mortal sight. It is a sort of synthetic ectoplasm, I am told. But try to envision what such a chemical discovery would mean to orthodox theological concepts of the afterlife. When the “dead” can be located visibly by means of a peculiar gas released in a room or house, what of the exaggerated allegorical concepts of the departed dwelling in some far-off celestial locality populated by the angels and cherubim, or—without facetiousness—“asleep in Jesus”? Still another school of scientific thought is considering the possibility that the ultra-violet vibratory rates of the “dead” may be slowed down to the rates of our mundane world by the same variety of resonating magnetic force that is said to materialize and propel today’s Flying Saucers.

YOU note that this narrative is singularly clear of stories of phenomenal attributes distinguishing others. I have tried to make it the accounting of what I myself have had attested through the medium of my own senses. But during the twenty-six years of affairs which it covers, I most certainly have encountered plenty of persons whose abnormal eyesight permitted them to see into realms of the ultra-violet. Those twenty-six years have been replete with the presences in my affairs of individuals able to discern at a glance, and describe most minutely, the Light Bodies or Pattern-Bodies of presences not discernible to me or the man in the street.

In particular do I recall a naval commander in Norfolk, Va. who attended a week of lectures I gave there—a man of Scottish birth gifted with Second Sight—who described again and again personages who were visible to him as being on the platform with me during my delivered remarks. And those descriptions were so distinctive that I could identify the personalities thus invisible to my normal human vision. However, to get back to what we term the phenomena of the materializing séance-room. These graduated people in the swifter velocities of Time and Space gather into the apartment where a materializing séances seems to be imminent, and when the ruby illumination has supplanted the yellow actinic rays of light, stepped their more tenuous personal selves into the exuded ectoplasm derived from the medium’s physical self. Forming themselves in the low-rate earthy pattern again by the direction of their Thought Powers, they walk out to us in their previous aspects of earthly reality, speak to us in voices that we recognize, and reminisce with us on activities together when they were constituted as our present selves.

The layman thinks of the process as Spiritualism. It is only Spiritualism as we identify the necromantic activity by the religious cult of that name that openly accredits such phenomena in the religious manner. Those of us who have approached such wonders along the secular route, as I myself have done as described in these pages, no more consider the supernatural aspects of it as Spiritualism than the Spiritualists consider the super-natural aspects of radio, radar, or television as Spiritualism. What the Spiritualists seem to do truly in practice, is furnish opportunity for hoi poloi to form contact through mediumistic professionals with relatives who have moved their habitat into the higher atomic frequencies, and their “religious” services take on the pattern of Questions-and-Answers intercourse with those on the next immediate octaves of consciousness. Is grandma suffering any more in her higher vibration, in result of the malady that carried her off? Should Uncle John sell the house lot on the corner of Main and Third Street or hold it for a higher price in the autumn? Is the young man who has started to “go” with Betsy Jane serious in his attentions? Fancy making a religious ritual of such personal trivial. And yet the Spiritualists have come closer to Truth in appreciating the literalities of the post-mortem state than any other sect distinguishing the modern religious scene.

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