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June 23, 2005

The Blue Island by Pardoe Woodman, Estelle Stead

When in April 1912 the Titanic sank in mid-ocean and my father passed on to the next world, I was on tour with my own Shakespearean Company. Amongst the members of that Company was a young man named Pardoe Woodman, who on the very Sunday of the disaster foretold it as we sat talking after tea.

He did not name the boat or my father, but he got so much that pointed to disaster at sea and the passing on of an elderly man intimately connected with me, that when the sad news came through we realized he must have been closely in touch with what was about to happen.


I mention this incident because it formed the first link between my father and Mr. Woodman, and as it is largely due to Mr. Woodman's psychic powers that my father has been able to get through the messages which are contained in this book, I think, therefore, it will be of interest to readers and should be put on record.


A fortnight after the disaster I saw my father's face and heard his voice just as distinctly as I heard I it when he bade me goodbye before embarking on the "Titanic.” This was at a sitting with Etta Wriedt, the well-known American direct voice medium.


At this sitting, I talked with my father for over twenty minutes. This may seem an amazing assertion to many, but it is a fact vouched for by all those who were present at the sitting. I put it on record at the time in an article published in Nash's Magazine, which included the signed testimonies of all those present.


From that day to this I have been in constant touch with my father. I have had many talks with him and communications from him containing very definite proof of his continued presence amongst us. I can truly say that the link between us is even stronger today than in 1912, when he threw off his physical body and passed on the to spirit world. There has never been a feeling of parting, although at first the absence of his physical presence was naturally a source of very great sadness.

How I Know That The Dead Return by William T. Stead

A Spirit's Explanation
I then proposed that I should try for more messages. My friend sat at one end of a long table, I sat at the other. After my hand had written answers to various questions, I asked Julia, as another test of her identity, if she could use my hand to call to her friend's memory some incident in their mutual lives of which I knew nothing. No sooner said than done. My hand wrote: "Ask her if she can remember when we were going home together when she fell and hurt her spine." "That fills the bill," I remarked, as I read out the message, "for I never knew that you had met with such an accident." Looking across the table, I saw that my friend was utterly bewildered. "But, Julia," she objected, "I never hurt my spine in my life." "There," said I, addressing my hand reproachfully, "a nice mess you have made of it! I only asked you for one out of the thousand little incidents you both must have been through together, and you have gone and written what never happened." Imperturbably my hand wrote, "I am quite right; she has forgotten." Anybody can say that," I retorted; "can you bring it back to her memory?" "Yes," was the reply. "Go head," I answered; "when was it?" Answer: "Seven years ago." "Where was it?" "At Streator, in Illinois." How did it happen?" "She and I were going home from the office one Saturday afternoon. There was snow n the ground. When we came opposite Mrs. Buell's house she slipped her foot on the curbstone and fell nd hurt her back." When I read these messages aloud her friend exclaimed, "Oh, that's what you mean, ulia! I remember that quite well. I was in bed for two or three days with a bad back; but I never knew it was y spine that was hurt."

I Was Always Skeptical
I need not multiply similar instances. The communication thus begun has been kept up for over fifteen years. I have no more doubt of the existence and the identity of Julia than I have of the existence of my wife or of my sister. Here we had the appearance of the deceased in bodily form twice repeated on fulfilment of a promise made before death. This is followed up by the writing of messages, attested first by an illusion to a pet name that seemed to reduce the message to nonsense, and, secondly, by recalling to the memory of her friend with the utmost particularity of detail an incident which that friend had forgotten. No other medium was concerned in the receipt of these messages but myself. I had no motive to misrepresent or invent anything. As my narrative proves, I was skeptical rather than credulous. But things happened just as I have put them down. Can you be surprised if I felt I was really getting into communication with the Beyond?

1909

June 15, 2005

On the Threshold of the Spiritual World by Horatio Dresser

With the signing of the armistice, November 11, 1918, something altogether splendid in human history began to come to an end. The cessation of actual hostilities gave an opportunity to those who had been participating in the war to look back over the months and years of the great struggle to find its meaning in human terms. Their spirits had been called into action. They had been led for the time being into something like the fulness of life. They had made the great venture, achieved the victorious attitude, won the triumphs of faith. The war had in fact been more and more truly a moral protest as it drew to a close. It had enlisted the noblest young life of the nations. It had attained spiritual significance for the world. What was needed, when the center of activity shifted from warfare with guns to a regulation of far-reaching social issues among the nations, that the world might win lasting peace, was that the moral and spiritual values should be recognized and interpreted while there was yet time, while the impression of the war's effect upon the souls of men should still be fresh and strong.

In this volume I have tried to gather some of the human impressions and permit them to point the way to their own interpretations so far as possible. I have not narrated events as mere history but only by way of suggesting their effect on the inner life. I assume that in endeavoring to learn what war has meant for those who fought it we have been asking the great questions of human existence anew, we have been wondering what part the divine providence played in the war, how it affected those who came closest to the enemy and witnessed sorrow and suffering on every hand on the war countries. We have also asked what results it produced on human belief, notably with respect to religion, the human soul, death, the future life, and the compensations of the spiritual world.


The answers given to these and other questions are based on intimate acquaintance with American and French soldiers at the front during the year ending with the armistice. The soldier is interpreted in it as a friend to humanity. He is regarded as a soul fighting for moral standards, as a spirit coming to know himself in profounder measure. The result is a direct clue to the religion of courage and to the meaning of the war as a spiritual awakening needed by the world.


Taking a clue from what soldiers have said and written about death, the transition is here regarded as incidental to the soul's progress, as a "step in life", into a larger, freer world already near and already implied in our natural existence. Man is described as a spirit, with other powers than those functioning through the fleshly instrument, with higher resources than most men are aware of, and with the capacity of verifying by inner experience these evidences of existence in the spiritual world. This view of the human spirit makes it possible an estimate of physical or threshold experiences, and will perhaps aid the reader to discover what is real in psychical research and spirit communication. A way as indicated through the physical to the spiritual. Instances are narrated to show how splendidly our men rose above circumstances and triumphed over hardships. These evidences of spiritual faith lead in turn to a study of some of the more serious problems growing out of the war, such as re-education of the wounded, the readjustment of life under changed conditions. The victory won by the Allies is interpreted as moral. It implied the law of all true success. It showed the union of the ideal with the concrete. It pointed the way to a true unity and brotherhood. It was a remarkable human attainment from the point of view of organization and concentration. In participating in it our soldiers showed the way to a truer view of the spiritual life, a life that looks beyond doctrines and philosophies to conduct as the test of belief. The result for those of us who have caught the vision will be a return to faith in God and in the moral integrity of the universe. It will mean a new vision beyond death, and a greater nearness to our loved ones in the spirit world.

1919

June 6, 2005

The Religion of the Koran by Arthur N. Wollaston

"O ye UNBELIEVERS!

I worship not that which ye worship,


And ye do not worship that which I worship;


I shall never worship that which ye worship,


Neither will ye worship that which I worship.


To you be your religion; to me my religion."


*

This Sura is said to have been revealed when WalŒd urged Muhammad to consent that his God should be worshipped at the same time with the old Meccan deities, or alternately every year.

1917