The World Beyond Part 34. Primary Education in the Spirit World. A message from Henry Sidgwick. A further review of the journeys Bertha Harris made into the Spirit World.
Science is a word which at base covers and describes the work and findingss of fellow human beings who observe and measure the world around us and come to some descriptions of the forms of life and objects composed of the 92 elements and smaller particles to various life-forms, and then reach some objective conclusions leading to the truth. They are using their brain-power and intelligence to the best of their ability, and they give to society knowledge to help us all survive and provide ourselves with a stable economy, good health and new technologies to help us cope better.
But no scientist is infallible. Delusions, mistakes and deceptions are ever-present. Just as in religion and other areas of enquiry, everyone may be seeking the truth, but finding only a few contrasting glimpses of reality.
The various branches of science have shown us that this planet has been forming and life on it evolving over a period of 3 billion years, while homo sapiens, our own species, with its regional cultures and religions has only emerged over the past 30 thousand years. Mammals such as wolves and dogs have been here before us for 3 million years or more, and more primitive forms of life for a billion or two years. So who or what was behind this creation or evolution, before the emergence of our relatively recent concepts of one God, or Allah, the Tao, a Supreme Intelligence, the Ground of Being, the Great Spirit?
There is much evidence of a greater life beyond, which we have been looking at, and like Henry Sidgwick, the Cambridge philosopher and first President of the Society for Psychical Research, many of us have been looking for answers. The professor pointed this out in a message received by a medium after his death, which remains in the archives of that Society:-
“We no more solve the riddle of Death by dying than we solve the problems of Life by being born – Take my own case _ I was always a seeker – until it seemed at times as if the quest was more to me than the prize – Only the attainments of my search were generally like rainbow gold always beyond and afar - It is not all clear - I seek still – only with a confirmed optimism more perfect and beautiful than any we imagined before…The Solution of the Great Problem I could not give you - I am still very far away from it and the abiding knowledge of the inherent truth and Beauty into which all the inevitable uglinesses of Existence finally resolve themselves will be yours in due time.” *
The absolute truth is elusive. As far as we can see, death of the individual, physically speaking, is final. We have the body to bury or cremate as evidence and proof enough of that ! Yet each species renews itself by propagation and procreation on this planet as long as viable conditions prevail. If these change, it adapts or becomes extinct. That is as far as science can take us.
But what of spirit ? Science cannot fully grasp its manifestations and phenomena. Are we to go on faith alone, in trying to understand the World of Spirit ? Or can the work of mediums and others with second sight provide information of intelligence beyond the scope of science’s ability to investigate. I think so, and our own dreams, NDEs, OBEs and religious and meditative experiences confirm this greater reality. Beyond this individually finite existence of life-forms on this planet, there is a greater existence, a continually evolving intelligence, a continuity of life, with personality, memory, skills and qualities surviving in the Life Beyond, in the Spirit World.
So here is more evidence of that in the accounts given by Bertha Harris of her journeys out of the body during a series of medical operations in a London hospital back in the 1940s. Whether she was near death or not is irrelevant. We do not have to be on the brink of death to see the Other Side. We “die daily” in our sleep, meditation, prayer and dreaming, but seldom are able to recall our visits over the border. The ability of Bertha Harris to recall her experiences and share them with us is invaluable, and increases our understanding of the Life Beyond, and we should be grateful to her and all those who see far, for their effort and dedication in recording their experiences.
In Chapter V of her “Journey into Spirit World” Bertha Harris describes being taken back to see the children again, this time at a school where they were learning in orderly groups. They were not in a classroom, but in a spacious open park.
Then she investigated the means of locomotion there. It seems that the vehicles had metal shoes, more like skates than wheels, which were electrically charged. Her guide explained “The forces or energies we draw into use can only be described in words you can understand, though they are not the terms we use here, but serve a useful purpose as applicable to your language. I make no claim to be scientific, but I would point out that man in earth life has made use of ‘energies’ or ‘forces’ known and unknown, and has harnessed the same for his use. He terms this force or energy electricity…..You can be certain that there are energies and forces known to us which we too can collect and utilize, and that our world being of infinitely greater scope than yours, permits us even greater possibilities. All vehicles use the same means of locomotion. There are no accidents here, for our greater knowledge of the law which governs all energies and forces enable us to so make use of these powers, and thus, accidents are impossible."
They watched as the children unloaded from one of these vehicles many chairs, tables, stools, easels and other furniture of different colours and designs. They then settled back in their groups enjoying activities which were pleasing to the children's minds. Some used blackboards, others were painting, while the rest were shaping and making all kinds of objects - it seemed more like pastime than lessons.
Later the chilren packed up the equipment tidily and in an orderly fashion, and went off to enjoy their personal activities. They had been taught the importance of self- dsicipline and orderly conduct. This was easy for their teachers to instill in them, for their minds were more responsive than during their earth life. Bertha's guide said "Here they are taught it is the royal road to perfect happiness, and by patience and understanding, administered with kindly affection and love towards each other, discipline is understood and recognised as the keynote of their lives. They do right because it is right, and discipline becomes unity and fellowship one towards the other. This is the true way of progression, for it is then that the child's mind is in harmony during its stages of spiritual evolution.
May I venture to say that many children in earth life are tiresome and unruly through various causes. Some because of their environment, for they are subjected to and, therefore, affected by, the difficulties and hardships of their daily lives, caused by circumstances over which they have no control. This tends to distort their outlook. They become irritable, tiresome and erratic and, in consequence, misbehaved and wilful. Parents sometimes set bad examples, and thus life in general is not always good for them. Again, physical heredities are often a heavy handicap to their mental growth. These difficulties and others which you may have in mind are the causes for childish delinquency,. Such conditions do not exist in Spirit Life, on the contrary, their lives, untouched by these bitter experiences, grow in grace and beauty to full maturity. Children are given every opportunity to develop their individual gifts, thus happiness is assured, for right occupation always brings real happiness into the Soul. This, I regret to say, is not so in your earth life, for, alas, there are many children who are denied opportunity and freedom. The children of our [spirit] world have an infinitely better life than children on earth, the latter witness, day by day, the method by which nature absorbs nature, and by which means life can only persist. For life continues only by absorbing life. This is physical law, which operates in order for physical life to be sustained. Thus, a child witnesses in his daily life the operation of this law; he sees the spider capture the fly in its web, the bird tears to pieces the worm from the ground, the cat catches and devours the bird. These examples are sufficient. He realises as he grows in understanding, that he himself must , of necessity, destroy life in order to live. That is physical law. Alas, he will witness again and again the cruelty and injustice that man inflicts upon the lower forms of life, such as birds and animals. He sacrifices them in what he calls sport, and causes them needless suffering.
As you have seen for yourself, animal and bird life exist in the Spirit World, but on a vastly different basis. Gone is all harshness and cruelty. In its place there is kindness, tolerance and humane treatment. Is it any wonder that child life here is so much happier and harmonious, nay, it is vastly superior in every way. Here their lives are sublimated and beautified by all the many forms of life that move around them and are part of a great world of spiritual evolution from which all physical ugliness is eliminated !"
* Quoted by Paul Beard in his “Survival of Death,” Pilgrim Books, 1966. Also useful in our studies is Paul Beard’s “Living On,” George Allen & Unwin, 1980, and “Personality Survives Death,” communications from William Barrett received by Lady Barrett, published by Longmans, Green and Company, 1937.
"Journey into Spirit World" by Bertha Harris was pupblished by the SAGB in the 1940s.
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