Communication with the Next World
by William T. Stead, Madame Hyver
The right and wrong methods. A textbook.
- Foreward to Messages
- Spirits and Mediums
- Different Ways of Communicating
- Necessary Conditions
- Problems at Seances
- What to Do and What Not to Do with Mediums
- Getting to Work
- Target Men
- Home Sittings
- "In My Father's House are Many Mansions"
FOREWORD TO THE MESSAGES
By W. T. STEAD
IF these Messages are given out to the public they may give rise to many protests, especially among Spiritualists. People will think I am very severe in my criticisms, little encouraging for mediums, and scarcely inspiriting on the subject of the happiness of spirit life. That does not disturb me, for if they are read and discussed, these Messages will be of great benefit in making people reflect. There is nothing like meeting people who are not of your opinion – it makes you progress.
Although, on earth, I carried out many experiments in psychical research and read extensively on the subject, seeking to grasp the possibilities of Spiritualism, I find that I was ignorant and prejudiced and have still much to learn.
I do not tell you very much, but I do say that Spiritualism is not a game and mediumship has great dangers. All who come to Spiritualism to amuse themselves, to dominate others, or to draw illicit profit from poor dupes, expose themselves to grievous reprisals.
People who experiment ought to do so in a religious and scientific spirit. Their methods ought to be strict and the control rigorous. That is the only way to avoid the deep ruts into which the wheels of the car of Spiritualism are sinking.
FROM CHAPTER I: SPIRITS AND MEDIUMS
IT is as difficult for spirits to come back to earth as it is for you to penetrate into the realms of the spirits.
We have no longer the faculty of living in the physical substance. It evades us, just as the substances of the superior planes evade you.
We have impressions and sensations analogous to yours – but so different. We have lights, colours, and sounds; but these only distantly resemble those which you know as such. We have needs which remind us of thirst, of hunger, and of sleep, but which are more needs of the intelligence than of the body.
In spite of all our desires to respond to Your appeals, we are often prevented from doing as we are expected, because of the differences of the planes.
I will even say that it is often more easy for you to come to US than for us to come to you. Sleep permits you to enter into touch with us a thousand times better than can all the mediums in the world, and the help we are able to give you in this way is often more precise and efficacious.
Man's Spiritual Faculties
Mediums are really only mediocre interpreters for the spirits, a casual means by which they are obliged to help themselves while awaiting something better – that is to say, until the spiritual senses which ought to complete the physical senses have further developed themselves in human beings. It is abnormal that the deceased should have to come back to the physical, as they are obliged to when manifesting themselves to you. The souls of the dead, excepting in the first period that follows death, have nothing to do with earth directly, as their spiritual evolution draws them far away from that lower circle where humanity struggles.
It is man who ought to go to the spirits by developing in himself his spiritual faculties. You are all capable of this development. You have embryos of spiritual faculties whose actions result in intuitions, inspirations, and impulses, the origin of which you do not know how to trace, for you immerse yourself in your physical body, you live only for it, and you do not often take notice of your soul.