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Life Beyond Death with Evidence

Life Beyond Death with Evidence
by Rev. Charles Drayton Thomas


This will be a useful book if it falls into the right hands. There are many to whom it may bring a measure of comfort, who feel an intense and despondent longing for word or sign from "precious friends hid in Death's dateless night"; but, let it be added, only to those whom the obtaining of this through a medium does not fill with the sense of insuperable repugnance that it arouses in some. This book is not likely to be of use to such as find a more sublimated union through the channel of the Holy Eucharist; nor will it be congenial to Theosophists, or those followers of Rudolf Steiner, who so rightly teach that we should dwell beyond the psychic, pressing on into those higher reaches, which are the more celestial development of our nature. To many, however, this is a counsel of perfection, and it may well be that this book will reach a wide public of its own. Think of the great crowd that watches a football match, or sees a race run, or one that lines the route of some royal wedding, or state funeral, and ask yourself how many illumined minds, how many elevated religious minds, even how many minds simply intuitively convinced of survival, are there in that sea of faces? A small percentage. It is this other vaster portion of our fellow creatures that those of us who believe we have spoken with the risen dead, want to reach. And it is for these that such books as this are published. The author has observed a rigorous method of investigation that puts high value on his work. Readers will find the subject dealt with in thoroughness and integrity. Spiritualism has not been too rich in wise adherents. Sir Thomas Browne says that if the banner of Truth trails in the dust, it is the fault of the standard bearer. And this subject, of all others, has had its full quota of ensign bearers that have been either strangely clumsy, or unworthy of their trust. So, to find someone willing and capable of working along the lines of the Society for Psychical Research, combining sympathy with their rigour, is no small good. Mr. Drayton Thomas is known to me through our common interest in Psychical Research; and we have had more than one interesting case of cross-correspondence, in our work, as recorded in my book The Earthen Vessel.* These devices of Book Tests and Cross-correspondences, to the casual observer so unnecessarily complicated, were invented, it is believed, by a band of psychical-researchers on the other side of death, in order to counter the objection so commonly made, that all simpler communications arise from mind-reading. Many people think that it is we, spiritualists, who thrust these kinds of complicated methods upon our communicators, making, in a most repellent lightness of feeling, a kind of "pencil and paper game," out of this spiritual bond. Not at all. "Book Tests" and Cross-correspondences," and the still more puzzling Newspaper Tests," have been given us from workers who have progressed further along this subject than have we. It was a great moment when, in the curious phenomenon of Cross-correspondences, it became apparent to the pioneers on our side of the grave, that they were not working alone. When in the midst of irrelevances, truncated quotations, and snippets from the Classics, there emerged something, fragmentary but insistent, which suggested the thing being part of a scheme, devised by those on the other side, to get messages through in a way that could not be attributed to any activity on the part of the medium, nor to any mind-reading between the medium and the person receiving the message, by any of the ordinary channels of sense. The moment when this first was apprehended, may be likened in Myers's fine image, to the thrill in the heart of the worker tunnelling through some dark mountain's centre on hearing the first faint ring of the picks of the approaching party, working from the other side....

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