20. January 2014 · Comments Off on Cora L.V. Richmond – The Most Amazing Medium You’ve Never Heard Of · Categories: Uncategorized

Today I am going to tell you about “The one of the most famous women in the world during the late 1800s,” that you have probably never heard of! She was one of the best-known mediums of the Spiritualism movement during the last half of the 19th century. Perhaps one of the reasons she is virtually unknown today is that she had so many names throughout her career – due to numerous marriages. Her birth name was Cora L.V. Scott. She was also known at Cora Hatch, Daniels, Tappan, and lastly Cora L.V. Richmond. (L.V. = Lodencia Veronica)

Cora L.V. Richmond Cora Scott was born in 1840 near Cuba, New York. At her birth she had a caul over her face. A caul is a membrane that covers a newborn’s head and face, which is thought in some folk religions to indicate special powers. Her parents, though initially Presbyterian, became interested in the Universalist religion, and in early 1851 joined the Hopedale Community, an intentional community in Massachusetts which was led by Adin Ballou, who was a Universalist, and a prominent proponent of pacifism, socialism and abolitionism.

Finding Hopedale too crowded, the Scott family moved to Waterloo, Wisconsin later that year to found a similar intentional community (with the blessings of Adin Ballou). It was there, in early 1851, that Cora’s first “visitation” took place when she was 11. When her first mediumistic experience came to her, young Cora Scott knew nothing of Spiritualism. She had never heard, except in rumor, of the Fox sisters and the “Rochester Knockings,” and had no idea of what they might mean. She presented no unusual appearance. She was not overly precocious for her age and was in no way different from any other country girl.

In the fall of 1851 Cora was seated in the family garden. She was preparing in her crude way, a composition upon her slate for school, intending to copy it afterwards. She fell ‘asleep,’ and on her return to consciousness found the slate was covered with writing which was not her own.

Supposing someone had been there and done the writing in sport or as a joke, she hastened to the house to show the slate to her mother and to tell her that someone had been there writing while she was asleep. The mother was slightly shocked when she told her this, but when the slate was presented covered with writing, it said, “My dear sister,” and was signed with the name of a deceased sister of the mother whom Cora had never seen nor scarcely heard of, as she had passed away in early childhood. Cora’s mother became frightened and quickly put the slate away.

A few days later Cora was seated at the feet of her mother sewing when again ‘sleep’ overcame her, and the mother thinking she had fainted or was ill, applied the usual restoratives; but meanwhile discovered a trembling motion of the right hand, and instantly remembered the slate. As soon as she placed slate and pencil in her hands, Cora began to write, this time before the very eyes of her mother. She rapidly wrote one message after another signed by different members of the family who had departed to spirit life, all of whom united in saying: ”We are not dead.” They also assured the anxious mother that they would not harm the child, for they had found through her a means of communicating with those on earth, and wished her to aid them in carrying out this work.

The influence continued at intervals, sometimes once in two or three days, until at last the house was thronged with curious friends and neighbors who came in to see “Cora write in her sleep.” There was no knowledge of Spiritualism in the neighborhood, no realization of what these manifestations might mean on the part of the people, yet persons of all creeds came and received messages from their own departed friends.

During the first three or four years of her work, Cora was controlled by a German physician. And at a given hour each day neighbors came to her house for healing. This work often occupied her two, three and sometimes six hours per day. She would occasionally go to the homes of the neighbors, while in a deep trance, who were too ill to come to her, and then treat them with astonishing results.

An important and difficult case was that of a carpenter by the name of Keyes, who had run a large splinter under the nail of the third finger of his right hand. It was very and the finger had become badly swollen. Mr. Keyes called a physician, who had lanced the finger, which did little good, and caused a rapid infection to take place. Mr. Keyes, in his great agony, asked his family to send for Cora. However, they were strict church members, and, believing her power to be Satanic, would not yield to his request.

The German spirit doctor, however, was on the alert. He, without any knowledge on the part of Cora’s family of the man’s suffering, proceeded to awaken Cora at midnight, made her go wake up her father, and say that she must go to the house of this gentleman, as he was suffering greatly and needed her. Her father then arose and went with her on this errand of mercy. Before they reached Mr. Keyes’ door, Mr. Scott could hear the groans of anguish from the afflicted man. Entering the house, the physician, seeing who had come, departed in anger. The wife fled to another room, leaving them alone with the sick man. Cora’s father obeyed the instructions given by the German spirit physician, brought bandages, warm water, and such as requested.

The physician, who had fled so hastily, had left his case of surgical instruments behind him. Directed by the German spirit surgeon, Cora walked to the case, selected a particular instrument, and proceeded to operate ‘John of God’ style while in trance. Mr. Keyes only suffered the loss of a portion of his finger as a result and lived many more years to attest the truth of this story. The German physician worked with Cora for about four years and performed many remarkable cures through her.

Miss Mary Folsom was Cora’s teacher at school. She was an early convert after witnessing the manifestations that came through young Cora; She was totally amazed when she witnessed Cora channeling the German doctor speaking in German, and performing such amazing feats of healing. However, Miss Folsom and Cora soon aroused the antagonism of the regular physicians, and clergymen of the neighborhood. The physicians were without patients, and the clergymen lacked audiences. So they resorted to a religious revival, which was speedily followed by a greater development of mediums. People would insist upon getting well, and staying well, while the sycophant clergy soon learned that their flocks were doing their own thinking. That village in Wisconsin soon became the center of a spiritual circle that had greater power than all the professionals taken together. Churches were abandoned, and the physicians sought other fields of labor, where the light of higher Spiritual Knowledge had not yet penetrated.

In order that the guides might not be hindered in their work, they directed that Cora should cease to attend school, which she did at age eleven. From then on she had not studied any book, listened to any master, pursued any course of study, except those given by her spirit guides while she was in the trance state. From the very first it was understood that Cora’s mission was to be that of a platform speaker, and the years devoted to the art of healing were experiences to fit her for the larger work.

Cora’s father died in 1853 (when she was 13), and in 1854 the family moved to Buffalo, New York. There she became well-known among the most important Spiritualists in the country. By the age of 15, she was making public appearances in which she spoke with “supernatural eloquence” on almost any topic put forward by the audience, all while in a trance. Audiences found the spectacle incredible: a very young and pretty girl speaking with authority on esoteric subjects; it was enough to convince many people that she was indeed a channel for spirits.

Her first husband, whom she married at age 16, was a professional mesmerist, Benjamin Franklin Hatch. Over 30 years her senior, Hatch was a skilled showman who managed Cora in order to maximize revenue, much to the dismay of serious spiritualists. The marriage ended bitterly due to abuse on his part, but as a result of his promotional tactics Cora soon became a part of the network of trance lecturers that characterized the early Spiritualist movement.

The words coming through her were not simple utterances of a frivolous nature, but profound lectures on philosophical and metaphysical matters, as well as reform issues, including the abolition of slavery. Committees made up of medical men, professors, doctors of divinity and statesmen were chosen to select a “ topic which they deemed most difficult for any speaker to discuss, with which to confound the young girl,” The subject was not given to her until she was on the platform.

CAPTAIN ISAIAH RYNDER STORY: On one occasion, in New ,York city, an incident worthy of note at this point took place. Isaiah Rynders, or “Capt’n” as he was called by his followers, was a leader of the ”Bowery Boy” Democracy, who was always seeking an opportunity for fun or a fight. He was passing down Broadway one evening with about fifty of his comrades, when he espied a bulletin in front of the Broadway Tabernacle announcing the lecture that was to be given that evening, by the “young girl apostle of Spiritualism in a trance state.”

“Let’s go in here, boys,” cried the leader of the gang, “and break up this nonsense.” In they rushed, to find the place filled to overflowing with the brightest minds of New York. A little awed at first, they would, perhaps, have proceeded to have their own fun, had not some gentleman performed a master-stroke. The audience was just choosing the committee to select the subject for the evening lecture. There was a brilliant array of editors, lawyers, doctors and scientists to choose from, and all the five except one had been chosen. A brilliant stroke was then performed in nominating and electing Captain Isaiah Rynders as the fifth member of the committee. He was compelled to leave his comrades to assist in the selection of the subject for the evening’s talk. And then to take his place upon the platform with the other members of the committee, and to listen to the address.

At the close of the lecture, which was a profound one on a deep subject, the chairman of the committee expressed the satisfaction and amazement with which they had listened to the lecture; in fact, it was a complete triumph. Mr. Rynders arose and begged to be allowed to say a few words, although his voice was tremulous with emotion. He confessed to having come into the hall for the purpose of ”breaking up the whole business;” said he had never seen nor heard anything like the lecture they had listened to ; hoped the audience and the speaker would forgive him, and said he meant to be a better man. He did not know what power had spoken to them through the lips of the young woman, but it had conquered and subdued him. The applause that followed was tumultuous. The tears were streaming down the face of the man of the world—for the time, at least, he was moved one degree nearer the divine.

At Lynn, Massachusetts, in December, 1857, a committee composed of scholarly men anticipated that they would confound Cora’s guides by asking, “Will you please define the Pythagorean proposition?” Speaking through Cora, the guides asked, “Which proposition do you mean – the Moral Code or the so-called Scientific Proposition?” When no answer came from the committee, the guides took up the Moral Code. Following that discourse, a committee member, apparently a scientist, asked, “What is the diameter of a bucket filled to the brim with water?’ The response came through Cora, “The diameter of a bucket of water is probably as great as the diameter of a cranial structure, destitute the grey material denominated ‘brain’ by so-called scientists.”

Remember, this is what a person with just a simple grade school education and no advanced preparation came up with as her response!

By the end of 1858, Cora, just 18 then, had given over 600 lectures on a wide variety of subjects. Wrote Dr. A. B. Childs, one of the observers, “This lady can address an audience of five thousand people with great ease, and the guides through her give an elaborate discourse upon any subject the audience may choose; There cannot well be a greater test of Spirit power than this.”

Scientists, scholars, ministers, and journalists were befuddled by Cora Scott. Some of the spirit communication came through in foreign languages, and occasionally an ancient language, but Ouina, one of Cora’s key spirit guides, who often acted as an intermediary between the advanced spirits and the medium, was able to interpret all of them. At one lecture, Cora relayed a message in an Indian sign language to a member of the audience. The man rose from his seat, said that the sign language given through her was perfect, and though he had been a skeptic he was now a convert.

In 1859, at the urging of Mrs. Lincoln, President Lincoln and several congressmen were said to have attended Cora’s lectures in Washington, D.C. The abolition of slavery was one of the key themes in her lectures during those early years. It is said that they were very much impressed with her. She was still just a teenager of 19.

In 1874, when she was 34, Cora toured the United Kingdom. It was reported that there were standing-room only crowds and that many were turned away. The Telegraph, a London daily, reported: “For upwards of an hour the lady poured forth an uninterrupted flow of language, without hesitating for a single instance, sentences of the most involved character.”

BRIEF EXCERPTS FROM CORA’S DISCOURSES:

The Soul: “The Soul in its pure and primal nature has nothing to do with time, nor space, nor matter, but only with eternity and that which belongs to eternity. No external thing can reveal God. The Soul alone, being of the nature of God, perceives God.”

Reincarnation: “The human mind takes alarm at once at these teachings, and declares a loss of identity if one embodiment is followed by another, and one spirit after another has expression. There is no reincarnation; there is another expression, and another, until all that is possible is expressed here and in spirit life. Another embodiment is not a loss of identity, but an added expression of identity. As each form only expresses a portion of the spirit that pervades it, so each spirit (of a Soul) only expresses a portion of the Soul.”

Genius: “We would name Mozart as a genius, because, untaught, in childhood he knew the principles of harmony. He did not know because he had never had experience, but he knew because he had experience in previous lives; … that life was the culmination. This enabled Mozart to know music at three years of age, not because his Soul, or spirit was any more tuneful than any other, but because he had taken the preceding steps in preceding lives to that culmination.”

Meeting Friends in the Afterlife: “People say: ‘I would not like to go into the spirit life and not find my friends.’ If they are your friends, you will find them; if they are not you would not wish to. All real ties are found to last in spiritual existence, and form a portion of the Soul’s possessions. The larger sphere includes the smaller one.”

In 1875 Cora became the head of the largest Spiritualist Church in the world, in Chicago – The Church of the Soul. Her leadership lasted for 50 years until her passing in 1923. In 1915, she had an OBE which lasted for a week. She then wrote a book about it called: My Experiences While Out Of My Body And My Return After Many Days. Published in 1923.

Today we have forgotten the importance of Cora Richmond’s life contribution and the immense role that this great lady seer imparted so unselfishly for our future benefit. She was the pioneer of pioneers of Higher Spiritualism, and formed it’s first Association, the National Spiritualist Association of Churches – NSAC. Her work showed the way towards mental freedom and she gave women the incentive to become more than they had ever been before.

Cora’s name has been obliterated from history as is common for those that bring the truth before it’s time. Cora was the most respected medium in the 19th Century and, until her passing, was the most prolific. Her sermons numbered well over 5,000. That’s seventy full years of trance discourses. Her guides, while using Cora as an instrument, taught the new sciences from which many inventions were born. Her well known work on the SOUL, can, today, be understood as spiritual quantum physics.

According to her biographer, Harrison Barrett, Cora L. V. Richmond was one of the most famous women in the world during the late 1800s. But today, we ask, “Cora Who?”

Letters from a Living Dead Man

Letters from a Living Dead Man

Certain people among us have the gift of automatic writing, sometimes known as channeling.  Author, Elsa Barker had this ability and one evening in 1912, while living in Paris, she was inspired to write a message from a spirit at first identified only as Mr. X, but after sharing what she had written with a close friend, the friend said, “Why don’t you know who that is?  It turned out to be her friend, Judge David Patterson-Hatch. Thus began a series of letters from the other side describing Judge Hatch’s adventures in the afterlife. The letters were compiled and published in the book titled, “Letters From a Living Dead Man” in 1914.

Unbeknownst to Ms. Barker, at the time of the first message, Judge Hatch had just recently died six thousand miles away in California. This was confirmed by letter a few days later. She said at the time, “In that first book I did not state who the writer was, not feeling at liberty to do so without the consent of his family; but in the summer of 1914, while I was still living in Europe, a long interview with Mr. Bruce Hatch appeared in the New York Sunday World, in which he expressed the conviction that the “Letters” were genuine communication from his father, the late Judge David P. Hatch, of Los Angeles, California.” After that Elsa felt it would be OK to reveal his true name later on.

Who was Elsa Barker? Elsa Barker, poetess, novelist and writer, was born in 1869 in Vermont. Her father had been interested in the occult and she shared this interest. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and she was also initiated into the Rosicrucian Order. She was a teacher for a short period but moved on to writing articles for newspapers and syndicated magazines.  Somewhere along the line she met Judge Hatch and they became friends. The irony of her life is that she never became very well-known for her own books.

Letters from a Living Dead Man is a hopeful, inspiring after-death communication and which at the time in 1914, gained widespread popularity. It was hailed for helping remove the fear of dying. The book describes life after death in minute detail, including the consequences of suicide, how loved ones find each other, and the relationship with higher beings.

Judge David Patterson-Hatch

Judge David Patterson-Hatch

Who was Judge Hatch?  David Patterson-Hatch was born in 1846 in Maine to family of farmers. He obtained a law degree from Michigan Law School at Ann Arbor in 1872.  In 1875 he moved to Santa Barbara, California where he had a respectable practice. In 1880 he was elected Judge of the Superior Court.

Judge Hatch Was No Ordinary Man. He had a life-long interest in Metaphysics and Eastern Religions. And he would spend long periods of time in Nature, meditating in the woods. He was also a published author whose subjects included philosophy and the occult. When Judge Hatch died in 1912 the Los Angeles Times called him “a remarkable man” who was “exceptionally versed in the deep philosophies of life” and who had “obtained a deep knowledge of universal laws, which, although natural to himself, appeared as mysticism to those who had not followed his great mental strides”.

Here I’d like to share some excerpts of the letters which demonstrate the insights of this man and what he experienced on the Otherside.  The stories I share will, I feel, provide a range of contrasts which should demonstrate why it is so important to take your spiritual journey here on Earth seriously.

(Note that the following excerpts have been edited to remove redundancies and to make them more readable.)

LETTER XX – THE MAN WHO FOUND GOD  There seems to be no way in which I can better teach you about this life, than by telling my experiences with men and women here. One day I was walking on a mountain top. I saw a man standing alone. He was looking out and far away, but I could not see what he was looking at. He was communing with himself, or with some presence of which I was unaware. I waited for some time. At last, he turned his eyes to me and said, with a kind smile:  “Can I do anything for you, brother?”

I was embarrassed for a moment, feeling that I might have intruded upon some sweet communion. “If I am not too bold in asking,” I said, “would you tell me what you were thinking as you stood there looking into space?”

He looked at me in silence for a moment; then said:  “I was trying to draw near to God.”

“And what is God?” I asked; “and where is God?”  He smiled. I never saw a smile like his, as he answered:  “God is everywhere. God is.”

“What is He?” I persisted; and again he repeated, but with a different emphasis: ”God is.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.  “God is, God is,” he said.

“When you were on earth,” I said, “did you think much about God?” “Always. I thought of little else. I sought Him everywhere, but seemed only at times to get flashes of consciousness as to what He really was.  Finally, one day when I was alone in the woods, there came the great revelation. It came in a wordless and formless wonder, too vast for the limitation of thought. I must have lost consciousness, for after a while, I awoke, and got up and looked about me. Then gradually I remembered the experience which had been too big for me while I was feeling it.

“I could put into the form of words the realisation which had been too much for my mortality to bear, and the words I used to myself were, ‘All that is, is God.’ It seemed very simple, yet it was far from simple. ‘All that is, is God.’ That must include me and all my fellow beings, human and animal; even the trees and the birds and the rivers must be a part of God, if God were all that is.

“From that moment life assumed a new meaning for me. I could not see a human face without remembering the revelation that the human being I saw was a part of God. When my dog looked at me, I said to him aloud, ‘You are a part of God.’ When I stood beside a river and listened to the sound of its waters, I said to myself, ‘I am listening to the voice of God.’  Life became unbelievably beautiful.

Then the saint turned and left me, with all my questions unanswered, but he was gone. And he has given me something which I in turn give to you, as he himself desired to give it to the world. That is all for tonight.

The following story demonstrates what life might be like for those who enter the Afterlife unprepared.

LETTER XLII – A VICTIM OF THE NON-EXISTANT
I found this story to be non only very instructional but humorous as well!
The other day I met an acquaintance, a woman whom I had known for a number of years, and who came out about the time I did.  I asked Mrs. (Smith) how she was enjoying herself, and she said that she was not having a very pleasant time. She found that (people) did not want to talk with her. This was the first time I had met with such a complaint, and I was struck by its peculiarity. I asked her to what cause she attributed this unsociability, and she replied that she did not know the cause; that it had puzzled her.

“What do you talk to them about?” I asked.  “Why, I tell them my troubles, as one friend tells another; but they do not seem to be interested. How selfish people are!”

Poor soul! She did not realise here, that our troubles are not interesting to anybody but ourselves. “Suppose,” I said, “that you unburden yourself to me. Tell me your troubles. I will promise not to run away.”  “Why, I hardly know where to begin!” she answered. “I have found so many unpleasant things.”

“What, for instance?”  “Why, horrid people. (Such as) boarding-house landladies and their careless hired girls; but they are just as bad here—even worse.”

“Do you mean to tell me that you live in a boarding-house here?”  “Where should I live? You know that I am not rich.”

Of all the astonishing things I had heard in this land of changes, this was the most astonishing. A boarding-house in the “invisible” world!  Surely, I told myself, my observations had been limited. Here was a new discovery!

“Is the table good in your boarding-house?” I asked. “No, it is worse than at the last one.”

“Are the meals scanty?” “Yes, scanty and bad, especially the coffee.”

“Will you tell me,” I said, my wonder growing, “if you really eat three meals a day here, as you used to do on earth?”  “How strangely you talk!” she answered, in a sharp tone. “I don’t find very much difference between this place and the earth, as you call it. “I never know in the morning who will be sitting next me in the evening. They come and go.

“And what do you eat?” “The same old things—meat and potatoes, and pies and puddings.”

“And you still eat these things?”  “Why, yes; don’t you?”

I hardly knew how to reply. Had I told her what my life here really was, she would no more have understood than she would have understood two years ago, when we lived in the same city on earth.

So I said: “I have not much appetite.”  She looked at me as if she distrusted me in some way, though why I could not say. “Are you still interested in philosophy?” she asked. “Yes. Perhaps that is why I don’t get hungry very often.”  “You were always a strange man.”

“I suppose so. But tell me, Mrs. (Smith), do you never feel a desire to leave all this behind?” “To leave all what behind?”

“Why boarding-houses and uncongenial people, and meat and potatoes, and the shadows of material things in general.” “What do you mean by ‘the shadows of material things’?”

“I mean that these things, which you eat and do not enjoy, are not real. They have no real existence.”  “Why!” she exclaimed, “Have you become a Christian Scientist?”

At this I laughed heartily. Was one who denied the reality of astral food in the astral world a Christian Scientist, because the Christian Scientists denied the reality of material food in the material world? The analogy tickled my fancy.

I puzzled for a moment, trying to find a way by which the actual facts of her condition could be brought home to the mind of this poor woman. “Do you realise,” I said, “that you are only dreaming?”  “What!” she snapped at me.

“Yes, you are dreaming. All this is a dream—these boarding-houses, et cetera.” “If that is so, perhaps you would like to wake me up.”

“I certainly should. But you will have to awaken yourself, I fancy. Tell me, what were your ideas about the future life, before you came out here?”  “What do you mean by out here?”

“Why, before you died!” “But, man, I am not dead!”

“Of course you are not dead. Nobody is dead. But you certainly understand that you have changed your condition.” “Yes, I have noticed a change, and a change for the worse.”

“Don’t you remember your last illness?”  “Yes.”

“And that you passed out?” “Yes, if you call it that.”

“You know that you have left your body?” She looked down at her form, which appeared as usual, even to its rusty black dress rather out of date. “But I still have my body,” she said.

“Then you have not missed the other one?” “No.”

“Now you mention it,” she said, “I do recall having some trouble a year or two ago. I was quite confused for a long time. I think I must have been delirious.”

“Yes, doubtless you were,” I answered.  “Still,” I said, “I can take you to heaven now, perhaps, if you would like to go.” “Are you joking?”

“Not at all. Will you come?”  “Are you certain that I can go there without dying?

“But I assure you there are no dead.” As we went slowly along, for I thought it best not to hurry her too swiftly from one condition to another, I drew a word-picture of the place we were about to visit—the orthodox Christian heaven. I described the happy and loving people who stood in the presence of their Saviour.

“I have often wished to see Christ,” said my companion in an awe-struck voice. “Do you think that I can really see Him?”  “I think so, if you believe strongly that you will.”

“And what were they doing in heaven when you were there?” she asked.  “They were worshipping God, and they were happy.” “I want to be happy,” she said; “I have never been very happy.”

“The great thing in heaven,” I advised, “is to love all the others. That is what makes them happy. If they loved the face of God only, it would not be quite heaven; for the joy of God is the joy of union.”

Thus, by subtle stages, I led her mind away from astral boarding-houses to the ideas of the orthodox spiritual world, which was probably the only spiritual world which she could understand. But for this gradual preparation she could not have adjusted herself to the conditions of that world.

When we stood in the presence of those who worship God with song and praise, she seemed caught up on a wave of enthusiasm, to feel that at last she had come home. I held out my hand in the old way and said good-bye, promising to come again and visit her there, and advising her to stay where she was. Heaven has a strong hold on those who yield themselves to its beauty.

LETTER XXXV – THE BEAUTIFUL BEING
This story shows us one of the higher levels which is available to us.
Yes, I have seen angels, if by angels you mean spiritual beings who have never dwelt as men upon the earth. Shall I tell you of one whom I call the Beautiful Being? One night I seemed to be reclining upon a moon beam, and ecstasy filled my heart. For the moment I had escaped the clutches of Time, and was living in that etheric quietude which is merely the activity of rapture raised to the last degree. I must have been enjoying a foretaste of that paradoxical state which the wise ones of the East call Nirvana. I was vividly conscious of the moon beam and of myself, and it was the nearest I ever came to a realization of that supreme declaration, “I am.”

The past and the future seemed equally present in the moment. I heard a voice say, “Brother, it is I.” Standing before me was the Beautiful Being, radiant in its own light. Had it been less lovely I might have gasped with wonder; but the very perfection of its form and presence diffused an atmosphere of calm. I marvelled not, because the state of my consciousness was marvel. I was lifted so far above the commonplace that I had no standard by which to measure the experience of that moment.

Imagine youth immortalised, the fleeting made eternal. Imagine the brilliancy of a thousand lives concentrated in those eyes, and the smile upon the lips of a love so pure that it asks no answering love from those it smiles upon.

But the language of earth cannot describe the unearthly, nor could the understanding of a man grasp in a moment those joys which the Beautiful Being revealed to me in that hour of supreme life. For the possibilities of existence have been widened for me, the meanings of the soul have deepened. Those who behold the Beautiful Being are never the same again as they were before. They may forget for a time, and lose in the business of living the magic of that presence; but whenever they do remember, they are caught up again on the wings of the former rapture.

It may happen to one who is living upon the earth; it may happen to one in the spaces between the stars; but the experience must be the same when it comes to all; for only to one in the state in which it dwells could the Beautiful Being reveal itself at all.

Letters from a Living Dead Man was started in 1912 and published in 1914, just before the First World War broke out. After the publication of that book, Judge Hatch took a tour of the Celestial Realms and was going to write about his experiences there, except that when he returned he thought that it was more important to describe the effects that the War was having upon the Astral Realms, since they were so closely tied to the Earth. Judge Hatch went on to write two more volumes through Elsa Barker.  In 1915 – War Letters from the Living Dead Man, and in 1919 – Last Letters From the Living Dead Man.  Elsa Barker passed in 1954. All these books are available for free on the internet.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I and millions of others already have!

01. January 2014 · Comments Off on Reincarnation: Are You a Skeptic? · Categories: reincarnation, Uncategorized · Tags:

Concerning Reincarnation, do you consider yourself to be a skeptic? Where does this term come from and why do so many people claim to be skeptics?   There are various schools of skeptical thought, but mostly skepticism is a response to the claims of the major religions concerning the existence of God and everything that comes after that; in other words, the claims of the Church.  In my opinion, maintaining a skeptical attitude about religion is a healthy thing especially when it comes to asking for proof of the claims of religion that must be accepted by faith alone.

However, one must be careful not to be so skeptical that one becomes closed-minded.  At a recent Christmas dinner I was able to speak with dear old Uncle Ed, a kind mild mannered man who lives alone in a tiny apartment near Chinatown in San Francisco. He’s never been married and doesn’t indulge in deviations from the ‘straight and narrow’.  What I find interesting is the fact that he has no belief in God or the Afterlife.  So I challenged him saying, “Ed, if you have no belief in the afterlife, heaven or hell, then you could lead a life of total abandon, yet you chose not to. Why do you think you are the way you are?”  He had no plausible explanation, but I secretly felt that he may have been involved in a strict religion in a recent past life and so that his current life may be a reaction to that sort of confinement.  (Without a regression we may never know.)

I have tried on a number of different occasions to get him to look at how life is continuous whether we are in a physical body or not; at the concept of living many lives (reincarnation); about the concept that what you die believing can have a powerful effect not only upon your next incarnation but what happens or doesn’t happen to you in the life between lives.

For instance, in all my research I have found that if one does not believe in an Afterlife, then that soul may sleep for hundreds or even thousands of years as we measure time here on Earth.  I have now read so much material on Reincarnation that I am always shocked when I come across someone who denies its validity.  Like Uncle Ed, when presented with the facts of numerous cases, they might say that they are a ‘skeptic,’ but what exactly is a skeptic?

According to the Free Dictionary a skeptic is defined as, “a person who questions the validity, authenticity, or truth of something purporting to be factual, esp. religion or religious tenets.”  Another definition from vocabulary.com; “This word comes from ancient Greece, where a philosopher named Pyrrho taught his followers that we can never really understand the true nature of things, only how they appear to us. (So basically, we should stop searching for the meaning of life and just relax.) In Pyrrho’s view, the true sage was someone who realized that it was impossible to be certain about anything. His followers were called Skeptikoi, or Skeptics; the Greek word skeptikos means “given to asking questions.

Let’s now continue my conversation with Uncle Ed about proof of on-going existence. This field of research would include the work of hundreds of mediums in the Spiritualist movement since the mid-1800s who have brought through the spirits of the so-called dead, and the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson and his successor, Dr. Jim Tucker of the University of Virginia, who have investigated over 3,000 cases of young children who have somehow retained memories of their past lives.

Dr. Stevenson and now Tucker tend to focus their energies on investigating only cases that provide hard evidence. This would mostly include things like physical scars like rope burns on the neck or knife wounds that would have been the cause of the death in the previous life that can be verified. In many of the cases, the child can name the town they lived in, state their correct name and the names of relatives still living, etc. This is the kind of hard evidence that you would think would have some effect on a true skeptic.

Dr. Stevenson and Dr. Tucker were both TRUE skeptics when they started their investigations and maintain that attitude in order for their work to have scientific validity. As a noted atheist, George Smith concluded in his article about skepticism, Only reason can tell us whether a knowledge claim should be rejected, or perhaps accepted as possible, probable or certain.”  I have therefore come to the rational and reasonable conclusion that Dr. Stevenson and Dr. Tucker were able to maintain their objective skepticism in a true scientific manner and have provided proof beyond a reasonable doubt that reincarnation does in fact exist and that therefore life is indeed continuous!

This is the reason why I have so much respect for Spiritualism. Since its inception it (collectively) has been trying to investigate and thus provide proof of the Afterlife.  Along the way the S.P.R. (The Society for Psychical Research) has provided a very valuable service to the movement by applying scientific investigative techniques to determine the validity of the claims of the mediums.  With this concentrated investigation, Spiritualism should be viewed as a rational religion because it is trying to offer proof based on actual experimentation and communication with the souls who have passed over. They are not asking you to accept anything concerning God and the Afterlife on faith alone as most religions do. 

In conclusion, it is important to keep an open mind when it comes to matters of consciousness and religion and to remember that the true skeptic is one who questions in a rational manner, not one who has pre-conceived or fixed opinions that they are unwilling to examine.  Bottom line: keep an open mind, or as Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science, used to say, “Remain open at the top!”