DYING WITHOUT WISDOM
being brought up theologically to the idea of Purgatory, of masses being
necessary for the souls of the dead or for the peace
of such souls has difficulty in either
accrediting or accepting what modern psychics are turning up as to the
facts of survival. Suppose we take a moment to examine this ancient
tenet of the Roman Catholic Church and find out, if we may, where it
originated. Let us see if there be any substantial basis for the ritual
of the requiem mass for the repose of the
souls of fathers, mothers, aunts, or uncles,
who may have died in that faith. The doctrine of Purgatory is based upon
the assumption of purging
the soul from sin, so that it may ascend into realms of suppos ed
heavenly bliss. According to Roman Catholic faith, it is a state of
suffering in which the souls of those who die in venial sin, or of those
who still owe some debt of temporal punishment for mortal transgression,
are rendered fir for the higher octaves of eternal consciousness. It is
believed that such souls continue to be members of the Church of Christ;
that they are helped by the suffrages of the livingthat
is, by prayers, alms, and other good works, and more especially by the
sacrifice of the Massand that, although
delayed until the last farthing is paid,
their salvation is assured.
Catholics support this doctrine chiefly by reference
to the Mosaic belief in the efficacy of prayer for the dead, the
tradition of the early Christians, and the authority of the Church.
Many points about Purgatory, on which the Church has
no definition, have been subjects of much speculation among Catholics.
Purgatory, for example, is usually thought of as having some position in
space, and as being distinct from the theological heaven and hell; but
any theory as to its exact location, latitude and longitude, such as
underlies Dantes description, must be
regarded as imaginative.
Nevertheless, the whole
concept of Purgatory could not have sprung from human whimsy. Something
that is basic in discarnate conditions must have first given rise to the
original concept. The adept in posthumous research therefore comes upon
some interesting fundamentals of spiritual evolution
Why I Believe the Dead Are Alive
IT SEEMS to be a fact, from all that we can
learn by communication with those in the discarnate state, that any soul
goes forth from its bodily mechanism with just about the same concepts
of consciousness that it has evolved upon earththat
is, in mortality. It is not yet adjusted to its bodiless status. It
discovers itself living in pure thought,
to use a somewhat conventional phrase. In such state, it exists
in its own evolved complexes.
Life to it, in other words, is the sum-total of what it has come to
accept and believe sentimentally and ethically. It finds that Thought is
more or less a creative power unto itself, just as Mrs. Hardwicke
thought the idea
of the living sparrow hawk on Dr. Hardwickes
mantel. If such thought-world be provincial, petty and evil, because of
the ignorance or circumscriptions of a given person in his current
mentality, he is going to find himself living in a sort of hell indeed.
How to get out of it? That is probably where the primitive church
hatched its ides of Purgatory, or that mental condition immediately
after discarnation when the spirit-soul is in turmoil because its own
thought-universe is disclosed to be in such a mess. Suppose, for
instance, that a person were suddenly withdrawn from active life and
confined, while still in the physical body, in a cell or dungeon in inky
blackness where even the sense of touch encountered naught but smooth
walls and no means of egress. After the first hours of utter despair
wore off, all the thinking of such a person would perforce be turned
inward on himself, if his environment offered no distractions or
diversions to his senses. He would suddenly find himself alive
with his own mind
quite as much as alive in
his own mind. If such minds are a mad turmoil and tumult of rages,
vengeances, petty notions and sterile concepts, even resultant madness
will be no relief. They must face the fact of their own limitations and
either sort themselves out
or get help from somewhere to acquire new and better ideas about
consciousness and factual existence. The adept psychical researcher
seems to learn through various types of communication, that external
help from relatives and intimates, who the spirit-soul has left behind,
actually begins to profit and elevate the unfortunate from his
handicapped and purblind condition. The mass of good will thought-force
that comes from a great group of survivors, gathered in a room for a
prayer meeting or a mass, seems to be some sort of literal essence that
the discarnate and confused one can utilize to obtain light and
explanation of his condition
THERE seem to be
seven octaves, or planes,
to which the spirit-souls of our discarnate intimates go gradually after
quitting their bodies seven planes at least
with which we of the mortal octave appear to have deliberate contact.
The top one is apparently the Seven Heaven
referred to in the Bible. The lowest or first octave or plane would seem
to be the black, earth -bound condition that is simply mortality without
the body. In between are the various gradations that the spirit-soul
according to his moral or ethical evolution at the time of his latest
Incidentally, the observation is thrown in here for what it may be worth
to some, that the great rank and file of humanity, on demise usually
gravitate to the third or fourth plane, according to their
self-awareness and spiritual development, and reside in it till the time
comes for further evolvement, unto complete discarnation, and, in due
course, further trips around the reincarnational cycle
But the person who C~oes out~f the body, professing not to believe in
existence after mortal demise, seems to exist in a sort of self-induces
coma, a deliberate and willful refusal to accredit that survival is a
fact and available if the spirit will only take advantage of it.
For instance, the great rank and file of the Mosaic race, not
accrediting the wonders of immortality and discarnation, usually
discover themselves in this tumultuous ฎIacknessC~rom which getting out
is long and tortuous. I call to mind some experiments being made just
now in some of our penal institutions with methylene blue and its
results on human consciousness.
Out in California recently, the legislature changed the penal law. It
declared that men legally condemned to death should no longer be
electrocuted but executed by being confined in an air-tight chamber and
breathing the fumes of sodium~yanide eggs, dropped into acid. Lethal
vapor rises from such mixture in thin ribbons of fog. Taking it into the
lungs, the condemned man immediately feels consciousness slipping.
Insofar as his own sensations are concerned, he simply falls asleep. And
he neverwakes up! How does anyone know? Because persons who have
accidentally inhaled sodium~yanide fumes and experienced the same
physical sensations as these men not allowed to awaken, have been
revived to tell the tale.
But here is the uncanny thing making death by these
fumes of interest to psychical students generally
The first two men to be put to death by the State of California in its
new gas chamber were Albert Kissel and Robert Cannon. The report of the
executions had it that Cannon was so anxious to get the ordeal over
with, that he leaned as close as possible to the acid bucket and inhaled
deeply. He gasped, and the shock jerked back his head0as the head reacts
when the nostrils accidentally get too strong a whiff of ammonia or
smelling-salts. His eyes closed, he coughed, and thereafter was quiet.
Five minutes later, the physicians pronounced him dead. But according to
medical scienceDand whether we choose to believe it or notOhad a belated
reprieve come for Kissel or Cannon within five to fifteen minutes after
being pronounced dead, both could have been brought back to life.
For among the official witnesses of these first executions by gas in San
Quentin Prison was San Francisco Director of Public Health, Dr. J. C.
Greiger. And upon Dr. Greiger person was phial of liquid that sould have
made these two condemned felons living men again.
The substance which
could have worked the seeming miracle and which Dr. Greiger had
succeeded in developing and using on human beings who had
Why I Believe the
Dead Are Alive
been victims of cyanide fumes was,
and is, a dye known as Methylene Blue. It is an antidote for both
cyanide and carbon monoxide poisoning. A young man by the name of
Charles Riley was a medical student who swallowed a large dose of
cyanide because his fianc้e had jilted him for
another man. He was rushed to San Franciscos
Emergency Hospital, and upon arrival his body showed no signs of life.
He was, to all tests and appearance, as dead as he ever would be.
Without the antidote handy, he would have been so pronounced and his
body turned over to the nearest undertaker for embalming.
Dr. Greiger injected a
solution of a new preparation, Methylene Blue, and within fifteen
minutes that would be suicide was breathing almost normally.
This case was unique for two reasons,
Dr. Greiger said later. It was the first of
its type in medical annals. Likewise, and even more startling, is the
fact that apparently young Riley seemed to remember his experience.
Charles Riley said, fully recovered: I took
about fifteen grains of potassium cyanide in forty ounces of water. I
had no sensation except a numbness which started at the bodily
extremities, and spread slowly throughout my physical system. There was
no muscular rigidity in going under
Even while supposedly dead,
I had a distinct sensation of floating. There was none of the common
blackness recognized as death. I felt as if I were coming out into the
lightinto a vast, glowing place of cool
sunshinelike entering a new and mysterious
world. It was, I believe, simply another state of consciousness,
different from anything that I had ever experienced before. My excursion
into this strange realm was brief. I didnt
feel tragic about it, only tremendously surprised and happy to find
myself still conscious. I dont call it a
psychical or mystical experience. There was nothing obscure about it. I
dont remember details, there, there wasn't
time enough, but I do remember a definite feeling of release, something
like emerging from a dim room into sudden brightness.
The incident is noteworthy, not so much for the
physical miracle accomplished by the antidote drug, but from the
reactions mentally and spiritually on the consciousness of men thus
released from their physical encasements andbrought
Significant in regard to the whole of it, however, is
the account advanced by two Hebrew persons who had taken to suicide by
the monoxide route. Their names are withheld for obvious reasons.
Each of these persons reported, when the Methylene
Blue antidote had been applied and it had brought him back to life, that
he had not been conscious of any higher-octave environment. He had
simply been in a great blackness till the antidote restored him to
Accepting this fact, he
goes out into the unobstructed universe
with this fixation inhibiting him, and in consequence, finds himself in
thick, unreasoning darkness. It takes him a long, long time to fight
through that darkness to the light of personal self-awareness. He has,
in a manner of speaking, hypnotized himself
into accepting that there is no life beyond the grave, and when he
Why I Believe the Dead
sheds his physical self, being
introduced to the world of Thought, he lets his self-hypnosis have full
He is dead
and there is no device nor wisdom in the grave
whither thou goest, so therefore he finds
himself without such device or wisdom.
He has bogged himself in his own
Luciferian inhibitions, and in that dilemma he stays.
The average Christian, on the other hand, fully and
joyously believing in eternal life,
finds himself introduced at once into it. It truly is a matter of his own
aggressive expectations. That which one thinks, is! You can think
yourself into conscious existence on the Other Side, just as Israelite
thinks himself into inky blackness or nihility on the Other Side.
Believe in survival and you enjoy survival. Let ignorant
or malicious prelates convince you that you are going to roam about in
coma till the crack odoom, and the chances are
that you are going to roam about in such coma.
Death, as the modern American
regards it, seems to be naught else than an hypnosis!
Refuse to believe in it,
and it doesnt inflict you. Believe in it and
dread it, and you know it in all its nightmare sterilities
until you work yourself out of your