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Ferry Over Jordan by Margery Lawrence 1944

 

V. ON GUIDES

Now we come to a matter that puzzles and intrigues many people immensely - the personality and position of the Guide who, as “ Controller” of the medium and her work, play so large a part in her career. What is a Guide?

A Guide or Control (though Guide is the word most commonly used here, “ Control” is, I think, more frequently used it America) is a spiritual entity who has been placed in charge, as it were, of a medium, to help her, guide and advise, educate and train her, until she is fitted to act as his permanent “ mouth piece” through which he can give out the individual teaching, messages, demonstrations, healing, and so on that he has come to earth to convey.

The Guide acts as the “ telephone operator” as it were, when his medium is in trance; advises sitters how to plan and run sittings, helps those on both sides who are eager to speak, tells them how long to speak, how to speak and other necessary details; and when the spirits cannot speak themselves (as often happens), he describes them to the sitters, gives and takes messages, gives advice and comfort, and finally, when he judges the medium has done sufficient work, closes down the sitting.

He also directs and controls the medium when she gives - as most of them do - public demonstrations of clairvoyance and clairaudience, trance lectures, healing, Direct Voice, psychic phenomena, all the rest; he is, indeed, the most important figure in the medium's life. Without a conscientious Guide in control, the medium's life and work would be aimless, sprawling and experimental, and so quite unreliable.

How do the Guides decide to use this or that medium, and how does the association start? - is a question often asked. These Guides, after long thought, much consultation with their Elder Brethren and Masters on the Other Side, attach themselves to certain mediums, choosing those with whom they know they can most successfully become en rapport.(*) They train their mediums and themselves - for the Guide has to train


 

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himself as well as his medium - from the Other Side until the time comes when the “ attunement” between medium and Guide is so complete that the Guide can order and direct his instrument as he wills.

(*) An instance of this is the case of the famous American medium, “ Margery”, whose dead brother Walter acted as her Guide for many years.

It must be understood that there is no forcing, no compulsion, no coercing, mental or physical, to induce any person to become a medium against his or her will. The medium realizes what she is being trained for, and she can use her own free will to take up, or to refuse, the work offered her. If she is alarmed or finds the idea of such work distasteful, she can decline it. And knowing the slander, the ridicule, the opprobrium that follows so many mediums through life, I think it is greatly to their credit that they so rarely decline!

It takes a very long time to accomplish this “ tuning-in” between medium and Guide; and the higher the Guide the longer it takes, because those entities whose real home is the Upper Spheres have not contacted earth for very many years, and they find the vibrations of earth life so intolerably heavy and stifling, so almost painful, that they cannot endure it for long at the start. They have to force themselves to endure it, by little and little at a time, until by sheer strength of will and determination, despite their intense discomfort, they can remain in control of their medium for as long as they wish.

One of the leading Guides (the Control of a world-famous medium) told me that it took him seven years to accustom himself to living and working under earth conditions. He had to “ lower himself” into our vibrations each day by slow degrees, as a diver lowers himself into dark and heavy waters, slowly, at each “ dive” lengthening the time he stayed “ under water” until he grew accustomed to it. This Guide has worked through his medium for over fifteen years in our world, and he told me that even now he still finds the conditions of our earth at times painful and distressing to a degree; he says it is rather like trying to breathe in a smoke-filled room, or trying to see on a foggy night, where one strains one's eyes until they water, and still one cannot see clearly.

In some cases I have been told by a Guide that he chose his medium because he had known and worked with her in several earlier lives, so knew she was in tune with him, and that they could work together harmoniously and successfully. I don't suppose this explanation will please those who dislike the idea of reincarnation! But it appeals to me as a sane and logical reason. And it happens to be a fact (whether a


 

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welcome one or not!) that most of the Higher Guides do teach the doctrine of reincarnation, on which I propose to say a good deal more later.

A common criticism is made that at the average sitting so much time is wasted by the spirits and their earth friends in talking trivialities about absurd and unimportant things - messages about a pet dog, a photograph forgotten in a drawer, a spray of flowers, an old book, a birthday anniversary, and so on. But these critics fail to realize that the first step towards understanding of the continuity of life is to understand that there is no death of the individual - and these very trivialities prove the survival, and the individuality, of the entity communicating. The vast majority of people come first to a sitting, simply in order to find out if their loved ones are still alive - and it is through apparently stupid and trivial little details that a spirit proves that he is himself, and can make his people certain that he is nobody else! If this is so, surely here is no waste of time, but a matter of great value and importance? As a working-class mother said to me once, with joyful tears streaming down her face, after a long talk to her “ dead” sailor son “ It was just 'is teasing 'is dad about wasting money on the dogs that made me know it was Jack! He always used to make that old joke about dad ‘going to the dogs’...”

And I submit that though to the cynic this lamentably-ancient joke must seem both trivial and idiotic, yet as Jack in life was a simple person, and liked and used that simple joke, it was his quoting it from the Other Side that convinced his mother that it was indeed her own son Jack speaking! If Jack Smith had started talking brilliantly, or poetically, or argumentatively, or learnedly (as apparently some of our critics would have liked him to do), he would not have been Jack Smith - who will certainly be, for a good time after he leaves this earth, precisely the same blunt, slangy, simple Jack Smith his mother knew on earth! So much for this narrow and stupid criticism - which, alas, is far too often heard. But while it is true that on the whole the vast majority of sitters are solely interested in survival - and that at the present stage of man's development the first business of Spiritualism, generally speaking, is to prove survival - yet those among us who desire and are qualified to understand higher teaching and training, who long to attain some knowledge at least of the intricate and amazing laws that govern the Universe, are also more than adequately catered for!


 

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The fact that an extensive “ advanced education” in Spiritualism exists, an education that deals with matters far higher and more difficult of comprehension than the comparatively simple matter of proving survival, is less well known than it should be, because this side of the study of Spiritualism is naturally overshadowed by the public's much greater interest, first, in survival, and second, in those curious and startling experiences known as “ psychic phenomena” . This has always been so - to such an extent, indeed, that many people do not even know that these higher teachings exist. Also, many of them do not particularly want to know! The “ advanced classes” offer learning, progress, know­ledge unique and splendid; but this needs personal effort and study, whereas the investigation of survival and psychic phenomena provides thrills and excitement that appeal to everybody, and do not need especial application before they can be obtained.

The Guides tend to deplore the way in which people will, crowd to see “ signs and wonders” , which are like the drum-beating and trumpet­blowing at the doors of the circus-tent, where the crowd lingers gasping, ignoring the far greater and more valuable teaching that awaits them within the tent! Unfortunately, still, to the vast majority of people, the study of Spiritualism means only two things - either talking to one's dead relatives, or watching, open-mouthed, a luminous trumpet or a tambourine floating about in a darkened room! The study of psychic phenomena has, of course, considerable value and importance in the scheme of things, because it attracts and awakens people's interest, and so turns their feet towards the tent (to continue the “ circus” simile). But it cannot be too strongly emphasized, to those who complain that this is “ all there is to” Spiritualism, that for those who desire and (let me repeat this) are fitted to profit by, higher and more extensive training, the Guides can and do reveal a whole world of learning, of knowledge and experiment beyond words interesting and important.

But you will not get inside the tent through mere curiosity to see what happens there! You will have to wait and work, and hope sometimes for years before you can get inside - it took me ten years patient searching before I found the door open at last to me. The Guides choose their “ advanced pupils” carefully - and so they rarely have one who does not sincerely desire to learn and profit by what he has learnt.

Most of the Guides have a private teaching-circle of specially chosen students who have passed beyond being interested in “ signs” and “ wonders” , and who are eager to learn something of the laws of the


 

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Cosmos, of the past and future of Man, of how to contact the Masters and extend and expand their own development . . . and here in these private circles, as in the Upper Room of a certain house in Jerusalem, the new disciples sit at the feet of Those who carry on (more truly than the Church realizes) the true teachings of the Nazarene. I have been privileged to be, for many years, a regular member of more than one of these “ Inner Circles”, and though I shall, of course, not mention names, dates or addresses (as these meetings are private in the best sense of the word), here is a description of a representative gathering.

These meetings are usually held in a private room, sometimes in the house of the medium, sometimes in that of one of the sitters, and as a rule the evening starts with the singing of some soothing tune - often a hymn, as most people can join in a hymn tune. But (contrary to what most people believe) it is the vibrations of the music that are of importance, not the religious words. This is to assist the medium to go off into trance - and most mediums will slip into trance just as easily to a classical piece of music played on a gramophone, or to the singing of a completely secular tune, as long as the tune is soothing and even in its vibrations.

Then when the medium is in deep trance the Guide takes temporary possession of her body, comes through, greets the assembled company and begins his talk. Sometimes it is upon the laws of the Vibrations, on the powers and potentialities of light or colour and their effects on the human body, on the Cycles of evolution, on astrology or astronomy or reincarnation, or any one of a dozen other absorbing and interesting matters; and as a rule, at the end of the lecture the company is invited to put questions. And these questions, especially with a really intelligent audience, frequently evoke answers of a most interesting kind, so that at the end of the evening the lucky “ pupils” go away full of information, strange, erudite and fascinating, upon which to reflect during the time that must elapse before the next meeting.

The outside world would stand amazed did it know - as I do - the eminent people who have in their time attended some of these meetings, and Fleet Street would stand on its head! It is no exaggeration to say that I have regularly encountered at many such meetings the most amazing congerie of personalities, from representatives of Royal Houses down through the ranks of society to the very humblest worker - from scientists, doctors, sportsmen, lawyers, parsons, professors,


 

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singers, actors, painters, to cooks, charwomen, shopkeepers, gardeners, stokers, chauffeurs, and so on.

There is no recognition of social rank. Each member is known in the circle by a new and different name (conferred by the Guide) and under no circumstances does any information about the meetings or those who attend them ever creep out. I have never known a case of anybody, no matter how poor or ignorant, ever “ giving away” what they knew about these evenings. But the Press would have “ spread themselves” as they rarely do if they could have had a list of the sitters at even one of some of these secret meetings that I have been privileged to attend!

I will quote one small instance of the way in which, in these Inner Circle meetings, rank and class drops away. I remember seeing a magnificent Rolls-Royce car drive up, driven by a young man in chauffeur's uniform, and behind him a certain royal personage whose name makes headlines wherever he appears. Outside they were master and man. But inside, the Guide greeted the one as a highly-advanced student and called him to the front, and the other was greeted just as kindly - but accorded a very humble place at the back. And the first was the chauffeur and the second the Prince. All through the evening the boy in the chauffeur's uniform made it plain that whatever he was outside that room, inside it he ranked among those rich in knowledge and in true wisdom. And as we all passed out at the end of the meeting, the Prince looked at me and said whimsically, “ I'm learning at last! Truly ‘the first shall be last and the last first’.”

And in my own mind Kipling's words kept dancing as I went home: “ Outside, ‘Sergeant! Sir! Salute, Salaam!’ Inside, ‘Brother’, an’ it doesn't do no ‘arm. We met upon the level and we parted on the square And I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!”

So that is the answer to those who say that all Spiritualism can produce are trivial prattlings between rather unintelligent people.

The answer is, Spiritualism can give you whatever you seek. And if all you seek is assurance that your loved ones live and are happy, then you can get that assurance. But - if you seek for higher knowledge, then that also awaits you. But you must seek for it, assure the Masters who watch you that you seek it sincerely, and when they are assured, it will be yours in such abundance as you could never imagine. Pressed down and running over.


 

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I am often asked these two questions about the personalities of the Guides. “ What they are like, and if you cannot see them, how is it you can tell them apart?” And another point that puzzles many people is the fact that so many of the leading Guides - one might almost say most of them - bear Red Indian, or what seem to be, Red Indian names.

The two questions are easily answered. They are the spirits of men who once walked this earth. Men wise and kind and full of knowledge and they have as many different personalities as you would expect to find amongst any group of men; and you can tell them apart, though you cannot see them, by their voices, by their varying manners, tricks of speech and by the difference in their style of teaching or lecturing (whichever you like to call it!). Some talk quickly and emphatically, some slowly, some are solemn, some are gruff or rather blunt, some are gentle, almost feminine, some are so detached as to be almost chilling, until you know them well, and some possess a quick and sometimes disconcerting wit; some are apt to get a little annoyed with foolish or frivolous questions, some never vary their gravely-patient attitude, some have a bubbling sense of humour, some argue like Jesuits, and I have heard more than one denounce in round and ringing terms a man who presumed to defy or cheat their authority! Some speak like vigorous young men, some with the balanced measure of old age. Some Guides have long passed over, some have died only recently, and their powers vary according to their length of training and experience.

But let us get one thing straight. The Guides are neither ghosts nor gods! They are human beings who have once occupied human bodies, and who, having attained a high spiritual training through many, many years of life first in this world and later on the Other Side, are well qualified to teach and guide men and women born in these latter days. Some Guides are women-souls, and do great work also - but men or women, they have both alike travelled the stony road of this earth-life for many years, sometimes many hundreds of years, before us; and having done so, have deliberately chosen to come back to share their wisdom and learning with us and try to help us on our way.

Sometimes silly people - especially Church people - denounce these Guides as devils or evil spirits! But all I can say in answer to the fools who talk about “ devils” is that for more than eighteen years I have worked with and known - as intimately as I know my best friends on earth - several of the leading Guides at present working in or near London. And during these years I have heard these Guides teach more


 

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wisdom, give more sane counsel, help and comfort more mourners, try to uplift more sinners, and altogether do more real Christian work than I have ever seen done in the Church! And if that is the devil's work, then I am proud to count myself among the devil's disciples! “ By their work ye shall know them” . . . And countless thousands do know the Guides by their work, and laud and bless them as they deserve.

I can hear a doubter's voice. “ Are there, then, no weak, faulty, or even false Guides? Are they all as you describe - because if so it sounds too good to be true?”

I must say at once that I could not obviously say there were no false Guides. People who dabble in this sort of study for mean or selfish ends may obviously attract undesirable entities from the Lower Planes who pose as Guides - but all I can say is that I have never yet found one. But I have found occasionally a faulty, even false medium, through whom the finest Guide in the world cannot succeed in delivering his message as he wishes to do - and that is why I advise caution and patience and much careful study of your medium when you begin sitting.

“ You cannot get pure water from a tainted source” - and a medium who lets material passion, desire, greed, get the upper hand, “ fogs” the channels through which the Guide must work, and so that medium's work is “ clouded” or untrustworthy or even fails completely.

Guides, like mediums, are of varying degrees, and those Guides that work with mediums whose powers (while genuine enough) are not of the highest vibration, are apt to be, shall we say, younger, less highly­trained and experienced than their brothers. But they need not be “ bad” or “ false” Guides - even if they do not work on quite such high vibrations as their “ Elder Brothers” . Indeed, very often these younger Guides are doing work that is fully as valuable as their Elder Brothers, because they can reach and teach a section of humanity who might be puzzled - or even a little frightened! - by the more advanced type of Guides. To talk to these is sometimes like breathing a highly-rarefied air, and leaves one a little spent and dazed with the intense purity of the vibrations they bring with them. The younger souls of earth would be scared and intimidated by them.

Again, the “ lesser” mediums could not work with these very exalted Guides - they could not stand the strength of their vibrations, that must pass through their earthly bodies. So the lesser-gifted Guides and mediums have their importance in the scale of things, and matter just as


 

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much. There is no possible jealousy or rivalry between the different grades of Guides, as there is none between really spiritual-minded mediums. They both know that every grade of teaching has its own value, and that all work together for the common good.

It would obviously follow that while these lesser Guides are doing splendid work in proving survival and helping beginners to learn the early truths of Spiritualism, in the nature of things they cannot give such learned and erudite “ private lessons” as their Elder Brothers; and they are also less reliable as regards prophecy - which is a matter upon which many people lay great stress. The truth of Spiritualism does not, of course, rest on prophecy (which is only one branch of a vast subject), yet many important happenings have been truly foretold by the leading “ Guides” - though they are apt to feel a little puzzled and contemptuous regarding the immense importance we on earth are apt to lay upon prophecy!

“ We come down to teach, not to play at fortune-tellers” (as one Guide said to me once when I was discussing the much vexed question of the No-War prophecy). “ And though we can see the trend of world events in large outline, as a whole, yet since man has free will he is left to fill in the details as he chooses. And sometimes he does most surprising and unexpected things that one cannot foresee in every detail, though some of us can see more of these details than others. It is the general outline that is really important, not the details. For instance, we have taught for years that at the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, which we have now reached, the world must suffer immense and far-reaching changes - that revolutions, upheavals, social and economic disasters must come and the whole trend of life take on a different aspect.(*) But all this should have come about without bloodshed - but for Germany. We saw dark shadows of many kinds, war amongst them, overhanging the earth - and we also saw the sunlight beyond that proved that mankind would struggle out of the shadows finally into the sun. But until comparatively late in 1939 we hoped and believed that the shadow of war would pass away. Though world-domination was gradually taking form in Hitler's mind, he did not desire to gain it by war, especially with England. He hoped to gain it by guile . . . he built up his armaments to terrorize the people into yielding what he wanted, but he hoped to, and believed he could, gain his ends by terror alone. And when many of us said there would be no war, when we said it we spoke the truth as we saw it then. But man is a creature of free will - and the leaders of Germany wanted


 

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war. The evil group of men who in many past lives have influenced the man Hitler to his doom had their way with him again. At the last minute, the Dark Powers won control of Hitler's mind and soul, and but a few weeks before that fateful September we saw that war must come after all! Then we Guides took council with our Brothers on the Higher Planes, and it was decided to tell certain of our ‘Inner Circle’pupils, such as we could reach, and those that we knew could bear bad news without breaking down, and bid them stand fast against the crash that was coming. But we decided against publishing the coming disaster to the world at large, knowing that with you British people it is better to ‘take a blow on the chin’, as you say, rather than let you know too long beforehand and so give dread and fear a chance to undermine your strength of soul, as it so often does. And indeed our faith in you was fulfilled - you took the blow with courage, and instantly squared yourselves to face things, with no panic or despair. We knew we risked losing many adherents by this method, and we lost them indeed - but those who kept their faith are now indeed proved and tested! We knew that our mediums would be vilified and ourselves jeered at as fakes and failures, just as I know this explanation of mine will be dismissed by many people as a clever piece of ‘special pleading’. But we Guides take no heed of what is said about us, or about our mediums. We do our duty as we see it - and though now this world-revolution that should have come about peacefully and been spread over fifty, perhaps a hundred years, must needs come to pass through blood and suffering, yet out of this holocaust, tragic as it seems, the true soul of man will emerge strengthened and purified as it has not been for many centuries past. Death of the body is tragic - but death of the soul is worse; and while many quislings and traitors have sold their souls for the temporary safety of their bodies, many millions of people, through the death of their valiant bodies, given for others, and to save the world from the evil of Germany, have saved their souls indeed. Pay no heed to those who say that because you slay, you sin even as the enemy sins, who began the slaying. It is not so! The motive that dictates an action is what matters - and your motive, to defend the right and rescue the innocent was a motive of good, not of evil. The sword was thrust into your hand (which took it reluctantly) and you used it only because you knew it right so to use it. The guilt of bloodshed lies not upon you, but upon the race that first began the slaughter. Yet be of good cheer. Truly the shadow through which humanity is passing is dark and dreadful - but the sunlight lies ahead.”


 

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(*) I This was foretold to me on and off for ten years before 1939.

Now we come to the question concerning the Guides' names. Thanks to Fenimore Cooper, the serials and boys' adventure-stories of our childhood and the tales of early pioneers in America, in England we picture the Red Indian as a war-whooping warrior brandishing a tomahawk, rejoicing in torture and carrying a string of scalps about his waist - and we wonder, not unreasonably, why the Guides should be drawn from the ranks of such a blood-thirsty people! I have discussed this interesting point with several of the leading Guides, and I give you the explanation that they gave to me. They told me that the “ Red Indians” who figure as the villains in latter-day stories of North America are only the remnants of an extremely ancient race.

In the beginning (by which I mean many, many thousands of years ago, long before any known historical records) the North of America was colonized, as early Egypt and many other places were colonized, by groups of Atlantean settlers fleeing, under the guidance of their chosen priests (who had received spiritual warning of the coming catastrophe), from their doomed homeland, Atlantis. These settlers carried with them, as the Masters on the Other Side had bidden them, a vast amount of the hidden arcane wisdom of Atlantis, and for many hundreds of years after disaster began in slow stages to overtake the Mother­Country, these new colonies of Atlantis, scattered far and wide over the Old World, lived and flourished. Their psychic contact with the Masters was maintained, the ritual of their worship and the psychic knowledge they brought with them was guarded and cherished, so that when Atlantis the Golden finally disappeared, the seeds, both spiritual and material, of the great civilization that had flourished there continued to live on in these colonies.

Many of these colonies expanded and became individual kingdoms or civilizations, of which the Aztec, later known as the “ Incan” Civilization, was the greatest (called Incan from the title “ Inca” borne by their rulers, as “ Pharaoh” was for centuries the title borne by all rulers of Egypt). These civilizations covered thousands of miles of land in many parts of the world with wonderful cities and roads, palaces, ports and temples, of which a few broken remnants still stand to puzzle and impress the modern archaeologist - as witness the mysterious remains of the Mayan culture, the ruins of Chichen Itza, Palenque, Copan, in Central America, the gigantic stone figures on Easter Island, the pyramids of Egypt, Mexico, China, the Cyclopean Walls in Andalusia,


 

the curious monuments found in Polynesia, Stonehenge in England, Carnac in Brittany, and so on. A thousand similar strange and monstrous fragments up and down the world, all testify to the wide­flung colonies of ancient Atlantis!

But as life expanded, and gold and crops, horses and cattle and timber grew more valuable and these individual colonies, especially the great and wealthy communities in what is now America, became more cultured and more splendid, then, as always happens, material ambition, desires, interests, grew strong, and the people grew not only lax and careless of their duties and responsibilities, but careless of higher things also. Cruelty and tyranny crept into a system of ruling that was once pure and kindly. The kings and nobles grew greedy of wealth and power. Bloody sacrifices and rich bribes to the priesthood took the place of the old temple tributes of corn, wine and fruit, the people were taxed and enslaved, and so, slowly but inevitably, the ancient psychic powers were withdrawn - as always happens when man loses sight of the true gods and follows after false ones. So gradually these ancient civilizations crumpled and fell, partly to the invader, but mainly to the rot within themselves - and when Pizarro and his Spaniards brought ruin and disaster to the Incas of South America, there vanished the last traces of the world's first civilization: Atlantis, the civilization that was the first to evolve on earth.(*) These people, the descendants of the original Atlanteans, were the original “ red” Indians, so called because their skins were a pale coppery bronze; and their spiritual and psychic development (even fallen, as it then was, from its first high purity) was still the highest and purest the world had ever seen since the days of Atlantis.

(*) I am aware that I shall be challenged over this - but I am merely repeating what I am told. As I have studied the Atlantean theory very closely and read innumerable standard works on it, both scientific and occult, I accept these statements because they seem to square with my

studies, and certainly with my instincts - for what these are worth!

Following the collapse of the Incan civilization and the looting and ruin of its chief cities by the marauding Spaniards, the people broke up into tribes and small communities, or, scattered and wandering, became hunters and trappers for a living; their wealth dispersed, their fields and villages swallowed by the jungle, their fair cities ruined and forgotten, all these things, like their ancient history, became in time vague memories and finally mere legends.

Yet in all the long and chequered history of the people we now call Red Indians, they have somehow managed to preserve intact their old

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instinctive knowledge and understanding of that Greatness that to-day we call God.

“ Manitou” - the “ Great Spirit” , they called the Almighty, and in their downfall they worshipped him in no building made by hands, since the white, many-stepped temples of their Atlantean ancestors had long vanished and been forgotten. As savage warriors living in skin tents, hunting and fishing and trapping their food, they worshipped the God they loved and did not fear in the wild green glens, the plains and valleys, in the mighty-columned cathedrals of the primeval forests, in the awful purity of the Northern snows - they kept their racial soul strong and pure and free, until the whites arrived, bringing with them vice and drunkenness, cruelty and treachery and greed. And - what was almost worse - bringing with them the narrow, rigid Western conception of a God of fear and vengeance.

I should like to quote here an extract from an extremely able little booklet in my possession written by an American writer, Frederick Harding, that puts what I am trying to explain extremely well.

“ The Red Indians regarded the Infinite as a Power with an Intelligence whose might extended everywhere, into all things.

They had no creeds or clergy, no mythological systems of deities. They worshipped one God, and they called this Power that put life into all living things ‘Manitou’ or, in their tongue, ‘The Great Spirit’.

Modern Spiritualism brings to use the same teaching that was given in America centuries ago, to these early inhabitants. ‘God is One, God is Infinite, God is a Power that thinks.’ The revelations to the Indians through their ‘medicine men’ (who, of course, were their mediums, teachers and healers. What better ‘cabinet’ could you have than the dark silence of a wigwam?) agree with those being given out to-day via our mediums. For the Indians believed that, to the brave and worthy, God proved in the hereafter to be - Love. . . .

‘The Great Spirit!’ In all the religious history of all the races of mankind, no name for the Infinite Power that rules the Cosmos has been thought of better than this.

To be rightly understood, the moral and spiritual life of the Red Man must be divided into two distinct periods. The first is the time I have already spoken of, up to the coming of the whites, when the red­skinned folk who were the descendants of the original settlers from


 

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Atlantis were attuned in a simple and genuine harmony with the Infinite Spirit in all things.

The second period dates from the Indians' contact with the white people. It is of the Indians of this latter period that nearly all our literature of Indian life has to tell, and this latter period shows an increasingly debased type of people, very different from the Indians' own stories of what their race used to be like.

In the first period, extending over very many centuries, was rooted and built up the spiritual strength and harmony of their kind. It is this heritage of noble appreciation, of keen and clear wisdom and understanding of Nature in all her moods and aspects (psychic and material both) that gives to the discarnate ‘Red Indian’ his matchless qualities as a Guide and Teacher. It was the white man's greed, his abuse of the earliest trust of the Indians, his cruelty and false trading, his loose moral code, his inconsistent religious life, and above all, his ‘firewater’ that gradually and inevitably corrupted, embittered and ruined the spiritual life of the Red People.

Of the countless thousands of free men and women, worshippers of the Great White Spirit, who occupied the vast lands of North America before the tiny ships of Columbus arrived, there remain to-day but a few survivors.

We should not judge the Soul of the Red Indian, those great spirits we know through mediumship, by these tragic relics of a formerly great race of mankind. . . .”

Yes! Now all that is left of that remote and splendid people is a small and pitiful remnant living on a “ reservation” allotted them by the whites, wearing store clothes, liking gin and cigarettes, making their beaded moccasins and squirrel-skin pouches for sale to curious visitors, staging their ancient tribal dances for the benefit of the cinema or for the cameras of a gaping crowd of tourists . . . yet even now the Red Man still possesses much of his ancient powers! Anyone who has spent any length of time studying the Red Indian, even in his degeneration, will tell you that he can see and sense strange things. He is “ fey” and second­sighted, only too often, as is the Celt...

That is the reason why so many Guides are drawn from the ranks of the so-called “ Red Indians” . Also, there is another reason. Indian names are very symbolic - and a Guide will often choose a name that symbolizes his especial mission. For instance, “ Red Cloud” , Estelle


 

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Robert's famous and well-loved Guide, once told me that he chose to use that name because in the Bible it says that the children of Israel were guided by a “ pillar of cloud at night and a pillar of fire by day” (*) ... and as he came to be a leader, the name was, particularly suitable.

(*) Exodus xiii. 21: “ And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire...

Silver Birch, the famous Guide of Hannen Swaffer's home circle, is also well named, for his teaching, high and pure in quality, is like the slender glorious tree that stands high above its fellows, looking out over their heads towards the Light. Red Eagle, Ronald Strong's Guide, brings a feeling of strength and purpose. White Hawk, the Guide of Mrs. Barkel, is swift and brilliant as his namesake, and White Eagle, the beloved Guide of Mrs. Grace Cooke, could not be better named, for as he speaks, with that slow, measured dignity and wisdom, one seems to feel a hovering pair of wings, wide, warm and protective, far above one. I could continue this list, but I fear to bore my readers - but I hope I have said sufficient to explain this point as far as I am able.

Another small thing that puzzles many enquirers also is the halo-like feather head-dress that, seen clairvoyantly, and after drawn in psychic portraits of them, seems to be worn by so many of the Guides.

Actually I am given to understand that this does not necessarily mean that the Guides are wearing an actual feather “ war-bonnet”! But that what looks like one to the psychic who “ sees” it, is actually the wide­streaming rays of the aura that frames the heads of these great Guides - the sign of their high spiritual position and powers. The wider the rays, the greater the powers, and to the clairvoyant's vision they would appear very much like a halo of wide-spreading “ feathers” of light, and coupled with the Indian names assumed by the Guides, the impression of the feathered war-bonnet is an obvious one. The conventional “ halo” seen in holy pictures is, as I have already indicated, simply the formalized picturing of these same “ rays” (or aura) that are easily seen by any sensitive about the head of any very saintly character. I am told that in the very ancient days of Atlantis, and in that country's subsequent colonies, which naturally followed the old tradition as far as possible, the ceremonial head-dress of the high priest and his assistants (or possibly the king, if, as in certain old civilizations, the king was the high priest also) consisted of a “ halo” of long streaming feathers fastened to a head-band of gold-work and jewels; making a conventionalized representation of the aura of the gods with whom they


 

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were supposed to be in contact. In some of the old Mayan monuments you see occasionally a conventionalized portrayal of a male figure, obviously a priest or king, wearing such a head-dress. If this is true, the actual “ war-bonnet” of the latter-day Red Indian is the last surviving fragment of a most ancient and interesting piece of religious symbolism.

The complaint may be made that I have dwelt over-long upon the Indian Guides, whereas there are Guides of other types and races - Chinese, Tibetans, Indians, and so on. And, of course, there are many child Guides, like Lilian Bailey's “ Poppet” and the famous “ Feda” of Mrs. Osborne Leonard. But while I have sometimes contacted Chinese Guides, Hindu, Persian and others, and had most interesting and profitable talks with them, I myself never cared much for child Guides, if I may be perfectly frank. I like to talk to someone older and wiser than myself - and the engaging prattle of these well-intentioned little souls generally either embarrasses or irritates me. I hope I shall not seem ungracious, and I know they do splendid work, and many people are very fond of them - but somehow they just don't tune in with me!

I have also occasionally heard the comment that it is puzzling that there seem so few Guides belonging to the white races. The answer to this, of course, is that there are many Guides drawn from the white races. The Guide of Joseph Benjamin, for instance, is a German doctor. “ Mickie” is the Control of Leslie Flint, William Hadley Wootton, an army officer, speaks through Lilian Bailey, George Jobson, the scientist, works through Mrs. Louisa Bolt, while the first Guide of the medium, Collen­Smith, was a very grumpy old Wesleyan parson who used to irritate me extraordinarily! (I understand this Guide has now given place to another, Tamara, of a considerably higher grade; but as regards the value of this Guide I cannot speak, as I have ceased to sit with this medium.)

But on the whole I think it is true to say that the Guides are more usually drawn from the Eastern races - and the reason for this is, I believe, threefold. One, the Eastern races were old and wise in all these psychic studies when we were wearing woad! Two, by nature they are very much more sensitive, more easily brought into touch with the unseen; they have never been swamped with materialism as we have been. And three, they are as a rule more humble, more ready to work and serve without question than the Westerner, who is full of questions and doubts and suspicions!


 

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Because of these reasons I am convinced that the highest, the most erudite sort of esoteric teaching comes from these Eastern Guides - at least all my experience goes to prove that this is so, and to me the reason is obvious. Our Western culture is comparatively new - only about a thousand years old at least - whereas there were great civilizations, sages and wise men, scientists and thinkers in the East, when the Ice Age ruled in Europe. So - the East has come back to teach us what we cannot learn without its help. And - with its ancient wisdom and discretion - the East is letting its teachers speak through Western mouths.

I hope the length of this dissertation upon these important figures, the Guides, has not proved tiresome. But so much nonsense is talked and so much honest, bewildered enquiry made about them, that I considered, even at the risk of boring my readers, that I must treat of this subject in extenso. I do not, of course, pretend that I have provided all the answers. But these, at least, are the explanations that have been given to me by the Guides themselves, and as such I pass them on.

 

ON EVERYDAY LIFE ON THE OTHER SIDE