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An Hour in Purgatory by Albert Pauchard

ALBERT PAUCHARD was born and died in Geneva (1878-1934).

While still a child he was interested in spiritualism and as an adult he became a member of the Geneva Society for Psychic Studies. Later he was successively its librarian, vice-president, president and honorary president.

In 1911 he spent a year in Paris where he studied occultism under Papus (Dr. Encausse), and developed the magnetic gift which he possessed. More and more he turned towards spiritualism.

He devoted his life to perfect himself, to serve God and his fellow men. But exhausted by this continual self sacrifice, he suddenly passed away on 3rd July, 1934.

I was fortunate enough to see and hear him several times after his liberation. The last vision took place in January 1935. Then I heard nothing precise from him until the moment when he tried to get in touch with me through friends in Holland.

In this small and absolutely private group he found the possibility to manifest himself and show his affection for all those he had left on Earth.

As a keen psychist he learned a great deal about the other world while still living in this and such knowledge must have enabled him to move about with great ease as soon as he arrived in the Hereafter.

He tells what he has seen with his usual simplicity, precision and humour, so characteristic of him.

His ever curious, searching, thoughtful mind has helped him discover many a thing.

Conscious of the childish conceptions of the great masses, he tried to help his brothers on Earth to get a better understanding of life in the Hereafter, to adapt themselves and profit of its infinite possibilities. That is the reason for the publication of these communications.

The `transcribers’, our friends, had a brief contact with him on Christmas Eve, 1934 and then he returned towards the end of February 1935:

“As I can easily get in touch with you, I shall be happy to communicate to Antoinette and yourselves, my first impressions here. Will you help me to do so from time to time?”

Thus it was on the 4th of March that the communications began and I want to thank the `transcribers’ for having worked with such perseverance and modesty at our little book which is entirely due to their efforts.

May these messages bring enlightenment, help and comfort to all who suffer and try to understand what becomes of us after death.

~ Antoinette Pauchard

1: On Arrival

A Light in the Night

YES, of course, I have been with you since last night, and it was impossible to make myself heard!

My great friend, do not become discouraged when you suffer and tell yourself this: whatever happens to you it is neither Mr. X, nor Mrs. Y. or Miss Z.‘s fault, since it is your own guardian angel who lit the fire under your `alembic’.

Do you understand?

And look, here is His own message that I came to bring you:

Blessed be the hand that strikes you, since it is that very hand I use to accomplish the Great work in you.

If you collaborate with me, everything will be accomplished without error and with a minimum of suffering.

But if you do not understand the meaning of your trial, you will gain but little and your suffering will be unbearable!

That’s all for tonight.

Goodbye! And next time don’t keep me waiting too long before your door.

If you do not feel well, think of me, that’s why I am here.

The Guardian of the Threshold

MY dear friend, if only you knew! The more scoriae you can burn on earth, the better for you. For here we have to burn everything without the protecting screen of our material body.

You will understand now why it has been said: “Happy are those who weep!”

Everyone of us, no matter who he may be, has at the bottom of his being a layer of dregs of. which he is not aware. I did not know how true that was until I came here. `Purgatory’ is not a fancy, it is a reality.

We are good people, you and I. And when coming here, I expected to find only glory and delight. But after the first feeling of liberation has passed, we are brought face to face with what is called either `the prince of darkness’ or `the guardian of the threshold’.

To tell the truth, he is not a being with an individuality of his own. Yet, to a certain extent, he has one: the one we give him by identifying ourselves with him, out of this he gets his power and vitality. In himself he is nothing but the focalization of all the non-regenerated forces of our own past. These forces are not bad in themselves. But they create suffering by the simple process of transmutation.

In this respect it is very important to know that, when we are born, we bring along with us a part of these tremendous forces, but only a part of them, otherwise we would be crushed by their weight! It is a task we have accepted to work at while on Earth, and which represents in the life of everyone of us, the `powers of darkness’ as they are called in the Christian terminology.

As to the experiences after the `great passing out’, I can tell you this, through my own knowledge: we are brought directly face to face with the various departments of our ‘I’.

The various `I’s’ are facing us then as separate and independent personalities, yet intimately linked with our consciousness.

I assure you, it is then, and then only, that one learns what `self-knowledge’ means! And it is not difficult to draw the conclusions. You cannot even imagine all the revelations that result from such objective encounters with our `I’, when seen under those different aspects.

There are some very unpleasant moments to pass through, I can assure you.

Please understand, however, that there is no punishment for ‘faults committed’ involved in it. I do not speak of sins I speak of that kind of knowledge which we thus acquire, and of the incorruptible way in which this takes place.
However, we shall speak of it later.

An Hour in Purgatory

MY dear friend, I heard you say a few moments ago something like: Scoriae…. I know that for my part I have quite a lot to burn and I am prepared for it. But that such a good man like him should have had so many, is almost inconceivable!

You are mistaken.

I kept things more to myself than you do with your nervous temperament. That is all. But I, too, in my own way, have known moments of inward rage, disobliging criticism, and deep depression.

Now, please, listen carefully. I am not going to lecture you. This is the message which for a long time I have been dreaming of bringing you. So important a message, that I do not understand how it is not always given whenever a contact, such as ours, takes place between inhabitants of the two Worlds.

I will explain myself:

Once out here, and the first moments of bliss after our liberation and happy meetings have passed, we descend to a region where it is more or less dark and where we meet the famous `guardian of the threshold’. It would seem that, according to each individual, things happen in a slightly different way. In my case, the curious thing was that while walking all by myself along a lonely path, I was attacked by wasps, or something of the kind, which threatened to sting me.’

A Voice, like thunder, said to me:

“Well, you cannot complain. For if they had stung you, what would have become of you?”

And suddenly I realised that this was connected with all irritations, all the thoughts of criticism, which I had passively borne while on earth. If I had nourished them, the wasps would have stung me. If I had chased them away, there would have been no wasps!

Now, I had a good many of these thoughts passing through my soul without awakening a will in me to overcome them. And now I have found them again here! A peculiar thing was, that their humming awakened in me, but with far greater intensity, the very thoughts these wasps represented. But now they had become for me something objective, something beyond myself, which I could not control.

“Walk on! Walk on!” said the Voice of thunder.

I walked on and on. It seemed an endless road. And it was very difficult not to give way to extreme irritation! For I must tell you, that here all feelings and impressions are multiplied a hundred-fold, just the way the light of a lamp is intensified when a heavy dark shade is removed.

After a time, which I cannot estimate according to earthly measurement, I left this infuriated swarm behind me. The semi-darkness around me seemed to grow lighter, and I saw a Figure sitting on a slope by the wayside. He was leaning on his elbow with the head in his hand.

He was lighter than the kind of dusk which surrounded us and there was a strange fascination about Him. When I approached, He lifted His head and looked at me with kindliness and slight mockery. At that very moment, and without being able to explain why, I knew that the Voice came from Him.

He rose, inviting me with a gesture to continue our way together. It was good to be in His company. The atmosphere became brighter. The path seemed less arid. There were even some flowers by the wayside, and we walked on in this way for some time.

At a certain moment I had the feeling as though a cloud had passed over the sun.

Instinctively, by sheer terrestrial habit, I looked at the sky. But there was no sky!

There was no depth, no perspective, no free space… . There was nothing. I was alone in a desolating solitude. I could not see my companion any longer. I only saw a dark cloud descending and weighing heavily down upon me.

“Walk on! Walk on!” said the Voice of thunder again.

And I walked on!

I walked on because I was ordered to do so, for otherwise I should have let myself drop, over-come by desolation.

It was strange: I did not hear the Voice with my ears. I heard it within myself, with my whole consciousness.

Gradually the daylight reappeared. I felt the pressure diminish, and there on the slope, by the wayside, was my great Companion again!

His Voice said to me:

“Those were all the depressions and despondencies you bore passively.”

He stressed the word `passively’, and a non-formulated question arose in my mind. He answered:

“To hear passively, is to believe in the `reason of existence’ of these things, is to consider them as justified and thus give vital power to them. That is why you have met them here as separate beings having an independent existence from you. You will find them again in your next life on earth in order to work at them. If your attitude towards them had been positive, if you had said to them: `Go behind me Satan!’, then, though you may have yielded in the end, you would have won nevertheless. For being deprived of your faith which vivifies them, they would not have been able to subsist as entities. You may have found their shadows here, but you would not have found them again on returning to the earth next time.

An Awakening

YESTERDAY I gave you an example of the experiences which a `good man’ such as

I am, has to undergo while in purgatory.

In the end I was exhausted and fell into a very deep sleep.

On awakening I found myself in my house in C .. . street. It seems that wanting a rest I had lain down in my bed. But I had not done so consciously.

At first I was not aware of any change. I was only pleasantly surprised at my feeling of well-being. I looked around me. The room appeared to me as in a haze. It occurred to me to get up and dress, and it was done. Instantaneously!

Then I remembered.

All this happened in less than a second. My sister’s thoughts brought me to her side.

She was sitting in her usual armchair. I suppose it was the very day of my … (hesitation) burial judging from the general appearance of the house, and that of my sister in particular. She was thinking of me, but she was too tired and depressed, and it prevented me from contacting her.

She has often been overcome by an immense desolation. But, luckily, she has never yielded to it passively. She has always known it to be a weakness which should be overcome and she has fought bravely. She need not be afraid now, she will not find it here in her Purgatory. It was wise of her to change her lodging. There is a great contact between us. Gradually she will become more conscious of it.

But I have spoken enough of myself for tonight.

In answer to the question you asked yourself a little while ago about the Purgatory of `hunting amateurs’, I will tell you that here we do not reap so much the fruits of our actions, as those of our feelings, emotions and imaginations.

That is all for the present, you understand the rest.

Two Victims of the Non-existent

I AM delighted to meet you again after yesterday’s enforced interruption. I am glad to see that you are feeling better. Did you feel the benefit of my aid? I could do it because your morale was good. Keep cheerful and if you have small troubles, don’t bother about them. Nobody has ever taught us to do so, on the contrary!

Recently I met a poor woman here whom I hope to be able to help in the long run. I shall try to tell you her story.

I saw her entangled in skeins and skeins of thin thread. She could have broken them without the slightest effort. But she believed herself to be held by them and unable to advance a step…. She is inaccessible to her Guardian Angel of whose existence, by the way, she is completely unaware. Her whole life on earth had been ruined by her pusillanimous nature too easily impeded by the smallest inconvenience, even an insignificant one.

I think it will require much perseverance on my part to help her out of it.

One meets all kinds of people here. One sees everybody as they really are, and each individual spends a more or less long period in his or her own particular purgatory. You will be the first to understand how intensely one desires to warn those on earth when seeing all this. Because a little goodwill, the slightest effort, even without success, makes such an enormous difference in the results over here.

I also want to tell you about a man who had been rich all his life. Eventually the crisis came and he lost the greatest part of his wealth. He had still enough left to lead a simple life which would have suited both you and me very well. But he was overwhelmed by a feeling of poverty, and the weight of this imaginary poverty depressed him to such an extent, that his health suffered. His body lost its resistance and quite recently he `passed over’ after influenza.

At present, out here, he walks about in rags! He hides for shame when he sees somebody approach him.

I wish I could, and how I wish I could, tell him that he is poor only in imagination.

But his hour of understanding has not come yet…

And the moral of it: if one yields to a feeling of misery on earth, one creates it out here, and as a rule one has to support it until it becomes absolutely unbearable.
Then from the bottom of our Being there arises a deep aspiration which is our sole and only saviour!

“An Hour in Purgatory” is an extract from The Other World by Albert Pauchard


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The Orpheus Motif in North America: The Comanche tradition – To give the reader a general idea of the form taken by the Orpheus tradition in North America, I reproduce the version of the Comanche Indians, here published for the first time. It was communicated to me orally by the late Dr Ralph Linton, who noted it down in the course of his field-studies among the Comanche (1933). Particular interest attaches to the Comanche narrative, for it is the first recorded Orpheus tradition from the more easterly Shoshonean groups. No account is given of it in Wallace and Hoebel’s Comanche monograph, which is otherwise a valuable source for the religion and folklore of this tribe. Read here
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