Researcher explains what the Spirit World is like!
Posted on 15 January 2018, 10:06
Between 1914 and 1917, William J. Crawford, D.Sc., studied the mediumship of Kathleen Goligher, a Belfast, Ireland medium. He reported on his findings in four separate books. This is the third and final part of my “interview” based on Crawford’s words from those books. The first two parts part can be seen in the last two posts here. The questions have been tailored to fit the comments.
Dr. Crawford, I know that your focus was on the physical phenomena, but you seem to have communicated with the operators or spirits, quite often. Did they tell you much about themselves?
“The operators emphatically declare that the fact of death does not in the least degree alter a man’s character. He is exactly the same five minutes after the passing as five minutes before it. So that the next state of existence contains all kinds and conditions of humanity, just as the earth does. They say that malevolence, envy, hate and all the lower attributes inherent in earth humanity exist also in their world. There are not the two classes only – good and bad – as theology would have us believe. They say that the good bears a higher ratio to the bad than is the case here; so that we have an advance, if it is only a small one, so far as moral qualities are concerned.”
So they are not much different than human beings?
“The inhabitants of the psychic world – at least those in direct contact with us in the séance room – appear to be beings similar to ourselves in regard to all essential qualities. They possess all the characteristics of human beings. They are sad, joyful, happy, mirthful, humorous, as the mood seizes them. In fact, if we say they are human beings living in another world and separated from us by a veil of sense, but that they can communicate their thoughts and feelings to us through this veil, we shall have an exact representation of what seems to the facts of the case.”
Do they have bodies?
“The operators declare that each of them possesses a body, and if asked if it is what we understand by the psychic, they answer in the affirmative. They declare that they are present in the séance room in the psychic body; that when clairvoyants see them, they see, in effect, their psychic bodies. They say this body of theirs is not subject to decay or disorganisation corresponding to anything resembling physical decay or disorganisation. They emphatically state that all humanity possesses two bodies, the physical and the psychical; that death really means the complete and final separation of the two.”
Have they told you anything about their living conditions?
“I may say at once that the operators at the Belfast circle are unable to explain – even by analogy – the appearance of their world. And I think this state of affairs holds generally at all reputable circles. Not that the entities inhabiting it exist within the unsubstantial fabric of a vision, as it were, but simply that they are unable to explain to us in terms we can understand. There is some reason to suppose that the psychic realm may include a dimension more than ours, i.e., it may be in four dimension, length, breadth, thickness and a something else, which we may call X. If this is so, we need not be surprised that its inhabitants can tell us practically nothing of it. We ourselves could give no information to beings living in a two dimensional world which would be understandable to them.”
Have they mentioned spheres, levels, dimension, or planes as so many other communicators have?
“The entities communicating say that the next state is not a homogeneous whole, but that it is built up of ‘spheres’ and ‘realms,” and that they themselves do not all belong to one sphere. Entities belonging to a higher sphere may come down at will to a lower, but not vice versa…The first sphere would seem to be the abode of people whose moral development was somewhat low as they passed from things terrestrial; who need a lot of cleaning up before they can rise into the second and higher spheres; in other words, the spheres next to the earth are the abode of the riff-raff of humanity. The entities tell me that all our experimental circles are guarded very strictly on their side so that no undesirable shall be able to get near. As a matter of fact I would not care to be in the Belfast séance room if I had any doubt of the beneficent intentions of those behind the scenes.”
But have they told you what life is like in these spheres?
“The operators say that their world is a bright and happy one, full of vital energy. Its inhabitants are much more ‘alive’ than when they lived on earth. This is a point they emphasise particularly. They say they have no desire whatever to return here – they are far better off where they are. The broad general fact seems to be that the other state is a more forcible or energetic one than this – energy seems to be the keynote. Everybody and everything are alive in a degree much beyond our conception of being alive. Their state of existence is altogether fuller, freer, and of higher capacity than ours. Moreover, the operators declare most emphatically that they are very happy.”
What about activities?
“The entities communicating say that life is very full, vigorous and keen in their world. They say that there is occupation for everybody and amusement for everybody. They declare that many phases of activity in our world have counterparts in theirs; and that in addition they have occupations to which there are no counterparts on earth. It appears that no one need be idle, but that all can readily find congenial duties. Most duties here are uncongenial so that if the entities tell the truth, the next state is in this respect in advance of ours. Music and the arts also seem to have higher expression there than here.”
It’s so hard to visualize all that in an etheric world.
“From my experience in the séance room I conceive the next state as being a very material one, or perhaps I should rather say, a very solid one to the senses with which we shall be equipped when we are the inhabitants. I do not for a moment think it is an ethereal, evanescent, quasi-real world, having no external solidity. On the contrary, I am satisfied that it presents to those living in it an appearance of reality at any rate as great as this world does to us, and probably greater. It seems to me to be all a matter of sense perception. We can be quite sure that the entities existing on the other side of the veil do not possess the material senses that we do. But the peculiar thing is that they possess senses in a general way analogous to ours.”
There is no hell?
“I have been told at direct voice séances that the next stage of existence possesses what are called ‘dark’ spheres – places or states which, according to the entities, are most unpleasant and in all respect undesirable. The entities say there is no orthodox hell, but that the dark spheres are nevertheless places of retribution whence egress can only be attained by laborious and painstaking effort. Possibly it is only the worst of humanity who pass into these dark spheres at physical death. Most of us, who are ordinary folk, and neither demons nor angels, will find ourselves well enough satisfied with the change. But the point I wish to emphasise is that the entities say that in their state of existence there are in reality ‘dark’ places – places which should be avoided at all cost, the way to avoid them, so we are told, being to live a normal life while on earth.”
You refer to them as operators and entities, but some researchers suggest that it is some aspect of the subconscious that is manifesting and that it does not involve spirits of the dead. What do you say to that?
“That is the alternative I had in mind all through my investigations. As month succeeded month, as each new phase of phenomena was presented, as each new experiment was done, I always said to myself, ‘Can this very determined work of seemingly intelligent beings be but a simulation after all? Can it be all a fraud? Is it possible that nature holds intelligences belong to ourselves or otherwise, which could so persistently deceive? What would be the object of it all? Why should our subliminal consciousness, supposing we possess such a thing, carry out for us phenomenal demonstrations on the lines of reason and intelligence, requiring effort and system, for the object of deceiving us?’ No! It seems most unlikely and repellant to our sense of the fitness of things. Nobody who has not delved deeply into psychic phenomena can have any conception of its tremendous variety and range. It includes telekinetic phenomena, apports, materialisation, the direct voice, clairvoyance, clairaudience, trance, etc., etc. There are, in fact, dozens of phases of psychic action, all consistent in the inference to which they lead, namely that man survives death, and inconsistent on any other hypothesis.”
Is time the same for them?
“I am satisfied from experimental observation that the inhabitants of the next state have a different conception of time from ours. Even when they approach our world very closely, as they do at good séances, they seem to have some difficulty in getting into our way of computing time, that is, in thinking back to what they knew as time when inhabitants of the earth. As to what the difference is I do not know. It is possible that both time and space as we know them here are only components of something else, and the inhabitants of the other world see the resultant, as it were.”
Outside of the operators, are other spirits aware of what is going on in your experiments?
“According to the operators the people on their side are somewhat curious about psychic phenomena. I have often asked them if there were many looking on at our séances. Whenever asked the questions they would begin rapping and keep on rapping until we were tired of hearing them. They wished to indicate by this that there were great crowds of spirit people looking on. They told me this was the case at all our séances. They gave me the impression that the séance room and the sitters were surrounded by a huge invisible audience arranged in an orderly and disciplinary manner, perhaps tier upon tier as in a lecture theater. The séance to many of them would appear to be as novel as it is to us.”
Is there any indication that spirits are all around us?
“Indeed, a tremendous range of evidence shows that we are continually surrounded by those who exist in that other world, i.e., by those who have passed through the process of death. Whether they are continually conscious of our proximity I think is doubtful. That they are sometimes conscious of our presence I am sure is correct. Even many of us here at some time or other have, I think, sensed an invisible presence with us. But generally speaking we on this side are blind and deaf to all projections from the other state.”
It is my understanding that there are times when nothing happens at Miss Goligher’s séances. Do you know why this is?
“It is only by persistence that anything worth having can be obtained in the psychic world. The dilettante gets nothing. Many people seem to forget that the entities operating from the next state have themselves to experiment with every circle which is formed before even the slightest phenomenon can be produced, and that sometimes the sitters do not form an ideal combination from this point of view, with the consequences that their psychic emanations have to be mixed and worked up for quite a long time before decent results can ensue. So that it is only to the earnest enquirer that phenomena come…I have certainly received messages via the table stating that the spirit entities mix the psychic or nervous emanations of the sitters and that sometimes there is difficulty in getting these emanations to blend, this especially being so if the circle is a promiscuous one.”
So many of these physical mediums, such as Eusapia Palladino and Mina “Margery” Crandon, have been called frauds because the researchers believe they are using their arms or feet to move things. We are led to believe by more keen observers that it is really a “phantom arm” of some kind originating with the spirit world. Have you observed this with Miss Goligher?
“That there are very real energies in the next state which have some form of correspondence to the energies we have here, I have no doubt. I have seen enough in the séance room to convince me of this. To take only one example:—In the phenomenon of levitation of a table or other article, a psychic arm extrudes from the medium – I do not mean an arm in the sense the human arm, but a projection of some kind from her body. Now this projection or extrusion is practically invisible and impalpable – it is impalpable except just at its free end, where it grips or presses on the body it is levitating – yet it transmits throughout its length great stresses, as is obviously the case when it sustains at its free end, as it has done, a body weighting between thirty and forty pounds. Again, this structure seems to contain within it quite a lot of matter temporarily borrowed from the body of the medium. In what state of condition is this matter that it should be invisible and impalpable and yet be capable of transmitting large stresses? Certainly in no state which we know here. A scientific friend has suggested that it has temporarily disappeared into a fourth-dimensional state, which is at any rate conceivable.”
In spite of your efforts to be strictly scientific in your experiments and reports, you’ve received much negative criticism from the scientific world. Any thoughts on this?
“As the most voluble of the critics fails completely to understand the mechanism of the rap, a comparatively trivial phenomenon, his attempts to explain the higher phenomena, such as materialization or the direct voice, are accordingly more laughable still. Probably no phenomena in nature have received such bizarre criticism as the psychic. Some people, it would seem, would dictate to nature as to what phenomena should be allowed and what not. They call those who investigate these things emotional and gullible, whereas of course, the shoe is on the other foot, and it is they who are the lamentably emotional and gullible, inasmuch as they allow prejudice full play and at the same time plane an inhibition to investigate upon the intellect.”
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
Next blog post (Part III of the interview): January 15
Just wanted to thank you for your latest book’ The after life revealed’ as well as to inform you that the book by Pierre Cornellier’the survival of the soul’ which you had recommended and which I have just finished is indeed the most astonishing in many ways. Out of the hundred or so books I have read on the Afterlife I too would place this at the top of my list. Truly remarkable.Thank you and keep up the good work you are doing.
andrew simpson, Sun 21 Jan, 23:14
Well, Claudio, it’s all just supposition anyway, since we can’t remember having done it, but I do like the model that suggests that at some point we review everything bad we have done to other people and have to track them down and make that wrong right, however that is done.
There are too many specific ways we can hurt other people to bother to enumerate them all in a list, if that’s what you’re looking for! And I imagine we can start making up for things now, rather than waiting. In fact, I think the whole point of life is that you don’t have to wait until you’re dead to try to be a better person, right?
MichaelD, Fri 19 Jan, 14:32
Claudio, Fri 19 Jan, 07:57
I know that the Afterlfe is a “state of mind”, so if the guy who was unfaithful feels guilt here, he/she will bring the same state of mind also there. But I’ve never found out any account whether NDE or channelled about this “sin”.
Maybe the unfaithfulness is a not very important issue there…
Thanks for your replies
Thanks to all for the comments. As for Claudio’s question about unfaithful spouses, Crawford doesn’t address specific transgressions. As suggested in the “interview,” there is no hell, per se. Other sources suggest that various transgressions may result in the person experiencing a “fire of the mind,” which might be looked upon something like a nightmare at one of the lower levels of the afterlife environment.
Michael Tymn, Thu 18 Jan, 18:39
Yvonne Limoges, Thu 18 Jan, 18:21
Attending and conducting séances for well over 30 years, the information provided regarding the spirit world is in accordance with my own, as well as our group’s, experiences.
Especially of interest is the fact that, yes, many groups of spirits attend séances regularly in an orderly fashion… that are of different moral and intellectual levels.
As a medium, they have shown themselves to me at times, but we are frequently told this by the numerous spirits that have communicated over the years.
Thank you again for continuing to spread such important spiritual knowledge.
claudiopisani, I’m going to offer one answer to your question from my following this topic, and I’m sure there are other opinions. It appears to me that there is no heaven or hell, only a level that one moves into based on the average of one’s performance in this life, AND that whatever level one falls into, one can, and usually eventually does, move from that level, usually upwards, by one’s behavior.
This would be what traditional Christianity, which *humans* designed to be heavily based on the *human* need for revenge, would call, disdainfully Universalism. However, fortunately, whatever or whoever God is did not take advice from humans when he designed the afterlife.,
MichaelD, Thu 18 Jan, 14:41
claudiopisani, Wed 17 Jan, 11:24
Very interesting issue that matches with many other similar informationson the conditions of life in the higher planes of consciousness.
Anyway,I’ve never found informations about a very common issue of this earthly plane: what about unfaithfulness?
What happens to the unfaithful spouses?
Are they condemned to hell or only there do they understand the consequences (if any) of their betrayal?
Thank you, a warm greeting
Thank you for the post yet another example of a researcher that I may have never have come across in my own research had it not been for your blog.
Chad W Luter, Wed 17 Jan, 11:06
Thank you for the informative posting.
wayne becker, Tue 16 Jan, 20:13
I agree with Stafford. I have been re-reading articles in the archives and at the end of this year there will be almost 200 blog articles, each one with interesting and important information. It would be a shame if all of that information were lost. It seems to me that a book would be in order, preserving them for posterity. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 16 Jan, 15:41
Mike, this conversation is wonderful. In almost every way it confirms the research I’ve done and have included in my books, and I know this is true of you as well. The only surprise was Crawford’s description of the huge audiences that look in upon a worthy seance.
Your conversations are of historic importance and should live on long after you have shed the physical.
From all of us, a big thank you.
Stafford Betty, Mon 15 Jan, 22:21
Another excellent and thought-provoking piece.
Michael Schmicker, Mon 15 Jan, 20:36
The last paragraph reminds me of the situation in my own field, which is violins. The people who use the great examples, by Stradivari, etc., know what they can do, can feel the difference, and agree among themselves about what is going on. Lesser players and observers can’t access the same level of understanding because of their lack of listening and playing skills, so they persist in calling the situation an illusion.
No one is prepared to admit that their understanding and abilities are substandard, in any field, and will disparage those who relate to things on a higher level. Almost everyone, in his own self-estimation, believes he is an expert, capable of the finest discrimination. Yet any of us who is a specialist in anything fully knows how ridiculous that thought is.
MichaelD, Mon 15 Jan, 14:56
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