Heaven Revised is a narrative of the change we call death. It appears Eliza Duffey was a gifted medium with the ability to connect with spirit and automatic writing, although she claimed that she had scant knowledge of spiritualism and no prior mediumistic ability when she began to write down the words in this book.
In the introduction she writes; During the entire period in which I was engaged in this writing — some three or four months — I lived and moved in a sort of dream. Nothing seemed real to me. Personal troubles did not seem to pain me. I felt as though I had taken a mental anaesthetic.
I finished the work one Saturday evening. On Sunday evening I spoke as usual before our spiritual society. On Monday morning I awoke for the first time my usual self. Real life had come back to me.
I believe that I wrote with unseen assistance, but I hesitate to ask others to endorse this belief. I hesitate even to express it, realizing as I do how often well-intentioned Spiritualists mistakenly attribute to the Spirit-world that which emanates only in their own too often ignorant and ill-informed minds. I know how difficult it is to draw the line between one’s own thoughts and impressions, and those that result from inspiration from higher sources.
The narrator, a woman, writing through Duffey, observes her lifeless body and realizes for the first time she is dead in the physical sense. Her description is reminiscent of modern day out-of-body-experience; “for an instant I seemed frozen with terror, or something akin to it, by a strange object which met my view. What was that in my chamber, — my chamber where I lay so still — that object lying rigid and white, in the familiar yet ever repulsive attitude of death? There were the outlines of the head, the projection of the arms crossed upon the breast, the extended limbs, and the upturned feet. Over all was thrown a white sheet; but with a new experience in vision, as I looked at it my sight seemed to penetrate beneath the snowy pall, and I recognized my own features. My God! Was I then really dead?”
The narrator continues to document her experiences in the afterlife, and the spheres she finds herself in are in stark contrast to the orthodox heaven and hell that was generally accepted by Christians at the end of the 19th century.
Heaven Revised is as informative and relevant now as it was when is was written more than 100 years ago and is a refreshing contrast to the materialist world we live in today.
About the author
Eliza Bisbee Duffey (1838 - 1898) was an American feminist and writer who authored books on womens rights, women’s health and sex education. Her books include, What Women Should Know (1873) and The Relations of the Sexes (1876). Heaven Revised was published in 1889.
Publisher: White Crow Books
Published April 2012
Size: 229 x 152 mm