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Afterlife Teachings from an Advanced Spirit

Posted on 20 August 2018, 8:46

After Lord Adare’s 1869 book, Experiences in Spiritualism with DD Home about the amazing mediumship of Daniel Dunglas Home was released, William Stainton Moses, (below) an Anglican priest, referred to it as the “dreariest twaddle” and just so much “stuff and nonsense.”  Little did Moses realize at the time that within two or three years, he would develop into a medium with abilities similar to those of Home.  In fact, Home and Moses have gone down in history as the most influential mediums of the first 80 years of the nineteenth century. 


Born on November 5, 1839 in Lincolnshire, England, Moses, who went by Stainton, his mother’s maiden name, earned his master’s degree at Oxford in 1863 and served as a curate on the Isle of Man for five years before being appointed English Master in University College London, a position he would hold until 1889.

In Moses’s biography, Charlton Templeman Speer, a renowned musician, recorded that Moses and his father, Dr. Stanhope Speer, frequently discussed religious matters and both were gradually drifting into an unorthodox, almost agnostic, frame of mind.  Mrs. Speer had taken an interest in spiritualism and persuaded her husband and Moses to attend a séance with medium Lottie Fowler.  During that sitting, on April 2, 1872, Moses received some very evidential information about a friend who had died.  His curiosity aroused, Moses attended other séances, including some with D. D. Home. 

On March 30, 1873, spirit messages started coming through Moses’s hand by means of “automatic writing.” This method was adopted, Moses was informed by the spirits, for convenience purposes and so that he could preserve a connected body of teachings. However, the spirits also communicated in the direct voice and trance voice when a small circle of friends, including Dr. and Mrs. Speer, Serjeant Cox, a barrister, and several others gathered at the Speer’s home.  The teachings coming through Moses were compiled in two books, Spirit Teachings, published by Moses in 1883, and More Spirit Teachings, collected and published after his death in 1892 by Mrs. Speer. Mrs. Speer recorded the teaching coming through the direct voice and the trance voice. 
Many of the messages conflicted with Moses’s beliefs and with Church dogma and doctrine.  “It is certain that the mass of ideas conveyed to me were alien to my own opinions, were in the main opposed to my settled convictions, and, moreover, that in several cases information, of which I was assuredly ignorant, clear, precise, and definite in form, susceptible of verification and always exact, was thus conveyed to me,” he explained. 

The teachings came from a band of 49 spirits under the direction of one called Imperator, who said that he had come to explain the spirit world, how it is controlled, and the way in which information is conveyed to humans.  “Man must judge according to the light of reason that is in him.” Imperator voiced through Moses when asked how anyone could know if what was being taught was actual truth.  “That is the ultimate standard, and the progressive soul will receive what the ignorant or prejudiced will reject.  God’s truth is forced on none.”

Spirits named Rector and Doctor were the most frequent communicators, although indications were that they were merely relaying teachings from Imperator, who was at too high a vibration or frequency to effectively communicate directly with Moses. That is, Rector and Doctor were at a level closer to the earth frequency and better able to get through to Moses.

“I remember mentally wondering how such spirits spoke English; and, in reply to my thought, several addressed me one after another in different languages,” Moses explained the phenomenon. “They were not intelligible to me, but were interpreted by Imperator. He also showed me how spirits commune with each other by transfusion of thought.  Imperator explained that the sounds could be made in the same way, without any aid from anything material.”

Moses further explained that as his hand was writing, his spirit was separated from his body.  He recalled standing in spirit next to his body and observing the writing taking place. Rector held one hand on Moses’s head and the other hand on his right hand, which held the pen.  “Through the ceiling streamed down a mild, pleasing light, and now and again rays of bluish light were shot down on my body,” he said. “When this was done, I saw the body jerk and quiver. It was being charged, as I may say. I noticed, moreover, that the daylight had faded; and the window seemed dark, and the light by which I saw was spirit-light. I could hear perfectly well the voices of the spirits who spoke to me. They sounded very much as human voices do, but were more delicately modulated, and sounded as though from a distance.”

According to Charlton Speer, Moses (or the spirits working through him) could, by simply placing his hands on it, levitate a large mahogany table which otherwise required the strength of two men to move it an inch.  The spirits levitated Moses at least three times, on one occasion raising him on the table and then lifting him from the table to an adjacent sofa. 

Other phenomena reported by Charlton Speer included a great variety of communicating raps, numerous lights, luminous hands, musical sounds, direct writing (no hand holding the pencil), apports, and the passage of matter through matter. 

“I can only say that they were delivered in a dignified, temperate, clear, and convincing tone, and that though the voice proceeded from the medium, it was always immediately apparent that the personality addressing us was not that of the medium,” Speer explained.  “The voice was different, and the ideas were often not in accordance with those held at the time by the medium.  An important fact, too, was that although many spirits exercised this power of control, the voice which spoke was always different; and in the case of those spirits which controlled regularly we came to know perfectly well which intelligence was communicating, by the tone of the voice and method of enunciation.”

Here are some of the teachings coming from the Imperator band:

Imperator & Spirit Names:  “These names are but convenient symbols for influences brought to bear upon you. In some cases the influence is not centralized; it is impersonal, as you would say.  In many cases the messages given you are not the product of any one mind, but are the collective influence of a number.  Many who have been concerned with you are but the vehicles to you of a yet higher influence which is obliged to reach you in that way.  We deliberate, we consult, and in many instances you receive the impression of our united thought.”

Barrier to Spirit Influence: “The busy world is ever averse from the things of spirit life. Men become so absorbed in the material, that which they can see and grasp, and hoard up, and they forget that there is a future and spirit life. They become so earthly that they are impervious to our influence; so material that we cannot come near them; so full of earthly interests that there is no room for that which shall endure when they have passed away.  More than this, the constant preoccupation leaves no time for contemplation, and the spirit is wasted for lack of sustenance. The spiritual state is weak; the body is worn and weary with weight of work and anxious care, and the spirit is well-nigh inaccessible.  The whole air, moreover, is heavy with conflicting passions, with heart-burnings, and jealousies, and contentions, and all that is inimical to us.”

Evidence: “There is a point beyond which it is impossible for us to present evidence.  Of that you are aware.  We labour under one great disadvantage, as compared with human witnesses; we are not of your earth, and cannot produce for you the kind of evidence which would weigh in your courts of justice.  We can but state for your acceptance the evidence on which we ground our claims to your hearing and acceptance, leaving to your own mind in fairness to decide upon the points which we cannot clear up by evidence.”

Truths: “We can only dimly symbolize truths which one day your unclouded eye will see in their full spendour.  We cannot speak with clearness when the spirit of our medium is troubled, when his body is racked with pain, or his mental state vitiated by disease.  Nay, even a lowering atmosphere, or electric disturbance, or the neighborhood of unsympathetic and unfavorable human influences, may colour a communication, or prevent it from being clear and complete.”

Jesus:  “You inquire from us what position we assign to Jesus the Christ.  We are not careful to enter into curious comparisons between different teachers who, in different ages, have been sent from God.  The time is not yet come for that; but this we know, that no spirit more pure, more godlike, more noble, more blessing and more blessed, ever descended to find a home on your earth.  None more worthily earned by a life of self-sacrificing love the adoring reverence devotion of mankind.  None bestowed more blessings on humanity; none wrought a greater work for God.” 

Literalism:  “Friend, you must discriminate between God’s truths and man’s glosses.  We do not dishonour the Lord Jesus – before whose exalted majesty we bow – by refusing to acquiesce in a fiction which He would disown, and which man has forced upon His name.  No, assuredly: but they who from a strict adherence to the literal text of Scripture – a text which they have not understood, and the spirit of which they have never grasped – have dishonoured the Great Father of Him, and of all alike, and have impiously, albeit ignorantly, derogated from the honour due to the Supreme alone…The holding of a narrow, cold, dogmatic creed, in all its rigid lifeless literalism, cramps the soul, dwarfs its spirituality, clogs its progress, and stunts its growth.  ‘The letter,’ says your Scripture, ‘the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.’ Hence we denounce such views of God as are contained in the fable of a material hell; and we proclaim to you purer and more rational ideas than are contained in the orthodox notions of atonement and vicarious sacrifice.”

Faith:  “Faith to be real must be outside the limits of caution, and be fired by something more potent and effective than calculating prudence, or logical deduction, or judicial impartiality.  It must be the fire that burns within, the mainspring that regulates the life, the overmastering force that will not be at rest.  This is that faith that Jesus spoke of when He said of it that it was able to move mountains. This is that which braves death and torture, braces up the feeble knees for long and hard endurance, and conducts its possessor safe at last through any perils that may assail him to the goal where faith finds its reward in fruition.” 

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.  

Spirit Teachings and More Spirit Teachings by William Stainton Moses are available from Amazon.

Next blog post:  Sept. 3


A great precis—thank you, Michael. _Spirit Teachings_ is online at the Internet Archive ( and in Google Books (

Bob Rosenberg, Tue 21 Aug, 22:46

I must confess that I never never read any of William Stainton Moses’ works, but this discussion certainly gives mw the desire to.

James McArthur, Tue 21 Aug, 20:20

and thanks as always for your work and posting this, Mike

wayne becker, Tue 21 Aug, 00:59

The works of William Stainton Moses are among my favorite “afterlife” books. The Guides communicating seem very wise to me. One item that I recall, they said that the perfect man is one philosophically inclined, a lover of truth, the discovery of which there will be no end, they said, but also one who is service-minded and giving, looking out for the disadvantaged. They offered this quite eloquently and it’s a treasured gem from the other side.

wayne becker, Tue 21 Aug, 00:54

Absolutely, a great medium which brought superb higher spirit teachings…recognized
by those who are able and willing to study and comprehend them.

Yvonne Limoges, Mon 20 Aug, 21:30

Imperator’s teachings on what he calls the spheres of contemplation (the highest levels of existence) make for interesting reading, but he is frustratingly sparse on what goes on in these levels. I assume from the word “contemplation” that these levels might be an intellectuals paradise. If this is the case then this is very exciting.

Imperator can be very preachey and his views on suicide are very backwards. I would not expect this from an advanced spirit.

Chad W Luter, Mon 20 Aug, 18:24

Spirit Teachings and More Spirit Teachings have had more to do with setting up my personal philosophy than any book I can remember reading that was written by one of us mortals. I especially like the way it puts the religion of the day (Victorian Christianity) in its proper place. And Moses was a product of that religion! Wonderful to read Moses arguing with the spirit he’s channeling. Highly evidential!

Stafford Betty, Mon 20 Aug, 17:58

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