Another “Spiritual” Puzzle
Theosophist, May, 1883
Letter by E.W.W | Reply by H.P.B.
I feel that Mr. Terry has been doing great service in procuring for us the few crumbs from the Theosophical table whicch have been dropped in his correspondence with you. There are, I believe, many spiritualists like myself who find that the spirtualistic theory does not afford explanation sufficient to cover all the phenomena with which we have become familiar, and who are eagerly watching for the breeze which will move us out of the dead calm into which we have drifted.
The question of Mediumship is so important and often presents so many difficulties, that I have ventured to ask your explanation of the following experience.
Some time since, my neighbor died rather suddenly. I knew little of him personally beyond chatting occassionally with him over the garden fence. He was, I believe, a thoroughly upright conscientious man—an orthodox Christian, and one who I suppose would have considered it a sin to have speculated for a moment outside his creed.
Soon after his death for more than a week, I was subject to the most unpleasant sensations, experiencing great confusion and difficulty in controlling my thoughts even in business matters. At last I receieved through impression the following communication from him.
“Do I disturb you? I will endeavour as far as possible to control my feelings, but remember that this new life is so strange, so perplexing to me, that I can hardly collect my thoughts. All my surroundings are chaotic and formless, whether this is owing to myself or not I cannot tell. Some who seem to take an interest in me tell me that this will pass away, as soon as I comprehend my position. In the meantime I seem to cling to you, of whom I knew so little in earth life, as the only certainty. Those who were nearest to me on earth cannot think of me as I am, and there is therefore no link to bind us. If my influence depresses you, I will remove it; but if you can bear it remember that you are helping to sustain a brother who has not yet learnt to support himself”
At the same time my neighbour’s widow called upon me, and in course of conversation said, “I have seen my husband. I was coming out of the dining room the day before yesterday when I saw him in the passage; he seemed much disturbed and tried to speak and was evidently desirous of explaining something to me, having in his hand some papers which he held towards me; however he could not succeed in making me understand and eventually disappeared. The next morning’s post brought a letter from a person in the country informing me of business transactions between himself and my husband, of which I had not the slightest knowledge.”
Now in one instance the communicating intelligence seems perfectly incognizent of worldly affairs, and in the other to evince great desire to give his wife information which it was important she should possess. What is the explanation, presuming, of course, that the two manifestations were from the same source?
E. W. W.
Lewisham Kent, Sept. 1882.
This letter has been neglected for some time by reason of more pressing claims on our attention. The case described is an illustration of spiritual communications of a class which very naturally render empirical observers of such phenomena reluctant to accept what is nevertheless their true explanation. The “communicating intelligence” is not really an intelligence at all; it is partly a reflection of ideas in the mind of the living medium, partly a survival of impulses imparted to the kama rupa, or fourth principle of the deceased person, before the separation therefrom of the intelligence which really belonged to it in life. The long message imparted by impression to our correspondent takes its form from his own mind. His friend must have died thinking of him, however slight their acquaintance was during life. The true soul of the dead man went its own way having the fourth principle, the agent and instrument of its volitions during life, impressed with an unfulfilled impulse to communicate with our correspondent. The kama rupa then blindly and unconsciously awaited its opportunity and pressed in the direction of its fulfilment. The vision seen by the widow was provoked by another of the dead man’s latter impulses—perhaps the very last and strongest. The kama rupa had, so to speak, received its orders which it could not help fulfilling.