Laws of the Spirit World
This message describes several laws of the spirit world including continuity of life, progression, and compensation or punishment. For related information, go to this page and this website.
Professor Salyards, a Long-Time Friend and Former Teacher of Mr. Padgett,
Reveals Some of the Laws of the Spirit World
I AM HERE. Professor Salyards.
Well, I am here, as I agreed, and will endeavor to write you my thoughts on the subject: “What May Spirits Know About the Laws of the Spirit World After They Have Been in That World for a Short Time.”
As you know, I have been here for a comparatively short time. And while my studies have been in the study of these laws to a considerable extent, yet, I find that I have limited knowledge of the same. Much of my information has been gathered from other spirits who have lived here a great many years, and who have devoted their study and investigation to these laws.
Well, I want to say first that no spirit, by the mere fact of having shortly before made his advent to this world, has received any much greater knowledge than he had when on earth.
My knowledge of spiritual laws when on earth was not very extensive. And, when I came into the spirit world, I found that I did not know much more than I did before I came; and such is the experience of every spirit. But, as I continued to investigate these matters, I discovered that my capacity for learning was greatly increased, and that my mind was more plastic and received this knowledge more easily than when I was a mortal. This is largely due to the fact that the brain—I mean the mortal brain—is, when compared to what you might call the spirit brain, a thing of much inferior quality, and not so capable of learning the cause and effect of phenomena.
I am now undergoing a course of study that I have no doubt will give me wonderful information of these laws so that, ultimately, I may become what you mortals might call a learned man.
Continuity of Life
The first and, to me, the most important law that I have learned is that man continues to live in the spirit world without his earthly body. This great law, while to you and to many others is well known and is an established fact, yet, to me, was not known, as I had never had any experience in Spiritualism and had never given any study to the subject.
When I arrived in the spirit world, I learned that this law is one of God’s Truths, and that it is fixed and will never change; for all will survive the change of so-called “death.”
Powerlessness to Change Condition or Position
The next great law that I learned is that no man, of his own power, can make his condition or position in the spirit world just what and where he would have it be. This is another fixed Truth, and one which even many spirits do not fully comprehend; for they think, or so express themselves, that all they have to do is to exercise a little will power, and then they can move from certain conditions. But this is not true, for the law controlling this matter never has any exceptions in its operations.
Man or spirit, in a way, can determine what his destiny may be. But when once his destiny is fixed on earth by this great power of will which God has conferred on man, in the spirit world, he can no longer change his condition by the mere exercise of his will, but by the operation of the laws releasing him from memories and recollections which hold him to the condition that his life has placed him in. So, when men think that, by the exercise of their own will, they can release themselves of a condition which they have made for themselves, they are mistaken.
Many spirits here have this idea, and believe that, if they only chose to exercise their vaunted will power, they could relieve themselves of their darkened condition and get into happier conditions. But, strange, they never try this, and the reason is therefore apparent. They could not if they tried, and will not try because they cannot. Yet, they think that, when they get ready, they will only have to exercise this will and the change will follow. No, this law is as fixed as any law of this great Universe of God.
Of course, while man or spirit cannot change his condition by the exercise of his will, yet, in order to secure that change, the will has to be exercised because the help comes from without. And this help from without is absolutely necessary to man, for this is what causes the change; and it will not come to him unless he exercises the will in the way of desiring and asking for it. So, let not man think that he is his own savior, because he is not. And if the help did not come from without, he would never be saved from the condition which he finds himself in when he enters the spirit world.
Start of Progression
You hear in your spirit circles, and read in the publications about Spiritualism, that progression is a law of the spirit world. Well, that is true. But it does not mean that a spirit necessarily progresses, either mentally or spiritually, by the mere fact of being in the spirit world, for this is not true. Many spirits who have been here for years are in no better condition than when they first became spirits.
All progression depends upon the help that comes from outside the mind or soul of man. Of course, when this help comes, man has to cooperate; but without this help, there would be nothing with which to cooperate, and no progress could possibly be made. Many of the Spiritualists make this great mistake when they speak or write on this subject.
But let them know that, if a man depends upon his own powers, exclusively, he will never progress. And this law does not apply only to the soul’s progress, of which you have heard us speak so often, but also to the progress of the mere mind, and also to what might be called the purely moral qualities. My observation and my information from the other spirits that I have mentioned have confirmed the truth of what I have said.
Man, of himself, cannot elevate himself either mentally or morally; and the sooner he learns that fact, the better for him.
Momentum of Progression
Another law of the spirit world is that when a spirit once commences to progress, that progress increases in geometrical progression, as we used to say when teaching on earth.
Just as soon as the light breaks into a man’s soul or mind, and he commences to see that there is a way for him to reach higher things and make greater expansion of either his mind or soul, he will find that his desire to progress will increase as that progression continues. And with that desire will come help in such abundance that it will be limited only by the desire of the spirit. His will then becomes a great force in his success in progressing and working in conjunction with the help that calls it into operation. It becomes a wonderful thing of power and irresistible force.
This progression may be illustrated by the history of the snowball as it continues its descent from the top of a hill covered with snow. Not only does its velocity increase but it also continually enlarges its form and body by the outside snow attaching itself to the ball. So with the mind or soul of a spirit as it ascends. It not only becomes more rapid in its flight but also meets this outside help that I speak of, which help attaches itself to the spirit and, as it were, becomes a part of it.
Importance of Correct Start
So, you see, the great problem is to make the start. And this principle will apply to mortals as well as to spirits, because, if the start is made on earth, the mere fact of becoming a spirit will not halt, or in any way interfere with, the progress of the soul of that spirit. Of course, this means that a correct start be made. If the start is a false one, or based on things other than the Truth, instead of progress continuing when the man becomes a spirit, there may have to be a retracing of the way and a new start made in order to get on the right road.
And this applies to the progress of the mind as well as to the progress of the soul. The mind of a mortal learns many things which seem to that mind to be the truth, and which in its opinion must lead to progress and greater knowledge. But when the earth life gives place to the spirit life, that mind may find that its bases of knowledge were all wrong, and that to continue in the way that it had been moving would lead to increased error; and, consequently, a new start must be made. Frequently, the retracing of that mind over the course that it had followed, and the elimination of errors that it had embraced, is sometimes more difficult, and takes a longer time to accomplish, than the learning of the Truth does after the mind makes its correct start.
SO, SOMETIMES THE MIND OF GREAT LEARNING, ACCORDING TO THE STANDARD OF EARTHLY LEARNING, IS MORE HARMFUL AND MORE GREATLY RETARDS THE PROGRESS OF THAT MAN IN THE WAYS AND ACQUIREMENTS OF TRUTH THAN DOES THE MIND THAT IS, AS YOU MIGHT SAY, A BLANK—THAT IS, WITHOUT PRECONCEIVED IDEAS OF WHAT THE TRUTH IS ON A PARTICULAR SUBJECT.
This unfortunate experience exists to a greater extent in matters pertaining to religion than to any other matters, because the ideas and convictions which are taught and possessed of these religious matters affect innumerably more mortals than do ideas and convictions in reference to any other matters.
A SPIRIT WHO IS FILLED WITH THE ERRONEOUS BELIEFS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO HIM FROM HIS MORTAL CHILDHOOD, AND FOSTERED AND FED UPON BY HIM UNTIL HE BECOMES A SPIRIT, IS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO TEACH AND CONVINCE OF THE TRUTHS PERTAINING TO RELIGIOUS MATTERS OF ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THIS WORLD. IT IS MUCH EASIER TO TEACH
THE AGNOSTIC OF THESE TRUTHS, OR EVEN THE INFIDEL, THAN THE HIDE-BOUND BELIEVER IN THE DOGMAS AND CREEDS OF THE CHURCH.
So, I say, let the minds of mortals be opened to the teachings of the Truth. And even if they are convinced that what they believe is the truth, yet, let not that belief stand in the way of them being able to see the Truth when it is actually presented to them.
No Guarantee of Immortality
ANOTHER LAW IS THAT NOT ALL WHO KNOW THAT LIFE IN THE SPIRIT WORLD IS CONTINUOUS ARE CERTAIN THAT CONTINUOUS LIFE MEANS IMMORTALITY. I MEAN BY THIS THAT THE MERE FACT OF LIVING AS A SPIRIT DOES NOT PROVE, OF ITSELF, THAT SUCH SPIRIT IS IMMORTAL.
This is a subject that spirits discuss as much as mortals do, and it is just as much a question of uncertainty as is the immortality of the soul taught among mortals now and for all ages past.
While men know that the death of the body does not mean the death of the spirit, and that such spirit, which is the real man, continues to live with all its qualities of a spiritual nature, yet, there has never been any proof presented to man that that spirit will live for all eternity—or, in other words, that it is immortal.
I say this because I have read the histories and beliefs of most of the civilized, and some not called civilized, nations of the world. And, in all my readings, I was not able to find that it was ever demonstrated that man is immortal. Of course, many pagan and sacred writers taught this, but their statements were all based on belief and nothing more. And, so, I say, immortality has never become demonstrated as a fact to mortals.
In the spirit world, the spirits of not only the lower spheres but also those of the higher intellectual or moral spheres are still debating the question among themselves. I am informed that there are some who lived on earth many centuries ago who have become exceedingly wise and learned in the knowledge of the laws of the universe, and have become so free from the sins and errors of their earth life that they may be called perfect men; yet they do not know that they are immortal. Many of them think that they are just such men or spirits as were those who were represented by the type of Adam and Eve. They know not that they are any less liable to death than were the ones just mentioned. And, hence, immortality is a thing which may or may not exist for spirits as well as for mortals.
I know that many of your Spiritualist friends on earth claim that the mere fact that Spiritualism has demonstrated the continuity of life establishes the fact of immortality. But a few moments consideration will show you the falsity of this reasoning.
Change is the law eternal, both on earth and in the spirit world, and nothing exists as the same for any length of time. And, in the succession of these changes, how can it be said that, in the future, far or near, changes may not come by which the existence of the spirit—the ego of man—may be ended, or that ego might not take some other form, or enter into some other condition, so that it will not be the same ego and spirit which is now living as a demonstration of the continuity of the mortal life?
And, so, many spirits as well as mortals do not know what is necessary to obtain in order to have the certain knowledge of immortality. But many other spirits know that there is an immortality for spirits who choose to seek that immortality in the Way that God, in His Great Wisdom and Providence, has provided. I will not discuss this phase of immortality now, but will at some later time.
Law of Punishment, also called the Law of Compensation or Recompense or Regeneration
There is another law which enables spirits to become pure and free from the consequences and evils of their mortal lives by the mere operation of their natural affections and loves—again becoming perfect like the first parents before the fall.
This does not mean that the Law of Compensation does not operate to the fullest, and that it does not demand the last farthing, because such is the exactness in the operation of this law that no spirit is released from its penalties until it has satisfied the law.
As you believe, and as many other mortals believe, a man’s punishment for the sins committed by him on earth is inflicted by his conscience and memories. There is no special punishment inflicted by God on any particular man, but the Law of Punishment [also called the Law of Compensation or Recompense or Regeneration] operates alike on every man. If the facts that bring that punishment into operation are the same, that punishment will be the same, no matter whether the objects of its infliction be the same or different persons. So, you see, it cannot be escaped on any grounds of special dispensation, so long as the facts which call for its operation exist. And the conscience and memories of the spirit realize these facts.
When a spirit first enters the spirit life, it does not necessarily feel the scourging of these memories. This is the reason that you will so often hear the spirit who has so recently left his mortal life assure his friends or sorrowing relatives, at the public séances, that he is very happy and wouldn’t be again in the earth life, and similar assurances. But, after a little while, memory commences to work as the soul is awakened, and then never ceases until the penalties are paid. I don’t mean that the spirit is continuously in a condition of torment, necessarily, but substantially that; and relief does not come until these memories cease their awful lashings. Some spirits live here a great number of years before they receive this relief, while others more quickly obtain it.
The greatest cause which operates to relieve these spirits of these memories is love. I now mean the natural love. And this love embraces many qualities, such as remorse and sorrow and the desire to make amends for the injuries done, etc. Until a spirit’s love is awakened, none of these feelings come to him. He cannot possibly feel remorse or regret or the desire to atone until love, no matter how slight, comes into his heart. He may not realize just what the cause of these feelings may be, but it is love just the same.
(But how can one rid himself of such painful feelings?)
Well, as these various feelings operate, and he acts in accordance with them, a memory here and there will leave him, never to return; and as these memories, in turn, leave him, the less his sufferings become; and, after awhile, when they have all left him, he becomes free from the law, and it, as to him, becomes extinct. But it must not be understood that this is a work of quick operation, for it may be years—long, weary years of suffering—before he becomes thus free and once more a spirit without sin or these memories. This is the way the great Law of Compensation is satisfied. It cannot be avoided, and eventually includes the development of the natural love in its workings. But all its demands must be met until sin and error are eradicated and the soul is restored to a pure state.
But this gradual release from these penalties does not mean that a spirit is progressing in his journey to the higher and brighter spheres, because, even without this torture and torment, he may still remain stationary as to the development of his higher mental and moral nature. But when he has been relieved of these sufferings, he is then in a condition to start the progression that I have spoken of.
As you are tired, I will continue the balance of my discourse when I write again. With all my love, I am
Your true friend and professor, JOSEPH H. SALYARDS.
Mrs. Padgett Confirms Professor Salyards’ Discourse
I AM HERE. Helen.
Well, you had quite a discourse from the professor, and a wonderful one it is! I am glad that he wrote to you on the subject, as it clears many doubts that you or your friends may have. He has not finished yet, but he saw you were tired and stopped.
(I think he finds me to be a good channel to express his thoughts.)
Yes, that is what he said, and I am so glad that you realize that he uses your brain as well as your hand. Why, Ned, without your brain, we could not write at all. So, don’t think that we merely use your hands, for your brain is the more important of the two.
Your own true and loving
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