The World Beyond Part 48. The Status of Women in the Spirit World. Spiritual Progress and the many planes of Development.
Dr. Robert Hare's father communicating in 1854 told him there were no academic or religious feuds in the Spirit World. Continuing this line of thought, W.T. Stead communicating with Australian actor and researcher Stanley Brooks in the 1960s * added that there was no discrimination with regard to race, status or sex, something that some orthodox Christians, Muslims and others from Middle Eastern and Far Eastern cultures might not wish to hear ! A king is no longer a king after death, and even if his consort and entire retinue were buried along with him, they would not be waiting to attend him again in the Spirit World. Neither will terrorist suicide bombers be rewarded in paradise with the company of desirable women. Frances Banks also found no social barriers on the other side, as she joined groups of intellectuals, doctors and many other professional people, as we have seen in "Testimony of Light" by Helen Greaves.
W.T. Stead said: - A few words about the position of woman in the spirit world. On earth, she is generally considereded to be inferior to man, but over here, there is absolute equality regarding the sexes. Here, male and female are given equally important work, of all kinds, to do. Each is given equal power and equal rank, provided they are qualified to perform the tasks allotted to them. Also, all depends upon the spiritual attainments of each one - man or woman. There is no such thing as a superior sex. Here we have groups of men and women meeting on equal terms in every way. This foolish idea of man being the superior animal is a barrier that must be broken down - one of the many - before any real progress can be made in your earthly social structure. It is wrong, unfair and demoralising. It is as certain as sunlight, that woman will gain her rightful place by her own efforts, in spite of the almost universal opposition to what is incorrectly termed the weaker sex.
I am referring now to the advancement she will make on your earth plane. The time has come for these earthly changes, and nothing you can do can stop them, as they are a cog in the Wheel of Progress. Signs of this coming equality are clearly evident in some other countries. You saw it in operation in America... and Australian women are now filling all kinds of positions of authority that would have been impossible a few years ago.
Spiritualists and others, when they arrive here from the earth, are surprised to find how hard and rare it is to have direct and true spiritual communication with those they have left behind. Often you people sitting in circles on the earth are victrims of lower spirits, but this happens only when the spirituality of the sitters is on a low plane. Like attracts like. When sitters have progressed to a higher spiritual plane it is almost impossible for deception by lower orders of spirits, or for impersonation to take place. People have visions that are positively misleading, because they are in a low grade of spiritual development, and actually believe all they are told - and many want to be directed in practically all they do.
Those who seek truth and honesty will receive guidance from the Beyond according to their entitlement....when you on earth become sufficiently civilised to do away with war, then and then only will you begin to evolve out of the slimy mess that, to our vision here, covers your earth. Your world is filled with men in high places who want war. War is the greatest moneymaker known to man - and wars are the greatest cause of all the troubles on your earth ! If your warmongers could see the millions of lives here blasted by wars, some from wars fought hundreds of years ago, they would freeze with horror.
Between thirty and fifty years before these seances in Australia, W.T. Stead and a group of teachers from the Spirit World came through the mediumship of Mrs. Cecil M. Cook of Chicago, starting shortly after he went down on the Titanic on April 15, 1912. He had much to say about spiritual development on both sides of the veil, and here are a few quotations on the subject of the different planes of existence.
Humanity seems hungry for knowledge of the land beyond the veil, but only when humanity is prepared for such knowledge can it become universal. It is possible, however, for us to learn something about the Spirit World, even though our knowledge never will be complete. Our friends answer many questions about their world and their life, but do not answer many more, because we could not understand them, nothing on our earth or in our experience giving us anything with which they could compare their experience. The picture the average man would have of a problem, after hearing it stated in terms of calculus, would be just about as clear as the picture we should have of many phases of life in Spirit if our Guides attempted to explain them to us. Our understanding would vary according to our previous knowledge and prior contact with the subject and also with the familiarity and advancement of our instructor. Considered from this point of view, it is not surprising that so many apparently different descriptions of life on the Other Side have been reported.
Those from the other side tell you, variously and depending upon their experience, that the next world is the same as this world - or that it is wholly different. The person who is of the earth, earthly, still sees this (earthly) world on passing beyond. One who has lived a spiritual life will comprehend the spiritual beauty of his new home. We enter the next realm as we leave this one. We see what we are prepared to see, and not all of us see the same things, even in our own neighborhood on the earth plane.
The different religions represent different planes of spiritual growth or understanding. This does not mean that a certain creed is far down in the scale and some other creed high in the scale. We may perceive the same truth from different angles. There may be persons on every side of a mountain. While they all look at that mountain, each has a little different vision of it. So there may be many viewpoints taken from the position of different creeds. But while some who look through the eyes of one religion may perceive clearly, others gazing through the eyes of the same religion may see imperfectly.
There is often a great misconception of our duty to others. We can not lift one person from a lower plane to a higher one. Sometimes to attempt to force that growth upon another, becomes a hardship to the one whom we seek to help. That person may have an entirely wrong impression of our intentions, and may rightfully regard our efforts as unwarranted interference. The pig gets more satisfaction by having his food served in a trough than he could secure by attempting to eat at the table. People on a low plane do not want the conditions and truths of the higher plane, because they are not ready. They must make themselves ready. That is their task. And, too, through good and charitable intentions, we may keep giving money to somebody else and easing the way for that person, when the thing he must have will be found only in his own efforts and in his own hard knocks. Only as he goes through the experience, will he be ready to develop. [This could be applied to our good intentions towards developing countries. They do not need handouts, but assistance and expertise to help them manage their own affairs].
We are told by our friends in spirit that there are so many refinements to the knowledge and the occupations of the earth, there is one delight after another in really mastering the little details that we thought we knew while we were here, on earth. It is not right for us to complain against fate or to condemn ourselves, because we do not think that we have moved ahead as rapidly as we should. We may find that we have been completing a very solid foundation. We may have built less of the things of the earth, and more of the things in spirit. We may progress very slowly, but so long as we progress at all, we should be thankful. If we gain only one simple truth of God's Law in a lifetime on earth, we have come into possession of a jewel that will be ours always.
As we march from one plane to another, as we better our conditions and our spiritual growth becomes more pronounced, we shall find always that when we have placed ourselves on a higher plane - be that plane in the flesh or in spirit - we shall have the same feeling of naturalness that we experience now. Those things are unnatural to us only that are beyond our present understanding.
We may conceive the higher spiritual spheres as dazzling light and music and something wholly mysterious. But we know, that as we better our condition right here in the world of flesh and blood, we do not feel any unnaturalness or any mystery. We are not going up to the highest spheres in one leap, because we may be on our journey many millions of years before we could reach some of the spheres from which we now receive information. We do not say that it will take this long, but we ask you to accept the supposiition. Even if it were merely thousands of years, is it not reasonable that as we live each minute of time, we shall always feel natural and at home as we climb higher? We cannot attain that development now. We should concern ourselves with the immediate development that is possible for us to reach during our earth lives. If we succeed in learning a little more of God's truth and live just a little closer to him each day, even if we have periods of retrogression, we may be sure that we are moving ahead.
The world in its progress passes through its periods of war and panics and even through its centuries of seeming stagnation. And yet out of these negative conditions very often comes a new ideal - a new purpose. And as it is with the world, so it must be with life - with the life of each person - because the world is only an aggregation of persons. And the world supplies many beautiful opportunities of progress and achievement. Even its pains and its poverty and its disappointments open new avenues for us to attain higher planes - avenues that perhaps we shall not find on the spirit side of life, free from its fears and its ills and the earthly misconceptions.
Reviewed from:- "God's World" A Treatise on Spiritualism (Volume One) through the mediumship of Mrs. Cecil M. Cook. Compiled and written by Lloyd Kenyon Jones The William T. Stead Memorial Center, Chicago. 1918
"The Voice Triumphant: The Revelations of a Medium" by Mrs Cecil M. Cook. Alfred A. Knopf. New York, 1931.[This is Volume 2 of the Treatise, though not mentioned as such.]
Back in the 1890s W.T. Stead had serialised "Letters from Julia" in his quarterly journal "Borderland," later published in book form as "After Death." All three books provide excellent teachings from the Spirit World.
* The first passage from W. T. Stead is reviewed from "My Four Thousand Ghosts" by E. Stanley Brookes, Regency Press, London. 1968.
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