July 2nd, 1916
Received by James Padgett
I am here, John.
I come tonight to tell you of a truth which is important for you to know as well as for the world of mankind. I will not write a very long message, but what I may say will be the truth and every man should understand it and make it his own.
I will not write upon any subject that you have been instructed upon before, but will deal with a subject entirely new and my subject is: "Why should men learn that they are not to be left to themselves in their conceptions of what life means, and what its importance is in the economy of man's creation and destiny."
I know that this may seem to you to be a strange subject to write on, but it is one that should be of interest to all men who know that the earth life is very short and then eternity takes them into its embrace and never again permits them to become creatures of time.
Man lives and dies and never lives again according to the materialist, and he is as the brute animal without any future. But the spiritualist, and by that I mean those who believe that there is something more to man than the mere material, believes he lives and never ceases to live, although the physical body dies never to be resurrected again as such body.
Now, as we take either the one or the other of these views, the meaning of man's earth life assumes a very different aspect, and calls for very different thoughts and actions on his part in living his life. Of course, if what is called death is the end of things, that man should do, or he should think he should do, as the old saying, "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you shall die," and with that death comes oblivion and forgetfulness never to be awakened again into consciousness. His mission in the universe is fulfilled, and he can no more experience the hopes or ambitions or joys or sorrows which were his as a living man.
But on the other hand, if man never ceases to live, then his thoughts and conduct should be turned towards the accomplishment of that which will provide for him the best possible future.
Those of both opinions know, that when death comes the physical body can no longer be used, and those who believe in the continuous existence know that as the physical body perishes man must have some other form or body in which may be lodged the consciousness of this continued existence, and that body must be as real as the one which he relinquishes. Such being the fact, the man who knows that death does not end all will naturally and necessarily seek to learn what that body of continued existence is like, and what is necessary to enable him to obtain that body and thereby enjoy the living in eternity. And thus seeking he will not be satisfied to learn that that body is the mere spirit body which has been his during all the years of his earth life, but will desire to further learn what the relationship is between that body and the manner of living his earth life.
I know that of himself, man cannot to any degree discover this relationship, and that he must depend upon the teachings and experiences of those who have experienced the separation of the spirit from the physical in order to at all comprehend this relationship.
As one having had this experience, I wish to say that the spirit body is, of itself, a creation like as is the physical body, and has its existence only for the purpose of preserving man's individuality, and of containing and sheltering his soul, both while on earth and after he becomes a spirit.
Then his living means that he is placed on the earth merely to acquire an individuality, and to learn that within him is the soul which is his real self and which he must cherish and educate and feed with the higher thoughts and goodness of his original creation; and not neglect the opportunities that come to him for this development.
I know that this seems incoherent to you with no special object in view, but you are mistaken in thus thinking for the object will soon be seen. But as you are not just in condition for further writing tonight, I will postpone my writing until later.
So trusting that you will not feel inclined to reject the message I will say goodnight.
Your brother in Christ,