Spirit Teachings

THROUGH THE MEDIUMSHIP OF

William Stainton Moses

( "M.A. (OXON.)" )
 
RECEIVED DURING THE 1870's
 
AUTHOR OF "PSYCHOGRAPHY," "SPIRIT IDENTITY," "HIGHER ASPECTS OF
SPIRITUALISM", "PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF EPES SARGENT,"
"SPIRITUALISM AT THE CHURCH CONGRESS," ETC. ETC.
 
 

Forward

Biography of William Stainton Moses

Introduction

    The method by which the messages were received--- The character of the writing--- The communicating spirits--- The circumstances under which the messages were written--- How far were they tinged by the mind of the medium?--- Power of controlling by will the production of writing--- These communications mark a period of spiritual education--- And, though to him who received them of great value, are published with no such claim on others

Imperator's Band

Section I

    Special efforts to spread progressive truth at this special epoch thwarted by the Adversaries--- Obstacles in the way --- The efforts now made greater than men think--- Revelation: its continuity---Its deterioration in men's hands---The work of destruction must precede that of construction--- Spirit -guides: how given ---Spirits who return to earth---The Adversaries and their work--- Evil --- The perpetuation of the nature generated on earth --- The growth of character--- Each soul to his own place, and to no other --- The Devil

Section II

    The true philanthropist the ideal man --- The notes of his character--- The true philisopher --- The notes of his character---Eternal life---Progressive and contemplative---God, known only by His acts--- The conflict between good and evil (a typical message of this period)---These conflicts periodic, especially consequent on the premature withdrawal of spirits from the body: e.g., by wars, suicide, or by execution for murder --- The folly of our methods of dealing with crime--- Of herding criminals together and hanging the worst of them--Remedial methods preferable--- For in sending a spirit prematurely forth from its body with rage and vengeance, we send him with enlarged opportunity to work mischief---We do this in the name of God, of whom we have a very false conception--- Pity and Love are more potent than Vengeance---The sublimity of the idea of God revealed in Spirit- Teaching compared with the old idea---

Section III

    Physical results of the rapid writing of the last message: headache, and great prostration---Explanation--- Punitive and remedial legislation---Asylums and their abuses---Mediums in madhouses--- Obsessing spirits living over again their base lives vicariously--- Children in the spirit-world: their training and progress---Love and knowledge as aids---Purification by trial---Motives that bring spirits to earth again--- Return to earth not the only mode of progression---States of probation or purgation, and spheres of contemplation--- Spheres and states within them---The descent of spirit through choice of evil--- Its hatred of good and gradual assumption of materiality till it sinks lower and lower--- The Unpardonable Sin---

Section IV

    Time: April and May, 1873---Facts of a minute nature given through writing, all unknown to me--- Spirit reading a book and reproducing a sentence, through the writing, from Virgil and from an old book Rogers' Antipopopriestian---Experiment reversed---

Section V

    Mediumship and its varieties---The physical medium--- Clairvoyants---Recipients of teaching, whether by objective message or by impression---The mind must be receptive, free from dogmatism, inquiring and progressive--- Not positive or antagonistic, but truthful and fearless--- Selfishness and vaingloriousness must be eradicated---The self-abnegation of Jesus Christ--- A perfect character, fostered by a secluded life, the life of contemplation---

Section VI

    The Derby Day and its effects spiritually--- National Holidays, their riot and debauchery---Spirit photographs and deceiving spirits--- Explanation of the event: a warning for the future--- Passivity needed: the circle to be kept unchanged: not to meet too soon after eating--- Phosphorescent lights varying according to conditions--- The marriage bond in the future state--- Discrepancies in communication---

Section VII

    The Neo-Platonic philosophy---Souffism---Extracts from old poets, Lydgate and others, written---Answers to theological questions--- The most difficult to approach are those who attribute everything to the Devil---The pseudo-scientific man of small moment---. The ignorant and uncultured must bide their time---The proud and arrogant children of routine and respectability are passed by---The receptive are too often cramped by a human theology which stifles true religious instincts--- They are armed at all points, and their honest but mistaken arguments are very saddening---Reason, the final Court of Appeal--- How far does Reason prove us of the devil, and our creed diabolic---

Section VIII

    The writer's personal beliefs and theological training---A period of great spiritual exaltation--- The dual aspect of religion---The spirit-creed respecting God---The relations between God and man--- ---Faith---Belief---The theology of spirit--- Human life and its issues---Sin and its punishment---Virtue and its reward---Divine justice--- The spirit-creed drawn out---Revelation not confined to Sinai---No revelation of plenary inspiration ---But to be judged by reason

Section IX

    The writer's objections---The reply: necessary to clear away rubbish---The atonement--- Further objections of the writer---The reply--- The sign of the cross---The vulgar conception of plenary inspiration--- The gradual unfolding of the God-idea--- ---The Bible the record of a gradual growth of knowledge easily discernible--- The inspiration divine, the medium human---Hence each finds in the Bible the reflex of his own mind--- And so the Bible becomes an armoury for all--- ---And too much stress is laid on isolated texts, and words and phrases--- At variance with these views, spirits endeavour to eradicate what is so false as not to be put right, otherwise they take existing opinions and mould them into closer semblance of truth--- So theological views are toned down, not eradicated---Opinions are spiritualised--- In this way has this teaching been given---How the sign of the cross can be prefixed to it---

Section X

    Further objections of the writer---The reply--- A comparison between these objections and those which assailed the work of Jesus Christ--- Spiritualised Christianity is as little acceptable now--- The outcome of spirit-teaching---How far is it reasonable?---An exposition of the belief compared with the orthodox creed---

Section XI

    The powerful nature of the spiritual influence exerted on the writer---His argument resumed--- The rejoinder---No objection to honest doubt--- The decision must be made on the merits of what is said, its coherence, and moral elevation--- The almost utter worthlessness of what is called opinion---Religion not so abstruse a problem as man imagines--- Truth the appanage of no sect---To be found in the philosophy of Athenodorus, of Plotinus, of Algazzali, of Achillini--- To whom earth-opinions are of little moment now---All may work in such work as this, and there is no discrepancy--- Every statement made, scrupulously exact, though some may have been distorted in transit--- This attempt to teach is one of many made to many different minds--- The prospects of acceptance and rejection--- The position assigned to Jesus the Christ---

Section XII

    The writer's difficulties--Spirit identity--Divergence among spirits in what they taught--- The reply--The root-error is a false conception of God and His dealings with man--Elucidation at length of this idea--- The Devil--Risk of incursion of evil and obsession applies only to those who, by their own debased nature, attract undeveloped spirits---

Section XIII

    Further objections of the writer, and statement of his difficulties--- The reply--Patience and prayerfulness needed--Prayer--- Its benefit and blessings--The spirit view of it--- A vehemently written communication--The dead past and the living future--- The attitude of the world to the New Truth---

Section XIV

    The conflict between the writer's strong opinions and those of the Unseen Teacher--- Difficulties of belief in an Unseen Intelligence--The battle with intellectual doubt--- Patience needed to see that the world is craving for something real in place of the creed outworn--- The result of the contention was that the writer, having carried his point, was lifted out of the personal dispute about the Messenger into a grasp of the dignity and beauty of the message -- Statement of his mental condition--- His own contention--- The reiterated claim to be an enunciation of a Divine Message--- Spirit intercourse governed by laws--No proper care of mediums---

Section XV

    The religious teaching of Spiritualism--Deism, Theism, Atheism--- No absolute truth--A motiveless religion not that of Spirit-teaching--Man, the arbiter of his own destiny--Judged by his works, not in a far hereafter, but at once--A definite, intelligible system--The greatest incentive to holiness and deterrent from crime--- Spiritualism not bad in the mass--Hard for those who are in the midst to judge--Means are adapted to ends--A multiplicity of minds are being operated on by methods best adapted to reach them, hence the apparent din and confusion--- The question of Evil--Popular Spiritualism--Not only a profoundly external revelation, but assurance of reunion, a gospel of consolation

Section XVI

    The summing up--Religion has little hold of men, and they can find nothing better--Investigation paralysed by the demand for blind faith--- A matter of geography what form of religious faith a man professes--No monopoly of truth in any This geographical sectarianism will yield to the New Revelation--- Theology a bye-word even amongst men--Life and Immortality---

Section XVII

    The request of the writer for independent corroboration, and further criticism--- The reply--Refusal--General retrospect of the argument--Temporary withdrawal of Spirit-influence to give time for thought--- Attempts at establishing facts through another medium futile--- Further messages from Imperator during my absence from home, and more evidence of identity--Advice to review patiently the past, and seek composure---

Section XVIII

    Difficulty of getting communications when it was not desired to give the--The mean in all things desirable--- The religion of body and soul--Spiritualising of already existing knowledge--- Cramping theology worse than useless--Such are not able to tread the mountain-tops but must keep within their walls, not daring to look over--- Their father's creed is sufficient for them, and they must gain their knowledge in another state of being--- Other do not think at all: they want things settled for them--With all these we have nothing to do, for nothing can be done--The way to know of the things of spirit is free, and that man who struggles up to light gains more than he does who lets others do his thinking for him--- That is now being done for Christianity that Jesus did for Judaism: it is being Spiritualised--- Christ was the Great Social Reformer, teaching liberty without licence, elevating man, and living among common people--We declare truths identical with those preached then--- The spiritual return of Christ

Section XIX

    Outline of the religious faith here taught--God and man--- The duty of man to God, his fellow, and himself--- Progress, Culture, Purity--- Reverence, Adoration, Love--- Man's destiny--- Heaven, how gained--- Helps: communion with Spirits--- Individual belief of little moment--Religion of acts and habits which produce character, and for which in result each is responsible--Religion of body and soul

Section XX

    More evidence of identity of spirits communicating--Perplexity caused by a name, written psychographically, being wrongly splet: explanation--- The writer's disturbed and anxious state reacting on the communications--Doubt and its effects--- No use to maintain a dogmatic attitude against facts--The trustful spirit--Advice as to the future-- Withdrawal of further communications

Section XXI

    The writer's condition, a personal explanation--- The reply: reiterated advice to ponder on the past and seek seclusion--- Final address by Imperator, retrospective, and closing for the time the argument: October 4, 1873

Section XXII

    Imperator's despairing view of his work--- A striking case of identity--- Personal explanation of the writer

Section XXIII

    Progressive Revelation--- The chain of spiritual influence from Melchizedek, through Moses, Elijah, to the Mount of Tramsfiguration, and the Apocalyptic Vision--- The Pentateuch--- Abraham not on the highest plane--Translations of Enoch and Elijah--- Legendary Beliefs in the Sacred Records to be carefully discriminated

Section XXIV

    The intervening period between the records of the Old and New Testaments--A period of darkness and desolation, the night succeeding a day of revelation--- The internal craving for advanced truth corresponds to external revelation--- Points to be considered in the records of the Old Testament of the life of Christ for the writer's own instruction--A glimpse of the method of guidance exercised over him

Section XXV

    Pursuing his studies on the lines indicated, the writer found evidence of the work of various hands in the Mosaic records--A message thereupon, and a dissertation on the danger of quoting isolated texts, and relying on the plenary inspiration of a translation--- The compilation in Ezra's day--The Elohistic and Jehovistic legends--The Canon of the Old Testament, how settled--- Daniel, a great seer--- The progressive idea of God in the Bible developed and elucidated

Section XXVI

    Changes in the communications--A retrospective marking the close of another phase in the writer's relations to his Teachers--- The writer's mental state, and the various phenomena that were presented, bearing on the attempts to lift him into a more passive condition--- Music--Autographs of two celebrated composers authenticating a communication

Section XXVII

    India as the cradle of races and religions--A communication from Prudens--- The man crushed by a steam-roller who communicated immediately after death: explanations

Section XXVIII

    A communication in hieroglyphics by an old Egyptian--- Particulars about Egyptian theology, and its relation to Judaism--- The prophet of Ra, at On, who lived 1630 B.C---. The religion of daily life as exemplified in Egypt--- The Trinity--- India and Egypt--- Progress in religious knowledge not necessarily connected with any special belief--- General judgment--The fullness of spirit

Section XXIX

    Danger of deception by personating spirits--A case in point, and an emphatic warning on the subject--- The adversaries--Obsessing spirits--The earth-bound and undeveloped--Temptation by them--- The danger from these to those on whom they are able to fasten most real and terrible--- Civilisation and its results--Christianity as in England--Missionaries to the heathen--Our great cities, foul, weltering masses of vice and cruelty--- The atmosphere of them intolerable to spirit--- The other side not dwelt on now, but conspicuous exceptions admitted--These causes hamper the good, and swell the army of the adversaries, one of whose ready devices is to personate truthful spirits, and so to introduce doubt and fraud--- The phenomenal illusory--The spiritual real--Higher revealings wait for those who can hear--- How to know a personating spirit--- The subject to be approached with care, whereas it is recklessly and idly meddled--- Frolicsome spirits, not evil, but sportive, foolish, with no sense of responsibility--- Avoid the personal element as far as possible

Section XXX

    Specimens of various teachings given on anniversaries, to which spirits always seem to pay great regard--- Easter Day Teaching (1874) Easter Day Teaching (1875) Easter Day Teaching (1876) Easter Day Teaching (1877)

Section XXXI

    A photograph at Hudson's, and a communication thereupon--- Suicide and its consequences--- The story of a wasted life, selfish and useless--A stagnant life breeds corruption--- Experience of the spirit when the cord of earth-life was severed--Remorse the road to progress--Work the means of progression--- Help from spirit-ministers--The fire of purification--- Selfishness and sin bring misery and remorse--And thus sore judgment--No paraphernalia of assize--- Man makes his own future, stamps his own character, suffers for his own sins, and must work out his own salvation--- The threefold life of meditation and prayer: worship and adoration: conflict--- Accountability---

Section XXXII

    It is necessary that afflictions come--A period of conflict is a period of progress--- Revelation overlaid bit by bit--Then comes the question, What is Truth?--The answer in a new revelation--Esoteric at first, then adapted to general needs--- All cannot know truth in the same degree--Truth is many-sides--The purest truth must not be proclaimed on the house-top, or it becomes vulgarised--- The pursuit of Truth for its own sake the noblest end of life--- Having passed the Exoteric, it is well to dwell on the Esoteric--- Loving Truth as Deity, following it careless whither it may lead---

Section XXXIII

    Further evidences of Spirit-Identity--John Blow--Extracts from ancient chronicles--Norton, the Alchymist--Specimens from a large number--- Charlotte Buckworth and the verification of the story concerning her--- Conclusion