Life After Death
A typical attached earthbound spirit.
EXPERIENCE, OCTOBER 27, 1919
Spirit: MRS. SIMONS Patient: MRS. SR
Psychic: MRS. WICKLAND
The controlling entity groaned and immediately placed hands on back, apparently in great pain.
Doctor Are you in trouble? Have you lost your body without understanding it?
Spirit I don’t know.
Dr. We can relieve your pain. Tell us who you are.
Sp. I don’t know.
Dr. Surely you know your own name.
Sp. I cannot think.
Dr. How long have you been dead?
Sp. I don’t know if I am dead.
Dr. What did your friends call you?
Sp. Mrs. Simons.
Dr. Where did you live?
Dr. Where did you live in Chicago?
Sp. It’s a long time ago, and I don’t know. I have not felt just right.
Dr. In what way?
Sp. I felt so small, and was so uncomfortable.
Dr. Do you realize that you were interfering with some one?
Sp. I know that I am in such a stupor. I don’t feel natural.
Dr. Do you know the reason for that?
Dr. You did not believe in spirits, did you?
Sp. No, and I don’t believe it yet.
Dr. Then you do not believe in your own self, do you? You thought any one who believed in spirits was foolish. Is it not foolish to be an earthbound spirit? Do you realize that you have been one?
Mrs. Sr. Do you know me?
Sp. I know that voice; it belongs to a friend of mine.
Dr. Where is she?
Sp. In Chicago.
Dr. What was her business?
Sp. I don’t know. Everything is so dark and I cannot remember anything. I know that voice, but I cannot tell you who it belongs to. I cannot remember her name at all, but I knew her in Chicago. She used to call and see me. My friend was always like sunshine to me. She helped me.
Dr. What did she do?
Sp. She always came with such a nice cheerful disposition, but she got interested in Spiritualism once. I told her not to bother with it because there was nothing in it. I would not have anything to do with that.
I miss her so. I only see her once in a while. I feel so little and uncomfortable. To save my life I cannot think of her name.
Dr. What was her first name?
Sp. It comes to me now! It was R. Something ails my memory and things are so queer to me. Once in a while I get a glimpse of light, then I feel I am locked up in a small place. You know I am a big woman and in that little place (aura of patient) I was so crowded that I had no feeling.
Dr. Did you get warmed up occasionally?
Sp. Yes, once in a while. I do not know what is the matter, but something burns me sometimes. (Static treatment given patient.) Now it is all dark, dark. I do not see a thing. I do not know which is the best, the fire, or being crowded so that I got no breath. I could not breathe. I do not know why it is. But I seemed to have gotten a shock.
Dr. Did you die from a shock?
Sp. I cannot tell that I am dead because I do not feel dead. I have had fire, and sometimes it was like thunder, shooting pain.
Mrs. Sr. Do you remember Dr. Wickland?
Mrs. Sr. Do you remember that machine he had?
Sp. The one that shot fire?
Mrs. Sr. Yes, and that is the fire you feel.
Sp. Why, I didn’t take treatments from him.
Mrs. Sr. You have been bothering me all these years.
Sp. Why did I bother you?
Mrs. Sr. Have Doctor explain it to you.
Dr. It is not hard to explain. You are now a spirit and have been hovering around your friend. That is why you feel uncomfortable. You are not in Chicago now, you are in California. You are in Los Angeles, California. Don’t you remember Mrs. Sr?
Sp. Yes, she was in Chicago.
Dr. You are both in Los Angeles now.
Sp. I was in Chicago. I always had pains in my legs, and very often in my head.
Mrs. S. You gave me those pains lately.
Dr. You loaned Mrs. Sr. your pains.
Sp. No, you are mistaken in that.
Mrs. Sr. Do you remember Mrs. Wickland of Chicago - Dr. Wickland’s wife? Do you remember she was a psychic?
Sp. I don’t seem to remember. It is strange I don’t know anything.
Mrs. Sr. You thought you knew so much.
Sp. I supposed I knew. You meddled with that foolish thing, Spiritualism, and I did not want to have anything to do with it. Have you been fooling with it again?
Mrs. Sr. No, you have been fooling with me.
Sp. No, I did not want to have anything to do with that; there is nothing in it. I didn’t like that fire - I could not stand it. It chased me away. I suffered terribly. When I was chased out I was locked up in a new room.
Dr. You were locked up in a room of ignorance.
Mrs. Sr. It is a long time since you died.
Sp. I am not dead.
Dr. Look at this hand. Is that yours? You are using another body now. You are proving that what you thought was humbug is true.
Mrs. Sr. Do you know what year it is Mrs. Simons?
Sp. I don’t know anything. Where is my home? Where is my girl?
Mrs. Sr. Your girl is not here. You are in Los Angeles, California.
Sp. No, now you are a little off. Mrs. Sr., don’t you know you are in Chicago?
Mrs. Sr. I have been here in California for six and one-half years.
Sp. We are in Chicago. Such a foolish woman! She is hypnotized and wants to have me believe such a story.
Dr. Wouldn’t you like to understand matters? You have been dead a good many years, and were hovering around your friend, Mrs. Sr. You were driven away from her by electricity. Now you are allowed to control my wife’s body temporarily so you may acquire understanding.
Do you know anything about the purpose of life? Did that ever interest you? No, therefore you think there could not be anything in a higher life.
You call yourself Mrs. Simons. This body belongs to Mrs. Wickland and she is in Los Angeles, California. You claim you are in Chicago and we cannot convince you of the facts. You have been obsessing Mrs. Sr.
Sp. I came to her because it was so dark. It seems I had been sleeping for a while, then I woke up. I saw a light, then I was here. I could see just a little light if I could be with her.
Dr. You got into her magnetic aura and made her suffer. In order to get you out I applied electricity to her.
Mrs. Sr. Do you know what I told Doctor? I told him to give you that electricity.
Sp. You have no sympathy for a poor old, lady like me.
Dr. Would you have liked to have an earthbound spirit control your body?
Sp. I will not listen to you.
Dr. You are willing to bother your friend.
Sp. I do not know whether I have been bothering her. I have only been around her to see light.
Dr. Then how did you happen to get the electricity when I gave it to her? I have never treated you.
Mrs. Sr. By right you ought to pay Dr. Wickland for that treatment, Mrs. Simons.
Sp. Tell me one thing - how did I come here? I do not think you are right, Mrs. Sr., but if you should be, how did you come to California?
Mrs. Sr. By paying my railroad fare I came here. Did you pay anything?
Sp. I never paid anything, so how did I get here? I don’t believe it anyhow - you cannot say that to me! I am in Chicago, and Mrs. Sr. was never in California.
Dr. Do you hear that rumble? That is a train leaving Los Angeles for Chicago.
Sp. That is the Northwestern train.
Dr. There is no Northwestern out here. What do you gain by arguing? When you understand the situation you will appreciate what I am trying to tell you.
What would you think of a person who refused to understand life, who has been dead seven or eight years, whose body is lost and in the grave, and who is an ignorant spirit, bothering one who was formerly a friend?
Sp. I cannot see how that is.
Dr. We are telling you facts.
Mrs. Sr. Your body was buried in Waltheim Cemetery six or eight years ago.
Sp. I have been sleeping. I woke up with very severe pains and I could not move very well, and I felt so crowded.
Dr. That was because Mrs. Sr.’s body is smaller than yours, and you have been obsessing her.
Sp. How could I get in that body? I felt I could hardly move. I have to find out what you are talking about. I don't believe it. I want to know what object you have to say such things?
Dr. Did you ever study Life at all?
Sp. I studied trees and Nature.
Dr. Did you ever observe how the tree grows? It is wonderful. God puts life into it and it grows. What is life?
Sp. God, I suppose.
Dr. Have you ever seen mind?
Sp. Mind is mind.
Dr. Have you ever seen mind?
Sp. No, you could not talk if you had no mind.
Dr. Mind is invisible, isn’t it?
Sp. I haven’t seen it.
Dr. Suppose we tell you that you are invisible to us. When I speak to you I can see only my wife's body.
Sp. Your wife’s body? Mrs. Sr., what is the matter? Have I lost my body?
Mrs. Sr. Yes, you have.
Dr. Only your stubbornness keeps you in the dark.
Sp. I haven’t seen or heard anything. There was a time, I tell you, when I walked on and on, but always in the dark, and it seemed like I never could get there. I rested, then I kept on walking. At first I could see just a little light, and it seems like it came to me in a flash - “Mrs. Sr.!” I thought, “Yes, she was a friend of mine” and then I could see her.
Dr. You transferred yourself by thought.
Sp. Then I had a terrible pain. I thought I had lost all my pain for a little while. I woke up and felt no pain at first, but when I got to that light all the pain came back.
Dr. You had pain when you had your body. You must understand you are a spirit, invisible to us. When an earthbound spirit comes in touch with a mortal body he again has the pains he passed out with. You got in touch with Mrs. Sr., and had your mortal pains again.
You have caused trouble. You were selfish and you have not gained anything by it. In the spirit world you will have to serve others. Realize that you are now a spirit; you no longer have a physical body. Why did you not become a tree as you expected to ?
Mrs. Sr. Your body is buried in Waltheim Cemetery, Chicago. Go to the cemetery and see if you have a tombstone there.
Sp. I don’t want to go and examine my tombstone in the cemetery.
Dr. Did you go to church?
Sp. I believed that when I died there was nothing more. I didn’t want to have such foolish thoughts as you had, Mrs. Sr. I had my own ideas and did not need yours.
Dr. God created the world but you did not investigate anything.
Sp. (In great excitement.) My God! My God I see my mother! (Spirit.) Why, she is in her grave - yes, many years ago! It must be a ghost. She looks so beautiful.
Dr. She did not limit her mind as you did. She did not want to be a tree. You must be willing to learn. Jesus said: “Except ye become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”
Sp. (Of Jewish faith.) I do not believe in Jesus.
Dr. What you believe, or what you do not believe, has nothing to do with the fact of life.
Sp. Mother, is that really you? Why, look at that beautiful road, with beautiful trees and flowers!
See that beautiful garden and those beautiful houses, and my mother walking around.
Dr. Your mother is not a tree, is she?
Sp. Now she is walking on that beautiful road. She says: “Come, this is my home.” Her home, but not mine. Can’t I go with my mother?
Dr. Ignorance cannot enter the “Kingdom of Heaven.”
Sp. Look at that steep hill which I have to climb! I cannot climb that hill with the big body I have. Mother says: “No, you cannot climb it with your body, but you have to climb the hill of understanding, and you must forget yourself. Forget that you have existed in your selfishness. You must serve.”
I know; I. know. Yes, I was selfish. Mother, I will try, but help me! Help me up there! I cannot do it alone. (Crying.)
I cannot stay in this misery any longer! Take me, take me, Mother, with you. Take me with you and show me!
She says I must work and not be lazy as I was in life and expect everybody to do something for me. If they did not do what I wanted then I got angry.
My mother says: “Now you have to serve. You have to work to climb this hill of understanding to a higher life. You have now to learn the first lesson of life, the lesson of understanding, and you will have to go up that hill until you have gotten away from all selfishness, jealousy and envy. You must do that.
“You must also ask forgiveness for what you have done to your old friend. You will have to do it,” my mother says. "You will have to be forgiven. (Crying.) No, you must ask for forgiveness, because you have been selfish, very selfish. All thoughts of self must be thrown away, and you must live for others. I am your mother, but I cannot take you to my home yet, because you must learn.”
(Doubtfully.) She says she is my mother - but I do not know. Yes - I believe it must be, but she looks so beautiful.
Dr. That is because she is filled with the spirit of truth.
Sp. Mrs. Sr., if I ask you to forgive me, will you forgive me?
Mrs. Sr. I surely will. You didn’t know any better.
Sp. You have helped me to light, and it was because of you that I reached this understanding.
Mrs. S. You must thank the Wicklands for it.
Sp. I don’t feel like thanking them for it. Mother says I must, because I would still be in that terrible pain and agony but for them. She says I got into your magnetic aura with a mind full of pain and selfishness and envy. Love was not in me, except selfish love, and she says now I must have love for others and not self. Forget self and work for others, then, she says, I will be happy.
Dr. “Love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Sp. I don’t know. I didn’t have much interest in those things. I now see myself as I was. I was a bundle of selfishness. Mrs. Sr., I must also ask you to forgive me because many times I spoke to you in a very rude way, and I was selfish. I felt people should always come to see me and they had to do it. I see now my selfishness.
Mrs. Sr., please forgive me. I ask it now from my heart. I see now, but before I did not want to see it, because that was putting my past life before me, and how I had lived for self. I do not want that evil, ugly, homely body of mine, which they (guiding intelligences) show me. That is not my body.
Dr. That is your spiritual body, for you have made no other. You have made a spiritual body of only selfishness and jealousy.
Sp. It is all crippled and wrinkled.
Dr. You will have to alter it by your good acts for others. You will have to wear the garment you made until you have earned another.
Sp. To think I should have to wear such an ugly, homely, old fool thing! That - that spiritual body of mine - just because I did not do anybody any good!
Dr. You will have to wear that and be happy until you have learned how to earn another, and to climb the hill of understanding and wisdom.
Sp. So I have to live now in that awful body of mine. I have to get in.
Dr. Serve - serve your fellow man.
Sp. I will be brave, and I will try, because now I see what I should have done, but I did not do it. They say it is not too late, and I will try to wear that body, all wrinkled and so homely. They tell me I can soon wear it out by good acts, and each time I do some good act, some wrinkles will be taken away, and there will be a change for the better. I will try to be happy. It is hard. Mrs. Sr., help me!
Dr. We will all help you.
Sp. Give me some little sympathy because I have to be in that terrible, homely body of mine that I have made only by selfishness and hate. I will wear it until I can do better. I need help and strength so that I can stand it.
Mrs. Sr., forgive me. They say I have done harm to you, and that now I have to wear that homely body and have to serve you. I will serve you and help you. My first lesson will be how to be kind. I will, I will.
Dr. You will find many good friends who will help you. Ask the intelligent spirits to help you. Will you ask them?
Sp. Yes, I will. They say I must thank you for those thunder shots.
Dr. Do you believe in spirits now?
Sp. I must, I suppose. Don’t be like I was, selfish, but do what you can so that you will not have to get into a crippled-up body like mine. They say, no one can help us to work out our own salvation. Make your spirit body more beautiful than mine.
Now I will go and begin my work. Goodbye.
This is extracted from “30 Years among the Dead” by Dr Carl Wickland, first published in 1924. Chapter "Selfishness", page 254.