More Criminals needing rescue - How rendering service to others helps "low" spirits progress to better places.
I like to include a few personal memories in these accounts of various aspects of mediumship and Spiritualism. A lot of us have lived through a very active period of Spiritualism's history, from the 1920s onward, in spite of what the media say. Although I came to Spiritualism fairly recently, an ancestor, David Weatherhead, was one of the first modern Spiritualists, and I seem to have frequented the same haunts as some of the well-known mediums and researchers. If only I'd been interested in, or even known about the great work done at the time! So now I'm making up for lost time by bringing some of these people and events back to life again, though of course, they are all looking over my shoulder saying, "we are not dead at all, we are still very much alive and kicking!
So here is my part of the story, starting with Lord (Norman) Birkett, a famous criminal lawyer and judge at the Nuremberg Trials. In 1950 he came to give away prizes at our school Speech Day, and I shook hands in turn to get my prize from him. A little later he wrote a forward to a book on Education in Prison written by Frances Banks, a friend of medium Helen Greaves mentioned before. I have a copy of the book right here on my desk. Later after his death he came through Leslie Flint the direct voice medium to give a talk on Spiritual Justice, which is available at www.leslieflint.com. His post mortem voice and manner were quite recognizable and evidential.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s in London where I worked and performed I often met family and friends for tea at Lyons Corner House in the Strand, not far from Charing Cross Station in London, UK. There , sometime during this period, if I'd only known, Frances Banks and Helen Greaves also met
for tea to talk things over, and the spirits came through to communicate in this quite public venue. Later on, Frances Banks returned after her death to describe her activities in the Spirit World in some detail. [see: "Testimony of Light" and "The Challenging Light" by Helene Greaves]. But that is enough from me. Let Helen Greaves continue with her own story.
"Even apparently depraved creatures are given the chance to redeem themselves and progress towards the spirituual worlds. Here is a story illustrating the part which service to others plays in this transformation. It concerns three ex-prisoners, who, having been given the chance by service to their fellows to right some of the wrongs they did, aided a work that was being done on earth concerning the life and education of men in prisons.
One of the ex-prisoners was an educated man who had fallen foul of the law of the land, the other two were of the usual type of men found in prisons. But the three of them worked together in the closest unity until the work of research was completed and the resulting book written and published. Only when this was finished did the educated ex-prisoner communicate again, and for the last time, to explain that he was now separated from his erstwhile companions, and was on a different Way.
Frances Banks, a friend of mine who was visiting prisons, was talking with me in my flat. We are both interested in supersensory perception, and often compare notes on books written on this subject, so that, as we talked, I was not altogether surprised to "hear" a name called in my mind.
It was such a strange name, and one that I could not possibly have heard anywhere, that I took notice of it. But for some time I did not get any impression of the entity behind it. Presently, as the re-iteration of the name in my mind seemed to become even more compelling, I felt I had to relay it to Frances. She looked surprised: 'Why, yes,' she admitted. 'There was a man of that name in a prison, who died from a stroke.'
The communicator then told us that he and my friend (Frances) had once had a brief conversation. He wanted now to tell her that what she had said then was true. Frances recalled the remark clearly. It appeared that on this occasion, the prisoner had made some comment on survival after death. She recalled that she had then stated her belief that 'one would probably be the same five minutes after death, as one was five minutes before.' It was probably the last communication she had with him on earth. And now he had returned to tell her that it WAS TRUE!
He went on to tell us that he 'was still groping in the mists'. Frances admitted that she had prayed often for this lost soul, and now it appeared that he was getting a chance to make good. He said he wanted to make contact and to help with the book that was in process of writing. This was his way of giving service.
He came again at various periods when we were together, and I understood that once he also communicated to my friend through another sensitive. Later he seemed more at peace, and more sure of himself. Then he informed us that 'he had found his way'.
Some time after, another former prisoner spoke through my mediumship to Frances, giving unmistakable proofs of his identity, and recalling to her the fact that he had committed suicide after his release from prison. He said that he and the other communicator had joined together to help her with the book on prison education that she was writing. They both promised to give her all the aid they could in her various journeys in search of material. They also said they were working under the 'guidance' of a well-known man who had been a prison reformer.
This was all very interesting. But the most astonishing incident was when the third prisoner joined the little band. I had met Frances quite by chance at Charing Cross, and she invited me to have tea with her in Lyons' Conrner House in the Strand. The place was crowded, but we managed to get a table for two jammed between other tables. There amidst the clatter of crockery, the hum of talk, the wafting to and fro of customers and waiters with trays, and the sound of popular music from the orchestra, a third 'old lag', as he called himself was able to make me hear with complete clarity all that he had to say.
This prisoner in spirit gave the nick-name (Dopey) by which he was known to his fellow inmates. He even gave his surname, and the circumstances of his death, details of which were unknown to Frances at that time, but were afterwards confirmed through other channels [public records]. He asserted that he had been allowed to join the other two to give all the help they could for this book, which they insisted, would be easily published. Frances would also be helped in personal ways whilst she was writing it (this proved to be the case).
But they were all most vehement in objecting to the title that the author had decided to give to the book. 'It won't do', they told her. 'Too long. It's stuffy! You want a shorter one; something that will reveal what the book is about; one that will tell a story too. We will try to impart this to you. Just wait, and we will tell you.' All this, may I insist, without my knowing what the proposed title was to be. I left Frances to fulfil another engagement.
But later she told me that on the way home in the bus, the title of the book was 'flashed' to her, just as they had promised! It had the right number of words, and it is indeed concise, pithy and arresting - ["Teach Them to Live"]
At a later session, the advanced soul show seemed to be in charge of the three prisoners, and who was a dedicated spirit with vision and selflessness, insisted that a publisher had already been found for it. [International Universities Press, Inc. New York, 1958]. So this proved to be true, and the book had excellent reviews.
The arresting part of this story, I think, is in the fact that, when the work was finished, the prisoners withdrew. They came back once to say HOW MUCH THEY HAD ALL BEEN HELPED IN THEIR PROGRESS by the way in which they had been allowed to assist. The three prisoners were now separated; they had gone their ways. The first one to communicate with us seemed to be called to higher work; one of the others asserted that he was attending classes on philosophy. (Here Frances told me that he had been attracted to the subject, and she was touched by the idea of further 'celestial' education).
We can only trust that they have had a reward for their work; that they have all passed on to higher levels; and that in their life now they have found understanding and peace. 'In my Father's House are many mansions', said the Great Teacher. Mansions for the unfortunates, the failures, the evil-doers, the drifters, as well as for the saint, the selfless workers, and for the normal every-day person. Perhaps these 'habitations' are only separated by different states of consciousness!"
So wrote Helen Greaves in her book "The Dissoving Veil," which was published in 1967. Her friend Frances Banks had died two years earlier, in 1965, while Helen was editing her reminiscences for publication. But Frances in turn was to return to provide a revealing account of life on the other side, which Helen Greaves related in her well-known books, as already mentioned, "Testimony of Light," and "The Challenging Light."
Before reviewing the "Testimony" and the better prospects for us on the other side, which await the majority of us, hopefully, when we pass, here is one more example of a lost soul coming for help in the rescue group in Devon, U.K. Here again, I have never met this group, though I have been in written contact with some of them, and also lived and worked there, and know the countryside well. So once again I feel quite at home with them.
Michael Evans, one of the group, writes: "There are many levels in the spirit world, ranging those of unbelievable happiness and beauty, to those lower levels, where those whose earth life was one of selfishness and cruelty find themselves after death in a world of misery and mutual antagonism. Our next customer, if I may call him that, was one of these. His name, which he gave us at the end, was Wilf."
Wilf - What are you looking at me like that for?
Group - Only because we'd like to help you if we can.
Wilf - I don't want to be looked at like that!
Group - Oh, well, we'll look away then. Is there anything we could do to make your life better?
Wilf - Fat lot anyone could do to help me!
Group - Well, we've helped a few people.
Wilf - Nobody seems to care.
Group - You don't seem very happy.
Wilf - Would you be happy if you had to live in dark, dirty holes?
Group - Can't you go somewhere else?
Wilf - There aren't any other places, I've looked. Every corner's got somebody living in it. Sometimes you can't even find a corner!
Group - There are lots of nice places you can go to.
Wilf - I don't think so.
Group - If you start thinking about nice places, you'll be surprised what happens.
Wilf - Some bloke was talking to me about nice places, but he can't show it to me. I can't see 'em.
Group - Well, we might be able to show you something, if you could just listen to us for a bit.
Wilf - (Sarcastically) Who are "we"?
Group - We are a group, known as a Peace Circle, and we're still on earth, we haven't died yet - and we help people who have died and who haven't gone on to the nice places - they're still stuck - and you're able to use the body of a woman who is a medium.
Wilf - (aghast) A woman!
Group - So that you can speak to us. She allows you to do this, because she hopes it will help you. Now, as you look about, can you see anywhere in the darkness where it looks a bit lighter - just a little bit lighter? Have a look about!
Wilf - No, no houses, it's like ruins.
Group - Not even a light gray colour?
Wilf - No. It's red and I haven't been that way because red's Hell.
Group - There's no such thing as Hell. That's all nonsense that people made up.
Wilf - Well, I've been worried about that because I didn't lead a very good life.
Group = Don't worry. There's no such thing as Hell.
Wilf - Well, I deserve it.
Group - The worst thing is what you've got now - being in the dark where you are - but the great thing is to work your way up to the nice places.
Wilf = But I walk around and it's just that - what do you mean, "up"?
Group - Ah, now we come to it. The way to get up is to ask. Now this is very difficult for some people. You have to say, 'Help! I want to be somewhere better - and you have to say it towards the lightest place you can find, and then you'll find that someone will come who can really take you to the lighter places. i tell you that there are parks and gardens and lakes and nice houses, which are all there, but the only way to see them is by changing your own mind and saying, 'Please help me - I want to improve, I want a better place.'
Wilf - That man's here again.
Group - What's he saying to you?
Wilf - He says I've got to go towards where it's red. I'm telling him I'm frightened that that's Hell. The rest of it's all black and the only light is where it's red.
Group - Well, walk towards it. If you think it looks dangerous you can always stop. I tell you that's where help can come from. The other thing that can help you even further is if you can help anybody else.
Wilf - I've tried, but I can't get in. They shout at you to go away.
Group - Have you a friend there?
Wilf - You couldn't be friends with these people - you just couldn't.
Group - Well, we want to get you a friend. Walk towards that red light.
Wilf - Is this man part of it?
Group - Yes, he will help you.
Wilf - He's the only one who ever talks to you. The others, all they ever do is just shout at you. You couldn't try to help them - you just couldn't.
Group - Well, maybe you can't help them, but even if you thought you would like to help them, although they won't accept it, that would do you just as much good.
Wilf - I've thought lately, I'd like to try and go in and talk to them and say, 'Can't we do something? Find somewhere better?' But none of them will listen.
Group - If you can get yourself "up", get yourself better, then perhaps you can come back and help them The great thing is to go towards the light and say 'I want to go somewhere better. Show me. I want to see somewhere better.' Ask the man if he will take you. Go with the man.
Wilf - He's the only one that walks upright round here. All the rest are bent right over. I'm walking towards the light. I'm walking.
Group - That's good. That's good.
Wilf - It's like walking through mist. It's going all pink.
Group - Keep going.
Wilf - He says I've got to walk through this hole - like a tunnel - it's very bright.
Group - You'll soon get used to it. It's like going into bright sunlight after you've been in a shady place - you'll get used to it.
Wilf - Oh! It's a house. A proper house!
Group - Perhaps you could go in there.
Wilf - He says I can. It's got a table and chairs. It's lovely. Cor! I'm so glad.
Group - Good! You could stay there.
Wilf - He says I can sleep for a while. Then he'll come and see me again.
Group - Good! We're very pleased! You have a rest now.
Wilf - My name's Wilf. I'm not talking very loud. I'm feeling very weak.
Group - You have a sleep!
Wilf - (very faint) Bye-bye. Thank you.
Extract taken from "Dead Rescue, or The Techniques of Guiding Lost Souls" by Michael Evans. Con-Psy Publications, 2007. A useful handbook for all taking part in rescue work of any kind. He has also written "Through Bereavemnt to Happiness" in which he relates the fascinating story of how his first wife in spirit, and the spirit of his second wife to be's deceased husband, led them to meet and eventually marry.
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