Frederick W Kendall.

Gone west : by a soldier doctor online

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Doctor wrote,

"Many years ago I gave a stone to M.,
telling her to have it set in a ring for one
of her children. She is not thinking of
it now; see if she can revive her mem-

Surprised she had never heard of this
bequest, from her friend, H. made in-

M. corroborated the statement, told the
interesting story connected with the stone
and asked H. to go to her safe deposit
box, which she did with a witness and
verified the existence of the diamond,


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read its history and the directions for its

It had been given the mother in trust
for her daughter ten years previously;
it was referred to just before the Doctor's
death and its history written down and
placed in the safe deposit box with the
stone about a year before the above com-


Part Second: The Message

Up to this time the writings given were
conversational in nature and the Doctor's
friends did not seriously consider pub-
lishing them. In October, IQl8, he
again wrote after six months of silence,
due largely to his intense and absorbing
labors on the battle-fields of France.

At this time he signified a desire to
write "A book for his boys" as soon as
leisure permitted. This did not occur
until after the signing of the armistice,
November Ilth.

For a few visits he seemed too weary
to begin this definite work and confined
his communications to personal affairs,
but on the evening of November 2$th he
began to write the following series of


NOVEMBER 25, 1918

When a great cataclysm occurs the
world begins to take cognizance of itself
and wonders why and wherefor and
whither. In our easy thoughtless living
before this great war not many of us
thought o'f a next chapter. We died of
course, but when we go out single file,
as it were, we are not brought up stand-
ing with the chasm opening wide before
the whole nation. To see our lads in the
very beginning of life, with every reason
for living, suddenly face about and take
what appeared to be a plunge into obliv-
ion, made even the most complacent of
us take stock of our beliefs to see if we
had a faith which could penetrate the
great mists surrounding the mystery and


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carry us beyond our vision into a land of

We, from our side, have felt as per-
plexed as you, knowing full well the
agony, for we see it doubly; the aching
hearts among you and the homesick boys
here. All the more tragic because
"Here" and "There" are so inter- related
there really is no separation.

That is my reason for asking you to
write down a few chapters of comfort
for the mothers and fathers of our so-
called dead, which may awaken them to
a consciousness of the reality of their
boys' nearness, and help the boys through
the first months of sorrow over the sepa-

That is not an orthodox view, I know;
until coming over I had supposed one
would be in a state of coma or blissfully
happy in a condition totally unlike any-


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thing on earth. Neither is true, and
though the truth may not please those
who have hard and fast opinions, I know
there are many hungry souls wanting
only the truth and glad to get it even at
the expense of a lost conviction.

The war had been going on over a year
when I first went to France for definite
work. I frankly confess I dreaded going,
fearing what I knew so well; seeing lads
dying on the battle-fields and feeling
helpless to aid them. The memory of
my own experiences in the Civil War was
still vivid.

I had, as you know, been a physician,
but how that profession could now allevi-
ate pain, I a "wraith" ministering to a
physical human being, I could not un-

You girls remember my own passing.
I have given you my impressions as they

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came to me. When I found myself out
of my old body but still walking about
in one quite as good, I felt like the old
lady in the nursery rhyme, "Lauk a mercy
on me, this can't be I." It was surely I,
the very same man slightly improved
when I considered my past infirmities
and my present freedom from earth lim-
itations. You have the MSS. of those
experiences, use them as you like. You
know how I gradually found myself;
how my powers returned only greatly in-
creased; my first lessons in thought force;
my visit to the Temple of Light and then
The Call. My guides insisted I must
soon go to France. When I was told the
day had arrived I shall never forget my
consternation not that I was unwilling,
but because of my misgivings over what
I could do to be of service.
One night (we have day and night as

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you do) my guide announced I was
needed and would be given my commis-
sion in the army of workers. Then for
the first time I realized that work on this
side was organized even more carefully
than on yours. I was given a uniform,
a title even, as an experienced physician,
and told to take an apprenticeship
course before going over seas.

After that I found myself following
my guide on what seemed a long journey;
it now appears to be as swift as a wire-
less message.

I was given hospital duties, next was
taken to the fields after the battles.
Then as my experience gave me courage
I went through the battle with the boys,
doing my small part to guide them, care
for them when fallen, and prevent disso-
lution when possible. All of this may
seem the ramblings of a lunatic to some,


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but when one begins to realize that law is
law, here or there, it may not seem so
strange, for your world and ours are so
much alike our boys often do not know
in which they are living.

A physician has a wonderful oppor-
tunity to know the psychology of it all
and from mysteries one begins to see an-
alogy, and that life is simple. It is only
our bewilderment that makes so great a
complexity out of every-day happenings.

This life is more interesting and vital
than yours for one marked reason, we
.are not so continually thwarted in our
plans and aspirations. Not but that one
must give up one's desires and follow
some Divine plan, but our plans seem to
coincide with the Divine plans more
often than when in the earth life. Still,
it may all be a state of mind, for I re-
member one man who had a continual


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grouch because nothing was the way he
wanted or expected it to be.

That is the secret of happiness, to keep
the open mind and obey the law. The
more prejudices and false conceptions in
your life the harder the readjustment

I often wonder how people get on at
all who come fully expecting to meet
God face to face, to be sent to a comfort-
able Heaven or an uncomfortable Hell.
It must be discouraging to find out you
simply go on from yesterday very much
as you did from other yesterdays with
one marked difference you can imme-
diately see the power of thought. One
speculates upon it when on earth. Here,
one is always conscious of it. Many
come who are not developed sufficiently
to understand so it may seem incompre-
hensible to them.


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Our worlds are really one, we see the
astral or real side of the same objects you
behold and even enjoy many of the same
pleasures, notably music, though our ears
are attuned to many higher vibrations of
sounds which are not revealed to you.
You can never know what Divine har-
mony is, till you come over. I want you
to see that life is life wherever found, and
to-morrow for you, here or there, will
only be changed as you interpret the
changes by the development of your own

I plan to give you a few tales about my
boys you can put each one in a chap-
ter if you like edit them as seems best,
only I beg of you give enough to a starv-
ing world to comfort some poor soul, and
let me be able to tell the boys I have done
my best.


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One night shortly after taking up my
post near the front lines I noticed a man
in distress not far from the German, wire.
On going over I found an English boy
still alive who, in the darkness, had not
been discovered by the aid sent out to
search the ground. It was one of those
cases I have told you about, where the
spirit had really left the body, but the lit-
tle thread had not been broken.

Here was my first experiment alone;
heretofore in reviving a patient I usually
had been able to work with some physi-
cian in the hospitals, a much simpler

There was nothing to do but go to
work. I shall not explain the process,
for it would have little meaning to you
now, but I brought him back, was able
to impress a Red Cross stretcher bearer
with the idea of making a search in this


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particular spot and the boy was rescued.

How that experience did hearten me
up! From that day on I have had cour-
age to tackle any job given me, but I re-
gret to say I have not always been able
to keep them in their bodies after the
separation has been prolonged or the
body made useless by too violent shock.

As I look back over my years of army
service I now think the simple work of
helping keep soul and body together the
easiest I have had to accomplish.

The hardest has been when lads would
come to me knowing they could not go
back, and sob their hearts out with grief.

Death is painless particularly when
not combated, and that does not happen
in battle, but the mental agony of coming
away from one's world of pleasures and
friends and all one holds dear is pretty


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After my first days on the battle-fields
I found I was up against the hardest
problem I ever tried to solve. Boys
would come to me for advice and infor-
mation. Were they dead when they felt
just the way they did last night before
the battle knocked them out?

Their bewilderment when I explained
the transition was pitiful, but they are
plucky fellows if ever such have lived.

I finally decided hedging or evading
the question was not the kind thing so I
boldly told them they had lost their old
bodies; that they were still living in one
they had brought with them, for the soul
is always clothed, and they were never
more alive in this or any other world.

Death has no terrors for most of these
lads, but this new condition is always per-
plexing and is made doubly hard by their
relatives at home. In the first place they


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are too sad to give any comfort to their
boys. Then very few know what you
knew when I came over. And worst of
all, even if they do sense a word spoken
by their boys, they don't know they
are speaking and very few give them any
chance to make themselves known.

It is hard to tell a mother her son is
dead, but I believe it is more difficult to
tell that same boy he has passed out of
earth life when he doesn't recognize it
for himself, which is a very usual occur-
rence. One night a whole company of
boys found themselves together after a
battle and seriously believed they were
still in their old condition, until one of
them discovered his coat was not torn as
it had been an hour before. He began
investigating his raiment and finally
startled the whole group with "Say, fel-
lows, we're dead." I wish you could


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have seen how mad they all were, only
they thought he had gone insane.

After awhile the truth dawned upon
them and I explained how natural the
transition was.

They do not all have the calm resigned
attitude toward the change that is com-
monly attributed to them. I have found
the first thing which rouses them to any
interest in their new life is to show them
how easy it is to transport one's self from
one part of the world to another. That
is a joy and at first a constant wonder
to us.

After the boys make that discovery
they very naturally want to go home and
see their families. I always dread that
moment, for if anything is distressing in
life it is to be near those we love and not
be recognized.

Although I do not believe constant in-


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tercommunication is advisable, I do
think a certain amount of it is legiti-
mate and should be cultivated for the
time when separation from our dear ones
seems unbearable. You know how much
easier it was for you to stand our separa-
tion because of your certainty I was near
and could talk to you. It takes the hor-
rible, haunting fear of silence from our
hearts. Even with the chance of occa-
sional errors I believe it to be a worthy
study, for the hour will come to every
one of us when this touching of thoughts
is a real life saver.

Most families can get into communi-
cation with their boys and give them the
cheer and comfort they need if they will
only give up their blind prejudices. I
know many believe spiritistic communi-
cation to be of the Devil. Why not try
the Spirits as Paul advised?

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Of course everybody is not a medium
but after hundreds of experiments I am
inclined to think that nearly every one
has the power latent in him, and many
are highly developed who do not realize
their powers. Take this crude little
table: when two or more form a com-
plete circuit of electric current we can
use it easily. Of course the difficulty
then is in being sure of identity, and also
the conversation must be limited to
"Yes," "No" or "I don't know," except
for the varied vibrations which you have
sensed. Sit quietly find two who can
get some response from the table tipping,
then do not accept every tip as the gos-
pel truth. There are thousands of
chances for errors, but test out your an-
swers. Gradually agree on signals to be
given by your own friends and always ex-
periment with the writing.


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As you know, we do not use your hand,
only surround you with the currents of
ether which clarify our messages, then
give them telepathically.

I prefer the writing, but there again
I find only a few know they have the
ability and there is every chance for de-
ception. But wanting a perfect instru-
ment, should we despise what we have?
I for one think not.

I have never seen any harm come to
any one, beyond an occasional deception,
by trying these experiments, and I know
as a fact that hundreds of our boys have
been made supremely happy and content
to go on with the great life before them
because their dear ones recognize, help
and sympathize with them.

You should know how to protect your-
selves from mischievous spirits after a
little experience, then for God's sake let


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our boys have the comfort of knowing
you want to feel the touch of their hands
and the communion of the spirit which is
all that holds the universe together.

Beg your friends to give up some of
their old fears and false ideas and let in
the sunlight of truth.

It is not necessary to go to public me-
diums, I would say it were better to avoid

Let me give you the story of John.
That isn't his name but it will do for the
little tale. I found him one day look-
ing disconsolately at his old pals who
could not see or recognize him. Taking
him by the arm I said we'd have a little
talk. "Don't you want to go home and
see the folks?" I asked. He sadly shook
his head; "No use, even mother just sits
and cries and won't or can't see me, and
the whole family is so covered with


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gloom I'd rather stay here; the fellows
are cheerful at least." "All right, old
man, but you may be able to change that.
Come along with me." I took him to
the house one of those nights when I gave
you some bits of my life here. You
never saw such a change in a fellow.
His one idea was to have his family know
they could get the same sort of messages.
He begged me to tell them to tell you
to make somebody write a book. Well,
this little volume is really the outcome
of the chat we had that night, and when
the book is published he and I will see
that his mother gets it.

I think I have said enough of the
why-fors. Now I shall go on to some
little tales of life's continuing, for, as I
said, we are just the same the day after
we come over as the day before on earth.
In fact we are on earth, only we are not

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hampered by your vibration of material-
ity; ours is finer, more tenuous, and is
not interfered with by your solidity.

Our world seems as real to us as yours
does to you and as far as I can learn it is
more enduring. Of course we do not stay
eternally on this Astral Plane, but as long
as ties bind us, and work calls us, we con-
tinue our lives very near you in reality,
as well as mentally and spiritually. The
only cause of the separation is the mental
attitude of the people on earth. Beg
them to ponder on that.

When the boys first come over we take
them to a beautiful place to rest up a bit.
Many souls need a long period for this
recuperation, but I find most of the sol-
diers ready in a few days to go back to

One interesting psychological study for
me has been the spiritual advance the

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boys have attained in making the supreme
sacrifice. It is as if a bit of heavenly
grace had been cast upon them, and I am
told by the Masters that many a soul
has progressed more through that one
achievement by way of spiritual growth
than in several incarnations.

As you know, I have had little time
or opportunity to delve into the deep
problems of life's progression, but soon
I am to begin the study for which I have
longed ever since coming over.

A soldier here is as a soldier with you,
under orders. I have not yet received
my discharge.

I wish you could see the little group
of boys who are here to-night. They are
so hungry for a human word from your
world they begged to be allowed to stay.
I have told them to keep quiet as mice


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and I'll permit them to hang about for
awhile. They find a home with some
women folks in it and even a pussy cat,
who recognize that they are here and
give them a welcome, such a wonderful
experience they would stay forever.

It is hard for us to remember how
stupid and blind we were before coming
over. Of course we have the advantage
of seeing you and hearing your voices.
I often wonder how it is possible so few
of you can sense our nearness, but I be-
lieve you deliberately kill that heavenly

Children and animals are more sensi-
tive than older people, but a child who
plays with an invisible companion is
usually laughed out of its knowledge and
enjoyment of its psychic experiences.

Now for another story from real life
believe me it is much more real a life

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than yours. We do not have such im-
possible barriers separating us from our
past and future as you have, or have made
yourselves believe you have.

This boy's experience made a deep im-
pression on me because of the way he
died; perhaps not unusual but worth re-

It was during a battle he was struck by
shrapnel, and while still running, came
over. He continued his flight toward
the enemy, whom he soon met coming to-
ward him in the same aggressive way
two combatants met and thought they
were in deadly battle when they discov-
ered they had lost their earth bodies.
Each made the discovery about the same
time. Their astonishment caused a ces-
sation in hostilities and I met them look-
ing at one another in a bewildered sheep-
ish manner. Finally the Yankee held


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out his hand and the German took it

"How foolish it all is," said my Amer-
ican friend "Ja, ja, Gott help us poor
fools," was all the German could answer.

Somehow in that little interchange of
thought I found the whole sum and sub-
stance of the inanity of wars so terrible
and so utterly foolish.

If it were not for the future I see
ahead of our boys because of their
sacrifice made for the great ideals I
could never feel reconciled to the hor-
rors I have witnessed.

Boys are just boys, of whatever nation-
ality, and I have begun to feel deeper
sorrow for the German lads than for any.
They fought because they were forced to
it, and so far can see no reward from any

I don't want my little stories to grow


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too gloomy, and picture only the unhappy
side of our life here. Whenever you go
to a professional medium and ask for a
departed friend, I remember the unfail-
ing answer was, "Yes, I am happy."
I would not make your losses seem
greater by telling you the boys are
wretched because they are here. That
is not true. Life here is glorious. Each
day has its delights, greater than on
earth, for one is not weighed down with
so many perplexing duties. My only
reason for dwelling on the unhappiness
I have witnessed is to try and change the
attitude of mind and the appalling lack
of sympathy the families left behind ex-
hibit. Now some will say I am heart-
less. Far from it. I must arouse some
enlightened people to their duty and this
little plea is only for a fair investigation.
Keep the open mind.


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How many shut their vision in behind
shutters of ancient prejudice until no
light can penetrate. Strange to say it is
usually the most intellectual who so
greatly lack wisdom.

I cannot think of a more important
subject than to explain something about
the first problems which confront us
here. One comes over with preconceived
ideas which are mostly false. That is
where a baby arriving in your world has
the advantage. He isn't expected to
know anything.

We are just as we were a few moments
before making the great change, and the
fact that conditions are different is not
apparent to us at first. The beliefs we
bring with us color our first experiences
and often make rapid growth impossible.
For instance, do you remember how Mrs.


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M. believed she could not walk? Hav-
ing lived in a wheeled chair for years
it was no wonder her belief did not
change until it was proved to her she was
no longer bound by earth conditions.
The same was true of me in regard to lo-
comotion and also in the fulfillment of
my desires.

I had regular lessons in the use of
thought as a force. First I was shown
how one could see thoughts they are
visible, colored vibrations. Then I was
given experiments in using the power to
materialize objects.

Perhaps I was more stupid than others
or my scientific education compelled me
to see the wheels go round, anyway I had
to have each step explained and proved.

Most of the young men who have been
coming in such numbers have not the
same Missouri attitude toward life here.


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They accept the change more naturally
and their class work is a delight.

Once in awhile for a furlough I have
been permitted to take a group in hand
and I give my raw recruits their first
lessons. Army discipline still prevails
and it is well. Much homesickness is
avoided when one has companionship of
one's own age and kind.

I am still in the primary class in the
use of thought forces and in most of the
great studies which appear to be the vi-
tal philosophies here. As I have told
you, I only await my release from duty
to go on toward the heights which I know
await me.

Most of the boys accept the situation
simply and respond cheerfully. Not
many feel rebellious, and when they dis-
cover the great handicaps of time and
space limitations have been removed,


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they feel as I imagine an aviator feels
when taking his first successful flight; in
fact the flying corps is the advance guard
among the new arrivals. They know
much intuitively. Most of them are
fellows who did not wait long between
incarnations, I am told, and those here
are preparing to aid the young aviators
on earth. They seem to think there is a
wonderful development just dawning on
earth for that field of study and they see
how their work here can help it along.

I once supposed this life was one of
perpetual rest. It was a surprise to find
it a life of perpetual work and activity.
Every day brings newer and more de-
lightful problems to be solved and I
often feel like the children on Christmas
Eve, I can scarcely wait for the new rev-

I have a feeling I may have over-em-


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phasized the depression our boys exper-
ience when they discover the blindness
and deafness of their loved ones on earth.
I can't change my statements in that re-
gard, but I want to tell you one more
story to show you what happiness a little
recognition gives.

The other night when I permitted a
few lads to observe our work they could
scarcely contain themselves for joy.
One of them announced he would make
his sister hear him now if he had to move
his house to do it. He went home and


Online LibraryFrederick W KendallGone west : by a soldier doctor → online text (page 2 of 3)