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GIFT OF




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This has continued, at irregular intervals, up to
the present time, and it is from this accumulation
of writings that "Sifted Thru" has been sifted.

The majority of the writers I never met in
flesh and blood; and, altho many of them were
well-known writers, I was unfamiliar with their
writings. In many instances I saw the writer as
plainly as I would see any one in the physical
body; while, at other times, I saw the writing
only.

The object in submitting these communications
to the public is three-fold: First, 'to convey to
those who are ready to receive it, a plain, sensible
idea of after-death conditions, which must of
necessity vary according to individual enlighten-
ment, influenced by selfish or unselfish aims, de-
sires and purposes;

Second, to convey the truth, that the expres-
sion of life, immediately following death, is not
affected, so far as character goes, and the compre-
hension of life's purposes and problems, by the
event called death, and to let it be known that
this "next plane" is still the earth plane, only in
finer vibrations;

Third, that a Christ-like self-renunciation, in
loving service for the betterment of all humanity,
is the only way to Heaven, and that Love Divine
the only Light which will never fail.

"Sifted Through," by Mrs. I. L. Bentley, is a
book containing a remarkable message for the
world of today. Together with specially designed
and beautifully bound covers, it may be an ideal
gift "book for a friend or loved one.
Price, postpaid, $1.05

I. L. BENTLEY

2500 Beachwood Drive Los Angeles, Calif.



Sifted Through

Communications from the Invisible Side
of Earth Life as Received

By
IDA LEWIS BENTLEY




Published by

J. F. ROWNY PRESS

Los Angeles, Cal.

1920



Gift



DEDICATION

THIS LITTLE BOOK OF COMMUNI-
CATIONS FROM THE INVISIBLE SIDE

OF INFINITE LIFE, is MOST LOVINGLY

DEDICATED, AS A WELL-EARNED TRIB-
UTE, TO MY SISTER AND CO-WORKER
IN THE CAUSE OF TRUTH ELLA

GERTRUDE SMITH.

IDA LEWIS BENTLEY.




FOKEWORD

N THE turmoil and tumult of present-day condi-
tions, every thoughtful person views with con-
cern and approval any avenue which assumes to
answer the questions of a perplexed world or to lead
humanity out of darkness into light.

Just in proportion as death has been to mankind, its
great unillumined problem, so has mankind grasped at
every suggestion of actual guidance in its solution.

The recent years, whose events have so amazingly
rent the veil between the visible and the invisible, have
revealed the enlightening processes of great sorrow. It
is well that this is so, for by this means will the balance
be hung true. <3

Notwithstanding the sincere efforts which are being
made in every direction to assist in world problems, one
lamentable lack is overwhelmingly apparent. This is
best defined as a lack of a sense of individual responsi-
bility as to conditions and their adjustment.

The "Dhammapada," or "Path of Virtue, " one of
the most practical ethical handbooks of Buddhism, con-
tains the following great sentences:

"Earnestness is the path of immortality, thoughtless-
ness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not
die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already. "

The Christian Scriptures contain this ringing chal-
lenge. "The last enemy to be destroyed is Death."
Obviously, Death may be both literal and figurative. Its
mastery must be in its figurative state before it can
ever hope to be literal.

Selfishness is death! It may well be that selfishness
is the last great enemy to be destroyed. Selfishness pre-
vents the soul from attacking such problems as indi-
vidual responsibility. The clarion call of the ever-
present moment is for the soul, sufficiently strong, to
abandon the pettiness of self-interest, the meagerness
of self -protection and, by the power of the living Christ,
accept the grave and glorious responsibility of giving
the high message of the beacon light of the ages.

SUZANNE DEAN.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

LAW A POEM - 9

FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT 11

THE PROPHECY 16

THE POWER OF LOVE 19

SOWING AND REAPING 26

THE STORY OP JOHN AUGUSTINE 32

MY SEARCH FOR TRUTH 45

THE REALMS OF DARKNESS 55

MY VISION (A SYMBOLIC VISION) 59

THE DREAM THAT is NOT ALL A DREAM 63

A RAINY DAY - 73

TRUTH AND MY CREED 78

THE MOON AND THE BUDDHA TREE 86

I FIND THE ANGELS - 92

ONE CLERGYMAN'S EXPERIENCES 99

ASTRAL PLANE EXPERIENCE 108

OBSESSION 115

A CONNECTICUT YANKEE 121

AT LAST A POEM - 130



LAW

Can the high-tide leave the ocean?

Or the billows fail the sand?
When the full moon sails the heavens,

Led by Law's unerring hand?

"Will the rose forget its blooming,

If no loving eye should fall
On its fragrant, witching beauty,

Hiding in the cold gray wall?

Will the lark forget its fledglings,

Or the robin cease to nest,
If the storm should gather darkly

Round the distant mountain's crest?

Do the trees forget to blossom,

When the white mists weave their pall?
Have the ripened leaves of autumn

Ever once refused to fall?

If your heart-aches and your sorrows
Should arise a mountain high,

Still the sun would climb the heavens
And its glory fill the sky.

Lo, the crashing of the thunder

Ever speaks of danger past,
Ne'er does it precede the coming

Of the lightning's baleful shaft.



10 LAW

Never will the starlight, gleaming

On the river 's rushing tide,
See it bounding madly backward

To the rugged mountain side.

Moonlight, starlight, blooming, dying,
Summer's sun or winter's blast,

Weeping, laughing, hating, loving,
Lo ! the Law doth hold thee fast !

Child of earth, arise ! awaken !

Destiny and thee are one.
Thou alone can free or fetter,

Speed or halt the journey run.

Earth may reel and mountains crumble,

And the angry surges roar,
Love shall give thee fearless pinions,

Love shall open Heaven's door.

Let no witching song beguile thee
From the Truth which God has given ;

Love Divine, thy mighty Savior,
Love, thy only hope of Heaven.

Wouldst thou find thy long-sought Heaven ?

Wouldst thou gain some distant Aiden 1
Wouldst thou find some sainted maiden

Whom the angels long have claimed?
Wouldst thou find life's dearest treasure,

Which thy soul alone hath named?
Give thy love in fullest measure,

Pour it freely, o'er and o'er,
And thy soul from out earth's shadows

Shall be lifted evermore !

P.




CHAPTER I
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

HERE are a few points I wish to make. I have
been here almost seven years; and since I got
over my hours of suffering, questioning and won-
dering why wondering why I could not have seen
things in their true light, while I was in the body, and,
seeing, have changed my whole life history? Wonder-
ing why you had to suffer so, and why I had no power
to help you? This Why business never gets anyone
anywhere that he wants to go ; but when at last the
Light did come to me, and I saw the real mission of
Christ in the world, then, a Watcher came to my rescue
and I went to work.

Do not feel badly if people do refuse to believe my
message, or even say spiteful things about it and you
they have always refused to believe the best things God
has ever sent thru His messengers.

The people of earth have always wanted something
mysterious and hard to understand, and when mental
difficulties and sorrows have overtaken them, they have
doubted still more the beautiful things, and cursed, or
denied, the God who had lovingly made things so easy,
they would not see. This crops out in us when we refuse
to appreciate the love and beauty that is all around us
every day, until we find ourselves bereft of it, and then,
we know how beautiful were the toil-worn hands that
ministered unto us, and how great the love that kept
the tired feet going.

11



.-



12 SIFTED THROUGH

Try and teach people that wrong-doing brings suffer-
ing, and all the affirmations in the world will not save
them from it. A very selfish person never dbes right;
such a thing is impossible, and pure selfishness is more
often the prime factor in affirmations than otherwise.

Those who have earned suffering will surely get it,
and, if by some hook or crook, one dodges it while in the
physical body, he will suffer here, and suffering is much
more keenly felt here.

As a person vibrating upon the material plane and,
unable to rise beyond the material plane consciousness,
is unable to comprehend this finer plane consciousness,
so a person here who knows nothing of the earth plane
experiences would not be able to understand a great
many of the coarser, heavier vibrations of materiality.
You know how sensitive I always was to suffering and
cruelty in any form, especially if associated with blood-
shed; even now, I recall vividly some of my pet hens
that went the way hens are born to go but I found
that I could go into the hospitals and on the battlefield
and realize very little, perhaps none, of the suffering,
except mental suffering; and that, we the workers, were
keenly alive to.

Awful as the war has been, it has worked an immense
amount of good; for one thing, it has opened the door
between the physical realm and this finer realm wider
than it was ever opened before. A great need always
makes a great demand, which will always connect with
the waiting supply; this is Law.

Nothing is ever settled until it is settled right, but the
persons who do the adjusting must know what right is,
and they usually learn only through suffering. I once
found a woman on her knees beside a dandelion, sobbing
as if her heart would break. I reached out to her in
sympathy, and she told me that she once had a crippled
sister who loved the dandelions, and who would beg
her to bring them in to her, but she, thinking mostly
of herself, had refused to do so, because of the litter



FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT 13

they made; and now that little yellow flower proved a
mirror, in which her selfishness was reflected. The little
sister had for years been free from earth conditions, and
in vain had the woman sought for her; but now that
self -illumination had come, there was no law against
their reunion, which one of our messengers brought to
pass.

You asked me what constitutes a saint, and I asked
the same question of one of our Instructors, and she
said, "Saintship is a degree of attainment; any person
whose life is hid with Christ in God, or, in other words,
who is in all things dominated by Divine Love, is a
saint." Beliefs and professions and strict adherence
to prescribed forms and ceremonies have nothing what-
ever to do with the matter.

You notice that a great many people speak of all the
various Masters, Teachers, and Illumined ones as being
masculine I have not found it so. Where I have been,
I have found as many women as men Teachers. St.
Paul's mother (who died at his birth) is as great a
Teacher as he is and that is saying much.

There is an after-death condition which lies very close
to the earth and mingles with its lowest vibrations,
where confusion reigns bedlam let loose, as our father
would say but upon all these higher planes of expres-
sion, perfect order manifests.

Yes, we sleep, work, drink, bathe and eat, here. We
do not eat much food and only the kind we need. In
the physical body people eat great quantities of food
they do not need, and Nature works so hard to rid
herself of the surplus, that the individual is tired all
the time, and incapable of doing his best. Here we
always feel light and free in all our movements, and
the air around us is just as dense to our bodies as is
the atmosphere you are in, to you. The difference lies
in the fact that we are not fettered by abnormal or
surplus food, drink, clothing, fear or race ideas.



14 SIFTED THROUGH

No, this is not the heaven world, from which it is said
the soul descends to rebirth upon earth.

Everything here is artistic and rhythmic, and rhythm
is always constructive. That is why poetry and music
both soothe and inspire; rhythm also heals, if intelli-
gently employed, for it is only when you are out of
tune, that is, out of rhythm, that you get tired and ill.

When a man really prays, he enters into harmony
with the higher forces and connects with them, and
when the thing he prays for, under the law of rhythm
touches his vibrations, he gets it. That is why Faith
is so important it keeps the door open, so to speak, for
the object prayed for, to enter in, when the time comes.

True religion is rhythmic, for all real religion has
Love Divine for its basis, and Love Divine is rhythm
in perfection.

Of course you know Who stands at the head of all
religious movements, and where I now am, I should say
that everybody is religious, that is, devotional; and the
Master of all religions comes here and talks with us
freely, and we have some of the most beautiful and
inspiring religious services, which lift us to a plane
where wonderful Beings can come to us even the Lord
Christ Himself has vehicles of expression here.

The heads of every division of earth activity are
devotional : every aspiring soul is, and he must recognize
a Supreme Power and Entities of great wisdom, beyond
himself.

Aspiration, that is, devotion, lifts the soul ever higher
and higher, and the higher in the scale that one rises
the greater becomes his capacity for enjoyment. It
is through your finest faculties that you get your great-
est enjoyment on your physical plane. Of course if one
will stay upon the swine-plane of enjoyment, he is per-
mitted to do so, but the time has come when every
swinish individual must speed up his evolutionary
process or be left behind for the next evolutionary
cycle.






FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT 15

In regard to the soul-mate problem, I know very
little, but should say that it has a basis of truth. Long
ages ago all creatures contained within themselves both
sexes. Sex is only a matter of convenience in Nature's
erreat plan, and it seems to me we must eventually reach
hat goal when the male and female principles become
perfectly balanced in us, in which case we will be soul-
mated, or twin-souled without selfishly absorbing
another.

Everything on earth has its soul life, its inner beauty,
which very few can recognize with their senses, and
much less express, but here this soul life is brought to
expression and recognition, and earth, air, fire and water
become glorified, and the beings to which they give life
are seen, heard and felt.

When the earth tree is cut down, the real tree is still
left standing in all its beauty of form, or its deformity,
as may be. When you pluck a rose you may or may
not sever its finer counterpart. If you do not, the rose
will fade very quickly, regardless of favorable conditions.

Flowers remain fresh in some homes much longer
than they do in others, also water keeps fresh longer.
When the medicine men develop their finer senses, they
will know that in solving the disease problems they put
their cart before the horse in many cases.

I will tell you this that I know those people who
have believed in God as a gigantic man, vastly better
than themselves when at their best, are just as well
off here as those who believe in no God, but Infinite
Intelligence or Cosmic Consciousness, or Universal Mind.
Those who have a lofty ideal personified, grow much
more rapidly and are much happier and more depend-
able.

The world has always persecuted, neglected, and
failed to appreciate its greatest Teachers, for the world
cannot understand spiritual things, and it does not want
to give up its sensual pleasures; for it does not know
that the Spirit is unfailing joy and light and peace.

E. M. L.




CHAPTER II
THE PROPHECY

.RUNNING ANTELOPE, Orator of my people,
have received a messenger from the Great Lodge
of the palefaces, saying: Behold my tribes-
woman, Daughter of the Great Spirit she who hath
the far vision, and sitteth in the door of the wigwam
of shadows and talketh with the big Chiefs beyond the
door of shadows, desireth thee to prophesy unto her, in
the council room of the Wigwam of the Great Spirit,
regarding her people.

This I say unto thee, pale face daughter of mighty
warriors the Great Spirit sorroweth over His children,
for He took this great country from the hands of the
Red men and gave it to the pale faces, saying : ' ' Behold,
all this I give unto thee, but see that thou dost follow
the Light, and at evening, when the embers from my
fires have ceased to glow red in the west, let each chief
gather the members of his tribe together. and each smoke
the peace pipe with his neighbor," but they would not.
They forgot the words of the Great Spirit, and some
said aloud, "There is no Great Spirit no Great Wig-
wam beyond my own."

In many ways hath the Great Spirit sought to warn
and counsel His children; He has spoken in the voice
of the tempest that swoopeth down like a vulture that
seizeth its prey and droppeth it wheresoever it will. He
has spoken in the voice of the great waters, and hath
hurled them madly back upon the wigwams of his chil-
dren ; and against His own mighty wigwams, with their
fingers pointing upward, He hath hurled His fiery

16



THE PROPHECY 17

arrows, and the flames have devoured them; and yet
His children have closed their ears and heard not.

They have covered the great plains where the deer
and buffalo once fed, with their iron horses, and the
air is polluted with the breath of their firewater. They
have laid low the great trees of the mighty forests, and
have slain without mercy the occupants thereof; they
have burrowed through mountains, and their wigwams
swim through the waters like fishes; they spread their
wings and fly through the clouds beyond the strength
of the eagle; they have builded their wigwams with
bones of steel, and they rear their heads proudly far
toward the heavens, but the strong have forgotten the
Great Spirit and the words He spake to them in the
council room, and they have forgotten to smoke the
peace-pipe with their brothers.

The big Chiefs of the land wear costly blankets and
much wampum, and their brother's children cry for
bread ; and in the land of plenty there is great famine,
and this saith the Great Spirit to Running Antelope,
standing in the doorway with his face turned toward the
sun: ''Behold, my people have grown mighty and they
wear their wampum and their blankets proudly, but I
see through their wigwams, and I hear the cries of their
helpless ones, and their wampum is stained with the
blood of the hungry. They have forsaken my counsel
and turned their faces away from me; they have bred
wolves in their midst, and their wantonness hath pro-
duced reptiles and crawling things, and lo! that which
they themselves have created, they shall themselves be
devoured by."

And this is the vision that thy red brother seeth:
Flames and smoke and the roar of mighty tempests,
and of mighty waters devouring all in their pathway,
and the land is burned up and no rain falleth, and
the inhabitants cry aloud for help ; and from the depths
of sleeping mountains, wrapped in great silence, there



18 SIFTED THROUGH

shall come forth a mighty roar and the air is rent with
the cries of terror, while the earth staggereth as the
brave, overfull of firewater, staggereth when he seeketh
his wigwam at night; and from the Land of Darkness
shall come forth a mighty Warrior, against whom no
great Chief may hurl an arrow, and this Warrior
entereth the great wigwams where the embroidered
blankets and much wampum are found, and he gather eth
the young braves from their blankets, and the fairest
maidens of their tribes he taketh with him; and the
great Chiefs and their wives cry aloud and remember
that somewhere it is written, there is a Great Spirit,
and the sun of this day descendeth, and darkness broods
over the land. But keep thou, paleface, who sitteth
in the doorway of shadows, thy watch-fires burning
brightly before thy people, until the sun of tomorrow
dawns, when Running Antelope, the Orator of his tribe,
hopeth to greet thee in the presence of the Great Chief,
the Father of all, sendeth.




CHAPTER III
THE POWER OF LOVE

STOOD beside the main entrance of a large tent
and, with many others, gazed at the scene before
me.

A woman was talking tremblingly, brokenly; she was
telling the people how she had found her Savior, and
had been lifted up, from sin and shame and suffering,
to peace and rest and joy. She spoke of the Love
the wondrous Love that could embrace one as vile as
herself; that could ease her pain, and in the midst of
blackest poverty, make her forget herself in light and
joy.

Thus the woman, in broken sentences, poured out her
very soul, with a power that touched the hearts of those
who listened, until a fit of coughing stopped her.

A woman of the street dying of tuberculosis, had
found Heaven in the very heart of Hell. One by one
they followed her, these reclaimed ones, drunkards, dope-
fiends, liars, thieves, wantons poor outcasts, wretches
that no decent person dare take into his home all tell-
ing the Story filthy diseases washed away and joy
they could not express, filling their souls to overflowing.

They told of broken vows fulfilled, of character re-
claimed, of cruelty changed to kindness. There was
much singing and shouting, and the scene impressed me
greatly.

A man standing near me said, "A mighty Power is
demonstrating here tonight what is the Power, do you
know?"

19



20 SIFTED THROUGH

"I do not know," I said frankly, "it cannot be fear,
for there is no evidence of that."

"You cannot scare a man by threatening him with hell,
when deep in his heart he knows he is already in it
no, fear has not wrought these miracles are you sure
you do not know?"

Halls and rooms full of well-dressed, well-fed, intel-
lectually self-satisfied sinners, came crowding in upon
my memory ; sinners who were not yet awakened to the
fact, that the sins which cause the deepest suffering do
not fall under the "Thou-shalt-nots" of the Ten Com-
mandments. There was also always a generous sprinkling
of Ten Commandment sinners, who had not been guilty
of being discovered, and were still on familiar terms
with the wealthy class.

But these people who came to me they did not go
awav repentant of wrong-doing and resolved to lead
useful and honorable lives, in place of their idle, frivo-
lous ones; and, if there were any broken-hearted, they
went away as they came.

Long lines of figures and zodiacal signs danced before
my eyes, but I pushed them away, so to speak, as so
much waste paper. I felt suddenly as if the bottom
had dropped out from under me, and the one thing most
needful I had missed.

I turned to the man who had spoken to me and said,
"I wish I knew."

"Was there nothing in all your teachings that caused
a man to right about face?" said the stranger kindly.

"0, yes," I replied, eagerly, "I have seen the weak-
willed grow strong-willed, and the undecided grow de-
cided and self-reliant."

"I have seen cattle do that, when they saw a green
field before them," said a man's voice back of me.

I stood silent and convicted. Yes, all of this trans-
forming thought power I had taught and used, had
been utilized on the material plane to gratify selfish
desires. The bodily senses, pride, ambition, vanity



THE POWER OF LOVE 21

all had played as important factors, in demonstrations
that we had recognized with so much joy. No, it was
not the same Power I was seeing demonstrated here
before me, for this Power was working against the selfish
instincts, desires and appetites.

The people began to sing, "I love to tell the story of
unseen things above, of Jesus and His Glory, of Jesus
and His Love." I looked up at the stranger and said,
' ' No, I do not understand this at all. I do not believe in
the literal interpretation of that New Testament story.
While I acknowledge frankly there is something here
that my experiences with psychology and thought force
do not explain, I cannot see how this myth, beautiful
as in some ways it is"

The stranger stopped me, * ' Can anything beautiful be
untrue 1 Can power ever be anything else than power ?
Sister, one thing only thou lackest: Love."

The stranger vanished. I felt alone, desolate, help-
less, blind. I clutched at what I thought was a tree,
but there was nothing there. I went a little way, and
sat down upon a rock it crumbled into nothingness
under me. From somewhere came the sound of music,
a heavenly voice chanted, ''Though I speak with the
tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am
but sounding brass and clanging cymbal."


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