Paschal Beverly Randolph.

After death: or, Disembodied man online

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cal graves. . . • I believe I have handled things fashioned by
men who lived before that terrible devastation. And there can be *
bat little doubt that the cyclopean structures of Etruria, the stately
pyramids of Egypt and Central America; the imposing and
mournful ruins of Palenque, Copan, Uxmal, Kuzan, Chicben,
and Cuzco, are remnants left of those which were swept away in
that awful ruin. Death rode in many chariots in that dreadful
hour ; and men and animals perished by carbonic, sulphurous, and
nitrogenic blasts, those only escaping who occupied favorable
localities." Thus has it been ! Thus, and more dreadful may it
be again ! The earth is gestating new and better children : fear-
ful will be her parturition ; but joyous will the family be !

I do not say that there were no people upon the spiritual zones
at that period, for there were ; but I do say that there were vast
numbers of disbodied people roaming about the earth long before
there was a place prepared for them above the world ; or rather
off the world, for there is no spiritual world either above or below
us ; for above, as the earth swings in space, is due north, where
flows the stream from upper land, and where is a vast open sea of
space, through which come the meteors and aerolites as we cross
their paths. A similar opening is at the south pole. Hence the
centre of the supernal zones is directly above the equator.

While these armies of dead people were slowly rising intellectu-
ally, the earth itself was refining and giving off its unappropriated
essences ; the zone and zones were gradually formed, and as grad-
ually receded to their present distances from the earth ; the polar
rivers began to flow ; the spiritual people discovered them ; were
pleased; made experiments; trusted to chance; launched them-
selves upon the ascending tide, and were conveyed to a scene
immeasurably superior to the one just left behind, — to their house
not made with.hands, eternal in the heavens. Ah ! what a joyful
hour that was ! It was only equalled by that of a wicked Baptist
minister of New Orleans, a man who had lived by hypocrisy all
his life, fell sick, and felt sure that when death closed his eyes
he would only open them again in the midst of perdition, which he
also felt he richly deserved. He died horribly ; but what was the
almost ludicrous surprise of the ex-Reverend Charles Hall at

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finding himself unscorcbed in the midst of a crowd of former
bacchanals, in the upper land, who were gathered around him to
see the effect of his awaking to the reality. When he felt certain
that he was safe from hell and the clutches of the devil, axmore
uproariously joyful man was never seen before or since.

Curiosity is the spur of knowledge, the road to wisdom, and the
key to all mystery. It opens all doors, and is operative upon all
men precisely alike, — save only in degree. Of course the immi-
grants immediately began to explore their new-found home, and it
was not long before they came across another river flowing away
toward a large brown ball floating out upon the sky ; and they saw
another river flowing away from that ball toward what they rea-
soned, correctly, to be the other side of their own newly discovered
home. The brown ball was a big bead strung upon a silver cord
hung around God's neck, — or the inscrutable something beyond
themselves. And so they tried another ride through space ; made
the trip in safety ; saw their friends ; told the good news to all
they could, and returned to their blessed homes again. And thus
was established the first express route between heaven and earth,
and their fexample has been followed to the present hour.

Originally the zone was but a few hundred miles across ; it ex-
panded, however, continually, — the finer substances at the centre,
the coarser near the edges. It is graded, as are those above it.
Even the earth is not a lump of dead matter, but is a living organ-
ism, with the tides for its pulse, volcanoes for its breathing appa-
ratus, its gastric juice is white fire, and forests are its hair. Its
surface constantly becomes more porous, and penetrable to astral,
lunar, solar, and spiritual (ethereal and ethyllic), influences from
the external ; while its internal heats, its wonderful chemical ac-
tion upon its own substance, its evolution of gases, its refining
retorts, and man's handiwork, materially modify it year by year ;
and its superficial magnitude continually enhances and increases ;
as in fact is the case with other planets of the solar system. Even
our moon's actual diameter will show a sensible increase over
measurements taken a century ago. Especially is this true of
Venus and Mercury, both of which, with the earth, are receding
from the sun to make room both for the small planet that revolves
nearer the sun than any other, and for the tremendous fiery ring
ere long to be cast off from the sun, and which, as with the case

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190 AFTER death;

of all the comets belonging to this solar world, will one day con-
solidate into earths like this.-

On the zone the people naturally divided off first into two, and
then three, and finally into seven classes, representing so many
grades of intelligence, and as they advanced in these respects, new
laws came into play, and orderly development speedily followed.
As the superficies of the zone increased, and the people advanced
in knowledge and numbers, each division again divided by seven,
and again into sub-sections. There was a time when the highest
society was not equal to the intelligence and refinement of the
grog-shop philosophers of the present day. And the time will
come when the lowest society there will be higher, more intelligent
and refined than any collection of people now on earth, even if
selected especially for the contrast. What, then, will be the
seraphic development and condition of the highest sections of the
seventh grand division? Of the seven grades of the second zone?
— the next ? — the next ? — the last ? — of the solar zones ? Stop !
Human imagination can no further go ! That the same relative
distances separate minds is certain ; and that progress is alike
operative in all parts of the human universe is as true ks figures
themselves, and is known to us by reason, revelation, inspection,
and intromission.

To-day I saw the sides of the first zone clearly. It resembled
mottled marble ; it was clear, palpable, and seemingly quite solid.

The question is asked : Would it be possible for the earth to
be hurled out into open space from the centre and embrace of its
encircling girdles? Could it fall through? and if so, what would
become of the zones? I answer : Nothing short of an utter shat-
tering of the globe could alter its relations to the girdle. But if
that should occur then the zone would sail away to, and become
incorporated with, the sphere of the planet nearest like its own,
which in our case would be that of Mars, to whose societies all our
spiritual people would instantly be transferred. This has already
occurred, for the sphere of the lost planet has become part and
parcel of Jupiter's sphere, and constitutes one of his visible belts.

Thus, having answered the questions propounded, let us now
resume our subject.

(act) We take another flight across the glorious country, and
arrive within the boundaries of the sixth grand division of earth's

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spiritual girdle. Human language is all too poor to do justice to
the more than auroral magnificence of the magic realms we are
daring to approach ; and yet, ineffable thought ! supremely glori-
ous and superlatively gorgeous though it is, and so far, so very
far, transcending human conceptions here, of blest Utopias and
bright arcadias, it is not even the half-way house for human pil-
grims on their everlasting journey through the heavens.

The scene is semi-*equatorial ; it is entirely different from any-
thing beneath, either on the earth or in the spheres ; and at first
view it seems impossible that there can possibly be nobler men,
more lovely women, fairer children, happier people or delightful
situation. The extreme breadth of tm> division greatly exceeds
that of any of those at which we have glanced.

The transcendent beauty, intellectual power, dignity, and maj-
esty of the teeming myriads of our brothers and sisters who dwell
in this celestial region, exceed all human powers of description.
While gazing at the glowing scene, a mystery was revealed to me,
namely : It was given me to know the sphere, division, grade, or
section, to which any man or woman on the earth interiorly per-
tains and belongs ; and to know that the signs are printed plainly
both upon human hands and faces. This is a new branch of
Tirau-clairism ; and by seeing either a person or a three-quarter
portrait, and a portrait of the left hand, I am absolutely certain
of bdng able to decide to' what sphere, grade, division, section,
order, or fraternity, such persons may belong ; for the information
is printed upon them just as plainly as is any one of their features
which all may see. The knowledge then and thus acquired is
one of the branches of science taught in the schools of this grand




In all cases these divisions are discreted and in no sense con-
tinuous. There are unappropriated tracts or sections separating
them ; there are stated routes or passage-ways leading from each
section and division on one side of the equator to the correspond-
ing ones on the other, and above and below.

The fauna and flora there are beautiful beyond comparison.
They cannot be likened unto any corresponding existence ever
seen elsewhere. The trees are vocal with melody beyond descrip-
tion, and these melodies are perfectly lawful; that is to say, lan-
guages, ideas, and expressions that are clearly understood an<J
translatable by the human people there-away. The architecture
is wholly indescribable by reason of its magnificence, its grand
simplicity, and the infinite diversities of form, of its myriad pal-
aces, and dwelling-places, exceeding in size, material, and beauty,
anything yet imagined upon earth. They, in material, resemble
nothing so much as a soap-bubble inflated to the collapsing point,
for they contain and reflect a thousand kaleidoscopic hues, shim-
mering gloriously in the pearly light of Aidenn. Vast theatres,
museums, colleges, parks, laboratories, and universities are plen-
tifully distributed about that auroral country. In the institutions
of learning are taught all the, arts and sciences known here, with
many that are yet undreamed of. Here teachers from the solar
division (themselves taught by missionaries from the zones) ex-


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plain the true principles of knowledge, through the means of the
solar language, — a perfected phonic system, in which a single
sound stands for a single thought, and words are perfect pictures
of even convolute ideas ; the exact theories of mental action ;
the true laws and gradations of matter — generic and special ; the
true account of the imponderables, and the intricate laws govern-
ing the same ; the calculus, integral and differential of life, anti
and prezonal ; the esoteric laws and principles of mental evolu-
tion, as modified or caused by nervous states and physical condi-
tions ; the seven grades of love and its forty-nine modifications ;
monadology ; the laws of chemical, mechanical, social, psychical,
magnetic, electric, spiritual, physical, moral, nerval, amatory,
mental, odic, and reflective affinity ; the rationale of contra-resem-
blances, physical, religious, moral, political, natural, spontaneous,
and acquired; the wonderful law of differentiation. Here also
geology is taught in its purity ; as also spirit's departure toward,
and its return from, matter ; how there is but one single base to
matter in all, especially its metallic, forms and modes ; how that
one. base, associated with from one to six or seven gaseous accom-
paniments, constitutes the various metals known to man ; as iron
three, silver four, gold five, and so on ; different proportions de-
termining |;he characters of the various metallic substances ; here
is taught why and how heat is but a mode of motion ; how fire is
but another form of it ; how fire is spiritual substance in violent
action, in its last analysis, whose efficient cause is in God himself;
here is taught how and why all matter is but one form or mode of
spirit ; that all solar bodies were first material germs from the
abyss, and then immense spheres of ethyl in violent motion ; then
tremendous globes of incandescent vapor ; that all suns discharge
their cooling crusts in annular rings, which subsequently conglo-
bate into nascent planets, the outermost of which rotate and revolve
generally on the plane of the former solar periphery, the interven-
ing distance being developed* by mutual recession and condensa-
tion, consequent upon their irradiation of heat. Secondly, in an-
nular rings, which being denser at given points, impel the entire
fiery mass through space, as comets, themselves destined to be-
come planets in due process of time ; and these are the reasons
why all the planets of this system are in the plane of the zodiacal
zone, not far from the line of the solar equator ; and herein also is

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seen why the equators of both sun and earth, and therefore their
poles are constantly shifting, more or less ; why the earth requires
over sixteen thousand years to complete one cycle in space,
equi-different from its axial and orbital revolutions, many of
which are accomplished while the sun is making a single revo-
lution around his distant centre, in the awful period already stated
in this essay. I may here say that the dark sun near the path of
Alcyone, was not always so, but is what is known to astronomy as
" the lost Pleiad," because a few centuries ago its light faded, for
reasons easily -explainable, but not necessary to this treatise. It
may be treated of in a future work dedicated to a description of
the Planes Beyond.

' In the institutions the laws of motion, gravitation, magnetism,
electricity, heat, light, polarization, are taught, statically and
dynamically. Meteorology, cometology, and all solar and planet-
ary laws are explained. Ascending to other educational institu-
tions, we find that vast hosts of people are instructed in the high-
er branches of social science, and they find out for the first time
that the law of periodicity is an eternal, unvarying one, operative
alike, in all departments of the physical, moral, mental, social, and
psychical universes. They see, for the first time clearly, why a
certain word will occur just so often exactly beneath another word
just like it in writing, why we are at stated periods more like
devils than angels ; why storms prevail in the soul as in the air ;
and learn for the first time that all mental, social, and moral evo-
lution follow laws of periodicity as regularly as the seasons or
any other physical phenomena. Here they learn that the Egyp-
tians did not build the Pyramids, but that they were erected thou-
sands of years before the existence of the people so-called ; that
there have been four preceding eras of civilization starting from
the people of This, Memphis, and Philoz; that Isis, Osiris, Brahma,
and Gautama are comparatively modern people, therefore that
u Adam" was not the first man by ten thousand generations, and
that all these epochs of civilization are discreted from each other
by interregnums of not less than five thousand years each ; that
the earth may be said to be periodically renewed, and that the
civilization in existence at the beginning of the earth's epoch (six-
teen thousand solar years in length) is invariably replaced by
another of a different genus at its termination.

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In all these, and a thousand more similarly novel, useful, and
delightsome studies, the people of this blissful region find them-
selves much more profitably employed than they possibly could be
in tooting on any number of horns, silver, or copper, or in playing
everlasting Old Hundreds on golden harps for the special delecta-
tion of the Presbyterian God !

The entire career of human kind in the series of divisions and
sections here treated of, are but so many ascending grades or classes
in what may properly be called the great university of man's second
stage of existence, the highest, or graduating class of which, is that
of the seventh or equatorial grand division.

On earth we are merely rudimentary at best, and are only
primary pupils at the highest. On the zones we enter and pass
through the preparatory or intermediate grades, and graduate
from the last department into the Freshman classes .of God's
great college in another sphere of being. That college is the
limitless universe, material and ethereal. Every successive stage
of human career is but an ascensiye step from one class of that
college to another ; but the graduating point of all is what neither
man nor angels know, simply for the reason that they are not
omniscient or ubiquitous, — both of which are prerogatives that
belong to the great mystery, or God, alone.

And yet I have much that I could truly say, concerning human
kind in the upper worlds of space, infinitely surpassing in marvel-
lous truth the loftiest fact, idea, conception, or revelation herein set
forth, or that ever yet fell from my tongue or pen. It may happen
that some reputed seer may dispute the correctness of that herein,
or hereafter to be, revealed ; yet, let this be as it may, I have re-
vealed nothing but truth precisely as I saw it, and as it has been
handed down to me from hundreds of actors in the scenes de-

The creed I believe in, and which is essentially that of the
highest circle in the world above us, is the same as that announced
in the 13th century by the Abbe Porteus of Xeres, in Spain. It
has scarcely been equalled, never surpassed, by the loftiest phi-
losophers of earth or Aidenn. This creed I here transcribe, and
commend to all mankind as the most perfect yet evolved from the
human intellect, and when it shall be that of all mankind we may
look for the speedy advent of the good time coming.

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196 after death;

(bb) I believe in God, the universal law, the all-pervading spirit,
omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable, infinite, and eternal ; ruling the
processes of all existing things with wisdom, regularity, harmony, and
perfection, and causing all these things to exert themselves for good.

I believe that there is no evil in the world save that arising
from obstructions to the processes of nature, and that upon these
obstructions a penalty is imposed ; but that the processes possess-
ing within themselves a corrective power, the evil is corrected, and
the result is good. I believe that it is our duty to do all the good
we can, and to avoid evil, by conforming to the regularities and
harmonies of nature ; and this, not for the hope of reward or fear
qf punishment, but in deep love and reverence of the Supreme
Ruler of all existing things. This matchless creed, it seems to me,
embraces " the whole duty of man."

(cc.) In the sixth grand division worship is crystallized, and
assumes a higher tone and form than is yet known to, or con-
ceivable by, earthly man. Music exists in a state, of perfection not
to be described in the cold, dull drapery of words ; and in that
sphere man first obtains an inkling prophetic of his future sphere
of activity, and begins to know that to be man at all is to finally
fye a creator — a god — or even a God I In that sphere also he
realizes somewhat of the subtle meaning of the sentence " universal
inarriage." Parental, social, filial, passional, fraternal, and other
loves now begin to concrete, crystallize, and deepen into general
and universal love*; and an exquisite, melodious harmony of affec-
tion commences to wed the denizens of that auroral abode into a
union almost absolute and perfect. The diverse faculties are con-
solidating" into one, preparatory to the unfolding of a new series
of organs and corresponding faculties, with which mankind will
begin a new career when it shall have quitted the second for the
third stage of the immortal career !

Here Pagan, Christian, Brahminical, Buddhistic, Greek, Ma-
hometan distinctions between men and races begin to disappear,
and all those deaths are swallowed up in victory ! The earthly
passions, penchants, prejudices, are all outgrown. Vast societies,
orders, communities, brotherhoods begin to mingle into one, for all
separative barriers are being thrown down and surmounted ; and
all souls begin to come en rapport with the perfectly divine ; in
consequence of which, all the asserted and so-called " beatitudes"

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and blisses of the fabled heavens of theological and ecclesiological
lore are much, very much, more than realized.

(dd) Lo ! We are approaching the seventh grand division. No
human tongue or pen is equal to the description of the ineffable
glories and grandeur of the scenes now bursting on the view ; for
even those of the division below immeasurably surpass the wildest,
most roseate, and impassioned vision of sybarite, poet, or en-
thusiastic dreamer ; and what then shall be said of this section,
where all things are as superior to those, as is a garden to a bleak
and stony wilderness ! A few men, while yet embodied have been
permitted to catch a distant glimpse of that celestial country.
One of these was Gautama Buddha, who called it the seventh
Brahma-loka, and who believed it not only to be the supreme and
highest heaven, in which he was, as others have been, mistaken,
but he believed that there he and all others of the finally faithful
would attain the divine degree of Narwana; absorption into Deity.
He tasted of its bliss, and conceived that the next step of joy would
amount to, and result in, virtual annihilation, — a swallowing up
in God, an eternal oneness with him ; a loss of personal identity ;
an everlasting fusion, just as a drop of water mingles inseparably
with, and is forever lost in, the fathomless deeps of ocean ! In the
sixth grand division are to be. found a great many of the honored
and revered ones of former ages, Zeno, Plato, Aristotle ; scores of
Greek and Egyptian, Ninevite and Etruscan kings, princes, and
notables ; scores of thousands who never had place or name among
the world's great ; other scores of hundreds of the martyrs of all
races and ages, including some very celebrated ones whose names
I forbear to mention, but whose reputations are world-wide. In
this same sixth division, under the inspiration of the solar division,
the affairs of the earthly nations are discussed, and means and
measures res61ved upon, and thereafter carried out, whose ultimate
results are the amelioration of the social, intellectual, moral, politi-
cal, and spiritual condition of the peoples ; sometimes, as in the
case of Italy, Sardinia, France, Russia, Turkey, Mexico, and the
United States, wars, long and bloody, are precipitated, dreadful
while they last, but regenerative in final results. At other times,
and under similar impulses, they decide to so operate upon some
selected earthly couple, as to produce a specific and important
result, in the peculiar constitution of a child, whose subsequent

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198 after death;

career and mission is that of a hero or reformer of the world.
There are many men thus moulded in existence, there have been
many, and there will be many more. Such men are nearly always
isolated and wretched to the last degree, seldom live long, perform

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Online LibraryPaschal Beverly RandolphAfter death: or, Disembodied man → online text (page 19 of 26)