If a man die, shall he live again?
If I die, will I live again? This has been and is one of the most anguishing cries from the souls of men since the dawn of the human race. Today there is more talk about life after death than almost any other subject. It is orated upon in pulpits and halls, it is discussed in theatres, on street corners, in the Orient, in the near East, and in the United States. In every inlet and on every island, wherever there is habitation, there can be found those who propound the question and dwell upon the answer; and there also can be found those whose prejudices and preclusions are almost as many and diversified as there are human beings.
The cry has come down through the ages. The higher the civilization, the more urgent has been the query. All down through the pages of history, the fact is obvious that men have used the anxiety and fear of death as a means of holding their fellowmen in spiritual and psychical bondage. But concomitant with this runs the golden thread of truth disclosing that there also have been Spiritual Teachers and Message Bearers who gave their energies and efforts, and even their physical lives, to the work of answering this question for mankind and enlightening him on the truth of life Here and Hereafter.
The great Souls and Teachers have been outstanding men of all ages. Jesus, Christna, Buddha, Confucius, Lao-Tze, Zoroaster. They came to bear witness. They came to testify to truth of a life after physical death, and to the fact that man could so live his life as to prove for himself that he lives on in another world, separated from the physical world by only a thin veil—a gauzy curtain shimmering between the physical world and the spiritual.
There is no death!
The statement challenges both dogmatic theology and scientific skepticism. It is made, realizing the full significance of what it means —and yet, There is no death! The fact has been proven over and over again, by those great Souls who have come to serve humanity. They have proven it to the point that they have been able to contact and communicate with the spiritual world at any time, any place, of their own free will and volition. To them the spiritual world is as much a reality as the physical world is to you. These men have lived in the past. They live in the present.
There is another class of Individuals who contact the spiritual world, but only at times, and not of their own free will and volition. They do it while under the control of a spiritual or physical hypnotist. There are others who, through certain circumstances and conditions, temporarily contact the spiritual world and spiritual people, without the aid of a hypnotist and not deliberately and intentionally. These people are “sensitives”—temporarily sensitized to spiritual vibrations. These three classes of people count up into the thousands and hundreds of thousands. And all, in their particular ways, bear witness to the truth of the existence of a spiritual material world of higher vibration wherein those who pass from view in this life live on and on, and learn, and love.
You go to school and are taught that the earth is round, that men have investigated and proven it to be round, and that it revolves around the sun. You grow up accepting this as the truth, without question or a doubt; but have you proven it for yourself? Probably not. Men and women of honesty and integrity tell you that there is a life after so-called physical death, and tell you that they have proven it—yet immediately there is a doubt in your mind; you question the accuracy of the statement. And yet there are more actual witnesses who have experienced contact with the spiritual world, than there are scientists who have definitely proven beyond a doubt, that the earth is round and that it revolves about the sun! There are possibly few men and women living today who can actually say they have proven the earth to be round. But there are thousands of men and women living today who can testify to the truth of there being a spiritual world of matter wherein real people abide. And still men and women question and doubt. They accept one fact, unproven by them, but refuse to accept another fact, just as potent and just as unproven by them, but more thoroughly proven, perhaps, by others, than the first fact. There are other human beings who claim that God did not intend for man to know what happens when he dies. They declare that God withholds this information from man for his own best good. However, if these human beings do not know what happens when they die, how can they know what God intends for mankind in general?
Some men say you are destined for hell, if you inquire after the facts of so-called death. If they do not know what happens when you die, how do they know there is a hell? How do they know anything about it? The only individuals who actually know what happens when you die, or where you shall go, are those who have definitely contacted the spiritual world and have learned some of the facts concerning it. And there are more of these people than you may suppose. With all the present upheaval rampant throughout the entire world; with all the troubles and difficulties of every kind and description through which humanity, at large, is passing; with all the financial and political prognostications, broadcasts, and prophecies—underneath and around them, there is one deep, profound, urgent, and searing age-old query present in the mind and soul of all humanity—“What happens When I Die?”
The fear of death and the anxiety concerning what happens after death has held more Individuals in all kinds of bondage than the kings and potentates and rulers combined. More money has been paid to soothsayers and priests and spiritual mediums, for the alleviation of the fear of death, than for any other human need. Men have used the fear of death to defraud people more than was ever accomplished by any profligate, politician, king, or potentate. And today more money is being spent by individuals who are trying to purchase relief from the fear of death and its aftermath and the known life beyond the grave, than on any other thing. The crying need for knowledge of what lies beyond the grave is in the human soul. Its echo is heard here, there, and everywhere. Does not your soul respond in deepest sympathy to this earnest, eager cry of a questioning woman?
“This is my case. I am nearly sixty-six years old. I was brought up in the home of a Presbyterian minister with half-a-dozen brothers and sisters, all of us sincerely religious. Married at twenty-one, I’m happy with my husband of forty-five years, and have five splendid children. Finances are tight, but since they always have been, that is no hardship. There is everything to be thankful for, and I AM thankful. My difficulty is more humanly fundamental. I desperately want an answer to the question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ As the years have gone by and, one by one, dear ones have dropped from—not merely SIGHT, but from every manifestation of life—that question hammers more and more insistently against my mind and heart. Truly, it is not only the sense of bereavement personally,—it is far more than that. It is rather the intellectual as well as emotional sense of utter futility and WRONGNESS of having the struggle and achievement of character and worthwhile personality end in a handful of ashes. Please don’t tell me to read this or that. I’ve read nearly everything, it seems, enough at least to know all the arguments. In one of those books the statement was made that it is possible to personally acquire proof of life after death of the body. ‘There is no death.’ Can you, and will you, tell me how I can acquire such proof? Is there within my reach an authorized teacher to whom I could go? Believe me, this is no idle request. For some time the hopelessness of any effort to gain that knowledge has been very heavy on my heart. If I could but KNOW ‘there is no death’ it seems that I’d never feel sad or sorry again. But I don’t know—I fear I shall have to wait for death itself to show, and sometimes I want to hurry up that time—I want to know so desperately. Any information will be most gratefully received. Can you help me?”
The lamentable cry of a questioning soul! Contented in her marital life, proud of her five children, satisfied with the material conditions of life, no disturbing element throughout except the one desperate plea for knowledge of life after death! And nothing but the personal proof will satisfy that desperate need. Others may have definite knowledge, may tell her of the facts, and may point the way for her to prove for herself—but the one desire and urge is for immediate, personal proof; and this proof can be gained only by herself. What do you think—those of you who have had definite spiritual experiences? Could you prove for this earnest soul that there is continued life in a spiritual, material world, where those who leave this life live on and work and labor and study and develop? Could you prove to her that she can safely entrust her future good on the basis of the good she has done here, to the unselfish life she has lived, to the moral standard that she has adopted? And even though she shall pass through the Valley of the Shadow of Death that she need fear no evil? Can you testify to the truth of the fact that to the extent she has lived a moral, wholesome life of service here she will be rewarded there? And that she need not expedite her transition to the spiritual world, for there perhaps is much she can still accomplish here that will establish her greater comfort and joy there?
– John E. Richardson