Messages included in this chapter:
The Higher Truths of the Father Can Only Be Transmitted by the Celestial Spirits Through a Mortal Who Has Been Prepared by the Father's Divine Love
I am here, John the Apostle
I desire to write for a short time tonight upon a subject that I consider important, and you may consider interesting.
As you may know, it has been some time since I wrote anything of a formal character, and I regret very much that so much time has gone by without my being able to communicate some of the spiritual Truths. I also regret that your condition has been such that I was unable to make the rapport with you that is necessary in order that I may deliver these messages to you of the nature mentioned.
(question by Padgett)
Well, you have not been in that condition of mind that has enabled me to make the necessary rapport with you. We must have a mind that is filled with thoughts of the higher things of Truth, even though we do not use those thoughts. Our thoughts are all spiritual, and our Truths can be received only by a mind in a spiritual condition. And lately, you have not had so much of this spiritual mind as formerly. Our contact has not been so close, and the rapport necessary to enable us to express these spiritual Truths through your mind has not been so perfect.
And when I say "mind," I merely mean the organs of the brain as influenced by the thoughts of the mind. For I will tell you what you may not know: that these component organs of the brain are not always and under all conditions receptive of the same control by the minds of spirits. You may receive a long and profound message of things pertaining to what you may call the material through your brain; yet under similar conditions of these organs, you will not be able to receive messages of the higher Truths. The conditions of these brain organs are caused by the condition of the soul in possession of spiritual things.
It is difficult for me to express just what I intend to convey, but this you will understand: that the capacity of the human brain to receive various kinds of messages depends upon the soul's development and possession of spiritual things. A medium who is merely intellectual and morally good cannot receive those messages of the higher Truths, because there can be no rapport between the brain of such a medium and the mind of the higher spirit who may desire to communicate. And thus you will understand why it is that the messages from the earthbound spirits, or from those who have merely the intellectual development, are so vastly and more frequently received by mediums than messages from spirits of the soul development.
A spiritual thought - I mean a thought which can come only from a spirit who has the development of the soul that makes the soul Divine - cannot possibly pass through a human brain which has never been developed by a soul in which the Divine Love has entered and worked Its regenerating powers. Material thoughts may be conveyed through a brain that is purely material, moral thoughts through a brain which has been influenced by moral truths, and spiritual thoughts through a brain which has assimilated those Truths that come only with the development of the soul by the Divine Love. This is the Law of Rapport and Communication.
And this Law of Rapport and Communication, if you will try to understand it, will enable you to comprehend the reason why we have not been able to communicate these higher Truths.
It may seem to you that if we control your brain, and do not use or transmit your thoughts, but only the thoughts which come from our minds, it would be immaterial what the nature of your thoughts might be; and that as your brain is used by us as a mere instrument, we (having possession of your brain) would have the power to write anything we might desire. And upon a mere superficial glance at the assertion, this could be reasonably supposed to be true.
But as we have told you before, rapport and our ability to use your brain are governed by laws. And one of these laws is that a high thought cannot be transmitted through a human brain which is not in the condition that qualifies it to receive the thought - just as the brain, in matters pertaining to mere material knowledge, cannot receive a conception or comprehension of some intellectual truth with which it has not had acquaintance, and transmit it. A brain cannot be used by the mind of a human to make known a problem in geometry when the brain has never been used by that mind to acquire an acquaintance with, or knowledge of, the principles of geometry. This is an incomplete analogy, but it may serve to illustrate what I mean.
In the conception by the human mind of a truth (material or spiritual) the brain must be used in order to manifest or make known that conception. This is absolutely true where the idea or thought originates in the mind of the man who is using his own brain to formulate or manifest that idea or thought. The mind may have the thought or knowledge of some branch of learning, yet when it has never used the brain to put that thought or knowledge into concrete form, the brain cannot manifest or transmit it. This law applies specifically to the capabilities of the brain where the man's own mind attempts to use or control it. And you will see from this that it is possible for the human mind to have thought and knowledge of things which the brain cannot express - at least not immediately.
In many of your material things of life, such as with great inventions, the knowledge of these inventions is dormant in the mind, and it may be a long time before this knowledge is formulated and expressed by the brain. Sometimes it never gets through the brain at all. The mind and the brain are not one and equivalent things. The one is the operator, and the other is the thing used to operate with, so that the possessions of the operator may become manifested to others.
But this law, applying to and controlling the relationship of the mind and brain possessed by the same man, does not so absolutely apply to and control the relationship of mind and brain, where the mind is that of a spirit and the brain is that of a mortal. For in such case, the spirit mind may take such complete control of the mortal brain that the former's manifestations are not governed or limited by the special experiences (or want of experiences) which the mortal brain may have had in its use by the mortal mind along specific lines of expression or manifestation. Thus as you may know, and as it has been demonstrated by the work and experience of many human mediums, the minds of spirits have controlled the brains of these mediums so that such brains have transmitted the spirits' expressions of various kinds of languages and mathematical truths with which such mortal brains have never had any acquaintance, or have never assimilated and expressed on their own before.
But in these instances the brain is used merely in the sphere of intellect; and the spirit who takes possession of a mortal brain, and uses it to express and make known the knowledge of his own spirit mind, is doing no different thing (in essentials) than what the human mind, controlling its own brain, could have done had the brain been exercised in those directions. The capacity of the brain, whether exercised or not by the human mind, limits the power of the spirit to control it in the manner and for the intellectual purposes mentioned.
But this law has a further phase, and that is: The greater the general experience of the brain in its exercise by the human mind, the more perfectly can the spirit mind control it. All this is dependent upon facts which I cannot linger here to explain, such as the mediumistic qualities and susceptibilities of the human whose brain the spirit is attempting to control.
And the same laws apply to the disclosure of truth and principles along the moral planes. A spirit cannot possibly use the brain of a mortal to convey, or transmit through it, moral precepts or truths that that brain is not capable of receiving. And I do not mean by this that the brain must have had acquaintance with any or many particular moral truths, or must have been used by the human for the purpose of receiving or imparting these precepts. But in its essential capacity, the brain must be potentially able to transmit and receive these truths; and so the relative capacity of the brain to receive and transmit these moral truths necessarily limits the control of the spirit to express such truths through it.
The rapport of the spirit with the human is determined by the development of the brain and the moral qualities of the human at the time the rapport is attempted. And this means the actual development of these conditions, and not what they may appear to be to other humans, or even to the individual himself. And to a large extent, this development determines the power of the spirit to use the mortal brain to disclose the truths, either intellectual or moral.
A medium can receive only such truths as his inner development permits, and a spirit can form a rapport with a medium only according to the extent and nature of the truths the medium possesses. The possibility of rapport, and the kind thereof, lie at the foundation of mediumship. And these stated variables are what determine and limit both the power of the spirit to convey its thoughts, and the capacity of the mortal to receive them.
The spirit who attempts to write through a medium can form a rapport when the medium's condition harmonizes with his own. Unless this harmony exists, it is impossible for the spirit to write those things which require a greater degree of development than the medium possesses at that time. Hence you will understand in a way why so few of the higher spiritual Truths have ever been delivered to the world through the mediumship of any mortal who has been possessed of gifts of either automatic writing (as it is called), or clairvoyance, or inspirational powers. As to those truths which did not require a higher degree of development than was possessed by the medium, there arose no difficulty in transmitting the same, and many mediums have been very successful in receiving the truth suited to their condition.
And this fact - and law also - will explain to you why the same spirit may communicate through several mediums, and yet the communications are of a dissimilar character. That is, the communications through one medium contain a higher or lower character of truth than those transmitted through some other medium, with the result that those mortals who have heard or read these different communications (especially when critical) have been prone to believe that the same spirit was not making both communications. But this is not a just conclusion; for while the spirit was in the same condition - possessing the same knowledge - at the time of both communications, yet the mediums, because of their difference in development, were unable to receive the same character of messages.
You may search the whole history of spirit communication and of mediumship, and you will not find any messages of the character of those that have been transmitted through you, and for the reasons that I have stated.
Swedenborg was the last and nearer perfect instrument for receiving these higher Truths. And yet he, because of his want of soul development, and his being bound more or less by his orthodox beliefs and scientific knowledge (that caused him to coordinate and fit in these Truths with his ideas of correspondence and such like conceptions) was a failure, and he could not be used successfully to transmit these Truths which we have been communicating through you. And after him, other gifted and (in some respects) successful mediums were used by spirits of the higher knowledge and progression to convey Truths. But their conditions were such that, under the workings of the laws governing rapport, these mediums could receive only those truths which their conditions of development permitted them to receive. The workings of this limitation were not dependent upon the condition and ability of the spirits to impart these higher Truths, but upon the capacity of the mediums to receive them.
You yourself have had experience as to how this law works and controls spirit communication and rapport. For as you know, it has been a long time since you were able to receive any spirit messages of these higher Truths, although the spirits have been present with you many times, ready and anxious to make the rapport and deliver their messages. And you have been willing, intellectually, to receive them, but because of your condition - or want of condition - the spirits could not deliver them, and were compelled to wait until you got into the necessary condition.
From all this, you will comprehend why so very few messages containing high spiritual Truths, or even moral truths, come through mediums. The mediums, mostly, are so developed that they can receive only messages dealing with the material affairs of life. These kinds of messages, I am compelled to (and can truthfully) say, are those that are largely desired by mortals seeking information from the spirit world.
Again, in your reading of spiritual literature, you may have observed the great diversity of opinions of spirits upon the same subject, and sometimes contradictory opinions, thus causing doubt on the part of mortals as to what are the facts existing in the spirit world regarding the subject of inquiry. Well, this is due very largely to the conditions of the mediums, and also to the knowledge of the spirits who attempt to communicate; for the knowledge of spirits is limited by the extent of their progress and development.
Many spirits believe that what they have learned is true, and so give authoritative expression to the facts of this knowledge. And they often believe that what they know is all that may be known about the subject upon which they communicate. And these spirits are mostly honest in their beliefs, and truthful (as they think) in their messages. And thus, it is well for mortals to understand that everything written or spoken by spirits is not to be accepted as the finality of truth at all times. On the other hand, apparently contradictory statements should not be taken as fraudulent merely because they are contradictory. A spirit with greater knowledge, using a medium in harmony with itself, can convey to men the more exact and greater extent of truth than can a spirit with less knowledge and development who uses a medium in harmony with itself.
Now from what I have written it is apparent that, in order to get the greater Truth and more extended knowledge of the spirit world, mediums should make the effort to obtain larger and more intensive development of their spiritual natures, as well as of their intellectual capacities. This acquirement is absolutely necessary to the reception of the higher Truths which are so vital to mankind.
So you see, communication and rapport depend upon the condition of both spirits and mortals working in unison, though more, I may say, upon the condition of the mortal. For if the medium is in the proper state of development, there always being many spirits present with that medium in condition and readiness, a rapport can be made.
The Master is here tonight and has heard my communication and unites with me in saying: "Have faith and seek with all your soul for this Love!"
Believe that I am your special angel friend,
brother in Christ,
A Continuation of John's Explanation of the Spiritual Laws That Govern Rapport and Communication Between Spirits and Mortals
I am here, John
Let me write a few lines tonight, as I have not written for a long time and am anxious to say a few words which may be of help to you.
I have been present on many evenings when you were expecting to receive communications and were disappointed because of reasons or causes that you could not understand, except that you were not in that condition which would enable the spirits to make a rapport with you.
Well, this is true, and is the immediate cause of the want of power of communicating. But it is well that you understand more than this. For in order to remedy the difficulty, you must have some knowledge of the seat thereof.
I have explained to you the law controlling rapport and communication, and I have endeavored to make it as plain and understandable as possible, so that you at least might grasp its meaning. But I see there are some things that you still do not understand, and because of this, you have had the recent experience of not being able to receive the many messages that were waiting to be delivered through your brain and hand.
As I have said, the first and most important requirement is that you be in that condition of soul which, because of its qualities, will enable the spirits who may desire to write the higher messages to form a rapport or union with you. This means simply to take charge and control of your brain which, because of certain qualities and thoughts having possessed it, will be in harmony with the thoughts that these spirits desire to transmit through it; just as it is absolutely necessary that the material medium through which the electric fluid (ie electricity - ed.) shall flow is a medium possessing such nature and qualities as will permit the fluid to flow through it. A wire or medium may be made of wood, and the electric fluid will be present, ready to flow through it, but it cannot. And why? Not because the wire or wood may not be perfect in itself, as such wire, but because the wire has not that nature and quality that will permit the electric fluid to make a union with it and thus control it. And so it is with the brain of the mortal. But the brain, when properly prepared, has the possibility of possessing those qualities that will admit of this union and control, which the wood has not. The brain, when devoid of this preparation, is just as nonreceptive to the rapport and union with, and control of, these spirits as is the wooden wire to a union with the electric fluid.
You have been told on numerous occasions that you were not in condition and that the spirits could not make the rapport, and that you must make the effort to get in condition. And this assertion and advice is all true. You were told to pray more to the Father and think of spiritual things, and then you would come into that proper condition. This is also true, and the advice is helpful. But you were not told what this praying to the Father or thinking of spiritual thoughts means. And hence, you may do these things in a way, and yet not get in the proper condition.
During a long period in the past, I know that you have been receiving many messages of the higher truths, and that a highly prepared brain was necessary to receive the same. And the thought has come to you: Why were you able to receive these messages at the time of their delivery and not be able to receive them now, because (as you further think) your brain is in as good condition now as it was at those times. Well, in the latter thought, you are mistaken. And the fact of such mistake should be sufficient to convince you that your inability to receive the messages should not surprise you. During the period mentioned, you prayed more often for the inflowing of the Divine Love, and your longings were intense. And the desires to possess this Love, which is so vital to the preparation of your brain, were so much more active. And also your thoughts of spiritual things were so much more frequent. In other words, you were then seeking with your whole heart to learn the Truths of God and to possess His Love. And hence your brain was continually in that condition which enabled the spirits to make the union, and control it for the purpose of their higher expressions.
Lately, you have not had the longings or prayed the prayers for the Love as frequently. And as a consequence, the qualities and elements of thought that have possessed your brain have not been such as to put your brain in that condition which makes it receptive to those spirit thoughts of the higher truths. Now from this, you must not infer that this condition is a mere matter of brain condition, produced by itself, for it is not. You have had the intellectual desire to write and receive the messages as much as you ever had, and also to receive messages of the higher truths that should be new as well as edifying to you. And your desires were real, and you were disappointed because they were not realized. And this merely demonstrates to you that there is something more than the mere mental or intellectual faculties that is necessary to prepare the brain for the reception and transmission of that which partakes of the nature of truth, and that has its source in something other than the mere human mind. These higher truths come from spirits whose minds, as you might say, are of the soul. And as only soul can deal with soul, it is required that the preparation of the brain should come from the exercise of soul powers upon the organs of that brain - and hence the necessity for your soul being in that condition that will produce in the brain the qualities that will unite and permit the truths of the soul to be received and transmitted.
You must not only pray to the Father for the inflowing of this Divine Love, but must also pray often, until you realize the possession of this Love in your soul almost constantly. Also, you must turn your thoughts (and I do not mean the merely intellectual thoughts, but the thoughts of the soul, which as you have already had, you may have again) to the spiritual truths which have been revealed to you, and to the spiritual realm where you believe other spiritual truths are waiting to be revealed. If you will thus pray and think, you will find the desires, and the expectations of the fulfillment of these desires coming to you, and an enthusiasm which will come from the development of your soul by the possession of this Love, along with your soul thoughts. This is what is meant by the condition necessary to enable the spirits to make the rapport.
Of course, as to the ordinary matters of the spirit world, where no special soul condition is required, the spirits can make rapport as they desire. And in your case, many of them could have written at the times you thought you were unable to receive any writings. But we thought it best that no spirit be permitted to write to you, as it might endanger the probability of your getting in the condition that we desire, and which is necessary in order for your brain to receive our vital and important messages. And hence your Indian (a protecting spirit. -ed.) was directed to not permit any spirit to write to you, and he did not, though many made the effort to do so.
Well, I am glad that I could write to you in this manner tonight. And I hope you will consider what I have said, and will realize the importance of your getting into the condition of which I speak. The brain must be used by a soul having the Divine Love active, and thus prepared to receive the rapport.
I will not write more tonight, but will merely say that we have many more messages which we desire to transmit.
So, believe that I am frequently with you in my love and desire to help and protect, and to make your mission a success.
brother and friend,
John States That Many Spirits Will Try to Communicate with Man and Attempt to Teach False Doctrines
I am here, John
I do not write "St. John" because I am not called by that name in the spirit heavens, and I have written you often enough now that you will identify me when I merely write "John."
Well, I heard what the Master said, and I can only add thereto that I never wrote the things which declare that I preached the blood of Jesus saves from sin, or that Jesus was a propitiation for the sins of mankind. Neither in my gospel nor in my epistles nor in Revelation did I write such a doctrine. As I have told you before, many things contained in these books were written by others to carry out certain plans and ideas of the writers. I never said that Jesus was God and that he was begotten by the Holy Ghost, or that he is equal with God, or that he saved a man from sin by reason of any personal qualities which he may have had.
So let your mind eliminate these false doctrines, and receive the truths which the Master shall write with a perfectly unbiased mind, free from all preconceived ideas.
(question by Mr. Padgett regarding 1 John 4: "... believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God...")
I meant that many spirits would try to communicate with man and attempt to teach false doctrines as to Jesus and his mission, and that the only spirits who were capable of conveying the truth, and worthy of belief, were those who should acknowledge that Jesus was the son of God in the way that it has been explained to you (not that Jesus or Jesus Christ was God). Only those spirits who acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, and have received the New Birth, and know something about the Kingdom of Christ, or of the Gift of the Divine Love of the Father and the Way to obtain It (as taught by Jesus) should be acknowledged. All other spirits who have not this knowledge, and consequently would not acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, are not to be trusted as being true followers of Jesus.
This is nothing mysterious or contrary to the laws governing the conduct or beliefs of men. If a spirit, or man either, knows nothing about a certain subject, he certainly cannot teach others its qualities or merits; hence I was applying an ordinary law of nature to the way in which spirits should be tried. For I must tell you now - and it is a truth, and was a truth at the time I wrote my gospel and epistles just as it is a truth now, and always will remain a truth - that every spirit who acknowledges Jesus as the son of God is a redeemed spirit, and has received a portion of the Divine Love, and is progressing in the Kingdom which Jesus is now forming. And when I gave those instructions to my "children," as I called them, I intended that their communications should be only with those spirits or men who had received this New Birth.
I know that all the spirits who have received this Divine Love in sufficient abundance are good spirits, free from sin and error, and that they have the power or inclination to influence mortals not to sin or to do anything which is contrary to the Will of the Father; while all the other spirits may or may not exercise the influence of evil upon mortals.
Hence, try the spirits, and if they do not acknowledge Jesus as the son of God, let them alone, and do not receive their communications or teachings, because they are not believers in Christ and the New Birth.
Among my children, or believers in the Christian religion, were many persons who had the power or gift of communicating with the spirits of the departed, and they did so communicate; and such communications were made known to the rest of the congregation and were believed by them. And hence my injunction against communion with those spirits who were not believers in Christ. You must not think that this is the only age in which spirits communicate with mortals, for I must tell you that in my time it was much more common than now. And when worshiping in our congregations and in our other gatherings, and often in private, we had these communications.
This was an important part of the services of our meetings, and one that kept us in constant harmony with the soul power of those who lived in the spirit form, and from whom we received powers of healing and of doing good in many other ways.
In those days, healing the sick and doing kindred things were a very important part of our work as Christians. We believed what Jesus had told us on earth, and we increased our faith, and performed many works which the people who did not believe as we did thought were miracles.
To us, the healing of the sick and the doing of these other things were just as natural as eating and sleeping. I tell you that our faith then was a certainty. We possessed the Substance that Paul speaks of, and we expected to do these things, just as we expected to breathe and be able to do material good to our brothers.
But after a few centuries, when men came into the church for other purposes than to receive the New Birth and to do the Will of the Father, faith such as I speak of died. And the power to do these things was taken away from men, and the church became a congregation of men having the mere lip worship.
And all through the centuries from then until now this power has not been with men, except that here and there some true believer with a faith such as we had has appeared and has done wonderful things.
So I say, let not what the Bible may say about Jesus being God, and having those other qualities with reference to the salvation of men, disturb you in your beliefs in what the Master may write to you.
I will not write more tonight, but will say good night.
Your brother in Christ,