Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The afterdeath journal of an American philosopher

The Afterlife Journal of an American Philosopher is  Jane Roberts’ version of the afterlife reflections of the great American philosopher and pioneer of psychology William James. Jane Roberts, an excellent writer and thinker in her own right, became famous for channeling the "interdimensional teacher" known as Seth. Seth was unknown to the public before Jane started publishing the Seth material but was quickly recognized as an extraordinary guide to the multidimensional self and to dreaming as the best way to explore the multiverse and practice reality creation.
    Here we find Jane in contact with a mind that influenced many in this world before it left the body. Like other luminaries of the Society for psychical Research, William James was keenly interested in assembling scientific evidence of the survival of consciousness after physical death. Like his British associates F.W.H. Myers and W.T. Stead, he let it be known that after he took up residence on the Other Side. he would seek to report back, via sensitives, on what he had discovered. What better scientific data on survival could there be than first-hand reports from the afterlife from towering and trustworthy intellects like his own?
    I have deep appreciation for what came through from Stead (The Blue Island) and Myers (The Road to Immortality).  The Afterlife Journal of an American Philosopher has less geography and fewer road maps. It was transcribed  69 years after the death of the supposed communicator in 1910. However, it is a wonderfully plausible account of a desirable afterlife environment, especially interesting on what persuades the dead to take a lively interest in the living.
     Can we believe that the voice is really that of William James? We are told, “I am the William James that I was but I am no longer William James in the same way that he adult is not the child.” He says he is more “lively” now than he was in life, when he was prone to deep depression.
     His role has changed. He is no longer an investigator of psychic phenomena but an ideal case study for later investigators. “I have turned from being an investigator of ‘strange sources’ into a perfect instance of the kind of phenomena that in life I would have tracked down.” 
     Looking back over the life he left behind, he says that had he known what he now knows: “I would have sought more ambitiously for proof of the soul’s existence in life rather than seeking for evidence of its afterdeath existence through communications from the dead. The soul’s abilities in life, clearly defined , would in life show themselves to be independent of the body’s physical confinements. Therefore I would have looked even more vigorously for accelerations and extensions of the creative abilities as they appear in telepathy, clairvoyance, healings and out of body travel, and I would have examined those characteristics of mind (or soul) that display mind’s control of matter” 
    He tries to describe how the mind generates the reality we inhabit often without recognizing what is going on. “The private cast of consciousness works upon the objective world landscape by giving it its final, private, definite form; as if before the individual perceives objects, here is instead a field of pliable, malleable, pseudoshapes. The perceptions themselves bring these into focus and form…The processes are so smooth and automatic, so beautifully executed, that man rarely catches himself in the act of this multiple creativity, as the mind forms the world pattern of objects and events.”
    Active dreamers will be encouraged by the suggestion that dreams may be test patterns, rehearsals for physical events that will follow. “Dream images and imaginative acts prepare the way for physical ones, impressing large areas in general preshapes which are later ‘filled in’. It is as if the mind makes preliminary test patterns that are projections in space-time, but in a ghostly fashion. These dream images, however, are laid upon initial fields of probabilities which are characteristic of the physical medium itself.”
    One thing the philosopher reporting from the afterlife can confirm for sure: "lifelines begin before birth and continue after it."

For more on the adventures of the great Victorian "ghost hunters" before and after death, please see The Dreamer's Book of the Dead.

No comments: