January 6, 1919
Received by James Padgett
I am here, Francis Bacon.
Let me write just a few lines, as I desire to tell you of a thing which may be of importance to you.
I see you are a little disturbed over what a man said to you tonight as to his want of belief in the identity of the spirits who profess to manifest themselves through mediums. Well, this need not disturb you one particle, for the identity of the spirit is just as real and certain as is the fact that a man can and does identify another after an absence, more or less long, from the latter's appearance, voice, and so forth. In the case of his identification, he depends on the operation of certain of his senses, such as his sight and hearing, and through them he satisfies his mind that the man identified is the identical person that he may claim to be, as you may say, he would be a very silly man if he would not accept such identification as convincing and determinate.
In the case of the identifying of those who are in the spirit, and who come with the powers and with the presence of spirits only, he cannot, of course, use his senses for the purpose of identification; and if he had to depend upon these organs alone, he would never be able to conclude that the spirits who present the phenomena are those who profess to be his friends or acquaintances. Most mortals do not have the gift of perceiving, or receiving the impression of, the presence of spirits, and in such cases are in the condition of the blind and deaf man with reference to the things of earth. The latter has no means of identifying his closest friends, and yet it would be just as reasonable to contend that these friends are not existing and present, and the same day after day, as for mortals to say that the spirits of those who once lived on earth are not existing and present, because the mortals have not the faculties of seeing and hearing them.
There are things in earth life as well as in spirit life that can come to the knowledge of some men only through information given them by other men who have superior powers and faculties for seeking for and obtaining this information.
Some mortals have eyes and faculties not material, as usually understood, for seeing and hearing and receiving knowledge from the spirits, and who render what is thus seen, heard and received just as real and certain as are real and certain the presence of mortals and material things to those who have their physical organs of sight and hearing; and the identity of what is seen and heard and received is just as truly established in the former as in the latter case. All men who are wanting as to the non-material organs mentioned can identify the things of the material world and are satisfied of the fact; and make their mode of such identification the standard by which they must and only can become convinced of the identity of the things of the spirit world: and when they insist upon such method of identification they, of course, can never be convinced, except perhaps in those phenomena as are manifested in materialization and spirit photography.
When the merely physical powers or means of ascertaining the existence and identity of things or humans are used, then those who confine their search for truth and the discerning of the identity of claimed existences to the use of such physical organs will never be able to see, hear or receive that which might convince them of the identity of the things existing in the spirit world.
This is the result of the eternal laws of the universe in their operations; and no desires or efforts of man can change this result. Man is unfortunate when he assumes the position that unless these laws can be or are changed in order that he may - by his physical organs - see or hear or be able to identify the things of the spirit world, he will not believe that there is identity existing among the spirits who come to men and in various ways manifest their presence.
When a man stands on the compliance with this condition as necessary to convince him of the identity of those friends of his who have passed to spirit life and who come in psychical phenomena and manifest themselves, it is useless to try to convince him, because of the very necessities of the laws governing such phenomena. And those who do believe, and those who know of this identity, will only waste time and effort in trying to convince men who assume the position of depending entirely on the physical means which they may possess.
There are many humans today who are truly convinced, and have all sufficient grounds for their convictions as to the identity and presence of their spirit friends, and they are not deceived, but enjoy the happiness that comes to them from such knowledge.
In my observations of the workings of human minds upon this question of the existence and identity of spirits, I learn that such evidence as would satisfy their minds, under the strictest requirements, as to material things, is brushed aside as wholly inadequate, and sometimes not even worthy of consideration, to satisfy them as to these spiritual things; and it seems that the greater knowledge they possess of the nature of and laws controlling material things, the less credence and consideration will they give to the nature of and laws controlling spiritual things. Every other explanation of psychical phenomena is put forth and accepted, rather than the simple and natural one; and if men only knew what nature really is, and its laws, they would realize how little they now know of nature. Generally, nature is only that consciousness of things material which comes within their limited cognition. They do not know that the larger part of nature, if it can be separated, is beyond the things or conditions which they have knowledge of as being the material of the universe.
Well, as I said, the identity of the spiritual cannot be and must not be expected to be established by the operations of the merely physical organs of man, except perhaps in those manifestations appearing in the phenomena of materializations or spirit photography, and even they are not accepted as real or true by many men who accept what are called scientific deductions from supposed facts connected with the manifestations of what these men consider to be natural.
And so the proof of the presence and identity of spirits will have to depend upon the results produced by the operations of laws controlling the spiritual existences and the psychical powers and gifts of certain humans, Sometime it may be that these gifted persons will be accepted as honest and truthful and not self-deceived, and the manifestations resulting from the exercise of these powers as the effects of the efforts and intelligence of spirits who at one time were human beings.
When men come to realize that the change called death does not destroy identity and consciousness and powers of mind, as well as what may be called powers physical - for the material of the universe is used and operated by spirits - but on the contrary, intensifies these possessions and powers, then they will accept the truth that the presence of the spirits of their departed friends is a variety, and that the identity of these spirits is eternal.
Well, I have written as much as I think best to write tonight, and thank you for your indulgence. With kind regards, I will say good night,