The Portal Of The Unknown


When the hour of her death arrived, I was fortunately in a proper state

of mind and body to produce the superior (clairvoyant) condition; but,

previous to throwing my spirit into that condition, I sought the most

convenient and favorable position, that I might be allowed to make the

observations entirely unnoticed and undisturbed. Thus situated and

ned, I proceeded to observe and investigate the mysterious

processes of dying, and to learn what it is for an individual human

spirit to undergo the changes consequent upon physical death or external

dissolution. They were these:

I saw that the physical organization could no longer subserve the

diversified purposes or requirements of the spiritual principle. But the

various internal organs of the body appeared to resist the withdrawal of

the animating soul. The body and the soul, like two friends, strongly

resisted the various circumstances which rendered their eternal

separation imperative and absolute. These internal conflicts gave rise

to manifestations of what seemed to be, to the material senses, the most

thrilling and painful sensations; but I was unspeakably thankful and

delighted when I perceived and realized the fact that those physical

manifestations were indications, not of pain or unhappiness, but simply

that the spirit was eternally dissolving its co-partnership with the

material organism.

Now the head of the body became suddenly enveloped in a fine, soft,

mellow, luminous atmosphere; and, as instantly, I saw the cerebrum and

the cerebellum expand their most interior portions; I saw them

discontinue their appropriate galvanic functions; and then I saw that

they became highly charged with the vital electricity and vital

magnetism which permeate subordinate systems and structures. That is to

say, the brain, as a whole, suddenly declared itself to be tenfold more

positive, over the lesser proportions of the body, than it ever was

during the period of health. This phenomenon invariably precedes

physical dissolution.

Now the process of dying, or the spirit's departure from the body, was

fully commenced. The brain began to attract the elements of electricity,

of magnetism, of motion, of life, and of sensation, into its various and

numerous departments. The head became intensely brilliant; and I

particularly remarked that just in the same proportion as the

extremities of the organism grow dark and cold, the brain appears light

and glowing.

Now I saw, in the mellow, spiritual atmosphere which emanated from and

encircled her head, the indistinct outlines of the formation of

another head. This new head unfolded more and more distinctly, and so

indescribably compact and intensely brilliant did it become, that I

could neither see through it, nor gaze upon it as steadily as I desired.

While this spiritual head was being eliminated and organized from out

of and above the material head, I saw that the surrounding aromal

atmosphere which had emanated from the material head was in great

commotion; but, as the new head became more distinct and perfect, this

brilliant atmosphere gradually disappeared. This taught me that those

aromal elements, which were, in the beginning of the metamorphosis,

attracted from the system into the brain, and thence eliminated in the

form of an atmosphere, were indissolubly united in accordance with the

divine principle of affinity in the universe, which pervades and

destinates every particle of matter, and developed the spiritual head

which I beheld.

In the identical manner in which the spiritual head was eliminated and

unchangeably organized, I saw, unfolding in their natural progressive

order, the harmonious development of the neck, the shoulders, the breast

and the entire spiritual organization. It appeared from this, even to an

unequivocal demonstration, that the innumerable particles of what might

be termed unparticled matter which constitute the man's spiritual

principle, are constitutionally endowed with certain elective

affinities, analogous to an immortal friendship. The innate tendencies

which the elements and essences of her soul manifested by uniting and

organizing themselves, were the efficient and imminent causes which

unfolded and perfected her spiritual organization. The defects and

deformities of her physical body were, in the spiritual body which I saw

thus developed, almost completely removed. In other words, it seemed

that those hereditary obstructions and influences were now removed,

which originally arrested the full and proper development of her

physical constitution; and, therefore, that her spiritual constitution,

being elevated above those obstructions, was enabled to unfold and

perfect itself, in accordance with the universal tendencies of all

created things.

While this spiritual formation was going on, which was perfectly visible

to my spiritual perceptions, the material body manifested, to the outer

vision of observing individuals in the room, many symptoms of uneasiness

and pain; but the indications were totally deceptive; they were wholly

caused by the departure of the vital or spiritual forces from the

extremities and viscera into the brain, and thence into the ascending


The spirit arose at right angles over the head or brain of the deserted

body. But immediately previous to the final dissolution of the

relationship which had for so many years subsisted between the two, the

spiritual and material bodies, I saw--playing energetically between the

feet of the elevated spiritual body and the head of the prostrate

physical body--a bright stream or current of vital electricity. And here

I perceived what I had never before obtained a knowledge of, that a

small portion of this vital electrical element returned to the deserted

body immediately subsequent to the separation of the umbilical thread;

and that that portion of this element which passed back into the earthly

organism instantly diffused itself through the entire structure, and

thus prevented immediate decomposition.

As soon as the spirit, whose departing hour I thus watched, was wholly

disengaged from the tenacious physical body, I directed my attention to

the movements and emotions of the former; and I saw her begin to

breathe the most interior or spiritual portions of the surrounding

terrestrial atmosphere. At first it seemed with difficulty that she

could breathe the new medium; but in a few seconds she inhaled and

exhaled the spiritual elements of nature with the greatest possible ease

and delight. And now I saw that she was in possession of exterior and

physical proportions, which were identical, in every possible

particular--improved and beautified--with those proportions which

characterized her earthly organization. Indeed, so much like her former

self was she that, had her friends beheld her as I did, they certainly

would have exclaimed--as we often do upon the sudden return of a

long-absent friend, who leaves us and returns in health--'Why, how well

you look! How improved you are!' Such was the nature--most beautifying

in their extent--of the improvements that were wrought upon her.

I saw her continue to conform and accustom herself to the new elements

and elevating sensations which belong to the inner life. I did not

particularly notice the workings and emotions of her newly-awakening and

fast-unfolding spirit, except that I was careful to remark her

philosophical tranquillity throughout the entire process, and her

non-participation with the different members of her family in their

unrestrained bewailing of her departure from the earth, to unfold in

Love and Wisdom throughout eternal spheres. She understood at a glance

that they could only gaze upon the cold and lifeless form, which she had

but just deserted; and she readily comprehended the fact that it was

owing to a want of true knowledge upon their parts that they thus

vehemently regretted her merely physical death.

The period required to accomplish the entire change which I saw was not

far from two hours and a half; but this furnished no rule as to the time

required for every spirit to elevate and reorganize itself above the

head of the outer form. Without changing my position or spiritual

perceptions I continued to observe the movements of her new-born spirit.

As soon as she became accustomed to her new elements which surrounded

her, she descended from her elevated position, which was immediately

over the body, by an effort of the will-power, and directly passed out

of the door of the bedroom in which she had lain, in the material form,

prostrated with disease for several weeks. It being in a summer month,

the doors were all open, and her egress from the house was attended with

no obstruction. I saw her pass through the adjoining room, out of the

door, and step from the house into the atmosphere! I was overwhelmed

with delight and astonishment when, for the first time, I realized the

universal truth that the spiritual organization can tread the

atmosphere, which is impossible while in the coarser earthly form--so

much more refined is man's spiritual constitution. She walked in the

atmosphere as easily, and in the same manner, as we tread the earth and

ascend an eminence. Immediately upon her emergement from the house, she

was joined by two friendly spirits from the spiritual country, and after

tenderly recognizing and communing with each other, the three, in the

most graceful manner, began ascending obliquely through the ethereal

envelopment of her globe. They walked so naturally and fraternally

together that I could scarcely realize the fact that they trod the

air--they seemed to be walking upon the side of a glorious but familiar

mountain. I continued to gaze upon them until the distance shut them

from my view,--whereupon I returned to my external and ordinary


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This account of the facts--of what actually happened at death--is

confirmed by numerous other witnesses, who agree as to the main