Why Hide The Truth?
Throughout the world, in every community and since time immemorial there has always been a belief in life after death. The Egyptian Book of The Dead exists as proof that the belief in the afterlife existed thousands of years before Christianity. Predating even the Book of The Dead are the ancient ‘Coffin Texts’ the coffin texts emphasize the subterranean elements of the afterlife ruled by Osiris, in a place called the Duat. An Osirian afterlife is, according to the ancient Egyptians, offered to everyone. In ancient Greece the poet Homer described the underworld as being populated by the virtuous dead with various mythological characters present, such as Charon the ferryman that carried the discarnate souls across the river Styx to the kingdom of Hades. Philosophers such as Plato and the mystic Orphics and Pythagoreans include the concept of the judgement of the dead. Spirits were assigned to one of three realms: Elysium for the blessed, Tartarus for the damned, and Asphodel for the rest. Further, they believed in reincarnation and the transmigration of souls. This is all long before anyone thought of The Holy Trinity and the concept of heaven through belief. It is a relatively recent idea that only by accepting a certain ideology could ones soul transmigrate, leaving its incarnate corporeal body to enter the afterlife.
As well as a worldwide belief in life after death there has also always existed a belief that the spirits or souls of the dead can return and that these can be seen as ghosts. In The New Testament there is an account of the disciples of Jesus fearing they had seen a ghost: Matthew 14: 25-27: During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them,
walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a Spirit,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” If we accept The New Testament as the truth then there is good evidence that the disciples believed in ghosts.
In The old Testament the book of Samuel 28:7-20 king Saul said: ‘Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her’. Saul was taken to see ‘The Witch of Endor’ and she brought forth from the afterlife the spirit of Samuel and the spirit said to Saul ‘Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?’ The end result was that Saul received advice from the spirit of Samuel that he and all his kin would soon be dead. That is though not the point, the point is that in Biblical terms ghosts or spirits are accepted as being real and can communicate. As I said, throughout the world and since recorded history began there have been accounts of spirits.
The question that we as Spiritualists should perhaps be asking is this: Why do so many supposedly devoutly religious individuals deny the veracity of communication between the two worlds? There must be a reason, perhaps more than one, but I suggest that the main reason is that if it is accepted that survival is a natural phenomena then the need to subscribe to a religious belief to enter the afterlife disappears. The ancient Egyptians believed that all souls are eternal, animals too. The Greeks also believed that the underworld or afterlife was the ultimate destiny of all, though divided into sections based on worthiness not on belief. But what, you should be asking, has established religion to gain by denying the truth of life after death and most of all the communication of spirits? Why would any religion want to hide this truth?
I fully realise that anecdotal accounts are not what any academic would consider to be truly scientific research and I agree that personal experiences can cloud reasoned argument. However: Some few years ago a distant relation of mine who was a landlord, owning many properties in the North of England, became ill. Although he was of advanced years he had, till his diagnosis, always been a big, strong and very determined man who knew what he wanted and got it. He was a typical blunt, no messing, Northerner. This man had a son and this son had been a dutiful one, helped his father run the business and always cared for his mother etc. When the man became ill and was told that there was no effective treatment, instead of turning to his family for support he turned to religion. Within just a few weeks he went from being a real rugged rough and tough man’s man who took no prisoners, to being a bible reading, church going, hymn singing religiously devout Christian. The priests were round his bedside as he weakened and his house was full of prayers, day and night. When he died and the lawyer read his will there was a shock for all his family as he had left all his properties to the church and not one to his son or any other family member.
It is perhaps a little known fact that one of the biggest land owners in the UK is the Church of England. This established church actually owns 0.3% of the UK land. I realise it may seem cynical in the extreme but could it perhaps be the case that established religion has a vested interest in denying the truth of life after death as a natural process? I mean if the churches announced that we all move on to the next world no matter what and that the destination there is based not on belief but on deeds, as you sow so shall you reap, how many would subscribe to a very restrictive belief system? Also if the church accepted the communication of spirits, which in fact the Bible as explained above actually does, why would people not seek guidance from a gifted psychic that offered proof of survival instead of an academic priest whose learning, however wide and varied, is of this earthly plane?
In times long past when humankind lived relatively primitively, before civilisation as we accept it existed, there was a belief in communication with the spirit world through the shaman. Organised religion denies that such natural pathways still exist. It is my argument that they do so not because they believe that they are the way, the truth and the light but because they have a vested interest in exercising control over people and their property.