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Problems of the Spiritual


VI. Will the relationships which have existed between persons in this world be maintained in the Life Beyond?

That, in our opinion, will absolutely depend upon whether there existed, as the basis of the earthly relationship, the principle of Spiritual-attraction, or Affinity. There can be no union between soul and soul, in the World of Spirit, apart from this. Dissociated from the Physical and from all the considerations of the Physical, the only bond of connection between spirit and spirit must be spiritual. Now, many of the relationships connected with the earth-life are not founded on this spiritual basis. They spring from the Physical, and never rise beyond it. In this world, persons are often so connected with one another, that the spirit-self of the individuals comes but little, or not at all, into the relationship.

Take some of the instances which are presented in regard to the Marriage-tie. Two persons, we will suppose, from a consideration merely of money, or social position, or expediency, or fleeting fancy, enter into the relationship of man and wife. The essential part of them—their spirit, with all its powers of love and sympathy—may but little, perhaps not at all, be called into play in the transaction. In regard to them, there may be no conjunction of spirit with spirit, mind with mind, and heart with heart. The man married the woman only because he wanted a wife, and she was socially and physically eligible. The woman married the man because her position and status in the world would be advanced thereby.

Such a relationship, we believe, will not be perpetuated in the Life Beyond. Those two persons, there, will not stand in the relationship of wedded beings. Death, which launches us into a World where spiritual activities are everything, will remove from them the causes out of which their earthly relationship arose; and devoid of the spiritual basis of union, each will be no more to the other than any other spirit might be. It was due to the Sadducees' failure to perceive that the only lasting bond of union must be a spiritual one, that prompted them to ask our Lord, "In the Anastasis, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her." (Matt, xxii. 28 v.) Christ's reply to them was no declaration that the relationship embodied in marriage, if based on the spiritual union of two beings, would not be perpetuated in the World of Spirit. He did but enunciate the principle, that no earthly marriage, contracted merely from considerations of the mundane (in the case in point, to raise up seed to a deceased brother), could possibly, in the Life Beyond, constitute the bond between spirit and spirit. "In the Anastasis," said Jesus, "they are as the angels of God in heaven," i.e. they are spiritual beings; they live in the environment of the Spiritual. "They neither marry, nor are given in marriage." The Physical will be superseded; no merely physical tie which linked two persons on earth will constitute their bond of union hereafter. Soul must be wedded to soul, or the earthly relationship will be broken by the disrupting hand of Death. Spirit in tune with spirit is the only basis of relationship Beyond the Veil.

It may be asked—Will, then, the Marriage-tie be dissolved at death? Will those who have been connected in this life, stand disconnected and unrelated to each other hereafter? We think, not; if the earthly relationship was the outcome of, or has led to the development of a spiritual affinity. The relationship which has maintained mutual love and sympathy and has caused the spiritual force of the one being to energize towards the other, will not cease to exist with dissociation from the Physical. If that relationship be founded on the spiritual within us, its continuance is assured; because our spirit-self and its energies and powers are not impaired by physical dissolution.

The husband and wife, whose souls have been in tune in the earth-life, will not, we believe, be unrelated in the Life to come. The spiritual interaction set up will not stop at the incident of Death. Conjoined on earth, by an indestructible principle, they will gravitate to each other in the World of Spirit. The Physical and the considerations of the Physical will have disappeared, but the spiritual union will remain intact. In that Life the relationship created in the earth-life will become intensified and consummated. Those spiritually united souls will still be the nearest and dearest to each other. Like the Master, Who loved all, but specially loved St. John and the family at Bethany, each of those two spiritually-married souls will be more closely allied to the other, than either can be to any other spirit. In the light of such a thought, how significant and beautiful becomes the earthly relationship of Marriage to mutually loving ones! "Till death us do part," says the Prayer-Book. Nay—"Till our death enhance and spiritually consummate the bond for ever."

Take the case of a man or a woman who may have been twice or thrice married. Will all those persons who were the earthly partners of one having had such an experience, stand in the relationship of husbands, or wives, to that one, in the Hereafter? We think, not; for the reason that it is only the highest degree of spiritual affinity that can constitute spiritual marriage, and that, we believe, can only exist between a soul and one other soul.

The reason, we take it, why Christianity, as God's higher revealment of truth, discountenances Polygamy, is that earthly Marriage was intended to prefigure spiritual Marriage. A developed soul will love and must love other souls; aye, all souls; but there can be but one soul between whom and itself the closest affinity and sympathy can exist. The man and woman who have stood to each other in the earthly relationship of husband and wife, will, if there has been a real soul-union, stand in that same relationship in Spirit-life. Those whom God hath thus spiritually joined together will not be put asunder because the physical conditions of their union are removed. But it will not be so, apart from this union of soul. Without this intermingling of spirit with spirit, this spiritual attracting force exerted by the one on the other, these two persons may stand altogether unrelated in the Life Beyond. The contact there may be no more than the contact which each may have with souls not known during earth-life. In a World of spiritual reality, the wedded couple of earth, unlinked in spirit, may find themselves in divergent spheres of life and interest.

Apply this to the case of the one who may have had several wedded partners. In the World of Spirit, whose wife will the woman be who on earth had two or three husbands? Whose husband will the man be who had two or three wives? The question affects a large section of mankind—the polygamist, and the man who has married more than once. "They neither marry, nor are given in marriage," said the Christ. The earthly sense of marriage will have been obliterated; the Physical concomitants of union between being and being will have disappeared; but the connection of soul with soul will remain. Every spirit, we believe, will be short of full development, and will not have fulfilled the design of its being, until it has found, and has been united to, that one other spirit; its spiritual mate, its complement, its alter ego. And they twain become one.

Did there exist between the man and one of the women to whom he was wedded on earth that spiritual affinity, that mutual attraction of ego to ego, that union of essential being? If so, the relationship will not be dissolved by death. In the Beyond, they will be spiritually-wedded souls. The bond between them, although in the past associated with the Physical, was not dependent upon it. It had its roots in the Spiritual and it must remain. The spirit-man may still love those other souls who in earth-life had stood in the relationship of wife to him, but his love for them will be different from the love he will hold for the one between whom and himself there subsisted this soul-union. The latter will be his spirit-partner. The earthly marriages, unbased on any union of souls, will have been annulled by Death; while the relationship which was rooted in the spiritual will be continued. That soul-linked husband and wife of earth, will be the spiritual husband and wife of the Beyond.

And what has been stated above in regard to the relationship of Marriage, appears to us to appfy to all other earthly relationships. It may be asked— Will a father and mother, when they have passed into Spirit-Life, stand in that relationship to the ones who in earth-life were their children? Will the relationship of brother and sister and other family-connections be maintained hereafter? Will not all ties of consanguinity disappear in an environment in which everything pertains to the Spiritual, and nothing to the Physical? We reply, It will depend upon whether the earthly relationship did, or did not, bring about soul-relationship and affinity.

The mother, for instance, whose soul goes out to the undeveloped soul of the little child who is subsequently snatched from her by Death, will certainly, we think, stand in relationship as mother to that child in Spirit-life. But, it may be urged, there could be, in such a case, no affinity between the soul of the mother and the soul of the child. The child died with its soul undeveloped; there could be no response on the part of the child's soul to the soul of the mother. Quite so, for a while at least. But the soul-vibrations of love from the mother on earth can reach and affect the developing soul of the child Behind the Veil. Those vibrations, projected into an atmosphere pulsating with Love, will produce Love. The spirit-child will feel that love. Its soul will respond to it. As it spiritually advances there will be inborne upon its consciousness the fact that the soul-force of an unknown mother is enwrapping it. A longing for that mother will arise; an expectation of union with her; a praying that this may be gratified. We can picture the rest—can we not? A ministering-spirit leading a child-spirit towards a newly-emancipated woman-spirit. No word of explanation, no introduction! A look, a thrill, on the part of woman and child. Their souls have recognized each other. The relationship of earth has not been broken: the mother and child are re-united as such.

The other earthly ties of relationship, also, which make a person a brother, a sister, a lover, a friend, will not, we think, be obliterated in the Higher Life. If between that one and the other to whom he or she stands related there exists the touch of soul with soul, the tie will be maintained. The earthly relationships, which in Time have ennobled and sanctified human lives and drawn spirit to spirit, are destined to play an important part in the experiences of Eternity. In the World of Spirit, the maintained and spiritually accentuated ties which knit husband and wife, lover and lover, parent and child and friend and friend, will be found to be the Divinely appointed means by which the mighty principle of Love will the better energize in the human soul, attuning it for its highest and closest communion with the Father of Love.

It may seem a daring statement to make, but we believe that many a husband and father, many a wife and mother, whose relationship with partner or children has drawn forth and combined the forces and sweetness of souls, will hereafter stand higher in the attainments of Love and better adapted for God's Heaven, than many a canonized saint who in cell or cloister has divorced himself from the relationships of life. Love in a human soul will develop into self-love, apart from the reciprocal touch of other souls. And the relationships of earth, we believe, which effect this reciprocal touch, are Divinely appointed to remain. Will there, then, be some in the After-Life whose earthly relationships with others may cease to exist? Yes, alas! we think so. There are, for example, unfatherly fathers and unmotherly mothers, in regard to whom the only tie subsisting between them and their children is a physical one. They begat them: nothing more. No spiritual bond links them and their offspring. Death, we think, will snap, once and for ever, that merely physical connection. There will remain nothing, in the Beyond, which can constitute a linking of the spirit-self of the parent and the spirit-self of the child.

The work of the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society and Dr. Barnardo's Homes reveals the fact that there are such fathers and mothers.

Now, whatever may be the possibilities of repentance, amendment and development hereafter, in the case of such parents, they will not evade the inviolable law of God, that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. vi. 7 v.).

Earthly parents who have never realized, nor sought to cultivate the spiritual bond between them and their children will reap the consequences. In the Spirit-World they will be short of an experience and a joy which they might have had. An earthly relationship might have blossomed into a heavenly relationship. But it did not do so. Hereafter, the thrill and delight of spiritualized fatherhood and motherhood will be an impossibility to them. The mercy of God may cause them to develop, at length, into blessed souls; but for eternity they may be short of what they might have been, had the earthly relationship been sanctified for the development of the spirit. They may experience an "everlasting damnation," which means an everlasting loss. For ever, they may be spiritually less developed than they might have been: a department of their being may remain unopened. They may see the spirit-children of others clasped in the arms of their spirit-parents; but no spirit-child is held in their embrace. The son or daughter, born to them on earth, may meet them and be known to them; but that one may be no more to them than any other stranger-spirit. The sense of relationship, unbased upon the spiritual, will have gone.

On the other hand, a beautiful and comforting thought suggests itself. It is this; that many a soul, in the Life Beyond, may not, until then, realize the full possibilities of higher being, in finding the satisfaction of the yearnings of the spiritual nature, and the answer to the intuitions and aspirations of love. There are persons, capable of so loving another, that an earthly marriage-relationship could only be to them the starting-point of an indissoluble spiritual union in Life hereafter.

But how many persons are there who never meet, in this world, the one between whom and themselves there is this touch of soul with soul. If, by chance, they met that one, there may have been all sorts of worldly considerations why their lives did not become conjoined. What of them? What of the gentle, loving, Christ-like woman who longed for, but never knew, a true man's love? What of the good man, a department of whose soul remained undeveloped, because no woman-soul had loved him above all others? Will such persons never know the joy of loving one particular soul and of being loved by that soul, in a way which transcends all other possibilities of love? In the World Beyond, will no true spiritual mate complete the being of such a man or woman? We believe that such persons, capable of so spiritually loving, although denied in this world the fulfilment of their spirit's longings, will meet in the Hereafter their kindred spirit. Somewhere, in the great Universe of Spirit, there is, we think, the alter ego, the complemental soul, for each loving, though mateless, one of earth. Only will the purpose of God have been fulfilled, we believe, when "they twain shall have become one"; when those alter egos, drawn to each other by the irresistible force of spiritual attraction, shall have met, and combined in the highest relationship of spiritually-wedded souls.

Again, there are many women who, while possessing all the capacities for true motherhood, have never become mothers. A keen disappointment is felt by them; a craving of their spirit has not been answered; great resources of their nature have not been drawn upon; no being has stood to them in the relationship of child.

In the Life of Spirit will there be no possibility of satisfying the spiritual instincts and aspirations of such persons? Will the thrill and joy which arises from the fact of being viewed as mother, by one or more, be never granted to the potentially maternal souls who have passed out of earth-life childless?

We hold the conviction that in the accomplishment of the All-Father's purpose of Love, the satisfying of this true spiritual instinct will be vouchsafed to such. There are millions of little child-souls who pass into Spirit-life, unfollowed by the love and prayers of any earthly mother. What if those little ones should be assigned to the care and become the spiritual children of those women-souls who have never on earth, in spite of their longing, been a mother to any! Can we suppose that a Divine instinct, implanted in every true woman-spirit, though ungratified as far as this life is concerned, is destined to lead to nothing—to die out from lack of opportunity to express itself?

Nay; we have different ideas of God's Love and purposes. He never mocks His creatures by endowing them with noble instincts and longings for which no satisfyings have been provided. No woman possessing the spiritual capability of motherhood, will, we think, ever reach the possibilities of her being, until some child-spirit regards her as spiritual mother. May it not be that, in this way, untold numbers of God's little ones, unblessed by a true mother's love while in earth-life, may in Spirit-life be encircled by the arms of these Spirit-mothers, and in the enfoldments of their love may move on to the development and perfecting of being?

Such ideas may not be compatible with the notions which have prevailed as to the Life Beyond; but they are compatible with our growing ideas and extended knowledge of the Love and Purpose of our Father-God.

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Other Books by Rev. Chambers:

"Man and the Spiritual World" (1903 UK Edition)
"Thoughts of the Spiritual" (1905 American Edition)

Rev. Arthur Chambers Returns From "Death" To Speak Through The Zodiac Circle

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