An ambiguous method of delivering messages from the afterlife (8 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
2 March 2024

Humanity has made attempts to contact those who have gone beyond the line, perhaps, from the moment they realized the very fact of the irreversibility of death.

Which has given rise to a huge number of different trends and techniques and an even larger number of charlatans trying to make money from the grief of people who have lost loved ones by clouding their minds.

But there have been cases of people who approached the issue of delivering messages from the afterlife quite rationally and pragmatically.

William Thomas Steed

William Thomas Steed was a Victorian newspaper editor and journalist who became interested in spiritualism in London in the 1890s. But he did not just attend seances and write about his impressions. Steed decided that he had a gift and that he had his own psychic abilities. He could receive direct messages from the dead through his hand. This process is called automatic writing.

Julia Ames

His main interlocutor was Julia A. Ames, an American journalist with whom he had become friends many years earlier, but who died on December 12, 1891. Long before her death, she and her best friend Ellen agreed that the one who died first would convey messages from the other world to the other. Ellen claimed to have seen an apparition of Julia standing at her bedside. “I know it was Julia, and she came back to me as she promised,” Ellen told Steed. “But I didn’t hear her speak, and I can’t bear to think that she could come back with a message for me, and I didn’t hear what she had to say.”

Luckily for Ellen and Julia, Steed was willing to help using his automatic writing skills. “I propose, if she is willing and able to use my hand as her own, that Julia be allowed to write by this medium any message she wishes,” Steed wrote in the preface to his book After Death, or Letters from Julia.

Julia accepted his offer and had something to say. The first batch of messages Steed received were intended for Ellen, but later messages were intended for a wider audience. This is one of Julia's descriptions of the afterlife:

Everything is so new and there are such unexpected similarities and differences. For example, when we wake up in a new life, we are still in the same world. All around us are familiar things - walls, paintings, a window, a bed, and only your own body is new, from which you come out and wonder how it can be that it exists, but you are no longer there. And then you begin to clearly understand what happened. This is very similar to experiences in a dream, which, after all, are often due to the same reason - the soul leaves the physical frame, which, however, continues to breathe.

You remain the same. I mean there is no gap in your consciousness, your memory, your field. I was a woman in my bodily life, and I still remain one. There is no change in this. But you are different in some ways.

Example of an automatic letter

According to Steed's daughter Estella, the journalist and autobiographical writer's adventures in spiritualism continued when he made his own journey beyond the veil. He was one of more than 1,500 people who died on the Titanic in 1912. Surviving witnesses said that Steed helped women and children escape and gave away his life jacket.

Estella Steed

A few years later, Woodman, an acquaintance of Estella's, acquired the ability to write automatically and began to imitate her father. From the preface to the book “Blue Island: The New Arrival Beyond the Edge”:

Mr. Woodman never knew my father personally and had no contact with his writing or his work, yet the wording and phrases of the messages are my father's, and even the style of writing is typical of him.

In the first chapter, Steed talks about his experiences after the sinking of the Titanic. Here's some of what Woodman said he had to say:

The end has come. It was like waiting for a liner to sail; we waited until everyone was on board. I mean we waited until the disaster was over. Spthe fallen are saved, the dead are alive. Then we moved our stage as one unit. It was a strange way to travel for all of us, and we were a strange team heading to who knows where. The whole scene was indescribably pathetic. Many, realizing what had happened, were tormented by doubts about the people left behind and their own future. What does the future hold for them? Will they be taken to Him? What will their sentence be? Others were almost crazy. They knew nothing, they seemed to be uninterested in anything, their minds were paralyzed. A strange team of human souls awaiting their fate on a new land.

Just a few minutes of time, and now hundreds of bodies are floating in the water - dead, hundreds of souls are rushing through the air - alive, very alive. Many, realizing that their death had come, were angry at their own powerlessness to save their valuables. They fought to save what they valued so much on earth.

The scene on the ship during the impact was not a pleasant one, but it could not be compared with what was happening among the poor souls who had just been expelled from their bodies. It was both heartbreaking and disgusting. And so we waited—waited until everyone was gathered, and then we moved our stage to another land.

It was an interesting journey. It turned out to be much stranger than anything I knew. It seemed like we were rising vertically into the air at amazing speed. We moved as one, as if we were on a very large platform that was lifted into the air with gigantic force and speed, but there was no feeling of uncertainty... We were absolutely stable. I can't say how long our journey was or how far from land we were when we arrived, but it was a magnificent arrival. It was like walking out of the darkness of an English winter into the brightness of an Indian sky. Everything there was bright and beautiful. As we approached, we saw this land in the distance, and those of us who could understand realized that we were being taken to a place reserved for all those people who suddenly passed by - because of its general attractiveness. It helps a nervous beginner quickly get back on track and gain peace of mind. We arrived, in a sense, proud of ourselves. Everything was light and bright. Everything is just as physical and quite material in every way, like the world we just ended with.

Steed's diary discovered on the Titanic

Do you think there is something in autowriting, or is it nothing more than the result of a trance or unconscious activity?

Plaque in Central Park, New York

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