The Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Message of Spiritualistic Thoughts

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Message of Spiritualistic Thoughts is an article written by Mary Conan Doyle, the first daughter of Arthur Conan Doyle, first published in the Waterloo Evening Courier on 22 january 1921.


Message of Spiritualistic Thoughts

Waterloo Evening Courier
(15 january 1921, p. 9)
St. Louis Globe-Democrat
(6 february 1921, magazine section, p. 7)

To understand the laws which govern life, and to come out of our gloom to the conscious reality of God's love, this is the message of Spiritualistic thought.

And it certainly can be taught — is being taught all the time, not only thru the medium of the seance, but by the great thinkers of the age. What is more, the whole world is rapidly getting expectant and receptive for it, altho the transition time is not over yet.

The way has been veiled and obscure. Many still doubt the possibility of communion with those beyond the veil. Others believe. Messages are received, some beautiful, some obvious, others vulgar, and man is left fascinated and yet baffled.

He thinks it's very wonderful that an unknown force can sustain a grand piano in mid-air. The evidences of those he loved being "well and happy" touches him, but still the prospect of embarking on another similar material existence after death hardly rouses him to enthusiasm, when he has failed to find any thread of harmony or coherence in this one.

It is just this thread he is looking for. And why can't he find it? Why can't he know the truth straight away?

Because of the law by which like attracts like. If one's thoughts are full of muddle and doubt and materialism, they draw a similar state of consciousness to oneself.

As a man's own vision grows wider and deeper, so will the higher truths be revealed to him. And the time is fast approaching when the medium will become the recognized "transmitter," not so much in the family, domestic sense, but as a means for the great teachers to communicate with those on earth who are ready for the message. But for this, the mediums will have to prepare themselves to make it possible for the higher forces to work through them.

It is only fair to state here that no one was more obstinately antagonistic to the idea of so-called "spirit communion" than the present writer. She thought, in a vague way, as many do, that the "dead" should be left in peace to "go on." Then the truth dawned gradually, and the out-grown thought dropped like a dead leaf. The fact is, on the whole, those on the next sphere are infinitely clearer in their consciousness than we are, therefore, the all-important thing is for us to "go on," and until we weaken from this torpor and understand, we are holding them back!

At present, most of us are like anxious individuals feeling round the walls of a dark room for the electric switch. We know it is there all right, if we can only get our finger on the button!

And the "button" which illumines our spiritual vision is simply a consciousness.

To know that materiality is not the reality, but the outcome of the thought force behind it. The living stream in each one of us is our own thought. There is the light! And it is something we knew all the time.

Truths are never new — they are merely recognized. And when we consider that the simplest, homeliest act of our everyday life is first a thought — though often instantaneous with the action, it alters the values of our outlook, and the invisible comes very near to our consciousness.

Now if this sense of the reality of the unseen could become universal, one might almost predict that mediums would no longer be needed for communication. The point of contact would be established — for nothing can be more real than reality. If thought is reality for us, then it is for them also.

The chief barrier between us is that we are all centred on things, while they are chiefly concerned with the Force behind the thing. It is really the difference between the spiritual and the material aspect.

Now let us straighten out what we mean by those terms. Spirituality is a poor word that has been shorn of half its strength by the ascetics. It has come to represent to the average mind something so refined, and rarefied as to be almost a negation of all vivid life. What could be more mistaken? If God is love, than he is life also.

Passion and color and every glorious virile thing is full of spirituality, the instant the divinity within it is recognized. Materiality is just missing the essence, failing to grasp the full value of God's gift.

It must be remembered that Spiritualism is nothing modern or evolutionary. Mankind is merely reminded of something that he use to know long, long ago. And there are just a few who have never forgotten, who down through the countless ages have preserved the gossamer thread of life intact. Yet these may never have attended a seance, nor heard of a medium. They are lit up by a living demonstrating faith.

This faith has nothing to do with denominations. It is free as air, like a dim memory, an instinct, call it what you will — it recognizes in the face of all odds that materiality is the counterfeit of life, while the unseen is the stable eternal part of it.

In the same way they sense the nearness and the love of God. They move often amidst surroundings of wretchedness and squalor, yet their peace and their balance are alike indestructible.

They are fortunate, these happy ones, but merely contemplating them will not help us to recollect anything. Each has to find his way to truth and understanding. For many, Spiritualism points the way.

The seance helps in making the invisible a reality, but there is one great danger — seeking after sensationalism. It must be understood that the message and the good of any religion is of the mind and can only be approached through reverence. Just as in the past the people urged Jesus to open display of his powers, so today many attend seances to see physical phenomena and materializations, in the hope of getting a super-thrill out of it. That way is utter confusion and leads nowhere.

Against them is the opposite extreme: Those who feel an utter horror of any form of psychical demonstration. It is so strange to them as to seem utterly unnatural.

This, probably, is largely due to the manner of their introduction to the subject. One should not talk sensationalism in connection with a seance, but rather try to simply give the thought-gem; that is the circle's gift and responsibility.

In any case persuasion and argument is out of the province. As we cannot look into another's mind, and know its exact state of evolution through aeons of time, so all well-meant emphatic advice as to what circle to attend, what to read, whom to hear, etc., is mistaken unless it is asked for.

But there is just one thing that everyone can do to avoid wasting time — keep an even mind, and avoid the cramped thought.

It is remarkable the strong analogy there is between all forms of harmony. In executive music the basis of all technique is relaxation. A pianist can practice for ten years, and if he is tightening a muscle the whole time it will do him no good. It's the same with thinking. We must avoid the tight thought that obstructs knowledge.

Then gradually the impulse to make the great clearance will come. The fear of God — and of everything — will be shed from us, to be replaced by the love of God, and all that reflects godhead.

This is not a sudden grandiose sensation, but a gradual filling in, as it were, full of comforting results. One finds a certain sweet harmony in the little crowd round one's daily existence — that same little crowd that has perhaps often irritated us by its slowness and lack of imagination. All the colors begin to come out in what had appeared drab.

The sense of limitation begins to go. One realizes in how many cases people's lives are happy or unhappy through their own mental attitude, rather than any stroke of fate or fortune.

One comes out into the realization of a huge freedom — of a fresh great good.