A narrative of the Experience of Horace Abraham Ackley MD late of Cleveland Ohio, since his entrance into spirit life
Type of Spiritual Experience
Obviously as narrated by a medium
A description of the experience
From Matter to Spirit – The Result of Ten Years Experience in Spirit Manifestation – Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan
The first lesson, I think, every spirit learns, is one in reference to death. The general impression is, that persons suffer intensely in their last moments, and we hear much of “the agonies of death."
These however are generally imaginary, and. in most cases there is little or no consciousness of suffering; even when there is a struggle, it is only an effort, painless in its character, of the spirit to burst the bonds that have bound it to the physical body: this struggle may create contortions of the body, but in most cases all consciousness of pain has passed away.
This was my own experience, and I have been told by many others that it was theirs. I experienced but very little suffering during the last few days of my life, though at first there were struggles, and my features were distorted; but I learned, after my spirit had burst its barriers and was freed from its connection with the external body, that these were produced by it in its attempt to sever this connection, which in all cases is more or less difficult; the vital points of contact being suddenly broken by disease, the union in other portions of the system is necessarily severed with violence, but, as far as I have learned, without consciousness of pain.
Like many others, I found that I was unable to leave the form at once. I could feel myself gradually raised from my body, and in a dreamy, half-conscious state. It seemed as though I was not a united being --that I was separated into parts, and yet despite of this there seemed to be an indissoluble connecting link. My spirit was freed a short time after the organs of my physical body had entirely ceased to perform their functions.
My spiritual form was then united into one, and I was raised a short distance above the body, standing over it by what power I was unable to tell. I could see those who were in the room around me, and knew by what was going on that a considerable time must have elapsed since dissolution had taken place, and I presume I must have been for a time unconscious ; and this I find is a common experience, not, however, universal.
As consciousness returned to me, the scenes of my whole life seemed to move before me like a panorama; every act seemed as though it were drawn in life size and was really present: it was all there, down to the closing scenes. So rapidly did it pass, that I had little time for reflection. I seemed to be in a whirlpool of excitement; and then, just as suddenly as this panorama had been presented, it was withdrawn, and I was left without a thought of the past or future to contemplate my present condition.
I looked around me, and I thought, if there is a possibility of spirits (for I seemed half-conscious now that I was a spirit) manifesting themselves to those still in the form, how gladly would I now do so, and thereby inform my friends and others of my condition, at least as far as I understood it myself, which I confess was not very far.
Everything seemed to be in a whirl of motion ; scarcely had one desire come, before another was presented. I said to myself,
"Death is not so bad a thing after all, and I should like to see what that country is that I am going to, if I am a spirit."
I had heard the spiritualists say that the newly-born spirits were always received in the arms, and welcomed by kind and loving guardian spirits; finding none around me, for I had seen no spirit out of form yet, I concluded this was not true. Scarcely had this thought passed through my mind, when two, with whom I was unacquainted, but toward whom I was attracted, appeared before me.
They were men of intelligence, but like myself, had given no special attention to the higher principles of spirituality; they knew my name, although I did not reveal it, and they shook hands with me in a hail-fellow-well-met sort of way, that was very pleasant to me. They then conducted me from the room where I had died, and in which I had remained until this time.
Everything around me seemed shadowy. Yet through these shadows they conducted me to a place where there were a number of spirits assembled; these had been in spirit-life a longer time than I had. I might mention the names of some of these, but I prefer not to do so now. I remained in conversation with these spirits for some time, and then, without knowing why or how, I was attracted back to the place in which my spirit had separated itself from the form.
I then found that I must have been in their company much longer than I supposed, as, contrary to the experience of many whom I have since met, I did not attend my own funeral; and I would here remark, that it is generally gratifying to a spirit to do this, and where the body can be kept for some time, they gladly embrace the opportunity of attending on this ceremony, and listening to and aiding those who officiate on such occasions.