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Chapter 128 - The separation of the soul from the body at death.
128,1. At this, Mathael began to speak and his words were as follows: “Dear friends and brothers, I do not know how it came about that at times from my earliest days I could see spirits and could even talk to them. This was then also a major reason for me to enter the temple as I was told that within its walls the spirits who were often quite troublesome, would no longer have any influence over me, and that from that moment on I would also not see them. This now happened and the assessment was accurate in that when I dressed myself in the consecrated garments of the temple, my visions of these spirits stopped completely! How and why I can not say; but that is completely true and indisputable.
128,2. Although I had been freed from this plague by the walls and the raiment of the temple, the spirits still knew how to avenge themselves in another manner. My subsequent dreadful state of possession by a devil was surely a tragic consequence! Everything else is already known about my extremely unfortunate condition and I do not have to waste another single word in talking about it. However, I still remember some details of my former state when I saw spirits, and if I now give a few instances to you my new friends and brothers, I believe that at least on this occasion I shall serve you well even if in a small way.
128,3. When I was about seven or perhaps already eight years old, five people suddenly died of a epidemic like a plague. They were a neighbour’s wife, two of her elder daughters and two otherwise completely healthy young girls.
128,4. It was however strange that this unusual epidemic only killed otherwise very healthy adult women and young girls. When in the neighbour’s house the wife became ill, the two daughters and the two young girls having died on the previous day, the neighbour came to us full of despair and sorrow and implored us to help him, if at all possible, to save his wife’s life. My father, who owned a very fine property near Jerusalem and lived there most of the time, also acted as a doctor during emergencies and it was therefore for him a call of duty to respond to his unfortunate neighbour’s request. I was not allowed to stay at home as you will readily infer from the fact, that I often recommended quite good remedies to my father as the voices of my spirits often entrusted them to me.
128,5. My father was very confident that I would be joined by my spirits in the neighbour’s house, who would suggest a cure for the critically ill wife and so I was nolens volens ( if I wanted to or not) taken along. My father was not mistaken as I actually saw a number of spirits - certainly a mixture of good and bad. This time however there was no recommendation of a healing remedy and a great spirit wearing light grey pleated clothing, said to me, when I passed on the request from my father for a cure: ‘Look at this woman who has passed away! Her soul is already hovering above her chest cavity, which is the usual way the soul exits the body!’
128,6. I now looked more closely at the dying person. From the pit of the chest a white vapour arose, continued to expand above the chest and also became increasingly more intense; but I could not detect any human form. When I looked at it quizzically, the large, light grey spirit said to me: ‘Just observe how the soul is departing from its earthly dwelling for ever!’ I said, however: ‘Why is it that this departing soul has no shape while all of you who are also souls have very proper human images?’ The spirit said: ‘Just wait a moment; when the soul has left the body completely it will gather itself together properly and will then become quite beautiful and agreeable to look upon!’
128,7. As I watched the vapour continue to spread and thicken above the patient’s chest cavity, the body was still alive and groaned now and then, just like someone who is troubled by a bad dream. After about a quarter of a Roman hour, the vapour cloud, about the size of a twelve year old girl, hovered about two hand-spans above the body of the dying woman, only connected to the chest by a finger-thick column of vapour. The column was of a reddish colour and now and then it would suddenly become longer and then shorten itself again. However after each of these lengthening and shortening cycles, the vapour column became thinner and the body twisted by visibly painful convulsions.
128,8. After about two hours in Roman time, the column of vapour freed itself completely from the chest cavity and at the lower end it looked like a plant with a fibrous root. At the moment the vapour column became completely separate from the chest and I observed two phenomena. Firstly, the end of the body’s death throes and secondly, the instant transmutation of the very white vapour cloud into the easily recognisable image of the neighbour’s wife. She was immediately shrouded in a white, pleated shift, greeted all the friendly spirits who were present, but also clearly asked where she now was and what had happened to her. She was also quite astonished to see the pleasant surroundings which she was now enjoying.
128,9. As I could see nothing of these surroundings. I asked my large light-grey spirit where they were to be seen. The spirit replied: ‘You can not see them from your own body because they are merely a figment of the life-time imagination of the person who has passed away and will only gradually assume a greaterr and more permanent reality!’ I was discouraged by these words and the spirit then started to speak in a tongue completely foreign to me. He must however have made a pleasant comment to the unfettered soul because there was a happy look on her face.
128,10. It seemed odd to me, that this free soul was apparently unconcerned about the fate of her earlier body and began immediately to converse quite fluently with the spirits - but everything was in a very foreign tongue. After a while the two daughters as well as the two hand-maidens who had died were led to her, greeting their former mother/mistress in a most friendly way but not in a manner which indicated that the ones were her two daughters and the others her former maidservants, rather giving the impression of a meeting ofgenuine, good friends and sisters. All of this took place in a foreign tongue completely incomprehensible to me. However, no one appeared to be at all concerned about their former bodies, which were certainly being honourably cared for, and it also seemed that they could not see any of us who remained behind as mortals.
128,11. Although it was strange that the soul of the dying woman, immediately after its exit from her body, could still express its amazement about the beautiful surroundings in the Hebrew language but afterwards when she had, so to speak, collected her thoughts and concentrated her mind once more, she made use of a language which, according to my poor knowledge, is not spoken in the whole world by any of its mortal inhabitants.
128,12. I therefore turned again to my light grey spirit and asked him: ‘What are the five new arrivals in your kingdom discussing and what tongue are they using?’
128,13. The light grey one responded: ‘What a inquisitive boy you are! They are talking in this specific language of the spirit world because you are present and they do not wish you to eavesdrop. They are aware, and rightly so, that you are here as someone who can see and converse with the spiritual side of his body just like a Burmese from the mountains of India. They also know and sense that their bodies are still here but they are as unconcerned as you would be about having discarded some old very ragged clothing. You could now show them all the kingdoms on this earth and offer them the prospect of completely healthy lives for a thousand years, but they would still never return to their bodies! However, the conversation they are having would not be understandable to you even if it was in your own tongue because they can now see at this very moment that the great promised Saviour is already present in this physical world, even if only as a tender child. When you are a man, you will recognize Him in Galilee.’
128,14. This was all the information which the light grey spirit quite courteously and generously imparted to me. That was certainly a very thought-provoking occasion which impressed me, a boy at that time, just as deeply and vividly as I see you all now to be. That the light grey spirit did not tell me a single untruth is proved by the fact that I have now truly found You, My Lord, here and now in Galilee, just as that spirit told me I would.
128,15. I would just like to have a little explanation of the reason why the soul, at the moment when it takes flight, emerges as a vapour from the chest cavity and why it does no appear as a fully developed human form. - Lord, with Your loving grace and supreme mastery of all aspects of life, could You give us an explanation?”
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