A Journey in Other Worlds
Doctor Cortlandt Sees His Grave
"Is it not distasteful to you," Cortlandt asked, "to live so near these loathsome dragons?"
"Not in the least," replied the spirit. "They affect us no more than the smallest micro-
organism, for we see both with equal clearness. Since we are not obliged to breathe, they
cannot injure us; and, besides, they serve to illustrate the working of God's laws, and
there is beauty in everything for those that have the senses required for perceiving it. A
feature of the spiritual world is, that it does not interfere with the natural, and the natural,
except through faith, is not aware of its presence."
"Then why," asked Cortlandt, "was it necessary for the Almighty to bring your souls to
Saturn, since there would have been no overcrowding if you had remained on the earth?"
"That," replied the spirit, "was part of His wisdom; for the spirit, being able at once to
look back into the natural world, if in it, would be troubled at the mistakes and
tribulations of his friends. Now, as a rule, before a spirit can return to earth, his or her
relatives and friends have also died; or, if he can return before that happens, he is so
advanced that he sees the ulterior purpose, and therefore the wisdom of God's ways, and
is not distressed thereby. Lastly, as their expanding senses grew, it would be painful for
the blessed and condemned spirits to be together. Therefore we are brought here, where
God reveals Himself to us more and more, and the flight of the other souls--those
unhappy ones--does not cease till they reach Cassandra."
"Can the souls on Cassandra also leave it in time and roam at will?" asked Cortlandt.
"I have seen none of them myself in my journeys to other planets; but as the sun shines
upon the just and the unjust, and there is no exception to Nature's laws, I can reply that in
time they do, and with equal powers their incentive to roam would be greater; for we are
drawn together by common sympathy and pure, requited love, while they are mutually
repelled. Of course, some obtain a measure of freedom before the rest, and these naturally
roam the farthest, and the more they see and the farther they go, the stronger becomes
their abhorrence for everything they meet."
"Cannot you spirits help us, and the mortals now on earth, to escape this fate?"
"The greatest hope for your bodies and souls lies in the communion with those that have
passed through death; for the least of them can tell you more than the wisest man on
earth; and could you all come or send representatives to the multitudes here who cannot
as yet return to you, but few on earth would be so quixotically sinful as to refuse our
advice. Since, however, the greatest good comes to men from the learning that they make
an effort to secure, it is for you to strive to reach us, who can act as go-betweens from
God to you."