Life and Marriage in Spirit Life

by Prof. George Bush

The two worlds the spiritual and the material are like twin sisters whom I have seen, so similar that their acquaintances could not distinguish between them, and yet so dissimilar that an intimate friend would wonder why one should ever be mistaken for the other.

I propose to give a short account of the society and conditions of life in the spiritual spheres.

The Swedenborgian Society of which I was a member while on earth, continues to exist as a body in the spirit world, though Swedenborg, the great seer and founder of that sect, is not a leader among them. He has his country seat in Swedenborgia, a beautiful and intellectual settlement named after him, where he retires within himself, and directs his great mind in developing his science of correspondences, which he proposes to arrange so systematically that it will become a part of the teachings of earth's children.

It was never his design to become the leader of a sect, but his desire was simply to reveal like a telescope that which was unknown. He is deeply interested in the political condition of Sweden, Norway, and Germany, and exerts his vast intellect towards emancipating the minds of those nations from the bondage of church and state.

It is curious to witness with what fidelity Swedenborg described in many instances the condition of the soul after death; and also to perceive in other instances how utterly he misinterpreted the visions presented.

Such discrepancies are incidental to all clairvoyant states; and this is not surprising, for it is incidental to humanity.

Man sees clearly when the prejudices of education and the influence of his loves do not pervert his vision.

What political economist, strongly biased in favor of one mode of government, can contemplate dispassionately an opposing form?

The theological belief which Swedenborg imbibed in his early youth, tinctured his description of the heavens and hells of the spirit world, causing him to represent the soul as reaching a period in its love of evil when it cannot retrace its steps. The hells of the spirit are similar to the hells of earth, being like them the result of the ignorance and perverted loves of animal man.

What hell more fearful than the hell of licentiousness? Yet it is merely the animal side of the heaven of love.

Swedenborg discovered hells in spiritual existence, where the inmates lived lives of prostitution. His statement concerning such hells is true. Individuals who have lived such lives upon earth cannot suddenly be transformed. Their habits become spiritual diseases with them.

Now, as to marriage, the mere form does not make the wife different from the courtezan, but her love exalts her above that condition. If she be united to a man who is repulsive to her nature, and yet submits to his embraces for the considerations of family, or home, or public opinion, she is on the same plane with the courtezan.

It is a proposition generally believed, that there is a soul-mate for every human being, and it is usually supposed that in the spirit world those mates are found, and that those united there live together inseparably. But as there exists in the spirit world the same states, the same variety of progressive development among men and women as in this world, so unions are formed there in which one soul develops beyond the capacity of the other, and in such cases changes must ensue.

I will now speak of marriages more in detail.

In the summer land the union of the man with the woman occurs from very similar causes to those which bring about like unions upon earth the man is drawn to the woman and the woman to the man through the operation of a natural law. If instinct were not so impaired by the cultivation of the external faculties, there would arise but little difficulty on earth in selecting partners adapted to each other. Considerations of wealth and position are permitted to influence your selections rather than the idea of congeniality and adaptability.

In spirit life this method is reversed, and the marriages formed there are productive of greater happiness than those among men in the first condition of life.

But as I have stated, marriage in the spirit world is not an indissoluble bond. Some minds associate together in harmony and expand in the same direction, and with these the union is permanent. I have seen such in the spirit world, beautiful and noble souls intertwined and aspiring together.

There be others whose states and conditions after a time become changed. Such seek new companions, and this is permitted without discredit to the individuals.

Many forms of marriage ceremonies are extant in the different societies and countries. Garlands of flowers and symphonies of divine music are bestowed upon the bride and groom. Bright bands of spirits from the celestial heavens attend them, for they represent in their love and in their wedded joy the harmonies of nature!

While they love, sin, sorrow, darkness, and all evils shrink from sight.

From these spiritual marriages are born soul attributes. Human beings are never generated in the second condition; they need what is known as the material world for their nurture and growth; and yet I understand that in some of the more refined spiritual existences births have occurred. The beings born there are indigenous not generated by earth parents, but offspring of those refined conditions.

I know not of this as a fact; yet if we take the old Jewish Bible as a history, we find an analogous statement there in the assertion that Christ was born of God in a spiritual state of existence previous to entering this earth plane.

Spirit soils and atmosphere interblend and produce trees, shrubs, flowers, and the cereals, but the human being, after the second birth, ceases to reproduce his species. His children are thoughts born of the spirit. After birth succeeds death. The soul passes through many stages of existence in the process of refinement. The next state of existence to the material, I term the spiritual, and the one beyond that the celestial, and beyond that the seraphic.

In the next state, to which I in common with all men who have not passed some hundreds of years in the spirit world belong, individuals pass through a condition analogous to death upon the earth.

Spiritual bodies are subject to a process of refinement and decay; and the soul, as the winged butterfly to which it is likened, throws off its cerement and assumes a new form.

But with us the transmigration is not veiled in darkness and mystery as with you. We can watch the transformation; we can see the spirit emerge from its old casement more ethereal than ourselves, but still visible; and we can hold communion with it.

So slight is this change with us that your mediums seldom touch upon the fact.

Spirit is inseparable from matter, and can give neither form nor expression without it.

The Great Invisible Creator of the Universe must have thought of trees, flowers, beasts, birds, fish, and the wonderful exhibitions of form through the vast realm of matter, previous to their existence.

But he had to give them shape in matter perishable but re-creative matter; and if the Master-mind of all cannot express his thought otherwise than with this ever changing, yet ever reconstructing thing called matter, how can the human soul manifest but through a spiritualized condition of matter, ever changing yet ever re-creating and refining, mounting higher and higher, from the earthly to the spiritual, from the spiritual-to the celestial, ontill finally reaches Deity himself!