Formerly employed in a Government office; died at Antwerp, in 1863, at eighty years of age.
A medium having inquired of his spirit-guide, a short time after this gentlemen’s decease, whether he could be evoked, received the following reply:
“This spirit is passing very slowly out of the state of confusion; it would be possible for him to answer your call, but it would be difficult and fatiguing for him to do so. You had better wait four days longer, when he will be ready to reply to you. Between this and that, he will have become aware of the kindly interest you have expressed for him, and he will come to you gratefully, and as a friend.”
Four days afterwards, the spirit in question dictated this communication:
Dear Friend, my earthly life was of slight importance, weighed in the scales of eternity; nevertheless, I am far from being unhappy. I am in the modest, but comparatively happy, position of one who, in the earthly life, did little wrong, and yet did not sufficiently aim at perfection. If people can be happy in a narrow sphere, I am of that number. I regret only one thing, which is, that I did not know what you know; my state of confusion would have been shorter and less painful. As it was, it caused me great suffering. Think what it must be to live, and yet not to live; to see your fleshly body, to be strongly bound to it, and yet to be unable to make use of it; to see those you love, and to feel that the mental action which unites you to them is becoming extinct – oh, what a terrible moment! How terrible to feel yourself stunned by an indefinable sensation that seizes and strangles you and, an instant afterwards, darkness! To be alive, and, the next moment, to feel yourself annihilated! You strive to regain the consciousness of your individual self, and you cannot grasp it; you no longer exist, and yet you feel that, nevertheless, you do exist, but in an abyss of confusion! And presently, after a lapse of time that you are unable to measure, a time of latent distress – for you no longer have the strength to feel it understandingly – after this lapse of time which seems to you interminable, to be slowly reborn into existence, to wake up in a new world! To no longer possess a material body, to no longer have part or lot in the earthly life; to feel that you are living the life of immortality! No longer to see about you men and women in heavy bodies of flesh, but to find yourself surrounded with the light and active forms of spirits, gliding beside you, and around you, in every direction, and in such numbers that your glance is unable to take them in; for they seem to fill the infinity of space in which they float! To see this infinity spread out before you, and to be able to transport yourself through it by the mere action of your will; to hold communion, by the mere action of your thought! Oh, friends, what a different life from that of the Earth! What a brilliant life! What a life of delight! Hail, hail to thee, Eternity that hast received me into thy bosom! Adieu, Earth that hast held me back so long from the native element of my soul! No, I want nothing more of thee, for thou art a land of exile, and thy greatest happiness is – nothing!
But if, before quitting the Earth, I had known what you know, how much easier and more pleasant would have been my initiation into this other life! I should have known, before dying, what I had to learn afterwards, at the moment of separation; and my soul would have accomplished its disengagement much more easily. You are on the right road, but never, no, never upon the Earth, can you fully understand to what that road is leading you! Say this to my son; but say it to him so often that he may be brought to believe it, and to learn; let him do this, and, when he comes into the world in which I am, we shall not be separated.
Farewell, friends, farewell to you all; I await your arrival here, and, while you remain upon the Earth, I shall often come to your meetings for enlightenment; for I do not yet know as much as is known by many among you. But I shall learn rapidly in this world where I have no longer any ties to hold me back, and where old age no longer weakens my faculties. Here, we live, and advance, largely and rapidly; for horizons ahead of us are so magnificent that we are impatient to reach them! And now I leave you my friends. Farewell, farewell! VAN DURST.