February 1st, 1918.
Received by James Padgett.
I am here, Auguste Comte.
I am not one of those spirits who come to you and prate about the New Birth and the Divine Love and the Celestial Spheres, but am simply a spirit who believes what can be known from observation and the exercise of the reasoning faculties. I have been in spirit life for a great many years and am in a sphere of light and have much happiness and enjoy the life of an investigator of truth.
When on earth I was known as a free thinker and by some as an agnostic and consequently was not very popular, except among a number who thought as I did, and who were what was considered followers of me in my beliefs and doctrines as regards the purposes of man's creation and his functions and duties on earth. I believed and taught that the great duty and object of his creation were the exercise of good deeds and the offering of the greatest help to humanity in its living the life on earth. That humanitarianism was the great and vital religion of man on earth, and the only god to be worshipped was the god of human kindness and help, and that any and all other gods were the mere creatures of superstition and without real existence and of no benefit to mankind. There were a number of persons who believed and lived in that belief and endeavored to have it guide and control them in their course of living just as I did, and there are numbers on earth who believe and make such belief their religion.
I do not dispute the future existence of the soul, or that man should have a continuous progression during eternity, and finally reach a condition of happiness and perfection that would render unnecessary the application of the doctrines of humanitarianism that was so necessary while mortals. And I have found since coming to the spirit world that my beliefs and teachings are filled with truth and have resulted in great benefit to me and to numbers of others who carried out to the best of their ability the golden rule of doing unto others as they would have others do unto them. Many of my associates of life are with me here, and we have a comparatively joyous congregation of souls engaged in the work of helping spirits who come to the spirit world not knowing their destiny, or what is before them in the way of living or thinking.
When I came to this world, I entered the planes of darkness and some suffering, and had to work with all the efforts of my mind to make progress out of that condition, by the exercise of thoughts of benevolence and the doing of good to those spirits whom I found that I could help. My state of freedom from those things that partook of sin was what determined my progress and for a long time I made very slow advancement towards the higher planes of thought and condition of purity. But I realized that within me was that which was better than I had known or realized while on earth, and that if I should get rid of those things which kept that better part of me from developing, I would progress and so I struggled to get rid of these things and have myself become the master of the situation. I found that these contaminating things, which were really the creations of my mortal animal desires and appetites, were not a legitimate part of myself, and that I was not a true philosopher by permitting them to linger with me and for, to my deception, a part of myself - the undesirable part - and so I fought to banish them from my knowledge and recollections, and as I succeeded in these efforts I found that I was advancing in light and truth and in harmony with what was pure and good.
I did not ask the help of any mediator to rescue me from my condition of darkness in some mysterious way, or pray to God to take me from my surroundings by means of some omnipotent power that He might exercise in my behalf. I was helped by other spirits who had advanced higher than I, but that help consisted of their advice and the encouragement that came to me when I perceived by their bright appearances and happier conditions that it was possible for me to advance also, as they assured me that they had been in my condition, and that by good thoughts and their efforts to help others, they had been enabled to forget and throw aside those things that caused their state of darkness and suffering. Yes, their advice and influence helped me very much to help myself. I realized the fact that, notwithstanding the help of others, upon myself principally depended the success of effort and the success of advancement.
So, as a spirit who has had the experience that I have related, I would advise all men to examine themselves and learn what is the cause of their condition of darkness and unhappiness, and then seek the means of ridding themselves of this cause, and if they will honestly make the effort they will succeed and become better and happier men.
There is no question that the temptations of the animal appetites and desires to accumulate those things that bring to them selfishness and greed and the want of charity and human sympathy, will prevent them from progressing in the development of the better part of themselves and keep it stagnant and retard its advancement; and men should know this and bend all their energies to curb these appetites and replace these desires with desires to help and serve their fellow men, and let their sympathy and love go out in active works of good to their brothers, for all men are brothers, even in the mortal life though to many it may not be apparent; but in the spirit life it comes as a truth to all, for as each spirit becomes developed in his better part, spirits as a whole become developed, and a more universal happiness ensues.
Well, I have written a long time tonight and as this is the first time that I have ever tried to communicate to a mortal, I am some little tired as you mortals say, and will stop. When on earth I was known as Auguste Comte and lived in France. I have no name here and need none.
Well, I have heard what you said and am a little surprised to hear you make the assertion that you do, but I have no pride of superior or exclusive knowledge and while I doubt that you can demonstrate what you say, yet I am willing to have you make the experiment, and will enter it with an open and unprejudiced mind, and only hope that you may be able to show me a way better than the one I have pursued.
I have never seen or conversed with spirits of the Celestial Heavens, though I have been informed that there are such; but as, when on earth, I did not believe in ghosts, so here, I have not believed in these Celestial Spirits, and thought that they were merely creations of the distorted imaginations of the spirits who told me of the existence of these celestial beings. You must not be surprised when I ascribe to some of the spirits distorted imaginations, for there are many such spirits just as there are mortals on earth with distorted imaginations. The fact of being in the body does not confine distorted imaginations and diseased minds to the earth life only. Yes, I am ready to meet your celestial spirit.
There comes to me a beautiful, bright spirit, such as I have never seen before, who says that he has answered your call and is ready to perform the work of love of showing me the easier and better way to development, and it depends on me whether I will learn that way or not, and if I am willing, he will teach me. Well, I am surprised, I confess! I will go with him and learn all that he can teach me. I will come again.