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By Mrs. Hewat McKenzie
Dr. Vivian affirms at once her belief in survival proved by means of psychic powers, in thiscase her own receptivity of written inspirational communications. Many years of personalinvestigation through other channels, that have provided her with much personal evidence,give her assurance and confidence in her own writings and contacts with a friend on the OtherSide, a soldier who, like so many others, caught up in your manhood, has been among themost successful bringers of news from the next world. They have assuredly not left theirfriends comfortless and have frequently, as in this case, described their new life andoccupations, giving us a sense of a real life and real surviving persons. We cannot haveenough of such experiences to enrich our conception of a future life.Those who expect news from the Other Side to have a religious flavour may be disappointedin this soldier’s communications, which are eminently practical. He reminds us that he andothers are for a considerable time after death very much themselves, and not angels. But hetells us of work voluntarily undertaken and of kindly service to needy souls, of study andexploration and of his many attempts to reach his friends on earth. His chosen job is a uniqueone. An animal lover when on earth, he found his attention drawn to bewildered dogs in spiritlife, bereft of their masters, and sick and sorry as they can be on earth. He made friends withthem, placed them in proper care, and even established a heavenly canine defense league ontheir behalf. And why not? There is good evidence for animal as for human survival, and if men and women can grieve at separation from earthly friends, so may sensitive and loveddogs.An interesting chapter on astral travel tells of the soldier’s efforts to bring his friend to hisnew land in her sleep state in her astral body; for such travel we have much evidence,although the memory may fail to record the experience on waking. He claims that in herwaking hours, when she lends herself to receive messages from him in writing, thesememories are revived and recorded. The Rev. George Vale Owen, who in several volumespublished similar communications: that in the sleep-state he had been over there andexperienced all that his hand subsequently recorded.Many questions that rise at once to the lips of inquirers were asked and answered in thecourse of Dr. Vivian’s writing, and at times prophecies on world events were volunteered.Though no infallibility was claimed, they proved correct, and there were prognostications,even against the mind of the psychic, of the parlous state of civilisation and the danger of war,the folly of which as a means of settling differences was constantly emphasised.Many who are not Spiritualists could enjoy this book; it is neither over-sentimental norplatitudinous, but conveys the sense of a robust personality who has taken the trouble to studyhis new life and to transmit as much as possible as much earthy folk can grasp of an existencein which neither a physical body nor material conditions play any part, but in which an activethought life, with powers almost unknown to us, holds the field. The lesson thecommunications enforce is that it is wise for us, while still in the physical body, to makeacquaintance with those who have gone on, who can give us this new knowledge so that wemay not arrive as bewildered travelers in our future dwelling-place. Only psychic powers canprovide the means of this instruction.