Once again I'm up early, but this time I only have a commemorative date, and no Update writing itself in my head, at all. I have the feeling my astral wife, Abby, wants me to write about this...but I am reluctant to share, because it's personal.
Some years ago, as we were attempting to establish telepathic (or empathic) communication, she impressed on me that, as Mathew Franklin Whittier, I had proposed to her on May Day, 1836. There were a few elements of that impression that subsequently proved out in the historical record. I felt it took place by moonlight; there was, in fact, a full moon on that night. She told me we had walked to the bank of a large, nearby river, and I subsequently found a humorous poem by Mathew, describing a proposal with a similar excursion (including moonlight). So this is typical of much of my evidence--not the "knock your socks" off variety, but the cumulative variety.
Mathew continued to grieve for Abby for many years, even after having been talked into an ill-advised, arranged second marriage a year after Abby's death from "consumption." So sometimes on May Day, he would write a poem. In 1850, nine years after Abby's death, he wrote of his undying love, and of her contacts in spirit visitation dreams. I don't think I'll share that, today (as I might with an audience who was more supportive). I think I'll try a logical exercise, instead, by sharing someone else's poetry on the same theme. This one came earlier; for all I know, it inspired Mathew's. In any case, during this period of his life (having separated from his second wife), he appears to have begun attempting the very thing I'm doing now, i.e., what I call a "cross-dimensional relationship." He was not the only one; but the reason I bring it up in this logical fashion, is that, presumably, this is one of the things which people use to dismiss my entire study out-of-hand. According to philosophical materialism, this has to be crazy; but more importantly, according to what Society agrees is real, this has to be crazy. And Society, without ever having examined it, simply accepts a "pop" version of philosophical materialism, labeling it "Science." But this is "Scientism," not Science.
So, what do we know from popular culture? Popular culture is what your school textbooks said was real; combined with what your friends said was cool. We'll use that as our working definition. By that measure, "we know" that spirit visitation dreams are imagination; and we also know that Ralph Waldo Emerson was a great and logical man.
Are you with me, so far?
We also know, that if there was a great and logical man in history, the professors he had in college who mentored him, must have been even greater and more logical. At least, we can assume they were no less so.
Still with me?
Now, I want you to read an excerpt of an online article. I would simply link to it, but I don't use live links in this blog. If this quote is too long, then you are "et up" with Modern Attention Deficit Disorder, and being thus afflicted, you aren't mentally competent to complete this exercise. Good luck to you. All the rest of you, please read the following:
Few men have left deeper traces of their moral and intellectual excellence in the memory of their contemporaries than Mr. Frisbie. In the collegiate circle in which he moved, he was the object of universal confidence and affection. He united a classic taste with great acuteness of intellect and soundness of judgment; and with a mind highly gifted and highly cultivated, rich in the powers of conversation and research, he regulated his life by a standard of moral and religious principle exquisitely pure and elevated.
Writing many years later, Quincy also said of Frisbie:
He had lost the use of his eyes for purposes of study, but the clearness and condensation of his thought, as well as the exquisite finish of the language in which it was conveyed, showed that his mind had not suffered from the deprivation.
Samuel Gilman, another of Frisbie's former students, wrote:
In 1817 Levi Frisbie, a name dear to the scholars of his own generation,...was transferred to the new chair of Alford Professor of Moral Philosophy, which, for five years preceding his death, he adorned with a felicity of analysis, and a charm of eloquence, rarely surpassed.
In recognition of his reputation as a scholar, Frisbie was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
To what extent was Frisbie Emerson's mentor at Harvard? The evidence is circumstantial, yet strong and convincing, that Frisbie was instrumental in Emerson's intellectual development. Ralph L. Rusk writes of Emerson:
Essays and themes were to him the most exciting academic exercises. But the study of philosophy, though Dugald Stewart's elementary philosophy and William Paley's moral philosophy were required texts in both junior and senior years, could stir him. He was even enthusiastic about Stewart's success in making a textbook glamorous and was struck by what he regarded as the Scot's brilliant promise of effects that were to follow from the new analysis of the human mind.
By way of citation, the above was taken from the website:
It is an excerpt from an article entitled "Ralph Waldo Emerson's Mentor at Harvard: Professor Levi Frisbie, Jr.," by Gerald F. Vaughn.
That is kind of interesting in itself, because the woman--possibly, a distant Whittier relative--whom Mathew's family tricked him into remarrying, probably sight-unseen, was named Jane Vaughn. She was from St. John, Canada. I don't know if the author is any relation.
Note that this historian says that circumstantial evidence (the kind my study is primarly based upon) can be "strong and convincing."
So at any rate, we have some idea, from this article, who Prof. Frisbie was, and how deeply he was respected in his time. Now I want to share with you a poem written by Prof. Frisbie.
Dream. To ***
Stay, stay, sweet vision, do not leave me--
Soft sleep, still o'er my senses reign;
Stay, loveliest phantom, still deceive me;
Ah! let me dream that dream again.
Thy head was on my shoulder leaning;
Thy hand in mine was gently pressed;
Thine eyes so soft and full of meaning,
Were bent on me and I was blest.
No word was spoken: all was feeling,
The silent transport of the heart;
The tear that o’er thy cheek was stealing;
Told what words could n’er impart.
And could this be but mere illusion?
Could fancy all so real seem?
Here fancy’s scenes are wild confusion--
And can it be I did but dream.
I’m sure I felt thy forehead pressing,
Thy very breath stole o’er my cheek:
I’m sure I saw those eyes confessing
What thy tongue could never speak.
Ah! no, ’t is gone, and never
Mine such waking bliss can be;
Oh I would sleep, would sleep for ever,
Could I thus but dream of thee.
What is the skeptical mind's go-to explanation? Suppose you could enter a meditative state right now, the instant you have read Prof. Frisbie's poem. What would you see your mind do? I have this ability--you could develop it, too, if you practiced it. It's very useful.
I can only speak for myself, but where my own skeptical mind would take it--in the flash of an instant--would be, "Well, every great man is entitled to a few mistakes. He was blind, he probably missed his wife, and everybody indulges in fantasy. Basically, it's a high-toned poem about a wet dream."
But if you read the poem closely, that would be irrational. His own skeptical mind questions it, but clearly he is describing an actual experience; and he knows, as surely as he can trust anything he has ever experienced in life to be real, that this was real. For another thing, he names the woman; so either this is someone he has known in life, or he has named her, himself (more likely the former).
The version of the poem I first discovered, in a newspaper that Mathew often submitted to, was unsigned. I strongly suspect, given Mathew's MO, that he had sent it to the editor, himself. It had been subtly modified so as to be stronger on the belief side, though I doubt Mathew had done it. He was always scrupulous about attributions, so probably he found this one already in the revised form. Not having the internet as I do, today, and with the poem unsigned, he would simply have been unaware that it was originally written by Prof. Frisbie.
But if you study the after-death literature, you will see that there is plenty of strong evidence for after-death contacts being real,* and that, in fact, they are quite commonly reported. Thus, this was almost certainly a real contact, presumably with his late wife, or failing that, with his soul-mate in the astral realm. The problem is that people of this materialistic age think they already know, but what they are actually doing, is explaining things away, applying reductionistic logic, and going into denial when faced with evidence contrary to their world view.
There is a vast field of progress for mankind, outside of the material, and beyond the thralldom of technology. My view of technology is that it amounts to using gadgets to approximate what the mind, in its fully-developed state, can do without them. Think about what technology does for us--everything in communications will someday be done by the mind, alone. Everything in medicine. Relying so heavily on gadgets, in other words, is the sign of an immature civilization.
Did you read my previous Update, in which I briefly mention attending a yoga retreat led by yogi Baba Hari Dass, in 1974? I neglected to mention another example of his psychic abilities. He was teaching the group, or answering a question, about relationships--presumably, whether to remain celibate or to marry. He commented, by writing on his chalk board (so that a disciple then read it out loud): "You can marry the shakti without, or the shakti within." Shakti is the female principle, and by this he meant that a man could choose to consciously integrate his own inner anima, rather than to physically marry. Suddenly he turned and looked straight at me. In my memory, it seems I was some distance away from him at that time--just close enough that I could hear his words being read out. I don't think I was close enough to hear the question. His expression was very odd--like he was seeing something strange, which he didn't entirely approve of.
I really think he was seeing my future relationship with Abby; but as a yogi, trained to strict celibacy and Hinduism, it may be that relationships with spirits were known, but generally frowned upon. I think it simply shows that he was at a level of development far beyond what we take to be normal; but he was not, after all, at a stage of omniscience, so he did not pick up on the fact that we are soul-mates. He just saw a man attempting to marry a spirit. Meanwhile, I feel that my Guru, Meher Baba, is not only supportive, but actually facilitated our finding each other. At any rate, I found Abby not long after giving the issue of marriage entirely up to my Guru's discretion, when such a possibility was the furthest thing from my mind.
The following anecdote was the least of what happened during the three days of that retreat; but I had proof of Baba Hari Dass's psychic abilities. I was lying down to sleep in my sleeping bag, when I began to pray to him, as it were, or to think of him reverently. Immediately, an image of his face began to form quite tangibly in my mind's eye, in the forehead chakra. It formed from one side to the other--left-to-right, I think it was--about the size of a pendant. I got scared, and it vanished when it was half-way formed.
This experience cuts through all the pro-and-con discussion about whether PSI phenomena are real. They are real, alright. I may not be able to prove it to you, because you can accuse me of lying, or of imagining it. But after experiencing that, I can no longer pretend, with you, that they might be real, and they might not be real. This is what my skeptical friend wanted me to do with him, recently. If only I would agree that I don't, actually know. To him, asserting that I know was an unscientific attitude. But it would only be an unscientific attitude for him. In other words, it would be unscientific for me to pretend I don't know; and it would be unscientific for him to pretend that he knows. But he had no logical right to foist his uncertainty on me.
Nevermind. I think I'm not getting through to anybody...
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*In my book, I provide some objective evidence that the one visitation dream I have had with Abby, was real. Immediately after waking from the dream, I downloaded 13 portraits of young women from Google, using keywords "woman, portrait" (as I recall), which I felt especially resembled, in one regard or another, the woman I met in the dream. Later, when I obtained what I have shown, through a proponderance of the evidence, is almost certainly Abby's historical miniature portrait, I was able to compare the images I had earlier downloaded with that portrait. The resemblance is, I feel, well beyond chance. I discovered the portrait, not looking for something which matched the images, but based on its artist, Ruth Whittier Shute. She was a cousin of Mathew's who, I reasoned, could very easily have done Mathew and Abby's portrait as a personal favor. There are a relatively small number of unidentified portraits by Mrs. Shute which are logistically possible for Abby (probably around five or six), which can be found online. Only this one looks particularly like the downloaded portraits. Dr. & Mrs. Shute's style was primitive until her husband died; but when she began doing the work by herself, her style became considerably more realistic and less primitive (making a positive ID that much easier). As with my discovery of Mathew's portrait, it was actually a friend who found Abby's portrait for me. Abby's appearance could later be triangulated with a statue from the 1851 World's Fair, which Mathew clearly suggested, in a poem, had reminded him vividly of her. Over time, there were several pieces of evidence I could bring to bear on confirming the identity of Abby's miniature, including that there is a mention of one being done of Mathew, which Abby kept in her possession and showed once to his sister--that simply means that if one was done of him, very likely one was done of her at the same time. There were also verbal descriptions of her in other poems, and clues in various humorous sketches and short stories. Whittier biographies only mention that she was "attractive."
Music opening this page: "I'll Stay With You" by Billy Goodrum, from the album, "Weightless"