Well, like the proverbial bad penny, I'm back (for a moment, anyway). I've been reading, as usual... Nothing earth-shattering, I don't think. Though I did download a Kindle Prime book. It's turning out to be pretty good. (The mediocre books that I read go unmentioned.) It's "The Other Side: Wisdom about the Other Side From Those ON the Other Side," by Tony Stubbs. What Stubbs has done is something I've advocated: compile data from the old, channeled, forgotten books, most of which are in the public domain--sift through them, and see where the information falls. I can't totally suspend my disbelief with all of Stubbs' accounts--particularly at the Lawrence Of Arabia channelings--but I stumbled upon something that I can't really explain. Stubbs quotes liberally from a source named "Monsignor Benson." As I'm reading, I realize that I've read an almost identical description of the same phenomena in another book. I don't think that the authors copied each other (and although we can't rule it out, plagiarism was a bit more difficult to accomplish in the '60s and '70s).
The first phenomenon is water. Is there water in the afterlife? Apparently so, but it's not water as we think of it, but something else. And it has very specific physical properties.
Ever since reading "The Children That Time Forgot," I've been mulling over "Desmond's" detailed description of what he encountered in the afterworld... Specifically, water. Although Desmond is only three years old, he's quite descriptive about water in the afterlife, and how it differs from physical water:
Desmond’s explanation of the water was, ‘We didn’t have to swim because we didn’t sink and we never got wet.’ He went on to tell his mother that when he went into the water with his friends they used to ﬂoat on top of the water which seemed to support them and the drops of water just fell off them when they got out of the pool. ‘Sometimes we went underneath the water,’ said Desmond, ‘but it didn’t go in my mouth or my eyes.’ ‘The most incredible thing of all,’ says Dorothy, ‘is that Desmond told me that the water made some sort of sound like music.’ Her son had said, ‘The water played songs for us, Mummy, but not with words in them. When we picked up some water it went tinkle tinkle.’ Desmond said that as well as sounds, the water had colours in it ‘like little’ rainbows, but sometimes just one colour at a time.’ The water was described as being soft to the touch and did not penetrate clothes or objects. It just seemed to bounce off in drops and made its own way back to the pool. ‘When we got out of the water we were all dry straightaway without towels,’ said Desmond, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
--account by Desmond Sanderson in The Children That Time Forgot, Peter and Mary Harrison
"Monsignor Benson's" description of water is identical to Desmond's:
We followed a path that led for part of the way beside a brook, whose clear water sparkled in the light of the heavenly sun. As the water pursued its course it gave forth many musical notes that constantly changed and weaved themselves into a medley of the most dulcet sounds. We drew to the edge that I might look at it closer. It seemed to be almost like liquid crystal, and as the light caught it, it scintillated with all the colours of the rainbow. . . When I withdrew my hand from the brook, I found that the water flowed off in flashing drops, leaving it quite dry!And now another word about the water. It was as clear as crystal, and the light was reflected back in every ripple and tiny wave in almost dazzlingly bright colours. It was unbelievably soft to the touch, and its buoyancy was of the same nature as the atmosphere, that is to say, it supported whatever was on it, or in it. As it is impossible to fall here by accident, as one does on earth, so it is impossible to sink in the water.--"Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson," in Life In The World Unseen, Anthony Borgia
Both accounts of "water" in the afterlife are identical: a buoyant, inert, liquid-appearing substance that's a bit like mercury at room temperature, with a sufficiently high mass that it supports what's on it, without being "heavy"; it not only refracts light but also generates tones. Is there an analogous earthly substance that does this? Not that I'm aware of. But is it possible to hypothesize a physics that would explain such a substance? Maybe.
My second "ah ha" moment is another similarity that I can't explain at all, except to say that Monsignor Benson and Desmond are describing the same species of afterworld "tree," which is similar to the earthly plum, but which is used as a sort of medicine to treat those who have recently passed over from a long illness:
Our host led us into the orchard where I beheld many trees in a high state of cultivation, and in full fruit. He looked at me for a moment, and then he took us to a splendid tree that looked strongly like a plum tree. The fruit was perfect in shape, with a deep rich coloring, and it hung in great clusters. Our host picked some of it, and handed it to us, telling us that it would do us both good. The fruit was quite cool to the touch, and it was remarkably heavy for its size. . . Our host informed me that the particular type of plum which I had just eaten was one that he always recommends to people who have but newly arrived in spirit. It helps to restore the spirit, especially if the passing has been caused by illness.--Life In The World Unseen
Desmond said that he never got any sweets in his other home but he remembered eating fruit. ‘It was juicy and nice’ he said, and went on to describe what his mother thought must have been some kind of plum but bigger, and with no stone in the centre. He made an odd remark about the fruit when he told his mother, ‘Some of the sick people got fruit to make them better after they died.’--The Children That Time Forgot
Perhaps some enterprising researcher can find more to plumb in these dusty old accounts, which--unlike the modern ones--seem to be legitimate. In any case, I've found at least six Anthony Borgia books, and I plan to explore them.