Different Strokes|Apr 27, 2004 5:05 AM| by:

A Courier for the World Beyond

A gentleman of Florida, told by his doctor that he would die in a few weeks, announced his readiness to carry messages to the dead from the living ones.

Response to the announcement was quite enthusiastic. The living rushed to this messenger standing at the frontier of life and death. Someone sent a word of love that had remained unspoken to a dear departed; another made a query about a certain hidden treasure and requested his relative’s spirit to give a hint about it. A third one conveyed his repentance to his dead enemy, so on and so forth.

There are two major doctrines concerning life after death: the faith that there is rebirth and the assumption that one was born only once. The Floridian’s faith belongs to the second category. In other words, he is likely to throw himself into a world of spirits with a population far larger than that of the Earth. According to a calculation, more than 75,000,000,000 people had died during the last 600,000 years. Besides, if what the occult researchers and the Hindu Puranas say is correct, all the spirits do not dwell in the same plane. One’s Karma determines one’s situation and though a spirit of a higher plane can, if he cares to, contact another at a lower plane, the latter is not likely to be able to communicate with the former.

No, the kind-hearted Floridian courier’s job is not going to be easy. He should also ponder over the possibility of some of the addressees asking him to take back their responses to the living. Will he be able to oblige them?

The Holy Bible (St. Lukes) makes a poignant comment on the futility of such communications:

“There were six wealthy brothers who enjoyed life. At their gate sat a beggar. It so happened that one of the brothers and the beggar died at the same time. Tormented in hell, the wealthy happened to see the beggar blissfully resting in Abraham’s bosom. He pleaded with Abraham to let his good neighbour go back to the world of the living for a moment and warn his five brothers about the consequence of their sinful ways. But Abraham dismissed the request saying that if the people did not pay heed to the words of Moses and the prophets, there is no possibility of their paying attention to the beggar simply because he was a visitor from the domain of the dead!”

Man’s eagerness to communicate with the dead is as old as death itself. Death is the biggest jolt the mysteries of time and space conspire to mete out to man. “So near and yet so far!” We cry in many different words near the dead body. Or, dumb-founded, we exclaim, “How can a moment’s difference mean so much?”

              Up from Earth’s Centre, through the Seventh Gate
                      I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
                      And many Knots unravel’d by the Road;
                     But not the Knot of Human Death and Fate.
–        Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyam

One of the possible ways of making the Floridian’s spirit (once he is dead) deliver the replies from the addressees could be to call him through a séance. But that is not foolproof. This author knows of a weird session where the convener’s father, reported dead in the War, passed on several items of information through the medium each of which proved correct. What proved incorrect, a few days later, is the reported death of the said father.

Obviously the spirit that descended into the medium was a sort of freelance! That explains how people claim to have summoned the spirits of the illustrious dead. Why should these spirits, even if they had not incarnated again, be at the beck and call of a curious lot? It seems there are always hosts of tramps in the world of spirits eager to impersonate the VIPs.

All said and done, the amount of 20 dollar per message the Floridian is realizing may work as a tonic and his departure may be postponed to a date later than the departure of some of the senders of messages. Let us hope nobody would grudge him that much luck.

Manoj Das

(Manoj Das is an internationally known creative writer. He is the recipient of India’s national recognition, the Sahitya Akademi Award and the nation’s most prestigious literary award, the Saraswati Samman. As a social commentator, his columns in India’s national dailies like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Hindu and The Statesman, revealing the deeper truth and the untraced aspects behind current issues, have been highly appreciated.)

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