We often hear tales of going into the sky when we die to be with Jesus. We hear of being escorted by angels into the Master’s presence, there to have him open our eyes. But who believes these stories?
Until one hears one. Here is American journalist Julia Ames who died in 1892 and went to be with Jesus in the sky, accompanied by angels. Julia Ames is not a star-crossed reporter. She was practical and hard-nosed in her assessments. What happened to her was as much a surprise to her as it might be to us.
I should add here that I’m not saying that Julia’s enlightenment was as advanced as sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi or liberation from birth and death. It may have been only an introductory level of enlightenment like spiritual awakening. But, whatever level it was, it was actually given to her by Jesus.
We pick up with her story at the moment of her passing.
I’ll be publishing another, similar story tomorrow, taken from New Maps of Heaven.
From Julia [Julia T. Ames] through W.T. Stead, medium, After Death. A Personal Narrative. New York: George H. Doran, n.d.; c. 1914.
I found myself free from my body. It was such a strange new feeling. I was standing close to the bedside on which my body was lying; I saw everything in the room just as before I closed my eyes. I did not feel any pain in “dying”; I felt only a great calm and peace. Then I awoke and I was standing outside my old body in the room. There was no one there at first, just myself and my old body. At first I wondered [that] I was so strangely well. Then I saw that I had passed over.
I waited about a little; then the door opened and Mrs. H. came in. She was very sad; she addressed my poor body as if it was myself. I was standing looking at her, but all her thoughts were upon the poor old body I had left behind. It seemed so absurd I could not help laughing. I did not try to speak at first; I waited to see what would happen.
Then I felt as though a great warm flood of light had come into the room and I saw an angel. She, for at first she seemed to be a female, came to me and said –
“I am sent to teach you the laws of the new life.”
And, as I looked, she gently touched me and said: “We must go.”
Then I left the room and my poor old body, and passed out. It was so strange; the streets were full of spirits. I could see them as we passed; they seemed to be just like ourselves. My angel had wings; they were beautiful. She was all robed in white.
We went at first through the streets, then we went through the air, till we came to the place where we met friends who had passed on before.
There were Mr. M-, and Mrs. M-, and Ethel A-, and many others. They told me much about the spirit world. They said I must learn its laws and endeavour to be as useful as I could. The angel who remained with me all the time helped me to explain.
The spirit friends had their life much as it was here; they lived and loved, and if they had not to work for their daily bread, they had still plenty to do.
Then I began to be sad about you [probably to her friend, Ellen], and I wanted to go back; the angel took me swiftly through the air where I came from. When I entered the death-chamber, there lay my body. It was no longer of interest to me, but I was so grieved to see how you were all weeping over my worn-out clothes. I wished to speak to you. I saw you, darling, all wet with tears and I was so sad I could not cheer you. I very much wanted to speak and tell you how near I was to you, but I could not make you hear. I tried, but you took not notice. I said to the angel –
“Will it always be thus?”
She said: “Wait; the time will come when you will speak with her. But at present she cannot hear, neither can she understand.” (1)
When my Guide came he spoke to me in a very sweet, strong voice that had in it the confidence of the Invisible. And I was thrilled through and through with its note, which did not seem strange to me. Nor was this strange for he had often been with me in my earth-life, although I had never seen him. I recognized him as an old and familiar part of myself and this at first made me think that it was a woman. And, when he said, “Come!” I did not hesitate. There was, as it were, a natural response to what seemed as the prompting of your own conscience. That is often the case. We have all our guides. These angels, unknown and unseen to us, prompt us to all good actions and dissuade us from evil. They are with us in thought and we often receive their warnings as if they were the promptings of our own spirit. So they are; but the spirit which prompts is quite outside our own conscious self. (2)
When we were journeying I spoke little. My thoughts were busy and yet I was not conscious of even thinking, only of feeling and seeing, drinking in at every point new impressions. When we seemed to be arriving at a new world, I spoke. I asked my guide, “Where is this? Is it Heaven?” He replied, “Wait and see. You will find those there who will teach you what you want to know.”
The place was very pleasant to behold. The air was sweet and there was a delicious fragrance of flowers in June. The world – for it was a world we were approaching – seemed not unlike our old world, but it was different – there was nothing to jar. The sense of restful peace and contented love was everywhere. The place had a placid smile of tranquil joy. (3)
I found myself in a great expanse of landscape where I had never been before. I was alone; that is, I saw no one. But you are never really alone. We are always living in the presence of God. But I saw no one. Then I heard a voice. I only heard the words. ”Julia, He who saved thee would fain speak with thee.” I listened, but no words other than these were spoken.
Then I said – “Who is it that speaks?” And, behold, a flaming fire – really like fire though in human shape. I was afraid. Then he spoke and said, “Be not afraid. It is who am appointed to teach the secret things of God.” Then I saw that the brightness as of fire was only the brightness that comes from the radiant love of the Immortals.
Then the flame-bright One said to me, “Julia, behold your Saviour!” And when I looked I saw Him. He was sitting on a seat close to me, and He said, “Beloved, in My Father’s House are many mansions; here am I whom you have loved so long. I have prepared a place for you.”
And I said, “Where, oh, my Lord?” He smiled and, in the brightness of that smile, I saw the whole landscape change as the Alps change in the sunset, which I saw so often from the windows of my hotel at Lucerne. Then I saw that I was not alone, but all around and above were fair and loving forms, some of those whom I had known, others of whom I had heard, while some were strange. But all were friends and the air was full of love. And in the midst of all was He, my Lord and Saviour. He was as a Man among men. He was full of the wonderful sweet mildness which you are acquainted with in some of the pictures that have been painted by the Italian Fra Angelico. He had an admirable look of warm affection, which was as the very breath of life to my soul. He is with us always.
This is Heaven – to be with Him. You cannot understand how the consciousness of His presence makes the atmosphere of this world so different from that with you. There are many things I wish I could write to you, but I cannot, nor could you understand them. I can only tell you that He is more than we ever have imagined. He is the Source and Giver of all good gifts. All that we know of what is good and sweet and pure and noble and lovable are but faint reflections of the immensity of the glory that is His. And He loves us with such tender love!
Oh, Ellen, Ellen, you and I used to love each other with what seemed to us sometimes too deep and intense a love, but that at its very best was but the pale reflection of the love with which He loves us, which is marvelously and wonderfully great beyond all power of mind to describe. His name is Love; it is what He is – Love, Love, Love!
I cannot tell you everything; you could not understand it. But I am in a state of bliss such as we never imagined on earth. (4)
(1) All quotes are from Julia [Julia T. Ames] through W.T. Stead, medium, After Death. A Personal Narrative. New York: George H. Doran, n.d.; c. 1914. Pp. 41-44.