Study of Discarnate Life:
is a very big subject which Mr. Hodson studied from early on in his career as an occultist. Because he was
able to pass the barriers between life and death in full consciousness, and in the course of his work often
did that several times a day, he was uniquely positioned to explain many things which worry people concerning
survival of consciousness after the death of the physical body or the apparent loss of loved ones. In fact,
very early in his lecturing career, a member of the audience came up after his talk and said that she
recognized him by remembrance of a superphysical dream experience for having brought healing and explanation
to her from a family death. Mr. Hodson in this case had been working as an “Invisible Helper”. This sort of
assistance characterized a large part of his inner life’s work which was never seen or known about to his
listeners or the readers of his books.
He explains some of the issues
relating to how an occultist investigates the after-death world:
the conditions of discarnate existence may be made by means of clairvoyance and
enables the student to see the people and places, the scenery and non-human inhabitants of the emotional world
to which man passes after death.
permits him to receive information from such discarnate beings as, after careful scrutiny, he feels able to
investigations may be made whilst in the body, and in full possession of the physical faculties; there is no
need whatever for mediumship, conditions of trance or sleep. In fact, the student of occultism is most seriously
warned against any methods which demand the cessation of full consciousness and intellectual awareness in order
to obtain contact with the unseen…
after-death world contains many types of beings at all stages of development. There are discarnate as well as
incarnate tramps, thieves, robbers and cut-throats. Hosts of nature-spirits live there, and some of them are
full of mischief. They delight to deceive the unwary by playing the parts of discarnate humans. They derive
great amusement from the blind acceptance which their efforts at mimicry and play-acting frequently
pitfalls which beset those who pursue such methods are to be avoided, one must develop the power of examining
both the conditions and the people of the emotional world with the same detachment and impartiality as that with
which an explorer surveys a new country or a scientist examines a botanical or anatomical
understanding of any plane of Nature cannot be gained from the level of that plane….The emotional plane can only
be studied accurately from the level of the mental plane. The student must gain a measure of self-consciousness
in his mental body, and learn to use his mental means of cognition. Then he may investigate the planes below
with complete understanding, without being deceived by their ever-changing phenomena and mistaking a passing
temporary condition for a permanent characteristic.
level for all occult investigation of and work in the three lower worlds of form is that of the causal
error are impossible to the student whose consciousness is free at that level….
student of occultism approaches the question of the life after death in a strictly scientific attitude of mind.
He knows that no demonstrable proof of communication between the living and the so-called dead, which will
survive scientifically applied tests, can be given. Yet he believes in the life after death, and in the
possibility of communication between incarnate and discarnate beings…
What then is
the method of the occultist?
Briefly, it is
the development and use of his own innate powers of seership…Occultism teaches that every man (and woman) has a
vehicle of consciousness and appropriate organs of cognition by means of which he can enter and study the
invisible worlds and such intelligences as dwell therein; if he will awaken and use them, he may then apply
scientific tests to the problems of life after death and alleged spirit communication. The only satisfactory and
final test of their existence is that applied by the trained occultist. Using age-long knowledge and experience,
he unfolds and learns to use the necessary faculties. He awakens the latent seership, to which every man is
heir, and by its means is enabled to explore the regions beyond the portal of death.
This is not
the place to attempt a full statement of the results of such investigations…it may be said, however, that the
knowledge so gained places death in its rightful place as an incident which marks the translation of human
consciousness from one plane of manifestation to the another, and which differs from sleep only in that the
change is permanent. During sleep we temporarily enter the after-death world, and there we meet our departed
friends and relations whenever we choose. At death we join them permanently, until the time comes for us or them
to pass still further onwards to the next stage in the cycle of life and development.
At the end of
each life-cycle man withdraws from active manifested existence, and passes through a period in which all the
experiences and faculties, resulting from the cycle which has just closed, are converted into capacities and
character. When this process is complete a new cycle opens. Again he descends into manifested worlds, and is
born of woman, to complete once more a pilgrimage through matter, further developing the faculties he already
possesses, and at the same time acquiring new power and knowledge…
In the end all
lessons are learned, all powers unfolded, and all knowledge gained. Then the outgoing ceases, for there is no
longer need for experience in the flesh. New fields of evolution open up before the perfected man, higher peaks
are then to be climbed, wider powers to be attained, for these no earthly form is needed.
Hodson, G. The Science of
Seership, Rider & Co, London 1933, pp. 115 et seq
much human belief about death is grounded in superstition and ignorance. Even the traditional personification of
death itself as "the grim reaper" - a skeleton with a scythe - induces fear and apprehension in
people. If one were to explain that death is a natural cyclic process which opens a period of rest and
recuperation, many would be surprised. Even the devoutly religious who are anticipating something of a
heavenly state after death cannot be said to base that belief on anything other than faith. In this respect Mr.
Hodson was able to clarify and demystify many issues about death. Here for example is a clairvoyant
investigation that he made into the so called Angel of Death. Far from being an embodiment of fear, such
as "the grim reaper" the angel was actually a being of great love and compassion
that performs a most useful and protective function in the
transition of the newly dead to higher planes of consciousness:
“A great angel of a type entirely new to the author
appeared at the west end of the church. Although he was essentially an angel of love, and poured forth a special
quality of love and protection upon the discarnate, his external appearance was such as to make one think of the
Angel of Death. He appeared to be a representative of the great God of Death, whose mighty hand severs the
silver cord which binds the soul to the body during earth-life. His face was strong and awe-inspiring with its
inscrutable expression of power and mystery. He was dark green in colour and as tall as the body of the church.
He held the invisible congregation very closely within his consciousness and exercised a strong protective
influence upon them, so that no harm might come either to the living or to the dead. He stood motionless and
impassive, guarding… the insulation of the church from the outer world, and giving the impression of a huge,
dark green, living statue of the Angel of death.”
G, The Inner Side of Church
Worship, T.P.H. Adyar, 1930