Quite a bit going on, here. Two excellent guests have agreed to be on my new/old radio show, "Metaphysical Explorations," so that project is a "go." I also have a possible invitation to give a talk at a metaphysical center in New Hampshire (waiting for a call-back), and I've worked up a talk for that. I bought a projector online, and am waiting to practice a bit with it. I think I'll probably try to arrange a few more of these as time goes on.
Then, I've got three interviews coming up. The first is with Paul and Ben Eno, a father-and-son team of paranormal investigators with many years' experience. I caught Paul's presentation in Lynnfield, Mass. recently, and he knows his stuff. He's a very nice fellow, but he's put me on-notice that he's going to ask some tough questions. (This should be fun.) The other two interviews are definite, but I'm not going to announce them, just yet, for reasons I can explain later on. If you want to catch my interview with Paul and Ben, go to the main "Updates" page of this website, where I've given the particulars. (It's linked from the navigation bar on the home page.)
Now, something just occurred to me. I don't know whether Mathew ever saw it, which is supremely ironic. In fact, it's just sinking in, now, how ironic this is. I've explained, before, that Mathew would sometimes convey a secret message by quoting a line, but omitting that portion which was the real message. Either the truly relevant portion was in-between the ellipses, or it came afterwards, etc. It appears that Abby, knowing his technique, did the same thing on her tombstone. But I have to give a little background, first.
What you're seeing, above, is the epitaph on Abby's monument, which reads, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord." I had a very distinct past-life memory--long before I found evidence showing how plausible it is--that Mathew tied himself in mental knots trying to analyze this. Because it is oxymoronic on the face of it, inherently contradictory. If the dead are dead, then they can't be blessed. It makes absolutely no difference, if they are dead. All the dead are instantly equal, as soon as they are dead--if death means extinction. So it makes no difference whether they get brownie points for dying "in the Lord" (i.e., with faith) or not--if they're dead. And we have just said that they are.
Now, this seems like a pretty easy puzzle to unravel, but in the torment of grief, one can easily obsess about things--and that's what I remembered Mathew doing, because his faith in the afterlife was shaky. This, also, is precisely what one sees in "The Raven."
But just this morning I had the whim to Google this phrase, and I learned that it is from Revelations. We will quote the King James version, as that is most likely the one Abby would have used in 1841:
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Now, there are two ways to interpret the phrase, "their works do follow them." Translators of the Bible appear to have taken the interpretation that their good works, done in life, will follow them into heaven. The Contemporary English Version, for example, has given:
The Spirit answered, "Yes, they will rest from their hard work, and they will be rewarded for what they have done."
Another says "The results of their service go with them," and so-on. But what if Abby was speaking of her literary legacy? And, why do I say that? Look at the concluding lines from one of her first stories, entitled "Mary Mahony," which, despite the fact that it is about a poor Irish orphan girl, is strongly autobiographical in many respects:
Peace to her gentle spirit! It is good to know, unearthly as it was, that it shed peace and love upon the earth, and that its influences have never yet ceased being felt. For outward show the anniversary of that examination was kept a sacred day for years after in the school, but better far than this, deep in many and many a heart, a light is kept forever burning in memory of the dear, departed Mary Mahony.
It seems clear enough to me that Abby was psychic. Certainly, she had studied palm reading and astrology (and Mathew tested her faith in same, when she was in her early teens, and was tutoring him). I think she had a vision of her influence on the future. "Mary Mahony" would have been written when she was about 16--well before, as I believe, she helped Mathew write the original version of "A Christmas Carol." But she saw, clairvoyantly, how the "Carol" would affect the world--and she also knew that eventually, her name would become associated with it, when people learned who the real authors were. They would come to understand that it was through her that the spirituality embedded in that book had been channeled.
Maybe I'm just imagining it--but I don't think so. I think this brilliant, sensitive, deeply spiritual young woman could see the future impact of what she had left mankind.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Audio opening this page: from "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol"