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Message    1 · 2 · 3 · 4


Padgett was once a pupil of Professor Salyards,
now the tables are reversed

February 8, 1916


I am here, your old Professor.

Well, my dear boy, I often think of the wonder of it all, this experience of writing in this way. Sometimes my mind returns to the days when you were my dear pupil, and I think how wholly we were in want of any conception that such a thing as this could be. I can’t tell you how glad and thankful I am that we came in contact with each other. I will frankly and assuredly say that, if I had never met you, I doubt if I would have had the privilege of meeting such spirits as your mother and grandmother and of having received the benefits of their advice and the influence of their love, as well as the companionship of your father and Mr. Riddle.

I often think of how a mere accident as your coming to my school should have brought about such momentous results. So, my boy, keep up your good work and you will find a wonderful happiness when you come over. I have been watching the many messages that you have received and I have been much interested in the variety of the subject matter and the number and difference in the spirits who have written. You seem to have received messages from spirits of all ages and from all nationalities, and I am pleased to see that these messages were mostly of a higher order of communication. I was interested in the messages from the prophets and also those from the apostles and saints, and in them I saw that there were many spiritual truths disclosed. It is wonderful that you should get such corroboration of these truths from spirits who have had such a wide difference in experiences in the spirit world.

So, I say, we all love you very much, and you must believe in us and know that we are with you and have more power than you may think to help you in your work. I have written enough, so my dear boy, I will say goodnight.

Your brother and friend,
Prof. Salyards    

Message    1 · 2 · 3 · 4


Professor Salyards describes his entry into
the spirit world and his spiritual progression

December 18, 1914


I am here, Prof. Salyards.

I want to tell you of some of my experiences in spirit life and I wish that you would let me speak first of my regeneration and birth into the higher sphere where I am now living. Your mother is the chief cause of my progression as she first showed me the way to God’s love. I was, as you may know, not a very spiritual man when on earth, but thought that man only needed a great intellect in order to enjoy the blessings of the spirit life. I was not what might be called a “great sinner” as I lived a tolerably good moral life, which you may know from your experiences with me while you were at school under my instruction. I had no idea that something more than mere intellectual acquirements were needed in order to enjoy the happiness that God had provided for those who were willing to receive all the blessings in store for them.

After I ascended to the spirit world, I found that my intellectual and moral qualifications did not make me very happy, although I enjoyed comparative happiness in the pursuit of knowledge and the investigation of those intellectual questions that appealed to my higher desires. I soon commenced to see that I had something more to acquire than mere knowledge of spiritual laws and the things that appealed to the intellect that all who are of a practical inclination deem sufficient for self-satisfaction.

I began to study these things and have advanced very much in my knowledge of them. I have succeeded in writing a poem that gives me great satisfaction and makes me think that I am really a poet. Since I have progressed to the higher spheres, where love rules and intellect is a mere subordinate medium of true happiness, I find that while my acquirement in the particulars mentioned is desirable and affords much enjoyment and delight to my mind, yet my true happiness is with the possession and knowledge that I have the love of God in my soul.

So, you see, mere intellect or moral qualities are not the important thing for a spirit who wants to possess and enjoy the greatest happiness. Keep this in mind in your earthly life, and when you come over you will find that many things will appear easy to comprehend that otherwise you may have had to search for in darkness and doubt.

I will write you sometime when we have more time and will also tell you the results of my investigation of the spirit life, but not tonight as I am tired and so are you.

Yes, I am really Professor Salyards who is writing and you must believe me, or I will feel hurt.

Your old professor and friend,
Joseph Salyards    

Message    1 · 2 · 3 · 4


The various experiences of spirits when they arrive in the spirit world

February 25, 1915


I am here, Prof. Salyards.

I am very happy and desire to write you on some of the phases of the spirit life that I have observed in my experience of progressing.

I have noticed that when a spirit first comes into this life, it is very often in a condition of darkness, not realizing where it is or what its surroundings are. In many instances, it requires quite a long time for the spirit to realize that it is not still of the earth. I attribute this to the fact that, when on earth, the mortal had no definite belief as to what the future life might be, and in many instances believed that the soul went into the grave with the body to await the great resurrection day.

Some of your religious denominations are preaching that doctrine now, and the consequence will be that all those who believe the doctrine will experience the condition of darkness and the want of knowledge of the continuity of life that I have spoken of.

The other class of spirits are those who appear to realize immediately that they have passed from earth to the spirit life. They are those who, while on earth, believed that when the spirit left the body it passed immediately into heaven or into the opposite, I mean the place of the wicked.

As soon as the spirits realize fully that they are no longer of earth, they commence to inquire as to where they are, and many of them ask questions that indicate that they are disappointed in not realizing the expectations that they had while on earth. It is very difficult at times to convince them that there are no such places as the heavens and the hells as taught by the churches that they expect to find are not here. Some, on the other hand, do not seem to understand that they have really left the earth, because they say, “If we had left the earth life, we would know nothing,” quoting the Bible, “The dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5).

I have observed these different phases of belief and thoughts that show me the absolute necessity of mortals understanding the truths pertaining to life and death. This affords a very strong argument why Spiritualism should be more extensively and earnestly taught, and why the false doctrines of those who teach either that the dead know nothing, or that the departed spirit goes either to heaven or to hell in the orthodox sense, should be shown to be not only a false belief, but an injurious one.

Let the believers and teachers of Spiritualism make greater and stronger efforts to refute these harmful teachings, and they will be doing the cause of truth and happiness a great good. I am not only interested in these phases, but in all others that show that the spirits, even after they realize they are still alive and must live as spirits, continue to ignore the fact that their orthodox teachings are false.

Some say that they may yet be able to go back into the body and await the great resurrection day for deliverance. They say they will soon see God, and he will take them into heaven where they will find that eternal rest and peace they were taught to expect when on earth. Even the wicked will dread to have some devil come and carry them to the hells where torture of the most terrible kind awaits them, so they think.

Now, from all this you may understand that we spirits who know the truth have a great work to do to enable these darkened spirits to understand and believe that their false hopes and dreadful fears have no foundation in truth and will never be realized. Many spirits are engaged in doing this work and these spirits are not necessarily of the higher kind, for many spirits who occupy the lower planes and have no real spiritual enlightenment are also engaged in this work.

I am not involved in causing these dark spirits to see the truth, for I have progressed to higher things. My mission is to teach the truths of the higher life that I have been taught to me by spirits who live in higher spheres. This work is one that is not only interesting but gives me the great happiness that comes with the realization that I have been the means of leading a spirit to learn to love God and to receive the happiness that the love of God gives to spirits. I tell you that this teaching is the grandest that I have ever engaged in in all my life.

When on earth, as I taught and saw the young mind develop, I found much happiness in the knowledge that I was doing some good, but here, in my teachings, when I see a soul develop, I realize that I am doing a spirit the greatest of all good.

My work is not confined entirely to this teaching. I also am engaged in trying to assist mortals to a true conception of life here; I mean the spiritual part of this life. No human is entirely without spirit influence, whether good or evil. Many are susceptible to the influence of the evil spirits and for that reason the work of the good spirits is so much more difficult. The advantage, though, with the good influences, is that what they suggest is truth that will never die, while the suggestions of the evil influences last only for a comparatively short time.

When the material gives up the spirit being that it clothes, that being will then be relieved of many of these natural tendencies to evil thoughts and deeds. While this mere separation does not make a devil a saint, it makes it so much easier for the spirit to get rid of many of these evil tendencies and makes him more susceptible to the influence of truth and goodness.

You must not think from this that as soon as they have been in the spirit world for a little time they become good spirits, for that is not true. Many evil spirits have been in the spirit world for a great many years, and yet still have their evil thoughts and desires and all the evil qualities of hatred, malice, envy, etc., as when they were on earth. Their giving up the earth life did not deprive them of their will, the greatest force or power that God gave to man, except that of love. Many of these spirits refuse to exercise their will in a way that will enable them to rid themselves of these evil thoughts and desires.

Let me stop now, as I am tired and you need to rest. So with all my love and best wishes, I am your old professor.

Joseph H. Salyards

Message    1 · 2 · 3 · 4


The laws that govern the spirit world

April 13, 1915


I am here, Prof. Salyards.

I will endeavor to write you my thoughts on what spirits know about the laws of the spirit world after they have been in that world for a short time.

As you know, I have been here for a comparatively short time, and while my studies have been to a considerable extent in these laws, yet, I find that I have limited knowledge of the same and much of my information has been gathered from other spirits who have lived here a great many years and have devoted their study and investigation to these laws.

I first want to say that no spirit, by the mere fact of having recently made his advent to this world, has received any greater knowledge than he had when on earth. My knowledge of spiritual laws when on earth was not very extensive, and I found when I came into the spirit world that I did not know much more than I did before I came. Such is the experience of every spirit. As I continued to investigate these matters, I discovered that my capacity for learning was greatly increased, and that my mind was more plastic and received this knowledge more easily than when I was a mortal. This is largely due to the fact that the brain, I mean the mortal brain, is, when compared to what you might call the “spirit mind”, a thing of much inferior quality and not so capable of learning the cause and effect of phenomena. I am now undergoing a course of study that will, I have no doubt, give me wonderful information of these laws, so that ultimately I may become what you mortals might call a “learned man”.

The first and, to me, most important law that I have learned is that man continues to live in the spirit world without his earthly body. This great law, while to you and to many others is well-known and an established fact, was not known to me, as I had never had any experience in Spiritualism and had never given any study to the subject. When I arrived in the spirit world, I learned that this law is one of God’s truths, and that it is fixed and will never change, for all will survive the change of so-called “death”.

The next great law that I learned is the law of compensation. No man can of his own power make his condition or position in the spirit world just what and where he would have it be. This is another fixed truth, and one that many spirits do not fully comprehend, for they think, or so express themselves, that all they have to do is to exercise a little will power they can move from certain conditions. But this is not true, for the law controlling this matter never has any exceptions in its operation.

A mortal or spirit can, in a way, determine what its destiny may be, but, once he has passed over he cannot, by the exercise of that will, change that fixed condition until the law of compensation has been satisfied. Even then, the change is not brought about by the exercise of his will, but by the operation of the law releasing him from the memories and recollections that hold him to the conditions that his earth life has placed him in. So, when men think that they, by the exercise of their own will, can release themselves from a condition that they have made for themselves, they are mistaken.

Of course, while a mortal or spirit cannot by the exercise of his will change his condition, yet, in order to secure that change, the will has to be exercised. This is because the help that comes from without is absolutely necessary to cause the change, and that will not come unless man exercises his will in the way of desiring and asking for this help. So let not man think that he is his own savior, because he is not. If the help did not come from without, he would never be saved from the condition that he finds himself in when he enters the spirit world.

You hear in your spirit circles and read in the publications about Spiritualism that progression is a law of the spirit world. That is true, but it does not mean that a spirit, by the mere fact of being in the spirit world, necessarily progresses, either mentally or spiritually. This is not so, many spirits who have been here for years are in no better condition than when they first became spirits. All progress depends upon the help that comes from outside the mind or soul of the spirit. Of course, when this help comes, he has to cooperate, but without this help there would be nothing with which to cooperate, and no progress could possibly be made. If a man depends upon his own powers exclusively, he will never progress.

Another law of the spirit world is that when a spirit once commences to progress, that progress increases in geometrical progression, as we used to say when teaching on earth. Just as soon as the light breaks into a man’s soul or mind, and he commences to see that there is a way for him to reach higher things and to expand either his mind or soul, he will find that his desire to progress will increase as that progression continues. With that desire will come help in such abundance that it will be limited only by the desire of the spirit. His resolve will then become a great force in his success in progressing and work in conjunction with the help that calls it into operation.

This progression may be illustrated by the history of the snowball that started rolling from the top of a hill. As it continues its descent, not only does its velocity increase, but also it continually enlarges its form and body by the outside snow attaching itself to the ball. So it is with the mind or soul of a spirit: as it ascends, it becomes more rapid in its flight.

So, you see that the great problem is to make the start. This principle will apply to mortals as well as to spirits because, if the start is made on earth, the mere fact of becoming a spirit will not halt or in any way interfere with the progress of the soul of that spirit. Of course, this means that a correct start be made. If the start be a false one or based on things other than the truth, instead of progress continuing when the man becomes a spirit, there may have to be a retracing of the way and the making of a new start in order to get on the right road.

This applies to the progress of the mind as well as to the progress of the soul. The mind of a mortal learns many things that seem to that mind to be the truth, and which, in its opinion, must lead to progress and greater knowledge. When the earth life gives way to the spirit life, that mind may find that its basis of knowledge was all wrong, and that to continue in the way that it had been moving would lead to increased error, and, consequently, a new start must be made.

Frequently, the retracing of that mind over the course that it had followed and the elimination of errors that it had embraced are more difficult and take a longer time to accomplish than does the learning of the truth after the mind makes the correct start.

Sometimes, the mind of great learning, according to earthly standards, is more harmful, and retards the progress of the mind of man in the ways and acquirements of truth. That is, as you might say, a blank mind, that is, one without preconceived ideas of what the truth is on a particular subject. This unfortunate experience exists to a greater extent in matters pertaining to religion than to any other matters because the ideas and convictions that are taught and possessed of these religious matters affect innumerably more mortals than do ideas and convictions in reference to any other matters.

A spirit who is filled with erroneous beliefs that may have been taught from mortal childhood and fostered and fed upon until he becomes a spirit, is, of all the inhabitants of this world, the most difficult to teach and convince of the truths pertaining to religious matters. It is much easier to teach the agnostic, or even the atheist, of these truths, than the hide-bound believer in the dogmas and creeds of the church.

There is another law that enables spirits to become, by the mere operation of their natural affections and love, pure and free from the consequences and evils of their mortal lives. This does not mean that the law of compensation does not operate to the fullest, and that it does not demand to the last farthing, for such is the exactness in the operation of this law and no spirit is released from its penalties until it has been satisfied.

As you (Padgett) believe, and as many other mortals believe, a man’s punishment for the sins committed on earth are inflicted by his conscience and memories. There is no special punishment inflicted by God on any particular man; the law of punishment operates alike on everyone.

When a spirit first enters the spirit life it does not necessarily feel the scourging of these memories, and this is the reason why you will so often hear the spirit who has recently left his mortal life assure his friends or sorrowing relatives at the public séances that he is very happy. But, after a little while, the memory commences to work, and as the soul is awakened, it then never ceases until the penalties are paid. I don’t mean that the spirit is, necessarily, continuously in a condition of torment, but substantially so, and relief does not come until these memories cease their awful lashings. Some spirits live here a great number of years before they receive this relief, while others more quickly obtain it.

The greatest cause that operates to relieve these spirits of these memories is love. I now mean the natural love, and this love embraces many qualities, such as remorse, sorrow, and the desire to make amends for injuries done. Until a spirit’s own love is awakened, none of these feelings will come to him. He cannot possibly feel remorse or regret or the desire to atone until love, no matter how slight, comes into his heart. He may not realize just what the cause of these feelings are, but it is love just the same.

As these various feelings operate, and he acts in accordance with them, a memory here and a memory there will leave him, never to return. As these memories in turn leave, his sufferings become less, and after awhile, when they have all left, he becomes free from the law, and it, as to him, becomes extinct. Now, it must be understood that this is not a work of quick operation, for it may be years - long, weary years of suffering - before the spirit becomes free, and, becomes a spirit without sin or these memories. This is the way the great law of compensation is satisfied: it cannot be avoided, all its demands must be met until sin and error is eradicated, and the soul is returned to a pure state.

This gradual release from these penalties does not mean that a spirit is progressing in his journey to the higher and brighter spheres because even without this torture and torment he may still remain stationary as to the development of his higher nature, mental and moral. When he has been relieved of these sufferings, he is then in a condition to start towards the progression that I have spoken of.

As you are tired, I will stop now, and I will write to you again. With all my love, I am your true friend and professor.

Joseph H. Salyards