The Worlds and I.
New York: George II Doran Company, c1918
FOREWORD TO CRITICS AND CLERGYMEN
Before you express your opinion too loudly regarding the last chapters of this book, the author respectfully suggests that you read the following editorial which appeared in the "Harbinger of Light."
"Communication is possible, but one must obey the laws, first finding out the conditions. I do not say it is easy, but it is possible; and I have conversed with my friends over yonder, just as I can converse with any one in this audience now."
SIR OLIVER LODGE.
"Only a few weeks ago a Captain Chaplain drew a pathetic picture of the deaths of some of 'the boys' at the front and comforted his hearers with the inspiring assurance that 'they had passed painlessly into the night from which no mortal has ever returned!' He is evidently another of the clergy who 'do not know.' As a matter of fact, the gallant souls referred to did not pass into 'night' at all--either painlessly or painfully! They passed into the spiritual DAWN, and as they gradually recovered consciousness the light around them increased, and, to their inexpressible joy, they eventually found themselves in an environment of translucent brightness. 'Night,' indeed, for such self-sacrificing heroes! Then, again, what authority, apart from Shakespeare, has this 'spiritual guide' for the assertion that these departed warriors cannot return? His Bible certainly contradicts him. A battalion of old Israelitish fighters returned when Elisha was hard pressed by his foes, and if they could return in those times, why cannot our brave lads return to-day?
"Samuel also returned and spoke to Saul; one of the old prophets returned and conversed with John; and at the time of the Cruxifixion the streets of Jerusalem with thronged with the so-called 'dead.' If these things could happen in the past, why cannot they happen in the present? Does God work by 'fits and starts,' or are His ways the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever?
"But independent of all Scriptural testimony, we know, on the authority of modern-day scientists and millions of other witnesses, that the return of the departed is an indisputable fact, and that, as Sir Oliver Lodge points out, if the 'conditions' are provided, they can converse with us, as spiritual intelligences conversed with mortals in olden days. Thousands of 'the boys' who lost their physical bodies on the battlefield of this world-wide war have returned to their homes and talked with their parents and friends. And the reunion has been so real that 'the blinds have been pulled up,' and a flood of soul-uplifting sunshine has dissipated the clouds of gloom. These facts are now becoming common knowledge, and are being shared by 'all sorts and conditions of men'--the majority of the clergy excepted!
"To put the question to a clergyman who has no knowledge of the PROOFS of survival supplied by the evidence of psychical research is tantamount to going to a butcher and asking him to solve a problem in electrical science! What does a butcher know about electrical voltage or the principle upon which the voltameter is constructed? And what does a clergyman know of the change called death, and what happens afterwards, if he has neither investigated personally, nor studies the amazing evidence which demonstrates beyond cavil that the dead do return and do communicate? In every other department of human inquiry, if we desire a solution of some abstruse problem, we instinctively consult an expert in the particular science or study involved. And why should not the same principle be followed in seeking knowledge of human survival and the interblending of spiritual and material worlds? We should go to those who KNOW--not to those who do not know.
"We would, therefore, advise all those who resort to their minister for information on the transcendent subject under discussion to ascertain the extent of his knowledge, and consequently his authority for the attitude he assumes. Let them ask him these questions:--
"1--Are you familiar with the experience and declarations of Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir William Crookes, Sir William Barrett, Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Professor Zollner, Professor Lombroso, Professor Richet, Professor Hyslop, Bishop Welldon, Archdeacon Wilberforce, Rev. Dr. Dearmer, Rev. Dr. F. Holmes-duddon, Rev. Dr. Norman Maclean, Archdeacon Colley, Rev. F. Fielding-Ould, M.A., Rev. Arthur Chambers, Rev. Chas. L. Tweedale, F.R.G.S., and a multitude of other authoritative investigators?
"2--Have you ever sat with a well developed medium, or in any other way personally investigated what are known as psychic or Spiritualistic phenomena? If the replies to these questions are in the negative--and they certainly will be in nine cases out of ten--it may very safely be assumed that the clergyman does not possess the necessary qualifications for expressing any opinion whatever on the subject. He may, however, express it all the same, but it should not be allowed to carry the slightest weight.
"Surely no exception can be taken to these terms! They are based upon reason and common sense, and should be accepted without demur."
I. The Little Days
II. First School Days and Early Pets
III. The Beginnings of Success
IV. "Maurine" and "Poems of Passion"
V. Two Amusing Near Romances
VI. The Compelling Lover
VII. Steps Up Spiritual Stairways
VIII. Life in Meriden
IX. New York
X. The Bungalow
XI. Little Efforts at Brotherhood
XII. Interesting People Met in New York
XIII. Lunatics I Have Known
XIV. A Royal Funeral
XV. Happy Memories of Well-Known People
XVI. The Battlefield of Love
XVII. High Lights on Places and Personalities Seen in Travel
XVIII. On Historic Ground
XIX. Hawaiian Queens and the Sultan of Java
XX. Marriage Customs and Polygamy
XXI. People, Abroad and at Home
XXII. The Beginning of the End
XXIII. The Search of a Soul in Sorrow
XXIV. The Keeping of the Promise
XXV. From France
A Pictorial Summary of the Life of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New York Times Book Review
March 16, 1919, p. 135.
The Worlds and I. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Illustrated. New York: George H. Doran Company. $3.50
There has been much that is interest-
ing in the life of Ella Wheeler Wil-
cox. Her childhood was spent on a far-
away farm in Wisconsin, and the family
was poor. Of formal education she had
little enough--for a little while she went
to "Madison University," she says, and
was unhappy and came home. She began
to write as a child, and her faith in her
own talent never wavered. She has wan-
dered pretty much about the world, al-
ways believing tremendously in herself
and always finding life interesting, always
working, too, very hard. She tells of all
this in a long, richly illustrated book,
which will without doubt find many read-
A characteristic bit in her autobiography
is the chapter in which she tells how she
wrote "Poems of Passion" and the flood
of censure that greeted that book. She
My knowledge of life was bounded by
visits to Madison and Milwaukee, Chi-
cago, and some lesser villages; and by
books I had read and letters I had re-
ceived from more or less intellectual
people. The works of Gautier, Dau-
det, Ouida, with a bit of Shakespeare,
Swinburne, and Byron. (I had never
possessed an entire volume of any of
these poets.) no doubt lent to my
vivid imagination and temperamental
nature the flame which produced the
censured verses. Were I to live my
life over, with the wisdom of years and
the knowledge of the world to start
with, I surely would not publish
"Poems of Passion." Yet looking
back across the years and realizing all
that has ensued since that day, I feel
that it was one of the stairs by which
I was ordained to climb out of ob-
scurity and poverty, through painfully
glaring and garish light, into a clearer
and higher atmosphere and a larger
world of usefulness.
It is interesting to note that with the
first proceeds of the book the author was
able to rebuild her old home, which had
been fast falling into decay.
The story of her romantic engagement
and happy marriage Mrs. Wilcox tells in
a good deal of detail. The last part of the
book is largely taken up with spiritualistic
experiences, which she narrates in arrest-
ing detail. She also tells of some of her
experiences in wartime in France.
The Worlds and I
The Invisible Helpers
The Voice of the Voiceless
Roads to God
To an Astrologer
Excerpts from Ella Wheeler Wilcox's Forum
Visit the Ella Wheeler Wilcox Society Web Site
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, American Poet & Journalist & Free Thinker by Richard A. Edwards
Ella Wheeler Wilcox Forum
The Rosicrucian Fellowship