Sherwood, T E Lawrence: Post Mortem Journal

#1
I wonder if anyone here has read this book?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Post-Mortem-Journal-Communications-Lawrence-mediumship/dp/1846041996

I watched a TV documentary last night about British motorcycles. There was an interesting and fairly extended section on T E Lawrence (of Arabia) and his love of motorcycles - which, of course, resulted in his early demise. It reminded me of one the first books I ever read about life after death: the book linked above.

I don't have it now but I found a PDF (although I don't think it contains the whole text). The content is supposedly channeled by Jane Sherwood and depicts the immediate afterlife experiences of Lawrence starting with his fatal accident. I'll paste some snippets here.
 
#2
From the beginning of the book:

A shattering blow, darkness rent with interludes of throbbing agony and finally merciful cessation of pain; nothingness.

Out of the void came first a mere point of self awareness, lost and found again and spreading gradually into an indefinite impression of being; a sensation of neither darkness nor light, an uneasy greyness filled with growing apprehension. Soon I should need to drag myself out of this numbing stupor, to find out where I was and what was happening in this waste of greyness. But having flickered, consciousness went out again and I slept.



All my known and familiar world was gone and if this was a nightmare I still had to abide the awakening. The startling impression that this was death became insistent, but if I had to accept that idea what became of my conviction that death ended it all? For I was certainly alive, if you could call it living, and it even appeared that my surroundings were taking on more substance and I myself more vitality. So any expectation that this was just a particularly persistent nightmare became unlikely. I felt my body; firm flesh. How odd! I tried to speak but only a throttled ghost of a sound came forth. I arose and walked and realised afresh how light and resilient my limbs felt.
 
#3
Here's a fascinating section on some rather surprising advice from his (Lawrence's) spiritual guide.

‘You have lived a monk-like existence and my advice to you is to go and experiment with all the experiences you missed on earth. Go on a proper spree. Don’t tell yourself that you are too fastidious and don’t want to. Deep down you both want to and need to. Unless you can release some of the forbidden desires the amount of stored and dangerous emotion will constantly overset your equilibrium and keep you in a state of turmoil. Hence my advice to you to open the safety valves.’



I do not propose to detail all my hesitations and doubts nor my struggle with diffidence and life-long inhibitions. The monk and the prig in me were very strong, but I found at last a companion who was minded to follow the same course and he took me to various haunts of his. ‘These girls,’ he said, ‘are not prostitutes or anything like it; they are women who have missed sexual experiences during their earth life and need to work out this lack before they can progress, just as we do. So we are all in the same boat and start equal. You will find some lovely people here.’
 
#4
And a few home truths need to be faced.

‘That I am afraid, is a symptom of another trouble of yours,’ he went on. ‘We now have to work at a great weight of distrust and resentment of your kind which is making a dark centre in your being. You need to mix more freely with people and to like them more. You will find this easier here than on earth because on this plane you will meet only congenial people. They have all reached a comparable standard of development.’

Here an objection and withdrawal in my mind jumped the gap between us like an electric spark and he smiled at me in understanding.

‘Yes’ he said, ‘Your big difficulty is a scorn of slowness and impatience of mediocrity and, if you will forgive me, a really horrible feeling of superiority to most of the pleasant and ordinary people you are meeting here. They cannot avoid recognising your reaction to them and so they keep away from you. Now how are we to get that right? I think you really feel that you ought to be able to find and meet the great people of the past whom you would perhaps regard as your equals, but my dear fellow, you are not yet fit to come near them. Look at yourself!’

I looked. Either I saw myself through his eyes or in some kind of immaterial mirror, but this is what I saw: shafts of keen blue light struggling to issue from a core of dark and muddied colour - a tumult of angry, murky shadow at the centre and as a response to his merciless criticism angry dartings of red flying off from it. It was not a pretty sight.

‘You see,’ he said gently ‘we have to clear all that before you are ready to go on.’
The shock broke me down. All my pride and unconfessed arrogance were shattered. I saw myself as less worthy than the least of these to whom I had been condescending and they must have seen it and known it as clearly as I was doing. At this crisis I fought one of my hardest battles. I subdued the angry response and begged Mitchell to go on helping me and to deal mercilessly with the faults he saw in me. A great flood of affection, warm and healing came from him to me as he replied.

‘Thank you for taking it like that. I knew you were big enough to stand the treatment.’
 
#5
This is probably part of the life review recounted by many others.

3. Sowing And Reaping

A good deal of suffering is caused among us by the memories of our past which continually recur to remind us of mistakes or crimes. It seems that an earth consciousness can tolerate the thought of wrong-doing and find excuses from it which ease the mind; one can learn to live with one’s mistakes and can be satisfied to cover up one’s crimes. Here we have to know and feel more keenly the things we have done; we can no longer ignore the point of view of the man we have injured and we have actually to experience what he felt in the matter as though we had ourselves been the sufferer. On earth, most of us lack the imagination to do this or we might be held back from many of the blindly ruthless actions we do. Imagination now takes a more poignant form; we have intimately to experience the other’s suffering.

This is the longest and most painful part of our progress. How to think rightly or what in our ignorance and hardness of heart we have done amiss; how to reconcile ourselves to the wounds we have dealt others and now have to feel in our own being? This is the new aspect of wrongdoing which we have to face, for inasmuch as I have injured another I now have to suffer his pain. It is really an illustration of the solidarity of mankind and proof that every deed affects the whole as well as the part.
 
#6
Continuing the theme of the previous post, the following is a section that stayed with me all of these years and is probably the only part of the book I remembered.

I myself am tormented particularly by an incident of my war years. It caused me infinite distress at the time, but now the agony of realisation I am enduring is in proportion to my keener powers of feeling. During guerrilla warfare in the desert I had thought it my duty to condemn a man for conduct likely to imperil the campaign. Justice demanded, I thought, that if I passed sentence I must carry it out myself. So, under the pretext of military necessity, I murdered that man. Moreover, I bungled the job and so protracted his suffering. Although at the time I could see no other course, I know now that my poverty of imagination and resource drove me to this. Now I have to endure all that I did to him; not only the physical suffering – the smallest part of it – but I have to know his despair and remorse and awful blow to pride and affection inflicted by my condemnation.

My first overpowering impulse was to go in search of him and make what reparation I could but Mitchell has checked me and shown me that there is no solution that way.

‘Even if you could find him and could ease your own present hurt you would still fail to undo the past,’ he said. I groaned and admitted that he was right. After silence, Mitchell continued: ‘You caused the suffering the extent of which you now know for the first time. This is your share of that suffering. Because you are capable of keen feeling your share may well be the greater. Can you accept this as the consequence of a wrong train of events set going at a moment of your earthly life by this man and carried on to a wrong conclusion by you? Pick up this cross, this consequence, and carry it willingly. It is yours; you made it.’

It seemed to me at that moment that I could not bear it, but I approved Mitchell’s dealings with me. He admitted no excuse and suggested no palliative. He made me take the full weight of it and at the same time gave me confidence in my power to carry it. There was virtue in that. Not all at once but little by little. I find my pain is decreasing. Mitchell said to me: ‘Thank God you have no worse crimes to cope with. Will you think with compassion of what is in store for major wrong-doers?

Even if at first they are so hardened by crime that they can bear to stay in places where, because of the kind of company they keep they can bear to live with themselves, yet sooner or later the process of purification will begin and they will have to come here. Then their future progress will inevitably bring them face to face with their crimes in this painful and inescapable form. What about the justice of God now?’
 
#7
Interesting stuff. A few years ago I visited T E Lawrence's house, it's a fascinating place. There were accounts for some time after his death of a ghostly motorcycle heard on the road outside.
 
#8
Interesting stuff. A few years ago I visited T E Lawrence's house, it's a fascinating place. There were accounts for some time after his death of a ghostly motorcycle heard on the road outside.
It is only a few miles from my home and I've never visited it. I must make a plan to do so before I emigrate.
 
#10
This is probably part of the life review recounted by many others.
It's not often we find channelled material from this period (1964) or even at all, sounding like the experiences we read from NDErs.
Certainly I agree this mirrors what we now know as a 'life review' which became world famous with Raymond Moody's pioneering book Life After Life in 1975.
If the Sherwood channelling had come after the Moody book then it could be claimed to simply be cashing in on those ideas.
Some of Lawrence's reliving of the pain he inflicted on others, sounds horrendous and long lasting and almost akin to the hell-like punishment doled out to wrongdoers as taught by some religions.
I would have thought a quick burst of pain might be sufficient for us to realise our errors, which when all is said and done, are probably mostly part of a learning process we are told is the purpose of our life on the earth.
As for the catching up on missed-out sexual adventures...well maybe that's the honey to sweeten the bad medicine!
 
#11
I think the idea is not to realise our errors, but to realise that we are not separate. If we hit our thumb with a hammer, it hurts. If we do the same to someone else, we don't feel a thing. But the idea that we are separate is the illusion which is being revealed, and then the consequences are not a punishment or anything like that, but just a result of us doing something to ourself in the first place.
 
#12
It's not often we find channelled material from this period (1964) or even at all, sounding like the experiences we read from NDErs.
Certainly I agree this mirrors what we now know as a 'life review' which became world famous with Raymond Moody's pioneering book Life After Life in 1975.
If the Sherwood channelling had come after the Moody book then it could be claimed to simply be cashing in on those ideas.
Some of Lawrence's reliving of the pain he inflicted on others, sounds horrendous and long lasting and almost akin to the hell-like punishment doled out to wrongdoers as taught by some religions.
I would have thought a quick burst of pain might be sufficient for us to realise our errors, which when all is said and done, are probably mostly part of a learning process we are told is the purpose of our life on the earth.
As for the catching up on missed-out sexual adventures...well maybe that's the honey to sweeten the bad medicine!
Reading on a little it becomes clear that Lawrence considers himself to be cast into some kind of shady Hades from which he needs to progress into the light.

Suppose for the sake of argument that this was death; what kind of world was this? I thought with a pang of ‘Sheol’, a place of the Shade. It was that, all right. Had Charon already rowed me over the dark river and was this the accursed Hades? If so, the Greeks had been right after all, as they nearly always were. My thought seemed as bound by shadows as my surroundings. All life and living was reduced to a monochrome. No sound, no movement, no light, no joy: only a dreary acquiescence in this half-light, half-living. A grievous lassitude invaded me. Existence, endurance: endurance, existence. How much better to have flickered out for good!

How long this weary experience lasted I cannot guess. Weeks? Months? I walked about. I sat. I experimented with my new powers of motion. I even began to make recognisable sounds and either I had got use to my conditions or my sight was sharpening for my vision was clearing. Moreover, the cloud of depression and despair had begun to lift from my mind and a desire for action began to stir. But what to do in this desert?
And later ...

Time is passing over and it is already some years in earth reckoning since I came here. The unrestricted flow of our time, freed from the exterior standards of day and night, winter and summer, is difficult to measure, but I know that the process of purification is a lengthy one. It cannot be hurried or carried out to any schedule because the material from the past comes to the surface of consciousness in it own time and cannot be dealt with until this happens. I shall stay here with Mitchell as long as he advised it and indeed I am not anxious to go on until I have gained more control and confidence. Joys and sorrows are balanced here. It is sometimes a giddy exchange since both have a poignancy which I cannot hope to describe and the drop from the heights to the depths rocks the mind to its foundations. But Mitchell assures us that the storms will pass and we shall attain equilibrium in a deeper and more permanent happiness than we can as yet imagine. Looking at him, we know that this must be true.
And later still, as he has progressed further away from the dismal regions ...

In addition to this continuing interest, other activities now claim some of my time. I have succeeded in finding a few of my old friends. As Mitchell helped me, so I am able in my turn to help them to adjust to this new world. There are sorrowful occasions when I have to admit that my help is for the time being useless and that they must be left to work their way upward in their own time. I have found out how to get back to the dreary regions where once I was lost and now and again I am able to guide a wanderer to a better place. Not that all souls have to pass through this Hades as I did; many are better prepared and come straight through to the light.

Toleration of these lower conditions is hard for me, however, and my endurance of them is short-lived. Living in the pure air and brightness of this sphere it is harder than ever to endure the murk and gloom. I have made a few returns and effected a few rescues, but now I have left this work to those who are more practised in it and am following my real interest, a continuation of my life-long concern with the Arabs and their life.
 
#13
It is interesting stuff, Kamarling. Thanks.

I'm not sure how close this is to the published copy, but there is a pdf online:

http://www.innerworlddesigns.com/circle/book12/pdf/Jane Sherwood - Post Mortem Journal.pdf

--

On a comment note, this account of the "afterlife" is very consistent with a lot of the material from OBE folks who are talented enough to reach these "regions" and interact with folks they have often identified as having relinquished their "physical" body.

You can see from this likely incomplete bibliography that a surprising amount had been published on the OBE before the Lawrence channelling.

http://obebibliography.info/cases.htm

I would imagine that we may find some hints of this "form" of the afterlife in some of these books. I don't say that to take away from the Lawrence stuff, which I find fascinating. Just to say that I think bits and pieces of what Lawrence is saying here could likely be found in a combination of books from the spiritualists (of which there are hundreds) , theosophy and the OBE writers.
 
#14
It is interesting stuff, Kamarling. Thanks.

I'm not sure how close this is to the published copy, but there is a pdf online:

http://www.innerworlddesigns.com/circle/book12/pdf/Jane Sherwood - Post Mortem Journal.pdf

--

On a comment note, this account of the "afterlife" is very consistent with a lot of the material from OBE folks who are talented enough to reach these "regions" and interact with folks they have often identified as having relinquished their "physical" body.

You can see from this likely incomplete bibliography that a surprising amount had been published on the OBE before the Lawrence channelling.

http://obebibliography.info/cases.htm

I would imagine that we may find some hints of this "form" of the afterlife in some of these books. I don't say that to take away from the Lawrence stuff, which I find fascinating. Just to say that I think bits and pieces of what Lawrence is saying here could likely be found in a combination of books from the spiritualists (of which there are hundreds) , theosophy and the OBE writers.

Yes indeed, that's the PDF I'm copying the text excerpts from.

The account is also similar in many ways to much of the channeled material that came after it. The Seth material had sections describing arriving in the afterlife, some being guided from the "lower" realms, everyone having to experience the harm they caused (and joy they gave) to others. It does open our eyes to the possibility that we may not follow a stereotypical NDE transition. I've read other accounts where people have been unaware that they had made that transition - some in an afterlife plane and others stumbling around the Earth plane, wondering why nobody is taking any notice of them. Others still know they are dead but choose to hang around to say goodbye - often attending their own funeral. I have a friend who swears he saw his father mingling with the mourners at his own funeral.
 
#15
Yes indeed, that's the PDF I'm copying the text excerpts from.

The account is also similar in many ways to much of the channeled material that came after it. The Seth material had sections describing arriving in the afterlife, some being guided from the "lower" realms, everyone having to experience the harm they caused (and joy they gave) to others. It does open our eyes to the possibility that we may not follow a stereotypical NDE transition. I've read other accounts where people have been unaware that they had made that transition - some in an afterlife plane and others stumbling around the Earth plane, wondering why nobody is taking any notice of them. Others still know they are dead but choose to hang around to say goodbye - often attending their own funeral. I have a friend who swears he saw his father mingling with the mourners at his own funeral.
I once wrote a quite eloquent post where I summed up my feelings on the NDE, that I think (as you mention above) the NDE is the actually just the transition and, if required, decompression chamber of sorts. I wouldn't think of the NDE as the final destination in any sense.

I kind of ended up in a funny place after my last great immersion in this material. (Now a couple of years back.) I think this stuff is all great. But it is so tied in with our culture. The Vikings don't fit very well here. Or aboriginal people. They have their own afterlife spaces. So it almost seems like another "created space", kind of like this "physical" existence. This modern conception of the afterlife seems to have its own rules and its own spaces kind of mapped out. I find that frustrating in a way. Like, how do non-human entities transition? Meaning extra-terrestrials or other-dimensionals? After a while the afterlife just kind of felt like another sand-box we had to kick around in. I'm more curious about who is building these sandboxes, and why? And where do they hang out? Seth presents some ideas with his world-maker creator stories. So many questions and so few answers.
 
#16
Others still know they are dead but choose to hang around to say goodbye - often attending their own funeral. I have a friend who swears he saw his father mingling with the mourners at his own funeral.
I gather from various accounts that it is pretty common for the deceased to be around at their own funeral. For one thing, the focussed thoughts of numerous people would be a draw against moving on, and the deceased themselves at that stage are still pretty much attached to the physical existence. Why would they not be, when one is the centre of attention, where else would one be?

Decades ago, when my father passed, I had a dream the night before his funeral that he would not be travelling 'out in the cold' with the coffin, but would stay inside the vehicles with his family as usual. I passed this on to my grieving mother at the time - make of it what she may.
 
#17
All this talk of death brings to mind this poignant piece.....


On the day I die a lot will happen.
A lot will change.
The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.
The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.
The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.
All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.
The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.
All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.
Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.
My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.
The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.

All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.
The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.
These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.

Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.
On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.
They will feel a void.
They will feel cheated.
They will not feel ready.
They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.
And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.
I know this from those I love and grieve over.

And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.

I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.

Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.
They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.

Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.
It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.
Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you believe matters, because on the day you die, much of it simply won’t.

Yes, you and I will die one day.
But before that day comes: let us live..
 
#19
By the way, the incident where Lawrence executed a man - the consequences of which action he has to face in the afterlife - is recounted in his earthly memoirs, written before his death. Whether Sherwood had read those memoirs or not I have no idea nor do I speculate whether, had she done so, the channeled story might be devalued. I posted the thread because I think it is interesting and because of the similarity with other accounts.

Here's the afterlife memoir of the event:

During guerrilla warfare in the desert I had thought it my duty to condemn a man for conduct likely to imperil the campaign. Justice demanded, I thought, that if I passed sentence I must carry it out myself. So, under the pretext of military necessity, I murdered that man. Moreover, I bungled the job and so protracted his suffering. Although at the time I could see no other course, I know now that my poverty of imagination and resource drove me to this. Now I have to endure all that I did to him; not only the physical suffering – the smallest part of it – but I have to know his despair and remorse and awful blow to pride and affection inflicted by my condemnation.
And here's the memoir written during his lifetime:

Then rose up the horror which would make civilized man shun justice like a plague if he had not the needy to serve him as hangmen for wages. There were other Moroccans in our army; and to let the Ageyl kill one in feud meant reprisals by which our unity would have been endangered. It must be a formal execution, and at last, desperately, I told Hamed that he must die for punishment, and laid the burden of his killing on myself. Perhaps they would count me not qualified for feud. At least no revenge could lie against my followers; for I was a stranger and kinless.

I made him enter a narrow gully of the spur, a dank twilight place overgrown with weeds. Its sandy bed had been pitted by trickles of water down the cliffs in the late rain. At the end it shrank to a crack a few inches wide. The walls were vertical. I stood in the entrance and gave him a few moments’ delay which he spent crying on the ground. Then I made him rise and shot him through the chest. He fell down on the weeds shrieking, with the blood coming out in spurts over his clothes, and jerked about till he rolled nearly to where I was. I fired again, but was shaking so that I only broke his wrist. He went on calling out, less loudly, now lying on his back with his feet towards me, and I leant forward and shot him for the last time in the thick of his neck under the jaw. His body shivered a little, and I called the Ageyl, who buried him in the gully where he was.
Incidentally, the execution is depicted in the 1962 movie but it is re-written with considerable dramatic license which involves conflating two separate people and events.
 
#20
The above account is why I'm doubtful of the moral logic of capital punishment. If there were strong evidence that judicial killing made society much safer as a whole, it still amounts to one person pulling a lever or pressing a switch. State apparatus boils down to a person, or persons killing another and as we know human life does not offer itself easily. Most people who kill are morally irresponsible, which in no way excuses their actions though it may contribute to explaining them. The most informed, morally aware, serial killing sociopath may fully deserve their judicial demise, but we still have to pay someone to annihilate them, thus passing on the repercussions.

Between crimes of passion and psychopaths for whom the death penalty is an occupational hazard, there's a lot of grey to sift through and I'd hate to be the one doing it.
 
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