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Is there something after death? And in such a case, what is the after-life like?
Here is a fascinating book that is no longer in print. It was published in 1896, and is now free of rights.
Here is how the book begins:
Part I – Days of Darkness
Chapter 1 - My Death
I have been a Wanderer through a far country, in those lands that have no name—no place—for you of earth, and I would set down as briefly as I can my wanderings, that those whose feet are pointed to that bourn
may know what may in their turn await them.
On earth and in my life of earth I lived as those do who seek only how the highest point of self gratification can be reached. If I was not unkind to some—if I was indulgent to those I loved—yet it was ever with the feeling that they in return must minister to my gratification—that from them I might purchase by my gifts and my affection the love and homage which was as my life to me.
I was talented, highly gifted both in mind and person, and from my earliest years the praise of others was ever given to me, and was ever my sweetest incense. No thought ever came to me of that all self-sacrificing
love which can sink itself so completely in the love for others that there is no thought, no hope of happiness, but in securing the happiness of the beloved ones. In all my life, and amongst those women whom I loved (as
men of earth too often miscall that which is but a passion too low and base to be dignified by the name of love), amongst all those women who from time to time captivated my fancy, there was not one who ever
appealed to my higher nature sufficiently to make me feel this was true love, this the ideal for which in secret I sighed. In everyone I found something to disappoint me. They loved me as I loved them—no more, no less. The passion I gave won but its counterpart from them, and thus I passed on unsatisfied, longing for I knew not what.
Mistakes I made—ah! how many. Sins I committed—not a few; yet the world was often at my feet to praise me and call me good, and noble, and gifted. I was feted—caressed—the spoilt darling of the dames of
fashion. I had but to woo to win, and when I won all turned to bitter ashes in my teeth. And then there came a time upon which I shall not dwell, when I made the most fatal mistake of all and spoilt two lives where I had
wrecked but one before. It was not a golden flowery wreath of roses that I wore, but a bitter chain—fetters as of iron that galled and bruised me till at last I snapped them asunder and walked forth free. Free?—ah, me!
Never again should I be free, for never for one moment can our past errors and mistakes cease to dog our footsteps and clog our wings while we live—aye, and after the life of the body is ended—till one by one we
have atoned for them, and thus blotted them from our past.
And then it was—when I deemed myself secure from all love—when I thought I had learned all that love could teach—knew all that woman had to give—that I met one woman. Ah! what shall I call her? She was
more than mortal woman in my eyes, and I called her "The Good Angel of My Life," and from the first moment that I knew her I bowed down at her feet and gave her all the love of my soul—of my higher self—a love that was poor and selfish when compared to what it should have been, but it was all I had to give...
A. FARNESE (End of excerpt)
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