Wild Bill Hickok and Purgatory

Posted by Frater Anselmo on Sunday, January 23, 2011 Under: Ghosts
I was watching Ghost Lab on the Discovery Channel last night and it was one of the best episodes I've seen so far.  The Klinge brothers were in Deadwood, South Dakota, an historic old wild west town that once boasted the likes of "Wild Bill" Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock.  Like a lot of old historic places, especially those blessed with being bypassed for "urban renewal," Deadwood is rife with spirits from the past and little slips in the fabric of time and space.  Seth Bullock, former sheriff and US marshal, was once featured in an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" as having been involved in a series of evidential communications with a medium in England.  According to Seth, he still maintains a friendship with President Theodore Roosevelt and "they often meet in the afterlife."

The most interesting part of last night's episode focused on the place where Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down.  As is often the case with great men (Jesse James also comes to mind), Bill was shot in the back of the head by a sniveling coward.  Bill must have had a premonition of his death, for it was said that he was superstitious about never being seated with his back to the door.  I think a lot of the great old gunfighters were not just skilled shooters but possessed a psychic edge and a spiritual destiny that enabled them to survive.  Bill had always insisted on taking the seat with his back to the wall, but the seat was already taken when he joined the poker game and his gambling buddy refused to move or, more likely, was just too drunk to get up.

Hickok had only been married a few months earlier before arriving in Deadwood to seek his fortune in the surrounding gold fields.  According to his friend, Charlie "Colorado" Utter and others who were traveling with him, Wild Bill had a premonition that Deadwood would be his last camp.  Shortly before his death, he wrote to his wife: "Agnes Darling, if such should be we never meet again, while firing my last shot, I will gently breathe the name of my wife — Agnes — and with wishes even for my enemies I will make the plunge and try to swim to the other shore."

After being shot dead, it was discovered that Hickok had been holding the so-called "Dead Man's Hand," black aces and eights.  History doesn't record what the fifth card Hickok may have been dealt was, although there has long been a rumor that it was the nine of diamonds.  There is definitely some occult significance here, for those who are knowledgeable about the esoteric meaning of our modern playing cards, which may be even older than the Tarot.

Significantly, the Ghost Lab team registered two very evidential, clear Class A EVP's or Electronic Voice Phenomena on their digital recorders.  The first, recorded during a preliminary investigation, was heard to say "Nine Diamonds" as if someone were dealing a card.  The second, recorded during a re-creation of the events leading to Hickok's death, was plainly heard to say "Tell my wife that I love her."

I was impressed, and I am not one to read a lot into voice phenomena, most of which are muddled and far from a distinct and intelligible message.  Often, while watching the ghost-hunting shows, I feel they are really stretching to make out words that you really can't understand or that lend themselves to different interpretations.  But these were different, especially the last.

Which opens up some bigger questions?  Was this really the voice of Wild Bill Hickok?  Was it just some kind of "recording" caught in the unknown fabric of space and time, waiting to be played back, or was Wild Bill speaking from beyond the grave to the researchers?

While I am a firm believer in the recording theory, I think that it is overused and that, in many cases, there is clearly an intelligent communication from spirits who are obviously interacting with the living.  I can't tell you how many cases I myself have personally investigated where independent, audible voices were being heard in so-called haunted houses and, upon a closer inspection, it was discovered that the voices were talking about the occupants of the house.  All the more so with EVP's, which are more easily obtained than independent, audible voices.

Is it then to be inferred that Wild Bill and others are trapped in some kind of cosmic jail cell, forever doomed to be chained to one place, minds without bodies, unable to be released to "go to the light" as they say in modern new age speak?  I do not believe this to be the case. 

The Brotherhood has always taught that, in such matters, we should defer to the wisdom of our teachers and predecessors, who have been investigating these things for thousands of years, rather than turn to those modern prophets-for-profit and their new age drivel, that is oh so spiritually correct and so sanctified and holier than the religionists whom they pretend are the only hypocrites.

Even among the ancients and those who have followed in their path, there is some divergence of opinion and therefore we should weigh the matter at hand on the scale of what is most universally agreed upon.

It is without dispute that the weight of the evidence and the teachings of the masters speak clearly for there being an afterlife, a world to come, in which every man and woman is judged according to their own works (or rather reap what they themselves have sown).  It is not as simplistic as just a heaven and a hell but speaks of many worlds: Of a paradise and a heavenly realm of ever-advancing degrees, a new heaven and a new earth, a world without end.

But the teachings, from Buddha to Jesus to Muhammad and a thousand in between, also speak clearly of the judgment of doom to evildoers, who shall not escape punishment and just reward for their wickedness.  In fact, it seems that it is only in recent times when people have grown so timid that they are afraid to admit of the existence of a hell, which opinion has about as much validity as those who teach that there is no evil, only good, or "don't sweat the small stuff because it's all small stuff."  Tell that to the person dying from cancer or the family who just had their child abducted, tortured and murdered.

Such starry-eyed folks are always talking about "justice," but there never has and never will be any justice in this world, only in the world to come.  As night cannot exist without day, and light without darkness, and joy without suffering, so there cannot be any good unless there is also evil, and there can be no heaven without a hell.

But, like heaven, hell is not a single place.  Even in the Bible, which the preachers like to thump so soundly in their warnings of hell (do even THEY still do that?), there are numerous places and descriptions for the darker side of the afterlife - Hell, Hades, Tartarus, Sheol, the place of darkness and the lake of fire.  Purgatory isn't mentioned specifically but makes a lot of sense because things are not always black and white but in degrees and shades.  And, yes, among all the testimonies of the near-death experience (NDE) about going to the light and feeling the beauty and the peace, there are also a lot of absolutely frightening stories, especially in our modern times.  You just don't hear about them because they don't make a good sell.  Just go to Google and type in "near death experience of hell" and even in skipping over the obviously religiously-biased sites, there are plenty of absolutely hellish experiences to make one think twice before "going towards the light" (is it getting warmer?).

The good news is that it appears that one may extricate themselves from such punishment.  Heaven or paradise seems to be a limitless place to go, ever expanding from space into infinity and from time into eternity.  Only the truly sainted, however, seem to go there right away.  The same for hell, whether it's the farthest reaches of the outer darkness or the lake of burning fire.

Most seem to go to some kind of purgatory, or in-between place.  For those who were good in life, this seems to be a rather happy place where we meet departed friends and relatives, and are able to enjoy a life similar to what we had while on the earth, without all the troubles.  Interestingly, many appear to just sleep, to rest and heal spiritually.  Relatively few actually return to live again, although it does happen.

For those who were downright evil, they seem to go to a place that is like an ante-room to hell.  Maybe these few poor souls are condemned to wander the earth or be chained to one particular place for a period of time that may range from a few years to centuries, until they have accomplished their purpose.

For most people, and both Wild Bill and Seth may be among this group, the afterlife is, according to the masters, a place where one must work out their salvation as ministering spirits to the living, often helping those who were friends or loved ones in life, and being given a second chance to make good on an often wasted life. 

For the genuine Rosicrucian adept, this will always be our work, whether in this life or the next, as spiritual helpers to both the living and the dead.  Those who are in the realms of purgation and purification, and especially those who struggling to rise from the pit, can be greatly helped and benefited by our prayers and spiritual labors.  Those who are in the paradisal realms, whether human or angelic, can help us and we can call upon them to help those who are struggling in life or in death.

For the adept, who sees beyond the illusion of "normal," everyday life, we must ever have one foot in the grave and walk between the worlds.  Life is shaded by death and the afterlife, the astral world rises into the heavenly realms and looks again down into the darkness below.  What we don't accomplish in life, we must fulfill in the life to come.  We reap what we ourselves have sown.  Therefore, let us not be like the presumptuous and the foolish who take dangerous comfort in modern fairy tales but let us be as the wise and the prudent and begin now to create and live the life we would enjoy in the afterlife, and help all those who cross our paths in both life and in death to ascend also (and not descend). 

Is Wild Bill Hickok in Purgatory?  Perhaps.  If the voice recorded was indeed his, it certainly sounds like he is in some type or dimension of purgatory, of which there are numerous states and degrees.  Let us hope that Wild Bill is working out his salvation, making peace with those who may have been his adversaries in life, and hopefully finding his beloved Agnes.

Pray for Bill and Seth and all the other tortured souls and trapped spirits out there.  Call upon the saints and angels for assistance.  Ghost hunting is for the dabblers.  There's more at stake than just gathering evidence for an afterlife.  It's what KIND of afterlife and the fate of eternal souls.  Imagine yourself being trapped in space and time with no way out.  Hell, I can't hardly stand to spend a day at home without getting out.  You have the power to do more than interact but to help.  Maybe the soul you help today will someday rescue you.

We can only speculate where the spirit of Wild Bill Hickok is today.  Maybe he is wandering the streets of Deadwood, meeting up with old friends.  Perhaps he is trapped in the location of his murder, replaying the tragic event over and over.  Or maybe Wild Bill just got too damn drunk to ever leave.


In : Ghosts 

Tags: "ghost hunting" "wild bill hickok" "seth bullock" spirits heaven hell pugatory afterlife "ghost lab" "unsolved mysteries" "jesse james" "electronic voice phenomena" 

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Frater Anselmo For those who do not already know me, I am Frater Anselmo, Secretary-General of The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross. I answer most of the emails and handle the correspondence in addition to other duties. Frater Cyprian has graciously allowed me to add this feature to our website to provide timely wisdom and spiritual encouragement to the Brotherhood and its many friends. I will consider and try to answer any questions or issues submitted to me via email or letter that may be of interest to our readers. I encourage my fellow fraters and sorors of the R.C. to submit their own posts. Send to my attention and be sure to mention possible inclusion in "Frater Anselmo's Blog." May these words be seasoned with wisdom and bless everyone who reads them.

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