Heaven is a place as well as a condition of the soul.
Let me write a short time tonight as I see that you are anxious to hear from some of your friends in the spirit world.
I have not written for a long time, though I have been desirous to do so, and tonight will say only a few words in reference to my progress and happiness in my condition as a Celestial Spirit, for I am now in the Celestial Heavens, and know the truth of many things that have been written you.
It is a little difficult for me to recite to you the wonders of these heavens and the perfect happiness that is enjoyed by those spirits that have found their home and abiding place in the many mansions that Jesus spoke of while in the flesh. You must know that heaven is a place as well as a condition, notwithstanding the fact that so many of the Spiritualists teach that it is only a condition or state of the soul. No, this is not all of the truth but is a great part of the truth, for the condition of the soul determines just what heaven it shall occupy and find its harmony and happiness in; but the all loving Father has provided that the soul shall have a place, corresponding to its condition, in which it may live and progress.
If heaven were only a state of the soul, then it would not be a real, existing thing, with the substance and reality that the soul, even in its state of bliss, must have as a necessary accompaniment to the enjoyment of what the Father has provided for its true condition of living. Heaven, as a place, is real and independent of the state of the soul, though it is necessary for the soul to be in a corresponding state in order that it may enter into this heaven and fully realize that it is a home suitable for its condition and enjoyment.
If it, I mean heaven, were not a real objective and perceptible place then the soul would be limited by its own condition that would be very narrow, as I may say, and confined to the limits of its own state, and separated from the states of other souls, and without the social intercourse that makes heaven a place of such happiness and contentment. Every soul would then be in the condition of the ascetic in human life, and introspection and contemplation would be the source and only means of possible bliss, and knowledge of those things that are spoken of as beyond the heart of man to conceive of, and which are truly and certainly provided by the Father's Love for the continuous and never ending progress of the soul towards higher and greater enjoyment, would have no real, conscious existence in that soul.
As man in his earth life, in which condition of the soul determines his heaven, is provided with those surroundings and material things that are intended to make him happy or miserable, so in the heavens things material are provided to enable the soul of man to better enjoy its own condition. The things of heaven are not all spiritual, as conceived by so many men, but are partly composed of the material of the universe and are so constituted and formed as to supply the desires and wishes of the soul with that which will satisfy the soul's longings for beauty and harmony and perfect enjoyment. In the several heavens are homes, real and substantial, suited to the states of the souls and differing as those states differ in their requirements.
These material things are not subjective as so many mortals teach, but are objective as are things of earth, and are the objects of sight and touch and of the other spiritual senses.
When I desire to go into a city, and indulge my desires, I find a city with streets and avenues and houses and other things that belong to a city, just as do you mortals of earth when you visit your cities; and so, when I desire to go into the country and enjoy the fields and hills and streams and gardens. They are all here, real and existing, and not the subjects of mere thoughts or state of my soul; and when I am absent from city or country, that city or country continues to exist in all its beauty and magnificence just as truly as when I am present.
Men must know that the soul in its heavenly life requires these material things, and has them, just as a soul when enveloped in a body of flesh, requires the material things of earth. While the condition of the soul determined its place of living, yet that place is also existing and real and awaits the coming of that soul in a condition of harmony. In these heavens there is nothing nebulous or impalpable or only a reflection or image of the soul's condition, but everything is real and substantial and lasting as the eternal hills; and when the soul finds a habitation it is not the effect of its own condition, but a place already prepared for the habitation of that soul and in accord with its true condition. Otherwise heaven would be a place of confusion and of appearances and disappearances, with no stability or abiding qualities, and the many mansions, spoken of by Jesus as existing in his Father's house, would have no real, permanent being, but depending for their creation and existence upon the mere state of the soul. The mansions are there and change not, and whether or not they shall have occupants depends upon the harmony of souls in their correspondence with the harmony of God's laws creating these mansions.
l have written you this short description of the heavens, as based upon my knowledge and experience, devoid of speculation or metaphysical musings.
I am glad that I could write you again. I am very happy and know that the Divine Love of the Father is a thing real and transforming, and the all sufficient thing to create in the souls of men and of spirits that state which will enable them to have and enjoy the mansions of the Father in the Highest Heavens. I will not write more now. Good night.
Your friend and brother in Christ, A. G. Riddle.