The Actor Lionel Barrymore and the Playwright Oscar Wilde describe Entertainment and their Existence in the Afterlife or Heaven


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Article by: Walter Semkiw, MD

Source: Communication from the deceased in this case was facilitated through the direct voice mediumship of Leslie Flint. George Woods and Betty Greene were present during tape recordings of Flint’s mediumship sessions and they asked questions of the deceased, who spoke in their own natural voices. Neville Randall reviewed these recordings and summarized the dialogues in his book, Life After Death. Dialogue in the article provided below has been slightly edited to make it more concise.

To learn more about the mechanism of communication with the deceased, go to: Leslie Flint and his Direct Voice Mediumship

Lionel Barrymore describes his Arrival in the Spirit World

In a session that occurred on February 9, 1957, a voice with an American accent came through. Betty Greene recognized the voice as that of the actor Lionel Barrymore, who had died two years before of a heart attack while watching television in his Hollywood home.

(Barrymore is best known for his role as the nasty banker, Mr. Potter, in the classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, whose star was Jimmy Stewart. In the photo provided to the above, Barrymore is seated and Stewart is standing with finger pointed at Barrymore).

Betty Greene asked, “You are Lionel Barrymore, aren’t you?”

“Yes, how did you know that?”

George Woods: “When you first passed over, how did you find things? Did you find a world similar to this one?”

“Well, I would say similar. In certain respects, similar as far as nature is concerned. But I certainly didn’t see any streetcars and automobiles, and all that kind of thing. But then again, I understand on the lower spheres nearer to Earth, those things exist. Everything is a matter of the state of mind of the people who inhabit that particular place.

When I first came here, I remember quite well waking up in a beautiful garden. Not unlike a garden I had been very fond of in my youth. And my father and mother were there. When I open my eyes, there was my mother just as I have remembered her when she was a much younger woman. It was a wonderful experience.

Then a crowd of friends came and made themselves known to me. People that I had known in my earlier years.

It seemed in my first experience that I was meeting people that I had known way back when I was quite a young lad. As you know, when I became older, I had a crotchety leg, and trouble one way and another, and I often used to daydream back into my youth. I guess that as I passed over, my last Earthly thoughts were to do with my earlier years.

Pets in Heaven

I have a dog here that I was very fond of. If anyone had told me years ago on Earth that animals existed after death, I would not have believed it.

I never really believed that dogs and cats and horses had a soul. I realize now that we are very much responsible for the animal kingdom and that they depend a great deal more on us than we realize.

I also have my brother John with me. We did not always hit it off on Earth, but we get on very well here.”

Theatre in Afterlife features Morality Plays

Woods: “How do you spend your life on that side? What do you do?”

“Well, I’m still interested in the theater. We do have entertainment, I suppose you would call it, although it is not exactly that. Everything we do here has a motive, has a purpose. Every play that is produced, and everything that is achieved and done here has a real purpose, not only just to give people pleasure and entertainment.

For instance, we put on plays that you’d call morality plays into the lower spheres and we reproduce the lives of certain individuals that we see in the audience. It helps them to see themselves as they really are. In consequence, they begin to think more deeply and it helps them to sort themselves out and desire a better existence.

I have met Florenz Ziegfield and a crowd of others here who still produce what you’d call kind of extravaganzas.

(In the photo provided to the right, Ziegfield is standing in the middle, surrounded by his showgirls.}

Here we treat nature in the true sense, and in the right way. Here we are very conscious of the great gifts that have been bestowed on us in every sense and every way. All types of people here find all sort of interesting work to do. There are some that create beautiful clothes, others who design beautiful pictures, or perhaps scenery for our plays. There are others who compose great music.

Music in the Afterlife

Music here which is far removed from anything you’ve heard on Earth–orchestras numbering several hundreds of people and each one an artist. Here some of the great composers have composed new works, so magnificent that I couldn’t begin to tell you. As they are playing you can see the atmosphere changing lights and colors. It is a most magnificent sight. Oh, I could go on telling you all kinds of things.”

Woods: “What sort of theaters are there? What are they like? Are they like theaters on Earth?”

“Yes. Some are very like theaters on Earth, and some are very far removed. We have the kind of theater very much like what you see on Earth, with beautiful ceiling and carpeting, and the auditorium beautifully appointed and all that sort of thing. Also, we have great open amphitheaters in natural surroundings. Here are produced all kinds of plays. Great plays from the earliest times, and by men and women who’ve made an art of writing and producing and acting.”

Shakespeare in Heaven

All the great plays of Shakespeare are produced here, and what is more interesting still newer plays, greater plays, much greater plays than you know on Earth. And Shakespeare is still writing and producing and acting too.”

Woods: “Do they still write plays in the same style as they did?”

“No. As one gains more experience in a new existence, naturally your style changes. If Shakespeare were living today, he would write great plays as he does on this side, but of course they would be in the modern idiom. Sometimes I come back to Earth and go to your theaters, watch the acting and plays. With a few exceptions, most of it is pretty bad.”

(Note from Walter Semkiw: In contemporary times, Shakespeare reincarnated as the African-America playwright August Wilson, who the press has dubbed an “American Shakespeare.” This reincarnation case is featured in my book Born Again.)

Woods: “Have you met Shakespeare?”

“I have met Shakespeare, and I can settle the argument once and for all. There is no doubt about it. He wrote his own plays. It doesn’t mean to say he didn’t sometimes use old plays and refurbish them. But you can take it from me that when you have a Shakespeare play, it’s Shakespeare’s”

Singers in the Afterlife

Woods: “Have you met any famous singers on your side?”

“Sure, I have met many a famous singer here.”

Woods: “Kathleen Farron. Have you met her?”

“Kathleen Ferrier, you mean. The young English lady who passed over some years ago. Yes, I met her. She’s a magnificent soul and she has a wonderful voice. You know half her charm was not only her voice, but her wonderful personality and character. It came out in her voice. I’ve listened to many a great artists on Earth, but I have known them to be like wild cats backstage, quite different to their voice. But this one you are talking about is quite different.”

Barrymore paused and then returned.

“Sorry to have to break away like that, but it is quite an effort to talk at length. I’ll come and speak to you again some other time.”

Playwright Oscar Wilde describes his Life in Heaven

Five years later on August 20, 1962, a rich and fruity male voice came through.

Betty Greene: “Please, may we have your name?”

“My name is Oscar Wilde.”

Betty Greene: “Mr. Wilde, can you tell us something of your life on the other side? What are you doing?”

“I must admit, it’s a relief to be asked to discuss one’s life over here in preference to one’s own life on Earth. Because in any case my life on Earth is pretty well-known among gossip mongers. If I were to say to you that my life here is not unlike my life on Earth, you would probably be horrified. But it happens to be perfectly true. And I’ve no regrets about it whatsoever!

I’m perfectly happy and perfectly contented, and I live a life of delicious sin. It is no longer sin here to be human and to be natural. But on Earth to be natural is to be sinful. Over here one can be sinful because it is natural. The world has strange ideas of sin. I live a natural existence here, and I’m perfectly happy.”

Woods: “What are you doing?”

“Actually, seriously, I’m still writing and I’m still having my plays performed, and I’m often called on to go down into the lower spheres to help.

Strange, no doubt, you may think, that I should be called to the lower spheres to help!

Probably, I’m more suitable to help people on the lower spheres because I haven’t progressed very much myself! But actually, I’m very much in tune with all peoples. My mind, I trust, gives me entry even if my reputation does not! My reputation does not worry me, but it seems to worry a hell of a lot of people on your side!

More money has been made out of my reputation since my death than ever I was able to make out with my plays, which goes to say that sin is very successful.”

Betty Greene: “You always had a very open mind, didn’t you?”

“I was always ready to receive inspiration. Indeed, I might say that my most successful works were due to the fact that I had an open mind, and in consequence much was poured through it of inspiration-which was highly successful.

I feel sure that if it were not for the fact that I was high-minded, you wouldn’t have had perhaps some of the successful works that I was able to perform. But, of course, all this is a matter of dispute among many people. One man’s rat poison is another man’s meat.

So many people when on Earth were so serious that they couldn’t to fail to be utterly boring. I refuse to join such a gathering. This I do deliberately because there will always be people who will say, how do we know that this was Oscar Wilde?

And so I am expected to come back very much the same, with the sort of things that would be expected of me. For your sakes I do this because I know, poor dears, you’re struggling so desperately hard to convince. And if I can assist you to convince, then I shall be doing some good work, and it may wipe out some of my blots!”

Betty Greene” “Mr. Wilde since you been on the other side, have you learnt anything?”

“I’d be a strange person if I hadn’t learned something after being here so long. We all learn whether we like it or not. Whether we are apt pupils or not we all learn, no matter how bad the teacher.”

Betty Greene: “Can you describe your actual passing?”

“Oh, I died like everybody else. Actually, seriously, I was met by my mother.”

Woods: “And how did you find things there?”

People are the Same in the Afterlife, including in Appearance

“Well, naturally, you do can’t go to a strange country without finding it vastly different. But the extraordinary and interesting thing is, the people were the same. Situations may be different, but the people, thank God, were the same.

They still looked the same. They still are the same. And in consequence one felt at home. I’ve met many people that I had admired and many I didn’t admire and have learned to admire for different reasons.

Oscar Wilde travels to Multiple Spheres in the Spirit World

And I have traveled a great deal, went to many places, many spheres, many countries if you would like to call them such, because in a sense they are.

There are no barriers, only barriers of oneself within oneself, and one’s own mind. The barriers between human relationships and peoples are within oneself. They are man-made. One learns to discard them.

When one has been here even for a short time, one realizes very much we are all part of the other. All God’s children eventually begin to merge, although they retain their individuality and separate personality. We all begin to merge until we are harmonious and in consequence we live in a condition of peace, and quietude in harmony, where all and each can have his or her interest, such as it may be.

Some feel the urge and need to work in various ways. Others do not. I prefer to continue to write, because writing was, to a great extent, my life.

Betty Greene: “Your trial it has been enacted several times.”

“Yes, yes I know. It has been the most highly successful part of my career.”

Betty Greene: “I expect, everybody has regrets when they pass over. Do you had some regrets, perhaps something you didn’t do while you were on Earth?”

“My first regret was that I didn’t stay longer on your side! I still had desires. I still wanted to write further. I wanted to reinstate myself, and strange as it may seem, in human society. Not that I ever felt completely outside it. But I was sufficiently vain to assume that I could recapture my old place in the world. But that was such a long time ago. Since then I’ve changed”

Betty Greene: “Have you met Bernard Shaw on that side?”

“Oh, I have met Shaw. What a man! Extraordinary character.”

Nature Exists in the Afterlife, but Without Pests

Betty Greene: “What’s it like on your side. The plane you are on. Could you tell us something about that? You’ve got theaters, haven’t you? You still write plays on that side?”

“Oh, one still writes. One still continues. Our world, in some senses, as no doubt you’ve heard, is very similar to your Earth. We have all manner of scenery, which you are accustomed to, even more beautiful. As you know, nature exists here, but the more irritating aspects of nature are nonexistent to us.

For instance, we don’t have the pests, such as flies, and all the irritating things that nature concocts to annoy man. These things seem to have disappeared, fortunately. We seem to have all the beauty and loveliness of nature without all the petty irritants. No more swatting flies!”

Cities and Animals in Heaven

George Woods: “What are the buildings like on your side?”

“There are all manner of buildings, but on the sphere on which I live they are all elegant, of great beauty.”

George Woods: “Are there towns or cities?”

“Yes, you can call them cities. There are cities in which untold thousands of people live and have their habitat, but so different, and yet, in some ways, so like old. We don’t have cars, but horses we still have.

I sometimes think that animals are more advanced than humans. At least they follow their natural instincts and they are not, in consequence, considered to be doing anything wrong.”

Betty Greene: “Do you have a house yourself where you can write?”

One Creates One’s Own Dwelling in Heaven

“Yes, I do. A very beautiful house. A house after my own heart. But then again in a sense I suppose it is because I myself created it. Without even realizing it, I was creating it before I came here by my thoughts.”

Betty Green: “Have you a garden?”

“I have a garden. Not too large, but sufficient. I was never one for outdoor life. I appreciated nature, but I preferred to watch nature from a distance rather than to always be underneath her glaring light.

I must go. May God bless you.”

Stephen Fry as the Reincarnation of Oscar Wilde

Of interest, Oscar Wilde has been identified as in contemporary times as the British actor, writer and activist, Stephen Fry. Click on the image to enlarge it.



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