There are high spirits amongst us, going about simple and humble lives in total obscurity. People who have next to nothing, yet are kind, generous, and caring. They never steal or rob, or shave money off the top or take advantage of others. They insist in remaining true to their fellow humans. These are the people we should idealize and hold up for recognition.
A poor cobbler, a shoemaker, who had just enough money left after his death to pay for his burial was shocked to find out who he was when he came back to heaven.
We learn of the cobbler’s story because of the spirit Kathleen’s message in the book Life Beyond the Veil, in The Ministry of Heaven section. It was a communication to the Rev G. Vale Owen describing how it is better for us choose the honorable and charitable way of life than to fight for as much material gain as possible in this life.
She tells us that while in the short run, one may enjoy the trappings of luxury; that time is all too short compared to the eternity we live in the spirit world. Making sacrifices and caring about others bring the true long-term benefits.
Kathleen explains that our motive, in whatever enterprise we undertake is what is important. Do we work and toil for ourselves, or do we strive to help others. Both can occur simultaneously. I think back at my time when I worked for a firm that made laboratory equipment. We created blood analysis devices. They were like little factories that tested blood for many different levels of chemicals. I fondly remember the amount of effort we put into insuring that we could analyze blood from the tiny samples that premature infants provided. Everyone on the team spent hours trying to determine the best way to provide for testing little one and two pound babies. No one told us from senior management to spend this much time and effort on this problem, we just did it. Because, collectively, we knew it was the right thing to do … not the most profitable.
The spirit Kathleen provided G. Vale Owen an example of how a life should be lived:
“A cobbler who earned just enough to pay his dues and had naught over when his burial fees were paid came over here many years ago, as you say it. He was received soberly by a small group of friends, and was well content that they had borne him so much in mind as to come so far as to earth to show him his way to the sphere where he should go. It was one of those near earth, not a high one, and, as I say, he was well content. For there he found peace after much toil and weariness and his battle with poverty, and leisure to go and see the various interesting sights and places of that sphere. To him it was Heaven indeed, and all were kind to him, and he was very happy in their company.
One day, to use your earth-phrasing, a Lord from a higher sphere came along the street where was his home and went within. He found the cobbler reading out of a book which he had found in the house when he was taken there and told it was his home. The Angel Lord called him by his name of earth – I don’t not remember what – and the cobbler arose.
‘What read you, my friend?’ the Angel asked him.
The man answered thus, ‘It is naught of much interest to me, sir, that I read it. It is but just within my comprehension, indeed, for it was evidently written not for people of this sphere but of one much higher.’
‘To what end was it written?’ the Angel asked again, and he replied, ‘Sir, it tells of high estate and enterprise, of the ordering of great companies of men and women in those spheres above us in the service of the One Father. These people, I find, were once of nations and faiths diverse one from another, for so the manner of speech would seem to show, But to the writer of this book they do not seem diverse any more, for they have, by long training and much progress, come together as a band of brethren, and there be no longer any divisions among them to divide them, neither in affection one for another, nor in reasonable understanding. They are at unity of purpose and service and desire. By that I judge that the life herein written of is not of this sphere, but of one far above this. The book, moreover, is of instruction, not even for that bright company, but rather for the guidance of leaders among them, for it tells of statesmanship and of high rule, and of the wisdom required of those who lead. For this reason, sir, it is not of interest to me presently, but it may be in some long distant age. How the book came here I cannot tell.’
Then the Angel Lord took the book and closed it and handed it to the cobbler silently, and, as he took it from the Angel’s hand, his cheeks flushed red in great confusion, for, blazing upon the cover, were gems of ruby and of white whose order of spelling flashed back his name to him in light and fire.
‘But I did not see it, sire,’ he said, ‘I did not see my name thereon until but now.’
‘Yet it is yours, as you see,’ said the Angel said, ‘And so, for your instruction. For know you, my friend, this sphere is but a resting-place for you. Now you has rested you must begin your work, and that not here, but in that higher sphere of which this book tells and in which it was written.’
The cobbler faltered in his speech, for he was afraid, and shrank back and bent his head before the Angel’s words. This only could he say, ‘I am a cobbler, sir; I am not a leader of men, And I am content with a humble place in this bright home which is Heaven indeed for such as I.’
But the Angel said, ‘Now, for that saying alone you should have advancement. For you must know that true humility is one of the surest shields and safeguards of those who stand in high places to rule. But you have more weapons than this shield of humility, which is protective in a passive way.
Weapons of offence also you have been tempering and sharpening in that life on earth. When you made boots, your thoughts were to make them so that they would endure long wear and so ease the purse of the poor buyer of them. You thought more of this than the price you would be paid. That, indeed, you made a rule; that rule grew into you and became part of your character. Here such a virtue is not lightly esteemed.’”
I was going to let the entire story of the cobbler speak for itself, but when I typed the paragraph above – I was hit hard. First, because when I read the cobbler focused more on the people he could serve than the amount he would gain – I realized how far from true selfishness I am. In the back of my mind is always some thought of how an action could be of benefit to myself. I don’t think I have ever been completely altruistic.
Second, the high Angel told the cobbler, that the “rule became part of your character”, is exactly why we are here on earth, to learn to internalize these traits to make themselves part and parcel of our daily attitude. I now recognize how far I am from that blessed state.
In that one paragraph is everything we need to know to improve ourselves – everything we need to know about why we need to reincarnate – everything we need to know how to ascend in the spirit realm. Imagine living in a world where everyone would be like the cobbler. Where each action is measured against the good it could do, not the profit it could offer.
If we do good for others, our reward will come. I read a book by Edgar Evans Cayce, the son of the famous American medium, Edgar Cayce, where he detailed his family’s lack of resources. All the while people from all over the United States would write to Edgar Cayce asking for life readings and cures for their illnesses. The son, Edgar Evans, tells us that once Edgar Cayce asked how he could provide more for his family. Here is the question and the answer:
Question: “In consideration of the fact that Edgar Cayce is devoting his entire time to work, give the reason for his not being able to obtain sufficient financial support for him and his family’s material sustenance, and how may he, Edgar Cayce, correct this condition?”
Answer: “Live closer to Him Who giveth all good and perfect gifts, and ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Give and it shall be returned fourfold. Give, give, give, if you would receive. There has never been the lack of necessities, neither will there be, so long as adhering to the Lord’s Way is kept first and foremost.”
After that answer, Edgar Evans reports that the family did have the “necessities”, they weren’t starving, and they weren’t homeless. He understands we don’t need everything we desire, instead, we should turn to what we do need – spirituality. Only that can we take with us beyond the grave.
If you would like to learn more about how I learned to see and sense the guidance I and others get from the spirit world, read my book 7 Tenets of Spiritism – How They Impact Your Daily Life.
The Good Works of the Cobbler and His Job in Heaven
The high Angel went on with his praise of the life of the cobbler:
“’Again, through hard pressed to pay your dues, yet from time to time you gave an hour out of daylight to help some friend gather in his harvest, to plant his plot of ground, to thatch his roof or rick, or perchance, to watch some sick man by his bedside. The hours thus given you restored by candle-light, for you were poor, This also noted from this side by reason of the glowing brightness of your soul, as we can see the world of men from our vantage point, where the light of the spheres, sweeping over our shoulders from behind, strikes on those in the earth life and is reflected back by the virtues in men, and finds no reflector in their vices. So the souls of those who live well are lightened, but dark and somber show the souls of those who live ill lives.
Other things I could tell you of what you did and why. But let these for the time suffice, while I tell you now my message. In the sphere of which this book tells, there awaits you a company of people. They have been trained and organized. Their mission is to visit a sphere near earth from time to time and to receive from the hands of those who bring them the spirits who have lately come over. Their task is to study these newcomers and to allot to each his proper place and to send him there by a band of helpers who attend for that purpose. They are ready to start at any time and have been only awaiting their leader. Come, good friend, and I will show you the way to them where they await you.’
Then the cobbler knelt down and put his forehead upon the ground at the Angel’s feet and wept and said, ‘If I were worthy, sir, for this great service. But alas, I am not worthy. Nor do I know this company, nor whether they would follow me.’
And the Angel Lord replied, ’The message comes from Him Who cannot err in choice of person. Come, you will not find a band of strangers there. For often when your tired body slept you were led into that same sphere, aye even in your earth life this was done. There you, too, were trained, and there you leaned, first to obey, and later to command. You will know them well when you see them, and they also know you well. He will be your strength, and you shall do valiantly.’
Then he led him forth of the house and down the street and up the mountain pass beyond. And as they went his dress became brighter and lighter of texture, and his body gained somewhat in stature and very much in luster, and, as they went ascending, so the cobbler was gradually left behind, and the Prince and Leader emerged.
After a long journey and a very pleasant one, much drawn out in order that the change might be more gently wrought, they came to the company. He recognized them, one and all, and they, on their part, came and stood before him, and he knew he could lead them well, for the love-light he saw in their eyes.”
When one passes over from the physical to the spirit realm, the transition to what you were isn’t instant. The spirit realm knows that would be too much information to take in at once. Hence, for most spirits, there is a period of rest and reflection, to slowly absorb the lessons of your past life and the reality of the spirit world. Once you are ready, your spirit memories return and you pick up where you left off, before you journeyed to earth for a short period of intense training.
Learn more about the spirit realm and what it means to us. The first place is to learn what the basic tenets of Spiritism are and how your life is planned so you can improve. You can begin by reading The Spirits Book, by Allan Kardec, or you can read my books, one on reincarnation, The Case for Reincarnation – Your Path to Perfection, the other about the spirit realm, and how we fit into it, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined. You will find out why you are on this planet and where you are destined to be.
Cayce, E. E. (1968). Edgar Cayce On Atlantis. New York: Grand Central Publishing.
Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.
 Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 326-328
 Cayce E. E. Edgar Cayce On Atlantis, Grand Central Publishing, p.162
 Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 328-329