Why it is Difficult for Spirits to Remember Names and Dates

Mediums who have encountered spirits often are frustrated when they communicate with spirits, who seem to be the person they wish to speak with, but the spirit can’t come up with an exact name or date of an episode that the medium wishes them to recall.

We expect exact memory, a photographic recollection from any spirit that comes within our sphere of communication. But, how would you feel, if you were asked to recount what you did on a certain day in kindergarten class? Could you remember your classmates, what you were wearing, what type of day it was, or anything?

While higher spirits are able to tap into memories and data from any slice of time in their lives; lower spirits have limited resources.

The Rev. G. Vale Owen quizzed the spirit Arnel as to why is it hard for discarnates to pin down exact times, dates, and names. Arnel answered G. Vale Owen:

“Now, as to earth names. These are remembered for a time after transition by death; but new names are given here, and are used in constant, to the exclusion of earth names. This has the effect of the earth name fading, becoming dim, and at last almost, or quite, vanishing from the memory. Not so much while relatives are still on earth, but after such time as they be all come over. Then, as generations go by, the line becomes intermixed with other blood, and the connection is thinned in ratio and at last is lost altogether. Exceptions there are; but few. Then, also, in the course of times names become changed, both in spelling and pronunciation. They become different names. But most of all they fade from memory as interest in the earth period becomes of less account by its removal from the more immediate proximity of the present estate of a progressed spirit, and among the infinite variety of experience here it is forgotten. It can always be had by research of the records, but that is rarely worthwhile.”[1]

The ease of querying the database in the Universal Cloud varies by the level of the spirit. While on a lower sphere of heaven, a spirit may have to access his or her past by a separate device, or by a formal request for that particular memory, a higher spirit may possess the tools to retrieve information on demand, by merely thinking.

Imagine the ability to command all memories for a certain date, time, and place – plus the memories of the people with you or another person – to perfectly reconstruct events for a particular episode. This is the power of a high spirit and one that has been demonstrated to many people who have had near death experiences. Their life review wasn’t painstakingly filmed and edited beforehand in anticipation of their journey to the other side. A high spirit (or group of mentors), after notification of a person coming temporarily to the spirit dimension, summoned up the replay on the spot. Although the group may have determined the episodes to review in advance of the soul coming for a short visit.

Next, Arnel answers the question about dates:

“The difficulty of remembering earth periods is a similar one and as needless to our present concerns as to our future course, in which chiefly our interest lies. There is also the fact that the continuous  receding of our earth period and the intervention of event after event in so long a line of links, that it is difficult, on the moment, to pick out that particular link at the farther end and label it with earth time of day. It is easy for one of you to spring a query on one of us who is bent on giving you some message, and whose will is all taut and strenuous and focused on that message he wishes to give. It is not so easy for us, who have other work on hand, and who live in the present so much, to make a sudden about-ship and sail for the one little section in our wake where a particular wavelet lapped our bow, and which has long ago flattened out upon the bosom of the ocean, the while the ship still sped on her way, breasting swell after swell of the ocean. Count each swell a century, and you will get some idea of my meaning.”[2]

Two points stand out from Arnel’s message. One, and the most important, is the absence of continually thinking back. While we on earth, look behind us to count the mistakes we made, the injustices we suffered, and the opportunities we lost … a knowing spirit understands that the past is unimportant – it is what they are learning now that is vital. A higher spirit stays in the moment to analyze their course of action to what has been presented to them. They don’t waste their mental energy in regret. They only think back to review experiences for lessons learned.

The second point is the accumulation of life events over the course of hundreds, if not thousands of lives – must be immense. This is a fact of immortality. We retain our character, modifying it after each life on earth – hopefully for the better – but the endless string of interactions, great deeds and lesser deeds – eventually recede from our immediate memory bank.

The wonderful aspect of G. Vale Owen’s communication with spirits in the early years of the Twentieth Century, isn’t just the wise words that are spoken by spirits, but the meaning and glimpse of what life must be in the spirit realm. Just the discussion of the ability to recall names and dates, presents us with a feeling of what immortality and the relative levels of spirits must be like.

The reward of working and studying hard to ascend in the spirit world becomes all the more apparent the more we learn.

Understanding what the spirit universe actually is and how we are part of it is the first step toward learning how you can perform your own journey to spiritual perfection. You can begin to by reading my book, Explore Your Destiny – Since Your Life’s Path is (mostly) Predetermined. You will discover why we are on earth, what are the different locations circling our planet and what is your ultimate destiny.

If you have read the first two books of a series of three books, Heaven and Below – Book 1, Spirits and the Spirits Universe – Book 2; now read my third book in the series, How we are Guided by Spirits – Book 3 of Spiritism, the Spirit World Revealed to an Anglican Vicar.   In my third book you will discover how the spirit world guide humans on earth, how we are assisted by spirits, and lastly the future of earth. Click here to buy my book.


Brian Foster was a reluctant entry to Spiritism. He grew up with a vague sense of God and a higher power, but only through events he could not explain did he discover that there is indeed a world beyond ours, an “other side” as the Druids called it.

Brian works in Information Technology and has a BSCS degree and an MBA. For many this should make him a rational human being and not one who believes in spirits. On the contrary, it is what he believes to be an accumulation of evidence that has, thankfully, brought him to realize that we are part of a bigger plan.

Brian Foster has a blog at www.nwspiritism.com.

Works Cited

Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.


[1] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, p. 527

[2] Owen R. G. Life Beyond the Veil, Squares Circles Publishing, pp. 527-528

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