Transcript of George Hopkins Speaking in a Leslie Flint Session
Can you give us any idea of how you passed over ?
Well, I just had a stroke or seizure or heart attack or something of the sort. As a matter of fact I was in the harvesting. I felt a bit peculiar, I thought it was the sun and well, I sat down in the ‘edge. As far as I was concerned I felt a bit drowsy and peculiar and must have dozed off.
But dear, oh dear, I had such a shock. I woke up, as I thought, and the sun had gone down and there was me, or at least what appeared to be me. I couldn’t make it out at all, I was so puzzled. I just didn’t know what to do. I tried to shake myself – if you can do such a thing – I…wake myself up, sort of thing. I thought, well this is funny, I must be dreaming. I tried to sort of get, you know, some sense out of meself. I tried to talk to meself, try and understand what had been going on. I thought this must be some sort of crazy sort of dream or something. I couldn’t make head nor tail of it.
It never struck me at all that I was dead. Anyway I wondered what I am I going to do now. I don’t know. Anyway I found myself walking, as I thought I was, I went along the road to the doctor’s. I thought well, perhaps he can help me. Perhaps he can sort of, sort it all out, like, you know.
Anyway I got to the doctor’s and I knocked on the door, but no one answered. I thought well, I shouldn’t have thought he would have been out, because he had surgery hours. Then I saw people coming and going in the surgery door and I thought, I dunno, nobody seems to take any notice and I saw one or two of my old cronies. They all sort of seemed to walk through me almost, you might say. No one seemed to make any comment about me. Course, I don’t know I thought well this is a funny how-de-do.
Anyway I stood there for a bit trying to work it out. Then I saw someone hurrying down the road like mad to the doctor’s. He got to the doctor’s rushed in and pushed past me and everybody and next moment, I heard them talking about me. Which puzzled me. I thought what the hell’s wrong with them ? I’m here. I heard them say I was dead !
The doctor went in his car up the road, and I thought ‘well I don’t know about dead. I can’t be dead. I’m here. I can see what’s going on, I can hear what they’re talking about. How the hell can I be dead ?’
Then I thought to myself, that’s funny, I saw myself lying down. I don’t know, how can I be ? I mean you’re dead and you’re done for and you’re in heaven or hell. I’m certainly not in heaven and not in hell. I mean I’m ‘ere, listenin’ to what they’re talkin’ about.’ And of course, gradually I suppose it dawned on me that I must be dead.
Next thing, oh I dunno…anyway, next thing, I saw them picking up my body and bringing it back. Well I dunno, they put me in the chapel.
Oh dear, oh dear I thought, ‘well this is the last straw. I must be dead. I thought, well I’ve heard about people dying and I’ve had it now haven’t I ? I though to meself what shall I do now ? Nobody ‘ere seems to know me, want me or have anything to do with me and yet I’m I suppose to be dead. I thought the best thing to do is to go and see the parson. He’s sure to know something.’ So I went up to the vicarage and I waited around and I saw him come in and sit at his desk. Another thing that struck me odd was that I noticed then, that nothing was solid. If I sat in a chair, in a sense I sat and yet I didn’t. I didn’t feel any weight under me.
Anyway, I saw the old parson and he came in and walked right past me, went down to his desk, started to write letters and doing things. And I started talking to him and he didn’t take any notice and I thought, well I dunno, he’s like the rest of them. I should have thought he’d know something. So I kept tapping him on the shoulder and once he turned round, as if he thought there was something there and I thought, “Oh I’m getting on a bit here,” so I tapped him again and he didn’t take any notice. Then he got up and sort of shook himself and I think he was shivering. Well, it wasn’t cold and it was quite a decent sort of morning. I could see no reason why he should have felt cold. Anyway, I couldn’t say, but he didn’t seem to realize I was there at all. I thought well I dunno, I’m not getting anywhere here.
Anyway next thing I remember was that they was carrying my body down the old churchyard in a box and they put me there with the old lady and it suddenly dawned on me about Poll, my wife, you see. I thought, “That’s funny. If I’m dead, I should be with her, I should have thought. And where is she ?”
Anyway I was standing there watching them putting this body of mine in the grave. Oh I should have mentioned, I hadn’t got no children and all my brothers and sisters had died. I was the really last one of the family. I had some cousins who probably went abroad, but anyway, there was no relations of mine there, there was one or two of my old friends were standing around there. And it suddenly dawned on me than that, where was my wife and why was I not with her?
And anyway after this ceremony business, I was walking behind them, down the path, you know. Then there right in front of me, coming up towards me, was my wife, but not my wife as I’d known her in the last few years of her life, but as I first knew her, when she was a young girl. She looked beautiful, really beautiful. And with her I could see one of my brothers who had died when he was, oh about seventeen or eighteen. Young, nice young boy he was, fair-haired, nice looking boy. There they were laughing and joking and coming up towards me. Oh and I felt so funny, you know. I thought well here I am and there they are, so I’m all right. They’re sure to know what to do now, you know.
Anyway, my wife and brother they made a proper fuss of me, saying how sorry they were that they were late, and I said well, about “late,” how do you know about time and all that, you know, so they said, “We knew you hadn’t been too well, but we had no idea you that were coming as sudden as you were. But, we got the message, but we’re sorry we couldn’t get here quicker.”
I thought, “That’s odd. How the hell do they get about?” Course, I knew I’d got about, but as far as I was concerned, I seemed to be walking about same as I did before, except everything was much lighter. I didn’t seem to have any heaviness of the body, and no more aches and pains like I used to have.
Anyway they started to try and explain things to me, but they wouldn’t say too much. Because I’d got to get sort of adjusted and settled and you know, generally settled in like. So I said, “You talk about settling in. Where the deuce do we settle in? Nobody here seems to want to have anything to do with us, nobody seems to take any notice.”
So they said, “Oh, that’s all right. Don’t worry about them” and I told them about the parson, couldn’t he do something? They said, “You don’t want to go and see him. He’s the last one to go and see. He knows less than some other people. You’re alright, you come with us”
So I said, “It’s alright wanting to come with you, I want to come with you, but where do we go?”
So they said, “We’re going to take you to our home.”
So I said, “Where’s that?”
They said, “Oh, we can’t tell you exactly where it is, but we can take you there, and you’ll soon realize its home all right. You’ll recognize it.”
I said, “How can I recognize it? I’ve never been there.”
And they said, “Oh yes you have. Many a time when you’ve been asleep. As a matter of fact, you know it quite well.”
And I started to think, “Well I dunno, I don’t remember. I used to have some odd dreams. Once or twice, I remember dreaming about a very pretty place with a lovely garden, and my old dog Rover was there, that died many years ago. I remember I used to think that was just dreaming.”
They said, “No, that wasn’t dreaming, that was you. (unintelligible) with us when you was asleep. When your body was asleep your Spirit was free, and you could travel and be with us, see?”
So, I said, “Well it all sounds very nice, I must say.” Then they said, “Don’t you realize that you’re different?”
I said, “Well, I feel different. I don’t feel old. I don’t seem to have the old aches and pains like I used to.” And they said, “Have you seen yourself?”
So I said “No, I never thought of that,” I said, “Strangely enough, I haven’t seen myself.”
So they said, “Well, come on we’ll show you.” and I thought, “This is going to be interesting, to see myself.”
I thought, well, I could look in a mirror couldn’t I ? And they said, “Oh no, not in a mirror.”
So they took me to, what appeared to be, a very beautiful place, with a lovely setting, lovely scenery and beautiful houses. More countryfied than townfied. And they took me to one, in a very beautiful field and it was just the same little place that I had dreamed of, or thought I had dreamed about. And there I was, as I was in my dreams some years ago. I remember vividly once, waking up about, early hours of the morning remembering this, and I thought “Well this is an odd do!”
But it was exactly the same. There was my old dog, racing about there and wagging his tail, jumping up and down. And I thought, well, well, this is something this is. Then I opened the door, went in and there was a congregation. I should think there were about a dozen or more right there, people I had known. Another brother of mine, a sister, my wife’s people, they were all there, pleased and welcoming me and making a fuss of me. And telling me all about their own lives. In fact there was so much noise going on, chattering and talking, all at the same time, the dog was barking. It was a real home-coming. Then they’d got a nice old spread for me. You’d be surprised.
Then suddenly, I thought well, “I shouldn’t have thought they had cups of tea over here and sat down and ate things !” They said,“Oh yes, at first. I should imagine perhaps you don’t expect it, but it’s something you have been used to and we like to make you feel at home. And we provide these things for you and it helps to get you settled down. Anyway, you’re going to be alright now. You’ve got Poll and the dog and us. We’ll keep in touch with you and come and see you and help you.”
And I suddenly realized that I could see myself, I know this sounds odd. But I could see myself, not as I used to see myself in the mirror, but I could see myself as myself for the first time. I was conscious of myself as I really was, not as I appeared, but as I am, as I was, you know. (Unintelligible) to realize that everything is there, inside you. You don’t have to look outside you for it, it’s there. That’s the important view. The real person inside, not what you look like in the mirror or what your friends think of you or know you as, what you really are, you see ?
Oh I had a proper time I can tell you and I said to everybody, “Well it’s so wonderful, I don’t know what to say. I certainly don’t know what to do.” And they said, “Well don’t say anything, don’t do anything for a time. Just relax and enjoy yourself and rest and get over this, sort of, shock of, well, passing over, as you call it.”
And I said, “Well what I don’t understand is, it’s all so natural, all so real. Here you all are, all the people I’ve loved, all the people that meant so much to me in my life, all here waiting to receive me and make me happy and settled and content.” And I said, “There’s all those people down there, people that I’ve known and people that I’d have thought would have had at least something, particularly the parson.” I said, “I know I wasn’t a good church-goer, I didn’t go regular, I never felt somehow the need perhaps that I should have done, but, he doesn’t seem to know anything. He doesn’t seem to be able to tell anyone anything, he doesn’t seem to be able to comfort anyone very much. What’s wrong?”
And they said, “Well, you mustn’t blame the poor old parson. He’s doing the best that he can, under perhaps difficult circumstances. But you see, they just haven’t got the right end of the stick.”
Then they started to tell me that it’s just that they close their eyes to the realities of spirit as we know it and he’s prejudiced, in his own strange kind of way. He’s got this weird idea that somehow, that only the so-called good are going to be called up into heaven and eventually they’ll return to Earth to dwell on Earth in physical bodies. Well that made me laugh. He said, “You know sometimes, that some of them, especially your parson, he really believes that all those bodies in his churchyard, one day are gonna open and everyone’s coming out. All the skeletons are gonna put on flesh and they’re going to walk about and inherit the Earth. He really believes that.”
And I said, “Well I never believed that tosh when I was there. I mean, it just didn’t make sense to me.” And they said, “No, but that’s what he preaches. Course there’re a lot of them are more broad-minded than him. He’s the old-fashioned sort. A lot of them are more advanced now, but very few know about communication or ‘life after death’ as such. They accept the fact, or the possibility of the fact, the realization as it were, of life after death, but of course they won’t have this communication lark at all, you know. As a matter of fact, one or two of us have been to what we call meetings or circles or seances and we’ve made touch, you know, got through like, got messages over. But they’re very few and far between they are you know. Very few Mediums that you can really make any contact with or do much good.”
But as for the Church, well, it’s a pity, but they’ve lost the reality of it all, you know. To them, it’s something that all happened two thousand years ago and well, didn’t ever happen since. They live in the past, and they don’t realise the present and the future is all the same really. There’s no such thing as time, I was told. It’s all an illusion. I began to realise that quick enough. Time is non-existent really. And I thought, “Well I’d like to get back and have a few words. Perhaps I can tell a few stories and help a bit, you know.”
So I thought, “Well I’ve been here several times and I know you make these here gramophone recording things. You play ’em to people.” Well,” I thought, “it would be of interest to some, you know. After all, everyone’s got a story to tell haven’t they, whether they’re high-falutin and progressed and all that, or not.”