‘Being on Earth is like being in a lower [grade] at school. While there, one is very absorbed and thinks it tremendously important. When one moves up, at first one is still interested in one’s old [grade], but soon it seems remote, unless one has a brother there. Then one does one’s bit to advise and help him. It is only the dunces who yearn to be back.’
Philip in the Spheres (1952)
Alice Gilbert
In Summary

A mother communicates telepathically with her deceased son, learning secrets from higher spheres beyond our own.


Her son survived Hitler only to be killed off in a car crash back home. After waiting years for her Philip to return from sea battles, Alice lost him on land. His body fast decayed and was lowered into the ground at a funeral surrounded by everyone he had touched in this life. Yet as the priest intoned prayers and lament over her dead son’s corpse, Alice heard an ethereal voice to the right of her suddenly say, ‘Whatever is he bleating like a sheep over that thing for – it’s not me!’

Alice Gilbert was convinced that her son, Philip, was telepathically communicating with her from beyond the grave, as he rose through a higher realm of spiritual spheres. Receiving and recording these messages – often into the wee hours of the morning – Alice published them in numerous manuscripts, including Philip in Two Worlds (1948), Philip in the Spheres (1952), and Leaves from Philip’s Scrapbook (1958). While Philip in Two Worlds covered three months during the immediate aftermath of her son’s death, Philip in the Spheres recorded the subsequent three years from 1948 to 1951.


Since Alice was Philip’s mother during ‘his short stay here’, their sustained connection yields a chain of communication governed by a ‘broad brand of vibration which can pass currents of emotion and thought’. Moreover, Alice can switch off these signals between them like a television. When Philip is telepathically present, he will often make tables shake playfully, filling ‘the room with that feeling of joie-de-vivre which was so much his Sagittarian personality’.

However, such telepathic thoughts not only communicate but create. Philip informs his mother about how the higher spheres are constituted almost entirely by such ‘thought creations'. We can use our thoughts to heal and generate a ‘strong thought wall of protection’ around ourselves and others. In this way, once one has thought something into being, this image now takes on a life of its own. Indeed, hospitals and headquarters have been thought into existence amidst these higher realms. Those whose earthly lives were all about material things – for example, cars, houses, money – usually struggle to transition to this immaterial sphere of thought. Whereas those who spent their earthly time in imagination, music, color, or study tend to be naturals.

While higher realms of thought may seem abstract, they can actually prove more real than anything on Earth. Energy vibrations have to slow down and spread out in order to become material in our earthly sense, and if they continue down this path, they will eventually dissipate into nothing at all. Thus, the higher realms are actually fuller and more real than our seemingly ‘solid’ world. Even silence in these higher spheres contains and releases an infinite array of song and sound, just as the colour white contains and unleashes all the colors of the rainbow.

In a more universal sense, these higher realms can be all things to all people, becoming heaven to those who did good upon the Earth and hell to those who now reap what they sowed. Some ‘clingers’ are still so attached to Earth that they try to pull these higher realms down to their planetary level, visiting old friends, watching over their possessions, and often being confused for ghosts. While skeptics want spirits to ‘prove’ themselves via revealing secret knowledge of earthly affairs (for example, who killed John F. Kennedy, where Jimmy Hoffa is buried), it is only the less evolved spirits that remain preoccupied with bothering to know such things.


Readers – and parents, in particular – may find Philip in the Spheres to be a horror story with a happy ending, with Alice losing her son only to find him once more through telepathy. It spins not only a meaty tale but the promise that the tragedies we face in our own lives are not the end but just the beginning; whereby death hopefully offers a means to a realm where nothing and no one is lost forever. In the process, this message enables us to remain receptive to wisdom from beyond about how to live here and now.

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