THE GREATER DREAMLAND
I HAVE not been to see you for some
time, for I have been trying an experiment.
Since coming to this country I have
so often seen men and women
lying in a state of subjective enjoyment, of dream, if I may use the
word, that I have long wanted to spend a few days alone with my interior
self, in that same state. My reason for hesitating was that I feared to
dream too long, and thus to lose valuable time—both yours and mine.
But when I expressed to the Teacher
one day my desire to visit the greater dreamland lying within my own
brain, also my fear that I
might be slow in waking, he promised that he would come and wake me in
exactly seven days of earthly time if I had not already aroused myself.
"For," he said, "you can set an
alarm-clock in your own brain, which can always be relied upon."
This I knew from old experience; but
I had feared that the psychic sleep might be deeper than the ordinary
earthly sleep, and that the
alarm-clock might not go off at the appointed time.
I have heard much comment, so
doubtless have you, on the fact that spirits, when they return to
communicate with their friends, say, as a rule, so little about their
celestial life. The reason is, I fancy, that they despair of making
themselves understood should they attempt to describe their existence,
which is so different from that of earth.
Now, most souls, when they have been
out some time, fall into that state of reverie, or dream, which I had so
long desired to experience
for myself. Some souls awake at intervals, and show an
occasional interest in the things and
people of the earth; but if the sleep is deep, and if the soul is
willing or desirous to leave the things of the earth behind, the
subconscious state may last uninterruptedly for years, or even
centuries. But a soul that could stay asleep for centuries would
probably be one that was living
according to long rhythm, the normal
rhythm of humanity.
So, when I went into the deep sleep,
I went into it with a spell upon myself not to remain too long.
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Oh, it was wonderful, that
dream-country in my own self! The Theosophists would perhaps say that I
had taken a rest in the bliss of devachan. No matter what one calls it.
It was an experience worth remembering.
I closed my eyes and went
in—in—deeper than thought, where the restless waves of life are still,
and the soul is face to face with
itself and with all the wonders of
its own past. There is nothing but
loveliness in that sleep. If one can
bring back the dreams, as I did,
the sojourn there is an adventure
I went in to enjoy, and I enjoyed. I
found there the simulacrum of everyone whom I had ever loved. They
smiled at me, and I understood the mystery of them, and why we had been
I refound, too, my old dreams of
ambition, and enjoyed the fruit
of all my labour on earth. It is a rosy world, that inner world of the
soul, and the heart's desire
is always found there. No wonder that the strenuous life of earth is
oftener than not a pain and a travail, for the dream-life which follows
is so beautiful that the balance must he preserved.
Rest! On earth you know not the
meaning of the word. I rested only seven days; but so refreshed
was I that, had I not other worlds to
conquer, I should almost have had the courage to return to earth.
Do not neglect rest—you who still
live the toilsome life in the sunshine. For every added hour of true
rest your working capacity is increased. Have no fear. You are not
wasting time when you lie down and dream. As I have said before,
eternity is long. There is room for rest in the wayside inns which dot
the path which the cycles tread.
If you want to take a long and
devachanic rest—why, take it. Take it even on earth, if it seems
desirable. Do not be always grubbing, even at literature. Go out and
play with the squirrels, or lie by the fire and dream with the household
cat. The cat that enjoys the drowsy fireside also enjoys catching mice
when the mood is on her. She cannot be always hunting, neither can you.
Just take a dip in devachan some day,
and see how refreshed you will be when you come out: Perhaps I am
misusing that word "devachan," for I was never very deeply learned in
the lore of Theosophy.
I have even heard nirvana described
as a state of intense motion,
so rapid that it seems motionless, like a spinning-top, or the wing of a
But nirvana is not for all men—not
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I have hinted at the wonders of my
seven days of blissful rest, but I have not described them. How can I? A
great poet once declared that there was no thought or feeling which
could not be expressed in
words. Perhaps he has changed his mind by this time, after being out
here some sixty years.
As I went to rest, I commanded my
soul to bring back every dream. Of course I cannot say whether some may
not have escaped, any more than you can say on waking that you have or
have not forgotten the deeper experiences of the night. But when I came
back into the normal life of this plane that is called astral, I felt
like an explorer who returns from a strange journey with wonder-tales to
tell. Only I did not tell them. To whom should I relate those dreams and
visions? I would not be a bore, even to "disembodied" associates. Had
Lionel been here, I might have entertained him many an hour with my
stories; but he is lost to me for the present.
And, by the way, he seems to have
taken little or no devachanic
rest. Is that because he was so young on coming out that he had
not exhausted the normal rhythm?
Probably. Had he remained
out here and grown up, perhaps he
also would have sought the deeper interior world. But I will not
speculate, for this is a record
of experiences, not of speculations. You can speculate as well as I, if
you think it worth while.
I found in my own dreamland a fair,
fair face. No, I am not going to tell you about that; it is my little
secret. Of course I found many
faces, but one was lovelier than all the others, and it was not
the face of the Beautiful Being,
either. The Beautiful Being I meet
when I am wide awake. I did not
encounter her as an actual presence in sleep, only the simulacrum of
her. In the deeper dreamland we see only what is in our brains.
do not exist
there, only the memories of things and the imagination of them.
Imagination creates in this world, as
in yours: it actually moulds
the tenuous substance; but in the greater dreamland I do not think that
we mould in substance. It is a world of light and shadow pictures, too
subtle to be described.
Even before this experience I had
gone into the memories of my
own past; but I had not revelled in them, had not indulged myself
to the extent of conjuring with
light and shade. But, oh! what's the
use? There are no words to describe
it. Can you describe the perfume of a rose, as
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you once said yourself? Can you tell
how a kiss feels? Could you even describe the emotion of fear so that
one who had not felt it, by former experience in this life or some
other, would know what you meant? No more can I describe the process of
Revel to your heart's content in
fancy, in memory, while you are still in the body, and yet I think that
you will have only the shadow
of a shadow of what I experienced in those seven days, the reflection of
a reflection of the real dream. The reflection of a
reflection! I like that phrase. It
suggests a clear picture, though not
a direct impression. Try dreaming,
then, even on earth, and maybe you will get a reflection of a reflection
of the pictured joys of the spiritual dreamland.
A SERMON AND A PROMISE
AS I have been coming to you every
few days for several months, and have told stories for your amusement,
may I come now and preach a sermon? I promise it shall not be long.
You live in a land where church
spires pierce the blue of heaven, looking from the viewpoint of the
clouds like the uplifted spears of an invading army—which in intent they
are; so surely you have the habit of listening to sermons. The average
sermon is made up mostly of advice, and mine will not differ from others
in that particular. I wish to advise you, and as many other persons as
you can make listen to my advice.
You will grant that, for one who
offers counsel, I have had unusual opportunities for fitting myself to
give it. In order to help you to live, I would show you the point of
view of a serious and
thoughtful—however imperfect—observer of the
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after effects of causes set in motion
by dwellers upon the earth. It has been said that cause and effect are
opposite and equal. Very good. Now I want to draw your attention to
certain illustrations of that axiom which have come to my mind during
the last few months. If I repeat one or two things which I have already
said, that is no serious matter. You may have forgotten them, or missed
their application to the business of preparing for the future life on
this side of the gulf of death. That is a moss-grown figure of
speech, "the gulf of death"; but I
am writing a sermon, not a poem,
and well-worn tropes are expected
from the pulpit.
The preachers remind you every few
Sundays that you have got to die some day. Do you realise it? Does your
consciousness take in the fact that at any moment—to-morrow or fifty
years hence— you may suddenly find yourself
that body whose cohesive
force you have become accustomed to;
that you may find yourself,
either alone or accompanied, in a very tenuous and light and at first
not easily manageable body, with no certain power of communicating with
those friends and relations whom you may see in the very room with you?
You have not realised it? Then get it
A SERMON AND A
your consciousness. Grasp it with
both hemispheres of your brain. Clutch it with the talons of your mind.
going to die.
Oh, do not be alarmed! I do not mean
you personally, nor that you,
or any particular person, will die to-morrow, or next year; but
die you must some day; and if you
remind yourself of it occasionally, it will lessen the shock of the actual happening when
Do not brood over the thought of
death. God forbid that you should read such a morbid meaning into my
blunt words! But be prepared. You insure your life for so much money
that your family may be
provided for; but you do nothing to insure your own future
peace of mind regarding your own
Remember this always: however minute
are the instructions you leave
for the management of your affairs after death, should you be able to
look back to the earth you will find that someone has mismanaged them.
So expect just that, take it as a matter of course, and learn to say,
"What difference does it make?" Learn to feel that the past is past,
that the future alone has possibilities for you, and that the sooner you
leave other persons to manage your discarded earthly affairs the better
it will be for your own tranquillity.
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Be prepared to let go. That is the first point I wish to make.
Do not go out into the new life with
only one eye open to the celestial planes, and the other inverted
towards the images of earth. You will not get far if you do. Let go. Get
away from the world just as soon as you can.
This may sound to some people like
heartless advice, for there is
no doubt that a wise spirit, looking
down from the higher sphere, can, by his subtly instilled telepathic
suggestions, influence for good the men and women of the earth. But
there are always thousands of those who are eager to do that. The
heavens above your head now are literally swarming with souls who long
to take a hand in the business of earth, souls who cannot let go, who
find the habit of managing other people's affairs a fascinating habit,
as enthralling as that of tobacco, or opium. Again, do not call me
heartless. I am blunt of speech, but I love you, men of earth. If I hurt
you, it is for your good.
Now comes another and a most
interesting point. Forget, if you can, the sins you have committed in
the flesh. You cannot escape the effects of those causes; but you can
avoid strengthening the tie with sin, you can avoid going back to earth
self-hypnotised with the idea
that you are a sinner.
A SERMON AND A
Do not brood over sin. It is true
that you can exhaust the impulse
to sin by dwelling on it until your
soul is disgusted; but that is a slow and an unpleasant process. The
short-cut of forgetfulness is better.
Now I want to express an idea very
difficult to express, for the reason that it will be quite new to most
of you. It is this: The power of the creative imagination is stronger in
men wearing their earthly bodies than it is in men (spirits) who have
laid off their bodies. Not that most persons know how to use that power:
they do not; the point I wish to make is that they can use it. A solid
body is a resistive base, a powerful lever, from which the will can
project those things conjured
by the imagination. That is, I believe,
the real reason why Masters retain
their physical bodies. The trained mind, robed in the tenuous matter of
our world, is stronger than the untrained mind robed in dense matter; but the Masters still
robed in flesh can command a
legion of angels.1
1 He has said that
they build freely in that world through the creative imagination; but
remember how tenuous and easily handled is the matter which they
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This is by way of preface to the
assertion that as you on earth picture your future life to be, so it
will be, limited always by the power with which you back your will, and
by the possibility of subtle matter to take the mould you give it, and
that possibility is almost unlimited.
Will to progress after death, and
you will progress; will to learn,
and you will learn; will to return to the earth after a time to take up a
special work, and you will return and take up that work.
Karma is an iron law, yes; but you
are the creator of karma.
Above all things, do not expect—which
is to demand unconsciousness and annihilation. You cannot annihilate
the unit of force which you are, but you can by self-suggestion put it
to sleep for ages. Go out of life with the determination to retain
consciousness, and you will retain it.
When the time comes for you to enter
that rest which a certain school of thought has called devachan, you
will enter it; but that time will not be immediately after you go out.
On finally reaching that state you
will, as a matter of course, relive in dream your former earthly life
and assimilate its experiences; but by that time you will have got rid
of the desire personally to
take part, as a spirit, in the lives of those you have left behind.
A SERMON AND A
Do not, while still on earth, invoke
the spirits of the dead. They may be busy elsewhere, and you may be
strong enough to call them
away from their own business to attend to yours unwillingly.
You who write for me, I want to thank
you for never calling me. You
let me come always at my own time, and let me say what I wish to say
without confusing my thought by either questions or comments.
You of the earth who are still upon
the earth may find your departed friends when you come out here, if they
have not already put on another body. Meantime, let them perform the
work of the state in which they are.
You who write for me will remember
that the first time I came you did not even know that I had left the
earth. I found you in a passive mood, and wrote a message signed by a
symbol whose special meaning was unknown to you, but which I knew would
be immediately recognised by those in whom you were likely to confide.
That was a most fortunate beginning, for it gave you
confidence in the genuineness of my
But I said that I would write only a sermon to
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night, so I will now pronounce the
blessing and depart. I shall
return, however. This is not the last meeting of the season.
One word more before I go to my other
work. If you had urgently called me during that week which I spent in
rest, you might have had the power to cut short a most interesting and
valuable experience. So the final word, after the benediction of this
sermon, is: Do not be too
egotistically insistent, even with the so-called dead.
If your need is great, the souls who
love you may feel it and come to you of their own accord. This is often
illustrated in the earth life, among those whose psychic pores are open.
THE APRIL OF THE WORLD
HAVING told you last week that you
must die, according to the jargon of the earth, I now want to assure you
that you can never really die at all; that you are as immortal as the angels, as immortal
as God Himself.
No, that is not a contradiction.
I have spoken before of immortality:
it was always a favourite theme of mine; but since my association with
the Beautiful Being it has become for me an exultant consciousness.
The Beautiful Being lives in
eternity, as We fancy that we live
in time. Will you write down here
another of that angel's chants?
When you see me in the green trees
and in the green light under trees, know that you are near to me:
When you hear my voice in the
silence, know that I speak for you.
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The immortal loves to speak to the
immortal in the mortal, and there is joy in calling to the joy which
dozes in the heart of a soul of earth.
When joy is awake, the soul is awake.
You look for God in the forms of men
and women, and sometimes you find Him there;
But you look for me in your own soul;
the deeper the gaze, the fairer the vision.
Yes, I am in Nature, and I am in you,
when you look for me there;
For Nature is dual, and the half you carry within you.
All things are one and dual—even I,
and that is why you may find me.
Oh, the charm of being free, to
wander at will round the earth and heaven, and through the souls of men!
I am lighter than the thistle-down,
but more enduring than the stars:
The permanent is impalpable, and only
the impalpable endures.
THE APRIL OF THE
The road is not long which leads to
the castle of dreams; the far
away is nearer than next-door,
but only the dreamer finds it.
When labour is light, the pay is
sure; when the days are hard, their
reward is tardy.
Be glad, and I will repay you.
I would write my name on the leaves
of your heart, but only the angels can read the writing.
Who bears my unknown name on the
petals of his heart is accepted
among the angels for the flower he
is; his perfume reaches heaven.
There is pollen in the heart, child
of earth, and it fructifies the flowers of faith;
There is faith in the soul, child of
time, and it bears the seeds of all
The seasons come and the seasons go,
but the springtime is eternal.
I can find that in you which was
lost in the April of the world.
A HAPPY WIDOWER
I MET a charming woman the other
night, quite different from anyone else I have met heretofore. She was
no less a woman because she weighed perhaps a milligramme instead of one
hundred and thirty pounds.
I was passing along a quiet road, and
saw her standing by a fountain. Who had created the fountain? I cannot
say. There are sculptors in this world who mould for the love of the
work more beautiful fountains than your sculptors mould for money. The
joy of the workman in his
work! Why, that is heaven, is it not?
I saw a beautiful woman standing by a
fountain; and as I love
beauty, whether in fountains or in women, I paused to regard both.
The lovelier of the two looked up and laughed.
"I was wishing for someone to talk
to," she said. "What a wonderful world this is!"
"I am glad you find it so," I
also do not agree with the old woman who declared that heaven was a much
A HAPPY WIDOWER
"You don't remember me, do you?" she
asked. "No. Have we met before?"
"We have. And, of course, you could
remember me, if you should try."
Then I recalled who she was. We had
met some years before on one
of my journeys to New York, and I had talked with her about
the mysteries of life and death, of
will and destiny.
"I have tested many of the things you
told me," she went on, "and I have found them true."
"What things, for instance?"
"First and most important, that man
may create his own environment."
"You can easily demonstrate that
here," I said. "But how long have you been in this world?"
"Only a few months."
"And how did you come out?" "I died
of too much joy."
"That was a pleasant death and an
unusual one," I said, smiling. "How did it happen?"
"The doctor said that I died of
heart-failure. For years I had wanted a certain thing, and when it came
to me suddenly, the realisation was too much for me."
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"Why, I suddenly realised that I had
let slip the body through
which I might have enjoyed this thing I had attained."
"I remembered that I was not my body,
that I was my consciousness; and as long as that was intact, I was
intact. So I went right on enjoying the attainment."
"Without a regret?" "Yes."
"You are indeed a philosopher," I
said. "And though I do not want to force your confidence, yet I would be
much interested to know your story."
"It would seem absurd to some
people," she answered, "and even to me it seems strange sometimes. But I
had always wanted money, a great deal of money. One day a certain person
died, leaving me a fortune. It
was that joy which was too strong for me."
"And how do you enjoy the fortune
"In several ways. My husband and I
had planned a beautiful house—if we should ever have the money. We had
planned to travel, too, and to see the interesting places of the world.
We also had two or three
friends who loved to create beauty in the arts, and
who were hampered
in their work by lack of means. Now,
my husband, being my sole
heir, came into the fortune immediately I passed out. So I enjoy
everything with him and through him just the same as if I were actually
in the flesh."
"And he knows that you are present?"
"Yes. We had each promised not to
desert the other in life or
death. I have kept my word, and he knows that I have kept it."
"And where is he now?"
"Except for me."
"In what place is he?"
"In Egypt at this time."
I drew nearer.
"Can you show him to me?" I asked.
"Yes, I think so. Come along."
It is needless to say that I did not
require a second invitation.
We found the man—a handsome fellow
about thirty years of age-sitting alone in a luxurious bedroom in Cairo.
It seems to be my destiny to have strange experiences in
The young man was reading as we entered the room; but he looked up at
once, for he felt that
she was there. I do not
think he perceived me. "My
darling," he said, aloud, "I have seen the Pyramids!"
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She placed her hand upon his
forehead, and he closed his eyes, the better to see her.
Then his hand moved to the table, he
opened his eyes again, and
took up paper and pencil. I saw her guide his hand, which wrote:
"I have brought a friend with me. Can
you see him?" "No."
The man spoke aloud, she
communicating through the pencil in his hand and by his interior
perception of her.
"Then never mind," she wrote; "he is
not an egotist. I only wanted him to see you. I have told him how happy I am—and now
he sees why."
"This journey of mine is an unalloyed
delight," the man said. "That
is because I am with you," she replied. "Were you with me at the
"Yes, though I cannot see very well
in the sunshine. I have been
there, however, and have seen them by moonlight. But where are you going
"Where do you want me to go?" "Up the
Nile, to Assouan." "I will go. When shall I start?"
"The day after to-morrow. And now au
revoir, my love. I will return by and by."
A moment later we were outside—she
and I—in the soft starlight of an Egyptian evening.
"Did I not tell you the truth?" she
demanded, with a little laugh of triumph.
"But have you no desire to go on in
the spiritual world?" I asked.
"Is there anything more spiritual
than love?" she asked in return.
"Is not love the fulfilling of the
"But," I said, "I recently wrote a
letter to the men and women of
the earth, advising those who should come out here to get away from the
earth as soon as possible."
"Lovers like me will not take your
advice," she answered, with a
smile. "And tell me now: Is it not better for Henry to enjoy my society
in the long evenings—is it not better for him to be happy than to grieve
"But at first? Was he not
inconsolable at your going out?"
"Yes, until I came to him. He was sitting one night in deep
dejection, and I reached for his
hand, and wrote with it: 'I am here,
Speak to me.' 'My Love!' he cried,
his face alight, 'are you really there?' 'Yes, I am here, and I shall
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come to you every day until you come
out to me,' I answered, through the pencil.
"He had never known that he was what
you call a 'writing medium.'
He would never have been but for my presence in a form
of matter different from his own.
"Come now, my friend," she added,
"would you really advise me not to visit Harry any more?"
"There are said to be exceptions to
all rules," I answered. "At
this moment you seem to me to be one of those exceptions."
"And will you add a postscript to
your recent letter to the world?"
"If I can," I said, "I will tell your
story. My readers can draw their own conclusions."
"Thank you," was her answer.
"But," I added, "when Henry comes out
here in his turn, you two together should go away from the world."
"Have you been away from the world
"To some extent. I am only stopping
here now until a certain work is finished."
"And then where are you going?"
"To visit other planets."
"Henry and I will do that, too, when
he comes out."
Now, my friend, I tell you this story
for whatever it is worth. There are cases like hers, where an earthly
tie is all-compelling. But in the case of most persons I stand by my
original assertion and my original advice.
THE ARCHIVES OF THE SOUL
I HAVE spoken of a determination to
visit other planets when my
work of writing these letters is ended; but I must not neglect to say
that I consider such journeys
to and fro in the universe of far less spiritual value than those other
journeys which I have made and shall make into the deep places of my own
self. Travelling in actual space and time is important to a man, that he
may gain knowledge of other lands and peoples, see the differences
between these peoples and him. self, and learn the causes thereof; yet
quiet meditation is even a greater factor in growth. If a man whose
spiritual perceptions are open
can do but one of these two things, it
would be better for him to sit in a
cabin in the backwoods and seek
in his own soul for the secrets which
it guards, than to travel
without such self-examination to the ends of the earth.
Get acquainted with your own soul.
THE ARCHIVES OF THE
you do this or that, why you feel
this or that. Sit quietly when in doubt about any matter, and let the
truth rise from the deeps of
yourself. Examine your motives always. Do not say, "I ought to do
this act for such and such a reason;
therefore I do it for that reason." Such argument is self-deception. If
you do a kind act, ask yourself why. Perhaps you can find even in a kind
action a hidden motive of self-seeking. If you should find such a
motive, do not deny it to yourself. Acknowledge it to yourself, though
you need not advertise it on the walls of your dwelling. Such a secret
understanding will give you a greater sympathy and
comprehension in judging the motives
Strive always for the ideal; but do
not label every emotion as an
ideal emotion if it is not really that. Speak the truth to yourself.
Until you can dare to do that you will make little progress in the quest
of your own soul.
Between earth lives is a good time to
meditate, but one should form the habit of meditation while in the
flesh. Habits formed in the flesh have a tendency to continue after the
flesh is laid aside. That is a reason why one should keep as free as
possible from physical habits.
If my charming acquaintance who comes every
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night to her husband to write love
messages through his hand
would spend the greater part of her time in acquiring knowledge of this
new world, so that she could enlighten him, then might their communion
be an unmixed good; but I fear it is not so. Therefore I
shall look for her again, and give
her some fatherly advice. She has
a quick and receptive mind, and I
think she will listen to me. He would be interested in her experiences,
if for no other reason than because they are hers. Yes, I shall have to find her again.
I have made wonderful discoveries in
the archives of my own soul. There I have found the memories of all my
past, back to a time almost unbelievably distant. In seeing how the
causes set up in one life have produced their effects in another life, I
have learned more than I shall
learn on my coming tour of the planets.
Everything exists in the soul; all
knowledge is there. Grasp that
idea if you can. The infallible part
of us is the hidden part, and it is
for us to bring it to light. Do you
understand now why I advise the disembodied to break away from the
distractions and the dazzling mirages of the earthly life? Only in the
stillness of detachment can the soul yield up her secrets. It is not
that I am indifferent to earthly loves; on the contrary, I
THE ARCHIVES OF THE
love more deeply than ever all those
whom I loved on earth; but I
realise that if I can love them wisely instead of unwisely, it will be
better both for them and for
Yet the call of the earth is loud
sometimes, and my heart answers from this side of the veil.
A FORMULA FOR MASTERSHIP
MY friend, I am going to leave you
for a while—perhaps for a long time.
It seems to me that my immediate work
with the earth is done. I want still further to lighten my load, to soar
out upon the waves of ether—far—far—and to forget, in the thrill of
exploration, that I shall some day have to make my way painfully back to
the world through the narrow straits of birth.
I am going out with the Beautiful
Being on a voyage of discovery. My companion has taken this journey
before, and can show me the way to many wonders.
There is a sadness in bidding you
good-bye. Do you remember the
last time you saw me in my old body? We neither of us thought
that afternoon that we should next
meet in a foreign country, and under conditions so strange that half the
world will doubt that we have ever met again at all, and the other half
will wonder if indeed we have really met.
A FORMULA FOR
Tell me, was I ever more real to you
than I am this evening? While sitting with me in the days of the past,
did you ever know less of what I should say a moment afterwards than you
know now? Rack your brain as
you will, you cannot tell what I am going to talk about. That will prove
to you, at least, that I am as real as ever.
I want to leave a few messages.
Tell…. And tell …. And some day tell my boy to live a brave and clean
life. He will be watched over. Tell him that if sometimes he feels the
interior guidance, not to be
afraid to trust it. Tell him to look within for light.
For the present, I have not much more
to say to the world at large. But I want you to publish these letters,
leaving out only the very personal paragraphs.
Yes, I may not see you again for a
long time. Do not be sad. When I am gone, perhaps another will come.
Do not close the door too tight; but
guard well the door, and let
no one enter who has not the signs and passwords. You will not be
deceived; I have trained you to that
I cannot write much to-night, for
there is a sadness in leaving
the earth. But I am—or shall be—all
a-thrill with the interest of the
290 LETTERS FROM A LIVING
Think of it! I shall see far-away
planets and meet their inhabitants.
Shall I find the "square-faced men"?
In Jupiter, they say, there is a race
of beings wonderful to
behold. I shall see them. Will they be fairer than our own Beautiful
Being, who loves the little
earth and usually stays near it, because there are such struggles here?
The joy of the struggle! That is the
keynote of immortality, the keynote of power. Let this be my final
message to the world. Tell
them to enjoy their struggles, to thrill at the endless possibilities of
combination and creation, to
live in the moment while preparing for long hence, and not to exaggerate
the importance of momentary failures and disappointments.
When they come out here and get
their lives in perspective, they
will see that most of their causes of
anxiety were trivial, and that
all the lights and shadows were
necessary to the picture.
I had my lights and shadows, too, but
I regret nothing. The Master enjoys difficulties as a swimmer enjoys the
resistance of the water.
If I could make you realise the power
that comes from facing the struggle—not only bravely, as all the
platitudinous bores will tell you, but facing it with enjoyment. Why, any healthy boy
A FORMULA FOR
enjoys a fight. His blood beats fast,
his nerves tingle; but he who keeps his head cool is likely to come out on
Life is a fight. You are in matter to
conquer it—lest it conquer you.
There is nothing in this universe
stronger than the will of man when it is directed by a powerful unit of
force. Whatever your strength,
make the most of it in the battle of life.
Remember that your opponents are not
other men, but conditions. If you fight men, they will fight you back; but
if you fight conditions, they, being unintelligent, will yield to you with
just enough resistance to keep
your muscles in good order.
And do not forget the law of
rhythm—that is at the back of everything. Count on rhythm; it never has
failed yet, and it never will. Watch for the high tides of yourself and
flow up with them; when the inevitable low tides come, either rest or
meditate. You cannot escape
rhythm. You transcend it by working with it.
You can even turn and grow young, for
time also has its tides; and
there are many ripples in the long sea-swell of life.
I feel that I am leaving much unsaid.
But I shall meet you again some day.