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Letters from a Living Dead Man


LETTER

 

Introduction

I.

The Return

II.

Tell No Man

III.

Guarding the Door

IV.

A Cloud on the Mirror

V.

The Promise of Things Untold

VI.

The Wand of Will

VII.

A Light behind the Veil

VIII.

The Iron Grip of Matter

IX.

Where Souls go up and down.

X.

A Rendezvous in the Fourth Dimension

XI.

The Boy豊ionel

XII.

The Pattern World

XIII.

Forms Real and Unreal

XIV.

A Folio of Paracelsus

XV.

A Roman Toga

XVI.

A Thing to be forgotten

XVII.

The Second Wife over there

XVIII.

Individual Hells

XIX.

A little Home in Heaven

XX.

The Man who found God

XXI.

The Leisure of the Soul

XXII.

The Serpent of Eternity

XXIII.

A Brief for the Defendant

XXIV.

Forbidden Knowledge

XXV.

A Shadowless World

XXVI.

Circles in the Sand

XXVII.

The Magic Ring

XXVIII.

Except ye be as Little Children

XXIX.

An Unexpected Warning

XXX.

The Sylph and the Magician

XXXI.

A problem in Celestial Mathematics

.XXXII.

A Change of Focus

XXXIII.

Five Resolutions

XXXIV.

The Passing of Lionel

XXXV.

The Beautiful Being

XXXVI.

The Hollow Sphere

XXXVII.

An Empty China Cup

XXXVIII.

Where Time is not

XXXIX.

The Doctrine of Death

XL.

The Celestial Hierarchy

XLI.

The Darling of the Unseen

XLII.

A Victim of the Non-existent

XLIII.

A Cloud of Witnesses

XLIV.

The Kingdom Within

XLV.

The Game of Make-believe

XLVI.

Heirs of Hermes

XLVII.

Only a Song

XLVIII.

Invisible Gifts at Yuletide

XLIX.

The Greater Dreamland

L.

A Sermon and a Promise

LI.

The April of the World

LII.

A Happy Widower

LIII.

The Archives of the Soul

LIV.

A Formula for Mastership


 

 

LETTER L

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末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末however imperfect末observer of the 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末to-morrow or fifty years hence末you may suddenly find yourself outside 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 through your consciousness. Grasp it with both hemispheres of your brain. Clutch it with the talons of your mind. You are 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 it comes.
    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 self.
    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 tranquility. 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-hypnotized with the idea that you are a sinner.

    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 we must remember how tenuous and easily handled is the matter which they use.末ED.

    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末which is to demand末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.

    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 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 with 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 communications.
    But I said that I would write only a sermon to-night, so I will now pronounce the blessing and depart. I shall return, however. This is not the last meeting of the season.

Later.

    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.

LETTER LI

LETTER XLIX