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
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
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.
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.