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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–Lionel

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 LIV

 

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.

     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, 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 end.

     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 coming voyage. Think of it! I shall see far-away planets and meet their inhabitants. Shall I find the “square-faced men”? Perhaps so.
     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 enjoys a fight. His blood beats fast, his nerves tingle; but he who keeps his head cool is likely to come out on top.
     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.

LETTER LIII