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Forms Real and Unreal:


 

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 XIII

FORMS REAL AND UNREAL

WHEN I first came out here I was so interested in what I saw that I did not question much as to the manner of the seeing. But lately—especially since writing the last letter or two—I have begun to notice a difference between objects that at a superficial glance seem to be of much the same substance. For example, I can sometimes see a difference between those things which have existed on earth unquestionably, such as the forms of men and women, and other things which, while visualised and seemingly palpable, may be, and probably are, but thought-creations.
    This idea came to me while looking on at the dramas of the heaven country, and it was forced upon me with greater power while making other and recent explorations in that which I have called the pattern world.

    Later I may be able to distinguish at a glance between these two classes of seeming objects. For example, if I encounter here a being, or what seems a being, and if I am told that it is some famous character in fiction, such as Jean Valjean in Hugo's Les Misérables, I shall have reason to believe that I have seen a thought-form of sufficient vitality to stand alone, as a quasi-entity in this world of tenuous matter. So far I have not encountered any such characters.
    Of course, unless I were able to hold converse with a being, a form, or saw others do so, I could not positively state that it had an essential existence. Hereafter I shall often put things to the test in this way. If I can talk to a seeming entity, and if it can answer me, I am justified in considering it as a reality. A character in fiction, or any other mental creation, however vivid as a picture, would have no soul, no unit of force, no real self. Whatever comes to me merely as a picture I shall try to submit to this test.
    If I see a peculiar form of tree or animal, and can touch and feel it,—for the senses here are quite as acute as those of earth,—I know that it exists in the subtle matter of this plane.

    I believe that all the beings whom I have seen here are real; but if I can find one that is not,—a being which I cannot feel when I touch it and which cannot respond to my questions,—I shall have a datum for my hypothesis that thought-forms of beings, as well as things, may have sufficient cohesion to seem real.
    It is undoubtedly true that there is no spirit without substance, no substance without spirit, latent or expressed; but a painting of a man may seem at a distance to be a man.
    Can there exist deliberate thought-creations here, deliberate and purposive creations? I believe so. Such a thought-form would probably have to be very intense in order to persist.
    It seems to me that I had better settle this question to my own satisfaction before talking any more about it.

 

LETTER XIV

LETTER XII