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The Library:


 

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 XIV

A FOLIO OF PARACELSUS

THE other day I asked my Teacher to show me the archives in which those who had lived out here had recorded their observations, if such existed. He said:
    "You were a great reader of books when you were on the earth. Come."
    We entered a vast building like a library, and I caught my breath in wonder. It was not the architecture of the building which struck me, but the quantities of books and records. There must have been millions of them.
    I asked the Teacher if all the books were here. He smiled and said:
    "Are there not enough? You can make your choice."
    I asked if the volumes were arranged by subjects.
    "There is an arrangement," he answered. "What do you want?"

    I said that I should like to see the books in which were written the accounts of explorations which other men had made in this (to me) still slightly known country.
    He smiled again, and took from a shelf a thick volume. It was printed in large black type.1

        1I hope no one will expect me to answer the question why should such a book appear to be printed in large black type. I have no more idea than has the reader.–Ed.

    "Who wrote this book?" I asked.
    "There is a signature," he replied.
    I looked at the end and saw the signature: it was that used by Paracelsus.
    "When did he write this?"
    "Soon after he came out." It was written between his Paracelsus life and his next one on earth."
    The book which I had opened was a treatise on spirits, human, angelic, and elemental. It began with the definition of a human spirit as a spirit which had had the experience of life in human form; and it defined an elemental spirit as a spirit of more or less developed self-consciousness which had not yet had that experience.
    Then the author defined an angel as a spirit of a high order which had not had, and probably would not have in future, such experience in matter.

    He went on to state that angelic spirits were divided into two sharply defined groups, the celestial and the infernal, the former being those angels who worked towards harmony with the laws of God, the latter being those angels who worked against that harmony. But he said that both these orders of angels were necessary, each to the other's existence; that if all were good the universe would cease to be; that good itself would cease to be through the failure of its opposite—evil.
    He said that in the archives of the angelic regions there were cases on record where a good angel had become bad or a bad angel had become good, but that such cases were of rare occurrence.
    He then went on to warn his fellow souls who should be sojourning in that realm in which he then wrote, and in which I knew myself also to be, against holding communion with evil spirits. He declared that in the subtler forms of life there were more temptations than in the earth life; that he himself had often been assailed by malignant angels who had urged him to join forces with them, and that their arguments were sometimes extremely plausible.

    He said that while living on earth he had often had conversations with spirits both good and bad; but that while on earth he had never, so far as he knew, held converse with an angel of a malignant nature.
    He advised his readers that there was one way to determine whether a being of the subtler world was an angel or merely a human or an elemental spirit, and that was by the greater brilliancy of the light which surrounded an angel. He said that both good and bad angels were extremely brilliant; but that there was a difference between them, perceptible at the first glance at their faces; that the eyes of the celestial angels were aflame with love and intellect, while the eyes of the infernal angels were very unpleasant to encounter.
    He said that it would be possible for an infernal angel to disguise himself to a mortal, so that he might be mistaken for an angel of light; but that it was practically impossible for an angel to disguise his real nature from those souls who were living in their subtle bodies.
    I will perhaps say more on this subject another night. I must rest now.

LETTER XV

LETTER XIII