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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 XLIII

A CLOUD OF WITNESSES

Are you surprised to learn that there is even a greater difference between the beings in this world than between the people of earth? That is inevitable, for this is a freer world than yours.
     I should fail in my duty if I did not tell you something of the evil beings out here; perhaps no one else will ever tell you, and the knowledge is necessary to self-protection.
     First I want to say that there is a strong sympathy between the spirits in this world and the spirits in your world. Yes, they are both spirits, the difference being mainly a difference in garments, one wearing flesh and the other wearing a subtler but none the less real body.

     Now the good spirits, which may be "the spirits of just men made perfect," or those who merely aspire to perfection, are powerfully drawn to those fellow-spirits on earth whose ideals are in harmony with their own. The magnetic attraction which exists between human beings is weak compared to that which is possible between beings embodied and beings disembodied. As opposites attract, the very difference in matter is a drawing force. The female is not more attractive to the male than the being of flesh is attractive to the being in the astral. The two do not usually understand each other, neither do man and woman. But the influence is felt, and beings out here understand its source better than you do, because they generally carry with them the memory of your world, while you have lost the memory of theirs.
     At no time is the sympathetic power between men and spirits so strong as when men are labouring under some intense emotion, be it love or hate, or anger, or any other excitement. For then the fiery element in man is most active, and spirits are attracted by fire.

(Here the writing suddenly stopped, the influence passed, to return after a few minutes.)

     You wonder why I went away? It was in order to draw a wide protective circle around us both, for what I have to say to you is something which certain spirits would wish me to leave unsaid.

     To continue. When man is excited, exalted, or in any way intensified in his emotional life, the spirits draw near to him. That is how conception is possible; that is the secret of inspiration; that is why anger grows with what it feeds upon.
     And this last is the point which I want to drive home to your consciousness. When you lose your temper you lose a great deal, among other things the control of yourself, and it is barely possible that another entity may momentarily assume control of you.
     This subjective world, as I have called it, is full of hateful spirits. They love to stir up strife, both here and on earth. They enjoy the excitement of anger in others, they are thrilled by the poison of hatred; as certain men revel in morphine, so they revel in all inharmonious passion.
     Do you see the point and the danger? A small seed of anger in your heart they feed and inflame by the hatred in their own. It is not necessarily hatred of you as an individual, often they have no personal interest in you; but for the purpose of gratifying their evil passion they will attach themselves to you temporarily. Other illustrations are not far to seek.

     A man who has the habit of anger, even of fault-finding, is certain to be surrounded by evil spirits. I have seen a score of them around a man, thrilling him with their own malignant magnetism, stirring him up again when by reaction he would have cooled down.
     Sometimes the impersonal interest in mere strife becomes personal; an angry spirit here may find that by attaching himself to a certain man he is sure to get every day a thrill or thrills of angry excitement, as his victim continually loses his temper and storms and rages. This is one of the most terrible misfortunes which can happen to anybody. Carried to its ultimate, it may become obsession, and end in insanity.
     The same law applies to other unlovely passions, those of lust and avarice. Beware of lust, beware of all sex attraction into which no spiritual or heart element enters. I have seen things that I would not wish to record, either through your hand or any other.
     Let us take instead a case of avarice. I have seen a miser counting over his gold, have seen the terrible eyes of the spirits which enjoyed the gold through him. For gold has a peculiar influence as a metal, apart from its purchasing power or the associations attached to it. Certain spirits love gold, even as the miser loves it, and with the same acquisitive, astringent passion. As it is one of the heaviest of metals, so its power is a condensed and condensing power.

     I do not mean by this that you should beware of gold. Get all you can use, for it is useful; but do not gloat over it. One does not attract the avaricious spirits merely by owning the symbols of wealth—houses and lands and stocks and bonds, or even a moderate amount of coin; but I advise you not to hoard coins to gloat over.
     There are certain jewels, however, whose possession will aid you, for they attract the spirits of power. But you will probably choose your jewels by reason of your affinity with them, and may choose wisely.
     Now that I have done my duty by warning you against the passions and the passionate spirits of which you should beware, I can go on to speak of other feelings and of other spiritual associates of man.
     You have met persons who seemed to radiate sunshine, whose very presence in a room made you happier. Have you asked yourself why? The true answer would be that by their lovely disposition they attracted round them a "cloud of witnesses" as to the joy and the beauty of life.

     I have myself often basked in the warm rays of a certain loving heart I know upon the earth. I have heard spirits say to one another as they crowded round that person, "It is good to be here." Do you think that any evil thing could happen to him? A score of loving and sympathetic spirits would strive to give him warning should any evil threaten.
     Then, too, a joyous heart attracts joyous events.
     Simplicity, also, and sweet humility, are very attractive to gentle disembodied souls. "Except ye be as little children, ye cannot enter in."
     Have you not often seen a child enjoying himself with unseen playfellows? You would call them imaginary playfellows. Perhaps they were, perhaps they were not imaginary. To imagine may be to create, or it may be to attract things already created.
     I have seen the Beautiful Being itself, more than once, hovering in ecstasy above an earthly creature who was happy.
     A song of joy, when it comes from a thrilling heart, may attract a host of invisible beings who enjoy it with the singer; for, as I have told you, sound carries from one world to another.

     Never weep—unless you must, to restore lost equilibrium. The weeping spirits, however, are rather harmless because they are weak. Sometimes a storm of tears, when it is past, clears the soul’s atmosphere; but while the weeping is in progress, the atmosphere is thick with weeping spirits. One could almost hear the drip of their tears through the veil of ether—if the sobbing earthly one did not make so much noise with his grief.
     "Laugh and the world laughs with you," may be true enough; but when you weep, you do not weep alone.

LETTER XLIV

LETTER XLII