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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豊ionel

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 XLIX

THE GREATER DREAMLAND

    I have not been to see you for some time, for I have been trying an experiment.
    Since coming to this country I have so often seen men and women lying in a state of subjective enjoyment, of dream, if I may use the word, that I have long wanted to spend a few days alone with my interior self, in that same state. My reason for hesitating was that I feared to dream too long, and thus to lose valuable time末both yours and mine.
    But when I expressed to the Teacher one day my desire to visit the greater dreamland lying within my own brain, also my fear that I might be slow in waking, he promised that he would come and wake me in exactly seven days of earthly time if I had not already aroused myself.
    "For," he said, "you can set an alarm-clock in your own brain, which can always be relied upon."

    This I knew from old experience; but I had feared that the psychic sleep might be deeper than the ordinary earthly sleep, and that the alarm-clock might not go off at the appointed time.
    I have heard much comment, so doubtless have you, on the fact that spirits, when they return to communicate with their friends, say, as a rule, so little about their celestial life. The reason is, I fancy, that they despair of making themselves understood should they attempt to describe their existence, which is so different from that of earth.
    Now, most souls, when they have been out some time, fall into that state of reverie, or dream, which I had so long desired to experience for myself. Some souls awake at intervals, and show an occasional interest in the things and people of the earth; but if the sleep is deep, and if the soul is willing or desirous to leave the things of the earth behind, the subconscious state may last uninterruptedly for years, or even centuries. But a soul that could stay asleep for centuries would probably be one that was living according to long rhythm, the normal rhythm of humanity.
    So, when I went into the deep sleep, I went into it with a spell upon myself not to remain too long.

    Oh, it was wonderful, that dream-country in my own self! The Theosophists would perhaps say that I had taken a rest in the bliss of devachan.* No matter what one calls it. It was an experience worth remembering.
    I close my eyes and went in末in末deeper than thought, where the restless waves of life are still, and the soul is face to face with itself and with all the wonders of its own past. There is nothing but loveliness in that sleep. If one can bring back the dreams, as I did, the sojourn there is an adventure beyond comparison.
    I went in to enjoy, and I enjoyed. I found there the simulacrum of everyone whom I had ever loved. They smiled at me, and I understood the mystery of them, and why we had been drawn together.
    I refound, too, my old dreams of ambition, and enjoyed the fruit of all my labour on earth. It is a rosy world, that inner world of the soul, and the heart's desire is always found there. No wonder that the strenuous life of earth is oftener than not a pain and a travail, for the dream-life which follows is so beautiful that the balance must be preserved.

    Rest! On earth you know not the meaning of the word. I rested only seven days; but so refreshed was I that, had I not other worlds to conquer, I should almost have had the courage to return to earth.
    Do not neglect rest末you who still live the toilsome life in the sunshine. For every added hour of true rest your working capacity is increased. Have no fear. You are not wasting time when you lie down and dream. As I have said before, eternity is long. There is room for rest in the wayside inns which dot the path which the cycles tread.
    If you want to take a long and devachantic rest末why, take it. Take it even on earth, if it seems desirable. Do not be always grubbing, even at literature. Go out and play with the squirrels, or lie by the fire and dream with the household cat. The cat that enjoys the drowsy fireside also enjoys catching mice when the mood is on her. She cannot be always hunting, neither can you.
    Just take a dip in devachan some day, and see how refreshed you will be when you come out. Perhaps I am misusing that word "devachan," for I was never very deeply learned in the lore of Theosophy.
    I have even heard nirvana described as a state of intense motion, so rapid that it seems motionless, like a spinning-top, or the wing of a humming-bird. But nirvana is not for all men末not yet.

    I have hinted at the wonders of my seven days of blissful rest, but I have not described them. How can I? A great poet once declared that there was no thought or feeling which could not be expressed in words. Perhaps he has changed his mind by this time, after being out here some sixty years.
    As I went to rest, I commanded my soul to bring back every dream. Of course I cannot say whether some may not have escaped, any more than you can say on waking that you have or have not forgotten the deeper experiences of the night. But when I came back into the normal life of this plane that is called astral, I felt like an explorer who returns from a strange journey with wonder-tales to tell. Only I did not tell them. To whom should I relate those dreams and visions? I would not be a bore, even to "disembodied" associates. Had Lionel been here, I might have entertained him many an hour with my stories; but he is lost to me for the present.
    And, by the way, he seems to have taken little or no devachanic rest. Is that because he was so young on coming out that he had not exhausted the normal rhythm? Probably. Had he remained out here and grown up, perhaps he also would have sought the deeper interior world. But I will not speculate, for this is a record of experiences, not of speculations. You can speculate as well as I, if you think it worth while.

    I found in my own dreamland a fair, fair face. No, I am not going to tell you about that; it is my little secret. Of course I found many faces, but one was lovelier than all the others, and it was not the face of the Beautiful Being, either. The Beautiful Being I meet when I am wide awake. I did not encounter her as an actual presence in sleep, only the simulacrum of her. In the deeper dreamland we see only what is in our brains. Things do not exist here, only the memories of things and the imagination of them.
    Imagination creates in this world, as in yours: it actually moulds the tenuous substance; but in the greater dreamland I do not think that we mould in substance. It is a world of light and shadow pictures, too subtle to be described.
    Even before this experience I had gone into the memories of my own past; but I had not revelled in them, had not indulged myself to the extent of conjuring with light and shade. But, oh! what's the use? There are no words to describe it. Can you describe the perfume of a rose, as you once said yourself? Can you tell how a kiss feels? Could you even describe the emotion of fear so that one who had not felt it, by former experience in this life or some other, would know what you meant? No more than I can describe the process of spiritual dreaming.

    Revel to your heart's content in fancy, in memory, while you are still in the body, and yet I think that you will have only the shadow of a shadow of what I experienced in those seven days, the reflection of a reflection of the real dream. The reflection of a reflection! I like that phrase. It suggests a clear picture, though not a direct impression. Try dreaming, then, even on earth, and maybe you will get a reflection of a reflection of the pictured joys of the spiritual dreamland.

*ED. Note: devachan - Theosophy - the state of consciousness into which the Ego goes after death of the physical body

LETTER L

LETTER XLVIII