There is much sound sense and not a
little nonsense talked about Adepts and Masters, who live and work on the astral
plane. Now I am myself living, and sometimes working, on the so-called astral
plane, and what I say about the plane is the result of experience and not of
I have met Adepts—yes, Masters here. One of them especially has
taught me much, and has guided my footsteps from the first.
Do not fear to believe in Masters. Masters are men raised to the
highest power; and whether they are embodied or disembodied, they work on this
plane of life. A Master can go in and out at will.
No, I am not going to tell the world how they do it. Some who are
not Masters might try the experiment, and not be able to go back again.
Knowledge is power; but there are certain powers which may be dangerous if put
in practice without a corresponding degree of wisdom.
All human beings have in them the potentiality
of mastership. That ought to be an encouragement to men and women who aspire to
an intensity of life beyond that of the ordinary. But the attainment of
mastership is a steady and generally a slow growth.
My Teacher here is a Master.
There are teachers here who are not Masters, as there are teachers
on earth who have not the rank of professor; but he who is willing to teach what
he knows is on the right road.
I do not mind saying that my Teacher approves of my trying to tell
the world something about the life which follows the change that is called
death. If he disapproved, I should bow to his superior wisdom.
No, it does not matter what his name is. I have referred to him
simply as my Teacher, and have told you many things which he has said and done.
Many other things I have not told you, for I can only come occasionally now.
After a time I shall probably cease to come altogether. Not that I shall have
lost interest in you; but it seems to be the plan that I shall get farther away
from the world, to learn things which necessitate for their comprehension a
certain loosening of the earthly tie. Later I may return again, for the second
time; but I make no promises. I will come if I can, and if it seems wise to
come, and if you are in a mood to let me.
I do not believe that I shall come through
anybody else—at least, not to write letters like this. I should probably have to
put such another person through the same training process that I put you
through, and few—even of those who were my friends and associates—would trust me
to that extent. So, even after I am gone, do not shut the door too tight, in
case I should want to come again, for I might have something immensely important
to say. But on the other hand, please refrain from calling me; because if you
should call me you might draw me away from important work or study somewhere
else. I do not say for certain that you could, but it is possible; and when I
leave the neighbourhood of the earth of my own accord, I do not wish to be drawn
back until I am ready to return.
A person still upon the earth may call so intensely to a friend who
has passed far away from the earth’s atmosphere, that that soul will come back
too soon in response to the eager cry.
Do not forget the dead, unless they are strong enough to be happy
without your remembrance; but do not lean too heavily upon them.
The Master, of whom I spoke a little while ago,
can remain near or far away, as they will; they can respond or not respond: but
the ordinary soul is very sensitive to the call of those it loved on earth.
I have seen a mother respond eagerly to the tearful prayer of a
child, and yet unable to make the lonely one realise her presence. Sometimes the
mothers are very sad because they cannot make their presence felt.
One time I saw my Teacher by his power help a mother to make herself
seen and heard by a daughter who was in great trouble. The heart of my Teacher
is very soft to the sufferings of the world; and though he says that he is not
one of the Christs, yet he often seems to work as Christ works. At other times
he is all mind. He illustrates the saying about the thrice-greatest Hermes
Trismegistus—great in body, great in mind, great in heart.
I wish I could tell you more about my Teacher, but he does not wish
to be too well known on earth. He works for the work’s sake, and not for reward
He is very fond of children, and one day when I
was sitting unseen in the house of a friend of mine on earth, and the little son
of the house fell down and hurt himself and wept bitterly, my great Teacher,
whom I have seen command literally “legions of angels,” bent down in his tenuous
form, which he was then wearing, and soothed and comforted the child.
When I asked him about it afterwards, he said that he remembered
many childhoods of his own, in other lands, and that he could still feel in
memory the sting of physical pain and the shock of a physical fall.
He told me that children suffer more than their elders realise, that
the bewilderment felt in gradually adjusting to a new and frail and growing body
is often the cause of intense suffering.
He said that the constant crying of some small babies is caused by
their half-discouragement at the herculean task before them—the task of moulding
a body through which their spirit can work.
He told me a story of one of his former
incarnations, before he became a Master, and what a hard struggle he had to
build a body. He could remember the smallest details of that far-away life. One
day his mother punished him for something which he had not really done, and when
he denied the supposed wrongful act, she chided him for untruthfulness, not realising—good woman though she was—the essential truth of the soul to whom she
had given form. He told me that from that childish impression, centuries ago, he
could date his real battle against injustice, which had helped develop him as a
friend and teacher of mankind.
Then he went on to speak of the importance of our recovering the
memory of our lives, in order that we may see the roads by which our souls have
As a rule, the great teachers are reticent about their own past, and
they only refer to it when some point in their experience can be used to
illustrate a principle, and thus help another to grasp the principle. It
encourages a groping soul to know that one who has attained a great height has
been through the same trials that now perplex him.