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Costumes in the Hereafter:


 

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 XV

A ROMAN TOGA

ONE thing which makes this country so interesting to me is its lack of conventionality. No two persons are dressed in the same way—or no, I do not mean that exactly, but many are so eccentrically dressed that their appearance gives variety to the whole.
    My own clothes are, as a rule, similar to those I wore on earth, though I have as an experiment, when dwelling in thought on one of my long-past lives, put on the garments of the period.
    It is easy to get the clothes one wants here. I do not know how I became possessed of the garments which I wore on coming out; but when I began to take notice of such things, I found myself dressed about as usual. I am not yet sure whether I brought my clothes with me.
    There are many people here in costumes of the ancient days. I do not infer from this fact that they have been here all those ages. I think they wear such clothes because they like them.

    As a rule, most persons stay near the place where they lived on earth; but I have been a wanderer from the first. I go rapidly from one country to another. One night (or day with you) I may take my rest in America; the next night I may rest in Paris. I have spent hours of repose on the divan in your sitting-room, and you did not know that I was there. I doubt, though, if I could stay for hours in your house when I was myself awake without your sensing my presence.
    Do not think, however, from what I have just said, that it is necessary for me to rest on the solid matter of your world. Not at all. We can rest on the tenuous substance of our own world.
    One day, when I had been here only a short time, I saw a woman dressed in a Greek costume, and asked her where she got her clothes. She replied that she had made them. I asked her how, and she said:
    "Why, first I made a pattern in my mind, and then the thing became a garment."
    "Did you take every stitch?"
    "Not as I should have done on earth."
    I looked closer and saw that the whole garment seemed to be in one piece, and that it was caught on the shoulders by jewelled pins. I asked where she got the jewelled pins, and she said that a friend had given them to her. Then I asked where the friend had got them. She told me that she did not know, but that she would ask him. Soon after that she left me, and I have not seen her since, so the question is still unanswered.

    I began to experiment to see if I also could make things. It was then that I conceived the idea of wearing a Roman toga, but for the life of me I could not remember what a Roman toga looked like.
    When next I met the Teacher I told him of my wish to wear a toga of my own making, and he carefully showed me how to create garments such as I desired: To fix the pattern and shape clearly in my mind, to visualise it, and then by power to desire to draw the subtle matter of the thought-world round the pattern, so as actually to form the garment.
    "Then," I said, "the matter of the thought-world, as you call it, is not the same kind of matter as that of my body, for instance?"
    "In the last analysis," he answered, "there is only one kind of matter in both worlds; but there is a great difference in vibration and tenuity."

    Now the thought-substance of which our garments are formed seems to be an extremely tenuous form of matter, while our bodies seem to be pretty solid. We do not feel at all like transparent angels sitting on damp clouds. Were it not for the quickness with which I get over space, I should think sometimes that my body was as solid as ever.
    I can often see you, and to me you seem tenuous. It is all, I suppose, the old question of adjusting to environment. At first I could not do it, and had some trouble in learning to adjust the amount of energy necessary for each particular action. So little energy is required here to move myself about that at first when I started to go a short distance—say, a few yards—I would find myself a mile away. But I am now pretty well adjusted.
    I must be storing up energy here for a good hard life when I return to the earth again. The hardest work I do now is to come and write through your hand, but you offer less and less resistance as time goes on. In the beginning it took all my strength; now it takes only a comparatively small effort. Yet I could not do it long at a time without using your own vitality, and that I will not do.
   You may have noticed that you are no longer fatigued after the writing, though you used to be at first.

    But I was speaking of the lack of conventionality out here. Souls hail each other when they want to, without much ceremony. I have seen a few old women who were afraid to talk to a stranger, but probably they had not been here long and the earth habits still clung to them.
    Do not think, however, that society here is too free and easy. It is not that, but men and women do not seem to be so afraid of each other as they were on earth.

LETTER XVI

LETTER XIV