THE LEISURE OF THE SOUL
ONE of the joys of being here is the leisure for dreaming
and for getting acquainted with oneself.
Of course there is plenty to do; but though I intend to go back to
the world in a few years, I feel that there is time to get acquainted with
myself. I tried to do that on earth, more or less; but here there are fewer
demands on me. The mere labour of dressing and undressing is lighter, and I do
not have to earn my living now, nor anybody else’s.
You, too, could take time to loaf, if you thought you could. You can
do practically anything you think you can do.
I purpose, for instance, in a few years not only to pick up a
general knowledge of the conditions of this four-dimensional world, but to go
back over my other lives and assimilate what I learned in them. I want to make a
synthesis of the complete experiences of my ego up to this date, and to judge
from that synthesis what I can do in the future with least resistance. I
believe, but am not quite sure, that I can bring back much of this knowledge
with me when I am born again.
I shall try to tell you—or some of you—when and
about where to look for me again. Oh, don’t be startled! It will not be for some
time yet. An early date would necessitate hurry, and I do not wish to hurry. I
could probably force the coming back, but that would be unwise, for I should
then come back with less power than I want. Action and reaction being opposite
and equal, and the unit, or ego, being able to generate only so much
energy in a given time, it is better for me to rest in this condition of light
matter until I have accumulated energy enough to come back with power. I shall
not do, however, as many souls do; they stay out here until they are as tired of
this world as they formerly were tired of the earth, and then are driven back
half unconsciously by the irresistible force of the tide of rhythm. I want to
guide that rhythm.
Since I have been here one man whom I know has gone back to earth.
He was about ready to go when I first found him. The strange part of it was that
he himself did not understand his condition. He complained of being tired of
things and of wanting to rest much. That was probably a natural instinct for
rest, in preparation for the supreme effort of opening the doors of matter
again. It is easy to come out here, but it requires some effort to go from
this world into yours.
I know where that soul is now, for the Teacher
told me. I had spoken to the Teacher about him, but he already knew of his
existence. It was rather strange, for the man was one in whom I should have
fancied that the Teacher would have taken little interest. But one never knows.
Perhaps in his next life he may really begin to study the philosophy which
But I was speaking of the larger leisure out here. I wish you could
arrange your life so as to have a little more leisure. I do not want you to be
lazy, but the passive conditions of the mind are quite as valuable as the active
conditions. It is when you are passive that we can reach you.
When your mind and body are always occupied, it is difficult
to impress you with any message of the soul. Find a little more time each day
for doing nothing at all. It is good to do nothing sometimes; then the
semi-conscious parts of your mind can work. They can remind you that there is an
inner life; for the inner life that is “capable” to you on earth is really the
point of contact with the world in which we live.
I have said that the two worlds touch, and they
touch through the inner. You go in to come out. It is a paradox, and paradoxes
conceal great truths. Contradictions are not truths, but a paradox is not a
There is a great difference in the length of time that people stay
out here. You talk of being homesick. There are souls here who are homesick for
the earth. They sometimes go back almost at once, which is generally a mistake.
Unless one is young and still has a store of unused energy saved over from the
last life, in going back to the earth too soon one lacks the force of a strong
It is strange to see a man here as homesick for the earth as certain
poets and dreamers on earth are homesick for the inner life.
This use of the terms “outer” and “inner” may seem confusing; but
you must remember that while you go in to come to us, we go out to
come to you. In our normal state here we are living almost a subjective life. We
become more and more objective as we touch your world. You become more and more
subjective as you touch our world. If you only knew it, you could come to us at
almost any time for a brief visit—I mean, by going deep enough into yourself.
If you want to try the experiment and will not
be afraid, I can take you out here without your quite losing consciousness in
your body—I mean without your being in deep sleep. You can call me when you want
to make a trial. If I do not come at once, do not be discouraged. Of course at
the moment I might be doing something else; but in that case I will come at
There is no hurry. That is what I want to impress upon you. What you
do not do this year you can perhaps do next year; but if you are always rushing
after things, you can accomplish little in this particular work. Eternity is
long enough for the full development of the ego of man. Eternity seems to have
been designed for that end. That was a sound statement which was given at one
time: “The object of life is life.” I have realised that more fully since I had
an opportunity to study eternity from a new angle. This is a very good angle
from which to view both time and eternity. I see now what I did not see before,
that I myself have never wasted any time. Even my failures were a valuable part
of my experience. We lose to gain again. We go in and out of power sometimes as
we go in and out of life, to learn what is there and outside. In this, as in all
things, the object of life is life.
Do not hurry. A man may grow gradually into
power and knowledge, or he may take them by force. Will is free. But the gradual
growth has a less powerful reaction.