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Leisure of the Soul
The object of life is life:


 

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 XXI

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 they teach.
   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 contradiction.
   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 rebound.
   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 another time.
   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.

LETTER XXII

LETTER XX