home bookshop feed the hungry   earthly pursuits logo
what's new old book library safe seed pledge  
contact about books about food & recipes  
links I  II   garden tips  
search flower language blether  
  alphabetized flowers     flowers by meaning companion planting  
    click here to make a
"free" contribution to earthly pursuits




Letters from a Living Dead Man





The Return


Tell No Man


Guarding the Door


A Cloud on the Mirror


The Promise of Things Untold


The Wand of Will


A Light behind the Veil


The Iron Grip of Matter


Where Souls go up and down.


A Rendezvous in the Fourth Dimension


The Boy–Lionel


The Pattern World


Forms Real and Unreal


A Folio of Paracelsus


A Roman Toga


A Thing to be forgotten


The Second Wife over there


Individual Hells


A little Home in Heaven


The Man who found God


The Leisure of the Soul


The Serpent of Eternity


A Brief for the Defendant


Forbidden Knowledge


A Shadowless World


Circles in the Sand


The Magic Ring


Except ye be as Little Children


An Unexpected Warning


The Sylph and the Magician


A problem in Celestial Mathematics


A Change of Focus


Five Resolutions


The Passing of Lionel


The Beautiful Being


The Hollow Sphere


An Empty China Cup


Where Time is not


The Doctrine of Death


The Celestial Hierarchy


The Darling of the Unseen


A Victim of the Non-existent


A Cloud of Witnesses


The Kingdom Within


The Game of Make-believe


Heirs of Hermes


Only a Song


Invisible Gifts at Yuletide


The Greater Dreamland


A Sermon and a Promise


The April of the World


A Happy Widower


The Archives of the Soul


A Formula for Mastership





I had been here some time before I noticed one of the most marked peculiarities of this world.
            One night as I was passing slowly along, I saw a group of persons approaching me. It was very light where they were, because there were so many of them. Suddenly, as I saw this light, a thought came to my mind, a saying from one of the Hermetic books:  “Where the light is strongest, there are the shadows deepest.”  But on looking at these men and women, I saw that they cast no shadows.
            I hailed the nearest man—you must remember that this was soon after I came out, and when I was still more ignorant than I am now—and I called his attention to this peculiar phenomenon of a shadowless yet brilliantly lighted world. He smiled at my surprise, and said:
            “You have not been here long, have you?”

            “Then you are not aware that we light our own place? The substance of which our bodies are composed is radiant. How could our forms cast shadows, when light radiates from them in all directions?”
            “And in the sunlight?” I asked.
            “Oh,” he answered, “you know that in the sunlight we can not be seen at all! The light of the sun is coarse and crude, and it puts out the light of the spirits.”
            Does it seem strange to you that at this moment I can feel the warmth of that wood fire by which you sit? There is a magic in burning wood. The combustion of coal has quite a different effect upon the psychic atmosphere. If one who had always been blind to visions and insensible to the finer feelings and premonitions of the invisible world would try meditating before a blazing wood fire for an hour or two every day or night, his eyes and other subtler senses might be opened to things of which he had theretofore never even dreamed.
            Those Orientals who worship their God with fire are wise and full of visions. The light of burning wax has also a magical effect, though different from that of a wood fire. Sit sometimes in the evening with no light but that of a solitary candle, and see what visions will come from the “Void.”

             I have not told you anything for a long time about the boy Lionel. He is now much interested in the idea of choosing a family of engineers in which to be born again. The thought is one to which he is always returning.
            “Why are you in such a hurry to leave me?” I asked him, the first time he mentioned the subject.
            “But I do not feel as if I should be leaving you altogether,” he replied. “I could come out to you in dreams.”
            “Not at first,” I told him. “You would be prisoned and blind and deaf for a long time, and you might not be able to come out to me here until after I had also gone back again to the earth.”
            “Then why not come along with me?” he asked. “Say, Father, why shouldn’t we be born as twins?”
            The idea was so absurd that I laughed heartily; but Lionel could not see where the joke came in.
            “There are such things as twins,” he said, seriously. “I knew a pair of twin brothers when I lived in Boston.”
            But, when I return to earth, it is no part of my plan to be anybody’s twin; so I tell Lionel that if he wants to enjoy my society for a time he will have to stay quietly where he is.

            “But why can’t we go back together?” he still asks, “and be cousins or neighbours, at least?”
            “Perhaps we can,” I tell him, “if you do not spoil everything by an unseemly haste.”
            It is strange about this boy. Out in this world there is boundless opportunity to work in subtle matter, opportunity to invent and experiment; yet he wants to get his hands on iron and steel. Strange!
            Some night I will try to bring the boy to pay you a visit, so that you can see him—I mean just before you fall asleep. Those are the true visions. The ones which come in sleep are apt to be confused by the jarring of the matter through which you pass in waking. Do not forget the boy. I have already told him how I come and write with your hand, and he is much interested.
            “Why couldn’t I operate a telegraph in that way?” he asked me; but I advised him not to try it. He might interrupt some terrestrial message which had been sent and paid for.

            Occasionally I take him with me up to the pattern world. He has a little model of his own there with which he amuses himself while I am examining other things. It is the model of a wheel, and he sets it going by the electricity of his fingers. No, it is not made of steel—not as you know steel. Why, what you call steel is too heavy! It would fall through this world so fast that it would not even leave a rent behind it.
            You must understand that the two worlds are composed of matter not only moving at a different rate of vibration, but charged with a different magnetism. It is said that two solid objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time; but that law does not apply to two objects—one of them belonging to your world and the other to ours. As water can be hot and wet at the same time, so a square foot of space can contain a square foot of earthly matter and a square foot of etheric matter.
            No, do not quibble about terms. You have no terms for the kind of matter that we use here, because you do not know anything about it. Lionel and his electric wheel would both be invisible to you if they were set down on the hearth-rug before you at this moment. Even the magic of that wood fire would not make them visible—at least, not in the daylight.
            Some evening—but we will speak of that at another time. I must go now.