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  
 
bookcases     
  
 
    click here to make a
"free" contribution to earthly pursuits

     

e-book:


 

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 XXVIII 

EXCEPT YE BE AS LITTLE CHILDREN

 I once heard a man refer to this world as the play world, “for,” said he, “we are all children here, and we create the environment that we desire.” As a child at play can turn a chair into a tower or a prancing steed, so we in this world can make real for the moment whatever we imagine.
            Has it never filled you with amazement, that absolute vividness of the imagination of children? A child says unblushingly and with conviction, “That rug is a garden, that plank in the floor is a river, that chair is a castle, and I am a king.”
            Why does he say these things? How can he say these things? Because—and here is the point—he still subconsciously remembers the life out here which he so lately left. He has carried over with him into the life of earth something of his lost freedom and power of imagination.

            That does not mean that all things in this world are imaginary—far from it. Objects here, objects existing in tenuous matter, are as real and comparatively substantial as with you; but there is the possibility of creation here, creation in a form of matter even more subtle still—thought-substance.
            If you create something on earth in solid matter, you create it first in thought-substance; but there is this difference between your creation and ours: until you have moulded solid matter around your thought-pattern you do not believe that the thought pattern really exists save in your own fancy.
            We out here can see the thought-creations of others if we and they will it so.
            We can also—and I tell you this for your comfort—we can also see your thought creations, and by adding the strength of our will to yours we can help you to realise them in a substantial form.
            Sometimes we build here bit by bit, in the four-dimensional world, especially when we wish to leave a thing for others to see and enjoy, when we wish a thing to survive for a long time. But a thought-form is visible to all highly developed spirits.

            Of course you understand that not all spirits are highly developed. In fact very few are far progressed; but the dullest man out here has something which most of you have lost—the faith in his own thought-creations.
            Now, the power which makes creation possible is not lost to a soul when it takes on solid matter again. But the power is gradually overcome and the imagination is discouraged by the incredulity of mature men and women, who say constantly to the child: “That is only play; that is not really so; that is only imagination.”
            If you print these letters, I wish you would insert here fragments from the wonderful poem of Wordsworth, “Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood.”

            “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
                The soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
                Hath had elsewhere its setting,
                And cometh from afar:
                Not in entire forgetfulness,
                And not in utter nakedness,
                But trailing clouds of glory do we come
                From God, who is our home:
                Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

                Shades of the prison-house begin to close
                Upon the growing Boy,
                But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
                He sees it in his joy;
                The Youth who daily farther from the east
                Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
                And by the vision splendid
                Is on his way attended;
                At length the Man perceives it die away,
                And fade into the light of common day.”

 

                There is almost no limit to the possibilities of the imagination; but to get the full power of it, one must trust one’s imagination. If you say to yourself constantly, as the mother says to the child, “But this is only play; this is not real,” you never can make real the things you have created in thought.
            The imagination itself is like a child and must be encouraged and believed in, or it cannot develop and do its perfect work.
            It is really fortunate for some of you that I am out here. I can do more for you here than there, because I have even greater faith in my imagination than I had before.
            The man who called this the play world has been trying all sorts of experiments with the power in himself. I have not his permission to tell the stories he tells me, but they would surprise you. For one thing, he helped his wife, after his so-called death, to carry out a joint plan of theirs which had seemed impossible to them before because of their lack of real faith. It was for the erection of a certain kind of house.

            But do not fancy that most people here are trying to build houses on earth. Far from it. Most of my fellow-citizens are willing to work where they are, and to let the earth alone. Of course there are “dreamers” like me, who are not satisfied with one world, and who like to have their fingers in both; but they are rather rare, as poets are rare on earth. To most men the world they happen to be in is sufficient for the time being.
            There is a certain fancy of mine, however, which it will amuse me to help realise on earth. You may not know that I am doing it, but I shall know. I would not, “for the world” as you say, disturb anybody by even the thought that I am fussing around in affairs which now are theirs. But if, unseen and unfelt, I can help with the power of my self-confident imagination, there will be no harm done, and I shall have demonstrated something.

LETTER XXIX

LETTER XXVII