I have stood at night
on the roof of an Oriental palace and watched the stars. You who can see into
the invisible world by changing your focus, can easily understand how I, by a
reverse process, can see into the world of dense matter. Yes, it is the same
thing, only turned the other way.
I stood on the roof of an Oriental palace and watched
the stars. No mortal was near me. Looking down upon the sleeping city, I have
seen the cloud of souls which kept watch above it, have seen the messengers
coming and going. Once or twice a wan, half-frightened face appeared among the
cloud of spirits, and I knew that down below in the city someone had died.
But I had seen so many spirits since coming out here
that I was more interested in watching the stars. I used to love them, and I
love them still. Some day, if it is permitted, I hope to know more about them.
But I shall not leave the neighbourhood of the earth until these letters are
finished. From the distance of the planet Jupiter I might not be able to write
at all. It is true that one can come and go, almost with the quickness of
thought; but something tells me that it is better to postpone for a time my more
extensive travelling. Perhaps when I get out there I shall not want to come back
for a long time.
It means much to me this correspondence with earth.
During my illness I used to wonder if I could come back sometimes, but I never
imagined anything like this. I would not have supposed it possible to find any
well-balanced and responsible person with daring enough to join me in the
I could not have written through the hand of a person
of untrained mind unless he or she had been fully hypnotized. I could not have
written through the hand of the average intellectual person, because such
persons cannot make themselves sufficiently passive.
Be at peace. You are not a spirit medium, using the
word as it is commonly used, signifying a passive instrument, an aeolian harp,
set in an aperture between the two worlds and played upon by any wind that
Except as illustrating the fact that it can be done,
there is no great object in my telling you of the things I have seen in your
world since coming to this other one. The next time you look out into this plane
of life and see the wonderful landscapes and the people, remember that it is in
a similar way that I look back into your plane of existence. It is interesting
to live in two worlds, going back and forth at will. But when I go into yours it
is only as a visitor, and I shall never attempt to take a hand in its
government. There is such a rigorous custom-house on the frontier between the
two worlds that the traveller back and forth can not afford to carry anything
with him—not even a prejudice.
If you should come out here with a determination to
see only certain things, you might give a wrong value to what you would see.
Many have come out here at death with that mental attitude, and so have learned
little or nothing. It is the traveller with the open mind who makes discoveries.
I brought over with me only a few resolutions:
To preserve my identity;
To hold my memory of earth life, and to carry back the
memory of this life when I should return to the world;
To see the great Teachers;
To recover the memories of my past incarnations;
To lay the necessary foundations for a great earth
life when I should go back next time.
That sounds simple, does it not? Already I have done
much besides; but if I had not borne these points in mind I might have
The only really sad thing about death is that the
average man learns so little from it. Only my realisation of the fact that the
chain of earth lives is relatively endless could keep me from regret that most
persons make so little progress in each life. But I comfort myself with the
assurance that there is no hurry; that the pearls in the chain of existence,
though small, are all in their inevitable places, and that the chain is a
circle, the symbol of eternity.
And it seems to me, with my still finite view, that
most men on this side waste their lives even as they do on your side. That shows
how far I am yet from the ideal knowledge.
Viewed from the stars, whence I hope some day to view
them, all these flat stretches in the landscape of life may be softened by
distance, and the whole picture may take on a perspective of beauty of which I
had not dreamed of while I myself was but a speck upon the canvas.