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Life After Death 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 XXXVIII

WHERE TIME IS NOT

I think you now understand from what I have said that not all the souls who have passed the airy frontier are either in heaven or hell. Few reach an extreme, and most live out their allotted period here as they lived out their allotted period on earth, without realising either the possibilities or the significance of their condition.
     Wisdom is a tree of slow growth; the rings around its trunk are earthly lives, and the grooves between are the periods between the lives. Who grieves that an acorn is slow in becoming an oak? It is equally unphilosophical to feel that the truth which I have endeavoured to make you understand—the truth of the soul’s great leisure—is necessarily sad. If a man were to become an archangel in a few years’ time, he would suffer terribly from growing-pains. The Law is implacable, but it often seems to be kind.

     Nevertheless there are many souls in heaven, and there are many heavens, of which I have seen a few.
     But do not fancy that most people go from place to place and from state to state as I do. The things which I describe to you are not exceptional; but that one man should be able to see and describe so many things is exceptional indeed. I owe it largely to the Teacher. Without his guidance I could not have acquired so rich an experience.
     Yes, there are many heavens. Last night I felt the yearning for beauty which sometimes came to me on earth. One of the strangest phenomena of this ethereal world is the tremendous attraction by sympathy—the attraction of events, I mean. Desire a thing intensely enough, and you are on the way to it. A body of a feather’s weight moves swiftly when propelled by a free will.
     I felt a yearning for beauty, which is a synonym for heaven. Did I really move from my place, or did heaven come to me? I cannot say, space means so little here. For every vale without there is a vale within. We desire a place, and we are there. Perhaps the Teacher could give you a scientific explanation of this, but I cannot at the moment. And then, I want to tell you about the heaven where I was last night. It was so beautiful that the charm of it is over me still.

     I saw a double row of dark-topped trees, like cypresses, and at the end of this long avenue down which I passed was a softly diffused light. Somewhere I have read of a heaven lighted by a thousand suns, but my heaven was not like that. The light as I approached it was softer than moonlight, though clearer. Perhaps the light of the sun would shine as softly if seen through many veils of alabaster. Yet this light seemed to come from nowhere. It simply was.
     As I approached I saw two beings walking towards me, hand in hand. There was such a look of happiness on their faces as one never sees on the faces of earth. Only a spirit unconscious of time could look like that.
     I should say that these two were man and woman, save that they seemed so different from what you understand by man and woman. They did not even look at each other as they walked; the touch of the hand seemed to make them so much one, that the realisation of the eye could have added nothing to their content. Like the light which came from nowhere, they simply were.

     A little farther on I saw a group of bright-robed children dancing among flowers. Hand in hand in a ring they danced, and their garments, which were like the petals of flowers, moved with the rhythm of their dancing limbs. A great joy filled my heart. They, too, were unconscious of time, and might have been dancing there from eternity, for all I knew. But whether their gladness was of the moment or of the ages had no significance for me or for them. Like the light, and like the lovers who had passed me hand in hand, they were, and that was enough.
     I had left the avenue of cypresses and stood in a wide plain, encircled by a forest of blossoming trees. The odours of spring were on the air, and birds sang. In the centre of the plain a great circular fountain played with the waters, tossing them in the air, whence they descended in feathery spray. An atmosphere of inexpressible charm was over everything. Here and there in this circular flower-scented heaven walked angelic beings, many or most of whom must some time have been human. Two by two they walked, or in groups, smiling to themselves or at one another.
     On earth you often use the word "peace"; but compared with the peace of that place the greatest peace of earth is only turmoil. I realised that I was in one of the fairest heavens, but that I was alone there.

     No sooner had this thought of solitude found lodgment in my heart than I saw standing before me the Beautiful Being about whom I wrote you a little time ago. It smiled, and said to me:
     "He who is sadly conscious of his solitude is no longer in heaven. So I have come to hold you here yet a little while."
     "Is this the particular heaven where you dwell?" I asked.
     "Oh, I dwell nowhere and everywhere," the Beautiful Being answered. "I am one of the voluntary wanderers, who find the charm of home in every heavenly or earthly place."
     "So you sometimes visit earth?"
     "Yes, even the remotest hells I go to, but I never stay there long. My purpose is to know all things, and yet to remain unattached."
     "And do you love the earth?"
     "The earth is one of my playgrounds. I sing to the children of earth sometimes; and when I sing to the poets, they believe that their muse is with them. Here is a song which I sang one night to a soul which dwells among men:

     "My sister, I am often with you when you realise it not.

     For me a poet soul is a well of water in whose deeps I
            can see myself reflected.

     I live in a glamour of light and colour, which you mortal
            poets vainly try to express in magic words.

     I am in the sunset and in the star; I watched the moon
            grow old and you grow young.

     In childhood you sought for me in the swiftly moving
            cloud; in maturity you fancied you had caught me
            in the gleam of a lover’s eye; but I am the eluder
            of men.

     I beckon and I fly, and the touch of my feet does not
            press down the heads of the blossoming daisies.

     You can find me and lose me again, for mortal cannot
            hold me.

     I am nearest to those who seek beauty—whether in
            thought or in form; I fly from those who seek to
            imprison me.

     You can come each day to the region where I dwell.

     Sometimes you will meet me, sometimes not; for my will
            is the wind’s will, and I answer no beckoning finger:

     But when I beckon, the souls come flying from the four
            corners of heaven.

     Your soul comes flying, too; for you are one of those I
            have called by the spell of my magic.

     I have use for you, and you have meaning for me; I like
            to see your soul in its hours of dream and ecstasy.

     Whenever one of my own dreams a dream of Paradise,
            the light grows brighter for me, to whom all things
            are bright.

     Oh, forget not the charm of the moment, forget not the
            lure of the mood!

     For the mood is wiser than all the magi of earth, and
            the treasures of the moment are richer and rarer
            than the hoarded wealth of the ages.

     The moment is real, while the age is only a delusion, a
            memory, and a shadow.

     Be sure that each moment is all, and the moment is more
            than time.

     Time carries an hour-glass, and his step is slow; his hair
            is white with the rime of years, and his scythe is
            dull with unwearied mowing;

     But he never yet has caught the moment in its flight.
            He has grown old in casting nets for it.

     Ah, the magic of life and of the endless combination of
            living things!

     I was young when the sun was formed, and I shall be
            young when the moon falls dead in the arms of her
            daughter the earth.

     Will you not be young with me? The dust is as nothing:
             the soul is all.

     Like a crescent moon on the surface of a lake of water
            is the moment of loves awakening;

     Like a faded flower in the lap of the tired world is the
            moment of love’s death.

     But there is love and Love, and the love of the light for
            its radiance is the love of souls for each other.

     There is no death where the inner light shines, irradiating
             the fields of the within—the beyond—the unattainable attainment.

     You know where to find me."

LETTER XXXIX

LETTER XXXVII