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War Letters From The Living Dead Man


Introduction

LETTER

 I.

The Return of "X"
II. A Dweller on the Threshold
III. An Assurance
IV. The Way of Understanding
V. Astral Monsters
VI. The Archduke
VII. The "Chosen People"
VIII. Spectres of the Congo
IX. Unseen Guardians
X. One Day as a Thousand Years
XI. Many Tongues
XII. The Beautiful Being
XIII. The Body of Humanity
XIV. The Foeman Within
XV. Listening in Brussels
XVI. The Sixth Race
XVII. An American on Guard
XVIII. A Master of Compassion
XIX. The Rose-Veiled Stranger
XX. Above the Battlefields
XXI. A Soul in Purgatory
XXII. Peace Propaganda
XXIII. The Mystery of Desire
XXIV. The Scales of Justice
XXV. For Love's Sake
XXVI. A Master of Mind
XXVII. Invisible Enemies
XXVIII. The Glory of War
XXIX. A Friend of "X"
XXX. The Rose and the Cross
XXXI. A Serbian Magician
XXXII. Judas and Typhon
XXXIII. Crowns of Straw
XXXIV. The Sylph and the Father
XXXV. Behind the Dark Veil
XXXVI. The "Lusitania"
XXXVII. Veiled Prophecies
XXXVIII. Advice to a Scribe
XXXIX. One of These Little Ones
XL. The Height and the Depth
XLI. A Conclave of Masters
XLII. A Lesson in the Kabala
XLIII. The Second Coming
XLIV. Poison Gases
XLV. The Superman
XLVI. The Entering Wedge
XLVII. The New Brotherhood
XLVIII. In the Crucible
XLIX. Black Magic in America
L. Things to Remember


 

 

 

LETTER II
 

A DWELLER ON THE THRESHOLD

            There was one demon who seemed to be a leader of demons. He was unlike many of the others—more personal, more egocentric.
            As we stood opposite each other I entered into conversation with him, partly to satisfy my curiosity, partly to throw him off his guard.
            “Who are you?” I asked. “You seem to be a ruler among your kind.”
            He straightened himself with pride.
            “I am indeed a ruler,” he said, “a ruler on earth and up here.”
            “On earth also?” I queried.
            “Yes, also on earth,” he answered, “for I am the deeper self of a man who is great among men, a man who will follow my will as others follow his will.” Then he made a claim which startled me, and I forbear to repeat it.
            “If you are the evil self of a man still living,” I demanded, “how do you stand as a separate entity up here? How are you apart from him?”

            “You are somewhat ignorant,” he said to me.
            “I am ignorant of many things,” I admitted. “Instruct me in any way you can. I have a thirst for knowledge.”
            “Know then,” he said pompously, “that I broke away from the earthly form that had enchained me when he acknowledged my rulership and worshipped me as his genius.”
            “He set you free?” I asked.
            “He set me free by acknowledging me as his Master. His knowledge is even less than yours, and he called me by a name that I despise; but so long as I rule I care not the name I rule by. Or I care little,” he corrected himself. “But such things as these are too deep for you!”
            “I am deeper than you think,” I asserted, “and I have met your kind before.”
            “My kind maybe, but not my equals. I am a King among spirits.”
            “I had observed your crown,” I said, “it has a familiar look.”

            During this colloquy the Teacher had stood silently by, but now I turned to him with an unspoken question. He led me aside a little way, and said:
            “When a man exalts himself too much, he sets free the demon within him. He often thinks that he rules the demon, and sends him on errands through the Invisible; but it is really the demon who commands, and the commands of the man are only echoes.”
            “And it took this vision of hell to teach me that!” I exclaimed.
            “What you would have learned in due time by reason or by precept, you now learn by example,” the Teacher said. “You have truly beheld the evil self of a great ruler.”
            “It is very powerful,” I admitted.
            “It will grow in power for a time,” the Teacher said, “and then it will go to Gehenna*.”
            “And when will it go to Gehenna?”
            “When peace returns to the world, after the war is exhausted up here. But the war will be exhausted up here before peace returns to the world.”
            “What war is about to be fought?” I asked.
            “The greatest war of all time,” the Teacher said, “the greatest war of all time up here, and also on the earth.”

            “And when will it begin?”
            “It is already begun here, as you have seen. Had you not been far away you would have known it before.”
            “I have indeed been far away,” I said. “An angel has shown me many stars, and I have learned much.”
            “The angel kept you away from the world until you should be strong enough, and rested enough, to work as well as learn.”
            “And where does my work lie?” I asked.
            “In many fields,” he answered. “But first you must fight your way through the astral world above Europe and save your friends who are in danger.”
            Swimming the Hellespont was a minor feat compared to swimming that sea of devils, but I got through. A year before I could not have done it, perhaps, for the forces of good were overpowered. There is a tide in good and evil, as well as a tide in the sea. Evil was at the flood.
            I saved one friend in danger, and saw that another was safe.

            Back in the sea of hate, when I was nearly exhausted, the Beautiful Being, that angel who had been my guide so long, came and whispered something in my ear. It was a spur to ambition.
            “You may be the historian of this great struggle,” it said, “if you do not fail in your tasks.”
            Do not be startled by the word “ambition.” There are many kinds of ambition, and a sincere wish to be personally of service may as well be called by that name as by any other, if there is love behind it.

            March 6.

Letter III.

LETTER I.