Have you ever
thought of the posthumous feelings of him whose murder precipitated this
war? No, you have not; but I have, and I sought for him and found him.
Others were seeking him too, the souls of the dead and the
astral souls of those who slept on earth.
Truly his was not a peaceful passing, either in flesh or in
The dread of assassination which had long hung over him like a
dark cloud predisposed him to a dark and stormy period after death, even if
he had not been shocked out by the murderous assault. This was another
illustration of that law by which the thing we fear attacks us sooner or
At first he passed into darkness and a period of somnolence,
like a vague nightmare; then as he gradually awoke to a more vivid
consciousness he awoke with pain and anxiety and wailing of soul. The
dreaded thing had come at last, and he knew that he was outside his body and
searched for it.
The customary funeral was even more dismal
for him than it is for most souls, because the slight opening of vision
which his passing had given made him realize that far more than his personal
death was bound up with this change.
He was not attacked by the evil things which had brought about
his death. What more could they want with him? He had served their purposes.
Had there been anyone else round whose murder so much obscurity
and so complex a series of misunderstandings and suspicions could have
gathered, probably that other man would have suffered in his stead. But
whose murder could have served that purpose so well as this man’s? Whose
relations placed him in such a focus of rays? His relations with the German
Emperor, the relations of his family with those for whom he had no sympathy,
the relations of the present heir with Russia—all these and many other
sources of error and doubt and confusion formed an ideal centre of tumult.
And the soul felt this tumult in addition
to his anger and disappointment at being driven from the world. His anxiety
for his children was not small, for they stood in a peculiar position
regarding the families around them.
Imagine the thought of every man, woman and child capable of
following an event like that, centred on one soul, in anger, love, grief,
curiosity, doubt, uncertainty—every mind in almost every country of the
world! It was enough to shatter his astral body altogether.
Generally when a ruler dies he is followed by loving thoughts,
or thoughts of dislike, but not by confusing thoughts. His race is run. The
King is dead, long live the King!
For some time this heir to a great throne was even driven away
from the companion whom he loved. He had nothing to lean on. He was drawn
upon and victimized by thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, from all directions and
in all stages of intensity.
Even the prayers offered for the repose of
his soul in purgatory had not the effect which such prayers of love
generally have. They were only a drop in the river of thoughts which rushed
in his direction. Yes, I say in his direction; for he remained a long time
in that storm-centre of thoughts.
Even the band of helpers, of whom I told you when I wrote for
the world before, were not able to assist him very much; for they too were
attacked by the beings of evil who made war in the astral regions.
As a rule the death of one man makes little difference to the
world. Those who love him grieve, and those who dislike him or who profit by
his death are glad. This man went out with the flaming torch of war in his
After a time he sought and found his friend, the ruler of
Germany; but that ruler could not see him, though he sensed a presence in
the room. He was half afraid. What was the presence? he wondered. Was it his
own genius? Did it come to remind him that the hour of his “great destiny”
was at hand? The hesitation of his weakness was rather shameful to see; but
the determination of his strength, of his evil self, set its heel upon the
weakness and the preparations for war went on.
The soul of the Archduke was too confused
to play a part in those counsels. He had been a strong man, and will be
strong again; but during the time he might have exercised an invisible
influence, he exercised none; he strove to make himself visible, and in one
instance at least succeeded.
Yes, I spoke with him and advised him; but I had other things to
do just then and left him with a priest of his own church, a gentle and
strong soul who stood like a rock in the tumult.
I only mention my seeing the Archduke because of one who will
some day read these lines. I cannot offer much comfort, but she will be glad
to know of the strong and quiet priest, and I shall have kept a promise
which I made but have so far been unable to keep in any way save this.