ONE DAY AS A THOUSAND YEARS
As I am writing about war, I wish to
talk to those who have lost their loved ones in this war.
You who grieve for the untimely dead, have you not read that one
day shall be as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day?
We must start on the basis of re-birth, whose other name is
rhythm, and whose course is immortality. Immortality presupposes no
beginning and looks forward to no end. The spirit always was and always will
be. In the life of the spirit one day is as a thousand years and a thousand
years are as one day.
Birth is the morning of a new day, and death is the evening of
that day, and the period between lives is the period of sleeping and
dreaming. Or you may turn it the other way and say that life is a dream and
death the awakening to reality. But the rhythm is sure.
Falling asleep is a passing through the
astral world, much as a soul passes through it after death. You who write
for me, and a few others, pass through it in full consciousness. Some day
all men will pass through it consciously and will bring back the memory.
You who grieve for the dead, remember that a lifetime is but a
day to the immortal spirit. Often have you parted from a loved one for a day
and felt no grief thereat. The loved one left home to perform a duty and you
felt sure that the next day you would see him again. Can you not feel that
in the next day of the soul, the next lifetime (it is all the same in
eternity), you will greet your loved one again?
Friends do not meet in every life unless they are very intimate.
As you do not see one friend or another oftener than once a week, so in the
greater days of the soul you may not meet all your friends every day. You
part from one on Monday with a definite engagement to meet on Friday. Four
days, four lifetimes, it is all the same in eternity.
But from some you only part for a few
hours, from noon to sunset, and meet again in the evening in the intimacy of
home. Those who have left you now in the midday of life will perhaps come
home to you at the sunset; which is only another way of saying that they may
meet you at the end of this day of the soul, the end of this life, and be
with you in the twilight period of the astral life and in the sweet dream of
heaven beyond. Do not grieve. Love waits for its own.
Some friends you may meet again two, four or seven lifetimes
away; but those who are really your intimates, your lovers, your own, you
will meet again at the sunset, or at the latest to-morrow—the next day of
the soul on earth.
How will you prepare for the meeting? Will you not work
cheerfully all day, knowing that at dusk Love will come back to you? As
sunset approaches, will you not robe yourself in the white garment of faith,
the evening garment, and watch for Love at the window? Love will come. Can
you not in anticipation hear his footstep on the gravel? Can you not hear
the click of the lifted latch? Will you not go forward with a smile to greet
Love? Surely, one day shall be as a thousand years and a thousand years as
I took counsel with the soul of an English
officer who died in leading a charge. His death was quick and painless. A
shot through the heart and he found himself—after a period of
unconsciousness—still, as he supposed, leading a charge.
But there was no enemy before him, nothing but the tranquil
fields above the tumult; for so great was his exaltation of spirit—he had
died with the thought of his Love in his heart-—that he had gone up and up
to the region where Love may have room.
Seeing nothing before him he paused, looked round and saw me.
“Brother,” I said, “you have left the war behind you.”
He understood. Those who have lived for weeks in the tents of
Death are not slow in recognizing Death when he lifts the curtain.
“And what of the charge?” he asked eagerly. “Was the charge
“Yes,” I replied, “the force of your spirit won it.”
“Then all is well,” was his answer.
“Rest a little,” I said. “Rest and talk with me.”
“Have we met before?” he asked. “For your
face is familiar to me.”
“My face is familiar to many on the battlefields,” I said.
“When did you come—out here?”
“Three years ago.”
“Then you can teach me much.”
“Perhaps I can teach you something. What do you want to know?”
“I would know how to comfort one to whom my death will bring
“Where is she?” I asked.
He named the place.
“Then come,” I said, “I will go with you.”
We found a beautiful woman in a little room in England, a little
room which contained a little bed. And in the bed was a boy four or five
years old. We could hear the voices of the mother and child as they talked
“And when will father come home?” the little one asked.
“I do not know,” said the mother.
“Father will come home, won’t he? Are you sure that he
will come home?”
“I pray that he comes home soon,” was all the mother said.
The eyes of children, as they pass into the
twilight world, the world between waking and sleeping, are sometimes very
“Why, father has come home!” the child cried, and he stretched
out his arms to the father with a glad cry.
And the mother knew and was very still.
But her grief was softened by knowing that he whom she loved had
come home and that her child had seen him. I think he will remain with her
until she can join him here. The delay will not retard the progress of his
soul. Love is the fulfilling of the law. There is time in eternity for love
and the delays of love. In love a thousand years are as one day.