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War Letters From The Living Dead Man




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







            Picture to yourself a battlefield, a long-stretching irregular double line of men and guns and horses and all the paraphernalia of war.
            In the old days on earth I once gave some study to the theory and practice of war, but that labor had little value in preparing me to study this war. Not only did it take for granted conditions that no longer exist, but my point of observation then was an imaginary station on one side or the other of an imaginary field; now I am really here, there and everywhere. I read the thoughts of the commanders on both sides, I am with the men in the trenches sometimes half-buried in mud and water, I am riding with the cavalry, I go forward with the guns of the artillery, I go out and up with the escaping spirits of the dead—go with them into the hell of confusion that almost always swallows them for a time after they are violently thrust from their bodies.

            Truly, “War is hell!” Have no glorious delusions to the contrary, you who dwell in the haunts of peace and babble of what you know not.
            The horrors do not end when the guns cease firing. The dark and silent night of rain is full of souls in bewilderment and torment. Often one will grope his way hither and thither, seeking to find a trench-mate to whom he had become attached in the camaraderie of war—that sweet flower which grows up an ugly stem. Often they live over and over again the rage and madness of the attack; they plunge an imaginary bayonet into the form of an imaginary foe; or, if a mass of them are together, and they generally are, they strike recklessly at anything before them, conscious always of an opposing force.
            The General of whom I wrote in my last letter was a man of marked spiritual development; he soon broke away from the entanglements of matter; he was a devotee to whom his country was a god and his Emperor a hero to be followed with aspiration. But most men who die on the battlefields are common soldiers who fight because it is the will of the mass behind them. They generally go out into darkness for a time, and most of them wander in darkness and bewilderment for varying periods.

            Some, on the contrary, are vividly conscious almost from the hour of death. These may attack the men of the opposing army when they sleep. The dreams of the battlefields are terrible in their intensity.
            Sometimes again, for in the general confusion distinctions may be quite lost, souls that had believed themselves enemies cling together in the tragic yearning of the dark that separates the worlds of the “invisible.” In their great need they do not know their former friends from their former enemies. Another pale flower that grows from the ugly stem of war!
            The astral forms of men of low development are often found here in shocking distortion, their consciousness only a glimmer, and with no power of feeling anything but pain. No wonder the dreams of the unselfish lovers of humanity are full of horror during these dark nights of the world, for there are many noncombatants in all lands whose hours of sleep are given to a devoted labor for the souls that need help so horribly. There is one man whom you know who bears at this time a burden almost superhuman, and speaks of it to no one.

            It is needless for me to say how you yourself spent the nights of many months, and when we bade you cease that labor it was only that you might have more strength for the labor of writing these pages at my dictation. A soul still held in the flesh cannot work all day and all night. That is burning the astral candle at both ends.
            When you return to the countries now devastated by war, some of your friends will relate to you experiences similar to your own during these terrible months. They who can be used are called upon when the need is greatest, and the need is immense at this time.
            Realize that those souls in the lower regions of the astral world are actually in space near the ground of the physical planet. Those who hang over the battlefields where they met their fate are still thrilled or horrified by the noise of the battle horns, they can still hear the shriek of shells and feel the shattering force of the explosions. Day in, day out these unfortunate earth-bound ones live over and over again the emotions of war, night after night they dread the morning when the sounds will begin again. They cannot get away. They are not free merely because their bodies are buried under a few feet of earth, or worse still left unburied.

            I advise you to avoid for some years at least the actual scenes of these battles. You can go to Switzerland or to the more southern regions of France, but do not stay long in Northern France or Belgium, or in any other place that may be thus affected.
            The thought world of England is just now troubled, but the layer of astral matter immediately above the earth is not full of the awful emanations of death. Astral forms go there from the more terrible region, but in order to go they must have themselves broken away from the immediate scene of their worst suffering.
            It is easier to protect oneself from sad thought–forms than from the distracted astral entities and the “boiling” astral matter that lie above those battlefields.

            Why, even the field of Waterloo before this war was not a pleasant place to spend the night. After a lapse of time you may briefly visit the scenes of these recent battles, for the sake of the practical experience; but do not go there just yet. The best place in Europe for a long period will be the mountains of Switzerland. You should spend much time there.
            Do you remember telling me how, when a child, you used to see the forms of American Indians on the hills and in the valleys of your native State? They were those who many years before had walked those hills and valleys in the sunlight, and who were still held in the tenuous matter above that region. The eyes of childhood are sometimes very clear. Above those battlefields of Europe the sensitive eye may see for many years the forms of those who will not be able to make their escape. And I do not mean akashic records. War is hell, and the hell does not end with the signing of peace papers.

            That is one reason why we want you, and those others who believe in brotherhood, to carry that spirit of brotherhood among the nations that have been at war. You have no conception of the power of a quiet faith in a great and true idea. The man who really loves his fellows has a wider influence than his own immediate circle of friends. The atmosphere around him is permeated with that brotherly love, and sensitive souls can feel it.
            Some day sail up the Rhine with that sentiment in your heart.

            April 12

Letter XXI.