In the spring of 1914 there was published in London and New York a
book of mine called “Letters From a Living Dead Man,” being automatic
writings from an American Judge and teacher of philosophy who had been
known to his intimate friends as “X.”
There were circumstances
connected with the writing of that book, explained in some detail in
the Introduction, which made any other hypothesis than that of genuine
communication from the other world seem untenable to me. It began, for
instance, some days before I knew in Paris that my friend had died on
the Pacific coast of America.
In that first book of “X” I did not state who the writer was, not
feeling at liberty to do so without the consent of his family; but in
the summer of 1914, while I was still living in Europe, a long
interview with Mr. Bruce Hatch appeared in the New York Sunday World,
in which he expressed the conviction that the “Letters” were genuine
communication from his father, the late Judge David P. Hatch, of Los
For the benefit of those who have not read the former book, I wish to
say that “X” was not an ordinary man. He came nearer than any other
accidental of my acquaintance to the mastery of self and life which
has been called Adeptship.
After the “Letters” were finished in 1913, during a period of about
two years I was conscious of the presence of “X” only on two or three
occasions, when he wrote some brief advice in regard to my personal
On the fourth of February, 1915, in New York, I was suddenly made
aware one day that “X” stood in the room and wished to write; but as
always before, with one or two exceptions, I had not the remotest idea
of what he was going to say. He wrote as follows:
“When I come back and tell you the story of this war, as seen from
the other side, you will know more than all the Chancelleries of the
This letter I confided to two friends who had been much interested in
the former book, Mr. and Mrs. Vance Thompson; and it was arranged,
with the cordial consent of “X,” that they should sit with me about
once a week, to make a better “focus.” Their loyal faith was a great
support to me during the first half of a trying labor.
The writing was not confined to the days when we three sat together;
but about a third of the first half of the book was written in the
presence and in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Thompson. Then they went to
California, and I continued the work alone.
It may be of interest to some readers if I describe the process of
this writing, which has changed gradually from a violent and
mechanical seizure of the hand from the outside, as in the beginning
of the first book, to a quiet impression on the mind within.
If the reader will imagine a well-known friend of vivid personality
present with him, then subtract from that impression the seeing of the
physical eye, leaving only the subtle vibration of the actual thinking
and feeling presence, then add the indescribable “inner sight,” he may
begin to realise how I know that “X” is in the room.
It is probable that Helen Keller knows when her friends are near her,
and can tell one from the other, though she is deaf and blind.
When made aware of the presence of “X,” I take a pencil and a notebook,
as any other amanuensis would, and by an effort of will, now easy from
long practice, I still the activity of my objective mind, until there
is no thought or shadow of a thought in it. Then into the brain itself
come the words, which flow out without conscious effort at the point
of the pencil. It is exactly as if I heard the dictation with a single
auditory instrument, like a small and very sensitive sphere, in the
centre of the brain.
I never know at the beginning of a sentence how it will end. I never
know whether the sentence I am writing will be the last or if two
thousand words will follow it. I simply write on, in a state of
voluntary negativity, until the impression of personality described
above leaves suddenly. Then no more words come. The writing is at an
end for that time.
The question will naturally arise in the mind of the skeptical reader
(it has in mine), whether my own subconscious mind has not itself
dictated the following “War Letters from the Living Dead Man,” in the
attempt to explain a world tragedy which would have seemed impossible
two years ago.
But from my long experience in writing for “X,” and from the fact that
during two years I had not written for him except on two or three
unimportant occasions, though often thinking of him, and from my
acquired habit of minute observation of supernormal phenomena, I now
feel safe in assuming that I know the difference between the actual
presence of “X” and my own imagination of him, my reminiscence of him,
or even the suggestion of his presence from another’s mind.
No person who had had even a minute fraction of my occult experience
could be more coldly critical of that experience than I am. I freely
welcome every logical argument against the belief that these letters
are what they purport to be; but placing these arguments in opposition
to the evidence which I have of the genuineness of them, the
affirmations outweigh the denials, and I accept them.
This evidence is too complex and much of it too personal to be even
outlined here; but the Letter XXXVI, written one hour after the
sinking of the Lusitania and nine hours before I knew of it, is merely
one incident out of dozens. Also it may be considered at least an
interesting coincidence that at the very time I began writing this
book, three occult students, in different countries, wrote me that
they felt that “X” had come back and would write again through my
hand. Since then several other persons have so expressed themselves by
word or pen.
Many of the events of this war I myself have seen “astrally” at the
time of their occurrence. I was a wide-awake astral participant in the
first action in which the British army was engaged on the Continent,
and related the experience to a British officer in England before it
was reported there, my narrative being verified the following day by a
French newspaper brought over from Paris by a friend.
I saw in New York the shelling of Scarborough at the hour when it
occurred, and related the incident to a friend some hours before it
was reported in the newspapers; though I did not know the name of the
English coast town where I had seen the assault.
Nevertheless, I cannot read what is in the mind of “X” even when I am
conscious that he is actually present in the room. I know only what he
dictates, and have no idea how much or how little he knows. He has
stated in one of the letters that he should tell me only what his
judgment approved from time to time.
There is one point where I myself do not quite follow “X.” Sometimes
when he says that the German people are so and so, had I been writing
I should have said the Prussians. I have many German friends, and I
cannot hold them individually accountable for the awful conditions
into which their government has plunged the world.
I must emphasize that I do not assume personal responsibility for what
“X” writes, but merely record his words.
It did not occur to me until several days after his last letter was
written, on July 28th, that he had finished the war book exactly one
year from the date of the first declaration of war, that of Austria
against Serbia, and on the very day when the Pope sent out his great
appeal for peace.
In his former writing, which began more than three years ago, “X”
requested that I should never summon him, and later advised me not to
ask questions. I have therefore generally refrained from doing either;
though the temptation has often been great to ask him as to the final
issue of this war by which I have been so profoundly affected. But I
knew that such questioning might stimulate the action of my own
objective mind and becloud my receptivity. I have recently shrunk from
seeking for such answers even in my hypnogogic visions, lest I should
see something which would make me less negative in the reception of
This situation seems to have cured me forever of curiosity; it has
made me feel detached as a comet and almost as lonely, and strong
enough to be willing to remain so. But, by a strange paradox, as my
hatred for the brutalities of this war grew deeper and deeper, my love
for all those struggling human souls in every camp grew with it, until
I came to feel that each one of all those millions who died and
suffered on those battlefields was my brother and my friend. Love is a
miracle that touches the brutal facts of life and makes them divine.
In the third letter of this book, dated March 10th, “X” said that
the forces of good had overpowered the forces of evil and that peace
would return to the world—though he did not say when. Before I
learned of the
(videos on that) but one hour after it had actually taken place,
he wrote that the demons whom the workers out there had driven back
had rallied and returned to the assault, and that he ought to have
known that the very Law of Rhythm would drive them forward again after
they had generated another supply of energy.
In the light of rhythmic law, that letter is to me the most
interesting part of the book. It illustrates what he has said so often,
that even the “living dead” do not know everything, and that the
reason why they know so much more than we do is because they have a
wider vision and a greater fund of data on which to base their
In regard to that second onslaught of the powers of darkness, it is
perhaps significant that the letter describing his first conversation
with the “dark-veiled one” was written next before the Lusitania
Aside from his narrative, two major ideas seem to dominate “X” in this
writing: the mystery of good and evil (love and hate), and the
brotherhood of man.
Through his soul-changing exposition of the conflict between good and
evil, both in the human heart and in the universe, a man might learn
to protect himself against his own evil as well as the evil outside
In pursuit of this end “X” has revealed certain mysteries to which the
attention of the common man has not heretofore been effectively called.
That there is an “astral world” permeating and extending beyond the
world of dense matter has been stated in Theosophical and other
literature; “X” makes his readers realize the fact. The astral world
is said to be the world of feeling and desire; and it is through a
man’s astral, feeling or desire body, made of a tenuous kind of matter
invisible to untrained eyes, that he connects with and functions in
Within and beyond this again is said to be the thought world, and the
theory is that man has also a thought body through which he contacts
with and functions in it. And so on, plane after plane, till man
reaches the formless and universal, in other words pure divinity.
The evil astral beings described by “X” are beings dwelling in the
astral world. Some of them have no physical bodies in the material
world; others are the more or less independent astral selves of men,
which during sleep go here and there in the world invisible to our
open eyes. They have been active in this war.
There are also said to be beings of the elements, earth, air, fire and
water, who are evolving along a line different from that of man. Some
of these are amiable, some are malicious. Much information about these
elementals can be found in the writings of Paracelcus. They also have
been active in this war.
Other and superior beings work on all three planes, physical, astral
and mental, and in still higher worlds beyond our cognizance. But for
the beneficent activity of some of these, mankind would destroy itself
or be destroyed.
“X” says that the feelings of hatred and the sufferings engendered by
the great war have made the astral world at this time a very
unpleasant place of sojourn. The purgatory of the Roman Catholics is
the same thing as the place of post-mortem trial described by “X”. The
Church has great knowledge.
Good and evil may be called opposite and complementary forces, one
working in harmony with the Law of the Universe (otherwise called the
will of God), the other working disharmoniously with the Law.
Some readers may be shocked by what “X” says of black magic. He is not
writing to shock them, but to protect and instruct them. Superstition
has been called the dark side of religion; but superstition is to be
understood, not dismissed with the lifting of superior eyebrows. All
things are to be understood. The great psychologists, scientists, do
not now consider these subjects beneath their investigation. Refer to
Professor William James, to Sir Oliver Lodge, to Dr. Baraduc. The
names of recognized scientists who are now investigating occult
phenomena would fill a small directory. When I admit that I am seeking
to chart the unseen world, I am modestly enrolling myself in good
“X” speaks of the “dark-veiled one” who inspired Nietzsche in the
misleading of young Germany. Perhaps behind every powerful man or
woman whose work has told in the world there has been an invisible one,
either light or dark-veiled. The question is not without interest,
both practical and theoretical. Inspiration, like magic, may be either
black or white.
The “voices” of Jeanne d’Arc would in our day be called clairaudient
phenomena. History declares that they rendered her more, not less,
efficient as the saviour of France. Martin Luther threw his ink-pot at
“the devil”; but the Reformation was no less ably engineered because
Luther had visions. Saul of Tarsus also had a vision, if we may credit
“X” speaks of his own Teacher, a “Master.” When I compare the
California Judge whom I knew with most of the men and women with whom
I prattle about commonplaces, I do not find it difficult to admit the
possibility that man may progress even further than “X,” given the
resolution so to do. If “X” became what he was in a little less than
seventy years, there is hope for us who look forward to eternity.
The second major idea of these “War Letters” seems to be the
brotherhood of man.
The world has progressed thus far through a series of well-marked
periods, and by means of a series of predominant races which stamped
their time with their own peculiar color. “X” says that a new race,
the Sixth Race so-called, is about to arise now in the United States.
If America would accept this idea as a working hypothesis—not another
“Deutschland über Alles,” but say “America for (not over) all”—she
might build a peace-machine as Germany has built a war-machine. If she
should go about it with the same thoroughness, postulating the ideal
brotherhood as Germany has postulated world-dominion, she might make a
demonstration in the next generation. In the mixture of races in
America she has all the materials for any kind of spiritual experiment.
Asia and Europe would look on with interest. England, Germany, and
France, even Japan who is spiritual underneath and material only on
the surface, perhaps Russia above all, would respect such an avowed
purpose. It may be that the world will have suffered enough by the end
of this war to be ready to welcome universal brotherhood.
Already there are movements in America which would gladly fall into
line. “X” speaks of the Woodcraft movement, a loosely organized body
of perhaps a hundred thousand men and boys and a few women, who in
their playtime have gone back to Nature and the campfire for that
fraternity which cities do not give.
“X” says that he has another service to perform in the future. I do
not know what that service is, nor whether I have any part in it; but
if he should one day declare to me that it was in connection with the
Woodcraft purpose, I should not be surprised.
But after living for months with this war book, I cannot yet see it in
perspective nor gauge its value. I give it to the world because it
seems to belong to the world, and because among the thousand letters
which I have received from the readers of “Letters From a Living Dead
Man,” so many have asked for further writings of “X.” The first book
is now being translated into four European languages, and other
translations have been offered.
I want to thank all those persons in many countries who have written
me so kindly about the book. It was more for them than for myself that
I embraced the offered opportunity to hear what “X” had to say about
the Great War. To receive genuine communications from the other world
(assuming as I must that such communication is possible) involves
sacrifice on the part of the amanuensis, even in the protected quiet
of a country home. To do it in a great rushing city like New York,
amidst the distractions of a complex social life, and during a war
like this by whose horrors the “sensitive” is especially buffeted, and
in a clashing pro-German pro-Allies environment, has been an education
But the war cannot last forever, and some day joy will come back to
New York, Sept., 1915. Elsa Barker.
THE RETURN OF “X”
In a far away star I heard the command: “Go back to the earth, and
learn the mysteries of love and hate.”
I did not know to what I was going, but went as commanded.
As I neared the earth an army of angry beings sought to bar my way.
“What are you doing here?” they cried. “This is our field, and we
brook no interference.”
I called to the Teacher, and he stood beside me. Even he was grave at
the power of the forces before us.
“It has come,” the Teacher said; “it has come suddenly, after a long
Wrath is a cosmic force, and hate is a cosmic force, and love is a
cosmic force, and fear is a cosmic force. Did you think that love was
a pretty sentiment? Did you think that hate was a mere annoyance? I
have seen the sources of wrath and hate and love and fear, and that my
experience may be of use in helping men to understand the forces
working in and behind the race, I have made the effort to write for
the world again.
This war is more than a war of men; it is more than a war of angels.
Its roots are in Necessity itself.
A new race has to be born, and races like men are born in the pain and
the blood of their predecessors. But as ‘the curse of Eve” came
through her listening to the envious serpent of evil, so this curse
has come upon the world through mankind’s listening to the suggestions
of envy and hate from the forces of evil within and around the world.
I have seen those forces in forms, I have faced them and wrestled with
them. I am strong because I have struggled.
I came back to the world nearly five weeks before war was declared on
earth, but war was already declared in the spaces above the earth. As
the nations had long been getting ready their forces, so the entities
outside were ready and in arms. The demons who met me—for they were
demons—had triumph in their eyes.
A beginning had been made, a seed of anger sown in the heart of
Austria. And the seed was watered in the ground by those who felt that
their harvest was approaching.
You must understand that evil is co-existent with good so long as the
egos of men evolve. The forces of good and the forces of evil are
complementary. They are in actual forms, they have acquired egos;
their concentration on their work would shame the greatest geniuses
But they too are consciously or unconsciously servants of that Cosmic
Will whose designs we call the will of God.
I have learned much since the days when I entertained you with stories
of the newly-dead who had died serenely in their beds and had gone out
into the astral world as into an adjoining room. A million souls have
gone out recently, shocked, torn, mangled, buffeted by their own hate
and the hate of those who sought to destroy them.
Pity those who have died even tranquilly during the last eight months.
They have passed through a region of torment—those who have passed
through. Many have remained below, spun round and round in the
whirlpool with those who died by war.
Had I not a great purpose, and the conviction of a great mission, in
thus revealing the secrets of the other world at this time, I should
not harrow your feelings by a recital of what I have seen and
sometimes taken part in since my return from that journey among the
Comfort yourself—if you need comfort—by my assurance that the race is
passing through a rite of initiation. Those who have died in the
service of an unselfish enthusiasm will in time rebody themselves and
reap on the earth the fruits of their service. But not all who have
died have been filled with this enthusiasm. Many have hated for hate’s
own sake. They are the ones who have failed.
Pity them if you must, but it is better not to think about them. They
are the willing victims of the demons who sought to bar my way, when I
was commanded to return to the world and learn the mysteries of love
Love! Yes, there has been more love born of this war than the earth
has known in all the two thousand years of Christianity. For the human
race is awake at last, and that it may not go to sleep again is my
purpose in once more breaking through the wall that separates me from
March 5, 1915.
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
“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
“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,
“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
“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
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.
Take it from me at this early stage of our writing: The forces of good
over-powered the forces of evil a month ago, and the issue is settled
here. The power set in motion will spend itself, and peace will return
to the world.
THE WAY OF UNDERSTANDING
Before I tell you any more horrors, I want to assure you now that out
of those horrors will come a beauty such as the world has not known
during this cycle of existence.
It will not come at once, for many adjustments will have to be made;
but the way is open already for those who choose to walk in it.
It is a curious commentary on unregenerate humanity, this war in which
each side declares loudly its own righteousness and execrates its
opponent. As in all quarrels, there is more wrong on one side than on
the other; but the side which triumphs—and it will be the side that
has least wrong—will have to understand and to forgive its enemy
before it can go forward to its own great future.
Though international organizations have failed for the time being, I
am not discouraged about international organizations. They were merely
shocked into failure, the peace people, the socialists, and others who
make far higher claims to the ideal of universal brotherhood.
Even now, during the stress of the conflict, go out yourself in
thought and in love to that nation which you feel to be your enemy.
Try to understand it. And do not try to understand it by telling
yourself that it is evil. That is not understanding. There is evil in
all men. Try to understand it by becoming it, for the time. Put
yourself in its place; feel as you would feel if you stood alone—even
though by your own fault—with the whole world against you.
You draw back a little with the thought that you could not have placed
yourself in a position where the world for its own protection would be
obliged to range itself against you. But are you sure?
By entering the consciousness of that nation you are placing yourself
in such a position, and I tell you to do it temporarily, in order that
you may be a centre, a beginning, an infinitesimal part of that
international comprehension and pardon which must become general to a
degree before the long-heralded and always misunderstood Universal
Brotherhood can even begin to find room for itself in this unbrotherly
If all those aggregations of people who have long believed that they
stood for this ideal would now try to make peace with one another, if
they would acknowledge the ideals of one another, however much the
working-plans of those ideals may differ, a force could even now be
set in motion that would shorten this war and lessen the number of
those who must die for their conflicting ideals of national honor and
In the reaction from hate to love, in the reaction from criticism to
understanding that will follow a formal declaration of peace, all
those quarreling spiritual organizations may if they will, begin to
work harmoniously. If their members cannot bring themselves, because
of their narrow pride and the memory of all the harsh things which
they have said against one another in the past—if they are too meanly
afraid of eating their words, publicly to acknowledge one another as
brethren, let them begin to feel thus in their hearts. Perhaps in time
the greater courage will come, and some daring leader will say to his
flock that those with whom they once worked, with trust and the
profession of love, may be trying, according to their lights, to serve
I do not know that any further elaboration of this idea would make it
any clearer to you, and these remarks are only an interlude, a relief,
in the tension of the story which I have to tell you.
Did you know that I was near you when you crossed the North Sea more
than two weeks before war was declared, crossed to England under an
irresistible, an overwhelming impulse to get away from the continent
of Europe and back to the people of your own blood? I was near you.
But I did not remain when you were safe with your friends. I returned
to the centre of war determinism, went back to that land which,
despite all protestations to the contrary, hatched out the egg which
an irresponsible bird had laid in the region farther south.
Did I say irresponsible? Only a madman is irresponsible for his acts.
Let me say rather deluded, for not all deluded souls are mad. The hand
that slew the Austrian Archduke was used, as others have been used, by
the forces working against progress. Pity that man also, and let the
law of cause and effect deal with him as it must, for there is no
favoritism in that court and no appeal to a higher jurisdiction.
I returned to Germany. It will be necessary in this writing to call
spades, spades. If I hurt anybody’s feelings, I am not writing to hurt
anybody’s feelings. Facts are facts, and no specious pleading can
I returned to Germany. I listened to war counsels. I heard orders
given, for by a special hardening of my astral ears I can hear what is
spoken in the world of men and hear very distinctly. My astral body is
a well-lubricated though tenuous machine that answers to the lightest
touch of my will.
But do not jump to the conclusion that all astral bodies are like
mine. Remember that I am the pupil of a great Master, and that his
purposes are not his purposes but those of the law of progress which
I saw again the monster of which I wrote you in my second letter. They
speak truth who say that the German Emperor did hesitate to touch the
spring which should open the doors of hell. The War Lord had a certain
pride in his record as a Peace Lord, and he shivered at the
responsibility that faced him while gloating in that responsibility,
which further exalted his already self-exalted ego.
Pity him too, but do not sentimentalize over him. Will is free. In
yielding his will to the evil genius he was exercising free will. But
those eyes of his were wet in the night and he did pray to the Force
he calls his God. The name of God was not only on his lips but in his
inner thoughts. God is a word that means many things to many persons.
There was also in that conclave of evil spirits many who were not
attached to individual men. There were vast elemental beings. When
Lytton wrote, in one of his occult novels, of a gigantic foot which
stepped through a gap in the magic circle drawn by a black magician in
the primeval wilderness, he referred to a fact in Nature.
Nature! You with your narrow sight have no idea of the meaning of the
term. All your studies have not taught you even the alphabet that
Nature uses. Learn that alphabet. Begin to study that language. Study
chemistry, biology, electricity, and study the mysteries of the
vibrations of matter on as many planes as you can consciously reach.
The knowledge of the future lies there. Man has only begun the
conquest of Nature.
Any expression of hate which you ever beheld in the material world was
only a weak replica of the hate that was let loose upon the earth when
the hour struck last year, the hour when the orbits of certain
planetary bodies blended their influences and allowed a free passage
for beings who are generally more limited in their freedom of movement.
The giant foot! I saw the great being to whom such a foot belonged. It
was a being of the air, but earth beings were allied with it and
monsters from the deeper circles of matter where the light of the sun
Will you let me describe one of those beings? You need not fear it now
for it has been driven back to its lair in the bowels of the planet. A
gross bluish bag-like body, with a long fat tail covered with bristles,
arms and legs like elongated bags, and a head that was a larger and
half-submerged bag in the rolls of its monstrous neck. But the eyes!
There was no fat-like substance within them. They were wide and round
and glaring with a thousand years of malignity concentrated in a
moment. Pale eyes they were. If you dread an evil dark eye, dread more
an evil pale eye. Suffering unimaginable and hate of everything above
it were expressed in the eyes of that entity from the deep of things
which from the lowest astral plane spat and drooled its venom toward
the surface of the planet. Immense it was in size, toothless and
shapeless its mouth. What the nourishment might be which had kept it
together I refrain from telling you.
Again I say, do not dread it. It cannot reach toward the surface of
the earth now. Its existence is near its term. But the germs of astral
disease which were spewed from its shapeless mouth have been
multiplying in spite of all the efforts of those who know how to cope
with such things.
The beings of the air are not filthy, however evil they may be, and
few of them are really evil—few in proportion to those who are amiable
or indifferent to man.
The more revengeful of the beings of fire may yet make themselves
felt; for sporadic efforts will still be made, though the great
struggle is won in the invisible regions.
Stay where you are for the time. A danger still threatens Europe
beyond the danger of armies. Wait—and pray. For prayer is an astral
force and its effects, being in the higher astral, are far-reaching.
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 spirit.
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
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
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 vapory hand.
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.
"THE CHOSEN PEOPLE"
The nations began to declare war on one another. I stood with twenty
others for hours in the Palace at Potsdam, trying by the silent
pressure of will to reduce the pressure of the war-will which surged
in the German nation toward its Emperor. And they say that Germany did
not want war!
“Der Tag” seemed near, and war seemed to mean triumph.
It is a commonplace to say now that Germany believed that England
could not go to war. And had England not gone to war, the issue would
have been settled before the date of this writing. The German navy
would have met the French in battle and would have worsted it.
It would be well for you to cease shrinking when I say what does not
please you. I state what I know; you merely write down what I say.
I and twenty others centred the force of our will in Potsdam and in
the Wilhelmstrasse. Not that we did not know what the issue would be.
We knew. This war was written in the stars. But as the soldier does
his duty though he knows that he will lose the day, so we stood our
ground against the war devils.
The greatest of the Masters did not stand there with us, and I do not
know where he was. Probably on some business that we might not have
understood. Perhaps holding back worse forces from the outer stars.
No, that is not a dream, though it is only a supposition. There is
evil as well as good in the outer stars.
Had it not been for the restraining influence of those who watched up
here, many of the foreigners in Germany at that time would have been
torn limb from limb.
What do you know of war-madness, hate-madness? Were you capable of
feeling it in your present personality, you could not write for me now,
while those whom you love and respect are nearly all on one side of a
war not yet finished. You may grasp hate intellectually, you may
dramatize it; but you do not feel it, though you have suffered from
The worst in the German heart is very bad—though I tell you not to
hate them. The worst in all people is very bad, but the German is the
greatest bully on the planet. The cruel Oriental races have a
restraint which has grown in them through ages of culture; the German
knows only the restraint of the German law, he respects only the
restraint of the German law.
He has no sense of right and wrong in the abstract, though he is often
extremely sensitive as to what is right and wrong for him in his
relation to those near him, his kinsmen and fellow-citizens. But those
outside the race-group are outside his code of honor, however polished
he may be.
I am speaking now of the race, not of the few who have by long
residence abroad absorbed somewhat of world-brotherhood and the more
delicate sensibilities of international relations.
And mark this also: the German can love as thoroughly as he can hate;
but he can love only his own, something which is an extension of
himself, a secondary ego, the me in another form. A German may love a
foreign wife, if he can Germanize her. A German may love a foreign
friend, if that friend does not stand in the way of something he wants
I am not referring to those sudden outpourings of emotion to which
those emotional people are subject. I am not referring to their
surface kindliness, which is the overflow of emotion.
And still I say, love these unlovable people, love them so much that
they will be detached from their race-centre and will flow out in
melting response to everything that is not German. The world can never
really soften the German shell by throwing stones against it. When
they break down in this war, they will not be any more essentially
lovable because they are weaker. Love them by trying to understand
It will take decades for the arrogant and self-exalting German to see
that there is anything outside that may be superior to what is inside
He respects only might. He must be conquered by might. From his
enforced respect of a superior might he may be led gradually to see
the superior right of that gentleness which does not use its might to
coerce him when further coercion is unnecessary.
I have stood in German households since the war began, I have entered
into and for the time being have become German men and German women,
and I understand them and love them. I even admire them, for their
devotion to their own is immense. Once let that strength go out in
real brotherhood to all mankind, and these people would be truly great.
Is it possible? All things are possible to the human soul, and these
people are very human.
The defect is in their vaunted education. They teach themselves that
they are the chosen people. When they learn that they are not the
chosen people in war, the very force of the shock may upset the pillar
of egotism that stands upright in the centre of the German soul. The
world should not let that pillar fall with a crash, but softly ease
the blow—not too softly, lest mercy be mistaken for war-weariness.
The World-Mother has a hard and erring child. It has to be punished,
but not refused a seat at the family table.
I have said these things to you because, if you do not shrink, I have
things to tell you in my next letter which will need fortitude for you
to receive, fortitude and charity, whose other name is love.
SPECTRES OF THE CONGO
I have been in Poland and I have been in Serbia; but now I want to
write of Belgium and of karma,* race karma, karma old and new. (* The
law of ethical causation.)
With and behind the invading Germans, urging them on to murder,
pillage and destruction, rape and burning, were not only the devils
from the outer vast, whose time for activity had come; but with and
behind the German army was a horde of undeveloped and earth-bound
spirits who had suffered in the Congo. Karma, always karma!
The world knows something about what has been done in Belgium,
something of what Germans have done there.
I have seen men, women, and little children murdered in cold blood. I
have witnessed the soul of a murdered man tearing at a soldier who was
violating the murdered man’s wife. I have seen the soul of a mother
wringing her hands as she would have wrung them on earth when her
little daughter was being maltreated by brutes who were blind with
madness. An old man out here followed a soldier for days until he saw
revenge accomplished by means of a Belgian bayonet; then as the German
soul came out he grappled with it again, and the two were torn by each
other, the soldier not knowing he had left the body and feeling that
he was at grips with an enemy still on earth.
There was much of what is called Voodoo in the Congo. Its
practitioners do not go to sleep for a long time. They go on and on in
the invisible world, making their evil preparations and weaving their
spells. They gather round spilled blood, they absorb vitality from it,
and that vitality they use to bring evil and death upon anything
toward which they direct their will.
Did you fancy that will was weakened when man lays aside the brain? It
is weakened in the sense that there is less freedom of choice; but
there is tremendous will in following a choice already set up when the
physical base of the brain was attached to the will.
But now all the evil karma of Belgium is lived out, and she stands
like a new soul in the face of time.
Another race has taken up the load that she laid down. Will that too
be expended soon, or late? Germany has woven round herself a shirt of
evil causes that will cling to her and chafe her flesh for generations.
“It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the
The karma of nations is known to the Masters and Adepts.
The karma of England! Have you ever thought about the karma of
England? Granting that she has done much wrong, as all old nations
have, yet she has allowed herself to be used by the world-will. She,
more than all the other old races, has been an instrument in the
unifying of the races. Did you fancy that the British Empire was a
fortuitous concourse of atoms? Did you think the British Empire merely
And now the British Empire may be used further. She may be used in
Belgium. And I do not mean the mere presence of her army in Belgium.
It is said that the Masters, the world’s teachers, hold back the awful
karma of the world. I am trying to do a little of holding back the
awful karma of Germany.
She has disgraced the human race in Belgium. Everything that has been
believed about German outrages in Belgium is true except one thing. So
far as I know, and I have enquired of those who know more than I,
German soldiers have not cut off the hands of living Belgian children.
But they have murdered women, and outraged women, and mocked and
insulted pregnant women, and maltreated the new-made mothers of babes
that they have murdered. They have burned men alive, and they have
buried men still alive.
I say that Germans have done these things. Should I say that the
forces of evil, the beings of evil, the superhuman and the once-human
forces of evil, have done these things, using as their instruments the
forms of German soldiers from which they had thrust for the moment the
Take it whichever way you may please, for both ways are true. The men
who ravaged and destroyed Belgium were not all obsessed, save that
evil may be always an obsession.
Help to hold back the awful karma that Germany has made in Belgium.
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt love thy neighbor
and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless
them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them
that despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the
children of your Father who is in heaven.”
In the devastated region of Belgium—and most of Belgium is devastated—there
stands a little house unharmed and tranquil as before the war. Round
about it are ruined walls, standing black with smoke or grey with the
powder of shell-fire.
Two women live there, middle-aged women. They did not flee their home
when the war-tide washed over them. They were frightened—yes, but they
did not flee. They saw neighboring houses in flames, they heard the
detonation of shells bursting; but they remained between their four
thin walls, and waited and prayed. Four gods they prayed to, God the
Father and God the Son, and two others—their father and mother, who
had passed on some years before into the other world, their Belgian
father and their German mother!
So great was their faith that they believed they would be unharmed,
and they were not harmed. Incredible as it may seem, that little house
stands there secure in the midst of desolation.
Love is a protective force. The father and mother of those two
middle-aged women had loved each other tenderly. Race was no barrier
to their love. The German woman and the Belgian man had taught their
children that Germany was their mother and Belgium was their father.
Their bones lie together in the village churchyard, and their souls
kept watch when the armies passed over. They guarded the children they
Does this seem an impossible story? I know it to be a fact. I have
spoken with that father and mother, and I shall speak with them again.
Their faith is rare, and their love is rare, and their reward has been
It is easier to guard a little house than to move a mountain, and it
has been said that faith like a grain of mustard-seed could move a
Those two souls had not yet passed away from the neighborhood of the
earth; they waited for their children. When the war-tide rolled over,
they stood guard at the doorstone of their home. The spirits of the
peaceful dead do not like the sound of shells, but these two did not
fly away. Had they been frightened from their vigil, the little house
might now be like its neighbors.
Am I over-credulous? Do you remember me telling you one day years ago
that you were not credulous enough? I see that you remember. These two—the
Belgian father and the German mother—were also credulous, as the world
uses the word, and their children were credulous, too. Had the nations
been equally credulous of the power of love, there would have been no
war; for there would have been no armies to make war.
I am not preaching against armies. I am only preaching love and faith.
When love and faith grow greater, armies will grow smaller, and war
will be at an end.
I asked the Belgian father how he felt about the war, and he looked
toward his German wife; I asked the German mother how she felt about
the war, and she looked toward her Belgian husband. Neither would
speak for fear of wounding the other.
How should I feel now if my nation were at war, you wonder? But since
the eyes of my memory opened and I saw my past lives, I realize that I
have had so many nations, have fought in so many armies, have lain in
the lap of so many mothers of mine in so many lands, that my spirit is
I have joined the great White Brotherhood, to which all men are
brothers and all women sisters. It would be difficult for you to see
with my eyes. I watch and wait, like the parents of the two old maids
in Belgium, and so far the house of my faith stands untouched by the
fires of war.
In the great White Brotherhood there are members from many races,
there are members from the races now at war. Do you fancy that they
looked askance at one another when the world went mad? They did not
look askance at one another. Each stood guard where he could do the
most good. Each sought to soften the blow to the brethren of his
brother, each sought to soften the hearts of his own blood-brethren.
But as this war was written in the stars, the Teachers of the world
could not prevent it when the hour struck.
Do you know what it means to be a member of the great White
Brotherhood? It means to work for the welfare of the human race, for
the good of the planet as a whole.
And there is another thing I want to tell you. You have heard of a
Black Brotherhood. It is a misnomer. Brotherhood is never black. There
is no Black Brotherhood. There are many Black Masters, for Mastership,
like a garment, may be either white or black. In this war the black
forces who have inspired hatred in men have worked for one end, and
that very fact will weaken their power to do evil for a long time,
when the results of their present labors are over.
Do you get my meaning? A combination of evil forces, in the very act
of combining, weakens the individual power of its members; for evil is
strongest when individual.
Two who are full of love may work together with the power of four; but
two who work together for evil have only the power of—shall I say one
and a half? And one and a half against four! If you love power, use
power for good and increase it.
It is because of the multitude of elementary evil forces, all hurling
their malice at the world, not because of their combination, that this
madness was made possible.
Hate is a disintegrating force. Those who hate after this war will
disintegrate themselves. Those who love after this war will grow
strong. France especially will grow strong, because there is more love
than hate in France. France loves so much that even her enemies do not
hate her. It is not merely because she is not so brutally strong as
her great enemy.
Love your enemies. That is the surest way to overcome them.
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 one day.
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 won?”
“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 great
“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
“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 clear.
“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
Learn Languages. My work in this war has been hampered by my knowing
so little of German.
With the souls of those long here I can hold converse by pure thought;
but the souls of the newly-come speak the language they spoke on earth
and often that language is but a patois. That is one reason why I have
had best success among the English armies.
I can read the thoughts of the Germans and the French, but they cannot
always understand me. The father and mother of the two women in
Belgium had been so long out here that we could understand each
Learn languages. When you come to work in this world you may want them
even more than on earth, for distances here are short as thought, and
one goes from place to place in the twinkling of an eye.
THE BEAUTIFUL BEING
The angel we call the Beautiful Being, who guided me on my journey
among the planets, would like to insert here a few words on Love and
Hate. They seem to be an expression of the mortal and the Immortal
Self, in the early days of the war.
Love and Hate
One whom I loved made war on me, and the nations of the earth made war
on one another. The green fields were stained with blood and the hum
of the harvest crickets was drowned with cries of pain and rage, as
men rushed on to wreak their hate upon their human kindred. My heart
was sadder than the skies of the London winter. No joy there seemed in
all the earth; for love was dying and peace was dead, and men were
going everywhere to death. MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN* was written on
the walls of the human temple.
And I said to my heart:
“Where have we drifted in the midday of our life? And why do we wait
for the sunset? For love has failed, and the world has failed, and
have we not failed, too?”
Then as I sat gazing into the nothingness of my own faith, I heard a
voice that seemed to come from the centre of all things and the voice
“Take your pen and write, for to him who has lost everything the
treasures of the Self are opened.
“I am that Self that you had forgotten when you looked inside for
love. I am the Self that the nations had forgotten when they went out
to destroy one another. I am the One Self, and my house is in all
these hearts that throb with hate and love. When they wound each other
they wound me; when they doubt each other they doubt me; when they
love each other they love me. There is no other way of realizing me
save by love and hate and faith and doubt. For love and hate are two
poles of the one magnet, and doubt and faith are my twin-born children.
“He who has never doubted all, knows not the meaning of faith; and he
who has never been hated, knows not the meaning of love.
“When the heart is empty of joy I fill it with myself. When my own
destroy each other on earth they rush together in heaven. Freed from
the blindness of the body they see each other true.
“Two soldiers went forth to war, and the bullet of each pierced the
heart of the other. Their hate was hot as love. Then in the sudden
darkness of death they reached out for each other’s hand; their hate
had found its other pole and they melted together in love.
“Two friends went forth to war against each other, and with every
wound they drew nearer together—the soul of each grieved for the
other’s pain, and neither in death nor life can one escape the other.
“Would you avoid a loved one, then never dare to hate him. The soul
has pity when the brain is pitiless; the faith of the soul may be
strongest when the mind is weak with doubt.
“The soul of the brain that hates you keeps watch when it is still, it
wipes with its vapory hand the tear-drops from your eyes.
“When you weep in dreams, know that your soul is weeping for the tears
you have caused your enemy. When you wake with wet eyes, you are
paying the debt of love.
“Be kind to him who loves you, for love is a helpless waif; if you
drive it from the heart it can only wander alone.
“Be kind to him who hates you, for his waif is wandering alone.
“When you go to sleep, send love to the one who wounds you by day. If
you go to sleep in hate you will wake with wet eyes.
“I am the go-between. I am the Self whose house is in every heart. I
take messages in the darkness. I am too great to be proud. I run
errands for my own.
“How well you have tried to hate I know by your heart’s sadness. That
you have failed to hate is because your soul is sleepless.
“I am the go-between and I keep my lantern lit.”
* [ed. note] Quote from Daniel 5:25 interpreted in Daniel 5:26-28
25: And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL,
26: This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered
thy kingdom, and finished it.
27: TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28: PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
THE BODY OF HUMANITY
I have said that as twenty of us stood in the palace at Potsdam and in
the Wilhemstrasse, the greatest of the Teachers was not with us.
You do not know the name by which we know him, nor do you need to
know. He is one who has left so far behind him the personal
limitations of life as you know it that he can look upon that life
somewhat as the Planetary Logos may look upon it. He can look at the
restless and warring beings on earth as you would look at
micro-organisms through a lens. Amoeba, fat-cell, pus-cell, he sees
them all as parts of the great Whole, and their wars do not make him
The assertions, the reiterations, the bombastic prayers of the German
Emperor, who goes on the assumption that God must be on his side
because it is his side, do not move this Master even to smiles.
Absurdity and tragedy are one to him, except as they further or retard
the growth of the organism of Humanity.
If you get into your consciousness a realization, not a mere
philosophic theory, of the One and the many, you will understand that
the One is in all the many, whether some of them be your friends or
Another thing remember: To posit is to create. Posit and thus create
brotherhood. But do not posit it too violently, lest you climax your
rhythm too soon and produce by reaction the opposite of brotherhood.*
The greatest of the Masters seemed to us to posit no new thing when
the war-cloud gathered.
We whose knowledge is not infinite tried to serve as physicians, tried
to cool the fever that was burning the cells of the Great Man,
Humanity. We may be said to have given him mental treatment, to have
urged on the curative process.
The astral forms with which we struggled were like germs of disease in
the air. From the view-point of the great Master they were no more
than infusoria which you could see through a lens.
Adjust your view to eternity as well as to time, if you would
understand him and help him in his work. But do not regard your own
work as unimportant because it is in time, because from the greater
point of view you fancy that it may appear small.
How does a man become a Master save by doing his work as if the health
of the whole planetary organism depended on it? The perfect health of
the organism does depend on the work of every cell.
Now let me tell you why this war had to be. The time had come when
humanity must realize brotherhood in preparation for the new race that
had to be born. Instead of that, there was greater and greater
separation in feeling, though the material discoveries and
organizations of the last hundred years were making brotherhood
possible in the material world.
The rhythm of separateness was climaxed by this war of separation.
Without it the brotherhood of man would have been retarded by man’s
refusal to work emotionally with the law that had already been
demonstrated to him in the physical world.
In other words, the body had grown faster than the soul and the soul
had to suffer with the body; the soul had to be torn in order that it
might heal itself by its own power, the power of love.
I spoke of not climaxing too violently the rhythm of brotherhood. That
applies to all rhythmic waves. The Germans desired to be the ruling
race of the world. They posited their own superiority so violently
that they are producing the opposite of superiority. Posit with
They might have been the leaders in the new spirit of unity. They have
failed and have lost their opportunity. The mass of Germans in the
United States might have been a unifying force between the United
States and Germany. See what they are now!
The reason why Germany was not permitted by the Masters to have large
colonies of her own was so that her surplus population might scatter
over the earth and mix with the other races. The German blood needed
mixing. Her efficiency in material ways might thus have leavened the
Instead, she became drunk with her own greatness. She climaxed the
rhythm that might have carried her steadily forward. It is a karmic
failure she has made.
The races are like organs in the body of Humanity. If one race refuses
to work with and for the body of Humanity as well as for itself, it
If Germany would even now turn to the Supreme Unity and worship the
One of the System instead of her little racial god, she could recover
the ground she has lost, after a time of suffering and initiation.
Will she do it? That remains to be seen. Help with the Masters to hold
back the bad karma of that race.
* I have been somewhat troubled by the unusual expression, “climax a
rhythm.” But as there are many rhythmic ripples in every great wave,
and as the highest reach of a wave may be said to be its climax, I
assume that “X” is using words with the same judicial precision which
he used on earth, and that the climax of a rhythmic wave may be called
the climax of a rhythm.--Editor
THE FOEMAN WITHIN
You have something more to do than simply to write down what I say
about brotherhood. With selfless devotion you must help the world to
realize it, pointing out the way to individuals and aggregates of
Universal Brotherhood! It has a pretty sound, and mouths have repeated
it for the sake of its music, when the meaning of it was neither in
the heart nor in the brain.
Universal Brotherhood is not only the brotherly relation between the
units of the Many, but Universal Brotherhood is also their unity,
conscious and real, in the One Self. Universal Brotherhood is the
return of the Many to the One, as well as their enjoyment of the
You have repeated the old Hindoo word, formula, mantra, AUM, repeated
it like a parrot; but if you had realized AUM I should not have to
preach brotherhood to you, and by “you” I mean all men and women who
have prattled of Universal Brotherhood.
A-U-M—the One, the Many, and the Union between them: the Self, the
Not-Self, and the negation of separateness. AUM, the seed, the plant
and the perfume.
What do you fancy that you are in the world for?
You have heard of Mulaprakriti, you Theosophists: Mulaprakriti,
root-nature. You have heard of the three gunas, or qualities of
Mulaprakriti, satwa, rajas, tamas: satwa, light, being, peace; rajas,
action, passion, assertion; tamas, darkness, inertia, denial.
Some of you have heard of Christ, Lucifer, Ahriman.—Satwa, rajas and
tamas, again, under other names.
You Kabalists have heard of Neshamah, Ruach, Nephesh: aspiration,
individual intelligence, materiality.
You have all heard of Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva: the Preserver, the
Creator, the Destroyer.—Yes, that is the proper order, for Vishnu
preserves from kalpa to kalpa, and Brahma recreates.
Krishna (Vishnu) says in the Bhagavat-Gita, “I am the Self that is
seated in the hearts of all beings.”
He is the One and the Many, for He is in the many and the many are in
Him. You cannot realize Krishna save as you realize Him as the Self
that is seated in the hearts of all beings. You cannot realize the
Christ until you can see Him in the hearts of all beings.
Yes, you may struggle with one another and call it hate, or war; that
Separateness is necessary as a stage of evolution, that the ego may
realize itself as distinct; but the time has come when the race should
turn back toward its Source, to Unity, to the Atma that is the same in
I have learned much since I last left you two years ago. On earth I
did not talk incessantly of Universal Brotherhood. I wanted to achieve
a “peerless individuality.” Well, I have achieved it. On my two years’
journey among the planets and elsewhere, I found the power I sought;
but I found something else--—love, the greatest power of all.
Brotherhood is love and that is why I preach brotherhood. You may
acquire individuality by hating, but not a “peerless individuality.”
Do not be afraid of losing your identity. So long as you can love
something other than yourself you will not lose your individuality.
For to love something other is to posit your individuality.
To love only your separate self is to lose your hold on individuality,
for you are only an individual in relation to other selves. Alone in
the universe, you would have to be nothing or everything, and you
cannot be everything—not just yet, save as you are everything through
unity with everything, and that is love.
Rebel as you will, by that very rebellion against others you assert
their equality with you, you assert their co-existence, and behind
co-existence is Unity, Krishna, “the Self that is seated in the hearts
of all beings.”
Do not be shocked when I say that from our point of view this war
seems very childish, very ignorant.
War was noble a long time ago when man-kind was on its way out and
needed to realize separateness; but in course of time war will become
not only unnecessary, but banal.
I am not jesting with serious things. I know far better than you can
know how very serious this war is, for I have watched it on both
The war between the forces of good and evil was not banal. In the
human heart that war will go on for a long time yet, aeons on aeons;
but the day has come when men should war with the evil in themselves,
and let other men war with the evil in themselves. The sword of Mars,
the war-god, will not rust so long as the Mars in man wields it
against the powers of darkness within himself.
I have seen the powers of darkness in men exteriorized, have seen them
in objective form, and I assure you they are foeman worthy of your
steel. Each of you has within a foeman worthy of his steel.
Each man has also the Self, the divine, the Christ, the Krishna that
is seated in the hearts of all beings.
I want to tell you something which I saw with my own eyes.
On the battlefield in France, two soldiers killed each other with the
bayonet. The devil in each escaped with the soul. They were not
ordinary men. I saw these two devils, these two “dwellers on the
threshold,” these two “desire-elementals,” call them what you will. Do
you think they fell upon each other to destroy each other? Not at all.
Each fell upon the soul it belonged to. They had no interest in each
other; they had nothing to give or to take away from each other, these
devils, dwellers, elementals.
Do you see what I mean?
Your enemy is within you.
The one you fight outside is your brother. Love him with brotherly
love and your devil will grow weaker as your angel grows stronger.
Your angel is descended from the Atma, the Christ, the Krishna in you.
It is similar to the Atma, the Christ, the Krishna in your brother.
The devils are all very individual. The angels are all very much alike,
though some are stronger than others and older in experience.
Seek the Christ in yourself, that it may arise, with tidings of great
joy unto all men.
That is what I wish to say to the world on this evening before Easter
LISTENING IN BRUSSELS
No, do not expect me to write essays. I am writing letters. Let me be
as discursive as I please. But you will see at the end of my labors
that the building has a frame, and that all the parts are in place.
Having philosophized the last time, I will now tell you a story.
When the German army passed through unresisting Brussels (three days,
if I remember rightly, it was passing through, a long, moving
grey-green river of men, on whose helmeted ripples the sunlight or the
lamplight glittered), I stood for an hour unnoticed upon a balcony,
reading the thoughts of man after man as he passed before my place.
As I have explained to you before, I have no difficulty in reading the
thoughts of the Germans; it is only in trying to make them understand
me that I often fail.
The river of men and the river of thoughts, each man a ripple, each
thought a ripple!
Here are a few ripples of thought which caught the light of my
“What a beautiful city Brussels is!”
“My feet are tired. My shoes hurt me.”
“That tree yonder is like the one beside the door at home.”
“Mother will be making coffee at this hour.”
“What a pretty girl—the one with the bread in her basket!”
“I wonder if Gretchen will talk much with Hans now I am gone.”
“That gate on the left is the one that Marie sent me on a picture
postcard last year.”
“My feet are tired. My shoes hurt me.”
“So this is Brussels! I always wanted to see it.”
“My head aches.”
“Deutschland über Alles! Deutschland über Alles!”
“I wonder if the Lieutenant paid his tailor.”
“How warm it is!”
“What is father doing now?”
“I wish I had a glass of beer!”
“I am glad we don’t destroy Brussels!”
“What is all this war about, anyway?”
“The Fatherland! The Fatherland!”
“What will they give us for supper?”
“I wonder where we are going?”
“This isn’t so fine as the Unter dem Linden.”
“When we get to Paris I must see the Venus of Milo.”
“My head aches.”
“Our baby has a tooth!”
“Will it ever be supper-time!”
And so on and on and on, as the long grey-green river flowed through
the city of Brussels.
And these were the men that in a little while would murder and rob and
burn and rape, and murder and rob and burn! Many of them had done so
already—these tired men with their aimless, unwarlike thoughts, their
commonplace soldier thoughts, of home and food and aching feet and of
postcards Marie sent last year and the hour for mother’s coffee!
What power transformed them into devils? What demon dehumanized them
till they forgot their weariness? Was it the raucous cry of the
war-trumpet? Was it the devil behind the devil who blew the trumpet?
Was it the evil spirit of a nation, or merely the spirit of war?
It was all of these things.
Perhaps when they began their marching they thought of glory and hate
and life and death and honor; but they had been marching long and
their thoughts had become simple as the thoughts of weary old men.
What was it all about? What power was driving them on?
Some of these men killed unresisting civilians, struck down helpless
children, maltreated nuns and other virgins, drove old men and women
before them as a shield against the fire of the opposing forces.
What roused the devil in them? Your friend is right in saying that the
war-trumpet is an instrument that can rouse the demon that sleeps in
the human breast. He says that the demonic forces outside can make
their entry into our world and our personalities riding on the tones
of the trumpet-horn. He is right.
He says that it brings the element of fire into the soul. Profoundly
true! Fire, the element of destruction, that purifies by destroying
what cannot resist it. Fire in the soul and fire in the nerves and
fire at the end of a rifle—and death by fire to all that gets in its
I have listened for days to the ear-splitting noise by which Germany
seeks to put hell into the hearts of her soldiers. My ears rang with
Why do you start? Have you not yet accustomed yourself to the thought
that I can go back and forth, from the hell of Europe to the purgatory
of New York? Yes, the Germans in New York are in purgatory, for they
know that their cause is lost. Purgatory is for purgation. Let us hope
that it may accomplish its purpose in their hearts. And I do not say
this to be unkind, but rather as a blessing. I love the Germans, and
all other races. So also do you—in your heart of hearts.
Yes, it was I who, through an easy instrument, directed you to the
German doctor. I wanted you to see how good a German can be. There are
many such in that hell-racked nation.
You should understand that hell comes into a man—he does not go into
hell. Have you not heard that man is the Microcosm of the Macrocosm?
Those tired grey-green soldiers that I watched in their march through
Brussels were each of them large enough to contain hell and heaven and
a world of spirits. All of them had contained heaven many a time, when
listening to the strains of their master-musicians. It was when the
war-trumpet sounded, and the war-hate and the war-lust awoke in them,
that they contained hell.
Many a time have I clutched with my too-tenuous hands a German soldier
who was about to disgrace himself.
Once, at Namur, I kept a young man from doing something that would
have darkened his judgment of himself while his life lasted—and it
lasted only twenty-one days thereafter. He was a good boy; but the
devil awoke in him as it awoke in others. It was because he was more
sensitive than some others that I could make him feel my restraining
hands. He thought they were the hands of his dead grandfather, who had
left him only a year before. What matter? He let his victim escape.
(Yes, look up Namur on the map, if you wish to! You will find it in
the right place. Your uncertainty as to Belgian geography does not
trouble me; but your return to the world of your own thoughts has
broken the thread of mine.)
THE SIXTH RACE
Have you thought about the United States after this war? A new race is
being prepared for in the United States. That is why you had to be
born there—you through whom I write. That is why I am trying to use
you in my work for Universal Brotherhood.
No, you need not remain in the United States. It is better that you
should continue to mingle with other races in their old habitations.
The Theosophical Society could not have been born anywhere else.
Spiritualism could not have been born anywhere else. In the United
States is a readiness for new things, a reaching out for the untried,
a welcome for things because they are new.
Of course this tendency may be and is abused. Almost any faker can
find followers in the United States; but without that hospitable
spirit towards the New, the great new race could not come into
This race is not made of new souls, but of the oldest and most
experienced souls, experienced in other lives of the past. The
ingenuousness and the childlike quality of Americans are the results
of spiritual maturity. The race, as a race, is in its youth; but the
souls are old as time.
After they have taken a much needed rest, many or most of the souls
that go out by death in this war will find rebirth in the United
States. Oh, that land will be a very wonderful place in seventy-five
or a hundred years!
You will not be here then, unless you discover the fountain of
immortal youth, or unless you come back soon, renouncing the rest in
Ponce de Leon was inspired when he sought the fountain in the New
World. It is there if anywhere; but Australia and Russia will run you
a keen race for the future.
No, I shall not tell you about the Seventh Race. It will come in good
time; but now I want to talk to you about the Sixth, one of whose
pioneers you are.
Do not cut this out of my book because an enemy once said that you
were egotistical. Our enemies always see and hate their own qualities
in us. Develop some quality an enemy has not, and he (or she) will
love you for it. The horseman is not jealous of the musician in his
quality as musician. It is the musician who is jealous of the musician,
the egotist who sees and hates another’s egotism. If Germany were a
weak nation she could not so hate England for her greater power.
When the Sixth Race is fully incarnate, all men and women of real
development will be able to see in the astral world, and to hear
unspoken words, and to read the thoughts of others. Of course there
will be people of all grades of development in that new race. Equality
of development is a pretty dream, you Socialists. Have you not also
your superior ones, your leaders? The less developed souls who come
into incarnation with the Sixth race are those who have earned in the
past the right to be open to the quickening influences of that race.
How have they earned that right? By their willingness to change and to
Go out on the hillside and watch the growing things. Take a leaf from
the book of Nature.
You wonder about the future of England. Old England is provided for.
Has she not given birth to the civilization you enjoy? Other races
were present, of course; but language tells the story.
As I said before, England has been an instrument in the hands of these
Great Ones who wished to make possible the fraternity of races. She
has carried the torch round the world. She has tied continents
together, and woven the chain which will bind men to each other in
days that are to come. Honor her, for she deserves honor.
Honor all nations, as aggregates of souls, your brother-souls; but
honor most those nations that have worked with the Law and not against
Those who aspired to see Germany the cradle of the new race should
have made less noise in the birth-chamber. They have scared the angel
There are four races in Europe that are cruel races. They cannot rock
the cradle of the divine infant. They would not remove the pin that
stuck in its back, lest if it did not suffer and cry its lungs would
lack air. I need not name these races.
The Sixth Race is a sensitive infant and learns more through love than
through discipline. The Sixth Race will apply the discipline to itself
when it feels the need of it. Its schoolmaster will be curiosity, and
its play will be the sciences and arts of peace. Its cradle-song will
be a chant of Brotherhood. No, it could not be rocked in a German
cradle; but many a German-American will help to rock it. They make
lovely cradle-songs, the Germans, when they forget the superiority of
being grown-ups and go back to the fancies of childhood, the
We want to see more and more Frenchmen in the United States, for
France has more to teach the new race than has any other nation—France,
the inspired prophet, and most of all France the critic. Americans are
not critical enough, not analytical enough, not subtle enough. America
needs France, and the men and women of France. You have heard the old
saying, “Every man has two countries, his own and France.” I may be
misquoting, but the idea is there.
You wonder how anyone born to the glory and charm of France should
ever come to the New World? But many will come, and more will follow,
both by the path of the ocean and by the path of rebirth. You came
that way yourself, if you but knew it.
Recover the memory of past births, you pioneers of the Sixth Race! You
can do it. It is part of the heritage of that race.
America, the “melting-pot” of nations! You were not made to rule an
outside empire. When the time comes make over the Philippine Islands
to a nation that can be trusted with them. Your empire is within your
own body, you race of a score of races, you inheritor of a score of
fathers, you mother of the one new race!
Increase your army and navy so long as you are nervous. Put
lightning-rods on your house and burglar-alarms on the doors and
windows. Feel secure. Then dream about brotherhood—when you can trust
Sit by the fire of your own coal dug from the ground by Dutchmen, as
it burns in a chimney of your own bricks made by the hands of Irishmen,
read your own newspaper printed in the language of Englishmen, by the
light of your own lamp made by a German, on your own hearth-rug made
by a Turk or an Armenian, enjoy the feel of your own muscles trained
by a Swede, in your own linen washed by a Chinaman, listen to your
daughter playing on your own piano the music of a Russian, an Italian,
a Pole or a Frenchman, see all over your own room things made by the
sons of a dozen other races, your neighbors, your fellow-citizens,
your fellow-Americans, then tell me whether you dare not to believe in
Universal Brotherhood, and in the new race, the synthesis of all
AN AMERICAN ON GUARD
I want to speak more of France, and of what she can do for America,
the land of the coming new race.
I have spoken before of her love, which is so great that even her own
enemies cannot hate her. I have praised her critical genius, which
analyses all things and compares one with another. But now I want to
speak of her charm and her courtesy.
You have said yourself that good-manners are the imitation of
kind-heartedness. To imitate is to emulate. A race that has charming
manners has a heart. A race that is brusque needs to cultivate heart.
Employ French teachers in your schools, you Americans. A French
teacher or a French mother tells her children not to do a certain
thing because it is not pretty, another word for charming, for
kind-hearted. If you imitate kind-heartedness this way, perhaps you
will some day feel it, you American children.
By setting up the standard of beauty in deportment you need have no
fear of forgetting the ethical. You all drank Puritan ethics with your
mother’s milk; there is no danger that those precepts will be lost if
you practise charm a little by way of variety.
Every face in France was once a smiling face. It was not so this
afternoon when I passed through France on my way to you. But the faces
are still brave, because it is not pretty to make a parade of sorrow.
I know the excess of French mourning-apparel might be called a parade
of sorrow, but the black is worn as a mark of respect for all the dead
Taste! There is a race which has it. And in advising America to learn
from the French, I am naturally selecting the good qualities of that
nation. We all have faults of our own.
The taste of the French in the United States at this time! Do they
print journals in English attacking their enemy? Do they support a
lobby in Washington and a press-bureau in New York? If so I have not
heard of them, and we hear of most things out here—we who keep our
ears to the ground. If they grieve for their stricken country, they do
not drop their tears on America’s freshly ironed shirt-bosom. If they
hate their enemy, they hate him with a quiet, well-bred hate. If
France wins a victory in the field, they do not bluster about it. If
France loses in the field, they do not call their enemy a rattlesnake
or some other kind of reptile. It would not be pretty. It might not be
unethical, but it would be bad taste.
Americans bluster too much. I said that when I myself was an American,
before I was uprooted and became a citizen of the world invisible and
universal, and I have not changed my mind by association with angels,
adepts and masters. They never bluster, but the devils often do.
In advising America to learn from France those things in which France
is supreme, I am not depreciating other races. Each nation can learn
something from every other nation. The Chinese and the Japanese have
points where they rise above their neighbors. So have the Americans.
This war has brought out the dominant traits in all the warring
peoples, and their complementary traits. Have you ever thought of the
“turbaned Turk” (or, to be less Shakespearean, the fezzed Turk) as
being gullible? Treacherous races are always gullible, as cruel races
are apt to be sentimental—in all that touches themselves. “Free
America” must beware of too many laws. England, too conscious of her
virtue, will one day yield to temptation. Germany, “over all,” has got
the whole world on top of her. Italy, the excitable, is now
deliberating to a degree that would be dangerous for any other land.
“Neutral America” is so unneutral that her right hand threatens her
left, and both the whole body.
Do not be impatient with President Wilson. He is dealing with the
problems of the present war as if they were dated 500 B.C., and the
long view is apt to be the clear view. The professor in him is safer
than the politician in him. He is not happy just now. Why? Oh, that is
an affair of State, and I am writing for publication! I know so many
secrets that I am discreet as the family doctor.
But there is an “American on guard tonight.” Who is he? Old Abraham
Lincoln, who renounced heaven that he might watch over the land he
lived and died for.
No, I shall not tell you any more about him. There is something sacred
in a soul’s renouncing rest. He will not go too far away until America
passes through her next great trial. When will that be? As the
Beautiful Being says, “Nay, Child, you ask too much.”
And still you are eager to know about Abraham Lincoln! I was eager to
know about him myself a few short years ago; but I did not ask too
many questions. It would not have been pretty, as the French mothers
A MASTER OF COMPASSION
In my former book I reminded you that your friends who had passed into
the astral world did not know everything; that though their sight was
longer than before and their eyes less clouded by matter, they yet
could not always prophesy as glibly as fortune-tellers—or at least
that they were wiser not to attempt it. Now I have in mind an
illustration of that very point, only the subjects are much more
exalted than the ordinary dwellers on the astral plane.
There is, for instance, not perfect unanimity in our minds as to all
the details of the end of this war. There are two of us who often
discuss ways and means, who, while desiring the same result of peace,
have slightly varying views as to the best possible way to bring that
result to pass.
One of our Brothers, who is still occupying his physical body most of
the time, has a great desire to soften so far as possible the blow
that is to fall upon one of the nations in this war. We all want to
soften so far as possible the blow for that nation; but he has in his
mind a plan which would, if put into effect, very materially soften
it. He knows that he could perhaps bring it about in the way he wishes;
yet he is far too wise to force the issue. He will not force the issue.
He tries softly to inspire those who have it in their power to suggest
the beginnings of peace according to his ideas. We do nothing to
deflect the current of his loving thoughts, for he is the only one
among us—and by us I mean the Brothers of a certain development—he is
the only one among us who has a greater tenderness for one race than
for all the others. He is not so old as some of us, but he is one of
He may be able to do what he wishes, but I personally am not sure. In
one way he is wiser than I am; but my judgment is not at all
influenced by tenderness for my own native land, which is not yet
directly concerned, and so I may be a safer judge than he.
Do not take this as an admission of weakness in my Brother. Love is
not a weakness.
This brother wrote a prediction through the hand of a pupil of his not
long ago. Perhaps it will be verified. Nothing will be thrown by any
of us in the way of its verification. In fact, if it is the best way
it will have the support of all.
Even a Master does not know everything, though to the blind eyes of
lesser men he seems to know everything. And a Master is too wise to
attempt to force his individual will upon the world. The black
magician is willing to bring things to pass by the power of his will,
and often he can do it; but he does not always count on the reaction.
The White Master always counts on the reaction. He works with the Law.
There is arising now in America a school of magic, for it is a form of
magic that they practise, and the teachers of this school instruct
their followers how to bring events to pass, how to demonstrate in the
material world the material desires of their hearts. They can do it,
the strong ones can, if their desires are not against the great stream
of desire that carries the race forward. But often these material
desires are not in strict accord with the karma of the person desiring;
that is, the balance of karma being worked out now may be so violently
drawn upon in one direction, that for the following life there will be
left only a lot of unhappy karma, weak karma, which has not been
wisely distributed over that time in which they have been operating
with this new plaything, this magic power which they are using to make
their present lives one glad sweet song.
The way to get what you want is to will what the great Law decides.
That is what the Masters do. And I am not denying the greatness of my
Brother whom I mentioned a few pages back. He wills the will of the
great Law, the same as all of us do; and if his tenderness for his
native land has inspired him to devise a plan which seems in harmony
with the great Law, he would not put the plan into effect if he could,
should he realize that it was not in accordance with that law.
There is always danger for the man who is not a Master in pitting his
judgment against the law of karma. If a poor man wants to be rich, and
if he wills hard enough, he can become rich; but he may miss by the
way other things that his soul needs far more than it needs riches.
One of the greatest dangers that face America in the future is the
danger of black magic. Among a hundred men or women who take up New
Thought, Christian Science, ceremonial magic, and certain philosophies
with even loftier verbal aims, there may be one whose desire is
perfectly pure and unselfish.
There is great power in America. The untrodden hills and mountains are
full of fresh new forces that man may draw upon. Also the astral world
above America—that layer of the astral which lies immediately outside
the physical continent, as the aura of man extends beyond his body—that
layer of the astral world above America is full of forces, elemental
and astral forces, which can be used consciously by those who know how
to use them, and which are used unconsciously by those whose personal
desires are so strong that the more or less impersonal forces are
obliged to follow them—swung into line by the power of desire or will.
Great danger lies that way for those who use such forces for evil, and
between selfish desire and evil the veil is very thin.
There are seeking incarnation in this new race many of those whose
magical work along dark lines was interrupted in the old days of
Atlantis. Yes, that story of Atlantis is true. Many of these souls are
now coming in, some here and some in other countries; but their main
course is in the direction of the New World. More and more the forces
of magic will be used in the New World. It is for you and for others
who know that magic used for selfish purposes is always black magic,
to warn those who are too much fascinated by the idea that they can be
the makers of their own fortunes at the expense of others.
This warning is much needed. And I want to say to those whose only
desire for occult knowledge is that they may use it for their own
selfish ends, that if they stand in the way of the Law that works for
unselfishness in the new race, they will be destroyed again as they
were destroyed in ancient Atlantis. And I do not mean that their souls
will be destroyed, but that their lives will be cut short and their
influence for evil nullified.
Do not be shocked when I tell you that there have been working in
Europe during and before the present war “artificial elementals” that
were created in the time of Atlantis. Those beings, for they have a
force and a pseudo-individuality, have been used in this war by those
(now reincarnated) who created them ages ago. They have drifted to
their creators by the power of attraction.
One such creature was destroyed last July, and I assisted in its
At the time of the birth of a new race, will has great dynamics. Use
your will with the Law, not against it.
Do you realize, you who put your desires above all things, that each
of you is but a drop in the stream of souls? The drop that would
isolate itself from the stream may be sucked up by the sun in the form
of vapor and wait a long time before entering the stream again.
Now do not take any of this as applying to my Brother who wants to
soften the blow for his native land. I want to soften the future of my
native land, and that is why I am writing about the new race that is
going to be born in America. But if I should learn, through counsel
with my Brothers or through individual inspiration, that it was best
that the new race should be born elsewhere, I would work with the same
devotion to bring it into being in that other place. And so would my
Brother. We who work with the Law put the welfare of the human race
above our own individual loves. All races are one race—the human
race—and we work together as one.
THE ROSE-VEILED STRANGER
One day the angel we call the Beautiful Being came to me leading
another angel by the hand. Long association with this extraordinary
being has taught me never to be surprised by anything it does. I
accept its vagaries as expressions of a state of consciousness above
and beyond my own, and much that I have learned during the last three
years I owe to its whimsical but tender friendship for me.
As I explained in my former writing, the Beautiful Being—whom we call
an angel for want of a better term—has never shared the physical life
of earth. It is a being of another evolution than the human, and for
that reason its views of human life are uniquely valuable.
It smiled as it came to me, leading by the hand another similar to
itself but far less like mankind.
Introductions in the celestial regions are often very unconventional;
but the Beautiful Being, who has observed the life of men, sometimes
amuses me by delicious mimicry of the ways of mortals.
“Rose-veiled one,” it now said to its angelic companion, “permit me to
present you to my friend ‘X’, a Judge recently arrived from the planet
Earth, who will consent I am sure to act as your cicerone over a
section of territory where history is in the making. Ask him anything
you will and he will answer you—if he can. He is still unlearned in
the language of your distant star; but he can converse in thoughts
with you whose coarsest vesture is a body of thought.”
I expressed my pleasure at meeting the stranger, and asked if I should
show it a battlefield.
“I do not understand the idea—battlefield,” it answered; “but I should
like to see it.”
“You will understand far less when you have seen it,” smiled the
It chanced that day that the opposing forces in France and Belgium
were unusually active in the beginning of the Spring campaign, and I
led my two friends to a point where they could watch the combat.
“What are those beings down there sending back and forth?” asked the
“Those objects are known as shells,” I replied.
“Shells?” the stranger returned in bewilderment.
The Beautiful Being answered for me.
“Shells are elaborately convoluted houses in which our brothers of the
great deep live and disport themselves.”
The look of bewilderment increased on the face of the stranger.
“My friend forgets,” I said, “that you know not the language of earth,
where a word, an arbitrary symbol for an idea, may stand for two ideas
“What are those objects that the beings down there are sending back
and forth?” the stranger repeated.
I have to translate its form of speech into ordinary English to make
it intelligible. Literally, its communication would stand like this:
“? Objects beings sending reciprocally?”
From my long association with angels, both with these astral bodies
and those without, such a form of speech is intelligible to me; and I
answered, translating my cumbrous native idiom into the simpler
language of ideas:
“The objects that are hurled back and forth between those beings on
the plain below us are explosive shells, with a marvelous power to
shatter the forms of other objects and to scatter them in all
“Is it a form of play?” asked the rose-veiled stranger.
“It is not,” I answered. “It is war.”
All the horror that in my mind is associated with the word war was
conveyed by my thought to the mind of the angelic visitor, and its
rosy veil grew pale with pain.
“What is this strange emotion that I feel?” it asked. “Truly, were it
not for your presence here, my friends, I should desire to go away.”
“The emotion that you feel,” I said, “is a sympathetic reflection of
the emotions of war.”
“And what is war?”
“A horrible passion felt mutually and indulged by two opposing
aggregates of souls, by which they are enabled to overcome their
natural pity and to destroy each other’s bodies in vast numbers.”
The veil of the stranger grew almost white.
“And does God permit this horror?” it asked.
“He permits it on the planet Earth.”
Now the word God is not an adequate translation of the idea expressed
in the angel’s question, but let it stand. The real idea is
untranslatable by any one word in any language of earth. It was a
composite of Love and Time and Purpose, raised to the highest power,
an idea for which I can find no other word than God.
“Earth is a strange star!” the angel said.
“The inhabitants of this world have a common saying to that effect,” I
answered. “It is a fragment of race wisdom, handed down from their
remote ancestors, who, when they first tried to adjust their celestial
consciousness to the baffling conditions of this star on which they
had been placed for their education, observed to one another, ‘This is
a strange world.’”
“And are they obliged to perpetrate this horror before us by the
conditions of this planet?”
“Then why do they do it?”
“From force of habit.”
“Then was it ever necessary?”
“In far away times,” I said, “men were more isolated than at present,
there were fewer of them in incarnation, and a brilliant archangel who
had their training in charge taught them to develop courage and
resource, and to accentuate their egos, by struggling with each other,
two by two.”
“But there are millions of beings down there!” the angel exclaimed.
“And I see bodies fall by thousands!”
“That is what they call a great victory,” I said, “and one of their
commanders gives to those who have slaughtered a vast number a little
“An iron cross? Why iron?”
“Iron is the metal of Mars,” I said, “Mars, their war-god.”
“And why a cross?”
“It is the symbol of their Christ.”
“The one who died down here to make men love one another?”
“The same,” I admitted.
“Truly, I agree with the remote ancestors of these people, from whom
they have inherited the saying, ‘This is a strange world.’”
“Would you like to approach nearer?” I asked.
The stranger hesitated, then said, with a patient smile:
“My friend,” glancing at the Beautiful Being, “wishes me to learn
something of this star. I will approach nearer.”
We descended to perhaps a hundred feet above the lane which separated
“Look!” exclaimed the stranger. “The souls are leaving their bodies!
Is that the purpose of this business, to free souls from bondage?”
“Not directly,” I answered. “Each would like to hold the other in
bondage; but being unable to do that to any great extent, they take
the opposite way.”
The stranger looked more confused.
“My friend,” explained the Beautiful Being to me, “came from a region
where the Law of Opposites does not apply.”
“You have never taken me there in our wanderings!” I exclaimed.
“No, you are so attached to the Law of Opposites.”
This was an old jest between me and the Beautiful Being.
“Look!” the stranger interrupted me. “There is a soul coming toward us
I went forward to greet the newcomer. He was a German officer.
“Welcome,” I said, but he seemed not to understand me. The face of his
astral body was contorted, as if he had died in pain.
Now the Beautiful Being seems to know all the languages of the earth;
and though the purity of its nature is such that few on earth can
understand it, yet when a soul leaves its body it can understand the
speech of the Beautiful Being if there is anything in its nature that
responds to the higher vibration which makes the life of that angel so
intense and wonderful.
“Welcome,” said the Beautiful Being to the soul, in the accents of his
“Where am I?” asked the bewildered soul.
“You are in the region above the world,” the Beautiful Being answered.
“I mean that your name will be in the list of the dead.”
“Then it has come!”
“But I always feared death.”
“You see it is nothing to fear.”
“Where is the Kaiser?”
“At his headquarters.”
“Can I not report to him?”
“If you wish.”
We moved farther east—slowly, for the newly freed soul had not yet
learned that distance is nothing.
We found the War-Lord seated beside a table looking at a map. His face
was drawn and haggard.
“There,” I said to the stranger, “is the man who is believed, by the
whole world outside his own country, to have caused this vast war.”
The stranger (and also the soul) approached and read the thoughts in
the brain of the War-Lord. I give them as they were, disconnected,
tragic in their import:
“The slaughter of our forces! God punish England! I am the Lord’s
chosen! I cannot make a mistake! My generals have blundered. I will
degrade—(the name of our newly arrived charge). This defeat is his
fault. I ordered him to take those trenches. He has lost our own
instead. I cannot make a mistake! I am the Lord’s chosen!”
The Beautiful Being turned to the soul who had been a General.
“Do you wish to report yourself to the Kaiser?”
The eyes he turned to us were sad.
“I will not trouble the Kaiser,” he said.
A silence had fallen between us. After a little, the Beautiful Being
turned to the General again, and its face was soft with pity.
“Can I do something for you?” it asked.
“Will you take me to my mother, who died of grief for my only
brother’s death, in the early days of the war? I am very tired. I want
to see my old mother.”
The eyes of the rose-veiled stranger were luminous with wonder.
“Why, there is even love in this strange star!” it said.
ABOVE THE BATTLEFIELDS
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
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.
A SOUL IN PURGATORY
Dare I talk to you of the purgatory to which the rage of battle
conducts so many souls that only a little while before walked the
earth as men, and went their daily round from house to office, loving
their wives and children and exchanging worldly commonplaces in the
intervals of work, all unmindful that they were hourly drifting toward
the Great Event? Yes, I dare.
We will follow one soul that I myself followed. His story I can
reconstruct from memory, for every act of it is stamped upon my mind.
No, I do not need brain-cells to remember with. Neither will you—when
you have escaped the prison of your brain-cells.
The man was an officer in an English regiment and he was a bachelor.
Outwardly he was much like other men, but his consciousness was
different. He lived in a world of his own, for he was a reader and a
thinker. He was not a very good man. Not all Englishmen are good even
now when England is at war, you who bristle at any criticism of your
beloved maternal island—you who write for me!
This man was not very good because there was so little love in his
heart. He was not incapable of love, yet he was unable to awaken love
in others, and so was soul-starved. But sometimes he was conscious of
a great yearning, and when the yearning came he was impatient, and
took a drink, or cursed his servant, or both. Sometimes when he was
most impatient with the world and with himself, he went on a “spree.”
The war began.
His natural impatience found something congenial in the hurry and
noise of the expedition. He was glad to go.
He had known a German in London and had disliked him thoroughly. The
German talked too much, and his loud tones jarred on the sensitive
ears of the refined officer. As he led his men into battle he thought
of this German. He felt that he was battling with him at last face to
face, and the feeling gave him a thrill of satisfaction.
Hate had become an almost sensual luxury. The German had fascinated by
his blustering personality a woman of rather coarse type to whom the
officer had been impatiently attracted. He hated himself for the
attraction, and he hated the German for frustrating it. We always hate
those who frustrate the emotions we hate.
The officer was killed by a German bullet, in the early days of the
war. Where? Oh, no matter where! There are those who might recognize
the man, and I am not a betrayer of unwilling confidences. When I
listen at the keyhole of life I never report too much of what I hear.
I use my discretion.
I shall call this man my friend, for I was so much his friend that I
have a right to claim him.
Before the battle in which my friend met death I had lingered near him,
with a desire to soften the hard feelings in his heart. Those feelings
are not usual among the soldiers of a particular section of the
northern battle-line. To them fighting is a sort of glorified sport—or
it was so last September.
My friend was an exception, and that is why I choose to write about
him, that my assertion of his exceptional qualities may keep the
reader from shuddering too much. I should not like my readers to feel
that their friends went through a similar experience. You who hang
above this page, my friend was not your friend. The experiences of
your friends were less terrible. They were all better men than he,
because you loved them, and this man was not good because he was not
He met death by a rifle bullet. Then all became dark before him, and
he was unconscious for a time.
He was awakened by the noise of a bursting shell.
“The battle has begun,” he thought. “Damn that man! He should have
awakened me at dawn.”
He was among the men of his regiment. They seemed larger than usual,
and blurred in outline. He rubbed his eyes.
“Hell and damnation! Who have they put in my place?” For he saw a
minor officer who commanded where he had commanded.
He turned away, then came back again. He would demand to know! He
started toward the place where his superior officer should have been,
some distance away, and found himself instantly there.
“What is the matter with me?” he thought. “Have I lost my mind?”
He saluted the officer, who paid no attention to him.
“Am I asleep?” he wondered.
He went up to a soldier who was loading a rifle and touched him on the
arm. The soldier also paid no attention. He gripped the man’s arm.
Still he paid no attention, but raised his rifle and fired.
My friend went toward two men who were talking together.
“Poor old --------!” he heard one of them say. “Shot through the heart!
He was a good officer, though a surly fellow. I’m sorry he’s dead.”
The -------- they spoke of was himself. “Shot through the heart—a good
officer—a surly fellow—dead!”
He knew. Knowledge sometimes comes more slowly. He was “dead.”
“Just my luck!” was his instinctive thought.
Another shell burst behind him with a shattering report.
Suddenly he saw before him a face that riveted his attention. It was a
malignant, an insolent face. Then it changed into the face of his
enemy, the German back in England whom he hated.
“So it’s you, is it?” he asked.
The spectre made no answer, but changed its shape again. This time it
was like the woman whom my friend had hated himself for liking.
“You, too!” he said, impatiently.
Again the spectre changed countenance. It was like a servant whom my
friend had cursed once too often, and who had left him the year before.
“Are you, too, dead?” he asked; but the face before him had now
resumed its original appearance. It was merely a malignant, insolent
face, resembling nobody in particular.
“What are you, anyway?” my friend demanded; but still there was no
The eye of the spectre interested him—the left eye. As he gazed at it,
the eye gradually enlarged until it seemed the size of a target in a
shooting-gallery. The iris, of a peculiar greenish-blue, was in the
very middle of the eye, so that the white showed all round. The black
pupil stared at him with its concentrated malice—a pupil large as a
“Why do you do that?” demanded my friend; but the eye still made no
Then it vanished.
A troop of hateful shades came in its place, ugly shades, some human,
some sub-human. Another shell burst nearby, and the shades began to
dance. They caught at him and whirled him around with them, around and
around until he was dizzy. Then suddenly they stopped, and each and
all of them changed into the form of the German back in England whom
my friend had hated. Then another group of mad beings mingled with
them. They also changed suddenly—there were a dozen duplicates of the
woman whom my friend had hated himself for liking, and they and the
duplicates of his enemy caught one another’s hands and kissed each
Sick, revolted, my friend wished himself away, and he was away. He was
over among the soldiers of the German army across the plain. He heard
the sounds of the language he disliked.
“What the devil!” he thought, and the devil stood before him, hoofs,
horns and tail complete.
“Hadn’t thought of me before, had you?” sneered the evil being.
My friend was hurt and bewildered by the appearance, for it looked,
with all its unlovely accessories, so like himself.
“Will you, too, change form in a moment?” he asked.
“Oh, no! I change slowly. I only change as you change.”
“What do you mean?”
“You only can change me.”
“Change, then!” said my friend. But the demon remained as before.
“Change!” repeated my friend; but still the figure before him changed
not at all.
“Then you lied when you said I could change you!”
“I said that I change slowly.”
“What do you mean?”
“I only change as you change.”
“And I have not changed, then?”
“It is my business to keep you from changing.”
In company with his devil my friend now went through scenes which I
refrain from describing, Goethe in the Walpurgis Night having done it
so well before me. Reckless, desperate, he followed his leader until
he was weary and exhausted. Days, weeks passed away, like a nightmare.
“Can I never get rid of you?” he asked his companion.
“Yes, you can get rid of me.”
“By getting rid of yourself.”
“That’s easier said than done.”
“Yes, that’s easier said than done.”
Often they found themselves on the battlefield in the fighting line,
or at the mess of the soldiers. The smell of the coffee and the
cooking meats brought temporary satisfaction to my friend. He tried to
drink from brandy flasks tilted to the mouths of men who could not see
him or protest; he steeped himself in hungers and despairs. His
companions were always changing themselves into the forms of the man
he hated and the woman he loved. He witnessed their coarse love-making.
Sometimes the simulacrum of the woman turned to him with a friendly
word. He cursed her, but clung to her hand. But always she vanished
when his mouth yearned to hers.
Sometimes in a great battle the rage of war awoke in him. He hurled
himself at the men of the opposing army, as if he would take revenge
upon them for all he was suffering. He struggled to tear the rifles
from their hands, and when one of them passed out of the body he tried
to awake him from the darkness and the sleep into which he was
sinking; but never could he succeed in doing this. Never could he
succeed in doing anything. His very existence was failure and futility
One day I came to him and touched him on the forehead.
“You are not like these others,” he said, dully. “Where do you come
“I came from a distance,” I said. “Would you like to go with me?”
“Anywhere away from here,” he assented.
“Do you want to be alone?”
“No. It is worst when I am alone.”
“The worst is over,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that you have exhausted for the time the springs of your lower
desires. You are weary and disgusted with the life you have led since
you escaped your body.”
“That is a strange expression—escaped! It is only now that I long to
“And it is I that will help you to escape from another layer of your
prison, another skin of the onion that shuts you in.”
“And why do you do this?”
“To spare you unnecessary fumbling to break the skin,” I said. “Would
you like to go to sleep?”
“I should like to rest a little.”
While he slept I helped to loosen him further, and when he awoke into
another and freer world I was still with him.
“What would you like to see?” I asked.
“Something beautiful,” he answered, “something beautiful and pure.”
“Would you care to witness a dance of elves?” I asked, smiling.
“A dance of elves? Are there really such things?”
“The universe contains innumerable forms of life and consciousness,” I
said. “And you who believe in devils from experience can surely
believe in elves.”
They came toward us as I spoke, lithe, tenuous forms, dancing with joy
across the flowery spaces of the Elysian Fields. They swayed and
circled around us, those beings pure as the air in which they moved,
light as the happiness they exhaled, enduring as hope and lovelier
than mortal dreams.
The shadows had all gone from my friend’s face, and he too seemed to
taste joy, he too was light as air, and pure. He joined their dance
and circled with them around me.
I tell you in a burst of confidence that I also have danced with elves.
This companion and friend of the Beautiful Being has swum in the sea
of universal life and floated on the wings of irresponsibility. He who
knows too much of the world’s sorrow must sometimes lighten the load
by knowing nothing but joy.
When the sylphs had gone to their more inviolable retreat, another
shape came toward us.
“What would you like to see now?” I asked him.
“Can I see a person who still lives in England?” he asked, half shyly,
yet with the winning confidence of souls who trust their own desires—the
higher wisdom which comes with the purification of desire.
“Perhaps,” I said.
The form that came toward us was unfamiliar to me, but my friend
recognized and welcomed it. A woman of intense and vital personality,
yet with that purity of atmosphere without which no communion is
possible in the region where we then were, was standing beside my
“Let us sit together a little,” I said. “It will seem more homelike.”
The two beside me seemed happy in each other’s presence.
“Sisterly-sweet hand in hand,” they sat together; and though I knew
that one of them was only the simulacrum of a living woman, yet she
also seemed real to me for the moment, for the kind sentiments of the
heart are real, and in the region to which I had conducted my friend
all sentiments are kind. No enemies are found there, and the woman he
liked also liked him, or she could not have been there.
Soon I left them in each other’s company and went back to the labors
of the battlefield; for there were others who needed me, and my friend
was safe for the time.
After a while I shall help him onward to an experience still less
restricted. We take an interest in those whom we have helped, and wish
to help them further.
Why did I choose this man for my friendly ministrations, you are
wondering; for as I described him in the beginning of this letter he
was not an attractive character.
I tell you a little secret: It was because he was unattractive that I
chose him. No one had ever loved him enough, and so he needed help
more than others. Those who are loved are already helped by that love.
As the Beautiful Being says, “Do you get my meaning, daughter of earth?”
Just now I live to serve mankind through the horrors of this war.
Serve also by loving those who least attract your love. So shall you
learn the way to the Path where walk the Masters of Compassion.
Were you shocked and grieved by what I told you of the futile struggle
in that intermediate world between the bondage of dense matter and the
freedom of purer regions? It is nothing to grieve about; it is nothing
but the necessary transition stage. It lasts but a little while, a few
days, a few years—what matter, in the endless leisure of eternity? You
yourself have passed through it many times. All pass through it in
going out to a freer life, though all do not suffer it consciously and
lingeringly as my friend did. It is a nightmare, yes; but no nightmare
lasts forever. Think of the joy and the freedom beyond! They are worth
the boatman’s penny.
It is true that I have not told you the most terrible things that are
possible in this transition, have not told you the most terrible
things that I have seen in my journeys round the battlefields. Those
unwritten chapters are not necessary for the book which I dictate to
teach brotherhood in place of separation, peace in place of war.
Would you know how you may do something to shorten this war, to hasten
the coming of peace? Then listen!
You can personally hasten the coming of peace! Is the idea startling?
When I say “you,” I mean others, too, all those who are weary of war,
and of hate, the mother of war.
Has anyone injured you in the struggle of life?—for life is a kind of
Go out in thought to those whose desires have clashed with your
desires, those who have hurt you or hated you. Go to them one by one—not
several at a time in this exercise, and one by one try to understand
them. See yourself with their eyes, feel toward yourself with their
hearts. If they still hate you, you may hate yourself at first in
sympathy with them. But remaining there in sympathy with them, you
will gradually feel their hard thoughts of you change, gradually begin
to be friends with yourself through them.
This I am advising you to do is not a form of “black magic,” because
the object is unselfish. You are making a beginning toward softening
the enmities of the world. But I warn you against using this practice
to win the regard of anyone whom you love selfishly or with passion,
because the reaction would bring about a very undesirable condition of
When you have thus understood and forgiven all your personal enemies,
enter the souls of the warring nations. Understand them also by
sympathy, and soften their hearts. Though this is a much easier thing
to attempt than the other, the results may seem incommensurable with
the effort. But, small and great, you are all part of the Whole.
And this brings me to the idea of race spirits, race entities, for
every race has its guardian being—a composite being, yet
self-conscious as separate, in a way you could hardly understand.
Have you not noticed the effect on yourself of passing from country to
country? Have your feelings—has your consciousness not changed almost
at the frontier? Do you remember the shock you once had on setting
foot for the first time in a certain foreign land?
The race spirits seem no larger to themselves than you humans do among
your friends and acquaintances. Size is relative. Heretofore I have
spoken of the races as organs in the body of humanity. In speaking of
them now as separate beings I am not contradicting myself. What reason
have you for assuming that the organs of your body may not each be
animated by a more or less separate consciousness? Your cells exist in
your organs, your organs exist in your body, you exist in your race,
your race exists in the body of humanity on earth, the entity of the
earth exists in the democracy of planetary spirits in the solar
system, the solar system exists as one in the company of its fellows
in the greater democracy of the Cosmos.
A small blood-clot on the brain could seriously hamper the working of
So you see there is nothing preposterous in my saying that you can
hasten infinitesimally the peace between the race spirits by forgiving
and making peace with your personal enemies, especially if they belong
to races on the other side of this war.
The small is not so unimportant and the great is not so important as
you have the habit of supposing. Yes, you personally—and all of you—can
hasten the coming of peace.
THE MYSTERY OF DESIRE
I have written about the hunger and thirst of disembodied men in the
astral world, and I have written about the evil astral beings who
brought about this war to satisfy their malice. They too are hungry
beings and the war has given them food. Do you know what they live on?
They may live long on blood and the exhalations of slaughter. I have
seen them by myriads hovering over a battlefield, gorging themselves
on the blood that dripped from the wounds of suffering men and from
The leaving of the dead unburied has also satisfied their hunger.
Vampire entities came up from Hungary and from other countries and fed
on the living. The awful weariness of war opened a door through which
they might pass to the life forces they craved.
“Blood is a peculiar fluid,” as Goethe said. The life of an evil
entity may be renewed for another long period of existence if he can
have blood enough.
If you stop eating the carcasses of dead animals, you will cease to
feed certain evil entities in yourselves. It is not merely for reasons
of sentiment that the pupils of the Great Masters are advised to
refrain from animal food. You are told that meat-eating feeds the
passional nature. What is the passional nature but the hungry nature
that longs to feed on something not itself? So long as you eat meat
habitually you will never be quite free from the influence of entities
who live on the blood and the other properties of meat. Eat purely,
and by and by you will find yourselves thinking purely and desiring
I do not tell you to kill out all desire this afternoon, for desire is
the dynamics with which you work for even the ideal; but kill out
desire for blood and the flesh of dead animals, and all sorts of other
desires which serve no necessary purpose in your evolution will expire.
A lot of nonsense is talked about desire. You desire to develop
spiritually, you desire to do the work of the Masters; you are not
merely led along like a lamb to do the work of the Masters. There is
desire and desire. If it seems “desirable” that you shorten the road
to conscious union with the All, you will desire that union probably;
you are not likely to drift into it.
I am not talking about the violent desires of ambition. You need not
be ambitious for occult development. In fact, if you are too ambitious
for occult development you will be in danger of becoming a black
magician. But you can quietly “desire” even union with God.
All action on this plane springs from desire of some sort, and it has
been said that desire and will are the same. Perhaps they are. It has
also been said that desire relates to the temporary, and that will is
some kind of superior motive force; but I should be inclined to say
that will in its more dignified phases was merely desire for a higher
thing—that is, if I wanted to separate the two.
Music may be sublime and music may be ragtime; it is still music. The
force of the wind may fan the flame that burns your house, or it may
fill the sails of the boat that takes you across the sea to your
soul’s desire. It is still the same wind.
You may even desire to desire the higher things. You may will to will
with the Law instead of against it. Is that not desire, too?
In advising you not to feed by blood sacrifices the elemental forces
in yourself which crave that impure food, I am not inviting you to
kill out desire. You will have to desire to purify your system from
the material of dead animals before you will willfully cease to feed
on them. The evil in you, the hungry fiery selfish nature, sucks up
the blood that passes your lips somewhat as the evil beings above the
battlefields suck up the blood that flows from the wounds of the
fallen. If you have no further use for these creatures, you can cease
to feed them with blood.
You will never kill out your emotional nature by ceasing to eat meat.
You will merely purify it. The whole soul-world is a world of emotion,
and the pure beings of the elements are very emotional, but they do
not feed on blood.
Yes, mind is higher than emotion, it is beyond emotion. You can have
mind without emotion, and you can have emotion without mind to any
great degree, as in the animals; but man is made of both. He is
dependent on his middle register, his soul-desire nature, in order to
work in the soul world as a growing entity there. When you reach the
highest heaven you will be living in thought with only so much of the
desire nature as you have raised with you by memory and assimilation.
You can raise more of soul-dynamics into the highest region if you do
not clog your feet on the road by desire for bloody food. Leave that
to the demons who gorge themselves on the battlefields.
During the reign of brotherhood which I am trying to help in bringing
about, the race will subsist on a pure diet. Even now there is a
tendency toward the elimination of dead animals from the dietary.
The desires of the new race will have to be purified, their emotions
raised and intensified. The emotions of a man are much more intense
than the emotions of a lion. The emotions of a god are cosmic.
THE SCALES OF JUSTICE
Lest anyone should think that in working for brotherhood I am either
knowingly or inadvertently striving to bring about a state of lax
acquiescence in the wrongs committed by my fellowmen, by my brothers,
I want to talk about justice.
As one who has been a so-called Judge in a court of justice, I have
had some little experience in the practical working out of a balance
between mercy and severity. Justice is one of the gods that I have
always placed high in my personal pantheon, and never in handing down
a decision did I, through weakness or sentimentality, hamper the right
of the good in order to pander to the wrong of evil. I have given mild
judgments when most good seemed to be promised that way; I have given
severe judgments when it seemed to me that evil would be best curbed
Much nonsense has been talked and written about universal brotherhood,
as about most of the other ideals of mankind. Universal brotherhood is
not universal acquiescence in evil; it is universal acceptance of the
ideal of good. And you will never have a brotherhood worthy of the
name until you raise, not lower, the standard of justice.
Justice is balance, justice is equilibrium between forces, justice is
poise. It is because I hope to see a more poised humanity that I am
urging men to concentrate upon love instead of upon hate.
Since I have been stationed in Europe and in the immediate
neighborhood of the western battlefields, I have helped hundreds of
souls to help themselves through the terrible astral conditions into
which a sudden and premature dropping of their physical bodies has
precipitated them; but in no case have I tried to upset the balance
between cause and effect by helping a soul to a freedom for which it
was not prepared. I have let men suffer when I could have shortened
their suffering; I have let many souls work out in the astral world
the slow battle with their lower desires, because I knew that if they
were plucked from the tree of pain before they were ripe, they would
have to go through it all anyway and battle harder in another life
with those very forces which now by their suffering they were severing
in the region where—from the very limitation of satisfactions—elementary
desires are more easily starved out than on the earth.
There was in one of the armies a very cruel officer who was hated by
his men. He came out here and many of the men came out here, and I
made no attempt to protect him from their reproaches, because he
needed to learn that injustice deserves reproach. On earth their
mouths had been stopped by army discipline, but out here he had to
realize how much he had wronged them. He could never have realized it
in any other way. Had I preached to him he would have told me to mind
my own business. The law of justice does not preach. It demonstrates.
He had to endure the demonstration of his own injustice through the
dark and reproachful shadows by which he was long surrounded. And I
may say in passing that he is still surrounded by them. I have made no
effort to help him. Perhaps I could have done so; but such determined
opposition on my part to the law of justice might have let him go
forward into his own selfish heaven with such a load of injustice on
his soul that in his next earthly life he would have been crushed by
it. The resentment of these men was very deep, and while I might have
softened it for their sake—not his—I let it work itself out.
Had there been no one else needing my help and deserving it more, I
might have spent a long time with these men and yet made little
impression. I did exactly as I should have done on earth had such a
case come before me, and I believe that I did it right.
Whenever I see a soul afflicted by the unjust judgments of others I
seek to set the balance true, as I should have done on earth; but I am
not here to upset the law of cause and effect. When I can help, I help;
but I am more useful in preventing the setting up of evil causes than
I could ever be in deflecting the legitimate course of effects.
When I urge men to help the Masters in holding back the awful karma of
Germany, I am not talking sentimentally. I am talking as a just judge.
The German people have been deceived by their leaders and have
followed blindly a course they have not understood. Collectively they
are responsible to the other races, but individually they are not
responsible in the same degree; for they have been themselves deceived,
and they do not know that their cause of national aggression is unjust
and of satanic origin.
It is the hope of those Teachers who can watch from the outside and
above, that the docile German people should not be forever hated by
the world because the arrogant war-party has hurled them at their
neighbors. I am not condoning the unlovely traits in the German
character, or in the character of any other people; but of all the
races engaged in this gigantic struggle, the German race knows least
about the causes that hurled it forward. A spoon-fed press and the
penalties of lèse majesté have kept them from knowing anything which
could have made them less flexible instruments in the hands of their
The karma of those whose headstrong and arrogant policy precipitated
this war is an individual karma, and it will have to be worked out by
individual suffering and so-called punishment; but the karma of the
great mass of the German people is a race karma. They have let
themselves be led on to their own defeat. Think how the very law of
reaction will throw the light of popular and democratic investigation
into the darkest nooks and crannies of the German nation and
government after this war. Those who have been deceived to their hurt
will demand to be deceived no more. In twenty years the life of the
German government will be as open as that of the United States. The
so-called “muck-raker” will arise with a lantern on his hat.
Also by the law of reaction England will be shaken out of her
sluggishness that has filled her shops with the wares of other
countries because she was too slack to make her own.
By that same law a demand will arise for an uncorrupt political
machine in France. One or two things have happened in France which she
prefers for the moment to keep to herself.
The great shock of this war will cause each nation to examine itself
more closely, to look into its own motives, to see wherein it fails to
come up to the very exigeant standard demanded by the New Time.
Look also for changes in Russia, and Austria will be but another name
Justice will advance many paces by reason of the great injustice of
this war. The Law of Opposites again! Most things can be explained by
In writing about the reign of brotherhood which I hope to see
established in the world, I am not laboring under the delusion that an
impossible Utopia is about to be ushered in with a blare of trumpets.
I am not recording a prophecy that the Kingdom of Heaven is
immediately at hand. The human race is not ready for the Kingdom of
Heaven, and will not be ready for a long time; but if one person in
ten can be made to realize that brotherhood is an ideal to be striven
for, they can leaven the other nine-tenths and make the loaf of human
society much lighter and more palatable than it is at present. The
loaf will not become fruit-cake all at once. That is too much to
expect of the next race; but if you can carry the memory of this
prophecy through a sufficient number of births and deaths, you may see
a very sweet loaf come from the planetary oven when the second race
following, the Seventh, is brought forth into the light of the sun.
FOR LOVE’S SAKE
So serious and philosophical have been my last few letters, that I
should like to revel in romance.
Have you thought of the hard life of the war-nurses and wondered from
whence they gather the strength for their daily and nightly labors?
Love is the source of the almost superhuman endurance of many of the
women who seem to their charges like angels of light and healing.
One nurse whom we will call Mary, for she is a type of the
virgin-mother of hearts, has gone out into heaven a hundred times in
the souls of those she has tended. Will that love not guard her on
earth through the whole course of her life and follow her also into
the heaven world beyond? Be sure it will.
Mary is neither a scholar nor a poet. You would not have dreamed of
inviting her to a reception had her path ever crossed yours; but Mary
is not unfit for the society of angels and gods would not scorn to
have her in their company.
She was just an ordinary nurse before she became a war-nurse, and
before the white fire of love touched her personality and burned it up
as a sacrifice on the alter of her country’s need.
She was a very pretty nurse and in her hours of leisure once wore
stylish hats and revelled in laces and furbelows; for the love of
beauty and daintiness often nests in a heart that is capable of
When the war broke out Mary was engaged to be married to a soldier.
Mary went to the front and he also went to the front; but neither of
them knew where the other was for many, many days.
Every man who was brought to her severely wounded Mary nursed as if he
had been the absent friend of her heart, and many a life she saved by
her tender care and by the atmosphere of hope which radiated from her
as fragrance from a rose.
“If he should be wounded,” she said to herself, “some of the girls
will care for him as I care for these men.”
Mary was not jealous lest another should have the privilege of nursing
the man she loved, and lest in his heart should blossom the flower of
thankfulness for another than herself. Mary had not much time to think
about herself; her thoughts were too busy with others.
It may have been because she was not jealous nor over-watchful for her
property in her lover, that when he was wounded he was really brought
to the hospital where she served so faithfully. Of course he was given
to Mary to nurse—it could not have been otherwise, and he was very
seriously wounded. When the operation was performed by which the
doctors hoped to save his life, it was Mary who stood by and assisted.
She did not faint nor cry out even when they cut his broken arm away,
the arm on which she had dreamed she might lean for the rest of her
earthly life. Mary was thinking about his mother and was glad that she
was not there to see what she herself saw. During many of the hours
when Mary might have slept, she was writing to the mother—writing
brave letters wherein she sought to veil the fear that was in her own
Tom—we will call him Tom because that was not his name—Tom had never
been able to believe in any life beyond the earth life, and as Mary
watched his strength grow less she prayed all day and most of the
night that something might happen to make Tom believe in heaven and
angels. The exigencies of war had left him long on the battlefield
after the shell had shattered his right arm, and his wound had been
infected before the operation by which the doctors sought to save him
for England and for Mary.
Tom knew that he might have to leave the world. Mary would not keep
the overwhelming possibility from him, though she still kept it from
his mother; for she hoped that in the hours or days which might be all
that remained for him in the sunshine of the upper world something
might happen, some miracle of thought or of love, which should open
his eyes to what she called the Truth.
Each day I spent a little time in the long white room in which Tom lay;
but even if he could have seen me, I might not have been much comfort
to him, and I cannot speak to any ears except those trained to listen
for unusual sounds.
I sympathized with Mary. Having convinced so many souls of the truth
of immortality through a former writing of mine, I wanted to convince
one more—for Mary’s sake; because I knew that if Tom should go out of
life firmly believing that death was the end of him, it might really
be the end of him for a long time.
In my perplexity I sought the Beautiful Being for advice. That angel’s
knowledge compared to mine is like an arc-light beside a tallow dip.
Together we went back to the hospital where Mary sat talking with Tom
about the future life, about God and Christ and angels. She had many
soldiers under her charge; but the other nurses worked a little harder
to give her more time with Tom, for all the world loves a lover—especially
in the horrors of war-time.
“It isn’t that I do not want to believe,” he was saying to Mary, “it’s
that I just can’t. If I could see with my own eyes an angel, or
someone that I knew was dead, it would be different. But how could I
see such a thing?"
The Beautiful Being drew nearer, smiling, and waved its gauzy veil
before the eyes of the dying man; but he could not see.
The Beautiful Being wove a glamor of light around him, and sang as
only angels can; but Tom could still neither see nor hear.
“I think you will have to ‘materialize’,” the Beautiful Being said to
me, with a whimsical smile. “Those eyes are stopped with matter, and
cannot see anything finer than matter.”
I was not attracted by the suggestion, but my incomprehensible friend
followed it up.
“In that bed yonder,” it said, “is one of those mortals who are called
natural mediums, natural materializing mediums, because their tenuous
bodies are so loosely held by the physical that they are easily
detached and borrowed from. Now materialize yourself and let Tom see
something which he will take for an angel.”
“I am no angel,” I said, “and the eyes of a dying atheist would never
mistake me for one.”
“Try it and see,” said the Beautiful Being, pointing to a man in a
neighboring bed, who was the “medium” in question.
I looked at the man and read around him the story of his life. He was
a coarse fellow, a saloon-keeper, and another familiar compound-word
would have fitted him like a glove.
“Clothe myself in that man’s etheric body!” I said in disgust. “I
would not touch him with a ten-foot pole!”
“How dainty-fingered you are!” said the Beautiful Being. “Did I not
know you so well, I could almost believe you self-righteous.”
“Call me what you like,” I replied, “but I will not do phenomena with
The Beautiful Being laughed.
“It would be so easy,” it said, as if to itself, “so easy and so
The angel moved toward the sleeping saloon-keeper (I had almost
written the harsher compound), and gradually from his side there
issued a vaporous stream. From force of earthly habit I rubbed my eyes,
for I could not believe that I saw aright. The pure and exquisite
angel was clothing itself in the unhealthy emanations of the sleeping
medium, and in the space of twenty ticks of the clock on the wall it
passed, fully materialized, with a speaking throat, to the foot of
He sat up, in the surprise and shock of the vision.
“What are you?” he asked, hoarsely.
“I am an angel,” said the Beautiful Being, truly, “and I have come to
prove to you that miracles can happen, and to assure you that when you
leave your body behind on the morrow I shall meet you on the other
side of the change.”
Mary could also hear and see, and she fell on her knees with a little
sob of joy and wonder; for she had never seen an angel, though her
faith was strong enough to remove mountains.
“Then it is really true!” Tom gasped. “I shall not die with my body.
And how wonderful you are!”
For the Beautiful Being had performed the transformation so well that
it preserved in its borrowed body all the glory and amazing loveliness
of that form which charms the hosts of the unseen world.
“I no longer doubt,” said Tom. “I believe, and I die happy.”
“I shall not forget to meet you when you come out,” smiled my friend.
“Good-bye now, for a little while. I leave you with Mary, who is also
a kind of angel.”
Slowly the borrowed shape retreated towards the body of the sleeping
saloon-keeper, and after a moment my friend stood beside me, clothed
in its own pure form; but on its shoulders and feet were dark stains
that looked like mud.
“They will soon blow away in the fresh air outside,” smiled the
Beautiful Being. “And was it not worth while to convince that soul of
its own immortality?”
We passed out under the stars, but the scene left an indelible
impression on my consciousness. And I shall often remember when I feel
self-righteous, how the purest being I ever knew wore the soiled
garment of a vulgar saloon-keeper, which left stains on its dainty
shoulders and its shining feet—how it dipped itself for the first time
in the filth of the world, for love’s sake.
A MASTER OF MIND
To-night, the seventeenth of April, nineteen hundred and fifteen,
there passed along the battle line of one of the nations at war a
great spiritual being, a being whose body is mind and who works
through the mind alone.
The hour had come when a certain number of those who had fought
bravely for their ill-starred country might know that their cause was
hopelessly lost. A few only might know to-night; but their knowledge
will spread, and with spreading knowledge will come a change of
spirit. It is disheartening to fight on for a lost cause. It takes a
peculiar quality of devotion, a rare quality of devotion.
What will come from the visit of that celestial being, you wonder?
Wait and see. I rarely permit myself to prophesy. I only figure out
the probable result of causes known to me. You can do the same, if you
let reason take the place of predilection. To judge clearly of the
effects of a given cause, the mind must be unbiased by desire; it must
be as cold as a mathematical calculation. It is by this celestial
algebra that Masters look ahead.
When you get in symbols or pictures the answers to questions
propounded by your Higher Self, it is by this profounder mathematics
that the interior one prepares its answer. It knows causes that are
unknown to you, and from these causes can foretell effects with a
degree of accuracy almost as great as that of an astronomer
foretelling an eclipse. Almost, I say, not quite; for in dealing with
human affairs even the greatest Masters must take into consideration
an erratic element, the free will in human beings. That, too, may be
guessed; but it is guessing, nevertheless. A sudden uprush of free and
erratic will, and a new cause is set up, and the calculation must be
There is a certain charm in dealing with the erratic element of will.
Perhaps that is why some persons find cats more fascinating than dogs.
A cat is a willful erratic animal; so are many men.
The great being who passed this night along the battle line has been
watching the course of earthly events for a considerable time. He is
one of those who serve the planetary spirit of the earth by carrying
certain ideas around the earth when the time has come for them to play
their part in history. I cannot tell you many details about the life
of this being, for I know only a few facts concerning him. He is so
far superior to me that my possible comprehension of him is limited.
He may once have been a man, I think so; but of that I am not even
I have been told that it was he who first impressed upon a small but
courageous section of American people the conviction that the time had
come when human slavery in America should cease; that it was he who
inspired Columbus with the idea that he could find land by sailing
west, though in the latter case he was not able to force through into
the mind of his instrument the great fact that an immense and
independent continent lay off there beyond the western sea, and
between it and another sea whose waters washed the eastern shores of
Asia. Again, I have been told that it was this being who was
instrumental in revealing the knowledge of electricity to mankind.
Can you imagine the life of such a being? Can you extend your
consciousness so as to touch his? I am frank enough to say that it is
difficult even for me, who have been able to remember so much of my
own long past, and to work out so many of the probable effects of the
causes which I myself set up in the far past, effects which will shape
my future lives on earth.
Imagine an independent entity of vivid life, yet without a physical or
even an astral body, a being of thought whose lowest medium is thought,
who influences his chosen instruments by contact with their naked
minds. What personal wishes can such a being have? What ambitions can
he have? The lower and limiting word ambition seems grotesque as
characterizing the motive force of such a being.
He has a name among us, but I am not permitted to tell you the name.
It has a great mantramic value, that name, and if you should repeat it
too often it might raise your own consciousness, and the vibration of
yourself, to a height which would make it extremely difficult for you
to keep your hold on that physical body, without which you cannot do
certain work that it is your privilege and duty to perform at this
stage of your evolution.
There is a certain initiation which the pupils of the great Masters
take under the guidance of this being; but those who take that
initiation retire permanently from the everyday life of men. They get
into the centre of causes, which make them so dynamic—which makes
their personality and their thoughts so forceful—that for the sake of
the world itself they must not come too close to it; because all
things work by cyclic law, and to hasten too much the evolution of
humanity would be dangerous to humanity. It can only go safely at a
certain rate of speed. Above that speed it is likely to meet with
I know exactly the stage that I myself must reach before I can take
the initiation which is presided over by this being. When I have
reached that stage I shall not be able to come and write through your
hand, unless you raise yourself a corresponding degree above your
present consciousness, because to do so might dangerously accelerate
your own rate of growth.
Since coming out here I have learned much about those beings who have
in charge the higher evolution of mankind. Their development would be
quite incomprehensible to the mass of even enlightened men at the
They are and must be very lonely beings, though they too have their
peers and fellow-workers. Can you imagine remaining alone a hundred or
a thousand or ten thousand years, yet all the time extremely active in
mind, following with your thought the course of an evolution which you
yourself have long left behind in your own growth, following it with
the mind alone, because the emotional nature you have also left behind,
and doing all this not for any personal reward but because it is a
labor in accordance with the great law of a Being still above and
Obedience is taught in certain schools, not in an effort to control
the pupil in the interest of the Master, but that the pupil may thus
take his first steps on the path which leads to obedience to the
Cosmic Will. On that path he will have to go an immense distance
before he can be trusted to do such work as is being done by the being
who passed this night along the battle-line of one of the opposing
armies, shedding the light of his thought and the certainty of his
purpose into a few minds whose receptivity made possible their
grasping what he gave.
Do not weary on the path, you who are taking the first and easiest
steps of the journey that shall one day lead you to the Masters! The
path is indeed steep, and as one inspired writer said, it leads uphill
all the way; but there are stages at which the traveller may pause and
enjoy the prospect. I seem to have reached such a stage myself, and
though I am always working now, yet I enjoy my work.
The awful battle that some of us fought with the elemental beings is
now over. The worst calamity that could have befallen mankind is
happily averted. The labor of the present is light compared with the
labor of that struggle. If the world could realize what it owes to the
Masters whom most men regard as myths! But such Teachers do not work
for gratitude nor for reward.
Follow you in their footsteps, for it is the only road that can lead
mankind above the awful calamities that threatened recently to engulf
mankind. (I am not referring to a mere German victory.)
It is wise to keep from the knowledge of men in general the great
evolutionary facts which govern the life of the planet. A mind must be
lifted above the small circle of everyday interests before it could
endure such knowledge.
You all use words without realizing their meaning. You talk of
guardian angels; you talk of hell and purgatory, and of vicarious
atonement, and of sacraments. Sacraments! I could tell you of a
sacrament that is verily an eating of the body and a drinking of the
blood of God; but I refrain lest you should tell the world, and if you
should tell the world the evil forces of the world would destroy you.
But I am coming now perilously near the things that may not be spoken,
so I will wish you a good-night—a good-night indeed—and go back to my
labors, in the rear of that being of light who passed along the
battlefields this evening.
You may have wondered why the elemental beings that as I have told you
precipitated the great war were so malicious at this time, why they
hurled themselves upon mankind with such overwhelming force. There is
no reason why you should not know something of these causes, having
seen so much of their effects.
The saying that man has made more material progress in the last
hundred years than in the preceding two thousand, has become a mere
newspaper commonplace. It is because he has not made a corresponding
moral progress that the evil elemental beings, who fear for their rule
in their own kingdom, could come so near to succeeding in their
attacks upon the human race.
It is not merely in material ways that man has progressed with such
amazing rapidity, for some of his inventions and discoveries touch the
invisible regions. The doors of man’s mind are opening on the
untracked spaces of aether in which these beings live. Man is chaining
the elements, and to chain the elements may be to chain the elementals.
One man in America has come so near to a great and dangerous secret
that his eyes have had to be veiled by those who fear for man’s too
Occult societies dot the world. In other days these societies were
really secret, and no one had access to their knowledge until after
tests were passed which proved fitness for further study and further
secrets. But the doors of the unseen have been besieged by an army of
intellectual enthusiasts who have not passed the tests. Curiosity
demands to know that which only the nobility of the spirit was once
trusted with. Democracy has spread even into the occult orders, and
sacred mysteries have been published broadcast by those who put no
curb upon their personal ambitions. The hosts of the unseen world have
themselves suffered invasion.
Now the hosts of the unseen will obey a great soul that they know to
be more powerful than themselves. They run like docile children at his
call, and they go at his command as a dog goes. But the unseen hosts
are very jealous of their freedom, and they will yield it only to one
whose superiority is manifest to them. Many—yes, most—of those who are
now seeking to open the doors of that region are unfit to command
there; because he only can command the unseen forces outside who can
command the unseen forces inside himself.
In a former letter I spoke of the danger of black magic in America;
but the danger is everywhere. And what is black magic? It may be
briefly defined as a use for selfish purposes of those very forces of
the unseen world. Not until a man has advanced beyond himself will the
invisible forces serve him long without rebellion.
Pick up a common newspaper, and you will see the advertisements of men
and women who promise for a fee to bring about results which can only
be brought about by using those invisibles. What blasphemy! What
presumption! If these advertisers could make good their claims, they
would be more dangerous than typhus fever. Such advertisements arouse
all the curiosity and ambition and fiery selfishness latent in the
heart of the ignorant. These untrained dabblers in the mysteries
attempt to do things which an Adept would never dream of doing, for
most of their efforts have for purpose some attack upon the free will
of others; they seek to influence the desires and the judgment of
others in the narrow and personal interest of those who pay them to
set the forces in operation. Would you let a child loose in a
gunpowder factory with a box of matches in his hand? That is what has
been done in the last few years all over the western world.
No wonder the invisible beings have rebelled. They will follow a
master, but they resent the interference of a fool.
It is not the fools they fear, however. The men they fear are the
great scientists. Man’s progress in science has been such that he must
purify his motives, or he will be destroyed.
That is one reason why I am preaching brotherhood, in an attempt to
save men from their own folly. Once let the feeling for brotherhood
become general, and these experiments with unknown forces would be
less dangerous. Mankind as a mass might work with the power of a White
Master, whose motives are always unselfish.
The great scientists come nearer than anybody else to that pure
working with mind for mind’s own sake, which I recently described in
writing of a great being, a great Initiator, who serves the world by
influencing along the line of evolutionary law the thoughts of certain
men who are the chosen instruments of evolution.
How little men know of the unseen world surrounding them!
I recently followed you into a lecture room in New York that was even
more crowded with invisible beings than with men and women. Your
restlessness there had a cause, as you well knew. The purpose of that
meeting was to form a nucleus of a society of curiosity-seekers for
investigating the unseen, for necromancy and ceremonial magic. Madness
of madness! I heard one man express the determination that the
proposed society should not, like the Society for Psychical Research,
close its doors to the outside world; but that the society should
invite all who were interested in the investigation of the unseen,
including the newspaper reporters. A press agent for the occult!
Let me describe a few of the auditors who were invisible to any in the
room except one person:
A long lean hungry being with the face of a gargoyle and the stomach
of an unfed leech yearned over the gathering. He was almost
affectionate in his interest in one of the speakers.
Another, bloated and lethargic, had already fed himself since entering
Another, frightened and tortured, was seeking an exit; but could not
get outside the desire-aura of one of the participants in that orgy of
Another, powerful and malignant, moved from place to place, selecting
his future victims. He will be present at the meetings of the society.
He will try to keep it alive, for he knows of a fascinating
possibility which I shall not record here.
Why do you go to such places?
THE GLORY OF WAR
I have written of the beauty of peace; but I now want to write of the
glory of war, for war has its glories. Anything that arouses man to
the highest pitch of enthusiasm is glorious; for what is glory but a
radiation of light, a burst of that life which is the Sun in man?
I regret this war. The suffering, the agony, the torment that I have
seen and have felt through sympathy, have left their marks upon me;
but had I remained in the safety of the neutral stars I should have
missed the glory of the fight.
Man had grown too tame, without acquiring the virtues of tameness; but
this war has served the purpose of the gods by hurling man into the
primitive, the savage, where life had its roots, but from which the
sap flows that will blossom later in such a faith as the world has
Suffering and joy are forever opposite and equal. Man may rest for a
time in the neutral condition of a well-fed half-consciousness; but
when the extremes of suffering and joy come to him, he is no longer
half-conscious, but awake and alive, and glory shines round him.
Could the Masters have prevented this war? They could have retarded
it; but the causes were present in the hearts of men, in the invisible
forces within them as well as outside them, and to have further
delayed the explosion would have served no planetary purpose.
The men who are not dead are more alive than they were twelve months
ago, and even the so-called dead are living-dead.
We pushed back the forces of evil, yes; but that was a part of the
struggle, that was the struggle in our world.
Let me tell you the story of one man whom I knew in the days of peace.
He was well-fed and half-asleep with prosperity, he prattled mild
commonplaces about life, and ethics, and the duties of a citizen; but
what did he really know of life, or of ethics, or of the duties of a
We will call him Johnson. He has been in this war some months, a
fighter for England, and the integrity of England; and now when he
speaks of life his speech has meaning, because life to him now is the
opposite and mate of death. He feels enthusiasm for it, the glory of
it shines round him.
Johnson had a son, an only child. Fathers will know what I mean.
In the great retreat in which Johnson was one of the leaders his son
fell before his eyes—wounded but not dead. For one swift heartbeat the
father turned to his boy . . . then he went on with his command that
otherwise would have been leaderless, leaving his only child to the
tender mercies of an army drunk with the pitiless glory of conquerors.
Johnson will never again prattle commonplaces about life. He has
learned the meaning of death, and of tortured uncertainty far worse
(This letter was left unfinished—for no reason apparent to me.—Editor.)
A FRIEND OF “X”
A man died yesterday with your name in his thoughts.
No, he was not a friend of yours, but someone you have never seen.
Back in England last year he read the former book which I wrote
through your hand, and was intensely interested in it. For months he
wanted to meet you, but being a modest man he waited.
Then the war broke out, and he went with the army to Belgium.
Day and night since the first fighting he has been meditating the
facts and possibilities of that book. Is there a future life
continuous with that of earth? Can a man return as I claimed to return,
and can he give to a woman still in the land of the living a record of
his experiences among the dead? Had I really seen the things I
reported, and did I go to the pattern world and the heaven world,
where I saw the Saviour of men with a lamb on his arm, etc., etc.?
One thing this man never questioned, and that was the sincerity of the
scribe. Of that he was convinced by instinct and by a kind of
Anglo-Saxon chivalry difficult for the men of some races to
He was always talking to his trench-mates about the future life. He
would sit smoking his pipe in silence and gazing off into space, and
when other soldiers asked him what he was thinking of so busily, he
would often say: “I am thinking of a book I read last summer, and
wondering if it was true.” When they asked him what book he referred
to, he would tell them about the Letters of a Living Dead Man, and
quote to them whole sentences from it, and give them the outlines of
its stories, and explain to them the philosophical propositions
scattered through the book. Whole evenings have been taken up with
You have not been to the wars, either as a soldier or as a nurse; but
you have been to the wars.
It was a curious coincidence that that book should have been published
only a few months before the greatest taking-off of human souls in the
history of the world. Had you thought of that? I had not, until the
Teacher pointed it out to me.
There was one question which particularly interested our friend who
died yesterday with your name in his thoughts: the question whether,
if he should go out of life at the hands of the enemy, he could
prepare such a “little home in heaven” as we wrote about, for a girl
whom he loved back in England; and if he should prepare it and wait
for her, whether she would be true to him after his death, and meet
him there in a few years, and dwell with him in the little home.
This young man had read certain writings of an American mystic on the
theory of counterpartal souls, and he believed that in the girl back
in England he had found his counterpartal soul, as I hinted of the man
in my story who built the little home in heaven.
But no word of this did he speak to his trench-mates. To them he spoke
about the other stories in the book, not about that one. It is curious
that we never mention to others the favorite subject of our thoughts–that
is, most of us do not.
Another thing in the book which interested our friend was the story of
the woman in the invisible who made a journey into Egypt with her
still-living husband. He used to wonder whether, if he should die, he
could go in the spirit, as he said, to the little place in North Wales
which he had once visited with his sweetheart, and which they had
selected as the future scene of their wedding journey.
One night he wrote her a long letter asking her, in case of his death,
to go there this summer, and saying he would try to meet her there.
Then after reflection he destroyed the letter, fearing it might make
When I saw about him a peculiar light which the indwelling spirit
throws round its vehicle when that vehicle is about to be destroyed, I
waited, knowing there would soon be work to do.
Suddenly I saw his body fall to the ground, and saw the tenuous bodies
exuding themselves. I waited but a moment, then went forward and
lifted the spirit out of the sleep into which it would have drifted. I
breathed on the forehead of the astral–for astrals have foreheads,
make no mistake about that–I breathed on the astral forehead of the
man who had paid our book the compliment of thinking about it and
about us in the last moment of his life.
He opened his eyes on my face.
“Hello, ‘X’!” he said. “I hoped you would meet me here. You’re a good
fellow not to disappoint me.”
“Oh, I was always a good fellow!” I answered. “How did you know so
quickly that you had come out?”
“Because I saw you.”
“And how did you know me?”
“By your photograph, which I saw in a magazine.”
“But do I still look like that old hulk?” I asked; for I rather prided
myself on the recovery of a certain part of my original youth and
“Why,” he said, “you do look like the photograph.”
“That is strange,” I replied. Then I remembered that my very knowledge
of the man’s thoughts of me, as being the old Judge of the story,
might have made my body transform itself to meet the demands of his
recognition, even without the intervention of my will.
“Do you want to take a nap?” I asked, though there was no sleepiness
in his eyes.
“No, thank you, ‘X.’ I should like to go to England. But perhaps you
have something to do besides indulging my wants and wishes.
“Your wants and wishes are just as important as mine,” I said. “I’ll
go to England with you.”
Crossing the Channel we passed a transport laden with troops.
“I wish all those fellows knew as much as I do,” my friend said.
“Maybe they would fight with renewed vigor if they could see what a
good companion I have found out here.”
Do not be startled, you clergymen who say, “Ashes to ashes, dust to
dust,” and draw solemn faces as you preside over the passing of souls!
Do not be startled or shocked by the jolly conversation of my
newly-arrived soldier-boy. He knew that he was with an old friend, and
he knew also that death is no more sacred than life, and need not be
any more solemn.
We went to call on a girl. I often went courting in my youth, but
never did I feel more interest in such a visit than when I went with
this soldier to see his girl. The fact that she could not see us made
no difference. I am used to that now.
She was combing her hair when we arrived, beautiful long hair, and on
the mantel before her and under the mirror was a photograph of my
friend. As her eyes rested on it lovingly, suddenly he passed between
her and the photograph, and she cried out:
“Why, the eyes are alive!” and dropped the comb on the floor.
Then, as the truth flashed through her mind, she said, very solemnly:
“My dear, if it is really you, and if you have come to me in this
strange way, know that I love you and shall always love you, and that
I will meet you in heaven.”
Then she sat down in a little chair and began to cry.
I left him with her; but I shall return occasionally to see how my
charge is getting along, and by and by I shall teach him some of the
lessons on which his future welfare depends. I do not wish him to
return to the neighborhood of the battlefields. Why should he? He has
served, and has earned his reward.
Perhaps later I may tell you something more about the man who died
with your name–and mine–in his thoughts.
THE ROSE AND THE CROSS
More and more I am charmed and amazed by that one whom we call the
Beautiful Being. I shall never understand it, for its ways are not our
Yesterday it passed over the battlefield again, and I should have
written when I came to you a few hours afterward had I not pitied your
weariness. Do not be discouraged. Sometimes the Masters of Compassion
may seem to their servants to have no compassion; but they know, as
the servants cannot know, that the hardest road leads up the highest
mountain, and that there is rest at the top.
The Beautiful Being passed over the battlefield. Imagine a rose in a
cannon’s mouth, a bird singing in the heart of an earthquake, a pearl
in a landslide, an angel in hell.
You know not the meaning of the word battlefield. Yesterday thousands
died in the awful uproar. Noise! noise! noise!–till the nerves
shrieked with pain and despair seized the soul. To go out of life in
that seething maelstrom is generally to pass into another seething
maelstrom, hotter and noisier than the one left behind.
How can I write of war so as to spare your feelings? The great
Teachers are not trying to spare your feelings. They want you to feel
and feel, till the very force of the wave of feeling carries you high
on the shore of Adeptship. And they want you to think and think, till
the irresistible cold of logic freezes self out of you. Ice and fire!
If you shrink from knowing what the soldiers of the nations have
suffered that you may be free, you are unworthy of that freedom. Do
not shrink from suffering. The husk of the seed must be broken before
the sprout can appear.
In dying for their country, those souls in the hell of battle are
giving birth to the new time. In suffering with them, your souls are
giving birth to the new in yourselves. Do not look for joy while
humanity is in travail, unless you can find the joy in suffering. Yes,
I know the time when first, and through whom, that grand idea found
lodgment in your consciousness. It is the secret of great souls in
this hour of the world’s pain.
If you suffer till you can suffer no more–then the poles shift, and
the joy of suffering illuminates the soul. Then the beautiful being in
yourself hovers over the battlefield where the lesser self has been
There is a beautiful being in every one of you, the bird that sings in
the heart of the earthquake, the rose that nestles in the hot mouth of
the cannon, the pearl that cannot be crushed by the landslide, the
angel that illumines hell.
All the normal feelings of the human heart are intensified at this
time. No one is the same as before the war burst–no one, anywhere in
the world. The soul of humanity is in travail. This incarnation of
humanity is turned against itself, and rends itself. The heart of
humanity is an abyss, into which humanity had grown too blind to look,
so the blazing torches of the guardians of good and evil have been
thrust into the abyss, and all the drowsing dwellers therein have been
suddenly, rudely awakened.
Oh, hearts of earth, do not fall asleep again! Pity and love one
another, for the pain of one is the pain of each, and over the
battlefield of the suffering race the Beautiful Being hovers.
Humanity is the One, and humanity is the many, and all together you
may come into the inheritance of your Father which is in heaven.
You are familiar with the symbol of the Rose-Cross. Not until the hard
wood is driven through your four limbs, in the pain of your shocked
and wounded nerves, can the great red rose of love unfold its perfumed
petals upon your breast, between the arms of the cross.
The human in you is the pain of the cross, the divine in you is the
perfume of the rose, and you yourself, you human and divine, are the
If you shrink from the splintering pain of the wood as it claims you
for its own, you cannot smell the perfume of the rose which also
claims you for its own.
Do not refuse the great initiation, O humanity of the races! Do not
hide yourself in the dungeon of fear when the great Initiator comes!
On the awful cross of war shall blossom the red rose of the new race.
On the cross of each mortal form may blossom its red rose.
The rose marks the balance between the East and the West, between the
rising and the setting sun, between the human and the divine. The arms
of the cross extend to infinity, its feet are buried in the substance
of eternity, its head is among the angels and the gods, and the heart
of the rose is everywhere. It is in every heart of all these myriads
who shrink at the touch of the hard wood.
I hear every day the shrieks of those who are making the vicarious
atonement for the race. When they lie mangled on the battlefield, the
arms of the cross are being driven through their quivering flesh, and
the petals of the rose are unfolding in their hearts.
They are dying for love at the hands of hate, for love and hate are
opposite and omnipresent. Their love for their country is their call
to the atonement, their at-one-ment with the God who established the
law of the East and the West, the Height and the Depth, the opposing
forces of Love and Hate. They have accepted the sacrifice. For them
shall be the resurrection and the life, after their sojourn among the
dead, their sojourn in hell.
They shall appear to the Magdalen at the door of the sepulchre, the
one whose sins were forgiven because she loved much, and who shall
call the disciples to give them the tidings of great joy.
The soul of the world is the risen Christ, and the disciples rejoice
at the tidings.
How can I withhold from you the great event which Time has ushered in?
For thirty pieces of silver the soul of the world was sold, and the
Judas of the world has given the kiss of betrayal with the name of God
on his lips, and the Roman soldiers are already dividing the garments.
Pontius Pilate has washed his hands of the issue, and his wife weeps
in her chamber at the disregarding of her dream. The priests of the
Sanhedrim are wagging their heads with satisfaction, but the veil of
the Temple of Humanity is rent from top to bottom.
How could you receive the message if you had not suffered, O listener
at the door of Time? Who would believe you, had you not grasped the
truth of the atonement? Until the wood of the cross had been driven
through your limbs, the rose could not blossom, O world in travail at
Be still, and know that God is God. In the stillness of perception the
petals begin to open, and joy steals over the heart, and the heart
swells with the expanding joy, till every fibre of the cross is alive
and tingling with the joy at the heart of the rose, and the fragrance
sweetens the world.
And the Beautiful Being, a ray of the Holy Spirit, hovers over the
Calvary of the battlefield.
A SERBIAN MAGICIAN
It is a long road from the sacrifice of the Rose-Cross to
plague-stricken Serbia, but that is the road you take with me this
There is a reason why that country has been most susceptible to the
astral germs of disease, that a loathsome being of which I wrote you
in a former letter spewed forth into the upper world.
Long ago in the mountains of Serbia there dwelt an evil magician, a
man whose studies in the deeper sciences were undertaken solely for
the intellectual and selfish pleasure which he found in them. He had
progressed so far beyond the normal human consciousness that he had no
worldly ambitions. To him the world was but a despicable place to
escape from, and the people of the world were insects beneath his
notice, save only as he could use them for his purposes.
He considered himself a kind of god, and so diligent were his selfish
labors that had he devoted his knowledge to the good of the human race
from which he sprang, he might really have become a kind of god. But
selfish and evil beings need never aspire to godship. At most they can
take but a step beyond the human. The grub may become a butterfly, but
if it hates the sunlight and the air of the higher regions, its wings
had better not have grown.
This man, this selfish magician, had learned that by certain magical
formulæ he could call to himself beings of the elements, and that by
the aid of these invisibles he could create astral beings which, while
themselves soulless, he could energize with his own force.
Now the turn for real and active evil which marked a certain stage in
his life, came about in this way:
He had found what seemed to him a secure retreat among the mountains,
he had prepared and magnetized the neighborhood of his hut so that it
was a centre of astral force, and his right to the undivided
possession of that spot was one of the ideas which he energized for
his own protection.
Now the owner of the mountain where the magician lived discovered that
the neighborhood of his hut was a good place for hunting the wild
animals of that region, and soon the quiet of the magician’s studies
was broken by the reports of the guns of the hunters, who even crossed
with their despised bodies the very circle which the magician had
prepared for his own use.
This proved that he was not a very high magician, for had he made that
centre for a work having as object the benefit of humanity, members of
that humanity could not have profaned it. The retreats of the Masters
of Compassion are secure against intrusion.
In his rage and disappointment he called down curses upon the hunters
and upon all the region roundabout, and by his evil magic he created
beings who should execute his curses. He created them upon the earth
and in the air above and in the region below the surface of the earth,
and to each he allotted a task with fearful penalties for disobedience.
His use of the power he had gained was a use positively forbidden by
the Law under which the real Masters work.
It really caused the hunters to go away from that neighborhood, but
the beings he had called and the beings he had created remained there;
for he had not sufficient knowledge, or maybe not a sufficient sense
of responsibility for his nefarious work, to make him destroy or
banish them himself.
And when he died, at the ripe age of one hundred and twelve years, and
his will was removed from them, they still remained in a state of
semi-animation in the lower regions of the astral world.
Then, a century or more afterwards, when the great war wave broke over
Europe, and the evil hosts of the unseen came clamoring for their prey
and their satisfaction, these old astral monsters awoke out of their
sleep and joined themselves to them, and the whole neighborhood which
the evil magician had cursed became an infected place, from the
exhalations of those beings whose raison d’ être had been a man’s
hatred of the people who had disturbed him in his selfish labors.
I am not going to describe the process by which he had created them
and laid an evil spell upon a whole neighborhood, for I am determined
not to bestow upon a selfish world any knowledge that it can use to
make more trouble in future. But I want you to realize that Serbia is
really a dangerous place. That is why it was chosen as the focusing
point for the evil onslaught of war.
The people of Serbia are brave and innocent of all this astral evil
which has come upon them. They were used because the evil forces could
get at them through this region already under a curse from of old.
The time has come when the men of the new race must know that there
are things to be avoided in the astral world. If certain teachers had
told less, this warning might not be necessary; but the world has
acquired already so clear a perception that there is another world
within and outside their own, that their natural curiosity must be
protected by warnings not to fool with the unseen, until they have
acquired such a selfless devotion to their fellow-beings that they may
explore it without being themselves infected by the poison of the
snake that nestles there among the flowers.
The old magician has passed on into that sphere where selfish scholars
pursue their investigations unhampered by the limitations of gross
matter; but the full responsibility for his actions in those Serbian
hills when he was last on earth will wait for him at the door of
rebirth. When he comes to the world again it will be in a body which
is itself a victim of all the plagues which he let loose there, in the
determined effort to protect himself against others who had as good a
right there as he had.
Stay out of Serbia until it has been cleansed of plague, you whose
work is not connected with the specialty of plague-destruction. But
those doctors and other scientists who are devotedly going thither to
save the race from the horror that threatens it––to them shall be
accorded all the honors and glories of war and of peace, for they have
consented, their higher selves have consented, that they be used in
the service of the world.
I have said before that the evil elemental beings fear the scientist;
and though the scientists fight this plague with material means, yet
the force of their will and of their unselfish purpose acts beyond the
material base of their operations, extending its influence even into
the invisible world of which their objective minds have no knowledge,
purifying it with vital air.
Yes, all honor to the scientists!
JUDAS AND TYPHON
I have spoken of the crucifixion through which the soul of the race is
passing. Now I want to speak of the Judas who betrayed that race for
thirty pieces of silver.
Reader of this book, whether you are a Jew, a Christian, a Hindoo or a
Mahometan, if you know anything at all about the initiatory process of
the soul, you must know that the gospel drama––be it historical or
legendary, whichever way you choose to take it––is a faithful
dramatization of the process of initiation.
And in that process the betrayal of Judas is an inevitable part.
Without it, the cup of bitterness would not be full, and the cup of
bitterness must be full for the soul of the race, the soul of the
individual, the soul of the Christ.
“My Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?” has been on the lips of many a
mangled soldier on this awful Calvary of the race.
The heavy cross has been bourne all through the toilsome months of the
journey from Autumn to Spring, and now in the April time the race has
been nailed to the cross for the agony. The crown of thorns is on the
bleeding brows, the nails have pierced the hands and feet, the cup of
vinegar has been offered, and now on a million lips is the cry, “Eloi,
Eloi, lama Sabachthani!”
The betrayal of Judas was inevitable, as the deed of Typhon was
inevitable. Had it not been for Judas, the story would not be complete.
Had it not been for the act of Typhon in slaying Osiris, Horus the Son
could not have arisen.
And yet in the face of this I stand here––safe behind the veil of the
invisible, as some objectors will say––and advise the world to soften
the awful punishment of Judas, so far as lies in its power. For did
not that One himself say upon the cross, “Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do”?
Nothing in the Sermon on the Mount, nothing in the sacred records of
the East, nothing in the archives of the whole world can compare with
those ten words for grandeur and spiritual significance: “Father,
forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
They who now sin against the race, indeed know not what they do. They
are drunk with the rage of destruction, maddened by the subconscious
of their own guilt; but what they do they cannot know. Only the
initiate souls among the Germans even vaguely know what Germany has
And yet I say, forgive and pity them; for their office is a terrible
one, and their suffering will be great.
Fear not, when your blood relations are slain by thousands, and when
you feel yourself also slain by spiritual participation, the good must
triumph in the end, because the race is on its upward journey. Its
blood is not spilled in vain.
Did the human race not know, when it gave the sop to Germany in the
last conclave, that it was Germany who would betray it? The race knew.
And in that awful July the subconscious selves of men knew in their
sleep that the terrible trial was at hand. Do you remember? In many a
sensitive soul that drama was pre-enacted, before it was enacted on
this Calvary of the nations.
That Germany would betray the world was written in the soul of Germany;
but if the world should hate her with a continuing hate for that
betrayal, it would be a sore in the heart of the human race which
would ache for a thousand years. “Father, forgive them; for they know
not what they do.”
To admit the necessity of evil in the cosmic scheme is not to condone
evil. To forgive the sinner is not to minimize the sin. It is because
of the inability of the undeveloped mind to grasp the awful law of the
balance of forces that the Guardians of the sacred knowledge have been
so reticent in their public utterances.
“It must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the
offense cometh,” has been repeated in thousands of churches; but the
latter half of the sentence has been understood far better than the
first half, “It must needs be that offenses come.”
Being what she is, Germany could not help betraying the race to this
crucifixion. It was written that the human race would be betrayed, and
no nation could have done it but Germany.
Typhon was obliged to slay Osiris, by the very law of his being. And
now Isis, the great Mother, the Womanhood of the world, wanders
wailing up and down seeking for the fragments of the body of her
On the battle line for a thousand miles those fragments are scattered.
Isis is indeed widowed.
And as man is the type of the great Archetype, so one man stands this
day as the type of the Betrayer, and that man is Wilhelm of Germany.
The disease which long has eaten at his brain, a contributory cause of
his ego-mania, was the vulnerable spot, the spot unguarded between the
lamps of the magic circle of Europe, where the evil forces found
entrance. Verily, it shall be woe to him by whom this offense has come!
And in saying that the world must not hate the nation which Evil has
used as its servant, I am not advising sentimental weakness in the
final closing of this account. The world for its own protection must
make it impossible that Germany should ever repeat this betrayal. The
details I leave to the specialists, being a modest ghost, and speaking
from my safe retreat behind the veil of the invisible.
CROWNS OF STRAW
In seeking to hold back the karma of Germany, I am not seeking to
upset the law of justice, the law of cause and effect. On the contrary.
Your studies in the law of karma have been but superficial if you have
not learned that time is a factor. Many a solvent firm would be thrown
into bankruptcy should all its creditors demand at once full payment
of their accounts. The moral and financial indebtedness of Germany is
its awful karma. Give it a little time in which to adjust itself to an
entirely new way of thinking.
I listened to a discussion which you had with a friend the other day*
in regard to the hypothesis that Germany’s false assertion of
“Deutschland über Alles,” being so powerfully postulated, could
overcome facts; that the human race might be evolving into the era of
mind, and that a powerful concept, however false, might make facts
conform to it.
Let us see.
*The following clauses of this paragraph, not being clear in the
original, were rewritten by me.––Editor. (1915)
The idea that Germany and the Germans are superior to everything else
in the world lies so deep in the minds of that race that it will be
difficult to eliminate it.
As you yourself observed, there is another race known to history which
declared itself to be the chosen people of God, and for that arrogant
assumption is now scattered over the face of the earth, a homeless
people, no longer even a nation.
The attempt to create a thing by postulating it is already existent is
not new. Affirmation and denial are used with telling effect by a
modern school of thinkers, who disregard utterly the facts of nature.
Now when we disregard and deny the facts of nature, we may suspend the
operations of nature in ourselves to a certain degree and for a
certain time, or we may fail in so doing, and by reason of our
consciousness of our failure become more than ever the puppets of
The Christian Science healer who fails to heal and honestly
acknowledges his failure, may go on asserting his power in the face of
the demonstrated failure, or he may become a complete doubter of
himself and of the claims of his science, or he may re-examine both in
the light of facts and become a real student of the mysteries of
nature and of mind.
Germany may take any one of these three courses when she has
demonstrated the old saying of the wisest of men, that they that take
the sword shall perish with the sword.
Did you ever try to convince a German of a fact which he denied? I see
that you have. Did your proof of his mistake convince him that he
could be mistaken? Probably not.
Now Germany has really made herself into a great nation by postulating
her greatness and superiority in all things. Her mistake consisted in
trying to prove it. In trying to prove a statement you tacitly admit
for the time that the opposite assumption may have some base, and if
you are not able to demonstrate your contention you are lost—unless
you are a German. A German convinced against his will is of the same
If facts do not bear him out, then facts are false. Now facts are not
false, and Germany is not superior in all things to every other nation
on earth. She may have more guns and more soldiers than two or three
of the other nations, that is a fact which we gladly admit; but
superiority in guns and soldiers is only superiority in guns and
soldiers. It is not superiority in all things.
Germany has said in effect that might is right. Well, let her prove
her might, and we will then discuss the right of might.
Some years before I left the earth I was stronger than most men of my
acquaintance; but if I had on that ground knocked them down and taken
their watches, my own superior strength might have been useless to me
except to propel my six-foot body up and down a cell in the county
jail. I might have taken the watches, but I could not have kept them,
for my individual might would have been outclassed by the might of the
society in which I dwelt. So with Germany.
Most men consider themselves superior to their friends and
acquaintances, and are secretly annoyed that their friends and
acquaintances do not acknowledge it. But on the strength of that
supposed superiority they do not generally knock their neighbors down.
My assertion of my superiority to all other men and angels does not
make me superior to them in anything but fatuous conceit.
If a Christian Scientist with a broken leg asserts that he has not a
broken leg, it does not change the fact. The strength of his assertion
may work in the direction of curing the defect—granted. It often does.
The conceit of Germany has called out her energy and made her material
present superior to her material past; but that cannot place her “over
all,” unless she convinces the world of it, and the world accepts an
inferior place. Germans are not convincing advocates, because they
always arouse opposition by overstating the facts in their favor, and
in disputing the facts against them.
So little do they understand the critical minds of the more critical
races, that they try to convince by mere assertion, and so prejudice
their case from the start.
One service Germany will have done the world; she will have hardened
it. It is a tragic service, and one that will turn against herself.
Many a parent by his blind brutality has made his son a greater brute
than he. Many a man by wounding a friend has been stabbed to the soul
in return. The friend may be harder than before, but has he profited?
Perhaps. Experience is an asset. Man grows by pain as well as by
pleasure. If the brutality of Germany makes the races of Europe more
vigorous, they are the gainers—not Germany. The Doctor who gives too
bitter medicine is sent about his business, sometimes without his fee.
There was once a “mental” scientist who declared that it was not
necessary for his daughter to practice the piano; that all she needed
to do was to affirm that she was a pianist, and she would be one.
Germany is in the position of the daughter who had acted on that
teaching, and has become the horror of the neighborhood. She is in
danger of being dispossessed as a public nuisance.
Also an aggregation of individuals making one assertion do not
necessarily have an effect in proportion to their numbers.
Do you remember what I wrote you about white and black magicians, that
two who worked together for good had the power of four, and that two
who worked together for evil had only the power of one and a half? Now
what is Germany working for in this combined effort? Solely for
herself—exactly like the black magician.
So deep has the German conceit sunk into the German soul, that they
really believe that in occupying and enslaving other countries they
would be doing them a favor. No, I am not exaggerating. I have heard
Germans make that humorless statement.
Lunatic asylums are full of men who assert that they are kings, and an
occasional inmate declares himself the King of kings. These patients
are even more fully convinced than are the Germans, who assert their
kingship. If assertion alone can transcend fact, these men are kings.
Are they? To themselves they are, and the Germans are just as surely
“over all” as are the straw-crowned kings in the asylums.
It is useless to argue with a king in a straw crown. He has an
irresistible argument—his crown. Can you not see it? If you do not
salute, he turns his back and walks away.
But even a king in a lunatic asylum may be cured and restored to a
sane equality with his peers. That is what I hope for Germany. That is
what the Masters hope—for Germany stands high in the record-book of
the masters. A king in a straw crown has not lost his soul through his
false assertion of kingship. He is an immortal son of God. His spirit
is as genuine as yours or mine. His error is only temporary, and is
generally caused by brooding too long over imagined wrongs and slights.
Not unlike Germany.
When this idea of superiority began to fester in the minds of that
noble people, they were not a great nation. They felt their wrongs and
the slights put upon them. The only escape for their wounded egoism
was into the world of the mind, where assertion has free play. They
turned their backs and plaited their straw crowns. They were kings,
and anyone who did not see it was unworthy of the honor of their
Then, their madness having taken a violent form, came the great doctor,
War, and confined them in a relatively narrow space; but the small
people they knocked down in their first attack of violence still lie
prostrate from the blow. The heirs of these kings will have to pay
damages. The law of nations is even more just than the laws of men.
Who dares to say that a State has no morals? Is a State spiritually
inferior to a man? No more than a Planetary Spirit is inferior to a
State. There is a cosmic morality, and whoever goes against it—whether
a State or a man—will meet the day of reckoning. Karma is a law.
THE SYLPH AND THE FATHER
Passing yesterday along the line where the great French army stands
before its powerful opponent, and marking the spirit of courage and
aspiration which makes it seem like a long line of living light, I saw
a familiar face in the regions outside the physical.
I paused, highly pleased at the encounter, and the sylph—for it was a
sylph whom I met—paused also with a little smile of recognition.
Do you recall in my former book the story of a sylph, Merilene, who
was the companion and familiar of a student of magic who lived in the
rue de Vaugirard in Paris?
It was Merilene that I met above the line of light which shows to
wanderers in the astral regions where the soldiers of la belle France
fight and die for the same ideal which inspired Jeanne d’ Arc—to drive
the foreigner out of France.
“Where is your friend and master?” I asked the sylph, and she pointed
below to a trench which spoke loud its determination to conquer.
“I am here, to be still with him,” she said.
“And can you speak to him here?” I asked.
“I can always speak with him,” she answered. “I have been very useful
to him—and to France.”
“To France?” I enquired, with growing interest.
“Oh, yes! When his commanding officer wants to know what is being
plotted over there, he often asks my friend, and my friend asks me.”
“Truly,” I thought, “the French are an inspired people, when the
officers of armies ask guidance from the realm of the invisible! But
had not Jeanne her visions?”
“And how do you gain the information desired?” I asked, drawing nearer
to Merilene, who seemed more serious than when we met some years
before in Paris.
“Why,” she answered, “I go over there and look around me. I have
learned what to look for, he has taught me, and when I bring him news
he rewards me with more love.”
“And do you love him still, as of old?”
“As of old?”
“Yes, as you did back there in Paris.”
“Time must have passed slowly with you,” said the sylph, “if you call
a few years ago ‘as of old’.”
“Are a few years, then, as nothing?”
“A few years are as nothing to me,” she replied. “I have lived a long
“And do you know the future of your friend?” I asked.
A puzzled look came over the face of Merilene, and she said, slowly:
“I used to know everything that would happen to him, because I could
read his will, and whatever he willed came to pass; but since we have
been out here he seems to have lost his will.”
“Lost his will!” I exclaimed, in surprise.
“Yes, lost his will; for he prays continually to a great Being whom he
loves far more than me, and he always prays one prayer, ‘Thy will be
done!’ It used to be his will which was always done; but now, as I say,
he seems to have lost his will.”
“Perhaps,” I said, “it is true of the will as was once said of the
life, and he that loses his will shall find it.”
“I hope he will find it soon,” she answered, “for in the old days he
was always giving me interesting things to do, to help him achieve the
purposes of his will, and now he only sends me over there. I don’t
like over there!”
“Because my friend is menaced by something over there.”
“And what has his will to do with that?”
“Why, even about that, he says all day to the great Being that he
loves so much more than me, ‘Thy will be done’.”
“Do you think you could learn to say it, too?” I asked.
“I say it after him sometimes; but I don’t know what it means.”
“Have you never heard of God?”
“I have heard of many gods, of Isis and Osiris and Set, and of Horus,
the son of Osiris.”
“And is it to one of these that he says, ‘Thy will be done’?”
“Oh, no! It is not to any of the gods that he used to call upon in his
magical working. This is some new god that he has found.”
“Or the oldest of all gods that he has returned to,” I suggested.
“What does he call Him?”
“Our Father who art in heaven.”
“If you also should learn to say ‘Thy will be done’ to our Father who
is in heaven,” I said, “it might help you toward the attainment of
that soul you were wanting and waiting for, when last we met in
“How could our Father help me?”
“It was he who gave souls to men,” I said.
The eyes of the sylph were brilliant with something almost human.
“And could He give a soul to me?”
“It is said that He can do anything.”
“Then I will ask Him for a soul.”
“But to ask him for a soul,” I said, “is not to pray the prayer your
“He only says-----”
“Yes, I know. Suppose you say it after him.”
“I will, if you will tell me what it means. I like to do what my
“Thy will be done,” I said, “when addressed to the Father in heaven,
means that we give up all our desires, whether for pleasure or love or
happiness, or anything else, and lay all those desires at His feet,
sacrificing all we have or hope for to Him, because we love Him more
“That is a strange way to get what one desires,” she said.
“It is not done to get what one desires,” I answered.
“But what is it done for?”
“For love of the Father in heaven.”
“But I do not know the Father in heaven. What is He?”
“He is the Source and the Goal of the being of your friend. He is the
One that your friend will re-become some day, if he can forever say to
Him, Thy will be done.”
“The One he will re-become?”
“Yes, for when he blends his will with that of the Father in heaven,
the Father in heaven dwells in his heart and the two become one.”
“Then is the Father in heaven really the Self of my friend?”
“The greatest philosopher could not have expressed it more truly,” I
“Then indeed do I love the Father in heaven,” breathed the sylph, “and
I will say now every day and all day, ‘Thy will be done’ to Him.”
“Even if it separates you from your friend?”
“How can it separate me from my friend, if the Father is the Self of
“I would that all angels were your equal in learning,” I said.
But Merilene had turned to me in utter forgetfulness, and was saying
over and over, with joy in her uplifted face, “Thy will be done! Thy
will be done!”
“Truly,” I said to myself, as I passed along the line, “he who
worships the Father as the Self of the beloved has already acquired a
BEHIND THE DARK VEIL
One night, when the roar of the battle was still, and the rays of the
full moon shone down upon trampled mud, and man-filled trench, and
tender spring-green growing things and soft-hued flowers, I met face
to face a powerful being in a dark mantle who passed along the line of
war with slow, majestic steps.
Seeing me he paused, and I paused also, struck by the grace of his
tall form and the royal air of him. His face was veiled.
“Who are you,” he said, “who walk here at this hour as if in
“I am a man much given to meditation,” I replied, “and this hour seems
fit for it.”
“And what was the subject of your meditation?”
“The war below us.”
“And what was the course of your thoughts, which my appearance
“My thoughts were of peace,” I said, “and they were full of questions
as to how the carnage of this war might be made to cease.”
“Your questions were in order,” the majestic being answered. “Perhaps
I can be of help to you.”
“Will you not unveil?” I suggested, “for I like to see the faces of
those with whom I hold converse.”
He threw back a fold of the dark covering of his head, revealing a
face which I know not how to describe. Power and evil were blent in
it, and a strange beauty, both superhuman and subhuman. The face was
marked as if by an eternity of pain and struggle; but in the eyes was
a light of will which startled me by its force.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“What matter who I am?” he replied. “I am one who can solve the
problem of your meditations.”
“You do not look like an angel of peace,” I said, “but rather like one
who has seen much war of his own making.”
“It is for that reason that I am competent to speak of peace. What do
the peaceful know of peace? Only the warrior knows the meaning of that
“I will listen,” I said, “to whatever you have to say; for I recognize
that you know something of the Law.”
“I am one of the executors of the Law,” he answered, “and I have a
plan for bringing peace to the world.”
“Will you state that plan?”
“It is for that I came out here to meet you,” he said.
“And how did you learn of me?”
“I know all the strong workers and many of the weak ones. You are a
“Truly you do me too much honor,” I said, “for I am only a humble
soldier in the army of the Law’s executants.”
“The modesty of the great,” he observed, while he eyed me closely to
see the effect of his words.
“Whoever you are,” I said, “and I perceive that you are something
unusual, know that my interest in my own stature is no longer
paramount with me.”
“It is for that reason that you may be used in the interest of peace.”
“Continue,” I requested.
He regarded me for a time with brilliant, questioning eyes, and then
“You are weary of war, of the labor of war?”
“I am weary with my sympathy for those who suffer.”
“And you would like to end their suffering?”
“It seems to me at times,” I said, more to myself than to him, “that I
would gladly give my life, if by so doing I could shorten the horrors
“Your life? And what do you mean by your life?”
“I mean my consciousness of freedom, my freedom of consciousness.”
“A good definition of the life of such as you,” he observed. “And
would you really sacrifice that life for the world?”
“Most gladly, if by so doing I could save the world.”
“It might be possible,” he said.
“Will you speak more plainly?” I demanded. “You seem to me to be
feeling your way to some statement of importance.”
“What can be more important,” he returned, “than the sacrifice of such
a life as yours for the world?”
“There is a way,” he said, “by which your sacrifice of what you call
‘the consciousness of freedom and the freedom of consciousness’ might
save those men down there from further pain.”
“Again I repeat, go on.”
“It lies in my power,” he said, coming nearer and regarding me fixedly
with his glowing eyes, “it lies in my power so to work upon the minds
of the opposing armies, the armies on both sides, that they will
refuse to fight any longer.”
“And betray their countries?” I asked.
“And bring peace,” he corrected me.
“And what have I to do with it?”
“You might have much to do with it.”
“Your words are still dark to me,” I said.
“Then I will make them clearer,” he replied. “In order for you to
understand my meaning, it is necessary that I explain myself. I am one
of those who serve the good by opposing the good, and thus giving it
“So I had observed. Will you now state in clear words what purpose you
have with me?”
“My purpose is to make you a proposition. If you wish this carnage to
cease—and already it has gone on long enough to serve the purpose
which I serve, to soak the world with blood, to destroy that which a
decade of labor will be too brief to rebuild, to awaken all the hatred
and other evil passions which nest in the hearts of men—if you wish
this carnage to cease, I have the means by which it can be made to
“And where do I come in?”
“I have long observed you,” he said, “observed your diligence in
applying the principles given you by your Teacher.”
“Then why did you ask me who I was, a little while ago?”
“Only as a preliminary to further conversation.”
“Oh!” I said.
“I have observed you,” he repeated, “and realized that with your power
and attainments you might be of greater service if you should shift
your allegiance and join us. Your consciousness of freedom would be
“But that consciousness of freedom was my definition of life! I
suppose you would say, in adjusting your argument to the limitations
of my mind, that in losing my life I should find it.”
A slight smile curved the lined features of the being before me.
“You would be always an entertaining companion,” he said. “Think twice
before you decline my proposition.”
“In your proposed agreement, I replied, “you do not state clearly the
consideration. I am an old lawyer, and a stickler for forms.”
There was no smile now on his face, as he said to me:
“If you will transfer your allegiance to us, I will bring this war to
“And could you?”
“I have already stated how.”
“But the medicine you propose would be worse than the disease, even
assuming, which I deny, that the patient would swallow it.”
“But would you not make the sacrifice, if I proved to you that I could
make good my end of the bargain?”
“Then surely you care little for the world!”
“You argue like a German propagandist,” I said.
“You mean that they argue like me,” he corrected.
“I have wondered,” I said, “in what school of logic they were trained.”
“And you refuse my proposition?”
“I wonder you should take the trouble to make it.”
“Why call that a trouble which gives me the pleasure of your society?”
“I have already heard,” I said, “that the devil was a great
“The devil has great tact.”
We stood looking at each other, measuring each other. He was an
“Dropping for the moment,” I said, “our differences of purpose and
ideal, and speaking merely as two minds—”
“Equal in brilliancy,” he interrupted.
“Speaking as two minds,” I continued, “will you not tell me why you
played upon my love for the world, my willingness to sacrifice myself
for the world, in your attempt to win me to your standard?”
“What else could I play upon?”
“Surely I must have some fault, some hidden sin, through which your
subtle mind could have thought to reach me.”
“Oh,” he said, “I am too wise to tempt you through your hidden faults,
for you are determined to conquer them! You could not be thrown off
the track that way. Only those young on your path are easily conquered
through their faults. The greater souls we attack through their
“Continue,” I said, “for you truly interest me.”
“It is said in the world,” he went on, “that there is more than one
way to skin a cat. There is also more than one way to get rid of a
worker for the Teachers whom you follow. When we cannot deflect a
worker through his evil passions, his hatred, anger, avarice, lust,
jealousy or fear, we are sometimes able to weaken him through his good
passions, his love, his loyalty, or his self-sacrifice.”
“Thank you for your confidence,” I said. “And now I will wish you good
As I passed along the line I murmured to myself:
“Truly is the serpent more subtle than any beast of the field, and man
needs all his wisdom to stand against him.”
(This letter was written on the 7th of May, at 10.30 A.M., New York
time, one hour after the sinking of the Lusitania, and nine hours
before the writer knew of it.)
And still they press forward against us—the menacing powers of
darkness and evil, seeking to vent their rage against the world and to
glut themselves on the blood of the slain.
I have not been near you for a few days because I have had no time.
Did you fancy that I had escaped time? Not yet. Had I escaped time, I
could not speak thus to the world in the grip of time. Had I quite
transcended space, your room could not hold me.
During the six days that you have not seen me I have been here, there
and everywhere in Europe—even in Asia have I been, for the attack is
A little while ago I told you that we had driven back the forces of
evil. They have rallied and come forward again, not quite as strong,
but more desperate and more frenzied.
They seek now to embroil the United States, and the whole continent of
the old dead race that fed them on blood by magical rites ages ago,
that continent where the new race has to be born when this prolonged
labor is over.
Had I remembered the Law of Rhythm I should have known that the tide
of evil would flow back again, and that we should have to struggle
with it a second time. It may even now gather fresh force and renew
the attack, a little weaker still.
The evil beings whom we have slain are slain, they can trouble us no
more for a time; but the slain are few beside the many still active.
Help us with your thoughts.
Many of our friends in the world have staggered and grown weary during
the last few days. Do not you!
As thy day, so shall thy strength be, O World that we struggle for,
and for which we shall win in the end the crown of peace and
As I have said before, the world is in the throes of an initiatory
ceremony. The trial by water, the trial by air, the trial by fire—all
these must the world go through before it can take its place among the
initiates of the stellar hierarchies. There is no drawing back now,
and the world must not fail. Should it fail there would soon be a
vacant place in the circles of the Zodiac. But the world will not fail.
Again have I met with the evil being of whom I wrote at the beginning
of these letters. He is lashing himself in fury now, drunk with the
power of his place. Ere his hour draws near, he is hot to assert
The climax is approaching, and if I visit you less often than before,
it is because I cannot leave my place so often.
Never falter in courage. Your faith shall be the evidence of things
still unseen—as it has been before.
This second struggle with the powers of darkness will leave us
stronger and leave them weaker.
I know many things which I cannot tell you, for you are not strong
enough to receive them; but remember this—the Law of Rhythm holds, it
is the Law of laws, and after this storm will come a corresponding
calm, after this agony a rest in the quiet of love. When hate has
spent itself, then love can have its way.
Do you not hate, but stand steady, merely withstanding attacks. Do not
waste your strength. It will be needed by and by. If we use you
sometimes as a material base on which to plant our etheric feet for a
greater spring into space, remember that you offered yourself for the
service of the world, and the service has been accepted.
This is no time to talk of reward, but the law of justice is behind
So far as possible, strengthen those who suffer too much, and we will
strengthen you. The angels you saw last night are the bodyguard of the
Masters’ servants. As thy day, so shall thy strength be.
I will give you a formula for use in time of stress and storm: Reach
up to the indwelling Spirit and repeat, “For her ways are ways of
pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
It is only in contact with mind, with desire and with matter, that the
Spirit struggles and suffers. In its own home all is peaceful and
pleasant. Reach up to that home when the storms are too loud, and you
will find a place of silence.
Do not let go your hold upon the body. You could no longer be used as
a material base should you loosen your hold on the material, and those
who come to live altogether in the astral world just now have a hard
time at first.
Be calm and poised and sure. Be not a quicksand but a rock.
That is all for the present.
This little time of writing has rested me as well as you, and I will
If you were less easily startled, less easily thrown out of the
negative condition in which only you can take down my words, less
easily thrown back by shock into your normal objective consciousness,
I could have told you yesterday that the Lusitania had gone down,
instead of merely hinting at disaster.
You are quite right always to stop the writing the moment your own
brain begins to work; but you can see that it limits us in the giving
of definite news.
We were near that ship when it went down, several of us, including the
one whom we call the Beautiful Being.
Hold steady now. That is the only advice I am offering you, save only
to remain in America for the present. The good you could do in England
now is outweighed by something else which you will understand before
the middle of August.*
If you look up the letter in which I told you that a great being of
thought had passed along the German line telling those who could
understand that their cause was lost, you will see that I said to
watch for the result. The result is this desperate and frenzied attack
everywhere by that nation.
May 15th is a significant date.** No, I tell you no more than that.
The powers of good will not fail.
You will have disturbing news from Europe before long. Hold quiet
through everything. We have done and are doing our best.
Thank you for what you have done for my friend and pupil. * * * Also
there is another thing you can do for us. * * *
There is much that you do not understand, but that we understand. The
road of initiation is a hard road for all. Love one another, you who
try to tread it. It makes the way easier.
*Extraordinarily verified on the fourteenth of August.—Editor
**Date of the reception by Germany of the United States note on the
sinking of the Lusitania, and also of the demonstrations in Italy
which precipitated the entry of that country into the war.—Editor.
***[2ed. note] The three asterisks here note personal correspondence
that was not published in the book. The above 2 footnotes are part of
ADVICE TO A SCRIBE
You can be of more use to us if you do not allow yourself to be
crushed by the sadness of the world at this crisis through which the
world is passing.
Each day rise to the plane of the spirit, above the physical world,
beyond the desires of the astral world, beyond the lower stratum of
mind, up and up to the Source of all life and all wisdom.
Set apart some time every day for this exercise. Use the Hebrew
formula which you have used before, and use it with power, in
connection with the yoga practice in which you are versed. The
combining of two systems makes for strength, because it avoids the
limitation of too closely identifying the Self with one race or one
period. Occult development, occult power, is of all times and all
races. The knowledge of the new race about to be ushered in will
include all the systems of the past, taking from each the special
thing in which it surpasses the others.
Do not sink again into that slough of depression from which I called
you this day. It is not necessary for you to die a thousand times in
order to know death. It seems to me that you have gone deep enough
into the woe of the world. Now rise to a corresponding height.
Your sympathy will be no less tender if you do not die of sympathy
Your real work comes after the war, when the world can and will listen
to the teaching of brotherhood. Do not perish beforehand is my advice,
and the advice of my Teacher through me.
The Teachers are very grave in this crisis, but they are not crushed
to earth. They know that after the storm comes the calm and their
faith has survived.
In the awful depression in which you have been sunk for the last few
days, how could you help anyone? It is not for you to ask help from
others, but only from us. You know where we are. It is for you to
revive the drooping spirits and the drooping faith of those who have
not received the assurances which you have received.
This letter is not a reproof, but a lesson. I would not have you
retire to a selfish peace above the tumult and stay there, forgetting
the world. I do not forget the world. I work by day and by night. But
what help could I be to these war-shocked souls that come out here
should I weep when I encounter them? No help at all should I be.
Instead, I seek to strengthen them with my strength, to encourage them
with my hope.
I do not mean, when I say that your work begins after the war, that
you can do nothing now. Far from it. You can do much, in both worlds.
But if you die of the wounds you behold out here, if you are caught
yourself in the whirlpool of despair, how can you draw others out of
I cannot repeat too often that this war is the world’s initiation. It
will be a new and enlightened world which will rise from the ashes of
the old one—a phœnix of a world, and I want you to rise with it.
The agony cannot endure forever. It is too intense just now, which
means that the climax is approaching.
When I told you that the issue was settled here, I did not mean that
the war would end in a day or two. Study cause and effect. Study the
rise and fall of everything according to cyclic law. The tidal wave
must spend itself on the shore before it subsides again into the sea.
Be calm. Keep faith with those whose task it is to uphold the faith of
When you say that you want to suffer as long as the world suffers, you
are speaking as our pupil, and we would not have it otherwise. But
remember that one may be strong in suffering. We would not have you
shirk the experience; but master and use the experience, instead of
letting it master and use you.
In regard to America, did I not tell you some time ago that there was
“an American on guard to-night,” old Abraham Lincoln, who renounced
heaven that he might watch over and guard the land he died for? Rest
in confidence on that assurance.
The other countries that you love are watched over also. And another
country which you do not love is watched over, lest it wander so far
that it cannot find its way back into the fold of human brotherhood.
There are souls in that country who are keenly aware that she has gone
as far as she safely may without becoming an outlaw among the nations.
There are even Germans in America who know it. If I named a few of
them, you might be surprised.
It is well that Germans in America should feel the American
repudiation of this latest piracy on the high seas. Let them feel it
to the quick. They can learn in no other way.
Do you fancy that in writing through your hand this book to be
published after the war, I am impressing my thought only upon you? I
am impressing others besides you.
A few days after I wrote you that Abraham Lincoln was on guard, a
newspaper cartoonist published a drawing of the ghost of the great
Lincoln standing behind President Wilson. Did you think it was a mere
coincidence? It was not a mere coincidence. I impress my thought, and
the thought of the Masters behind me, on other minds than yours. I am
a worker in the astral world. To impress the minds of men is one of
the duties assigned me. I go here and there where I am needed; but I
have not written anywhere else as I have written through you. I have
tried to, but with very indifferent success. An accurate amanuensis
between the worlds is rare. They have to be trained to distinguish
between the thoughts of the dictator and the thoughts of their own
minds, objective and subjective, also between these and the thoughts
of irresponsible entities who like to have a finger in the earthly pie.
You wonder why I do not tell you more stories? I will tell you a story
on my next visit.
ONE OF THESE LITTLE ONES
The story I have to tell you is a sad one, but we are writing of war.
It was three days after the Lusitania went down. Leaving the plains
and hills of war-harried France, I had come out across the waters to
serve where service was most needed at the moment.
Drawing near to the scene of the disaster, I met a child-soul who
wandered up and down looking for something which it could not find—a
girl-child of maybe a dozen years, with troubled and bewildered eyes.
“Can I help you?” I asked, taking her by the hand, so that she ceased
her restless moving to and fro and paused with me.
“I have lost my mother,” she said. “Where is my mother?”
“I do not know,” I answered, “but we will look for her.”
It is not always easy for a bewildered soul to find in the astral
world another soul whom it seeks, though it is sometimes very easy for
a calm soul to find another. As on earth, the one we look for with
turmoil in our hearts seems to be held away from us by invisible
Passing along with the child, I met many others equally bewildered.
All were looking for someone or for something.
“Why are we here?” asked the child. “I thought we were going to
“Do you not know that you have been drowned?” I asked.
“Did I really drown when I was in the water?”
“I thought it was a dream, for I have been asleep.”
“Yes, you have been asleep, but the drowning was no dream.”
“Then where am I?”
“You are in the other world.”
“The other world! But I thought the other world was heaven.”
“Heaven is also in the other world.”
“You do not mean that I have gone to the bad place?”
“No, you have not gone to the darkest place,” I said, “and you will
find your way to heaven by and by.”
“But why was I drowned? Why did the ship go down? It was such a
beautiful ship, and we were so happy playing about the decks!”
“You were drowned because Germany is at war with England.”
“But why should they drown me?”
“In an attempt to prove that England does not hold the seas.”
“But what has that to do with me?”
“Nothing, my child. It has nothing to do with you. You are only a
“But who drowned us?”
“The commander of a submarine.”
“Is he a very bad man?”
“I cannot imagine a good man doing it.”
“And why can’t I find my mother? Was she drowned, too?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Then you don’t know everything?”
“No, I don’t know everything.”
“Are you an angel?”
“No, I am not an angel.”
“What are you, then?”
“And were you drowned, also?”
“No, I came to the other world more than three years ago.”
The child began to cry. Did you suppose that children never cried
after death? Dead children often cry. Would you not cry at the thought
of being drowned, if you woke and could not find your mother?
I too could have cried with the child, for I have had children of my
own, and one of them died young.
“Have I been very bad without knowing it, that I should be drowned
like this?” asked the little girl.
“No, I do not think that you have been very bad.”
As we passed across the rough waters we saw the corpse of a woman
floating face upwards in the pale light. The child could see it dimly,
though not so well as I.
Have you ever seen a living child weeping over the soulless corpse of
its mother? If that seemed sad to you, would it not seem sadder to see
the living soul of a child weeping over the corpse of a mother whose
soul was absent? To me it was the most pitiful of all sad sights.
“Come away, little one,” I said, “your mother is not here.”
A little farther on we saw the body of a child also floating face
upwards in the pale light. I knew whose body it was, and so did the
“Why, it isn’t pretty anymore!” she said.
“Come away, little one,” I repeated, “come and look for the mother.”
But she seemed held fast by the floating thing in the water. No, it
was not pretty; but the soul beside me was very beautiful for all its
“What will become of it?” she asked, awestruck.
“I do not know.”
“Do you think they will bury it somewhere?”
“If they find it they will bury it.”
“If we wait to look for them, we may not find the mother.”
We met many women passing to and fro over the water, mothers looking
for their children, wives seeking their husbands, some seeking their
own lost forms, others merely passing to and fro in bewilderment and
“It is very sad to die,” said the child.
“It is not always sad to die,” I answered. “It is sometimes beautiful
“Where is the man who drowned us?”
“Why, do you want to see him?”
“I want him to see me.”
“He will see you his life-long in dreams,” I said, “whether he lives
to be old, or dies tomorrow.”
Coming toward us across the sea was the form of a woman wringing
“Where is my child? Where is my child?” she was saying over and over.
“Mother, I am here!” cried the little girl, and the two forms melted
in a close embrace.
“I have found you! I have found you!” the mother and child repeated
over and over, as they clung together.
I remained near them a little while, for I wanted to help them to free
themselves from the sadness of their fate.
“Will you not come with me?” I asked them, when they could listen.
“But where shall we go?”
“Away from here.”
“I want to go home,” said the child.
“We are homeless now,” the mother answered; “we are in the other
“Then you also know what has happened?” I asked her.
“Oh, yes, I know, I know!”
“Will you not come away with me?” I repeated.
“Are you an angel?” asked the mother, even as the child had asked.
I told her who I was and what I was doing there.
“Is there no help for us?” she asked.
“It is to help you that I have come.”
“But where shall we go?”
“Anywhere, away from here.”
As we stood talking together, another woman came toward us looking for
a lost child; another child—not hers—came toward us looking for a lost
I am willing to tell you that I did not well know what to do with all
these stricken souls. Where could I take them for rest or comfort?
The whole astral region around the earth is full of sadness and crying.
Only the strongest and most resolute souls can get far enough away to
escape the gloom and the horror. And these newly arrived ones have not
the strength; for you must know that in this world we go where our
desires and our thoughts go, and we go with our fears and our griefs.
I led the mother and child to another part of the world, and left them
with others in the care of two ministering older souls who have given
themselves to this sad work. But as one cannot teach a child the
differential calculus, so we cannot take to the lofty regions of peace
those beings in whose hearts there is no peace.
I shall ask the advice of the Teacher as to how much I should tell the
world of the awful conditions around us.
Even the restoration of peace on earth will not immediately purge the
astral world of the sores of war. You think that you suffer—and I know
better than anyone else how much; but you can escape into the material
world, you can walk on the green hills in the sunshine, you can rise
occasionally to the place of spiritual calm above the conflict astral
and material. These millions of grieving ones cannot go back to the
physical, and few of them can yet rise to the spiritual. Their
immediate future is a problem for the greatest of the Masters, a
problem that taxes the wisdom of the Masters of wisdom.
Hold steady, you for whom there is another day of anxiety not far off.
Hold steady; for though you may not realize it, I to whom you look for
strength find also strength in you. That is a mystery which I may or
may not explain by and by. You are a solid platform from which I can
spring, when I need the force of a material base. I shall not over-use
If you are unable to stand the strain, alone as you are now, you may
communicate with my son; but do that only as a last resort. You must
learn to stand alone.
In my other writing the strain on you was far less, the need of your
strength far less. You could not have done then what you are doing now,
nor could I have done then what I am doing now.
Again I say, hold steady.
The wounds, the tortured faces which you see at night, the pitiful
appeals for help which you try to answer, are only typical of what we
see and try to help, nightly, daily and hourly.
I have used the actual substance of your etheric body to build myself
an optical instrument, through which I can see into the sun-lighted
world—your world. You will suffer no injury in the long run for this
loan that you have made me. Have you not pledged yourself to the
service of mankind? Mankind are out here as well as in there, and the
eyes I have built of your substance have enabled me to do service
which otherwise I could not have done.
Count that with your good karma.
THE HEIGHT AND THE DEPTH
Do not lose faith in the future of the world.
Have you not studied the Law of Rhythm? Do you not know that the
height is equal to the depth, and that when things are at their worst
they are getting ready to improve?
Life moves rapidly in these Twentieth Century days. A thousand years
ago it would have taken a decade to accomplish the horrors of the last
ten months. Perhaps the reconstruction will be equally rapid.
Do not lose faith in the future of the world.
There are even Germans who repudiate the sinking of the Lusitania! All
is not well in that Empire, from the standpoint of the Empire.
Be poised, and await the issue.
A CONCLAVE OF MASTERS
Some day the races of men will return to the love which they have now
Some day German and English, Italian and Austrian, French and Turkish,
will all sit together at the banquet table of life and drink to the
health, not to the death, of one another.
And that day is not so far distant as the present hate and slaughter
There is peace after strife, and love after hate, and the sunshine
after the storm.
Love and hate! To know the one you must have seen the other. Surely I
need not tell you this! What did you know of love till you had been
Love and hate are the twin-born children of emotion.
Some day men will look for their enemies within themselves; some day
men will fight the evil in themselves, and then they will not need to
slay their brothers. Some day love will re-establish itself upon the
pedestal of the world, and hate will return to the shades.
I have told you of the evil beings who brought about this war. There
are also loving beings who long to do away with war between brother
To-night in the spaces above the world there is a strange quiet. Is it
the quiet before the storm, or the quiet after the storm? It is all
rhythmic. Be poised and wait, trusting in God.
Some storms clear the air. The present thunder and lightning will
clear the air. Yes, the world has been too sultry, and the atmosphere
had to be broken.
Do not cry out, do not weep, do not laugh. Be quiet, and trust in God.
What do I mean by God? Look deep in your heart and see I AM THAT I AM.
In the childhood of the world men believed in a Power beyond
themselves. Now in the maturity of the world men believe in a Power
within and beyond themselves. That is God, I AM THAT I AM!
Seek the high place of the Spirit and prepare yourself for the service
of the world. The Spirit is crucified on the cross of the world.
Christ clothes himself in matter that he may raise it. Love wears the
garment of hate, that love and hate may become one.
What do I mean? Do you not know that love and hate are One Thing—the
eternal opposites that complete each other?
When hate rests, love comes into its own. When love rested, hate came
into its own. This night do hate and love unite. Find out my meaning
if you can. Look in the glass of visions and find the picture there.
The uniting of love and hate! There is a neutral point where the two
There is a council held this night among those who serve the world—a
conclave of Masters. At what hour, you ask? Go to sleep, and learn the
hour. If you are still enough, you may listen at the keyhole. If you
are not still enough, you will hear nothing.
Do I seem to write strangely to-night? All things are strange to-night,
if by strange you mean unusual.
Be still, and know that God dwells in the hearts of all men, though in
some He lies asleep. For the God in you will sleep until you awake Him.
“This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Love your enemies, even when they smite you; for the God is asleep in
those who smite with hate.
You will never understand your enemy by hating him. You will never
understand the Masters until the love and hate in you unite.
On the declaration of peace your love will flow out again to your
enemy. Can you not anticipate the event, and love your enemy to-night?
The enemy needs love when he shows least of it. Be still, and know
that the world is the footstool of the Spirit.
Hate will not serve you. Hate never serves willingly. Remember the
words of the Man-God, “Forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Go to sleep now, and listen at the keyhole of the Masters’ council
room. You may hear things that you cannot tell the world.
A LESSON IN THE KABALA
Shall I repeat to you what you saw in your vision of last night—the
races of earth as the Sephiroth on the Kabalistic Tree of Life?
You know more of the kabala than I do; but you would never have known
the Kabalistic correspondences of the nations had they not been
pointed out to you by the teacher.
It is true that Germany (Geburah, Mars, Severity, Pachad) has become
so extremely severe and Martian that the welfare of the whole Tree is
threatened, the balance is upset; and it is through the strength of
the United States, shown by a certain Yetziratic Path, and through the
prudence of the United States in relation to another Sephira which
represents the British Empire, that justice may be reestablished
between Britain and Germany.
The Teacher has been instructing me in the Kabala.
And you also see by that vision the part which the United States has
to take in the future of the world—that of Chesed, Mercy. That is the
keynote of the Sixth Race, and Germany thought to establish it—the
Sixth Race—in herself by blood and iron! What folly and
You need not tell the world where the other races were on the Tree of
Life in your vision, save that the three Supernals are not represented
by races on this material plane. That much you may state, on my
authority, lest some German Kabalist should claim for the Teutonic
race the place of Kether. No, the three Supernals are not represented
on the material plane.
Watch and pray that America may be guided aright. So far, she has been
so guided. The great soul of Abraham Lincoln was with President Wilson
during those days of retirement. Did I not tell you that he had
renounced rest that he might watch over the land he died for, when the
day of our own great trial came?
I shall tell you no more than my judgment dictates, day by day.
It is well that you were able to rise to the plane of that vision,
lest you should become too warlike.
Now pray that the hands of the President may be upheld, and that his
soul may be strengthened by the living soul of America’s greatest son,
The future is on the laps of the gods.
THE SECOND COMING
To those who have suffered in this war, either from wounds of the body
or wounds of the soul, it has sometimes seemed that the Christ of the
Christian world has turned His back and gone away, perhaps to some
other star where His teaching could be understood and His law of love
become a real influence in the lives and hearts of men.
But the Christ who died to teach men how to live has not left the
world in this its hour of trial.
He is the same Christ of love and compassion; and whoever attempts to
put in His place a Christ of hate and pitilessness, blasphemes His
sacred name, and will one day pay the awful penalty of that blasphemy.
I have seen face to face the Christ who walked the world in Galilee.
Are you startled, you Christians who hope to see Christ when you die?
Why should I not see Him? Have I not served, in life and in death? Am
I not serving now, to the best of my individual power? Yes, I have
seen the Christ.
Look for Him to come again “in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory,” though He may not walk the earth again in material form.
What need is there for Him to walk the earth now in a mortal body,
when more and more men and women are opening their spiritual sight, so
that they can see Him while still held in their robes of flesh?
I have told you of the Beautiful Being on the battlefields, and now I
want to tell you of the Christ on the Battlefields.
He was never afraid of pain, that son of Light, who showed the way of
pain to the shrinking souls of men. The cross of Christ is a living
thing, and its power will be felt more and more as the tired world
recovers itself after its baptism of blood.
When the half-gods go the gods arrive. When Mars, the half-god, the
war-god, is sent back to his place, the god of love and pity can make
Himself seen in the hearts of men and women.
They are wise who hope for the Christian faith a renaissance of life.
It had grown old and indifferent. Thinking itself saved, it had
forgotten to save the world. Feeling itself secure, it let its
security be surprised by Mars, the war-god.
Many a soul in its last hour of agony has seen the Christ; many a soul
in France, in Belgium, in Poland, and on the war-rocked sea has
recognized the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Many a mother has seen in true vision her dying son held up by the
Christ. Catholic, Protestant, “free-thinker,” they all have called on
the Son of Mary to comfort their sons in the last dread moment and
From the shrieking hell in Belgium I yesterday saw a man, a common
soldier, go straight from death into the high place beyond even astral
turmoil, because in dying he called on the Christ of his mother’s
faith to take him away from strife to the heaven of peace above the
world. Many have gone that way since this trial by fire began, but
more have remained below. Few have faith enough for the great flight.
Whatever religion you work with, let it include the Christ and the
cross of Christ! What other comfort is there for the soul that feels
its pain and feels the awful sum of the world’s pain at this time?
Philosophy is good, I have called myself a philosopher; but love is
the highest reach of philosophy, and Christ is the highest reach of
They talk of a new religion, as if the love of Christ were an old and
worn-out love. The love of Christ is reborn whenever a soul in a flash
of illumination beholds that mystery in his heart.
Worship the Christ in your own heart, for He is there. Worship Him in
the heart of your friend, for He is there. Worship Him in the heart of
your enemy, for He is also there. Then slay if you can, when you know
whom you seek to slay.
A new spirit has entered the hearts of the soldiers. They fight on,
but they have been told in dreams that they fight their brethren.
Murderers on the high seas, pirates under the eagle, they too are your
brothers. “Forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Conquer them,
because you must; but do not forget that they are your brothers.
The Christ who hovers over the battlefields carries no flag. He is the
first of the neutrals, because he loves all, even the pirates under
the eagle and the murderers on the high seas. The Roman soldiers on
Golgotha were not execrated by Him.
When He took upon himself the limitations of the flesh, He understood
limitation by transcending it. We can never understand any limitation
until we transcend it.
Who should know better than He the agony of torn flesh and broken
bones and mangled nerves? Can the wounded soldiers teach Him anything?
Can the betrayed world give Him advice in settling with its Judas?
“That thou doest, do quickly.”
The betrayer of the world has hanged himself already in his excess of
zeal. When his effigy was burned in Rome, do not think that he did not
feel the fire. He felt it. The supreme War Lord has had one moment of
sanity. Yesterday I saw his demon go snarling along the battle line.
He did not snarl when I met him first, now many months ago.
If I could only make you understand that I speak of facts, not fancies!
I have seen what I describe, as clearly as you see the table before
you, or the pencil in your hand. When I say that I have talked with
demons, I mean that I have talked with demons. When I say that I have
seen the Christ, I mean that I have seen the Christ. I am not weaving
romances, nor have I come back from my journey among the stars to
compete with the spinners of tales. I write to reveal what otherwise
would be unrevealed, to show to the world the causes lest the world go
wrong with the effects. I want to help even the race that all other
races, including its ally the Turk, now execrate.
Only the charity of Christ is wide enough to cover this world-betrayal.
And I tell you the betrayers were egged on, inspired and themselves
betrayed by the personal forces of evil, in their supreme effort to
put back the clock of civilization.
But the Christ cast out devils and raised the dead. Can He not cast
out these devils behind the purpose of war? Can He not raise the dead
to the region of peace in the end? Can He not raise you to the level
of His charity?
To-night I shall not prate to you of charity. Instead, we will speak
of east winds and poison gases, and the demons that ride on poison
All hell is again let loose upon the world. It is worse out here than
during the month before the war.
For eleven days I have not been with you. I have had no time for
eleven days to spend even an hour with you.
Were you strong enough to hear what I could tell, you would never
publish it for the world; but I can tell you much which you are strong
enough to hear and which the world is worthy to know.
East winds and poison gases! The very idea seems infernal, for men die
in indescribable agony from the gases borne on those winds from the
German camps over to those camps where rational human beings wage war
by human means. But poison gases are demonic, and demons ride on them.
I have seen them come rolling forward in droves, their eyes aflame
with hate, their mouths horrible with rancor and triumph.
Oh, you safe there as yet in your native land! Could you see behind
the trenches of the enemy, could you see what lurks in the air above
the camps of the enemy, you would even pity the enemy. I may tell you
that many out there are stark raving mad.
When human beings, invoking the powers of hate, send such hell-fumes
to choke and torture their fellow-beings, they have ceased to be quite
I, who see their souls, am sick with horror. It is perhaps well that
you are alone now, for I may tell you things which you can best endure
Were it not for the work which you have to do in future, were it not
for this work and that which is to follow, I should take you out and
away from the world for good, as far as this life is concerned. * * *
But you must endure to the end, as I shall endure to the end; for you
have work to do.
Those who say that all is well in Germany lie in their throats, or
they are hypnotized by the lie that holds Germany to the belief that
she can conquer.
Could hell conquer heaven all souls would be destroyed. Should hate
conquer now the world would be broken asunder.
Hate! You know not the meaning of the word. Hate of England, hate of
America, hate of Italy! The race that inspired this war is poisoned to
the last molecule with hate. Babes imbibe it with their mothers’ milk
and their stomachs turn sour. Children see it in their parents’ eyes,
and shrink away in fear of their own source. No, you know not the
meaning of hate.
On the poison gases born by the east wind there came across to me a
demon with no eyes. Where did he come from? From some subterranean
hell where no light is, and therefore no need for eyes. Could I draw,
I could make you see him; but words were devised to express those
things which are known in the experience of the race, and no one who
has seen such things has used language to describe them. Groping his
way, that astral monster fastened himself upon a human victim, a
prisoner in the hands of the French—one who had spit at his keepers in
the madness of hate.
No, I must not tell you what followed; but the astral soul of the
prisoner went out of his body and remained out.
This attempt to tell the world what I know now is like trying to play
Beethoven on a penny whistle. I feel as a mathematician would feel
should he set himself down to teach addition to small children. I dare
not tell you more than I do, for you could not contain it.
The world is old, and the world deemed itself wise, and the world has
come to this!
There are many earnest souls who desire experience in the astral
world. I have heard one say in your presence that a certain attack was
“only astral.” I listened, and said no word.
Do you know what the astral world is, you who seek knowledge of it?
The astral world is the world of feeling, the world of emotion, the
world of love and hate. The astral world at this time is so thick with
evil passions that one could cut it with a knife. It is often cut with
knives now, with bayonets, and the crowding demons suffer from contact
with the steel. “Only astral!” The astral world above New York, awful
as you know it to be, is nothing to the astral world above those
battlefields. Keep away! You can do no good there. If possible, go up
among the mountains and seek in the pure breath of the pine-trees
healing from the poison of the astral world above New York. Go there
and stay there until the pressure is exhausted. You can do no good
either where you are.
I can write better in the pure air of the pine woods. Get away from
the poison fumes of unneutral New York, for devils ride on the winds
of hate, and you are not to be destroyed by them.
You have work to do in the future.
In one of the upper regions of the astral world—not in the region of
pure mind but near it—I met a man last night who passed to and fro
with his head bowed in thought.
“What troubles you, friend?” I asked, as I stood before him.
He paused in his restless walk and gazed at me.
“Who are you?” he enquired, listlessly.
“I am a Judge,” I answered.
His eyes brightened with interest.
“You must have come at the call of my thought,” he said, “for I have
need of a Judge.”
“On whom do you wish me to pass judgment?” I asked, half smiling at
his strange words.
“I would like you to pass judgment on me.”
“And your offence?”
“My offence—if it is an offence, and on that you shall give your
opinion—is having led a nation to its undoing.”
“With malice aforethought?” I queried.
“With malice, perhaps,” he answered, “but not in the sense of your
question. I never believed they had spirit enough to believe me.”
“You pique my curiosity,” I said. “Who are ‘they?’ and in what did
they believe you?”
“They are the Germans,” he answered, “the Germans whom I despised, and
they believed my theory that man becomes supreme by doing what he
wills to do.”
“And the devil take the hindmost?”
"Yes, and the devil take the hindmost."
He bent on me his somber eyes, and I waited for his words.
“What a folk those Germans are!” he said. “Whatever they do, they do
too thoroughly. One cannot trust them with a great truth.”
“They do seem to have systematized you into the ground,” I answered.
“I wanted to make them gods,” he complained, “and I have made them
“God only can make gods,” I said. “Perhaps you were too ambitious.”
“Humph! Perhaps I was too confiding.”
“Hermeticism is safer,” I suggested. “You told them far too much.”
“Or far too little, maybe.”
“In how many volumes?”
“Go ask the librarians. Not the foreign ones—they bind my works in
packages of salable size.”
“And how can I help you?” I asked.
“While you prosecute and defend yourself?”
“Who else is fit, either to prosecute or defend me?”
“Go on with the prosecution.
“I have corrupted a whole people, and led them to their ruin.”
“Elaborate the charge.”
“I thought to remedy their spinelessness, and following me with
characteristic thoroughness, they have become all spine; they have
neither heart nor bowels.”
“Continue,” I said.
“I preached Beyond Man. They have practised below man.”
“So far,” I interrupted, “you have prosecuted them, not yourself.”
“How can I charge myself without charging them?” he demanded.
“Then I will step down from the bench,” I said, “and talk with you man
“I am glad you didn’t say soul to soul.”
“Oh, man is good enough for me! As I said before, you were too
“Yes, too ambitious for man, too sick of man, too much in love with
what man might become!”
“We have come already to the defence,” I said.
“The smell of the court is still about you,” he growled.
“You asked me to be your judge.”
“Yes, that is true.”
“I am sorry for you,” I said.
He smiled a sad and searching smile.
“You seem to have both heart and bowels,” he observed.
“And you have been too long alone,” I replied. “You have lost your
gift of words. Shall I prosecute, defend and judge you? You can
interrupt me whenever you like.”
“Go on,” he assented.
“You were born under a restless star,” I began. “You followed heroes;
they disappointed you by being men. Then you made self your hero, and
that disappointed you most of all.”
“You seem to know all about me.”
“That is the glory and the shame of your greatness, that one knows all
“I deny it! You do not know all about me.”
“What is it that we do not know?”
“You do not know how I loved man!”
“You spoke of him with contempt.”
“That he might rise to Beyond Man.”
“Oh! And drown the children on the Lusitania, and hack his way through
Belgium, and turn every friend against him, and be the curse of the
He raised an arresting finger.
“You are speaking of the Germans,” he said.
“They are the only ones who have followed your philosophy to its
“And you taunt me with that?”
“I taunt you with nothing. I am stating facts. It was you who taunted
them—to their undoing.”
“I only preached Beyond Man.”
“So far beyond man that man misunderstood you.”
“Is that my fault?”
“Not altogether theirs. You hated too much. You taught them to hate
“I taught them to hate all that was not Beyond Man.”
“But man is not Beyond Man, and so you taught them to hate man.”
“But they themselves are not Beyond Man!”
“They aspire to be. You taught them to aspire to be. They believed
themselves Beyond Man, beyond good and evil. You taught chemistry to
babes and sucklings, and they have blown up the nursery of the world.”
“I wanted only to teach them.”
“You should have begun with the a-b-c.”
“And what do you think is the a-b-c of Beyond Man,” he asked.
“The a is love, the b is humility, the c is truth,” I answered.
“And why did I not teach them love, humility and truth?”
“You knew not love, humility and truth.”
“I knew not love?”
“You knew not love.”
“And I knew not humility?”
“Your arrogance is a by-word.”
“And I knew not truth?”
“You knew but half the truth, and half the truth is not truth, as half
an apple is not an apple.”
“Do you think I taught them falsehood?”
“The supreme falsehood, that they could be Beyond Man. They are not
ready for Beyond Man.”
“But man must be surpassed!”
“Man must surpass himself,” I answered. “You see, there is a
“What should I have taught them?”
“That Beyond Man is the servant of man, not the bully and the tyrant.”
“But they would not have understood.”
“Be not too sure of that. Some few have understood the Son of Man.”
“Whom you repudiated.”
“But he taught men to be slaves!”
“A good servant maketh a good master, and he that is greatest among
you let him be the servant of all.”
“Oh, if you are going to quote Scripture—”
“I quote the Beyond Man.”
“And you believe—”
“I believe that you repudiated the only well-known example of your own
“And you also believe--”
“Yes, I also believe that you went mad because you saw too late that
all your teaching was a lie. I believe that you had not the courage to
repudiate yourself, and so surpass yourself; so surpass yourself and
become yourself Beyond Man.”
“Then you think I knew?”
“I know that you knew. I know that you had a vision of Him, that you
saw where you yourself had failed to understand, and that you would
not acknowledge your own understanding—which came too late.”
“You know too much,” he said.
“You asked me to be your judge,” I retorted.
“But not my executioner.”
“You have been your own executioner, and the executioner of your
“My people!” His tone was scornful.
“Did I not say that you had no love?” I demanded.
“And what do you now bid me do?”
“Go back to the earth, and teach mankind how man can surpass himself.
Go back to the earth, and teach men to follow the carpenter’s Son whom
you taught them to despise. Go back to Germany, and repudiate yourself.”
“And how shall I go back?”
“In another body, of course, a clean and wholesome body, which you are
to keep clean.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know very well what I mean! I have told you that you had no love.
You had only fastidiousness, and arrogance, and the desire for
“You have set me a hard task,” he said.
“Eternity is long,” I replied, “and the new Germany will have need of
your new teaching.”
“Shall I thank you?” he asked.
“There is no need. It is I who thank you for not appealing from my
“Good night,” he said.
“Good night,” I repeated.
And the soul of Friedrich Nietzsche passed on. Was it toward the gate
THE ENTERING WEDGE
After our writing of last night, in which I told you of the tortured
soul who asked my judgment on a course of teaching which had corrupted
a nation, I went back to the battle line in France. (The Germans
cannot sink me with their torpedoes.)
Passing slowly along the German side, I saw again the tall majestic
form, dark-veiled about the head, which I described to you in a
This time I hailed him, without waiting for him to hail me.
“How goes your work?” I asked.
He threw back the veil which covered him, and I saw the dark and
splendid face, marked deep by thought and evil.
“My work goes as it goes,” he answered. “And what have you been doing?”
“Writing to the world this evening,” I replied.
“Have you been writing about peace?”
“Not this time. I have been writing about a conversation I had with a
great and troubled soul.”
“Yes, I know.”
“You know, do you? Were you listening?”
“Through my long-distance telephone.”
“Brilliant invention, the telephone,” I observed. “Did you inspire the
“I? Oh, no! I worked against it.”
“It is not well that man should know too much.”
“But when man makes discoveries, notwithstanding your efforts to
hinder him, you attempt to use those discoveries against him, do you
“You interest me,” I said. “And were you interested by my conversation
with the soul of Friedrich Nietzsche?”
“More interested than you can imagine, until I tell you why.”
“And you will tell me why?”
“There is no reason for my not telling you. I am frank with those who
see through me.”
“Why don’t you teach that to the Germans?”
“Because it would spoil my game. I want to destroy them after I have
used them, and if they should turn frank, they would be so thorough in
their frankness that they would disarm the indignant world.”
“They are frank enough in their brutality,” I said.
“Oh, yes! But that is another matter. Should they be frank in their
repentance, the world would forgive them.”
“But what of Nietzsche?” I questioned.
“Only this, that it was I who inspired him.”
“You did your work thoroughly.”
“I do my work as thoroughly as it can be done.”
“Tell me more,” I urged.
“What a worker was lost in you,” he exclaimed, “when you chose good
for your standard!”
“But I am an excellent worker,” I insisted. “I have even balked some
of your work.”
He laughed, a quick, sharp laugh.
“Don’t think that I care too much for that,” he said. “There is more
than one road for me. If you block the door, I can go in by the window.”
“And how did you go into Nietzsche?”
“Sometimes by one way, sometimes by another. He only locked his door
against man, and you see I also am Beyond Man.”
“I perceived that at our first meeting. He who goes beyond man must
make the choice between good and evil.”
“There is no fooling you,” he said, “and so I no longer try. Yes, it
was I who inspired Nietzsche to preach Beyond Man to the Germans, who
could only choose evil when they believed themselves strong.”
“And what do you get out of it?”
For answer, he asked a question:
“Did you ever play chess?”
“Often, in many lives,” I answered.
“Did you have an interest in the game?”
“A great interest.”
“Did you play for stakes?”
“Then what interested you?”
“Why, the game.”
“Of course,” he said. “That is how I enjoy my game. I play to win, if
I can. When I do not win, I have had the pleasure of the game.”
“And you played with that great man’s soul?”
“As a cat plays with a mouse. I found in him an earnest spirit, with a
sore spot in his head and in his heart. He was an easy one.”
“How did you go about it?”
“By the usual method.”
“And that is?”
“And he did not smell a rat?”
“The rats were perfumed. He is an aesthete.”
“Do you always perfume the rats?”
“It isn’t always necessary. I perfumed yours.”
“Yes,” I said, “with the patchouli of peace. But I have a keen scent.”
“Yes, the Others have taught you too well.”
“Did Nietzsche ever see you as I see you?”
“He saw my distinguished face, and he felt the thrill of my power, and
he envied and desired to be like me. It is great sport when these
earnest mortals are anxious to emulate me!”
“And so you taught him Beyond Man?”
“Yes, and I taught him to despise the One who was really Beyond Man.”
“Then you are not really Beyond Man yourself?”
“My head is. My other members are nearer the earth.”
“Notwithstanding the dignity of your presence?”
“Oh, there is a dignity in the earth and in what belongs to the earth!”
“Did the German philosopher ever know you for what you are?”
“Yes, toward the end, but then it was too late to undo my work.”
“Then also at the end,” I exclaimed, “he saw the two forms of Beyond
Man, you and the Christ!”
“Yes, he saw. The seeing drove him mad.”
“And you have no remorse for your work?”
“Remorse? What is that?”
“Remorse is an emotion which men feel when they are conscious of
having done evil.”
“An emotion that men feel,” he repeated. “But I only feel those
emotions of men which give me pleasure in the feeling.”
“You are really too curious and inquisitive!”
“Granted, my curiosity and inquisitiveness,” I said. “But it interests
me, this labor of a lifetime, to make him an instrument through which
all this could be produced,” and I indicated by a gesture the battle
line beneath us.
His eyes were brilliant with fire as he answered:
“What is the lifetime of a man in comparison to the glory of all this?
One might labor a thousand years and produce nothing in comparison
“It pleases you then, this slaughter?”
“What a trifling question! It gratifies me, glorifies me, exalts me—all
this carnage of battle brought forth by me and my kind.”
“And did you have all this in mind while you were preparing one man to
corrupt a nation by his writings?”
“Yes. He was the one perfect instrument. None other could have served
our purpose so well—ambitious, dissatisfied, aristocratic, arrogant,
unloving in the broader sense, capable of infatuation and hence of
disenchantment, and last but not least, with eyes open to the vision.”
“The vision of you?”
“Yes. He saw me first in dreams, and admired me, and desired to
“And then you spoke to him of Beyond Man?”
“Yes, and I used the old arguments that women were of small account;
that the love of woman stood in man’s way; that woman enslaved man
unless he enslaved her; that Nature was the devil, not the Great
Mother, and so was to be combated as far as possible; that man rose to
Beyond Man by denying all that could influence him, including Nature,
and by asserting whatever gave him freedom, such as his own
superiority to all other beings, his mastery of them, his mastery of
his own thought, his mastery of good and evil, of fact and falsehood.”
“A fine combination of fact and falsehood, that teaching of yours,” I
“Of course,” he answered; “but what would you? Truth alone could never
have produced this.” And he swept with his long arm the line of battle
“And what else did you teach your chosen disciple?” I asked.
“I taught him all that he taught the world. Whenever he drove a
woman’s face from his heart, I scored a point and he thought himself
nearer Beyond Man. Whenever he swelled with pride and superiority, I
scored a point and he felt himself nearer Beyond Man. Whenever he read
Gospels and sneered to himself at the humility of the so-called Son of
Man, I scored two points—one against him and one against your Christ.”
“Thank you,” I said, “for enrolling me with the followers of the
Crucified One. I am such a follower.”
He ignored my last remark and proceeded:
“I encouraged his wish to produce a new ideal of a leader, a new
Christ, an Antichrist, a hard-faced German Christ, who should not win
men by love and compassion, but by cruelty and hardening. Oh, I have
done that work well! Many a German has exalted my ideal to the place
of the Son of Mary. Many a German has put me in place of the Sun-God,
and hailed me as Beyond Man, though he was too cowardly to herald me
frankly as Antichrist. Instead, he added my attributes to Christ and
called us by one name, and by that name he sought to destroy all pity
and compassion, both in himself and in others, sought to destroy all
love that stood in his way of becoming like me. It was I who taught
him to exalt the cross as a symbol of cruelty, of sacrifice to himself,
and not of himself for the love of man.”
He paused, and gazed out toward the stars that shone serenely above us.
“You seem to me,” I said, “to be yourself conscious of the superiority
of Christ to Antichrist.”
Again he ignored my remark, and continued the line of his own thought.
“”What intellectual pleasure it has given me, this transforming of a
Christian nation into monsters of egotism and cruelty to all things
not their own! The foreigner was to be hated, despised, used,
ridiculed, and whenever possible insulted. I taught them that such
were the ways of Beyond Man, that so was man surpassed.”
“But why do you tell all this to me?” I asked. “”Why do you thus lay
your cards upon the table, when you know that I hold a better hand?”
The eyes he turned to me were smouldering lakes of flame.
“Because I envy you,” he said.
“Is that some new and more subtle attack upon me and the principles I
The dark one laughed again, his sharp and mirthless laughter.
“Frankly, no,” he said. “You no longer amuse me as an opponent.”
“That I throw up the game in weariness—that is, for the present.
Already the souls I deluded are weary of me and my teaching. They have
seen a new light—some of them.”
“Perhaps,” I said, “they have seen the light of the Christ, the true
“Perhaps,” he repeated.
“And you have seen it, too?”
“Faugh!” he said. “Are you ambitious to convert the devil?”
Suddenly he turned to me:
“Will you take me for a pupil?”
“Again, no,” I answered. “You will make that request of some good
woman, with a better chance of deceiving her.”
“So you know all the tricks?”
“My teacher has taught me much regarding the ways of your kind.”
“Then I bid you good evening,” he said, and disappeared in the
World for which I write, I am telling you these things that you may be
armored with knowledge. When Satan asks you to convert him, beware
lest he convert you. When Satan points to Beyond Man, even to Christ,
be sure that his Christ is not Antichrist; be sure He is full of
compassion, that His heart bleeds for the woes and weakness of the
world, that His crown of thorns is the mark of His sacrifice for man,
and not merely a becoming ornament. For, as He said:
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love
one to another.”
“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name,
saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many, * * * for there shall
arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs
and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive
the very elect.”
THE NEW BROTHERHOOD
I want to speak of the new race, the coming race. The world is big
with child, and the present generation will look with wonder into the
clear eyes of the infant that shall redeem its parent.
Pin your faith to the standard of the new race, work for it, make the
garments that it shall wear, and be ready for its coming.
Already you are in touch with those who will help in its training, who
will be its teachers and guides. Give yourself also to the Great Work
that is planned for America in the coming days. No, you need not spend
all your time there; but do not remain away too long. Come and go,
that going away you may receive new impressions, and that coming back
you may bring the romance of older lands to entertain and inspire the
But be ever loyal to the new.
In the untrodden wilderness of America there is strength that shall
renew you from time to time. The cities of America will be redeemed by
the wilderness. The cities are too worldly. They have forgotten God.
In the open air, under the open sky, the message may be received by
the awakened soul.
Send the children out to the wilderness to drink from the
uncontaminated springs. The water that flows through lead pipes may
refresh the body; but the water of mountain springs refreshes the
Behind the veil of Nature is the face of the Great Mother, and though
she does not always smile, yet her eyes are full of dreams and
mysteries. Nature is not the devil. The devil is ever at war with
Nature. Nature is Isis, the Mother. Do not listen to the blasphemers.
They have confused the offices of Isis and of Typhon. It is Isis,
Nature, which shall bring forth Horus. Go back to Nature and ask her
for her message. She waits in the silence of the woods, and the voice
of the brook is her whisper; when the wind stirs in the trees it is
the rustling of her garments. The Mother is coming, O children of the
new race! In her arms you shall know refreshing rest, and in her eyes
you shall read the love that knows no selfishness, the bliss of
Too long have you dwelt in cities, forgetting the Mother who bore you.
Too long have you lived without the magnetism of the kind earth in
contact with your naked feet. Too long have you trodden the dead,
stony and unmagnetic streets, that take from you but give nothing. Go
back to the woods and the streams. Read your destiny in the eyes of
the stars themselves—not merely on a printed chart. Jupiter has a
message for you which he will give only face to face, and so has the
gentle Venus and the eager Mars. Go to them for your lessons, in the
quiet of the hill-top alone with the Mother.
Do not set up your temple in the marketplace. Let your cathedral be
the aisles of the forest.
Go to the city when you must, for it is always well to know the
opposite. The cathedral is stiller after the voice of the mart.
Give honor where honor is due, to those who have led the children
forth to learn the mysteries of the primeval life. You grown-ups are
only taller children. Dance in a ring round the mulberry bush or round
the camp-fire. In the smell of burning wood the visions may come, as I
wrote you once before of your wood-fires in Paris. But what is a
wood-fire in a Paris grate compared with a camp-fire in the woods? Yes,
I was there the other night, on the outskirts of the gathering, and I
enjoyed it, too.
My greetings to the Chief!
The salvation of America lies in this wild-wood movement! Movement!
Well may you call it that. It is stirred by the very forces of the
earth herself; it is inspired by the race-spirit; it will go on and on,
in ever-widening circles.
Whoever puts a stone in the way of this work will stumble over it
himself. Whoever brings Satanism into this movement will be devoured
by the demonic forces. There will not be enough left of him to grease
two sticks for the camp-fire.
Rest you in peace. We watch, and with us the souls of all the
thousands and tens of thousands and millions of native Americans, who
cannot go on to their rest until they have passed on the torch of the
Nature mysteries that were their heritage from their remote ancestors.
They must be despised by those who despoiled them; but their
forgiveness shall redeem you, O America of the new race!
Do you not know that many of those who made their escape into the rest
of the “happy hunting ground” are already coming back to incarnation
in the land they loved before? Look at the high cheek-bones of many of
the children, look at the eagle eyes and the straight taut forms.
O America, you did a great wrong once in the pursuit of your destiny!
Yes, you did. Now strive to atone. Let the reincarnated red children
play in the wild woods, teach them the old code of honor and courage,
and they will work hand in hand with the reincarnated souls that came
by way of Europe, hand in hand shall they stand together in the
My salutations to the Chief!
IN THE CRUCIBLE
I am still profoundly interested in the land that gave me birth. There
are dark days ahead for her, and the great soul of Abraham Lincoln is
very near to the helm of State at this moment, when peace and war hang
in the balance and the action of a day may decide the question.
No irreparable injury must overtake this land. It is the great pioneer
of race freedom. As I told you months ago, one of America’s hands
threatens the other, and both threaten the whole body.
May she keep peace so long as she can have peace with honor! But if
the dark day comes, may she face it with squared shoulders; and if her
foes be also those of her own household, it will not be the first
time. A man once prayed to be saved from his friends, declaring that
he could deal with his enemies himself.
The stillness of the Germans in America at this moment is potent with
danger. If the hour comes when drastic action is necessary, they
should be invited to return into the fold of their naturalization, and
those who refuse should be dealt with severely, even to deportation.
There yet remains one country which might receive them for
transportation to that Fatherland they left—in quest of the freedom
which they have now abused and betrayed.
The world is in the crucible, and Satan is in the laboratory with all
his cohorts. Our labor is to stand. It is not always easy to stand
Be calm, and trust in the Motherland that shall yet give birth to the
new race, the synthesis of races.
BLACK MAGIC IN AMERICA
You have seen pretty clearly the methods employed by the evil forces
to balk progress, to destroy the work of centuries, to destroy the
workers for the future, and to frighten away those who seek to
interfere with this maliciousness.
Notice that none of this is constructive work. It is all destructive,
tearing down. Wars of construction have been engineered by angels; but
this is not a war of construction.
Now let me tell you a few of the things against which the new race in
America will have to guard itself. As always where the forces of
progress are strong, the opposition is strong. I have written enough
about the good influences of this new birth; but I want to give a few
warnings, to analyze a few influences which are of a destructive
There is developing in America a great group of people who seek to
gain control of the desire-nature and the will of others, that they
may use them for their own purposes. These people are not all in one
place, they are not organized into one body but into many bodies, and
some of them are working quite independently. But in the astral world,
and in the language of us who work in that world, they are known as a
They teach to those that will pay them, either in money or in service,
certain rules for controlling the mind of self and of others. They
teach the rudiments of astral knowledge to the many, and they teach
more advanced principles to the few. Some of their teachings are true,
some of their teachings are false; but there are few among them who
undertake any real discipline of character with their students. As one
profound teacher has said, for every step in psychic development,
three steps should be taken in the development of character.
I need not name those who are most criminally active in teaching the
formulas of black magic to men and women who are utterly unfit to be
trusted with that knowledge.
The question will naturally arise in the mind of the reader, What is
black magic? I think I have given a similar definition before, but you
may restate it thus:
Black magic is an attempt to gain control over the will or the astral
or the mind of one’s fellows, through means other than the normal
physical or the legitimate mental influence by word or pen; be it
through the use of elementals of nature, artificial elementals, or
one’s own mental or elemental nature.
Black magic may be deliberately used to influence, or black magic may
be deliberately used to injure; and its votaries often employ the
substances of the body of the victim, through which to gain
sympathetic control of his astral and etheric nature.
I want to say to those who think it smart or amusing to fool with
these things: Beware of any man or of any woman who by normal or
abnormal means seeks to get possession of the fluids of your body,
especially the blood and the other vital fluids.
I shall not go into detail here. Those who accept my warning owe me no
thanks; those who disregard my warning do so at their own peril.
It gives me no amusement thus to thrust myself between the evil forces
and their victims. By so doing I draw down upon myself the rage of
those forces that I thwart so far as I can.
Be it so! I am competent to deal with them. And I want here to notify
anyone who thinks to destroy my work, or to destroy those who with
self-abnegation and selfless courage are helping me in the work of
trying to save my country from the forces of hell which are now
ravaging Europe—I want to notify any evil magician who is interested
in this matter, that if he gets in the way of my resolve it will be he
who will suffer and not I.
The ring which I and the Masters draw round our workers can be passed
with evil intent only at the peril of the one who passes.
This is no threat to use evil magic. We do not use evil magic. But we
know how to deflect a malicious current from its chosen victim, so
that it returns with overwhelming force upon its own source.
And I also want to say to those who in their ignorance or wantonness
allow themselves to be used as catspaws to draw the devil’s chestnuts
from the fire, that fire will burn, and that the devil’s hot chestnuts
stick to the fingers.
This is an unpleasant subject. I will now leave it.
Let me talk to those who are ignorant of these matters, and most
people are ignorant—even those who have “studied psychism.”
Many an innocent (or half-innocent) soul has been driven nearly insane
by the pressure of the evil thoughts of others, by the will-driven
thoughts of others.
Let me advise such not further to weaken themselves by fear, but to
strengthen themselves by prayer.
I have said that there is a god and a devil in every one of you. Turn
to the god for protection from the devil. If there were no devil in
you, the devils of others could not harm you. Remember that.
Set your own devil to serve your own god.
If you want to use signs and symbols, meditate on the cross of Christ.
The cross of Christ is profound enough for a lifetime’s meditation.
Do not use evil magic to protect yourself against evil magic. Call on
the god within to send evil back to its source.
Protect yourself before sleep by prayer to your god for protection.
The evil workers can sometimes reach your soul in sleep when they
cannot reach you while awake. The child’s prayer, “Now I lay me down
to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep,” is more potent than a
Childish, you say? Yes, but I am writing now for those who are
children in these things, be they seven or seventy.
Of all countries on earth, America is the most abysmally ignorant of
the dangers of evil magic. Be willing to be children until you acquire
adult knowledge of these subjects.
“I am in no danger, for I understand these things,” is often said with
self-gratulation by these who are in the very grip of the evil forces.
Truly, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
If you want an added protection, my children, guard your own evil
passions and resentful thoughts, your jealous emotions and unkind
criticism of others. The devils ride on waves of anger and resentment.
Beware also of temptations, remembering that young souls are tempted
through their faults, greater souls through their virtues.
Be not deceived into saying there is no evil. Evil is—so long as good
“Beyond good and evil” is a state to which few of you can aspire, and
you have no conception of it. But “beyond good and evil” is a mighty
slogan for the temptation and bewilderment of vain souls.
When you are really beyond good and evil you will not gossip about
your neighbors, nor envy them their charm or possessions, nor try to
use them for your own ends, nor worry lest some evil person shall do
you harm, nor twist your faults till they seem virtues, nor deceive
yourself as to your motives.
Examine yourselves, my children. Look for your faults. If you can find
no fault in yourself, hang your harp on the nearest willow, for your
progress is at an end.
Man progresses through recognizing his faults, through transmuting
them and transcending them. If you are perfect, this world is no place
“Beyond good and evil,” indeed!
Judge not, that ye be not judged. But do not flirt with the devil to
prove that you judge him not.
Yes, all men are your brothers, even bad men. Attend to your own
affairs, and leave the issue with God.
This much to you, dear children of the world, from my vantage place
above your passions.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
That the contents of this book may become the possession of those who
want it, I will now bring it to a close.
One might go on writing forever about the astral incidents of this war,
and not exhaust the subject. What I have been able to give is a mere
sketch, a few incidents, a few suggestions.
These things, however, bear in mind:
That there are angels as well as devils in the neighborhood of the
That those who see the war from above see causes as well as effects,
and from those causes can draw sane conclusions based on a richer fund
of data than that available to the men of earth.
That war, like everything else, has its rhythms. Do not be discouraged
when the pressure of battle bears heavily on the side that you call
yours. If your side went forward too quickly, you would need to look
for a violent reaction, as in the retreat from the outskirts of Paris.
That though evil is a necessity so long as good exists, though evil is
the other pole of the magnet, yet it is the duty of those who desire
to walk the White Road ever to do battle for the right. And this is no
repudiation of the saying of the Christ, “Resist not evil.” A paradox,
you say? Great wisdom is locked in paradoxes, for those who have the
key. The existence of evil gives greater strength to good. This is the
Kali Yuga, as the Hindoos say.
That this war is an attempt of the personal evil forces to destroy
mankind. A former attempt was made in Europe before the so-called Dark
Ages, but the Renaissance followed and restored the balance.
That man has in himself both the Christ principle and the demonic
principle; that will is free, and that man can make his choice between
That new races are born of revolutions and wars. He that hath ears to
hear, let him hear.
That though I may have a wider sight than you, I do not know
everything. I draw conclusions from premises, the same as you do. I
predict the probable effects of causes known to me; but a sudden
irruption of free and erratic will sets up a new cause, and my
calculation has to be made afresh. My predictions are not the result
of divine omniscience. I see further than you, that is all. My logic
may be no better than yours. For instance, when we drove back the
forces of evil during the early months of the war, I forgot the Law of
Rhythm that would enable them to roll forward again when they had
generated another supply of strength. Even devils generate their own
strength. Yes, they too are Units of Force, and must be figured on as
such. I shall not make that mistake again.
My Teacher, who stands beside me at this moment, directs me to say
that even the Masters do not know everything. As my vision is wider
than yours, so their vision is wider than mine; but they cannot always
see what goes on in the farthest stars. They invite you to become like
them; but they know that you are held by rhythmic law, and that for
every two steps you take toward them, you will fall back at least one
step. That you do not fall back two steps is because of your free will,
and because of that greater rhythm which urges mankind to the
flood-tide. Each achievement is a ripple in a larger wave which you
cannot always see.
I have been requested to write further of my Teacher, but my Teacher
wishes to remain in the background. I may tell you this, however, O
world! My teacher still has a physical body and walks the earth as a
man. He works in both the material and the astral worlds, and in
higher worlds beyond them, and the purposes of his life are outside
your comprehension. He is a servant of the Law, and his joy is in
working with the Law. The Black Masters, for there are Black Masters,
work against the Law. I have told you of my conversations with one of
them, and have given you a hint as to his methods.
When you are strong, you need not fear the Black Masters. You may pass
the time of day with them, as I do. They are far more afraid of me
than I am of them. I do not go out of my way if I see one coming. I
find them rather diverting, though I recognize the tragedy of their
lot. They fill a terrible office, which must be filled, and their
sufferings are great. They are the erring brothers of the White
Masters. In the beginning they were trained in the same school; but
the great “moment of choice” came, and the evil ones separated
themselves from their source. The White Masters do not seek to destroy
them, knowing that in the end they will destroy themselves. Why waste
effort in striving to hurry the sunset?
Do not let the Black Masters and their servants mislead you, and avoid
them if you can until you are stronger than they. But when you are
stronger than they, you have nothing to fear from them.
When they cannot affect you directly, they strive to affect you
through those you love. Be at peace. You are not your brother’s
keeper. If your brother delights in the devil, let him have the
pleasure of his preference. Will is free.
Give testimony of the truth that is in you; but do not attempt to
muzzle the hounds that bay the summons to the witches’ Sabbath.
Enter the Holy Temple and shut the door; then invoke the angels. The
baying of the hounds cannot drown the music of the angel voices.
Be still, and know that God is God.
A great day is dawning for America—after a time of trial. The sun will
rise from behind a bank of clouds; but in the freshness of the dawn
much labor will be done for the new race, and for the Brotherhood of
races. All over America movements will be started for the training and
perfecting of mankind. Give them your help, for thus you will be
working with the Law. Thus you will be learning the first lessons in
the school of the White Masters, whose watchword is Service.
Though I am not going far away this time, yet I leave you my blessing,
O world that I have labored and suffered for—far more than you know
during the last hard year.
And I want to thank the world for its great interest in my former
book, “Letters from a Living Dead Man.” Yes, I am living still, and am
far more alive than when I wrote for you before. Little by little I am
growing into an intensity of life which I could not have imagined when
I walked the earth as a man among men.
In these War Letters from the other world I have tried to give you
glimpses of that intenser life which I lead now, after my return from
the journey among the stars. I had thought to tell you of that journey
when I should return again; but the story would not have been so
instructive at the present time as this story of the war in the astral
world. For you are nearer to the astral world than you are to the
stars, and until you learn the a-b-c you cannot read and understand
I am only a humble servant of the Law, a learner in the school of
those who are wiser than I. To get, I must give. To learn, I must
teach. To go forward, I must try to bring you forward with me.
It has seemed to me that what the world needed most at the present
time was a knowledge of the mysteries behind this war. I have been an
unseen soldier in this war, in which I have received many a wound. I
have had my nights of vigil and my days of labor; but they have given
me a strength that I could not otherwise have gained. I am strong
because I have served.
Serve you, and the reward will come in due season!
I am going to rest now for a little while, because I have another
service to perform in the near future.
I shall not go far away.
July 28, 1915