Reincarnation and the Purpose of Life

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Last revised: 4 June 2012



Contents

Reincarnation

Spirit Perspectives on the Individual’s Eternal Nature
Spirit Perspectives on Reincarnation
Spirit Guides May Not Know About Reincarnation
Pondering the Last Lifetime
Remembering Other Lives
Born Again to be Together
Consulting the “Akashic Records”
Great Spirits Seldom Reincarnate All Earthly Events Happen for Our Growth
Some Rush Back; Some Do Not
Planning the Next Lifetime
Rebirth and the Bodily Form
Gender, Gender Change, and Androgyny
The Need to Reincarnate Ends When Humans Reach a High Level of Development
Total Knowledge Only Comes When We are Ready for It

The Purpose of Life

The Divine Plan
We Are All God
In Us is God
The Truth, the Answer to the Mystery of Life
The Truth Shall Set Us Free
The Truth is Revealed Only to the Pure
The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment
Limits on Our Ability to Comprehend
The Best Approach to Life
The Total Journey of a Sentient Being
All is Spiritual Progress, Spiritual Evolution
Human Evolution
God Has Implanted in Our Hearts a Desire to Progress, a Longing for Liberation, or a Yearning for Union with Him
The Total Journey is Virtually Endless
Progress or Evolution is Infinite
Progress is Slow
The Higher We Progress, the More Evolution We See Ahead of Us
Evolution is a Spiral
The Process of Evolution Has Us Develop Self-Awareness, No Matter What
Special Importance of Earth Life
God Will Provide
God Will Protect
Seek God’s Gifts
The More We Grow and Evolve, the Faster Our Lessons and Tests Come and the Greater our Responsibility for the Outcome

The Natural Law

The World is Governed by Natural Laws
Divine Law is Eternally Just
Nothing is Ever Lost
An Example of a Natural Law: The Law of Cause and Effect or Karma
Other Natural Laws
Sin is a Violation of the Natural Law
Everything Done is Seen
Group Karma
Humanity has a Measure of Free Will
We Choose This Life … and This Death
The Soul’s Perfectability
Service is the Way of Progressing
The Law Allows Us to Take Care of Ourselves
The Place of Suffering and Conflict
Healing
Redemption through Love

Final Thoughts

T.E. Lawrence
Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson
Frances Banks
Julia Ames
Mary Bosworth
Donald Macleod


Reincarnation

Spirit Perspectives on the Individual’s Eternal Nature

Let us start with the premise that each person is a continuing entity through all eternity. No beginning and no ending, despite what some moralists say about our life beginning with physical birth as a baby and ending with Judgment Day. Bosh! There has never been a time when we were not and we always will be, even though in constantly changing forms and stages, for we are as much God as God is part of us. This will startle some, but not others. But what an expansive thought!

For if each of us is God, then taken together we are God; and since it takes all of us to make a complete God, we know that another person is as necessary to us and to the common welfare as ourselves. Therefore, it behooves each of us to concern ourselves mightily with others, for they are as necessary to us as our own arms and legs and eyes and ears.

Each of us is as incomplete without the totality of humanity, both living and dead. Don’t forget that this all-for-one-and-one-for-all applies equally to the living and the so-called dead for it is the totality that makes us the whole of the Universal Spirit which we are wont to call God. … We are all part of that Godhead. (Arthur Ford to Ruth Montgomery in WB, 12.)

The Way is eternal. (Frances Banks, TOL, 114.)

We have always been in Life Everlasting, Jeannie, even when we were on earth. Our souls, our true Selves, always have lived from experience to experience. This is only another part of experience. (Frances Banks to new arrival, Jeannie, a twelve-year-old child, in TOL, 94.)

We taught you … of the resurrection of the soul, in opposition to the resurrection of the body. We explained the true theory of the rising of the spirit, not in a far-distant hereafter, but at the moment of bodily dissolution. This was new to you; it is not so now. You have now knowledge of what then seemed unintelligible to your mind. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 167.)

It was said of the Christ that He brought life immortality to light. It is true in a wider sense than the writer meant. The outcome of the Revelation of Christ, which is only now beginning to be seen amongst men, is in its truest sense the abolition of death, the demonstration of immortality. In that great truth—man never dies, cannot die, however he may wish i —in that great truth rests the key to the future. The immortality of man, held not as an article of faith, a clause in a creed, but as a piece of personal knowledge and individual experience, this is the keynote of the religion of the future. In its trail come all the grand truths we teach, all the noblest conceptions of duty, the grandest views of destiny, the truest realisations of life. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 99.)

Spirit Perspectives on Reincarnation

You have risen and ascended through all forms of evolution. (Silver Birch, TSB, 48.)

There is within each one of you a trace of your animal ancestry, which is part of your heredity. (Silver Birch, TSB, 48.)

Everyone of you has lived ten thousand times ten thousand lifetimes in the physical plane. And you will probably live that many more. Those who go around playing the reincarnation game, saying that they know this is going to be their last incarnation and that they have completed their evolution are very foolish. If you thought about it for three minutes, you would know that these people can’t possibly be off the wheel of rebirth – if they were, they would be Bodhisattvas and they’d willingly come back to help all the rest of humanity. (Spirit communicator “Stephen” in PP, 242.)

I’m a newcomer in a land that is never the same to a soul, even though we pass along this way after each earthly incarnation. We are different each time we come through the open door again. We have formed new patterns of thought and new ideas about what to expect and, since thoughts are definitely things, we are the cocreators with God of what we find for ourselves here. (Arthur Ford in WB, 16.)

I begin to feel that my present dilemma [with regard to his awareness of mistakes made in his earth life] is only to be resolved rightly in light of the legacies of my past lives. Reincarnation assures me, in relation to the first two of my difficulties, that I shall meet again those who have been injured by my deeds in a future which will itself contain modifications due to my interference with the pattern, so that in two ways I shall again come to grips with my own evil and be given another chance to wrestle with it. The third result, the inescapable marks of my own deeds I bear in my own body, I am mercifully given time and opportunity here to cleanse and clear. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 89.)

The outcome of [my] searching … is a conviction of the importance of the theory of re-incarnation. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 90.)

Not more than a fractional part [of us] is dipped into matter for purposes of education and of tempering. If you could imagine a wheel with many spokes and each spoke capable of being detached and heated to white heat and hammered on an anvil until it was fit to take its place in the perfect wheel, you can form some idea of reincarnation. There is not any total plunge into matter again, or ever. The Ego always has its vital principle on this side. The hub of the wheel is here, but the spoke is incarnate. (Julia Ames, AD, 189.)

I have no spoke undergoing refurbishing [at the present time]. (Julia Ames, AD, 189.)

As for you, your spoke, now incarnated, has been incarnate before, many times. (Julia Ames, AD, 190.)

We are fashioned, shall I say, spoke by spoke, until we can all be fitted into the perfect round. Sometimes it is given to the spoke to remember. A spoke may be reincarnated again and again. Sometimes it is never again passed through the gateway of birth. But all in the end will come right. (Julia Ames, AD, 189.)

Sometimes the spokes are rejoined to the hub for a season, sometimes there is more than one spoke incarnate at the same time. The problem of existence is infinitely more complex than you or I thought. But this is sure. The personality in its ultimate is one and indivisible. But in process of perfecting, it develops along many lines, takes many shapes, and, while each spoke has its own personality, all these personalities will be co-ordinated with their various memories and experiences into the one great personality of which they are all part. (Julia Ames, AD, 190.)

A soul may return to Earth after having lived there as a human. It may return as many times as it wishes. It all depends on the individual soul and we are all individuals. (Thavis, TIH, 75-6.)

With regard to re-incarnation, it is a large and complicated subject. I can only tell you, in this, as in all things, what I have myself experienced or heard from higher spirits, and believe to be true. And so I think it is incorrect to state that all must come back to a material life on earth. When anyone has entered into any spiritual knowledge during the mortal life, they are never re-incarnated, except by their own special desire.

If they are undeveloped and animal in their earth life, they frequently return there in spirit form, as earth-bound spirits. Often they receive through the teaching of mortals their first desire for a better life. It is not necessary to pass repeatedly through the earth life in order to progress. I will not say no one has ever re-incarnated, but I have never yet met anyone who has. … Personally, I cannot accept re-incarnation. (John Heslop, SABL, 58.)

The Eastern world has long accepted the tenet of rebirth of the soul, but often with misconceptions. The Christianity practised in the west has for years fulminated against the possibility of a serial life, preaching that a further survival in a Paradise (strictly for “believers”), and that, only, after a long sleep of preparation for a Judgement Day, is the lot of all men.

This is … to young souls now struggling through material incarnation, a dismal prospect indeed, for it pays no heed to progress by the soul’s own efforts. Evolution on all planes is the effort of advancement from low to high, from darkness to light. To confine such growth of the soul to a measured earth existence, followed by the spectacle of mass resurrection and judgement and a passage onwards to some vague Eternal life is, to our view, as childish as the out-dated medieval concept of the Godhead as a super man-judge is becoming to your modern civilization.

We who have lived, died, relived, and faced death many hundreds of times in a civilization which has now passed completely from your planet, have, as you, followed many avenues in pursuit of truth, suffered for our beliefs, and often discovered that many discarded doctrines were but veils hiding the true face of reality. For us, slowly, and with infinite pains, release from material desires lifted us from the necessity of return to a cosmos of dense substance. Ever and ever, our species probed deeper and deeper into the Centre “where truth is hid.” Such experiences accounted for cosmic aeons, until purged of the fascinations for adventure, healed of the errors of duality, freed from the glamours of illusion, and lifted into a lasting at-oneness with the Creative Spirit, we were released from the necessity of rebirth, ever to journey inwards and onwards to the Divine Centre. (Spirit teacher known as “Elder Brother” to Helen Greaves, LW, 116-7.)

I think what people on earth do not realize is the vastness of the cosmos. There is room for a complete system of re-incarnation as outlined by our occultist friends. But there is room also for other ways and conceptions. This way of evolution and purging bad karma is often chosen or ordained. But there are other ways and “experience” can be gained abundantly, working in the astral, I can tell you. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 50.)

Many people on the astral plane do not know that reincarnation exists because they are not open to hearing that it does. For those who cross over who are open minded and willing to be taught and trained, these things can be given to them. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 33.)

All Life is lived as a serial. … We go from one experience of living to another experience of living to another experience of living at a different rate [of vibration], i.e., on a higher level of awareness. (Frances Banks, TOL, 121.)

The ‘serial life’ from one plane to another, from one experience to another, from one group to another, from one adventure to another, from partial understanding to deeper comprehension, from apparent separation to inherent unity and on into the bliss of Divine Reality, that seems to me, as far as I have progressed and as clearly as my growing understanding has shown me, to be the ‘glorious truth’ … of the Christian or any other religion which emphasizes the here and the hereafter. (Frances Banks, TOL, 109.)

Our little minds are illumined and comforted with the knowledge that the ‘serial life’ is a wonderfully kind project of Divine Compassion for each of us. As we have tried to achieve in other consciousnesses, other states of Being, so will we be allowed to go on, chapter by chapter, serial by serial, book by book, to grow in wisdom and beauty into that image so gloriously represented, that of the Divine Image. I am filled with hope, with serenity and with tranquil acceptance even in the contemplation of such progress in the far distant scheme of things. (Frances Banks, TOL, 114.)

“And the people of earth?” the Doctor persisted.

“Will return and return after they have made their souls more capable of transmitting this Life Force in order to transmute the density of earth vibration into a higher frequency.”

“And disease and destruction?” I asked.

“Man will die, as he has ever done. As long as he believes that death is the end, disease and destruction will last.”

Suddenly I comprehended his meaning. Mankind is using palliatives, when the cure is within his grasp. Change the angle of belief; do away with the dread and fear of death and teach the eternal One-ness of life. That is redemption, both of man and of the earth. This may take thousands of years. But there are millions of years behind us. Man has taken centuries to lift his inert response thus far; but he is on the upward path. (Frances Banks and an unnamed doctor talk with Pierre Curie on a visit to the Mental Plane in TOL, 55.)

In pre-Christian days, … one life succeeded another with far more rapidity. (Wellesley Tudor-Pole in AL, 73.)

You want to know how it is I now believe in reincarnation, and say that other spirits you find do not? Well, darling, we are still very far from ultimate truth, and people here vary in their opinions and ideas just as they did on earth. We are still learning, Mum; we have only gone a little farther along the road of experience, and have by no means reached the end of the journey. Yes, there is a Heaven, but it is a long way off and has yet to be earned; even our very bodies, which are still fairly material, will have to become more refined before we are fitted for that.

I am told by friends here, that souls are sometimes reborn, reincarnated, in order to gain further experience, learn more life lessons, or work out past sins and failings. Each earth life leaves its mark on character, and its lessons are for ever imprinted on the subconscious mind, which registers everything that has ever happened to the soul from the beginning. This, they say, explains much of the pain and trouble you see on earth. The sufferers are learning lessons Which are necessary for their / souls' growth, for man was put into the world to develop the spiritual. They may have lived before, and neglected to learn them, or they may be new souls going through these experiences in one or other of the stages of their existence; it is all on the road of their evolution.

Families, friends, sections of nations in the revolving cycle of time reincarnate together very often, as they require the same experiences. When you begin to think seriously about the subject and look and study the people about you, you will be able to recognize that some people are old souls and others new.

Past experiences, though not consciously remembered, tone down crudities of character. Old souls have a sympathy, a strength, taught of pain and discipline, and are therefore considerate for others. When one knows many of the exceptionally gifted young men who have passed over in this war, one realizes they may have been old souls who gained their experience in the past and returned to earth for a glorious culmination in this supreme sacrifice. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 15.)

Do you not understand that what you believe you are going to be out here is largely determinative of what you will be. Those who do not believe in rebirth cannot forever escape the rhythm of rebirth; but they hold to their belief until the tide of rhythm sweeps them along with it and forces them into gross matter again. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXII.)

Spirit Guides May Not Know About Reincarnation

The fact of the matter is that there aren’t many spirit guides coming through mediums who are Akashic readers. So, many spirit guides may not know much about reincarnation. Fletcher, for example, is not an Akashic reader. We did a little bit of this kind of reading, but we had to ask for help. (Arthur Ford, PP, 132.)

Re-incarnation of spirits in the future belongs to the question of fore-knowledge or prevision. . . . Only the most advanced Intelligences will be able to discourse on such matters. It is not given to the lower ranks of the Spiritual Hierarchy to know the secret counsels of the Most High. There are still mysteries, we are fain to confess, into which it is not well that man should penetrate. One of such mysteries is the ultimate development and destiny of spirits. Whether in the eternal counsels of the Supreme it may be deemed well that a particular spirit should or should not be again incarnated in a material form is a question that none can answer, for none can know, not even the spirit’s own guides. What is wise and well will be done. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Great Spirits Seldom Reincarnate

Great spirits are sometimes incarnated and re-incarnated, but this is the exception, not the rule. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

Very few spirits can return to earth from those distant spheres, but God has sent me for a special work. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 5.)

No resurrection awaits them: they are forever done with: (1) but the jewel which they once enshrined shines with ever-increasing lustre, and is imperishable and eternal. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 70.)

(1) I.e., these great souls have passed the need to reincarnate any more.

I come from the seventh sphere to work out the will of the Almighty; and, when my work is complete, I shall return to those spheres of bliss from which none return again to earth. (1) (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 22.)

(1) Imperator refers to what he calls the “Spheres of Contemplation,” beyond the “Spheres of Probation.”

The spirit who has fought and won is the nobler one. Purified by trial, it rises to the sphere set apart for the proven souls. Such experience is essential; and for the purpose of gaining it many spirits elect to return to earth, and … gain the special phase of experience which they need. To one it is the cultivation of the affections that is necessary; to another the experience of suffering and sorrow; to another mental culture; to another the curbing and restraining of the impulses of the spirit, evenness of balance. All who return, save those who, like ourselves, are charged with a mission, have an object to gain: and in being associated with us and with you they gain their progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 34.)

Re-incarnation, we have already said, in the sense in which it is popularly understood, is not true. (1) We have said, too, that certain great spirits, for certain high purposes and interests, have returned to earth and lived again amongst men. There are other aspects of the question which, in the exercise of our discretion, we withhold; the time is not yet come for them. Spirits cannot be expected to know all abstruse mysteries, and those who profess to do so give the best proof of their falsity. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

(1) At this time, the way in which reincarnation was viewed was that, at the last trump, all would be resurrected, or rise again in their earthly bodies. Imperator states that this view of reincarnation is not true.

Pondering the Last Lifetime

The history of man on the earth has not been long enough for any of us to have made many appearances during historical times, although the immense ages during which man was climbing from an unconscious level to a conscious state of being must have seen continual rebirths at very short intervals. Suppose a man to have got to his eighth cycle; he will come back to earth for cycle [8] and this life will be modified by all the previous ones…. He will thus have seven re-capitulations to work through before he embarks on the contemporary lifetime and the lifework proper of Lifetime [8]. He will have the combined tendencies of these seven previous lives as an enrichment of his present personality; he will have a strongly reinforced personality, perhaps one with many twisted and difficult problems awaiting the opportunities of a new life for their solution, perhaps a matured and enriched personality if his problems have been attacked with courage in a previous lifetime. Whatever he has made of the challenges of each lifetime will remain to him as strength or weakness in facing the tasks of the present one. It is certain that the challenges he has failed to meet and overcome will present themselves again in Life [8] in a modern form, and if again he fails the pattern will go on unaltered so that they will meet and challenge him again in the succeeding life. What we must take into account is the progressive complication of the life-pattern, its enrichment and added subtlety and above all, the mercy which never allows failure to be final and irrevocable. Karmic debts are only cancelled as we gain the grace and strength to cancel them ourselves, but the opportunity to do so comes to us in this inevitable repetition. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 90.)

Now, how does all this help me with my special problems? It corrects my sense of proportion and puts the events of one lifetime into their place as parts of a sequence in which they have only a long-term significance. What that is, I shall only understand fully when I can see the whole and for this comprehensive vision I am not yet fitted. But it does more for me than that; I am made to know that there will come a time when I shall be given another opportunity to deal with my problems, to pay my debts and I hope, to avoid incurring a further weight of guilt. So to understanding succeeds hope. Then Mitchell [his spirit teacher] tells me that when the sequence of the past unrolls for me there will be much good in it as well as error and failure and that by then I shall be able to balance these things with an equal fortitude, without elation over the one or despair over the other. Already, my thinking over my particular mistakes in the light of the long record of the past and seeing myself standing here as it were midway between that past and a future stretching ahead into the light of other ages, I am conscious of relief, of the peace of acceptance, and of the sloughing off of the intolerable burden of my earthly persona and the legend I fostered and lived by. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 96-7.)

In all these thoughts about rebirth one is reassured by the extraordinary rightness of the provisions it makes for the growth of the essential being. I find it hard not to credit a clearly divine plan of which we here get a glimpse. True, natural processes in their promotion of growth are always a marvel of adaptation of means to ends; as one studies them on earth it is easy to put the cart before the horse and say that the growth and adaptation come about only by the mechanical operation of the stresses and strains provided by the environment, but here we have additional evidence and can see beyond that argument because for us the element of strain in the environment is relaxed and yet the evidence for a planned development is stronger. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 100.)

[Knowledge of this past life] is shown to you by a group of people. There is no term for this group that you would understand fully. Let us say a loving board of directors. They include your guidance and those who have walked with you and worked with you during this incarnation from the other side. In other words, people who were out of the body during your life, walking through the experiences with you, are the only ones who would be allowed to see some of your akashic record. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards in TIND, 12-3.)

In the last life experience I but repeated old struggles. None of it was new. No adventure into matter, into the exterior, is ever entirely fresh or untried. It has all been worked to its end perhaps hundreds of times before, though under different circumstances, perhaps in different worlds … and it will be worked again and / again until we, as souls, learn to ‘carry the Light’ with us, through our personalities. (Frances Banks, TOL, 103-4.)

Remembering Other Lives

When the time comes for us to graduate from this sphere (1) I am told that we may then be able to recall our past lives. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 91.)

(1) I.e., to ascend from the Astral Plane to the Mental Plane.

Destiny ordained that I should depart before you because I could be of more help to you in my spiritual state. I believe that none of you would have received permission to spread the divine teaching. This privilege I credit to my life before last when I strove to investigate the spiritual world but had little opportunity to do so. (1) (Sigwart, BOTR, 38-9.)

(1) Sigwart demonstrates the ability of the resident of the Mental Plane to remember past lives.

Many people who do not believe in reincarnation … would not be capable of understanding what their past lives were if they were being shown. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 11.)

Only as he is crossing over from the astral into the celestial plane would he be able to make use of this knowledge [of all past lives]. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 13.)

The soul within itself will recall past death experiences. These may be in the form of fears about water, fire, cave-ins, or however you may have died. A lot of people’s phobias are often recall of past lives and how they have died. People who will fear cancer or fear disease often died from these in a past life. The memory is still there. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 10.)

Memories of other lives lie piled up in my mind like books still to be read though already purchased and, while I am curious, I am as yet too engrossed in the studies that I still identify as my own. I identify myself to myself as William James still, then, knowing that this is somewhat like a psychological convention that simply makes experience more orderly and, since I am intrigued with the tensions and relationships between orderliness and creativity, I enjoy preserving this particular convention while seeing how far I can creatively push its barriers. (William James, ADJ, 157.)

And now, I go and you come with me to those dim recesses of far-spun web. We will explore Time – come then into those silent depths of velvet darkness where is embedded the events of your Past. Come and study, for your instruction – Come! (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTW, 213.)

As you know, thousands of years before Christ incarnated as Jesus, there were other great Masters of the East, such as the Buddha, (1) who taught basically the same occult truths – the only truths which are Eternal. Well, if a human being happens to have lived several times before – as some do, and you are one and so am I – and to have begun to evolve in the early days of Eastern mysticism, then, to him, coming into a present-day incarnation, Jesus, as we know Him, is instinctively a ‘newcomer.’ He recognizes in Christian ethics the doctrines on which his evolving soul has based its upward struggle long before the birth of Jesus and he is influenced, sub-consciously, more by that ‘Eastern’ (as it would be called on earth) ray of ‘vibrations.’ By an inner instinct, a person born in that line of influence, separates himself from the false in religious teaching, yet, brought up, as you were, for instance, in the belief that if you accepted Christian dogma, you were on a wrong and dangerous path, you were in a perpetual mental struggle between your basic inner knowledge and the things you were taught in your present incarnation. In my case, that didn’t apply – you taught me as a child the Christian ethic ‘Love thy neighbour,’ etc., but no more, and my mind was free of encumbrances. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 128.)

(1) Historically, it would be more correct to say that Buddha incarnating hundreds of years before Christ.

In More Spirit Teachings Imperator acknowledges his identity with Malachi. (Lord Dowding of Stainton Moses’ spirit communicator Imperator in MM, 110.)

To some great souls who have progressed very far the memory of other lives is vouchsafed. Genius is often a memory from other lives. You see this force coming out in children whom you call prodigies, but, again, it is a returning memory. (Colonel Gascoigne quoted by Lord Dowding, MM, 91.)

Q: Were you someone before you were William Shakespeare?

Shakespeare: Oh, many, many, many, many, many, many, someones. … In the lifetime immediately before William Shakespeare, I was an apprentice to an Italian alchemist, who was also noted in history. I learned to read and write in Italian, which was not at all common.

Q: Did you find this preparation helpful in your career as a dramatist?

Shakespeare: Oh, yes. The material in my plays that you would call “occult content” was very much dependent upon a kind of memory I had of having done it before. (William Shakespeare in SR, 50.)

I know you are waiting to hear about my past lives, but I want to stress a simple point people often forget. A person could have a thousand lives as a famous scientist and still arrive on earth as an absolute idiot. All that potential is contained in another dimension, you see.

If the child were so unfortunate as to be born into a family of screwball hippies or to go to a public school where the emphasis in put on “being yourself” instead of developing the mind, all that potential might go undeveloped. The potential can only be summoned by nurturing proper habits of thinking and discipline and by responding effectively to challenges, problems, and role models. For genius to grow, an enlightened, enriched, and disciplined mind and personality must be constructed during childhood.

You could import the most expensive tulip bulbs from Holland, but they will never grow into beautiful tulips unless you plant them in enriched soil at the proper season, cultivate them, and nurture them. The same principle applies to human potential. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 58.)

You are waiting for me to mention something about my past lives. I am not going to mention much, but I can say that I had earlier lives as a scientist and as a sort of philosopher and teacher. Today the term would be “occultist.” During the Atlantean epoch, science was highly developed. Fourth-dimensional principles in physics and engineering were understood to an amazing degree. I participated in those discoveries and applications at that time. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 60.)

Born Again to be Together

You ascended the high mountains to seek me and you found me steeped in silent contenmplation, alone on the holy summit. I awoke as you softly touched my hand. You came to fetch me back to life because you needed me.

This occurred before my last incarnation.

Your desire to be born with me again, to spend a new life with me, was so strong that you succeeded in calling me back before my time. Thus you forged this close connection through the ardency of your wishes and prayers. (Sigwart to his sister, BOTR, 45-6.) We went to Tibet, to that land of high peaks and violet shadows that your Teacher told you of. But it was into past scenes that we delved. We heard the rich resonance of the ancient gong which called us to the inner mysteries; we saw the great heavy shouldered yaks tugging at their loads. We stood at dawn and watched the glow of sun rise over the peaks.

We were, I think, blood-brothers in an earthly sense, in those days, but this was not our first incarnation – I can’t get any further back yet – we were monks in the inner ring., We studied what we called the mysteries, but it is really only the occult knowledge that you have of concentration, the power of thought, and the laws of inevitable consequence.

But we had original and independent minds – you aggressively so – and would not accept all. We set our face against intolerant practices, and should have died for it, but, it seems, the Grand Lama, who was inspired by your Teacher, our Chief, was shown in a vision what was happening in the remote temple where we played our little part, and by the power of his thought, arrested the knife of sacrifice just as it was poised over your heart.

We re-saw this scene and shuddered, even now, but a great sense of Peace came on us both and we found ourselves back in your room sitting on the divan by your sleeping body.

Since then, they tell me, we have chosen to re-incarnate several times – and always together – once in ancient Egypt where we were man and woman, and, once, as you saw in your sleep, in old London. There too we were man and woman – I, restless, adventurous, and a flirt, but always returning to you, who were serene, peaceful and a housewife, yet in secret practicing the occult.

So you see we have been … ‘down the time-track.’ (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 143-4.)

You and I have been through many together (in different connections, relationships, and sexes); that's why we are so particularly in affinity with one another. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 21.)

I promised I would tell you all I had learnt of our previous lives together, yours and mine. It is not very much. My guides showed me a number of pictures in a series of visions illustrating these lives.

There must have been many more than I know anything of, for in the first we were versed in many of the occult mysteries and rites of ancient Egypt. I saw that country thousands of years ago. There were wonderful buildings with huge pillars, and the dazzling sunshine and heat of the East.

We were brother and sister, I was told, and were attached to the court of the Pharaoh, a sort of "lady and gentleman in waiting." We also had a great deal to do with the temple, and the priests, and religious services. It was probably in this connection we were at the court.

I know we spent much time walking in the temple / processions, and I saw you a tall woman, with a good figure and an upright carriage, in a purple robe and overdress trimmed with gold, and a sort of cloak of some skin falling at your back, your forehead bound low down with a broad fillet of gold with hieroglyphics on it.

You wore bracelets of gold and other ornaments in the way of earrings and necklaces. (You looked jolly fine, Mum!) I used to wear on these occasions a sort of tunic trimmed with gold, and sandals laced up to the knee with the same precious metal. I was quite pleased with my appearance, till I discovered that I also wore an enormous wig that stuck out a foot round my head in every direction. It amused me very much. I must have looked a perfect sight! But if that was the fashion at the time, I have no doubt I was very pleased with the effect then. I don't know what happened, or our subsequent history, on that occasion.

In the next scene we were walking along a dusty Eastern road in Palestine. The country on either side looked sun-baked, and rough, and bare, with a few thorny bushes growing here and there. This time you were a young matron about twenty-two, and were carrying your baby. You were wearing a blue robe embroidered round the edge, and a / kind of veil over your head. (You had the face of a Madonna.) You were the wife of a notary, a man known for his goodness and benevolence.

I was about nineteen, a girl too, your bosom friend, and in the scene I describe was walking beside you with my arm round your waist. We were Christians, and it was in the early days of Christianity.

That time I was shown the end of the life story. Some terrible plague, or epidemic, broke out in Jerusalem, and you and I used to go among the sick poor carrying food and medicine. Later, I saw you in a comatose condition at the point of dissolution, while I knelt beside you, stricken too, and praying that death should not divide us. What happened to your husband and the baby I don't know.

The next scene was, I should imagine, somewhere in the Near East (possibly in the Balkans). This time we were both young men, brothers. We wore picturesque garments (rather like a musical comedy), and seemed to be leaders of a band of fighters, and we appeared to enjoy our rough, wild life thoroughly. What happened to us later I don't know. Yes! it does seem as if we had not "advanced" much that time. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 32-4.)

Consulting the “Akashic Records”

Not until you’ve reached a certain point of evolution would you be allowed [to consult the akashic records]. You can request this, but, at the same time, you must be ready to use it constructively or there would be no point in giving this to you. It is only shown to you as you earn it, the same as when you are in the body. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards in TIND, 12.)

No one on the astral plane is allowed to look into another’s akashic record at any time. A person in the body is allowed to review someone’s akashic record only if the person whose records are being looked into has requested this. This protects the entity. If a person asks a psychic a question about his life, he will be given what the psychic is able to tap into through his or her guidance. Psychics are not given anything more than selective information. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards in TIND, 12.)

All Earthly Events Happen for Our Growth

Anything which happens to the soul in the incarnation, even arguments between people, means there is a lesson there for growth. If one chooses to blame all others, rather than looking at himself to see where the growth needs to be made within … is blocking his advancement. … People are just guided to you in order to help mirror and reflect for your own weaknesses so that you have the opportunity to build these into strengths. It has nothing to do with anyone else, it is just your image of yourself. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 8.)

Some Rush Back; Some Do Not

Some individuals return to physical life many times. Others live a life or two of great intensity and then follow through with ideas from this end, watching as the physical seeds of that creativity sprout, but from a distance. (William James, ADJ, 121.)

Some individuals in my position [a student of life, that is] rush back to physical existence and some do not. I myself am more given to action behind the lines, to a study of the behind-the-scenes workings than to center-place on life’s stage. … Some care little for any study of the theme of life, but are engrossed in its plots, leaping from life to life with the greatest agility, taking part in all of history’s dramatic events; enamored of action for action’s sake. Others like myself weary of direct participation in life’s parade, preferring the sidelines, from which we shout encouragement and suggestions, pursue our studies, and try to help behind the scenes by pointing out situations that the paraders themselves might ignore, caught as they are in life’s unremitting glare. (William James, ADJ, 158.)

Omar [the Chaldean] has been in the spirit world some two thousand years. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 33.)

I have lost my boy Lionel. He has gone—I started to say the way of all flesh; but I must revise the figure and say the way of all spirits, sooner or later, and that way is back to the earth. …

“Father,” he said, “my favorite teacher is going to be married to-morrow. … She is in love with the big brother of one of my playfellows. I used to know him when I was a little boy. He let me use his magnet, and taught me kite-flying, and showed me how machinery went. He is an engineer.”

“Oh!” I said. “In this case, of course, you are glad that your favorite teacher is going to marry him.”

Lionel’s eyes were larger than ever as he said:

“I shall be sorry to leave you, Father; but it is a chance I cannot afford to miss.”

“What!”

“It is my opportunity to go back. I’ve been watching for it a long time.” …

Lionel babbled on to me about the life to come, and of what a charming mother Miss –– would be. She had always been good to him.

“Perhaps,” I said, “many of us who return almost immediately, as you hope to do, seek out those who have been good to us in a former life.”

“There is another point,” Lionel said. Miss –– is a friend of my own mother, the one I left a few years ago. It will be so good to have her hold my hand again.”

“Do you think she will recognise you?” I asked.

“Who knows? She believes in rebirth.” …

When next I met the Teacher I told him about Lionel, and asked him if he thought the boy would come out to me now and then, after his life on earth had begun, as an unborn entity in the shelter of his mother’s form.

“Probably not,” he replied. “If he were an adept soul, he might do that; but with a soul of even high development, lacking real adeptship, it would be impossible.” (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXXIV.)

Planning the Next Lifetime

Already I am laying the lines for my next coming, though there is no hurry. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXV.)

Each soul will incarnate in his own time and in his own way in the vehicle which will give him the best opportunity to achieve growth in that incarnation. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 3.)

We discuss [our experiences] with one another (1) and … with those of us who are much further advanced than we are. These learned entities help us to decide if we should return to Earth for another learning experience or if we should follow another learning experience or if we should follow other channels of learning. (Thavis, TIH, 80.)

(1) In the spirit world.

[The individual] is given a review of the last several lifetimes so that, in planning out the next incarnation, he will have more than one incarnation to review. But never would he be given all of them, only what he can mentally handle. It would be such a great shock to some that they would feel totally incapable of incarnating again. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards in TIND, 12.)

At the moment, I am preparing to reincarnate. I’m not going to give you a date or location or any of the particulars of my coming birth because that would be tantamount to running down the street naked. I am hoping to be involved in bringing astrology and astronomy back together again; this is planned for sometime about the end of the century. (Raymond Lodge in SOLR, 79.)

Rebirth and the Bodily Form

There is another aspect of rebirth which I have only just come to understand. We come here after death in a form very like that of earth and [that form] perpetuates the faults and failures of our earth bodies. A cripple, for instance, will come here with a defective body and although the defect will be modified he will remain recognizably the same person, neither beautifully angelic if he has been puny and ugly nor an athlete if he has been an ailing invalid. Bodily conditions matter less and less of course as development of the spirit goes on, but the same essential form is kept throughout because in a subtle way bodily form does condition emotional and spiritual form.

You might think therefore that those who happen to be born in a handsome and virile body have an undue advantage; up to a point this is true although many such are handicapped by the vanity engendered by their lovely appearance and are by no means so good to look at in their astral forms. But the framework of beauty is there and when the faults that mar the being are corrected it shines out again in surpassing loveliness. But whatever form one started with, in the ascent of the planes the appearance, good or bad, is gradually superseded and finally form is lost in light; but this is to speak of the very end of a long journey and on the way the disabilities of a poor form may still have to be borne.

Rebirth provides us all with a fresh start, with a body differently conceived and developed and the connection between what has been made of the previous life and this new form is likely to be a closely causative one. The poor cripple who has courageously surmounted his disability and transmuted it into spiritual strength and beauty may now be clothed with a body of beauty and strength; the handsome man may well find himself inhabiting a poorer form if his spiritual being has been impoverished by vanity and selfishness. In his next embodiment he may have to learn the lessons of weakness and ugliness. But in any case each of us will escape from the prison of our present form and begin a new cycle with … different physical equipment. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 97-9.)

Gender, Gender Change, and Androgyny

But far away beyond the beginnings of this present eternity of matter, when the Sons of God were evolving form, in its ideal conception, they took counsel together and afterwards / decreed that one of the laws which should guide their further work should be, not so much a division of the race into two sexes, as you and earth philosophy have it, but rather that sex should be one of the new elements which should enter into the further evolution of being when being should shortly enter into matter, and so take form. … But as from one element persons came, so sex is unity composed of two species. …..

So far as we can penetrate, the reason for this decision on the part of those High Ones was in order that humanity should know itself the better. It is a great mystery and we do not possess the key to the whole of it even here. But we understand that in the creation of the two elements, male and female, the process was made more simple by which the human race might understand at last the element of Unity, out of which it came and towards which it will once more turn when it has fully entered on the upward way from matter towards spirit.

Two great principles which are included in the Unity of Godhead were made to appear as two separate things in order that those two principles might be studied in detail by those who were not competent to study them as One.

But when the male considers the female he is but getting at a more clear understanding of a part of himself, and so when the female reasons on the male. For as they were not separate in the eternities / of development which went before this present eternity of matter and form, so the two elements shall, become one again in those eternities which shall come after. (Arnel in G. Vale Owen, LBV3, 95-6.)

From the time when, from the Heart of the Ultimate came forth the first fiat of that movement which has resulted in a series of aeons of development, the one keynote of the whole has been a development into, diversity, until there came forth, one after another, into the ocean of being the principles of personality—and individuality and form. The last and most extreme act of diversity was the creation of two aspects, of the faculty of reproduction, which you call sex. That was the outmost point of extension of diversity—in principle and act.

Then came the reflex impulse given to the onward urge of evolution when the two were blended into one again and the first step retraced towards Unity of Being, which is God. (Arnel in G. Vale Owen, LBV3, 97.)

By this experience of the two in unity, the perfected human being, ages hence, in other higher worlds of onward press towards the state of Being consummate, man shall have come to the knowledge how it is possible in loving other and giving to other by denying of self he is loving himself the more and but the more bountifully giving to himself by that same denying of self, and that the more he hate his own life (1) the more he will find it in those bright spheres eternal—you know Who taught it, and He did not speak of a strange thing nor of some principle on trial. You and we, friend, are still learning this very sublime lesson, and far ahead lies our road before we learn it in its fulness. But already He has attained. (Arnel in G. Vale Owen, LBV3, 98.)

(1) We today might say, “the more he is detached from selfish desire.”

Q: Are we male or female [on the other side]?

A: Normally one will have a body which is the same or similar in appearance as that one which he left on the earth plane, but you’re both masculine and feminine by nature and soul and can change at any time you so choose. You do not have to remain one sex or the other. Usually you would choose either a feminine or a masculine body with which to relate to others. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 26-7.)

It is thought here, and I think so too, that a change of sex is probably made at intervals. After all, men and women are the two sides of creation and experience of one sex only would leave a sadly one-sided and impoverished being. We need to know by experience how the other side of creation lives and to add the strengths and skills of woman to man, or man to woman. When the proper time comes the change is made, and this is not merely a matter of theory. Those who can testify to their past lives are witnesses to this change and I have come across several instances of it. … The reversal of sex can sometimes be a powerful agent in altering the pattern of a life and giving a man the chance to break a sinister sequence of events which, without this change, may again prove too strong for him. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 99.)

Leichtman: An enlightened human being must have both the male and female principles of consciousness operative, because everyone must be able to get out and do things – and that’s an expression of the male principle – and everyone must be able to be loving, gentle, and kind – and that’s a manifestation of the female principle. It has nothing to do with the physical “plumbing.”

Stephen: It never did. (Robert Leichtman and “Stephen” in PP, 240.)

Souls do not come in the same relationship to each other every time, and not even as the same sex sometimes. A well-developed soul is one that has functioned in both sexes, and so has gained experience. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 31.)

The Need to Reincarnate Ends When Humans Reach a High Level of Development

Physical birth and death are not for ever. Generation and dissolution as known to you will be transformed, transfigured. Herein dwelleth a mystery that cannot yet be unveiled. The road to its unveiling is the pathway of spotless purity. (1) (“The Messenger” speaking in PD, 50.)

(1) Upon the achievement of liberation at “sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi,” the individual no longer needs to be born into physical matter. Search on “sajaha nirvikalpa Samadhi here.

Man must know total compassion, total understanding, and have the peace within himself. He must learn that he has to rely on no one but the God within him to create his own environment of peace. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 7.)

You have to have a total balance – spiritually, physically, and mentally. You also have to have total control of the emotions.

Many teachers, gurus, priests, nuns and ministers, all living the perfect life, living the word of God, are not balanced because they have forgotten their own emotional and physical needs. Man to leave the earth plane must have … total balance and perfect harmony. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 8.)

You may compare the event of incarnation with an unpleasant journey you must accomplish. At the destination – on earth – you will feel as though shut into a courtyard surrounded by high walls. You can see the sky above you, but you are convinced that it is unattainable. There you stay until you are called back again.

A few of you, however, can surmount the walls by your spiritual development. The confinement will no longer exist for those because they possess the freedom of the spirit. (Sigwart, BOTR, 74.)

The earth is permitted to attract only those souls who, because of their stage of development, are forced to descend into matter again; others it has to repel. Fortunately, I am not being drawn into the magnetic vortex anymore and thus I am able now to rise above it from the moment my real higher existence began. (Sigwart, BOTR, 46.) When one has reached the point where he is, in fact, able to cast off the physical plane and not be bound by it, that is precisely the time when he discovers the real creative potential of the physical plane. He will return to the physical plane not because it is necessary for his further / growth, but because it is part of the work he is doing on the Father’s behalf. His love of God is what brings him back, not his love of physical existence. He doesn’t even think in terms of coming back or not coming back; it’s not an issue for him. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 125-6.)

Total Knowledge Only Comes When We are Ready for It

{After the cross-over] you see things with a clearer, more objective nature, but you are not given total knowledge because you would not understand it or be able to use it, any more than you are given it while you are here on the earth plane. You only are given knowledge as you are ready to receive it. And this is true in the body as well as out. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 11.)

The Purpose of Life

The Divine Plan

The divine plan ... is an overall one, and encompasses everything and everybody. (Silver Birch, LSB, 36.)

The whole purpose is [behind our activities] is to show that every being starts the physical course with a spiritual heritage conferred by the act of birth. The life force is the divine spark, spiritual in nature, which is intended to grow equally with the physical body.

The majority of mankind concerns itself only with physical growth. Some of it is concerned with mental growth and a few are concerned with spiritual growth. The only enduring reality is spirit. If we succeed by a variety of means in making man aware of [the] spiritual nature which is his reality, it transforms the whole of his life. He sees its purpose, is conscious of his origin, becomes aware of his destiny and should live his life in the implications of the knowledge which he has received. That very simply is the plan behind all our activities. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

There is a plan into which we all fit and that will operate with the consent of your free will. (Silver Birch, GSB, 19.)

The divine plan … is an overall one and encompasses everything and everybody. (Silver Birch, LSB, 36.)

There is a serious purpose which underlies the whole of our work. I am only one of many ambassadors, part of a vast plan created in a world beyond yours, directed to help those who are ready to be helped. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

You try to judge eternity by temporal happenings. You see in matter apparent confusion, but you do not realise that a divine thread runs throughout all your lives. There is a divine purpose and plan for all of us. (Silver Birch, LSB, 130.)

The plan of life is very simple. You come from spirit, incarnating into matter to obtain the experiences you need to enable you to come to our world equipped for the tasks and the joys that await you. The equipment is obtained in your world. That is where you learn the lessons that prepare you for the life after school. If you do not learn the lessons, then you are not educated, not ready for what comes next. (Silver Birch, GSB, 29.)

All law is part of the one vast law. All works in harmony because all is part of the divine plan. The lesson of it is that men and women throughout the whole world of matter must seek their salvation by working it out in their daily lives, and abandon all the false theology which teaches that it is possible to cast on to others the results and responsibilities of your own actions. (Silver Birch, SBA, 20.)

The divine plan is perfect and you are part of it. You have to fulfil yourself. Opportunities of self-fulfilment are daily provided for you. (Silver Birch, PSB, 43.)

There is a plan for every child of the Great Spirit. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Every child of the Great Spirit has a part to play in the infinite scheme. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Every experience is part of the pattern of your life. You try to judge eternity by temporal happenings. You see in matter apparent confusion, but you do not realize that a divine thread runs throughout all your lives. (Silver Birch, TSB, 61.)

In the great universe where harmony is the Law, each one of you contributes to the Plan. The events in your lives, sometimes of bitterness and despair, of pain and misery, all pay their part in preparing the soul for the path that is being trodden. (Silver Birch, TSB, 61.)

In the great universe where harmony is the law, each one of you contributes to the plan. (Silver Birch, SBA, 24.)

There is an overruling plan for the whole universe and for all who dwell in it. / This plan unfolds as you begin to realize you are a part of it. It takes time for realization to dawn. There has to be some crisis, some difficulty, perhaps what is called a tragedy which provides the catalyst for the spirit to become aware of itself. Once that happens, a magnetic link with our world is forged, one that can never be severed. (Silver Birch, LSB, 93-4.)

There is a plan for the whole of humanity. It was devised by evolved spiritual beings in my world. The plan is to liberate spiritually, mentally and physically all those in your world who can be reached as they are ready to be helped. It is a plan for nations and for individuals. It will gradually outwork itself and we are not in a hurry.

With an understanding of how the universe is ruled, and with a dismissal of the idea of a partisan God, there does come to the mind a picture of sequence, orderliness, rhythm, harmony and perfect balance. The individual realises that he is part of an infinite scheme, his own life playing its measured part in the divine plan. (Silver Birch, SBA, 108.)

Our numbers are small, relatively speaking. But the power behind us is the mightiest in the universe. None can gainsay it, none can overthrow it, none can prevent it from operation. There are no bodies or organizations that can in any way prevent the power of the spirit from its directed plan of bringing enlightenment to the people of your world. (Silver Birch, LSB, 104.)

As our teaching grows in your world, it will mean the end of all separateness between people. It will mean the end of national barriers. It will mean the end of race distinctions, class distinctions, colour distinctions and all the distinctions between churches and chapels, temples, mosques and synagogues, for gradually all will learn that they have a part of the Great Spirit’s truth and that the part enshrined in the heart of every other religion in no way contradicts that portion which is precious to them.

So, out of the apparent confusion, the divine pattern will take its shape and harmony and peace will come. I tell you these things, so that you can understand part of the great Plan, the part that we who return from the world of spirit play in it, and the part that each one of you must play in it before your earthly course is run. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

There is a pattern in all human life, and it repeats itself. Especially is this the case in the lives of those who have service to render. There are no chances, no coincidences, no miracles. The supreme fact about the whole of life in its infinite variations is that the law runs throughout the vast universe, and nothing and nobody is outside the operation of natural law. (Silver Birch, LSB, 138.)

Have no fear. The plan will fulfil itself. (Silver Birch, LSB, 88.)

What a marvelous Purpose and Plan there is to Life! (Frances Banks, TOL, 67.)

How can we learn to understand, not only people, but more of the great Plan and Pattern for each of us and for humanity? As I am allowed to witness and to assist those souls who gather here for a space, I gain knowledge and a very partial understanding of that Plan and this brings a deep humility, together with a reverence for the wonder and marvel of the Divine Creative Thought. (Frances Banks, TOL, 46.)

For things are planned ahead – make no mistake. If earthlings realized how much of it is planned ahead, they would not struggle so strongly to avert certain catastrophes, as they view them, because why worry so much when it’s all laid out in front of you anyway? Just accept [it] as it comes, remembering always to do the very best that you can to lead productive, helpful lives, and let the future come to you unfeared; for whether it’s part of the divine plan for you or your own mission which you agreed to accomplish when you returned to your physical form, it’s there. So what is fear? Simply lack of faith in the plan. Be relaxed, available, willing to take what comes and do the best that you can. (Arthur Ford in WB, 14.)

In all these thoughts about rebirth one is reassured by the extraordinary rightness of the provisions it makes for the growth of the essential being. I find it hard not to credit a clearly divine plan of which we here get a glimpse. True, natural processes in their promotion of growth are always a marvel of adaptation of means to ends; as one studies them on earth it is easy to put the cart before the horse and say that the growth and adaptation come about only by the mechanical operation of the stresses and strains provided by the environment, but here we have additional evidence and can see beyond that argument because for us the element of strain in the environment is relaxed and yet the evidence for a planned development is stronger. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 100.)

I can now glimpse the Plan of Creation and its functioning. My tiny brain can’t grasp the whole, but I can perceive dimly the panorama and it is so worth while to be in it, part of it, doing one’s job for it. (1) (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 200.)

(1) Cf. The young Jiddu Krishnamurti: “The really important thing is ... the knowledge of God's plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful.” (Krishnamurti, AFM, 17.)

Disintegration in Matter, in ever finer and finer Substance: Unification again in Spirit. (F.W.H. Myers, RTI, n.p.)

There is also what I might call the ladder of consciousness. The rungs of the ladder represent the various lives from the alleged beginning to the final achievement; though it is not for me to say that there is any finality. When I use the term "final" I merely desire to indicate the limits of my vision.

Now the soul or ego is the actual self or surface awareness on each rung of the ladder; the spirit is the light from above. It illumines every rung of the ladder, embraces the whole. The soul, then, is merely the part, the gatherer of experience, the representative of the mystery behind all life. (Frederick W.H. Myers, RTI, n.p.)

Life advances slowly. No great changes come in a moment. Even death is found not to be the wonderful transition that many expect. Growth, always growth, is the law of life every where. We will have mysteries to solve in due time, but they will not be put before us until we can have the knowledge and wisdom that will enable us to master them. (Unnamed spirit control in LHH, 45.)

We see so plainly here the moving Power behind all; we see so clearly that the design is planned to make man the culminating figure in the great scheme of things; (1) and we realize so thoroughly the joy and beauty that accompanies man's progress; that we feel we must give thanks for the wondrous things that pertain to it all. (Unnamed Chinese philosopher in LHH, 64-5.)

(1) “Man” could be said to be “the culminating figure in the great scheme of things” in the sense that humanity is the first level of evolution capable of experiencing a degree of enlightenment. But great kingdoms exist above humanity, such as the angels, for example. If we are speaking of rungs of evolution that experience deeper enlightenments than we do, then humanity is not the culminating figure.

You will hardly be able to fully understand it until you come. In the busy material life the soul usually fails to comprehend the grandeur of the Creator's great plan. You may at times think you have glimpses of this plan, but they are reflections only; the full light never reaches you. It is something to feel that there is a Creator; it is a pleasure to imagine there is a plan; but the full significance awaits your arrival on the spirit plane. (Unnamed Chinese philosopher in LHH, 65.)

Yet, even as indeed we may be the Elder Brethren of your human race, and able to view the present traumas of your planet with detachment, still our duty and our joy is to release to your worlds some ray of that Divine Purpose by which all creation moves to its ascendancy. (Spirit teacher called “Elder Brother” in Helen Greaves, LW, 117.)

The later stages [of life described in G. Vale Owen’s book Life Beyond the Veil] are described by more highly-developed spirits [than Owen’s deceased mother, the communicator on the early stages] in accordance with what they state to be a comprehensive plan for the enlightenment of mankind. (Lord Dowding, MM, 41.)

This is not an accidental universe in any way, shape, or form. There is always a plan, although phrases such as “life plan” or “life mission” are often bandied about by people who don’t stop to think about what these expressions mean. They don’t understand the full implications of this kind of planning. A series of incarnations for anyone on the physical plane is planned out on a scale that doesn’t always relate to the physical personality – if you follow that. … Generally the plan is of such scope that most people would be stunned if they really understood it. (Edgar Cayce, PP, 47.)

The life-force – what you call creative harmony – “spirit” emanating from the source whose nature is always veiled, must express itself in form, created by thought. And, by expressing itself, it ultimately enriches itself by the return to it of enriched form. So, by intricate processes, spirit constantly takes on form. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 42.)

My child, I speak to you to-night to explain the Path. You study the multiplicity of form. Each facet has its own completion, blending into the inevitable Whole, the spear-point of endeavour, which is the form of the positive, piercing negation with golden flame. (The Unknown Teacher in PTS, 42.)

Life is a steep mountain which we have to surmount before we can return to the Great One. (Mike Swain, FMW, 73.)

Here we have risen above the craving for superstitious phenomena, mystery and miracles, which still cloud many minds on earth. We are able to accept the straightforward plan of steady progress, progress according to natural laws controlled and directed by Creative Mind. There is a gradual refinement of mind and matter until states of formlessness become desirable and the soul becomes merged with the unifying Spirit we call God. (Jim McLean in LFM, 115.)

We Are All God

In some way, all aspects of form into which creative energy is constantly converting itself are the source. We are all, in so far as we are in alignment with Him, “God.” We are his personality en masse. People like you and me are very minute specks of Him, but the very advanced people are more “substantial” parts of Him and they administer the laws in a sense, though there seems to be certain automatic inevitability about the law in action. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 44.)

The whole Universe is of God; the Planets revolve from the power of God within them, touched and supported by power without. God is creative, from Him all life springs. Elemental man is a manifestation of God-power through form, which in the lower creation is manifest in a different way, though he can deteriorate to less than they.

All life as projected into human bodies is therefore a "bit of God," and we are in consequence truly His sons and by that fact immortal. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 43.)

I don't only know this, but feel actually conscious of it: if you are a ray of the sun you cannot mistake yourself for a tallow candle. This is why it is untrue and incorrect to teach men they are "miserable sinners" by birth. The body is not the man; his spirit is of God. However ignorant of the fact a man may be, his soul away in its dim consciousness knows this, and often in an emergency the "spark divine" asserts itself, and the man rises to the great occasion. It has been proved many times in this war. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 44.)

In Us is God

The Great Spirit is within you. You have a divine heritage and are entitled to all the bounty of the Great Spirit because of your latent divinity and all obstacles and institutions that stand in the way of that fullness must be swept aside. … That is the task to which we have dedicated ourselves. That is the service we strive to perform. (Silver Birch, TSB, 45.)

You live, indeed, as we live, in a vast ocean of spirit from which all knowledge and wisdom flow into the soul of man. This is that indwelling of the Holy Spirit, of Whom it is said in your sacred records that He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. This is that great truth of which we have before spoken, that ye are gods, in that you have within you a portion of that all-pervading, all-informing Spirit, which is the Manifestation of the Supreme, the indwelling of God. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

All inspiration flows direct from Him Whom you call God; that is to say, from the Great, All-Pervading Spirit, Who is in and through and amongst all. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

Spirit is in itself eternal. We will speak of it first before it reaches your earth. It had a prior existence in the spheres which underlie, surround and control your world. All spirit finds its home in space till it takes upon it a body of flesh. Spirit is developed through various processes up to the time of incarnation. It becomes a microcosm, a representative of that divinity of which it enshrines a spark, and thus it becomes powerful over matter. One of the properties of matter is inertia. It can do nothing. It is governed and animated by spirit, which spirit is individualised when incarnated. (Unnamed Egyptian spirit in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

A great power lies within every human being, but how few recognize it. I myself comprehend only now how much more I could have done on earth. How differently would I have developed had I but listened more to my inner self! I absorbed as much as I could from the outer world and sucked it up like a bee, but too seldom did I draw from my inner being. Much has escaped me by this negligence. (Sigwart, BOTR, 6-7.)

There is one obscure point which I want to make clear, even though I may be accused of "mysticism" by those to whom mysticism means only obscurity.

I have said that the life of man is both subjective and objective, but principally objective; and that the life of "spirits" dwelling in subtle matter is both subjective and objective, but principally subjective.

Yet I have spoken of going alone or with others to heaven, as a place. I want to explain this. You remember the saying, "The kingdom of heaven is within you," that is, subjective. Also, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there will I be in the midst of them."

Now, those places in this subtle realm which I have called the Christian heavens are places where two or three, or two or three thousand, as the case may be, are gathered together in His name, to enjoy the kingdom of heaven within them.

The aggregation of souls is objective—that is, the souls exist in time and space; the heaven which they enjoy is subjective, though they may all see the same thing at the same time, as, for instance, the vision of Him whom they adore as Redeemer.

That is as clear as I can make it. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XLIV.)

The Truth, the Answer to the Mystery of Life

Ed. See also Imperator and his spirit group “On Truth”.

The truth is so much more beautiful than we can grasp on earth. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 46.)

If you can enter even for a brief second this silence, which you call peace, you have touched truth. This you learn to do, and we strive here also to blend, in flashes, with the Ultimate. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 66.)

Your earnest demand for undiluted truth must have its reward. Keep patience – active patience, a paradox, and peace, as always, at the core of the soul. (Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTS, 84.)

Truth must come out of all earnest search for it. (John Heslop, SABL, 126.)

Truth is the keynote in everything. Unfortunately it is being veiled from all sublimity on earth by thick layers of untruth and calumny. (Sigwart, BOTR, 65.)

You say that “erring is human,” but I say to you that whatsoever calls itself “being” and not “God” is subject to deception and is inescapable of comprehending correctly. (Sigwart, BOTR, 53.)

"The mystery of life there as well as here is almost beyond understanding. But the more we study it the clearer and more beautiful it grows. Do not be disheartened if you do not comprehend it in entirety. No one of us has arrived at that point yet. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 125.)

'Can you tell us what life is?'

"We know nothing at all about it, except that it is. Life stands out and away from all argument as an ever-present truth, always manifesting its own truth. What we believe is that life is the gift of God, the one perfect gift among many perfect gifts which we may enjoy without even understanding."

"You are asking questions not even we who are here can answer. Perhaps farther on in our eternal life and activity we may know; but now, creation, infinity, eternity, from everlasting to everlasting: why? by whom? how?—these are questions which have remained without answer for unknown ages. Be content to wonder, to live, to enjoy, to serve. Let the higher knowledge remain to lure you on to higher efficiency and greater wisdom." (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 95.)

The soul, then, is merely the part, the gatherer of experience, the representative of the mystery behind all life. (Frederick W.H. Myers, RTI, n.p.)

The Creator was wise in making mysteries. Nothing stimulates endeavor more than an unsolved problem or an unexplained mystery.

When we are willing to admit that there are no more mysteries, we must acknowledge that we have learned everything there is to know. And what would existence be worth then? To know is a satisfaction; but to know all would be stagnation. We believe that there will always be mysteries ahead of us to lure us on. We cannot conceive of advance without them.

But when we are able to fathom some mysterious depth we experience a sense of achievement that makes one of the joys of our existence. You will never feel a greater thrill than when you learn the answer to the question, "What is life?"

But when will you experience that thrill? Not on this plane; not on immediate planes. Perhaps it is the greatest and final mystery. Perhaps when we solve that we will have reached our ultimate goal! (Prof. William James in LHH, 66-7.)

The Truth Shall Set Us Free

Even as the spirit soars in freedom from the body of death from which it has been emancipated, so does the enfranchised spirit, set free from the trammels of the past, soar aloft in liberty, the liberty of the truth which, Jesus said, alone can make man free. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 83.)

Honesty and fearlessness in the search after truth are the first prerequisites for finding it. Without these no spirit soars. With these none fail of progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 107.)

The Truth is Revealed Only to the Pure

The flesh must be subdued to the spirit before the aspirant can gain truth. The aspirant to true spiritual knowledge must be pure in all things, brave in spirit as well as body, single-minded in the search for truth, and self-contained. Purity, simplicity, singleness of purpose, and love of progress and truth; these conduct the aspirant to the domain of spiritual knowledge. But, for the impure, whose sensual nature dominates the spiritual; the selfish, who would use the knowledge for base ends; for these there is in the pursuit danger deep and real.

Many unstable minds are attracted to the mysterious. They fancy they would like to penetrate the veil from mere curiosity. They are vain, and would fain have power and knowledge which others have not; and so they seek to pry. To such is danger. To the truth-seeker there is none. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

But when people seek, they should find.

Such will find. It is a holy duty to aid such. But it requires discrimination and discernment, and is not to be lightly done. The inner faculties need to be open before such duty is performed. A discerner of spirits who goes warily and with discretion is needed. The seeking soul will find in the end; but man is too impatient, too ready to force on the work of development. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment

Q: What is our ultimate goal after we’ve achieved growth through all of the planes?

A: It is One-ness with God, a time of quiet contemplation with much joy, much happiness; an inner peace at all times. There is no pain, no sorrow; there is only rejoicing. You go as children into this last and final plane. Individual personalities exist in order that you remain yourself, but the Christ light is so strong that you radiate deep joy to one another and all benefit. The innocence, the beauty, the being with the total One-ness allows you a heightened perspective, a heightened joy, a heightened understanding and awareness of the All. Q: Will this last for eternity and will we all get there eventually?

A: Yes, all will get there ultimately (1) and it is eternal. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 21.)

(1) However, this assertion is modified by the information at here.
The process of manifestation results in … fulfillment and Self-realization through experience.

(Spirit communicator known as the Master speaking through medium George Wright in OD, 120.)

I can see so clearly that in the ideal conditions of ‘our heaven’ only a process of purification of what has already been formed on earth takes place. Yet I think we all know of a certainty that the purpose of the universe is that every entity should grow into the perfection of its own type. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 100.)

We know the end [with those who appear for the moment to have relapsed or failed], and it is glorious. There can be no such thing as final failure and this is where we have the advantage of earth. Even a relapse can be only temporary and there is never any occasion for despair. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 110-13.)

What is the [ultimate] end? Here we trespass on a province of eternity; it makes no sense to speak of an end to what is of infinity. (1) (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 101.)

(1) On the subject, see “Enlightenment is Virtually Endless”.

Perfect love all round is the Divine ideal. (Julia Ames, AD, 53.)

If you would but see and understand what is the purpose of life, you would understand how fatal it would be to allow any and every cry for direction and guidance and help to be answered. … For it is not for us to steer you. The object of life is to evoke, to develop the God within. And that is not to be evoked by allowing others to direct you. But you will find the purpose of the Father will not be allowed to be spoiled by the folly of His children, whether on this side or on that. Those spirits that attempt to interfere too much will be confounded. They will err and be found out. Their authority will be destroyed. And so in the end things will come right again. (Julia Ames, AD, 115.)

You are often asked, “What is the meaning of life on earth? What is the use of it?” …

Now the answer is, you are here to gain certain experiences necessary for the training of the spirit and the development of the Divine within you; and your life is determined by the way in which you have used this period of education. To understand the full meaning of life you must regard it as education.

The experiences of life are the result of the lessons God gives you to learn and these are often difficult and painful. (John Heslop, FMABL, 25.)

God places you at birth in the environment which is best for the education of your own soul. No other being could do your own special work for you nor yet could you do it anywhere else than where you are. This is God’s special school for you, and, when your earth training is over, He will ask, “How have you used all the joy and the sorrow, the pain and the suffering, the happiness and the sadness? What have they made of you? Are you careless, hard, cruel and unloving or has this training made you tender, gentle, and full of Divine Love?” (John Heslop, FMABL, 27.)

The prophets of old tried many times to convince people that death does not exist, that it is merely a transition or a re-birth, that man dies only once within himself, and that is the death of the lower self going into God-consciousness. Once you have killed that lower self and manifested the God-awareness or God-light, then you have nothing to fear. The death which all people seem to consider so frightening and fearful is only a transition and means nothing. It is the death of the lower self that we should rejoice over. That is the one death that the Bible speaks of. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 38.)

All people must accomplish that crucifixion of the lower self before they can attain the God-Self and never again incarnate on the earth plane. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 39.)

Only by crucifying the lower self, only by totally destroying that nature of negativity within man can we ever hope to attain the total God-consciousness. Actually, the crucifixion of the lower self should be a joyous, not a “horrible,” process. It is a time of great introspection, of deep learning, of understanding your mistakes, your weaknesses, and avowing to bring out only the purest you can find within yourself, and rising at all times to this highest level. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 40.)

We are made for a grand purpose. In its fulfilment we find perfect happiness, for we become co-workers in the great, divine plan, which includes the infinite, all-creating universes, not only our own. (Gordon Burdick to Grace Rosher in TR, 50.)

The whole purpose of your life and the purpose behind every human experience is the growth and unfoldment of your soul. If you will delve beneath the surface of experience for wisdom and knowledge, you will hasten this process of growth and unfoldment. It is not what is happening to you on the outer planes; it is neither your circumstances, nor the riches which you may or may not possess that matter, but only your inner reaction to those circumstances, your relationship from within of your fellow man and to God. (White Eagle, WE, n.p.)

The purpose of man’s life is that he shall grow towards consciousness of his own God-qualities; and the way to do this is for him continually to rise in thought towards the spheres of light, continually to open himself to the constructive forces and to the creative power of God. Through experience, and in the deep silence of meditation and contemplation, man grows towards God; by meditation on the qualities of the divine Father and Mother he grows in spiritual stature until he becomes at last the perfect son of God. (White Eagle, WE, n.p.)

Now I perceive more clearly, for I am no longer cluttered by illusions, that the great purpose of life in matter is to illumine matter with Spirit. (Frances Banks, TOL, 104.)

Remember that the redemption of humanity implies the return to the Father’s fold of men irrespective of race or religion. (Philemon [Archdeacon Wilberfore] in LFOS, cited in SRE, 54.)

The goal … is to become one with God. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 85.)

The ultimate goal of evolution [is] to express the love and wisdom of God in everyday life. It is not enough just to know this love and wisdom; we should be striving to make them manifest on the physical plane as quickly as possible. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 87.)

The object of all earthly existence is that the human spirit is to be quickened. (Silver Birch, LSB, 8.)

To exercise true harmony of being … is the fundamental purpose of life on earth. (Silver Birch, GSB, 23.)

You are the Great Spirit in miniature. That power can grow, expand, unfold, enlarge, flourish, bloom, as you allow it to do so. You determine its growth, none else can do it for you; that is the purpose of earthly life. Realise that you are the Great Spirit and you realize that the kingdom of heaven is within you. It cannot fail. (Silver Birch, PSB, 39.)

I cannot change human nature. It is very malleable material. It can respond to the highest and pitifully can fall to the lowest. This is the great purpose of earthly incarnation. You have within you all the divine possibilities. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

You share in the divinity that is responsible for all that exists everywhere. You are the Great Spirit in microcosm. All that the Great Spirit has of that infinity you have and you will have eternity in which to unfold it. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

There is the ancestry of the animal and the portion of the Great Spirit constantly at war within your being, and there is yourself, you, with the free will to accomplish your evolution. You have to subdue the long line of animal that is part of your evolution and you have to learn to allow the Great Spirit that is latent to unfold itself. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Omitting those who reincarnate and dealing only with those who incarnate for the first time, they had no individuality, no human consciousness before their physical expression. Human consciousness only begins with earthly expression. It is the body of matter that supplies the vital link which enables the spirit to become aware of itself as individual consciousness. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The soul has the awareness imprinted within it. If that awareness does not dawn, then it will have to reincarnate again. If the awareness does come, then it will begin to fulfill the purpose of its incarnation. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The spirit comes to earth to develop, to grow, to unfold and to prepare itself for its real home, not the transitory abode which earth provides. You will come where you began and continue to live after having left what earth has to offer so that you can play your part in the great universal scheme. (Silver Birch, LSB, 10.)

You have a task to perform. You will imbibe this knowledge and you will use it to help others. You will develop the gifts of the spirit yourself and when you have done so you will become a little lighthouse that sheds the beams of truth to weary souls still in the darkness. When you do that you will fulfill the purpose of your existence. (Silver Birch, GSB, 19.)

As you learn to fulfil yourselves you will obtain as a result a richness, radiance, steadfastness, resolution, awareness and inner peace. You will be in harmony with the laws that the Great Spirit devised, and even with the Great Spirit, a portion of whose divinity is within each one of you. (Silver Birch, LSB, 72.)

Peace will come when you put into practice the facts that appertain to your spiritual origin and destiny. (Silver Birch, LSB, 71.)

“Why was the soul imprisoned in the body at all?” asked one of the sitters.

Just as the seed is put into darkness, there to gain strength before it can burst into life, the seed of human life is put into darkness to obtain the strength of human experience before it can burst into the life of the spirit.

All the experiences of human life are part of the great scheme. Those experiences which you like least of all - the sadness, the bitterness, the tears, the disappointments, the suffering and the pain - these are very valuable for your souls.

But you cannot realize that at the time. It is only when you can look back on the whole, and not judge by the part, that you can get a clear picture of the values of life. Through all your adversities the character is tried. Through tears and sorrow the soul is strengthened.

We look at life not through physical eyes but with the knowledge of spirit life, where the true balance is struck. Those who live wisely are the ones who seek to turn all experiences into advantage to their souls, who do not try to flee from trial and temptation but seek to use the innermost strength to face difficulties, for it is in that spirit that character is evolved and strengthened. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

First comes the desire to know, in humility, in earnestness, in reverence, and with that desire the determination to use that knowledge not only for bringing certainty to yourself, but to be of service to others. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The Great Spirit is within every human being, within every facet of life, for all is the Great Spirit and the Great Spirit is all. Within some beings the Great Spirit only stirs quietly, like the gentle zephyr. In others the Great Spirit is like the mighty raging wind. It is all a question of development. The Great Spirit has stirred within your soul and, touched by sorrow, the Great Spirit within you is striving to express itself still more. That is why you are on your quest. That is why you will continue to search, because your feet are now on the road that leads to spiritual truths. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Your world is full of millions of people who do not know what they are there for, who they are, what it is that they must achieve whilst they are incarnate on earth. You can help them to realize that they are spirits with bodies, that the real individual is the deathless spirit, that the spirit is there to gain the experience to equip it for its larger life in our world. That is the most important thing that you can do. (Silver Birch, LSB, 129.)

Limits on Our Ability to Comprehend

We shall never completely comprehend the spiritual essence as long as we remain connected with our physical bodies, no matter how voluminous the research we carry on. (Sigwart, BOTR, 79.)

Much of what we thought praiseworthy on earth is mediocre to us in the Light of wider knowledge and conversely much for which we blamed ourselves and were blamed by others is viewed here from a wider angle and even becomes merit! That sounds like a contradictory statement, yet it makes sense when viewed from this freer angle. (Frances Banks, TOL, 121.)

The Best Approach to Life

The soul that gains most is the soul that keeps ever before it the work that has been allotted to it, which has laboured zealously for its own improvement and the benefit of its fellows, which has loved and served God, and has followed the guidance of its guardians. This is the soul which has least to unlearn, and which progresses rapidly. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 33.)

All vanity and selfishness in every form, all sluggishness and indolence, all self-indulgence mars progress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 33.)

Just let yourself bask in the golden light of eternal serenity and go forth with love to meet your brothers in the universe. (Mike Swain, FMW, 70.)

Life is always like that, I have learned, the rope of one’s character has to be tested at its weakest part. (Frances Banks, TOL, 43.)

Life is threefold: of meditation and prayer; of worship and adoration; and of conflict with the threefold enemy. The meditation is necessary to self-knowledge. It is an element of steady growth. With it goes prayer, the communion of the prisoned soul with the Father of spirits, and with us His ministers.

Worship and adoration, in any of the countless phases that the soul seeks out for itself, whether in silent solitude beneath the heavens that speak to him of his God, or in communion with Nature, the external and material manifestation of Deity, or in the solemn service of song within some stately temple which man has separated for God: or in the upward aspiration of the heart unuttered and unheard of man—in any or all of these ways the instinct of adoration divinely implanted may find its vent. These are the necessary helps for the sustained conflict. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 186.)

The Total Journey of a Sentient Being

From the time when, from the Heart of the Ultimate came forth the first fiat of that movement which has resulted in a series of aeons of development, the one keynote of the whole has been a development into, diversity, until there came forth, one after another, into the ocean of being the principles of personality—and individuality and form. The last and most extreme act of diversity was the creation of two aspects, of the faculty of reproduction, which you call sex. That was the outmost point of extension of diversity—in principle and act.

Then came the reflex impulse given to the onward urge of evolution when the two were blended into one again and the first step retraced towards Unity of Being, which is God. (Arnel in G. Vale Owen, LBV3, 97.)

These myriad thoughts, or spirits, begotten by the Mighty Idea, differ from one another; many of them, nearly all, before they control and manifest themselves in matter, are crude, innocent and incomplete embryos. They must gather to themselves numberless experiences, manifest and express themselves in uncountable forms before they attain to completion, before they may know perfect wisdom, true reality. Once these are acquired, they may take on divine attributes and pass out Yonder, entering within the Supreme Idea and becoming part of the Whole. (F.W.H. Myers, RTI, n.p.)

I begin now to get a wider notion of the whole process of development by which men move towards their own fulfillment. It is a vast and slow-moving progress and for a long while I could see only a small part of it. The expansion of outlook as the actual ‘scheme of salvation’ unfolds itself is gradual and inevitable. First comes the knowledge that life is indeed indestructible, then the stern experience that each soul goes inevitably to its own place, and, lastly, the realization that no man is damned however he may be warped by evil but that by effort and suffering he can free himself from it and develop to the highest level of which he is capable. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 60.)

Pondering deeply on all this, seeing in my mind’s eye the long pageant of a man’s progress, watching him as he raises himself out of the mire of earth and losing sight of him as he transcends sphere after sphere and is finally lost to sight in the formless splendour of eternity the paradox of that periodic descent into matter and time of a spiritual and timeless entity is forced on the understanding. Here we reach a mystery – the return of the timeless into the stream of time, of the immaterial into the prison of matter. There is only one way of thinking of it; the mystery of this descent into matter and time is only revealed in the living of it. (1) (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 96.)

(1) Indeed there is an answer to this mystery, provided by the illumined saints and sages of all eras. See The Purpose of Life is Enlightenment .

We in this beautiful realm of light are all working for our spiritual advancement. It is not restricted to those who live in the dark regions. The people who inhabit the magnificent spheres above this wherein I dwell, are all moving forward and upward in their triumphant progressional march. It never ceases and spiritual progress is the birthright of every single soul. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 19.)

What we have to do is not to give you what I may call a revolutionary revelation, so much as to widen the chinks through which the same light may stream through a little more clearly. The fullness of the glory of that light we cannot describe. We who dwell in it are discovering more and more of the imperfection of our vision. And so it will ever be. Progress, eternal progress, ever forgetting the things that are behind, ever reaching forward to those which are before it, is the universal law. (Julia Ames, AD, 95.)

I see a great deal more of the pattern than I did. I see the position of the earth-life in the spiral. Lorna – who is a remarkable person! – was right when she spoke of a spiral – a circle, yet in a spiral form. I can perceive it vaguely – timeless and limitless. But bit’s better not to try to visualize it. We’re infinitesimal parts and a part can’t see the whole – not ever – you said that! (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 217-8.)

[The soul] is refined until the dross is gone, and the pure spiritual gold remains. We know not of its life in the inner heaven. We only know that it grows liker and liker to God, nearer and nearer to His image. It may well be, good friend, that the noblest destiny of the perfected spirit may be union with the God into whose likeness it has grown, and whose portion of divinity, temporarily segregated during its pilgrimage, / it so renders up to Him who gave it. These to us, as to you, are but speculations. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156-7.)

S. M.: You do not know what becomes of it then? Does it lose identity?

We do not know. It would naturally lose much of that individuality which you associate with independent existence. It would lose the form which you associate with personality. And the spirit would be proportionately developed, until it was fitted to approach to the very Centre of Light and Knowledge. Then, indeed, it might be that individual existence would be for ever merged in that great Centre of Light . . . . We only know that ceaseless progress nearer and nearer to Him, may well assimilate the soaring spirit more and more to His nature, until it becomes verily and indeed a son of God, pure as He is pure, stainless as His own immaculate nature, yea, perfect with some measure of His infinite perfection. This is our vision of glory; assimilation to the Divine; growth in knowledge and in grace; approach nearer and yet nearer to the Essence of created Light. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

S. M. feels that if the final cause of life is absorption into the Source of Life, it seems we toil in vain.

Life! What know you of it? Its very meaning is narrowed down in your mind to that miserable shred of existence which is all you know as yet. What know you of the future glories of being, which even in the surrounding spheres make being a blessing?

What can you picture of the existence of the higher realms where the emancipated spirit lives in union and communion with the godlike and sublime? How can you hope to picture the still grander life of contemplation, the very conditions of which are the reverse of all you now experience; where the avenues of true knowledge are indefinitely enlarged, and where self and all that cramps and binds is for ever lost: and where that which you now call individuality, personal identity, or some such synonym of self-hood, is gone for ever?

And if, when the countless ages which no finite mind can grasp are at last exhausted; when the fount of lower knowledge has been emptied of its contents, and the spirit has done with the things of sense, and has been perfected through labour and suffering, and been made fit to enter on its heritage of glory, and to dwell with the God of Light in the heaven of the perfected; if that loss of self-hood to you seem now annihilation, loss of individual existence, or absorption into the eternal Sun of Truth, what is that to you? Lower your eyes lest you be blinded.

Trust us, the knowledge gained by the journey of life, throughout its vast extent, will amply compensate for the toil of having existed. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

All is Spiritual Progress, Spiritual Evolution

That is the secret of it all—the upward climb, no matter how slow. Believe in that, and your faith will be sure. It does not need unlimited study and research in order to comprehend principles. (Unnamed spirit communicator to Charlotte Dresser, SWSL, 117.)

Growth, always growth, is the law of life every where. (Unnamed spirit control in LHH, 45.)

You do not go from indifferent manhood to perfect godliness! It is not like that; it is all progress and evolution. (W.T. Stead, BI, 48.)

As I learned so I progressed. Capacity for wisdom grew with the wisdom acquired. (W.T. Stead, BI, 114.)

Life [is] a matter of progressing consciousness. (Frances Banks, TOL, 38.)

All is progress. Nothing is static. Imagination passes and grows from the emotional (1) to the mental (2) to the spiritual levels. (3) (Frances Banks, TOL, 117-8.)

(1) The Astral Plane.
(2) The Mental Plane.
(3) Probably, the Causal Subplanes of the Mental Plane and higher.

Mankind must progress. It learns slowly and such slow progress with many mistakes brings pain. … As we learn to purify our vibrations [here], to enlighten our “bodies” and this refine them into the actuality of receiving more Light from the Divine Mind, so we progress onwards. Doors open to us which were closed before; perception grows clearer and keener and we are / able to comprehend more fully the true meaning and purpose for which the Life Force has descended into the slowest and most inert vibration. (Pierre Curie in TOL, 54-5.)

All is order, advancement, progress. And all is unity. Life cells within Life cells, centres within centres, Groups within Groups, into the very Heart of Divinity. (Frances Banks, TOL, 118.)

We in this beautiful realm of light are all working for our spiritual advancement. It is not restricted to those who live in the dark regions. The people who inhabit the magnificent spheres above this wherein I dwell are all moving forward and upward in their triumphant progressional march. It never ceases and spiritual progress is the birthright of every single soul. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 19.)

As you advance beyond [one plane], you leave it behind. As the spirit qualifies itself, by growth, progress and evolution, so it naturally passes to the next stage of spirit life. (Silver Birch, SBA, 57.)

Life is unending and progressive. The soul never stands still; it must improve or retrogress. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

The law of Progress [is] invariable. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 46.)

Happiness is found in progress and in gradual assimilation to the Godlike and the perfect. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

Life, the totality of your being, is progressive throughout; and its early stages are but preparatory to its later development. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 138.)

Such is the life with us ever learning, teaching others and progressing onwards and upwards. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

You know well that the whole existence is steadily progressive or retrogressive. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

So now you see that consciousness is on an upward spiral and progresses onward. (Frances Banks, TOL, 40.)

The ‘subjective’ of the earth plane mind has become the ‘objective’ in this new state of Being. This, I begin to comprehend, is the law of progress. By it we advance onwards into realms of incredible beauty and wonder. (Frances Banks, TOL, 60.)

We know that our stay on any one plane is temporary and, however our estimate of time may compare with the earth calendar, this notion of progress from plane to plane as development justifies it is common knowledge here. … Among thoughtful people at the university [here] much study is given to the progress of the human spirit, its ascent of the planes, and its probable return to earth when purification is complete. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 122.)

My task is man – his evolution. To this million-age duty I devote my power. For this I seek, through the efforts of my helpers near the earth-planes, my instruments. They must be much tempered and much tested. A focus even in dense matter I must have: it is no easy role. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 42.)

Advancement always means forsaking the old, which explains why your normal equilibrium has now become the deck of the listing Titanic. As you begin to doubt yourself, you doubt the world around you. You will be quite in your rights if you even doubt my sanity when I encourage you to press on, regardless!

But as you begin to regain control of your equilibrium, you will realize that you are making vital progress; and as you have to go through with it now, good brother, why not decide to enjoy it? (Mike Swain, FMW, 85.)

We live the life, but do not solve its mystery. There is a Power beyond, a great, kind Power. Of this we are sure, more sure than ever in mortal life. We know that for us to be true, pure, unselfish, loving and helpful leads us toward that Power. I am speaking now of what we on this lower plane perceive. Do not think for an instant that knowledge is limited to this lower plane. Life and knowledge are progressive. We cannot begin here above what we had prepared ourselves for in our mortal lives. But the blessed law of progress is ours, always stimulating to new endeavor and new happiness. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 95-6.)

The nearer to the Godhead, the nearer the approach to His qualities and capacities. (Philemon [Archdeacon Wilberforce], LFOS, 5.)

Take the blessings, yes, even the trials that come, knowing that all are in the way of education and progress. Can you not see already some of the beneficent effects of trial, disappointment and loss?"

'The wicked ones have trials and sorrows also, but it seems to do them no good?'

"Perhaps not as you see it. But sinners have to go through the fires of criminality, sin and sorrow sometimes before purification or advancement comes. Cause and effect. Cause and effect. That is progress — or that is the way to progress. No effort is lost." (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 125.)

We are individuals, but we belong in a great scheme of higher consciousness toward which we are all tending. That is the real joy of this life: that it is evolutionary onward and upward to infinite results of which we yet have no complete conception.; only dimly perceiving—the ultimate joy, wisdom, and affection. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser in SWSL, 160.)

"Please try to think back to the beginning of life, from the earliest form of life up to man. Has not the progress always been upward? Then try to believe that the same upward trend, the same possibility for developing fine and still finer personalities still exists. Upward, ever upward, is the line of evolution."

'Where will it end?'

"We do not know the end. Infinity is still hidden from us. We are not developed enough to even conceive what lies before us. (Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 146-7.)

[Man] is the recipient of guidance from spirits who have trod the path before him, and who are commissioned to guide him if he will avail himself of their guidance. He has within him a standard of right which will direct him to the truth, if he will allow himself to be guided to keep it and protect it from injury.

If he refuses these helps, he falls into transgression and deterioration. He is thrown back and finds misery in place of joy. His sins punish themselves. Of his duties he knows by the instinct of his spirit as well as by the teaching of his guardians. The performance of those duties brings progress and happiness. The spirit grows and gains newer and fuller views of that which makes for perfect, satisfying joy and peace. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

What you have now in terms of the human species and intellect is the end stage of millions of years of evolution. It is the latest product – not the finished product, but the latest one. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 82.)

Our ‘inner eyes’ are opened gradually or swiftly to the errors of our old patterns of thinking and acting. We are allowed to progress into such experiences as will help us to put right these errors. In some, this means remaining in one state until the effects of the disasters of their actions in earth lives have been resolved and love and harmony have healed the hurts. For others, this means joining a Group where the omissions in their thinking and feeling can be remedied. Yet still for others there is service to their fellows, whilst to those happy few advanced souls there is swift progress to other and higher spheres. (Frances Banks, TOL, 108.)

All is expansion here, but expansion in stages. This Law is exact. (Frances Banks, TOL, 135.)

We, as you do, take His hand and do not fear; and the music of the Spheres is around us as we go on from glory to the glory beyond. Come this way ever, our brother in Him. Never faint nor weary of the road, for the mists are thinning as you proceed, and the light strengthens into the further light which issues onward into the unknown, but never feared, so we tread gently and humbly, as little children do, amid the glories of the planets and the heavens of suns and spheres, and of the Love of God. (Astriel in G. Vale Owens, LBV1, 221.)

No fabled dreamy heaven of eternal inactivity awaits you, but a sphere of progressive usefulness and growth to higher perfection. Immutable laws govern the results of deeds. Deeds of good advance the spirit, whilst deeds of evil degrade and retard it. Happiness is found in progress and in gradual assimilation to the Godlike and the perfect. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 65-6.)

We say progress, because man is apt to lose sight of this enduring fact, that in progress man’s spirit finds its truest happiness. Content is, in the pure soul, only retrospective. It cannot rest in that which is past; at best it views the achievements of the bygone days only as incentives to further progress. Its attitude to the past is one of content, to the future, of hope and expectation of further development. That soul which shall slumber in satisfaction, and fancy that it has achieved its goal, is deluded, and in peril of retrogression. The true attitude of the spirit is one of striving earnestly in the hope of reaching a higher position than that which it has attained. In perpetually progressing it finds its truest happiness. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 113.)

Human Evolution

Man did not evolve from an ape as your scientists would have you believe. Nor was the advent of man on earth an accidental happening.

Greatly evolved souls descended from the Spheres of Light to people the earth. (Unnamed Master of the Brotherhood of Light in LFM, 124.)

God Has Implanted in Our Hearts a Desire to Progress, a Longing for Liberation, or a Yearning for Union with Him

The urge to go on is very great. (Arthur, Lord Sandys, in AL, 42.)

I have an intense desire to advance further. (1) This desire is more effective here than when I was in a physical body because one is more receptive. (Sigwart, BOTR, 8.)

(1) This intense and unceasing desire is known among enlightened saints and sages as “the longing for liberation.”: Here is Shankara on the subject: “[The] longing for liberation is the will to be free from the fetters forged by ignorance -- beginning with the ego-sense and so on, down to the physical body itself -- through the realization of one's true nature.” (CJD, 36.) Pseudo-Dionysius also knew it: “All things long for [God]. The intelligent and rational long for it by way of the stirrings of being alive and in whatever fashion befits their condition.” (CWPD, 54.) Here’s how Adyashanti described it: “The impulse to be free is an evolutionary spark within consciousness which originates beyond the ego. It is an impulse toward the divine, unity, and wholeness. It is an impulse originating from the Truth itself.” (IA, 3.)

My will to know is becoming greater every day and daily I am gaining more. (Sigwart, BOTR, 15.)

God, who has sent you out, has laid the thought of eternity in your hearts (1) through His incomprehensible might. (Sigwart, BOTR, 50.)

(1) I.e., has implanted the longing for liberation in your hearts.

I often had the feeling of a holy overshadowing in the last years of this incarnation. I had felt an indefinite presentiment of something divine flowing through me and immersed myself fully in it.

In those moments I longed for redemption, for freedom, (1) for I divined how beautiful these might be, and I knew I had few passions left to overcome. (Sigwart, BOTR, 39.)

(1) I.e., I felt the longing for liberation.

Every really lofty thought arising from the Godhead lifts the human being out of the bodily sheath and gives him the power and desire to become free. (1) The human soul is thus raised and lifted upward by the threads of its own thoughts. Therefore, thoughts are [important], not deeds. Thoughts play the greater part; one can achieve everything with them, whereas deeds are limited. Remember this and you will advance yourselves in easier stages. (Sigwart, BOTR, 45.)

(1) I.e., the longing for liberation.

I am still left with my inquisitiveness, my desire to know, my thirsting for knowledge, and my thirsting for new experiences. (A.D. Mattson, WOB, 51.)

The one thing that seems to us positive is the evolution of humanity. Upward, always upward. Why it started so low down in the earth, we do not comprehend. But the forward look is fair and enticing beyond expression. This is what makes our life here so fascinating. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 82.)

The Light of the Spirit opens our vision (1) and we seek the Way to Higher Worlds of even more glorious beauty. (Frances Banks, TOL, 85.)

(1) We would call this enlightenment.

The desire of every earnest spirit is to rise gradually to higher and ever higher spheres. (Therold, FMABL, 97-8.)

The spirit of divine love animates the acts and in mutual blessing the spirits find their happiness. For them there is no craving for sluggish idleness; no cessation of desire for progressive advancement in knowledge. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

More progress! More knowledge! More love! till the dross is purged away, and the soul soars higher and yet higher towards the Supreme. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 34.)

The Total Journey is Virtually Endless

There is an infinite number of / planes, levels or spheres of consciousness. (Silver Birch, LSB, 47-8.)

The ladder of Jacob was not a figment of the imagination, but the symbol of an eternal reality, for up that ladder every soul can climb, rung by rung. From earth to heaven it ranges, supported always by the power of the Great Spirit. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

All the beings who inhabit your planet are engaged on an eternal pilgrimage, pursuing paths that must lead in the ultimate to the one divine goal. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

I am not in any way a deity. I am still very human, capable of error, weakness and imperfection. I have, like every one of you, a long, long way to go on the road to perfection. It is an infinite one. (Silver Birch, LSB, 67.)

It is wonderful to reflect that there will always be more to achieve. There is no nirvana, no stage of bliss when you have come to the end of your spiritual journey. (Silver Birch, LSB, 48.)

There is also what I might call the ladder of consciousness. The rungs of the ladder represent the various lives from the alleged beginning to the final achievement; though it is not for me to say that there is any finality. When I use the term "final" I merely desire to indicate the limits of my vision. (F.W.H. Myers in RTI, n.p.)

The Great Creator used material surroundings for the birth of humanity. We can get no further than this. There is so much, oh, so much, beyond us that we dare not venture on many positive statements. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 82.)

Nirvana is not a goal; it is just a means for achieving other ends. It is the activity of returning to the source to become renewed so that you can begin your outer activities again. … You don’t disappear into nothingness. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 136.)

The goal of spiritual growth is union with God, but then comes the responsibility for using that attainment in an enlightened manner, to help the evolution / of life on this planet. Other planets too but primarily this one. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 135-6.)

There is no finality; none, none, none! And this applies not only to the fragment of existence which you call life, but to the totality of being. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 113.)

Progress or Evolution is Infinite

Knowledge, like the Great Spirit, is infinite; no period can be placed on it. As you progress so you fit yourself for more knowledge. You are forever climbing a mountain, ascending one peak, only to behold another to be scaled. Knowledge, progress, development, unfoldment, advancement, all these are eternal processes. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

It Is an infinite evolution. There is no summit to be attained. As the spirit unfolds, so it is realized there is more to be achieved. It is like knowledge. The more you have, the more you realize there is further knowledge to be gained. (Silver Birch, LSB, 19.)

The Great Spirit is infinite, and so the process of creation is infinite, progressing always in its multitudinous expressions from imperfection to perfection, from immaturity to maturity, through all the countless grades of evolution. That process is timeless. It had no beginning, it has no end, for it belongs to infinity. It is part of the infinite Great Spirit, and that self-same spirit finds its expression in human life at varying stages of unfoldment. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Life, because it is life, cannot ever be static, for that way lies stagnation. Life is rhythm, motion, progress, unfoldment, development, the reaching out towards perfection all the time. Unless there were constant gradations of life, unless there was a constant pilgrimage on the rungs of the ladder of progress, life would not be life. It is in the variety of evolution, with its multitudinous stages of development, that life becomes life.

If all were at the same stage, if perfection were attained, if there were no necessity for further striving, no need for new attainments, no need for still greater expression, then the incentive to live, to achieve, would gradually become extinct. The motivation of life is always onward, striving to reach out to clasp that which is at present beyond its grasp. And it is always in the striving, in the attempt to conquer, seeking to triumph over difficulty, that the spirit finds itself and God is at work amongst you. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The Higher We Progress, the More Evolution We See Ahead of Us

Every experience has its advantage and disadvantage. The higher your soul evolves the greater is the progress it has made -- but the more it knows there is to be evolved. That is its disadvantage, it is more dissatisfied. The more sensitive you become to beauty, the more sensitive you are to ugliness. The higher you rise, the lower you can sink. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Progress is Slow

Bad characters in history are still, many of them, in the lower planes where the evil ones go. (Gordon Burdick in TR, 104.)

[Life] is a process of gradual refinement. (Clifford McLean in LFM, 100.)

Wisdom is a tree of slow growth; the rings around its trunk are earthly lives, and the grooves between are the periods between the lives. Who grieves that an acorn is slow in becoming an oak? It is equally unphilosophical to feel that the truth which I have endeavoured to make you understand—the truth of the soul’s great leisure—is necessarily sad. If a man were to become an archangel in a few years’ time, he would suffer terribly from growing-pains. The Law is implacable, but it often seems to be kind. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXXVIII.)

Divine Mind has perceived the necessity for a gradual awakening of the soul in diverse schools of experience, the rate of progress of which is controlled by the individual, according to his desires. In this sphere, the crystal clarity of thought penetrates the darkest recesses of the mind, revealing all hidden faults, coupled with an overwhelming desire to atone for one’s shortcomings. (Jim McLean in LFM, 113.)

Divine Mind has conceived of a perfect plan of gradual advancement, a plan that banishes all conceit. (Jim McLean in LFM, 112.)

Evolution is a Spiral

Life is a circular staircase of ever-evolving self-perception. (Mike Swain, FMW, 86.)

So now you see that consciousness is on an upward spiral and progresses onward. (Frances Banks, TOL, 40.)

Evolution is not in a straight line. It is a spiral. At the top, things look beautiful; at the bottom they don’t look so beautiful. (Silver Birch, LSB, 19.)

Life everlasting is possible to all souls—yes; but it is not possible to go on forever in one direction. Evolution is a curve. Eternity is a circle, a serpent that swallows its own tail. Until you are willing to go in and out of dense matter, you will never learn to transcend matter. There are those who can stay in or out at will, and, relatively speaking, as long as they choose; but they are never those who shrink from either form of life. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXII.)

The Process of Evolution Has Us Develop Self-Awareness, No Matter What

If you live for five hundred years on an astral plane, the astral body is bound to develop a measure of self-awareness, quite independent of the indwelling soul. (Mike Swain, FMW, 86.)

Special Importance of Earth Life

Earth is the training ground of the spirit. (John Heslop, SABL, 22.)

Man is a student in God's school, namely, the earth-plane, and has to find out [all] things by hard work and study. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 75.)

Life is but an opportunity to develop along certain lines. (Paramahansa Yogananda in POG, 120.)

The universe is created for man and could not exist without mankind. (Gorden Burdick to Grace Rosher in TR, 35.)

Earth is not the lasting world. It is the training school. You are not only on earth to amass riches and enjoy life, just for what it is; you are there to learn the truth about your own character, and how to control and develop it, to make full use of all earth's beauties and pleasures, but you must be master, and not allow them to master you. (W.T. Stead, BI, 140.)

Man — an immortal spirit, so we believe, placed in earth-life as a school of training - has simple duties to perform, and in performing them is prepared for more advanced and progressive work. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

We get different viewpoints on many of these [matters] because of our ability to understand some things that were beyond our grasp there. We see that many things which we looked upon as evils there, appear to us now as problems that were placed in our path for us to solve. We find that many things which we considered blessings were only some of the more cheerful events of our life. The real evils we did not fully understand, the real blessings have been left for this life. (Philosopher William James, LHH, 107-8.) [The earth plane is the hardest] for it is here that you take all of the knowledge, the training, the teaching that you were given when you were out of the body and bring it back and put it into practical application in the body. It’s very difficult to be loving, kind, gentle, and forever giving when you find yourself around people who are not of the same caliber. It’s easy on our side and this is why many souls will incarnate when they really don’t need to, because it would take a thousand years out of the body to do what you could do in one short sixty or eighty-year life period on the earth plane. So many will choose to incarnate to speed it up, but it is more difficult because you don’t have the awareness you have when you are on the other side. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 9.)

It takes many, many hundreds of years on the other side to gain … knowledge [of God and the nature of existence]. Men must gain it in the body to be open to it from the other side. You will have the same thoughts and opinions on the other side as on earth. You do not change unless you are an old soul who has had some of that understanding in the body. (Unnamed spiritual teacher to Betty Bethards in TIND, 11-2.)

Death is a recess, shall we say, from school. However, many people on the other side will choose to become involved in schools there, but there are more schools for the soul’s growth and understanding [on earth] and, of course, people on earth are beautiful examples of how to handle things or how not to.

[Earth] is nothing more than a school which we go through, each incarnation [being] like a grade. Many times we don’t “pass,” but we aren’t going to fail either. We just may remain on a particular level without progressing. In time, we begin to progress at our own rate of speed.

And, of course, the more you change inwardly, the more you can comprehend. The more clarity and understanding you have and the more love you are able to bring into your aura, the faster your tests can come. You can be allowed three grades or three lifetimes in one incarnation if your soul is truly advancing and learning. To know Self is to know all things. If you watch how you handle things, how you are working with others around and about you, you are given more clarity, more tests, more obstacles. But there are more opportunities for growth so that you can speed things up, too. This is the soul’s choice. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 8-9.)

The needed preparation [for the joy of the spirit world] is begun by the discipline of earth. If the lesson is learned there, and the soul freed to rise above the hindrances of the world, making its home with God, then death is only the portal to a joy and delight beyond anything you can even dimly imagine. (John Heslop, SABL, 45-6.)

When the interior powers are developed on earth, then we far sooner get into the higher spiritual life on this side. Also, we receive so much more personal happiness and illumination while still on earth. (John Heslop, SABL, 135.)

God [dwells] in infinite light, but far away beyond any point to which the individual soul could project itself. The Divine essence (or ego) within us, may be likened to an electric spark or flame and is an emanation of the Divine. This flame can be fostered until it grows to a strong interior magnetic force – a pure essence, such as I have often described, a well of life springing up within you, purifying [you] from all earthly dross, all disease, all human ill. This is possible of achievement because our own inner powers, if put into communication with the power of God, can be regularly fed from Him by an inflow of His grace, or magnetic power. Only so are we prepared for this higher life, growing gradually into the Divine Image while on earth. Then the beautiful angel of death loosens the earthly bands and we are set free, ready and fitted for the perfect life of this higher sphere. (John Heslop to his wife, F. Heslop, SABL, 134.)

You ask me, What becomes after death of all those who lead idle and careless lives? God has many ways on this side in which the lessons which should have been learnt on earth are taught and acquired here, but one thing is certain – they have to be learnt either on earth or here when the earth training has failed. (John Heslop, FMABL, 28.)

It is far easier to acquire this knowledge [of lessons unlearnt] in the earth surroundings than on this side, just as it is easier for a child to receive the groundwork of education, than for a man, when he tries to learn what was taught him vainly in his youth. It is for this reason that so many disembodied spirits return in their spirit-bodies to earth, striving to gain from earthly teachers what they failed to learn when with you. But, oh, the grief and distress of these poor souls, when they awaken here and find what they have missed, and realize what their lives have really been. It is perfectly heartrending! (John Heslop, FMABL, 28-9.)

And what is the highest result of all this earth education? It is two-fold – to teach you how to serve through love and to teach you that full deep love is selfless, blending you with God who is all Love. (John Heslop, FMABL, 29.)

And so, my Beloved, if you want in a few words to tell anyone what this educational process of life is really intended to develop in them, say: “It is all given to teach you how to love.” Not that sentimental thing you on earth so often call love, nor that animal passion and lustful desire that would ruin another life under the sacred name of love, but the love which the Divine Christ came to reveal by His life on earth – the Love which led Him to die on Calvary – the Love which is still seeking the lost until they are found – the Love which inspires all the Children of God, who through the discipline of life, have passed into the spheres of the Christ while on earth, and will enter the Heavenly Sphere in all its glory and perfection when they come over to this side. (John Heslop, FMABL, 29-30.)

In “Private Dowding,” “Spiritual Reconstruction,” and many of the more recent utterances of highly-evolved spirits in our world, you find that they dwell much on the fact that the earth-life is the life of illusion and that the real, the tangible, is here in the ethereal realm. …. But I doubt greatly if it is wise or helpful to preach this doctrine to those who are still living on earth. When you come here your mind is enlarged to perceive the real values and goodness and love are so all-pervading that these earth trials seem small and unimportant in comparison. But while they are being endured they are very real to the sufferer and it cannot help him to insist that he feels no pain and has no suffering. (John Heslop, FMABL, 42-3.)

Earth-life …. Is the training ground of the spirit, where you are still children, still at school. Paul tells us that when he came a man he put away childish things; he speaks of a time when he was nourished by the pure milk of the Word, not yet being able to partake of a stronger diet.

And so it is with all those on the earth-plane. Within every child we can see the character of the man that will come forth. An honorable, truthful boy will become an honourable, truthful man; a tender, loving girl must ultimately display these same beautiful qualities in womanhood.

The early training is all important for this life and equally so for the life to come. In later years you will see that illusion and unreality were very present in your childhood, but they were necessary to your full development. (John Heslop, FMABL, 44.)

All sin and suffering are very real on the earth-plane and always remember that Jesus never taught this doctrine of “illusion” to men. He was ever practical, real; He met the needs of those about Him by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, comforting the sorrowful.

Try to see things from His standpoint. Look for the good in all men, draw forth the “Hidden Christ,” so that they may rise to love and desire only the holiest. As you attain to this pure attitude of mind, you feel, even while on earth, how poor and meaningless are many things that formerly amused and interested you. The values are gradually being adjusted; you are daily learning to extract the true and the real from the illusionary things about you. (John Heslop, FMABL, 44.)

There is … a reason for stressing the importance of the earth experience. It seems that in the cycle of growth [earth life] is the formative stage when alone any real growth in essence takes place. When the earth life is over and one comes here, the law of affinity takes one into congenial conditions and the general alleviation of circumstances removes all outer sources of conflict. There is no more struggle for existence. Our work here is a kind of mopping-up operation. We can, in fact we must, graduate from regions where our faults and temper and our sense of guilt are tolerated to those where we have to clear ourselves of these stains of earth. But although we may clear ourselves and in the ascent of the planes gradually purify our being until we are again essential spirit, still no actual growth in this spirit will have been made here. What we bring from earth remains our all, so our fate is bound up with our earth experiences; only in the struggle and turmoil of life there are we able to make any real difference to our spiritual stature. So, although this in-between period is a wonderful interlude, the real work has to be done on earth. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 91.)

How are we to think of the translation back into time of the spirit, which is a timeless principle of the being, when it has to return again into a body and become subject to time? This is the crux of the mystery. I can only suppose that when the final stage of purification is reached and the false limits of the ego have faded out so that essential, de-limited spirit alone remains, it is drawn back in simplicity and obedience to fate into the stream of living, there to learn, suffer and enjoy and grow in the space-time strait-jacket of earthly conditions. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 96.)

For reasons known to Him who is over all, it is deemed essential that the soul should be passed through the training of physical life. It is part of the process by which the soul attains its ultimate evolution. (Julia Ames, AD, 156.)

Human life is one of experiment and growth, failure and success, pain and pleasure, privation and privilege. But all of these qualities are weaving themselves into a strand of experience and wisdom. Don't you see? Character forming even through our mistakes and blundering. Never dwell on the darkened past except to let it lead you into brighter paths. (Unidentified spirit communicator in LHH, 63.

The reason a soul chooses to go to Earth or any of God’s other worlds … is for the purpose of learning, of obtaining new knowledge. We spend our time here learning as well. We learn God’s Will, His Way. But each of us – each individual soul – is given the privilege of choosing its own learning process. Each soul can choose how it wants to develop. (Thavis, TIH, 76.)

The reason, therefore, for the universe and for all appearances, for even the little mundane joys and sorrows of human beings, is to be found in the term "evolution of spirit," the need for complete fulfillment which can be obtained through limitation, through the expression of the spirit in form. For only through that expression can spirit grow, developing from the embryo, only through manifestation in appearance can spirit obtain fulfillment. For this purpose were we born, for this purpose we enter and pass through myriad worlds or states, and always the material universe is growing, expanding, giving fuller and fuller expression to mind. The purpose of existence may be summed up in a phrase--the evolution of mind in matter that varies in degree and kind--so that mind develops through manifestation, and in an ever-expanding universe ever increases in power and gains thereby the true conception of reality. The myriad thoughts of God, those spirits which inform with life all material forms, are the lowest manifestation of God, and must thus learn to become God-like -- to become an effective part of the Whole. (F.W.H. Myers, RTI, n.p.)

We have some different viewpoints here from those we held on earth. It is not so serious an outlook to consider the waste of effort, the waste of life, that one meets there on all sides. Here we know better the meaning that lies behind it all, and realize that it is a small matter as compared with the wonderful scheme that lies behind all effort, all evolution. We know that no matter what ills life there may have to undergo, it is but a 'growing pain' in the complete history of that life. When all is known it will be seen that the evils of the earth life are for one purpose only, to train humans in the way to understand right from wrong, and to educate them to choose the right. In the process of evolution many fall by the wayside, many strive and fail, many endeavors are frustrated. But the lesson remains, and the individual has grown to a slight extent. Life may be lost, time may be wasted, apparently, but the end has been achieved in some fashion.

I am speaking of the effort as a whole. There are cases where evolution has failed in some individuals, and the result is downward instead, because of some perverse trait that turned the effort in the wrong direction. But this is far less than is generally believed. All failures, so-called, are not failures. Many prove to be the greatest successes; for an impress has been made on the soul that will last through eternity. Sorrow is there, to be sure, but sorrow is often a blessing in disguise. When man can learn that it is the effort that counts most, he will think less of the failures and more of the persona', benefit that has been achieved. For every one who fails to gain this education there are thousands who find that their character has been strengthened, their lives made to have more meaning, their happiness, their final happiness, much enhanced. We know that the man who goes through life without effort, who has every want supplied, is apt to be the greatest loser. He has obtained no wealth that he can bring with him to this world.

If all could realize that effort is the building material out of which character is constructed, there would be more personalities who would stand out as conspicuous examples of attainment. In the past generation you placed all emphasis on the so-called successes; the failures were not considered. How could you have overlooked this important part? For, if anything, failure makes a greater impression on the character than any success. When man learns the full truth of this there will be less disappointment over the ones who fall short of their ambitions.

It might seem that such a view takes away all incentive to succeed; but while material success counts for so much in that life, there is little danger of that. And if the time comes when material achievement has less value, there will have come also the knowledge that success should be the goal for honor's sake, if nothing more.

This thought should help the down-hearted; it should spur the successful one still more. There is so much sadness there over things that to us seem unimportant. Happiness could be the lot of many who are now feeling the loss of some venture, some labor, some great effort. It is all education, and 'education maketh the full man.' (Unnamed spirit teacher in LHH, 264-5.)

Do not grudge your earth training. You will thank God for all you suffered if it brought you into the knowledge of Him and His Christ. It is the Fellowship of His suffering that leads you upward into the Light. (Therold, FMABL, 98.)

The circumstances of your life are actually a form of initiation through which you are daily passing. (White Eagle, WE, n.p.)

Love and knowledge help on the soul. The child may have the one qualification; it cannot have the other save by education, which is frequently gained by its … living over the earth-life again. But many a child-spirit leaves the earth-life pure and unsullied who would have been exposed to temptation and grievous trial; and so it gains in purity what it / has lost in knowledge. The spirit who has fought and won is the nobler one. Purified by trial, it rises to the sphere set apart for the proven souls. Such experience is essential; and for the purpose of gaining it many spirits elect to return to earth, and … gain the special phase of experience which they need. To one it is the cultivation of the affections that is necessary; to another the experience of suffering and sorrow; to another mental culture; to another the curbing and restraining of the impulses of the spirit, evenness of balance. All who return, save those who, like ourselves, are charged with a mission, have an object to gain: and in being associated with us and with you they gain their progress. This is the one desire of spirit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 33-4.)

And you yourselves, what of you? Are ye immortal souls, who by a cry, a word, by and act of faith in an unintelligible and monstrous creed can purchase a heaven of inactivity, and avoid a hell of material torment? Verily, nay. Ye are spirits placed for a while in a garb of flesh to get training for an advanced spirit-life, where the seeds sown in the past bear their fruit, and the spirit reaps the crop which it has / prepared. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 65-6.)

You are hampered by the limited nature of your vision and knowledge. The accidents [of birth] which seem to you such bars may be but the means selected to bring out some needed quality—endurance, patience, trust, or love; whilst the luxurious surroundings, the poisonous flattery, the complacent self-satisfaction may be the engines of the adversaries who are dragging down and stifling a soul. You judge too hastily and imperfectly, and from external signs only. Nor are you able to see what the guardians intend, nor to make due allowance for temptation and its results. These are questions which now are beyond your judgment. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156.)

God Will Provide

God is with you always and provides what He considers best for you and your development. (Sigwart, BOTR, 74.)

If money is lacking, it will be found. No worthwhile cause is ever lost because the means have not been there. Is that not true? Have you not found the money is available when required? No servant of the spirit will lack the necessities of physical living. We will provide them. They will not go hungry. They will not starve. They will come through. (Silver Birch, LSB, 144.)

You cannot want, you cannot go hungry or thirsty once you have adjusted yourself to the laws of eternal supply. You will not receive more than is necessary, but you will receive according to your growth, no more, no less, no higher, no lower. It cannot be any other way. (Silver Birch, PSB, 39.)

There is a law which takes care of such matters, that those who serve will never want; their essential needs are always supplied. It is for them to exhibit, as best they can in their lives, the result of what they have experienced. They learn, by doing so, to strengthen the links that bind them to the Great Spirit. The more you strengthen the link, the deeper becomes the channel through which help and power can come to you. (Silver Birch, PSB, 49.)

If you have perfect faith and live your lives right, then you are able to participate in the bounty of the Great Spirit. If every person in your world had perfect faith, then he would receive. If a person were hungry and yet had perfect faith, then he would receive the answer.

That is how the Law operates. If you learn to attune yourself to the Law, the results must come. If the results do not come, that only proves that you are not in tune with the Law. (Silver Birch, SBA, 11.)

We will always give more than we receive from you. That is our duty, to support, to sustain and to ensure that all your fundamental, essential needs will be supplied. The rest is up to you. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

We are aware of all your difficulties, your problems and your desires. We know that you live in a material world. We have access to the sources of supply to ensure that those who serve will never go hungry or thirsty. All that is necessary will be provided. (Silver Birch, LSB, 88.)

You have the divine potential, the divine armoury on which you can call. If that is not sufficient, call on us. We will not fail you. (Silver Birch, LSB, 89.)

Your world does not realize that each individual contains within his own being the power to conquer every disease, to master every difficulty. He possesses a reservoir of strength from which he can draw in moments of weakness. The kingdom of heaven is within. How little is that understood! (Silver Birch, TSB, 49.)

God Will Protect

You can all banish from your minds the thought that anything that is unenlightened - or, as you would say, evil - can ever touch you. You live and move under the protection of the Great Spirit and His laws. /

If there is no evil in your hearts, then only good can reach you, for only good can dwell where goodness reigns. None but the servants of the Great Spirit come into your presence from my world. You need have no fears. The power which envelops you, the power which supports and seeks to guide you and inspire you, is the power that emanates from the Great Spirit of all.

That power can sustain you in all your trials and difficulties. That power can change your storms into sunshine, and bring you out of the darkness of despair into the light of knowledge. Your feet are set on pathways of progress. There is no need for fear. (Silver Birch, SBA, 13-4.)

You have yet to learn that there are no difficulties which beset those blessed with the power of the spirit that they will not surmount, as long as they in return serve the Great White Spirit wherever they go. (Silver Birch, SBA, 15.)

Look up always, not down. Realize that the mighty and majestic power which brought you into being and breathed into you the life-giving essence of its own spirit will uphold and sustain you day by day.

Incline your hearts to His, subdue your souls to His, fill your minds with the wisdom that comes from His inexhaustible reservoir and know that those who seek to give service and labour for the upliftment of the weak, the fallen and the needy are protected by the mantle of the spirit. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

You can all banish from your minds the thought that anything that is unenlightened - or, as you would say, evil - can ever touch you. You live and move under the protection of the Great Spirit and His laws.

If there is no evil in your hearts, then only good can reach you, for only good can dwell where goodness reigns. None but the servants of the Great Spirit come into your presence. You need have no fears. The power which envelops you, the power which supports and seeks to guide you and inspire you is the power that emanates from the Great Spirit of all.

That power can sustain you in all your trials and difficulties. That power can change your storms into sunshine, and bring you out of the darkness of despair into the light of knowledge. Your feet are set on pathways of progress. There is no need for fear. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Seek God’s Gifts

Much that is regarded as important in your world is but a veneer that has only a passing value. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.

The knowledge that you all possess is more priceless than all the treasures of the world of matter. We do not bring you gold or silver, diamonds or precious jewels. Rather do we seek to bring the priceless jewels of the spirit, the greatest treasures that you can have.

Prize them. Put them in a setting of love and realize that these are the gifts that the Great Spirit bestows you with loving care and divine affection. (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

Yours is a strange world, and when you view it with eyes that do not belong to matter you marvel at the folly of the people who live in it. They set such store over their puny possessions, which crumble into the dust, and they neglect the priceless treasures of the Spirit which are eternal.

They have no understanding of spiritual values. They live for the moment, for the fleeting pleasures and the joys, and their souls, so covered over with material desires, seldom are able to express the divinity that is within.

And yet, in your world, they are counted as intelligent because they have accumulated temporary possessions. Who is the intelligent one - the man who strives to build that which must perish or the one who strives to build that which will endure? (Silver Birch, SBT, n.p.)

The More We Grow and Evolve, the Faster Our Lessons and Tests Come and the Greater our Responsibility for the Outcome

And, of course, the more you change inwardly, the more you can comprehend. The more clarity and understanding you have and the more love you are able to bring into your aura, the faster your tests can come. You can be allowed three grades or three lifetimes in one incarnation if your soul is truly advancing and learning. To know Self is to know all things. If you watch how you handle things, how you are working with others around and about you, you are given more clarity, more tests, more obstacles. But there are more opportunities for growth so that you can speed things up, too. This is the soul’s choice. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 8-9.)

The more an entity strives to attune himself to the Universal, the more he comes up against the mass of unevolved Forces which permeate earth existence. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 179.)

Capacity is the only limitation in the spiritual realms. (Philemon [Archdeacon Wilberforce], LFOS, 8.)

As knowledge is increased a thousandfold, so is responsibility in following the Pattern increased a millionfold. (Frances Banks, TOL, 85.)

The Natural Law

The World is Governed by Natural Laws

Everything is controlled by natural laws. You have many illustrations of the working of the Master Mind, if you take a good look at nature. Think about it a bit. To you the process is still mysterious. On this side we learn to work with the cosmic laws. But even here we are only on the fringe of understanding. (Clifford McLean in LFM, 99.)

It must ever be borne in mind that the spirit lands are founded upon law and order. But the law is never oppressive nor the order irksome because the same law and order have helped to provide all the countless beauties and wonders of this heavenly realm. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 114.)

The natural laws here work in a rational way. (Monsignor Benson’s spiritual co-worker, Ruth, in Benson, MALIWU, 34.)

Mighty are the laws of Providence. We must submit to them. These are laws of iron! But when we obey them with fortitude and humility they are delightful and wondrous. The chain that unites it all is forged under the loving eyes of our Father. (Sigwart, BOTR, 33.)

The law of God is all merciful and whenever it seems hard it is because we do not understand it. (Julia Ames, AD, 179.)

God works automatically. Those who live harmoniously with His laws can draw great power; / they find too, in time, that soul satisfaction which brings the peace that passes all understanding. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 43-4.)

God's laws are so steady, so regular, so businesslike, they can operate to great advantage in commercialism or organization of any kind on earth, provided these things are brought into line with them. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 44.)

Immutable laws govern the results of deeds. Deeds of good advance the spirit, whilst deeds of evil degrade and retard it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

[Man] is governed by immutable laws, which, if he transgresses them, work for him misery and loss; which, also, if respected, secure for him advancement and satisfaction. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52.)

We would fain impress on you the paramount importance of obeying ever those unalterable laws which God has laid down for you, and which you violate at your own peril. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 32.)

Happiness we know is in store for all who will strive for it by a consistent course of life and conduct commendable to reason and spiritual in practice. Happiness is the outcome of right reason, as surely as misery is the result of conscious violation of reasonable laws, whether corporeal or spiritual. Of the distant ages of the hereafter we say nothing, for we know nothing. But of the present we say that life is governed, with you and with us equally, by laws which you may discover, and which, if you obey them, will lead to happiness and content, as surely as they will reduce you to misery and remorse if you wilfully violate them. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 66.)

The laws are many and unbreakable, except by a strong act of will on the part of some powerful Entity – and they would not take the responsibility. I think that is what your Teacher meant when he [said] ‘I am the Master of physical matter – I am above the Law because I do not break it.’ (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 192.)

The natural laws, when they are disobeyed, bring awful consequences in their train. You cannot walk on water, you must fall in; the fire must burn you if you go too near it. Constant vice does make a wreck of the physical frame. No society could hold together of murder, theft, and crime were to go unpunished. So, if the spiritual laws of God’s Kingdom are willfully or ignorantly broken, the consequences must result and suffering follow. It cannot be otherwise. … Even the death of the Son of God cannot stop this law from working. Dire consequences follow sin, as night follows day. (John Heslop, SABL, 133.)

We are not as independent of law as you might suppose; and it is in being in harmony with the law that we find our greatest happiness. We have tried to express some of our laws, or rather our protections—for that is what law is here—to you; but have not described the laws relating to advanced knowledge and higher spirit life; partly because you would not understand, and partly because we ourselves are not as familiar with them as we will be later. (Spirit control Mary Bosworth in SWSL, 19.)

Then comes the study of spiritual laws; for these must be known and understood, that a newly arrived spirit may not infringe upon them. These laws have to do with the harmony of heaven and the perfect accord of millions upon millions of souls. Once these laws are understood, the newly arrived spirit may discover the infinite variety of teaching here and may select the study most adapted to his taste. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SWSL, 100.)

I am studying science, which I always liked— really and actually the science of life, the cause of things,—and something of the marvellous universe and of the natural laws which govern everything. There is nothing miraculous about them—in fact, there is no such thing as a "miracle." What seems so is merely a novel use of some existing natural law. Nor can anything be "supernatural;" it may be "super-normal." Man can create nothing; all new discoveries are merely further knowledge of how to use latent force or power. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 12.)

Divine Law is Eternally Just

Life, we teach you, is one and indivisible. One in its progressive development; and one in the effect on all alike of the eternal and immutable laws by which it is regulated. None are excused as favourites; none are punished mercilessly for error which they were unable to avoid. Eternal justice is the correlative of eternal love. Mercy is no divine attribute. It is needless; for mercy involves remission of a penalty inflicted, and no such remission can be made save where the results have been purged away. Pity is Godlike. Mercy is human. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 53.)

As far as my own viewpoint extends, benevolence and beneficence do seem to be the keynote of whatever it is that runs the universe – an impersonal benevolence, acting through unbreakable laws, of course, but always so functioning as to lend a helping hand to those who get into a mess through suffering the inevitable consequence of breaking the law. In one sense, all humanity is in that position, the innocent being compelled to share the common lot of man whilst in the flesh. I can see that now – why it has to be.

It is entirely up to man; he could make even the dense physical plane a little paradise, if he liked. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 39.)

One who has lived an ordinary good life, shall we say, doing the right things, attending to his outward religious observances, but all the time concealing within himself black thoughts of envy, malice, uncharitableness, will find himself in the company of such as he is. Dismay / will fill his soul until he realizes that this great Law is just and until he makes an effort to adjust his thinking to Love, Charity, Truth and try to redress the wrongs he has worked on others. In these efforts there is always help at hand, always more advanced souls ready to comfort, to listen and to teach him. There are souls, too, ready to guide him to higher realms and to happier company. (Frances Banks, TOL, 87-8.)

Nothing is Ever Lost

Nothing that was earned and accepted by the soul during the process of incarnation can ever be lost, even though in a further period of earth life, the personality (or earth consciousness) used by that soul is unaware of this advancement. For the soul memory remains stable; and a gift or an aptitude earned or a grace received becomes an integral part of the soul. (Spirit teacher called “Elder Brother” in Helen Greaves, LW, 117.)

An Example of a Natural Law: The Law of Cause and Effect or Karma

Karma is a very misunderstood term. The universe is a very orderly place, and “karma” is merely a word used to refer to the principles which keep it orderly. It helps hold everything together. (H.P. Blavatsky, BR, 41.)

Man makes his own future, stamps his own character, suffers for his own sins, and must work out his own salvation. (Stainton Moses’ spirit communicator Imperator in MM, 107-8.)

Karma is an iron law, yes; but you are the creator of karma. (“X,” LLDM, 270.)

The sooner people have it rammed into them that “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” is the unmitigated truth, the sooner things will improve. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 25.)

Life here is a grander thing—a bolder thing, and a happier thing for all those who have led reasonable lives on earth, but for the unreasonable there are many troubles and difficulties and sorrows to be encountered. There is a great truth in the saying that "as ye sow, so shall ye reap." (W.T. Stead, BI, 134.)

There is a simple law of cause and effect, and it is the working out of that law which may make or break the happiness of a life for a long time. (William Andrews in LHH, 62.)

All must be paid. Here one is presented with the bill, so to speak. On the credit side, we have the generous rewards for whatever good we have done. This is the bank on which we can draw for the settlement of our obligations. (Jim McLean in LFM, 113.)

Sin contains its own sting. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 51.)

This mortal existence is but a fragment of life. Its deeds and their results remain when the body is dead. The ramifications of wilful sin have to be followed out, and its results remedied in sorrow and shame. The consequences of deeds of good are similarly permanent, and precede the pure soul and draw around it influences which welcome and aid it in the spheres. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52-3.)

Each act in this, the seed-time of your life, will bear its own fruit; … the results of conscious and deliberate sin must be remedied in sorrow and shame at the cost of painful toil in far distant ages; … the erring spirit must gather up the tangled thread and unravel the evil of which it was long ages [ago] the perpetrator. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 92.)

‘As a man sows, so also shall he reap’ is true through every change that the human spirit can undergo. There can be no place left in an illimitable universe where it does not hold good. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 90.)

To have been in the public eye does not mean that one’s deeds, if evil, are any more heinous than those a private individual may commit although they may appear to affect a smaller circle of lives. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 90.)

I need to know more about the law of Karma; how it operates and how far it may be responsible for the changes and chances of life on earth. Not that any such knowledge will exonerate me from full responsibility; it will only spread it over many more lives, since it seems that each succeeding life presents the same kinds of problems and offers fresh opportunities to solve them. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 90.)

Karma is the law of cause and effect. [It sees that] as you sow, so shall you reap. It follows from your very first incarnation and continues throughout all succeeding lives. It is something which, when you build [it], you must pay [it] off. Many souls do not have to pay it off in that particular incarnation. They can wait two or three incarnations before they have to face their past ties.

And you can see [the law of karma] in effect in your lives today. If you hurt someone, this hurt will come back. If you can handle situations with love, you are going to be able to conquer not only your karma, freeing you, but you are also going to free the other soul from [theirs]. It is in forgiving that you are forgiven. Each soul must be able to understand these basic laws of karma before he will truly be free from himself. For as he creates it, whatever it may be, his heaven or his hell on earth, he will be constantly meeting himself throughout each and every incarnation. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 7.)

“’Whatsoever a man soweth,’” [Edwin] said, “’that shall he reap.’ Those few words describe exactly the great eternal process by which all that you see, actually here before you, is brought about. All the trees, the flowers, the woods, the houses that are also the happy homes of happy people – everything is the visible result of ‘whatsoever a man soweth.” This land, wherein you and I are now living, is the land of the great harvest, the seeds of which were planted upon the earth-plane. All who live here have won for themselves the precise abode they have passed to by their deeds upon the earth.” (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 15-6.)

In the spirit world the law of cause and effect applies equally to all people, regardless of their former earthly status. This law is no new thing. It has always been in existence and so every famous name that is to be found within the chronicles of nations comes strictly within the jurisdiction of this law. The soul who passes his earthly life in obscurity, known only to one or two people, is subject to the same law just as much as the soul whose name is a household word among nations. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 175.)

[The subject of the lower regions] is not a pleasant [one], but I have been advised that the facts should be given, not with the intention of frightening people – that is not the spirit world’s methods or aims – but to show that such places exist solely by virtue of an inexorable law, the law of cause and effect, the spiritual reaping that succeeds the earthly sowing; to show that to escape moral justice upon the earth-plane is to find strict and unrelenting justice in the spirit world. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 133.)

I now realize what tremendous etheric effects each conscious act may have. Help given – with the right inner motive, which must not be patronizing smugness – to any other being – even merely a genuine smile – goes on magnifying and forms a telepathic link by which higher entities can communicate because it is, even if not consciously realized – a link with ‘One-ness’ and that is the Harmony of the Universe. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 152-3.)

Each grain that is sown has its moment of fruition. (The “Unknown Teacher” in PTW, 194.)

As he has made those on earth suffer, so he himself suffers. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 53.)

Each man earns his environment by his conduct. By the working of the natural law you gravitate to the place for which you are suited; what is within you draws you automatically. (Unnamed spirit in CB, 7.)

Thoughts are truly things. That is why, when an entity comes over to this plane, he, or she, automatically graduates to the rightful plane. That is Law. (Frances Banks, TOL, 87.)

The judgment is complete when the spirit gravitates to the home which it has made for itself. There can be no error. It is placed by the eternal law of fitness. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156.)

God can, and does, forgive, but all the results of evil must be undone by the man himself, either on earth or when he comes here. The death of our Lord does not prevent this great law of cause and effect from working itself out; and real repentance is not just being sorry for sin, but the setting to work to undo the evil and make restitution. (John Heslop, SABL, 33.)

Happiness must come from one's own nature, one's own receptivity to spirit knowledge, one's own lovingness and desire to help others. (Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 78.)

"The one truth we are all trying to send is the influence the mortal life has on its immortal existence. We wish the earth people to know that there is no hell except that which the mind has created within itself. We wish them to know that the condition of the wicked here is one of unhappiness and misery; and that only they themselves can release them from the mental torture of their own creating: only a complete abandonment of sin and selfishness can open the doors to heavenly happiness.

"Do you imagine that an earthly life of selfishness and sin can suddenly change into a life of purity and love? Let us assure you that no such change can occur, but must be worked out patiently and slowly by the sinner himself. And it may be years, or lifetimes, or even centuries, before the awakened one can replace sin and selfishness with loving service for others.

"Make this clear if you can, and help mortals to awake to the truth that selfishness is the foundation of all sin, and must be overcome before one can enter into the joy of heavenly life." (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 130.)

The universe is based on the principle of exchange. … “Exchange” is one of the meanings of the word “karma.” (Sir Oliver Lodge, SOLR, 44.)

The universe operates on the Law of Exchange. (Sir Oliver Lodge, SOLR, 52.)

You on earth have mental desires and ambitions of various kinds, for money, success in business, pleasure, power, knowledge, etc.; but always these desires are limited, cramped, often made impossible owing to your physical condition—here, when the mental desire is good, the field is unlimited. Any mental desire for truth, knowledge, be it what it may, can be gratified in a most astonishing manner in this world. Be it good or bad, it will bring its results, and if the desire is bad, it will grow in power and must be paid for; if good, it will grow in power also, and will bring strength and happiness with it. (W.T. Stead, BI, 139.)

Eventually, … if you use ideas and discoveries to harm people, other laws are automatically set in motion that bring about your destruction. So we are not only promoting the development of the mind, but the development of the responsible and moral mind as well. (Nikola Tesla, NTR, 86.)

I want you all to try and realize the results you are making, the unhappiness you are causing others, and the regret and sorrow you are laying up for yourselves in the next world when you have to face the conditions you have made. Remember that your minds are the generating houses. You are building up whatever is to be your next condition, precisely and exactly by the lives you are leading on earth, by your thoughts and by the degree to which your body controls your mind instead of your mind ruling supreme. So long as you are upon earth you are Body (Physical) and Soul (Mind) and Spirit (Self). When you come here you are Mind (Soul) and Self (Spirit) only. Therefore for your own future happiness it is essential that your Mind should rule during earth life. It is for you to say whether it shall do so.

If you are willing to pay your bill when you come over, carry on as you are, but there is no further credit given, you have to settle it here. If you are a quarter as practical as you each and all think you are, you will see to it that the mind leads. It can lead very delightfully, although you may think it leads only to religious restriction—it does not only lead there; it leads to all earth's pleasures, all earth's enjoyments, but it always holds the ruling hand, and can stop at the right time, whereas the body cannot, and so it runs up debts which have to be paid, and paid sometimes very dearly and bitterly. (W.T. Stead, BI, 97-8.)

Karma, my children, is really unlearned lessons. These lessons have to be faced in a calm spirit. Rejoice in your karma. Thank God for the opportunities which are presented to you to learn lessons and dispose of your karma, for these are steps by which you mount into the Great White Lodge above. Every piece of karma gone through means a lesson learned, but the most important thing for you to remember is do not just try to get past your karma; be sure you have learned the lesson which the episode was intended to teach. If you have not learnt the lesson and have just skirted around your karma, you have only put it on the shelf and it will come back again and again until the lesson has been learned. (White Eagle, WE, n.p.)

You make your next life. Yes, and you make your life here. You make your next life. You do it day by day, you do it hour by hour. (Julia Ames, AD, 11.)

While you are still on earth, you determine your future in this world. While you are still on earth, your thought – your intentions – every thing you do – gives your soul a certain rate of vibration. For argument’s sake, let’s suppose your soul is vibrating in a fifty megacycle band. When you die and manifest here, you would go straight to the part of our world which vibrate at fifty megacycles. By the same token, if you’re a slow-thinking sort of fellow who can only vibrate to fifteen megacycles, then you’ll become part of this world in the fifteen megacycle range. It’ll all depend on your rate of vibration, see?

Therefore, you yourself select the type of scenery that will await you arrive here. (Mike Swain to his father, Jasper, in FMW, 24.)

When you look at any human being, you look at a son of God. And look what they get up to! They lie, they steal, they betray each other; they do everything that the Commandments forbid. Why is this the normal pattern? Because when their spirits were first demoted to material shape, our Father gave them the right to do whatever they felt they wanted to do. Some chose to do good, others to do ill. And it is only through these two channels that they learn and grow.

When you have done ill, the law of “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” applies. So sit back and wait for ill to be done to you. And this law of cause-and-effect will continue to operate until it dawns on you that it is easier on you to obey the laws of the Great One. Otherwise you may have to continue making amends indefinitely!

This is the process of purification wherein man, of his own free will, learns to act in harmony with Divine Law. (Mike Swain, FMW, 67.)

Cause and effect is still the Law on this plane of astral matter, as it is on earth. I understand that only as the soul proceeds onward in its progress into Higher Realms can this Law be superseded, and the other and higher Laws must be obeyed. (Frances Banks, TOL, 97.)

I do feel people would be much better and more careful how they lived if they knew that they continued to exist after passing. (Grace Rosher’s sister Phyllis in TR, 89.)

Tell all who come in the circle of your influence that they are making their future now and can almost / control this future condition, if they will only seek the truth and abide in it while still on earth. (Unnamed spirit communicator in SRE, 25-6.)

Most people’s thoughts are concentrated on the earth-plane and many people only on that spot of the earth which they inhabited, and they find it very difficult to dissociate themselves, unless the whole trend of their mind has been upwards. Or if they have done many kindnesses, because, in that case, the law of the inevitable consequences sends them to those they have helped, who pay back their debts in full measure. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 192.)

Is it nothing that we teach you that each act in this, the seed-time of your life, will bear its own fruit; that the results of conscious and deliberate sin must be remedied in sorrow and shame at the cost of painful toil in far distant ages; that the erring spirit must gather up the tangled thread and unravel the evil of which it was long ages the perpetrator?

Is it nothing that we tell you that words and deeds are as the pebble thrown into the stream which causes an ever-widening ripple, ceaselessly enlarging in its effects, and that for such influence you are accountable; that every word, every act, is of incalculable import in its results and influence; that the good which your influence produces is to you a source of gratification hereafter, while of the ill you must view the baleful effects in agony and remorse?

Is it nothing that we tell you that reward and punishment are not delayed till a far-off day faintly imagined, after a period of torpor, almost of death, but are instant, immediate, supervening upon sin by the action of an invariable law, and acting ceaselessly until the cause which produced it is removed? Is this no incentive to a life of sanctity and holiness? (Spirit leader Imperator in ST, 92.)

Sin carries with it its own punishment. Nor will you find a convenient substitute on whose shoulders you may bind the burdens which you have prepared. Your own back must bear them, and your own spirit groan under their weight. Neither will you find encouragement to live a life of animal sensuality and brutish selfishness, in the hope that an orthodox belief will hide your debased life, and that faith will throw a veil over impurity. You will find the creed taught by us is that acts and habits are of more moment than creeds and faith; and you will discover that that flimsy veil is rent aside with stern hand, leaving the foul life laid bare, and the poor spirit naked and open to the eye of all who gaze upon it.

Nor will you find any hope that after all you may get a cheap reprieve—that God is merciful, and will not be severe to mark your sins. Those human imaginings pale in the light of truth. You will gain mercy when you have deserved it; or rather, repentance and amendment, purity and sincerity, truth and progress will bring their own reward. You will not then require either mercy or pity. This is the religion of body and spirit which we proclaim. It is of God, and the days draw nigh when man shall know it. (Spirit leader Imperator in SRE, 23.)

Other Natural Laws

We have before told you of the law of Progress and of the law of Association. They are invariable. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 46.)

The real ‘classes’ into which we are separated are divided in space because they have to obey the primal law of affinity. Near and far mean likeness of difference in development and there is a compulsion in the association of groups of similar levels. Each group makes its own conditions and these are for the time being the only conditions in which its members can exist in comfort. T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 59.)

If … you would wish to study more closely the actual principle or law which governs the metethereal world it would be well for you to eliminate from your mind all preconceived ideas concerning localities or places. Contemplate instead the idea of motion, of varying speeds, then you will the more readily understand the mystery of space. (Frederic W.H. Myers, BHP, n.p.)

Harmony is a fundamental law here. There can be no [conflict]. I do not suggest that we are in a state of perfection. We should be an immensely higher realm if we were, but we are in perfection in so far as this realm is concerned. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 70.)

Occasionally I talk to most interesting people, men who were noted on earth and left their mark there as great statesmen, scholars, poets, musicians, teachers, etc. There, of course, I should never have known them — differences of age, wealth, position, etc., would have made it impossible — but here there are no artificial barriers, and a community of interest is a sufficient bond of friendship.

You say you are surprised some of the men I mentioned have not progressed higher. Well, they could have done had they so desired, but many are anxious to help those on earth still, to see work and ideas through that they themselves originated; others have remained to help their friends through this world crisis. / …

Eventually these spirits will probably progress more quickly through this work, for as they give help to those below it is also given to them, according to their needs, by higher spirits.

The law of compensation works in this way even in your world, for there, if love is given unselfishly, generously, and wisely, it will be returned in greater measure by spirits in the higher life by thought and influence which will materialize according to the requirements of the earth-plane. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 49-50.)

All my physical disabilities are left behind me in the grave. Silently I gave thanks to the Lord of all, who has blessed me so richly for my traumatic experiences, upon the plane of spirit. (Donald Macleod describing the workings of the law of compensation in HT, 10-11.)

[The Teacher speaking:] "I am one who knows the workings of the Law."

"What law?"

"The law of rhythm, which drives the soul into and out of gross matter, as it drives the tides of the ocean into flood and ebb, and the consciousness of man into sleeping and waking." (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter XXXIX.)

And do not forget the law of rhythm—that is at the back of everything. Count on rhythm; it never has failed yet, and it never will. Watch for the high tides of yourself and flow up with them; when the inevitable low tides come, either rest or meditate. You cannot escape rhythm. You transcend it by working with it. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter LIV.)

[Of spirits lying in a state of profound unconsciousness:] They are those who in their earth life denied the immortality of the soul. They will awaken centuries, perhaps ages, hence when the irresistible laws of rhythm shall draw them out of their sleep into incarnation. (Judge David P. Hatch’s spirit teacher in LLDM, 227, quoted in Lord Dowding, MM, 88-9.)

Conservation of energy is a prime law here. That really means moderation, We learn to be moderate in all things. (Mike Swain to his father, Jasper, FMW, 39.)

I had better emphasize the nature of … three eternal laws before we go any further. These are the Law of Love, the Law of the Group, and the Law of the Land.

You have already become aware of the ‘repeating pattern’ of reincarnation already, but now it is essential that you understand exactly how and why it operates. Only then will you realize that man could advance faster if he used greater caution; for he would be governed and not harassed by the consequences of his previous actions. Every action should be based on the result it will have on the do-er, the done-by, but most of all on whoever is fated to suffer most from its consequences.

Hand in glove with this law, brother, is the Law of Love. Jesus asked man to love his neighbor as himself. This is better than asking man not to hate his neighbor as he hates himself, which he can do with small provocation! Restrain your impulses until you can trust them not to harm others. As long as your motives remain constructive, you are treating your neighbor as you would (or should) yourself, and divine law has no cause to hit you like a boomerang.

This doesn’t mean sitting back and letting things slide! Nearly two thousand years have passed since Jesus walked the earth and mankind hasn’t improved much yet. Do you ever consider what the world would be if it had listened to his counsel? War would have been rendered impossible; most / disease would have been eliminated and crime would not be an accepted part of society. All of us would be able to thrive under ideal conditions. Young souls would be encouraged to flower.

Luckily for most of is, our Heavenly Father has all eternity in which to complete His project. Even so, He can only give us a choice of opportunities. He cannot make our decisions for us.

It is with you that the choice rests. You can only apply His laws to your life as you feel you need them.

This brings us to the Law of the Group. Not only must you gladly provide for your dependents; you must think of humanity itself in the same universal terms. Extend the negative of “Never needlessly hurt anyone” to include the positive of “How can I best serve the brotherhood of man?”

The last of the laws by which you will have to abide, brother, is the Law of the Land, whether you think it makes good sense or bad. They are nevertheless the laws made by your brothers to suit your particular race on your particular planet. If you ever hope to live at peace with your community, you will have to respect its tiles in your daily life. This doesn’t mean allowing injustice to run amok. You must always work to right a wrong; but you must work from within the framework of the law of your particular land.

Shall we recapitulate? Never commit an act that could result in a bad karmic debt to yourself.

Take action only when you know that the results of your action will be harmless. Then aim to apply the result of that action to the benefit of your brothers.

Always conform to the laws of the country you are in.

If you operate within this framework, you must achieve peace within yourself. (Mike Swain to his father, Jasper, in FMW, 75-6.)

To get, one must give. That is the Law. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter X.)

There is, in fact, a framework of moral law as rigid as the framework of physical law for earth. On earth I think it is beginning to be suspected that the rule of law goes beyond the physical but there is no peradventure about it for us; it has become a matter of daily experience. One had better know and observe the rules so as not to get hurt. Although law is thus transposed from a physical basis to a moral one, it still operates in physical ways. Emotions are visible and tangible reality forming a good or bad body, healthy or diseased according to one’s state. If one is diseased and repulsive one cannot hide the fact but must submit to treatment. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 54.)

Like all such [natural] laws [the one creating barriers between planes] works without any breakdown, fuss or trouble. That’s the beauty of it. No question of difference of opinion or insistence upon rights. There’s no arguing with a natural law. I’ve yet to hear of anyone arguing with the law of gravity on earth. It would be a one-sided argument in any case and probably end in disaster. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, MALIWU, 124.)

No soul is forced into an unwilling task here [i.e., in the Summerlands], nor into surroundings that he considers uncongenial. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 71.)

We never reproach. The reproaching comes from within each soul itself. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 72.)

In the spirit world nothing is wasted nor expended uselessly. We never have forced upon us something that we do not want, whether it be music or art, entertainment or learning. We are free agents, in every sense of the term, within the confines of our own realm. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 113.)

There is a law of gravity here in the spirit world, but we are not subservient to it. All else is, but we human beings are not so. Or to put it another way, our minds can and do at all times rise above it. That again is second nature to us. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 109.)

The fabric of the house comes under the same conditions and these conditions are a law. We have no winds in the spirit world, that will wear away the stones or bricks of which a house is built, nor do we have a smoke-laden atmosphere which will eat into the surface of our buildings or cause them to crumble away into dust. We have no rains to cause rot and rust to set in and so to require various replacements. All our possessions within doors, our furniture and our hangings, our personal belongings, such as our books, all alike are subject to the same splendid law. They cannot deteriorate, receive damage, become soiled; the colours in our hangings and upholsteries cannot fade or become shabby. Things cannot get broken or cracked with age. We cannot lose our small possessions by mislaying them. The floor-coverings on which we walk can never become worn out with constant tread of feet. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 72.)

Whatsoever is beautiful is always true, and that is one of the laws which stand out in front of others in these bright realms. Conversely also, whatever is ugly and ill-favoured in form outwardly, will, on closer study, be found lacking in the grace of truth. Truth, as we use that word, means that which is consonant with the Mind of the Ultimate Whom you call God and Father. All that flows from Him is orderly and in harmony with the highest and fairest aspirations of us, His offspring. And what answers to this quality is beauty, for beauty is that which pleases; and harmony is a garment of love which is always pleasing to them who in their nature respond to love's endearments. (Arnel in G. Vale Owen, LBV3, 77.)

The law is absolutely without exception. Like attracts like. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

We have before told you … of the law of Association. [It is] invariable. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 46.)

Within the spirit-body dwells the pervading essence of Deity, and, by living much in prayer and meditation, and by the zealous discharge of active duties, the spiritual life may be developed, as that which is used becomes strong; this being universal law. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

It is usual for a spirit so severed from the body (1) to haunt the spot for long after. You passed: (2) and being in a highly sensitive condition attracted any spiritual influences that came within your sphere, as the magnet attracts iron. This power of sympathetic attraction is mysterious to you. Yet it should not be, for you see it in action in a lower degree in your world. Attraction and repulsion operate strongly in daily intercourse. Most are unconscious of the fact, yet all, especially the sensitive, act upon it. This is intensified once the body is done with. The wider methods which it supplies through the avenues of the senses are replaced by this intuitive faculty of sympathy, and its correlative, repulsion. But do not fix your mind on the subject, or you will find that the law of attraction is set to work again, and you will have drawn to yourself the plague of an undeveloped spirit. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 149.)

(1) A man met a violent death and appeared clairvoyantly to Stainton Moses the same day.
(2) Stainton Moses left his body and encountered the troubled spirit of the man by the law of attraction.

The law of existence is work—for God, for brethen, for self; not for one alone, but for all. Transgress that law, and evil must ensue. The stagnant life becomes corrupt, and acts as a corrupter of others. It is vicious and noisome; hurtful to the community, in that it defrauds it of its due from one of its members, and sets up a plague spot of infection which becomes a fertile centre of mischief. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 183.)

The judgment is complete when the spirit gravitates to the home which it has made for itself. There can be no error. It is placed by the eternal law of fitness. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 156.)

You will know, too, one day, that by a law as yet unknown to you, the spirit returning to earth takes on much of the pure human tone which it loses when absent. It becomes assimilated to earth and earthly ideas. (Unnamed spirit communicator in Moses, ST, 127.)

Sin is a Violation of the Natural Law

One has only to see the dark misery of the self-imprisonment of souls in the shadow-worlds to understand the justice and the balance of the Life-Force. (Frances Banks, TOL, 88.)

Sin contains its own sting. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 51.)

Sin, in its essence, is the conscious violation of those eternal laws which make for the advantage of the spirit.

God cannot view sin as a personal injury. He regards it as we regard the offences of a child, which will bring sorrow and retribution in their train. Sin is not in itself any offence against the Creator. The punishment is not wreaked on a defenceless creature. Sin is itself its own punishment, as the transgression of immutable law. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTTT, n.p.)

No sins go unatoned for. No idle blunder is passed over. It is atoned for by the soul in its future state; its consequences are wiped out as far as may be. Be sure, friend, that every willful wrong will cost you many and many a bitter tear. The seed of wrong sown, ye know not how terrible may be the crop. You must reap it, garner it in sorrow and shame. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, MSTSW, n.p.)

This mortal existence is but a fragment of life. Its deeds and their results remain when the body is dead. The ramifications of wilful sin have to be followed out, and its results remedied in sorrow and shame. The consequences of deeds of good are similarly permanent, and precede the pure soul and draw around it influences which welcome and aid it in the spheres. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 52-3.)

Each act in this, the seed-time of your life, will bear its own fruit; … the results of conscious and deliberate sin must be remedied in sorrow and shame at the cost of painful toil in far distant ages; … the erring spirit must gather up the tangled thread and unravel the evil of which it was long ages [ago] the perpetrator. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 92.)

In this religion you will find no place for sloth and carelessness. The note of spirit-teaching is earnestness and zeal. In it you will find no shirking of the consequences of acts. Such shirking is impossible. Sin carries with it its own punishment. Nor will you find a convenient substitute on whose shoulders you may bind the burdens which you have prepared. Your own back must bear them, and your own spirit groan under their weight.

Neither will you find encouragement to live a life of animal sensuality and brutish selfishness, in the hope that an orthodox belief will hide your debased life, and that faith will throw a veil over impurity. You will find the creed taught by us is that acts and habits are of more moment than creeds and faith; and you will discover that that flimsy veil is rent aside with stern hand, leaving the foul life laid bare, and the poor spirit naked and open to the eye of all who gaze upon it. (1)

Nor will you find any hope that after all you may get a cheap reprieve—that God is merciful, and will not be severe to mark your sins. Those human imaginings pale in the light of truth. You will gain mercy when you have deserved it; or rather, repentance / and amendment, purity and sincerity, truth and progress will bring their own reward. You will not then require either mercy or pity. This is the religion of body and spirit which we proclaim. It is of God, and the days draw nigh when man shall know it. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 115-6.)

(1) A possible reference to the Judgment; a possible reference also to the fact that the acts of one’s life are discernible in one’s auras.

Everything Done is Seen

If a man could only recognize the Omniscience and Omnipresence of God, he would cease to imagine that he can sin in secret for this is impossible; he can only deceive his fellow mortals. St. Paul knew this when he cried, “Ye are compassed about by a great cloud of witnesses,” which means the denizens of other spheres are watching you actions and listening to your words. At first such a thought is not very welcome for most people love seclusion and secrecy. It need however only distress those who love sin for the pure soul must ever draw to itself those of like purity from the spirit-world and, when it desires seclusion and repose, they will influence the atmosphere and so give added rest and peace.

Again, to this pure soul will come the sense of unseen companionship and gradually he will be able to differentiate between the influences of these spiritual beings and welcome them with joy – when he decides on some act of self-sacrifice, they will uphold him and rejoice with him in the result – the knowledge of their presence will be a great incentive to the pure and holy life he desires to lead and ultimately they will receive him into the Home of the Blest. So you see that these invisible witnesses of your human lives are really of inestimable benefit to you.

They should be of equal value in deterring the godless from acts of sin and impurity. You are never alone, you who sin in secret, you who believe that a base or cruel act will never come to light. If once you could realize that this cloud of witnesses sees all things that you do, and that they will all be made clear and plain when you pass to this side (even if they are kept hidden while you linger on earth), such knowledge would arrest you on the downward path.

Then there is another fact you would do well to realize. Among those who watch your acts and listen to your words are many who are bound to you by ties of blood and affection. Love draws them to you again and you have still power to help them upwards or wound their sensitive spirits by your acts and words. If they displayed hasty tempers while on earth (often the result of ill health), oh, how they have grieved when in the purer air of this life, they have though of their unkind words and deeds! And if, while they linger near you, they hear you telling others of their many faults and failings, how it saddens and discourages them! “Speak no ill of the dead!” Say nothing, if you cannot give a word of loving sympathy. A weeping spirit on this side is ofttimes listening to all you say; do not make the difficult lessons he must now learn all the harder by the want of your love and forgiveness.

And then, if you have been the one who acted unkindly, and your dear one has passed into the Beyond with no word of pardon, oh, how your heart aches, how you long to be able to throw yourself at the feet of the one you have wronged and whom you can see no more! Courage, poor heart, he too is watching you from this side, he too yearns to grant forgiveness. Speak to him and let him impress you with the pardon, which will still your grief and heal your pain. (John Heslop, FMABL, 78-80.)

Group Karma

Many Soul-men do not seek another earth life, but their spirit manifests itself many times on earth and it is the bond which holds together a group of souls, who, in the ascending scale of psychic evolution, act and react upon one another. So, when I talk of my spiritual forbears I do not speak of my physical ancestors, I speak of those soul-ancestors who are bound to me by one spirit. There may be contained within that spirit twenty souls, a hundred souls, a thousand souls. The number varies. It is different for each man. But what the Buddhists would call the karma I had brought with me from a previous life is, very frequently, not that of my life, but of the life of a soul that preceded me by many years on earth and left for me the pattern which made my life. I, too, wove a pattern for another of my group during my earthly career. We are all of us distinct, though we are influenced by others of our community on the various planes of being.

When your Buddhist speaks of the cycle of births, of man's continual return to earth, he utters but a half-truth. And often half a truth is more inaccurate than an entire misstatement. I shall not live again on earth, but a new soul, one who will join our group, will shortly enter into the pattern or karma I have woven for him on earth. No doubt "karma" is a word I use incorrectly here. For it is something more and something less than karma that he inherits. I am, therefore, a kingdom, and yet I am but a unit in that kingdom.

You may say to me that, for the Soul-man, one earth life is not enough. But, as we evolve here, we enter into those memories and experiences of other lives that are to be found in the existence of the souls that preceded us, and are of our group.

I do not say that this theory, which I offer you, can be laid down as a general rule. But undoubtedly it is true in so far as it is what I have learned and experienced.

Now, this speculation -- as you would probably call it -- is interesting when applied to genius. The souls who have preceded us on earth naturally stamp us mentally and morally. If a certain type of psyche is continually being evolved in the one group, you will find that eventually that type, if it be musical, will have a musical genius as its representative on earth. It will harvest all the tendencies in those vanished lives, and it will then have the amazing unconscious knowledge that is the property of genius. (F.W.H. Myers in RTI, n.p.)

Humanity has a Measure of Free Will

No spirit can impress a material nature and no one can be helped against his will. (John Heslop, SABL, 21.)

Keep ever clearly before you that man is a free agent in all matters and, though he may receive great spiritual help, he is never coerced by anyone from this higher sphere. (John Heslop, SABL, 23.)

Holy influence may be likened to the magnet, but it is necessarily inactive (because of man’s free will) till he turns voluntarily toward it. But once the desire for holiness and purity is set up, then the holy influence is all-compelling and draws the lowest and the basest, as well as the best, into its sphere of purity and goodness. (John Heslop, SABL, 50.)

Free-will is developed in proportion as the spirit acquires the consciousness of himself. Freedom would not exist for the spirit if his choice were solicited by a cause independent of his will. (Unnamed spirit teacher in WASTAK, n.p.)

Some seem able to prophesy, but it is a psychic gift, or possibly a keen intuition, that can foresee results from certain conditions. We are not creatures of fate. Set that down as a truth not to be denied. We are free to live our own lives. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 127.)

Let me tell the world that human life in its short existence on earth may make its entrance here one of doubting ignorance, or even one of evil thought and feeling, for a time. This is true, because the divine law is one of personal freedom. Each soul can choose its own future. Each soul, still embedded in its human life, is choosing that future now. The old theologians, in their half-knowledge, described this life of the human soul as either a harp-playing multitude about a golden throne, or a descent into a fiery burning hell to be suffered forevermore. But this was only a human, emotional effort to describe the indescribable. The life here is the reasonable result of one's choice of one's character. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 123.)

It is far from easy for even the advanced people here to manipulate the affairs of people on earth because they must not, except in the most rare and dramatic crises, reverse the laws by a display of power. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 161.)

All divine law is predicated on … freedom of choice. We decide, Dad. We ourselves decide what we are going to do. If it conflicts with any of the Divine rules, then we have to correct our error. (Mike Swain in FMW, 53.)

I have often heard people ask why God permits wickedness. If it were impossible for man to sin, he would no longer be a free agent but an automaton, As man is on earth to learn his lesson and / develop his soul, he must have his mettle proved. There would be no good without evil. Contrasts exist and are necessary; just as day and night, wet and fine, heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are only realized and appreciated through their opposites. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 29-30.)

Up here, before we respect a rule, we familiarize ourselves with the necessity for respecting it. There is no coercion involved; it is simply a question of arriving at a sensible conclusion. If you don’t want to obey it, you needn’t, but, in that case, you accept the consequences. (Mike Swain, FMW, 62.)

We Choose This Life … and This Death

Beloved children, your life is governed by law, and you find yourselves in exactly the place and with the circumstances which you yourself have chosen. "But this is nonsense," you will say. "I would never have chosen this life!" This is the outer-self speaking, the mortal mind; but the real self, the divine spirit within, knows the needs of your soul. Think of this God-urge as a radiant light ever guiding your soul on the path. Not a moment of your time need be wasted or misspent. (White Eagle, WE, n.p.)

I had known even before I took on the new earthly body that the Father had granted my request to die for my homeland. It meant heavenly grace for me. … All my endeavours on earth were aimed at this death of sacrifice. Christ was my hero. (Sigwart, BOTR, 76.)

I have brought about my own death because here I have greater works to do. (Sigwart, BOTR, 3.)

I had not been destined for an old age. (Sigwart, BOTR, 29.)

I departed from you because I had greater tasks to fulfill. Everything was prepared for me. Therefore do not grieve for me because I have been chosen for a holy work. I have been called upon to create a part of it. This has to do with music. Seven heavenly symphonies are being composed! One of them I have composed. It is the purpose of thee works to guide the impulses on eartrh into purer channels. The music will accomplish that. It will act upon humanity indirectly. This is our strongest medium for influencing mankind. (Sigwart, BOTR, 23.)

This was waiting for me and was the reason for my early death. (Sigwart, BOTR, 13.)

My death [was] part of a plan. (Philip Gilbert in PTW, 212.)

My destiny had to be worked out. It was all fixed. (Philip to his mother, Alice Gilbert, in PTW, 115.)

My death was okayed well ahead of the accident! To be exact, on the previous Monday, while I was watching the races at Kyalami, I suddenly knew that my life was coming to an end, even though I did not klnow the moment. I didn’t regret it, because I was also aware of the wonder, the love, and the beauty of the world that awaited me.

Heather (1) knew too. She was quite aware that the time as near. (Mike Swain in FMW, 33.)

(1) Young Heather was beside Mike Swain in the car which crashed, killing both of them.

As far as my experience goes, and as far as this new extension of my consciousness reveals facts about earth-life time, I am becoming increasingly aware of a Pattern and a Plan. The Blueprint of one’s efforts, one’s successes and failures on all the planes - physical, material, emotional, mental and spiritual - does indicate that a definite line of advance is voluntarily accepted by the soul before incarnation.

No doubt when I am more proficient in the study of individual lives and their results, together with the life courses of nations and their results, good or apparently not good, which have been set in motion through the Law of Cause and Effect, I shall be better able to appreciate how the Divine Pattern of individual growth and group growth is linking up from life to life and from age to age.

It is only logical to assume that we take up, as it were, where we left off in a previous trial of strength and weakness. This presupposes a chain of lives, of experiences, of reincarnation in its understood form. But I am more convinced, as I observe stories of effort and success and failure, that the soul needs to ‘project’ some part of Itself back into the denser environment of earth in repeated attempts to master the trials and stresses of those vibrations.

But which part of Itself, and whether it is always the same part, is still a mystery and must remain so until we have advanced much in wisdom and insight.

After talking with savants I have been privileged to meet here, there seems no reason for me to change my earthly acceptance of the fact of repeated lives and therefore of a possibility of pre-viewing the presentable future, even when in a material body. When a soul (or that portion of a soul which seeks enlargement of experience) reincarnates, it is at a certain stage in its Divine Blueprint. It will seek a trial of strength in some experiences, a leading role in human affairs in others, an emotional compensation in personal relationships and so forth.

Therefore, up to a point, it fixes its own ‘coming events’ because they will afford it the necessary experience it has come to gather, and these will be commensurate with the overall Pattern associated with its progress. It must react, in a way, consistent with its stage of development and thus on its path will be mapped highlights of attainment, humble or elevated in its particular sphere of influence, together with despondencies and failures which, to the Inner Eye, can be foreseen. (Frances Banks, TOL, 83-4.)

As you on earth picture your future life to be, so it will be, limited always by the power with which you back your will, and by the possibility of subtle matter to take the mould you give it, and that possibility is almost unlimited.

Will to progress after death, and you will progress; will to learn, and you will learn; will to return to the earth after a time to take up a special work, and you will return and take up that work.

Karma is an iron law, yes; but you are the creator of karma. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter L.)

The Soul’s Perfectability

Standing in this darkness [of the lower realms] I am fully conscious of one great reality of eternal life, and that is that the high spheres of heaven are within the reach of every mortal soul that is, or is yet to be, born upon earth. The potentialities of progression are unlimited and they are the right of every soul. God condemns no one. Man condemns himself, but he does not condemn himself eternally; it rests with himself as to when he shall move forward spiritually. Every spirit hates the lower realms for the unhappiness that is there and for no other reason. And for that reason great organizations exist to help every single soul who is living in them to rise out of them into the light. And that work will continue through countless ages until every soul is brought out from these hideous places and at last all is as the Father of the Universe intended it to be. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, LIWU, 86.)

The sense of imperfection is still with is. Oh, my friend, … there are heights to scale which you have not dreamed of; there are depths of infinite love which we have not even attempted to fathom. And the more we see and know and understand of the Divine love, the more we feel lost in the contrast between the immensity of His love and the infinitesimal meagerness of our own souls. (Julia Ames, AD, 81-2.)

There are degrees of this Light [of God]. Between the grey confines of the Borderland, between Heaven and Hell and the radiant glories of the spheres where souls perfected in the Love of God and man are to be found, there is an infinity of space. And we grow and evolve, more and more, in the realizing sense of the glory that suffuses the world and all the universe of worlds. (Julia Ames, AD, 168.)

Stainton Moses: But you have described a perfect character.

Ah no! You have no conception of what the perfect spirit is. You cannot know; you cannot even picture it. Nor can you know how the faithful soul drinks in the spirit-teaching and grows liker and liker to its teacher. You see not as we see the gradual growth of the seed which it has cost us so much labour to plant and tend. You only know that the soul grows in kindly graces, and becomes more lovely and more lovable. The character we have faintly pictured in such terms as are intelligible to you is not perfect, nor aught but a vague and distant resemblance of that which it shall become. With you is no perfectness. Hereafter is progresssion and constant development and growth. What you call perfect is blotted and blurred with faults to spirit vision. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 41.)

Service is the Way of Progressing

The keynote to advancement is service, that and the development of cosmic love. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 76.)

Helping others is the way of progress. (Claude Kelway-Bamber in CB, 23.)

You are by acts of love fitting yourselves for the high mission of service awaiting you here. So do not weary in well doing for the result will be blessed to your own souls. Therefore give Joy and throw out Love and Sympathy abundantly. (John Heslop, FMABL, 16.)

Moving always:—that is a great, but sometimes a solemn truth. For movement might be in the wrong direction. Service, dear friend. Do not think we are constantly thinking only of the acquirement of knowledge. Development without service is apt to lead to selfishness. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 75.)

A job well done builds another firm rung on the ladder of advancement. (Ethel McLean in LFM, 34.)

Every moment fills us with joy. We live—We love— We serve—Is this not enough?

The heart of it all is love, happiness, service. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 96.)

'How can we serve there where all are so happy and all are so good?'

"Not all are happy; not all are good. Have you not seen or known of the selfish ones, the low-lived ones, the ignorant ones? Do not think that the mere fact of slipping out of the body entitles one to high thought, spiritual happiness, and the multitude of joys which are here. Mortals are fashioning their future lives right now. The diversity here is great. But kindness of thought and purpose, and a persistent belief in this life, will carry one far toward the happiness that awaits them here. I never had any idea of following my father's career there [her father was a minister], but if I could go back now I surely would be an exhorter, a … I don't know how to put it. But it would be such a passion for saving souls from all that is sinful, that life itself, it would seem to me, must be spent there in such service." (Unnamed spirit in, LHH, 106-7.)

“We believe the life of the spirit must be service first, joy afterward. But no! That is not quite right, because service is always joy. The two move on together. And if the sad old world could learn the lesson of unselfish, unseeking service,—I mean unseeking of any return — it would create a heaven on earth. There are saints over there, but their quiet self-sacrifice and loving service are scarcely noticed. The ruling passion for power, the ruling desire for riches to win this power, is almost universal. And the quiet saint-like souls who go on their way unobserved will grow more and more heavenly in character, and will become the nobility here."

'Is there difference in caste?'

"No, only one nobility, and only one entrance into its circles — only that of loving, kindly, unselfish service. (Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser in LHH, 117-8.)

I am wishing to tell those on earth, who are struggling to learn what is the meaning of life, that it is the way one looks at it that determines its value. If one thinks of it as a time of sensuous enjoyment, one makes his life a thing of little worth, for such things have no value in the spirit world. If one looks at life as something to be endured and to be gotten through with as soon as possible, he will form a character that has nothing to rest on here. He will have to create new foundations before he can advance. If one there believes that life consists in praying and preaching, that spirit is apt to want to pray and preach here; and in this world there are no churches or congregations that will respond as they did there, and the spirit has to learn that there are other things to acquire before the true life can be enjoyed. When a soul on earth can realize that there are others there who need assistance, who will be the better for aid and sympathy, and can learn to feel that this aid and sympathy can be given by himself, he is in the way to create the life that will mean the most to him when his mortal life is over." (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 118.) "Try for the best, always. And we believe the best is to acquire knowledge along spiritual lines. Live spiritually, think kindly, watch for opportunity to serve. There are so many who need help over there, and we here must work through human thought. Therefore we seek those who are ready to help us."

'In what way can we help?'

"First of all, in our judgment, is the understanding of this life. Not in the old ecstatic, symbolic way, but in the way of acquiring knowledge of the limitless opportunities for the human soul. We were not taught on earth that once past the gateway of death there was either opportunity or necessity for growth. Neither had we learned that service for others was one of the heavenly joys. Nor did we dream that through such service evil souls could be transformed into pure-hearted and wise-minded helpers!"

"There must be an understanding of the wonderful possibilities here." (Unnamed spirit to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 123-4.)

The Law Allows Us to Take Care of Ourselves

All of creation is designed to take care of its needs, its health, and its well-being. Then it shares anything that’s left over. This is not selfishness. Creation is designed to take care of itself. (Sir Oliver Lodge, SOLR, 34-5.)

It has often been quoted that a person comes into physical life to be spiritual and to help uplift as many people and as much of life as possible. But the next sentence is usually omitted: the individual has that same responsibility to himself as well! It is part of the duty of every human being to nurture his own greatness in addition to nurturing the greatness in others. (Sir Oliver Lodge, SOLR, 34.)

The Place of Suffering and Struggle

In the heart of the darkest problem lies wisdom. (The Unknown Teacher to Alice Gilbert in PTS, 86.)

Your grief had roused all the spiritual in you. (Claude in CB, 7.)

Remember that your opponents are not other men, but conditions. If you fight men, they will fight you back; but if you fight conditions, they, being unintelligent, will yield to you with just enough resistance to keep your muscles in good order. (Judge David P. Hatch, LLDM, Letter .)

Do remember – seventy years or so is so little to the advanced people here that they do not reckon it as catastrophic to suffer for that period. Anyhow, they cannot alter the Law. One builds one’s Ego (1) by experiencing all things. (Philip Gilbert in PTS, 37-8.)

(1) By this term, Philip means what we would call the soul. It may have been a happier phrasing to say that one creates a stronger sense of his Self by experiencing all things.

Truth is never found free, my son. It is like the gold in the rocks which must be crushed, refined and subject to other processes. Compare it to a refined human soul which has passed through the furnaces, mills and crucibles of human suffering and experiences and is then pure gold, beautiful to behold. (Donald Macleod in HT, 14.)

We realize that what often seems to you hard and cruel is the greatest benediction of the love of God. We know that He is Love, and what seems least loving is the irreducible minimum of suffering necessary to create the soul anew in the likeness of the love of God. (Julia Ames, AD, 70.)

Where the will has been weakened by continuous selfish indulgence and the man or woman has used the body to paralyze the noblest aspirations of the soul as in the ordinary vices, then when the process has gone on long enough, the soul itself incurs – not an ineradicable taint – but the bias or appetite which, when it arrives here, becomes itself the instrument of its own redemption. But it is always redemption through suffering. For suffering is like the chisel of the sculptor which reveals the statue in the marble block. (Julia Ames, AD, 178-9.)

God’s love is behind all physical suffering and never fails, never can fail, when your whole trust is reposed in Him. (John Heslop, SABL, 67.)

I want you to realize that God does not inflict disease and pain upon His children. Nay, it is His gracious presence that enables you to bear it and that will ultimately lift you out of it. But, while it is present, He utilizes bodily disease to teach many lessons of patience, sympathy, and endurance. Grasp this thought; it will help you so much to get well. (John Heslop, SABL, 68.)

By far the greater part of your suffering and distress is caused by breaking God’s laws either willfully or ignorantly. Do not think that God is unjust because suffering results when in ignorance His laws are broken. The child who puts his tiny hand into the blazing fire because he thinks it pretty is burnt as badly as an older person who understands its danger. Ignorance does not prevent physical suffering and you can trace this in all sections of society. … What I want to impress upon you is this – a God of Love is not responsible for the horrors of your civilization; most of them are due to the direct breaking of His Divine Laws. (John Heslop, FMABL, 26.)

Thus, when, though these broken laws, you are laid low, this period of retirement is used to teach you lessons of Patience, Fortitude, Gentleness and Love. The soul that learns these lessons rises from the sick bed purified and strengthened. Sometimes the experiences of life lead beside the “still waters” and “green pastures.” If, in this far more difficult school, the spirit grows in grace and beauty, and wealth be used for others in acts of self-sacrifice and love, then again the real educational value of life has been achieved. (John Heslop, FMABL, 27.)

If you are in a life of poverty, there would not necessarily be more growth than if you are in a life of material wealth. It’s the awareness that enables you to go through more opportunities or tests for growth. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 9.)

Pain is there for you growth and to make you understand how to become a more total being. Most of these things man can change within his own mental structure. If he recognizes and uses the God-given power which lies within him, he can eliminated that pain and suffering. (Unnamed spirit teacher through Betty Bethards, TIND, 40.)

When you find that life consists of problems to solve, you find some meaning in the evils and obstacles of the earth existence. No one could achieve much who met nothing to conquer. No one would find life interesting if he encountered no problems. We grow by striving. We enjoy by conquering.

When life grows too distressing because of the problems and obstacles; there is always the knowledge that the greatest hindrances are soon to be passed, and that the future is one where we only strive as we feel the urge. In this future no necessity demands our labor when the spirit falters. We have no more stimulating thought than the knowledge that we can make our greatest struggles when life is just beginning. That after the first difficulties, the difficulties of the earth life, are overcome, we can choose the time to try to solve other problems, to undertake other tasks.

When life on earth is over, the greatest joy comes from feeling that one has mastered the difficulties it held in a masterful way; that is, that one has succeeded in accomplishing satisfactorily all the tasks that have been placed before him.

You may never know the supremest joy of overcoming all difficulties until you arrive at life's goal in the infinite future. But you will experience succeeding joys that make existence worth while. (Prof. William James in LHH, 67.)

“We are not always probing mysteries, Wm. James to the contrary."

'Is he still there?'

"No, but we will confess to him when he comes!”

"We have our home life—a real home life of pleasant intercourse and occupation. We have our studies, which of course do include some of the mysteries. And we have travel and entertainment in a thousand ways. Wm. James forgot for the moment his own love of music, drama, travel, intercourse with friends, [etc.]” (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth in LHH, 68.)

I think nothing would be of more benefit to the world than an understanding of the value of helpful, loving service. And when one learns that such a life is the one best fitted to progress here, then the knowledge is doubly valuable. We are striving in every way to get this knowledge before the world. (Unnamed spirit in LHH, 77.)

All the sadness of spirit, the acquaintance with grief, the intermingling with guilt, is part of the experience, in virtue of which his soul shall rise hereafter. The guardians are training and fitting it by those means to progress, and jealously protect it from the dominion of the foe. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 78.)

We may not save you the exercise which is part of your discipline. Be content to walk in the path. It leads direct to truth; but you must tread it in care and pain. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 189.)

You cannot change the unalterable. You cannot reach the Perfect Good, save after a conflict with evil. It is an eternal necessity that you be purified / through struggles with the evil that surrounds you. It is the means by which the spark once struck off from the Divine Soul wins back its way to Him and enters into its rest.

Do you need to be told that true happiness is to be had only by living up to the highest ideal? That the idler and the sluggard know it not? That the vicious man and the evil-doer, who sins of choice and by preference, have no part in it? That peace on earth springs up only in the soul that soars heavenwards, and finds its happiness in viewing the dangers and difficulties that have been overpassed?

Do you need to be told again that the angels watch over such to bear them up—that the ministers count it honour to support them, and that no final harm can fasten on the spirit which keeps a high ideal before it? Victory is assured: but it would not be victory were it found without a struggle in selfish and inglorious ease, by those who would not value what every idle hand might pluck. Victory comes after conflict: peace after tribulation: development after steady growth. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 185-6.)

It is necessary that afflictions come. Jesus knew and taught that. It is necessary for the training of the soul. It is as necessary as physical discipline for the body. No deep knowledge is to be had without it. None is permitted to scale the glorious heights but after discipline of sorrow. The key of knowledge is in spirit hands, and none may wrest it to himself but the earnest soul which is disciplined by trial. Bear that in mind.

Ease and luxury are the pleasant paths in which the soul lingers and dreams away the summer day. Self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-discipline are the upward tracks, thorn-vexed and rocky, which lead to the heights of knowledge and power. Study the life of Jesus and be wise. (Spirit leader Imperator in Moses, ST, 187.)

Healing

Perfect healing ever comes from within, an uprushing of the cleansing stream from the great Source of all life which is within you. (John Heslop, SABL, 67.)

All disease by its very nature causes impurity, but, as you link yourself more and more with the divine purity, bodily healing will come to you. When you once realize that this inner spiritual power is really God within you, and you call upon Him at all times to express Himself in your physical body, then healing, joy, love, and gradual perfection must result. (John Heslop, SABL, 69.)

Redemption through Love

The root of all love is justice. You cannot love if you are unjust. (Julia Ames, AD, 186.)

The redemption of the soul comes from love entering in and possessing it, casting out self, and making the soul here in the atmosphere of love, which is the Breath of God. (Julia Ames, AD, 182.)

Final Thoughts

T.E. Lawrence

Immaterial and ignored aspects of our earth-bodies have here become solidly material and even this material is known to transmute again into the immaterial. In all this, study of our actual conditions and experiences must itself produce a re-orientation, a re-estimate of the real as against the transient and we have to admit that it is always the less material aspect which is real and abiding, whereas the material is always the transient. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 122.)

Pessimism is dead and no negative attitude will stand up to the known facts. Whatever the chaotic thought of earth may achieve, we at least have the guarantee of experience for a lively faith in the love and eternal justice of the Absolute. This is a term I use in default of a better. I do not know if there may be lesser gods, advanced spiritual beings whose jurisdiction may have a more limited scope, but above and beyond all these I am convinced that the foundation and ground of all being must finally exist in the one Ineffable and Eternal Spirit. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 123.)

If this journal has a specific message it is an attempt to convey something of the quality of our living, its joy and beauty and fullness of life beyond any human comprehension. It is also a warning that whatever one sows on earth will be fully reaped here. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 127.)

We all have to earn our heaven, and every step on the way to the final bliss of pure being is paid for by effort. Yet this record is useless if it has not shown the greatness of the reward and the glory of the whole adventure of living and dying. (T.E. Lawrence, PMJ, 128.)

Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson

The thoughts of many persons still upon earth have come to us here in the spirit world as a consequence of the narration of [these] experiences.

Some there are who have thought to themselves and, indeed, voiced the opinion to their friends, that the descriptions I have given of the spirit world, or rather, of that part of it with which I am acquainted, are almost too good to be true. An ideal state, they would say, that is too wonderful to exist in actual fact. The picture I have painted, they would continue, is an imaginative one and has no existence outside the imagination. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 11.)

But the validity of my descriptions still remains, whatever adverse opinion or disagreement may be expressed upon them. I cannot alter the truth. What Edwin, Ruth, and I have seen, millions of other folk also have seen, and are still seeing – and enjoying. We would not have one tiny fragment of these conditions altered. (Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson, HH, 12.)

Frances Banks

This will be my last script for the book. If there is a message in these writings it is the simple statement that all is Unity and that Unity is Light.

That statement may be interpreted symbolically by my readers as referring to the Light of Wisdom, of Knowledge, of Understanding of the Unity of the Life in all things. But a difficult point I would try to make clear is that, in this further phase of our existence on this plane, (1) the reference to Light is to be interpreted literally. We are progressing into Light and yet more Light. To us, now, references to the “golden Throne of God” which formed part of our religious instruction on earth, now reveal definite hidden Truths. The Utmost of such light is beyond our comprehension, which is still limited, or even our highest aspirations. (Frances Banks, TOL, 144.)

(1) Banks is referring to the Mental Plane.

Julia Ames

If I had only one message to give, this is the message – Love. (Julia Ames, AD, 144.)

We shall never be able to say we know everything about this world, for the marvelous wisdom of God is past finding out. When we reach what we think [is] the ultimate, there is a new vista of marvels which we see before us. We pass through, and when we come to a [standstill], beyond us again stretches a new invisible marvel-world, into which we also may at some new stage of development begin to see. (Julia Ames, AD, 76.)

All that I wrote about the joy and the glory of the love of God, which is manifested to us more and more exceedingly, was too weak, too poor to give you any idea of how Life becomes transfigured when the atmosphere of Life is Love. (Julia in AD, xxxviii.)

Mary Bosworth

One thought we will leave with you. Take no thought nor anxiety for the future life. Have no dread of death, which is only a coming, a rebirth, into this life. Do what you can to help others into an understanding of the immortal life of the human soul, and live in happy contentment and confidence of your future, now and ever. (Spirit Control Mary Bosworth to Charlotte E. Dresser, LHH, 92.)

Donald Macleod

True brotherhood of man exists only on the planes of spirit. (Donald Macleod in HT, 13.)

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