During life the collapse of the vital body at night terminates our view of

the world about us, and causes us to lose ourselves in unconsciousness of

sleep. When the vital body collapses just subsequent to death, and the

panorama of life is terminated, we also lose consciousness for a time

which varies according to the individual. A darkness seems to fall upon

the spirit, then after a while it wakes up and begins dimly to perceive
the light of the other world, but is only gradually accustomed to the

altered conditions. It is an experience similar to that which we have when

coming out of a darkened room into sunlight, which blinds us by its

brilliancy, until the pupils of our eyes have contracted so that they

admit a quantity of light bearable to our organism.

If under such a condition we turn momentarily from the bright sunlight and

look back into the darkened room, objects there will be much more plain to

our vision than things outside which are illumined by the powerful rays of

the sun. So it is also with the spirit, when it has first been released

from the body it perceives sights, scenes and sounds of the material

world, which it has just left, much more readily than it observes the

sights of the world it is entering. Wordsworth in his Ode to Immortality

noted a similar condition in the case of new-born children, who are all

clairvoyant and much more awake to the spiritual world than to this

present plane of existence. Some lose the spiritual sight very early,

others retain it for a number of years and a few keep it all through life,

but as the birth of a child is a death in the spiritual world and it

retains the spiritual sight for a time, so also death here is a birth upon

the spiritual plane, and the newly dead retain a consciousness of this

world for some time subsequent to demise.

When one awakes in the Desire World after having passed through

aforementioned experiences, the general feeling seems to be one of relief

from a heavy burden, a feeling perhaps akin to that of a diver encased in

a heavy rubber suit, a weighty brass helmet upon his head, leaden soles

under his feet and heavy weights of lead upon his breast and back,

confined in his operations on the bottom of the ocean by a short length of

air tube, and able only to move clumsily with difficulty. When after the

day's work such a man is hauled to the surface, and divests himself of his

heavy garments and he moves about with the facility we enjoy here, he must

surely experience a feeling of great relief. Something like that is felt

by the spirit when it has been divested of the mortal coil, and is able to

roam all over the globe instead of being confined to the narrow

environment which bound it upon earth.

There is also a feeling of relief for those who have been ill. Sickness,

such as we know it, does not exist there. Neither is it necessary to seek

food and shelter, for in that world there is neither heat nor cold.

Nevertheless, there are many in the purgatorial regions who go to all

bothers of housekeeping, eating and drinking just as we do here. George Du

Maurier in his novel "Peter Ibbetson" gives a very good idea of this

condition in the life lived between the hero and the Countess of Towers.

This novel also illustrates splendidly what has been said of the

sub-conscious memory, for Geo. Du Maurier has somewhere, somehow

discovered an easy method which anyone may apply to do what he calls

"dreaming true." By taking a certain position in going to sleep, it is

possible, after a little practice, to compel the appearance, in a dream,

of any scene in our past life which we desire to live over again. The

book is well worth reading on that account.

When a fiery nebula has been formed in the sky and commences to revolve, a

little matter in the center where motion is slowest commences to

crystallize. When it has reached a certain density it is caught in the

swirl, and whirled nearer and nearer to the outward extremity of what has,

by that time, become the equator of a revolving globe. Then it is hurled

into space and discarded from the economy of the revolving sun.

This process is not accomplished automatically as scientists would have us

believe,--an assertion which has been proven in The Rosicrucian Cosmo

Conception and other places in our literature. Herbert Spencer also

rejected the nebular theory because it required a First Cause, which he

denied, though unable to form a better hypothesis of the formation of

solar systems,--but it is accomplished through the activity of a Great

Spirit, which we may call God or by any other name we choose. As above, so

below, says the Hermetic axiom. Man, who is a lesser spirit, also gathers

about himself spirit-substance, which crystallizes into matter and becomes

the visible body which the spiritual sight reveals as placed inside an

aura of finer vehicles. The latter are in constant motion. When the dense

body is born as a child it is extremely soft and flexible.

Childhood, youth, maturity and old age are but so many different stages of

crystallization, which goes on until at last a point is reached where the

spirit can no longer move the hardened body and it is thrown out from the

spirit as the planet is expelled from the sun. That is death!--the

commencement of a disrobing process which continues in purgatory. The low

evil passions and desires we cultivated during life have crystallized the

desire stuff in such a manner that that also must be expelled. Thus the

spirit is purged of evil under the same law that a sun is purged of the

matter which later forms a planet. If the life lived has been a reasonably

decent one, the process of purgation will not be very strenuous nor will

the evil desires thus expurgated persist for a long time after having been

freed, but they quickly disintegrate. If, on the other hand, an extremely

vile life has been led, the part of the expurgated desire nature may

persist even to the time when the spirit returns to a new birth for

further experience. It will then be attracted to him and haunt him as a

demon, inciting him to evil deeds which he himself abhors. The story of

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is not a mere fanciful idea of Robert Louis

Stevenson, but is founded upon facts well known to spiritual

investigators. Such cases are extremes of course, but they are

nevertheless possible and we have unfortunately laws which convert such

possibilities to probabilities in the case of a certain class of so-called

criminals. We refer to laws which decree capital punishment as penalty of


When a man is dangerous he should of course be restrained, but even apart

from the question of the moral right of a community to take the life of

anyone--which we deny--society by its very act of retaliatory murder defeats

the very end it would serve, for if the vicious murderer is restrained

under whatever discipline is necessary in a prison for a number of years

until his natural death, he will have forgotten his bitterness against his

victim and against society, and when he stands as a free spirit in the

Desire World, he may even by prayer have obtained forgiveness and have

become a good Christian. He will then go on his way rejoicing, and will in

the future life seek to help those whom he hurt here.

When society retaliates and puts him to a violent death shortly after he

has committed the crime, he is most likely to feel himself as having been

greatly injured, and not without cause. Then such a character will usually

seek to "get even" as he calls it, he will go about for a long time

inciting others to commit murder and other crimes. Then we have an

epidemic of murders in a community, a condition not infrequent.

The regicide in Servia shocked the Western World by wiping out an entire

royal house in a most shockingly bloody manner, and the Minister of the

Interior was one of the chief conspirators. Later he wrote his memoirs,

and therein he writes that whenever the conspirators had tried to win

anyone as a recruit, they always succeeded when they burned incense. He

did not know why, but simply mentioned it as a curious coincidence. To the

mystic investigator the matter is perfectly clear. We have shown the

necessity of having a vehicle made of the materials of any world wherein

we wish to function. We usually obtain a physical vehicle by going through

the womb, or perhaps in a few special cases from a particularly good

materializing medium, but where it is only necessary to work upon the

brain and influence someone else to act, we need but a vehicle made of

such ether as may be obtained from fumes of many different substances.

Each kind attracts different classes of spirits, and there is no doubt

that the incense burned at meetings where the conspirators were successful

was of a low and sensual order and attracted spirits who had a grudge

against humanity in general and the King of Servia in particular. These

malcontents were unable to injure the King himself, but used a subtle

influence which helped the conspirators in their work. The released

murderer who has a grudge against society on account of his execution, may

enter low gambling saloons where the fumes of liquor and tobacco furnish

ample opportunity for working upon the class of people who congregate in

such places, and the man whose spiritual sight has been developed is often

sadly impressed when he sees the subtle influences to which those who

frequent such places are exposed. It is a fact of course that a man must

be of a low caliber to be influenced by low thoughts, and that it is as

impossible to incite a person of benevolent character to do murder--unless

we put him into a hypnotic sleep--as to make a tuning fork which vibrates

to C sing by striking another attuned to the key of G, but the thoughts of

both living and dead constantly surround us, and no man ever thought out a

high spiritual philosophy under the influence of tobacco fumes or while

imbibing alcoholic stimulants. Were capital punishment, newspaper

notoriety of criminals, the manufacture of liquor and tobacco eliminated

from society, the gun factories would soon cease to advertise and go out

of business along with most of the locksmiths. The police force would

decrease, so would jails and taxes would be correspondingly minimized.

When a person enters purgatory he is exactly the same person as before he

died. He has just the same appetites, likes and dislikes, sympathies and

antipathies, as before. There is one important difference, however,

namely, that he has no dense body wherewith to gratify his appetites.

The drunkard craves drink, in fact, far more than he did in this life, but

has no stomach which can contain liquor and cause chemical combustion

necessary to bring about the state of intoxication in which he delights.

He may and does enter saloons, where he interpolates his body into the

body of a physical drunkard, so that he may obtain his desires at second

hand as it were, he will incite his victim to drink more and more. Yet

there is no true satisfaction. He sees the full glass upon the counter but

his spirit hand is unable to lift it. He suffers tortures of Tantalus

until in time he realizes the impossibility of gratifying his base desire.

Then he is free to go on so far as that vice is concerned. He has been

purged from that evil without intervention of an angry deity or a

conventional devil with hell's flames and pitchfork to administer

punishment, but under the immutable law that as we sow so shall we reap,

he has suffered exactly according to his vice. If his craving for drink

was of a mild nature, he would scarcely miss the liquor which he cannot

there obtain. If his desires were strong and he simply lived for drink, he

would suffer veritable tortures of hell without need of actual flames.

Thus the pain experienced in eradication of his vice would be exactly

commensurate with the energy he had expended upon contracting the habit,

as the force wherewith a falling stone strikes the earth is proportionate

to the energy expended in hurling it upwards into the air.

Yet it is not the aim of God to "get even;" love is higher than law

and in His wonderful mercy and solicitude for our welfare He has opened

the way of repentance and reform whereby we may obtain forgiveness of sin,

as taught by the Lord of Love: the Christ. Not indeed contrary to law, for

His laws are immutable, but by application of a higher law, whereby we

accomplish here that which would otherwise be delayed until death had

forced the day of reckoning. The method is as follows:

In our explanation concerning the sub-conscious memory we noted that a

record of every act, thought and word is transmitted by air and ether into

our lungs, thence to the blood, and finally inscribed upon the tablet of

the heart:--a certain little seedatom, which is thus the book of

Recording Angels. It was later explained how this panorama of life is

etched into the desire body and forms the basis of retribution after

death. When we have committed a wrong and our conscience accuses us in

consequence, and this accusation is productive of sincere repentance

accompanied by reform, the picture of that wrong act will gradually fade

from the record of our life, so that when we pass out at death it will not

stand accusingly against us. We noted that the panorama of life unwinds

backwards just after death. Later, in the purgatorial life it again passes

before the spiritual vision of the man, who then experiences the exact

feeling of those whom he has wronged. He seems to lose his own identity

for the time being, and assumes the condition of his one time victim, he

experiences all the mental and physical suffering himself which he

inflicted upon others. Thus he learns to be merciful instead of cruel, and

to do right instead of wrong in a future life. But if he awakens to a

thorough realization of a wrong previous to his death, then, as said, the

feeling of sorrow for his victim and the restitution or redress which he

gives of his own free will, make the suffering after death unnecessary,

hence--"his sin is forgiven."

The Rosicrucian Mystery teaching gives a scientific method whereby an

aspirant to higher life may purge himself continually, and thus be able to

entirely avoid existence in purgatory. Each night after retiring the pupil

reviews his life during the past day in reverse order. He starts to

visualize as clearly as possible the scene which took place just before

retiring. He then endeavors to impartially view his actions in that scene

examining them to see whether he did right or wrong. If the latter, he

endeavors to feel and realize as vividly as possible that wrong. For

instance, if he spoke harshly to someone, and upon later consideration

finds it was not merited, he will endeavor to feel exactly as that one

felt whom he wronged and at the very earliest opportunity to apologize for

the hasty expression. Then he will call up the next scene in backward

succession which may perhaps be the supper table. In respect of that scene

he will examine himself as to whether he ate to live, sparingly and of

foods prepared without suffering to other creatures of God, (such as flesh

foods that cannot be obtained without taking life). If he finds that he

allowed his appetite to run away with him and that he ate gluttonously, he

will endeavor to overcome these habits, for to live a clean life we must

have a clean body and no one can live to his highest possibilities while

making his stomach a graveyard for the decaying corpses of murdered

animals. In this respect there occurs to the writer a little poem by Ella

Wheeler Wilcox:

"I am the voice of the voiceless;

Through me the dumb shall speak,

Till a deaf world's ear

Shall be made to hear

The wrongs of the wordless weak.

The same force formed the sparrow

That fashioned man the king;

The God of the whole

Gave a spark of soul

To furred and feathered thing.

And I am my brother's keeper

And I will fight his fight,

And speak the word

For beast and bird

Till the world shall set things right.

Thus the pupil will continue to review each scene in reverse order from

night till morning, and to feel really sorry for whatever he has done

amiss. He will not neglect to feel glad either when he comes to a scene

where he has done well, and the more intensely he can feel, the more

thoroughly he will eradicate the record upon the tablet of the heart and

sharpen his conscience, so that as time goes on from year to year, he

will find less cause for blame and enhance his soul power enormously. Thus

he will grow in a measure impossible by any less systematic method, and

there will be no necessity for his stay in purgatory after death.

This evening exercise and another, for the morning, if persistently

performed day by day, will in time awaken the spiritual vision as they

improve life. This matter has, however, been so thoroughly treated in

number 11 of the lecture series: "Spiritual Sight and Insight; its safe

culture and control," that it is unnecessary to dwell upon the matter

further in this place.