So the days passed. It was over two weeks of the local time that I had been in Hesperian environs. And during this interval the longing for the past life grew; the few occasions when
Mol Lang, Sohma or Phyris had recalled the vivid memories of Earth had been seized upon by my Pertozian astral, and thus each such event renewed the certitude of my having had a put in which all my surroundings had been familiar. It saddened Phyris to know that every time I was left alone my thoughts yearned with increased longing for that past. At times a strong effort of my own will would successfully bring it before me, bring, in fact, my earthly astral from Earth to me, that astral which was the sum of my experiences and memories of Earth. Then, being in Venus, I yet knew myself a man of Earth, and a stranger, and my yearning grew strong for America, my "ain countree." That was home to me, oh! so much more home, although I had no relatives living, all gone to devachan's rest, and no friends comparable to those I had so strangely found in Hesper. My friend, it is the soul that is chained, not the body of man. Unchain thy souls, oh, brethren, and seek to know the things of heaven, of the high life with God, and all things else shall be added unto you, yea, even to the ability to explore the stars in person. Mine was bound to Earth by love of home and native land. Then these moments of knowledge of Earth would cease, because my will power was not strong enough to hold the astral summoned, and it gravitated to its own level, which was the world. Again I would be left unconscious of the Earth life and brooding over the puzzle, until some of the family banished the mental state producing it! No, I was a soul not at home except on Earth; I was here on a higher plane; I might be born after devachan into the level of the Hesperian, but the fact ever obtruded with increased emphasis that as yet I had not been so born.
It was a pleasure to me to sit at table when my friends took their simple repasts, for though I could not eat, nor indeed did I need food, it was agreeable to be with them when they collected thus together.
The next day after I had seen Phyris grow the fruits to eat, I was at supper with the family when Mol Lang, speaking to his son, said:
"Sohma, is it wise to tell our guest so much philosophy as thou said sister have done and contemplate doing?"
"Wherefore keep secret the truth, my father?"
"Because, son, Phylos must return to Earth; it is so fated. He can not know these things, for hearing is not knowing, nor is seeing. He hath no faculties developed whereby to know them, and thou nor I can not permanently enter our knowledge into his soul. Jesus of Nazareth, except He entered into the souls of His hearers as into a temple, could tell them nothing. Caiaphas, the High Priest, and all the Israelites heard the Savior with their ears and saw His doings, yet were blind and deaf and comprehended not. But unto those who were His disciples and followers He entered, and they saw and heard and profited. That was the Spirit which the Master awakened in them and they followed the Word, even as Jesus followed it. But the world has had to read the printed Word for these many centuries, and though many have believed, yet none, no, not one, has been illuminated by the Spirit like unto Paul. What thou wouldst say to Phylos will come to him in astral form when he begins to yearn for Hesperus, even as his astral of Earth now comes to him as he yearns for Earth. And, having forgotten Pertoz, forgotten us, yet will he utter these bits of occult lore, and will suffer therefor. Suffer, because some hearers will by mystified, others scornful, and none, himself included, able to explain or understand."
"Yes, my parent, thou speakest wisely. Yet let me say, he will utter truth. Truth is mighty and will prevail. If, at the time, it be misunderstood, not less must it cause some act in both speaker and hearer. I need not say thoughts are things, for all things are thoughts. Even a stone is a thought concept of the Eternal Spirit, and the stone seen by ordinary eyes is but the externalization of the idea. If, then, Phylos shall think, and his hearers think on his utterances, that is an action, Making the actor responsible. If a small thought, then a small hot; it will doubtless finish its karma in the life of its utterance. But if a great thought, or deed, it will make its doer his or her own legatee, and then? I speak to thee also now, Phylos
--the inheritor of his own actions shall find the deed become part of the great karma of the human race, and himself responsible for its fruition, because, 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle hall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.' 1 Only thus can Phylos ever come to us again."
"Well spoken, my son!" was Mol Lang's sole comment.
Sohma then said to me: "Phylos, my brother, there is no man or woman but hath in some past as well as present life done grievous evil to one or more fellowbeings, man or animal. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap. And our Father hath ordained that in life, subsequent to the one witnessing the greater sins, he that did them must also requite them. Must do so by setting against the evil counter-balancing good. Not else shall any one come into the Kingdom. This is the law of karma."
On leaving the table I went with Sohma, into his own rooms to see a painting which adorned his wall. Its size was three and a half feet by six feet, and it was framed with rubies, sapphires, diamonds, pearls and other gems set in cement, precious stones which on Earth would be each valued into three period of figures. Not so in Hesperus, for they were produced as Phyris produced the jewel-dishes. But the picture exceeded the frame, a production of art magic which all the wealth of the world could not buy.
I saw a view of a boundless ocean, the billows lashed in tempestuous fury, seabirds skimming the crests or flitting through the air above. It seemed a sunset on the great waters, for the red beams shone through breaking clouds, lighting the aftermath of the storm with a great glory. Close at hand, so close that one could see the anxious intensity of mingling emotions on their faces, two men and a boy clung to a floating spar. One of the men was held by his mates as he wildly waved his arms to a ship that lay, an acute silhouette against the monstrous disc, right in the very middle of the vermilion sun.
"Such a scene could not be worth so great a sum as I named?"
Truly, it were idle to attach a figure to what no money could buy. But what think you when I say that the pictured billows rose and fell as does real water? And the wind scudding along caught the combing, breaking billows and hurled spray and spume for what seemed hundreds of feet. The petrels and gulls dipping their feet in the water left a momentary ripple as they rose again. Clouds flitted across the horizon, and coming athwart the great sun were lit by its crimson, while, even as I looked, the blazing orb sank its lower edge beneath the waters. The tall ship had sailed to the edge of the shield and, looking, I saw a flag raised and lowered as if in answer to the men on the spar. Then a boat, a mere dot at the distance, was launched. But the castaways were too near the level to see these things and, as the sun sank wholly from view, one of them raised his arms in wild despair and slipped from the spar to his grave in the depths. After a time the light of the full moon replaced that of the set sun, the clouds cleared away, and in the pale, silvery light I saw the approaching boat, seeking the castaways. I saw them, now floated to one side of the canvas, but the searchers at first did not. They rowed here and there, and finally were successful. Lifting the perishing man and the boy into the boat, they pulled away to where the lights of their ship gleamed in the night. Then the watery waste was left lifeless as the boat disappeared in the gloom towards the ship, which, as I looked, sailed out at one side of the picture, as if the whole scene was one beheld through an open window, and the vessel had sailed behind the window casement. The canvas slowly whitened, and presently was perfectly blank of color or figures.
While I yet gazed, out from the side on the right of the frame appeared a black point, coming slowly into view, and tossing up and down. Waves grew in green sullenness across the whole canvas, and Sohma said:
"See, it is about to repeat itself. By watching thou shalt am the whole again. It is a, scene of a shipwreck on the Atlantic
Ocean, on the distant Earth. As often as it is all completed it turns white, and then is repeated. It is another example of the power of an occult mind over matter; the artist's will changes the speed of the color, and either reduces or raises it so that the vibrations making red are increased and range up through all degrees of color-force, always exactly in harmony with the astral image put on the canvas by the creative power of the occult artist. 'Who painted this, dost thou ask?' Phyris. She painted it ere thou camest to Hesperus, when thou didst rescue a woman from a life of shame. This scene is prophetic. It is that of a time coming on Earth, when that rescued woman shall be lost at sea, years hence. But look at the picture."
I looked, and saw that though the storm was yet only a menace, it was surely coming and would overtake the proud vessel that now had appeared in full perspective, half a mile over the waters from me, as it seemed. At the mainmast floated the Stars and Stripes, Flag of the Union. The sight brought my astral to me, and memories of Earth and homeland filled my eyes with tears. But Sohma put away the sad feeling, leaving me but partially conscious of the past. I could see a sailor go to the ship's bell and ring "eight bells," see, but of course not hear, four o'clock in the afternoon. The sailor had hardly struck the time ere a man came on deck and seemed to give orders to "close reef." The men swarmed into the rigging and obeyed; it was from their actions that I knew what the orders had been. Then coming back on deck, they battened down the hatches and put all safe for storm. Not a moment too soon. First a cloud overcast the sun; then a black pall in the north, obscuring the view. I could dimly see that things on shipboard began to flap in the wind, and soon the noble vessel careened far over to starboard under the white-topped rush of frightful billows. Then the fugitive craft, with its mainmast hanging over the side, began to flee before the demon of the storm. I could see it as it rose and sank in the maddened swirl, while it seemed as if the vessel was in rapid motion, giving the
effect of flight. Presently a squad of seamen made a rush across the decks for the pumps, at which they worked with the energy of despair. A woman came from the one hatch left open for passage below decks, and winding the cordage of the stump of the mainmast about her slight form, cheered the men in their desperate toil. The foremast now snapped, and was cut adrift. The vessel was filling faster than the men could pump out the leakage, and a jump for the boats was made. One by one these were lost, swamped as they touched the water, till only one remained. Into this the captain ordered his men. Two more men than there was possible room for in the boat; and the captain with his mate and the woman, whom he held in his arms, stayed. The boat was not seemingly a hundred feet distant when the gallant ship pitched forward, prow first, and went down. A spar floating by the lone boat was the salvation of some of those in the frail shell, which I saw overturned by the heavy waves. A moment I saw white faces, for the boat was near in the foreground. I saw the woman's face as she sank, and she was near enough so that I saw, not terror, but a peaceful smile depicted on her features. Then I saw two men and a boy, clinging to a spar, and the scene was come to the repetition, for on that spar, when two days had elapsed (in seeming), I saw them as at the beginning of this description. "In seeming?" Yes, because the canvas depicted that night's blackness, the next day's sombre light, another night and the second day. The whole scene took about two actual hours for its rendition.
Sohma said no more concerning occult wisdom. He knew that my mind, ignorant of the philosophy of this higher life, was not in touch with its significance, and that I wearied of it as a child does of studies at school; abstruse occupations presenting to its limited comprehension no actual connection with the facts of its little world.
Mol Lang taught me yet one thing more there in Hesper, saying it was for my guidance, and that I would not forget it at any time. We were beside the great river which flowed past his abode at a few hundred yards distant. I sat on the
gravel of the shore; Mol Lang sat above me on the bank, close enough to touch me. He planted a seed, and over it held his hands, palms downward. It grew fast, and soon stood mature at the height of his head. Banana-like fruit hung amongst its broad leaves. He plucked some of the fruit and ate it.
"See, Phylos, such is plant life. Thou hast said: 'Why not take animal life to nourish our bodies,' and 'If it be wrong to take life of animals is it not wrong to take that of vegetable growths?' My son, where any form, mineral, plant or animal, exists, there also is an entity created by the Spirit; the matter-form is nothing but clothing to the astral, and this to the soul. Now there are plant souls, animal souls, human souls, all children of our Father, but not evolutionable one into the other in any given period of planetary activity; but all progress towards the Creator as plants draw sunward. No man can make even a plant soul exist; but if he know the law, he can find a plant soul and give it a body of plant shape, if the body be a higher type than it had before. He can--I can incarnate such a plant soul. It is a simple experience; it begins by sprouting of seed, by growth of the young plant body, by maturity, budding, flowering, fruiting and ripening more seeds, seven simple actions. I can hasten these, and crowd them all into a few minutes. Then have I given the plant soul its little experience. Left alone it would have no others, but would die, the last experience in its incarnation. Very well; I take its body, but cut off no needed process. It is m virtually my body as my own flesh, for I made it and loaned it to the plant soul. Out of me went strength to do it. Reverse the process, eat the plant, into me returns my strength. But no man could forsee the experiences which each day, hour and minute bring to an animal soul, each and every one necessary, for it is growing toward the Eternal, and each experience is a responsible link, making it a karma which shall bring its animal soul into a next incarnate life. Kill it, and thou canst not compensate it for its opportunities; but to a plant thou mayest. Compensation is God's law. If thou doest a thing and can not compensate for it, that is sin; but if thou
art able to make proper balance, it is no sin. Hence the Master of Nazareth did no sin in the matter of filling the fisherman's net; but thou wouldst have sinned in doing likewise, for in thee the manifest Spirit is not made One with thee. As thou canst not compensate an animal soul for its bodily life, thou sinnest in killing. And the flesh is accursed by reason of that sin. Behold, I say truly, if thou shalt do such sin, thou shalt reap the penalty; no butcher can see God in His Kingdom: he must cease to be a butcher ere he can have hope of knowing the occult realm which is His Kingdom."
Mol Lang arose, and I did also. He put his arm about me and said:
"My son, the desert is before thy feet. Its hot sands will scorch their soles, yet heed thine own intuition 1 which reveals God unto thy soul, and thou shalt come out of that desert. Be thou faithful unto death, and thou shalt have a crown of life from our Father. God be with thee and keep thee; I, also, will guard thee."
My friends, years elapsed ere I again saw Mol Lang, weary years of sorrow and trial. He left me there by the river, and there Phyris found me not long after.
Soon gathered about us other people, mostly young persons, even some children. In Hesper, the Seventh Principle has a fair beginning of growth, while as for their physical perfection, any Hesperian has an almost godlike beauty and grace. But to illustrate how great is the height of that plane above anything earthly, and how many seemingly miraculous powers have there become characteristic of humanity, so as to be common inheritance of every ego theron incarnate, instance this: A little child, only four years of age, but very mature in demeanor, while essentially childlike in many things, came and stood beside me. Though the little one laughed and chatted with me, if I had at first been disposed to think her babyish, I soon regarded her differently. Young as she was, and of course unacquainted with any deep occult laws, yet as
child of a branch of humanity advanced to the perfect human plane, and upon the threshold of the spiritual, she herself was fitted to be there by untold. previous incarnations. As heritage of these many lives the little maid possessed astonishing powers which earthly men and women must acquire by the slow process of study through years.
Study first to conquer the animal nature, then meditate on the principles which, for those who have the will to know, are in these pages. Do only as they teach. Follow the Way. One shall guide all who earnestly ask Him, even before the Day of Man.
Apparently satisfied regarding my appearance, remember that I should have been invisible to non-clairvoyant eyes, but was not so to her inherited psychic sight, the little one remarked in sweet confidence:
"My father hath often told me of a numerous branch of the human race, compared to which we Pertozians are as the leaves of a single tree to those of a forest. He hath pointed out the planet where these dwell; I have never seen any of these lower human beings until now I see thee. Is it not strange? And they tell me, too, that neither thou, nor the mass of people are yet come to have knowledge of the karma, nor other occult powers, do foolishly scoff at it, indeed. It is strange. Still thou, and they also, will grow in knowledge. God demands it. Then thy personal appearance will become more pleasing." (!)
I was wholly abashed. To hear a mere child talk thus, and conclude with the remark that I would grow, well, grow to grace, was most astonishing. It was pleasing, too, for though it exhibited the vast gap between the Earthly man and the spirituality of Hesper, yet it showed the vista of human possibilities with a clearness which nothing else had done. Man needs comparisons to enable him to judge of relative values. St. Peter's Church at Rome is the greatest building the world now knows. But these vast buildings must be set about with others, themselves large, to enable the human mind to comprehend how vast they are. So with spiritual truths: until
this little child revealed it, I had not had anything but a vague conception of the exalted truths I had heard. Mol Lang's marvelous actions, those of Sohma and Phyris even, had impressed me as acts of a superior being, whose side I could never gain as an equal. Truly, Mol Lang said he came there by study and, further, faith in the Father. But my eyes saw not his progress; they but saw his attainment; neither had I seen this child acquire her position, but my soul could recognize the fact of her growth being still in progress. In place of vague desires, I began to feel the thrill of hope and a knowledge that I also might grow. Until that moment I had accepted the statements of my friends that I could grow up to them. Faith was now replaced by knowledge. Through this little one my life was lifted and linked to the higher life of Pertoz, that of man perfect. I was ready to say in earnestness, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven."
The dozen or more friends present asked me to tell my life story, in order that hearing the living voice, they might study me as I spoke. I complied. At last I finished. I had told of my hopes in life, and they were lofty, noble hopes, like those which throng the breast, subduing the animal nature, when one listens to music whose chords thrill the soul to do and dare for the high reward of hearing Him say: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."
To me then spoke Phyris, slowly, but how sweetly only one can know who puts away all that sullies the human soul. I noted that she no longer used the ordinary personal pronouns, but in this last conversation reverted to the solemn style though using the familiar English language.
"Phylos, thou hast related of thy life all that thou knowest. I know much more, and I will tell thee also, though thou goest to Earth, forgetting us, forgetting me."
"Phyris, say not so, I can never forget you!" I said sadly.
"Yea, Phylos, thou wilt forget me, because only thy Hesperian memory knoweth me, and it must yield to thine Earthly astral when thou hast returned thither. Yet it will but sleep, not perish, until the time again cometh for it to govern thy
life. When the years of karma are flown, thou wilt once more come hither, and then thou wilt no more yearn for Earth, as now. My. twin, I fain would keep thee here; I can not, for karma is set against me, and karma is the Christ law, saying, 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' Though forgetting Hesper, yet thou shalt have an astral record, and it will at times come to thee, even as thine earthly record cometh here, disturbing thee, and it will be a strange thing, for it will seem as thyself, yet thou shalt not recognize its words as thine own history, so it shall seem also some one else.
"Thou hast told thy life so far as thou knowest it; but back of it thou hast heard that thou hast had myriad other lives. And in these I have been involved. Naturally so, for my spirit is also thy spirit, though our souls are not now near together as they have been in other times. I could tell thee much concerning this eternity past, which thou hast had and known, but forgotten page by page as the Angel of Death turned the leaves of thy book of life. But I will not tell thee, Phylos, though I could remember it from that living, eternal record of cause and effect, of the mutual action and reaction of the forms of life and of matter; 'tis the astral record, the Father's 'Book of Life.' Memory is but the power of the soul to read this great astral record. I have that power; thou hast it not; but I will not tell thee, but leave thee to find all this thyself; to know this past from thine own coming wisdom. Then thou shalt know me as one with thyself. And I will in that time write the long history of our lives from the remote days when thou and I lived in old Lemuria, days ere the Earth had known the continent of Atlantis, or the glacial epoch of geologists--'twas the golden age. But we will know farther back than that, even to the time when Earth did not exist, nor Venus nor Mars, neither the sun nor any star. But of this I will not try to tell the world all, not that it might not be told, but no reader could comprehend that state wherein Man that is, was a race not become Man as yet. When I say Man I say also all associate animals, for every sort of being that lives on the Earth is Man, there being men and animals, lesser men. No,
they who heard the words could in nowise comprehend beings neither animal, plant nor mineral, which nevertheless lived. I will therefore deal solely with the later time which came ere the last glacial epoch, and still later with the time of Zailm, and when of him, of thyself, for my Phylos is but Zailm reincarnate, returned from devachan."
I raised my head, which I had kept bowed while Phyris talked. We were alone, the others of our party having withdrawn. Phyris continued:
"I will write of Anzimee, and so of myself; and I will write of others also. But now I speak of ourselves.
"When Man was born into the earth from Mars, as he is eventually to be born from the Earth into Hesper, that was the basis of the allegory of Adam and Eve, but back of them came all their lesser brethren, the animals of land, sea and air. And back of the race birth were the race lives on Man, and ere then lives on two other planets, neither of which are of matter which the Earthly eye could perceive. There is in them now no life process, for these world souls are resting, and so also is Mars. Thus have I spoken of four of the seven planets of which the human race makes cyclic visits, going from One to Two, to Three, to Four (which is the Earth), to Five (Hesper), to the one to which Man will go after his years on Hesper, and thence to the Seventh or Sabbatic world. These two last, like the two first, are imperceptible to the eyes of man on Earth. Seven are the worlds, and seven times the race of Man circles them; three times already hath Man circled the series and arrived en masse at the fourth of the number in this, his fourth round. So, Phylos, I speak of all these many race-lives; of Earth, of Hesper, of Mars, and all other human planets, after the ordinary sense. But whosoever wills may go with our Great Master, escaping the Rounds, and of that Life, no words can tell. But such will is rare, and few there be that find that Way. Yet here are some of the signs along that Path; hear them, heed, and thus find--me. Use all things as
abusing none. Drugs, as drugs; food, as not gluttonously; drinks, as not bibulously; society, as a study; marriage 1 as a Way, but continency as His Highway. The most of our race must go by the lower path, for the Cliff-brow Way is too dizzy; none can walk it, save He holds their hands, and few there be that will to let Him, for desires tempt them. But they that refuse that Life now, how shall they find it again? They will not, and so shall cease with the world. Then will have come true that which is written, 'There shall be time, and times and half a time.' Alas that it should be so. A message of this judgment shalt thou render in a day not afar off. Being in the middle of its sojourn upon the Earth, the race is half through an experience of life that hath engaged it for a period of time too vast for thy real comprehension."
"Will you not tell me?" I inquired. "I am curious."
"Tell thee? Yes, and in words thou canst understand, yet the figures can convey but vaguely to thee, who know not what all the period hath seen transpire. These are the figures," and Phyris solemnly counted a period of time which my mind confronted as one helpless, lost in thought. "But see thou convey to none other this knowledge, until our atonement hath recurred. Such is the lapse of Time since the Universe was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Each man we see, except those who have been transfigured, is but a semi-ego, and each woman the same, two of these having one spirit. When the perfection time cometh, all the halves shall unite, each with its own, and lo! this is the marriage made in heaven. But first comes the Trial, the Crisis of Transfiguration."
"And if," I asked, "if a soul pass not, why not, and what will happen, and if one half, one mate, shall fall, shall the other also?"
"Oh, my twin! If a soul pass not, it will be because the waywardness of its many lives hath clipped the wings of its strength so that it can not fly above the concentrated temptations of that trial. Such a fate is the portion of all failures
in this supremest trial. And lastly, personally, if thou dost fail? Thy soul shall go into the Second Death, and because of that, so also shall mine, for we, and all egoic mates fight this last fight with our combined strength. On me thy eternal life depends; on thee my hope rests; but upon the Spirit rests all our hope. And we can not find It if we follow not the Path shown us by Christ; if we seek It not, It will not seek us. Save Christ is ours and in us we must fail in that fearful trial. But come, Phylos, and see the Earth as it was in the days of Zailm. and Anzimee, and seeing that time, behold it now."
Thus speaking, she arose and touched me, and I perceived for the first time that she, like myself, was in astral form. I seemed to sleep momentarily, yet was conscious of motion, the sort of motion that one experiences when passing from deep sleep to full wakefulness at once. This was the passage from Hesperus to Earth. The sensation was due to the fact that my present astral was in some sort material; as I had not even an astral when coming from the Earth, and so nothing material, therefore I could not be conscious of that transition. The sleeping unconsciousness was now due to Phyris, who wished to draw my attention from her words and--herself.
Once more all the scenes of Earth appeared. I saw the broad waters of the Atlantic. Phyris said:
"Names are appropriate; see here is the Atlantic Ocean where was the Atlantean Continent. And now we descend into it; above are its waters, and around us. They harm us not, for our psychicality is superior to their psychicality. Behold the psychic record of the past, the concrete history of the world, imperishable until time shall be no more. Wouldst thou read of a first destruction of Poseid? Seek it in thy Bible, and find it as the Noachian deluge. This was before the age of Zailm, or of history which they knew, many thousands of years. Wouldst learn of the destruction of Lemorus, that great people who were in the Earth before the Age of Ice, when the world knew no cold, nor snow, nor frost; who antedated Poseid by countless ages? Turn to the book of Job and
read of how the 'deep boiled like a pot,' and reading, thou shalt learn that Lemuria perished of fire from out the interplanetary depths. So one cycle of mankind dieth of fire, and the next of water. And again, the next dieth of fire. The races of Earth to-day shall come, afar off as is yet that day, to perish of fire, and the Earth be blasted and rolled together as a scroll, find thou its prophecy in the second Book of Peter III:10. Yet knowledge of all this is not from my telling. I have spoken. And now, my other self, I take thee yet awhile to fulfill the law and the prophets and thy karma. And I will abide thy coming again unto me; we part, see, here is the Sagum, there Mendocus. Aye, beloved, we part, but it is for a little while, and then for eternity we shall be one together. Let some dim perception of me awaken in thy mind, and sweeten thy life, and lead thee ever upward. My peace, so much as it is such, be with thee, and keep thee!"
She put her arms about me, and held me long, while our eyes looked into each others souls. Then her lips met mine in one ecstatic throb, and---she was gone!
340:1 Matthew, v. 18.
345:1 St. John, xvi, 13.
350:1 Cor. vii; 1 to 9; also 29, 31, 32, 36, 37 and 38.