Study Set 10
The Temple of the Daily Life
Letter from Teaching Staff
During Daily Meditation an Etheric Temple is Built
Meditation and the Busy Life
Personality is De-emphasized in a Spiritual Group
A Seven-Year-Old Boy Learns About Death
With self forgetfulness I gather what I need for
the helping of my fellowmen.
A Treatise on White Magic, Pages 93-121, 492-507
QUESTIONS AND ISSUES FOR STUDY, REFLECTION,
Please answer the following questions out of your
own thinking, rather than searching through the book or study set for quotable
answers. You are urged to give considerable attention to this aspect of
the subjective work. The more time, the more thought you give to it, the
more spiritual help you will receive through your studies. These are quite
searching questions. If you wish, try to formulate written answers to these
questions. The effort you give to expressing your thinking about them is
in itself a method of calling into activity hitherto unused parts of your
1.) How do I improve my personality as an instrument
of service, while practicing self-forgetfulness?
2.) Everywhere one turns today, he hears the word
SERVICE. Service means many different things to different people. What
does it mean to you?
3.) Whom or what does the aspirant or disciple serve?
4.) What fields of service are open to those who
earnestly pursue the study and application of the Tibetan's teachings?
5.) What does THE TEMPLE OF THE DAILY LIFE mean to
6.) Can one help with the building of another's temple?
If so, how? If not, why not?
7.) Do you find anything in this Study Set that might
help you to better understand and improve your relationships with elderly
Dear Fellow Students,
The two themes in this Study Set (IMPERSONALITY in
soul relationships, and wise preparation for DEATH) provide a foundation
of practical understanding for much of our work.
As the individual's consciousness unfolds in the
light of his soul, he sees that soul intent strengthens at the expense
of personality assertion. High desire is attained by renouncing low desire.
His higher nature is able to beautify and irradiate his daily life only
as his lower nature weakens its hold upon him. Whenever his lower self
re-asserts itself, his higher self loses ground.
This is necessarily so, because the aims of the selfish
self-centered personality move in a direction precisely opposite to that
of his loving group-centered soul. The personality by its very nature,
serves itself; the soul, by its very nature, serves the common good.
The separative personality sacrifices group good for its own gain; the
illumined soul willingly, wisely sacrifices itself for the benefit and
upliftment of related lives.
Correspondingly, in all our relationships, emphasis
upon personality hinders the development of soul rapport. Over-sensitivity
to personalities makes one nonsensitive to souls. Sensitivity to souls
lets personalities drop into a position of less interest. Sensitive responsiveness
to the soul aspect of other people, makes us less emotionally reactive
to their personalities; whereas, if we tend to react readily (either favorably
or unfavorably) to another personality, we are likely to miss the subtle,
more meaningful note of his soul. Preoccupation with liking and disliking
personalities who are pleasant or unpleasant, impressive or colorless,
limits our view of human nature to a minor portion of the Whole Man. When
a relationship is firmly established on a soul-to-soul basis, a great deal
of incompatibility between personalities can be absorbed and even go unnoticed.
Cultivation of undue interplay between personalities
on the plane of personality, simply delays the building of the deeper spiritual
link between souls related in. co-service.
In Arcana, we make a deliberate, conscious effort
to develop impersonal attitudes as soon as possible, in order to create
an atmosphere in which soul rapport and inter-soul relations develop quickly
To those who dread impersonality, lest it be a cold,
indifferent, attitude, we hasten to point out that the true love of the
soul is characterized by an impersonal quality. A sweet, sentimental note,
on the other hand, bespeaks the energy which flows through the solar plexus
center, and has its roots in a selfish desire to be loved. True, it is
a kind of love; but clothed in astral substance, therefore very unstable
in character, easily upset and disturbed, easily turned into something
other than love.
The love which flows through the etheric heart center
is love of a higher order; it is the love that understands; the love that
endures; the love that leaves the beloved free. The lower, personal love
clings, holds, binds; is dependent and wants to be depended upon, yet is
undependable. The higher love of the heart liberates, uplifts, requires
nothing in return, is not subject to moods or fluctuations; it is absolutely
dependable; its source is the soul whose nature is love; nothing on the
plane of personality can weaken or distort it.
We are including in this Set a paper on "Occult
Reticence", to encourage you to think about this principle of spiritual
living. Throughout the entire history of the Esoteric Tradition, occult
reticence has been stressed. Students who are at this time interested
in, and ready for, intensive training in the life of meditation, must surely
have received considerable preparation and teaching sometime previously.
The passages we have quoted on occult reticence will probably ring a familiar
note to the deeper levels of your own consciousness.
A major aim of this entire Series I on WHITE MAGIC,
is to help you establish good spiritual habits that will prove indispensable
to your work in later Series. One of the best of all habits is that of living the Teaching rather than talking about it. Even when
we are trying to tell enquiring friends how very precious and practical
the Teaching is, it is the quality of the life we live, rather than our
enthusiastic accounts of the books we read, that carries the soul's message
We call to your attention two passages in the reading
assignment comparing sleep to death:
W.M. p. 494 "But people are apt to forget that every
night, in the hours of sleep, we die to the physical plane ........."
W.M. p. 503-505
"Learn to keep focussed in the head ......."
through ".......has an advantage over the man who
never pays any attention to the process."
As the saying goes: Death is the one surest thing
Each of us has died many, many times. In a few decades,
we'll do it again. A most useful aspect of esoteric teaching is that it
offers release from ancient thoughtforms of fear and horror built around
the experience of dying.
As you study the chapter of the book, WHITE MAGIC,
on "Salvation from Death," consider the value of the regular evening review
in preparing you to enter into sleep properly; this in turn, prepares you
to cross the threshold of death when your soul so indicates.
The aperture through which you leave your physical
vehicle when you enter into sleep, determines the plane upon which you
will find yourself. If you leave your body, at night, via one of the lower
openings, you will begin your night's experience on a lower level of consciousness
than you should; then part of your sleeping time must be given to finding
your way onto the mental plane where the most important part of your spiritual
training takes place.
If you habitually leave your body through
one of the lower openings, you are likely to use that same opening for
departure from the physical vehicle at the time of death.
Doing the evening review as close to the end of the
waking day as possible (IF you do the review mentally rather than
emotionally) should focus your consciousness in the head prior to going
to sleep, thus making it natural to leave the body through one of the head
Serious esoteric students will not want to waste
sleeping time wandering about the astral plane when work, training and
lighted companionship awaits them on the plane of mind. Neither will they
want to linger unduly long on the astral plane immediately after death.
Having built into our equipment abilities and knowledge that enables us
to be of service on a higher plane, there is where we should hasten when
we are released from the physical body.
In LEAVES OF MORYA'S GARDEN, Vol. II, we find this
"Let us speak of death.
Death is no more than the shearing of the hair,
for in the same way is matter cast off.
It is with difficulty that the spirit realizes
its release from matter. The spirit attached
to Earth clothes itself in the astral body,
which creates for him the illusion of Earth here
in the hearth of cravings and remorse. But the
spirit which speeds out, in upward striving only,
can avoid the astral plane, because the astral
body is but superfluous rubbish. The less litter
the purer the consciousness.
To speak of immortality as of a purely scientific
fact is profoundly correct. Upon the casting away
of matter, the final thought is like an arrow.
This moment determines the direction of the flight;
the rest is added according to the aspiration.
Let us know how to aspire.
One may strive upwards toward light, seeking to
render assistance; then there is no parting.
If those who remain would consider the departed
as having been sent to light for enlightenment,
then the communion would be more sound. If the
desires of the spirit are lofty it can discover
lofty forms, and in creating them it can contribute
Let us try to so live during the waking hours, that
the time of sleep affords the best possibilities of service and training
in service. Let us so sleep that the moment of death is a springboard into
In constant fellowship of effort,
The Staff of ARCANA
DURING DAILY MEDITATION AN ETHERIC TEMPLE
For the morning meditation "the aspirant seeks daily
a quiet spot where he can be free from interference and interruption. If
wise, he will always seek the same spot, for he will there build up a shell
around it that will serve as a protection and make the desired higher contact
more easy. The matter of that spot, the matte of what you might term the
surrounding space, becomes then attuned to a certain vibration (the man's
own highest vibration reached in consecutive meditations) which makes it
easier for him each time to start at his highest and so eliminate a long
preliminary keying up."
From LETTERS ON OCCULT MEDITATION
Following are excerpts from a Workshop member's notebook:
In meditation you are building:
1. An etheric temple
2. A certain atmosphere
3. A shrine
Time + Place + Consent = Etheric
Meditation in the same place everyday locates the
individual's Temple within the etheric substance of the locality. As he
focuses his attention, concentrates his mind, raises his consciousness,
appoints his aspiration and spiritual intention, he moves and raises and
up-points the forces within and around himself. "Energy follows thought"
is a basic maxim of all creators. Thus he actually structures the forces
within and immediately around his three vehicles into a form closely resembling
the universal, traditional form of places of worship in all lands in all
times. If you will study illustrations of cathedrals, temples, mosques,
holy edifices of the major world religions, you will see that their lines
in common resemble the sensed form of your own structure of ascending consciousness
as you follow, step by step, the assigned meditation form.
Meditating at approximately the same time every day,
establishes a rhythm which in turn builds up a momentum of
interplay between you, the man in incarnation, and, you, the soul on its
own plane; and between you, the meditator, and the invisible unconscious
lives who are set to constructive work by the motions of your mind, of
your imagination in the visualization part of the meditation, and by the
sound of the mantram and the Sacred Word. Thus your Temple is a dynamic,
pulsing, living influence in the vicinity of your life.
Work performed within the etheric Temple (meditation)
establishes an anchoring point on the outer plane for the energies of the
soul, daily invoked. Within your being, also, is established an anchoring
point for new energies which will in time create a new aura. Thus, within
your Temple, is built a place of power, the shrine, the nucleus of the
This work proceeds only if, at the outset,
you gain the consent of nearby lives. Whether for you this means gaining
your family's respect for your privacy, or training household pets not
to interfere, or whether it means persuading your own rebellious personality
to accept a discipline it finds irksome -- your daily meditations inevitably
affect other lives and their consent is a first requirement.
MEDITATION AND THE BUSY LIFE
Occasionally a person who is approaching the point
of readiness for meditation writes to tell us, "I am sincerely interested
in meditation but do not have the time to meditate every day." We reply,
"If you are sincerely interested, you do not have time to not meditate
every day." Then we try to explain that once the daily rhythm of meditation
is established, the student will discover that regular daily meditation
saves more time throughout the day than the brief period required for morning
meditation, because the resultant alignment and coordination of the vehicles
produces a notable increase in efficiency and effectiveness. Furthermore,
faithful adherence to all the group disciplines proves to engender more
energy than is expended in the performance of the disciplines; this because,
by imposing the soul's rhythm upon the whole daily life, the energy and
wisdom of the soul becomes available to the man on the physical plane;
his attitudes and judgment become enlightened by the light of the soul;
his efforts to serve his environment become empowered by the strength of
To the man pledged to service, meditation is the
greatest time saver and labor saver, besides cultivating a sense of spiritual
So valuable a method of increasing service efficiency
and spiritual effectiveness, should be put to work at the very center of
world affairs. A number of workers in key positions of the United Nations,
including Secretary-General U Thant, are trained meditators and do not
hesitate to say so. The following interview offers a delightful picture
of one who places his spiritual duties first on the agenda of a very busy
Excerpts from the article "Mr. President" in
"Talk of the Town", THE NEW YORKER
General Assembly of the United Nations, Sir Zafrulla
Khan has been, at various times, Foreign Minister of Pakistan and a judge
at the International Court, in the Hague, and since last year has been
the permanent representative of his country at the U.N.
Recently, when there was no plenary session of the
General Assembly, we dropped in at the spacious Pakistan House, on East
Sixty-fifth Street, to see Sir Zafrulla. We enquired how he liked doing
double duty, for his country and for the General Assembly.
"I have worked-out a routine for my day in which
everything fits very well," he said.
We asked him to tell us about his day.
"I wake for the first time at three o'clock, to say
my supererogatory -- not a good word -- prayers. They are over and above
our five daily Muslim prayers, which in times of pressure I cut down to
three. In America, I often have to combine my noon and afternoon prayers
and my evening and night prayers. When we were on daylight-saving
time, I said the former after lunch, but now that we're on standard time,
I can say them just before lunch, around twelve o'clock. As one does with
every Muslim prayer, I begin my supererogatory prayers with the prescribed
ablutions -- washing hands up to elbows, rinsing mouth, washing feet up
to ankles and so forth. If you wash your feet that way before you put your
socks on in the morning, it is not necessary to wash them before each of
the remaining prayers of the day. After ablutions, I spread out the prayer
mat. Actually, the Holy Prophet says that the whole earth is purified for
praying, but since for us prayer is an intimate communion with God, we
prostrate ourselves before Him each time, and it is best to have some protection
for the clothes. Incidentally, the place of worship is not important for
us. About a quarter to four, I return to my bed; I am thankful to say that
I can sleep or awaken any time, at will. Indeed I have told all my staff,
in case of any necessity in the night, to ring me. The telephone
is next to my pillow. Some of them have rung me, and they have invariably
told me that I didn't sound sleepy on the telephone. I awake for the second
time for my morning prayers, which have to be said between the first flush
of dawn and about ten minutes before sunrise. After them, I bathe, and
read four or five pages of the Koran. I am out of my apartment at a quarter
past seven. My doctor has prescribed a two-mile walk which brings me to
my office at a quarter to eight, sharp. I start work with my telegrams,
files, and orders, and at nine the officers of the Mission arrive for a
delegation meeting. When I decided to have these meetings at nine, my press
officer said he couldn't get here at that hour, because he had to take
his daughter to school. I exempted him from the meetings, but the next
day he was present. I said, 'I exempted you.' He said, 'I arranged for
my neighbor to take my daughter to school.' You see how things can be fitted
in? Our delegation meetings last about forty minutes, and on days when
the General Assembly convenes I am at the United Nations by ten or ten-fifteen
-- in time to look at the order of the day."
We asked him if his religious duties ever interfered
with his Assembly work.
"Actually, they complement each other," he said,
"I belong to a seventy-four-year-old Muslim movement called Ahmadiya, whose
founder, Ghulam Ahmad, a Punjabi, claimed to be the second Promised Messiah,
Jesus Christ having been the first," he said. "This founder, who died in
1908 -- a significant date, the dawn of our century -- claimed that he
was opening a new era, and to us believers he is the Second Coming,
the Second Advent. I must explain this to you, because not very many people
-- and least of all journalists -- have grasped the connection between
my faith and my work. You see, as Muslims, we accept Jesus Christ as the
first Messiah. Indeed, we accept all prophets. Abraham, Moses, Buddha,
Krishna -- all prophets. But we believe that Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam,
is a universal prophet. All the other prophets, according to the
Koran, were sent to particular people, and for particular epochs. Also,
while other prophets had only occasional verbal revelations, all
the revelations of Mohammed were verbal. The prophet has foretold that
at the beginning of each century there will be a reformer to renew the
spirit and the teachings of Islam. By the Second Advent is meant not a
reincarnation or a resurrection -- not a transmigration of soul -- but
a person in the 'power and spirit' of a previous prophet. And Ghulam Ahmad
thought that he was this Coming, and stood in relation to our age as Adam
and Christ had done to ages past. In our new era, science does not detract
from the glory of God, as it was thought to do when Ahmad was born, but
adds to the glory of God; science is just another manifestation.
In this new era, men of all countries are to come closer and closer together."
PERSONALITY IS DE-EMPHASIZED IN A SPIRITUAL
The days of personality contact, of personality
attention and of personal messages are over, and have been over for quite
a while, save in the vale of illusion, on the astral plane. This is a hard
message, but no true disciple will misunderstand. From the depths of his
own experience and struggle he knows it to be so. It is the group of Masters,
the Hierarchy as a whole, that is of moment and its interaction with humanity;
it is the Masters' group of disciples that counts, and its relation to
probationary disciples on the physical plane, who are seen by the group
as existing in group formation all over the world, no matter where its
units may be; it is the body of reaching that can be made available, and
its effect upon the collective mind of the thinkers of the race, that is
of vital importance; it is the interplay between the subjective group of
world workers and -- on the outer plane of objectivity -- the lovers of
humanity which seems to us, the teachers, to be of supreme importance.
The satisfying of individual aspiration, the meeting of the desire of the
probationers and the feeding of spiritual ambition appeal to us not at
all. The times are too serious, and the crisis too acute.
It is of course a fact that there are today groups
of aspirants receiving definite instructions, and disciples being subjected
to definite training. But it must be remembered (in spite of all statements
by the devotees of the world to the contrary) that no training is given
in these cases as to the handling of the details of the personality life;
the specific problems of health, finance and family concerns are not dealt
with nor considered; nor is comfort given or time taken to reassure or
satisfy the personality. Training aspirants as to the technique of spiritual
growth is undertaken; correction of the hidden factors producing
emotional conditions may be suggested; meditations may be arranged in order
to bring about certain results; and instruction in the laws governing soul
union may be offered; but no personality work is attempted. Disciples handle
their own personalities. In the pressure of world work, the Masters are
finding Themselves with less and less time to give even to Their disciples.
How then do those who are not in the ranks of accepted disciples expect
the Master to have the time to deal with their little affairs?
Above everything else, it is necessary that the aspirant
be practical. The days of a mystical and dreamy consciousness are rapidly
passing away, and as man, through understanding of psychology, comes to
a more accurate knowledge of himself he will begin to act with precision
and with intelligence; he will know with exactitude the way that he should
go, and will comprehend the forces in his own nature which will lead to
specific action when brought into touch with the forces of his environment.
Aspirants should endeavor to make practical application of the imparted
truths, and so minimize their responsibility. Where there is acquired knowledge
and when no use is made of it there exists a condition of danger and subsequent
But the value of any group of aspirants and disciples
consists in this: They can -- if they so choose and if their united aspiration
is strong enough -- draw forth the teaching, and so form a centre through
which that teaching may go forth and begin its work of moulding human thought,
of throwing light upon the problems of psychology, and of so expanding
the point of truth (anent the seven rays, an ancient septenate, but little
comprehended) that a new realisation may be evolved and a new science of
psychology may be launched upon its career.
You ask, therefore: What must we as a group do that
we may be of service, and so constitute a good channel for the helping
In the future, however, groups will be formed increasingly,
which will function on a new basis, and some of these new "group organisms"
are forming in the world at this time. They are still in the nature of
an experiment and may prove premature or undesirable. The teaching given
in these new groups, the suggestions made, the experiments in training
to be attempted, and the technique imparted will not be given personally
and privately to an individual group member, but all of it is open and
can be read, known and considered by every other member in the group. These
groups are as yet necessarily few, and very small in number.
The personnel of these groups is forgotten in the
life of the group entity as a whole. The members are trained in the group,
and the group is trained as a whole, with no emphasis upon the individual
but only on the group interplay and interaction and growth. Only those
factors in the life of the individual are noted and handled which would
hinder the growth of the group life and expression. It is the group note,
the group colour, and the group development which count with the training
staff of workers, and the individual is never considered as an individual,
but only in relation to the group. What he is told to do, and the discipline
applied, is all based on the desire to preserve the group balance, and
not on any personal interest in the individual. In this experiment
a man is tried out to see his fitness. He will be tested early in his career
as a group unit. If he passes the test and makes the grade, the group is
enriched and grows thereby. If he fails, he drops out and others take his
place until such time as the group unit is attuned and completed, and those
who are sincere and true, impersonal and mentally poised, self-forgetful
and loving, are found to work together in harmony. Thus they can, as a
group entity, form a focal point for the transmission of spiritual force
to a needy and waiting world.
But it is important to remember that the attitude
of the training initiate or teacher is one of complete detachment and impersonality;
he is aware of the soul light and condition, and of the mental state, but
he does not turn his attention to the handling of the affairs of the aspirant
on the physical plane, nor to the training of his emotional nature and
his astral development. Aspirants learn to be master and adept by handling
their own physical plane affairs and their astral idiosyncrasies. This
they must do in the light and strength of their own souls. We who teach
would break a law and hinder their development if we attempted to enforce
conditions which come not naturally. We should also overstimulate their
lower natures. When will aspirants learn that the teachers and senior disciples
in charge of them work only on mental levels and with the soul? When will
they grasp the fact that until a man has contacted his own soul, and has
learned to function as a controlled mind as well, there is little we can
do for him? Again I say, we are not interested in personalities and their
small affairs. We have neither the time nor the inclination to interfere
with the way and method of a man's daily life. Why should we, when enough
has been printed and taught to occupy the attention of the aspiring man
for many a day? When a man is beginning to live as a soul, and when his
consciousness has shifted away from the world of illusion, then he can
be useful. The first lesson he has to learn is a sense of values in time
and space, and to know that we work with souls and do not nurse the personality.
Seems this too hard a saying to you? If it is indeed
so to you, it means that you are as yet somewhat self-centered and in love
with your own individual soul, having not yet duly contacted it, and having
but perhaps sensed its vibration and no more. You have not yet that true
picture of the world's need which will release you from your own ambition
and set you free to work as we (on the subjective side) work, with no thought
of self or of spiritual happiness, and with no desire for any self-appointed
task; with no longing for glittering promises of future success, and with
no demanding ache for the tender touch and contact with those greater in
consciousness than ourselves. If this lies still beyond your realisation,
recognise the fact, and understand that there is no blame attached. It
only indicates to you the ground whereon you stand, and that the illusion
of the astral plane still holds you in its thrall and still leads you to
place personality reactions before group realisation. As long as you walk
on that plane and function on that level of consciousness, it is not possible
to draw you consciously into the Masters' groups on mental levels. You
are still too destructive and personal; you would be apt to hurt the group
and cause trouble; you would see things (through the group stimulation)
with a clarity for which you are not yet ready, and would be shattered
thereby. You have need to learn the lessons of accepting guidance from
your own soul, and of learning to work with harmony and impersonality on
the physical plane with the group or groups to which your destiny impels
you. When you have learnt the lesson of self-forgetfulness, when you seek
nothing for the separated self, when you stand firmly on you own feet and
look for aid within yourself, and when the trend of your life is towards
cooperation, then you may pass from the stage of Observer to that of Communicator.
This will happen because you can be trusted to communicate only that which
is impersonal and truly constructive, and which will not feed the emotional
nature and satisfy the desire-self.
An interesting point might here be noted and a question
answered. In A Treatise on White Magic I referred to the two groups
of Observers and Communicators (the third group lies outside our present
discussion), and the question was asked: Who trains these Observers and
Communicators? I should like to make it clear that the observers train
themselves or -- more accurately -- the soul of each trains the personality
in true observation. In the case of the communicators, they are slowly
and gradually trained by senior disciples, working from the subjective
side of life. This training is never organised and arranged for on the
physical plane, nor are any disciples -- working on the physical plane
-- engaged in training groups of communicators to be employed later by
the Hierarchy. In this matter (as in all else in the spiritual life) the
disciple first trains himself to be responsive to his own soul, and then
trains himself to be responsive to the inner group of workers, who later,
as a result of his self-initiated effort, teach him to be a communicator,
an intermediary. The hallmark of such communicators is mental clarity,
true impersonality, spiritual tolerance, and a frugality in the use of
words, when embodying concepts. It should be remembered that in the wealth
of psychic writings pouring into the world today, the work of the true
communicators will concern itself with the Plan and not with personalities;
with principles and not with individual purposes; and that all such communicators
will be mental types, channels for the love of God, and group conscious.
There will be nothing in their work to produce separativeness, and nothing
to feed the fires of controversy, antagonism or partisanship. Much of value
may come along other lines than through this group of communicators and
you may look for an increased flood of inspirational writings of a high
order, and for an outpouring of wisdom from the world of souls through
the hundreds who are in touch with their own souls; there will also be
much emanating from the highest level of the astral plane, of a high order
along devotional lines, but none of this will be the work of the band of
communicators now in process of forming. Only a handful are doing this
work as yet, and the true influx of communicators will not start for another
fifteen years (1950).
ESOTERIC PSYCHOLOGY I, pp. 112-118
"The main requirement . . . which I seek at this
time to emphasize is the most difficult one of a true impersonality.
On two points, disciples in the past have ever been emphatic. They have
seen and felt the need for reticence, where there is any inner spiritual
experience, and have felt that the relating or the discussion of the spiritual
and the higher psychic events in their lives produced a sense of loss and
was against the occult law. They have equally demanded reticence about
their personality lives, about their mistakes and failings, and have demanded
this more loudly than the permission to be silent about their soul life.
Their demand has been based on a true recognition that the discussion of
a spiritual happening with those who do not understand has in it a great
deal of danger -- the danger of misinterpretation, of glamour and of illusion.
The desire for reticence in the personality life is based usually on pride,
on a fear of criticism, on terror of being derided, misunderstood and judged;
these are all unworthy motives."
From the Tibetan's instruction to a group in training
DISCIPLESHIP IN THE NEW AGE, I pp. 33-34
A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY LEARNS ABOUT DEATH
The setting of this autobiographical bit is Egypt,
circa 3500 B.C. The narrator is Ra-ab Hotep, only son of the ruler of one
of the eighteen divisions of the XIth Dynasty. Ra-ab's mother died during
the birth of her second child, a girl. . . .
The baby was named Kiyas. At first I was disappointed
because it couldn't talk to me, and only cried or made pigeon noises. My
father seemed to like it, for I often saw him coming out of the room it
Then I was sent away and when I came back Mother
wasn't there anymore.
The priest, Nekht-Ra, told me she had gone ahead
of us to the land where the Gods live. I asked where that land was, and
he said, "Beyond the sunset, the land Ra loves so much that he is always
hurrying through the day to get home."
I thought the land where Ra lived would be very hot,
for he is the sun as well as a God; but Nekht-Ra said it was a beautiful
country, where all the trees and plants are without blemish, and animals
never try to hurt each other, or get ill. He said it was only while we
were human that we saw Ra as the sun -- he was too shining for us to see
with ordinary eyes. After I was dead I might see him, and he would be like
a man only more perfect than I could imagine. Then I asked Nekht-Ra if
one had to be dead to get to the Land beyond the Sunset. And he said people
usually had to wait until then, though some, if Ra had a special love for
them, might go there when they were asleep.
After that I used to pray very hard that Ra would
remember how much he loved my father, and take him to where my mother was,
and let him remember all about it in the morning so that he would stop
being unhappy. I wanted to ask Father if he remembered, bout for a long
time I didn't, because I knew it hurt him to speak about her. I didn't
tell him I'd prayed to Ra about it, I just asked him if he ever went to
see Mother in the Land beyond the Sunset.
I thought he hadn't heard what I said, for he went
on sharpening a reed without answering. Then he said very slowly, "No,
Ra-ab, I've never been there. When Ra shall judge me worthy he will send
a messenger to take me to her."
"Will I see the messenger when he comes for you?"
"Nobody sees him save the one whom he comes to fetch.
Always remember, Ra-ab, that when he comes to you he is only Ra's messenger
come to bring you home."
"How shall I know him? What will he look like?"
"Ra has many messengers, and their robes are as many-coloured
as the clouds which hide his land from ours. Some are in green, gentle
as the quiet morning, and others wear the Warrior Scarlet."
"Is the messenger's name death? Niyahm (my nurse)
told me that Death had come to take Mother away. I thought he was an old
man in a black robe, with a kind of hood hiding his face. That's why I
cried so much when I know she had to go away with him. I only stopped being
unhappy when Nekht-Ra told me about the country she was living in. Can
I tell Niyahm that Death isn't an old an in black?"
Instead of answering my question, Father said, "Come
and look at this picture; I don't think you've seen it before." He took
a papyrus from one of the shelves and unrolled it on the table. It was
of wild geese, flying over a very blue pool at which two gazelles were
"The colours are bright, aren't they, Ra-ab?" I nodded.
"Shut your eyes -- what do you see now?"
I was puzzled. "What do I see now? Nothing, it's
"Well, dark's black."
He picked me up and set me on his knees with his
arm round me. "That's why Niyahm thought Death wore a black robe; it's
only the people who shut their eyes against him who don't know of the bright
colours he wears. Smile at Death and watch for his coming; then you will
always recognize him as Ra's messenger."
The above is taken from "The Eyes of Horus," by Joan
Grant. She has written several novels based upon her own "far-memory" of
earlier incarnations. She writes well, with insight; in most cases, the
remembered experience is closely related to the inner Temple work of the
time. You will find them in the fiction section of sizable public libraries,
and you will find them interesting.