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Series 1:

WHITE MAGIC

Study Set 10

The Temple of the Daily Life


Contents

Seed Thought
Reading Assignment
Written Work
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
Occult Reticence
A Seven-Year-Old Boy Learns About Death


SEED THOUGHT

With self forgetfulness I gather what I need for the helping of my fellowmen.
 


Reading Assignment

A Treatise on White Magic, Pages 93-121, 492-507


QUESTIONS AND ISSUES FOR STUDY, REFLECTION, PONDERING:

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 mental equipment.

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 you?

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 people?


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 and naturally.

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 with conviction.


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 in form-life.

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 apertures.

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 passage:

"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 to perfectionment."

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 great light.

In constant fellowship of effort,
The Staff of ARCANA

 


DURING DAILY MEDITATION AN ETHERIC TEMPLE IS BUILT

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 Temple

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 New Man.

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 the soul.

To the man pledged to service, meditation is the greatest time saver and labor saver, besides cultivating a sense of spiritual direction.

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 life.

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 GROUP

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 penalty.

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 of humanity?

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


OCCULT RETICENCE

"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 lived in.

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 drinking.

"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 all dark!"

"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.

M.R.


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