As Probationers in various places have banded themselves together to study Astro-Diagnosis and Astro-Therapy with a view to forming Healing Centers when they shall have become sufficiently grounded in these sciences, it may be well to give a few suggestions for the conduct of such centers.
In the first place we must remember that whatever is to be done is for Christ's sake, and devotional exercises at the commencement of classes are an absolute necessity in order to balance the intellectual side of the work. Let us remember that the Christ is now imprisoned in the earth for our sake, bearing the heavy burden of the earth so that we may have proper conditions for our evolution; that disease is the result of ignorance of cosmic laws, hence a retarding factor in evolution and therefore a cause of prolongation of the Christ's imprisonment; and that when we alleviate human suffering we are at the same time decreasing the suffering of Christ and hastening the day of His liberation.
Devotional exercises are a powerful means of putting us in tune with the Christ. Through them we gain an intuitional faculty whereby we feel the suffering of others, and at the same time we find the way to ease their pain as Parsifal did the cause of Amfortas' suffering when he was in the garden with Kundry and there realized how he might heal the stricken king. So first and foremost, let us have devotional exercised, reading from the Bible with reference to how Christ healed the sick and comforted the suffering. Perhaps a few comments to drive home the lesson, would be well.
Take The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis, or anything else of a thoroughly devotional nature, and then turn to the study of the human body, for a knowledge of anatomy is an absolute essential. The body is the temple for the indwelling Spirit, and as it is necessary for an architect to know how to prop up the pillars of a church, when the wear and tear of time have caused the foundation to crumble, so that new material may replace that which has decayed to make the edifice strong and useful again, so also must we know how to strengthen the various parts of the living temple with which we are to deal. There is a book called The Story of the Living Temple, by Rossiter, which treats of the body in a spiritual manner and will service admirably as an aid to a higher conception while using the ordinary textbooks.
When taking up a horoscope for analysis, be sure you do not use the figures for Probationers attending the meetings, or their close relatives. For just as students in a medical college often by suggestion develop the symptoms of the diseases they are studying, so also members of the class are apt to suffer from neglect of the above precaution. Moreover, when a Probationer is ill and applies to the Center for healing, he or she may not be admitted to the classes while in ill health, for it is absolutely impossible to avoid accidental mention of symptoms from which such a one may suffer, and thus the disease may be aggravated in this manner.
If letters of fire that would burn themselves into the consciousness of the reader were obtainable, we would spare no effort to procure them for the purpose of warning students on some particular points in connection with the practice of Medical Astrology; these are:
It is a grave mistake, almost a crime, to tell sick persons anything discouraging, for it robs them of strength that should he husbanded with the utmost care to facilitate recovery. It is also wrong to suggest sickness to a well person, for it focuses the mind on a specific disease at a certain time, and such a suggestion is liable to cause sickness. It is a well-known fact that many students in medical colleges feel the symptoms of every disease they study, and suffer greatly in consequence of autosuggestion, but the idea of impending disease implanted by one in whom the victim has faith is much more dangerous. Therefore, it behooves the medical astrologer to be very cautious. If you cannot say something encouraging, be silent.
This warning applies with particular force when treating patients having Taurus or Virgo rising or the Sun or Moon in those signs. These positions predispose the mind to center on disease, often in a most unwarranted manner. The Taurean fears sickness to an almost insane degree, and prediction of disease is fatal to his nature. The Virgoans court disease, in order to gain sympathy, and though professing to long for recovery, they actually delight in probing the matter to the depths; they will plead ability to stand full knowledge and profess that it will help them; but if the practitioner allows himself to be enticed by their protestations, and does tell them, they wilt like a flower. They are the most difficult people to help in any case, and extra care should be taken not to aggravate their chances by admissions of the nature indicated. Some students have a morbid desire to know the time of their own death, and probe into this matter in a most unwarranted manner; but no matter how they may seek to deceive themselves there are very few who have the mental and moral stamina to live life in the same manner, if they knew with absolute certainty that on a certain date their earthly existence would be terminated. This is one of the points most wisely hidden until we are able to see on both sides of the veil, and we do wrong, no matter what our ground, to seek to wrest that knowledge from the horoscope.
In the past when our efforts in behalf of the sick were necessarily restricted to members on account of lack of help in the office the questions sometimes asked: "How may I help a sick friend?" Though we are now prepared to render aid from Headquarters to "whosoever will" some, it is important to impress upon probationers of the great opportunity which is theirs by virtue of the connection they have established with the Teacher. Healing is accomplished principally by Probationers who "live the life" under direction of the Elder Brothers; and application to them, written with pen and ink, whether directed through Headquarters or to a Probationer, invariably evokes a response.
The Elder Brothers know how to use the law to the best advantage, but cannot work contrary to it nor do more than the material furnished them admits, physical sickness may be overcome by spiritual power, but a certain amount of this power is required. It is a law of physics that a number of coals must be heaped together and sufficient oxygen furnished in order to make a fire. Christ said, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there will I be among them."
Association of Probationers in Center of Healing furnishes the material in which the Elder Brothers may kindle the Spiritual Fire required to heal physical, moral, and mental ailments. Singlehanded there is small change of doing good, but in numbers there is strength, particularly if all are fortified with a knowledge of diagnosis from the horoscope and how to apply treatment at propitious times.
On Holy Night the spiritual power in the Sun culminates, pouring out a benediction upon the air. From the 25th of December to the 25th of June the physical activities are in the ascendant, gradually gathering force which culminates at the Summer Solstice; and then blesses man physically with the things needed for his material sustenance. During that time the spiritual activities are difficult to inaugurate, and therefore we waited quietly until the turn recently, holding the first evening healing service on Tuesday, the 23rd of June (1914), at half past seven, when the Moon was in the cardinal sign of Cancer. And in the future a healing service will be held in the Pro-Ecclesia each week at that hour on a day when the Moon is in one of the cardinal signs. We decided to have these services that we might utilize the little Pro-Ecclesia to the very utmost, and thus earn the privilege of having the Ecclesia, too. This was approved by the Teacher, and he suggested that the healing service be held when the Moon is in the cardinal signs. But we want to go a step further in our efforts to secure efficiency; and this is where we want to add the help of every earnest student in The Rosicrucian Fellowship.
There is a passage in the ritual used at The Rosicrucian Fellowship services which says: "One coal cannot make a fire, but where a number of coals are gathered together the heat which is latent in each may be kindled into a flame emitting light and warmth. It is in obedience to the same law of Nature that we have gathered here tonight, that by massing our spiritual aspirations we may light and keep ablaze the beacon light of true spiritual fellowship." The power of numbers is insignificant in the world of physical existence, compared with the power of the same number in the spiritual realm. Here additions to the power of a community count as one, two, three, four, etc., but there the power increases in a proportion that might be likened to the square; two, four, eight, sixteen, etc., for the first twelve who attend a spiritual service. The thirteenth then would bring it up into another higher realm of the spiritual universe. For the sake of illustration, we may count the increase there by the power of three, nine, twenty-seven, etc., as so on. Thus you will see how important even the very weakest one among us may become when it is a question of massing our spiritual aspirations. Nor can there by any questions of the powerful influence that will have on the sick.
To secure the help of all earnest students and give them the privilege of helping, we will publish in the Echoes each month the date on which the healing services will be held, and if each student will sit down in his or her own home at half past seven, directing their thoughts to Mt. Ecclesia, to the little Pro-Ecclesia, where the symbol of the Invisible Helpers will then be unveiled, the love, sympathy, and strength thus given these workers will enable them to do a much greater service for humanity; each one of course them having part in that work. The symbol of the Invisible Helpers upon which we concentrate at Mt. Ecclesia is a snow-white cross, with the seven red roses and a pure white one in the center; the usual stars (the rays), goes out from the cross, and the background is blue, the whole being beautifully illuminated, thus making it an apt emblem of the effulgence of that soul body wherein these workers travel. It will not be necessary to make corrections in time for your place of residence, because the Sun will gather all the aspirations as he goes along, and when the rays at the proper angle arrive at Mt. Ecclesia the influence directed here will certainly transmit itself and unite with our aspirations taking place at this time and help us in the work. (Note: The time of this healing service has since been changed to half past six.)
Amid all the uncertainties which are the characteristics of this world, there is but one certainty--Death. At one time or another, after a short or long life, comes this termination to the material phase of our existence, which is a birth into a new world, as that which we term "birth" is, in the beautiful words of Wordsworth, a forgetting of the past.
Birth and death may therefore be regarded has the shifting of man's activity from one world to another, and it depends upon our own position whether we designate such a change birth or death. If he enters the world in which we live, we call it birth; if he leaves our plane of existence to enter another world, we call it death. To the individual concerned, however, the passage from one world to another is but as a removal to another city here; he LIVES, unchanged; only his exterior surroundings and condition are changed.
The passage from one world to another is often attended by more or less unconsciousness, like sleep, as Wordsworth says, and for the reason our consciousness may be fixed upon the world we have left. In infancy heaven lies about us in actual fact; children are all clairvoyant for a longer or shorter time after birth, and whoever passes out at death still beholds the material world for some time. If we pass out in the full vigor of physical manhood or womanhood, with strong times of family, friends, or other interests, the dense world will continue to attract our attention for a much longer time than if death occurred at a "ripe old age," when the earthy ties have been severed before the change we call death. This is on the same principle that the seed clings to the flesh of unripe fruit, while it is easily and cleanly detached from the ripe fruit. Therefore it is easier to die at an advanced age than in youth.
The unconsciousness which usually attends the change of the incoming spirit at birth, and the outgoing spirit at death, is due to our inability to adjust our focus instantly, and is similar to the difficulty we experience when passing from a darkened room to the street on a light, sunny day, or vice versa. Under those conditions some time elapses before we can distinguish objects about us; so with the newly born and the newly dead, both have to readjust their viewpoint to their new condition.
When the moment arrives which marks the completion of life in the physical world, the usefulness of the dense body has ended, and the Ego withdraws from it by way of the head, taking with it the mind and the desire body, as it does every night during sleep, but now the vital body is useless, so that, too, is withdrawn, and when the silver cord which united the higher to the lower vehicles snaps it can never be repaired.
We remember that the vital body is composed of ether, superimposed upon the dense bodies of plant, animal, and man during life. Ether is physical matter, and therefore has weight. The only reason why the scientists cannot weigh it is because they are unable to gather a quantity and put it on a scale. But when it leaves the dense body at death a diminution in weight will take place in every instance, showing that something having weight, yet invisible, leaves the dense body at that time.
Physical science knows that whatever the power which moves the heart, it does not come from without, but is inside the heart. The occult scientists sees a chamber in the left ventricle, near the apex, where a little atom swims in a sea of the highest ether. The force in that atom, like the forces of all other atoms, is the undifferentiated Life of God; without that force the mineral could not form matter into crystals, the plant, animal, and human kingdoms would be unable to form their bodies. The deeper we go the plainer it becomes to us how fundamentally true it is that in God we live, more, and have our being.
That atom is called the "seed atom." The force within it moves the heart and keeps the organism alive. All the other atoms in the whole body must vibrate in tune with this atom. The forces of the seed-atom have been immanent in every dense body every possessed by the particular Ego to whom it is attached, and upon its plastic tablet are inscribed all the experiences of that particular Ego in all its lives. When we return to God, when we shall have become one in God once more, that record, which is pecularity God's record, will still remain, and thus we shall retain our individuality. Our experiences we transmute into faculties; the evil is transmuted into good and the good we retain as power for higher good, but the record of the experiences is of God and in God; in the most intimate sense.
The "silver cord" which unites the higher and lower vehicles terminates at the seed atom in the heart. When material life comes to an end in the natural manner the forces in the seed atom disengage themselves, pass outward along the pneumogastric nerve, the back of the head and along the silver cord, together with the higher vehicles. It is this rupture in the heart which marks physical death, but the connecting silver cord is not broken at once, in some cases not for several days.
When the Ego is coming down to rebirth it descends through the Second Heaven. There is is helped by the Creative Heirarchies to build an archetype for its coming body, and it instills into that archtype a life that will last for a certain number of years. These archtypes are hollow spaces and they have a singing, vibratory motion which draws the material of the Physical World into them and sets all the atoms in the body vibrating in tune with a little atom that is in the heart, called the seed-atom, which, like a tuning fork, gives the pitch to all the rest of the material in the body. At the time when the full life has been lived on the earth the vibrations in the archetype cease, the seed-atom is withdrawn, the dense body goes to decay and the desire body, wherein the Ego functions in Purgatory and in the First Heaven, takes upon itself the shape of the physical body. Then the man commences his work of expiating his evil habits and deeds in Purgatory and assimilating the good of his life in the First Heaven.
The foregoing describes the ordinary conditions when the course of nature is undisturbed, but the case of the suicide is different. He has taken away the seed-atom, but the hollow archetype still keeps on vibrating. Therefore he feels as if he were hollowed out and experiences a gnawing feeling inside that can be best likened to the pangs of intense hunger. Material for the building of a dense body is all around him, but seeing that he lacks the gauge of the seed atom, it is impossible for him to assimilate that matter and build it into a body. This dreadful hollowed- out feeling lasts as long as his ordinary life should have lasted. Thus the Law of Cause and Effect teaches him that it is wrong to play truant from the school of life and that it cannot be done with impunity. Then in the next life, when difficulties beset his path, he will remember the sufferings of the past which resulted from suicide and go through the experience that makes for his soul growth.
It is curious that the commission of suicide in one life and the consequent post-mortem suffering during the time when the archetype still exists often generate in such people a morbid fear of death tin the next life; so that when the event actually occurs in the ordinary course of life, they seem frantic after they leave the body and so anxious to get back to the Physical World again that they frequently commit the crime of obsession in the most foolish and unthinking manner.
When a man passes out a death, he takes with him the mind, desire body, and vital body the latter being the storehouse of the pictures of his past life. And during the three and one-half days following death these pictures are etched into the desire body to form the basis of man's life in Purgatory and the First Heaven where the evil is expurgated and the good assimilated. The experience of the life itself is forgotten, as we have forgotten the process of learning to write, but have retained the faculty. So the cumulative extract of all his experiences, both during past earth lives and past existences in Purgatory and the various heavens, are retained by the man and form his stock in trade in the next birth. The pains he has sustained speak to him as the voice of conscience, the good he had done gives him a more and more altruistic character.
Now, when the three and a half days immediately following death are spent by man under conditions of peace and quiet, he is able to concentrate much more upon the etching of his past life and the imprint upon the desire body will be deeper than if he is disturbed by the hysterical lamentations of his relatives or from other causes. He will then experience a much keener feeling for either good or bad in Purgatory and in the First Heaven, and in after lives that keen feeling will speak to him with no unmistakable voice; but where the lamentations of relatives take away his attention or where a man passes out by accident, perhaps in a crowded street, in a train wreck, theatre fire, or under other harrowing circumstances, there will, of course, be no opportunity for him to concentrate properly; neither can he concentrate on a battle field if he is slain there, and yet it would not be just that he would lose the experience of his life on account of passing out in such an untoward manner, so that the Law of Cause and Effect provides a compensation.
We usually think that when a child is born it is born and that is an end to it; but as during the period of gestation the dense body is shielded from the impact of the outside world by being placed within the protecting womb of the mother until it has arrived at sufficient maturity to meet the outside conditions, so are also the vital body, desire body, and mind in a state of gestation and are born at later periods because they have not had as long an evolution behind them as the dense body. Therefore, it takes a longer time for them to arrive at a sufficient state of maturity to become individualized. The vital body is born at the seventh year, when the period of excessive growth marks its advent. The desire body is born at the time of puberty, the fourteenth year, and the mind is born at twenty-one, when the child is said to have become a man or woman.....to have reached majority.
That which has not been quickened cannot die, and so when a child dies before the birth of the desire body it passes out into the invisible world into the First Heaven. It cannot ascend into the Second and Third Heaven because the mind and desire body are not born and will not die, so it simply waits in the First Heaven until a new opportunity for embodiment offers, and where it has died in its previous life under the before-mentioned harrowing circumstances by accident or upon the battle field or where the lamentations of relatives rendered it impossible for it to gain as deep an impression of evil committed and the good accomplished as would have been the case had it died in peace, it is instructed when it has died in the next life as a child in the effects of passions and desires so that it learns the lessons then which it should have learned in the purgatorial life had it remained undisturbed. It is then reborn with the proper development of conscience so that it may continue its evolution.
As in the past man has been exceedingly warlike and not at all careful of the relatives who passed out at death because of his ignorance, holding wakes over those who died in bed, which were few, perhaps, compared to those who died on the battle field, there must necessarily on that account be an enormous amount of infant mortality, but as humanity arrives at a better understanding and realizes that we never so much our brother's keeper as when he is passing out of this life and that we can help him enormously by being quiet and prayerful, so also will infant mortality cease to exist on such a large scale as at present.
The vital body is the vehicle of sense-perception. As it remains with the body of feeling (the desire body) and the etheric cord connects them with the discarded dense body, it will be evident that until the cord is severed there must be a certain amount of feeling experienced by the Ego when its dense body is molested. Thus, it causes pain when the blood is extracted and embalming fluid injected, when the body is opened for post-mortem examination, and when the body is cremated.
A case was told the writer in which a surgeon amputated three toes from a living person under anesthetics. He threw the severed toes into a bright coal fire, and immediately the patient commenced to scream, for the rapid disintegration of the material toes caused an equally rapid disintegration of the etheric toes, which were connected with the higher vehicles. In like manner molestations affect the discarnate Spirit from a few hours to three and a half days after death. Then all connection is severed and the body begins to decay.
Therefore great care should be taken not to cause the passing Spirit discomfort by such measures. Quiet and prayer are of enormous benefit at that time, and if we love the departed Spirit wisely we shall be able to earn its lasting gratitude by following the above instructions.
A word should be spoken in regard to the treatment of dying persons who suffer unspeakable agony in many cases through the mistaken kindness of friends. More suffering is caused by administering stimulants to the dying than perhaps in any other way. It is not hard to pass out of the body, but stimulants have the effect of throwing the departing Ego back into its body with the force of a catapult, to experience anew the sufferings from which it was just escaping. Departing souls have often complained to investigators, and one such person said that he had not suffered as much in all his life as he did while kept from dying for many hours. The only rational way is to leave Nature to take its course when it is seen that the end is inevitable.
Another and more far-reaching sin against the passing Spirit is to give vent to loud crying or lamentation in or near the death chamber. Just subsequent to its release and from a few hours to a few days afterwards, the Ego is engaged upon a matter of the utmost importance; a great deal of the value of the past life depends upon the attention given to it by the passing Spirit. If distracted by the sobs and lamentations of loved ones, it will lose much, but if strengthened by prayer and helped by silence, much future sorrow to all concerned may be avoided. We are never so much our brother's keeper as when he is passing through this Gethsemane, and it is one of our greatest opportunities for serving him and laying up heavenly treasure for ourselves.
We have studied the phenomenon of birth, and have evolved a Science of Birth. We have qualified obstetricians and trained nurses to minister in the best possible manner to both mother and child to make them comfortable, but we are sadly, very sadly, in need of a Science of Death. When a child is coming into the world we bustle about in an intelligent endeavor; when a lifelong friend is about to leave us we stand helplessly about, ignorant of how to aid; worse than all, we bungle, and cause suffering instead of helping.
We have stated that the vital body is the storehouse of both the conscience and subconscious memory; upon the vital body is branded indelibly every act and experience of the past life, as the scenery upon an exposed photographic plate. When the Ego has withdrawn it from the dense body, the whole life, as registered by the subconscious memory, is laid open to the eye of the mind. It is the partial loosening of the vital body which causes a drowning person to see his whole past life, but then it is only like a flash, preceding unconsciousness; the silver cord remains intact, or there could be no resuscitation. In the case of a Spirit passing out at death, the movement is slower; the man stands as a spectator while the pictures succeed one another from death to birth, so that he sees the first happenings just prior to death then the years of manhood and womanhood unroll themselves; youth, childhood and infancy follow, until it terminates at birth. The man, however, has no feeling about them at that time, the object is merely to etch the panorama into the desire body, which is the seat of feeling, and from that impress the feeling will be realized when the Ego enters the Desire World, but we may note there that the intensity of feeling realized depends upon the length of time consumed in the process of etching, and the attention given thereto by the man. If he was undisturbed for a long period, a deep clear-cut impress will be made upon the Desire Body. He will feel the wrong he did more keenly in Purgatory, and be more abundantly strengthened in his good qualities in Heaven, and though the experience will be lost in a future life, the feelings will remain, as the "still small voice." Where the feelings have been strongly indented upon the desire body of an Ego, this voice will speak in no vague and uncertain terms. It will impel him beyond gainsaying, forcing him to desist from that which caused him pain in the life before and compel him to yield to that which is good. Therefore the panorama passed backwards, so that the Ego sees first the effects, and then the underlying causes.
When the body is buried, the vital body disintegrates slowly at the same time as the dense body, so that when, for instance, an arm has decayed in the grave, the etheric arm of the vital body which hovers over the grave also disappears, and so on until the last vestige of the body is gone. But where cremation is performed the vital body disintegrates at once, and as that is the storehouse of the pictures of the past life, which are being etched upon the desire body to form the basis of life in Purgatory and the First Heaven, this would be a great calamity where cremation is performed before the three and a half days are passed. Unless help were given, the passing Spirit could not hold it together. And that is part of the work that is done by the Invisible Helpers for humanity. Sometimes they are assisted by nature spirits and others detailed by the Creative Hierarchies or leaders of humanity. There is also a loss where one is cremated before the silver cord has been broken naturally, the imprint upon the desire body is never as deep as it would otherwise have been, and this has an effect upon future lives, for the deeper the imprint of the last life upon the desire body, the keener the sufferings in Purgatory for the ill committed and the keener also the pleasure in the First Heaven which results from the good deeds of the last life. It is these pains and pleasures of our past lives that are what we call conscience, so that where we have lost in suffering we lose also the realization of wrong which is to deter us in future lives from committing the same mistakes again. Therefore, the effects of the premature cremation are very far reaching.
As to what determines the length of the panorama, we remember that it was the collapse of the vital body which forced the higher vehicles to withdraw, so after death, when the vital body collapses, the Ego has to withdraw, and thus the panorama comes to an end. The duration of the panorama depends, therefore, upon the time the person could remain awake if necessary. Some people can remain awake only a few hours, others can endure for a few days, depending upon the strength of their vital body.
When the Ego has left the vital body, the latter gravitates back to the dense body, remaining hovering above the grave, decaying as the dense body does, and it is indeed a noisome sight to the clairvoyant to pass through a cemetery and behold all those vital bodies whose state of decay clearly indicates the state of decomposition of the remains in the grave. If there were more clairvoyants, incineration would soon be adopted as a measure of protection to our feelings, if not for sanitary reasons.
As the interest and belief in a life after death becomes more universal, the necessity for a scientific method for the care of those who are passing into the higher life will be impressed upon the people, and we shall then have nurses, doctors, and ministers who are versed in the science of death as well as in the science of birth. The Spirit will then be surrounded by love and peace at the time of passing. It will also have a deeper and clearer record with which to begin its life work in its new state.
When the Ego comes into the Physical World, it is in one sense a cause for rejoicing, as we rejoice at the birth of a child, for this world affords us experience and material for soul growth. Looking at if from another point of view, however, when the Ego comes into this world and enters the prison house of the dense body, it is in the most limited condition imaginable, and to rejoice at the time the child is born and lament when it is liberated by death, is in reality analogous to rejoicing when a friend is put in jail and giving way to hysterical lamentation when he is liberated.
Furthermore, our duties to our dear ones who have passed away from the earth life are not ended when they have severed the physical ties. We have a responsibility to them beyond the grave. Our attitude after the death of our loved ones continues to affect them, for they do not usually leave their accustomed places right away. Many stay in or near the home for a number of months after they have left the body and can feel conditions there even more keenly than when in earth life. If we sigh, mourn, and groan for them we transfer to them the gloom we ourselves carry about us or else we bind them to home in efforts to cheer us. In either case we are a hindrance and a stumbling black in the way of their spiritual progress, and while this may be forgiven in those who are ignorant of the facts concerning life and death, people who have studied the Rosicrucian Philosophy or kindred teachings are incurring a very grave responsibility when they indulge in such practices.
We are well aware that custom used to demand the wearing of mourning and that people were not considered respectable if they did not put on a sable garb as a token of their grief. Fortunately, times are changing and a more enlightened view is being taken of the matter. The transition to the other world is quite serious enough in itself, involving as it does a process of adjustment to strange conditions all around, and the passing spirit is further hampered by the sorrow and anguish of the dear ones whom it continues to see about itself, when it finds them surrounded by a cloud of black gloom, clothed in garments of the same color and nursing their sorrow for months or years, the effect cannot be anything but depressing.
How much better the attitude of those who have learned the Rosicrucian Teachings and have taken them to heart. Their attitude is cheerful, helpful, hopeful, and encouraging. The selfish grief at the loss is suppressed in order that the passing spirit may receive all the encouragement possible. Usually the survivors in the family dress in white at the funeral and a cheerful, genial spirit prevails throughout. The thought of the survivors is not, "What shall I do now that I have lost him? All the world seems empty for me." It is, "I hope that he may find himself rights under the new conditions as quickly as possible and that he will not grieve at the thought of leaving us behind." We pray earnestly for his welfare and that he may learn the lessons of this life thoroughly in his experiences in Purgatory and the First Heaven.
Thus, by the good will, intelligence, unselfishness, and love of the remaining friends the passing Spirit is enabled to enter the new conditions under much more favorable circumstances, and we cannot do better than to spread this teaching as widely as possible. It is our loss if we are blind to the superphysical realms, but to all who will take the trouble to awaken their latent faculties, the opening of the proper sense is but a matter of time. When that time comes we shall see the so-called "dead" are all about us, and that, in fact, "there is no death," as John McCreery says in the following beautiful poem: