Rosicrucian Writings Online
"Earth-Bound"An Explanation of a Very Important Principle
in the Lives of All Beings
By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Mystic Triangle July 1929]
SO much is being written and published these days in regard to manifestations of an unusual nature that appear to be in accordance with the doctrine of spiritualism, or in keeping with the nature of the so-called spirit demonstrations of the seance room that many of our members ask us to be a little more specific in regard to the knowledge which the Rosicrucians possess relating to these things.
In the earlier grades of our work, the student is very definitely told to guard himself against accepting the spiritualistic doctrines and to wait to investigate these matters until after he has become more familiar with the Rosicrucian teachings. It is further intimated in many parts of our teachings that many, if not most of the demonstrations or unusual manifestations that occur without fraud in the seance room, or in experimental circles, can be better explained by laws and principles distinctly different from those offered by the spiritualistic movement. I believe that somewhere in our teachings we also make the very definite statement that spirits of departed persons do not return to earth, and in this wise manifest their identity in order to prove the immortality of the soul. That very definite statement often causes confusion in the minds of those who have heretofore believed many of the spiritualistic claims, and it is a startling statement to those who have had or still have occasional experiences that seem to be spiritualistic.
Heretofore we have refrained from any general explanation of our attitude, except in the higher teachings in the upper grades of the work; for we have not wanted to introduce the more profound principles involved in these manifestations into the work of the lower grades. In fact, it is almost impossible for the student in the lower grades to comprehend the real principles involved in these unusual manifestations of the continued existence of departed persons, without having become very familiar with many other laws and principles of the spiritual world and of the Cosmic. This is why the subject of such manifestation has been treated so briefly in the earlier work. However, we are continually aware of the fact that in the present Aquarian cycle such manifestations are becoming more frequent, more definite, and more convincing to the persons who are inclined to believe in the present-day tenets of spiritualism.
Therefore, in dealing with one phase of this matter, in the present article, we hope to make plain one or two principles which have to do with one of the most frequent forms of manifestations common to those who are related in some way to persons who have passed on. It is with considerable anxiety, however, that we open this subject even to this degree, for we do not want and hope we shall not have a flood of inquiries asking for further illumination and instruction in regard to the other principles which are not dealt with in this particular article. In other words, we hope and pray that our members will realize that we cannot present a complete outline of the higher teachings dealing with the laws and principles involved in the process of transition, and the conditions that surround personalities after transition, in this magazine or in personal communications.
From all this our new members may properly judge that the Rosicrucians do not agree with the present-day spiritualistic claims, and that they know just how and why certain persons have such unusual experiences as they consider to be spiritualistic or proofs of the spiritualistic contentions.
In order to present, in this article, the several principles which we wish to make plain and understandable, we believe it is best to bring them forth in the form of incidents in a story that is not wholly fictitious, and not even partly a product of imagination. The principal thread of the following story is true and correct, as some of our members know, but names and places have been changed, and a few unimportant incidents or details introduced fictitiously in order to help make plain the laws being presented.
To begin the story, we will step backward to the days of the troubles with Nicaragua in 1927, when some of the United States marines were sent into foreign lands to help the American government maintain its plans and desires. Among the marines was one lieutenant whom we shall call Henry Smith. He was a brave, clean-cut, educated young man with good military training, a student of the popular sciences and arts, and a reader of many of the present-day systems of higher thought. We cannot say that he was a mystic, a philosopher, or even a real student of the spiritual or psychological systems of philosophy; nor was he particularly inclined toward religion or the church. Sometime toward the close of 1927, he disappeared during one of the skirmishes and was reported as having been killed in warfare somewhere on the battle line, but most likely during an expedition across the lines into the enemy's fields. The report of his death was recorded at Washington, and there the story of his career ended.
Henry Smith had a cousin, Mrs. John Jones, living in Kansas City. Mrs. Jones was fairly well acquainted with her cousin, had followed his expedition into Nicaragua with much interest, and was sorely grieved when she was notified that he had lost his earthly life during the warfare. She was also unhappy in the knowledge that his body had not been recovered and returned to his home, that no proper burial ceremony had been given him, and that there was no tomb to mark his burial place.
Now we must pass a few years and come up to the present time in our story, where we find that Mrs. Jones has become a more proficient and profound student of spiritual philosophy, and in order to enlarge and improve her understanding she has become a member of the AMORC. No attempt has been made on her part, during the years intervening, to find, through spiritualistic, occult, mystical, or other means of a psychic nature the location of her cousin's body, nor the exact time and nature of his transition. In fact, Mrs. Jones was not spiritualistically inclined and did not believe that any really definite information regarding her cousin or the nature of his transition could be obtained through the mediumship of another person.
However, during the course of one of her experiments in meditation, concentration, and spiritual study, she had occasion, as do all of our members at the beginning of their first lessons, to sit in the quietness of her little room at home, which she had set aside as a sanctum for study and higher thought. During the course of her meditation and concentration, she had occasion to look into the large mirror that was before her, and while looking into her own eyes she was surprised to see her features changing and the face of her cousin appearing. She had not expected or anticipated any such incident as this, and was considerably startled. After the first few minutes of surprise, she regained her proper poise and did not permit herself to speculate, analyze, or question what was occurring, and, therefore, did not create any delusions which might account for what followed. In a few moments she seemed to hear the voice of her cousin speaking to her as from the mirror, and she noticed that there seemed to be some movement of the lips in the face that smiled sweetly to her. The voice was indefinite, and did not seem to have the timbre and qualities of the human voice; and as she recalled the incident later, she was not quite sure that there was really any sounds connected with what she seemed to hear, but rather an inner or mental form of hearing conveyed a message to her which she believed at the time was in the form of spoken words.
The message conveyed in this manner was to the effect that the cousin was in a hospital somewhere in Nicaragua, evidently unknown in identity to those around him, and his location unknown to the American authorities. There seemed to be an intimation that he was in pain and suffering, more or less unconscious and unable to reveal his identity to the persons around him or send any communication to the American officers, so that he might be discovered and returned to the United States. His final words seemed to be a plea that the cousin, Mrs. Jones, have a search instituted, his whereabout learned, and aid sent to him at once.
The whole incident reawakened Mrs. Jones' interest in the events of 1927, and naturally inspired her to begin an immediate investigation. Once again Mrs. Jones proved her lack of interest in the ordinary spiritualistic methods by refraining from taking the matter up with mediums or those connected with spiritualistic activities. After considerable thought, she decided to write to the Welfare Department of AMORC, explain the entire incident, and ask its help in securing any possible verification of the strange message that lingered in her mind.
The Welfare Department of AMORC naturally thought of the many natural, normal means of securing additional information for Mrs. Jones, without resorting to any supernormal or supernatural processes whatsoever. It is a practice with the various departments of AMORC to deal with natural law and natural, normal principles whenever it is believed that they will serve, rather than resort to any speculative processes in securing definite information in regard to earthly conditions and affairs. This is not an indication that the officers and workers of AMORC have more faith in the laws and principles of nature than they do in the laws and principles of the higher realms, but experience has taught all of us that many of the most practical results desired by our members are more efficiently attained or secured by the application of our various material methods which constitute the rational system of the Welfare Departments of our organization. Therefore, Mrs. Jones was directed to communicate with one of our service volunteers in the Canal Zone, who was and still is closely associated with governmental affairs.
Upon receipt of the letter, Captain Brown at the Canal Zone wrote Mrs. Jones that he was glad to be of service in such a matter as this, and that he would institute an investigation of the governmental records, as well as investigate the marines who are still situated in or near Nicaragua. Captain Brown further stated that he realized that the nature of the incident which she related in her letter and the manner in which she had received the strange message purporting to come from her cousin were things which he could not reveal or explain to government officers or to the officers of the marines, and that he would have to handle the matter with considerable diplomacy, but that regardless of the time or expense involved, he would keep at the case until he made a definite report to her. This attitude on the part of Captain Brown is typical of the service being rendered by thousands of our members who are always anxious to carry out the ideals of co-operative work in our organization, in the true spirit of brotherhood.
Captain Brown's investigation finally resulted in a definite report from Washington that so far as their official records were concerned, Lieutenant Henry Smith had been killed in action and unquestionably buried in enemy grounds. Their files in his case were closed. The officers of the marines stationed near the place of the scene of action reported that their records likewise stated definitely the death of Lieutenant Henry Smith and his burial in enemy grounds.
Captain Brown was not satisfied with these reports, however, although he communicated them promptly to Mrs. Jones, and merely intimated that he would make further inquiries. He then wrote to the AMORC for further advice and guidance in his investigations. Knowing that certain laws and principles of the spiritual or Cosmic world permit of unusual manifestation at times, we took this particular case as one which would enable us to again test the knowledge contained in our higher teachings.
A series of experiments were conducted by the staff of officers at Headquarters, and the following information was secured through contact with the Cosmic records. Lieutenant Henry Smith was sent with two others on a scouting expedition into the enemy's territory. They began their entrance into the other country by an airplane flight. During the flight they were shot at by the enemy, and had to come to earth. In making a sudden landing, they were badly jolted, and one of the three became lamed. He had to remain partly hidden in bushes while the other two, one of them being Lieutenant Smith, advanced cautiously. A bullet shot toward the airplane as it was descending had slightly wounded Lieutenant Smith's neck, but it did not deter him in his advancement for a short time. Finally, however, the loss of blood caused him to become weak, and his companion had to assist him in walking toward their goal. A few hundred feet further they were attacked by some natives, and had to take refuge behind some rocks. Here they were surrounded, and they were so injured by bullets that Lieutenant Smith became unconscious and his companion was easily captured. They were carried to some crude barracks, built in the wild section of the country by the Nicaraguans, where they were cared for.
An investigation was conducted by one of the superior officers to determine the nature of the affair, for it was evident that Lieutenant Smith would die, and his companion had already passed on. Realizing that the Americans would make an investigation or that in the event of an exchange of prisoners, if Lieutenant Smith did not die, the whole affair would add to the bitterness of the diplomatic relations between the two countries, it was decided to change the uniform of Lieutenant Henry Smith and garb him in native costume while in the hospital, and thus hide his identity. For five days he was in a delirious condition, as a result of a fever that had set in, and was only conscious of his true objective surroundings for a few minutes at a time, during which time he attempted to bribe some guards to communicate with the American marines. Realizing that he could not succeed in this manner, he became anxious about his safety, and realized that if he continued in his present condition without the proper medical aid, he would pass on. During such periods of rational thought as were possible, he thought of his relatives in various parts of the United States, and what means he might take to communicate with them and let them know where he was. His transition finally occurred while he was partly conscious of his surroundings, and of his perplexities and desires. His body was buried in foreign soil in the costume of a native, and his true identity kept from the records.
The third member of the party, who had been lamed and partly wounded, returned to American soil, and reported that he had seen Smith injured and his companion severely wounded, and had watched them being captured practically dead while hiding behind some rocks. Later investigations on the part of the marines failed to find him among the captured prisoners of war, and a story current among the natives was to the effect that several American marines had been injured and had died in barrack hospitals. It was upon such reports as this that the American government had established their reports of the final passing and disappearance of Lieutenant Henry Smith.
Obtaining this definite information regarding the entire incident would seem to close the story; but there remains this question to be answered: Why did a personality purporting to be Henry Smith apparently communicate with his cousin, Mrs. Jones, and claim that he or it was in a hospital, still alive, and desiring discovery and release? In other words, we can generalize this question into one as follows: Why is it that the seeming personality of a person who has passed on will apparently appear before the consciousness of a person living here on earth, and create the impression that the personality is still living and desires help? You will note that this question does not include the how or why of the appearance of personalities claiming to be certain individuals, nor does it include the how and why of the means of creating such messages or impressions in the consciousness of a person living here on earth. These points we are purposely eliminating from this incident; first, because they are not important to the story, or the actual case in hand, and secondly, because such points involve principles which are clearly presented in the unfolding teachings of the higher grades.
Now it has been found through long experience and hundreds of experiments made by the master experimenters in our organization in many lands and for many years, that when a person passes out of this earthly life under conditions and in circumstances that are unusual, mysterious, strange, or fraught with important consequences, and especially connected with occurrences that should be revealed to some others in order that the fog may be lifted, the clouds dispelled, and the true facts revealed, he remains mentally or psychically "earth-bound" for an indefinite length of time. In other words, when a person passes out of this life as did Lieutenant Henry Smith, with a dominating thought and an insistent desire to communicate to some friend or relative the revelation of his identity, location, and cause of passing, he carries with him into spiritual consciousness this great anxiety to communicate or contact some living person and reveal the information that he believes is of an important nature. This intense desire associated with living persons and earthly conditions, and having as its crux a communication with persons on the earth plane, causes the personality or spiritual mind of the soul to be bound to the earth's aura or the earth's minds. Again, in other words, we may say that this intense desire to communicate with someone else living on the earth plane acts as a mental cord that holds the person bound to other earthly minds for a period that ends only when the desire is brought into a realization or the intense wish is fulfilled.
It has been found that such "earth-bound" persons continue to project their thoughts and radiate their ideas along the mental cord that holds them to the earth minds until they find an opportunity of making plain and definite the thoughts and message which they believe must be communicated. In many cases it has been found that such a condition on the part of one who has passed on is an agonizing, tormenting one, or in other words anything but a peaceful and joyous condition. It has been definitely established that such persons are not aware of the fact that they are binding themselves to an earthly contact by holding the thought which constitutes their great desire, but they realize only one thing--they must relieve themselves of this information or the facts constituting the message they wish to give in order that they may be freed from the only heavy, painful, material emotion that weighs down their consciousness and holds them enslaved to earthly contact.
We are not prepared to say that it is such a condition that is responsible for all of the peculiar manifestations that have been attributed to so-called ghosts or spirits, even when such manifestations have been proved not to be fraudulent or due to natural causes; but we do know that thousands of persons have passed from this life under such circumstances and in conditions of being "earth-bound" as have caused them to come before the investigations of the most experienced of our Master workers in many lands. In a great many of these cases, the intense desire to communicate with someone is associated with some crime that has been committed by the one who has departed or with some injustice or unfair circumstance that originated in the actions of the departed one, and now rests as a burden upon some living person. As might be expected, it was found in every case that the "earth-bound" person was attempting to do that which seemed the most ethical or most spiritual thing to do. And in most cases, the desire to communicate was closely associated with an intense desire to relieve someone else of unnecessary suffering or unjustified accusations.
The next peculiar part of such a situation is that the mind of a person who passes on with such intense desires and thus becomes "earth-bound" until the condition is relieved loses all sense of the elements of time and space as appreciated by our objective, earthly senses. We can thoroughly understand how a spiritual consciousness living in a spiritual realm, even though close to the earth and its envelope, would have no consciousness of space or distance, and certainly not of earthly distances in the same sense that we consider them during our earthly lives. Surely such a person would have no consciousness of time, for there would be no past, present, or future in the relation of incidents to one another.
This explains one of the strange and most puzzling points in connection with the messages or communications which such personalities eventually transmit to some mind on the earth plane. The message or communication that they radiate and cause to be implanted in the human consciousness is in the terms of the "NOW." It is entirely free from any relationship with the time in elements of days, weeks, months, or years of the past. Whatever was the thought or message that the mind of this personality concentrated upon during its last hours of consciousness on the earth plane, it is unchanged in terms of time or relationship to space, distance, and period after transition.
In the case of Lieutenant Henry Smith, his last earthly, conscious thoughts which he wished to communicate were probably, "I am here in a hospital, suffering, waiting, and hoping to be discovered and taken back to my own country." You will note that that message or that communication is of the present time or of the "NOW," and it was carried over with the consciousness into the spiritual realm without modification or alteration. And even though days, weeks, months, and years pass, the thought continues in the "NOW" in its form of expression, and would therefore reach the mind of a person living on the earth as coming from one who was speaking in the present tense and, therefore, of the "NOW." This is why Mrs. Jones believed that the message intimated that her cousin was still living, still in a hospital, and still seeking to be found and rescued, whereas in truth he had been in the spiritual world for over a year.
This much may be said in regard to the methods or processes for bringing such communications to the minds of earthly beings. We have said that it is a fact that the spirits or souls of departed persons do not return to earth and enter rooms, and family circles, or seance groups, or clothe themselves with material form to perform physical feats. We do say, however, in our teachings, and make understandable how the personality that has departed may and can project its thoughts or a representation of itself to the psychic consciousness of persons still living on this earth plane. In such projections, nothing of a material or spiritual essence departs from the person in the spiritual realm, or comes to the earth plane. All that passes between the one above and the one below are thought vibrations like unto the thought vibrations that pass between the spiritual, psychic mind of two living persons on the earth plane who are in telepathic or psychic communication with each other.
Such "earth-bound" personalities seek every possible opportunity to reach the minds of those who are receptive or ready to receive the communication that is being radiated, by mental attunement, so that it may be objectively realized and passed along to the intended person. In most cases, the results sought for are achieved through a combination of unusual circumstances by which one or more persons living on the earth plane are temporarily or momentarily attuned to psychic influx or Cosmic Consciousness. In such rare moments these persons, if they are in any way related to or known to the spiritual personality, will receive the message, communication, or impression that is being directed. Very often such attunement or state of receptivity on the part of earthly persons occurs during sleep; but it is more perfect, complete, and objectively recalled or remembered when the receptivity occurs during periods of meditation or concentration in a waking state. In this particular case Mrs. Jones was highly receptive because of the special intensity of her experiment and the sacredness of it, associated as it was with matters most holy to her. Her mind was also free from anticipations, analysis, speculation, and indefinite ideas which might have inhibited her psychic reception or beclouded her impressions. It was a magnificent opportunity for the personality of Henry Smith; for Mrs. Jones was a relative and one anxious to know of his whereabouts and her little period of concentration and meditation was like the opening of a great doorway that permitted the personality in the spiritual world to enter, and in a perfectly frank and complete manner, deliver the message that held him bound to the earth's mind.
The delivery of this communication, the receipt of it, and the realization of it by Mrs. Jones instantly relieved the personality of Henry Smith of the condition which held him captive, and unquestionably it was the beginning of his flight to freedom in the spiritual realm. And not unless some most extraordinary situation would arise would he have any desire to ever communicate again with those of this earth plane.
After the officers at Headquarters had communicated their information to Captain Brown, with instructions that he send it to Mrs. Jones, and thereby explain the entire matter to her, a record was obtained from a congressional report regarding the latest findings of the activities in Nicaragua, and therein was revealed some facts which verified the story of Henry Smith's short flight in an airplane, his injury in the neck, his hiding behind stones, and his disappearance in the hands of the enemy. Thus was the Cosmic story verified; and the whole case is typical of many that have been brought to our attention or which have interested us at Headquarters in a personal way during the past years.
We hope that our members will find in this story the answer to many of their questions, and a key to some of the higher principles which cannot be adequately revealed nor properly explained in the pages of this magazine.
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