Project Gutenberg Australia
a treasure-trove of literature
treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership




Title:      The Stars Are Still There (1946)
Author:     Stewart Edward White
* A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook *
eBook No.:  0301091.txt
Language:   English
Date first posted:          August 2003
Date most recently updated: August 2003

Project Gutenberg of Australia eBooks are created from printed editions
which are in the public domain in Australia, unless a copyright notice
is included. We do NOT keep any eBooks in compliance with a particular
paper edition.

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this
file.

This eBook is made available at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms
of the Project Gutenberg of Australia License which may be viewed online at
http://gutenberg.net.au/licence.html

To contact Project Gutenberg of Australia go to http://gutenberg.net.au

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook

Title:      The Stars Are Still There (1946)
Author:     Stewart Edward White




DEDICATION

To my many correspondents and especially to those who will recognize
the contribution they have made in this book and anonymously
to the reassurance of others




CONTENTS

Chapter

I.     People are Thinking about Immortality
II.    The War Dead
III.   No Real Separation
IV.    I Take My Pen in Hand
V.     The Doubting Thomas
VI.    Conditions in the Unobstructed
VII.   Our Common Human Ingredient
VIII.  Impersonation
IX.    Doorways to Trouble
X.     "The Deville, the Prowde Spirite"
XI.    Shouting from the House Tops
XII.   The Law of Complement
XIII.  From Betty, Direct
XIV.   The Half Truths
XV.    "The Comfort of God"
XVI.   The Strange Story of Mary Smith
XVII.  The Incoming Tide
       Appendix
       Index




I



People are Thinking about Immortality


All my life, since I grew old enough to, make my own living, I have done
so as a professional writer. That means the publication of between forty
and fifty volumes of fiction, history and travel, aside from more short
stories and articles than I can remember. Therefore I have a fair idea
of how the public reacts; and I know that when any book calls out, over
a period of four years, an average of half a dozen letters a day, the
letters themselves have significance as showing what people are thinking
about. Such letters are a pretty accurate cross section of the general
public's attitude toward the subject of that book. In this case the
continuation of the individual in some sort of life after death.
Immortality.

I said above that the letters have averaged half a dozen a day. That is
over the years. In March, eighteen months after publication of the book
I am talking about, I kept track. The average for that month was sixteen
letters a day! While so fast and furious a pace has by now (mid-spring
of 1945) slacked off, I still get them at the steady rate of about a
hundred a month. These later letters continue to ask the same questions,
voice the same bewilderments, seek the same hopes. The book that elicits
them is THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, published in October of 1940,

This book bears my name as author. As a matter of fact, my contribution
was the plain drudgery of verbatim reporting and the professional
writer's knack of putting the material into easily readable form. None
of the CONCEPTS were mine: they were dictated to me by my wife Betty
some six months after her death through a friend who chooses to protect
her anonymity under the pseudonym of "Joan." Joan is a psychic of the
type that would be called a "trance medium," were she a professional.*
But I can count on the fingers of my two hands the number of people who
know Joan AS Joan.

* She is the "Joan" of OUR UNSEEN GUEST, as well as of THE UNOBSTRUCTED
UNIVERSE.

Betty herself was a "psychic." She had accepted this fact for some
twenty years before her death, since the evening of March 17, 1919, to
be exact, when she accidentally made the discovery. And between 1919 and
1939 she underwent a continuous and rigorous training as a means to what
she called "expansion of spiritual consciousness." Though the gain of
so-called psychic powers was not the objective, nevertheless she
acquired them as a sort of by-product, and was able to do various feats
supposed to be possible to "psychic" persons. She could enter at will a
higher consciousness from which she reported back her experiences and
what she had seen and was taught. She was also able to transmit to me
the ideas of discarnate entities we called the Invisibles, either by
reporting back as though by dictation or by permitting her speech
mechanism to be used directly. These powers and abilities she never used
idly, for curiosity, personal satisfaction or any such lesser purposes.
She sought and used them to one end only, the expansion of spiritual
consciousness.

The accumulation of her records, Some 2300-odd single-spaced pages, had,
up to the time of her death in 1939, yielded the makings of four
volumes: CREDO, appearing in 1925; Why BE A MUD TURTLE, 1928; THE BETTY
BOOK, 1937; ACROSS THE UNKNOWN, 1939. Since she died three more have
been published: THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, THE ROAD I KNOW and ANCHORS
TO WINDWARD.

For six months after her death I had no OUTSIDE communication with
Betty. Her direct contact with me is told in an added chapter to ACROSS
THE UNKNOWN.* Then, in the fall of 1939, I went to visit Joan and her
husband. On our very first evening together Betty proved her
identity-beyond doubt, and began dictating that amazing "divulgence,"
as she called it, THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE. It cannot be summarized in
a paragraph. For the present purpose it is enough to say that,
basically, it deals with the HERENESS of immortality. In the
establishment of her thesis Betty explores the nature of time, space and
motion; the structure of matter; the fallacy--and indeed the
uselessness--of the "ether of space" hypothesis; the nature of
consciousness; life after death-in short, the make-up of our "one and
only universe" in its two phases of the OBSTRUCTED and the UNOBSTRUCTED,
the former being life as we know it here on earth, and the latter life
as SHE knows it beyond earth. There is, actually, only one universe,
says Betty, and death is but the throwing off of the earth's
obstructions. The argument in THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE is close and
involved. Its reading requires sustained attention and considerable
independent thinking. Nevertheless, concerning her "divulgence" Betty
made what seemed to us at the time two most unlikely predictions.

* See Part III, Chapter IX, ACROSS THE UNKNOWN.
 See Chapter III, THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE.

"This book," said she, "will have a wide circulation, and it will appeal
to scientists."

Which, we flatly told her, was absurd. It was an initiate's book; it
required background as well as education to understand, and considerably
more application than the average person has in stock for ordinary
reading; a couple of thousand copies seemed to us the probable sale;
and, anyway, it took a specialist to understand it. This last Betty
denied.

"Each will understand ENOUGH of it," said she. "An eight-year-old child
will understand that his universe is obstructed. He'll recognize that
because be bumps."

As to the other half of her prediction, we pointed out that before the
scientific mind the mere hint of discarnate communication drops a thick
curtain; scientists would not even read it. Nevertheless, Betty stuck by
her guns.

The book was, in December, 1944, in its eighteenth edition. Probably by
the time this is published it will have gone higher in the selling list,
for friends in New York write me that "it cannot be kept in stock-the
call has again become so great for it." So much for that part of Betty's
prediction. As for the other, I have had letters from just under thirty
scientists, a number of them beads of research laboratories, and all of
national standing. They simply ignore the alleged source. They are
interested in the content, which they seem to find highly significant.
Each claims to have discovered in it either some principle helpful to
work he is doing, or suggestion for research along a new line. All agree
that here is something "adumbrating a higher physics," which is beyond
the comprehension of a mere layman-such as myself. A few of them prove
it by talking technically away over my head. One wrote, "Dear Mr.
White," followed by a page of complicated mathematical equations, and
ending with, "so you see your wife is right."

Nor are the physical scientists the only trained minds who have thought
it worthwhile to write me. I have had many letters from believers in
every religion, every cult, every variety of philosophical thought, and
about every shade of every doctrine one could imagine. None of them took
issue with Betty's "divulgence." On the contrary, most of them claimed
that, fundamentally, she was preaching their own especial tenets! Which
would seem to show that she must have hit upon the denominator common to
all.

This unanimity of endorsement from the technicians of thought, whether
as scientists of the material or as professionals of the immaterial, has
been surprising enough, though here at least were people trained to that
kind of thinking. But the real miracle, it has seemed to me, is the
steady and undiminishing stream of correspondence that has flowed over
my desk from the citizenry at large, the very people I would never
suspect of interest in such a book. They certainly have read and
"understood enough." For they want to know; and not merely about the few
obvious things, such as life and death, suggested by the nature of the
book. Not at all; the subjects on which they have written me index at no
less than eighty-three! It took me some time to realize that they would
just HAVE to be indexed.

Betty made one other prophecy, personal to myself. At the completion of
THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE I was rather at loose ends, and speculated
over what I should do next.

"You'll be kept busy," said she dryly. "You will see. It [the book] will
give you many new and interesting contacts, enormous new fields for
service, for spreading the truth. You'll have to make the letters people
will write you about all this your own particular job. They will keep
you plenty busy," she repeated with a chuckle.

She was right. The letters--and the people who come to see me--have
indeed kept me "plenty busy." They have brought me the "many interesting
contacts" she promised; made me new friends; stimulated my own thinking;
refreshed my enthusiasm, given me rare opportunity for insight into the
minds and hearts of my fellow humans. A surety of faith can hardly need
strengthening, but certainly these letters have lent mine an added glow.

And so in this present book I try to give the high lights of the most
typical of these letters, what people most seek to know, and what I have
been vouchsafed to say in reply. I shall reveal no secrets. My mail is
confidential. I shall keep it so. But there is much that can be
legitimately shared, much that is universal to all men's needs and
thinking in these days of wanton war. Death; the possibility of a life
beyond it; what responsibility the fact of Immortality imposes on each
and every one of us. And-most helpful of all to me-something of the
processes of thought by which men and women everywhere are struggling
through the mechanistic maze-and wonders-of our age back to the "faith
of our fathers."




II



The War Dead


In these times of world-wide conflict and emotional distress it is
natural that a great many of the letters I receive have to do with
bereavement. The wave of interest in psychic communication after World
War I was almost entirely powered by loss and the desire to know about,
or hear from, those who had gone on into what Betty calls the
Unobstructed phase of this, our one and only universe. This is still
true, except that today's letters indicate that bereavement is no longer
the sole or even the major interest of most. A wonderful expansion of
consciousness, stimulated by the shocks of war, is bringing to the
surface new desires and new necessities which occupy people's hopes.
Nonetheless, the letters from the bereaved stand out as the most
poignant, whether in cry for assurance, for contact, for knowledge,
or-as is the case with a great, great many-expression of heartfelt
gratitude for the comfort gained through Betty's books, particularly for
the modem arguments for immortality in THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE.

This is outstandingly so of those whose sons and husbands and
sweethearts have joined the hosts of the new dead set marching by this
war.

It is my intention to quote my correspondents from time to time. But I
find it difficult to select letters sufficiently typical as antitheses
to the composite of my replies. That is especially true in this present
subject of the war dead and bereavement. So many of our young men are
"going west," and the death of each individual one brings grief and
heartache and despair. The bereaved are searching for comfort of some
sort, assurance of any sort, and when they find it in the pages of
Betty's books many of them write to tell me so. Here are excerpts from
only three such letters, chosen almost at random.

"This is a feeble effort to thank you and Mrs. White and 'Joan' for the
miracle of renewed hope and courage and inspiration that you-all of
you-have brought to me through THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE. I was, as it
were, a man lost in a world of dense fog and confusion. I moved, but in
circles accomplishing nothing, and I felt as if I moved all alone. But
now I KNOW that I do not walk alone."

Another:

"I want to tell you that it was your book that made it possible for me
to carry on, and as this is Thanksgiving time, I want to thank you for
what you have done for me. I do not know how to tell you what this book
has been to me. Something has been released, some tenseness, and I can
place myself entirely in the everlasting arms and not be anxious."

Again:

"...I found myself as though living in a void, in an atmosphere where I
had no roots. I felt my sanity threatened. Then I found your book [THE
UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE] and I felt that a ray of light had penetrated a
dark and unbearable prison. I found not only solace, but a reorientation
of life."

Such letters are heartwarming. They give abundant worth to the whole
effort of "divulgence." But they propound no problems; I have no carbons
of replies that need quotation here.

However, here is something that I send such correspondents; something
Betty once told us, from her vantage of the Unobstructed. It seems to
have brought further comfort to many.

Once or twice in the course of dictation Betty referred briefly to that
part of her work which she said was with the new dead, and promised us
that some day she would tell us about it. That someday was delayed for
nearly three years. Then one day she broke in on a casual conversation.

Some one had been speculating on the confusion that must obtain on the
other side because of the numbers of those killed in this war. At this
point Betty suddenly took charge.

"No," she denied, "it is a busy place but not a time of confusion. This
is an orderly place. There is for each one here a certain job, for him
and for no one else; and he must not abandon that task until it is
finished. Want to know the procedure?"

Naturally we clamored that we certainly did-it was an old promise.

"Well," Betty began, "first of all, we have to find one who speaks the
language of the newly arrived soldier. It is a mistake to imagine that
merely coming here enables us to speak and understand all languages. We
don't. Suppose the newly arrived is a Russian. He is met by some one who
speaks Russian, who not only speaks to him in his language, but
surrounds him with the vision of familiar things. For instance, he might
be furnished with the kind of bath used in his country, or the same sort
of clothes, and all that, so he could start at ease in things familiar.
You must remember that most of them [the new dead] do not know what has
happened to them. They probably think that they have been wounded or
stunned, and that now they are in some new rest area.

Most of them argue that as they can see and hear and are not under the
ground, therefore they are alive.

"Next, when so many of them come here all at once, we have officers
assigned who have been here some time, who assemble these men in the
formations they are used to, and who explain their new status to them,
EN MASSE, in their own language, and who even may march them away to a
rest place.

"Curiously, the first thing many of the soldiers want is to send a
letter home. You see, they are still confused, they still do not fully
understand. If they can write, we arrange for them to do so; if they
cannot write then there is always some one here who can write in their
own language for them; and they do so. Of course the letters cannot be
sent; but just the writing of them helps somehow.

"Then most of them [the new dead] are taken to a big place-" (She
fumbled about for a word, rejecting 'hospital.') "Well, the nearest I
can get is a kind of solarium. You see a great many require treatment.
For instance, a man who has been hit THINKS he is without one leg. That
thought must be cured here, just as the leg would have to be treated
with you, in one of your hospitals. Here is where we treat and care for
such-well-disabilities.

"In the case of some, when finally they realize they are dead, they
become uncontrollably hysterical. We then induce sleep.

"It is tremendous, but there are millions here, and there is no
confusion. Our organization is like an army. We get our orders. I have
mine. I could not be as useful dealing directly with shattered people,
so my work is with the actual nurses-I deal with those nurses. At first
I had five under me; and then another five was added, and another five,
and another, until now I have many. Roughly, I teach the nurses how to
meet the dead in their own frequency, and then slowly, slowly bring them
up until they are our frequency. That is my job-to teach that.

"There are places for them [the new dead] where there is nothing but
peace. There each is given a vision of the future, of what the sacrifice
he has made is going to mean to the world; what his contribution has
been; how much better the world will be because of it. And to this place
each brings whatever is his contribution for this peace. For instance,
right now there is a group of Russian soldiers who have brought music.
And the others bring whatever they have that can make pleasure-the
enjoyments of life.

"Here's another thing: a natural first instinct is to go back to their
homes and people. They are not allowed to do so until they understand
that they cannot now do so in the flesh. And when they do go, one of us
is assigned to accompany each-if possible one of us who is more or less
able to make an impression on some member of the family or a friend. As
a matter of fact, one entity here is assigned to each one who comes
here. It is a question of individual frequency, and therefore the
assignments are arranged by skilled and higher beings here: what one
might call the staff command.

"This staff work is important. What I am told to do, no ONE but me could
do. It's a matter of my own individual frequency.

"Entities here of lower development take very little part in this
reception business, but a great part in the midst of battle. You see we
can't allow these entities to have anything to do with the new dead,
because they would want to take them back again.

"During the night we are sometimes able, while they sleep, to bring
parents, wives, sweethearts to their loved ones here. I know of one very
touching incident. We brought a woman who is still there, in the
Obstructed, to her daughter, who is here. The daughter had been a nurse,
and she was killed. I don't know just how, but she was killed with her
arms outspread, like a cross, across a door. Anyway, the night we
brought the mother, in her sleep, this girl insisted she must have on a
nurse's uniform.

When the time came for the mother to go back she did not want to go. She
threw herself on her knees to me, and begged to stay here with her
daughter. Of course, I could do nothing about that. But she was so
frantic that finally we had to put her to sleep here to induce her to go
back; and we did not leave her until she was safely back.

"So you see, I am very busy, for this is only part of what I do."

Some one mentioned the possibility of resuming such work of divulgence
as had been begun with THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE. This was out of the
question for the time being, Betty explained. Sustained communication of
the kind required to do such a book is now impossible because of the
psychic turmoil of the war-too difficult to insulate against outside
interferences.

"I am studying still for what I want to say," she told us. "When the
time comes, I'll impress Joan.

"What I'd like to do," she continued, "would be to get out a little book
for soldiers. A short one, not over fifty pages. To sell for twenty-five
cents. It should be sold for something, and not given away, for they
don't value things given away. What does man live for? What does he SEEM
to lose by death? What does he gain when he passes? He finds over here
what he wanted to find there.

I would want to explain it in simple words and sentences. Something a
man could remember and pass on. What does a man want of life? He gets
exactly the same thing after death. Every man in the army comes sometime
to think of death. Maybe not in camp, but when he KNOWS he's going to
fight. This book would give the assurance, by one who knows, that there
is NOTHING TO LOSE!"




III



No Real Separation


What I have called the "war dead," the multitudes passing over from
battle, are the bereavements that hit with the strongest impact. Yet
actually they differ in no manner from any other loss by death. We are
inclined to think more of their mass, their sheer weight of numbers,
than of the fact that each carries its full of poignancy. Indeed, it may
even be some small comfort to reflect that others are grieving too! And
there is the sustaining glow and pride in sacrifice for a common cause.
But each death on the battlefield is to some one the full measure of
bereavement. We forget that. No matter in what manner we lose our
dearest, we feel exactly the same grief. And the cry for help in the
lone instance is often the more anguished because there seems to be no
reason.

"Help me in my blind despair! I am a little on the side of feeling the
things that are going to happen, and just six weeks ago I lost my
husband and felt it all happening but couldn't tell what was going to
happen. I am so sad and heartbroken. I feel I am losing faith and feel
so very helpless. Can and will you write me something that would give me
a lift to go on in this hideous world?"

Letters of appreciation, like those quoted in the preceding chapter, are
easy to answer, but who am I to respond adequately to such a need as
voiced above? And also the swarm of other questions, things people
desperately want to know, if it is possible, of the present condition of
those they have lost. At first the responsibility terrified me. Then I
realized how little, really, I had to do with it. Any more than I really
had much to do-besides reporting and editing-with THE UNOBSTRUCTED
UNIVERSE which bears my name. All I needed to do was to ask for help and
I got it. A moment's quiet preparation of receptivity-no more-a mental
call, "Now, Betty, rally round! This is your job, you know!" and I find
given me the effective things to say. I have no especial wisdom of my
own. Without this "inspiration," if one would call it such, who would
dare arrogate to himself the right to meddle? To offer anything to one
who cries out in such a storm of grief? "How can I go on! Why should
this thing have happened to me; what sense is there in it, or justice?"
Especially in case of loss of a child! And other questions not so deeply
rooted in the emotions-cremation, reincarnation, suicide, the survival
of animals; all sorts of things.

In my opinion the usual pious "letter of consolation" is utterly futile,
except that it shows the writer is sympathetic and wants to stand by.
That is a good deal, to be sure, but the ordinary platitudes of
resignation are more likely than not to arouse rebellious resentment.
After all, it is not consolation people want; it is some sort of
ASSURANCE. Does the loved one go on existing? Is he unchanged? Is he
happy? Is he busy on a congenial job? Is he aware of me? Why can I not
be aware of him? If communication is indeed possible, why does he not
manifest himself to ME? That is the sort of thing people long to know
about, whether in their letters they say so in so many words, or not.
Satisfied on such points, the needed "consolation" comes of itself, and
the background plea of all-help me to bear the separation-is answered.

Only occasionally, as I say, are all these questions clearly formulated
in one letter. This comes the nearest:

"Here are my questions," writes my correspondent. "Immediately following
the transition we call death, what generally is the first thing of which
the 'dead' person is made conscious-what I mean is, is he 'asleep' for a
greater or lesser period, then awakened and some one assigned to make
him aware of his present surroundings?

Is he still a creature of free will? Is his progress in wider fields,
greater horizons, and better understanding, slower or faster according
to the individual? If he is instructed, WHAT briefly, is that
instruction? What of those, who, by suicide, hurry their departure? What
is one of the difficulties that confront those over there, in the same
sense that poverty causes unhappiness and discontent here? Shall I find
and recognize and know a lost one, or will she have developed beyond me
into a higher plane?"

Except for the last, these questions have more of the intellectual than
the emotional in them, but in turn their content is back of most of the
questions asked.

The two best assurances I can offer in reply are these: The one who is
gone on is unchanged, busy, and not in some far-off and amorphous
"heaven"; he is still in intimate touch, and there is no real
separation.

"The only thing I miss" Betty answered a question, "is the use of the
five senses* in the Unobstructed universe for the expression of my love
for the people who are still there in the Obstructed; and of course if I
had that I wouldn't be here. I miss your not recognizing me, not hearing
my voice, not feeling and seeing me when I'm there. And of course I am
there. I miss your response, and that is all."**

* Curiously, one or two have misinterpreted this to mean that Betty has
no five senses now! What she says is that she cannot use them to make us
aware.

** THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, page 221.

I quote this; and also the following based on another statement of
Betty's.

"There is no genuine separation, and the only unhappy barrier that can
be interposed between yourselves and those who have gone on into the
Unobstructed is undue grief carried to the point of desolation. That
interposes a barrier. Your dear ones understand perfectly, of course,
how natural it is that you grieve. But the very closeness of the tie
brings us [it is Betty telling this, from her vantage of the
Unobstructed] a complete awareness of your grief; and it must make us
sad to see you suffering. Those on this side do not suffer or sorrow as
you do there." Betty was expressing the general principle, not speaking
personally, of course. "We too regret the separation, but we understand
and we cannot grieve. But we must share your sadness when you grieve so
much. You love us who are here, and you would do anything for us, would
you not? Then if you want to contribute something to us, do something
for us, keep away from undue depression and grief. That is the one
positive thing you can do for us. You can at least avoid casting a
shadow on our new estate."

Or, to put it bluntly in another way; we certainly cannot be sorry for
THEM, where they are now. If we ire sorry for anyone it is for
ourselves, and that is really a form of self-pity. We are hardly
justified in indulging that, especially at the expense of our loved
one's peace of mind.

Even to those convinced of immortality come doubts and uncertainties as
to the completeness of the separation; both now, of course, but also in
the future when they themselves shall enter the Unobstructed. They fear
one gone before may have developed, grown, far beyond reach. And there
is the anguished despair over the eternal loss of old relationships.
Especially in the case of the orthodox who take literally the Biblical
statement about no marriages or giving in marriage in heaven. The fact
of death strengthens the love of true marriage, and if that is to vanish
then there can be no desirable heaven.

"My husband died on the fifth of last August and his death, after
fifteen years of happy marriage with him, left my life empty and forlorn
indeed," writes one woman. "Jim was the most affectionate person I ever
knew, and I, though not demonstrative by nature, crave affection and
love more, I think, than the average person. Now I feel as if I were
starving-I am groping for some sort of comfort-for something that will
let me know I shall be with Jim again, and see him and hear his voice."
"When Betty stepped across," I quote from another letter, "and you still
felt that companionship stronger than ever* did you actually feel her as
the same person who was here on earth? I have tried so hard to get that
companionship, but have failed. Wherever my husband is I am sure he is
terribly busy as he was a very active person with a very keen mind. I
cannot see how our lives when we step across can harmonize with our mate
who has been in the spiritual realm so much longer. I should think he
would have advanced far beyond me."

* See ACROSS THE UNKNOWN, last chapter, and THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE,
pages 17 ET SEQ.

"A silly question I wanted to ask is," goes still another, "does my
husband HEAR me-does he know and spiritually respond when I speak to
him, as I occasionally do, involuntarily, not calling or demanding him,
but just making a remark. And if our friends in the other world are near
us and can see and hear us, is this all the time, or just occasionally?
And have I lost my relationship to him AS my husband?"

This woman, too, refers to that old tag about no marriages in heaven. I
wrote her that she, like all the others, had failed to consider the
nature of the times when that was written, and the average person to
whom it was addressed. The sex relationships, Betty has told us, serve
two purposes-procreation and unification. With animals they are confined
to the first of these, with primitive or only partly developed humans it
is preponderantly the same. Only with the higher types is the growing
emphasis on unification. In the Unobstructed universe the procreation
aspect, of course, vanishes; but UNIFICATION is stronger and more nearly
perfected. "Marriage" to the average Middle Eastern peasant of Biblical
times meant largely, children; and to that sort of "marriage" the dictum
refers. Naturally, not all earth marriages are the true and eternal
mating. They are not on that account in any way to be reprehended, for
many of them fulfill a respectable and necessary purpose-what might be
called an interim purpose-pending the appearance of the real mate.
Children are one fulfillment; a need of family companionship is another;
even certain necessary but temporary requisites of development might be
a third. True and deep affection, even the belief that this is the real
thing, may be felt by both parties. The separation, by death or
other-wise, may cause genuine grief. But gradually that separation is
seen-or felt-to be final as a marriage, though whole-hearted affection
may still remain, and will continue. And many people are puzzled by the
question of second marriages. As a concrete example, one of my callers,
after considerable discussion of all this, threw up her hands with a
rueful laugh.

"I've been married three times," said she; "which of them am I supposed
to tie up to when I die?"

"The one you really love," said I.

"I love them all. I should certainly not have married without love."

"Then perhaps none of them. Possibly you are still to meet what we might
call your affinity mate. I believe you when you say you loved all three,
and I respect your integrity in not marrying unless you felt that
justification deeply and truly. But I think you would recognize
something different in the real affinity, something that not only
survives the temporary necessary obscurity, but-when that obscuring is
past-comes back."

We talked about other things. She got up to go.

"Thank you," said she. "I do know. I have really known all the time.
What you have said released the knowledge."

So I am able to write on this topic, with the confidence based on my own
experience and Betty's statements, that mates do find one another and
that in essence their relationships are unchanged.

As to the other worry-lest those who have gone ahead will, in those
favorable conditions, develop so much more rapidly that they will
advance to a "higher" and inaccessible plane-Betty was much amused. My
replies, again based on her information and assurance, run somewhat
thus:

"Do not worry about that. The development of consciousness in the
Unobstructed universe is indeed, in a manner of speaking, passing from
one plane to a higher. So people there do live on different planes. But
right here on earth it is exactly the same. You are on a different plane
of consciousness from the man digging the ditch for a sewer in front of
your place. You can go out and talk to him-on his plane-but he would be
unable to meet you on your plane. That is to say, he would assuredly
fail to meet you were you to talk calculus to him. In that sense you and
he certainly live on different planes, do you not? Nevertheless you are
not physically separated. And you can meet on whatever ground is common
to you both. The mistake is in taking 'planes' as geographical.

"So I consider it undoubtedly possible for the truly mated to continue
together. In fact, I think it is impossible for them not to do so. As
for 'catching up'; in the first place I doubt if the gap will be as
broad as you fear, provided you live to the best of your capabilities
while you are still here. Advancement is measured by resistance
overcome, and possibly we have more resistance here. "Concerning your
anxiety that he is worrying overmuch about your troubles, it is a good
thing, of course, to spare those we love from the infliction of our
moods and difficulties. But it should be remembered that they 'over
there' have a compensating broader outlook on such things. They are no
more really worried than we, when we drop into the nursery, are worried
over the problems of the children. There is not quite that insulting
discrepancy between, but it illustrates the point."

And in any case, Betty always refused to take the question of separation
tragically. As I wrote one grieving mother:

"Betty has had considerable to say about separations such as this. From
the Unobstructed side of the fence, such separations do not look as
serious to them as they do to us, which is natural. From what she has
said again and again, I can assure you that you will be with your son
again."

How about children?

"Does my child grow and develop in the 'Unobstructed Universe' into an
adult, or is his development conditioned by the years he has spent in
our world?" writes a father. "Does a parent who has out-lived his child,
upon crossing the boundary, see the child as he has known him-two,
three, four or whatever years of age? Or the child may be matured? If
that is so, how can the former relationship be possible? I am asking not
only because I lost my boy of four last summer, but because right now it
is important to all parents who have sons in the army-important not only
to the parents, but to the sons who will die. And why should my boy be
taken so young?"

The above is one of many, many similar letters. The following is the
best I can find in my filed replies:

"We must think of existence as continuous, not parceled off into this
life and that life. We start in simple beginnings and we grow and
develop toward an ultimate maturity. Now in this life, as children, that
we move our residence from one part of the country to another does not
mean that we are going to remain exactly as we were when we migrated. We
are going to go on growing just the same. It is no different when we, as
children, move from the Obstructed aspect of the universe into the
Unobstructed. We go right on growing. As to our bodily appearance-that,
I think, is what you mean-we are told that the child goes on in growth
until it reaches that balanced age-appearance which is the best height
of maturity. So when you yourself go there and meet your child, it will
not be that child as he was in his earth years, but the one you would
see if be had grown up here.

But that will in no way interfere with your recognition because,
actually, what brings recognition is the personal frequency, the thing
that made him your child and which brought your response here and
continues to bring your response there. That affinity transcends mere
outside appearance.

"Why should he be taken so young? That is indeed a puzzle until one
looks at life as all of one piece. The fragment of existence we spend on
earth is only a very little bit of a CONTINUOUS whole. I do not know
about this particular child, but the probability is this: that he had
certain small things to get from the earth phase of his continuous life.
He came here to get them. In the Unobstructed he goes on in development,
throwing off the handicap of earth resistance necessary to getting those
certain small things.

"The time or reason for TERMINATION of our sojourn here, in the
Obstructed universe, is still beyond our comprehension. All I can say is
that I have faith it all fits into the general pattern. When one dies
young it may be that he has finished gathering his meed of what OUR
UNSEEN GUEST* calls quantity of consciousness, and can be better
employed in other environments. While we, less favored, must stay and
work here where our talents are best suited."

* Published by Harper & Bros., 1920; republished 1943 by the Borden
Publishing Co., 727 West 6th St., Los Angeles.

Sometimes there seems no end to the imaginary alarms grief may conjure
up, even when the belief in continuing life is firm. One man worried
about the kind of form his beloved would be bound to inhabit. It must be
one to correspond to conditions, he argued, and no one realty knows what
those conditions are. He even went so far, poor dear, as to consider the
idea that she might be a rhomboid or other mathematical shape-is not the
universe fundamentally mathematical?

"You will know me," Betty told me emphatically. "I am just as I was."

The problem set forth in the following letter is naturally more anxious
than any other. Suicide is held secularly as a crime; and to that
knowledge is added the uneasiness as to what effect it may have on those
who thus prematurely enter into the Great Beyond.

"I would like to enquire what your opinion is as to the welfare of one
'over there' who has taken his own life-the tragic suddenness fills me
with most terrible anxiety. I cannot help but wonder whether now all is
well with him, or whether he has been plunged into an even darker abyss
than when he was suffering here.... Perhaps I can reconcile myself to
what is done, but how can I find peace unless I know that all is well
with him? Please believe that I am in desperate earnestness."

It is a strong temptation to return generalities of a comforting sort.
But it is unwise.

"I do so much wish that I had some information for your comfort," I
wrote one such inquiry, "but the question of suicide and the status of
those who commit it has been merely touched on by Betty and her
Invisibles. So I know nothing much from authority, and am hesitant on
hazarding a personal opinion.

"However, from the few statements that have been made, this is what I
gather: In general principle nothing one has earned spiritually is ever
lost; and one must go on in the evolution of spiritual development. One
can do things to retard or make difficult that progress, but can do
nothing to lose it or stop it. Suicide is one of those things that make
it difficult. Very difficult, perhaps."

"What of those who commit suicide?" writes another, probably raised in
orthodox beliefs. "Are they helped and instructed? If so, in what? And,"
this correspondent adds wistfully, "is it considered wrong to look
hopefully forward to the time when the old man with the scythe comes
along? And if so, why?"

I could meet these questions more directly.

"Of course they [suicides] are helped and instructed," I wrote. "As to
what they are instructed in-isn't that a rather large order, considering
the great variety of development needs? One of the reasons we are on
earth is to fill out as best we can the capacity with which we came
here. The degree to which we accomplish that determines our status-and
our capability-in the next phase of fife. Naturally if, of our own
volition, we cut this life short, we are handicapping ourselves for the
future. No, I don't think it wrong to look forward to another life, but
not at the expense of this one, and certainly not to the extent of
suicide. No matter how much we look forward to a new existence-or why-as
long as we feel we have a job to finish here we should not choose to
quit it and step over the border, even if the free choice were offered
us. Only when we have finished off are we ripe and ready to go."

I have no reason to believe that this person was making any personal
application to himself. But I have heard from several such; I mean
people inclined to make way with themselves, but hesitant.

"Betty says suicide is cowardly, I know," writes one, after a recital of
unhappiness, "but recently the heavy burden has been made unbearable to
the point of insanity, or rather such mental confusion as not to know
what I am doing at times."

This was a real cry for help.

"I wish," was part of my reply, "I were possessed of greater wisdom than
is given me. I can only give you generalities on which you can work
yourself. But, our Invisibles say, it is the work that one does himself,
and not what is handed to him ready-made, that has the real constructive
power." Then a few paragraphs of the best I could do by way of
encouragement on the especial problems. "Suicide," I continued, "is no
solution to anything. The very act of suicide cuts one off, for a long
period, from normal participation in life. One does not, as in normal
death, go on at once there from where he left off here. He is not
'punished,' but he must first get back to normal, so to speak. Like
getting over a shock; and it is most uneasy and uncomfortable. He is not
escaping one bit from anything. There is no possible gain from a mere
shift of environment."

I am glad to say that, shortly after, I received from this correspondent
a long letter in which, among other things, she said:

"I want you to know how very helpful your very lovely letter has been
and will continue to be. It explains a great deal and helps me to bear
an otherwise unendurable burden.... I have read and reread it a number
of times and have applied its teachings. Such a letter as yours was as a
drink of water to a parched throat, and I shall always keep it and
cherish it."

So often it takes so light a touch to restore the balance!

The next query may seem to some like a painful lapse from proper
seriousness, but I do not think so. It is generally asked with a certain
deprecation, but also a certain wistfulness, and more or less
shamefacedly after discussing a number of "more vital" subjects. To my
mind the deprecation is unnecessary: it is the most natural thing in the
world to want to know about our friends, and the mere fact that this
particular friend is a dog and not a human has nothing to do with it. In
basic traits that make up friendship, like unselfish and staunch
loyalty, dogs have rather the higher batting average.

"Another thing which you may call silly," is a typical approach, "-and
you are at liberty to do so, for I have long since learned to laugh at
my own expense. However, I would not expose myself to unkind ridicule
and to anyone who would not understand. I am sure you will.

"I am a dog lover. I am sure from having read your other books that you
are too. So was your wife. Here is my question: We lost two dogs by
their having been killed, both unmercifully. My boy and I have grieved
over them as though they were human. Now, if consciousness is never
lost, do these dogs exist somewhere as dogs? Would it be possible that
sometime I'll find them running to meet me?"

"I think your question about dogs is far from silly," I wrote back. "In
fact, we propounded it to Betty very promptly when we had determined
that it was indeed Betty and in full control. She replied categorically
that 'of course my dogs are with me, and I love them.' She went on to
explain that animals, just animals PER SE, are born from their own
quality of consciousness and return to that reservoir; in that case no
personal life is lost. Those that have attained what she defined as
'volitional reasoning,' on the other hand, have also attained
personality and do carry on as individuals. Assuredly some dogs and
other pets have volitional reasoning, certain schools of psychology to
the contrary notwithstanding. Betty says that eventually, in the
expansion of consciousness, the dog form will not fit, and then it will
have some other form. She did not go further into details."




IV



I Take My Pen in Hand


No, wanting to be reassured about a faithful dog is not "silly." As a
matter of fact, one of the several outstanding things about this whole
business is the remarkably small number of unsound letters I have
received. They have been so few, indeed, as to be negligible; for out of
all the thousands who have written me, I can recall but seven
indubitable crackpots, and only three who were demented.

I had expected the subject to flush a swarm of cranks, at the very
least. Such has not been the case. Apparently Betty's approach has not
drawn them. One I here quote simply because it expresses such an
admirable NON SEQUITUR. This poor lady wrote me most kindly to warn me
that I was surrounded by evil forces telling me all this UNOBSTRUCTED
UNIVERSE stuff in order to snare my soul for their own fell purposes;
that none of it was from Betty, as Betty herself had been unable to get
through to warn me. Until now. "Betty has reached ME and wants me to
tell you this," the letter went on. "I know that it is Betty because she
came to my door in an automobile covered with ectoplasm, and I knew I
must send you her message because the ectoplasm fell off in chunks."

One thing the great variety of letters have in common. Each indicates
how tremendous an effort is forward, through all sorts of channels, in
all sorts of ways, to get into earth consciousness a few fundamental
truths. The interest evidenced is not merely intellectual. It is a
genuine groping for expansion. Innumerable "psychic" communications are
reported to me; and fundamentally they all say, or are trying to say,
the same things. The expression of them is often crude, diluted,
fumbling; but essentially they are alike, and the likeness is easily
recognizable. Immortality, a present reality, here and now, rather than
a future vagueness; CONTINUITY OF THE PERSON as he is at the time of
death; NO SUDDEN BLAZE OF ILLUMINATION, but rather a better opportunity
and eagerness to go ahead and earn and develop; CONTINUITY, not merely
of the person, but of the job. We carry over just what we have gained on
earth in the way of equipment and character, and right here is the only
place we can acquire these things; therefore WE SHOULD KEEP OUR FEET ON
THE GROUND, and do our jobs to our utmost. CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE ONE AND
ONLY REALITY, and EXPANSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS is the ultimate of
evolution; but evolution moving by natural growth and not by any
extraordinary or extranatural regimens. This is the sort of thing being
iterated and reiterated by the Invisibles to whomever is sensitive
enough to receive.

And right here I want to say that I answer every letter I CAN answer,
without exception. I mention this because so many people fail to put in
their address. Gradually I have accumulated quite a batch of letters
simply crying, out for replies-for answering letters, ALL letters, I
look upon as part of my present job.

It is a good job, and I am glad to have it and to do it. But I want
again to make it very clear that I have no especial wisdom of my own on
which to base my replies. It is furthest from my thoughts to set up as
any sort of "authority" in these matters. That would be an inexcusable
arrogance. I have a number of sources not possessed by others, and that
is the only reason why I take it upon myself to set down answers. First
of all, there are the twenty-odd years of association with the work
Betty was doing while she was here, the record of which, as I have said,
fills over two thousand pages. Second, there are the "divulgences" Betty
has given since she left, and they, too, cover a wide field. But most
important of all, I have found that if I am puzzled, or feel especially
inadequate, I can get help if I ask for it and hold myself receptive to
it. This is markedly true when I deal with those whom I call "clients,"
people who visit me in person. There are a great many of them. Some even
make long journeys from out of town, or even from other states. More
about them later.

At first these people terrified me; the gap between the effort they had
made and my own inadequacy to make that effort worthwhile, gave me a
sort of stage fright. After all, a letter costs only three cents, and
one has all the time in the world to think up some kind of a reply. But
face to face! Who was I to give these people answers to the vital
questions they brought so hopefully? And, in addition, I have a holy
horror of meddling with other people's inner workings. But very shortly
I discovered I really had not much to do with it. To my genuine,
amazement I found myself telling them just what needed to be told. At
least, they seem to have gone away satisfied, enlightened, comforted-and
they have written to tell me so, sometimes in almost extravagant terms.
Soon I began to meet them with confidence.

"Now, Betty!" I say silently, "you have to help, you know!"

This same sort of "help" seems to be forthcoming at need in the event of
a letter difficult to answer, which--as I said before--is why I have the
nerve to answer at all.

Short cuts such as form letters are Impracticable, even though the
questions and requests and problems do, in the long run, fall into
categories. Latterly a friend has undertaken a real labor of love and
sorted a few hundred carbons of my replies, put them into folders, and
indexed them according to topics, of which, as I have already mentioned,
there proved to be no less than eighty-three, the accumulation of nearly
five years. Letters still pour in on me to answer, but only rarely one
whose subject, or subjects, cannot be found in the index. The carbons
are valuable reminders of my thinking as to that particular topic, but I
cannot merely have them copied as form letters, no matter how exactly
applicable to the present instance. Something behind the words and
thought must be conveyed; a dynamics of PERSONAL contact of mind, so to
speak. That can be created only by a fresh and PERSONAL approach to
each.

It might possibly interest a few were I to quote the complete list of
all those eighty-three topics, but the majority of readers simply skip
formal lists. However, it will give some idea of the ground covered if I
state that the general subject of Bereavement, for example, includes
under subheads, Children, Contact, Cremation, Suicide, Fear of Death,
Intellectual Doubt, the "Beta Body,"* Mediums, Reincarnation, Animal
Survival, and Conditions in the Unobstructed. The other major topics,
such as Spiritual and/or Psychic Training, Meditation, Obsession,
Interference, all the religious aspects, War, Dreams, the question of
forming groups for one purpose or another, Healing,-I select at
random-have also each its subheads to deal with the various aspects that
crop up in people's minds. And I repeat my belief that I am "helped,"
for I certainly do not know enough about any eighty-three subjects to
dare answer questions about them.

* See Appendix to THE BETTY BOOK for an explanation of what St. Paul
calls "the spiritual body."




V



The Doubting Thomas


All this-Betty's "divulgence"-is wonderful; it is illuminating, it is
comforting-but is it so? Are you, as the reporter of it, sincere? What
reason have you yourself to believe?

At first I was inclined to feel just a bit insulted over the questioning
of my honesty, but I soon realized that such queries were born of a
desperate need to know. By honesty, I do not mean deliberate
fabrication; but rather it was a fear, or a suspicion, that THE
UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE might be fiction by a fiction writer, a flight of
imagination, cast in this form either to get over ideas of my own, or,
quite simply and baldly, to make sales and money.* In the back of these
people's minds must have lingered a slight feeling of at least
diffidence over the asking, for almost always the skepticism has been
attributed to "a friend."

*Here is a good place to say that I can recommend these books gracefully
in that I use none of the royalties for myself.

"While I have several friends who have read THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE,
there seemed considerable doubt as to whether it actually happened or
was a philosophy which you have presented in that way with a writer's
skill."

Or perhaps, like this one, the letter is entirely frank:

"I read your thrilling book, THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, over a year ago.
There had been a death in the family and it was an unbelievable comfort;
in fact, here was a book that I believe could change a person's life
into a great adventure. Alas-and I beg your pardon in advance, for I am
asking for my peace of mind, yes, and soul-I was truly a different
person until I began to doubt, and of course other people helped my
doubt along, and finally I came to the conclusion that a cultured
intellect could make up a book like that, with all the good intentions
in the world, but nevertheless the book would then be worthless, a
beautiful wish-dream. And I certainly didn't, and do not now, WANT to
think that. If the book is truth, it seems to me what the whole world is
waiting for. Could you tell me it is truth-that your lovely Betty is
more gloriously alive than ever-in some way that I can be sure of? I am
sincerely and seriously concerned."

That is a nice letter. Others are not so considerate. A few--a very
few--are belligerent. All I can say, as politely as possible, is:

"I can give you my personal word of assurance that everything I have
written in these books is a straight reporter's job, as carefully
prepared as possible. These things all happened as set down, without
embellishment. I really think I would be considerable of a skunk to have
done other-wise. Don't you?"

Or where there is no suspicion of my intentions or honesty, I am asked
how I can be certain that I am not deluded.

"Your book has given me great comfort," writes one man, "but may I
enquire how sure you are that the message of that book really came from
your wife? I am utterly unable to tell you how much your information
will help me."

"You ask how I am sure that the messages of the book really came from my
wife," I replied. "In the book itself [THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE] I have
given examples of the evidence she gave us, as in the episode of the
Chinese box, the twenty-odd pieces of indubitable evidence for her
sister; the incident of the blue slippers and a number of similar ones.
Those in the book are only a few of many, and are quoted as typical
examples. At every meeting she has given many more as clear and
indubitable.

These have now accumulated into several hundred, equally good. Like any
other evidence often repeated, it has forced acceptance by its volume
and invariable accuracy. One thing is accident; two is coincidence;
three is remarkable coincidence. But a hundred or more just simply moves
out of that category. That is why I am absolutely certain in my own
mind."

Over the years have come enough letters of this kind to indicate that a
public statement of assurance on my part would be very desirable. But I
never insist an certainty in others just on my say-so.

"I think that each must make up his own mind as to the authenticity of
the source of this," goes one of my answers. "I've heard from a good
many scientists, and they ignore that question entirely and hop right
over into considering the content of the book. The source is unimportant
to them, but they find enormous value in the subject matter, which they
describe as the adumbration of an unchallengeable 'higher physics.'
Personally, I've had almost an embarrassment of riches in convincing
evidence, but whether this convinces others does not seem to me to
matter. The purpose does not seem to be research society proof, but
divulgence."

"I do understand exactly your frame of mind and your prayer for
reassurance as to the actuality of what I report." runs my reply to
other complaints of the same sort, "but I do not know of any recipe for
getting it otherwise than from within yourself. Outside testimony helps
only when it comes from someone in whom you have complete confidence,
and even then only when that confidence is itself an inner conviction.
All I can do is to report honestly my own conviction and belief.

"The only way to do, if such conviction and belief are not spontaneous,
is to adopt it as a provisional hypothesis-or throw it out entire! There
is no sense or help in mere wishful thinking."

However, whether it be a sign of the times or not, most people-and not
only the bereaved, but many with other types of interest-accept the
basic facts. Quite naturally they desire experience of their own. A few
of the unreflecting request me "to ask Betty the next time you talk to
her," or even demand Joan's name and address so they can call upon her
themselves! The direct experience these people want ranges from
trivialities, like finding a lost bunch of keys, through a great variety
of merely intellectual curiosities, to the desperations of sorrow. The
first two categories are easy. It is sufficient to say, bluntly, that it
cannot be arranged. But deep sorrow is a different matter. That cannot
be rebuffed, even though refusal is necessary. I must explain; and this
explanation comes nearer to being standardized than that on any other
subject. This is because the letters themselves are cast in so uniform a
pattern-"ask Betty through Joan."

But some of them are hard to deny.

"I am afraid to go to an ordinary medium, for I know some of them are
liars and, even when they are honest, it is hard to know which ones.
Also how can one know if the entity speaking to you is the person he or
she says he is, and how is one to know that it is not someone who does
not wish you well?... Mine have all met violent deaths in the war. I
wish I knew.... I do wonder if I could talk to Betty through Joan? Or if
you would give me the name of someone really fine and of great integrity
like Joan? I would never never reveal who she really was. I know it is
an imposition to ask for such favors of people who do not do such things
professionally. There is no reason why they should want to help a
complete stranger, except out of kindness and pity."

"A flood of such requests comes to me," I write, "all of them of a sort
to enlist my heartiest sympathy, and each appealing to me as fully
deserving of what help we can all give. But I have had perforce to adopt
almost a standard form of reply in pointing out why Joan cannot do this
sort of work.

"One reason, of course, is the very multiplicity of these requests. Joan
and Darby both have their own jobs in life. Joan could not possibly take
on the whole bulk, and on what basis could I make a selection?

"That is the first reason, but not the important one. The second is that
for over twenty-five years Joan has been held to strict anonymity. The
reason for this is that she has been trained and reserved as the best
available instrument for this work of Betty's. She is still reserved,
for more of that work in the future, when war conditions permit its
continuance. Indeed, after Betty's last 'divulgence' she made the
categorical statement, 'This station* is now closed for repairs,' and
was emphatic that Joan should do no more psychic work until she, Betty,
gave the green light.

* Back in 1916, when Joan, like Betty, accidentally discovered she was
psychic, "Stephen"-the young American volunteer killed in France, who
dictated OUR UNSEEN GUEST-called Joan a "receiving station" rather than
a medium. For further explanation see OUR UNSEEN GUEST, Chap. 11, or THE
UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, pp. 49-50.

"Those are the good and sufficient reasons why I cannot ask Betty,
through Joan, your questions. But even if they were not mandatory, the
fact still remains that Joan and I live three thousand miles apart, and
our very occasional visits are never long enough for what Betty has
saved up to say along the line of her especial work."

Since these people are reasonable, they see the point.

I think most people see the point in advance, for the great bulk of
requests for help to communication do not ask for Joan, but merely want
me to recommend to them ii reliable medium through whom they can get
their personal assurance.

Unfortunately I am a broken reed when it comes to that. Only on the
rarest occasions have I myself had contact with professional mediums. My
interests and needs, intellectual or other-wise, have never required
their services; and neither Betty nor I was ever particularly concerned
with technical "psychic research." So even if I had a hundred per cent
confidence in those I have happened to sit with, they are too few and
scattered geographically to fit my correspondents. But of course I have
not one hundred per cent confidence in them. That attitude is not
necessarily any reflection on the integrity of any one of them, but of
their ability to produce, undiluted, what my particular correspondents
want and need.

So the answer I pass on to people who seek from professional mediumship
comfort and assurance in bereavement must, perforce, be a generality. It
is proffered in free acknowledgment that it cannot be expected to cover
the especial case.

"I myself have never had much to do with professional mediums. It seems
to me that even the most gifted, dealing as they do with such a variety
of people, must be required to 'shift frequencies,' so to speak, so
often that a certain amount of 'coloring' must be unavoidable. It takes
an expert to sift out the coloring. There are thousands of honest
mediums in the world, Betty tells us. But the vast majority of them are
limited in gift. They can do perfectly one thing; they can produce
sufficient personal evidence to convince the sitter of presence and
identity-in other words, the continuity of life. But once that
conviction is given, the job is finished. Continued 'chit-chat'
communication rapidly fades into a futility that may end in skepticism.
Excursions into exact descriptions, philosophies, religions and so forth
are probably largely or entirely from the ideas and preconceptions of
the medium's subconscious. Parenthetically, it is only human for them to
branch out into such subjects in all honesty and belief. That is why so
many of these people seem 'queer.'

"With that preface and warning, if you are able to make appropriate
discount for what we call coloring, you might conceivably get what you
want from a medium. But even evidence will not satisfy you without a
growth of conviction from within. But, as I say, my experience i.e., the
contribution of the station's subconscious mind, is so slight that I am
not really fitted to advise. Why not write the American Society for
Psychical Research in New York? They may have listed someone in your
vicinity."

Although nine in ten of the inquirers after a chance for communication
are impelled emotionally-by bereavement-there are quite respectable
numbers who just want evidence, for their intellectual conviction and
satisfaction. Except in certain cases, so rare as to be too especial for
common consumption, so to speak, I doubt if the average medium can do so
laboratory a type of sustained work.

Some of these seekers are wholly detached and impersonal.

"Since the age of fifteen," says one, "I have been seized periodically
with a driving urge to know more on this subject. I have tried to
explain it to myself. I know it is not sensation seeking, or mere
curiosity. For the past few years I have been delving into all manner
and phases of psychics via books-not with any ax to grind, as
fortunately no one close to me has died-but simply to find out, if I
could, the manner of person who believed in this sort of thing, what he
had to say and what we could do to approximate such experiences; to
prove to one's self that this thing is truly real.... As you know, what
one reads may be very impressive, but still and all the proof of the
pudding is in the eating, and what is applicable to one's own life makes
a thing real, not what one reads. The reading only opens the door."

That is an intelligent agnosticism, and expresses a need quite as worthy
of help as those of more emotional content.

"I would like," goes my reply to people like this-and there are a great,
great many, by the way-"to answer you more satisfactorily than the facts
permit. But, bluntly, I do not think you will gain the conviction you
desire by that sort of outside evidence-I mean psychical evidence,
obtained through mediums, courses of reading or instruction, or any
extraneous device. It never has convinced. It was tried. Years ago there
was produced a body of such evidence, attested by most eminent, sane and
trustworthy people, whose testimony-on any other subject-would be
unassailable in any court of law. I refer to the period of Sir William
Crookes and his contemporaries. Nevertheless, only those who had
themselves had personal experience accepted the testimony.

"I do not believe such evidence will ever be accepted by those without
their own experience. This sort of opinion and conviction comes only
when one has ripened to it; ripeness comes only through growth; and
growth results from living, education, sincerely held aim and intention.
It cannot be grafted on by 'evidence.'"

And finally, to finish off this aspect of the subject, there are those
who complain, indignantly or merely in bewilderment, that they see no
reason why a medium should be required at all. "If Jim"-or Jane, or
whatever-"could communicate at all, it would certainly be to me, not to
some stranger."

Of course there is the trite and conventional-but quite true-reply; that
even if Jim or Jane were still here on earth, but at a distance, they
would not talk direct, but through a medium. In one case, the telephone
girl. But that does not quite answer the why of it. Without going into
what Betty has told us technically-of the mind as a field of energy, of
the impact of selected frequencies and the like-it is useful to recall
what she has explained as to why one person is mediumistic and another
not.

"Betty has said many times," is one of my replies, "that a medium or
station is one who possesses a special gift; just as one might possess a
special gift for music or painting. Each person has a basic frequency
that makes him that individual and not someone else. No two such
frequencies are alike; they are as unduplicated as thumb prints. Now,
suppose that the very highest frequency an ordinary human being,
ungifted psychically, in the Obstructed aspect of the universe could
register on a machine capable of such recording is, say, 100, whereas
the lowest communication frequency in the Unobstructed universe is 150.
The ordinary person-you or I-cannot bridge that gap. The medium's
especial gift or talent is the ability temporarily to step up her basic
frequency-or allow it to be stepped up-to 150. 'Temporarily, I say,'
explained Betty. 'If it were to be permanently, she would be where I am
now.' If I have not that talent, spoken communication is impossible for
me; just as impossible as it would be for me to compose a musical
symphony."




VI



Conditions in the Unobstructed


After assurance that those who have left us are still alive and aware,
the next thing people want to know about is the present circumstance of
their dear ones who have gone. What is "heaven" like? What is the way of
life? What kind of a job are they doing?

Now, that is a subject on which my own opinion counts for nothing. I am
like Will Rogers-all I know is what I read in the papers; all I know is
what I have learned directly or indirectly from Betty and her
Invisibles. And they have steadfastly refused to go into exact details.
They say that any attempt at factual description must be translated from
their terms to ours; that in these matters we simply do not speak the
same language; that the translation is almost certain to be garbled.
They instance the "brick houses" and "cigars" in RAYMOND.* The ideas
back of the words were genuine, but the brain of the receiving station
translated that idea, whatever it was, into cigars and brick houses.
Some association of ideas, possibly bodily case and comfort, to her was
connoted by the comfortable smell of cigar smoke and shelter. Betty
called any attempt at precise description of her present habitat as
"getting Oliverlodgish." Better no picture at all than a false one, she
says. And I pass on just that to my correspondents.

* RAYMOND, by Sir Oliver Lodge.

However, general conditions are another matter. Betty has said something
of them. What that something is is fully set down, verbatim, in THE
UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE,* and to that I refer inquirers.

* PAGES 202 ET SEQ.

But the application of these generalities is sometimes a different
matter. Where the subject of this chapter ties in with bereavement, for
instance. You will remember the anxiety lest the one who had gone before
should "get so far ahead" that the one who was to follow would never
catch up. That anxiety is amplified by the fear that the first to go may
be called to some distant sphere whence he-or she-finds it impossible to
get back to this earth. Or that he, or she, has a job that keeps them
too busy to come. It is a cry against a complete loss of companionship.

We have touched on part of this before in a different connection, but
some of it will bear repetition.

"I gather," went one of my replies, "that Betty, and at least all others
in the Unobstructed universe who have attained a certain degree of
development, inhabit the WHOLE universe, and are able to see all of it,
theirs and our own. If they do not habitually see our aspect when they
happen to be here, they can at least easily adjust their frequency to be
able to do so. All that Betty has said on this subject has indicated
that most certainly your husband can see and hear you. She has many
times remarked that one of their great deprivations over there is their
inability to obtain from us a response to their efforts and their
proximity. As for contact depending on some contribution from us, I
think we shut them off by indifference or lack of faith. And no, I do
not think they are always near us. Betty told us, with considerable
scorn, that most decidedly she is not 'always hanging around.' After
all, they have a life to live. But they are within magnetic call, so to
speak, in case of a deep desire or a real emergency. And they may spend
with us considerable of their leisure off their own jobs. But isn't that
exactly what we do here? Betty once announced that she was 'going to
have more time with you now.' We urged her not to curtail what must be
important work just for us. 'You do not understand,' she replied. 'I
have earned this time, and when one earns time off here, he has to take
it.' So there is leisure to spend with us--if the tie is close enough."

To one kind of question I have never been able to give what I should
expect to be a satisfactory answer-what happens when we first go over?
That experience has been reported back in so many ways that the only
conclusion we can reach is that it varies with the individual. And the,
variation probably depends on the type and degree of development.
However, apparently some few things are typical; there is no pain or
struggle; one emerges into a condition of vitality, health, exuberance;
one gains no sudden illuminations, but goes on from where he was and
with what he has; it is what Betty calls a "fine busy place." Otherwise,
as I say, the procedure varies. There is no average. Some are said to
have a period of adjustment, even of sleep. Betty, because of her long
training, was able instantly to take up her new life. One without such
training generally requires a period of transition which Betty says is
not far from the Catholic idea of purgatory.

Of such generalities I can be certain, but generalities rarely satisfy.
People want details right down to the last coat-button, and of course
they cannot get them. Or, rather, they can get them in abundance from
certain sources but not in any degree of reliability. That is why Betty
and our own Invisibles so consistently discouraged us from becoming
"Oliverlodgish." Especially do correspondents demand something more
specific about the form of those in the Unobstructed universe-what we
named for convenience the beta body as distinguished from the alpha, or
physical, body. You remember some pages back the poor gentleman who
wanted to be sure his wife's form was not now a geometrical figure!

"You quote Betty as saying, 'You will know me; I am just as I always
was.' What did she mean by that? Surely she cannot be just the same:-her
present correspondence to her present environment cannot require, say, a
liver! Granting that her body now is in external appearance the same as
it was here; how about the inside? Is she," the writer asks quaintly,
without the slightest idea of being funny, "a hollow shell?"

At first glance that looks sufficiently Ohverlodgish, but after all the
question is natural. I so informed this correspondent, and further
confessed:

"We ourselves have asked it and similar questions and have had reply
only as, and to the extent that, the Invisibles thought us capable of
understanding. We were told that the form of the beta-or spiritual-body
is exactly like that of the physical body. When we asked if that body
had internal organs of our kind, they replied that it has but they have
not the same functions. In our own experience, they told us, certain of
our organs subserve two purposes, one distinctly and solely of the
material earth, the other partially of the Unobstructed aspect. The sex
function, for example, on the purely material or animal side, for
procreation; in the higher aspects, for the spiritual purposes of
unification." I repeated what I had said in another connection: "We can
certainly not follow down into exact detail what that secondary-or is it
primary-function of your example, the liver, might fill. Do we need to?
Cannot we accept the general principle?

"The best thing, after all, is to wait and see! And meantime to have
confidence in Betty's statement that 'it is a fine, busy place.'"




VII



Our Common Human Ingredient


It has become a bromide to say that all people are psychic. Nevertheless
few, I think, really understand that "psychics" are an inevitable and
necessary ingredient in the human make-up, just as much so as is the
blood of the human body. Like any other faculty, it grows in strength by
use; and-again like any other human faculty-the incentive for its use
ordinarily arises from the necessity of the moment. When it is valuable
to men as a protection or a means of getting forward, it plays a
prominent part. When the need of protection lessens, it fades into the
background. But it is always there.

No one who has any familiarity either with primitive men or with early
records can have any doubt of this. All of the latter, including the
Christian Bible, are full of accounts of the psychic powers of men,
intuition, sixth sense, prophetic vision, anything you want to call it.
The history of every race in every age, the folklore of both civilized
and savage people, the very fairy tales of our nurseries all are based
on this fascinating and least understandable faculty. For more centuries
than it has been denied or discounted, psychic power was recognized and
honored, the "prophets of old" have been read and their wisdom revered.

As for primitive men, I have in my time done quite a bit of exploring,
and I have had opportunity, many times, to see in action what Dr. Rhine
calls "extra-sensory perception," generally in most practical
application.

But with our modern understanding and control of the natural world, the
need for what might be called intuitional protection-or just plain
hunch-has diminished. For proof that it is merely the need and not the
faculty itself which has suffered that diminishment, I would refer you
again to those who explore into the primitive. Over and above all
safeguards of equipment and experience, the most scientifically trained
man in the world soon learns that he is a fool if he does not heed that
"still, small voice" within his soul which frequently is all that keeps
him out of situations in which no amount of equipment and experience
could possibly save his skin. He probably will not admit it, if he is
very "scientific," but he knows it is true. A little nearer home to most
of us are our young men at war, and what they report of the value of
"hunch."

But these people who know are still in the minority. The psychic faculty
has been so little needed until recently that it actually fell into ill
repute. It came to a low estate, publicly fostered and catered to for
the most part by people trading on credulity. Note I use the words
"publicly" and "for the most part." Nevertheless, belief and
investigation, though generally made a private matter, have never quite
died down into the prevailing skepticism. I have spoken often of the
experiments and conviction of men like Crookes and Lodge. Our own
Edison, before he died, predicted that the next great discoveries will
be in the realm of "so-called spirit." Science is just beginning to
think so. Scientists everywhere, singly and in laboratories-not a few of
them commercial, by the way-are experimenting in the subtler forces we
know as psychic. The big fellows in the scientific world are no longer
agnostic as to the spiritual. It is increasingly difficult latterly to
get even the hardest-boiled intellectual to commit himself that "there
is nothing in it." They would say so, violently, only a few years ago.
Now the most mechanistic is inclined to be cagey, to sidestep. He does
not KNOW there is nothing in it! The subject has become respectable
again, both to talk about and to investigate.

In consequence, increasing numbers of persons are discovering in one way
or another that the simple forms of "communication" are possible to
them, and are experimenting therewith. I put the word in quotes because
it covers a great many possibilities of origin besides the one usually
attributed-communication with excarnate entities. People do not know
that, or do not want to believe it. When things happen or are said
inconsistent with the idea that they are in touch with well-intentioned
outside entities, they are distressed, or resentful or frightened or
merely puzzled. So they write me.

The letters, and my replies, include so wide a field that its proper
covering would require a textbook on psychics. Certainly there is
material enough. But I am not a very strong believer in the value of a
textbook for those seeking expansion of consciousness. That is a
definite movement in personal evolution toward which "psychics" is but
one of many steps on one of many personal paths. And "psychics" are very
personal indeed. If there is to be specific detailed guidance it must be
much like the guidance of a parent to a child first learning to walk. If
he is a wise parent, he knows when to hold up and when to let bump, and
there is no blue print or rule book to define that "when." In this sort
of growth, as indeed in all others, each must be allowed-for his best
advantage-the "God-given privilege of blundering."

So I am not going to compile a textbook. All I intend is to set down a
few principles, and to cite a few individual cases illustrative of the
various kinds of difficulties people get into when they first grope into
this world of new experience.

Nine in ten start with a ouija board or automatic writing or yes-and-no
answers to some easy code. Necessarily the beginning techniques must be
very simple and easy to manipulate. For that reason they are difficult
to guard, and it follows that they can be easily upset or interfered
with. That interference may originate in a dozen ways-ranging from the
receiving station's own inability to distinguish and edit out
subconscious contributions, to what may be strong opposition from
mischievous, scatterbrained or downright inimical personalities. If the
effort really has a serious ultimate purpose, the last may be the case,
for constructive effort always calls forth its complementary opposition.
Consequently the first burst of amazed enthusiasm is often followed by a
period of doubt, resentment and fear. Then either the whole business is
thrown overboard in disgust or the neophyte moves into a state of mind
that will accept the moon as green cheese provided "weegee" says so.
Maybe he pulls out of this; maybe not. A beneficent skepticism rescues
many; some just plain get in trouble; a few emerge into something real
and reliable. I will add, on my own, from a rather wide observation of
such cases, grading from mere annoyance to dire peril, that it seems to
be a policy, or perhaps a law, that each of us at this stage must make
his own way out from whatever mess he happens to get into. We get no
help. That is how we must learn. In these formative stages I doubt if we
would be guarded even if it were possible.

Having weathered this phase of confusion and doubt, the next danger is a
sort of starry-eyed awe. This is the "especially selected" stage, when
the receiving station is convinced that he or she is set apart from the
rest of humanity for a unique and world-shaking revelation, which must
be accepted intact as sacrosanct gospel, and in due course is to be
passed on to the aforesaid shaken world. Why not? Is not this experience
in itself a thing utterly outside the ordinary life experience of all
but a few; and were not those few chosen? And furthermore the ouija, or
the pencil, says so, in so many words. How doubt the statement, when
obviously the content of these "messages" is promising, gives some
evidence of genuineness and constructive intent, perhaps has conveyed
indubitable evidential? It is still beyond the station's discriminative
ability to perceive that the especially-selected and give-to-the-world
stuff is merely a reflection back from the station's own amazement at
finding the thing itself there and workable.

A typical extension of this is the daily visitation into the family
circle of the most amazing coterie of celebrities, who have taken on the
job, not only of personal supervision, but of a sort of bellboy
attendance. Just name them, and you get them. Or they name themselves.
The curious thing is how complacently and unquestioningly their identity
is accepted. At one time it was a poor group indeed who was not under at
least part-time supervision of William James, Moses, Julius Caesar,
Theodore Roosevelt, Galileo, Thomas a Kempis, Shakespeare-I mention but
a few at random-each eager and ready to forsake all else and pop in at a
moment's notice. If some of these excarnate visitors are strangers to
earthly fame, they bear Greek or Greek-sounding names, or Hindu or
pseudo-Hindu titles. The people reporting these affiliations are not
crackpots; the stuff they get in other respects is good and sound and
constructive. Most of them use a sound caution and skepticism in
evaluating what they receive, except as to this one thing. And they have
a sane and saving sense of humor. For example:

"Last fall we tried out a ouija board-with skepticism in our hearts, but
had some interesting results. Since then we enter into communication
quite seriously by repeating the Lord's Prayer and singing a hymn--in
cracked voices, but our spirits are melodious. For protection, we asked
my father to prevent unwanted entities from entering. Not long ago he
introduced Nimrod who lived in the time of Christ and received
inspiration from him. We were surprised recently to have Thomas the
Apostle introduced. He gave us no information we did not already have,
but we appreciated his encouragement. The most exciting visitor we've
had is Frederick Myers, who came through last week"-and so on.

Nevertheless, in this instance, as in most of the others, the context of
what was conveyed by this brilliant galaxy could not be dismissed with a
chuckle. That would be too easy.

In usual course the next phase is the one through which it is most
difficult to come with faith and enthusiasm intact. A chill creeps in.
Confident predictions simply do not come out. Positive statements of
evidential fact just are not so. Advice fairly insisted upon turns out
to be as unwise as a radio blat. At first discrepancies are generally
trivial and easy to recognize. But they become progressively more
subtle, more plausible in imitation of the real thing, more difficult to
spot. The difficulty becomes impossibility if one permits even a slight
tendency toward wishful thinking or will to believe; it can turn
dangerous if the station takes sides, and begins to rationalize and
explain the discrepancies. That offers a handhold for opposition that
leads to real trouble and ends sometimes in terror, despair, or even
what appears to be actual obsession or domination.

Fortunately the latter is not often the case. Beneath all these
barnacles that encrust early experience is evident a solid core of
intention. The effort is genuine; it is constructive; it is in charge of
Invisible entities of beneficent purpose; in due course they succeed in
stimulating a healthy growth that rises above all the miasma of
bewilderment.

But in the meantime, why, why, why! Why do not these beneficent
Invisibles stop the absurd impersonations? Why are these falsehoods,
discrepancies, Contradictions permitted? If they come from outside
entities, why are not the latter kept out? If from the station's
subconscious, why are they not denied? That is the sort of thing I am
asked, over and over again.




VIII



Impersonation


The priority troubles are obviously IMPERSONATION and FALSE WITNESS. If
these are indeed excarnate entities communicating with us, we want first
of all to know who they are. If they lie to us about their identity, how
can we have confidence in anything else they tell us? Or if they lie
about anything at all, or even if they are proved to lack knowledge or
wisdom, why should we trust them; These things are basic.

Nevertheless, wholly innocent impersonation-or rather impersonation by
default-is possible; and perhaps we alone are responsible for the false
witness.

Leaving aside for the moment William James, Julius Caesar, Moses,
Galileo and the rest of the historical celebrities, the whole principle
of the thing can best be illustrated by considering the numbers of
people who are firmly convinced that they are under Betty's personal
supervision. They speak of it quite casually, unsurprised and
unquestioning.

"I had the pleasure of talking to 'Betty' for a half hour this
morning.... She is going to stay with me for several weeks...."

It never seems to cross people's minds that they are not the only ones;
that if Betty were to spend a "half hour" with each, let alone several
weeks, her eternity would be pretty full. Indeed, there is sometimes a
direct statement of reassurance on that point.

"My first visitor was your charming wife. We had a long talk about many
things, and she asked me to write and say to you that now this circle in
is the only one she has visited."

"I do feel very sure that Betty has been talking to me and she has truly
been a real and very helpful friend. I seem to have been in a way an
individual project of hers."

Not all accept identity without evidence. They demand the latter, and
get it, and send it on to me with the utmost confidence that I am going
to corroborate it. NOT ONCE, in all these letters claiming Betty as a
personal mentor, has the evidence proved out. They report incidents of
the past, conversations Betty and I are supposed to have had with each
other, names of supposed acquaintances, all sorts of little things. "Did
she ever call you Edward?" Never in the world! "'One night,' she said,
'some young hoodlums attacked the shop and broke the windows. I cannot
remember whether the woman was hurt, but the name was Mrs. Herman
Claus.' I asked if I should mention this to you, and she said yes. I
wonder if you recollect this incident?"

I do not, and for the simple reason that there was no such incident, and
no such woman, as far as I am concerned. Very often the whole weight of
evidence is thrown on a single name. "Ann Newblett," writes one, and
adds, "Mrs. White went through such painstaking effort to get this name
through and seemed so satisfied." "There has been much insistence on the
name Ellen as being important to you." Both are wholly strange to me.

Sometimes the "test" is almost childishly simple. "She said you had
remarked that the United States had taken a great many slaps. Do you
remember if you said that?" Such a remark is certainly not so brilliant
as to stick in memory if I had said it, which I had not. "I am writing
you at the address Betty gave me-2456 Crestwood Avenue. Betty said, 'She
got the address just as I gave it to her! It was wonderful!'" That is
not my address, nor is there even a Crestwood Avenue in my home town.
"She said her pets were a collie and a horse named Johnny Boy." Betty
had many dogs of many kinds, but never a collie; she owned and rode many
horses, but none so named.

Or they describe to me Betty herself, as she appeared to those of them
who seemed to be clairvoyant, and the descriptions were not only wrong,
but-amazingly-almost the exact opposite of the fact. Indeed the hundred
per cent inaccuracy might conceivably mean something; perhaps a rather
backhand way of eventually impressing on these various people-or on
me-that the communicator was NOT Betty!

As for the material from the Betty this evidential was supposed to
authenticate, some of it is sheer balderdash-like the ectoplasm lady and
the automobile-but most of it, taken by and for itself, is good, very
good indeed. That is also likely to be the case with what the other
"impersonators"-Julius Caesar and the rest-have to say. It is of too
high an order to be dismissed with a shrug. So here is another
discrepancy crying for explanation.

So on my very first visit with Joan and Darby after the publication of
THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE I asked Betty how about it. Was she taking
charge of people, and if so why couldn't she do a little better job of
proving herself? Here is what she said:

"As far as I am concerned, this is my official station.

That does not mean that it is exclusive to me, that others may not use
it. I could not possibly reserve it for my exclusive use. But because of
the work she and I have done and because of the peculiar type of station
she is, those who are guiding my present work have designated her as my
official station. I might speak through another, but that does not alter
the fact that for highly important material I shall come only through
this station, or I must be identified through this station. When these
others think it is I, that is a form of wish fulfillment. They have
become interested in what I have said through this station and long for
confirmation of their sometimes good and valuable psychic experience.
Their wish names it Betty. I am definitely not communicating to a lot of
people around the country. Right now I'm going to school."

That statement I could quote to people, but without other explanation it
was a dismaying thing to tell them. It rather knocked the props from
under. We had to get something better than that. What it finally
distilled down to came as near to being a form letter as any in my
files. Indeed, I had it mimeographed and send it with replies of a more
personal character. It appears to satisfy; and, what is most important,
it shows that in the situation should be nothing of discouragement.

"What you write as your experience fits in very accurately with Betty's
own early experiences, and there is nothing in it which is incompatible
with a beneficent desire to get you well on the road. I want to say this
emphatically so that you will understand the rest of it. But I am afraid
there is nothing to prove that you are actually in touch with Betty. A
great many write me that Betty has come to them but the evidence never
fits. But there is not necessarily anything discouraging in that.

"Early in our experience, we were constantly puzzled by the fact that so
many people confidently expressed themselves as being in contact with
all sorts of personalities, most of them very celebrated. They seemed to
have an especial predilection for such people as William James, Julius
Caesar and all sorts of celebrities. When Betty had attained a certain
facility we asked our Invisibles why it was that this so often obtained.
The explanation was about as follows: Something that is being said to
the station in a perfectly genuine way arouses in that station's
subconscious an impression that refers itself, say, to William James.
That impression is so strong that every time that same Invisible comes
back, and no matter on what errand, he is immediately tagged with the
William James label, simply because he arouses a recognition of his
actual identity in the station's mind; but the station's subconscious
has attached that identity to another label. You see what I mean? Now,
if that Invisible is really doing constructive work through that person,
and if it does not matter in the least whether the material is said to
come from William James or anybody else, then he lets that
identification go by. If it were denied, it would stop reception
completely and it is not considered worthwhile, as an inaccuracy, to
insist on the proper label.

"We rather protested that this might be a highly immoral procedure, but
the Invisibles assured us that the false identification would fade out
in due time. This we found to be the case. Indeed, our own teachers
among the Invisibles insisted on remaining anonymous, thus cutting short
any likelihood of mistakes being made. As our Invisibles said, in the
case of what they called 'innocent impersonation,' the trouble does not
come from their side of the fence but from ours. All this long preamble
is because I want you to understand that if I do not find anything
evidential in what you got, presumably through Betty, you must not be
discouraged, nor need you be distrustful of those attempting to
communicate through you. As facility becomes more reliable in your case
those mistakes will not occur. If you allow them to overshadow things
too much it has an inhibiting effect.

"I am writing a great many letters every day, and this is a good long
one, so you see I think it is well worthwhile to try to straighten out
all this matter for you, for I feel that you are constructively on your
way. If this is not clear, if it is not reassuring, if it dismays you in
any way, please do write me again, for it is a part of my job to do just
this sort of thing.

"Keep on, keep your aim and intention pure, that is, do not try for
psychic power or any of those things. Accept what is given you, place it
on file. If true, it will eventually separate itself automatically from
the small slips and errors inevitable to early technique. By all means
keep accurate notes, because it is to them you will refer as you gain
perspective. By all means, do your own work first, because that is what
we are here for. The other will supplement and finally aid that work."

And yet, as I invariably point out, there is always a chance that it
might be Betty after all, drawn for the moment by some interest especial
to the case.




IX



Doorways to Trouble


The same hair-trigger credulity that at first considers everything true
and sacred works just as blindly when things go wrong. In the first
instance it all comes from the angels; in the second place, from the
devils. The moment anything untoward happens that is ascribed to the
interference of malicious and evil entities, of formidable powers, the
inevitable result is distrust and a fear that sometimes becomes frantic.

In my opinion nine-tenths of these feeble beginnings at psychics do not
rate opposition as formidable as this seems to make out. They may grow
into that importance; and it is of course possible that a certain
percentage of these failures and perturbations may even thus early be
engineered by some form of intelligent interference. But the chances are
that the trouble is merely "coloring"-that is, contribution from the
station's own subconscious mind. Whatever the source-and it is almost
impossible in the early stages to sort it out-a certain amount of it is
inevitable.

"Even though inevitable you may make it unimportant by understanding
that it cannot be avoided, any more than you can avoid a cold draft if
you go outdoors. If you do not take it seriously, it will pass away; if
you let it concern you, it will linger around." So goes one of my
carbons.

Here is a letter to me that is apropos:

"Since the first of June my sister and I have been using a ouija board.
Although progress was maddeningly slow, we have most certainly had
results. We have the jolliest chats imaginable with our mother and other
members of the family.... Nor do we stick to the family and friends. We
call for such as Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Paine, Billy
Sunday, etc., etc., etc., and we get them! Who can now say that life
holds no thrill!"

As you can see, so far the experience is true to type. Furthermore, this
letter is from a woman of sense and rather exceptional philosophical
intelligence, as is evidenced by her five-page letter discussing
abstruser portions of THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE. Her next paragraph
comes to the next phase-that which this chapter discusses.

"But it is not exactly a path of, roses, this thing. We must constantly
contend with devils..." She tells of some specific advice the origin of
which she doubted. "It SEEMED to be our relatives who were urging us,
and we've been using every method of checking, double checking and
triple checking that we know of. We learn new ways as we go along, but
the devils seem to get onto them. Then we have to get more new ones and
we're at our wits' end sometimes to know what new ones to devise." She
describes a drastic move involving a change of residence that had been
urged, and lists the reasons given for doing so. These latter begin
simply with plausible common-sense personal matters; progress to a
patriotic appeal for war workers in the section recommended for new
residence; touch on health and climate and needed actinic rays; and
finally arrive at a theory that "a combination of traitors and devils
there [in the Unobstructed]"-she is unclear whether she thinks these the
same who have been using the ouija board with her and her sister, or
whether they are interlopers forcing their way in-"have gathered their
forces to plot this thing and are all set to cause the destruction of
this section of the country around the first of the year because of the
vast amount of food produced here. It will, so they say, involve a great
loss of life as well as property. So we are to be up and away and out of
here by December 23, to be exact."

Up to this last my correspondent and her family were seriously
considering the reasons for migration as sensible and worth attention.
But this last gave her pause. I said she is a woman of sense.

"It sounds so fantastic," she writes. "And yet-that might be because we
have known so little about war from experience. We have found from our
ouija board experience that we cannot be too sure of what it tells us.
Indeed the devils have sent us off on a minor goose-chase or two."

Now this sort of thing is a very good example of what I said a few pages
back on interference. It does not matter whether the interfering is done
by mischievous or inimical excarnate entities or by the sitters' own
subconscious working out hidden ideas or desires through the mechanism
of the ouija board. The latter is very common, especially with
beginners, and most especially with the ouija board. It must be
remembered that the ouija board usually requires two sitters, two
mundane personalities, two subconscious minds, two sets of hidden and
unrecognized worries, or ideas or desires. I know nothing of the writer
of this letter, or of the sister, nor of any of the background and
circumstances, so what I am about to say is not an opinion but only a
use of this case to illustrate a point. Such circumstances and such
warnings to avoid catastrophe by moving out of the country might
conceivably be a totally innocent reflection from the subconscious mind
of the one who did not write the letter. Perhaps the latter was, without
knowing it, eager to get out of that community, or take a trip, or even
simply bored! That happens, and most convincingly, but fortunately only
in the earliest stages of development. That is, provided one is really
developing. The protection is simple-merely recognition that the thing
is possible, and understanding how it works. If doubtful, just receive
it and lay it away to ripen. If it is true, the fact will become
evident. After a time one learns to spot some of one's own subconscious
contributions. Then they practically cease, or diminish to a point that
is negligible. In any case, it is nothing to be afraid of.

Some students of the subjects are inclined to attribute all interference
to this cause, denying any outside intervention, whether malicious or
mischievous. That is controversial. However, my own experience and
observation are against that view. Constructive effort arouses
opposition. In other words, I do attribute a certain percentage of these
dismaying experiences to excarnates.

Returning to the letter from this woman, I pointed out that, WHATEVER
THE SOURCE, there are two sure indications of interference. The first is
the specific advice to do a certain thing; the second is the urgency to
haste.

"Wise Invisibles," I wrote, "never will advise us in detail as to our
material conduct on this earth. They say we gain our development by
making decisions, and if they make a decision for us they have taken
away just one opportunity that can never return. If they were to do so
they would consider themselves as nothing better than thieves. Betty
herself has told us that the free will of man is one thing which they,
the Invisibles, do not control; that man's great advantage over the
instinctive creatures is that he has 'the privilege of blundering.'
Without it he would be as static in progress as the bee or the ant. So,
ordinarily, specific advice does not come from Invisibles. Nevertheless,
it must be realized that even well-meaning Invisibles are not
necessarily wise. Some of them may give advice, even to what to do about
selling property or moving residence or any everyday problem. It is
still interference, though not malicious or mischievous.

"As for the urgency to haste, that also is a hall-mark of falsity.
Hurry-hurry and attempt to stampede are always interference. It's too
much like those financial advertisements that tell you to buy the stock
right off quick today because it is going to go up at 12:00 on Friday.
Nobody but an investment imbecile falls for that. And I might add that
if they ever ask you to do something as a 'test,' throw them out.
Especially if the 'test' is an absurdity.

Well-meaning Invisibles do not impose tests. If they want to find out
how much of a fellow we are, they fix it so we test ourselves!"

This woman has the right idea, and it is probable she will grow up
through this undergrowth without harm. She has the proper attitude in
case of doubt. Do not reject; do not accept; simply receive and
acknowledge. "Yours received and placed on file." Above all, do not act
on it, EITHER mentally or materially. No decisions; just place on file.
If the matter has any actual importance, it will recur and clarify in
due time. Outright rejection leaves no chance for this, and may
establish an inhibition against future receptions.

After all, the student will find, in looking back on all this early
turmoil, that the thing itself has slight importance. Which is perhaps
part of the reason why the Invisibles in charge have so little bothered
to deny or to clarify. Another of my correspondents was indignant about
that. She, like the other woman, had been working with a sister.

"You and your sister," I wrote, "seem to be in the middle of that
confusing time when the channel is being fully established. The
Invisibles in that period are not so much concerned with WHAT they
communicate as with our own responses. They permit a lot of mistakes and
errors to come through simply because they are not important enough to
interfere with the main purpose. 'The content of first messages through
new stations,' they once told us, 'is important only as it seems to hold
interest and does not discourage by too complete irrelevance. We are
merely trying to get a reaction to stimulus. Thus our major interest is
fixed on the PROCESS, while your interest is naturally fixed on the
CONTENT. So perforce our aims must be diverse; and since at first we see
the trend of progress while you do not, we are naturally reluctant to
divert our purpose any more than is absolutely necessary. Therefore we
give our attention and force to complete accuracy, or to the production
of what you call evidential, only when our hand on the pulse of your
interest or belief indicates slowing down below the danger point.'

"So when something in an attempt at evidential comes through that does
not turn out quite as it was anticipated, the Invisible is likely to let
it go without confusing matters by an attempt to clear up, UNLESS the
situation is so serious as to shatter belief and effort on the part of
the station."

When the latter is the case, and the whole business is given up in
disgust, that may itself be a sort of safeguard. If this one had gone
on, he might very well, with his cast of mind or temperament, have got
into the sort of serious trouble we will examine later.

"I have such a tremendous distrust of myself," writes one, "because I
know better than anyone else how fanciful and imaginative and
impressionable my mind runs."

And then she goes on, at length, to describe an experience which more
than most carries internal evidence of genuineness and goodwill
supervision.

"I recognize very thoroughly your own self-distrust," I wrote, "when you
say that 'I know better than anyone else how fanciful and imaginative
and impressionistic my mind can be.' Without that impressionistic
sensitivity and power of imagination you would not get anywhere. You do
not need to accept as gospel all these impressions that come to you, but
neither need you deny their possible validity. Place them on file for
later corroboration. Denial might shut off completely any continuance of
them. If they are indeed to continue they will get stronger and stronger
until they are indubitable, but only if you do not deny the first of
them entrance."

Nevertheless, the impulse toward rejection is a sound instinct, from
deep in human nature which dislikes to be fooled. Still, in this
business if you are fooled it can only be for a little time, PROVIDED
you have your feet on the ground and do not chase off after wishful
thinking. And anyway, as Betty once pointed out, if being fooled is such
a dire disgrace, isn't it just as disgraceful to be fooled by believing
too little as by believing too much?




X



"The Deville, the Prowde Spirite"


There are various ways of nullifying this "interference." One is, as I
have just said, to grow out of it. Another is to find out where and how
it finds its chance to get in and operate, and plug up that hole. There
are all sorts of soft spots, surprising and unsuspected, in the best of
us-weaknesses of character, of credulity, bidden and unrecognized
desires and egotisms-dozens of things that spoil the integrity of our
insulation. Mostly they are things we must grow out of; and perhaps that
is why they are here-so we may have a chance to do some growing.

But basically they originate in two things. The aim-why are we doing
this at all? And our personal attitude toward its effect on ourselves.

"You seem to have made a good start," I wrote a beginner who wanted to
know whether this thing was going to get her into trouble. "Whether it
is going to be constructive depends on yourself and why you are
continuing the experiment. Is it curiosity? Is it in hope of acquiring
psychic powers for their own sake, or for material or entirely personal
gain? Is it even for expansion and enlightenment for the sole purpose of
individual spiritual advancement? Then I think you may get a jolt. These
are all valuable things to acquire, and they may be acquired in this
fashion; but they are valuable only when you want them as tools. If on
the other hand you strive for these things solely to become a better
AGENT for their use in whatever constructive purpose is desired, then
you are safe. The only certain safeguard is to keep the intention
absolutely pure."

That is worth repeating: THE MASTER INSULATION OF ALL IS THE SINGLENESS
AND PURITY OF THE AIM.

The purity of the aim is the strongest defense; any form or degree of
pride I should nominate as the gravest danger. The moment anyone gets
proud of himself for what he is doing in this business; the moment he
becomes in any manner cocksure that this stuff of his is real sterling
ware and all else plated; the moment he begins, even secretly, to feel
superior because of his being "chosen," at that moment be has unknowing
turned down "the left-hand path" and is going to end in mud or a blind
alley. Pride has many aspects. Sometimes it is hard to recognize; always
it will be denied. But never, in all the cases of difficulty that have
been brought to me, have I failed to discover some form of pride.

This is the test, on the one side and the other. The AIM. Pride.

Ordinarily, as I have said, this question of "interference" has in the
long run no major importance. Either the aspirant grows out of it, or
learns to recognize it and how to handle it, or gives up the whole thing
in disgust. That is all right, in either event. But occasionally,
especially when a fundamental egoism results in arrogance of
opinion-pride-there may be real danger. He recognizes interference, and
is afraid of it, and believes himself unable to exclude it. In the
majority of cases he finally hears voices, insistent, not to be escaped.
They urge him to opinions, to action, against his desires. He struggles
desperately to silence them, to shut the whole thing away. He fails; and
his failure terrifies him.

This looks like insanity. It may be called that; it is a matter of
definition. In most cases it is merely ignorance. A little knowledge
can-and does-clear it up. The case of "Eloise" proves this latter
statement. To be sure, this correspondent had better intelligence and
balance than most; but the principle is there. I have from her in my
files a number of letters. The first is one of thanks to Betty.

"I want THE ROAD I KNOW because I have read the other books and I do not
want to miss any record about Betty. The reason why I must not miss them
is that Betty's experience and your comments give me a WAY OF LIVING,
and because they make me see what I may have missed in not following
Betty's road."

And later:

"I am sending you an account of my early experiences, few and soon over,
through my own fault, not because they are interesting because they are
not-they are more or less stupid, very fragmentary, and trivial. But I
send them because if you read them you will see why I stopped so soon,
and they will make you see why I want to read all I can about the road I
do not know."

The script enclosed, copied from the records of the planchette writing,
was a good and constructive beginning. The normal interference of
beginnings was easily to be detected. So far merely the usual. But here,
in departure from the usual, the interference named itself-Eloise. My
correspondent knew of no Eloise. Nothing to bother about especially in
all this. But shortly, it seemed, my correspondent began to hear a
voice, with a sort of "inner hearing." This voice claimed to be Eloise.
And Eloise was the only voice that manifested.

"The voice I heard said things no one would like to hear. If you have
read my record you will know that Eloise, who wrote on the planchette,
was an undesirable person. I was afraid to listen for fear I might hear
her to the exclusion of others, or at times when it might be
inconvenient to me.

"I had nobody to ask. I was ashamed of Eloise. I thought that, deep
down, I must be without knowing it like her, or she would not suddenly
have spoken and written as she did. Having nobody to ask, I tried to
find out by myself what she was and where she was.

"I tried an ether state, she gave no evidence of herself. I examined my
dreams. She was not in them-not a sign of her. She was not in my verse.
She was not anywhere near my prayers. There was no trace of her,
whichever way I looked. But because she came with the planchette, and
because she remained with me a while after I threw it away, it is Eloise
whom I must understand before I let down any mental barriers between the
beauty of the other world and me. What is, who is Eloise? Is she a
secondary personality? And if she is, who would want to face the
possibility of having a Sally-one, Sally-two, Sally this and that like
Miss Beecham? The planchette made me conscious of her. I was not afraid
of her, I just resented her, but I was afraid of becoming completely or
even intermittently conscious of her, and I didn't want to. If she is
not a split personality, then is she simply a little wandering spirit
with a not very nice mind? And if a spirit, is there anything in me to
draw her to me? If so, I don't like my subconscious!"

So she threw away the planchette, and turned her back on the whole
thing. But she could not wholly banish the "little things that happen."
Then she chanced upon Betty's books.

"They made me see that I had not Betty's faith and patience. I hadn't
much of either, and so I stopped in my tracks, and turned my back on the
other world instead of going forward as Betty did. I read them [the
books] rapidly through in amazement, understanding much but
misunderstanding more, and simply not understanding some of it. So I
went back and began at the beginning slowly, and now it seems to fit
itself together like a picture puzzle. Betty and Joan and you and Darby
have begun to seem like friends, like helpers, like signposts out of a
cavern, like a sudden light from outdoors to show me where I shall come
out myself. I had a light of my own, but I myself dimmed it because I
was afraid of people like Eloise making themselves too evident."

All this indicates high intelligence, total integrity, and sincere
search. Nothing batty about this person!

"There is no way for me to diagnose what Eloise is," I wrote back,
"without more intimate and personal knowledge of the exact case. Whether
it is a corner of your subconscious cropping up--I do not think it
important enough to amount to split personality--or whether it is some
entity that happened to find a chink to get in by, I do not know. But I
do not think that she is important. What I mean is this: that withdrawal
is not the way to handle that type of undesirable. Withdrawal implies a
fear of consequences and a distrust of one's own strength in insulation.
It is a repression, an inhibition, and you cannot block outlets without
making trouble. Thrusting the whole thing aside is the wrong way to go
about it."

Fortunately by now experience had compounded for me a prescription that
I had found worked well in dealing with other types of interference.
Especially has it been effective when there is real reason to believe
that the interference comes from an outside entity. It is very simple;
three words will state it.

LAUGH AT THEM.

"The thing to do," I continued my letter, "is to treat her humorously,
as a kind of nuisance, like a small child whom you cannot instantly
dismiss, but to whom you need not give serious attention. Every time
that she intrudes tell her that she's a pest, to get out! Do it
good-humoredly, without any disappointment if she fails to heed at the
moment.

"If you fear her, or take her seriously, or get worked up about her,
that gives a foothold. But if you just shrug your shoulders and say,
'Oh, you're here again, are you? Well, you know you're not very
important, and I wish you'd go away and leave me alone! I'm perfectly
aware you cannot harm me, and I think you're rather funny when you try
to do so. You're a bit of a nuisance, but utterly ridiculous.' But in
saying that you must really mean it."

The prescription worked.

"Just to thank you. Eloise is like an impish shadow that has vanished in
light," I read in a letter written much later. "That was what I wanted,
just what I wanted. If I could have known just how to go about this, I
would not have been such a coward all these years, shutting out a world
that seemed to want to come near me, a world I wanted to be near. I
never thought of LAUGHING at Eloise. So now I am going on my way, and I
won't turn my back on anything that comes to me, or be afraid to say my
prayers often. It has all cleared up. I won't TRY for anything myself. I
won't use the planchette. I won't turn tables or go to spiritualistic
meetings, or see a psychic. I will just live along, and if anything
comes I will welcome it and not fear it. But if it should be Eloise I
will laugh her aside and keep on. You have done a great deal for me: you
have shooed away Eloise, or made her negligible, and given me a way of
life, and a guardian angel, and a sense of the fitness of things, and a
fearless look into the future. And so thank you and goodbye."

Well, that was worthwhile. The prescription worked. And it has worked
with literally dozens involved in difficulty of this general type, right
up to and including some who have been terrorized into actual belief in
insanity or obsession.

But some two years after I had begun handing out this advice I found it
was an old wisdom. In one of C. S. Lewis' books I ran across two
quotations.

"The best way to drive out the devil," Mr. Lewis quotes Martin Luther,
"if he will not yield to Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he
cannot bear scorn."

Sir Thomas Moore agrees: "The Deville, the prowde spirite, cannot endure
to be mocked."




XI



Shouting from the House Tops


Even when there is no trace of arrogance in what the preceding chapter
called spiritual pride, there are certain innocent mistaken by-products
which can easily deteriorate into that separateness from ordinary
humanity which is a first symptom of pride. One of those by-products is
the conviction that the material communicated is unique, a revelation,
that it imposes an obligation to convey it to the world, either by
publication or by organization of groups. This is laudable in so far as
it implies a sense of responsibility. But in the vast majority of cases
it is mistaken,

In the first place, the experience is not unique. To the contrary. My
peculiar position as a focus for correspondence has given me a
bird's-eye view. I know just what is happening in this fine to the
Joneses of Podunk, even when their next-door neighbors have no
suspicion; I know that the Smiths of Oshkosh have also been having
experiences, and the Robinsons of Byron Center, and a staggering number
of other people all over the shop. And, since they generally send me the
records of what they get, I know that, by and large, they are all
getting much the same thing; the teachings they receive are all cast in
the same general mold, the process of their illumination and development
follows a standard curriculum, so to speak. Considered each by itself,
as unique-which it is not-the revelation would genuinely be of value to
the world.

Of course each knows only his own. So naturally he has a tendency to
feel that upon him rests an obligation to publish, to "give to the
world," and that when he does so the impact is going to revolutionize
thinking and ways of life. A certain number do publish, ordinarily at
their own expense, and are downcast and embittered at the lack of
result. There are dozens of these little books, most of them sound, none
of them of any effect on the general public. There are hundreds more of
like little books in prospect, if publication can be managed. Their
authors send me voluminous manuscripts to be read. It is a delicate job
to try to get across to these people, without discouraging them, the
idea that such experiences and such divulgences are not at all unusual;
and further to point out that in the great majority of cases the
communications, the "teachings," while true and valuable, are intended
only for the individual and the group, and not for the public at large.
Sometimes I think it an impossible job, for the reaction is so likely to
be one of resentment. I am a nice one to talk! Look at the books I've
published! I have to plead guilty to that, but I have further to point
out that only after Betty bad been at her work for seventeen years did
any of it appear in print. It had never occurred to us that we had
anything to "pass on to the world." I believe that ordinarily this type
of teaching is adapted to and dictated to the immediate group. I believe
that in the rare cases when the communications are intended for the
wider audience, the wise Invisibles will keep that fact dark until the
event is proved. I believe that the customary clamor supposedly from
Invisibles that "here is a revelation for mankind" at the beginning,
BEFORE there is any revelation at all, is merely an expression of the
subconscious, interpreting its own astonishment.

I must add also a belief which is as firmly held as those just
mentioned, namely, that the very multiplicity of these experiences, in
cumulation, is going eventually to revolutionize the world's attitude.
For these experiences, here, there and everywhere, all over the map,
prepare a general public opinion that will recognize and accept the
fuller revelation of truth when it comes, as it win. "Many are called
but few are chosen." What is needed in this modern age to turn the tide
of thought is not a John crying in the wilderness, but the "many." So
all these many efforts have their place in the pattern. They are of
indispensable importance, though perhaps not in the obvious way of
public "revelation." It's a big work these people are doing, if only
they could see the point.

However, it must be noted, rather sadly, that these "especially
selected" people rarely do see the point. Perhaps they must come to it
by experience. At the moment they merely get angry; which again is a
symptom of that pride which must be eliminated before further progress
can be safe. For there can be danger here too. One poor lady
progressed-or deteriorated-from mere wonder to a conviction that she
alone in all the world has been privileged to receive direct from God,
from which source she has been passing on to me the most dogmatic advice
on all sorts of subjects, and the most astounding "facts" in physics.

The same reflections apply to the other natural impulse-to organize, to
preach the gospel, to convert the world by this or that ingenious scheme
for "evidence," scientific or otherwise. If, as is usually the case, the
writer is not in a position to take over the matter himself, then he
wants me to do so; and is inclined to insist that it is my sacred duty.

I gravely doubt whether, at this phase of the world's spiritual history,
it is anybody's sacred duty. The premise is that it is the height of
desirability to convince, right now, the whole world that communication
is a fact. To these people the end-aim of the entire effort is absolute
proof of the continuity of life and the reported nature of the
Unobstructed universe; if everybody, in the whole wide world, could be
made certain, all our troubles would be over. I am not so sure of it.
There occur to me a great many modifying corollaries against such an
assumption.

How about the fellow who would therefore see no sense in bothering with
this remarkable makeshift affair, but would just sit down and wait for
the better world? In the present state of the human race I suspect he
would be in the great majority. In view of him, one begins to see the
wisdom of the ancients who preserved "occult" knowledge from the masses
of men. We are simply not far enough along for it. As I wrote one man:

"As for your idea of 'proving' the continuity of life and the
genuineness of communication by means of--', it might be feasible, but I
gravely doubt the value of such a wholesale conviction. Conviction is
only valuable when one has individually earned it by his own seeking and
development. We get only what we earn, and the human race as a whole has
not earned this."

I have left the blank in the above sentence to be filled in by any of
the numerous means and "tests" preferred: various forms of publicity,
various mass researches in schools, radio programs, lectures, ingenious
"scientific" experiments. As to the latter, I might add that in at least
four accredited laboratories research men are quietly seeking a means of
mechanical communication, and are getting some very interesting
preliminary results. The proposals both as to proof and as to "preaching
the gospel" are highly commendable in evidence of interest and zeal, but
nine times in ten they are also highly inadvisable as bases for action.
In any case, ten times in ten the proposer is altogether too young at
the game to undertake any action at all outside his own personal growth.
Rushing in, wide open and full of eagerness, before any spiritual
orientation or stability has been established can be fatal. Too soon and
too fast is as catastrophic as too little and too late. I have seen many
most promising beginnings toward understanding flatten into futility at
best, and into something very close to insanity and obsession at worst,
simply because enthusiasm denied the necessary, sober, stabilizing
ingredient of time.

To point this out convincingly without at the same time damping off the
necessary ingredient of eagerness is indeed to walk a tight rope.

In my belief, expansion of consciousness in what we call spiritual
development is an individual affair. Each person is as he is simply
because his basic frequency is different from that of anybody else in
the universe. That in

Is what makes him an individual. His growth with that individuality must
be by means adapted especially to it. Those means would not fit exactly
anyone else. Only after he has germinated-sprouted, so to speak-will he
find value in cooperation, help, discussion, with others like-minded to
himself. It is profoundly true that a man can be told nothing he does
not already know, whether he is aware of that knowledge or not. We refer
to principles, of course, not to catalogue-facts, nor to the corollary
extensions that can abundantly follow such personal and private
recognitions. Most certainly he will fail to get anything permanently
valuable from "teachings" unless he is already ripened to a subconscious
understanding.

Nor will the arbitrary gathering of a "group" for study or development
accomplish much-certainly not what its eager organizers hope and expect.
The individual diversity is too great. What work is done in such a group
will have to be, in a common denominator; and a common denominator of
diversity must be low. A group, to be really successful, must drift
together, when the time is ripe, by a sort of affinity.

So it is that I advise such people as write me asking me to recommend to
them people or organizations. Of course there are such, capable of
contributing-and receiving-enormous help. But I firmly believe there is
no use in trying to pick them out. When the time comes they will pick
you out. I have seen it happen so many times. That counsel, however, is
never intended to encourage aloofness, nor to discourage natural
interest in talking things over with congenial minds. Merely it urges
awaiting the event, so to say. Do not rush to "join up." I cannot too
strongly emphasize the principle of necessary ripeness, the idea that
everything must await its time.

"If everyone could have this conviction," writes one, exultant over
fresh and convincing personal experience, "the world's troubles would
all be over!" and wants to rush out and found, a "school."

"I am not at all sure that universal belief in the mechanism of
spiritualism would be a good thing for the world at large," I replied.
"I think these things have to be grown into. A wise provision of nature,
or so it seems to me, is that people are, so to say, insulated from
belief until they are ripe. Action and development on this earth depend
on keeping people at their own jobs. Hearteningly more and more people
are developing beyond the need of that insulation. There may come a time
when the establishment of more 'spiritual schools' may be desirable, but
not now. One of the fundamentals of spiritual teaching," my letter
continues, is that NOTHING EFFECTIVE AND PERMANENT CAN BE GIVEN EXCEPT
FROM OVERFLOW. That is, one must perfect or rather fill up one's own
capacities to the brim before one is justified in even attempting to
work outside. That does not mean that in our daily life we cannot apply
to the details of living whatever we have gained and have in us. But
such work as you suggest can only be done from an advanced stage of
development. The mistake of so many so-called spiritual schools is that
they feel this truth, but stop short at the idea of filling up. They
emphasize the spiritual development and quit at that.

"Moreover, and finally, it is not necessary to rush off to a crisis in
far places in order to do to the full one's duty and one's job. It is a
natural inclination. We want to help. Especially if sensitivity makes us
acutely aware.

"'However,' says Betty, 'that very sensitivity is the means by which
those of us whom age or other reason holds at home can accomplish.' If,
as she says, 'we keep our own back yards clean,' we shall have
contributed as much in our way as if we had gone on a medical mission to
China. We five by functioning. The product of that functioning is not
the thing we make but the channel we open and assure for the Source to
pass through us. I think our lack of recognition of this fact has a lot
to do with our impatience."

The same zeal that burns to rush forth and spread the gospel may also be
misapplied on the personal side. When one is convinced, and keen to
develop the higher consciousness, he is likely to run away with the
thing, to use forcing methods in the interest of speed. It cannot safely
be done. Development is nothing but growth. Growth can be encouraged by
intelligent supplementing of its natural processes, but it cannot be
done artificially by anything resembling a shot in the arm. And
especially it cannot be done by cutting out any of its normal
ingredients such as dignity and stability, which time alone can supply.
And above all it must not become too self-conscious.

"This matter of growth is not a thing that one can pull up by the roots
to see if it is sprouting." I tried to impress this on one of these
letter-writers, worried because she could not judge whether she was
getting anywhere or not. "You just have to let it go on in its natural
way. The main thing to keep in mind is your aim. Otherwise you had best
just 'let nature take its course,' keeping your aspirations vivid and
your aim pure. Above all, do not reach for this growth and unfoldment
with a sense of striving or effort. Live your life as it lies before
you, knowing that each thing you do, however trivial, has its results."

A great many demand an exact blue print.

"I would greatly appreciate your informing me briefly:

(1) Whether anyone can become a medium.
(2) The course of training to be followed in order to become a medium.
(3) The reason why all psychic phenomena cannot be demonstrated as are
those of physical science.
(4) Does mediumship expose the mind to possible seizure and control?
(5) How can anyone prove to himself the truth of alleged psychic
phenomena?
(6) What are the conditions necessary for communication?
(7) What are the types of mediumship?"

Well, this is categorical and comprehensive! I believe I said I have no
intention of writing a textbook, though I might have taken up this man's
points one by one and given some sort of an opinion on each. But it
seemed to me inadvisable to try. A covering principle is of more
ultimate value, on the basis of which each individual does his own
digging.

"Specific directions of this kind," I wrote him, "such as would come
with an automobile or a washing machine, cannot be given, any more than
you can give a plant directions on how to grow. The life of the soul is
not a mechanical thing. If you expect such specific directions, I am
afraid you are going to be disappointed."

It is very hard for people to realize this simple fact and its corollary
distinction between the divergent necessities for construction and for
growth. You can hustle a building toward completion, but not a living
organism. Until beginners grasp that, they do a lot of worrying about
how they are not getting on, and how the first brilliance of
illumination, the first strength of powers are dimming and weakening.
They feel they have been rejected as unworthy, that they have been
deluded, that they have been shamefully abandoned. They do not recognize
bait when they see it. There is not much one can do about that except to
pat them on the back.

"Do not worry unduly about the present moment and its meaning. Have
faith that the meaning is an unfolding and a growing thing; that growing
things must have time as one of the essential components of growth; that
functioning to the full of one's present capacity is the real core of
life. Externals are only attributes of this inner essential. Moments of
first illumination always tend to fade away. They are permitted as
markers, landmarks, toward which to journey. Why should the first
vividness persist? That is what one can earn to, if he has the faith and
steadfastness to keep at it. It is indeed something that one has been
considered worthy of this initial illumination. Do not strain. Growth is
an orderly and sometimes slow process. Be satisfied that bit by bit, in
due course, details will suggest themselves as they are needed, but not
before."

A more legitimate-or at least a more practical-offshoot of the
missionary instinct is the desire for advice on how much to tell
children and how. Certainly as human consciousness grows our methods of
such education must alter. The old dogmas, taken in the literal-minded
way of childhood, convey no desirable or adequate picture. The truth
beneath their symbolism is too deeply buried. It is an interesting and
most valuable inquiry and I always regret having to answer that this
subject has never been formally discussed. It seems to me most probable
that it is to be a part of Betty's next "divulgence," if, when and as it
can be given.

There is, however, a brilliant flash in the following statement by the
Invisibles of general principles. It bears thinking over. In answer to a
question as to how all these teachings could best be given the very
young, we had this reply:

"We do not believe you can teach children directly matters such as these
by giving them a blue print. You have to propound and let soak into them
very largely by example, very slightly by precept, and very extensively
by radiation."

The best I can do now for correspondents is pretty well summarized in
the following:

"The thing that interests me most in your letter is the point you bring
up as to the education of young children in these matters. I wish I had
something direct to tell you about it. Unfortunately the Invisibles seem
to have been so busy hammering at our adult education that they have had
little to say about the children. If I were to hazard a general
principle of my own, I'd say our job is to use our wits in simplifying
these things, in ESSENCE, to their comprehension. That would demand
considerable thought, not to say inspiration, I admit, but possibly that
is what we are intended to do. As for our records, I can put my finger
on only two excerpts.

"'You must remember,' an Invisible told us, 'that a child is an immature
thing in every way. You do not permit him to strain or injure himself by
exceeding his physical powers-you would restrain him from jumping off a
very high porch, or lifting too heavy a weight, or eating green apples
or too much ice cream or cake. In so doing you are, to be sure,
definitely asserting parental authority, but in a sane, sensible and
needed manner. Now, laws work the same in all substances, so you will
find the same principle will work also in the mental and spiritual. Let
him alone to his own devices is good and true in doctrine, in principle,
for the offering of full opportunity for self-education should be the
basis for all teaching. As in the physical, arbitrary restriction and
prohibition are legitimate only when the child is attempting to go so
far beyond his powers as to injure himself. Then it is imperative.
Otherwise he should be permitted to learn from his own bumps and
defeats. So the imposition of arbitrary authority really must depend on
the wisdom of the parent. Just as he did not allow the child to lift too
heavy a weight, so he should not permit the child's judgment to lift
beyond his mental or spiritual strength.'

"The other item on this subject in the record was an interpolation at
the time when Betty was giving THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE. She was
answering a young mother who asked what she should do about the
children's education. 'Teach them old-fashioned faith and fearlessness
and honor,' another Invisible answered for her. 'When they are
sufficiently developed to comprehend they will get the sort of talk
Betty gives. Let them live simple Obstructed universe lives and get
their faces dirty. It is a very good thing to teach children to pray.

Prayer is a fact, an actuality, and gives them a belief. The world got
along very well on a belief in prayer, for the facing of a need, an
emotion, makes it concrete. It places it in your own mind, if nothing
else, and maybe when you have formulated it you find you don't want
it.'"




XII



The Law of Complement


A lot of confusion in people's minds in regard to this whole question of
connection with the unseen would be cleared away were it better
understood that all such relationships operate under a law of
COMPLEMENT. Curiously enough, it takes quite some doing to get that idea
into our heads, though the stating of it is simple. Possibly this is
another concept into which we have to grow.

In our own beginnings-Betty's and mine-it was told us often enough and
plainly enough, but we took it merely as a personal spur to action. Here
are a few only of these admonitions.*

* See THE BETTY BOOK.

"We are not permitted to carry the growth itself. That is in your
hands."

"The force we bring into the world...comes from a combination of
conditions created by the person himself. We can only take advantage of
that combination. Once a person of his own force establishes it, we can
act on it.

The initial step is your work. This force is, roughly speaking,
emanations from you which meet complementary forces from this side."

"The energy with which you demand of us will be the measure of what you
will get. IT IS NOT SO MUCH THE ENERGY OF DEMAND AS THE SHOWING OF A
FORCE THAT CALLS ITS COMPLEMENT. It is the energy of measure for
measure, given and received."

"Your progress is in your own hands. We can do little but watch you gain
necessary strength before we can help you further. THAT IS THE LAW. ME
CAN ACT ONLY AS THE COMPLEMENT TO THE ACT."

All that was fair enough. We accepted it cheerfully as necessary
schoolroom discipline, incentive to get busy. And as only that. On that
pragmatic basis it worked. Only years later has the statement carried
its full meaning. Certainly it is plain enough: "THAT IS THE LAW." And
if it is indeed a law, then it must apply beyond our schoolroom to every
nook and cranny of cosmos.

In sum, these represent one of the few hard and fast categorical
statements given us. I could wish that each and every person who writes
me, on ANY aspect of this general subject, could fully and thoroughly
understand what is meant. For here is a law.

What, then, is that law? It is embodied in the very next sentence: "WE
CAN ACT ONLY AS THE COMPLEMENT TO THE ACT." Not "we will, or shall act,"
but "we CAN act." The phrase means exactly what it says. What we loosely
call the spiritual forces are UNABLE, under the law, to act directly on
the Obstructed universe. They must have something to complement,
something to spark them, to set them in motion.

Like any real law, it works universally in many mediums. It applies
alike to the processes of evolution and the reason for its interminably
slow growth but accelerating pace, through such apparent trivialities on
the material side as planting a garden, up to the relationships of
religion, and the deeper meanings of life. It is not the purpose here to
follow out the implications, though the more one does consider it the
more one sees how fundamental that law is. Right now we are interested
in how it works in this psychic field of action.

The moment we give the law of complement its full and literal value many
puzzling things are explained. Why, for instance, as so many
correspondents complain, does help, attention, aid, even just decent
interest on the part of our Invisibles-our Guardian Angels so to
speak-seem so capricious? Anybody with the slightest experience can
report on that. Sometimes we seem wholly abandoned in a mess that one
would think must impel the most misanthropic to lend a hand. There is no
sense to it-if these Invisibles are really our friends who wish us well.
And yet they seem to have the power to help us if they choose. Again and
again, in other instances, they have done so, almost "miraculously" at
times. The seeming inconsistency is most puzzling. It appears almost
like pure whim. We do not like to believe our Invisibles are that kind
of people, that today they feel good-natured enough to rally round and
tomorrow they may not care to bother. But under this very simple law
which we are discussing, we see that the inadequacy is not with the
Invisibles, but with ourselves. When the beneficent "miracle" of help
came along, it was possible because in some manner we had ourselves
offered something strong and worthy to be complemented. We had given the
Invisibles a CHANCE to help us; and I think they are always glad of a
chance. But when in a crisis our spiritual energy is weak and we proffer
nothing that can be matched to any effect, then our cry for help seems
to us to be ignored. As Benjamin Franklin put it more colloquially, "God
helps them who help themselves."

The same thing applies to communication and the more technical phases of
what we call "psychic." If understood, I think it would greatly ease the
minds of those bewildered by the false predictions, the phony
evidential, the supposed interference of outside entities-all the messes
and troubles we have been attempting in some degree to clarify in the
pages of this book. If things go wrong, why not examine ourselves before
we blame the other fellow? A "good" sitting follows when the sitters
have enough of sincerity, honesty and, above all, selfless purpose or
aim to bring to the seance adequate material to be worked with. And the
reverse, of course. It also explains why so often the Invisibles
terminate any session of any kind with the statement that "power wanes,"
or "the juice is giving out." That does not mean, though we usually
interpret it so, that they, the Invisibles, have come to the meeting on
a certain tankful of gas, but rather that we, the sitters, have come to
the end of our contribution for the occasion.

As for the other applications of this law, each must work out his own
meanings. By way of general principle, Betty once pointed out that we
need not look about us for something big and noble in order to get the
full aid of complement. "Nothing," said she, "is too small to work an
with the tools of eternal values." And says the Bible: "Ask and it shall
be given unto you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened
unto you."

But note that, in the one case you must work, and not by rote but by
giving thought. And in the other case you must ASK, SEEK, KNOCK before
you will be given or will find or have it opened. They are the
complements to your own act-and impossible without it.




XIII



From Betty, Direct


Among Betty's papers I found a carbon of a letter she herself wrote to
an inquiring beginner, thunderstruck by her own initial experiences.
Since Betty should know better than any of us on the sidelines, I think
it should be included here.

"The subject is all so much bigger than any of us can handle with our
present knowledge," Betty wrote. "For the past seven years these psychic
explorations have been my chief interest, both here and abroad; that is
why I was in Europe last year to see what was being done on the other
side. I have studied the history of the subject, read almost everything
scientific and otherwise and had, myself, most astonishing experiences.
I do not talk about it often because it arouses so much ridicule and
antagonism in those who know nothing about it.

"Your experiences are absorbingly interesting. I know just exactly how
you feel, how amazed you are, for I can look back to the beginning of my
interest and remember the excitement of it and see how my comprehension
and steadiness have grown with the years. I want to give you the results
of those years, briefly summed up, if you are going on in psychic
matters beyond the superficial 'fortune telling' sort of stage. First,
there is absolutely no question in my mind of our survival after death.
I have convinced myself of that. Also I feel sure we are much the same
the day after death as we are the day before. There are, therefore, all
kinds and conditions of people in the invisible world, as there are on
Market Street today. They have simply changed their forms, just as ice
becomes water, more mobile with greater possibilities. The point I want
to make is that 'communications' are not to be considered from angels,
'all-knowing' and sacred. There are mischief-makers and undeveloped
people on the other side to be taken into consideration, as there are
here. Also there are many complications in transmission of messages, far
worse than garbled cables and telegrams with us. Strength and character
and an unselfish, loving purpose are the only safeguards against falling
in with the wrong bunch occasionally. A deep affection on either side of
the border is the best protection I know of besides the determination to
get only truth and use it for the general good of humanity. That seems
to be a magic insulation, but, even that is subject to grave trouble.

"The second point in the picture of what happens to nine-tenths of all
those who become interested in these matters: The person's first
interest is so intense, when once convinced of its reality, that he asks
for advice an all subjects regarding his personal life. It is quite
natural, but finally be gets an untrue statement or a false prophecy and
throws out the whole subject as fraud or bunk or devils. There is, by
the way, no subject in the world that has more fraud connected with it
than this because some of it is quite unconscious in an honest medium's
subconscious personification. That is why it is so necessary to go slow
and to study carefully.

"My third point is very important for it is the thing on which all
psychic students agree. Those in the spirit world will not long continue
to meddle in our earth affairs and make decisions for us if they are
developed people with our real interest at heart. It is done sometimes
to attract attention or in an emergency of importance, but the exercise
of free will and making our own decisions is our method of growth here
in this life, and those who care for us will not deprive us of it. If we
pursue this and continue, to ask advice it has always led into a blind
alley. The real way those who care for us on the other side can help us
is by developing our own sensitiveness so that we will sense the right
thing to do.

But look out how you give up your own free will and good common sense
judgment for that of anyone on this side or the other.

"I am writing at length because I have been through so very many cases
in past years where people temporarily lost their stability in this life
through the attitude of reaching for unusual powers and acting on unseen
advice which did not coincide with their own good judgment. Much has
been given from the other side, however, that is very valuable on how to
manage and educate our minds and spirits to make life here more useful,
beautiful and friendly. Advice on harmonizing things is the best they
can do for us. I am sure that your mother would agree with this; she
wants you to know that she is still near you and can influence you. We
want you to have the results of our experience, to know the dangers of
the game if you are going to seek the joys of it.

E. C. W."




XIV



The Half Truths


Things get ticklish, sometimes, when I am called upon to deal with the
man of strong preconceived ideas. He is generally an adherent to some
cult or form of religion, though sometimes he has worried out a system
of his own. He either wants my enthusiastic approval, or he has run into
inconsistencies which he cannot reconcile. If his perplexity springs
from the teachings of a cult or religion, it may be that they are half
truths, or it may be that he himself is misinterpreting.

The ramifications and arguments of the half truths vary widely, but the
basic fallacy is generally the same. The framework runs as follows: God
is good; God is all-inclusive; therefore everything is good and there
can be no sin, or evil, or ill health. All we have to do is to deny
their reality and they vanish. That is an oversimplified and crude
statement, but it illustrates the difficulty. The same principle on the
mystic side argues that material form is only the reflection or
embodiment of Idea; that Idea is the actual reality; ergo, the material
form is an illusion, "maya"; with, furthermore, the extension of that
logic into the syllogism that as illusion is deceit, the first thing to
do is to quit bothering at all with material form. Physics comes to
identical conclusion by another approach; this chair's apparent solidity
and specific variety analyzes down to neutrons, protons, electrons, and
they in turn are not material at all, but pure force; ERGO, this chair
is an illusion without "real existence."

The logic is irrefutable, but when its conclusion is used as a basic for
practical conduct, it simply does not work. If one is sufficiently sold
on this particular set-up, he humbly ascribes the failure to his own
lack of faith, or lack of understanding. But a good many suspect there
must be a catch in it somewhere, so they write asking me if I know what
it is.

The answer is simple. AM these cults and religions and people are trying
to deal with ultimates. It is perfectly true that the ultimate of
creation is good. But what is an ultimate but an END-an END of
evolution, which can be reached only by progress and growth? It is also
perfectly true that the ultimate of physical matter is pure force or
idea-whichever you choose-but before physical matter can be so dealt
with, it must pass through a long, elaborate analysis of intermediate
forms. Now the answer, which I mentioned as simple, is this:

We cannot deal directly with ultimates until we have ourselves reached
the ultimate state. But we are not ultimates; we are immediates; and AS
SUCH WE MUST ACT THROUGH IMMEDIATES. Evolution's goal is the ultimate,
but evolution is far from that completion, and so are we.

In our simple example from physics: the ultimate of the chair is pure
force; if we, in our present form were really capable of dealing with
that ultimate and insisted on doing so, we would come to a disconcerting
crash, when we tried to sit down. But since we are dealing, as
immediates ourselves, with that chair as an immediate, we find it most
comfortable. In the ultimate of all-perfection and all-good there can
indeed be no evil or ill health. But we are not going to find good
health and ethical perfection here in the immediate merely by making
that assertion.*

* I find so many of the literal-minded among my correspondents that
perhaps I should add that the issue is quite likely to be confused by
the "mental" cures ascribed to this type of philosophy, but actually
attributable to a dozen other causes. Also, that we can intellectually
encompass some ultimates, but intellectual understanding does not imply
material control.

To repeat the syllogism as it is most commonly applied: the cosmos is
perfect, ill health is imperfect, therefore ill health does not exist.
Why should we argue thus? Why should we take the valiant stand "ultimate
or nothing!" God is all-awareness, all-wisdom, all-power, all-life. None
of us would claim to be all-aware, but nobody would on that account deny
to himself any awareness at all. Nor any wisdom because he is not
all-wise. Nor any power because he is not all-powerful. Nor, in sum,
that he is alive merely because he does not contain  in perfection all
the aliveness possible. If he were to refrain from functioning until he
could deal with ultimates, he would not function at all.

And that is the one reply I can make to these people disappointed in the
results from following some lofty, irrefutable, BUT ULTIMATE, Truth.
There is no trouble with the truth itself. The premise is undeniable. It
is the syllogism that is at fault. Through that faulty syllogism the
truth becomes only partial.

An allied perturbation of mind comes from those whose make-up does not
fit them to the particular form of teaching they have run up against.
Nevertheless, the teaching is sound. They recognize that fact clearly,
and so are inclined to castigate themselves, and to despair of ever
amounting to anything. This is particularly true if the doctrine happens
to be one of discipline and self-denial. There is no doubt that such a
system is sound and can achieve results, but in my opinion it is better
adapted to specialists than to the generality of us. A world populated
exclusively by specialists sounds to me appalling.

Nonetheless, I want to reemphasize that what follows is in no sense
denial of the value of the disciplinary methods to those whom they fit.

Our own people in the Invisible, as was natural, belonged in the other
camp. Their thought, as expressed, is that we are not placed in an
environment for the purpose of avoiding it. They answered the argument
as to the value of "retirement from the ordinary trivialities of life in
order to concentrate more effectively on spiritual growth-look at the
saints and holy men," by pointing out that it took a saint or a holy man
to get anything out of such retirement. As for the world, the flesh and
the devil, they are there to be used PROPERTY, not denied.

"There is no physical aspect of life," said they, "no matter how
unlikely it may seem at first glance, but has a spiritual complement
which its use or indulgence alone can release. The task of the world is
to find out and grow into these correspondences.... We do not attain
merit by the conscientious ritualistic giving up of things. Giving
things up, PER SE, has no merit at all. Possibly after we have
progressed to a certain point we shall no longer want those things, and
therefore shall naturally set them aside. The grown up does not use a
child's toys. BUT A CHILD IS NOT MADE A GROWN UP BY TAKING AWAY HIS
TOYS."

And on another occasion:

"Your part is to live, now, as far as you may, the principle of this
evolution: that is, to live in full all the correspondences that your
material earth presents to you. You should do this without negation, but
in such manner and proportion as shall enable you to discern, and
knowledgedly attract, the spiritual complement of each. This is not only
a satisfying, but an immensely thrilling pursuit. You exercise in it
your instinct and ingenuity, not of your mind but of your heart.... The
balancing is the art of life. The ascetic is no more praiseworthy than
the sensualist, and the sensualist is no more to be blamed than is the
ascetic. And the pure intellectual is no more admirable-or
deplorable-than either."

Such, very roughly, is the teaching of what Betty called
"bountifulness." It suits the shape of my own head, and I believe that
it gets further than a regimen of serious discipline, denial,
"self-sacrifice." That is, for the average of us, in the present stage
of the world's growth. Undoubtedly discipline-in the sense used by these
people-is sometimes an indispensable ingredient, but not a complete
diet.

So, summing it up, here is what I wrote one correspondent, deeply
impressed by the sincerity, the truth, the very high character and
spiritual attainments of a man who had attained by rigid and struggling
self-discipline, and who now was teaching and urging the methods he had
found successful-for himself. Deeply impressed, but despairing of her
ability to emulate-and unable to pump up much enthusiasm about even
trying to do so-she wrote me asking how-come?

"I fully realize that he is in development far in advance, that he has
genuine insight," was what I found to say. "I would not have the nerve
to say that his methods are incorrect. But I would have to add as
corollary that those methods are not so nearly universal as he thinks.
And there is something missing. All the terrible struggle to arrive
which he describes has shut out what Betty has always insisted
on-light-hearted gaiety, the enjoyment of the process. As her Invisibles
told her, 'This is light-footed, not like the solemn tread of a
processional. It has dance steps in it, and running for the joy of
running, and leaping for the joy of leaping.... This is a gracious
performance. It is not a child in a schoolroom; it is a soul gracefully
entering into eternity.' Or again: 'It is to be the free swing of the
athlete, and not the labored tread of the weary monk.'"

Apropos of this point, if I may break in on my own letter for comment,
it is interesting to reflect that, in the Old Testament, despite Job,
the people took the faith in a power greater than themselves in happy
spirit. And in the recorded history of most religions, in the time of
their full flowering, man's spontaneous love of God has been expressed
with "timbrels and song." Only in decline and decay does faith become
portentous and solemn.*

* See, for instance, Psalms 149; 3; 150: 3-6; Judges 11:34; Samuel I,
18:6; Exodus 15:20, and many others.

"You see"--to continue my letter--"this man seems to approach everything
from the point of view of discipline, of uprooting, of casting out by a
deliberate effort devoted exclusively to just that. Betty's idea is that
one should not bother to uproot but rather to grow something else that
will thrust aside, crowd out, the undesirable. She pointed out how
things grow through the asphalt by pushing aside, how we can best
eliminate thoughts by flooding them out by other thoughts, and so on.
One can indeed attain by a humorless facing of things doggedly, and
worrying on them and chewing on them and working them out. Some
temperaments probably have to do it that way. But such will lose the
deep sense of joy.

Incidentally, I believe that this man, and others of the same doctrine,
are giving us another example of what I said about ignoring the
immediate and trying to deal directly with the ultimate. If we skip
right over our present environment to ultimate desirability, then all
the value of that present environment is lost. We cannot skip a grade.
We are supposed to utilize what we have and are at this moment.

"The difference between this 'self-sacrificing' attitude and Betty's,"
my letter concludes, "can be expressed in two contrasting
words-frugality and bountifulness. Or expansion and contraction. Betty
would strip away possessions for the greater abundance of giving and
using. There is no room for egoistic greed in that aim and intention."




XV



"The Comfort of God"


My own editorial arrangement of the material, or perhaps Betty's
singleness of purpose, has resulted in one curious misconception in the
minds of a few. Ordinarily this was not a distrust, but a mild
puzzlement or disappointment that she had, in THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE,
said nothing of God. Occasionally, and quite unwarrantedly, it took the
form of accusation that Betty actually denied God!

"What I cannot understand is the care taken to avoid mentioning either
the Creator God or his Savior Son," one man wrote me. "They speak of 'in
the image,' Genesis I: 2 7, but of what? Self? And self-creation seems
to be the basis of all their [the Invisibles'] teachings. Is there no
vision, beyond a worldly vision, of the inner potentiality of man? No
Creator to love and cherish-only self, self? How tragic!"

This is so drastic a misreading that it is almost funny. The whole
purport of the training of the Invisibles is indeed to aid our expansion
of consciousness, our development of self. But not self for its own
sake; rather self as a better tool, a better instrument, a better
channel, a better agent for carrying on the job. And that job is, in
last analysis, and in proper analysis, the general evolution of
Consciousness, which is God's purpose. If one is going to ascribe
egotistic content to all effort at progress, then as well hang onto the
old sharp stick for plowing merely because constructing a better machine
would add to our personal-and hence selfish-possessions.

You cannot leave the ego out of the argument, and you must put personal
responsibility in. Betty's Invisibles, both before and after she went on
into the Unobstructed, insist that each and every man and woman is most
emphatically responsible for his own "ten, five, two, or one talent"
endowment of God. For certainly, as my "self, self" correspondent
pointed out, God did make "man in His own image" of intelligent,
creative, free-willed responsibility.

Humanity's most sacred duty became more and more plain to Betty, as she
advanced in learning from her Invisibles, as the disciplining, training
and perfecting of the "self"-each one's own individual bit of the "image
of God." That method was the principal aim of her training as set forth
in explicit detail in THE BETTY BOOK and ACROSS THE UNKNOWN; and, from
another angle and with even more detail, in THE ROAD I KNOW. It was
formulated and given, not as a religious dogma or cult, but as a daily
spiritual "growing-in-grace" exercise. Of course the "self" is benefited
egoistically. That is the reward, the promise of "seek and ye shall
find; knock and it shall be opened unto you." You: not somebody else,
but you. It is indeed personal, but for universal purpose, and
therefore, as our Invisibles iterated and reiterated again and again,
each of us as an individual soul must do his own seeking and his own
knocking. We can be helped, but the desire and the act must be ours. So
I am afraid we can't get entirely away from "self," and we should not
try. After all the "beam in thine own eye" seems to be the immediate
job. Consequently I have to disagree with this correspondent. The
gentleman, I am glad to say, is unique. I quote his letter only as a
horrible example of misunderstanding.

However, his first point, from which he draws his implication, does
bother some people. I mean his objection that, in THE UNOBSTRUCTED
UNIVERSE, Betty failed to discuss her conception of God. The need for a
renewal of faith blinds a reader here and there to the fact that Betty
was, in this particular divulgence, dealing with what might be called
the "higher physics" of the finite universe, and with nothing else. She
was dictating a specialized textbook designed to bridge the gap between
the Universe of our five senses and the Universe BEYOND THE ORDINARY USE
of our five senses. A gap in which, by the way, science is already
beginning to operate. The whole vast range of electronics, for instance,
is in that no-man's land between the obstructed universe of our five
senses, and the unobstructed universe beyond them. But the point here is
that a discussion of God has no place "in a textbook of the kind THE
UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE unquestionably was intended to be. Nor in the
direction for running any kind of a machine. Nor would the omission
legitimately imply one thing as to the author's religious convictions or
lack of them.

As a matter of fact, Betty had a profound religious feeling. Indeed, had
my correspondents remembered the chapters on Prayer in THE BETTY BOOK
and THE ROAD I KNOW-ASSUMING they had read these two of the Betty
series-any assurance from me would have been unnecessary.

"You see," Joan once wrote to tell me of a conversation with Betty, "we
both thoroughly BELIEVED in God. Betty was deeply religious; had she not
been, with so many other interesting things to do, she would not-indeed
she could not-have given so much time to this psychic work.... To begin
with, Betty and I were always afraid of making mistakes, of not getting
the communication accurately. She confessed to me, and I to her, that we
never either of us 'went out' [into trance] without first formulating in
our hearts and minds a little prayer to God that we might bring back His
Truth as nearly true as is humanly possible. In admitting to each other
that we both were afraid of our own accuracy and that we always prayed
about it, we also speculated that neither of us LIKED being psychic. The
reason for this was that we each shunned being 'different,' as well as
feeling the weight of the responsibility to be pretty heavy. And
exacting. Betty's life, as just living, was always much fuller than
mine, but in those days I, too, was busy and interested in my own work,
and short of personal leisure. However, as you know, we both took our
strange gift seriously-seriously enough, I'm telling you now, to pray
about it."

So in the book under discussion it did not occur to me to touch on the
religious aspects, for the reason that Betty herself had seen no
relevance to this divulgence. I think, further, that she felt that exact
formulations are impossible. Each one's idea of God is his own, for the
reason that each is unique in perception and capacity.

"When you talk of Betty's idea of God, or mine or yours or anybody
else's, then you are tempting us off the deep end," I wrote to someone
who objected to this lack of definition. "One's CONCEPTION of God is a
matter entirely of his own vision and perception. When you get down to
it, God is infinite and therefore inunderstandable as a whole to any
finite mind. We merely embody in our conception the essence of the
utmost our capacity can contain. That is so individual a thing that
Betty in her book carefully avoided formulation."

Nevertheless, from the letter before mentioned from Joan, I am able to
give a glimpse of Betty's own secret formulation. Joan had finished
giving me her testimony as to Betty's depth of religious feeling, and
continued:

"Betty and I had two talks about God; both entirely private. The first
was in 1925 or '26, when she came east alone to see her sister. At that
time she went to great trouble to see me privately.... The second took
place in your garden in 1936. It too was private. I don't know whether
she told you about that either. [She did not.] We boiled it down this
way:

"God, the Creator, is the IMPETUS back of all form, animate and
inanimate. We argued that each individualized bit of Consciousness here
on earth, in the finite, is an expression of the Spirit of God-an
'image' of Him; that as such it is immortal since it is the same in kind
though different in degree; that the ALIKE-IN-KIND always remains the
same, but that the DIFFERENCE-IN-DEGREE can be evolutionally lessened."

This is the fundamental. The details of the relationship are, as I say,
matters of individual perception. When we agree on such details, we have
doctrines. When we formulate them, we have dogma. We incline to make
dogma of supreme importance, but it is the agreement that is important.
Indeed, in comment on this Betty made the remark I have elsewhere
quoted,* but which is worth repeating here. Darby and I were on the
point of deciding that if we could get rid of dogma all our troubles
would be over. Betty, talking through Joan, of course, would have none
of it.

* ANCHORS TO WINDWARD, p. 126.

"Dogma," said she, "is a necessary container for truth. But," she added,
"it should be made fresh every morning."

The difficulty with a good many of my correspondents seems to be just
that; the old dogma has worn thin, and no fresh one is prepared for the
new day. The old personal relationship of the loving and tender Father
has vanished; and a personal relationship is what, just now, the world
most desperately needs. The light of scientific and intellectual
understanding has revealed much; but it has also dissolved much. In
stress we long for assurance that our calls for help can be, and may be,
answered from a greater-than-human store of comprehension and love. "Of
course," wrote another of my correspondents, trying, as she expressed
it, "to correlate our modern thought with the teaching of the Christian
faith, of which I am a hopeful straggler...of course I do not mean the
old man in the cloud banks we see in Michelangelo, but somehow I can't
get enthusiastic about a chilly and tremendous sea of consciousness."

Well, neither can I. Nor is it necessary. Nor was that Betty's idea at
all. This correspondent is one of many. They have by no means lost their
faith in God, but they have lost the comfort of God. Or, as Jesus put it
most simply in the 14th chapter of St. John, "the Comforter."

Yet after all the matter is very simple. It can almost be expressed in
syllogism. God is infinite; and as such must be all-inclusive. The first
half of that statement we cannot understand, and we should by now have
learned better than to try. The lesson is so fundamental that it is
proposed to us in our earliest years. No one of us but, as a child, has
stared up at the sky and imagined a wall to end space, and then has
wondered what is beyond that end. Or of what was before the beginning
and after the end of time. And then simply given it up, once and for
all. Or in later years may have speculated further on space as a curve
returning on itself, or time swallowing its own tail in a mathematical
and Einsteinish manner, but gaining no more than a boundary for his own
segment of surrounding infinity. And so, when the fumes of mathematical
mental satisfaction evaporate, has found himself in the face of an
infinite God, Whom he still cannot understand.

The second statement, however, contains the full meaning for us-God is
all-inclusive. There are various corollaries to this, some of them
obvious, others not so clear; but for the moment let us concern
ourselves with Consciousness, which is, after all-as Betty has many
times pointed out-"the one and only Reality." As human beings, we
possess various attributes of Consciousness, which we recognize and use.
That is to say we are aware of ourselves and things about us; we possess
awareness as an attribute of our basic aliveness. Similarly love,
wisdom, understanding, mercy, compassion, gaiety, whimsy, and any other
possible psychological or intuitional discoveries in the make-up of any
human being anywhere are also attributes of our consciousness. I pick
these examples at random. Since they are attributes of consciousness,
and since the infinite God includes all of Consciousness, it follows
inevitably that they-and all other possible attributes, discovered or
undiscovered-are components of All-Consciousness. And since
all-consciousness is also all-inclusive, each of these attributes is-not
partial and fragmentary, as with us-but complete and perfect.

The last statement is so important that it is worth while to turn I it
inside out. We, as human beings, possess attributes of consciousness, to
be sure, but we have them in VARYING DEGREE. Some of us are more aware
than others; some of us are wiser, brighter, more inclined to mercy and
compassion, gayer, more fanciful, or the reverse. The quality is the
same, but the DEGREE differs. Some of us can hold more of these things
than can others. It is a matter of capacity. Capacity depends on what we
are. Or to what we can be changed by development, by growth. Then the
capacity enlarges. Education-which properly is growth-can make us more
aware than we used to be-we can contain more of universal awareness-to
take one attribute as an example. Or as we mellow we become more capable
of love and wisdom, or whatever. That is growth. It is also evolution.
However, our manifestation of, our command of, our use of any of the
attributes of our consciousness must always be partial.

But the infinite of God is all-inclusive. Every attribute of
consciousness we can discern in ourselves is-must be-an attribute of
all-consciousness. In that respect we are indeed "made in the image."
And that all-inclusive consciousness must be ultimate, complete,
perfect. Therefore the attributes also must be ultimate, complete,
perfect. God is, or has, all-awareness, all-love, all-reality, all-life,
and indeed all there is of anything and everything we can discover in
our own consciousness; for the Infinite is the source of our being. In
complete sum and proportion. Otherwise it would not be
All-Consciousness.

Now, certainly one of the attributes of our own bit of individual
consciousness is personality. That is how we differ one from the other.
And if we stop to think of it, some of us have even more of that quality
than have others. We all recognize this: Jones bursts with personality;
Smith is drab and undistinguished. The former has the equipment, the
mechanism-the capacity-to contain and express this very desirable
essence; the latter just enough of a cupful to lift him out of the
standardized robot class. Since personality is so definitely an
attribute of ourselves, as individual bits of consciousness, it is, of
course, an attribute of the All-Conscious. In full completeness and
perfection. Our need of a personal God we can satisfy by calling upon
that attribute, of personality.

Again, "seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you."
All we have to do is to evoke personality by conscious recognition, and,
from the divine all-inclusion, personality and its warmth are there for
our comfort as singly to our self, and as fully, as our spiritual
capacity can contain. And no more.

So we are under no necessity to content ourselves with merely a "chilly
and tremendous sea of consciousness." Within ourselves we find the
divine kinship that can summon our own friend and intimate whom we can
name-if we wish to use that terminology-God the Father.

From here it is easy-fatally easy-to embark upon speculations which are
indeed a chilly and tremendous sea. The voyage in all probability would
be profitable. But not to the present purpose, or what seems to be the
two needs in this crisis of wartime. These are, to repeat, a God of
personal love and comfort; and a God to whom we can appeal with
confidence for aid. Beyond this we would do well to follow the Psalmist
in saying, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; I cannot attain unto
it."*

* 139th Psalm.

But we have certain reliances. For example, we can depend on the uniform
working of what we call natural law. On that we base every action of our
lives. If we want to accomplish something, all we have to do is to set
in motion the appropriate physical laws and we know we are going to get
the result. If we go out to get help from a professional, we know he is
going to do the same. What we expect from him is that he, too, shall
work in accordance with the laws of physics, but with more knowledge
than we possess of how to manipulate them. If we catch him trying
something outside that framework we distrust him at once as an
incompetent or a charlatan. Subconsciously I think some of our
uncertainty as to the efficacy of prayer has its origin in our sense of
the immutability of law. A "divine intervention" that requires an
arbitrary miracle may be momentarily gratifying, but in the long run it
shakes too many foundations, introduces a capriciousness into the
orderly scheme of things.

We do not want miracles. And yet miracles do seem to happen, unless we
have a faith in coincidence that of itself would be miraculous. I do not
intend to labor that point. Ask any soldier, especially any combat
aviator, though it is unnecessary, after all, to resort to the
battlefields; any normally active career will furnish examples, if the
narrator will be honest. At least we call them miracles because, as we
express it, nothing but a miracle could have saved us, and more often
than not they certainly seem direct answer to our need and our prayer.

I believe they are answer to prayer. I believe prayer is answered, when
the personal relationship is well and truly established. We may ask in
full trust and confidence for help in our need. And we shall get it. But
since the response flows from the complete wisdom which we contain only
partially, the answer may not be specifically what we think we need. And
the response will be in proportion to what we ourselves can offer. The
law of complement, remember; measure for measure given and received.*

* See Chapter XII.

Nor does there seem to me anything here for the physicist to boggle at.
He is quite right in his dependence on the immutability of the laws by
which the universe functions and in his resentment of the idea that
arbitrary power can be called upon to supersede or alter those laws in
the performance of a "miracle." Why should that be necessary? It is
conceivable, of course, that Omnipotence could alter them, could work
outside their action. That is what the word omnipotence means. But those
very same laws were created by All-Consciousness, which means
all-wisdom. All of wisdom means that no possible contingency could
require modification for its purpose.

You cannot improve a thing that is already completely wise. We, the bits
of All-Consciousness that inhabit the finite, can go forward in all
faith and confidence that we shall fulfill the Purpose-whatever it
is-without arbitrary interference. The rules of the game are set for us;
they will not be changed.

Nevertheless, that does not preclude the occurrence of what we might
look upon as a "miracle." The Father can aid us within the laws, And
will do so if that is wise. The means employed may SEEM to us
miraculous, but that is merely because they do not fall under laws we
know about, or-what is more likely-they represent a use of those laws
which we do not at the moment recognize. After all, even in the field of
straight material physics we understand as yet only a fraction of how
its laws work. I would venture to say that there is no discovered law of
which we know the whole application. Science admits it; and that
admission is one of its greatest advances.

The "miracle," to repeat, only SEEMS to us outside natural law. We
ourselves can extricate a young child-or perhaps better, an animal-in
emergency from which, unaided, it could not even imagine means of
escape. If the child could express itself in these terms he might call
the rescue miraculous. But we have merely taken advantage of our more
adult knowledge of how to use "natural law." The aviator who ascribes
his getting out of a hopeless mess to his prayer for help is quite right
in his belief that the prayer was answered. He had utilized all the
natural laws at his command without avail. Some little "coincidental"
twist to the sequence of events "just happened" at the last split-second
to swerve him aside from death. That twist was an entirely natural
operation of, say, a law of aerodynamics. But at the moment it was
wholly beyond his power; over it he-the child-had no control. Perhaps
not even knowledge. Nevertheless, it came into operation; with "no
reason to expect it" the "chances were a million to one against it." Is
it too far a cry to substitute the Father's intervention-through His
complete minute understanding and control of His own natural law-for the
million-to-one blind chance? If the intricate and infinite Purpose was
so served, and since the infinite Awareness was so apprised?

These are only a few of the reasons why, even in the most "emancipated"
terms of modem thinking, one need not lose the Personality, the Comfort,
of God.




XVI



The Strange Story of Mary Smith


The foregoing pages by no means cover all the varieties of inquiry. I
have tried to pick out those most often asked, those which best indicate
what people want to know.

But letters are only part of what seems to have become my job. I have
what-joshingly-I call "clients." I have mentioned earlier these visitors
who come to the house, often by long journeys, to find out the same sort
of things as the letter-writers.

Over the five years since the publication of THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE
they have come steadily, in such numbers that I have threatened to buy a
black robe with silver stars and crescents, a crystal ball, a black cat
and go into business! But among the long succession I can recall not one
crank or crackpot. This is as amazing as the previously mentioned fact
that only seven, of the literally thousands of letters, came from people
obviously unbalanced or fanatic. My visitors have invariably been of a
high grade of intelligence.

There could be no set formula for these interviews. Each visitor was an
especial case requiring personal and undivided attention.
But-happily-just as in the case of letters, the calling-for-help
technique worked. These people departed all lit up and satisfied that
they had got what they came for. Most of them wrote afterwards to tell
me so, sometimes in almost extravagant terms. But I must repeat, and
emphatically, that I personally had little to do with it except as
agent.

So many times have certain crying needs in these people been so
accurately met, and so often did these needs develop unexpectedly in the
course of our interview, that it almost: seems as though they had been
especially "led" at the psychological moment to my door.

For instance, one afternoon a young woman called on me to say that she
had unexpectedly received, via a crude automatic writing, a repeated
admonition to "go see S.E.W." Just that, nothing more. She was worried
about her brother who was in the armed service down in the South
Pacific, and wanted to know if I could find out about him for tier. Of
course I could not. She had read THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE. So we talked
about that. And for no reason, just on hunch, the subjects I stressed
were what could be said on death and separation and bereavement. That
same evening she telephoned to say that she had got home from her visit
with me to find an official telegram announcing that her brother had
been killed in action. And added that, if it had not been for our talk
that afternoon, she did not know how she could have stood it.

Another, and very different type of visitation is worth more detailed
record. In my usual grist of mail one day I received a short note,
postmarked, we will say, Marbury, Connecticut. It was at least directly
to the point. "I have," it read IN TOTO, "something to tell you, of the
utmost importance. You will, on receipt of this, take a plane to
Marbury." And signed "Mary Smith."

Since I make it an invariable rule to answer everything, I replied
briefly and politely that this would be impossible without at least some
inkling of what it was all about. In due course a second letter came,
equally abrupt.

"You will call me up by telephone on Tuesday at eleven o'clock."

To which, naturally, I paid no attention at all.

On Wednesday my own telephone rang. Long Distance announced a call for
me from Marbury, Connecticut, and would I accept the charges?

"Certainly not," said I, and hung up.

On Thursday I was again summoned by a call from Marbury, this time with
charges paid.

"Since," said Mary Smith, "you will not come to me, I shall have to come
to you. I shall be there by plane tomorrow."

Panic-stricken, I threw myself into expostulation, demanding at least
some notion of what it was all about. "You'd better write me," I urged
hopefully.

"No," said the voice, "I cannot do that."

"Then," said I, "I must refuse, categorically, to receive the visit."

To this, apparently, after a rather long argument, she acquiesced. To
clinch the matter I wired a long day letter emphasizing my refusal.
Nevertheless, the following morning Reider, the butler, came to my
workroom to announce a Mrs. Mary Smith in the library!

Dismayed--but a little curious--I went in. Mrs. Mary Smith proved to be
a good-looking young woman, probably in her early thirties. She was
dressed modishly, with good taste throughout, in dove-grey. Her demeanor
was poised and well-mannered; her voice--when finally I heard enough of
it to judge--was low and cultivated; in short, she was what our
grandparents would call a "lady," and we ourselves might expect to meet
at the house of any of our friends.

"I sent you a wire yesterday," was my greeting.

"Yes, I know," she said.

I said nothing, for I was determined that the first move must be hers.
For a long time--a really long time--we stood there in silence.

"Do you want Betty to talk to you?" she finally blurted.

"You have made a long journey" I assented. "Go ahead."

At once she began a breathless gabble, so rapid that the words almost
tumbled over one another. The gist of it was (a) that "Betty" had at
last, after long search, found someone through whom she could talk
fluently; (b) that she had caused Mary Smith--forced, I think, was the
word--to come into direct touch with me; (c) that by means of Mary Smith
she, "Betty," was going to dictate "great things" to me. That was the
purport; but after every sentence of even that much coherence, came a
passionate, almost tearful, urge for my belief--"You must believe! I've
worked so hard to come to you! I've made Mary Smith come all this way to
see you! I implore you"--that sort of thing. Finally I had to cut across
the spate.

"If this is indeed Betty," I interrupted firmly, "she must prove her
identity. Nothing has been said to show that this is she. One of the
easiest things Betty does is to produce evidential. And as for that, the
statement that she has had, in vain until now, to go through a long
search for a channel of communication is not true. She has a very
reliable station in Joan."

This demand for identification was of course ignored, as I had expected
it to be. Instead there followed an even more emotional plea for
credence. Finally came a statement that had some tangibility.

"I took Mary Smith to Dutton's," hurried the alleged Betty, "and through
her I did things for them, and they said it was the most wonderful thing
they had ever seen, and they said there was going to be great work
done-"

"Hold on," I interrupted, "here is at last something!"

At last was right; for this had now been going on for fifteen minutes
and there seemed no way, short of brute force, of putting a stop to it.
To my perplexity as to how to handle the situation the price of a
long-distance call to New York seemed cheap.

"Do you," I asked Dutton's telephone operator, "know who can tell me
anything about a Mrs. Mary Smith? She says she was in your office a week
or so ago."

But I did not need to go further than the telephone girl.

"Good heavens!" cried she. "You don't mean to say that woman is out
there! Yes," she continued, "Mrs. Mary Smith was in the office; and they
had the most awful time to get rid of her, and I interrupted by
repeating what the alleged "Betty" had said. "Then there's nothing to
that?" I asked.

"We just thought she was crazy," said the operator.

I returned to the library.

"I'm sorry," said I, "Dutton's does not corroborate and repeated the
gist of my long-distance call.

"But you did not understand," the alleged "Betty" at once shifted
ground. "What I meant was that I took Mary Smith to Dutton's just to
test her by making her do all sorts of things that she would not want to
do, just to see if she was going to be sufficiently obedient

By this time I was losing patience.

"That was not at all what you said," I interrupted. "And furthermore,
'tests' of that sort are never, in any circumstances, posed by any
responsible and well-intentioned Invisible. I have heard nothing to
indicate Betty; I am sorry to say it, but someone has been and is being
most cruelly deceived. We are getting nowhere, and I must now terminate
this interview."

My firmness had effect. The flow of emotional expostulation-which had
now gone on almost a half-hour-stopped. After a short silence Mary Smith
looked up.

"Is there a good hotel here?" she asked in a quiet, normal voice. "Will
you please call a taxi?"

Her manner was quiet and reasonable. After telephoning for the taxi, I
waited outside the library until it had driven to the door. Then I went
to summon her. I found her stretched out on the divan, limp and
apparently unconscious, nor could I arouse her. I sat her upright. Her
head lolled, and when I released hold of her, she collapsed again.

After a time, and after trying everything I could think of to bring her
to, I went out and dismissed the taxi. The situation was disconcerting,
to say the least. In the first place, I was by no means certain of what
the situation really was. Mental unbalance seemed the most likely; but
fraud for some ulterior purpose was possible. In either case, what was I
to do about it? I knew nothing of her, except the name of the small town
where she lived. She might or might not have a husband or family; even
if she had, how could I communicate with them? She might or might not
have money enough to get back; even if she did have, would she go, and
was she capable of taking care of herself? The thought of the possible
publicity was not agreeable either.

I returned to the library. She was still slumped on the divan. I stood
in the middle of the floor and spoke aloud.

"I am addressing," said I, "whatever intelligence is here present and in
charge, whether this woman's or another. I am going to leave this room
for just ten minutes. At the end of that time I shall return. If this
same state of affairs still continues, I shall have to call a doctor and
the police authorities and turn the matter over to them."

When I returned she was sitting up, weeping softly. She seemed normal
enough. She asked if the taxi had come. I told her I had had to dismiss
it, but that I would have Reider take her to the hotel. Nothing more was
said until he drove the car to the door. I escorted her to the top of
the steps.

"I am sorry," said I, "very, very sorry."

She bowed her head and hurried into the car.

After Betty had finished THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, through Joan, and I
was about to leave for the West, she told me this.

"Joan is my official station-but I will find somebody through whom to
talk if it becomes really necessary."

For a long time this necessity did not arise, but finally Betty had
something she wanted to say as to a new book and therefore she put me in
touch with Mrs. Adele Halman of San Francisco. Mrs. Halman is a psychic,
a woman of high intelligence, good education, fine ideals and absolute
integrity. She is not a "medium" in the usual professional sense, though
she works mediumistically in the small chapel she conducts for spiritual
teaching. Her standing is unassailable. Betty had known her in life, but
in a social rather than a psychic connection. On the occasion I mention
above Mrs. Halman had called me by phone to say that she hesitated to do
so, felt like an intruder, but that she had been nagged to say that
Betty wanted to talk to me. I drove in; Betty authenticated herself in
her usual manner; said what she had to say about the book, and that was
that. Over a period of more than three years this happened just four
times. Always the occasion was special in emergency; always Betty's
communication was directly to the purpose. I made no attempt to get in
touch with her, through Mrs. Halman, except when summoned. However, I
did call on Mrs. Halman two or three other times, but merely socially,
in passing, and our conversations were of the current topics that would
naturally suggest themselves. Betty did not attempt to take part, except
on one notable occasion when she broke in to describe her work with the
war dead, as described in an earlier chapter.

So, as soon as the door had closed on Mary Smith, I called up Mrs.
Halman on the phone, with the vague idea that she just might be able to
get in touch with Betty and get some opinion on this situation. However,
before I had a chance to explain to Mrs. Halman at all, she said:

"I'm glad you called. I was hesitating whether to call you. Betty wants
me to tell you something."

"Yes, what is it?"

"She says, 'Tell Stewart I am sorry this had to happen. I tried to
prevent it, but this woman was surrounded by so many forces that I was
unable to get through to her. Tell Stewart he is to have nothing to do
with her family.'"

This was reassuring to me. I am accustomed to Betty's occasional
brilliant production of what is called "evidential," but this was an
extra fast one! Just consider what that short message from Mrs. Halman
implied.

In the first place, this message was given before I explained the
situation.

In the second, Betty, of course, had never communicated through Mary
Smith, as the latter so devotedly and disastrously believed, but
obviously she knew about Mary Smith-"I tried to prevent it," she said.

Further, she was cognizant of what was happening in my library at the
time of occurrence, and was able to communicate with me about it through
another person twenty miles away. And particularly welcome to me was the
assurance that Mary Smith was neither crazy nor a fraud, but rather a
victim of the "surrounding forces" that prevented Betty from "getting
through to her."

That Mary Smith was indeed neither crazy nor a fraud will appear later
in this narrative.

Personally, I think also that Betty-or some other Invisible-possibly
worked on Mary Smith during her further stay in Burlingame; and
certainly on me to inspire a wisdom in handling her which I do not
natively possess.

I had hoped, of course, that Mary Smith would at once leave for her
home, but she did not, and continued for the next three days to try to
get me on the phone. I had the strongest "hunch" to stay clear, and
therefore instructed Reider always to report me as out. Nevertheless I
could not avoid a sense of responsibility; I felt that something should
be done by somebody. I strongly suspected that the young woman's family
did not know her whereabouts; I feared she might not even have the money
to get home. And, above all, if she insisted on hanging around, I could
not guess what she might do next! Beyond the name of her home town and
the fact that her name was supposed to be Mary Smith, I knew nothing of
her or her circumstances. She had never signed her husband's name, so I
could not get in touch with him. The obvious course was to find out
through the police whether anyone of that name was missing from Marbury,
but I hated for her sake-and my own-to stir things up through official
channels. By Friday morning I had about made up my mind to take the
hotel manager into my confidence and let him, through his own channels,
investigate her status-financially and otherwise. Before I could act on
this decision, however, Reider came to me in the garden to say that Mary
Smith was at the front door insisting that she intended to wait until
she could see me, and what was he to do? As I have said, my hunch had
been strong to stay clear. Suddenly I had as strong a hunch that now I
should see her. So I told Reider to send her out to me in the garden.

"I had to talk to you," she said without preliminary, "and I was going
to do so if I had to wait on your doorstep all day. I now see that I
have been deceived. I know now it was not Betty, but I have to find out
why this should have happened to me."

This sounded sane.

"Well!" I cried in relief, "perhaps now we can get somewhere! Let's talk
it over."

For two solid hours we walked back and forth and talked. Mary Smith was
hurt, she was humiliated, she was deeply puzzled and bewildered, but she
was obviously not unbalanced in mind. And she wanted to know.

"If I had been after something for myself-psychic power, money,
influence, publicity-anything, anything at all for myself! But I have
been trying honestly and sincerely only for spiritual development. I've
thought and thought, and cannot see where I went wrong. You said in your
books that a single and pure aim is a safeguard. I have tried to develop
myself as sincerely and as honestly and unselfishly as I could imagine.
So why should I have been subjected to this?"

"At least it has given you the answer to the prayer of Ajax," said I,
"you now see the face of your enemy. Let's dig into it. Tell me from the
beginning how this all came about. There must be somewhere a soft spot
by which the destructive things have entered in."

She had read; she had aspired--a genuine aspiration, she thought; she
had discovered she could do automatic writing. The writing had seemed
constructive; in a rather simple way, to be sure, but definitely
constructive. It purported to be from her father. The latter had alleged
to bring her in touch with Betty, in whose books she had found so much
of interest and help. "Betty" had taken charge. Mary Smith had followed
direction blindly, even to the visit to Dutton's New York offices.

"Looking back, I do not see why they did not give me in charge. I acted
so foolishly! I knew it was foolish, but I had been told it was a test.
I believed it. There were other things, also described as tests. And
over and over and over again I kept hearing, sort of with an inner
sound, 'Go to Stewart Edward White; go to Stewart Edward White,' over
and over again, day and night. That was all that came to me that way.
The rest was the writing."

"Possibly," I interjected as surmise, "that was the only genuine part of
it all. Perhaps you were really being directed here so we could dig this
out, exorcise it from your mind. If we can, then all this long and
expensive journey, and this humiliation and mental anguish will be
worthwhile. For, I assure you, if you had continued on the same course,
you would have been in an asylum within a month." This was blunt, and
perhaps a little brutal, but that was what I seemed to be supposed to
say.

"Yes," she said simply, "you are right. I am grateful."

So that hunch was good. Suddenly-and very powerfully-I had another.

"Tell me about your father," it inspired me to ask. "What were your
relations with him when he was alive?

"He always hated me from the time I was a baby," said she astoundingly.

"And how did you feel toward him?"

"Naturally I hated him back."

"There's your soft spot! Hatred is one of the widest, perhaps the very
widest door for the admission of destruction. It does not matter one bit
whether it was really your father and he still hates you and is trying
to do you harm, or whether this was an impersonation taking advantage of
a condition. The fact remains that the hatred was there. And there, in
spite of the singleness of your aim otherwise, is where you got off the
track!"

We threshed that out at length, and she agreed.

"But what am I to do?" She was at a complete loss.

In the first place, I told her, do not make the mistake of clamping a
lid of negation on the whole thing.

"That would be a natural revulsion," I said, "but it would not alter the
fact that you ARE a sensitive. Suppressing all that side of you would be
an inhibition that might bring all sorts of complexes. You do not need
to pursue the subject, but if something does come to you, do not throw
it out. Let it come. BUT DO NOT ACT ON IT EITHER MATERIALLY OR MENTALLY.
Do not decide about it one way or the other. Do not either accept it or
deny it. Just take the attitude of 'yours received and placed on file.'
In due time, if you do this, things will clarify. But do not suppress
rigidly; and above all do not be afraid. Fear is just as much a soft
spot as is hatred."

This is not intended as a dissertation on techniques. But, as I say, we
talked it out along that general line for two hours. She had a quick
intelligence, was indeed a sensitive, and she desperately needed this
sort of first aid. She finished in what I can only describe as a glow of
enlightenment, and certainly with a new spirit and energy. But it was
temporary. The present situation, after all, was unchanged, the plain
practical facts of it.

"But what am I to DO?" she voiced again her dismay. And confirmed my
suspicion. "My husband does not know where I am!"

"Then the first thing to do is to let him know where you are, and the
next thing is to get a reservation on a plane back."

"But what am I to tell him? What can I say?

"That," said I, "I do not know. Except that I'd tell him the exact truth
as fully and as plainly as possible. But that is the daily bread of
tomorrow."

I went on to talk to her of that phrase of the Lord's Prayer as
subsequently I set it down in ANCHORS TO WINDWARD-that TODAY'S bread is
what we ask for and what we should expect, and no more. If, when night
comes, we can stretch between the sheets and no actual disaster or
catastrophe has overtaken us, then we have had that day's bread. And we
can have full trust that tomorrow--but not until tomorrow--can we ask
again in confidence. "What you are to say to your husband, and how he
will take it is tomorrow's daily bread. Today's daily bread is quite
simply to get on the plane."

We talked of this also for some time, and again she seemed to assent and
to be strengthened. She departed about noon. A week or so later I had a
letter from her. She had done as I had suggested-told her husband all
about the whole experience, plainly and simply. To her surprise and
relief, he had accepted and understood. And he did not think her crazy.
But her mother still did. Would I please write her mother? This would
not be worth record had it not been for Betty's admonition through Mrs.
Halman to "tell Stewart he is to have nothing to do with her family." So
I wrote Mary Smith herself, repeating what I had told her in the garden,
and to the letter I clipped a note saying that a letter directed to her
mother would indicate that Mary Smith had asked me to write it, but that
here was something she could SHOW her mother. Of course, there is no
certainty that the warning covered this situation, but it might, so I
played safe.

That is all of the episode, except that some months later, and
subsequently two years later, I received grateful letters from Mary
Smith reporting her continued physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
It is pleasant to think that she was, as the saying goes, "led," as a
client, to her own safety from a real disaster.




XVII



Incoming Tide


As I pointed out in the beginning a great wave of interest in "psychics"
overspread the country accompanying and succeeding World War I. It
lasted a number of years, then ebbed. A similar wave of interest in
"psychics" is accompanying World War II. Its intensity will in due time
lessen. Superficially they are alike. Superficially they might be
ascribed to war emotion, the hungers of bereavement. But, except
superficially they are not at all the same, save as the curves of a
spiral are the same.

In 1919 "psychics" meant principally the possibility of communication
with the dead. Whatever phenomena or evidence of identity were produced
were aimed directly at this bare fact of survival. In 1945, while
naturally the bereavements of war have revived the desire for these two
things, they are no longer the leading objectives. Indeed, to an
astonishing number of people their possibility is more or less taken for
granted. Anyway they are conceded as a provisional hypothesis on the
basis of which to proceed to a new objective. If, as I believe, my
enormous correspondence indicates a true cross section of intelligent
thought and desire, then we must conclude that the major emphasis of the
interest in "psychics" is now on what "psychics" actually do, or can do,
for everyday living. The thing has moved from an amorphous future into a
practical present. To have value to today's inquirers it must help
toward fuller living right here and today.

To be sure, this present revival of interest is set going by World War
II just as the former was by World War I. But it is well not to get the
cart before the horse and ascribe complete causation to war emotion.
Rather, the latter offers a sensitization that permits the impress to be
made. "The time has come," said Betty in THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, "for
a distinct step forward in man's psychological and social evolution, and
sometimes it takes a great shock and sorrow to force him to make that
step." And again, in the same book, "Now man must be retold. Always in
world crises he has been told; ALWAYS IT HAS TAKEN A WORLD CRISIS TO
MAKE HIM RECEIVE."

It is, as Betty says, "being retold"; but, as I myself said at the
beginning of this chapter, at a higher turn on the spiral. People are no
longer chiefly interested in strange stunts and bell ringings, in the
amazements: of the mere fact of communication PER SE, in the
controversies of "scientific proof." I am talking of preponderances.

They are more interested in terms of the present job. That is true even
of the bereaved. Back of their hunger for assurance and the comfort of
personal contact is the desire for the establishment of that comfort and
assurance in commonplace, everyday life, right now. The thing is
connecting up. The spiritual and the mundane have, by and large, lived
in separate compartments, influencing one the other almost by
indirection. Now it seems they are to blend. The keynote of the present
effort is just that. Full living must be sought, is possible, not merely
in some postponed future state, but RIGHT HERE AND NOW.

That advance will be made. And then we must expect the pause for
consolidation. That is the way evolution works, in rhythm. I am not
stating this here, at the end of this little book of testimony to the
present intensity of interest, by way of discouragement. Rather by way
of reassurance to those who will find, in their purely personal
experiences, the same rhythm, the same "pause for consolidation."

"The flood of this spiritual interest will soon rise to its height for
the present," said the Invisibles shortly after World War I, "and then
gradually subside-at least the fashion for it will-and then we shall see
what really came in with the flood. Each tide brings a little more, and
we have to be content."

"We work in rhythm," the Invisibles told us in 1925, "allowing the force
of each wave of effort to gain the effect of its power, to fall and
break, to ebb back in gatherance for a new surge. The pause is fruitful.
It allows the scum and windrift and jetsam to be floated away, leaving
the sands clean for the new impression. A few years ago [referring to
the "wave" of World War I] such an impression was made. We obtained a
definite result, both in germination and in precipitation of what was
ready. With the surge was thrown up, in exact proportion to its power, a
foam of premature credulity, of false or half-false contacts, of sterile
curiosities. These moiled up in a scum of books and talks and efforts
and frauds and dinner-table clackings. Space necessary for the winds of
common sense to blow them away could be made only by withdrawing the
surface of interest so that the idle-minded and the weak-minded could
turn the inconstancy of their attention elsewhere.

"That has been done. Now the apogee of another rhythm is on the
swell....

"Our object then will be to convince the world of nothing except the
need for continual conscious spiritual growth."

Now, nearly twenty years later, to judge by the tone of my letters, that
objective is being sought.

As to the reason for the ebb, the Invisibles had this further to say:

"Flourishing growth has started which cannot be maintained without
nourishment. Sustained effort is far more difficult than the spasmodic.
The novelty is wearing off; the real work has begun. This next phase is
outside our influence. We have widened your vision, we have given you
impetus, now we must leave you to manifest or retrogress. Do you see the
danger in the ebb?"

I am quoting all this comment on a "wave of psychics" which is now past
history merely to remind us what to expect in natural process. The tide
is still strongly rising. What will it leave at the high-water mark?
Something precious, we can be sure. It would be well if we could be as
sure that we shall appropriate that preciousness as our own. Yes, the
tide is still rising, but ebb is bound to come, and that is well to know
lest we be dismayed. Without it the treasure could not be disclosed.

Now I shall close this book with the quotation from which its tide is
taken. It is Betty speaking from her superconscious state, while still
living here on earth.

"I am trying to get something clear-cut for the rough-and-tumble. You
are apt to send out then a sort of desperate feeler for something you
think you have lost. You feel that you ought to be doing something
different and extra special about something you have left behind you. I
want to do away with that. If you are running a car at high speed, you
can't afford to look up rapturously for inspiration. You've got to trust
that THE STARS ARE STILL THERE, and that you can look up at them when
the night comes."*

* ACROSS THE UNKNOWN.




APPENDIX



A Guide to Rereading


One other category of letters I have received in such numbers that it
seems something should be done about it. They come from people who have
not been content merely to read one, or more, of all of these books, but
who have been tempted into serious and considered study of them and the
actual application of the principles set forth in them. Sometimes these
people even form groups or study classes with regular times for meeting.

The following is a suggestion for procedure in such a study. It must be
clearly understood that the tabulation is in no sense an index, and
cannot be used as such with any benefit. In other words, there will be
no profit in looking up a subject of interest at the moment and thus
finding out what is said about it. Rather, this is a study exegesis to
be consulted only AFTER a seriatim reading of the books themselves. It
is exactly what the heading to this a  appendix says-a guide to
re-reading-and only that.

Of the five previous books attributable to Betty, four are here
included. They are THE BETTY BOOK (BB); ACROSS THE UNKNOWN (Across); THE
ROAD I KNOW (Road); and ANCHORS TO WINDWARD (Anchors). The parentheses
are the key words of identification in the table of references. The
fifth book, THE UNOBSTRUCTED UNIVERSE, is omitted for the reason that it
does not deal with the primary object of this study-spiritual expansion,
expansion of consciousness, growth, development. The references
themselves, in the sequence here proposed, offer an unbroken sequence,
and should be read and practiced in the order given.

I. THE AIM. BB 94; Across 278-80; BB 34-5; Anchors 62, p. 2; BB 50, the
last paragraphs of Sec. 2.

II. After understanding clearly what it is we are after, the first
thing, before we even try for the simplest contact, is to prepare
ourselves to receive. To become porous to spiritual forces, as Betty had
it. It is a definite process we can work at. The first step is
RELAXATION: BB, page 44, Sec. I; Across 129-31; Across 59-60; Road, from
middle of 136 through 137. From that we proceed to earn something by our
own effort; we must deserve something; we must fulfill what is a
universal law, the LAW OF COMPLEMENT; the Dead Lift: BB 36-9; Road
99-103, and will get our first encouragement and recompense in AUTOMATIC
ACTION: BB 50-1; 178-82; Across 23-6.

III. Having established a mechanism, so to speak, we must again recast
our desires as to what we shall do with it, and so must consider
ASPIRATION: BB 47-50, and so pass on to the first outreaching positive
action, which we name

IV. SPIRITUAL CONTACT, or Contact with the Source, or simply Contact:
Road 201-5; BB 38-43; 52-55; Road 182-200; a personal experience as
example, Across 21-2; 27; 35; 42; 44-5; 87-100; 125-34; 161-9.
MEDITATION, so called, here considered as a toot to gain contact in the
fullest possible: Anchors 39-41; 108-141; to be followed by a
consideration, for this purpose, of PRAYER: BB 133-9; Anchors 142-62.
Other tools are IMAGINATION: Across 38-9; Road 127-9; INTELLECT and its
place: Across 294; 301-2; Road, from last paragraph on page 122-26; BB
65-9

V. Whatever we gain, great or small, we must assure before it is ours,
so we must MAKE-IT-SO: Across 118-19; BB 177; Road 170-5; 178-81; Road
129-33; Anchors 92-8; 105-7

VI. It is beyond human imperfection to avoid trouble, so FIRST AID, and
what to avoid, and what to do about it: BB 49; Across 176; 199-208; Road
90-91; and the greater aid which Betty called the INNER CITADEL: Across
138-42; 156-58; 172-3; Road 104-108; Across 147-55; Anchors 105-7;
99-104 SUMMARY of the whole process to here: BB 140-143.

VII. All this has dealt with our own inner relationships. To apply what
we have gained to everyday living and our contacts with our fellows, we
must first protect ourselves-BB 196-8-from getting into what Betty
called the VORTEX: BB 189-196; 204-210; Across 311-16; 211-17. We REACH
OTHERS: BB 188-92; Across 36; Road 223-29; Across 316-23; BB 123-4;
182-4; Across 304-5. SYMPATHY: BB 199-203; Across 238-41. We can help
only from OVERFLOW: BB 207-10; Road 131; and the result of it all is
RADIATION: Across 245-58; 283-4; Road 244-53.



Index

Across the Unknown 13-14, 34 (note), 143, 182 (note), 183-4
Advice (see also Interference), 94, 110, 132
acting on, 92-4
Agent 99, 159
Aim 88, 98-100, 116,130,141, 173
a Kempis, Thomas 78
American Society for Psychical Research 62
Anchors to Windward 13, 148 (note), 184
Animal survival 52
Automatic Writing 76-9

Beecham, Miss 102
Bereavement (see Grief) 19, 51, 62, 67, 160, 177
Beta-body 52, 70
Betty 12-15, 19, 21, 26, 291, 31-2, 34, 37-8, 41-3, 46-50, 53-4, 57-8,
   60, 64-6, 68-71, 81-8, 97, 101, 103, 109, 115, 118, 121, 123, 129-32,
139-41,
   142-50, 162, 164, 166-71, 178, 181
impersonation of 81-8, 162, 171
work of 21-7, 59, 309
Betty Book, The 13, 52 (note), 123 (note), 143, 145, 183
Bible, 72, 127, 140 (note), 153 (note)
Blue print 117, 120
Blundering 75, 94
Borden Publishing Co., 40 (note)
Bountifulness 138-41
Burlingame 169

Caesar, Julius 78, 81, 84, 86
Celebrities 78
Children 35, 38, 51, 118-22,
after death 38-41
teaching of 118-22
Claus, Mrs. Herman 83
"Clients" 50-1
"Coloring" 61, 89
Communication (see also Interference), 30, 65, 75, 111-2, 117, 178
discrepancies in 79
from angels 130
from celebrities 78, 81, 84, 86, 90
impersonation (see also Betty) 80, 90
types of 109-10, 130
Companionship (see Separation), 34-5
Complement, Law of (see also Interference), 123-8, 137, 155
Consciousness 48-9, 143, 147, 150-1
development of (see also Growth), 37
expansion of 13, 48, 75, 112, 143
quantity of 40
Consolation 30
Contact 51
Continuity 48, 130
of life 61, 111
proof of 110-12
Cranks 47, 15 8
Credo 13
Cremation 29, 51
Crooks, Sir William 63, 74
Cults 133-4

"Daily bread" 174-5
Dangers 98-101
Darby 59, 84, 103, 148
Dead, the 177
experiences of 23-4
new 20-6
sleep 24
war 28
Death (see also Unobstructed universe), 17, 130, 160
appearance after 41, 70
development after 33, 36-40
fear of 52
marriage after 34-8
survival after 130
Decisions (see Advice) Denial 97, 133, 138-9

Devil 106
Difficulties (see Dangers, Psychic Power)
Discipline (see Self-denial)
Distrust 96-7
Divulgence 14, 21, 26, 49, 53, 56, 59, 108, 118, 144
Doctrine 148
Dogma 148
Dogs 45-7
Doubt, intellectual 52
Dreams 52, 102
Dutton's 163, 171

Ectoplasm 48, 84
Edison, Thos. A. 74, 90
Education 151
Effort (see Strain)
Ego (see Self)
Einstein 150
Electronics 145
"Eloise" 100-5
Ether of space 14
Evidential 55-7, 62-4, 66-7, 95-7, 163, 168
Evolution 49, 125, 134-5, 138
Extra-sensory perception 73

Fear 173
of death 52
First steps 76-80
Franklin, Benjamin 126
Frequency 65, 68, 113
Frugality 141
Functioning 115, 119-20

Galileo 78, 81
God 142, 144-53, 157
Betty's idea of 144-50
infinite aspect of 147, 149, 152-3
nature of 145-7
Grief 29, 32, 38-41, 57
Groups 112-13
Growth 119, 181
Guardian angel 106, 125

Halman, Mrs. Adele 166-8, 175
Harper & Bros. 40 (note)
Haste (see Interference), 94
Hatred 172-3
Heating 52
Heaven (see Unobstructed Universe), 66
Help, summoning 29, 50, 125, 153
Hunch 73, 169, 172

"Immediate, the" 135-6, 140
Immortality 11-18, 19, 34
Impersonation 81-8
Impetus 147
Insanity 100, 106, 112
Inspiration 29
Insulation 98, 114, 130
Intellectual doubt 52
Intention (see Aim), 99
Interference 26, 52, 92-3, 98-100, 104-5, 127, 130-2
advice a sign of 94
haste 94, 116
laughing at 104-6
Intuitional Protection 73
Invisibles 1-3, 41, 44, 49, 66, 70, 80, 86-7,93-5, 109, 118-20, 125-7,
   139, 141, 144, 164, 169,179-81
James, William 78, 81, 86
Jesus Christ 142, 149
Joan 12, 34, 20, 26, 57-8, 60, 84, 103, 145, 147-8, 163, 166

Kansas 163

Language 22 Law 120, 124-5, 153-7 (see also Complement)
Left-hand path 99
Letters 11-12, 17-18, 19
answering 49-52
crank 47
soldiers 23 types of 51, 7 5, 107-8
Lewis, C. S. 106
Lincoln, Abraham 90
Lodge, Sir Oliver 66 (note) 74
Luther, Martin 106

Marbury, Conn. 160-1, 170
Marriage (see Death) 34-5
Maya 134
Meditation 52
Mediums 52, 63, 65, 117, 131
Michelangelo 149
Miracles 126, 154-7
Moore, Sir Thomas 106
Moses 78, 81
Motion 14
Myers, Frederick 79

Newblett, Ann 83
New dead 20-7
Nimrod 79

Obsession 52, 80, 106, 112
Obstructed universe 39,65
Obstructed 14
Omnipotence 155
Ouija board 76-8, 90-2
Overflow 115
Our Unseen Guest 12 (note), 40 (note), 59 (note)

Paine, Thomas 90
Paul, Saint 52 (note)
Personality 152-3
Planchette 101-3, 105
Prayer 102, 105, 121-2, 145, 154-5, 157
Pride 99-100, 107
Procreation 35, 71
Protection (see Insulation) intuitional 73
Psychic power 12, 72-80
interest in 177-82
research 60
training 52
Publishing material 107-9
Purgatory 69

Raymond 66
Reasoning, volitional 48
Reider 161, 166, 169-70
Reincarnation 29, 52
Responsibility 142-4
Retirement (see Denial) 137
Revelation 109-10
Rhine, Dr. 73
Rhythm 179-80
Road I Know, The 13, 100, 143, 145, 184
Rogers, Will 66
Roosevelt, Theodore 78

San Francisco 166
Self, the 142-3
Self-denial (see Denial)
Self-pity 33
Senses 31
Sensitivity 115
Separation 28, 32-3, 38, 67-8, 160
Sex function (see Beta-body) relationships 35
Shakespeare, William 78
Sleep 24, 69
Smith, Mary 158-76
Soft spot 98, 171, 173
Space 14
Spiritual body 52 (note)
development 112, 114
teachings 113-16 (see Groups)
training 52, 114
Split personality 102, 104
Stephen 59
Stewart 168
Strain 116-19
Subconscious (see Coloring) 103, 109
Suicide 30-1, 41, 44, 51
Sunday, Billy 90
Survival (see Continuity), 130, 177

Thomas, Saint 79
Time 14

Ultimates 135-7, 140
Unification 35
Universe 14, 19
UNIVERSE, THE UNOBSTRUCTED 12 (note), 13-14, 17, 19-21, 31, 34 (note),
   53 (note), 54-5, 59 (note), 67, 84, 121, 142, 144-5, 158-9, 166, 178,
184
Unobstructed, the 14, 19, 21, 26, 31-4, 37-40, 91, 141
Unobstructed Universe 47-8, 70, 90, 111, 125
conditions in 31, 38-9, 52, 65, 66-71
first experiences in 69-70

Vision 25
Volitional reasoning 48

War 52
War dead 19-20, 28, 167
Waves (see Rhythm)
Way of living 101. 106, 108
White, Mrs. 20
Why Be a Mud Turtle 13
World War I, 19, 177-80
          II 177-8



THE END




This site is full of FREE ebooks - Project Gutenberg Australia