Sleep As The Great Opportunity
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THE author of Psychcoma has written this book out of the fullness of a new and remarkable experience. There are new ideas in its pages, new discoveries that will short-cut the path of attainment for every earnest student who uses the information, instead of reading it merely. It is the desire to insure to every reader the fullest benefit from these teachings, that impels me to write this introduction.
These teachings and special exercises are not theoretical. They were all first discovered and then tried out by Helen Rhodes, during a period of two years when––as she wrote me in May, 1908––she was at times “consciously living outside the physical.” Later they were fully proved by a group of students in New York, with amazing results. In other words, Mrs. Rhodes has found what Dr. Maurice Bucke calls the cosmic consciousness. And in the finding she has made practical discoveries which I believe to be in advance of any other teachings yet put into print.
This belief every reader can prove by using the book as herein directed.
Mrs. Rhodes used special hours every day, and the result was a deep experience and original discoveries. Use this book faithfully, dear reader, and yours, too, shall be a soul-satisfying experience and yet other new discoveries.
First of all, do not sit down and read the book through. Decide upon a special hour for development, to be used every day for at least two months. Then keep that daily engagement with yourself as the most important thing in life.
This is not “impossible” to anybody. Don’t fool yourself with that plea. Not a man or woman but could arrange to attend a series of lectures, or a school, at a certain hour every day for two months. Every one can arrange to attend to his soul development with the same precision, if he will. The results are sure and rich.
Let the student take one chapter at a time, reading it every day for two weeks; reading it slowly, with a quiet desire to know the truth.
After the reading let him practice, faithfully, whatever directions are given in that part of the book.
Let him not quarrel with what he reads; let him assume, for the time being, that it is all so. Let him accept with a will and aim to see things and feel them with the author.
After the eight weeks of practice he will know better whether or not there is anything to reject. Did not Jesus say, “Do the will (of the Father) and ye shall know (of the doctrine) what to believe”?
And William James says it is at the moment of doing that the brain receives a new kink to correspond.<>I say unto you, Do the will of this book and you will be glad for evermore.
PSYCHCOMA is the diagnosis of your own soul, yourself. Before you read further dwell upon this word “Psychcoma.” It is the keynote of existence as you know it. This word is used according to its original Greek root meaning. “Psyche, the principle of life as connected with the body.” Man is a soul, not has a soul. His manifestation is thru a physical body for this life experience. “Coma” means stupor, lethargy. You who think you are so very much alive know that in your present life you are in this coma.
This life is a twofold life, not more. It is spiritual and physical with their subdivisions: the physical includes the mental; the spiritual includes the astral and super-astral; all these interpenetrate. The astral plane and physical plane are one with two names, astral for the thought life and physical for the action life. Spiritual life is the unseen life and functions with an activity normal to its plane and unseen by our physical eye just as we are unseen by it.
Man cannot be cut up into physical, mental, astral, and spiritual man, but he is all these at one and the same time and ensheathed as a unit. The spiritual life measures attainment acquired thru two avenues, mental deposit and subconscious agency––the physical body being merely a vehicle of expression, its mechanism drawn from the earth elements of earth, air, and water, belonging to its kingdom and subject to its laws. It has taken æons and æons to produce so responsive an instrument and it requires years of individual adjustment to acquire ordinary proficiency and precision. Every self enters the earth life with this jacket of limitation around it, the wires for automatic activity and muscle control all unattached and unstrung, unable to articulate a word; the first few years of existence are spent in simply maneuvering the apparatus.
The mental part of man is purely a physical and mechanical medium, a laboratory of external impressions of the physical life, and has no separate plane or life apart from the physical. It is non-existent on any plane but this and is the transmitter between the physical and spiritual states, its mechanism so dependent upon the physical that it is incapable of carrying over as hereditary quality even the primary knowledge of speech, and closes its record with the life of its one operator. Its mission is to present sensitive plates upon which the physical life experience (the ideo-motor content of action) is recorded in a metaphysical language intelligible to both spiritual and physical states, which thru the chemistry of the unseen passes over into the subconscious as emotion and will.
Our life here is a soul-sleep or Psychcoma with periods of partial and complete coma known as waking and sleeping. During both of these periods we are wrought upon by the agencies resident upon these planes. During sleep the soul functions on the subconscious plane and except during fugitive moments of somnambulism is in a deep physical coma and reached only thru the subconscious. During our waking period we are dreaming out loud! We ask how did this come about? Herein lies the secret of our earth life.
We have all been told of the so-called astral life, that at death we pass to the astral plane, that we leave our physical body here and assume an astral body and that there we remain sifting out karma until the time for rebirth draws us to the earth plane again; that the astral existence may, or may not, be a long sleep according to the laws governing our reincarnation. Naturally we ask where we are during this period of rest? Are we laid aside on some astral shelf to await rebirth? Know, then, that we are not in some far away place, but here. This is startling, but this simple fact makes you the liberator of yourself. Physical life is the manifested. Astral life the unmanifested. Both here. Spiritual life is a distinct life in a higher state of consciousness.
The greatest bogie of modern cults is the death symptom. It is a ghost no prophet has been able to disperse, as it depends upon the law of birth. Its protecting shadows veil the sharpest awakening the soul can know, when, by means of the death manifestation, the physical body is laid aside. To the physical eye the phenomenon is a grief, but this death door swings wide into a world of life, different life, where the external transmitter of physical experience (brain and reason) no longer function. The subconscious, the sum total of impressions and desires, now has power. The soul is now face to face with itself, and functions with an activity normal to its plane, unintelligible to the physical eye as we are unseen by it.
Into this awful silence of the immanent life, and with all the earnestness that teachers and helpers exert on this plane to awaken the mind and destroy illusion, the workers on the astral plane put forth every effort to awaken the sleeper and with just as futile result. Hope and reincarnation are altar fires that give strength to the helpers and sustain faith. This is the battle ground of desire and reality. This death a temporary awakening. The memory of this impotent, unhinged self with the lust for sensation and momentary glimpses of life without it weigh against each other. Only within himself can come deliverance. The initiation of Pythagoras into the mysteries of ancient Egypt symbolizes this new experience of the soul. If it has awakened sufficiently to say, “I know you all, ye host of terrors and brood of tempters,” then there is no need for such to repeat the life. “That which began in him when he began, is finished; he hath wrought the purpose thru of what did make him man, and he hath felt the blessed last of deaths when death is dead.”
This is the hell we dread, where every inherent interest or tendency is a leading string and backward pull toward the life that was. The hell of the astral plane has burned itself into the subconscious instincts of the race since when the first man laid aside his physical body. The preservation of the self has remained the one deep impulse in every rebirth in fear and challenge to the dissolving process. The universal cry is “Do not let me die.” Death is inseparable from life and need be feared only by the sensualist as a breaking up of his dream. The difference between being saved from sin and hell or from karma and rebirth lies in a choice of words, the process is the same,
If the dreamy, sensuous longings and thirst for things drug the soul, it issues again upon the earth to live out the unpurged fragment. Those who hoped to see us waken from the earth experience watch us sink into coma and call it death. Life and death are the same looked at from different points of view. Each departure is called death on the plane it leaves, and birth by those who watch its entrance on the plane in which it arrives, and emphasizes the fact that it is not all of death to die nor all of life to live.
The sense-struck, sodden self vibrates to thought conditions. Slowly the stupor grows until coma is reached. Every breath potent with thought magnetism to draw it to its kind, it becomes a matrix for manifestation. There is but one avenue for the earth life, thru birth; a belief and indulgence which engulfs every other instinct and impulse; an octopus that saps its victim while it fattens. Only thru the avenue of lust and love of self can an open way be found for the Psychcoma to be manifested. Like attracts like, and when the conditions are fulfilled to make its shell or physical body, it enters upon the wheel of life “to hug and kiss its spokes of agony.”
During the months of extending its physical vehicle and wrapped in the parent body, it is electrified with its every vibration and nourished on its life principle, which makes its manifestation possible. In the astral world there are no physical limits and to enter life as a protoplasm is as natural as to develop a seed. The law of birth fulfilled, the human life phase begins again its intermittent manifestation of Psychcoma, alternately waking and sleeping in a world of somnambulists each intent upon his little dream, bent upon self-gratification and ingrown upon itself, unaware that real life is yet to be lived, a life surcharged with universal love. The data for self-stimuli and development thru the centuries have furnished certain laws for protection and restrictions for community good, yet how feeble we are to control this wild and fanciful dreamer our jails, brothels, court rooms, peace councils, and daily newspapers can tell us. Each day a revelry of dreamers so deep in sleep as to commit theft, forgery, murder, and every crime that a thwarted ego may fancy effective in pursuing its fatuous desires. Only thru impacts of grief and the interference available on this plane of consciousness can the Psychcoma be disturbed. The victim of Psychcoma is under the protection, direction, and help of two worlds, the external with its weapons of sorrow, disappointment, injustice, sickness, all products of the inharmony of the dream life with his desires mirrored in the life surrounding him, and the subconscious world, where unseen helpers companion him with ardent, hopeful application of every known means for his awakening. The subconscious or super-conscious mind is amenable to external suggestion and when the soul wakens to understand this, and uses the power of self-suggestion, he becomes a master in two worlds and elects his own development. Every latent thought and vagrant wish must be brought out into the manifest to test its worth. There can be no separation of me and thee. The Psychcoma is no respecter of persons; what the vilest is, you have been or may be, the dream life is not to be labeled respectable or otherwise, it is legitimate and is proving worthy to the one who has awakened. Envy not those whose days are spent in idleness, the sheath of self enveloped in the contentment of satisfied desires; theirs is a darkness into which the divine light has not yet penetrated.
True growth is slow. By doing and failing and doing again is success assured. In the midst of a large experience the soul is quickened and evolution is accelerated. No shame is attached to ineffectual results. The seat of the strife lies in the attempt, that alone asks for generous consideration. Draw no lines between appearances. Remember that every thought you may have skillfully hidden from view is illustrated in the life of some other one, they the victim, you the onlooker. Give pity and great love. Maybe through them the light has been revealed to you. And be comforted to believe that the Father of Lights loves you as well as He loves them, no better; “they are but dreaming as you have dreamed, they sleep “and you are awake. Spiritual perception has to do with the beginning of things, while human reason has to do with the result. All life typifies one life. The thief, liar, hypocrite, are parts of yourself left behind. Against that same backward pull you struggle up to new values. Repression, suppression, or killing out will not determine your awakening. It is wrong to negate our power by killing out anything. We may transform and transmute; positive power is creative and when aspiration potentizes vibration it raises all lower vibrations to itself. We accelerate our progress by appropriating higher values and steadily and consciously transforming our desires. Self-attainment depends upon our mastery of every note in the divine harmony. Thru that scale vibrates immorality, vice, sham, deceit, greed, theft, lying, drunkenness, exclusion, pride. Not until all is understood and dissolved is the soul freed from rebirth.
The sense-man resents the imputation of Psychcoma, to him the dream is the thing. Neither can you explain to the insane man that he is unbalanced, so do not expect too much from the dreamer. If he awake even for brief spaces of time he will recognize the approaching coma as sensation and desire wrap their psychic folds about him and dim resolve. “What lets?” “Ignorance lets, whereby ye take these shows for true and thirst to have, and, having, cling to lusts which work your woes.” Yet the soul may wrench itself free and reach the sorrow-less state lost sight of and neglected many myriads of cycles.
In the story of Parsifal, Kundry alternately finds herself doing service in the Grail Castle as its good angel, and in the Castle of Klingsor the Magician, as his “Rose of Hell.” Always before coming under the influence of Klingsor she is aware of a growing sense of stupor, and as its lethargy steals upon her she sinks deeper and deeper into sleep. At long intervals she wears out the influence and in a feeble way regains the path leading to the Grail and vaguely remembers she has been there before.
This torpor symbolizes fugitive upheavals of unlived-out fragments of self-absorption which sweep over the soul to engulf it or exert it to supernormal action. Not until desire is burned out or transformed can the spirit be freed.
Obsession is influence to the point of complete subjection. This subjection is not to another unseen entity, but it is the deep coma of self-desire or any sense domination of joy, fear, grief. The “silver cord” uniting the spirit with the physical body is never “loosened” to the point of surrender except at death, and this detachment means death. Only thru physical form can any creature function on this plane and with the same laws governing as govern action on the astral or subconscious plane. Fear of so-called “elementals” reduces one to the level of crass superstition and negate effort. Self is the only enemy of self, and self the only victor. The struggle is within.
The Psychical Research Society has exhausted every device to open the door of the astral realm, but as yet no message has reached any one that has opened any mine of knowledge, revealed supernormal secrets, or described the activity on that plane interpreted in any terms but of this life.
There are profound scientific students who believe all these psychic phenomena to be subconscious phenomena, that it is the evidence of supernormal powers existing in every human being rising to and manifesting on the plane of the conscious; which merely means that the objective senses are not functioning and the subconscious senses are. It has nothing to do with a high spiritual life. Many depraved persons are able to enter this so-called clairvoyant or trance condition. Many see without perceiving and many hear without knowing. To see clairvoyantly is not limited to the one who has awakened. It is a phase of the coma. If, during the subconscious state, the soul was fully awake and cognized its condition and surroundings, would it not answer the questions regarding the next life, what death meant, and would it not direct in moments of trial and peril, telling us how to act? What medium is able to direct future action without the shadow of a doubt?
Psychic visions are caverns where lie buried wrecks of incipient thinkers gone mad over thought systems whose bludgeon opens all the doors of the underworld and challenges the doorkeepers of innumerable heavens. Mysticism of the incantation kind must yield to the spirit of this century, which flings high and wide the demand for the clearest, simplest laws. There is no need of glossaries, special keys, spheres of consciousness and superstructures of plane upon plane and a thousand intricacies that enmesh the student in a labyrinth of mental whirligigs. Our inheritance from the past is absolute for us only so far as it yields us proof for every advance step under the X-Ray of scientific research, revelation, and discrimination. Elemental principles and laws are the possession of the adept who reduces them to their last and simple analysis.
Clairvoyance and psychic power are not evidence of a spiritual life but rather the predominance of a super-conscious activity which sees and registers conditions of the Psychcoma when the physical brain remains inert or inoperative. The objective mind is then in subjection. The aura holds as in solution the content of individual experience, the arithmetic of which is the brain calculator.
If rebirth meant an easy and sure release and promotion, the sensualist might indulge his desires. But to be involved in sense satisfactions is an inebriety that deadens aspiration and increases spiritual anesthesia.
If rebirth were unnecessary and a mistake in the world economy, then suicide were a blessing and a privilege. But death does not liberate the soul except it liberate itself. Experience is life and we do not develop alone. We need the all as the all needs us. To cease this experience at any time and at our pleasure means to shirk and condemn the self to a coma controlled by the idea that the welfare of the personal self may be secured by grasping the goal and escaping the machinery of development. There is only one place for the liberation of the sense life, here. This is the place of bondage. Real fife begins when this bondage ends. The dream to waken from is “I am this little body.” Who, looking up into the heavens at the constellations and zones of associated stars, could think for one moment that this rolling planet was the cause and purpose of illimitable space, and that life began and ended here for no ultimate good? Every so-called law of the universe subsisted in that universe before it existed for us. We are not making laws, they were made from the beginning, and as we recognize these laws we may learn to live in harmony with them. The opportunity of life here is but one section of our infinite nature. You who are awakened today as you read this may seize upon the sex instinct as the only vicious element, perhaps because it is so in evidence, or because life seems dependent upon it, that you believe it the source of all evil. But cosmic life is hydra-headed; one by one the evils are uncovered as by paths to the soul’s citadel. Attack the evil that is within your power; lesser evils are the foothills that lead to the mountain tops. You who hold yourselves sponsors for other lives, accept your privilege as a divine agent for the evolution of a soul. No one can escape the earth life, it is a legitimate part of evolution and the only way for the Psychcoma to be undermined.
Would you ask if the awakened life becomes a dead level of existence, if spontaneity is impossible, if the throb of pure joy is checked? No! a hundred times, no! It is an antidote for pain and joy is heightened. No one enmeshed in the desire life can know what happiness is. To the unawakened life is a constant strife. Joys grow out of personal gain, depending wholly upon the caprice of individuals. Happiness born of sensation is temporary and dependent. Only when infatuation, lust, hatred, is understood can one know happiness. There is a happiness, an abiding attitude, which belongs to and is inherent in the consciousness; it moves outside and beyond the senses and becomes realization, realization of the oneness of all creatures, of the oneness of friends and enemies, of the oneness of all worlds, of the oneness of the eternal purpose.
awakening is accomplished thru the understanding and use of the law of
Vibration, Aspiration, Transmutation, Control of the Breath,
Meditation, Affirmation. Analyze. Awake!