FOR two days and nights I slept, my exhausted body hovering between two worlds. Life had always been hard to me, always suffering and great misunderstanding. But now I slept.
My body was left behind me, left upon Earth. As I soared upwards I saw that one of the negro women was looking down at my empty shell with great compassion on her face. Then she turned away and sat by a window, looking out upon the dingy street. Freed of the fetters of the body, I could see even more clearly the colours of the astral. These people, these coloured people who were helping me when those of the white race could only persecute, were good. Suffering and hardships had refined their egos, and their insouciant attitude was merely to cover up their inner feelings. My money, all that I had earned by hardship, suffering and self-denial, was tucked beneath my pilow, as safe with these people as in the strongest bank.
I soared on and on, leaving the confines of time and space, entering astral plane after astral plane. At last I reached the Land of the Golden Light where my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup waited to receive me.
"Your sufferings have been truly great," he said, "but all that you have endured has been to good purpose. We have studied the people of Earth, and the people of strange, mistaken cults there who have and will persecute you, for they have little understanding. But now we have to discuss your future. Your present body is nearing the end of its useful life, and the plans which we have for this event must come to pass." He walked beside me along the banks of a beautiful river. The waters sparkled and seemed to be alive. On either bank there were gardens so wonderful that I could scarce believe my senses. The air itself seemed to vibrate with life. In the distance a group of people, clad in Tibetan robes, came slowly to meet us. My guide smiled at me, "This is an important meeting," he said, "for we have to plan your future. We have to see how research into the human aura can be stimulated, for we have noticed that when 'aura 'is mentioned on Earth, most people try to change the subject."
The group moved nearer, and I recognized those of whom I had stood in awe. Now they smiled benevolently upon me, and greeted me as an equal. Let us move to more comfortable surroundings," said one, "so that we may talk and discuss matters at leisure." We moved along the path in the direction from whence the men had come until, turning to follow a bend in the path, we saw before us a Hall of such surpassing beauty that involuntarily I stopped with a gasp of pleasure. The walls seemed to be of purest crystal, with delicate pastel shades and undertones of colour, which changed as one looked. The path was soft under-foot, and it needed little urging on the part of my Guide to persuade me to enter.
We moved in, and it was as if we were in a great Temple, a Temple without dark, clean, with an atmosphere that simply made one feel that this was Life. Through the main body of the building we went, until we came to what on Earth I would have called the Abbot's room. Here there was comfortable simplicity, with a single picture of the Greater Reality upon the wall. Living plants were about the walls, and from the wide windows one could see across a superb expanse of parkland.
We sat upon cushions placed upon the floor, as in Tibet. I felt at home, contented almost. Thoughts of my body back on Earth still disturbed me, for so long as the Silver Cord was intact, I would have to return. The Abbot—I will call him that although he was much higher—looked about him, then spoke. "From here we have followed all that has happened to you upon the Earth. We want first to remind you that you are not suffering from the effects of Kharma, but are instead acting as our instrument of study. For all the bad that you now suffer, so shall you have your reward." He smiled at me, and added, "Although that does not help much when you are suffering upon Earth! However," he went on. "we have learned much, but there are certain aspects yet to be covered. Your present body has too much and will shortly fail. We have established a contact in the Land of England. This person wants to leave his body. We took him to the astral plane and discussed matters with him. He is most anxious to leave, and will do all we require. At our behest he changed his name to one more suitable to you. His life has not been happy, he willingly discontinued association with relatives. Friends he had never made. He is upon a harmonic of yours. For the moment we will not discuss him further, for later, before you take his body, you will see just a little of his life. Your present task is to get your body back to Tibet that it may be preserved. By your efforts and sacrifices you have amassed money, you need just a little more to pay your fare. It will come through your continued efforts. But enough for now. For a day enjoy your visit here before returning to your body."
This was bliss indeed, to be with my Guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup, not as a child, but as an adult, as one who could appreciate that great man's unusual abilities and character. We sat alone on a mossy hillside overlooking a bay of bluest water. The trees swayed to a gentle breeze and wafted to us the scent of cedar and pine. For hours we stayed thus, talking, discussing the past. My history was an open book to him, now he told me of his. So the day passed, and as the purple twilight came upon me, I knew that it was time to go, time to return to the troubled Earth with its bitter man and spiteful tongues, tongues that caused the evils of Earth.
"Hank! Oh, Hank! He is awake!" There was the creak of a chair being moved, and as I opened my eyes I saw the big negro looking down at me. He was not smiling now, his face was full of respect, awe, even. The woman crossed herself and bowed slightly as she looked in my direction. "What is it? What has happened?" I asked.
"We have seen a miracle. All of us." The big negro's voice was hushed as he spoke.
"Have I caused you any trouble?" I asked.
"No, Master, you have brought us only joy," the woman replied.
"I would like to make you a present," I said, reaching for my money.
The negro spoke softly, "We are poor folk, but we will not take your money. Make this your home until you are ready to leave. We know what you are doing."
"But I would like to show my gratitude," I answered. "Without you I would have died."
"And gone to Greater Glory!" said the woman, adding, "Master, you can give us something greater than money. Teach us to pray!"
For a moment I was silent, taken aback by the request. "Yes," I said, "I will teach you to pray, as I was taught.
"All religions believe in the power of prayer, but few people understand the mechanics of the process, few understand why prayers work for some and seemingly not for others. Most Westerners believe that people of the East either pray to a graven image or do not pray at all. Both statements are untrue, and I am going to tell you now how you can remove prayer from the realm of mysticism and superstition and use it to help others, for prayer is a very real thing indeed. It is one of the greatest forces on this Earth when used as it was intended to be used.
"Most religions have a belief that each person has a Guardian Angel or someone who looks after him. That also is true, but the Guardian Angel is oneself, the other self, the other self, which is at the other side of life. Very, very few people can see this angel, this Guardian of theirs, while they are on the Earth, but those who can are able to describe it in detail.
"This Guardian (we must call it something, so let us call it a Guardian) has not a material body such as we have on Earth. It appears to be ghostly; sometimes a clairvoyant will see it as a blue scintillating figure larger than life-size and connected to the flesh body by what is known as the Silver Cord, that Cord which pulses and glistens with life as it conveys messages from one to the other. This Guardian has not a body such as that of Earth, but it is still able to do things which the Earth body can do, with the addition that it can do very many more things which the Earth body cannot. For example, the Guardian can go to any part of the world in a flash. It is the Guardian which does astral travelling and relays back to the body through the Silver Cord that which is needed.
"When you pray, you pray to yourself, to your other self, to your Greater Self. If we knew properly how to pray we should send those prayers through the Silver Cord, because the telephone line we use is a very faulty sort of instrument indeed, and we have to repeat ourselves in order to make sure that the message gets through. So when you pray, speak as you would speak through a very long distance telephone line, speak with absolute clarity, and actually think of what you are saying. The fault, I should add, lies with us here on this world, lies with the imperfect body we have on this world, the fault is not in our Guardian. Pray in simple language making sure that your requests are always positive and never negative.
"Having framed your prayer to be absolutely positive and to be absolutely clear of any possibility of misunderstanding, repeat that prayer perhaps three times. Let us take an example; suppose, for instance, that you have a person who is ill and suffering, and you want to do something about it—you should pray for the relief of that person's suffering. You should pray three times saying exactly the same thing each time. You should visualize that shadowy figure, that insubstantial figure, actually going to the house of the other person, following the route which you would follow yourself, entering the house and laying hands on that person and so effecting a cure. I will return to this particular theme in a moment, but first let me say—repeat that as many times as are necessary, and, if you really believe, then there will be an improvement.
"This matter of a complete cure; well, if a person has a leg amputated, no amount of prayer will replace that leg. But if a person has cancer or any other grave disease, then that can be halted. Obviously the less the seriousness of the complaint, the easier it is to effect a cure. Everyone knows of the records of miracle cures throughout the history of the world. Lourdes and many other places are famed for their cures, and these cures are effected by the other self, by the Guardian of the person concerned in association with the fame of the locality. Lourdes, for example, is known throughout the world as a place for miracle cures so people go there utterly confident that they will be cured, and very often that confidence is passed on to the Guardian of the person and so a cure is effected very, very easily. Some people like to think that there is a saint or angel, or some ancient relic of a saint, that does the cure, but in reality each person cures himself and if a healer gets in touch with a person with the intention of curing that sick person, then a cure is effected only through the Guardian of that sick person. It all comes down, as I told you before, to yourself, the real self which you are when you leave this, the shadow life, and enter the Greater Reality. While upon Earth we all tend to think that this is the only thing that matters, but Earth, this world—no, this is the World of Illusion, the world of hardship, where we come to learn lessons not so easily learned in the kinder, more generous world to which we return.
"You may yourself have some disability, you may be ill, or you may lack the desired esoteric power. That can be cured, it can be overcome, if you believe it and if you really want it. Suppose you have a great desire, a burning desire, to help others; you may want to be a healer. Then pray in the seclusion of your private room, perhaps your bedroom. You should rest in the most relaxed position that you can find, preferably with your feet together and with your fingers interlinked, not m the usual attitude of prayer, but with your fingers interlinked. In that way you preserve and amplify the magnetic circuit of the body, and the aura becomes stronger, and the Silver Cord is able to convey messages more accurately. Then, having got yourself in the right position and in the right frame of mind, you should pray.
"You could pray, for example: 'Give me healing power that I may heal others. Give me healing power that I may heal others. Give me healing power that I may heal others.' Then have a few moments while you remain in your relaxed position, and picture yourself encompassed in the shadowy outline of your own body.
"As I told you before, you must visualize the route you would take to the sick person's house, and then make that body travel in your imagination to the home of that person you desire to heal. Picture yourself, your Overself, arrived at the house, arrived in the presence of the person you desire to help. Picture yourself putting out your arm, your hand, and touching that person. Imagine a flow of life-giving energy going along your arm, through your fingers, into that other person like a vivid blue light. Imagine that the person is gradually becoming cured. With faith, with a little practice, it can be done, it is being done, daily, in the Far East.
"It is useflil to place one hand in imagination on the back of the person's neck, and the other hand on or over the afflicted part. You will have to pray to yourself in groups of three prayers a number of times each day until you get the desired results. Again, if you believe, you will get results. But let me issue a grave, grave warning. You cannot increase your own fortune in this way. There is a very ancient occult law which stops one from profiting from prayers for self-gain. You cannot do it for yourself unless it is to help others, and unless you sincerely believe that it will help others. I know of an actual case wherein a man who had a moderate income and was fairly comfortably off, thought that if he won the Irish Sweepstake he would help others; he would be a great benefactor of mankind.
"Knowing a little, but not enough, of esoteric matters, he made great plans of what he would do. He set out with a carefully prepared programme of prayers. He prayed along the lines set out in this chapter for two months; he prayed that he would pick the winner of the Irish Sweepstake. For two months he prayed in groups of three prayers, three times a day—nine prayers in all during the day. As he fully anticipated, he won the Irish Sweepstake, and he won one of the biggest prizes of them all.
"Eventually he had the money and it went to his head. He forgot all about his good intentions, all about his promises. He forgot all about everything except that he had this vast sum of money and he could now do exactly as he wanted to do. He devoted the money to his own self-gratification. For a very few months he had a wonderful time, during which he became harder and harder, and then the inexorable law came into force, and instead of keeping that money and helping others, he lost everything that he had gained, and everything that he had before. In the end he died and was buried in a pauper's grave.
"I say to you that if you use the power of prayer properly, without thought of self-gain, without thought of self-aggrandizement, then you have tapped one of the greatest powers on Earth, a force so great that if just a few genuine people got together and prayed for peace, then there would be peace, and wars and thoughts of wars would be no more."
For some time after there was silence as they digested what I had told them, then the woman said, "I wish you would stay here awhile and teach us! We have seen a miracle, but Someone came and told us not to talk about it."
I rested for a few hours, then dressed and wrote a letter to my official friends in Shanghai, telling them what had happened to my papers. By airmail they sent me a fresh Passport which certainly eased my position. By airmail there arrived a letter from a very rich woman. "For some time," she wrote, "I have been trying to find your address. My daughter, whom you saved from the Japanese, is now with me and is completely restored to health. You saved her from rape and worse, and I want to repay, at least in part, our debt to you. Tell me what I can do for you."
I wrote to her and told her that I wanted to go home to Tibet to die. "I have enough money to buy a ticket to a port in India," I replied, "but not enough to cross that continent. If you really want to help me, buy me a ticket from Bombay to Kalimpong in India." I treated it as a joke, but two weeks later I received a letter and first class sea ticket and first class rail tickets all the way to Kalimpong. Immediately I wrote to her and expressed my gratitude, telling her that I intended giving my other money to the negro family who had so befriended me.
The negro family were sad that I was going to leave, but overjoyed that for once in my life I was going to have a comfortable journey. It was so difficult to get them to accept money. In the end we shared it between us! "There is one thing," said the friendly negro women. "You knew this money would come as it was for a good purpose. Did you send what you called a 'thought form' for it?"
"No," I answered, "it must have been accomplished by a source far removed from this world."
She looked puzzled. "You said that you would tell us about thought forms before you left. Will you have time now?"
"Yes," I replied. "Sit down, and I will tell you a story." She sat and folded her hands. Her husband turned out the light and sat back in his chair as I began to speak:
"By the burning sands, amid the grey stone buildings with the glaring sun overhead, the small group of men wended their way through the narrow streets. After a few minutes they stopped at a shabby looking doorway, knocked and entered. A few muttered sentences were uttered, and then the men were handed torches, which spluttered and sent drops of resin around. Slowly they made their way through corridors, getting lower and lower into the sands of Egypt. The atmosphere was cloying, sickly. It seeped into the nostrils, nauseating by the manner in which it clung to the mucous membrane.
"There was hardly a glimmer of light here except that which came from the torch bearers, the torch bearers who moved along at the head of the small procession. As they went further into the underground chamber the smell became stronger, the smell of Frankincense, of Myrrh, and of strange exotic herbs from the Orient. There was also the odour of death, of decay, and of decaying vegetation.
"Against the far wall was a collection of canopic jars containing the hearts and entrails of the people who were being embalmed. They were carefully labelled with the exact contents and with the date of sealing. These the procession passed with hardly a shudder, and went on past the baths of Nitre in which bodies were immersed for ninety days. Even now bodies were floating in these baths, and every so often an attendant would come along and push the body under with a long pole and turn it over. With scarcely a glance at these floating bodies, the procession went on into the inner chamber. There, resting upon planks of sweet smelling wood, was the body of the dead Pharaoh, wrapped tightly with linen bandages, powdered well with sweet smelling herbs, and anointed with unguents.
"The men entered, and four bearers took the body and turned it about, and put it in a light wooden shell which had been standing against a wall. Then, raising it to shoulder height, they turned and followed the torch bearers out of the underground room, past the baths of nitre, out of the rooms of the embalmers of Egypt. Nearer the surface the body was taken to another room where dim daylight filtered in. Here it was taken out of the crude wooden shell and placed in another one the exact shape of the body. The hands were placed across the breast and tightly bound with bandages. A papyrus was tied to them giving the history of the dead man.
"Here, days later, the priests of Osiris, of Isis, and of Horus came. Here they chanted their preliminary prayers conducting the soul through the Underworld. Here, too, the sorcerers and the magicians of old Egypt prepared their Thought Forms, Thought Forms which would guard the body of the dead man and prevent vandals from breaking into the tomb and disturbing his peace.
"Throughout the land of Egypt were proclamations of the penalties which would befall any who violated the tomb. The sentence: first the tongue of the violator would be torn out, and then his hands would be severed at the wrists. A few days later he would be disembowelled, and buried to the neck in the hot sand where he would live out the few short hours of life.
"The tomb of Tutankhamen made history because of the curse which fell upon those who violated that tomb. All the people who entered the tomb of Tutankhamen died or suffered mysterious, incurable illnesses.
"The priests of Egypt had a science which had been lost to the present-day world, the science of creating Thought Forms to do tasks which are beyond the skill of the human body. But that science need not have been lost, because anyone with a little practice, with a little perseverance, can make a thought form which will act for good or for bad.
"Who was the poet who wrote: 'I am the captain of my soul'? That man uttered a great truth, perhaps greater than he knew, for Man is indeed the captain of his soul. Western people have contemplated material things, mechanical things, anything to do with the mundane world. They have tried to explore Space, but they have failed to explore the deepest mystery of all—the sub-consciousness of Man, for Man is nine-tenths sub-conscious, which means that only one-tenth of Man is conscious. Only one-tenth of man's potential is subject to his volitional commands. If a man can be one and one-half-tenths conscious, then that man is a genius, but geniuses upon Earth are geniuses in one direction only. Often they are very deficient in other lines.
"The Egyptians in the days of the Pharaohs well knew the power of the sub-conscious. They buried their Pharaohs in deep tombs, and with their arts, with their knowledge of humanity, they made spells. They made Thought Forms which guarded the tombs of the dead Pharaohs and prevented intruders from entering, under penalty of dire disease.
"But you can make Thought Forms which will do good, but make sure they are for good because a Thought Form cannot tell good from evil. It will do either but the evil Thought Form in the end will wreak vengeance on its creator.
"The story of Aladdin is actually the story of a Thought Form which was conjured up. It is based upon one of the old Chinese legends, legends which are literally true.
"Imagination is the greatest force upon Earth. Imagination, unfortunately, is badly named. If one uses the word 'imagination' one automatically thinks of a frustrated person given to neurotic tendencies, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. All great artists, all great painters, great writers too, have to have a brilliant, controlled imagination, otherwise they could not visualize the finished thing that they are attempting to create.
"If we in everyday life would harness imagination, then we could achieve what we now regard as miracles. We may, for example, have a loved one who is suffering from some illness, some illness for which as yet medical science has no cure. That person can be cured if one makes a Thought Form, which will get in touch with the Overself of the sick person, and help that Overself to materialize to create new parts. Thus, a person who is suffering from a diabetic condition could, with proper help, re-create the damaged parts of the pancreas which caused the disease.
"How can we create a Thought Form? Well, it is easy. We will go into that now. One must first decide what one wants to accomplish, and be sure that it is for good. Then one must call the imagination into play, one must visualize exactly the result which one wants to achieve. Supposing a person is ill with an organ invaded by disease. If we are going to make a Thought Form which will help, we must exactly visualize that person standing before us. We must try to visualize the afflicted organ. Having the afflicted organ pictorially before us, we must visualize it gradually healing, and we must impart a positive affirmation. So, we make this Thought Form by visualizing the person, we imagine the Thought Form standing beside the afflicted person and with super-normal powers reaching inside the body of that sick person, and with a healing touch causing the disease to disappear.
"At all times we must speak to the Thought Form which we have created in a firm, positive voice. There must not at any time be any suspicion of negativeness, nor of in decision. We must speak in the simplest possible language and in the most direct manner possible. We must speak to it as we would speak to a very backward child, because this Thought Form has no reason and can accept only a direct command or a simple statement.
"There may be a sore on some organ, and we must say to that Thought Form: 'You will now heal such-and-such an organ. The tissue is knitting together.' You would have to repeat that several times dally, and if you visuallze your Thought Form actually going to work, then it will indeed go to work. It worked with the Egyptians, and it can work with present-day people.
"There are many authenticated instances of tombs being haunted by a shadowy figure. That is because either the dead persons, or others, have thought so hard that they have actually made a figure of ectoplasm. The Egyptians in the days of the Pharaohs buried the embalmed body of the Pharaoh, but they adopted extreme measures so that their Thought Forms would be vivified even after thousands of years. They slew slaves slowly, painfully, telling the slaves that they would get relief from pain in the after-world if in dying they provided the necessary substance with which to make a substantial Thought Form. Archaeological records have long substantiated hauntings and curses in tombs, and all these things are merely the outcome of absolutely natural, absolutely normal laws.
"Thought Forms can be made by anyone at all with just a little practice, but you must first at all times concentrate upon good in your Thought Form because if you try to make an evil form, then assuredly that Thought Form will turn upon you and cause you the gravest harm perhaps in the physical, in the mental, or in the astral state."
The next few days were frantic ones, transit visas to obtain, final preparations to be made, and things to be packed up and sent back to friends in Shanghai. My crystal was carefully packed and returned there for my future use, as were my Chinese papers, papers which, incidentally, quite a number of responsible people have now seen.
My personal possessions I kept to the absolute, consisting of one suit of clothing and the necessary change of underwear. Now trusting no officials, I had photographic copies made of everything, passport, tickets, medical certificates and all! "Are you coming to see me off?" I asked my negro friends.
"No," they replied. "We should not be allowed near because of the colour bar!".
The final day arrived, and I went by bus to the docks. Carrying my small case, and presenting my ticket, I was confronted with a demand as to the whereabouts of the rest of my luggage. "This is all," I replied. "I am taking nothing more."
The Official was plainly puzzled—and suspicious. "Wait here," he muttered, and hurried off to an inner office. Several minutes later he came out accompanied by a more senior official. "Is this all your luggage, sir?" the new man asked.
"It is," I replied.
He frowned, looked at my tickets, checked the details against entries in a book, and then stalked off with my tickets and the book. Ten minutes later he came back looking very disturbed. Handing me my tickets and some other papers, he said, "This is very irregular, all the way to India and no luggage!" Shaking his head he turned away. The former clerk apparently had decided to wash his hands of the whole affair, for he turned away and would not answer when I asked the location of the ship. Finally I looked at the new papers in my hand and saw that one was a Boarding Card giving all the required details.
It was a long walk to the ship's side and when I reached it I saw policemen lounging about but carefully watching passengers. I walked forward, showed my ticket and walked up the gangplank. An hour or so later two men came to my cabin and asked why I had no luggage. "But my dear man," I said "I thought this was the land of the free? Why should I be encumbered with luggage? What I take is my own affair surely?" He muttered and mumbled, and fiddled with papers and said, "Well we have to make sure that everything is all right. The clerk thought you were trying to escape from justice as you had no luggage. He was only trying to make sure."
I pointed to my case. "All I need is there; it will get me to India; in India I can pick up other luggage."
He looked relieved, "Ah! So you have other luggage, in India? Then that is all right."
I smiled to myself as I thought, "The only time I have trouble entering or leaving a country is when I do it legally, when I have all the papers Red Tape demands."
Life aboard the ship was dull, the other passengers were very class conscious and the story that I had brought "only one case!" apparently put me outside the range of human society. Because I did not conform to the snobbish norm I was as lonely as if I had been in a prison cell, but with the great difference that I could move about. It was amusing to see other passengers call a steward to have their deckchairs moved a little further away from me.
We sailed from the port of New York to the straits of Gibraltar. Across the Mediterranean Sea we steamed, calling at Alexandria, and then going on to Port Said, steaming along the Suez Canal to enter the Red Sea. The heat affected me badly, the Red Sea was almost steaming, but at last it came to an end, and we crossed the Arabian Sea to finally dock at Bombay. I had a few friends in that city, Buddhist priests and others, and I spent a week in their company before continuing my journey across India to Kalimpong. Kalimpong was full of Communist spies and newspaper men. New arrivals found their life was made a misery by the endless, senseless questioning, questions which I never answered but continued what I was doing. This penchant of Western people to pry into the affairs of others was a complete mystery to me, I really did not understand it.
I was glad to get out of Kalimpong and move into my own country, Tibet. I had been expected, and was met by a party of high lamas disguised as mendicant monks and traders. My health was deteriorating rapidly, and necessitated frequent stops and rest. At long last, some ten weeks later, we reached a secluded lamasery high in the Himalayas, overlooking the Valley of Lhasa, a lamasery so small and so inaccesible that Chinese Communists would not bother about it.
For some days I rested, trying to regain a little of my strength, rested, and meditated. I was home now, and happy for the first time in years. The deceptions and treachery of Western peoples seemed no more than an evil nightmare. Daily, little groups of men came to me, to tell me of events in Tibet, and to listen to me while I told them of the strange harsh world outside our frontiers.
I attended all the Services, finding comfort and solace in the familar rituals. Yet I was a man apart, a man who was about to die and live again. A man who was about to undergo one of the strangest experiences to fall to the lot of a living creature. Yet was it that strange? Many of our higher Adepts did it for life after life. The Dalai Lama himself did it, time after time taking over the body of a new-born baby. But the difference was, I was going to take over the body of an adult, and mould his body to mine, changing molecule by molecule the complete body, not just the ego. Although not a Christian, my studies at Lhasa had required me to read the Christian Bible and listen to lectures on it. I knew that in the Bible it was stated that the body of Jesus, the Son of Mary and Joseph, was taken over by the "Spirit of the Son of God" and became Christ. I knew too that the Christian priests had a Convention in the year sixty (A.D) to ban certain teachings of Christ. Reincarnation was banned, the taking over of the body of others was banned, together with many, many matters taught by Christ.
I looked out of my glassless window at the city of Lhasa so far below. It was hard to realize that the hated Communists were in charge there. So far they were trying to win over the young Tibetans by wonderful promises. We called it "The honey on the knife", the more one licked the "honey" the sooner the sharp blade revealed.Chinese troops stood on guard at the Pargo Kaling, Chinese troops stood at the entrances to our temples, like pickets at a Western-world strike, stood jeering at our ancient religion. Monks were being insulted, even manhandled, and the illiterate peasants and herdsmen were encouraged to do likewise.
Here we were safe from the Communists, safe in this almost unclimbable precipice. About us the whole area was honeycombed with caves, and there was but precipitous path wounding round the very edge of the cliffs, with a sheer drop of more than two thousand feet for those who slipped. Here, when venturing out in the open, we used grey robes which blended with the rock face. Grey robes which concealed us from the chance gaze of the Chinese using binoculars.
Far off I could see Chinese specialists with theodolites and measuring sticks. They crawled about like ants, placing pegs into the ground, making entries in their books. A monk crossed in front of a soldier, the Chinese jabbed at the monk's leg with his bayonet. Through the twenty magnification binoculars—my one luxury—which I had brought, I could see the spurt of blood and the sadistic grin on the face of the Chinese. These glasses were good, revealing the proud Potala and my own Chakpori. Something nagged at the back of my mind, something was missing. I refocused the binoculars and looked again. Upon the waters of the Serpent Temple Lake nothing stirred. In the streets of Lhasa no dogs nuzzled among refuse piles. No wildfowl, no dogs! I turned to the monk at my side. "The Communists had them all killed for food. Dogs do not work, therefore they shall not eat, said the Communists, but they shall do one service in providing food. It is now an offence to have a dog or cat or a pet of any kind." I looked in horror at the monk. An offence to keep a pet! Instinctively I looked again at the Chakpori. "What happened to our cats there?" I asked.
"Killed and eaten", was the reply.
I sighed and thought, "Oh! If only I could tell people the truth about Communism, how they really treat people. If only the Westerners wer not so squeamish!"
I thought of the community of nuns of whom I had heard so recently from a high lama who, upon his journey, had come across a lone survivor and heard her story before she died in his arms. Her community of nuns, she told him, had been invaded by a wild band of Chinese soldiers. They had desecrated the Sacred Objects and stolen all there was of value. The aged Superior, they had stripped and rubbed her with butter. Then they had set her alight and laughed and shouted with joy at her screams. At last her poor blackened body lay still upon the ground, and a soldier drew his bayonet the length of her body to make sure that she was dead.
Old nuns were stripped and red hot coals thrust into them so that they died in agony. Younger nuns were raped in front of each other, each being raped some twenty or thirty times during the three days that the soldiers stayed. Then they tired of the "sport", or were exhausted, for they turned upon the women in a last frenzy of savagery. Some women had parts cut off, some were slit open. Yet others were driven, still naked, out into the bitter cold.
A little party of monks who were travelling to Lhasa had come upon them and had tried to help them, giving the women their own robes, trying to keep the feeble light of life flickering. The Chinese Communist soldiers, also on the way to Lhasa, had come upon them and treated the monks with such savage brutality that such things could not be put into print. The monks, mutilated beyond hope of saving, had been turned loose, naked, bleeding, until they died from loss of blood. One woman alone had survived; she had fallen in a ditch and had been hidden by prayer flags which the Chinese had ripped from their posts. At long last, the lama and his attendant acolyte had come upon the gruesome scene and together had heard the full tale from the nun's dying lips.
"Oh! To tell the Western world of the terrors of Communism", I thought, but as I was to later to find, to my cost, one cannot write or talk of the truth in the West. All horrors must be smoothed over, all must have a patina of "decency". Are the Communists "decent" when they rape, mutilate and kill? If people of the West would listen to the true accounts of those who have suffered, they would indeed save themselves such horrors, for Communism is insidious, like cancer, and while people are prepared to think that this dreadful cult is merely different politics, then there is danger indeed for the peoples's of the world. As one who has suffered, I would say—show people in print and pictures (no matter how dreadful) what goes on behind these "Iron Curtains".
While I was ruminating upon these things, and spasmodically scanning the landscape before me, an aged man, bent and walking with a stick, entered my room. His face was lined with much suffering, and his bones stood out prominently, covered only by parchment-tight, withered skin. I saw that he was sightless and I rose to take his arm. His eye-sockets glared as angry red holes, and his movements were uncertain, as are those of the recently blinded. I sat him by me, and gently held his hand, thinking that here in this invaded land we had nothing now with which to alleviate his suffering and ease the pain of those inflamed sockets.
He smiled patiently and said, "You are wondering about my eyes, Brother. I was upon the Holy Way, making my prostrations at a Shrine. As I rose to my feet I gazed upon the Potala, and by a mischance a Chinese officer was in my line of sight. He charged that I was gazing upon him arrogantly, that I was looking at him offensively. I was tied by a rope to the end of its car and dragged along the ground to the square. There spectators were rounded up, and in front of them my eyes were gouged out and thrown at me. My body, as you can surely see, has many half-healed wounds. I was brought here by others and now I am glad to greet you."
I gasped with horror as he pulled open his robe, for his body was a raw red mass through being dragged along the road. I well knew this man. Under him, as an Acolyte, I had studied things of the mind. I had known him when I became a lama, for he had been one of my sponsors. He had been one of the lamas when I had journeyed far down beneath the Potala to endure the Ceremony of the Little Death. Now he sat beside me, and I knew that his death was not far off.
"You have travelled far and have seen and endured much," he said. "Now my last task in this Incarnation is to help you obtain glimpses, through the Akashic Record, of the life of a certain Englishman who is most anxious to depart his body that you may take over. You will glimpses only, for it takes much energy and we are both low in strength." He paused, and then, with a faint smile on his face, continued, "The effort will finish this present life of mine, and I am glad to have this oppertunity of acquiring merit through this last task. Thank you, Brother, for making this possible. When you return here from the Astral Journey, I shall be dead beside you."
The Akashic Record! What a wonderful source of knowledge that was. What a tragedy that people did not investigate its possibilities instead of meddling with atom bombs. Everything we do, everything that happens, is indelibly impressed upon the Akasha, that subtle medium which interpenetrates all matter. Every movement which has taken place on Earth since Earth first was, is available for those with the necessary training. To those with their "eyes" open, the history of the world lies before them. An old prediction says that after the end of this century scientists will be able to use the Akashic Record to look into history. It would be interesting to know what Cleopatra really said to Anthony, and what Mr. Gladstone's famous remarks were. To me it would be delightful to see my critics' faces when they saw what asses they really are, when they had to admit that I wrote the truth after all, but, sad to say, none of us will be here then.
But this Akashic Record, can we explain it more clearly? Everything that happens "impresses" itself upon that medium which interpenetrates even air. Once a sound has been made, or an action initiated, it is there for all time. With suitable instruments anyone could see it. Look at it in terms of light, or the vibrations, which we call light and sight. Light travels at a certain speed. As every scientist knows, we see stars at night which may no longer be in existence. Some of those stars are so very far away that the light from them which is now reaching us may have started on its journey before this Earth came into being. We have no way of knowing if the star died a million or 50 years ago because the light would still reach us for perhaps a million more years. It might be easier to remind one of sound. We see the flash of lightning and hear the sound some time later. It is the slowness of sound, which makes for the delay in hearing it after seeing the flash. It is the slowness of light, which may make possible an instrument for "seeing" the past.
If we could move instantly to a planet so far distant that it took light one year to reach it from the planet which we had just left, we would see light which had started out one year before us. If we had some, as yet imaginary, super-powerful, super-sensitive telescope with which we could focus on any part of the Earth, we would see events on Earth which were a year old. Given the ability to move with our super telescope to a planet so far distant that the light from Earth took one million years to reach it, we should then be able to see Earth as it was one million years ago. By moving further and further, instantly, of course, we should eventually reach a point from which we would be able to see the birth of Earth, or even the sun.
The Akashic Record enables us to do just that. By special training we can move into the astral world where Time and Space do not exist and where other "dimensions" take over. Then one sees all. Other Time and Space? Well, as a simple example, suppose one had a mile of thin thread, sewing cotton if you like. One has to move from one side to the other. As things are on Earth we cannot move through the cotton, nor around its circumference. One has to travel all along the surface to the end a mile away, and back the other side, another mile. The journey is long. In the astral we should just move through. A very simple example, but moving through the Akashic Record is as simple, when one knows how!
The Akashic Record cannot be used for wrong purposes, used to gain information which would harm another. Nor without special dispensation, could one see and afterward discuss the private affairs of a person. One can, of course, see and discuss those things which are properly the affairs of history. Now I was going to see glimpses of the private life of another, and then I had to finally decide; should I take over this other body to substitute for mine? Mine was failing rapidly, and to accomplish my allotted task, I had to have a body to "tide me over" until I could change its molecules to mine.
I settled myself, and waited for the blind lama to speak.