Sacredness of Spiritual Experiences

LETTER NO. 19 - June, 1912

Many letters have been received during the past month voicing appreciation of students in respect to the last lessons, and it has been a source of gratification to note the deep-felt love for the Fellowship and the desire to know "how it all came about." Thus I feel somewhat better about introducing my personal experiences than I did in the first place.

At the same time it cannot be too strongly emphasized that indiscriminate relating of superphysical experiences is one of the most harmful of practices, no matter from what standpoint we look at it. In Lecture No. 11, "Spiritual Sight and Insight," the matter has been thoroughly explained. The "treasure-trove" must be lifted in silence; and from the Greek myth we learn that Tantalus was hurled down into the infernal regions for divulging spiritual secrets. In other words, we cannot attain true illumination while we go hawking our dreams and visions from pillar to post and recount them even to people manifestly unwilling to listen. Thereby we profane and cheapen what we ought to reverence, and the desecration is apt to focus our vision in the infernal regions, the lower strata of the desire world.

Again, such recitals always tax the credulity of those to whom they are related. There is not measure whereby we may gauge their accuracy. They often seem to have no practical bearing upon the problem of life; and even if we have faith in the veracity of the visionary, there is not value in his stories unless we can find an underlying law or purpose. Thus the statement of the law is sufficient without embellishment. Perhaps, the best illustration of this point may be given by relating how I discovered the law of infant mortality which was never published till it appeared in our literature.

My Teacher one day set me the task of following a certain person's life through two previous embodiments and reporting. I had no idea that I was being sent in quest of a law, but thought the purpose was to develop my faculty of reading the Memory of Nature. When ready, I reported the result to my Teacher who inquired particularly the circumstances attending death in each of the two lives. I answered that the man died in battle the first time and from sickness as a child the last. That was correct, and another person's life was given me to investigate. That one died in bed the first time, and also died as a child the last time. A third person's life terminated in a fire the first time, and seemingly also as a child the last time. I say "seemingly," for I could scarcely believe the evidence of my senses, and felt diffident when I reported to my Teacher. I was surprised when he said I was correct. This feeling grew as I, in turn investigated fourteen person's lives. IN the first life they died under varying circumstances; some in battle, others by accidents, and others in bed surrounded by weeping relatives; but in the second life all passed out as children.

The Teacher then told me to compare these lives to find why they died as children, and for many weeks I studied them night after night, but could find not similarity in the conditions of their first death until one Sunday morning just as I was entering my body, it flashed through my brain. I awoke with a shout--Eureka! I almost jumped into the middle of the floor in my joy at having found the key. The horrors of battle, fire, and accident, and the lamentations of relatives alike prevent deep etching of the life-panorama; and the value of a life terminated under such conditions would be lost save for the following death as a child and subsequent tuition first in the first heaven, a fully elucidated in our literature. The law, as there stated, logically explains a mystery of life independent of the accuracy of my story. As I relate it only to give point to our lesson, I feel consistent when exhorting others to silence as to their spiritual experiences.