Then come these dreadful lures. They are, in fact, but mere carcasses, shells of monsters from past existences, offering themselves that we may give them life to terrify us as soon as we have entered them either by fear or love. No matter which way we enter, whether by attachment or by repugnant horror, it is all one: they are in one case vivified by a lover; in the other by a slave who would be free but cannot.
When the Self is first seen it is like looking into a glove; and for how many incarnations may it not be so? The material envelope throws up before the eye of the Soul waving fumes and clouds of illusion.
Now this is, as I said, an era. I called it that of Western Occultism, but you may give it any name you like. But it is western. The symbol is the well-intended American Republic, which was seen by Tom Paine beforehand "as a new era in the affairs of the world." It was meant as near as possible to be a brotherhood of nations, and that is the drift of its declaration and constitution. The T.S. is meant to be46 the same, but has for many years been in a state of friction. It has now, if possible, to come out of that. It cannot be a brotherhood unless each, or some, of its units becomes a brother in truth. And brother was the noble name given in 1875 to the Masters. Hence you and I and all of us must cultivate that. We must forgive our enemies and those who assail us, for only thus can the great brothers properly help by working through us. There seems to be a good deal to forgive, but it is easily done inasmuch as in fifty years we'll all be gone and forgot.
The communion of saints is a reality, and it often happens that those brought up in the same school speak26 the same language. While not being one, such are very like co-scholars no matter when or where. Furthermore, there are some peculiar natures in this world who, while they are like mirrors or sponges that reflect and absorb from others certain information, still retain a very strong individuality of their own. So it is with this gentleman whose letter you enclose. There is scarcely any doubt that he, if he tells true tales, sees in the astral light. The description of things "moving about like fishes in the sea" is a real description of one of the manners in which many of these elemental forms are seen. So it may, as premised above, be settled that he sees in the astral light.
The law is this. No man can rush on and fail to escape the counter current, and in proportion as he rushes so will be the force of the current. All members who work hard come at last to the notice of the Lodge, and the moment they do so, the Black Lodge also takes notice, and hence questions arise, and we are tried in subtle ways that surpass sight, but are strong for the undoing of him who is not prepared by right thought and sacrifice to the higher nature for the fight. I tell you this. It may sound mysterious, but it is the truth, and at this time we are all bound to feel the forces at work, for as we grow, so the other side gets ready to oppose.