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MOST valuable of all the gains made by the worker for thought power, is the increased ability to help those around him, those weaker ones who have not yet learned to utilize their own powers. With his own mind and heart at peace, he is fitted to help others.

A mere kind thought is helpful in its measure, but the student will wish to do far more than drop a mere crumb to the starving.

Let us take first the case of a man who is under the sway of an evil habit, such as drink, and whom a student wishes to help. He should first ascertain if possible, at what hours the patient's mind is likely to be unemployed—-such as his hour for going to bed. If the man should be asleep, it would be all the better. At such a time, he should sit down alone, and picture the image of his patient as vividly as he can, seated in front of him— picture him clearly and in detail, so that he may see the image as he would see the man. (This very clear picturing is not essential, although the process is thereby rendered more effective.) Then he should fix his attention on this image, and address to it, with all the concentration of which he is capable, the thoughts, one by one and slowly, which he wishes to impress on his patient's mind. He should present them as clear mental images, just as he would do if laying arguments before him in words. In the case taken, he might place before him vivid pictures of the disease and misery entailed by the drink-habit, the nervous breakdown, the inevitable end. If the patient is asleep, he will be drawn to the person thus thinking of him, and will animate the image of himself that has been formed. Success depends on the concentration and the steadiness of the thought directed to the patient, and just in proportion to the development of the thought power will be its effect.

Care must be taken in such a case not to try to control, in any way, the patient's will; the effort should be wholly directed towards placing before his mind the ideas which, appealing to his intelligence and emotions, may stimulate him to come to a right judgment and to make an effort to carry it out in action. If an attempt is made to impose on him a particular line of conduct, and the attempt succeed even then little has been gained. The mental tendency towards vicious self-indulgence will not be changed by opposing an obstacle in the way of indulging in a particular form of it; checked in one direction it will find another, and a new vice will supplant the old. A man forcibly constrained to temperance by the domination of his will is no more cured of the vice than if he were locked up in prison. Apart from this, no man should try to impose his will on another, even in order to make him do right. Growth is not helped by such external coercion; the intelligence must be convinced, the emotion aroused and purified, else no real gain is made.

If the student wishes to give any other kind of thought-help, he should proceed in the same way, picturing his friend, and clearly presenting the ideas he wishes to convey. A strong wish for his good, sent to him as a general protective agency, will remain about him as a thought-form for a time proportionate to the strength of the thought, and will guard him against evil, acting as a barrier against hostile thoughts, and even warding off physical dangers. A thought of peace and consolation similarly sent will soothe and calm the mind, spreading around its object an atmosphere of calm.

The aid which is often rendered to another by prayer is largely of the character described above, the frequent effectiveness of prayer over ordinary good wishes being due to the greater concentration and intensity thrown by the pious believer into his prayer. Similar concentration and intensity would bring about similar results, without the use of prayer.

There is, of course, another way in which prayer is sometimes effective: it calls the attention of some superhuman, or evolved human, intelligence to the person for whom it is offered, and direct aid may then be rendered to him by a power surpassing that of the offerer of the prayer.

Perhaps it is as well here to interject the remark that the half-instructed Theosophist should not take alarm, and refrain from giving to a friend any thought-assistance of which he is capable, by the fear lest he should be "interfering with karma" Let him leave karma to take care of itself, and have no more fear of interfering with it

than of interfering with the law of gravitation. If he can help his friend, let him do so fearlessly, confident in the fact that, if he can do so, that help is within his friend's karma, and that he is himself the happy agent of the Law.


All that we can do for the living by thought we can do even more easily for those who have gone in front of us through death's gateway, for in their case there is no heavy physical matter to be set vibrating ere the thought can reach the waking consciousness.

After death is passed through, the tendency of the man is to turn his attention inwards, and to live in the mind rather than in an external world. The thought-currents that used to rush outwards, seeking the external world through the sense-organs, now find themselves blocked by an emptiness, caused by the disappearance of their instruments. It is as though a man, rushing towards an accustomed bridge over a ravine, suddenly found himself stopped by the bridgeless gulf, the bridge having vanished.

The re-arrangement of the astral body that quickly follows on the loss of the physical body further tends to shut in the mental energies, to prevent their outer expression. The astral matter, if not disturbed by any action of those left behind on earth, forms an enclosing shell instead of a plastic instrument, and the higher and purer the earth-life that has ended, the more complete is the barrier against impressions from without, or emergence from within. But the person thus checked as to his outward-going energies is all the more receptive of influences from the mental world, and he can therefore be helped, cheered, and counselled far more effectively than when he. was on earth.

In the world into which those freed from the physical body have gone, a loving thought is as palpable to the senses as is here a loving word of tender caress. Everyone who passes over should, therefore, be followed by thoughts of love and peace, by aspirations for his swift passage onwards through the valley of death to the bright land beyond. Only too many remain in the intermediate state longer than they otherwise would, because it is their bad karma not to have friends who know how to help them from this side of death. And if people on earth knew how much of comfort and of happiness is experienced by the wayfarers to the heavenly worlds from these truly angelic messengers, these thoughts of love and cheer, if they knew the force they had to strengthen and console, none would be left lonely by those who remain behind. The beloved " dead " have surely a claim on our love and care, and even apart from this how great is the consolation to the heart, bereaved of the presence that gave sunshine to life, to be able still to serve the loved one, and surround him on his way by the guardian angels of thought.

The occultists who founded the great religions were not unmindful of this service due from those left on earth to those who had passed onwards. The Hindu has his Shraddha, by which he helps on their way the souls that have passed into the next world, quickening their passage into Svarga. The Christian Churches have Masses and Prayers for the " dead ". " Grant him, O Lord, eternal peace, and let light perpetual shine on him", prays the Christian for his friend in the other world. Only the Protestant section of Christians have lost this gracious custom, with so much else that pertains to the higher life of the Christian man. May knowledge soon restore to them the useful and helpful practice of which ignorance has robbed them!


We need not confine our thought activities to the hours which we spend in the physical body, for very much effective work may be done by thought when our bodies are lying peacefully asleep.

The process of " going to sleep " is simply the withdrawal of the consciousness, clad in its subtle bodies, from the physical body, which is left wrapped in sleep, while the man himself passes into the astral world. Freed from the physical body, he is much more powerful as regards the effects he can produce by his thought, but for the most part he does not send it outwards, but uses it within himself on subjects that interest him in his waking life. His thought-energies run into accustomed moulds, and work on the problems that his waking consciousness is busy in solving.

The proverb that " the night brings counsel ", the advice when an important decision is to be made " to sleep on it before deciding ", are vague intuitions of this fact of mental activity during the hours of slumber. Without any deliberate attempt to utilize the freed intelligence, men gather and harvest the fruit of its labour.

Those, however, who seek to steer their evolution instead of allowing it to drift, should consciously avail themselves of the greater powers they can exercise when unimpeded by the weight of the body. The way to do this is simple. Any problem needing solution should be quietly held in the mind when going to sleep; it must not

be debated on, argued over, or sleep will be prevented, but, as it were, simply stated and left. This is sufficient to give the required direction to thought, and the Thinker will take it up and deal with it when freed from the physical body. The solution will generally be in the mind on waking, i.e., the Thinker will have impressed it on the brain—and it is a good plan to keep paper and pencil by the bed to note down the solution immediately on waking, as a thought thus obtained is very readily erased by the thronging stimuli from the physical world, and is not easily recovered. Many a difficulty in life may be seen clearly in this way, and a tangled path rendered open. And many a mental problem may also find its solution, when submitted to the intelligence unweighted by the dense brain.

Much in the same way may a student help during the hours of sleep any friend in this world or in the next. He must picture his friend in his mind, and determine to find and help him. That mental image will draw him and his friend together, and they will communicate with each other in the astral world. But in any case in which any emotion is aroused by the thought of the friend—as in the case of one who has passed on—the student must seek to calm it ere going to sleep. For emotion causes a swirl in the astral body, and if that body be in a state of strong agitation, it isolates the consciousness, and makes it impossible for mental vibrations to pass outwards.

In some cases of such communication in the astral world, a " dream " may remain in the waking memory, while in others no trace may appear. The dream is the record—often confused and mixed with alien vibrations—of the meeting out of the body, and should be so regarded. But if no trace appears in the brain, it does not matter, since the activities of the freed intelligence arc not hindered by the ignorance of the brain that docs not share them. A man's usefulness in the astral world is not governed by the memories imprinted on the brain by the returning consciousness, and these memories may be entirely absent, while most beneficent work is occupying the hours of the body's sleep.

Another form of thought-work that is little remembered, and that can be done either in or out of the physical body, is the helping of good causes, of public movements beneficial to mankind. To think of these in a definite way is to start currents of aid from the inner planes of being, and we may especially consider this in relation to


The increased force that may be obtained by the union of several people to help a common object is recognized not only by occultists, but by all who know anything of the deeper science of the mind. It is the custom, in some parts at least of Christendom, to preface the sending of a mission to evangelize some special district by definite and sustained thinking. A small band of Roman Catholics, for instance, will meet together for some weeks or months before a mission is sent out, and will prepare the ground where it is to work by imaging the place, thinking of themselves as present there, and then intently meditating on some definite dogma of the Church. In this way a thought-atmosphere is created in that district most favourable to the spread of Roman Catholic teachings, and receptive brains arc prepared to wish to receive instruction in them. The thought-work will be aided by the added intensity given to it by fervent prayer, another form of thought-work, fired by religious fervour.

The contemplative orders of the Roman Catholic Church do a large amount of good and useful work by thought, as do__the recluses of the Hindu and Buddhist faiths. Wherever a good and pure intelligence sets itself to work to aid the world by diffusing through it noble and lofty thoughts, there definite service is done to man, and the lonely thinker becomes one of the lifters of the world?

A group of like-minded thinkers, such as a group of Theosophists, may do much to spread theosophical ideas in their own neighbourhood by agreeing to give a fixed ten minutes a day to thinking on a theosophical teaching. It is not necessary that their bodies should be gathered in one place provided that their minds are together. Suppose such a group decided to think about reincarnation daily for ten minutes at a fixed time for three or six months. Powerful thought-forms would then throng the selected district, and the idea of reincarnation would come into a considerable number of minds. Enquiries would be made, books on the subject would be sought for, and a lecture on the subject, after such a preparation, would attract an eager and interested audience. Progress, out of all proportion to the physical agencies employed, is made where earnest men and women combine in this mental propaganda.


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