[Which was at the end of previous editions]
[Matter is here set forth for the aid of some of the British reviewers, who have believed that they have reviewed the book to which this Supplement is appended, but who have not—although the looks from their eyes have passed over its pages—ever seen all that is within the work.]
The question as to whether the author of the foregoing book, copies of which have been placed in the hands of many readers in Europe, Asia, Canada, the United States of America and Islands of the Pacific, is a "Spiritualist, Christian Scientist, Theosophist or what?" has called from him letters of which that given below is one. It is printed here in order that it may serve as an answer to some questions that the book itself will continue—as long as brute force continues in any part of the world to be used by one set of men as a means of rule over another—to arouse; and for yet an additional reason—namely, that it may serve to convey to the world some knowledge upon the subject of Art that such reviews, by British reviewers, of the earlier issues of the work as have reached him, have not appeared to the author to possess. A knowledge of Art in its higher manifestation (if judgment is based solely upon their printed utterances) is a matter in regard to which these particular reviewers have appeared to be not conscious. Seeming, as they have done in a great variety of ways, to display lack of knowledge of what Art may be, it appears to be but proper to place here before the world some knowledge, not in their reviews, of that which Art in time may come to be.
And for that reason the following letter is here placed before men, and such readers as can come to be aware of it:
I will try to answer your questions. It is my belief that with others who do what we do we are one; and also that, to those who do the things that we have done, our thoughts must in time go. But the process by which we may come to dwell each in the other may be slow, or it may be sudden. There is, as I understand it, but one way by which I can come to dwell in another, and he in me; and that one way is by doing what he does or what he has done. If I am to become a member of an organization or society having rules of admission, I am enabled to become one by first doing the things that others to become such have done. What the society does the person on the outside, who have not done those things that make a man a member, does not know. So, if I wish to find and stand at the point in the universe from which will gush forth the same stream of thought which in times past has poured into the soul of prophet and poet, builder or artist, I must first walk along the way that was found by him, and then stand where he stood. Should I wish to think as does the beggar on the street who, with shame, begs, in order that another may be helped, or as does a bishop, or university president, without shame, for the same end (blame being to neither of them, but only to those who, upon being asked, do not, in fact as well as in form, divide with those whose need is found to be greater than is their own, their bread), I must do what they have done. If I wish to think as does a captain of industry, I must live for that one purpose, and must make my eyes blind and my ears deaf to any effect upon others of my deeds which would delay or prevent the accomplishment of my one purpose. That which, among all of my works must be my purpose placed most high, must be to become an industry captain. But, should my choice be given to them, and those things be done by me, because in them my whole heart, my mind and my strength, those other thoughts and powers will never be able to enter, or so far penetrate into me that I will be able even seriously to believe in their existence, that come to the prophet, who has another purpose, desired by the whole of his heart, and with all of his strength, or to the musician or poet, who, throughout life, has persistently refused to permit himself to become filled, to the exclusion of that which he is destined to obtain, with those things by which a merchant obtains his reward—the reward that comes from a willingness not to forego success, but yet to press on forward to obtain it after he has become aware that, by each additional effort made by him to obtain it, the struggle of others of his fellows is made yet more onerous.
The poet, on the other hand, and prophet, seek above all things, to get beyond the region in nature where the transfers and exchanges taking place constitute the parent or starting-point of those evanescent processes -in the world called commerce, that, seemingly stable, are ephemeral, and among the things first forgotten. With an intuitive knowledge or instinct towards the things that are lasting, the poet and prophet seeks to get, notwithstanding his resisting outer nature, beyond this realm of the bubbles that burst into the place where the dreams are, which are the only things that have a permanent and an everlasting foundation. But if ever his dreams become strong enough to lift him up out of the commercial willingness to prosper at the cost of another man's distress, the things that have, at such cost, come to him, must fall away from him. For he has been lifted by his dreams from a place in which things of one kind could be to another in which they cannot. And he will from choice now leave, as to him of little worth, the things or methods that create the success of the industry captain—methods that make fame and achieve for the politician or ecclesiastic the chief places or seats. He will leave them to obtain those things that to the amazed captains of industry—and rightly from their view-point—constitute a mere matter of midsummer madness.
In other words, as these matters seem to be seen by me, the parent of a thought—if the thought is one that is to rise up, and constitute the nucleus of a star, which will thereafter grow into form and take its place in the heavens— must be first that which is back of all things that are destined to live— an impulse; the impulse will then be followed by an act, and the act by its thought. And to be with and of others, they and we must have acted from the same impulse, intuition or spirit. Our deeds will then be of the same class, kind or kingdom.
Thoughts, like men, have their measured, fixed and appointed periods of life. And, as I have looked at thoughts, those that have been of longest life have had for their parents acts that looked as if they were destined to bring to those who were, for the time being, controlled by them, the opposite of that for which the world of traffic seeks—the least. The deeds thus prompted were the opposite of those of timidity; were deeds that, as they have sought but little or nothing for self, have been deeds that have been most courageous.
But, should the steps taken by poet or prophet be taken even for such pure gain as gain of knowledge, when the gain sought is to be only for self it will be nothing, for it will still belong to the world of commerce, and be mere traffic. For, as long as gain remains the object, no more can be obtained through the spirit of that effort than can be obtained through the spirit of any other traffic, and its fruits will be the same—be only that which comes from traffic: and it will be as well to work as a politician—for the fruit of traffic can rise no higher than a material thing, and will be, in that case, an office; or, as a soldier fighting for territory, who goes forth to take from another people their land, and, as compensation, gets applause, or a certain and unfailing income, which the business career of a private citizen would not so certainly assure him, by which he is led to feel certain of the bread that will keep in him the kind of life that he is ready to take away from others in order that he himself may not lose it.
Upon the other hand, the reward of one who would become a Master of Arts is that which comes from desiring rather to abandon and walk away from the certainty of bread or applause than ever to acquire it at the cost of another man's welfare. But, nevertheless, a man should do nothing so long as he does not, above all other things, prefer it—and that is, love it. When the time comes for him to take the steps (after emptying himself of the lower things that are traffic), through which there will be caused to flow in to him other things, he will, through that which alone can prompt such acts—through love of them—perform them. And what others do will be then to him nothing. For he will then see that no man should ever take such a step as the poet, prophet, or artist will have taken from any other cause at all but one—from love of it. If there still remain to him other things that he prefers to do it is best that they should be the things still done by him. But, of these matters that the high artists have done it is hard to speak clearly and plainly, and it has always been considered easier to make them plain rather by reference and by metaphor. For, so long as we lead lives that must in many respects differ, and until the time comes when we will live each in the other and lead one life, there will be things that we will not be able to speak plainly and face to face each to the other, and long letters will say but little.
That beings in this world can become surrounded by and aware of, and served by others who have gone out of their garments of flesh, is my own belief, or dream. For our beliefs are only and no more than mere dreams. And so I speak of that which I know as a dream, and for two reasons: First, because its dreams have been always the most real of all the things of earth; and this is for the reason that of all the subjects of merchandise, and properties that are owned by merchants, who call themselves the practical ones of the earth, have had their birth originally, and their start, out of dreams, exactly as, through the dreams of earth's dreamers and poets, will the merchandise accumulated by the methods which earth's merchants now follow, for which such merchants will then mourn, be caused to pass, as does a vapor before the sunlight of morning, or as fails away the grain before the sweep of the sickle. I speak of the presence of those noble ones about us who, when clothed in the flesh, would not gain aught at the cost of a wound, or of loss to another, as a dream, because I have stood in that attitude in which, when he is possessed of naught but dreams, one can look and can see what dreams are in men, and I have seen that such dreams as are theirs, and such dreams as are the dreams of those of this world who do not deem their own opinions to be wiser than is the wisdom of non-resistance, to be dreams that are not to be outlasted by time.
And for these reasons I -would express such ideas as it is attempted here to set forth in the language of the most stable of all the things that are—namely, by calling them dreams; and by saying that with me, it is a dream that, when aware of his own resplendent intellectual endowments, and knowing that by using them as did the ruler of her civilization of an hour, he could have placed himself at the head of her ecclesiastical system, or have stood upon the pinnacle of her commerce, chief among the chief captains of the industry of Judea, Jesus of Nazareth preferred instead to turn away from the methods of those who, in her esteem were held to be highest, to stand at the place of and feel with them from the view-point of those who were held by her to be but degenerates and outcasts there did gather all at once about him, and become able to serve and minister to him, all of those daring ones of the world of whom in times past the world had not been worthy. And that is a dream.
And it is my dream (being myself one of those who, in this world where strife is the cause of illusions, is a practical man) that, upon this step being so determined upon by him that it was to come to be taken, there did come to him, and for months thereafter remain with him, as the outcome of the operation of one of nature's laws—where strife is not—such power over the air as made the winds in their causes subject to his will until they could be hushed by it, whereupon, the winds ceasing, the waters on the neighboring lake would be caused to subside. Such a will, under the laws of nature, was the kind of will that could be put into him by thought such as was his thought; but the power of that thought could come forth only out of knowledge that could believe no fellow-man himself to be degenerate—knowledge that could know of no one fittest to survive.
This, too, I dream: That when Siddhartha (Gautama Buddha), the compassionate, went away from his palace forever to learn, by living it, what was the view-point of India's outcasts, there did, indeed, as has been said, gather about him when he was under the Bo tree all of those who, by that act, were made to be dwellers in and to become one with him through having done deeds that were of the same spirit of compassion that had prompted his act.
And I dream a dream (that comes from what taught him) that when Socrates, the jester for truth (one of that mighty line that fortunately has, and will yet have, descendants), was, with the utmost coolness, ready to drink the hemlock for having spoken that which the timid, and nations whose hands are war-stained, strive ever to hide and conceal, and, amid his disturbed friends, spoke undisturbed of his death, there was in his own words, for him, more than he allowed them to know; and that he was, daring his discourse, made calm by the near presence of those great ones, at the moment ministering to him, into contact with whom he had been brought through a deed done such as they before him had performed; and that his genius—his own spirit—his father in heaven—the monitor of whom he had so many times spoken—was, in those high moments, so near to him that the whole earth and heaven had already begun to take on for him a new shape and beauty and things a rare and new meaning, such as were cause of a deep and a new wonder to him. These things I dream, and, seeing them one and eternal with that of which they themselves are an embodied and permanent part, I cannot escape from believing. With the hope that, on paper, they may have served the purpose that, in placing them here, I have hoped for, I am.