"Where shall we be when we go away from here?"
Again and again you have asked this question of yourself, and of others, seeking an answer that satisfies. And again and again you have failed to get the desired satisfaction as you pondered over the replies received.
For ages human souls have been seeking a “Where?" when the search should be for a “Which?"
But you who have learned to look in the right direction, who begin to realize the creative power of thought, can begin to see, if you think a moment, that locality is condition; "only that and nothing more." What you call “Here " is only a natural, therefore common, condition of soul.
This great world by which you set such store and which appears so huge, is but a small part of the Universe. And the universe is but a series of interrelated conditions or soul-states. These states find their unity in being.
Your being, the unchanging real of you, includes the Universe. In it are all the states possible to individual consciousness; and you, as a soul, will “go to“ every one of them.
How long you will dwell in any one depends upon your desire for, and effort toward, realization of your true being as Lord of all.
"Here," or " in this world," as the natural state of the soul, seems all important, and the only life we are sure of, till we begin to find another one, not outside but within it. And here is a great truth which is a "glad tidings" to those who can receive the annunciation.
All higher worlds, all higher states are within this one. And we can go from "this world” to the "next" while we still wear this coat of skin which is called the body.
"What! without dying?" you ask.
Yes, without laying off that fleshly body—while using it on the plane where it belongs.
Do I mean immortality of the flesh?
No, I do not. I mean immortality of the soul, which can be an immortality in the flesh—within it.
"'Remember our former illustration. The acorn contains a whole tree, potentially. Because of its nature, of what is within it, what is without is only the coming forth of that which, primarily, is within.
The first shoot from the acorn of being is the Adam-soul; and the whole soul is in the acorn. This state or stage of the soul's becoming, is what we call “Here” or “living in this world." It is but the infancy of self-consciousness.
To the little shoot, its own maturity lies way before it in a misty and unknown future. Even its next stage of growth is unknown. What it is to be next year does not appear as it looks out and forward. It faces, continually, the unknowable.
Its natural tendency is to look out, to peer into that which*is not yet, and to shrink back affrighted because it does not see and know. And all the while this little shoot, the Adam-soul, is being pushed from the acorn of being.
If only it can turn and look backward, following its line of connection with the being, it will find that all that is to come in the other direction, already is in the being. The whole tree is there.
And if it finds—as it can—what is in the acorn, it knows what will come before that has appeared as the continuity of the shoot.
Put yourself in the place of this little shoot. As a soul you have been put forth from that Lord which includes all that the genus—Man—is. All kinds of men, or all species, are in this all of being.
What we may call the physical man, the mental man, the moral man, the growing man, are species of this genus. They are all involved or potential in it, therefore must be evolved from it.
This evolution of the species from the genus—do not be discouraged, and think this is too hard for you to understand, for you can understand it—is what we see and trace as development of the soul.
Hence the necessity of looking to the acorn of being in our search for a why and wherefore of existence. If we only look there and see what is involved, even as the whole tree is potential in the acorn, we shall see that as a soul we have a destiny to fulfill.
We must become all that our God-being involves.
One by one the species are brought forth or incarnated. The physical man appears. The mental man appears. The moral man appears. The spiritual man will appear. The divine man will appear.
Just as the first shoot becomes a stronger stem, and the stem becomes a trunk, and the trunk puts forth branches, and the branches put forth twigs, leaves, and fruit, so the Adam-soul grows into the next higher state, and it into the next and so on till the divine man appears or is incarnated.
Where will you be when you die? Just where you are, or what you are when you die; or when you drop this fleshly instrument you are now using.
For there is no death in the sense of an end to soul. It is immortal by nature, not by Almighty favor; and because it is rooted in the eternal being. its only death is the disappearance of the first shoot into the stronger stem. So if you dropped your coat of skin in the next hour, your locality would be your condition or soul-quality.
Though this objective world which we look upon is comparatively—not absolutely—real, and has a basis in the being, its substantiality and conditions are all made by soul—by our self-consciousness. Their perpetuity also depends upon our consciousness, not upon our coat of skin.
Objects are to us as we sense them. And if ours is only the Adam or natural sense, this must still remain to us, in the main, when we drop our fleshly instrument. It will be modified but not radically changed; modified, because this instrument is now a window we look through, while then we have turned from the window and are looking at the room in which we have been all the while.
Settle this one fact with yourself if you wish to be rid of uncertainty, of all fear and wonderment as to what will become of you when you die.
You are that you are.
Now, you are a soul that must grow; grow to a divine stature eventually, however long—as our human sense reckons time—you may prolong, through ignorance or intention, any one soul state or condition.
You are impelled by your own God-like being, and move forward you must till you stand forth crowned with that Godlikeness. Divinity belongs to your being, and because it is there primarily, it must appear eventually.
With this future before you as a soul; with that everlasting present which is your real being that never leaves or forsakes you; with your ignorant past dead, and left to bury its own dead if you have awakened to this omnipresence, how can you feel fear as to what will confront you "on the other side"?
How can you feel uncertainty as to whether there is a hereafter or not?
How can there be any doubt in the matter?
Do you not see that this very hour you are making the quality of your future?
Not making the future for that is a logical consequence of what you are. But making that quality for it which will be your locality after death because it will be your soul-condition.
How are you thinking? Thought is creative. By your use of thought-force you are now creating your future hell or heaven, and you will experience just what you make for yourself.
"But," you ask, "shall I see and know my loved ones?"
Do you see them and know them now?
"O! yes!" you say.
Stop a moment. There is your brother with whom you have lived from childhood, whom you have seen every day. Last week he did something which was an overwhelming shock and surprise to you. "I never would have believed it of him," you said, "if I had not seen and known it myself. No one could have made me believe it."
How much did you know him, though you had seen him every day for years? You know him only as that soul reveals its status to you, though you look upon its coat of skin every day.
When you ask that question you are thinking only of that coat with its features, the hair and eyes you know so well. You are thinking of the instrument, more than of that which uses the instrument, are you not?
But now, while you are using your own, does not a subtle sense—never mind naming it—sometimes penetrate beyond the physical and give you an equally subtle knowledge of the quality of a soul whose physical instrument enters your presence for perhaps the first time?
There are more ways of knowing than through what we have called our five physical senses. There is the way by which we are known, by those who are not dependent upon the coat as the instrument necessary to that end.
Remember Paul's utterance. "Henceforth know I no man after the flesh." Begin now to sense—to know souls and let go that strong hold upon flesh. Use it always according to the purpose in which it has place; but try, 0! try not to cling to it.
And of this be sure. Not one truly loving feeling can ever be lost or wasted. Every single unselfish heart-throb you have ever experienced for another vibrates throughout eternity. Those whom you truly, not selfishly, love are your own, and where you are they will be also when their love is the same.
Let go all fear and doubt. Dry your eye that you may see more clearly. Good is Omnipotent. Best in the Infinite arms while you live in the eternal present.
It is the Law that as a soul you must fulfill your destiny; and "not one jot or tittle shall pass from the law till all be fulfilled." But love is the fulfilling of the Law. And with real love comes surety and peace. You know your end.
"This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing."
More Articles by This Author Ursula N. Gestefeld
- Born April 22, 1845 and died in 1921 (burried at Graceland Cemetery, Chicago).
- Involved in Christian Science
- Most famous work is The Woman Who Dares.