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|Esoteric Healing - Chapter IV - The Basic Requirements for Healing|
|Present Attitudes to Death
I undertook to take up with you the processes of dying and to consider a little more fully the factor of death - the most familiar experience (could the physical brain but recall it and realize it) in the life of the reincarnating entity or soul. Let me make some comments as to the attitude of man to the experience of "restitution." This is a peculiarly occult word, largely used by the initiate when speaking of death. The outstanding attitude associated with death is one of fear. This fear is based upon the - at present - mental uncertainty as to the fact of immortality. Beyond the proven fact of some form of survival, established by the psychical research groups, immortality or the permanent existence of what we usually mean when we speak of the "I" remains as yet in the realm of wishful thinking or of belief. This belief can be founded on Christian premises, upon religious affirmation based on rationalizing the matter, and on the more scientific approach which argues that economic necessity requires that that which has been so long in evolving and which is the culminating result of the evolutionary process cannot be lost. It is interesting to note that there is no evidence upon our planet of any higher evolutionary product than that of the human kingdom; even for the materialistic thinker, the uniqueness of man is to be found in his various stages of consciousness and in his capacity to present for investigation all stages of consciousness, from that of the illiterate savage, through all the intermediate stages of mental effectiveness up to the most advanced thinkers and geniuses, capable of creative art, scientific discovery and spiritual perception.
Putting it very simply, the question which the theme of death arouses is: Where is the "I," the occupying tenant of the body, when that body is relinquished and disintegrates? Is there, in the last analysis, an occupying tenant? 
Human history records the endless search for assurance upon this subject; this search culminates today in the numerous societies which are occupying themselves with the attempt to prove immortality and to penetrate into those fastnesses of the spirit which apparently give sanctuary to that "I" which has been the actor on the physical plane and which has hitherto baffled the most earnest seeker. The incentive of fear lies behind this frantic search; it is an unfortunate fact that the majority of the people (apart from a few enlightened scientists and similar intelligent seekers) who engage in the usually questionable techniques of the seance room, are emotional types, easily convinced and only too ready to accept as evidence that which the more intelligent seeker would immediately repudiate.
Let me here make my position clear as regards the great spiritualistic movement which has done so much in the past to prove the fact of survival, and which has also, in certain of its phases, done so much to mislead and deceive mankind. Under this general term, I class also the various psychical research groups and exempt all sincere scientific work. None of these groups has as yet proven their case. The mystery and the foolishness of the average seance room, and the work of the mediums, have nevertheless demonstrated the presence of an inexplicable factor; the laboratories of the scientific research worker have scarcely proved even that. For every case of the definitely acceptable appearance of a discarnate person there are thousands of cases which can be explained upon the grounds of gullibility, telepathic rapport (with the bereaved person, but not with anyone who has passed over), the seeing of thought-forms by the clairvoyant and the hearing of voices by the clairaudient, and also by trickery. Note that I refer to "acceptable appearances" of a returning spirit. There is enough evidence to warrant belief in survival and to prove its factual nature. Upon the grounds of the inexplicable phenomena  of contact with the supposedly dead which have been noted, investigated and proven, and upon the character of the men who testify to the fact of these phenomena, we can affirm that something, survives the "restitution" of the material body to the eternal reservoir of substance. It is on this premise that we proceed.
Today the phenomenon of death is becoming increasingly familiar. The world war has launched millions of men and women - civilians and those in the various branches of the armed forces of all the nations - into that unknown world which receives all those who discard the physical form. Conditions are at this time such that in spite of the ancient and deep seated fear of death, there is emerging in the consciousness of mankind the realization that there are many worse things than death; men have come to know that starvation, mutilation, permanent physical incapacity, mental disability as the result of war and the strain of war, the observation of pain and agony which cannot be relieved, are indeed worse than death; also, many know and believe (for such is the glory of the human spirit) that the relinquishing of the values for which men have fought and died down the ages and which are deemed essential to the life of the free human spirit is of greater significance than the process of death. This attitude, characteristic of the sensitive and the right thinking people at this time, is now emerging upon a large scale. This means the recognition, alongside of the ancient fear, of an unconquerable hope of better conditions to be found elsewhere, and this need not necessarily be wishful thinking but an indication of a latent subjective knowledge, slowly coming to the surface. Something is on its way as a result of human distress and human thinking; this is today sensed; this fact will be later demonstrated. Opposing this inner confidence and subjective realization are old habits of thought, the developed materialistic attitude  of the present, the fear of deception, and the antagonism of both the scientist and the religious man or churchman. The former rightly refuses to believe that which remains still unproven and seems also not to be susceptible of proof, whilst religious groups and organizations have no confidence in any presentation of truth which they have not formulated in their own terms. This lays an undue emphasis upon belief and thus stultifies all enthusiastic investigation. The discovery of the fact of immortality will come from the people; it will eventually then be accepted by the churches and proven by science, but this not until the aftermath of the war is over and this planetary disturbance has subsided.
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