YOU will have gathered that the spirit world is a vast place, and, with the earth world in mind, you may conclude that it possesses an administrative organization in all respects proportionate to its demands. You would be right, for it does. But our needs are not as yours. With you in your corruptible world it is constant war with material decay and degeneration. With us in our incorruptible world we have neither the one nor the other. Ours is a state far beyond Utopian in quality. But it is a state where thought is its basic element.
I have recounted to you how, when I first saw my own spirit garden, I marveled at its orderliness and excellent preservation, and I wondered just bow it was maintained thus, and who was responsible for it. Edwin told mc that it would require practically no effort in its upkeep. By that he meant, as I have since learnt, that provided my wish remained constant for the garden to continue unaltered, and provided that I had affection for the flowers and grass and trees, the garden would respond to my thoughts and flourish under them. If I desired to alter the arrangement of the flower beds, and so on, I could easily ask some expert to come to my help--and he would be only too happy to do so. So much for the upkeep of my garden.
My house is provided for under the same law. And so it is with all gardens and houses belonging to other folk in this realm. These, however, are what you would call more or less private concerns. They are so in one respect, but the fact that I can find an expert gardener who can make radical changes in my house and garden; indeed, who can build me an entirely new and different home, with surrounding gardens wholly different from what I have now, shows that organization of some sort--and a very considerable one--must exist somewhere.
The united thoughts of the inhabitants of the whole realm will sustain all that grows within it, the flowers, and the trees and the grass, and the water, too, whether of lake, river, or sea--for water is fully alive in the spirit world. It is when we come into the city and travel through the halls of learning that the organization becomes outwardly mare observable.
In the hall of music, for example, we find many students busy at work upon their lessons and studies. We find others engaged upon musical research, and delving into ancient music books; others will be arranging the music for some concert, consulting the shelves for suitable works, and sometimes discussing those works with their composers. There are many teachers, in able people ready to assist us in our inquiries or our difficult and they are all able to provide a solution to our problems because the staff of this hall--as of all others--are themselves experts.
Nominally, the ruler of the realm is the principal of all halls, and all major decisions would, of course, he referred him. But he appoints competent people to the staffs of halls, and extends to them a free hand in all their
Each hall will have its own direct head, but it must not be thought that this 'official' is an unapproachable, detached personage, hidden away from all sight, and only seen on relatively rare occasions. He is just the opposite. He is always to be about the hall, and he welcomes, personally, anyone who comes there, either as a learner, or as a 'mere lover' of music, or to carry out musical researches.
I have recounted to you how we continue with our work just that period during which we derive pleasure or profit from it. The moment we feel the need for a change of work or other diversion, we cease our work for the time being, and turn to whatever else we wish. The staffs of all the halls of learning are no different from others in this respect. They most certainly need change and recreation, and so we find that the alternate in their personnel as occasion demands. As some retire others take their places. It is the most natural thing in the world and the most practical. We need never fear that when we to see some particular expert we shall be disappointed because he is not there. We shall be able to have all the help we need and if it is vitally necessary to consult the absent one, either an instantaneous thought will answer our question, or with e rapidity we can visit his home. We need have no misgivings about our intruding upon him.
Now, when I tell you that the service in all these halls is going on unremittingly simply because we have perpetual day in I realms, I think you will appreciate that our conception organization begins to assume its right proportions.
Many of the people attached to the halls of learning been there a great number of years as you reckon time So devoted are they to their work that although they have progressed and virtually belong to a higher sphere, they prefer to remain where they are for some considerable period yet. They will retire, from time to time, to their own realm, and return to take up their labors anew. The moment will eventually arrive when they will relinquish their position altogether to reside permanently in their own sphere, and then others, equally capable, will take their place. And so it goes on, and has gone on for countless centuries, And this rule applies to all the various halls of learning. The work of the spirit world functions unceasingly; the workers rest and change about, but the work never stops. The pressure of work may fluctuate, as it does with you upon earth. When we have our great celebrations and festivals, during which we are honored by the presence of visitants from the higher realms, it follows that large numbers of people will be present in the temple or elsewhere, and during that time there will be an appreciable diminution of some activities. We are naturally desirous of holding our festivals in company with one another, and we do so. But the services never suffer on that account. It so happens that the inhabitants in these realms are always considerate of .others, and will never ask of others that which would entail a disappointment for them, such as would be the case if one insisted upon some attention in one of the halls when we were all, as it were, on holiday. This concerns the various halls in the city where any temporary cessation of work would be of no great consequence.
In the halls of rest, however, the doctors and nurses are always in attendance whatever else may be taking place in other parts of the sphere. Their devotion to duty is always instantly rewarded, for during the general celebrations of the realm, the illustrious visitors from the upper realms make a special journey to the rest homes where they personally greet every one of the staff. The latter can afterwards arrange amicably for their own family and friendly festivities.
All this administration belongs to the spirit world proper, so to speak, and concerns the spirit world alone. There are other services that concern the two worlds together, ours and yours. Such, for example, as the arrival, or the approaching arrival, of a soul into spirit lands. The rule is that all souls passing to here shall have some measure of attention. It depends upon themselves how much attention they shall have. Some are sunken so spiritually low as to preclude any approach to them that would be effective. We will not consider those for the moment, but only those who are destined for the realms of light.
Without anticipating what I wish to say regarding the interrelationship of our two worlds, we might, for our present purposes consider a typical inquiry in the matter of transition, such as it affects a very large number of people here.
We will suppose that you are yourself in the spirit world, as that beyond knowing the truth of communication with the earth world, you have had no experience of the close ties existing between the two worlds. You have, we will further suppose, left behind you a friend for whom you had--and still have--warm affection, and you wonder when he will be coming to reside permanently in the spirit world. Occasionally you have received his thoughts of affection arising from the earth-plan by which you know that be has not forgotten you. You have we will say, never tried to communicate with him because you know from your earthly knowledge that he would rather frown upon such ideas. Is it possible to find out just when he is likely to join you in the spirit world, and if so, how does one go about it? The answer to that question reveals the existence of one the great organizations of these lands.
In the city there is an immense building which exercises the function of an office of records and inquiries. (In the earth world you have your multifarious offices of inquiry. Why should we not have ours?) Here a great host of people is available to answer all manner of questions that are likely to arise both from the newly-arrived and from those of longer residence Occasions will occur when we need a solution to some problem that has arisen. We may consult our friends upon the matter only to find that they are as uninformed as we are ourselves. We could, of course, make an appeal to some higher personage and we should receive all the help we wanted. But the higher beings have their work to do, in just the same way as we have and we forbear to interrupt them unnecessarily. And so we take our difficulty to this grand building in the city. Among its many important duties is that of keeping a register of people newly arrived in this particular realm. It is a useful service, and full advantage is taken of it by scores of people who have an interest in that direction. But a still more important service is that o, knowing beforehand of those who are about to come into this realm. This information is accurate and infallibly reliable. It is collected through a varied process of thought transmission, to which the inquirer sees little or nothing. He is merely presented with the required information. The value of this service can be readily imagined.
In normal times upon the earth-plane, when transitions main tam a fairly steady level, it is valuable enough, but in times of great wars, when souls are passing into the spirit world it thousands, the advantages of such an office are almost incalculable. Friend can meet friend, and together can unite in helping others who are passing into spirit lands.
Foreknowledge of terrestrial events both national and private is possessed by a certain order of beings in the spirit world, and when expedient this knowledge is communicated to others, who in turn pass it on to those principally concerned. Among the first to receive pre-knowledge of an impending war are the different homes of rest. The office of inquiry will be similarly informed.
You are anxious, then, to know when your friend is likely to be coming to the spirit world to reside; you want to know when his 'death' is going to take place. Your first step is to go to the inquiry office. There you will be readily assisted to consult the right person for your needs. You will not find yourself passed from one 'official' to another, nor will you be submitted to other forms of procrastination. All that will be required of you is to furnish the name of your friend, and you will be asked to focus your attention upon him to establish the necessary thought link. When this has been accomplished, you will be requested to wait for a brief period--in your time it would amount to only a few minutes. The requisite forces are put into action with astonishing rapidity, and we shall be presented with the information of the time of our friend's arrival. The actual date may mean very little to some of us, as I have already tried to make clear to you, because it is towards such an event that we cast our minds, and not towards the time of its taking place. At least, whatever our condition of proximity to the earth-plane, we shall be assured that when that event is close at hand we shall be informed of it without fail. In the meantime, we shall be given a conception of the closeness of the event or otherwise, which we shall understand according to the measure of our knowledge of the passage of earthly time.
The organization that exists behind this one service should give you some idea of the vastness of the whole office of help and inquiry. There are many others. This same building houses people who can provide answers to the innumerable questions that arise in the minds of us here, especially among the newly-arrived, and its extent covers the whole range of spirit activity. But what is most to our present point, this office employs thousands of people, usefully and happily. Many souls ask to be allocated to work there, but it is necessary to have some training for it first, for however suitable may be our personal attributes, it requires absolute knowledge, in whatever department we wish to work, since we should be there for the express purpose of providing information to those in need of it.
Let us now pass to another example of spirit organization, and for the purpose we might visit the hall of science.
There are numberless people upon the earth-plane who are mechanically minded, and who pursue as a means of material livelihood one or other of the engineering arts. Others at interested in engineering as a pleasant diversion from their usual work. The opportunities in the spirit world in this field alone are enormous, and such scientific work is carried on under conditions precisely similar to all other work here--without restriction, freely, and with the limitless resources and the perfect administration of the spirit world behind it. This fort of work attracts thousands, young and old alike. All the great scientists and engineers are carrying on their investigations and researches in this world of spirit, assisted by scores of enthusiastic helpers from every walk of earthly life, as well by those whose work lay upon those lines when they will incarnate.
Most of us here are not content with one type of work; we engage in another form of labor as part of our recreation. You see, we have the constant urge to be doing something useful, something that will be of benefit to others. However small that service may be, it will be valued as a service. To have only two forms of work with which to alternate is to give Ii lowest estimate. So many of us have a dozen channels through which we are usefully engaged. It must be obvious, then, the supply of useful tasks is entirely adequate to the thousand upon thousands of us here. And each and every form of work has its separate organization. There are no such things as haphazard methods. Every type of pursuit has those in charge of it who are experts, and the administration admits of no muddle or fuss. There is no mismanagement, for everything runs with the smoothness of perfectly-constructed machinery under the operation of efficient hands.
It must not be concluded from this that we are infallible. That would be a totally wrong estimation, but we know that whatever our mistakes may be we are always sure that our perfect organization will come to our rescue and help us to put things right. Mistakes are never frowned upon as a piece of glaring inefficiency, but are regarded as very good lessons for us by which we can profit to the fullest extent. But because of this sympathy with our mistakes, we are not careless on that account for we have our natural and proper pride in our work, which spurs us on to do our best always--and free from mistakes. To attempt to give you anything like a comprehensive survey of the administrative organization of the spirit world would be a gigantic task, and quite beyond my descriptive powers, apart altogether from the impossibility of putting into material language what can only be understood as an inhabitant of these lands.
Perhaps one of the most striking features of life in the spirit world is that the organization of life is so perfect that there never seems to be any suspicion of hurry or confusion, in spite of the fact that we can perform so many actions of a 'material' kind with the rapidity of thought, which latter is the motive force. This rapidity is as second nature to us, and we scarcely notice it. It is there, none the less, and it is because of it that our great system of life, and the organization of living generally, works so perfectly and yet so unobtrusively.
It is something of a proud boast upon the earth-plane that you have reached such an age of speed. By comparison with our rapidity of motion, why, you are scarcely moving! You must wait until you come to live here with us. Then you will know what real speed is like. Then you will know, too, what real efficiency and real organization are like.
They are like nothing upon the earth-plane.