Olivia Robertson - The Call of Isis Four
The Call of Isis
4. Rescue Work.
In her sitting-room in London, leaning back in an armchair, lay my friend Marie. She was in a trance. In her case there was no need for me to induce trance through suggestion. All I had to do was to say a prayer, and to formulate our intention. For it is not enough to have good intention; one needs to express clearly what one wishes to do. In this case Marie wished to use her natural gift of trance. Up to now, there had been men who had tried to exploit her gift, so she had given up any adventures into the world of the unseen. But not to use a gift is to feel frustrated, restless. And I knew that there could be much good work for her to do in the way of healing and psychic therapy. For disembodied spirits need psycho-therapy as much as those in physical bodies. Often more so.
Marie had entered trance quickly. Now she began to display agitation, and reported that she found herself inside an aeroplane. And she knew that this plane was going to crash. I asked her for more identification, but she said that she could not understand the passengers' language. Her attention was focussed on a small girl with fair pig-tails. This girl was with her parents. Marie said she was trying to communicate with the parents, but without success. However, she said that the child was aware of her presence.
Now Marie became so upset that I wondered should I encourage her to return from trance. She kept repeating that the plane was running into fog, and that it was going to crash. She mentioned ice forming on the wings. I realized that she was so fearful of impending disaster, that I must bring her out of the plane at once. So I told her to leave before the crash, and bring any passengers she could contact with her. Here was the use of directed trance, and the ability to build scenes. I described a garden, and told Marie to shut her eyes, and imagine she was in the garden. There was a pause and she said she was there. I asked her to open her eyes and describe the garden. I did this because I wanted to make sure she was located in consciousness out of harm's way. She described a simple English style garden which sounded pleasantly suburban. Then came the important part. I said could she see any passengers from the crashing plane? She replied that the little girl was with her in the garden. The child was in a great state of distress at losing her doll. It had been left in the aeroplane. Marie could not comfort her.
Remembering the rules of dream world, which I felt also applied to this psychic realm, I suggested that Marie would find the doll in the garden - but first I asked her to get a description of it from the little girl. For teleportation in this sphere was, I knew, accomplished through visualization, and an effort of the will. There was a wait while Marie searched. Then, triumphantly, she declared that she had found the doll lying among some bushes!
I felt that she had been in trance long enough. For I always timed sessions according to arrangement with the Sensitive. But what should we do about the little girl? For somewhere, at some time, I believed that this plane crash had reality, And so the child's plight mattered. I asked Marie to send out a strong mental call for help. I joined her in this. I said that a Helper would come.
As is so often the case, the Helper was not a romantic looking Guide in flowing robes - but someone perfectly prosaic.
'A nurse is coming into the garden by the gate,' said Marie.' She is very brisk and efficient. I don't like the bossy way she's talking to the little girl. Surely she should be more sympathetic? She is retying her pig-tails, and she's saying: "That doll needs a good wash"! Clearly Marie felt that 'the newly dead' should be addressed with more respect: but I was used to nurses, and knew that their hard commonsense helped far more than sentiment in a crisis.
Marie gave the nurse's name and that of her hospital.
'She says when she was on our side she was a sister in this Liverpool hospital'; explained Marie. 'She says they ran out of penicillin there during the war. Now she is taking the little girl away with her I wondered what happened to her father and mother?'
I said firmly that it was time for Marie to return to everyday life.
Afterwards I asked her what the degree of reality had been in comparison with everyday life. She replied that she felt that she had really been in that plane. Consciousness of her physical body on the armchair had completely disappeared. In fact she kept repeating that if she had stayed in the plane she would have been killed with all the passengers! I had to repeat more than once that her body had been sitting in the armchair all the time, and that she had been reporting back to me.
For this is a story of dual consciousness. How could Marie report coherently to me, her body in an armchair in London, while she herself believed that she had been in an aeroplane? One can see how hard it would be for an observer to make out which of us was speaking the truth, if we were to tell our stories separately.
The only way a psychic experience of such actuality can be identified as such, and not confused with the physical, is when the psychic herself, as in this case, knows that she is in trance. In fact, I like the joke of one spirit saying to another: 'Do you believe in life before death?'
The only way one can understand multi-consciousness is to realize that our experience of the five senses is only a fraction of total consciousness. And that psychic awareness is also only a fragment of the totality of what we truly are. Schizophrenia is not merely a disease of some, but the endemic state of the entire human race! We only see in reflection a part of our real selves.
So 'Rescue Work' is really the identification of fragmented parts of people's souls, and trying to co-ordinate the part in harmony with the whole. The task is to find the unhappy dreamer and help him to wake into happiness. Indeed one could say, from a metaphysical point of view, that all physical life on earth is a form of related group dreaming. Each individual has the limitation of 'self', and finds himself forced to have relationship with the other dreamers. Seldom does the dreamer awaken. For the very doors of a higher reality are barred to him by the oblivion called sleep. And the psychic plane too maybe regarded as an area of group dreaming; but on a more conscious and so on a greater scale.
As the greater contains, and so controls, the lesser, so therefore power over conditions of the psychic area gives also control of physical life. Disease and psychosomatic disturbance are best cured from the inner plane of the emotional life of the soul. And emotional control itself is brought about by the use of mind. The kind of mind that learns to use the psychic faculty is best understood as a creative union of reason and will. The power it uses is that which we underrate as 'imagination'. For what is art - painting, music, sculpture - but an expression of the awareness of the soul of that reality behind our dreaming earth life?
There are those occultists who wish to side-track the psychic level; and mystics who prefer to ascend in consciousness straight up to the cosmic level of Spirit, ignoring the intervening level of the psyche. This is the path of the Master Builder whom Ibsen describes as ascending a church spire, which he has caused to be built, until he has attained the very top. But the fate of the Master Builder was that he fell off! This fall in the play is - as so often - attributed to Woman. There are the three aspects of Eve in the play: the meek follower who obeys, the dominating wife, and the ideal daughter figure. The meek follower bores him; the wife wants to put him in a mental home; and the 'ideal daughter' eggs him on to the heights. But she is the one who destroys him by waving a white scarf in his honour - like that White Feather distributed to men by patriotic females in the First World War, egging them on to kill. Distracted by her enthusiastic waving of the white scarf - in the height of his triumph - he falls.
So may the aspiring spiritual climber, pursuing the goal of becoming Adept, a Master, fail. His symbol is the Tarot card of two figures falling from the window of a tower which, struck by lightning, itself tumbles to the ground. One can imagine a planet itself torn apart by unbalanced use of the will by those aspiring to the heights.
The answer to such a problem would appear to lie in the mysterious words I once heard, but could not then understand: 'None may reach Christ save through Mary'. Or, as I was given from the world of Spirit: 'One must approach Truth with courage: Love through humility'. The Initiation of Water, of the good use of the emotion, must be undertaken before the Initiation of Fire, the use of the intellectual will. And, in many Western traditions, Woman represents the lunar or psychic sphere of the soul.
Truly one is asked by the presiding Powers to enjoy, not to deny, one's soul. And the soul's essence lies in true individuality, in which exists the spark of divinity within each being. Not a snowflake is like another. It is in difference that lies the pleasure of harmony of the whole. If anything or any being were an exact replica of another - it would not exist! It would be a mere reflection.
It seems strange that anyone should have to defend the psychic sphere and the psychic faculties. But the dualistic teaching of a divided Divinity, of two forces, Dark against Light, has given anyone exploring the metaphysical consciousness a fear of 'the astral'. Astral means starry, and I do not care for a euphemism that refers to 'the lower astral'. It sounds like cold cream for sore feet! But perhaps well describes that disapproving attitude of the righteous when facing the whole sphere of spiritualism, psychic research and parapsychology.
If I were to give one word that expresses the essential importance of the psychic or 'astral' sphere, I would say Beauty. How repellent is the Do-Gooder, the Intellectual, the Spiritual Climber, without beauty! For beauty does not have to push and climb, need not seek to out-strip others, nor denigrate rivals, and does not have to look to some future end. For Beauty already has attained, already exists in The Now. And, above all, is loved by every living thing. Hence it has perfect humility without knowing its own humility. Let us then enjoy 'the Astral' plane, as a perfect work of art, a pleasing play put on by Divinity for the mutual enjoyment that brings us into harmony with all other creatures. For the Master Builder was alone up there on his solitary spire. He had left those who loved him below on the ground ... They survived him.
This humble harmony with all other creatures is particularly easy to enjoy in the psychic realm. For anthropomorphic statements that 'Man is Lord of Nature', 'Man is the most Advanced', 'Only he has the gift of speech', 'only Man has a soul', have no meaning in the psychic sphere. For in that world it is a fact that animals have souls, because there they are, having survived! And it is possible for us to communicate with them. And they can talk to each other. Alice found that, through the Looking-Glass, Tiger-Lilies talked to her. This was no fantasy, though told in a children's story. In the psychic world plants can talk in their own way. So they may do on this side but in the other world one can listen and even join in the conversation! For a greater level of awareness extends the limitations of one's self-consciousness: it overlaps into the consciousness of other beings.
Sensitives see as many spirits of animals as humans, though these contacts are not so often recorded; for the simple reason that animal relatives on this side are not asking for communication! They seem to have it anyway - especially cats. Angela, who has a particular love for cats, gave me an interesting example of this. She was setting out for her London office, when to her horror she saw the body of a cat that had been run over, lying in the middle of the road. It was very dead. But she also saw clearly the spirit form of the cat beside its dead body. She said that the ghost cat could see her, and she persuaded it, though it was frightened, to come into her arms. Finally it settled on her shoulder, and she half expected someone would call attention to it! The cat remained with her all day at the office perching on her shoulder as she typed, and even went to lunch with her! As it showed no sign of leaving her, her problem was, would her own cat at home notice this supernatural guest, and object; which she would certainly do to an earth cat coming to stay.
Angela duly arrived home to her flat - and was left in no doubt as to the psychic faculties of her own cat. She hissed and arched her back, and made every effort to drive the unwelcome guest away. Angela felt like a smuggler of an illegal immigrant. She did not want to send the ghost cat away and sent out in thought a call for help. Suddenly appeared a tribe of spirit cats! Her ghost cat lost interest in Angela and decided to join the ghostly pack. And off they all streaked.
Those who live in the Castle develop an attunement with living nature. Valentine can physically communicate with plants and flowers. Curiously enough, she finds it more embarrassing to talk about this, than to describe seeing human spirits. Plant communication has the association of 'twee' children's stories, of 'Tinker Bell', and of 'Feyness'. For all I know serious Professors, Brigadiers and School-mistresses may go into their gardens and have long conversations with trees and flowers; but rather naturally do not mention it. Only children of under seven are allowed to use 'the daffodil telephone'. It is certain Russian and American scientists now who are bringing this psychic faculty into good repute, by experiments suggesting that plants respond to our thoughts. Hundreds of people have known this all their lives.
I asked Valentine to tell me about her conversations, and what trees and plants were like in character. Was she certain she was not in actuality conversing with nature spirits tending the plants? She said she could communicate with nature spirits occasionally, but that she could converse directly with flowers and plants.
'I can't talk to the cultivated ones in the garden', she said. 'They don't talk to me, though perhaps they do among themselves. "It's the wild flowers that talk'.
'In actual words?'
'I hear them in words. For instance, yesterday I heard a tiny little call coming to me from the end of a field. I was going in to lunch, but I had to find who was calling ... She wanted to be looked at. Finally I found her, a tiny little dog-violet plant at the wild end of the hedge at the bottom of the field. Some flowers talk in verse. These ones are very moral; They like telling people to be good. The May Trees though are wild and gay and untidy. The dog-violets are more natural and jolly, and the purple ones are quite different and shy. Gorse bushes are proud and glorious.
'I did see a dog-violet fairy a short while ago. She wore a gown just like a flower, and she was saying something about being happy and how gloriously happy the spring is. How perfect everything is. I don't often see tree fairies. Last autumn though, in the wild wood, I saw a hazel-nut boy. He had curly brown hair and was very funny. He didn't really like people coming, but he said he liked the children gathering his nuts. But he mostly liked the red squirrels coming and taking his nuts. I haven't seen the squirrels, but I'm sure they come.'
I guessed that Valentine could communicate with flowers easily on the earth plane because she lived very much in the present. She said she never even thought, let alone worried, when she went for a walk across the fields. She needed no arranged séance or meditations. She was part of nature herself.
And this is the secret of 'Rescue Work'. You rescue trees and flowers and people and animals from hurt because they are part of yourself. On the earth plane this is hard to realize. On the psychic level, harmony of all beings is a law which, when understood, gives one the freedom of that sphere.
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