The Word Foundation
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JULY 1913

Copyright 1913 by H. W. PERCIVAL


Is it best for a man to leave his physical body unconsciously, that the soul may enter its dream state?

It is best for a man of responsibility to be conscious of everything he does in the physical and every other state of existence. If man—man meaning the conscious thinking principle in the body—decides to leave his physical body, he leaves it not unconsciously; if he leaves his body unconsciously, he has no choice in the matter.

It is not necessary for the soul—taking it that “man” and “soul” are in the question intended to be synonymous—to depart from its physical body to enter its dream state. Man seldom, if ever, leaves his physical body before death.

Man is conscious in his waking state; he is conscious in the dream state; he is not conscious during the passage from the waking to the dream state; that is, between the last moment when he is awake and the beginning of dreaming. The passing from the physical to the dream state corresponds to the process of death; and though by thought and act man determines what and how the transition shall be, he is not conscious of nor does he know the passing when the time has come, even though he may have some impressions of the passing over.

When man learns how to enter and how to leave the dream stage at will, he ceases to be the ordinary man, and is something more than the ordinary man.


What height do souls reach who leave their physical bodies consciously and who remain conscious after death?

That depends on what were the thoughts and actions of what the questioner designates as the soul, and on the mental and spiritual attainments in other physical lives and especially in the last one. If man can leave his physical body consciously at death, he wills or sanctions death. Be it that one has gone through the process of death consciously or be it unconsciously, the state of being conscious, which he will enter, corresponds to and is determined by what he has acquired knowledge of during life in his physical body on the earth. Not acquirement and owning of sums of money and worldly possessions, however great, nor social position, nor acquaintance with and mastery of customs and conventions, nor erudition and familiarity with what other men have thought; none of this counts. Attainment after death depends on the degree of intelligence the man has attained to during life; on what he knows life to be; on the control of his own desires; on the training of his mind and the ends to which he has used it, and on his mental attitude toward others.

Each man can form in life some opinion of the state after death by realizing what he “knows” and what he does in this life with himself, and what is his attitude to the outside world. Not what a man says nor what he believes about after death states will be experienced by him after death. The politics of religion fashioned into articles of a creed and belief by theologians hopeful or with a grudge against the world will not cause the people to be conscious of and get after death what they had heard about before, even if they did believe what they heard. The after death state is not found to be the hot place prepared for those who do not believe, nor do mere belief and church membership give title to choice places in heaven. Belief in after death states can effect those states only in so far as they influence his state of mind and his actions. There is no god in heaven to lift man out of the world and to his bosom; there is no devil to catch man on his pitchfork when he passes out of the world, no matter what his beliefs have been during life, or what he has been promised or threatened with by theologians. Fears and hopes before death will not change the facts of after death states. The facts originating and defining man’s after death states are: what he knew and what he was before death.

Man can deceive people about himself while in the world; by practice he may learn to deceive himself about himself during his physical life; but he cannot deceive his own High Intelligence, the Self, as it is sometimes called, as to what he has thought and done; for everything he has thought and sanctioned is in detail and in its totality automatically registered in his mind; and according to the inexorable and universal law of justice, from which there is no appeal and no escape, he is that what he has thought and sanctioned.

Death is a separating process, from the time of leaving the physical body to being conscious in the heaven state. Death strips everything from man that is not of the heaven world. There is no place in heaven for his wage-slaves and his banks. If man be lonesome without them he cannot be in heaven. Only that of him can go into heaven which is of the heaven state, and that which is not subject to hell. Wage slaves and land and banks remain in the world. If a man thought he owned them while he lived on earth, he was mistaken. He cannot own them. He can have a lease on things, but he owns only that which he cannot lose. What man cannot lose goes with him into heaven, remains his on earth, and forever he is conscious of it. He may cloud it over and cover it up on earth with things that do not belong to him, but he is still conscious of it. The mental state which man enters and knows during life he will enter and know after death, while in physical life he is disturbed by troubles and world cares. In the “heights,” or heaven, what he is conscious of is free from fear and annoyance. Whatever prevents happiness in the world is eliminated from that state.

A Friend [H. W. Percival]