What our Eastern brothers call "the sheaths of the heart" fall away one by one; when the last bursts open there is a silence, the silence of the mystic death. But "the dead shall arise," and from that death springs up the first tender growth of eternal life.
The point on which it should all turn is not so much reincarnation as the use of a borrowed body, which is a different kind of reincarnation from that of Arnold's Phra the Ph?nician.
With regard to the astral plane being a more subtile order of matter, this truth is often denied by clairvoyants and untrained seers. They do not distinguish between the psychic senses and the spiritual. They can see through gross matter, such as a wall, the human body, and so forth, as if it were glass, but they cannot see through astral substance, and hence they believe its forms and all the pictures and shapes in the astral light to be real. Only the adept sees through these illusions, which are far more powerful because composed of a subtile order of matter: subtile energies, fine forces have a highly increased rate of power over grosser ones. The adept has at his command the rate of vibration which dispels them or drives them asunder. In speaking of the astral plane, I mean the lower soul plane, and not that higher and purified quality which the author of Light on the Path calls the "divine astral."
I seize a few moments to acknowledge your letter. This is a period of waiting, of silence. Nothing seems32 alive. All oracles are silent. But the great clock of the Universe still goes on, unheeding. On Sunday I engaged in Meditation and received some benefit. I wished I could see you to speak of it. Yet these things are too high for words, and when we approach the subjects we are not able to give expression to our thoughts. We do not live up to our highest soul possibilities. All that prevents our reaching up to the high thoughts of the far past is our own weakness, and not the work of any other. How petty seem the cares of this earth when we indulge in deep reflection; they are then seen for what they are, and later on they are obliterated. It is true that the road to the gods is dark and difficult, and, as you say, we get nothing from them at first call; we have to call often. But we can on the way stop to look ahead, for no matter how sombre or howsoever weak ourselves, the Spectator sees it all and beckons to us, and whispers, "Be of good courage, for I have prepared a place for you where you will be with me forever." He is the Great Self; He is ourselves.
The Leaders of the world are always trying to aid us. May we pass the clouds and see them ever. All our obstructions are of our own making. All our power is the storage of the past. That store we all must have; who in this life feels it near is he who has in this life directed his thoughts to the proper channel. That others do not feel it is because they have lived but blindly. That you do not feel it and see it more is because you have not yet directed all your mental energies to it. This great root of Karmic energy can be drawn upon by directing the fire of our minds in that direction. Towards Love of course is the right way; the Love of the Divine and of all beings. If we feel that after all we are not yet "Great Souls" who participate in the totality of those "Souls who wait upon the gods," it need not cast us down: we are waiting our hour in hope. Let us wait patiently, in33 the silence which follows all effort, knowing that thus Nature works, for in her periods of obscuration she does naught where that obscuration lies, while doubtless she and we too are then at work on other spheres.