The Master gazed at me intently and said, "I know you've had a long day and your physical body has become tired and exhausted, not so much by the trip here, but the innumerable and unusual things which you have learned have caused you to expend a great deal of mental energy. To enable you to study the science of alchemy, I will lend you a book that you may read. If you keep your intuitional faculties open, I will be near you to help you understand the secret symbols contained therein, although I will undoubtedly be invisible.
"It is not possible, it is against the rules of our Order to retain you here after sunset. No visitor is permitted to do this, as we have total silence in the valley from sunset to sunrise.
"Seeing that you have had such a long and strenuous day, I suggest that you take a short sleep before you leave and we will wake you at the proper time."
He rose to his feet and said, "Come with me." He conducted me to a small ante-room with a door which closed it off from the main corridor. In it was a couch of cedar with a heavy velvet rug thrown over it.
"Rest here for a short time and we will call you," Master Jonathan said.
He waited at the door as I lay down and he then directed me, "I believe it will be best if you lie on your back." I obediently complied and he came over to me and said, "To help you sleep better, let me remove the stress and give you a blessing."
It seemed but a moment before I slipped off into a most peaceful slumber.
I fell into a comfortable sleep, and I started to dream. I dreamed -- or I thought I dreamed -- that I had risen from my couch and was out in the valley. I looked at everything from a bird's eye point of view. I didn't feel that I was high above the valley; yet I seemed to see everything as from a lofty position; anything I looked at seemed to be drifting below.
As my "dream" progressed, I felt that I was above the mountains. Then I sort of glided through the mountains, not over but through. A feeling of great peace descended upon me and my "dreaming" ended.
I was startled from my sleep abruptly by the sound of a crash, and I almost jumped out of bed. I gazed about me, not yet completely awake and, to my surprise, I found that I no longer was on the couch on which I had fallen asleep.
Already dressed, I arose and I rushed to the door. In the hall, I saw a bell-boy picking up a small trunk which had fallen out of his arms and caused the noise which awakened me. I shut the door, I sat down on a chair and looked out the window. I realized that I was back in the little hamlet from which I had started my journey to the Valley of the Adepts. Not only that, but I was in the very same hotel, occupying the very same room, in which I had stayed the night before I began my journey.
I tried to reconstruct the past few hours. Had I started out of the valley and fallen into a somnambulistic state? All I could remember with certainty was going into the little room which the Master had prepared for me and the Master's assurance that he would call me when it was time to rise from my nap.
Well, I said to myself, anyone who could make gold out of silver could certainly move me here. There was no question that I had been awakened; I just couldn't remember, that's all.
The only answer that made any sense to me was that I had been teleported here behind a screen of invisibility and deposited on the bed. So I said to myself:
"I'm here, well and happy, and I'm much better off than I was twenty-four hours ago. And now I knew how to use many of the things about which I had been taught prior to my journey without having experienced the reality of their truth."
I got up to move about the sunlit room (it was just after sunrise), and I glanced at the writing table. To my astonishment, there was a book upon it. I rushed to the table with great anticipation and, sure enough, there was a rare, old book entitled "The Secret Symbols of Past Ages."
It was a rather large book, very intriguing, and I knew that it had come out of the valley, which I felt I should call the Happy Valley. Those hours which I had spent there had been the happiest of my life.
"What should I do now?" I asked myself -- stay there and read in the quiet of my little room or return to my home in San Francisco? I decided to spent a few days there and so sent down for breakfast, relaxed in an easy chair and opened the book.
It read as if it had been written for me personally! Looking at the index, I saw that the book treated some of the great mysteries of the microcosm and the macrocosm -- such subjects as macrocosm, microcosm, time and eternity. One section of the book was devoted to occult numbers and the four elements; some sections were on the Qabbalah. Surely it was a book of universal science.
I turned to the first chapter entitled, "The Way of Man", and began to read:
"If you gain a practical understanding of the contents of this book, you will not merely know about the production of gold from the baser elements, which is one of the lowest and most insignificant and comparatively worthless part of the arts, but you will know the mystery of the Cross and how to develop the reality of the Stone and the Universal Panacea, which render those who possess it immortal. You then will be able to direct the processes of life so as not only to make pearls and diamonds and other precious stones grow, but you'll know how to make a man out of an animal and a god out of a man . . ."
This, I felt, was the last alchemical process, the one most needed. In comparison, all others were merely diversions for children. What will it serve us to run after illusions which will then vanish into time? If, I thought, we could but obtain within ourselves that which is eternal and real, all other things would fade into oblivion.
I wondered if I would be able to have this book published so that others could enjoy it and find the truth. I recalled what the Master Jesus said -- not to cast your pearls before swine -- but I also recalled that he said the door of reformation was always open. So I decided that when I returned home I would have it published and sold, so that its esoteric teachings, made easily understandable, might be practiced.
I read another passage:
"The practical and internal experience is arrived at by the power of intuition or the faculty by which the Spirit often feels the presence of things which one cannot see with the physical senses. If a person once feels interior things with his heart, sees them with the interior sight, and understands their attributes through his intellect, then such a person may be at the door of illumination and, with the aid of a Teacher, may receive the true Christ-Light within. As one learns the implicit simplicity of the cosmos, one sees why the Master Jesus said:
'Lest thou be as little children, thou canst in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.'"
A few moments ago I had been talking with Master Jonathan about how one metal grew out of another, showing that growth is an all-encompassing actuality. It is true with numbers. The number three grows out of the number one. The number seven grows out of the number three, because by a combination of three numbers or letters, four complications arise, forming with the original three; and so we have the number seven. Thus there are not just three but seven explanations for each symbol.
Remember that Self is the man. And that which he finds out by his own experience is all he knows. There is nothing more.
As I mused about growth, numbers and symbols, I became aware that I was not mentally conscious of the pages of the book which had been given me by Master Jonathan. I had started to read the book, but Master Jonathan evidently had come to me and had been instructing me personally.
I had just now returned to my conscious mind and the existence of "The Secret Symbols of Past Ages." As I resumed my reading, Master Jonathan returned to speak the words of the book:
"Let us remember that the Self is the man, the eternal being which is never vanquished by time or space. Self is the conqueror of all dimension, it is that which was created in the image of God, that which we can see within us, the all-knowing and encompassing individual part and cell of the great Body of the Father, which is the only true channel of absolute truth. And he that taps it, taps the golden egg which hatches the original phoenix bird, and he then is able to soar through timeless space.
"The men of science and medicine in your world have created many new inventions. But new inventions are only things which help to widen the gap of ignorance, because the more comforts the average man has, the less he searches for the truth to over- come remaining discomforts and ease his labors.
"If his discomforts and the needs arising out of them were guided down the path of investigation of real truth, he would find more and more doors opening into ante-chambers of wisdom. And he would gain a true scientific attainment of the eternal well-being of man, as well as of the earth and its treasures. Out of this working with the Self would be created an evolutionary path of ideoforms which would propagate themselves out of the actions of man. He would then have a synthesis of the material world and the spiritual evolutionary path which he travels.
"Thus peace and harmony would exist while he moved slowly higher and higher in vibration without strife.
"Moreover, as the physical-spiritual life of man evolved the necessary inventions for his comfort, his happiness would be known to him.
"If this path of development were perpetuated, inventions, many of them, would be merely mind-toys in the same sense as the bow-and-arrow became useless with the invention of gunpowder and guns. Likewise, railroad and telegraph are not necessities for you when man is able to travel with the velocity of thought from one place to another, no matter how distant that place may be. These things are all possible when you learn to harness the elemental spirits of Nature to the desires of men."
"Do I understand you rightly?" I asked, "That you are saying that if I was properly informed and trained, I could travel with the velocity of thought from one place to another? What about the weight of the physical body? What kind of a problem would it present?"
Master Jonathan replied:
"The spiritual developed man does not need to take that outer, cumbersome form on such a trip; for, after all, the animal which carries him, which eats, drinks and walks and wastes six or seven, maybe more, hours a day in unconscious sleep, would hinder the free movement of the Spirit.
"The Self then is the real man, and the thinking principle of man is when the real man uses the Mind of God, or that part of it which he has individualized. But when he comes in unity, he then may use more ...." "But", I interrupted, "how can we use the Universal Mind unless it has an organized principle for use through an organized brain?"
The Master turned to me and sighed, looking on me with an expression of compassion. "That is a question which would be asked by a short-sighted mortal. How can you say that the Mind of the Father is without an organization? How can you suppose that the highest living conscious principle in the universe is without organization? Even plants and animals and mineral life cannot exist without the organized patterns of function in the Mind of God. Surely, the air does not think, nor does it have an organization of its own. The Father is not a void; there exists comprehension within the Mind of the Father. It is the highest organized principle in the universe.
"The undeveloped man who has not become conscious of his higher spiritual Self, and thus has not been awakened, cannot think without the aid of the physical brain. He cannot experience the consciousness which he has not yet awakened to. He cannot use the faculties which are latent within his whole being. But in the man who has awakened to his real Self, and whose whole life has been concentrated in the higher principles which exist independently of the physical form, the Self has become the spiritual center of his consciousness and he does not require the physical brain to think with.
"If a man traveled in this upper state of consciousness to a distant place and, upon returning, were to give his observations, and if these observations were later verified, then is it not logical to conclude that he had been at that place? But that does not mean that he took the physical brain with him. This, in fact, is an absurd idea, but this absurdity does not surpass other absurdities, such as that the Universal Mind is without an organized pattern of function and intelligence.
"The only way in which man can truly learn and know, if he is desirous of knowing the organization of Nature, is to study his own constitution, not only the physical and anatomical make-up, but also the physiological and especially psychological aspects.
"So many of our scientists, both in medicine and biochemistry, have tried to specialize the human organism by segregating it into part functions. One must remember that the whole function of the human body is in the record of the soul and that a pure, good, healthy body shows that one had the experience of understanding good health in past incarnations. But this does not say that he cannot continue to have a healthy body now, if he will take command.
"We must remember that when we are talking about the foot, hand, arm or any other part, all substance in the physical body has organization and is intimately connected with the brain by means of the nerve system. Otherwise, you would not feel sensation there. And if you did not, you would be burning your hands and feet without knowing it. It not your foot or hand thinking; it is the organization in its completeness and consciousness. You think by means of your brain.
"Let us remember, though, that if you had spiritual control and development, you would be able to bring thoughts and consciousness from the brain down to the feet or any other part of the body and, so to say, live in that part and be entirely unconscious of any other part. Science has at last come to accept and comprehend -- that is, some of the more advanced scientists have -- that sensation and consciousness may be withdrawn from any part of the body, either by the effort of the will or of the imagination of the person who undertakes the experiment, or, again, by the aid of the will and imagination of a mesmerist or hypnotist.
"A person may also learn to concentrate upon himself, his own physical body or any part of it, or any part of the great organization of Nature with which he is intimately and inseparably, although invisibly, connected. A man who believes he exists separate and apart from Nature and God labors under great illusion.
"RULE ONE: THE FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINE AND TEACHING OF THE ANCIENTS IS THAT NATURE IS ONLY ONE. AND ALL BEINGS ARE INTIMATELY CONNECTED."
I turned away from the book. Something of great significance had happened within me. I felt as if the personal great Creator had tapped me on the shoulder and said, "I'm here; you are not alone."
The feeling of isolation and separateness, which had existed in me for a long time, just vanished. I felt coexistent with all other things around me.
I sat for a moment, enjoying this state of consciousness. Then I returned to my book, and there was the explanation:
"The feeling of isolation and being separated from other individuals was caused by the illusions of form which we see in the mirror. But man's form is not man; it is a state of matter in which man exists. One might compare it to standing in front of a mirror in which the character of a man would be reflected. Although this reflection of character differs from the ordinary image in a mirror -- as it is temporarily endowed with life, sensation and consciousness -- nevertheless, it is nothing more than an image. Life, sensation and consciousness are not form; they are functions of the invisible control.
"But man, who forms a part of the invisible organization of Nature, has the Universal Mind predominant in him. And when once he realizes his true character and learns to know his own power, which is the primordial force of creation -- God -- he may then put his consciousness within or beyond form. Man, the omnipotent, the all-one being of reality, can function on all planes.
"We cannot understand the greater mysteries of Nature because we are looking at our own illusions instead of at reality. If we let go of all of what we think we know and take hold of new ideas that have a real spiritual connotation and work with them, instead of the ones we have created and think we know, we will work rapidly toward attaining the true illumination and the true realization of the Self -- the real you.
"When we examine the mind of man, we find it very much like a mirror or a very calm pool into which the ideas floating or existing in the Universal Mind are reflected. If the surface of the pool is disturbed, the images become distorted. If the mind of man is kept quiet and under control so that it is not constantly thinking, things from the great Mind of Nature, or God, will come through. If the individual permits himself to become confused, his mind becomes like muddy water and no reflection can be seen.
"But, if the mind of man is calm and clear of all foreign thoughts, he will reflect grand and noble thoughts existing in the Akasha. If we desire to work with reason, we should allow reason to do its thinking within our brain and know it is thinking. But, if we attempt to be wiser than reason, our mind becomes filled with our illusions, and we will not be able to see the truth, but only imagine we see it.
"This truth we are speaking of you will find symbolically or allegorically represented in all the religions and philosophies of the world. As long as man keeps his will and imagination as one and identical with the will and imagination of the spiritual power acting within the Mind of God as He created it, he is keeping a certain unity.
"And so the story of the Fall of Man: He knew the truth and had contact with the one Mind, which is all-powerful, but when he veered from this and started to think, he did so on his own. He was, in reality, using the will and imagination in a way different from the Universal Power. He lost sight of the truth and saw only his own illusions.
"The man who wishes to follow the way of truth must give up his own way of reasoning and let genuine reason and will think in him. But you might as well ask a miser to give up his treasure as to ask man to give up the hoarded collections of ideas and ways of doing things which he has established in his world, for each individual has his own idea of how he would like to establish a reasonable society. But a 'reasonable' society usually has no reason, for it usually consists of a group of people wishing to parade ideas that will aggrandize their selfish and egotistical ways without any cognizance of the reality of the laws of creation. God has already created a beautiful world with everything in it, and it is up to us to work with that creation, with His Will, as He created it.
"Atomic energy is there, but the way in which we use it depends on whether we want to make the desert bloom or blow our brothers to pieces. And blowing our brothers to pieces, in some minds, is a way of bringing peace because they don't exist in this world anymore. This is not God's idea of peace amongst nations.
"If you wish to develop a society in accordance with creation and the Will of God, or a community where people may develop themselves for the betterment of mankind and gain their own spiritual reality, it would be necessary to select them from those with some degree of purity and virtue, choosing those who do not have too much literal education or preconceived opinions and prejudices, and helping them develop spiritual powers of perception. And you would soon have the most enlightened society in the world.
"That process which today we call 'learning' and 'education' is merely a long, tortuous and laborious acquiring of superficial knowledge which mankind has been forced to accept because the world's leaders have not permitted the development of spiritual faculties as a matter of education of the man as a whole. Otherwise, real knowledge would soon occupy the place of mere learning and replace beliefs with facts, and opinions would fall to true faith without illusion.
"Those possessed of that real knowledge would become the living mirrors of the world as God created it and the divine wisdom would be reflected. They would be the only ones not committing adultery -- adultery in the true sense -- for true adultery is the act of diluting the truth. Soon the spiritual intelligence would release the light within like the Sun of the first magnitude and would send its intellectual rays out to all people, even out to the outermost reaches of the solar system.
"It can be done, but will it be done? That's a question you have to ask within yourself. Some of the principal and outstanding factors which keep man from following the basic principles and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ in churches and other organizations, either mystical or occult, are principally from two sources or, more correctly, three. Deep within the individual, each person wishes to obtain knowledge of the Self and attain immortality.
"The first obstacle is an internal one, caused by the acquisition of philosophical and theological prejudices and misconceptions. When these have been assumed and assimilated, the principles of the constitution of man in his animal body are affected by the living elemental active forces. They are fed by the external influences of the mass mind, which is mostly misconception, and they manifest themselves and produce animal impulses. And, in combination with the development of a stronger and more active mind, they grow to a more dangerous class of vices: ambition, vanity, intolerance, greed, selfishness. Each of these animal elements may grow into intellectual and unreasonable beings and, finally, constitute the very ego of man.
"Man undeveloped and undisciplined may have many such egos within him. And one of them may grow strong and overmaster the others, becoming the ruler of the soul. It must be remembered that each of these egos absorbs and shares a certain amount of life and consciousness in the soul of the man in which it lives and may even grow to occupy the entire space within the man so as to paralyze reason or drive it away.
"The world is crowded with such intellectual elements in human shape, in whom reason has been paralyzed to some extent. You can find them in many places: in the pulpit and in the halls of learning, as well as in the market place.
"Man's principal objective in life is to keep his mind free from such intruders so that the king of reason may rule unimpeded.
Until he has at least reached the point where he can work with the Self and has become acquainted with the soul and Self, it is his duty to fight the battle with the animal and intellectual elements so that they become the servants of the king instead of his master.
"With man's everyday eternal drive for money as the paramount objective in his life, most of his energies are employed on the outside. If we never go into meditation or seek the Self or the Light of Christ so that we may gain the Illumination, but only dwell in the illusions of life, and when we are either in pursuit of sensual gratification or what is very astutely called 'intellectual pursuits,' can we expect to accumulate our energy and employ it on any center within if it is employed on the periphery?
"We cannot spend it and keep it. We can spend it and take in more if we understand how to do it, but this requires under- standing and the giving up of one's personal ideas. If one is going to build power and strength within his being, that power must be directed toward the center so that it may accumulate and become strong. A monarch, a president, or the priest of any group or body of men, who goes away from the center of activity of that group and leaves it unprotected, may return to find that there is a new man in his place as head of that group.
"To become conqueror over Nature we must fight our own battles, not wait until Nature fights them for us. The more the animal elements within man's constitution are stimulated into life and action by difficulties and temptations coming through the senses from the external world, the hotter will be the battles and the stronger will man's reason grow if he succeeds in resisting.
"This was the battle which the great Gautama Buddha fought and won as he was overshadowed by the bo-tree of wisdom."
I had been reading, meditating, trying to digest the great truths in the book which was given to me by the Master. I hadn't felt the passage of time until I realized it was late after- noon. My eyes became heavy, and, I lay down for a short nap.
"I must go home in the morning," I said to myself. "There is business I should attend to, although it could wait."
But somehow I felt filled and decided that continued reading or studying in the hotel would be of no advantage. The next morning I took a bus from the small hamlet where I had begun the greatest adventure of my life and returned to my home in San Francisco.