Number 92.– Transcendental Solidarity
Time ago, I was asleep and this happened to me: In my dream, I was walking through a green meadow full of life and with its bank framed by bushes and adorned by the flight of some birds on the level of the ground.
As the time passed by and I walked, I perceived other beings around me. I could not see persons, but only a thick grey cloud covering every one of them; they walked slowly, and others more quickly. They were roaming without a clear direction. First I noticed some persons, and later more and more persons in such a way that the environment became darker and darker in spite of the sunlight everywhere.
When one of those beings passed by me –they were like leaden and thick cocoons– I felt a deep pain within. Anguish, hopelessness and confusion prevailed in my experience. I woke up with a painful feeling, with tears in my eyes, and my heart upset by a suppressed sob.
I related my dream to one of my best friends, and she said: “If you dream of this again, try to talk to them. Perhaps they are souls unable to find their path and needing a guide and consolation”.
No doubt, these were wise words. I felt she was right, and that I had to seek information, since I knew nothing about praying for the dead. While I was reading and questioning and trying to learn something else about this matter, unexpectedly a story written many years ago attained my hands. Among other things, the author relates his dream as follows:
“As a fearless knight riding on a dashing steed, I go through a dark and ominous forest, upholstered by swamps now and then. I hear laments and complaints and cries for help. Always riding on my steed, I come near and find at the edge of a swamp, sunk up to their waists and covered by shadowy fogs, human beings –dismal, haggard and desperate– tied with chains to grey trees. As I look closely, I discover no chain linked with those trees. I grasp how those souls who were moaning are tied to their past experiences, and this is the only thing that is stopping them. My presence alone is calming and helping them”
At this point, under the impression of this new environment now perceived, I went on to look for some material and found several references in Master Santiago's Teachings, among them “Mystical Death of De Rancé”, on Course “The Way to Renunciation”.
While reading it, I saw myself mentally traveling through a world –the world of the discarnate souls– which I had avoided to visit for long time. God knows what ancestral apprehension had impeded it, or more likely it was a vague fear imposed by the prevailing mentality in this society about the world of the dead.
In fact, many things changed in myself as I became conscious of the reality of that world, the need of those beings, and the chance I had in my hands to help them.
A transformed life: De Rancé
The above mentioned Teaching relates how a quite special experience during his youth changed radically the life of Armand-Jean De Rancé (1626-1700), a Reformer of the Cistercian Order and founder of The Trappe. I transcribe his story, since a resume would lessen its strength:
“In a century like the seventeenth, when devotion and retreat are relaxed, not surprisingly this young man takes up priesthood more for status and material interest than for devotion, neglects his ecclesiastic responsibilities for a pleasant life. But in the human heart there are fibers responding through flesh and misery to a call that perhaps is divine.
We are told that De Rancé, from pleasure to pleasure in his youth, fell in love with a Marchioness and scandalized the Court and the whole Paris. But God touched this man that was more filled with pleasure than with love, and gave him love through the way of pleasure. Always love, even a bad love, at the end is something holy, because through it a person becomes detached and unselfish; love makes him suffer, and suffering is ever good.
This Marchioness, rich, young and the most beautiful in the Court of France, suffered from violent fevers and suddenly died. A friend of De Rancé writes that all believed that he would go mad; his despair and sorrow were unbearable. But he did not surrender to despair, and surely in the Other World the soul of that woman who loved him so much wished to save him from his karma and fault.
De Rancé, retreated in his castle, at the sunset goes for a walk through the fields; he neither wants to see anyone nor to write to anyone. Then far away he sees a farm bursting into flames. He feels that is a fire in harvest time, and runs to find out. But as he comes near, the fire retreats, and following it he finds a lonely forest, and over there a woman that is burning. He sees her body up to her waist, and even though her hair covers her face, seemingly she is her friend wishing to show all the suffering that her soul had to experience by virtue of her fiery passion in this world.
From this day on De Rancé changes his behavior. Now he is different, abandons prebends, Court and palace, and lives detached from the world; at the end he arrives at his convent of The Trappe, where instructs to write on the door of his cell: “Memory of death is my life and salvation”.
But not only this, that suffering that he glimpsed in the hereafter in the sense that that woman was suffering for his fault, led this admirable man to establish a primordial purpose among his monks: a continuous sacrifice for the souls suffering in the hereafter, for those discarnate souls deprived of light.”
Consciousness of future, a vital transformation
How slow we are to grasp the things, even having these things before our own eyes! The Eternal Message, said in one thousand ways, ever remains within our reach, but its understanding and application depends on the state of our consciousness. Just some few persons are necessarily receptive to become conscious and decide to live in accordance with it.
That is why sometimes the infinite Divine Love gives us intense, painful, and sometimes vivid experiences so as to move the soul in the search of the truth, in order to awaken us.
Shall we need something else like the experience of De Rancé in order to see the brotherhood of the souls that are or not on the material plane?
Shall we need a vivid experience like that in order to decide to live today in such a way that we do not remain tied to the world when we die?
How long should we saunter up and down and suffer on the astral plane when our hour strikes, in order to be able to be detached and go up?
Who shall surrender in prayer for our soul in order to help us?
Shall we love enough so as to offer our prayers for those beings in need on the astral world?
If we were able to answer these questions not so much with the reason but with our own deeds, our life should not be the same any longer. We would become conscious of our future after this terrestrial life. If this consciousness comes with the will brought into motion in accordance with it, this consciousness necessarily produces a vital transformation: to live today by learning how to give up the terrestrial thing.
Shall we be able to do so, by working for the sake of working and giving thus our prayer for a sense of transcendental solidarity?
At least there are three fruits for dedicating time and efforts to prayers for the dead. As we said, one of these fruits is our own transformation, a new orientation in our life. Another fruit is to fulfill the direct motive of this offering: the good positively received by these souls if our prayer is sincere, fervent and with conviction. There is a third fruit partially unexpected, but commented later.
If we really decide to try this task sincerely, we cannot reduce ourselves to ask almost mechanically a help for them. Surely we need a special inner inclination. I wondered about this and thought: “And what should I do to attain this inclination?”
On the Course “Lectures at Embalse”, in the Teaching on the Discarnate Souls, Master Santiago explains how one should pray for them and why our help becomes necessary: “One should walk by this being and tell him the way he follows is non existent and illusory. They are physical elements he took with himself to the hereafter, and here is the cause of his sadness and sorrow”.
It is an entirely new attitude: It is to go out of the narrow link of our dear ones, after being united with them by a natural affection and certain affection forged throughout life. How? By loving for Will, creating Love, inventing it, and getting it from the inexhaustible fountain of the Eternal Spring and making it ours for a moment, in order to pour it on the discarnate souls for their liberation. How do the adoptive parents learn to love their children? Likewise we should be able to adopt in our hearts as many souls as possible, and we'll learn how to love them. Let us pray for them, and we'll love them more and more.
In the prayer there is a secret power rarely mentioned in general. A prayer produces links of love. Here is the third fruit.
We can love someone else, so we are able to pray fervently for this person. This is normal, isn't it? But if we pray for someone else, even for a soul unknown to us, unavoidably a link of spiritual love is established and we both are united forever.
Some time ago, a friend of mine has been asked to help with prayers for the good health of someone else unknown to her, who perhaps never would be able to know because she lives far away from here. So he prayed with her best intention and fervor. Later, when she told me her experience, asked by way of reflection: “How to refer to an unknown person that now will be always in our heart?” So as we see, a prayer also produces other miracles.
Also this should occur with our prayers for the souls of the dead: Master Santiago says these souls for whom one offers prayers become our protectors that do not forget us. And also we shall develop a stream of love for those beings that are nearer us than that that we ordinarily feel.
One has to pray for the deceased. It is easy to tell this, but as soon as we try, if it is someone else unknown to us, or is not a relative or friend, we find difficult to pray fervently for the dead in general. Isn't it?
So we must apply to our imagination and look at many things differently. For example: In the news bulletin we watch an accident with one or more fatal victims. Then do we think: “How awful! Poor people!” and we set out to watch another channel?
This should be an excellent chance to offer a fervent prayer –even by taking advantage of this sensitive impact– for the soul of that being that is surely suffering from confusion and fright by this violent death. There are many situations like this: a story heard about a tragedy, the war victims, those who die of a heart attack or something like that, people dying by nature catastrophes, or people daily dying of famine all over the world…
There is certain difficulty posed by the biggest liar: our lower mind. This mind leads us to wonder: “How can I know if these efforts made during my prayer can produce results? Here is the answer: perhaps you'll never know. Is it important? No. The unselfish offering, the renunciation certainly counts. Even in relation to this, the ideal shall be “work for the sake of work”, by renouncing to any results of our surrender.
That dream again
Some time later, I found myself again on the same scene.
I saw myself walking through that quite green meadow full of life, with some few trees. It was a luminous day. In the distance, to my right, I could see a lake with its bank framed by bushes, and I saw again birds flying near the band on the ground level...
As before, as the time passed by and I walked, I began to perceive around me the presence of other beings. I could not see persons, but only a thick grey cloud covering every one of them. Some persons walked slowly, and others more quickly. They roamed without a clear direction. As before, first I noticed some persons, and later more a more persons in such a way that the environment became darker and darker in spite of the sunlight all over the landscape.
Some of them came to me and were like leaden and thick cocoons. As one of those beings passed near me I felt a deep pain within –anguish, hopelessness and confusion.
Surely I recalled in my subconscious the advice of my friend. Then I talked to the sorrowful souls before me, more with my intention than with words, like in dreams, more or less in this way:
“The path you are traveling through is non existent and illusory. You are not on Earth any more. You have to follow your path to the light. Renounce, give up the illusion of living in the matter, and the cloud that is covering you with anguish and hopelessness will vanish, like the mist by the heat of the sun…”
Apparently this soul understood and made efforts to get rid of a thing that was retaining him. I stretched out my hand. We walked some steps together in the direction of the lake. From time to time I noticed how this soul was more and more illuminated. Then this soul unhanded me and with sure steps went toward the shining light over there, in the distance, at the bank of the lake.
It was then that a deep expressed feeling of gratitude emerged from me to this soul, which I'll never forget: “Oh liberated soul! Your light and your freedom are my consolation!”
Then I woke up, with warm tears on my face; now these tears were expressing certain inner fullness that was difficult to explain.
It was only a dream? It was true? Perhaps I'll never know with certainty. But surely I know and will thank forever this: from that time on I started to pray for those sister souls, to help them so as to get rid from their load and follow their path.