The Teaching Autobiography, Contents: Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4
The First Circle
Those talks had a far reaching effect, for Mrs Beaumont asked me if I would be willing to sit for them and see if I had any powers as a medium. She told me that several of her friends were interested and would jump at the chance of a trial with an educated and unpaid medium. She thought we must be prepared for disappointment but promised unlimited patience and interest. I was not in the position to return her generous hospitality and was glad of an opportunity to do something for her that she quite obviously desired and at the time I was mostly influenced by that aspect. I had no part in the selection of the circle, which I left entirely to her. Major and Mrs Beaumont were the only members I knew intimately then, although I was acquainted with John Bodley and his family; also Miss Scott. The other two, a man and a woman, I had not met before. The woman I learnt later had lost a son, so also had Mrs Beaumont and although I did not know it at the time, it was the unexpressed wish of both, if possible, to get in touch with their sons.
There is one aspect of all the sittings, from the beginning of them until the end, that I found difficult to credit. That was the keenness of those that joined. They went on for nearly twenty years and those who shared them would, if possible, put other considerations aside, sometimes travelling long distances in all kinds of weather to attend. I have always felt from their reports that it would not have held my interest, so, had I been one of the audience.
I remember quite well the first attempt. We decided to have music. Both Mrs Beaumont and I had good records and I felt whatever happened at least we should have enjoyed this prelude. It was a habit always continued and later if it were possible I would chose something by J.S.Bach.
This first time I deliberately tried to detach my mind and become as quiescent as possible. I do not think I ever lost complete consciousness, although even at this first sitting I got to a state in which I was oblivious of my surroundings. This state I called 'going away'. The first thing when I regained full consciousness, was hearing myself make faint hissing noises in my effort to say 'Shadrack', having an idea, that I had an experience (4) something like theirs , connected with fire. This soon faded to incoherence, so that I did not even get the name spoken and said nothing about it.
From now on, I shall have to drop any attempt at keeping a chronological order. It would be impossible for me to remember in what order knowledge came, in the Summary it can be seen that it was never consecutive. Roughly I think the first circle was used as a period of training, that I might become a channel for what we have called the Teaching, although this did not begin in this circle. During this period while I had 'gone away', I became aware that I had to translate into words what I knew about the Thought World and its purpose. The idea distressed me and I was continually raising objections. From the beginning I was fully conscious of having been in another dimension, that which later I learnt to call the Thought World and one of the most difficult things I had to contend with, was my dislike of returning to earth conditions. Already the greater reality of the Thought World had penetrated. Although remembrance of this dimension in those days faded almost at once, the horrible contrast between the form of life I had left and the state to which I returned, survived. Once when Mrs Beaumont was trying to rouse me from my gloom, I explained with little politeness, that if she had been transformed from her present life as a human being and condemned to enter the body of a pig and be thrust into a dirty pigsty, to live with a lot of other pigs, she might understand how I felt at having to return to earth conditions. I did at least include myself as one of the pigs.
My chief objection to the task given me, was my fear of words. I had to describe in words, as much as I could of the Thought World and its purpose and the idea appalled me. I knew music could have been a vehicle of expression and thought it very hard I was not allowed to use that medium which I loved and felt presented less difficulty. In those days I had no conscious remembrance that we were given a pattern to live and therefore did not realise I was foolishly kicking against the pricks.
What the others heard during those sittings was the onesided conversation between me and either my Supraconscious Mind, my Eternal Mind, or someone else. The Teaching came from my Eternal Mind named Azvard (5). The others could hear what I said but not the replies, although sometimes they could guess them from the context. It was a puzzle to them as they did not realise the position. Whilst awaiting developments they kept a record and once after reading this many years later, I was amazed they had bothered to continue. During this period I sometimes recited verses, stumbling over lines until I finally made a poem of sorts. I know now that poetry was an exercise in translating into words some thought I had had in the Thought World. As poetry it is probably doggerel but as such an exercise it makes sense. The following two for instance, show the antagonism I was contending with.
The following poem is a protest against giving the Teaching in words.
Why must I juggle with words
That sully the clear pool of thought
Distorting , evading the Truth,
Bringing the vision to naught
But give me Sound and I'll build
Up to the stars and beyond,
Each note a clear thought,
Each thought a step up,
Caught, held in a bond.
Perfect harmony then,
Bringing vision and sight,
Reaching down to the depths,
Circling up to the heights
Till sound dies away into silence
And even music is stilled, and I myself ,and alone,
'Go up', up to The Will.
THE SHUT DOOR
If you would find 'The Way' and know 'The Will',
Gaze at the lonely snows pierced by black rocks
And hearken to the cold clean wind of truth,
To the soft sorrow of the slanting rain,
And seeing, hearing, not have sought in vain,
Look at the sky, near the horizon's rim
When the sun sets, before the light grows dim.
Lakes of pure green between the island clouds,
Through which the mind's drawn wandering
In utter stillness. Till the silence breaks
Into that deep where throbs eternity,
But then falls back into this lesser world,
Constricted by the narrow bounds of time
Where happiness is shadowed by dark pain
And careless laughter's echo, Hark! is grief.
Where good is measured out by act and deed,
Whilst thought is left to struggle like a weed.
Ah! Azrael, when you shut the door and go
Have you no pity for me, left below?
Again I know now that my Eternal Mind suggested I should try something in words about people, not always things, and the following was my rather evasive reply:
Grey granite cliffs,
The sea frets and laves,
No sound but the beat
And the boom of waves.
Slim wet and white,
Standing poised for flight.
Then swift as a flash
Without swerve or falter,
From the high rock
To the translucent water.
A beautiful thing
Like a bird on the wing.
I believe at that first sitting, I reached the highest point of contact with and vision of the Thought World, that is within reach of my capability. From that point I entered a descending path that was in fact the course of my life. In it there came a period when I reached its lowest point, when my experiences might have ceased altogether. This point passed, then the ascent started again and I believe that at the time of my death, I should find myself able to regain contact with that original height and at the same moment it may be possible for me to translate into words one more piece of information that is of value.
The wholeness of the first vision explains many things. I had, in it, received all that was necessary for the Teaching. The rest was a question of remembrance, of bringing it back into my Conscious Mind. The process of bringing it back, depended on my daily life. It could be blocked or hindered by deviations from my pattern. Although since this return of remembrance was the theme of this life of mine, all things would trend towards its continuance, unless it was definitely opposed by my deliberate selfwill.
There is another aspect of the first circle that was important, since it had the effect of breaking it up. As I have said, two of the circle hoped to get some kind of communication from their sons and with this idea introduced a table with the letters of the alphabet scattered over it. After the first attempt, we were told by Sanchuniathon there was a definite purpose which would be interfered with if I followed that line and that if we continued to do so, those who were forwarding this purpose would withdraw. Miss Scott and John Bodley took this warning seriously and thought it would be a pity to deviate from the original objective. None of us at that stage had any idea of what the sittings were leading to, nor were the members of the circle sure whether what I was producing was not a manifestation from my own mind. In fact that theory was partly correct, for although neither they nor I was aware of it, I was in contact with Azvard my own Eternal Mind who was responsible for the Teaching. At no sitting at all, nor at any other time has my Conscious Mind been used by any other personality other than Azvard. In this way my approach differs from any other medium as far as I know. In fact I am not a medium in the usual sense of the word. Those sittings, when my Conscious Mind was in a semidetached state, were first used for training and later were used to reproduce, not to originate the remembrances from the Thought World that formed the Teaching. The process of this particular form of communication is explained in the Summary.
Although there was this division of opinion the first circle ended without friction. We received an instruction which suggested I should retire and that Mrs Beaumont should take my place and see if she could develop powers of her own. This suggestion was followed for a few weeks and as it did not lead to any apparent result the first circle was disbanded.
(4) Kath probably refers to experiences beings in the Thought World can have. Back to text.
(5) For explanation of names see diagram 4 in the Summary of the Teaching. Back to text.