As both she and Stewart were learning, Betty reported her learning experiences in her own voice or in the voice of one of the Invisibles.
"I just work hard, and then I find I am raised up somehow to a superstate, and am in touch with something I did not have before; and I see it vaguely and look back and tell you about it. But I do it, whatever I'm at. That's why I work so hard and keep quiet so long. I'm gaining a sense of reality, experiencing, doing; instead of just reflecting. That means I've got actually to work in this living beyondness and absorb into the unconscious, as you call it, until I have something to produce in the conscious. |
"The bigness of its possibilities are untranslatable. It is as impossible to put them into words as it is to put the ocean in a bucket. Nevertheless, I must bring back some of it in some fashion. If I went on a visit and had a great experience, I'd try to tell you about it. . . ."
"INVISIBLE: This control, this acquisition of raised vibrations - whatever you choose to call it - is absolutely within the desire of the individual. If you really want it, nothing from the outside can more than momentarily distract. It is a thing that one builds or does not build, according to his caliber."
Across the Unknown
Both Stewart and Betty reported their learning experiences as they occurred. We are privileged to "go along" with them as they report these adventures in learning, hearing how they experiment in creating a new identify in a higher realm. We're then able to experiment with these same operations and concepts in learning to enter this supersensory world.
Most teachers merely introduce intellectual discussions of concepts. They present ideas about altered states of consciousness in such a way that we are encouraged to presume that they have attained these powers of heightened awareness. Yet the torpidity of their teachings and their lives often reveal that they failed to achieve personal illumination.
We can get a clear idea of the unique style of Stewart's and Betty's teaching by comparing their elucidation of a particular understanding to that of other teaching material. In the Perennial Tradition there is a persistent teaching concerning the necessity of "dying" before we die. We see traces of this in the Mystery teachings which involved such rituals as placing the initiate in a coffin or in water and then "raising" the initiate into "a new life" a "rebirth." One of Muhammed's famous sayings was: "Die before you die." Jesus is said to have taught that unless we die and are reborn we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
When a disciple came to Buddha, he was told to go to the burning place and observe bodies being cremated. The disciple was to remain there, watching, for three months. "Don't think about it," Buddha said, "just look at it."
"He will give you thousands of existences,
One after another, the succeeding ones better than the former. . . .
"Seek annihilation and adore change of state.
You have already seen hundreds of resurrections
Occur every moment from your origin till now;
One from the inorganic state to the vegetive state,
From the vegetive state to the animal state of trial;
Thence again to rationality and good discernment;
Again you will rise from this world of sense and form."
Rumi. The Mathnawi
The Whites' Teaching on Dying Before You Die
"This exit into greater life is the crowning glory of our existence here. It means transfiguration into an electrified and eternal being. I've got to tell you of it by degrees, because the exit is through the doors of self.
"Now stepping outside oneself actually means the practice of making one's own in imagination the conditions of the hour of death. . . .
"Suppose the day came for the Great Adventure of departing hence. Even a picnic or a vacation or a business trip demands some preparation. One is apt to take this tremendous step quite suddenly. What is it going to be like? Why turn our imaginations away from it so piously - or is it cowardly? Why not entertain ourselves with the buoyancy of anticipation? It is quite as speculative an amusement as contemplating a trip to Thibet, or reading what astronomers say about Mars, or any other pet flight of fancy. This has the advantage that we are actually dated up for it. . . .
"Children play beautiful games of expanding consciousness, supposing giants and mighty superlatives. I'm getting just such a cheerful imaginative picture of when we depart hence. It is as though everything had been taken from me but the residue of me, such as would remain if I were to die now. It's all I've got to orient me in this new world in which I am just an embryonic being. Every circumstance of life is gone. I am as unconscious of my body as ever I could possibly be. The merest shadow of its existence is on me. . . .
"It makes me feel that I personally can never be annihilated. If my body were actually taken away from me entirely, and I left in space, I feel I should continue to hold myself together, a vigorously determined entity. I might be temporarily inactive, perhaps, but I'd be convinced of my ability to participate in an existence which would be within my reach for the effort of taking. Though I might be deprived of everything en route, I could not by any conceivable thing be overcome or annihilated. I know that the development of a spark, even a tiny spark, of individual power cannot die. It will seek and find its proper progression through its own vitality. The thing to do is to take a lively spark with you when you go. . . .
"I am trying to show you an actual definite possible method of controlling the first maturing, naturally and joyously, from this life to the next; occupying experimentally the higher grades, while continuing existence here. You can do this by periodically letting fall your acquiescence with the impertinences of the body and its setting of manufactured needs, its houses and parks and marts and all its complications: letting them fall deliberately from your consciousness, and at the same time being vigorously yourself; translating as into another language the same order of your ardors and pursuits. It mirrors your soul in secret to yourself. . . .
"Now I am quite successfully dead. It wasn't much of an operation after all! It was a pleasurable releasing, quite different from the death-agony idea. That should be looked on as simply the birth pains of the spiritual body.
"I'm here, all right, and quite contented, but I'm like a baby that has pulled itself upright holding onto a chair: I don't know what to do next. If only I were a little stronger and more vigorous, that would put me more closely in touch with the help and affection I feel around me. Thank heaven I have the protection of it. Now I must keep still and see what my instincts and emotions are. . . .
"I seem to be only semiconscious. There is so much around me now that before I was blind and deaf to. . . . Oh, I strained to open what should be my earth eyes and touch with my earth fingers, and it's not possible. . . . Helping, loving people are around me, urging me to do something. I love them back for helping me, and it gets easier. . . .
"Seems to me I'll have to leave myself there awhile, just brooding. I am going on with the eternal body though; I must find out how I shape it and energize it." (Across the Unknown)
Stewart Edward White
Mr. White was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 12, 1873, and was educated
at the University of Michigan and Columbia University. Stewart was a novelist, historian, naturalist, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a Major, 144th Field Artillery, during World War I. He was an expert rifle marksman, big game hunter, explorer of the Rocky Mountains and the deserts of the Southwest; of
the waters and mountains ranges of Alaska, and of the far reaches of Africa.
In the early decades of the twentieth century he was one of the best known and most
widely respected of American writers. He wrote a number of travel and "outdoor" books:
Claim Jumpers (1911); The Forest (1987); The Forty-Niners (1991); Lions in the Path (1987); Long Rifle (1979); Magic Forest (1976); The Mountains (1987);
Silent Places (1976); Stampede (1911); The Story of California (1992); African Campfires (1987); Arizona Nights (1976); Blazed Trail Stories and Stories of the Wild Life (1980); Daniel Boone : Wilderness Scout (1976); Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1979);
Wild Geese Calling (1940)
To see a presentation of one of the Whites' book, The Unobstructed Universe, click here.