THE first chapter of this book was originally issued as a Paper which was sent to a large list of metaphysical students, and which is still being sent to all new correspondents, as well as to all new students of the Impersonal Life message.
In that Paper we offered to send the succeeding numbers to all who were earnestly seeking the Kingdom and who were making that seeking first in their hearts and lives, and we invited all such to accompany us on our journey to the Kingdom, to which we promised to lead them. Some of those who accepted our invitation and who have journeyed with us from the beginning know that we have reached the Kingdom and that the door is open wide to all who are able consciously to enter and to abide therein. Again we wish to point out that it is the earnest ones, those to whom the finding of the Kingdom was really the first and supreme purpose of their lives, who are now conscious of the great blessings of the Kingdom, their Father's Home, that is theirs to possess and enjoy.
Those who made this seeking secondary to other interests and desires can now see why they are unable to grasp the full meaning of all that has been shown-why they cannot close the gap between their lower and higher consciousness and know the I AM or Christ as their Self. In the last chapter we gave final instructions to enable all who were ready to accomplish this last step, and we expect others from time to time, as they digest and prove what the teachings contain, to find that they also have reached the goal; when we will be very happy with them, as will be all our Brothers of the Kingdom.
You who for any reason have not gained what your hearts seek, we urgently advise to go back and start over again, beginning with the first chapter, and not to leave it until you have made everything in it your own, fully digesting and proving each truth to your satisfaction, before passing on to the next. If you do this, we prophesy that you too will be enjoying the blessings of the Kingdom with your Brothers before many weeks.
Now we are going to ask you to consider with us some truths that may prove rather startling, at first thought, until you realize from what has been taught regarding the Soul that they cannot be other than as shown. The first truth, assuming that you are a disciple of Christ Jesus and consequently are become an immortal soul, is that you are not at all what you think yourself to be. No, you are not the personality-not the John Smith or the Mary Doe-that the world knows; but you are using that personality, which your human mind created, and which now you are cleansing, developing and perfecting, as an instrument with which to accomplish that which you came into physical expression to do.
Try to realize that this must be so-if you are an immortal soul-that this present personality is but one of many you have similarly used back through the ages,-but that these personalities were not you. They were only characters you assumed for the purpose of accomplishing what you planned to do.
Well then who-what am I? You ask. If you have not studied and meditated upon the several articles on the Soul until you have a fairly clear concept of yourself as a soul, we urge that you go back and study them until it becomes clear. In any event it were better to reread the articles in order to refresh your memory, so that you may grasp more easily what we are now going to say. Remember, a disciple is a soul consciously being taught by his Higher Self, a Son of God. A conscious disciple is one who is in close communion with his Higher Self, the I AM, the Christ, and is often possessed by Him, and thereby is often in His consciousness. The more advanced the disciple the more he is used by this Master Self, and the more he learns to see with His eyes and to know with His understanding.
Such a disciple sooner or later is given to see and know "who he is and of what he is a part." This means that in time he will know himself as a soul having put on different bodies in different ages, creating personalities that played a part in the history of those days, probably most often an insignificant part, but perhaps one or more times of a prominent nature, according to the age and advancement of the soul. He will know this because it will all be unfolded to him as definite soul memories of those past lives. Ordinarily a soul spends the few years of life in his mortal body and then retires and lives in his soul body for centuries before reincarnating again. But of course it depends on the soul-the number and frequency of its incarnations, for some souls because of their nature are given special work to do in connection with humanity, while others who ripen more slowly are not yet ready for the special training that can be gained only in strenuous earth experiences.
But this phase of the subject does not pertain to what we are seeking to explain. We want you to realize first that you are old souls-all of you who clearly heard the call of the Master when reading the first chapter, arid who have been faithfully and earnestly following Him ever since. Does this make you stop and think? Then hear this: Perhaps you were one of His followers when He was on earth in Palestine. Perhaps you have been His follower and even a martyr in His Cause in other lives down through the centuries since. Aye, perhaps you were among those who were taught, sung to, or who believed the prophesies about Him, voiced by Moses, or Abraham, or David, or the Prophets, and who long looked forward to His coming before He appeared. So that you love Him with a love that is not only of the soul, but of the Spirit, of which He is the very life essence; because He is the Holy Spirit, and your own Higher Selves are one with Him and one with the Father.