March 21, 2018
I wrote only three days ago, but there is no telling when I'll write!
Steve made an amazing find in the old newspapers--he was looking through the paper after his death date, to be sure that no-one who wrote like him was writing the lecture reviews (the ones Steve is certain Mathew wrote). He found his own tribute, and then he started skimming, looking for any reviews of speeches. On the way, he noticed a poem with the same initials that I had once used, "A.P." (for Abby Poyen, my maiden name); but since I had passed in 1841, and this was February, 1883, he just thought maybe there was another author with the same initials, and that would make it all the harder to prove that I had written the earlier works. Then later, at home (or what passes for "home" for him these days, a room), he looked more closely at it. It was mine. Turns out I had written it shortly before I passed; and then, when Mathew was very ill, and his death seemed iminent, he gave or sent it to the editor, with instructions to print it after he, himself, had died.
Now, Steve had already figured out that I had this flaw, you see, that I was just a touch inclined toward suicide; and I cloaked it in religious feeling. This was not so uncommon in Victorian times, when people embraced death in general. But the greater problem was that I believed religion was all about going to heaven. Thus I had been taught, thus everybody seemed to believe, and thus I believed. So your heart belonged to heaven, not even to your loved ones on earth.
How can I explain, through Steve, what this did to me, and to us, and to my life? Because it is a form of disguised selfishness (the worst kind). I did not give my husband my whole heart, because I was all the while yearning for heaven. But this is not really so much different than yearning for a big estate. Do you see? How can you give your whole heart to your soul-mate, if you are putting the desire for a big, beautiful estate above him? And this was my condition--but it was all justified, and thus hidden in my blind-spot, by my sincere dedication to religion.
Steve is very reluctant to type this poem, even here, to share with you all. I won't make him do so--because, last night, when he read it, it kept him up and he didn't sleep well. It was that upsetting for him, deep down, where he remembers, intuitively, being Mathew. I will simply say that I was turning away from everyone on earth, and facing toward heaven; and at the same time, I was submitting to my Savior's will. But was it my Savior's will for me to put heaven above those I loved, and who loved me? This is the crucial question I never thought to ask.
Heaven is like a drug, which is so fantastic that few can resist "selling out" their loved ones. Even mothers are sorely tempted to abandon their children! And you know the strength and power of a mother's love. A mother will face a tiger, for love of her children; and yet, she may abandon them for the joys of heaven. So how pleasurable must be that "drug"? Add to that the justification of religion, and you can see the problem.
But all this goes back, as Steve intuitively senses, to an earlier lifetime when he abandoned me to go on the search for God. That, also, was a terrible mistake, because it pierced through the heart of the one person who loved him more than all others, combined. It left a deep wound; and the shoe had to be on the other foot, at least to some extent, to balance it out.
Steve knows, from studying the official records, that our daughter, eight-month-old Sarah, our second child, had died two weeks before I did. I told Steve when we first got together, "I let myself go." And he has understood that. Then reading my poetry, and his tribute poetry, to me, he had gained a greater appreciation for the fact that I had a suicidal streak; and that I worshipped heaven. Hazrat Babajan, the spiritual master who gave our Guru Realization, spoke of herself as a man. She is said to have remarked: "Lovers of the earth are female; lovers of heaven are enuchs; lovers of God are male." One can't take this too literally--but it severely challenges the idea that the end goal of religion is to attain heaven. The mischief is that heaven is a vacation, a place for rest and reflection and the development of certain talents, in preparation for the next upcoming incarnation. It is neither eternal, nor the final goal. Mix up that idea with spirituality, and you have a severely distorted conception, which will lead you astray.
I say this partly to undo any damage I may have caused, by espousing the former doctrine, or advising people privately in this understanding. Mathew strove to praise my sincere search after spiritual life; and he was right to do so; but in his heart he felt abandoned--and he was right to feel that way. I did abandon him, just as surely as he had once abandoned me. I have told you all, that soul-mates have hurt each other, wounded each other, so very deeply in so many lifetimes past. It must all be forgiven. Just now, while Steve was talking to me before I wanted to channel, he told me, "I don't expect you to be perfect. You are my chosen one--I love you even if you screw up, just as you have loved me through so very many mistakes."
And this is the way it must be. I will leave you with a thought from our Guru, as Steve remembers it--that we are blinded to our faults when we take them as virtues. I never considered the selfishness of my stance, of my inclination toward suicide, because it was cloaked and excused by my religion. A drinker will excuse and even celebrate his drinking, because he considers it part of his commeraderie with his fellows--and who could argue with brotherly love of one's commrades? A businessman will excuse being ruthless, by citing the need to be aggressive in order to succeed. And so-on. These ideals, these virtues, hide our weaknesses with justifications.
Just so, I left Mathew--Mathew, who had been so dear to me, so gentle, so forbearing, so supportive, when no-one else in the world understood me--who had told me I was an angel, and a queen, and his "magical girl," when others told me I was a witch, or that I was odd...Mathew, I turned my back on for heaven, and let myself die, leaving him to grieve both our precious daughter, and myself, at the same time, alone.
Well, the records say I died of consumption. What do I say? I say that people could live with consumption, as some people today live with AIDS. One could compensate for it by moving to a warmer climate, with food, and exercise, and so-on. Had I "hung in there," a way might have opened for us to start bravely again, and I might have lived many more years. I am saying this--I have given Steve to feel this--but one must take it with a grain of salt, because Steve is merely doing his best to channel the impressions--wisps of feeling and contact and thought--he gets from me.
He has forgiven me--we have forgiven each other everything. We belong together; we are for each other. If one stumbles, the other picks him or her up. Even if one kicks the other in the shins in a fit of despair or madness of some kind, even so, we forgive and tearfully go forward. There is something I want to add, here, and Steve keeps trying to write (on his own).
Oh. He looked at an apartment, today. Always he has to fill out applications--and always he looks bad on paper. Always he gets his hopes up, and then someone else is chosen. If that happens with this apartment, then, he can know I was protecting him from something, or want him to wait for something even better. I am looking out for him, very, very keenly and diligently right now, as he is in a somewhat precarious position. Being here in the astral realm has its advantages. It has obvious disadvantages, as for example that I cannot embrace him, or cuddle with him, nor can he see my facial expressions, nor can we laugh together (except unseen by him). But I can do a much better job of guiding him, and smoothing his path, from here. So life always compensates one, in this way or that.
As for heaven, if heaven was a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean, would you make returning to that island more important than loving your husband? What's the difference between that, and heaven, except as a matter of degree? Now, what if your religion told you that the purpose of life was to get back to that island. NOW, you have your justification to be selfish, don't you? But does that really change anything? Hardly. Christianity, as it has come down to us, has done great mischief with this idea of an "eternal heaven." The word "heaven" means "a state of consciousness." The Kingdom of Heaven means realizing God. It did not originally mean the astral realm. The original meaning was thus diluted, with more destructive consequences than anybody has guessed. Believe it or not, you can get tired of the astral realm--and you become disinterested in it very quickly when you realize that you have wounded your soul-mate's heart, in your haste to get there!
Love to each and all,