This last instalment centres on the theme of conscious spiritual connection by looking at the essential elements of personal aspiration.
The backbone of consciousness
- “Experiment! Experiment! And live in constant association of mind with the tremendous power of spiritual force until it becomes the backbone of your consciousness.
- It’s life giving quality is the richest gift you can pass on.
- It is second-hand inspiration. The main thing is to help people to get it first hand.
- But sometimes you can’t – it is too unaccustomed.”
The cultivation of habits of thought, and association with higher ideas and ideals, will create a strong ‘backbone’ to character. Encourage the same in others.
- “Now we show you the condition,” they concluded, “take hold of it. Construct your plan of action. Take hold with boldness. Fortify against yourself, your weaker self.
- Breathe life, determination, enthusiasm into this plan.
- Hold your forces clearly vibrant not enervated with diluting thoughts. The main danger is apt to be loss of stamina.
- Maintain your vigor. Your strength is your concentration on your spark of enlightenment. Fan it into a flame.”
- That is what you work with. You cannot let that die, or smoulder. Keep fanning it; that spark is your spiritual energy.
- What’s your foredetermination, particularised foredetermination, not just hazy? Work over it carefully as you would an architect’s blueprint. that is vitalised thinking, a creative thinking.
- There’s substance to it. Make a start of materialising to yourself, analysing, grasping, taking hold of materials at hand, and fashioning something out of them.
- Thought is the material, but not speculative thought, positive building. It seems to be all grasp, taking hold of a few things you’ve got, and grasping them in holding onto them, and bye and bye, you’ve shaped something.
- Constantly uphold the strength of an unconquerable spirit.
The challenge is to be focused in the right way, to maintain the best commitment you personally can. It isn’t easy. It takes real effort.
- “The whole thing is the matter of Attention. All sorts of things are always swarming around you as thick as can be, but less you give them your attention, they can have no point of contact with you.
- Anything you give your attention to is magnetically yours.
- So the only way to reorganise yourself is to regulate your attention. That maintains your altitude of mind.”
- “This sort of attention is exactly the same as looking at things. It is only the things you look at that really register.”
- “If you had to copy a thing you would look at it long and hard; a glance wouldn’t do you any good.
- So if you want to become anything, you must keep looking at it, not just vaguely and generally, but fixedly, so you can reproduce it. That is Attention.
- “I wish I could find a bigger word than Attention; It is so important.”
- In the external as well as the mental world, the same principles obtain.
- “They’re not asking me to give up all the little dinky- drinks I have to do,” said Betty at one time. “They don’t care WHAT WE DO, IT’S HOW WE DO.”
Choosing what we spend our time on – thinking about, or doing, shapes our capacity to grow spiritually.
- That brings us back to the specific instance: the development of Betty as a station.You remember the explanation of the slow and difficult progress as an attempt to get away from “spontaneous or spasmodic” phenomena to an “intelligent cooperation.”
- If on the basis of seventeen years’ experience I were to indulge in prophecy I would say that the future of both fluency and accuracy would depend on:
- (a) development of the station’s sympathetic receptivity so that he will catch the impressions as rapidly as an engine receives the two or three thousand sparks a minute that drives itself smoothly and untiringly;
- (b) the extension of the station’s equipment so that the translation will be both instantaneous and accurate;
- (c) the strengthening of the Invisible’s veto power, so that it, to, will act instantly and smoothly to depress all the words that rise to the magnitude of an idea save the one desired. Then we should have true communication.
- The lnvisible may then be said to control directly, in the same sense that we control directly the forming of words with a pencil. WE Do not drive the pencil: the hand does it, controlled by and obedient to ourselves
This is about the development of the ability to ‘channel’ communications. It begins with a ‘spontaneous’ contact in the first instance. It can never be something sought out. One can only makes oneself fit for purpose. This idea of intelligently cooperating with spiritual agents is difficult, yet if we wish to become conscious of deeper knowledge and insight that is not distorted it is necessary.
- Incidentally this automatic action seems to be a law that follows all effort, putting forth of volition.
- Whenever a thing is desired enough (and is responsive) to calls and (the) outgoing of determination automatic action begins.
- Thus on each act of will depend many things.
- That is outside the scope of our present discussion: but later in these pages the working with the law will recur many times: so its just as well to get the idea now.
The desire for spiritual, contact seems to be obedient to a law, part of which concerns the character and nature of act of will intended to bring about that contact.
Do not strain
- This is a slow process, many times it will seem foolish to you, and the hope for any results will appear fantastic.
- Remember that this must be not only a gradual natural growth, but also often requires stimulation to overcome arrested development of dormant facilities.
- Do not anticipate results.
- Take the rewards as they come; and there are such rewards every step.
- One more warning repeated before going into the first effects of establishing spiritual contact. DO NOT STRAIN.
- “The moment you try to create, to pump up, to reach for definite things, you are in grave danger.
- You may get almost anything.
- Better to stay asleep on earth, far better. You’ll never get anywhere if you are thinking of what you’re going to get. In that case you will be just a curiosity seeker.
- It is deadly hopeless to try that.
- You’ll be led to a blind alley and left there. That is done with so many people!”
- “Belief in the attainability of higher powers is a legitimate ambition, but they must be grown into faithfully.
- The amateur method of seeking growth or spiritual freedom is by terrible concentration of mind, but this must also be replaced by an expansion of the heart.”
- “How can I bring you strongly enough to this first principle. It is to expand in spirit, not intellectually.
- The spirit is usually like a desiccated fruit inside the brain. Let your spirit soak up in a simple and pleasant fashion until it is a fitting mate for your brain.
- Lay bare your problems to the influence of the great expansion which will bring your solution.
- This is the only real channel which will bring permanent wholesome psychic influence.
- It is the safe and open highroad.”
It is by effort of heart, not brain that the object is attained – and that is not a thing that can be forced or strained at. It is a natural unfolding of love, essentially, that is required.
The Great Formula
- “Do not forget how you do it; through strength of desire to serve, through vigorous encircling action, through overflowing faith, through vision of reality, through union with spiritual law and purpose, through understanding of temptation and resistance, through magnifying to each his own soul.
- Through all these you find your way to the comprehension of the divine life.”
The language is maybe hard on modern eyes, but the message clear enough.
In my original reading of The Betty Book I found confirmation that spontaneous inducement to speak or write as a means of communicating the direct thought of non-physical agents was real. The idea itself was not alien to me. Back then my girlfriend and I had started moving within a community in which such ideas were readily accepted – but often uncritically. In fact, the content of this book would have been challenging to many of our peers. They favoured a magical, rather than a spiritual, orientation. That is to say they favoured head, rather than heart, stuff – knowledge and techniques that promised access to power. Ultimately, we abandoned that path, because it lacked a deeper moral compass.
Back then I was by no means a paragon of virtue. I had profound psychological growth to undergo – and that took a few more decades. But I had a deep sense that the knowledge/power path was not right for me. It was intellectually stimulating for a while, but then I started to ask questions about purpose and meaning that were not welcomed.
I think that when I first read this book, I was not capable of seeing the deeper narrative. It served my immediate purpose, and that was enough. Over the ensuing 40 odd years the book has retained a hold on me. One part of me knew it had more to offer. Now I see a simple clarity, a little tangled up in language and style. It is important to forgive that and see it only as the dross of ages concealing a real enduring gem.
I am now motivated to read the book again. As I reviewed these essays, I recalled that all they were was a sampling of the deep thoughts of the original book, not a complete exposition of the ideas offered by the Invisibles. My goal was summarising some key ideas that might excite a reader to read the whole thing.
If the reader is interested in reading the Betty Book and has difficulty in finding a copy, I do have a PDF version. If you want a copy contact me – [email protected]