A tireless worker, Mr. Judge, was always proposing new modes of activity. One never knew what fresh idea would not emanate from his indefatigable mind. One idea with which he occupied some of his lighter moments, was that of an occult novel. It was his idea that a friend of his should write this, from incidents and materials to be furnished by himself, and to this idea he adhered, even having the title copyrighted, with the name of his author, despite the laughing protests of this friend, to whose outcries and statements that she never could, and never should, write a novel, Mr. Judge would smilingly reply: "Oh, yes! You will do it when the time comes." From time to time he sent to this friend suggestions, incidents and other material for this novel, the same being on odds and ends of paper, often rough wrapping paper, and being jotted down under a lamp-post at night while he waited for his tram, or in court while he waited for the case in which he was engaged to come up. On these scraps are also marginal notes, as he accepted or rejected the ideas of his own prolific mind. These notes are given here as such. It has been suggested that the recipient of these materials should still write the novel as proposed, but setting aside the fact that she could not be sure of properly rendering the real ideas of Mr. Judge, it is also thought that readers will much prefer to have the notes precisely as Mr. Judge set them down.
The printed title-page runs as follows:
IN A BORROWED BODY.
The Journey of a Soul.
By J. Campbell Ver-Planck, F. T. S.
The name is filled in in the writing of Mr. Judge, and there is this marginal note. "Copyright gone to Washngn." (All "Notes" are to be understood as being marginal ones made by Mr. Judge unless otherwise stated.)
The point on which it should all turn is not so much reincarnation as the use of a borrowed body, which is a different kind of reincarnation from that of Arnold's Phra the Phoenician.
This will also give chance to show the other two sorts of reincarnation, e.g.: --
(a) Ordinary reincarnation in which there is no memory of the old personality, as the astral body is new — and: (b) Exception as to astral body; but similarity of conception to that of ordinary cases, where the child retains the old astral body and hence memory of old personality and acquaintance with old knowledge and dexterity.
On the death of body the Kama principle collects the Skandhas in space, or at the rebirth of the Ego the Skandhas rush together and assemble about it to go with it in the new life.
There is the real and unreal sun. The real one is hidden by a golden vase, and the devotee prays:
"Unveil, O Pushan, the true Sun's face," etc. A voice (or other) says "thou art that vase" and then he knows that he alone hides the true Sun from himself.
Pushan is the guide and watches on the path to the Sun.
The eulogy of the Sun and the Soul are enshrined in a golden rose or lotus in the heart which is impregnable.
The theme of the book is not always teacher and pupil.
He first strives for some lives ordinarily and then in one he grows old and wise, and sitting before a temple one day in Madura he dies slowly, and like a dissolving view he sees the adepts around him aiding him; also a small child which seems to be himself, and then thick darkness. He is born then in the usual way.
Twice this is repeated, each time going through the womb but with the same astral body.
Then he lives the third life to forty-nine, and comes again to die and with the same aid he selects a foreign child who is dying.
Child dying. Skandhas collecting, child's Ego going — left, spark of life low: relatives about bed.
He enters by the way the mind went out and revivifies the body. Recovery, youth, etc., etc.
This is his borrowed body.
A couple of Incidents for the Book
A round tower used by the fire worshippers in Ireland and other isles in early ages. A temple is attached to it; quaint structure — one priest and one neophyte.
People below the tower coming into the temple grounds as the religion is in its decadence.
On the top of the tower is the neophyte, who in the face of the prevailing scepticism clings to the dead faith and to the great priest. His duty is to keep a fire on the tower burning with aromatic woods. He leans over the fire; it burns badly; the wood seems green; he blows it up; it burns slightly; he hears the voices of the disputers and sellers below; goes to the tower and gazes over while the fire goes slowly out. He is a young man of singular expression, not beautiful but powerful face; intense eyes, long dark hair, and far gazing eyes of a greyish colour unusual for such hair. Skin clear with a shifting light flowing from it. Sensitive face; blushes easily but now and then stern. As he still gazes the fire goes out. Just then a tall old man comes up the stairs and stands upon the tower top at opposite side, looking at the fire and then at the young man and withdraws not his gaze for an instant. It is a sternly powerful drawing look. He is very tall, dark brown eyes, grey hair, long beard. The young man feels his look and turns about and sees the fire out completely, while its last small cloud of smoke is floating off beyond the tower. They look at each other. In the young's man face you see the desperate first impulse to excuse, and then the sudden thought that excuses are useless because childish, for he knew his duty — to keep the small spiral of smoke ever connecting heaven with earth, in the hope, however vain, that thus the old age might be charmed to return. The old man raises his hand, points away from the tower and says "go." Young man descends.
II. A battle. — In the hottest a young soldier armed to the teeth, fighting as if it made no matter whether he win or lose, die or live. Strange weapons, sounds and clouds.
Wounded, blood flowing. It is the young man of the tower. He sinks down taken prisoner. In a cell, condemned, for they fear his spiritual power. Conflict between the last remnant of the old religion and the new, selfish faith.
Taken to his execution. Two executioners. They bind him standing and stand behind and at side; each holds a long straight weapon with a curved blunt blade, curved to (fit?) about the neck. They stand at opposite sides, place those curved blunt blades holding his neck like two crooks. They pull — a sickening sound: his head violently pulled out close to the shoulder leaves a jagged edge. The body sways and falls. It was the way they made such a violent exit for a noble soul as they thought would keep it bound in the astral earth sphere for ages.
III. That young man again. He approaches an old man (of the tower). Young one holds parchments and flowers in his hand, points to parchments and asks explanation. Old one says, "Not now; when I come again I will tell you."
Note. — Keep this, Julius.
W. Q. J.
Z. L. Z.
The next batch of notes is headed by the single word: "Book." Then follow four lines of shorthand. After these the words:
"Incidents showing by picture his life in other ages; the towers; the battle; the death; the search for knowledge and the sentiment expressed in the flowers."
Eusebio Rodrigues de Undiano was a notary in Spain who found among the effects of his father many old parchments written in a language which was unknown to him. He discovered it was Arabic, and in order to decipher them learned that tongue. They contained the story.
Note. — No initiates; Lytton only.
Eusebio de Undiano is only one of the old comrades reborn in Spain who searches like Nicodemus for the light.
Note. — Yes.
Eusebio de Undiano finds in his father's parchments confirmation of what the possession of the body has often told him.
Note. — Yes.
This person in the body never gave his name to anyone and has no name.
An autobiographical story? No? Yes! Related by one who was struck; by an admirer who suspected something? No; because that is hearsay evidence; the proof is incomplete, whereas he relating it himself is either true, or a mere insane fancy. It is better to be insane than be another's tool.
Stick to the tower and the head-chopping business. Let him be that young man and after the head loss he wanders in Kama Loca and there he sees the old man who was killed on the tower soon after the fire went out. The old man tells him that he will tell all when they return to earth.
He wanders about the tower vicinity seeking a birth, until one day he sees vague shapes suddenly appearing and disappearing. They are not dressed like his countrymen down below on the earth. This goes on. They seem friendly and familiar, the one requesting him to go with them, he refuses. They are more powerful than he is yet they do not compel him but show him their power. One day one was talking to him; he again refuses unless something might show him that he ought to go. Just then he hears a bell sound, such as he never heard before. It vibrates through him and seems to open up vistas of the strange past, and in a moment he consents to go.
They reach Southern India and there he sees the old man of the tower, whom he addresses, and again asks the burning question about the parchment. The old man says again the same as before and adds that he had better come again into the world in that place.
The darkness and silence. The clear, hot day. The absence of rain. After listening to the old man he consents inwardly to assume life there and soon a heavy storm arises, the rain beats, he feels himself carried to the earth and in deep darkness. A resounding noise about him. It is the noise of the growing plants. This is a rice field with some sesamum in it. The moisture descends and causes the expanding; sees around, all is motion and life. Inclosed in the sphere of some rice, he bemoans his fate. He is born in a Brahmin's house.
Note. — Shall the question of reincarnation through cloud and rain and seed and thus from the seed of the man, be gone into?
He is the young man. He knows much. He dies at nineteen. Strange forms around his bed who hold him. They carry him back to the land of the towers. He recognises it again and sees that ages have passed since the fire went out, and in the air he perceives strange shapes and sees incessantly a hand as of Fate, pointing to that Island. The towers are gone, the temples and the monuments. All is altered. They take him to a populous city and as he approaches he sees over one house a great commotion in the air. Shapes moving. Bright flashes, and puffs as of smoke. They enter the room, and on the bed is the form of a young boy given up to die, with relatives weeping. His guides ask him if he will borrow that body about to be deserted and use it for the good of their Lodge. He consents. They warn him of the risks and dangers.
The boy's breathing ceases and his eyes close, and a bright flash is seen to go off from it (the body). He sees the blood slowing down. THEY push him, and he feels dark again. Boy revives. Physician takes hope. "Yes; he will recover, with care." He recovers easily. Change in his character. Feels strange in his surroundings, etc.
The place in India where he went after death which was again sudden (how?). A large white building. Gleaming marble. Steps. Pillars. A hole that has yellowish glow that looks like water. Instruction as to the work to be done, and the journey to the land of the tower, in search of a body to borrow. As to bodies being deserted by the tenant that might live if well understood and well connected with a new soul. The difference between such a birth and an ordinary birth where the soul really owns the body, and between those bodies of insane people which are not deserted, but where the owner really lives outside. Bodies of insane are not used because the machine itself is out of order, and would be useless to the soul of a sane person.
Note. — Julius; keep these. I will send them now and then. But before you go away, return to me so I can keep the run of it. May change the scheme. The motive is in the title I gave you.
Note. — No one who has not consciously lived the double life of a man who is in the use and possession of a body not his own can know the agony that so often falls to one in such a case. I am not the original owner of this body that I now use. It was made for another, and for some little time used by him, but in the storm of sickness he left it here to be buried, and it would have been laid away in the earth if I had not taken it up, vivified its failing energies and carried it through some years of trial by sickness and accident. But the first owner had not been in it long enough to sow any troublesome seeds of disease; he left a heritage of good family blood and wonderful endurance. That he should have left this form so well adapted for living, at least seems inconceivable, unless it was that he could not use it, sick or well, for any of his own purposes. At any rate it is mine now, but while at first I thought it quite an acquisition there are often times when I wish I had not thus taken another man's frame, but had come into life in the ordinary way.
Incident of the letter and picture.
There was a very curious old man (sufficient description to add).
Sent a small cardboard in which was a picture, a head, and over it appeared to be placed a thin sheet of paper, gummed over the sides to the back. He asked if I could tell him anything of the picture which was visible through the thin paper. Having great curiosity, I lifted up the thin paper, and at once there seemed to be printed off from its underside a red circle surrounding the head on the board. In one instance this circle turned black and so did the entire inside space including the head which was then obliterated. In the other the red circle seemed to get on fire inward, and then the whole included portion burned up. On examining the thin paper on underside there were traces of a circle, as if with paste.
He laughed and said that curiosity was not always rewarded.
Took it to several chemists in Paris, who said that they knew of no substance that would do this. The old chemist in Ireland said a very destructive thing called Fluorine might be liberated thus and do it, but that it was only a thing with chemists and analysts.
(Note by the compiler. — In his travels Mr. Judge met many strange people and saw some extraordinary sights. Now and again he would tell one of these to be included in the novel, but just in this unfinished and vague way. When asked to tell more, he would smile and shake his head, saying: "No, No; little brothers must finish it.")
The temple on the site of the present city of Conjeveram was about to be consecrated and the regular priests were all ready for the ceremony. Minor ceremonies had taken place at the laying of the corner-stone, but this was to exceed that occasion in importance. A large body of worshippers were gathered not for the gratification of curiosity, but in order to receive the spiritual benefits of the occasion and they filled the edifice so that I could not get inside. I was thus compelled to stand just at the edge of the door, and that was, as I afterwards found out, the best place I could have selected if I had known in advance what was to take place. A few days before a large number of wandering ascetics had arrived and camped on a spot near the temple, but no one thought much of it because used to seeing such people. There was nothing unnatural about these men, and all that could be said was that a sort of mysterious air hung about them, and one or two children declared that on one evening none of the visitors could be found at their camp nor any evidence that men had been there, but they were not believed, because the ascetics were there as usual the next morning. Two old men in the city said that the visitors were Devas in their "illusionary form," but there was too much excitement about the dedication to allow much thought on the subject. The event, however, proved the old men right.
At the moment when the people in the temple were expecting the priests to arrive, the entire body of ascetics appeared at the door with a wonderful looking sage like man at their head, and they entered the edifice in the usual formal way of the priests and the latter on arriving made no disturbance, but took what places they could, simply saying: "they are the Devas." The strangers went on with the ceremonies, and all the while a light filled the building and music from the air floated over the awestruck worshippers.
When the time came for them to go they all followed the leader in silence to the door. I could see inside, and as I was at the door could also see outside. All the ascetics came to the entrance but not one was seen to go beyond it, and none were ever perceived by any man in the city again. They melted away at the threshold. It was their last appearance, for the shadow of the dark age was upon the people, preventing such sights for the future. The occurrence was the topic of conversation for years, and it was all recorded in the archives of the city.
I must tell you first what happened to me in this present life since it is in this one that I am relating to you about many other lives of mine.
I was a simple student of our high Philosophy for many lives on earth in various countries, and then at last developed in myself a desire for action. So I died once more as so often before and was again reborn in the family of a Rajah, and in time came to sit on his throne after his death.
Two years after that sad event one day an old wandering Brahmin came to me and asked if I was ready to follow my vows of long lives before, and go to do some work for my old master in a foreign land. Thinking this meant a journey only I said I was.
"Yes," said he, "but it is not only a journey. It will cause you to be here and there all days and years. Today here, tonight there."
"Well," I replied, "I will do even that, for my vows had no conditions and master orders."
I knew of the order, for the old Brahmin gave me the sign marked on my forehead. He had taken my hand, and covering it with his waist-cloth, traced the sign in my palm under the cloth so that it stood out in lines of light before my eyes.
He went away with no other word, as you know they so often do, leaving me in my palace. I fell asleep in the heat, with only faithful Gopal beside me. I dreamed and thought I was at the bedside of a mere child, a boy, in a foreign land unfamiliar to me only that the people looked like what I knew of the Europeans. The boy was lying as if dying, and relatives were all about the bed.
A strange and irresistible feeling drew me nearer to the child, and for a moment I felt in this dream as if I were about to lose consciousness. With a start I awoke in my own palace — on the mat where I had fallen asleep, with no one but Gopal near and no noise but the howling of jackals near the edge of the compound.
"Gopal," I said, "how long have I slept?"
"Five hours, master, since an old Brahmin went away, and the night is nearly gone, master."
I was about to ask him something else when again sleepiness fell upon my senses, and once more I dreamed of the small dying foreign child.
The scene had changed a little, other people had come in, there was a doctor there, and the boy looked to me, dreaming so vividly, as if dead. The people were weeping, and his mother knelt by the bedside. The doctor laid his head on the child's breast a moment. As for myself I was drawn again nearer to the body and thought surely the people were strange not to notice me at all. They acted as if no stranger were there, and I looked at my clothes and saw they were eastern and bizarre to them. A magnetic line seemed to pull me to the form of the child.
And now beside me I saw the old Brahmin standing. He smiled.
"This is the child," he said, "and here must you fulfil a part of your vows. Quick now! There is no time to lose, the child is almost dead. These people think him already a corpse. You see the doctor has told them the fatal words, 'he is dead!'"
Yes, they were weeping. But the old Brahmin put his hands on my head, and submitting to his touch, I felt myself in my dream falling asleep. A dream in a dream. But I woke in my dream, but not on my mat with Gopal near me. I was that boy, I thought. I looked out through his eyes, and near me I heard, as if his soul had slipped off to the ether with a sigh of relief. The doctor turned once more and I opened my eyes — his eyes — on him.
The physician started and turned pale. To another I heard him whisper "automatic nerve action." He drew near, and the intelligence in that eye startled him to paleness. He did not see the old Brahmin making passes over this body I was in and from which I felt great waves of heat and life rolling over me — or the boy.
And yet this all now seemed real as if my identity was merged in the boy.
I was that boy and still confused, vague dreams seemed to flit through my brain of some other plane where I thought I was again, and had a faithful servant named Gopal; but that must be dream, this the reality. For did I not see my mother and father, the old doctor and the nurse so long in our house with the children. Yes; of course this is the reality.
And then I feebly smiled, whereon the doctor said:
"Most marvellous. He has revived. He may live."
He was feeling the slow moving pulse and noting that breathing began and that vitality seemed once more to return to the child, but he did not see the old Brahmin in his illusionary body sending air currents of life over the body of this boy, who dreamed he had been a Rajah with a faithful servant named Gopal. Then in the dream sleep seemed to fall upon me. A sensation of falling, falling came to my brain, and with a start I awoke in my palace on my own mat. Turning to see if my servant was there I saw him standing as if full of sorrow or fear for me.
"Gopal, how long have I slept again?"
"It is just morning, master, and I feared you had gone to Yama's dominions and left your own Gopal behind."
No, I was not sleeping. This was reality, these my own dominions. So this day passed as all days had except that the dream of the small boy in a foreign land came to my mind all day until the night when I felt more drowsy than usual. Once more I slept and dreamed.
The same place and the same house, only now it was morning there. What a strange dream I thought I had had; as the doctor came in with my mother and bent over me, I heard him say softly:
"Yes, he will recover. The night sleep has done good. Take him, when he can go, to the country, where he may see and walk on the grass."
As he spoke behind him I saw the form of a foreign looking man with a turban on. He looked like the pictures of Brahmins I saw in the books before I fell sick. Then I grew very vague and told my mother: "I had had two dreams for two nights, the same in each. I dreamed I was a king and had one faithful servant for whom I was sorry as I liked him very much, and it was only a dream, and both were gone."
My mother soothed me, and said: "Yes, yes, my dear."
And so that day went as days go with sick boys, and early in the evening I fell fast asleep as a boy in a foreign land, in my dream, but did no more dream of being a king, and as before I seemed to fall until I woke again on my mat in my own palace with Gopal sitting near. Before I could rise the old Brahmin, who had gone away, came in and I sent Gopal off.
"Rama," said he, "as boy you will not dream of being Rajah but now you must know that every night as sleeping king you are waking boy in foreign land. Do well your duty and fail not. It will be some years, but Time's never-stopping car rolls on. Remember my words," and then he passed through the open door.
So I knew those dreams about a sick foreign boy were not mere dreams but that they were recollections, and I condemned each night to animate that small child just risen from the grave, as his relations thought, but I knew that his mind for many years would not know itself, but would ever feel strange in its surroundings, for, indeed, that boy would be myself inside and him without, his friends not seeing that he had fled away and another taken his place. Each night I, as sleeping Rajah who had listened to the words of sages, would be an ignorant foreign boy, until through lapse of years and effort unremittingly continued I learned how to live two lives at once. Yet horrible at first seemed the thought that although my life in that foreign land as a growing youth would be undisturbed by vague dreams of independent power as Rajah, I would always, when I woke on my mat, have a clear remembrance of what at first seemed only dreams of being a king, with vivid knowledge that while my faithful servant watched my sleeping form I would be masquerading in a borrowed body, unruly as the wind. Thus as a boy I might be happy, but as a king miserable maybe. And then after I should become accustomed to this double life, perhaps my foreign mind and habits would so dominate the body of the boy that existence there would grow full of pain from the struggle with an environment wholly at war with the thinker within.
But a vow once made is to be fulfilled, and Father Time eats up all things and ever the centuries.