The Road I Know by Stewart Edward White 1942




RECORDED sessions of formal instruction, as such, practically ceased with 1934. This ended fifteen years of rigorous schooling. Apparently Betty's "outfit for eternity," as she had once called it, was complete. She had come into possessions, and she had gained conscious use of them. That use appeared to boil down to the ability to communicate with her fellow beings, visible or invisible, here in our obstructed aspect of the universe, or elsewhere in the unobstructed.


One thing more, however, remained to be brought to the forefront of her consciousness; and that one thing was in the line of attainment rather than of instruction. Betty had not only learned something, she had become something. And what she had become possessed its own power of action, by the very nature of its own substance. This was the last concept Betty must get clear for me and her own conscious understanding.




"They are showing me," she began her description, "a very advanced method of reaching us. A special kind


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of adjustment is involved: the sort of thing, the specialists over here use when they look at us. It shows our world very dark—black. Here and there are spots of glow or phosphorescence from the more developed among us....


Now I am taking the point of view of a very highly developed person on this side, one of the really great Radiant Ones. If I were such a one, and wanted to help somebody who showed this phosphorescent glow in the darkness, how would I go about it? Why, I think I would just come close and contemplate him, and so bring the effect of my radiation on him. And what would be the result of that?


"First of all, it would burn away or melt away the external dull crust, exposing the core of his reality. And that core would then reflect back. It would not glow of itself, but it could now reflect the light of my radiation, and thus becoming visible to the man—make him visible to himself.


"Do you see? It was all dark to him before, but now he can see himself because of this reflected light, and can perceive his needs and lacks and all that. And then while the glow is on him, and only then, he can write to himself about it, or talk to himself about it, in detail—just what he needs. But all I have done is to bring my radiation to him."


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How was she to make the application to creative living? She went deep into an experimental silence.


"You remember," she was ready to report to me at last, "that intensifying of your out-going impulses? Well, the exercise I've been doing is like that, only it is no longer in a straight-line channel, as it were. I am getting the circular action of it, like a lawn sprinkler. I keep turning it, almost like a searchlight; the beam is like a searchlight ray, only it's all warm and human and happy natural enthusiasm and interest, as when one approaches one's hobbles, affections or loves. I am exercising myself by turning a complete circle with it. At each point it touches I see with new and sympathetic eyes right into the soul of the thing, and my kinship and responsibilities with it....


And after a long silence:


"I don't actually have to turn myself now; I can do it in almost any direction....


"Now they've taken it away. It was to give greater flexibility to the idea of propulsion.... Radiation is better. That was an actual practice in radiation....


"There's something more about it; but I've got to go deeper to get it....


"How do I do it?" she pondered. "It sounds silly to say 'think horizontally,' doesn't it? But that is it. It is as though the spiritual force were fluid, and by thinking


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horizontally it could be made to flow in all directions about you, reaching others and bringing others to you in a single all-embracing exchange of vitality."


Ensued another of the long pauses that always indicated work was going on in which I had no present concern. But it must have been productive work, for Betty resumed almost breathlessly:


I am gaining strength," she told me, "almost beyond my ability to contain. . . . I lead a dance, I fling, I spread warmth, I rush on, incandescent with life! just let me travel on in this glowing way for a while.


An interval followed.


"I am going through a change," Betty explained at last, "a curious radiating, convexing and pouring out from myself, as definite as though I'd been turned inside out....


"Why! When you're arranged in that old concave shape, you present no surface of participation in life! You are an alien shape, just a dormant seed-encasement of life! I don't want to be that way again, ever, just concavely containing my little bit. It is all right, but it is ungerminated."


Another pause.


"Take something exhilarating," Betty continued, "take a salt-sea­washed body and the cool sweet union of it with the great fresh element. Keep going out, out, out beyond the mere exhilaration. You have turned the


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other way, curving out, a radiation of yourself—radiation.... Betty's enthusiasm became breathless.


"No words exist which can exactly express or convey this inner flame," the Invisibles encouraged her. "It is one of the most silently apparent of possessions. It makes its way without words or exhibition. It travels from heart to heart in its own channels of expression and exchange. And you always sense it, even if you do not acknowledge it with anything better than mental sophistication, as toward something simple folk and peasants have. For it is a unique and unmistakable thing, this rare, luminous, stimulating, kindly radiation of one who conducts, even though unconsciously, the current of universal force."


Her elation ebbed.


"I don't quite understand that—too big for me. I have the feeling of it: I know what it feels like to manifest in various forms of life. But I can work only in the emotional desire of it."


The Invisibles warned her against fostering the idea of an ebb. This radiation, it seemed, was the one thing that did not work in alternate rhythm of activity and rest.


"Remember this well," said they, "radiance should not wax and wane in power depending on the earth's recognition of it. It is the private affair of a surface, continually existent under all conditions, whether or


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not someone sees the sun shining on it. It is his own self-of-self, his own bit of frequency that he alone can manipulate. Therein only is happiness secure. The control of destiny is in a steady maintenance of a course satisfactory to your highest apex of perception. Radiance is the reward of this permanence of heart."


"Pretty soon," said Betty, "I'll start out and radiate more strongly, pulse myself along. I feel like a baby that must wonder how people move around so fast and surely. I wonder how they dare do it. Radiation increases my surface." She added, "You are tremendously responsible for your radius. That is what we are judged by."


"Each person's deeds," said the Invisibles, "float, as it were, in a certain atmosphere created by himself. This fostering atmosphere is not sufficiently understood.


"We recognize and acknowledge things almost as intangible, such as the chemical effect of the sun's ray's on plants, the warmth and other conditions indispensable to growth. The plant survives or perishes according as the climate is suitable to its needs and character. The warmth of the human heart associated with directing power, discriminating intelligence—it is variously named—makes this humanly fostering climate. It is not understood as a parallel to the climatic condition with plants. It must be. As soon as it is so understood, it is going to fall in the category of things cultivated as essential to life."


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"This atmosphere we radiate—" contributed Betty,—"I don't know how else to say it—I see in it the potency of the Djinn to the bottle—a Djinn which is released by expansion of the heart. The moment you take the trouble to acquaint yourself with your own heart, to exercise it and extend its perceptions, then you've begun to release your powerful Djinn— radiation. I luxuriate in it; but this luxuriating is the sort that goes out and can be picked up by others. It is not a selfly thing.—There is a difference: selfish is stern and haughty; selfly is merely limited....


"It is fun to be alive enough to throw out sparks this way," she cried enthusiastically. "Some people are sufficiently inflammable to get the spark: on others it just sizzles and goes out because of the sogginess of them.... I wish I could describe what I'm doing....


She broke her exultation with a sudden complaint.


"Sometimes when I am happy, working this way in heart substances, head substances keep getting in the way, analyzing me as an introspective fool." She paused, then went on with confidence. "But I know they are wrong. I see their inferiority and limitations in span. They are all right— for their job. But the heart substances are more powerful, more enduring."


"The thing is so fundamental," the Invisible endorsed this, "that its reality can only be felt, and not contained in written words. It is akin to light and heat and energy, which are first and manifest second. The


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interest with which one pursues a pet hobby comes nearer to the radiation idea than any other, magnetically attracting to you everything along the line, giving and receiving with case and pleasure. Love, humor, interested creation of the kind one does pleasurably in one's avocations—every unobstructed channel of daily life endowed with ease and richness of output: all these are akin."


But Betty had passed her momentary depression.


"I feel so powerful!" she cried. "I'm so powerful and sure, so absorbing of everything around me. And yet I'm not just a fungus-growth absorbing. I'm occupying more life: that's what I'm doing! That's a nice idea, but I can't help thinking how funny it is for me—I'm so piffling!"


"Radiation is penetrative to a degree unknown to denser matter," stated the Invisibles further, extending Betty's lawn sprinkler concept. "Roughly speaking, for visualization purposes, its action is not confined to a direct line, but is also encircling. In other words, when this force is sent out forward to an object, it is also received abeam and astern, above and below.


"And as it is extraordinarily penetrative and encircling, so it is also, paradoxically, extremely personal; more so than any earthly possession, for its very existence depends upon yourself—your inner, not your nervously controlled self. It is the most individualistic possession imaginable, as well as the most universal.


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"Germinated spirituality is radioactive," they added. "That is what makes the difference between the cultivation and expansion of it, and when it is merely potentially or rather dormantly motivating in you. It is what gauges personality, the radius of a human being's life influence.


"Think about this happily, without effort of any kind. Strain will never accomplish anything but defeat. If radiation were anything but illumination in rapture, it would not be radiation."




"Listen!" breathed Betty.


Down in the canon, outside our window, a wood thrush was singing, repeating over and over again his liquid musical phrases.


"That is what I mean!" she cried. "That bird! His very best—but plus his response." She puzzled a long time over some instruction or explanation that was obviously being conveyed to her. "Oh, I see!" she exclaimed at last—the thrush was continuing to sing—"He is still doing it because he isn't filled up yet. You see, he fills up magnetically, by giving out. That is the way creatures get their life force,—the frog croaks, and gets his that way. People get some when they laugh or sing together."


She contemplated this for some time.



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"I used to think I was reaching toward some distant and occult sort of sense," she ventured. "Now I find I'm just making thinner and thinner my walls in order to blend myself with forces right at hand; forces that all the plants and beasts possess.'


"Until there is worship in the heart," this from the Invisibles, "a development of intense perception of something vastly superior to the sovereignty of the brain, until there is the recognition of your sun—until that is activating, all else is but an intellectual concept. Unless that warmth is within you, a living flame ever ready for action, it will be better for you to wait without the gate."


"Before I start anything," promised Betty, "I'll drop my consciousness into place as a link between the purpose I do not understand and the little act of which I am master. It is the consciousness of the hook-up and the practice of it that makes it work, lets in the power. It is just a workaday, natural action—my two hands directed by my spirit. I'll just say to the unknown Purpose, 'I am ready when you are,' and keep a steady confidence in the purpose at hand, and it will grow in ripeness better than I could plan."


A silence.


"We are making a great road over which a noble traveler approaches," said Betty.