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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Invisible Helpers

An expression used by Charles W. LEADBEATER to describe those who are able to help in a non-physical manner those who are in need of aid, whether the living or those who have just died and need to be guided during the death transition. In his book Invisible Helpers he recounts numerous cases of people in distress who have been “miraculously” saved or helped by mysterious beings mistaken for “angels” but who were actually living people who were able consciously to assist others while they are in their astral bodies and their physical bodies are asleep. In many of the accounts, he referred to these as the “band of helpers” who were disciples of ADEPTS and who had capacity intentionally to help even when out of their bodies, even materializing their bodies to be visible and tangible. Leadbeater wrote that one can prepare oneself to be an invisible helper by developing certain qualities needed in treading the Path to discipleship, particularly single-mindedness, perfect self-control, calmness, knowledge, unselfishness and love.

There is hardly one among us who would not be capable of performing at least one definite act of mercy and goodwill each night while we are away from our bodies. Our condition when asleep is usually one of absorption in thought, be it remembered — a carrying on of the thoughts that have principally occupied us during the day, and especially of the last thought in the mind when sinking into sleep. Now if we make that last thought a strong intention to go and give help to someone whom we know to be in need of it, the soul when freed from the body will undoubtedly carry out that intention, and help will be given. (Invisible Helpers, p. 200)

Such helpfulness need not be confined to periods when one is asleep.

Nor need such useful action be confined to our hours of sleep. If you know (and who does not?) of someone who is in sorrow or suffering, though you may not be able consciously to stand in astral form by his bedside, you can nevertheless send him loving thoughts and earnest good wishes; and be well assured that such thoughts and wishes are real and living and strong — that when you so send them they do actually go and work your will in proportion to the strength which you have put into them. Thoughts are things, intensely real things, visible enough to those whose eyes have been opened to see, and by their means the poorest may bear his part in the good work of the world as fully as the richest. In this way at least, whether we can yet function consciously upon the astral plane or not, we all can join, and we all ought to join, the army of invisible helpers. (Ibid.)

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