E-text prepared by Al Haines
INSIGHTS AND HERESIES PERTAINING TO THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOUL
Second Edition 1916
Christopher Publishing House Boston Copyright 1913 by the Christopher Press Copyright 1916 by the Christopher Publishing House
To those heroic minds who can truly say: "My soul is my own," and bravely maintain it through everything—in spite of Church or State—I do offer with earnest congratulations and my loving greetings, these fragmentary thoughts of
Our revered Emerson loaned his Plato to a neighbor. Meeting him some time afterward he said to him: "How did you like Plato?" "Very much," the farmer answered, "very much indeed. I see he has a great many of my idees." And so, my readers—if there be such—there may be herein set forth some of your own familiar thoughts which you may not have found opportunity to express in such guise as appears in this small book.
No New Thing Evolution Slowness of Evolution The Work of Nature A New Science World Making Imperfections Revealed World Origin Spirit Individualized through Matter World Signs World Growth Death a Benefactor World Progress The Origin of Evil Vibration Life Churches Money Makers Life in Nature Heaven Nature Spirits Experience Spiritualism Phenomena Mediumship The Migrations of our Race The Discipline of Life Homogeneity of the Race Of God Of Jesus The Gods Knowledge of Occult Law Evanescence of Mere Beliefs The Fount of Inspiration for All Man versus Death Fear of Death Test of Character Character Forming Man the Final Earth Product Superstitions Self-Justice Symbolism Love Ideals of Love The Needs of Woman Man versus Woman Natural Cruelty of the Undeveloped The Worst Sin Reincarnation Processes of Reincarnation Education of Children Egotism Responsiveness Hell The Commonplace Petroleum Law Communism Happiness Pain Foes in the Household The Inner Life Root of Evils Rest in Change Miserliness Special Providence Human Destiny Ethical Law Human Life Animal Likeness Natural Superstition Adaptiveness of Man Devil Worship Fanaticism Truth Christs Hero Worship Reason Sympathy New Religions The Growth Processes of the Human Soul Necessity for Phenomena Will Change of Atoms Our Limitations Final Race Experience Religious Performances Of Teachers Wise Use of Money Genius Thoughts Are Things Unfoldment Inventions Divine Healing Surplus Analysis of the Lord's Prayer Absurd Beliefs The Resurrection The Creator Retributive Justice The Soul Woman
Insights and Heresies
The Evolution of The Soul
NO NEW THING.
There is no new revelation to be given to man; there is no need of it. Those who have labored most strenuously to evolve from their inner consciousness a new, a better religion, have found themselves bogged in the mire of their egotism which has landed them in a police court, or they have been confronted by exactly the same problems as those from which they have sought to escape. Few, indeed, have survived the test of time. There is an ancient promise that stands yet for man's use: "To him that hath (improved) shall more be given, and from him that hath not (improved) shall be taken away that which he already has." This was never meant to apply to material things—it could not—it was spoken in reference to the gift of understanding, and of using the occult, the psychic law. Many psychics have lost their spiritual gifts through failing to understand that endless progress is the law that forces souls along the way of life. No stopping by the way to gather shells upon the shore, no aimless looking back; but work with stout heart and resolute will. It all means work, overmastering habits of thought and action, lifting the soul from the grooves of heredity, and in all ways making aspiration attract the inspiration that sustains the soul.
All subjects pertaining to our knowledge of the soul are too subtle to be weighed and proved by external intellect alone. Our lives are ruled by such a hotch-potch of inherited beliefs and tendencies, that it is almost impossible for us to use any discrimination concerning them; or to arraign ourselves before the tribunal of our own better judgment in such manner as to enable us to separate the false and effete ethical and religious influences, from the wise and true, which alone are abiding and permanent.
Thus we grope and stumble along through our earthly lives, burdened with ideas which were set in motion far back in a crude age, and which were so well adapted to their time that they still vibrate to the tendencies of our own day. This applies to every department of human experience, and were it not that we are, as a huge family, better than our cherished beliefs, higher in the scale of development than these would seem to indicate, we should still be under the dominion of the so-called "Dark Ages." The most important and the dearest phase of human experience must come, of course, through its religious beliefs, and as they are narrow and superstitious, on the one hand, or grand with faith and understanding of law, on the other, do we judge of the status of the individual, the community, and the race; and the advances made upon this line mark the progress of what we term civilization on this planet.
There is no time so trying, so full of agony to the soul, as is that hour when it first begins to doubt the absolute, unquestionable truth of the creeds it has hitherto blindly accepted, and in which it has fully believed. Creeds are the swaddling clothes of the soul, and must inevitably be outgrown and laid aside as the mind of man grows more and more capable of comprehending the truth which is to set it free from the trammels of mere blind belief.
It is so comfortable to have our spiritual faith ready made for us, our paths all mapped out, and our final destiny made plain and sure, provided only that we remain faithful in our adherence to them as they are set forth by our parents and spiritual guardians, that when the great, ever-surging, resistless tidal wave of progress first reaches the soul, it can only stand in dumb agony, like one upon the seashore watching its last hope go down beneath the waste of mighty waters. Torn from its anchorage of inherited beliefs, it is sure to be tempest-tossed, rent and torn, buffeted by conflicting tendencies, cast upon many a desert island of unfaith, and haunted by miserable doubts and black despair, ere it hears and heeds the pilot of truth, the only guide to the peaceful haven of eternal life. Happy, indeed, are they who tarry not upon the weary way; but who have within them that aspiration, that endless cry for light, which shall always, in God's providence, compel the needed response and guidance; for many honest, earnest men and women, lacking this attribute of the soul, fail all through life to reach this only true solution of the riddle of human existence. Kind and sincere friends say of them: "Oh! if they had only remained faithful to the religion of their fathers, they would have found happiness and peace." But the law of evolution brings each and every soul to the point where it must stand alone with God, there to discover and establish its relationship to the Divine, irrespective of all preconceived ideas and notions, superstitions, and ignorance. This is exactly what every soul must come to—the aggregation of powers and forces of body and soul resulting in the fully developed and rounded-out individuality of any given personality. These are the rare and unusual men and women, the fully flowered out, the richest fruitage of any and all races, and it is to these that we must look for that union of sympathy with and comprehension of the needs and requirements of all which is to usher in the reign of peace, and universal good will on earth.
Jesus of Nazareth went before us on the path, the only way cast up for earnest souls to walk in. There has never been given to the world any system of ethics superior to his. He recognized the homogeneity of the race—"Each for all, all for each," was the whole import of his teachings. In him was epitomized the experience of the race. Each and every soul must wear its crown of thorns, and bear its cross and suffer crucifixion, ere the soul astray from God, immersed in, and overwhelmed by matter, can be forced to relinquish its hold on, its love for the external, material things pertaining to this world. But it has to be, it certainly must be, the experience of every creature born of woman. Be sure, O soul! if none of these experiences have ever been realized by you, that you are but just now entering upon the inevitable rounds which must attend your connection with, and relationship to this earthly sphere of being. Such are as the insensate clod, having as yet neither spiritual sense, nor moral responsibility. Nature's processes are slow; but be sure that the goal is appointed, and that God will be there and will wait till we come.
When Jesus said: "The poor ye have always with you," he did not refer to dollars and cents only, but to that poverty of intellect, that barrenness of the moral nature which makes a human being a reproach and a terror to his kind. These we shall always have to deal with, to educate if we can, to constrain from overt acts of evil, and to protect ourselves from in all the works and ways of life.
So painful and slow is the process of character-forming that millions of souls pass on from this sphere of life to the spirit world so lacking in individuality that they have no more power for any expression of themselves upon that plane of being than they had when they were living here. Not as much, in fact, for the physical body and brain have always some possible function and use while they hold their relationship to the world of material life, which function and use are laid aside when they are put through the sifting process of physical death, and in all cases, unless the powers of the ego as exercised here are supplanted by a sufficient growth of the spiritual nature to sustain the ego in its new relationship, and give to it the impetus needed to start it forward upon lines of usefulness and growth, it naturally fails to waken to any sort of realization of itself and its possible career in its new life. This is specially true of those persons who have been psychologized by those teachings which relegate the souls of human beings to the cold clasp of the ground, until the expected day of judgment; or of those poor, overworked men and women to whom heaven seems only a place to sleep and rest in; or again, of still another class of minds that has brought itself to a belief in utter extinction after the close of this external life. These are the "shades," the "shells" we hear of, for there are times when the subtle inner sense of these sleeping ones is stirred to action by the wails of the loving, longing ones left on earth to mourn; and, as is the case with one in somnambulic sleep, the spirit walks and talks, in response to the demands of friends, through those persons who are gifted with the aura necessary for the medial agency. These excursions of the soul into the realm of matter, thus made by and through the offices of clairvoyants and seers, the repeated arousings of the ego from its contented sleep are finally highly educational, and result in resurrecting the forces of the enfranchised being, and setting them in motion on the lines of useful work for humanity. For this medial service which is thus being rendered to the spirit world by such gifted persons still living here in the body, multitudes are daily and hourly expressing their gratitude and appreciation.
We have somewhat abolished our old, long-established Hell, and now, to be consistent, we must also do away with our preconceived ideas of a Heaven of eternal rest; for why should the souls of men be wrapped in useless slumbers, until the strong overwhelming influence of the law of progress sweeps them up like dry leaves before a whirlwind, and rushes them along to the gates of a conscious life, through a new relationship upon the physical plane? The spirit does not weary, and when the exhausted body is laid aside, why not enlist the services of all to whom any appeal can be made? Thus shall we all be growing together, and Death shall be forced to cast aside its grim and dreadful seeming and show for the angel it is. Ah! how could we go on and on in the narrow limitations of this small beginning of a life, if Nature did not kindly call a halt somewhere on the road, while we, taking fresh courage, start out in our new career with our entire being adjusted to laws which are working in harmony with the divine will.
SLOWNESS OF EVOLUTION
There have been times in the lives of all soul-grown people when the inner consciousness has clearly perceived that some given experience may mean an important crisis in the expression of their individual character. But not frequently, in the ordinary lives of human beings, do they meet up with really great events, or personal experiences that create for them special overturnings of their ideas, or any change of personal habits. To the mind of youth, life seems a plainly simple, straight-forward way; but when overtaken by results of unconsidered actions, for which there has been no preparation, there dawns upon it the consciousness of appalling vistas, and visions of future possibilities that are overpowering.
As we journey forward on the path of existence, life becomes ever more and more complicated, and the need, the overwhelming demand for an understanding of the ever-varying problems presented to the mind for consideration, and the constantly urgent necessity for wise decisions must call into action all our highest powers of the intellect and reason, in order to secure to us the best results from the opportunities given us to acquire knowledge. Every one of our experiences are bits in the mosaic of our lives, and without them the picture would be incomplete.
But with all, we are forced to realize how unfinished and unsatisfactory are nearly all of our experiences of earthly existence. It is, indeed, "a thing of shreds and patches." But we are caught in the web of material existence from which there can be no lawful escape, save by unpremeditated physical death. We are thrust into the seething cauldron of formative life. The entire race of man, forced forward by the resistless power of the law of progress, is on the everlasting journey to the heights of perfected being. To us, enmeshed in the ties of interest and affection, the various heredities and the worldly Karmas which hold us fast, the slow, unnumbered processes of evolution on this, our home world, as recorded in history seem unendurably long. But time is naught—eternity is unending—and "ten thousand years are but as a day with God," the great Maker and Moulder of our immortal souls.
THE WORK OF NATURE.
The planet itself is stirred to its very centre. On one side, the earth opens its horrible maw and swallows up uncounted numbers of her children, or spews out her molten interior in vast lava tides, overwhelming and destroying all within their reach. At the opposite side, great floods of gas and rock oil, set free by the operation of the drill, shoot up in the air and fall back upon the soil in a luminous spray, as like to liquid gold as aught not filled with the beloved auriferous metal could be. The waters loosed from their fastnesses over-reach their accustomed bounds, and great tidal waves are encountered in unexpected latitudes. Nature is rounding up her great circle, and making conditions for a new era.
A NEW SCIENCE.
A science of Spiritual evolution could be erected, based upon the teachings and ethics of Jesus Christ, that would put souls consciously in their true rank and grade, and make them known just as people are recognized by the college curriculums from which they have graduated.
The "fire-mist" and the mephitic vapors were finally swept away; another era was preparing. Incorporate in the world substance of which the planet was made were the seeds and germs of all life. Its crude material was made manifest in the prodigious vegetable growths, and the awful corresponding animal life. Birds and beasts and reptiles, each one more hideously terrible than the others, filled the air, the earth and the waters of the earth with the abounding life of these horrible creatures. Into this unaccountable menagerie came also the foreshadowing of man—a huge hairy creature possessing size and power to do battle with his animal compeers for supremacy in the seething, upgrowing land.
This was only the differentiation of the animal-man from the animal per se—the beginning of the form which stood upon its hind legs. From such rudimentary forms was evolved intelligence which finally begot the human soul. This, after vast ages, grew into a state and condition through which spirit could manifest, and the human race was finally started on its endless earthly career.
With the birth of the soul came what we call the religious instinct, and man began to worship natural objects; animals and reptiles, the sun and finally, superior personalities were thought to be gods. The "phallic worship," worship of the human organs of creative power, gave the males great prominence. The female, woman, the mere matrix was considered, from the first, of far less importance. No one stopped to think, what is one without the other in the great world processes.
Nature, ever on the alert so as not to lose any and every possible representation of her power, buried here and there specimens of her handiwork, and the exhumed remains of prehistoric monsters are even now being restored and labelled with such titles as our modern scientists have been able to invent to somewhat describe the size, the form, and the habits of these long extinct manifestations of the beginnings of life on this earth.
Among these, too, have also been found the bones of huge human-like beings whose decadent progeny are still alive in limited number.
The gorilla is still the terror of some of the wild places of the earth; as he booms his way through the impenetrable forests, he sends forth his note of warning, beating his great hairy breast, and all living things flee before him. Fancy what the awful first man—his progenitor—must have been! Science has never yet been able to discover the probable length of time it required for this crude age to endure in order to lay the foundation of the world; for time was not, and existence was recorded only by ages and aeons. But seven times their infernal progeny were nearly all swept off the planet by awful cataclysms and the whole affair had to be begun over again.
The soul digs deep into the age-long deposits of knowledge, the results of countless experiences, and brings up the Real.
This has to be, the most successful egotist, the most deluded hypocrite must inevitably meet up with himself some day and begin to know the truth versus make-believe.
All souls are so veiled in the flesh, and held by the crowding necessities of their lives, that it is only on rare, unexpected occasions that the individual soul can throw down the barriers and show of what it is capable.
To be able to understand, even to our limited degree, something of our origin, and the purpose of our existence is most comforting and sustaining. In the beginning, the Creator sent to this planet a given number of beings intended for the exemplification of the law of evolution and soul growth. In the everlasting rounds of human life, no new souls are being created and sent here to work out their salvation through their experiences incident to the life of this young planet, earth. What appears to our limited perception to be the beginning of new lives is so only in relation to their present embodiment. All new souls now being born here are but returning from some other phase of existence. The whole human race is one family. Bound to the wheel of life, every individual soul must pass through all of the varied experiences that are set for its evolution. What they are not today, they have been, or must become. But not all people march over just the same highway to reach the soul's status. Details of experience do not count. It is the lesson learned, and practically applied that forwards the unfoldment of the individual in a comprehension and understanding of God's eternal truth. Only results in all things, temporal and spiritual, attest the unfoldment and growth of each and every soul.
It is only when man has evolved to the point of being more than a man, "a little lower than the angels," that the higher spheres of activity are necessary for his further progress. To expect to develop in the worlds of finer substance than that of earth before he has learned all that earthly experiences can teach him, is like "placing a child in the higher classes of a school before he has mastered the lessons of the lower."
SPIRIT INDIVIDUALIZED THROUGH MATTER.
As spirit per se has no entity, and only evolves individuality through its relationship with matter; and has no other conscious expression; the so long-talked-of "Fall of man" was not a fall downward, but it was a process upward, necessary to his being, to his existence as man.
Our planet, true to her everlasting record, has put forth her potent reorganizing power to celebrate the ushering in of the new era.
Not less marvelous are the signs and indications of great changes taking place upon the visible planes of the lives of men. Hand in hand march the visible and the imponderable forces of this earthly life. Ignorance and vapid superstitions can no longer block the doorway of the living Christ.
God wills to know, and be known of his own, and to hold his love a free gift to all races of men.
The trump of recollection and of recognition has sounded. The dead have already risen, all along the lines, and no power can hale them back to their dreams.
Onward, ever upward points the finger of progress. Long hoarded wisdom and knowledge of the forces of nature are pouring into the minds of seers, and of wizards of science; and these long separated and divorced streams are evoluting to the unison of material and occult sciences, which is destined to bring in the reign of peace and prosperity to all the peoples of the earth, and to bring to light the relics of past ages, cunningly hidden away in the vast womb of nature that they might be preserved and brought forth to our knowledge in these later days. By the undeniable record yielded up from buried cities and storied crypts, and in the skeletons of mummies of both animals and men of those most ancient times, she is showing us where she began the present cycle, now closing in about the race, with great clattering of forces and profound portents in earth and sky.
The equilibrium of the universe is maintained by the transition of its forces. Atlantis, matured and ripened, sinks beneath the sea, and her accumulated wealth of wisdom and knowledge is transferred to other continents to arise at the appointed time to enrich and bless the land of their adoption; and all art and science is but shining today in the reflected, reawakened light of past ages.
In view of the revelations being made on all sides, we may well reiterate Solomon's wise saying: "There is nothing new under the sun." There can be nothing absolutely new. There is only endless iteration and readjustment of powers and forces to fit the need of the day and generation.
Nature buffets her children bitterly and wipes out her surplus of human life as she destroys the overproduction of beast and bird, of insect and reptilian life. She inspires the minds of men with an overmastering desire for possessions. She hides her wealth in inaccessible places and sets her jealous, invisible forces to guard and determinedly hold all possible avenues of approach to them. But this world was given to man to conquer and own and make much of; and the glitter of a speck of useful metal in a stray boulder in the lonely canon; or the chance outcropping of rock which to the practised eye denotes the nearness of the deposit of oil—these, or any of the thousand and one signs, she hangs out along the path in which man is destined to march on his way to absolute sovereignty, set his forces of intellect and will in motion, and he will never rest from his labors until he stands upon the pinnacles of the gods, the crowned monarch of all nature's forces on this planet.
All phenomena are negative, and are only the external garniture of the world of man, the spirit, the child of the Eternal, of the father and mother Creators of him. Thus man is, by absolute inheritance, the king, and the ruler over all nature. But not without effort can he enter and possess and maintain his power over his own. Ice and frosts, and searing sun, and lonely wilds, and trackless wastes, and countless waters, and evil beasts, and horrible reptiles—all, all he must encounter and set at naught in his trackless journey. Carefully must he force the wilderness to bloom, and by his wise efforts "make glad the waste places" of the earth. Wherever the foot of man has been set, there is it "hallowed ground." Whatever may have been his intent or whatever his fate, in his wake shall surely follow the manifest purpose of that ever-ruling Power which led him. Everywhere along the way, Nature trails her loose ends, well baited, with which to catch the unwary, and the whitening bones of the lonely emigrant family lost on the plains, and the snowy hair of the dead mountaineer bleaching on high summits or woven in the nests of birds, or the bodies of dead mariners, or the lonely corpse of the treacherously slain, pulsing with the tide on foreign shores, or the miners in their pits, forced by the deadly "damps" from all visible connection with human life, or the child of a superior race held captive by savages, or the beautiful white girl sold into the harem of a barbarous sultan, or any or all other of such expressions of destiny in the isolated lives of men are but pioneering the way of the race to complete homogeneousness and unquestioned ownership of the whole wide earth.
All of nature's processes are slow and always evolutionary. The controlling laws are subtle and secret and can never be comprehended or understood save as they work out in visible results. There is every indication that it has required an illimitable series of ages to evolve even the physical form of man in the unnumbered races of the human family from the first semi-human life to man as we see him now—clever and strong of brain and will, daring and equal to great emergencies, and in inventive, creative and executive gifts a very god of power and might. The laws of evolution refer primarily to the individual planet, Earth, and include all that it contains—in a word, all things in any way related to it. Mineral deposits and crumbling rocks nourish the vegetable world; the vegetable world provides sustenance to the animal kingdom, and it, in turn, with all the others combined, sustains all human life; but its real root, its permanent existence, is in the planet itself. Each and all of these diverse manifestations of law coordinated, constitute the mysterious modes and methods of the evolution of life from the lower to the higher status of being, and it works on, and ever on eternally, till human life finds its completion and satisfaction in the fulfillment of the law which merges the advanced and prepared soul in the Universal Spirit and crowns its final evolution with its at-one-ment with its Creator.
Nature does not duplicate her handiwork, but cunningly sets her sign on every leaf and branch to insure individuality. She throws protecting arms around all her growing life of fruit and vegetable in order that each shall reproduce of its own kind, and thus keep intact the orderly succession, and that there shall be no lack of nourishment for the children of men.
She gives without stint to all the peoples of the earth her world-stuff to be worked over into human flesh, and animal fibre. But no tiniest grain of her possessions has ever, or will ever escape from her hand, and the daily debris from all earth-made bodies is her constant toll. When the forms are set free from the life principle which has pervaded them in their earthly career, the circle is rounded, and when the grave-rite, dust to native dust we here restore to our great mother is uttered, she is the gainer; for the operation of thus passing the material of which the planet is made through the highest created forms of life, brings it into a certain relationship to spirit, and thus the evolution, the spiritualization of the world-stuff of the planet itself is going forward.
DEATH A BENEFACTOR.
Death is a benefactor to the human race. How could we bear the burden of existence if Nature did not somewhere on the march "call a halt" while the angels of dissolution tenderly unloose our burdens of pain and sorrow, and disappointment, and stultifying regrets, and remorses for past ill doings and shortcomings?
It is known only to the lesser gods, who keep the celestial "accounts," how many times the swaggering, bully-ragging, brawling, piratical, and murderous human family has swept around this globe. Here and there relics of their status, their growth in the external, material conditions of life are being exhumed, wrung from the faithful clasp of Mother Earth, to excite the wonder of the day and time. Many of the attributes of these lost races, their arts and their religions, have come to light; but whence they came, and how they perished, is an unsolved mystery. From the processes of disintegration—earthquakes, and widespread volcanic action—now going on, we can readily conceive of the manner in which vast multitudes of humanity have been removed from this planet to make room for still other races and peoples. The great pilgrimage still goes on. Unnumbered hordes following the secret instinct of evolution, unceasingly press forward from the East toward the setting sun. This same army, in a former incarnation, went forth over the land where they lived to slay and exterminate; in this embodiment, here in America, they hew out the rocks, and toil in the mines. They harvest the grain that is to feed the hungry multitude that is speeding on toward this new land as fast as the modern conveniences can fetch them. Thus they serve instead of destroying humanity—a great advance toward civilization.
There has been, there will always be an unvarying round of tearing down and upbuilding in the whole wide realm of nature. Nothing, not the tiniest grain or the most ponderous production of skilled hands, ever stands still. All things are in vibration, and their permanency depends wholly upon the rate of vibratory motion. Here and there all the way along, from the earliest times of which there has been any record, great souls have blossomed out, and have carried aloft the God-given light of intelligence and culture. These inspired minds, great souls, have persisted in announcing their message to a darkened world, often in the face of direct want and persecutions; misunderstood and maligned, they were and are the saviors of the people of this undeveloped planet. Even yet, they are known and valued by but a limited number of supposedly intelligent people. While these inspired light-bringers were seeking to shed abroad in the minds of men the truths that shall make men free, the Church was devoted to closing, and holding fast shut every avenue of the human mind that might have a tendency to teach the people anything outside of their tenets which were the outcome of their weird imaginations. If anything could cause a doubt to arise in the Creative Mind as to the wisdom of letting loose on this small planet the pestiferous peoples that have swarmed over and possessed it, it must have been aroused by their demoniacal performances in the name of religion, that have disgraced the nature of man from the beginning of our knowledge of the world. While a perception of beauty and harmony is latent in the minds of men, it is the last of the attributes of the soul to develop. The figured semblances of God, hewn out of stone or wood by the primitive races, are mostly hideous inventions of the evil thoughts of evil minds. From the terrifying African God, "Mumbo-Jumbo," to the artistic bronze representations of the Deity of the nations of the East all are marked with awe-enforcing ferocity and ugliness, instead of by the soul-inspiring lineaments of love and beauty. Tremblingly the minds of men have groped their way along through the mazes of ignorance and enforced darkness to a degree of personal liberty; and every picture painted, every bit of sculpture achieved in the interest of harmony and beauty is testimony to the persistency of the inspiration vouchsafed to man of the Creator's love of beauty, and of the final state of harmony to be reached by humanity.
THE ORIGIN OF EVIL.
"All evil is only undeveloped good" has come to be the "shibboleth" of not only the Spiritualists, but of many other of the latter-day cults. It sounds fine, beautiful, and is—Praise God!—in a large sense, true. It is a beautiful reaction from the ancient blasphemy taught by the priests and pastors anent hell and the devil. The comforting belief that the above quoted statement settles the whole matter is accepted and believed in. Since the supposed dethronement of "Auld Hornie," as the Scotch named him, as head devil, it has not been thought necessary to give the matter much if any consideration.
Mediums, especially, have gladly ignored the fact of the possibility of there often being in their seances the very presence of potent and powerful evil influences.
Spiritualism has flung wide the doors and given ignorant, and undeveloped humanity an equal opportunity with the refined, and good to express themselves. It is thus the only truly democratic religion ever made known on this planet! It recognizes all human beings, good and bad, as the children of one and the same Father, and that not one can be lost from the hand of God!
The peculiar people who have developed the strange power of mediatorship between this material world and the plane of existence known as the spiritual world have always been helped and sustained in their great work by their invisible friends and appointed spirit guardians, or they could never have carried forward their important mission to the people of this earth.
Regardless of all the efforts of the enemies and traducers of Spiritualism, the spread of the knowledge of the unfolding spiritual philosophy has been and is marvelous; and the establishment of the fact of man's existence, continued after physical death, through varied phenomena, is in itself the proof of its being the work, not of Satan, but of a beneficent God. And why not? The Creator of us all must know his earth-children's needs for their further evolution and growth!
There have been great searchings, at various times, trying to discover the "origin of evil." Vast stores of uncanny legends, and tales of wonders have been handed down to us in explanation of this most baffling mystery.
The destructive force in nature had no "origin." Just as God, the Constructive Force, had none. It was, as God was. It is and always will be, while God and nature are.
It rides the whirlwind and the flood, and differentiates itself through the smallest minutia of the affairs of human life. It is the primeval element, the "pure cussedness" which has to be conquered, or adjusted in every human being. It essays to bar all progress; Ignorance and Superstition are its blinded handmaids. It exacts the fearful penalties of scornfully misunderstood efforts, if not ostracism and persecution, for the use of the diviner faculties. It is the spirit of unconquered ill. It is the genius of the utterly selfish will of man.
But it is when it allies itself with the intellect and will of man, and becomes the motive power, and thus expresses itself in concrete form, as is often the case, that our sympathies are touched and our sense of justice aroused, and we feel our lack of protection from the "powers and principalities of the air." Our only refuge is in growing to and experiencing a perfect at-one-ment with the eternal law of the opposing, the Constructive Force—God. There is no protection, no safety, but in the Divine Love and Wisdom.
There was no beginning; there can be no ending. There is a constant, undeviating process of changing and readjustment of all the forces of the universe. All is vibration. None of nature's forces are at rest, at equilibrium. Build you a fine dwelling, and ere it is finished for your occupancy, the disintegrating forces will have made a raid upon the material of which it is constructed. Take notice of the signs of decomposition going on in everything around you—the accumulation of fluff in your rooms, in the innermost of your garments, along the seams. So also do the rocks and mountains yield themselves to dust, and so does all the planet reverberate with the resistless onward march of the law of progress, unfoldment, evolution from the lower to a higher form of expression.
Lands edging the seas and the inland waters, from their constant erosion, slip away and are lost. Continents disappear, undermined by earthquakes and similar convulsions of nature, and new lands arise from the bowels of some faraway ocean to keep the balance even.
From time immemorial the researches of men in the vain effort to discover and make known to the world the origin of life, of all life, on the planet earth and elsewhere, have been most anxiously considered. These efforts of the inquiring minds of men have not been altogether fruitless of results; because through them has been made manifest the most marvelous of all the facts in nature, that "there is no death," that "what seems so is transition." It has also become known and understood of late years, that from the ephemera of life, of an hour or of a day up to the highest archangel, through all the intermediate grades of being, visible and invisible, there are no vacant spaces. Everywhere there is an overwhelming volume of life, actual though not conscious or individualized, until the higher ranges of human life become known and correlated. Comes the man with the scalpel. He dissects the human brain, and is disgusted at finding no clew to the secret cause and source of life. He never suspects, he does not conceive of the fact that there is in everyone, an immutable, invisible power—a spirit germ—nor would he believe in its potency if he knew it were true. Then there is the man with the retorts and the scales, and the "residues." He announces to the world that he can create life without any help from the "Great Spirit" people talk so much about. There is also the man with the bottle full of water, with a handful of mud at the bottom. He is sure he can produce living organisms; might even set agoing a new race of beings, if he only had time, and a larger bottle! Back of every expression of life we know abides the source, the cause of all existence, so hid, so truly an integral part of life as never to yield a knowledge of itself either to the scalpel of the physicians or to the electrical battery of the explorer of mysteries. Into this sphere can no man come. Herein can be no meddling of the human intellect.
Through this searching for the source, the cause of life, man has been brought face to face with law, with a force he can never understand or conquer, or adjust to the demands or suggestions of his will. From ancient expressions of intelligence have been handed down to us the name, the title, God, as a concrete expression of this power that holds dominance over all created beings.
Another important revelation made to man is the fact that there is but one law, per se.
It is an established, consecutive, endless chain from the beginnings of human life here up to the absolute ultimate of the immortal soul. It proves the homogeneity of the whole human race; it declares the value of existence here, and explains the logical sequence of its continuance beyond this fragment of life into nature's invisible realms.
What we shall do, each one of us, with our individual portion of life; how we shall work out our personal experiences, and to what end is another matter. There is our heredity which is, in every case, so mixed as to yield but little of the primal strain, and which gives to each one of us unknown possibilities, or undesired idiosyncracies to fight out and eradicate from the nature. The many failures to discover the mystery of life surely ought to prove to all experimenters the truth that spirit holds the only key to its endless mystery.
CHURCHES MONEY MAKERS.
There is no detail of the ordinary human life of all who are in any way connected with the church, which has not been exploited for money.
There is no end to the myths and fables that have been put before the superstitious and ignorant, and each and every one has its price; and every celebration draws its pay; and all for the glory of God, not at all for the help of man. The peasants and other laborers starve, and are overwhelmed by the riot of fatal disease.
As a money-making concern, it leaves nothing to be wished for—it is a great success.
There was no "beginning," there can be no "ending." Whatever appears ended in our experience is only in seeming, and in other shapes and in transformed relationships will appear again and again, asserting "There is no death, what seems so is transition," change of elements and forces. There is but one law; one creative centre. One model for advanced individualized life in any world; in all worlds. The whole purpose and intent of all creation is simply to render all inert, unused matter into life. The universal Spirit pervades all things. Mineral; vegetable; animal; human; angel; one unbroken chain, from the sod up to divine perfection, from the pigmy races we see here, on this small globe, up, forever upward and onward to the courts of the "sons of God"; to the spheres of the eternally immortal. Ignorant mortals assert from time to time, the day and the hour of the "End of the World," and foolishly prepare for the final destruction of this planet. It is true, this earth is always coming to an end, and always rehabilitating itself with its own unused materials. Mountains slide down and fill up the valleys. The waters of the sea undermine and gnaw off big slices from the land; all, all is motion, vibration; nothing stands still. If it were possible for anything in the universe to stop, to break the everlasting chain, there would be no universe; there would be only chaos come again, and all the work of setting the planets a-spinning round and round their centres and apportioning the orbits of the stately suns, and their places in the precessions of their accompanying worlds; all would go for nothing, all would have to be begun again, and on the same lines exactly. There are no other; there is no other law, and the name of the law that holds all in imperishable harmony, is Love, just Love.
LIFE IN NATURE.
The microscope has revealed to us the life and habits of myriads of creatures of whose existence we had previously no knowledge. We had not even a suspicion that what to our unaided vision appeared inert elements held a rampant, multitudinous life, nowhere dead, but always surging and changing, ever replacing death and decay with a new life all its own. Nature's luxuriance everywhere fills us with wonder and delight. The fragrant ferny depths of the forest, and the lush growth of the rank marsh-land, the immeasurable sands of the ocean-edge hiding in their mysterious sameness innumerable and beautiful shells and corals, and the mountain top heaped up with boulders, or crumbling by nature's processes into pebbly imponderance.
Life, swarming everywhere. Tiny leaflets giving succor and shelter to tinier animal life—its special fairy. Huge beasts couchant in majestic trees, guarding against invasions, with a fierce, jealous rage inherited from the gnomes and satyrs.
Deep sea depths untouched by lightnings, where the kraken makes his home; jolly dolphins disporting in the sunlight, responding to the cry of the hovering wild duck and gull. Human beings overcrowding in the oldest settled portions of the globe, until nature's resources for their sustenance are wellnigh exhausted.
All these, and many more, might justly be enumerated to illustrate the bountiful and inexhaustible resources of the great creative, reconstructive Power in the universe of matter.
Life, everywhere life, forcing out death and decay. Ever changing its form of expression. Reforming itself upon steadily advancing models. All nature swinging in circles so wide and vast as to require centuries for their completion.
One of the most fascinating doctrines of the Swedish Seer is contained in the "law of correspondences." By it many things, seemingly irregular, "fall into line," and become parts of a great process of development. Following this method, the earnest, searching mind, looking through nature up to "Nature's God," seeks to go beyond the confines of the mere animal, material existence, and come into sympathy with and get a knowledge of the world unseen, but often felt and recognized, spiritual life, filling all the spaces which seem to the earth-dimmed senses dull and void. There is no death, no vacancy in this realm of nature, any more than in that other, more tangible one, the outgrowth and the necessity of this great storm-tossed planet. But all the expressions of life in this sphere are different from those to which our material senses are accustomed, and require the action of another, a finer, more spiritual set of faculties in order to comprehend them even partially which, at the best, is all we can hope to do while we remain denizens of and subject to the laws which control this world of material substance.
"Jacob's dream" was not a dream only. It was a reality. From supernal heights "Ladders" are ever being dropped down to our earth, into our midst, upon which forms immortal and real "ascend and descend" according to our need and our demand upon them for love and help.
We are continually overshadowed by this supermundane existence. Its influences are both positive and negative, good and evil. It has powers adapted to every issue of human experience; because it is the outgrowth, the fruitage of human life. Its roots are planted in this earth. Its topmost branches wave in the sunlight which flows from the "Throne of God." It is God. Not a separate and distinct being; but an intelligent principle of love abounding in everything; expressing itself through everything. Knowing no "high" or "low." Seeing no difference between the "just and the unjust"; showering down upon all alike, benisons of wisdom, and peace and good will.
Gathering all together in one embrace; the whole race of man, one undivided family. Its divine "Trinity" is Evolution, Progress, Liberty. Many minds reject this assumption of facts, because of the necessity which a recognition of them would involve for a readjustment of mental processes, and religious beliefs affecting their daily experience.
Millions of enfranchised souls pass from earth life and find the spirit world—the "Summerland"—a Heaven, and stay therein for vast lengths of time. The change from this life of toil, and misery to an existence of rest from all pain and sorrow of earthly existence is really Heaven enough for the average human mind. A place of beautiful surroundings, where everything necessary for their comfort is furnished them, without money and without price and, best of all, where they no longer fear being grabbed up and punished by the devil for their sins of ignorance committed when in the body. It is not possible for us, plunged, as we all are, into the vortex of this difficult existence, to realize what all this means to the world-weary. If one shall halt by the way, or fall aside from the great unending procession nothing stops. The terrible, tumultuous waves of humanity roll on, and the lost are not missed or mourned for, save by the few that were responsible for their coming, or for the awful lack of help and tendance that made them failures in the battle of life.
The great army of the commonplace, the neither positively good nor the very bad, is the largest class of all humanity. The most pestiferous and difficult to adjust to the law of progress and advancement. Hold one of them out of hell by the hair of the head, and when he is let go he only drops further in, and nothing teaches him but the "slings and arrows" of misfortune, and every dreadful experience that can be handed out to him. Much of this almost universally deplorable condition—it may be the whole of it—has been induced by false, unreasonable religious teachings. The human mind needs every inducement to effort to overcome its natural inertia instead of being put to sleep by promises of being exempt from all responsibility connected with its final redemption.
The "dwellers at the threshold" are the individualized entities of the elements of nature. Air, fire, earth depths, and seas. These belong to the domain of nature, pure and simple, and are met and controlled by the affinities of the chemicals of the material, physical organization of the individual. The most potent of these leading in the degree of material success to be achieved in dealing with material life.
Money getting in the mines, earth depths. All manufactories that require raging and continuous flame; ships to sail, and conquer water spirits; electrical and etherial forces that move in the air currents. These are the soulless, irresponsible "goblins" and "gnomes," "Fire spirits" and "ignes fatui" of the nether world. All human beings who progress at all have to deal with one or more of these forces. Beginning in blind ignorance, through struggle, the mortal will is developed and the mere animal man has set his foot upon a low rung of the ladder of the ascending series. Next, man has to deal with the primal races. The "Missing link" which will never be found save at the "threshold" where it combines its forces with those of man's other natural enemies, and keeps jealous watch and ward at every point of egress of the soul which seeks to enlarge its domain. Finally the will of man, with its long heredity of war with these potentialities, "at enmity with God," resisting the divine; even as these have striven to hold him in a perpetual slavery, is in its last struggle. The vast aggregation of human will, set free from the clog of the flesh, knowing nothing of the divine, seeing no guiding light, combines its forces, and commingles its powers with whatever its endless tentacles can reach. These are the powers and principalities of the air. These are the demons, "bad spirits," "devils" and "familiars" of the literature of the ages, and the presiding geniuses of many a phenomenon resulting from modern research into the mysteries of nature. As their intelligence exceeds that of the underlying grades, so just in that degree is their power increased, and used, to block the gateway that opens upon the path. Their abodes lie in outer darkness, or are illumined only by flashes of fictitious, and evanescent light from the expiring embers of earthly exhalations, and the phosphorescent gleams of decaying forms. The soul that has received an illumination from the Divine has in its keeping a talisman of power, yet none can escape these watchful ones.
"Here eyes do regard you in eternity's stillness." "Choose well; your choice is brief, but yet endless." The winged fiend, the "Appolyon," must be met and settled with at every turn of the way that leads to the kingdom which the Christ came to establish, and whose best name is "peace." In this grade, love finds no home, but its great prototype, the lust of the flesh, stealing ever the livery of heaven, lures on tender souls to their sad undoing.
By help of divine love alone can the soul journey safely onward and upward through this great concentrated, immediately-environing earth grade. It is solidly compact, sleepless and untiring, seeking ceaselessly whom it may win to its realm. It is the unrecognized longing of the soul for restoration to its divine heritage of love.
Experience is at the same time the surest and the slowest teacher of men. Wisdom, the crowning glory of humanity, is but an enlarged perception of man's needs, and how to meet them, based upon individual experience and observation of the effects of natural law upon all. An individual is an epitome of the world—society. Discipline is everywhere considered indispensable to the individual. Far more is it so to the world of society. Anarchy and revolution are no more efficient for the body politic than for the individual. Growth, slow and gradual, aggregation of power and wisdom through the education and enlightenment of its individual members, is the only safe and sure way to permanency and enduring life.
In Spiritualism alone is to be found an expression of the religion of Jesus of Nazereth. It is truly democratic, giving to saint and sinner alike both here, in this life, and after death, an opportunity for redemption. Its first mission to the world is the proof it gives of a continued existence in which is still experienced all the idiosyncracies which marked the individual in earth life. This fact has either been ignored by certain classes of minds, or has been taken by them as proof positive of the hellish origin of its phenomena, whereas in this very expression of characteristic life lies its wonderful power and potency. From long-continued educational influence people out of churches, as well as inside of the influence of their superstitions, have come to idealize death, its awe-inspiring mystery and its strange variety. It is thought, by them, to be a sudden translation from a lower condition to a higher, wherein, through some divine hocus-pocus, the members of certain so-called "Evangelical" churches, no matter how worldly-minded, and selfish, or however false to their teachings they have been, or how false their lives to the divine ethics taught by the Lord, whose name they assume as their prerogative, that their through tickets to the supernal spheres are assured. It is believed that death purges them of all their sympathy with and attraction to mortal life, and that they are forever absolved from all their responsibilities, and freed from dependence upon the inter-relationships between the two conditions. Exactly the reverse is true. Multitudes of souls only begin their true living, their comprehension of life's meanings, after death has sifted them out of the ashes and lifeless embers of their mistaken ideas, or vicious indulgences. Shall these, then, be brought beneath the ban of limitless darkness, and exiled from the "many mansions" of our Heavenly Father's and Mother's house? A tiny rap, untraceable to any material source, a table moved by invisible force, a closed and locked piano skillfully played upon by unseen hands; these were the first links in an endless chain of eternal benefits pouring down from the smiling heavens upon the benighted children of earth. Again was heard "the voice as of one crying in the wilderness" of this world's marts for barter, and selfish gain; "Let him who hath ears to hear, let him hear." "The grave has lost its victory" and death is but a halt called in mercy and loving tenderness, that your weary souls may be refreshed by a draught from nature's founts and bountiful resources that you may mount upward as on the mighty wings of eagles; or discover for your wandering feet the path of rectitude and safety.
All expressions of nature are phenomenal. Man is of all the most wonderful. A tiny spark of spirit encased in matter, by the irresistible law of progress evolving powers of brain, thought, consciousness, reason, intuition; unfolding, expanding; realizing finally his at-one-ment with his source, the cause of him—God—man immortal, illimitable. At certain points of unfoldment seemingly lost, great hue and cry from many—pin heads—who think they have discovered God, a failure. Watch out and see. Give the Lord a chance. Nothing is done with yet. In a very old hook of Hebrew history, there are recorded well-attested accounts of phenomena, which are so distinctly outside of the ordinary happenings of this material existence, that they were always recognized as being of a purely spiritual origin, method and purpose. Within the last century the same experiences have been vouchsafed to present humanity. Millions of people have attested the truth of a continuance of these same phenomena; they having taken place within the range of their own personal experience. And why not? The Creator knows what his children need in this, as well as in other ages. That human souls, the lives of human beings, persist after physical death, does not prove their eternal existence along the lines of highest soul evolution. The greatest possible unfoldment is not a gift of God. It is held only by the individual soul as the result of age-long study, and toil, through manifold embodiments, long-continued self renunciation, and sacrifices not yet known or understood. Its initiations are endless; its revelations of the infinite law are, at times, too seemingly trifling for recognition; but as the lapidary leaves no facet of the jewel uncut and unpolished, so the guardians—the guides and teachers of the candidates for spiritual unfoldment—omit no least lesson or discipline that can aid in perfecting the individual soul.
It is the meanest kind of bosh teaching people that there will be eternal punishment for ignorant wrong-doings in this short kindergarten experience of life, making them believe their last chance for anything better is gone forever. Half the sins that are committed here anyway are either sins against the conventionalities, or they have been hatched up by some unsext priests and have nothing to do with the case. Besides, the sins of the body in many a poor mortal are left with the body in the grave.
The ages, the aeons required for the perfecting of any given soul, are known only to its Creator, or how great must be the accumulation of ages ere the whole human family—the children of God—will respond to the eternal roll-call that shall usher in the redeemed of every land and clime, not one "Lost," or gone astray. Those who have stepped forth into the arena of this present manifestation of life on this planet, have, each in their place, their responsibility and task, to keep alight the beacons of reason, and intelligence, as guides to truth, and to pander never to the powers of ignorance and superstition, however manifested by Church or State.
Mediumship today is clearly an abnormalism. But the history of the world has been that the so-called abnormalisms of one generation are the accepted, commonplace realisms of the succeeding types. Sight, the desire to see, existed first in the mind of the unfolding human brain; the will joined its forces to aid the work of liberation and the visual nerves began to form and grow. The imprisoned soul within kept pushing on, until gradually the beautiful, complex organ of sight was evoluted and the soul possessed a window through which it could see things for itself. The evolutionary processes attending mediumship quite correspond to this physical process. Man demands to know concerning those things that have long been hid, and to understand the "deep things of God," and so the soul of him is saying, "I, too, have visions unspeakable," and closing up the avenues of his external sight, he sees and apprehends truth, a light upon his path, of which in his previous, darkened state he had never conceived. The intuitional faculties being the true interpreters of the immortal soul, are capable of unlimited cultivation, unlike those of the intellect which have always the limitations of cerebral organization. These powers are as limitless as God, and only through the expansion and recognized rational, practical use and application of these faculties—now sometimes falsely named supernatural—can the human race pass out from its present environment of darkness, and crime, and reaching upward expand into a saving knowledge of the truth, as made known by the Christs.
THE MIGRATIONS OF OUR RACE.
Vast numbers of times has the human race marched around this world on which we live. Each journey of the whole family has embraced a cycle of time. Each cycle has been rounded up by some great cataclysm of nature, which has left the earth desolated, in ruins, to rest from the invasions of its nomadic children.
Of the truth of these great convulsive throes of the planet we have many ancient legendary accounts. The Biblical accounts, and the irrefutable testimony of the globe itself, as recorded in the veined strata which have held their record for ages inviolably concealed, until man should finally bring to the unmasking of her secrets an intelligence clarified from the mists of superstition, and illuminated by the intuition not only of the soul, but of the intellect and reason.
THE DISCIPLINE OF LIFE.
"The mills of the gods grind always, They grind exceeding small, And with great exactness grind they all."
Their "hoppers" are too numerous to be counted. Physical pain, sorrow of many sorts and kinds, losses and crosses innumerable, unending disappointments, holding back the ambitions from all satisfactory realization of pet schemes, and finally, physical death. Not one human creature escapes. Into the hoppers they go, again and again, time after time, till the refining process is completed and the soul is fit to stand in holy and exalted presence, and to be set to do the work of the Master. Here and there some gifted soul realizes that its anguish means "growing pains." A was described as a "good man who let the Lord do anything He wanted to, to him."
The discipline of this life is hard to bear; but if people will not learn the lesson intended, here and now, they will be forced back through reembodiments until this life can teach them nothing more, and they have finally earned a right to a place in the heavens—the home of the gods—where perfect peace abides.
Men are naturally gregarious. In all phases of life they seek sympathetic comrades, or followers that they can hypnotize to do their will. They instinctively set themselves off into classes, and while this is useful as a protection from invasion, conditions in India show the evils of class-caste distinctions carried to a ridiculous extreme. The vast, surging, unyielding predatory classes on this earth consist of those who have but lately—comparatively—emerged from the animal kingdom, and have not yet been put through the mill of reincarnation times enough to rid them of their wild beast "tricks and manners," and make of them men and women fit to have around. The dreadful thing is, having to live on the same planet with them, and endure their terrible onslaughts upon the peace, and happiness of the unfolded, the civilized portions of the race. But all are of common origin. Such as they are, all have been, and such as the highly developed, educated and useful class are now, they will surely become.
HOMOGENEITY OF THE RACE.
The "dreamer" who passes through this life, satisfied with the creations of his own fancy, adds nothing to the practical needs or demands of his day and time. In all the years and ages of the intellective life of the planet, such men and women have lived and walked their little round atween the two oceans which bound the shores of birth and death.
But a truer concept of the meanings of an earthly existence has arisen in the minds of gifted humanity. The cloister gives way to the open court; the inspired ones are seeking the roads which may lead out from hazy, unproven cloud-land into the brightness of the everyday, practical life which the world must have experience of, along all lines, among all classes, high and low, ignorant and learned, ere it can dislodge the incubus of superstition, and undevelopment under which it has staggered along, through devious ways of despair and unbelief, to awaken at last to a realization of the final destiny of humanity.
To the average mind the far-off, unascertained and dim, is what is most attractive. Sending missionaries to the so-called "heathen," or speculating upon the social conditions of people supposed to be living on other planets, is of vital interest to their soaring minds. Any amount of money and good red blood of humanity, if need be, are not too large a price to pay for the gratification of these projects of unsatisfied mentality. The vast body politic, the struggling, seething masses of humanity grope and dig along their appointed ways, and the progress of the entire race of man toward an enlightened homogeneity is at a seeming stand-still. The homogeneity of the whole race in its absolute entirety, is the key-note of the life which is to be here, on this mortal earth, and thus every experience of individuals or of nations becomes of vast importance.
Every event, small or great, that serves to illustrate the possibility of fellowship, and brotherhood among the children of men, is a milestone on the way to this recognition of the homogeneity of the human race. In obedience to this law, this demand of the evolutionary forces our brave sons, and lovely daughters, are, all unconsciously to themselves, following the beckoning hand of noblest progress toward peace, and mutuality, and are allying themselves with the representatives of races and peoples hitherto considered foreign and unrelated to us, in all ways save the commercial. What bonds shall ever be forged between the nations of the earth that can supersede such ties of love and fealty to family and home?
The external aspects of these alliances, though yielding honors, and coveted opportunities, are of the smaller importance compared with the amazing factors of peace and amity between the nations that are silently and certainly working themselves out toward the beautiful exemplification of the universal Fatherhood of God, the inextinguishable sentiment of the final unity of his earthly children.
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One of the strangest phases of human life here is the almost universal resistance to improvement. But this conservative attitude is also a balance, prevents running off on tangents.
It has been popularly reported that science has driven God out of the world. Science has refuted ignorant beliefs, driven superstition out of the minds of people, and opened many minds to the great facts of life as against the silly beliefs of primitive peoples. It is thought by many that the history of all God's doings is writ in the Holy (?) Book—the Bible. From the study of his character, one might fancy that "Great Jove of Mount High Olympus" was come again with only his name changed from Jove to Jehovah, for He brought with him all the "high days," and ceremonies, and every vice and delinquency, and outrage that had marked pagan rule. He gave special directions as to the killings-off of the Hitites, and the Jebusites and all the other ites. There weren't to be any Ites or any other "furriners" left alive to pester his chosen people. He went right on giving directions as to how these people were to be disposed of, making such awful suggestions, specially as to the women, that if He had not been known to be God, He might have been recognized as the Head-up Devil. It has been written: "By their fruits ye shall know them." What are the results, the "fruits," of the Jehovian dispensation? They are just exactly such as must naturally follow the teachings and influences of the spirit of hate and vengeance; the suppression of reason, holding back the progress of the race, fettering the brains of men with bonds of ignorance and superstition, a network of lies and myths. Through the dominance of selfishness and greed, the boasted freedom of men has been lost—they are slaves to a man-made religion. So science has served the highest interest of humanity in doing all it can to drive out this sort of a God, with his hell and eternal punishment, from the world. The reasoning, thinking world has outgrown such a wicked, despotic God, and is demanding quite another sort of Deity. Humanity has to be taught what it must have to equip it for its higher, nobler destiny. Justice to all in equal measure; Reason and Love must abide and work out their results, their "fruits," in human lives. The unanimous refusal of the framers of the "Constitution" of the United States to set forth therein the will of God, and his commands was wise and farseeing. It has raised up a barrier against the encroachments of every form of popular religion and has given a semblance to freedom of thought and speech.
All along the way, seers and prophets—inspired mediums—have wrought and sung of the days to come when all the earth should rejoice in peace and good will. The magnificence of their inspired and inspiring words, their immortal melodies of praise of the Creator will stand while this world lasts. The fact that his people had diviner instincts than had He whom they worshipped as God, showed that "Yahweh" was only the guardian spirit of the great and wonderful Hebrew race.
The greatest discovery of the past century, far greater than any revelation of science or knowledge of past ages, revealed by modern research is the discovery of a God of Love. Not of that sentimental expression of maudlin emotion that soon evaporates in hypocritical make-believe; but the profound recognition of the rightful consideration of every human being, regardless of race, color or belongings.
The knowledge we have gained through the study and research of earnest, truth-seeking souls who have found that all known religions have a common root—have the same basis of truth—is a proof of the value of the revelations given to the world through the teachings of our Christ.
From no other have we been given, in an externalized, practical form, those great, eternal religious principles which must forever stand as the rule and guide of human souls. No ancient philosopher had evolved to a God-likeness that enabled him to go beyond a high stand-point of moral perfection, or to give to his disciples what was most needed by the world for its comforting in the accumulating, expanding experiences incident to earthly life.
Jesus, our Christ, the Christ of the religion named for him was the transmitter of heavenly truths. To him the world owes forever a debt for making known a knowledge of the fact of the continued existence of the individual being after physical death, and it was given to him to point out the way of life that can alone lead to eternal happiness and peace. He is our Teacher, our Leader above all others. We have nothing to do with the impossible, faked-up personality that the priests have so long exploited as the "blood Redeemer" of the world; it is to the inspired philanthropist, the greatly-loving man that we owe our allegiance. This will appear more and more as time goes on, and a lot of untruths will fade out and give place to great realities.
The pagan gods were innumerable and their distinctive attributes were understood. They well might be, as they were only deified men and women. The next unfoldment caused them to raise altars to "the unknown God." Then came Jesus, the Nazarene, who told them that the "unknown God" was their Heavenly Father, not of a chosen people only, but of all the human race. The new religion, inspired by Jesus—our Christ—and which was to bear his name, naturally brought with it all the superstitions of the pagans, and these have been handed down through the ages, and accepted and believed as true.
The primitive conception of a god was of a being with qualities like their own, and as men delighted in rapine and every possible accompanying vice and crime, so they endowed their gods in like manner, fashioning beings to be feared and to whom must be given big offerings and sacrifices. So long as these were limited to beasts it was a good thing, because the priests who ate the flesh thus consecrated were sure of cheap meat for a long time thereafter. But when the "firstlings of the flock" failed to bring satisfactory responses to the demands of the suppliants, they began sacrificing human lives in the vain hope of allaying the anger and vengeance of the dissatisfied all-powerful gods, and beautiful young maidens were thrust into the fiery jaws of Moloch, or crushed in the coils of sacred serpents, or slain upon altars according to the special god whose propitiation was sought.
From all these inhuman practices to a recognition of a God of love and mercy was a step so long that even yet there remain in the teachings of religionists indications of similar ideas, wherein not only nature's culminating efforts, but all the painful experiences of human beings are accepted and feared as expressions of the "wrath of God."
KNOWLEDGE OF OCCULT LAW.
The invitation of one of old to his followers, and fellow believers: "Come let us reason together," marks the dividing line between knowledge and superstition. The daring of the mind of man proves him to be, in very truth, "a child of God." No arcana of knowledge are too deeply hid in mystery to escape the prying of his curiosity, his longing for enlightenment, his long-sustained and vigorous efforts to surprise the hidden things of God and Nature. Livingston and Stanley wrought in the jungles of Africa, Audubon and Agassiz in the fastnesses of tropical America. These in the material world, the world of effects. Gessner and Varley, Darwin and Spencer, together with a long list of other inspired minds, have given their best thoughts, devoted their noblest energies to the explorations of the world of causes, the occult and invisible realms of pure principles in God and Nature. Back of all these there lies the richest bequest ever made to humanity in the discoveries and revelations of the most ancient "adepts," the fathers of mystical lore, in the light of modern discoveries and inventions, mystical no longer; but practical and full of earnest meaning in their adaptation and adjustment to the needs and wants of the citizens of the world today.
EVANESCENCE OF MERE BELIEFS.
Proclaim not mere beliefs today, and be not labelled and pigeon-holed and held to account on any special line of thought or action lest the individual soul be barred out from a conception and knowledge of some far grander truth. At best our view is narrow and contracted, else were we gods, and as we grow we discover our little, vaunted beliefs to be but as tiny shreds of color in God's great mosaic, our song of triumph and discovery but as the buzzing of the insect to the chorals of the chanting hosts of heaven. So, then, an eternal negation is the safest attitude of the unfolding soul. Mere beliefs, unproven by facts, are so many barriers set up for the soul to overleap and leave behind on its onward march.
THE FOUNT OF INSPIRATION FOR ALL.
"The righteous shall inherit the earth." Just so far as we are able to prove our rightness, the world—nay the whole universe of God—is ours. Our Heavenly Father has never said: "Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther, upon the road to knowledge." Everything invites us; get wisdom, get understanding, and to thy knowledge add virtue are the recommendations from inspired sources, and to the soul that fears not, revelations upon every line stand invitingly open.
MAN VERSUS DEATH.
In all the domain of organized being, it is only man, who, in his crude egotisms, and defiant resistance to nature's laws, makes ado with death. The dainty denizen of the air, and the things that creep over the earth, the leviathan in his nature element, and his warmer-blooded brother whose passage causes the earth to tremble beneath his tread, all the multitudinous expressions of the animal kingdom, that disport themselves in fur, or feather, in filament of scales, or covering of hair, each and all recognize the approach of their final experience on earth, and hie themselves to their appointed coverts, to keep their tryst with their old mother in utter privacy. How well she loves her children! She sheds over them her varied mantle of leaf, and piney bloom, or scented brake, and soothes them with softly falling rain, or tender dew, and woos their elements back into her bosom from which they sprang. All this is in consonance with nature's arrangement for caring for her own. There is no such thing known among these as a vulgar display, or a flaunting of the deposed forces in the faces of the creatures left behind.
In man's treatment of his kind, there is everywhere betokened his unfaith and fear. His undeveloped spirituality leaves him without even so much power to adjust himself to the divine order of progress, by way of the gates of death—rebirth—as have his humble progenitors, his representatives in the animal kingdom; and so he plants himself upon his fancied prerogatives, and turns his dulled senses away from the God-call: "Come up higher," and moans and raves, and howls his despair in sounds and terms indicative of his tribal, or racial environment and relationship.
A voice of love has sounded down throughout the ages in unmistakable terms to the children of men. "My father has many mansions, invisible to your seared, earthly vision, but beautifully furnished forth for all your needs; nor hath eye seen or ear of yours heard the wonderfulness of the great preparation He hath made to receive you into his kingdom." And seer and sage have reiterated this in unmistakable language, and the enlightened of the older races have caught the straying tones of the vibrant air of the beyond, and have beheld the mirage of the homes of the blest, and have sought to impress the truth of the living reality of the beyond upon the inchoate brains of their fellows. But superstition rears its grizzled front alike in seats of learning, in the homes of the cultured, and in the hovels of the outcasts; in this sense, all the human family are of hellish kin, and in a large percentage of them their whole lives are given over to their effort of resistance to the divine ordering which speaks ever to the soul of man in unmistakable terms of tender consideration, saying: "Thy poor days here are full of pain and sorrow, because of necessary crudities. So live that when thy summons comes to join the everlasting cavalcade which sweeps across the world, thou shalt apprehend thy high emprise, and go forth exultingly to claim thine own meed of further existence in spheres yet undiscovered to thy longing ken."
"Earth loses thy pattern forever and aye" that thou mayst be renewed and set up in the finer mould of thy most excellent Karma, which is thy hidden reality of character. Rejoice then, O mortal! in the beneficence of nature and of thy Parents, God, for surely it is well that they call a halt for thee and thine beside the river of death, and loosen thy burthens of pain and heart-breaking sorrow, and let loose from thy soul that raven, "Never more," which has preyed long upon thy soul and held thee in the grip of unspoken despair and anguish. This is of all demons the blackest and most subtle. In tones of love it has been proclaimed by the divine mind that nought is ever taken away that shall not be restored to thee. Not as thou, in thy small, limited way, wouldst hold it back from its own high place, and mission in the universe and bend it to thy purpose; but according to the wisdom of its Creator and thine, shalt thou see and know and claim all that belongs to thee, be it the inspiration of thy nature, unexpressed here amid the din and rush of this chaotic existence; or power to carry forth thy grandly bold designs in conjunction with nature's illimitable chemistry; or to perfect within thy mind a knowledge of her laws; or to fold to thy bereaved heart thy lover, friend, or child, so lost to thee now in the great unexplored silences, that thou wilt not even try to see their way of life, but art ever persistent in saying they are dead. Whatever thy soul shalt cherish as highest and best good to be longed for, that shall be given to thee, in its new and resurrected form, over which has passed the chrism of the immortal and everlasting life. We need a new perception of that great law of the "survival of the fittest." Who are the "fit"? The nomadic tramp who yields no meed of use to his fellows? The willfully sin-sodden who poisons all his surrounding atmosphere with the noxious exhalations from his decaying organism? He who hoards and locks away from his fellows his treasures of gold or precious knowledge, and he, who having in his hands the powers of wealth and influence, never deigns to stretch forth his hand to relieve the cruel stress of the needy or to protect the helpless, or to sustain and strengthen the weaker ones of earth?
Nay! The true "survival" is not here on this underdone sphere, but outside, beyond, above, in the realms of the spiritual where our burdens are loosed and the souls of men are set free, and true liberty is accorded to each and everyone to be, and to do, all that in him lies toward the upbuilding of the great sum of the soul life we call God.
Once this perception of the soul and even some slight degree of knowledge concerning the laws which hold over the destiny of each individual being becomes, through a familiarity with phenomena now everywhere common, understood and accepted, the entire life on this planet will be changed, elevated and happified. Fancy living day after day under the bondage of the fear and dread of what everyone knows to be as inevitable as is the experience of each, of physical dissolution; and yet multitudes of people do so live. It is debasing, and disennobling in every way. It robs the soul of all its natural dignity and sends it through the world orphaned, and mourning, where it might and should recognize its divine relationship, and rejoice in its unfolding powers; and so you who may be giving a moment to the reading of this brief testimony to the great truth of immortality, consider, and realize thy divine paternity and demand what is, and has always been thine own by right of interblending of thy own inner nature with that of thy soul's origin, the heart of Him who hath made us.
The bond is eternal and indestructible. God in all humanity and we in Him, and the sooner we see this and yield ourselves in obedience, not like "dumb driven cattle" but as self-respecting, self-asserting mortals—within the law of accord with the highest—the sooner shall we enter into that "Nirvana" which is "peace."
FEAR OF DEATH.
In the childhood of the race, the time of its exclusively animal life, it was necessary for its protection that there should exist in the slowly unfolding human mind a great, overwhelming terror of death. In fact at that time indifference to death would have involved the entire race of man in utter extinction. From that time have come down to us superstitions and fears which, while acting still in the minds of the ignorant as a preservative of human life even under most terrible conditions, have at the same time shrouded countless numbers of good and useful lives with gloom, overshadowing them with a horror from which they could not escape. It has been less the actual fear of death, but of what might be in store for them after they should have passed through this experience which is so inevitable to us all. Jesus prophesied of a time to come wherein death should lose its sting, and thus be swallowed up in the victory of the spirit over matter.