THE NEW AVATAR and The Destiny of the Soul
THE FINDINGS OF NATURAL SCIENCE REDUCED TO PRACTICAL STUDIES IN PSYCHOLOGY
By JIRAH D. BUCK, M.D.
Author of "Mystic Masonry," "A Study of Man," "Christos," "The Genius of Freemasonry," "Constructive Psychology," "The Lost Word Found," "Browning's Paracelsus," and other MSS.
SECOND EDITION 1916
INDO-AMERICAN BOOK COMPANY (Not Inc.)
5705 SOUTH BOULEVARD CHICAGO ILL.
COPYRIGHT STEWART & KIDD CO. 1911 Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England
All Rights Reserved
THE HELPERS—VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE—WHOSE DEEPEST MOTIVE AND HIGHEST AIM ARE TO ENCOURAGE, UPLIFT, AND INSPIRE
THOSE WHO NEED;
THAT ALL, AT LAST, MAY STAND
IN THE MIDST OF THE RADIANT SPLENDOR OF
STUDIES IN PSYCHOLOGY
I. CLASSIFICATION OF FACULTIES, CAPACITIES, AND POWERS 3
II. EMPIRICAL AND SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE 9
III. MEDIUMSHIP, SEERSHIP, AND HYPNOSIS 18
IV. THE MEASURE OF VALUES 29
V. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 50
VI. THE CROSS IN RELIGION AND THE CRUX IN SCIENCE WITH THE GREAT WORK IN AMERICA 68
VII. THE MODULUS OF NATURE AND THE THEOREM OF PSYCHOLOGY 93
THE NEW AVATAR OF NATURAL SCIENCE
VIII. OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO ANCIENT INDIA 111
IX. HERO WORSHIP AND FOLKLORE 136
X. CORROBORATIVE EVIDENCE 146
XI. CONCEPTIONS AND PORTENTS OF AN AVATAR 151
XII. PORTENTS OF THE PRESENT TIME 164
XIII. THE SEPARABLE SOUL IN FOLKLORE 171
XIV. FROM CONFUSION TO CONSTRUCTION 191
XV. THE SCIENCE OF PSYCHOLOGY AS A KNOWLEDGE OF THE HUMAN SOUL 208
XVI. THE NEW AVATAR 218
The reader who is willing to give the following pages a careful reading, and a courteous hearing, is entitled to know the basis of study, observation or experience from which the suggestions, inferences and conclusions proceed, in order that he may fairly estimate their value.
At the age of seventy-two, my egotism is at least softened by the discovery of the many things I do not know; and my dogmatism, so far as it ever existed, is equally relaxed by the realization that it is a bar to light and knowledge, which rest so largely on demonstration.
For more than forty-five years I have been engaged in the active practice of medicine with consultations extending over three States.
For an equal length of time I have lectured in Medical Colleges, fifteen years on the subject of Physiology, an equal number on Therapeutics (including Pathology and Histology), and for the last fifteen years on Psychology, Mental and Nervous Diseases, and all this time with a large College Clinic from the poorer classes.
From first to last, my "Study of Medicine" has been generically and specifically a "Study of Man," physical, mental, ethical, and psychical.
Outside of Medicine as a "Calling" or a "Profession" my real interest has been to unravel the nature of man, grasp the problem of human life, and to apprehend the nature, laws, and destiny of the human soul. My library covers a rather continuous thread from 1543, and the time of Paracelsus, to Profs. James, Ladd, Lombroso, Sir Oliver Lodge, and Muensterberg.
My reading dips into the Sacred Books of the East, the records of the Past, and particularly the psychic phenomena of different ages, finding at last the Constructive Theorem clearer than anywhere else in the "School of Natural Science," from the fact that it is demonstrably cognizant of all preceding work, and definitely conforms to the strict demands of Science—Physical, Mental, Ethical, Psychical and Spiritual, and proves to be the very thing for which I have searched for nearly half a century.
The foregoing statements are not made to force credulity nor to assume authority. They simply mean—This is how, and where, and how long, I have been searching, largely, also at the bedside of the sick, the deranged and the dying; from the first breath of the little one that comes—
"Out from the shore of the Great Unknown Weeping and wailing and all alone,"
to the death-damp and the last sigh of the aged; in one case at nearly one hundred and four years.
Once I found an old lady of eighty, dying. The "death-damp" on her brow; the "death-rattle" in her throat; the chin dropped, and no pulse at the wrist. She had a wayward son who had been promised due notice of any change, and he had been sent for. Speaking distinctly in her ear I called her back; the motive being the grief of her son at not bidding each other good-bye. The response was immediate. The "rattle" in her throat ceased. The pulse promptly returned. The mouth closed. Then I said—"open your eyes," which she promptly did with a gentle smile. "You are not going to do it," I said. "No," she replied. The son soon came in and received his mother's caress and blessing. At the same hour on the following day, she passed peacefully to the beyond, dying of old age. Had it been a "crisis" in disease, she might have recovered.
As a psychic phenomenon I never saw anything just like it. Had I before doubted the existence of a "separable soul," it would have ended all doubt. From the magnetic border of the "Great Divide" with a sufficient motive, I literally "called her back."
The evidence of the concreteness, and wholeness and self-awareness of the Individual Intelligence, functioning in and through, and separable from the physical body, was complete. No other explanation or conclusion would fit or cover the case at all. Had I been clairvoyant and able to see the entity, it would have been another link in a chain whose sequence pointed all one way. But even here I was not without a witness.
In another case, an old lady was dying. A "Platform Lecturer" (Mediumistic) was present and described, incidentally, what she saw. She was a good, clean, ignorant woman and only "controlled" on the Platform.
She described a vapor emanating from the body, as the "death-damp" increased, and outer "awareness" failed. This vapor seemed to adhere together until it stood near the head, rounded and nearly reaching the ceiling. Then the "spirit form" passed out from the top of the head, was inclosed in the ball of "vapor," and together they "floated away."
I found that she had never heard of the "Auric-egg" nor read a page of the old Eastern philosophy, and yet she had accurately described, step by step, what the Masters for ages declare occurs at death.
Science is the careful observation, demonstration and record of Facts, their orderly grouping or classification, and the logical and sequential conclusions resulting therefrom.
It is not a matter of opinion and belief, nor dogma and denial, no matter how large, respectable, and sincere may be the army of the dogmatists.
Take these suggestions and conclusions—my friend—for what you think them worth, since now you know how far they have grown from experience and the love and search for the simple Truth.
The temptation to quote and annotate from many authors is very great, but the material is so abundant that one scarcely knows where to begin, where to end; and as the address is solely to the reader of "average intelligence," and argument is eliminated as far as possible, many quotations could do little more than confirm opinions, and would extend beyond the limits designed by the author, or the brief space and popular form more desirable for the average reader.
Repetitions in the text seemed unavoidable for the reason, that at every phase of the subject I have continually to regard the Individual, and that aggregate called Society; the inner conscious life of one, and the associate elements and conditions regarding the many, and from different viewpoints.
Man, the Individual, is like a "wheel within a wheel," the larger circle being Humanity as a whole.
Nor does the thought or concept stop here. There is the relation of the Individual Intelligence we call MAN to the Universal Intelligence we call GOD, which as related to Nature is "In All, Through All, Over All, and Above All."
Not an "Absentee God," but Illuminant within and without revealing itself in what we call Love and Law.
Here "in brief" I rest the case and proceed to the evidence.
In "A Study of Man, and the Way of Health," first published twenty-one years ago, as a general outline for my classes of Medical Students, to enable them to grasp the real problem of life, and to emphasize the Study of Man, as basic in the Study of Medicine, the following epitome was placed in the Preface.
"The cosmic form in which all things are created and in which all things exist is a Universal Duality.
Involution and Evolution express the two-fold process of the One Law of Development, corresponding to the two planes of being, the Subjective and the Objective.
Consciousness is the central Fact of Being.
Experience is the only method of knowing.
Therefore, to Know, is to Become.
The Modulus of Nature, that is, the Pattern, after which she everywhere builds, and the Method to which she continually conforms is an Ideal, or Archetypical Man.
The Perfect Man is the anthropomorphic God. A living, potential Christ in every human soul.
Two natures meet on the human plane, and focalize in man.
These are the Animal Ego and the Higher Self. The one, an inheritance from lower life. The other, an overshadowing from the next higher plane.
The Animal Principle is Selfishness. The Divine Principle is Altruism.
However defective in other respects human nature may be, all human endeavor must finally be measured by the principle of Altruism and must stand or fall by the measure in which it inspires and uplifts Humanity.
The highest tribunal is the criterion of Truth, and the test of truth is by its use and beneficence. 'BY THEIR WORK YE MAY KNOW THEM.'
Superstition is not Religion; Speculation is not Philosophy; Materialism is not Science; but true religion, true philosophy and true science are ever the handmaids of Truth, and will at last be found in perfect harmony."
After more than twenty years of continuous and careful study since the foregoing was written, I must still confirm and emphasize these basic propositions to-day.
The attempt is herein made to apply them more particularly to the study of Psychology. To add to what was then discerned and designated as "the Modulus of Nature," an exact and comprehensive Theorem of Psychology.
I am well aware how presumptuous this would in certain quarters be considered, if there were the least probability that "those in authority" would read these pages at all. The motive is involved in the modulus, and I am quite content to leave it there, while the "common people," it is hoped, may find herein, as I have found in the search for more light, encouragement, inspiration, and hope. And these may lead to Understanding.
It is the farthest possible from my thought or wish to ignore or belittle the labors of earnest students and writers on Psychology.
But there is a habit of conservatism in Physical Science to-day, that in spirit and effect differs very little from Dogma and Orthodoxy in Religion. It concerns methods rather than results. It is generally incredulous through fear of being over-credulous. It is bound by tradition, or the records of the past, and its dogmas are deductions from the consensus of opinions, rather than "decrees in councils" or "Infallible Popes."
Occasionally a Scientist, like Sir Oliver Lodge, seems to be utterly rid of both credulity and incredulity, and for these, Science really means— "the Facts of Nature, demonstrated, classified, and systematized."
But for the "Common People," the average intelligent student, for whom Science and the pursuit of Knowledge is not a Profession, but a desire to know, and to understand, in order to be able to use wisely and well, it is of far less importance to know what others think or believe, deny or affirm, on the subject of Psychology, than to realize what are the faculties, capacities, and powers of their own souls.
Knowledge for the sake of knowledge, like "Art for Art's sake," is one thing, Knowledge for use in daily life, and for illuminating its pathway and revealing the purpose and destiny of man, is something different indeed.
This hunger of the individual soul for real knowledge is perhaps the most patent "Sign of the Times."
The average intelligent individual has broken away from the traditions of the past, and yet found nothing to take their place. One result is empty churches, and the race for wealth, display, position, and power. Increased idleness begets dissipation, Paresis and Insanity increase, while wasted opportunity both shortens and embitters life.
A very large number of intelligent men and women realizing all this, and repelled by the almost contemptuous conservatism of so-called Science, swing to the side of credulity, and are robbed and exploited by charlatans. They believe the Truth ought to be forthcoming, and their intuitions and demands, though oft leading to sore disappointment, deserve a better fate.
It is for these, and for these reasons, that these pages are written, and with no other hope of fame or reward.
The demand is everywhere for Knowledge of the soul. Facts there are in abundance, but how far these facts are demonstrated, so as to constitute a basis of exact science, and how to classify and systematize them, the average intelligence does not know.
The Psychical Scientist claims to know, and undoubtedly does know, but he busies himself almost exclusively in gathering and verifying more facts. When asked by the average intelligence, "What does it all mean?"—the answer is, "Ah! there's the rub. Wait! Some day we may know."
The simple fact is that the Scientist is bewildered, while the theologian and the dogmatist appeal to Faith without Knowledge, and invoke miracle as in all past times.
Spiritualism has had its day and left an immense body of facts, while Mediumship and the dark circle are more often repudiated by intelligent professed Spiritualists. Satisfied as to conscious existence after death as a fact, they have learned how generally unreliable are many messages from departed friends, owing to conditions beyond their control; while the effect of surrender to so-called "spirit-control" contributes to neither health nor a well-balanced mind or character.
Hypnotism maintains a precarious hold, simply through juggling with the words, "Suggestion" and "Hypnosis." The professional hypnotist, yielding as he must to the public fear and condemnation of Hypnotism, advocates Just a little of it! under the false title "Suggestion," for the good it is claimed to do in such cases as the drink and drug habit. As though a little further weakening of the will, would ultimately tend to restore and strengthen it!
One is reminded of the baby in "Pendennis." The Mother "hoped the Lord would forgive her, because it was such a little one!"
Even the leaders in the "Emmanuel Movement" have deceived themselves by this sophistry, and while they applaud the temporary results, they seem unaware that they are still further weakening self-control and real character, by dominating the Will.
It is thus that ignorance, confusion and unrest, like waves of ocean, ebb and flow in the great human tides.
Through impatience and discouragement alone, many give up the quest for knowledge as hopeless, and while too well-balanced to drift into dissipation, they suffer from ennui and become pessimistic.
Real knowledge will not come all at once, like a vision, or a complete revelation.
The first real Light that comes will be that of Faith, a term generally misunderstood and misused.
Faith is the complete antithesis of blind dogma and superstition. It is born within the soul, and never imposed by outward authority enforced by fear.
"Faith is the soul's intuitive conviction of that which both reason and conscience approve."
To give intellectual assent to belief in God is one thing; to be able to declare with light and warmth that uplifts and inspires, "I know that my Redeemer liveth" is another thing entirely.
The impatience above referred to would see the end from the beginning, and know all about the development and destiny of the soul before it has learned the first lesson that guides and determines both.
When, however, Science and Religion clasp hands, and the facts of nature guided by the light of Faith, build character and guide progress, there is revealed a Philosophy of Life that needs little revision. It is like the compass that points continually to the pole, and gives unqualified assurance as to the direction we are going.
So also every step in the past enables us to get our bearings and verify our course by checking backward.
Faith is no longer a blind dogma, but a compass in the box of experience, the wise mariner's guide in the voyage of life.
If neither Science, Religion nor Philosophy, nor all together can thus come to the service of man, can not do it now, after all the weary centuries since Plato and Aristotle, we may as well write qui bono on our banners and trail them in the dust!
Even the theologies of the day, recognizing the dilemma and the difficulties, still cling to the miraculous, and to make the best of a bad bargain, offer dogma in the place of demonstration, and contradictory and blind belief in place of the light of Faith.
While they count thousands as nominally in their communion, the intelligent among all these have many "mental reservations."
The intelligent thought of the world flows past and beyond them.
The "Soul's intuitive conviction" agreeing with "both reason and conscience" holds and guides them, in spite of the verbal "confession of faith."
The Divinity of Jesus, the Christ, can be fully explained under natural and divine law, without invoking miracle.
The result of such explanation is to dethrone him from the altars of dogma and superstition, and enthrone him on the altar of Love in the heart of Humanity.
This is long delayed, but cannot be defeated.
STUDIES IN PSYCHOLOGY
CLASSIFICATION OF FACULTIES, CAPACITIES, AND POWERS
Starting with the Modulus of Nature—an Ideal or Archetypal Man, and coming down to practical things in daily life—
1. Man is an Individual Intelligence. This is taken as an empirical fact, patent to every intelligent individual.
The source and nature of intelligence itself need not here concern us. We may call it an ultimate that all the philosophies of the world have signally failed to explain. It is something that grows, increases or decreases, expands, becomes confused, according to the conditions of bodily organ and function, heredity, environment, personal effort and the like; but so far as we know, it is the same thing, large or small, wise or foolish. It is still, measure for measure, Individual Intelligence.
2. The term Individual means distinct, concrete, relatively separate. Man being an Individual Intelligence; God is the Universal Intelligence. Just as the organism of man is involved in, and evolved from Universal Nature; so the Intelligence of man is involved in, and evolved from Universal Intelligence.
The empirical fact of the intelligence of man presupposes a "sufficient reason" or source. Still we do not know what God and Nature and Intelligence are. We only know how they manifest. Our intelligence enables us to observe, reflect, reason, and in some measure apprehend the method and manifestation.
I am not seeking to build nor unfold a "Philosophy." "Yes," someone replies, "but a philosophy is implied or involved."
Very well, let it unfold itself.
3. The next empirical fact of prime importance is, The Individual Intelligence, not of man, but which is man, is aware of itself, i.e., "self-conscious." It is able to distinguish between the self and the non-self.
4. Again, as to consciousness, as with intelligence: We know that man has it and uses it, and what it does to some extent; but we do not know what it is, intrinsically, nor do we need to know any of these ultimates. The effort to explain them has never ended in anything but confusion. We shall herein name them, and then pass them.
5. We have now postulated a self-conscious, Individual Intelligence, as the real man. Next we find this Man can do things, or refrain from doing; act, or refrain from action. This is called Initiative, Volition, Will.
6. This power of action and of choice, inspired by intelligence, aware of the self, adapts actions to ends. This involves reason and judgment.
7. In the course of experience along the lines of action or restraint, and observing results in either case, the individual desiring or preferring certain results to others, acquires more or less self-control. He controls himself to secure desired results.
Here then, in brief outline, are the basis and the elements of our Psychology. They are drawn from common observation and experience, and are verified by the facts of daily life—generally complicated, confused, or lost sight of in treatises on psychology.
Two of these factors, viz.: Consciousness and Will, enter into all psychological phenomena such as Hypnotism and Mediumship, and into every form of mental alienation, insanity, obsession and the like.
Moreover, by building out of mental phenomena a distinct entity—largely independent of the self-conscious Intelligence, and almost equally so with consciousness—our "philosophies," "metaphysics," and explanations have become as confused and unreliable as the psychical phenomenon itself.
Hudson's so-called "Law of Psychic Phenomena," "Subliminal" and "Supraliminal Consciousness," and the juggling with the terms "suggestion" and "hypnosis" may serve as sufficient illustrations. In each instance phenomena are made to take the place of principles and the core of the problem is ignored, confused, or lost sight of.
In the meantime these empiricists are hunting in the "rubbish of the temple" (which temple they have metaphysically destroyed), for the Human Soul—i.e. the concrete, intrinsic Individual Intelligence, which is ONE, and which the Master Builder (Universal Intelligence) placed on the Trestle-board of Creation and Time, for the building of character, and the evolution of the Human Soul.
If the Ideal, Archetypal, or Divine Man, is recognized as the Modulus of both Nature and Divinity, our Theorem must consist in adhering to the Modulus and working out the problem.
Q. E. D., if applied to man's completion of his own individual Temple, might stand for the last words of Jesus, "It is finished," The problem is solved; "I have finished the Work Thou gavest me to do." Science, Religion and Philosophy have clasped hands. Divinity revealed in Humanity is triumphant over Death. "There is a Natural (physical) body and there is a Spiritual body," and the Individual Intelligence is ONE in each, or in both; viz.: The Human-Divine Soul.
To recognize the Modulus and intelligently to apprehend the Theorem is the foundation and the first step in the scientific solution of the problem of life, and the progressive and continuous evolution of the human soul. To use the term "Science" (as applied to the study of psychology) in any other way, is pure empiricism, is wholly unscientific, and has never yet resulted in anything but confusion and in laying a foundation for belief, conjecture, theory, dogma, superstition, and fear.
The step of next importance, both in the scientific study of psychology and in individual progress and evolution, is the mental attitude of the individual; his point of view; his open-mindedness and utter refusal to prejudge anything. He will often say, "I do not know." He will sometimes say, "I do not care." That phase or presentation does not appeal to, nor interest him.
This is what the Vedic philosophers called, "making the mind one pointed" and like a search-light, with the ability to concentrate it on a given point or subject.
Bias, prejudice, preconceived opinion, credulity and incredulity, are all like a crooked lens to the eye of the mind, or to the perception of the simple truth.
Not only are these principles basic in the scientific study of psychology and the evolution of the individual intelligence, but their neglect and oversight are solely responsible for the confusion everywhere manifest on the subject, as well as for every form of subjective control, mediumship, psychical epidemics, and obsession, and they enter into every form and phase of insanity.
If this be true, and it is readily demonstrable, what subject is of equal importance; and what facts and considerations are so transcendent as these?
The difference is that between a mad-house with its frenzied and frightened mob of helpless victims, and a palace of the gods in which dwelleth Righteousness, Love, Peace, and Eternal Joy.
Is it not worth while?
This Modulus and Theorem of the School of Natural Science involve Religion, Regeneration, Redemption, and the well-being of Souls here and hereafter.
They separate Religion from Superstition, Duty from Dogma, cast out Fear, release the wings of aspiration and faith; and where "the mourners went about the streets" is heard a new song of rejoicing that binds up the wounds and sorrows of the brokenhearted.
Again I ask, "Is it not worth while?"
EMPIRICAL AND SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Let us bear in mind that man is an Individual Intelligence; that this involves self-consciousness, or awareness of Self, the innate ability to distinguish between the Self and the non-Self. Hence arises the power of choice, discernment, or discrimination.
There also arises the impulse to act, or the Initiative, called the Will. This also involves the power of restraint, the act or the refraining from action.
This action, under the basic endowment—intelligence—is called Rational Volition.
There is thus, Intelligence; the Power to choose; the power to act and the adaptation of acts or restraints to ends, or to desired objects or results.
Experience teaches the individual, thus endowed, that he is responsible for all he thinks, feels, acts and does; and this, under his endowment of Intelligence, is what we call Conscience.
We are not building up a theory, but simply analyzing psychological facts, demonstrated as true in the experience of every intelligent individual. Just as the chemist analyzes a compound he finds in his laboratory.
Our Modulus is the Perfect Man. Our Theorem is the method of use that, by experience and observation everywhere, has been demonstrated as Constructive, enabling the Individual to build toward, and to realize the Modulus.
The power to discriminate, choose and act, when normally exercised, implies judgment and understanding.
Hence, we have perception, rational choice, intelligent action and desired results, for which we recognize our personal responsibility. Hence arise our ability and necessity to review our actions, motives, aims and their results, and to pass judgment upon them in the Light of Conscience (Con-Science, to know the Self) to pass judgment upon ourselves as to motives, aims, results, and consequences.
The Brain is a center of consciousness with avenues of perception and impulse and departments that by aggregation, separation or association, enable the Individual Intelligence to determine the relation in time, or duration, force and orderly relation of perceptions, desires, motives, actions (or thoughts and feelings) as to sequence or results.
This whole conscious realm is the Mind. It is the inner chamber of the Soul. It is in no sense an entity. The actor, the real entity, is the Individual Intelligence.
To say, therefore, that "Man is all mind," or that the mind does this, or that, is simply nonsense. It is like saying that the little room in which I am now writing, with its books and pictures, with my thoughts, feelings, emotions, and magnetism, is I! Perhaps it is like me, or full of me, but I am something else and something more.
Let us get rid of this "confusion of tongues"; this "babel of Psychology"; "New Thought" (as old as man); "Metaphysics"; "Christian Science" et hoc genus omne, and come down to common sense and the facts of nature. The aim and the results along these lines are often good and helpful; then why clothe them in the garb of absurdities?
Recognize the facts, and express them intelligently, and they may do ten times more good, for then we could understand them. They are, one and all, a weak dilution of the old Hindoo Yoga, thrashed over there for thousands of years; straining after results, while ignorant of, or ignoring basic principles.
Aside from the "Eight Systems of Philosophy" now recognized in India, there are hundreds of varieties and classes of Yogis.
"To acquire powers" is one thing; self-mastery and self-knowledge are quite another. Thus the one is often distorted and always transient; the other constructive, regenerative, and enduring.
To illustrate by contrast what Constructive Psychology, or the building of character, is not, we may now take some of the forms of diseased action known to all time, occurring in individuals and in epidemics, and which to-day fill our Insane Asylums with "Incurables."
The point of first importance in all these cases, is the lack of self-control. Weakness, aberration or disease of the Will. The Individual Intelligence fails to exercise its divine prerogative and be Master in and of its own house.
In the place of this control, sensations, feelings, emotions, desires, appetites, passions, and ambitions run riot. The Servants of the Master war among themselves, quarrel with each other, bind the Master hand and foot, wreck the furniture, and at last destroy the house. The Master has become the victim and at last the slave of his own servants. His Will is in abeyance; his perceptions distorted; his feelings and emotions aggravated; his "Reason Dethroned"; his judgment impaired; he has an "Unbalanced Mind."
What is here needed but Christos in the Temple, "turning over the tables of the money-changers and the seats of them that sold doves," and restoring the High-Priest in the Holy Temple—the Human Soul, viz.: the intelligent Will of Man, determined to govern his own house, and responsible for results?
In place of Rational Volition, clear, just and true perceptions, sound judgment and clear understanding, we have "Illusions," "Hallucinations" and "Delusions." In other words, the Individual is Insane!
It all goes deeper than the Mind; the Soul, the Individual Intelligence is dethroned in his own Kingdom; Body, Mind, and Soul are out of joint.
Not only does this condition exist without being recognized; not only just here lies the whole secret and field of Education in child, woman and man, but so ignorant are thousands as to these patent facts and basic principles, that they covet and strive after this confusion, this devolution, in the vain search for knowledge, light, and truth.
These are the office, the function and the result to the subject (or victim) of Mediumship and Hypnotism. They yield the Will, the mastery of their own house, to another.
The servants may be tractable for a while, but an alien is seated upon the throne, and the Master is no longer King in his own realm.
Others may indeed learn something from his undoing, from the crimes committed upon him, just as we learn from criminals how we ought not to live.
Whether ignorantly, voluntarily, by persuasion, or by force of a stronger will, the medium and the hypnotic subject are victims either of ignorance or of design, to their own undoing.
These psychical experiences have been found in all ages and among every people of whom we have any valid history, from the red Indians of the North to the Voodoos of Africa, and from the Hill Tribes of India to the earliest Scandinavian Tribes and the islands of the sea.
As civilizations advanced, the more intelligent and unscrupulous individuals, ambitious of knowledge or power, regardless of the rights or well-being of others, and discovering these powers, exercised them for their own aggrandizement. This has been known through the ages as Black Magic, and is laughed at to-day by so-called "Scientists" as "nothing but the fears, credulity, and superstitions of the ignorant multitude." This was the core of Egyptian Paganism, and is the very genius of Clericalism to-day—the domination of the Individual Will, through superstition and fear.
Owing to seismic and cataclysmic shocks, volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, and great epidemics of disease, whole peoples have been dominated by fear or frenzied by superstitious dread, so that whole villages and cities became literally "mad-houses," and were often depopulated.
Read the story of "Peter, the Hermit," and "The Crusades," the "Black Death," the "Great Plague" that swept over Europe in the Thirteenth century; or that of the "Flagellants," and the "Dancing Mania," where whole villages became "Dancing Dervishes," samples of which may occasionally be found to-day in the cities of America, the "Yogis" that are "Buddhas" or "Christs" in New York, and the Dowies that were "Elijahs" in Chicago, the Genius of Point Loma, Obispo, Santa Rosa, "Oahspe," "Solar-Biology," and again, et hoc genus omne! Verily! "there is nothing new under the sun."
Contrast these individuals with an individual of sound mind, good judgment, and a well-ordered life, and see how and where and why the wreck inevitably follows.
The pressure outside changes continually, and these things spread and grow like all contagions. Nature at times seems wrathful and destructive, and there are, no doubt, deep-seated conditions and changes in the magnetism of the earth and air, not yet comprehended by modern science.
In stamping out contagious and epidemic disease, simple cleanliness has been like a revelation from the gods, and modern surgery has only stopped short of the miraculous.
Society is but the aggregation of individuals, and on the one principle of Self-Control every individual is related to the negative or the positive side of psychical and physical epidemics.
There is scarcely an avenue along these lines that has not been more or less explored by modern science.
That knowledge is still incomplete; that mistakes have been made; that matters have been contemptuously set aside, belittled, or declared to be not worth investigation, was to have been expected. But the progress has been immense, and the light shines on many obscure and difficult problems, where before was the utter darkness of superstition and fear, dirt, degradation, and death.
These phenomena manifest on the physical plane, disturb the social state, and the relations of individuals to each other. They concern the environment of man in a world of matter, sense, and time.
But the Individual Intelligence, which is Man, lives also in another world, related to, but within, around, and beyond the physical.
Man senses or feels it as anterior to birth and extending beyond death. He calls it the subjective or Spiritual World.
The realm of his consciousness is related to it, as the body is related to the physical plane and the things of sense and time. His consciousness seems aware of both planes or both worlds, though ignorant of the real nature and meaning of both, and capable of interpreting neither correctly.
Man feels his way through the life on the outer plane guided by his experience of weight, measure, distance, resistance, and the like.
The other world—the inner, or subjective—seems distant, evasive, and unreal, and in contemplating it he is filled with uncertainty, dread, fear, and superstition.
Our friends die and disappear; we miss them, and mourn for them. Where are they? What will become of us when we die? Shall we ever meet them again?
Passing by religion and revelation, as we are dealing with facts and phenomena in the natural life of man, rather than with creeds and dogmas that undertake to cut the "Gordian Knot," these questions stare everyone in the face, and in every age man has tried to solve them by actual knowledge.
Belief in ghosts, angels and demons is practically universal; and just here comes in the whole range of psychical phenomena, facts and fantasies, illusions, hallucinations and delusions, rational volition, reason dethroned, and the Will in Subjection, already referred to.
As individual experiences, subjective or objective, all are real. The fear incited by illusions and hallucination, or by "seeing a ghost," regardless of the fact of its actual existence, is as real to the individual as that of meeting a serpent in the grass, or a tiger in the jungle.
Soothsayers, diviners, prophets, mediums, conjurers, and seers consequently have been found in every age and among every people. Ignorance, fear, dread of death, desire to know, have always provided them with patrons, followers, or disciples.
They have often reaped a rich harvest, and not unfrequently dominated a race or a people, as the Papacy does to-day.
Where they have failed to create belief, they have often triumphed through fear and anathema, and often supplemented these weapons by persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death, and so held sway.
Revelation begs the question; dogma forces the conclusion; and both dominate the soul without convincing and without knowledge.
MEDIUMSHIP, SEERSHIP, AND HYPNOSIS
Into this arena of the inquiring soul of man, came Modern Spiritualism.
It contained little or nothing new, as to methods, aims, or results.
The Church, Protestant and Catholic alike, uttered their warnings, called it "dealings with the devil," but divested of political authority and without power to arrest or persecute, as in the past, were unable to stay the tide. It swept the country like a whirlwind. The average individual, desiring to know and to get tidings from departed friends, was unrestrained and unterrified.
He could not see why, if the gates were really ajar, angels might not communicate, no less than devils.
Then came the cry of "fraud," often amply justified, and a cloud of uncertainty and unreliability settled over the phenomena generally. Unscrupulous men and women seeing their opportunity, sophisticated and exploited it, and "exposures" of these became common.
But in spite of all this, there remained facts, and groups of phenomena impossible to explain away.
Finally, men like Crookes and Wallace took up the subject and investigated the phenomena, not from the emotional, expectant, or fraternal aspect, but from the purely scientific, and rendered their verdict, which, though frequently ignored or treated with contempt, remains practically unaltered.
Thousands became convinced of the fact of life beyond the grave, and at the same time of the unreliability of many so-called "communications." Finally the "Society for Psychical Research" was formed; phenomena were searchingly examined, verified, and recorded as a basis for further research.
The posthumous work of F. W. H. Myers, "Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death," added to the Society's records and many other publications a record of verified facts in psychic phenomena such as never before existed, and which nothing short of a cataclysm can destroy.
In the meantime, the "dark circle" went into desuetude, and Spiritualism, as a cult, declined. Accepting the broad conclusion of a life after death, and with no very clear demonstration as to exactly where, or how, the case rested largely.
The reason for this obscurity was to be found in the absence of clear conceptions as to the nature of the human soul, and what life on the spiritual plane really signifies.
In other words, the foundation was laid empirically to await classification and conclusions in a comprehensive Philosophy of Psychology, consistent with a science of the soul; and there it remains to-day with the average individual, and the average man of physical or psychical science.
Returning now from this brief excursion into the social status, to the problem as related to the mental, moral, and physical health of individuals, and bearing in mind our Modulus of Man, and Theorem of Constructive Psychology, we find the annals of Spiritualism, Mediumship, or subjective control, of exceeding importance.
Another plane of life exists. Individuals on either plane communicate with the controlling entity on the supra-physical plane.
The Medium is invariably subjective and controlled. He has no choice of controls, and often no knowledge (never reliable knowledge) as to who or what controls him. He is sometimes informed by his "guide" as to the control's identity, and learns, often, that he and his circle have been deceived by ignorant or "lying spirits."
The whole process reverses our Modulus and Theorem of Constructive Psychology, the building of character and normal evolution.
The most important consideration at this point is its relation to the sanity of individuals.
There are thousands of individuals to-day, who, failing in rational volition, or self-control, are controlled by entities on the subjective plane. They are obsessed.
This subjective control without the knowledge or consent of the victim, and unrecognized and generally called "absurd" by "Alienists" and "experts," constitutes a very large per cent, of the insane to-day, and because ignored or unrecognized, these cases are classed as "Incurable."
It should be remembered that the annals of Spiritualism, and the records of scientific Psychical Research, have demonstrated the possibility and the fact of such control. It should also be remembered that the average "expert alienist" is guided solely by results of such obsession, where it occurs; that he is blind to causes, liable to exclude or taboo obsession, and therefore largely liable to err.
In other words, he is prejudiced; and his bias and incredulity blind him to the facts and to the real causes.
He could hardly be expected to make the obsession let go, while denying that it exists. But he might help the victim gain Self-control if he but recognized the facts and knew how.
Realizing the fact of the connection of the two worlds, the physical and the spiritual, and communication between them in the subjective or irresponsible way, the question naturally arises, "Is there not another way of communication? May not the Individual Intelligence on the physical plane communicate with the denizens of the spiritual plane at his own volition, independently? May he not learn to see and hear them without attempting, or desiring to control them, more than he does his associates, his friends and neighbors on the physical plane, or allowing them to control him?"
Is it not purely a question of fact, and of scientific demonstration, to be determined by experiment?
This question leads us to another phase of psychology and the records of the past. There have been Seers, Clairvoyants, and Clairaudiants in all ages.
Unlike the psychical phenomena already referred to,—and belonging to the positive and initiative, rather than the negative and subjective side of the psychical equation,—these seers have been fewer in number, and are always individuals showing a high degree of self-control, and of intellectual and moral evolution.
Admitting the general propositions involved, it can readily be seen that this must be so from the very nature of the case. The Masters of mankind, in any and all directions have been few. The slaves, through ignorance, superstition and fear, have been legions. Those who have gained habitual self-control, and finally self-mastery, knowledge and power, have been few; while the majority have been controlled by their own appetites and passions, and by other individuals.
This self-mastery and higher evolution also includes another element beside strength of character, and that is, Refinement.
In other words; it is, from first to last, a journey from the gross and sensuous physical plane, toward the refined and spiritual plane, involving all the faculties, capacities, and powers, feelings, sensations, emotions, intuitions, and aspirations of man. It is, in short, a normal, higher evolution.
All the elements of this higher evolution are basic and innate in the original endowment of man. By exercise, the latent faculties, capacities and powers grow, expand, and develop. Self-control, rational volition, and the sense of personal responsibility, (conscience) make the evolution conformatory to the Modulus—the Perfect Man.
As this human being, dwelling on the physical plane, evolves, the spiritual faculties of the Divine Man are involved from the spiritual plane. When this simultaneous and co-ordinate development is complete, the Human and the Divine are at-one in the Individual.
This at-one-ment is the exact opposite of "vicarious." It is the result of personal effort and self-mastery.
The dogma of the church has so completely sophisticated it as to turn normal evolution into devolution; and, so far as it has any effect, or is operative at all, to turn man backward toward the animal, instead of upward toward the Divine.
Seership and Spiritual powers, therefore, as the result of "Living the Life," are Evolutionary. Mediumship, subjective control, and obsession in any form, or in whatsoever degree, are Devolutionary.
Progress along either line may be very slow, but the trend is as opposite as is the East from the West, as Light from Darkness, as Good from Evil.
By classifying these powers of man and psychical phenomena to which they give rise, whether in the conscious, inner realm, in functions of the bodily organism, or observable to others, we are able to assign each to its proper class with considerable accuracy.
Both evolutionary and devolutionary progress, with the ordinary individual, are slow processes. Seldom is either process a designed and straightforward climbing, or a quick descent "into the dark abyss."
Consequently, as the human race evolves as a whole, relatively more and more individuals are found who "get flashes" of sight or sound, more or less from the subjective or spiritual plane of being. There are intuitions, "warnings," and premonitions of coming events. Some seek and cultivate, others fear and avoid them.
They are mostly on the "border-land," if not on the "ragged-edge" of insanity. It is only necessary to further weaken the will, or to indulge the passions and emotions, in order to decide the matter, derange the mind, and send the individual to an asylum.
On the other hand, with individuals who lead a clean, cheerful, well-ordered life, these experiences may mean encouragement, confirmation, and progress toward the spiritual realm of being. They should be observed carefully, but not cultivated. They may serve as guide-posts and as mere incidents of a day's journey.
The average popular cult to-day, as often in the past, where psychical phenomena are involved, results in converting the normal mental realm, the realm of normal self-consciousness, into a vaudeville performance; a mere "Variety Show," where all due sense of proportion and relation is lost.
In place of the normal Individual Intelligence, sitting serenely on the throne of life and ruling his Kingdom with justice, wisdom and paternal love, the king joins the melee of acrobats and dancing girls, encourages the orchestra till, in a pandemonium of revelry, he puts out the lights, or in wild frenzy fires the building.
Sometimes it claims to "command success" by demanding it; or wealth without earning it; or health without regard to hygienic law; or by "taking a Mantram" to open the gates of heaven. Or again, by servile obedience to the freaks or dogmas of a "Leader" or "Official Head" and adulation ad nauseam, to gain admission to the "Elect."
One and all of these, from first to last, tend toward Devolution. They are destructive, not constructive, in building character and true manhood and womanhood.
Again, the Monk or the devotee abandons society, becomes a recluse, flees into the desert or the mountain, subsists upon roots or herbs, sits in one posture till the joints of the body become fixed, holds the arms above the head till they become immovable, and the finger nails turn and grow through the palms of the hands; or sits gazing at the navel and repeating the word Om.
Indeed, it would seem that the ways and means to stop normal growth, constructive evolution and healthy living, had been well-nigh exhausted.
The enthusiast, the fanatic and the "easy mark" of to-day are seldom aware of any of these things, and so they are bled, fleeced, and exploited accordingly. "All is Mind!" "Great is Elijah!" or "Mrs." Elijah, and Oahspe is his Prophet! while Babel reigns in the place of Natural Science.
The Theosophical Movement inaugurated in this country by H. P. Blavatsky in 1875, differed essentially and radically from all others; first, in placing ethics as the first stone in the foundation of a real knowledge of the nature of man. Its objects as concisely stated at the time were—
First: To establish a nucleus for a Universal Brotherhood of Man.
Second: To study ancient religions, philosophies and sciences, and determine their relations and values.
Third: To investigate the Psychical Powers latent in Man.
Hospitality to Truth from any source and under any name, was characteristic of the movement during the entire lifetime of the Founders.
Dogma was eliminated, Authority beyond facts and demonstrated truth denied, and Superstition regarded as only another name for ignorance.
While the facts and the demonstrations of Science were recognized, and given the largest hospitality, nevertheless, the "Secret Doctrine" and, in a broad sense, the whole movement was an effort to present to modern times, and particularly to the Western world, the most ancient and pure philosophy of old India, the Vedanta or "Wisdom-Religion."
An immense work of rejuvenation has gone on in India, particularly in the establishment and maintenance of Schools for Girls, and in the relief of poverty and discouragement of the teeming millions.
An immense literature was created, not yet appreciated, except by students here and there, who found light, explanation, and encouragement in their studies of the mysteries of Nature and of life.
Since the death of the founders of the Society, in this country at least, only a few branches and fragments of the original organization now remain.
"Leaders" and "Official Heads" often wholly ignorant of the Philosophy, which colossal egotism and exploitation could hardly supply, have brought the very names "Theosophy" and "Brotherhood" into contempt and ridicule in many sections.
As some of these "official heads" are still in evidence, final results cannot now be formulated, and need not be here considered or forecast. The evidence is not all in.
Personally, I desire to record my great indebtedness and highest appreciation of a noble life and a magnificent work accomplished by one of the most remarkable and unselfish women known to history, and for the light and knowledge which she made accessible, and which I still hold, practically unchanged, but with the theorems of Natural Science, in place of the postulates of Philosophy as better fitting "the progressive intelligence" of the present time.
The two lines of presentation when clearly apprehended are not antagonistic, but supplementary. Their aims and purpose are the same.
THE MEASURE OF VALUES
This is a very utilitarian age. Start almost any subject, propose almost any scheme, adventure, or investment, and the question is asked, "Will it pay?" The multitude are cautious; the lower stratum, the unsuccessful—the poor and the oppressed—are envious and often bitter and resentful; the successful are often reckless, dissipated, and proud.
I am not writing an essay on Economics, but on Ethics and Psychology; on the character, value, and use of the resources within ourselves; our real possessions. Here only may be found actual values.
I am not considering the "hereafter," as to "rewards and punishments"; what gods, devils, angels, or men may do to us, here or hereafter; but what we may (if we choose) do for ourselves.
This question is practical to the last degree. Put the question, "does it pay?" and I answer: It pays like nothing else on earth; it is the only thing that is independent of time, place, or circumstance.
It concerns man's actual possessions, of which nothing in "the three worlds" can ever dispossess him. I know of nothing so beneficent, in any concept of God or Nature, Providence or Destiny, as this birthright and opportunity of man, to build character, and be what he chooses to be.
He who knows his power, realizes his opportunity and utilizes his resources, may build a Palace of the Soul, in which he may dwell, literally, in a "kingdom of heaven." And because God is the Architect, and Man the Contractor and Builder, working strictly to the "plans" and the designs, "that house shall stand." It is founded on the "Rock of Ages."
Did anyone ever know or see a noble character that was not built by the Individual himself, by personal effort, by self-control, by self-denial, by justice and kindness to others; often in the face of Poverty; often in spite of wealth; often in the face of sickness, pain and deformity; perhaps deaf and dumb and blind; and yet, like Helen Keller, the soul triumphant and glorified?
To-day, as I write, I went to the Crematory to see the dissolution of a poor, twisted, deformed, and tortured body of a woman past fifty, in which had dwelt a soul so serene, cheerful, and patient, that the beatitudes clustered around her, like doves in a garden of roses. It required no stretch of the imagination to determine what society she had entered. "Like seeks like," and each "goes to his own place." Her motive, the day-star of her life, was the Mother-Love for an only son. In spite of poverty and pain, she must reward him for love and loyalty, by being bright and cheerful and by belittling her own discomfort to save him sorrow.
Her reward was the growth of the soul that has now risen to its great reward, and dearer and sweeter than all this to the Mother-heart, was to see and realize the growth, the tenderness, and the beautifying of the soul of the Son.
Did it pay? I can almost hear her shouting for joy as she joins the anthem of the Invisible Choir of Helpers that welcome her just over the border. She prayed many times, even the last time I saw her, before the great change, "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me." I could only say, "Wait just a little longer," with the assurance that every shadow of darkness shall be transformed into dazzling light, and every drop of bitterness into the nectar of the Gods. She was almost deaf and blind, but you should have heard the sweetness in her voice and seen the radiance in her face. I did not know that the end was so near.
To the son, the sweetest sound on earth was that mother's voice, but, though silent for a thousand years, he would not recall her to one moment of the old torture. His sorrow for himself is swallowed up and glorified in his joy for her release.
And what is all this but a lesson in practical psychology, the growth of the soul?
Does it pay? Ask that Mother; ask that Son now. "How do you know?" How do you know anything, except as you see, or experience it?
Character reveals itself. It cannot long hide itself. When the check goes to the bank the resources are there. The Bank of God, and of Nature, and of Compensation, and Eternal Justice, cannot fail. Its resources are infinite.
Independent of time, place, or circumstance, I said: Intrinsic, Inalienable.
Take another illustration almost at random. A cultured soul, winning its way alone, and at great disadvantage.
In the middle of the tenth century lived Farabi, or Alfarabi. He did not confine himself to the Koran, but fathomed the most useful and interesting sciences. He visited Sifah Doulet, the Sultan of Syria. The Sultan was surrounded by the learned who were conversing with him on the sciences.
Farabi entered the salon where they were assembled and remained standing till the Emperor desired that he should be seated; at which the philosopher, by a freedom rather astonishing, went and sat on the end of the Sultan's sofa. The Prince, surprised at his boldness, called one of his officers and commanded him, in a tongue not generally known, to put out the intruder. The philosopher heard him, and replied in the same tongue, "O Signor! he who acts so hastily is subject to repent." The Prince was no less astonished by his reply than by his manner and assurance.
Wishing to know more of him, he began a conference among his philosophers, in which Farabi disputed with so much eloquence and energy that he reduced all the doctors to silence. Then the Sultan ordered music, and when the musicians entered, Farabi accompanied them upon the lute with so much delicacy as to win the admiration of all present. He then drew out, at the Sultan's request, a piece of his own composition, and sang it with his own accompaniment, and had the audience first in laughter, and then in tears—and to complete his Magic, changed to another piece and put them all asleep.
The Sultan in vain urged Farabi to remain near his person, and offered him a high position in his household.
Voluminous writings of Farabi are preserved in the library at Leyden.
"A tale of the Arabian Nights," you may say, and yet it is historic. It reveals the fact that resources, character, and wisdom, in the end triumph and surmount all obstacles. They are intrinsic and permanent values.
They may remain unknown or unappreciated by others, but they are none the less riches to him who possesses them.
It was during this same tenth century in which Alfarabi lived, that there existed at Baghdad a Society composed of Mohammedans, Jews, Christians, and Atheists, for the purpose of Philosophical discussions and scientific investigation; and it was doubtless under this influence that Alfarabi was educated and enabled to cope with the philosophers of the world. Here in Arabia was the highest culture known at the time, in Medicine and all the Arts and Sciences, while the Ecclesiastics were inaugurating the dark ages elsewhere, to eventually spread over the whole of Europe.
Here and there have always appeared individuals superior to their age and time; men who dug to the foundations of knowledge, built character, accumulated resources, and left their impress upon all subsequent time.
Nor has this accumulation of real knowledge been derived from books and schools, though these resources have not been neglected.
Real culture of the Individual has always consisted in the realization of the latent powers of man, in bringing these to light, in learning by experience how to use them. Hence arise self-knowledge, self-control, and a higher evolution.
It is not a mere technical, intellectual acquirement, the ability to define principles and formulate propositions. It rather consists in testing them out in actual experience; first by self-analysis to become familiar with the real self, its capacities and powers, its motives and aims in life; and having grasped and adjusted all these, then to start consciously, deliberately, determinedly, and intelligently, on "the road to the South," on the upward climb toward the Light.
"Possessions," with the great majority of individuals, mean something outward, in space and time; what we have, and, for the time hold, rather than what we are. The average idea of enjoyment is something altogether superficial and transient. It is found, or supposed to be found, in variety of sensations, emotions and feelings; in ringing the changes on these, till vitality fails, disillusion or satiety supervenes, and old age or death closes the play. Often the appetite remains, when vitality fails, and Faust rejuvenated, would run the same gauntlet again. The pity of it is that thousands of these victims of either satiety or Tantalus seem never to dream that there are other values, or anything else, or better, in life.
And yet there is not one of these faculties, capacities and powers that is useless, or, in itself, evil or degrading. They are, one and all, resources of the Individual Intelligence; tools for the day's work; materials for the building of the Temple; whereas, they most frequently are made the motive and the aim of life. They are means to a higher end, and not the end itself.
Without the latent passions, emotions, and feelings, man would be a mere mechanism. If all were mind, or mere intellect, there could be neither the creation nor the appreciation of beauty. Every work of art would be soulless; music might amuse the intellect by intricate chords and variations, like a colorless kaleidoscope, but it could never touch the heart nor elevate the soul.
Music and art, in the highest sense, through consonant vibrations in us, open the doors and windows of the soul, put us in touch and tune with the Infinite, and then, the real harmony begins. We live for the time in another world and return with a sigh and recover the bated breath, as though we had seen a vision beyond words. Music is an agent, a talisman, a means to an end. It strikes in us chords that lie at the foundation, the combinations that unlock the doors, and the "Imprisoned Splendor" wings in and out like the doves of Hesperides.
Blunt the passions, the feelings and the emotions by over-indulgence, by vice and dissipation, and the royal guests desert the banquet hall, the doors of the soul creak on their hinges; and in place of the "music of the spheres" you have a devil's dance, and the orgies of despair!
Does it pay? It all depends on use. Here lie the resources, the real possessions of man. Here lies the "Parable of the Talents."
Look at the profusion, the prodigality, the beneficence of Nature, Flowers and Fruit, Beauty and Bloom and Fragrance everywhere. Where there is no eye to see, no hand to pluck, Mother Nature delights in profusion, seemingly because she is made that way and cannot help it. And yet, in this little Rose-garden of ours—the Human Soul -we tramp down the flowers, plant loathsome weeds and poisons that kill and degrade and besot us, set up the tables of the money-changers, drive out the doves of Hesperides, and turn the temple into a shambles for wild beasts. "Nothing pays." "Let us curse God and—die!"
Is there not something after all in the Measure of Values, and in the inexorable Law of Use?
And who constrains us but ourselves?
Can God and Nature be so prodigal, noting even the sparrows fall, and yet disregard the children of men?
What our resources are we can never imagine till we draw upon and begin to utilize them as others have done throughout the ages.
The "average sinner," seemingly to justify or excuse his own failure, will not believe that any have ever achieved. But there they stand all down the ages! Ecclesiastics help the deception and keep up the illusion by calling it Miracle or "Special Providence," and so prevent man from entering his birthright, to possess it; and so we sell our birthright for a mess of pottage. It is like the dissipated, poverty-stricken spendthrift, who shuts his eyes and refuses to believe that any, by industry, economy, integrity and hard work have secured a competency. And so he cries, "Come on, boys! let's have another drink, and then rob this bond-holder, who has more than his share."
The Measure of Values, and the Law of Use hold everywhere, in every department of human life; and the question, "Does it pay?" is practical and scientific to the last degree, and no one can answer but ourselves. As we answer will be the results, and nothing but ourselves can change them.
We must realize that the human body, the organism of man, with all its faculties, capacities and powers, is but an instrument of the Individual Intelligence; and that every experience in life, every episode in our career, is like a day's work; perfecting the instrument for more and better work, if used rightly; till we advance from height to height of being; to larger and still larger and more glorious fields of work and experience.
There would seem to be no limit to this evolution, this upward and onward journey of the human soul. The more good work done, the larger the capacity and the broader the field opening before us. "From height to height the spirit walks."
The primary endowment of man is Life and conscious Intelligence, with the power to use both.
This would seem to be the only gratuity, and whether we regard it as a blessing or a curse, depends on how we regard and use them.
The great majority in all time, through ignorance or recklessness, seem to have misused them.
Hence sickness, disease, deformity, and degradation.
It is a wonderful thing—this Law of Normal Use—from which health, harmony, comfort, joy, growth, and development result, while misuse and abuse degrade and destroy.
Divinity seems to have put within the grasp of man's Intelligence (if he chooses and wills) an almost infinite range in power, variety and application, of that subtle and basic Principle of affinity, balance and equilibrium, that unites the atoms in a molecule, or a chemical substance; that law of attraction and repulsion—the Parallelogram of Force—that holds the planets in their orbits. Divinity seems to have taken man into council and offered him, not only the Kingdom of Nature, but the royal domain of his own soul, as a reward for co-operation and loyal service, on condition that he shall use wisely, intelligently, loyally, and kindly, and not misuse or abuse.
Is it worth while? Will it pay?
Nor is this all, beneficent as it seems. The whole journey of life on the physical plane here below is so designed and planned as to make the natural aging and decay of the physical body supplement, unfold and develop the Spiritual Body, through the right use of the faculties, capacities, and powers of the Human Soul—the Individual Intelligence.
These are aspects, uses and powers of that subtle something we call Life; that Principle that
"Runs through all time, extends through all extent, Lives undivided, operates unspent."
Normal use that insures growth and development, range and power of action, is also, from first to last, a refining process; while misuse and abuse of these powers degrade and brutalize inevitably.
It follows, therefore, as the bodily structure and functions fail under normal use those of the spiritual body open, develop and unfold. First the seed, then the plant, then the flower and finally the fruit "of a well-spent life."
There is no "theory" or "guess-work" about it. It becomes, step by step, a matter of conscious, intelligent, individual experience. We know it just as we know that fire will burn or that we are here now, living, breathing, and acting.
If I thrust my finger into a flame, all the philosophers and metaphysicians of the world could not "argue" me out of the experience of the fact of "burn" and "pain"; nor could theologians succeed any better by quotations from Scripture! Man is so constituted that the facts of experience are stubborn things; and the more open to reason the individual the more convincing the facts of experience. Ignorance, superstition, and fear recede in the presence of these Lights of man's intelligence, as do dogma and despotism, that seek to enslave the human soul.
Theologians tell us that it is exceeding dangerous to take all this responsibility upon ourselves, thus appealing to ignorance, superstition, and fear.
I would answer: I refuse to take the responsibility of disregarding or disobeying the Law which the Divine and Universal Intelligence has placed at the very foundation of man's being; and I am so unorthodox as to imagine and believe that God knew what he was about, even better than the theologians, or the "Infallible" Italian who misinterprets God, Nature, and Man.
To-day, as I write, "God's Vicegerent" is instigating and promoting a "Holy War" in Priest-ridden Spain, over the temporal power of the Vatican, angered to the point of murder over the "posting of notices of places of public worship," other than Catholic.
They would rather turn the world into one "City of the Dead," than yield one point of Freedom, Enlightenment, or Self-government to man.
And men still call this Religion, and cast aside the crucifix for the sword, the gun and the firebrand. The Inferno has never yet been portrayed or even outlined. Its name is Priestcraft and Intolerance under the name of "Religion."
And is this a "Study in Psychology"? Yea, verily! Scientific Psychology is the only thing that goes to the very bottom of it, and defines and classifies every element, every fact in human experience. Man cannot build a home on a piece of ground where a slaughter-house disputes every square yard of ground with the tombstones of a graveyard. Clericalism is ever the one or the other, and frequently both; denying to man the right to build a home for himself anywhere, except by its permission and according to its plans and specifications, fixing the rent and the revenues for all future time.
The Premier of Spain to-day is disputing this prerogative of Rome, and the graveyard has been thrown open. The pity, the marvel of it all is, that the people generally do not seem to care, and call any statement of facts "sensational" or "panicky."
I am told by some very good people that these references to Popery seem irrelevant, and by others, that they mar the symmetry of my essay.
They are reminded that we are dealing with real and permanent values, and with what man may do and ought to do for himself.
Lying squarely across this upward pathway of man, to be pursued by free choice and personal effort, is the dogma of the Vicarious Atonement and the forgiveness of sin, of which "His Holiness" claims to hold the exclusive agency.
Through appeal to superstition and fear this preposterous and sacrilegious claim to-day, as in all the past, paralyzes the will and discourages the personal efforts of millions of men and women. Between that blind credulity which makes personal effort unnecessary, and the miracle and dogma which make it seem useless, the upward and onward march of man is hindered or annulled, notwithstanding the fact that many men and women lead noble lives who are yet communicants of the Church, both Catholic and Protestant. True, they may, with little thinking, reason and reflection from early education and "lip-service," give intellectual assent to these dogmas. But the lives they lead and the personal effort put forth prove them "better than their creeds." They say with the lips, "Christ has forgiven us," or "Jesus will save us," and while they are saying these things they go to work saving themselves by "leading the life" through personal effort and experience.
In other words, they "save themselves" in spite of their creeds and superstitions.
It is, therefore, with this exact "measure of values," that we are dealing; and the necessity and value of these considerations are nowhere so plain to-day, or so imperative, as just here, in the face of these demoralizing dogmas and pretensions of men, who contradict all natural law and steal unblushingly the prerogatives of God, as his "Vicegerent." The marvel of it is that it excites neither surprise nor protest, but is treated with a smile of good-natured complacency outside its circle of dupes.
He who treats it seriously, as a thing that, more than any other, demoralizes, discourages and paralyzes millions, is regarded as "sensational," "emotional," or an "alarmist."
In the face of all the facts, of which the daily papers are full, and the record of the Vatican crowded, I prefer that my own arraignment shall stand. No one who knows half these facts can dispute or gainsay them. We are making history here to-day, as mankind has had to make it in all the past, in the face of these "Lions in the path" of civilization and progress.
If I must choose between being superficial, ignorant and insincere, or being an "alarmist," I certainly and unhesitatingly choose to be an alarmist! The strongest ally of Superstition to-day is credulity, or indifference. The average man says, "I do not believe there is any danger"; and if he "spoke his heart" would add, "if there is, I do not care."
I would only reply, "If you mean to be honest, read, observe, and see." You may wait too long. Spain and Portugal are just awakening from the priest-ridden lethargy of centuries, and are making history anew. May a just God and all the angels help and protect them.
The great daily newspapers of the country are very conservative wherever Rome is concerned. She is too powerful and her resources too well organized and available to be disregarded.
It is therefore very significant that an editorial in one of the largest and most influential of these papers to-day gives a clear, concise, and impartial epitome of the "Row in Spain," clearly locating its cause and animus in the Vatican, and showing how unbearable this tyranny and exploitation had become to a large portion of the people of Spain.
I refer to this here for a special purpose, which involves and lies at the foundation of all other issues and considerations. And that is the statement in this editorial, that while the Church of Rome has held practically undisputed sway in Spain for centuries, with immense tracts of land, houses and revenues, independent of civil authority, with 20,000 priests, 5,000 communities with 60,000 inmates in a population of only 20,000,000 of people—Seventy per cent. of the people are entirely uneducated. With every opportunity, plenty of time and almost boundless resources, Rome has kept the people in ignorance, the easier to rob them; determined to own the land, the resources, and the people—body and soul—as the Autocrat of heaven and earth! A slavery in the name of "Religion" found nowhere else on earth to-day.
So much for Spain and the Vatican to-day. For the sequel, watch the daily papers.
And what has this to do with America? With Psychology? With the Measure of Values?
Simply this: Is anyone so dense as to suppose that the Seventy per cent. of dense ignorance in Spain is an accident, or an oversight of the Vatican and its servants? There lie the "policy" and the secret of the power of Rome.
In America our foundations, our bulwarks, and our hope and security of Freedom, Enlightenment, and Progress lie in our Free Public Schools. These Rome hates, condemns as "Godless," and would destroy if she could, as continually proved by the letters and edicts of the Popes.
Seeing, however, that she cannot do this, and fearful of losing her hold on her thirteen or fourteen million of communicants in America, she rushes the building of Parochial Schools, and threatens her people with dire penalties who patronize any other. Since she cannot prevent education here, as in Spain, she must "educate" in her own way, in order to retain her power over the rising generation. The basis of this education are ignorance, superstition, and fear; its crown, the slavery of conscience and the "Dogma of Obedience." The brutality of Ignorance in Spain is the sophistry of Priestcraft under the name of "Religion," in America.
The Genius of the Vatican is "Infallibility." It not only never errs, but it never changes. It dons another mask, adopts another slogan, and is now engaged in a great crusade to educate!
Constructive Psychology, the building of Individual Character, means the precise opposite of every principle, proposition, and practice of Popery. I desire to make this plain and unmistakable.
Nothing on earth transcends in importance this basic, universal, and eternal antithesis. It marks and monuments, in all time, the Parting of the Ways between Good and Evil; between Liberty and Despotism; between Light and Darkness; between Evolution and Devolution; between "Modernism" and Paganism; between Civilization and the Dark Ages; between the "Sermon on the Mount"—the Beatitudes, and the Spanish Roman Vatican Inquisition!
And this "antithesis," this issue, is as imminent, as active, as burning in America to-day, as it is in Spain. It only faces different ways.
Spain is compelled to redeem her past; America to guard and protect her future.
It is, from first to last, a Psychological Problem.
It is an analysis by fire, in the crucible of fate and destiny, to determine accurately the measure of values to the Individual, to Society, and to Civilization.
No man, woman or child, no society, no civilization ever has, or ever can, escape this issue.
It is the design on the trestle-board of Time.
It is the Modulus of both God and Nature regarding Man.
It is the Theorem of Psychology.
It involves the Evolution and Destiny of the Human Soul.
As civilization in many places showed an advancing tendency from the darkness, despotism and brutality of the Dark Ages, the "Robber Barons" began to disappear. Their slogan was, "He may seize who hath the power and he may hold who can." Serfdom also began slowly to recede. Popery and Priestcraft assumed the role of these Barons, changed the slogan from brute force (reserving that for emergencies) to "Divine Prerogative," "Infallibility" (later), and pagan mummeries in the name of "Religion."
The result, to the common people, remained unchanged to the present day—poverty, ignorance, and oppression.
Popery boasts that it never changes, never relents, nor forgives an enemy, nor forgets an injury, nor fails to "get even," like any brute, whenever she can. And this Power is not only the assumed custodian of the religion of Jesus, but stands in the place of it, as a substitute, and the world tolerates it in the name of Religion!
As a problem in Psychology, we have been considering the nature, use, and measure of values of the resources, faculties, capacities, and powers of man as an Individual Intelligence.
Facing opportunities, we have seen that there is a Law of Use and Responsibility which cannot be evaded.
Institutions and societies of men are, one and all, from first to last, under the same law. It is simply an aggregate, into which not a new principle enters, nor one principle is changed. The recognized and scientifically determined value of man to himself, is the measure of his value to the State.
The reverse proposition is equally true.
The value of any Institution to the individual, or to the State, must be measured and determined in the same way and under the same law.
It may thus be seen that Institutions, like Popery, are deeply involved in this Law of Use and Measure of Values. This is simply making use of, and putting in practice, these basic principles.
Of what use to man, measured by these scientific standards of value, are Popery and Priestcraft?
I answer unhesitatingly and unqualifiedly An unmitigated Curse!
This answer is justified by all history, and is as true and as exact to-day, up to the latest act and message from Rome, as it was during the horrors of the Inquisition; and there are evidence and specific statements to show that Rome would re-establish the "Holy Inquisition" to-day, if she dared and had the power.
It is this power, exercised through fear, on the basis of ignorance and superstition so instilled by what Popery calls "Religious Education," that prevents the majority of fourteen millions in America to-day, as everywhere and in all time, from exercising their prerogative and doing their duty as Individuals.
Is it not plain, therefore, how impossible it is to separate the Individual and the Social status?
Psychology and Sociology are departments of one Science, viz.: the Science of Man, Anthropology. Individuals and Institutions are under one law, one law of use, one measure of values.
He who ignores, evades, or belittles these plain issues and scientific principles, can settle with the law in his own time, though he cannot evade them always.
Note.—During the last week of the year 1910, the daily papers announced that before the beginning of 1911 every Priest in the Diocese was required to take an oath to oppose and resist Modernism and to obey in all things the dictum and dogmas of His Holiness. As everyone knows that under the term Modernism is included all progress, investigation, and civilization condemned by the Vatican, everything that even questions the dogmas and despotism of Rome, the meaning of this required oath is plain.
It is doubtless renewed by reason of (among others) a book,—"Letters to His Holiness by a Modernist," which, written seemingly by a Priest, makes exceeding plain the meaning of Modernism and the relation of the Vatican thereto. The book marks an epoch in the close of the old year and the beginning of the new, and Rome has acted accordingly. She can delay the stream of progress as she has always done, but she cannot turn it backward. It will eventually overwhelm her.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
The problem of the continued conscious life of man after the death of the physical body, concerns the where and the how, and does not, and need not, concern us at all now. It is, literally, an "after consideration."
Who and what man is, here and now, is the real problem. Only when, or in the degree in which, we master this problem, can we really know anything definitely of the other.
The complete separation of these two problems, and the exact definition and formulation of each, is the first step on the road to knowledge of the Science of the Soul.
For the time being, in the study of Psychology, "other worldliness" should be absolutely abandoned.
Almost everyone finds it difficult to do this. Many find it impossible.
The fear and uncertainty with which almost everyone faces the inevitable, the loss of friends, the broken lute, the empty chair, the lonely life—all these make us cry out in anguish—where and how and when, and overlook the "what are we?"
So-called Religion in all time has almost hopelessly mixed and confused these problems.
The various concepts and doctrines of rewards and punishments hereafter, have put ulterior motives in the place of actual values, weakened the will and hindered man from doing his best.
A still further confusion follows, in the measure of assets, that leads to time-serving and false values.
Satisfy the average individual that "death ends all" and he will cry, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die," notwithstanding the fact that he sees others who have "gone the pace," realized only "dust and ashes," declared it "all a mistake," and that if they had the chance they would "do it all the other way."
Remember, we are dealing with actual values here and now, divested of both fear and anticipation of the hereafter.
On the other hand, who ever saw an individual die, who had led a clean, upright, kindly life, indulge in regret or remorse, or declare life a disappointment or a failure?
The first is anchored to the physical plane by insatiate appetite and passion, or desire to reform, which might soon be forgotten.
The other has found sweetness and joy in life, in conscious growth, in doing good; and his soul is illumined and transfigured as the body fails and he approaches another plane, and this often independent of any formulated religious belief.
It all depends on what the man is within himself, his intrinsic character, his real self; and no matter where he goes, that character, that self, goes with him. It is Himself.
The "change in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye," is not in the man and cannot be. It is in the plane, or sphere, or world he inhabits, or to which he goes. It is a change of garments, of habitat, of houses in which we live—if we live at all.
This much we know, and should not forget or confuse it. We know it, as we know that "twice two are four"; that fire will burn, or that bodies, unsupported, fall to the ground. We know it from the fact of our own self-conscious identity. Radically or suddenly to change that essentially is to annihilate us.
The preacher says, "Study the Bible." He might say, "Study yourself!" The preacher says, "Look to Jesus." He might say, "Look within!" The preacher says, "Repent and pray." I would say, "After an inventory of your inner possessions, clean up the house and go to work to improve it in every way."
When "cleaning day" is well under way, if the "sure-enough" preacher drops in, and you show him the house and what you are trying your best to do, he will just start "Old Hundred," and will be too happy for anything else.
I am not criticising the preacher, nor opposing religion, but getting ready for it, laying the foundation of Morals and the building of character. "Religion" cannot do this. You and I have to do it, or it is never done.
Without this work of ours, religion is little more, or else, than passing emotion or lasting superstition, "lip service," cant, hypocrisy, and then cold heartless dogmatism, a measure and jingling of words that never touch the heart, but leave the individual ready to throw stones and light brands of torture: a case-hardening of the affections and the aspirations, that wraps the soul like the bandages of the mummied Pharaohs, a mere petrifaction.
We know, or may know, as much actually and scientifically of the growth of the soul as of the growth of the body. The average individual knows more of the soul than of the body, but his knowledge is in confusion. It is a matter of hourly, daily, life-long, and changing experience. He knows little of physiology, except feelings, sensations, desires, and results. How and why the mechanism of the body works he knows not.
Body and soul are organically identified, intimately associated and interwoven, and act and react on each other. They are functionally synchronous in all movements. The analogies between them are numberless and easily traced.
The physician and physiologist does not stop to inquire, "What is Life" and refuse to move till someone gives a satisfactory answer; yet he is dealing with Life in its numberless manifestations in the human, organism continually.
But this same physician is likely to debate and deny the existence of the Soul, demanding that you define and demonstrate it.
The term "Individual Intelligence" is as definite, specific, and demonstrable in Psychology as the term "Life" in Physiology.
We are alive and we possess a certain degree or measure of intelligence. These are facts in our conscious experience.
We may shape or mold our lives. We may do this according to our ideals, or we may drift with the tides of circumstance, or of passion and caprice, and this is what most persons do.
So also with that intelligence which is the guiding light in our lives. It may illumine our pathway, or it may flash and fitfully glare, with the shadows, rendering our pathway obscure and uncertain, illusory and deceitful, or dangerous and fearful.
The soul is in the body; and this light of intelligence is in the soul, its center, its very essence.
All else in us, and round about us, is diversity and multiplicity. This light of intelligence in us is One and unchanging.
Our experience in life, however varied and diversified, is co-ordinated and unified by this Intelligence in us. It is that which puts all our experiences together and views them through a single lens. It stands by itself alone, and all else pays tribute to it.
It is the pronoun "I" and it stands for, speaks and acts for, all else in us.
It is not alone the only unity in us, but it is that which unifies all the rest, uses the "possessive case," and may subordinate all else in us to its Will.
Does it, then, do violence to common sense and hourly experience, or is it any stretch of the imagination to speak of this unity as an entity, and call it the human soul?
If we live after the change called death, in a spiritual world, in place of the physical we now inhabit, and with a spiritual or refined body to correspond with that plane of refined or etherialized substance, the Individual Intelligence must function in that body and on that plane as it does now in the physical body on the physical plane.
Either something very like this takes place, or we cease to exist as a self-conscious individual intelligence. There must remain and continue man's self-conscious identity.
Furthermore, if this be true, the real nature of this individual intelligence we call the Self, in the last analysis, is likely to be as much a mystery as ever. We may know who we are without knowing what it is.
Now the composite nature of man, as we know it, not only justifies all these analogies, but seems to show that the modulus, the germ at least, of the spiritual body exists now within the physical; that it does not disintegrate when the physical body dies, but separates and coheres more closely than ever; and is still inhabited or possessed by the individual intelligence.
Moreover, it has often been seen by clairvoyants at the time of death, thus verifying the Biblical declaration, "there is a natural (physical) body, and there is a spiritual body."
The composite structures of man's organism above referred to are well known. They are called "systems." The bony or Osseous system, the muscular system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, and the two nervous systems, serve as illustrations of the composite nature of man.
All of these "systems" more or less inter-penetrate and diffuse each other.
There is also a chemico-vital, kinetic, or magnetic body, diffused through and inter-penetrating all the rest. This gives the contrast between the living organism (with the flush of health upon the cheek and the light of intelligence in the eyes), and a corpse.
Death is often instantaneous, while decomposition often waits for days.
There is a still further analogy regarding a single function, like a sensory or motor impulse, passing to or from the central brain, the organ of consciousness. The journey is one of relays and orderly sequences.
This is proven in a great variety of forms of paresis. I cannot, as an individual intelligence, directly move my hand any more than I can move a mountain. I conceive the object or act and set the will in motion. The impulse traverses the nerves, is transferred to the muscle, and then, when the circuit is complete, I move my hand.
The gap between my conscious intelligent wish and will, and my physical hand, is very great. One is metaphysical, the other physical. There is, therefore, a point of correlation where the one is converted into the other.
The knowledge of these facts, and of this orderly sequence and correlation, constitutes the Science of pathology and enables us to locate the lesion or disease. I cannot move my hand, and the pathologist locates the "short-circuit" in brain, or nerve, or "terminal plate," or muscle, as the case may be.
Now it is this system of composite systems that deserves special attention. We know that it exists as a series of relays and refining processes. In disease it is interrupted, or out of joint, or broken down.
Health means harmony, concord, rhythm between every part, and the power of the one individual intelligence to use it all, to act or refrain from action, and to hold and maintain through all, repose, equilibrium, and self-mastery.
The physical body we know to be a thing of sense and time. We know its beginning, its gestation, its entrance and exit on this material plane. Its secrets are all involved in the subtle relations it bears to the soul that inhabits, unifies, and utilizes it.
The Individual Intelligence, Ego, Soul, or Entity, is as patent to us in our awareness of self as is the body it inhabits. It is our very self. Our knowledge of it is a direct personal experience, so direct, immediate, and constant that we overlook its significance.
I can see no reason to imagine that a human being, passing from the earthly plane and consciously living on the spiritual plane and recognizing itself as the same individual, would be any wiser as to the exact nature and origin of the Individual Intelligence than he is now; though his field of vision and range of conscious experience had so immeasurably increased and expanded.
If he had solved this problem of ultimates, he would be at the end of his thread of life and would compass the Infinite. He would be no longer Man, but God.
So, from all these considerations, and from all directions, we come back to human evolution, the upward and onward journey of the human soul.
As man's health, usefulness, and happiness here depend on the perfection and utility of the physical body he inhabits, and its maintenance in health and harmony, have we the least reason to imagine that the same individual, dwelling on the spiritual plane, will not be under the same of analogous laws and relations there, since we have assumed the persistence and conscious identity of the soul there as here?
I hold, therefore, that man possesses, now and here, the structure of a Spiritual Body; and that the "growth of the soul" and our status and relation to the soul, and our status and relation to the life after death on the spiritual plane, depend very largely on the character and integrity of this spiritual body, the "house we have builded."
The whole of life, therefore, here, is what gestation of the infant body is before birth. When the child is born it is a separate personality, a distinct individuality.
There has been woven into its organism a distinct and synchronous correspondence with that of the mother.
During gestation it has passed through every plane of organic life, from amoeba, or mollusk, to man.
It is thus in touch with every phase and quality of life. It epitomizes them all, transcends them all, and may co-ordinate them all.
On the other hand, the individual intelligence of the child, a distinct and separate unity, is in vital, spiritual, and synchronous relation to that of the mother that enfolds it.
It is either building or rejuvenating a new spiritual body, as the "essential form" of the physical, organic, chemical, and kinetic or magnetic body.
What we call "Life," or "Vitality," runs like a "dominant chord" in the harmonic scale of the whole. Each part, organ, and function is related to every other and to the whole by definite vibrations and the laws of harmony.