Infomotions, Inc.The Creative Process in the Individual / Troward, Thomas, 1847-1916



Author: Troward, Thomas, 1847-1916
Title: The Creative Process in the Individual
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Title: The Creative Process in the Individual

Author: Thomas Troward

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THE CREATIVE PROCESS IN THE INDIVIDUAL

BY T. TROWARD

1915







FOREWORD

In the present volume I have endeavored to set before the reader the
conception of a sequence of creative action commencing with the formation
of the globe and culminating in a vista of infinite possibilities
attainable by every one who follows up the right line for their unfoldment.

I have endeavored to show that, starting with certain incontrovertible
scientific facts, all these things logically follow, and that therefore,
however far these speculations may carry us beyond our past experience,
they nowhere break the thread of an intelligible connection of cause and
effect.

I do not, however, offer the suggestions here put forward in any other
light than that of purely speculative reasoning; nevertheless, no advance
in any direction can be made except by speculative reasoning going back to
the first principles of things which we do know and thence deducing the
conditions under which the same principles might be carried further and
made to produce results hitherto unknown. It is to this method of thought
that we owe all the advantages of civilization from matches and
post-offices to motor-cars and aeroplanes, and we may therefore be
encouraged to hope such speculations as the present may not be without
their ultimate value. Relying on the maxim that Principle is not bound by
Precedent we should not limit our expectations of the future; and if our
speculations lead us to the conclusion that we have reached a point where
we are not only able, but also _required_, by the law of our own being, to
take a more active part in our personal evolution than heretofore, this
discovery will afford us a new outlook upon life and widen our horizon with
fresh interests and brightening hopes.

If the thoughts here suggested should help any reader to clear some mental
obstacles from his path the writer will feel that he has not written to no
purpose. Only each reader must think out these suggestions for himself. No
writer or lecturer can convey an idea _into_ the minds of his audience. He
can only put it before them, and what they will make of it depends entirely
upon themselves--assimilation is a process which no one can carry out for
us.

To the kindness of my readers on both sides of the Atlantic, and in
Australia and New Zealand, I commend this little volume, not, indeed,
without a deep sense of its many shortcomings, but at the same time
encouraged by the generous indulgence extended to my previous books.

T.T.

June, 1910.




CONTENTS

       I THE STARTING-POINT
      II THE SELF-CONTEMPLATION OF SPIRIT
     III THE DIVINE IDEAL
      IV THE MANIFESTATION OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE
       V THE PERSONAL FACTOR
      VI THE STANDARD OF PERSONALITY
     VII RACE THOUGHT AND NEW THOUGHT
    VIII THE DENOUEMENT OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS
      IX CONCLUSION
       X THE DIVINE OFFERING
      XI OURSELVES IN THE DIVINE OFFERING





      I say no man has ever yet been half devout enough,
      None has ever yet adored or worship'd half enough,
      None has begun to think how divine he himself is, and
    how certain the future is.
      I say that the real and permanent grandeur of these States
    must be their religion,
      Otherwise there is no real and permanent grandeur.
    --WALT WHITMAN.




CHAPTER I

THE STARTING-POINT


It is an old saying that "Order is Heaven's First Law," and like many other
old sayings it contains a much deeper philosophy than appears immediately
on the surface. Getting things into a better order is the great secret of
progress, and we are now able to fly through the air, not because the laws
of Nature have altered, but because we have learnt to arrange things in the
right order to produce this result--the things themselves had existed from
the beginning of the world, but what was wanting was the introduction of a
Personal Factor which, by an intelligent perception of the possibilities
contained in the laws of Nature, should be able to bring into working
reality ideas which previous generations would have laughed at as the
absurd fancies of an unbalanced mind. The lesson to be learnt from the
practical aviation of the present day is that of the triumph of principle
over precedent, of the working out of an _idea_ to its logical conclusions
in spite of the accumulated testimony of all past experience to the
contrary; and with such a notable example before us can we say that it is
futile to enquire whether by the same method we may not unlock still more
important secrets and gain some knowledge of the unseen causes which are at
the back of external and visible conditions, and then by bringing these
unseen causes into a better order make practical working realities of
possibilities which at present seem but fantastic dreams? It is at least
worth while taking a preliminary canter over the course, and this is all
that this little volume professes to attempt; yet this may be sufficient to
show the lay of the ground.

Now the first thing in any investigation is to have some idea of what you
are looking for--to have at least some notion of the general direction in
which to go--just as you would not go up a tree to find fish though you
would for birds' eggs. Well, the general direction in which we all want to
go is that of getting more out of Life than we have ever got out of it--we
want to be more alive in ourselves and to get all sorts of improved
conditions in our environment. However happily any of us may be
circumstanced we can all conceive something still better, or at any rate we
should like to make our present good permanent; and since we shall find as
our studies advance that the prospect of increasing possibilities keeps
opening out more and more widely before us, we may say that what we are in
search of is the secret of getting more out of Life in a continually
progressive degree. This means that what we are looking for is something
personal, and that it is to be obtained by producing conditions which do
not yet exist; in other words it is nothing less than the exercise of a
certain creative power in the sphere of our own particular world. So, then,
what we want is to introduce our own Personal Factor into the realm of
unseen causes. This is a big thing, and if it is possible at all it must be
by some sequence of cause and effect, and this sequence it is our object to
discover. The law of Cause and Effect is one we can never get away from,
but by carefully following it up we may find that it will lead us further
than we had anticipated.

Now, the first thing to observe is that if _we_ can succeed in finding out
such a sequence of cause and effect as the one we are in search of,
somebody else may find out the same creative secret also; and then, by the
hypothesis of the case, we should both be armed with an infallible power,
and if we wanted to employ this power against each other we should be
landed in the "impasse" of a conflict between two powers each of which was
irresistible. Consequently it follows that the first principle of this
power must be Harmony. It cannot be antagonizing itself from different
centers--in other words its operation in a simultaneous order at every
point is the first necessity of its being. What we are in search of, then,
is a sequence of cause and effect so universal in its nature as to include
harmoniously all possible variations of individual expression. This primary
necessity of the Law for which we are seeking should be carefully borne in
mind, for it is obvious that any sequence which transgresses this primary
essential must be contrary to the very nature of the Law itself, and
consequently cannot be conducting us to the exercise of true creative
power.

What we are seeking, therefore, is to discover how to arrange things in
such an order as to set in motion a train of causation that will harmonize
our own conditions without antagonizing the exercise of a like power by
others. This therefore means that all individual exercise of this power is
the particular application of a universal power which itself operates
creatively on its own account independently of these individual
applications; and the harmony between the various individual applications
is brought about by all the individuals bringing their own particular
action into line with this independent creative action of the original
power. It is in fact another application of Euclid's axiom that things
which are equal to the same thing are equal to one another; so that though
I may not know for what purpose some one may be using this creative power
in Pekin, I do know that if he and I both realize its true nature, we
cannot by any possibility be working in opposition to one another. For
these reasons, having now some general idea of what it is we are in search
of, we may commence our investigation by considering this common factor
which must be at the back of all individual exercise of creative power,
that is to say, the Generic working of the Universal Creative Principle.

That such a Universal Creative Principle is at work we at once realize from
the existence of the world around us with all its inhabitants, and the
inter-relation of all parts of the cosmic system shows its underlying
Unity--thus the animal kingdom depends on the vegetable, the vegetable
kingdom on the mineral, the mineral or globe of the earth on its relation
to the rest of the solar system, and possibly our solar system is related
by a similar law to the distribution of other suns with their attendant
planets throughout space. Our first glance therefore shows us that the
All-originating Power must be in essence Unity and in manifestation
Multiplicity, and that it manifests as Life and Beauty through the unerring
adaptation of means to ends--that is so far as its cosmic manifestation of
ends goes: what we want to do is to carry this manifestation still further
by operation from an individual standpoint. To do this is precisely our
place in the Order of Creation, but we must defer the question why we hold
this place till later on.

One of the earliest discoveries we all make is the existence of Matter. The
bruised shins of our childhood convince us of its solidity, so now comes
the question, Why does Matter exist? The answer is that if the form were
not expressed in solid substance, things would be perpetually flowing into
each other so that no identity could be maintained for a single moment. To
this it might be replied that a condition of matter is conceivable in
which, though in itself a plastic substance, in a fluent state, it might
yet by the operation of will be held in any particular forms desired. The
idea of such a condition of matter is no doubt conceivable, and when the
fluent matter was thus held in particular forms you would have concrete
matter just as we know it now, only with this difference, that it would
return to its fluent state as soon as the supporting will was withdrawn.
Now, as we shall see later on, this is precisely what matter really is,
only the will which holds it together in concrete form is not individual
but cosmic.

In itself the Essence of Matter is precisely the fluent substance we have
imagined, and as we shall see later on the knowledge of this fact, when
realized in its proper order, is the basis of the legitimate control of
mind over matter. But a world in which every individual possessed the power
of concreting or fluxing matter at his own sweet will irrespective of any
universal coordinating principle is altogether inconceivable--the conflict
of wills would prevent such a world remaining in existence. On the other
hand, if we conceive of a number of individuals each possessing this power
and all employing it on the lines of a common cosmic unity, then the result
would be precisely the same stable condition of matter with which we are
familiar--this would be a necessity of fact for the masses who did not
possess this power, and a necessity of principle for the few who did. So
under these circumstances the same stable conditions of Nature would
prevail as at present, varied only when the initiated ones perceived that
the order of evolution would be furthered, and not hindered, by calling
into action the higher laws. Such occasions would be of rare occurrence,
and then the departure from the ordinary law would be regarded by the
multitude as a miracle. Also we may be quite sure that no one who had
attained this knowledge in the legitimate order would ever perform a
"miracle" for his own personal aggrandizement or for the purpose of merely
astonishing the beholders--to do so would be contrary to the first
principle of the higher teaching which is that of profound reverence for
the Unity of the All-originating Principle. The conception, therefore, of
such a power over matter being possessed by certain individuals is in no
way opposed to our ordinary recognition of concrete matter, and so we need
not at present trouble ourselves to consider these exceptions.

Another theory is that matter has no existence at all but is merely an
illusion projected by our own minds. If so, then how is it that we all
project identically similar images? On the supposition that each mind is
independently projecting its own conception of matter a lady who goes to be
fitted might be seen by her dressmaker as a cow. Generations of people have
seen the Great Pyramid on the same spot; but on the supposition that each
individual is projecting his own material world in entire independence of
all other individuals there is no reason why any two persons should ever
see the same thing in the same place. On the supposition of such an
independent action by each separate mind, without any common factor binding
them all to one particular mode of recognition, no intercourse between
individuals would be possible--then, without the consciousness of relation
to other individuals the consciousness of our own individuality would be
lost, and so we should cease to have any conscious existence at all. If on
the other hand we grant that there is, above the individual minds, a great
Cosmic Mind which imposes upon them the necessity of all seeing the same
image of Matter, then that image is not a projection of the individual
minds but of the Cosmic Mind; and since the individual minds are themselves
similar projections of the Cosmic Mind, matter is for them just as much a
reality as their own existence. I doubt not that material substance is thus
projected by the all-embracing Divine Mind; but so also are our own minds
projected by it, and therefore the relation between them and matter is a
real relation and not a merely fictitious one.

I particularly wish the student to be clear on this point, that where two
factors are projected from a common source their relation to each other
becomes an absolute fact in respect of the factors themselves,
notwithstanding that the power of changing that relation by substituting a
different projection must necessarily always continue to reside in the
originating source. To take a simple arithmetical example--by my power of
mental projection working through my eyes and fingers I write 4 X 2. Here I
have established a certain numerical relation which can only produce eight
as its result. Again, I have power to change the factors and write 4 X 3,
in which case 12 is the only possible result, and so on. Working in this
way calculation becomes possible. But if every time I wrote 4 that figure
possessed an independent power of setting down a different number by which
to multiply itself, what would be the result? The first 4 I wrote might set
down 3 as its multiplier, and the next might set down 7, and so on. Or if I
want to make a box of a certain size and cut lengths of plank accordingly,
if each length could capriciously change its width at a moment's notice,
how could I ever make the box? I myself may change the shape and size of my
box by establishing new relations between the bits of wood, but for the
pieces of wood themselves the proportions determined by my mind must remain
fixed quantities, otherwise no construction could take place.

This is a very rough analogy, but it may be sufficient to show that for a
cosmos to exist at all it is absolutely necessary that there should be a
Cosmic Mind binding all individual minds to certain _generic_ unities of
action, and so producing all things as realities and nothing as illusion.
The importance of this conclusion will become more apparent as we advance
in our studies.

We have now got at some reason why concrete material form is a necessity of
the Creative Process. Without it the perfect Self-recognition of Spirit
from the Individual standpoint, which we shall presently find is the means
by which the Creative Process is to be carried forward, would be
impossible; and therefore, so far from matter being an illusion, it is the
necessary channel for the self-differentiation of Spirit and its Expression
in multitudinous life and beauty. Matter is thus the necessary Polar
Opposite to Spirit, and when we thus recognize it in its right order we
shall find that there is no antagonism between the two, but that together
they constitute one harmonious whole.





CHAPTER II

THE SELF-CONTEMPLATION OF SPIRIT


If we ask how the cosmos came into existence we shall find that ultimately
we can only attribute it to the Self-Contemplation of Spirit. Let us start
with the facts now known to modern physical science. All material things,
including our own bodies, are composed of combinations of different
chemical elements such as carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, &c. Chemistry
recognizes in all about seventy of these elements each with its peculiar
affinities; but the more advanced physical science of the present day finds
that they are all composed of one and the same ultimate substance to which
the name of Ether has been given, and that the difference between an atom
of iron and an atom of oxygen results only from the difference in the
number of etheric particles of which each is composed and the rate of their
motion within the sphere of the atom, thus curiously coming back to the
dictum of Pythagoras that the universe has its origin in Number and Motion.
We may therefore say that our entire solar system together with every sort
of material substance which it contains is made up of nothing but this one
primary substance in various degrees of condensation.

Now the next step is to realize that this ether is everywhere. This is
shown by the undulatory theory of light. Light is not a substance but is
the effect produced on the eye by the impinging of the ripples of the ether
upon the retina. These waves are excessively minute, ranging in length from
1-39,000th of an inch at the red end of the spectrum to 1-57,000th at the
violet end. Next remember that these waves are not composed of advancing
particles of the medium but pass onwards by the push which each particle in
the line of motion gives to the particle next to it, and then you will see
that if there were a break of one fifty-thousandth part of an inch in the
connecting ether between our eye and any source of light we could not
receive light from that source, for there would be nothing to continue the
wave-motion across the gap. Consequently as soon as we see light from any
source however distant, we know that there must be a continuous body of
ether between us and it. Now astronomy shows us that we receive light from
heavenly bodies so distant that, though it travels with the incredible
speed of 186,000 miles per second, it takes more than two thousand years to
reach us from some of them; and as such stars are in all quarters of the
heavens we can only come to the conclusion that the primary substance or
ether must be universally present.

This means that the raw material for the formation of solar systems is
universally distributed throughout space; yet though we find that millions
of suns stud the heavens, we also find vast interstellar spaces which show
no sign of cosmic activity. Then something has been at work to start cosmic
activity in certain areas while passing over others in which the raw
material is equally available. What is this something? At first we might be
inclined to attribute the development of cosmic energy to the etheric
particles themselves, but a little consideration will show us that this is
mathematically impossible in a medium which is equally distributed
throughout space, for all its particles are in equilibrium and so no one
particle possesses _per se_ a greater power of originating motion than any
other. Consequently the initial movement must be started by something
which, though it works on and through the particles of the primary
substance, is not those particles themselves. It is this "Something" which
we mean when we speak of "Spirit."

Then since Spirit starts the condensation of the primary substance into
concrete aggregation, and also does this in certain areas to the exclusion
of others, we cannot avoid attributing to Spirit the power of Selection and
of taking an Initiative on its own account.

Here, then, we find the _initial_ Polarity of Universal Spirit and
Universal Substance, each being the complementary of the other, and out of
this relation all subsequent evolution proceeds. Being complementary means
that each supplies what is wanting in the other, and that the two together
thus make complete wholeness. Now this is just the case here. Spirit
supplies Selection and Motion. Substance supplies something from which
selection can be made and to which Motion can be imparted; so that it is a
_sine qua non_ for the Expression of Spirit.

Then comes the question, How did the Universal Substance get there? It
cannot have made itself, for its only quality is inertia, therefore it must
have come from some source having power to project it by some mode of
action not of a material nature. Now the only mode of action not of a
material nature is Thought, and therefore to Thought we must look for the
origin of Substance. This places us at a point antecedent to the existence
even of primary substance, and consequently the initial action must be that
of the Originating Mind upon Itself, in other words, Self-contemplation.

At this primordial stage neither Time nor Space can be recognized, for both
imply measurement of successive intervals, and in the primary movement of
Mind upon itself the only consciousness must be that of Present Absolute
Being, because no external points exist from which to measure extension
either in time or space. Hence we must eliminate the ideas of time and
space from our conception of Spirit's _initial_ Self-contemplation.

This being so, Spirit's primary contemplation of itself as simply Being
necessarily makes its presence universal and eternal, and consequently,
paradoxical as it may seem, its independence of Time and Space makes it
present throughout all Time and Space. It is the old esoteric maxim that
the point expands to infinitude and that infinitude is concentrated in the
point. We start, then, with Spirit contemplating itself simply as Being.
But to realize your being you must have consciousness, and consciousness
can only come by the recognition of your relation to something else. The
something else may be an external fact or a mental image; but even in the
latter case to conceive the image at all you must mentally stand back from
it and look at it--something like the man who was run in by the police at
Gravesend for walking behind himself to see how his new coat fitted. It
stands thus: if you are not conscious of something you are conscious of
nothing, and if you are conscious of nothing, then you are unconscious, so
that to be conscious at all you must have something to be conscious of.

This may seem like an extract from "Paddy's Philosophy," but it makes it
clear that consciousness can only be attained by the recognition of
something which is not the recognizing _ego_ itself--in other words
consciousness is the realization of some particular sort of _relation_
between the cognizing subject and the cognized object; but I want to get
away from academical terms into the speech of human beings, so let us take
the illustration of a broom and its handle--the two together make a broom;
that is one sort of relation; but take the same stick and put a rake-iron
at the end of it and you have an altogether different implement. The stick
remains the same, but the difference of what is put at the end of it makes
the whole thing a broom or a rake. Now the thinking and feeling power is
the stick, and the conception which it forms is the thing at the end of the
stick, so that the quality of its consciousness will be determined by the
ideas which it projects; but to be conscious at all it must project ideas
of some sort.

Now of one thing we may be quite sure, that the Spirit of Life must _feel
alive_. Then to feel alive it must be conscious, and to be conscious it
must have something to be conscious of; therefore the contemplation of
itself as standing related to something which is not its own originating
self _in propria persona_ is a necessity of the case; and consequently the
Self-contemplation of Spirit can only proceed by its viewing itself as
related to something standing out from itself, just as we must stand at a
proper distance to see a picture--in fact the very word "existence" means
"standing out." Thus things are called into existence or "outstandingness"
by a power which itself does not stand out, and whose presence is therefore
indicated by the word "subsistence."

The next thing is that since in the beginning there is nothing except
Spirit, its primary feeling of aliveness must be that of being alive _all
over_; and to establish such a consciousness of its own universal
livingness there must be the recognition of a corresponding _relation_
equally extensive in character; and the only possible correspondence to
fulfil this condition is therefore that of a universally distributed and
plastic medium whose particles are all in perfect equilibrium, which is
exactly the description of the Primary Substance or ether. We are thus
philosophically led to the conclusion that Universal Substance must be
projected by Universal Spirit as a necessary consequence of Spirit's own
inherent feeling of Aliveness; and in this way we find that the great
Primary Polarity of Being becomes established.

From this point onward we shall find the principle of Polarity in universal
activity. It is that relation between opposites without which no external
Motion would be possible, because there would be nowhere to move from, and
nowhere to move to; and without which external Form would be impossible
because there would be nothing to limit the diffusion of substance and
bring it into shape. Polarity, or the interaction of Active and Passive, is
therefore the basis of all _Evolution_.

This is a great fundamental truth when we get it in its right order; but
all through the ages it has been a prolific source of error by getting it
in its wrong order. And the wrong order consists in making Polarity the
originating point of the Creative Process. What this misconception leads to
we shall see later on; but since it is very widely accepted under various
guises even at the present day it is well to be on our guard against it.
Therefore I wish the student to see clearly that there is something which
comes before that Polarity which gives rise to Evolution, and that this
something is the original movement of Spirit _within itself_, of which we
can best get an idea by calling it Self-contemplation.

Now this may seem an extremely abstract conception and one with which we
have no practical concern. I fancy I can hear the reader saying "The Lord
only knows how the world started, and it is His business and not mine,"
which would be perfectly true if this originating faculty were confined to
the Cosmic Mind. But it is not, and the same action takes place in our own
minds also, only with the difference that it is ultimately subject to that
principle of Cosmic Unity of which I have already spoken. But, subject to
that unifying principle, this same power of origination is in ourselves
also, and our personal advance in evolution depends on our right use of it;
and our use of it depends on our recognition that we ourselves give rise to
the particular polarities which express themselves in our whole world of
consciousness, whether within or without. For these reasons it is very
important to realize that Evolution is not the same as Creation. It is the
unfolding of potentialities involved in things already created, but not the
calling into existence of what does not yet exist--_that_ is Creation.

The order, therefore, which I wish the student to observe is, first the
Self-contemplation of Spirit producing Polarity, and next Polarity
producing Manifestation in Form--and also to realize that it is in this
order his own mind operates as a subordinate center of creative energy.
When the true place of Polarity is thus recognized, we shall find in it the
explanation of all those relations of things which give rise to the whole
world of phenomena; from which we may draw the practical inference that if
we want to change the manifestation we must change the polarity, and to
change the polarity we must get back to the Self-contemplation of Spirit.
But in its proper place as the root-principle of all _secondary_ causation,
Polarity is one of those fundamental facts of which we must never lose
sight. The term "Polarity" is adopted from electrical science. In the
electric battery it is the connecting together of the opposite poles of
zinc and copper that causes a current to flow from one to the other and so
provides the energy that rings the bell. If the connection is broken there
is no action. When you press the button you make the connection. The same
process is repeated in respect of every sort of polarity throughout the
universe. Circulation depends on polarity, and circulation is the
_manifestation_ of Life, which we may therefore say depends on the
principle of polarity. In relation to ourselves we are concerned with two
great polarities, the polarity of Soul and Body and the polarity of Soul
and Spirit; and it is in order that he may more clearly realize their
working that I want the student to have some preliminary idea of Polarity
as a general principle.

The conception of the Creative Order may therefore be generalized as
follows. The Spirit wants to enjoy the reality of its own Life--not merely
to vegetate, but to enjoy giving--and therefore by Self-contemplation it
projects a polar opposite, or complementary, calculated to give rise to the
particular sort of _relation_ out of which the enjoyment of a certain mode
of self-consciousness will necessarily spring. Let this sentence be well
pondered over until the full extent of its significance is grasped, for it
is the key to the whole matter Very well, then: Spirit wants to Enjoy Life,
and so, by thinking of itself as _having_ the enjoyment which it wishes, it
produces the conditions which, by their re-action upon itself, give rise to
the reality of the sort of enjoyment contemplated. In more scientific
language an opposite polarity is induced, giving rise to a current which
stimulates a particular mode of sensation, which sensation in turn becomes
a fresh starting-point for still further action; and in this way each
successive stage becomes the stepping-stone to a still higher degree of
sensation--that is, to a Fuller Enjoyment of Life.

Such a conception as this presents us with a Progressive Series to which it
is impossible to assign any limit. That the progression must be limitless
is clear from the fact that there is never any change in the method. At
each successive stage the Creating Power is the Self-consciousness of the
Spirit, as realized at that stage, still reaching forward for yet further
Enjoyment of Life, and so always keeping on repeating the _one_ Creative
Process at an ever-rising level; and since these are the sole working
conditions, the progress is one which logically admits of no finality. And
this is where the importance of realizing the Singleness of the Originating
Power comes in, for with a Duality each member would limit the other; in
fact, Duality as the Originating Power is inconceivable, for, once more to
quote "Paddy's Philosophy," "finality would be reached before anything was
begun."

This Creative Process, therefore, can only be conceived of as limitless,
while at the same time strictly progressive, that is, proceeding stage by
stage, each stage being necessary as a preparation for the one that is to
follow. Let us then briefly sketch the stages by which things in our world
have got as far as they have. The interest of the enquiry lies in the fact
that if we can once get at the principle which is producing these results,
we may discover some way of giving it personal application.

On the hypothesis of the Self-contemplation of Spirit being the originating
power, we have found that a primary ether, or universal substance, is the
necessary correspondence to Spirit's simple awareness of its own being. But
though awareness of being is the necessary foundation for any further
possibilities it is, so to say, not much to talk about. The foundation
fact, of course, is to know that I Am; but immediately on this
consciousness there follows the desire for Activity--I want to enjoy my I
Am-ness by doing something with it. Translating these words into a state of
consciousness in the Cosmic Mind they become a Law of Tendency leading to
_localised_ activity, and, looking only at our own world, this would mean
the condensation of the universal etheric substance into the primary nebula
which later on becomes our solar system, this being the correspondence to
the Self-contemplation of Spirit as passing into specific activity instead
of remaining absorbed in simple awareness of Being. Then this
self-recognition would lead to the conception of still more specific
activity having its appropriate polar opposite, or material correspondence,
in the condensation of the nebula into a solar system.

Now at this stage Spirit's conception of itself is that of Activity, and
consequently the material correspondence is Motion, as distinguished from
the simple diffused ether which is the correspondence of mere awareness of
Being, But what sort of motion? Is the material movement evolved at this
stage bound to take any particular form? A little consideration will show
us that it is. At this initial stage, the first awakening, so to say, of
Spirit into activity, its consciousness can only be that of activity
_absolute_; that is, not as related to any other mode of activity because
as yet there is none, but only as related to an all-embracing Being; so
that the only possible conception of Activity at this stage is that of
_Self-sustained_ activity, not depending on any preceding mode of activity
because there is none. The law of reciprocity therefore demands a similar
self-sustained motion in the material correspondence, and mathematical
considerations show that the only sort of motion which can sustain a
self-supporting body moving _in vacuo_ is a rotary motion bringing the body
itself into a spherical form. Now this is exactly what we find at both
extremes of the material world. At the big end the spheres of the planets
rotating on their axes and revolving round the sun; and at the little end
the spheres of the atoms consisting of particles which, modern science
tells us, in like manner rotate round a common center at distances which
are astronomical as compared with their own mass. Thus the two ultimate
units of physical manifestation, the atom and the planet, both follow the
same law of self-sustained motion which we have found that, on _a priori_
grounds, they ought in order to express the primary activity of Spirit. And
we may note in passing that this rotary, or _absolute_, motion is the
combination of the only two possible _relative_ modes of motion, namely,
motion from a point and motion to it, that is to say centrifugal and
centripetal motion; so that in rotary, or absolute, motion we find that
both the polarities of motion are included, thus repeating on the purely
mechanical side the primordial principle of the Unity including the Duality
in itself.

But the Spirit wants something more than mechanical motion, something more
alive than the preliminary Rota, and so the first step toward
individualized consciousness meets us in plant life. Then on the principle
that each successive stage affords the platform for a further outlook,
plant life is followed by animal life, and this by the Human order in which
the liberty of selecting its own conditions is immensely extended. In this
way the Spirit's expression of itself has now reached the point where its
polar complementary, or Reciprocal, manifests as Intellectual Man--thus
constituting the Fourth great stage of Spirit's Self-recognition. But the
Creative Process cannot stop here, for, as we have seen, its root in the
Self-contemplation of Spirit renders it of necessity an Infinite
Progression. So it is no use asking what is its ultimate, for it has no
ultimate--its word is "Excelsior"--ever Life and "Life more Abundant."
Therefore the question is not as to finality where there is none, but as to
the next step in the progression. Four kingdoms we know: what is to be the
Fifth? All along the line the progress has been in one direction, namely,
toward the development of more perfect Individuality, and therefore on the
principle of continuity we may reasonably infer that the next stage will
take us still further in the same direction. We want something more perfect
than we have yet reached, but our ideas as to what it should be are very
various, not to say discordant, for one person's idea of better is another
person's idea of worse. Therefore what we want to get at is some broad
generalization of principle which will be in advance of our past
experiences. This means that we must look for this principle in something
that we have not yet experienced, and the only place where we can possibly
find principles which have not yet manifested themselves is _in gremio
Dei_--that is, in the innermost of the Originating Spirit, or as St. John
calls it, "in the bosom of the Father." So we are logically brought to
personal participation in the Divine Ideal as the only principle by which
the advance into the next stage can possibly be made. Therefore we arrive
at the question, What is the Divine Ideal like?





CHAPTER III

THE DIVINE IDEAL


What is the Divine Ideal? At first it might appear hopeless to attempt to
answer such a question, but by adhering to a definite principle we shall
find that it will open out, and lead us on, and show us things which we
could not otherwise have seen--this is the nature of principle, and is what
distinguishes it from mere rules which are only the application of
principle under some particular set of conditions. We found two principles
as essential in our conception of the Originating Spirit, namely its power
of Selection and its power of Initiative; and we found a third principle as
its only possible Motive, namely the Desire of the LIVING for ever
increasing Enjoyment of Life. Now with these three principles as the very
essence of the All-originating Spirit to guide us, we shall, I think, be
able to form some conception of that Divine Ideal which gives rise to the
Fifth Stage of Manifestation of Spirit, upon which we should now be
preparing to enter.

We have seen that the Spirit's Enjoyment of Life is necessarily a
_reciprocal_--it must have a corresponding fact in manifestation to answer
to it; otherwise by the inherent law of mind no consciousness, and
consequently no enjoyment, could accrue; and therefore by the law of
continuous progression the required Reciprocal should manifest as a being
awakening to the consciousness of the principle by which he himself comes
into existence.

Such an awakening cannot proceed from a comparison of one set of existing
conditions with another, but only from the recognition of a Power which is
independent of all conditions, that is to say, the absolute Self-dependence
of the Spirit. A being thus awakened would be the proper correspondence of
the Spirit's Enjoyment of Life at a stage not only above mechanical motion
or physical vitality, but even above intellectual perception of existing
phenomena, that is to say at the stage where the Spirit's Enjoyment
consists in recognizing itself as the Source of all things. The position in
the Absolute would be, so to speak, the awakening of Spirit to the
recognition of its own Artistic Ability. I use the word "Artistic" as more
nearly expressing an almost unstatable idea than any other I can think of,
for the work of the artist approaches more closely to creation _ex nihilo_
than any other form of human activity. The work of the artist is the
expression of the self that the artist is, while that of the scientist is
the comparison of facts which exist independently of his own personality.
It is true that the realm of Art is not without its methods of analysis,
but the analysis is that of the artist's own feeling and of the causes
which give rise to it. These are found to contain in themselves certain
principles which are fundamental to all Art, but these principles are the
laws of the creative action of mind rather than those of the limitations of
matter. Now if we may transfer this familiar analogy to our conception of
the working of the All-Originating Mind we may picture it as the Great
Artist giving visible expression to His feeling by a process which, though
subject to no restriction from antecedent conditions, yet works by a Law
which is inseparable from the Feeling itself--in fact the Law _is_ the
Feeling, and the Feeling _is_ the Law, the Law of Perfect Creativeness.

Some such Self-contemplation as this is the only way in which we can
conceive the next, or Fifth, stage of Spirit's Self-recognition as taking
place. Having got as far as it has in the four previous stages, that is to
the production of intellectual man as its correspondence, the next step in
advance must be on the lines I have indicated--unless, indeed, there were a
sudden and arbitrary breaking of the Law of Continuity, a supposition which
the whole Creative Process up to now forbids us to entertain. Therefore we
may picture the Fifth stage of the Self-contemplation of Spirit as its
awakening to the recognition of its own Artistic Ability, its own absolute
freedom of action and creative power--just as in studio parlance we say
that an artist becomes "free of his palette." But by the always present Law
of Reciprocity, through which alone self-consciousness can be attained,
this Self-recognition of Spirit in the Absolute implies a corresponding
objective fact in the world of the Relative; that is to say, the coming
into manifestation of a being capable of realizing the Free Creative
Artistry of the Spirit, and of recognizing the same principle in himself,
while at the same time realizing also the _relation_ between the Universal
Manifesting Principle and its Individual Manifestation.

Such, it appears to me, must be the conception of the Divine Ideal embodied
in the Fifth Stage of the progress of manifestation. But I would draw
particular attention to the concluding words of the last paragraph, for if
we miss the _relation_ between the Universal Manifesting Principle and its
Individual Manifestation, we have failed to realize the Principle
altogether, whether in the Universal or in the Individual--it is just their
interaction that makes each become what it does become--and in this further
becoming consists the progression. This relation proceeds from the
principle I pointed out in the opening chapter which makes it necessary for
the Universal Spirit to be always harmonious with itself; and if this Unity
is not recognized by the individual he cannot hold that position of
Reciprocity to the Originating Spirit which will enable it to recognize
itself as in the Enjoyment of Life at the higher level we are now
contemplating--rather the feeling conveyed would be that of something
antagonistic, producing the reverse of enjoyment, thus philosophically
bringing out the point of the Scriptural injunction, "Grieve not the
Spirit." Also the re-action upon the individual must necessarily give rise
to a corresponding state of inharmony, though he may not be able to define
his feeling of unrest or to account for it. But on the other hand if the
grand harmony of the Originating Spirit within itself is duly regarded,
then the individual mind affords a fresh center from which the Spirit
contemplates itself in what I have ventured to call its Artistic
Originality--a boundless potential of Creativeness, yet always regulated by
its own inherent Law of Unity.

And this Law of the Spirit's Original Unity is a very simple one. It is the
Spirit's necessary and basic conception of itself. A lie is a statement
that something is, which is not. Then, since the Spirit's statement or
conception of anything necessarily makes that thing exist, it is logically
impossible for it to conceive a lie. Therefore the Spirit is Truth.
Similarly disease and death are the negative of Life, and therefore the
Spirit, as the Principle of Life, cannot embody disease or death in its
Self-contemplation. In like manner also, since it is free to produce what
it will, the Spirit cannot desire the presence of repugnant forms, and so
one of its inherent Laws must be Beauty. In this threefold Law of Truth,
Life, and Beauty, we find the whole underlying nature of the Spirit, and no
action on the part of the individual can be at variance with the
Originating Unity which does not contravert these fundamental principles.

This it will be seen leaves the individual absolutely unfettered except in
the direction of breaking up the fundamental harmony on which he himself,
as included in the general creation, is dependent. This certainly cannot be
called limitation, and we are all free to follow the lines of our own
individuality in every other direction; so that, although the recognition
of our relation to the Originating Spirit safeguards us from injuring
ourselves or others, it in no way restricts our liberty of action or
narrows our field of development. Am I, then, trying to base my action upon
a fundamental desire for the opening out of Truth, for the increasing of
Livingness, and for the creating of Beauty? Have I got this as an ever
present Law of Tendency at the back of my thought? If so, then this law
will occupy precisely the same place in My Microcosm, or personal world,
that it does in the Macrocosm, or great world, as a power which is in
itself formless, but which by reason of its presence necessarily impresses
its character upon all that the creative energy forms. On this basis the
creative energy of the Universal Mind may be safely trusted to work through
the specializing influence of our own thought[1] and we may adopt the maxim
"trust your desires" because we know that they are the movement of the
Universal in ourselves, and that being based upon our fundamental
recognition of the Life, Love, and Beauty which the Spirit is, their
unfoldments must carry these initial qualities with them all down the line,
and thus, in however small a degree, becomes a portion of the working of
the Spirit in its inherent creativeness.

This perpetual Creativeness of the Spirit is what we must never lose sight
of, and that is why I want the student to grasp clearly the idea of the
Spirit's Self-contemplation as the only possible root of the Creative
Process. Not only at the first creation of the world, but at all times the
plane of the innermost is that of Pure Spirit,[2] and therefore at this,
the originating point, there is nothing else for Spirit to contemplate
excepting itself; then this Self-contemplation produces corresponding
manifestation, and since Self-contemplation or recognition of its own
existence must necessarily go on continually, the corresponding
creativeness must always be at work. If this fundamental idea be clearly
grasped we shall see that incessant and progressive creativeness is the
very essence and being of Spirit. This is what is meant by the
Affirmativeness of the Spirit. It cannot _per se_ act negatively, that is
to say uncreatively, for by the very nature of its Self-recognition such a
negative action would be impossible. Of course if _we_ act negatively then,
since the Spirit is always acting affirmatively, we are moving in the
opposite direction to it; and consequently so long as we regard our own
negative action as being affirmative, the Spirit's action must appear to us
negative, and thus it is that all the negative conditions of the world have
their root in negative or inverted thought: but the more we bring our
thought into harmony with the Life, Love, and Beauty which the Spirit is,
the less these inverted conditions will obtain, until at last they will be
eliminated altogether. To accomplish this is our great object; for though
the progress may be slow it will be steady if we proceed on a definite
principle; and to lay hold of the true principle is the purpose of our
studies. And the principle to lay hold of is the Ceaseless Creativeness of
Spirit. This is what we mean when we speak of it as The Spirit of the
Affirmative, and I would ask my readers to impress this term upon their
minds. Once grant that the All-originating Spirit is thus the Spirit of the
Pure Affirmative, and we shall find that this will lead us logically to
results of the highest value.

If, then, we keep this Perpetual and Progressive Creativeness of the Spirit
continually in mind we may rely upon its working as surely in ourselves as
in that great cosmic forward movement which we speak of as Evolution. It is
the same power of Evolution working within ourselves, only with this
difference, that in proportion as we come to realize its nature we find
ourselves able to facilitate its progress by offering more and more
favorable conditions for its working. We do not add to the force of the
Power, for we are products of it and so cannot generate what generates
_us_; but by providing suitable conditions we can more and more highly
specialize it. This is the method of all the advance that has ever been
made. We never create any force (_e.g._ electricity) but we provide special
conditions under which the force manifests _itself_ in a variety of useful
and beautiful ways, unsuspected possibilities which lay hidden in the power
until brought to light by the cooperation of the Personal Factor.

Now it is precisely the introduction[3] of this Personal Factor that
concerns us, because to all eternity we can only recognize things from our
own center of consciousness, whether in this world or in any other;
therefore the practical question is how to specialize in our own case the
_generic_ Originating Life which, when we give it a name, we call "the
Spirit." The method of doing this is perfectly logical when we once see
that the principle involved is that of the Self-recognition of Spirit. We
have traced the _modus operandi_ of the Creative Process sufficiently far
to see that the existence of the cosmos is the result of the Spirit's
seeing itself _in_ the cosmos, and if this be the law of the whole it must
also be the law of the part. But there is this difference, that so long as
the normal average relation of particles is maintained the whole continues
to subsist, no matter what position any particular particle may go into,
just as a fountain continues to exist no matter whether any particular drop
of water is down in the basin or at the top of the jet. This is the
_generic_ action which keeps the race going as a whole. But the question
is, What is going to become of ourselves? Then because the law of the whole
is also the law of the part we may at once say that what is wanted is for
the Spirit _to see itself in us_--in other words, to find in us the
Reciprocal which, as we have seen, is necessary to its Enjoyment of a
certain Quality of Consciousness. Now, the fundamental consciousness of the
Spirit must be that of Self-sustaining Life, and for the full enjoyment of
this consciousness there must be a corresponding _individual_ consciousness
reciprocating it; and on the part of the individual such a consciousness
can only arise from the recognition that his own life is identical with
that of the Spirit--not something sent forth to wander away by itself, but
something included in and forming part of the Greater Life. Then by the
very conditions of the case, such a contemplation on the part of the
individual is nothing else than the Spirit contemplating itself from the
standpoint of the individual consciousness, and thus fulfilling the Law of
the Creative Process under such specialized conditions as must logically
result in the perpetuation of the individual life. It is the Law of the
Cosmic Creative Process transferred to the individual.

This, it seems to me, is the Divine Ideal: that of an Individuality which
recognizes its Source, and recognizes also the method by which it springs
from that Source, and which is therefore able to open up in itself a
channel by which that Source can flow in uninterruptedly; with the result
that from the moment of this recognition the individual lives directly from
the Originating Life, as being himself _a special direct creation_, and not
merely as being a member of a generic race. The individual who has reached
this stage of recognition thus finds a principle of enduring life _within
himself_; so then the next question is in what way this principle is likely
to manifest itself.





CHAPTER IV

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE LIFE PRINCIPLE


We must bear in mind that what we have now reached is a principle, or
universal potential, only we have located it in the individual. But a
principle, as such, is not manifestation. Manifestation is the growth
proceeding _from_ the principle, that is to say, some Form in which the
principle becomes active. At the same time we must recollect that, though a
form is necessary for manifestation, _the_ form is not essential, for the
same principle may manifest through various forms, just as electricity may
work either through a lamp or a tram-car without in any way changing its
inherent nature. In this way we are brought to the conclusion that the
Life-principle must always provide itself with a body in which to function,
though it does not follow that this body must always be of the same
chemical constitution as the one we now possess. We might well imagine some
distant planet where the chemical combinations with which we are familiar
on earth did not obtain; but if the essential life-principle of any
individual were transported thither, then by the Law of the Creative
Process it would proceed to clothe itself with a material body drawn from
the atmosphere and substance of that planet; and the personality thus
produced would be quite at home there, for all his surroundings would be
perfectly natural to him, however different the laws of Nature might be
there from what we know here.

In such a conception as this we find the importance of the two leading
principles to which I have drawn attention--first, the power of the Spirit
to create _ex nihilo_, and secondly, the individual's recognition of the
basic principle of Unity giving permanence and solidity to the frame of
Nature. By the former the self-recognizing life-principle could produce any
sort of body it chose; and by the latter it would be led to project one in
harmony with the natural order of the particular planet, thus making all
the facts of that order solid realities to the individual, and himself a
solid and natural being to the other inhabitants of that world. But this
would not do away with the individual's knowledge of how he got there; and
so, supposing him to have realized his identity with the Universal
Life-Principle sufficiently to consciously control the projection of his
own body, he could at will disintegrate the body which accorded with the
conditions of one planet and constitute one which accorded just as
harmoniously with those of another, and could thus function on any number
of planets as a perfectly natural being on each of them. He would in all
respects resemble the other inhabitants with one all-important exception,
that since he had attained to unity with his Creative Principle he would
not be tied by the laws of matter as they were.

Any one who should attain to such a power could only do so by his
realization of the all-embracing Unity of the Spirit as being the
Foundation of all things; and this being the basis of his own extended
powers he would be the last to controvert his own basic principle by
employing his powers in such a way as to disturb the natural course of
evolution in the world where he was. He might use them to help forward the
evolution of others in that world, but certainly never to disturb it, for
he would always act on the maxim that "Order is Heaven's First Law."

Our object, however, is not to transfer ourselves to other planets but to
get the best out of this one; but we shall not get the best out of this one
until we realize that the power which will enable us to do so is so
absolutely universal and fundamental that its application in this world is
precisely the same as in any other, and that is why I have stated it as a
general proposition applicable to all worlds.

The principle being thus universal there is no reason why we should
postpone its application till we find ourselves in another world, and the
best place and time to begin are Here and Now. The starting point is not in
time or locality, but in the mode of Thought; and if we realize that this
Point of Origination is Spirit's power to produce something out of nothing,
and that it does this in accordance with the natural order of substance of
the particular world in which it is working, then the spiritual ego in
ourselves, as proceeding direct from the Universal Spirit, should be able
first, to so harmoniously combine the working of spiritual and physical
laws in its own body as to keep it in perfect health, secondly to carry
this process further and renew the body, thus eradicating the effects of
old age, and thirdly to carry the process still further and perpetuate this
renewed body as long as the individual might desire.

If the student shows this to one of his average acquaintances who has never
given any thought to these things, his friend will undoubtedly exclaim
"Tommy rot!" even if he does not use a stronger expletive. He will at once
appeal to the past experience of all mankind, his argument being that what
has not been in the past cannot be in the future; yet he does not apply the
same argument to aeronautics and is quite oblivious of the fact that the
Sacred Volume which he reverences contains promises of these very things.
The really earnest student must never forget the maxim that "Principle is
not bound by Precedent"--if it were we should still be primitive savages.

To use the Creative Process we must Affirm the Creative Power, that is to
say, we must go back to the Beginning of the series and start with Pure
Spirit, only remembering that this starting-point is now to be found _in
ourselves_, for this is what distinguishes the individual Creative Process
from the cosmic one. This is where the importance of realizing only ONE
Originating Power instead of two interacting powers comes in, for it means
that we do not derive our power from any existing polarity, but that we are
going to establish polarities which will start secondary causation on the
lines which we thus determine. This also is where the importance comes in
of recognizing that the only possible originating movement of spirit must
be Self-contemplation, for this shows us that we do not have to contemplate
existing conditions but the Divine Ideal, and that this contemplation of
the Divine Ideal of Man is the Self-contemplation of the Spirit from the
standpoint of Human Individuality.

Then the question arises, if these principles are true, why are we not
demonstrating them? Well, when our fundamental principle is obviously
correct and yet we do not get the proper results, the only inference is
that somewhere or other we have introduced something antagonistic to the
fundamental principle, something not inherent in the principle itself and
which therefore owes its presence to some action of our own. Now the error
consists in the belief that the Creative Power is limited by the material
in which it works. If this be assumed, then you have to calculate the
resistances offered by the material; and since by the terms of the Creative
Process these resistances do not really exist, you have no basis of
calculation at all--in fact you have no means of knowing where you are, and
everything is in confusion. This is why it is so important to remember that
the Creative Process is the action of a Single Power, and that the
interaction of two opposite polarities comes in at a later stage, and is
not creative, but only distributive--that is to say, it localizes the
Energy already proceeding from the Single Power. This is a fundamental
truth which should never be lost sight of. So long, however, as we fail to
see this truth we necessarily limit the Creative Power by the material it
works in, and in practise we do this by referring to past experience as the
only standard of judgment. We are measuring the Fifth Kingdom by the
standard of the Fourth, as though we should say that an intellectual man, a
being of the Fourth Kingdom, was to be limited by the conditions which
obtain in the First or Mineral Kingdom--to use Scriptural language we are
seeking the Living among the dead.

And moreover at the present time a new order of experience is beginning to
open out to us, for well authenticated instances of the cure of disease by
the invisible power of the Spirit are steadily increasing in number. The
facts are now too patent to be denied--what we want is a better knowledge
of the power which accounts for them. And if this beginning is now with us,
by what reason can we limit it? The difference between the healing of
disease and the renewal of the entire organism and the perpetuation of life
is only a difference of degree and not of kind; so that the actual
experience of increasing numbers shows the working of a principle to which
we can logically set no limits.

If we get the steps of the Creative Process clearly into our minds we shall
see why we have hitherto had such small results.

    Spirit creates by Self-contemplation;
    Therefore, What it contemplates itself
      as being, that it becomes.
    You are individualized Spirit;
    Therefore, What you contemplate as
    the Law of your being becomes the
    Law of your being.

Hence, contemplate a Law of Death arising out of the Forces of the Material
reacting against the Power of the Spirit and overcoming it, and you impress
this mode of self-recognition upon Spirit in yourself. Of course you cannot
alter its inherent nature, but you cause it to work under negative
conditions and thus make it produce negative results so far as you yourself
are concerned.

But reverse the process, and contemplate a Law of Life as inherent in the
very Being of the Spirit, and therefore as inherent in spirit in yourself;
and contemplate the forces of the Material as practically non-existent in
the Creative Process, because they are products of it and not causes--look
at things in this way and you will impress a corresponding conception upon
the Spirit which, by the Law of Reciprocity, thus enters into
Self-contemplation on _these_ lines from the standpoint of your own
individuality; and then by the nature of the Creative Process a
corresponding externalization is bound to take place. Thus our initial
question, How did anything come into existence at all, brings us to the
recognition of a Law of Life which we may each specialize for ourselves;
and in the degree to which we specialize it we shall find the Creative
Principle at work within us building up a healthier and happier personality
in mind, body, and circumstances.

Only we must learn to distinguish the vehicles of Spirit from Spirit
itself, for the distinction has very important bearings. What distinguishes
the vehicles from the Spirit is the Law of Growth. The Spirit is the
Formless principle of Life, and the vehicle is a Form in which this
principle functions. Now the vehicle is a projection by the Spirit of
substance coordinate with the natural order of the plane on which the
vehicle functions, and therefore requires to be built up comformably to
that order. This building up is what we speak of as Growth; and since the
principle which causes the growth is the individualized Spirit, the rate at
which the growth will go on will depend on the amount of vitalizing energy
the Spirit puts into it, and the amount of vitalizing energy will depend on
the degree in which the individualized Spirit appreciates its own
livingness, and finally the degree of this appreciation will depend on the
quality of the individual's perception of the Great All-originating Spirit
as reflecting itself in him and thus making his contemplation of It nothing
else than the Creative Self-contemplation of the Spirit proceeding from an
individual and personal center. We must therefore not omit the Law of
Growth in the vehicle from our conception of the working of the Spirit. As
a matter of fact the vehicle has nothing to say in the matter for it is
simply a projection from the Spirit; but for this very reason its formation
will be slow or rapid in exact proportion to the individual spirit's
vitalizing conception. We could imagine a degree of vitalizing conception
that would produce the corresponding form instantaneously, but at present
we must allow for the weakness of our spiritual power--not as thinking it
by any means incapable of accomplishing its object, but as being far slower
in operation now than we hope to see it in the future--and so we must not
allow ourselves to be discouraged, but must hold our thought knowing that
it is doing its creative work, and that the corresponding growth is slowly
but surely taking place--thus following the Divine precept that men ought
always to pray and not to faint. Gradually as we gain experience on these
new lines our confidence in the power of the Spirit will increase, and we
shall be less inclined to argue from the negative side of things, and thus
the hindrances to the inflow of the Originating Spirit will be more and
more removed, and greater and greater results will be obtained.

If we would have our minds clear on this subject of Manifestation we should
remember its threefold nature:--First the General Life-Principle, secondly
the Localization of this principle in the Individual, and thirdly the
Growth of the Vehicle as it is projected by the individualized spirit with
more or less energy. It is a sequence of progressive condensation from the
Undifferentiated Universal Spirit to the ultimate and outermost vehicle--a
truth enshrined in the esoteric maxim that "Matter is Spirit at its lowest
level."

The forms thus produced are in true accord with the general order of Nature
on the particular plane where they occur, and are therefore perfectly
different from forms temporarily consolidated out of material drawn from
other living organisms. These latter phantasmal bodies are held together
only by an act of concentrated volition, and can therefore only be
maintained for a short time and with effort; while the body which the
individualized spirit, or ego, builds for itself is produced by a perfectly
natural process and does not require any effort to sustain it, since it is
kept in touch with the whole system of the planet by the continuous and
effortless action of the individual's sub-conscious mind.

This is where the action of sub-conscious mind as the builder of the body
comes in. Sub-conscious mind acts in accordance with the aggregate of
suggestion impressed upon it by the conscious mind, and if this suggestion
is that of perfect harmony with the physical laws of the planet then a
corresponding building by the sub-conscious mind will take place, a process
which, so far from implying any effort, consists rather in a restful sense
of unity with Nature.[4]

And if to this sense of union with the Soul of Nature, that Universal
Sub-conscious Mind which holds in the cosmos the same place that the
sub-conscious mind does in ourselves--if to this there be superadded a
sense of union with the All-creating Spirit from which the Soul of Nature
flows, then through the medium of the individual's sub-conscious mind such
specialized effects can be produced in his body as to transcend our past
experiences without in any way violating the order of the universe. The Old
Law was the manifestation of the Principle of Life working under
constricted conditions: the New Law is the manifestation of the same
Principle working under expanding conditions. Thus it is that though God
never changes we are said to "increase with the increase of God."





CHAPTER V

THE PERSONAL FACTOR


I have already pointed out that the presence of a single all-embracing
Cosmic Mind is an absolute necessity for the existence of any creation
whatever, for the reason that if each individual mind were an entirely
separate center of perception, not linked to all other minds by a common
ground of underlying mentality independent of all individual action, then
no two persons would see the same thing at the same time, in fact no two
individuals would be conscious of living in the same world. If this were
the case there would be no common standard to which to refer our
sensations; and, indeed, coming into existence with no consciousness of
environment except such as we could form by our own unaided thought, and
having by the hypothesis no standard by which to form our thoughts, we
could not form the conception of any environment at all, and consequently
could have no recognition of our own existence. The confusion of thought
involved even in the attempt to state such a condition shows it to be
perfectly inconceivable, for the simple reason that it is
self-contradictory and self-destructive. On this account it is clear that
our own existence and that of the world around us necessarily implies the
presence of a Universal Mind acting on certain _fixed lines of its own_
which establish the basis for the working of all individual minds. This
paramount action of the Universal Mind thus sets an unchangeable standard
by which all individual mental action must eventually be measured, and
therefore our first concern is to ascertain what this standard is and to
make it the basis of our own action.

But if the independent existence of a common standard of reference is
necessary for our self-recognition simply as inhabitants of the world we
live in, then _a fortiori_ a common standard of reference is necessary for
our recognition of the unique place we hold in the Creative Order, which is
that of introducing the Personal Factor without which the possibilities
contained in the great Cosmic Laws would remain undeveloped, and the
Self-contemplation of Spirit could never reach those infinite unfoldments
of which it is logically capable.

The evolution of the Personal Factor is therefore the point with which we
are most concerned. As a matter of fact, whatever theories we may hold to
the contrary, we do all realize the same cosmic environment in the same
way; that is to say, our minds all act according to certain generic laws
which underlie all our individual diversities of thought and feeling. This
is so because we are made that way and cannot help it. But with the
Personal Factor the case is different. A standard is no less necessary, but
we are not so made as to conform to it automatically. The very conception
of automatic conformity to a _personal_ standard is self-contradictory, for
it does away with the very thing that constitutes personality, namely
freedom of volition, the use of the powers of Initiative and Selection. For
this reason conformity to the Standard of Personality must be a matter of
choice, which amounts to the same thing as saying that it rests with each
individual to form his own conception of a standard of Personality; but
which liberty, however, carries with it the inevitable result that we shall
bring into manifestation the _conditions_ corresponding to the sort of
personality we accept as our normal standard.

I would draw attention to the words "Normal Standard." What we shall
eventually attain is, not what we merely wish, but what we regard as
normal. The reason is that since we sub-consciously know ourselves to be
based upon the inherent Law of the Universal Mind we feel, whether we can
reason it out or not, that we cannot force the All-producing Mind to work
contrary to its own inherent qualities, and therefore we intuitively
recognize that we cannot transcend the sort of personality which is normal
according to the Law of Universal Mind. This thought is always at the back
of our mind and we cannot get away from it for the simple reason that it is
inherent in our mental constitution, because our mind is itself a product
of the Creative Process; and to suppose ourselves transcending the
possibilities contained in the Originating Mind would involve the absurdity
of supposing that we can get the greater out of the less.

Nevertheless there are some who try to do so, and their position is as
follows. They say in effect, I want to transcend the standard of humanity
as I see it around me. But this is the normal standard according to the Law
of the Universe, therefore I have to get above the Law of the Universe.
Consequently I cannot draw the necessary power from that Law, and so there
is nowhere else to get it except from myself. Thus the aspirant is thrown
back upon his own individual will as the ultimate power, with the result
that the onus lies on him of concentrating a force sufficient to overcome
the Law of the Universe. There is thus continually present to him a
suggestion of struggle against a tremendous opposing force, and as a
consequence he is continually subjecting himself to a strain which grows
more and more intense as he realizes the magnitude of the force against
which he is contending. Then as he begins to realize the inequality of the
struggle he seeks for extraneous aid, and so he falls back on various
expedients, all of which have this in common that they ultimately amount to
invoking the assistance of other individualities, not seeing that this
involves the same fallacy which has brought him to his present straits, the
fallacy, namely, of supposing that any individuality can develop a power
greater than that of the source from which itself proceeds. The fallacy is
a radical one; and therefore all efforts based upon it are fore-doomed to
ultimate failure, whether they take the form of reliance on personal force
of will, or magical rites, or austerity practised against the body, or
attempts by abnormal concentration to absorb the individual in the
universal, or the invocation of spirits, or any other method--the same
fallacy is involved in them all, that the less is larger than the greater.

Now the point to be noted is that the idea of transcending the present
conditions of humanity does not necessarily imply the idea of transcending
the normal law of humanity. The mistake we have hitherto made has been in
fixing the Standard of Personality too low and in taking our past
experiences as measuring the ultimate possibilities of the race. Our
liberty consists in our ability to form our own conception of the Normal
Standard of Personality, only subject to the conditions arising out of the
inherent Law of the underlying Universal Mind; and so the whole thing
resolves itself into the question, What are those fundamental conditions?
The Law is that we cannot transcend the Normal; therefore comes the
question, What is the Normal?

I have endeavored to answer this question in the chapter on the Divine
Ideal, but since this is the crucial point of the whole subject we may
devote a little further attention to it. The Normal Standard of Personality
must necessarily be the reproduction in Individuality of what the Universal
Mind is in itself, because, by the nature of the Creative Process, this
standard results from Spirit's Self-contemplation at the stage where its
recognition is turned toward its own power of Initiative and Selection. At
this stage Spirit's Self-recognition has passed beyond that of
Self-expression through a mere Law of Averages into the recognition of what
I have ventured to call its Artistic Ability; and as we have seen that
Self-recognition at any stage can only be attained by the realization of a
_relation_ stimulating that particular sort of consciousness, it follows
that for the purpose of this further advance expression through individuals
of a corresponding type is a necessity. Then by the Law of Reciprocity such
beings must possess powers similar to those contemplated in itself by the
Originating Spirit, in other words they must be in their own sphere the
image and likeness of the Spirit as it sees itself.

Now we have seen that the Creating Spirit necessarily possesses the powers
of Initiative and Selection. These we may call its _active_ properties--the
summing up of what it _does_. But what any power does depends on what it
_is_, for the simple reason that it cannot give out what it does not
contain; therefore at the back of the initiative and selective power of the
Spirit we must find what the Spirit _is_, namely, what are its
_substantive_ properties. To begin with it must be Life. Then because it is
Life it must be Love, because as the undifferentiated Principle of Life it
cannot do otherwise than tend to the fuller development of life in each
individual, and the pure motive of giving greater enjoyment of life is
Love. Then because it is Life guided by Love it must also be Light, that is
to say, the primary all-inclusive perception of boundless manifestations
yet to be. Then from this proceeds Power, because there is no opposing
force at the level of Pure Spirit; and therefore Life urged forward by Love
or the desire for recognition, and by Light or the pure perception of the
Law of Infinite Possibility, must necessarily produce Power, for the simple
reason that under these conditions it could not stop short of action, for
that would be the denial of the Life, Love, and Light which it is. Then
because the Spirit is Life, Love, Light, and Power, it is also Peace, again
for a very simple reason, that being the Spirit of the Whole it cannot set
one part in antagonism against another, for that would be to destroy the
wholeness. Next the Spirit must be Beauty, because on the same principle of
Wholeness it must duly proportion every part to every other part, and the
due proportioning of all parts is beauty. And lastly the Spirit must be
Joy, because, working on these lines, it cannot do otherwise than find
pleasure in the Self-expression which its works afford it, and in the
contemplation of the limitlessness of the Creative Process by which each
realized stage of evolution, however excellent, is still the stepping-stone
to something yet more excellent, and so on in everlasting progression.

For these reasons we may sum up the Substantive Being of the
All-originating Spirit as Life, Love, Light, Power, Peace, Beauty, and Joy;
and its Active Power as that of Initiative and Selection. These, therefore,
constitute the basic laws of the underlying universal mentality which sets
the Standard of Normal Personality--a standard which, when seen in this
light, transcends the utmost scope of our thought, for it is nothing else
than the Spirit of the Infinite Affirmative conceived in Human Personality.
This standard is therefore that of the Universal Spirit itself reproduced
in Human Individuality by the same Law of Reciprocity which we have found
to be the fundamental law of the Creative Process--only now we are tracing
the action of this Law in the Fifth Kingdom instead of in the Fourth.

This Standard, then, we may call the Universal Principle of Humanity, and
having now traced the successive steps by which it is reached from the
first cosmic movement of the Spirit in the formation of the primary nebula,
we need not go over the old ground again, and may henceforward take this
Divine Principle of Humanity as our Normal Standard and make it the
starting point for our further evolution. But how are we to do this? Simply
by using the one method of Creative Process, that is, the
Self-contemplation of Spirit. We now know ourselves to be Reciprocals of
the Divine Spirit, centers in which It finds a fresh standpoint for
Self-contemplation; and so the way to rise to the heights of this Great
Pattern is by contemplating it as the Normal Standard of our own
Personality.

And be it noted that the Pattern thus set before us is Universal. It is the
embodiment of all the great principles of the Affirmative, and so in no way
interferes with our own particular individuality--_that_ is something built
up upon this foundation, something additional affording the differentiating
medium through which this unifying Principle finds variety of expression,
therefore we need be under no apprehension lest by resting upon this
Pattern we should become less ourselves. On the contrary the recognition of
it sets us at liberty to become more fully ourselves because we know that
we are basing our development, not upon the strength of our own unaided
will, nor yet upon any sort of extraneous help, but upon the Universal Law
itself, manifesting through us in the proper sequence of the Creative
Order; so that we are still dealing with Universal principles, only the
principle by which we are now working is the Universal Principle of
Personality.

I wish the student to get this idea very clearly because this is really the
crux of the passage from the Fourth Kingdom into the Fifth. The great
problem of the future of evolution is the introduction of the Personal
Factor. The reason why this is so is very simple when we see it. To take a
thought from my own "Dore Lectures" we may put it in this way. In former
days no one thought of building ships of iron because iron does not float;
yet now ships are seldom built of anything else, though the relative
specific gravities of iron and water remain unchanged. What has changed is
the Personal Factor. It has expanded to a more intelligent perception of
the law of flotation, and we now see that wood floats and iron sinks, both
of them by the same principle working under opposite conditions, the law,
namely, that anything will float which bulk for bulk is lighter than the
volume of water displaced by it, so that by including in our calculations
the displacement of the vessel as well as the specific gravity of the
material, we now make iron float by the very same law by which it sinks.
This example shows that the function of the Personal Factor is to analyze
the manifestations of Law which are spontaneously afforded by Nature and to
discover the Universal Affirmative Principle which lies hidden within them,
and then by the exercise of our powers of Initiative and Selection to
provide such specialized conditions as will enable the Universal Principle
to work in perfectly new ways transcending anything in our past experience.
This is how all progress has been achieved up to the present; and is the
way in which all progress must be achieved in the future, only for the
purpose of evolution, or growth from within, we must transfer the method to
the spiritual plane.

The function, then, of the Personal Factor in the Creative Order is to
provide specialized conditions by the use of the powers of Selection and
Initiative, a truth indicated by the maxim "Nature unaided fails"; but the
difficulty is that if enhanced powers were attained by the whole population
of the world without any common basis for their use, their promiscuous
exercise could only result in chaotic confusion and the destruction of the
entire race. To introduce the creative power of the Individual and at the
same time avoid converting it into a devastating flood is the great problem
of the transition from the Fourth Kingdom into the Fifth. For this purpose
it becomes necessary to have a Standard of the Personal Factor independent
of any individual conceptions, just as we found that in order for us to
attain self-consciousness at all it was a necessity that there should be a
Universal Mind as the _generic_ basis of all individual mentality; only in
regard to the generic build of mind the conformity is necessarily
automatic, while in regard to the specializing process the fact that the
essence of that process is Selection and Initiative renders it impossible
for the conformity to the Standard of Personality to be automatic--the very
nature of the thing makes it a matter of individual choice.

Now a Standard of Personality independent of individual conceptions must be
the _essence_ of Personality as distinguished from individual
idiosyncrasies, and can therefore be nothing else than the Creative Life,
Love, Beauty, etc., viewed as a Divine Individuality, by identifying
ourselves with which we eliminate all possibility of conflict with other
personalities based on the same fundamental recognition; and the very
universality of this Standard allows free play to all our particular
idiosyncrasies while at the same time preventing them from antagonizing the
fundamental principles to which we have found that the Self-contemplation
of the Originating Spirit must necessarily give rise. In this way we attain
a Standard of Measurement for our own powers. If we recognize no such
Standard our development of spiritual powers, our discovery of the immense
possibilities hidden in the inner laws of Nature and of our own being, can
only become a scourge to ourselves and others, and it is for this reason
that these secrets are so jealously guarded by those who know them, and
that over the entrance to the temple are written the words "Eskato
Bebeloi"--"Hence ye Profane."

But if we recognize and accept this Standard of Measurement then we need
never fear our discovery of hidden powers either in ourselves or in Nature,
for on this basis it becomes impossible for us to misuse them. Therefore it
is that all systematic teaching on these subjects begins with instruction
regarding the Creative Order of the Cosmos, and then proceeds to exhibit
the same Order as reproduced on the plane of Personality and so affording a
fresh starting point for the Creative Process by the introduction of
Individual Initiative and Selection. This is the doctrine of the Macrocosm
and the Microcosm; and the transition from the generic working of the
Creative Spirit in the Cosmos to its specific working in the Individual is
what is meant by the doctrine of the Octave.





CHAPTER VI

THE STANDARD OF PERSONALITY


We have now got some general idea as to the place of the personal factor in
the Creative Order, and so the next question is, How does this affect
ourselves? The answer is that if we have grasped the fundamental fact that
the moving power in the Creative Process is the self-contemplation of
Spirit, and if we also see that, because we are miniature reproductions of
the Original Spirit, our contemplation of It becomes Its contemplation of
Itself from the standpoint of our own individuality--if we have grasped
these fundamental conceptions, then it follows that our process for
developing power is to contemplate the Originating Spirit as the source of
the power we want to develop. And here we must guard against a mistake
which people often make when looking to the Spirit as the source of power.
We are apt to regard it as sometimes giving and sometimes withholding
power, and consequently are never sure which way it will act. But by so
doing we make Spirit contemplate itself as having no definite action at
all, as a plus and minus which mutually cancel each other, and therefore by
the Law of the Creative Process no result is to be expected. The mistake
consists in regarding the power as something separate from the Spirit;
whereas by the analysis of the Creative Process which we have now made we
see that the Spirit itself _is_ the power, because the power comes into
existence only through Spirit's self-contemplation. Then the logical
inference from this is that by contemplating the Spirit _as_ the power, and
_vice versa_ by contemplating the power _as_ the Spirit, a similar power is
being generated in ourselves.

Again an important conclusion follows from this, which is that to generate
any _particular sort_ of power we should contemplate it in the abstract
rather than as applied to the particular set of circumstances we have in
hand. The circumstances indicate the sort of power we want but they do not
help us to generate it; rather they impress us with a sense of something
contrary to the power, something which has to be overcome by it, and
therefore we should endeavor to dwell on the power _in itself_, and so come
into touch with it in its limitless infinitude.

It is here that we begin to find the benefit of a Divine Standard of Human
Individuality. That also is an Infinite Principle, and by identifying
ourselves with it we bring to bear upon the abstract conception of infinite
Impersonal Power a corresponding conception of Infinite Personality, so
that we thus import the Personal Factor which is able _to use_ the Power
without imposing any strain upon ourselves. We know that by the very nature
of the Creative Process we are one with the Originating Spirit and
therefore one with all the principles of its Being, and consequently one
with its Infinite Personality, and therefore our contemplation of it as the
Power which we want gives us the power to use that Power.

This is the Self-contemplation of Spirit employed from the individual
standpoint for the generating of power. Then comes the application of the
power thus generated. But there is only one Creative Process, that of the
Self-contemplation of Spirit, and therefore the way to use this process for
the application of the power is to contemplate ourselves as surrounded by
the conditions which we want to produce. This does not mean that we are to
lay down a hard and fast pattern of the conditions and strenuously endeavor
to compel the Power to conform its working to every detail of our mental
picture--to do so would be to hinder its working and to exhaust ourselves.
What we are to dwell upon is the idea of an Infinite Power producing the
happiness we desire, and because this Power is also the Forming Power of
the universe trusting it to give that form to the conditions which will
most perfectly react upon us to produce the particular state of
consciousness desired.

Thus neither on the side of in-drawing nor of out-giving is there any
constraining of the Power, while in both cases there is an initiative and
selective action on the part of the individual--for the generating of
power he takes the initiative of invoking it by contemplation, and he makes
selection of the sort of power to invoke; while on the giving-out side he
makes selection of the purpose for which the Power is to be employed, and
takes the initiative by his thought of directing the Power to that purpose.
He thus fulfils the fundamental requirements of the Creative Process by
exercising Spirit's inherent faculties of initiative and selection by means
of its inherent method, namely by Self-contemplation. The whole action is
identical in kind with that which produces the cosmos, and it is now
repeated in miniature for the particular world of the individual; only we
must remember that this miniature reproduction of the Creative Process is
based upon the great fundamental principles inherent in the Universal Mind,
and cannot be dissociated from them without involving a conception of the
individual which will ultimately be found self-destructive because it cuts
away the foundation on which his individuality rests.

It will therefore be seen that any individuality based upon the fundamental
Standard of Personality thus involved in the Universal Mind has reached the
basic principle of union with the Originating Spirit itself, and we are
therefore correct in saying that union is attained through, or by means of,
this Standard Personality. This is a great truth which in all ages has been
set forth under a variety of symbolic statements; often misunderstood, and
still continuing to be so, though owing to the inherent vitality of the
idea itself even a partial apprehension of it produces a corresponding
measure of good results. This falling short has been occasioned by the
failure to recognize an Eternal Principle at the back of the particular
statements--in a word the failure to see what they were talking about. All
_principles_ are eternal in themselves, and this is what distinguishes them
from their particular manifestations as laws determined by temporary and
local conditions.

If then, we would reach the root of the matter we must penetrate through
all verbal statements to an Eternal Principle which is as active now as
ever in the past, and which is as available to ourselves as to any who have
gone before us. Therefore it is that when we discern an Eternal and
Universal Principle of Human Personality as necessarily involved in the
Essential Being of the Originating Universal Spirit--_Filius in gremio
Patris_--we have discovered the true Normal Standard of Personality. Then
because this standard is nothing else than the principle of Personality
expanded to infinitude, there is no limit to the expansion which we
ourselves may attain by the operation in us of this principle; and so we
are never placed in a position of antagonism to the true law of our being,
but on the contrary the larger and more fundamental our conception of
personal development the greater will be the fulfilment which we give to
the Law. The Normal Standard of Personality is found to be itself the Law
of the Creative Process working at the personal level; and it cannot be
subject to limitation for the simple reason that the process being that of
the Self-contemplation of Spirit, no limits can possibly be assigned to
this contemplation.

We need, therefore, never be afraid of forming too high an idea of human
possibilities provided always that we take this standard as the foundation
on which to build up the edifice of our personality. And we see that this
standard is no arbitrary one but simply the Expression in Personality of
the ONE all-embracing Spirit of the Affirmative; and therefore the only
limitation implied by conformity to it is that of being prevented from
running on lines the opposite of those of the Creative Process, that is to
say, from calling into action causes of disintegration and destruction. In
the truly Constructive Order, therefore, the Divine Standard of Personality
is as really the basis of the development of specific personality as the
Universal Mind is the necessary basis of generic mentality; and just as
without this generic ultimate of Mind we should none of us see the same
world at the same time, and in fact have no consciousness of existence, so
apart from this Divine Standard of Personality it is equally impossible for
us to specialize the generic law of our being so as to develop all the
glorious possibilities that are latent in it.

Only we must never forget the difference between these two statements of
the Universal Law--the one is cosmic and generic, common to the whole race,
whether they know it or not, a Standard to which we all conform
automatically by the mere fact of being human beings; while the other is a
personal and individual Standard, automatic conformity to which is
impossible because that would imply the loss of those powers of Initiative
and Selection which are the very essence of Personality; so that this
Standard necessarily implies a personal selection of it in preference to
other conceptions of an antagonistic nature.





CHAPTER VII

RACE THOUGHT AND NEW THOUGHT


The steady following up of the successive stages of the Creative Process
has led us to the recognition of an Individuality in the All-creating
Spirit itself, but an Individuality which is by its very nature Universal,
and so cannot be departed from without violating the essential principles
on which the further expansion of our own individuality depends. At the
same time it is strictly _individual_, for it is the Spirit of
Individuality, and is thus to be distinguished from that merely _generic_
race-personality which makes us human beings at all. Race-personality is of
course the necessary _basis_ for the development of this Individuality; but
if we do not see that it is only the preliminary to further evolution, any
other conception of our personality as members of the race will prevent our
advance toward our proper position in the Creative Order, which is that of
introducing the Personal Factor by the exercise of our individual power of
initiative and selection.

It is on this account that Race-thought, simply as such, is opposed to the
attempt of the individual to pass into a higher order of life. It limits
him by strong currents of negative suggestion based on the fallacy that the
perpetuation of the race requires the death of the individual;[5] and it is
only when the individual sees that this is not true, and that his race-
nature constitutes the ground out of which his new Individuality is to be
formed, that he becomes able to oppose the negative power of race-thought.
He does this by destroying it with its own weapon, that is, by finding in
the race-nature itself the very material to be used by the Spirit for
building-up the New Man. This is a discovery on the spiritual plane
equivalent to the discovery on the physical plane that we can make iron
float by the same law by which it sinks. It is the discovery that what we
call the mortal part of us is capable of being brought under a higher
application of the Universal Law of Life, which will transmute it into an
immortal principle. When we see what we call the mortal part of us in this
light we can employ the very principle on which the negative race-thought
is founded as a weapon for the destruction of that thought in our own
minds.

The basis of the negative race-thought is the idea that physical death is
an essential part of the Normal Standard of Personality, and that the body
is composed of so much neutral material with which death can do what it
likes. But it is precisely this neutrality of matter that makes it just as
amenable to the Law of Life as to the Law of Death--it is simply neutral
and not an originating power on either side; so then when we realize that
our Normal Standard of Personality is not subject to death, but is the
Eternal Essence and Being of Life itself, then we see that this neutrality
of matter--its inability to make selection or take initiative on its own
account--is just what makes it the plastic medium for the expression of
Spirit in ourselves.

In this way the generic or race-mind in the individual becomes the
instrument through which the specializing power of the Spirit works toward
the building up of a personality based upon the truly Normal Standard of
Individuality which we have found to be inherent in the All-originating
Spirit itself: and since the whole question is that of the introduction of
the factor of personal individuality into the creative order of causation,
this cannot be done by depriving the individual of what makes him a person
instead of a thing, namely, the power of conscious initiative and
selection.

For this reason the transition from the Fourth Kingdom into the Fifth
cannot be forced upon the race either by a Divine fiat or by the generic
action of cosmic law, for it is a _specialising_ of the cosmic law which
can only be effected by _personal_ initiative and selection, just as iron
can only be made to float under certain specialized conditions; and
consequently the passage from the Fourth into the Fifth Kingdom is a
strictly individual process which can only be brought about by a personal
perception of what the normal standard of the New Individuality really is.
This can only be done by the active laying aside of the old race-standard
and the conscious adoption of the new one. The student will do well to
consider this carefully, for it explains why the race cannot receive the
further evolution simply as a race; and also it shows that our further
evolution is not into a state of less activity but of greater, not into
being less alive but more alive, not into being less ourselves but more
ourselves; thus being just the opposite of those systems which present the
goal of existence as re-absorption into the undifferentiated Divine
essence. On the contrary our further evolution is into greater degrees of
conscious activity than we have ever yet known, because it implies our
development of greater powers as the consequence of our clearer perception
of our true relation to the All-originating Spirit. It is the recognition
that we may, and should, measure ourselves by this New Standard instead of
by the old race-standard that constitutes the real New Thought. The New
Thought which gives New Life to the individual will never be realized so
long as we think that it is merely the name of a particular sect, or that
it is to be found in the mechanical observance of a set of rules laid down
for us by some particular teacher. It is a New Fact in the experience of
the individual, the _reason_ for which is indeed made clear to him through
intellectual perception of the real nature of the Creative Process, but
which can become an actual experience only by habitual personal intercourse
with that Divine Spirit which is the Life, Love and Beauty that are at the
back of the Creative Process and find expression through it.

From this intercourse new thoughts will continually flow in, all of them
bearing that vivifying element which is inherent in their source, and the
individual will then proceed to work out these new ideas with the knowledge
that they have their origin in the selection and initiative power of the
All-creating Spirit itself, and in this way by combined meditation and
action he will find himself advancing into increasing light, liberty and
usefulness. The advance may be almost imperceptible from one day to
another, but it will be perceptible at longer intervals, and the one who is
thus moving forward with the Spirit of God will on looking back at any time
always find that he is getting more livingness out of life than he was a
year previously. And this without strenuous effort, for he is not having to
manufacture the power from his own resources but only to _receive_ it--and
as for _using_ it, that is only the exercise of the power itself. So
following on these lines you will find that Rest and Power are identical;
and so you get the real New Thought which grows in Newness every day.





CHAPTER VIII

THE DENOUEMENT OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS


Then comes the question, What should logically be the denouement of the
progression we have been considering? Let us briefly recapitulate the steps
of the series. Universal Spirit by Self-contemplation evolves Universal
Substance. From this it produces cosmic creation as the expression of
itself as functioning in Space and Time. Then from this initial movement it
proceeds to more highly specialized modes of Self-contemplation in a
continually ascending scale, for the simple reason that self-contemplation
admits of no limits and therefore each stage of self-recognition cannot be
other than the starting-point for a still more advanced mode of
self-contemplation, and so on _ad infinitum_. Thus there is a continuous
progress toward more and more highly specialized forms of life, implying
greater liberty and wider scope for enjoyment as the capacity of the
individual life corresponds to a higher degree of the contemplation of
Spirit; and in this way evolution proceeds till it reaches a level where it
becomes impossible to go any further except by the exercise of conscious
selection and initiative on the part of the individual, while at the same
time conforming to the universal principles of which evolution is the
expression.

Now ask yourself in what way individual selection and initiative would be
likely to act as expressing the Originating Spirit itself? Given the
knowledge on the part of the individual that he is able by his power of
initiative and selection to draw directly upon the All-originating Spirit
of Life, what motive could he have for not doing so? Therefore, granted
such a perfect recognition, we should find the individual holding precisely
the same place in regard to his own individual world that the
All-originating Spirit does to the cosmos; subject only to the same Law of
Love, Beauty, &c., which we found to be necessarily inherent in the
Creative Spirit--a similarity which would entirely prevent the individual
from exercising his otherwise limitless powers in any sort of antagonism to
the Spirit of the Great Whole.

At the same time the individual would be quite aware that he was not the
Universal Spirit _in propria persona_, but that he was affording expression
to it through his individuality. Now Expression is impossible except
through Form, and therefore form of some sort is a necessity of
individuality. It is just here, then, that we find the importance of that
principle of Harmony with Environment of which I spoke earlier, the
principle in accordance with which a person who had obtained complete
control of matter, if he wished to transport himself to some other planet,
would appear there in perfect conformity with all the laws of matter that
obtained in that world; though, of course, not subject to any limitation of
the Life Principle in himself. He would exhibit the laws of matter as
rendered perfect by the Law of Originating Life. But if any one now living
on this earth were thus perfectly to realize the Law of Life he would be in
precisely the same position _here_ as our imaginary visitor to another
planet--in other words the denouement of the Law of Life is not the putting
off of the body, but its inclusion as part of the conscious life of the
Spirit.

This does not imply any difference in the molecular structure of the body
from that of other men, for by the principle of Harmony of which I have
just spoken, it would be formed in strict accordance with the laws of
matter on the particular planet; though it would not be subject to the
limitations resulting from the average man's non-recognition of the power
of the Spirit. The man who had thus fully entered into the Fifth Kingdom
would recognize that, in its relation to the denser modes of matter his
body was of a similar dense mode. That would be its relation to external
environment as seen by others. But since the man now knew _himself_ as not
belonging to these denser modes of manifestation, but as an
individualization of Primary Spirit, he would see that relatively to
himself all matter was Primary Substance, and that from this point of view
any condensations of that substance into atoms, molecules, tissues, and the
like counted for nothing--for him the body would be simply Primary
Substance entirely responsive to his will. Yet his reverence for the Law of
Harmony would prevent any disposition to play psychic pranks with it, and
he would use his power over the body only to meet actual requirements.

In this way, then, we are led to the conclusion that eternal life in an
immortal physical body is the logical denouement of our evolution; and if
we reflect that, by the conditions of the case, the owners of such bodies
could at will either transport themselves to other worlds or put off the
physical body altogether and remain in the purely subjective life while
still retaining the power to reclothe themselves in flesh whenever they
chose, we shall see that this denouement of evolution answers all possible
questions as to the increase of the race, the final destruction of the
planet, and the like.

This, then, is the ultimate which we should keep in view; but the fact
remains that, though there may be hidden ones who have thus attained, the
bulk of mankind have not, and that the common lot of humanity is to go
through the change which we call death. In broad philosophical terms death
may be described as the withdrawal of the life into the subjective
consciousness to the total exclusion of the objective consciousness. Then
by the general law of the relation between subjective and objective mind,
the subjective mind severed from its corresponding objective mentality has
no means of acquiring fresh impressions _on its own account_, and therefore
can only ring the changes on those impressions which it has brought with it
from its past life. But these may be of very various sorts, ranging from
the lowest to the highest, from those most opposed to that ultimate destiny
of man which we have just been considering, to those which recognize his
possibilities in a very large measure, needing little more to bring about
the full fruition of perfected life. But however various may be their
experiences, all who have passed through death must have this in common
that they have lost their physical instrument of objective perception and
so have their mode of consciousness determined entirely by the dominant
mode of suggestion which they have brought over with them from the
objective side of life.[6] Of course if the objective mentality were also
brought over this would give the individual the same power of initiative
and selection that he possesses while in the body, and, as we shall see
later on, there are exceptional persons with whom this is the case; but for
the great majority the physical brain is a necessity for the working of the
objective mentality, and so when they are deprived of this instrument their
life becomes purely subjective and is a sort of dream-life, only with a
vast difference between two classes of dreamers--those who dream as they
must and those who dream as they will. The former are those who have
enslaved themselves in various ways to their lower mentality--some by
bringing with them the memory of crimes unpardoned, some by bringing with
them the idea of a merely animal life, others less degraded, but still in
bondage to limited thought, bringing with them only the suggestion of a
frivolous worldly life--in this way, by the natural operation of the Law of
Suggestion, these different classes, either through remorse, or unsatisfied
desires, or sheer incapacity to grasp higher principles, all remain
earth-bound, suffering in exact correspondence with the nature of the
suggestion they have brought along with them. The unchangeable Law is that
the suggestion becomes the life; and this is equally true of suggestions of
a happier sort. Those who have brought over with them the great truth that
conditions are the creations of thought, and who have accustomed themselves
while in objective life to dwell on good and beautiful ideas, are still
able, by reason of being imbued with this suggestion, to mold the
conditions of their consciousness in the subjective world in accordance
with the sort of ideas which have become a second nature to them. Within
the limits of these ideas the dominant suggestion to these entities is that
of a Law which confers Liberty, so by using this Law of the constructive
power of thought they can determine the conditions of their own
consciousness; and thus instead of being compelled to suffer the nightmare
dreams of the other class, they can mold their dream according to their
will. We cannot conceive of such a life as theirs in the unseen as
otherwise than happy, nevertheless its range is limited by the range of the
conceptions they have brought with them. These may be exceedingly beautiful
and thoroughly true and logical _as far as they go_; but they do not go the
whole way, otherwise these spirits would not be in the category which we
are considering but would belong to that still higher class who fully
realize the ultimate possibilities which the Law of the Expression of
Spirit provides.

The otherwise happy subjective life of these more enlightened souls has
this radical defect that they have failed to bring over with them that
power of original selection and initiative without which further progress
is impossible. I wish the student to grasp this point very clearly, for it
is of the utmost importance. Of course the basis of our further evolution
is conformity to the harmonious nature of the Originating Spirit; but upon
this foundation we each have to build up the superstructure of our own
individuality, and every step of advance depends on our personal
development of power to take that step. This is what is meant by taking an
initiative. It is making a New Departure, not merely recombining the old
things into fresh groupings still subject to the old laws, but introducing
an entirely new element which will bring its own New Law along with it.

Now if this is the true meaning of "initiative" then that is just the
power which these otherwise happy souls do not possess. For by the very
conditions of the case they are living only in their subjective
consciousness, and consequently are living by the law of subjective mind;
and one of the chief characteristics of subjective mind is its incapacity
to reason inductively, and therefore its inability to make the selection
and take the initiative necessary to inaugurate a New Departure. The well
established facts of mental law show conclusively that subjective mind
argues only deductively. It argues quite correctly from any given premises,
but it cannot take the initiative in selecting the premises--that is the
province of inductive reasoning which is essentially the function of the
objective mind. But by the law of Auto-suggestion this discarnate
individual has brought over his premises with him, which premises are the
sum-total of his inductions made during objective life, the conception of
things which he held at the time he passed over, for this constituted his
idea of Truth. Now he cannot add to these inductions, for he has parted
with his instrument for inductive reasoning, and therefore his deductive
reasoning in the purely subjective state which he has now entered is
necessarily limited to the consequences which may be deducted from the
premises which he has brought along with him.

In the case of the highly-developed individualities we are now considering
the premises thus brought over are of a very far-reaching and beautiful
character, and consequently the range of their subjective life is
correspondingly wide and beautiful; but, nevertheless, it is subject to the
radical defect that it is debarred from further progress for the simple
reason that the individual has not brought over with him the mental faculty
which can impress his subjective entity with the requisite forward movement
for making a new departure into a New Order. And moreover, the higher the
subjective development with which the individual passed over the more
likely he will be to realize this defect. If during earth-life he had
gained sufficient knowledge of these things he will carry with him the
knowledge that his discarnate existence is purely subjective; and therefore
he will realize that, however he may be able to order the pictures of his
dream, yet it is still but a dream, and in common with all other dreams
lacks the basis of solidity from which to take _really creative action_.

He knows also that the condition of other discarnate individualities is
similar to his own, and that consequently each one must necessarily live in
a world apart--a world of his own creation, because none of them possess
the objective mentality by which to direct their subjective currents so as
to make them penetrate into the sphere of another subjective entity, which
is the _modus operandi_ of telepathy. Thus he is conscious of his own
inability to hold intercourse with other personalities; for though he may
for his own pleasure create the semblance of them in his dream-life, yet he
knows that these are creations of his own mind, and that while he appears
to be conversing with a friend amid the most lovely surroundings the friend
himself may be having experiences of a very different description. I am, of
course, speaking now of persons who have passed over in a very high state
of development and with a very considerable, though still imperfect,
knowledge of the Law of their own being. Probably the majority take their
dream-life for an external reality; and, in any case, all who have passed
over without carrying their objective mentality along with them must be
shut up in their individual subjective spheres and cease to function as
centers of creative power so long as they do not emerge from that state.

But the highly advanced individuals of whom I am now speaking have passed
over with a true knowledge of the Law of the relation between subjective
and objective mind and have therefore brought with them a _subjective_
knowledge of this truth; and therefore, however otherwise in a certain
sense happy, they must still be conscious of a fundamental limitation which
prevents their further advance. And this consciousness can produce only one
result, an ever-growing longing for the removal of this limitation--and
this represents the intense desire of the Spirit, as individualized in
these souls, to attain to the conditions under which it can freely exercise
its creative power. Sub-consciously this is the desire of _all_ souls, for
it is that continual pressing forward of the Spirit for manifestation out
of which the whole Creative Process arises; and so it is that the great cry
perpetually ascends to God from all as yet undelivered souls, whether in or
out of the body, for the deliverance which they knowingly or unknowingly
desire.

All this comes out of the well-ascertained facts of the law of relation
between subjective and objective mind. Then comes the question, Is there no
way of getting out of this law? The answer is that we can never get away
from universal principles--_but we can specialise them_. We may take it as
an axiom that any law which appears to limit us contains in itself the
principle by which that limitation can be overcome, just as in the case of
the flotation of iron. In this axiom, then, we shall find the clue which
will bring us out of the labyrinth. The same law which places various
degrees of limitation upon the souls that have passed into the invisible
can be so applied as to set them free. We have seen that everything turns
on the obligation of our subjective part to act within the limits of the
suggestion which has been most deeply impressed upon it. Then why not
impress upon it the suggestion that in passing over to the other side it
has brought its objective mentality along with it?

If such a suggestion were effectively impressed upon our subjective mind,
then by the fundamental law of our nature our subjective mind would act in
strict accordance with this suggestion, with the result that the objective
mind would no longer be separated from it, and that we should carry with us
into the unseen our _whole_ mentality, both subjective and objective, and
so be able to exercise our inductive powers of selection and initiative as
well there as here.

Why not? The answer is that we cannot accept any suggestion unless we
believe it to be true, and to believe it to be true we must feel that we
have a solid foundation for our belief. If, then, we can find a sufficient
foundation for adequately impressing this suggestion upon ourselves, then
the principles of mental law assure us that we shall carry our objective
faculty of initiative and selection into the unseen. Therefore our quest is
to find this Foundation. Then, since we cannot accept as true what we
believe to be contrary to the ultimate law of the universe, if we are to
find such a foundation at all it must be within that Law; and it is for
this reason that I have laid so much stress upon the Normal Standard of
Human Individuality. When we are convinced that this ideal completeness is
quite normal, and is a spiritual fact, not dependent upon the body, but
able to control the body, then we have got the solid basis on which to
carry our objective personality along with us into the unseen, and the
well-established laws of our mental constitution justify the belief that we
can do so.

From these considerations it is obvious that those who thus pass over in
possession of their complete mentality must be in a very different position
from those who pass into a condition of merely subjective life, for they
have brought their powers of selection and initiative with them, and can
therefore employ their experiences in the unseen as a starting-point for
still further development. So, then, the question arises, What lines will
this further development be likely to follow?

We are now considering the case of persons who have reached a very high
degree of development; who have succeeded in so completely uniting the
subjective and objective portions of their spiritual being into a perfect
whole that they can never again be severed; and who are therefore able to
function with their whole consciousness on the spiritual plane. Such
persons will doubtless be well aware that they have attained this degree of
development by the Law of the Creative Process working in terms of their
own individuality, and so they would naturally always refer to the original
Cosmic Creation as the demonstration of the principle which they have to
specialize for their own further evolution. Then they would find that the
principle involved is that of the manifestation of Spirit in Form; and they
would further see that this manifestation is not an illusion but a reality,
for the simple reason that both mind and matter are equally projections
from the Great Originating Spirit. Both alike are thoughts of the Divine
Mind, and it is impossible to conceive any greater reality than the Divine
Thought, or to get at any more substantial source of reality than that.
Even if we were to picture the Divine Mind as laughing at its productions
as being mere illusions _relatively to itself_ (which I certainly do not),
still the relation between the individual mind and material existence would
be a reality for the individual, on the simple mathematical ground that
like signs multiplied together invariably produce a positive result, even
though the signs themselves be negative; so that, for us, at every stage of
our existence substance must always be as much a reality as mind. Therefore
the manifestation of Spirit in Form is the eternal principle of the
Creative Process whether in the evolution of a world-system or in that of
an individual.

But when we realize that by the nature of the Creative Process substance
must be an eternal verity we must not suppose that this is true also of
_particular forms_ or of _particular modes_ of matter. Substance is a
necessity for the expression of Spirit, but it does not follow that Spirit
is tied down to any particular mode of expression. If you fold a piece of
paper into the form of a dart it will fly through the air by the law of the
form which you have given it. Again, if you take the same bit of paper and
fold it into the shape of a boat it will float on water by the law of the
new form that you have given it. The thing formed will act in accordance
with the form given it, and the same paper can be folded into different
forms; but if there were no paper you could put it into any shape at all.
The dart and the boat are both real so long as you retain the paper in
either of those shapes; but this does not alter the fact that you can
change the shapes, though your power to do so depends on the existence of
the paper. This is a rough analogy of the relation between ultimate
substance and particular forms, and shows us that neither substance nor
shape is an illusion; both are essential to the manifestation of Spirit,
only by the nature of the Creative Process the Spirit has power to
determine what shape substance shall take at any particular time.

Accordingly we find the great Law that, as Spirit is the Alpha of the
Creative Process, so solid material Form is its Omega; in other words the
Creative Series is incomplete until solid material form is reached.
Anything short of this is a condition of incompleteness, and therefore the
enlightened souls who have passed over in possession of both sides of their
mentality will realize that their condition, however beatific, is still one
of incompleteness; and that what is wanted for completion is expression
through a material body. This, then, is the direction in which such souls
would use their powers of initiative and selection as being the true line
of evolution--in a word they would realize that the principle of Creative
Progression, when it reaches the level of fully developed mental man,
necessarily implies the Resurrection of the Body, and that anything short
of this would be retrogression and not progress.

At the same time persons who had passed over with this knowledge would
never suppose that Resurrection meant merely the resuscitation of the old
body under the old conditions; for they would see that the same inherent
law which makes expression in concrete substance the ultimate of the
creative series also makes this ultimate form depend on the originating
movement of the spirit which produces it, and therefore that, although
_some_ concrete form is essential for complete manifestation, and is a
substantial reality so long as it is maintained, yet the maintaining of the
particular form is entirely dependent on the action of the spirit of which
the form is the external clothing. This resurrection body would therefore
be no mere illusory spirit-shape, yet it would not be subject to the
limitations of matter as we now know it: it would be physical matter still,
but entirely subject to the will of the indwelling spirit, which would not
regard the denser atomic relations of the body but only its absolute and
essential nature as Primary Substance. I want the student to grasp the idea
that the same thing may be very different when looked at, so to say, from
opposite ends of the stick. What is solid molecular matter when viewed from
the outside is plastic primary substance when viewed from the inside. The
relations of this new body to any stimulus proceeding from outside would be
those of the external laws of Nature; but its relation to the spiritual ego
working from within would be that of a plastic substance to be molded at
will. The employment of such power would, however, at all times be based
upon the reverent worship of the All-creating Spirit; and it would
therefore never be exercised otherwise than in accordance with the
harmonious progress of the Creative Process. Proceeding on these lines the
spirit in the individual would stand in precisely the same relation to his
body that the All-originating Spirit does to the cosmos.

This, then, is the sort of body which the instructed would contemplate as
that in which he was to attain resurrection. He would regard it, not as an
illusion, but as a great reality; while at the same time he would not need
to trouble himself about its particular form, for he would know that it
would be the perfect expression of his own conception of himself. He would
know this because it is in accordance with the fundamental principle that
external creation has its root in the Self-contemplation of Spirit.

Those passing over with this knowledge would obviously be in a very
different position from those who passed over with only a subjective
consciousness. They would bring with them powers of selection and
initiative by which they could continue to impress fresh and expanding
conceptions upon their subjective mind, and so cause it to carry on its
work as the seed-ground of the whole individuality, instead of being shut
up in itself as a mere circulus for the repetition of previously received
ideas; and so in their recognition of the _principle_ of physical
resurrection they would have a clear and definite line of auto-suggestion.
And because this suggestion is derived from the undeniable facts of the
whole cosmic creation, it is one which both subjective and objective mind
can accept as an established fact, and so the suggestion becomes effective.
This suggestion, then, becomes the self-contemplation of the individual
spirit; and because it is in strict conformity with the generic principle
of the Original Creative Activity, of which the individual mind is itself a
product, this becomes also the Self-contemplation of the Originating Spirit
as seeing itself reflected in the individual spirit; so that, by the basic
law of the Creative Process, this suggestion is bound sooner or later to
work out into its corresponding fact, namely, the production of a material
body free from the power of death and from all those limitations which we
now associate with our physical organism.

This, then, is the hope of those who pass over in recognition of the great
truth. But how about those who have passed over without that recognition?
We have seen that their purely subjective condition precludes them from
taking any initiative on their own account, for that requires the presence
of objective mind. Their subjective mind, however, still retains its
essential nature; that is, it is still susceptible to suggestion, and still
possesses its inherent creativeness in working out any suggestion that is
sufficiently deeply implanted in it. Here, then, opens up a vast field of
activity for that other class who have passed over in possession of both
sides of their mentality. By means of their powers of initiative and
selection they can on the principle of telepathy cause their own subjective
mind to penetrate the subjective spheres of those who do not possess those
powers, and they can thus endeavor to impress upon them the great truth of
the physical ultimate of the Creative Process--the truth that any series
which stops short of that ultimate is incomplete, and, if insisted upon as
being ultimate, must become self-destructive because in opposition to the
inherent working of the Universal Creative Spirit. Then, as the perception
of the true nature of the Creative Process dawned upon any subjective
entity, it would by reason of accepting this suggestion begin to develop an
objective mentality, and so would gradually attain to the same status as
those who had passed over in full possession of all their mental powers.

But the more the objective mentality became developed in these discarnate
personalities the more the need of a corresponding physical instrument
would assert itself, both from their intellectual perception of the
original cosmic process, and also from the inherent energy of the Spirit as
centered in the ultimate ego of the individual. Not to seek material
manifestation would be the contrary of all we have traced out regarding the
nature of the Creative Process; and hence the law of tendency resulting
from the conscious union of subjective and objective mind in the individual
must necessarily be toward the production of a physical form. Only we must
recollect, as I have already pointed out, that this concentration of these
minds would be upon a principle and not upon a particular bodily shape. The
particular form they would be content to leave to the inherent
self-expressiveness of the Universal Spirit working through the particular
ego, with the result that their expectation would be fixed upon a _general
principle_ of physical Resurrection which would provide a form suited to be
the material instrument of the highest ideal of man as a spiritual and
mental being. Then, since the subjective mind is the automatic builder of
the body, the result of the individual's acceptance of the Resurrection
principle must be that this mental conception will eventually work out as a
corresponding fact. Whether on this planet or on some other, matters not,
for, as we have already seen, the physical body evolved by a soul that is
conscious of its unity with the Universal Spirit is bound to be in
conformity with the physical laws of _any_ planet, though from the
standpoint of the conscious ego not limited by them.

In this way we may conceive that those who have passed over in possession
of both sides of their spiritual nature would find a glorious field of
usefulness in the unseen in helping to emancipate those who had passed over
in possession of their subjective side only. But from our present analysis
it will be seen that this can only be effected on the basis of a
recognition of the principle of the Resurrection of the Body. Apart from
the recognition of this principle the only possible conception which the
discarnate individual could form of himself would be that of a purely
subjective being; and this carries with it all the limitations of a
subjective life unbalanced by an objective one; and so long as the
principle of physical resurrection is denied, so long the life must
continue to be merely subjective and consequently unprogressive.[7]

But it may be asked why those who have realized this great principle
sufficiently to carry their objective mentality into the unseen state are
liable to the change which we call death. The answer is that though they
have realized _the general principle_ they have not yet divested themselves
of certain conceptions by which they limit it, and consequently by the law
of subjective mind they carry those limitations into the working of the
Resurrection principle itself.

They are limited by the race-belief that physical death is under all
conditions a necessary law of Nature, or by the theological belief that
death is the will of God; so then the question is whether these beliefs are
well founded. Of course appeal is made to universal experience, but it does
not follow that the universal experience of the past is bound to be the
universal experience of the future--the universal experience of the past
was that no man had ever flown across the English Channel, yet now it has
been done. What we have to do, therefore, is not to bother about past
experience, but to examine the inherent nature of the Law of Life and see
whether it does not contain possibilities of further development. And the
first step in this direction is to see whether what we have hitherto
considered limitations of the law are really integral parts of the law
itself. The very statement of this question shows the correct answer; for
how can a force acting in one direction be an integral part of a force
acting in the opposite direction? How can the force which pulls a thing
down be an integral part of the force which builds it up? To suppose,
therefore, that the limitations of the law are an integral portion of the
law itself is a _reductio ad absurdum_.

For these reasons the argument from the past experience of the race counts
for nothing; and when we examine the theological argument we shall find
that it is only the old argument from past experience in another dress. It
is alleged that death is the will of God. How do we know that it is the
will of God? Because the facts prove it so, is the ultimate answer of all
religious systems with one exception; so here we are back again at the old
race-experience as the criterion of truth. Therefore the theological
argument is nothing but the materialistic argument disguised. It is in our
more or less _conscious_ acceptance of the materialistic argument, under
any of its many disguises, that the limitation of life is to be found--not
in the Law of Life itself; and if we are to bring into manifestation the
infinite possibilities latent in that Law it can only be by looking
steadily into the _principle_ of the Law and resolutely denying everything
that opposes it. The Principle of Life must of necessity be Affirmative,
and affirmative throughout, without any negative anywhere--if we once
realize this we shall be able to unmask the enemy and silence his guns.

Now to do this is precisely the one object of the Bible; and it does it in
a thoroughly logical manner, always leading on to the ultimate result by
successive links of cause and effect. People will tell you that the Bible
is their authority for saying that Death is the will of God; but these are
people who read it carelessly; and ultimately the only reason they can give
you for their manner of interpreting the Bible is that the facts prove
their interpretation to be correct; so that in the last resort you will
always find you have got back to the old materialistic argument from past
race-experience, which logically proves nothing. These are good
well-meaning people with a limited idea which they read into the Bible, and
so limit its promises by making physical death an essential preliminary to
Resurrection. They grasp, of course, the great central idea that Perfected
Man possesses a joyous immortal Life permeating spirit, soul and body; but
they relegate it to some dim and distant future, entirely disconnected from
the present law of our being, not seeing that if we are to have eternal
life it must necessarily be involved in some principle which is eternal,
and therefore existing, at any rate latently, at the present moment. Hence,
though their fundamental principle is true, they are all the time mentally
limiting it, with the result that they themselves create the conditions
they impose upon it, and consequently the principle will work (as
principles always do) in accordance with the conditions provided for its
action.

Unless, therefore, this limiting belief is entirely eradicated, the
individual, though realizing the fundamental principle of Life, is bound to
pass out of physical existence; but on the other hand, since he does take
the recognition of this fundamental principle with him, it is bound to bear
fruit sooner or later in a joyous Resurrection, while the intermediate
state can only be a peaceful anticipation of that supreme event. This is
the answer to the question why those who have realized the great principle
sufficiently to carry their objective mentality into the unseen world are
still liable to physical death; and in the last analysis it will be found
to resolve itself into the remains of race belief based upon past
experience. These are they who pass over in sure and certain hope of a
glorious Resurrection--sure and certain because founded upon the very Being
of God Himself, that inherent Life of the All-creating Divine Spirit which
is the perpetual interaction of the Eternal Love and Beauty. They have
grasped the Life-giving Truth, only they have postponed its operation,
because they have the fixed idea that its present fruition is an absolute
impossibility.

But if we ask the reason for this idea it always comes back to the old
materialistic argument from the experience of past conditions, while the
whole nature of advance is in the opening up of new conditions. And in this
advance the Bible is the pioneer book. Its whole purport is to tell us most
emphatically that death is _not_ the will of God. In the story of Eden God
is represented as warning man of the poisonous nature of the forbidden
fruit, which is incompatible with the idea of death as an essential feature
of man's nature. Then from the point where man has taken the poison all the
rest of the Bible is devoted to telling us how to get rid of it. Christ, it
tells us, was manifested to bring Life and Immortality to light--to abolish
death--to destroy the works of the devil, that is the death-dealing power,
for "he that hath the power of death is the devil." It is impossible to
reconcile this life-giving conception of the Bible with the idea that death
at any stage or in any degree is the desire of God. Let us, therefore,
start with the recognition that this negative force, whether in its minor
degrees as disease or in its culmination as death, is that which it is the
will of God to abolish. This also is logical; for if God be the Universal
Spirit of Life finding manifestation in individual lives, how can the
desire of this Spirit be to act in opposition to its own manifestation?
Therefore Scripture and common-sense alike assure us that the will of God
toward us is Life and not death.[8]

We may therefore start on our quest for Life with the happy certainty that
God is on our side. But people will meet us with the objection that though
God wills Life to us, He does not will it just yet, but only in some dim
far-off future. How do we know this? Certainly not from the Bible. In the
Bible Jesus speaks of two classes of persons who believe on Him as the
Manifestation or Individualisation of the Spirit of Life. He speaks of
those who, having passed through death, still believe on Him, and says that
these _shall_ live--a future event. And at the same time He speaks of those
who are living and believe on Him, and says that they shall never die--thus
contemplating the entire elimination of the contingency of death (John xi.
25).

Again St. Paul expresses his wish not to be unclothed but to be clothed
upon, which he certainly would not have done had he considered the latter
alternative a nonsensical fancy. And in another place he expressly states
that we shall not all die, but that some shall be transmuted into the
Resurrection body without passing through physical death. And if we turn to
the Old Testament we find two instances in which this is said to have
actually occurred, those of Enoch and Elijah. And we may note in passing
that the Bible draws our attention to certain facts about these two
personages which are important as striking at the root of the notion that
austerities of some sort are necessary for the great attainment. Of Enoch
we are expressly told that he was the father of a large family, and of
Elijah that he was a man of like nature with ourselves--thus showing us
what is wanted is not a shutting of ourselves off from ordinary human life
but such a clear realization of the Universal Principle, of which our
personal life is the more or less conscious manifestation, that our
commonest actions will be hallowed by the Divine Presence; and so the grand
denouement will be only the natural result of our daily habit of walking
with God. From the stand-point of the Bible, therefore, the attainment of
physical regeneration without passing through death is not an
impossibility, nor is it necessarily relegated to some far off future.
Whatever any one else may say to the contrary, the Bible contemplates such
a denouement of human evolution as a present possibility.

Then if we argue from the philosophical stand-point we arrive at precisely
the same result. Past experience proves nothing, and we must therefore make
a fresh start by going back to the Original Creative action of the Spirit
of Life itself. Then, if we take this as our starting point, remembering
that at the stage of this _original_ movement there can be no intervention
by a second power, because there is none, why should we mentally impose any
restriction upon the action of the Creative Power? Certainly not by its own
Law of Tendency, for that must always be toward fuller self-expression; and
since this can only take place through the individual, the desire of the
Spirit must always be toward the increasing of the individual life. Nor yet
from anything in the created substance, for that would either be to suppose
the Spirit creating something in limitation of its own Self-expression, or
else to suppose that the limiting substance was created by some other power
working against the Spirit; and as this would mean a Duality of powers we
should not have reached the Originating Power at all, and so we might put
Spirit and Substance equally out of court as both being merely modes of
secondary causation. But if we see that the Universal Substance must be
created by emanation from the Universal Spirit, then we see that no
limitation of Spirit by substance is possible. We may therefore feel
assured that no limitation proceeds either from the will of the Spirit or
from the nature of Substance.

Where, then, does limitation come from? Limiting conditions are created by
the same power which creates everything else, namely, the
Self-contemplation of Spirit. This is why it is so important to realize
that the individual mind forms a center from which the self-contemplating
action of Spirit is specialized in terms of the individual's own mode of
thinking, and therefore so long as the individual contemplates negative
conditions as being _of the essence_ of his own personality, he is in
effect employing the Creative Power of the Self-contemplation of Spirit
invertedly, destructively instead of constructively. The Law of the
Self-contemplation of Spirit as the Creative Power is as true in the
microcosm as in the macrocosm, and so the individual's contemplation of
himself as subject to the law of sin and death keeps him subject to that
law, while the opposite self-contemplation, the contemplation of himself as
rejoicing in the Life of the Spirit, the Perfect Law of Liberty, must
necessarily produce the opposite results.

Why, then, should not regeneration be accomplished here and now? I can see
no reason against it, either Scriptural or philosophical, except our own
difficulty in getting rid of the race-traditions which are so deeply
embedded in our subjective minds. To get rid of these we require a firm
basis on which to receive the opposite suggestion. We need to be convinced
that our ideal of a regenerated self is in accord with the Normal Standard
of Humanity and is within the scope of the laws of the universe. Now to
make clear to us the _infinitude_ of the truly Normal Standard of Humanity
is the whole purpose of the Bible; and the Manifestation of this Standard
is set before us in the Central Personality of the Scriptures who is at
once the Son of God and the Son of Man--the Great Exception, if you will,
to man as we know him now, but the Exception which proves the Rule. In
proportion as we begin to realize this we begin to introduce into our own
life the action of that Personal Factor on which all further development
depends; and when our recognition is complete we shall find that we also
are children of God.





CHAPTER IX

CONCLUSION


We are now in a position to see the place occupied by the individual in the
Creative Order. We have found that the originating and maintaining force of
the whole Creative Process is the Self-contemplation of the Spirit, and
that this necessarily produces a Reciprocal corresponding to the idea
embodied in the contemplation, and thus manifesting that idea in a
correlative Form. We have found that in this way the externalization of the
idea progresses from the condensation of the primary nebula to the
production of human beings as a race, and that at this point the simple
_generic_ reproduction of the idea terminates. This means that up to, and
including, _genus homo_, the individual, whether plant, animal, or man, is
what it is simply by reason of race conditions and not by exercise of
deliberate choice. Then we have seen that the next step in advance must
necessarily be by the individual becoming aware that he has power to mold
the conditions of his own consciousness and environment by the creative
power of his thought; thus not only enabling him to take a conscious part
in his own further evolution but precluding him from evolving any further
except by the right exercise of this power; and we have found that the crux
of the passage from the Fourth to the Fifth Kingdom is to get people so to
understand the nature of their creative power as not to use it
destructively. Now what we require to see is that the Creative Process has
always only one way of working, and that is by Reciprocity or Reflection,
or, as we might say, by the law of Action and Re-action, the re-action
being always equivalent and correspondent to the action which generated it.
If this Law of Reciprocity be grasped then we see how the progress of the
Creative Process must at length result in producing a being who himself
possesses the power of independent spiritual initiative and is thus able to
carry on the creative work from the stand-point of his own individuality.

Now the great crux is first to get people to see that they possess this
power at all, and then to get them to use it in the right direction. When
our eyes begin to open to the truth that we do possess this power the
temptation is to ignore the fact that our power of initiative is itself a
product of the similar power subsisting in the All-originating Spirit. If
this origin of our own creative faculty is left out of sight we shall fail
to recognize the Livingness of the Greater Life within which we live. We
shall never get nearer to it than what we may call its _generic_ level, the
stage at which the Creative Power is careful of the type or race but is
careless of the individual; and so at this level we shall never pass into
the Fifth Kingdom which is the Kingdom of Individuality--we have missed the
whole point of the transition to the more advanced mode of being, in which
the individual consciously functions as a creative center, because we have
no conception of a Universal Power that works at any higher level than the
generic, and consequently to reach a specific personal exercise of creative
power we should have to conceive of ourselves as transcending the Universal
Law. But if we realize that our own power of creative initiative has its
origin in the similar faculty of the All-Originating Mind then we see that
the way to maintain the Life-giving energy in ourselves is to use our power
of spiritual initiative so as to impress upon the Spirit the conception of
ourselves as standing related to It in a specific, individual, and personal
way that takes us out of the mere category of _genus homo_ and gives us a
specific spiritual individuality of our own. Thus our mental action
produces a corresponding re-action in the mind of the Spirit, which in its
turn reproduces itself as a special manifestation of the Life of the Spirit
in us; and so long as this circulation between the individual spirit and
the Great Spirit is kept up, the individual life will be maintained, and
will also strengthen as the circulation continues, for the reason that the
Spirit, as the Original Creative Power, is a Multiplying Force, and the
current sent into it is returned multiplied, just as in telegraphy the
feeble current received from a distance at the end of a long line operates
to start a powerful battery in the receiving office, which so multiplies
the force as to give out a clear message, which but for the multiplication
of the original movement could not have been done. Something like this we
may picture the multiplying tendency of the Originating Mind, and
consequently the longer the circulation between it and the individual mind
goes on the stronger the latter becomes; and this process growing habitual
becomes at last automatic, thus producing an endless flow of Life
continually expanding in intelligence, love, power and joy.

But we must note carefully that all this can only proceed from the
individual's recognition that his own powers are a derivative from the
All-originating Spirit, and that they can continue to be used
constructively only so long as they are employed in harmony with the
inherent Forward Movement of the Spirit. Therefore to insure this eternally
flowing stream of Life from the Universal Spirit into the individual there
must be _no inversion_ in the individual's presentation of himself to the
Originating Power: for through the very same Law by which we seek Life--the
Life namely, of reciprocal action and re-action--every inversion we bring
with us in presenting ourselves to the Spirit is bound to be faithfully
reproduced in a corresponding re-action, thus adulterating the stream of
Pure Life, and rendering it less life-giving in proportion to the extent to
which we invert the action of the Life-principle; so that in extreme cases
the stream flowing through and from the individual may be rendered
absolutely poisonous and deadly, and the more so the greater his
recognition of his own personal power to employ spiritual forces.

The existence of these negative possibilities in the spiritual world should
never be overlooked, and therefore the essential condition for receiving
the Perfect Fulness of Life is that we should present ourselves before the
Eternal Spirit free from every trace of inversion. To do this means to
present ourselves in the likeness of the Divine Ideal; and in this
self-presentation the initiative, so far as the individual is consciously
concerned, must necessarily be taken by himself. He is to project into the
Eternal Mind the conception of himself as identical with its Eternal Ideal;
and if he can do this, then by the Law of the Creative Process a return
current will flow from the Eternal Mind reproducing this image in the
individual with a continually growing power. Then the question is, How are
we to do this?

The answer is that to take the initiative for inducing this flow of Life
individually it is a _sine qua non_ that the conditions enabling us to do
so should first be presented to us universally. This is in accordance with
the general principle that we can never create a force but can only
specialize it. Only here the power we are wanting to specialize is the very
Power of Specialization itself; and therefore, paradoxical as it may seem,
what we require to have shown us is the Universality of Specialization.

Now this is what the Bible puts before us in its central figure. Taking the
Bible statements simply and literally they show us this unique Personality
as the Principle of Humanity, alike in its spiritual origin and its
material manifestation, carried to the logical extreme of specialization;
while at the same time, as the embodiment of the original polarity of
Spirit and Substance, this Personality, however unique, is absolutely
universal; so that the Bible sets Jesus Christ before us as the answer to
the philosophic problem of how to specialize the universal, while at the
same time preserving its universality.

If, then, we fix our thought upon this unique Personality as the embodiment
of _universal_ principles, it follows that those principles must exist in
ourselves also, and that His actual specialization of them is the earnest
of our potential specialization of them. Then if we fix our thought on this
potential in ourselves as being identical with its manifestation in Him, we
can logically claim our identity with Him, so that what He has done we have
done, what He is, we are, and thus recognizing ourselves in Him we present
_this_ image of ourselves to the Eternal Mind, with the result that we
bring with us no inversion, and so import no negative current into our
stream of Life.

Thus it is that we reach "the Father" through "the Son," and that He is
able to keep us from falling and to present us faultless before the
presence of the Divine glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24). The Gospel of
"the Word made flesh" is not the meaningless cant of some petty sect nor
yet the cunning device of priestcraft, though it has been distorted in both
these directions; but it can give a reason for itself, and is founded upon
the deepest laws of the threefold constitution of man, embracing the
_whole_ man, body, soul and spirit. It is not opposed to Science but is the
culmination of all science whether physical or mental. It is philosophical
and logical throughout if you start the Creative Process where alone it can
start, in the Self-contemplation of the Spirit. The more carefully we
examine into the claims of the Gospel of Christ the more we shall find all
the current objections to it melt away and disclose their own
superficialness. We shall find that Christ is indeed the Mediator between
God and Man, not by the arbitrary fiat of a capricious Deity, but by a
logical law of sequence which solves the problem of making extremes meet,
so that the Son of Man is also the Son of God; and when we see the reason
why this is so we thereby receive power to become ourselves sons of God,
which is the denouement of the Creative Process in the Individual.

These closing lines are not the place to enter upon so great a subject, but
I hope to follow it up in another volume and to show in detail the logic of
the Bible teaching, what it saves us from and what it leads us to; to show
while giving due weight to the value of other systems how it differs from
them and transcends them; to glance, perhaps, for a moment at the
indications of the future and to touch upon some of the dangers of the
present and the way to escape from them. Nor would I pass over in silence
another and important aspect of the Gospel contained in Christ's commission
to His followers to heal the sick. This also follows logically from the Law
of the Creative Process if we trace carefully the sequence of connections
from the indwelling Ego to the outermost of its vehicles; while the effect
of the recognition of these great truths upon the individuality that has
for a time put off its robe of flesh, opens out a subject of paramount
interest. Thus it is that on every plane Christ is the Fulfilling of the
Law, and that "Salvation" is not a silly shiboleth but the logical and
vital process of our advance into the unfoldment of the next stage of the
limitless capacities of our being. Of these things I hope to write in
another volume, should it be permitted to me, and in the meanwhile I would
commend the present abstract statement of principles to the reader's
attention in the hope that it may throw some light on the fundamental
nature of these momentous questions. The great thing to bear in mind is
that if a thing is true at all there must be a reason why it is true, and
when we come to see this reason we know the truth at first hand for
ourselves and not from some one else's report--then it becomes really our
own and we begin to learn how to use it. This is the secret of the
individual's progress in any art, science, or business, and the same method
will serve equally well in our search after Life itself, and as we thus
follow up the great quest we shall find that on every plane the Way, the
Truth, and the Life are ONE.

"A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to atheism, but depth in
philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."--_Bacon. Essay xvi_.





CHAPTER X

THE DIVINE OFFERING


I take the present opportunity of a new edition to add a few pages on
certain points which appear to me of vital importance, and the connection
of which with the preceding chapters will, I hope, become evident as the
reader proceeds. Assuming the existence in each individual of a creative
power of thought which, in relation to himself, reflects the same power
existing in the Universal Mind, our right employment of this power becomes
a matter of extreme moment to ourselves. Its inverted use necessarily holds
us fast in the bondage from which we are seeking to escape, and equally
necessarily its right use brings us into Liberty; and therefore if any
Divine revelation exists at all its purpose must be to lead us away from
the inverted use of our creative faculty and into such a higher
specializing of it as will produce the desired result. Now the purpose of
the Bible is to do this, and it seeks to effect this work by a dual
operation. It places before us that Divine Ideal of which I have already
spoken, and at the same time bases this ideal upon the recognition of a
Divine Sacrifice. These two conceptions are so intimately interwoven in
Scripture that they cannot be separated, but at the present day there _is_
a growing tendency to attempt to make this separation and to discard the
conception of a Divine Sacrifice as unphilosophical, that is as having no
nexus of cause and effect. What I want, therefore, to point out in these
additional pages is that there is such a nexus, and that so far from being
without a sequence of cause and effect it has its root in the innermost
principles of our own being. It is not contrary to Law but proceeds from
the very nature of the Law itself.

The current objection to the Bible teaching on this subject is that no such
sacrifice could have been required by God, either because the Originating
Energy can have no consciousness of Personality and is only a blind force,
or because, if "God is Love," He could not demand such a sacrifice. On the
former hypothesis we are of course away from the Bible teaching altogether
and have nothing to do with it; but, as I have said elsewhere, the fact of
our own consciousness of personality can only be accounted for by the
existence, however hidden, of a corresponding quality in the Originating
Spirit. Therefore I will confine my remarks to the question how Love, as
the originating impulse of all creation, can demand such a sacrifice. And
to my mind the answer is that God does not demand it. It is Man who demands
it. It is the instinctive craving of the human soul for _certainty_ that
requires a demonstration so convincing as to leave no room for doubt of our
perfectly happy relation to the Supreme Spirit, and consequently to all
that flows from it, whether on the side of the visible or of the invisible.
When we grasp the fact that such a standpoint of certainty is the necessary
foundation for the building up in ourselves of the Divine Ideal then it
becomes clear that to afford us this firm basis is the greatest work that
the Spirit, in its relation to human personality, could do.

We are often told that the offering of sacrifices had its origin in
primitive man's conception of his gods as beings which required to be
propitiated so as to induce them to do good or abstain from doing harm; and
very likely this was the case. The truth at the back of this conception is
the feeling that there is a higher power upon which man is dependent; and
the error is in supposing that this power is limited by an individuality
which can be enriched by selling its good offices, or which blackmails you
by threats. In either case it wants to get something out of you, and from
this it follows that its own power of supplying its own wants must be
limited, otherwise it would not require to be kept in good temper by gifts.
In very undeveloped minds such a conception results in the idea of numerous
gods, each having, so to say, his own particular line of business; and the
furthest advance this mode of thought is capable of is the reduction of
these various deities to two antagonistic powers of Good and of Evil. But
the result in either case is the same, so long as we start with the
hypothesis that the Good will do us more good and the Evil do us less harm
by reason of our sacrifices, for then it logically follows that the more
valuable your sacrifices and the oftener they are presented the better
chance you have of good luck. Doubtless some such conception as this was
held by the mass of the Hebrew people under the sacrificial system of the
Levitical Law, and perhaps this was one reason why they were so prone to
fall into idolatry--for in this view their fundamental notion was
practically identical in its nature with that of the heathen around them.
Of course this was not the fundamental idea embodied in the Levitical
system itself. The root of that system was the symbolizing of a supreme
ideal of reconciliation hereafter to be manifested in action. Now a symbol
is not the thing symbolized. The purpose of a symbol is twofold, to put us
upon enquiry as to the reality which it indicates, and to bring that
reality to our minds by suggestion when we look at the symbol; but if it
does not do this, and we rest only in the symbol, nothing will come of it,
and we are left just where we were. That the symbolic nature of the
Levitical sacrifice was clearly perceived by the deeper thinkers among the
Hebrews is attested by many passages in the Bible--"Sacrifice and burnt
offering thou wouldest not" (Psalms xl: 6, and li: 16) and other similar
utterances; and the distinction between these symbols and that which they
symbolized is brought out in the Epistle to the Hebrews by the argument
that if those sacrifices had afforded a sufficient standpoint for the
effectual realization of cleansing then the worshiper would not need to
have repeated them because he would have no more consciousness of sin
(Hebrews x: 2).

This brings us to the essential point of the whole matter. What we want is
the certainty that there is no longer any separation between us and the
Divine Spirit by reason of sin, either as overt acts of wrong doing or as
error of principle; and the whole purpose of the Bible is to lead us to
this assurance. Now such an assurance cannot be based on any sort of
sacrifices that require repetition, for then we could never know whether we
had given enough either in quality or quantity. It must be a once-for-all
business or it is no use at all; and so the Bible makes the
once-for-allness of the offering the essential point of its teaching. "He
that has been bathed does not need to be bathed again" (John xiii: 10).
"There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans
viii: i).

Various intellectual difficulties, however, hinder many people from seeing
the working of the law of cause and effect in this presentment. One is the
question, How can moral guilt be transferred from one person to another?
What is called the "forensic" argument (i.e., the court of law argument)
that Christ undertook to suffer in our stead as our _surety_ is undoubtedly
open to this objection. Suretyship must by its very nature be confined to
civil obligations and cannot be extended to criminal liability, and so the
"forensic" argument may be set aside as very much a legal fiction. But if
we realize the Bible teaching that Christ is the Son of God, that is, the
Divine Principle of Humanity out of which we originated and subsisting in
us all, however unconsciously to ourselves, then we see that sinners as
well as saints are included in this Principle; and consequently that the
Self-offering of Christ must actually include the self-offering of every
human being in the acknowledgment (however unknown to his _objective_
mentality) of his sin. If we can grasp this somewhat abstract point of view
it follows that in the Person of Christ every human being, past, present,
and to come, was self-offered for the condemnation of his sin--a _self_-
condemnation and a _self_-offering, and hence a cleansing, for the simple
reason that if you can get a man to realize his past error, really see his
mistake, he won't do it again; and it is the perpetuation of sin and error
that has to be got rid of--to do this universally would be to regain
Paradise. Seen therefore in this light there is no question of transference
of moral guilt, and I take it this is St. Paul's meaning when he speaks of
our being partakers in Christ's death.

Then there is the objection, How can past sins be done away with? If we
accept the philosophical conclusion that Time has no substantive existence
then all that remains is states of consciousness. As I have said in the
earlier part of this book, the Self-Contemplation of Spirit is the cause of
all our perception of existence and environment; and consequently if the
Self-Contemplation of the Spirit from any center of individualization is
that of entire harmony and the absence of anything that would cause any
consciousness of separation, then past sins cease to have any part in this
self-recognition, and consequently cease to have any place in the world of
existence. The foundation of the whole creative process is the calling into
Light out of Darkness--"that which makes manifest is light"--and
consequently the converse action is that of sending out of Light into
Darkness, that is, into Notbeing. Now this is exactly what the Spirit says
in the Bible--"I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions"
(Isaiah xliii: 25). Blotting out is the sending out of manifestation into
the darkness of non-manifestation, out of Being into Not-being; and in this
way the past error ceases to have any existence and so ceases to have any
further effect upon us. It is "blotted out," and from this new standpoint
has never been at all; so that to continue to contemplate it is to give a
false sense of existence to that which in effect has no existence. It is
that Affirmation of Negation which is the root of all evil. It is the
inversion of our God-given creative power of thought, calling into
existence that which in the Perfect Life of the Spirit never had or could
have any existence, and therefore it creates the sense of inharmony,
opposition, and separation. Of course this is only relatively to ourselves,
for we cannot create eternal principles. They are the Being of God; and as
I have already shown these great Principles of the Affirmative may be
summed up in the two words Love and Beauty--Love in essence and Beauty in
manifestation; but since we can only live from the standpoint of our own
consciousness we can make a false creation built upon the idea of opposites
to the all-creating Love and Beauty, which false creation with all its
accompaniments of limitation, sin, sorrow, sickness, and death, must
necessarily be real to us until we perceive that these things were not
created by God, the Spirit of the Affirmative, but by our own inversion of
our true relation to the All-creating Being.

When, then, we view the matter in this light the Offering once for all of
the Divine Sacrifice for the sin of the whole world is seen not to be a
mere ecclesiastical dogma having no relation of cause and effect, but to be
the highest application of the same principle of cause and effect by which
the whole creation, ourselves included, has been brought into existence--
the Self-Contemplation of Spirit producing corresponding manifestation,
only now working on the level of Individual Personality.

As I have shown at the beginning of this book the cosmic manifestation of
principles is not sufficient to bring out all that there is in them. To do
this their action must be specialized by the introduction of the Personal
Factor. They are represented by the Pillar Jachin, but it must be
equilibriated by the Pillar Boaz, Law and Personality the two Pillars of
the Universe; and in the One Offering we have the supreme combination of
these two principles, the highest specialization of Law by the highest
power of Personality. These are eternal principles, and therefore we are
told that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world; and because
"thoughts are things" this supreme manifestation of the creative
interaction of Law and Personality was bound eventually to be manifested in
concrete action in the world conditioned by time and space; and so it was
that the supreme manifestation of the Love of God to meet the supreme need
of Man took place. The history of the Jewish nation is the history of the
working of the law of cause and effect, under the guidance of the Divine
Wisdom, so as to provide the necessary conditions for the greatest event in
the world's history; for if Christ was to appear it must be in _some_
nation, in _some_ place, and at _some_ time: but to trace the steps by
which, through an intelligible sequence of causes, these necessary
conditions were provided belongs rather to an investigation of Bible
history than to our present purpose, so I will not enter into these details
here. But what I hope I have in some measure made clear is that there is a
reason why Christ should be manifested, and should suffer, and rise again,
and that so far from being a baseless superstition the Reconciling of the
world to God through the One Offering once-for-all offered for the sin of
the whole world, lays the immovable foundation upon which we may build
securely for all the illimitable future.





CHAPTER XI

OURSELVES IN THE DIVINE OFFERING


If we have grasped the principle I have endeavored to state in the last
chapter we shall find that with this new standpoint a new life and a new
world begin to open out to us. This is because we are now living from a new
recognition of ourselves and of God. Eternal Truth, that which is the
essential reality of Being, is _always_ the same; it has never altered, for
whatever is capable of passing away and giving place to something else is
not eternal, and therefore the real essence of our being, as proceeding
from God and subsisting in Him has always been the same. But this is the
very fact which we have hitherto lost sight of; and since our perception of
life is the measure of our individual consciousness of it, we have imposed
upon ourselves a world of limitation, a world filled with the power of the
negative, because we have viewed things from that standpoint. What takes
place, therefore, when we realize the truth of our Redemption is not a
change in our essential relation to the Parent Spirit, the Eternal Father,
but an awakening to the perception of this eternal and absolutely perfect
relation. We see that in reality it has never been otherwise for the simple
reason that in the very nature of Being it _could_ not be otherwise; and
when we see this we see also that what has hitherto been wrong has not been
the working of "the Father" but our conception of the existence of some
other power, a power of negation, limitation, and destructiveness, the very
opposite to all that the Creative Spirit, by the very fact of Its
Creativeness, must be. That wonderful parable of the Prodigal Son shows us
that he never ceased to be a son. It was not his Father who sent him away
from home but his notion that he could do better "on his own," and we all
know what came of it. But when he returned to the Father he found that from
the Father's point of view he had never been otherwise than a son, and that
all the trouble he had gone through was not "of the Father" but was the
result of his own failure to realize what the Father and the Home really
were.[9]

Now this is exactly the case with ourselves. When we wake up to the truth
we find that, so far as the Father is concerned, we have always been in Him
and in His home, for we are made in His image and likeness and are
reflections of His own Being. He says to us "Son, thou art ever with me and
all that I have is thine." The Self-Contemplation of Spirit is the Creative
Power creating an environment corresponding to the mode of consciousness
contemplated, and therefore in proportion as we contemplate ourselves as
centers of individualization for the Divine Spirit we find ourselves
surrounded by a new environment reflecting the harmonious conditions which
preexist in the Thought of the Spirit.

This, then, is the sequence of Cause and Effect involved in the teaching of
the Bible. Man is _in essence_ a spiritual being, the reflection on the
plane of individual personality of that which the All-Originating Spirit is
in Itself, and is thus in that reciprocal relation to the Spirit which is
Love. This is the first statement of his creation in Genesis--God saw all
that He had made and behold it was very good, Man included. Then the Fall
is the failure of the lower mentality to realize that God IS Love, in a
word that Love is the only ultimate Motive Power it is possible to
conceive, and that the creations of Love cannot be otherwise than good and
beautiful. The lower mentality conceives an opposite quality of Evil and
thus produces a motive power the opposite of Love, which is Fear; and so
Fear is born into the world giving rise to the whole brood of evil, anger,
hatred, envy, lies, violence, and the like, and on the external plane
giving rise to discordant vibrations which are the root of physical ill. If
we analyze our motives we shall find that they are always some mode either
of Love or Fear; and fear has its root in the recognition of some power
other than Perfect Love, which is God the ONE all-embracing Good. Fear has
a creative force which invertedly mimics that of Love; but the difference
between them is that Love is eternal and Fear is not. Love as the Original
Creative Motive is the only logical conclusion we can come to as to why we
ourselves or any other creation exists. Fear is illogical because to regard
it as having any place in the Original Creative Motive involves a
contradiction in terms.

By accepting the notion of a dual power, that of Good _and_ Evil, the
inverted creative working of Fear is introduced with all its attendant
train of evil things. This is the eating of the deadly tree which occasions
the Fall, and therefore the Redemption which requires to be accomplished is
a redemption from Fear--not merely from this or that particular fear but
from the very Root of Fear, which root is unbelief in the Love of God, the
refusal to believe that Love alone is the Creating Power in all things,
whether small beyond our recognition or great beyond our conception.
Therefore to bring about this Redemption there must be such a manifestation
of the Divine Love to Man as, when rightly apprehended, will leave no
ground for fear; and when we see that the Sacrifice of the Cross was the
Self-Offering of Love made in order to provide this manifestation, then we
see that all the links in the chain of Cause and Effect are complete, and
that Fear never had any place in the Creative Principle, whether as acting
in the creation of a world or of a man. The root, therefore, of all the
trouble of the world consists in the Affirmation of Negation, in using our
creative power of thought invertedly, and thus giving substance to that
which _as principle_ has no existence. So long as this negative action of
thought continues so long will it produce its natural effect; whether in
the individual or in the mass. The experience is perfectly real while it
lasts. Its unreality consists in the fact that there was never any real
need for it; and the more we grasp the truth of the all-embracingness of
the ONE Good, both as Cause and as Effect, on all planes, the more the
experience of its opposite will cease to have any place in our lives.

This truly New Thought puts us in an entirely new relation to the whole of
our environment, opening out possibilities hitherto undreamt of, and this
by an orderly sequence of law which is naturally involved in our new mental
attitude; but before considering the prospect thus offered it is well to be
quite clear as to what this new mental attitude really is; for it is our
adoption of this attitude that is the Key to the whole position. Put
briefly it is ceasing to include the idea of limitations in our conception
of the working of the All-Creating Spirit. Here are some specimens of the
way in which we limit the creative working of the Spirit. We say, I am too
old now to start this or that new sort of work. This is to deny the power
of the Spirit to vivify our physical or mental faculties, which is
illogical if we consider that it is the same Spirit that brought us into
any existence at all. It is like saying that when a lamp is beginning to
burn low the same person who first filled it with oil cannot replenish it
and make it burn brightly again. Or we say, I cannot do so and so because I
have not the means. When you were fourteen did you know where all the means
were coming from which were going to support you till now when you are
perhaps forty or fifty? So you should argue that the same power that has
worked in the past can continue to work in the future. If you say the means
came in the past quite naturally through ordinary channels, that is no
objection; on the contrary the more reason for saying that suitable
channels will open in the future. Do you expect God to put cash into your
desk by a conjuring trick? Means come through recognizable channels, that
is to say we recognize the channels by the fact of the stream flowing
through them; and one of our most common mistakes is in thinking that we
ourselves have to fix the particular channel beforehand. We say in effect
that the Spirit cannot open other channels, and so we stop them up. Or we
say, our past experience speaks to the contrary, thus assuming that our
past experiences have included all possibilities and have exhausted the
laws of the universe, an assumption which is negatived by every fresh
discovery even in physical science. And so we go on limiting the power of
the Spirit in a hundred different ways.

But careful consideration will show that, though the modes in which we
limit it are as numerous as the circumstances with which we have to deal,
the thing with which we limit it is always the same--it is by the
introduction of our own personality. This may appear at first a direct
contradiction of all that I have said about the necessity for the Personal
Factor, but it is not. Here is a paradox.

To open out into manifestation the wonderful possibilities hidden in the
Creative Power of the Universe we require to do two things--to see that we
ourselves are necessary as centers for focussing that power, and at the
same time to withdraw the thought of ourselves as contributing anything to
its efficiency. It is not I that work but the Power; yet the Power needs me
because it cannot specialize itself without me--in a word each is the
complementary of the other: and the higher the degree of specialization is
to be the more necessary is the intelligent and willing co-operation of the
individual.

This is the Scriptural paradox that "the son can do nothing of himself,"
and yet we are told to be "fellow-workers with God." It ceases to be a
paradox, however, when we realize the relation between the two factors
concerned, God and Man. Our mistake is in not discriminating between their
respective functions, and putting Man in the place of God. In our everyday
life we do this by measuring the power of God by our past experiences and
the deductions we draw from them; but there is another way of putting Man
in the place of God, and that is by the misconception that the
All-Originating Spirit is merely a cosmic force without intelligence, and
that Man has to originate the intelligence without which no specific
purpose can be conceived. This latter is the error of much of the present
day philosophy and has to be specially guarded against. This was perceived
by some of the medieval students of these things, and they accordingly
distinguished between what they called Animus Dei and Anima Mundi, the
Divine Spirit and the Soul of the Universe. Now the distinction is this,
that the essential quality of Animus Dei is Personality--not A Person, but
the very Principle of Personality itself--while the essential quality of
Anima Mundi is Impersonality. Then right here comes in that importance of
the Personal Factor of which I have already spoken. The powers latent in
the Impersonal are brought out to their fullest development by the
operation of the Personal. This of course does not consist in changing the
nature of those powers, for that is impossible, but in making such
combinations of them by Personal Selection as to produce results which
could not otherwise be obtained. Thus, for example, Number is in itself
impersonal and no one can alter the laws which are inherent in it; but what
we can do is to select particular numbers and the sort of relation, such as
subtraction, multiplication, etc., which we will establish between them;
and then by the inherent Law of Number a certain result is bound to work
out. Now our own essential quality is the consciousness of Personality; and
as we grow into the recognition of the fact that the Impersonal is, as it
were, crying out for the operation upon it of the Personal in order to
bring its latent powers into working, we shall see how limitless is the
field that thus opens before us.

The prospect is wonderful beyond our present conception, and full of
increasing glory if we realize the true foundation on which it rests. But
herein lies the danger. It consists in not realizing that the Infinite of
the Impersonal _is_ and also that the Infinite of the Personal _is_. Both
are Infinite and so require differentiation through our own personality,
but in their essential quality each is the exact balance of the other--not
in contradiction to each other, but as complementary to one another, each
supplying what the other needs for its full expression, so that the two
together make a perfect whole. If, however, we see this relation and our
own position as the connecting link between them, we shall see only
ourselves as the Personal Factor; but the more we realize, both by theory
and experience, the power of human personality brought into contact with
the Impersonal Soul of Nature, and employed with a Knowledge of its power
and a corresponding exercise of the will, the less we shall be inclined to
regard ourselves as the supreme factor in the chain of cause and effect
Consideration of this argument points to the danger of much of the present
day teaching regarding the exercise of Thought Power as a creative agency.
The principle on which this teaching is based is sound and legitimate for
it is inherent in the nature of things; but the error is in supposing that
we ourselves are the ultimate source of Personality instead of merely the
distributors and specializers of it. The logical result of such a mental
attitude is that putting ourselves in the place of all that is worshiped as
God which is spoken of in the second chapter of the Second Epistle to the
Thessalonians and other parts of Scripture. By the very hypothesis of the
case we then know no higher will than our own, and so are without any
Unifying Principle to prevent the conflict of wills which must then
arise--a conflict which must become more and more destructive the greater
the power possessed by the contending parties, and which, if there were no
counterbalancing power, must result in the ultimate destruction of the
existing race of men.

But there is a counterbalancing power. It is the very same power used
affirmatively instead of negatively. It is the power of the Personal with
the Impersonal when used under the guidance of that Unifying Principle
which the recognition of the ONE-ness of the Personal Quality in the Divine
Spirit supplies. Those who are using the creative power of thought only
from the standpoint of individual personality, have obviously less power
than those who are using it from the standpoint of the Personality inherent
in the Living Spirit which is the Source and Fountain of all energy and
substance, and therefore in the end the victory must remain with these
latter. And because the power by which they conquer is that of the Unifying
Personality itself their victory must result in the establishment of Peace
and Happiness throughout the world, and is not a power of domination but of
helpfulness and enlightenment. The choice is between these two mottoes:--
"Each for himself and Devil take the hindmost," or "God for us all." In
proportion, therefore, as we realize the immense forces dormant in the
Impersonal Soul of Nature, only awaiting the introduction of the Personal
Factor to wake them up into activity and direct them to specific purposes,
the wider we shall find the scope of the powers within the reach of man;
and the more clearly we perceive the Impersonalness of the very Principle
of Personality itself, the clearer our own proper position as affording the
Differentiating Medium between these two Infinitudes will become to us.

The Impersonalness of the Principle of Personality looks like a
contradiction in terms, but it is not. I combine these two seemingly
contradictory terms as the best way to convey to the reader the idea of the
essential Quality of Personality not yet differentiated into individual
centers of consciousness for the doing of particular work. Looked at in
this way the Infinite of Personality must have Unity of Purpose for its
foundation, for otherwise it would consist of conflicting personalities, in
which case we have not yet reached the ONE all-originating cause. Or to put
it in another way, an Infinite Personality divided against itself would be
an Infinite Insanity, a creator of a cosmic Bedlam which, as a scientific
fact, would be impossible of existence. Therefore the conception of an
Infinite of Personality necessarily implies a perpetual Unity of Purpose;
and for the same reason this Purpose can only be the fuller and fuller
expression of an Infinite Unity of Consciousness; and Unity of
Consciousness necessarily implies the entire absence of all that would
impair it, and therefore its expression can only be as Universal Harmony.
If, then, the individual realizes this true nature of the source from which
his own consciousness of personality is derived his ideas and work will be
based upon this foundation, with the result that as between ourselves peace
and good will towards men must accompany this mode of thought, and as
between us and the strictly Impersonal Soul of Nature our increasing
knowledge in that direction would mean increasing power for carrying out
our principle of peace and good will. As this perception of our relation to
the Spirit of God and the Soul of Nature spreads from individual to
individual so the Kingdom of God will grow, and its universal recognition
would be the establishing of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.

Perhaps the reader will ask why I say the Soul of Nature instead of saying
the material universe. The reason is that in using our creative power of
Thought we do not operate directly upon material elements--to do that is
the work of construction from without and not of creation from within. The
whole tendency of modern physical science is to reduce all matter in the
final analysis to energy working in a primary ether. Whence this energy and
this ether proceed is not the subject of physical analysis. That is a
question which cannot be answered by means of the vacuum tube or the
spectroscope. Physical science is doing its legitimate work in pushing
further and further back the unanalyzable residuum of Nature, but, however
far back, an ultimate unanalyzable residuum there must always be; and when
physical science brings us to this point it hands us over to the guidance
of psychological investigation just as in the Divina Commedia Virgil
transfers Dante to the guidance of Beatrice for the study of the higher
realms. Various rates of rapidity of motion in this primary ether,
producing various numerical combinations of positively and negatively
electrified particles, result in the formation of what we know as the
different chemical elements, and thus explains the phenomena of their
combining quantities, the law by which they join together to form new
substances only in certain exact numerical ratios. From the first movement
in the primary ether to solid substances, such as wood or iron or our own
flesh, is thus a series of vibrations in a succession of mediums, each
denser than the preceding one out of which it was concreted and from which
it receives the vibratory impulse. This is in effect what physical science
has to tell us. But to get further back we must look into the world of the
invisible, and it is here that psychological study comes to our aid. We
cannot, however, study the invisible side of Nature by working from the
outside and so at this point of our studies we find the use of the
time-honored teaching regarding the parallelism between the Macrocosm and
the Microcosm. If the Microcosm is the reproduction in ourselves of the
same principles as exist in the Macrocosm or universe in which we have our
being, then by investigating ourselves we shall learn the nature of the
corresponding invisible principles in our environment. Here, then, is the
application of the dictum of the ancient philosophy, "Know Thyself." It
means that the only place where we can study the principles of the
invisible side of Nature is in ourselves; and when we know them there we
can transfer them to the larger world around us.

In the concluding chapters of my "Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science" I
have outlined the way in which the soul or mind operates upon the physical
instrument of its expression, and it resolves itself into this--that the
mental action inaugurates a series of vibrations in the etheric body which,
in their turn, induce corresponding grosser vibrations in the molecular
substance until finally mechanical action is produced on the outside. Now
transferring this idea to Nature as a whole we shall see that if our mental
action is to affect it in any way it can only be by the response of
something at the back of material substance analogous to mind in ourselves;
and that there is such a "something" interior to the merely material side
of Nature is proved by what we may call the Law of Tendency, not only in
animals and plants, but even in inorganic substances, as shown for instance
in Professor Bose's work on the Response of Metals. The universal presence
of this Law of Tendency therefore indicates the working of some
non-material and, so to say, semi-intelligent power in the material world,
a power which works perfectly accurately on its own lines so far as it
goes, that is to say in a generic manner, but which does not possess that
Personal power of _individual selection_ which is necessary to bring out
the infinite possibilities hidden in it. This is what is meant by the Soul
of Nature, and it is for this reason I employ that term instead of saying
the material universe. Which term to employ all depends on the mode of
action we are contemplating. If it is construction from without, then we
are dealing with the purely material universe. If we are seeking to bring
about results by the exercise of our mental power from within, then we are
dealing with the Soul of Nature. It is that control of the lower degree of
intelligence by the higher of which I have spoken in my Edinburgh Lectures.

If we realize what I have endeavored to make clear in the earlier portion
of this book, that the whole creation is produced by the operation of the
Divine Will upon the Soul of Nature, it will be evident that we can set no
limits to the potencies hidden in the latter and capable of being brought
out by the operation of the Personal Factor upon it; therefore, granted a
sufficiently powerful concentration of will, whether by an individual or a
group of individuals, we can well imagine the production of stupendous
effects by this agency, and in this way I would explain the statements made
in Scripture regarding the marvelous powers to be exercised by the
Anti-Christ, whether personal or collective. They are psychic powers, the
power of the Soul of Man over the Soul of Nature. But the Soul of Nature is
quite impersonal and therefore the moral quality of this action depends
entirely on the human operator. This is the point of the Master's teaching
regarding the destruction of the fig tree, and it is on this account He
adds the warning as to the necessity for clearing our heart of any
injurious feeling against others whenever we attempt to make use of this
power (Mark xi: 20-26).

According to His teaching, then, this power of controlling the Soul of
Nature by the addition of our own Personal Factor, however little we may be
able to recognize it as yet, actually exists; its employment depends on our
perception of the inner principles common to both, and it is for this
reason the ancient wisdom was summed up in the aphorism "Know thyself." No
doubt it is a wonderful Knowledge, but on analysis it will be found to be
perfectly natural. It is the Knowledge of the cryptic forces of Nature. Now
it is remarkable that this ancient maxim inscribed over the portals of the
Temple of Delphi is not to be found in the Bible. The Bible maxim is not
"Know thyself" but "Know the Lord." The great subject of Knowledge is not
ourself but "the Lord"; and herein is the great difference between the two
teachings. The one is limited by human personality, the other is based on
the Infinitude of the Divine Personality; and because of this it includes
human personality with all its powers over the Soul of Nature. It is a case
of the greater including the less; and so the whole teaching of Scripture
is directed to bringing us into the recognition of that Divine Personality
which is the Great Original in whose image and likeness we are made. In
proportion as we grow into the recognition of _this_ our own personality
will explain, and the creative power of our thought will cease to work
invertedly until at last it will work only on the same principles of Life,
Love and Liberty as the Divine Mind, and so all evil will disappear from
our world. We shall not, as some systems teach, be absorbed into Deity to
the extinction of our individual consciousness, but on the contrary our
individual consciousness will continually expand, which is what St. Paul
means when he speaks of our "increasing with the increase of God"--the
continual expanding of the Divine element within us. But this can only take
place by our recognition of ourselves as _receivers_ of this Divine
element. It is receiving into ourselves of the Divine Personality, a result
not to be reached through human reasoning. We reason from premises which we
have assumed, and the conclusion is already involved in the premises and
can never extend beyond them. But we can only select our premises from
among things that we know by experience, whether mental or physical, and
accordingly our reasoning is always merely a new placing of the old things.
But the receiving of the Divine Personality into ourselves is an entirely
New Thing, and so cannot be reached by reasoning from old things. Hence if
this Divine ultimate of the Creative Process is to be attained it must be
by the Revelation of a New Thing which will afford a new starting-point for
our thought, and this New Starting-point is given in the Promise of "the
Seed of the Woman" with which the Bible opens. Thenceforward this Promise
became the central germinating thought of those who based themselves upon
it, thus constituting them a special race, until at last when the necessary
conditions had matured the Promised Seed appeared in Him of whom it is
written that He is the express image of God's Person (Heb. I: 3)--that is,
the Expression of that Infinite Divine Personality of which I have spoken.
"No man hath seen God at any time or can see Him," for the simple reason
that Infinitude cannot be the subject of vision. To become visible there
must be Individualization, and therefore when Philip said "Show us the
Father," Jesus replied, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." The
Word must become flesh before St. John could say, "That which was from the
beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we
have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life." This is
the New Starting-point for the true New Thought--the New Adam of the New
Race, each of whom is a new center for the working of the Divine Spirit.
This is what Jesus meant when he said, "Except ye eat the flesh and drink
the blood of the Son of Man ye have no life in you. My flesh is meat
indeed, and my blood is drink indeed--" such a contemplation of the Divine
Personality in Him as will cause a like receiving of the Divine Personality
into individualization in ourselves--this is the great purpose of the
Creative Process in the individual. It terminates the old series which
began with birth after the flesh and inaugurates a New Series by birth
after the Spirit, a New Life of infinite unfoldment with glorious
possibilities beyond our highest conception.

But all this is logically based upon our recognition of the Personalness of
God and of the relation of our individual personality to this Eternal and
Infinite Personality, and the result of this is Worship--not an attempt to
"butter up" the Almighty and get Him into good temper, but the reverent
contemplation of what this Personality must be in Itself; and when we see
it to be that Life, Love, Beauty, etc., of which I spoke at the beginning
of this book we shall learn to love Him for what He IS, and our prayer will
be "Give me more of Thyself." If we realize the great truth that the
Kingdom of Heaven is _within_ us, that it is the Kingdom of the innermost
of our own being and of all creation, and if we realize that this innermost
is the place of the Originating Power where Time and Space do not exist and
therefore antecedent to all conditions, then we shall see the true meaning
of Worship. It is the perception of the Innermost Spirit as eternally
subsisting independently of all conditioned manifestation, so that in the
true worship our consciousness is removed from the outer sphere of
existence to the innermost center of unconditioned being. There we find the
Eternal Being of God pure and simple, and we stand reverently in this
Supreme Presence knowing that it is the Source of our own being, and wrapt
in the contemplation of This, the conditioned is seen to flow out from It.
Perceiving this the conditioned passes out of our consideration, for it is
seen not to be the Eternal Reality--we have reached that level of
consciousness where Time and Space remain no longer. Yet the reverence
which the vision of this Supreme Center of all Being cannot fail to inspire
is coupled with a sense of feeling quite at home with It. This is because
as the Center of _all_ Being it is the center of our own being also. It is
one-with-ourselves. It is recognizing Itself from our own center of
consciousness; so that here we have got back to that Self-contemplation of
Spirit which is the first movement of the Creating Power, only now this
Self-contemplation is the action of the All-Originating Spirit upon Itself
from the center of our own consciousness. So this worship in the Temple of
the Innermost is at once reverent adoration and familiar intercourse--not
the familiarity that breeds contempt, but a familiarity producing Love,
because as it increases we see more clearly the true Life of the Spirit as
the continual interaction of Love and Beauty, and the Spirit's recognition
of ourselves as an integral portion of Its own Life. This is not an
unpractical dreamy speculation but has a very practical bearing. Death will
some day cease to be, for the simple reason that Life alone can be the
enduring principle; but we have not yet reached this point in our
evolution. Whether any in this generation will reach it I cannot say; but
for the rank and file of us the death of the body seems to be by far the
more probable event. Now what must this passing out of the body mean to us?
It must mean that we find ourselves without the physical vehicle which is
the instrument through which our consciousness comes in touch with the
external world and all the interests of our present daily life. But the
mere putting off of the body does not of itself change the mental attitude;
and so if our mind is entirely centered upon these passing interests and
external conditions the loss of the instrument by which we held touch with
them must involve a consciousness of desire for the only sort of life we
have known coupled with a consciousness of our inability to participate in
it, which can only result in a consciousness of distress and confusion such
as in our present state we cannot imagine.

On the other hand if we have in this world realized the true principle of
the Worship of the Eternal Source from which all conditioned life flows
out--an inner communing with the Great Reality--we have already passed
beyond that consciousness of life which is limited by Time and Space; and
so when we put off this mortal body we shall find ourselves upon familiar
ground, and therefore not wandering in confusion but quite at home,
dwelling in the same light of the Eternal in which we have been accustomed
to dwell as an atmosphere enveloping the conditioned life of to-day. Then
finding ourselves thus at home on a plane where Time and Space do not exist
there will be no question with us of duration. The consciousness will be
simply that of peaceful, happy being. That a return to more active personal
operation will eventually take place is evidenced by the fact that the
basis of all further evolution is the differentiating of the
Undifferentiated Life of the Spirit into specific channels of work, through
the intermediary of individual personality without which the infinite
potentialities of the Creative Law cannot be brought to light. Therefore,
however various our opinions as to its precise form, Resurrection as a
principle is a necessity of the creative process. But such a return to more
active life will not mean a return to limitations, but the opening of a new
life in which we shall transcend them all, because we have passed beyond
the misconception that Time and Space are of the Essence of Life. When the
misconception regarding Time and Space is entirely eradicated all other
limitations must disappear because they have their root in this primary
one--they are only particular forms of the general proposition. Therefore
though Form with its accompanying relations of Time and Space is necessary
for manifestation, these things will be found not to have any force in
themselves thus creating limitation, but to be the reflection of the mode
of thought which projects them as the expression of itself.

Nor is there any inherent reason why this process should be delayed till
some far-off future. There is no reason why we should not commence at once.
No doubt our inherited and personally engendered modes of thought make this
difficult, and by the nature of the process it will be only when _all_ our
thoughts are conformed to this principle that the complete victory will be
won. But there must be a commencement to everything, and the more we
habituate ourselves to live in that Center of the Innermost where
conditions do not exist, the more we shall find ourselves gaining control
over outward conditions, because the stream of conditioned life flows out
from the Center of Unconditioned Life, and therefore this intrinsic
principle of Worship has in it the promise both of the life that now is and
of that which is to come. Only we must remember that the really availing
worship is that of the Undifferentiated Source _because It is the Source,_
and not as a backhanded way of diverting the stream into some petty channel
of conditions, for that would only be to get back to the old circle of
limitation from which we are seeking to escape.

But if we realize these things we have already laid hold of the Principle
of Resurrection, and in point of principle we are already living the
resurrection life. What progress we may make in it depends on our practical
application of the principle; but simply as principle there is nothing in
the principle itself to prevent its complete working at any moment. This is
why Jesus did not refer resurrection to some remote point of time but said,
"I am the resurrection and the life." No principle can carry in itself an
opposite and limiting principle contradictory of its own nature, and this
is as true of the Principle of Life as of any other principle. It is we who
by our thought introduce an opposite and limiting principle and so hinder
the working of the principle we are seeking to bring into operation; but so
far as the Principle of Life itself is concerned there is _in it_ no reason
why it should not come into perfect manifestation here and now.

This, then, is the true purpose of worship. It is to bring us into
conscious and loving intercourse with the Supreme Source of our own being,
and seeing this we shall not neglect the outward forms of worship. From
what we now know they should mean more to us than to others and not less;
and in especial if we realize the manifestation of the Divine Personality
in Jesus Christ and its reproduction in Man, we shall not neglect His last
command to partake of that sacred memorial to His flesh and blood which He
bequeathed to His followers with the words "This do in remembrance of Me."

This holy rite is no superstitious human invention. There are many theories
about it, and I do not wish to combat any of them, for in the end they all
seem to me to bring us to the same point, that being cleansed from sin by
the Divine Love we are now no longer separate from God but become
"partakers of the Divine-Nature" (II Peter I: 4). This partaking of the
Divine Nature could not be more accurately represented than by our
partaking of bread and wine as symbols of the Divine Substance and the
Divine Life, thus made emblematic of the whole Creative Process from its
beginning in the Divine Thought to its completion in the manifestation of
that Thought as Perfected Man; and so it brings vividly before us the
remembrance of the Personality of God taking form as the Son of Man. We are
all familiar with the saying that thoughts become things; and if we affirm
the creative power of our own thought as reproducing itself in outward
form, how much more must we affirm the same of that Divine Thought which
brings the whole universe into existence; so that in accordance with our
own principles the Divine Idea of Man was logically bound to show itself in
the world of time and space as the Son of God and the Son of man, not two
differing natures but one complete whole, thus summing up the foundation
principle of all creation in one Undivided Consciousness of Personality.
Thus "the Word" or Divine Thought of Man "became flesh," and our partaking
of the symbolic elements keeps in our remembrance the supreme truth that
this same "Word" or Thought of God in like manner takes form in ourselves
as we open our own thought to receive it. And further, if we realize that
throughout the universe there is only ONE Originating Life, sending forth
only ONE Original Substance as the vehicle for its expression, then it
logically follows that _in essence_ the bread is a portion of the eternal
Substance of God, and the wine a portion of the eternal Life of God. For
though the wine is of course also a part of the Universal Substance, we
must remember that the Universal Substance is itself a manifestation of the
Life of the All-Creating Spirit, and therefore this fluid form of the
primary substance has been selected as representing the eternal flowing of
the Life of the Spirit into all creation, culminating in its supreme
expression in the consciousness of those who, in the recognition of these
truths, seek to bring their heart into union with the Divine Spirit. From
such considerations as these it will be seen how vast a field of thought is
covered by Christ's words "Do this in remembrance of Me."

In conclusion, therefore, do not let yourselves be led astray by any
philosophy that denies the Personality of God. In the end it will be found
to be a foolish philosophy. No other starting-point of creation is
conceivable than the Self-Contemplation of the Divine Spirit, and the
logical sequence from this brings us to the ultimate result of the Creative
Process in the statement that "if any man be in Christ he is a New
creature," or as the margin has it "a new creation" (II Cor. v: 17). Such
vain philosophies have only one logical result which is to put _yourself_
in the place of God, and then what have you to lean upon in the hour of
trial? It is like trying to climb up a ladder that is resting against
nothing. Therefore, says the Apostle Paul, "Beware lest any man spoil you
through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of man, after the
rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Col. II: 8.) The teaching
of the Bible is sound philosophy, sound reasoning, and sound science
because it starts with the sound premises that all Creation proceeds out of
God, and that Man is made in the image and likeness of his Creator. It
nowhere departs from the Law of Cause and Effect, and by the orderly
sequence of this law it brings us at last to the New Creation both in
ourselves and in our environment, so that we find the completion of the
Creative Process in the declaration "the tabernacle of God is with men"
(Rev. xxi: 3), and in the promise "This is the Covenant that I will make
with them after those days (i.e., the days of our imperfect apprehension of
these things) saith the Lord, I will dwell _in them_, and walk _in them_,
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people, and I will put my
laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them, and their
sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. x: 16. II Cor. vi:
16. Jeremiah xxxi: 33).

Truly does Bacon say, "A little philosophy inclineth a man's mind to
atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."
--Bacon, Essay, xvi.





FOOTNOTES



Footnote 1:   See my Dore Lectures, 1909.

Footnote 2:   See my Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science.

Footnote 3:   See my Dore Lectures, 1909.

Footnote 4:   For the relation between conscious and sub-conscious mind see
my "Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science."

Footnote 5:   See "Self-Synthesis" by Dr. Cornwall Round.

Footnote 6:   For the relation between subjective and objective mind see my
"Edinburgh Lectures on Mental Science."

Footnote 7:   This view, it may be remarked, is not necessarily
incompatible with the conception of reincarnation, on which theory the
final resurrection or transmutation of the body would terminate the series
of successive lives and deaths, thus bringing the individual out of the
circle of generation, which is the circle of Karma. I may, perhaps, have
the opportunity of considering this subject on some future occasion.

Footnote 8:   See my "Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning."

Footnote 9:   See "Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning" by the present author.



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