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The Creative Process in the Individual by Thomas Troward

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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

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

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.

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.



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_.



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.



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

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

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.


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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