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´╗┐Title: A Series of Lessons in Gnani Yoga
Author: Atkinson, William Walker, 1862-1932
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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A SERIES OF

Lessons in Gnani Yoga (The Yoga of Wisdom.)

BY YOGI RAMACHARAKA.


THIS BOOK GIVES THE HIGHEST YOGI TEACHINGS REGARDING THE ABSOLUTE AND
ITS MANIFESTATIONS.



INDEX.


LESSON                                   PAGE

   I.  The One                              1

  II.  Omnipresent Life                    27

 III.  The Creative Will                   51

  IV.  The Unity of Life                   75

   V.  The One and the Many               101

  VI.  Within the Mind of the One         127

 VII.  Cosmic Evolution                   153
VIII.  The Ascent of Man                  177

  IX.  Metempsychosis                     203

   X.  Spiritual Evolution                229

  XI.  The Law of Karma                   253

 XII.  Occult Miscellany                  277



THE FIRST LESSON


THE ONE.

The Yogi Philosophy may be divided into several great branches, or
fields. What is known as "Hatha Yoga" deals with the physical body and
its control; its welfare; its health; its preservation; its laws, etc.
What is known as "Raja Yoga" deals with the Mind; its control; its
development; its unfoldment, etc. What is known as "Bhakti Yoga" deals
with the Love of the Absolute--God. What is known as "Gnani Yoga" deals
with the scientific and intellectual knowing of the great questions
regarding Life and what lies back of Life--the Riddle of the Universe.

Each branch of Yoga is but a path leading toward the one
end--unfoldment, development, and growth. He who wishes first to
develop, control and strengthen his physical body so as to render it a
fit instrument of the Higher Self, follows the path of "Hatha Yoga." He
who would develop his will-power and mental faculties, unfolding the
inner senses, and latent powers, follows the path of "Raja Yoga." He
who wishes to develop by "knowing"--by studying the fundamental
principles, and the wonderful truths underlying Life, follows the path
of "Gnani Yoga." And he who wishes to grow into a union with the One
Life by the influence of Love, he follows the path of "Bhakti Yoga."

But it must not be supposed that the student must ally himself to only
a single one of these paths to power. In fact, very few do. The
majority prefer to gain a rounded knowledge, and acquaint themselves
with the principles of the several branches, learning something of
each, giving preference of course to those branches that appeal to them
more strongly, this attraction being the indication of _need_, or
requirement, and, therefore, being the hand pointing out the path.

It is well for every one to know something of "Hatha Yoga," in order
that the body may be purified, strengthened, and kept in health in
order to become a more fitting instrument of the Higher Self. It is
well that each one should know something of "Raja Yoga," that he may
understand the training and control of the mind, and the use of the
Will. It is well that every one should learn the wisdom of "Gnani
Yoga," that he may realize the wonderful truths underlying life--the
science of Being. And, most assuredly every one should know something
of Bhakti Yogi, that he may understand the great teachings regarding
the Love underlying all life.

We have written a work on "Hatha Yoga," and a course on "Raja Yoga"
which is now in book form. We have told you something regarding "Gnani
Yoga" in our Fourteen Lessons, and also in our Advanced Course. We have
written something regarding "Bhakti Yoga" in our Advanced Course, and,
we hope, have taught it also all through our other lessons, for we fail
to see how one can teach or study any of the branches of Yoga without
being filled with a sense of Love and Union with the Source of all
Life. To know the Giver of Life, is to love him, and the more we know
of him, the more love will we manifest.

In this course of lessons, of which this is the first, we shall take up
the subject of "Gnani Yoga"--the Yoga of Wisdom, and will endeavor to
make plain some of its most important and highest teachings. And, we
trust that in so doing, we shall be able to awaken in you a still
higher realization of your relationship with the One, and a
corresponding Love for that in which you live, and move and have your
being. We ask for your loving sympathy and cooperation in our task.

Let us begin by a consideration of what has been called the "Questions
of Questions"--the question: "What is Reality?" To understand the
question we have but to take a look around us and view the visible
world. We see great masses of something that science has called
"matter." We see in operation a wonderful something called "force" or
"energy" in its countless forms of manifestations. We see things that
we call "forms of life," varying in manifestation from the tiny speck
of slime that we call the Moneron, up to that form that we call Man.

But study this world of manifestations by means of science and
research--and such study is of greatest value--still we must find
ourselves brought to a point where we cannot progress further. Matter
melts into mystery--Force resolves itself into something else--the
secret of living-forms subtly elude us--and mind is seen as but the
manifestation of something even finer. But in losing these things of
appearance and manifestation, we find ourselves brought up face to face
with a Something Else that we see must underlie all these varying
forms, shapes and manifestations. And that Something Else, we call
Reality, because it is Real, Permanent, Enduring. And although men may
differ, dispute, wrangle, and quarrel about this Reality, still there
is one point upon which they must agree, and that is that _Reality is
One_--that underlying all forms and manifestations there must be a
_One_ Reality from which all things flow. And this inquiry into this
One Reality is indeed the Question of Questions of the Universe.

The highest reason of Man--as well as his deepest intuition--has always
recognized that this Reality or Underlying Being must be but ONE, of
which all Nature is but varying degrees of manifestation, emanation, or
expression. All have recognized that Life is a stream flowing from One
great fount, the nature and name of which is unknown--some have said
unknowable. Differ as men do about theories regarding the nature of
this one, they all agree that it can be but One. It is only when men
begin to name and analyze this One, that confusion results.

Let us see what men have thought and said about this One--it _may_ help
us to understand the nature of the problem.

The materialist claims that this one is a something called
Matter--self-existent--eternal--infinite--containing within itself the
potentiality of Matter, Energy and Mind. Another school, closely allied
to the materialists, claim that this One is a something called Energy,
of which Matter and Mind are but modes of motion. The Idealists claim
that the One is a something called Mind, and that Matter and Force are
but ideas in that One Mind. Theologians claim that this One is a
something called a personal God, to whom they attribute certain
qualities, characteristics, etc., the same varying with their creeds
and dogmas. The Naturistic school claims that this One is a something
called Nature, which is constantly manifesting itself in countless
forms. The occultists, in their varying schools, Oriental and
Occidental, have taught that the One was a Being whose Life constituted
the life of all living forms.

All philosophies, all science, all religions, inform us that this world
of shapes, forms and names is but a phenomenal or shadow world--a
show-world--back of which rests Reality, called by some name of the
teacher. But remember this, _all philosophy that counts_ is based upon
some form of monism--Oneness--whether the concept be a known or unknown
god; an unknown or unknowable principle; a substance; an Energy, or
Spirit. There is but One--there can be but One--such is the inevitable
conclusion of the highest human reason, intuition or faith.

And, likewise, the same reason informs us that this One Life must
permeate all apparent forms of life, and that all apparent material
forms, forces, energies, and principles must be emanations from that
One, and, consequently "of" it. It may be objected to, that the creeds
teaching a personal god do not so hold, for they teach that their God
is the creator of the Universe, which he has set aside from himself as
a workman sets aside his workmanship. But this objection avails naught,
for where could such a creator obtain the material for his universe,
except from himself; and where the energy, except from the same source;
and where the Life, unless from his One Life. So in the end, it is seen
that there must be but One--not two, even if we prefer the terms God
_and_ his Universe, for even in this case the Universe must have
proceeded from God, and can only live, and move and act, and think, by
virtue of his Essence permeating it.

In passing by the conceptions of the various thinkers, we are struck by
the fact that the various schools seem to manifest a one-sidedness in
their theories, seeing only that which fits in with their theories, and
ignoring the rest. The Materialist talks about Infinite and Eternal
Matter, although the latest scientific investigations have shown us
Matter fading into Nothingness--the Eternal Atom being split into
countless particles called Corpuscles or Electrons, which at the last
seem to be nothing but a unit of Electricity, tied up in a "knot in the
Ether"--although just what the Ether is, Science does not dare to
guess. And Energy, also seems to be unthinkable except as operating
through matter, and always seems to be acting under the operation of
Laws--and Laws without a Law giver, and a Law giver without mind or
something higher than Mind, is unthinkable. And Mind, as we know it,
seems to be bound up with matter and energy in a wonderful combination,
and is seen to be subject to laws outside of itself, and to be varying,
inconstant, and changeable, which attributes cannot be conceived of as
belonging to the Absolute. Mind as we know it, as well as Matter and
Energy, is held by the highest occult teachers to be but an appearance
and a relativity of something far more fundamental and enduring, and we
are compelled to fall back upon that old term which wise men have used
in order to describe that Something Else that lies back of, and under,
Matter, Energy and Mind--and that word is "Spirit."

We cannot tell just what is meant by the word "Spirit," for we have
nothing with which to describe it. But we can think of it as meaning
the "essence" of Life and Being--the Reality underlying Universal Life.

Of course no name can be given to this One, that will fitly describe
it. But we have used the term "The Absolute" in our previous lessons,
and consider it advisable to continue its use, although the student may
substitute any other name that appeals to him more strongly. We do not
use the word God (except occasionally in order to bring out a shade of
meaning) not because we object to it, but because by doing so we would
run the risk of identifying The Absolute with some idea of a personal
god with certain theological attributes. Nor does the word "Principle"
appeal to us, for it seems to imply a cold, unfeeling, abstract thing,
while we conceive the Absolute Spirit or Being to be a warm, vital,
living, acting, feeling Reality. We do not use the word Nature, which
many prefer, because of its materialistic meaning to the minds of many,
although the word is very dear to us when referring to the outward
manifestation of the Absolute Life.

Of the real nature of The Absolute, of course, we can know practically
nothing, because it transcends all human experience and Man has nothing
with which he can measure the Infinite. Spinoza was right when he said
that "to define God is to deny him," for any attempt to define, is, of
course an attempt to limit or make finite the Infinite. To define a
thing is to identify it with something else--and where is the something
else with which to identify the Infinite? The Absolute cannot be
described in terms of the Relative. It is not Something, although it
contains within itself the reality underlying Everything. It cannot be
said to have the qualities of any of its apparently separated parts,
for it is the ALL. It is all that really IS.

It is beyond Matter, Force, or Mind as we know it, and yet these things
emanate from it, and must be within its nature. For what is in the
manifested must be in the manifestor--no stream can rise higher than
its source--the effect cannot be greater than the cause--you cannot get
something out of nothing.

But it is hard for the human mind to take hold of That which is beyond
its experience--many philosophers consider it impossible--and so we
must think of the Absolute in the concepts and terms of its highest
manifestation. We find Mind higher in the scale than Matter or Energy,
and so we are justified in using the terms of Mind in speaking of the
Absolute, rather than the terms of Matter or Energy--so let us try to
think of an Infinite Mind, whose powers and capacities are raised to an
infinite degree--a Mind of which Herbert Spencer said that it was "a
mode of being as much transcending intelligence and will, as these
transcend mere mechanical motion."

While it is true (as all occultists know) that the best information
regarding the Absolute come from regions of the Self higher than
Intellect, yet we are in duty bound to examine the reports of the
Intellect concerning its information regarding the One. The Intellect
has been developed in us for use--for the purpose of examining,
considering, thinking--and it behooves us to employ it. By turning it
to this purpose, we not only strengthen and unfold it, but we also get
certain information that can reach us by no other channel. And
moreover, by such use of the Intellect we are able to discover many
fallacies and errors that have crept into our minds from the opinions
and dogmas of others--as Kant said: "The chief, and perhaps the only,
use of a philosophy of pure reason is a negative one. It is not an
organon for extending, but a discipline for limiting! Instead of
discovering truth, its modest function is to guard against error." Let
us then listen to the report of the Intellect, as well as of the higher
fields of mentation.

One of the first reports of the Intellect, concerning the Absolute, is
that it must have existed forever, and must continue to exist forever.
There is no escape from this conclusion, whether one view the matter
from the viewpoint of the materialist, philosopher, occultist, or
theologian. The Absolute could not have sprung from Nothing, and there
was no other cause outside of itself from which it could have emanated.
And there can be no cause outside of itself which can terminate its
being. And we cannot conceive of Infinite Life, or Absolute Life,
dying. So the Absolute must be Eternal--such is the report of the
Intellect.

This idea of the Eternal is practically unthinkable to the human mind,
although it is forced to believe that it must be a quality of the
Absolute. The trouble arises from the fact that the Intellect is
compelled to see everything through the veil of Time, and Cause and
Effect. Now, Cause and Effect, and Time, are merely phenomena or
appearances of the relative world, and have no place in the Absolute
and Real. Let us see if we can understand this.

Reflection will show you that the only reason that you are unable to
think of or picture a Causeless Cause, is because everything that you
have experienced in this relative world of the senses has had a
cause--something from which it sprung. You have seen Cause and Effect
in full operation all about you, and quite naturally your Intellect has
taken it for granted that there can be nothing uncaused--nothing
without a preceding cause. And the Intellect is perfectly right, so far
as Things are concerned, for all Things are relative and are therefore
caused. But back of the caused things must lie THAT which is the Great
Causer of Things, and which, not being a Thing itself, cannot have been
caused--cannot be the effect of a cause. Your minds reel when you try
to form a mental image of That which has had no cause, because you have
had no experience in the sense world of such a thing, and there fail to
form the image. It is out of your experience, and you cannot form the
mental picture. But yet your mind is compelled to believe that there
must have been an Original One, that can have had no cause. This is a
hard task for the Intellect, but in time it comes to see just where the
trouble lies, and ceases to interpose objections to the voice of the
higher regions of the self.

And, the Intellect experiences a similar difficulty when it tries to
think of an Eternal--a That which is above and outside of Time. We see
Time in operation everywhere, and take it for granted that Time is a
reality--an actual thing. But this is a mistake of the senses. There is
no such thing as Time, in reality. Time exists solely in our minds. It
is merely a form of perception by which we express our consciousness of
the Change in Things.

We cannot think of Time except in connection with a succession of
changes of things in our consciousness--either things of the outer
world, or the passing of thought-things through our mind. A day is
merely the consciousness of the passing of the sun--an hour or minute
merely the subdivision of the day, or else the consciousness of the
movement of the hands of the clock--merely the consciousness of the
movement of Things--the symbols of changes in Things. In a world
without changes in Things, there would be no such thing as Time. Time
is but a mental invention. Such is the report of the Intellect.

And, besides the conclusions of pure abstract reasoning about Time, we
may see many instances of the relativity of Time in our everyday
experiences. We all know that when we are interested Time seems to pass
rapidly, and when we are bored it drags along in a shameful manner. We
know that when we are happy, Time develops the speed of a meteor, while
when we are unhappy it crawls like a tortoise. When we are interested
or happy our attention is largely diverted from the changes occurring
in things--because we do not notice the Things so closely. And while we
are miserable or bored, we notice the details in Things, and their
changes, until the length of time seems interminable. A tiny insect
mite may, and does, live a lifetime of birth, growth, marriage,
reproduction, old age, and death, in a few minutes, and no doubt its
life seems as full as does that of the elephant with his hundred years.
Why? _Because so many things haze happened!_ When we are conscious of
many things happening, we get the impression and sensation of the
length of time. The greater the consciousness of things, the greater
the sensation of Time. When we are so interested in talking to a loved
one that we forget all that is occurring about us, then the hours fly
by unheeded, while the same hours seem like days to one in the same
place who is not interested or occupied with some task.

Men have nodded, and in the second before awakening they have dreamed
of events that seemed to have required the passage of years. Many of
you have had experiences of this kind, and many such cases have been
recorded by science. On the other hand, one may fall asleep and remain
unconscious, but without dreams, for hours, and upon awakening will
insist that he has merely nodded. Time belongs to the relative mind,
and has no place in the Eternal or Absolute.

Next, the Intellect informs us that it must think of the Absolute as
Infinite in Space--present everywhere--Omnipresent. It cannot be
limited, for there is nothing outside of itself to limit it. There is
no such place as Nowhere. Every place is in the Everywhere. And
Everywhere is filled with the All--the Infinite Reality--the Absolute.

And, just as was the case with the idea of Time, we find it most
difficult--if not indeed impossible--to form an idea of an
Omnipresent--of That which occupies Infinite Space. This because
everything that our minds have experienced has had dimensions and
limits. The secret lies in the fact that Space, like Time, has no real
existence outside of our perception of consciousness of the relative
position of Things--material objects. We see this thing here, and that
thing there. Between them is Nothingness. We take another object, say a
yard-stick, and measure off this Nothingness between the two objects,
and we call this measure of Nothingness by the term Distance. And yet
we cannot have measured Nothingness--that is impossible. What have we
really done? Simply this, determined how many lengths of yard-stick
could be laid between the other two objects.

We call this process measuring Space, but Space is Nothing, and we have
merely determined the relative position of objects. To "measure Space"
we must have three Things or objects, _i.e._, (l) The object from which
we start the measure; (2) The object with which we measure; and (3) The
object with which we end our measurement. We are unable to conceive of
Infinite Space, because we lack the third object in the measuring
process--the ending object. We may use ourselves as a starting point,
and the mental yard-stick is always at hand, but where is the object at
the other side of Infinity of Space by which the measurement may be
ended? It is not there, and we cannot think of the end without it.

Let us start with ourselves, and try to imagine a million million
miles, and then multiply them by another million million miles, a
million million times. What have we done? Simply extended our mental
yard-stick a certain number of times to an imaginary point in the
Nothingness that we call Space. So far so good, but the mind
intuitively recognizes that beyond that imaginary point at the end of
the last yard-stick, there is a capacity for an infinite extension of
yard-sticks--an infinite capacity for such extension. Extension of
what? Space? No! Yard-sticks! Objects! Things! Without material objects
Space is unthinkable. It has no existence outside of our consciousness
of Things. There is no such thing as Real Space. Space is merely an
infinite capacity for extending objects. Space itself is merely a name
for Nothingness. If you can form an idea of an object swept out of
existence, and nothing to take its place, that Nothing would be called
Space, the term implying the possibility of placing something there
without displacing anything else.

Size, of course, is but another form of speaking of Distance. And in
this connection let us not forget that just as one may think of Space
being infinite in the direction of largeness, so may we think of it as
being infinite in the sense of smallness. No matter how small may be an
object thought of, we are still able to think of it as being capable of
subdivision, and so on infinitely. There is no limit in this direction
either. As Jakob has said: "The conception of the infinitely minute is
as little capable of being grasped by us, as is that of the infinitely
great. Despite this, the admission of the reality of the infinitude,
both in the direction of greatness and of minuteness, is inevitable."

And, as Radenhausen has said: "The idea of Space is only an unavoidable
illusion of our Consciousness, or of our finite nature, and does not
exist outside of ourselves; the universe is infinitely small and
infinitely great."

The telescope has opened to us ideas of magnificent vastness and
greatness, and the perfected microscope has opened to us a world of
magnificent smallness and minuteness. The latter has shown us that a
drop of water is a world of minute living forms who live, eat, fight,
reproduce, and die. The mind is capable of imagining a universe
occupying no more space than one million-millionth of the tiniest speck
visible under the strongest microscope--and then imagining such a
universe containing millions of suns and worlds similar to our own, and
inhabited by living forms akin to ours--living, thinking men and women,
identical in every respect to ourselves. Indeed, as some philosophers
have said, if our Universe were suddenly reduced to such a size--the
relative proportions of everything being preserved, of course--then we
would not be conscious of any change, and life would go on the same,
and we would be of the same importance to ourselves and to the Absolute
as we are this moment. And the same would be true were the Universe
suddenly enlarged a million-million times. These changes would make no
difference in reality. Compared with each other, the tiniest speck and
the largest sun are practically the same size when viewed from the
Absolute.

We have dwelt upon these things so that you would be able to better
realize the relativity of Space and Time, and perceive that they are
merely symbols of Things used by the mind in dealing with finite
objects, and have no place in reality. When this is realized, then the
idea of Infinity in Time and Space is more readily grasped.

As Radenhausen says: "Beyond the range of human reason there is neither
Space nor Time; they are arbitrary conceptions of man, at which he has
arrived by the comparison and arrangement of different impressions
which he has received from the outside world. The conception of Space
arises from the sequence of the various forms which fill Space, by
which the external world appears to the individual man. The conception
of Time arises from the sequence of the various forms which change in
space (motion), by which the external world acts on the individual man,
and so on. But externally to ourselves, the distinction between
repletion of Space and mutation of Space does not exist, for each is in
constant transmutation, whatever is is filling and changing at the same
time--nothing is at a standstill," and to quote Ruckert: "The world has
neither beginning nor end, in space nor in time. Everywhere is center
and turning-point, and in a moment is eternity."

Next, the Intellect informs us that we must think of the Absolute as
containing within Itself all the Power there is, because there can be
no other source or reservoir of Power, and there can be no Power
outside of the All-Power. There can be no Power outside of the Absolute
to limit, confine, or conflict with It. Any laws of the Universe must
have been imposed by It, for there is no other law-giver, and every
manifestation of Energy, Force, or Power, perceived or evident in
Nature must be a part of the Power of the Absolute working along lines
laid down by it. In the Third Lesson, which will be entitled The
Will-to-Live, we shall see this Power manifesting along the lines of
Life as we know it.

Next, the Intellect informs us that it is compelled to think of the
Absolute as containing within Itself all possible Knowledge or Wisdom,
because there can be no Knowledge or Wisdom outside of It, and
therefore all the Wisdom and Knowledge possible must be within It. We
see Mind, Wisdom, and Knowledge manifested by relative forms of Life,
and such must emanate from the Absolute in accordance with certain laws
laid down by It, for otherwise there would be no such wisdom, etc., for
there is nowhere outside of the All from whence it could come. The
effect cannot be greater than the cause. If there is anything unknown
to the Absolute, then it will never be known to finite minds. So,
therefore, ALL KNOWLEDGE that Is, Has Been, or Can Be, must be NOW
vested in the One--the Absolute.

This does not mean that the Absolute _thinks_, in any such sense as
does Man. The Absolute must Know, without Thinking. It does not have to
gather Knowledge by the process of Thinking, as does Man--such an Idea
would be ridiculous, for from whence could the Knowledge come outside
of itself. When man thinks he draws to himself Knowledge from the
Universal source by the action of the Mind, but the Absolute has only
itself to draw on. So we cannot imagine the Absolute compelled to Think
as we do.

But, lest we be misunderstood regarding this phase of the subject, we
may say here that the highest occult teachings inform us that the
Absolute _does_ manifest a quality somewhat akin to what we would call
constructive thought, and that such "thoughts" manifest into
objectivity and manifestation, and become Creation. Created Things,
according to the Occult teachings are "Thoughts of God." Do not let
this idea disturb you, and cause you to feel that you are nothing,
because you have been called into being by a Thought of the Infinite
One. Even a Thought of that One would be intensely real in the relative
world--actually Real to all except the Absolute itself--and even the
Absolute knows that the _Real_ part of its Creations must be a part of
itself manifested through its thought, for the Thought of the Infinite
must be Real, and a part of Itself, for it cannot be anything else, and
to call it Nothing is merely to juggle with words. The faintest Thought
of the Infinite One would be far more real than anything man could
create--as solid as the mountain--as hard as steel--as durable as the
diamond--for, verily, even these are emanations of the Mind of the
Infinite, and are things of but a day, while the higher Thoughts--the
soul of Man--contains within itself a spark from the Divine Flame
itself--the Spirit of the Infinite. But these things will appear in
their own place, as we proceed with this series. We have merely given
you a little food for thought at this point, in connection with the
Mind of the Absolute.

So you see, good friends and students, that the Intellect in its
highest efforts, informs us that it finds itself compelled to report
that the One--the Absolute--That which it is compelled to admit really
exists--must be a One possessed of a nature so far transcending human
experience that the human mind finds itself without the proper
concepts, symbols, and words with which to think of It. But none the
less, the Intellect finds itself bound by its own laws to postulate the
existence of such an One.

It is the veriest folly to try to think of the One as It is "in
Itself"--for we have nothing but human attributes with which to measure
it, and It so far transcends such measurements that the mental
yard-sticks run out into infinity and are lost sight of. The highest
minds of the race inform us that the most exalted efforts of their
reason compels them to report that the One--in Itself--cannot be spoken
of as possessing attributes or qualities capable of being expressed in
human words employed to describe the Things of the relative world--and
all of our words are such. All of our words originate from such ideas,
and all of our ideas arise from our experience, directly or indirectly.
So we are not equipped with words with which to think of or speak of
that which transcends experience, although our Intellect informs us
that Reality lies back of our experience.

Philosophy finds itself unable to do anything better than to bring us
face to face with high paradoxes. Science in its pursuit of Truth finds
it cunningly avoiding it, and ever escaping its net. And we believe
that the Absolute purposely causes this to be, that in the end Man may
be compelled to look for the Spirit within himself--the only place
where he can come in touch with it. This, we think, is the answer to
the Riddle of the Sphinx--"Look Within for that which Thou needest."

But while the Spirit may be discerned only by looking within ourselves,
we find that once the mind realizes that the Absolute Is, it will be
able to see countless evidences of its action and presence by observing
manifested Life without. All Life is filled with the Life Power and
Will of the Absolute.

To us Life is but One--the Universe is a living Unity, throbbing,
thrilling and pulsating with the Will-to-Live of the Absolute. Back of
all apparent shapes, forms, names, forces, elements, principles and
substances, there is but One--One Life, present everywhere, and
manifesting in an infinitude of shapes, forms, and forces All
individual lives are but centers of consciousness in the One Life
underlying, depending upon it for degree of unfoldment, expression and
manifestation.

This may sound like Pantheism to some, but it is very different from
the Pantheism of the schools and cults. Pantheism is defined as "the
doctrine that God consists in the combined forces and laws manifested
in the existing Universe," or that "the Universe taken or conceived as
a whole is God." These definitions do not fit the conception of the
Absolute, of the Yogi Philosophy--they seem to breathe but a refined
materialism. The Absolute is not "the combined forces and laws
manifested in the universe," nor "the universe conceived as a whole."
Instead, the Universe, its forces and laws, even conceived as a whole,
have no existence in themselves, but are mere manifestations of the
Absolute. Surely this is different from Pantheism.

We teach that the Absolute is immanent in, and abiding in all forms of
Life in the Universe, as well as in its forces and laws--all being but
manifestations of the Will of the One. And we teach that this One is
superior to all forms of manifestations, and that Its existence and
being does not depend upon the manifestations, which are but effects of
the Cause.

The Pantheistic Universe--God is but a thing of phenomenal appearance,
but the Absolute is the very Spirit of Life--a Living, Existing
Reality, and would be so even if every manifestation were withdrawn
from appearance and expression--drawn back into the source from which
it emanated. The Absolute is more than Mountain or Ocean--Electricity
or Gravitation--Monad or Man--It is SPIRIT--LIFE--BEING--REALITY--the
ONE THAT IS. Omnipotent, Omnipresent; Omniscient; Eternal; Infinite;
Absolute; these are Man's greatest words, and yet they but feebly
portray a shadow thrown by the One Itself.

The Absolute is not a far-away Being directing our affairs at long
range--not an absentee Deity--but an Immanent Life in and about us
all--manifesting in us and creating us into individual centers of
consciousness, in pursuance with some great law of being.

And, more than this, the Absolute instead of being an indifferent and
unmoved spectator to its own creation, is a thriving, longing, active,
suffering, rejoicing, feeling Spirit, partaking of the feelings of its
manifestations, rather than callously witnessing them. It lives in
us--with us--through us. Back of all the pain in the world may be found
a great feeling and suffering love. The pain of the world is not
punishment or evidence of divine wrath, but the incidents of the
working out of some cosmic plan, in which the Absolute is the Actor,
through the forms of Its manifestations.

The message of the Absolute to some of the Illumined has been, "All is
being done in the best and only possible way--I am doing the best I
can--all is well--and in the end will so appear."

The Absolute is no personal Deity--yet in itself it contains all that
goes to make up all personality and all human relations. Father,
Mother, Child, Friend, is in It. All forms of human love and craving
for sympathy, understanding and companionship may find refuge in loving
the Absolute.

The Absolute is constantly in evidence in our lives, and yet we have
been seeking it here and there in the outer world, asking it to show
itself and prove Its existence. Well may it say to us: "Hast thou been
so long time with me, and hast thou not known me?" This is the great
tragedy of Life, that the Spirit comes to us--Its own--and we know It
not. We fail to hear Its words: "Oh, ye who mourn, I suffer with you
and through you. Yea, it is I who grieve in you. Your pain is mine--to
the last pang. I suffer all pain through you--and yet I rejoice beyond
you, for I know that through you, and with you, I shall conquer."

And this is a faint idea of what we believe the Absolute to be. In the
following lessons we shall see it in operation in all forms of life,
and in ourselves. We shall get close to the workings of Its mighty
Will--close to Its Heart of Love.

Carry with you the Central Thought of the Lesson: CENTRAL THOUGHT.
There is but One Life in the Universe. And underlying that One
Life--Its Real Self--Its Essence--Its Spirit--is The Absolute, living,
feeling, suffering, rejoicing, longing, striving, in and through us.
The Absolute is all that really Is, and all the visible Universe and
forms of Life is Its expression, through Its Will. We lack words
adequate to describe the nature of the Absolute, but we will use two
words describing its inmost nature as best we see it. These two words
are LIFE and LOVE, the one describing the outer, the other the inner
nature. Let us manifest both Life and Love as a token of our origin and
inner nature. Peace be with you.



THE SECOND LESSON


OMNIPRESENT LIFE.

In our First Lesson of this series, we brought out the idea that the
human mind was compelled to report the fact that it could not think of
The Absolute except as possessing the quality of
Omnipresence--Present-Everywhere. And, likewise, the human mind is
compelled to think that all there IS must be The Absolute, or _of_ the
Absolute. And if a thing is _of_ the Absolute, then the Absolute must
be _in_ it, in some way--must be the _essence_ of it. Granting this, we
must then think that everything must be filled with the essence of
Life, for Life must be one of the qualities of the Absolute, or rather
what we call Life must be the outward expression of the essential Being
of the Absolute. And if this be so, then it would follow that
_everything in the Universe must be Alive_. The mind cannot escape this
conclusion. And if the facts do not bear out this conclusion then we
must be forced to admit that the entire basic theory of the Absolute
and its emanations must fall, and be considered as an error. No chain
is stronger than its weakest link, and if this link be too weak to bear
the weight of the facts of the universe, then must the chain be
discarded as imperfect and useless, and another substituted. This fact
is not generally mentioned by those speaking and writing of All being
One, or an emanation of the One, but it must be considered and met. If
there is a single thing in the Universe that is
"dead"--non-living--lifeless--then the theory must fall. If a thing is
non-living, then the essence of the Absolute cannot be in it--it must
be alien and foreign to the Absolute, and in that case the Absolute
cannot be Absolute for there is something outside of itself. And so it
becomes of the greatest importance to examine into the evidences of the
presence of Life in all things, organic or inorganic. The evidence is
at hand--let us examine it.

The ancient occultists of all peoples always taught that the Universe
was Alive--that there was Life in everything--that there was nothing
dead in Nature--that Death meant simply a change in form in the
material of the dead bodies. They taught that Life, in varying degrees
of manifestation and expression, was present in everything and object,
even down to the hardest mineral form, and the atoms composing that
form.

Modern Science is now rapidly advancing to the same position, and each
months investigations and discoveries serve only to emphasize the
teachings.

Burbank, that wonderful moulder of plant life, has well expressed this
thought, when he says: "All my investigations have led me away from the
idea of a dead material universe tossed about by various forces, to
that of a universe which is absolutely all force, life, soul, thought,
or whatever name we may choose to call it. Every atom, molecule, plant,
animal or planet, is only an aggregation of organized unit forces, held
in place by stronger forces, thus holding them for a time latent,
though teeming with inconceivable power. All life on our planet is, so
to speak, just on the outer fringe of this infinite ocean of force. The
universe is not half dead, but all alive."

Science today is gazing upon a living universe. She has not yet
realized the full significance of what she has discovered, and her
hands are raised as if to shade her eyes from the unaccustomed glare
that is bursting upon her. From the dark cavern of universal dead
matter, she has stepped out into the glare of the noon-day sun of a
Universe All-Alive even to its smallest and apparently most inert
particle.

Beginning at Man, the highest form of Life known to us, we may pass
rapidly down the scale of animal life, seeing life in full operation at
each descending step. Passing from the animal to the vegetable kingdom,
we still see Life in full operation, although in lessened degrees of
expression. We shall not stop here to review the many manifestations of
Life among the forms of plant-life, for we shall have occasion to
mention them in our next lesson, but it must be apparent to all that
Life is constantly manifesting in the sprouting of seeds; the putting
forth of stalk, leaves, blossoms, fruit, etc., and in the enormous
manifestation of force and energy in such growth and development. One
may see the life force in the plant pressing forth for expression and
manifestation, from the first sprouting of the seed, until the last
vital action on the part of the mature plant or tree.

Besides the vital action observable in the growth and development of
plants, we know, of course, that plants sicken and die, and manifest
all other attributes of living forms. There is no room for argument
about the presence of life in the plant kingdom.

But there are other forms of life far below the scale of the plants.
There is the world of the bacteria, microbes, infusoria--the groups of
cells with a common life--the single cell creatures, down to the
Monera, the creatures lower than the single cells--the Things of the
slime of the ocean bed.

These tiny Things--living Things--present to the sight merely a tiny
speck of jelly, without organs of any kind. And yet they exercise all
the functions of life--movement, nutrition, reproduction, sensation,
and dissolution. Some of these elementary forms are all stomach, that
is they are all one organ capable of performing all the functions
necessary for the life of the animal. The creature has no mouth, but
when it wishes to devour an object it simply envelopes it--wraps itself
around it like a bit of glue around a gnat, and then absorbs the
substance of its prey through its whole body.

Scientists have turned some of these tiny creatures inside out, and yet
they have gone on with their life functions undisturbed and untroubled.
They have cut them up into still tinier bits, and yet each bit lived on
as a separate animal, performing all of its functions undisturbed. They
are all the same all over, and all the way through. They reproduce
themselves by growing to a certain size, and then separating into two,
and so on. The rapidity of the increase is most remarkable.

Haekel says of the Monera: "The Monera are the simplest permanent
cytods. Their entire body consists of merely soft, structureless plasm.
However thoroughly we may examine them with the help of the most
delicate reagents and the strongest optical instruments, we yet find
that all the parts are completely homogeneous. These Monera are
therefore, in the strictest sense of the word, 'organisms without
organs,' or even in a strict philosophical sense they might not even be
called organisms, since they possess no organs and since they are not
composed of various particles. They can only be called organisms in so
far as they are capable of exercising the organic phenomena of life, of
nutrition, reproduction, sensation and movement."

Verworn records an interesting instance of life and mind among the
_Rhizopods_, a very low form of living thing. He relates that the
_Difflugia ampula_, a creature occupying a tiny shell formed of minute
particles of sand, has a long projection of its substance, like a
feeler or tendril, with which it searches on the bottom of the sea for
sandy material with which to build the shell or outer covering for its
offspring, which are born by division from the parent body. It grasps
the particle of sand by the feeler, and passes it into its body by
enclosing it. Verworn removed the sand from the bottom of the tank,
replacing it by very minute particles of highly colored glass. Shortly
afterward he noticed a collection of these particles of glass in the
body of the creature, and a little later he saw a tiny speck of
protoplasm emitted from the parent by separation. At the same time he
noticed that the bits of glass collected by the mother creature were
passed out and placed around the body of the new creature, and cemented
together by a substance secreted by the body of the parent, thus
forming a shell and covering for the offspring. This proceeding showed
the presence of a mental something sufficient to cause the creature to
prepare a shell for the offspring previous to its birth--or rather to
gather the material for such shell, to be afterward used; to
distinguish the proper material; to mould it into shape, and cement it.
The scientist reported that a creature always gathered just exactly
enough sand for its purpose--never too little, and never an excess. And
this in a creature that is little more than a tiny drop of glue!

We may consider the life actions of the Moneron a little further, for
it is the lowest form of so-called "living matter"--the point at which
living forms pass off into non-living forms (so-called). This tiny
speck of glue--an organism without organs--is endowed with the faculty
called sensation. It draws away from that which is likely to injure it,
and toward that which it desires--all in response to an elementary
sensation. It has the instinct of self-preservation and
self-protection. It seeks and finds its prey, and then eats, digests
and assimilates it. It is able to move about by "false-feet," or bits
of its body which it pushes forth at will from any part of its
substance. It reproduces itself, as we have seen, by separation and
self-division.

The life of the bacteria and germs--the yeasty forms of life--are
familiar to many of us. And yet there are forms of life still below
these. The line between living forms and non-living forms is being set
back further and further by science. Living creatures are now known
that resemble the non-living so closely that the line cannot be
definitely drawn.

Living creatures are known that are capable of being dried and laid
away for several years, and then may be revived by the application of
moisture. They resemble dust, but are full of life and function.
Certain forms of bacilli are known to Science that have been subjected
to degrees of heat and cold that are but terms to any but the
scientific mind.

Low forms of life called Diatoms or "living crystals" are known. They
are tiny geometrical forms. They are composed of a tiny drop of plasm,
resembling glue, covered by a thin shell of siliceous or sandy
material. They are visible only through the microscope, and are so
small that thousands of them might be gathered together on the head of
a pin. They are so like chemical crystals that it requires a shrewd and
careful observer to distinguish them. And yet they are alive, and
perform all the functions of life.

Leaving these creatures, we enter the kingdom of the crystals, in our
search for life. Yes, the crystals manifest life, as strange as this
statement may appear to those who have not followed the march of
Science. The crystals are born, grow, live, and may be killed by
chemicals or electricity. Science has added a new department called
"Plasmology," the purpose of which is the study of crystal life. Some
investigators have progressed so far as to claim that they have
discovered signs of rudimentary sex functioning among crystals. At any
rate, crystals are born and grow like living things. As a recent
scientific writer has said: "Crystallization, as we are to learn now,
is not a mere mechanical grouping of dead atoms. It is a birth."

The crystal forms from the mother liquor, and its body is built up
systematically, regularly, and according to a well defined plan or
pattern, just as are the body and bones of the animal form, and the
wood and bark of the tree. There is life at work in the growth of the
crystal. And not only does the crystal grow, but it also reproduces
itself by separation or splitting-off, just as is the case with the
lower forms of life, just mentioned.

The principal point of difference between the growth and development of
the crystals and that of the lower forms of life referred to is that
the crystal takes its nourishment from the outside, and builds up from
its outer surface, while the Monera absorbs its nourishment from
within, and grows outwardly from within. If the crystal had a soft
center, and took its nourishment in that way, it would be almost
identical with the Diatom, or, if the Diatom grew from the outside, it
would be but a crystal. A very fine dividing line.

Crystals, like living forms, may be sterilized and rendered incapable
of reproduction by chemical process, or electrical discharges. They may
also be "killed" and future growth prevented in this manner. Surely
this looks like "Life," does it not?

To realize the importance of this idea of life among the crystals, we
must remember that our hardest rocks and metals are composed of
crystals, and that the dirt and earth upon which we grow and live are
but crumbled rock and miniature crystals. Therefore the very dust under
our feet is alive. _There is nothing dead._ There is no transformation
of "dead matter" into live plant matter, and then into live animal
matter. The chemicals are alive, and from chemical to man's body there
is but a continuous change of shape and form of living matter. Any
man's body, decomposing, is again resolved into chemicals, and the
chain begins over again. Merely changes in living forms--that's all, so
far as the bodies are concerned.

Nature furnishes us with many examples of this presence of life in the
inorganic world. We have but to look around to see the truth of the
statement that All is Alive. There is that which is known as the
"fatigue of elasticity" in metals. Razors get tired, and require a
rest. Tuning forks lose their powers of vibration, to a degree, and
have to be given a vacation. 'Machinery in mills and manufactories
needs an occasional day off. Metals are subject to disease and
infection, and have been poisoned and restored by antidotes. Window
glass, especially stained glass, is subject to a disease spreading from
pane to pane.

Men accustomed to handling and using tools and machinery naturally drop
into the habit of speaking of these things as if they were alive. They
seem to recognize the presence of "feeling" in tools or machine, and to
perceive in each a sort of "character" or personality, which must be
respected, humored, or coaxed in order to get the best results.

Perhaps the most valuable testimony along these lines, and which goes
very far toward proving the centuries-old theories of the Yogis
regarding Omnipresent Life, comes from Prof. J. Chunder Bose, of the
Calcutta University, a Hindu educated in the English Universities,
under the best teachers, and who is now a leading scientific authority
in the western world, tie has given to the world some very valuable
scientific information along these lines in his book entitled
"_Response in the Living and Non-living_," which has caused the widest
comment and created the greatest interest among the highest scientific
authorities. His experiments along the lines of the gathering of
evidence of life in the inorganic forms have revolutionized the
theories of modern science, and have done much to further the idea that
life is present everywhere, and that there is no such thing as dead
matter.

He bases his work upon the theory that the best and only true test for
the presence of life in matter is the response of matter to external
stimulus. Proceeding from this fundamental theory he has proven by
in-numerable experiments that so-called inorganic matter, minerals,
metals, etc., give a response to such stimulus, which response is
similar, if not identical, to the response of the matter composing the
bodies of plants, animals, men.

He devised delicate apparatus for the measurement of the response to
the outside stimulus, the degree, and other evidence being recorded in
traces on a revolving cylinder. The tracings or curves obtained from
tin and other metals, when compared with those obtained from living
muscle, were found to be identical. He used a galvanometer, a very
delicate and accurate scientific instrument, in his experiments. This
instrument is so finely adjusted that the faintest current will cause a
deflection of the registering needle, which is delicately swung on a
tiny pivot. If the galvanometer be attached to a human nerve, and the
end of the nerve be irritated, the needle will register.

Prof. Bose found that when he attached the galvanometer to bars of
various metals they gave a similar response when struck or twisted. The
greater the irritation applied to the metal, the greater the response
registered by the instrument. The analogy between the response of the
metal and that of the living muscle was startling. For instance, just
as in the case of the living animal muscle or nerve matter, the
response becomes fatigued, so in the case of the metal the curve
registered by the needle became fainter and still fainter, as the bar
became more and more fatigued by the continued irritation. And again,
just after such fatigue the muscle would become rested, and would again
respond actively, so would the metal when given a chance to recuperate.

Tetanus due to shocks constantly repeated, was caused and recovered.
Metals recorded evidences of fatigue. Drugs caused identical effects on
metals and animals--some exciting; some depressing; some killing. Some
poisonous chemicals killed pieces of metal, rendering them immobile and
therefore incapable of registering records on the apparatus. In some
cases antidotes were promptly administered, and saved the life of the
metal.

Prof. Bose also conducted experiments on plants in the same way. Pieces
of vegetable matter were found to be capable of stimulation, fatigue,
excitement, depression, poison. Mrs. Annie Besant, who witnessed some
of these experiments in Calcutta, has written as follows regarding the
experiments on plant life: "There is something rather pathetic in
seeing the way in which the tiny spot of light which records the pulses
in the plant, travels in ever weaker and weaker curves, when the plant
is under the influence of poison, then falls into a final despairing
straight line, and--stops. One feels as though a murder has been
committed--as indeed it has."

In one of Prof. Bose's public experiments he clearly demonstrated that
a bar of iron was fully as sensitive as the human body, and that it
could be irritated and stimulated in the same way, and finally could be
poisoned and killed. "Among such phenomena," he asks, "how can we draw
the line of demarkation, and say, 'Here the physical ends, and there
the physiological begins'? No such barrier exists." According to his
theory, which agrees with the oldest occult theories, by the way, life
is present in every object and form of Nature, and all forms respond to
external stimulus, which response is a proof of the presence of life in
the form.

Prof. Bose's great book is full of the most startling results of
experiments. He proves that the metals manifest something like sleep;
can be killed; exhibit torpor and sluggishness; get tired or lazy; wake
up; can be roused into activity; may be stimulated, strengthened,
weakened; suffer from extreme cold and heat; may be drugged or
intoxicated, the different metals manifesting a different response to
certain drugs, just as different men and animals manifest a varying
degree of similar resistance. The response of a piece of steel
subjected to the influence of a chemical poison shows a gradual
fluttering and weakening until it finally dies away, just as animal
matter does when similarly poisoned. When revived in time by an
antidote, the recovery was similarly gradual in both metal and muscle.
A remarkable fact is noted by the scientist when he tells us that the
very poisons that kill the metals are themselves alive and may be
killed, drugged, stimulated, etc., showing the same response as in the
case of the metals, proving the existence in them of the same life that
is in the metals and animal matter that they influence.

Of course when these metals are "killed" there is merely a killing of
the metal as metal--the atoms and principles of which the metal is
composed remaining fully alive and active, just as is the case with the
atom of the human body after the soul passes out--the body is as much
alive after death as during the life of the person, the activity of the
parts being along the lines of dissolution instead of construction in
that case.

We hear much of the claims of scientists who announce that they are on
the eve of "_creating_ life" from non-living matter. This is all
nonsense--life can come only from life. Life from non-life is an
absurdity. And all Life comes from the One Life underlying All. But it
is true that Science has done, is doing, and will do, something very
much like "creating life," but of course this is merely changing the
form of Life into other forms--the lesser form into the higher--just as
one produces a plant from a seed, or a fruit from a plant. The Life is
always there, and responds to the proper stimulus and conditions.

A number of scientists are working on the problem of generating living
forms from inorganic matter. The old idea of "spontaneous generation,"
for many years relegated to the scrap-pile of Science, is again coming
to the front. Although the theory of Evolution compels its adherents to
accept the idea that at one time in the past living forms sprung from
the non-living (so-called), yet it has been generally believed that the
conditions which brought about this stage of evolution has forever
passed. But the indications now all point to the other view that this
stage of evolution is, and always has been, in operation, and that new
forms of life are constantly evolving from the inorganic forms.
"Creation," so-called (although the word is an absurdity from the Yogi
point of view), is constantly being performed.

Dr. Charlton Bastian, of London, Eng., has long been a prominent
advocate of this theory of continuous spontaneous generation. Laughed
down and considered defeated by the leading scientific minds of a
generation ago, he still pluckily kept at work, and his recent books
were like bombshells in the orthodox scientific camp. He has taken more
than five thousand photo-micrographs, all showing most startling facts
in connection with the origin of living forms from the inorganic. He
claims that the microscope reveals the development in a previously
clear liquid of very minute black spots, which gradually enlarge and
transform into bacteria--living forms of a very low order. Prof. Burke,
of Cambridge, Eng., has demonstrated that he may produce in sterilized
boullion, subjected to the action of sterilized radium chloride, minute
living bodies which manifest growth and subdivision. Science is being
gradually forced to the conclusion that living forms are still arising
in the world by natural processes, which is not at all remarkable when
one remembers that natural law is uniform and continuous. These recent
discoveries go to swell the already large list of modern scientific
ideas which correspond with the centuries-old Yogi teachings. When the
Occult explanation that there is Life in everything, _inorganic as well
as organic_, and that evolution is constant, is heard, then may we see
that these experiments simply prove that the forms of life may be
changed and developed--not that Life may be "created."

The chemical and mineral world furnish us with many instances of the
growth and development of forms closely resembling the forms of the
vegetable world. What is known as "metallic vegetation," as shown in
the "lead tree," gives us an interesting example of this phenomenon.
The experiment is performed by placing in a wide-necked bottle a clear
acidulated solution of acetate of lead. The bottle is corked, a piece
of copper wire being fastened to the cork, from which wire is suspended
a piece of zinc, the latter hanging as nearly as possible in the center
of the lead solution. When the bottle is corked the copper wire
immediately begins to surround itself with a growth of metallic lead
resembling fine moss. From this moss spring branches and limbs, which
in turn manifest a growth similar to foliage, until at last a miniature
bush or tree is formed. Similar "metallic vegetation" may be produced
by other metallic solutions.

All of you have noticed how crystals of frost form on window panes in
shapes of leaves, branches, foliage, flowers, blossoms, etc. Saltpeter
when subjected to the effect of polarized light assumes forms closely
resembling the forms of the orchid. Nature is full of these
resemblances.

A German scientist recently performed a remarkable experiment with
certain metallic salts. He subjected the salts to the action of a
galvanic current, when to his surprise the particles of the salts
grouped themselves around the negative pole of the battery, and then
grew into a shape closely resembling a miniature mushroom, with tiny
stem and umbrella top. These metallic mushrooms at first presented a
transparent appearance, but gradually developed color, the top of the
umbrella being a bright red, with a faint rose shade on the under
surface. The stems showed a pale straw color. This was most
interesting, but the important fact of the experiment consists in the
discovery that these mushrooms have fine veins or tubes running along
the stems, through which the nourishment, or additional material for
growth, is transported, so that the growth is actually from the inside,
just as is the case with fungus life. To all intents and purposes,
these inorganic metallic growths were low forms of vegetable his.

But the search for Life does not end with the forms of the mineral
world as we know them. Science has separated the material forms into
smaller forms, and again still smaller. And if there is Life in the
form composed of countless particles, then must there be Life in the
particles themselves. For Life cannot come from non-Life, and if there
be not Life in the particles, the theory of Omnipresent Life must fan.
So we must look beyond the form and shape of the mineral--mist separate
it into its constituent parts, and then examine the parts for
indications of Life.

Science teaches us that all forms of matter are compiled of minute
particles called molecules. A molecule is the smallest particle of
matter that is possible, unless the chemical atoms composing the matter
fly apart and the matter be resolved into its original elements. For
instance, let us take the familiar instance of a drop of water. Let us
divide and subdivide the drop, until at last we get to the smallest
possible particle of water. That smallest possible particle would be a
"molecule" of water. We cannot subdivide this molecule without causing
its atoms of hydrogen and oxygen to fly apart--and then there would be
no _water_ at all. Well, these molecules manifest a something called
Attraction for each other. They attract other molecules of the same
kind, and are likewise attracted. The operation of this law of
attraction results in the formation of masses of matter, whether those
masses be mountains of solid rock, or a drop of water, or a volume of
gas. All masses of matter are composed of aggregations of molecules,
held together by the law of attraction. This law of attraction is
called Cohesion. This Cohesive Attraction is not a mere mechanical
force, as many suppose, but is an exhibition of Life action,
manifesting in the presence of the molecule of a "like" or "love" for
the similar molecule. And when the Life energies begin to manifest on a
certain plane, and proceed to mould the molecules into crystals, so
that we may see the actual process under way, we begin to realize very
clearly that there is "something at work" in this building up.

But wonderful as this may seem to those unfamiliar with the idea, the
manifestation of Life among the atoms is still more so. The atom, you
will remember, is the chemical unit which, uniting with other atoms,
makes up the molecule. For instance, if we take two atoms of the gas
called hydrogen and one atom of the gas called oxygen, and place them
near each other, they will at once rush toward each other and form a
partnership, which is called a molecule of water. And so it is with all
atoms--they are continually forming partnerships, or dissolving them.
Marriage and divorce is a part of the life of the atoms. These
evidences of attraction and repulsion among the atoms are receiving
much attention from careful thinkers, and some of the most advanced
minds of the age see in this phenomena the corroboration of the old
Yogi idea that there is Life and vital action in the smallest particles
of matter.

The atoms manifest vital characteristics in their attractions and
repulsions. They move along the lines of their attractions and form
marriages, and thus combining they form the substances with which we
are familiar. When they combine, remember, they do not lose their
individuality and melt into a permanent substance, but merely unite and
yet remain distinct. If the combination be destroyed by chemical
action, electrical discharge, etc., the atoms fly apart, and again live
their own separate lives, until they come in contact with other atoms
with which they have affinities, and form a new union or partnership.
In many chemical changes the atoms divorce themselves, each forsaking
its mate or mates, and seeking some newer affinity in the shape of a
more congenial atom. The atoms manifest a fickleness and will always
desert a lesser attraction for a greater one. This is no mere bit of
imagery, or scientific poetry. It is a scientific statement of the
action of atoms along the lines of vital manifestation.

The great German scientist, Haekel, has said: "I cannot imagine the
simplest chemical and physical processes without attributing the
movement of the material particles to unconscious sensation. The idea
of Chemical Affinity consists in the fact that the various chemical
elements perceive differences in the qualities of other elements, and
experience pleasure or revulsion at contact with them, and execute
their respective movements on this ground." He also says: "We may
ascribe the feeling of pleasure or pain (satisfaction or
dissatisfaction) to all atoms, and thereby ascribe the elective
affinities of chemistry to the attraction between living atoms and
repulsion between hating atoms." He also says that "the sensations in
animal and plant life are connected by a long series of evolutionary
stages with the simpler forms of sensation that we find in the
inorganic elements, and that reveal themselves in chemical affinity."
Naegli says: "If the molecules possess something that is related,
however distantly, to sensation, it must be comfortable for them to be
able to follow their attractions and repulsions, and uncomfortable for
them when they are forced to do otherwise."

We might fill page after page with quotations from eminent thinkers
going to prove the correctness of the old Yogi teachings that Life is
Omnipresent. Modern Science is rapidly advancing to this position,
leaving behind her the old idea of "dead matter." Even the new theories
of the electron--the little particles of electrical energy which are
now believed to constitute the base of the atom--does not change this
idea, for the electrons manifest attraction, and response thereto, and
form themselves into groups composing the atom. And even if we pass
beyond matter into the mystical Ether which Science assumes to be the
material base of things, we must believe that there is life there too,
and that as Prof. Dolbear says: "The Ether has besides the function of
energy and motion, other inherent properties, out of which could
emerge, under proper circumstances, other phenomena, such as life,
mind, or whatever may be in the substratum," and, that as Prof. Cope
has hinted, that the basis of Life lies back of the atoms and may be
found in the Universal Ether.

Some scientists go even further, and assert that not only is Life
present in everything, but that Mind is present where Life is. Verily,
the dreams of the Yogi fathers are coming true, and from the ranks of
the materialists are coming the material proofs of the spiritual
teachings. Listen to these words from Dr. Saleeby, in his recent
valuable scientific work, "_Evolution, the Master Key_." He says:

"Life is potential in matter; life-energy is not a thing unique and
created at a particular time in the past. If evolution be true, living
matter has been evolved by natural processes from matter which is,
apparently, not alive. But if life is potential in matter, it is a
thousand times more evident that Mind is potential in Life. The
evolutionist is impelled to believe that Mind is potential in matter.
(I adopt that form of words for the moment, but not without future
criticism.) The microscopic cell, a minute speck of matter that is to
become man, has in it the promise and the germ of mind. May we not then
draw the inference that the elements of mind are present in those
chemical elements--carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur,
phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chlorine--that are found in the cell.
Not only must we do so, but we must go further, since we know that each
of these elements, and every other, is built up out of one invariable
unit, the electron, and we must therefore assert that Mind is potential
in the unit of Matter--the electron itself... It is to assert the
sublime truth first perceived by Spinoza, that Mind and Matter are the
warp and woof of what Goethe called 'the living garment of God.' Both
are complementary expressions of the Unknowable Reality which underlies
both."

There is no such thing as non-vital attraction or repulsion. All
inclinations for or against another object, or thing, is an evidence of
Life. Each thing has sufficient life energy to enable it to carry on
its work. And as each form advances by evolution into a higher form, it
is able to have more of the Life energy manifest through it. As its
material machinery is built up, it becomes able to manifest a greater
and higher degree of Life. It is not that one thing has a low life, or
another a high life--this cannot be, for there is but One Life. It is
like the current of electricity that is able to run the most delicate
machinery or manifest a light in the incandescent lamp. Give it the
organ or machinery of manifestation, and it manifests--give it a low
form, and it will manifest a low degree--give it a high form, and it
will manifest a high degree. The same steam power runs the clumsy
engine, or the perfect apparatus which drives the most delicate
mechanism. And so it is with the One Life--its manifestations may seem
low and clumsy, or high and perfect--but it all depends upon the
material or mental machinery through which it works. There is but One
Life, manifesting in countless forms and shapes, and degrees. One Life
underlying All--in All.

From the highest forms of Life down through the animal, vegetable and
mineral kingdoms, we see Life everywhere present--Death an illusion.
Back of all visible forms of material life there is still the
beginnings of manifested life pressing forward for expression and
manifestation. And underneath all is the Spirit of Life--longing,
striving, feeling, acting.

In the mountain and the ocean--the flower and the tree--the sunset--the
dawn--the suns--the stars--all is Life--manifestations of the One Life.
Everything is Alive, quick with living force, power, action; thrilling
with vitality; throbbing with feeling; filled with activity. All is
from the One Life--and all that is from the One Life is Alive. There is
no dead substance in the Universe--there can be none--for Life cannot
Die. All is Alive. And Life is in All.

Carry with you this Central Thought of the Lesson:

CENTRAL THOUGHT: _There is but One Life, and its manifestations
comprise all the forms and shapes of the Universe. From Life comes but
Life--and Life can come only from Life. Therefore we have the right to
expect that all manifestations of the One Life should be Alive. And we
are not mocked in such belief. Not only do the highest Occult Teachings
inform us that Everything is Alive, but Modern Science has proven to us
that Life is present everywhere--even in that which was formerly
considered dead matter. It now sees that even the atom, and what lies
back of the atom, is charged with Life Energy and Action. Forms and
shapes may change, and do change--but Life remains eternal and
infinite. It cannot Die--for it is LIFE._

Peace be with thee.



THE THIRD LESSON


THE CREATIVE WILL.

In our first lesson of this series, we stated that among the other
qualities and attributes that we were compelled, by the laws of our
reason, to think that the Absolute possessed, was that of Omnipotence
or All-Power. In other words we are compelled to think of the One as
being the source and fount of all the Power there is, ever has been, or
ever can be in the Universe. Not only, as is generally supposed, that
the Power of the One is greater than any other Power,--but more than
this, that there can be no other power, and that, therefore, each and
every, any and all manifestations or forms of Power, Force or Energy
must be a part of the great one Energy which emanates from the One.

There is no escape from this conclusion, as startling as it may appear
to the mind unaccustomed to it. If there is any power not from and of
the One, from whence comes such power, for there is nothing else
outside of the One? Who or what exists outside of the One that can
manifest even the faintest degree of power of any kind? All power must
come from the Absolute, and must in its nature be but one.

Modern Science has recognized this truth, and one of its fundamental
principles is the Unity of Energy--the theory that all forms of Energy
are, at the last, One. Science holds that all forms of Energy are
interchangeable, and from this idea comes the theory of the
Conservation of Energy or Correlation of Force.

Science teaches that every manifestation of energy, power, or force,
from the operation of the law of gravitation, up to the highest form of
mental force is but the operation of the One Energy of the Universe.

Just what this Energy is, in its inner nature, Science does not know.
It has many theories, but does not advance any of them as a law. It
speaks of the Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things
proceed, but pronounces its nature to be unknowable. But some of the
latter-day scientists are veering around to the teachings of the
occultists, and are now hinting that it is something more than a mere
mechanical energy. They are speaking of it in terms of mind. Wundt, the
German scientist, whose school of thought is called voluntarism,
considers the motive-force of Energy to be something that may be called
Will. Crusius, as far back as 1744 said: "Will is the dominating force
of the world." And Schopenhauer based his fascinating but gloomy
philosophy and metaphysics upon the underlying principle of an active
form of energy which he called the Will-to-Live, which he considered to
be the Thing-in-Itself, or the Absolute. Balzac, the novelist,
considered a something akin to Will, to be the moving force of the
Universe. Bulwer advanced a similar theory, and made mention of it in
several of his novels

This idea of an active, creative Will, at work in the Universe,
building up; tearing down; replacing; repairing; changing--always at
work--ever active--has been entertained by numerous philosophers and
thinkers, under different names and styles. Some, like Schopenhauer
have thought of this Will as the final thing--that which took the place
of God--the First Cause. But others have seen in this Will an active
living principle emanating from the Absolute or God, and working in
accordance with the laws impressed by Him upon it. In various forms,
this latter idea is seen all through the history of philosophical
thought. Cudsworth, the English philosopher, evolved the idea of a
something called the "Plastic Nature," which so closely approaches the
Yogi idea of the Creative Will, that we feel justified in quoting a
passage from his book. He says:

"It seems not so agreeable to reason that Nature, as a distinct thing
from the Deity, should be quite superseded or made to signify nothing,
God Himself doing all things immediately and miraculously; from whence
it would follow also that they are all done either forcibly and
violently, or else artificially only, and none of them by any inward
principle of their own.

"This opinion is further confuted by that slow and gradual process that
in the generation of things, which would seem to be but a vain and idle
pomp or a trifling formality if the moving power were omnipotent; as
also by those errors and bungles which are committed where the matter
is inept and contumacious; which argue that the moving power be not
irresistible, and that Nature is such a thing as is not altogether
incapable (as well as human art) of being sometimes frustrated and
disappointed by the indisposition of matter. Whereas an omnipotent
moving power, as it could dispatch its work in a moment, so would it
always do it infallibly and irresistibly, no ineptitude and
stubbornness of matter being ever able to hinder such a one, or make
him bungle or fumble in anything.

"Wherefore, since neither all things are produced fortuitously, or by
the unguided mechanism of matter, nor God himself may be reasonably
thought to do all things immediately and miraculously, it may well be
concluded that there is a Plastic Nature under him, which, as an
inferior and subordinate instrument, doth drudgingly execute that part
of his providence which consists in the regular and orderly motion of
matter; yet so as there is also besides this a higher providence to be
acknowledged, which, presiding over it, doth often supply the defects
of it, and sometimes overrules it, forasmuch as the Plastic Nature
cannot act electively nor with discretion."

The Yogi Philosophy teaches of the existence of a Universal Creative
Will, emanating from the Absolute--infilled with the power of the
Absolute and acting under established natural laws, which performs the
active work of creation in the world, similar to that performed by
"Cudsworth's Plastic Nature," just mentioned. This Creative Will is not
Schopenhauer's Will-to-Live. It is not a Thing-in-itself, but a vehicle
or instrument of the Absolute. It is an emanation of the mind of the
Absolute--a manifestation in action of its Will--a mental product
rather than a physical, and, of course, saturated with the life-energy
of its projector.

This Creative Will is not a mere blind, mechanical energy or force--it
is far more than this. We can explain it only by referring you to the
manifestation of the Will in yourself. You wish to move your arm, and
it moves. The immediate force may seem to be a mechanical force, but
what is back of that force--what is the essence of the force? The Will!
All manifestations of energy--all the causes of motion--all forces--are
forms of the action of the Will of the One--the Creative Will--acting
under natural laws established by the One, ever moving, acting,
forcing, urging, driving, leading. We do not mean that every little act
is a thought of the moment on the part of the Absolute, and a reaching
out of the Will in obedience to that thought. On the contrary, we mean
that the One set the Will into operation as a whole, conceiving of laws
and limitations in its action, the Will constantly operating in
obedience to that conception, the results manifesting in what we call
natural law; natural forces, etc. Besides this, the Absolute is
believed to manifest its Will specially upon occasions; and moreover
permits its Will to be applied and used by the individual wills of
individual Egos, under the general Law and laws, and plan of the One.

But you must not suppose that the Will is manifested only in the form
of mechanical forces, cohesion, chemical attraction, electricity,
gravitation, etc.

It does more than this. It is in full operation in all forms of life,
and living things. It is present everywhere. Back of all forms of
movement and action, we find a moving cause--usually a _Pressure_. This
is true of that which we have been calling mechanical forces, and of
all forms of that which we call Life Energy. Now, note this, this great
Pressure that you will observe in all Life Action, is the Creative
Will--the Will Principle of the One--bending toward the carrying out of
the Great Plan of Life.

Look where we will, on living forms, and we may begin to recognize the
presence of a certain creative energy at work--building up; moulding,
directing; tearing down; replacing, etc.--always active in its efforts
to create, preserve and conserve life. This visible creative energy is
what the Yogi Philosophy calls "the Creative Will," and which forms the
subject of this lesson. The Creative Will is that striving, longing,
pressing forward, unfolding, progressing evolutionary effort, that all
thoughtful people see in operation in all forms of life--throughout all
Nature. From the lowest to the highest forms of life, the Effort,
Energy, Pressure, may be recognized in action, creating, preserving,
nourishing, and improving its forms. It is that Something that we
recognize when we speak of "Nature's Forces" at work in plant growth
and animal functioning. If you will but keep the word and
idea--"NATURE"--before you, you will be able to more clearly form the
mental concept of the Creative Will. The Creative Will is that which
you have been calling "Nature at Work" in the growth of the plant; the
sprouting of the seed; the curling and reaching of the tendril; the
fertilization of the blossoms, etc. You have seen this Will at work, if
you have watched growing things.

We call this energy "the Creative Will," because it is the objective
manifestation of the Creative Energy of the Absolute--Its visible Will
manifested in the direction of physical life. It is as much Will in
action, as the Will that causes your arm to move in response to its
power. It is no mere chance thing, or mechanical law--it is life action
in operation.

This Creative Will not only causes movement in completed life, but all
movement and action in life independent of the personal will of its
individual forms. All the phenomena of the so-called Unconscious belong
to it. It causes the body to grow; attends to the details of
nourishment, assimilation, digestion, elimination, and all of the rest.
It builds up bodies, organs, and parts, and keeps them in operation and
function.

The Creative Will is directed to the outward expression of Life--to the
objectification of Life. You may call this energy the "Universal Life
Energy" if you wish, but, to those who know it, it is a Will--an
active, living Will, in full operation and power, pressing forward
toward the manifestation of objective life.

The Creative Will seems to be filled with a strong Desire to manifest.
It longs to express itself, and to give birth to forms of activity.
Desire lies under and in all forms of its manifestations. The ever
present Desire of the Creative Will causes lower forms to be succeeded
by higher forms--and is the moving cause of evolution--it is the
Evolutionary Urge itself, which ever cries to its manifestations, "Move
on; move upward."

In the Hindu classic, the "Mahabarata," Brahma created the most
beautiful female being ever known, and called her Tillotama. He
presented her in turn to all the gods, in order to witness their wonder
and admiration. Siva's desire to behold her was so great that it
developed in him four faces, in succession, as she made the tour of the
assembly; and Indra's longing was so intense that his body became all
eyes. In this myth may be seen exemplified the effect of Desire and
Will in the forms of life, function and shape--all following Desire and
Need, as in the case of the long neck of the giraffe which enables him
to reach for the high branches of the trees in his native land; and in
the long neck and high legs of the fisher birds, the crane, stork,
ibis, etc.

The Creative Will finds within itself a desire to create suns, and they
are formed. It desired planets to revolve around the suns, and they
were thrown off in obedience to the law. It desired plant life, and
plant life appeared, working from higher to lower form. Then came
animal life, from nomad to man. Some of the animal forms yielded to the
desire to fly, and wings appeared gradually, and we called it
bird-life. Some felt a desire to burrow in the ground, and lo! came the
moles, gophers, etc. It wanted a thinking creature, and Man with his
wonderful brain was evolved. Evolution is more than a mere survival of
the fittest; natural selection, etc. Although it uses these laws as
tools and instruments, still back of them is that insistent urge--that
ever-impelling desire--that ever-active Creative Will. Lamark was
nearer right than Darwin when he claimed that Desire was back of it
all, and preceded function and form. Desire wanted form and function,
and produced them by the activity of the Creative Will.

This Creative Will acts like a living force--and so it is indeed--but
it does not act as a reasoning, intellectual Something, in one
sense--instead it manifests rather the "feeling," wanting, longing,
instinctive phase of mind, akin to those "feelings" and resulting
actions that we find within our natures. The Will acts on the
Instinctive Plane.

Evolution shows us Life constantly pressing forward toward higher and
still higher forms of expression. The urge is constantly upward and
onward. It is true that some species sink out of sight their work in
the world having been done, but they are succeeded by other species
more in harmony with their environment and the needs of their times.
Some races of men decay, but others build on their foundations, and
reach still greater heights.

The Creative Will is something different from Reason or Intellect. But
it underlies these. In the lower forms of life, in which mind is in but
small evidence, the Will is in active operation, manifesting in
Instinct and Automatic Life Action, so called. It does not depend upon
brains for manifestation--for these lowly forms of life have no
brains--but is in operation through every part of the body of the
living thing.

Evidences of the existence of the Creative Will acting independently of
the brains of animal and plant life may be had in overwhelming quantity
if we will but examine the life action in the lower forms of life.

The testimony of the investigators along the lines of the Evolutionary
school of thought, show us that the Life Principle was in active
operation in lowly animal and plant life millions of years before
brains capable of manifesting Thought were produced. Haekel informs us
that during more than half of the enormous time that has elapsed since
organic life first became evident, no animal sufficiently advanced to
have a brain was in existence. Brains were evolved according to the law
of desire or necessity, in accordance with the Great Plan, but they
were not needed for carrying on the wonderful work of the creation and
preservation of the living forms. And they are not today. The tiny
infant, and the senseless idiot are not able to think intelligently,
but still their life functions go on regularly and according to law, in
spite of the absence of thinking brains. And the life work of the
plants, and of the lowly forms of animal life, is carried on likewise.
This wonderful thing that we call Instinct is but another name for the
manifestation of the Creative Will which flows from the One Life, or
the Absolute.

Even as far down the scale of life as the Monera, we may see the
Creative Will in action. The Monera are but tiny bits of slimy,
jelly-like substances--mere specks of glue without organs of any kind,
and yet they exercise the organic phenomena of life, such as nutrition,
reproduction, sensation and movement, all of which are usually
associated with an organized structure. These creatures are incapable
of thought in themselves, and the phenomenon is due to the action of
the Will through them. This Instinctive impulse and action is seen
everywhere, manifesting upon Higher and still higher lines, as higher
forms of organisms are built up.

Scientists have used the term, "Appetency," defining it as, "the
instinctive tendency of living organisms to perform certain actions;
the tendency of an unorganized body to seek that which satisfies the
wants of its organism." Now what is this tendency? It cannot be an
effort of reason, for the low form of life has nothing with which to
reason. And it is impossible to think of "purposive tendency" without
assuming the existence of mental power of some kind. And where can such
a power be located if not in the form itself? When we consider that the
Will is acting in and through all forms of Life, from highest to
lowest--from Moneron to Man--we can at once recognize the source of the
power and activity. It is the Great Life Principle--the Creative Will,
manifesting itself.

We can perhaps better form an idea of the Creative Will, by reference
to its outward and visible forms of activity. We cannot see the Will
itself--the Pressure and the Urge--but we can see its action through
living forms. Just as we cannot see a man behind a curtain, and yet may
practically see him by watching the movements of his form as he presses
up against the curtain, so may we see the Will by watching it as it
presses up against the living curtain of the forms of life. There was a
play presented on the American stage a few years ago, in which one of
the scenes pictured the place of departed spirits according to the
Japanese belief. The audience could not see the actors representing the
spirits, but they could see their movements as they pressed up close to
a thin silky curtain stretched across the stage, and their motions as
they moved to and fro behind the curtain were plainly recognized. The
deception was perfect, and the effect was startling. One almost
believed that he saw the forms of formless creatures. And this is what
we may do in viewing the operation of the Creative Will--we may take a
look at the moving form of the Will behind the curtain of the forms of
the manifestation of life. We may see it pressing and urging here, and
bending there--building up here, and changing there--always acting,
always moving, striving, doing, in response to that insatiable urge and
craving, and longing of its inner desire. Let us take a few peeps at
the Will moving behind the curtain!

Commencing with the cases of the forming of the crystals, as spoken of
in our last lesson, we may pass on to plant life. But before doing so,
it may be well for us to take a parting look at the Will manifesting
crystal forms. One of the latest scientific works makes mention of the
experiments of a scientist who has been devoting much attention to the
formation of crystals, and reports that he has noticed that certain
crystals of organic compounds, instead of being built up symmetrically,
as is usual with crystals, were "enation-morphic," that is, opposed to
each other, in rights and lefts, like hands or gloves, or shoes, etc.
These crystals are never found alone, but always form in pairs. Can you
not see the Will behind the curtain here?

Let us look for the Will in plant-life. Passing rapidly over the
wonderful evidences in the cases of the fertilization of plants by
insects, the plant shaping its blossom so as to admit the entrance of
the particular insect that acts as the carrier of its pollen, think for
a moment how the distribution of the seed is provided for. Fruit trees
and plants surround the seed with a sweet covering, that it may be
eaten by insect and animal, and the seed distributed. Others have a
hard covering to protect the seed or nut from the winter frosts, but
which covering rots with the spring rains and allows the germ to
sprout. Others surround the seed with a fleecy substance, so that the
wind may carry it here and there and give it a chance to find a home
where it is not so crowded. Another tree has a little pop-gun
arrangement, by means of which it pops its seed to a distance of
several feet.

Other plants have seeds that are covered with a burr or "sticky"
bristles, which enables them to attach themselves to the wool of sheep
and other animals, and thus be carried about and finally dropped in
some spot far away from the parent plant, and thus the scattering of
the species be accomplished. Some plants show the most wonderful plans
and arrangements for this scattering of the seed in new homes where
there is a better opportunity for growth and development, the
arrangements for this purpose displaying something very much akin to
what we would call "ingenuity" if it were the work of a reasoning mind.
There are plants called cockle-burs whose seed-pods are provided with
stickers in every direction, so that anything brushing against them is
sure to pick them up. At the end of each sticker is a very tiny hook,
and these hooks fasten themselves tightly into anything that brushes
against it, animal wool, hair, or clothing, etc. Some of these seeds
have been known to have been carried to other quarters of the globe in
wool, etc., there to find new homes and a wider field.

Other plants, like the thistle, provide their seed with downy wings, by
which the wind carries them afar to other fields. Other seeds have a
faculty of tumbling and rolling along the ground to great distances,
owing to their peculiar shape and formation. The maple provides its
seed with a peculiar arrangement something like a propeller screw,
which when the wind strikes the trees and looses the seed, whirls the
latter through the air to a distance of a hundred yards or more. Other
seeds are provided with floating apparatus, which enables them to
travel many miles by stream or river, or rain washes. Some of these not
only float, but actually swim, having spider-like filaments, which
wriggle like legs, and actually propel the tiny seed along to its new
home. A recent writer says of these seeds that "so curiously lifelike
are their movements that it is almost impossible to believe that these
tiny objects, making good progress through the water, are really seeds,
and not insects."

The leaves of the Venus' Fly-trap fold upon each other and enclose the
insect which is attracted by the sweet juice on the leaf, three
extremely sensitive bristles or hairs giving the plant notice that the
insect is touching them. A recent writer gives the following
description of a peculiar plant. He says: "On the shores of Lake
Nicaragua is to be found an uncanny product of the vegetable kingdom
known among the natives by the expressive name of 'the Devil's Noose.'
Dunstan, the naturalist, discovered it long ago while wandering on the
shores of the lake. Attracted by the cries of pain and terror from his
dog, he found the animal held by black sticky bands which had chafed
the skin to bleeding point. These bands were branches of a
newly-discovered carnivorous plant which had been aptly named the 'land
octopus.' The branches are flexible, black, polished and without
leaves, and secrete a viscid fluid."

You have seen flowers that closed when you touched them. You remember
the Golden Poppy that closes when the sun goes down. Another plant, a
variety of orchid, has a long, slender, flat stem, or tube, about
one-eighth of an inch thick, with an opening at the extreme end, and a
series of fine tubes where it joins the plant. Ordinarily this tube
remains coiled up into a spiral, but when the plant needs water (it
usually grows upon the trunks of trees overhanging swampy places) it
slowly uncoils the little tube and bends it over until it dips into the
water, when it proceeds to suck up the water until it is filled, when
it slowly coils around and discharges the water directly upon the
plant, or its roots. Then it repeats the process until the plant is
satisfied. When the water is absent from under the plant the tube moves
this way and that way until it finds what it wants--just like the trunk
of an elephant. If one touches the tube or trunk of the plant while it
is extended for water, it shows a great sensitiveness and rapidly coils
itself up. Now what causes this life action? The plant has no brains,
and cannot have reasoned out this process, nor even have acted upon
them by reasoning processes. It has nothing to think with to such a
high degree. It is the Will behind the curtain, moving this way and
that way, and doing things.

There was once a French scientist named Duhamel. He planted some beans
in a cylinder--something like a long tomato can lying on its side. He
waited until the beans began to sprout, and send forth roots downward,
and shoots upward, according to nature's invariable rule. Then he moved
the cylinder a little--rolled it over an inch or two. The next day he
rolled it over a little more. And so on each day, rolling it over a
little each time. Well, after a time Duhamel shook the dirt and growing
beans out of the cylinder, and what did he find? This, that the beans
in their endeavor to grow their roots downward had kept on bending each
day downward; and in their endeavor to send shoots upward, had kept on
bending upward a little each day, until at last there had been formed
two complete spirals--the one spiral being the roots ever turning
downward, and the other the shoots ever bending upward. How did the
plant know direction? What was the moving power. The Creative Will
behind the curtain again, you see!

Potatoes in dark cellars have sent out roots or sprouts twenty and
thirty feet to reach light. Plants will send out roots many feet to
reach water. They know where the water and light are, and where to
reach them. The tendrils of a plant know where the stake or cord is,
and they reach out for it and twine themselves around it. Unwind them,
and the next day they are found again twined around it. Move the stake
or cord, and the tendril moves after it. The insect-eating plants are
able to distinguish between nitrogenous and non-nitrogenous food,
accepting the one and rejecting the other. They recognize that cheese
has the same nourishing properties as the insect, and they accept it,
although it is far different in feeling, taste, appearance and every
other characteristic from their accustomed food.

Case after case might be mentioned and cited to show the operation of
the Will in plant-life. But wonderful as are many of these cases, the
mere action of the Will as shown in the _growing_ of the plant is just
as wonderful. Just imagine a tiny seed, and see it sprout and draw to
itself the nourishment from water, air, light and soil, then upward
until it becomes a great tree with bark, limbs, branches, leaves,
blossoms, fruit and all. Think of this miracle, and consider what must
be the power and nature of that Will that causes it.

The growing plant manifests sufficient strength to crack great stones,
and lift great slabs of pavement, as may be noticed by examining the
sidewalks of suburban towns and parks. An English paper prints a report
of four enormous mushrooms having lifted a huge slab of paving stone in
a crowded street overnight. Think of this exhibition of Energy and
Power. This wonderful faculty of exerting force and motion and energy
is fundamental in the Will, for indeed every physical change and growth
is the result of motion, and motion arises only from force and
pressure. Whose force, energy, power and motion? The Will's!

On all sides of us we may see this constant and steady urge and
pressure behind living forces, and inorganic forms as well--always a
manifestation of Energy and Power. And all this Power is in the
Will--and the Will is but the manifestation of the All-Power--the
Absolute. Remember this.

And this power manifests itself not only in the matter of growth and
ordinary movements, but also in some other ways that seem quite
mysterious to even modern Science. How is it that certain birds are
able to fly directly against a strong wind, without visible movement of
their wings? How do the buzzards float in the air, and make speed
without a motion of the wing? What is the explanation of the movements
of certain microscopic creatures who lack organs of movement? Listen to
this instance related by the scientist Benet. He states that the
Polycystids have a most peculiar manner of moving--a sort of sliding
motion, to the right or left, upward, backward, sideways, stopping and
starting, fast or slow, as it wills. It has no locomotive organs, and
no movement can be seen to take place in the body from within or
without. It simply slides. How?

Passing on to the higher animal life--how do eggs grow into chickens?
What is the power in the germ of the egg? Can the germ think, and plan,
and move, and grow into a chicken? Or is the Will at work there? And
what is true in this case, is true of the birth and growth of all
animal life--all animal life develops from a single germ cell. How, and
Why?

There is a mental energy resident in the germ cell--of this there can
be no doubt. And that mental energy is the Creative Will ever
manifesting. Listen to these words from Huxley, the eminent scientist.
He says:

"The student of Nature wonders the more and is astonished the less, the
more conversant he becomes with her operations; but of all the
perennial miracles she offers to his inspection, perhaps the most
worthy of his admiration is the development of a plant or of an animal
from its embryo. Examine the recently laid egg of some common animal,
such as a salamander or a newt. It is a minute spheroid in which the
best microscope will reveal nothing but a structureless sac, enclosing
a glairy fluid, holding granules in suspension. But strange
possibilities lie dormant in that semi-fluid globule. Let a moderate
supply of warmth reach its watery cradle, and the plastic matter
undergoes changes so rapid, and so purposelike in their succession,
that one can only compare them to those operated by a skilled modeller
upon a formless lump of clay. As with an invisible trowel, the mass is
divided and subdivided into smaller and smaller portions, until it is
reduced to an aggregation of granules not too large to build withal the
finest fabrics of the nascent organism. And, then, it is as if a
delicate finger traced out the line to be occupied by the spinal
column, and moulded the contour of the body; pinching up the head at
one end, the tail at the other, and fashioning flank and limb into due
salamanderine proportions, in so artistic a way that, after watching
the process hour by hour, one is almost involuntarily possessed by the
notion that some more subtle aid to vision than the achromatic lens
would show the hidden artist, with his plan before him, striving with
skilful manipulation to perfect his work.

"As life advances and the young amphibian ranges the waters, the terror
of his insect contemporaries, not only are the nutritious particles
supplied by its prey (by the addition of which to its frame growth
takes place) laid down, each in its proper spot, and in due proportion
to the rest, as to reproduce the form, the color, and the size,
characteristic of the parental stock; but even the wonderful powers of
reproducing lost parts possessed by these animals are controlled by the
same governing tendency. Cut off the legs, the tail, the jaws,
separately or all together, and as Spallanzani showed long ago, these
parts not only grow again, but the new limb is formed on the same type
as those which were lost. The new jaw, or leg, is a newt's, and never
by any accident more like that of a frog's."

In this passage from Huxley one may see the actual working of the
Creative Will of the Universe,--moving behind the curtain--and a very
thin curtain at that. And this wonderful work is going on all around
us, all the time. Miracles are being accomplished every second--they
are so common that we fail to regard them.

And in our bodies is the Will at work? Most certainly. What built you
up from single cell to maturity? Did you do it with your intellect? Has
not every bit of it been done without your conscious knowledge? It is
only when things go wrong, owing to the violation of some law, that you
become aware of your internal organs. And, yet, stomach and liver, and
heart and the rest have been performing their work steadily--working
away day and night, building up, repairing, nourishing, growing you
into a man or woman, and keeping you sound and strong. Are you doing
this with your reason or with your personal will? No, it is the great
Creative Will of the Universe, Universe,--the expression of the purpose
and power of the One, working in and through you. It is the One Life
manifesting in you through its Creative Will.

And not only is this all. The Creative Will is all around us in every
force, energy and principle. The force that we call mental power is the
principle of the Will directed by our individual minds. In this
statement we have a hint of the great mystery of Mental Force and
Power, and the so-called Psychic Phenomena. It also gives us a key to
Mental Healing. This is not the place to go into detail regarding these
phases--but think over it a bit. This Will Power of the Universe, in
all of its forms and phases, from Electricity to Thought-power, is
always at the disposal of Man, within limits, and subject always to the
laws of the Creative Will of the Universe. Those who acquire an
understanding of the laws of any force may use it. And any force may be
used or misused.

And the nearer in understanding and consciousness that we get to the
One Life and Power, the greater will be our possible power, for we are
thus getting closer and closer to the source of All Power. In these
lessons we hope to be able to tell you how you may come into closer
touch with this One Life of which you and all living things are but
forms, shapes and channels of expression, under the operation of the
Creative Will.

We trust that this lesson may have brought to your minds the
realization of the Oneness of All--the fact that we are all parts of
the one encircling unity, the heart-throbs and pulsations of which are
to be felt even to the outer edge of the circle of life--in Man, in
Monad, in Crystal, in Atom. Try to feel that inner essence of Creative
Will that is within yourselves, and endeavor to realize your complete
inner unity in it, with all other forms of life. Try to realize, as
some recent writer has expressed it, "that all the living world is but
mankind in the making, and that we are but part of the All." And also
remember that splendid vistas of future unfoldment spread themselves
out before the gaze of the awakened soul, until the mind fails to grasp
the wondrous sight.

We will now close this lesson by calling your attention to its


CENTRAL THOUGHT.

There is but One Power in the Universe--One Energy--One Force. And that
Power, Energy and Force is a manifestation of the One Life. There can
be no other Power, for there is none other than the One from whom Power
may come. And there can be no manifestation of Power that is not the
Power of the One, for no other Power can be in existence. The Power of
the One is visible in its manifestations to us in the natural laws and
forces of Nature--which we call the Creative Will. This Creative Will
is the inner moving power, urge and pressure behind all forms and
shapes of Life. In atom, and molecule; in monad, in cell, in plant, in
fish, in animal, in man,--the Life Principle or Creative Will is
constantly in action, creating, preserving, and carrying on life in its
functions. We may call this Instinct or Nature, but it is the Creative
Will in action. This Will is back of all Power, Energy, or Force--be it
physical, mechanical or mental force. And all Force that we use,
consciously or unconsciously, comes from the One Great Source of Power.
If we could but see clearly, we would know that back of us is the Power
of the Universe, awaiting our intelligent uses, under the control of
the Will of the All. There is nothing to be afraid of, for we are
manifestations of the One Life, from which all Power proceeds, and the
Real Self is above the effect, for it is part of the Cause. But over
and above--under and behind--all forms of Being, Matter, Energy, Force
and Power, is the ABSOLUTE--ever Calm; ever Peaceful; ever Content. In
knowing this it becomes us to manifest that spirit of absolute Trust,
Faith and Confidence in the Goodness and Ultimate Justice of That which
is the only Reality there is.

Peace be with you.



THE FOURTH LESSON


THE UNITY OF LIFE.

In our First Lesson of this series we spoke of the One Reality
underlying all Life. This One Reality was stated to be higher than mind
or matter, the nearest term that can be applied to it being "Spirit."
We told you that it was impossible to explain just what "Spirit" is,
for we have nothing else with which to compare or describe it, and it
can be expressed only in its own terms, and not in the terms applicable
to its emanations or manifestations. But, as we said in our First
Lesson, we may think of "Spirit" as meaning the "essence" of Life and
Being--the Reality underlying Universal Life, and from which the latter
emanates.

In the Second Lesson we stated that this "Spirit," which we called "The
Absolute," expressed itself in the Universal Life, which Universal Life
manifested itself in countless forms of life and activity. In the same
lesson we showed you that the Universe is alive--that there is not a
single dead thing in it--that there can be no such thing as a dead
object in the Universe, else the theory and truth of the One underlying
Life must fall and be rejected. In that lesson we also showed you that
even in the world of inorganic things there was ever manifest life--in
every atom and particle of inorganic matter there is the universal life
energy manifesting itself, and in constant activity.

In the Third Lesson, we went still further into this phase of the
general subject, and showed you that the Creative Will--that active
principle of the Universal Life--was ever at work, building up new
forms, shapes and combinations, and then tearing them down for the
purpose of rebuilding the material into new forms, shapes, and
combinations. The Creative Will is ever at work in its threefold
function of creating, preserving and destroying forms--the change,
however, being merely in the shape and form or combination, the real
substance remaining unchanged in its inner aspect, notwithstanding the
countless apparent changes in its objective forms. Like the great ocean
the depths of which remain calm and undisturbed, and the real nature of
which is unchanged in spite of the waves, and billows of surface
manifestation, so does the great ocean of the Universal Life remain
unchanged and unaltered in spite of the constant play of the Creative
Will upon the surface. In the same lesson we gave you many examples of
the Will in action--of its wondrous workings in the various forms of
life and activity--all of which went to show you that the One Power was
at work everywhere and at all times.

In our next lesson--the Fifth Lesson--we shall endeavor to make plain
to you the highest teachings of the Yogi Philosophy regarding the One
Reality and the Many Manifestations--the One and the Many--how the One
apparently becomes Many--that great question and problem which lies at
the bottom of the well of truth. In that lesson we shall present for
your consideration some fundamental and startling truths, but before we
reach that point in our teachings, we must fasten upon your mind the
basic truth that all the various manifestations of Life that we see on
all hands in the Universe are but forms of manifestation of One
Universal Life which is itself an emanation of the Absolute.

Speaking generally, we would say to you that the emanation of the
Absolute is in the form of a grand manifestation of One Universal Life,
in which the various apparent separate forms of Life are but centers of
Energy or Consciousness, the separation being more apparent than real,
there being a bond of unity and connection underlying all the
apparently separated forms. Unless the student gets this idea firmly
fixed in his mind and consciousness, he will find it difficult to grasp
the higher truths of the Yogi Philosophy. That all Life is One, at the
last,--that all forms of manifestation of Life are in harmonious Unity,
underlying--is one of the great basic truths of the Yogi Teaching, and
all the students of that philosophy must make this basic truth their
own before they may progress further. This grasping of the truth is
more than a mere matter of intellectual conception, for the intellect
reports that all forms of Life are separate and distinct from each
other, and that there can be no unity amidst such diversity. But from
the higher parts of the mind comes the message of an underlying Unity,
in spite of all apparent diversity, and if one will meditate upon this
idea he will soon begin to realize the truth, and will _feel_ that he,
himself, is but a center of consciousness in a great ocean of
Life--that he and all other centers are connected by countless
spiritual and mental filaments--and that all emerge from the One. He
will find that the illusion of separateness is but "a working fiction
of the Universe," as one writer has so aptly described it--and that All
is One, at the last, and underlying all is One.

Some of our students may feel that we are taking too long a path to
lead up to the great basic truths of our philosophy, but we who have
traveled The Path, and know its rocky places and its sharp turns, feel
justified in insisting that the student be led to the truth gradually
and surely, instead of attempting to make short cuts across dangerous
ravines and canyons. We must insist upon presenting our teachings in
our own way--for this way has been tested and found good. We know that
every student will come to realize that our plan is a wise one, and
that he will thank us for giving him this gradual and easy approach to
the wondrous and awful truth which is before us. By this gradual
process, the mind becomes accustomed to the line of thought and the
underlying principles, and also gradually discards wornout mental
sheaths which have served their purposes, and which must be discarded
because they begin to weigh heavily upon the mind as it reaches the
higher altitudes of The Path of Attainment. Therefore, we must ask you
to consider with us, in this lesson, some further teachings regarding
the Unity of Life.

All the schools of the higher Oriental thought, as well as many of the
great philosophical minds of the Western world, have agreed upon the
conception of the Unity of Life--the Oneness of All Life. The Western
thinkers, and many of the Eastern philosophers arrived at this
conclusion by means of their Intellectual powers, greatly heightened
and stimulated by concentration and meditation, which latter process
liberated the faculties of the Spiritual Mind so that it passed down
knowledge to the Intellect, which then seized upon the higher knowledge
which it found within itself, and amplified and theorized upon the
same. But among the Eastern Masters there are other sources of
information open, and from these sources come the same report--the
Oneness and Unity of Universal Life. These higher sources of
information to which we have alluded, consist of the knowledge coming
from those Beings who have passed on to higher planes of Life than
ours, and whose awakened spiritual faculties and senses enable them to
see things quite plainly which are quite dark to us. And from these
sources, also, comes the message of the Oneness of Life--of the
existence of a wonderful Universal Life including all forms of life as
we know it, and many forms and phases unknown to us--many centers in
the great Ocean of Life. No matter how high the source of inquiry, the
answer is the same--"All Life is One." And this One Life includes
Beings as much higher than ourselves, as we are higher than the
creatures in the slime of the ocean-bed. Included in it are beings who
would seem as archangels or gods to us, and they inform that beyond
them are still higher and more radiant creatures, and so on to infinity
of infinities. And yet all are but centers of Being in the One
Life--all but a part of the great Universal Life, which itself is but
an emanation of The Absolute.

The mind of man shrinks back appalled from the contemplation of such
wonders, and yet there are men who dare to attempt to speak
authoritatively of the attributes and qualities of "God," as if He, the
Absolute, were but a magnified man. Verily, indeed, "fools rush in
where angels fear to tread," as the poet hath said.

Those who will read our next lesson and thus gain an idea of the
sublime conception of the Absolute held by the Yogi teachers may
shudder at the presumption of those mortals who dare to think of the
Absolute as possessing "attributes" and "qualities" like unto the
meanest of things in this his emanated Universe. But even these
spiritual infants are doing well--that is, they are beginning to
_think_, and when man begins to _think_ and _question_, he begins to
progress. It is not the fact of these people's immature ideas that has
caused these remarks on our part, but rather their tendency to set up
their puny conceptions as the absolute truth, and then insisting upon
forcing these views upon the outer world of men, whom they consider
"poor ignorant heathen." Permit each man to think according to his
light--and help him by offering to share with him the best that you
possess--but do not attempt to force upon him your own views as
absolute truth to be swallowed by him under threat of damnation or
eternal punishment. Who are you that dares to speak of punishment and
damnation, when the smell of the smoke of the hell of materialism is
still upon your robes. When you realize just what spiritual infants you
still are--the best of you--you will blush at these things. Hold fast
to the best that you know--be generous to others who seem to wish to
share your knowledge--but give without blame or feeling of
superiority--for those whom you teach today may be your teachers
tomorrow--there are many surprises of this kind along The Path. Be
brave and confident, but when you begin to feel puffed up by your
acquirement of some new bit of knowledge, let your prayer--_our_
prayer, for we too are infants--be, "Lord, be merciful unto me, a
fool!"

The above words are for us, the students of the Yogi Philosophy--the
teachers of the same--for human nature is the same in spite of names,
and we must avoid the "vanity of vanities"--Spiritual Pride and
Arrogance--that fault which has sent many a soul tumbling headlong from
a high position on The Path, and compelled it to again begin the
journey, chastened and bruised. The fall of Lucifer has many
correspondences upon the occult plane, and is, indeed, in itself an
allegorical illustration of just this law. Remember, always, that you
are but a Centre in the Ocean of Life, and that all others are Centres
in the same ocean, and that underlying both and all of you is the same
calm bed of Life and Knowledge, the property of all. The highest and
the lowest are part of the same One Life--each of you has the same life
blood flowing through your veins--you are connected with every other
form of life, high or low, with invisible bonds, and none is separate
from another. We are speaking, of course, to the personalities of the
various students who are reading these words. The Real Self of each is
above the need of such advice and caution, and those who are able to
reach the Real Self in consciousness have no need for these words, for
they have outlived this stage of error. To many, the consciousness of
the One Life--the Universal Life--in which all are centres of
consciousness and being--has come gradually as a final step of a long
series of thought and reasoning, aided by flashes of truth from the
higher regions of the mind. To others it has come as a great
illumination, or flash of Truth, in which all things are seen in their
proper relations and positions to each other, and all as phases of
being in the One. The term "Cosmic Consciousness," which has been used
in the previous series of these lessons, and by other writers, means
this sudden flash of "knowing" in which all the illusionary dividing
lines between persons and things are broken down and the Universal Life
is seen to be actually existent as One Life. To those who have reached
this consciousness by either route just mentioned--or by other
routes--there is no sense of loss of individuality or power or
strength. On the contrary there is always a new sense of increased
power and strength and knowing--instead of losing Individuality, there
is a sense of having found it. One feels that he has the whole Universe
at his back, or within him, rather than that he has lost his identity
in the great Ocean of Life.

While we are speaking of this phase of the subject, we should like to
ask you if you have ever investigated and inquired into the real
meaning of the much-used word "Individuality?" Have you ever looked up
its origin and real meaning, as given by the standard authorities? We
are sure that many of you have no real idea of the actual meaning of
the term, as strange as this statement may appear to you at first
glance. Stop now, and define the word to yourself, as you have been
accustomed to think of it. Ninety-five people of a hundred will tell
you that it means something like "a strong personality." Let us see
about this.

Webster defines the word "Individual" as follows: "Not divided, or not
to be divided; existing as one distinct being or object; single; one."
The same authority informs us that the word arises from the Latin word
_individuus_, meaning "indivisible; not divisible." Does not this help
you to gain a clearer idea of the Individuality that knows itself to be
a Centre of Consciousness in the One Life, rather than a separate,
puny, insignificant thing apart from all other centres or forms of
Life, or the source of Life? We think it will help to clear your mind
of some of the fog that has not as yet lifted itself.

And while we are on the subject of definitions, let us take a little
look at the word "Personality," that is generally believed to be a
synonym of "Individuality," and is often so used. Webster tells us that
the word "Person" originated from the Latin word _persona_, meaning "a
mask used by actors," which word in turn arose from two other words,
_per_, meaning "through," and _sonare_, meaning "to sound," the two
combined words meaning "to sound through." The same authority informs
us that the archaic meaning of the word was "a character or part, as in
a play; an assumed character." If you will think of Personality as "a
mask used by an actor," or as "a part in a play," or as something used
to "sound through" or to speak through, by the real Individual behind
the mask of Personality, then perhaps you will see a little further
into the Mystery of Personality and Individuality.

Oh, dear students, be not deceived by the mask of Personality which you
may happen to be wearing at this moment, or by the masks which are worn
by those around you. Realize that back of your mask is the great
Individual--the Indivisible--the Universal Life, in which you are a
centre of consciousness and activity. This does not wipe out your
identity--instead it gives you a greater and grander identity. Instead
of your sinking into a Nirvana of extinction of consciousness, your
consciousness so enlarges as you unfold, that you will in the end feel
your identity to be the identity of the Universe. Instead of your
gaining Nothingness, you gain Allness. All spiritual growth and
unfoldment gives you a constantly increasing sense of relationship
with, and agreement with, the All. You grow into Allness as you unfold.
Be not deceived by this chatter about Nothingness, and loss of
Individuality, in the Oriental thought, although some of the
presentations of its teachings may so seem to mean at first reading.
Remember always that Personality is the mask, and Individuality the
Real One.

You have often heard persons, claiming to be acquainted with the
teachings of Theosophy and other expositions of the Oriental Wisdom
Religion (including our own presentation), asserting that the Oriental
mind was ever bent upon attaining a final stage of Nothingness or
Extinction in Nirvana. In addition to what we have said, and to what we
shall say on this subject, let us quote from the inspired writer of the
"_Secret Doctrine_" (a standard Theosophical work) when she says, in
that work on page 286, Vol. I: "Is this annihilation, as some think?
... To see in Nirvana annihilation, amounts to saying of a man plunged
in a sound, dreamless sleep--one that leaves no impression on the
physical memory and brain, because the sleeper's Higher Self is in its
original state of absolute consciousness during these hours--that he
too is annihilated. The latter simile answers only to one side of the
question--the most material; since reabsorption is by no means such a
dreamless sleep, but, on the contrary, absolute existence, an
unconditional unity, or a state, to describe which human language is
absolutely and hopelessly inadequate... Nor is the individuality--nor
even the essence of the personality, if any be left behind--lost
because re-absorbed." As J. Wm. Lloyd says, in connection with the
above quotation, "This seems conclusive proof that Theosophy does not
regard Nirvana as annihilation, but as an infinite enlargement of
consciousness." And we would add that this is true not only as regards
the Nirvana of the Theosophist, but also of the consciousness of the
Unity of Life--the Universal Life. This too is not annihilation of
individual consciousness, but an "infinite enlargement of
consciousness" as this Western writer Lloyd has so well expressed it.

The very consciousness of Life that every man feels within him, comes
not from something belonging exclusively to himself as a separate or
personal thing. On the contrary, it belongs to his Individuality, not
to his Personality, and is a phase of his consciousness or "awareness"
of his relation to the One Universal Life which underlies his
existence, and in which he is a center of consciousness. Do you grasp
this idea? If not, meditate and concentrate upon it, for it is
important. You must learn to _feel_ the Life within you, and to know
that it is the Life of the great Ocean of Universal Life upon the bosom
of which you are borne as a centre of consciousness and energy. In this
thought there is Power, Strength, Calm, Peace, and Wisdom. Acquire it,
if you are wise. It is indeed a Gift from the Gods.

In this lesson we are not attempting to build up your idea of the Unity
of Life by a series of arguments taken from a world of phenomena in
which separateness and non-Unity is apparent. No such arguments would
suffice, for it would be like trying to prove the existence and laws of
color to a man born blind, by arguments taken from his world of
darkness. On the contrary we are appealing to that region of the mind
in which is stored the capacity for intuitively apprehending truth. We
are endeavoring to speak in tones which will awaken a similar vibration
in that part of your mentality, and if these vibrations be started into
being, then will you be able to _feel_ and _know_ the truth, and then
will your Intellect eagerly seize upon the new idea that it finds
within itself, and will proceed to apply the same to the various
problems that have been bothering you in the past.

This consciousness of Unity must come from the higher regions of the
mind, for the Intellect alone knows it not,--it is out of its field.
Just as one may not know that the earth is round by means of his senses
which report quite the contrary, but may and does know this truth by
abstract reasoning and higher intellectual effort; so may one know the
truth that All Life is indeed One, at the last, and underlying, by the
higher faculties of the mind, although his senses and ordinary
intellectual processes fail to so inform him. The senses cannot inform
man that the earth is round, _because they cannot see it as a whole,
but only in part_--while the higher reasoning faculties are able to
visualize the earth as a whole, and know it must be round. And the
Intellect, in its ordinary field can see only separateness, and cannot
report Oneness, but the Higher Mind sees Life as a Whole, and knows it
to be One. And it is the Higher Mind that we are trying to bring into
the field of consciousness in the appeal to you in this lesson. We
trust that we may be successful--in fact we _know_ that we shall be so,
in many cases, for we know that the field is ready for the sowing of
the seed--and that the call has been heard, and the message passed on
to us to answer the call--else these words would not have been written.

The consciousness of the Unity of Life is something that must be
experienced before the truth may be realized. It is not necessary for
one to wait until he acquire full Cosmic Consciousness before he may
realize, at least partially, the Oneness of All Life, for he may unfold
gradually into the Cosmic Knowing, experiencing at each stage a fuller
conception of the underlying Unity of Life, in which he is a centre of
consciousness and manifestation. But there must be at least a partial
unfoldment before one is able to _feel_ the sense of Unity. To those
who have not unfolded sufficiently to gain at least a glimmering of the
truth, everything appears separate from every other thing, and there is
no Unity of All. It is as if every leaf on a mighty tree were to
consider itself a being separate and distinct from everything else in
the world, failing to perceive its connection with the branch or limb,
and tree, and its unity in being with every other leaf on the tree.
After a bit the unfolding consciousness of the leaf enables it to
perceive the stem that connects it with the twig. Then it begins to
realize certain relationships, and feels its vital connection with the
twig and the few other leaves attached to the same twig. Later on, it
unfolds sufficiently to perceive that certain other leaf-bearing twigs
are connected with the same branch, and it learns to feel its
relationship with all twigs and leaves springing from that branch. Then
again, a little later on, it begins to realize that other branches
spring from the same limb as its branch, and the sense of relationship
and dawning Unity begins to widen still further. And so it goes on,
until at last, the tiny leaflet realizes that the life of the tree is
the life of all of its parts--limbs, branches, twigs, leaves, blossoms,
fruit, seed, etc., and that it, itself, is but a centre of expression
in the One Life of the tree. Does the leaf feel less important and real
from this discovery? We should say assuredly not, for it must feel that
behind its tiny form and limited strength is the strength and vitality
of the entire organism of the tree. It must know that the tree is ever
at work extracting nourishment from the earth, air, and water, and
transmitting that nourishment to its every part, including our little
friend the leaflet. It knows that the sap will rise in the Spring to
renew the manifestations of life, and it knows that although its leafy
form may wither and die, still the essence of its life--its real
Life--does not die but remains ever active and strong awaiting its
chance for future expression and re-embodiment. Of course this figure
of the leaf and the tree fails us if we attempt to carry it very far,
but it will give us at least a partial idea of the relationship between
the life of the person, and the One Life.

Some of the Oriental teachers have illustrated this idea to their
students by various familiar examples and figures of speech. Some bid
the student hold up his hand, and then point out to him that each
finger is apparently separate and distinct if one does not look down to
where it joins the hand. Each finger, if it had consciousness, might
well argue that it was a separate individual, having no relationship
with any other finger. It might prove this to its own satisfaction, and
to that of its listeners, by showing that it could move itself without
stirring the other fingers. And so long as its consciousness was
confined to its upper two joints it would remain under the illusion of
separateness. But when its consciousness at last permeated the depths
of its being, it would find that it emerged from the same hand from
which also sprung the other fingers, and that its real life and power
was vested in the hand rather than in itself, and that although
apparently separate and independent, it was really but a part of the
hand. And when its consciousness, through the consciousness of the
hand, broadened and widened, it would perceive its relationship with,
and interdependence with, the whole body, and would also recognize the
power of the brain, and its mighty Will.

Another favorite illustration of the Eastern teachers is the stream of
water flowing over a rocky bed. They point to the stream before it
comes to a rocky place, and show the _chela_ (student) that it is One.
Then they will move a little way down the stream and show him how the
rocks and stones divide the stream into countless little streams, each
of which might imagine itself a separate and distinct stream, until
later on it again joins the main united stream, and finds that it was
but a form of expression of the One.

Another illustration that is frequently used by the teachers, is that
which bids the student consider himself as a minute cell, or
"little-life" as the Hindus call it, in a body. It may be a cell in the
blood performing the office of a carrier or messenger, or it may be a
working cell in one of the organs of the body; or it may be a thinking
cell in the brain. At any rate, the cell manifests capacity for
thought, action and memory--and a number of secondary attributes quite
wonderful in the way. (See "_Hatha Yoga_," Chapter XVIII.) Each cell
might well consider itself as a separate individual--in a certain sense
it _does_. It has a certain degree of something akin to consciousness,
enabling it to perform its work correctly and properly, and is called
upon at times to manifest something like judgment. It may well be
excused for thinking of itself as a "person" having a separate life.
The analogy between its illusions and that of the man when seen by a
Master, is very close. But we know that the life of the cell is merely
a centre of expression of the life of the body--that its consciousness
is merely a part of the consciousness of the mind animating the body.
The cell will die and apparently perish, but the _essence_ of it will
remain in the life of the person whose body it occupied, and nothing
really dies or perishes. Would the cell feel any less real if it knew
that behind its Personality as a cell, there was the Individuality of
the Man--that its Real Self was the Man, not the cell? Of course, even
this figure of speech can be carried only so far, and then must stop,
for the personality of the man, when it is dissolved, leaves behind it
an essence which is called Character, which becomes the property of the
Ego and which accompanies it into after life according to the Law of
Karma, of which we shall speak in future lessons. But back even of
these attributes of Personality, is the Ego which exists in spite of
Personality, and lives on and on throughout many Personalities, and yet
learning the lessons of each, until at last it rises above Personality
and enters into higher sphere of Knowing and Being.

Still another favorite illustration of the Hindu teachers is that of
the sun beating down upon the ocean and causing a portion of the water
to rise in the form of vapor. This vapor forms clouds which spread all
over the earth, and which eventually condense in the form of rain
drops, dew, etc. This rain and dew form streams, rivers, etc., and
sooner or later every drop finds its way back to Mother Ocean which is
its Real Self. Separate though the dewdrop be, yet it is a part of the
Ocean, no matter how far distant it may be, and the attraction of the
Ocean will surely, and without fail, draw it back to its bosom. And the
dewdrop, if it could know the truth, would be so much happier and
stronger, and braver if it could know that it was superior to accident,
time and space, and that it could not escape its own good, and that
nothing could prevent its final triumph and victory when at last "the
dewdrop glides into the shining sea." How cheerfully it could have met
its many changes of form. and the incidents of its journey, if it could
have gotten rid of the illusion of separateness, and knew that instead
of being a tiny insignificant dewdrop it was a part of the Mighty
Ocean--in fact that its Real Self was that Ocean itself--and that the
Ocean was continually drawing it toward it, and that the many changes,
up and down, were in response to that mighty power of attraction which
was slowly but irresistibly drawing it back Home to Rest, Peace, and
Power.

As valuable as are all these illustrations, examples, and figures of
speech, still all must of necessity fall short of the truth in the case
of the Soul of Man--that wondrous something which has been built up by
the Absolute after aeons and aeons of time, and which is destined to
play an important part in the great Cosmic Drama which it has pleased
the Absolute to think into existence. Drawing its Life from the
Universal Life, it has the roots of its being still further back in the
Absolute itself, as we shall see in the next lesson. Great and
wonderful is it all, and our minds are but illy fitted to receive the
truth, and must be gradually accustomed to the glare of the Sun. But it
will come to all--none can escape his glorious destiny.

The Oriental writings are full of allusions to the underlying Oneness,
in fact the entire Oriental philosophies rest upon it. You may find it
everywhere if you will but look for it. The experience of Cosmic
Consciousness, which is naught but a sudden or gradual "awareness" of
the underlying Unity of Life, is evidenced everywhere in the
_Upanishads_, that wonderful series of teachings in the Hindu classics.
Every writer in the collection gives his evidence regarding this
awareness of Unity and Oneness, and the experiences and mental
characteristics arising from the same. The following quotations will
give an idea of the prevalence of this thought:

"He that beholds all beings in the Self, and the Self in all things, he
never turns away from it."

"When to a man who understands, the Self has become all things, what
sorrow, what trouble, can there be to him who once beheld that unity."

The Hindu father explains to his son that the One Life is in all forms
and shapes, points out object after object, saying to the boy: "_Tat
tuam asi_, Thou art that; That thou art."

And the Mystics have added their testimony to that of others who have
experienced this consciousness. Plotinus said: "Knowledge has three
degrees: opinion, science, and illumination. The last is absolute
knowledge founded upon the identity of the knowing mind with the known
object."

And Eckhardt, the German mystic, has told his pupils that: "God is the
soul of all things. He is the light that shines in us when the veil is
rent."

And Tennyson, in his wonderful verse describing the temporary lifting
of the veil for him, has described a phase of Cosmic Consciousness in
the following words:

     "For knowledge is the swallow on the lake
     That sees and stirs the surface-shadow there,
     But never yet hath dippt into the abysm,
     The Abysm of all Abysms, beneath, within
     The blue of sky and sea, the green of earth,
     And in the million-millionth of a grain
     Which cleft and cleft again for evermore
     And ever vanishing, never vanishes. . .

     And more, my son, for more than once when I
     Sat all alone, revolving in myself
     That word which is the symbol of myself,
     The mortal symbol of the Self was loosed,
     And past into the Nameless, as a cloud
     Melts into Heaven. I touched my limbs, the limbs
     Were strange, not mine--and yet no shadow of doubt,
     But utter clearness, and through loss of Self
     The gain of such large life as matched with ours
     Were Sun to spark, unshadowable in words,
     Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world."

And not only among the mystics and poets is this universal truth
experienced and expressed, but among the great philosophers of all ages
may we find this teaching of the Unity of Life originally voiced in the
_Upanishads_. The Grecian thinkers have expressed the thought; the
Chinese philosophers have added their testimony; the modern
philosophers, Spinoza, Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Hartman,
Ferrier, Royce, although differing widely in their theories, all have
expressed as a fundamental truth the Unity of Life--a One Life
underlying. The basic teachings of the Vedas are receiving confirmation
at the hands of Modern Science, which while calling itself
Rationalistic and inclining to a Materialistic conception of the
Universe, still finds itself compelled to say, "At the last, All is
One."

And in nearly every human soul there is a secret chamber in which the
text of this knowledge lies hidden, and in the rare moments in which
the chamber door is opened in response to poetry, music, art, deep
religious feeling, or those unaccountable waves of uplift that come to
all, the truth is recognized for the moment and the soul feels at peace
and is content in the feeling that it is at harmony with the All. The
sense of Beauty, however expressed, when keenly experienced, has a
tendency to lift us out of our consciousness of separateness into
another plane of mind in which the keynote is Unity. The higher the
human feeling, the nearer is the conscious realization of the
underlying Unity.

This realization of the Unity of Life--the Oneness of Life--the Great
Life--even when but faintly experienced, renders Life quite a different
thing to the person. He feels no longer that he is a mere "part" of
something that may be destroyed--or that he is a tiny personal
something, separate from and opposed to all the rest of the
Universe--but that he is, instead, a Unit of Expression--a Centre of
Consciousness--in the Great One Life. He realizes that he has the
Power, and Strength, and Life, and Wisdom of the Whole back of him,
upon which he may learn to draw as he unfolds. He realizes that he is
at Home, and that he cannot be thrust out, for there is no outside of
the All. He feels within himself the certainty of infinite Life and
being, for his Life is the all Life, and that cannot die. The petty
cares, and worries, and griefs, and pains of everyday personal life are
seen for what they are, and they cease to threaten and dominate him as
of old. He sees the things of personality as merely the costume and
trappings of the part in the play of life that he is acting out, and he
knows that when he discards them he will still be "I."

When one really feels the consciousness of the One Life underlying, he
acquires a confident trust and faith, and a new sense of freedom and
strength comes to him, for is he not indeed delivered from the bondage
of fear that has haunted him in his world of separateness. He feels
within him the spiritual pulse of the Universal Life, and at once he
thrills with a sense of new-found power and being. He becomes
reconciled with Life in all its phases, for he knows these things as
but temporary phases in the working out of some great Universal plan,
instead of things permanent and fixed and beyond remedy. He begins to
feel the assurance of Ultimate Justice and God, and the old ideas of
Injustice and Evil begin to fade from him. He who enters into the
consciousness of the Universal Life, indeed enters into a present
realization of the Life Everlasting. All fear of being "lost" or
"eternally damned" fades away, and one instinctively realizes that he
is "saved" because he is of the One Life and cannot be lost. All the
fear of being lost arises from the sense of illusion of separateness or
apartness from the One Life. Once the consciousness of Unity is gained,
fear drops from the soul like a wornout garment.

When the idea and consciousness of the Unity takes possession of one,
he feels a new sense of cheerfulness and optimism entirely different
from any other feeling that he has ever experienced. He loses that
distrust and hardness which seems to cling to so many in this age who
have arrived at the Intellectual stage of development, and have been
unable to progress further. A new sense of peace and harmony comes to
one, and illuminates his entire character and life. The bitterness
engendered by the illusion of separateness is neutralized by the
sweetness of the sense of Unity. When one enters into this
consciousness he finds that he has the key to many a riddle of life
that has heretofore perplexed him. Many dark corners are
illuminated--many hard sayings are made clear. Paradoxes become
understandable truths, and the pairs of opposites that dwell in all
advanced intellectual conceptions, seem to bend around their ends and
form themselves into a circle.

To the one who understands the Unity, all Nature seems akin and
friendly. There is no sense of antagonism or opposition--everything is
seen to fit into its place, and work out its appointed task in the
Universal plan. All Nature is seen to be friendly, when properly
understood, and Man regains that sense of harmonious environment and
at-home-ness that he lost when he entered the stage of
self-consciousness. The lower animal and the children feel this Unity,
in their poor imperfect way, but Man lost this Paradise when he
discovered Good and Evil. But Paradise Lost becomes Paradise Regained
when Man enters into this new stage of consciousness. But unlike the
animal or child, which instinctively feels the Unity, the awakened soul
of man possesses the Unity consciousness, coupled with intelligent
comprehension, and unfolding spiritual power. He has found that which
he lost, together with the accumulated interest of the ages. This new
kingdom of Consciousness is before the race. All must enter into it in
time--all will enter into it--many are entering into it now, by gradual
stages. This dawning sense of Unity is that which is causing the
spiritual unrest which is now agitating the world, and Which in time
will bring the race to a realization of the Fatherhood of God and the
Brotherhood of Man, and his kinship to Every Living Thing. We are
entering into this new cycle of human unfoldment, and the greatest
changes are before the race. Ye who read these words are in the
foremost ranks of the new dispensation, else you would not be
interested in this subject. You are the leaven which is designed to
lighten the heavy mass of the world-mind. Play well your parts. You are
not alone. Mighty forces and great Intelligences are behind you in the
work. Be worthy of them. Peace be with you.

Carry with you the Central Thought of this lesson:

CENTRAL THOUGHT. _There is but One Life--a Universal Life--in the
world. This One Life is an emanation from the Absolute. It infills all
forms, shapes and manifestations of Life, and is the Real Life that
each imagines to be his personal property. There is but One--and you
are centres of consciousness and expression in that One. There is a
Unity and Harmony which becomes apparent to those who enter into the
consciousness of the One Life. There is Peace and Calm in the thought.
There is Strength and Power in the knowledge. Enter ye into your
Kingdom of Power--possess yourselves of your Birthright of Knowledge.
In the very center of your being you will find a holy of holies in
which dwells the Consciousness of the One Life, underlying. Enter into
the Silence of the Shrine within_.



THE FIFTH LESSON


THE ONE AND THE MANY.

As we have stated in previous Lessons, all philosophies which thinkers
have considered worthy of respect, find their final expression of Truth
in the fundamental thought that there is but _One Reality_, underlying
all the manifold manifestations of shape and form. It is true that the
philosophers have differed widely in their conception of that One, but,
nevertheless, they have all agreed upon the logical necessity of the
fundamental conception that there is, at least, but One Reality,
underlying All.

Even the Materialists have conceded this conclusion, and they speak and
think of a something called "Matter," as the One--holding that,
inherent in Matter, is the potentiality of all Life. The school of
Energists, holding that Matter in itself is non-existent, and that it
is merely a mode of manifestation of a something called "Energy,"
asserts that this something called Energy is One, fundamental, real,
and self-sufficient.

The various forms of Western religious thought, which hold to the
various conceptions of a Personal Deity, also hold to a Oneness,
inasmuch as they teach that in the beginning there was God, only, and
that all the Universe has been _created_ by Him. They do not go into
details regarding this creation, and, unlike the Oriental teachers,
they fail to distinguish between the conception of the _creation of
shape and form_, on the one hand; and the _creation of the substance of
these shapes and forms_, on the other hand. But, even accepting the
premises of these people who hold to the Personal Deity conception, it
will be seen that the Reason requires the acceptance of one or two
ideas, _viz._, (1) That the Deity created the substance of these shapes
and forms from _Nothing_; or else (2) that he created them out of _his
own substance_--out of Himself, in fact. Let us consider, briefly,
these two conceptions.

In the first conception, _i.e._, Creation from Nothing, we are brought
face to face with an impregnable obstacle, inasmuch as the human reason
positively refuses to think of Anything coming from Nothing. While it
is perfectly true that the finite human mind cannot undertake to limit
the powers of the Infinite; or to insist that the possibilities of the
Divine Power must be measured and limited by the finite power of
Man--still it must hearken to the report of its own highest faculties,
and say "I cannot Think it," or else blindly accept the teachings of
other finite minds which are equally unable to "Think it," and which
have no superior sources of information. The Infinite Power has endowed
us with reasoning faculties, and evidently expects us to use them to
their full capacity--else the gift were a mockery. And in the absence
of information from higher sources than the Reason, we must use the
Reason in thinking of this matter, or else refuse to think of it at
all.

In view of the above thought, let us then consider the report of the
Reason, regarding this matter, And then, after having done so, let us
apply the test of this report of the Reason, to the highest teaching of
the Yogi Philosophy, and see how the latter stands the test. And, after
having done this, we will apply the test of the Higher Consciousness to
the same teachings. Remember this always, that while there is knowledge
that transcends Reason--that is knowledge that comes from the Higher
Regions of the Mind--still even such information of the Spiritual Mind
_does not run contrary to Reason_, although it goes beyond it. There is
harmony between the Spiritual Mind and the Highest Reason.

Returning to the consideration of the matter of Creation of Substance
from Nothing, we again assert that _the Reason is unable to think of
the creation of Something from Nothing_. It finds the statement
unthinkable, and contrary to all the laws of thought. It is true that
the Reason is compelled to accept as a final truth, many things that it
cannot _understand_ by reason of its finitude--but this is not one of
them. There is no logical necessity for the Reason to accept any such
conception as this--there is no warrant in the Reason for any such
theory, idea or conclusion. Let us stop here, for a moment, and examine
into this difference--it may help us to think clearer, hereafter.

We find it impossible to _understand_ the fact of the Infinite Being
having always existed--and Being without Cause. We find it impossible
to conceive of the nature of an Eternal, Causeless, and Infinite
Being--to conceive the _nature of_, such a Being, remember.

But, while this is so, still our Reason, by its own laws, compels us to
think that there _must be_ such a Being, so long as we think at all.
For, if we think at all, we _must_ think of there being a Fundamental
Reality--and we _must_ think of that Reality as being without Cause
(because there can be no Cause for the First Cause); and we _must_
think of that Reality as being Eternal (because It could not have
sprung into Being from Nothing, and therefore must have always been);
and we _must_ think of that Reality as Infinite (because there is
nothing outside of Itself to limit It). Think over this statement for a
moment--until you grasp it fully.

But there is no such necessity, or compulsion, in the case of the
question of Creation from Nothingness. On the contrary, the necessity
and compulsion is all the other way. Not only is the Reason unable to
_think of_ Creation from Nothing--not only does all its laws forbid it
to hold such a conception--but, more than this, it finds within itself
a conception, full-grown and potent, which contradicts this idea. It
finds within itself the strong certainty that _Whatever Really Is has
Always Been_, and that all transient and finite shapes, forms, and
manifestations, _must_ proceed from that which is Real, Infinite,
Causeless, and Infinite--and moreover _must be composed of the
substance of that Reality_, for there is nothing else Real from which
they could have been composed; and their composition from Nothing is
unthinkable, for Nothing is Nothing, and always will be Nothing.
"Nothing" is merely a name of denial of existence--an absolute denial
of substantiality of any degree, kind or form--an absolute denial of
Reality. And from such could come only Nothing--from Nothing, Nothing
comes.

Therefore, finding within itself the positive report that All, and
Anything There Is, must be composed of the Substance of the Reality,
the Reason is compelled to think that the Universe is composed of the
Substance of the One Reality--whether we call that One Reality, by the
name of The Absolute; or whether we call it God. _We must believe that
from this Absolute-God all things in the Universe have flown out, or
been emanated, rather than created--begotten, rather than "made."_

This does not mean the Pantheistic idea that the Universe _is_ God--but
rather that God, while existing separate and apart from His Universe,
in his Essence, and Being, is nevertheless _in_ His Universe, and His
Universe _in_ Him. And this, no matter what conception of God or Deity
is had--or whether one thinks of The Absolute as Principle. The Truth
is the same--Truth no matter by what names it is called, or by what
misconception it is surrounded. The Truth is that _One is in All, and
All is in One_--such is the report of the highest Reason of Man--such
is the report of the Illumined--such is the Highest Teachings that have
come down to the race from the great souls that have trodden The Path
of Attainment.

And now let us submit the Yogi Philosophy to these conceptions, and
reports of the Reason. And let us discover just what more the Yogi
Philosophy has to say concerning the _nature of_ the Substance of the
Divine, which infills all Life--and how it solves the Riddle of the
Sphinx, concerning the One in All; and All in One. We hope to show you
that the Riddle is capable of solution, and that the old Yogi teachers
have long ago grasped that for which the human mind has ever sought.
This phase of the Teachings is the highest, and it is usually hinted
at, rather than expressed, in the writings on the subject--owing to
danger of confusion and misconception. But in these Lessons we shall
speak the Truth plainly, and without fear--for such is the Message
which has been given us to deliver to our students--and we will perform
the Right action, leaving the Result, or Fruits of the Action, where it
belongs, according to the higher teachings found in the "_Bhagavad
Gita_," and in the Higher Teachings of the Yogi Philosophy.

The fundamental Truth embedded in the Wisdom-Philosophies of the
East--the Higher Yogi Teachings--is the impregnable doctrine of the One
Self in the many selves--the many selves in the One Self. This
fundamental Truth underlies all the Oriental Philosophies which are
esoteric in their nature.

Notwithstanding the crude and often repulsive conceptions and practices
of the masses of the people who represent the exoteric, or popular,
phase of the teachings (and these two phases are to be found in _all_
regions) still there is always this Inner Doctrine of the One Self, to
be found to those who look for it.

Not only is this true among the Hindus; but even among the Mahommedans,
of all countries, there is an Inner Circle of Mystics, known as the
_Sufis_, holding to this Truth. And the inner teachings of the
philosophies of all ages and races, have held likewise. And the highest
thought of the philosophers of the Western races, has found refuge in
this idea of the Over-soul, or Universal Self. But, it is only among
the Yogis that we find an attempt made to explain the real nature of
the manifestation of the One in Many--the holding of the Many forms in
the One Self.

Before proceeding to the consideration of _how_ the One becomes as
Many, as expounded by the Higher Yogi Teachings, it becomes necessary
to speak of a matter upon which there has been much confusion and
misunderstanding, not only on the part of the students of various
Oriental Philosophies, but also upon the part of some of the teachers
themselves. We allude to the connection between THE ONE--THE
ABSOLUTE--in Its ESSENCE--and that which has been called the One Life;
the Universal Life, etc.

Many writers have spoken of the Universal Life, and The One, as being
identical--but such is a grievous error, finding no warrant in the
Highest Yogi Teachings. It is true that all living forms dwell in, and
are infilled with the Universal Life--that All Life is One. We have
taught this truth, and it is indeed Truth, without qualification. But
there is still a Higher Truth--the Highest Truth, in fact--and that is,
that even this Universal Life is not the One, but, instead, is in
itself a manifestation of, and emanation from, THE ONE. There is a
great difference here---see that you perceive and understand it, before
proceeding further.

THE ONE--THE ABSOLUTE--according to the Highest Teachings, is Pure
Spirit, and not Life, Mind, or Being as we understand them in our
finite and mortal expressions. But, still all Life, Mind, and Being, as
we understand them, spring from, flow from, and emanate from, the
One--and more than this, may be spoken of as _reflections_ of the Life,
Mind, and Being of The One, if we may be permitted to apply the names
of finite manifestations to the Infinite Reality.

So, the Highest Teaching is that the Universal Life infilling all
living things, is not, in itself, the Being and Life of THE ONE--but is
rather a great fundamental emanation of The One, the manner and nature
of which will be spoken of as we proceed. Remember this, please.

Leading up to the Supreme Idea of the One in All--All in One--let us
examine into the report of the Reason upon the _nature of_ the
Substance--the Divine Substance--from which all living forms are
shaped; and from which all that we know as Finite Mind is likewise
composed. _How can these imperfect and finite forms be composed of a
Divine and Perfect Substance?_ This is the question that must occur to
the minds of those who are capable of deep thought on the subject--and
it is a question that must be answered. And it can be answered--and
_is_ answered in the Higher Yogi Philosophy. Let us examine the reports
of the Reason, a little further--then shall we be ready for the
Teachings.

Of what can the Substance of the Infinite be composed? Can it be
Matter? Yes, if you are satisfied with the reasoning of the
Materialists, and cannot see further into the Truth! These teach that
Matter is God, and that God is Matter. But if you be among those who
reject the Materialistic teachings, you will not be satisfied with this
answer. Even if you incline toward a Non-mental Infinite, still if you
are familiar with the results of modern scientific investigation, and
know that Science has seen Matter resolve itself into something like
Electric Energy, you will know that the Truth must lie behind and
beyond Matter.

Then is it Pure Energy? you may ask. Pure Energy? what's that? Can you
think of Energy apart from material manifestation? Have you ever known
of such a thing? Do you not know that even the Electron Theory, which
is attracting the attention of advanced Modern Science, and which holds
that all things are composed of minute particles of Electric Energy,
called Electrons, from which the Atoms are built--do you not know that
even this theory recognizes the necessity of a "something like Matter,
only infinitely finer," which they call the Ether, to enfold the
Electric Energy as a unit--to give it a _body_, as it were? And can you
escape from the fact that the most advanced scientific minds find
confronting them--_the fact that in all Energy, and governing its
actions, there 'is manifested "something like Mind_"?

And does not all this teach thinkers that just as Energy creates from
itself, that which is called Matter, and then uses it as a vehicle of
expression and action--so does this "Something like Mind" create from
itself that which we call Energy, and proceeds to use it, with its
accompanying phase of Matter, for its expression? Does not all advanced
research show us that in all Matter and Energy there are evidences of
the operation of this "Something like Mind"? And if this be so, are we
not justified as regarding Matter and Energy as mere Effects--and to
look to this "Something like Mind" as the more fundamental Substance?
We think so--and Science is beginning to think so, too. And soon will
Science be regarding with the most profound respect, the Metaphysical
axiom that "All is Mind."

You will see by reference to our "_Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy,
etc._," the general Yogi teachings regarding the Emanation of the One,
known respectively as Mind, Energy, and Matter. You will see that the
Yogis teach that Mind, Energy, and Matter comprise a threefold
emanation of the Absolute. You will also see that it is taught that
Mind was the Parent-Emanation--the Universal Mind; and that the
Universal Energy was the Second-Emanation (proceeding from Mind); and
that the Universal Matter was the Third Emanation (proceeding from
Energy) In the same book you will find that the Teaching is that above
Matter, Energy, and Mind, is the Essence of the Absolute, which is
called Spirit--the nature of which is non-understandable to the mind of
Man, the highest conception of which is the highest manifestation of
itself--Mind. But as we cannot comprehend spirit otherwise, we are
justified in thinking of it as Something like Infinite Mind--Something
as much higher than Finite Mind as that is higher than mere energy.

Now, then--we have seen the folly of thinking of the Divine Substance
as Matter or Energy. And we have come to know it as Spirit, something
like Mind, only infinitely higher, but which still may be thought of in
terms of Infinite Mind, for we can have no higher terms in our thinking
operations. So we may then assume that this Divine Nature or substance
is SPIRIT, which we will think of as Infinite Mind, for want of a
better form of conception.

We have seen the folly of thinking of the Divine Essential Substance as
the Body of God. We have likewise seen the folly of thinking of it as
the Vital Energy of God. And we have found that we could not escape
thinking of it as the Spirit, or infinite Mind of God. Beyond this we
cannot think intelligently.

But do you not see that all this exercise of the Reason has brought us
to the point where we must think that this Divine Substance, which the
Absolute-God uses in the manifestation of Universal Life; the Universe;
and all the forms, and shapes, and manifestations of life and things in
the Universe--this Divine Substance which must be _in_ All Things--and
_in which_ All Things must rest, even as the bubble rests on the
Ocean--that this can be nothing less than Spirit, and that this Spirit
can be thought of only as Infinite Mind?

And, if this be so, then indeed must _All be Mind, and Mind be
All_--meaning, of course, the Infinite Mind, not the finite
manifestation that we _call_ Mind.

Then, if this reasoning has been correct, then must we think that All
Life--all the Universe--Everything except the Absolute itself--_must be
held in the Infinite Mind of the Absolute_!

And, so, by the exercise of our Reason--by listening to, and examining
its reports, we have been brought face to face--eye to eye--heart to
heart--with the Teaching of the Illumined Ones, which has come down to
us as the Highest Teaching of the Yogi Philosophy! For this, indeed, is
the highest conception of Truth in the Yogi Teachings--this, that ALL
MANIFESTATIONS AND EMANATIONS OF THE ABSOLUTE ARE MENTAL CREATIONS OF
THE ABSOLUTE--THOUGHT-FORMS HELD IN THE INFINITE MIND--THE INFINITE
SPIRIT IN THEM--AND THEY IN THE INFINITE SPIRIT. _And that the only
Real Thing about Man is THE SPIRIT involved in the Thought-Form, the
rest is mere Personality, which changes and ceases to be. The Spirit in
the Soul of Man, is the SOUL OF THE SOUL, which is never born; never
changeth; never dieth--this is The Real Self of _Man, in which, indeed,
he is "One with the Father."_

This is the point where the Reasoning Mind of Man has come to a sense
of Agreement with the Highest Yogi Teachings. Let us now pass on to the
Teachings themselves--let us listen to The Message of Truth.

In this consideration of the Highest Yogi Philosophy, and its teaching,
we would again say to our students, that which we said to them in _"The
Advanced Course"_--that we do not attempt to teach the "why" of the
Manifestation of The Absolute, but rest content with delivering the
Message of the Yogi Sages, which deals with the "how." As we stated in
the lessons referred to, we incline to that school of the Higher
Teachings, which holds that the "Why" of the Infinite Manifestation
must, of necessity, rest with the Infinite alone, and that the finite
mind cannot hope to answer the question. We hold that in all the
Universal Mind, or in any of its Mind Manifestations, there is to be
found no answer to this question! Wrapped in the Essence of the
Absolute Spirit, alone, is this Final Answer!

The Sages, and Masters, from their high spiritual points of
observation, possess many truths regarding the "how" side of the
question that would appear almost like Infinite Wisdom itself, compared
with our puny knowledge. But even these great souls report that they do
not possess the answer to the Final Question--the "Why" of the Infinite
Manifestation. And so we may be excused from attempting to answer
it--and without shame or sense of shortcoming do we still say, to this
question, "We do not know!"

In order that the Final Question may be fully understood let us
consider it for a moment. We find the Question arising from the
following condition:

The human Reason is compelled to admit that there is an Infinite,
Eternal, Causeless REALITY underlying all forms of manifestation in the
phenomenal world. It is likewise compelled to admit that this REALITY
must comprise All that Really Is--and that there can be nothing Real
outside of Itself. Arising from this is the Truth, that all forms of
phenomenal manifestation, must emanate _from_ the One Reality, for
there is nothing else Real from which they could emanate. And the
twin-Truth that these forms of manifestation, must also be _in_ the
Being of the One Reality, for there is nowhere outside of the All
wherein they might find a place. So this One Reality is seen to be
"That from which All Things flow"; and "That in which All Things live,
and move and have their being."

Therefore All Things _emanate from_, and are _contained in_ the One
Reality. We shall consider "just how" later on, but the question which
confronts us, and which has been called the "Final Question"--and that
which we pronounce unanswerable--is this: "Why has the Infinite
manifested and emanated Finite forms of being?" You will see the nature
of the question when you stop to consider: (1) The Infinite cannot have
Desire, for that is a Finite quality; (2) It cannot lack anything, for
that would take away from its Infinity; (3) and even if it did lack
anything, from whence could it expect to acquire it; for there is
nothing outside of itself--if It lacks anything, it must continue to
always lack it, for there is no outside source from which It could
obtain anything which it does not already possess. And Desire would be,
of course, a _wanting_ for something which it lacked--so It could not
Desire unless it Lacked--and it would know that Desire would be
hopeless, even if indeed it did Lack.

So you see that if we regard the Infinite Reality as Perfect, we must
drop all ideas of It Desiring or Lacking--and of it Growing or
Improving--or of it obtaining more Power, or Knowledge. These ideas are
ridiculous, for an Absolute, Infinite Reality, must possess
All-Knowledge; All-Power; All-Presence, else it is not Absolute and
Infinite. And, if It does not possess these attributes of Being, then
It can never hope to acquire them, for there is Nowhere from whence
they could be acquired--there is no Source outside of the All-Source. A
Finite Thing, may lack, and desire, and improve and develop, for there
is the Universal Source from which it may draw. But the Infinite has no
Universal Source, for it is Its own Source. Do you see the nature of
the Final Question? If not we will again state it--it is this:

"Why should the Infinite Reality, which possesses all that may be
possessed, and which in itself is the only Source of Things--WHY should
It Desire to manifest a Universe from and within Itself?"

A little consideration will show you that there is no intelligent
answer to the "Why," either in your own minds, or in the writings and
teachings of the greatest minds. The matter is important, to those who
are confronted every day with some of the many attempts to answer this
Final Question--it is well that our students inform them regarding the
futility of such questioning. And with this end in view, we shall
herein give a few of the wise "guesses" at the answer, and our reasons
for considering them inadequate. We ask the student to consider
carefully these remarks, for by so doing he will post himself, and will
be saved much tedious and perplexing wandering along the dangerous
places in the Swamp of Metaphysics, following the will-o'-the-wisp of
Finite Mind masquerading as the Infinite Wisdom! Beware of the False
Lights! They lead to the quagmire and quicksands of thought!

Let us now consider some of these "guesses" at the answer to the Final
Question. Some thinkers have held that the Absolute was bound by a
Divine Necessity to manifest itself as Many. The answer to this is that
the Absolute could not be _bound_ by anything, inner or outer, else it
would not be Absolute and Infinite, but would be Relative and Finite.
Another set of thinkers have held that the Absolute found within itself
a Desire to Manifest as Many. From whence could come such an
action-causing Desire? The Absolute could lack nothing, and there would
be nothing for it to desire to gain, other than that which It already
possessed. One does not desire things one already has, but only what he
lacks.

Another school would tell us that the Infinite wished to _Express_
itself in the phenomenal world. Why? Such a phenomenal world could only
be reflection of Its power, witnessed only by Itself, and could contain
nothing that was not already contained in the All. To what end would
such a wish tend? What would be accomplished or gained? The Infinite
All could not become anything more than It already was--so why the wish
for expression? Some say that the whole phenomenal world is but _Maya_,
or Illusion, and does not exist at all. Then who else than the Infinite
caused the Illusion, and why the necessity? This answer only removes
the question back one point, and does not really answer it. Some would
say that the Universe is the "dream of the Infinite." Can we conceive
the Infinite Being as exercising the finite faculty of "dreaming"--is
not this childish?

Others would have us believe that the Absolute is indulging in a "game"
or "play," when he makes Universes, and those inhabiting them. Can
anyone really believe this of The Absolute--playing like a child, with
men and women, worlds and suns, as Its blocks and tin-soldiers? Why
should the Infinite "play"?--does It need amusement and "fun" like a
child? Poor Man, with his attempts to read the Riddle of the Infinite!

We know of teachers who gravely instruct their pupils in the idea that
the Absolute and Infinite One manifests Universes and Universal Life,
and all that flows from them, because It wishes to "gain experience"
through objective existence. This idea, in many forms has been so
frequently advanced that it is worth while to consider its absurdity.
In the first place, what "experience" could be gained by the Absolute
and Infinite One? What could It expect to gain and learn, that it did
not already know and possess? One can gain experience only from others,
and outside things--not from oneself entirely separated from the
outside world of things. And there would be no "outside" for the
Infinite. These people would have us believe that The Absolute emanated
a Universe from Itself--which could contain nothing except that which
was obtained from Itself--and then proceeded to gain experience from
it. Having no "outside" from which it could obtain experiences and
sentences and sensations, it proceeded to make (from Itself) an
imitation one--that is what this answer amounts to. Can you accept it?

The whole trouble in all of these answers, or attempted answers, is
that the answerer first conceives of the Absolute-Infinite Being, as a
Relative-Finite Man, and then proceeds to explain what this Big Man
would do. This is but an exaggerated form of anthropomorphism--the
conception of God as a Man raised to great proportions. It is but an
extension of the idea which gave birth to the savage conceptions of
Deity as a cruel chief or mighty warrior, with human passions, hates,
and revenge; love, passions, and desires.

Arising from the same cause, and akin to the theories advanced above
are similar ones, which hold that the Absolute cannot dwell alone, but
must forever bring forth souls from Itself--this was the idea of
_Plotinus_, the Greek philosopher. Others have thought that the
Infinite was possessed of such a consuming love, that It manifested
objects upon which it could bestow Its affections. Others have thought
that It was lonesome, and desired companionship. Some have spoken of
the Absolute as "sacrificing" itself, in becoming Many, instead of
remaining One. Others have taught that the Infinite somehow has become
entangled in Its Manifestations, and had lost the knowledge of Its
Oneness--hence their teachings of "I Am God." Others, holding to a
similar idea, tell us that the Infinite is deliberately "masquerading"
as the Many, in order to fool and mystify Itself--a show of Itself; by
Itself, and for Itself! Is not this Speculative Metaphysics run wild?
Can one in calm thought so regard the Infinite and Absolute
Being--All-Wise--Causeless--All-Powerful--All-Present--All-Possessing--
Lacking Nothing--Perfect One--as acting and performing thus, and from
these motives? Is not this as childish as the childishness of the
savage, and barbarians, in their Mumbo-Jumbo conceptions? Let us leave
this phase of the subject.

The Higher Yogi Teachings hold to no such ideas or theories. It holds
that the Answer to the Secret is vested in the Infinite alone, and that
finite "guesses" regarding the "Why" are futile and pitiful. It holds
that while one should use the Reason to the full, still there are
phases of Being that can be considered only in Love, Faith, and
Confidence in THAT from which All Things flow, and in which we live and
move and have our being. It recognizes that the things of the Spirit,
are known by the Mind. It explores the regions of the Universal Mind to
its utmost limits, fearlessly--but it pauses before the Closed Door of
The Spirit, reverently and lovingly.

But, remember this--that while the Higher Yogi Teachings contain no
"guess," or speculative theory, regarding the "Why" of the Divine
Manifestation, still they do not deny the existence of a "Why". In
fact, they expressly hold that the Absolute Manifestation of the Many
is in pursuance of some wondrous Divine Plan, and that the Unfoldment
of the Plan proceeds along well-established and orderly lines, and
according to Law. They trust in the Wisdom and Love of the Absolute
Being, and manifest a perfect Confidence, Trust and Peaceful Patience
in the Ultimate Justice, and Final Victory of the Divine Plan. No doubt
disturbs this idea--it pays no attention to the apparent contradictions
in the finite phenomenal world, but sees that all things are proceeding
toward some far-away goal, and that "All is Well with the Universe".

But they do not think for a moment, or teach in the slightest degree,
that all this Unfoldment, and Plan of the Universe, has for its object
any advantage, benefit or gain to the Absolute--such a thought would be
_folly_, for the Absolute is already Perfect, and Its Perfection cannot
be added to, or taken away from. But they do positively teach that
there is a great beneficial purpose in all the Plan, accruing in the
end to the developed souls that have evolved through the workings of
the plan. These souls do not possess the qualities of the
Infinite--they are Finite, and thus are capable of receiving benefits;
of growing, developing, unfolding, attaining. And, therefore, the Yogis
teach that this building up of Great Souls seems to be the idea of the
Infinite, so far as may be gained from an observation of the Workings
of the Plan. The Absolute cannot _need these_ Great Souls for Its own
pleasure, and therefore their building-up must be for their own
advantage, happiness and benefit.

The Yogis teach, on this subject, that there can be only ONE Real
Perfect Being--Perfect without experience--Perfect from the
Beginning--but only ONE! In other words, they teach that there can be
no such thing as Absolute Perfection, outside of the Absolute
Itself--and that not even the Absolute Being can create another
Absolute Being, for in that case there would be no Absolute Being at
all, but only _two Relative Beings_.

Think over this for a moment, and you will see its truth. The ABSOLUTE
must always be "the One without a Second", as the Yogis express
it--there cannot be _two_ Perfect ones. And so, all Finite Beings,
being Finite, must work their way up toward the plane of Perfection by
The Path of Life, with all of its lessons, tasks, cares, pains, and
strivings. This is the only way open to them--and even the Absolute
cannot have it otherwise, and still be the Absolute. There is a fine
point here--the Absolute is All-Powerful, but even that All-Power is
not sufficient to enable It to destroy Its Absolute Being. And so, you
who have wondered, perhaps you may now understand our words in the
First Lesson of this series, in which we said that the message of the
Absolute to some of the Illumined has been: "All is being done in the
best and only possible way--I am doing the best I can--all is well--and
in the end will so appear."

And, as we also said in that First Lesson: "The Absolute, instead of
being an indifferent and unmoved spectator to its own creation, is a
striving, longing, active, suffering, rejoicing, feeling Spirit,
partaking of the feelings of Its manifestations, rather than callously
witnessing them. It lives in us--with us--through us. Back of all the
pain in the world, may be found a great feeling and suffering love."
And in this thought there is comfort to the doubting soul--peace to the
troubled mind.

In the Sixth Lesson, we shall proceed to deliver to you the further
Message of Truth, concerning "how" the One Absolute manifests Its
Mental Images as Universe; Universal Life; and Forms and Shapes; and
Individualities, and Personalities. We had hoped to include the whole
Message in this Fifth Lesson, but now find that we have merely laid the
steps by which the student may reach the Essential Truth.

But, lest the student may be left in an uncertain state of mind,
awaiting the conclusion of the consideration of the subject--and lest
he may think that we intend teaching him that the Universe, and all in
it, including himself are "Dreams," because we have said that All
Things are Thought-Forms in the Mind of the Absolute--lest this
misunderstanding may arise, we wish to add a few parting words to what
we have said.

We wish to impress upon the mind of the student that though all Things
are but Thought-Forms in the Mind of the Absolute Being, and that while
it is true that the entire Universe of Universes is simply a
Thought-Form held in the Mind of the Absolute--still this fact does not
mean that all Things are "illusions" or "dreams." Remember this, now
and forever, O Student--that that which is held in the Absolute Mind as
a Thought-Form IS, and is all there IS, outside of the Absolute Itself.
When the Absolute forms a Thought-Form, It forms it out of Its own
mental substance--when the Absolute "holds anything in Its Mind," It
holds it in Itself--for the Absolute is ALL-MIND.

The Absolute is not a material Being, from which Material Beings are
created. It is a Spiritual Being--a Being whose Substance is akin to
that which we call "Mind," only raised to Infinity and Absolute
Perfection and Power. And this is the only way it can "create"--by
creating a Thought-Form in Its Mental, or Spiritual Substance. The
faintest "Thought" of the Absolute is more real and durable than
anything that man can create--in fact, man can "create" nothing, for
all the hard and real material he uses in his "creations," such as
steel, diamonds, granite, are but some of the minor Forms, "thought"
into being by the Absolute.

And also remember this, that the Absolute cannot "think" of anything,
without putting Itself in that thing, as its Essence. Just as a man's
Mental Images are not only _in_ his mind, _but his mind is in them,
also_.

Why, you doubting and timorous ones, does not even the finite
"thinking" of Man manifest itself in physical and material changes of
form and shape?--does not a man's every thought actually "create"
physical forms and shapes, in his brain-cells and physical tissue? You
who are reading these words--yea, _while_ you are reading these
words--are "creating" changes of form and shape in your brain-cells,
and physical organism. Your mind is constantly at work, also, in
building up your physical body, along the lines of the Instinctive Mind
(see previous series of lessons)--you are mentally creating in a
miniature universe, every moment of your life. And yet, the idea of the
Absolute "creating" a Universe by pure Thought, in Its own Mind, and
thereafter causing the work of the Universe to proceed according to
Law, by simply "Willing" it so, causes you to wonder, and perhaps to
doubt.

O, ye of little faith, you would deny to the Absolute even the power
you possess yourself. You plan things in your mind every day, and then
proceed to cause them to appear in material manifestation, and yet you
doubt the ability of the Absolute to do likewise. Why even the poets,
or writers of fiction, create characters in their minds--and these seem
so real, that even you imagine them to be actual entities, and you weep
over their pains, and smile at their joys--and yet all this is on the
finite plane. Why, even the "imaginations" of your petty finite,
undeveloped minds, have sufficient power to make your physical bodies
sick, or well, or even to cause you to "die," from some imagined
ailment. And yet you doubt the power of the Absolute, to "think" things
into being! You tiny students in the great Kindergarten of Life--you
must learn better lessons from your little blocks and games. And you
_will_--this is the Law.

And you who are filled with the sense of your smallness, and
"unreality"--know you that so long as you are "held in the Mind of
God," then so long are you "remembered" by Him. And so long as you are
remembered by Him, no real harm can befall you, and your Reality is
second only to His own. Even though you pass out of your mortal
frame--doth he remember you in His Mind, and keeping you there, he
holds you safe and unharmed. The greatest satisfaction that can come to
one, is to be able to fully realize that he, or she, is held firmly IN
THE MIND OF THE INFINITE BEING. To such comes the knowledge that in
THAT LIFE there can be NO DEATH.

Peace be with you in this Realization. May you make it your own!



THE SIXTH LESSON


WITHIN THE MIND OF THE ONE.

In our last lesson we gave you the Inner Teachings of the Yogi
Philosophy, relating to the real nature of the Universe, and all that
is therein contained. We trust that you have pondered well and
carefully the statements contained in that lesson, for in them is to be
found the essence of the highest Yogi teachings. While we have
endeavored to present these high truths to you in the simplest possible
form, yet unless your minds have been trained to grasp the thought, you
may have trouble in fully assimilating the essence of the teachings.
But, be not discouraged, for your mind will gradually unfold like the
flower, and the Sun of Truth will reach into its inmost recesses. Do
not be troubled if your comprehension seems dull, or your progress
slow, for all things will come to you in time. You cannot escape the
Truth, nor can the Truth escape you. And it will not come to you one
moment sooner than you are ready to receive it, nor will it be delayed
one moment in its coming, when you are ready for it. Such is the Law,
and none can escape it, nor alter it, nor modify it. All is Well, and
All is Under the Law--nothing ever "happens."

To many, the thought that the Universe and all that is therein
contained, are simply "Thought Forms" in the Infinite Mind--Mental
Creations of the Absolute, may seem startling, and a sense of unreality
may pervade one. This is inevitable, but the reaction will come. To
some who have grasped this mighty truth there has come a feeling that
"All is Nothing," which idea is embodied in their teachings and
writings. But this is merely the Negative Phase of the Truth--there is
a Positive Phase which comes as one advances.

The Negative Phase shows us that all that we have considered as real
and permanent--the foundations of the Universe itself--is but a mental
image in the mind of the Absolute, and therefore lacks the fundamental
reality that we had previously associated with it. And realizing this,
we are at first apt to feel that, indeed "all is nothing," and to fall
into a state of apathy, and lack of desire to play our part in the
world. But, then, happily the reaction sets in, sooner or later, and we
begin to see the Positive Phase of the Truth. This Positive Phase shows
us that while all the forms, shapes, and phenomena of the Universe are
but parts of a great show-world, still the _essence of_ all must be
Reality, itself, else there would not be even the "appearance" of a
Universe. Before a thing can be a Mental Image, there must be a Mind to
hold that Mental Image, and a BEING to possess that Mind. And, the very
essence of that BEING must pervade and be immanent in every Image in
that Mind. Just as _You_ are really in your Mental Images, as well as
they in You, so must the Absolute be _in_ Its Mental Images, or
Creations, or Thought Forms, as truly as they are in the Mind of the
Absolute. Do you see this plainly? Think well over it--ponder it
well--for in it lies the Truth.

And so, this Positive Phase of the Truth, is far from depressing--it is
the most stimulating conception one can hold, if he but grasps it in
its entirety and fulness.  Even if it be true that all these shapes,
and forms, and appearances, and phenomena, and personalities, be but
illusion as compared to the inner Reality--what of it? Are you not then
assured that the Spirit within Yourself is the Spirit of the
Absolute--that the Reality within You is the Reality of the
Absolute--that you ARE, because the Absolute IS, and cannot be
otherwise? Does not the Peace, and Calm, and Security, and Bliss that
comes to you with this Realization, far more than counterbalance the
petty nothings that you have discarded? We think that there can be but
one answer to this, when you have fully Realized the Truth.

What gives you the greatest Satisfaction and Content in Life? Let us
see. Well, there is the Satisfaction of Immortality. The human mind
instinctively craves this. Well, what that even the highest finite
conceptions of Future Life have given you, can compare with the
assurance of Actual Being, in and of the Absolute? What are your petty
conceptions of "heavens," "paradises," "happy-hunting-grounds," "divine
regions of the blessed," and the other ideas of the various religious
sects, when compared with the conceptions of your Infinite and Eternal
Existence in Spirit--your relation with The One--that conception of
Infinite Wisdom, Being, and Bliss? When you grasp this truth, you will
see that you are "in Eternity right Now," and are Immortal even this
moment, as you have always been.

Now, what we have said above is not intended to deny the
"heaven-worlds," or planes. On the contrary, you will find much in the
teachings regarding these, which the Yogis enter into with much detail.
But, we mean that back of all the "heavens" and "celestial planes,"
there is a still higher state of being being--the "Absolute Being."
Even the "heavens," and "heaven-worlds," and regions of the _Devas_, or
Archangels, are but relative states--there is a state higher than even
these exalted relative states, and that is the State of the Conscious
Unity and Identity with the One. When one enters into that State, he
becomes more than Man--more than gods--he is then "in the bosom of the
Father."

And now, before proceeding to a consideration of the phenomenal
manifestation of the Absolute--the evolving of the Universe in the
Infinite Mind--we will again call your attention to the fact that
underlies all the Universe of forms, shapes and appearances, and that
is, as we stated in our last lesson:

_All Manifestations and Emanations of the Absolute are Mental Creations
of the Absolute--Thought-Forms held in the Infinite Mind--the Infinite
Spirit in them--and they in the Infinite Spirit. And, the only Real
Thing about Man is the Spirit involved in the Thought-Form--the rest is
mere Personality, which changes and ceases to be. The Spirit in the
Soul of Man, is the Soul of the Soul, which is never born; never
changeth; never dieth--this is The Real Self of Man, in which, indeed,
he is "One with the Father_."

And, now let us consider the Yogi Teachings regarding the creation of
the Universe, and the evolution of the living forms thereon. We shall
endeavor to give you the story as plainly as may be, holding fast to
the main thought, and avoiding the side-paths of details, etc., so far
as is possible.

In the first place, we must imagine ourselves back to the beginning of
a "Day of Brahm,"--the first dawn of that Day, which is breaking from
the darkness of a "Night of Brahm." Before we proceed further, we must
tell you something about these "Days and Nights of Brahm," of which you
have seen much mention in the Oriental writings.

The Yogi Teachings contain much regarding the "Days and Nights of
Brahm;" the "In-breathing and Out-breathing of the Creative Principle;"
the periods of "_Manvantara_," and the periods of "_Pralaya_." This
thought runs through all the Oriental thought, although in different
forms, and with various interpretations. The thought refers to the
occult truth that there is in Cosmic Nature alternate periods of
Activity and Inactivity--Days and Nights--In-breathings and
Out-breathings--Wakefulness and Sleep. This fundamental law manifests
in all Nature, from Universes to Atoms. Let us see it now in its
application to Universes.

At this point we would call the attention of the student that in many
of the presentations of the Hindu Teachings the writers speak as if the
Absolute, _Itself_, were subject to this law of Rhythm, and had Its
Periods of Rest and Work, like Its manifestations. This is incorrect.
The highest teachings do not so hold, although at first glance it would
so appear. The teaching really is that while the Creative Principle
manifests this rhythm, still even this principle, great though it be,
is a manifestation of the Absolute, and not the Absolute itself. The
highest Hindu teachings are firm and unmistakable about this point.

And, another point, in which there is much mistaken teaching. In the
periods of Creative Inactivity in a Universe it must not be supposed
that there is no Activity anywhere. On the contrary, there is never a
cessation of Activity on the part of the Absolute. While it is Creative
Night in one Universe, or System of Universes, there is intense
activity of Mid-Day in others. When we say "The Universe" we mean the
Universe of Solar Systems--millions of such systems--that compose the
particular universe of which we have any knowledge. The highest
teachings tell us that this Universe is but one of a System of
Universes, millions in number--and that this System is but one, in a
higher System, and so on and on, to infinity. As one Hindu Sage hath
said: "Well do we know that the Absolute is constantly creating
Universes in Its Infinite Mind--and constantly destroying them--and,
though millions upon millions of aeons intervene between creation and
destruction, yet doth it seem less than the twinkle of an eye to The
Absolute One."

And so the "Day and Night of Brahm" means only the statement of the
alternating periods of Activity and Inactivity in some one particular
Universe, amidst the Infinite Universality. You will find a mention of
these periods of Activity and Inactivity in the "_Bhagavad Gita_," the
great Hindu epic. The following quotations, and page references, relate
to the edition published by the Yogi Publication Society, which was
compiled and adapted by the writer of these lessons. In that edition of
the "_Bhagavad Gita_," on page 77, you will find these words attributed
to _Krishna_, the Absolute One in human incarnation:

"The worlds and universes--yea, even the world of Brahm, a single day
of which is like unto a thousand _Yugas_ (four billion years of the
earth), and his night as much--these worlds must come and go... The
Days of Brahm are succeeded by the Nights of Brahm. In these Brahmic
Days all things emerge from invisibility, and become visible. And, on
the coming of the Brahmic Night, all visible things again melt into
invisibility. The Universe having once existed, melteth away; and lo!
is again re-created."

And, in the same edition, on page 80, we find these words, attributed
to the same speaker:

"At the end of a _Kalpa_--a Day of Brahm--a period of Creative
Activity--I withdraw into my nature, all things and beings. And, at the
beginning of another _Kalpa_, I emanate all things and beings, and
re-perform my creative act."

We may say here, in passing, that Modern Science now holds to the
theory of periods of Rhythmic Change; of Rise and Fall; of Evolution
and Dissolution.

It holds that, beginning at some time in the past aeons of time, there
was the beginning of an upward or evolutionary movement, which is now
under way; and that, according to the law of Nature, there must come a
time when the highest point will be reached, and then will come the
beginning of the downward path, which in time must come to an end,
being succeeded by a long period of inactivity, which will then be
followed by the beginning of a new period of Creative Activity and
Evolution--"a Day of Brahm."

This thought of this law of Rhythm, in its Universal form, has been
entertained by the thinkers of all times and races. Herbert Spencer
expressly held to it in his "First Principles," expressing it in many
ways akin to this: "Evolution must come to a close in complete
equilibrium or rest;" and again, "It is not inferable from the general
progress towards equilibrium, that a state of universal quiescence or
death will be reached; but that if a process of reasoning ends in that
conclusion, a further process of reasoning points to renewals of
activity and life;" and again, "Rhythm in the totality of
changes--alternate eras of evolution and dissolution." The Ancient
Western Philosophers also indulged in this idea. Heraclitus taught that
the universe manifested itself in cycles, and the Stoics taught that
"the world moves in an endless cycle, through the same stages." The
followers of Pythagoras went even further, and claimed that "the
succeeding worlds resemble each other, down to the minutest detail,"
this latter idea, however--the idea of the "Eternal Recurrence"--while
held by a number of thinkers, is not held by the Yogi teachers, who
teach infinite progression--an Evolution of Evolution, as it were. The
Yogi teachings, in this last mentioned particular, are resembled more
by the line of Lotze's thinking, as expressed in this sentence from his
_Micro-cosmos:_ "The series of Cosmic Periods, ... each link of which
is bound together with every other; ... the successive order of these
sections shall compose the unity of an onward-advancing melody." And,
so through the pages of Heraclitus, the Stoics, the Pythagoreans,
Empedocles, Virgil, down to the present time, in Nietzsche, and his
followers, we find this thought of Universal Rhythm--that fundamental
conception of the ancient Yogi Philosophy.

And, now, returning to the main path of our thought--let us stand here
at the beginning of the dawn of a Day of Brahm. It is verily a
beginning, for there is nothing to be seen--there is nothing but Space.
No trace of Matter, Force or Mind, as we know these terms. In that
portion of Infinite Space--that is, of course, in that "portion" of the
Infinite Mind of the Absolute One, for even Space is a "conception" of
that Mind, there is "Nothing." This is "the darkest moment, just before
the dawn."

Then comes the breaking of the dawn of the Brahmic Day. The Absolute
begins the "creation" of a Universe. And, how does It create? There can
be no creation of something out of nothing. And except the Absolute
Itself there is but Nothing.

Therefore The Absolute must create the Universe out of Its own
"substance," if we can use the word "substance" in this connection.
"Substance" means, literally, "that which stands under," being derived
from the two Latin words, _sub_, meaning "under," and _stare_, meaning
"to stand." The English word "understand" means, literally, "to stand
under"--the two words really meaning the same. This is more than a
coincidence.

So the Absolute must create the Universe from its own substance, we
have seen. Well, what is this "substance" of the Absolute? Is it
Matter? No! for Matter we know to be, in itself, merely a manifestation
of Force, or Energy. Then, is it Force or Energy? No! because Force and
Energy, in itself, cannot possess Mind, and we must think of the
Absolute as possessing Mind, for it manifests Mind, and what is
manifested must be in the Manifestor, or Manifesting Agent. Then this
"substance" must be Mind? Well, yes, in a way--and yet not Mind as we
know it, finite and imperfect. But something like Mind, only Infinite
in degree and nature--something sufficiently greater than Mind as we
know it, to admit of it being the Cause of Mind. But, we are compelled
to think of it as "Infinite Mind," for our finite Minds can hold no
higher conception. So we are content to say that this "substance" from
which the Absolute must create the Universe is a something that we will
call Infinite Mind. Fix this in your mind, please, as the first step in
our conception.

But, how can the Infinite Mind be used to create finite minds, shapes,
forms, and things, without it being lessened in quantity--how can you
take something from something, and still have the original something
left? An impossibility! And, we cannot think of the Absolute as
"dividing Itself up" into two or more portions--for if such were the
case, there would be two or more Absolutes, or else None. There cannot
be two Absolutes, for if the Absolute were to divide itself so there
would be no Absolute, but only two Relatives--two Finites instead of
One Infinite. Do you see the absurdity?

Then how can this work of Creation be accomplished, in view of these
difficulties which are apparent even to our finite minds? You may
thresh this question over and over again in your minds--men have done
so in all times--and you will not find the answer except in the
fundamental Idea of the Yogi Teachings. And this Fundamental Idea is
that the creation is purely a Mental Creation, and the Universe is the
Mental Image, or Thought-Form, in the Mind of the Absolute--in the
Infinite Mind, itself. No other "creation" is possible. And so this,
say the Yogi Masters, this is the Secret of Universal Creation. The
Universe is _of_, and _in_, the Infinite Mind, and this is the only way
it could be so. So, fix in your mind this second step in our
conception.

But then, you ask us, from whence comes Force, Matter, and Finite Mind?
Well asked, good student--your answer shall be forthcoming. Here it is.

Finite Mind; Force or Energy; and Matter; in themselves have no
existence. They are merely Mental Images, or Thought-Forms in the
Infinite Mind of the Absolute. Their whole existence and appearance
depends upon their Mental Conception and Retention in the Infinite
Mind. In It they have their birth, rise, growth, decline and death.

Then what is Real about ME, you may ask--surely I have a vivid
consciousness of Reality--is this merely an illusion, or shadow? No,
not so! that sense of Reality which you possess and which every
creature or thing possesses--that sense of "I Am"--is the perception by
the Mental Image of the Reality of its Essence--and that Essence is the
Spirit. And that Spirit is the SUBSTANCE OF THE ABSOLUTE embodied in
Its conception, the Mental Image. It is the perception by the Finite,
of its Infinite Essence. Or, the perception by the Relative of its
Absolute Essence. Or, the perception by You, or I, or any other man or
woman, of the Real Self, which underlies all the sham self or
Personality. It is the reflection of the Sun, in the dew-drop, and
thousands of dew-drops--seemingly thousands of Suns, and yet but One.
And yet, that reflection of the Sun in the dewdrop is more than a
"reflection," for it is the substance of the Sun itself--and yet the
Sun shines on high, one and undivided, yet manifesting in millions of
dew-drops. It is only by figures of speech that we can speak of the
Unspeakable Reality.

To make it perhaps plainer to some of you, let us remind you that even
in your finite Mental Images there is evident many forms of life. You
may think of a moving army of thousands of men. And yet the only "I" in
these men is your own "I." These characters in your mind move and live
and have their being, and yet there is nothing in them except "You!"
The characters of Shakespeare, Dickens, Thackeray, Balzac, and the
rest, were such strong Mental Images that not only their creators were
carried away by their power, and apparent ability, but even you who
read of them, many years after, perhaps, feel the apparent reality, and
weep, or smile, or grow angry over their actions. And, yet there was no
Hamlet, outside of Shakespeare's mind; no Micawber outside of Dickens;
no Pere Goriot outside of Balzac.

These illustrations are but finite examples of the Infinite, but still
they will give you an idea of the truth that we are trying to unfold in
your mind. But you must not imagine that You and I, and all others, and
things, are but mere "imaginations," like _our_ created
characters--that would be a most unhappy belief. The mental creations
held by You and I, and other finite minds, are but _finite creations of
finite minds_, while WE, ourselves, are the finite creations of an
INFINITE MIND. While our, and Dickens', and Balzac's, and Shakespeare's
creations live and move and have their being, they have no other "I"
than our Finite Minds, while we, the characters in the Divine Drama,
Story, or Epic, have for our "I"--our Real Self--the ABSOLUTE REALITY.
They have merely a background of our finite personalities, and minds,
before which they may desport themselves. until, alas! the very
background fades away to dust, and both background and shadows
disappear. But, we have behind our personalities the Eternal Background
of Reality, which changeth not, neither doth it Disappear. Shadows on a
screen though our Personalities may be, yet the Screen is Real and
Eternal. Take away the finite screen and the shadows disappear--but our
Screen remains forever.

We _are_ Mental Images in the Infinite Mind--the Infinite Mind holds us
safe--we cannot be lost--we cannot be hurt--we can never disappear,
unless we be absorbed in the Infinite Mind itself, and then we STILL
ARE! The Infinite Mind never forgets--it never can overlook us--it is
aware of our presence, and being, always. We are safe--we are
secure--we ARE! Just as we could not be created from Nothing--so we
cannot be converted into Nothing. We are in the All--and there is no
outside.

At the dawn of the Brahmic Day, The Absolute begins the creation of a
new Universe, or the recreation of one, just as you may care to state
it. The highest Yogi Teachings inform us that the information relating
to this event (which is, of course, beyond the personal knowledge of
man as we know him) has been passed down to the race from teachers, who
have received it from still higher teachers, and so on, and on and on,
higher and higher, until it is believed to have originated with some of
those wonderfully developed souls which have visited the earth from
higher planes of Being, of which there are many. In these lessons we
are making no claims of this sort, but pass on the teachings to you,
believing that their truth will appeal to those who are ready for them,
without any attempt to attribute to them an authority such as just
mentioned. Our reference to this high source of the teachings was made
because of its general acceptance in the Eastern countries, and by
occultists generally.

The Yogi teachings inform us that, in the Beginning, The Absolute
formed a Mental Image, or Thought-Form, of an Universal Mind--that is,
of an Universal Principle of Mind. And here the distinction is made
between this Universal Mind Principle, or Universal Mind-Stuff, as some
have called it, and the Infinite Mind itself. The Infinite Mind is
something infinitely above this creation of the Universal Mind
Principle, the latter being as much an "emanation" as is Matter. Let
there be no mistake about this. The Infinite Mind is Spirit--the
Universal Mind Principle is "Mind-Stuff" of which all Finite Mind is a
part. This Universal Mind Principle was the first conception of The
Absolute, in the process of the creation of the Universe. It was the
"Stuff" from which all Finite Mind forms, and is formed. It is the
Universal Mental Energy. Know it as such--but do not confound it with
Spirit, which we have called Infinite Mind, because we had no other
term. There is a subtle difference here, which is most important to a
careful understanding of the subject.

The Yogi teachings inform us that from this Mental Principle there was
developed the Universal Principle of Force or Energy. And that from
this Universal Force Principle there developed the Universal Principle
of Matter. The Sanscrit terms for these Three Principles are as
follows: _Chitta_, or the Universal Mind Substance, or Principle;
_Prana_, or the Universal Energy Principle; and _Akasa_, or the
Universal Principle of Matter. We have spoken of these Three
Principles, or Three Great Manifestations, in our "Advanced Course" of
lessons, which followed our "Fourteen Lessons," several years ago, but
it becomes necessary for us to refer to them again at this place in
connection with the present presentation of the subject. As was stated
in the lessons just mentioned, these Three Manifestations, or
Principles, are really one, and shade into each other. This matter has
been fully touched upon in the concluding lessons of the aforesaid
"Advanced Course," to which we must refer you for further details, in
order to avoid repetition here. You will find a wonderful
correspondence between these centuries-old Yogi teachings, and the
latest conceptions of Modern Science.

Well, to return to the main path once more, the Teachings inform us
that The Absolute "thought" into being--that is, held the Mental Image,
or Thought-Form, of--_Chitta_, or Universal Mind Principle. This
_Chitta_ was finite, of course, and was bound and governed by the Laws
of Finite Mind, imposed upon it by the Will of The Absolute. Everything
that is Finite is governed by Laws imposed by the great LAW which we
call The Absolute. Then began the Great INVOLUTION which was necessary
before Evolution was possible. The word "Involve," you know, means "to
wrap up; to cover; to hide; etc.;" and the word "Evolve" means "to
unwrap; to unfold; to un-roll; etc." Before a thing can be "evolved,"
or "unfolded," it must first have been "involved" or "folded-in, or
wrapped up, etc." Everything must be "involved" before it can be
"evolved;" remember this, please--it is true on all planes, mental,
physical, and spiritual. A thing must be "put in" before it may be
"taken out." This truth, if remembered and applied to metaphysical
problems, will throw the clearest light upon the darkest problems. Make
it your own.

Therefore before the process of Evolution from the gross forms of
Matter up to the higher, and then on to the Mental, from higher to
higher, and then on the Spiritual plane--that Evolution which we see
being performed before our sight today--before that Evolution became
possible there was a necessary Involution, or "wrapping-up." The Spirit
of the Absolute first "involved" itself in its Mental Image;
Thought-Form, or Creation, of the Mind Principle, just as you may
"involve" yourself in an earnest thought in deep meditation. Did you
never "lose yourself" in thought, or "forget yourself" in an idea? Have
you not spoken of yourself as having been "wrapped in thought?" Well,
then you can see something of what is here meant, at least so far as
the process of "involution" is concerned. You involve yourself in your
meditations--the Absolute involves Itself in Its Mental Creations--but,
remember the one is Finite, and the other Infinite, and the results are
correspondingly weak or strong.

Obeying the laws imposed upon it, the Mental Principle then involved
itself in the Energy Principle, or _Prana_, and the Universal Energy
sprang into existence. Then, in obedience to the same Laws, the _Prana_
involved itself in the _Akasa_, or Universal Matter Principle. Of
course each "involving" practically "created" the "wrapper," "sheath"
of the lower Principle. Do you see this? Each, therefore, depends upon
the Principle higher than itself, which becomes its "Parent Principle,"
as the Yogis express it. And in this process of Involution the extreme
form of Matter was reached before the process of Evolution became
possible. The extreme form of gross Matter is not known to us today, on
this planet, for we have passed beyond it. But the teachings inform us
that such forms were as much grosser that the grossest Matter that we
know today, as the latter is gross in comparison with the most ethereal
vapors known to Modern Science. The human mind cannot grasp this
extreme of the scale, any more than it can the extreme high degree of
manifestation.

At this point we must call your attention to certain occult teachings,
widely disseminated, which the highest Yogi teachers discountenance,
and contradict. We allude to the teaching that in the process of
Involution there was a "degeneration" or "devolution" from higher to
lower forms of life, until the gross state of Matter was reached. Such
a teaching is horrible, when considered in detail. It would mean that
The Absolute deliberately created high forms of life, arch-angels, and
higher than these--gods in fact--and then caused them to "devolve"
until the lowest state was reached. This would mean the exact opposite
of Evolution, and would mean a "going down" in accordance with the
Divine Will, just as Evolution is a "going up" in accordance with the
Divine Will.

This is contrary to man's best instincts, and the advanced Yogi
teachings inform us that it is but an illusion or error that men have
created by endeavoring to solve spiritual mysteries by purely
intellectual processes. The true teaching is that the process of
Involution was accomplished by a Principle involving itself in the
lower Principle created within itself, and so on until the lowest plane
was reached. Note the difference--"Principles as Principles" did this,
and not as Individual Forms of Life or Being. There was no more a
"devolution" in this process than there was in The Absolute involving
itself in the Mental Image of the Mind Principle. There was no
"devolution" or "going down"--only an "involution" or "wrapping up," of
Principle, within Principle--the Individual Life not having as yet
appeared, and not being possible of appearance until the Evolutionary
process began.

We trust that we have made this point clear to you, for it is an
important matter. If the Absolute first made higher beings, and then
caused them to "devolute" into lower and lower forms, then the whole
process would be a cruel, purposeless thing, worthy only of some of the
base conceptions of Deity conceived of by men in their ignorance. No!
the whole effort of the Divine Will seems to be in the direction of
"raising up" Individual Egos to higher and still higher forms. And in
order to produce such Egos the process of "Involution" of Principles
seems to have been caused, and the subsequent wonderful Evolutionary
process instituted. What that "Reason" is, is Unknowable, as we have
said over and over again. We cannot pry into the Infinite Mind of the
Absolute, but we may form certain conclusions by observing and studying
the Laws of the Universe, which seem to be moving in certain
directions. From the manifested Will of the Divine One, we may at least
hazard an idea as to its purposes. And these purposes seem to be always
in an "upward" lifting and evolution. Even the coming of the "Night of
Brahm" is no exception to this statement, as we shall see in future
lessons.

From the starting of the process of Involution from the Mental
Principle, down to the extreme downward point of the grossest
Manifestation of Matter, there were many stages. From the highest
degree of the Finite Mind, down to lower and still lower degrees; then
on to the plane of Force and Energy, from higher to lower degrees of
Principle within Principle; then on to the plane of Matter, the
Involutionary urge proceeded to work. When the plane of Matter was
reached, it, of course, showed its highest degree of manifested
Matter--the most subtle form of Ether, or _Akasa_. Then down, down,
down, went the degrees of Matter, until the grossest possible form was
reached, and then there was a moment's pause, before the Evolutionary
process, or upward-movement, began. The impulse of the Original Will,
or Thought, had exhausted its downward urge, and now began the upward
urge or tendency. But here was manifested a new feature.

This new feature was "The Tendency toward Individualization." During
the downward trend the movement was _en masse_, that is, by Principle
as _Principle_, without any "splitting up" into portions, or centers.
But with the first upward movement there was evidenced a tendency
toward creating Centers of Energy, or Units of activity, which then
manifested itself, as the evolutionary movement continued, from
electrons to atoms; from atoms to man. The gross matter was used as
material for the formation of finer and more complex forms; and these
in turn combined, and formed higher, and so on, and on. And the forms
of Energy operated in the same way. And the manifestations of centers
of Mind or consciousness in the same way. But all in connection.
Matter, Energy and Mind formed a Trinity of Principles, and worked in
connection. And the work was always in the direction of causing higher
and higher "forms" to arise--higher and higher Units--higher and higher
Centers. But in every form, center or unit, there was manifested the
Three Principles, Mind, Energy, and Matter. And within each was the
ever present Spirit. For Spirit _must_ be in All--just as All must be
in Spirit.

And, so this Evolutionary process has continued ever since, and must
continue for aeons yet. The Absolute is raising itself up into Itself
higher and higher Egos, and is providing them with higher and higher
sheaths in which to manifest. And, as we shall see in these lessons, as
we progress, this evolution is not only along the physical lines, but
also along the mental. And it concerns itself not only with "bodies,"
but with "souls," which also evolve, from time to time, and bodies are
given these souls in order that they may work out their evolution. And
the whole end and aim of it all seems to be that Egos may reach the
stage where they are conscious of the Real Self--of the Spirit within
them, and its relation to the Spirit of the Absolute, and then go on
and on and on, to planes of life and being, and activities of which
even the most advanced of the race may only dream.

As some of the Ancient Yogi Teachers have said: "Men are evolving into
super-men; and super-men into gods; and gods into super-gods; and
super-gods into Something still higher; until from the lowest bit of
matter enclosing life, unto the highest being--yea, even unto The
Absolute--there is an Infinite Ladder of Being--and yet the One Spirit
pervades all; is in all, as the all is in It."

The Creative Will, of which we have spoken in these lessons, is in full
operation all through Life. The Natural Laws are laws of Life imposed
by The Absolute in his Mental Image. They are the Natural Laws of this
Universe, just as other Universes have other Laws. But The Absolute
Itself has no Laws affecting It--It, in Itself _is_ LAW.

And these Laws of Life, and Nature, along its varying planes, Material,
of Energy; and Mental; are also, in the Divine Mind, else they would
not be at all, even in appearance. And when they are transcended, or
apparently defied by some man of advanced development, it is only
because such a man is able to rise above the plane upon which such laws
are operative. But even this transcending is, in itself, in accordance
with some higher law.

And so, we see that All, high and low--good and bad--simple or
complex--all are contained Within the Mind of the One. Gods, angels,
adepts, sages, heavens, planes,--all, everything--is within the
Universe, and the Universe is Within the Mind of the One. And all is
proceeding in accordance with Law. And all is moving upward and onward,
along the lines of Evolution. All is Well. We are held firmly in The
Mind of the One.

And, just as the tendency was from the general Principle toward the
particular Individual Soul, so is there a Reconciliation later on, for
the Individual soul, as it develops and unfolds, loses its sense of
Separateness, and begins to feel its identity with the One Spirit, and
moves along the lines of unfoldment, until it becomes in Conscious
Union with God. Spiritual Evolution does not mean the "growth of the
Spirit," for the Spirit cannot grow--it is already Perfect. The term
means the unfoldment of the Individual Mind, until it can recognize the
Spirit Within. Let us close this lesson with the

CENTRAL THOUGHT.

There is but ONE. That ONE is Spirit. In the Infinite Mind of that ONE
SPIRIT there arose the Mental Image or Thought-Form of this Universe.
Beginning with the Thought of the Principle in Mind; and passing on to
the Principle of Energy; and then on to the Principle of Matter;
proceeded the Involutionary Process of Creation. Then, upward began the
Evolutionary Process, and Individual Centers or Units were formed. And
the tendency, and evolutionary urge is ever in the direction of
"unfolding" within the Ego of the Realization of the Indwelling Spirit.
As we throw off sheath after sheath, we approach nearer and nearer to
the SPIRIT within us, which is the One Spirit pervading all things.
This is the Meaning of Life--the Secret of Evolution. All the Universe
is contained Within the Mind of The One. There is Nothing outside of
that Infinite Mind. There is no Outside, for the One is All in All;
Space, Time, and Laws, being but Mental Images in that Mind, as are
likewise all shapes and forms, and phenomena. And as the Ego unfolds
into a realization of Itself--Its Real Self--so does its Wisdom and
Power expand. It thus enters into a greater and greater degree of its
Inheritance. Within the Mind of the One, is All there is. And I, and
Thou, and All Things are HERE within that Infinite Mind. We are always
"held in Mind" by The Absolute--are always safe here. There is nothing
to harm us, in Reality, for our Real Self is the Real Self of the
Infinite Mind. All is Within the Mind of the One. Even the tiniest atom
is under the Law, and protected by the Law. And the LAW is All there
Is. And in that Law we may rest Content and Unafraid. May this
Realization be YOURS.

PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL.



THE SEVENTH LESSON


COSMIC EVOLUTION.

We have now reached a most interesting point in this course of lessons,
and a period of fascinating study lies before us from now until the
close of the course. We have acquainted ourselves with the fundamental
principles, and will now proceed to witness these principles in active
operation. We have studied the Yogi Teachings concerning the Truth
underlying all things, and shall now pass on to a consideration of the
process of Cosmic Evolution; the Cyclic Laws; the Law of Spiritual
Evolution, or Reincarnation; the Law of Spiritual Cause and Effect, or
_Karma_; etc. In this lesson we begin the story of the upward progress
of the Universe, and its forms, shapes, and forces, from the point of
the "moment's pause" following the ceasing of the process of
Involution--the point at which Cosmic Evolution begins. Our progress is
now steadily upward, so far as the evolution of Individual Centres is
concerned. We shall see the principles returning to the Principle--the
centres returning to the great Centre from which they emanated during
the process of Involution. We shall study the long, gradual, but steady
ascent of Man, in his journey toward god-hood. We shall see the
Building of an Universe, and the Growth of the Soul.

In our last lesson we have seen that at the dawn of a Brahmic Day, the
Absolute begins the creation of a new Universe. The Teachings inform us
that in the beginning, the Absolute forms a Mental Image, or
Thought-Form of an Universal Mind Principle, or Universal Mind-Stuff,
as some of the teachers express it. Then this Universal Mind Principle
creates within itself the Universal Energy Principle. Then this
Universal Energy Principle creates within itself the Universal Matter
Principle. Thus, Energy is a product of Mind; and Matter a product of
Energy.

The Teachings then further inform us that from the rare, tenuous,
subtle form of Matter in which the Universal Matter Principle first
appeared, there was produced forms of Matter less rare; and so by easy
stages, and degrees, there appeared grosser and still grosser forms of
matter, until finally there could be no further involution into grosser
forms, and the Involutionary Process ceased. Then ensued the "moment's
pause" of which the Yogi teachers tell us. At that point Matter existed
as much grosser that the grossest form of Matter now known to us, as
the latter is when compared to the most subtle vapors known to science.
It is impossible to describe these lower forms of matter, for they have
ages since disappeared from view, and we would have no words with which
to describe them. We can understand the situation only by comparisons
similar to the above.

Succeeding the moment's pause, there began the Evolutionary Process, or
Cosmic Evolution, which has gone on ever since, and which will go on
for ages to come. From the grossest forms of Matter there evolved forms
a little more refined, and so on and on. From the simple elementarv
forms, evolved more complex and intricate forms. And from these forms
combinations began to be formed. And the urge was ever upward.

But remember this, that all of this Evolutionary Process is but a
Returning Home. It is the Ascent after the Descent. It is not a
Creation but an Unfoldment. The Descent was made by principles as
principles--the Ascent is being made by Individualized Centres evolved
from the principles. Matter manifests finer and finer forms, and
exhibits a greater and greater subservience to Energy or Force. And
Energy or Force shows a greater and greater degree of "mind" in it.
But, remember this, that there is Mind in even the grossest form of
Matter. This must be so, for what springs from a thing must contain the
elements of its cause.

And the Cosmic Evolution continues, and must continue for aeons of
time. Higher and higher forms of Mind are being manifested, and still
higher and higher forms will appear in the scale, as the process
continues. The evolution is not only along material lines, but has
passed on to the mental planes, and is now operating along the
spiritual lines as well. And the end, and aim seems to be that each
Ego, after the experiences of many lives, may unfold and develop to a
point where it may become conscious of its Real Self, and realize its
identity with the One Life, and the Spirit.

At this point we may be confronted with the objection of the student of
material science, who will ask why we begin our consideration of Cosmic
Evolution at a point in which matter has reached the limit of its
lowest vibrations, manifesting in the grossest possible form of matter.
These students may point to the fact that Science begins its
consideration of evolution with the _nebulae_, or faint cloudlike,
vaporous matter, from which the planets were formed. But there is only
an apparent contradiction here. The _nebulae_ were part of the Process
of Involution, and Science is right when it holds that the gross forms
were produced from the finer. But the process of change from finer to
grosser was _Involution_, not Evolution. Do you see the difference?
Evolution begins at the point when the stage of Unfoldment commenced.
When the gross forms begin to yield to the new upward urge, and unfold
into finer forms--then begins Evolution.

We shall pass over the period of Evolution in which Matter was evolving
into finer and still finer forms, until at last it reached a degree of
vibration capable of supporting that which we call "life." Of course
there is "life" in all matter--even in the atom, as we have shown in
previous lessons. But when we speak of "life," as we now do, we mean
what are generally called "living forms." The Yogi Teachings inform us
that the lowest forms of what we call "life" were evolved from forms of
high crystal life, which indeed they very much resemble. We have spoken
of this resemblance, in the previous lessons of this series. And, so we
shall begin at the point where "living forms" began.

Speaking now of our own planet, the Earth, we find matter emerging from
the molten state in which it manifested for ages. Gradually cooling and
stratifying, the Earth contained none of those forms that we call
living forms. The temperature of the Earth in that period is estimated
at about 15,000 times hotter than boiling water, which would, of
course, render impossible the existence of any of the present known
forms of life. But the Yogi Teachings inform us that even in the molten
mass there were elementary forms that were to become the ancestral
forms of the later living forms. These elementary forms were composed
of a vaporous, peculiar form of matter, of minute size,--little more
than the atoms, in fact, and yet, just a little more advanced. From
these elementary forms, there gradually evolved, as the Earth cooled
and solidified, other forms, and so on until at last the first "living
form" manifested.

As the globe cooled at the poles, there was gradually created a
tropical climate, in which the temperature was sufficiently cool to
support certain rudimentary forms of life. In the rocks in the far
northern latitudes, there are found abundant traces of fossils, which
goes to prove the correctness of the Yogi Teachings of the origin of
life at the north pole, from which the living forms gradually spread
south toward the equator, as the Earth's surface cooled.

The elementary evolving life forms were of a very simple structure, and
were but a degree above the crystals. They were composed of identically
the same substance as the crystals, _the only difference being that
they displayed a greater degree of mind_. For that matter, even the
highest physical form known to us today is composed of simple chemical
materials. And these chemical materials are obtained, either directly
or indirectly, from the air, water, or earth. The principal materials
composing the physical bodies of plants, animals, and man, are oxygen,
carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, with a still smaller proportion of sulphur
and phosphorus, and traces of a few other elements. The material part
of all living things is alike--the difference lies in the degree of
Mind controlling the matter in which it is embodied.

Of these physical materials, carbon is the most important to the living
forms. It seems to possess properties capable of drawing to it the
other elements, and forcing them into service. From carbon proceeds
what is called "protoplasm," the material of which the cells of animal
and vegetable life is composed. From protoplasm the almost infinite
varieties of living forms have been built up by the process of
Evolution, working gradually and by easy stages. Every living form is
made up, or composed, of a multitude of single cells, and their
combinations. And every form originates in a single cell which rapidly
multiplies and reproduces itself until the form of the amoeba; the
plant; the animal; the man, is completed. All living forms are but a
single cell multiplied. And every cell is composed of protoplasm.
Therefore we must look for the beginning of life in the grade of matter
called protoplasm. In this both modern Science and the Yogi Teachings
agree fully.

In investigating protoplasm we are made to realize the wonderful
qualities of its principal constituent--Carbon. Carbon is the wonder
worker of the elements. Manifesting in various forms, as the diamond,
graphite, coal, protoplasm--is it not entitled to respect? The Yogi
Teachings inform vis that in Carbon we have that form of matter which
was evolved as the physical basis of life. If any of you doubt that
inorganic matter may be transformed into living forms, let us refer you
to the plant life, in which you may see the plants building up cells
every day from the inorganic, chemical or mineral substances, in the
earth, air, and water. Nature performs every day the miracle of
transforming chemicals and minerals into living plant cells. And when
animal or man eats these plant cells, so produced, they become
transformed into animal cells of which the body is built up. What it
took Nature ages to do in the beginning, is now performed in a few
hours, or minutes.

The Yogi Teachings, again on all-fours with modern Science, inform us
that living forms had their beginning in water. In the slimy bed of the
polar seas the simple cell-forms appeared, having their origin in the
transitional stages before mentioned. The first living forms were a
lowly form of plant life, consisting of a single cell. From these forms
were evolved forms composed of groups of cells, and so proceeded the
work of evolution, from the lower form to the higher, ever in an upward
path.

As we have said, the single cell is the physical centre, or parent, of
every living form. It contains what is known as the _nucleus_, or
kernel, which seems to be more highly organized than the rest of the
material of the cell--it may be considered as the "brain" of the cell,
if you wish to use your imagination a little. The single cell
reproduces itself by growth and division, or separation. Each cell
manifests the functions of life, whether it be a single-celled
creature, or a cell which with billions of others, goes to make up a
higher form. It feels, feeds, grows, and reproduces itself. In the
single-celled creature, the one cell performs all of the functions, of
course. But as the forms become more complex, the many cells composing
a form perform certain functions which are allotted to it, the division
of labor resulting in a higher manifestation. This is true not only in
the case of animal forms, but also in the case of plant forms. The
cells in the bone, muscle, nerve-tissue and blood of the animal differ
according to their offices; and the same is true in the cells in the
sap, stem, root, leaf, seed and flower of the plant.

As we have said, the cells multiply by division, after a period of
growth. The cell grows by material taken into its substance, as food.
When sufficient food has been partaken, and enough new material
accumulated to cause the cell to attain a certain size, then it
divides, or separates into two cells, the division being equal, and the
point of cleavage being at the kernel or nucleus. As the two parts
separate, the protoplasm _of_ each groups itself around its nucleus,
and two living forms exist where there was but one a moment before. And
then each of the two cells proceed to grow rapidly, and then separate,
and so on to the end, each cell multiplying into millions, as time
passes.

Ascending in the scale, we next find the living forms composed of
cell-groups. These cell-groups are formed by single cells dividing, and
then subdividing, but instead of passing on their way they group
themselves in clusters, or masses. There are millions of forms of these
cell-group creatures, among which we find the sponges, polyps, etc.

In the early forms of life it is difficult to distinguish between the
animal and the plant forms, in fact the early forms partake of the
qualities of both. But as we advance in the scale a little there is
seen a decided "branching out," and one large branch is formed of the
evolving plant forms, and the other of the evolving animal forms. The
plant-branch begins with the sea-weeds, and passes on to the fungi,
lichens, mosses, ferns, pines and palm-ferns, grasses, etc., then to
the trees, shrubs and herbs. The animal-branch begins with the
_monera_, or single-cell forms, which are little more than a drop of
sticky, glue-like protoplasm. Then it passes on to the _amoebae_, which
begins to show a slight difference in its parts. Then on the
_foraminifera_, which secretes a shell of lime from the water. Then on
a step higher to the _polycystina_, which secretes a shell, or skeleton
of flint-like material from the water. Then come the sponges. Then the
coral-animals, anemones and jelly-fish. Then come the sea-lilies,
star-fish, etc. Then the various families of worms. Then the crabs,
spiders, centipedes, insects. Then come the mollusca, which include the
oysters, clams and other shell-fish; snails, cuttle-fish, sea-squirts,
etc. All of the above families of animal-forms are what are known as
"invertebrates," that is, without a backbone.

Then we come to the "vertebrates," or animals having a backbone. First
we see the fish family with its thousands of forms. Then come the
amphibia, which include the toads, frogs, etc. Then come the reptiles,
which include the serpents, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, etc. Then
come the great family of birds, with its wonderful variety of forms,
sizes, and characteristics. Then come the mammals, the name of which
comes from the Latin word meaning "the breast," the characteristic of
which group comes from the fact that they nourish their young by milk,
or similar fluid, secreted by the mother. The mammals are the highest
form of the vertebrates.

First among the mammals we find the aplacentals, or those which bring
forth immature young, which are grouped into two divisions, _i.e_., (1)
the _monotremes_, or one-vented animals, in which group belong the
duck-bills, spiny ant-eaters, etc.; and (2) the _marsupials_, or
pouched animals, in which group belong the kangaroo, opossum, etc.

The next highest form among the mammals are known as the _placentals_,
or those which bring forth mature young. In this class are found the
ant-eaters, sloth, manatee, the whale and porpoise, the horse, cow,
sheep, and other hoofed animals; the elephant, seal, the dog, wolf,
lion, tiger, and all flesh eating animals; the hares, rats, mice, and
ail other gnawing animals; the bats, moles, and other insect-feeders;
then come the great family of apes, from the small monkeys up to the
orang-outang, chimpanzee, and other forms nearly approaching man. And
then comes the highest, Man, from the Kaffir, Bush-man, Cave-man, and
Digger Indian, up through the many stages until the highest forms of
our own race are reached.

From the Monera to Man is a long path, containing many stages, but it
is a path including all the intermediate forms. The Yogi Teachings hold
to the theory of evolution, as maintained by modern Science, but it
goes still further, for it holds not only that the physical forms are
subject to the evolutionary process, but that also the "souls" embodied
in these forms are subject to the evolutionary process. In other words
the Yogi Teachings hold that there is a twin-process of evolution under
way, the main object of which is to develop "souls," but which also
finds it necessary to evolve higher and higher forms of physical bodies
for these constantly advancing souls to occupy.

Let us take a hasty glance at the ascending forms of animal life, as
they rise in the evolutionary scale. By so doing we can witness the
growth of the soul, within them, as manifested by the higher and higher
physical forms which are used as channels of expression by the souls
within. Let us first study soul-evolution from the outer viewpoint,
before we proceed to examine it from the inner. By so doing we will
have a fuller idea of the process than if we ignored the outer and
proceed at once to the inner. Despise not the outer form, for it has
always been, and is now, the Temple of the Soul, which the latter is
remodelling and rebuilding in order to accommodate its constantly
increasing needs and demands.

Let us begin with the _Protozoa_, or one-celled forms--the lowest form
of animal life. The lowest form of this lowest class is that remarkable
creature that we have mentioned in previous lessons--the _Moneron_.
This creature lives in water, the natural element in which organic life
is believed to have had its beginning. It is a very tiny, shapeless,
colorless, slimy, sticky mass--something like a tiny drop of
glue--alike all over and in its mass, and without organs or parts of
any kind. Some have claimed that below the field of the microscope
there may be something like elementary organs in the Moneron, but so
far as the human eye may discover there is no evidence of anything of
the kind. It has no organs or parts with which to perform particular
functions, as is the case with the higher forms of life. These
functions, as you know, may be classed into three groups, _i.e._,
nutrition, reproduction, and relation--that is, the function of
feeding, the function of reproducing its kind, and the function of
receiving and responding to the impressions of the outside world. All
of these three classes of functions the Moneron performs--but _with any
part of its body, or with all of it_.

Every part, or the whole, of the Moneron absorbs food and oxygen--it is
all mouth and lungs. Every part, or the whole, digests the food--it is
all stomach. Every part, or the whole, performs the reproductive
function--it is all reproductive organism. Every part of it senses the
impressions from outside, and responds to it--it is all organs of
sense, and organs of motion. It envelops its prey as a drop of glue
surrounds a particle of sand, and then absorbs the substance of the
prey into its own substance. It moves by prolonging any part of itself
outward in a sort of tail-like appendage, which it uses as a "foot," or
"finger" with which to propel itself; draw itself to, or push itself
away from an object. This prolongation is called a _pseudopod_, or
"false-foot." When it gets through using the "false-foot" for the
particular purpose, it simply draws back into itself that portion which
had been protruded for the purpose.

It performs the functions of digestion, assimilation, elimination,
etc., perfectly, just as the higher forms of life--but it has no organs
for the functions, and performs them severally, and collectively with
any, or all parts of its body. What the higher animals perform with
intricate organs and parts--heart, stomach, lungs, liver, kidneys,
etc., etc.--this tiny creature performs _without organs_, and with its
entire body, or any part thereof. The function of reproduction is
startlingly simple in the case of the Moneron. It simply divides itself
in two parts, and that is all there is to it. There is no male or
female sex in its case--it combines both within itself. The
reproductive process is even far more simple than the "budding" of
plants. You may turn one of these wonderful creatures inside out, and
still it goes on the even tenor of its way, in no manner disturbed or
affected. It is simply a "living drop of glue," which eats, digests,
receives impressions and responds thereto, and reproduces itself. This
tiny glue-drop performs virtually the same life functions as do the
higher complex forms of living things. Which is the greater
"miracle"--the Moneron or Man?

A slight step upward from the Moneron brings us to the _Amoeba_. The
name of this new creature is derived from the Greek word meaning
"change," and has been bestowed because the creature is constantly
changing its shape. This continual change of shape is caused by a
continuous prolongation and drawing-in of its pseudopods, or
"false-feet," which also gives the creature the appearance of a
"many-fingered" organism. This creature shows the first step toward
"parts," for it has something like a membrane or "skin" at its surface,
and a "nucleus" at its centre, and also an expanding and contracting
cavity within its substance, which it uses for holding, digesting and
distributing its food, and also for storing and distributing its
oxygen--an elementary combination of stomach and lungs! So you see that
the amoeba has taken a step upward from the moneron, and is beginning
to appreciate the convenience of parts and organs. It is interesting to
note, in this connection, that while the ordinary cells of the higher
animal body resemble the _monera_ in many ways, still the white
corpuscles in the blood of man and the animals bear a startling
resemblance to the _amoebae_ so far as regards size, general structure,
and movements, and are in fact known to Science as "amoeboids." The
white corpuscles change their shape, take in food in an intelligent
manner, and live a comparatively independent life, their movements
showing independent "thought" and "will."

Some of the amoebae (the diatoms, for instance) secrete solid matter
from the water, and build therefrom shells or houses, which serve to
protect them from their enemies. These shells are full of tiny holes,
through which the pseudopods are extended in their search for food, and
for purposes of movement. Some of these shells are composed of secreted
lime, and others of a flinty substance, the "selection" of these
substances from the ether mineral particles in the water, evidencing a
degree cf "thought," and mind, even in these lowly creatures. The
skeletons of these tiny creatures form vast deposits of chalk and
similar substances.

Next higher in the scale are the _Infusoria_. These creatures differ
from the amoebae inasmuch as instead of pseudopods, they have developed
tiny vibrating filaments, or thread-like appendages, which are used for
drawing in their prey and for moving about. These filaments are
permanent, and are not temporary like the pseudopods of the monera or
amoebae--they are the _first signs of permanent hands and feet_. These
creatures have also discovered the possibilities of organs and parts,
to a still greater degree than have their cousins the amoebae, and have
evolved something like a mouth-opening (very rudimentary) and also a
short gullet through which they pass their food and oxygen--_they have
developed the first signs of a throat, wind-pipe and food-passage_.

Next come the family of Sponges, the soft skeletons of which form the
useful article of everyday use. There are many forms who weave a home
of far more delicacy and beauty than their more familiar and homely
brothers. The sponge creature itself is a slimy, soft creature, which
fills in the spaces in its spongy skeleton. It is fastened to one spot,
and gathers in its food from the water around it (and oxygen as well),
by means of numerous whip-like filaments called _cilia_, which flash
through the water driving in the food and oxygen to the inner positions
of its body. The water thus drawn in, as well as the refuse from the
food, is then driven out in the same manner. It is interesting to note
that in the organisms of the higher animals, including man, there are
numerous _cilia_ performing offices in connection with nutrition, etc.
When Nature perfects an instrument, it is very apt to retain it, even
in the higher forms, although in the latter its importance may be
dwarfed by higher ones.

The next step in the ascending scale of life-forms is occupied by the
_polyps_, which are found in water, fastened to floating matter. The
polyps fasten themselves to this floating matter, with their mouths
downward, from the latter dangling certain tentacles, or thin, long
arms. These tentacles contain small thread-like coils in contact with a
poisonous fluid, and enclosed in a cell. When the tentacles come in
contact with the prey of the creature, or with anything that is sensed
as a possible enemy, they contract around the object and the little
cells burst and the tiny thread-like coils are released and twist
themselves like a loop around the object, poisoning it with the
secreted fluid. Some of the polyps secrete flint-like tubes, which they
inhabit, and from the ends of which they emerge like flowers. From
these parent polyps emerge clusters of young, resembling buds. These
bud-like young afterwards become what are known as jelly-fishes, etc.,
which in turn reproduce themselves--but here is a wonder--the
jelly-fish lay eggs, which when hatched produce stationary polyps like
their grandparent, and not moving creatures like their parents. The
jelly-fishes have a comparatively complex organism. They have an
intricate system of canal-like passages with which to convey their food
and oxygen to the various parts. They also have something like muscles,
which contract and enable the creature to "swim." They also possess a
"nervous system," and, most wonderful of all, they have _rudimentary
eyes and ears_. Their tentacles, like those of the parent-polyp,
secrete the poisonous fluid which is discharged into prey or enemy.

Akin to the polyps are the sea-anemones, with their beautiful colors,
and still more complex structure and organism, the tentacles of which
resemble the petals of a flower. Varying slightly from these are the
coral-creatures, which form in colonies and the skeletons of which form
the coral trees and branches, and other forms, with which we are
familiar.

Passing on to the next highest family of life-forms, we see the
spiny-bodied sea-creatures, such as the sea-urchin, star-fish, etc.,
which possess a thick, hard skin, covered by spines or prickly
projections. These creatures abound in numerous species. The star-fish
has rays projecting from a common centre, which gives it its name,
while the sea-urchin resembles a ball. The sea-lilies, with their stems
and flowers (so-called) belong to this family, as do also the
sea-cucumbers, whose name is obtained from their shape and general
appearance, but which are animals possessing a comparatively complex
organism, one of the features of which is a stomach which may be
discarded at will and replaced by a new one. These creatures have a
well defined nervous system, and have eyes, and some of them even
rudimentary eyelids.

Ascending the scale of life-forms, we next observe the great family of
the _Annulosa_, or jointed creatures, which comprises the various
families of the worm, the crab, the spider, the ant, etc. In this great
family are grouped nearly four-fifths of the known life-forms. Their
bodies are well formed and they have nervous systems running along the
body and consisting of two thin threads, knotted at different points
into ganglia or masses of nerve cells similar to those possessed by the
higher animals. They possess eyes and other sense organs, in some cases
highly developed. They possess organs, corresponding to the heart, and
have a well-developed digestive apparatus. Note this advance in the
nutritive organism: the _moneron_ takes its food at any point of its
body; the _amoeba_ takes its food by means of its "false-feet," and
drives it through its body by a rhythmic movement of its substance; the
_polyp_ distributes its food to its various parts by means of the water
which it absorbs with the food; the _sea-urchin and star-fish_
distribute their food by canals in their bodies which open directly
into the water; in the higher forms of the _annulosa_, the food is
distributed by a fluid resembling blood, which carries the nourishment
to every part and organ, and which carries away the waste matter, the
blood being propelled through the body by a rudimentary heart. The
oxygen is distributed by each of these forms in a corresponding way,
the higher forms having rudimentary lungs and respiratory organs. Step
by step the life-forms are perfected, and the organs necessary to
perform certain definite functions are evolved from rudimentary to
perfected forms.

The families of worms are the humblest members of the great family of
the Annulosa. Next come the creatures called Rotifers, which are very
minute. Then come the Crustacea, so called from their crustlike shell.
This group includes the crabs, lobsters, etc., and closely resembles
the insects. In fact, some of the best authorities believe that the
insects and the crustacea spring from the same parent form, and some of
the Yogi authorities hold to this belief, while others do not attempt
to pass upon it, deeming it immaterial, inasmuch as all life-forms have
a common origin. The western scientists pay great attention to outward
details, while the Oriental mind is apt to pass over these details as
of slight importance, preferring to seek the cause back of the outward
form. On one point both the Yogi teachers and the scientists absolutely
agree, and that is that the family of insect life had its origin in
some aquatic creature. Both hold that the wings of the insect have been
evolved from organs primarily used for breathing purposes by the
ancestor when it took short aerial flights, the need for means of
flight afterwards acting to develop these rudimentary organs into
perfected wings. There need be no more wonder expressed at this change
than in the case of the transformation of the insect from grub to
chrysalis, and then to insect. In fact this process is a reproduction
of the stages through which the life-form passed during the long ages
between sea-creature and land-insect.

We need not take up much of your time in speaking of the wonderful
complex organism of some of the insect family, which are next on the
scale above the crustacea. The wonders of spider-life--the almost human
life of the ants--the spirit of the beehive--and all the rest of the
wonders of insect life are familiar to all of our readers. A study of
some good book on the life of the higher forms of the insect family
will prove of value to anyone, for it will open his or her eyes to the
wonderful manifestation of life and mind among these creatures.
Remember the remark of Darwin, that the brain of the ant, although not
much larger than a pin point, "is one of the most marvelous atoms of
matter in the world, perhaps more so than the brain of man."

Closely allied to the crustacea is the sub-family of the _mollusca_,
which includes the oyster, clams, and similar creatures; also the
snails, cuttle-fish, slugs, nautilus, sea-squirts, etc., etc. Some are
protected by a hard shell, while others have a gristly outer skin,
serving as an armor, while others still are naked. Those having shells
secrete the material for their construction from the water. Some of
them are fixed to rocks, etc., while others roam at will. Strange as it
may appear at first sight, some of the higher forms of the mollusca
show signs of a rudimentary vertebra, and science has hazarded the
opinion that the sea-squirts and similar creatures were descended from
some ancestor from whom also descended the vertebrate animals, of which
man is the highest form known today on this planet. We shall mention
this connection in our next lesson, where we will take up the story of
"The Ascent of Man" from the lowly vertebrate forms.

And now, in closing this lesson, we must remind the reader that we are
_not_ teaching Evolution as it is conceived by modern science. We are
viewing it from the opposite viewpoint of the Yogi Teaching. Modern
Science teaches that Mind is a by-product of the evolving material
forms--while the Yogi Teachings hold that there was Mind _involved_ in
the lowest form, and that that Mind constantly pressing forward for
unfoldment _compelled_ the gradual evolution, or unfoldment of the
slowly advancing degrees of organization and function. Science teaches
that "function precedes organization," that is, that a form performs
certain functions, imperfectly and crudely, before it evolves the
organs suitable for the functioning. For instance the lower forms
digested food before they evolved stomachs--the latter coming to meet
the need. But the Yogi Teachings go further and claim that "desire
precedes function," that is, that the lowly life form "desires" to have
digestive apparatus, in order to proceed in the evolutionary scale,
before it begins the functioning that brings about the more complex
organism. There is ever the "urge" of the Mind which craves unfoldment,
and which the creature feels as a dim desire, which grows stronger and
stronger as time goes on. Some yield more readily to the urge, and such
become the parents of possible higher forms. "Many are called, but few
are chosen," and so matters move along slowly from generation to
generation, a few forms serving to carry on the evolutionary urge to
their descendants. But is always the Evolutionary Urge of the
imprisoned Mind striving to cast aside its sheaths and to have more
perfect machinery with which, and through which, to manifest and
express itself? This is the difference between the "Evolution" of
Modern Science and the "Unfoldment" of the Yogi Teachings. The one is
all material, with mind as a mere by-product, while the other is all
Mind, with matter as a tool and instrument of expression and
manifestation.

As we have said in this lesson--and as we shall point out to you in
detail in future lessons--accompanying this evolution of bodies there
is an evolution of "souls" producing the former. This evolution of
souls is a basic principle of the Yogi Teachings, but it is first
necessary that you acquaint yourselves with the evolution of bodies and
forms, before you may fully grasp the higher teachings.

Our next lesson will be entitled "The Ascent of Man," in which the rise
of man--that is, his body--from the lowly forms of the vertebrates is
shown. In the same lesson we shall begin our consideration of the
"evolution of souls." We trust that the students are carefully studying
the details of each lesson, for every lesson has its part in the grand
whole of the Teachings.



THE EIGHTH LESSON


THE ASCENT OF MAN.

In our last lesson we led you by successive steps from the beginnings
of Life in living forms up to the creatures closely resembling the
family of vertebrates--the highest family of living forms on this
planet. In this present lesson we take up the story of the "Ascent of
Man" from the lowly vertebrate forms.

The large sub-family of forms called "The Vertebrates" are
distinguished from the Invertebrates by reason of the former possessing
an _internal_ bony skeleton, the most important feature of which is the
vertebra or spinal column. The vertebrates, be it remembered, possess
practically the same organs as the lower forms of life, but differ from
them most materially by the possession of the _internal_ skeleton, the
lower forms having an _external_ or outside _skeleton_, which latter is
merely a hardening of the skin.

The flexibility of the vertebra creates a wonderful strength of
structure, combined with an ease of movement peculiar to the
vertebrates, and which renders them the natural forms of life capable
of rapid development and evolution. By means of this strength, and
ease, these forms are enabled to move rapidly in pursuit of their prey,
and away from their pursuers, and also to resist outside pressure or
attack. They are protected in a way similar to the invertebrates having
shells, and yet have the additional advantage of easy movement.
Differing in shape and appearance as do the numerous members of the
sub-family of vertebrates, still their structure is easily seen to
spring from a single form--all are modifications of some common
pattern, the differences arising from the necessities of the life of
the animal, as manifested through the desire and necessities of the
species.

Science shows the direct relationship between the Vertebrates, and the
Invertebrates by means of several connecting-links, the most noticeable
of which is the Lancelot, a creature resembling the fish-form, and yet
also closely resembling the lower (invertebrate) forms of life. This
creature has no head, and but one eye. It is semi-transparent, and
possesses _cilia_ for forcing in the water containing its food. It has
something like gills, and a gullet like the lower forms. It has no
heart, the blood being circulated by means of contracting vessels or
parts. Strictly speaking, it has no back-bone, or vertebra, but still
Science has been compelled to class it among the vertebrates because is
has a gristly cartilage where the back-bone is found in the higher
forms. This gristle may be called an "elementary spine." It has a
nervous system consisting of a single cord which spreads into a
broadened end near the creature's mouth, and which may therefore be
regarded as "something like a brain." This creature is really a
developed form of Invertebrate, shaped like a Vertebrate, and showing
signs of a rudimentary spine and nervous system of the latter. It is a
"connecting-link."

The lowest forms of the true Vertebrates are the great families of
Fishes. These Fish families include fishes of high and low degree, some
of the higher forms being as different from the lowest as they (the
highest) are different from the Reptile family. It is not necessary to
go into detail regarding the nature of the fish families, for every
student is more or less familiar with them.

Some peculiar forms of fish show a shading into the Reptile family, in
fact they seem to belong nearly as much to the latter as to their own
general family. Some species of fish known as the _Dipnoi_ or
"double-breathers," have a remarkable dual system of breathing. That
is, they have gills for breathing while in the water, and also have a
primitive or elementary "lung" in the shape of an air-bladder, or
"sound," which they use for breathing on land. The Mud-fish of South
America, and also other forms in Australia and other places, have a
modification of fins which are practically "limbs," which they actually
use for traveling on land from pond to pond. Some of these fish have
been known to travel enormous distances in search of new pools of
water, or new streams, having been driven from their original homes by
droughts, or perhaps by instincts similar to the migrating instinct of
birds. Eels are _fish_ (although many commonly forget this fact) and
many of their species are able to leave the water and travel on land
from pond to pond, their breathing being performed by a peculiar
modification of the gills. The climbing perch of India are able to live
out of water, and have modified gills for breathing purposes, and
modified fins for climbing and walking. So you see that without leaving
the fish family proper, we have examples of land living creatures which
are akin to "connecting links."

But there are real "connecting-links"' between the Fish and the
Reptiles. Passing over the many queer forms which serve as links
between the two families, we have but to consider our common frog's
history for a striking example. The Tadpole has gills, has no limbs,
uses its tail like a fish's fin, eats plants, etc. Passing through
several interesting stages the Tadpole reaches a stage in which it is a
frog with a tail--then it sheds its tail and is a full fledged Frog,
with four legs; web-feet; no tail; and feeding on animals. The Frog is
amphibious, that is, able to live on land or in water--and yet it is
compelled to come to the surface of the water for air to supply its
lungs. Some of the amphibious animals possess both lungs and gills,
even when matured; but the higher vertebrates living in the water
breathe through lungs which are evolved from the air-bladder of fishes,
which in turn have been evolved from the primitive gullet of the lower
forms. There are fishes known which are warm-blooded. Students will
kindly remember that the Whale is not a fish, but an aquatic animal--a
mammal, in fact, bringing forth its young alive, and suckling it from
its breasts.

So we readily see that it is but a step, and a short step at that,
between the land-traveling and climbing fishes and the lower forms of
Reptiles. The Frog shows us the process of evolution between the two
families, its life history reproducing the gradual evolution which may
have required ages to perfect in the case of the species. You will
remember that the embryo stages of all creatures reproduce the various
stages of evolution through which the species has passed--this is true
in Man as well as in the Frog.

We need not tarry long in considering the Reptile family of living
forms. In its varieties of serpents, lizards, crocodiles, turtles,
etc., we have studied and observed its forms. We see the limbless
snakes; the lizards with active limbs; the huge, clumsy, slow
crocodiles and alligators--the armor-bearing turtles and tortoises--all
belonging to the one great family of Reptiles, and nearly all of them
being degenerate descendants of the mighty Reptile forms of the
geological Age of Reptiles, in which flourished the mighty forms of the
giant reptiles--the monsters of land and water. Amidst the dense
vegetation of that pre-historic age, surrounded by the most favorable
conditions, these mighty creatures flourished and lived, their
fossilized skeleton forms evidencing to us how far their descendants
have fallen, owing to less favorable conditions, and the development of
other life-forms more in harmony with their changed environment.

Next comes the great family of Birds. The Birds ascended from the
Reptiles. This is the Eastern Teaching, and this is the teaching of
Western Science It was formerly taught in the text-books that the line
of ascent was along the family of winged reptiles which existed in the
Age of Reptiles, in the early days of the Earth. But the later writers
on the subject, in the Western world, have contradicted this. It is now
taught that these ancient winged-reptiles were featherless, and more
closely resembled the Bat family than birds. (You will remember that a
Bat is neither a reptile nor a bird--it is a mammal, bringing forth its
young alive, and suckling them at its breast. The Bat is more like a
mouse, and its wings are simply membrane stretched between its fingers,
its feet, and its tail.)

The line of ascent from Reptile to Bird was along the forms of the
Reptiles that walked on land. There are close anatomical and
physiological relations and correspondences between the two families
(Reptiles and Birds) which we need not refer to here. And, of course,
many modifications have occurred since the "branching-out." The scales
of the reptiles, and the feathers of the birds, are known to be but
modifications of the original outer skin, as are also the hair, claws,
hoofs, nails, etc., of all animals. Even teeth arose in this way,
strange as it may now seem--they are all secreted from the skin. What a
wonderful field for thought--this gradual evolution from the filmy
outer covering of the lowest living forms to the beautiful feathers,
beaks, and claws of the bird!

The evolving of wings meant much to the ascending forms of life. The
Reptiles were compelled to live in a narrow circle of territory, while
the Birds were able to travel over the earth in wide flights. And
travel always develops the faculties of observation, memory, etc., and
cultivates the senses of seeing, hearing, etc. And the creature is
compelled to exercise its evolving "thinking" faculties to a greater
extent. And so the Birds were compelled by necessity of their travels
to develop a greater degree of thinking organism. The result is that
among birds we find many instances of intelligent thought, which cannot
be dismissed as "mere instinct." Naturalists place the Crow at the head
of the family of Birds, in point of intelligence, and those who have
watched these creatures and studied the mental processes, will agree
that this is a just decision. It has been proven that Crows are capable
of counting up to several figures, and in other ways they display a
wonderful degree of almost human sagacity.

Next above the Bird family comes the highest form of all--the Mammals.
But before we begin our consideration of these high forms, let us take
a hasty glance at the "connecting-links" between the Birds and the
Mammals. The lowest forms of the Mammals resemble Birds in many ways.
Some of them are toothless, and many of them have the same primitive
intestinal arrangements possessed by the birds, from which arises their
name, _Monotremes_. These _Monotremes_ may be called half-bird and
half-mammal. One of the most characteristic of their family is the
_Ornithorhynchus_, or Duck-bill, which the early naturalists first
thought was a fraud of the taxidermists, or bird-stuffers, and then,
when finally convinced, deemed it a "freak-of-nature." But it is not a
freak creature, but a "connecting-link" between the two great families
of creatures. This animal presents a startling appearance to the
observer who witnesses it for the first time. It resembles a beaver,
having a soft furry coat, but also has a horny, flat bill like a duck,
its feet being webbed, but also furnished with claws projecting over
the edge of the web-foot. It lays eggs in an underground nest--two eggs
at a time, which are like the eggs of birds, inasmuch as they contain
not only the protoplasm from which the embryo is formed, but also the
"yolk." on which the embryo feeds until hatched. After the young
Duck-bill is hatched, it feeds from teatless glands in the mother's
body, the milk being furnished by the mother by a peculiar process.
Consider this _miracle_--_an animal which lays eggs and then when her
young are hatched nourishes them with milk_. The milk-glands in the
mother are elementary "breasts."

The above-mentioned animal is found in Australia, the land of many
strange forms and "connecting-links," which have survived there while
in other parts of the globe they have vanished gradually from
existence, crowded out by the more perfectly evolved forms. Darwin has
called these surviving forms "living fossils." In that same land is
also found the _Echidna_ or spiny ant-eater, which lays an egg and then
hatches it in her pouch, after which she nourishes it on milk, in a
manner similar to that of the Duck-bill. This animal, like the
Duck-bill, is a Monotreme.

Scientists are divided in theories as to whether the Monotremes are
actually descended directly from the Reptiles or Birds, or whether
there was a common ancestor from which Reptiles and Birds and Mammals
branched off. But this is not important, for the relationship between
Reptiles, Birds and Mammals is clearly proven. And the Monotremes are
certainly one of the surviving forms of the intermediate stages.

The next higher step in the ascent of Mammal life above the Monotreme
is occupied by the Marsupials, or _milk-giving, pouched animals_, of
which family the opossum and kangaroo are well known members. The
characteristic feature of this family of creatures is the possession of
an external pouch in the female, in which the young are kept and
nourished until they can take care of themselves as the young of other
animals are able to do. The young of the Marsupials are brought forth,
or born, in an imperfect condition, and undeveloped in size and
strength. There are fossil remains of Marsupials showing that in past
ages creatures of this kind existed which were as large as elephants.

In the more common form of Mammals the young are brought forth fully
formed, they having received "nourishment, before birth, from the
mother's body, through the _placenta_, the appendage which connects the
fetus with the parent. The Placental Mammals were the best equipped of
all the life-forms for survival and development, for the reason that
the young were nourished during their critical period, and the care
that the mammal must of necessity give to her young operated in the
direction of affording a special protection far superior to that of the
other forms. This and other causes acted to place the Placentals in the
"Royal line" from which Man was evolved.

The following families of Placental Mammals are recognized by Science,
each having its own structural peculiarities:

The _Edentata_, or Toothless creatures, among which are the sloths,
ant-eaters, armadillos, etc. These animals seem to be closer to the
Monotremes than they are to the Marsupials;

The _Sirenia_, so called by reason of their fanciful resemblance to the
sirens of mythology, among which are the sea-cows, manatees, dugongs,
etc., which are fish-like in structure and appearance, the fore-limbs
being shaped like paddles, or fins, and the hind-limbs being absent or
rudimentary;

The _Cetacea_, or Whale Family, including whales, Porpoises, dolphins,
etc., which are quite fish-like in appearance and structure, their
forms being adapted for life in the sea, although they are, of course,
Mammals, bringing forth matured young which are suckled at the breast;

The _Ungulata_, or Hoofed Animals, which comprise many varied forms,
such as the horse, the tapir, the rhinoceros, the swine, the
hippopotamus, the camel, the deer, the sheep, the cow, etc., etc.;

The _Hyracoidea_, which is a small family, the principal member of
which is the coney, or rock rabbit, which has teeth resembling those of
the hoofed animals, in some ways, and those of the gnawing animals in
the others.

The _Proboscidea_, or Trunked Animals, which family is represented in
this age only by the families of elephants, which have a peculiar
appendage called a "trunk," which they use as an additional limb;

The _Carnivora_, or Flesh-eaters, represented by numerous and various
forms, such as the seal, the bear, the weasel, the wolf, the dog, the
lion, the tiger, the leopard, etc. The wolf and similar forms belong to
the sub-family of dogs; while the lion, tiger, etc., belong to the
sub-family of cats;

The _Rodentia_, or Gnawers, comprising the rat, the hare, the beaver,
the squirrel, the mouse, etc., etc.;

The _Insectivora_, or Insect Feeders, comprising the mole, the shrew,
the hedgehog, etc.;

The _Chiroptera_, or Finger-Winged Animals, comprising the great family
of Bats, etc., which are very highly developed animals;

The _Lemuroidea_, or Lemurs, the name of which is derived from the
Latin word meaning a "ghost," by reason of the Lemur's habits of
roaming about at night. The Lemur is a nocturnal animal, somewhat
resembling the Monkey in general appearance, but with a long, bushy
tail and sharp muzzle like a fox. It is akin to a small fox having
hands and feet like a monkey, the feet being used to grasp like a hand,
as is the case with the true Monkey family. These creatures are classed
by some naturalists among the Monkeys by reason of being "four-handed,"
while others are disposed to consider as still more important their
marked relationship with, and affinity to, the marsupials, gnawers and
insect-feeders. On the whole, these creatures are strangely organized
and come very near to being a "connecting-link" between other forms.
One of the Lemurs is what is known as the _colugo_, or "flying lemur,"
which resembles a squirrel in many particulars, and yet has a
membranous web extending from its hands, which enables it to make
flying leaps over great distances. This last named variety seems to
furnish a link between the insect-feeders and the Primates;

The _Primates_, which is a large family comprising the various forms of
monkeys, baboons, man-apes, such as the gibbon, gorilla, chimpanzee,
orang-outang, etc., all of which have big jaws, small brains, and a
stooping posture. This family also includes MAN, with his big brain and
erect posture, and his many races depending upon shape of skull, color
of skin, character of hair, etc.

In considering the Ascent of Man (physical) from the lowly forms of the
Monera, etc., up to his present high position, the student is struck
with the continuity of the ascent, development and unfoldment. While
there are many "missing-links," owing to the disappearance of the forms
which formed the connection, still there is sufficient proof left in
the existing forms to satisfy the fair-minded inquirer. The facts of
embryology alone are sufficient proof of the ascent of Man from the
lowly forms. Each and every man today has passed through all the forms
of the ascent within a few months, from single cell to the new-born,
fully formed infant.

Embryology teaches us that the eggs from which all animal forms evolve
are all practically alike so far as one can ascertain by microscopic
examination, no matter how diverse may be the forms which will evolve
from them, and this resemblance is maintained even when the embryo of
the higher forms begins to manifest traces of its future form. Von
Baer, the German scientist, was the first to note this remarkable and
suggestive fact. He stated it in the following words: "In my possession
are two little embryos, preserved in alcohol, whose names I have
omitted to attach, and at present I am unable to state to what class
they belong. They may be lizards, or small birds, or very young
mammals, so complete is the similarity in the mode of the formation of
the head and trunk in these animals. The extremities, however, are
still absent in these embryos. But even if they had existed in the
earliest stage of their development, we should learn nothing, for the
feet of lizards and mammals, the wings and feet of birds, no less than
the hands and feet of man, all arise from the same fundamental form."

As has been said by Prof. Clodd, "the embryos of all living creatures
epitomize during development the series of changes through which the
ancestral forms passed if their ascent from the simple to the complex;
the higher structures passing through the same stages as the lower
structures up to the point when they are marked off from them, yet
never becoming in detail the form which they represent for the time
being. For example, the embryo of man has at the outset gill-like slits
on each side of the neck, like a fish. These give place to a membrane
like that which supersedes gills in the development of birds and
reptiles; the heart is at first a simple pulsating chamber like that in
worms; the backbone is prolonged into a movable tail; the great toe is
extended, or opposable, like our thumbs, and like the toes of apes; the
body three months before birth is covered all over with hair except on
the palms and soles. At birth the head is relatively larger, and the
arms and legs relatively longer than in the adult; the nose is
bridgeless; both features, with others which need not be detailed,
being distinctly ape-like. Thus does the egg from which man springs, a
structure only one hundred and twenty-fifth of an inch in size,
compress into a few weeks the results of millions of years, and set
before us the history of his development from fish-like and reptilian
forms, and of his more immediate descent from a hairy, tailed
quadruped. That which is individual or peculiar to him, the physical
and mental character inherited, is left to the slower development which
follows birth."

This, then, in brief is the Western theory of Evolution--the Physical
Ascent of Man. We have given it as fully as might be in the small space
at our disposal in these lessons on the Yogi Philosophy. Why? Because
we wish to prove to the Western mind, in the Western way, that Western
Science corroborates the Ancient Yogi Teachings of the Unfoldment of
Living Forms, from Monad to Man. The Eastern teachers scorn to "prove"
anything to their pupils, who sit at the feet of teachers and accept as
truth that which is taught them, and which has been handed down from
the dim ages long past. But this method will never do for the Western
student--he must have it "proven" to him by physical facts and
instances, not by keen, subtle, intellectual reasoning alone. The
Eastern student wishes to be "told"--the Western student wishes to be
"shown." Herein lies the racial differences of method of imparting
knowledge. And so we have recognized this fact and have heaped up proof
after proof from the pages of Western Science, in order to prove to you
the reasonableness, from the Western point of view, of the doctrine of
Physical Unfoldment as taught for ages past by the Yogi _gurus_ to
their _chelas_. You have now the Eastern Teachings on the subject,
together with the testimony of Western Science to the reasonableness of
the idea.

But, alas! Western Science, while performing a marvelous work in piling
up fact after fact to support its newly-discovered theory of Evolution,
in a way utterly unknown to the Oriental thinker who seeks after
principles by mental concentration--_within_ rather than without--while
actually proving by physical facts the _mental_ conceptions of the
Oriental Teachings, still misses the vital point of the
subject-thought. In its materialistic tendencies it has failed to
recognize _the mental cause of the physical unfoldment_. It is true
that Lamark, the real Western discoverer of Evolution, taught that
Desire and Mental Craving, was the real force behind Evolution, but his
ideas were jeered at by his contemporaries, and are not regarded
seriously by the majority of Evolutionists even today. And yet he was
nearer to the truth than Darwin or any other Western Evolutionist. And
time will show that Science has overlooked his genius, which alone
throws the true light upon the subject.

In order to see just this difference between the Darwinian school and
the Yogi Teachings let us examine into what causes the Western
Evolutionists give for the fact of Evolution itself. We shall do this
briefly.

The Darwinians start out to explain the causes of the "Origin of
Species," with the statement that "no two individuals of the same
species are exactly alike; each tends to vary." This is a self-evident
fact, and is very properly used as a starting point for Variation. The
next step is then stated as "variations are transmitted, and therefore
tend to become permanent," which also is self-evident, and tends to
prove the reasonableness of the gradual evolution of species. The next
step in the argument is "as man produces new species and forms, by
breeding, culture, etc., so has Nature in a longer time produced the
same effect, in the same way." This also is reasonable, although it
tends to personify Nature, and to give it a _mind_ before the
evolutionists admit "mind" was evolved.

It will be as well to quote Darwin himself on this point. He says; "As
man can produce, and certainly has produced, a great result by his
methodical and unconscious means of selection, what may not natural
selection effect? Man can act only on external and visible characters,
while Nature, if I may be allowed to personify the natural preservation
or survival of the fittest, cares nothing for appearances except in so
far as they are useful to any being. She can act on every internal
organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on the whole
machinery of life. Man selects only for his own good; Nature only for
the good of the being which she tends. Every selected character is
fully exercised by her, as is implied by the fact of their selection.
Man keeps the natives of many climates in the same country; he seldom
exercises each selected character in some peculiar and fitting manner;
he feeds a long-beaked and a short-beaked pigeon on the same food; he
does not exercise a long-backed or long-legged quadruped in any
peculiar manner; he exposes sheep with long hair and short wool in the
same climate. He does not allow the most vigorous males to struggle for
the females. He does not rigidly destroy all inferior animals, but
protects during each varying season, so far as lies in his power, all
his productions. He often begins his selection by some half-monstrous
form, or at least by some modification prominent enough to catch the
eye or to be plainly useful to him. Under Nature the slightest
differences of structure or constitution may- well turn the nicely
balanced scale in the struggle for life, and so be preserved. How
fleeting are the wishes and efforts of man! how short his time! and
consequently how poor will be his results, compared with those
accumulated by nature during whole geological periods! Can we wonder,
then, that Nature's productions should be far 'truer' in character than
man's productions; that they should be infinitely better adapted to the
most complex conditions of life, and should plainly bear the stamp of
far higher workmanship?"

Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest is begun by the statement of
the fact that the number of organisms that survive are very small
compared with the number that are born. To quote his own words, "There
is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally
increases at so high a rate that, if not destroyed, the earth would
soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair. Even slow-breeding man
has doubled in twenty-five years, and at this rate in less than a
thousand years there would literally not be standing room for the
progeny." It has been computed that if the offspring of the elephant,
which is believed to be the slowest breeding animal known, were to
survive, there would be about 20,000,000 elephants on the earth in 750
years. The roe of a single cod contains eight or nine millions of eggs,
and if each egg were to hatch, and the fish survive, the sea would
shortly become a solid mass of codfish. The house fly is said to have
20,000,000 descendants in a season, counting several generations of
progeny, from its several broods. And some scientist has computed that
the _aphis_, or plant-louse, breeds so rapidly, and in such enormous
quantity, that the tenth generation of one set of parents would be so
large that it would contain more ponderable animal matter than would
the population of China, which is estimated at 500,000,000! And this
without counting the progeny preceding the tenth generation!

The result of the above conditions is very plain. There must ensue a
Struggle for Existence, which necessitates the Survival of the Fittest.
The weak are crushed out by the strong; the swift out-distance the
slow. The individual forms or species best adapted to their environment
and best equipped for the struggle, be the equipment physical or
mental, survive those less well equipped or less well adapted to
environment. Animals evolving variations in structure that give them
even a slight advantage over others not so favored, naturally have a
better chance to survive. And this, briefly, is what Evolutionists call
"The Survival of the Fittest."

As appertaining to the Struggle for Existence, color and mimicry are
important factors. Grant Allen, in his work on Darwin, says concerning
this, and also as illustrating "Natural Selection": "In the desert with
its monotonous sandy coloring, a black insect or a white insect, still
more a red insect or a blue insect, would be immediately detected and
devoured by its natural enemies, the birds and the lizards. But any
greyish or yellowish insects would be less likely to attract attention
at first sight, and would be overlooked as long as there were any more
conspicuous individuals of their own kind about for the birds and
lizards to feed on. Hence, in a very short time the desert would be
depopulated of all but the greyest and yellowest insects; and among
these the birds would pick out those which differed most markedly in
hue and shade from the sand around them. But those which happened to
vary most in the direction of a sandy or spotty color would be more
likely to survive, and to become the parents of future generations.
Thus, in the course of long ages, all the insects which inhabit deserts
have become sand-colored, because the less sandy were perpetually
picked out for destruction by their ever-watchful foes, while the most
sandy escaped, and multiplied and replenished the earth with their own
likes."

Prof. Clodd, remarking upon this fact, adds: "Thus, then, is explained
the tawny color of the larger animals that inhabit the desert; the
stripes upon the tiger, which parallel with the vertical stems of
bamboo, conceal him as he stealthily nears his prey; the brilliant
green of tropical birds; the leaf-like form and colors of certain
insects; the dried, twig-like form of many caterpillars; the bark-like
appearance of tree-frogs; the harmony of the ptarmigan's summer plumage
with the lichen-colored stones upon which it sits; the dusky color of
creatures that haunt the night; the bluish transparency of animals
which live on the surface of the sea; the gravel-like color of
flat-fish that live at the bottom; and the gorgeous tints of those that
swim among the coral reefs."

All this does not run contrary to the Yogi Philosophy, although the
latter would regard these things as but the secondary cause for the
variation and survival of species, etc. The Oriental teachings are that
it is the _desire_ of the animal that _causes_ it to assume the colors
and shapes in accordance with its environment, the desire of course
operating along sub-conscious lines of physical manifestation. The
mental influence, which is the real cause of the phenomena, and which
is taught as such by the Yogis, is almost lost sight of by the Western
Evolutionists, who are apt to regard Mind as a "by-product" of matter.
On the contrary, _the Yogis regard Matter as the product of Mind_. But
there is no conflict here as far as regards the law of the Survival of
the Fittest. The insects that _most desired_ to become sand-colored
became so, and were thus protected, while their less "desireful"
brethren were exterminated. The Western scientist explains the outward
phenomena, but does not look for the _cause_ behind it, which is taught
by the Oriental sages.

The doctrine of "Sexual Selection" is another of the leading tenets of
the Darwinists. Briefly, it may be expressed as the theory that in the
rivalry and struggle of the males for the females the strongest males
win the day, and thus transmit their particular qualities to their
offspring. Along the same lines is that of the attraction exerted by
bright colors in the plumage of the males of birds, etc., which give
them an advantage in the eyes of the females, and thus, naturally, the
bright colors are perpetuated.

This, then, is the brief outline of the Story of Man's Physical
Evolution, as stated by Western Science, and compared with the Yogi
Teachings. The student should compare the two ideas, that he may
harmonize and reconcile them. It must be remembered, however, that
Darwin did _not_ teach that Man descended from the monkeys, or apes, as
we know them now. The teaching of Western Evolution is that the apes,
and higher forms of monkey life descended from some common ancestral
form, which same ancestor was also the ancestor of Man. In other words,
Man and Apes are the different branches that emerged from the common
trunk ages ago. Other forms doubtless emerged from the same trunk, and
perished because less adapted to their environments. The Apes were best
adapted to their own environments, and Man was best adapted to his. The
weaker branches failed.

One must remember that the most savage races known to us today are
practically as far different from the highest American, European or
Hindu types of Man as from the highest Apes. Indeed, it would seem far
easier for a high Ape to evolve into a Kaffir, Hottentot, or Digger
Indian, than for the latter to evolve into an Emerson, Shakespeare, or
Hindu Sage. As Huxley has shown, the brain-structure of Man compared
with that of the Chimpanzee shows differences but slight when compared
with the difference between that of the Chimpanzee and that of the
Lemur. The same authority informs us that in the important feature of
the deeper brain furrows, and intricate convolutions, the chasm between
the highest civilized man and the lowest savage is far greater than
between the lowest savage and the highest man-like ape. Darwin,
describing the Fuegians, who are among the very lowest forms of
savages, says: "Their very signs and expressions are less intelligible
to us than those of the domesticated animal. They are men who do not
possess the instinct of those animals, nor yet appear to boast of human
reason, or at least of arts consequent upon that reason."

Professor Clodd, in describing the "primitive man," says: "Doubtless he
was lower than the lowest of the savages of today--a powerful, cunning
biped, with keen sense organs always sharper, in virtue of constant
exercise, in the savage than in the civilized man (who supplements them
by science), strong instincts, uncontrolled and fitful emotions, small
faculty of wonder, and nascent reasoning power; unable to forecast
tomorrow, or to comprehend yesterday, living from hand to mouth on the
wild products of Nature, clothed in skin and bark, or daubed with clay,
and finding shelter in trees and caves; ignorant of the simplest arts,
save to chip a stone missile, and perhaps to produce fire; strong in
his needs of life and vague sense of right to it and to what he could
get, but slowly impelled by common perils and passions to form ties,
loose and haphazard at the outset, with his kind, the power of
combination with them depending on sounds, signs and gestures."

Such was the ancestral man. Those who are interested in him are
referred to the two wonderful tales of the cave-man written in the form
of stories by two great modern novelists. The books referred to are (1)
"_The Story of Ab_," by Stanley Waterloo, and (2) "_Before Adam_," by
Jack London. They may be obtained from any bookseller. Both are works
of fiction, with the scientific facts cleverly interwoven into them.

And now in conclusion before we pass on the subject of "Spiritual
Evolution," which will form the subject of our next lesson, we would
again call your attention to the vital difference between the Western
and the Eastern Teachings. The Western holds to a mechanical theory of
life, which works without the necessity of antecedent Mind, the latter
appearing as a "product" at a certain stage. The Eastern holds _that
Mind is back of, under, and antecedent to all the work of
Evolution_--the _cause_, not the effect or product. The Western claims
that Mind was produced by the struggle of Matter to produce higher
forms of itself. _The Eastern claims that the whole process of
Evolution is caused by Mind striving, struggling and pressing forward
toward expressing itself more fully--to liberate itself from the
confining and retarding Matter--the struggle resulting in an Unfoldment
which causes sheath after sheath of the confining material bonds to be
thrown off and discarded, in the effort to release the confined Spirit
which is behind even the Mind. The Yogi Teachings are that the
Evolutionary Urge is the pressure of the confined Spirit striving to
free itself from the fetters and bonds which sorely oppress it_.

The struggle and pain of Evolution is the parturition-pangs of the
Spiritual deliverance from the womb of Matter. Like all birth it is
attended by pain and suffering, but the end justifies it all. And as
the human mother forgets her past suffering in the joy of witnessing
the face, and form, and life, of her loved child, so will the soul
forget the pain of the Spiritual birth by reason of the beauty and
nobility of that which will be born to and from it.

Let us study well the story of Physical Evolution, but let us not lose
ourselves in it, for it is but the preliminary to the story of the
Unfoldment of the Soul.

Let us not despise the tale of the Body of Man--for it is the story of
the Temple of the Spirit which has been built up from the most humble
beginnings, until it has reached the present high stage. And yet even
this is but the beginning, for the work will go on, and on, and on, in
the spirit of those beautiful lines of Holmes:

     "Build thee more stately mansions, oh, my soul!
     As the swift seasons roll!
     Leave thy low-vaulted past!
     Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
     Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
     Till thou at last _art free_,
     Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea."



THE NINTH LESSON


METEMPSYCHOSIS.

As we have said in our last lesson, while the Yogi Teachings throw an
important light upon the Western theory of Evolution, still there is a
vital difference between the Western scientific teachings on the
subject and the Eastern theories and teachings. The Western idea is
that the process is a mechanical, material one, and that "mind" is a
"by-product" of Matter in its evolution. But the Eastern Teachings hold
that Mind is under, back of, and antecedent to all the work of
Evolution, and that Matter is a "by-product" of Mind, rather than the
reverse.

The Eastern Teachings hold that Evolution is caused by Mind striving,
struggling, and pressing forward toward fuller and fuller expression,
using Matter as a material, and yet always struggling to free itself
from the confining and retarding influence of the latter. The struggle
results in an Unfoldment, causing sheath after sheath of the confining
material bonds to be thrown off and discarded, as the Spirit presses
upon the Mind, and the Mind moulds and shapes the Matter. Evolution is
but the process of birth of the Individualized Spirit, from the web of
Matter in which it has been confined. And the pains and struggles are
but incidents of the spiritual parturition.

In this and following lessons we shall consider the "Spiritual
Evolution, of the race--that is the Unfoldment of Individualized
Spirit--just as we did the subject Physical Evolution in the last two
lessons.

We have seen that preceding Spiritual Evolution, there was a Spiritual
Involution. The Yogi Philosophy holds that in the Beginning, the
Absolute meditated upon the subject of Creation, and formed a Mental
Image, or Thought-Form, of an Universal Mind--that is, of an Universal
Principle of Mind. This Universal Principle of Mind is the Great Ocean
of "Mind-Stuff" from which all the phenomenal Universe is evolved. From
this Universal Principle of Mind, proceeded the Universal Principle of
Force or Energy. And from the latter, proceeded the Universal Principle
of Matter.

The Universal Principle of Mind was bound by Laws imposed upon it by
the mental-conception of the Absolute--the Cosmic Laws of Nature. And
these laws were the compelling causes of the Great Involution. For
before Evolution was possible, Involution was necessary. We have
explained that the word "involve" means "to wrap up; to cover; to hide,
etc." Before a thing can be "evolved," that is "unfolded," it must
first be "involved," that is "wrapped up." A thing must be _put in_,
before it may be _taken out_.

Following the laws of Involution imposed upon it, the Universal Mental
Principle involved itself in the Universal Energy Principle; and then
in obedience to the same laws, the latter involved itself in the
Universal Material Principle. Each stage of Involution, or
_wrapping-up_, created for itself (out of the higher principle which in
being involved) the wrapper or sheath which is to be used to wrap-up
the higher principle. And the higher forms of the Material Principle
formed sheaths of lower forms, until forms of Matter were produced far
more gross than any known to us now, for they have disappeared in the
Evolutionary ascent. Down, down, down went the process of Involution,
until the lowest point was reached. Then ensued a moment's pause,
preceding the beginning of the Evolutionary Unfoldment.

Then began the Great Evolution. But, as we have told you, the Upward
movement was distinguished by the "Tendency toward Individualization."
That is, while the Involuntary Process was accomplished by Principles
as Principles, the Upward Movement was begun by a tendency toward
"splitting up," and the creation of "individual forms," and the effort
to perfect them and build upon them higher and still higher succeeding
forms, until a stage was reached in which the Temple of the Spirit was
worthy of being occupied by Man, the self-conscious expression of the
Spirit. For the coming of Man was the first step of a higher form of
Evolution--the Spiritual Evolution. Up to this time there had been
simply an Evolution of Bodies, but now there came the Evolution of
Souls.

And this Evolution of Souls becomes possible only by the process of
Metempsychosis (pronounced _me-temp-si-ko-sis_) which is more commonly
known as Reincarnation, or Re-embodiment.

It becomes necessary at this point to call your attention to the
general subject of Metempsychosis, for the reason that the public mind
is most confused regarding this important subject. It has the most
vague ideas regarding the true teachings, and has somehow acquired the
impression that the teachings are that human souls are re-born into the
bodies of dogs, and other animals. The wildest ideas on this subject
are held by some people. And, not only is this so, but even a number of
those who hold to the doctrine of Reincarnation, in some of its forms,
hold that their individual souls were once the individual souls of
animals, from which state they have evolved to the present condition.
This last is a perversion of the highest Yogi Teachings, and we trust
to make same plain in these lessons. But, first we must take a look at
the general subject of Metempsychosis, that we may see the important
part it has played in the field of human thought and belief.

While to many the idea of Metempsychosis may seem new and unfamiliar,
still it is one of the oldest conceptions of the race, and in ages past
was the accepted belief of the whole of the civilized race of man of
the period. And even today, it is accepted as Truth by the majority of
the race

The almost universal acceptance of the idea by the East with its
teeming life, counterbalances its comparative non-reception by the
Western people of the day. From the early days of written or legendary
history, Metempsychosis has been the accepted belief of many of the
most intelligent of the race. It is found underlying the magnificent
civilization of ancient Egypt, and from thence it traveled to the
Western world being held as the highest truth by such teachers as
Pythagoras, Empedocles, Plato, Virgil and Ovid. Plato's Dialogues are
full of this teaching. The Hindus have always held to it. The Persians,
inspired by their learned Magi, accepted it implicitly. The ancient
Druids, and Priests of Gaul, as well as the ancient inhabitants of
Germany, held to it. Traces of it may be found in the remains of the
Aztec, Peruvian and Mexican civilizations.

The Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece, the Roman Mysteries, and the Inner
Doctrines of the Cabbala of the Hebrews all taught the Truths of
Metempsychosis. The early Christian Fathers; the Gnostic and
Manichaeans and other sects of the Early Christian people, all held to
the doctrine. The modern German philosophers have treated it with the
greatest respect, if indeed they did not at least partially accept it.
Many modern writers have considered it gravely, and with respect. The
following quotations will give an idea of "how the wind is blowing" in
the West:

"Of all the theories respecting the origin of the soul, Metempsychosis
seems to me the most plausible and therefore the one most likely to
throw light on the question of a life to come."--_Frederick H. Hedge._

"It would be curious if we should find science and philosophy taking up
again the old theory of metempsychosis, remodelling' it to suit our
present modes of religious and scientific thought, and launching it
again on the wide ocean of human belief. But stranger things have
happened in the history of human opinions."--_James Freeman Clarke_.

"If we could legitimately determine any question of belief by the
number of its adherents, the ---- would apply to metempsychosis more
fitly than to any other. I think it is quite as likely to be revived
and to come to the front as any rival theory."--_Prof. Wm. Knight_.

"It seems to me, a firm and well-grounded faith in the doctrine of
Christian metempsychosis might help to regenerate the world. For it
would be a faith not hedged around with many of the difficulties and
objections which beset other forms of doctrine, and it offers distinct
and pungent motives for trying to lead a more Christian life, and for
loving and helping our brother-man."--_Prof. Francis Bowen_.

"The doctrine of Metempsychosis may almost claim to be a natural or
innate belief in the human mind, if we may judge from its wide
diffusion among the nations of the earth, and its prevalence throughout
the historical ages."--_Prof. Francis Bowen_.

"When Christianity first swept over Europe, the inner thought of its
leaders was deeply tinctured with this truth. The Church tried
ineffectually to eradicate it, but in various sects it kept sprouting
forth beyond the time of Erigina and Bonaventura, its mediaeval
advocates. Every great intuitional soul, as Paracelsus, Boehme, and
Swedenborg, has adhered to it. The Italian luminaries, Giordano Bruno
and Campanella. embraced it. The best of German philosophy is enriched
by it. In Schopenhauer, Lessing, Hegel, Leibnitz, Herder, and Fichte,
the younger, it is earnestly advocated. The anthropological systems of
Kant and Schelling furnish points of contact with it. The younger
Helmont, in _De Revolutione Animarum_, adduces in two hundred problems
all the arguments which may be urged in favor of the return of souls
into human bodies according to Jewish ideas. Of English thinkers, the
Cambridge Platonists defended it with much learning and acuteness, most
conspicuously Henry More; and in Cudsworth and Hume it ranks as the
most rational theory of immortality. Glanvil's _Lux Orientalis_ devotes
a curious treatise to it. It captivated the minds of Fourier and
Leroux. Andre Pezzani's book on _The Plurality of the Soul's Lives_
works out the system on the Roman Catholic idea of expiation."--E.D.
WALKER, in "_Re-Incarnation, a Study of Forgotten Truth_."

And in the latter part of the Nineteenth Century, and this the early
part of the Twentieth Century, the general public has been made
familiar with the idea of Metempsychosis, under the name of
Re-incarnation, by means of the great volume of literature issued by
The Theosophical Society and its allied following. No longer is the
thought a novelty to the Western thinker, and many have found within
themselves a corroborative sense of its truth. In fact, to many the
mere mention of the idea has been sufficient to awaken faint shadowy
memories of past lives, and, to such, many heretofore unaccountable
traits of character, tastes, inclinations, sympathies, dislikes, etc.,
have been explained.

The Western world has been made familiar with the idea of the re-birth
of souls into new bodies, under the term of "Re-incarnation," which
means "a re-entry into flesh," the word "incarnate" being derived from
the words "_in_," and "_carnis_," meaning flesh--the English word
meaning "to clothe with flesh," etc. The word Metempsychosis, which we
use in this lesson, is concerned rather with the "passage of the soul"
from one tenement to another, the "fleshly" idea being merely
incidental.

The doctrine of Metempsychosis, or Re-incarnation, together with its
accompanying doctrine, Karma, or Spiritual Cause and Effect, is one of
the great foundation stones of the Yogi Philosophy, as indeed it is of
the entire system of systems of Oriental Philosophy and Thought. Unless
one understands Metempsychosis he will never be able to understand the
Eastern Teachings, for he will be without the Key. You who have read
the _Bhagavad Gita_, that wonderful Hindu Epic, will remember how the
thread of Re-Birth runs through it all. You remember the words of
_Krishna_ to _Arjuna_: "As the soul, wearing this material body,
experienceth the stages of infancy, youth, manhood, and old age, even
so shall it, in due time, pass on to another body, and in other
incarnations shall it again live, and move and play its part." "These
bodies, which act as enveloping coverings for the souls occupying them,
are but finite things--things of the moment--and not the Real Man at
all. They perish as all finite things perish--let them perish." "As a
man throweth away his old garments, replacing them with new and
brighter ones, even so the Dweller of the body, having quitted its old
mortal frame, entereth into others which are new and freshly prepared
for it. Weapons pierce not the Real Man, nor doth the fire burn him;
the water affecteth him not, nor the wind drieth him nor bloweth him
away. For he is impregnable and impervious to these things of the world
of change--he is eternal, permanent, unchangeable, and
unalterable--Real."

This view of life gives to the one who holds to it, an entirely
different mental attitude. He no longer identifies himself with the
particular body that he may be occupying, nor with any other body for
that matter. He learns to regard his body just as he would a garment
which he is wearing, useful to him for certain purposes, but which will
in time be discarded and thrown aside for a better one, and one better
adapted to his new requirements and needs. So firmly is this idea
embedded in the consciousness of the Hindus, that they will often say
"My body is tired," or "My body is hungry," or "My body is full of
energy," rather than that "I am" this or that thing. And this
consciousness, once attained, gives to one a sense of strength,
security and power unknown to him who regards his body as himself. The
first step for the student who wishes to grasp the idea of
Metempsychosis, and who wishes to awaken in his consciousness a
certainty of its truth, is to familiarize himself with the idea of his
"I" being a thing independent and a part from his body, although using
the latter as an abiding place and a useful shelter and instrument for
the time being.

Many writers on the subject of Metempsychosis have devoted much time,
labor and argument to prove the reasonableness of the doctrine upon
purely speculative, philosophical, or metaphysical grounds. And while
we believe that such efforts are praiseworthy for the reason that many
persons must be first convinced in that way, still we feel that one
must really _feel_ the truth of the doctrine from something within his
own consciousness, before he will really _believe_ it to be truth. One
may convince himself of the logical necessity of the doctrine of
Metempsychosis, but at the same time he may drop the matter with a
shrug of the shoulders and a "still, who knows?" But when one begins to
feel within himself the awakening consciousness of a "something in the
past," not to speak of the flashes of memory, and feeling of former
acquaintance with the subject, then, and then only, does he begin to
_believe_.

Many people have had "peculiar experiences" that are accountable only
upon the hypothesis of Metempsychosis. Who has not experienced the
consciousness of having _felt the thing before_--_having thought it
some time in the dim past? Who has not witnessed new scenes that appear
old, very old? Who has not met persons for the first time, whose
presence awakened memories of a past lying far back in the misty ages
of long ago? Who has not been seized at times with the consciousness of
a mighty "oldness" of soul? Who has not heard music, often entirely new
compositions, which somehow awakens memories of similar strains,
scenes, places, faces, voices, lands, associations and events, sounding
dimly on the strings of memory as the breezes of the harmony floats
over them? Who has not gazed at some old painting, or piece of
statuary, with the sense of having seen it all before? Who has not
lived through events, which brought with them a certainty of being
merely a repetition of some shadowy occurrences away back in lives
lived long ago? Who has not felt the influence of the mountain, the
sea, the desert, coming to them when they are far from such
scenes--coming so vividly as to cause the actual scene of the present
to fade into comparative unreality. Who has not had these
experiences--we ask_?

Writers, poets, and others who carry messages to the world, have
testified to these things--and nearly every man or woman who hears the
message recognizes it as something having correspondence in his or her
own life. Sir Walter Scott tells us in his diary: "I cannot, I am sure,
tell if it is worth marking down, that yesterday, at dinner time, I was
strangely haunted by what I would call the sense of preexistence, viz.,
a confused idea that nothing that passed was said for the first time;
that the same topics had been discussed and the same persons had stated
the same opinions on them. The sensation was so strong as to resemble
what is called the mirage in the desert and a calenture on board ship."
The same writer, in one of his novels, "Guy Mannering," makes one of
his characters say: "Why is it that some scenes awaken thoughts which
belong as it were, to dreams of early and shadowy recollections, such
as old Brahmin moonshine would have ascribed to a state of previous
existence. How often do we find ourselves in society which we have
never before met, and yet feel impressed with a mysterious and
ill-defined consciousness that neither the scene nor the speakers nor
the subject are entirely new; nay, feel as if we could anticipate that
part of the conversation which has not yet taken place."

Bulwer speaks of "that strange kind of inner and spiritual memory which
so often recalls to us places and persons we have never seen before,
and which Platonists would resolve to be the unquenched consciousness
of a former life." And again, he says: "How strange is it that at times
a feeling comes over us as we gaze upon certain places, which
associates the scene either with some dim remembered and dreamlike
images of the Past, or with a prophetic and fearful omen of the Future.
Every one has known a similar strange and indistinct feeling at certain
times and places, and with a similar inability to trace the cause." Poe
has written these words on the subject: "We walk about, amid the
destinies of our world existence, accompanied by dim but ever present
memories of a Destiny more vast--very distant in the bygone time and
infinitely awful. We live out a youth peculiarly haunted by such
dreams, yet never mistaking them for dreams. As memories we know them.
During our youth the distinctness is too clear to deceive us even for a
moment. But the doubt of manhood dispels these feelings as illusions."

Home relates an interesting incident in his life, which had a marked
effect upon his beliefs, thereafter. He relates that upon an occasion
when he visited a strange house in London he was shown into a room to
wait. He says: "On looking around, to my astonishment everything
appeared perfectly familiar to me. I seemed to recognize every object.
I said to myself, 'What is this? I have never been here before, and yet
I have seen all this, and if so, then there must be a very peculiar
knot in that shutter.'" He proceeded to examine the shutter, and much
to his amazement the knot was there.

We have recently heard of a similar case, told by an old lady who
formerly lived in the far West of the United States. She states that
upon one occasion a party was wandering on the desert in her part of
the country, and found themselves out of water. As that part of the
desert was unfamiliar even to the guides, the prospect for water looked
very poor indeed. After a fruitless search of several hours, one of the
party, a perfect stranger to that part of the country, suddenly pressed
his hand to his head, and acted in a dazed manner, crying out "I know
that a water-hole is over to the right--this way," and away he started
with the party after him. After a half-hour's journey they reached an
old hidden water-hole that was unknown even to the oldest man in the
party. The stranger said that he did not understand the matter, but
that he had somehow experienced a sensation of _having been there
before_, and knowing just where the water-hole was located. An old
Indian who was questioned about the matter, afterward, stated that the
place had been well known to his people who formerly travelled much on
that part of the desert; and that they had legends relating to the
"hidden water-hole," running back for many generations. In this case,
it was remarked that the water-hole was situated in such a peculiar and
unusual manner, as to render it almost undiscoverable even to people
familiar with the characteristics of that part of the country. The old
lady who related the story, had it direct from the lips of one of the
party, who regarded it as "something queer," but who had never even
heard of Metempsychosis.

A correspondent of an English magazine writes as follows: "A gentleman
of high intellectual attainments, now deceased, once told me that he
had dreamed of being in a strange city, so vividly that he remembered
the streets, houses and public buildings as distinctly as those of any
place he ever visited. A few weeks later he was induced to visit a
panorama in Leicester Square, when he was startled by seeing the city
of which he had dreamed. The likeness was perfect, except that one
additional church appeared in the picture. He was so struck by the
circumstance that he spoke to the exhibitor, assuming for the purpose
the air of a traveller acquainted with the place, when he was informed
that the church was a recent erection." The fact of the addition of the
church, seems to place the incident within the rule of awakened
memories of scenes known in a past life, for clairvoyance, astral
travel, etc., would show the scene as it was at the time of the dream,
not as it had been years before.

Charles Dickens mentions a remarkable impression in his work "Pictures
from Italy." "In the foreground was a group of silent peasant girls,
leaning over the parapet of the little bridge, looking now up at the
sky, now down into the water; in the distance a deep dell; the shadow
of an approaching night on everything. If I had been murdered there in
some former life I could not have seemed to remember the place more
thoroughly, or with more emphatic chilling of the blood; and the real
remembrance of it acquired in that minute is so strengthened by the
imaginary recollection that I hardly think I could forget it."

We have recently met two people in America who had very vivid memories
of incidents in their past life. One of these, a lady, has a perfect
horror of large bodies of water, such as the Great Lakes, or the Ocean,
although she was born and has lived the greater part of her life
inland, far removed from any great body of water, She has a distinct
recollection of falling from a large canoe-shape vessel, of peculiar
lines, and drowning. She was quite overcome upon her first visit to the
Field Museum in Chicago, where there were exhibited a number of models
of queer vessels used by primitive people. She pointed out one similar
in shape, and lines, to the one she remembers as having fallen from in
some past life.

The second case mentioned is that of a married couple who met each
other in a country foreign to both, on their travels. They fell in love
with each other, and both have felt that their marriage was a reunion
rather than a new attachment. The husband one day shortly after their
marriage told his wife in a rather shamed-faced way that he had
occasional flashes of memory of having held in his arms, in the dim
past, a woman whose face he could not recall, but who wore a strange
necklace, he describing the details of the latter. The wife said
nothing, but after her husband had left for his office, she went to the
attic and unpacked an old trunk containing some odds and ends, relics,
heirlooms, etc., and drew from it an old necklace of peculiar pattern
that her grandfather had brought back from India, where he had lived in
his younger days, and which had been in the family ever since. She laid
the necklace on the table, so that her husband would see it upon his
return. The moment his eyes fell upon it, he turned white as death, and
gasped "My God! _that's the necklace!_"

A writer in a Western journal gives the following story of a Southern
woman. "When I was in Heidelberg, Germany, attending a convention of
Mystics, in company with some friends I paid my first visit to the
ruined Heidelberg Castle. As I approached it I was impressed with the
existence of a peculiar room in an inaccessible portion of the
building. A paper and pencil were provided me, and I drew a diagram of
the room even to its peculiar floor. My diagram and description were
perfect, when we afterwards visited the room. In some way, not yet
clear to me, I have been connected with that apartment. Still another
impression came to me with regard to a book, which I was made to feel
was in the old library of the Heidelberg University. I not only knew
what the book was, but even felt that a certain name of an old German
professor would be found written in it. Communicating this feeling to
one of the Mystics at the convention, a search was made for the volume,
but it was not found. Still the impression clung to me, and another
effort was made to find the book; this time we were rewarded for our
pains. Sure enough, there on the margin of one of the leaves was the
very name I had been given in such a strange manner. Other things at
the same time went to convince me that I was in possession of the soul
of a person who had known Heidelberg two or three centuries ago."

A contributor to an old magazine relates, among other instances, the
following regarding a friend who remembers having died in India during
the youth of some former life. He states: "He sees the bronzed
attendants gathered about his cradle in their white dresses: they are
fanning him. And as they gaze he passes into unconsciousness. Much of
his description concerned points of which he knew nothing from any
other source, but all was true to the life, and enabled me to fix on
India as the scene which he recalled."

While comparatively few among the Western races are able to remember
more than fragments of their past lives, in India it is quite common
for a man well developed spiritually to clearly remember the incidents
and details of former incarnations, and the evidence of the awakening
of such power causes little more than passing interest among his
people. There is, as we shall see later, a movement toward conscious
Metempsychosis, and many of the race are just moving on to that plane.
In India the highly developed individuals grow into a clear
recollection of their past lives when they reach the age of puberty,
and when their brains are developed sufficiently to grasp the knowledge
locked up in the depths of the soul. In the meantime the individual's
memory of the past is locked away in the recesses of his mind, just as
are many facts and incidents of his present life so locked away, to be
remembered only when some one mentions the subject, or some
circumstance serves to supply the associative link to the apparently
forgotten matter.

Regarding the faculty of memory in our present lives, we would quote
the following from the pen of Prof. William Knight, printed in the
Fortnightly Review. He says: "Memory of the details of the past is
absolutely impossible. The power of the conservative faculty, though
relatively great, is extremely limited. We forget the larger portion of
experience soon after we have passed through it, and we should be able
to recall the particulars of our past years, filling all the missing
links of consciousness since we entered on the present life, before we
were in a position to remember our ante-natal experience. Birth must
necessarily be preceded by crossing the river of oblivion, while the
capacity for fresh acquisition survives, and the garnered wealth of old
experience determines the amount and character of the new."

Another startling evidence of the proof of Metempsychosis is afforded
us in the cases of "infant prodigies," etc., which defy any other
explanation. Take the cases of the manifestation of musical talent in
certain children at an early age, for instance. Take the case of Mozart
who at the age of four was able to not only perform difficult pieces on
the piano, but actually composed original works of merit. Not only did
he manifest the highest faculty of sound and note, but also an
instinctive ability to compose and arrange music, which ability was
superior to that of many men who had devoted years of their life to
study and practice. The laws of harmony--the science of commingling
tones, was to him not the work of years, but a faculty born in him.
There are many similar cases of record.

Heredity does not explain these instances of genius, for in many of the
recorded cases, none of the ancestors manifested any talent or ability.
From whom did Shakespeare inherit his genius? From whom did Plato
derive his wonderful thought? From what ancestor did Abraham Lincoln
inherit his character--coming from a line of plain, poor, hard-working
people, and possessing all of the physical attributes and
characteristics of his ancestry, he, nevertheless, manifested a mind
which placed him among the foremost of his race. Does not
Metempsychosis give us the only possible key? Is it not reasonable to
suppose that the abilities displayed by the infant genius, and the
talent of the men who spring from obscure origin, have their root in
the experiences of a previous life?

Then take the cases of children at school. Children of even the same
family manifest different degrees of receptivity to certain studies.
Some "take to" one thing, and some to another. Some find arithmetic so
easy that they almost absorb it intuitively, while grammar is a hard
task for them; while their brothers and sisters find the exact reverse
to be true. How many have found that when they would take up some new
study, it is almost like recalling something already learned. Do you
student, who are now reading these lines take your own case. Does not
all this Teaching seem to you like the repetition of some lesson
learned long ago? Is it not like remembering something already learned,
rather than the learning of some new truth? Were you not attracted to
these studies, in the first place, by a feeling that you had known it
all before, somewhere, somehow? Does not your mind leap ahead of the
lesson, and see what is coming next, long before you have turned the
pages? These inward evidences of the fact of pre-existence are so
strong that they outweigh the most skillful appeal to the intellect.

This intuitive knowledge of the truth of Metempsychosis explains why
the belief in it is sweeping over the Western world at such a rapid
rate. The mere mention of the idea, to many people who have never
before heard of it, is sufficient to cause them to recognize its truth.
And though they may not understand the laws of its operation, yet deep
down in their consciousness they find a something that convinces them
of its truth. In spite of the objections that are urged against the
teaching, it is making steady headway and progress.

The progress of the belief in Metempsychosis however has been greatly
retarded by the many theories and dogmas attached to it by some of the
teachers. Not to speak of the degrading ideas of re-birth into the
bodies of animals, etc., which have polluted the spring of Truth, there
are to be found many other features of teaching and theory which repel
people, and cause them to try to kill out of the minds the glimmer of
Truth that they find there. The human soul instinctively revolts
against the teaching that it is bound to the wheel or re-birth,
_willy-nilly_, compulsorily, without choice--compelled to live in body
after body until great cycles are past. The soul, perhaps already sick
of earth-life, and longing to pass on to higher planes of existence,
fights against such teaching. And it does well to so fight, for the
truth is nearer to its hearts desire. There is no soul longing that
does not carry with it the prophecy of its own fulfillment, and so it
is in this case. It is true that the soul of one filled with earthly
desires, and craving for material things, will by the very force of
those desires be drawn back to earthly re-birth in a body best suited
for the gratification of the longings, desires and cravings that it
finds within itself. But it is likewise true that the earth-sick soul
is not compiled to return unless its own desires bring it back. Desire
is the key note of Metempsychosis, although up to a certain stage it
may operate unconsciously. The sum of the desires of a soul regulate
its re-birth. Those who have become sickened of all that earth has for
them at this stage of its evolution, may, and do, rest in states of
existence far removed from earth scenes, until the race progresses far
enough to afford the resting soul the opportunities and environments
that it so earnestly craves.

And more than this, when Man reaches a certain stage, the process of
Metempsychosis no longer remains unconscious, but he enters into a
conscious knowing, willing passage from one life to another. And when
that stage is reached a full memory of the past lives is unfolded, and
life to such a soul becomes as the life of a day, succeeded by a night,
and then the awakening into another day with full knowledge and
recollection of the events of the day before. We are in merely the
babyhood of the race now, and the fuller life of the conscious soul
lies before us. Yea, even now it is being entered into by the few of
the race that have progressed sufficiently far on the Path. And you,
student, who feel within you that craving for conscious re-birth and
future spiritual evolution, and the distaste for, and horror of, a
further blind, unconscious re-plunge into the earth-life--know you,
that this longing on your part is but an indication of what lies before
you. It is the strange, subtle, awakening of the nature within you,
which betokens the higher state. Just as the young person feels within
his or her body strange emotions, longings and stirrings, which betoken
the passage from the child state into that of manhood or womanhood, so
do these spiritual longings, desires and cravings betoken the passage
from unconscious re-birth into conscious knowing Metempsychosis, when
you have passed from the scene of your present labors.

In our next lesson we shall consider the history of the race as its
souls passed on from the savage tribes to the man of to-day. It is the
history of the race--the history of the individual--your own history,
student--the record of that through which you have passed to become
that which you now are. And as you have climbed step after step up the
arduous path, so will you, hereafter climb still higher paths, but no
longer in unconsciousness, but with your spiritual eyes wide open to
the Rays of Truth pouring forth from the great Central Sun--the
Absolute.

Concluding this lesson, we would quote two selections from the American
poet, Whitman, whose strange genius was undoubtedly the result of vague
memories springing from a previous life, and which burst into
utterances often not more than half understood by the mind that gave
them birth. Whitman says:

     "Facing West from California's shores,
     Inquiring, tireless, seeking what is yet unfound,
     A, a child, very old, over waves, toward the house of
       maternity, the land of migrations, look afar,
     Look off the shores of my Western sea, the circle
       almost circled:
     For starting Westward from Hindustan, from the
       vales of Kashmere,
     From Asia, from the north, from God, the sage, and
       the hero,
     From the south, from the flowery peninsulas and
       spice islands,
     Long having wandered since, round the earth having
       wandered,
     Now I face home again, very pleased and joyous.
     (But where is what I started for so long ago?
     And why is it yet unfound?)"

       *       *       *       *       *

     "I know I am deathless.

     I know that this orbit of mine cannot be swept by a
       carpenter's compass;
     And whether I come to my own to-day, or in ten
       thousand or ten million years,

     I can cheerfully take it now or with equal cheerfulness
       can wait."

      *       *       *       *       *

     "As to you, Life, I reckon you are the leavings of
       many deaths.
     No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Births have brought us richness and variety, and
       other births have brought us richness and variety."

       *       *       *       *       *


And this quotation from the American poet N.P. Willis:

     "But what a mystery this erring mind?
     It wakes within a frame of various powers
     A stranger in a new and wondrous world.
     It brings an instinct from some other sphere,
     For its fine senses are familiar all,
     And with the unconscious habit of a dream
     It calls and they obey. The priceless sight
     Springs to its curious organ, and the ear
     Learns strangely to detect the articulate air
     In its unseen divisions, and the tongue
     Gets its miraculous lesson with the rest,
     And in the midst of an obedient throng
     Of well trained ministers, the mind goes forth
     To search the secrets of its new found home."



THE TENTH LESSON


SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION.

One of the things that repel many persons who have had their attention
directed to the subject of Metempsychosis for the first time, is the
idea that they have evolved _as a soul_ from individual lowly forms,
for instance that they have at one time been an individual plant, and
then an individual animal form, and then an individual higher animal
form, and so on until now they are the particular individual human form
contemplating the subject. This idea, which has been taught by many
teachers, is repellent to the average mind, for obvious reasons, and
naturally so, for it has no foundation in truth.

While this lesson is principally concerned with the subject of the
Spiritual Evolution of the human soul, since it became a human soul,
still it may be as well to mention the previous phase of evolution,
briefly, in order to prevent misconception, and to dispel previously
acquired error.

The atom, although it possesses life and a certain degree of mind, and
acts as an individual temporarily, has no permanent individuality that
reincarnates. When the atom is evolved it becomes a centre of energy in
the great atomic principle, and when it is finally dissolved it
resolves itself back into its original state, and its life as an
individual atom ceases, although the experience it has gained becomes
the property of the entire principle. It is as if a body of water were
to be resolved into millions of tiny dew-drops for a time, and each
dew-drop was then to acquire certain outside material in solution. In
that case, each dew-drop when it again returned to the body of water,
would carry with it its foreign material, which would become the
property of the whole. And subsequently formed dew-drops would carry in
their substance a particle of the foreign matter brought back home by
the previous generation of dewdrops, and would thus be a little
different from their predecessors. And this process, continuing for
many generations of dew-drops, would ultimately cause the greatest
changes in the composition of the successive generations.

This, in short, is the story of the change and improving forms of life.
From the atoms into the elements; from the lower elements into those
forming protoplasm; from the protoplasm to the lower forms of animal
life; from these lower forms on to higher forms--this is the story. But
it is all a counterpart of the dew-drop and the body of water, _until
the human soul is evolved_.

The plants and the lower forms of animal life are not permanent
individual souls, but each family is a _group-soul_ corresponding to
the body of water from which the dew-drop arose. From these family
group-souls gradually break off minor groups, representing species, and
so on into sub-species. At last when the forms reach the plane of man,
the group-soul breaks itself up into _permanent individual souls_, and
true Metempsychosis begins. That is, _each individual human soul
becomes a permanent individual entity_, destined to evolve and perfect
itself along the lines of spiritual evolution.

And from this point begins our story of Spiritual Evolution.

The story of Man, the Individual, begins amidst humble surroundings.
Primitive man, but little above the level of the lower animals in point
of intelligence, has nevertheless that distinguishing mark of
Individuality--"Self-Consciousness," which is the demarkation between
Beast and Man. And even the lowest of the lowest races had at least a
"trace" of this Self-Consciousness, which made of them individuals, and
caused the fragment of the race-soul to separate itself from the
general principle animating the race, and to fasten its "I" conscious
upon itself, rather than upon the underlying race-soul, along
instinctive lines. Do you know just what this Self-Consciousness is,
and how it differs from the Physical Consciousness of the lower
animals? Perhaps we had better pause a moment to consider it at this
place.

The lower animals are of course conscious of the bodies, and their
wants, feelings, emotions, desires, etc., and their actions are in
response to the animating impulses coming from this plane of
consciousness. But it stops there. They "know," but they do not "know
that they know"; that is, they have not yet arrived at a state in which
they can think of themselves as "I," and to reason upon their thoughts
and mental operations. It is like the consciousness of a very young
child, which feels and knows its sensations and wants, but is unable to
think of itself as "I," and to turn the mental gaze inward. In another
book of these series we have used the illustration of the horse which
has been left standing out in the cold sleet and rain, and which
undoubtedly feels and knows the unpleasant sensations arising
therefrom, and longs to get away from the unpleasant environment. But,
still, he is unable to analyze his mental states and wonder whether his
master will come out to him soon, or think how cruel it is to keep him
out of his warm comfortable stable; or wonder whether he will be taken
out in the cold rain again tomorrow; or feel envious of other horses
who are indoors; or wonder why he is kept out cold nights, etc., etc.
In short, the horse is unable to think as would a reasoning man under
just the same circumstances. He is aware of the discomfort, just as
would be the man; and he would run away home, if he were able, just as
would the man. But he is not able to pity himself, nor to think about
his personality, as would a man--he is not able to wonder whether life
is worth the living, etc., as would a man. He "knows" but is not able
to reflect upon the "knowing."

In the above illustration, the principal point is that the horse does
not "know himself" as an entity, while even the most primitive man is
able to so recognize himself as an "I." If the horse were able to think
in words, he would think "feel," "cold," "hurt," etc., but he would be
unable to think "_I_ feel; _I_ am cold; _I_ am hurt," etc. The thought
"I" would be missing.

It is true that the "I" consciousness of the primitive man was slight,
and was but a degree above the Physical Consciousness of the higher
apes, but nevertheless it had sprung into being, never again to be
lost. The primitive man was like a child a few years old--he was able
to say "I," and to think "I." _He had become an individual soul._

And this individual soul inhabited and animated a body but little
removed from that of an ape. But this new consciousness began to mould
that rude body and the ascent was begun. Each generation showed a
physical improvement over that of the preceding one, according to the
lines of physical evolution, and as the developing soul demanded more
perfect and developed bodies the bodies were evolved to meet the
demand, for the mental demand has ever been the cause of the physical
form.

The soul of the primitive man reincarnated almost immediately after the
death of the physical body, because the experiences gained were mostly
along the lines of the physical, the mental planes being scarcely
brought into play, while the higher and spiritual faculties were almost
entirely obscured from sight. Life after life the soul of the primitive
man lived out in rapid succession. But in each new embodiment there was
a slight advance over that of the previous one. Experience, or rather
the result of experiences, were carried over, and profited by. New
lessons were learned and unlearned, improved upon or discarded. And the
race grew and unfolded.

After a time the number of advancing souls which had outstripped their
fellows in progress became sufficiently large for sub-races to be
formed, and so the branching off process began. In this way the various
races and types were formed, and the progress of Mankind gained
headway. At this point we may as well consider the history of the Races
of Mankind, that we may see how the great tide-wave of Soul has ever
pressed onward, marking higher and still higher stages of progress, and
also how the various minor waves of the great wave pushed in and then
receded, only to be followed by still higher waves. The story is most
interesting.

The Yogi Teachings inform us that the Grand Cycle of Man's Life on the
Earth is composed of Seven Cycles, of which we are now living in the
third-seventh part of the Fifth Cycle. These Cycles may be spoken of as
the Great Earth Periods, separated from each other by some great
natural cataclysm which destroyed the works of the previous races of
men, and which started afresh the progress called "civilization,"
which, as all students know, manifests a rise and fall like unto that
of the tides.

Man in the First Cycle emerged from a gross animal-like state into a
condition somewhat advanced. It was a slow progress, but nevertheless a
distinct series of advances were made by the more progressive souls who
passed over on to the Second Cycle, embodying themselves as the ruling
races in the same, their less progressive brothers incarnating in the
lower tribes of the Second Cycle. It must be remembered that the souls
which do not advance during a Cycle reincarnate in the next Cycle among
the lower races. So that even in this Fifth Cycle we have remnants of
the previous cycles, the lives of the members of which give us an idea
of what life in the earlier cycles must have been.

The Yogi Teachings give us but little information regarding the people
of the First and Second Cycles, because of the low state of these ages.
The tale, if told, would be the story of the Cave-dweller, and
Stone-age people; the Fire-peoples, and all the rest of savage,
barbarian crew; there was but little trace of anything like that which
we call "civilization," although in the latter periods of the Second
Cycle the foundations for the coming civilizations were firmly laid.

After the cataclysm which destroyed the works of Man of the Second
Cycle, and left the survivors scattered or disorganized, awaiting the
touch of the organizing urge which followed shortly afterward, there
dawned the first period of the Third Cycle. The scene of the life of
the Third Cycle was laid in what is known to Occultists as Lemuria.
Lemuria was a mighty continent situated in what is now known as the
Pacific Ocean, and parts of the Indian Ocean. It included Australia,
Australasia, and other portions of the Pacific islands, which are in
fact surviving portions of the great continent of Lemuria, its highest
points, the lower portion having sunk beneath the seas ages and ages
ago.

Life in Lemuria is described as being principally concerned with the
physical senses, and sensual enjoyment, only a few developed souls
having broken through the fetters of materiality and reached the
beginnings of the mental and spiritual planes of life. Some few indeed
made great progress and were saved from the general wreck, in order to
become the leaven which would lighten the mass of mankind during the
next Cycle. These developed souls were the teachers of the new races,
and were looked upon by the latter as gods and supernatural beings, and
legends and traditions concerning them are still existent among the
ancient peoples of our present day. Many of the myths of the ancient
peoples arose in this way.

The Yogi traditions hold that just prior to the great cataclysm which
destroyed the races of the Second Cycle, there was a body of the Chosen
Ones which migrated from Lemuria to certain islands of the sea which
are now part of the main land of India. These people formed the nucleus
of the Occult Teachings of the Lemurians, and developed into the Fount
of Truth which has been flowing ever since throughout the successive
periods and cycles.

When Lemuria passed away, there arose from the depths of the ocean the
continent which was to be the scene of the life and civilization of the
Fourth Cycle--the continent of Atlantis. Atlantis was situated in a
portion of what is now known as the Atlantic Ocean, beginning at what
is now known as the Caribbean Sea and extending over to the region of
what is now known as Africa. What are now known as Cuba and the West
Indies were among the highest points of the continent, and now stand
like monuments to its departed greatness.

The civilization of Atlantis was remarkable, and its people attained
heights which seem almost incredible to even those who are familiar
with the highest achievements of man in our own times. The Chosen Ones
preserved from the cataclysm which destroyed Lemuria, and who lived to
a remarkably old age, had stored up within their minds the wisdom and
learning of the races that had been destroyed, and they thus gave the
Atlanteans an enormous starting-advantage. They soon attained great
advancement along all the lines of human endeavor. They perfected
mechanical inventions and appliances, reaching far ahead of even our
present attainments. In the field of electricity especially they
reached the stages that our present races will reach in about two or
three hundred years from now. Along the lines of Occult Attainment
their progress was far beyond the dreams of the average man of our own
race, and in fact from this arose one of the causes of their downfall,
for they prostituted the power to base and selfish uses, and Black
Magic.

And, so the decline of Atlantis began. But the end did not come at
once, or suddenly, but gradually. The continent, and its surrounding
islands gradually sank beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the
process occupying over 10,000 years. The Greeks and Romans of our own
Cycle had traditions regarding the sinking of the continent, but their
knowledge referred only to the disappearance of the small
remainder--certain islands--the continent itself having disappeared
thousands of years before their time. It is recorded that the Egyptian
priests had traditions that the continent itself had disappeared nine
thousand years before their time. As was the case with the Chosen Ones
of Lemuria, so was it with the Elect of Atlantis, who were taken away
from the doomed land some time prior to its destruction. The few
advanced people left their homes and migrated to portions of what are
now South America and Central America, but which were then islands of
the sea. These people have left their traces of their civilization and
works, which our antiquaries are discovering to-day.

When the Fifth Cycle dawned (our own cycle, remember) these brave and
advanced souls acted as the race-teachers and became as "gods" to those
who came afterward. The races were very prolific, and multiplied very
rapidly under the most favorable conditions. The souls of the
Atlanteans were pressing forward for embodiment, and human forms were
born to supply the demand. And now begins the history of our own
Cycle--the Fifth Cycle.

But before we begin a consideration of the Fifth Cycle, let us consider
for a moment a few points about the laws operating to cause these great
changes.

In the first place, each Cycle has a different theatre for its work and
action. The continent of Lemuria was not in existence during the Second
Cycle, and arose from the ocean bed only when its appointed time came.
And, likewise the continent of Atlantis reposed beneath the waves while
the Lemurian races manifested during the Third Cycle, rising by means
of a convulsion of the earth's surface to play its part during its own
period--the Fourth Cycle--only to sink again beneath the waves to make
way for the birth of the Fifth Cycle with its races. By means of these
cataclysms the races of each Cycle were wiped out when the time came,
the few Elect or Chosen ones, that is those who have manifested the
right to live on, being carried away to some favorable environment
where they became as leaven to the mass--as "gods" to the new races
that quickly appear.

It must be remembered, however, that these Chosen Ones are not the only
ones saved from the destruction that overtakes the majority of the
race. On the contrary a few survivors are preserved, although driven
away from their former homes, and reduced to "first principles of
living" in order to become the parents of the new races. The new races
springing from the fittest of these survivors quickly form sub-races,
being composed of the better adapted souls seeking reincarnation, while
the less fit sink into barbarism, and show evidences of decay, although
a remnant drags on for thousands of years, being composed of the souls
of those who have not advanced sufficiently to take a part in the life
of the new races. These "left-overs" are in evidence in our own times
in the cases of the Australian savages, and some of the African tribes,
as well as among the Digger Indians and others of similar grade of
intelligence.

In order to understand the advance of each race it must be remembered
that the more advanced souls, after passing out of the body, have a
much longer period of rest in the higher planes, and consequently do
not present themselves for reincarnation until a period quite late when
compared with the hasty reincarnation of the less advanced souls who
are hurried back to rebirth by reason of the strong earthly attachments
and desires. In this way it happens that the earlier races of each
Cycle are more primitive folk than those who follow them as the years
roll by. The soul of an earth-bound person reincarnates in a few years,
and sometimes in a few days, while the soul of an advanced man may
repose and rest on the higher planes for centuries--nay, even for
thousands of years, until the earth has reached a stage in which the
appropriate environment may be afforded it.

Observers, unconnected with Occultism, have noted certain laws which
seem to regulate the rise and fall of nations--the procession of ruling
races. They do not understand the law of Metempsychosis that alone
gives the key to the problem, but nevertheless they have not failed to
record the existence of the laws themselves. In order to show that
these laws are recognized by persons who are not at all influenced by
the Occult Teachings, we take the liberty of quoting from Draper's
"History of the Intellectual Development of Europe."

Dr. Draper writes as follows: "We are, as we often say, the creatures
of circumstances. In that expression there is a higher philosophy than
might at first appear. From this more accurate point of view we should
therefore consider the course of these events, recognizing the
principle that the affairs of men pass forward in a determinate way,
expanding and unfolding themselves. And hence we see that the things of
which we have spoken as if they were matters of choice, were in reality
forced upon their apparent authors by the necessity of the times. But
in truth they should be considered as the presentation of a certain
phase of life which nations in their onward course sooner or later
assume. To the individual, how well we know that a sober moderation of
action, an appropriate gravity of demeanor, belonging to the mature
period of life, change from the wanton willfulness of youth, which may
be ushered in, or its beginnings marked by many accidental incidents;
in one perhaps by domestic bereavements, in another by the loss of
fortune, in a third by ill-health. We are correct enough in imputing to
such trials the change of character; but we never deceive ourselves by
supposing that it would have failed to take place had these incidents
not occurred. There runs an irresistible destiny in the midst of these
vicissitudes. There are analogies between the life of a nation, and
that of an individual, who, though he may be in one respect the maker
of his own fortunes, for happiness or for misery, for good or for evil,
though he remains here or goes there as his inclinations prompt, though
he does this or abstains from that as he chooses, is nevertheless held
fast by an inexorable fate--a fate which brought him into the world
involuntarily, so far as he was concerned, which presses him forward
through a definite career, the stages of which are absolutely
invariable,--infancy, childhood, youth, maturity, old age, with all
their characteristic actions and passions,--and which removes him from
the scene at the appointed time, in most cases against his will. So
also is it with nations; the voluntary is only the outward semblance,
covering but hardly hiding the predetermined. Over the events of life
we may have control, but none whatever over the law of its progress.
There is a geometry that applies to nations an equation of their curve
of advance. That no mortal man can touch."

This remarkable passage, just quoted, shows how the close observers of
history note the rise and fall of the tides of human race progress,
although ignorant of the real underlying causing energy or force. A
study of the Occult Teachings alone gives one the hidden secret of
human actions and throws the bright light of Truth upon the dark
corners of phenomena.

At the beginning of the Fifth Cycle (which is the present one), there
were not only the beginnings of the new races which always spring up at
the beginning of each new cycle and which are the foundations for the
coming races which take advantage of the fresh conditions and
opportunities for growth and development--but there were also the
descendants of the Elect Saved from the destruction of Atlantis by
having been led away and colonized far from the scene of danger. The
new races were the descendant of the scattered survivors of the
Atlantean peoples, that is, the common run of people of the time. But
the Elect few were very superior people, and imparted to their
descendants their knowledge and wisdom. So that we see at the beginning
of the Fifth Cycle hordes of new, primitive people in certain lands,
and in other places advanced nations like the ancestors of the Ancient
Egyptians, Persians, Chaldeans, Hindus, etc.

These advanced races were old souls--advanced souls--the progressed and
developed souls of Ancient Lemuria and Atlantis, who lived their lives
and who are now either on higher planes of life, or else are among us
to-day taking a leading part in the world's affairs, striving mightily
to save the present races from the misfortunes which overtook their
predecessors.

The descendants of the people were the Assyrians and Babylonians. In
due time the primitive new races developed and the great Roman,
Grecian, and Carthaginian peoples appeared. Then came the rise of other
peoples and nations down to the present time. Each race or nation has
its rise, its height of attainment, and its decline. When a nation
begins to decline it is because its more advanced souls have passed on,
and only the less progressive souls are left. The history of all
nations show the truth of the Occult the term. Men are forsaking old
ideals, creeds and dogmas, and are running hither and thither seeking
something they feel to be necessary, but of the nature of which they
know nothing. They are feeling the hunger for Peace--the thirst for
Knowledge--and they are seeking satisfaction in all directions.

This is not only the inevitable working of the Law of Evolution, but is
also a manifestation of the power and love of the great souls that have
passed on to higher planes of existence, and who have become as angels
and arch-angels. These beings are filled with the love of the race, and
are setting into motion influences that are being manifest in many
directions, the tendency of which are to bring the race to a
realization of its higher power, faculties, and destiny.

As we have said in other places, one of the greatest difficulties in
the way of the seeker after Truth in his consideration of the question
of Spiritual Evolution is the feeling that rebirth is being forced upon
him, without any say on his part, and against his desires. But this is
far from being correct. It is true that the whole process is according
to the Great Law, but that Law operates through the force of Desire and
Attraction. The soul is attracted toward rebirth by reason of its
desire or rather the essence of its desires. It is reborn only because
it has within itself the desire for further experience, and opportunity
for unfoldment. And it is reborn into certain environments solely
because it has within itself unsatisfied desires for those
environments, etc. The process is just as regular and scientific as is
the attraction of one atom of matter for another.

Each soul has within itself certain elements of desire and attraction,
and it attracts to itself certain conditions and experiences, and is in
turn attracted by these things. This is the law of life, in the body
and out of it. And there is no injustice in the law it is the essence
of justice itself, for it gives to each just what is required to fill
the indwelling desires, or else the conditions and experiences designed
to burn out the desires which are holding one back, and the destruction
of which will make possible future advancement.

For instance, if one is bound by the inordinate desire for material
wealth, the Law of Karma will attract him to a rebirth in conditions in
which he will be surrounded by wealth and luxury until he becomes
sickened with them and will find his heart filled with the desire to
flee from them and toward higher and more satisfying things. Of course
the Law of Karma acts in other ways, as we shall see in our next
lesson--it deals with one's debts and obligations, also. The Law of
Karma is closely connected with Metempsychosis, and one must be
considered in connection with the other, always.

Not only is it true that man's rebirths are in strict accordance with
the law of Attraction and Desire, but it is also true that after he
attains a certain stage of spiritual unfoldment he enters into the
conscious stage of rebirth, and thereafter he is reborn consciously and
with full foreknowledge. Many are now entering into this stage of
development, and have a partial consciousness of their past lives,
which also implies that they have had at least a partial consciousness
of approaching rebirth, for the two phases of consciousness run
together.

Those individuals of a race who have outstripped their fellows in
spiritual unfoldment, are still bound by the Karma of the particular
race to which they belong, up to a certain point. And as the entire
race, or at least a large proportion of it, must move forward as a
whole, such individuals must needs wait also. But they are not
compelled to suffer a tiresome round of continued rebirths amid
environments and conditions which they have outgrown. On the contrary,
the advanced individual soul is allowed to wait until the race reaches
its own stage of advancement, when it again joins in the upward
movement, in full consciousness, however. In the interim he may pass
his well earned rest either on some of the higher planes of rest, or
else in conscious temporary sojourn in other material spheres helping
in the great work as a Teacher and worker for Good and Spiritual
Evolution among those who need such help. In fact there are in the
world to-day, individual souls which have reached similar stages on
other planets, and who are spending their rest period here amidst the
comparatively lower Earth conditions, striving to lift up the Earth
souls to greater heights.

So long as people allow themselves to become attached to material
objects, so long will they be reborn in conditions in which these
objects bind them fast. It is only when the soul frees itself from
these entangling obstructions that it is born in conditions of freedom.
Some outgrow these material attachments by right thinking and
reasoning, while others seem to be compelled to live them out, and thus
outlive them, before they are free. At last when the soul realizes that
these things are merely incidents of the lower personality, and have
naught to do with the real individuality, then, and then only, do they
fall from it like a wornout cloak, and are left behind while it bounds
forward on The Path fresh from the lighter weight being carried.

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that Man will live forever, ascending from
higher to higher planes, and then on and on and on. Death is but the
physical symbol of a period of Soul Rest, similar to sleep of the tired
body, and is just as much to be welcomed and greeted with thanks. Life
is continuous, and its object is development, unfoldment and growth. We
are in Eternity now as much as we ever shall be. Our souls may exist
out of the body as well as in it, although bodily incarnation is
necessary at this stage of our development. As we progress on to higher
planes of life, we shall incarnate in bodies far more ethereal than
those now used by us, just as in the past we used bodies almost
incredibly grosser and coarser than those we call our own to-day. Life
is far more than a thing of three-score and ten years--it is really a
succession of such lives, on an ascending scale, that which we call our
personal self to-day being merely the essence of the experiences of
countless lives in the past.

The Soul is working steadily upward, from higher to higher, from gross
to finer forms and manifestations. And it will steadily work for ages
to come, always progressing, always advancing, always unfolding. The
Universe contains many worlds for the Soul to inhabit, and then after
it has passed on to other Universes, there will still be Infinitude
before it. The destiny of the Soul of Man is of wondrous promise and
possibilities--the mind to-day cannot begin to even dream of what is
before the Soul. Those who have already advanced many steps beyond
you--those Elder Brethren--are constantly extending to you aid in many
directions. They are extending to you the Unseen Hand, which lifts you
over many a hard place and dangerous crossing--but you recognize it not
except in a vague way. There are now in existence, on planes infinitely
higher than your own, intelligences of transcendent glory and
magnificence--but they were once Men even as you are to-day. They have
so far progressed upon the Path that they have become as angels and
archangels when compared with you. And, blessed thought, even as these
exalted ones were once even as you, so shall you, in due course of
Spiritual Evolution, become even as these mighty ones.

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that You who are reading these lines have
lived many lives previous to the present one. You have lived in the
lower forms, and have worked your way arduously along the Path until
now you are reaching the stage of Spiritual Consciousness in which the
past and future will begin to appear plain to you for the first time.
You have lived as the cave-man--the cliff-dweller--the savage--the
barbarian. You have been the warrior--the priest--the Medieval scholar
and occultist--the prince--the pauper. You have lived in Lemuria--in
Atlantis--in India--in Persia--in Egypt--in ancient Rome and
Greece--and are now playing your part in the Western civilization,
associating with many with whom you have had relations in your past
lives.

In closing this lesson, let us quote from a previous writing from the
same pen that writes this lesson:

"Toward what goal is all this Spiritual Evolution tending? What does it
all mean? From the low planes of life to the highest--all are on The
Path. To what state or place does The Path lead? Let us attempt to
answer by asking you to imagine a series of millions of circles, one
within the other. Each circle means a stage of Life. The outer circles
are filled with life in its lowest and most material stages--each
circle nearer the Centre holds higher and higher forms--until Men (or
what were once Men) become as gods. Still on, and on, and on. does the
form of life grow higher, until the human mind cannot grasp the idea.
But what is the Centre? The MIND of the entire Spiritual Body--the
ABSOLUTE! And we are traveling toward that Centre!"

And again from the same source:

"But beyond your plane, and beyond mine, are plane after plane,
connected with our earth, the splendors of which man cannot conceive.
And there are likewise many planes around the other planets of our
chain--and there are millions of other worlds--and there are chains of
universes just as there are chains of planets--and then greater groups
of these chains--and so on greater and grander beyond the power of man
to imagine--on and on and on and on--higher and higher--to
inconceivable heights. An infinity of infinities of worlds are before
us. Our world and our planetary system and our system of suns, and our
system of solar systems, are but as grains of sand on the beach of the
mighty ocean. But then you cry, 'But what am I--poor mortal thing--lost
among all this inconceivable greatness?' The answer comes that You are
that most precious thing--a living soul. And if you were destroyed the
whole system of universes would crumble, for you are as necessary as
the greatest part of it--it cannot do without you--you cannot be lost
or destroyed--you are a part of it all, and are eternal. 'But,' you
ask, 'beyond all of this of which you have told me, what is there--what
is the Centre of it All?' Your Teacher's face takes on a rapt
expression--a light not of earth beams forth from his countenance.
'_THE ABSOLUTE_!' he replies.



THE ELEVENTH LESSON.


THE LAW OF KARMA.

"Karma" is a Sanscrit term for that great Law known to Western thinkers
as Spiritual Cause and Effect, or Causation. It relates to the
complicated affinities for either good or evil that have been acquired
by the soul throughout its many incarnations. These affinities manifest
as characteristics enduring from one incarnation to another, being
added to here, softened or altered there, but always pressing forward
for expression and manifestation. And, so, it follows that what each
one of us is in this life depends upon is what we have been and how we
have acted in our past lives.

Throughout the operations of the Law of Karma the manifestation of
Perfect Justice is apparent. We are not punished _for_ our sins, as the
current beliefs have it, but instead we are punished _by_ our sins. We
are not rewarded _for_ our good acts, but we received our reward
_through and by_ characteristics, qualities, affinities, etc., acquired
by reason of our having performed these good acts in previous lives. We
are our own judges and executioners. In our present lives we are
storing up good or bad Karma which will stick to us closely, and which
will demand expression and manifestation in lives to come. When we
fasten around ourselves the evil of bad Karma, we have taken to shelter
a monster which will gnaw into our very vitals until we shake him off
by developing opposite qualities. And when we draw to ourselves the
good Karma of Duty well performed, kindness well expressed, and Good
Deeds freely performed without hope of reward, then do we weave for
ourselves the beautiful garments which we are destined to wear upon the
occasion of our future lives.

The Yogi Teachings relating to the Law of Karma do not teach us that
Sin is an offense against the Power which brought us into being, so
much as it is an offense against ourselves. We cannot injure the
Absolute, nor harm It in any way. But we may harm each other, and in so
doing harm ourselves. The Yogis teach that Sin is largely a matter of
ignorance and misunderstanding of our true nature, and that the lesson
must be well learned until we are able to see the folly and error of
our former course, and thus are able to remedy our past errors and to
avoid their recurrence. By Karma the effects arising from our sins
cling to us, until we become sick and weary of them, and seek their
cause in our hearts. When we have discovered the evil cause of these
effects, we learn to hate it and tear it from us as a foul thing, and
are thence evermore relieved of it.

The Yogis view the sinning soul as the parent does the child who will
persist in playing with forbidden things. The parent cautions the child
against playing with the stove, but still the child persists in its
disobedience, and sooner or later receives a burn for its meddling. The
burn is not a _punishment_ for the disobedience (although it may seem
so to it) but comes in obedience to a natural law which is invariable.
To child finds out that stoves and burns are connected, and begins to
see some sense and reason in the admonitions of the parent. The love of
the parent sought to save the child the pain of the burn, and yet the
child-nature persisted in experimenting, and was taught the lesson. But
the lesson once thoroughly learned, it is not necessary to forbid the
child the stove, for it has learned the danger for itself and
thereafter avoids it.

And thus it is with the human soul passing on from one life to another.
It learns new lessons, gathers new experiences, and learns to recognize
the pain that invariably comes from Wrong Action, and the Happiness
that invariably comes from Right Action. As it progresses it learns how
hurtful certain courses of action are, and like the burnt child it
avoids them thereafter.

If we will but stop to consider for a moment the relative degrees of
temptation to us and to others, we may see the operations of past Karma
in former lives. Why is it that this thing is "no temptation" to you,
while it is the greatest temptation to another. Why is it that certain
things do not seem to have any attraction for him, and yet they attract
you so much that you have to use all of your will power to resist them?
It is because of the Karma in your past lives. The things that do not
now tempt you, have been outlived in some former life, and you have
profited by your own experiences, or those of others, or else through
some teaching given you by one who had been attracted to you by your
unfolding consciousness of Truth.

We are profiting to-day by the lessons of our past lives. If we have
learned them well we are receiving the benefit, while if we have turned
our backs on the words of wisdom offered us, or have refused to learn
the lesson perfectly, we are compelled to sit on the same old
school-benches and hear the same old lesson repeated until it is fairly
driven into our consciousness. We wonder why it is that other persons
can perform certain evil acts that seem so repulsive to us, and are apt
to pride ourselves upon our superior virtue. But those who know,
realize that their unfortunate brethren have not paid sufficient
attention to the lesson of the past, and are having it repeated to them
in a more drastic form this time. They know that the virtuous ones are
simply reaping the benefit of their own application in the past, but
that their lesson is not over, and that unless they advance and hold
fast to that which they have attained, as well, they will be
outstripped by many of those whose failure they are now viewing with
wonder and scorn.

It is hard for us to fully realize that we are what we are because of
our past experiences. It is difficult for us to value the experiences
that we are now going through, because we do not fully appreciate the
value of bitter experiences once lived out and outlived. Let us look
back over the experiences of this present life, for instance. How many
bitter episodes are there which we wish had never happened, and how we
wish we could tear them out of our consciousness. But we do not realize
that from these same bitter experiences came knowledge and wisdom that
we would not part with under any circumstances. And yet if we were to
tear away from us the cause of these benefits, we would tear away the
benefits also, and would find ourselves back just where we were before
the experience happened to us. What we would like to do is to hold on
to the benefits that came from the experience---the knowledge and
wisdom that were picked from the tree of pain. But we cannot separate
the effect from the cause in this way, and must learn to look back upon
these bitter experiences as the causes from which our present
knowledge, wisdom and attainment proceeded. Then may we cease to hate
these things, and to see that good may come from evil, under the
workings of the Law.

And when we are able to do this, we shall be able to regard the painful
experiences of our present day as the inevitable outcome of causes away
back in our past, but which will work surely toward increased
knowledge, wisdom and attainment, if we will but see the Good
underlying the working of the Law. When we fall in with the working of
the Law of Karma we recognize its pain not as an injustice or
punishment, but as the beneficent operation of a Law which, although
apparently working Evil, has for its end and aim Ultimate Good.

Many object to the teachings of the Law of Karma by saying that the
experiences of each life not being remembered, must be useless and
without value. This is a very foolish position to take concerning the
matter. These experiences although not fully remembered, are not lost
to us at all--they are made a part of the material of which our minds
are composed. They exist in the form of feelings, characteristics,
inclinations, likes and dislikes, affinities, attractions, repulsions,
etc., etc., and are as much in evidence as are the experiences of
yesterday which are fresh in our memory. Look back over your present
life, and try to remember the experiences of the past years. You will
find that you remember but few of the events of your life. The pressing
and constant experiences of each of the days that you have lived have
been, for the most part, forgotten. Though these experiences may have
seemed very vivid and real to you when they occurred, still they have
faded into nothingness now, and they are to all intents and purposes
_lost_ to you. But _are_ they lost? Not at all. You are what you are
because of the results of these experiences. Your character has been
moulded and shaped, little by little, by these apparently forgotten
pains, pleasures, sorrows and happinesses. This trial strengthened you
along certain lines; that one changed your point of view and made you
see things with a broader sweep of vision. This grief caused you to
feel the pain of others; that disappointment spurred you on to new
endeavors. And each and every one of them left a permanent mark upon
your personality--upon your character. All men are what they are by
reason of what they have lived through and out. And though these
happenings, scenes, circumstances, occurrences, experiences, have faded
from the memory, their effects are indelibly imprinted upon the fabric
of the character, and the man of to-day is different from what he would
have been had the happening or experience not entered into his life.

And this same rule applies to the characteristics brought over from
past incarnations. You have not the memory of the experiences, but you
have the fruit in the shape of "characteristics," tastes, inclinations,
etc. You have a tendency toward certain things, and a distaste for
others. Certain things attract, while others repel you. All of these
things are the result of your experiences in former incarnations. Your
very taste and inclination toward occult studies which has caused you
to read these lessons is your legacy from some former life in which
some one spoke a word or two to you regarding the subject, and
attracted your interest and desire. You learned some little about the
subject then--perhaps much--and developed a desire for more knowledge
along these lines, which manifesting in your present life has brought
you in contact with further instruction. The same inclination will lead
to further advancement in this life, and still greater opportunities in
future incarnations. Nearly every one who reads these lines has felt
that much of this occult instruction imparted is but a "re-learning" of
something previously known, although many of the things taught have
never been heard before in this life. You pick up a book and read
something, and know at once that it is so, because in some vague way
you have a consciousness of having studied and worked out the problem
in some past period of your lives. All this is the working of the Law
of Karma, which caused you to attract that for which you have an
affinity, and which also causes others to be attracted to you.

Many are the reunions of people who have been related to each other in
previous lives. The old loves, and old hates work out their Karmic
results in our lives. We are bound to those whom we have loved, and
also to those whom we may have injured. The story must be worked out to
the end, although a knowledge of the Law undoubtedly relieves one of
many entangling attachments and Karmic relationships, by pointing out
the nature of the relation, and enabling one to free himself mentally
from the bond, which process tends to dissolve much of the Karmic
entanglements.

Life is a great school for the learning of lessons. It has many grades,
many classes, many scales of progress. And the lessons must be learned
whether we will or no. If we refuse or neglect to learn the lesson we
are sent back to accomplish the task, again and again, until the lesson
is finally learned. Nothing once learned is ever forgotten entirely.
There is an indelible imprint of the lesson in our character, which
manifests as predispositions, tastes, inclinations, etc. All that goes
to make up that which we call "Character" is the workings of the Law of
Karma. There is no such thing as Chance. Nothing ever "happens." All is
regulated by the Law of Cause and Effect or Karma. As a man sows so
shall he reap, in a literal sense. You are what you are to-day, by
reason of what you were in your last life. And in your next life you
will be what you are making of yourself to-day. You are your own judge,
and executioner--your own bestower of rewards. But the Love of the
Absolute is ever working to lead you upward to the Light, and to open
your soul to that knowledge that, in the words of the Yogis, "burns up
Karma," and enables you to throw off the burden of Cause and Effect
that you have been carrying around with you, and which has weighted you
down.

In the Fourteen Lessons we quoted from Mr. Berry Benson, a writer in
the _Century Magazine_ for May, 1894. The quotation fits so beautifully
into this place, that we venture to reproduce it here once more, with
your permission. It reads as follows:

"A little boy went to school. He was very little. All that he knew he
had drawn in with his mother's milk. His teacher (who was God) placed
him in the lowest class, and gave him these lessons to learn: Thou
shalt not kill. Thou shalt do no hurt to any living thing. Thou shalt
not steal. So the man did not kill; but he was cruel, and he stole. At
the end of the day (when his beard was gray--when the night was come)
his teacher (who was God) said: Thou hast learned not to kill, but the
other lessons thou hast not learned. Come back tomorrow.

"On the morrow he came back a little boy. And his teacher (who was God)
put him in a class a little higher, and gave him these lessons to
learn: Thou shalt do no hurt to any living thing. Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not cheat. So the man did no hurt to any living thing; but
he stole and cheated. And at the end of the day (when his beard was
gray--when the night was come) his teacher (who was God) said: Thou
hast learned to be merciful. But the other lessons thou hast not
learned. Come back tomorrow.

"Again, on the morrow, he came back, a little boy. And his teacher (who
was God) put him in a class yet a little higher, and gave him these
lessons to learn: Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not cheat. Thou
shalt not covet. So the man did not steal; but he cheated and he
coveted. And at the end of the day (when his beard was gray--when the
night was come) his teacher (who was God) said: Thou hast learned not
to steal. But the other lessons thou hast not learned. Come back, my
child, tomorrow.

"This is what I have read in the faces of men and women, in the book of
the world, and in the scroll of the heavens, which is writ with stars."

Under the operation of the Law of Karma every man is master of his own
destiny--he rewards himself--he punishes himself--he builds, tears down
and develops his character, always, however, under the brooding
influence of the Absolute which is Love Infinite and which is
constantly exerting the upward spiritual urge, which is drawing the
soul toward its ultimate haven of rest. Man must, and does, work out
his own salvation and destiny, but the upward urge is always
there--never tiring--never despairing--knowing always that Ultimate
Victory belongs to the soul.

Under the Law of Karma every action, yea, every thought as well, has
its Karmic effect upon the future incarnations of the soul. And, not
exactly in the nature of punishment or rewards, in the general
acceptation of the term, but as the invariable operation of the Law of
Cause and Effect. The thoughts of a person are like seeds which seek to
press forward into growth, bud, blossom and fruit. Some spring into
growth in this life, while others are carried over into future lives.
The actions of this life may represent only the partial growth of the
thought seed, and future lives may be necessary for its full blossoming
and fruition. Of course, the individual who understands the Truth, and
who has mentally divorced himself from the fruits of his actions--who
has robbed material Desire of its vital force by seeing it as it is,
and not as a part of his Real Self--his seed-thoughts do not spring
into blossom and fruit in future lives, for he has killed their germ.
The Yogis express this thought by the illustration of the baked-seeds.
They show their pupils that while ordinary seeds sprout, blossom and
bear fruit, still if one bakes the seeds their vitality is gone, and
while they may serve the purposes of a nourishing meal still they can
never cause sprout, blossom or fruit. Then the pupil is instructed in
the nature of Desire, and shown how desires invariably spring into
plant, blossom and fruit, the life of the person being the soil in
which they flourish. But Desires understood, and set off from the Real
Man, are akin to baked-seeds--they have been subjected to the heat of
spiritual wisdom and are thus robbed of their vitality, and are unable
to bear fruit. In this way the understood and mastered Desire bears no
Karmic fruit of future action.

The Yogis teach that there are two great principles at work in the
matter of Karmic Law affecting the conditions of rebirth. The first
principle is that whereby the prevailing desires, aspirations, likes,
and dislikes, loves and hates, attractions and repulsions, etc., press
the soul into conditions in which these characteristics may have a
favorable and congenial soil for development. The second principle is
that which may be spoken of as the urge of the unfolding Spirit, which
is always urging forward toward fuller expression, and the breaking
down of confining sheaths, and which thus exerts a pressure upon the
soul awaiting reincarnation which causes it to seek higher environments
and conditions than its desires and aspiration, as well as its general
characteristics, would demand. These two apparently conflicting (and
yet actually harmonious) principles acting and reacting upon each
other, determine the conditions of rebirth, and have a very material
effect upon the Karmic Law. One's life is largely a conflict between
these two forces, the one tending to hold the soul to the present
conditions resulting from past lives, and the other ever at work
seeking to uplift and elevate it to greater heights.

The desires and characteristics brought over from the past lives, of
course, seek fuller expression and manifestation upon the lines of the
past lives. These tendencies simply wish to be let alone and to grow
according to their own laws of development and manifestation. But the
unfolding Spirit, knowing that the soul's best interests are along the
lines of spiritual unfoldment and growth, brings a steady pressure to
bear, life after life, upon the soul, causing it to gradually kill out
the lower desires and characteristics, and to develop qualities which
tend to lead it upward instead of allowing it to remain on its present
level, there to bring to blossom and fruit many low thoughts and
desires. Absolute Justice reigns over the operations of the Law of
Karma, but back of that and superior even to its might is found the
Infinite Love of the absolute which tends to Redeem the race. It is
that love that is back of all the upward tendencies of the soul, and
which we all feel within our inner selves in our best moments. The
light of the Spirit (Love) is ever there.

Our relationship to others in past lives has its effect upon the
working of the Law of Karma. If in the past we have formed attachments
for other individuals, either through love or hate; either by kindness
or cruelty; these attachments manifest in our present life, for these
persons are bound to us, and we to them, by the bonds of Karma, until
the attachment is worn out. Such people will in the present life have
certain relationships to us, the object of which is the working out of
the problems in which we are mutually concerned, the adjustment of
relationship, the "squaring up" of accounts, the development of both.
We are apt to be placed in a position to receive hurts from those whom
we have hurt in past lives, and this not through the idea of revenge,
but by the inexorable working out of the Law of Compensation in Karmic
adjustments. And when we are helped, comforted and receive favors from
those who we helped in past lives, it is not merely a reward, but the
operation of the same law of Justice. The person who hurts us in this
way may have no desire to do so, and may even be distressed because he
is used as an instrument in this way, but the Karmic Law places him in
a position where he unwittingly and without desire acts so that you
receive pain through him. Have you not felt yourselves hurting another,
although you had no desire and intention of so doing, and, in fact,
were sorely distressed because you could not prevent the pain? This Is
the operation of Karma. Have you not found yourself placed where you
unexpectedly were made the bestower of favors upon some almost unknown
persons? This is Karma. The Wheel turns slowly, but it makes the
complete circle.

Karma is the companion law to Metempsychosis. The two are inextricably
connected, and their operations are closely interwoven. Constant and
unvarying in operation, Karma manifests upon and in worlds, planets,
races, nations, families and persons Everywhere in space is the great
law in operation in some form. The so-called mechanical operations
called Causation are as much a phase of Karma as is the highest phases
manifest on the higher planes of life, far beyond our own. And through
it all is ever the urge toward perfection--the upward movement of all
life. The Yogi teachings regard the Universe as a mighty whole, and the
Law of Karma as the one great law operating and manifesting through
that whole.

How different is the workings of this mighty Law from the many ideas
advanced by man to account for the happenings of life. Mere Chance is
no explanation, for the careful thinker must inevitably come to the
conclusion that in an Universe governed by law, there can be no room
for Chance. And to suppose that all rewards and punishments are
bestowed by a personal deity, in answer to prayers, supplications, good
behavior, offerings, etc., is to fall back into the childhood stage of
the race thought. The Yogis teach that the sorrow, suffering and
affliction witnessed on all sides of us, as well as the joy, happiness
and blessings also in evidence, are not caused by the will or whim of
some capricious deity to reward his friends and punish his enemies--but
by the working of an invariable Law which metes out to each his measure
of good and ill according to his Karmic attachments and relationships.

Those who are suffering, and who see no cause for their pain, are apt
to complain and rebel when they see others of no apparent merit
enjoying the good things of life which have been denied their
apparently more worthy brethren. The churches have no answer except "It
is God's will," and that "the Divine motive must not be questioned."
These answers seem like mockery, particularly when the idea of Divine
Justice is associated with the teaching. There is no other answer
compatible with Divine Justice other than the Law of Karma, which makes
each person responsible for his or her happiness or misery. And there
is nothing so stimulating to one as to know that he has within himself
the means to create for himself newer and better conditions of life and
environment. We are what we are to-day by reason of what we were in our
yesterdays. We will be in our tomorrows that which we have started into
operation to-day. As we sow in this life, so shall we reap in the
next--we are now reaping that which we have sown in the past. St. Paul
voiced a world truth when he said: "Brethren, be not deceived. God is
not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap."

The teachers divide the operation of Karma into three general classes,
as follows:
 (1) The Karmic manifestations which are now under way in our lives,
producing results which are the effects of causes set into motion in
our past lives. This is the most common form, and best known phase of
Karmic manifestation.

(2) The Karma which we are now acquiring and storing up by reason of
our actions, deeds, thoughts and mental and spiritual relationships.
This stored up Karma will spring into operation in future lives, when
the body and environments appropriate for its manifestation presents
itself or is secured; or else when other Karma tending to restrict its
operations is removed. But one does not necessarily have to wait until
a future life in order to set into operation and manifestation the
Karma of the present life. For there come times in which there being no
obstructing Karma brought over from a past life, the present life Karma
may begin to manifest.

(3) The Karma brought over from past incarnations, which is not able to
manifest at the present time owing to the opposition presented by other
Karma of an opposite nature, serves to hold the first in check. It is a
well known physical law, which likewise manifests on the mental plane,
that two opposing forces result in neutralization, that is, both of the
forces are held in check. Of course, though, a more powerful Karma may
manage to operate, while a weaker is held in check by it.

Not only have individuals their own Karma, but families, races, nations
and worlds have their collective Karma. In the cases of races, if the
race Karma generated in the past be favorable on the whole, the race
flourishes and its influence widens. If on the contrary its collective
Karma be bad, the race gradually disappears from the face of the earth,
the souls constituting it separating according to their Karmic
attractions, some going to this race and some to another. Nations are
bound by their Karma, as any student of history may perceive if he
studies closely the tides of national progress or decline.

The Karma of a nation is made up of the collective Karma of the
individuals composing it, so far as their thoughts and acts have to do
with the national spirit and acts. Nations as nations cease to exist,
but the souls of the individuals composing them still live on and make
their influence felt in new races, scenes and environments. The ancient
Egyptians, Persians, Medes, Chaldeans, Romans, Grecians and many other
ancient races have disappeared, but their reincarnating souls are with
us to-day. The modern revival of Occultism is caused by an influx of
the souls of these old peoples pouring in on the Western worlds.

The following quotation from _The Secret Doctrine_, that remarkable
piece of occult literature, will be interesting at this point:

     "Nor would the ways of Karma be inscrutable were men to work
     in union and harmony instead of disunion and strife. For our
     ignorance of those ways--which one portion of mankind calls
     the ways of Providence, dark and intricate, while another
     sees in them the action of blind fatalism, and a third simple
     Chance with neither gods nor devils to guide them--would
     surely disappear if we would but attribute all these to their
     correct cause. With right knowledge, or at any rate with a
     confident conviction that our neighbors will no more work
     harm to us than we would think of harming them, two-thirds of
     the world's evil would vanish into thin air. Were no man to
     hurt his brother, Karma-Nemesis would have neither cause to
     work for, nor weapons to act through ... We cut these
     numerous windings in our destinies daily with our own hands,
     while we imagine that we are pursuing a track on the royal
     road of respectability and duty, and then complain of those
     ways being so intricate and so dark. We stand bewildered
     before the mystery of our own making and the riddles of life
     that we will not solve, and then accuse the great Sphinx of
     devouring us. But verily there is not an accident in our
     lives, not a misshapen day or a misfortune, that could not be
     traced back to our own doings in this or another life ...
     Knowledge of Karma gives the conviction that if--

          'Virtue in distress and vice in triumph
          Makes atheists of Mankind,'

     it is only because that mankind has ever shut its eyes to the
     great truth that man is himself his own savior as his own
     destroyer; that he need not accuse heaven, and the gods,
     fates and providence, of the apparent injustice that reigns
     in the midst of humanity. But let him rather remember that
     bit of Grecian wisdom which warns man to forbear accusing
     THAT which 'Just though mysterious, leads us on unerring
     Through ways unmarked from guilt to punishment'--which are
     now the ways and the high road on which move onward the great
     European nations. The Western Aryans have every nation and
     tribe like their eastern brethren of the fifth race, their
     Golden and their Iron ages, their period of comparative
     irresponsibility, or the Satya age of purity, while now
     several of them have reached their Iron Age, the _Kali Yuga_,
     an age black with horrors. This state will last ... until we
     begin acting from within instead of ever following impulses
     from without. Until then the only palliative is union and
     harmony--a Brotherhood in _actu_ and _altruism_ not simply in
     name."

Edwin Arnold, in his wonderful poem, "The Light of Asia," which tells
the story of the Buddha, explains the doctrine of Karma from the
Buddhist standpoint. We feel that our students should become acquainted
with this view, so beautifully expressed, and so we herewith quote the
passages referred to:

     "Karma--all that total of a soul
       Which is the things it did, the thoughts it had,
     The 'self' it wove with woof of viewless time
       Crossed on the warp invisible of acts.

       *       *       *       *       *

     "What hath been bringeth what shall be, and is,
       Worse--better--last for first and first for last;
     The angels in the heavens of gladness reap
       Fruits of a holy past.

     "The devils in the underworlds wear out
       Deeds that were wicked in an age gone by.
     Nothing endures: fair virtues waste with time,
       Foul sins grow purged thereby.

     "Who toiled a slave may come anew a prince
       For gentle worthiness and merit won;
     Who ruled a king may wander earth in rags
       For things done and undone.

     "Before beginning, and without an end,
       As space eternal and as surety sure,
     Is fixed a Power divine which moves to good,
       Only its laws endure.

     "It will not be contemned of any one:
       Who thwarts it loses, and who serves it gains;
     The hidden good it pays with peace and bliss,
       The hidden ill with pains.

     "It seeth everywhere and marketh all:
       Do right--it recompenseth! Do one wrong--
     The equal retribution must be made,
       Though DHARMA tarry long.

     "It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter-true
       Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs;
     Times are as naught, to-morrow it will judge,
       Or after many days.

     "By this the slayer's knife did stab himself;
       The unjust judge hath lost his own defender;
     The false tongue dooms its lie; the creeping thief
       And spoiler rob, to render.

     "Such is the law which moves to righteousness,
       Which none at last can turn aside or stay;
     The heart of it is love, the end of it
       Is peace and consummation sweet. Obey!

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The books say well, my brothers! each man's life
       The outcome of his former living is;
     The bygone wrongs bring forth sorrow and woes,
       The bygone right breeds bliss.

     "That which ye sow ye reap. See yonder fields!
       The sesamum was sesamum, the corn
     Was corn. The silence and the darkness knew;
       So is a man's fate born.

     "He cometh, reaper of the things he sowed,
       Sesamum, corn, so much cast in past birth;
     And so much weed and poison-stuff, which mar
       Him and the aching earth.

     "If he shall labor rightly, rooting these,
       And planting wholesome seedlings where they grew,
     Fruitful and fair and clean the ground shall be,
       And rich the harvest due.

     "If he who liveth, learning whence woe springs,
       Endureth patiently, striving to pay
     His utmost debt for ancient evils done
       In love and truth always;

     If making none to lack, he thoroughly purge
       The lie and lust of self forth from his blood;
     Suffering all meekly, rendering for offence
       Nothing but grace and good:

     "If he shall day by day dwell merciful,
       Holy and just and kind and true; and rend
     Desire from where it clings with bleeding roots,
       Till love of life have end:

     "He--dying--leaveth as the sum of him
       A life-count closed, whose ills are dead and quit,
     Whose good is quick and mighty, far and near,
       So that fruits follow it.

     "No need hath such to live as ye name life;
       That which began in him when he began
     Is finished: he hath wrought the purpose through
       Of what did make him man.

     "Never shall yearnings torture him, nor sins
       Stain him, nor ache of earthly joys and woes
     Invade his safe eternal peace; nor deaths
       And lives recur. He goes

     "Unto NIRVANA. He is one with Life
       Yet lives not. He is blest, ceasing to be.
     OM, MANI PADME OM! the dewdrop slips
       Into the shining sea!

     "This is the doctrine of the Karma. Learn!
       Only when all the dross of sin is quit,
     Only when life dies like a white flame spent.
       Death dies along with it."

And so, friends, this is a brief account of the operations of the Law
of Karma. The subject is one of such wide scope that the brief space at
our disposal enables us to do little more than to call your attention
to the existence of the Law, and some of its general workings. We
advise our students to acquaint themselves thoroughly with what has
been written on this subject by ourselves and others. In our first
series of lessons--the _"Fourteen Lessons"_--the chapter or lesson on
Spiritual Cause and Effect was devoted to the subject of Karma. We
advise our students to re-study it. We also suggest that Mr. Sinnett's
occult story entitled _"Karma"_ gives its readers an excellent idea of
the actual working of Karma in the everyday lives of people of our own
times. We recommend the book to the consideration of our students. It
is published at a popular price, and is well worth the consideration of
every one interested in this wonderful subject of Reincarnation and
Karma.



THE TWELFTH LESSON.


OCCULT MISCELLANY.

In this, the last lesson of this series, we wish to call your attention
to a variety of subjects, coming under the general head of the Yogi
Philosophy, and yet apparently separated from one another. And so we
have entitled this lesson "Occult Miscellany," inasmuch as it is made
up of bits of information upon a variety of subjects all connected with
the general teaching of the series. The lesson will consist of answers
to a number of questions, asked by various students of the courses in
Yogi Philosophy coming from our pen. While these answers, of necessity,
must be brief, still we will endeavor to condense considerable
information into each, so that read as a whole the lesson will give to
our students a variety of information upon several important subjects.

QUESTION 1: _"Are there any Brotherhoods of Advanced Occultists in
existence, in harmony with the Yogi Teachings? And if so, what
information can you give regarding them?"_

ANSWER: Yes, there are a number of Occult Brotherhoods, of varying
degrees of advancement, scattered through the various countries of the
earth. These Brotherhoods agree in principle with the Yogi Teachings,
although the methods of interpretation may vary somewhat. There is but
one TRUTH, which becomes apparent to all deep students of Occultism,
and therefore all true Occultists have a glimpse of that Truth, and
upon this glimpse is founded their philosophies and teachings. These
Occult Brotherhoods vary in their nature. In some, the members are
grouped together in retired portions of the earth, dwelling in the
community life. In others the headquarters are in the large cities of
the earth, their membership being composed of residents of those
cities, with outlying branches. Others have no meeting places, their
work being managed from headquarters, their members being scattered all
over the face of the earth, the communication being kept up by personal
correspondence and privately printed and circulated literature.
Admission to these true Occult Brotherhoods is difficult. They seek
their members, not the members them. No amount of money, or influence,
or energy can gain entrance to these societies. They seek to impart
information and instruction only to those who are prepared to receive
it--to those who have reached that stage of spiritual unfoldment that
will enable them to grasp and assimilate the teachings of the Inner
Circles. While this is true, it is also true that these Societies or
Brotherhoods are engaged in disseminating Occult Knowledge, suited to
the minds of the public, through various channels, and cloaked in
various disguises of name, authority and style. Their idea is to
gradually open the mind of the public to the great truths underlying
and back of all of these various fragmentary teachings. And they
recognize the fact that one mind may be reached in a certain way, and
another mind in a second way, and so on. And, accordingly, they wrap
their teachings in covers likely to attract the attention of various
people, and to cause them to investigate the contents. But, under and
back of all of these various teachings, is the great fundamental TRUTH.
It has often been asked of us how one might distinguish the real
Brotherhoods from the spurious ones which have assumed the name and
general style of the true societies, for the purpose of exploiting the
public, and making money from their interest in the great occult
truths. Answering this, we would say that the true Occult Brotherhoods
and Societies _never sell their knowledge_. It is given free as water
to those who seek for it, and is never sold for money. The true adept
would as soon think of selling his soul as selling Spiritual Knowledge
for gain. While money plays its proper place in the world, and the
laborer is worthy of his hire; and while the Masters recognize the
propriety of the sale of books on Occultism (providing the price is
reasonable and not in excess of the general market price of books) and
while they also recognize the propriety of having people pay their part
of the expenses of maintaining organizations, magazines, lecturers,
instructors, etc., still the idea stops there--it does not extend to
the selling of the Inner Secrets of Occultism for silver or gold.
Therefore if you are solicited to become a member of any so-called
Brotherhood or Occult Society for a consideration of money, you will
know at once that the organization is not a true Occult Society, for it
has violated one of the cardinal principles at the start. Remember the
old occult maxim: "When the Pupil is ready, the Master appears"--and so
it is with the Brotherhoods and Societies--if it is necessary for your
growth, development, and attainment, to be connected with one of these
organizations then, when the time comes--when you are ready--you will
receive your call, and then will know for a certainty that those who
call are the true messengers of Truth.

QUESTION II: "_Are there any exalted human beings called Masters, or
Adepts, or are the tales regarding them mere fables, etc?_"

ANSWER: Of a truth there are certain highly developed, advanced and
exalted souls in the flesh, known as Masters and Adepts, although many
of the tales told concerning them are myths, or pure fiction
originating in the minds of some modern sensational writers. And,
moreover, these souls are members of the Great Lodge, an organization
composed of these almost super-human beings--these great souls that
have advanced so very far on THE PATH. Before beginning to speak of
them, let us answer a question often asked by Western people, and that
is, "Why do not these people appear to the world, and show their
powers?" Each of you may answer that question from your own
experiences. Have you ever been foolish enough to open your soul to the
crowd, and have it reveal the sacred Truth that rests there? Have you
ever attempted to impart the highest teachings known to you, to persons
who had not attained sufficient spiritual development to even
understand the meaning of your words? Have you ever committed the folly
of throwing spiritual pearls to material swine? If you have had these
experiences, you may begin to faintly imagine the reasons of these
illumined souls for keeping away from the crowd--for dwelling away from
the multitude. No one who has not suffered the pain of having the
vulgar crowd revile the highest spiritual truths to him, can begin to
understand the feelings of the spiritually illumined individuals. It is
not that they feel that they are better or more exalted than the
humblest man--for these feelings of the personality have long since
left them. It is because they see the folly of attempting to present
the highest truths to a public which is not prepared to understand even
the elementary teachings. It is a feeling akin to that of the master of
the highest musical conceptions attempting to produce his wonderful
compositions before a crowd fit only for the "rag-time" and slangy
songs of the day.

Then again, these Masters have no desire to "work miracles" which would
only cause the public to become still more superstitious than they now
are. When one glances back over the field of religions, and sees how
the miraculous acts of some of the great leaders have been prostituted
and used as a foundation for the grossest credulity and basest
superstition, he may understand the wisdom of the masters in this
respect. There is another reason for the non-appearance of the Masters,
and that is that there is no occasion for it. The laws of Spiritual
Evolution are as regular, constant and fixed as are the laws of
Physical Evolution, and any attempt to unduly force matters only
results in confusion, and the abortive results soon fade away. The
world is not ready for the appearance of the Masters. Their appearance
at this time would not be in accordance with The Plan.

The Masters or Adepts are human beings who have passed from lower to
higher planes of consciousness, thus gaining wisdom, power and
qualities that seem almost miraculous to the man of the ordinary
consciousness. A Hindu writer speaking of them has said: "To him who
hath traveled far along The Path, sorrow ceases to trouble; fetters
cease to bind; obstacles cease to hinder. Such an one is free. For him
there is no more fever or sorrow. For him there are no more unconscious
re-births. His old Karma is exhausted, and he creates no new Karma. His
heart is freed from the desire for future life. No new longings arise
within his soul. He is like a lamp which burneth from the oil of the
Spirit, and not from the oil of the outer world." Lillie in his work on
Buddhism, tells his readers: "Six supernatural faculties were expected
of the ascetic before he could claim the grade of _Arhat_. They are
constantly alluded to in the _Sutras_ as the six supernatural
faculties, usually without further specification.... In this transitory
body the intelligence of Man is enchained. The ascetic finding himself
thus confused, directs his mind to the creation of _Manas_. He
represents to himself, in thought, another body created from this
material body,--a body with a form, members and organs. This body in
relation to the material body is like a sword and the scabbard, or a
serpent issuing from a basket in which it is confined. The ascetic
then, purified and perfected, begins to practice supernatural
faculties. He finds himself able to pass through material obstacles,
walls, ramparts, etc.; he is able to throw his phantasmal appearance
into many places at once. He acquires the power of hearing the sounds
of the unseen world as distinctly as those of the phenomenal
world--more distinctly in point of fact. Also by the power of _Manas_
he is able to read the most secret thoughts of others, and to tell
their characters."

These great Masters are above all petty sectarian distinctions. They
may have ascended to their exalted position along the paths of the many
religions, or they may have walked the path of no-denomination, sect,
or body. They may have mounted to their heights by philosophical
reasoning alone, or else by scientific investigation. They are called
by many names, according to the viewpoint of the speaker, but at the
last they are of but one religion; one philosophy; one belief--TRUTH.

The state of Adeptship is reached only after a long and arduous
apprenticeship extending over many lives. Those who have reached the
pinnacle were once even as You who read these lines. And some of
you--yes, perhaps even You who are now reading these words may have
taken the first steps along the narrow path which will lead you to
heights equally as exalted as those occupied by even the highest of
these great beings of whom we are speaking. Unconsciously to yourself,
the urge of the Spirit has set your feet firmly upon The Path, and will
push you forward to the end. In order to understand the occult custom
that finds its full fruit in the seclusion of the Masters, one needs to
be acquainted with the universal habit among true occultists of
refraining from public or vulgar displays of occult power. While the
inferior occultists often exhibit some of the minor manifestations to
the public, it is a fact that the true advanced occultists scrupulously
refrain from so doing. In fact, among the highest teachers, it is a
condition imposed upon the pupil that he shall refrain from exhibitions
of his developing powers among the uninitiated public. "The Neophyte is
bound over to the most inviolable secrecy as to everything connected
with his entrance and further progress in the schools. In Asia, in the
same way, the _chela_, or pupil of occultism, no sooner becomes a
_chela_ than he ceases to be a witness on behalf of the reality of
occult knowledge," says Sinnett in his great work on "Esoteric
Buddhism," And he then adds: "I have been astonished to find, since my
own connection with the subject, how numerous such _chelas_ are. But it
is impossible to imagine any human act more improbable than the
unauthorized revelation by any such _chela_, to persons in the outer
world, that he is one; and so the great esoteric school of philosophy
guards its seclusion."

QUESTION III: "_Does the Yogi Philosophy teach that there is a place
corresponding to the 'Heavens' of the various religions? Is there any
basis for the belief that there is a place resembling 'Heaven'?_"

ANSWER: Yes, the Yogi Philosophy _does_ teach that there is a real
basis for the popular religious beliefs in "Heaven," and that there are
states of being, the knowledge of which has filtered through to the
masses in the more or less distorted theories regarding "heavens."

But the Yogis do not teach that these "heavens" are _places_ at all.
The teaching is that they are _planes of existence_. It is difficult to
explain just what is meant by this word "plane." The nearest approach
to it in English is the term or word "State." A portion of space may be
occupied by several planes at the same time, just as a room may be
filled with the rays of the sun, those of a lamp. X-rays, magnetic and
electric vibrations and waves, etc., each interpenetrating each other
and yet not affecting or interfering with each other.

On the lower planes of the Astral World there are to be found the
earth-bound souls which have passed out from their former bodies, but
which are attracted to the earthly scenes by strong attractions, which
serve to weight them down and to prevent them from ascending to the
higher planes. On the higher planes are souls that are less bound by
earthly attractions, and who, accordingly, are relieved of the weight
resulting therefrom. These planes rise in an ascending scale, each
plane being higher and more spiritual than the one lower than itself.
And dwelling on each plane are the souls fitted to occupy it, by reason
of their degree of spiritual development, or evolution. When the soul
first leaves the body it falls into a sleep-like stage, from which it
awakens to find itself on the plane for which it is fitted, by reason
of its development, attractions, character, etc. The particular plane
occupied by each soul is determined by the progress and attainment it
has made in its past lives. The souls on the higher planes may, and
often do, visit the planes lower in the scale than their own, but those
on the lower planes may not visit those higher than their own. Quoting
from our own writings on this subject, published several years ago, we
repeat: This prohibition regarding the visiting of higher planes is not
an arbitrary rule, but a law of nature. If the student will pardon the
commonplace comparison, he may get an understanding of it, by imagining
a large screen, or series of screens, such as used for sorting coal
into sizes. The large coal is caught by the first screen; the next size
by the second; and so on until the tiny coal is reached. Now, the large
coal cannot get into the receptacle of the smaller sizes, but the small
sizes may easily pass through the screen and join the larger sizes, if
force be imparted to them. Just so in the Astral World, the soul with
the greatest amount of materiality, and gross nature, is stopped by the
spiritual screen of a certain plane, and cannot pass on to the higher
ones, while other souls have cast off some of the confining and
retarding material sheaths, and readily pass on to higher and finer
planes. And it may be readily seen that those souls which dwell on the
higher planes are able to re-visit the lower and grosser planes, while
the souls on the grosser cannot penetrate the higher boundries of their
plane, being stopped by the spiritual screen. The comparison is a crude
one, but it almost exactly pictures the existing conditions on the
spiritual world.

Souls on the upper planes, may, and often do, journey to the lower
planes for the purpose of "visiting" the souls of friends who may be
dwelling there, and thus affording them comfort and consolation. In
fact, the teaching is that in many cases a highly developed soul visits
souls on the lower planes in whom it is interested, and actually
imparts spiritual teaching and instruction to those souls, so that they
may be re-born into much better conditions than would have been the
case otherwise. All of the planes have Spiritual Instructors from very
high planes, who sacrifice their well-earned rest and happiness on
their own planes in order that they may work for the less-developed
souls on the lower planes.

As we have said, the soul awakens on the plane to which it is suited.
It finds itself in the company of congenial souls, in whose company it
is enabled to pursue those things which were dear to its heart when
alive. It may be able to make considerable advancement during its
sojourn in "heaven," which will result to its benefit when it is reborn
on earth. There are countless sub-planes, adapted to the infinite
requirements of the advancing souls in every degree of development, and
each soul finds an opportunity to develop and enjoy to the fullest the
highest of which it is capable, and to also perfect itself and to
prepare itself for future development, so that it may be re-born under
the very best possible conditions and circumstances in the next earth
life. But, alas, even in this higher world, all souls do not live up to
the best that is in them, and instead of making the best of their
opportunities for development, and growing spiritually, they allow the
attractions of their material natures to draw them downward, and too
often spend much of their time on the planes beneath them, not to help
and assist, but to live the less spiritual lives of their friends on
the lower planes. In such cases the soul does not reap the benefit of
the sojourn in the "after-life," but is born again according to the
attractions of its lower, instead of its higher nature, and is
compelled to learn its lesson over again.

The Yogi teachings inform us that the lower planes of the Astral World
are inhabited by souls of a very gross and degraded type, undeveloped
and animal-like. These low souls live out the tendencies and
characteristics of their former earth lives, and reincarnate rapidly in
order to pursue their material attractions. Of course, there is slowly
working even in these undeveloped souls an upward tendency, but it is
so slow as to be almost imperceptible. In time these undeveloped souls
grow sick and tired of their materiality, and then comes the chance for
a slight advance. Of course these undeveloped souls have no access to
the higher planes of the Astral world, but are confined to their own
degraded plane and to the sub-planes which separate the Astral World
from the material world. They cling as closely as possible to the
earthly scenes, and are separated from the material world by only a
thin screen (if we may use the word). They suffer the tantalizing
condition of being within sight and hearing of their old material
scenes and environments, and yet unable to manifest on them. These
souls form the low class of "spirits" of which we hear so much in
certain circles. They hang around their old scenes of debauchery and
sense gratification, and often are able to influence the minds of
living persons along the same line and plane of development. For
instance, these creatures hover around low saloons and places of
ill-repute, influencing the sodden brains of living persons to
participate in the illicit gratifications of the lower sensual nature.

Souls on the higher planes are not bound by these earthly and material
attractions, and take advantage of their opportunities to improve
themselves and develop spiritually. It is a rule of the Astral World
that the higher the plane occupied by a soul, the longer the sojourn
there between incarnations. A soul on the lowest planes may reincarnate
in a very short time, while on the higher planes hundreds and even
thousands of years may elapse before the soul is called upon to
experience re-birth. But re-birth comes to all who have not passed on
to other spheres of life. Sooner or later the soul feels that inward
urge toward re-birth and further experience, and becomes drowsy and
falls into a state resembling sleep, when it is caught up in the
current that is sweeping on toward re-birth, and is gradually carried
on to re-birth in conditions chosen by its desires and characteristics,
in connection with the operation of the laws of Karma. From the
soul-slumber it passes through what may be called a "death" on the
Astral plane, when it is re-born on the earth plane. But, remember
this, the soul, when it is re-born on earth, does not fully awaken from
its Astral sleep. In infancy and in early childhood the soul is but
slowly awakening, gradually from year to year, the brain being built to
accommodate this growth. The rare instances of precocious children, and
infant genius are cases in which the awakening has been more rapid than
ordinary. On the other hand, cases are known where the soul does not
awaken as rapidly as the average, and the result is that the person
does not show signs of full intellectual activity until nearly middle
age. Cases are known when men seemed to "wake up" when they were forty
years of age, or even later in life, and would then take on a freshened
activity and energy, surprising those who had known them before.

On some of the planes of the Astral world the souls dwelling there do
not seem to realize that they are "dead," but act and live as if they
were in the flesh.

They have a knowledge of the planes beneath them, just as we on earth
know of conditions beneath us (spiritually), but they seem to be in
almost absolute ignorance of the planes above them, just as many of us
on earth cannot comprehend the existence of beings more highly
developed spiritually than ourselves. This, of course, is only true of
the souls who have not been made acquainted with the meaning and nature
of life on the Astral Plane. Those who have acquired this information
and knowledge readily understand their condition and profit thereby. It
will be seen from this that it is of the greatest importance for
persons to become acquainted with the great laws of Occultism in their
present earth life, for the reason that when they pass out of the body
and enter some one of the Astral Planes they will not be in ignorance
of the condition, but will readily grasp the meaning and nature of
their surroundings and take advantage of the same in order to develop
themselves more rapidly.

It will be seen from what has been written by us here and elsewhere
that there are planes after planes on the Astral side of life. All that
has been dreamt of Heaven, Purgatory or Hell has its correspondence
there, although not in the literal sense in which these things have
been taught. For instance, a wicked man dying immersed in his desires
and longings of his lower nature, and believing that he will be
punished in a future life for sins committed on earth--such a one is
very apt to awaken on the lower planes or sub-planes, in conditions
corresponding with his former fears. He finds the fire and brimstone
awaiting him, although these things are merely figments of his own
imagination, and having no existence in reality. Murderers may roam for
ages (apparently) pursued by the bleeding corpses of their victims,
until such a horror of the crime arises in the mind that at last
sinking from exhaustion into the soul-sleep, their souls pass into
re-birth with such a horror of bloodshed and crime as to make them
entirely different beings in the new life. And, yet the "hell" that
they went through existed only in their imaginations. They were their
own Devil and Hell. Just as a man in earth life may suffer from
_delirium tremens_, so some of these souls on the Astral plane suffer
agonies from their delirium arising from their former crimes, and the
belief in the punishment therefor which has been inculcated in them
through earth teachings. And these mental agonies, although terrible,
really are for their benefit, for by reason of them the soul becomes so
sickened with the thought and idea of crime that when it is finally
re-born it manifests a marked repulsion to it, and flies to the
opposite. In this connection we would say that the teaching is that
although the depraved soul apparently experiences ages of this torment,
yet, in reality, there is but the passage of but a short time, the
illusion arising from the self-hypnotization of the soul, just as
arises the illusion of the punishment itself.

In the same way the soul often experiences a "heaven" in accordance
with its hopes, beliefs and longings of earth-life. The "heaven" that
it has longed for and believed in during its earth-life is very apt to
be at least partially reproduced on the Astral plane, and the pious
soul of any and all religious denominations finds itself in a "heaven"
corresponding to that in which it believed during its earth-life. The
Mohammedan finds his paradise; the Christian finds his; the Indian
finds his--but the impression is merely an illusion created by the
Mental Pictures of the soul. But the illusion tends to give pleasure to
the soul, and to satisfy certain longings which in time fade away,
leaving the soul free to reach out after higher conceptions and ideals.
We cannot devote more space to this subject at this time, and must
content ourselves with the above statements and explanations. The
principal point that we desire to impress upon your minds is the fact
that the "heaven-world" is not a place or state of permanent rest and
abode for the disembodied soul, but is merely a place or temporary
sojourn between incarnations, and thus serves as a place of rest
wherein the soul may gather together its forces, energies, desires and
attractions preparatory to re-birth. In this answer we have merely
limited ourselves to a general statement of the states and conditions
of the Astral World, or rather of certain planes of that world. The
subject itself requires far more extensive treatment.

QUESTION IV: "_Is Nirvana a state of the total extinction of
consciousness; and is it a place, state or condition?_"

ANSWER: The teaching concerning _Nirvana_, the final goal of the soul,
has been much misunderstood, and much error has crept into the teaching
even among some very worthy teachers. To conceive of _Nirvana_ as a
state of extinction of consciousness would be to fall into the error of
the pessimistic school of philosophy which thinks of life and
consciousness as a curse, and regards the return into a total
unconsciousness as the thing to be most desired. The true teaching is
that _Nirvana_ is a state of the fullest consciousness--a state in
which the soul is relieved of all the illusion of separateness and
relativity, and enters into a state of Universal Consciousness, or
Absolute Awareness, in which it is conscious of Infinity, and
Eternity--of all places and things and time. _Nirvana_ instead of being
a state of Nothingness, is a state of "Everythingness." As the soul
advances along the Path it becomes more and more aware of its
connection with, relation to, and identity with the Whole. As it grows,
the Self enlarges and transcends its former limited bounds. It begins
to realize that it is more than the tiny separated atom that it had
believed itself to be, and it learns to identify itself in a constantly
increasing scale with the Universal Life. It feels a sense of Oneness
in a fuller degree, and it sets its feet firmly upon the Path toward
_Nirvana_. After many weary lives on this and other planets--in this
and other Universes--after it has long since left behind it the scale
of humanity, and has advanced into god-like states, its consciousness
becomes fuller and fuller, and time and space are transcended in a
wonderful manner. And at last the goal is attained--the battle is
won--and the soul blossoms into a state of Universal Consciousness, in
which Time and Place disappear and in which every place is Here; every
period of Time is Now; and everything is "I." This is _Nirvana_.

QUESTION V: "_What is that which Occultists call 'an Astral Shell,' or
similar name? Is it an entity, or force, or being?_"

ANSWER: When the soul passes out from the body at the moment of death
it carries with it the "Astral Body" as well as the higher mental and
spiritual principles (see the first three lessons in the "Fourteen
Lessons"). The Astral Body is the counterpart of the material or
physical body, although it is composed of matter of a much finer and
ethereal nature than is the physical body. It is invisible to the
ordinary eye, but may be seen clairvoyantly. The Astral Body rises from
the physical body like a faint, luminous vapor, and for a time is
connected with the dying physical body by a thin, vapory cord or
thread, which finally breaks entirely and the separation becomes
complete. The Astral Body is some time afterward discarded by the soul
as it passes on to the higher planes, as we have described a few pages
further back, and the abandoned Astral Body becomes an "Astral Shell,"
and is subject to a slow disintegration, just as is the physical body.
It is no more the soul than is the physical body--it is merely a cast
off garment of fine matter. It will be seen readily that it is not an
entity, force or being--it is only cast off matter--a sloughed skin. It
has no life or intelligence, but floats around on the lower Astral
Plane until it finally disintegrates. It has an attraction toward its
late physical associate--the physical body--and often returns to the
place where the latter is buried, where it is sometimes seen by persons
whose astral sight is temporarily awakened, when it is mistaken for a
"ghost" or "spirit" of the person. These Astral Shells are often seen
floating around over graveyards, battlefields, etc. And sometimes these
shells coming in contact with the psychic magnetism of a medium become
"galvanized" into life, and manifest signs of intelligence, which,
however, really comes from the mind of the medium. At some seances
these re-vitalized shells manifest and materialize, and talk in a
vague, meaningless manner, the shell receiving its vitality from the
body and mind of the medium instead of speaking from any consciousness
of its own. This statement is not to be taken as any denial of true
"spirit return," but is merely an explanation of certain forms of
so-called "spiritualistic phenomena" which is well understood by
advanced "spiritualists," although many seekers after psychic phenomena
are in ignorance of it.

QUESTION VI: _What is meant by "the Days and Nights of Brahm"; the
"Cycles"; the "Chain of Worlds", etc., etc.?_

ANSWER: In Lesson Sixth, of the present series, you will find a brief
mention of the "Days and Nights of Brahm"--those vast periods of the
In-breathing and Out-breathing of the Creative Principle which is
personified in the Hindu conception of _Brahma_. You will see mentioned
there that universal philosophical conception of the Universal Rhythm,
which manifests in a succession of periods of Universal Activity and
Inactivity.

The Yogi Teachings are that all Time is manifested in Cycles. Man calls
the most common form of Cyclic Time by the name of "a Day," which is
the period of time necessary for the earth's revolution on its axis.
Each Day is a reproduction of all previous Days, although the incidents
of each day differ from those of the other--all Days are but periods of
Time marked off by the revolution of the earth on its axis. And each
Night is but the negative side of a Day, the positive side of which is
called "day." There is really no such thing as a Day, that which we
call a "Day" being simply a record of certain physical changes in the
earth's position relating to its own axis.

The second phase of Cyclic Time is called by man by the name "a Month,"
by which is meant certain changes in the relative positions of the moon
and the earth. The true month consists of twenty-eight lunar days. In
this Cycle (the Month) there is also a light-time or "day," and a
dark-time or "night," the former being the fourteen days of the moon's
visibility, and the second being the fourteen days of the moon's
invisibility.

The third phase of Cyclic Time is that which we call "a Year," by which
is meant the time occupied by the earth in its revolution around the
sun. You will notice that the year has its positive and negative
periods, also, known as Summer and Winter.

But the Yogis take up the story where the astronomers drop it, at the
Year. Beyond the Year there are other and greater phases of Cyclic
Time. The Yogis know many cycles of thousands of years in which there
are marked periods of Activity and Inactivity. We cannot go into detail
regarding these various cycles, but may mention another division common
to the Yogi teachings, beginning with the Great Year. The Great Year is
composed of 360 earth years. Twelve thousand Great Years constitute
what is known as a Great Cycle, which is seen to consist of 4,320,000
earth years. Seventy-one Great Cycles compose what is called a
_Manwantara_, at the end of which the earth becomes submerged under the
waters, until not a vestige of land is left uncovered. This state lasts
for a period equal to 71 Great Cycles. A _Kalpa_ is composed of 14
Manwantaras. The largest and grandest Cycle manifested is known as the
_Maya-Praylaya_, consisting of 36,000 _Kalpas_ when the Absolute
withdraws into Itself its entire manifestations, and dwells alone in
its awful Infinity and Oneness, this period being succeeded by a period
equally long--the two being known as the Days and Nights of Brahm.

You will notice that each of these great Cycles has its "Day" period
and its "Night" period--its Period of Activity. and its Period of
Inactivity. From Day to Maya-Praylaya, it is a succession of Nights and
Days--Creative Activity and Creative Cessation.

The "Chain of Worlds," is that great group of planets in our own solar
system, seven in number, over which the Procession of Life passes, in
Cycles. From globe to globe the great wave of soul life passes in
Cyclic Rhythm. After a race has passed a certain number of incarnations
upon one planet, it passes on to another, and learns new lessons, and
then on and on until finally it has learned all of the lessons possible
on this Universe, when it passes on to another Universe, and so on,
from higher to higher until the human mind is unable to even think of
the grandeur of the destiny awaiting each human soul on THE PATH. The
various works published by the Theosophical organizations go into
detail regarding these matters, which require the space of many volumes
to adequately express, but we think that we have at last indicated the
general nature of the question, pointing out to the student the nature
of the subject, and indicating lines for further study and
investigation.



CONCLUSION.


And now, dear students, we have reached the end of this series of
lessons. You have followed us closely for the past four years, many of
you having been with us as students from the start. We feel many ties
of spiritual relationship binding you to us, and the parting, although
but temporary, gives a little pang to us--a little pull upon our heart
strings. We have tried to give to you a plain, practical and simple
exposition of the great truths of this world-old philosophy--have
endeavored to express in plain simple terms the greatest truths known
to man on earth to-day, _the Yogi Philosophy_. And many have written us
that our work has not been in vain, and that we have been the means of
opening up new worlds of thought to them, and have aided them in
casting off the old material sheaths that had bound them for so long,
and the discarding of which enabled them to unfold the beautiful
blossom of Spirituality. Be this as it may, we have been able merely to
give you the most elementary instruction in this world-philosophy, and
are painfully conscious of the small portion of the field that we have
tilled, when compared with the infinite expanse of Truth still
untouched. But such are the limitations of Man--he can speak only of
that which lies immediately before him, leaving for others the rest of
the work which is remote from his place of abode. There are planes upon
planes of this Truth which every soul among you will some day make his
or her own. It is yours, and you will be impelled to reach forth and
take that which is intended for you. Be not in too much haste--be of
great patience--and all will come to you, for it is your own.


"MYSTIC CHRISTIANITY."

We have here to make an announcement that will please our readers,
judging from the many letters that we have received during the several
years of our work. We will now enter upon a new phase of our work of
presenting the great truths underlying life, as taught by the great
minds of centuries ago, and carefully transmitted from master to
student from that time unto our own. We have concluded our presentation
of the mystic teachings underlying the Hindu Philosophies, and shall
now pass on to a consideration and presentation of the great Mystic
Principles underlying that great and glorious creed of the Western
world--the religion, teachings, and philosophy of JESUS THE CHRIST.
These teachings, too, as we should remember, are essentially Eastern in
their origin, and source, although their effects are more pronounced in
the Western world. Underlying the teaching and philosophy of the Christ
are to be found the same esoteric principles that underlie the other
great systems of philosophies of the East. Covered up though the Truth
be by the additions of the Western churches and sects, still it remains
there burning brightly as ever, and plainly visible to one who will
brush aside the rubbish surrounding the Sacred Flame and who will seek
beneath the forms and non-essentials for the Mystic Truths underlying
Christianity.

We realize the importance of the work before us, but we shrink not from
the task, for we know that when the bright Light of the Spirit, which
is found as the centre of the Christian philosophy, is uncovered, there
will be great rejoicing from the many who while believing in and
realizing the value of the Eastern Teachings, still rightly hold their
love, devotion and admiration for Him who was in very Truth the Son of
God, and whose mission was to raise the World spiritually from the
material quagmire into which it was stumbling.

And now, dear pupils, we must close this series of lessons on the Yogi
Philosophy. We must rest ere we so soon engage upon our new and great
work. We must each take a little rest, ere we meet again on The Path of
Attainment. Each of these temporary partings are milestones upon our
Journey of Spiritual Life. Let each find us farther advanced.

And now we send you our wishes of Peace. May The Peace be with you all,
now and forever, even unto NIRVANA, which is PEACE itself.



The _Complete Works of_

YOGI RAMACHARAKA

SCIENCE OF BREATH

FOURTEEN LESSONS--YOGI PHILOSOPHY

ADVANCED COURSE IN YOGI PHILOSOPHY

RAJA YOGA

GNANI YOGA

PHILOSOPHIES AND RELIGIONS OF INDIA

HATHA YOGA

PSYCHIC HEALING

MYSTIC CHRISTIANITY

LIFE BEYOND DEATH

BHAGAVAD GITA

THE SPIRIT OF THE UPANISHADS

PRACTICAL WATER CURE





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