INSIGHTS AND HERESIES PERTAINING TO THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOUL
by AMMYEETIS (Persian) Second Edition 1916
Christopher Publishing House Boston Copyright 1913 by the Christopher Press Copyright 1916 by the Christopher Publishing House
TEST OF CHARACTER.
Sooner or later everyone who has character enough to make any sort of a test worth while, has to have a regular bout with his “evil genius.” Christ said: “The devil hath desired thee that he may sift thee as wheat.” The form which the test takes depends entirely upon the organization of the individual. But it is in every case the same thing. The thorough arousal of the latent powers of the nature, and the suffering which ensues from the results of its unbalanced actions, constitute the discipline of this life. We can no more escape it, or subvert the action of this law of evolution than we can put a stop to any of the upheavals of nature. The volcano and the earthquake are but the expressions of power in the globe which we inhabit to throw off her old, and ascend through violent agitation to higher conditions. There is a natural correspondence in the experience of her inhabitants and that of our old, old mother!
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Back of protoplasm, back of organic human form is the soul—a thought of God, a spark of divine, eternal life; imperishable, immutable as God himself.
All animals, the human creature included, are born blind and this physical condition of man absolutely typifies his life-long state, owing either to his environment, his heredity, or his false education. The great mass of humanity come into the world unmarked by any specially-developed individuality. These are the legitimate prey of priests and teachers who have their place, or use in the evolution of the lower grades of life on this planet.
The smaller number of advanced souls that are “cast upon the shoals of time,” the evolved thinkers, the philosophers have by far the more trying, and difficult life; for the highly individualized man or woman cannot belong to any set school of ethics; there are no fixed landmarks, religious or otherwise. Blinded by inherited prejudices, if not by destructive tendencies, with ideals for which there is no seeming avenue in this commonplace, workaday world; the life of such an one is ever a grope toward the light of truth.
Lacking the sagacity, the primal instinct of self-protection in common with the nature children of the wilds, he plunges forward on his unlit way, and has many a fall into the bogs and morasses of life until he finally sees that only from the higher, the spiritual side of existence can come to humanity redemption from the errors, wrong thinking and action that is the cause of all sin and sorrow of the world. Blessed, indeed, are those to whom this understanding comes in time to harmonize conflicting beliefs and tendencies, and to be the means of rounding out the life, and perfecting that most potent and powerful of all things, a noble human character.
MAN THE FINAL EARTH PRODUCT.
In man Nature has reached her highest evolution. His life and being are the topmost rung of the ladder, but she has not finished with him. It is universally believed that physical death severs everlastingly her dominion over him, and thus ends all her service to him. This is by no means true. Man is her offspring, her child, and to her he returns again and again, drawing from her complex, multitudinous, many-chambered heart such forces as shall bring to him the experiences he requires to further unfold his nature and bring forth all his possibilities.
Not man alone but the planet itself is in the mills of the gods. The seeds, the germs of life that were expressed in such ways in the beginnings of life on this world, still exist in a greatly modified degree and the misunderstood phases of nature’s ministry are the results of the out-working of these primitive elements still inhering in the world-stuff of which human bodies are made.
Nature wields her powers of fire and flood and devastating epidemics mercilessly; she constantly rids herself of her superfluous offspring, and forces them to a new environment in her invisible realms, through which they pass, gaining more or less by the experience and from which each must emerge, and continue to evolve and grow according to the law of his own being.
Fear of the unknown has given birth to all the superstitions that have afflicted the minds of ignorant and unthinking people. Few people escape some form of superstition. For instance, the silly sayings, anent the moon, “Fair Priestess of the Night.” It is unlucky to see it in its newness—so and so—when the real fact is, it is a merciful Providence that permits us to see it in any of its phases, over the left shoulder or over the right, or through the glass, or in any way at all. There is nothing more “lucky” or glorious than to have good eyesight of one’s own, with which to behold this and all the other beauties of nature. The man who chanced to be passing under a ladder just at the moment when a workman half-way up let fall a bucket of paint which struck and deluged him, had some reason for thinking it “unlucky” to go under instead of around such an impediment to travel. But not once in a lifetime would such a thing happen to any one, and it is impossible to imagine what going under ladders or meeting loads of barrels, or funerals, or opening umbrellas in the house, instead of outside of it, or any of the hundreds of silly, puerile, fool superstitions that have sprung from no one knows where, and that have no scientific meaning, and no earthly bearing upon the realities of any life have “to do with the case.” These are all the offsprings of minds tinctured by fear of they know not what, and which are peddled around and handed down religiously from one generation to another, to keep alive a sensationalism whose tendency is to blind those who accept them to the great living fact of God’s providence which is and has ever been ruling the lives of his earthly children.
While self-abnegation is a valued experience in the spiritual discipline which goes to the formation of a perfect character, the reaction where the ego posits itself upon the law of justice to self, is in reality the beginning of salvation to the individual. But preachment from any source cannot avail with any soul deeply immersed in work for others. There is too much in array against it. The established heredity concerning the first duty of woman is of itself alone a formidable influence to be overcome; then either the real needs, or the selfishness of others, present obstacles beyond the power of loving, sensitive souls to resist. The change must come from the consciousness of the individual of her own needs along these lines, which alone can arouse one to sufficient will, and purpose to be true to one’s self if the heavens fall. This is first, and above all other considerations.
A crude and inartistic symbolism is revolting to a spiritually-unfolded consciousness. True mystic symbolisms must observe accurately the finer law of correspondences or they fail to appeal to such as these, and become to the occult a mild form of blasphemy.
No phase of human character—of mental or spiritual philosophy—has engrossed so much attention or received such a variety of treatment as has human love. Nearly everyone who thinks at all, has been brought, at some stage of experience, to an attempt at analyzing the emotional, sentimental nature, asking: “What is Love?”
In contradistinction to that which repels, and disintegrates, it is attraction. Love is God, it draws elements together, and holds them in proper spheres. It centralizes and builds up. It is controlled by fixed laws; it is only “blind” to those who have not investigated its nature, and office unshrinkingly, with an eye to a complete understanding of its true function. Devoted humanitarians have shown us how to feed, exercise, and rest the physical system, in order to produce health. Ministers of the Gospel have taught souls the way of life ever-lasting. Professors of the various sciences and arts, useful and ornamental, have instructed the intellects of men, and now and then a woman; but with all these, the affections—the crowning—rather the integral element of all life and being, have had few, or no exponents who have ever attempted to treat them from any basis which can be called philosophical, or which could ever serve as a guide to one uninitiated in their occult phases.
The ordinary expression of this part of the nature, is a vampyrism which is constantly on the alert to see what, and how much it can gobble up for its own delectation. This is the lowest grade. It begins with the selfism of the individual, its manifestations are named lust. It seeks expression through the sensuous nature, but extends to the spirit and will.
O Love! What crimes are committed in thy name! What laying waste of true and tender hearts, what defacing of sweet bodies, fashioned and set up as temples of the spirit!
This vampyrism extends through every department of the affectional nature. It exists not only among men and women recognized as lovers, married or otherwise, but parents are ghouls to their children, and friends devour each other without stint. Attraction is that law which draws together two opposite elements or forces, positive and negative, or male and female. As the nature and attributes of a human being are multiform, so are the attractions, or loves, numerous. Ignorance of the laws which ought to control and adjust these loves, is the prime cause of all the misery and crime with which the earth is flooded. Two people of the opposite sex are attracted through the intellect on this plane, and realizing the limit of the law which draws them together, they could be admiring friends forever; but ignorant of their needs outside of this, they attempt to force a conjugal relationship which too often ends in dislike. Every grade of lust and love finds representation in the so-called marriage relation, as it stands today. Intellects and spirits without any bodies—worth mentioning—and gross mortal remains unvitalized by souls. The former class ignore the claims of the physical, and gather their robes together sanctimoniously indicating: “Avaunt, lest my purity be contaminated”; while the latter laugh their spiritual pride and fastidiousness to scorn. The war goes on between good and evil, whereas there is really no just ground for difference. All that is needed for the attainment of harmony and peace is a wise adjustment of these forces in individuals and in society.
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The growth of all true character must be slow and gradual. It is not enough that the soul perceives the beauty of a grand, moral life, it must also learn to live it humbly, earnestly and truly.
“IDEALS OF LOVE.”
“Greater love hath no man than that he shall give his life for another,” whether the scene be set upon the mimic stage, or on the broad theatre of the world. Heroic rescues, desperate efforts to save endangered lives, care of the battle-wounded or fatally diseased meet, from great and small, brutal and cultivated, deserved recognition, even to the extent of making the individual actors—so favored by the gods—famous, throughout the world.
The patient service of men and women to their families, of children to their parents, or of friends who rejoice in serving, that goes on all around us conforms so entirely with our established ideals of what is right and becoming, that it is unnoticed and wins no applause, but oftener only calls out from the recipient demands for further sacrifice.
In all such related service the real blessing comes to those who give far more than to those who receive. The operation of this law hallows all the relationships of this life, and must finally yield to the unselfish giver undreamed of compensations. Not here, perhaps, but in that sphere of being where love is indeed the fulfilling of the law, shall the patient givers, those who have served at love’s altars, find themselves closely allied to the immortal ones, “who do his pleasure.”
Love, garlanded, and adorned with all that wealth can bestow, enthroned in seats of honor, and social recognition is accepted as our ideal of what love should claim, and win from life; but I have looked into the faces of humble, patient toilers, and there I have seen that the sustaining influence with them was love, and have marvelled greatly over the compelling power of their ideals of love.
Remembering that foundations of love upon this earthly planet were, of necessity, laid in the selfish instincts of the race—a race as yet so undeveloped in all that “makes for righteousness”—we need not despair of the final outcome, and realization of its high behest to the children of men; for no expression of love, however mean in view of our own exalted ideals, but is, in reality, an effort towards something higher and better. The obdurate and selfish are unfolded, and taught by its painful misunderstandings, and awful tragedies.
Those poor souls who expect everything from this life, whose ideals are bounded by their own selfishness, who have never discovered that God is Love, and that only through love, purified, exalted and idealized can any of his earthly children ever reach to any conscious relationship with our Father in Heaven, and who, failing to realize even their low ideals, pass on from one experience to another vainly searching for the realization of what their dimly perceived intuitions of love constantly assure them should be theirs—for even such as these there must be a final redemption; for, like one of old, they have “loved much,” and the sins of a vast ignorance are at last condoned by God’s all pervading, untiring, illimitable law of love.
O ye! who labor for humanity’s uplifting; O weary workers in the homely ways of the unskilled in every relationship of life, unrecognized by your fellows be ye of good cheer! As the circling waves of a calm lake spread wider, and more widely from a center disturbed by some heavy substance, so shall your least word, or thought of pure, unselfish love, from your overburdened lives, reach out and diffuse an influence throughout the universe of God, and become a part of the life immortal!
Love, and love alone creates the desire for immortality, lifts up and renews the oft fainting faith, the faltering, changeful hope, and perpetuates the expectations of the restoration of beloved companions, the reunion of families, and friends. It inspires the spirit, and seals the brokenhearted to the service of “ideal love.” It leads the human soul onward, and upward, until it triumphs, at last, over this life’s defeats and losses, and its manifold despairs.
Undeterred by the alarms of war, the wails of the diseased and famine-cursed, and the violent protests of the oppressed, and misery-steeped unfortunates of this plane of being, the “Prince of Peace” is calling together his scattered forces. The beacon lights shine along the high places where dwell the exalted, and powerful ones of earth, and glimmer faintly from the lowlands, where the dire enemies of mankind—ignorance and superstition—are, at last, learning that God, the true God, loves, and cannot hate.
The “ground-swell” of the “ideal love” cannot be resisted, nor overborne by any competing power in the universe, and with ever-increasing force and power to conquer all of earth’s conditions of unrest, and dissatisfaction, born of false ideals, it will sweep resistlessly on, until it is merged in God. The recognition of the homogeneity of the race, and the “Fatherhood of God,” shall bring the longed for fulfillment of the ancient prophecy of “Peace on Earth, and good will to Man.”
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The priests endowed the gods with vices which they knew to be popular among their rich and powerful patrons.