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
NO NEW THING.
There is no new revelation to be given to man; there is no need of it. Those who have labored most strenuously to evolve from their inner consciousness a new, a better religion, have found themselves bogged in the mire of their egotism which has landed them in a police court, or they have been confronted by exactly the same problems as those from which they have sought to escape. Few, indeed, have survived the test of time. There is an ancient promise that stands yet for man’s use: “To him that hath (improved) shall more be given, and from him that hath not (improved) shall be taken away that which he already has.” This was never meant to apply to material things—it could not—it was spoken in reference to the gift of understanding, and of using the occult, the psychic law. Many psychics have lost their spiritual gifts through failing to understand that endless progress is the law that forces souls along the way of life. No stopping by the way to gather shells upon the shore, no aimless looking back; but work with stout heart and resolute will. It all means work, overmastering habits of thought and action, lifting the soul from the grooves of heredity, and in all ways making aspiration attract the inspiration that sustains the soul.
All subjects pertaining to our knowledge of the soul are too subtle to be weighed and proved by external intellect alone. Our lives are ruled by such a hotch-potch of inherited beliefs and tendencies, that it is almost impossible for us to use any discrimination concerning them; or to arraign ourselves before the tribunal of our own better judgment in such manner as to enable us to separate the false and effete ethical and religious influences, from the wise and true, which alone are abiding and permanent.
Thus we grope and stumble along through our earthly lives, burdened with ideas which were set in motion far back in a crude age, and which were so well adapted to their time that they still vibrate to the tendencies of our own day. This applies to every department of human experience, and were it not that we are, as a huge family, better than our cherished beliefs, higher in the scale of development than these would seem to indicate, we should still be under the dominion of the so-called “Dark Ages.” The most important and the dearest phase of human experience must come, of course, through its religious beliefs, and as they are narrow and superstitious, on the one hand, or grand with faith and understanding of law, on the other, do we judge of the status of the individual, the community, and the race; and the advances made upon this line mark the progress of what we term civilization on this planet.
There is no time so trying, so full of agony to the soul, as is that hour when it first begins to doubt the absolute, unquestionable truth of the creeds it has hitherto blindly accepted, and in which it has fully believed. Creeds are the swaddling clothes of the soul, and must inevitably be outgrown and laid aside as the mind of man grows more and more capable of comprehending the truth which is to set it free from the trammels of mere blind belief.
It is so comfortable to have our spiritual faith ready made for us, our paths all mapped out, and our final destiny made plain and sure, provided only that we remain faithful in our adherence to them as they are set forth by our parents and spiritual guardians, that when the great, ever-surging, resistless tidal wave of progress first reaches the soul, it can only stand in dumb agony, like one upon the seashore watching its last hope go down beneath the waste of mighty waters. Torn from its anchorage of inherited beliefs, it is sure to be tempest-tossed, rent and torn, buffeted by conflicting tendencies, cast upon many a desert island of unfaith, and haunted by miserable doubts and black despair, ere it hears and heeds the pilot of truth, the only guide to the peaceful haven of eternal life. Happy, indeed, are they who tarry not upon the weary way; but who have within them that aspiration, that endless cry for light, which shall always, in God’s providence, compel the needed response and guidance; for many honest, earnest men and women, lacking this attribute of the soul, fail all through life to reach this only true solution of the riddle of human existence. Kind and sincere friends say of them: “Oh! if they had only remained faithful to the religion of their fathers, they would have found happiness and peace.” But the law of evolution brings each and every soul to the point where it must stand alone with God, there to discover and establish its relationship to the Divine, irrespective of all preconceived ideas and notions, superstitions, and ignorance. This is exactly what every soul must come to—the aggregation of powers and forces of body and soul resulting in the fully developed and rounded-out individuality of any given personality. These are the rare and unusual men and women, the fully flowered out, the richest fruitage of any and all races, and it is to these that we must look for that union of sympathy with and comprehension of the needs and requirements of all which is to usher in the reign of peace, and universal good will on earth.
Jesus of Nazareth went before us on the path, the only way cast up for earnest souls to walk in. There has never been given to the world any system of ethics superior to his. He recognized the homogeneity of the race—”Each for all, all for each,” was the whole import of his teachings. In him was epitomized the experience of the race. Each and every soul must wear its crown of thorns, and bear its cross and suffer crucifixion, ere the soul astray from God, immersed in, and overwhelmed by matter, can be forced to relinquish its hold on, its love for the external, material things pertaining to this world. But it has to be, it certainly must be, the experience of every creature born of woman. Be sure, O soul! if none of these experiences have ever been realized by you, that you are but just now entering upon the inevitable rounds which must attend your connection with, and relationship to this earthly sphere of being. Such are as the insensate clod, having as yet neither spiritual sense, nor moral responsibility. Nature’s processes are slow; but be sure that the goal is appointed, and that God will be there and will wait till we come.
When Jesus said: “The poor ye have always with you,” he did not refer to dollars and cents only, but to that poverty of intellect, that barrenness of the moral nature which makes a human being a reproach and a terror to his kind. These we shall always have to deal with, to educate if we can, to constrain from overt acts of evil, and to protect ourselves from in all the works and ways of life.
So painful and slow is the process of character-forming that millions of souls pass on from this sphere of life to the spirit world so lacking in individuality that they have no more power for any expression of themselves upon that plane of being than they had when they were living here. Not as much, in fact, for the physical body and brain have always some possible function and use while they hold their relationship to the world of material life, which function and use are laid aside when they are put through the sifting process of physical death, and in all cases, unless the powers of the ego as exercised here are supplanted by a sufficient growth of the spiritual nature to sustain the ego in its new relationship, and give to it the impetus needed to start it forward upon lines of usefulness and growth, it naturally fails to waken to any sort of realization of itself and its possible career in its new life. This is specially true of those persons who have been psychologized by those teachings which relegate the souls of human beings to the cold clasp of the ground, until the expected day of judgment; or of those poor, overworked men and women to whom heaven seems only a place to sleep and rest in; or again, of still another class of minds that has brought itself to a belief in utter extinction after the close of this external life. These are the “shades,” the “shells” we hear of, for there are times when the subtle inner sense of these sleeping ones is stirred to action by the wails of the loving, longing ones left on earth to mourn; and, as is the case with one in somnambulic sleep, the spirit walks and talks, in response to the demands of friends, through those persons who are gifted with the aura necessary for the medial agency. These excursions of the soul into the realm of matter, thus made by and through the offices of clairvoyants and seers, the repeated arousings of the ego from its contented sleep are finally highly educational, and result in resurrecting the forces of the enfranchised being, and setting them in motion on the lines of useful work for humanity. For this medial service which is thus being rendered to the spirit world by such gifted persons still living here in the body, multitudes are daily and hourly expressing their gratitude and appreciation.
We have somewhat abolished our old, long-established Hell, and now, to be consistent, we must also do away with our preconceived ideas of a Heaven of eternal rest; for why should the souls of men be wrapped in useless slumbers, until the strong overwhelming influence of the law of progress sweeps them up like dry leaves before a whirlwind, and rushes them along to the gates of a conscious life, through a new relationship upon the physical plane? The spirit does not weary, and when the exhausted body is laid aside, why not enlist the services of all to whom any appeal can be made? Thus shall we all be growing together, and Death shall be forced to cast aside its grim and dreadful seeming and show for the angel it is. Ah! how could we go on and on in the narrow limitations of this small beginning of a life, if Nature did not kindly call a halt somewhere on the road, while we, taking fresh courage, start out in our new career with our entire being adjusted to laws which are working in harmony with the divine will.
SLOWNESS OF EVOLUTION
There have been times in the lives of all soul-grown people when the inner consciousness has clearly perceived that some given experience may mean an important crisis in the expression of their individual character. But not frequently, in the ordinary lives of human beings, do they meet up with really great events, or personal experiences that create for them special overturnings of their ideas, or any change of personal habits. To the mind of youth, life seems a plainly simple, straight-forward way; but when overtaken by results of unconsidered actions, for which there has been no preparation, there dawns upon it the consciousness of appalling vistas, and visions of future possibilities that are overpowering.
As we journey forward on the path of existence, life becomes ever more and more complicated, and the need, the overwhelming demand for an understanding of the ever-varying problems presented to the mind for consideration, and the constantly urgent necessity for wise decisions must call into action all our highest powers of the intellect and reason, in order to secure to us the best results from the opportunities given us to acquire knowledge. Every one of our experiences are bits in the mosaic of our lives, and without them the picture would be incomplete.
But with all, we are forced to realize how unfinished and unsatisfactory are nearly all of our experiences of earthly existence. It is, indeed, “a thing of shreds and patches.” But we are caught in the web of material existence from which there can be no lawful escape, save by unpremeditated physical death. We are thrust into the seething cauldron of formative life. The entire race of man, forced forward by the resistless power of the law of progress, is on the everlasting journey to the heights of perfected being. To us, enmeshed in the ties of interest and affection, the various heredities and the worldly Karmas which hold us fast, the slow, unnumbered processes of evolution on this, our home world, as recorded in history seem unendurably long. But time is naught—eternity is unending—and “ten thousand years are but as a day with God,” the great Maker and Moulder of our immortal souls.
THE WORK OF NATURE.
The planet itself is stirred to its very centre. On one side, the earth opens its horrible maw and swallows up uncounted numbers of her children, or spews out her molten interior in vast lava tides, overwhelming and destroying all within their reach. At the opposite side, great floods of gas and rock oil, set free by the operation of the drill, shoot up in the air and fall back upon the soil in a luminous spray, as like to liquid gold as aught not filled with the beloved auriferous metal could be. The waters loosed from their fastnesses over-reach their accustomed bounds, and great tidal waves are encountered in unexpected latitudes. Nature is rounding up her great circle, and making conditions for a new era.