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
THE INNER LIFE.
How unreal seems the existence of the inner life! How vain our intent to catch its meaning, and portray its deepest lessons, and yet, it is the reality. It forms the center around which all external life revolves, from which all outward being receives its vitality and assurance of existence. The passive soul heeds not the ever-recurring changes which its very continued life indicates, and will, when unveiled by the transforming hand of death, wonder at its wealth of life. The conscious being, ever alert, notes the changes and the indications of ever-progressing life with delight, and awe, and a profound recognition of the law of its being which sets the star of its existence higher and higher in the heavens, and lures it on for its own perfection even unto the perfect day. To such a soul there is little peace, or rest by the way; but it may finally learn a godlike heroism and patience which will enable it to trace its steps, and see in all its life’s experiences a sequence which is divine and beneficent.
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Power is silent; power does not fume and bluster. It holds firmly and steadily on its way, and wins by force of its resistless and relentless sway.
ROOT OF EVILS.
The most unaccountable phase of philanthropic effort put forth by good people for the help of humanity is their utter failure to apply their remedial suggestions, or helpful agencies to the real roots, or causes, of great matters needing attention. Everything is approached and dealt with entirely from the external. Either from ignorance or fear of the probable results to be met with upon close inspection, the beginnings, the real causes of evil doings are let alone to grow until they become unbearable. Then comes the “hue and cry” joined in by all who seek to have wrongs righted.
Such has been, and is the “white slave evil.” Ignorance is the cause of all evil; but the special cause of this great, terrible, devastating wrong starts with the utter lack of the education of children by their parents, especially of the necessary instruction of girls regarding their own natural functions, and their relationship to men. The most vitally important knowledge that can ever be theirs is left entirely out of their home education, and the natural curiosity of the young left to the foolish ignorance of their young mates, or of designing underlings.
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Woman is the magnet that draws souls to this life.
BEST IN CHANCE.
There is no method so surely successful in barring the progress of the soul as that of permitting a prejudice for one phase, or presentation of occult law to so blind the perceptions of the mind as to cause it to entirely disregard all such views as are not already set forth, and accepted.
It is as the old story of the two who fought over the shield with a gold side and a silver side; because, as neither could see both sides at once, each considered the statement of the other a willful falsehood. Let us try, at least, to bear in mind that our relationship to this universe has been of long enough duration to permit of the evolution, and establishment of many series of laws which do not, as would seem at the first glance, conflict, or force us to a disbelief in our own well-accredited experiences. The whole united universe is moving forward upon evolutionary lines, and what was, and is true in the beliefs of the East, must be today supplemented by the further knowledge revealed by the seers of the West. The extreme likeness which exists between the different religions of the world is everywhere apparent, and the devachan of the Theosophists corresponds to the expected rest in the tomb, until Gabriel sounds his horn on resurrection day of the orthodox Christian.
The only way the priests knew to prevent the knowledge of their ignorance coming to their followers was to draw a veil over the future of the invisible soul, and promise a long, long rest to the weary and heavy-laden ones, to whom this, alone, seemed compensation for their earthly cares.
People are just as tired today as they have ever been in the history of the world, but they are growing, through their superior knowledge of occult things, to see how to separate spirit and soul from matter, and to render unto each its just due in its proper sphere. In laying aside the physical body, and perceiving that the new life opening up before the spirit offers the truest possible rest to the enfranchised soul, through congenial activities, and obeying its behest finding a real heavenly experience through their recognition, and obedience to the undeviating law of uses.
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We do want God in the Constitution; but not the God of any creed or ism, but of the great moral principles, the ethical philosophy taught by Jesus, the Christ.
There is such a thing as being miserly of thoughts and ideas as well as of lucre. One is as foolish as the other. Circulation is necessary to health and comfortable living. Cast off the leading strings of other minds. Out of the abundance of thine own heart speak thine own truest, highest thoughts. Think not thy supply will fail, or that by withholding thou shalt increase thy store. It is not possible to make a corner in this realm, or to take out a mortgage on God’s gifts. Freely ye have received, freely give and thy “measure shall be pressed down and running over.”
If the absolute homogeneity of the race were once understood and established in the minds of men, it would put an end to the varying modes and methods of thought which now only tend to separate their minds and hearts. To know, to feel the unity of soul with souls, and of the minds of men with the Infinite would forever wipe out the discord and inharmony which now prevail everywhere. Not my erring, and human will, but thy Will of Wisdom and Love be done on earth as it is in heaven, must be, finally, the attitude of every aspiring soul.
Too long the Christian world has accepted the legendary Hebraic God, in the place of our real “Father who art in heaven.” The teachings of Jesus—the testimony he gave of the love of God, if taken to the heart—must dispose forever of the perception of God as a Being of cruelty and revenge, and given over to low attributes. The Creator of the universe—”without whom was nothing made”—manifests to us through the action of eternal and unchangeable law. This is demonstrated to us by and through his vice-gerents, the angels of his who do his pleasure. Down, down from the supernal regions, from the supernal plane of being, comes the Divine Mandate which is made known to the human soul through the instrumentality that can penetrate the surroundings, and best make manifest the inspiration, the warning, or the perception of the undeviating law which holds all human experience and its sure results in its care and keeping. And those who dwell upon the threshold of the door which opens upon the life eternal are those who have loved and who still do love the children of earth—fathers, mothers, children, friends who have walked the earth by our sides, and whom no starry crowns, and no glorious heaven could tempt away from the work of blessing and comforting the sorrowing souls still left on earth to mourn the loss of their loving companionship, and sympathy. And this is God’s “Special Providence” made manifest in our lives whenever and wherever we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
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Once the soul really looks forth and sees, there can be, after that, no more sleeping. All is effort, weighing, balancing, deciding, groping painfully along, or running swiftly the race, bracing against fearful odds, or bravely out-riding the storm. Taking it all as it comes, it is increasing action, motion, change.
Confucius, long considered the oldest and wisest of all the ancient teachers, when he was consulted upon an abtruse point of ethics, said in effect: “Ask the ancients. I do not know.” The results of modern research are constantly undermining the first-recorded ideas concerning the age, and the degree of scientific and religious culture of the race, and we may well feel like turning from the authenticated historical records with which we are familiar to ask of the old, old world the occult meanings of the messages graven on pillar and on chiselled stone. The records which have survived the storm and stress of the ages bringing down to us unexpected knowledge of the lives, the achievements, and the histories of far-off, long-buried, hidden and lost peoples, communities, and even distinct personalities, were carefully planned and exactly executed by those who, already perceiving the mutability of all human life, and all its affairs, who—in a word—realizing that “the fashion of this world passeth away,” sought to immortalize and perpetuate forever an absolute history of their own, and kindred races, by the uprearing of vast, imperishable monuments and temples, and abodes of men. The pyramids, majestic rock-hewn places of worship, and subterranean crypts are but the fingerposts of destiny. The voice of the weird spirit of “Memnon” who sits enthroned within the awful wastes of the desert sands, moans on and on, ever the same awe-inspiring warning. “Listen, listen, vain, evanescent, puerile chrysalis, man! Such as thou art, so were these most ancient of days over the history of whose toilsome, groping lives we keep forever jealous watch and ward. As they are today, so shall ye become. A little space, a few cycles of time, and all that lives and stalks abroad in the full plentitude of energy and ambition shall become resolved into the unfathomable the unreadable mysteries of the ages.”
Not after such fashion shall we of this age of widespread enlightenment write our history on the annals of the planet’s life, and evolution. All that has gone before this time—the closing in of the vast cycle—has been, in a way, fragmentary, comet-like; the whole race of mankind has marched around the globe again and again. The leaders—the head—were the favored few, priests and kings, warriors and nobles; the vast tail, the untaught, the unawakened, the ignorant, servile masses, the grovelling slaves, but a remove from the beasts of burden.
The spur of necessity, the development of ambition, and avarice, and the unfolding of the ego in man forced him along upon unknown paths, kept him separate from his kind, and built up the distinct races, in order that the individuality of each might become distinctly marked and recognized, that each, in his own special environment, might become the highest possible expression of what climate, soil and other influences, incident to the natural heredity could evolve in the lives and beings of given races of men. It is as though Nature had disported herself in bringing to life an infinite variety and diversity among her perfected children. But men, here and there, have always shown the golden cord of kinship to astonish and bewilder the unwary and unthinking.
The virtue and honor of a race are considered mere superstition and a perpetuation of injustice and wrong, or are accepted as a lesson in charity and brotherhood. Thus is ever growing and becoming established the entire homogeneity of the race. We have girded the earth, and established our fiery rule in the depths of the seas; the time for the fulfilling of a prophecy far reaching in its results is even now at hand. “That which is spoken in the closets, shall be shouted from the housetops.” Far and wide it is whispered in secret places, lest it be known of selfish greed or ambitious tyranny, and this it is that the human heart conceives, and human lips proclaim: “Liberty! liberty!! liberty!!!” Room for noble thought, freedom for grand and acceptable work in the cause of human enlightenment, and the soul’s redemption. The whole vast aura of the earth, the illimitable ether trembles and thrills with the majesty of the word. High above the thunder-roll of human discontent and awful pain, blazes the lightning of thought, and the undying aspiration of the soul. And thus shall we tell our story—thus record the history of the now oncoming race. Not in material emblems only, consecrated to the forces of nature; but in the spiritual records which tell of the freeing of humanity from the tyranny of effete religions, and the upbuilding of a new composite race, fear free, and worshipful only of recognized universal truth.
Setting aside all our hereditary beliefs, all our theological teachings let us try to consider the true teachings of Jesus as differentiated from the instructions given by Moses for the guidance of the Jews. Moses never told his people to love and forgive their enemies. Jesus made a strong point of this, even bidding his disciples to forgive injuries to the seventieth time. Moses impressed upon his people the excellence of revenge, always demanding “an eye for an eye,” a life for a life. Jesus said all that sort of compensation rested forever with God, that He alone, who saw and knew the hearts of men, could deal justly with them. The old Jewish law stoned to death the immoral woman—not the man—O no! certainly not! Jesus said to a flagrant woman brought before him by a rabble of men: “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.” What divine sarcasm, and how they are said to have slunk away under his perception of them!
How is it now with the Christian religion in the so-called Christian nations? Where on the face of the earth is there a community or a people that is governed and controlled by the real teachings of the Christ?
All our jurisprudence is based upon the laws given to the Jews by their leader and lawgiver. We take the lives of those people who are guilty of breaking certain laws of ours based upon the laws of Moses, and while we do not stone the life out of those women—not men—whom we prove guilty of breaking the seventh commandment, we do build up against them walls of conventionality, and of uncharity harder than the rocks once used for the killing of their bodies.
Consider this beautiful law now in operation in the state of New York. If a poor, starving, homeless, hopeless human being, maddened by the bitter woes of life, seeks surcease of pain by throwing off his own individual life, by committing suicide, the law insists that such a one shall be not only forced back to a continuance of a horrible existence here, but that each and every one of such sinners shall be punished by imprisonment and fine. If that isn’t serving the devil, what in the name of common sense is it? Where are the good Samaritans among the pretended followers of the loving Christ? What sort of a reckoning will such lawmakers have to meet, and what penalties undergo under the applied judgment of the Great Teacher and exemplars? “Woe to him through whom offences come,” he said, and again: “Because ye did not give aid and comfort to the least of these, I will not call you of my flock.” Could anything be more brutally unmerciful than such a law as this in its dealings with the most helpless, forlorn, and seemingly Godforsaken of all earth’s children—the voluntary suicide?
How the demons must gloat over the lost souls who formed and enforced such a fiendish law! Why this everlasting “harking back” to Moses, while posing as followers of teachings utterly at variance with his? Let us admit that we are Jews and stop persecuting them because they are not Christians, or let us try to know what Christ Jesus really meant us to understand by his ethics of love and good will to men.
Many people have lost all their faith in the immortality of the soul, because Moses did not preach it. It is quite possible that even the worshipped Moses did not know everything that men may yet come to know about this, and anent a world of other things. Neither did the troglodytes, nor the cliff dwellers know of electricity or the X-ray! But Jesus knew of the life—the eternal, unquenchable life—of the soul beyond this mortal existence, and he knew and taught the way and the life that leads to that higher life. All through his teachings run this under-current of belief in the value of the individual soul, and instructions as to the highest and best way to evolve it from its lowest estate up to the Infinite.
Fancy what a revolution would come to the whole so-called Christian world if the ethics of Jesus, so plainly set down in his legacy to the children of men, were understood and lived! What wrong and injustice would be done away with, what works of mercy would be wrought!
From the earliest soul consciousness to this very hour the mystery of human life has been, and is the subject of greatest interest. What is the origin of man? What is he here for? What is the everlasting purpose of him? And what, O what is his destiny, here or hereafter?
The woeful story told in the Bible of the origin and the “Fall of man,” entailing untold miseries and uncomprehended anguish upon the whole human race, has never been believed in by thinking minds. Especially all that “rot” about God’s repenting Himself of having made man in his own image, and then setting Himself up in his only Son—a sacrifice to Himself—for the sins of the folks He had just made and set agoing, and told to subdue and master the planet He had made for them to live on; but this yarn caught the fancy of infantile and puerile minds, and also of the designing priests and theologians who have never, to this day, tired of “baring the backs” of humanity to this “devil’s rod,” increasing, and multiplying the tortures of the minds of such as could be made to accept such stuff by fears which could never be comprehended or justified even in the minds of such children.
Our Heavenly Father has never set “metes and bounds” to the souls of his earth children; there is no hidden mystery that cannot be fathomed by them; there is no knowledge withheld from the earnest seeker after truth. But first of all, the mind must be clarified and set free from the blasphemous superstitions engendered by the crude beliefs taught by theologians. The developed mind, and reason must arouse to rage and resistance in view of the wreck and ruin of untold millions of lives, the result of false teachings.
People have a way of saying of those they admire greatly: “She has the face of an angel,” or “She is a perfect beauty,” “Beauty beyond compare,” et al, according to their ideas of what constitutes absolute beauty; but the human countenances that have in them no faintest suggestion of the kingdom below us are very rare. If one looks attentively at the faces of the crowd as it surges along the most attractive street, there may be seen on review surprising resemblances. A man looking like an elephant, another like a toad, bull dogs and wolves galore, beneficent faces of old people, calm and patient, resembling work-worn horses, always folk of both sexes who suggest sheep,—now and again a cantankerous billy goat. You may be sure that the vast numbers of reptiles are not left out of the human representation, and the birds, too. The “eagle eye,” and the carnivorous beak require no introduction to the menagerie, they belong there. But the felines have it, the cats, little and big, monopolize the show. Men regard a recognized resemblance to the king of beasts—the lion—a compliment to their natural powers and rightful rulership, while women have to put up with being considered cats, and many of them prove by their cattish doings their resemblance to their animal ancestry. There are babies everywhere about. It is disheartening to peer into their tiny faces and see in so many of their eyes no “speculation,” no suggestion of intelligence. They remind you of the eyes of a fish.
Human beings have through them strains suggestive of the animal kingdom. It seems quite right to expect each one to act like the creature he resembles, when under the stress of violent emotion.
At the creation of the race there was thrown around it such safeguards as should tend to its continuance. These were, of course, implanted in the crude mentality of undeveloped man. Underlying all the rest and the most important to its perpetuation was fear. The ignorant child has no fear of consequences attendant upon any action; experience teaches him to know what they are, and how to protect himself from them. This was the first lesson of primitive man, and when, through the exercise of his inventive faculties, he had mastered his visible foes, the animal monsters surrounding him and threatening his life, and he found himself confronted by the action of terrible forces which he could not grasp or see, he, by analogy, endowed them with personality, and such attributes as he knew himself to be possessed of, adding thereto powers and possibilities which were limited only by his own imagination. This was the very beginning of the working of the mental in him, and while it was most grotesque and unreasoning, it yet drew a sharp line between the mere animal and the animal man, and his whole life being spent in conflict with his foes, he naturally carried forward his growing perceptions of the existence of supernatural powers which were influencing his life upon the same basis, i. e., of an unending warfare, wherein he must always be the one attacked and vanquished. Fear of the animal world developed into a shivering terror of the invisible, and so deep and lasting was this first impression of the spiritual world upon his crude faculties, that it was made an universal heredity among all races and peoples. It exists everywhere today, even among those who profess to be living in the light of a higher revelation of God’s purpose in the life of man.
ADAPTIVENESS OF MAN.
The most surprising and extraordinary quality of mind manifested by man is his ready power of adaptation to whatever may become a part of his earthly experiences. It, alone, assures his continual progress upon all lines of growth connected not only with his earthly but also his immortal career. Great inventions, unexpected discoveries, and astounding revelations may stagger him for a moment; but the facility with which he finally absorbs all the hitherto unknown outworkings of science and natural law, and assimilates them to his inner sense of the fitness of things, changing all his relationship to his material life, and forcing himself to a readjustment not only of his mental perceptions, but also of his external existence gives proof sufficient of his being not only favored of the gods, but also of his near kinship with them. The marvels of mechanics, the divinely beautiful representations of art, and the exalted inspirations of literature were never so sought after, or so appreciated by large portions of the race as at the present time. The peasant’s cot today is made comfortable and beautified by accessories which within our historical knowledge could not be commanded by kings and princes possessed of great riches.
The spiritual origin of the splendid architecture of the great “white city” and later of the southern expositions is perfectly apparent to the eye of the mystic and the seer, and these vast, concentrated exhibits of the world’s work are object lessons of which the influence can never be outlived even by the careless and unobserving. Today the great leaders of men, led by inspiring thoughts which would have appalled their forefathers, perfect schemes for overcoming the obstacles inhering in the vast forces of nature, and harness them into subservience to the growing needs of the race.
What devil-worshippers those old chaps were! To him they ascribed all power over things animate and inanimate, and the effrontery of the man who should have even mentioned the possibility of talking over a wire, thousands of miles, or of utilizing the forces of Niagara, or of hundreds of inventions now in use in the most commonplace surroundings would have been met with condign punishment. Our inventors would be in dungeons instead of their comfortable laboratories, and our great engineers would long ago have lost their heads. What a time we have had getting the devil out of our mechanical life! Now he can only rule in the immaterial world, in the crude imaginations of the ignorant and superstitious.