MAN IS ONE AND INDIVISIBLE
HE IS IN THE LIKENESS OF THE UNIVERSE: THE ATTEMPT TO DIVIDE HIM INTO TWO PARTS IS DEATH.
THE men of the old time to whom the hope of eternal life in the flesh was a constant source of vitality, even though they placed the fruition of this hope ahead of their own generation, owed their longevity to the fact that they did not cut man in two and make body and soul of him, but thought of him as a unit, who would either die all over or live all over.
It is not astonishing that men of all ages have tried to save their bodies even after death; the pyramids are standing today because the Egyptians believed in the body and expected it to be resurrected some time. The desire for an extension of life in the body is world-wide, and efforts have been made in a hundred different ways to accomplish this result.
Strange stories of persons who have conquered death have lived in the imagination of the people until they seem like fixed facts in history. The Wandering Jew had such fascination that it is a popular book even yet. The stories that reach us from the far East of people who are hundreds of years old linger in our thoughts, and seem true in the face of all our experience to the contrary. "The masters" who are supposed by many to be living somewhere in secluded places in Tibet have their existence vouched for by thousands of people, some of whom claim to have seen and conversed with them. "The secret brotherhood" has existed hundreds of years, and it is affirmed that there are still living members who were initial members at its far away beginning.
I am not pretending to vouch for the truth of these reports. I am only trying to establish the fact that the idea of conquering death is as old as time; that it has been a race desire from the first.
In a former section I wrote a sentence that may seem strange; an explanation of which will go a long way toward showing the amount of intellectual growth that had to take place in the race before the conquest of death became possible. The desire was implanted and the men of that time believed it, but they did not believe it possible of achievement to them. They believed it sufficiently for it to show its effect in their living to a great age. They had no idea of a soul, and they attributed great importance to the body; much more than their followers did, who afterward invented the idea of the soul, and began to think that the body was of little worth; and who began to die much earlier than their fathers on account of this belief.
"As a man believes, so is he."
This sentence contains a volume of wisdom; for below it's surface meaning lies the implied fact that a man is a mental creature; that he is all mind; and it is because he is all mind that he has the power to save himself from death. Evolution has proved that not only is man all mind in every atom of his body, but that all things in the universe are mind; that the universe itself is but a mental statement.
The reason for the assertion that all things are mental is apparent, since it is now known that there is no such thing as dead matter; that what was once called dead matter is only a low form of mental substance, on its way upward from still lower conditions by virtue of the innate power of growth which is latent in all things. And how are all things coming upward in the scale of being? I answer, by the power of thought. It is a demonstrated fact that everything thinks; or, at least, that it possesses in latency the power to think, and in the natural process from low to high will in time begin to think. It is because this is true that we say, "All is mind."
This fact, for it is an undeniable fact, confirmed by the highest authority in the world, and published in the works of such scientists as all students look up to, establishes a most remarkable truth, namely, that every atom or molecule, no matter how far back we trace it, or how apparently dead it seems, is really a seed germ of immortal unfoldment. And, what is more, its unfoldment depends upon the principle of desire within it. And to desire is to think, even though the thought is of too low a grade for us to understand.
To desire is to think; and to think proves that the creature, rock, tree or man, that does the thinking, is a mental creature; therefore, we say there is no dead matter, but that all is mind ranging the whole universe of intelligence from abject ignorance up to the wisdom of the gods.
Emerson says that there is but one God, and that we are all different expressions of it. The Mental Science student means the same thing when he says there is but one life, of which we are individual manifestations.
If there is but one life, then life is omnipresent. It fills all space. There is nothing outside of it. There is no outside.
There is but one life. This life is the universal Law of Attraction which permeates all things, and which is the basis of being; the power that men call God.
This Law of Attraction holds the visible universe in place; adjusts the atoms to each other by a method that cannot err; arranges and holds the planets in their relation to other planets by the same law. It is a self-existent principle. Perhaps it would be more nearly correct if I should call it the Principle of Attraction, since the word law suggests formulation into established rule, and this will not convey the meaning I wish to give.
All races of men have felt the presence and the power of this Principle of Attraction (whose ultimate expression is love or life) in a myriad of different forms. Feeling it and not comprehending it, being governed by their own narrow and childish ideas, they conceived a personality for it, and said it was "somebody who made all things"—and they called it God.
"God," they say, "created." He first made the world out of nothing, after which he had material to make other things, and so He made man and the animals out of the dust of the earth.
This idea belongs to the early intellectual awakening of a baby race. The race had grown to a place mentally where it began to ask questions of itself, and its answers were suited to its infantile development.
But to retain these answers now, at a time when the great body of the thinking world has outgrown them, and to bolster them up by every system of popular religious education in vogue, is a fearful thing and must be ended, so that Truth shall have her say and be glorified, even as error has been glorified in the past.
But the Principle of Attraction exists; the undeviating principle of life exists. It has never been violated and never will be. And this is our hope. It is unchanging, disease-less, deathless; and it is a complete understanding of this fact that conforms us to it in a way that renders us diseaseless and deathless.
The Principle of Attraction does permeate all visible forms. It is one with all substance; and no doubt an expanded and spiritual interpretation of the word "God" has been the foundation for the expression that "God and man are one."
For in spite of the personal and, therefore, limited interpretation of the word "God," there have been in all ages a few thinkers who were not confined to its narrow meaning, but were able to see it in an enlarged sense; in a sense that represented it as the moving impulse of all visible life. And these men have said, "God and man are one."
A more scientific statement of the same truth would have been "The Principle of Attraction and man" (or all nature, for that matter) "are one."
This last sentence is the very quintessence of the reasoning whereby I have based my belief in man's power to save himself from death. If man is all mind, if he is infused by the Principle of Attraction, and thereby one with this principle, and if the principle is indestructible, then man is indestructible also, provided he understands the truth of the matter. The truth that man is one with the Principle of Attraction—the life principle—exists beyond the power of the universe to disprove; but even though it does exist, and is the truth of all truths, it is also true that man must recognise it before, as an individual, he becomes consciously joined with the principle; before he becomes "one with the Father." It is the consciousness of the truth that makes man one with the life principle.
Man is the Principle of Attraction as expressed in use. He is this principle, its very self in objectivity, while the principle is the man in subjectivity, and the two are one. The man is the self-conscious side of the principle, and unless his self-consciousness leads him into a knowledge of his relation to the Life Principle he will die. It is only his knowledge of his relation to the Life Principle that can save him; but when he comes into this knowledge he is one with the Life Principle, and as indestructible as it is.
When he comes to this tremendous place in his knowing he begins to see his unlimited possibilities as an individual resident upon the earth, working on the external or earth plane; and he is no longer willing to surrender his chances of carrying out these possibilities by yielding up his body. He wants his body, because it is his body, not his soul that is the expression of the Life Principle. His soul is but a "makeshift" invented to tide him over from one life to another when he should lose his body—a loss which he supposed to be inevitable.
Man is a consciousness of the Life Principle; he is a recogniser of it, and he shows forth as much of its power and possibilities as he recognises.
This sentence explains the whole philosophy of existence. It is the key that unlocks the entire mystery of the universe. Here is a condensed statement of it:
The Life Principle exists.
The Life Principle draws; it has but one function; that is, to draw or attract. This attracting power is the seed germ of every manner of growth, and exists in the atom as well as in the planet; it holds the atoms together and it holds the planets together also.
Each creature or thing is made visible, or manifests its objective existence, by its recognition of the Principle of Attraction within its own body. The tree recognises a certain amount of the Principle of Attraction, and this amount shows forth in the form and character of the tree. An animal recognises more of the power embodied in the Principle of Attraction and is possessed of more intelligence, which shows forth in superior powers; as, for instance, the power to roam about.
We are in the realm of mind; there is no dead matter; the world is all mind; its mountains and seas and rocks are all mind. But they are mind of a very low grade of intelligence. The smallest blade of grass that grows has more intelligence than the earth, and proves it by its power to ascend above the earth. So long as the blade of grass can recognise a higher good than the soil beneath it, it can, by virtue of this recognition, overcome the earth's attraction. It feels the superior attraction of the sun.
In the universe of mind it is intelligence, and not bulk, or what we call dead weight, that makes the strength of a magnet.
Every creature that obeys the Principle of Attraction, and simply lives and grows, without a knowledge of how it is done, is on the plane of unconscious growth; and not until men acquire a consciousness of what growth is, and by what means it proceeds, will they conquer death. They are only partial developments of the one great truth that allies them to the Life Principle, and they must become whole in this particular or they will surely die.
The Life Principle (which is the Principle of Attraction, these two expressions meaning the same thing) must have intelligent recognition; a recognition so full and complete as to render the creature a constantly growing exponent of its own possibilities and power. This involves the constant acquisition of knowledge; the constantly widening recognition of the Life Principle. The Life Principle then being individualised in the man, becomes the ever-flowing fountain of perpetual being within him. This was the fountain that Ponce de Leon was seeking; but he made the mistake of seeking it outside of himself, when it was within him. If he had sought aright he would have found it, for it surely does exist, and its deathless waters are for us, who, by searching within ourselves, can find them.
The procession of ever-enlarging growths on the animal plane, all leading up to man, are more or less unconscious of the power they represent. Their recognition of the Life Principle is expressed in what they are and what they do. Their brains have not ripened to that point where they can say, from the basis of reason, "There is a supreme power within me, which I recognise as being able to overcome all obstacles to never-ending growth, and to liberate me entirely from the world's ignorant beliefs, into which I was born and which I still represent."
This new thought movement, which begins to be universal, and which points in the direction of the conquest of death, is the most important step in advance that has ever been taken. It is nothing less than the passage of the whole people from the stage of blind, unconscious growth to that of conscious growth.
Blind, unconscious growth, be it remembered well, is growing as the trees and animals grow—without a knowledge of how or why we grow. All growths that do not expand to an understanding of the Principle of Attraction within them, and thereby learn to do their own growing, must, necessarily, die after a time; they are abortions of truth, whose mission was unfulfilled by reason of their ignorance.
Every ascending step in the procession of creatures, from the beginning, has been marked by a fresh accession of vitality in the new species, or race. Vitality is the result of intelligence. In a universe that is all mind there is but one way to develop vitality; it is by the constant recognition of more and greater truths. Man has completed his animal or unconscious growth, which has developed him into a working organism, or laboratory for the manifestation of conscious intelligence. He stands at this point now—the point where there is no further progression for him under the law of unconscious growth, or the method of growth expressed blindly in uses.
He stands at the point of the new and great departure; that departure to which all nature has been silently approaching. So important is his position and responsibility that one backward step now would plunge the world into another dark age, from which it would take centuries to recover; from which it might never recover, for worlds die in the bud, before their possibilities are unfolded, just as plants do.
So important is the present situation that the failure to use it judiciously would, to millions of us, render the world a nonentity, and make life as if it had never been.