Yoga - The One And The Many
( Originally Published 1906 )
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, under-lying 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 Mat-ter, 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 some-thing 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 Rea-son requires the acceptance of one or two ideas, viz., (I) 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 Him-self, 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 re-fuses 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 Someth'ing 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 with-out 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 for-bid 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 it-self 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 re-port 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 "Bhavagad 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 Iikewise 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 in-cline 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 Mat-ter, 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 Sub-stance? 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 like-wise 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 con-tent 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 al-most 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 thé 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 where-in 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 : (I) 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 out-side 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 at-tempts 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 Abso could not be bound by anything, inner or outer, else it would not be Absolute and In-finite, 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 exercisng 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 In-finite !
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 at-tempted 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 anthropmorphism—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 for-ever 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" it-self; in becoming Many, instead of remaining One. Others have taught that the Infinite somehow has be-come 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 en-able It to destroy Its Absolute Being. And so, you who have wondered, perhaps you may now under-stand 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 for-ever, 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 any-thing 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 like-wise. 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 re-membered 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 !