Divine Mind, Its Nature And Manifestation
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE God idea seems to be universal, although we are told that in the interior of Australia a tribe of men was discovered who had no conception of God. In all my investigations that is the only mention I have ever seen of a body of people who were entirely without any idea of God or of what is generally meant by the word God. This idea concerning Deity changes as man develops. It was the late Colonel Ingersoll who had a very clever and profound way of stating this thought. He said, "An honest God is the noblest work of man."
This is profound because man's concept of Deity corresponds with his power of idealization; he cannot create a God that is above his own ideal. And while it is true that God created man in His own image, according to the Scripture, it is also true that undeveloped man is forever re-turning the compliment by creating God in his own image. Therefore when primitive man began to realize the "I am I," that is to say, that he was something distinct and apart from everything else, he came to the point where he began to manifest the principle of self-consciousness; he began to think, to analyze and to worship. The first thing he saw which awakened a feeling of fear or reverence in him was what we call Nature and natural forces; and perceiving that they were stronger than himself he commenced to worship them as his Deity. Next he passed on to the making of an image of the thing he worshiped, such as the totem; and later he worshiped the sun and moon and stars. When he had learned by experience that fire could destroy both his body and his possessions he began to worship that too, and thus he continued to live for ages alternately worshiping and propitiating everything which he did not understand and could not control.
The idea of Deity is first found in individual worship. Each man has his own particular God which is a true one for him, because each person has his own conception of Deity. But as he be-comes stronger he is not satisfied to worship alone and then he desires to impress his ideas upon those with whom he comes in contact and we find him in the second stage of his worship, which is tribal. When a certain tribe of men becomes stronger numerically than another and begins to dominate that other it immediately enforces its own God idea upon the conquered people as was most excellently illustrated in the primitive Greciao States. There every little state had its own particular God, but as the states became merged a national God idea gradually took form, by the weaker states accepting the God of the stronger. But sometimes the tribal or national God of the conquered people appealed to the wants or needs of the conquerors and was adopted by them as when Isis became Diana of Ephesus. Christianity has given us another example of this adoption of another nation's God by accepting Judea's God Jah-hovah and renaming Him Jehovah.
Jahhovah was nothing more than the Male-female creative principle united. It was a Planetary Spirit or one of the Elohim. Christianity adopted Him from Judaism and improved upon the conception of its votaries by making of Him a Universo-personal God. Much of His sup-posed wrath and vengeance was modified or ameliorated by attributing to Him enough of the element of love to enable Him to show a leniency toward such of His creatures as He had elected or foreordained to be saved.
But now we have passed into a transition state and man's conception of Deity is broadening from the anthropomorphic to a real Universal God without modifications or limitations. The anthropomorphic idea means God made in the image of man or ascribing human attributes to God. In olden times the attributes of human weaknesses and human traits were ascribed to the Jehovic God. But we have now arrived at the point where anthropomorphism is no longer characteristic of the most progressive thinkers. We are now able to conceive of a Universal Deity; one without human weakness, one without human limitation; and if there is one thing above all others that this great mental and metaphysical movement stands for it is the sweeping away of the old anthropomorphic idea and the giving in its place a Universal Deity.
"Divine Mind" has been selected for the term to be applied to this new conception of God in order to emphasize this idea of Universal Deity; in order to bring out clearly first the Deific idea and secondly the fact that it is consciousness. I prefer the term "Universal Consciousness," but since "Divine Mind" seems to be a favorite term with the Christian Scientists, the Mental Scientists, the "New Thought Movement" and others, we shall use that as representing the universality of Divine Consciousness.
This consciousness being universal necessarily manifests everywhere. Looking at it on the objective side and in the mineral kingdom we speak of the cohesion of minerals. Now minerals can-not be cohesive unless there is a certain amount of consciousness to hold them together. If we examine into what we call the transition states, or if we go back of the mineral kingdom to the gases which chemicalized to produce the minerals, we find something we call chemical affinity, which is a certain form of consciousness. Let us take a concrete example. A drop of water is, as you know, formed by the combination of two gases, hydrogen and oxygen in parts of two to one, H2O. Why should they unite in this combination rather than in any other? The amount of power required to disrupt the forces locked up in that drop of water is something tremendous. Yet you may take a drop of water and put it on a piece of iron and you can watch the divorce as it takes place between the two elements. If there were no consciousness in what is called chemical affinity this could not occur. The tremendous force locked into that combination of gases be-comes dissipated as soon as the atoms are brought into new conditions. This shows that there is consciousness there; were it otherwise no change would have taken place. In the case of boiling water : if fire and water were but inert matter acting upon inert matter and no consciousness were there, how could those vibrations be raised and the water be made to boil? But it is the conscious side of the atoms composing the fire, acting upon the conscious side of the atoms composing the water, which raises those slower vibrations of the water and makes it boil.
Passing up a step higher we come to examine the vegetable kingdom. Why do pine, hemlock and spruce trees grow side by side taking from the earth only such particles as each needs to sustain its individual life? Is there not here a conscious selection of elements made by each tree?
In the animal kingdom this consciousness be-comes so distinctly individualized that to distinguish its higher form from the lower or vegetable kingdom we call it something more than consciousness—we call it intelligence. In man we find a still higher form of consciousness than in that of the animal, which we designate as Mind; and this state of development is the highest with which we are familiar. Therefore when we use the term Universal Consciousness or Divine Mind, we mean that which comprehends, that which embodies and includes all that we call consciousness, individualized or otherwise. We mean all that is visible or invisible, known or unknown. All that can be seen, touched, handled or sensed; all that can be apprehended—all is God.
The Universal Mind consists of two portions—the manifested and the unmanifested. The manifested portion can be apprehended by the human mind, but that which is unmanifested cannot be apprehended. There is a plus element which is always above and beyond that which is manifested. The manifestation takes place within the unmanifested and there is always something from within which brings forth the manifested. The plus element we shall not attempt to explain; because I am informed that none of the Occultists —not even the greatest—has ever been able to fathom all of Its nature.
From man's point of view the manifested portion of the Universal Mind consists of two parts, the visible and the invisible; and yet each of these is but a condition, a part or a diversity of the complete unity of the Universal Consciousness. Divine Mind or Consciousness expresses Itself in the two great forms which are popularly known as force and matter: looking at matter from the standpoint of a materialist (because matter is what we are supposed to be most familiar with) we will study the manifestation of the Universal Consciousness in that form.
We are supposed to be familiar with matter, and yet Holman J. Clerk-Maxwell and almost all scientists are willing to confess that their conception of it is but a hypothetical idea. Huxley, in his "Sensation and Sensiferous Organs," says: "All that we know about matter is that it is the hypothetical substance of physical phenomena." Physically we can know very little of either force or matter because this objective world is on the plane of effects.
The Occultists divide matter into two great portions, the particled and the unparticled. The particled portion comes forth from the unparticled as a precipitation of it. Let me try to make this clear to you. If you place a pan of water outside your window when the temperature of the atmosphere is below freezing point, you will find that gradually there is a lowering of the rate of vibration of the atoms which compose the water until there comes a crystalline formation within the pan. Most of the water in the pan is still fluidic, but there are also these crystalline formations, and we have both the particled and the unparticled portions in the pan. In a like manner throughout. Nature these two forms of matter are forever seen during a period of manifestation or evolution, and it is the particled portion of matter that science has agreed to call atoms, though I believe that recently certain scientists are trying to sub-divide even the atom which they admit they have never yet seen. There are several scientific theories concerning the nature of the atom which we will not discuss at this time. It is sufficient to know that the physicists agree in saying that logically and necessarily there must be an ultimate element, and this produces the phenomena which we call physical life.
It has often seemed to me that if all Mental Scientists had the faith, of the profane scientists they would soon become Occultists and would accomplish anything they undertook, for the profane scientist—if the term "profane" will be excused —says: "Such a law must of necessity exist," and often stakes his life upon his faith. Then, too, he always lives up to and acts upon his scientific faith. For instance, before Neptune was discovered science said : "At such a point in space there should be a planet," and thenceforth all astronomical calculations were based upon this logical theory; but it was not until a long time after the scientists had made known their theory that the planet was actually discovered. And so it is with this question that we are considering —the existence of the unseen atom. The scientist knows that there is a unit of substance; he knows there must be one because visible physical forms are the product of something and he says they must have an individual basis and therefore there is an atom.
The Occultist asserts that the atom which the scientist says must exist, does exist, and is visible upon the subjective side of life. It is the smallest portion of particled substance, and atoms are the bricks with which the world is builded. So the atom is seen and known by the Occultist and is recognized as a logical necessity by the physicist. Then comes the question, how is it created?
The Occultist says it is created by the will of Deity. Deity desires to manifest, to raise Itself to a higher form of existence, and this desire going forth within Itself causes the Universe to grow into objectivity. This desire manifests first in the particled portion and is a force which being sent into unparticled matter causes a precipitate within itself which is called atoms. And all worlds, all bodies, all atoms are made of the same substance. Everywhere throughout space there is but one basis for the physical universe and this basis we agree to call matter. Most people, how-ever, give to matter qualities that it does not possess and therefore give it a power over them-selves. If you understand the nature of matter and look at it from the right standpoint you will be able to control it; but if you give to it qualities that do not belong to it then it will control or limit you.
The other great power which is recognized as a factor in building the physical world is force, and we find a limited amount of knowledge concerning it. True it is that scientists have classified forces as electric force, force of heat, force of steam, etc., but after everything has been stated and analyzed we find all that the physicist knows of force is that it is the immediate cause of a change in the velocity or direction of the motion of a body. In other words, it is the proximate cause of the phenomena of form. When we view the material world as the manifestation of Deity we know that behind this motion which we call force, and behind this form which we call matter there is a cause which produces them; and we want to know something about this cause.
The Occultist starts with the premise, as we said before, that all is Deity or Divine Essence. This Divine Essence manifesting as motion is called force by both the Occultist and the physicist. The Occultist also calls it thought because all force in its ultimate is either thought or the result of thought. With the Occultist force and thought are identical and force is the product of mind. The Divine Essence manifesting as mat-ter is what both the physicists and Occultists call substance—substance being the collective name for the atoms; and we call it substance because it is that which stands under, that which lies be-hind the visible Universe. The physical Universe is, therefore, but atoms in motion or vibration and back of matter and back of motion is Divine Essence.
The mistake that the physicists of the ultra school make is in believing that matter is all; that everything is a by-product of matter and that Mind and Consciousness are but this thing which we call matter in motion. And the great mistake of the ultra Mental and Christian Scientists is in believing that all is mind and that there is no matter. Each view is extreme, and fails to distinguish both manifestations of Divine Essence. The Divine Essence does manifest in those two forms and we should study its manifestations in both; therefore, to say there is no matter and thus sweep away in thought the physical world is, in my opinion, not altogether scientific. But the true scientific attitude is to say that the Supreme Universal Divine Essence—Consciousness—God—does manifest in the dual way of motion and matter. This gives us the trinity of Consciousness, Force and Substance.
The Occultist does not forget this trinity and the part each portion plays in life. The atom as viewed by the Occultist is dual, and has its consciousness or force aspect and its substance aspect. Its positive aspect is consciousness, its negative aspect is substance, and these two are inseparable.
The physicist does not recognize the force side of the atom as consciousness and the Christian Scientist does not recognize the physical side, but the Occultist maintains that the physical side of the atom is the vehicle for consciousness; and this duality of the atom is the keynote to Occultism. The knowledge of this is essential to the conscious production of phenomena. Understanding this, you may realize how the visible Universe is produced, how forces are controlled, how cures are performed by mental therapeutics. It all resolves itself into the action of mind upon mind or upon lesser and other forms of consciousness. Matter is subject to mind when mini controls form through the consciousness side of substance, by making and modifying vibrations, the cause of form.
The world of form is but atoms vibrating at certain established rates. Vibrations which appeal to us as sound have no inherent sound, but are due to rates of vibration that impinge upon the nerves of the ear and are transmitted as vibrations to the brain and thence to the mind. Those vibrations which appeal to the eye as color have no light per se, but are rates of vibration that impinge upon the optic nerves and are transmitted to the brain as vibrations. All is vibration—vibration modified by Consciousness behind it or by individual consciousness within it. All sensation is but the effect of vibration upon the mind.
For example : I am looking at a glass bulb that contains an electric light. It gives me the impression of something we call light. The ether is made to vibrate at a certain rate and these vibrations impinge upon the optic nerves and reach the objective mind within the brain, and I have the sensation of something we have agreed to call light. Thus we see that it all comes back to a mental basis for a material world; since all kinds of physical phenomena are produced by the same substance vibrating at different rates.
For example, hold a poker in the fire. After a while it becomes so brilliant that we call it white. Then take it out of the fire and watch it. After a little time it will change from white to yellow, then to red, and finally back to black. It was the same group of atoms vibrating at different rates which produced the separate and distinct colors of the poker. The impinging of the vibrations upon our minds caused our conceptions of the changing colors ; and the same law which produced the colors for us produces the physical Universe or the external manifested world. Therefore it is the relationship of our individual consciousness to the external world of vibrations which makes the world for us.
Now let us consider Divine Mind in its subjective manifestations. The lower portion of the particled part of that Consciousness is, in the scientific phraseology of the physicist, the ether. The two are identical. Ether, like the atom, is something that the scientific world says must exist ; it is a logical necessity, but no scientist has ever seen the ether; he only knows that it produces or in it are produced certain phenomena. This ether is a subtle, universal, magnetic, fluidic medium in which all manifested things are ,embedded: this is about the consensus of the opinion of the scientific world.
We will now consider these qualities of the ether from a mental viewpoint, because this course is particularly designed to teach you the nature and powers of mind.
First of all the ether is subtle. It interpenetrates all other forms of existence, all other forms of physical life. Why do you see me? Why do you see the light? Because of this subtle essence that is between us. I am talking about an aspect of the Universal Mind and you must remember that this subtle essence is Consciousness. You are permeated with it, the atoms of your body are held together in groups by it; this subtle consciousness is in every portion of your being. You are swimming, living, .existing in a sea of it.
Secondly, we must understand that the ether is universal; it cannot be excluded from any plane or place. This Universal Consciousness is, as its name implies, everywhere. It is important to remember this universality because in thought transference or in treating mentally a person at a distance you must realize that there is no separateness in consciousness. Upon the plane of mind the thought passes immediately from one to another; so you do not have to make a great effort to reach another mind. You can reach it instantly and easily through the medium of this consciousness because it is universal.
Thirdly, the ether is magnetic. It attracts all its parts, and every part and particle of itself being interdependent none is independent. Every particled part of this sea of magnetism, every individualized part, whether it be an atom, a man or a sun, is a magnetic center; and because the whole is magnetic each part must be magnetic. Evolution can only be carried on by reason of these centers and it was for this purpose that they were brought into existence. Every center in the Universal Consciousness should be pre-served. Therefore your first duty to God and to yourself is to preserve your own magnetic center. Occultism teaches no sacrifice of self, because evolution would be retarded instead of aided by such teaching.
By this I do not wish to be misunderstood as saying there should be no self-denial, or that there should be no giving up of personal or selfish comforts or superfluities; but I do mean that the individual center should not be destroyed or depleted until it becomes an imperfect medium for Deity to work through. Occultism says no one should sacrifice his life for another because every life is important to Deity, and for aught we know the life to be sacrificed may be the more important center of the two at that juncture of history.
I am not speaking of sentimentality, but I am stating a law.
Again, no one should give and continue to give of his own spiritual, mental or physical force until he is a bankrupt. A depleted center is of no use to Deity in the evolutionary struggle. Look over the list of those persons who are practicing mental therapeutics, or think of your altruistic friends who are bearing other people's burdens and see how the law has acted in their cases. Are not many of them mentally, physically or financially depleted and of comparatively little utility because of this conscious or unconscious violation of the law? I am not eulogizing heroics, sounding the glory of martyrdom nor criticizing the victims of vanity; but I am stating an immutable law.
I know that altruism is said to have been taught by the Nazarene Occultist, and admitting that after three or four generations had passed away, He was correctly reported in this respect—in the records which you now have—then His teachings could only have been intended to neutralize the intense and almost universal selfishness which prevailed at that time. Both altruism and selfishness are extreme views, while intelligent individualism is the middle ground and is in accordance with the law that I have stated. It is fortunate, however, that selfishness is so earnestly condemned and that altruism is more preached than practiced, or humanity would not be able to press on in compliance with the law as it is doing at present. So your duty to yourself and to Deity is to become a positive center; and the higher your rate of vibration the more powerful do you become. No one ever succeeded in life who was continually in a negative condition. To be successful you must be positive. "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel," says the Scripture. You must be strong and positive, and then whatever you undertake will end successfully.
Did you ever stand on the bank of a river and watch the water as it whirled round a center or vortex in the stream? Did you observe how that vortex drew to itself everything that came floating down upon the current? That was an active, positive center distinct from any other center or vortex in that stream, and because of its individualized strength it had the power of attraction and everything was drawn into it.
So it is that men become vortices in this great magnetic sea of consciousness and according as they become positive and strong do they draw to themselves whatsoever they desire. But we cannot help others until we become strong ourselves. We must have force before we can impart it to others. We must know before we can teach.
Fourth, the ether is fluidic. This particled sea of Divine Consciousness flows according to the impetus given to it both by Deity Itself and by man; and it moves in the direction in which it is sent. This is another important fact to remember because you will learn that there are currents within this fluidic sea and later on you will be taught how to attach yourself to those currents and forces and to draw such as you desire into yourself. There are also currents of love and you shall be taught how to attach yourself to draw love to you. There are destructive currents and you shall be taught how to avoid attaching yourself to them.
Suppose you were a thousand miles from home and you desired to help some member of your family. With your power of thought you could make this fluidic force, this Consciousness and life flow into the person that you desire to help. So it is very important that you should realize some-thing about the nature of this fluidic Universal Consciousness. It is a wonderful storehouse in which everything that is conceivable to the mind of man is stored; and his thoughts going forth into it can bring back to him just what he desires.
Fifth, this Consciousness—the ether—is the medium in which all things are embedded and through which all things are connected with each other. Because it is a medium there is no friction between any parts of it per se; it yields to you and yet connects you with any or all of its parts.
It does not impair or retard the force you sent out into it, and it brings back to you precisely what you send forth. If you think love to a friend, your love will go to him precisely as you think it, and with no greater nor less intensity than you feel it. If there were any friction in this Universal Ether or Divine Consciousness we should not be able to receive the light from thé stars. The worlds would some time stop in their orbits because no world would be able to revolve for more than a limited time, if there were the least resistance to its progress through space.
Consciously direct your thought into the Ether and it is sure to reach the person, place or thing to which you send it. If you want to give me a mental treatment, you think kindly, positively of me, and this thought going from you into the Ether makes a little pathway for itself until it reaches me. For the time being there is a magnetic cord established between us and over that magnetic cord you send your thoughts of health and strength. No wave of thought vibration can ever be impaired. Modern scientists agree that at the same place and at the same time there may be an infinite variety of etheric waves of different lengths, with none of them interfering with each other. We can see waves, which we call light, as they are sent to us from the stars; and could we but translate the messages those waves of light or vibrations are bringing to us, we should be wiser and better than we are. But Occultists know that the color of a star indicates its state of development, and in this way we are able to determine which of the heavenly bodies are below or above us in their evolution.
Most persons know scarcely anything about the magnetic power which is daily given to all living creatures by our sun. We know that the sunshine often dispels the fears which have come upon us at night. We know that difficulties which seem insurmountable as viewed by moonlight, melt before us like mist when the beautiful, golden rays of the sun are turned upon them. We may be courageous, positive and strong while the sun shines, but when it has disappeared below the horizon and the shadows of night have settled down upon us our courage dwindles, and we often become weak and negative. More souls pass out of their bodies at night than while the sun is shining; and people who are ill grow worse as the sun commences to decline. All these conditions are governed by the law of vibration. The light waves or vibrations from the sun are the strongest, the most powerful and the most magnetic that come to us from any source. They are a continuous flow of force currents to this world and to all other planets near enough to receive their vibrations. When a person or any other individualized consciousness concentrates its thoughts upon the sun it receives a mental and a magnetic treatment from that great center, since the concentration of thought opens a direct channel for the great force to flow through to the one concentrating upon it; and the vibrations both mental and physical of that person or creature are raised in proportion to the intensity of its powers of concentration.
Divine Mind is precisely analogous to a sensitive plate and each human thought makes a picture on that plate. By thought you make the exposure, and the thing pictured will in time be-come your own, for you are attached to your creations and time develops the picture for you. If you hold the image you have made long enough you will get a perfect picture; if you think idly, then you have made what the photographers would call an under exposure and the picture is not full, clear and perfect, and many of the details are left out; but by holding the picture firmly and strongly, you make it a permanency and then it is yours, for thoughts become things.
Mental pictures are first mental things, but after a time they become physical things or draw physical things to them, for the great Consciousness gives back to us precisely what we send into it. It gives to us whatever we ask of it, and our ignorance in making demands will be no protection to us. The only way that evolution can go on is by Divine Mind granting every request that we persistently make; it is in this way we gain wisdom through experience.
This automatic action, as it were, of Divine Consciousness was fully taught by Jesus, but is as little understood or believed in by His present so-called followers as it was by those whom He originally tried to teach. You remember He said: "Judge not that ye be not judged; for with what judgment ye judge ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again." And again He said: "Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." And when He said these things He was stating what He knew was a law which could be put into operation then or at any time afterwards.