ページの画像
PDF
ePub

They made a careful census of hallucinations, so called. They gathered their materials from every source, verified them as carefully as possible, classified them, and then proceeded to study them with reference to an explanation. No final and conclusive theory has been pronounced by these researchers, but they are practically at one in the conclusion that such experiences point either to actual objective appearances from the unseen world, say of those who have recently died, or, on the other hand, to a power in man, under intense, concentrated thought and emotion, of projecting a visual semblance or image of himself, sent forth as it were from his body, and of clothing it with a momentary externality, so that some one else may see and recognize it. In other words, the accepted hypothesis provisionally framed to account for these facts of experience is that thought has a true creative power, though a temporary power; that it can, for the moment at least, gather round itself, out of the atmosphere if you will, the elements to construct a form, a body, an appearance, in which a man may thus manifest himself to his fellows. It is the first scientific hint yet given of the actual creative power of thought. We see a man doing for a moment what God is doing all the time in the Universe—thinking aloud, thinking himself out into visibility and audibility.

Plainly, then, thought is the real life-force of the Universe -the real life-force in man. As such, it demands systematic training on man's part, in order that it may be fully utilized. In this utilization lies the accomplishment of his desires, the outworking of his purpose, the fulfilment of his destiny.

(To be continued.)

God's beauty, truth, right, power, are continually pressing for entrance into all souls in the universe, and as enters each as it will allow. But, as the light that enters is affected by the quality of the window it passes through, so it is with the light of God shining into human souls.-Samuel Longfellow.

OUR SAFETY IN THOUGHT AND ACTION.

BY ALWYN M. THURBER.

After every seer and every teacher has presented his profoundest philosophy to us—after we have had preached to us every mooted conception of truth, be it old or new—must there not be, somewhere and at all times, for each of us, a positive right and wrong: a safe mooring for our craft within the fabled haven of peace, or a pitfall that shall lead us into temporary pain and unrest? We believe we ought to glory in the fact that life is an enigma, and that the pearl of safety consists in something to be discovered or evolved and not to be had for the asking; yet we are scarcely prepared to believe that God is yet ready for man's perfection-man as we know him in bodily shape. Ideally he is perfect, of course, but as a physical expression he is in many ways imperfect. Then, as a matter of course, must we not admit that there is a positive right and wrong in our every thought and act?

One grows dizzy at the thought of the magnitude of things. The single phase of manifestation called human life may be but a link in a great chain of stupendous experiments. We doubt the possibility of the perfect man or woman appearing upon earth during our own brief careers. Would we, with our crude visions and distorted ideas, recognize the Master among us? No; no more than the ant can have a conception of the mountain at whose base it burrows.

I have been seriously impressed with what Prentice Mulford says about the process of reëmbodiment. He assumes that our highest or lowest conceptions—the hero in a drama, a fiend in the yellow novel, or an angel in a dream-are actual realities in the astral life, which we attract to us by the quality of our thinking; that thousands lose more or less

of their individuality through the influence of others, seen or unseen--so much so that they unconsciously think others' thoughts, others' opinions are taken second hand, and they actually see with eyes not their own. The safety Mr. Mulford prescribes is variety in associations, and periods of solitude wherein we may find our real selves.

What about the pitfall of asceticism? Here again we are confronted with a doubt. If we court material possessions we become miserly; if we meditate too much in secret we become "queer" in manner and unfit for business; if we are over-sympathetic we impart too much that rightfully belongs to us, and at last become ill and complaining; if we eat flesh we become like animals; if we chasten the body we suffer from the contempt of those who do not understand us; if we live in the spirit as a daily habit the delicate cord that binds us to the body snaps and we find ourselves prematurely cut off from our unfinished mission upon earth-cast out, as it were, into bodiless space.

Were our spiritual eyes suddenly opened to all that exists, would not a frenzy of despair seize us? Nature has kindly closed our eyelids, that we may be unmolested by fear. A babe has faith in its mother's love, though the universe is a blank to it. I wish people would never outgrow that simple trust which nestles in the youthful bosom and closes the baby eyes in perfect repose. Then the dangers that we older children cherish so dearly would never exist. The believer in reincarnation tells us that the play and sportiveness of early youth are due to the lightness and exhilaration of the spirit enjoying a new body. Is there not a secret here-of how to keep young and live as long as we wish? Were our acts and thoughts always right, ever moving along the line of least resistance, would not the riddle be guessed? Would not "age" soon become a myth?

As society is at present adjusted, can we enforce at all times a single human law? Imagine an individual setting up

a standard for a whole nation! The Mother Church can put words of worship into the mouths of her children, but the thoughts that people their minds are beyond ecclesiastical control. Indeed, have we not here a momentous truth? Have we not hit upon the key to all heresies? Thought—that subtle essence of the mind which steals into our reveries, invades even our dreams, and bids us doubt while kneeling in the very shadows of the sanctuary: the glow-worm of the soul -have we lived ages without discovering its supremacy? What a person thinks is certain to shape his career; what he does may be modified by what others think. At this point do not Prentice Mulford's ideas of reëmbodiment apply with emphasis? Have we not all our own astral attachmentsgood, bad, and indifferent—that tincture our auras with passion, or with less harmful impulses, or with positively help ful inclinations? It is not best hastily to deny what the teachers of mysticism have given us. We should rather weigh, compare, contrast, and then decide at leisure.

Our safety in thought and action lies in doing or thinking that which brings us the greatest peace of mind. "Ah,” declares the churchman, "we have all that in our creeds; the Golden Rule is a bulwark against which infidelity has foundered. As Christians we have discovered nothing better. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. In brief, do right." But what is right, and by what rule of measurement can we know right when we see it? A father smokes --and uses the strap on his son who is caught smoking. A man of questionable morals may move in the best society; but if a mere word of scandal is breathed about a woman, society says nay to her. In war we can kill our fellow-beings with impunity; in time of peace we hang for it. A carnivorous animal will devour a human being, and we do not blame the lowly instinct in the least. An emotional person's face is suffused with happiness one moment and wet with tears the next; but a stoical advocate of the "strenuous life" can

see one pugilist pummel another and dub it manly and scientific.

Far be it from my purpose to attempt to state just what is right; I certainly do not know. But there have been times when, acting upon sheer impulse, I have hit upon the right thing, whereas had I taken a second thought I would have done quite differently. I recall one case in puint-an occasion on which, with friends, I was enjoying Nature in a forest. In the midst of the Sabbath stillness a yell of pain broke upon our ears. Looking in the direction whence it came, I saw to my dismay a number of men surging down a neighboring lot, each intent upon pounding a fellow-mortal who was trying to escape their abuse. I was told that, in this quiet spot, away from the reach of law, these men were wont to congregate on Sundays to commit deeds most cruel. Without a thought of my own safety, I ran toward the rabble. To this hour I do not know just how I succeeded in making my way to the center of the mob, but, just as I reached there, a stalwart fellow was beating the victim unmercifully. It must have been a desperate resolve, but with a single lurch I jerked the wicked man over backward. I can never forget the consternation of those about me. The throng parted instantly, and every eye glowered upon me with awe and dread. I was the only well-dressed person among them, and had I dropped out of the clouds the effect could not have been more dramatic. Not one dared touch me, while the victim of their wrath crawled between the legs of his tormentors and escaped. Had I not saved his life? It may have been ten seconds before the rabble dared to move a muscle. When it did I was fairly jostled out from among them; even then not one of them attempted to strike me. A friend of mine—the only person near who knew me, and who had been witnessing the fracas in silence—tapped me upon the shoulder. “You have done a desperate thing; don't you know it?" he asked. “You had better get out of here or

« 前へ次へ »