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Section 5

5. But this power which determines memory is it also the principle by which the Supreme becomes effective in us?

At any time when we have not been in direct vision of that sphere, memory is the source of its activity within us; when we have possessed that vision, its presence is due to the principle by which we enjoyed it: this principle awakens where it wakens; and it alone has vision in that order; for this is no matter to be brought to us by way of analogy, or by the syllogistic reasoning whose grounds lie elsewhere; the power which, even here, we possess of discoursing upon the Intellectual Beings is vested, as we show, in that principle which alone is capable of their contemplation. That, we must awaken, so to speak, and thus attain the vision of the Supreme, as one, standing on some lofty height and lifting his eyes, sees what to those that have not mounted with him is invisible.

Memory, by this account, commences after the soul has left the higher spheres; it is first known in the celestial period.

A soul that has descended from the Intellectual region to the celestial and there comes to rest, may very well be understood to recognize many other souls known in its former state supposing that, as we have said, it retains recollection of much that it knew here. This recognition would be natural if the bodies with which those souls are vested in the celestial must reproduce the former appearance; supposing the spherical form [of the stars inhabited by souls in the mid-realm] means a change of appearance, recognition would go by character, by the distinctive quality of personality: this is not fantastic; conditions changing need not mean a change of character. If the souls have mutual conversation, this too would mean recognition.

But those whose descent from the Intellectual is complete, how is it with them?

They will recall their memories, of the same things, but with less force than those still in the celestial, since they have had other experiences to remember, and the lapse of time will have utterly obliterated much of what was formerly present to them.

But what way of remembering the Supreme is left if the souls have turned to the sense-known kosmos, and are to fall into this sphere of process?

They need not fall to the ultimate depth: their downward movement may be checked at some one moment of the way; and as long as they have not touched the lowest of the region of process [the point at which non-being begins] there is nothing to prevent them rising once more.

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