The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
Man in his developing has become overbalanced in the direction of the reasoning faculties, and, as suggested in the preceding chapter, the harmony of a well-rounded maturity demands that the intuitional faculties be understood and given their full function. As intelligent, thinking beings, we find ourselves here with but a vague idea of how we came to be here, or of what forces projected us into being, and with less idea of the origin of conscious intelligence.
In order to obtain a knowledge of such truths, we must have an adequate conception of the immensity of the universe and of its eternal duration, and a realization that we are integral parts of the universe, integral parts of something we have discerned faintly, and vaguely defined as law, nature. In the dark ages of human intelligence when it was illuminated only from its source, this something about which so little is known was called "God," a term which expressed the idea of power onlyall-mighty, all-comprehensive power.
From this very early phase of human experience,
have come two modes of thought and actionthe reasoning mentality and the intuitional mind had their beginning in this period. That intuitional mind has been termed the "subjective mind" and, in the religious cults of the past, it has been mystically known as the mind of the soul; and the inquiry as to what the soul is, has brought out many answers uncertain and unsatisfactory to the mind analytic in its tendencies. The nearest approach to a satisfactory definition is, that it is the thinking part of man's nature, which is as far from satisfactory as it is inadequate as a definition.
If we accept the Bible Revelation that God created the world and all that is in it by a word, then we must accept as a fact also that we were created by that word. This, at least, suggests the thought that we are but a part of the Universal Mind, having been organized and given limitations that we term the individual consciousness. These limitations may be called the ego, and that which is limited, the soul.
For illustration, if we take an air-tight vessel and seal it up so that no air can get in or out, then the air originally in the vessel will remain, no matter where the vessel may be carried, even though it is forced into the depths of the ocean. It is so with the original consciousness of man's existence. It is part of the All-Mind and through organization it has been shut in and given limitations, and these limitations are determined by the uses arising in
the necessity for maintenance of its individualized existence. This fact makes it evident that the stronger the ego, the narrower are the limitations of the individual. It follows, therefore, that in the developing and in the expanding of the individual, there need be an overcoming of self-love and the eradication of too much self-appreciation, in order that the consciousness may become receptive to the fountains from which it draws its existence.
We agree, therefore, in the assertion that individuality as such is an organized condition of life, and we agree also in the belief that life did not originate with us nor with our ancestors. This being true and life being the source of our consciousness, the possibility of opening up the limitations of the ego is again suggested to the mind, thus giving free access to the inflow of the Universal Life.
Special methods bearing directly upon this subject characterize all the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Nevertheless the experiences of the past and of many persons at the present time, demonstrate the fact that this letting go of the strength of the ego, and being passive to the inflow of Universal Life have been destructive to the individuality. Notable among such instances is the spiritualistic medium who becomes passive and receptive to whatever may flow in. As a matter of fact, there flows into such a person just what he or she believes. And as these people believe in the existence of spirits
[paragraph continues] disincarnate soulstherefore individualities or thought-forms, dark and malicious characteristics of their own lower natures, flow in and possess them and, as Christ said, the last state of these people is worse than the first.
Again, we have all seen the religious devotee who, without a knowledge of God or of universal law, has relinquished the ego to a certain extent and, opening himself to the Universal Mind, has become fanatical even to the loss of his individualityinsane. The reasoning intelligence has taken such examples as a warning against opening the selfhood to the Universal Mind. Just here, however, we meet a law of mind so well known as to have escaped critical inquiry, which is explained in what follows:
In the preceding chapter we referred to the law of inspiration, that we draw in, inspire, whatever the mind is centered upon to the exclusion of all else, and that the wonderful formative principle dominating human consciousness at once makes an image, a thought-form, of that which is indrawn. But in the process the principle of discrimination is called into actiona principle which in vegetable life, being nearest the creative source and therefore purest in character, expresses itself most perfectly. When a seed is placed in the ground, the chemist knowing the properties of the original plant is able to predict with absolute certainty what chemical elements the growing seed will gather to
itself out of which to build a like organism. The same principle, finding expression in the human consciousness, is taken control of by the organized mentality and may be suspended in its action, directed in its course, or intensified in its operation, and thus, being under the control of the individual, produces manifold results. Therefore as soon as the individual by means of the concentration previously noted, opens himself to the inflow of Universal Life (we shall see further on, that life and mind are synonymous terms) that in which he believes flows in and its image takes form in the mind and becomes for the time his consciousness.
It has been demonstrated that a person believing in a certain deranged and consequently diseased condition of the body, actually produces this condition; and there have been instances in which the physical body has been destroyed by this means. Belief is an all-powerful factor in human life and for this reason the necessity is imperative that the reasoning mind or, if you please, the guiding intelligence derived from experience, take control of the activities of the inner life and consciousness.
When there exists correct knowledge of the workings of the intuitional faculties, and the individual is able to take control of this function, then it will be found that these higher faculties are the dominant faculties of the real self, that they are that part of man's nature which, even in the absence of conscious thought, knows that he exists
and needs only an impulse of desire to call in from the Universal Mind unformed thought-elements. These unformed thought-elements, when carried to the reasoning brain, give it to know, both by inductive and deductive methods, that which is beyond the ken of the mere reasoning mind or the mere instinctive action.
From the foregoing, we may reasonably conclude that the higher faculties, now dormant in the race, may be brought into activity at will, and the consciousness allied to all that is in the Universal Mind and that thus the individual may select therefrom whatever is needed. We think, therefore, it has been made clear that in the evolvement of the individual by means of the inflow of qualities of Universal Mind there are active three factors:
First, the principle of inspiration, which draws in, causes to flow in, the qualities of Universal Life, where all qualities exist. Second, the formative principle of human intelligence, so perfect in its workings, that any quality that is indrawn is at once put into its proper form according to its specific quality. Third, belief, which underlies these two principles and controls the result of their activity, and determines the character or quality of the life inspired, and consequently decides what form it takes in the individual consciousness. Therefore belief decides the character of the intuition.
From what has been said, the thinking mind will
find suggestions which answer the question as to why such monstrous errors, superstitions and evil results of every kind have overtaken those who have depended exclusively upon the "inner consciousness," the instinctive mentality. Because of the facts just presented, the great religious teachers of the immediate past have emphasized the necessity of the reasoning mindof the knowing. We read in Hosea iv. 6, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge," and also the words of the Lord Christ (John viii. 32): "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free"free from those dangers that have beset the race from the beginning to the present time.
But since belief, as we have seen, controls the inspiratory and formative principles of the individual life, we have reached a point in the growth of the race where mind, the reasoning mind, must discover certain general principles of absolute truth in order that the faculties of inspiration and intuition may be safely used, or, in the language of the ancient mystics, in order that the individual may go out into the realm of the Universal Mind, discover and obtain knowledge that the advancing needs of the people are beginning to demand.
With this thought in mind we shall endeavor in the following pages to expand our idea of human origin, of organized intelligence, of the fountains of life, and the oneness of God, the Cause of all. We shall suggest methods also by which we may gather
and incorporate within us a greater amount of the Universal Life, methods by which that life may be refined, sensitized and intensified, thus giving it enormous added capacity, and methods that will give assurance of the correctness of the process from its beginning through each step of its course.