The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
In the preceding chapter we viewed man as dependent upon the earth and being "of the earth, earthy," and also in some of his relations to the Divine Likeness. We shall now consider some of the methods by which man is raised from the animal, earthy state into the spiritual; for nothing in the universe is effected without method involving a purposelet it be the purpose of the Divine Mind or a purpose active in the human mind. Nothing is accomplished without conforming to natural law.
In the present chapter we call attention to "Three Steps" or distinct methods, by which man ascends to a higher plane of existencethat of "The Likeness of God." Man has nothing to do with these methods, that is, he has no direct control over thema great truth which the prophet saw when, in his devotion to God, he exclaimed: "Thou hast wrought all our works in us."
The three steps are: (1) Inspiring or indrawing from the creative forces. (2) The incorporating of
the paschal lambthe Divine Word. (3) Man's rebirth or the birth of the spirit-child.
The First Method is in pursuance of the law of natural inspiration, active in all creation. In accordance with this law the creature when it has so developed as to feel the need of a higher state of unfoldment, begins to inspire from the all-fountain, the source of its life. Need produces desire and the sincere desire of the heart is prayer; so that when man has reached a point in his evolutionary unfoldment where he can go no further, there springs up within him a yearning, longing desire for something undefined, unknown. The soul prays and as he prays the answer comes, and there flows into the man an added higher quality.
It must be remembered that all inspiration, all inflowing life, even in the growth of the plant, is governed by the law manifest in mind as desire, causing the intelligence to feel the need of that which is desired. Without this feeling of need there can be no indrawing and incorporating into the organism of the higher element, there can be no inspiration from God. The first method, therefore, is the natural indrawing from the creative forces.
The Second Method is the incorporating of the emanation or inherent substance of the word spoken by the Lord Christ. God created the world by a
word, therefore wherever the Spirit forms a word it gives to that word life and power to cause action.
No doubt each one who reads this, has met at least one person whose thoughts were high, pure and grand, and while talking to the person you undoubtedly received something that was elevating, something that was added to you that you did not possess beforesomething, at least, of which you were not before conscious. There are qualities emanating from the thoughts of individuals that have an influence upon the atmosphere which surrounds them. This explains the mystery embodied in the words of the Lord Christ before quoted, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves." . . . "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you, are spirit and are life." Mark you, they are spirit, which is one thing, and they are life, which is another thing. The words are spirit because of their potentiality; they are life because they enter into the organism to which they are sent and begin the work of creating like spirit and thought.
Again Christ asks: "How can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house." The strong man is the animal or natural man without the spirit of God. He is armed with all the requisites for self-preservation
and for maintaining that which he esteems his goods; but when the spirit and life that were in the words spoken by the Christ enter into the strong man, they begin gradually to bind him by getting control of the passions and wrong desires, gradually winding the cord of spiritual desire around the old man, binding the passions, appetites and evil desires, supplanting them by the desires of the Spirit, until finally the spiritual man becomes strong enough to take control of the animal man, then we say of him he is converted. He has made his decision and perhaps declaration that he will thenceforth live for God and for righteousness.
This method is symbolized by the eating of the Passover Lamb. If you read the twelfth chapter of Exodus, you will observe that the children of Israel were told to take a lamb for an house and that they were to eat all of it, "his head with his legs and with the inwards thereof," and they were to let nothing remain until the morning and that which was not eaten was to be burned with fire. They were to eat it with their shoes on their feet and their staves in their hands, in readiness and in haste to go out from the old conditionsEgypt.
Mark you, there is some reason for the emphasis made in regard to their eating all of the lamb. At the institution of the "Lord's Supper" Jesus the Christ used words that have not been understood
by the translators of the New Testament. When he handed the cup to his disciples he said to them, "Drink you out of it all this for it is the blood of me," and likewise when he gave them the bread he said, "Eat ye all of it;" that is, he impressed the thought that was symbolized by the Passover, that the bread and wine were his flesh and blood and that they were to eat "all of it." Now, hold this thought in mind and let us look further.
Before his crucifixion, Christ commanded his disciples to remain in Jerusalem, in prayer and supplication, until the day of Pentecost, and we read that on that day the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, appearing to them as "cloven tongues of fire;" that "there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven," and that every man heard the disciples speak in his own language. This shows that the Holy Spirit had descended upon and into them, and that they were speaking from the Spirit and not from the intellect.
Whence came this Spirit and what did this mean? We read that after the resurrection of Jesus he ascended into heaven. His physical body was not permitted to see corruption, but it was taken away. Where did it go?
The answer is found in the symbolic story of the Passover Lamb that was all eaten by the children of Israel; in other words, the lamb entered into the body of Israel. This was symbolic of the fact that
after the physical body of Christ was taken into heaven, by the fires of spirit it was transmuted to Spirit (God is a consuming fire), and sent into his faithful followers on the day of Pentecost and theysymbolicallyate all of the body of Christ. As the kernel of wheat is planted in the ground, so all of the transmuted body of Christ was planted in his disciples (Israel ate all of the Passover Lamb), and since that time it has been growing, expanding and developing. Some of our churches have recognized the fact that the children of those who have been begotten from above are as much the children of God as are their parents, in other words, that the rightful heritage of the church is in the blood, the offspring, which is in itself a truth.
Thus Christ planted in his people the qualities that he had generated and materialized into his fleshly form; and when they were first planted, they were, so to speak, focalized in the few, enabling them to raise the dead, to heal the sick, and to do the things that Christ had done. As time went on, however, men lost faith in God, and in the power of his Spirit, and as they lost faith the Spirit was gradually repelled from them. But the fulness of time is now at hand, the fruitage of the Lord's planting is ripe. The mass of the people in the churches is repelling the Spirit that was in Christ. The Holy Spirit is again being concentrated in the few who will constitute the first ripe fruit of the earth, the 144, 000.
The two methods given, the first two, are insufficient in themselves to bring into manifestation the sons of God, made in his Likeness. They are merely preparatory to the third and final method of creating man in the "Likeness of God."
The Third Method, that of being born from above is yet to take form in the mind of manits greatness, its grandeur, its absolute reality have never entered into the mind of man. Jesus said, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit;" and he added, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew [from above]." He here impresses the fact that flesh cannot generate spirit, and that spirit cannot generate flesh, but that every kind produces its own kind, that like itself.
Many times throughout the Scriptures men are called sons of God, and John says, "Now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." (I. John iii. 2.) John here says that we shall be like the Christ, who was born from above: he was conceived and born from the Spirit. Therefore, we can be like him only when we have been born from above, as he was born from above. Christ emphatically said that that which is born of the flesh is the fleshly man.
We know how the fleshly man is brought into
existence, but how we are to be born of the Spirit is a mystery that until recently has been hidden from humanity; and even now it can only be put into words which perhaps many will doubt and but few will believe. Notwithstanding, we have faith that those who are of God will hear God's words, that they who have the spirit of truth within, will believe the truth when expressed.
This truth of being born from above may be briefly stated as follows:
We know as men and women what generation means. How came generation to have existence?Was it not a part of the creative word? and he that spoke the word could put nothing therein that was not in himself. Therefore there must be in God, the Creator, something answering to generation on earth; as the old philosopher so well said, "as below, so above," and everything that has an existence in the experiences of human life, has something answering to it in the Cause whence man originated.
We have seen in former chapters that the Elohim consist of mature souls that have come into the form of the heavenly temple, an organized Body of perfected souls which most assuredly consists of both men and women; for, as the apostle says, "neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord." "God is Love," which is a constructive force, and we are told that "Elohim is a consuming fire"fire is
action, activity. Without activity there is death, and the creative, or constructive function is the activity of the life (love) forces.
We find that when the creative or sex function dies, death soon comes to the body, for through the sex all life on the planet originated and is perpetuated; and that principle in the heavens answering to the sexfrom which sex in the form it is known on the earth has been derivedhas been the fountain and source from which all creation has sprung. Therefore, we are forced to conclude that there is even in the heavens, and in the heaven of heavens, a love-passion that is pure spirit, active between the positive and negative forces, between the two spiritual entities from which men and women have derived their existence. If this is true, then, in the activities of that love, a spirit-child is formed; and being pure spirit, it is yet without experience, it must learn wisdom, gain knowledge and develop powerin short, it must grow as any child until it has reached not only the image of its father and mother, but has attained to their likeness.
It is impossible for us to explain further the order of the heavens, from which is derived the rebirth, unless we give that which has been given to us: We knew a man who was living the regenerate life, controlling the creative forces in himself, turning these forces toward the brain for spiritual and intellectual use. One evening at a social gathering he made the acquaintance of a
lady whom he had never seen before and who was living the regenerate life, for, through inherent tendencies she had an abhorrence of the sex relations and had conserved all the life generated in the body, and was in her real organism a regenerate woman.
During the evening the subject of phrenology was discussed, and, this man having had some experience in reading character from the form of the head, he was asked to place his hands on this lady's head and give a delineation of character. On doing so, he found that her head was as a flame of fire. Soon after he realized that there had entered into him a new life-force, which rushed through his body like a cyclone. When he retired at night this life concentrated in the brain, and by the power of this life he could see the interior of his own brain, and he saw there a flame of white light. The muscles of the brain were in travail as a woman in childbirth, and he saw taking shape in the brain, by the working of the muscles, a diminutive human form, being shaped from the head down to the feet, and when the feet were formed, the little spirit-form took flight, and his whole being rested. * In his own language, he was impregnated by the life emanations from this woman's head and he brought forth a child, a spirit-form, through the action of his brain.
This is at least an illustration of the order of the regeneration or love-life in the heavens. In the heavens spirit and mind are all there are. Mind is the thought-former; spirit or life is the cause of the thought-forming and is the substance out of which the thought is formed. Thus in the heavens spirit-children are begotten of love and mind, life and use. In the heavens function is servant and not master; therefore the function for animal production does not exist in the spiritual production, for, keep in mind, that God by a word, a thought formed in the mind and sent out by the will, created all things.
It may be quite a shock to the idealism of some of our readers to think that even in heaven spiritual children are born, but they are conceived in mind and born from the life of the Spirit through the brain. Should there not be a use for that divine love that is perfect? and is there not a use, a purpose, a cause for the creation of man and for his being given an existence on the earth? Creation sprang from the unity and activity of Divine Love and Wisdom. There is no activity without use, and no use without accomplishment. All nature, wherever the mind turns, is in action, and the higher the realm the more intense is the action. Love is the action of life, or life in motion, and "God is love," and God's love links him with all his creation. There can be no evolution without involutionthat which is involved is that which
evolves, develops and grows. Therefore, it is in the Divine Purpose to "bring many sons unto God," and these sons are begotten of the Holy Spirit in those who have gained the attainment to be justly called Yahveh Elohim.
Yahveh Elohim by the prophet said, "For thy Maker is thy husband; Yahveh of hosts is his name: and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called." (Isaiah liv. 5.) Read also Jeremiah iii. 14, and Ezekiel xxiii.
In these references the declaration is unequivocal that God's chosen people are regarded as his wife. You will notice in the experience given that it was the man's brain that was impregnated by the woman, and that the man brought forth the spirit- child. God declared himself to be the husband of his physical Israelnot of woman but of man and woman.
We are told in another place that "God is love." The expression of the feminine as we know her on earth, is love, and the expression of the masculine as we know him on earth, is mind, but the indication from revelation is that this order is reversed in the heavens.
There seem to be shadows of the condition in the heavens flitting over the inner consciousness of the world of humanity at the present time, causing those called "advanced thinkers" to talk about woman being superior to manthat she must lead
man into the higher life. These are merely inverted shadows that flit over the consciousness of those who are without knowledge; they assume that the physical organism of the woman, with the mind arising therefrom, is to be master and leader, but the divine order is expressed in the quotation: "Thy Maker is thy husband; Yahveh of hosts is his name."
God recognizes the individual as neither man nor woman, but the statement is emphatic that the man and the woman are one, whose consciousness becomes to the Spirit an individualized consciousness. And the development and refinement of the body enable the body, in turn, to know the mind of the Spirit and to be conscious of all that of which the Spirit is conscious.
We have said that the action of lifethe unity of love and wisdomresults in the production of organic forms, and that by the intensity of divine love and the order of supreme wisdom or mind, children are born of the Spirit.
But in order that they may have experience, development, growth and unfoldment, it is necessary that they have an earthly experience. Earth is intended as a schoolroom of the Spirit, and those who attain a divine degree of purity and holiness become the wife, the temple of this spirit, or Godchild.
This spirit-child begotten of the Holy Spirit, born in the heavens, descends into the organism of man
or woman and grows, gaining knowledge, both spiritual and intellectual; and in its growth it passes on from plane to plane of consciousness carrying with it all that constitutes the consciousness of the man or the woman in whom it dwells; whose consciousness becomes to the indwelling spirit-child an added consciousness.
Mere surface thought may suggest to the reader that "being born from above" leaves the individual man and woman out of the scheme of salvation and saves something that they are not; but we have carefully striven to impress upon the mind that we, as the plant, die daily, and live in the memories. The advent of this God-child does not destroy the memories, but rather creates an added consciousness in the individual, and makes that consciousness immortal.
Now, let us draw a conclusion from the foregoing: In God's love and wisdom creation proceeds, and in the process of creating sons of God, the spirit-child is conceived and born from the life of those in the heavens; and when man has so developed that the spirit-life that was in the Christ has possession and control of the will, impelling him to live the regenerate life, when the strong animal man is bound and the life of the man is consecrated and passive to the life of Godthen the man is made a receptacle and fit temple for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, this spiritual child that enters in and grows and increases from the experiences of an earth-life,
[paragraph continues] The consciousness and life of the individual become one with the consciousness and life of the spirit-child and of its Father, and thus man becomes the son of Godbecomes Yahveh Elohim.
It is apparent, therefore, that the earthly life of man is a necessity to God as well as an opportunity to man, because it is a schoolroom for the sons of God, begotten in the heavens and matured upon the earth. For knowledge is gained from experience, and the experiences of the spiritual son of God must be gently conducted from the low state of human existence up to a consciousness of Yahveh Elohim, and a oneness with him.
228:* Was not this the creative Word, or Word of God?