Life and Its Mysteries, by Frank L. Hammer, , at sacred-texts.com
"What Is Man?"
Man is an immortal spirit temporarily inhabiting a material body. This body is no more the real man than are the clothes he wears to cover it. To understand man it is necessary to study vastly more than his outer form. Men are begotten by God, and children of God are gods, just as offspring of animals are animals.
"How Many Bodies Has Man?"
Man has two bodies, a material and a spiritual which Paul calls the natural and unnatural body. At death man discards the physical and then uses the spiritual body for his instrument of expression. Man has no more use for seven or forty-seven bodies at one time than an animal has for that many tails.
"How Can One Unfold Their Spiritual Faculties?"
Higher human faculties unfold naturally when the right kind of life is lived conducive for their development. It is neither necessary nor advisable
to form peculiar habits, or to have recourse to artificial means for stimulating them. Spiritual thinking and spiritual living are the requisites.
"Where Do Child Prodigies Get Their Wisdom?"
All prodigies are old in wisdom and full of experience. Their bodies are new but the soul within that body has behind it an ancient history. Prodigies and geniuses bring with them to earth the accumulated wisdom of their past; their extraordinary endowment of skill or talent is the result of innumerable years of preparatory study and struggle. A soul without a past suddenly coming into existence with well defined mental and moral characteristics and endowed with genius would be a freak, or a contradiction of natural law. Great musicians, artists, mathematicians do not begin or end their career on earth.
"Where Did Life Originate?"
Material scientists say from matter. Spiritual philosophers aver that the First Cause of all things is spirit or God. According to the ancients the first immigrants to earth came without material bodies, after having accomplished missions on other planets while incarnated in bodies adapted to conditions there prevailing. The regions of the far North supposedly were first inhabited by physical humanity. The "fall of man" into matter is a truth allegorically depicted in the Bible; his becoming gradually
provided with clothes of skin and flesh, as a protection against the injurious influences of his surroundings on earth.
"Where Is God?"
Since God is omnipresent, where is He not? In Him we live and move and have our being, and we are this instant as close to Him as we ever will be. Intimate awareness of His presence is realized when we know that God and man are One.
"What Is the Perfect Religion?"
There is only one religion and that is perfect. Love. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself."
"Which Is the Most Important Law?"
Love is the law that rules the universe and is the most important one. He who observes this law is in harmony with all the others.
"Why Does God Permit War?"
When God endowed men with free will He undoubtedly knew they would abuse it. However, He does not arbitrarily deprive them of it because they choose to violate His commandments, but permits
men to slaughter one another and to reap the consequences thereof. By the exercise of free will men make their own destiny, create their joy or sorrow, and in this way gain wisdom. It is blasphemous for men to pray to God to be "on their side" when they murder their brothers. If they wish to be on God's side they must keep His laws. If men do not like the suffering engendered by sin, they should cease sinning.
"Are War Criminals Ever Punished?"
Rarely if ever on earth, but there is a higher tribunal where all men receive their just deserts. The real war criminals are seldom known to the people who suffer the losses and bear the brunt of war, but they are known to God. Rulers are only an effect of the people they govern, and if the rulers are corrupt, so are the people. Until the masses become competent to rule themselves they will be controlled and exploited by politicians and profiteers. The key to liberation is in their own hands but they are too blind to use it.
"Why Does God Punish Innocent People?"
Firstly, God never punishes anyone, innocent or guilty. We punish ourselves by violating His laws. Secondly, there are no "innocent victims." Sooner or later our deeds overtake us and we reap as we have sown.
"Why Are So Many Prayers Unanswered?"
Many prayers are answered by remaining unanswered. Not all people pray wisely and it would be to their detriment if their requests were granted. All prayers are answered or unanswered according to the need and the ultimate good of the petitioner. Many think that prayer will change the laws of nature, or intervene between a cause and its effect. Asking God to change the law is futile. The wise man prays for guidance, to be shown how he can work himself out of the conditions he has created. Nor does God do for us what we should do ourselves. God moves when we move, and His hands are many hands. In heaven He works through angels, and on earth through men.
"Has Thought the Power to Heal?"
As thought has the power to make people violently ill, and even kill them, which it often has by bad news such as the passing of a loved one, it assuredly has the power to alleviate and heal. All things have a mental origin, and disease and its cure are no exceptions. Thought is the creative power and can be used either constructively or destructively. People can think themselves ill, unhappy and unsuccessful, or they can create the opposite conditions. By changing your opinion of yourself, you change yourself; and you certainly won't accomplish much until you think you can.
"What Is the Cause and Cure of Suffering?"
All suffering arises from violation of law on the physical, moral, mental or spiritual plane, whether committed knowingly or unknowingly, ignorantly or deliberately. It is a corrective and educational experience and altogether necessary. There can be no real emancipation from suffering until men can no longer derive benefit from its continuance. Ignorance is the cause of all suffering; and suffering will cease when ignorance ceases.
"Where Does Evil Originate?"
Evil or the devil is no person but a force created for good but used for evil. Nothing but good comes from the Infinite One or God. All evil has its origin in man; so if man wants to see the devil he should look within himself. Similarly, if he wants to find God he must see Him within himself and his fellowmen.
"Where Is Heaven and Hell?"
Heaven and hell are not localities so much as states of consciousness; current realities as well as future conditions. Remorse, regret and persecuting memories are the essence of hell; peace, serenity and love are the characteristics of heaven. Hell is the reflex of men's vices, crimes and sins; heaven is the effect of living in harmony with the laws of God. Every soul creates its own heaven or hell, here or
hereafter; death changes only the situation, not the condition of the soul. "There is no rest for the wicked," is an actual truth. Repentance does not remit consequences, nor does death obliterate memory which is forever present torturing him with the past. God made this earth a heaven, but man is doing his best to make it a hell.
"Is Suicide a Disgrace?"
Suicide or self-destruction is a sin. No man has the right to take his own life or that of another. Furthermore, suicide accomplishes naught, but is in reality a jump from the frying pan into the fire. The individual does not run out on life as he supposes but finds himself more alive than before. He is bound to earth with his obligations still to meet, his problems to solve, his duties to perform, but no longer having his physical body it takes him longer. Instead of liberation he has found slavery. Those who are mentally ill when committing suicide are not held accountable for the act, but they are responsible for the conditions which prompted it. Such misguided individuals need help, and above all knowledge of immortality which would deter them from making such a dreadful mistake.
"Is There Any Justice in This Life?"
There is only one life and earthly expression is a brief portion of it. One cannot look upon a single span of life and judge of anything. If one were to
take one day from this life and ignore preceding and following days, it wouldn't have the slightest plan or purpose. One must be acquainted with the whole; and taken in its entirety there is absolute justice in life.
"Who Are Angels?"
Angels were human beings who once lived upon this earth and who have attained the status of angel-hood. The soul continues its progress after death and evolves until perfection has been regained. Angels, like human beings, advance by rendering service to struggling mankind. "There appeared an angel unto Jesus, from heaven, strengthening him"; now, as then, they draw nigh in our hour of need and administer unto us.