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Chapter 4 - Cause and Effect
Man is the cause of the disasters in his life. He reaps through the ages exactly as he sows. Life is perfectly just and rewards every man according to his works. The fate of the present is the reaping of his sowing in, it may be, a distant past. Therefore, the disasters and sufferings of this life, must not be attributed to the interference of a capricious and unreasonable God, for the truth is, they are due to the exact working of a perfectly just law. Fate, once created, is irrevocable. It can neither be fought nor evaded. By fighting against fate, man merely smashes himself to pieces. To do so, is equivalent to running his head against a stone cliff: the harder he charges, the greater the damage to his head--but the cliff is unaffected. Fate, although largely self-created, is really the Divine purpose of life: therefore, to resist it is to fight against God. Fate, again is not punishment, in any vindictive sense, it is the drawing together of certain remedial experiences, through which the soul can learn the lessons it has failed to learn in past ages and thus attain wisdom. The object of fate is the highest good of the individual, although it may entail suffering and painful experiences.
Because the disasters in man's life are due to past wrong doing, it naturally follows that his future depends upon the kind of life that he lives to-day. If, in the past, he has created for himself a sequence of events and experiences, from which it is impossible for him to escape, it is obvious that his future lives depend entirely upon how he lives the present one. It will be seen that if man can learn the lessons of the present life, and live in such a way as to cease creating trouble for the future, he is beginning to climb the Path of Liberation, which is the road all advanced souls have to follow, or, rather, have the privilege of following. By following this path, man ceases to be bound to the wheel of fate.
This little work does not teach reincarnation, but its teaching is based on a belief that man, in reality, is a spiritual being, a Divine Spark from the Sacred Fire. Spirit being immortal has no beginning or end therefore always lives. This present life is one of countless experiences, each one of which helps to build up character. There is no death, but only changes from one vehicle to another. There is no beginning, or end, or time in reality, these are mere limitations of the human mind. It is impossible for man to die: he can only leave his body. He cannot kill himself, try how he will: he can only force himself out of his body. Man must always go on, whether he likes it or not: he proceeds through the ages, "reaping exactly as he sows".
We have already seen that man cannot avoid or fight successfully against fate, but that he can become free from the wheel of fate by living a life in harmony with Divine Law.  At this point it is necessary to point out that most of man's troubles are not caused by fate at all, but are due to his fighting against or trying to resist the great plan. If the experiences of life are resisted, or an attempt is made to evade its discipline, troubles and difficulties will repeat, becoming more painful and insistent until their lesson is learnt and the life changed accordingly. Therefore man has it in his power greatly to improve his present life, as well as to create a far better future, simply by living his life to-day in harmony with Divine Law. Further, it is necessary to point out that all thought and action have an "immediate" as well as a far reaching effect. It is true that the full effect of life here is not reaped until after our little course on this plane has been run, but great differences are effected in the present life nevertheless. The way a youth makes use of, or throws away his opportunities, either makes or mars, to a very large extent, his adult career. Opportunities, once allowed to pass, can never be recalled. Sins committed and wrongs done to our fellow men have an unpleasant habit of repeating themselves in a reversed way later in life. For instance, a man may get on in life, and, in his selfish climb, may trample on one weaker than himself, ruining him and driving him to despair. Years afterwards, he will probably be treated in exactly the same way by someone stronger and more favourably situated than himself. Therefore, there is an immediate sowing and reaping that finds fruition in this life. By "immediate" is meant, within the compass of this life. The reaping may be delayed ten or twenty years, but in the writer's experience, it not infrequently comes. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Those, therefore, who think that life is not just, and who whine and complain about the way they are treated, are simply increasing their own troubles. Until man realizes that the cause of all his troubles is within himself he can never do anything to remedy matters, because, obviously, the only thing that is required is for him to change within. Man has to become changed within before his life can be altered. His thoughts, his ideals, his attitude towards life must all become transformed. When this change has been effected, he not only begins to repair his present life, but he creates a fairer and nobler life for the future.
 This is the inner secret of all esoteric teaching. The new birth, or regeneration, means the awakening of the soul to conscious immortality. The old self, that was bound to the wheel of fate and the plane of cause and effect from which it could never free itself, owing to the fact that it was continually binding itself to the wheel afresh, through following selfish desires, dies, and a new self is born. In other words, the consciousness is raised from the plane of sin and death, of sensuality and desire, of restriction and captivity, to the higher plane of Spirit, where man realizes that he is a son of God. He discovers that the Divine Spark within is his true self. He realizes also that he has always lived--in his real Spiritual Self. Beginning and end, like change and decay, belong purely to the material plane and have no place in Reality. They form part of this present three dimensional existence but have no reality. Endless being is the reality. Anything short of this is mere illusion. It is not necessary, therefore, to believe in the theory of reincarnation or that all our experiences must of necessity take place on this plane. Sufficient to know that we can never die, that we cannot escape from ourselves, and that to neglect seeking with all our heart for union once again with our Divine Source, is merely to prolong our sufferings. Man, then, has to change. His desires and aspirations, instead of being directed towards hate and evil must be transformed to love and good. Instead of wallowing in lust and selfishness he must lift himself to higher and better things. How can this be done? It cannot be accomplished by the finite man at all, but it can be achieved by the Infinite Power within. It is only when man realizes his oneness with the Infinite and "believes" that Omnipotent Power is at his disposal, that the Spiritual Power within becomes available. So long as man has doubts and fears or disbeliefs, this special power is not available. It is his, but his state of heart and mind prevents him from either realizing the presence of the Power or making use of it. Before the machinery of a workshop can run it must be connected up with the engine room. In the same way, man, before he can live the new life, must become one with the Infinite Life and Power.
Entering this new life of power, does not take away life's experiences, its trials, troubles and adversities, but the change within does prevent the creation of unnecessary troubles and suffering. Also even a so-called unkind fate loses much of its power to wound, for the higher man rises into union with God and Infinite Love, the less power it has in his life. It still operates, but it fails to wound so deeply, for man, seeing with illumined eyes, knows that it is good that has come to bless; and not evil that has come to slay. Painful fate loses its power to hurt when man ceases to resist it and meets it with open arms, seeking to learn the lessons that it has to teach.
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