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Chapter II -
The Individual & the Universe
To appreciate the highest aspect of psychical wedlock, and therefore of the inferior degrees which have the Third Degree as their goal, it is necessary to frame some philosophical conception of the relations existing between the individual and the universe. This conception should be one upon which Christian and non-Christian, Atheist and Theist, can agree.
To seek to measure the infinite by the finite is, of course, absurd; but to deduce from the finite some of the laws of the infinite - i.e., from the known, a partial knowledge of the laws of the unknown of which that known forms a part - is both logical and satisfying.
The following conception will, I think, be found to have at least the merit of simplicity:
Every act of the individual is an ex-pression (something pressed out) from the inner to the outer. The process consists of three stages. Let us say that a man
- 1. conceives the idea of pushing a ball out of his path;
- 2. he determines how the ball shall be pushed aside, with hand or foot, gently or powerfully, etc.;
- 3. at the command of his mentality, his body performs the act of moving the ball.
To produce the desired result, then, two factors concur:
- The conception of moving the ball from his path.
- A definite thinking out of the method, and a transmission of the order to the body.
If the second stage be gone through with clearly within the man's mentality, the result in the third and final stage of the process will be an exact expression of his original conception, "I will push that ball out of my path." But if his method of pushing the ball aside be not planned out properly, so that his mind fails to exercise full control of the bodily muscles, he will find the inertia of the ball successfully oppose him, and he may stub his toe, or let the ball drop on his pet corn before he accomplishes his intention.
Clear-headedness, therefore, is of the greatest possible importance. Our mentality must be kept clear and unclouded, if what we may term "the thinker" within us is to have its orders correctly transmitted to our bodily selves. We may view the mentality which intervenes between the thinker within and the body without as an atmosphere through which rays of light stream from the inward self to the outer body. When the atmosphere is clear and colorless, the rays reach the destination unaltered. When it is colored by prejudice or clouded by ignorance or dislike of anything or anybody, they likewise become colored, or they are distorted, refracted, or almost entirely swallowed up in the mist, so that the few glimmerings which reach our intellect (that side of mentality which blends with the body) can but mislead. Were our inward conceptions conveyed to our intellects through an atmosphere of absolutely unclouded, unprejudiced and loving mentality, our outward lives would be godlike, for the thinker within each of us is godlike, and in truth desires to realize only the highest ideal.
What if we imagine all humanity as laid side by side to match, so as to form one continuous body, one continuous mentality, one continuous inward self? We might represent this blending of humanity as taking place in a circle, thus:
In this imaginary representation of humanity, each human being is a sector of the circle, and at the apexes of the sectors, where each of us is the godlike thinker, the blending must of necessity be perfect, however imperfect the blending and sharply defined the sectors may be on the mental and bodily planes. At the center of this imaginary circle, where our godlike selves join those of our fellow-creatures, we are blended into one godlike spirit which is really the directing spirit of humanity - its Great "Thinker," so to say.
If in this circle we include each living creature, whether plant or animal, we blend upon the "Thinker" plane with the egos or inward selves of all animate nature. And, what with the recent theories of "fatigue in metals," "chemical affinities of atoms," and "sex in minerals," it would perhaps not be unwarranted to include inanimate nature in our representation of the circle and sectors. If the members of the mineral kingdom have no life (as we understand life), at all events they are the result of law, and appear to be the expression of that law, so that it would seem as though they also should be included as sectors in our circle.
This circle, it will be seen, images the universe, not as a kingdom, with the Deity as a king who distributes his favors with the partiality and favoritism of an Oriental monarch; but as a republic, in which each sector, however tiny, has a vote in the General Council which directs the entire universe. In Scripture, indeed, we are told that God not only made man in His own image, but also that he breathed his breath into man in order to make man a living soul. In Scripture we are also told that we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; and Jesus himself, in the Sermon on the Mount, exhorts us to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect.
So that, from a Christian as well as from a philosophical standpoint, we may consider ourselves as like unto God, and one with Him in spirit. Within ourselves, at the apexes of our sectors, each of us is Creator, for there we are one with Him; there also are we love, wisdom, power, and can create our outward lives as we will - provided that we keep our mentality clear and unclouded for the transmission of the godlike ideal of the spirit into the bodily life.
In the circle, not only is each sector the equal of every other sector before the law; but each of the three planes has its part to play in the perfect whole, and is therefore of equal importance with the other two. It is true that, in the carrying out of a conception,the order is:
- 1. The conception of the thinker, on what is the plane of the spirit, which is subjective to mentality, although objective to the inward thinker.
- 2. The molding of the thinker's conception into definite shape in the workshop of mentality, during which process the evoluting conception is objective to mentality, but as yet only subjective to the outward bodily life.
- 3. The carrying out of that conception on the material plane of the body, at which time it is no longer merely a subjective thought, but an objective act in the world of matter.
This, as I have said, is the order. But we must not forget that great law:
"Reaction is equal to action, and opposite to it in direction." If spirit, through mentality, acts upon body, so, likewise, does body, through mentality, react upon spirit. And, also, the impulse to vibration being set up on the bodily plane, it is transmitted through mentality to spirit, resulting in a reaction from the apex of the sector outward again to the bodily plane.
Let us apply this philosophy to the marital relation. Where the three planes of body, mentality and spirit are in fairly harmonious adjustment, as they are in all normally constituted people who seek to live aright, the bodily sex relation with another sector and the spiritual sexual relation with that sector interact upon one another through mentality, for the good of the two creatures and the happiness of the entire universe. For, remembering that each of us is part of the Great Thinker at the apex of our individual sector, it will be seen that vibrations set up in our bodily life, and transmitted through mentality to our apex of spirit, must affect the universe on all sides.
But only the initiate of the First and Second Degrees in marital union can appreciate and act upon the suggestive and far-reaching conception of the relation of the individual to the universe, and of the universe to the individual.
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