Insights and Heresies Pertaining to the Evolution of the Soul
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Title: Insights and Heresies Pertaining to the Evolution of the Soul
Author: Anna Bishop Scofield
Release Date: May 8, 2006 [eBook #18355]
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INSIGHTS AND HERESIES PERTAINING TO THE EVOLUTION OF THE SOUL
Second Edition 1916
Christopher Publishing HouseBostonCopyright 1913by the Christopher PressCopyright 1916by the Christopher Publishing House
To those heroic minds who can truly say: "My soul is my own," andbravely maintain it through everything—in spite of Church or State—Ido offer with earnest congratulations and my loving greetings, thesefragmentary thoughts of
Our revered Emerson loaned his Plato to a neighbor. Meeting him sometime afterward he said to him: "How did you like Plato?" "Very much,"the farmer answered, "very much indeed. I see he has a great many ofmy idees." And so, my readers—if there be such—there may be hereinset forth some of your own familiar thoughts which you may not havefound opportunity to express in such guise as appears in this smallbook.
No New Thing
Slowness of Evolution
The Work of Nature
A New Science
Spirit Individualized through Matter
Death a Benefactor
The Origin of Evil
Churches Money Makers
Life in Nature
The Migrations of our Race
The Discipline of Life
Homogeneity of the Race
Knowledge of Occult Law
Evanescence of Mere Beliefs
The Fount of Inspiration for All
Man versus Death
Fear of Death
Test of Character
Man the Final Earth Product
Ideals of Love
The Needs of Woman
Man versus Woman
Natural Cruelty of the Undeveloped
The Worst Sin
Processes of Reincarnation
Education of Children
Foes in the Household
The Inner Life
Root of Evils
Rest in Change
Adaptiveness of Man
The Growth Processes of the Human Soul
Necessity for Phenomena
Change of Atoms
Final Race Experience
Wise Use of Money
Thoughts Are Things
Analysis of the Lord's Prayer
Insights and Heresies
The Evolution of The Soul
NO NEW THING.
There is no new revelation to be given to man; there is no need of it.Those who have labored most strenuously to evolve from their innerconsciousness a new, a better religion, have found themselves bogged inthe mire of their egotism which has landed them in a police court, orthey have been confronted by exactly the same problems as those fromwhich they have sought to escape. Few, indeed, have survived the testof time. There is an ancient promise that stands yet for man's use:"To him that hath (improved) shall more be given, and from him thathath not (improved) shall be taken away that which he already has."This was never meant to apply to material things—it could not—it wasspoken in reference to the gift of understanding, and of using theoccult, the psychic law. Many psychics have lost their spiritual giftsthrough failing to understand that endless progress is the law thatforces souls along the way of life. No stopping by the way to gathershells upon the shore, no aimless looking back; but work with stoutheart and resolute will. It all means work, overmastering habits ofthought and action, lifting the soul from the grooves of heredity, andin all ways making aspiration attract the inspiration that sustains thesoul.
All subjects pertaining to our knowledge of the soul are too subtle tobe weighed and proved by external intellect alone. Our lives are ruledby such a hotch-potch of inherited beliefs and tendencies, that it isalmost impossible for us to use any discrimination concerning them; orto arraign ourselves before the tribunal of our own better judgment insuch manner as to enable us to separate the false and effete ethicaland religious influences, from the wise and true, which alone areabiding and permanent.
Thus we grope and stumble along through our earthly lives, burdenedwith ideas which were set in motion far back in a crude age, and whichwere so well adapted to their time that they still vibrate to thetendencies of our own day. This applies to every department of humanexperience, and were it not that we are, as a huge family, better thanour cherished beliefs, higher in the scale of development than thesewould seem to indicate, we should still be under the dominion of theso-called "Dark Ages." The most important and the dearest phase ofhuman experience must come, of course, through its religious beliefs,and as they are narrow and superstitious, on the one hand, or grandwith faith and understanding of law, on the other, do we judge of thestatus of the individual, the community, and the race; and the advancesmade upon this line mark the progress of what we term civilization onthis planet.
There is no time so trying, so full of agony to the soul, as is thathour when it first begins to doubt the absolute, unquestionable truthof the creeds it has hitherto blindly accepted, and in which it hasfully believed. Creeds are the swaddling clothes of the soul, and mustinevitably be outgrown and laid aside as the mind of man grows more andmore capable of comprehending the truth which is to set it free fromthe trammels of mere blind belief.
It is so comfortable to have our spiritual faith ready made for us, ourpaths all mapped out, and our final destiny made plain and sure,provided only that we remain faithful in our adherence to them as theyare set forth by our parents and spiritual guardians, that when thegreat, ever-surging, resistless tidal wave of progress first reachesthe soul, it can only stand in dumb agony, like one upon the seashorewatching its last hope go down beneath the waste of mighty waters.Torn from its anchorage of inherited beliefs, it is sure to betempest-tossed, rent and torn, buffeted by conflicting tendencies, castupon many a desert island of unfaith, and haunted by miserable doubtsand black despair, ere it hears and heeds the pilot of truth, the onlyguide to the peaceful haven of eternal life. Happy, indeed, are theywho tarry not upon the weary way; but who have within them thataspiration, that endless cry for light, which shall always, in God'sprovidence, compel the needed response and guidance; for many honest,earnest men and women, lacking this attribute of the soul, fail allthrough life to reach this only true solution of the riddle of humanexistence. Kind and sincere friends say of them: "Oh! if they had onlyremained faithful to the religion of their fathers, they would havefound happiness and peace." But the law of evolution brings each andevery soul to the point where it must stand alone with God, there todiscover and establish its relationship to the Divine, irrespective ofall preconceived ideas and notions, superstitions, and ignorance. Thisis exactly what every soul must come to—the aggregation of powers andforces of body and soul resulting in the fully developed androunded-out individuality of any given personality. These are the rareand unusual men and women, the fully flowered out, the richest fruitageof any and all races, and it is to these that we must look for thatunion of sympathy with and comprehension of the needs and requirementsof all which is to usher in the reign of peace, and universal good willon earth.
Jesus of Nazareth went before us on the path, the only way cast up forearnest souls to walk in. There has never been given to the world anysystem of ethics superior to his. He recognized the homogeneity of therace—"Each for all, all for each," was the whole import of histeachings. In him was epitomized the experience of the race. Each andevery soul must wear its crown of thorns, and bear its cross and suffercrucifixion, ere the soul astray from God, immersed in, and overwhelmedby matter, can be forced to relinquish its hold on, its love for theexternal, material things pertaining to this world. But it has to be,it certainly must be, the experience of every creature born of woman.Be sure, O soul! if none of these experiences have ever been realizedby you, that you are but just now entering upon the inevitable roundswhich must attend your connection with, and relationship to thisearthly sphere of being. Such are as the insensate clod, having as yetneither spiritual sense, nor moral responsibility. Nature's processesare slow; but be sure that the goal is appointed, and that God will bethere and will wait till we come.
When Jesus said: "The poor ye have always with you," he did not referto dollars and cents only, but to that poverty of intellect, thatbarrenness of the moral nature which makes a human being a reproach anda terror to his kind. These we shall always have to deal with, toeducate if we can, to constrain from overt acts of evil, and to protectourselves from in all the works and ways of life.
So painful and slow is the process of character-forming that millionsof souls pass on from this sphere of life to the spirit world solacking in individuality that they have no more power for anyexpression of themselves upon that plane of being than they had whenthey were living here. Not as much, in fact, for the physical body andbrain have always some possible function and use while they hold theirrelationship to the world of material life, which function and use arelaid aside when they are put through the sifting process of physicaldeath, and in all cases, unless the powers of the ego as exercised hereare supplanted by a sufficient growth of the spiritual nature tosustain the ego in its new relationship, and give to it the impetusneeded to start it forward upon lines of usefulness and growth, itnaturally fails to waken to any sort of realization of itself and itspossible career in its new life. This is specially true of thosepersons who have been psychologized by those teachings which relegatethe souls of human beings to the cold clasp of the ground, until theexpected day of judgment; or of those poor, overworked men and women towhom heaven seems only a place to sleep and rest in; or again, of stillanother class of minds that has brought itself to a belief in utterextinction after the close of this external life. These are the"shades," the "shells" we hear of, for there are times when the subtleinner sense of these sleeping ones is stirred to action by the wails ofthe loving, longing ones left on earth to mourn; and, as is the casewith one in somnambulic sleep, the spirit walks and talks, in responseto the demands of friends, through those persons who are gifted withthe aura necessary for the medial agency. These excursions of the soulinto the realm of matter, thus made by and through the offices ofclairvoyants and seers, the repeated arousings of the ego from itscontented sleep are finally highly educational, and result inresurrecting the forces of the enfranchised being, and setting them inmotion on the lines of useful work for humanity. For this medialservice which is thus being rendered to the spirit world by such giftedpersons still living here in the body, multitudes are daily and hourlyexpressing their gratitude and appreciation.
We have somewhat abolished our old, long-established Hell, and now, tobe consistent, we must also do away with our preconceived ideas of aHeaven of eternal rest; for why should the souls of men be wrapped inuseless slumbers, until the strong overwhelming influence of the law ofprogress sweeps them up like dry leaves before a whirlwind, and rushesthem along to the gates