If, from the beginning, it is an "unwelcome child," the higher and subtler elements of the mother's nature, and all her emotions are turned against it, are discordant and not constructive and harmonic.
Discord is thus ingrained at the foundations and woven into the "subtle body" of the child.
Nature is so persistent in its determination to preserve and perpetuate the human race, that the building of the organic body of the child goes on; and the Individual Intelligence is so potent that it often triumphs over these prenatal obstructions, but by no means always. If "there is a spiritual body" in the mother organism during the present life, as I am entirely satisfied there is; and if the child is laying the foundation and weaving the pattern and fabric of a spiritual body of its own for the present life and that immediately beyond; then these psychological influences and conditions are of transcendent importance and may be largely determined by our intelligent choice.
A higher race of beings will never inhabit this earth till these fundamental laws are recognized and regarded.
We may illustrate and symbolize this spiritual habitation we are building by the over-tones and the harmonics in music.
Its nature and function and the whole process of building and development are a refining and purifying process.
It may be conceived in the vito-magnetic field of man, as that which is in nearest relation and closest touch with the soul, the Individual Intelligence, and through, and by which the soul acts.
Being in synchronous relation with the physical organs and functions, like a chord in music, a high with a lower tone (but still harmonic), the direct vehicle and agent of the soul would be this spiritual body; and when the physical body or vehicle dies, or is cast off, the spiritual body with the soul escapes.
Empirical evidence along just these lines is so abundant in the annals of every people, and in all ages, that it is unnecessary to quote it here. Whole volumes are filled with it, outside the annals of Spiritualism and the Psychical Society, and antedating them by centuries and millenniums.
The most important consideration is that the building of character by voluntary choice and personal effort, the "growth of the soul," and the evolution of this spiritual body are inseparable. This trinity which is man, is potentially (and may be actually) a unity.
The evolutionary and devolutionary lines run in precisely opposite directions, are easily differentiated and defined, are usually recognized by observation and by the individual himself. It is very difficult and takes a long time to deceive ourselves with regard to the upward or downward trend of our own life, till we have blunted by misuse and degraded all the finer faculties, capacities, and powers of our being.
A quickened conscience, a moral uplift, a desire to do right, a noble ideal, mark the beginning; but self-study, a rigid and persistent self-analysis, taking account of stock of all our resources and capacities, all our real possessions and opportunities, is the scientific process by which man may become master of his own life and evolve to higher and still higher planes of being, even here in the present life.
The question of rewards and punishments hereafter, and what we may expect, or hope, or fear, that we will get, will sink into utter nothingness before the great and ever-growing question of what we are, and what we are determined to become.
Incidentally with this dominating impulse and determination will be the growth and development of the spiritual body, and the intuition and guiding light of the Individual Intelligence. We shall become consciously aware of this as a constant personal experience demanding no further proof. It is knowledge of the soul direct.
Every faculty, capacity, and power of the soul will be our willing servant.
This is Constructive Psychology, and is a normal evolution under both Natural and Divine Law: "Living the Life that we may know the doctrine."
It is practical, scientific Psychology worked out and demonstrated in the Laboratory of Life. Religions and Revelations will no longer be mysteries, but open books; for we shall be in touch with their source and at-one with their inspiration.
This is what is meant by "The School of Natural Science."
Nor is it an idle speculation, nor merely a thing "devoutly to be wished."
If the whole nature of man is built and operated under law; if he is, as he seems to be, an aggregate of all substances, an epitome of all principles and processes; then it follows that to understand these laws, processes and correspondences, is to become master of them and of life.
Wonderful as have been the discoveries in nature's finer forces and in applied science, all that science has discovered or invented, or art has devised, is like children's toys, when compared with the subtle and marvelous mechanism of man's organism.
The rhythmic beating of the heart, synchronous with respiration and the circulation of the blood, are sufficient illustrations. But even this concerns the vehicle, not the driver; the instrument, not the player upon this "harp of a thousand strings."
When it comes to the mental and psychical realm, cognition is direct and immediate. We become "aware" of relations and processes, of sequences and powers, by intuition, as we are aware of the Self.
This is apperception in its highest sense. Not through the mind, which is a process and a function, but through that which uses, controls and dominates the mind, viz.: the Individual Intelligence, the Soul.
In the mind, in daily life, we weigh and measure, reason, choose, compare, and adjust. In intuition or apperception it is borne in, or comes like a flash of light, and seems as if "we always knew it."
We may somewhat haltingly describe the process, but we can never impart the knowledge to another, because it is an individual experience. As easily could another feel, sense, and realize the pain of thrusting our finger into the fire, as to receive vicariously, from us, a real physical experience.
Here lies the difficulty, often the impossibility, of the teacher or the Master, in imparting his knowledge.
I am entirety satisfied that by personal effort and experience along these lines of normal higher evolution, there comes a time and a degree of unfoldment and power when, from knowledge and self-mastery, the Master—the Individual Intelligence—having evolved and learned to control the spiritual body, can consciously and deliberately pass out of the physical body and return to it at will. He can do this as consciously and completely as it occurs at death; can go where he pleases, within the range of his unfoldment or spiritual experience, and retain conscious memory of it all after his return to the physical body.
And suppose this all to be true, how can he demonstrate the fact, or transmit the experience to another; and particularly if that other declared to begin with that, "the whole process is absurd and impossible"?
Nor is mere credulity here a highway to knowledge. It is merely the opposite pole of incredulity, and both are begotten by ignorance.
Analogy and the basic principles and laws of scientific psychology are very different matters indeed. They point in this direction like a theorem in mathematics. The principles and laws being grasped and apprehended, the solution becomes only a question of work; and at every step the law is verified, "Backward and forward it still spells the same."
What is this but the methods of Natural Science applied to Psychical Science upon the basis of the Unity of Natural Phenomena and Universal Law?
There is nothing to prevent any of us from starting on this upward journey of the soul, if we choose; and never till we do, shall we really begin to know, to realize our birthright, and progress toward the realm of eternal day.
The science of ethics, the basis of morals, is the starting point, the first step; and leading the life, the way. And there is no climbing up some other way. So said the Master of Galilee, and so say the real Masters in all times.
When Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life," he doubtless meant that these were all in him, and he at-one with them.
When Jesus said, "I and the Father are one. No one cometh to the Father but by me," he doubtless referred to this at-one-ment as the only way by which the natural man—Adam—could become the Spiritual man—Christos.
When he said, "The kingdom of heaven is within you," he undoubtedly meant that "heaven" is a condition, a harmonic state, and not a place.
We undoubtedly create our own "hell" and our own "heaven," and people them with "devils" or with "angels."
True Science and true Religion clasp hands, and are like the two hands of the one body of Truth. They check each other, supplement each other, harmonize each other.
Superstition and blind dogma are the enemies of true Science; Religion—never.
Science and Religion are the handmaids of Truth; because both are the children of Divinity, the agents of Light and of Eternal Progress for Man.
This building of character, this growth of the soul, this Harmonic of Evolution, is a matter of work; of personal endeavor, of valid, real, personal experience.
Its results are our real possessions, our "treasure in heaven" that nothing can ever destroy. Life and Death may ebb and flow, and come and go; but we may, if we will, go on forever; or we may turn the other way and go down to death. Some day every human soul will elect, choose, and decide and then start on the journey, North or South.
This is the meaning of Soul, of Individual Intelligence, of Rational Volition, of Personal Responsibility.
It is the Science of Nature aligned with Divinity, and compassing Humanity.
The purpose of these outlines, suggestions, analogies, and inferences, is to show that this life is a period of gestation, in close analogy and comparable with that of the child in utero; that with the web and woof of character, organ and function, impulse and use, opportunity and destiny, we are building a spiritual body, the immediate vehicle of the soul, as literally as is the physical body on the outer material plane; that the laws of Spiritual health and vitality are as concrete, apprehensible, and demonstrable as those of physiology.
Normal use under law develops health, harmony, and strength, in the one case as in the other, demonstrably; and these laws, accurately formulated and demonstrated, constitute the School of Natural Science, accessible to all prepared to receive and wisely use them; advancement depending on progress, thoroughness, and loyalty, in all preceding degrees.
Is it worth while?
THE CROSS IN RELIGION AND THE CRUX IN SCIENCE WITH THE GREAT WORK IN AMERICA
With the progress of civilization and the general growth and diffusion of intelligence everywhere, there is one problem upon which all else focalizes, though the fact seems to be seldom clearly apprehended or realized.
Not only do science and religion face each other at one point, but the life of each is at that one point involved. It is not only the often recognized "conflict between Religion and Science," which was long ago worn threadbare. It is the fact that both Science and Religion are out of joint with themselves.
The battle-ground may, in a broad way, be named Psychology. All problems and all discussions of the real issues arise from, involve, or center around, the nature, laws that govern, and destiny of the Human Soul.
From the very nature of these problems, their intricacy and diversity, they remained the latest in the categories of Science to be seriously investigated.
For the same reasons they have been the subject of dogma and revelation in religion, with doors slammed in the face of all investigation as not only useless, but wicked, and often made dangerous.
Between the agnosticism of Science, and the dogmatism of Religion, knowledge has been crucified, and there it hangs to-day, a crux to the one, and the Cross to the other: The same problem, only facing different ways.
And yet the Reconciliation is not far to seek. It is difficult for the average churchman, or theologian, to apprehend and remember, that a fact, in nature or in life, is one thing; and that the interpretation, or explanation put upon that fact, by any man, or body of men, is another thing entirely. Here is where Belief, Dogma, and Heresy come in. As soon as one denies the interpretation, he is accused of denying the fact, no matter how illogical or absurd the interpretation may be, on the one hand, or how openly he admits the fact as the basis of his own conclusions, on the other.
Few individuals will be found nowadays who deny the fact of the birth, life, mission, and death of Jesus of Nazareth. But the interpretations read into the fact differ so widely as to result in almost numberless sects, and an endless war of words. All this theological wrangling may be focalized at one point, almost on a single word. Did Jesus of Nazareth differ in kind or in Degree, from the rest of Humanity?
If he had "a like nature with ours," as he and his disciples took the utmost pains to declare, and to demonstrate, then he differed in degree of unfoldment, and was indeed, our Elder Brother; He differed as the holy differs from the unholy; as the pure differs from the impure; as the kind and charitable differ from the unkind and the uncharitable. It is just at this point that all the theological juggling comes in, in the effort to reconcile contradictions and irreconcilable paradoxes, under the designation—Mystery, Miracle, and Faith. Few theologians would admit that it is desirable, even if possible, that the mystery and miracle should disappear, and that wisdom and understanding should take their place. In other words, that Jesus should be proved an evolution under both natural and divine law, as the result of "Living the Life."
Bear in mind that we are dealing with Interpretations only, and with the opinions of men; and that there is nothing "sacred" or "holy" about these opinions, no matter how they may be hedged about by dogma, or ecclesiastic authority. The Immaculate Conception; the Virgin Birth; the Resurrection of the physical body, and the Vicarious Atonement, are each and all Dogmas; the opinions of men, in interpreting the mystery, and miracle, they have assigned to the nature of Jesus, in what they call the "plan," or the "Scheme of Salvation."
If the nature of Jesus were radically and essentially different from ours; if he differed from us in kind, instead of in degree; if he were "very God," instead of a perfected man, as the result of "Living the Life"; then he can have little in common with us; and, so far as "like natures," "common temptations," and human sympathies, and destinies, are concerned, he might as well have been born on the planet Mars.
But suppose that psychic and spiritual science could so define the faculties, capacities, and powers of man, and the nature and laws of the human soul, as to demonstrate the fact that Jesus became Christos through "living the life," and "doing the will of the Father," in strict conformity to both Natural and Divine Law, thus revealing the fact that these potencies are latent in every human soul: that it does not depend so much upon what we believe, as upon what we do; not so much upon what we profess, as upon what we are; not so much upon what Jesus did for us, as upon what we do for ourselves and for others, in strict analogy with the life and the teachings of Jesus. Would not Jesus become, indeed and in truth, a Living Example, in place of a "Blood Offering"?
Theology ignores and sophisticates Personal Responsibility, which everything else, and every experience in life, justifies and enforces as the basis of Morals.
On the other hand, so-called Psychic Science misapprehends, belittles, and sophisticates the Human Will, the prime Motor Power of Man. It then confuses Rational Volition and Domination by juggling with the words Suggestion and Hypnosis.
This reveals the fact that they have no rational concept whatever of the psychical nature of man, not even a "working hypothesis" of the Human Soul. Theologians affirm, "Science" denies, and so they still face each other in this Twentieth Century with "A war of words," though, to a considerable extent, they have ceased making faces and calling each other names, because there is a deeper struggle going on.
The Theological Hierarchy, worldly-wise in every generation, has dropped the cry of Heresy and gone to the very foundations of our civilization. They are sapping and mining the foundations of civil Liberty, the "self-evident truths," and the "Inalienable Rights," upon which this government was founded.
Here is a thoroughly-organized, relentless determination, openly declared, and well under way to destroy our "Free Public Schools," and substitute that "Organized Ignorance," the Parochial Schools, as the first step in reuniting Church and State, through dogmatic authority instilled into the youths of this country. Not one citizen in a thousand seems to realize what is here being attempted, how thoroughly organized it is, or what immense progress in this direction has already been made; or, if they know, they do not seem to care.
It may thus be seen what practical and vital issues we are facing and how much is involved in the "Cross of Religion," and the "Crux of Science."
Intelligence, Education, the Light of Science, and the Illumination of true Religion, are pitted in a conflict with Ignorance, Superstition, and Fear; dogmatism, degeneration, and devolution.
Science and Religion represent different departments in human interests and the life of man. So far as they are each true, they must eventually, and inevitably clasp hands, instead of working at cross-purposes.
Actual knowledge of the human soul, as a Science of psychology, on the one hand; and the duty of man to himself, to his fellows, and to God, and the destiny of the human soul as essential religion, on the other; must constitute the basis of union, and the point of agreement.
The accredited psychology of to-day has hitherto failed to demonstrate any actual knowledge of the human soul, or even to postulate its existence, as a fact in nature.
The theologies and religions of to-day appeal largely to superstition and fear, and support their dogmas by "revelations," the diverse interpretations of which have segregated religions into a large number of sects with no bond of union or basis of agreement.
Competition here, in securing proselytes, differs little, except in name, from that everywhere in evidence between commercial organizations. It is hardly "the survival of the fittest," but rather, as everywhere, and in all ages, the triumph of the most powerful, aggressive, and unscrupulous. The Roman Hierarchy is still in the lead, with its Pope "infallible," and anathematizing all progress and enlightenment, under the designation of "Modernism," and all its energy exerted to perpetuate the "Dark Ages."
It is thus that priestcraft masquerades in the name of religion to enslave the human soul. Still outside this Babel of religion and science, lie numberless cults and organizations professing both liberty and enlightenment along the lines of man's spiritual nature, not one of which puts forth any clear and definite theorem of the human soul. With mere assertions, instead of demonstrated facts, and appealing often to the desire for wealth, health, and comfort in their followers, they often declare that one has only to "demand" these things, in order to have them. Justice and the law of compensation are often entirely ignored, and the methods employed are unmoral, to say the least, almost without exception, unscientific, and wholly empirical.
Occasionally we find "Leaders," or "Official Heads," whose colossal ignorance of either moral or spiritual Law, is only equaled by their monumental egotism, and this does not prevent them from gaining proselytes, and amassing fortunes in their own name.
It would be difficult to see how many of these cults differ, either in principle or practice, or in the results wrought out in their disciples, from the Priestcraft already referred to.
They advertise an open thoroughfare, and seem to promise something for nothing, but from the vicarious atonement, up or down the scale, the votaries pay in "mint, anise, and cummin," while ignorantly blind to the weightier matters of the law.
To one who for half a century has studied these personal and social problems, and witnessed the rise and fall of many of these cults, from the Fox Sisters and Spiritualism, to Braid and Hypnotism, while Priestcraft and Popery, like Tennyson's brook, "go on forever," it all seems pitiful that mankind must pay so dearly for freedom, enlightenment, and knowledge.
And yet, when the real teacher comes, the rabble so long exploited cry, "Away with him," "Crucify him." When the rabble at last repent, Priestcraft shifts its tactics and deifies the sacrifice, which it instigated, and so perpetuates the eternal tragedy.
Those familiar with the "Seeking after God," and for real knowledge of the essential nature of man, in all ages, are aware that there have always been, in every age, those who have achieved it. It has been known, or rather concealed, under many names. Its possessors and teachers have been reviled, persecuted, crucified, and thus their work has been hindered and often defeated.
The ignorant and superstitious feared it. The vicious, ambitious, and time-serving hated it, because it prevented the few from dominating and exploiting the many; liberating, as it does, the earnest seeker after truth and enlightenment from the bondage of ignorance, dogma, superstition, and fear, in every form.
Hence Institutional Religions, Schools of Philosophy, Coteries, Syndicates, and many other organizations of men, constituted to dominate and rule the masses, have been the sworn foes of individual liberty and enlightenment, and of the "Illuminati," or real teachers in every age, and a perpetual menace to their work.
Real knowledge of the nature and destiny of man, has first to be discovered, then recovered, and possessed. To become available, it must be simplified, formulated, and finally promulgated in some form, so as to reach those ready and capable of receiving it.
It must be sought earnestly and deservedly. The candidate must demonstrate that he is duly and truly prepared, worthy, and well qualified. Every step in advance is determined by his understanding and use of what he has hitherto received.
The real possession of this sublime wisdom is an evolution from within and not something communicated from without.
It is, literally, the building of character and the growth of the soul, as the highway of knowledge.
To discover, possess, exemplify, and promulgate this knowledge, this higher evolution of the Individual Intelligence, in the face of all obstacles and difficulties, has been known and designated for ages as the Magnum Opus, the "Great Work." It is, indeed, the greatest work either known, permitted or possible to man. It solves the riddle of the Sphinx of Life and makes Man Master of his own destiny.
Such a Master lives in a new world, untrammeled by the things of sense and time. He has indeed, "lived the life to know the doctrine," and can say with Jesus, in sincerity and truth, "I, and the Father, are One," because we are at-one.
There is not a particle of evidence in history, in philosophy, or in science, to show that anyone has ever reached such knowledge, liberation, and enlightenment, in any other way than that in which Jesus attained it; viz.: by renouncing the ordinary ambitions of life, wealth, fame, and power, and by overcoming selfishness and the lusts of the flesh; devoting their lives to the good of mankind, "without the hope of fee or reward." As the whole work is a spiritual unfoldment, and from beginning to end a refining process, it is easy to see how and why the conditions are what they are, and have always been the same.
This is why those who have no apprehension or conception of the process, can see only mystery and miracle in the result.
If anyone cites the so-called "black magicians" of Egypt, and of antiquity, to refute the moral code as the essential condition of attainment, they will find that these priests and "magi climbing up some other way," and whom Jesus designated as "thieves and robbers," could never function or pass beyond the so-called "astral plane." Here is where the Sibyl and the "virgin seer" came in.
This is clearly shown in that little book "The Idyll of the White Lotus," as in several of Bulwer's novels. Hypnotism and Ceremonial Magic, as revealed in the writings of Abbe Constant, represent ambition for knowledge and power without "living the life," and at any cost to mankind. These Margraves have often existed, sealed their own fate, and "gone to their own place." H. P. Blavatsky referred to them as "lost souls," or "soulless individuals." They are also graphically described in "The Strange Story of Arinzeman."
There was always the "Right-hand Path," and the "Left-hand Path."
Even a slight familiarity with ancient literatures and philosophies reveals the fact, that all these things have been known for ages. The subtlety of the Hindoo mind has been such as to leave no phase of mental or psychic phenomena uninvestigated.
To the casual and uninstructed reader, it often seems like an endless and hopeless jungle, and he is unable to bring order out of the seemingly endless confusion.
There is not a single percept or concept in what is now called "New Thought," that may not be found repeated with almost endless variations thousands of years ago.
Reference has already been made to the conditions imposed upon the student who aspires to know, and to become.
The obligations upon the teacher are no less stringent, for both are, from first to last, working under both natural and spiritual law to which they are bound to conform.
To be possessed of such knowledge the teacher must have abandoned worldly ambition, the love of wealth, and the applause of men. All motives of time-serving and self-seeking must assail him in vain. He becomes the almoner of the treasure-house of Light and Knowledge. He must exemplify what he teaches. If he can impart his knowledge, or assist an aspiring and worthy brother, it must be in the way he has himself received it, "without money and without price," or any "hope of reward or fee," and the brother so receiving, in his own degree, must be ready to pass it on under precisely the same terms and conditions.
The teacher, therefore, must be in a position to give or to withhold; promulgate or conceal; teach or refuse to teach; governed solely by Truth and Law, and the solemn obligation under which he has himself received it.
The meaning of the saying, "strait is the gate and narrow is the way, and few there be who find it," may thus be made apparent.
Fragments of this wisdom are found scattered through the ages, with here and there one who has achieved it.
For two or three centuries the early Christian Church undertook to work on these lines, and instituted three degrees, as abundantly shown in the writings of many of the so-called "Christian, or Church Fathers."
Jesus said to his disciples, "I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." And again, "The works that I do, ye shall do also, and greater things than these shall ye do, because I go to the Father." And again, "Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them who are without, it is not given."
Mysteries, indeed, to the ignorant monks who were already wrangling over creed, and dogmas, and who, in 325 at the First Council at Nice, fought it out surrounded by the soldiers of the Pagan Emperor, Constantine; and thus settled the "orthodox interpretation," of what they were wholly incompetent to understand. Their successors are still engaged in the same wrangle of interpretation, so far as the "Infallible Pope," and dogma of obedience, at Rome has been unable to suppress it.
Somewhere between the middle of the first and second centuries, an effort at union and reconciliation arose from another quarter. Ammonius Saccas, a Neo-Platonist, endeavored to unite men of different cults and beliefs on the lines of the Great Work, precisely as the Philalethean Society is doing in New York to-day; but his movement was soon engulfed and lost sight of by the tide of Ecclesiasticism, or suppressed by the soldiers of Constantine.
I am not attempting a history, for that would fill volumes. I am only giving a few sidelights of the Great Work.
In the Tenth Century, at Baghdad, a society was formed admitting Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, and atheists, with a similar purpose.
During the time of Martin Luther, John Reuchlin made a similar attempt. Both Reuchlin and Luther were pupils of Trithemius, the Abbot of St. Jacob's at Wuerzburg, one of whose books I possess, printed in the year 1600, and also another book, "The Theosophical Transactions of the Philadelphian Society," printed in London in 1697. Browning's "Paracelsus" gives a splendid outline of the philosophy and teachings of Trithemius, and rescues Paracelsus with all who can understand, from the vile slanders of his monkish enemies; and Robert Browning wrote his "Paracelsus" at the age of twenty-three! Can you wonder why so few "understand Browning"?
For more than fifteen hundred years mankind has been involved between the speculations of Philosophy, on the one hand, and the creeds and dogmas of Theology, on the other.
There was also the deliberate destruction of ancient monuments, scrolls, and records, by religious fanatics. Diocletian, in A.D. 296, burned the books of the Egyptians. Caesar burned 700,000 Rolls at Alexandria, and Leo Isaurus 300,000 at Constantinople in the eighth century. Then came the Mohammedans, who destroyed the remainder of the accessible scrolls at Alexandria. Gangs of fanatical Monks, Christian and Pagan, roamed over Europe destroying and defacing everything upon which they could lay their hands, as witnesses against their dogmas and superstitions. Even to-day, in India, it is difficult for Europeans to gain access to genuine ancient records. The records of these barbarities are still fresh in the minds of the guardians of sacred lore.
Even with such a record for thousands of years, Ecclesiasticism is as arrogant and rampant as ever to-day. The wonder is, that there is anything left but barbarism.
Two writers declare that the most ancient and valuable of the records of the Alexandrian Library were kept in secret crypts known only to the highest officials, and preserved still in secret crypts known only to the Illuminati. In Baalbec and all through the East to-day these underground temples are being explored, and even the fragments found excite wonder and admiration. Ignorant Barbarians may be destructive on general principles, but fanatical Ecclesiasticism has ever been destructive of all light, knowledge and civilization, through insane hatred or pure "cussedness"! We need only to regard intelligently what it has done, and is doing for Southern Europe to-day.
Can you wonder that the real science of the Human Soul found little recognition, or that it was denied as possible to man?
As already shown, the Science of to-day has neither recognized nor worked up to it; and the Theology of to-day covers it with fable, mystery, and miracle as of old.
In spite of both these the "Philalethean Society" exists, the "Seekers after God" were never more numerous than now, and the Magnum Opus, the Great Work, was never, in the whole history of man, more in evidence than it is to-day.
"Truth crushed to Earth shall rise again, The Eternal years of God are hers."
Can it be that there is no great truth back of all these struggles and aspirations of the human soul? That there is no possible realization back of these soulful endeavors?
Is Tantalus, after all, the creator and Father of Man? inspired only by love of disappointment, defeat, and despair, in his children?
For one, I do not believe it.
To plant these aspirations in the soul of man, and doom them to everlasting disappointment and defeat, would brand the creator of man as an Infinite Liar, instead of a Loving Father.
The earnest student must first learn to recognize, and to discriminate; for the "blind leaders of the blind" are always legions.
This power of discrimination, to which I have referred, goes deeper, and means far more, than most persons ever realize, and this is why so many are continually deceived.
It is the light of understanding, of spiritual intelligence, within the soul of man.
It may be likened to a traveler in a foreign country, and a strange land, suddenly hearing one speaking fluently his own language, his native tongue. It is impossible to deceive him. In this case, however, it is not the mere words, the inflection or pronunciation, but the ideas, sentiments, and principles expressed.
"Liberty, Fraternity, Equality," for example; or sympathy, Charity, and loving kindness.
The "sign of the Master" is at once recognized by one already prepared to receive and to understand it. The soul that really desires truth and wisdom above all things, has thereby developed the power to recognize it.
This is the discrimination referred to. It is not what someone else tells you, or what another claims. It is what you discern and recognize, and the teaching and the life are in perfect harmony, like chords in music; and they strike a harmonic chord in you, that may be first a surprise, and soon a great joy and a bright light.
It is not a question of authority, and of credentials, but of intrinsic reality. You must know how to assay and test the gold yourself. This is where the "Alchemy of the Great Work" comes in, and here lies the beginning of Adeptship, the preparation for the "Great Work." I can demonstrate this from a score of old books, some of them going back many centuries.
It has also been symbolized and picturegraphed 'til the imagination ran riot, and ingenuity and fancy became lost, like ideas in a fantasy of words.
I know of but one place, one Institution, in modern times, where these essential truths of the Great Work have been preserved as a consistent whole, and that is in the symbolism of Free Masonry, but the craft long ago lost the real interpretation, though many to-day are on the lines that lead to it.
The whole symbolism and ritual of the Blue Lodge in Masonry is, from beginning to end, a symbol of the journey of the human soul on this earth, from darkness to light; from sin to righteousness; from ignorance to wisdom and understanding.
In other words, it is an exact theorem and solution of the Magnum Opus; a symbol of the philosophy and accomplishment of the GREAT WORK.
The science and the theology of the present day have been briefly contrasted. Neither of them pretends to give us any real science of the human soul.
Science says frankly she "does not know." Theology bids us believe and obey; trust and hope. Philosophy speculates and reasons, while amusing itself with the kaleidoscope of "postulates" and "categories."
Science must deal with facts, demonstrate their actuality, and classify them; that is, find their natural order and sequence.
In psychology, the facts are within the realm of consciousness, and therefore their demonstration is a matter of individual experience. This is why psychology differs from all other sciences.
No one can transfer his individual experiences directly to another. He can describe how he gained them, and give the result and conclusions, and here is where those who know nothing of the real problem, are often both incredulous and contemptuous. The only answer to these is, "they are joined to their idols, let them alone." "They would not believe though one arose from the dead," and yet we are told again and again that the "School of Natural Science" is the "school of personal experience."
It may be well to reflect a moment, and ask ourselves, how it is that we really know anything? Is it not through personal experience? Real knowledge comes, and can come, in no other way.
No teacher of the real science of psychology can ever transmit or transfer his knowledge to another. All he can do is to describe the methods, and steps, by which he acquired it, and assist the student in acquiring it for himself in the same way, or under the same processes and laws.
We have only to reflect on the ordinary experiences of life, to realize that this is a universal principle and rule. In the deeper science of the soul, and the higher life, instead of this law being relaxed, it becomes all the more binding.
Do not the principles that adhere in atom, molecule and mass, still hold in worlds and solar systems? Is not this precisely what is meant by "The Reign of Law"? If man were built upon some other scheme or plan than the rest of nature, how could he apprehend or adjust himself to Nature? The very concept of miracle is lawlessness, and mystery is but another name for ignorance.
Knowledge means experience and apprehension of Law.
Neither can the laws of Nature and the laws of God be at cross-purposes, for that would make harmony impossible and inconceivable.
The confusion and discord are all in us, and the Great Work means adjustment, harmony, and then Knowledge.
It is the journey of the human soul on the Royal Highway to Light, Liberation, and Eternal Day.
For many centuries those who have achieved this Wisdom, this "Great Work," have been trying to make it accessible to mankind, and to place it in such form that the ethical, scientific, and philosophical principles involved, and upon which it is based, should not again be lost. Every such effort has hitherto failed.
The scientific spirit of the present age, in a very broad way, seemed to offer a new and a more advantageous opportunity; for the whole process is one of strict science.
The Psychology of the present day has become involved in phenomena and automatism, and is in no sense constructive. It is one thing to build theories, and quite a different thing to systematize demonstrated facts, through the recognition of co-ordinate relations, and underlying law.
The work is open and accessible to all who manifest real interest, an open mind, and who have the intelligence and discrimination to recognize the character of the work. It has never, in the history of man, been open in any other way, on any other terms, or to any other individuals.
Those who can fill these requirements constitute to-day a larger number than have before existed at any one time, for perhaps many centuries.
The "School of Natural Science" is in evidence. The "Great Work" is carefully outlined.
There is no bar to one's making a beginning on the path, except indifference, incredulity, preoccupation, or prejudice; and these need not be in the least disturbed, for they will be kindly and courteously passed by.
Arguments, controversy, and proselyting, have no part in the Great Work, as there is no organization, and no personal ambitions to serve.
Those who speak a common language, are inspired by a common purpose, and aspire to a common and universal good, will, soon or late, find themselves associated together and co-operating.
It is like a chorus of voices when an old song is started that we loved in childhood. Each takes up the strain, falls into his own part, and helps to swell the harmony, from the joy of his own heart.
Those who "never did like the song," will "quietly steal away." Both Swedenborg and Emerson have sufficiently illustrated the "Law of Correspondencies," and "compensation," to reveal the basis of all harmonious human associations, whether on the earth, or on other planes of being. Hence the "Harmonics of Evolution," was the forerunner of the "Great Work."
The pitiable byplay and claptrap of "Affinities" so often seen and heard nowadays, where all previous obligations are ignored, and personal responsibilities set at naught, only serve to emphasize the real law of harmony and constructive evolution, by showing what it is not.
The Great Work digs to the very foundations of life, and all human associations, and reveals the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in the building of character, and the adornment of the Temple of the Human Soul.
This is indeed——
"Eternal Progress moving on, From state to state the spirit walks."
Death is neither the end nor the beginning. It is only a change in pitch, a shifting of keys, and the same old Song of Life goes on, if we have but learned the score, and caught the harmony.
Salvation is not a thing accomplished once for all. We have only to consider the monotony, the poverty of invention, and imagination, of those who have tried to portray the joy of the Redeemed in heaven, in order to realize what a bore it would soon become, if that were all.
Inspiration, achievement, and eternal progress, with more and more helpfulness to others, with plane after plane achieved, revealing plane after plane beyond—does not this appeal far more strongly to the highest and best in us all?
And pray, what is this, but the Great Work, that I have tried herein to outline, and as taught and lived by Jesus, and every great Master the world has ever known? Each has achieved in his own degree, worded it in his own way, and "stepped out of sunlight into shade, to make more room for others."
Long before the birth of Jesus, it was said, "The wise and peaceful ones live, renewing the earth like the coming of Spring." And having themselves crossed the ocean of embodied existence, help all those who try to do the same thing, without personal motive.
I have endeavored to give a general outline of the Great Work, drawn from history, tradition, philosophy, and symbolism, down to the present year of grace. I find many corroborations, many things pointing in the same general direction. But I find but one concise and definite formulation of the scientific theorem, in which the outline is clear, and the analogy complete, and thereby made accessible and apprehensible to the open-minded and intelligent student.
Such students need experience no real difficulty in finding a clew to the labyrinth of life, or, as our ancient brothers put it in regard to the Magnum Opus—"a key to the closed palace of the king."
This is the purpose of the "Harmonic Series" of books. They need rest upon no authority beyond the intrinsic evidence of truth, on every page. If they are not consistent in themselves, then they must fall in pieces. The only appeal to the reader is: read them carefully, analyze your own mind and soul, and come to your own conclusions. If they find no response, no answering chord in you, then they were written for someone else, or in vain.
One further consideration remains to be noted at this time, as the question is sure to arise: "How about woman in the Great Work?" Seldom in the past has she received recognition, since the earliest days in Old India, though here and there have been the most noble women.
I heard Anna Dickinson, many years ago, open one of her famous lectures with these words, "I claim for man and woman alike, the right to attempt and win. I claim for man and woman alike, the right to attempt and fail."
It seems to me to-day, as it did more than thirty years ago, that this is the whole problem in a nutshell, and that any number of words could add nothing to the statement.
The Great Work is as open to woman as to man, and on the same terms. They have perhaps more to overcome in some directions, and men more in others. This is like saying, "man and woman are different," that is all.
One thing is certain; there will never be an ideal social state on earth, or a heaven anywhere, except as men and women co-operate together for the happiness of each, and the highest, noblest, cleanest good of all, and this is only another phase or department of the Great Work.
THE MODULUS OF NATURE AND THE THEOREM OF PSYCHOLOGY
The Science of Psychology, like any other science, must deal with demonstrated facts, classify them, and systematize the resulting categories.
Strictly logical conclusions drawn from categories of facts so derived, deserve the name of Science.
Science is, therefore, a definite method of arriving at exact conclusions. No other method can legitimately bear the name of science.
No one pretends to dispute the conclusions logically involved in the Binomial Theorem; or in the Parallelogram of forces; or in correlative mechanical equivalents; or in many of the known laws of chemistry and physiology.
When, however, we come to mental processes and psychical phenomena, the facts are so redundant, and so differently reported and apprehended, that argument, belief and prejudice, credulity and incredulity, overshadow and drown with a war of words all clear, scientific methods or conclusions.
But if man, as a whole, is a fact in nature; or if "God made Man a Living Soul," then the whole nature of man exists under law, and is apprehensible to science.
Man's function as a scientist is to read, to reflect, to weigh, to measure, and to understand.
There are those who object to Natural Science as applied to "Divine" things. They would preserve the mystery, and seem to prefer miracle and dogma to knowledge and law.
Their preference is to be respected, even though ignorance and superstition result. Since the domain of science, in America at least, is no longer restricted by ecclesiastic law, the conflict between Religion and Science has gradually disappeared, and the conflict is rather that between knowledge and ignorance, with ignorance on the wane.
"Things settled by long use, if not absolutely good, at least fit well together."
This transition period seems confusing to many earnest souls with its "New Thought," its "occultisms" and its "Lo here's" and "Lo there's." But through and beneath it all, may be heard a note of harmony, the promise and the potency of the triumph of light and knowledge.
We may not know the final results, but every sincere and earnest seeker may have the peaceful assurance that he is on the open highway that leads to the noblest and the best.
The assurance of knowledge but makes clearer the revelations of faith.
That "absentee God"—of which Carlyle wrote, has been discerned as the Universal Intelligence, and equally Love and Law.
Among recent writers and books on the subject of psychology, Professor Hugo Muensterberg's "Psychotherapy" occupies a very high place. It appeals especially to the physician, more familiar than others with morbid psychical states. Here I can look back on almost half a century of experience, the most active, in dealing with these cases.
But I am at present less concerned with mental pathology and therapy, than with the general psychological basis; the causative categories upon which they are based, and which occupy the first half of Muensterberg's book.
Dividing the whole subject—the content of consciousness, all the faculties, capacities and powers, all processes and sequences—into two general groups or classes, the purposive and the causal, Muensterberg declares that "the causal view only is the view of psychology"; "the purposive view lies outside of psychology." (P. 14.)
I hold, that without the purposive view equally included and co-ordinated, there can be no such thing as Scientific Psychology. Half views will hardly admit of synthetic generalizations.
The complete separation here instituted, between the purposive and causal factors, in itself, for purposes of definition and study, need not be objected to, if it were consistently carried out, which it is not. He so nearly pre-empts the whole ground for the causal, giving scant courtesy to the purposive, merely a few crumbs of comfort, so that it cannot be said to be ignored altogether, and drops the scientific method entirely in dealing with it; assenting to moral precepts and principles, without a clew to any scientific basis, that one must object to the name—Psychology—as being applied to it at all. It contains no hint of a "knowledge of the Soul."
It is the Vito-Motor mechanism of the Mind. The Automatism of the elements, incidents, changes, and sequences of our states of consciousness; based upon, and including all that we know of physiology. Along these lines, Muensterberg's work has probably never been equaled. It is concise, comprehensive, and exhaustive.
His physical, physiological, and mental syntheses are well-nigh complete.
Whenever, in the future, what he calls "the purposive view" shall be resurrected from the obscurity and nescience to which he has assigned it, and really habilitated in the garb of Science, and recognized as the lawful spouse of the causal, we shall indeed have a true Psychology, a Science of the Human Soul.
Muensterberg neither scouts nor denies the possibility of such a future discovery. In the meantime, his viewpoint, and necessarily some of his conclusions and generalizations, are one-sided, and out of focus.
Emphasizing the causal as he does, this could hardly be otherwise; and from this point of view, and for this reason, his practical Psychotherapy is purely empirical.
We need not deny his facts, or his results, even when mixed with hypnosis, more than he does the "cures" in "Christian Science," "Faith Cures," at Lourdes, or by the "laying on of hands." All these things are too well known, and not one of them deserves the name of Science. They are solely empirical methods. Muensterberg's broader view and deeper analysis give to his methods great prominence, and he can point to no results that transcend the others. These facts and these results are as old as the history of man. They have, even as he points out, constituted epidemics of "cure."
There is, moreover, a scientific view and method regarding what he calls the purposive view which he overlooks entirely, and which by emphasis of the causal, makes seemingly impossible. It is our purpose to try and make this clear.
His analysis of Suggestion, though largely automatic, is well-nigh exhaustive. Awareness, and Attention, are illustrated copiously; but not clearly differentiated as they may be, and actually are in the experience of individual life.
Fortunately, and wisely, he eliminates the "Subconscious" as having no real meaning or scientific value as now used.
But it might be applied to the Mental awareness of physiological automatism (bodily habits, often beginning in an act of will, or attention; writing, speaking, music, dancing, and the like, and in less degree, all life impulses and movements below the line of attention or awareness).
If, by courtesy, these might be called sub-conscious, then there is another group above the habitual plane of awareness, that, by equal courtesy, might be called Supra-conscious. But, unless it is remembered, as Muensterberg points out, that, regardless of phenomena, Consciousness is one, these terms can only lead to confusion.
Certain cases designated "multiple" or "dissociated personalities" have only served to increase this confusion still further; and more especially, when the effort has been made to patch them together, or to control them from without, by hypnosis. The well-known case of "Sally," reported by Dr. Morton Prince, stands at last, as a "personally conducted" psychological excursion, with Sally still preserving her incognito, and as much a mystery as ever.
That automatism incident to all progressive organization and perfection of function, and through which physical, physiological, mental, and psychic synthesis becomes possible, has been allowed to usurp the place of the "Builder of the Temple," the "Driver of the Chariot," and the "Player" upon the "Harp of a thousand strings." Harmony and equilibrium are incidents resulting from causative processes! We need only to know the construction, relations of parts, and principles involved in the vibrations of the Harp, in order to understand and appreciate the music. The player, the musician—drunk, or sober, tone-blind or genius—is a mere incident, and however purposive or competent, is admitted by courtesy only, and warned not to interfere too much with the Harp!
To build, and keep in order, and tune the Harp, constitutes the science of music. Some day, when we have leisure and inclination, we may turn our attention to the Musician, but that day seems far off. We admit that his function is purposive. He, no doubt, has designs on the Harp, and upon us, but we are handling musical instruments at present, and if he objects to our calling ourselves "Musicians" (psychologists) he is impertinent, and should study the science of music, or keep silent.
I am not "begging the question" in regard to the human soul. I am simply emphasizing the fact of the Individual Intelligence, which, at the point of equilibrium, sweeps the strings with that harmony which is the soul of music.
This Harp of a thousand strings, is indeed, "fearfully and wonderfully made." Its physics and kinetics; its consonants and dissonants; its shifting keyboards; its changes in pitch, rhythm, and harmony from atom and molecule, to neurons, cells and mass; with the tides of life—blood, plasma, water, air, magnetism—sweeping the whole at every breath or pulse beat, to the cry of the builder—Life—"out with the old! in with the new!" and yet the conscious identity in health, typically unchanged and unchanging—causative, designed, scientific—yea verily! and purposive, human, intelligent, spiritual, divine, but a dead corpse, given over to decomposition the moment it is bereft of that something we feel, and know, and name—the Individual Intelligence—the Master Musician; or the staggering, drunk, crazy fiddler, with this Harp of a thousand strings, twanging perhaps in a mad-house!
Put the house in order; analyze, and classify; adjust the furniture with the handmaids of science, art, and beauty in evidence and at call; but for goodness' sake! stop hypnotizing the musician—"Just a little"—under the fallacy or the pretense of strengthening the Will by weakening it just a little more! This is "giving your patients fits, because you are death on fits"! Rescue Science from this atheromatous degeneration, and then suppress the dabblers in "black magic" who pose as Hypnotists, as Muensterberg advises.
For clear intelligence and exhaustive analysis, Muensterberg's "Psychotherapy" is a masterpiece, but his psychic equation of causative and purposive, with all his mathesis, not only remains unsolved, but leads to confusion, from the false light shed on the unknown quantity, and his failure to indicate the gnosis; the demarcation between automatism and purposive Intelligence.
That this confusion exists in the daily life of the average individual whose evolution is still incomplete; that it constitutes a large per cent. of all cases of "dominant ideas," obsessions, riotous emotions and passions; that it is nowhere recognized and defined in modern psychology, or made synthetically clear in modern philosophy, all these lapses make it all the more necessary that it should be clearly defined and made plain as the basis of Scientific Psychology.
In addition to all this, if Muensterberg's conclusions and applications are unsound because psychologically unscientific at the point; for example, where he almost hesitatingly indorses hypnosis, however qualified or safeguarded, he is certain to be quoted as authority on the subject by those who will ignore all his qualifications to justify the practice.
In order to meet these imperative conditions, the attempt to formulate any philosophy of psychology will not be made.
Even were such an attempt made successfully, that would remove the discussion from the field of science, where it should by all means remain. What we need is a real science of life, and this should involve the whole mental and psychical realm, and lead ultimately to a knowledge of the human soul.
Recognized facts in common experience only need be appealed to, though different values will have to be placed upon some of these facts as their importance is made plain.
We begin with the fact of consciousness. What it is, we do not know. What it means and does, we know very largely and broadly. In itself, it is purely passive. It never acts. Like space, it is the "all container." It is the background, the theatre of our intelligence.
With the individual intelligence, plus, or with consciousness, we have awareness. This is perception, or cognition, still negative.
These basic conditions, faculties and capacities, are like a company of soldiers on parade. Now comes the "word of command"—Attention!
Latent consciousness—awareness—now becomes concentrated, focalized on one point, one feeling, or emotion, or act. The soldiers "dress up," glance down the line, and are ready to act. Then comes the action, the movement, the drill, or the fight.
The drill master is also a soldier, but he is in command. He is called the Will. Without him and his recognized authority, the soldiers may be a mob, or a rabble. With him, they "fall in line," give "attention," "dress up," and are ready to act.
These are facts, and are basic and primary in our conscious awareness and attention in consciousness; the one negative, though inclusive; the other positive, and motor, or active.
In his "Psychotherapy" under the heading "The Subconscious," Muensterberg has much to say upon the meaning and differentiation of awareness, attention, and recognition, but he fails to point out in direct relation, at this point, the primary power—the Will, moved by the Individual Intelligence.
Later in his work the will is recognized and frequently referred to, but from beginning to end he makes it incidental, rather than basic. When he comes to broad groups of psychic phenomena, or pathological symptoms, the sounding board of Rational Volition is cracked and there is where hypnosis slips in.
Broad as he has laid his foundations in physical and physiological synthesis, he loses sight of its importance in the psychological; regarding as an incident that which is a basic principle of prime importance. Schopenhauer went, perhaps, as far to the opposite extreme. Perhaps "the truth will be found in the middle of the road."
The heir apparent, the prince regent, the lawful Sovereign, by heredity, by the laws of Nature, and "by the Will of God," in this Tabernacle of Man, is the Individual Intelligence; no matter whether we recognize or dispute his rightful authority. His Prime Minister is the Human Will; whether conspiring against, or co-operating with, the King. We may analyze the foundation of the kingdom, and the affairs of state, and designate them as causative, or purposive. We may see monarchy, or anarchy; democracy or republicanism; we may dethrone the king, and turn the state, literally, into a mad-house; but all the facts of nature, conscious awareness, and Scientific Psychology, cry, with one voice, Hail to the King! Long Live the King! I! Me! Mine! Myself! A fact so basic, that it is as patent to the child as to the man.
Now comes the Juggler, the little Joker. Muensterberg has sufficiently revealed the variety-stage, "the Subconscious," and his biography of the various individual players and troupes is very elaborate. They are, one and all, Suggestions. And suggestion is the "Juggler," and the "little Joker."
After the Intelligence and the Will, our awareness finds subjects and objects, ideas, images, pictures, percepts and concepts.
That all these, both within and without, are Suggestive; that one idea, or image, or object, suggests another, or others, no one will deny, who has ever thought about his own thinking. It is like saying, all mental pictures are composite; the elements of many kinds coming from many sources.
So far, Suggestion is all right. It is awareness of an idea, percept, concept, or act awakened, called to attention by another, with the question, how does it strike you? what do you think of it? what, if anything, do you wish, or propose to do about it?
It is purely negative, and suggests action or inhibition, without the slightest domination.
Remember that the Will—rational Volition—is that power, which, from the point of attention enables the individual to act, or refuse to consider, as he pleases.
If I suggest to my friend here in my library, that it is near train time; that he can go if he chooses or remain with me all night, he is free to act on the suggestion and go or stay as he chooses. I have called to his attention certain facts of time, place, or circumstance, but left his will untrammeled. If I am tired of him and wish him to go, or really wish him to stay, in either case it is still a suggestion, because I have left him free to act or not. But in this case certain tones of my voice, not direct by touching the will, but coloring the feelings or emotions, color both his preferences and my own. Even persuasion, the power of another example, the placing of certain views or considerations before another, all these but make the more clear and specific the suggestion. They reach the will through the inside, in the realm of ideation, and not from the outside, in the way of domination. All these things are essential elements in social intercourse.
If, however, I have a motive in wishing my friend to go, or to stay, and have determined in my own mind which it shall be; ignoring or overriding his own choice; and if I use my will, or passes, or touch his eyes, or forehead, with the purpose of concentrating his attention or will, on my wish, or idea, or command, it is no longer free choice with him, but domination; no longer suggestion, but hypnosis, pure and simple.
The confusion and juggling at this point has been made the sole excuse for hypnotism, through belittling or ignoring the importance, normal action, and supremacy of the human will.
No one denies that the exchange or forcible expression of ideas, percepts, mental pictures, or concepts, is suggestive. But the normal individual is free to accept or reject them.
Education, bias, prejudice, and the like, have also much to do in determining results.
But the moment you interfere with the free choice of the individual and dominate toward your choice, regardless of his own, you enter the realm of hypnosis; deprive him, just to that degree, of free choice, and might as well call it "fiddlesticks" as "suggestion." It is domination, the mastery, so far as it goes or exists at all, of the will, voluntary powers, and sensory organs of one individual, by the will of another; thus reversing completely the process of nature.
To dominate the will of another is to weaken it. Timidity, apprehension, fear, are in inverse ratio to confidence, self-assurance, courage, and self-control.
Health, happiness, and self-development lie along the lines of man's higher evolution, and the basic principle, the primary power, the minister of state, is the rational and intelligent Will.
The scientific theorem of Psychology can be nothing else than Nature's Modulus of Man, with its root in Universal Intelligence. Man individualizes and involves this Intelligence as he evolves form, function, adaptation, and adjustment, and at least secures and maintains perfect equilibrium.
This is Nature's Modulus, else the whole of human life is purposeless and meaningless.
Given, then, an Individual Intelligence, endowed with self-consciousness; with Rational Volition, the power to choose and to act or refuse to act; how shall it master its environment; adapt itself to any conditions; secure adjustment and become Master?
The starting point and the keynote from first to last is Self-Control.
Then come high Ideals, intelligent choice, and the will backed by discrimination and judgment. These lead to understanding and wisdom.
The "courage of one's convictions," can be neither conceited nor blatant egotism, but a readiness to assume full responsibility of motives, acts, and results.
This recognition of Personal Responsibility is what we call Conscience. It is the Judgment-seat of the Individual Intelligence in the Kingdom of its own Soul, or realm of consciousness. The moment this throne totters, or is obscured, devolution begins, and degeneration, insanity, and Inferno lie that way.
It does not change one principle involved, or weaken either Modulus or Theorem when we reflect that most equations are ended by death, long before being brought to successful solution. For the time they are certainly interrupted.
Neither do the babel of tongues, the theories, theologies, or philosophies change either Modulus or Theorem, because they are grounded in demonstrated facts, recognized, either vaguely or clearly, in the conscious experience of every intelligent thinking man and woman.
Constructive Psychology, based upon Science, for the building of character by persistent effort, increasing continually all personal resources, means the normal higher evolution of man.
So-called religions and the life after death have been purposely left unconsidered.
If we really have a Science of the Soul—the Individual Intelligence—based upon psychological facts, demonstrated in the daily experience of every healthy individual, it touches religion at its most vital point, viz.: ethics or morals. If these ethical principles are true and demonstrable, they must constitute the foundation of religion as of ethics. If morals are strengthened and made clear, and Personal Responsibility as Conscience, is recognized and accepted, the Vicarious Atonement will have to go, and Theologians will have to change their mystical and miraculous interpretations from Vicarious Atonement to personal at-one-ment with Christos.
The "miraculous conception," and "virgin birth," held equally in regard to Christna centuries before, and also the literal resurrection of the physical body will have to be otherwise explained.
The purposive view as one full term of the psychological equation, will find uniform law and order in place of the credulous legends of ignorant and superstitious monks, while the Divine Man will be taken down from the cross and restored to the heart of humanity, as the Modulus of Nature, realized as a normal evolution, under natural and spiritual law.
Salvation from sin, ignorance, superstition, and fear, will be recognized as the result of "Leading the Life," and Vicarious only through a divine example; or, if you please, legitimate Suggestion; with personal effort, rational volition, and personal responsibility working in harmony toward the desired result.
SECTION TWO THE NEW AVATAR OF NATURAL SCIENCE
OUR INDEBTEDNESS TO ANCIENT INDIA
It is more than thirty years since in Southern Europe, England, and America, a genuine Renaissance of Vedic literature, philosophy, and religion began to assume a popular form and to become accessible to the general reading public.
Scholars, like Sir William Jones, had for the past century been familiar with the ancient civilization and the Vedic literature and the study of Sanscrit had made some progress in the Universities.
The idea, however, that these antiquities had any vital interest to us, beyond curious myths and obsolete superstitions, had not been perceived, much less admitted.
The antiquity of man, and the Philosophy of Evolution, had opened new fields for thought, and necessitated a revision of all previous concepts of man and nature.
Old records and interpretations were everywhere revised, and the interpretations of the Mosaic records were challenged at every point.
Popular religions were up in arms and were compelled to adjust themselves to the new regime.
But even after this century of progress and enlightenment, it has scarcely yet dawned on the mind of theologians that the challenge of science was, after all, insignificant, compared with that which was to come, and for which modern science had paved the way.
The whole realm of theology, and the foundations of religion, were to undergo revision.
Facts incontestable were being gathered and proofs established beyond all possible denial, or controversy, that all modern theologies and religions were copied and adapted from Vedic and ante-Vedic sources, antedating our present era by more than two thousand years.
The superficial and devout churchman, whose faith is fortified on the one hand by superstition, and on the other at least borders on fanaticism, is apt to be resentful in the presence of these facts, and, falling back on the infallibility and plenary inspiration of the Bible, to declare that if his own superficial interpretations are questioned or denied, Religion will be done for and mankind left in utter darkness.
He does not perceive that the facts of nature and the essentials of religion are one thing, and man's interpretation of them another thing entirely.
He does not perceive how these ignorant and superstitious interpretations of men have set at naught the real life of Jesus and the teachings of the Christ.
He does not realize how doctrine has usurped the place of duty, and dogmatism has hardened the soul of man.
One thing, however, is inevitable. Facts and evidence as to origin, analogies, and adaptation of the Christian Mysteries from ancient India, are widely known, and the time has come when these mysteries are being examined as to their intrinsic meaning and their bearing on the daily life of man and the progress of the human race.
The author of this little book has only attempted a bare outline of these great facts, and to put them in such shape that the reader may perceive their general bearing, and the sources whence they are derived.
The following extracts made almost at random, the quantity of evidence being so redundant, from Jacolliot's "Bible in India," a translation of which was made in this country as early as 1873, and Prof. Max Mueller's Lectures, "India, What Can It Teach Us?" printed here more than a quarter of a century ago, will give the reader the evidence and the assurance that these ancient sources of wisdom are scarcely yet known in outline to the Western World.
Jacolliot spent many years in India, studying its present civilization and its ancient lore, while Prof. Max Mueller derived his knowledge largely from study of Sanscrit and the Vedanta.
"Soil of Ancient India, cradle of humanity, hail! Hail, venerable and efficient nurse, whom centuries of brutal invasion have not yet buried under the dust of oblivion! Hail, fatherland of faith, of love, of poetry, and of science. May we hail a revival of thy past in our Western future.
"I have dwelt 'midst the depths of your mysterious forests, seeking to comprehend the language of your lofty nature, and the evening airs that murmured 'midst the foliage of banyans and tamarinds whispered to my spirit these three magic words: Zeus, Jehovah, Brahma.
"I have inquired of Brahmins and priests under the porches of temples and ancient pagodas, and they have replied:
"'To live is to think, and to think is to study God, who is all, and in all....
"'To live is to learn, to learn is to examine and to fathom in all their perceptible forms the innumerable manifestations of celestial power.
"'To live is to be useful; to live is to be just; and we learn to be useful and just in studying this book of the Vedas, which is the word of eternal wisdom, the principle of principles as revealed to our fathers.'" ("The Bible in India," p. 15.)
Plotinus, the Neoplatonist, said: "God is not the principal of beings, but the principle of principles."
This was the Hindoo concept of Para Brahm two thousand years before.
"In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life—it will be the solace of my death. [Schopenhauer, quoted by Max Mueller.] ... If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow—in some parts a very paradise on earth—I should point to India. If I were asked under what sky the human mind had most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant—I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, here in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human, a life, not for this life only, but a transfigured and eternal life—again I should point to India."
The reader should remember that this is not the opinion of an ignorant enthusiast, but the mature judgment of one of the most profound scholars and Sanscritists in Europe in his day—Prof. Max Mueller.
"The study of Mythology has assumed an entirely new character, chiefly owing to the light that has been thrown on it by the ancient Vedic Mythology of India.
"Buddhism is now known to have been the principal source of our legends and parables."
The story of the two women who claimed each to be the mother of the same child is found literally in the Kanjur, translated from the Buddhist Tripitake, and the "Judgment of Solomon" is only a copy of the older story.
"The history of all histories, and yet the mystery of all mysteries—take religion, and where can you study its true origin, its natural growth and its inevitable decay better than in India, the home of Brahmanism, the birthplace of Buddhism, and the refuge of Zoroastrianism.
"Take any of the burning questions of the day—popular education, higher education, parliamentary representation, codification of laws, finance, emigration, poor-law, and whether you have anything to teach and to try, or anything to observe and to learn, India will supply you with a laboratory such as exists nowhere else.
"And in the study of the history of the human mind, and the study of ourselves, of our true selves, India occupies a place second to no other country. Whatever sphere of the human mind you may select for your special study, whether it be language, or religion, or mythology, or philosophy, whether it be laws or customs, primitive art or primitive science, everywhere, you have to go to India, whether you like it or not, because some of the most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India, and in India only.
"Sleeman tells us men (in India) adhere habitually and religiously to the truth, and 'I have had before me hundreds of cases,' he says, 'in which a man's property, liberty, and life have depended upon his telling a lie, and he has refused to tell it.' Could many an English judge say the same?" (Remarks by Prof. Mueller.)
Prof. Mueller quotes from an Arabian writer of the thirteenth century, "The Indians are innumerable, like grains of sand, free from all deceit and violence. They fear neither death nor life."
And again, from Marco Polo, in the thirteenth century, "You must know, Marco Polo says, that these Abralaman (Hindoos) are the best merchants in the world, and the most truthful, for they would not tell a lie for anything on earth."
"In the sixteenth century Abu Fazl, the minister of the Emperor Akbar, says in his 'Ayin Akbari,' 'The Hindus are religious, affable, cheerful, lovers of justice, given to retirement, able in business, admirers of truth, grateful and of unbounded fidelity, and their soldiers know not what it is to fly from the field of battle.'"
(How badly these "poor heathen" were in need of the Jesuit missionary, and the British government and civilization!)
Prof. Mueller quotes Warren Hastings regarding the Hindus in general, as follows, "They are gentle and benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness shown them, and less prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted, than any people on the face of the earth—faithful, affectionate, submissive to legal authority."
Bishop Heber said, "The Hindus are brave, courteous, intelligent, most eager for knowledge and improvement, sober, industrious, dutiful to parents, affectionate to their children, uniformly gentle and patient, and more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than any people I ever met with."
Elphinstone said, "No set of people among the Hindus are so depraved as the dregs of our own great towns." (It might have been wiser to have employed English missionaries at home.)
Sir Thomas Munro bears even stronger testimony. He writes, "If a good system of agriculture, unrivaled manufacturing-skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to either convenience or luxury, schools established in every village for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, the general practice of hospitality, and charity among each other, and above all, a treatment of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy, are among the signs which denote a civilized people—then the Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Europe—and if civilization is to become an article of trade between England and India, I am convinced that England will gain by the import cargo.
"Even at the present moment, after a century of English rule and English teaching, I believe that Sanskrit is more widely understood in India, than Latin was in Europe at the time of Dante.
"There are thousands of Brahmans, even now, when so little inducement exists for Vedic studies, who know the whole of the Rig-Veda by heart, and can repeat it, and what applies to the Rig-Veda, applies to many other books." (Ten thousand and seventeen hymns.)
Speaking of other and later literature, Prof. Mueller says, "It is different with the ancient literature of India, the literature dominated by the Vedic and Buddhistic religions. That literature opens to us a chapter in what has been called the Education OF THE HUMAN RACE, TO WHICH WE CAN FIND NO PARALLEL anywhere else. Whoever cares for the historical growth of our language, that is, of our thoughts; whoever cares for the intelligible development of religion and mythology, whoever cares for the first foundation of what in later times we call the sciences of astronomy, metronomy, grammar and etymology; whoever cares for the first intimations of philosophical thought; for the first attempts at regulating family life, village life, and state life, as founded on religion, ceremonial, tradition and contact (Samaya), must in future pay the same attention to the literature of the Vedic period as to the literature of Greece and Rome and Germany.
"I maintain then that for a study of man, or, if you like, for a study of Aryan humanity, there is nothing in the world equal in importance with the Veda.
"The aristocracy of those who know—di color che sanno—or try to know, is open to all who are willing to enter, to all who have a feeling for the past; an interest in the genealogy of our thoughts, and a reverence for the ancestry of our intellect, who are, in fact, historians in the true sense of the word, i.e. inquirers into that which is past, but not lost.
"But if we mean by primitive the people who have been the first of the Aryan race to leave behind literary relics of their existence on earth, then I say the Vedic poets are primitive; the Vedic language is primitive; the Vedic religion is primitive, and, taken as a whole, more primitive than anything else that we are ever likely to recover in the whole history of our race....
"For this reason, because the religion of the Veda was so completely guarded from all strange infection, it is full of lessons which the student of religion could learn nowhere else."
The foregoing quotations have been made from a little volume, "India: What Can It Teach Us?" published by Funk and Wagnalls in 1883, and sold at 25 cents, so that these statements of Prof. Max Mueller have been accessible for more than a quarter of a century.
Since 1883, however, we have heard more and more of the "Wisdom of Old India."
The whole Theosophical movement, degenerate as it may have become in some directions, and much as it has been misinterpreted, and ridiculed and exploited in others, was primarily a sincere and earnest attempt "to bring the Secret Doctrine of ancient India within reach of Western students," to promote the brotherhood of man; the study of ancient philosophy and the psychical powers latent in man. There are thousands of intelligent and earnest students all over the world who have been uplifted, illuminated, and encouraged by these studies. When the true history of the present epoch comes to be written, there can be no shadow of doubt as to the recognition that will be accorded to H. P. Blavatsky and her aims, her life, and her work.
But such movements as are going on in the world, continually change their base, their methods, and their prospective. While the new awakening unmistakably goes back to old India, and compels a review and a readjustment of all our knowledge, and all our hopes and aims, another spirit has entered our intellectual realm, and compelled attention and recognition.
It has made for itself a habitation and a name, and nothing less than a cataclysm can altogether overthrow it.
It is the Genius of Scientific Criticism, Research, and Demonstration.
The "Mistakes of Moses" may indeed be paralleled by those of modern physical science, and these are being revealed side by side with those of theology and dogmatic assertion.
It has hardly yet dawned upon the mind of the physical scientist that the concept of the psychical and spiritual life and nature of man comprises, with the world of matter and form, a complete theorem of human life. He is often as incredulous, resentful, and contemptuous as the creed-bound religionist at the approach of more light, and the suggestion that all these essential problems were included and solved ages ago in ancient Aryavarta; and that "the few who know," the ancient order of the Illuminati, now designated the "School of Natural Science," has treasured this knowledge for ages.
The Vedas are not only ancient, but complicated and diffuse, and the busy life of the modern student will hardly suffice for the mastery of their wisdom, or the understanding of their secrets.
When, however, this ancient wisdom is condensed and epitomized, in perfect harmony with the concepts, the methods, and the demonstrations of Natural Science, the "Jewel in the Lotus,"—to use a Vedic synonym,—will appear in all its beauty and glory, to all who have eyes to see, and ears to hear, with determination to "honor every truth by use," and loyal service.
In the foregoing quotations it may be seen what this real knowledge did for the people of ancient India in building character on constructive lines, promoting justice, equity, charity, and kindness among the common people, and the teeming millions of India, when our Saxon and Norman ancestors were still barbarians, and before the Jew or the Christian were even dreamed of.
In the following quotations from Jacolliot's "Bible in India," an outline will be given as to the source of some of our myths, pantheons, and religions.
These brief and imperfect outlines from two small and generally forgotten books, ought to satisfy any intelligent and unbiased student how completely the general thesis may be demonstrated from the ancient records themselves.
The books from which these quotations are made are like kindergarten primers for the use of beginners.
The present writer's interest in and study of Theosophy and the Secret Doctrine were instigated by Schopenhauer's "World as Will and Idea." He found how largely Schopenhauer had drawn from the Upanishads (see previous quotation), and how little, after all, his "Philosophy" had utilized the ancient Wisdom. Hence he resolved to seek the ancient sources of knowledge, and has been trying his best to apprehend and utilize them, the hoarded wisdom of the ages.
He is not in the least anxious to gain recognition for, or to seek to rehabilitate old India, for its own sake. She speaks for herself, through the centuries of the past, and will continue to speak and to influence all coming time.
Jacolliot shows, however, a little irritation at this point over the suppression of facts, the brutality of marauding invaders, and the wholesale and brazen appropriation without the least credit to India's store of wisdom.
The present writer is, however, exceedingly desirous that his fellow-students in the West should discover, recognize, and utilize this ancient mine of wisdom for themselves.
Its day of recognition is just now at the dawn, and the most pressing problems concerning the real nature, the spiritual possibilities, and the eternal destiny of the soul of man, are pressing and burning questions to-day.
That these problems do not wait solution by modern physical science and physio-psychology, but await only the understanding and acceptance of every earnest and intelligent student, is easily demonstrated. It challenges the world to-day, as it has not done before for many millenniums, and the issues are to be tried out to a scientific demonstration.
The preferences and prejudices of partisans will not be consulted, nor will they in the least interrupt the progress, nor interfere with the solution.
The question is no longer, "What think ye of Jesus?" but "What know ye of your own soul?" A new faith will supersede the old superstitions.
Faith, from the viewpoint of Natural Science, is "the soul's intuitive conviction of that which both reason and conscience approve." Blind faith, or belief, is ever the handmaid of superstition. The new faith is the harbinger, the promise, and the potency of knowledge, the anchor of the soul, and the armor of righteousness.
This is indeed the language of confidence, and it should be put to the test of science and experience.
The scornful and the contemptuous are not even invited! They are left alone with their Idols.
Coming now more directly to the splendid work of Jacolliot, one thing I think ought to be apparent to every honest and intelligent reader of "The Bible in India," and that is, that its author is in no sense a partisan of Hinduism, but a searcher and witness for the simple Truth as he finds and apprehends it.
He puts aside mystery, miracle, and Divine Revelation, as dispassionately in the Vedic, Brahmanical, and Buddhistic cults, as in the Mosaic and Christian. Belief in God, and reverence for Truth in the light of reason and conscience, shine from every page of his work.
To flippantly call him an "atheist," or a "destroyer of holy things," as though that were in any sense an answer to his thesis, and which formerly was the rule, and may even now be attempted in certain quarters, will simply brand the bigot as by no means intelligent—if indeed honest—who attempts it. The majority of such sectarians have grown wise or prudent enough to ignore all such issues.
There has been a great change in public sentiment since Jacolliot went to India as an earnest student of these subjects, and in the nearly forty years since he wrote this book.
The saying that "Truth passes through three phases before being accepted," specially applies here. First, people say, "It is not true." Second, "It contradicts Scripture," and when it at last is triumphant, that "Everybody knew it before."
The truths of which Jacolliot writes have already reached at least the beginning of the third stage. Of course, "Everybody" here means those who read, and think, and dare to use conscience and reason.
In referring to a religious debate between a missionary and a Brahman, and the universal interest manifested among all classes as to the outcome of the encounter, "hooting the vanquished in either case with strict impartiality," Jacolliot adds, "We shall be less surprised at this when it is known that there is not a Hindoo, whatever his rank or caste, who does not know the principles of the Holy Scripture, that is, the Vedas, and who does not perfectly know how to read and write."
Three hundred and forty millions of people, thousands of them pariahs and outcasts, sharing refuse with the dogs, with no rights that any one else is bound to respect, bowing their faces in the dust when a Brahman passes ten paces away—and yet everyone can read and write!
Max Mueller said he had had in his study at Oxford a young Hindoo who could repeat the whole of the Mahabharata without missing a word or an inflection from beginning to end.
These are some of the remnants in the decline of old India after thousands of years of Brahman rule and slavish domination of the people to preserve their own exclusive caste and exploitation. Western people have yet to learn the inevitable tendency, and the invariable rule of exploitation of the people, by a dominant priesthood, and the poverty and degradation of the masses that always results. It has never once failed in this result in three thousand years.
The whole of Southern Europe is already awakening to a realization of this result to-day. It is accomplished in the name of "Religion" by those who call themselves "Viceregents of God," and who arrogantly trample on the rights of conscience, and the freedom of man.
Brahmanism first set the example as originators of this slavish abomination.
The studies and investigations of Jacolliot in India, go back to the Vedic or pre-Brahmanic age; then to the rise, development, and slow decline of Brahmanism; then the epoch of Christna; the influence of Buddha, and his being driven out of India by the powerful Brahmans; and finally, to the present poverty and degradation of the millions through foreign invasion and domination.
The ruling Brahmans had neither thought nor desire for Constructive Nationality. In their pride and lust for power and gold, even in their just pride over their inheritance from Vedic ancestors, and wisdom, Patriotism was unknown to them. Invaders contended with them in robbing and enslaving the people.
The people who despised and hated the foreign invader dare not, even yet, to rise against their real despoilers—the Brahmans—or defy or break their power.
It is the Vedic literature, and the earliest, or pre-Brahmanic time that Jacolliot lauds so highly, and in which he finds and demonstrates, the existence of the sources of all human knowledge.
It will be ignorant folly, therefore, for the bigot and the sectarian to attempt to answer or oppose him, by referring to the condition of the people of India as it is to-day.
Jacolliot simply shows the causes that have led to the present degradation.
It is priestcraft, despite the Vedic wisdom, and the missions and teaching of Christna and Buddha.
All this Jacolliot demonstrates beyond all controversy.
The bulk of his work consists in demonstrating the source of Greek and Roman Mythology, Language, Law, Philosophy, etc., and equally of every Jewish and Christian doctrine and tradition.
Jacolliot shows that as the French code is copied or adapted from the Justinian, so equally the Justinian was derived from that of Manu, many centuries previously. And what is true of Law is equally true of philosophy, theology, morals, and the principles of science, art, architecture, and all the rest.
The Hindoos were demoralized by the priests, but the moral degradation extended even to them, and the arms they employed were turned against themselves.
"The first result of the baneful domination of priests in India was the abasement and moral degradation of woman, so respected and honored during the Vedic period.
"If you would reign over the persons of slaves, over brutalized intelligence, the history of these infamous epochs presents a means of unequaled simplicity. Degrade and demoralize the woman, and you will soon have made of man a debased creature, without energy to struggle against the darkest despotisms; for, according to the fine expression of the Vedas, 'the woman is the soul of humanity.'"
As did the Brahman priesthood, when through greed and ambition they forsook the ancient wisdom, so do the priesthood of Rome, with their celibacy added to the abominations and opportunities of the confessional.
Search the records of all time, and the traditions and customs of every people, and you will find nowhere else such recognition and reverence paid to woman as in the early Vedic days.
"Let it be well understood," says Jacolliot, "that it was but sacerdotal influence and Brahminical decay that, in changing the primitive condition of the East, reduced woman to a state of subordination which has not yet disappeared from our social system.
"Let us read these maxims taken at hazard from the sacred books of India." (I quote only a few.) "Man is strength—woman is beauty; he is the reason that governs, but she is the wisdom that moderates; the one cannot exist without the other, and hence the Lord created them two, for the one purpose.
"He who despises woman, despises his mother.
"Who is cursed by a woman, is cursed by God.
"The tears of woman call down the fire of heaven on those who make them flow.
"The songs of women are sweet in the ears of the Lord; men should not, if they wish to be heard, sing the praise of God without women.
"Women should be protected with tenderness, and gratified with gifts, by all who wish for length of days.
"It was at the prayer of a woman that the Creator pardoned man; cursed be he who forgets it." (See the Vedic "Garden of Eden.")
Moses, trained only in the decay of the old religion by the degenerate priests of Egypt, while drawing his legend of creation from the ancient Vedic source, reverses all this and places the blame of the "Fall" on woman, and the women of the Bible are more often concubines and prostitutes than Love's pure evangels as in the ancient days. Jacolliot proves this from many citations, as witness also the following: (Numbers, Chapter XXI.)
"And Moses was enraged against the chief officers of the army, against the tribunes, and the centurions who returned from battle.
"And he said unto them, Why have you saved the women and the children?
"Slay therefore all the males amongst the children, and the women who have been married.
"But reserve for yourselves all the young girls who are still virgins."
Moses spoke "in the name of God," as does his Holiness at Rome to-day. Comment is hardly necessary. A few more quotations from the Vedas:
"A virtuous woman needs no purification, for she is never defiled, even by contact with impurity.
"Women should be shielded by fostering solicitude by their fathers, their brothers, their husbands, and the brothers of their husbands, if they hope for great prosperity.
"When women are honored, the divinities are content, but where they are not honored, all undertakings fail."
The sacerdotal caste in Egypt followed the inspiration of the Brahmans, and took care to make no change in that situation.
And Moses followed the example of the priests of Egypt, where woman was a slave or a prostitute in the temples as out.
The degeneracy of a people, the decay of religion, and the degradation of woman are inseparable, and it is so-called "religion" that institutes the change, and sets the pace, "down the steep descent."
The Brahmans "forgot God" and instituted the worship of saints and holy men, and mythological characters, just as Rome does to-day. The women of America to-day by a consensus of public opinion should make auricular confession disreputable.
Excommunication, which is such a power in the hands of Rome, is merely a subterfuge and substitute for the degradation of "outcasts," and pariahs, instituted by the Brahman priests to terrify the disobedient and retain their power.
If the reader cares to know the danger and the degradation to woman fostered and protected through the Confessional by the Celibate Roman priesthood, he should read "The History of Auricular Confession," by De Lasteyrie, translated into English and printed in London in 1848. Now and then a Pope or a council undertook to institute reform, but found, as in Spain, prostitution of women by priests through the confessional so widespread and universal that they more often gave up the attempt through fear of scandal and contempt for the Church itself.