Universal Brotherhood – March 1899


In an article, "Fragment-Omniscisence," published in the January issue of UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD, occurs the following:

"It seems a strange thing that man has to incarnate so many times during millions of years in order to develop the thinking principle, and after having developed it, abandon it as a wrong way." What is meant by characterizing the thinking faculty as "a wrong way?"

It is clear that the statement is a relative one. Where knowledge can only be attained by a process of reasoning, as in the discovery of many of the great physical laws, it is plainly necessary that this means should be taken. If one sees a man drowning and sits down to consider the temperature of the water, the strength of the currents, the skill one possesses in swimming, the possible injury to clothes and health, the possibility of other aid arriving, the value or worthlessness of the drowning person's life, the statistical chances of his rescue or probable death from the after results of immersion, there will be ample opportunity for the development of this thinking principle, but we need little consideration to see that this is"a wrong way." We should not forget that the thinking principle is a means and not an end, and that when it has served its purpose of placing us in intimate relation with the peculiar domain of nature to which it belongs, we must pass on to the mastery of other regions. It is right for us to be suckled for a certain period of our growth, but other methods of nutrition quickly supersede this, and we can conceive of other methods of sustenance than that in ordinary use. Thought is also the food of one of the vehicles of the Self, which passes from one stage of embodiment to another as the caterpillar changes to the butterfly. Should the butterfly attempt to eat cabbage leaves like the caterpillar we should certainly consider this "a wrong way."  — Ben Madighan

No one of the powers or faculties of man is wrong in itself, but may become wrong in its use. The right use is as an instrument, as a means, in the development of character and the perfect expression of the soul. As an end in itself the development of any power is wrong, because it is then out of harmony with the soul's nature in which the soul itself, as a divine spark, is supreme. The development of the mind, or thinking faculty, is wrong if regarded as an end or as the goal of evolution. It will appear evident to an observer that the development of the mind has come to be so regarded by very many during this century, and all such, if they are to keep up with the evolution of the race, will have to abandon this as "a wrong way."

This does not mean that we have to cease thinking or using the mind as an instrument. Not at all! But by learning to use the mind rightly, by understanding its place in the complex nature of man, it will become a still more wonderful instrument, its powers will still further unfold.

The body, the desires, the mind, the intuition, all have their place in the nature of man, but as each higher power is developed, the lower must become subordinate. Indeed, only as the lower becomes subordinate will the higher become active. I think the meaning of the writer of the article is quite clear if the context is taken. — J. H. Fussell

Let the questioner look at the very beginning of Patanjali's "Yoga Sutras," where it says: Stop the modification of the thinking principle. At the present time of evolution the Yoga state can only be of short duration at a time for man, after which he re-enters the manasic condition; but later on for man (and at the present moment for very high beings), the Yoga state will be a continuous one, and then the thinking principle will cease to be modified, viz.: became latent, not being needed any more. — Adhiratha

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What lines of scientific investigation followed during the past year are of real promise for the future welfare of humanity?

The question is too large for complete reply; we can only outline some principles, without attempting to paint in the details.

That science which, beginning in mechanics, ends there, is of least bearing upon the real welfare of humanity. And the same is true of that which begins and remains in the sphere of the objective.

But since man's consciousness is conditioned for good or evil, to a greater or less extent, by his body, that science which investigates the degree of this extent and the mode of relationship of this objective and subjective, is of momentous bearing upon human welfare and will have instant practical applicability to life and thought.

Consciousness may enter into such a condition as to raise vibrations in the body incompatible with the body's life, killing it instantly, as e. g., in extreme horror; or another condition, e. g., anxiety, may kill the body slowly.

Or another condition of consciousness, e. g, joy, may suddenly bring about the physical vibration constituting health.

Or another condition, e. g., peacefulness or trustfulness, may slowly induce physical health.

Reversely, conditions arising in the body, e. g., fever, may first perturb consciousness and then go on till the physical condition induced renders the body an impossible habitat for consciousness.

Science has been increasingly occupying itself with all these matters, but it will be long before it fills in the details. It is possible, however, to look ahead and make some statements and prophecies of future discoveries.

1. Mechanical instruments will be found unavailable at a point in the investigation and will be replaced by another instrument.

2. Life will be found to be identical with consciousness and to manifest always as vibrating substance, of whatever degree of grossness or tenuity be the substance, and whatever the degree of complexity the vibrations. Life-consciousness, manifesting in the body as vibrations and to the ego as feelings and emotions, raises in the body physical vibrations favorable to, unfavorable to, or at once incompatible with, physical health.

3. Life-consciousness, manifesting in the body as vibrations and to the ego as feelings and emotions, raises in the body physical vibrations favorable to, unfavorable to, or at once incompatible with, physical health.

4.These states of feeling and therefore their resulting vibrations are under the control of the will. It is therefore possible to acquire the power, by regulating and localizing vibrations, of controlling and amending physical health.

5. Disease, or the conditions that precede it, being the outcome of ill-regulated states of feeling resulting in physically injurious vibrations, the only final remedy for human disease is the ceasing from these states of feeling.

6. All forms of mental effort on the part of the individual, arising out of his desire to get well, leave the original evil untouched, and are pernicious.

7. The states of feeling known as trust, brotherhood, love, are in the highest degree conducive to bodily health. — L. M. C.

Universal Brotherhood