In our First Lesson of this series, we brought out the idea that the human mind was compelled to report the fact that it could not think of The Absolute except as possessing the quality of Omnipresence--Present-Everywhere. And, likewise, the human mind is compelled to think that all there IS must be The Absolute, or of the Absolute. And if a thing is of the Absolute, then the Absolute must be in it, in some way--must be the essence of it. Granting this, we must then think that everything must be filled with the essence of Life, for Life must be one of the qualities of the Absolute, or rather what we call Life must be the outward expression of the essential Being of the Absolute. And if this be so, then it would follow that everything in the Universe must be Alive. The mind cannot escape this conclusion. And if the facts do not bear out this conclusion then we must be forced to admit that the entire basic theory of the Absolute and its emanations must fall, and be considered as an error. No chain is stronger than its weakest link, and if this link be too weak to bear the weight of the facts of the universe, then must the chain be discarded as imperfect and useless, and another substituted. This fact is not generally mentioned by those speaking and writing of All being One, or an emanation of the One, but it must be considered and met. If there is a single thing in the Universe that is "dead"--non-living--lifeless--then the theory must fall. If a thing is non-living, then the essence of the Absolute cannot be in it—it must be alien and foreign to the Absolute, and in that case the Absolute cannot be Absolute for there is something outside of itself. And so it becomes of the greatest importance to examine into the evidences of the presence of Life in all things, organic or inorganic. The evidence is at hand--let us examine it.
The ancient occultists of all peoples always taught that the Universe was Alive--that there was Life in everything--that there was nothing dead in Nature--that Death meant simply a change in form in the material of the dead bodies. They taught that Life, in varying degrees of manifestation and expression, was present in everything and object, even down to the hardest mineral form, and the atoms composing that form.
Modern Science is now rapidly advancing to the same position, and each months investigations and discoveries serve only to emphasize the teachings.
Burbank, that wonderful moulder of plant life, has well expressed this thought, when he says: "All my investigations have led me away from the idea of a dead material universe tossed about by various forces, to that of a universe which is absolutely all force, life, soul, thought, or whatever name we may choose to call it. Every atom, molecule, plant, animal or planet, is only an aggregation of organized unit forces, held in place by stronger forces, thus holding them for a time latent, though teeming with inconceivable power. All life on our planet is, so to speak, just on the outer fringe of this infinite ocean of force. The universe is not half dead, but all alive."
Science today is gazing upon a living universe. She has not yet realized the full significance of what she has discovered, and her hands are raised as if to shade her eyes from the unaccustomed glare that is bursting upon her. From the dark cavern of universal dead matter, she has stepped out into the glare of the noon-day sun of a Universe All-Alive even to its smallest and apparently most inert particle.
Beginning at Man, the highest form of Life known to us, we may pass rapidly down the scale of animal life, seeing life in full operation at each descending step. Passing from the animal to the vegetable kingdom, we still see Life in full operation, although in lessened degrees of expression. We shall not stop here to review the many manifestations of Life among the forms of plant-life, for we shall have occasion to mention them in our next lesson, but it must be apparent to all that Life is constantly manifesting in the sprouting of seeds; the putting forth of stalk, leaves, blossoms, fruit, etc., and in the enormous manifestation of force and energy in such growth and development. One may see the life force in the plant pressing forth for expression and manifestation, from the first sprouting of the seed, until the last vital action on the part of the mature plant or tree.
Besides the vital action observable in the growth and development of plants, we know, of course, that plants sicken and die, and manifest all other attributes of living forms. There is no room for argument about the presence of life in the plant kingdom.
But there are other forms of life far below the scale of the plants. There is the world of the bacteria, microbes, infusoria--the groups of cells with a common life--the single cell creatures, down to the Monera, the creatures lower than the single cells--the Things of the slime of the ocean bed.
These tiny Things--living Things--present to the sight merely a tiny speck of jelly, without organs of any kind. And yet they exercise all the functions of life--movement, nutrition, reproduction, sensation, and dissolution. Some of these elementary forms are all stomach, that is they are all one organ capable of performing all the functions necessary for the life of the animal. The creature has no mouth, but when it wishes to devour an object it simply envelopes it--wraps itself around it like a bit of glue around a gnat, and then absorbs the substance of its prey through its whole body.
Scientists have turned some of these tiny creatures inside out, and yet they have gone on with their life functions undisturbed and untroubled. They have cut them up into still tinier bits, and yet each bit lived on as a separate animal, performing all of its functions undisturbed. They are all the same all over, and all the way through. They reproduce themselves by growing to a certain size, and then separating into two, and so on. The rapidity of the increase is most remarkable.
Haekel says of the Monera: "The Monera are the simplest permanent cytods. Their entire body consists of merely soft, structureless plasm. However thoroughly we may examine them with the help of the most delicate reagents and the strongest optical instruments, we yet find that all the parts are completely homogeneous. These Monera are therefore, in the strictest sense of the word, 'organisms without organs,' or even in a strict philosophical sense they might not even be called organisms, since they possess no organs and since they are not composed of various particles. They can only be called organisms in so far as they are capable of exercising the organic phenomena of life, of nutrition, reproduction, sensation and movement."
Verworn records an interesting instance of life and mind among the Rhizopods, a very low form of living thing. He relates that the Difflugia ampula, a creature occupying a tiny shell formed of minute particles of sand, has a long projection of its substance, like a feeler or tendril, with which it searches on the bottom of the sea for sandy material with which to build the shell or outer covering for its offspring, which are born by division from the parent body. It grasps the particle of sand by the feeler, and passes it into its body by enclosing it. Verworn removed the sand from the bottom of the tank, replacing it by very minute particles of highly colored glass. Shortly afterward he noticed a collection of these particles of glass in the body of the creature, and a little later he saw a tiny speck of protoplasm emitted from the parent by separation. At the same time he noticed that the bits of glass collected by the mother creature were passed out and placed around the body of the new creature, and cemented together by a substance secreted by the body of the parent, thus forming a shell and covering for the offspring. This proceeding showed the presence of a mental something sufficient to cause the creature to prepare a shell for the offspring previous to its birth--or rather to gather the material for such shell, to be afterward used; to distinguish the proper material; to mould it into shape, and cement it. The scientist reported that a creature always gathered just exactly enough sand for its purpose-never too little, and never an excess. And this in a creature that is little more than a tiny drop of glue!
We may consider the life actions of the Moneron a little further, for it is the lowest form of so-called "living matter"--the point at which living forms pass off into non-living forms (so-called). This tiny speck of glue--an organism without organs--is endowed with the faculty called sensation. It draws away from that which is likely to injure it, and toward that which it desires--all in response to an elementary sensation. It has the instinct of self-preservation and self-protection. It seeks and finds its prey, and then eats, digests and assimilates it. It is able to move about by "false-feet," or bits of its body which it pushes forth at will from any part of its substance. It reproduces itself, as we have seen, by separation and self-division.
The life of the bacteria and germs--the yeasty forms of life--are familiar to many of us. And yet there are forms of life still below these. The line between living forms and non-living forms is being set back further and further by science. Living creatures are now known that resemble the non-living so closely that the line cannot be definitely drawn.
Living creatures are known that are capable of being dried and laid away for several years, and then may be revived by the application of moisture. They resemble dust, but are full of life and function. Certain forms of bacilli are known to Science that have been subjected to degrees of heat and cold that are but terms to any but the scientific mind.
Low forms of life called Diatoms or "living crystals" are known. They are tiny geometrical forms. They are composed of a tiny drop of plasm, resembling glue, covered by a thin shell of siliceous or sandy material. They are visible only through the microscope, and are so small that thousands of them might be gathered together on the head of a pin. They are so like chemical crystals that it requires a shrewd and careful observer to distinguish them. And yet they are alive, and perform all the functions of life.
Leaving these creatures, we enter the kingdom of the crystals, in our search for life. Yes, the crystals manifest life, as strange as this statement may appear to those who have not followed the march of Science. The crystals are born, grow, live, and may be killed by chemicals or electricity. Science has added a new department called "Plasmology," the purpose of which is the study of crystal life. Some investigators have progressed so far as to claim that they have discovered signs of rudimentary sex functioning among crystals. At any rate, crystals are born and grow like living things. As a recent scientific writer has said: "Crystallization, as we are to learn now, is not a mere mechanical grouping of dead atoms. It is a birth."
The crystal forms from the mother liquor, and its body is built up systematically, regularly, and according to a well defined plan or pattern, just as are the body and bones of the animal form, and the wood and bark of the tree. There is life at work in the growth of the crystal. And not only does the crystal grow, but it also reproduces itself by separation or splitting-off, just as is the case with the lower forms of life, just mentioned.
The principal point of difference between the growth and development of the crystals and that of the lower forms of life referred to is that the crystal takes its nourishment from the outside, and builds up from its outer surface, while the Monera absorbs its nourishment from within, and grows outwardly from within. If the crystal had a soft center, and took its nourishment in that way, it would be almost identical with the Diatom, or, if the Diatom grew from the outside, it would be but a crystal. A very fine dividing line.
Crystals, like living forms, may be sterilized and rendered incapable of reproduction by chemical process, or electrical discharges. They may also be "killed" and future growth prevented in this manner. Surely this looks like "Life," does it not?
To realize the importance of this idea of life among the crystals, we must remember that our hardest rocks and metals are composed of crystals, and that the dirt and earth upon which we grow and live are but crumbled rock and miniature crystals. Therefore the very dust under our feet is alive. There is nothing dead. There is no transformation of "dead matter" into live plant matter, and then into live animal matter. The chemicals are alive, and from chemical to man's body there is but a continuous change of shape and form of living matter. Any man's body, decomposing, is again resolved into chemicals, and the chain begins over again. Merely changes in living forms--that's all, so far as the bodies are concerned.
Nature furnishes us with many examples of this presence of life in the inorganic world. We have but to look around to see the truth of the statement that All is Alive. There is that which is known as the "fatigue of elasticity" in metals. Razors get tired, and require a rest. Tuning forks lose their powers of vibration, to a degree, and have to be given a vacation. 'Machinery in mills and manufactories needs an occasional day off. Metals are subject to disease and infection, and have been poisoned and restored by antidotes. Window glass, especially stained glass, is subject to a disease spreading from pane to pane.
Men accustomed to handling and using tools and machinery naturally drop into the habit of speaking of these things as if they were alive. They seem to recognize the presence of "feeling" in tools or machine, and to perceive in each a sort of "character" or personality, which must be respected, humored, or coaxed in order to get the best results.
Perhaps the most valuable testimony along these lines, and which goes very far toward proving the centuries-old theories of the Yogis regarding Omnipresent Life, comes from Prof. J. Chunder Bose, of the Calcutta University, a Hindu educated in the English Universities, under the best teachers, and who is now a leading scientific authority in the western world, tie has given to the world some very valuable scientific information along these lines in his book entitled "Response in the Living and Non-living," which has caused the widest comment and created the greatest interest among the highest scientific authorities. His experiments along the lines of the gathering of evidence of life in the inorganic forms have revolutionized the theories of modern science, and have done much to further the idea that life is present everywhere, and that there is no such thing as dead matter.
He bases his work upon the theory that the best and only true test for the presence of life in matter is the response of matter to external stimulus. Proceeding from this fundamental theory he has proven by in-numerable experiments that so-called inorganic matter, minerals, metals, etc., give a response to such stimulus, which response is similar, if not identical, to the response of the matter composing the bodies of plants, animals, men.
He devised delicate apparatus for the measurement of the response to the outside stimulus, the degree, and other evidence being recorded in traces on a revolving cylinder. The tracings or curves obtained from tin and other metals, when compared with those obtained from living muscle, were found to be identical. He used a galvanometer, a very delicate and accurate scientific instrument, in his experiments. This instrument is so finely adjusted that the faintest current will cause a deflection of the registering needle, which is delicately swung on a tiny pivot. If the galvanometer be attached to a human nerve, and the end of the nerve be irritated, the needle will register.
Prof. Bose found that when he attached the galvanometer to bars of various metals they gave a similar response when struck or twisted. The greater the irritation applied to the metal, the greater the response registered by the instrument. The analogy between the response of the metal and that of the living muscle was startling. For instance, just as in the case of the living animal muscle or nerve matter, the response becomes fatigued, so in the case of the metal the curve registered by the needle became fainter and still fainter, as the bar became more and more fatigued by the continued irritation. And again, just after such fatigue the muscle would become rested, and would again respond actively, so would the metal when given a chance to recuperate.
Tetanus due to shocks constantly repeated, was caused and recovered. Metals recorded evidences of fatigue. Drugs caused identical effects on metals and animals--some exciting; some depressing; some killing. Some poisonous chemicals killed pieces of metal, rendering them immobile and therefore incapable of registering records on the apparatus. In some cases antidotes were promptly administered, and saved the life of the metal.
Prof. Bose also conducted experiments on plants in the same way. Pieces of vegetable matter were found to be capable of stimulation, fatigue, excitement, depression, poison. Mrs. Annie Besant, who witnessed some of these experiments in Calcutta, has written as follows regarding the experiments on plant life: "There is something rather pathetic in seeing the way in which the tiny spot of light which records the pulses in the plant, travels in ever weaker and weaker curves, when the plant is under the influence of poison, then falls into a final despairing straight line, and--stops. One feels as though a murder has been committed--as indeed it has."
In one of Prof. Bose's public experiments he clearly demonstrated that a bar of iron was fully as sensitive as the human body, and that it could be irritated and stimulated in the same way, and finally could be poisoned and killed. "Among such phenomena," he asks, "how can we draw the line of demarkation, and say, 'Here the physical ends, and there the physiological begins'? No such barrier exists." According to his theory, which agrees with the oldest occult theories, by the way, life is present in every object and form of Nature, and all forms respond to external stimulus, which response is a proof of the presence of life in the form.
Prof. Bose's great book is full of the most startling results of experiments. He proves that the metals manifest something like sleep; can be killed; exhibit torpor and sluggishness; get tired or lazy; wake up; can be roused into activity; may be stimulated, strengthened, weakened; suffer from extreme cold and heat; may be drugged or intoxicated, the different metals manifesting a different response to certain drugs, just as different men and animals manifest a varying degree of similar resistance. The response of a piece of steel subjected to the influence of a chemical poison shows a gradual fluttering and weakening until it finally dies away, just as animal matter does when similarly poisoned. When revived in time by an antidote, the recovery was similarly gradual in both metal and muscle. A remarkable fact is noted by the scientist when he tells us that the very poisons that kill the metals are themselves alive and may be killed, drugged, stimulated, etc., showing the same response as in the case of the metals, proving the existence in them of the same life that is in the metals and animal matter that they influence.
Of course when these metals are "killed" there is merely a killing of the metal as metal--the atoms and principles of which the metal is composed remaining fully alive and active, just as is the case with the atom of the human body after the soul passes out--the body is as much alive after death as during the life of the person, the activity of the parts being along the lines of dissolution instead of construction in that case.
We hear much of the claims of scientists who announce that they are on the eve of "creating life" from non-living matter. This is all nonsense--life can come only from life. Life from non-life is an absurdity. And all Life comes from the One Life underlying All. But it is true that Science has done, is doing, and will do, something very much like "creating life," but of course this is merely changing the form of Life into other forms--the lesser form into the higher--just as one produces a plant from a seed, or a fruit from a plant. The Life is always there, and responds to the proper stimulus and conditions.
A number of scientists are working on the problem of generating living forms from inorganic matter. The old idea of "spontaneous generation," for many years relegated to the scrap-pile of Science, is again coming to the front. Although the theory of Evolution compels its adherents to accept the idea that at one time in the past living forms sprung from the non-living (so-called), yet it has been generally believed that the conditions which brought about this stage of evolution has forever passed. But the indications now all point to the other view that this stage of evolution is, and always has been, in operation, and that new forms of life are constantly evolving from the inorganic forms. "Creation," so-called (although the word is an absurdity from the Yogi point of view), is constantly being performed.
Dr. Charlton Bastian, of London, Eng., has long been a prominent advocate of this theory of continuous spontaneous generation. Laughed down and considered defeated by the leading scientific minds of a generation ago, he still pluckily kept at work, and his recent books were like bombshells in the orthodox scientific camp. He has taken more than five thousand photo-micrographs, all showing most startling facts in connection with the origin of living forms from the inorganic. He claims that the microscope reveals the development in a previously clear liquid of very minute black spots, which gradually enlarge and transform into bacteria--living forms of a very low order. Prof. Burke, of Cambridge, Eng., has demonstrated that he may produce in sterilized boullion, subjected to the action of sterilized radium chloride, minute living bodies which manifest growth and subdivision. Science is being gradually forced to the conclusion that living forms are still arising in the world by natural processes, which is not at all remarkable when one remembers that natural law is uniform and continuous. These recent discoveries go to swell the already large list of modern scientific ideas which correspond with the centuries-old Yogi teachings. When the Occult explanation that there is Life in everything, inorganic as well as organic, and that evolution is constant, is heard, then may we see that these experiments simply prove that the forms of life may be changed and developed--not that Life may be "created."
The chemical and mineral world furnish us with many instances of the growth and development of forms closely resembling the forms of the vegetable world. What is known as "metallic vegetation," as shown in the "lead tree," gives us an interesting example of this phenomenon. The experiment is performed by placing in a wide-necked bottle a clear acidulated solution of acetate of lead. The bottle is corked, a piece of copper wire being fastened to the cork, from which wire is suspended a piece of zinc, the latter hanging as nearly as possible in the center of the lead solution. When the bottle is corked the copper wire immediately begins to surround itself with a growth of metallic lead resembling fine moss. From this moss spring branches and limbs, which in turn manifest a growth similar to foliage, until at last a miniature bush or tree is formed. Similar "metallic vegetation" may be produced by other metallic solutions.
All of you have noticed how crystals of frost form on window panes in shapes of leaves, branches, foliage, flowers, blossoms, etc. Saltpeter when subjected to the effect of polarized light assumes forms closely resembling the forms of the orchid. Nature is full of these resemblances.
A German scientist recently performed a remarkable experiment with certain metallic salts. He subjected the salts to the action of a galvanic current, when to his surprise the particles of the salts grouped themselves around the negative pole of the battery, and then grew into a shape closely resembling a miniature mushroom, with tiny stem and umbrella top. These metallic mushrooms at first presented a transparent appearance, but gradually developed color, the top of the umbrella being a bright red, with a faint rose shade on the under surface. The stems showed a pale straw color. This was most interesting, but the important fact of the experiment consists in the discovery that these mushrooms have fine veins or tubes running along the stems, through which the nourishment, or additional material for growth, is transported, so that the growth is actually from the inside, just as is the case with fungus life. To all intents and purposes, these inorganic metallic growths were low forms of vegetable his.
But the search for Life does not end with the forms of the mineral world as we know them. Science has separated the material forms into smaller forms, and again still smaller. And if there is Life in the form composed of countless particles, then must there be Life in the particles themselves. For Life cannot come from non-Life, and if there be not Life in the particles, the theory of Omnipresent Life must fan. So we must look beyond the form and shape of the mineral--mist separate it into its constituent parts, and then examine the parts for indications of Life.
Science teaches us that all forms of matter are compiled of minute particles called molecules. A molecule is the smallest particle of matter that is possible, unless the chemical atoms composing the matter fly apart and the matter be resolved into its original elements. For instance, let us take the familiar instance of a drop of water. Let us divide and subdivide the drop, until at last we get to the smallest possible particle of water. That smallest possible particle would be a "molecule" of water. We cannot subdivide this molecule without causing its atoms of hydrogen and oxygen to fly apart--and then there would be no water at all. Well, these molecules manifest a something called Attraction for each other. They attract other molecules of the same kind, and are likewise attracted. The operation of this law of attraction results in the formation of masses of matter, whether those masses be mountains of solid rock, or a drop of water, or a volume of gas. All masses of matter are composed of aggregations of molecules, held together by the law of attraction. This law of attraction is called Cohesion. This Cohesive Attraction is not a mere mechanical force, as many suppose, but is an exhibition of Life action, manifesting in the presence of the molecule of a "like" or "love" for the similar molecule. And when the Life energies begin to manifest on a certain plane, and proceed to mould the molecules into crystals, so that we may see the actual process under way, we begin to realize very clearly that there is "something at work" in this building up.
But wonderful as this may seem to those unfamiliar with the idea, the manifestation of Life among the atoms is still more so. The atom, you will remember, is the chemical unit which, uniting with other atoms, makes up the molecule. For instance, if we take two atoms of the gas called hydrogen and one atom of the gas called oxygen, and place them near each other, they will at once rush toward each other and form a partnership, which is called a molecule of water. And so it is with all atoms--they are continually forming partnerships, or dissolving them. Marriage and divorce is a part of the life of the atoms. These evidences of attraction and repulsion among the atoms are receiving much attention from careful thinkers, and some of the most advanced minds of the age see in this phenomena the corroboration of the old Yogi idea that there is Life and vital action in the smallest particles of matter.
The atoms manifest vital characteristics in their attractions and repulsions. They move along the lines of their attractions and form marriages, and thus combining they form the substances with which we are familiar. When they combine, remember, they do not lose their individuality and melt into a permanent substance, but merely unite and yet remain distinct. If the combination be destroyed by chemical action, electrical discharge, etc., the atoms fly apart, and again live their own separate lives, until they come in contact with other atoms with which they have affinities, and form a new union or partnership. In many chemical changes the atoms divorce themselves, each forsaking its mate or mates, and seeking some newer affinity in the shape of a more congenial atom. The atoms manifest a fickleness and will always desert a lesser attraction for a greater one. This is no mere bit of imagery, or scientific poetry. It is a scientific statement of the action of atoms along the lines of vital manifestation.
The great German scientist, Haekel, has said: "I cannot imagine the simplest chemical and physical processes without attributing the movement of the material particles to unconscious sensation. The idea of Chemical Affinity consists in the fact that the various chemical elements perceive differences in the qualities of other elements, and experience pleasure or revulsion at contact with them, and execute their respective movements on this ground." He also says: "We may ascribe the feeling of pleasure or pain (satisfaction or dissatisfaction) to all atoms, and thereby ascribe the elective affinities of chemistry to the attraction between living atoms and repulsion between hating atoms." He also says that "the sensations in animal and plant life are connected by a long series of evolutionary stages with the simpler forms of sensation that we find in the inorganic elements, and that reveal themselves in chemical affinity." Naegli says: "If the molecules possess something that is related, however distantly, to sensation, it must be comfortable for them to be able to follow their attractions and repulsions, and uncomfortable for them when they are forced to do otherwise."
We might fill page after page with quotations from eminent thinkers going to prove the correctness of the old Yogi teachings that Life is Omnipresent. Modern Science is rapidly advancing to this position, leaving behind her the old idea of "dead matter." Even the new theories of the electron--the little particles of electrical energy which are now believed to constitute the base of the atom--does not change this idea, for the electrons manifest attraction, and response thereto, and form themselves into groups composing the atom. And even if we pass beyond matter into the mystical Ether which Science assumes to be the material base of things, we must believe that there is life there too, and that as Prof. Dolbear says: "The Ether has besides the function of energy and motion, other inherent properties, out of which could emerge, under proper circumstances, other phenomena, such as life, mind, or whatever may be in the substratum," and, that as Prof. Cope has hinted, that the basis of Life lies back of the atoms and may be found in the Universal Ether.
Some scientists go even further, and assert that not only is Life present in everything, but that Mind is present where Life is. Verily, the dreams of the Yogi fathers are coming true, and from the ranks of the materialists are coming the material proofs of the spiritual teachings. Listen to these words from Dr. Saleeby, in his recent valuable scientific work, "Evolution, the Master Key." He says:
"Life is potential in matter; life-energy is not a thing unique and created at a particular time in the past. If evolution be true, living matter has been evolved by natural processes from matter which is, apparently, not alive. But if life is potential in matter, it is a thousand times more evident that Mind is potential in Life. The evolutionist is impelled to believe that Mind is potential in matter. (I adopt that form of words for the moment, but not without future criticism.) The microscopic cell, a minute speck of matter that is to become man, has in it the promise and the germ of mind. May we not then draw the inference that the elements of mind are present in those chemical elements--carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chlorine--that are found in the cell. Not only must we do so, but we must go further, since we know that each of these elements, and every other, is built up out of one invariable unit, the electron, and we must therefore assert that Mind is potential in the unit of Matter--the electron itself... It is to assert the sublime truth first perceived by Spinoza, that Mind and Matter are the warp and woof of what Goethe called 'the living garment of God.' Both are complementary expressions of the Unknowable Reality which underlies both."
There is no such thing as non-vital attraction or repulsion. All inclinations for or against another object, or thing, is an evidence of Life. Each thing has sufficient life energy to enable it to carry on its work. And as each form advances by evolution into a higher form, it is able to have more of the Life energy manifest through it. As its material machinery is built up, it becomes able to manifest a greater and higher degree of Life. It is not that one thing has a low life, or another a high life—this cannot be, for there is but One Life. It is like the current of electricity that is able to run the most delicate machinery or manifest a light in the incandescent lamp. Give it the organ or machinery of manifestation, and it manifests--give it a low form, and it will manifest a low degree-give it a high form, and it will manifest a high degree. The same steam power runs the clumsy engine, or the perfect apparatus which drives the most delicate mechanism. And so it is with the One Life-its manifestations may seem low and clumsy, or high and perfect-but it all depends upon the material or mental machinery through which it works. There is but One Life, manifesting in countless forms and shapes, and degrees. One Life underlying All—in All.
From the highest forms of Life down through the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, we see Life everywhere present-Death an illusion. Back of all visible forms of material life there is still the beginnings of manifested life pressing forward for expression and manifestation. And underneath all is the Spirit of Life--longing, striving, feeling, acting.
In the mountain and the ocean--the flower and the tree--the sunset--the dawn--the suns--the stars--all is Life-manifestations of the One Life. Everything is Alive, quick with living force, power, action; thrilling with vitality; throbbing with feeling; filled with activity. All is from the One Life--and all that is from the One Life is Alive. There is no dead substance in the Universe--there can be none--for Life cannot Die. All is Alive. And Life is in All.
Carry with you this Central Thought of the Lesson:
CENTRAL THOUGHT: There is but One Life, and its manifestations comprise all the forms and shapes of the Universe. From Life comes but Life--and Life can come only from Life. Therefore we have the right to expect that all manifestations of the One Life should be Alive. And we are not mocked in such belief. Not only do the highest Occult Teachings inform us that Everything is Alive, but Modern Science has proven to us that Life is present everywhere-even in that which was formerly considered dead matter. It now sees that even the atom, and what lies back of the atom, is charged with Life Energy and Action. Forms and shapes may change, and do change-but Life remains eternal and infinite. It cannot Die--for it is LIFE.
Peace be with thee.
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