Saturday, 31 October 2009

Cora Tappan’s Address – 6

The Earth itself is as a gigantic ball in the hands of an ancient soul who, moving upon the spirits of men, sways the atoms of matter to the purpose of bringing perfection of the highest possible kind to this earth, waiting patiently through long epochs of unfoldment, that matter, through the process of infinite change, may work out the ideal purpose of that soul. Other worlds, in charge of other souls advanced to a greater degree of perfection, and performing the highest functions twofold in the hands of individual spirits as a rose blossoms beneath the care of a skilled horticulturalist. Compare these productions (pointing to a choice bouquet on the table) with the wild rose of the wilderness and you will see what man may do. Compare the world in the outermost sphere of the solar system with the earth in its present state, and you will see what spirit can do, aided by knowledge, wisdom and the fulfilment of its perfected powers. The world of spirits is not a world of idleness, but of work. The unfolding cycles of human life present to the soul the fullest opportunities for the development and expression of every power; and all intermediate states of spiritual life, as well as man in his lowest state upon the earth, are swayed and governed after their kind and type even by this mind, who uses them for the intermediate labour of developing and unfolding a world.

If Franklin upon earth can, seemingly by accident, draw lightening from the heavens, which is now made your messenger, what cannot the soul do sitting in the midst of those elements and governing with the flames of thought the actual power wherewith to create and govern worlds? The spheres of spiritual life are therefore, spheres of intensest activity and thought. The individual mind that follows its grovelling aims, mindful only of the petty personality which is enveloped by the outward form, has very little in common it is true, with the spirits and angels of those spheres who, forgetting personality, are more individualised and capable of governing and controlling others. What poor and narrow limit the human thought of daily life affords, caring for the outward body and intent upon its pleasures merely! What narrow compass or sphere is embodied in the individual mind that is more intent upon the praise of men than knowledge of them, and values more the esteem of his outward consciousness than all the truths developed in the starry firmament!

Small indeed are these beginnings; but as a child must, before it can walk, many times seemingly fall, so the spirit, before it finally grapples with matter and overcomes it, must seem to be the petty thing that every human being sometimes feels him or herself to be. And before an angel can be aware of its surpassing powers it must have struggled through contact with and supremacy over matter to the extent of vanquishing every possible tie that can bind to the outer man or the mere personality by which human life is known. The man Christ, revealed in Bethlehem, unmindful of the person so that the individual soul was spared, presents the ideal type of man when, forgetting himself, he remembers only the truth, pursues it and serves it and becomes thereby an individual. Persons are not individuals; they are too much absorbed in their outward selves; they form too small and narrow a compass to be considered as such. Individuals are self-forgetful, and by their surpassing sacrifice of martyrdom, heroism, or the expression of it, reveal the individuality that lies hidden in the human spirit.

No comments:

Post a Comment