Chapter 19 – Making Your Self the Master – Life and its Bodies

LIFE AND ITS BODIES

Harvey Hardman
Making Your Self the Master
© Harvey Hardman
Denver, Colorado, 1935.

“The words of this lesson shall not depart out of your heart,
but shall grow into the knowledge of eternal life.”
 

[177] What is this force we call life? This omnipresent vitalism which seizes upon matter and lifts it up into sentient forms and invests them with mind and consciousness? This mysterious Agent of the Infinite, which builds an organ with millions of keys upon which It plays the vastly varied music of emotion and thought? Here is magic that science cannot emulate, for not only does each living thing possess the miracle power of consciousness and feeling, but the Infinite Magician creates countless millions of different kinds of such organisms, species innumerable. And then to deepen the mystery, makes each one different from all its fellows, whether a leaf blowing in the wind or a man with such genius that he can evoke from out of the Mighty Depths of Being, divine melodies and thoughts eternal.

We speculate about the meaning of this strange power within us, and wonder over the mystery of death, knowing it to be the process by which the Celestial Visitor abandons the temporary home and goes we know not where. And because the body is our present means of consciousness, and enables us to sense the music of the universe, we conclude that if we [178] lose it, we may never find another form in which to manifest and express this something in us which says “I Am.” Yet all about us nature tells anew each year the story of resurgent life, the living wave that beats upon this shore of time, coming from the illimitable ocean whose rim no man has guessed.

Within us we feel the pulse of an eternal rhythm attuned by the Hand of God. For we do not create our life, nor anything by which we live. It comes to us as the free gift of an Infinite Giver whose Realm is so vast that our little minds contemplate it with awe, and when we try to fathom it, we turn back from the boundless deep, stunned and confused, and are glad to find our mental poise and peace again in the contemplation of a flower or some simple fact in the world around us.

Oh, why should we question this beneficent Power which gives us life? Why try to build a strange incongruous doctrine of physical immortality when the Eternal Mind is forever teaching us the mutability of all that the hand can touch and the eye can see? Our Father gives us a magical House in the midst of a Garden of such beauty that no artist’s hand can do more than suggest its secret meanings and inexhaustible treasures. And because we are accorded only a few years to enjoy it all, we imagine He has no greater Garden, no finer [179] House in which the soul may dwell again. What we have, came from Him; what we are to have, can only come from the same Source that gave us this. Shall we ungratefully deny His power to perpetuate His bounty in other forms, in realms as yet unguessed by man? “In my Father’s House (the infinite universe) are many mansions.” And shall we say, O, let me keep forever this House in which I now live?

Thank heaven, all the authority of all the Bibles and churches of all time cannot change the eternal fact. Life on the earth manifests in innumerable bodies, each designed to fulfill a purpose–to express in individual form the Genius of Infinite Being. With infinite ingenuity the Eternal Artificer plans and brings forth new forms, new bodies, to express the inexhaustible urge of creation. We may safely and with confidence leave to Divine Wisdom the manner of our transition to the new Home that awaits us when we are through with this in which we now reside.

But humanity, in its infantile lispings, cried for an answer to the riddle of death, and out of its own infantile mind, evoked an answer that became sacred because it satisfied a temporary need. The answer said in effect, “This body you now have is the only one your Father can afford. You will die, yes, but you [180] shall be resurrected and the old flesh shall live again. As an earnest of this promise, one man has shown that it can be done. We admit there are some doubts as to the historic authenticity of the event, but the Bible says so, and you must believe that, if you are to have the benefits of the example.” And in this ancient story the hopes of humanity have been centered for two thousand years. Yet all about us in the vast play of life upon the planet, God has refuted this strange and unnatural dream.

Why, do you suppose, does nature present such a vast variety of forms, if not to reveal the infinite resourcefulness of the Omnipresent Mind in the creation of types and species and varieties of sentient beings? And is it not a form of atheism to doubt that this Power can make another Home for man? Even now we are forced to admit, from an abundance of evidence, what even the materialist is reluctantly coming to see, that the physical body is only the phenomenal appearance of an inner and invisible body. We can prove that the unseen thought has form, for we can build a material structure to correspond to it, and the substance of every object that man makes, is the mental image that had to be formed before the object could be made. Is not this in itself an evidence that man now possesses an unseen body, which is really the Architect of [181] the physical form which he uses to live in while on this plane?

But we have other evidence, an enormous amount of it, to prove that man has a spiritual or mental body. There are many who have seen such manifestations as can only be explained on the basis of a living body composed of non-material substance, and acting without the limitations of time-space conditions. History, both sacred and profane, is filled with evidence that there are forms not made of matter, that the human soul can feel, or sense, in such way as to carry all the authority of real experience, and where the supporting phenomena and their correlation with other experiences precludes the idea of hallucination. The Bible contains a vast amount of evidence of this kind, and while we admit that much of it may be fictitious, surely all of it is not.

But we do not need to depend upon religious writing. Biography, and other forms of literature, are replete with such testimony. I, myself, have made experiments that attest in their success to the power of the human mind to project the mental body with such force as to present it at a distance, as a recognizable likeness of the personality of the sender. Our hope in the immortality of the soul has a sounder basis than a single unauthenticated case of physical resurrection. We have “a more [182] glorious body” which is not subject to the change called death, but which is subject to the law of growth by which it makes use of innumerable incarnations, as it moves through life after life on its pathway of ascent toward the divine ideal of the perfect Man.

Of this we may be sure: The Divine Wisdom contains the answer to this question of the immortality of the human soul, and all our vain strivings for an exact answer in human terms are wasted, for when we can understand the true answer in terms of eternal Law, we shall have the experience which in itself contains the answer. Our hope is a true prophecy of the reality, and sustains us in our pilgrimage, and the more nearly that hope is translated into knowledge of universal Law, which we can see validated in nature and in the phenomena of our own experience, the more satisfying it will be to us. For Truth is our only Saviour, and to know the Truth about life and destiny is the measure of our freedom.

“Until science opened our eyes we did not know that the celestial and the terrestial are one, and that we are already in the heavens among the stars. When we emancipate ourselves from custom and use, and see with clear vision our relations to the Cosmos, all our ideals of materialism and spiritualism are made over, and we see how the two are one; how life and [183] death play into each other’s hands, and how the whole truth of things cannot be encompassed by any number of human minds.”

We can safely trust our ultimate destiny with Him who planned the stars and peopled the earth with manifold living forms, and adjourn to the sure revelation of time the growth of our powers of vision, and the unfoldment of the hidden might of Spirit that is in us as our life and contains our immortality.

Chapter 20

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