Author's Foreword to:
THINKING and DESTINY
This book was dictated to Benoni B. Gattell at intervals between the years 1912 and 1932. Since then it has been worked over again and again. Now, in 1946, there are few pages that have not been at least slightly changed. To avoid repetitions and complexities entire pages have been deleted, and I have added many sections, paragraphs and pages.
Without assistance, it is doubtful whether the work would have been written, because it was difficult for me to think and write at the same time. My body had to be still while I thought the subject matter into form and chose appropriate words to build out the structure of the form: and so, I am indeed grateful to him for the work he has done. I must also here acknowledge the kind offices of friends, who desire to remain unnamed, for their suggestions and technical assistance in completing the work.
A most difficult task was to get terms to express the recondite subject matter treated. My arduous effort has been to find words and phrases that will best convey the meaning and attributes of certain incorporeal realities, and to show their inseparable relation to the conscious selves in human bodies. After repeated changes I finally settled on terms used herein.
Many subjects are not made as clear as I would like them to be, but the changes made must suffice or be endless, because on each reading other changes seemed advisable.
I do not presume to preach to anyone; I do not consider myself a preacher or a teacher. Were it not that I am responsible for the book, I would prefer that my personality be not named as its author. The greatness of the subjects about which I offer information, relieves and frees me from self-conceit and forbids the plea of modesty. I dare make strange and startling statements to the conscious and immortal self that is in every human body; and I take for granted that the individual will decide what he will or will not do with the information presented.
Thoughtful persons have stressed the need of speaking here of some of my experiences in states of being conscious, and of events of my life which might help to explain how it was possible for me to be acquainted with and to write of things that are so at variance with present beliefs. They say this is necessary because no bibliography is appended and no references are offered to substantiate the statements herein made. Some of my experiences have been unlike anything I have heard of or read. My own thinking about human life and the world we live in has revealed to me subjects and phenomena I have not found mentioned in books. But it would be unreasonable to suppose that such matters could be, yet be unknown to others. There must be those who know but cannot tell. I am under no pledge of secrecy. I belong to no organization of any kind. I break no faith in telling what I have found by thinking; by steady thinking while awake, not in sleep or in trance. I have never been nor do I ever wish to be in trance of any kind.
What I have been conscious of while thinking about such subjects as space, the units of matter, the constitution of matter, intelligence, time, dimensions, the creation and exteriorization of thoughts, will, I hope, have opened realms for future exploration and exploitation. By that time right conduct should be a part of human life, and should keep abreast of science and invention. Then civilization can continue, and Independence with Responsibility will be the rule of individual life and of Government.
Here is a sketch of some experiences of my early life:
Rhythm was my first feeling of connection with this physical world. Later on I could feel inside the body, and I could hear voices. I understood the meaning of the sounds made by the voices; I did not see anything, but I, as feeling, could get the meaning of any of the word-sounds expressed, by the rhythm; and my feeling gave the form and color of the objects which were described by words. When I could use the sense of sight and could see objects, I found the forms and appearances which I, as feeling, had felt, to be in approximate agreement with what I had apprehended. When I was able to use the senses of sight, hearing, taste and smell and could ask and answer questions, I found myself to be a stranger in a strange world. I knew I was not the body I lived in, but no one could tell me who or what I was or where I came from, and most of those whom I questioned seemed to believe they were the bodies in which they lived.
I realized that I was in a body from which I could not free myself. I was lost, alone, and in a sorry state of sadness. Repeated happenings and experiences convinced me that things were not what they appeared to be; that there is continued change; that there is no permanence of anything; that people often said the opposite of what they really meant. Children played games they called "make-believe" or "let us pretend." Children played, men and women practiced make-believe and pretense; comparatively few people were really truthful and sincere. There was waste in human effort, and appearances did not last. Appearances were not made to last. I asked myself: How should things be made that will last, and made without waste and disorder? Another part of myself answered: First, know what you want; see and steadily hold in mind the form in which you would have what you want. Then think and will and speak that into appearance, and what you think will be gathered from the invisible atmosphere and fixed into and around that form. I did not then think in these words, but these words express what I then thought. I felt confident I could do that, and at once tried and tried long. I failed. On failing I felt disgraced, degraded, and I was ashamed.
I could not help being observant of events. What I heard people say about things that happened, particularly about death, did not seem reasonable. My parents were devout Christians. I heard it read and said that God made the world; that he created an immortal soul for each human body in the world; and that the soul who did not obey God would be cast into hell and would burn in fire and brimstone for ever and ever. I did not believe a word of that. It seemed too absurd for me to suppose or believe that any God or being could have made the world or have created me for the body in which I lived. I had burned my finger with a brimstone match, and I believed that the body could be burned to death; but I knew that I, what was conscious as I, could not be burned and could not die, that fire and brimstone could not kill me, though the pain from that burn was dreadful. I could sense danger, but I did not fear.
People did not seem to know 'why' or 'what', about life or about death. I knew that there must be a reason for everything that happened. I wanted to know the secrets of life and of death, and to live forever. I did not know why, but I could not help wanting that. I knew that there could be no night and day and life and death, and no world, unless there were wise ones who managed the world and night and day and life and death. However, I determined that my purpose would be to find those wise ones who would tell me how I should learn and what I should do, to be entrusted with the secrets of life and death. I would not even think of telling this, my firm resolve, because people would not understand; they would believe me to be foolish or insane. I was about seven years old at that time.
Fifteen or more years passed. I had noticed the different outlook on life of boys and girls, while they grew and changed into men and women, especially during their adolescence, and particularly that of my own. My views had changed, but my purpose--to find those who were wise, who knew, and from whom I could learn the secrets of life and death--was unchanged. I was sure of their existence; the world could not be, without them. In the ordering of events I could see that there must be a government and a management of the world, just as there must be the government of a country or a management of any business for these to continue. One day my mother asked me what I believed. Without hesitation I said: I know without doubt that justice rules the world, even though my own life seems to be evidence that it does not, because I can see no possibility of accomplishing what I inherently know, and what I most desire.
In that same year, in the spring of 1892, I read in a Sunday paper that a certain Madam Blavatsky had been a pupil of wise men in the East who were called Mahatmas; that through repeated lives on earth, they had attained to wisdom; that they possessed the secrets of life and death, and that they had caused Madam Blavatsky to form a Theosophical Society, through which their teachings could be given to the public. There would be a lecture that evening. I went. Later on I became an ardent member of the Society. The statement that there were wise men--by whatever names they were called--did not surprise me; that was only verbal evidence of what I inherently had been sure of as necessary for the advancement of man and for the direction and guidance of nature. I read all that I could about them. I thought of becoming a pupil of one of the wise men; but continued thinking led me to understand that the real way was not by any formal application to anybody, but to be myself fit and ready. I have not seen or heard from, nor have I had any contact with, 'the wise ones' such as I had conceived. I have had no teacher. Now I have a better understanding of such matters. The real 'Wise Ones' are Triune Selves, in The Realm of Permanence. I ceased connection with all societies.
From November of 1892 I passed through astonishing and crucial experiences, following which, in the spring of 1893, there occurred the most extraordinary event of my life. I had crossed 14th Street at 4th Avenue, in New York City. Cars and people were hurrying by. While stepping up to the northeast corner curbstone, Light, greater than that of myriads of suns opened in the center of my head. In that instant or point, eternities were apprehended. There was no time. Distance and dimensions were not in evidence. Nature was composed of units. I was conscious of the units of nature and of units as Intelligences. Within and beyond, so to say, there were greater and lesser Lights; the greater pervading the lesser Lights, which revealed the different kinds of units. The Lights were not of nature; they were Lights as Intelligences, Conscious Lights. Compared with the brightness or lightness of those Lights, the surrounding sunlight was a dense fog. And in and through all Lights and units and objects I was conscious of the Presence of Consciousness. I was conscious of Consciousness as the Ultimate and Absolute Reality, and conscious of the relation of things. I experienced no thrills, emotions, or ecstasy. Words fail utterly to describe or explain CONSCIOUSNESS. It would be futile to attempt description of the sublime grandeur and power and order and relation in poise of what I was then conscious. Twice during the next fourteen years, for a long time on each occasion, I was conscious of Consciousness. But during that time I was conscious of no more than I had been conscious of in that first moment.
Being conscious of Consciousness is the set of related words I have chosen as a phrase to speak of that most potent and remarkable moment of my life.
Consciousness is present in every unit. Therefore the presence of Consciousness makes every unit conscious as the function it performs in the degree in which it is conscious.
Being conscious of Consciousness reveals the 'unknown' to the one who has been so conscious. Then it will be the duty of that one to make known what he can of being conscious of Consciousness .
The great worth in being conscious of Consciousness is that it enables one to know about any subject, by thinking. Thinking is the steady holding of the Conscious Light within on the subject of the thinking. Briefly stated, thinking is of four stages: selecting the subject; holding the Conscious Light on that subject; focusing the Light; and, the focus of the Light. When the Light is focused, the subject is known. By this method, Thinking and Destiny has been written.
The special purpose of this book is: To tell the conscious selves in human bodies that we are inseparable doer parts of consciously immortal individual trinities, Triune Selves, who, within and beyond time, lived with our great thinker and knower parts in perfect sexless bodies in the Realm of Permanence; that we, the conscious selves now in human bodies, failed in a crucial test, and thereby exiled ourselves from that Realm of Permanence into this temporal man and woman world of birth and death and re-existence; that we have no memory of this because we put ourselves into a self-hypnotic sleep, to dream; that we will continue to dream through life, through death and back again to life; that we must continue to do this until we de-hypnotize, wake, ourselves out of the hypnosis into which we put ourselves; that, however long it takes, we must awake from our dream, become conscious of ourselves as ourselves in our bodies, and then regenerate and restore our bodies to everlasting life in our home--The Realm of Permanence from which we came--which permeates this world of ours, but is not seen by mortal eyes. Then we will consciously take our places and continue our parts in the Eternal Order of Progression. The way to accomplish this is shown in chapters which follow.
At this writing the manuscript of this work is with the printer. There is little time to add to what has been written. During the many years of its preparation it has been often asked that I include in the text some interpretations of Bible passages which seem incomprehensible, but which, in the light of what has been stated in these pages, make sense and have meaning, and which, at the same time, corroborate statements made in this work. But I was averse to make comparisons or show correspondences. I wanted this work to be judged solely on its own merits.
In the past year I bought a volume containing The Lost Books of the Bible and The Forgotten Books of Eden. On scanning the pages of these books, it is astonishing to see how many strange and otherwise incomprehensible passages can be comprehended when one understands what is herein written about the Triune Self and its three parts; about the regeneration of the human physical body into a perfected, immortal physical body, and the Realm of Permanence, which in the words of Jesus is the "Kingdom of God."
Again requests have been made for clarifications of Bible passages. Perhaps it is well that this be done and also that the readers of Thinking and Destiny be given some evidence to corroborate certain statements in this book, which evidence may be found both in the New Testament and in the books above mentioned. Therefore I will add a fifth section to Chapter X, Gods and their Religions, dealing with these matters.
New York, March 1946