The Word Foundation
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In the shoreless ocean of space radiates the central, spiritual, and Invisible sun. The universe is his body, spirit and soul; and after this ideal model are framed ALL THINGS. These three emanations are the three lives, the three degrees of the gnostic Pleroma, the three “Kabalistic faces,” for the ANCIENT of the ancient, the holy of the aged, the great En-Soph, has a form “and then he has no form.”

—Isis Unveiled.



Vol. 1 NOVEMBER 1904 No. 2

Copyright 1904 by H. W. PERCIVAL


THERE is a growing need for a magazine the pages of which will open to the free and impartial presentation of philosophy, science, and religion, on the basis of ethics. The Word is intended to supply this need. Ethics are founded on brotherhood.

It is our intention to give space to articles written in furtherance of any movement so long as the principal object is to work for the brotherhood of humanity.

Humanity is one great family, however widely separated by the prejudice of race and creed. We have a sincere belief in the idea which is only partially expressed by the word, “brotherhood.” The meaning of this word is limited to each person, by his tendencies, inclinations, education, and development. There is as great a diversity of opinion concerning the meaning of the word brotherhood as there is with regard to the meaning of the word Truth. To a small child, the word “brother” carries with it the thought of assistance and protection by one who can defend it against its adversaries. It means to the elder brother that he has someone to protect. To a member of a church, of a secret society or club, it suggests membership. A socialist connects it with sharing or co-operating, in an economic sense.

Incarnated, being blinded and drugged by sense impressions in a roaring tumultuous world, the soul does not realize its true position to its fellow souls.

Brotherhood is the indissoluble relationship existing between soul and soul. All phases of life tend to teach the soul this truth. After long study and continued aspiration, there comes a time when brotherhood is understood. Then the soul knows it to be the truth. This comes as in a flash of light. Flashes of illumination come to everyone at certain moments in life, such as the first connection of the soul with its body, the awakening to consciousness in the world as a child, and at the time of death. The flash comes, goes, and is forgotten.

There are two phases of illumination which are distinct from the above, a flash of illumination during motherhood, and the illumination of a Brother of Humanity. We know that the long months of pain and anxiety and sorrow, which precede the birth of the child, quicken the “mother’s” feelings. At the moment of the first cry of the new-born child, and at the moment when she feels her life going out to it, there is a mystery revealed to a “mother’s” heart. She sees through the gates of the Life of a greater world, and for a moment there flashes into her consciousness a thrill, a beam of light, a world of knowledge, revealing to her the fact that there is a oneness with another being which, though her very self is yet not herself. In this moment there comes a feeling of ecstasy, a sense of unity, and of the indissoluble link between one being and another. It is the most perfect expression of unselfishness, of brotherhood, of love, which we have in our human experience. The flash passes and is forgotten. The love, usually, soon dwindles into that of everyday motherhood, and sinks to the level of maternal selfishness.

There is an analogy between the knowledge of the relationship of the child to its mother, and the relationship of the twice-born man to the Atman or Universal Self. The mother feels the kinship and love for her child because, during that mysterious moment, one of the curtains of life is drawn aside and there is a meeting, a mutual understanding, between the soul of the mother and the soul of the child, of the one who is to guard and protect, and of the other who is to be protected.

The neophyte, through many lives of aspiration and yearning for spiritual light, at last reaches the moment when the light breaks in. He comes to this goal after many days on earth, after many lives in all phases, conditions, circumstances, with many peoples, in many countries, during many cycles. When he has gone through all, he understands the traits and sympathies, the joys and fears, the ambitions and aspirations of his fellow men—who are his other selves. There is born into his world a new consciousness: the consciousness of brotherhood. The voice of humanity awakens his heart. The sound is even as the cry of the new-born infant to its “mother’s” ear. More: there is a double relationship experienced. He feels his relationship to the great Parent Soul as does a child to its parent. He also feels a desire to shield and protect, even as the mother would protect her child. No words will describe this consciousness. The world becomes illuminated. A consciousness of the Universal Soul awakens in that one. He is a Brother. He is twice born, a twice-born one.

As the cry of the infant awakens in the mother a new life, so also to the quickened man is a new life opened. In the noise of the market-place, in the stillness of the moonless desert, or when alone in deep meditation, he hears the cry of the Great Orphan humanity.

This call opens to him a new life, new duties, new responsibilities. As the child to its mother so is humanity to him. He hears its cry and feels his life go out. Nothing will satisfy him except a life given up to the good of humanity. He wishes to provide for it as a father, to nourish it as a mother, to defend it as a brother.

Man has not yet come into full consciousness of brotherhood, but he may at least theorize about it, and begin to put his theories into practice.