The Word Foundation
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The order changes: above was Light, below is Life which builds itself into various forms about a center.

The center is life and in the center is light, and in, about, and through all form runs life.




Vol. 1 AUGUST 1905 No. 11

Copyright 1905 by H. W. PERCIVAL


THE great principles of the noumenal world are: consciousness, motion, substance, and breath. The great factors or processes through which the principles of the noumenal world are expressed in the manifested world, are: life, form, sex, and desire. The attainments of these factors or processes through manifestation in the phenomenal world, are: thought, individuality, soul, and will. Principles, factors, and attainments, are ultimately resolved into and become consciousness. The subjects of the noumenal world have been viewed briefly. The first factor in the phenomenal world is before us: the subject of life.

Life is to the phenomenal what consciousness is to the noumenal world. Consciousness is the idea of all possible attainment; by its presence all things are guided through states and conditions to the final attainment. Life is the beginning of this process; the initial instinct and effort; the progress through manifestation in the phenomenal world. Life is a process of becoming; it is only the means, not the end. Life in the phenomenal world is not all; it is only one of the motions—centrifugal motion—by which the phenomenal universe is evolved into forms as it is breathed out from homogeneous substance.

Life is a mighty ocean on which the Great Breath moves, causing to evolve from its unfathomed and invisible depths systems of universes and worlds. These are borne forth on the tide of invisible life into visible form. But a little while, the tide turns, and all is borne back into the invisible. So on the tides of invisible life the worlds are rolled out and drawn in again. There are many currents of the ocean of life; our world with all on it lives in one of these currents. What we know of life is only its passage through visible form, at the change of its tides, from the invisible to the invisible.

Life is matter, but so much finer than the elements which are known that it cannot be classed with the matter of the physicist. Science is the intellectual magician of modern civilization; but materialistic science will die in its infancy, if it does not grow beyond the lower strata of the phenomenal world. The dream of the physicist is to prove that life is a result rather than a cause. He would produce life where life did not exist; govern its operations by certain laws; endow it with intelligence; then dissipate it, leaving no trace of its having ever existed in form, nor of its having expressed intelligence. There are those who believe that life can be produced where it did not exist; that it may express intelligence; that intelligence can be dissipated forever. But it will not be supposed that such can understand the processes of life while they refuse to either believe or to speculate about its existence apart from form. Some of the manifestations of life are appreciated, but those who have claimed to be able to produce life from “inert” matter are still as far removed from the solution of the problem as they were in the beginning. To produce life from inert matter would result in the discovery that there is no “inert” matter, because no life can be produced where life does not exist. The forms of manifestation of life may be infinite, but life is present in all forms. If life were not co-incident with matter, matter could not change in form.

The biologist cannot discover the origin of life because his search begins and ends while life is passing through the world of form. He refuses to look for life before it appears, or to follow it in his speculations after it leaves its form. Life is that mysterious agent which becomes manifest through form, but life is the factor from which we develop form: hence the movement of the tides of life in the dissolution and reconstruction of forms. Life is the principle of growth and expansion in all things.

Our earth is like a hollow and spherical sponge in a current of the ocean of life. We live on the skin of this sponge. We were borne to this sphere by a wave on the incoming tide of the ocean of life and after a time, at the ebb, we leave on a wave and pass on, but are still in the ocean of life. As the universe and its worlds live each in its ocean of life, so when the mind through the breath enters the body at birth, each passes into its own individual ocean of life.

In the building of a body life rushes in and builds according to the design prepared, and organs of sense are developed. The mind who inhabits this body is immersed in sensuous life. The pure current of life passing through the sense body is colored by desires of sense. At first the mind responds to the pleasure of the sensation of life. Pleasure is one phase of the sensation of life, its other phase is pain. The mind thrills with pleasure when experiencing the sensation of life in the body. The endeavor to increase the sensation of pleasure results in the experience of pain when, exhausted, the organs of sense can no longer respond to the orderly current of life. In the manifested world the fullness of life is in thought, and thought changes the current of life.

We live in this ocean of life, but our progress is slow indeed, because we only know life as it stimulates the senses. The mind enjoys while the senses unfold and fill out by the passing of life; but when, in course of the development of the mind, the senses reach the limit of their physical unfoldment they are swept away by the tides of life, unless the mind so frees itself from its physical moorings that it may unfold the inner senses. These will then bear it up out of its turbid stream into the higher currents of life. Then the mind is not swept away by the cross-currents of forgetfulness, nor dashed on the rocks of illusion and stunned, but is borne aloft on its vestures into the luminous stream of life, where it learns and holds its balance and can steer its course safely through all currents and phases of life.

Life cannot stagnate. This life of sensation lasts but a short time. Reaching out through the senses the mind would cling to all forms of this life; but if the senses unfold and mature in the life of this world they soon dissipate. The forms on which the mind would lay hold fade away and are gone even while they are grasped.

Mind seeks experience in the life which it enters that it may learn to probe and navigate its depths. When the mind is able to search the depths and hold to its true course against all opposing currents the object of life is being accomplished. The mind is stimulated and invigorated by each of the opposing currents as it overcomes them. It is then able to use all currents of life for good instead of being turned aside from its course and overcome by them.

What we at present speculate about or know, is only the life of form which is ever changing. What we should try to know and live is the life eternal, the great attainment of which is consciousness.