The Word Foundation



Vol. 15 JUNE, 1912. No. 3

Copyright, 1912, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


IF man were truly living, he would have no aches, no pains, no disease; he would have health and wholeness of body; he could, if he would, by living, outgrow and pass over death, and come into his inheritance of immortal life. But man is not really living. As soon as man is awake in the world, he begins the process of dying, by the ills and diseases which prevent health and wholeness of body, and which bring on degeneration and decay.

Living is a process and a state into which man must enter intentionally and intelligently. Man does not begin the process of living in a haphazard sort of way. He does not drift into the state of living by circumstance or environment. Man must begin the process of living by choice, by choosing to begin it. He must enter the state of living by understanding the different parts of his organism and his being, by co-ordinating these with each other and establishing harmonious relationship between them and the sources from which they draw their life.

The first step toward living, is for one to see that he is dying. He must see that according to the course of human experience he cannot maintain a balance of the forces of life in his favor, that his organism does not check nor resist the flow of life, that he is being borne on to death. The next step toward living is to renounce the way of dying and to desire the way of living. He must understand that yielding to the bodily appetites and tendencies, causes pain and disease and decay, that pain and disease and decay can be checked by a control of the appetites and bodily desires, that it is better to control the desires than to give way to them. The next step toward living is to begin the process of living. This he does by choosing to begin, to connect by thought the organs in the body with the currents of their life, to turn the life in the body from its source of destruction into the way of regeneration.

When man has begun the process of living, the circumstances and conditions of life in the world contribute to his real living, according to the motive which prompts his choice and to the degree to which he proves himself able to maintain his course.

Can man remove disease, stop decay, conquer death, and gain immortal life, while living in his physical body in this physical world? He can if he will work with the law of life. Immortal life must be earned. It cannot be conferred, nor does anyone naturally and easily drift into it.

Ever since the bodies of man began to die, man has dreamed about and longed to have immortal life. Expressing the object by such terms as the Philosopher’s Stone, the Elixir of Life, the Fountain of Youth, charlatans have pretended to have and wise men have searched for, that by which they could prolong life and become immortal. All were not idle dreamers. It is not likely that all failed in their course. Out of the hosts who have taken up this quest of the ages, a few, perhaps, did reach the goal. If they did find and did make use of the Elixir of Life, they did not herald their secret to the world. Whatever has been said on the subject has been told either by great teachers, sometimes in simple language so that it might be quite overlooked, or at times in such strange terminology and peculiar jargon as to challenge inquiry (or ridicule). The subject has been shrouded in mystery; dire warnings have been sounded, and seemingly unintelligible directions given to him who would dare to uncover the mystery and who was bold enough to seek immortal life.

It may have been, it was, necessary in other ages to speak of the way to immortal life guardedly, through myth, symbol and allegory. But now we are in a new age. It is now time to speak plainly of and to show clearly the way of living, by which immortal life may be attained by a mortal man while he is in a physical body. If the way does not seem plain no one should attempt to follow it. His own judgment is asked of each one desiring immortal life; no other authority is given nor required.

Were immortal life in a physical body to be at once had by the wishing for it, there would be only a scant few in the world who would not at once take it. No mortal is now fit and ready to take immortal life. If it were possible for a mortal to put on immortality at once, he would draw unto himself unending misery; but it is not possible. Man must prepare himself for immortal life before he can live forever.

Before deciding to take up the task of immortal life and to live forever, one should pause to see what living forever means to him, and he should gaze unflinchingly into his heart and search out the motive which prompts him to seek immortal life. Man may live on through his joys and sorrows and be carried on by the stream of life and death in ignorance; but when he knows of and decides to take immortal life, he has changed his course and he must be prepared for the dangers and the benefits which follow.

One who knows of and has chosen the way of living forever, must abide by his choice and go on. If he is unprepared, or if an unworthy motive has prompted his choice, he will suffer the consequences but he must go on. He will die. But when he lives again he will anew take up his burden from where he left it, and go on toward his goal for ill or good. It may be either.

Living forever and remaining in this world means that the one so living must become immune from the pains and pleasures which rack the frame and waste the energy of a mortal. It means that he lives through the centuries as a mortal lives through his days, but without the break of nights or deaths. He will see father, mother, husband, wife, children, relatives grow up and age and die like flowers that live but for a day. Lives of mortals to him will appear as flashes, and pass into the night of time. He must watch the rise and fall of nations or civilizations as they are built up and crumble into time. The conformation of the earth and the climates will change and he will remain, a witness of it all.

If he is shocked by and withdraws from such considerations, he had better not elect himself to live forever. One who delights in his lusts, or who looks at life through a dollar, should not seek a life immortal. A mortal lives through a dream state of indifference marked off by shocks of sensation; and his whole life from beginning to end is a life of forgetfulness. The living of an immortal is an ever present memory.

More important than the desire and will of living forever, is to know the motive which causes the choice. One who will not or cannot search out and find his motive, should not begin the process of living. He should examine his motives with care, and be sure that they are right before he begins. If he begins the process of living and his motives are not right, he may conquer physical death and desire for physical things, but he will have only changed his abode from the physical to an inner world of the senses. Though he will be elated for a time by the power which these confer, yet he will be self-doomed to suffering and regrets. His motive should be to fit himself to help others to grow out of their ignorance and selfishness, and through virtue to grow into full manhood of usefulness and power and selflessness; and this without any selfish interest or attaching to himself any glory for being able so to help. When this is his motive, he is fit to begin the process of living forever.

(To be continued)