The Word Foundation

THE

WORD

Vol. 14 FEBRUARY, 1912. No. 5

Copyright, 1912, by H. W. PERCIVAL.

LIVING

TO most eyes a rock appears to be dead and man thinks of it as being without life; yet, whether its formation is from quick fusion, due to volcanic action, or to the slow accretion by deposits from a flowing stream, the pulse of life beats in the structure of that rock.

Ages may pass before a cell appears in the seemingly solid structure of a rock. Cell life in the rock begins with crystal formation. By earth breathings, by expansion and contraction, by the magnetic and electrical action of water and light, crystals grow out of the rock. Rock and crystal belong to the same kingdom, but long stretches of time separate them in point of structure and development.

The lichen grows out of and clings to the rock for its support. The oak spreads its roots through the soil, drills into and splits the rock, and spreads in majesty its branches over all. Both are members of the plant world, one is a low, spongy or leather-like organism, the other a highly evolved and kingly tree. A toad and a horse are animals, but the organism of a toad is altogether unfit to sense the flow of life of which a blooded horse is aware. Far removed from all of these is man and his organism, the human body.

Living is the state in which each part of a structure or organism or being is in touch with Life through its particular current of life, and where all parts work coordinately to perform their functions for the purpose of the life of that structure, organism or being, and where the organization as a whole contacts the flood tide of Life and its currents of life.

Life is an invisible and immeasurable ocean, within or out of the depths of which are born all things. Our earth-world and moon, the sun, the stars and star clusters which seem to be like gems set in the sky or like radiant particles suspended in infinite space, all are born in and borne up and sustained by invisible life.

Throughout this vast ocean of life, which is the material and manifested side, there is a conscious intelligence which breathes through and is the life intelligent through this ocean of life.

Our world with its atmospheres and our universe in its atmospheres, are visible centers or ganglions in the invisible body of the ocean of life.

The atmospheres of our universe act as lungs which breathe in life from the ocean of life into the sun, which is the heart of our universe. Arterial life streams through the rays from the sun to the earth, which it nourishes, and then passes on through the earth’s atmospheres by way of the moon and is outbreathed through our universe into the ocean of life. Our earth and its atmospheres are the womb of the universe, in which is being fashioned the body of man which miniatures or is to miniature the universe in the ocean of life, and through which it will breathe the self-conscious intelligent life.

Enveloped by his atmosphere as in a chorion, man gestates on the earth, but he has not made contact with the life from the ocean of life. He has not taken life. He is not living. He sleeps in an unfashioned, unfinished, embryal state unaware of the ocean of life, but he often dreams he has waked, or dreams dreams of his living. Seldom is there one among men who grows out of his embryal state and who is living in contact with the ocean of life. As a rule men sleep through their period of embryal existence (which they call on earth life), disturbed by occasional nightmares of fear, pain and distress, or exhilarated by dreams of happiness and joy.

Unless man is in contact with the flood tide of life, he is not truly living. In his present condition it is impossible for man to have his body contact the ocean of life through his main stream of life. A fully formed natural animal contacts or lives in the current of life, because its organism is attuned to the life; but it cannot contact the life intelligent because there is no intelligent spark of divinity in it to make such a contact.

Man cannot contact the ocean of life through the life of the world, nor is he at present able to connect with the life intelligent. His body is animal and in it are represented all forms and organisms, but by the action of his mind he has cut off direct contact of life from his body and encased it in a world of his own, his own atmospheres. The divine spark of intelligence dwells in his form, but is covered over and hid from his gaze by the clouds of his thoughts, and he is prevented from finding it by the desires of the animal to which he is yoked. Man as a mind will not let his animal live naturally and according to its nature, and his animal prevents him from seeking his divine inheritance and from living with intelligence in the flood tide of the ocean of life.

An animal is living when its life is on the increase and its organism is attuned to the flow of life. It feels the flow of life according to its kind and the fitness of its organism to represent its species. Its organism is a battery through which a current of life plays and which life is enjoyed by the individual entity in that animal body, though it as an entity is unable to consciously stop or increase or interfere with the flow of the current of life. The animal in its natural state must act automatically and according to its nature. It moves and acts with the surge of life. Every part of it trembles with the joy of its living as it gathers itself for a spring. Life pulses fast when it is in pursuit of its prey or in flight from a foe. Away from the influence of man and in its natural state it acts without thought or misgivings and is guided unerringly and naturally by the flow of life, when its organism is a fit medium through which life can flow. Its instincts warn it of danger, but it fears no difficulties. The greater the difficulty with which it contends the more powerful is the flow of life, and the keener the sense of its living.

The thoughts and uncertainties of man and the unfitness of his body prevent him from experiencing the joy of life, as it plays through an animal body alone.

A man can admire the lithe limbs and the glossy coat, the arched neck and fine head of a well-built horse; but he cannot sense the force of life in a wild mustang, and how it feels as, with a shake of the head and trembling nostrils, it paws the air, strikes the earth and leaps like the wind over the plains.

We may wonder at the well-curved outlines of a fish, at the graceful movements of its fins and tail and the shimmer of its sides in the sunlight, as the fish is suspended or rises or falls or glides with ease and grace through the water. But we are unable to get into the current of life which gives power to and guides a salmon and its mate, as they leave the broad sea for the river on their annual course up its stream, and in the cool of the morning, before sunrise, when the spring floods come down from the melting snows, thrill in the mad rush of the cool waters and, as easily as the water, twirl round the rocks of the rapids; as they go up the stream and plunge into the churning foam at the foot of the falls; as they leap the falls, and, if the falls are high and they are borne back by the volume, do not give up, but leap again and shoot over the brim of the falls; and then away and into nooks and shallow waters, where they find the purpose of their annual trip and set their spawn to hatch. They are moved by the current of life.

An eagle is taken as an emblem of empire and is used as a symbol of freedom. We speak of his strength and courage and wide sweep of wing, but we cannot feel the delight in the movements of his wings as he circles and swoops down and rises, contacts his current of life and is borne onward in ecstasy by the motive force of flight or soars and gazes calmly into the sun.

We do not even get in touch with a tree as it contacts its current of life. We do not know how the tree is exercised and strengthened by the winds, how it is nourished by and drinks in the rains, how the roots contact its current of life and how it is colored by the light and the substance on the soil. There has been speculation as to how a tall tree raises its sap to such heights. Could we get in touch with the current of the life of that tree we would know that the tree does not raise its sap. We would know that the current of life bears up the sap into all parts of the tree which are fit to receive it.

Plant, fish, bird and beast are living, so long as their organisms are on the increase and fit to contact their currents of life. But when the fitness of their organism cannot be maintained or where its action is interfered with, then it cannot come directly in touch with its current of life and the organism begins the process of dying by degeneration and decay.

Man cannot now experience the joys of living organisms in touch with their currents of life, but could he enter in thought into these organisms he would know and experience a keener sensation of the currents of life than do the beings in those bodies.

(To be continued.)