|Copyright 1913 by H. W. PERCIVAL|
MOMENTS WITH FRIENDS
Please give a definition of immortality and state briefly how immortality can be attained?
Immortality is the state in which one is conscious of his identity through all states, conditions and changes.
Immortality must be attained intelligently, by the use of intelligence. Immortality cannot be attained by blind belief in some sort of an eternal existence after death, nor can anyone get into the state of immortality by gift, favor, inheritance. Immortality must be earned by hard work, with intelligence.
Immortality must be so earned and acquired before death, during oneâ€™s life in a physical body in this physical world. After death immortality cannot be attained. All incarnated minds are striving to be immortal. If immortality is not attained before death, the body dies and the mind returns to earth in a new physical body, time after time and until immortality is attained.
The way to immortality is for one to cease identifying himself with his physical body, or with his desires and emotions, his personality. He should identify himself with that which has the prescience of knowledge; that is, with himself. When he thinks of this and identifies himself with it, immortality seems near. To be successful in this, one must take an inventory of the parts and elements making up what he has heretofore identified himself with. After this inventory he must examine what is changeable in him, and what permanent. That with him which persists, and is not subject to time and place, is of himself; all else is transitory.
It will be found that money, lands, antiques, possessions, position, fame and whatever else of this kind the world values most, are among transitory things, and of small or no value to one trying to become immortal. The things that are of value are intangible, not of the senses.
Right motive and right thoughts in daily life, in all phases of daily life, no matter what the walk of life may be, are the things that count. It is not the easiest life that brings quickest results. The life of a hermit, away from cares and temptations, does not provide the means or conditions. One who has difficulties, trials, temptations, but overcomes them and remains in control of them and true to his intelligent purpose of becoming immortal, will sooner and in fewer lives reach his goal.
The attitude of mind which is preeminently useful is that the seeker shall know himself separate from his body, separate from his personality, his desires, emotions, senses, and their pleasures and sufferings. He must know himself separate and independent of all this, though it appears to touch his very self and at times seems to be himself. His attitude should be, that he is of the infinite, living like the infinite, in eternity, without boundaries and divisions of time, or consideration of space. That is the state of immortality. He must get accustomed to look upon this as a reality. Then he can know. To fancy it is insufficient, and to prate about it, useless and childish.
Are manâ€™s likes and dislikes reflections of his own soul? If so, how are they reflected? If not, whence come these likes and dislikes
The term â€śthe soul of manâ€ť is used promiscuously and stands for many phases of the invisible parts of what as to its visible aspect is called a man. Soul may mean his pre-natal condition, or the senseless shadow-form after death, or the undying universal principle which is in him during life. Manâ€™s soul is here considered as the mindâ€”the thinking principle, the conscious light in the body. Manâ€™s likes and dislikes are not reflections of his mind. Likes and dislikes result from the action of mind with desire.
When the mind considers some of the desires it likes them; other desires the mind dislikes. That nature of the mind which thinks of desire, the desire likes; that nature of the mind which thinks away from desire and the senses, the desire dislikes. In this way are developed likes and dislikes between mind and desire. The likes and dislikes come from the likeness and unlikeness of mind and desire. Manâ€™s brood of likes and dislikes are born and bred within him. Then he manifests his likes and dislikes about him. The likes and dislikes created in one man will create more likes and dislikes in the man he meets; and those cause still other likes and dislikes in other men who likewise spread their likes and dislikes; so that the world is full of likes and dislikes. In this way it may be said that the world is a reflection of the likes and dislikes of man.
Do we like the world and the things in the world? Or do we dislike them? It is futile to try to stop liking or disliking. It is well for man to refuse to sanction with his mind what he knows to be not right. So he registers a worthy dislike. It is best for man to like and to think about that which he knows to be right, and to do it. In this way his likes have worth and power. If he treats likes and dislikes this way with himself, others will do it, too, and the world will change with the likes and dislikes.
A Friend [H. W. Percival]