The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 3

Course and exteriorization of a thought. The innate idea of justice.

Next comes the course of the thought towards its exteriorization.

The law is that thinking of physical things tends to be objectified into acts, objects or events on the physical plane. Not every thought that is generated is exteriorized. Some lack vitality to go on towards the physical plane; they have not the force to develop. Such thoughts die out and the desire in them returns into the matter of the psychic atmosphere, but the Light remains in the mental atmosphere. Some thoughts are changed before they are exteriorized. This can occur during any part of their course before exteriorization. The change occurs when the aim in the thoughts is changed; those thoughts will be exteriorized not as originally generated, but as changed by the new aim. Some thoughts are revoked before they are issued; this is so if the doer has disapproved of the thought and its purpose, after the thought has been generated. When the doer refuses it exteriorization, it is dissipated. The reason may be fear of discovery or of the consequences or it may be a change of aim.

Often the human broods over certain subjects of thought in gloom, misery or despondency, without conceiving a thought. He merely creates and dwells in a drab atmosphere and entertains thoughts without issuing them. Sometimes he plays with light fancies, castles in the air, daydreams. These occupations do not at once produce thoughts. Yet all of this kind of thinking has a tendency to influence the mental atmosphere and to determine the aim when a thought is generated.

Everything that is on the physical plane is an exteriorization of a thought, and in order to be so exteriorized that thought has to go through a certain course. Thoughts are conceived in the heart, that is, on the light plane of the life world. They are born or issued through the brain, that is, on the light plane of the light world, and this is so even though they are thoughts of low, disgusting physical things. Thoughts when born contain four factors, an aim, a plan or design, an effect or effects of the design, and the balancing factor. These will become actual in the course of the thought. A thought issues as a thought, but it is still far from being a physical thing. It issues as a point on the light plane of the light world, on the nature-side. A thought is intelligent-matter of the degree called feeling-and-desire and of the degree called Light of the Intelligence and is clothed in nature-matter of all the four worlds, but these clothes, potential as a structure within the point, become actual in its course toward exteriorization, when the structure within the point develops outward from the point.

A thought tends to carry out the potential design within it; as soon as it issues as a point it carries within it also that which will eventually balance it. This balancing factor is related to conscience, that is, a man’s knowledge of his departure from rightness, the man’s moral standard of right. The design is a cause, its exteriorization is an effect, which, owing to factors beyond one’s control, is not always carried out as he desires. The exteriorization of the design is one thing, the exteriorization of the thought as a whole quite another. If the exteriorization of its design is also the exteriorization of the whole thought, the thought is balanced at once. This is the case if one does what he knows to be right because it is right, without attachment to the results of his actions. It is also the case in trivial affairs where conscience does not warn against the thought or action.

But if the thought is not balanced at that exteriorization, then exteriorizations must continue until in time by some one exteriorization the whole thought has been exteriorized and is itself balanced by the doer. A thought may find exteriorization either as an act of the one who thought it, or as an event, a happening to him because of the exteriorization of the thought of another person, which his own past thought brings about.

To balance a thought is to return to nature all that is nature-matter in the thought, and to return to the doer all that belongs to the doer. The balance is made at one of the exteriorizations of the thought. Then the thought is abrogated, it ceases to exist and is balanced. A human balances a thought when he performs a duty willingly and intelligently without attachment to the results. He may not know about the thought or the method by which he balances it. Nevertheless, the thought is balanced by him.

The knower and the thinker of the Triune Self are always ready. The doer is not ready because it is not willing to let go of that in the thought which is nature-matter and which it tries to make a part of itself. The doer portion makes itself ready, though the human does not know it, when it desires to be honest and to do right and to be informed of its ignorance about itself and about what it wants.

Some of the events which will exteriorize the design, may follow only after long periods. The mystery of the physical world is caused by this separation of cause and effect. Though cause and effect become separated, there is an indissoluble connection between them and a tendency towards balancing at every stage. Conditions and opportunities do not always permit an immediate balance, but the tendency to bring one about is there in the thought and will fulfill itself in the end. The energy in a thought is not exhausted until the thought is balanced. Usually there are no outward indications of the connection between results and a still existing thought; and though a thought is a part of the man who issued it, there is then no physical evidence to show his connection with the belated or outstanding exteriorization. But whenever an exteriorization of a thought occurs, as an event in the life of someone, and results of joy or sorrow follow, his thought is there, and brings about the event to him.

When a thought issues on its way to be exteriorized it is actually a point of matter on the light plane of the light world, having latent in it matter of the three lower worlds, and is therefore still potential, that is, its inherent possibilities have not become physical things. It is on the nature-side and is guided by its aim. A thought has in itself the tendency to unfold the structure within the point, and so to express itself in physical matter, out of which the generating desire was aroused and to which it is directed by the aim, (Fig. IV-A). The course may be devious, may be delayed or may be interfered with, but it descends to the physical plane and will arrive there at last.

The term “descends” is figurative; it does not mean moving down. All the worlds intermingle in a human body. When it is said that a thought descends from one world or plane to another it means that the thought affects, and is itself affected by, different kinds of matter in a human body, and that it changes from the finer kind that clothed it to a coarser kind.

From the light plane of the light world the thought descends to the light plane of the life world, and there the potential life matter grows from the point outward, and clothing the thought becomes actual on that plane. Then the thought descends into the form world where the form matter becomes actual; then it descends to the light plane of the physical world. The descent in each case is made when the matter grows from a point to the quarter circle.

Then the thought enters the body or bodies through which it is to be exteriorized. It passes from the light plane to the radiant-radiant state on the physical plane of the physical world. There in the head it takes on radiant matter from the generative system. Then it descends to the airy state in the thorax and takes on airy matter from the respiratory system. If the thought is to be exteriorized in speech or in an act not connected with food, smell or sex, it does not go below the heart, and there it draws from the circulatory and digestive systems, by means of the blood, fine fluid and solid matter, and is exteriorized with that. If the thought is one concerned with eating or smelling or sex, it goes below into the abdominal or the pelvic section and receives there the matter that will clothe it to become an act, an object or an event. If the thought affects many, as the prosperity which comes from a harvest or a new road, or as the calamity which follows the sweep of a disease or a devastation, it is built into the event in the bodies of all the people, near and distant, who are touched by it.

This concretion of a thought may happen instantly or it may take a long time. If there is a delay the thought does not reach the physical plane, but waits on the radiant-form plane, in the abdomen. This is so even though the thought is to be manifested as speech and does not go below the heart. It is nevertheless on the radiant-form plane in the region of the kidneys.

When the thought has arrived on the radiant-physical plane, that is, in a state of radiant-radiant or astral matter, it is well defined and is the counterpart of what it is intended to be as a physical act, object or event. This is why events can sometimes be foretold.

When the astral form becomes the physical act, object or event, a part of the thought is exteriorized. It may take many physical efforts and a long series of physical events before the balance with the physical event is made by the doer in itself, as it inevitably must be made. Because of the factors in the generation of a thought, the balancing depends on conscience and responsibility. At present only the course of a thought will be kept in view.

The astral form of the thought which is in the radiant-radiant state of matter on the physical plane becomes visible when time, place and circumstances are provided for it to appear in the solid-solid state of matter, and then the act, object or event takes place. But it is to be remembered that the thought survives and survives, and that the potential exteriorization is not complete until the balancing factor which was and remains in the thought and is an essential part of it, is satisfied. The acts, things and events on earth are but partly exteriorized thoughts; an invisible part remains behind.

Therefore it often happens that many physical effects are necessary in order that one thought may be balanced. Each man must reap all the physical results which come from the act which he thought into the world, though the reaping be separated from the sowing by a life or lives. A man conceives thoughts and issues them apart from earthly time and place. Their materialization into physical acts, objects and events cannot take place except as conditions on the earth permit. When a design is exteriorized there may be a number of other exteriorizations before the thought is balanced. The joyful and sorrowful events into which thoughts exteriorize may have to wait long before circumstances occur which will give a suitable experience.

Numerous difficulties must be adjusted before an exteriorization can take place. Some of these are: The problem of placing in physical time the many physical effects which are to unfold out of one thought. There is the difficulty of a physical manifestation, in one place, of the several effects which are to follow out of one thought. There is the sequence of exteriorizations into physical matter under physical laws, which may take many years. The laws of the growth and maturing of the bodies or conditions connected with the exteriorization may make impossible a contemporaneous manifestation of a physical cause and the physical effects produced by it. It often takes a long time to produce and mature the instruments through which the balance is made. The unresponsiveness of physical matter to thought is another difficulty. Further, there is the long past of the doer, who waits to have balanced causes which have not yet been compensated. Moreover, there are thoughts, due to hostile interests of others, which oppose the exteriorization. The difficulties thus presented in the case of one man are correspondingly multiplied when the thoughts of others, or those of all people living in the world, or those of all human beings that have ever lived, are to be considered. Another consideration is that thoughts move in cycles, and that the intersection of cycles governs exteriorization into solid matter. These are some of the difficulties to be adjusted before an exteriorization can take place.

When a thought has taken form, it is halted in its course and lies on the threshold of the physical plane, ready to be externalized. It is right here in the radiant-radiant state on the physical plane, but cannot be seen. It has no solid clothes to make it visible as act, object or event. In this same sense it may be said to be halted in its course of exteriorization. Four factors, time, condition, place, and a human body, form the matrix through which a thought is exteriorized.

All acts, objects and events that were on the physical plane in the past, that are here now and that will appear here in the future, were, are and will be thoughts built into visibility. They cannot come into being in any other way. This world is the visible appearance of the result of the action of mind and desire, the exteriorizations of human thought. This ends the description of the course of a thought up to the time when the design is exteriorized.

With the exteriorization of a thought are connected physical, psychic, mental and noetic results, each of which may be followed by an almost unending chain of physical effects. There are results which will naturally follow the physical act.

The decrees of the law determine the physical results only, but through these physical results man will be compelled by that law to fulfill the psychic, mental and noetic requirements. The law does not determine these; the doer in the man does that. The physical results of an exteriorized thought are produced under the laws of physics, chemistry and the natural sciences generally. These laws are subservient to the law of thought, and it works only through them. Only such results are of interest here as are produced under these physical laws for the purpose of making the generator of a thought pay or receive payment, of giving him experience, of making him learn a lesson and of making him get a certain knowledge, and so to balance the thought through the exteriorization and its results in the doer.

Physical results happen at the conjunction of time and place and when the conditions are mature, and are then inevitably produced by causes that may have no seemingly reasonable or necessary connection with their occurrence. Herein lies the secret of the management of the physical world. This lack of apparent reason or justice is a mystery of life. Yet the world goes on as it has for untold years, and how could that be without any fundamental rule and equilibrium? The balancing is done through physical results. Every act done affords an opportunity to restore a balance.

The intention of the person who does the act is usually to further his own interests in a particular manner, but whether he succeeds or not, the consequences of his act are used to afford to persons with whom he may or may not be concerned, an opportunity to balance their past thoughts. The lives of men and the history of peoples show unmistakably that individuals act chiefly for their own selfish purposes, and that in every case the forces which are thus released or set in motion are taken charge of by some intelligent powers and used to bring about events not wished for, not contemplated, not even dreamed of and hardly appreciated at the time by anybody. So is made and accomplished the destiny of men and nations; not as the individuals would have it, but by a mysterious management, whose ultimate plan is to obtain a balance of thoughts by means of acts and events.

The present is the manifestation of a hold-over from the past. An immeasurable accumulation of events waits for time and place to burst into visibility and to cause joy or grief to those whom these events will affect. These exteriorizations will affect those for whom they have not yet had a chance to appear, face to face, clothed in solid matter. Events continue to come to a person until through exteriorizations he pays for the past exteriorization, learns the lessons required by the stage of his growth, gets a certain amount of knowledge and so balances in the psychic, mental and noetic states the thoughts which caused these events.

There is in the doer-in-the-body of every human a desire for justice, an innate idea in the doer. What is considered justice varies with the varied development of different human beings. Savages have crude notions of justice, conscience, right; as man becomes more civilized, his vision changes, his knowledge of what is right increases, and more and more things which to the savage seem right, stand out to him as wrong. All events in a man’s life are offered to him, allure him, please him, annoy him, force him on, overwhelm him, for the purpose of letting him have an opportunity to satisfy his desire for justice by right thinking; or else to make him pay for wrong action and reward him for right, so as to give him a chance to learn to distinguish right from wrong, through experience and observation. The law of thought, as destiny, uses all manner of agencies to bring about these results. The results of a person’s thoughts and acts have to fit in with this universal arrangement. Man does not balance his thought in an instant; he does not do it even in many lives. Therefore he must learn; and he learns by the experiences which life brings to him and by his observations of the experiences of others.