The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 15

Gambling. Drinking. The spirit of alcohol.

So far space has been given to form destiny, that is, that which affects the astral body and the senses, and to two classes of strictly psychic destiny, those which relate to feeling through the physical body and to feeling by the doer directly. The third class of psychic destiny relates to traits, qualities and endowments of the doer and to forces and feelings like anger, lust, sympathy and sorrow.

After the unit has left nature and becomes a Triune Self, it has three parts, the doer, the thinker and the knower. The doer may use from one to three minds. The doer has good and bad desires. It depends upon the make-up of the human which of these it will identify with itself and manifest. Manifested, they are expressions of the desires or feelings of the doer.

Among the desires that violate a duty to oneself, are greed, lust, gluttony, and sloth. Anger, hatred, cruelty and revenge break a duty to another. These are primary and crude evidences of desire and are animal in their nature. Goodly expressions relate to control of one’s own body and also relate to others, as fellow-feeling, helpfulness and good nature. As the doer develops, the natural expressions of its feelings and desires change from bad to good or from good to bad. The Light which is in the mental atmosphere mixing with natural desires, adds foresight, comparison, planning, combining, inventing and refining. Right thinking improves the crude desires, such as malice, cruelty, avarice and envy, which are immoral toward another, and gluttony, gambling, drunkenness and lasciviousness which wrong oneself. The virtues are courage, temperance and chastity, and are essentially restraints of selfish indulgence in vices, and mastery of temptation. In addition to these active desires there are states of the doer, as joyousness, ease, trust, cheerfulness and hope, and on the other hand, gloom, pessimism, fear and despair.

All these forces which are sent out towards others or centered on oneself, as well as these states or attitudes of the doer, appear in cycles, because they are guided by thoughts. These desires or states begin feebly, increase, wane and disappear periodically. The ill will as well as the goodwill sent out, returns to the sender in a double way; one phase of the psychic force sent out by a human does not leave his own psychic atmosphere, reverts to him and acts on him much as he would have it act on others. The force sent out is of course connected with a thought, and that thought is later exteriorized into physical actions and events and from these exteriorizations follow psychic results of joy or sorrow to the one who issued the thought. Beside these two effects, which result in joy or sorrow sooner or later, there is a third. This is that the psychic force which he sends out is identified with him, builds up his character and helps to make the ground from which his future desires rise.

Character is a predisposition for like desires and the desires generate like thoughts. Character is impressed upon the aia. When the breath-form is built up again, it has the impress of the character. This is the reason why people have their characters when they come into life and why unexpected traits appear in later life, when time, condition and place bring them out. Hence come the predisposition to oppression, theft, malice, gambling and drunkenness, and to helpfulness, fellow feeling, courage, loyalty and chastity. By way of examples the vices of gambling and drunkenness and the psychic states of gloom, pessimism, malice, fear and despair will be considered in some detail, as will also the states of hope, joyousness, trust and ease.

One who gambles desires the money at stake which, will-o’-the-wisp like, leads him on, and is intoxicated by the chance of gain. The money is the chief object with a gambler, while a sport seeks to win, to excel, money being secondary. A sport prefers games of skill, a gambler games of chance. Be the gambling with dice or cards, betting on races, speculating in stocks, or any venture without engaging in industry, it is all of a psychic nature. One who plays horses, cards or the stock market, will be played by these in turn. His sensations will be varied by gain and loss, exultation and disappointment, but the result must be eventually that he will be deluded with the idea of getting something for nothing. He will be taught that no one can get something for nothing; that willingly or unwillingly, all that men get they must pay for in some way, and that taking a risk of losing is not paying. Force of circumstances will compel the gambler to lose his gains. What he wins today he will lose tomorrow—be the tomorrow after a day or after many days. Winning or losing will goad him on to win again and so deluded he turns the treadmill, until he learns that the belief that he can get something for nothing is a delusion. He is driven on until he learns his lesson fully. If he has learned it, circumstances will, though unnoticed, surely change and lead him into fields of honest effort.

Some of the most despicable gambling is that in foodstuffs and other necessaries. The interference of the gamblers makes the cost of staples unsteady and often deprives producers of their just rewards. Such interference with the necessaries of physical life is the cause of hunger, want and misery for many. The food gambler is an enemy of mankind. He takes no part in the actual production or distribution of the foods in which he gambles. Moreover, he breeds in others the psychic disease of gambling and by his example causes them also to be intoxicated. To cure him of the psychic disease of gambling, the food gambler will suffer the hunger and want, which his speculations have caused to others. He may starve because of actual lack or because of some disease.

Food gambling, and all other gambling, is due to the spirit of gambling present among mankind. The spirit of gambling is an entity, without definite form. It is a nefarious thing which likes intoxication and gets it through its adherents. It is a god, though its religion has no recognized dogmas, rites or symbols. It has a fraternity which supports and worships it. The members recognize each other through that god which is in them and whose worship is their psychic destiny. Their worship is often more devoted than the lip service paid to other gods who have a regular religious system. This gambling god is created and nourished by the greed and selfishness of men.

The desire to be drunk is one of the worst and deadliest of psychic forces. Though alcohol belongs to the world and the processes of physical nature, there works through it an entity, a spirit, which does not belong to the present period, is an enemy to the doer and to the Intelligence and can reach the doer only through alcohol, when the doer is in the body. It cannot reach the Intelligences, but is as death to the doers; it can affect an Intelligence only in so far as it suspends the progress of the doer by preventing the reexisting portion from continuing its orderly return to earth life. It hinders the Intelligence in the help that it would give to the doer.

Temperate drinking of wine and other intoxicants does not immediately in itself harm the drinker. In no case did it or does it or can it benefit the doer, though an alcoholic drink may stimulate the body in a crisis; but even then other stimulants might serve as well. Alcoholic drinks are not necessary for the maintenance of health. Wine is desired for its taste and aroma and for the psychic effect it has of magnifying and intensifying sensation. Temperate drinking mingles the psychic atmospheres and produces a sort of geniality.

It is difficult to draw the line at temperate drinking. At social gatherings this line is crossed, else the drinkers would not be convivial. People who drink lightly now and then or who regularly take a limited allowance, may not become actual and habitual drunkards. From life to life the tendency is to increase the sensations which alcohol produces. In time, as the liking of the doer for drink becomes stronger, the entity that works through alcohol, as the enemy of every human, may claim the doer. In the following life the breath-form bears the mark of this spirit. This spirit breaks down physical health and moral restraint, opens the barriers between the four states of physical matter and lets in the play of emotional currents and elemental beings. If not overcome the bondage becomes ever more pronounced, until in some life what was once a temperate drinker may be a periodic or habitual drunkard. At some time the doer must conquer or be conquered. If the doer loses, the human is lost and cut off from the Light of the Intelligence. The history of doers, if it were ever written, would show that more doers have failed through the spirit of alcohol than bodies were ever slain in all the battles of the world.