THE OCCULT FORCES IN NATURE.
FORCE A CONCOMITANT OF NATURE—NATURE’S LAWS SELF-EXISTENT AND UNMADE—NATURE’S LAWS CANNOT BE SUSPENDED—NATURE OF THE DIVINE FORCE—THE INFINITE INCOMPARABLE WITH THE FINITE—LIGHT, ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM —MATHEMATICAL LAW DEMONSTRATES ALL OTHER NATURAL LAWS—SOME OF THE TENETS OF THE MAGI—MANIFESTATIONS OF THE INFINITE.
WHEN in the course of human events it becomes necessary to introduce a new philosophy of matter, or a new revelation to man, it behooves those whose duty it is to inculate such doctrines, to look well to the superstructure upon which the same rests, in order to be able to present the facts in a regular and graduated order from the foundation upward.
The doctrine of Divine Light in the minds of men, is as old as the genesis of man himself; but like the science of geology, its history runs down, down and backward into the dim and broken strata of the past until lost in obscurity. Perhaps it would be well, however, to first glance at this Divine Light and define what it is, as far as we understand it.
THE THEORY OF ASTRAL LIGHT,
or the Divine Light, or as some have named it, “The Soul in Nature,” is, that all things throughout space are composed of two parts only, namely, spirit and matter—mind and matter—substance and shadow—ponderable and imponderable—or by whatever name people chose to designate these two states. What-ever names they may be called their nature remains the same. Said Pope:
“The universe is one stupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the soul.”
Each is the counterpart of the other, or the antipode, but only in the sense that cold is the antipode of heat, or the positive to the negative.
At present we call the ethereal part of the universe “Astral Magnetism,” simply for the want of a better name, and partly because the force exerted by it seems to partake of the nature of magnetism, and to obey similar laws; and also because it seems to have its seat or centre of force in the astral or heavenly bodies, hence
obeys certain laws, and yet is above law, inasmuch as it is law itself. As the ponderable part of nature is divided and subdivided into elements, acids and bases, metals and salts, solids and gases, and countless combinations of them, so the other or astral universe is divided into thousands of grades and parts, some of which even approach the dividing line between mind and matter. One common manifestation is electricity; another is light. Neither of these are “things,” or matter, any more than thought.
Let a ray of light concentrated a thousand fold by a lense (sic), be dashed suddenly upon the pan of a delicate balance; now, notwithstanding the fact that the ray has come plunging down from a height of ninety-two millions of miles, with a velocity sufficient to pass seven times around the earth in one second; I say, notwithstanding this enormous force, it falls upon the scales lighter than a feather; yea, lighter than hydrogen gas, or any one of the ponderables in nature, inasmuch as it affects the scales not in the slightest degree. Yet this “thing,” which is yet no thing, can be twisted with the polariscope, sifted, reflected, deflected, concentrated, and even separated into its component colors by the prism. Then we have but begun on its wonders, for we have its chemical part, its thermal part, and its luminous part; the latter of which we manipulate under the spectroscope, and reveal a world of wonders concerning the motion and physical constitution of far off stars and nebula.
Electricity weighs nothing whatever; it is another imponderable. We speak of “currents,” positive and negative, and talk as if it were a stream like water; yet had I time I could prove to you that there is no current in the case of electricity. Nothing passes along the wire except an effect. It has no more ponderability than the thought traversing your brain, or the affection you feel toward your loved ones.
and far more subtle and strange in properties than either light or electricity, is the mysterious force called magnetism. All pervading and mysterious force! While an opaque body will stop light, and a glass plate will stop electricity, nothing in nature will or can stop the magnetic effect. A foot or a mile of glass is the same as a foot or a mile of air or earth. Magnetism is, therefore, another of the imponderable forces in nature, that manifests itself through the physical universe. In other words all such forces are but the manifestation of the Infinite or astral force through the realm of matter.
Another law is that the astral obeys and acts under the same laws that govern its physical counterpart, only subject to certain modifications caused by its position. Thus we find that the astral magnetic force acts under mathematical laws as exact as do the physical forces. You can measure the magnetic force of a body as well as you can the gravatic force. You can calculate the astral effect of the joining together of the magnetic forces of two bodies as mathematically correct, as you can calculate the result of uniting one equation of sulphur to four equations of oxygen and two of hydrogen to form the acid that science says “has revolutionized the world.”
The chemist mixes together a quantity of chemicals before your eyes. The operation taking place in the mixing, effervescing compound, looks to you like nothing but chance. It is a mixed up meaningless mass; but, apply the light of chemical scientific knowledge, and lo! the mixture becomes a moving, living, illustration of mathematical law.
Oxygen is here uniting with hydrogen and nitrogen. Potassium here with other equations of oxygen; then the two compounds unite; and mind you, not haphazard; no! far from it, for every particle in the final beautiful crystal produced, is in exact mathematical proportion. Not a thousandth of a grain too much or too little. If too much acid was formed in the process, the potash will not have it; if too much hydrogen was there, part is thrown out. If not enough hydrogen, all the others are reduced to correspond.
This is the reason why the chemist can prognosticate or foretell what kind of a chemical compound he will produce under given conditions. During some ages of the world, mankind, were prone to believe that all, or nearly all things, happened or came by chance. They believed that some Being, responsible to no one, not even to himself, or to any law, caused events of various kinds to transpire by mere caprice; no cause producing invariable effect. If the winds thrashed the sails from a vessel, it indicated that a particular god having charge of that department was angry, and he must be placated at once, or the jib and foresheet would follow the main.
But the astral light still brighter and brighter shone on the brain of man, and one by one they found that certain things did occasionally happen under circumstances showing the action of Law. They even found that lightning, formerly supposed to be the flashing of God’s anger in the sky, was nothing but electricity. And then men had the audacity to measure it and invent terms such as volts, ohms; and farads to measure it by. And now we have harnessed this wonderful power that made our forefathers drop on bended knees in awe. We make it draw our street cars, run our sewing machines, and the Empire State asks it to kill her criminals.
I can even remember the time when it was common to see a death resolution begin, “Whereas it has pleased Divine Providence to remove from our midst, brother John Smith, etc.” Now, some M.D. certifies that the lamented brother Smith died of Paresis, and his friends privately whisper that he was “too fast,” drank too much and kept too late hours. No one lays it to Providence. All see that certain effects have followed certain causes, just as sure as sunrise follows sunset.
THERE IS NO CHANCE.
I affirm it and maintain it. As I said before, men have removed one by one, thousands of things once believed to happen by chance. But they have not carried the process far enough. Men yet “happen” to be lucky to-day and not to-morrow. Men “happen” to hold good cards to-night while to-morrow night they hold all the three and four spots in the deck. Some men “happen” to be always on the wrong side of every deal. Wheat always goes up when they are “short,” and down when they are “long” of it. Other men “happen” to always be on the winning side.
When it rains poridge (sic), their dish is always right side up. Why is it? Is it chance? or is it the result of law? I say it is law, unchangeable and inexorable, that causes these things to transpire. Now mark my prediction: The time will come when men will say: “Why! would you believe it? the time was once when people did not know that everything happens by law. They actually thought things came by chance.”
“What!” says one, “do you claim that things are fixed? Do you believe in fate?” This is a hard question to answer, because it involves so much that is hard to explain. It is as hard to comprehend as is eternity, infinity and boundless space. But let us reason on it a little. Every person in this audience will admit that the battles fought in our last war are all fixed, for all time. All the errors of generals; all the loss of life—the charges and counter-charges, are all fixed exactly as they transpired, and nothing can change them. This being the case, duly admitted, go another step, and I ask: Was it not true, in 1776, that in 1861 this nation would be plunged into a long and bloody war, during which the events would transpire, that did as we know, afterwards come to pass? If you admit this, and I do not see how you can avoid it, you must admit that it is a fact now to-day, that in the year 1896 certain things will come to pass. It is as true now as it will be after the events transpire.
“WHAT IS TO BE, WILL BE,”
said the Grecian philosopher two thousand five hundred years ago. “That which is to come will come,” taught the Egyptian High Magean 4,000 years ago.
“Verily, I say unto you, these things shall come to pass,” said the Teacher of Nazareth, 1,800 years ago, and it is true to-day, and will be true when this earth is a cold, dry, airless and cracked rock, revolving about a dark and joyless sun, awaiting the fullness of time when some immense comet, winging its way out from boundless space shall, undeterred by live magnetic repulsion now existing, plunge itself headlong with mighty and terrible velocity into his dark bosom, thereby awakening the slumbering hydrogen to new life, and starting the planet upon another cycle of birth, culmination and old age.
Everything now existing upon this earth is the exact result of all the forces, potencies and environments surrounding the earth and each part and portion thereof.
Every one of my hearers tonight are just what they are and are here to-night as the culminating result of all that has transpired in their lives, and the lives of others.
Some of these causes may have transpired a million years ago, a thousand or a hundred. Some of them a few hours ago only, but the present condition is the net result.
Where will you each be a year from to-night? Shall I tell you? You will be exactly where all the laws and forces acting during the next twelve months, added to what has gone before, places you. Let that place be in the city or country, Europe or America, on this earth, or on the evergreen shore, there you will be as sure as fate.
We will suppose that on a certain day you intend to start upon a journey to California. You find from the position and effects of the planets, at a certain date, that when you are about at Salt Lake City, you will receive a telegram recalling you on account of the severe sickness of a member of your family.
You see plainly a journey; sudden news received; sudden change of plan; sickness of a female relative, and other indications confirming it! So you say:
“This being the case, I will not make the journey at present, I will wait, and save the time and money.” You do so, and your wife is taken with a severe case of “La Grippe” at just the time you would have been at Salt Lake, had you pursued your original intention.
Now, at first sight, all this looks as if you had succeeded in counteracting the planetary effects and the laws that govern you. But think it over, and you will readily see that you have not set aside one jot or tittle of that law, or those effects. The indications were there, and the effects were there; but under these laws, and acting with them, was, all the time, the fact that you was to obtain this knowledge; you was to act upon it, and you was to escape the returning when part way upon your journey.
In the case I have cited, which is an actual one, happening in the city of Grand Rapids last winter, a closer and more accurate examination of the aspect of the time, revealed the indication of this change of plan through knowledge.
THE LAWS OF NATURE CANNOT BE SET ASIDE.
Not for one moment can man suspend the law of gravity, nor have we any proof that any being in the universe can suspend it. When the first balloon ascended, the ignorant cried out, “The law of gravity is overcome and set aside.” But science with her unerring finger soon pointed out the fact that the balloon ascended by reason of that very law of gravity. It is so with all of nature’s laws.
“But see here,” says the theologian, “cannot the one who made these laws set them aside, according to his will?”
No, my friend. In the first place, no one ever made these laws. They are fixed and eternal, as is matter and the spirit or soul that is co-existent and co-eternal therewith. In no one thing can poor, weak finite beings more greatly err than in comparing Infinity with the finite.
Because man makes laws, the ignorant argue that the greater laws of the universe must be made by some great being. My friends, it never took a great being to issue a fiat that twice five should make ten, or that the square of the hypotenuse should be equal to that of the sum of the base and perpendicular of a right angled triangle.
No! nor that hydrogen should unite with oxygen in the formula H 2 O, to form water. I firmly believe that ten thousand billion years ago, oxygen and hydrogen had the same properties and laws of combination as at present. One thing is certain, if they did not have such properties, they were not those elements. Everything that ever was in existence, existed as it did, and when it did, because it had to.
But do not understand me to teach that human beings cannot act through the will power; for I do not so teach. What I do claim is, that when we so act from knowledge, or will, the will itself is dominated and controlled by the environments of magnetic forces, called by us Astral Magnetism.
So you see, this governing power acts in many ways and through many channels. In one case, directly on the mind; in another directly on matter. In some cases this astral force acts apparently upon some inner consciousness, unknown to the outer senses. I say “apparently,” because I have never been able to verify this in my experiments.
But whether this intelligent force that pervades matter and space acts on the inner or astral man, or not, it acts under direct laws, which can be and have been verified a hundred times before many of my hearers. Under what law the astral magnetic force acts, with practical experiments, will have to be reserved for another occasion.
WHERE IT ACTS.
It acts everywhere, is co-existing with matter and space, a concomitant and essential of matter? The most wonderful, the grandest and greatest existence, outrivaling all the fanciful gods of ancient Greece! The all in all! The great omnipotent, omniscient Governor and Creator of visible things!
Leave our tiny speck of earth. Move outward to the orbit of Neptune, 2,750 millions of miles from our sun. A distance so great that the mind of finite man cannot comprehend it, and yet we have compassed in this journey so small a step outward into boundless space, that we may use this radius of Neptune’s orbit as a foot rule to measure the distance to the nearest of our neighbor suns.
But when we have passed on and on, past whirling systems on systems of bright suns moving with a velocity a hundred times that of light, we come at last after many years to the boundary of our universe of suns, our sidereal system.
ARE WE NOW AT THE END OF LAW?
No! For, gazing outward from our frontiers, we behold in all directions systems of suns and worlds, across vast gulfs of space so great—
That light, in rapid flight
Of fourteen billion miles per day,
Starting a million years ago,
Yet flashes on its weary way.
But have we gazed beyond the ken of astral law? No! For through all the vast and grand realms of matter, whirling in storms and cyclones of suns in yonder mighty space, we still observe the action of the same gravatic, electric, magnetic and other forces constituting the visible manifestation of the Infinite.
* Presumably “inculcate” should be the word here.
(This lecture is found in Part I, Lecture IV in Olney H. Richmond’s second book, Temple Lectures of the Order of the Magi, also known as Religion of the Stars.)