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Topic: Keely Information
Section: Lux Naturae part 6
Table of Contents to this Topic
The interests of a single blade of grass in all its stages are protected by a code of laws. The lives of birds are completely provided for by natural laws. In no sense can fishes be said to have been neglected. There is not a symptom of incompleteness in creation except from man's point of view about himself, yet provision for all his natural wants is also complete, and that in a manner commensurate with his vast superiority, for the universal code of laws is at his service, and the whole nerve-system of the universe is in constant communication with every individual man, so that every individual man may be said to have the universe, with all its laws and forces, at his command. All the mechanical forces of Nature are at his service, but he can only use them as she herself can, in strict accordance with governing laws. What she can do, he can do, but both must obey the laxv. With Nature there is no FATE in the ordinary sense, neither is man the creature of fate ordained to prescribed courses. His course in life depends, not on his knowledge of, but on his obedience to, the laws of Nature He may flee from the servitude of one law, but he must always be in the environment of some, violation of any one of which will infallibly bring him into conflict with those reserve forces in Nature that, like gunpowder touched by fire, ignite with the least breath of opposition to the law which it is their duty to protect. Loyalty to their law is the law that governs these forces. Every opposition to law engenders wear and tear to mind and body according to the nature of the offense. In other words, certain actions must produce certain results, but that is not fate. Neither is there such a thing as accident in Nature, and what man calls accident is the inevitable result of some given action that violated law. That a man falling before an express train should be killed is no accident except in the sense of being not wilfully done. So completely is every law and force in Nature at the service of man, that his life is entirely in his own power, and to him, as to Nature, there is really no fate, no miracle, no accident.
Hope is natural, fear is unnatural. Fear is the parent of worry and insomnia, but there is nothing to fear in creation, in life or in death, here or hereafter. Of all conditions, fear or dread of coming evil is the most unnatural; yet, strange to say, perhaps it is the most common, and its existence produces despair. Why should one fear when he commands the ruling powers of the present and the future, and, moreover, is in constant communication with omniscient sympathy ? The root of all the multitudinous miseries of life takes its rise in the want of confidence in Nature, but how shall a man have confidence in what he does not understand, and how shall he understand if he be not taught? It is true that man is ignorant, but who is to blame ? Certainly neither Nature nor the Creator. The universal technical school is furnished, the scholars are assembled with all the capabilities for receiving instruction, cultured and willing teachers abound, and the book of Nature is open; but the hearts of the scholars are so imbrued in paltry games of chance for counters of gold that shadowy excitement is preferred to the glory of substantial truth. The acquisition and use of knowledge is the true object of the school, but so habitual have the loose habits of the scholars become, and so relentless is Nemesis, that the school is now with flippant seriousness falsely called a mere place of probation for the higher spheres of another life. It is not so; it is not so. The earth is one of the mansions of heaven, but the mansion needs to be swept of all dogmas and false prejudices, and then to be garnished with truth according to the original architectural design.
The higher the goal the slower the evolution‹Man's nearness to Nature‹Nature is a sustainer, not a destroyer‹Man's partnership with Nature‹True man and the Deity.
IT is in accordance with the laws in Nature that the higher the goal of any development the slower is the evolution of upward gradation. The productions of Nature for mere animal food pass through all their processes in far less than a year. This is not only the case with fodder for beasts, but with corn, herbs, and vegetables for the use of man. The actual necessities of life ‹ and all actual necessities of life are produced by Nature ‹ pass through their requisite processes of evolution, not in the shortest possible time, but in the shortest time possible consistent with established laws of development. In the first stage following the natural productions necessary to life comes fruit proper, which is more a luxury than a necessity. It is decidedly a higher state of development in the vegetable world, and such fruit is never borne within one year from the seed. Among fruits themselves it is the rule that the greater the natural luxury the slower is the evolution from seed to fruit. The goal of development in the animal world is higher than that in the vegetable, and therefore the evolution from birth to maturity is much more gradual. Animals that are the natural food of man reach their maturity far sooner than those that are evidently for his pleasure and commercial use. The highest stage of all animal life is that of man, and his development from birth to maturity is most remarkable in its evolutionary difference from that of all other animals. If his goal of development be high in proportion to his rate of evolution ‹ in reference to his human manhood alone ‹ that goal inconceivably transcends all earth-life. Of all helpless life, a child's is the most remarkably helpless. Every stage of progress in a child's life is a distinct series of evolutionary development. By this gradual process the knowledge and use of its own senses are acquired. By the same slow process the mind asserts its superiority over the body, and the soul over the mind. By the same process of evolutionary development the individual locates himself in society. By the selfsame process society advances civilization, and by the same slow process civilization brings man to his natural goal. All life and all conditions of life move onward stage by stage. All progress is by development and the slower the development the higher the goal. No development is so slow as man's, but he can no more be debarred from his ultimate goal than the harvests of autumn can be completely denied to the world through any locally unfavourable summer.
There is no important invention of man whose leading principle has not been borrowed from Nature. From the highest to the lowest of his mechanical contrivances of any commercial value, all are shaped according to her models. His most gigantic servants are her own forces utilized. The acts that must ennoble him are done in accordance with her laws. She is the necessary associate of all his highest pleasures; the least satisfying of all his joys are the artificial productions of society. He is not the original modeller of one single useful machine, nor the first designer of a single work of art. The sweet harmonies of song are her musical echoes. All that is best in man's work' is confessedly copied from Nature, and the nearer to Nature the nobler the work. The distinguished actor holds the mirror up to Nature, but he who writes verses without her inspiration is a poetaster. Even toys are not acceptable to childhood when not an imitation of her handiwork. To know her is to be wise; to be acquainted with her secrets is to have favour from heaven. She is greater than man ‹ her son, her heir, and her master. What can be the greatness of Him who created her ! If man be so associated with Nature in all his material conditions, what are the probabilities of his association with her in her superlative greatness ? All his material benefits come from her or through her; can it be supposed that these benefits terminate with the material ? All her laws are at his service; can their only or highest use be to win for him his daily bread ? All her forces are at his disposal; can that only be that he may eat, drink, and be merry, then die like a dog ? Does she produce pleasure for him only that he may dream the happy hours away ? Is it possible that Nature herself, in all her architectural grandeur and law-regulated actions of inconceivably high merit, has been created and supported for the temporary use of man with the ultimate fate of being hurled into oblivion with all humanity in her inexpressible wreck!
The design, the work and fate are nobler far !
It is the mockery of the highest friendship to doubt the sympathy of Nature. To fear her elements does not make them fearful. We tremble at her earthquakes, her thunders and her lightnings; look in awe upon her volcanoes, and behold with admiration the movements of her seas; but we wrong her when we say she destroys life, and it is scandalizing her good name to assert that, either through the greedy grave or the insatiable sea, she voraciously entombs the dead while gloating over the miseries of the living. 'Tis false ! 'tis false! Her true position in creation is not to foster death, but life; for out of her bosom all life comes, except the breath of man. Seeds and bodies are not thrown into her lap for corruption, but that they may be warmed into productive life of a higher and more fruitful grade. Nature is a sustainer not a destroyer, and as such is in the closest sympathy with man. There is no true analogy that does not show she favours him in the minutest things, and places all her powers at his disposal, including the knowledge, use, and control of vibrations.
Man can never do better than go hand-in-glove with Nature. The closer he walks with her, the less shakeable will his beliefs in her become, because he will see that the benefits of partnership are all on his side. Wherever his powers and her resources amalgamate, he prospers; failure results where he declines her assistance, and disaster follows opposition to her. This is not only true in regard to her strictly material forces, but in respect to all moral obligations that bind man to the obedience of her laws. All moral laws are bye-laws in Nature, inasmuch as they are all comprehended by dominant natural laws. Into the centre of every society and the inner recesses of every motive the same principles of law penetrate, and moral obligations can no more be violated with impunity than can the most violently-active laws in Nature themselves The system is too complete, too perfect, to admit of a single flaw as to its mechanism, a doubt of its perfection in arrangement, or the possibility of failure of its action in any emergency. Nature is immovably true to herself, and is substantially true to her confidants, in whatever part of creation they are. Her powers may be secrets to man, but in no possible respect can man keep a secret from her.
A person yearning for true affection is often grievously misunderstood. Nature is ever trying to charm man into placing confidence in her, and he never does so without getting solace of mind, if not surcease of sorrow. She wraps the earth in snow and hardbound frosts, not that she may show a cold heart or callous exterior, but that, she may protect the life-heat in the soil, that, when the winter is gone, the beauty and glory of the resurrection of plants and flowers may rejoice his heart with the reassuring hope of a plenteous harvest. As the loveliness and fertility of the earth reappear, she draws her manifold charms around him, and invites him to nestle in her kindly embrace. With healthy odours she perfumes the air he inhales: her enchanting melodies beguile the tedium of his mercenary chains: her bewitching smiles, as with magician's power, dispel the artificial gleams of grovelling joys. The more intimate man becomes with Nature, the purer and nobler he feels, for she is altogether lovely, sympathetic and genuine. There can be no mistake about Nature being in sympathy with man.
Not only is Nature but God in direct etheric communication with man, and therefore there must be sympathy common to both. 'Man is only evil, and that continually. There is none righteous, no, not one.' Several such Scripture quotations, almost proving sympathy between God and man to be impossible, might be cited. It is not paradoxical to say that the quoted words are true, and the facts which are the very opposite are also true. The words are true in regard to man's second nature, or habit; but they are utterly untrue about the tone man. We are not by nature the offscouring of creation. Though we publicly call ourselves miserable sinners, we secretly know our tongues in the utterance belie our souls. Let a man think of any of the qualities which he rightly attributes to the Deity, and then let him examine his higher nature, and he will find that same quality is strong in himself. We, for instance, ascribe the highest sympathy to the Deity: now, from the highest to the lowest born human being this is an innate and indwelling power that can never be, under any experience, entirely taken out of the human breast. The bond of sympathy cannot be broken, and a display of genuine sympathy on the part of one person never fails to touch another observer of it. We ascribe beauty and purity in their highest sense to Divinity, but in the utmost degradation of physical and moral filth a man loathsome in his own estimation breathes more freely and aspires with renewed hope at the presence of beauty and purity which formerly, with a kind of blind ruthlessness, he may have trampled on. Man's true nature is undoubtedly in genuine accord with all that is pure and beautiful, and these are godlike conditions. So it is with all the qualities of God: man himself undoubtedly shares them. The breath of God is the breath of man, and the sympathies of God are the sympathies of man. Can this be so, and yet no connection exist between them ? If there be communication, can it be but as a blind guide to the blind ? Intelligent sympathy intelligibly exists everywhere, yet can it be believed that the omniscient Creator neglected to prescribe some intelligent guidance to the communicator ! Blind perversion alone can permit doubt for a moment that mortal man is in direct, intelligent and intelligible communication with eternal God.
Universal sorrow and law‹Masquerade of the love of truth‹Speech of Nature‹Children and Nature‹Vis inertiae in ether‹The voice of God‹Simplicity in Nature‹The still small voice.
WHAT seems a strong barrier against believing in this omnipresent sympathy is the permitted existence of universal sorrow. There is not a human being without his sorrow. Why does the Deity permit, if, indeed, He does not create, this sorrow? The Deity, to whom all things are presumably possible, could in a moment transform the grief-stricken condition of mankind into one of unalloyed happiness. Why does He not do it ? Simply because such an action would be in direct contravention of His whole established system. He rules His universe by laws that dovetail, as it were, into each other with the minutest exactness. The collision of one law with another is an impossibility. They are not living beings with feelings, but instruments of the finest adjusted Mechanism. Their duties and courses are prescribed, and successful opposition to their action is utterly impossible. All misery. and joy come according to law, and are never specially produced contrary to law. If the people who are acknowledged to have received their misery by heredity were classed by themselves, the multitude would be very great. Of the still very many left, a vast number could be grouped who had indubitably and wilfully, or carelessly, violated some law in Nature, and so originated their sorrow; and there is little doubt but that the misery of the remainder might be accounted for by the ignorant violation of these laws, which do their work irrespective of knowledge or ignorance. There is not a single human unhappiness that can justly be laid to the charge of the Governor of the universe. Statistics show that one out of every four of the population of London is underfed, and the incalculable attendant miseries demand the sympathies of humanity, yet on what conceivable grounds can the Deity be blamed for this lamentable condition ? While everywhere showing evidence of sympathy, He as universally shows government of unswerving equity. He could only change the unhappy condition of mankind by changing His laws; but His laws, suitable to the mechanism of the world, are, like Himself, unchangeable, and could not even be opposed for such ends without cataclysmic consequences far worse than the evils now existing. His laws are inexorable, but His ways are not past finding out, and if man will not learn His ways now ‹a thing he is capable of doing by his own free will and sufficient inborn knowledge ‹ then by law itself, and by law alone, man's perfection and ultimate goal will be attained by the regular and ordinary process of natural development, and not by any miraculous interposition of Providence. His ways are just and systematic, and without any violation of His established system of government. He will help man with the concurrence of law only. Chaotic anarchy could be the only result of interference with this law-controlled natural development. Even in mundane matters it would be bad policy to liberate a nation of slaves at a moment's notice, and dire results could only follow the folly of opening and setting free the inmates of the prisons and madhouses of civilized countries.
The fervency of the present-day desire for knowledge of things supernatural degenerates, as a rule, into a love of palmistry, fortunetelling, belief in dreams, etc. This is a miserable masquerade of the love of truth ‹ a mere pantomimic school of knowledge, having its playground on the very shallows of the depths of wisdom, with a natural net result of disappointment. Surely, this is a feeble resort for the divine mind of man. He who can command the forces of Nature, and successfully seek the assistance of her laws, can be little ennobled by trying to unravel the tangled skein of the conglomerate ideas of existence in a dream. The whole book of intelligent Nature lies open before him expressly for his edification yet he prefers to study the lines in his hands, and cannot see his descent from the sublime to the ridiculous. All the pleasures and powers of the universe are at his beck and call, but he can find time only to grovel for gold, the getting of which only creates an unsatisfying thirst for more. He prefers the bubbles of his own creation to the substantialities of God's, and cries like a disappointed baby when his bubbles burst. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Man, seek Nature and see God.
Although Nature is not the source, she is undoubtedly the reservoir of all true power and sympathy, as she is of all beauty. A very ignorant person indeed may see that these powers and sympathies penetrate far beyond her material boundaries, and are inexhaustible, from the hopes and new aspirations breathed on man by her morning air, to the soothing calmness of her still night. Man is, consciously or unconsciously, continuously inhaling bracing health, high spirits, mental pleasures, reinvigoration of mind and body, peace of soul and universal sympathy. As from her man copies all his inventions, she is the mother of thought and the matrix of fact. Of course, Nature is not confined to our crusted earth, but embraces, at least, all terrestrial influences. Ideas are constantly suggested to man by her appearances and thoughts generated by her influences, but it is not supposed by anyone that she actually speaks with articulated language. All people admit that Nature speaks, meaning thereby that she figuratively speaks, and that is exactly what this philosophy maintains in this respect, and its object is to show that this figure of speech in Nature is systematic and translatable. Seeing that any man of any age, country or language can understand and translate it for himself, it stands to reason that it must be a methodically arranged simple figure of speech. It must first be remembered that Nature speaks no language but her own, and it is a foreign tongue in no country. As she speaks to all people in one tongue, so she speaks to all the senses of man in the same tongue. There is neither complexity nor variableness with her. Like her Maker, she never changes, because she is law-bound. The alphabet of the language is simplicity itself, easier far than the dots and dashes of the Morse system of telegraphy. Her language is plain truth, without duplicity and without figures. Every man knows it better than any man can describe it. In a series of mentally compared ideas, one of the ideas must have been anterior to the others which doubtless arise by association. But association could not have originated the first idea. What caused it ? I look at a mountain and say it is big: how did the idea of size get into my mind ? I immediately associate the idea of its being big in comparison with another mountain I think of. The idea of the size of the second mountain comes distinctly after the idea of the size of the first. The first idea of size did not come by association: how did it come? Nature distinctly produced the first idea through the methods of her own speech. She telegraphed it by mutually recognised signs. When my eyes observe a colour they are acted on by a fixed series of vibrations, that is Nature's speech for naming the colour; and the same series of vibrations to any eye would be the language for the same colour. So her speech addresses the ear, and so it addresses the eye and all man's senses. When my eyes behold the mountain, they are materially affected by a certain series of variations of vibrations, and that is the signal-expressed language of Nature for speaking the size of the mountain. Exactly by this same means Nature is constantly speaking and declaring the everlasting truth of God. She addresses all the senses, so that the deaf may still see her, and the blind may still hear her, therefore ignorance can be no excuse. When are innocent children happier than when frolicking freely with Nature? They go hand-in-hand with her, think with her and speak to her in their prattling ways, and she fondles them and breathes upon them the beauties of health and the confiding sympathies of life. The children and Nature intelligibly understand each other. They are so anxious to embrace her that they romp and bound with an inspiring elasticity of mind and body that she alone can bestow. Old Mother Nature is specially fond of the children, because they never mistrust her like the skin-and-bone old gold-seekers who have retired to live upon their care-gathered disappointments, and watch with greedy envy the rich resources of the young who revel in Nature's luxuries, whence love of gold has not yet tempted them. Oh that the children would never forget the language that Nature teaches them, the sympathy that she instills into them, the innocence that she wraps them in, the knowledge that she gives them, and the inspiring hopes she ennobles them with.
All the laws that govern the conditions of matter, and all the principles inherent or adherent to matter, hold good in the mind, because mind by material connection, physically necessary, is only a continuation of matter. The natural element in which the mind subsists is the material ether, just as air is the element of living animals. The mental senses, emotions, and all mental conditions, are the resultants of the vibrations of ether acting on what may be called for the time the mental senses, which are affected exactly as the physical senses are. To put it another way, the ether is the clockwork of the machinery by which the indications or conditions of the mind are originated, continued, and made known. The ether, as has been said, is material, and, therefore, all the principles of His inertial are as true in its metaphysical region as in its physical. As matter at rest it cannot move itself, nor as matter in motion can it bring itself to rest. Every motion of it is some intelligible vibratory code-signal. The force required to generate motion in it is not inconceivably small; for force is not necessarily small because the medium or active agent of it is invisible. Think of the storms caused by the invisible force, wind; think of the invisible force, wind, being caused by the invisible force, heat; think of the invisible force, heat, being caused by the invisible force, vibration. Surely ether, the most attenuated and volatile of known substances, will be much more easily disturbed than the ocean or the air. A thought already in the mind will cause commotion in the ether; vibrations from the light of truth will move it, the wind of the spirit or the breath of the soul will disturb it; the motion of an angel's wing, the memory of the dead, the influence of the living, or the will of man or the will of God: there is force enough in any conceivable influence to agitate this tenuous matter. A word or look is sufficient to ruffle the temper of a neighbour, and to cause unlimited disturbance. No violent material explosion is necessary to absolutely destroy the happiness of a home, or to set nations at war. Great effects are constantly taking place that have no material or apparent cause, and yet they are caused; more easily than any of these is the production of vibratory agitation of the subtle ether, to which all the principles of matter are common.
This paragraph, by its small human comparisons, may seem the product of an irreverent mind, but there is no irreverence, seeing that to the pure all things are pure, and no earnest, honest search for truth can be too bold, nor can it give cause of offense to God or true man. If there be a God, why does He not say so in plainly articulated language? Such a question may be honestly enough asked, but it seems a practical absurdity, for if a voice from heaven were this day to declare the truth in all languages, it would fail in its object. The simple hearing of the voice would be a physical impossibility, and the reception of the intelligence would soon be put down as some delusive natural phenomenon. The voice would have to be repeated from day to day for the sake of rising generations, until the demands of the ever-multiplying dialects caused the huge Babel to be looked upon by man as the source of unintelligible thunder.
Suppose the sacred declaration of Jehovah to be depicted in the sky with beautiful stars artistically arranged in plain English. In common fairness to others, it would be written likewise in other languages. Even this would not please the unbelievers of this advertising age, no matter what the design of the sky-signs might be. If, as we believe, we are the sons of God, it is God's duty ‹ be it reverently said ‹ to speak to us. If we are His children, He ought to be at our beck and call in all seasons. To all, His declaration about Himself must, Godlike, be simple, that none may plead ignorance; He must speak to all and not to a favoured few; His communication must be constant and intermittent, lest in the intervals some soul might perish. By what language can all this be done ? Not, assuredly, by any human tongue or human pen. No inspiration of any prophet, nor of all the prophets combined, can be sufficiently simple, universal, and continuous. No human revelation by the Deity Himself could answer. There is but one voice sufficient, and that voice is the voice of Nature ‹ the voice of God. It is constantly spoken in and to each individual man by the vibratory signals used everywhere and understood by everybody. By the individual whispers received by each man from Nature, and not from the talk or writings of fellow-men, each individual man knows the truth. The proof of the spoken word is in and around every man, stronger than the logic of all languages. - To every one of ten thousand strangers I maintain there have been parents, and if you ask me to prove my simple assertion, I think I do well to content myself with saying, 'There must be,' and so, too, to the question, 'Is there a God who is our Father?' I say, 'There must be.'