ESP and Religious Freedom
Elbert Benjamine 1949
If people are to gain that freedom of religion about which there is so much talk, and for which there is so little guaranty, they must recognize the facts of extrasensory perception. Extrasensory perception is the scientific term now used to embrace clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychometry, telepathy, mediumship, precognition and all other means of acclimating information other than though the use of the physical senses and reason.
Since 1882 when the Society for Psychical Research was established for the specific purpose of "making an organized and systematic attempt to investigate the large groups of phenomena designated as mesmeric, psychical and spiritualistic," a truly amazing volume of authentic records have been analyzed and a vast number of experiments have been conducted by individuals of high intellectual and moral caliber relative to these and allied matters. And especially during the past decade have there been a staggering number of experiments in extrasensory perception conducted in our universities, experiments so painstakingly handled and carefully analyzed that they leave no doubt that extrasensory perception not only exists, but that its exercise, in some degree, is quite common.
Not only does this great volume of evidence prove conclusively that many people are capable of exercising extrasensory perception, but it has revealed some of the laws of extrasensory perception. Practically all who make any study of it, or who conduct experiments extensively with it, come to recognize that one of the most fundamental laws of extrasensory perception is that what comes through into objective consciousness or external expression tends to be warped by the more energetic factors within the percipient’s mind.
When the soul, functioning as it does on the inner plane, perceives some condition or event as it actually is or actually will be in the future, it frequently is unable to convey that information to objective consciousness as thus perceived, but must disguise it so the energetic conceptions habitually entertained by objective consciousness will let it pass.
Just as psychoanalysis has revealed that we tend to forget the names of people, if earlier in life we have had a particularly disagreeable experience with some other person of the same name, so those who give extensive study to extrasensory perception have been forced to the conclusion that the habits of thought, strong beliefs, prejudices and various factors within the unconscious mind possess so much energy that they can, and usually do, successfully prevent any ideas in conflict with them from reaching objective consciousness. Thus it is that one of the laws of extrasensory perception now widely recognized is that what comes through into objective consciousness or into external expression is colored, more or less, by the mentality of the individual through whom it expresses.
While we must recognize that astrology also makes known to man the Will of God, the religions of the world for the most part are based on sacred writings, or on the teachings of some individual. These sacred writings are inspired. They contain great truths. But whenever, and by whomsoever, they were received, unless they were gained through astrology they were gained through the exercise of that which science now calls extrasensory perception, and therefore were subject to the laws and conditions that govern extrasensory perception.
Through extrasensory perception it was possible in the past, and it is possible today, to tune in on God and to tune in on, or extend the consciousness to, realms where information may be obtained quite inaccessible to the physical senses and to reason.
The fundamental teachings of The Religion of the Stars have been handed down from the distant past, through ancient Egypt and ancient Chaldea, perhaps from Atlantis. But in so far as they are revealed or inspired, and not the outcome of experiment, astrological studies and observing nature, they were acquired in that past through the exercise of extrasensory perception. Specialists in those days, generation after generation, devoted themselves exclusively to spiritual research. And their findings have been checked and found to be accurate by the most gifted of the present day.
But regardless of the religion of their choice, if we are to have a world in which there is true freedom of worship in the future, people all over the globe must be made to understand that whatever sacred teaching comes to earth is received by man, and if it is written it is set down by the hand of man. Furthermore, by whomsoever it was received, or acquired, it was gained through astrology or the exercise of extrasensory perception. The prophets of the Bible, and those who were responsible for other scriptures, were individuals who used extrasensory perception to acquire spiritual and other information.
But whatever is gained through extrasensory perception is subject, in varying degree, to being colored by the mind of the person who acquires it. His soul may contact on the inner plane, or through tuning in on Divine Intelligence, information which even in detail is absolutely correct. But in raising this information into the region of objective consciousness it not only must pass through his physical brain, with its limitations, but it must also circumvent various prejudices, preconceptions and taboos that have been built into the unconscious mind and which tend to present obstacles and exercise censorship over all that reaches objective consciousness.
This means that whatever is received by a prophet or inspired religious teacher is apt to be interpreted in terms of the times and customs of the people among whom he lives. If it is the custom of his people to overrun some coveted land, and deprive those already living there of its possession, as the Bible records relative to Canaan, and as has been the custom of many nations throughout the centuries since, even to the present day, it is highly unlikely the prophet will be able to bring through into objective consciousness any objection to such a program. His habitual thinking has set his mind so strongly to the belief that such action is correct that any teaching contacted through extrasensory perception is powerless to displace or get by this belief.
We can as well use for example the scriptures of any great religion, but as most are more familiar with the Bible let us use it to illustrate what we mean, prefacing our remarks on its coloring by saying that we believe that God speaks to man through the Bible, and we believe the Bible is truly inspired as the Word of God. But when we go back to early Bible days we find Deity portrayed as a jealous God, as a God of vengeance, as a God who can be talked out of the decisions he has made, and as a God who not only aids and abets gross injustices, but as a God who commands that unthinkable atrocities be committed. These portrayals of Deity are quite at variance with present conceptions in which God is considered to be a kind and loving Heavenly Father, and we believe they were the coloring influenced by the customs and widespread beliefs of the times in which Moses and the other early prophets lived.
Take the molten calf incident. Here, among other descriptions, the Lord is portrayed as a being who became violently angry, but was talked out of the action he had contemplated taking:
Exodus 32.10-11. "Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of thee a great nation.
"And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord; why doth thy wrath wax hot against my people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?"
Further along relative to the same molten calf incident we have the horrible precedent set of killing any person, even your own kin, if you find you are unable to convert him to your particular religious belief. Moses gathered about himself those of his own religious convictions, as opposed to those who had decided they wanted some other religion, and thus advised his followers:
Exodus 33.27-28. "And he said unto them, thus saith the Lord God of Israel. Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.
"And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."
Relative to aiding in robbing the inhabitants of Canaan of their territory – for the Israelites after they came out of Egypt needed fertile land just as the Japanese did when they invaded Manchuria and China – we read:
Exodus 33.2-3. "And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite."
Thus is it that Hitler, had a Bible precedent when he took over Austria, and Czechoslovakia, and invaded Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
But why go further with such illustrations? The jealousies and cruelties of the Old Testament Jehovah undoubtedly are the coloring contributed by those through whom the teachings were given, reflecting the prevalent barbarism of that day. But because the teachings were thus colored by the minds of the prophets who received them, or by the persons who recorded them, does not deprive them of great worth.
And if we examine the scriptures of other peoples we find there also that whatever has been revealed is a composite of truth, often of great value, and the coloring given it by the individual who received it or who set it down. And that coloring often is influenced by the time in which the receiver lived and the customs of his people.
Turning now for a, moment from religion to those who have contacted psychic phenomena, we find that when these people fail to recognize the laws of extrasensory perception all too often they are led into erroneous beliefs and actions. Those who have contacted some inner-plane entity too frequently have assumed that because the entity was not a physical being its advice must be reliable, and acting on that advice they have suffered loss and experienced trouble. Others who have contacted departed friends or relatives have assumed that these friends and relatives must suddenly have developed omniscience just because they no longer possessed physical bodies. And perhaps they thus have been led into bizarre and erroneous notions.
The novice – but not the experienced extrasensory investigator – is apt to conclude because he sees something clairvoyantly, or has a psychic feeling that something has happened or will happen, that what he sees or what he feels must inevitably be true. He may even be told that when THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE SPEAKS its admonition must always be followed.
The instances in which that which has been advised by an inner-plane entity has proved advantageous, the instances in which loved ones who have passed to the next realm have imparted correct information, the instances in which that which has been seen clairvoyantly or felt psychically has been proved true, and the instances in which The Voice of the Silence has given sage admonition are innumerable. Authentic records prove the value and the truth of innumerable extrasensory experiences. But innumerable records also prove that all such information commonly is somewhat twisted and warped, and may be distorted so badly that the truth it contains, if any, is not recognized. If it was given by some inner-plane entity it may have been false in the first place. But even when true as given, or true as perceived by the soul of the percipient, dominant factors within his mind may not have permitted it to reach objective consciousness except highly colored or in complete disguise.
Yet all the religions of the world, in so far as they are inspired or revealed, have been received or acquired through astrology or extrasensory perception. A religion thus may be mostly truth, or it may be chiefly a distortion of the truth. None thus far has proved to be true in every detail. But neither has any material science. In fact, every science and every religion of the past which has claimed infallibility has lived to see such claim disproved. Both material science and the most true religions are progressive; both must expand and adjust to make room for and embrace new knowledge as it is acquired by man.
On certain fundamentals, however, most religions agree, and there is ample evidence to support these basic ideas. One of these basic facts widely recognized, although of recent years atheistic materialism has done its utmost to discredit it, is that in addition to the physical world there is an inner-plane world where the soul of man dwells after the dissolution of the material body. Except those who have contacted certain academic scientists who, having built a scheme of the universe to suit their fancy are unwilling to investigate any phenomena that do not fit into this fanciful scheme, there are few people on earth today who do not believe in survival after physical death.
To be sure, they call the inner legion where such survival obtains by different names and give it various interpretations. But whether considered as heaven and hell, as the happy hunting ground, or as a place where there is a continuation of work and play and education and progress, it affords a common ground for the meeting of men's minds. And the more facts that people have about the actual conditions of this realm, the easier it will be for them to grasp a common ideal for living with other peoples on the earth.
Let us, therefore, lose no opportunity to confront the soul-annihilating doctrines of materialism with the facts of inner-plane existence, and let us make every effort to gain and disseminate the facts about the actual conditions that obtain in this realm.
Another fundamental fact on which most religions agree, a fact grasped by peoples everywhere unless they have been contaminated by the brutal philosophy of materialism, is that there is an all-pervading intelligent presence called God, and that this higher intelligence and power can be contacted. They may call it Jehovah, or The Great Spirit, or God, or by various other names. But the recognition of this Deific Intelligence and Power is also a common meeting ground for the minds of men.
The great danger which constantly threatens Freedom of Religion is not disagreement of such fundamentals, but is true to the failure of so many to recognize that their own religion, in so far as it revealed or inspired and not based on the positions of the heavenly bodies, has been received through and is subject to the laws of extrasensory perception.
That which stands in the way of mutual tolerance by those of diverse religious beliefs, and therefore stands in the way of that freedom of worship which the New Civilization must guarantee, is the conviction that their own religious teachings are in all respects correct and that, therefore, religious teachings which differ even in some minor particular must necessarily be wrong. Here we have the foundation of fanaticism. Those who believe that peoples holding to some different faith are doomed to soul destruction are apt to feel themselves responsible for preventing that destruction. And in their zeal to help their fellowman avert everlasting calamity they may, quite conscientiously, take extreme measures.
In the past those who thus would have saved the souls of others have not hesitated to resort to torture and the use of fire and sword, and in the present some do not hesitate to recommend that beliefs widely divergent from their own be suppressed by law.
Of course we who understand astrology are the last to believe that all people can be made to think alike. Our knowledge of the trends indicated by diverse birth chart planetary positions make us realize that, given the same set of facts, people are quite likely to draw different conclusions. We, more than others, recognize that because of birth chart differences and differences in conditioning it is quite inevitable that there will be different religions.
But if those adhering to different religions can be made to understand the facts of extrasensory perception, especially the fact that what is inspired or revealed in any religion is subject to warping and coloring by the mind of the person through whom it gains expression on the earth, it will serve to break that conviction of infallibility which urges those of one faith, quite conscientiously, to persecute those who hold to some other faith.
Until the people of the globe can be made thus to understand the facts of perception the danger of religious persecution will remain. Let us strive, therefore, to disseminate the facts of extrasensory perception; for they afford the only safe foundation for religious freedom.
– Elbert Benjamine
Mar-June 1944 Quarterly