background image
Chapter 6
The Universal Moral Code
A
ccording to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, which has been sufficiently verified
through observation and experiment that it is taught now in most universities, objects under
the conditions which normally obtain on the earth behave in the manner commonly
recognized, but if their speed is increased tremendously the commonly recognized properties
vanish, and other properties are exhibited. If a bullet, for instance, could be made to travel
160,000 miles a second, by virtue of this speed alone it would shorten to about half its original
length.
I mention this because in our attempt to bring all the intelligences in the universe, from bacteria to
archangel, into a single formula, THE LAW OF SOUL PROGRESSION, we are confronted with
something not entirely dissimilar. For up to a certain vibratory level life-forms perform in a
certain way, but when their dominant vibratory rates are raised above this level they must
perform in a different manner or sink back to the lower level of existence.
The most important factors thus changed when higher vibratory levels are reached are the moral
code and the relation to pleasure and pain. But to avoid misconception, I must here affirm that a
moral code and pleasure and pain exist on all levels of life, and influence all life-forms. It is not
that they vanish when higher levels are reached, but that they there undergo a change of relations.
Below a certain vibratory level life-forms, in order to survive, not only must do constant battle
with the inanimate environment, but are in constant conflict with other life-forms. It is not that
they seek these conflicts, but that these conflicts are necessary to prevent their organisms being
destroyed. I know of no life-forms on earth that are free from enemies. Either they must resist the
encroachments of these enemies or die. And animal life, not having the power to live upon a
mineral food supply, must use vegetables as food, either by eating vegetation, or by preying upon
herbivorous creatures.
Organisms low in the scale of life have very limited intelligence, are conscious of pleasure and
pain only in a minor degree, and have but a rudimentary moral code. But as the soul develops,
gaining new experiences, it is able to contact the conditions that enable it to build about itself and
function through a more complex organism. And this more complex organism is able to manifest
the increased intelligence which the soul has gained through experience, the increased
sensitiveness to pleasure and pain which the soul has developed through experience, and the
more effective moral code, which also has been derived from experience. In fact, the only way
that a more comprehensive intelligence, greater sensitivity, and a more effective moral code can
be developed, if we are to credit what we observe, is through the effort to overcome obstacles.
And this effort to overcome obstacles is the gist of experiences wherever encountered.
To get an understanding of this process we need not go far afield. Our California deserts afford
numerous examples that I can observe by a few hours drive any day.
background image
Vegetation, for instance, living in the arid regions mentioned, are beset with the problems
common to most life-forms: the securing of adequate food, protection from enemies, and
insurance that a new generation shall be brought forth and be given favorable opportunities for
development. And in addition, desert life has the ever-present problem of providing itself with a
water supply under quite adverse conditions. Also the intense heat is an environmental problem
which must be met.
Man has considered himself intelligent for a long time, and preens himself upon his scientific
attainments during the past hundred years. But our desert creatures have solved many problems
that man is only beginning to understand.
Take the problem of heat, for instance. Not only do the rays from the summer sun tend to
evaporate the moisture from plants, but the temperature so engendered in connection with the
drying process, tends to cause leaves to curl up and burn. Two methods commonly are employed
by our desert plants in their effort to overcome this difficulty.
Sunlight which is absorbed tends to raise the temperature more than sunlight which is reflected.
From a varnished surface comparatively few of the rays are absorbed. Most of them are reflected.
And thus many plants, imperiled by the summer sun, like the Joshua tree and the creosote bush,
give their leaves a hard glossy finish.
Of the colors, black absorbs the most light and heat, and white absorbs the least and reflects the
most. Other plants of the desert, learning this in the practical school of experience, coat the
surface of their leaves with white. The white sage and the salt bushes, including the so-called
desert holly, make use of this device. They appear white instead of green.
About a dozen years ago I noticed that the huge iron tanks in which the oil is stored after it is
pumped from the ground in the California oil fields were no longed being painted black, but
white. I have never verified the accuracy of the amount of temperature reduction effected, but I
learned from those doing the painting that by using aluminum paint, instead of the black paint
previously employed, the inside temperature of the tanks was lowered about ten degrees. Oil
reservoirs in the same region where grow the white sage and various white salt bushes were
confronted with the same problems as these plants. Increased temperature increased evaporation
and created a fire hazard. And man has learned to meet the problem in the same way; by a coating
of white which would reflect more of the light and heat of the rays of the sun.
The solution of a water supply adequate to sustain life has been solved in various ways by the
plants of our arid regions. Some, like the mesquites, have an abnormally developed root system.
Mesquite roots the diameter of a pencil may be seen forty feet from a tree or shrub of no great size
where the sand of the dune on which it lives has blown away leaving them exposed. The roots
gather such moisture as does fall, over a very wide area.
Other desert vegetation, like the cacti and agaves, and the sedums, thicken their stems or their
leaves into reservoirs in which they store water, gathering it rapidly on the occasions when it is
present in the soil.
Nearly all the plants of these regions take some means to prevent the rapid evaporation of such
water as they do secure. The most common method employed is to make the leaf thick, with a
hard surface. Even the oaks and the rhus of the adjacent hillsides have adopted this device. Still
others, however, such as the smoke tree and ocotillo, bear leaves only a very short time, and then
shed them, leaving only bare stems, for the hot portion of the year, through which little moisture
can depart.
background image
These plants, living where green food is at a tremendous premium most of the year, are in great
danger from herbivorous animals. And to meet this, most of them have developed a defense. Not
only the cacti, but many of the shrubs, such as the palo verde, catclaw, desert ironwood and
mesquite, have cultivated an effective armament of spines or thorns.
Successfully solving the problem of securing and retaining water, and fighting off enemies until
maturity, a new problem arises affecting the race rather than the individual member. And a
problem which concerns others than the individual called upon to solve it has moral significance.
Such is the problem of reproduction.
Mostly this is solved by the use of insects, although the most successful group of plants in the
world, the grasses, have abandoned insects and have devised a method of compelling the wind to
work for them. The ingenious methods adopted by flowers to attract insects to them and secure
cross fertilization are amazing in their cleverness and their number. And some of these, after
using insects for untold centuries, are now in the transition stage, gradually abandoning these
carriers of their pollen in favor of currents of air or water. But, of course, our desert plants for this
purpose do not make use of water.
After the young have been nourished for a certain time, the final problem of the parent is to
provide a method by which they shall get a favorable start in life for themselves. If the seeds,
which are young plants whose development has been arrested at a certain point, were to be merely
dropped by the parent, the competition for food, water and light, due to crowding, would prove
unfavorable. Therefore, our desert plants have devised many ingenious devices for seed
dispersal.
Sand-burs, like cockle-burs of the less arid regions, make use of passing animals to carry the
seeds to distant places and drop them there. Desert dandelions like the more common species of
the city lawn, construct a silken parachute for each of their children, to waft them to distant parts.
And the tumble-weed, as the seeds become ripe, weakens its stem where it joins the ground until a
passing gust breaks it off. Then, propelled by the wind, perhaps for a mile before it is stopped by
some shrub or rock, it bounds along, rolling and tumbling, and every time it strikes the ground
acting as a salt-shaker does, jolting the numerous seeds from their tiny pods. It has brought these
plant children into the world, it has provided each with sustenance enough to give it a good start
by surrounding it with a layer of food, and now it has ingeniously contrived that they shall not be
unduly crowded in their endeavor to live lives of their own. Thus it has fulfilled its moral
obligations.
These plants I have thus briefly mentioned have been confronted with specific problems, and as
individuals or as species, were compelled to solve them or perish. The efforts thus engendered
have developed initiative and intelligence of a degree. The moral obligations of such life-forms
are mostly confined to the preservation of themselves and their race although to do so many of
them have been compelled to enter into a relationship with insects.
These insects do not work without pay. Unless they find nectar in the flower they refuse to visit it
and proper fertilization is prevented. The insect has the selfish object of securing food for itself
and its young, and the flower has the selfish object of providing for the perpetuation of its own
species. Yet when some men desire certain work accomplished that benefits only themselves,
and other men wish money with which to benefit only themselves and their families, a relation is
established which may readily assume moral import. The whole question of Capital and Labor
hinges on this relation; and according to common human standards each has a moral obligation to
the other.
background image
High degrees of cooperative effort by members of two species to secure a common advantage is
not rare among creatures other than man. Lichen, for instance, such as are commonly seen
growing on rocks and trees, are a long established and highly specialized partnership between
algae and fungi. Fungi obtain food readily from organic matter, but have none of the green
coloring material which enables green leaves to take food from the atmosphere. Fungi can attach
roots and draw from soil or the bark of trees, and algae have abundant green leaves to feed upon
the carbon in the atmosphere. Thus long ago these two species of life entered into a partnership
that has become so close in the lichens of today that they are inseparable, and are considered as
one organism.
Another type of cooperation is that of the tickbirds and the rhinoceroses in Africa. The tick-bird
lives chiefly on the back of the mammal, getting its food supply from the insects with which his
hide is infested. The rhino has poor eyes, and the tick-bird renders still another service by raising
a commotion when some other creature seems to menace the big and truculent fellow with which
it is associated.
Still another kind of cooperation is that to be observed in some of the ants here in California From
the scale insects with which citrus trees be come infested the ant is able to get a drop of sweet fluid
which he relishes. Consequently, when a tree has been cleansed of this pest, the ants carry new
ones into the trees and establish them there. They use these insects, the scale, as men use cows.
They treasure them and care for them, and see to it that they have a proper environment; much to
the annoyance of the fruit men. Yet while the fruit man suffers through it, the partnership is
beneficial to both ants and scales. Here we see the rudiments of a moral code as applied to a
different species, in that the ants feel an obligation to secure the welfare of their domestic
animals.
It is such a relationship as exists between man and various domestic animals such as the cow,
horse, dog, sheep, pig, chickens and goat. Yet man, because these creatures are of a different
species, and quite remote in attributes from himself, feels very little responsibility for them. His
interest in these creatures is almost solely that of what he can gain from them. Because they are so
different from him he feels no particular obligation to provide for their comfort. Only in very
recent laws penalizing unnecessary cruelty to animals do we see even the beginning of a moral
code which embraces other species of life than his own.
For that matter, mankind in the past has been so divided into classes that the responsibility of a
favored class toward those less favored has been hardly more clearly defined. There have been, it
is true, laws passed in recent centuries in the West preventing a member of the favored class from
wantonly and directly taking the life of a member of the less favored class. Murder has come to be
frowned upon even when committed by aristocracy upon a peasant. But in indirect ways, such as
forcing him into needless wars and monopolizing the resources of the earth in such a manner as to
prevent him making a living, the less favored class has been slain by the million with no great
pangs of conscience on the part of the more favored class.
I have no intention of delivering a diatribe against the economic conditions under which we live. I
am interested here only on the moral side of the issue. And everyone who is familiar with
conditions as they exist in most parts of the world knows that it has been the practice in the past
for those possessing wealth to get as much from, and give as little to, those who labor for them as
possible.
background image
In many respects the sweat-shops of our cities, where child labor has been employed, have felt
less responsibility for the human life employed by them than the farmer has felt for his horses.
The farmer is too intelligent to stunt the growth of his colts by placing them in harness too young.
And he is too intelligent also to give scant food or poor housing to any of his animals; for if they
die of privation he has lost something of value. But those who have employed labor in mills and
factories have felt no such responsibility for the comfort and health of those employed. If these
died it was easy to get more. That society as a whole lost what these might have accomplished, or
that there was a definite moral responsibility, seems to have seldom occurred to such employers.
In the past the moral responsibility of employer toward employee has been at least on no higher
level than the responsibility of the ant toward his domestic insects. Those of wealth have looked
upon those who labored as in some manner very different from themselves. The moral code
adopted prevented an employer from killing an employee in an act of personal violence; but he
could kill him through unsanitary conditions surrounding his work, kill him by subjecting him to
unreasonable hazards of losing his life through accident, or kill him through depriving him of the
necessities of life, without violating the then existing moral code.
These conditions are changing; and employers are more and more compelled by law-which is a
reflection of the established moral code-to furnish sanitary conditions under which to work, and
to be liable for the injury of those while so employed. And the moral code gradually is widening
to embrace the responsibility of those of greater ability toward those of lesser ability. The living
conditions of every man in a nation are coming to be recognized as a matter of concern to all, and
the moral code gradually is moving to make it difficult for some to acquire so much of the
resources of the world that others are unable to procure the bare necessities.
The Widening Moral Code
--Already, in Chapter 3, I have traced how the moral codes of different groups
have developed, and why the moral conceptions of different people are so diverse. It was there
shown that as more individuals and groups were embraced in a single larger unit that the moral
code expanded to embrace these various members. People who at one time considered their
moral obligation ended with the actions which insured the welfare of their family later, as the
tribe was formed, broadened their views to embrace actions beneficial to the tribe. Later still
actions beneficial to the nation entered into the moral code. That is, the moral code was not
limited to members of a single tribe, but embraced the relations to all members of the nation.
The expansion of the moral code is merely an extension of the principle which enables the
tick-bird and rhinoceros to live together for mutual advantage, which causes ants and insect
scales to cooperate, which gives the farmer and his horse mutual interests, and which we now see
at work bringing about a readjustment between the relation of employer and employee. The
principle everywhere is that of specialization of parts and division of labor for greater benefits.
Moral codes are built, as pointed out in Chapter 3, upon advantages to be derived
by individuals from belonging to a larger unit, to a group which by virtue of its complexity is able
to function more effectively for the benefit of all, or at least of a majority.
Yet as we have seen, the moral codes commonly in use in the world are widely different in
different localities, and even the more embracive are moving forward to include still other
relations between life-forms. The proper relation between employer and employee, or if these
types are done away with between manager and physical worker, is still poorly defined. In time it
will be worked out upon the basis of specialization of parts and division of labor so that each of
these at present distinct classes of people will contribute most toward the richness of life of the
nation as a whole.
background image
But the moral code in its progress cannot stop with national boundaries. In time, studying the
specialization of races and countries it must define what, according to division of labor, each
shall contribute and each receive in the economic structure of the world. Nor can it stop merely
with the human race for specialization of parts and division of labor is not confined to the human
species. It eventually will be called upon to define the proper relation of man to other types of
life-forms.
The only way man can determine what an individual in an industrial organization can best do to
benefit the organization as a whole, that is, what particular work he should follow, is to study the
man's abilities and study the requirements of the organization. The only way the proper relation
between employee and employer can be correctly defined, is through a comprehensive study of
the requirements of both groups. And the only way that mankind can define the particular
function each nation should assume in world affairs is to study the abilities and resources of each
nation in connection with a worldwide organization which shall be able to engage each in its most
efficient capacity. Such a scheme calls for world-wide planning. It is probably some distance in
the future. But it will in time be seen that such a world-wide economic scheme is the only thing
which will prevent nations from destroying each other due to useless forms of competition.
The engineering skill at this moment is available to appraise properly the resources of the world
and organize them most effectively. Raw materials are available, machinery is available, and the
unskilled and skilled manpower are available--as production and distribution for World War II
has amply demonstrated--to provide the comforts of life, and even many of the luxuries, to every
man, woman and child on the face of the globe. But it will take some time to realize such
world-wide freedom from want because every step in that direction will be resisted by those
whose special privileges would be eliminated by such change.
Until the proper relation of man to man was discerned, every family was considered the enemy of
every other family. Every tribe later was the potential enemy of every other tribe. But when man
learned to cooperate, on the plan of specialization of parts and division of labor, destructive
competition gave place to constructive competition in which the welfare of the larger group was
considered paramount. And only when nations learn how to cooperate, each doing the thing for
which it is best fitted in promoting the welfare of the whole world, will constructive competition
such as is beneficial to world progress take the place of the destructive competition that now leads
inevitably to war.
But when we have united all men in a moral code which defines the proper relation of nations as
well as the relations of individuals, we have not yet arrived at a perfect moral code. A perfect
moral code, of course, must be based upon a full comprehension of individual abilities and needs
in relation to the needs of the larger organization of which the individual forms a part. And a
perfect moral code which is applicable to all souls must embrace the abilities of these souls and
the need for them in the cosmic organization. Such complete information is not at hand even in
regard to the life of smaller groups. Yet as knowledge advances, it may be included in the moral
code to make it progressively more perfect.
The Basis of a Perfect Moral Code
--At least we know the basis upon which a perfect moral code must rest. It must rest upon
specialization of parts and division of labor. And as it embraces all souls in the universe it must
consider the universal organization, the cosmic organization, as a complete unit, the welfare of
which as a whole must insure the highest welfare of its component parts, just as the true welfare of
a nation secures the highest welfare to the individual embraced within the nation.
background image
There are many individuals within our nation who do not comprehend, and do not live up to, the
generally accepted standard of morals. And, of course, below the intelligence of man we cannot
expect life-forms to understand the advantage, or the significance, of working for the
advancement of the whole cosmic organization. Even among men, at present it is the few rather
than the many who perceive that world progress is of greater importance than the welfare of their
own nation, or that national progress is more important than their own individual bank account.
But the inability of more than a few to perceive its advantages and its truth does not prevent there
being a uniform and universal code of morals applicable alike to all souls.
This code is very simple and may be stated thus: A SOUL IS COMPLETELY MORAL
WHEN IT IS CONTRIBUTING ITS UTMOST TO COSMIC WELFARE
.
All life-forms lower in the scale of intelligence than man are gradually developing toward a point
where this perfect moral code will be accepted. And all the various conflicts, the terrific
competition of individuals with individuals and of species with species, are a necessary
preparatory training. For only through the various obstacles presented to it does any soul learn to
overcome difficulties. And only through developing ability to overcome difficulties, to perform
work of a high degree of complexity, is any soul able to contribute much of consequence to
cosmic welfare.
Below a certain state of intelligence, which man should be able to attain, the knowledge of a soul
is so narrow that it can embrace proper relations only to its own family, its own herd, its own tribe,
or its own nation. Below the intelligence of man the soul believes that its own welfare and the
welfare of its limited group is unrelated to other groups except as such other groups afford it
temporary advantages or temporarily endanger its existence. Consequently, arrived at the estate
of highly developed man, the moral code undergoes a marked change. Instead of being chiefly
concerned with the welfare of a limited few, the code, and the actions which spring from it,
demand that the welfare of all other souls in the universe shall be given due consideration.
Not How Much I Can Receive but How Much I Can Give
--This new code of morals, which is sponsored by the spiritual side of the planet Pluto, reverses
the motive and the response from it, so that behind all action is the thought, not how much I can
receive, but how much I can give. The more that can be given, if it truly aids cosmic progression,
the higher the satisfaction.
This brings us to the consideration of pleasure and pain as necessary factors upon the higher
vibratory level of existence which we are now considering.
As I have repeatedly pointed out in these lessons, the soul has gradually developed an awareness
to such conditions as blocked its desires or destroyed the form it occupied. This awareness is
called pain. And another state of awareness was developed by the soul to keep it informed when
its desires were being obtained and its form was thriving. Movement, therefore, tends to be away
from pain, or in the direction of pleasure. And action in a given direction may be either due to the
effort to escape from pain or the effort to attain pleasure. But when the soul has arrived at a certain
level of intelligence, instead of being driven by pain to the performance of those acts which are
necessary to preserve its form, to attain its desires, and to develop its abilities to the highest
degree, it can substitute the attractive power of pleasure to impel it to such efforts.
background image
As a matter of fact, we see this principle of conditioning, by which an action that at one time
caused pain becomes an action that is accompanied by pleasure, at work among the various
life-forms of lower degree by which man is surrounded. They do not, however, apply the
principle deliberately, with a view of cultivating appropriate emotional states to accompany
beneficial activities. But man has the power, by thus intelligently using the conditioning process,
to develop a keen sense of pleasure in any condition or activity which reflection indicates is
beneficial. Through this process he develops to a state of consciousness, or vibratory level, in
which he finds great pleasures in all those activities which assist the development of his own
special abilities, and in those which he believes to contribute to cosmic welfare.
Creatures which hunt for a living are driven to this activity originally by the pangs of hunger. Pain
of starvation causes them to exert themselves to become expert in the catching of their prey. The
patience of a cat watching for a mouse certainly would be most painful to another creature. Yet
because cats have found pleasure in eating the food thus captured, this pleasure has become
associated with the process of watching a mouse hole. The activity which at one time reported
distress to the soul of the cat, no longer reports distress, but instead reports pleasure. And while
cats still hunt when driven by the pangs of hunger, most cats will also hunt when there is no
necessity, just for the fun of it.
A hound, originally driven by the pain of hunger which threatened the destruction of its body
through weakness, learned he could catch a hare by chasing it. Such terrific running called upon
every reserve of nerve and muscle. It was a painful process, an awful strain upon the whole
organic system. But in the end the hound caught the hare. A difficulty had been overcome
through a painful process, but the pleasure which resulted from the defeat of the difficulty
registered strongly. And as the feat was repeated, the sense of pain ceased to register, and in its
stead the whole activity of the chase became strongly associated with the sensation of pleasure
which its successful termination brought. Hounds do not feel it a hardship to run a hare; they feel
it is an occasion for jubilation.
Conditioning to Pleasure
--While it is true that cats and hunting dogs have thus become conditioned through generations,
so that the joy of the chase has become instinctive, yet both dogs and cats can be thus conditioned,
and have been so conditioned in laboratory experiments, to find pleasure in activities which were
quite foreign to any that were habitual to their ancestors. And did the necessity warrant giving
such detail, I could indicate in the life of any plant or animal with which I am familiar, how certain
activities that in earlier times were painful, have been conditioned through pleasure brought by
the success resulting from them, so that now they may be classed as pleasurable.
These creatures, in regard to certain classes of obstacles which confront them, no longer need to
be prodded by pain in order to be aware that they are in danger. They recognize the condition
before it begins to destroy them, and they take the initiative to overcome it, not because of pain,
but because they have become conditioned to finding pleasure in such activities. We perceive
thus even among lower life-forms when the soul gains the power to recognize the obstacles which
confront it, and to make the effort to surmount them without the prodding of pain, that the
particular awareness of the soul which we call pain no longer becomes necessary. In such things
as the soul has thus learned to recognize the proper relation of to itself, its activities are prompted
by pleasure instead.
background image
And this pleasure technique of meeting difficulties has the great advantage of attracting events,
or difficulties, in the future which are not too great to be surmounted. That is, experiences which
we now have that enter our consciousness as painful, combine with mental factors already in our
mind in a discordant manner and tend to attract other painful experiences in the future. But other
experiences of a pleasurable nature, or even the same experiences if they are conditioned
properly to be considered pleasurable, enter the consciousness in such a manner as to combine
with other mental elements in a harmonious manner. And this additional harmony within our
finer body tends to attract fortunate events in the future. This is explained in detail in Course 9,
Mental Alchemy.
If, instead of considering pain and pleasure as punishment for sin or as reward for virtue, as do the
orthodoxies of both East and West, we consider them as types of awareness gradually developed
by the soul to keep it informed as to how its form is faring, it will enable us to perceive the value of
developing the pleasure technique. We will perceive that as consciousness of pain has developed
to make a life-form aware of discord, that if the life-form can develop some other method of
becoming aware of the discord and acting upon this knowledge, the sensation of pain loses its
value.
And man has the ability thus to become aware of the difficulties which threaten his destruction,
and the difficulties which lie along the road of his progress. Reaching this new vibratory level, he
no longer needs pain to spur him on. His intellect and his intuition, informed of what is going on
about him, keeps him posted as to dangers and possible advantages. Furthermore, he deliberately
and gradually becomes conditioned to finding pleasure in all the activities which his intellect and
his intuition inform him are beneficial to himself and to cosmic welfare.
This does not mean that man, arrived at the vibratory level of cosmic consciousness lives a life of
leisure. Nor does it mean that he no longer attracts difficulties. On the contrary he lives a life of
intense activity. And when difficulties vanish he ceases quickly to progress. Wherever in Nature
you observe a life of ease, you witness the commencement of deterioration.
But when man arrives at the vibratory level of cosmic consciousness, or even approaches this
level close enough to perceive that there is a uniform and universal code of morals which is
applicable to all souls in the cosmos, he no longer needs to be driven forward to the development
of his abilities by pain. Instead, he endeavors to learn in what direction the cosmos is expanding,
and what abilities he possesses which still more highly developed will be valuable in aiding the
cosmic organization in its further progress.
Whether he will or not, changing environment is sure to bring to him, as to all life, obstacles and
difficulties. But instead of sensing these difficulties as painful things, or waiting until they do
produce pain, he views them as opportunities. That is what they actually are; opportunities to
develop ability. But viewed as opportunities, even though they are painful in the sense that the
grueling training of an athlete is painful, yet because of the glow of pleasure experienced in the
knowledge of developing abilities each and every one of them may become conditioned so as to
yield only pleasure.
By dwelling on the advantages that such training gives as developing ability, and by dwelling on
the joy of triumph in the end, any circumstance of life, no matter how distressing a similar
circumstance may be to another, can be made to yield a high degree of pleasure. The individual,
through keeping his mind centered upon the spiritual end to be attained becomes almost oblivious
of the discordant elements, and the event as a whole is largely registered as a pleasurable
experience. Even when there is a failure to attain the desired physical end, by cultivating the
sporting attitude toward life, more joy may be had from the consciousness of having made a
splendid effort than another would get from having made a physical success of the same thing.
background image
Furthermore, because the cosmic organization needs as much ability in the individual members
as possible, when this high vibratory level of consciousness is reached, the person does not just sit
back and wait for difficulties to be presented. He realizes two things: That the only way his
abilities will expand is through encountering obstacles, and that there are always things of
importance that need to be done in the interests of cosmic progression. Consequently, he seeks
difficulties upon which to practice. When affairs begin to run along so smoothly that they do not
call for his utmost exertion, he looks up something else to add to his responsibilities. And this
something else must be of a nature to contribute, as much as possible, to the advancement of
cosmic society.
Such a person becomes actuated by a single dominant motive; to contribute as much as possible
to universal welfare. And to do this he realizes that he must not only do what lies now within his
power to accomplish, but that his contribution to cosmic welfare must also be of a nature to call
for his most strenuous exertions, for only then is anyone able to develop ability of a high degree.
But in seeking work which will contribute to cosmic welfare as much as possible, and at the same
time develop his power to overcome difficulties, he is cautious not to attempt more than he can
do. Even though in attempting what it is impossible for him to accomplish he is developing his
abilities, if he fails, especially if the failure is accompanied by his death, it may deprive society on
the physical plane of what he otherwise could accomplish. And it is probable that his services at
the time are more needed on earth than on the inner plane.
To one possessing strong sympathies, to observe what goes on around him is horrifying. Most
people are so absorbed in their own affairs, or feel that other life-forms are so different from
themselves, that they spend no time in contemplating the cruel struggle everywhere present. Of
wild creatures, only a few die of old age; for as their powers begin to wane it is the common lot for
them to be devoured by their enemies. Little fish prey upon the plankton of the sea, are eaten by
fish still larger, and these in turn fall the victim of other enemies. Even man, although the larger
life-forms other than members of his own species no longer cause him alarm, usually succumbs
sooner or later to one or more of the minute species of life which finds its way into his organism
and destroys it.
The Higher Code
--Except within the family, or within the herd or flock, the moral code of tooth and claw prevails
below the vibratory level of man. It is a matter of kill or be killed, destroy others or perish, usually
referred to as the survival of the fittest.
Yet without the training the souls occupying these life-forms get through the merciless struggle
in a world filled with enemies, initiative, courage, alertness, intelligence, and most of the other
attributes which are the pride of man, would never have been developed. The whole process of
evolution as observed on earth, below the vibratory level of man, is toward enabling the life-form
to survive in a world of redoubtable antagonists. And survival under such conditions calls for
great ability to do things; that is, to overcome whatever obstacles bar the path of desire.
The school which Nature keeps is more admirable for the purpose of developing ability than any
method of which we can think. And results speak for themselves; for life-forms have developed,
and continue to develop, ability in high degree, as I have taken pains to describe in some detail.
But we must not conclude that Nature goes no further in her teaching than to develop powers
which are used to destroy. Each ability she has cultivated in a life-form can be used constructively
as well; and when a constructive level of consciousness is reached it will be used to perform a
constructive function.
background image
The estate of man is the vibratory level where the powers and qualifications which have been
developed in lower life-forms should become redirected, or more properly, made more
embracive. Instead of being used merely to sustain the individual, increased intelligence points
out that they should be used for the benefit of all the family. A further increase of intelligence
shows that they should be used for the benefit, not merely of the family-for the animals do this
-but for the benefit of the community and the nation. And as intelligence becomes still more
comprehensive it is perceived that the abilities should be employed for the benefit of the whole
world; and as cosmic needs are perceived, for the benefit of the whole cosmos.
Even as Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and much observation indicates that objects with
low velocities have the properties and perform in the manner characteristic of physical things, but
that when they acquire velocities greater than that of light they acquire new properties and
perform in a quite different manner, so if the soul is to acquire the characteristics common to
spiritual vibratory levels, and to function on such more desirable levels, it must raise its own
dominant vibratory rate to the frequencies of such higher conditions. This it cannot do while its
motives are no more embracive than that of tooth and claw, of kill or be killed, destroy others or
perish. Self-interest has so low a vibratory rate that to the extent an individual has that as his
dominant motive he must be content to function on the levels where animal propensities are the
chief characteristics.
But when he perceives the general outline of God's Great Plan, that each soul is being educated to
perform a necessary work in the future, and that the progress of the whole depends upon such
specialization and proper division of labor, this knowledge also should indicate to him that his
own further advancement depends upon the redirection of his energies with the purpose of
assisting as much as possible in the progress of the world.
If the world is to make proper progress, not just a few of its people must have opportunity to gain
knowledge and develop abilities, but all must have such opportunities. The development of a few
souls only is a sad waste of material. Instead, all the people of the earth should be given the
opportunity to learn as much about Nature's laws as they can assimilate, all should be given the
opportunity to develop whatever natural aptitudes are shown in their charts of birth, and all
should be encouraged to develop as much spirituality as possible. These opportunities require
that all people should have Freedom From Want, Freedom From Fear, Freedom of Expression
and Freedom of Worship.
Relative to developing spirituality, THE LAW OF COMPENSATION demands that effort must
be made in the proper direction if it is to be acquired. And for acquiring spirituality the most
effective effort is that directed toward living the completely moral life, toward, that is,
CONTRIBUTING THE UTMOST TO UNIVERSAL WELFARE.
Up the ladder of developing abilities each soul climbs. And the souls of all life-forms, as well as
that of man, are in the process of making this ascent. Each is in the throes of developing such
special kinds of ability as the cosmos will need. But when the estate of man is reached the training
no longer requires those destructive activities which are quite proper in the brute world. And the
intelligence he now has developed no longer requires that he return to earth for the further
development of brutish characteristics.
Having arrived at the vibratory level of a somewhat spiritual man, his activities are all directed by
the perfect moral code. Behind all his activities at all times is an intense desire to contribute as
much as possible to cosmic progression and welfare. And because, at this level he perceives the
necessity of seeking difficulties to train him for still greater tasks, and because he can become
intellectually aware of difficulties and view them as opportunities rather than as occasions for
distress, he practices organic alchemy by transmuting experiences that otherwise would be
painful into such as give him the thrill of conquest and the joy of noble effort.