We Are Eternal
On whistling stormcloud; on Zephyrus wing,
The Spirit-choir loud the World-anthems sing
Hark! Lis't to their voice "we have passed through death's door
There's no Death; rejoice! life lives evermore."
We are, have always been, will ever be.
We are a portion of Eternity
Older than Creation, a part of One Great Whole,
Is each Individual and immortal Soul.
On Time's whirring loom our garments we've wrought
Eternally weave we on network of Thought,
Our kin and our country, by Mind brought to birth,
Were patterned in heaven ere molded on earth.
We have shone in the Jewel and danced on the Wave,
We have sparkled in Fire defying the grave;
Through shapes everchanging, in size, kind and name
Our individual essence still is the same.
And when we have reached to the highest of all,
The gradations of growth our minds shall recall
So that link by link we may join them together
And trace step by step the way we reached thither.
Thus in time we shall know, if only we do
What lifts, ennobles, is right and true.
With kindness to all; with malice to none,
That in and through us God's will may be done.
We venture to make the assertion that there is but one sin: Ignorance
and but one salvation: Applied Knowledge. Even the wisest among us know
but little of what may be learned, however, and no one has attained to
perfection, or can attain in one single short life, but we note that
everywhere in nature slow persistent unfoldment makes for higher and
higher development of every thing and we call this process evolution.
One of the chief characteristics of evolution lies in the fact that it
manifests in alternating periods of activity and rest. The busy summer,
when all things upon earth are exerting themselves to bring forth, is
followed by the rest and inactivity of winter. The busy day alternates
with the quiet of night. The ebb of the ocean is succeeded by the
flood-tide. Thus, as all other things move in cycles, the life that
expresses itself here upon earth for a few years is not to be thought of
as ended when death has been reached, but as surely as the sun rises in
the morning after having set at night, will the life that was ended by the
death of one body be taken up again in a new vehicle and in a different
This earth may in fact be likened to a school to which we return life
after life to learn new lessons, as our children go to school day after
day to increase their knowledge. The child sleeps through the night which
intervenes between two days at school and the spirit also has its rest
from active life between death and a new birth. There are also different
classes in this world-school which correspond to the various grades from
kindergarten to college. In the lower classes we find spirits who have
gone to the school of life but a few times, they are savages now, but in
time they will become wiser and better than we are, and we ourselves shall
progress in future lives to spiritual heights of which we cannot even
conceive at the present. If we apply ourselves to learn the lessons of
life, we shall of course advance much faster in the school of life than if
we dilly-dally and idle our time away. This, on the same principle which
governs in one of our own institutions of learning.
We are not here then, by the caprice of God. He has not placed one in
clover and another in a desert nor has He given one a healthy body so that
he may live at ease from pain and sickness, while He placed another in
poor circumstances with never a rest from pain. But what we are, we are,
on account of our own diligence or negligence, and what we shall be in the
future depends upon what we will to be and not upon Divine caprice or upon
inexorable fate. No matter what the circumstances, it lies with us to
master them, or to be mastered, as we will. Sir Edwin Arnold puts the
teaching most beautifully in his "Light of Asia."
"The Books say well, my Brothers! each man's life
The outcome of his former living is;
The bygone wrongs bring forth sorrows and woes
The bygone right breeds bliss.
Each has such lordship as the loftiest ones
Nay for with powers around, above, below
As with all flesh and whatsoever lives
Act maketh joy or woe.
Who toiled a slave may come anew a prince
For gentle worthiness and merit won;
Who ruled a king may wander earth in rags
For things done or undone."
Or, as an unknown poet says:
"One ship sails East and another sails West
With the self same winds that blow.
'Tis the set of the sail, and not the gale,
Which determines the way they go.
As the winds of the sea are the ways of fate
As we voyage along through life.
'Tis the act of the soul, which determines the goal
And not the calm or the strife."
When we wish to engage someone to undertake a certain mission we choose
some one whom we think particularly fitted to fulfill the requirements and
we must suppose that a Divine Being would use at least as much common
sense, and not choose anyone to go his errand who was not fitted therefor.
So when we read in the Bible that Samson was foreordained to be the slayer
of the Philistines and that Jeremiah was predestined to be a prophet, it
is but logical to suppose that they must have been particularly suited to
such occupation. John the Baptist also, was born to be a herald of the
coming Savior and to preach the kingdom of God which is to take the place
of the kingdom of men.
Had these people had no previous training, how could they have developed
such a fitness to fulfill their various missions, and if they had been
fitted, how else could they have received their training if not in earlier
The Jews believed in the Doctrine of Rebirth or they would not have asked
John the Baptist if he were Elijah, as recorded in the first chapter of
John. The Apostles of Christ also held the belief as we may see from the
incident recorded in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew where the Christ
asked them the question: "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?" The
Apostles replied: "Some say that Thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias;
and others Jeremias or one of the Prophets." Upon this occasion the Christ
tacitly assented to the teaching of Rebirth because He did not correct the
disciples as would have been His plain duty in His capacity as teacher,
when the pupils entertained a mistaken idea.
But to Nicodemus He said unequivocally: "Except a man be born again, he
cannot see the kingdom of God" and in the eleventh chapter of Matthew, the
fourteenth verse, He said, speaking of John the Baptist: "this is
Elijah," in the seventeenth chapter of Matthew, the twelfth verse, He
said: "Elijah has come already and they knew him not, but have done to him
whatsoever they listed, ... then the disciples understood that he spoke to
them of John the Baptist."
Thus we maintain that the Doctrine of Rebirth offers the only solution to
the problem of life which is in harmony with the laws of nature, which
answers the ethical requirements of the case and permits us to love God
without blinding our reason to the inequalities of life and the varying
circumstances which give to a few the ease and comfort, the health and
wealth, which are denied to the many.
The theory of Heredity advanced by Materialists applies only to the
form, for as a carpenter uses material from a certain pile of lumber to
build a house in which he afterwards lives, so does the spirit take the
substance wherewith to build its house from the parents. The carpenter
cannot build a house of hard wood from spruce lumber and the spirit also
must build a body which is like those from which the material was taken,
but the theory of Heredity does not apply upon the moral plane, for it is
a notorious fact, that in the rogues galleries of America and Europe there
is no case where both father and son are represented. Thus the sons of
criminals, though they have the tendencies to crime, keep out of the
clutches of the law. Neither will Heredity hold good upon the plane of the
intellect, for many cases may be cited where a genius and an idiot spring
from the same stock. The great Cuvier, whose brain was of about the same
weight, as Daniel Webster's, and whose intellect was as great, had five
children who all died of paresis, the brother of Alexander the Great was
an idiot, and thus we hold that another solution must be found to account
for the facts of life.
The law of Rebirth coupled with its companion law, the law of Causation
does that. When we die after one life, we return to earth later, under
circumstances determined by the manner in which we lived before. The
gambler is drawn to pool parlors and race tracks to associate with others
of like taste, the musician is attracted to the concert halls and music
studios, by congenial spirits, and the returning Ego also carries with it
its likes and dislikes which cause it to seek parents among the class to
which it belongs.
But then someone will point to cases where we find people of entirely
opposite tastes living lives of torture, because grouped in the same
family, and forced by circumstances to stay there contrary to their wills.
But that does not vitiate the law in the slightest, in each life we
contract certain obligations which cannot then be fulfilled. Perhaps we
have run away from a duty such as the care of an invalid relative and have
met death without coming to a realization of our mistake. That relative
upon the other hand may have suffered severely from our neglect, and have
stored up a bitterness against us before death terminates the suffering.
Death and the subsequent removal to another environment does not pay our
debts in this life, any more than the removal from the city where we now
live to another place will pay the debts we have contracted prior to our
removal. It is therefore quite possible that the two who have injured each
other as described, may find themselves members of the same family. Then,
whether they remember the past grudge or not, the old enmity will assert
itself and cause them to hate anew until the consequent discomfort forces
them to tolerate each other, and perhaps later they may learn to love
where they hated.
The question also arises in the mind of inquirers: If we have been here
before why do we not remember? And the answer is, that while most people
are not aware of how their previous existences were spent, there are
others who have a very distinct recollection of previous lives. A friend
of the writer's for instance, when living in France, one day started to
read to her son about a certain city where they were then going upon a
bicycle tour, and the boy exclaimed: you do not need to tell me about that
mother. I know that city, I lived there and was killed! He then commenced
to describe the city and also a certain bridge. Later he took his mother
to that bridge and showed her the spot where he had met death centuries
before. Another friend travelling in Ireland saw a scene which she
recognized and she also described to the party the scene around the bend
of the road which she had never seen in this life, so it must have been a
memory from a previous life. Numerous other instances could be given where
such minor flashes of memory reveal to us glimpses from a past life. The
verified case in which a little three year old girl in Santa Barbara
described her life and death has been given in the Rosicrucian Cosmo
Conception. It is perhaps the most conclusive evidence as it hinges on the
veracity of a child too young to have learned deception.
This theory of life does not rest upon speculation however, it is one of
the first facts of life demonstrated to the pupil of a Mystery school. He
is taught to watch a child in the act of dying, also, to watch it in the
invisible world from day to day, until it comes to a new birth a year or
two later. Then he knows with absolute certainty that we return to earth
to reap in a future life what we now sow.
The reason for taking a child to watch in preference to an adult, is, that
the child is reborn very quickly, for its short life on earth has borne
but few fruits and these are soon assimilated, while the adult who has
lived a long life, and had much experience remains in the invisible worlds
for centuries, so that the pupil could not watch him from death to
rebirth. The cause of infant mortality will be explained later, here we
merely desire to emphasize the fact that it is within the range of
possibilities of every one without exception to become able to know at
first hand that which is here taught.
The average interval between two earth-lives is about a thousand years. It
is determined by the movement of the sun known to astronomers as
precession of the equinox, by which the sun moves through one of the
signs of the Zodiac in about 2100 years. During that time the conditions
upon earth have changed so much that the spirit will find entirely new
experiences here, and therefore it returns.
The Great Leaders of evolution always obtain the maximum benefit from each
condition designed by them, and as the experiences in the same social
conditions are very different in the case of a man from what they are for
a woman, the human spirit takes birth twice during the 2100 years measured
by the precession of the equinox as already explained, it is born once as
a man and another time as a woman. Such is the rule, but it is subject to
whatever modifications may be necessary to facilitate reaping what the
spirit has sown, as required under the law of Causation which works hand
in hand with the law of Rebirth. Thus, at times a spirit may be brought to
birth long ere the thousand years have expired, in order to fulfill a
certain mission, or it may be detained in the invisible worlds after the
time when it should have come to birth according to the strict
requirements of a blind law. The laws of nature are not that however. They
are Great Intelligences who always subordinate minor considerations to
higher ends, and under their beneficent guidance we are constantly
progressing from life to life under conditions exactly suited to each
individual, until in time we shall attain to a higher evolution and become
Oliver Wendell Holmes has so beautifully voiced that aspiration and its
consummation in the lines:
"Build thee more stately mansions Oh! my soul,
As the swift seasons roll,
Leave thy low-vaulted past;
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast.
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thy outgrown shell by life's unresting sea."