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Friday, 15 August 2014

The Law holds all to account

This will be a straight dictation from Harry, so, as the middleman, I, Helen, shall obliterate myself—this being Harry's day.

Greetings for you all on this birthday of mine. While I have grown vastly and complexly in certain directions in this year of your time, I am at heart just as I was at parting, full of the personal interests of each and all. We, who have lived and worked on this side of life for any space of time, realise that family association means very little as regards the age question or the physical relationship of parent and child, brother and sister. We know that ties, based upon mutual understanding, link with far stronger bonds than mere blood connection. What any two have in common, whether it be work or aspiration, is the tie that binds. It so easily becomes natural to drop into comradeships here, with either young or old, men or women, when there is a common interest. There is no age which demands respect or reverence. Only the merit of a strong and beautiful character can receive either. Conventional standards are non-existent. The spirit, being of a stability you little comprehend, sets its own standard, and those who pass into this life must perforce accept this standard. One has no choice any more than one has about mathematics, as two and two being four is past argument at all times and in every place. It is so here about the attributes of character. A selfish act is a selfish act in all places, and in all epochs of time. For such there is always but one opinion. There are no such things as extenuating circumstances. First, of course, one must define one's terms. A selfish act is a simple proposition. Anything which does not consider the personal consequences to the other fellow first is selfish. A spoken word which has the power to wound another, no matter how carelessly dropped into the air, has weight in the final judgment. No soul has a right, consciously or unconsciously, to lay burdens on any other. It may be that this other is just struggling to lift its head out of the dark pool of ignorance, straining every nerve to drag its heavy body up into the light; it quivers with the strain of effort. At this point a careless push, however light, may plunge it backward from whence it came, retarding its evolution for years, perhaps for ages.

We are brothers all, and the soul's development is a result of what the strong do for the weak. Chivalry abhors the coward who strikes a cripple, a child, or a woman, but what sort of human is it who refuses his hand to a brother because of that brother's ignorance, dirt, or colour? There are no terms black enough for the sins of the spirit. Intolerance, contempt, repulsion—these belong to cowards. These are what retard evolution, not war or bloodshed. The darkest crimes are bloodless. The deepest sin is not in your criminal code. You fail even to recognise it as such. This much I have learned of the true law since I came. Brotherhood, in its deepest meaning, is the comprehensive term. It is not so much food and money the poor need, but love and a true, not a patronising sympathy.

What are we, half—yes, even less than half—developed humans that we are? We know nothing of true values. We smile at the savage who barters priceless ivory for a piece of red calico, or a bit of mirror, but we give all that is finest in us, crush all that is best in others, for money or power. We barter eternal soul-stuff in return for transient gain, which, even as we clutch at it, melts away. Our bonds prove worthless, our big palaces burn down, our art treasures are stolen or cut to pieces. The savage has made an even trade. His gold and ivory were only material, as was that he received in return. His soul was no poorer after the exchange than before. He lived wisely, but any man who values money, or its equivalent, above the spiritual thing he usually loses to attain it, is in truth the ignoramus—to use the mildest of terms. A man outwits his competitor, gains what his brother loses, and counts himself honest. It is not honest to use one's superior wisdom to rob a child, even though the child make no outcry.

We are our brother's keeper. His ultimate good should be our first thought and our last. True charity teaches the man to help himself, and it goes deeper than material limitations. The rich, that is the wise, are the protectors of the poor, the ignorant. The wise man must have the loving patience of the true mother to really be worth an immortal soul and a continuous life.

Our work here is on a far higher plane than yours, and so it is with a sort of misgiving I shall attempt explanation. We work with the living matter you call emotions or impulses, which rise spontaneously from the love or devotion of some person or thing. It is handled as one andles and works with and upon an electric current. We take some given emotion, follow it back until we find its source or root, then classify it and take another.

Emotions and motives lie deep in the secret places of each soul, and are the fibres of which character is made. When any soul has enough of the vital emotions, of worthy and unselfish motives in him, to be twisted into a thread of strength, he is then sure of protracted evolution. This thread or cable is what anchors him, or rescues him from shipwreck as he journeys from life to life, across the sea of death and rebirth. I fear I have no simile apt enough to explain the idea. We speak a differing language.

The whole thing resolves itself into the vital question of how much eternal stuff any one soul possesses to live on indefinitely. We dissect a character as a student at a medical school dissects a body. We find that when a nature has selfishness developed beyond a given point he disintegrates. But one, no matter how heavily laden with defects other than that, evolves if he only has love of his kind strong within him.

Love and active sympathy with one's human fellow seems to be the strongest fibre known. It passes all sorts of tests with absolutely indestructible quality, whereupon we conclude that this then is vitally important to man's individual progress. No true thing is lost, but individuality is something one achieves and keeps only because one has at the bottom true love and sympathy for one's neighbour. To love one's neighbour as oneself is simply the law of self-preservation, and I might add that if you don't do that your game ends right there. Them that has, gets. Yes, and those who have not the love referred to are promptly relieved of whatever qualities they have that are worthwhile. These can be taken and appropriated by any who have the vital spark which only insures continuous individual existence.

It is as if a chair should lack a seat, thus becoming absolutely worthless for the purpose for which it was created. The chair may have an excellent back and several perfect legs, but these avail nothing when a chair is seatless, though they may be used to beautify or strengthen some other chair, and always do this service, as nothing good can be lost. You see that, don't you?

The vital part of an individual is his heart, his love. Take that away and his game is up. His hair and teeth and bones can be useful elsewhere, but they serve another individual. The I, the particular ego that heart made, is nonexistent. He couldn't qualify. So it behooves all and each of you to regard carefully your main asset. Add to it continuously to prevent a final dissolution. No one can afford to take chances, or rest on his oars. Neither you nor I know what tests of character lie ahead. We are in the stream of evolution. Those weaklings who fail to meet its tests perish. The tests are varied and constant, and unperceived until passed. One must prepare constantly for the day of reckoning. None of us are ever quite ready for the test, and we escape by a hair's breadth only. One can't dodge. The progress of the stream is slow but steady, and we must work continuously to survive.

Look into your own hearts and note your wares. Try out each thing you see there. See if it has real value, is made of eternal stuff. Get a line on true values, what in life is of vital importance. The test is always: Can you take the thing with you out of life? A hasty glance seems to show that one can take nothing. Look again. One takes patience, charity, unselfishness, another's gratitude, which is blessing, too. One may take the result of kindness and help which expanded and lifted another human pilgrim. Sunshine, courage, simple faith, and sweetness. Oh! the things we may carry away are manifold. The man or woman who lays aside a business problem to care for the distress or perplexity of a little child has chosen the real and laid by the unimportant thing. Any help to a soul in trouble is a vital service which registers here, and helps determine what class you enter.

While time doesn't exist here, opportunity and work do, and progression is continuous, so I feel that for the good of all you should waste no time. Do what you may while you have the chance. People whose needs you can supply move on, out of your circle, and your chance to help and to grow go with them. No day passes without an opportunity. It's sickening to see how many you let slip. Why not try to live a day at a time? One can only chew what he has in his mouth. What remains on his plate doesn't concern him.

If you would all do this—concentrate on the day's work, keeping eyes wide open to see a brother's need! Oh, it makes my heart swell to think what that would mean. Today is really all you have for service, for growth, yet you sit idle, with busy hands and empty hearts. You sit and play with toys while your brother is drowning within your arm's reach. With vacant eyes fixed on some selfish golden future you sit, strong men and women—you sit inactive, letting your chance of immortality slip past you.

Wake up. Rouse yourself. Be worth immortality. Earn it. This bloody war typifies what you all are—in less degree. Which of you is entitled to cast the first stone? Which of you but has wounded some heart, trodden on some upturned face seeking only the light.

Ignorance is no excuse. The Law holds all to account. When any of you can show love, pity, and sympathy for each human soul you meet, then, and only then have you the right to cast the first stone. Live the good your heads know, try to qualify for immortality. Speak less and do more.

But I see I write too long. Forgive the sting if there be any in these last lines. I love you all too deeply to speak but for your help. We must lay aside smaller interests for greater. A glad, warm handclasp I give you this day.

Harry (through Helen)