Friday, 16 June 2017

Spiritual Evolution (1—50)

Thoughts on the evolution of spirit-life and various other subjects*—

The law of spiritual evolution seems to be the most important thing that this book suggests. But there are two other things of nearly equal importance with spiritual evolution, to my way of thinking, suggested herein. The one is the discovery that all life is spirit; is spirit-life, and the other is the suggestion that nature is the only bible that has any vestige of authority in the universe, and the book to which we should go for religious guidance.

C. H. F.

I am the Message that Nature brings.

1. All life is spirit; is spirit-life. And all spirit-life is in course of evolution through innumerable forms and changes and lives until it reaches and passes through the human form and continues its evolution without the aid of a material body.

2. The evolution of spirit-life takes place under what is known as the law of Spiritual Evolution. And the law of Spiritual Evolution is a very simple law and one that can be easily understood and explained.

3. We can easily understand how the tiny spark of life, or spirit, implanted by the Creator in the simplest material form can grow, or evolve, and can be transplanted as it grows from one material body to another until it becomes the complex spirit of man, or rather the complex spirit that inhabits the material form or body that we call man. And we can further understand how this spirit that is in man may continue to grow, or evolve until it has become sufficiently strong, or full of vitality or life to no longer need the protection of a material body, but can continue its evolution without this material hindrance. And it is still possible for us to further understand how this spirit that is now free from a material body, can continue to evolve until it arrives in the presence of its God; until it becomes like unto the God who gave it birth and started it on its evolutionary journey.

4. The law of Spiritual Evolution enlightens. It helps us to understand the Christian religion and all other religions.

5. Under the law of Spiritual Evolution, it is easy to find an explanation for everything, even for things of the most trivial nature.

6. The law of Spiritual Evolution agrees with all that science has discovered, or will discover. It is one of the universal laws like the law of Gravitation. That is, the law of Spiritual Evolution admits of no exceptions. And no religion is or can be true that is not in harmony with spiritual evolution. No religion can be true that is out of harmony with the law of spiritual growth or development.

7. The law of Spiritual Evolution unites all religions. Discloses the fact that all religions are but one religion that is differently interpreted and understood by different people and by different persons of the same belief who are differently enlightened or spiritually developed.

8. As the spirit-life evolves, the law of Spiritual Evolution becomes more and more complex. First, there enters into Spiritual Evolution the law Love. And this law at once becomes an essential to the further evolution of spirit-life. A little later the law Faith appears and begins to play its part in spiritual evolution. And long before the spirit-life has evolved sufficiently to appear in human form, it has become a rather complex spark of life and may be said to be religious. But not until this spark of life—this spirit—has entered human form, and has developed a rather high state of self-consciousness, does the law of Right and Wrong become an important factor in spiritual evolution.

9. The minute that we become sufficiently self-conscious to come under the operation of the law of Right and Wrong, we begin the battle that is to decide our future evolution; we begin the battle that is to decide how slowly, or how rapidly we shall evolve toward the divine.

10. Spiritual—or self-consciousness begins back at the beginning of life and proceeds upward by a slow unfolding, an evolution.

11. Spiritual—or self-consciousness is attained with infinite slowness. Not until the spirit-life has been evolving for thousands of centuries does it attain sufficient self-consciousness to distinguish between the right and the wrong. Not until the spirit-life has been evolving for thousands of centuries is it sufficiently developed to work out its own destiny; is it sufficiently developed to no longer need the hand that has guided it through all the early stages of its evolution.

12. First, the spirit-life becomes conscious of its environment, and as the spirit-life continues to evolve this consciousness increases until it includes a knowledge of everything human and divine.

13. With increased consciousness comes enlightenment, and knowledge, and understanding, and wisdom; the ability to think, and to see, and know.

14. That man whose consciousness is the most highly developed is the closest to the truth of things—is the aptest to be on the right.

15. Most human spirits are just approaching the border of self-consciousness—are not yet conscious of one-thousandth part of their life, or of the lives of others, or of the beauty and the grandeur of life.

16. Spiritual evolution is a slow unfolding attained through right living; through constantly holding the right attitude toward all life.

17. Our spiritual development can be measured by the loftiness of our thought, and by the emotional depth of our feelings.

18. That which does not help us in our spiritual evolution does not help us.

19. Our spiritual enlightenment and development, like our refinement and our culture, is perfectly apparent to all who are in a position to observe it or to understand it.

20. The law of Spiritual Evolution leads us gradually to the truth through an enlightenment that is spiritual growth.

21. Some human spirits have advanced sufficiently in their development to see into the heavens themselves; have evolved sufficient spiritual vitality and perception to have a clear idea of what is in the beyond.

22. Under the law of Spiritual Evolution, every virtue and every vice are accounted for, considered and weighed, and either helps us in our evolution or retards us in our spiritual growth.

23. Most persons have not yet reached a stage in their spiritual evolution where freedom and leisure are of value to them—have not yet reached a stage in their development where they can use freedom and leisure to the best advantage.

24. All things fade into each other or are obtained through a gradual blending.

25. Nothing in this world is finished. Everything is in course of being developed, or evolved, or perfected.

26. Evolution is the first aim of all life. Spiritual evolution first, and then mental and physical evolution.

27. We who are in human form have advanced far enough in our evolution to have attained self-consciousness. Have advanced far enough to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong, and to begin to see and to appreciate the beautiful and the good, but we have not yet advanced far enough for us to be completely, entirely wise, or just.

28. As we mount higher and higher in the scale of spiritual evolution, we become more and more in control of our destiny.

29. No religious theories, nor dogmas, nor creeds are necessary to spiritual development. Just faith is all that is needed. Faith in some God that is loftier and more divine than we are. Just something to cause us to seek to become better than we are; to cause us to make an effort to evolve out of ourselves into something higher; something more like the faith that we hold. And if our faith is not lofty enough, we need not fear, for as we approach our faith, our faith will become loftier, and will advance upward before us, and lead us at last through spiritual evolution to the right God. Have faith in some God, and believe whatever you will, or can. All is well. Your faith will accomplish its purpose, and with that purpose accomplished, which is the evolution of your inner-life will come a more enlightened faith, and a knowledge of the truth, which is also the good, and God.

30. Spirit-life makes use of material forms only until it has evolved, or generated sufficient strength and vitality and consciousness to no longer need the protection of a material body.

31. Everything tends to prove that the inner, or spirit-life that is in man is still in its infancy though probably thousands of centuries old.

32. Spirit-life is the electric spark which makes possible material or physical life.

33. Without spirit-life, there could be no material, or physical, or animal life. And this physical, or material or animal life cannot, in any case, survive the departure of the spirit-life within.

34. Spirit-life has the ability to see a little way into the immediate future, just as the material eye has the ability to see a little way before and beyond it.

35. Each spirit-life inhabits a material body that is capable of certain independent actions; a material body that was created in order to protect this spirit-life in the early stages of its development, or until it has evolved sufficient vitality, and strength and self-consciousness to no longer need such protection.

36. Each physical or animal form contains two lives, each capable of certain independent actions. The one a spirit-life in course of evolution, and the other a material-life that may be destroyed in many different ways, and that cannot, in any case, survive the departure of the spirit-life within it.

37. All spirit-lives however highly developed or perfect must depend upon their material intellects to receive and to translate the impressions that are flashed to them out of the great beyond, and if these intellects are imperfect, or if they are not sufficiently sensitive to receive and to record the finest impressions and do not have the ability to translate these impressions into language, then these spirits are not able to make known what they know and understand of the divine.

38. Most human spirits are capable of receiving more information and knowledge and truth from the beyond than their intellects are capable of understanding or of translating into language.

39. Most human spirits know more of God and of the life beyond than they think they know; than they have any self-consciousness of knowing.

40. The spirit-life is able to leave its material abode for brief periods of time without endangering the life of that abode.

41. Spirit-life often leaves its material abode and goes out to meet that which it desires if it desires it strongly. Often spirit-life goes out to meet love and friendship and beauty and other things that may help it in its development. However, spirit-life never goes out to meet trivial things, nor worldly things, nor things that belong to the physical life.

42. Spirit-life no longer takes an interest in its material body if that body is worn out, or diseased, or too old. In such cases, the spirit-life waits to depart; is willing to take unto itself another material form if it has not yet finished its journey here; that is, has not yet evolved beyond the need of a material form.

43. Some spirits are fettered; are retarded in their development by the physical forms or bodies which they inhabit and to such spirits the parting or what we call Death comes as a great blessing.

44. All invisible spirit-lives that remain invisible to us are superior to us; have evolved above us, and have no further need of a material body, as we have.

45. The invisible spirits are the superior spirits, and they may be around and about us without our knowledge.

46. All spiritual communications must reach us through the harmony of silence, or the solitude of nature; must reach us when we are alone with God and all is still.

47. Material sounds produce discords and interfere with what nature has to say.

48. Material life is weak, is frail, is imperfect, and can easily be destroyed, and because this is so spirit-life is forced to frequently take its departure, and to occupy many different forms and shapes and material bodies in course of its evolution.

49. All spirit-life seeks to conceal itself from all save those who are able to understand—seeks to conceal itself from all save those who have reached the same height in their development that it has reached.

50. That spirit-life that can soar to the loftiest height, and there enter into and intermingle with the loftiest developed spirits, is itself highly developed and has begun to blend gradually into that life that exists beyond the material plane. 

*Spiritual EvolutionThoughts on the Evolution of Spirit-Life and Various Other Subjects, Benjamin F. Woodcox, Woodcox & Fanner, Battle Creek, Michigan, 1921