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THE PHENOMENON OF THE SOUL -Ruhun Olgusu - Havas Okulu
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Tasavvuf & Tarikatler>THE PHENOMENON OF THE SOUL -Ruhun Olgusu
shahkhu 03:46 05.06.20
The soul is called Atma in Sanskrit; in Persian it is called Ruh. When the Prophet was asked, 'What is the soul?' He answered in two words, Amr-i Allah, which means 'an activity of God.' 1

The connection between the consciousness and the soul is like the connection between the sun and the ray. The ray is formed by the activity of the sun shooting forth its light. The activity of the consciousness shoots forth its ray, which is called the soul. Activity in a certain part of the consciousness makes that part project itself towards manifestation. The ray is the sun; but we distinguish the ray as apart, distinct in itself, longer or shorter, stronger or fading away, according to the state of activity in it.

The soul, during its life on earth and after, does not change its plane of existence; if any change takes place it is in the direction of its movement. The soul has originally no weight, but on its way it gathers around it properties produced from itself and borrowed continually from the elements which compose the universe, and as our possessions are not necessarily ourselves, so the properties are not the soul. The best comparison is with our eyes, in which vast tracts of country, huge mountains and miles of horizon on the sea are reflected at one time, and yet the eyes are scarcely an inch across. Such is the nature of the soul, which is so small as to be counted one among the numberless souls contained in the universe, and yet so vast as to contain within itself the whole universe.

The external self, the mind and the body have confined a portion of the whole consciousness; the same portion is in reality the soul. It is as if a line were drawn upon a cloth marking off a part of it as separate from the whole. Or it is as if we were to stand before a curtain with a small lantern so that the light of the lantern falls upon the curtain and forms a patch upon it. In like manner the impressions of the mind and body are reflected on the soul and separate it from the whole consciousness. Upon the soul is reflected the happiness or misery, the joy or sorrow of the external self, but the soul in itself is neither sad nor joyful. The soul is neither subject to birth and death nor does it increase or decrease; it neither evolves nor degenerates.

If we stand before a mirror clothed in rags the mirror holds the reflection of our rags, but it is not itself in misery. If we stand before the mirror covered with pearls and diamonds the reflection of our pearls and diamonds falls upon the mirror, but the mirror does not turn into diamonds and pearls. So is it with the soul: it is neither a sinner nor is it virtuous; it is neither rich nor poor. All life's joys and sorrows, ups and downs, are reflected for the time being upon the curtain of the soul, and after a time pass away. Therefore both the joys and sorrows of yesterday are nothing to us today.

The soul and the body are of the same essence; the soul has formed the body from itself, the soul being finer, the body grosser. What in the soul may be called vibration in the body becomes atom. The soul has become mind in order to experience more, it has become body in order to experience still more concretely; yet the mind is independent of the body, and the soul is independent of both mind and body.

The soul sees through the mind and the body, the body is the spectacles of the mind, and the mind is the telescope of the soul. It is the soul that sees, but we attribute sight and hearing to the eyes and ears. In absence of the soul neither the body nor the mind can see. When a person is dead the eyes are there, but they cannot see; the ears are there, but they cannot hear.

The work of the soul is to know and to see, and the work of the mind and body is to act as a magnifying glass for it. Yet they in their turn also see and hear what is external to them, as the consciousness works through them also. The soul sees the play of thought in the mind, the mind perceives the pains and sensations of the body, the body is conscious of heat, cold, and touch. Its consciousness may be seen when something is accidentally about to fall on it; before the mind can think of a plan for safety the exposed part of the body instantly contrives its escape.

The mind sees the body alone, but the soul sees both the mind and the body; neither the body nor the mind is able to see the soul. The soul is accustomed to see what is before it, and so it cannot see itself. Our soul has always looked outward, that is why our eyes, nose, ears, all our organs of perception are outward. It is our mind and body that attract our soul outward. And as the eyes, which see all things, yet need a mirror to see themselves, so the soul cannot see itself without a mirror.

When the eyes are closed, do you think that the soul sees nothing? It sees. When the ears are closed, do you think that the soul hears nothing? It hears. This proves that it is the soul that sees and hears. In the meditative life, by the mystical experiences of Anvar and Anzar, a Sufi realizes the fact that there are objects which the soul can see without the help of the eyes, and that there are sounds which it can hear without the help of the ears. The great poet Kabir has said, 'What a play it is that the blind reads the Quran, the deaf hears the Gita, the handless is industrious, the footless is dancing.' He refers to the soul which has the capacity of working even without instruments, such as the organs of the body and the faculties of the mind.

Sleep, the unconscious condition, is the original state of life from which all has come. As the body sleeps and the mind sleeps so the soul sleeps. The soul does not always sleep at the same time as the mind and the body. This sleep of the soul is experienced only by mystics; they are conscious of this experience in themselves, and so can recognize it in others. The body sleeps more than the mind, the soul sleeps much less than either the mind or the body. When a person is fast asleep his soul does not lose its contact with the body. If the soul lost its contact with the body, the person would die; if the soul withdrew from the mind, the mind would be dispersed, the collection of thought would be scattered, it would be like a volcanic eruption.

The soul takes pleasure in the experience of the senses, in eating and drinking, in every experience. It indulges in this, and the more it indulges in it the more it becomes bound to it. All that we eat and drink contains a narcotic, even pure water. Therefore after eating and drinking a sort of sleep comes upon us, the soul feels a little relieved, it feels rather detached from the body.

The soul cannot easily be free from the body and the mind. Though its real joy is to attain peace by being free from experience, yet it has forgotten this. 'He will indeed be successful who purifies it, and he will indeed fail who corrupts it.' There are people who take strong drink, hashish, opium, drugs, and all such things. Under their influence the troubles of the body are felt less and the thoughts are blurred, the soul feels relieved; but it is a transitory happiness because it is dependent upon matter instead of upon spirit.

The ordinary person knows that after deep sleep he is calm, reposed, his feeling is better, his thoughts clearer. The condition of Hal, or Samadhi, the highest condition, is the same as that of deep sleep, the difference being only that it is experienced at will. The difference between the perfect person and the ordinary person is only this, that the perfect person experiences consciously what the imperfect person experiences unconsciously. Nature provides all with the same experience, but most people are unconscious of the experience, which is to their disadvantage.

When the mind is dispersed no impression will remain on the soul, nothing will retain it from merging into the whole consciousness.

Some philosophers have said that we are parts of God. That is not so. They have said this because they have seen the physical body. What more can the intellect see? In the physical existence each individual is distinct and separate, but behind this physical existence all are one, the consciousness is one. If it were not so we should not be able to know one another, neither the face nor the voice nor the language of each other. We can know when we advance spiritually how our friend is; even if he is in Japan or Arabia and we are here, we can know if he is ill, whether he is sad or happy; and not the state of our friends only but everything is known to the advanced soul.

1. - Qur'an 17:85 ar-ruhu min 'amri rabbi الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي

In the beginning, when there was no earth nor heaven, there was no other phase of existence than the eternal consciousness, which in other words may be called a silent, inactive state of life or unawakened intelligence that man has idealized as God, the only Being.

In the first stage of manifestation the unconscious state of existence turns into Ilm, consciousness. Every soul is a ray of the consciousness. The nature of the consciousness is that it is radiant, it sends out rays. These pass through all the planes until they reach the ideal manifestation in man.

In the Vedanta the soul is called by three names which denote its three aspects, Atma, Mahatma, Paramatma. Atma is the soul conscious of the life on the surface, Mahatma is the soul conscious as well of the life within, Paramatma is the consciousness that is the soul of souls, conscious of the Absolute within and without, the God of the knower, the Lord of the seer.

In the primal stage of manifestation the consciousness has no knowledge of anything save of being, not knowing in what or as what it lives. The next aspect of he consciousness is the opposite pole of its experience, where it knows all that it sees and perceives through the vehicles of the lower world but is limited to this. When it rises above this experience and experiences the higher world as far as the highest aspect of its being, as said above, it becomes Mahatma, the Holy Ghost that unites Paramatma, the Father, with Atma, the Son, as explained in terms of Christianity.

This whole manifestation is constituted of two aspects of the consciousness, power and intelligence, in poetical terms love and light. All power lies in the unintelligent aspect of the consciousness, and the wisdom of the Creator that we see in the creation is the phenomenon of the intelligent aspect of the consciousness.

All this creation is not created of anything that is outside of the consciousness. It is the consciousness itself which has involved a part of itself in its creation while a part remains as Creator, as water frozen turns into ice and yet water abides within and the ice lasts only for the time that it is frozen; when light reaches the ice it turns into water, its original element. So it is with consciousness; all things have been created out of it, and when their time of existence is finished all return and merge into it.

The consciousness has taken four distinct steps in manifestation, which in Sufi terms are called Ilm, Ishq Wujud, Shuhud. Ilm is the stage in which the consciousness acts as intelligence. Ishq is the stage when the activity of the rays of the consciousness has increased and this has caused confusion among the rays and made power out of the intelligence, which is will in simple terms and in poetical terms love. The third step of the consciousness, Wujud, is the creation of vehicles, such as mind and body, through which it experiences the life on the surface. And its fourth step is its conscious experience of life from the depth to its utmost height, which is called Shuhud, and this fulfills the purpose of all manifestation.

The divisions of one into many are caused by light and shade, and if we looked keenly into life, both within and without, we should realize clearly that it is one life, one light, which appears divided and made into many by different shades. Every luminous object under the shadow of a less luminous object turns darker in part, and this in terms of art is called shade. It is this secret which is hidden under the variety of things and beings.

Time and space are the cause of all creation and the source of all its variety. It is time that changes things and beings from the raw state to the ripe condition, from youth to age, from birth to death. Time brings rise and fall, and space gives success and failure. A person may meet with failure in one place and in another place with success, in one country he may rise and in another country he may fall. If one were to look closely into life one would see that all creation is changed under the influence of time and space whereas no change ever takes place in space or in time. It is in these that the mystery of the whole world abides.

The activity of the consciousness has two aspects, motion and stillness, which causes two distinct things, the expressive power and the faculty of response. From the highest to the lowest plane of existence and in the lives of all things and beings, we see these two forces working unceasingly. Each being for the other, and in the experience of expression and response lies the joy of both; in other words, the satisfaction of the consciousness. The sun expresses, the moon responds; the voice expresses, the ear responds. All the dual aspects of life, such as male and female, show these two aspects. There is not a single thought, speech, action, or event that takes place without the activity of these two; all happiness and success are in their harmony and every fall and failure are in the lack of it. The birth of every thing and being is caused by the meeting of their glance, and death and destruction are the result of their conflict, when either merges into the other and both lose their power.

There are two different ways in which creation takes place from the highest to the lowest plane: intention and accident. The former shows the wisdom of the Creator, who makes all things suited to their purpose; and accident is that which reveals a loss of purpose in things and beings. All the opposites, such as and evil, sin and virtue, right and wrong, beauty and ugliness, are accounted for by the above two tendencies of the Creator that work throughout creation.

The whole creation acts under the law of attraction and repulsion. Attraction is the affinity which collects and groups atoms and vibrations and all things and beings; it is power, and repulsion is the lack of it. It is these two that uphold the universe; if one of them were to cease to exist the whole universe would crumble to pieces.

The life of the universe in all its workings is entirely dependent upon the law of tone and rhythm.

The pure consciousness has so to speak gradually limited itself more and more by entering into the external vehicles, such as the mind and the body, in order to be conscious of something, for the joy of everything is experienced when it is tried.

The first state of manifestation of the consciousness is of a collective nature, in other words a universal spirit, not individual. There is a saying of a dervish, 'God slept in the mineral kingdom, dreamed in the vegetable kingdom, awakened in the animal kingdom, and realized Himself in the human race.' Therefore the ultimate aim of the eternal Consciousness in undertaking a journey to the plane of mortality is to realize its eternal being.

Each of the said kingdoms has sprung from the preceding one, and each preceding kingdom has developed into the succeeding kingdom. In the mineral kingdom one sees by careful study how the rock has developed into metal, and from metal into a softer earthy substance, until it develops into the plant. And one sees how the development of the plant creates germs and worms, which we call lives, and how from their germ and worm state of being they develop into insects, birds, and beasts. This all shows that nature is working continually to rise to a greater consciousness of life, and finds its satisfaction at last when it has accomplished its journey by rising to its natural and normal state of being, which it accomplishes in man.

When a ray starts out from the universal Spirit, projecting towards manifestation, it is called Dipak, meaning light, which in its lower manifestation turns into Cupid, the reverse of the word 'dipak' in spelling. In Arabic it is called Nur, light.

It is very difficult to differentiate rays from light and light from rays. It depends on our understanding. In the rays light is more separate, more distinct, while light itself is more collected, more together. But at the same time we should remember that the truth cannot be put into words; all we can do is make an effort to render the mystery of life intelligible to our minds. The distinction between light and sun and rays is most useful, but it must be understood by the light of intuition; then it will become clear. Take for instance the example of the rain; why must the raindrops also rear poisonous plants and weeds, why should they not fall only upon corn, fruits, and flowers? They fall in all places; and so do the rays coming from the sun. The divine light falls everywhere without distinction just as the rain does.

When science discovered the secret of electricity, on that day science was also discovering the secret of the soul. For the secret of the soul is not far removed from the secret of electricity. The current of electricity is not necessarily the same as electricity. Electricity is the power, which is hidden in the current. It is the same with the soul; the soul attracts atoms by some secret current; and that current is the soul itself. It is like one globe over another. There is something within the body, but at the same time it is all collected and gathered in that current; and that current is the ray; it is the divine current.

In the angelic sphere the soul attracts angelic atoms; in the jinn sphere it attracts jinn atoms, and on the earth physical atoms. Thus mankind is clothed in the garb of an angel, of a jinn, and of a human being; but when he only sees himself in the garb of a human being without seeing the other garbs, he believes he is nothing but a human being.

The souls coming out get impressions from the souls going back because they absorb, conceive, learn, and receive all that is given to them by the souls leaving the earth. But what really happens is reflection; souls coming from heaven become impressed. It is just like an impression upon a photographic plate; and when they come on earth the photographic plate is developed and finished.

As a rule the reflection of two souls meeting takes place like this but there is a difference in the qualities of souls. There is one upon which an impression is made instantly, and another soul upon which it takes longer. That is due to the intensity of power and radiation that the soul brings along within itself.

Souls on their way to the earth plane know, and at the same time do not know exactly, that they are on the way to experience life here. There is an impulse to go forward and to experience that which they may be able to experience. That tendency gives the soul strength to advance, and those, which are able to advance far enough manifest as human beings.

The soul brings on earth an accommodation for its mind, already prepared in a very negative state, from the world of the jinns; that is the plane it gets its accommodation from. It gets a body after coming on earth, but the accommodation is filled later on, after the soul's awakening on the earth plane; it is here that the soul collects everything. For instance there may be one child which listens attentively to music, while another runs away from it; this means that the latter has not got the mold in which music is engraved. It will learn to appreciate music later if it will listen to it, but with the first child the mold was already made, and the music it hears will readily fit into that mold.

The soul gathering impressions first builds up the astral being, then attracts both sexes towards each other, manifesting to them first in ether, feeling; then in air, thought; then in fire, desire; manifesting after this into water and earth elements, gathering and grouping the substance from both, choosing a clay suitable for its formation. Generally a soul chooses also its birthplace and family. The soul inherits the father's qualities and the mother's form, in other cases the reverse; attracting the heredity on the father's and the mother's side until it steps on earth as an infant.

A mother seeing the growth of her child, says that her child has gained so many pounds. In fact it has lost as much, for the soul of the child has produced from its immortal nature mortal unconsciousness in order to experience life, and the more the earthly substance is built up, the more the heavenly being is lost, the more feeble it has become and the more the almighty power is lessened.

Sex is determined in every plane where the soul forms its vehicle; first on the plane of consciousness where it emerges as dynamic force or intelligence, then on the plane of the abstract as sound or light, which gives power to man and wisdom to woman. In man this manifests as influence and in woman as beauty. In the spiritual plane it manifests as expression and response, which gives man the fatherly and woman the motherly quality.

When and why was the difference of sex produced in manifestation? One cannot say that the soul of woman or the soul of man was made first, as the soul is neither male nor female. When the soul reaches the point where the distinction of sex arises, it is first male; then if it wishes to become finer, it becomes female. We can see in the kernel of the almond and other nuts, that where there are two kernels in one shell the female form has been formed from the male.

One sometimes calls men and women who love each other very much two parts of one soul; but this can only be said in the sense that we are all parts of one soul. Between man and woman there can be affinities of the angel plane, of the jinn plane and of the physical plane; many different ties and affinities attract them to each other.

This whole world of illusion could only be produced by duality. In reality there are not two, but one. In order to produce this world, the one Being had to turn Himself into two, and the two had to be different. We have two eyes but one sight, two ears but one hearing, two nostrils but one breath. According to whether the breath flows through the one or the other nostril, it has distinct qualities and faculties; but it is the same breath.

If we hold a mirror in the sunshine, and turn it about, some of the flashes will be stronger, others weaker; some therefore positive, others negative. In the same way the rays of consciousness differ from one another in their energy from the very beginning. Then the ray on its course towards manifestation at once meets the male and the female soul, and the impression of the male and female is made upon it. It may have great creative forces and yet appear as woman because of this impression, or it may be of feminine quality and appear as man because of the impression it has received. When the soul reaches the physical plane, its sex depends upon the parents, upon the planets, and upon the time.

The sex that it takes at the time of formation is not changed later. In the Ghilman and Pari sex exists also, though in a lesser degree. We have passed through the plane of Ghilman and Pari, but we are not Ghilman and Pari; just as we might pass through Germany on our way to Russia, yet we would not be Germans because we had passed through that country. Those who settle in the world of Ghilman and Pari, are Ghilman and Pari. They have either no inclination or no power to go further.

The reason for all manifestation is that manifestation is God's nature. By this He obtains His satisfaction through the fulfillment of the purpose of the whole creation. But God's satisfaction is not something He is only conscious of; it is something which belongs to Him but is brought to fulfillment. Joy is something which belongs to us, but it is aroused by a certain emotion, a certain action; so this whole creation, which is an action, brings to God the satisfaction for which it was created. It does not bring anything new to God; it only makes Him conscious of what He is.

It is most interesting to understand how the action of God works in manifestation. For instance, sometimes a person begins to walk about the room, or starts drumming with his fingers, or looks up and down without there being any need for it. Why does he do it? Because the absence of action has the effect of paralyzing the activity of the mind; and when the absence of action has paralyzed the mind the soul begins to feel lonely and begins to wonder whether it is living or not. But when it begins to walk or to stop, then it realizes that it is alive, because then it lives in the outward consciousness of life. If we think about this more it opens a vast field of knowledge.

Naturally not all motion is caused by restlessness, for there are two states: weakness and strength. When a person is weak, once put in motion he will act and go on acting without any control; the other aspect, however, is strength, and that is quite different.

Manifestation takes place in time and space. The sun, the moon, and the planets all have their influence. Morning, noon, evening, night and every hour of the day each have their special influence too. The children of one father and one mother are very different from each other in height, in breadth, in appearance, in every way, because they are born at different times. If one brother is fifteen years old and the other five, the difference between them will be very great. Twins are very much alike because there is little difference in the time of their birth. Lambs are all much alike because they are born in the same season; and fishes of the same kind are almost exactly alike because thousands of them are produced at the same moment.

This gives rise to the variety, in which the art of the Creator is shown. Since the beginning of the world there have been no two faces alike. Every artist will draw some faces that are similar; how great then must be the art of that Creator who has made all this variety!

All manifestation is made by the two forces of accident and intention, and by the creative and responsive forces. We can see the forces of accident and intention at work in our lives. For instance, if we intended to go for a walk in the park but met a friend who said, 'You must come to my house,' and he took us there, we had the intention of going to the park, but accident took us to the home of the friend.

Everything in the world is creative or responsive. When someone speaks he is performing the creative part; those who are listening are performing the responsive part. The sun and the moon, male and female, the fruit and the flower, all represent nature's creative and responsive forces.

Is the Creator then not master and able to make everything work as He wishes? The mastery is there, but its working out is in accordance with the impressions, which are received from the external world.

When a person has been sitting still for some time he will want to move, to rub his hands, his feet, just to feel he is alive. If someone is very fond of the society of his friends and they are not with him, he will want to go out to see them. It is not really because he wants the friends; it is because if his friends are not talking to him, if he has to miss their activity, he does not feel that he is alive.

A blind man will say, 'I am half dead. This external world is nothing to me.' He is alive, but because he cannot see the activity of the world he feels dead. If one pondered upon what one's life would be without all the organs to experience the external world, one would see that then one could realize 'I am,' but nothing else. No doubt if a person is inactive but looks at his hands and feet, he realizes that he is alive; but if he were not aware of this body his feeling would be different.

Those parts of creation that do not have much activity we may call living-dead. The mineral does not feel itself alive because it has very little activity. We consider the insects, birds, and animals to be the most alive because they have the greatest activity, and we sympathize most with them.

The destruction of form during manifestation does not affect the great Breath of God, as the ebb and flow of the sea is not at all affected by the waves, whether they go this way or that way. The manner of manifestation is the same all through, from beginning to end and from God to the smallest atom. For instance as God breathes, so we breathe and so do the animals and birds breathe; and when we see that act of breathing going on in the whole manifestation, in the same manner in which it has begun, then we realize that there is one law, one way in which the whole creation took place and will go on until its end.

We can see how minerals turn into plants, and plants into animals. There are some stones that change their shape every six months or so. They are on their way to becoming plants. And there are plants that are very near the stones that look very much like stones; their leaves are like stones, their flowers are like stones. There are plants that catch and eat flies.

The plant by its decay produces the germ and the insect. Every fruit that is not used decays and produces many germs and worms. We think that it is wasted, because we think of it as a fruit; but it turns into a higher form of life, into more activity and more consciousness.

From the insects, as their activity increases and as they develop, come the birds. Those birds that are very greedy and eat flesh become very heavy and do not stay in the air. Those that do not eat so much fly in the air; but those that eat much flesh remain on the ground and their wings become legs. Then the animals come into being. On some birds one may see that among the feathers on the neck and other places there is some brown hair; this shows that they are becoming animals. The animals evolve until man is formed.

The kangaroo and the monkey are most like man. In some primitive races, which have been human for a relatively short time, one can see the likeness to the animals. Other races have been man for a very long time and are more human.

The wheel of evolution is such that the consciousness gradually evolves through rock, tree, animal, to man. In man it evolves enough to seek its own way back to its eternal state of being. Man is the most active being; he has to do with a great many things. A rock has very little activity, and it lasts long; a tree has a little more activity, and its life is not so long as that of the rock. There are many animals that live much longer than man. Man has the greatest activity, and in him the consciousness reaches its highest point of manifestation. In the human race one also finds that man's face has improved at every period of evolution.

If man and animal are both made of the same substance, why then is man superior to the animal? Man and animal are made from the same element, spirit substance, but man is the culmination of creation; that is, man was made with all the experience of the previous creation. A sculptor, as he practices his art, grows more and more expert. His earlier work is not so perfect as the later. A poet grows more and more skillful in writing verse. His earlier poems are generally less skillful and perfect than the later.

When man was manifested the Creator had all the experience of His earlier creation, and all the former creation was so to speak the framework for man, the ideal creation. The Creator is the greatest idealist. Man can have his limited ideal; the ideal of the Unlimited is far greater, and this ideal is man.

Some of the human race comes straight from God, others have come from the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms. Primitive man is the result of this evolution. Man in his higher development does not pass through these stages. It is like the work of a sculptor in India who wishes to model a statue. First he goes to the jungle to get the clay; then he kneads it and soaks it and prepares it. When it is prepared, he does not go back to the jungle to fetch fresh clay for every statue. He has it ready; it is always in process of preparation.

The difference between what parts of God are expressed by plants, animals, and man is in their bodies and minds. The soul is a ray; and as a ray they are all one and the same. But the body is adorned, in accordance with the fineness of the soul which inhabits it, with more or less intelligence; thus animals and plants differ from man, but among mankind one will also find differences of the same kind. Some have a vegetable quality, some an animal quality, some a human, some an angelic quality. Among Hindus there is a custom, when a couple contemplates marriage, for their family to take their horoscopes to a Brahmin. He may not see very much in the horoscopes, but he is generally a psychologist and he ponders over the question as to what category each person belongs in – whether it is angelic, human, animal, or still denser. If he finds that there is a vast difference between the categories, he will tell them it would not be right for them to marry.

All the time sparks of consciousness are thrown off by the consciousness. They reach to various points of the stages of evolution, and when man is reached the ideal creation has been attained. It is then that the return journey begins. Man only can return to that light, to that consciousness from which the whole of creation came. Neither the horse, nor the dog, nor the cat will reach that light; it is only man who is the seed of that divine fruit. If you put the rind of an orange in the ground, it will not produce an orange tree. All the lower creation was made for the creation of man, God's ideal creation. In man all creation is contained, and he alone can return to the original source, God, from whence he came.

The perfection of God's manifestation is man. When man reaches perfection, His manifestation is perfect, and without man's perfection, God's manifestation would not be perfect. Perfection is reached when man becomes truly human.

One might ask if plants and animals, mountains and streams, also have a being or an apparent individual existence on the higher planes, as human souls have. All that exists on the earth plane has its existence on the higher planes too; but what is individual? Every being and object which is distinctly separate may be called an entity, but what one calls an individual is a conception of our imagination; and the true meaning of that conception will be realized on the day when the ultimate truth throws its light upon life. On that day no one will speak about individuality; one will say 'God' and no more.

There are many beings, but at the same time there is one, the only Being. Therefore objects such as streams and mountains are also living, but they only exist separately to our outer vision. When our inner vision opens then the separation is shown as a veil; then there is one vision alone, and that is the immanence of God.

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