Cora L. V. Scott
Cora Lodencia Veronica Scott (April 21, 1840 – January 3, 1923), also known as Cora Hatch, was one of the best-known mediums of the Spiritualism movement of the last half of the 19th century.
“The Religion of Life” (1858)
from Discourses on Religion, Morals, Philosophy and Metaphysics
- Religion does not consist alone in reverence or adoration for a special object; but it makes that reverence the controlling and prompting influence of all other faculties of the mind. Thus there can be a religion of intellect, of love, of every department of the human mind; and a religion of life combines the whole of human existence, and makes up the sum of every department of earthly life.
- There is a true, religious devotion in the mind and feelings of that man whose soul springs forth in beauty and power, whose physical form is upright and symmetrical, and who, in fulfilling the laws of health, fulfils the laws of Deity. There is a true religion in the intellectual man, who, penetrating deeply into the earth, and air, and sky, for scientific investigation, culls all the treasures of thought and beauty, and stores them up in his memory as sacred and divine.
- A religion of bigotry and sectarianism … becomes, not a religion of life, but a religion of one special department and thus a man may be religious on one plane and entirely irreligious on another.
- There is certainly a religion which belongs to the physical form, and which should be regarded in degree as much as that which belongs to the soul. It is as much a duty for every man and woman to perfect fully their physical form as for them to continually search for immortality.
- Your theology has taught you to believe that any religion, to be perfected, must be so at the sacrifice of the physical form or powers. Hence, the ancient religionists confined themselves within the cloistered cells of monasteries, and there with true devoutness of feeling they sought to perfect the immortality of the soul by crucifying the body. Health, life, intellect—all were sacrificed to this fanaticism for a happy immortality. … Ask any religionist what constitutes true and perfect religion, and he will tell you it is that which crucifies the human part and cultivates the divine.
- When you endeavor to perfect every department of that form—physically, mentally, spiritually—then you are fulfilling the laws of true religion. Can a soul perfect itself in every department, when the physical form is groaning under disease, and continually decaying in consequence of the endeavor to crucify it? Never. The soul must spring forth spontaneously, and the form must be subservient to the slightest thought and feeling of the soul.
- There is true religion in that man who, instead of endeavoring to perfect but one department of his nature, makes his physical, mental, social, and moral life, equal. Cultivate your physical nature, perfect your life, and in that proportion your soul will be perfect. Cultivate strength, vigor, power, manliness, and symmetry, and in that proportion the soul can think greater thoughts.
- Reason is a religious duty and quality of the mind; and exercise of the judgment upon all occasions and subjects is true and most divine worship.
- Religion can not be defined as belonging to any special faculty; and even reverence and worship are but local manifestations of the religious element, and can not be said to be true religion unless they extend through every department of the mind. Religion, properly considered, is that subtle agent of the soul which aspires to perfection in whatever way it is to be attained; and seeks to worship God because he is infinite, and is what man is for ever aspiring to become.