Vera Stanley Alder
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Humanity Comes of Age, A study of Individual and World Fulfillment (1950)
Introduction p. I - XII
- What is happening in the world today? We have been living through an epoch in which wars, tyrannies and privations seem to have reached their peak...
- This century has seen world war for the first time. It has seen a world civilization threatened with self-destruction, not only through war but through the exploitation of all the kingdoms in nature...
- It has seen the people themselves taking increasing individual and collective action in order to obtain a world organization or government, a universal religion, or a universal language.
- Surely the human race is at last reaching the stage of adulthood — that adulthood of character which does not depend upon physical age at all — so that it is deliberately embracing responsibility for its own development and government, and trying to face up to the causes of its failures?
- The old ways of life are steadily losing their hold. Labour revolts. Culture revolts too. They are all subconsciously reaching for something different and better. They realize that science and culture, education such as it is, orthodox religion such as it is, have not saved men from a process of self impoverization and mutual extermination in a variety of forms.
- What then is missing? An ideology which would produce full harmony, co-operation and growth in alignment with the laws and economy of nature! Such an ideology has always been available... It is embodied either in the true Christian or the true Buddhist faith, but it has never yet been put into practice. It could provide the scientific and practical basis for world regeneration. It embodies the principle of unity, of sharing and of cooperation.
- There is a great chasm between this new principle and the traditional one of separatism, self-interest and acquisitiveness. This chasm has to be crossed by the human mind to-day. That crossing will revolutionize the whole of human thinking and mark the transition of humanity from the stage of adolescence into the stage of human adulthood.
- There are those who stand in the vanguard, those who huddle ineffectively in the centre, and those who definitely hold progress back.
- ..In this book, to sort out the whole situation as simply as we can. We will endeavour to produce a guide book to progress for those of us who accept this new challenge of adulthood... we will outline the picture of past and present trends of human development.
- Secondly, we will build up a vision of what the future could be like if humanity so chooses — for “without vision the people perish”.
- Thirdly, we will give two practical Courses of self-training, mental and physical, with which we can fit ourselves to become successful pioneers for the new age.
- Finally, we will outline the progressive work already everywhere in existence, so that we may know where and how to dedicate our new strength.
- There are two ways of summing up world history, the inner way and the outer way. Both have been at the mercy of scribes and policies.
- The story of human evolution has progressed steadily from complete exclusiveness to an ever-broadening inclusiveness.
- At first it was built up around the self-interest of the family unit. Later the ring-pass-not enlarged to include the tribe. The tribal communities finally produced the small state or nation. The aggressive self-interest of nations eventually produced Empires. Everything outside of the Empire was potential enemy or potential prey.
- Finally came the conceptions of Federation and of Commonwealth. This saw the emergence of a new concept of co-operation instead of tyranny, and of the rights of the individual instead of those of the autocrat. Nevertheless, even the most benign and powerful of these nation-groups had still to consider everything outside of itself as potential enemy, and therefore self-interest still ruled.
- At the present time the issue is the self-interest of several immense nation-groups. The result is much as it would be if the four quarters of a person’s body were arrayed against each other, and the circulation impeded between them. Economical chaos and frustration is the result, on a world scale.
- Is there a succeeding evolutionary step to be taken which would bring order out of chaos, and which would be the natural sequence of all that has gone before?... The scene would change from that of world and individual disease, due to faulty circulation through obstructions and deficiencies, to collective and individual health due to following the true and natural laws of economy. Instead of a world with a split personality and schizophrenia, as we now have, we would see a global civilization sanely and centrally controlled.
- The age-old metaphysical conceptions of the Divine Plan for mankind shows us the story of the human spirit learning through a long series of incarnations upon earth all those lessons which will finally give him sovereignty over all the forces of growth, and knowledge as to how to work in with the pattern of creation — as a Group.
- At present nations are held back by fear for the loss of their individuality... individual expression is essential.
- The secret which will solve this impasse is that true independence and individuality can only successfully exist in group form!
- The purpose of this book is, firstly, to make a rapid survey, the barest outline, of the knowledge which has existed, all through the history of man, and guided his development from behind the scenes; and, secondly, to study how, upon the foundations of that knowledge there can be built an entirely new way of life, which would produce the final pattern of a sane and successful world civilization.
Chapter I, Secrets Behind History
- Anyone who tries to think or write about the world situation to-day needs courage. The subject is so enormous and so complicated that it is bewildering. It is a period in history vibrating with possibilities. The pessimist is able to wallow in forebodings until he submerges, whilst the optimist can be so stimulated that he nears combustion! Which of them is justified?
- There are those who can prove that plans and ideals for a united world and a well organized Brotherhood of Men have existed for hundreds of years and have come to nothing. These are the ones who say “Human nature cannot change!” There are others who declare that we are living through a momentous epoch in history which is ushering in stupendous changes and the possibility for real world unity and a new and better civilization.
- Whatever possibilities and potentialities are latent today, the fact remains that the last word and the final decision will rest with us — the people.
- Who are we—the people? What is our significance, our purpose upon this earth? Can we know this? Have we ever known it? How comes it that we struggle so often like a helpless giant caught in the toils of those who wish to use us? Arc we only half alive, half aware of our power—and not aware of our own destiny at all? What is the significance and what the future of our individualities?
- Those who seek to influence us always work on our individualities, either trying to stifle them with mass hypnotism or to spur them to life with such cries as 'Democracy!’ ... or fulfilment under some other name.
- We know so pitifully little about ourselves, about the universe, about the hidden forces which support and impel all life forward and onward; about birth and death and what lies each side of them; about our God and His Will and purpose for us; about that comprehensive side of ourselves called the subconscious; about the destiny of this earth, and our relationship to the millions and myriads of palpitating stars that fill space.
- History tells us of wars and conquests and empires and revolutions, of cities and cultures, and of religions and persecutions. Yet actually it is a rather superficial survey. It leaves out almost entirely one vital part of the picture — the most important part. It has very little to say of man’s purpose in living, of his understanding of the reason of his existence and of his conception of life around him, and his interpretation of the mystery of creation and evolution. So little does history say about this aspect of man — the mainspring and motive of his living—that we are left guessing about the most important part of the story—the extent of man’s actual knowledge throughout the ages. We are given superficial and rather materialistic details of the outward forms and the bitter strife which accompanied the development of the various religions as they were interpreted and practised by the people, much of which leaves us with an impression of brutal and bigoted primitiveness. So much for orthodox history. Nevertheless, if we have the time ourselves to go exploring amongst less hackneyed literature than our average text books, we will soon find traces of an underlying, thrilling and significant way of life permeating the history of mankind... The legends of the Flood, the Virgin Birth, the World Messiah, the Resurrection, Paradise, Hades, Reincarnation, the progress of the soul and the Plan of Creation, are to be traced in every land and with great similarity of detail. p.6
- The difference between the Teaching in its past and in its modern guise is that in the olden days it was used principally for the self-development of the few, whereas at present humanity is considered to have moved forward to the point where the theories and ideals of the Mystery Teaching may soon be put into practice in the life of the community as a whole, because a sufficiently large number of people are now so advanced as to make this possible.
- The ancient writings all claim that a Golden Age is indeed due to follow the death of the present Dark Age. How long it will take to develop depends upon the people and the interest and initiative which they show in regard to the whole matter. It is therefore considered that a great deal may now be written or taught to people at this time on this vital subject, because for them it is still an unaccustomed topic, and it will take some time for them thoroughly to grasp the importance of it and the magnitude of the opportunity...
Chapter II Planning a Model World
- It is beginning to be realized, not by a few idealists but by numbers of the general public, that in spite of the countless triumphs of science and industry there has been something about humanity’s way of living that is proving to be suicidal. Fear, want, disease and war have been increasing in a steady crescendo until they have nearly engulfed the world altogether. This terrible state of affairs has, in spite of all the amenities of progress, been undermining the health, energy and mind-power of all the public everywhere, until most of them have been dulled into a blind acceptance.
- Nevertheless, recently certain things are becoming apparent which have hitherto escaped peoples’ consciousness in a most amazing way. They are beginning to realize that there could be in actuality More Than Enough of Everything in the World for Everybody, and that science, or man’s genius, has made it possible that everything in the world can now reach everybody everywhere; that this applies to both information and necessities; and that all amenities of living could now be made equally available to all peoples.
- Men are realizing that although this has been the case for some time, want, fear, disease and war are still allowed to make havoc of their lives, and that therefore someone or something is betraying them even unto death. They are becoming aware that they themselves are allowing this to happen, and are therefore somehow guilty, because in reality they, the people, are all powerful.
- It is... becoming obvious to them that the cause must lie in their own ignorance, and in that they have allowed themselves to be misinformed, influenced and used.
- Up till now the people have been largely defeated by the language in which economics, science, law and finance are habitually veiled; — the methods by means of which these aspects of the life of the community are managed is a mystery to the ‘man in the street’. Therefore change for them means the unknown, full of terrors and the possibility of loss — because their minds have not been trained logically to visualise coming developments as the natural processes of evolution.
- In making our blue-print of the coming new world, it will be advisable for us to proceed without the slightest regard... for what is apparently possible or for existing conditions, so that present habits of thought and inhibiting fears do not hamper our vision in any way.
- We can assume that a perfect world IS the ultimate goal for mankind and the purpose of God, for this has been promised to us in all religions.
- Let us lay down as the first foundation stone of our work the determination to seek for a World Design which is strictly in accordance with the highest spiritual principles which have been given to man down the ages, irrespective of whether we think the result possible or not.
- The second element in the framework of our design must be the realization of universal unity. This fact is only just beginning to permeate into men’s consciousness.
- The World Government... should be set up in order to deal with all those aspects of life which affect international relationships. It will in no way restrict but rather enhance national characteristics, individuality and genius. This is a point which should clearly be understood and which will be amplified as we go along.
- Nations will for a long time insist upon a large measure of self-government, but when they begin to see the benefits which accrue from each successive international co-operative development, they will finally grasp the new principle of synthesis, and the age of separation will be over for ever.
- It may be said that the actual birth of World Government coincided with the formation of the United Nations Organization, and with the desperate wish to invest it with real authority. So the embryonic World Government is potentially already there... What shape it eventually takes, whether it becomes an enlargement of former tyrannies, or whether in fact it will prove to be the instrument by means of which we shall produce our promised Golden Age, depends upon ourselves, the people.
- We are living in a time of transition, when everything is going to be so different that the experts are possibly more handicapped by their traditional time-worn knowledge than are we, untrained and with minds empty of red tape and orthodoxy.
- Can we grasp, for instance, that in spite of weather vagaries, even in spite of present soil erosion, there is and could be more than enough produced to-day to allow everyone everywhere a fair standard of living, without entailing drudgery for anybody?
- Can we grasp that there is more than enough land surface, capable of restoration, to support and feed in comfort a larger population than now exists on this globe?
- Can we grasp that the only requirement in order that this may be so is organization, a combined world organization founded upon the spiritual principle of sharing and cooperation; and that this would change the world from the state it is now in to a comparative Heaven?
- Can we grasp also that not only have inventions up to date, which would have contrived this, been neglected or misused, but that just around the corner new inventions, such as the application of atomic energy, will, if they arc allowed, change and improve our lives out of all recognition?
- Eventually this will come about. But the amount of delay, the number of false starts and mistakes which will have to be lived through first will depend upon how much clear and active thinking we will do.
- A World Government is a headpiece. That headpiece must have a body, integrated and responsive to its head! Such a body can only be built up by Federation. Federation is an ingredient of World Government, and will make possible a new economic world organization. This has now been grasped by those who have worked for World Government and those who have worked for Federation, and upon the basis of their amalgamation rapid progress can now be made.
- There will be tremendous difficulties to surmount whilst trying to arrive at the coming stages...
- All this will happen more easily and quickly than seems possible today, firstly because it is an inescapable step in the natural process of human evolution; secondly because humanity itself by its earnest aspiration and patient blind endeavour and endurance, has struggled out of the ancient egotistic separatist attitude, and cast aside the fetters of conventional thought, and is beginning to offer an open mind and heart for the impress of new values and inspirations; thirdly, because the initial steps in world organization which arc about to be achieved by such bodies as the World Health Organization, the U.N. Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Economic and Social Council etc., will soon show up the stupendous possibilities lying ahead.
Chapter III The Future World Government
- Little by little...the embryonic World Government... will set up a series of Councils of experts to study the best means of working out the fundamental problems of human existence — those of economics, agriculture, industry, distribution of populations, application of scientific discoveries, water power, production and distribution of necessities, and the organization of an International Force for the maintenance of peace and order....
- These councils will eventually work in collaboration with each other so that their plans dovetail and cohere from the start, and no aspects of living are forgotten... in time a scientific formula for their organization will be discovered, and a pattern into which everything will fall in its natural place.
- Eventually the government of each nation will send representatives to the World Government... Each national government will contain its own subsidiary international council within its ranks, whose duty it will be to keep closely in touch with its counterpart in every nation, so that constructive planning, agreements on various problems, exchange of news of experiments and of progress, may be carried on all the time.
Chapter IV The Spiritual Cabinet
- At the future period of which we are writing it will be acknowledged that the foundation of Government and of life in all its aspects must be firmly based upon spiritual principles. Thus the whole of World Government would rest upon the ultimate guidance and influence of the Spiritual Cabinet. The utter necessity of putting the spiritual side of life first and of using it as the criterion of living will have been for generations accepted by the people. They will have come to look first for this qualification in any man whom they wish to nominate to a place of responsibility.
- The Spiritual Cabinet would be composed of ... [people] who stand highest in spiritual training and quality amongst a considerable rank of such. Some of these... would be drawn from the leaders of the great religions, but not all... the Spiritual Cabinet should not govern. Rather, by a life of aspiration and meditation should they offer themselves as a channel through which the Will and Love of God can be interpreted. They should consciously act as a link between the Divine Mind and mankind, between the Hierarchy of God’s unseen helpers and planners, and those who wish to serve them in the administration of human affairs. Their problem would be to translate the sensed Plan for mankind into terms applicable to the particular situation which is being dealt with.
- By this time... the living through and the acting out of spiritual or ethical principles would have begun to be an intrinsic part of people’s lives, and orthodoxy as we now know it would have ceased to exist. Religion would no longer be an ‘aspect’ of human living but the almost unconscious foundation of every activity.
- [People].. would have become aware of the purpose and presence of God in every part of creation and in themselves, to such an extent that they would be incapable of separating ‘religion’ from science, education or government. The integration would have become complete.
Chapter VII The Council for Economics
- Money will come to be considered as crystallized power or spiritual energy, and therefore its manipulation will become a solemn responsibility, closely under the guidance of the Spiritual Council.
- Economics will have ceased to be mainly connected with finance in peoples’ minds, because all that concerns finance now will have undergone such radical changes that the word itself will no longer have the same meaning. Finance, as we have known it, established a false set of values in the public mind. It was concerned with money and the things that could be bought with money. Money has been considered to be the first thing of value, or the thing that embodied all value in the world. It will later be realized that the thing of value on this earth is the human being, in so far as he is fit and fully developed.
- World investment will be made in the production of fulfilled human lives. The wealth of the community will be assessed by the number of human beings it embraces who are qualified to carry on and to improve... the development and the exchange of knowledge, art and science between all peoples. Nations, communities... will be valued only by this criterion — their contribution to the whole, not to their environment alone but to mankind.
- It will be discovered that a system of exchange between peoples of goods and services will, when intelligently developed, gradually cancel out the need for buying and selling with money.
- It will be realized that the first need from the economic viewpoint, is that every nation and community shall be as self-supporting as possible; the second need is that there shall be no unemployment anywhere. It should be the duty of each nation, therefore, to discover and determine to what extent she can be self-supporting in the matter of food, without impoverishing her soil. This settled, she will secondly maintain full employment according to agreed standards, by the production of surplus goods or works of art for which she has especial genius or facilities.
- Most countries will be able to produce a proportion of some products beyond their own needs. This surplus will be passed to a Central Surplus Pool, controlled by the Council for Economics, and there registered in credit to the donor. The donor nation shall state her needs, of things with which she is unable to supply herself, and these needs, contributed to the Pool by other donor nations, shall be passed on to her. Thus no money, as such, need enter into these import and export transactions at all.
- The stipulation that a community must first be as self-supporting as possible in regard to food will do away with large scale cultivation of any one article, such as sugar, by a population who, living in a small area, must therefore depend upon obtaining much of their food from abroad.
- The terrible exploitation of native labor and destruction of native home life and the degenerating living conditions which have often been the result of private enterprise will no longer be possible.
- The Council for Economics would be assisted by the Continental Council in mapping out a chart of the particular products which represented the especial gifts, capacities and qualities of any one nation. It would be recognized that each division of the community would have a contribution to make to the whole of which it alone would be capable, and that the individuality and life of a nation is an immortal quality engendered by the climatic conditions and subtle forces at work in its own land, and which the hand of man can never permanently deflect or destroy.
- The effort would be made to encourage to the full the especial qualities and genius of each nation or tribe, and to arrange that the fruits of its unique expression be offered to the world in exchange for such things as it needed from outside. Thus the cultivation of native arts and crafts would be revived. Ancient and mature cultures such as those of the Chinese would not be pushed aside or forgotten in the scramble to keep pace with modern conditions, as is the danger to-day.
- The Council for Economics would have the work of planning the arrangements by means of which every child born into the world would be assured of the necessities of life and all the advantages of education.
- [Business transactions] would be completed through television or visual wireless, each purchaser being able to see the proffered goods in their natural colors, as will then be possible. The Chinaman and the Englishman would see each other, discuss their goods, give new orders, and become as friendly as if no distance divided them.
- The question of labour being cheaper in one country than in another, and of different standards of living which puzzle economists so much to-day, need not exist at this future period.
Chapter VII The Council for Agriculture and Industry
- The first concern of the Agricultural Section would be the serious one of preventing soil erosion through large-scale cropping of the land and through the cutting down of trees. It may be that such world-wide ravages will be stopped only just in time. At the present date of writing (1900) the menace is grave indeed. It will readily be seen that the cure of this type of devastation and the rehabilitation of great tracts of land can only be achieved under the most rigid authority and over a long period. By the time of which we are speaking a good beginning will have been made. The newly formed deserts and dustbowls of America and Africa will have been gradually reduced in size by afforestation and by the introduction of water systems around their borders.
- This work will also prove successful in the older deserts such as Sahara, on the Russian Steppes, and in other districts where the mud nuisance will be largely overcome, and in districts such as those in China where famines are induced by climatic conditions which will have been found to be alterable by man through intelligent afforestation and other measures. Only when such problems are treated through a worldwide planning scheme and from a highly scientific angle can it be hoped to produce radical changes in climate and in desert-making conditions, but eventually it can and will be done.
- The Spiritual Cabinet will encourage the Research Panel to do much work on this subject, until finally they are able to prove the truth of many revolutionary ideas to the Agricultural Council and to mankind. The Earth, is indeed, a living entity in a certain sense of the word, a Being who pursues His course of evolution and achievement as courageously and as inevitably as do all other living creatures. They will prove also that man bears a very special, intimate and fundamental relationship to the life of the planet—that there is a close interdependance between the morals, motives and acts of mankind and the reactions in climatic terms, of the planet to themselves.
- They will realize the fact that planet and man can and should work hand in hand, so to speak, to their mutual benefit and understanding; and that the majority of cataclysms, earthquakes, droughts and floods are in actuality man-made. The past unfortunate period of ignorant self-interest resulting in private enterprise, which has among other disasters, exploited parts of the planet to the extent of flaying the surface of its layer of fertile earth which has taken aeons to build up, will be found to have given all of mankind a serious set-back. It will be necessary for the people fully to realize that this is so, and therefore to subscribe to a patient and lengthy process of renovation of the soil.
- When fine new laws are made, only half the battle is won. If people do not understand their value and feel no personal responsibility, they go against these laws with every subtle act and thought in their power, often producing new complications and conditions worse than those which it is being attempted to improve. Only when man begins to feel a personal obligation towards his host, the planet, and cultivates an honourable consideration in all his acts for^ the good of the earth as well as for his own benefit, will real harmony begin to exist between humanity and the elements, especially in respect of those subtle conditions which produce some of the diseases and epidemics which are continuing to baffle science.
- Only when man begins to feel a personal obligation towards his host, the planet, and cultivates an honourable consideration in all his acts for^ the good of the earth as well as for his own benefit, will real harmony begin to exist between humanity and the elements, especially in respect of those subtle conditions which produce some of the diseases and epidemics which are continuing to baffle science.
- We have said that all the community will perform their share in World Government and in the government of the country to which they belong. Any agricultural or industrial worker would have the opportunity to qualify for this. He should be enabled to work for the World Government secretariat even from the heart of his farm or factory. Television and wireless and a comprehensive air-mail service will enable him thus to serve almost as though he were within the Government walls.
- The Spiritual Cabinet would bring forward the ancient law of the cycle of seven, the seventh period being one of rest and change. The symbology of God’s rest upon the seventh day will be understood, and this rhythm should be applied to the laws of living... Especially should that one which stipulated that the ground must lie fallow every seventh year be revived. The Agricultural Council should organize stores of food for the seventh year, and the Industrial members should arrange for a complete change of occupation for every individual during every seventh year. Naturally, in both cases these periods would be staggered. Therefore in the life of every human being every seventh year would be one of rest and change. This means that a seventh part of the community would thus be occupied every year. Each person could look forward to his seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first year and so on, as welcome landmarks in his life, which nothing would be allowed to spoil. Such holiday years need not be useless from the community’s point of view, as the person could be sent abroad on a year’s tour or visit, for the purpose of cementing international friendships, studying world conditions, spreading new ideas, practicing languages, and enjoying the stimulating art of making new friends abroad.
- Every seventh year the Governments would likewise take pause, consider their own progress, go through a process of re-election, re-arrangement and rest. All this organization would be founded upon the belief that man was not made for work, but work for man, and that the aim of all living is to allow man to reach his highest ethical and intellectual development in order to be of service to the cause of progress.
- The importance of the goodwill of every single human being in this respect would be brought home to them. Not merely the service of their hands but that of their hearts and minds would be held in esteem as the riches of the community.
Chapter X The Council for Social and International Law
- In the future it will be impossible to draw the line between the work of scientist, healer and teacher. Their findings will synthesize ever more closely, bringing successive simplifications and illumination. The contributions of all these branches of research would be used by the Council for Social Law, whose work in conjunction with International Law and with the psychologists would be to establish a code and an ideal everywhere which would reduce the necessity for legal control to a minimum.
- Even the attitude towards Law itself will have changed. In the dim past the laws of the earliest great civilizations were founded upon the ultimate Divine Principles and Laws which were at work behind all manifesting life, and which were earnestly studied by the priesthood who were usually the law-makers by virtue of that same study. Today many of those old laws would still be invaluable but for the fact that although they have stood the test of time they have been cumbered up by a succession of haphazard man-made laws which depended not upon the Ageless Wisdom for their worth, but upon the mood of some rather mediocre Government.
- The Principle of Sharing which will eventually rule all these arrangements will produce an attitude to property and possessions impossible to visualize to-day. If a person has more than his share he will feel as uncomfortable and ashamed as one now does who has insufficient. The misfortune of not knowing how to give and to share will produce the inferiority complex of the future. The Christian admonition that “if a person ask of thee thy coat give him thy cloak also” will be understood by all. Those who need something will not rob, but will state their need at their Community Centre and will thereby be given by their neighbors a much greater choice of goods than they could attain by attempted theft. Furthermore, tastes and requirements will become successively reduced and simplified in measure as peoples’ needs become choice and few.
Chapter XV The Essential Science of Breathing
- Some say ‘Man is what he eats’ and some say ‘A man’s thinking determines his character’. It might be even more true to say ‘A man’s life and character are governed by his breathing’! This is because a person can neither digest what he eats nor act up to his ideas unless his breathing qualifies him to do so. p. 101
- Breathing is really a very complex activity. It does not only consist of taking in air, absorbing oxygen from it and letting it out again as carbonic acid gas! The breathing has a tremendous effect on the character, determining the mood, courage, strength of purpose, health and inspiration from day to day.
- Usually... a person’s breathing has become automatic from childhood upwards, being determined by his childhood’s environment, circumstances and heredity. This automatic breathing is usually very inferior because of our ‘modern’ way of life, and leads to permanent inferior health. Therefore one of the first things which must be taken in hand is an understanding and mastery of the science of breathing.
- It is no exaggeration to say that if even five minutes a day were spent in mental and physical breath control, a person’s whole life would be made anew. For, besides the physical atoms of the air, such as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, there are literally thousands of different radiations playing through the atmosphere, some of them infinitely subtle and powerful, which come from planets far outside our solar system! These can, and should, be drawn upon by us in correct breathing, specialized through our endocrine glands, and used in our most vital thinking and creative activities.
- A Yogi, or eastern sage, who wishes to perfect himself begins with the breath, and by its means obtains control over every nerve and function in the body, and finally arrives at super-normal experiences and an ecstasy... Whereas a citizen of Western civilization is usually brought up without any knowledge of the science of breathing whatsoever, his breath being successively restricted by taboos and inhibitions throughout childhood, adolescence, and finally by the anxieties, depressions, bad air and smells, and the nervous rush of modern life. The final result is that the average person hardly breathes at all (compared with what he should do) and therefore is relatively half-conscious most of his days.
- We can get on top of the world in most circumstances if we know and practice correct breathing, but without it we will always be working on one cylinder, and at the bottom of our form. For correct breathing feeds our minds as well as our bodies.
- Correct breathing must be deep, slow, even, and controlled by the mind and will. If it is deep it allows all the necessary rays and forces of nature to be drawn in and to reach every part of the body. If it is slow, then all possible benefits can be obtained before it is expelled again. If it is even, a rhythm is established in time with the rhythm of nature; the various vibrations of the body tune in with each other, and with the cosmic life-giving rays, thus producing a complete harmonious integration. If it is controlled by the mind and will, outside influences cannot upset the personal rhythm, nor distract the individual from his goal.
- Conversely, a shallow, quick breath only half-nourishes, and is the partner of fear, nervousness and self-consciousness; whilst the uneven uncontrolled breath allows the person to become ‘beside themselves* with the emotional disturbance and indecision.
- Correct breathing also performs a constant massage of the internal organs by raising them up and down, thus curing constipation when it is caused by faulty insufficient breathing (as is often the case) which holds the muscles of the abdomen in a static position. Therefore the first thing to do is to make sure that you know how to breathe from the physical standpoint, and how to control the muscle of the diaphragm. This muscle forms the dividing line between the chest and the stomach just below the ribs. Place the fingers upon the diaphragm muscle just below the ribs and under the centre breast bone. In this arched hollow lies the muscle upon which correct breathing depends. Take a slow breath, drawing the muscle upwards and inwards, following its movement with the fingers, fill the lungs with air right up to the collarbones. Then breathe out slowly whilst tucking the diaphragm still further inwards and upwards!
- Herein lies the true secret of breathing because most people do the exact opposite and drop the whole chest and let the muscles sag whilst breathing outwards. At first, practise every day until you have gained control of the diaphragm muscle, using it to push the air up and out in expiration. This pulls the intestines from their usual sagging position, thus accelerating the whole digestive system. It is also the foundation for all your future breathing work. It raises the chest and inclines the oxygen to pass upwards into the head and cleanse and invigorate the mind.
- As soon as you have begun to master the diaphragm muscle, you can consider the rhythm of the breath. This must be gentle, even and deep, and have four stages; (1) pause for preparation, (counting three); (2) breathe in slowly, (counting three; (3) hold breath whilst absorbing life forces, (counting three) and (4) breathe out whilst spreading the new life all over the body (counting three). Then repeat the exercise. As soon as you feel able, increase the counts to four times four and gradually increase until you arc able to breathe to four times seven without strain. (p. 104)
- This is called the World Breath or ‘Seven’ Breath, and was much practised by the ancient Egyptians who were adepts at physical and physiological culture. Seven, as you know, plays an important part in the plan of the Universe which affects tnis Earth, as for instance, the 7 planets, 7 colours of the spectrum, 7 notes of music, 7 days of the week, etc. If we practise the Seven Breath every morning on awakening, we will tune ourselves in to the forces of growth and progress and derive great benefit and strength from so doing, provided we neither strain nor jerk.
Chapter XXII Man's Innate Genius
- From the mind of each of us there stretches an invisible thread. This links us with the inner Heavens, the place of all knowledge, and inspiration. Like a telephone wire, this thread is useless unless there is a receiving instrument at one end, and a person trying to establish a contact. We may spend our whole lives without ever properly using our invisible thread, or knowing that it is there. This is tragic, because there is no limit to what we can achieve by means of this magic link. The thread has been known and used by all the sages in history, and has been given many names.
- One rather beautiful name is ‘The Rainbow Bridge’ — the bridge which links us to wisdom. This name is very apt because it is taught that the thread is made up of seven strands, of the colours of the spectrum; and that these strands form our seven little personal links with the seven creative forces of Nature...
- Some great figures in history developed their Rainbow Bridge so effectively that they became geniuses like Raphael or Beethoven. Once a simple peasant girl developed her link with courage so earnestly that she finally became known as Jeanne D’Arc. Many humble people have cared so deeply for their neighbours that they have developed the channel of Divine Love in their Rainbow Bridge and have become great healers.
Chapter XXXI Understanding the World Plan
- What will that world be like? What are the steps by which its achievement can be approached? If we realize what the various needed changes and developments are, we will better understand where we can fit in, and to which necessary efforts we feel most drawn.
- All religions give us the same hints and lay down the same principles, which imply: Firstly, that man will eventually become perfect and God-like — that is to say powerfully creative and no longer subject to death and disease. Such... [people] will obviously be able to run this world in an ideal way. Secondly, that humanity and all life upon this planet are ONE and indivisible... we must try to understand the secret of Unity. Thirdly, that loving and sharing all and with all, is to be the answer to most of humanity’s problems.
Chapter XXXV The Opportunity Today
- Various classes of doctors and healers somewhat to look down upon each other and ignore respective merit. This habit must be superseded, of course, by co-operation, correlation and the growing understanding of the part that various types of healing play in their relation to one another...
- The obvious need is for the... [different]... approaches to healing to approach one another, uphold each others’ integrity and work together. Much of the orthodox doctors’ work is guesswork. A good clairvoyant who can see right through his patient’s body should be able to help enormously with diagnosis. But in order to do so he must learn from the medical profession, so that he can know what it is that he is seeing and convey it to the doctor in a practical manner.
- On his side the doctor should study that branch of the ‘occult’ sciences which deals with man’s etheric double and his centres of force behind the endocrine glands; and also with the seven inter-penetrating states of living substance of which man is formed — physical, etheric, astral or emotional, concrete mental, abstract mental or soul) and spiritual. Between them they should ascertain on which of these ‘planes’ the chief interest of their patient is focussed.
- Does he ‘live in his emotions’? Is he ‘earth to earth’? Is he ‘highly strung’ (etherically or nervously focussed)? Is he a ‘practical man’ (concrete mental)? Is he an intellectual (abstract mind)?... Does he suffer from ‘divine discontent’? Is he an ‘adrenal type’ a ‘thyroid type’ or a ‘pituitary type’ — or a mixture of all of them, and in what degree? According to where and how his life forces are focussed so should be the method of healing adopted for him.
- This will be the science of the future. Today we can only ennumerate some of the new methods of healing, in order to indicate the possibilities ahead and suggest avenues of exploration.
- Biochemistry (life-chemistry) is a further advance yet, and consists in the study and production of cell-salt combinations just as they are found in the living body, and on which metabolism depends. In this way the deficiencies which produce disease and which the patient may be incapable of remedying by himself, are overcome far more quickly than would be possible through taking nourishing food.
- These, then, arc some of the conditions which arc drawing a suffering humanity into a deep and subconscious brotherhood, whose results should swing the public will inevitably into the balance for a unified world under a coherent central organization. It will not, however, be a public composed of ‘sheep’ hidebound by traditional thought-habits as hitherto, and fodder for the totalitarian ideal.
- Rather will it be a public of inherently free individuals w'ho can keep an individual purpose, learnt in the fields of intense suffering and experience. Such a public are likely to accept and wield responsibility in respect of their own government and their own religion and education.
- Vera Stanley Alder: Point in Evolution: 1.65; Ray structure 2 4 3 4 3
- Age of Aquarius
- The Ageless Wisdom teachings
- Common good
- Masters of Wisdom
- Rule of law
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- World peace
- World view