CHAPTER VII A UNIVERSE OF MATTER
A just and full appreciation of the fact that the Universe is composed of Matter in varying degrees of activity is a condition precedent to a true comprehension of the great problem of life. Through it we can understand dissolution and learn something of the conditions prevailing beyond the physical.
The suggestion that the whole Universe is Material, and the different spheres are, in fact, substance with varying vibration and intensity, and that individual life continues in those different planes similar to life in our plane, is startling, but no more so than the advancement of the Copernican theory, or the discovery of the law of gravitation. It took hundreds of years for the acceptance of the first proposition, and upon the enunciation of the second the jealous ones said that the grand laws of universal gravitation deduced by Newton were false. Much time will necessarily elapse before the following propositions are accepted, that the whole Universe is material, and that all space is filled and peopled.. The reason for this delay is that man’s mental process is slow, and a new discovery is only accepted finally after repeated demonstration.
It is an axiom in physics that matter only acts on matter, so if mind acts on matter, mind itself must be matter. One experiences great difficulty in approaching a fact so new – there is difficulty in finding words with which to express the proposition in simple language. Words are as limited as knowledge on the subject; so when we go beyond the beaten path, we must give new meaning to old words or invent new ones. Matter, as that term has been heretofore understood, is confined substantially to things tangible and physical. This is too limited a use, for if the universe is material, matter does not cease to be when it ceases to be tangible.
I would put the facts in this way:
(a) Matter slow in action is subject to the law of gravitation, and therefore physical.
(b) Matter so rapid in vibration as not to be subject to the law of gravitation is etheric.
Matter when it ceases to be physical is only changed in density. Certain forms of matter may be changed by chemical action and advanced to the spiritual state; then by the reduction of atomic motion the same matter may be restored again to its former condition, to hold once more physical expression. Mind is matter raised to its highest degree of atomic activity when it holds within itself inherent power of intelligent direction. Every atom, every electron and molecule has form, and when those atoms, electrons, and molecules, by attraction, are so closely drawn together as to become tangible, they still have individual form. When by Nature’s process they are advanced step by step until they become etheric, they still have form; the mind which is etheric has form, is substance; it is real, and its creations take definite shape. Mind acts on matter, as we use the homely phrase; that is to say, matter raised to its highest degree of activity utilizes the tangible substances necessary to give physical expression. This is demonstrated in each individual, for the mind directs the body, and the physical body obeys the will of the spirit.
When the statement is made that life continues beyond the grave, the average thinking man doubts it. When the suggestion is put forth that we have now and here a spirit body, which in dissolution only separates from the physical, the assertion is not understood. When the statement is put forth that there is continuity of this life, and that spirit people have bodies, live in a material universe, and have homes similar to our own, the words mean nothing to the average person, for such conditions are beyond comprehension.
In order that these propositions may be understood, it is necessary to explain the conditions which make such a state possible; we must know the law through which life holds continuity. Therefore, a just and true comprehension of the following facts is essential, there is a material universe beyond the physical; there is an etheric universe within and outside the physical; and the entire universe is composed of matter in different states of vibration or modes of motion. These truths must be understood before a single individual can comprehend the continuity of life that the so-called dead have bodies, form, feature, and expression, and that they live on intelligently in a world as material as this, continuing their progression. Everything that possesses the property of gravitation or attraction is classed as matter. That is the most scientific definition of matter given by people in the world beyond this. Matter is either solid, liquid, or gaseous. If solid, it is strongly cohesive. If liquid, less so. If gaseous, the atoms may be said to bump against each other and rebound. Molecules are made up of several atoms. For instance, a molecule of water is composed of three atoms, two of hydrogen and one of oxygen. Atoms are smaller particles of matter, possessed of forces so wonderful that it is utterly impossible to trace them down and examine them, for the reason that they are continually changing, so rapid is their passage through the atmosphere.
There is much the scientists do not know about atoms. About two hundred miles above this earth plane extends what we call atmosphere at which distance it becomes very rare. What then extends throughout the universe, throughout the solar system-throughout all solar systems? There exists something which is not like the earth’s atmosphere, which is called Ether, through which, with vibrating undulating motion, come waves of light, ultimately reaching the earth plane, giving not only light but life. These countless atoms are in constant motion, passing through the Ether, with wavelike undulatory motion, having perfect form, with individual likes and dislikes. They have intelligence, are drawn together, or there is no affinity, for through affinity there is cohesion. Cohesion among the atoms, when slow, becomes physical and visible. That cohesion may be among etheric atoms, where the vibration of the mass is so rapid that it has to us no visibility. The cohesion of atoms is not confined to the physical world, for, through the universal law, these atoms find expression not only in but beyond the physical. The two planes of consciousness are closely interwoven. The same law that governs and controls and directs the one, governs and controls and directs the other. It is only, therefore, through the law that we are able to advance out of the physical.
Every atom has force, and force wherever found or however expressed is life, and every atom has heat – heat so intense that all the furnaces of this earth could not reproduce it. This Ether, this subtle substance permeates all things physical.
One of the great impediments to our realization of spirit presence and activity is our inability to conceive force and matter in their more refined forms not manifest to the physical senses or susceptible to touch or vision. Yet all the greatest forces are unseen. Electricity, magnetism, and steam are only cognizable to our vision by their occasional manifestation of light and colour, or through the vapor produced by the latter when it meets with the atmosphere.
Changing the vibratory condition or density of water by heat illustrates in a simple way the proposition herein stated. You take a basin of water and put a fire under it; it commences to bubble, its motion increases, its vibration is raised; it changes to steam. By confining that steam, and applying more heat, super-heated steam, which in itself is invisible, results. This passes from our vision, but is not lost or destroyed, for by another process we can restore it to its original state. Again, the sun causes evaporation of the waters; they pass and become etheric and a part of the world-invisible, but through Nature’s process of condensation they fall again as rain. By that process the water did not cease to be, but by that change it ceased to be visible. While invisible, its density was changed, its vibration slowed, and it became once more subject to the laws of gravitation.
Again, every atom that forms the mass has not only form, but energy, and force, which is life. Life may be so low as to be beyond our appreciation, or its development may be so high as to be equally beyond our comprehension. In the cohesion of the atoms through their affinity and their development, we find the varied expressions of life. Evolution is a constant force, an inherent desire for development, and that great law influences every form of life. It is not confined to the physical, but acts upon the grosser substances, and through it they develop and increase.
The Universe did not commence with the birth of this planet; its birth was not the commencement of creation. Our dissolution will not end our individuality. There is around and about us a great universal force that we characterize as Good. That force is a reality, a substance composed of matter, developed beyond the physical, and in every instance where an atom of that force is clothed with grosser material, Nature increases its sum total. We do not have to go beyond the physical universe to see spirit activity. We never see anything else.
At the instant of man’s conception, an etheric atom becomes clothed. It takes on through Nature’s process, a flesh garment. The sensitive spirit body, like the seed sown in the soil, commences its development in the dark, where it grows and increases in form and stature. The flesh garment is correspondingly increased, and at such times as it becomes able to withstand the light there is a natural birth. The process of growth that commenced at the moment of conception is continuous, it attracts other atoms slow in vibration, it organizes the physical body so that the flesh garment may increase for its uses and purposes. Further, the outer garment wastes from hour to hour, day to day, and week to week, completely changing once in every few years. But the individual having form, feature, and expression does not change except to increase mentally and physically.
If the whole Universe is composed of matter, man both spiritual and physical, is not an exception to the universal law. The physical eye cannot see the etheric spirit in the body, nor can it see the spirit out of the body. If the spirit in the earth life is not composed of matter, how would it be possible to hold form, feature, and expression? This is the keynote to understanding, for with a comprehension of that proposition we can appreciate what dissolution is, and we may finally understand that every plane in which we live is a reality, and composed of matter.
Within certain vibratory action, matter is physical, tangible, and visible, and subject to the law of gravitation. When vibration is increased beyond that point, we are in the domain of spirit where one is not subject to the laws of gravitation. The line of demarcation, therefore, between the spiritual and the physical is that point where the law of gravitation ceases to have influence. The whole spirit world, as well as the life force that functions in the tangible in this world is made up of etheric matter, as distinguished from physical matter. When the gross matter is refined to a certain point, it becomes and ever remains Ether, but all is matter technically in different modes of motion, or in different states of vibration.
This proposition is so new in physics, so beyond the experience of men, that it is difficult to grasp, but it can and will be understood through the research of the physicist who without fear of the criticisms of our world calls to his aid those few psychics who have developed the sixth and seventh senses, and are able to see and hear what is said and done in the world beyond this – or who, as I have done, have created a condition where the inhabitants of the place beyond can speak to us voice to voice.