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The Word and the Way
XI. Of Seership

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Because man has a physical body and a spiritual body, blended as one unit as the seat of his consciousness, he has within him, by right of birth, the capacity ultimately to hear and see and know in the unseen as in the seen, while still in mortal form. This capacity is not of a supernatural order; it is of the natural order of man's being.  Yet it is also of an order which depends upon what may be termed transcendence of corporeity which, in man of this day, lies for the most part almost wholly undeveloped, thus leading those who do not have it to disbelieve and deny even the possibility of its existence.

 

This capacity, when developed in a man, may be termed seership.  The degree of its development, or the absence of its development, lies, in the first place, in the nature of the birth and the lines of the heritage through which the man is brought into being.  Nonetheless the capacity, even when not thus naturally manifest, may be developed later in mortal life, if the man is placed under suitable conditions.

 

A man with this capacity fully developed from birth has the capacity to see and hear one-time mortals, dwellers in the atmospherean heavens of the first and second resurrections, if they manifest themselves to him.  He is able to see and hear at a distance that which has been done, that which is being done, and that which is about to be done.  He is able to record from objects or places with which he is in contact the formative conditions which have governed their pasts.  He is able to read and know the contents of books or sealed matters placed before him unopened and even, in some cases, when unknown to him and at a distance.  He is able to measure and weigh objects with precision without instruments and without touching, and to know their compatibility or otherwise for the uses intended.  He is able to communicate with others, irrespective of the distance or the conditions ruling between him and them, if he is in tune with them and they with him. Such communications may even be in words heard clearly, as if spoken within him.  He is able also to know, in some measure, what is about to come to pass, because he records the unseen cause of the event, the conditions which are shaping it, which are already present to those who can record them, before the event itself becomes manifest.  In this way he is able to foresee danger to himself or to others linked to him, and even, on occasion, to intervene to avert it. A man thus developed would indeed be a complete man, developed to live and act in full and in due balance, corporeal and spiritual, while still in mortal form.

 

As far as man in this day is concerned, such a state of development, of capacity in transcendence of corporeity, remains a goal in the far future.

 

There are in this day, however, not a few in whom one or more aspects of seership are developed from birth onwards in less or greater measure.  Among so-called primitive peoples is such seership more frequently found, for the lines of its development have been held in them and developed as a natural part of daily living over many generations.  Moreover they have not, as have so-called more civilised peoples, placed themselves so deeply under the tyranny of the intellect, which denies reality to anything that cannot be proven to the mind in terms of reason and logic.

 

It may be observed that man is by nature prone to run to extremes: on the one hand to extreme credulity leading ultimately to superstition and to illusion of all kinds, as a result of which he places himself in large measure under the dominion of the unreal.  When man runs to this extreme--and he has done so on earth in many cycles of the past--he abdicates his powers of reason and judgment and the control of his life and being through the power of disciplined thought, and subordinates himself to a multiplicity of recordings and impressions, many of which are illusion and error.  He also, in this extreme, opens the way to his own domination by thought-forces and thought-forms and by a variety of powers within the lower realms of being which he may encounter, or which may have an interest in appropriating him to their service in furtherance of their objectives. As a result of this, a man becomes robbed in great degree of the true development which should have been his, and is used, or misused, as servant or slave, by the conditions in the lower atmospherean realms to which he has thus unwittingly been led to give his allegiance.

 

In such a case, a man thus robbed of his full and true development as a mortal, master of his thoughts, able to rule over his surroundings, enters the first resurrection at death as a man whose opportunity for growth in mortal life has been largely taken from him. Such an extreme in reality find expression in a man whose capacity in seership, even though but little developed, is not balanced by the development of his corporeal judgment.

 

The opposite extreme, in which the intellect and the corporeal senses rule supreme in a man, and all capacity in seership inhibited by disbelief and denial, has effects scarcely less limiting.  In this case, the man is one whole outlook and capacity are wholly material. He is as one dead to the things of the spirit.  He denies even the possibility of inspiration, though, in fact, he uses it and makes most part of his advances in knowledge because of it, since he attributes it to thoughts which he has generated with himself.

 

Such a man is but half a man.  Nevertheless, it is to him a less damaging extreme than the other.  For though it limits him grievously in his advance to wider knowledge and inhibits almost completely in him the power to perceive the real causes at work in almost every matter, he is able to develop his stature and talents as a corporean to the full.  He is able to become powerful in judgment and in reason.  His intellect becomes a keen tool.  His capacity to control and to direct his thought has become highly developed and disciplined.

 

It may be understood, then, that while balance between the two sets of man's faculties--between reason and judgment, on the one hand, and seership on the other--both developing together is best, man is wisely safeguarded in this day against any widespread extension of seership prematurely developed; prematurely, in that the grade of spiritual growth necessary to safeguard the man has not yet been attained.

 

Consider, for example, what would happen were capacity in seership, even in a small degree, to be developed in the self-serving man, the man who seeks above all things his own gain, pleasure and position, or who is ready and willing to exact vengeance on those who injure, thwart, or disagree with him.  Of such men there are in every land very great numbers.  Moreover their numbers would increase even more, were the opportunities and temptations provided by even a small development in seership placed at their disposal.

 

Millions would pursue their own gain and the satisfaction of their own wills and desires at the expense of others even more effectively than at present.  Great numbers would be the more prone to fall under the dominion of groups within the lower heavens of the same grade as themselves.  Thus would millions be turned downward, away from the path that leads upward, even many who were capable of the latter.  Thus the redemptive burden of the earth would be increased instead of being lightened, and great numbers would be added to those crushed beneath the burdens they had gathered and who must later be rescued.

 

Consider also those men of a criminal tendency, had they the gift of seership even a little, and the uses to which they would put it. And consider also the like effect on those forces of order which oppose them, only scarcely less violent, and the tyrannies that would develop.

 

Thus it may be understood that the development of seership, whether in one man or in many, is not lightly to be sought or undertaken, for it is accompanied by great hazard, and even by great danger as already mentioned, including also the no less grave dangers of mental unbalance, and even of obsession.

 

Wisely indeed has man been provided with the powers of intellect, reason and judgment, all that are of the power of Na within him, by which he may maintain the balance of his being.  It is wise therefore that man in this day should not seek to develop seership, but concentrate rather on raising the grade of his being and of all his faculties through spiritual growth in the manner elsewhere outlined, striving in this to reach, as he may while still on earth, the grade that secures association with the Organic realms of being.

 

When this is done, and not until this is done, can the development of seership go forward, as along is wise, under guardianship of unquestionable power.  For this shall be said: that while a man, by virtue of his spiritual grade, is still within the dominion of the first resurrection, pressing close upon earth, development of seership within him is frequently to his detriment, drawing power from his and sapping and depleting him deeply, and developing him in ways which suit others and which limit or even preclude his own natural development.  On the other hand, it is a truth, capable of proof by many who have experienced it, that a man being developed in seership under the dominion of the Organic heavens is demonstrably fed and strengthen in every aspect of his being.  He is developed in the fullness of his own natural bent, neither too fast nor too slow, and every attribute in balance.

 

Thus it may be said that those who would seek seership or who, having it in part, desire to develop it, should first of all and above all work and aspire with their whole beings so to live that they may travel the upward path and gain objective association with the holy and the wise of the Organic heavens of the second resurrection.

 

Under such conditions, seership shall be regarded rightly as a sacred trust, a high responsibility, placed in a man's hands by the Father, and for use in His service alone and for the elevation of all men.  Thus is forever precluded the possibility of its misuse in the seeking of wonders, in its harnessing to private gain, or in the creation of conditions by which error and illusion are multiplied and harm done to others.

 

Under the conditions of the Organic heavens of the second resurrection is seership manifest under the most powerfully guarded conditions, and the powers of the seer and his being are rigidly safeguarded against misappropriation by forces of whatever nature, on earth or in the lower heavens.

 

Under such conditions, thus safeguarded, the development of seership in a man, even in a degree limited by his inexperience and tender growth, is a potent means by which the Real is revealed, and by which great numbers are aided, both in the seen and in the unseen, to rise from darkness towards All Light.