Man is as a ray of thought, of light, from the All One, the I AM, the sum and Centre of consciousness, the All Person, Jehovih. The thought thus sent forth is charged within itself not only with the full purpose and meaning of the Father's unending revelation in that man, but with all the talents and the capacities, with all that fulfils an individuality required to reveal all that shall be accomplished through him.
Consider the magnitude of what is required in giving that wonderful thought-form infinite in its potency, a place of beginning. The place of its beginning is at the frontier, as it were, of light and darkness, of consciousness and non-consciousness, of the manifest and the yet unmanifest. At that point the soul-light, the etherean ray of being, which was and is and shall be, the Father's thought sent forth in motion with power, creating, entered the atmospherean-corporeal vessel at the periphery of manifesting, in due time being brought forth through the gateway of mortal birth, into entity and individuality, separate and complete. For the effect of the ethereen ray in its potency when anchored in the atmospherean-corporeal vehicle was to crystallise the entity into individuality and into personality, even as the All Person.
At that stage of man's being, while yet mortal and yet young, the child, the man, knows nothing of his interior being. He is aware only of two things: that he is, and that the world is, the phenomenal world comprising all things within reach of his senses, and all persons within his experience. For it is of the nature of being that the consciousness of the entity is always focalised in the periphery of its being, yet moving always towards the centre, even the Centre of All Being, while yet remaining focalised also at the periphery where the entity, through all its senses, is confronted and played upon by the phenomenal universe in which its being is set, and by which it is enveloped. Thus the consciousness of the entity, forever pressing inwards from the periphery of its being towards the centre of its being, which is the Centre of All Being, passes on that journey from dimension to dimension ever more interior without end or limit.
The man yet in mortal life knows nothing of this. His consciousness, facalised in its corporeal mechanism, looks outward through the corporeal senses upon the corporean estate of being. The man draws also, whether he knows it or not, through his atmospherean senses, being counterparts of the corporeal senses which he possesses.
Of his atmospherean senses man in this day knows little or nothing. Indeed it is usual for him to deny their existence, since they cannot be subjected to the tests of reality imposed by his corporeal senses, or by the power of his consciousness manifest in intellect and reason.
Were a diagram to be drawn of a man, his entity could be represented thus: first a circle, the boundary of the entity, of the entities I AM, beyond which lies the phenomenal world of corporea and atmospherea. At the centre of the circle, a spark, like a star of brilliant light, representing the etherean light of the soul. Next, outside the central spark, a dense area representing the atmospherean being, as yet scarcely awakened. Beyond this, to the circle of entity, the yet denser area of the corporeal sense-mechanism. In this last the conscious is focused, drawing somewhat from within, even though unconsciously, from the atmospherean part, but drawing little as yet from the etherean centre of its consciousness, which lies, as it were, latent. Veiled and shrouded by the denser estates of being within the entity mechanism in which it is enveloped.
Such a man conceives that he knows much. He knows that he knows. He knows that he is. He knows not of anything higher than himself. He looks outward to the universe of being and inward to his own individual self, focussed in his corporeal part. This he sees as the self that is himself, and all his activities are bent to feed it, to unfold it, to make it greater. He says: all experience is mine, and I will draw from it freely.
In thus striving to build his entity, the self that is himself, he does not do wrong. For by that means is his entity secured, made strong, acquiring shape and form, even to consciousness of its own existence, of its own nature and its qualities. Such is the first stage in growth: to secure the entity that it may know itself and become, through that knowledge, sufficiently strong to endure, to survive, and thus not to drift out of being, out of entity-consciousness, when it leaves, at death, the firm anchorage of the corporeal body.
Comes the time when the interior being of the man, whether still mortal or now living in atmospherea, begins to develop by virtue of the pressure outwards of the All Light Centre within. Were a diagram to be drawn of such a man, whose interior being was beginning thus to be quickened, the spark of light at the centre would be found to have grown outwards beginning to permeate the atmospherean and corporeal mechanism of the entity-consciousness at its seal in the periphery. The result then is that the man becomes aware of, is impressed by, thought and concepts not originating through the impress upon his exterior senses of the phenomenal world. At times, indeed, so potent will be the impulse from within; from the, as yet, unknown centre of his being, that it creates within him a new, a deeper, comprehension of what he records through his exterior senses. In this way he begins to distinguish, with a growing power and certainty, the real from the unreal, the absolute from the ephemeral.
At this stage the man seems to himself as if he were two beings. There is the self that is himself, which he has known as his individual I AM since his youth up, and there is another self, speaking with growing power, within him. These two selves speak with different voices. The self that is himself speaks to him as of old; nay with all the growing power conferred by increasing maturity and habit. It calls upon him to experience freely whatever he desires without other consideration, nor does it concern itself whence the desire may originate.
The self that is of the All Light within him speaks to him differently, urging him to discipline, to control, his desires and his experience in ways that shall be for the benefit of the unfoldment of all others and of his own interior being. Thus he seems to have, speaking with him, two selves: a lower self and a higher self; the one pulling outward to the periphery; the other pointing and pulling inward towards the All Light centre of his being. Thus he seems to himself as being torn in two, crying out in sorrow at the conflict within him, beset by doubt, humiliated by failure whenever he fails to obey the voice from within which he feels to be the higher. This is the period, the phase of his growth, when he enters and labours on the path of overcoming, of transcendence, of redemption.
This period of being may commence during mortal life, or may not be commenced until after mortal death; but come it must to every man, for he cannot forever remain resistant to the pressure of the All Light within him. The universe of experience is designed in the Father's great wisdom with countless devices which will cause him in due time to desire, with his whole being, to travel inward and upward, from the unreal towards the real, from darkness towards light.
That all men may find the means the experience, to attain to such development is the purpose of atmospherea, of the atmospherean heavens of the earth, even as the primal purpose of the corporeal experience is to make the entity strong and secure enough to aggregate forever to its individual consciousness.
Comes the time when the path of overcoming has been traversed to its end, when the man who so long ago had seemed to be two selves at discord within him now finds himself increasingly as one single self. The All Light within the circle of his entity has grown to be a giant. It is like a shaft of brilliant light standing within him at the very centre of his being. It floods outwards, presses outwards, permeating the centre of him consciousness, which, as ever, is focalized at the periphery, but now the two have become one. The self that was himself has become one with being filled by, wholly possessed by, that self which is the All Light within him. He stands upright as a whole man, as a single I AM, his senses responsive to, and illumined by, the All Light within, so that he sees, and hears, and knows, and comprehends, as never before, the whole universe of being which falls within his cognisance.
All that was of past shadow in the days of his corporeal and atmospherean life; all the heritage of the past, with which he was endowed at birth; all that he since then had gathered, ere he travelled the upward path--all has been transmuted, dissipated, gone as if it had never been. The dense areas of his entity of times part are all illumined from within. Yet the circuit of his entity remains, firmer than ever before; the scene of action, as it were, through which and in which are manifest and held all the growing talents and qualities of which he is capable.
Such is the stage or state of one who is ready to enter etherea, where he knows for the first time his full self, his true self, and when his real life begins. For this life in etherea, in which his consciousness expands without end or limit, dimension after dimension, as he moves towards the Centre and Sum of All Being, all that has gone before has been but the formative and preparatory stage; a stage in which time has no meaning, but growth and attainment are all.
It shall be understood that in this great traverse of experience, of overcoming, of transmutation, what has been accomplished is the progressive unveiling and development of the real self, the etherean self, the soul, which held the potency of the Father's primal thought and which now stands at the threshold of fulfilment.
To the soul, as has been said, nothing can be added from without; only by the expansion of the Father's presence revealing Himself in and through that being from within. Nonetheless the great traverses of experience through corporea and atmospherea have not been valueless. Though they have not contributed to the individual, to the man, any quality as such, they have enabled the qualities and the talents within him to grow great, sharp, potent, strong in experience, in every density of being from the lowest to the highest. The self that was himself in the days when his consciousness was focalized in the densities of corporea and atmospherea, comprising within it the heritage of the past, has been transmuted wholly into experience. What was of the ephemeral in it has been transmuted and is gone. What was of the real within it is revealed in the growth of the talent of the completed man.
Thus it may be said indeed that the traverse of man from birth through mortality and through atmospherea to the threshold of the etherean estate is an unveiling of his real being, and its development, in active, creative labour, from a tiny spark implanted to a might shaft of light in which the All Person stands revealed, moving in creation, in the uniqueness of that being which He Himself sent forth.
Yet one thing of great importance shall be understood. It is sometimes said that man, the individual, thus attaining to at-one-ment with the All Father-Mother the All Person, the One All Light, shall in time merge therein as a drop in the ocean of being, and, as an individual entity, cease to be. This is not so. The individual who has thus regained the etherean state, from which his soul-light was sent forth, grows more perfectly individual, stronger, and more secure in the individuality, which is his. For the Father, the Central Source of Being, is forever beyond: beyond time and space, which are His instruments, His servants, through which individuality is made manifest, distinct from the All, though held ever within it. Thus the individual, forever expanding in his consciousness of the Sum of All Consciousness, cannot attain it. The road lies ever open before him. With each growth in knowledge, the knower, the individual man, grows the greater, the more glorious, in his revelation of the Father, of the knowledge of the magnitude of His Presence. Yet, at the same time, with each such advance, the magnitude of the Father that he knows that he knows not stretches ever greater before him.
An illustration may be given from the knowledge of man on earth of the corporeal world, which is his to explore and measure. When he knew but little of it, and that only on the surface of things, he deemed he knew much. But now that he has begun to uncover fresh magnitudes and dimensions, fresh wonders and mysteries in multitudinous new direction, with each step in discovery, the magnitude of the, as yet, unknown opens illimitable beyond him, advancing in geometrical ratio to each advancement in his knowledge.
Thus, then, may be seen some small part of the pageant of man's growth: a growth he could not accomplish of himself or by himself, but in which he is aided every step of the way by those, now high-raised, who have made that traverse before him.