BELIEFS: BOTH FIXED AND UNFIXED
I NOW leave it to the reader to say whether death is a necessity of our organisation, or a desirable thing, since spirit and matter are not two separate substances; and I will return to again consider what seems to be the spirit forms described so frequently by Spiritualists, and seen by thousands of people.
Our bodies are the condensed forms of our thoughts, or our beliefs. Thought and belief are in some degree synonymous; both are forms of recognition; both are mental expressions. A thought seems not to have the fixed character of a belief; but it may become a belief, and in doing so it will take its place among other fixed beliefs, and be a part of the visible body. Belief is simply thought that becomes fixed. The body is thought, but it is thought that is fixed; thought whose correctness is not questioned, and (on the mental plane, where we do really exist, whether we are aware of it or not,) becomes visible. Fixed thought is belief; and belief is visible thought expressed in a thousand different forms, each form being its own individual recognition of the possibilities contained in the Law of Being.
Thought—before it becomes fixed in belief—is invisible to our undeveloped perceptions; it is a reality, though intangible, just as the perfume of flowers and many other ethereal substances, which we are not able to perceive except by their effects.
And yet the power to see these fine substances is latent among the undiscovered possibilities that will some time awaken within us. Even now we get occasional evidences of their existence, when we are off our guard against everything but the commonplace and orthodox attainments of the present. We sometimes forget that we believe in nothing but what we call "established facts," and in these moments of forgetfulness, it may be that some mighty power within us steals a march on us, and shows itself in something unexpected to, and even unacceptable by, our "sober senses."
Then it is not impossible that the thought which has so far mastered us as to render us in a measure unconscious of what we are thinking, and watchful of the action of our mind, should suddenly appear before us in the objective.
It is a living thing; each atom of its frail being is transfused by the Law. For the time being, it actually has an individuality of its own; an individuality quite negative, however, to that of its creator, myself, for instance, and holding its objective form in ready obedience to my caprice.
This is the real condition: I have been in a reverie, a careless state of mind, when my thoughts were shaping themselves uncontrolled by my will. My will, which is my ego, being off guard, there is a tendency to disintegration in my body—the sum of my fixed beliefs. Then, stray thoughts, beliefs which are not fixed, may start up from the careless or indolent brain, and actually become sufficiently fixed to be visible. In becoming thus partially fixed, they draw upon the fixed beliefs (my body), which for a time are in a measure unfixed.
And here we have the double presence, the second party, which may either be an exact resemblance of ourselves, or the resemblance of some picture that exists, or has existed, at some previous time in the mind.
That thoughts are things is a fact that cannot be disputed. We might as well say that ether did not exist, because it is invisible, as to say that thought is nothing because it is not seen under ordinary conditions.
There is no nothing. Wherever the Law of Attraction is recognised, even in the feeblest manner, there, though unseen, exists the form of that recognition. Recognition is form. Recognition is the making visible of the Law. The Law is the only thing that can be recognised. It may be recognised in weakness or in strength; but wherever it is recognised, no matter whether the recognition is weak or strong, a manifestation of it is inevitable.
Whether this explanation will apply to every phase of spirit materialisation or not, I cannot say. Nor have I given it in the hope that it will do so; for there is no pleasanter thought to me than that our loved and dead do really live after they have left this sphere, and can return to us again.
Nor does the fact that our thoughts may take shapes which—under certain conditions— become objective to us, invalidate the claim of Spiritualism, that the spirits of the dead can return and take form.
My real object in saying what I have said is to prove to the reader what I know to be true; that there is no nothing; and that thoughts are things. I also wish to establish the fact that the human mind is an unprospected field, and that no one has even the faintest idea of its latent powers.
In the matter of being lifted from the floor, to which I alluded a few pages back, in connection with other Spiritualistic phenomena, I wish to say that this, too, may be, and is, a power that belongs to man; one that he can exercise at will when he comes to know more of himself and his relation to the Law of his being.