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CONSERVATISM AND REFORM.
EVERY new movement, whatever its merits, invariably meets opposition. This arises out of old-fogyism, or, to be optimistic, is the result of conservatism. Perhaps America, to as great extent as any country in the world, has sloughed off this perennial skin of ignorant imbecility ; yet, with regret be it said, a new and self-evident truth has, even here, to run a tedious gauntlet for existence and recognition. It is not enough that Herbert Spencer logically probe to utter death and dissolution the fallacy of individual ownership of land; not enough for him to reiterate that all men are created free and equal ; not enough for him to asseverate, with all the solemnity of his magnificent wisdom; “ The world is God's bequest to mankind. All men are joint heirs to it; and to aver further that
men who cannot • live and move and have their being' without the leave of others, cannot be equally free with those others.” The popular ear of the nineteenth century cannot attune itself to the clarion note of this scientific colossus, who points them to the blight within their bloom. This being the case, when Henry George comes forward to announce what he believes to be the remedy, he has but the dead ears of prejudiced old-fogyism into which to speak. Why is all this? Is it because the justice of the points at issue is so very illusory ? Is it because there is a strong and logical and sequential argument to prove the right of one man, could he command the capital, to buy a hemisphere, and convert it into a“ sterile promontory," forcing its sometime inhabitants to the other side of the planet ? By no means. No one, unless paid therefor, would think for a moment of claiming the tenability of such an hypothesis ; for the admission of the right of a man to purchase one hemispere, and to crowd its denizens upon the other, would conclusively imply his right to buy both hemispheres, and crowd the entire human population out of tangible existence.
There is no sane individual who cannot see this, nor who lacks the power, if he choose to exercise it, to percieve that the ordinary ownership of land presents hereto only a difference of degree, and not one of kind. Who but can see the force of Spencer's remark; “It is manifest that no one, or part of them, may use the earth in such a way as to prevent the rest from similarly using it; seeing that to do this is to assume a greater freedom than the rest, and consequently to break the law.” The law here referred to is that each man " has freedom to do all that he wills, provided he infringes not the equal freedom of any other.”
Tolstoi also meets with the same selfish opposition, the same fool-hardy old-fogyism, which had all the will, and barely lacked the power, to butcher Garrison and Phillips, in the streets of a civilized community. How is it, we are wont to ask, that such a hideous thing as slavery could ever have been tolerated, - even upheld ? Simply because of conservatism, — because it was held right that millions of fellow creatures, born equally free, should be ground to dust between the relentless links of a long chain of precedence, for no other reason than that millions had already so suffered.
In governments, the effect of conservatism is to nail down the tiller of the Ship of State with curiously twisted spikes of precedence, red with the rust of centuries : in individuals, old-fogyism petrifies the brain-tissues, and converts the broad, ocean-like potentialities of intellect, into narrow and deep-worn gulches and canons of bigotry. In either case conservatism essays to spike the wheels of evolution.
Nor does what is generally called old-fogyism always arise out of a respect for time-honored customs. Quite as often, alas, it has its inception in selfishness of the most sordid kind. Men affect not to believe, and rigorously persecute that which, in their heart of hearts, they know to be the noblest and most salutary of truths.
Thus it is that reforms are invariably met by old-fogyism, on the one hand, and personal selfishness, on the other. The latter is by far the worst enemy to a righteous cause. The former merely hurls against the reform, with a dogged persistence worthy a better cause, the weight of its accumulated prejudice ; but this latter foe, foreseeing that the new and higher dispensation will, perforce, ventilate and fumigate the dens of greed, lust, and of their parent, darkness — wherefrom this self-worshiping foe has acquired the fat of its loathsome proportions, -it instantly becomes to such reform, the most implacable of foes. It flies in the face of Reform's high teachings, and insidiously works its way, till it is able to sting its heel. Such foes live only in the gratification of unholy passions, and, therefore, since that is all they know of life, the defeat of any reform likely to estop their baneful practices, is regarded by them as a war of selfdefense, and a struggle to the death.
It is such warfare that has met every great reform the world has ever known, and it will be seen from this reasoning, why it is that the grander and nobler the reform, the more bitter and persistent the opposition.
The worst foe which any righteous reform can have, is not the person who disbelieves in the new dispensation, but rather the one who knows that its teachings are true and ennobling, and who also knows equally well that, if such reform attains to prevalence, the result will be the sacrifice of something to which his selfishness fondly clings.
It is in this way that every reform, which is worthy the name of reform, finds many bitter enemies; for there has never been a time when
of the denizens of this planet have not been engaged in, and desirous of perpetuating, unholy practices.
The bestialized cohorts of Sodom and Gomorrah are arrainged with especial strength against the Esoteric Movement, its theory and its practice, because the tenets of this new reform will make that discrimination between the human vertebrate and the animal vertebrate, now so often a “distinction without a difference," an infallibly accurate and ineffably significant distinguishment.
It is in view of these circumstances, foreseen by the Leaders of this Movement from its very inception, that we have been obliged, in times past, to solicit the earnest coöperation of all capable of appreciating how closely their highest spiritual interests were interwoven with the ultimate for which this Reform is working. Regarding the College Movement, now in process of ultimation, we have had to be in the past, and must be for a little while yet to come, very secret. Our reasons therefor have been given on former occasions, and need not now be repeated, as the wise already understand.
In spreading such a Reform among the people, many of whom as stated above, are bitterly antagonistic thereto, a large amount of literature has to be circulated, and this diffusion of light amounts to little more than a “ labor of love." This is true particularly of those essentially Esoteric works, which contain the salient teachings of the new Reform. We have been able to carry on the good work through the coöperation of our loyal
friends, and the margin of profit which we are able to secure upon some of the literature which we handle.
At present, we could use to advantage, for the furtherance of the work, a little more capital than we have in hand. We hope to be able to enlarge our publishing business, and, by the publishing and controlling of valuable works, greatly strengthen our financial standing. To do this, we yet need a small additional amount of capital. We desire this especially, in view of the fact that our experience, derived from our general agencies, recently established, point to this as one of the crucial points in the solution of the support of our Reform.
It may be well to state here that we have quite a number of exceedingly valuable State Agencies yet untaken, which offer a rare opportunity, from a commercial stand-point, to any person who may care to interest himself in the sale of our publications.
For particulars regarding these agencies we would refer the applicant to The ESOTERIC for July.
In closing, we would once more ask our earnest friends to endeavor to realize the ignorant conservatism, and the still more personal enmity arising out of selfishness, against which our Reform is obliged to make its way, and, in view of their appreciation of these facts, to do whatever may rest within their power to assist the Movement upon its holy, but uphill
Such aid can be given by purchase of the stock of The Esoteric Publishing Company, at ten dollars per share, and the buyer feel that he has not only made a paying investment, but has assisted a worthy cause. The Stock paid six per cent. dividend last January, and will, it is expected, pay more next January.
This is not a donation for which we ask, but an investment which, so far, has well paid those who have bought stock.
We hope that our loyal friends will gratify us by a sufficiently hearty response hereto, to enable us to scatter light broadcast. Remember friends, the printing-press is the beacon of the world, and light, the one eternal and inexorable slayer of evil
Selfishness is such a hideous malady that, when light falls upon it, the striken individual is seized with loathing, and mends his ways. It is the root of all evil, - indeed, hell itself, is only selfishness on fire. Then let us have light and shed it upon others.
ESOTERIC PUBLISHING CO. 478 Shawmut Ave.,
LOVE, THE REGENERATIVE FORCE. The true basis of social ethics is Love. The people perish, not only for lack of knowledge, or material food, but for lack of the uplifting force of love — genuine, pure love.
Universal love is the fulfilling of the moral law; the fullness of being ; the divine principle that elevates humanity to the highest possible plane of earthly attainments.
The development of the spiritual nature — the highest form of the loveprinciple — is the highest goal of human attainment. “ Follow after love, and desire spiritual gifts,” for it is thi power of the light of truth, and of all knowledge ; the uplifting of the struggling, weary ones, whose overburdened bodies, and famishing minds and hearts are shut away from the sources, and deprived of opportunities for the acquirement of intellectual and social improvements and pleasures.
“Love suffereth long and is kind ; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself; is no: puffed up; beareth all things; believeth all things; endureth all things. Love never faileth."
Love is the very essence of Life; the attractive, adhesive, adjusting force that creates all good things.
Love is willing to suffer a little deprivation, if thereby the object of that love may be made happy, and rejoices in the knowledge, sweet to the heart, that it is able to give happiness to any of the human family.
Love is the great, strong, gentle Mother-heart of the universe. We say “Mother-heart," because love is a feminine principle — the female element in nature; the wonderful Mother-God-force in all creation; the nurturing principle in all animated life; the great, illuminating Truth that should be the dominant force in all human law, but is not, and never has been, inasmuch as the adopted ethics of our social systems permit not the true adjustment, the perfect blending, and harmonious mingling, of the positive and negative -- male and female --- elements, shaping and developing themselves into a grand, sublimely beautiful and orderly life, in which should exist nothing impure or unholy.
The negative, or receptive element has been overbalanced by the selfassertive positive force. Thus the powers are unbalanced, and TRUTH, Wisdom, Order, and Virtue—are disarmed; inharmony reigns, and abnormal, disorderly conditions of the human family are the result.
Suffering, depravity, decay and death are now the inheritance of the grand temple of the soul; and yet, has not the Christ declared that our physical being is the temple of the living God, in which His kingdom is established ?
Who is responsible for the desecration of the sacred temple, the dwelling place of the great, Intelligent Principle ? The race must learn wisdom, search for and find, the truth, before the true equipoise can be established. In the beautiful language of Solomon : “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. Length of days is in his right hand, and in his left hand, riches and honor..... Her ways are ways of pleasantness. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that retaineth her. Exhault her, and she shall promote thee, shall bring thee to honor when thou dost embrace her.” What a treasure is Wisdom! How precious and grand !”
Woman, “the power behind the throne,” must advance to the front, bring into the economics of human affairs all her energizing, spiritual force, the highest light and warmth of life-giving, loving-kindness, blending perfectly with the complementary force — the male element, thus bringing us into unity with the magical law of harmony.
Then will the day of our regeneration have arrived. Then will we have entered upon the “New Age;" the “ new heaven, and the new earth” will have existence within our innermost being.
Woman must learn the true object of her existence; develop her spiritual nature, and utilize the function of her being for the regeneration of the human race, before that regeneration can take place! She must come forth from her subordinate, subjective position, and reign queen in the realm of sex, thus balancing the virile king-power on the other hand.
MARY W. BARFELL.
WHAT IS ERROR?
We are very often confronted jeeringly and scornfully with the query, what is Truth? as though it were a profound and an inexplicable mystery; it may possibly be helpful to a solution of the mighty difficulty to propound the opposite enquiry, what is Error? Truth is necessarily like its wondrous Author, and so, characterized by universality and unchangeability. There is one universal and comprehensive science of “all truth” with which the name of God, and of the spirit of God, is happily associated. That science is a wondrously perfect thing embracing what? Embracing all its parts. What then, are its parts? Paradoxical, antithetical, often as widely sundered in appearance — that is to us - as the poles of any material sphere ; – as those things belonging to the centrifugal and the centripetal forces, the positive and the negative influences of electricity, and to what is associated with the very special character of God, a knowledge of good and evil.
It has been said that " whatever is, is right." No doubt there is infinitely more truth and point in that axiom than has been apprehended, or dreamt of. Suppose the centrifugal force could be separated and used apart from the centripetal, or vice versa ; would not the act of thus separating and employing either of those forces be a grievous and destructive error? Beyond question. And yet both are equally essential parts of a perfect system of truth, are equally in being, and are equally right. Combined, they work wonders of order and beneficence; separated, then nothing but mischief and malevolence can result. This illustration serves to throw a. very strong light upon the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Take a part of all truth, — a wondrously perfect thing in itself, — and employ it away from its other parts, and then let parties of every name select other portions of truth, and do the same thing again ; every one of them will thereby be led equally by the spirit of error into helpless contention and confusion, and will furnish an apt illustration of Jude 19. “ There be those making boundaries for themselves, soulful men, having not the spirit.” So. then, it may plainly be seen that nothing more mischief-working or destructive to man can be laid hold of, or employed by him, than what is in itself after all, a very part of truth; therefore, all the so-called errors in the world, may actually resolve themselves into parts of truth, wrenched by weak man, and by the force of ignorance, from their dependent andl immediate surroundings; and so all such cases serve as forcible illustration of the axiom aforesaid, “whatever is, is right."
If the law of analogy holds good, and will help us at all to understand our limitations or possibilities, then we know for a certainty that we can no more lay hold of, or employ for any purpose, anything that has not physical being, than we can fly with ut wings. Anl the law that exhibits itself thus, in connection with matter, is the same law that operates equally in the unseen state, and upon unseen things.
It is no more possible for the mind to imagine, or create, something out of nothing, than it is for the body. Give the expert, raw material in things of matter or mind, and he will image what he pleases therewith ; but without the expertness, and the raw material, he will do nothing of the kind. We have, therefore, no reason to doubt the full truthfulness of the axiom “Whatever is, is right;” but we have every reason to doubt the wisdom and the correctness of the conduct we see on every hand, in the employment.