The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
We have seen in preceding chapters that the physicists have searched diligently into the character and nature of matter from a physical standpoint; but in their last analysis, viz., their investigations into the molecule, atom, ion, and electron, and their deductions that, after all, the smallest particles of matter may be only "centers of force," they have invaded the realm of the metaphysical. At this point the physicist stops to look around him for a base, a substantial foundation, to which he may unite his forces with the metaphysician's in pursuit of causation.
If we assume the task to find that base, that center, and herein present it, it will necessitate investigations into that broad field of thought that has been denominated "Revelation," as well as investigations into nature.
We have assumed the existence of God, of an intelligent, creative Mind-power that is able to cause to be, andas we shall see in following chaptersto bring into existence mind-centers to be the expression of its own nature or, in other
words, mind-centers through which this Universal Mind expresses itself.
Theology has gathered around the word "Revelation" so much debris that it is necessary first to clear away the rubbish in order to get at the real meaning. Revelation in its essence means simply an angel-hand placing in a dark and dangerous passage a bright light. From this we assume that there is an angel, an intelligent being, who would cause us to know that which is necessary to be known in order that we may avoid pitfalls and dangerous errors, and that our mind may grow into the Divine Likenessinto the likeness of its Source.
If we were passing through a dark and dangerous passage, and a hand placed there a light, should we, like the moth, be so absorbed in the existence of the light, that we stumble and fall and perhaps destroy ourselves? No, as intelligent beings understanding the use of light, instead of looking at the lamp, we look around us and examine our pathway, and the light reveals to us the condition that surrounds us. This, then, is an illustration of what Revelation is, and all revelation from the beginning of the world down to the present time is nothing more, nothing less, than a light in a dark place. One of the greatest lights that has ever been set in this dark world, is the revelation of the meaning of the great name of God.
Modern usage gives a mere word-sound to
represent an object, but in divine order a name expresses quality. In the meaning of the great name of God is the light that illuminates that dark passage between the material world and the world of metaphysics, or the world of mind.
The great name of God was known from the earliest history of man to the time when Moses was called to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage: but, like the name of the present day, it was to those early people only a word-sound or an appellation referring to a certain deity. But when Moses was commissioned to deliver Israel he was not given the name only, but he was given to know the meaning also, as we shall see further on.
The name Yahvehtranslated Jehovah a few timesoccurs many times throughout the Hebrew Scriptures and is translated Lord and God. But in order to distinguish this the name of God from the other names of God in the Authorized Version, the translators have nearly always put it in capitals. Concerning the name Yahveh, we give the following references:
"And God said unto Moses, I will be that I will be: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I will be hath sent me unto you." (Exodus iii. 14, Rabbi Leeser's translation.)
"And God said unto Moses, I am that I am [Heb. ehyeh asher ehyeh]; and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto
you. That this passage is intended to indicate the etymology of Jehovah as understood by the Hebrews, no one has ventured to doubtit is in fact the key to the whole mystery. But, though it certainly supplies the etymology, the interpretation must be determined from other considerations. Jehovah must be the third person, singular, masculine, future, of the substantive verb hayah to be. We accept Yahveh as the more probable punctuation.""Dictionary of the Bible," by Dr. William Smith.
"Although we may not be able to give with perfect certainty the literal meaning of this name, yet at least we will no longer designate it by the barbarous form 'Jehovah' (which was produced only three centuries ago through Christian aggravation of a Jewish superstition), but we will restore its real sound Hahve, were it only as a sign that Hebrew antiquity is now springing up among us out of the grave of ages, endowed with fresh life."Heinrich Ewald."History of Israel," translated by Russell Martineau.
"So far as the interests of criticism are concerned all scholars are now agreed. Gesenius and Ewald on the side of Philologists; Hengstenberg, Tholuck, Lutz, etc., on the side of theologians, are united for once. They all agree in giving it the form Yahveh and the future tense, as its literal rendering.""Yahveh Christ," by Alexander McWhorter.
These quotations show that scholars are to a great extent agreed as to the pronunciation of the name,
that some have even discovered its true surface meaning, and that the name relates to the one God, the God of the universe, the all-pervading Spirit. We read in Exodus iii. 13, 14 and 15:
"And Moses said unto God, Behold when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you: and they shall say unto me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
And God said unto Moses, I will be what I will to be: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I will be what I will to be hath sent me unto you.
And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God [Yahveh Elohim] of your Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever and this is my memorial unto all generations."
The fourteenth verse is intended to present to Moses the true signification of the divine name, the name of the all-pervading, all-intelligent God of all the universe, but the words capitalized and translated in the Authorized Version"I am that I am" are given in the Revised Version of the Old Testament in three different ways, namely, "I am because I am," or, "I am who I am," or "I will be that I will be." The last form is undoubtedly the most nearly correct. Surely, to anybody that accepts the Scriptures as authority, the words, "This is my name forever and this is my memorial
unto all generations," are plain enough that this is the name, and the only name, applying to God, and that all other forms are incorrect.
There are many evidences that this name began to be known to other nations about the time of Moses, and in the fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis the name occurs the first time. Then what may we understand as the meaning of the words in Exodus vi. 2 and 3: "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am Yahveh: and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty [Heb. El Shaddai], but by my name Yahveh was I not known to them"?
The declaration here that the children of Israel did not know God's name must inevitably imply that while they knew and used the word, they did not know its meaning, nor the fulness of its import, and that this revelation to Moses was a revelation of the true meaning and import of the divine name, for surely a word-sound has no value of itself, and this word-sound it seems was known and used by other people, as well as by Israel.
But when we take the meaning of the word "Yahveh" as "I will be what I will to be," it brings to us a potentiality, a power, all unknown to the world, even at the present time; for the name carries with it the thought that he who spoke the word and caused the world to form and to produce itself by the potency of that Infinite Mind,
did so by the power of his will, and when we as creatures of earth muse much upon the signification of that name, the "I will," and the second part of it, "to be what I will to be," or "as I will to be," we get a realization of that unlimited power, and a certainty that there is no power in the world, nay, in the universe, but the power of the will.
Since it is accepted by the Christian world that man is the offspring of the Almighty, it follows that man, being made in the image of God, has attributes similar to those of his Creator, his Father. When man's will has been surrendered, yea, rather has been united to the Divine Will, then man and God become one, for the mind of man is nothing; it has no power of action without the will.
Man always does that which he wills to do, although sometimes there are found in the man two wills active at the same timethe will of the flesh, or the will arising from the impulses, desires, and passions, and a will that arises from the conclusions of the reasoning faculties. But whatever will controls the person, that the person is for the time being; for the will decides all that a person is.
If we accept the statement that each organ of the brain is the seat of a separate faculty, then we may say that all the faculties of the brain are like a congress of persons in conference one with another and that the will, the supreme power, positioned
in the center and upper part of the brain, is the king or president, the executor of the decisions of all the faculties.
In the same manner we may say that the Divine Will is King of kings and Lord of lords. It is the potency that holds all worlds and systems of worlds in their places, that governs all life upon them, and that gives direction and potentiality to all forms of existence and to all laws manifested in nature. It is because of this that man in his return to God is taught to pray, "Let thy will be done," or in other words, this prayer means that the desire of the heart must be that the will of the finite become the will of the Infinite.
When man has become absolutely subordinate to the Divine Will, then it will be correct to say of him, as was said of the angel that was sent to Aaron when the children of Israel were about to enter the promised land, "My name is in him," for, as soon as the man unites his will, his desire, and his purpose in life with God, he is one with Him, God's name is in him, God's will is his will, he moves under the potentiality and power of that will, and to all intents and purposes the will becomes the man. In other words, the Infinite Mind and its conclusions, which are the purpose concerning man in the creation of the world, become the will of the man; thus man becomes the manifestation of Godof Yahveh.
As we shall see hereafter, those who were wholly consecrated to God and had reached high attainments in their unity with the Father, were called "Yahveh" by Moses. Jesus, the Christ, said, "I and my Father are one." We know that our Christian brethren thinking upon this without further light have concluded that Christ was one of the triune Godhead. That is true, because God has a threefold manifestation. First, as the Father or Producer of all that isthe Creator. Second, as the Holy Spirit, translated the Holy Ghost, the active agency. Third, as manifested in human form, the son of God. We read of Christ that he was manifest that he might bring many sons unto God.
Again he said in regard to that oneness in his notable prayer: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us." Here Jesus makes it plain that there are not many Gods, but one, but that there are many manifestations of God in the form of his sons.
But as soon as a man becomes truly a son of God, his will becomes one with the Father's will, thus they are no more two, but one. For all there is of life, of existence, of being, is the mind, for God produced all things by a word, viz., a thought formed in the mind, a decision reached and sent out
by the force of the will, endowing the thought-form with potentiality capable of working out and bringing into manifestation the thing decided upon.
Jesus was the last messenger who stood before the world as the ultimate embodiment of that creative-word, a finished man, a son of God, a man in whom God was incarnated and through whom he found complete expression, as Christ said, "I can do nothing of myself, the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works." Thus the name of God is the name of the divine attribute or active agency that produced all manifestation and lies beyond, beneath and overrules all action. Here words fail to express fully the deep, comprehensive meaning of that great name, but he that would be wise and strong and godlike should muse much upon the signification of this wondrous name of the God of the universe, Yahvehthe "I will be what I will to be."
We have here endeavored to give a little of the history of that wondrous name and of its relatedness to the active agency in the human organism, but the world is in the habit of looking to authority, and if the authority for a thought, according to its judgment, is found insufficient, the thought is thrown aside as worthless. But we wish to impress upon the reader that the authority for this name in itself amounts to nothing. We have likened revelation to a light, mere authority has no light in it,
but the thought embodied in the word-formation is the light.
In carefully examining our own bodies we find that we cannot move a muscle without the consent of the will. We find also that while physiologists discourse very learnedly about the mechanical structure of the voluntary and involuntary muscles of the human organism, yet the real factor is not understood. What physiologist has been able to describe the modus operandi of the mind and the will upon the muscular system? A dead body has no power to use its muscles. Electricians have experimented upon the bodies of men just executed and have been able to cause them to throw the limbs about in a reckless, uncertain manner, but they applied a power outside of and beyond the power of the mindthis power had no knowledge or order to guide it.
Experiment with your own body. Take hold of an object weighing ten, twenty or fifty pounds and lift it by bending your arm. Observe carefully where the power comes from. By careful observation you will find that the power is in the brain, and by still more careful analysis you will find that the power is in the will. We will, and then we act, or we will to act.
Herein is a manifestation of the name of God in our own organism. Whence did we get that will power, that power to act?From the creative-source, did we not?Certainly. As we look out
into the broad realm of nature we see the noble horse pulling a great load; we see his muscles contract and expand. What power is it that is pulling the load?Yahveh the will of the universethis power is one manifestation of the great name. But as we shall consider in succeeding chapters its manifestation in all its wondrous ramifications, we wish here only to impress upon the mind of the reader the force and function of the will, of that revealed power, the I will be what I will to be.