The Goal of Life, by Hiram Butler, , at sacred-texts.com
We read in Genesis that "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him." We know that the image of a thing is the form, the general order, the construction, the external appearance, of that thing. With regard to the construction of matter, the opinion of some scientists is that it is constituted of centers of force. Now, in considering the name Yahveh, we have presented reasons for believing that all force is by virtue of that which in human manifestation, or manifestation in connection with human mind, is called the will. But the will being simply a force acting in obedience to the thought, and thought being form and order, then, to the end that there may be order in any form, there must be a mind to direct the force, for in all nature's activity order is the direct manifestation of mind. In other words, the existence of a center of mind-activity implies an organization in which is embodied a will, or power of action, and a mind to cause that action to maintain specific orderly arrangement.
In all ages past the order, precision, and limitless
power, manifested in the movements of planets, suns, and systems of worlds, have been the wonder of thinking men; but if, as we have concluded, all is mind and all is the product of the Creative Word, then we are compelled to recognize in all these activities of the universe the functioning of mind.
See yonder shining world in space, flying with inconceivable velocity in obedience to the law that governs its every action to the utmost minutia. Let us approach that world. As we near it we behold green fields, beautiful gardens, extensive railroads and steamships and magnificent irrigating systems. We hear the roar of millions of activities. Are they the activities of intelligent, thinking beings? We carry with us an electric receiver, and as we draw still nearer we listen to the tick, tick of that receiver, and lo, we find mind emanating from a people who communicate with each other through space and talk intelligently of their interests, their designs and purposes. The nearer we approach them the more we see that they are all governed by some definite law of action. While each individual seems intent on carrying out his own will and design, yet his will is interdependent upon that of his millions of associates.
Thus, as one has said, "no man liveth unto himself," for no man is independent of all other men, but every man, as a molecule in the great body of humanity, is dependent upon the thought and
action of the entire body for his guidance, maintenance, support, and general integrity.
As we view this beautiful world floating in space, we cannot but see that the ultimating laws and forces active therein are manifested in an intelligent, thinking humanity, and we can but conclude that the world that has produced this humanity, this intelligence, must be a body of mind-element. As we visit world after world and find in each great diversity, and yet great unity in as much as they are all peopled with intelligent, thinking, acting, willing humanities, we can but conclude that the bodies of these humanities are mind-centers brought into manifestation by their controlling center which holds in unity all its worlds, controls their every action and keeps them ever revolving through space around itself, their governing center.
These facts are at least suggestive of what revelation brings to our mind in the declaration made in Genesis i. 26, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." In contemplating this text we find its equivalent in this declaration: Let us create an additional mind-center to be manifested among worlds, and let this mind-center have dominion over its world, over the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and over all the earth; or, let this mind-center be king absolute, ruling the whole constituent of its planetall nature below it.
We have concluded, from our understanding of
scientific research, that there is order in everything, from the microscopic to the telescopic, and that that order follows a definite law. Therefore we may with very little difficulty discover in man the constitution of the whole body of humanity, he being composed of organs like, yet dissimilar to, the members of all organized life"a microcosm of the macrocosm." So that each individual is a mind-center, a mind-organ, and when scientists conclude that the atom, or electron, may be but a center of force, shall we not addmay be a world in itself, a mind-center? But here we enter the realm of speculationthrough the door of analogy, however.
In a preceding chapter we touched on the thought that Yahveh, the God of the universe, or of all uxiverses, is Spirit, and is the all-pervading formless Former of all things. We shall now consider his image, which is seen in the unity of all organized life.
Every organized form, all organized substance, from the most material to the most ethereal, is organized by thought and bears the likeness to its progenitor that the son bears to his father, and is not only the image and likeness of its father, but is the embodiment and expression of its father, being of the father's life and mind and possessing his attributes, so far as the form is able to receive them. Thus all manifest nature becomes the body of the Infinite, becomes a mind-center to express
the thoughts of the thinking Intelligence that pervades and interpervades all space, all worlds, and systems of worlds.
If we accept as a factand how can we do otherwise?that all manifestations of life are mind-organs of the Infinite, then we find a vast field of interesting thought concerning the purpose of God in the creation of man in his image and likeness.
From the foregoing we infer that the whole universe is working together under one controlling Will, working toward one general and well-defined object. And therefore when God said, "Let us make man in our image and like us," it was, as it were, the Infinite Source of all formative law finding intelligent expression in a mind-center which was capable of thinking, knowing and sending forth thought-forming power of such character and potency as to form a world and cause that world to bring forth intelligent beings who were to become its absolute rulers. But man, in order to possess this dominion, must have not only the image, but the likeness of his Creator.
Humanity, the image now existing on this planet, is the product of creative law, as is evidenced by his subordination to that law; but when the likeness is obtained, then will man no longer act blindly under the impulse of law, but he will have awakened to a state of knowing.
This state of ultimate knowing was intimated by our Lord when he said to his disciples, "No longer
do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you." He here brings out the thoughtdimly, it is truethat all organized life, man included, is under the absolute dominion of creative law, is a servant, is a mind-center acted upon by that law, without absolute volitionwith but partial volition, limited by the organic qualities and the general form which govern the desires, loves and sympathies, and, consequently, the decisions of the will.
Thus man is in the image of God and as yet is a servant, controlled by a Mind, a Will, of which he knows comparatively nothing. And if our conclusion is correct that man, by acting under the impulse of a higher intelligence, is being led through evolutionary processes toward the estate of a volitional, intelligent being, and if this law is universal, then it follows that the higher planets, the elder worlds, must have reached a point where the body politic is not only in the image of God, but has attained to a degree of his likeness, of his purity, of his comprehensive knowledge and of his volitionary dominion over all belowis a mind-organ for the Infinite to fill.
And our sun, at least in its physical manifestation, may contain a luminous humanity whose very bodies are a flaming fire, and who have reached such a degree of likeness to the Father as to have
attained the right, through mental and spiritual unfoldment, to have dominion over all below them; and having this dominion over that which is below them constitutes them God. (Ex. vii. 1.) And if the inhabitants of our Father-Mother world, the sun, are the God of the worlds that they have created, then are not they, in their turn, the children of a higher world, of their parent-sun? And thus may we not see in the heavens the great spiritual nervous system of an individual man, having centers-of-mind beyond centers-of-mind, as in our physical structure?there being one center transcendently above all others, ruling all below it.
For we find from careful study of our own body that, while we have a brain-center, the head, from which all voluntary action emanates, yet there is another brain-center,some think it is the solar plexuswhich governs all involuntary action, such as digestion and the tearing down and the rebuilding of the body; and there is in the experience of many, a consciousness of a mind-center transcendently beyond thisso high, so spiritual, that probably no one has been able fully to comprehend or locate its power. Many have started out "in search of the soul," but it has ever eluded them. And if in our own organism we find that which is transcendently beyond our comprehension, there may be worlds that have become so spiritualized as to be beyond the perception of worlds upon lower
planes of existence. Therefore in our contemplation of universal law we come to the conclusion that the words recorded in our Bible, "Let us make man in our image, etc.," are eternal words; words that have been traversing the infinitude of space through all eternity and will continue to traverse it to all eternity, or so long as organic form finds expression, so long as the Creative Mind continues to form organized mind-centers through which to express itself in some well-defined direction.
For truly we see in nature that every organized form has what we call a specific character; even among men we find that each man has his own peculiar character and sphere of use, the sphere wherein he is normal. Consequently, God in his infinite purpose is not creating worlds to float in space without a definite purpose, but every organized form is made to be a mind-center, a mind-organ of the Infinite, through which to express some useful thought.
And when man has awakened to a realization of his place in the universe, to the object of his creation, and has voluntarily united his will with the will of the All-Mind, and has complied with the laws of his being, then he will awaken to find God manifested in him, and to find also that that manifestation of God in him is one with the Spirit of the Infinite manifested in all diversified character and form throughout the universe, and, so far as
his organization and sphere of use make it possible, he will be enabled to know all that is relative to his plane of existence; and recognizing his position as a mind-organ of the Infinite, he will realize the force of the words expressed by the Nazarene, "All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth."
But the full manifestation of this authority and dominion, this image and likeness, is obtained only through organization, correct formation in harmony with universal law. This organization we shall consider later on, in the chapter on "The Elohim," and elaborate in the chapter on "The Eternal Order of Melchisedek," and further formulate and elaborate in the chapters on "The Image of God" and "The Likeness of God," and consummate in "The Image and the Likeness."