An Eternal Career, by Frank and Lydia Hammer, , at sacred-texts.com
"Nothing with God is accidental."
We recently read that accidents in this country alone claim the lives of 4,000,000 people a year. According to this report automobile accidents account for the greatest number of fatalities; then come deaths due to accidents in homes.
It is not the statistics, however, that amaze us. It is the fact that mature people, well educated and intelligent, should believe in accidents. For the general idea seems to be that all those who do not die in bed of old age are victims of accidents.
Such a phenomenon as an accident has never happened, and can never happen because the universe is governed by laws that are immutable. Its equilibrium is more delicately balanced and more accurately adjusted than a chronometer and regulated by the Master Hand. If accidents were possible, the most trivial, imaginable and unpredicted one which interfered with the established order of things would result in universal chaos and destruction.
If automobiles can accidentally collide, then suns might inadvertently crash, as both are subject to the same laws. There are major and minor injuries, but not major and minor accidents. Accidents so-called are the consequences of the person's thoughts and acts, conscious or unconscious, premeditated or spontaneous, produce the effect. For neither natural laws nor natural forces can exercise volition or display purpose, but can be manipulated only by living, conscious and intelligent beings. Whenever the cause of an event is obscure, as is often the case, people see the effect as coincident or accident. As in the darkness of night all animals appear black, so in the darkness of ignorance all causes are obscure.
Natural laws have a strength and precision which no man can disturb, and not even major catastrophes vary their operation by a hair's-breadth. These laws are not to be confounded with mere human decrees which are arbitrary, changeable, local and, as well, ineffective and partial. Natural laws are definite, inexorable, immutable, perfect and beyond the interference of men. They have been from the beginning in exactly the same form as they are today. They have not been added to, nor diminished. They have not been communicates by God to emissaries; but man has discovered them as his mind unfolded sufficiently to comprehend certain phenomena. No man has ever succeeded breaking them; but on the other hand they have broken many a man.
Consider how different are the laws of men! In reality no man has ever made a law. What men term laws are only temporary makeshifts which are as imperfect and changeable as men themselves. Indeed, many human ordinances are a travesty of justice. Take for example the iniquitous law of bankruptcy which permits a man to declare himself insolvent in order to evade payment of his debts. Then later permits the use of his concealed assets to resume business under a different name, or moves in another community.
But ah! What a difference when the moral law is encountered! There is no such thing as spiritual bankruptcy; this, the moral law exacts payment in full for all debts whether contracted on earth or elsewhere. All obligations must be fulfilled, all debts paid, all liabilities discharged before the soul can progress and have any happiness or peace.
It is because natural laws are intrinsically and organically perfect that astronomers can predict the position of suns and planets many years hence. They know that there never has been, and never will be any intervention in the operation of these laws. They dismiss all ideas of chance or accident and rely solely on the fixed and constant operation of law; thus they can make unerring calculations.
Students of natural laws have observed that nature never excuses any particle of matter or spirit from obedience to her laws. They know that every cause is followed by its invariable effect, which is first registered in the mental world, later materializing
on the objective plane in visible events. Only the unthinking and the unobservant assume that they are exempt from these laws.
Since the issues of life and death have not been entrusted to men, they do not always die when or how they would wish. Some are removed through disasters such as war, pestilence, famine, drowning, fire, disease, etc. One hears particularly in times of war of many miraculous escapes and peculiar deaths; but these merely appear miraculous and peculiar because they are not understood.
In no species do all attain old age, and the human variety is no exception. The time of departure is fixed, and from this law there is no repeal. Moreover, not all souls require a long physical embodiment, and no scientific skill can alter the decreed length of their life.
Sometimes individuals have a premonition of the manner in which they will meet their death and take elaborate precautions to prevent it, but to no avail. For instance, we knew of a man who had a foreboding that automobiles would prove fatal and under no circumstances would he ride in them. Nevertheless, he was killed by one when crossing a street.
Birth, like death, is also governed by immutable law and no child regardless of circumstances is ever an "accident." Children often are unwanted and unplanned for, but never "accidents." "Man proposes but God disposes," and when a soul is destined for earth it gets there, human will notwithstanding.
"It is all a matter of accident whether a child will be a boy or a girl," declares a scientist. He further adds, "that there might be a law of 'caprice' which governs sex." But, because scientists and parents have no jurisdiction over sex, it does not follow that its determination is an accident. The soul of course is sexless; but the sex of the body it will inhabit is determined long before the advent of physical birth. Nor are parents, environment and circumstances accidental, but the result of the soul's karma.
Who cannot recall the accidental meetings with strangers which turned the tide of destiny? Who does not remember the peculiar times and places they have met people who were instrumental in altering their course? In this way some met their life partner; others met those who promoted their material success; or brought them into a different understanding of Truth. Such meetings appear accidental, but they are in complete accordance with law. For whenever one life touches another, it is always for a definite purpose, a part of the universal plan.
"Chaos, complete and utter chaos has engulfed the world," lament the apostles of gloom. Chaos is impossible in a world of universal law and order, and what man calls chaos is but harmony misunderstood.
Many believe that war is discord, but it is no more discord than the clashing cymbals in an orchestra which are as much a part of the score as the violins and the wood-winds. Life is governed by immutable law and order even in war; it has a purpose
although unknown to man. Man's insanity and stupidity do not alter or jeopardise God's ultimate plan and eternal harmony. Man makes war and God's law knowing neither wrath nor mercy leave every cause to work out to its inevitable conclusion.
Singularly, the law of Karma though of ancient origin, seems unknown to all but a few religions. Even when they do, they fail to include it in their Articles of Faith, or acquaint their followers with it. This is most unfortunate, as human conduct would undergo revolutionary change if people knew that as they deal with men, so men will deal with them. Men will never become civilized or cultured until they do understand and live this law; for so long as men do not see any relationship between causation and effect, they will continue to inflict cruelties and barbarities upon others.
Some faddists make the claim that life could be prolonged indefinitely if men lived in certain climates and ate only specified foods. In fact, they see no reason why men cannot become immortal! As if they were not already immortal! Like all materialists, they cannot conceive of life apart from the form, so they would preserve the body forever if they could!
But scientists will never be able to chain a race of immortals to earth. With infinity to explore and to be condemned to this plane, would appeal only to the crass materialist. A philosopher would deem it the worst of all possible fates. Moreover, the
soul wears out many bodies in this life, so why should it not outlive the last and most decrepit?
"It was just his luck," say people when a man falls from a ladder and breaks his neck. If he falls heir to a fortune, "It's just his luck again." "Luck," good or bad, is the operation of the law of cause and effect. Everyone is the creator of his luck; everyone is the arbiter of his destiny, happiness, misery, success or failure. Nothing ever happens to anyone for which he is not either directly or indirectly responsible.
Many individuals wail and whine that they never had a "break." They say that lack of education, opportunity or influence prevented them from getting ahead. Yet nearly always their only real lack has been that of character. With the same materials different individuals construct totally different destinies. It is no "accident" that handicaps often are a spur to achievement and success rather than deterrents. History and literature afford innumerable illustrations of those who triumphed over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Life is not a calamity to be endured, but a challenge to be met.
Some allege that the existence of immutable laws eliminates all exercise of free will. They argue that men are helpless pawns in the clutch of cosmic forces and are controlled by invisible laws that compel them to act contrary to their will. God's laws always work with men, and never against them. Without these laws men would have no volition at all. Men are free without being free from these
laws, and are free only because of them. Men are not at the mercy of chance and caprice, but are protected, enfolded, sustained and guided by Nature's great protective and beneficent laws.
Life is no puppet show. Life is an eternal drama enacted by immortal actors who are free not only to choose their roles, but also free to interpret them. In our eternal career we are scheduled to appear in many parts.