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An Eternal Career, by Frank and Lydia Hammer, [1947], at

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"Be noble, and the nobleness that lies in
 other men sleeping but never dead, will rise
 in majesty to meet thine own

Human nature is the basis of character, the temperament and disposition; it is that indestructible matrix upon which the character is built, and whose shape it must take and keep throughout life. This we call a person's nature.

The basic nature of human beings does not and cannot change. It is only the surface that is capable of alteration, improvement and refinement; we can alter only people's customs, manners, dress and habits. A study of history reveals that the people who walked this earth in antiquity were moved by the same fundamental forces, were swayed by the same passions, and had the same aspirations as the men and women of today. The pursuit of happiness still engrosses mankind the world over.

Moreover no one wishes his nature to change. One may covet the position of President or King, but would not change places with them unless it

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meant the continuance of his own identity. Each man sees himself as unique, and so far as he is concerned, the hub of the universe, different from any other individual. Apologies are in order when Mr. Smith is mistaken for Mr. Jones.

Although human nature resists all efforts at alteration, there are some people who never weary of trying to make others over, usually into a replica of themselves. Public reformers, for example, who would dare tell God how the race could be improved. They consider themselves the model for all mankind, and strive to make others conform to their own image and likeness, as they are confident that such similarity will bring about the millennium.

Then there are the wives who cherish the fond delusion that husbands are capable of reform, and vice versa; and mothers who endeavor to mould their children into an ideal of their own. Failing in their ambitious attempts to remodel others, these people will admit: "You cannot change people."

Why should anyone wish to change another's nature? What makes some people believe that they can improve the Creator's work? If human nature were the work of man it would require a great deal of rectification. But since it is created by God, we can be assured that it is potentially God-like. In fact, human nature and Divine Nature are analogous. This is certain, if man had the power to change the nature of any species it would become either a hybrid, a freak or a monstrosity.

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For whenever man tampers with nature he only succeeds in defiling it, for deterioration follows such violation.

Not even education is able to change human nature, although many people labor under this delusion. Many parents expect education to make a dull child bright. Children can only be trained and guided along the lines of their inherent capabilities, they cannot depart from nature's pattern. A moron is one, not for lack of education, but because his intelligence is incapable of normal training. Learning, instead of overcoming mental disability, tends only to expose it. Not even Jesus, the greatest of teachers, was able to change the nature of his disciples, who to the very end retained their original character, and manifested their original tendencies.

For centuries we have had dinned in our ears that "man is a miserable sinner," "a frail mortal prone to error and sin," "a weakling whose nature is corrupt and base." These disparaging assertions originate in the fallacious theory that man is a product of matter. Human nature is God Nature; and as such it needs to be respected, for never before has its original Divinity been so doubted and its dignity so debased.

Since human nature resists all efforts at modification and alteration, it is useless to legislate toward uniformity—to require men to be what they are not. Laws which depend upon compulsion instead of persuasion or education never work. Those

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which aim at regimentation likewise miscarry. Human differences, dissimilar capacities, ideas and talents must be recognized. The most successful governments are those which permit and encourage men to develop their basic differences.

Human beings were created unlike, and the more they unfold the more will they differ. Their innate unlikeness cannot be eradicated, but it can and should be developed. Compulsory conformity in all respects is contrary to man's nature, and induces him to break those laws that restrict his freedom of expression and action. The masses must some day awaken from their stupor and begin to think. Thought is of course about the last thing rulers encourage; their ambition is to eliminate it altogether.

Every man unfolds a distinct character over which circumstances and education have only the most limited control. No two people will ever draw the same conclusions from the same experiences, but each must interpret events and fit them into the mosaic of his own life's pattern. Human nature is ever true to itself, not to systems of faith or education. Each holds to the structure of the mould into which the soul was cast at the time of its individualization. The qualities born in one remain as potentials whether they have a chance to develop or not. Under pressure, or change of interest, they can partially or wholly disappear from view for considerable periods of

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time; but nothing can permanently modify them, nothing can obliterate them.

The constancy of human nature is proverbial, as no one believes that a man can fundamentally change his nature. This is why it is so difficult for one who has acquired an unsavory reputation to re-establish himself in public confidence. People know from experience that an individual who in one year displays knavish characteristics seldom in the next becomes any different. Nor does a thief become a trustworthy employee, or a miser a philanthropist. Nor does a man change and become a liar, coward or traitor at fifty or sixty; if he is one then, he has been one ever since his character was formed. Big criminals are first little criminals, just as giant oaks are first little acorns.

Although man is potentially perfect he is far from being actually so. If he were actually perfect there would be nothing for preachers, teachers and humanitarians to do; no use for churches, schools, courts and prisons. Therefore while it is impossible to change human nature, it can be studied, controlled and directed, and this should be the supreme function of our religious, educational and social institutions.

Man is perfect as a seed is perfect, germinally. The spirit is perfect, but when it inhabits human structures, it participates in the imperfections of the latter; and during its association with matter takes on the mortal weaknesses, desires and limitations. But the spirit, the inner man, remains untouched

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and undefiled by evil. Only the outer man,—the personality and the physical body—becomes imperfect, due to ignorance, wrong thinking and violation of the laws of being. The outer man, too, was originally perfect, but man has so desecrated and abused it that today it is a far cry from the original model.

Man's majesty and nobility are taken for granted, although his faults and weaknesses are constantly paraded before our eyes. Only when behavior deviates from the normal does it attract attention. The good neighbor, the conscientious citizen, the kind father and faithful husband pass unnoticed. But the murderer, robber or wife beater is singled out for publicity, because such conduct is unusual.

Man's inherent goodness, moreover, is revealed by his countless acts of heroism, unselfishness and sacrifice. Daily one reads of men saving others at the peril of their own lives. One plunges into the surf and rescues a swimmer from drowning; another dashes into a burning house and carries a stranger to safety; others snatch a child from the wheels of death; many give their blood that others may live. Not only the Nazarene but countless unnamed and unrecorded men have given their lives for their fellowmen, not only on the battlefront but on the home-front as well.

We care not how outwardly base and cruel a man may appear to be, there is a vulnerable spot within every man. There is a spark of Divinity which must be appealed to,

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Some will deny man's Divinity, especially in times of war. True, today many men have reverted to a stage lower than savage, but this is the result of coercion. They would have shunned such action if left to themselves. "Whenever stupid rulers disagree, they commit conspiracies against mankind and cunningly incite them to murder one another," is as true today as in the time of Carlyle, the author of this statement. If people had access to the truth, wars would be impossible; but truth will never be available so long as governments control the news and its sources. The tragedy of it! Men are capable of so much heroism, nobility, generosity and kindness. But leaders who should encourage this conduct, incite them to fly at each other's throats like mad dogs.

The reports of psychiatrists prove that murder is a violation of human nature. During World War I, one-third of all casualties were mental disorders. Thirty-four thousand mentally disabled veterans from previous wars are still in government hospitals, costing to date more than a billion dollars. It is still too soon to count the victims of the recent slaughter, but the number will far exceed those of previous wars.

Now another carnival of carnage is halted, the last shot is fired for some people. But the war is not over for these hundreds of thousands of insane and shell-shocked victims who are still in their world of hell, secluded from the public, forgotten

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and neglected by the politicians and the war-for-profit patrioteers.

Human nature does not and cannot change but unfolds its inherent pattern on the loom of Eternal Time. All created things fulfill their destiny and the purpose for which they were created. We may not understand why God made man as He has; we can only endeavor to understand man as he is. He has a nature and its laws can be known. It was not said of man, "thus far shalt thou go, and no farther." He was made to advance; the power to do so distinguishes him from the animal. A true knowledge of God is universally written in man's nature; and every effort to know more, every aspiration, looks toward the achievement of this knowledge.

Next: III. What Is Man?