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Fifth Lecture: Cohesion — The Fourth of the Seven Creative Principles

The subject for this evening's thought is Cohesion. I wish, before proceeding, to state certain facts necessary to give you some idea of our position. I find, by a careful analysis of my own personal experiences in the past, that I had no natural faculty for acquiring book-education, my chief love, from early childhood, being to read the great book of Nature, and, in my perusal of that book, the conclusions reached, I find, are identical with those of the old sages and philosophers, in regard to the creative principles; namely, that there are, in all, but seven principles that are operating in the realm of the earth, in the work of creation. Mark you, I am dealing with principles and not phenomena or materials.
We wish to distinguish, to draw the line carefully between principles and things. A principle is that interior potency that causes action and gives character, quality, and kind, when embodied in the conscious energy of man. Thus we can understand what is meant when we speak of principle. We often hear men say that they act from principle. Now, these are the creative principles that are active factors in the work of bringing up the lower conditions of matter to the higher conditions of manhood, in the work of evolution,—for we believe in evolution. We differ, perhaps, somewhat with Darwin and some others in the materialistic view of evolution. We do not believe in evolutionary unfoldment and stages of change through external and physical generation, but we believe in evolution of the mind,—of the more subtle principles of life. Everything in creation is aspiring to a stage above itself; and, when it has completed its experience and unfoldment upon one stage of existence, it, by the law of aspiration, reaches out to a higher stage of existence, in which it finds incarnation, and so the germ of life that now animates the blade of grass we tread upon, will, in some far-distant time in the future, be part of the mind that rules our planet Earth. This is the brief statement of my idea of evolution. We have, in the past, considered the idea of God, the cause and source of all being, which lecture should be read carefully, because without it you cannot form an adequate idea of the foundation upon which we are building; for we know that all religious systems and civilizations have been just what their idea of God was, let it have been what it may. Therefore, we find it to be absolutely necessary to make that thought the foundation on which to build. The second subject of consideration was the principle of force, which is magnetic and concentrative. The third lecture was a consideration of discrimination and polarization. The fourth treats of the law of order, which manifests itself in everything of form in Nature. This evening's thoughts will be on the principle of cohesion.
We considered, in our last lecture, the law of order, also the two other principles, the gathering and concentrating, and the discriminating power; we saw their manifestation in the frost-crystal upon the windowpane, which had, however, no true cohesive properties. As soon as warmth and sunlight came upon it, it was disintegrated and freed for another state of existence.
We have, tonight, to consider this fourth principle of Nature. Finding that the ancient philosophers gave us four general or universal " Elements" to start with, namely: fire, air, water, and earth, we have these four elements present and active in the earth; but we shall treat them as effects rather than causes, and proceed with our consideration of cohesion, the fourth principle. To “cohere" implies the unity of the whole, to come together and adhere one to the other, to remain intact. Assisted by the other three primates, organic bodies spring into existence and adhere and remain in existence, go on in the work of gathering like substances around them, unfolding and manifesting themselves in their ultimates, and bringing forth their final fruits.
This fourth is the principle which expresses the idea of the mother-nature, and it may be carried from the lowest stage of maternal life to the highest that we can conceive of—spiritual motherhood. We hear the word frequently, "Theos Sophie," involving in it the dual relation of God as father and mother; this fourth principle is feminine, and we begin to consider it from that standpoint, drawing the line between the positive and negative; for we find that everything in Nature is either male or female, and that, as such, everything that belongs to life is dependent upon those two as factors of existence. Even the grass and all vegetation is thus known and accepted to be dual. It is also well known, that the first phase of organic life is almost invariably female. In some insect existences there are supposed to be at least two generations of the female before there is any male existence.
The female principle is that which nourishes, that holds together and encircles all things within its sphere. It protects and strengthens all things in Nature; and, as we look upon the animal world, we find the mother nature possessed of two manifestations,—one of love and carefulness of its offspring, the other of defense, fury, and destruction to every invader. Therefore, wherever we find this principle manifest, we may expect these two extremes; and, in fact, everything in Nature exists by virtue of them. If we find a person or animate thing, let it be what it may, that manifests one principle in the extreme, it must of necessity have the opposite standing over against it, as a counterpoise in order to maintain its existence. This mother-principle is, in a degree, an adversary to the progressive unfoldment in Nature; yet it is the great friend to all that lives.
We speak of the mother's love. We magnify it in the highest degree. How carefully Nature everywhere guards her young! How eagerly she reaches out the hand to gather the supplies necessary for their wants! How vigilant in looking after and protecting her own! But were it not for an adversary that is equally potent in nature we never should have been here. Were it possible that this principle of cohesion which gathers, forms, and maintains, had not an equal set over against itself, there would be no change throughout all time.
I called attention, the other evening, to the fact that this mother-nature was one of instinct rather than reason. It loves its offspring, the object of its care, no matter what it may be. Not only so, but I have heard mothers who have an over-endowment of this Mother Nature in them, say, "I wish baby could always remain just as lie is." It came as a thought and desire that the child should never unfold beyond its childhood, so that she might always have it in her arms, and be always in the exercise of motherly care.
Let us think of this mother-principle standing out distinct, alone in human form. This principle that thus holds and preserves and cares for all things in Nature, is the principle we so much admire. There are two reasons why this is so. One is, that by nature, all animal life loves ease; it does not like to struggle for self-preservation, it wants to be at ease, and this mother-principle is struggling to give rest and comfort; therefore we love it, and we magnify it as something good, as being superior to the other seven principles. Our next lesson will bring us to consider the adversary of this mother-nature, "the Serpent," "the Devil," we have heard so much about; and it may surprise you to hear that this is one of the seven creative principles, and that it is just as necessary as the mother-nature. This mother-nature which we love, being conservative of present conditions, becomes adverse to every effort on the part of human intelligence to break through old conditions and rise into a new sphere of thought, life, and action, and thus it becomes an adversary. Jesus said, when he was here, "that a man's foes should be they of his own household," and it is wholly because of this principle being the controlling one.
We must also consider this principle jointly with its companion, that we treated of in the previous lectures. This mother-nature inspheres in its action the positive principle, the principle of order. It holds and limits this divine activity, puts the material that has been gathered into form, holds and maintains this form, which, having in it also the active principles of force and discrimination, struggles for a manifestation in a broader and higher career. This is inevitable, because the negative principle of Nature has gathered in and insphered the object of its love. It is the divine masculinity that this cohesive principle has insphered and bound within its own limits; therefore, this captive life, this divine masculinity is restive and active to develop and come forth into a higher, broader, and better order of Nature, which can only be done through unfoldment from the innermost to the external, on account of the cohesive and binding properties of the mother nature.
When we examine a plant we find that this principle of cohesion compacts and holds it, giving it a hard, solid stalk. It stands, perchance, with two branches, as if it were to remain there to all eternity; but a more subtle principle is ever working from the innermost, projecting from between its two branches another that grows out from the center; and, as it unfolds, it expands the confines of its position, that it may have room to manifest itself; and when it has burst its bonds, the mother nature, being ever active, lays hold and concentrates her energy on the new branch that 5^ just forming, and as she gathers material to support, nourish, and preserve, she is inclined to overfeed her young. We never knew a mother, no matter in what kingdom, whether in the plant-world or in the more perfect state of human existence, who was not inclined to overfeed her young. She always keeps gathering and gathering; for preservation is her attribute. It is the principle that is most active today among men, and that is cursing our land. The disposition to gather, heap up, and hoard millions of treasure, without stopping to ask the question, what use they will be to them.
We are acting under these blind forces of Nature, and never stopping to think what their qualities are, and therefore we are struggling all the time, and combating one with the other without any reason or judgment; thus this divine principle for the preservation of all things becomes an adversary because of abuse and overdoing. Thus, in all the workings of Nature, the best things, when misused, become the very worst things, as instanced in the Lord's saying, "that a man's foes should be of his own household."
This mother-nature is supposed to maintain and hold all things as they are, to preserve and maintain present conditions. It looks back and sees what has been. It acts from its own present status, without any regard to the thought that is beyond. While this principle controls the home, family, and public mind, as it does today, every advanced thought that comes into our minds will be opposed by our friends, by those who love us most, especially if that advanced thought necessitates any change on our part. Here again we find we are led to struggle against the very things that we love the most,—the principle that conserves our lives, that maintains our existence, as if it were our adversary; otherwise we would be bound and held by it, and be unable to move forward in any direction. It is for that reason that Jesus, the master, said, "that unless a man hate father, mother, wife, and children, yea, and his own life," he could not be his disciple. For this law is one that is absolute, acting in life everywhere.
I called your attention, in the early part of the lecture, to the fact that each one of those seven principles may have the dominancy and be found the specially active one; but none of the seven can act alone. All must co-work with it. But we can consider some one as the leader in the action, and we must consider each in their sphere of leadership, and how the action results, so that we may know how to subject these powers and bring them under control of our will, and make them useful factors in our life. These thoughts are for the purpose of giving an understanding of these seven primate laws of Nature, so that each of you may, by their own will, take control of them, and become master of the work. As we announced at the beginning, the thought in the Infinite Mind was to make man in his image and likeness, and let them have dominion; and, in order to do so, we must have knowledge of these laws, and when we have, we may lay hold upon them and resist their control, accept of their assistance, and move on in harmony, not allowing eccentricities to carry us beyond the bounds of reason.
If we look into the workings of Nature, as I have previously shown you, everything is based on the duality of sex. This fourth principle cohesion, being the mother-principle, is peculiarly the love-principle, the magnetic, and if we love a person we know that we will do everything in our power for their good as we understand it.
Now the mother-nature, considered as a distinct principle, has no reason. The law of order in the pure mother-principle has no place. The feminine principle, as manifested in the higher order of womanhood, is not a reasoning principle, but it acts from the spontaneous soul, from within. It acts from the law of its nature, and we call it intuition. Intuition, when governed by cohesion, struggles againsts human progress. If you have a son; and that son has an inclination to a life that is not according to the life your father lived, not according to that you yourself are living, you at once condemn it, and at once begin to struggle against it. If a man or woman attempts to live on a different plane of existence from that on which you are, you condemn it, and do all in your power to hold on to that friend, and bind him in the sphere of your own existence. These are thoughts that we ought to think about, because we are in the time of progress. We have nearly finished a cycle of the earth's unfoldment. What do I mean by "cycle"'? We all understand what a cycle of the earth's revolution around the sun means. It means spring-time, the time of planting, mid-summer, the fullness of growth, the time of harvest, and of winter, the time of cold, when all things congeal, when the chilling blasts blight all vegetable life. This we understand to be a cycle of earth. Human life is of the same order. The Nazarene, and all the ancient prophets and sages delighted in that as a figure. "The seed-time and harvest of the world." We have a history of this world, supposed to be for about six thousand years. Back of that we have but very little knowledge; some nations traced much farther back: but the knowledge is vague and uncertain, and all so different from the experience of these six thousand years that it bears every resemblance of belonging to another time, to ages or cycles different from ours. But we have now come near to the closing scenes of another cycle. Human life today is struggling with an energy never before manifested in the history of the world. The mind of man is reaching out for knowledge in every direction. New thoughts are being gathered in, and new unfoldments and new conditions are demanded; and, by virtue of this we find that the mother-principle is becoming an adversary in our midst, and we are forced to become positive to it. Think of it, an adversary to our mother! That which brought us into being; that which has preserved us, given us our life! What a cruel heart it must require! Yet, what shall we do? The very object in the mind of the great parent of all life that organized these forms of maternal nature, was that you should break away from that condition of environment, and arise into a higher condition,—into one broader, more useful, more characteristic of that divine nature of which you are the expression.
Let us look at this from another stand-point. "We read the ancient cabala, and find much about the "Elementals." We find that nearly all the ancient philosophers taught a great deal about the elementals of Nature. (However, they made a distinction between elementals and elementaries, at least some of them did.) What are these elementals? "We have them described to us as being of four different natures; the nature of fire, the nature of air, the nature of water, and the nature of earth. They also, as they come nearer to earth and its atmosphere, combine the pure elements of air with that of fire, and that of water, and, finally, with that of the earth. These combinations are also described as having forms like men, very beautiful, very wise. We have heretofore been trying to present to you the idea of what our thoughts are. That our thoughts are our children, born of our conceptive intellect, born of the materials of our body, through this intellect or brain, projected out from us by the will, sent into the ether. The fine sensitives see them, absorb them into their brain, interpret them, even describing their author. Perchance my thoughts may be gathered and interpreted by those that never paw me, and they may describe me just as I am speaking to you to-night. These elementals that have been seen by the clear-eyed seer of the past are thoughts generated from the creative mind; and, as they come nearer and yet nearer, they begin to take more and yet more of the earth-conditions. These thoughts have descended into earth; and the mother-principle, which is the earth-principle, has laid hold upon them, and insphered them in living forms, covered them with substance, and preserves and holds them in earth-bondage. Such are the souls of men that have come up through the successive stages of earth-existence to where we are today. These are not uncreated beings, as thought by many of the ancient philosophers, but they are created. The same as I am this moment creating thought-forms and sending them out into this room, so, too, the Soul of the Universe is constantly creating thought-forms. Yea, the planetary worlds, in their revolutions and relations one to the other, are creating thought-forms and concentrating a share of them upon the planet earth. These, through the agency of this fourth principle, are being laid hold upon and incarnated in material bodies.
The office of this mother-principle is to preserve and hold spirits in material bodies. That is why the ancient philosophers said it was impossible for woman to become a master, because her nature was that which took hold of, and bound all things in the flesh, and would not admit of that unfoldment that led into the spirit and the transmutation of the flesh. Therefore, they said, it was an absolute necessity that woman should go down to the grave and return as man in the second incarnation; for it was so believed by them. (For instance, you who today are here as women, the next time you will return as men. Again, you pass away and return as women, and so on, alternately. This is in harmony with the law of reincarnation. In connecting these subjects I am necessitated to throw out many things that may seem vague and unreasonable to those who have not thought deeply on such subjects, too great to expound in a single lecture. This is a new field of thought to the Occident, but not to the Orient.)
Woman has got to stop and think and try to unite her soul with the great Mother of the Universe. She has got to begin to look at herself and her companion, not as flesh, not as body, or as mere material. As long as she does, just so long will she be an adversary, and so long she herself Avill be bound in earth and will know nothing of the higher life, and the object of her love, because of that flesh she loves and clings to, will struggle against her, and slip out of her hands, and she will be found deserted and alone. The time has come when that mother-love must begin to take higher form. The divine Mother loves all her children alike, and so woman has to consider all as her children, all as objects of her special care and protection, and the husband as counterpart of her spirit, and not merely of the flesh, and that this spirit is a part of her spirit and as such it must be the object of her love, the object that she must try to aid, to unfold, and to free from its encumberings of earth. That, you see, at once reverses all the action of the old love-life. That is a question that she must consider. For, as long as the action of her present life is that manifestation that belongs to cohesion alone, it is holding the persons she loves; it is binding their thought, consequently hindering their action, and keeping them just as they are.
Should this principle of cohesion have sway from this time, all -would stop thinking and acting. Everything would be at a dead stand-still. We bless that divine principle; we should, and do admire and adore the mother-love. Yet, while it is good, it is good only while it is useful. There is nothing permanent that does not serve a use. Keep this maxim ever before you, that the great law of the Infinite Mind is that the use of a thing determines whether it is good or not. Now, when as mothers, as wives, those of you whose natures are overflowing with that divine maternal principle, and who have looked higher, deeper, more into the real man and the real woman, have discerned that a man is not the flesh, but the spirit, the soul, then will you begin to find that your relation to him is the relation of one-half of his being, and that Paul had in mind a law which is beyond that understood today when he said, "The man is not without the woman or the woman without the man in the Lord." Therefore the first thing to do is to conquer self, conquer this maternal nature in its lesser manifestations. Mothers and sisters, conquer yourselves! Men and brothel's, rise above it; do not allow it to hinder your progress! Some may say, "Why, what will this do; where will it lead us?" It will lead you into new and higher conditions. Remember this: if, for the time being, it does cost you a struggle, caused by misunderstandings, live up to your highest ideal of right; do not think that you are injuring any one, though it may appear so for a time. Suppose you should sit down, each one of you, because this one or that one says you are eccentric, and, therefore, submit to this mother-principle that holds you, year after year, in what would it result? In the end it would make you a burden upon those loved ones, whereas, if you, like the man who has fallen in the mire, rise up, notwithstanding the remonstrance of your fellow, rise up out of it yourself, you get on a solid foundation, and then reach down and help your companions. The mission of this world requires action. We cannot stand still where we are; we must go forward, and the only method for us, men or women, is: First, go to work in accordance with the higher idea of right in yourself, live up to your highest ideal; and, when you have done that, you will find yourself placed on a solid foundation, upon high ground where you can help those who are trying to hinder you. That is how you should "love your enemies, bless them that persecute, and do good to them that hate and despitefully use you," "because they know not what they do."
There is not a man or woman in the world who is intentionally and wholly evil. They have a law of right that seems to justify their action. When we look at these things from the stand-point of law we will find that it is difficult to blame anyone for the things he does. But, on the contrary, when we see persons so low down in darkness, and so overwhelmed by some one of these seven principles, that they can see nothing beyond it, we sympathize with them, and, in the same degree that we have ourselves made attainments and taken control, we will have power to lift the load from our fellow that is being crushed by it, let it be our wife, our husband, our son, our daughter, a comrade, or a stranger, or any man or woman that lives. Let us lift the burden, and help them on their journey.
Just as soon as we allow one feeling of hatred to come into our heart against anything or person, their ignorance has control of us, and that moment we become an adversary perhaps to their higher good, and certainly to our own. Such thoughts take form and go out and become an active factor to create adversaries that tear and rend us. For they do not always destroy the object of their hate ; but such thoughts often go out and unite with others, and cause the object of the hatred to generate a multitude of like thoughts, and send them back upon us for our destruction. However, while this mother-nature on the lower plane is evil, when it has taken its place in proper harmony in the truly united man and woman it becomes the source of strength, as it restrains the positive nature of man from rashness and violence, and concentrates all the forces, puts them under control of the will. And this will is the only principle that enables us to take the name of God, place it "in our forehead" (the seat of intelligence), and to say, "I will be what I will to be," thus lifting the principle of cohesion to its ultimate, which is "Strength."

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