Extracts From the Letters of Our No. 1 Correspondence Circle
From time to time, under the above heading, we shall publish helpful extracts from the letters of The Light of Reason Correspondence Circles. Written, as such letters are, by isolated truth-seekers to one another, the snatches of soul-experience, originally expressed thoughts, and breathings of lonely aspirations which they contain, cannot but prove of the deepest interest to our readers, nor fail to aid and inspire.
The seed sown by our Kidderminster brother in the spring has throughout the summer developed and bloomed, and now the first-fruits of the autumn have appeared in the shape of a budget of letters from the able leader of our No. 1 Circle, a selection from which is here presented for the delectation of our readers.
"Union is strength, and in this little cooperative society of kindred spirits one cannot but foresee delightful possibilities of intellectual and spiritual intercourse by the interchange of ideas, thus broadening and deepening our thoughts, raising our aspirations to the highest possible level, and perhaps (as in my own case) rubbing off some too prominent angles and cranks.
Meanwhile we may derive from the phenomenon of these self-formed circles a demonstration, in advance, of what some of us look forward to when at the appointed time and at the Master's call we shall suddenly wake up from our earth-dream and find ourselves surrounded by spirits akin to ourselves, who, no longer hindered by the material body, have assorted themselves into position by a kind of 'specific gravity,' like to like, each finding its own proper place and level with unerring exactness. It is thus that even here on earth we get at least glimpses of heaven and hell, and this by our own free choice, and not, as too commonly assumed, by the arbitrary adjudication of the Almighty"
"It was one of those periods when the manifold cares and duties of this earthly life seem to have increased to their utmost limit—when the soul, awakened to a keen sense of its responsibility by the light within, is momentarily overcome as it beholds all that the light reveals. The soul then longs for that 'haven of rest where it would be'—yet not to rest, but to work, to accomplish its destiny in higher spheres. At such a period the soul, hindered in its flight, is made to realize the extent and importance of its mission here below, and that its 'earthly prison-house,' the body, is also its temple—the rightful dwelling-place of the Most High. It was at a time like this when, almost staggered by the things revealed by the light, that I found utterance to some of my own thoughts in our enlightened magazine, The Light of Reason.
How often, when reading a book, the underlying motive of which is both great and good—teeming with grand and beautiful thoughts expressed in simple yet eloquent language—have we been startled by the fact that such thoughts have been ours; and it is because our ideas blend and harmonize with the ideas we read that we 'like' a book, and are in sympathy with the author."
"It has been my endeavor, knowing the manifold differences that exist in my fellow-creatures, to try to develop good relations with those I come across, rather than strive with them in argument and to win them over to what convictions I happened to possess."
"I think with Mr. G——— that sometimes here on earth we get glimpses of heaven when we meet and come into close touch for a little time with those who are interested in the same subjects as ourselves, or who are noted for their goodness, piety or intellect...I understand very well Miss R——'s experience in reading—how delightful it is to come upon thoughts exactly our own where we had not expected to find them. My first introduction to some of the thoughts in The Light of Reason, came in a little book sent by post, from whom I do not know, called 'Absolute Justice.' Much of this book was truly startling, and yet I could not help agreeing with it and feeling that it had truth on its side...I felt as if l wanted to have the book always near me that I might read bits of it to keep me up to the mark."
"We must not, I think, forget that though we are all seeking the one goal, we may not all have made the same advancement in the subjection of the personality; our power of discernment will not then be equal, and until we have arrived at a point of evolution to which few as yet have attained we must continue to gather experience by or through externals. For this reason sympathy must be an active factor in our lives. I would here assure our leader that if he still has an angle or two to round off, he is not alone in this, for well I know that such exist, and ofttimes require very delicate treatment in their removal, an operation absolutely necessary to the development of 'harmony' or 'beauty' of character, the manifestation of perfect life."
"Miss R—— and Miss G—— speak of the delight of seeing our own thoughts expressed it by other minds in books. We ought to cultivate the expression of our thoughts, and so strengthen our minds and reasoning powers; for while thus strengthening our own powers, we may, perchance, I trust it will prove so, bring light and knowledge to each other...If, as we believe, our thoughts are potent factors, and as powerful as the actions they in other ways affect, we must train and keep them with as much diligence as the athlete trains his physical nature...Miss G—— mentions 'Absolute Justice'...Is it not the simple teaching of Jesus dismantled of all the forms and garbs in which it has been clothed?"
Of human happiness it may be said—
It locally contains hell or heaven,
There is no third place in it.
Wherever God is, there is light. 'He is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' Love is light; hence when our souls are filled with Divine Love we possess 'Garments of Light.'...As we are made in the image of God, our life is interwoven with and one with God, and as Saint Juan de la Cruz said to his hearers, 'I should disguise myself from a grave fact did I ignore that your souls form part of mine. You and I are distinct beings in the world, in God is our common origin; thus we are one being and live one life. 'Now we see how it is that we are Temples where God dwells.'"
More from James Allen
James Allen was a little-known philosophical writer and poet. He is best recognized for his book, As a Man Thinketh. Allen wrote about complex subjects such as faith, destiny, love, patience, and religion but had the unique ability of explaining these subjects clearly and in a way that is easy to understand. He often wrote about cause and effect, sowing and reaping, as well as overcoming sadness, sorrow, and grief. For more information on the life of James Allen, click here.