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The Consciousness of the Atom - The Goal of Evolution
There are several other developments during the evolutionary process with which we might deal, and which are at present so far ahead that they are practically inconceivable unless we have the peculiar type of brain that can think somewhat abstractly. There is the stage in which we can transcend time and space, when the consciousness of the group in all parts of the planet, for instance, will be our consciousness, and when it will be just as easy for us to contact the consciousness of a friend in India, Africa, or elsewhere, as it is here; distance and separation will prove no barrier to intercourse. Symptoms of this can be seen in the ability which some people have to communicate telepathically, or to psychometrise.

It is all very well to spend some time visioning this distant goal, and picturing the achievement [130] of the Logos billions of years hence, but the thing of vital interest for us is to get some idea of the immediate stage ahead; and to understand what we may expect to happen in connection with the evolutionary process during the next few thousand years. Let us consider this idea somewhat. There are, as we know, three main lines of thought in the world: the scientific, the religious, and the philosophical. Now, in these three what have we got? In the scientific line of thought we have embodied all that concerns matter, the substance aspect of manifestation; it deals with objectivity, and with that which is material, tangible, and seen; literally, with that which can be proven. In religious thought we have that which is concerned with the life within the form, which deals with the return of spirit to its source, plus all that has been gained by the use of the form; it has reference to the subjective side of nature. In philosophical thought we have what I might call the utilization of the intelligence by the indwelling life, in order that the form may be adequately adapted to its need. Let us consider in this connection certain developments which may be looked for in the immediate future, remembering that all that I say is only intended to be suggestive, and that I speak in no dogmatic spirit.

It is obvious to most thinkers that science, [131] having begun the study of radioactivity, is on the verge of discovering what is the nature of the power within the atom itself; it is very probable that before long we shall harness the energy of atomic matter for every conceivable purpose, for heating, for lighting, and for what I might call the motivation of everything that is carried on in the world. That force, as some of us know, was nearly discovered in the United States fifty years ago by a man called Keely, but he was not allowed to give it out to the world because of the danger thereby involved. Men are as yet far too selfish to be trusted with the distribution of atomic energy. That discovery will probably parallel the development of group consciousness. Only when man becomes radioactive and can work and think in group terms, will it be safe or wise for him to utilize the power latent in the atom. Everything in nature is beautifully coordinated, and nothing can be discovered or utilized before the right time. Only as man becomes unselfish will this tremendous power be permitted to pass into his hands. Nevertheless, we can, I believe, look to science to make tremendous strides in the comprehension of atomic energy.

Then paralleling the evolution of the human being again, we can look for man to dominate the air. There is a great vibratory sphere, or plane, in the solar system, called in some occult books [132] the intuitional plane; it is called in the Eastern literature the Buddhic plane, and its symbol is the air. Just as man is beginning to find his way through the development of the intuition on to that plane now, so science is beginning to discover how to dominate the air, and as the intuition in man develops and grows, so will his control of the air be developed and grow. Another thing we can look for (and it is already being recognized somewhat) is the development of the ability to see in subtler matter. Everywhere there are children being born who see more than you or I can. I am here referring to something that is based purely on material grounds, and concerns the physical eye. I refer to etheric vision, which is seeing in the finer matter of the physical plane, or in that which is called the ethers. Much interesting work has been done along this line by students and scientists in California. Dr. Frederick Finch Strong has been working along this line in a valuable way, and teaching that the physical eye is capable of seeing etherically, and that etheric vision is the normal function of the eye. What will the development of this faculty mean? It will mean that science will have definitely to readjust its point of view as to the subtler planes. If there come within the range of vision of the normal man or woman within the next one hundred years certain aspects and forms [133] of life that have been regarded hitherto as imaginary, we have broken once and for all that rank materialism which has distinguished us for so long, and if that which is now invisible is recognized along any particular line, who shall say how far forward it will be possible for us to go as time progresses? Again, the whole trend of evolution is toward synthesis. As we go down into matter, as we tend toward materialization, we have heterogeneity; as we work back towards spirit we shall tend towards unity: so that in the religious world we can look for unity to make its appearance. There is, even now, a much greater spirit of tolerance abroad than was the case fifty years ago; but the time is rapidly approaching when the great fundamental unity that underlies all the different religions, and the fact that each faith is a necessary part of one great whole, will be recognized by men everywhere, and through this recognition we shall have the simplification of religion. We shall have the great central facts emphasized and utilized, and the small and petty differences of organization, and of explanation, overlooked.

Again, we can look for a very interesting happening in connection with the human family to take place, for the moment group consciousness becomes, on a larger scale, the conscious objective of man, what will occur? You will have [134] man putting his foot upon what is called in the religious world, "The Path." You will have him definitely taking himself in hand, endeavoring to live the life of the spirit, refusing any longer to live a self-centered atomic life; you will have him searching for his place within the greater whole, finding it by means of definite self-initiated endeavor, and then unifying himself with that group. This is all that is really meant by the teaching given about the Path in the Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist churches. They all teach the treading of this Path, calling it by different names, such as the Way, the noble Eightfold Path, the Path of Illumination, or the Path of Holiness. Yet it is the one Path, that which shineth ever more and more unto the perfect day.

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