"The Voice Eternal"
Thomas Parker Boyd
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This book’s purpose is to furnish a statement of the Spiritual Philosophy of Life with special reference to physical health. We make no claim for the originality of any ideas here expressed. The author has given the substance of these chapters in lectures, to his classes, and to his patients. They have proved their helpfulness, and people have made many urgent requests to have them put into more permanent and available form.
We send these chapters forth in the hope that they may bring help to a steadily increasing company of people. The purpose is to interpret the truth in the language of modern thought so that these good people may see that every blessing of the good God, both temporal and spiritual, is available right where they are, without forsaking religion for self-appointed vendors of vagaries, and without depriving themselves of the advice of trained physicians, which they often need. Many medical professions are using the agencies of mental and spiritual powers. Their contributions to the advance of sound mental therapeutics are known to anyone who cares to know, although a conservatism has usually marked it, born probably of an instinctive distrust of illogical statement and unreasoning enthusiasm. If we serve these purposes, the author will feel amply repaid for the effort.
The Life Within
Love of life is the primal impulse. Self preservation is the first law of nature. To love your neighbor "as thyself" is the final test of our noblest impulse – love. The record of Earth’s greatest example of altruism displays the fact that it was "for the joy that was set before him" that "he endured the cross." Existence is sweet, and if we consent to its limitation in one sphere, it is with the distinct understanding that it will have proportionally larger action in another sphere, for the abundant life is the flying goal toward which we move.
This instinct for complete life is constitutional with us. We cannot deny it any more than we can deny ourselves. The pilgrim across the world of sense and sensation voices only one cry – "life." What is life? The answer varies according to one’s experience of living. "It is a vapor," answers one. "It is the response to environment," says another. "It is to know God," is the response of still another. "It is the gratification of every impulse." "It is only good morning, good night, and good bye," are other answers.
"Life is a mode of motion," says my scientific friend. What is motion? "A manifestation of force." What is force? "Active energy." And that? "The unseen potentiality that fills and constitutes all things – a Universal Substance out of which all material things appear, and back into which they disappear as unseen elements of energy that defy analysis. Of this infinitely extended Substance all things are made, and by it they consist."
This view harmonizes with the statement of that ancient theologian and philosopher who said, "The things which are seen were not made of things which do appear," and "The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." We attribute personality to this Infinite Substance, acting with beneficent purpose and intelligent procedure, and say, "of Him are all things."
Call it Infinite Substance, Mind, or Spirit, it is the Source and the Goal of existence. We came from it. We return to it. In this excursion from it we find all the elements of a drama, ranging from the comic to the tragic, accordingly as we take life’s shifting scenes too lightly or too seriously. It takes most people a lifetime to discover that, to our senses, things stand in an inverse ratio to their reality and value.
To our sense-perception, matter and its associated sensations of ease, pain, pleasure, etc., are the dominant things. To mental and spiritual perceptions, mind with its attendant products of thought and truth, are the supreme facts. Matter is changing and transient, but Substance or Spirit is unchanging and eternal.
This Infinite Substance, Spirit, Mind, Life, the Source and content of all things, is One. It exhibits itself in myriad forms – star, stone, herb, bird or human – but it is one Life, one Substance. The ocean, whose substance fills every gulf, bay, cove and strait, leaves each its individuality and relative importance, according to the volume of ocean it expresses, yet retains its claim on each as part of the whole. Infinite Substance finds form and expression in innumerable individual cases, each important according to the degree of the Infinite Life finding expression, yet each a part of the One Life.
The law of expressing the Infinite Life divides individuals into many varieties of being. For example, the living rock obeys one part of the law of expression, and it has inertia or rest. The worm obeys two parts of the law, and adds motion to its expression of life. The bird obeys three parts of the law and adds flight and song. The more complex the organism, the greater number of laws it can obey, the higher is the order of life, because the larger and richer is the expression and experience of the Infinite Life.
Now humanity, the most complex of all material organisms, can respond to more of these laws, and so most completely expresses the Infinite Life. For above the animal kind, God adds reason, judgment, imagination, faith, hope, love, and other attributes and qualities of the Divine Life, unknown, save in elemental forms to the lower orders of existence. These faculties make up the image of the Creator within us. These moral and spiritual qualities are concrete expressions of the Divine Character in us, which otherwise remains a dreamy abstraction.
We received everything in us from the Infinite Source, "the Father of the spirits of all flesh." Nothing has nor will evolve in us that was not involved in the first living cell. Our entire equipment for expressing the Divine Life, with "the power both to will and to do," is of that Infinite Substance whose image we are.
Yet because of the condition of birth, the influence of heredity, or other causes, few of us express it in equal degree. We must confess that one person manifests more of the Divine Life than another, because he furnishes, consciously or otherwise, a better channel through which the Divine Life may flow. He has more avenues of expression, can keep them open, and so is a better medium through which the Divine Life may speak.
The amperage and voltage, referring to the volume and to the intensity of the electric current, determine the action and results of that subtle energy. So in a life of great endowment, of many gifts of "ten talents," the amperage is large, and the possibilities for expressing the Divine Life are many. Yet if the voltage is low, the sense of duty blunted, the estimate of privilege small, the aim of life ignoble, then the will’s dynamics are inoperative, and the results are small. If the amperage is small, the capacity limited, the gifts few, yet the voltage is high, sense of duty exalted, ideals noble, purposes inflexible, then his will’s dynamics enable him to blaze and burn his way through the world like the live wire of Omnipotence that he is. Such persons accomplish more, manifest more 0f the Divine Life than the large amperage, low voltage people. Yet, if the large amperage, ten-talent person has correspondingly high voltage, he expresses the Divine Life as a genius.
We bring our endowments, our native qualifications into life with us, but we set the potency of our life for results within ourselves. The sovereignty of our own will contains mastery of the world forces about us – our development of our gifts to their utmost capacity, our cultivation of nobility of purpose, concentrating our energies to the chosen tasks, all that means the mastery of self.
We are unconcerned with the amperage of life, but we fully concerned with its voltage. We can do anything that we want to do and believe that we can do. The very fact that we feel the impulse to do is the sure sign that the life within us inspires the desire, and simultaneously promises the power of fulfillment.
We can be anything we desire, for desire is the longing of the Infinite Life to find expression through us in that special way. We have only to call out the powers of the life within and set them to the task, knowing that "faithful is He who has promised, who also will do it." Herein lies the solution to the riddle of existence: To take a part of the Infinite Life, give it an individuality by incarnating it in human flesh, multiplying and projecting it through human personality, polishing and refining it through the vicissitudes of material environment, until it expresses so much of the Infinite Character that to have seen it is to have seen God.
We must hold as a cardinal principle that the capacity to express life is an expansive thing, as surely as the power to do so is cumulative. The latent possibilities of divinity are in us awaiting the task of development. They are unlimited, so that though we do not know what we shall be, if we accept our task and do it, we shall be like God.
"All Life is One. I am an expression of that One Life. I am One with Infinite Life. Infinite Life dwells in me and fills me with health, peace and plenty."
The Shining Pathway
Life is not stationary, nor can be. The living body is forever changing by the ceaseless vibrations of the life within. The thoughts that flow from them, the truth they discover, and that reacts upon them have forever built up or depleted the mental powers. The tides of the Divine Life with its Truth and Power move forever onward through human life. They tarry not.
Certain by-products abide, which make up character, and even character is a progressive thing. To build up and preserve the body, we use the material forms that are compounds of the Infinite Substance. In the using, it yields up certain elements of life that keep the body living. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, all are yielding up their life to us. This is everywhere true.
The living rock yields up its life to the soil, the soil yields up its life to vegetation, vegetation in turn to the animal, the animal yields up its life to humankind, and we yield up our life to and for our fellow man. This illustrates the method by which the Infinite Life ministers to us of its boundless store, and expresses itself in our body, revealing a shining pathway up which we move to God, for the mental and spiritual life is ministered after the same principle.
The human race was a Divine Thought before it begat thinkers. We continue to feed our growing mental life on the living truths that others have discovered, for which they have laid down their lives, and on those that we discover by responding to the vibrations of that Infinite Life within him, and for which we are ready to lay down our life.
All our emotions, finer feelings, aspirations, and longing, and the more spiritual activities are responses to the stimulus of the Divine Character finding expression in us. We are ready to quote, with the assurance of its meaning and truth, the apostle’s saying, "In God we live and move and have our being."
We live out our life in the Life of God, and we cannot live apart from Him. Our business in the world is to express the human life in the terms of God. That is our task, although we may make sorry work of it. We may turn our divinity to a diabolism, but we can never successfully deny our birthright, nor permanently quench the flame of the Divine Life. God cannot die, neither can we stifle nor eradicate these divine attributes. They will rise again to struggle for mastery, and at last find perfect expression. We are living out our lives in the Life of God. Now the converse of this is also true. God lives out His Life in the world’s life and all things therein, His highest expression being humanity.
As the mountain is worn down by erosion until the granite becomes the valley soil, clothed with vegetation, radiant with color, fragrant with odors and golden with fruit, so does the material expression of divinity move up into its highest form, humanity. The Divine Life plays on and through humanity until animalism, crudities and credulities are smoothed out, human consciousness blooms into God-consciousness, and the fruits of the Living Spirit are manifest.
It may sound easy, but the process is difficult. God is not having a good time. It has taken heat and cold, earthquakes and aeons of time to get the earth ready to manifest humankind, and He has been a long time trying to wrestle up our species. Although the task is slow, the end is sure. In every age someone has attained it, such as Enoch, who walked with God, Abraham, who was a friend of God, and Jacob, who was a prince of God.
To emphasize the thought, the Old Testament says at least three times that "God clothed himself" with human form, in each case for a specific purpose, to show their generation, and us, what God can do for us when we realize our own Divine Nature, and allows the Infinite Life of God to have full expression in us. The tragedy is that few of us accept our birthright in all that it means, and fewer still are bold enough to claim our heritage of God dwelling in us. For in truth, He lives out His Life in the life of the world and humanity. He lives and moves and has His Being in us. It is in us that the Divine Life finds perfect expression in the terms of humanity.
Divine Love, compassion, and all other similar qualities are, and must remain, unknown quantities to us save as we see and know them in the lives of those with whom God clothes Himself. The great teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, kept the secret of that life, so simple and so marvelous in its power, before his disciples by repeatedly declaring that his words and the works were not his, but his Father’s. As God clothed Himself with that man of Nazareth, and made him to manifest the oneness of the human and the Divine Life, so Jesus prayed that his disciples might realize their oneness with God as he realized it.
Yet with all the perversity of human misunderstanding, we misread the words. We try to foster a oneness with our fellows, which is impossible until we first realize our oneness with God, which to Jesus was supremely important. This alone could enable them to do the work that he did, and even greater works than he did, so the burden of his most wonderful recorded prayer was for the realization of this oneness.
Here, then, is an enigma in the mathematics of spiritual life, that one plus one make one, never more, never less. He is the One, or you are the one, as you have the boldness to claim it. This is a flying goal.
Of all those qualities of character that place the stamp of the Divine Character upon us, such as love, joy, peace, patience, etc., few of us bring more than one or two to any degree of perfection. Only one, two or three at most of all our forty and more faculties reach any degree of perfection or fruition in one existence. Yet we see enough to know what we shall be, when we realize and manifested perfect oneness, when every Divine Quality shall find perfect expression.
Every faculty shall reach its zenith, manifesting the power that works in us, for it shows a shining pathway of attainment that shall share here and hereafter the throne of the Divine Power. Here, because the consciousness of this divine dignity begins here, "Beloved now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that we shall be like him when he shall appear." Now this appearance is not some flaming apparition in the sky, appealing to the optic nerve. It is a subjective apprehension by the person who believes God to be the Supreme Good, and honestly desires to know Him, so that he may carry out His perfect Will. Jesus said of such, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
Seeing God, we see everything else in its true proportions. We see in ourselves the image of God. We know that our character, our purposes, and our whole life are at one with God. We see that divine image in everyone. Loving God, we must love His image. Hatred can no longer have a place in us. Fear is cast out by a perfect love. Now are we the children of God.
A Sunday school teacher described the character of Jesus of Nazareth, without saying his name, and asked her class who it was. She was surprised when one little hand went up and one little voice said, "That’s my mamma! It sounds just like her." The child was right, for her mother was "the express image of God’s person." The child’s pure mind could see no difference between the love of God exhibited in her mother and the love of God in Jesus of Nazareth, for the simple reason that there is no difference.
"It doth not appear what we shall be." The perfect manifestation is here in its inception, and from now on in its completeness. We must bring all of our faculties to completeness. All the years of time and the aeons of eternity are God’s and ours. All the worlds now and to be, all the potencies now at work and yet to unfold, are for this one thing, to bring us to full Godlikeness. We have entered a way of progress that never limits our advance, a shining pathway through the earth and heaven. Our path moves onward and upward to the throne of God, and the Perfect Day.
"I live out my life in the Life of God. God lies out His Life in me. I shall now manifest the Life of God in perfect health, peace and plenty."
"The Voice Eternal"
Thomas Parker Boyd
Order in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $9.95 (+ printing charge)