SPIRITS AND SPIRITISM
Spirit in its true sense is the essence. The spirit of anything means
its essence. And when we consider the true essence there is
only one. When we consider the true spirit, there is only one spirit.
But of course, in the world of variety one life is many lives and one
thing has many manifestations. This manifestation makes us
see many forms and many names of a one and only Being. When we overlook the oneness of that Being and direct or attention
to the variety of manifestation, we see that the spirit of each thing is its essence. The spirit of jasmine, the spirit of a rose, and
so on. Each has its own individuality, its own essence.
Spirit, as understood by the generality, is the remainder of manís existence.
After manís body had died, what remains of him is
considered to be spirit, which has a very beautiful name in Sanskrit, Bhut, that is, Ďthe one who has been.í
The spirit world distinguishes itself as different and distinct from
the spirit experiencing the world through the body. The spirit of
camphor is not the color or form of the substance, but the odor of camphor has existed in its spirit. The spirit of cinnamon is
the fragrance that it has. The effect is still left after its form and substance have gone. Every object in this world, after it has
vanished, leaves a mark of its essence just like a flower. When the essence is taken from the flower its external form is ruined,
but it has left something which is its own. Both body and spirit are man. Man is a double spirit. Man in his cloak, his physical
body, is more complete than a spirit alone. When the flower is living and its spirit has not been taken away from it, both the
flower and its spirit are joined. A person whose sense of discrimination and feeling is well developed may find that a visitor
coming into the house brings with him a certain influence: good feeling or bad feeling, an irritable feeling or a blissful feeling.
There is something with him besides his knowledge, besides his beauty. When he leaves the house his body leaves, and
together with it his strength and beauty, all that is material in him. Yet, there is something left in that room for a certain time after
he has gone. The whole atmosphere is charged and we feel that there is something left there. The more keenly we watch life,
the more wonderful it is. All the miracles and phenomena are before us. Our everyday life is a miracle. If we are only absorbed
in things, which are material and not in things of a delicate character, we do not see this because we blunt our sensitivity. It is
then that we think that what we do not see or perceive does not exist. Consider, for instance, how infectious yawning is. This
shows we can never say there is nothing beyond what the eyes and flesh can see.
Influence goes out from a living person and affects others in the vicinity.
If the influence is so strong during life, shall it not exist
after he is dead? Only the influence remains after he has left, yet how much greater must it then be! The light of the moon is the
light of the sun.
There are two actions of sense, which are in fact two actions of the
whole being: expressiveness and responsiveness. The
whole universe works on these two principles. As soon as the expressing spirit expresses itself, the responsive spirit receives
its impression. It is just the same as when a person, whose picture is taken by a camera, yields his impression when the camera
is properly adjusted. If the camera is not rightly placed, there will be no image on the plate. If a spirit has a fondness for
someone, this unconscious spirit of man naturally takes the impression coming from that spirit.
Child prodigies may be the result of influence. Under this influence
they may work, speak, write poems, dispute, and so on. If
someone dies with the thought of revenge that he could not accomplish, or had not the courage to accomplish, he may find a
living person, a youth perhaps a child, who performs the act for the spirit without even knowing why. Murders may even
happen in this way.
The brain may be deficient in thinking power. The body may react on
thought, and sometimes the thought may react on the
body. Could not the mind produce decay in the brain, or is it true that it is always bodily strain that brings strain of mind? Or
does anger bring strain on the body? The trouble usually comes from within.
Hallucinations sometimes arise from thought and mind, either in the
same person or in some other person. We call it obsession
when it comes from without.
Sometimes the living person can be the expressive one while the spirit
responds. We cover our spirit under our body. We
cover our light under a bushel. We never allow the spirit to become conscious of itself.
We are not doing spirits any good by calling them back when they have
no body. Why not let them forget the experiences of
this world of illusion rather than attract them? What good will it do to them? One should only trouble others when one needs
them very much. We should use ourselves as the vehicle of all experiences. We can communicate much better with another
person who is clothed like us than we can with a spirit.
Is not God enough for our souls, and is He not sufficient to inspire
us and to illuminate our wills and guide our souls? Is he any
less of a friend here or in the spirit life? He is the great well-wisher. In Him mercy is complete. He is the Soul of all souls. When
we devote ourselves to the thought of Him, all illumination and revelation are ours. God communication is the best
communication that true spiritualism can teach us.
If we give all our wealth to the universe as a whole, no single person
receives much. But it is a great accomplishment actually to
realize God. It means that a very high degree of spirituality has been attained. It is most difficult to attain such a conviction of
God that there is not the slightest doubt. But, if someone does reach it, even the thought of him will bring blessing. It becomes a
privilege to be his friend. It is a privilege because he is the friend of God.
A person possesses the knowledge, which he has attained as he possesses
the wealth, which he has acquired. And so, when
the soul is illuminated, it will desire to find some other soul illuminated in like manner, and will find great joy and bliss in its
society. Such a one will surely find others who are on the verge of illumination. Even a drunkard will find others to drink with.
And so it is mystically. A very little light can be turned into a flame, and that flame into a very big flame.
Why is it better to become a mystic than to remain a drunkard? As a
matter of fact a drunkard will never be satisfied. The
mystic will look for what Omar Khayyam calls wine: the wine of the Christ, after drinking which no one will ever thirst. He will
always seek the wine whose intoxication never wears off. It is the only wine: the intoxication of the divine love.