By Charles Fillmore
The teaching that man in his spiritual ego lives over and over again in many personalities, is as old as religion itself, because it is found in every religion under the sun. It has been taught in India, China, Egypt, Palestine—in fact, every nation ancient and modern has its great teachers who accepted and expounded in some degree this universally understood reality of man’s personal life.
Like all metaphysical subjects reincarnation has had its ebb and flow in human philosophies and religions. The very pronounced revival of interest in the subject here in America during the last half century may be credited largely to Theosophy, introduced in this country by Mme. Blavatsky, the eminent Russian mystic and adept. She had received her illumination from the metaphysical adepts of Thibet.
Christianity has regarded all religious teaching that is not acceptable to its modern interpreters as paganism. Reincarnation has been stamped “heathenism’, “superstition”, and “devil worship”. But a careful study of the Hebrew Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ reveals that reincarnation was widely accepted as a part of human experience, instead of the doctrine that we all go to either heaven or hell at death.
Modern science, with its startling revelations of tremendous forces existing in the omnipresent spaces supposed to be void, has mightily strengthened this doctrine that the ethers are alive and potent with possibilities of homes for beings very like those that dwell on the earth. Thus science is proving what religion has taught, that the kingdom of the heavens, so often referred to by Jesus, is identical with what its savants have named the cosmic ether.
Science tells us that the ether penetrates all matter and all space; that it is composed of energy and life far beyond anything we have imagined; that it is the source of all things that appear in the earth. As Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall he added unto you.” Matt. 6:33
Science says that if we could release the potential forces in the electrons that compose the ether we could produce all that we need to live magnificently. Jesus understood the ether—symbolized hy his increase of the loaves and fishes.
Questions invariably asked in the discussion of reincarnation are, Where are those who have passed out of the body? and Where are my dead friends? and What does the soul do between incarnations?
These questions may he answered in three ways, all of which are essential to carry conviction to the questioning mind. First, the mind automatically gravitates to an environment for which its dominant thoughts have prepared it. The evil-minded would find evil companions and discordant surroundings, while the good would rest in the peace and harmony which such thoughts prepare for those who harbor them.
Thoughts grow things in body and affairs, and we are bound or loosed according to our thinking. A modern poet contrasts a good thought and an evil thought thus:
“I harbored a thought, an evil thought,
And it grew, and it grew, and it grew,
‘Till at last I was bound like a leashed hound
To do as my foe bade me do.
I harbored a thought, a Christlike thought,
And it grew, and it grew, and it grew,
‘Till at last I was free, peace abided with me,
Love hallowed the world through and through.”
We are aware only of that which our minds conceive or are conscious of. All the joys and glories of that state called heaven might be all about a savage and he would merely grunt and say, “Heap big show.” So the soul that has not developed the capacity to enjoy those finer radiations of light, love and harmony peculiar to divine structures, would be ignorant of their very presence though he might be immersed in their splendor. Thus we are convinced that the glories of heaven described by Dante and Milton will not be found by the ordinary citizen of this world, who has been educated to appreciate mundane things, and not heavenly.
It is true that our thoughts and acts do instantly and continuously mould the invisible ether into the conditions which our minds conceive. As Shakespeare truly says, “The poet’s pen gives to airy nothing a locality, habitation and a name.”
The mind is always busy with its creative faculties, spinning a web that anchors it to material things or spiritual things. With every thought we project a current of energy that ultimates in a thing. So what we treasure and give our most cherished affection to eventually takes form in the mental or physical realms.
Jesus covered this point of soul or heart attachment when he said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.” Matt. 6:19, 20, 21
A very wealthy and aristocratic woman once related a dream she had of going to heaven and being shown the future homes of those who yet lived in the earth. Among others her guide called her attention to the future home of her gardner, which was magnificent. She asked to he shown her own future home, which was, much to her disappointment and dismay, a mere hovel. She protested indignantly, “I live in a magnificent estate on the earth, while my gardner occupies a little cottage, yet here you are providing a mansion for him and a hovel for me?” The guide replied, “Madam, we are doing the best we can with the material you are sending up.”
Second, we have the evidences of the continuity of existence of the soul of man in the phenomenal or psychic realms. This evidence is presented from many sources. All persons have souls in varying degrees of unfoldment, and their souls are functioning according to the desires most active in the man. The desire for the pleasures of feeling and sensation in the flesh forms a subconscious entity known in metaphysics as the animal soul. This entity seeks the company and environment in the body that satisfies its animal proclivities. The coarse life emanations of the body of sense corrode and corrupt the organism and finally destroy it. The sense soul continues to live in its desires but without the means of satisfying them. This is the condition of the rich man depicted in the parable by Jesus, in the sixteenth chapter of Luke.
A rich man was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day, while Lazarus, a beggar, lay daily at his gate, full of sores, and desiring only to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. They both died; Lazarus was taken to Abraham’s bosom and the rich man to hades (hell). The rich man being in torment asked Abraham to send Lazarus “that he may dip his finger in water and cool my tongue.” Abraham replied, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst the good things, and Lazarus evil things: but now here he is comforted, and thou art in anguish.” Luke 16:19-25
The word “hell” is not translated in our Bible with clearness sufficient to represent the various meanings of the word in the original languages. There are three words from which “hell” is derived: Sheol, “the unseen state”; “hades”, the unseen world”; and Gehenna, the valley of Hinnon.” These are used in their various relations, nearly all of them allegorical.
In a sermon Archdeacon Farrar, the eminent British divine, said,
“There would be the proper teaching about hell if we calmly and deliberately erased from our English Bibles the three words, ‘damnation’, ‘hell’, and ‘everlasting’. I say—unhesitatingly I say, claiming the fullest right to speak with the authority of knowledge—that not one of those words ought to stand any longer In our English Bible, for in our present acceptation of them they are simply mistranslations.”1
In several of the Psalms, David writes of being in Sheol, and that the Lord had delivered him. For example in Psalms 86:13, “For great is thy lovingkindness toward me; And thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest Sheol.” In many places in the Bible Sheol is translated “hell”.
This hades or unseen world is all about us and we contact some of its phases with every thought and emotion. Modern science has named it the cosmic ether. It was known to the ancients as tartarus, sheol, gehenna, and many other names. It has been rediscovered in our day by the Spiritualists and is called the spirit world. We are informed by spiritualism that all persons who die go to the land of spirits, which has, according to some of its mediums and teachers, seven planes, the lowest lying next the earth. It is believed by most spiritualists that the soul progresses in the spirit world forever. However, some of the leading spiritual cults, Allan Kardek, for example, in France, teaches that the soul returns to earth and is reincarnated.
We should be on our guard in accepting revelations from this psychic realm, knowing, as we do, that death does not add to the knowledge of any one. Those who have left their bodies have the same minds they had when in the body. They think like thoughts, and have like desires and attachments. Are they, then, safe sources of information about God and the destiny of men? Their revelations through mediums are not of a character to convince us of superior wisdom.
The fact is that those who pass out of their bodies in death have merely changed environment from the coarse matter of the earth to the moonshine of the earthly ether. They have not gone to heaven nor hell, so far as locality is concerned, but are living in the ether or invisible omnipresence. Those who were vitally interested in life and its ambitions are striving to fulfill their desires, and those who have grown weary with the struggle, and desire a rest, are finding it in the sleep of the soul. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that their failure to discern the spiritual body had caused many of them to become weak and sickly and “not a few sleep.”
It is possible for those in the body to communicate with those out of the body, but not advisable. We are told that King Saul, in his extremity, went to a medium, a woman who had a “familiar spirit,” and called up Samuel, who had passed from the body. When Samuel appeared he complained because he had been disturbed in his rest.
“Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?” “And Saul answered, I am sore distressed, for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams.” 1 Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said, “Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing Jehovah is departed from thee, and is become thine adversary? Because thou obeyedst not the voice of Jehovah... he will deliver thee into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me” 1 Samuel 28:16-19
Samuel is considered one of the most righteous men that ever lived and if any man was worthy of a place in heaven, it was Samuel. But this Scripture plainly states that he was resting in the “unseen world” (hades). He prophesied that Saul and his sons would he with him the next day. They were slain by the Philistines and their souls, although they were far below the righteousness of Samuel, went to the same world, but evidently they were not in the same class with Samuel.
How account for the great diversity of character in the personalities that form the human race? It has been estimated that since the dawn of history—6000 years—the bones of those that have lived and died would encrust the earth eighteen feet high. Man has lived 500 million years. “The very hairs of your head are numbered.”
In the ether are schools for children and adults, sanitariums for the mentally unbalanced, houses of rest for the weary, churches for the religious.
The germ-cells compose the primal nervous system of the body, and these cells are made up of electrical units, radiant with life. The secondary cells form the cells that build the body of flesh. The muscles are the end organs of motor nerves.
A germ-cell is teeming with life-entities. One scientist compares it to an ocean liner filled with people of every kind, eager to go somewhere and do something.
The Lord said to Daniel, “But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot, at the end of the days.” Daniel 12:13
In Psalms 139:13, we read:
“For thou didst form my inward parts:
Thou didst cover me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
Wonderful are thy works;
And that my soul knoweth right well.
My frame was not hidden from thee
When I was made in secret
And curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my unformed substance.
And in thy book they were all written.”
Jesus came healing all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases . “He sent them forth to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Luke 9:2
“And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out demons: they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18
“And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed.” Mark 16:20
In the story of Peter and John and the lame man, we read:
“By what power, or in what name have ye done this?” “In the name of Jesus Christ doth this man stand before you whole.” “They marveled when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, perceiving that they were unlearned and ignorant men.” “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink no wine, nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn unto the Lord their God. And he shall go before his face in the Spirit and power of Elijah.” Luke 1:15
“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, that is to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Matt. 11:13
“Who do men say that the Son of Man is? And they said. Some say John the Baptist; some Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jonah; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven.” Matt.16:13-18
“Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? And he answered and said, Elijah indeed cometh, and shall restore all things; but I say unto you, that Elijah is come already, and they know him not, but did unto him whatsoever they would. Even so shall the Son of man also suffer of them. Then understood the disciples that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” Matt.17:10-13
- Charles Fillmore used this quotation from Frederic Farrar in several works, including Christian Healing and The Unreality of Matter. Presumably he learned of it from The Bible and Eternal Punishment by AP Barton.
Transcribed by Nita Strauss on June 25, 2018.