The Promulgation of Universal Peace
1 September 1912
Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell
716 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Canada
From Stenographic Notes
The subject of immortality has been suggested.
Life is the expression of composition; and death, the expression of decomposition. In the world or kingdom of the minerals certain
materials or elemental substances exist. When through the law of
creation they enter into composition, a being or organism comes
into existence. For example, certain material atoms are brought together,
and man is the result. When this composition is destroyed
and disintegrated, decomposition takes place; this is mortality, or
death. When certain elements are composed, an animal comes into
being. When these elements are scattered or decomposed, this is
called the death of the animal. Again, certain atoms are bound together
by chemical affinity; a composition called a flower appears.
When these atoms are dispersed and the composition they have
formed is disintegrated, the flower has come to its end; it is dead.
Therefore, it is evident that life is the expression of composition,
and mortality, or death, is equivalent to decomposition. As the
spirit of man is not composed of material elements, it is not subject
to decomposition and, therefore, has no death. It is self-evident
that the human spirit is simple, single and not composed in order
that it may come to immortality, and it is a philosophical axiom
that the individual or indivisible atom is indestructible. At most, it
passes through a process of construction and reconstruction. For
example, these individual atoms are brought together in a composition,
and through this composition a given organism--such as
a man, an animal or a plant--is created. When this composition is
decomposed, that created organism is brought to an end, but the
component atoms are not annihilated; they continue to exist because
they are single, individual and not composed. Therefore, it may be
said that these individual atoms are eternal. Likewise, the human
spirit, inasmuch as it is not composed of individual elements or
atoms--as it is sanctified above these elements--is eternal. This is
a self-evident proof of its immortality.
Second, consider the world of dreams, wherein the body of man
is immovable, seemingly dead, not subject to sensation; the eyes
do not see, the ears do not hear nor the tongue speak. But the spirit
of man is not asleep; it sees, hears, moves, perceives and discovers
realities. Therefore, it is evident that the spirit of man is not affected
by the change or condition of the body. Even though the
material body should die, the spirit continues eternally alive, just
as it exists and functions in the inert body in the realm of dreams.
That is to say, the spirit is immortal and will continue its existence
after the destruction of the body.
Third, the human body has one form. In its composition it has
been transferred from one form to another but never possesses two
forms at the same time. For example, it has existed in the elemental
substances of the mineral kingdom. From the mineral kingdom it
has traversed the vegetable kingdom and its constituent substances;
from the vegetable kingdom it has risen by evolution into
the kingdom of the animal and from thence attained the kingdom of
man. After its disintegration and decomposition it will return again
to the mineral kingdom, leaving its human form and taking a new
form unto itself. During these progressions one form succeeds another,
but at no time does the body possess more than one.
The spirit of man, however, can manifest itself in all forms at
the same time. For example, we say that a material body is either
square or spherical, triangular or hexagonal. While it is triangular,
it cannot be square; and while it is square, it is not triangular.
Similarly, it cannot be spherical and hexagonal at the same time.
These various forms or shapes cannot be manifest at the same instant
in one material object. Therefore, the form of the physical
body of man must be destroyed and abandoned before it can
assume or take unto itself another. Mortality, therefore, means
transference from one form to another--that is, transference from
the human kingdom to the kingdom of the mineral. When the
physical man is dead, he will return to dust; and this transference is
equivalent to nonexistence. But the human spirit in itself contains
all these forms, shapes and figures. It is not possible to break or destroy
one form so that it may transfer itself into another. As an evidence
of this, at the present moment in the human spirit you have
the shape of a square and the figure of a triangle. Simultaneously
also you can conceive a hexagonal form. All these can be conceived
at the same moment in the human spirit, and not one of them
needs to be destroyed or broken in order that the spirit of man may
be transferred to another. There is no annihilation, no destruction;
therefore, the human spirit is immortal because it is not transferred
from one body into another body.
Consider another proof: Every cause is followed by an effect
and vice versa; there could be no effect without a cause preceding
it. Sight is an effect; there is no doubt that behind that effect there is
a cause. When we hear a discourse, there is a speaker. We could
not hear words unless they proceeded from the tongue of a speaker.
Motion without a mover or cause of motion is inconceivable. Jesus
Christ lived two thousand years ago. Today we behold His manifest
signs; His light is shining; His sovereignty is established; His
traces are apparent; His bounties are effulgent. Can we say that
Christ did not exist? We can absolutely conclude that Christ
existed and that from Him these traces proceeded.
Still another proof: The body of man becomes lean or fat; it is
afflicted with disease, suffers mutilation; perhaps the eyes become
blind, the ears deaf; but none of these imperfections and failings
afflict or affect the spirit. The spirit of man remains in the same
condition, unchanged. A man is blinded, but his spirit continues
the same. He loses his hearing, his hand is cut off, his foot amputated;
but his spirit remains the same. He becomes lethargic, he is
afflicted with apoplexy; but there is no difference, change or alteration
in his spirit. This is proof that death is only destruction of the
body, while the spirit remains immortal, eternal.
Again, all phenomena of the material world are subject to mortality
and death, but the immortal spirit does not belong to the
phenomenal world; it is holy and sanctified above material existence.
If the spirit of man belonged to the elemental existence, the
eye could see it, the ear hear it, the hand touch. As long as these
five senses cannot perceive it, the proof is unquestioned that it does
not belong to the elemental world and, therefore, is beyond death
or mortality, which are inseparable from that material realm of
existence. If being is not subject to the limitation of material life, it
is not subject to mortality.
There are many other proofs of the immortality of the spirit of
man. These are but a few of them. Salutations!