- Do animals have souls?
- While humans have individualized souls, animals, each according to its species, have a group soul. Thus there is a group soul to which dogs belong and cats have their own group soul, and the same applies to other animals. Within the group soul (group consciousness may be a better expression) a certain amount of individuality may manifest in individual animals and the higher an animal is on the evolutionary scale the greater the possibility of individual traits being expressed. Household pets, in particular, will exhibit a considerable degree of individuality, yet they are not individualized souls.
- Is it wrong to have an animal put down when it is suffering and may be incurably ill?
- Unlike human animals cannot understand the nature of suffering and in the case of household pets the owners are responsible for their well being. If an animal is suffering from some malady which veterinary science cannot alleviate, then it is better to have it painlessly put to sleep. Human beings have a direct responsibility for the welfare of the animal kingdom and individuals are answerable for the way they face up to this responsibility.
- Are we re-united with our pets in the Spritworld?
- Yes, because they have an individualized existence in spirit-form and because they are drawn to us in the afterlife through the Law of Affinity. Wild creatures not having an intimate association (that is to say an association where emotions are involved) with a human being, will reincarnate almost immediately, but pets will normally remain in spirit-form until there is a reunion. Occasionally a pet will reincarnate relatively soon and come within the orbit of those with whom it has an affinity on Earth. The principles under which this operates are complex but known.
- If, as the Culdians declare, the Law is perfect, why is it that a large proportion of the animal world, fulfilling natural law, can survive only by causing appalling suffering to other living creatures?
- Yes, the Law is perfect even when some of us fall to understand its manifestations. Those who have made a lengthy study of the matter and have years of experience to draw on have come to understand that there are no imperfections in natural law. It is conceived by infinite wisdom and sustained by infinite love. It has made provision for every facet of creation and ensures that nothing or nobody is ever forgotten, or overlooked. Evolution, part of this Law, is a constant progress from lower to higher forms of being and activity. In its lower animal forms it works itself out by what is seemingly cruel, as these animals prey on one another. Through evolution these predatory instincts gradually vanish. If you look at prehistoric times the greatest of predators have disappeared from the physical scene, while those animals not involved in preying on others have survived. There is also another aspect to be considered. In some respects the animal creation reflects its human counterpart. As man evolves and manifests less cruelty to his fellows, so will this be reflected in the animal kingdom.
- It seems that there are animals who are ahead of their own species and who exhibit some human qualities. What have you to say about this?
- This must be true because in the outworking of evolution there are those who are always ahead of others, the pioneers, showing what will be achieved in the future; just as there are laggards who have not even caught up with what should be normal expression of evolution for the species. In human activity you get the saint, the genius or the reformer who exhibit qualities of their spiritual nature and by their gifts they can show what the world of tomorrow could be like. Similarly there are animals who have gone some stages ahead of the others and who exhibit qualities that can often compare with the finest examples of heroism and service that humans can offer.
- If one of the purposes of life is to learn love and compassion, why does Nature set such a bad example by allowing predators?
- This has already been answered in part. We must remember that love and compassion can be learned only in a setting where there is call for their expression. Nature, being an expression of the Supreme Spirit, does not set anyone a bad example. Left to her own devices she will always achieve the right balance and harmony, and if human beings lived in accord with Nature, then our world would be a paradise. There are predators, but that is part of the way Nature ensures the survival of the fittest. Yet it is only one aspect of natural law at work. The essence of Nature is cooperation, for Nature is symbiotic. For example, a gardener who prepares his garden and co-operates with Nature obtains beautiful results. Probably the greatest predator on Earth now, the most destructive creature that has been known for many millennia, is man himself.
- Is it wrong to spray with insecticides to prevent the spread of various illnesses, such as malaria?
- Of course we must have respect for all life, but this is a question of motive and degree. If, because of certain circumstances, there are insects that cause disease, then the motive in using sprays is a good one. Respect for life must be tempered with the necessity to ensure that the conditions in which it can flourish are met. Human life weighs heavier in the balance than that of disease carrying insects.
- If an animal on Earth develops human qualities, such as noble sentiments and intelligence, will it remain an animal without a chance of further evolution, or may it in time step over into the human realm?
- Evolution is part of a natural law. It has a mainstream and many tributaries, but all are part of the same law. The spirit within you is the same spirit that is within the animal. There is no difference in essence, only in degree, so there is always a chance for further evolution.
- Does an animal evolve in a similar way to man?
- It follows its own path of evolution. The same pattern is behind all evolution, it is a development. If one asked, “Do children evolve the same way as their parents?”, the answer would be “Yes and No”. They have a predestined pattern which they must follow, but within that pattern is a certain amount of freewill regulated by the awareness reached at stages of unfoldment. Animals follow their line of evolution according to the part they play in the whole process, for the law of consequences is immutable. Whatever is must be the result of what was. Animals are an essential part of the evolutionary plan, like everything else in Nature. The link is the unifying spirit, and all life is one. Animals follow their preordained paths. The extent to which they develop is governed by that part of the Law applicable to them; the same applies to a flower, a tree, a bird, to the beasts of the field or to a human being.
- Can an animal break its own law?
- Only in the sense that we can contravene a law, but that law will operate just the same. We can transgress, but cannot break the law in the sense of preventing effect from following cause. We can only kick over the traces.
- Is it the intention that animals, who have had a close association with human beings, shall gain individuality, that they shall have consciousness in their own right?
- There is individual survival for domestic animals who have had a close association with humans. They have been helped to achieve an individual development that is not possible with other animals. It is part of the wonderful relationship that can exist between a human being and an animal, each helping the other to develop spiritually. We help the animals who come into our surroundings to achieve a consciousness that is more individual than it otherwise would have been. It is that which survives death, but where the more evolved ‘human’ expression is lacking the animal consciousness joins the group soul.
- What is a Christian?
- The only answer that can be provided is that a Christian is someone who believes in, and follows, the teachings of Jesus-Christ. However, having said that, it must be stated that such belief and what follows as a consequence, are subject to many interpretations. There are many religions and sects claiming to be based on the teachings of Christ, but this very multiplicity shows that there is no common accord, and disagreement and schism are the rule. There are no means of establishing which of the many is the closest to the original teachings.
- Which then is the best Christian belief for someone such as me to follow?
- The answer is wholly dependent upon the words, “Such as me”, for certainly it is purely a matter of individual choice. The objective must be to find the religious expression which caters to your particular needs and with which you personally feel comfortable. It has to be remembered that religions are tailored to suit the spiritual needs of people, therefore no religion or creed will fit comfortably on everyone.
- In the Gospel of Mark it is written, “Unto you is given to know the Kingdom of God, but unto them that are without, all things must be done in parables”. What does this mean?
- Something all too often overlooked by Bible students is the fact that the teachings of Jesus are divided into two parts – the revealed and the unrevealed, or the mundane and the esoteric. The Mysteries were for disciples and the parables for the multitude. Thus Jesus said to his disciples, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot”. All religions having traditional roots in the past, going back beyond the last few centuries, have what is called their esoteric mysteries which are confined to a few. William Kingsland, in his book ‘The Gnosis or Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures’, states, “There always has been and there always must be an exoteric doctrine for the masses, and esoteric teaching for those who, as Plotinus says, are fortunately able to receive it”. Clement of Alexandria, one of the early Church Fathers, is quoted as saying, “The Mysteries of the Faith are not to be divulged to all. It is requisite to hide in a mystery the wisdom spoken”. Knowing just what is hidden – the Secret of the Centuries – one can well understand why this should be so.
- I have heard of this secret teaching but cannot find evidence of it in the denominations I have belonged to. What happened to it?
- Unfortunately a considerable portion of the esoteric side of Christianity was submerged and lost in the flood of ignorance which swept Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. The mundane, the simple teachings which satisfied the multitude, and the crude interpretations and explanations which unquestioning minds found adequate, replaced the high spiritual truths originally safeguarded by the enlightened few. Some fragments did survive but not as part of a systematic doctrine. The long and bitter struggle between learning and ignorance, between enlightenment and superstition, raged for centuries and one of the casualties was spiritual knowledge and wisdom. What emerged from the conflict is sufficient original Christianity to satisfy those who are preconditioned to accept unquestioningly, but not nearly enough to meet the need of the inquiring intellect.
- I have read your publication on reconciliation, which deals with Christianity in a sensible manner, but am still unable to reconcile the doctrine of forgiveness of sins with the statement of Saint Paul in his sixth letter to the Galatians, “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. How can these two be reconciled?
- They cannot be reconciled and so to determine the matter we have to seek some guidelines, some standard for judgment. We exist in a universe of law and orderliness, were it otherwise there would be a chaos in which development and progress would be impossible, and it is doubtful if life itself could exist. It is the inviolability of the laws of constancy and cause and effect that makes science possible. We know that forgiveness is impractical in relation to human law and if it were a principle of the law which directs our everyday lives society would collapse. Whether people consciously recognize them or not, the universal laws do exist, and it is we who reward or punish ourselves accordingly, as we work in harmony with these universal laws or are foolish enough to disregard them. Undoubtedly our wrongdoings are forgiven by God, even as an earthly judge bears no personal malice towards those he passes a sentence upon.
- It seems that we must accept the statement of Saint Paul who is very clear on the point that individuals are responsible for their actions and must expect an appropriate reaction. Does this not imply an acceptance of the doctrines of reincarnation and kharma?
- The words ‘reincarnation’ and ‘kharma’ are relatively new additions to the English language and therefore do not appear in the Bible as such. Undoubtedly Jesus and his disciples were aware of their implication, for in Matthew, Chapter 7 Verse 2, the Master states, “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again”. That is a stern statement implying neither salvation by proxy nor forgiveness. There are a number of other such statements.
- A friend of mine recently invited me to a church where some of the congregation started to ‘speak in tongues’, but to me it sounded like a mere babble of unintelligible words. What is behind this phenomenon?
- Research has been carried out in this area, both in Europe and the United States, with the following results: only approximately 6% of the ‘speaking in tongues can be related to any understandable or known language, the great majority of speakers apparently being motivated by emotional stimulus. This produces an incoherent babble which originates in their subconscious minds. If tape-recorded and analyzed, the ‘babbling’ does display certain patterns, but these are of more interest to psychologists than to theologians. Of the 6% it appears that some 15% have subconscious recollections of a foreign language heard in their lifetime, usually when very small children. Over 55% of those speaking a recognizable language which apparently could not be associated with prior contact during early life, were shown to have used that language in a previous incarnation. This was established through regression techniques and corroborated by psychological tests. Of the remainder, nothing could be established, and in their cases
the phenomenon remains an enigma. However, in some instances there are some significant indications that they may have been possessed by some discarnate entity whose natural tongue was the language spoken. This theory is being followed up. The biblical reference to ‘speaking in tongues’ refers to contemporary languages known in those days, such
Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and a few others, with which the apostles were acquainted. To have babbled words intelligible to none would scarcely have made much impression on the biblical writers, other than in a negative manner.
- Do vague prophecies justify the belief that the Bible is God inspired, or are there other proofs?
- The various prophecies do not justify the belief that the Bible is the word of God, but the prophets of the Old Testament were certainly inspired men. They tried to convey to the Hebrew people the concept of the one God, a God of all nations, and the so-called prophecies were often admonitions directed at the Hebrew people. The Old Testament scriptures are records of writings done by religious leaders during the Babylonian captivity, in an effort to boost the morale of the Hebrews. These writings and others were later assembled into a book of supposedly infallible teachings.
- What about evangelistic meetings where healing is carried out. Is this form of healing effective?
- It would be wholly wrong to denigrate the good work done by Healers at meetings such as you mention, but the atmosphere there is not generally conducive to lasting benefits. The principles of spiritual healing are now quite well known and understood, and the most effective results are obtained in an atmosphere where emotions are more subdued. Certainly more spectacular results appear to be obtained in a place where there is a highly charged emotional atmosphere, but the effects are almost always transient. It should be noted how this emotional atmosphere is built up by the speakers, by emotive affirmation and loud voiced exhortations. The singing also follows a particular format, with repetitious assertions and specific cadences. The whole induces a semi-hypnotic effect. Persons being treated will fall back in a hypnotic trance state and although this
may be impressive it has nothing whatsoever to do with the effectiveness or otherwise of the healing. Actually, a trance state induced under such circumstances can be positively harmful.
- Then this emotive type of healing is bad?
- The inducing of a trance-like state wherein the subject is unable to maintain conscious balance is not without danger. It is a common feature of many primitive rituals and prevalent in European witchcraft.
- What are the dangers?
- There are many dangers of hypnotic states, and although the state induced in such meetings as you refer to is only that known as a light trance state, nevertheless every authority on the matter condemns induction by those inexperienced in hypnosis. It should be emphasized that there is no connection between this trance state and actual healing, apart from any benefits which may be derived from subconscious suggestion. The falling effect is due to the person’s own proneness to hypnotic influence and their sensitivity; generally speaking these persons have a high potential for supersensory development. It is not to be inferred that there is any conscious practice of hypnotism; the Healers, at such meetings, have probably little idea of the principles involved. This does not imply that they are not good Healers, most of them are, but they would be better still without the ‘stage dressing’.
- I would like to get back to the nature of biblical prophecy. Most orthodox Christians firmly believe that prophesy MUST come to pass, as though it were expressing God’s will. Surely this cannot be the truth, especially concerning all the disasters predicted for the world and mankind. For instance, some people believe that nuclear destruction is unavoidable because the event is foretold in Bible prophesy; also the stamping of the ‘Mark of the Beast’. What is the Culdian attitude to such prophesies?
- Actually, it is the Christian attitude that prophesy must happen because it is mentioned in the Bible, which is causing the events to come to pass. Understanding the nature of prophesy and the functions of God’s Creative Force and how it works, Culdians would caution that this mostly ‘Christian’ view is the most dangerous and most potent force of danger in the world today. In fact, to become part of the apathetic pool of thought is to become the tool of certain negative Earthly forces, part of the destructive energy field by which the prophesy may be fulfilled.
- Culdians, then, do not believe in a ‘Doomsday’?
- Culdians believe that there can be a ‘Doomsday’ and that humankind as a whole appears to be heading towards a world catastrophe. However, they do not believe in an inevitable ‘end of the world’ in the near future, their attitude being one of hope and optimism that Good will prevail in the world. God did not create the world intending that it should end in such manner, which is what ‘doomsday’ doctrines imply.
- What about the New Testament?
- The writers of the Gospels presented honest pictures of Jesus as they saw, remembered or had learned of him, and their concepts of those distant events were affected by their subsequent acceptance of Paul’s theology of Christianity. These records, imperfect as they are, have been sufficient to change the course of the history of Earth for almost two thousand years.
- Christ is called The Saviour and yet more enlightened teachings reject the doctrine of vicarious atonement. How can his sacrifice be reconciled with the doctrine of kharma?
- Christ gave his life out of compassion for the stragglers, those who would otherwise be lost. This is the teaching of some of the more enlightened modern Christians, and a concept well worth consideration. While the vast majority of human beings are capable of reaching perfection through the law of consequences, that is through reincarnation and kharma, there have always been the few so immersed in their wrongdoings that they would have been lost without help. Christ’s sacrifice was not one demanded by God, but being an entity of extremely high frequency, his death in a physical body meant that a specific frequency band was formed, so that his spirit power became available for providing another chance for those who could not otherwise survive in spirit. To these Christ was truly the Saviour.
- It seems that much of Christ’s teaching became distorted, but how could this come about if the message was clear?
- To answer this question here is a rather amusing story about the Guru, the White Cat and the Pole. It will give some idea as to how such things can come about. There was once an Indian spiritual teacher who eventually became a great enlightened master. His reputation spread far and wide as the appeal and depth of his teachings became known to the people. They came from hundreds of miles to sit and listen and give him ‘darshan’; to meditate and bring the power of the divine into the midst of the group. The great Yogi had a large white Persian cat which was always at his side and always looking for an opportunity to nestle on the guru’s warm lap, as the latter sat in the lotus position with a blissful expression on his face. This was all very well for the cat, but quite unsatisfactory for the teacher who simply could not concentrate and go into ‘samadhi’ with the bundle of fluff on his lap. So it was that whenever he was to go into meditation the guru would tie his cat to a pole, so that it would not disturb his concentration. He followed this procedure for many years during which some eminent disciples arose to carry on the essence of their master’s teachings. Each disciple had his own particular grasp of the teachings and emphasized certain aspects as being more important that others. As inevitably happens, after the master’s demise a number of factions arose in the group, so that many schools of the master’s thought developed. The disciples who headed the schools argued and squabbled among themselves, each one maintaining that the others had gone astray from the real essence of the master’s teachings. In fact bitter disagreements followed.
However, all eminent leaders of the thriving yogic schools agreed on one point: that is was absolutely essential to tie a white cat to a pole in order to meditate!
This story, set in India, and of course having no basis in fact, illustrates a serious point and principle which is applicable to the ministry of Jesus. Think about it.
- Could it be that the Bible has been badly interpreted from language to language?
- The biblical interpreters seem to have been conscientious men and probably the Bible is better translated than the general average of literary works. This does not imply that there are no translator errors, there obviously are and from time to time efforts have been made to correct these, so that we can say that the Bible is a good translation from the original texts. However, it is not free of later interpolations.
- Can it be said that in so Christian churches idols are worshipped?
- It depends upon what is meant by idols. In any case pure worshipers of idols in any religion are rare indeed. When the early Christian missionaries found various cultures using images as symbols of certain concepts they wrongly assumed that it was the idols themselves which were being worshiped, rather than the concept they symbolized. They
never bothered to look beyond what they saw. Similarly, the images and statues displayed in certain Christian churches and before which people kneel in worship, symbolize a greater concept than mere idolatry.
- Are Culdians Christians?
- Culdians believe in the ethics of the Bible and in the teachings of Christ; in other words they live according to moral concepts, but they have open minds when it comes to dogmas and doctrines. Culdians seek Truth, but are aware that the ultimate or sublime Truth is something transcending this world. Here we may only glimpse Truth, or see only its reflection, because reality and Truth do not reside in the physical. All we can do is to reach out for it, but we can never grasp it with absolute surety. So many people claim to know Truth, when all they have is their own perspective of it. They see one facet and think they have seen all. That is why there is so much dissension among those who declare they have discovered it.
- Do Culdians have a better Truth than others?
- There can be only one Truth. It is not something which can be shared out in different forms, although it has many facets. Those who state they have the Truth and therefore need seek no further simply stand in a static state, and their vision of Truth must eventually become fossilized. No matter how clear the glimpses of Truth may be, they are
no more than glimpses, and one has to ever advance towards the light to see it more clearly. The knowledge of Truth is an evolving thing. The Culdian philosophy is one of progress towards ultimate goals, so Culdians cannot be satisfied with today’s Truth. Therefore they invite people to join in a further advance towards a greater aspect of Truth. There is a long, long road yet to travel in the quest for the Grail of Truth.
- Can it be said that Culdian are spiritualists?
- Culdians cannot be labeled so conveniently. There is a tendency among certain people to seek to place us in some kind of pigeon-hole, some convenient category, but we cannot be so constricted. While we believe in developing the potential spirituality of the individual, spiritualists, with whom we have no dispute, tend to over-emphasize ‘psychic phenomena’. There is something of the Divine in everyone, and we are here on Earth to realize (that is to awaken) the potentialities latent in humans. However, there has to be a balance between the spiritual and the material aspects of individuals. In fact, this concept of balance in all things is a basic principle of the Culdians.
- What is the Culdian philosophy called, is it Culdism or something similar?
- The correct designation is Culdifaith.
- What is the Culdian definition of Good and Evil?
- Culdians do not equate Evil with scriptural ‘sins’, nor with the breach of priestly prohibitions. All that is conducive to the progress, well-being, happiness of humankind and fulfillment of its destiny, is considered Good, while all that hinders or contravenes this is Evil. To Culdians, Good and Evil do not stand at opposite poles, but are intertwined with the fabric of life. There is some degree of Good in even the most Evil thing, and sometimes even the best attempts at Good can become contaminated with Evil.
Culdians do not believe in a personalized Devil, but realize that certain human thoughts, designs, desires and acts have contaminated the metaphysical ‘thought sea’, so that it is possible for individuals to be influenced towards Evil.
- Do Culdians believe that certain people serve Evil?
- Yes, although it is fair to say that the person who consciously decides to serve Evil is a very rare creature. Evil is generally served by well-meaning but misguided people. Of course, there are those who lie, steal,assault, hate, envy, deceive, or otherwise act wrongly towards others, but only rarely do they consciously acknowledge that they are serving Evil. Most will have some excuse for their acts, or they may be victims of prior conditioning and incapable of making proper judgments or ethical decisions. A well-meaning, indulgent parent can inflict more harm on a child’s life than can an assault or ill treatment. A great deal of sorrow is caused by well intentioned people. Culdians know that there exists in this world a coterie of people who believe that they are destined to make the world subservient to their rule, and who have no scruples whatsoever in the attainment of this end. These can therefore be justly described as people who serve Evil knowingly, although they do not view themselves as being evil. They simply have an interpretation of Good which excluded the great majority of people.
- Do Culdians believe that Evil is something of substance?
- Evil manifests in the absence of Good. It is a negative thing while Good is positive. Therefore if the promotion of Good is emphasized, Evil will not manifest.
- It seems that Culdians look for Evil even in Good?
- Good is good wherever it manifests and calling it anything else would not alter it. Culdians are realists and recognize that those who serve the cause of Evil as motivators are very subtle and camouflage their activities under cloaks of seeming Good. Also, it is unfortunately true that good motivation and intent can sometimes lead to undesirable outcomes when a wider overview is taken, as witness a great deal of social legislation and social attitudes. The physician does not concern himself with the healthy parts of a body, but concentrates on those that call for attention.
- What then are the areas of Culdian concern?
- The development of balanced and responsible individuals within a law-abiding and caring society. We seek to promote a healthy balance between spirituality and the need to progress in a material environment. To effect a change in society it is necessary to change individuals; there is a correspondence between the overall health and well-being of the individual and the wholesomeness and stability of society. Culdians promote the ideals of responsible conception and responsible parenting, believing that the root causes of most of the ills of society lie in defective domestic circles. The average individual today is much too self-centered and there is a general lack of social conscience or social consciousness. Culdians also seek to revalue love and to promote the ideal of true love, and in this they run counter to the prevailing attitude that love means sex and that the freedom to express sexuality in any form should be a prerogative of society.
- So Culdians swim against the tide?
- You could say that, but we believe that ultimately Good must prevail. The tendency now, in all areas except material technology, is to take the easy path and run downhill. The Culdians are dedicated to playing an effective part in stemming the downward flow.
- You do not claim that you can do this alone?
- Certainly not, for Good may be served under a variety of banners. We are all at different stages of spiritual development and understanding. That is why there is such a diversity of creeds and doctrines. There is a difference between a good Christian and a Christian who is good, a good Muslim and a Muslim who is good, a good Buddhist and a Buddhist who is good. In the former the labels are the all important thing, in the latter goodness is the prime motivating factor.
- Did you get any support from other religious organizations?
- This is one of the big problems which have to be faced. There is no solidarity in the ranks of Good. If we could have a world wherein people opted to support Good in general rather than individual interpretations of it, then surely we would have nothing to fear from any form of Evil. As it is Good predominates in the world, but it is in disarray, in conflict within itself, so it cannot deal with Evil effectively. That is why there is so much wrong in the world.
- Then if all the things which are wrong in the world and in society are classified as Evil, it is surely very wrong to take the stance that we should simply ignore Evil, that taking cognizance of it gives it substance?
- This is an increasingly prevailing attitude and one which undoubtedly contributes to the present unhealthy social climate. Better by far to recognize all that is wrong and take positive steps to deal with it.
- How did the Culdians start in New Zealand and where does the name ‘Culdian’ come from?
- A person placed an advertisement in the local newspaper, asking anyone who was interested in psychic phenomena to contact her. As a result some thirty people attended a meeting, out of which just under half decided to meet regularly to pursue the matter further. They were all strangers to each other and as individuals covered a wide social spectrum. Certainly none among them had any idea that the meeting would develop into anything beyond a general interest in the so-called supernatural and unexplained. Probably the one thing they had in common was curiosity. However, after meeting for a number of times they established contact with an entity calling herself ‘Gwineva’, from whom they eventually received a number of communications. Pieced together these communications constitute what is now known as ‘The Book of Gwineva’, a body of teachings and instructions. The plan laid down for the propagation of the teachings and the administrative set up proposed far exceeded any aspirations within the group, which was told that all this could come about with help from ‘the other side’, provided the individuals were prepared to ‘become bigger and better people’, and the way to do this was to abide by the teachings. So here was a group of very ordinary and actually somewhat ill assorted people who had assembled to pursue a topic of common interest and who now were presented with a task seemingly beyond their capacity and certainly outside their aspirations. So these average people reacted as any similar grouping probably would, they set out to do their best. Undoubtedly they were inspired by what had happened and it was this inspiration that carried them through the early years; but the struggle to live up to Gwineva’s exhortations, to her high expectations, proved too much for some of those who had not expected to become examples to their fellows in the first place. Had a group of people come together with the intention of propagating a high form of spiritual knowledge and to activate certain social ideals, then they may have fitted the bill with comfort. As it was, very ordinary people were called upon to undertake something which might well have daunted more stouthearted people. The original group held together well enough during the initial testing periods, surviving the rigors. However, they were less able to deal with the stresses and strains from within, they found difficulty in rising above their average-ness.
Gwineva told the members of the original group that she came with a challenge and what that challenge was has been interpreted in several ways. However, it seems, from subsequent guidance, that the challenge was to their average-ness, their mediocrity. What she required from the group was proof by example that the average person can reach out towards greatness and aspire to the attributes of divinity which reside in all of us but generally lie buried under an overburden of materiality. It is significant that each of those who most actively sought to develop themselves metaphysically, as they reached the culmination of their efforts were presented with specific personal challenges and failed the test. Those who had great potential for spirituality and leadership likewise failed to surmount the challenge of materiality. They were called upon to undertake something which, in the normal course of events, they would never have considered. Yet, from knowledge subsequently gained it can be said that each had a date with destiny, each was ruled by the decrees of fate and fulfilled a kharmic role. Their struggle was between their average mediocrity and their inherent potential, and that is the challenge that continues to be presented to everyone who joins the Culdians.
The word ‘Culdian’ is derived from the name ‘Culdees’ or ‘Kailedy’, which was given to the early followers of Jesus when they arrived in Britain after the crucifixion. The word ‘Culdee’ meant ‘Wise Strangers’; it was also interpreted as ‘Servants of God’.
- You mentioned ‘metaphysical development’. What is meant by that?
- Because the words ‘psychic’, ‘occult’ and ‘magic’ have been so exploited and associated with so much self-deception they have fallen into disrepute. Culdians use the term ‘metaphysical’ and their manifested interest in this field is simply a by-product of their research and understanding of universal laws. Metaphysical development (or supersensory development) requires a considerable degree of personality development and the practice of social and personal responsibility, self-discipline and organizational capacity. The fact that many sensitives have neglected to develop in balance and are scattered, uncommitted, irresponsible, disorganized and often display emotional or mental instability, casts a further shadow over the field of metaphysical research. The ignorant will blame these people’s interest in metaphysical development for any personality problems they may have, and this is true to the extent that they have not developed the attributes needed in a balanced personality.
- Can anyone become a Culdian?
- Anyone who wishes to follow the Culdian path may do so privately, separately, or in conjunction with us. Our group of members is presently small and wishes to grow in a careful, sure, and steady way. Currently, membership is by invitation only and may not be requested. Those that desire to work with us may participate on the forums, communicate with us privately, or demonstrate their wish to practically manifest our ideals in their own communities and beyond. True commitment and aspiration will not be failed to be observed, and those that are of like mind in commitment, aspiration, and ideals will be invited as members after a considerable amount of time.
No dogmatic doctrine will be imposed upon them, the Culdian teachings speak for themselves. However, the people most welcome fall into two categories: those who are seekers of the ultimate Truth, in whatever sphere, and those who want to deal with the manifest and manifold ills of present day society and who, in order to more ably accomplish this, are prepared to make whatever adjustments are necessary to their attitudes and lifestyle. Personal development is an important aspect of the Culdian teachings. This is complemented by a spiritual unfolding. What we require most are people who have the potential for playing a prominent part in the future of the Culdians, who can influence their progress through the long road ahead. Culdians not only teach, they also want to learn and those from whom they can learn most are warmly welcome.
- Are frequencies and vibrations the same?
- Generally speaking yes. Probably a better word to cover this phenomenon would be oscillations, but frequencies and vibrations seem to be the words currently accepted, so to get the concept across we must use either the one or the other.
- The subject of frequencies is very interesting. It seems that sight, sound and touch are all part of the same frequency spectrum. If so do they overlap? Can touch become sight or sound?
- When you touch something you receive a very crude frequency impulse which records itself on that part of the physical body with which it comes into contact. This impress is interpreted in the brain as a substance of some particular composition which can be seen, but there being no sound wave it cannot be heard. Going upwards on the frequency scale from touch we come to sound which is adjacent, and at that point sound will be so low in frequency that it is almost in the touch scale. At the higher end of the sound scale the highest frequencies are almost into those of sight. When our ears fail to receive certain frequencies because these are too high, the sight takes over. You may, for example, see a very dull red. Everything radiates frequencies and it is the impulses from these frequencies that register on our senses. The frequencies which impinge on our sight are so frail that even a sheet of black paper will cut them off from us, but the frequencies of sound, being coarser, will penetrate even a brick wall.
- I understand that men and women have different frequency bands. Is this true and if so what is the effect of one sex on the other?
- Women vibrate on a higher scale of frequencies than men because they have a natural inbuilt finer tuning system; therefore the objective has always been for men to come up to women rather than for women to come down in frequencies. In these latter days of the declining age, woman’s frequency scale has been generally lowered, with the result that there is now some confusion between the frequencies of men and women. Male frequency adjustments are made on the emotional and mental level, and it follows that lifestyles and attitudes become all important. When an emotional relationship is entered into irresponsibly, without due consideration being given to certain principles relating to frequencies, then the outcome is what is called ‘Vibratory Confusion’, sometimes called ‘Auric Dysfunction’ or ‘Auric Maladjustment’. This has the effect of lowering the frequency rate and it can manifest as physical maladies, but more often it can be seen as emotional and metaphysical disorders. This state of being preconditions the body, through a lowering of the capacity of the immune system, so that it nourishes the spawning grounds of infections.
Auric dysfunction has serious effects on the whole being of a man, but because the body of a woman is more finely attuned and of higher frequency, the effects on her are more serious. One of the main causes of auric dysfunction is incompatible relationships at a sexual and emotional level, but an even greater effect occurs through the confusion of frequencies when one sexual relationship is adulterated with another. This occurs not only when such relationships are concurrent, which leads to serious auric dysfunction, but also when a relationship is too soon replaced by another. In relation to supersensory development auric dysfunction displays the following effects: it imprisons metaphysical potentialities so they cannot properly manifest, or if they do manifest they do so defectively. Another effect is that Healers will bleed psychically and their power will easily drain from them, or will be polluted and do more harm than good. Auric dysfunction clouds clairvoyance and psychometry and distorts telepathy. It also triggers many, if not most, physical disorders, such as cancer and other growths, and considerably lowers physical resistance to bacteria and viruses; it is in fact the originating cause of some of the most virulent of the latter.
Auric dysfunction passes down as an incarnational heritage. It can cause stress and negativity and can effectively block the psychic channels. It can also cause an emotional sedimentation, so that a person becomes desensitized emotionally and psychically. Therefore anything that combats auric dysfunction is very important and knowing that it is causes that must be dealt with and not effects, it can be seen how important is a proper assessment of personal relationships. What Culdians have to get across is that they are not proclaiming some form of moral code imposed arbitrarily. What they have to explain is why moral codes came into being in the first place, why they are. It should be explained that they are the tool, the antidote, the cure for auric dysfunction, but it should also be made clear that while being a perfect preventive they are a poor cure.
Vibratory confusion or auric dysfunction cannot be caused by family and personal disharmony, but once it manifests, disharmony can accentuate it, as can other factors. So it has to be stressed that precautions must be taken against it and this is done simply by maintaining certain standards of personal emotional behavior.
Good & Evil
- There is a saying, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. How is one to know what is good and what is evil? Not only is the dividing line vague, but there often appears to be confusion as to which is which.
- This is true and an untold amount of Evil has been done in the name of Good by very sincere people. Likewise, an incalculable amount of Good has been condemned as being evil, this also by sincere though generally ignorant or prejudiced people. Evil is often served by those who wrongly interpret Good, and sincerity of belief and honesty of motivation do not preclude Evil from benefiting. Broadly speaking, Good is all that advances humanity and promotes spiritual evolution. It is that which promotes truth, mercy, justice, kindness, compassion, beauty, art, and all the qualities which enhance life and mitigate the harshness of human existence without detracting from its purpose. All that conforms to the creative design of God serves Good. All that hinders or seeks to counter the Creator’s plan serves Evil. Good is positive and active and an essential element of the life-force. Evil is all that opposes or negates this.
- Surely it is good to go to church on Sunday and worship God!?
- It is good providing the motivation is good, and it serves the cause of Good if it makes you a better person; but all too often attending church is a matter of habit, or form and convenience, and the church ritual no more than an empty mouthing of prayers and praise. If attending church on Sunday makes you a better person during the rest of the week, then God is well served. If prayers and praise are seen not as supplications, but as means of attunement with The Supreme Spirit, then things are in their right perspective and God will not be indifferent to the sincerity of the effort. Worship must be approached, not with the mind of a mendicant but with a consciousness of the Divine Spark within seeking to attune with its source.
- Has the human individual the ability to know right from wrong?
- In all essentials perhaps the answer is yes, but it has to be remembered that a necessary condition of man’s environment is that it be deceptive. Therefore the individual is unwise to rely on his or her own judgment entirely; that is why we are given appropriate teachings. Everyone is given sufficient strength to choose Good if they will. It is very important to have goodwill and good intent. ‘If each person does what he or she sincerely believes to be good, not interpreting it according to convenience or convention, and follows my teachings, they will not go astray’. (Book of Gwineva).
- If we have done wrong is it possible to repent and be saved?
- The word ‘saved’ is misleading, being a hangover from the archaic creeds. It assumes that some force outside of the human individual is able to wipe out all the wrongs he or she has committed. ‘It assumes that a man may serve Evil all his life and then, providing he repents on his deathbed, that the slate will be wiped clean. This is not the case’. (Book of Gwineva). Whatever we do will have a related effect, not necessarily in this life but certainly at some time. This is the Law of Consequences, which is immutable.
- What of creation, the universe, is this good?
- ‘Coming from perfect goodness it must be good at its source and being God’s offspring it shares in His nature. However, when projected into matter that which is perfect at its source must necessarily partake of the attributes of matter. Consequently it becomes subject to change and manipulation which, in turn, opens the way for the manifestation of Evil. As rust is inherent in iron, so is Evil inherent in matter; as wetness is to water, so is Evil to matter’. (Book of Gwineva).
- It seems in the nature of things that Evil may sometimes serve a good end!?
- Yes, it can be the case. We will again quote from The Book of Gwineva. ‘To give man freewill, which he must have to attain godhood, means he must also be given choice and there can be no freedom of choice unless there are pairs of opposites. This choosing from pairs of opposites constitutes part of man’s schooling. Without passing through examinations of free choice man would be no more than an automaton, a mere robot. Thus, while Evil for Evil’s sake would not be permitted, Evil in the service of Good is part of the scheme of things’.
- How does the Culdian concept of Good and Evil differ from that of Christians?
- It does not differ from concepts held by better informed, more enlightened Christians who have studied the matter in depth. However, it differs considerably from the beliefs of those who equate Evil with a whole range of so-called sins and the breach of priestly prohibitions. This is known as the ‘simplex concept’. Evil is much more subtle. The simple view that Evil results from succumbing to ‘temptation’ is quite inadequate for understanding the subtle nature of Evil as it manifests today. Those who would have no difficulty in recognizing such temptations, or in rejecting them, all too easily fall for the more sinister form of Evil masquerading as Good.
- Can you give any everyday non-religious examples of Evil masquerading as Good. Something down to earth that I can relate to?
- Two examples come to mind quickly. First, the loving, caring but overindulgent and compliant parent who provides a child with everything it could wish for, never chastising or disciplining, wrongly believe that the child will thus have happiness, freedom and freewill to develop along its own path. Superficially what the parent is doing appears to be good, the intent is certainly good within its limitations. However, almost invariably the end result of this ‘good’ is an unbalanced, irresponsible and self-centered personality. What is ultimately contributed to the world is something more akin to Evil. The other example is certain welfare legislations aimed at ‘freeing up’ marital and domestic restrictions. The concepts of such legislations appear to be good, but once the superficialities are brushed aside some very sinister aspects are revealed. The legislations in fact contribute to marital discontent and are conducive to many domestic difficulties and to the breakdown of family life. Here we have a case of something actually conceived in good intent and with the best of motives by the legislators themselves, but in actual fact, the latter are no more than pawns in a greater game than they can comprehend, which is the culmination of a grim struggle which has gone on over the generations. There are religious teachings about the struggle between the Sons of Righteousness and the Sons of Wickedness, between the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, between God and Satan, Good and Evil, all of which seems to lead up to some grim day when the issue will finally be settled.
- How do your concepts of Good and Evil fit into this picture?
- They provide a very true picture of the realities of the situation, and to understand this properly one has to realize that both Good and Evil have ‘evolved’ considerably since they were first conceived in their primitive forms. Just as in the natural world there is a struggle for survival, so on a higher level there is a struggle to rise above Evil. Always there are the two antagonists: the positive and the negative, the right and the wrong, the Good and the Evil. To explain the nature of the forces of evil and indicate the subtlety of the struggle, let us use an analogy. During the last World War the allies were on one side and the axis powers on the other. Now, we are not saying that one side was good and the other evil, but for the sake of the analogy let us say that right at the top, with the men in power, one was good and the other evil. Still further, as an analogy, let us say that those on the axis side were serving the cause of Evil. Through the ranks of those in the axis side, as one came down from the top, one found less and less Evil in the individual soldier. In the lowest ranks one found men who were wholly good, honestly believing that the cause they served was good. They were patriotic, self-sacrificing, family loving and neither cruel nor callous. They hated killing and the war itself, but carried on courageously in the belief that they were fighting for the salvation of their country and for principles that were good, however misguided they may have been. Yet the simple fact is that the most good among these men actually served Evil, as did those who knew differently. Perhaps their motivations and intent were different, but no matter how high these motivations they nevertheless effectively served the cause of Evil.
So it is in the struggle between right and wrong, activity and inertia, positiveness and passivity, reaction and apathy, and all the opposites which make up the combatants on either side. We have come a long way from the simple concept of the sinners and the righteous, of the followers of God and those who chose Satan. Of course the picture is no longer mainly black or white, it is mostly grey and there is considerable blending in individuals. No one is wholly good nor wholly evil, and perhaps no one, or at least very few, are intentionally dedicated to Evil. Most in the ranks of Evil are misguided or harbor misconceptions; perhaps, like the soldiers previously mentioned, they have been conditioned into their errors of thinking and sincerely believe that what they are going is right. Viewing Evil in this perspective we see that there is no easy solution, that the Problem is much more complex than we believed.
- What about a couple living in de facto situation. Is this evil? It used to be called ‘living in sin’.
- This depends upon individual circumstances and is largely a matter of degree. Going from one de facto relationship into another is certainly wrong. A correct definition of a proper de facto situation is that it is a relationship where all the prerogatives and principles of marriage are recognized, in other words it is a marriage ‘in fact’, subject to two things: there is no formalization and no factual commitment. Its status in the struggle between Good and Evil depends entirely upon what the parties make of it. If there is a large degree of commitment and most of the stabilizing elements of a formal marriage, then it should be regarded as what it is, a de facto marriage. This would not significantly detract from the status of marriage; what would denigrate it is the de facto situation which is really a mock or sham marriage, where commitment is minimal and the arrangement one of convenience, or for purely physical satisfaction. Even the modern ‘liberated’ woman is vulnerable emotionally and is too readily exploited by philandering men whom she seems prepared to service until they tire of her. The de facto relationship may be a made to measure niche for the irresponsible and self-centered. Undoubtedly the rise of the de facto state has been a destabilizing influence on society and has possibly done considerable damage to the ideal of love, which requires commitment and responsibility, to fully express itself. It has also adversely affected the concepts of domesticity and family stability. Therefore, on balance it may serve Evil rather than Good, but in these days when marriages are too often entered into irresponsibly it would be unwise to be too judgmental. However, ‘to say someone is living in sin is meaningless. What two people make of life together is what matters and this applies equally whether they are married or not’. (Book of Gwineva).
- Am I right in believing that immorality, that is sex outside the context of love, is wrong, not because it contravenes some priestly law which makes it a ‘sin’ but because it is the spawning ground of AIDS and many other sex related diseases?
- First define love. There are women who claim to have been in love with one night stands and most people would include this in immorality. However, let us assume that in all probability what is meant in the question is true love, which calls for the maximum commitment and responsibility. Sex outside this is wrong for several valid reasons, but let us deal only with the question. It is true that nearly all sexual transmissible diseases have been generated through the abuse or prostitution of sex, but this does not mean that some such diseases are necessarily the outcome of casual sex. On the contrary, the odds are in favor of not catching any disease, but the possibility is always there and the odds are lessening all the time as the climate of immorality is increasingly fostered. Sex outside the context of love is wrong, not simply because it was in this climate that most sexual diseases were spawned, but because it manifests a state of mind, an attitude, an acceptance, which condones and fosters that climate. Couples free of any sexual disease, who indiscriminately hop into bed are neither generating nor transmitting any sexual disease, but they are promoting and fostering the communal state of mind which condones casual sex contacts which may be transmitters of diseases.
- So casual or uncommitted sex serves Evil?
- Yes, as does the condoning of it, because it promotes a mental and emotional climate which is inimical to love and conducive to the spread of devastating diseases which seriously affect the health of society and the unborn.
- Is Evil proportionally greater in the world today than it was say five hundred or a thousand years ago?
- This is difficult to say because we have statistics or reliable information about conditions in general during those times. Also we can be sure that the constituents of Evil were probably different then and displayed different forms from those prevalent today. Probably, too, it is less obvious today and manifests in a more subtle and sinister manner. Even as humankind has matured in sophistication so has Evil.
- It has been said that people who live close to the ground, such as New Zealanders who generally have one level houses, are healthier than those who live in high rise apartment buildings. Is this so?
- It is not so much a matter of physical health as being in a better state of balance. The earth is a magnetic ball which emanates a force we call erthmegan. Land masses, as well as sea areas, have varying amounts of magnetism, a cause for continual concern by seafarers who have to take this into account when steering by the magnetic compass. Various compensating devices are used to maintain the stability of the ship’s magnetic compass, but even these are not wholly effective and allowances have to be made accordingly when navigating. Human beings have a certain amount of iron in their systems, more than you might imagine, as well as other minerals, and so it is easy to understand why the earth’s magnetism can affect individuals. Someone residing in an area of high magnetic density will find his or her mental processes reacting differently from those of someone living in a low density magnetic area. Iron intake into the diet has also to be taken into consideration. Every living creature needs contact with the earth currents or erthmegan, otherwise there is a deterioration in health. Studies have established conclusively that people having little contact with natural ground suffer from nervous complaints and generally poor health. Country folk are notoriously healthier than townspeople.
- Could this account for the considerable amount of delinquency and vandalism associated with those who live in the large London apartment blocks resulting from slum clearance?
- There is probably some connection, but this aspect has not been researched.
- In your Culdian writings it is stated that human blood cells are actually cells and not the almost flattened disks described in many medical books. Is this so?
- We stand by our statement which accords with modern metaphysical research, although it is not of prime importance and may be wholly ignored without any injury to the efficiency of this knowledge. What is of prime importance is our further statement that the red blood cells have a nucleus, which is also contrary to what most other schools and systems teach, and this cannot be ignored without losing a great value of the basic principles of our teachings. To ignore the positive nucleus of the blood cell is to eliminate from your thinking and from your understanding a most essential principle in the comprehension of the cause and nature of life, and the cause and nature of disease and its treatment or cure.
While on this subject there is one other point about the red corpuscles to which we wish to give very great emphasis, and that is that each one of these blood cells has within it a creative form of consciousness, or a creative power or energy, that is of a divine nature and wholly separate from any chemical quality resident in the physical negative part of the cell. It is not the positive energy alone that vitalizes the red blood cell and makes it important in the maintenance of life, but also this consciousness, this constructive creative power. It is an instinctive energy whose sole purpose and sole activity is to create and build.
- Do all cells have this form of consciousness?
- Since there are a number of distinctive cells or classes of cells in the body, each class of cells has a creative instinct or creative power and consciousness that is slightly different from others. In other words, that which makes a cell of bone matter different from a cell of matter composing the root of a hair is not only the slight difference in chemical composition or negative part of the cell, but also the difference in the creative consciousness of that cell. This creative consciousness tends to make the cells seek like companionship, so they congregate to foster and help one another in expressing the creative instinct in them. It is difficult to deal with a complex matter of this nature by a simple question and answer formula and those really interested are referred to the appropriate lesson where the subject is dealt with at length.
- Why is correct breathing so important?
- You will know that oxygen is essential to life, but in the air we breathe there is another element, a positive element related to electricity, which is essential to the manifestation of life on Earth. That is what is known as ‘The Breath of Life’, a form of energy pervading all creation. This vitalizing element is known to us only in manifestation. In the process of breathing we fill our lungs with this vitalizing energy which contains a large amount of the positive energy required by the blood. Therefore deep breathing and correct exhalation of the devitalized air is most important.
- Is it true that the human body is like a miniature universe?
- Yes. When all its bodily functions are working properly the body is so perfectly attuned with the universe that it is indeed like a miniature universe itself. In fact it can be said that each cell of the body is akin to the universe and in rhythmic harmony with it. This rhythm can be disturbed by violations of principles, such as overeating, under eating or wrong eating and drinking, lack of exercise, over exhaustion, over-indulgence, indolence and many other causes. However, lack of harmonization or resonance comes about mostly through defective mental attitudes.
Home & Family
- Why is it that children are allowed to be born into families where they are not wanted?
- Allowed is the keyword here. Allowed by whom? Remember that man is given both freewill and choice, and it is expected that he will exercise due consideration and responsibility. It is the right of every child to be conceived in love and responsibility and no child should ever come into the world unwanted. Mutual love is sufficient to hold two people together and is sufficient reason for their being together, but it is not sufficient for parenthood where at least one other person is to be considered. Each
parent of a child has the responsibility of selecting the other parent as being fit for parenthood, and it is a sad reflection on our society that this is not sufficiently taken into consideration. While we are careful in selecting the best breeding stock in animals so we may get the best strain, we take a less responsible attitude when it comes to children. Yet this is an inescapable responsibility and one for which there will certainly be an accounting. There will come a time when the one who is an unwilling or irresponsible parent must seek embodiment anew, and perhaps he or she will be reborn into a family where he or she is not welcome. Or it may happen that the unwilling or irresponsible parent of one incarnation becomes childless in the next. Children who are reincarnation of suicides, and therefore destined to die in childhood, are often born into families having a kharmic debt to liquidate.
- I know of a marriage where both husband and wife desired children, but the marriage was fruitless. Yet after they were divorced and remarried both became parents. How can this be?
- This proves that both parties were physically capable of having offspring. Their first marriage was barren because no incarnating ego was drawn towards it. There can be several reasons for this. Unless an incarnating ego is there and destined to be re-embodied through a particular couple the physical efforts of the latter will be fruitless. If physical factors were the only consideration to be taken into account there would be no reason for the first marriage to have been unfruitful while the subsequent ones produced children.
- Is it wrong for a marriage to be dissolved by divorce?
- It has been said that marriage is the greatest of Earth’s challenges, and it may well be. The tragedy of a broken marriage is not so much that the parties have found it necessary to end their association as the fact that their life together may have been unproductive in wisdom, insight and tolerance. Some marriages are fated to be and just as fated to end when the two individuals concerned have learned all they can from each other and worked out together whatever kharma was involved. However, what all too often happens is that lessons are not learned and the same mistakes are repeated in a subsequent marriage, and in this case the kharmic consequences can be dire. If two people feel that their marriage has reached breaking point it is very important that the parting be achieved without the production of negative kharma, which comes about through negative actions and emotions. Every effort should be made not only to sever the marital tie in a responsible manner, but also to accomplish the much more difficult task of severing the kharmic tie, or more difficult still, the frequency link. If the kharmic tie remains then the outcome may be that the two will go through it all again in some future incarnation. It is also a fact that sometimes, not often, the divorce itself is the kharmic reason why two people may have come together in the first place; or the persons involved may have in some way predetermined the situation to see whether they have evolved to the point of parting under positive circumstances. A divorce involving negative emotions and attitudes will certainly bring negative kharma into being, but to remain unhappily married, tolerating the situation with resentment, regret and hostility, is also productive of much negative kharma. However, to divorce irresponsibly, without consideration of all the surrounding circumstances, especially when children are involved, is even more conducive to negative kharma.
- So kharma plays a large part in marriage?
- Yes, and so does fate, but of course the kharma involved can be either positive or negative. The law of kharma is universal and guides unerringly. It will follow an entity through incarnation after incarnation until Harmony is established between all causes and effects. An intimate relationship always involves two people; one may learn the lessons this time round while the other may not. Ideally the two should get there together. Everyone has to be adaptable enough to modify ideas about personal relationships and to relate to one another with accord, understanding and consideration. If this is learned by one partner in one life and not by the other, then the latter will have to face the same situation in another life, but in all probability with someone else.
- Marriage seems to have failed in modern society. Is this because it is outdated?
- The failed marriages seem to get the publicity, there are many good ones. It is not so much that marriage has failed as an institution, as that society has failed to support marriage. The mass media does little to enhance it. Marriage has lost its status, it has become devalued and this is because of society’s attitude towards it. It will always remain as an institution and the family will always be the ideal social unit, but how well marriage serves society is dependent entirely on the value placed on it by society at large and the individual members of society. It will never become outdated because it is ageless and enshrines the ultimate in human relationships; however, certain aspects of it have to change with the times. The home is the citadel of family virtues and marriage is the sanctum of love. The status of marriage is closely linked with the status of women as defined by themselves alone.
- Then present social attitudes are the worst enemy of marriage?
- Present day social attitudes are not, as many people erroneously believe, the outcome of social evolution. Society has been conditioned to the acceptance of certain mores, attitudes and standards by detrimental influences. One of the most insidious of these influences is the mass media, with the entertainment industry running a close second. In fact in some areas these two are difficult to separate and they are certainly mutually supportive. So social attitudes are molded by sinister influences into what they now are, and it is these influences rather than society itself (which is the victim) that are to blame.
- I know that kharma is a doctrine of responsibility and that it is subject to the law of consequences, the law of sowing and reaping, cause and effect, but has little to do with rewards and punishments. What else can you tell me about it?
- ‘All activities, even thoughts, in the school of life earn either kharmic merits or demerits. However, it is not only the actual deed but every consequence arising from it, every effect of which it is the cause, which incurs a gain or loss. Kharma is incurred not only by the commission of a wrong, but by its condoning. Often the contrasting aspects of merit and demerit are not readily seen. It is not sufficient to do a specific thing, the attitude towards its doing is also important. Thus, while the performance of a particular task or the foregoing of something may, of itself, be deserving of merit, if it be done with ill grace or with consequent irritability, the merit is considerably diminished. The whole question of kharmic merit adjustments is very complicated and cannot be fully explained in brief communications. However, the path and adjustment of kharmic merit also reside in a whole system of moral codes, prohibitions and rules of life. A whole hierarchy of Beings overshadow the operation
of kharmic adjustments.’
‘Some things do not earn merits of themselves. For instance, no matter how full of the quality of kindness a person may be, there is no merit to be gained until a situation arises wherein it can be expressed. Likewise, truthfulness of itself is incapable of earning merit until a circumstance arises where there is a choice between truthfulness and its opposite. There are of course all kinds of qualifying circumstances and blendings, but always there is a balance of merit and demerit.’ (Book of Gwineva).
Everyone has three kinds of kharma. First, that from the past incarnations not yet exhausted. Second, the kharma that has been incurred and is continually being incurred in this life, which may be worked out during this life or which may not come to fruition until future incarnations. There is a third type of kharma which does not come into operation in this life because circumstances are not right for its being brought into action. This may be likened to vapor held in suspension in the atmosphere, invisible, but which will fall like rain the moment conditions are ripe.
It should be noted that as well as an individual kharma there is also a national kharma and a world kharma.
- What is the Occult or the Supernatural?
- There are many misconceptions concerning these words and their significance. The occult, like the supernatural, is simply the presently unexplainable. Once, such things as electricity, magnetism and related phenomena; antiseptics, even writing and the ability to read, were all included in the realm of the occult. When we talk of the occult we are simply referring to something beyond our present sphere of knowledge. The term ‘supernatural’ refers to things transcending known natural laws and therefore of an occult nature.
- How does telepathy work?
- Probably everyone now knows that the brain generates waves which can be measured on various kinds of electrical apparatus. These waves, or rather the power behind them, is akin to electricity and this power we call ‘Osilmegan’. Every thought modifies the impulses of osilmegan, in much the same way as the sound of words spoken into a microphone varies in intensity according to what is being said. Take a tape recorder as an example; one speaks into a microphone and the words are broken down into minute magnetic currents which impress themselves onto a magnetic tape. The words themselves are not registered, only magnetic impulses. When the tape is played back these impressions are interpreted as words and reproduced in a likeness of the original speech. Osilmegan acts in a way similar to the electricity used in tape recordings and voice reproduction. Thus thoughts are being continually broadcast.
They are not, however, picked up by other human beings in the general course of events (although they are in fact indelibly recorded elsewhere). People have a natural inbuilt immune system similar in operation to the tuning device on a wireless set. Were this not so they would be driven crazy by the sea of noise surging about them, and in which they are immersed. Telepathy is simply a matter of attuning to certain thought waves or frequencies. The brain is somewhat similar to a radio transmitter combined with a radio receiver. Just as the radio receiver would be useless without a tuning device, because otherwise there would be only a chaotic cacophony of sounds from the receiving set, so is the brain equipped to ‘tune out’ the countless ‘broadcasts’ from everyone’s thoughts. Telepathy is the capacity for breaking through this ‘tuning out’ capacity.
- What is meant by emanations?
- There are of course many kinds of emanations, but in this context you are probably referring to the radiations, or perhaps they should be called frequency projections, from all physical and some psychic forms. They always relate to matter of some sort and are extensions of the frequencies within the form; these frequencies being, themselves, an expression of the power we call ‘gwinin’, which brings the form into manifestation. It is only through the emanations (or frequencies) reaching us from all things that we can know them.
- Do emanations have anything to do with electricity?
- No, yet both have their origin in gwinin. Current electricity is a frequency force manifesting in activity, while static electricity is a potential power of similar nature under stress and ready to manifest under certain conditions. Emanations are radiating impulses having their origin in the internal frequencies of matter.
- Where do electrons come into the picture?
- Electrons are the first form into which gwinin concentrates, preparatory to material manifestation. We might say that under specific conditions gwinin congeals and gathers itself into a cell-like structure of a magnetic nature, but it is to be understood that at this point matter is not in existence. There is something having a sub-electron nature, but we are at present unsure of what it is, although there is considerable scientific speculation. The only certain thing certain at this stage is that it is energy and not matter.
- I have heard a lot about auras, but I have never seen one. Nor can I see why such a thing should be. What is an aura and why, if it exists, can’t everyone see it?
- To deal with the last part of the question first. Everyone has the ability to read and write, but that does not mean that everyone can. All of us have inherent capacities, such as the capacity to learn music, or to become proficient in other arts or skills, but not everyone wants to do so; one may not be prepared to devote the time and effort necessary to develop such capabilities. There are people who are unable to see colors because they are color-blind; that is not to say that colors would not exist even were we all color-blind. Similarly, we all have the latent ability to see auras, but not all are prepared to develop it. It is quite valid to question the value and virtue of doing so.
Each one of us has an aura which is indicative of our thoughts, our state of health and mental and spiritual condition. It is the light produced by the interaction of the enlivening Spirit within with the body magnetism. The physical body is surrounded by a band of grayish blue light similar to the color of un-inhaled cigarette smoke, which is quite narrow and follows the contours of the body. The intensity of the blue varies according to the persons’ state of health and vitality. This band of light is the extension of the etheric or metaphysical body which stretches out beyond the physical body. Beyond this extends the aura, which varies considerably in size and color according to people’s state of spiritual evolution, nature, thoughts, health, and many other factors. Whatever its size the aura is composed of swirling bands of colors which fluctuate with the persons’ thoughts and emotions. There are zones in the physical body which produce their own horizontal bands of colors. The aura is not the etheric body, as many people think, but the electric or magnetic field surrounding the vitalized and enlivened body, and its colors are caused by the frequency rates of the energy within the field. The aura changes as spiritual development progresses. Every living thing, down to the cell, has its own aura.
- The aura then is part of the body?
- Some elements of the aura of a magnetic nature do pertain to the physical body, but in general the phenomenon relates to the metaphysical. It should be noted that it is the physical body which exists within, and is subject to, the aura, not the other way round.
- Do Spirit-beings have auras, or are these restricted to living physical forms?
- As we have said every living thing has an aura and so these are not unique to existence in the physical dimension. The aura seen around a person while he or she is on the physical plane, consists of both a physical and an etheric, or metaphysical aura. Some people who see auras see only the aura relating to the physical body, while others can see both of them. On the astral spheres the auras are much brighter, or perhaps it would be more correct to say they are seen with greater clarity.
- Concerning astral travel. Can this not be an invasion of privacy? Is it not the answer to the wildest dreams of a peeping Tom?
- To start with no one with the mind of a peeping Tom would be able to astral travel effectively. There are many misconceptions about supersensory abilities and one of them is that one can develop these abilities without consideration being given as to ethical and moral aspects. Moral precepts are not empty exhortations, they have a practical, down-to-earth purpose which is generally overlooked. One effect of their willful oversight is that astral projection is precluded. Just as dirt-clogged, rusty and corroded engines will not work, so will a neglected astral body be unable to project. However, let us assume that someone inclined to ‘voyeurism’ did project into, say some woman’s bathroom, what would happen is that the woman’s aura would immediately pick up the intruding presence. This would cause a reaction, manifesting to her as a conscious feeling of uneasiness. She might look over her shoulder, or wonder if someone was looking through the keyhole, it would be that kind of feeling. The other effect of this reaction would be that her auric frequencies would cause a state of repulsive dissonance in the intruder’s astral form, so that it would be forced back into its physical form with something more than a shock. The shock would not only cause discomfort and distress to the physical form of the intruder, but would also erase any memory of what had been seen.
- What, if any, is the difference between personality and character?
- Personality is the sum total, on balance, of your previous incarnational conditioning. Character is the expression of conditioning in a particular incarnation, and it can therefore modify personality.
- I know what negativity is and I understand that a lot comes from childhood conditioning, but can you give me an illustration of what causes negativity? And what can be done to avoid it?
- There are of course innumerable causes, but you have requested an illustration. Well, suppose you are having difficulty with some person and you have decided on a certain course of action ‘to put him or her in his or her place’. However, if, when the time comes for action you weaken, this will immediately set up a negative impress. Always, when you decide on a course of action you know to be right, or believe to be right, see it through whatever the costs. Never have second thoughts, unless there are very good reason for them. Whenever you decide to do something and then turn back, it sets up a negative barrier which becomes part of a greater negativity barrier, and this is increasingly difficult to overcome as time goes by. So always, when a decision has been made in your mind, carry it through.
- What about wrong decisions?
- We all make some wrong decisions, but remember that a wrong decision is better than no decision at all. Indecisiveness should be avoided at all costs.
- If our personality is the real us and remains down through the incarnations what about someone with a bad personality, can this be altered?
- The personality always remains, together with individuality and memory, these being the factors of selfhood. However, personalities can be changed and someone with a bad personality can always choose to make a change for the better. Whatever the personality at transition, that is the personality with which one will reincarnate, but one will be given opportunities to rectify any defects, and every effort should be made to do so.
- Can you help me to understand why I find it so hard to put into application what I have learned?
- Our lack of application is one reason why we are still immersed in the material world, and it stems from a number of weaknesses within us. Motivation seems, at times, to be an elusive quality. That is why it is so imperative that we find motivation, for without it we usually get nowhere. There is no easy way to apply our teachings. If we are looking for a magic wand or someone to appear and show us how to walk the path, we are very mistaken. We walk the Soulpath alone. Why are so many called, but so few chosen for the Mastery of Life? Because many have not the inner strength, conviction, fortitude or will power to do what they know they must do. The more we apply ourselves to our duties, the easier they become. Determine within yourself that nothing will prevent you from applying yourself. Nothing can, or does, except yourself.
- Why is it that talk of a negative thing or condition, something feared, seems to draw it to us? Yet when we talk about something we hope will happen, that thing or event is often prevented from manifesting.
- Man has conditioned himself into thinking that all of the ills and bad fortune of the world are just around the corner and are about to pounce on him the moment he stumbles. He then conveniently invents stumbling blocks, so that when something unfortunate does happen to him he can point out exactly what it was that ‘forced’ him to do something, or why it was that a particular ‘accident’ occurred. It becomes normal, as the outcome of subconscious conditioning, to anticipate and plan for misfortune, and we draw it to us. For example, an insurance salesman, after a brief talk, will have you believing you will be homeless, careless and penniless if you do not buy his policy. The commercials on television will persuade you that you need a pill for every bodily function, a stimulus for every sense, a different cleaner for every corner of the house (even though it is the same dirt), etc. Is it any wonder that we draw negation towards us?
If we put enough will power into making our life a success rather than a failure, by planning success and not subconsciously conditioning ourselves for failure, the trend will be reversed. We may desire only good fortune, but is that desire stronger than our expectation of misfortune? Do we anticipate to become ill if we are around someone with the flu? If we do we certainly will catch it. Simply hoping that we will not get sick is not sufficient. Our desires must be strong enough to motivate us to do what we desire. Wishful thinking or talk not acted upon is an excuse for our own laziness. If talking of something good does not manifest that thing, then what good is simply talking about it going to do? It is merely wasted energy and therefore partakes of the wastefulness and uselessness of negation. Both parts of your question could be considered negative and therefore negative aspects manifest. In the first part, the manifestation of negative things, and in the second the absence of anything good manifesting.
- Someone told me I was a negative psychic. If this is so there must be a corresponding positive one, so what is the difference?
- The positive psychic is the person who tends to manipulate the forces of Nature, whereas the negative psychic tends to be manipulated by these forces. One is the active and the other the passive. We are usually more one than the other, although it is possible to switch polarity when sufficiently experienced.
- Why is there nothing in the Bible regarding reincarnation?
- It is incorrect to state that the Bible contains no references to reincarnation. There are, in fact, nearly six hundred passages where reincarnation may be inferred, whereas there is only one biblical reference to the trinity. What is generally overlooked is that the word ‘reincarnation’ was not available to the English language prior to the last century so it would be pointless looking for it in the Bible. However, the doctrine of reincarnation was an essential part of the early Gospels and its removal has not been fully accounted for. Those who have researched the matter all conclude that the evidence points to the fact that Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodosia (508-547 AD) deleted all specific reference to reincarnation from the then existing scriptures, producing with their Council, the Bible that is generally accepted today. It should be said that the Empress had very special motives for suppressing this doctrine and undoubtedly was the one who most vigorously opposed it. She was also in the position of greatest influence.
The truth about reincarnation was taken for granted by Jesus and the Apostles, as well as by people generally at that time. The doctrine of rebirth was almost universal in those days. You will remember that when Jesus came to the coast of Caesarea Philippi He asked His disciples, “Whom do men say that I am?” They replied, “Some say thou art John the Baptist, some Elias, and others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets” (St Matthews 16:13-14). Reincarnation is certainly implied here. Then in John, “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” When could the man have sinned to have been born blind? Surely it must have been in a former life. The question itself is equivalent to saying that he had lived and sinned before being born blind. Another striking allusion to rebirth is in Matthew 11:14 where Jesus said of John the Baptist, “And if ye will receive it this is Elias (Elijah) which was for to come”. This statement is also mentioned in Mark’s gospel (9:11,13).
Those interested in the subject of reincarnation should read ‘Reincarnation’, a dedicated booklet we have produced on the matter.
- When does the ego, the reincarnating entity, enter the body of a baby?
- It enters at birth but is present during the period of pregnancy, when it remains a conscious entity. During this time attunement takes place and the baby-to-be remains close to the mother-to-be; ‘learning to love’ is one expression used in relation to this attunement. From conception to birth the ego directs the fetus from without, but at the very moment of birth it becomes incarnated within the baby.
- Does this mean that a baby understands something of the Spiritspheres, even this world and its parents?
- When the incarnating ego actually enters the physical body a transition takes place from the Otherworld to this one. Memory cannot be impressed on the physical brain of the baby because that is blank, ready to receive impressions from the experiences of the current lifetime. Were it otherwise there would be confusion; but a baby understands much more than is generally thought and is very sensitive to parental thoughts and emotions. The baby is, however, completely handicapped insofar as it has no means of communication with others. As the baby begins to develop in the physical world it will lose much of its knowledge and awareness, and by the time the infant can effectively communicate, except in very rare cases, its past awareness is blocked out by the accumulated layers of earthly experiences. While memory cannot be impressed on the physical brain of the baby at birth, nevertheless it remains on a superconscious level and can be subject to recall under special circumstances.
- Is the doctrine of reincarnation necessary to account for qualities? Surely these are inherited from the parents.
- Physical qualities are inherited, but while they may be fairly uniform among siblings the latter’s personalities may be quite different and genetics cannot explain these differences. It is true that two artistic parents might have an artistic child, but that is not to say that the child has inherited the quality as part of its physical make up. The doctrine of reincarnation states that because of the law of affinity the parents would probably attract an artistic ego which would then be incarnated into a physical body conceived by them. Incarnating egos are drawn towards compatible family situations or those conforming with their needs or nature.
- Everyone, except certain unfortunate individuals, is predominantly one sex or the other. Does this persist through incarnations, or do we alternate sexes?
- The predominance of one sex or the other will persist through the incarnations. We do not come back alternating one sex with the other, as some teachings affirm, although everyone must have some experience of life in the complementary sex, and there is an average ratio for this. When, perhaps for kharmic reasons, an entity predominantly one sex must reincarnate in a physical body of the complementary one, if the change is more than can be accepted there is a feeling of incompatibility with the physical body, and this is one of the causes of homosexuality.
- What about those unfortunates who are not so much homosexual as neither one sex nor the other, or who have actual physical deformities making true sexual determination difficult?
- They are reincarnated in this manner so as to be in a neutral position, balanced between the sexes. The purpose is for them to have an interlude freed from the urges of either form of sexuality, when they can make up their minds concerning what they want to be. Although each sex contains a leavening element of the other it is intended that there should be a sharp differentiation, a distinct preference and conformity to one sexual role or the other.
- Is the intention of reincarnation that we become adept at all things, or are we meant to specialize?
- The universal law of evolution is away from uniformity and towards diversification. Therefore we are not intended to become ‘jacks of all trades and masters of none’, but are meant to develop along specialized lines. Reincarnation does not mean a universality of common experience; it means a concentration of experiences towards a certain end and these accord with the drive towards the development of individuality.
- Saint Paul states very clearly that the individual is responsible for his or her actions, and that makes sense to me. Does this indicate his belief in kharma and reincarnation? And if so the doctrine of reincarnation was part of early Christianity.
- Yes certainly, right up to the sixth century. It was expurgated, declared heretical by the Second Council of Constantinople in AD 553. This assembly was in reality the last phase of the violent ten year conflict inaugurated by the edict of the Roman Emperor Justinian in AD543 against the teachings of the Church Father Origen. Justinian had assumed leadership of the Church; imperial edicts, regulated public worship and the Church had to submit for a time to the papacy of the emperor. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (Vols IV & XI) this Second council of Constantinople was attended by very few bishops and although Pope Vigilus was in Constantinople he refused to attend. Regardless of who made up this Second Council, the teaching of the Church Father Origen regarding the nature and destiny of the soul was declared to be heretical and that declaration had far reaching effects. What Origen said, in part, was, “Is it not more in conformity with reason that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons, is introduced into a body and introduced according to its deserts and former actions”. Origen was, of course, by no means the only Church Father who believed in reincarnation; probably most of them did.
The doctrine of reincarnation was summarily ousted as incompatible with the weight of prejudice brought against it. Most people preferred to accept the rival doctrine of vicarious atonement, by which their past ‘sins’ were wiped out. Reincarnation indicated an accounting and personal responsibility, while the doctrine of vicarious atonement implied that responsibility and accountability, the debts of wrong doings which had accrued, could be assumed by another. However, the doctrine of reincarnation was never lost to esoteric Christianity, it was always available to those who sought deeply. The great majority of earth peoples believe in the doctrine of rebirth. It is making a comeback to the Christian world in these more enlightened days.
- Famous men have believed in reincarnation. Can you name some?
- Undoubtedly many famous men and women have believed in reincarnation without publicizing the matter. Here are just a few men who did voice their belief.
The poet laureate of England, John Masefield, wrote in his poem ‘My Creed’:
“I hold that when a person dies his soul returns again to earth, Arrayed in some new flesh disguise; another mother gives him birth. With sturdier limbs and brighter brain the old soul takes the road again”.
Then there is the famous epitaph of Benjamin Franklin.
Like the cover of an old book
Its contents worn out
And stripped of its lettering
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost,
For it will, as he believed, appear
Revised and corrected
Thomas Edison said that the only survival he could conceive was to start a new earth cycle again. Henry Ford found that reincarnation put his mind at ease, “When I discovered reincarnation it was as though I had found a universal plan. I realized that there was a chance to work out my ideas; I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock”.
David Lloyd George, Britain’s Prime Minister during World War I, said that the idea of the conventional heaven, with its angels perpetually singing, the everlasting harp playing, etc. nearly drove him mad and made him an atheist for ten years. He is quoted as saying, “My opinion is that we shall be reincarnated”.
During the last world war the American General Patton was well known for his expressed belief in reincarnation, and there were other World War II figures who were believers in the doctrine of rebirth.
- What would you say is the central message of reincarnation?
- The objective reality of this world must be experienced here, not somewhere else. The Nirvana of the Hindus and Buddhists and the Heaven of Christianity must not be confused with the infinite opportunity and continuity ad infinitum, which is the true inner teaching of reincarnation. Death is not the great informer and producer of knowledge, it is only the curtain on the stage to be rung up next instant. The purpose of the sequence of lives on earth is to supply us with the experiences which will most rapidly awaken our latent spiritual faculties. Only when all the lessons have been learned and graduation from the school of life achieved, is the need to reincarnate on earth obviated.
- Is it true that most of the problems in the world are caused by defective relationships?
- That is a very sweeping statement, and while it is not easy to discover problems which, when traced right back to fundamental causes, do not relate to some form of defective relationship, it cannot be said that such a statement is entirely correct.
- You have stated elsewhere that people are drawn together by the law of affinity. If this is so then the teaching stating that they can also be drawn into a relationship because of former hate or ill treatment must be wrong.?
- The law of affinity decrees that like be drawn to like and all gravitate towards a state of compatibility. However, the kharmic law cannot be overridden by the law of affinity when it comes to reincarnation. Consequently they work together. People are therefore drawn into relationships because of past hatreds and wrongful actions; debts have to be paid and injustices righted. Only thus can the balances be adjusted.
- If someone does us wrong or harms us should we then forgive him or her?
- Forgiveness is a virtue, but the answer to this is not simple and dogmatic. We should do whatever prevents people repeating a wrong and do whatever is necessary to show them the error of their ways. If, for instance, someone robs or assaults us and we simply forgive and accept what has happened passively, then we are in fact encouraging the wrong that has been committed. We must either condone or condemn, and an assault or a robbery is something which, in the interests of others and of society, is to be condemned. There is a difference between forgiveness and justice, and we must be wise enough to know the dividing line. Forgiveness must therefore be contingent upon certain things, but to be unforgiving is entirely wrong.
- Is platonic friendship possible?
- It is not only possible but often desirable. The modern concept that a man and a woman cannot be close friends without sex entering into it is wholly wrong and is indicative of the prevailing over-concern with sex. Persons who can cultivate and maintain platonic friendships are usually well balanced people and their more intimate relationships are better balanced than average.
- Why is there so much mistrust and misunderstanding among people? Some are only able to see the bad in others and motives and intent are very often misinterpreted.
- The Culdians are well aware of this situation, for their motives are continually being misinterpreted by others. To explain this adequately we will have to introduce the concept of ‘set’, a word which is nowlittle used in its original context. People tend to see what they expect to see and overlook what they are not expecting to see, and this is known as ‘set’. Because of this many beliefs about the world and people become self-validating. This happens because we usually notice the things which support our beliefs. Likewise we tend to automatically fulfill the image and goal we set for ourselves. When things seem to go wrong it may well be because of a pessimistic self-image. Conversely, deliberately ‘setting’ for positive goals can bring success.
- Can you elaborate on ‘set’ and its significance?
- ‘Set’ means a specific set state of mind, certain mental fixations, and perhaps we could use the expression ‘mental set’. It is a set way of viewing things, irrespective of their actuality. Thus set can be deceiving in that you may sometimes see what you expect to see even if it is not there. If you dislike a person you may find difficulty in viewing his or her motives objectively, you will give them a biased interpretation unfavorable to him or her. In other words, you are set against that person.
Magicians rely heavily on set. They set the atmosphere and get you to expect them to do one thing, so you actually see them doing it, for example burning your five dollar bill, even though they are really doing something different. Because of your ‘set’ you miss the little tricks, in fact you fail to see a great deal of what goes on. Set will continue for some time after the initial expectation. When people are asked to recall as many names as possible beginning with a certain letter, say T, they will be set for names beginning with T several hours after the experiment has ended. The task remains at the back of the mind and as soon as a T name appears, even in a completely different setting, it will stand out.
The same can happen in daily life. You may have had a name on the tip of your tongue but been unable to recall it. Later, you may hear the name incidentally in conversation, or read it, and immediately you recognize that this was the name you could not remember. Although it was not consciously looked for at that particular time, the mind had remained set for it. ‘Set’ affects virtually everything we do and see. Any belief system will make a person set to notice those events and facts that support his or her belief and miss those which do not. This is why two people can hold completely opposite views about religion, politics, education, the state of the economy, etc. and each will find from his or her experiences that the world is the way he or she believes it to be. They have subconsciously selected the supporting evidence. This can be very comforting, but it also leads to bigotry and prejudice. Mark Brown, in his boot ‘Set Thinking - Why Dogs Look Like Their Owners’, suggests that a good way to offset this is occasionally to try holding the opposite belief. By doing this you can make sure you are seeing both sides of the situation and not becoming ‘over-set’ in any particular direction.
As to why dogs tend to look like their owners and vice versa, this is also a matter of ‘set’. Any outstanding quality or feature in the one sets you to notice this quality in the other. If you meet a pudgy man with a boxer dog you will be more likely to notice if the man has a squashed nose himself, or if the dog is also overweight. You will pick out any ways in which they are similar, but will probably not notice the hundreds of ways in which they differ. If you have just had an argument with someone you may feel that that someone is the most selfish and uncompromising of people and when you next meet him or her you will be set to notice his or her bad points. Conversely, when you are ‘head over heels in love, the loved one is the best in the world, in your eyes he or she can do no wrong.
Not only does set affect the way we see other people, it can sometimes change the other person for better or for worse. A study of over one hundred children measured the extent to which a parent’s expectancy in a child’s ability affects the child. Of the children whose mothers rated them below average and predicted that they would remain so, only 7.7% were free from emotional disturbances at the ages of ten or eleven. Whereas 46.2% of the children whose mothers rated them above average were free from symptoms. This relationship was independent of other factors, such as the educational level of the parents, their occupations, ages, the family size or type of delivery, suggesting that it was indeed a direct influence of ‘set’.
Similarly, a schoolteacher’s expectancy of a child’s ability can often determine the child’s actual performance at school. If a group of children is divided into two groups of equal aptitudes, but their teachers are told that children in one group have high level IQs and are expected to excel at school while the other children are academically poor, the first group will do much better than the second. This effect, known as the Pygmalion effect, has been borne out by numerous studies, not only in school, but in business, politics, medicine, psychology, relationships and other situations.
In a now legendary experiment, psychology students were given two identical groups of rats. They were told that only one group was intelligent and trained, although both groups actually had the same aptitudes. The results of the students’ experiment showed that the so-called intelligent rats performed better in the mazes than did their supposedly dumb fellows. As with the schoolteachers who were set to notice the achievements of the ‘bright’ children and the failures of the others, the students were set to expect poor performance from the group of rats described as inferior. With children some of the effects may also be due to the children becoming set as a result of a teacher’s attitude. A child may pick up, either directly or indirectly, that he is not thought to be very bright and he become ‘set’ to this fact. As a result he is quick to notice his failures and slower to notice his successes, and his negative set is therefore reinforced, so he performs less well than another child of similar aptitude who has been led to believe that he is bright.
Overall social trends can also be affected by ‘set’. If, for example, the majority of people believe the country is one the verge of collapse, that extremists are about to take over, that ecological disaster is around the corner and that doom is sure to come, then doom is far more likely to come, particularly when these attitudes are reinforced through the media. One recent study showed that even the quality of news bulletins can affect a person’s attitude to others. People who heard positive bulletins recalling the good news of the day showed more positive feelings towards other people than did those whose news was full of gloom. A major report by Willis Harman and colleagues, at the Stanford Research Institute, came to the conclusion that society tends to move towards the dominant image propagated through the media and the educational system. It concluded that if humanity is to survive the next few decades it is essential to re-affirm the positive sides of human potential and ‘set’ society for a positive future.
- How does it apply in a domestic situation?
- Here it is very important. In the early stages of marriage, because of a particular set, each partner usually views the other through rose colored glasses. However, if the right foundation has not been laid down for the marriage, the scales of ‘set’ may swing the other way and partners may begin to view each other in a negative kind of set. Because of this, the negative viewpoint will be continually confirmed and so a compounding situation will arise, which will eventually alienate spouse from spouse. A woman who develops a set which causes her to lose respect for her husband will constantly find this disrespect confirmed, because that is what she wants to see and no matter what he may do to swing the balance the other way the odds are loaded against him. Similarly, a man who develops a ‘set’ which causes him to be continually critical of his wife will never lack things to criticize, because his set in this direction will constantly bring such things to his attention.
The question of ‘set’ is important in many aspects and particularly so when it comes to relationships. It is hoped that the subject will be raised at our public meetings and other gatherings where the improvement of one’s life and personality, as well as relationship problems, are dealt with.
- In what other areas does it apply?
- An area where it can be damaging is that of religion. A fervent protestant may not see any good in the faith of a catholic. Likewise a bigoted catholic may see little to praise in the protestant faith, while his own will appear beyond reproach. A rabid communist will find little good in capitalism and vice versa. ‘Set’ causes distortions in thinking and in perspectives and is something very difficult to deal with because it, itself, camouflages such distortions and people sincerely believe they are right.
‘Set’ also plays a significant part in health. Cancer in particular is one illness where set can have important consequences. There is a general set throughout western society that cancer is a killer, and once it is diagnosed in an individual the negative set becomes a personal one, particularly if it is reinforced by a prediction that the patient concerned has only six months, or whatever, to live.
A prediction of death can sometimes be enough to bring death about. In the Murngin tribe of Northern Australia the headman can tell a tribesman that he will die in two days, and almost invariably the person ails and dies before the forty-eight hours are up. Scientists investigating such cases have found no evidence of physical illness in the corpses. If, however, such tribesman is told that he will not die after all, he generally recovers without further ado. Similar principles have been applied in one of the more promising approaches to the treatment of cancer. Carl and Stephanie Simonton, two cancer researchers, give their patients a positive setting for survival, showing them many cases of spontaneous remission, educating them on the body’s own self-healing potential and getting them to actively visualize the body becoming well again. As a result 30% of the patients have shown a complete recovery and another 45% have become well on the way to recovery. Although this work is only in the preliminary stages, the success rates are very much higher than those attained with conventional cancer treatment.
Another field of medicine in which ‘set’ has been used to great advantage is childbirth. Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, a strong advocate of natural childbirth, believes that an important factor in easy childbirth is the mother’s positive image of birth, for this prevents the ‘fear-tension-pain’ syndrome. In western society young women are continually exposed to a negative mental setting about the suffering of childbirth, and the resulting fear leads to resistant actions in the womb, muscular tension, disturbed blood flow to the uterus, buildup of waste products in the tissues, and eventually to pain. Here the fear of pain actually produces pain. In many primitive societies where there is no cultural tradition of trauma in childbirth women seem to give birth with little sign of distress; for many it can even be a blissful, transcendental experience.
- What are the qualities most conducive to a loving relationship?
- There are five which most people who have been able to achieve a really loving relationship identify. Over 85% of those questioned concurred on these attributes, which are:-
Commitment. Over the last two generations (the duration of the research) the decline in social stability has been pro rata to the other degree of commitment couples have been prepared to make to each other. It is significant that in the studies made, those who did not attach much importance to commitment were those with the greatest degree of relationship instability. Ours is a ‘use and throw away’ society and this attitude has widened to include intersexual relationships. Women in general are no longer discriminating to the extent that they expect a man to make a serious commitment to them; in other words, they have devalued themselves; consequently men take them at their own face value. Men also lack the discrimination of former generations and are prepared to accept any female who is willing to fulfill the needs of the moment. The whole thing boils down to a matter of responsibility; people seem to lack the ability, the will if you like, to choose a suitable mate. The Japanese have carried out some fairly comprehensive social studies on the matter and figures show that where the parents have chosen the marriage mates, the likelihood of a divorce is one in twenty-four marriages. However, where the couples have chosen their own mates, the likelihood of divorce is increased to one in six. This is not a phenomenon confined to Japan; it is also confirmed among other cultures and appears to be worldwide. There should be nothing surprising about this, nor is there any mystery here, for research also shows that where a man or woman chooses a marriage mate wisely, with due seriousness, sense of responsibility and commitment to love and parenthood, the divorce rate is not much different from that in arranged marriages. We are back with the old question, ‘Is freedom without complementary responsibility a viable proposition for a society which wishes to remain healthy?’ Research confirms that there is a need for greater discrimination in the choice of a marriage mate and that an essential ingredient in a really loving relationship is commitment.
Communication. This is undoubtedly the most essential skill for sustaining any loving relationship, and we refer to it as a skill because it is something that needs to be worked on. It does not come easily, and most people seem to find the effort too great. The time for developing it to maturity is during courtship, but many are either unclear as to what they want to convey, or are unable to put it into the right words. Apart from this, many couples during courtship appear to be playing games of pretend with each other, rather than seriously settling down to communicating. This putting on of a false front, which collapses when the two get to know each other better, is also a cause of disillusionment which, in turn, sours a relationship.
Good listeners are a rarity, and sharing, so vital to loving communication, ceases when one senses that the other is only partially listening. What every couple has to develop is its own methods of communication and response, for the latter is no less important than the former, and an insensitive response can often be very hurtful. Each partner should make plain, publicly and privately, that he or she values and respects, as well as loves, the other. There should be no reticence about this. Research shows that nearly 70% of couples are deficient in communication or response. It also indicates that it is among these that relationships most readily break down.
Affection. A demonstration of affection can be beneficial in many ways, but the majority of people seem to be self-conscious both about giving and receiving it. It is true that a certain amount of reserve, modesty and decorum is necessary and one should not go to the unnatural extreme either way. It is again a matter of balance. The affection of one who freely bestows this affection on all and sundry is of little intrinsic value. Lines must be drawn somewhere, but what is generally lacking today is affection within a relationship where it can properly be expressed. It is probably significant that those who spread their affection indiscriminately are often lacking the capacity to display it fully in an intimate relationship. However, it has been amply demonstrated that those able to achieve a really loving and fulfilling relationship have an above average capacity for demonstrating and responding to affection.
Forgiveness. There is something wholesome and strengthening in the concept of true forgiveness; something which transcends the flaccid, mealy-mouthed supplications of the religious mendicant. However, forgiveness often comes hard, especially when we can find no explanation for another person’s hurtful behavior. We can forgive only when we are wise enough to perceive the wrongdoer with compassion, as a vulnerable, imperfect human being like ourselves, capable of weakness and frailty. Love enables us to put the wrong in perspective and view the act apart from the person. We can see our long-range relationships as greater and more valuable than the momentary pain caused by an isolated negative act. Forgiveness should be viewed responsibly, for indiscriminate forgiving can be negative and destructive. We have to consider whether forgiveness may be taken as condoning something and whether it will encourage a repetition. Our law courts, for instance, can operate on the principles of justice and leniency, but their operations would be impossible if they embraced forgiveness. Forgiveness is essential in a loving relationship, but outside of the intimate family
circle it should be exercised with discrimination and responsibility.
Honesty. Our personal security is based upon the assumption that those we love will be honest with us. When that security is shaken by a deception, lives can be shattered. Trust is impossible without frankness, and without trust there can be no love. Even insignificant deceptions such as those meant to spare feelings can lead to tangled webs of distrust. The harshness of truth can be mitigated by consideration in a truly loving relationship, providing there is no outright deception. For instance, instead of saying, “I don’t like that dress, I think it looks awful”, one could say, “I don’t like that dress as much as some of your others, but that is just a personal opinion and someone else may think differently”. We have to accept that we may fall from the path of truth from time to time, but if we want our relationships to last and to grow, honesty and trust must be our constant goals.
These are the five qualities upon which the great majority of those who had established a stable, loving relationship agreed.
There are other qualities which are conducive to harmonious relationships. Consideration immediately comes to mind. For men it is one of the three C’s – consideration, chivalry and courtesy. It may not be the big problems that cause relationships to falter and fail, but the small incidents which occur over a long period of time, the little inconsiderate behaviors, thoughtless comments, words left unspoken or well intentioned acts that are deferred. We frequently treat casual acquaintances more thoughtfully than we do those we love. Human beings develop best in an atmosphere of loving consideration.
Another quality is that of acceptance. True love is the acceptance of another, with all his or her imperfections; it means loving the unlovable in some cases. Developing as a whole person is a lifetime process and is very far from complete when two people come together in a relationship. From then on they have to develop together, in accord and for the time being have to accept each other as they are. If we are afraid to disclose our imperfect selves, as so many are, we cannot expect others to disclose theirs, and we remain strangers. To form lasting relationships with others we must be happy with what we and they are. We must have as deep a respect for their feelings and attitudes as we do for our own.
A big stabilizing influence in relationships is tradition and custom. Those who lightly discard these are the ones who tend towards relationship difficulties. Nowadays, tradition is often denigrated as romantic nonsense, but again, it should be noted, only by those who have problems with relationships. As society discards its culture and traditions so does it decline, and that is what we are seeing happening today. The traditional family Sunday meals, the holiday get-togethers, the customs which used to bring people together and bind them in stability, have largely been pushed aside. The customs and traditions of a culture, passed along from one generation to the next, remain a certainty in a world of uncertainties. They reflect the influences humankind has discovered to be stabilizing ones, as it moved upward from primitivism, and we discard them at our own cost.
- Marriage may be a stabilizing factor, but is it not true that there are bad marriages and bad relationships within marriage?
- Of course this is true. What happens here is that marriage simply bounds together two people who have embarked on a defective relationship. When a marriage mate is chosen for the wrong reasons, without sufficient responsibility, the obvious trouble ensues. Marriage alters nothing in the personal make up of the partners; of itself it will not bring them closer emotionally, nor will it mature them, but what happens within the marriage may. Marriage is the beginning of a long tortuous road, to succeed it must be embarked upon with due seriousness.
- It has been noted in many instances that two people have lived together in a de facto relationship for many years, then they marry and within a matter of months what had previously been a happy relationship has gone sour.
- Our generation is not the first to note this phenomenon. The formulators of our cultural moral code also noticed this. The reason is that prior to marriage there had been only a partial or qualified commitment; the parties, or one of them, did not feel fully committed to the other, and love, too, had qualifications and reservations. Consequently, when the marriage commitment is made it is more of a formality than a fact, the qualifications and reservations remain in the subconscious and, being suppressed, manifest in irritations and disagreements. The love that was fragile and uncommitted fails to withstand the strains of commitment and becomes burdensome, with the inevitable result. Statistics overwhelmingly show that ‘trial-marriages’ are rarely successful. At the best what ensues from them in the way of marriage is no more than a reflection of what could have been. Of course, as always there are exceptions and some happy de facto relationships have remained harmonious following marriage commitment.
- What of jealousy? It seems to be one of the bug-bears of relationships.
- Jealousy is an expression of immaturity, but not many of us are without it in some form or another, and so we must come to terms with this emotion. It can become an all-destroying monster, capable of ruining the best of relationships, but it should be recognized more as a challenge to help us grow in maturity and personal knowledge. It cannot diminish until we finally accept that we cannot possess another human being. We have to learn that loving others is to want them to be themselves, however painful this may be to us. Love must be set free and only when it returns in absolute freedom can we know we have the real thing.
- Can it be said that defective thinking, wrong perspectives and ‘set’ together account for all bad relationships?
- Not for all, that would be too sweeping a statement, but they account for about 95%. One unfortunate aspect is that there is a tendency with some personalities, to project on to one with whom they have a relationship characteristics which are actually their own. For instance, a person may begin to think that his or her partner is acting strangely, or is over-interested in this or that, or not interested enough in something else, when all the time it is not the partner who has changed but the person’s perspectives which have undergone a subtle transformation, so that he or she views the other differently. Once a distorted viewpoint becomes set then the chances are that that the relationship will become strained. People rarely fall out of love with someone because of changes in that someone, but because of changes within themselves.
- Does this tendency towards a distorted perspective increase with age?
- The tendency relates to personality and not to age. However, viewpoints and perspectives are accentuated or hardened with the passage of time. It is true that in our society there is a great deal of defective and distorted thinking among the elderly, but that is more the fault of society than of the aging process. In many societies age is still equated with wisdom.
- Many old people are demanding, irritable and unbending. Has age anything to do with this?
- Age of itself does not account for it. Such people were much the same when younger, admittedly to a lesser degree. There are certain types of personalities which, if not rectified early in life, will lead to the attributes you have mentioned in old age. Those who are cheerful, optimistic, positive, have a sense of humor, and are concerned about others, will be unlikely to grow into grouchy individuals.
- But most old people seem to be irritating.?
- Only to an irritable person. What you are talking about now is a reaction to something. Only an irritable person can get irritated; this is something that comes from within, not from without. Of course, irritability will react with irritability and perhaps this is what you mean.
- The opinion of some young people is that old people are self-centered. Evidently you do not agree.?
- Research by social units has not indicated that this is so. However, it may appear that way to others because of some form of ‘set’. Also many younger people fail to make due allowance for the physical failings of the old, and a self-centered reaction on the part of an elderly person may be a form of self-defense.
- Is it true that many bad relationships are the outcome of one person trying to manipulate another?
- This is indeed true. There are many forms of subtle manipulation which cause a resentful reaction. The most common form is when a person becomes irritable or stressed because someone else is not doing what they think he or she should be doing, or doing something he or she should not be doing. Eventually the other will begin to feel resentful at having to comply with the wishes of that person in order to keep the peace. This is a recipe for disaster. The resentment more often than not will be subconscious and will express itself in such a way that it will accentuate the irritability or stress of the other, and so there is a vicious circle.
Another form of manipulation is where a husband, without criticizing his wife’s cooking or housekeeping, will praise someone else’s cooking or housekeeping. Or a woman, failing to get her husband to do some repair, will take one of his tools which she is incapable of using properly, and let the husband know she is going to do the job herself. He, knowing the only outcome will be a damaged tool and botched job, has to leave what he is doing and do the job. Parents manipulate children and children manipulate parents, and the consequence is the sowing of seeds which lead to defective relationships later.
- But surely everyone is a manipulator in one way or another!?
- Possibly, but manipulation in its worst form is carried out by people who can always see what others should be doing but are incapable of seeing what can be done by themselves; it is also carried out by self-centered people. Sometimes, of course, people, particularly children, have to be manipulated for their own good. It is the motivation behind the manipulation that is important and the extent to which it infringes on the rights and freewill of the manipulated.
- What is basically wrong with society? Why the breakdown in relationships? Why the delinquency and lack of parental control? What has happened to the old neighborliness?
- To put the matter in a nutshell, let us say that there is a general lack of social concern, a lack of discipline and an enshrouding apathy which were not present in earlier generations. Compounding the situation is the fact that people do not know the answers to problems; they make wrong choices and decisions because they have no standards of assessment, no guiding codes of social and communal conduct or a personal relationship criterion. Although the decline began earlier it was given impetus during the first world war when women started entering factories and doing jobs previously undertaken by men. Then they started to seek what they called ‘equality with men’, which is certainly their right as far as status and rights are concerned, but unfortunately a sector of women took this to mean ‘masculinisation’, and it was here that the problems really started. Men and women are fundamentally different; no man has ever produced a baby and no woman has ever fathered one, each sex having been designed for specific and very different roles in life.
The supreme job of womankind has always been to maintain the integrity of the home and family. When women remained at home and concentrated on raising the children there was less crime, less delinquency and much less inter-personal discord. While mothers were the centre around which home-life revolved, maintaining discipline, devoting time and attention to the all important task of properly raising children and mindful of the needs of the next generation, society remained relatively healthy. However, once woman’s interests moved away from the sphere of domesticity, young children were left more or less to their own devices and to the influence of anti-social elements. They often became ‘latch-key children’, coming home to a cold and empty house to await a harassed, stressed and often irritable mother. They were provided with a ‘convenience’ meal and spent the evening, sometimes, in the company of parents often ill at ease with each other. As they grew up, the children of such homes came under the domination of others, perhaps anti-social and vicious characters, and soon were congregating in juvenile gangs, like pack rats. The gang instinct is not new; what is new, however, is the anti-social coloring of the thinking, which was not present in earlier times. Respect for parents and law and order, for policemen, politicians and community leaders, has been replaced by derision, unfortunately not always undeserved. The seeds of present social ills were sown in the impoverished soil of an unnatural and cold, uncommunicative home life, and it is in the same place, the home, that a cure must be effected. This is an area of prime concern to Culdians.
- Then there can be no complete equality of the sexes?
- The answer must depend entirely upon what is meant by equality, for not all interpret this in the same way. Equality of rights and status there should be; equality of opportunity, of pay, of influence, are also things which Culdians uphold. However, some people tend to confuse equality with uniformity and while we strenuously uphold the principle of the former, we are opposed to the increasing influence of those who seek to impose the latter. It is the differences between the sexes which have to be accentuated, not the similarities, providing always that neither sex is thereby prejudiced.
- But surely uniformity is a desirable thing? It would eliminate the injustices which come with differentiation!
- Uniformity was in the beginning and since then the whole evolutionary drive, spiritual and physical, has been towards divergence and differentiation. Those who proclaim the desirability of uniformity turn away from progress, they are heading in the wrong direction. Everything in Nature proclaims that uniformity is not the objective and that the drive should be towards individualization. The lower on the evolutionary scale a thing is, the more uniform it will be.
- There is a tendency for Culdians to be judgmental with regard to women. Why is that?
- We cannot agree that Culdians are judgmental with regard to women. On the contrary, we recognize the superior virtues inherent in womankind and the great importance of the womanly criterion and female status. Perhaps it is because Culdians realize that woman is not living up to her full potential as a female, and that society is the worse because of this, that some of their statements may sound critical. We do not absolve men from blame, and it is a sad commentary on our society that among men women are often classified according to their mammary development, their availability for sex and the extent to which they expect male commitment. Such talk was heard a generation ago, but then it applied only to a certain section of womankind; now there is no such discrimination among men.
- The Culdian teachings seem to suggest that women fail to inspire men. Surely this is unfair!?
- It would certainly be unfair if women were treated as anything less than man's equal, because an inspirer is always greater than the inspired. Two recent surveys taken by women among women show that the great majority of women believe they have an inspirational role to play and that they can command respect from men; most of those surveyed believed that women have fallen short of their potential. Over half agreed that woman’s deviation from this role was probably a contributing factor to the present state of
society. Therefore it is in the interests of society and humankind that the Culdians adopt a particular attitude towards sexual roles, and not because of arbitrarily chosen moralistic concepts.
- Do women sometimes invite rape and even in some cases gain pleasure from it?
- It is extremely unlikely that any normal woman would derive pleasure from being raped, although it is known from research that many women fantasize about it and some place themselves in situations which invite rape; however, it is unlikely that this is done consciously. The whole subject is fraught with difficulties and there are many grey areas. While publicity in the media and other unreliable evidence seem to indicate that rape is on the increase, research shows that this is not the case and that actual violent and criminal rape by a stranger is only slightly up on what it was one or two generations ago.
- What about unreported rape which would not appear in statistics?
- Official statistics are of little value and are not given much credence, but other figures are available and considerable research has been carried out by voluntary social workers. The conclusion arrived at is that there appears to be two main categories of rape and rapists. There are men who, because of personality inadequacies and character or mental defects, derive pleasure mainly through subjecting the victim to cruelty and indignities. There are the vicious, callous and violent rapists. The other type derives perverse sexual pleasure through the sex act itself and these rapists have no urge to hurt or harm. They will often spend time in sensual talk, if circumstances permit. What has come to light, however, is a whole grey area for what has increased many fold and is sometimes described as ‘positive’, ‘masterful’ or ‘aggressive’ sex embodied in the image some women have of ‘the great lover’. Research in several western countries indicates that women have now come to accept this as the ‘norm’, and in fact often anticipate or expect it. In this expression of ‘lovemaking’, the male sex urge is dominant. The problem arises when, having permitted the man to go so far, the woman does not wish to follow through to the culmination. In the past, when the man did proceed to what was considered the logical conclusion, this was generally considered to be rape, unless the woman gave implicit consent, but these days it is not so. Women, having come to accept this male behavior as normal, and having their stereotyped image of the great lover in their subconscious, find it difficult to accuse the man of rape. It seems, from the evidence, that modern western women are prepared to accept and tolerate sexual advances, even if they refuse to ‘follow through’, whereas formerly this was considered ‘disrespectful’ and ‘degrading’. It is in this grey area that the subject of rape poses the greatest problems for those who have to deal with the victims and the perpetrators. This is where research becomes confused.
- What about seduction?
- Seduction of the innocent and trusting is always wrong, but obviously this is a cliché and not a satisfactory answer. Where is the dividing line between rape and seduction? A notorious rapist stated that the only difference between the two is salesmanship – the difference between the way a callous robber carries out his crime of acquiring something he wants and the way a gentleman con-man goes about it. It is interesting to note that long after he had served his term of imprisonment the same rapist was again
accused of rape. However, he defended himself by proving that he had long since given up the risks of rape but had studied and made himself a master of, the art of seduction, thus obtaining the same end result. He admitted 28 rapes to the police, only five of which had been reported and three of his victims said he was ‘quite nice’ about it, while two stated they were not sure whether they had been raped or seduced. None of these women had reported him to the police.
- Then women will accept seduction but not rape?
- Speaking objectively and from research and statistics alone the answer can only be ‘yes’. It is the only possible one on the evidence.
- Has there been any research on the family background of rapists and if so what are the conclusions?
- It seems that most rapists have personality defects and relationship difficulties. Some have relatively stable marriage relationships and a few appear to have been good husbands and fathers, but deeper probing found evidence to the contrary. One thing they all had in common was a defective home environment when they were children. There is little doubt that the causes of their eventual anti-social behavior are to be found in their childhood environment and particularly in parental irresponsibility or
indifference. Many were unable to relate to their mothers or held her in little respect. The father’s attitude towards the mother and women in general also seems to have played a part. Research indicated that the number who had feminist mothers was out of proportion to the community in general, and it seems that the son of a ‘butch’ lesbian is more than four times as likely to be a rapist as the average. When it comes to anti-social behavior, the family is all important and there is little doubt that the great bulk of the ills afflicting society today can be attributed to the decline in family stability and status. This is why the Culdians place so much emphasis in their teachings on family well-being. A concept which the Culdians are trying to promote is that of responsible parenting, something little understood in it wider application, for it actually begins during courtship. Very few people take their prospective children into consideration when choosing a mate. Yet, for the genetic good of humankind this is something which cannot be overlooked without dire consequences.
- Do the Culdians give specific teachings on child upbringing?
- The Culdians have produced a Pre-Natal correspondence course for parents-to-be and a correspondence course on Child Care and Culture for parents of children up to eight years of age. It is hoped that in time classes based on the Culdian teachings in relation to child-raising, will be operating. As one of the objectives of the whole boy of Culdian teachings is to change individuals for the better and to place them on the road to the Mastery of Life, it follows that such teachings will also make them better parents. Only following a generation of perfect parents can we expect to have a perfect world, at least as far as perfection is attainable on earth.
- Is there such a thing as Soulmates?
- This concept goes as far back as Ancient Egypt at least. However, the modern concept of Soulmates is a devalued one which only barely accords with the original teachings; modern social conditions and attitudes are inhibiting its expression rather than propagating it. Soulmates are two people who, through several incarnations, have become so emotionally involved with each other that their destinies become completely entwined. Contrary to popular belief they are not two people who have discovered some form of all-embracing love which fulfills their lives and raises them to some dizzy heights of emotion. Soulmates have to pass through tempering fires and survive some very severe tests, the least of which are frustration, disappointment, disillusionment, loneliness and even despair.
- Can one person have two Soulmates?
- No, that is an impossibility and a contradiction in terms. For each person who has even only partially passed along the incarnational way there is only one true mate. There seems to be a lot of confusion in people’s mind regarding Soulmates and Twinsouls. The link between the former has been forged by love, while the latter are linked by compatibility. Life in general, particularly in the initial incarnations, is much easier for Twinsouls than for Soulmates.
- Can a person have more than one Twinsoul?
- Yes, and there are also degrees of compatibility between Twinsouls. It is not necessary for Twinsouls to make any effort towards compatibility, they are just compatible, while Soulmates are continually being subjected to adversity, frustration and temptation. The intention is that the love of Soulmates be brought to a state of completeness. Twinsouls can incarnate and meet in any relationship at all; Soulmates usually do so on a male/female basis, although they may not necessarily meet in each incarnation. However, when it applies to the necklace of incarnations the finding of a Soulmate is essential.
- Is supersensory development the same thing as metaphysical and psychic development?
- Yes, Culdians prefer to use the words ‘supersensory’ or ‘metaphysical’ rather than psychic, as the latter has become associated in the minds of many people with gullibility, charlatanism and commercialism. It is unfortunate that it has been so tainted, because many sincere, genuine and non-gullible people have accepted the reality of psychic phenomena.
- Is it the same as spirituality?
- Both embrace a wide area of common concern, with a smaller area of specific concern for each. Spirituality contains a greater element of self-discipline.
- How can the average person develop supersensory powers?
- What has to be understood is that everyone has the latent capacity to equal anyone else in extra-sensory ability. All the so-called ‘supernatural’ powers are in fact the natural heritage of every human individual. They do not extend beyond the natural, but beyond the presently known, as far as the average individual is concerned. That situation arises because of a lack of interest and understanding. Of course certain people have natural aptitudes for this, just as some take naturally to music or other art or skill. Supersensory powers can be awakened in anyone willing to devote time and effort to doing so. There is no great mystery in the process, all that is required is resolution, patience and perseverance.
- Can the undertaking of such development be dangerous?
- It can be dangerous if undertaken irresponsibly and with the wrong intent; also there should be qualified supervision. Unfortunately many who develop their sensitivity do so without complementing this with the proper disciplinary procedures. Metaphysical development must go hand in hand with self-discipline, otherwise there could be problems.
- Is this why so many sensitive people are unstable and experience difficulties with their personal lives and relationships?
- Yes, and unfortunately many people, noticing this, will assume that it is the development itself which is at fault; yet in the proper context of its teaching it is certainly not harmful. However, ‘self-developed’ people will almost inevitably run into trouble.
- People imagine all kind of things which have no real substance, yet I have heard that imagination is very important in relation to supersensory development. Is this so?
- Imagination can be either positive or negative, constructive or useless; as with many things, it is what is done with it that matters. A prime law of psychology states that in any contest between the will and imagination the latter always wins. Therefore, developmental systems advocating the use of will-power alone are inferior to those which give pre-eminence to imagination. If you can imagine (strongly enough) that you can do something you will eventually be able to accomplish it. What your imagination tells your subconscious mind is possible becomes possible; similarly, what your subconscious mind is told is impossible becomes impossible. Take the following as an example. Place a long plank on bricks, just off the ground, and walk across it. You will have no difficulty at all, you can even run across it. However, if you are in a tall building, some stories up and because of a fire below the only escape route is across the same plank placed between a window of the building and a window of a building across the street, you will find it impossible to cross. This is because your imagination comes into play and warns about the hazards of the crossing, so you become dizzy. If you attempted to cross you would certainly sway and if you persisted you would fall. No matter how much will-power you generate you will not be able to accomplish the feat, for your imagination will have told you that it was impossible. If you were capable of properly exercising your imagination, as you would through supersensory development, then you could imagine yourself reaching the other side and the crossing could be accomplished. Such a feat has been tried on a number of occasions and is one of the classical examples of the principle involved. This is the principle employed by tight rope walkers and also trick cyclists who cycle across ropes stretched over canyons. They discipline their imagination and use it constructively. Unfortunately the word ‘imagination’ has now come to mean something fanciful, unbelievable or fantastic, but this is only as it manifests in its negative aspect, as undisciplined imagination.
- Define a ‘Mystical Experience’. Is it a supernatural happening in which the receiver will not accept that a natural explanation is a possibility, no matter how unlikely?
- There is no such thing as a ‘supernatural event’ in the sense that this question indicates. To a true mystic, the ‘supernatural’ is simply a natural event presently beyond understanding and explanation. Much that we take for grated today, such as magnetic and electrical phenomena, etc., was once deemed to be in the realm of the supernatural. Many people today consider gene manipulation and atomic restructuring to be akin to the supernatural, simply because they cannot comprehend the mechanics behind the phenomena. It is the ignorant and superstitious who use the label ‘supernatural’, no true mystic ever uses it and hence the term ‘mystical experience’ is misleading, like so many other terms in this field.
However, the question is “Define a mystical experience”, and perhaps the best way to do this is to say that it is an incident associated with the etheric or metaphysical aspect of an individual’s nature, which, if such person has no knowledge of metaphysics, will be inexplicable. In other words, it cannot be explained within the limits of his or her comprehension or experience. However, to a metaphysician or someone understanding the laws and principles behind such phenomenon, it will be neither inexplicable nor beyond comprehension.
To a primitive New Guinea native many mundane things are ‘supernatural’ insofar as he cannot understand or adequately explain them. The cargo cults of certain New Guinea and Pacific Islands tribes stem from the fact that the natives cannot conceive of most consumer goods being ‘made’ by man. They are convinced that these are produced by ‘magic’, hence the belief that their own ancestors, who in the afterlife must surely be masters of magic, will supply them with ‘cargo’, providing the appropriate rituals are carried out. While we may smile at this form of primitive thinking, it is not so far removed, except by degree, from the thought processes of many in our society who cannot comprehend the ‘mystical’.
The statement, “There is nothing about me which has any affinity with the supernatural”, made by an educated New Zealander is not so far removed from that of a New Guinea carrier boy who said in effect, “Tell me, what can you show me about myself that will prove that I have the ability to master the magic of writing and reading?”.
- Can an undeveloped person have a mystical experience?
- This may be answered by another question, “Can an untutored person with musical ability play a tune?”. Certainly some kind of a tune may be produced, particularly where there is great latent talent, and so it is with metaphysical experiences. They can happen spontaneously in the undeveloped, but only to a relatively minor degree. To have a true, significant and understandable mystical experience requires a great degree of metaphysical development and training. That is why such experiences are rare. However, just as a person with latent musical potential but absolutely no tuition will find some kind of outlets, so is it with those having latent metaphysical aptitudes.
- How can a trance state be achieved?
- The expression ‘trance state’ covers a rather wide field. The mediumistic trance and the self-induced trance, as well as various degrees of awareness expansion, may be classified as ‘trance states’. However, the more common and more spectacular ritual trance, which is probably the trance to which you refer, is achieved through cultural cues, ritual props, incantations, songs and stories. Percussive music, steady musical pulse, is especially important in the transition to altered states in cultures throughout the world. The most effective rhythm is through electrically stimulated acupuncture. It matches the EEG frequency of theta waves, which are produced by the brain during periods of deep meditation but appear only rarely in a normal waking state. Faith Healers have been shown to produce continuous theta waves in their patients by the laying on of hands, and the patients theta waves exactly match the pattern of the Faith Healers’ wave.
- What is the principle of Faith Healing?
- The key lies in the biochemistry of endorphins. The name ‘endorphins’ is a contraction of ‘endogenous morphine-like substances’. These substances work on the nervous system and are generated in the human brain in response to pain, stress or certain kinds of ‘peak experience’. It appears that they are also generated in response to belief.
The ability of the body to heal in response to belief has long been recognized. Physicians regularly administer placebos (pharmacologically inert substances) in circumstances that do not indicate an active medication. The patient believes that he has been given effective medication and, in response to this belief, he recovers. One theory is that the body produces chemicals, perhaps endorphins, which alleviate ailments. Placebos have been used to control post-operative pain, relieve anxiety and to cure warts and peptic ulcers.
Endorphins may have evolved in order to protect and preserve our species in its struggle for survival. They are not the only chemicals the brain produces. Given the right cues the latter will generate tranquillizers as effective as librium or valium. A growing number of scientists, from biochemists and pharmacologists to psychiatrists, psychologists and anthropologists, have speculated that somehow shamans and witch doctors have hit on ingenious methods for turning on production of the brain’s natural chemicals. This involves a subtle appreciation of the patient’s psychological as well as physical problems.
- I know Culdians do not hold with the doctrine of doomsday and the last trumpet, but do they recognize that there may be a doomsday brought about by nuclear warfare, chemical or biological warfare, economic collapse, or pure accident?
- The Culdian attitude is that while everything should be done to prevent any of the eventualities you mention, it is prudent to be prepared for any emergency on a world scale.
- What are the Culdians doing to counter the trend towards disunity between the different groups operating in New Zealand?
- Individual Culdians are associating with any public spirited groups whose objective is to prepare the people of this country for survival in the event of a planetary disaster. The policy adopted by the Culdians is that the various groups should co-operate and affiliate, so that there is no duplication of effort and a degree of specialization. The Culdians will promote the concept of survival centers wherever possible, and it should be stated that their philosophy itself is survival orientated. The psychological aspects of survival are too often neglected by those who concentrate either on materialistic preparation or on legislative pressures. The members of these groups seek to bring about changes in the outlook and attitude of others, but pay scant regard to themselves as individuals. It is with the individual that survival attitudes start.
- What do they have to look for?
- They do not have to look for anything in particular, but have to measure themselves against a particular standard. In the case of the Culdians this standard is embodied in the Culdian teachings and they should analyze themselves in accordance with these teachings.
- Is there any other area of survival concern which others overlook and the Culdians consider important?
- Yes, there are two such areas. One is the welfare of surviving children and the preservation of their educational and cultural heritage. The other relates to the well-being of the handicapped, deprived and underprivileged. At present, the Culdians are not in a position to do much about these aspects of survival, but they keep them in the background of their survival policy until they have the resources to deal with them.
- I am unable to believe in an afterlife. My husband and I were always very close and were spirit communication a fact surely I would have had something from him after he passed away. Yet I have never felt his presence. How then can I believe that he still exists somewhere?
- You make a common error in believing that because you are ‘closed off’ from the other side everyone is, or that there is no substance in it. It is simply a matter of lack of attunement. In order to get what you want, three things are essential: an effective sender, a sensitive receiver and proper attunement between them. Just as individual radio stations have their own particular frequencies, so do people have frequencies, and just as you have to tune in properly to a radio station in order to receive broadcasts, so is it necessary to tune-in to a personal frequency. If your husband and you were close then it would have been possible to have developed telepathic communication between you while he was on earth; then when he left Earth, communication could have been maintained.
- I have heard about the astral world, but keep confusing it with Heaven. Can you tell me what this astral world is like?
- To start with, ‘astral world’ creates the wrong impression, for in reality it is not one but many, many worlds. The term ‘worlds’, too, is not entirely correct, perhaps ‘dimensions’ would be a better word, for they are not divided by space but by states of being. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is by analogy. There are many thousands of radio stations throughout the world; if they all tried to broadcast on the same wavelength there would be absolute bedlam, with no distinguishable communication at all. So in order to overcome the chaos of similarity, receivers are restricted as to what can be received, and the broadcasting stations are each allotted a particular frequency. Thus, through its own frequency rate each station becomes a separate entity with a broadcast unique to itself. It does not interfere with the others and while the receiver remains tuned to that particular broadcast, none others appear to exist.
So it is in the astral. In the frequency rate of A will be found all those attuned with it; they will be drawn together by the law of affinity and will be compatible. In state B will be another group of compatible people and in state C yet another group of people compatible within their own limits. Soulspirits in the astral dimensions, or the astral realms as they are sometimes called, are set apart according to their frequencies and attracted into relationships by affinity. In the lower astral there are antagonisms and other similar emotions, but this does not apply to the higher astral planes which, to those who dwell there, would be Heaven.
- Would it be correct then to assume that in our earth incarnations, we are drawn by affinity towards those whose state of being was similar to ours in the astral realms?
- Yes, and this accounts for many problems, particularly with regard to relationships. Also it explains one of the mechanisms of kharma, for we do not necessarily have to work out kharma with particular individuals; we can work it out with others in the same broad grouping of affinities.
- When we pass over to the other side of life are we drawn directly to our own particular state of being?
- No, a period of time is spent in the borderland where one reviews the past and assessments are made. Then the ascending Soulspirit is eventually conducted into the astral sphere where it remains for a while.
- It is said that one can travel to the astral spheres while still in the physical body. How is it that the silver cords do not get entangled, because there must be many people doing it, particularly unconsciously in sleep?
- The explanation and the understanding of this lie in knowledge of frequencies. Each physical body has its own unique ‘frequency band’ and the astral body, while having a frequency rate many millions of times greater, nevertheless is a harmonic of earth frequencies. There is no likelihood whatsoever of the confusion mentioned. If you were to tune into a radio station in New Zealand, that is what you would get, there would be no confusion. Radio and television station frequencies do not clash or blend with one another, and neither do the personal frequencies of astral beings.
The Supreme Spirit
- Why do you refer to God as The Supreme Spirit?
- Because this name is very apt. He is spirit substance, even as is part of our being. We are made in God’s image and have a spiritual affinity with Him and if we are in part spirit and the children of God, as we believe, the surely He is indeed The Supreme Spirit.
- Can God be proved to exist?
- Here there is a paradox, for absolute proof of this would negate the whole purpose of human existence. Uncertainty and doubt are two prime and necessary factors in life. Many people get things out of perspective when considering this subject. “Do you believe in the existence of God?”, and “Do you believe that there is something in your make up which is immortal?”, are not the same questions, nor is one necessarily dependent upon the other. The important thing for each individual to consider is not whether or not
God exists, but whether the individual considers himself or herself to be in part an immortal being. If we are immortal in part, then in due course we shall know the answer to the first question; if not, then it is of little import. If the first question is relatively unimportant, the importance of the second one is affirmed by the fact that verification can be obtained on earth, but again only through the expenditure of very considerable effort.
- Is it possible to know what God is like, assuming that He does exist?
- The Supreme Spirit can exist only in a reality transcending that which results from the interpretations of our limited senses. Therefore He is as unknowable to our sensory faculties as are the frequencies, atoms and molecules which make up matter in the universe. So we may find difficulty in attributing material form to Him, but no such difficulty is experienced when considering His nature, for we partake of that nature. That part of human nature which is not the product of material evolutionary development, for example the concepts of beauty, music, art; of mercy, justice, love and goodness, which originate in a realm external to the material, may justifiably be considered attributes of the Divine. A materialist, being unable to comprehend the reality behind material manifestation, would not conceive The Supreme Spirit as something apart from the matter of this dimension. As no Supreme Being having the attributes of Deity could be manifested in matter, materialists affirm that God does not exist.
To understand the nature of The Supreme Spirit one must first try to understand the nature of reality. Einstein and other scientists found no difficulty in formulating a satisfactory concept of God. People conceive Him according to their degree of understanding and possibly no two people share an exact conception of Him. Probably the best answer is that given by Einstein who was asked the same question, “I cannot know God, but I can observe His reflection on the imperfect background of matter as it is interpreted to my understanding. Why should I or you assume that I see more clearly than any other? That He exists must be true, for only substance casts a shadow, but what this Divine substance is, who among men can presume to say?”
- If God is loving, just and merciful why does He allow pain and injustice when He has the power to remove it?
- Should a teacher do the sums for a child? Could an aspiring craftsman learn his trade if the tedious arduous work was done by someone else? We are here to learn, to develop and progress, so we must be allowed freedom to make mistakes, to choose this or that road and if, having been grated freewill, we make wrong decisions, will we not learn better when we suffer the consequences? One of the laws of life is that effect follows cause and everything has its consequence. If this law is part of our curriculum on earth why should there be divine intervention to alter it? Even illness and pain can be the result of wrong decisions. The uncertainties and vicissitudes of life do not in any way contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty and beneficence of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. To acquire strength of character man must be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments. To realize the satisfaction of happiness he has to live in a world where the alternative of pain and the likelihood of suffering are ever present possibilities.
- How can we obtain verification that man is an immortal being?
- Proof is obtained through the Supreme High Ritual, the Ultimate Earthly Initiation which all Masters and High Adepts undergo. This requires many years of rigid disciplinary preparation and entails ordeals which only very few are prepared to undertake. It is a gamble with death and the odds are less than even. The overwhelming majority of those who, without thinking deeply on the matter and analyzing its implications, want the answers, are not prepared to pay the price when it comes to the actual issue; for something as great as this, which transcends specific laws and principles, must indeed command a high price. However, if anyone is sincerely seeking and genuinely prepared to pay the price, he or she will be shown the path.
- Different religions seem to have different concepts of God. How can that be?
- All religions describe God according to the understanding and concept of the people they serve, and as interpreted by their different cultures, but He always remains the same and unknowable in the absolute.
- Is suicide wrong?
- This is a question which cannot be answered by a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In general we can say that suicide is wrong and in fact solves nothing, but there are qualifying and mitigating circumstances. For instance, if in a survival situation a person is useless for some reason, if his or her being alive prejudices the survival of others, then suicide, when it enhances the chances of others to survive, cannot be deemed wrong. A man who places his life at risk when rescuing others may be said to be playing with suicide, but of course this is incorrect. So the answer is that without proper mitigating circumstances suicide is wrong, but there are exceptions brought about by an overriding responsibility, obligation or duty.
- If a person, through brain damage, became a ‘human cabbage’, should he or she be kept alive by mechanical or chemical means?
- The problem here is one of medical limitations as well as ethics. If there is absolutely no possibility of the person ever being more than a ‘cabbage’, then life for that person serves no purpose. There is such a thing as a living death. The difficulty is that it is not always possible for a medical man to state authoritatively that there is absolutely no hope. Also, medical science is continually advancing, coming up with new answers. The proper answer surely should be, when life becomes purposeless and valueless to the patient, without any hope of amelioration and he or she can no longer participate in the lessons of life, then life should not be maintained by electronic, mechanical or chemical means.
- Why does man have religions?
- Human beings, alone of all living creatures on this planet, have an inherent religious instinct; to date anthropologists have not discovered a race lacking this instinct and consequently without any form of religious expression. It was once thought that a certain very primitive tribe in New Guinea lacked the instinct, but more careful research revealed that it had a form of religious expression which it kept secret from outsiders. Some people have claimed that they do not believe in and do not possess this instinct, but deep hypnosis has revealed that such claims are not valid. Fervent atheists have been found to have a very pronounced religious instinct which they have sought to suppress but which has found outlet in some other form. Sufficient research has now been carried out in the United States, France and Germany, to establish that such an instinct does exist in human beings, although it need not necessarily manifest in some form of overtly religious expression. However, where it is repressed, then in many if not most instances, it reacts detrimentally on the individual.
We know that throughout Nature there is no known instinct which does not have some related end or purpose and so it would be illogical to assume that the religious instinct in man were the exception. Because it is found only in the creatures at the highest earthly level of evolution (although it is still rudimentary in most people), it is reasonable to assume that it is something relating to human development. This is substantiated when we note that this instinct finds expression in, and responds to, feelings and emotions not discernible in the animal kingdom, i.e. appreciation of beauty, music, sentimentality, love, an awareness of goodness, justice, mercy and so on. In fact many things in the human make up would be liabilities rather than assets were the upward evolutionary drive sustained purely by the survival of the fittest. There is something in the human individual which can have its origin and stimulus only outside the area of physical evolutionary development.
- A single world religion stemming from and catering for this religious instinct would make sense and I could accept, but the concept is surely voided by such a diversity of creeds.?
- The answer lies in a little understood fact. Religions do not exist to serve any particular God or gods; they come into existence for the benefit of humans. Were the purpose of religious expression simply to serve God, then a single religion would indeed suffice. However, when it has to serve the spiritual needs of diverse races and cultures and of human individuals in various stages of development, then obviously and logically a diversity of outward forms and interpretations is required to satisfy such a wide range of needs. The misconceptions concerning worship and glorification arose when mankind regarded God as some kind of super-ruler and therefore enlarged on what was considered kingly requirements, one of which was adulation by the subjects. The divergence of religious beliefs arises in interpretations and conceptions. The latter are not important in the theological field, except to small minds which cannot grasp the higher concepts of The Supreme Being.
- What is the similar pattern in all religions?
- Although there may seem to be a great deal of divergence, even direct contradiction among the various religions, this relates mainly to the outward manifestations. Certain doctrines and teachings do clash, but this is largely the result of language, communication and interpretation inadequacy. If the subject is studied in depth it will be found that in fact there is complete accord between the hard cores of all religions. The classical example is between the seeming contradictions, ‘In the beginning God created all that is’, of the Christians and Moslems, and, ‘All that is ever was and at all times there has been the created and the uncreated’ (Hindu scripture). Seemingly these two statements are irreconcilable, yet when the different interpretations and understanding of time, space, matter and energy are taken into account and subsidiary statements considered, it is found that the two can be reconciled. Moreover, at their meeting point and in combination a much truer picture of reality is revealed.
However, the question relates to a ‘similar pattern’ and this has little to do with theology or doctrine. Rather it relates to ethics and a way of life, and it is in basic moral principles that the greatest uniformity and accord can be found. While there may be clashes on dogma and doctrine, all religions affirm that what accords with the wellbeing of mankind as a whole is good. It is true that there are some differences in the interpretation of this, but they are not as great as may appear and reconciliation can be achieved. It would be wrong to place religion apart from the upward evolutionary drive of the planet as a whole, for religion evolves also and when a particular religion fails to provide the spiritual needs of the time it declines, just as does a species which cannot adapt to a changing environment. Religion should be a progressive and inspiring thing, and it is a tragedy that it has become bogged down in the stagnant marshes of entrenched dogmatism, doctrinal bigotry and intolerance.
Supreme above all else is Truth and it is the duty of all ethically minded people to see that Truth is not superseded by either science or religion. In the search for the ultimate Truth should be found the meeting point of all human beings.
- What is the difference between an Atheist, and Agnostic and a Humanist?
- It is generally held that an Atheist is a person who does not believe in the existence of God, but it should be remembered that there are Atheists who believe in some kind of supreme power, although they cannot accept the concept of God held by most religionists. So the description of an Atheist simply as one who does not believe in God is not an apt one. Only two of the five major religions in the world advocate a belief in something akin to the Christian God. However, the other three religions cannot, in any way, be considered atheistic, far from it.
An Agnostic is a person who keeps an open mind on the matter, although some dictionaries describe an Agnostic as a person who, while believing there must be a God, doubts whether men can ever know of His existence. This, however, runs counter to the principle that nothing which comes within human cognizance can remain forever unknowable.
A Humanist is rather more difficult to define because different bodies, in various parts of the world, have from time to time interpreted the word differently. Perhaps a good definition would be that a Humanist is a person who lives according to an ethical code, rather than in accordance with spiritual precepts. Outwardly, in their actions, way of life and relationships with others, persons living according to an ethical code should display the same amount of goodness, integrity and social concern as those who live in accordance with spiritual precepts. Spirituality without ethics is barren.
Atheists have problems in two areas, the first of which is faith. The word ‘faith’, as used in most instances in the Bible and the Quran, does not imply the blind faith generally advocated by some religionists today. Such faith is spiritually sterile and leads nowhere. The type of faith referred to in the scriptures just mentioned is akin to the faith required by an inventor or scientist. For instance, Edison persevered with research into the electric light bulb, despite the fact that it was seemingly impossible to produce a suitable filament. He had faith. Marconi was ridiculed when he asserted his belief that words could be conveyed through the air without wires and his family was nearly driven to distraction by his ‘superstitions’. Yet he had faith. If we can differentiate between the two types of faith then a better insight can be gained into the true nature of all religious teachings. It is unfortunate that the original spiritual teachings quickly became dogmatized and errors of interpretation, slight at first, became greatly magnified with the passage of time. Errors, when not swiftly and resolutely dealt with, will always compound themselves. Faith has become prostituted to serve an unprofitable end, instead of being the path towards discovery.
Without faith there would be little mental and spiritual progress. Even on the physical level man needs constant faith to go about his everyday tasks; all undertakings, from the smallest to the greatest, require an element of faith.
The second stumbling block for atheists is reality. They view the world with objective eyes only and cannot see the reality behind material manifestation. Prior to 1945 the atomic theory was scorned by all rationalistic organizations. Reality, for the rationalist, consists of what he can see and feel or experience through the five objective faculties. Yet we know that these are actually limiting factors, we can experience only a small fraction of what goes on around us. We are oblivious of all except a narrow band of sounds on the sound frequency spectrum. With our physical hearing equipment we can comprehend only just over 2% of the frequencies of the sound spectrum. A very small proportion of reality!
Probably the sense which deludes us most is that which also conveys to us the greatest volume of experiences – the sense of sight. For instance, the eyes do not see a flower for what it really is – a mass of whirling atoms in a molecular structure held together by a specific forcefield and oscillating in resonance with a particular band of the frequency spectrum. We see it simply as a flower and accept it as such. Wear pink spectacles and the environment becomes tinged with pink. A color blind person sees only a drab world, yet to him or her that is reality. Place a fork in a bowl of water and it will appear bent, through light refraction. All our senses deceive us and obviously the thing we are most deceived about is reality.
Religion is the recognition of another form of reality. Philosophy is the contemplation of reality as it manifests. Atheism is the acceptance of the sensory interpretation of reality and the denial of any other. Agnosticism is the belief that man’s capacity for understanding is limited in relation to reality. Metaphysics is the search for an understanding of the reality behind the sensory interpretation.
- What is self-awareness in people?
- It can be stated that self-awareness is indicative of an individualized and evolved form of consciousness found in human beings and not manifested to the same extent in animals. A cat or a dog, or any other domestic animal is aware of itself in a relationship to a human being or to others of its kind, but it is not aware of itself as a cat or a dog or other animal. Neither are these creatures aware of themselves as living entities, nor do they have any realization of the limitations of their own life span. They may have certain instinctive apprehensions, as for instance when sheep or cattle are going to the abattoirs, but the reaction is fear, not understanding.
The quality of self-awareness, exclusive to humankind, like the qualities mentioned before cannot have developed as the result of the physical evolutionary struggle. No scientifically understandable mutation of genes could lead to intellectual and personality individualization. The stimulus must have been external. Self-awareness is the recognition of individuality, of uniqueness, but it is also the recognition of human mortality. Therefore, did it not go hand in hand with other knowledge, humans would be the most miserable of creatures, conscious of their helplessness and the futility of life. How the human consciousness became individualized and the mechanisms of self-awareness are a comprehensive subject beyond the scope of this question and answer procedure. Let us just say that self-awareness in people is something which has been added to humanity from a source outside the material evolutionary stream. It is another distinguishing feature of humankind. It results, in effect, from an individualized expression of consciousness.
- What is the reason for human existence?
- There can be only two theories regarding creation: either it is purposeful or else purposeless. If the former then it must result from some conscious creative effort, if the latter then either it is the product of some willful aimless act or the product of blind chance. Taking the latter supposition first. If the material universe as we know it is the product of blind chance it would seem that all we have learned in this computerized age must be thrown aside. Anyone with even an elementary knowledge of computer technology will know that the odds of the material universe having come into being through pure chance are so long as to be impossible. We have only to look at the atomic and molecular structure of any physical manifestation to realize that it can be explained only by postulating an initiating organizer. The one great principle behind all material manifestations is inherent organization and we know that there can never be organization without an organizer. So we face the question, organized for what? The whole of Nature cries out the answer, which is, to develop and ultimately create. Irrespective of our philosophical inclinations we cannot but agree that creation is evolving towards some goal. Despite the fact that there are many blind alleys, many stops and starts, the general direction of evolution is ever upward towards something greater.
Assuming that a female chimpanzee and a Miss Universe have descended from the same root species, what stimulus was responsible for producing Miss Universe from such unlikely stock? Pure chance? Absolutely impossible, as any properly programmed computer will confirm very quickly. We know that in a number of species there are vestiges of organs and appendages atrophied from lack of use, but still discernible. However, in no instance do we know of any evolutionary development originally produced, which did not have a related purpose, with one single exception – the human brain. This wonderful organ functions only to less than one tenth of its capacity; surely we cannot assume that the remaining nine tenths are not intended to serve some purpose! Indeed, research indicates that in the un-utilized nine tenths lies an awesome potential, the full extent of which is still only barely perceivable. What stimulus brought this wonderful brain into being? Certainly not one stemming from the evolutionary struggle, which produces only what is to be utilized at the time.
The whole of the world’s esoteric wisdom, whether it be from the East or the West, whether primitive or sophisticated, affirms the reason for human existence. We are here to learn, to develop, to strive for understanding and to experience. Earth may be likened to a school and life to its curriculum,and if the matter is considered in depth we will see that earth-life, with all its seeming imperfections, is perfect for its purpose. Certainly, considering the matter superficially one can come up with any number of seeming improvements, one can see all kinds of things which are wrong, unjust or a purposeless imposition upon human beings, but when these have been weighed, the objections are found to be invalid.
However, while Earth may be perfect for its purpose, freewill was granted to humans, and it is this exercise of freewill, with wrong motivation and intent, which has created so much suffering and distress. We must not attribute effects to wrong causes, a very common error. We must also realize that the human race is being ‘schooled’ for something far greater than mere human-hood and therefore the schooling must necessarily be arduous and complex.
To fulfill its purpose it must in many respects be incomprehensible and seemingly unjust. Assurance and certainty, clarity and stability have to be left out, for these would be obstructive rather than helpful. Suffice to say that there is an overall Grand Plan, a Divine Design, the purpose of which can be discerned and understood by those who really apply themselves to its unraveling. We must comply and harmonize with this Grand Design or suffer the consequences.
- What is auto-suggestion and what is hypnosis?
- We will lump these two together, for auto-suggestion is just an elementary form of self-hypnosis. The word ‘hypnosis’ came into existence during the last century and was substituted for mesmerism, or animal magnetism, when these terms fell into disrepute. Before then the words used for this phenomenon were ‘enchantment’, ‘fascination’, ‘spellbound’ or ‘glamourised’. It will be seen that since then these words have taken on quite a different meaning. It should be understood that there is more than one form of hypnotism, but the phenomenon may be divided roughly into two aspects. One is the common type displayed in stage shows and other forms of entertainment, as well as the therapeutic type which is used to cure such things as smoking, alcohol addiction, bad habits and so on. This form of hypnosis requires the conscious or subconscious co-operation of the subject, and generally speaking, the hypnotist manipulates forces within the subject to achieve results. Success in this type of hypnosis is considerably less than 100% and there can be patient resistance. The other, less common aspect is where the hypnotist uses certain powers of his own, not possessed by all practitioners, and in this case, subject co-operation is less important and can be non-existent. The success rate is nearly 100%.
Hypnotism is something little understood and most of us are subjected to minor hypnotic influences quite frequently. It is not so much the overbearing personalities and consciously noted events and situations which influence us, but the things said and experienced, much of which we take little conscious note. Most habits, good or bad, originate in this way. Just as there are various types of hypnotism so are there several states or degrees, varying from a light trance-like state to one of complete but suggestible unconsciousness. The words ‘trance’, ‘sleep’ and ‘unconsciousness’ are actually not applicable, for hypnosis is none of these, the subject being suggestible at all times. In fact, in some forms of hypnotism it is not even necessary for the subject to close his or her eyes, and to all intents and purposes he or she is wide awake, yet the reaction will be similar to that of a hypnotic ‘sleep’.
The mechanics of hypnotism are simple enough. For convenience we will say that the mind may be divided into three parts: the conscious, the subconscious and the superconscious. The last one plays very little part in hypnosis and so need not be considered here. The conscious mind is used and displayed in our everyday working life; it is the one that reasons logically (or otherwise) and may be considered the guardian of the subconscious. The subconscious mind cannot reason, it accepts everything conveyed to it directly without question, and automatically assumes it to be correct. Hypnotism consists in removing the guardianship of the conscious mind, so that suggestions are fed directly into the subconscious. Thus, when this is achieved the hypnotized person can be told to do the most ridiculous things and he or she will immediately comply. A hypnotized subject can be given a glass of water, told it is whisky and that he will get drunk on it, and he will act on the suggestion and become, to all intents and purposes, drunk. If told that a person present in the room is not there the subject will be quite unable to see that person. Teeth can be extracted under hypnosis, the suggestion being given that there will be no pain. Post hypnotic suggestions can be given, in which a subject is told that he will do such and such some hours or even days after he is brought out of the hypnotic state, and he will comply. Subliminal advertising (now banned in most countries), uses the same principle. The message to be conveyed it flashed on the screen in the middle of a commercial or otherwise, so fast and for such a short duration that the viewers’ conscious mind cannot become aware of it, but his subconscious misses nothing.
- Why do certain lower forms of life grow replacements for lost tails and other parts of the body, while higher life forms and humans are incapable of doing so?
- If you consider the matter you will realize that the lower the life form the more capable it is of regenerating a lost part. Passing downward from lizards and worms we find that the vegetable kingdom provides an even better example of a form of regeneration, for if we remove a limb of a tree (branch) another will grow to replace it. However, even with human beings there is a form of regeneration; for instance, if you lose a piece of skin through an abrasion new skin will grow to replace it, but perhaps this cannot be considered true regeneration as you mean it.
The answer to your question lies in the fact that as life progresses in physical manifestation it becomes more individualized in matter. Likewise, the etheric archetype evolves in its own dimension. The dividing line between the life forms that can regenerate and those that cannot is that which divides the mammals and other warm blooded creatures from lesser life forms. Below this line regeneration is possible, above it it is not. Warm blooded creatures grow and develop according to an etheric archetype which reproduces them in the physical and this archetype has individuality, complete in the case of human beings, less and less complete as the life form descends towards the barrier just mentioned. So a human being develops in accordance with an etheric pattern which remains perfect, irrespective of what modifications are made to its physical counterpart. The higher the life form the less important becomes the physical manifestation in relation to the etheric, more spiritual counterpart.
Lesser forms of life, below the dividing line, do not have individual archetypes, there is a single pattern for all and consequently physical events do not have the same individualizing impact. The higher the life form the greater its capacity for experiencing the modifying effects of life. The lower the life form the less benefit it will derive from the experiences of life, and so life, as expressed in physical form, tends to counteract any modifications caused by its vicissitudes.
A worm, for instance, has practically no ability to choose, being limited in all ways, even its movements from sunlight to darkness, from dryness to humidity, are purely reflex ones. Therefore, whatever happens to it, as for example if it gets cut by a spade, is meaningless to it in terms of development and so there is a tendency for the cells to multiply along the lines of the related force-field of the original pattern and thus reproduce the missing part. If human beings were able to regenerate a missing part at will it would remove from them a considerable amount of personal responsibility. Imagine how careless people would be if they knew they could regenerate missing legs or arms! In fact, the situation would become chaotic.
One of the lessons we are here to learn is personal responsibility, others are prudence and orderliness. All these would be nullified were the same laws to apply to humans as to lizards, for instance.