Christian Rationalism: Part III


CHAPTER III

THE GREAT FOCUS

GODS AND RELIGIONS

This chapter is directed especially at those who are willing to free themselves from their sectarian chains so that, through spiritual liberation, they will be capable of rising to regions which religious materialism will never be able to reach.

It is perfectly understandable that indians in the jungle cannot have a concept of spirituality beyond worshipping fire, lightning, the sun or animals of the lower species. They lack a basis of reasoning to dissuade them from the worshipping perplexity in which they engage.

The primary idea of god, which is rejected by the more civilised but accepted by primitive men, arises precisely under the conditions described above.

No natural law ever fails, including the law of evolution. As regards the spirit, evolution occurs - as already explained - through countless incarnations, and only by this means does reason develop on the long way to spirituality. Under the light of spirituality, mysticism loses its form, its sense, its meaning, giving way to merely what common sense and logic admit as true, based on the lessons learned in the bulky book of life.

As soon as he begins to reason, in its first stage of an incarnation in human form, the incarnate spirit already feels, although in a vague and confusing way, the existence of a Superior Intelligence which he is unable to define. Hence his inclination to worship which is fully justified by the conditions of ignorance in which he lives.

It is not difficult for an alert observer to evaluate the degree of spirituality of men by their tendency to engage in worship and by the higher or lower degrees of this tendency.

The ways of worshipping and the object of worship vary widely as conscience gradually awakens until the person is able to reject the feeling of worship.

Generally speaking, people worship in order to beg favours and protection. Therefore, worshipping translates, into ignorance and spiritual inferiority.

The first impulse to worship is felt by man in his most primitive stage as an aborigine.

From one incarnation to the next he rises to the so-called civilised classes, still entertaining this same feeling but already in a modified version, more refined to suit his social environment but, deep inside, maintaining the same thoughts and the same ideas that originated this feeling in the past

Religions always use pomp to impress followers. Most of it is meant to encourage worship.

GOD - A HUMAN CREATION

Groups of similar affinity gather to worship a certain god in a certain way. Each people, each race created the image of a god to its own likeness.

A Chinese, for instance, would never admit of a god with western features, just as a westerner would consider absurd and even ridiculous the idea of a divinity with an Asian face.

Gods invariably have the physical and mental characteristics of those who conceived them.

It does not really matter that the latter, in a reversal of reality, assert that it was God who created man to God's likeness. The truth is quite different and it does not take too much imagination to discover the age-old hoax of which mankind has been the victim.

It was man who imagined, conceived, and created gods. He mentally conceived them with human form and with the same qualities and weaknesses that man has.

In this creation, the feelings of the conceivers are clearly reflected.

A bodily god is present in all religions. In the creed - which is the main prayer of one of them - god appears with his son seated to his right portraying a picture of everyday material life.

The concept of divinity, although variable from race to race, does not change the general concept of an almighty king-like god distributing rewards and punishments.

In the Bible, the Old Testament - a holy, untouchable book for so many worshippers, - refers several times to the irascible, revengeful god of those times.

This shameful feeling, especially in a god, is no more than the reflection of the feelings of the people who conceived such a god.

Poor knowledge spells dependence. This is truth which is obvious in earthly life and still more obvious where spiritual problems are concerned.

What needs to be emphasised and made very clear id the way which man follows his spiritual evolution, the manner in which, step by step, he conquers his spiritual independence.

All primitive ideas of a paternalistic god, which man has embraced until now, will fall apart as unreal and ridiculous when he, from one evolution to the next, comes to know what he is as a spirit, Force, Intelligence and Power; when he feels certain that he is endowed with the moral attributes to rationally overcome all difficulties; when he becomes aware of his condition as a particle of a harmonic whole - inseparable from himself - which is the Spiritual Universe.

Religions will last as long as they can depend on followers to protect and support them. It does not matter whether the objects of worship are stars, natural phenomena, animals of inferior species or allegoric sculptures of clay, wood or even gold.

The truth is, all worshippers belong to the same class although to different categories. They are candidates to successive reincarnations in this psychic laboratory which is Earth, until spiritual maturity makes them understand reality.

Knowledge of incorporeal life is the basis of strong conviction. By means of this conviction man acquires enough superiority to free himself from the false conceptions which tie him to the gilded fantasies of mystery, miracles and the supernatural.

SECRET KNOWLEDGE

It is about time that man should know there is no such thing as secret knowledge. There are instead secret interests that are not confessable, and on account of them truth has been harshly distorted.

It is regrettable that, in a age of high technological advancement, the deistic, godlike worshipping concept is still deep-rooted in many spirits.

The Spirit is Force, Intelligence, Power, with capital letters. All without exception, are subject to the same principles, to the same rules, to the same evolutionary process. There are no privileged spirits, such as the would-be gods and their imaginary sons.

The principles of evolution are tied-in to the rule of natural and immutable laws which are absolutely equal to all. All invariably follow the same course and travel the same cycle, and in this there is a high and laudable principle of justice.

Those who still pay homage to an abstract god will realise (after as many incarnations as are needed to reach the necessary enlightenment) that such cult is a foolish one. It is just as ridiculous as the idea, also entertained by civilised men of the past, of worshipping gods represented by the natural elements or by animals of inferior species.

To most people god is an entity that promotes punishment, distributes mercies, and convicts or acquits either on an eternal or temporary basis.

Great spirits, driven by ideals of reform, have descended to Earth with enormous sacrifice to themselves, trying to debrutalize the human mind engrossed by hedonistic feelings and excited by sheer material pleasure.

Such stout spirits like Jesus, Buddha, Confucius and Mohammed, however, besides not being understood, ended up deified by the illiterate masses.

Once the idea of divinization took hold, the respective religions were created, each preaching a different form of speculative worship, and the followers of each flocked together.

In a world like this where souls of various classes mix, and where most people live more for the sake of matter than for the sake of spiritual values, it was not difficult to gather together countless legions of worshippers under the flag of each religion.

In Brazil, as in many other countries, Jesus is worshipped. Nevertheless, there is no difference at all between his worshippers and those who turn to Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed.

Behind a facade, they all hide a servile, flattering attitude with which they hope to receive larger rewards in the present or future, or forgiveness for their sins.

Such attitudes are a destructive practice which weakens one's character.

If flattery and subservience are repulsive to enlightened incarnate spirits, it is easy to realise what effect these would have on highly advanced desincarnate spirits if such feelings could reach them.

The faithful may worship a piece of wood carved with human features because their free will gives them the right to satisfy their irrational urge to worship.

No worshipper is able to dissociate the ideas of worshipping and begging. The reason is obvious: worshipping and begging are two identical crutches for a single mental disability.

It should also be noted that this god, to whom the requests are made, seems so ill-advised and lives so aloof, apart, and indifferent to human problems, that his attention to such problems is awakened only by the appeals he hears.

He will not be moved to pity unless people ask him to be pitiful. He will not be merciful unless people beg him to be merciful. If people want peace they have to ask him for peace. He will not be fair unless people ask him for justice.

REPROACHFUL FANATICISM

All forms of fanaticism are reproachful because they can obliterate reason and prevent the use of reasoning. Religious fanaticism is still more harmful because it may lead people to commit the most ruthful acts and the most hateful crimes.

No wars in the history of mankind have been as cruel, ruthless, bloody, stunningly wicked and inhuman as religious wars.

Never did the world see such cruelty and vandalism as that perpetrated by the crusaders whose deep-seated hatred led them to shatter defenceless old people, women and children.

An illustrative example of the extremes to which such fanaticism may lead man is the dreadful Night of St. Bartholomew and the fires lit by the Inquisition. After horrifying torments and mutilations, victims of the hatred induced by religious fanaticism in the minds of the inquisitor priests were burned alive.

At best, religious fanaticism weakens, alienates and renders impotent the human will - and no one considers himself a fanatic, no matter how much he is overcome by fanaticism.

Man, who is essentially a creative spirit, many times meets with failure when he is influenced by the false ideas or miracles and divine assistance. Instead of helping himself, he relents in his efforts to accomplish his purposes, waiting for such help. He does not know how to make use of two powerful forces at his disposal which, if properly utilised, would lead him to success.

These forces, which in most people lie dormant and unknown, are will power and thought.

The mythological gods, in the imaginative vision of their worshippers, also performed miracles. Hence their authority and prestige among their faithful.

Therefore, there is no appreciable difference between the miracle-working mythological gods and the no less miracle-working gods of the various modern religions. The latter have merely developed and improved the ways of worshipping which have become more refined and stylish, as previously pointed out.

SACRED BOOKS

As a rule, religions have books which are considered as sacred by their followers. By sacred is meant pure, immaculate, perfect, untouchable. Such books may, however, contain the greatest absurdities, the clearest offences to decency and common sense. Truth may be changed to untruth, fairness to injustice, honour to dishonour. Logic may suffer all kinds of assaults and profanations, but no criticism is admitted.

The nonsense in these writings may bewilder the reader, but will give him no right to speak out and much less to analyse. It is well known that various original texts of the Bible were altered in order to favour a profitable system capable of providing funds to maintain the priestly class which keeps this system.

The word 'forgiveness' alone, slyly introduced in the book, has provided an enormous, immeasurable return.

Through the centuries, religions have stood up for ignorance. Ignorance favoured the interests of religious leaders, because the rich and the ignorant always got along wonderfully with the religious sects which introduced in the Bible the following malicious versicle: "Blesses be the poor in spirit because their is the kingdom of heaven."

RELIGIOUS OBSESSION

Religious obsession has its roots and origins in childhood when children start feeling dazzled by the pictures portrayed to them of heaven, hell, the heavenly father, and the court of angels, archangels and cherubs.

What impresses children the most are the tales about miracles, rewards and divine punishment.

One does not need to be highly imaginative in order to realise what such fantasies mean during the critical period of formation of man's personality and character, and how much they contribute to dull reasoning and to stunt one's growth in the vast field of spirituality.

Among the most serious errors of religions, the forgiveness of faults and even of crimes committed by their followers is outstanding.

Absolution of sins pleases the flock, giving much relief to their consciences. The soul remains supposedly free from guilt. With such impunity assured by absolution, they do not hesitate to commit new faults, new mistakes, new crimes, from which they will be acquitted in the confessional or on their death beds when they receive the anointment of the sick.

Moral debts are thus paid with confessions, much the same as monetary debts are paid with money. And the good payer always has open credit for new operations.

It is very common to attribute to God, whose designs are said to be impenetrable, the responsibility for much of what happens on Earth.

Thus, if a member of a family dies, it was God who took him or her. If an accident happens, it was God's will. If someone escapes from being run over by an automobile, God gets the credit for saving the quasi-victim.

Individuality is thus always dependent on a third entity and this subordination exercises a crushing negative influence over the human spirit.

This shows to what extent religions are unable to convey to their followers a true concept of spiritual life, due to their complete ignorance about matters related to incorporeal life.

WHY DENY REINCARNATION?

Why do western religions try so hard, strive so much, are so obstinate in denying reincarnation? Why do they fight it so uncompromisingly, in spite of all the loud, unsuspected evidence of its real existence? Why do they persist in ignoring so many facts, of which the history is full, which prove it to exhaustion?

The answer is easy: reincarnation and salvation are conflicting, opposing, clashing concepts because they are adversely, irreducibly incompatible.

Now, in the concept of salvation - closely connected to the benefits of forgiveness - lies precisely the basis on which those religions are anchored.

If religious organisations were to disclose to their followers the truth concerning the fantasy of forgiveness, eternal salvation, the celestial mansion, the divine father, hell, the devil, purgatory and so many other fabrications, none of them would remain standing.

We would see the disappearance of all the sources of income represented by industries of wooden or clay saints, relics, the tithes, alms for the "saints", printed prayers and many other ingenious practices.

When man becomes convinced that if he does wrong he will inescapably have to redeem it, without the possibility of forgiveness; when he realises that in the course of each incarnation he is preparing himself for his next incarnation and that the latter will be more or less arduous according to the manner in which he has exercised his free will, done good or wrong; when he becomes sure that his good actions will revert to his benefit and his wrongdoings against him; when he realises that he can count on nobody's help to relieve him of the consequences of his faults, which he will have to redeem himself by means of dignified actions - no matter how many reincarnations may be necessary; then will man certainly ponder more carefully before committing an undignified act.

Those who realise the responsibilities which their own actions carry will spare no efforts to lean upon their real knowledge of Truth and break off from all benumbing religious untruths.

AWAKENING TO REALITY

Christian Rationalism - having in mind no other idea, intention, or interest but to awaken mankind to the reality of life - proposes to give man the knowledge he needs to overcome spiritual darkness which is so damaging and harmful to his evolution.

Because Christian Rationalism is a school of spiritualization, not a religion, it has neither gods nor worshippers.

As souls free from sectarian slavery, the followers of Christian Rationalism have learned to trust themselves, their spiritual power and their will power to fight and win.

Therefore, they are not worshippers, beggars, or chronic complainers. They all know that stumbling blocks appear at every step of life's way but that it is possible to overcome them with the moral resources at their disposal.

This book teaches that each spirit is a minute fraction of Universal Intelligence in the process of evolution. It also shows that the Universe is composed of Force and Matter and that Force, which drives and moves all bodies, fills Infinite Space.

Force is presented in this book under a common terminology: Force, Universal Intelligence or still, Great Focus.

Force is the word used to indicate its association with Matter, whereas Great Focus is employed to mean the Universal Agent, in its infinite conception. They are, however, synonymous, and have similar meanings.

No one, no matter how much of a sophist he or she may be, will imply the slightest connection between the two terms above and the word 'god' which is already so discredit by the mean and materialistic sense imparted to it by all religious worshippers.

It is not possible to express the infinite grandeur of an absolute value by using words of relative meaning such as those of the everyday vocabulary.

Great Focus or Force have been adopted due to the lack of more descriptive words, although they do not convey the full reality of its meaning.

Great Focus conveys an idea of light and also of intense brilliance.

The word 'Great', with a capital 'G', means Total. It is no doubt an accessible expression to those who cannot yet penetrate too abstract matters.

Those who are really interested in the study of this transcendentally important subject will find the material they need to arrive at a perfect judgement in the chapter titled 'Force and Matter'.

CHAPTER IV

SPACE

No matter how much man can expand his knowledge, no matter how much he will analyse and research, he will not be able to penetrate the whole infinite extension of Space from the limited position he occupies of Earth.

The human mind, although able to reach a certain point, never attains the extreme goal, which is controlled by absolute values.

Those who are overly concerned about a clear definition of the concept of Space, trying to comprehend it totally, are wasting their time because only Universal Intelligence holds such complete knowledge.

Before being able to conceive the maximum issues of the Universe, man just needs to acquire the knowledge which is necessary for his evolution. He should make an effort to learn the numberless lessons he has not yet absorbed and which of long precede those involving the transcendental conceptions of the Spirit.

The knowledge that human intelligence can grasp about Space is already being disclosed by space science.

This planet - which serves at the same time as a school and a purifying crucible to billions of incarnate spirits - is, like myriads of other planets, just a speck of dust in relation to Infinite Space.

Earth is part of a modest solar system belonging to a larger star family called GALAXY.

The solar system of which Earth is a part comprises a small number of planets revolving around the sun.

None of these planets has its own light. Light comes from the sun rays which are reflected on them. The same happens to the moon, whose brilliance results from the solar light reflected upon its illuminated half.

Apart from the planets, the other stars seen in the sky are suns and, therefore, centres of solar systems. There are solar systems both smaller and larger than the one which contains the Earth.

There are also other solar systems which are very complex, with various suns of different colours, producing changing lights of several shades which vary with the sunrise and sunset of each sun.

The light given off by solar bodies - identical to that of earthly matter - should not be confused with Astral Light, which represents Intelligent Force and fills Infinite Space. Astral Light has an entirely different composition.

The darkness of night is no obstacle to the spirit. It can see through Astral Light which penetrates all bodies, down to the smallest spot in space. Day and night express periods related only to earthly life.

There are various moments of the Earth is space. The most outstanding are: rotation around its axis; revolution around the sun; the movement around the axis of the galaxy, made in conjunction with the whole solar system; and another, resulting from the movement of the galaxy itself.

All these movements are perfectly co-ordinated at uniform, precisely adjusted speeds.

The measure used to evaluate astronomical distances is the distance travelled by light in Space during one year, using as a basis its speed, which is about 300,000 kilometres per second.

At this extremely high speed light travels between the two poles of Earth in a mere fraction of a second.

The distance between the sun and the Earth is travelled by light in about 8 minutes. However, it takes thousands of years for it to cross the galaxy of our solar system from one extreme to another.

We should not lose sight of the fact that there are incomparably larger galaxies - just as there are suns - in the galaxy where our small planet belongs, which are dozens of millions of times larger than ours, although our sun is so large in comparison to Earth that it contains much more than a million times Earth's volume.

A UNIVERSE OF GALAXIES

A galaxy is an extensive family of solar systems which number in the millions. The galaxy to which our planet belongs has the approximate shape of a bi-convex lens or fried egg and is located at about one third the radial distance from its axis to its extreme periphery.

Everything man can see with a naked eye in the sky is an integral part of our galaxy of which the Milky Way represents the outside rim.

The distance from one galaxy to the next is of such magnitude that it surpasses the understanding of the incarnate spirit of average perception.

Nevertheless one galaxy, with its thousands or millions of solar systems, represents no more - in comparison with the infinite extension of space - than a meaningless isle in the ocean or, even less, a tiny speck in the Universe.

This relativity of magnitudes invites meditation on the grandeur of the Universe and the very humble role of our planet in the composition of the whole.

And if the composition of our planet is humble, so are its inhabitants; humble in intelligence, in spirituality, in evolution.

If everybody were inwardly aware of this reality, there would be no place for self-conceit and foolish pride which reflect merely a state pertaining to Earth, and demonstrate the ignorance and spiritual inferiority of its inhabitants.

To give an idea, although imprecise, of how many billions times billions of spirits in evolution there are in each galaxy, it is enough to take into account the millions of solar systems contained in each galaxy and to consider that a countless number of planets revolves around each solar system.

If in this planet, which is one of the smallest, about 5 billion spirits are undergoing the process of evolution, consequently in proportion this number cannot be smaller in other planets.

Universal Intelligence, from which thought comes forth - in its utmost expression - has unlimited power. Nothing exists in the Universe without a cause. Nothing was created by chance because everything followed a pre-established determination, even in the smallest details.

The meaning of 'creation' as used in this book indicates transformation of matter through the action of Intelligent Force. The idealisation of the planets conforms to the requirements of evolution.

Thus, from incarnation to incarnation, the spirit promotes its evolution on this planet up to a certain limit. Afterwards evolution proceeds in another environment where psychic and physical conditions follow a different pattern.

At a speed of about 30 kilometres per second, Earth follows its path around the sun with mathematical precision in an absolutely exact length of time.

Similarly, the sun completes its trajectory in a precisely accurate length of time. In turn, it drags along the components of its own system, in an orbit having its focus at a point in the axis of the galaxy, at a similarly high speed.

By the same token, the galaxy carries, in perfect uniformity, all the solar systems of which it is composed at a similarly high speed, and closes its orbit in a no less regular length of time.

All this revolving disposition of precise, unchangeable movements is the work of Universal Intelligence, for a single purpose: to provide the particles of the Whole with means to evolve and climb, one by one, the lengthy steps of evolution.

It is no overstatement to assert that a single one of those particles is just as important as the Whole itself because one could not exist without the other.

The work of nature contains neither errors nor flaws. Its laws are unchangeable, its movements mathematically precise. Even the least common events which may occur at variable times are no more than logical consequences of the unfolding of life itself, which is full of actions and reactions, causes and effects, but always on the way to final balance.

The spirits act and progress in co-ordination with each other, fully in accordance with a guiding rule of all functions. By the same token, the satellites' movements are co-ordinated with those of the planets. In turn the movements of the planets are combined with those of the suns of each system, and the movements of the solar systems with all those of the other systems of each galaxy.

Space is filled with Force and Matter. Nothing is lost or gained. There are no surpluses or losses. The equilibrium of laws can be seen in both the macrocosm and the microcosm, in both the immeasurably large and the immeasurably small.

Beyond the visual reach of man, in the infinite as well as the infinitesimal, Life goes on continuously, integrally, harmonically, manifesting the most varied vibration.

SPACE AND TIME

For a spirit, all dimensions are one because the spirit is everywhere at all times. Incidentally, Space and Time with lower-case letters, are relativities which only have meaning for the physical environment. Nevertheless, when capitalised, they represent absolute concepts which can only be poorly defined by human language in view of the dimensions of the Infinite.

For Universal Intelligence there is - with respect to Space and Time - just a sort of Eternal Present, an idea that cannot be well understood in this world of so many limitations.

Thus, no matter how high speeds may be, they are merely relative expressions confined to the physical environment because on the spiritual level life is ruled by other principles, other laws.

The spirit, in its original essence, only as a Force, can make itself present instantly, on one planet as well as another, within its scope, using merely the related magnetised field of the Infinite Force which is a component of the Whole.

This Force, pervading and encircling all bodies in the Universe, literally fills Space.

When not overwhelmed by earthly emotions, if man will only contemplate the Universe and meditate about the immeasurability of the Infinite, exploring the creative sense of life and the unlimited power of Universal Intelligence, he will realise that he is but a being of negligible proportions compared to the dimensions of the Universe. He will then become aware of the long, long way he will have to tread on the endless road to evolution.