Epigenesis and Future Destiny

LETTER NO. 55 - JUNE, 1915

While we are studying the "Web of Destiny--How Made and Unmade," it is expedient, in fact absolutely necessary, that we should keep before the eye of our mind the fact that life is not alone an unfoldment of causes set going in previous existences. The spirit, when it comes back to rebirth, has a varying amount of free will--according to the life previously led--to fill in details. Also, instead of only unfolding past causes into effects, there are also new causes generated at every turn by the spirit, which then act as seeds of experience in future lives. This is a very important point. It is a self-evident truth, for unless it were so, the causes that have already been set going must at some time come to an end, and that would mean cessation of existence.

Thus we are not absolutely forced to act in a certain way because we are in a certain environment and because our whole past experience has given us a trend toward a certain end. With the divine prerogative of free will, man has the power of Epigenesis or initiative, so that he may enter upon a new line at any time he wishes. He cannot at once steer himself out of the old life--this may require a long time, perhaps several lives--but gradually he works up to the ideal which he has once sown.

Therefore life advances not only by involution and evolution, but especially by Epigenesis. This sublime teaching of the Western Wisdom Religion of the Rosicrucians explains many mysteries not otherwise capable of a logical solution, among them one which has occasioned many letters to Headquarters. This subject is taken up with some reluctance as the writer dislikes speaking about the war. The question concerns the connection between a soldier, a woman of the enemy ravished by him, and the ego born of a mother who hates it because of the undesired motherhood.

Investigation of a number of cases has shown that this is a new venture on the part of the spirits coming to rebirth. All have been incorrigible in their previous environments and it seemed that no good could come by keeping them there to he sorrow of those with whom they were connected. The present war conditions, though not made for the purpose, afford an opportunity to transfer them to another field of action, where the new mother reaps, through this agency, the fruits of wrongs sown by herself in the past.

Nor is this condition at all peculiar to war. Very often similar means are used at other times so that we may reap what we have sown, through another soul who enters into our lives to suffer and to bring suffering to us. I have in mind a mother who told me a number of years ago how she rebelled against motherhood; how, after she had gone through the period of pregnancy with hate and anger in her heart, the little child was born and she refused even to look at it; but finally she was melted by pity for its condition of helplessness, and pity later turned to love. The child had all the advantages that money could give him, but these advantages could not save his mental balance, and today he sits in a murderer's cell in an asylum for the criminal insane, while the mother is left to sorrow and to ponder upon what she did or did not do during the time when that infant was coming to her.

Conversely, there are also occasions when a spirit, being through with an old environment, comes into a new sphere of action as a ray of sunshine and comfort to those who are fitted to receive that blessing by their previous actions. Let us, therefore, remember that no matter how degraded a being may be he has always the power to sow the seed of good, but must wait until that seed can flower in a right environment. Each of us, though bound by his yesterdays, is therefore thus far free respecting his tomorrows.