First Published In 1888:  THE SOUL: ITS NATURE, RELATIONS....... Is Only Part 1 of 6 Parts of The 1915 Rare Book  PSYCHOSOPHY


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CORA L.V. Scott Hatch Tappan RICHMOND 
1840 - 1923
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Soul in Human Embodiments  Cora L.V. Richmond

ISBN 0-9671610-8-8
  S&H Media Mail Total $16.95

The Full Set Of Lessons In Six Parts -- Given By The Guides Through Cora L.V. Richmond To Her Private Classes.

  • Study Notes:This Is the only work that requires perception to understand. Read with the heart-mind; cannot be understood by using mind only. 
  • It is very helpful to first study the twelve 'Definition' words very carefully before commencing this work. 
  • This book must be perceived by moving very slowly, maybe only one paragraph at a time. 
  • Maybe helpful to first trying to grasp it's quantum concepts in meditation, contemplation or dream state. 
  • Know that words and the earth mind get in the way of explaining quantum and the Soul.




Creation is the direct action of God's Will producing what after- ward may be governed by law. Law is not creative, but governing. There can be no Law without a Law Maker, no Force without a Cause, no Cause without Intelligence, Volition.

Manifested in the universe.

Matter is the primal postulate of Creation; God, the Infinite Hypostasis


The Creative   Act brings into existence, Genetic Law perpetuates.

Creation is as constant as Generation.

There is but one connecting power between the Creator and matter, and that is the


The Breath of God is the Generic life of all material things.

Where the "Beginnings" are is Creation; i. e., where God meets matter.

Each beginning is a creation; whether of a solar system, a sun, a world, or, after dynamic evolutions, of the different types of organic life.

Every distinct type is a creation.

The Book of Genesis, in the Hebraic Bible, is the Kabalistic account of Creation, and contains that which (when interpreted correctly) clearly sets forth the enactments of the Divine Will.

Thus after the six "evenings" and six "mornings," i. e., six periods, preceding and six following the Creative action, Creation was complete in your solar system, as it had been in all previously created systems. "In the beginning," referring only to the commencement of Creative enactments in the cyclic relations of your solar system and the earth.


Thus prepared matter awaits the expression of the Soul.

When any solar system is ready for expressions of life, there occurs that which is typified, according to the symbolism of the ancient interpretation, in the Book of Genesis. The physical life has been evolved to meet the involved Soul, and, at the point where they can meet, creative expression in the physical form takes place, and could no more be prevented than could two lines of light approaching each other be prevented from conjunction, or any two coincident lines, be prevented from meeting. Just where matter is prepared to meet this involved Soul science can never discover, and only Revelation can make known.

The Breath of the Soul is the generic life in matter of the expressions of the Soul under such circumstances as we shall make known.


that reaches matter from the Soul.

At the gates of Paradise--the typical Eden of human existence, the Eden of innocence, of unconsciousness of the Soul-state and also of that which is to come; the complete unconsciousness of what matter is to be when expression begins--stand the summoning Angels and Archangels.  They do not leave the Soul companionless. Such Souls as are to take on expression in outward life are grouped according to their states, and enter the typical Eden of human life where the earth has been prepared, by the Creative Act of the Deity and the operation of law, in a generic sense, to meet the Soul. The first impulsion from the Soul in its dual capacity, and the impulsion from the Deity conjoined, produce man, the typical Adam and Eve.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them."

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living Soul."

In the first paragraph quoted the dual nature of God and the dual nature of the Soul are revealed. We think "his own image" refers to the image of the Soul, i. e., dual. "In the image of God created He him," the image of the Soul is like the image of God, which is further proven by "male and female created He them."  In the second paragraph quoted, "the dust of the ground" refers to all atomic life beneath man; as it is a well known, and almost axiomatic, fact in science that the human organism contains some portion, however minute, of all the primal substances of the earth.  "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;"  here is the Spirit of God producing the action of "breath of life," spirit of man; life is used here for existence, genesis instead of being; the latter is the Soul state. "And man became a living soul;"  i. e., the Soul had taken on the expression of life instead of remaining in the state of being.

The Garden of Eden, the Paradise of the dual expression of material life on earth, appears clear under the light of this interpretation. This Paradise, the Eden, is the state of innocence into which the life is first introduced on earth, ignorant and innocent, "a little lower than the angels," because the angel is that which must lose itself in matter, even thus divided, to begin expression.  Therefore, when dual life finds expression in material form occurs that which is denominated  "the fall,"  i. e.: the Soul has put off its celestial, and has taken on its terrestrial state.

This typical Garden of Eden, portrayed in the Book of Genesis, is the introduction of man and woman on earth, the expression of the Soul, not only in its dual, but in its involved state. "The fall" of man is the descent from the celestial kingdom to material life, the introduction into matter. And the whole narrative (although it seems to have been termed a fable by some) is a very careful and very distinct statement of that which was known to the Ancients and preserved by the Kabala concerning the contact of the Soul with matter. And that was denominated the Eden state, because it is the state of pleasantness, of innocence.  Innocence differs from purity in this: that innocence is without knowledge, purity is victory. So after all, this state of innocence is the state of being tempted, and the matter or material things in which the Soul seeks expression must contain the elements of temptation. The serpent was the coil of material life which surrounds, encompasses or forms the environment here.  All that is meant in the Adamic fall is, that the consciousness of the celestial state is overshadowed or eclipsed by the consciousness of time, or the sense of this limitation, so that the outward state is not aware of the Soul and its celestial state.

The earth and heaven having been prepared, the Creative Act by the Creator, was, for the last time, in operation; producing,


The typical Adam and Eve.
Adam: the red earth, i. e., the creature of the earth.

Eve:  life,               )    i. e., the saviour, the woman, the spouse, the
Eva:  Serpent,     <     tempter, the sharer.
Evi:   desire,           )

This Creation (Adam and Eve) was not simply one pair, (but whenever and wherever the earth or other involving planets are ready for the Adamic birth there man and woman are created.) They appeared as created, not as generic beings.

The inbreathing of the Soul into matter is Spirit, that which precedes every embodiment is the breath of its life; and the breath of that life is the Spirit of that life. The spirit of Adam, therefore, is the spirit of the first or primal man; and the spirit of Eve, the spirit of primal woman. This dual expression of Adam and Eve, or the man of earth and the woman of earth, and the woman the serpent, mean: out of the paradise of the Soul, the man of earth, abandoning the spiritual companionship which precedes the earthly, and the celestial companionship which was before that, enters the mortal state; the earth is the serpent, the primal mother, the Egyptian Isis, the surrounding coils of the Senses. It was not Eve (matter, or the wisdom of the serpent) who was the Soul wife of Adam, she was the outward expression of which Lilith was the Soul; as Adam was not the Bridegroom of the Soul. Thus the outward woman came unto Adam as told in the Garden of Eden, following him into material life from within.

As the masculine is the aggressive nature, representing the conquering power, the element of force in the universe; so the man preceded the woman. In the translation it is said: that God took a rib from the side of Adam, and this He made into the woman. This may be interpreted in its primal meaning in ten or twelve different ways. The interpretation we would give it would mean that it was the inner or vital portion of Adam's life, the part nearest the heart, which means the innermost essence or the life that was expressed after Adam, and this innermost expression took the form of Eva, and this form was, not only Eve, (life,) but Evi, (desire,) temptation, because while nature might not tempt man, while the physical surroundings might not be sufficient temptation, there was embodied in Eve that which was nearest and dearest. Therefore the whole moral proposition of the world, as related to man and woman, is revealed in this great secret of the dual existence in the primal state of physical expression, as here portrayed.

There is no interchange of sexes in the expressions of the Soul. Embodiment in man is the expression of the Impulsion from the Soul in its masculine, and woman from the Soul in its feminine state. Here let us distinctly state that it is not according to our teaching that there is ever any transference of the sexes, the masculine principle of the Soul is always expressed in masculine form, and the feminine principle always appears in the feminine form. The masculine principle is the aggressive, the conquering element, the feminine is the inner, the center, the conserving element. In all instances of the first expressions in matter the masculine is first and the feminine afterward, thus the typical Adam and Eve illustrated the usual order of the expressions of Embodiments in earthly life.

There are always the two expressions in human form representing one Soul (the masculine and the feminine embodiments) upon the earth at the same time, each expressing a corresponding degree of unfoldment. Beginning equally in the first embodiment, this equality (of unfoldment) continues through all subsequent embodiments.

You must bear in mind that we do not teach that there are more expressions from the same Soul than the one man and woman upon the earth at the same time.


No lower type of existence could express that which humanity reveals; no other type than humanity could express the Soul and that which is intended to be expressed or represented. But, as in all kinds of existence there must be the lowest expression, you must begin at the commencement.

The first state of human life is the state into which the Soul descends, having taken upon itself the involution toward expression. That is the beginning so far as humanity is concerned, no human life so low upon the earth that that life does not represent the beginnings of all Souls in their expressions here, and none so high that they do not typify the attainment of all Souls ere expression is finished here. Every Soul thus voluntarily taking upon itself expression in matter must begin at the beginning. As one learns a language by beginning, with the alphabet and grammar; as one learns arithmetic by beginning with the numerals and their combinations, and higher mathematics must follow arithmetic, so in the expressions in matter Souls commence with the state that is lowest upon the planet that is approached.

Not having experienced the existence of earth, when a Soul approaches this planet it must take upon itself the beginnings of human expression. So the primal step is of the earth, earthy; and the Adamic state is the typical earthly race of mankind, illustrative of all who take up this mortal life. This first stage of existence, the infancy of the race, is partially revealed by science; but the spiritual and primal solution of existence is unknown, and the material one is sought for. In the spiritual explanation is found the only true solution of life: that when the birth on earth begins, the expression of Souls must take the farthest point from the celestial state. Souls, in expression, do not begin by conquest over the earth, that is attained. If you do not begin at the lowest stage to build, you can have no foundation for the edifice; and the archway would never be built if a strong foundation were not laid beneath the soil; so this physical existence, in its primitive stages of expression, is simply of different degrees of consciousness, which may be called man, and these stages in their primal degrees constitute the beginning of every expression on earth.

As when a very good man may engage in some material work which requires all his thought and attention; the work itself may be much inferior to him, but he must devote all his energy to it; or if one is building a house, although it is built for the body and not for the spirit, yet the thought is intent upon the building; so in the lowest or first expression of material life existence is what is expressed. The race is typified in the individual; the babe only gives expression to physical life at first, all else is hidden, has being, but is unexpressed. The same is true in all beginnings; even when pretty well advanced in general human expression, if one begins a new work it is executed clumsily and awkwardly at first. One who had never drawn a picture could not very well portray even the simplest forms at first; there must be many strange lines and blemishes before anything deserving the name of art can be reached. The first steps in material life are, therefore, as said before, steps of existence.


The first is the Adamic stage, of Physical life.

The second is the Hermetic stage, of Intellectual life. 

The third is the Messianic stage, of Spiritual life.

The expressions of physical life are, at first, seemingly without intellectual or moral purpose, yet in reality the intellectual and moral purposes are there ready to come forth when the successive steps of victory over matter shall have made it possible. In each of these general stages there are many degrees (or culminations) and in each degree many successive lines of embodiment.

The successive lines of the expression of one Soul in any one planet are really typified in the single life of man and woman. Childhood is the state of physical growth; there is the feebleness and limitation to conquer, and the physical surroundings seem to overcome whatever else may he enfolded there. When the childhood of the race is here there seems little, through its various degrees of physical growth, to indicate that which at last attains success over its physical surroundings when the mental and moral natures begin to unfold. These first feeble lines of expression are what occur in the many successive embodiments of the first stage of expression. It would possibly not be very gratifying to you to know what is the first expression, nor would it flatter you, perhaps, but evolution does not flatter either. You can not find the lowest human expressions upon the earth at the present time. But take the lowest human states as illustrative of this typical beginning, though not in reality the beginning, then consider all grades until you reach the highest expression, this would be typical of the conclusion, the final state upon the earth. With the exception of the first stages there are manifested to your vision nearly all the different stages upon the earth to-day, of what the Soul experiences in the many aeons of its expression upon this planet.

The three stages or degrees of expression are primarily stamped upon the human race; but it is best to here explain, that while the intellectual and moral possibilities are hinted at in the primal nature of man, the expression of those possibilities seems, in the infancy of human embodiments, to be excluded; as we discover in the states of races, and individuals who seem to have no unfolded moral perception. Remember we have not created those states, we are explaining why they exist. This lack of mental and moral expression indicates that the first stages of expression do not include the moral problems; they have not yet been reached in the scale of human progress toward perfect expression.

Physical life has first to be entered upon, the victory over it and the environment of the senses, must come afterward.

The embodiments follow one after another in more rapid succession in the physical states of expression, since there is little or nothing of the moral and spiritual harvest to gather, so the successive embodiments in the first states come rapidly. The growth is slow, and the perceptible advancement in expression from one embodiment to another would scarcely he noticed until the final result. In this first stage of expression man seems inferior to the animal kingdom since he has no instinct to govern his appetites, and his mental and moral nature is still undeveloped in expression. This is because the only law of man's government is the mental and moral (spiritual), and because of this he has no blind instinct to guide him.

The degree of physical expression merely must be repellent to contemplate by itself, as it includes all states that precede intellectual activity or mental attainment; constitutes the existence wherein the sensuous life governs, wherein there may be enjoyment of the senses, wherein there may be some degree of perception, a certain manifestation of intelligence, but no approach to the intellectual or spiritual awakening, which must come when the race or when the individual is dominated by the higher nature.


Each culmination is the termination of a line of successive embodiments toward a certain point of perfect expression in one direction; and while there may be latent suggestions of other lines in the same series of embodiments, there is always a dominant purpose, in each embodiment of that series, in the direction of the culmination.

In illustration of this you have the typical states of mere physical enjoyment: the glutton, the one whose happiness consists in the amount of food consumed, and this is made the basis of competition. There are some who are typical of that state even now upon the earth. You will discover that the achievement in that direction, when it amounts to what is considered an achievement, is really almost marvelous as a tax upon physical endurance. It is not difficult to perceive that this state was idealized in the Epicureans, whose motto was borrowed from an honored source. "Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow you may die." In the Bacchanalian feasts and revels of your Anglo-Saxon ancestors no man was considered a devotee who did not finally sink with stupor at the end of a banquet. The race has yet a sufficient number of those who have not risen above this shrine. You can possibly conceive of the state of heroism in which humanity must have existed when the highest victory, the noblest exaction, the greatest conquest, was that which was put into the stomach!

It is not very long since the evidence of the highest civilization consisted in the greatest amount of physical strength. The prize ring is a remnant of that which in ancient Rome was the test, almost, of the highest humanity. You have, the model of art and intelligence, the example of Greece,. to prove to you that physical strength was considered the standard of human perfection. The feats of the gladiators and the wonderful skill of the athletes will serve to illustrate this; while in the tournaments, in ancient days, prowess was recognized in the greatest physical strength. Achilles was scarcely more admired then than now. The ideal Hercules still remains the type of perfect manhood, and even Jove, the Thunderer, is worshiped upon more mountains than Olympus.

In ancient Egypt, those deities who presided over man's physical well-being were the Gods that were most revered: revealing to the senses the majesty of their power, leading man to conquest and victory by the violence of physical force. The remnant of that age, which once was universal, is now to be found in those states of the race, some types of which are existent upon the earth to-day, who have nothing beyond the physical so far as revealed; who merely exist for that first stage of expression, yet the culminations in that direction are always to be found where there is achievement in any physical enterprise. The colossal architecture of Egypt includes a culmination in that direction, although accompanied by another impelling force which is soon to be found dominant. Modern armies fighting at a distance, with weapons that do not bring them into hand-to-hand conflicts, illustrate another kind of force, a more complex state of expression; but the kind of courage or skill found in the prize ring, or in those contests between individuals, who, face to face and hand to hand, enter into tests of mere physical strength without any moral aim, without any sense of patriotism, without any object in view save the privilege of pounding one another into a recognition of the brute strength of one or the other of the combatants, illustrates the typical childhood of the race, and of individual expressions in the first contact with human existence. Were this the end, the states of humanity that express nothing higher would indeed be hopeless.

That which was witnessed in Rome and Greece as legitimate amusement for the highest in the land, is now tolerated among sporting men only. The typical Hercules of antiquity was the typical victory by bodily strength. No one can doubt but that in some state he has expressed that same victory.

The spirit of each embodiment is the breath, or impetus, from the Soul toward a culmination. A culmination is the highest point that can possibly be attained in a given line. In that past age all humanity was being expressed on that physical plane, there are those still attaining perfection and conquest in that direction; whatever is less than a culmination or perfection in a given line is an embodiment toward it, so that the small contests of the weaklings of those ages were but steps toward the accomplishment of the Herculean state. Those who have outgrown the prize ring, and the desire for physical contest, may safely conclude that in a past condition they have expressed themselves to the fullest extent in that direction. Every step toward this culmination is a step, however, toward the knowledge of its fallacy.

When physical perfection is reached, it is simply to reveal that there is something beyond; as one may climb up, out of breath, a great steep of a mountain that seems to be high, only to discover that it is the smallest height, and that he must descend into a valley to reach the next one beyond; these typical descents are the weaknesses in human life, whether physical, mental, or moral; so after Hercules comes the pigmy to illustrate that true strength is not in the body. This being the first stage of victory, it is also the first revelation of weakness.


Matter in organic form contains the elements of disintegration. Physical indulgence implies satiety; and material achievement is followed by material decline. As matter is the first obstacle encountered in expression, so to vanquish matter seems at first to be the only end; but as vanquishment does not come by mere victory in material things, a more excellent way is shown.


Hermes (another name for Mercury) was the god of the intellect: trade, commerce, invention, mathematics, indeed all learning, as well as thievery and robbery, were typified in this ancient deity.

Not all at once does the mind assert its presence and begin to be a dominant force. It begins with the beginning of the embodiments, and commences to manifest its power before the physical is fully expressed, and there are glimmerings all the time, through individual lines of life and through all history, that even when a man insists upon the greatest physical strength of the nation or the individual, there is something unfolding besides that, that you have two lines revealed in expression at the same time and in the same lives.

We will point to Greece as a culmination of intellectual and physical without the moral strength. The Spartans especially were among the races of which you have any knowledge in which this typical physical life was somewhat subordinated to the mental, or intellectual; but even the Spartan refused to allow those who were
imperfect at birth to live, thus producing a race of heroes, from a physical standpoint. And in fact even Grecian art did not in reality, excepting through Grecian philosophy, rise above purely a physical standpoint. You will perceive that, while the physical may be dominant in the individual expression, and in the nation, (as the aggregation of individuals,) there also enters what is termed the mental power. This is a certain reflex from the spiritual, is a shadowy suggestion of the spiritual, and compared to it is like the light of the moon compared to the sun. This mental power constitutes the first thirst for knowledge; the first idea of traffic; the advantage over fellow-beings in trade; the selfish wish to accumulate wealth; the inventions and discoveries that promote selfish enjoyment through mental devices; handicraft, all skillful labor of the hands, indeed the whole domain of the empire over the earth by mental achievements, the mind governing the labor of the hands. And you here perceive the distinct line of demarcation between man and that which is not man in the visible creation of earth, in this: that man is the only creature as a physical being who destroys his kind: other generic existences in the animal kingdom only destroy other animals (not those of their own species usually) for food;  but man destroys his kind, in the lowest states for food, and in the next states in order that he may satisfy the demands of the idea of conquest, of victory over his fellow-man. The first dominant idea of man is the idea of conquest, even when the mental state intervenes and takes possession, when the physical state is on the decline.

As intellectual power is the next step, its conquests constitute the next victory; for the most part the average human life pauses there for a time, imagining this to be the real height. Greece in her pride of intellectual strength was as unscrupulous as she was in her physical conquests.

There is no greater deformed monster in the universe than the intellectual giant devoid of moral strength, as there is no greater monstrosity than the physical giant devoid of intellectual and spiritual strength. But as one illustrates one step of progress, so the other illustrates another. The learning, skill, and conquests of the Hermetic philosophers will serve to show what man's intellectual endowments may become. But each step must be taken by each Soul.

The Pharaohs, Caesars, and Napoleons of history illustrate the culmination of intellect in the line of ambition. Certain learned Egyptians, Grecians, and even more modern philosophers, illustrate the culmination of a line of scientific achievement. To-day the whole world may be said to be tending toward this culmination of intellectual strength; while in the past there have been individuals and nations who have illustrated this culmination, the whole world now, as an average, worships at this shrine of intellect. May not the story of Oedipus be intended as an example of the blindness of mere intellectual power?

The mental states (i. e., states of intellectual achievement) seem to be somewhat enwound with the spiritual; but the latter is not dominant, seems only secondary, or exists as an aid to the intellectual achievements: as in the observations of natural laws; discoveries in astronomy or geology; various inventions and devices for carrying forward the scientific pursuits of the world, and for the overcoming of the material disabilities under which mankind labor. In this direction must be included all inventions, all discoveries of territory, all voyages upon sea and journeys upon land, everything that enables man to build and pile up great monuments of power, and works of physical appliance for the purpose of fortifying his physical strength.

Thus the pursuit even of abstract science, separate from any moral impulse, is, in itself, a mental, and not a spiritual expression, and the greatest advancement, as it is termed, in the glory of art, science, and civilization, may occur without the slightest approach to any spiritual expression.

The mental steps are not only much more various, but they combine many, and more intricate, problems. We will use a few simple illustrations, by which you will be able to follow out the analyses by applying these illustrations, in modified forms, to the entire realm of mental pursuits. As there must be culminations in all lines of physical life by each Soul, so these intellectual culminations will be many. In certain stages of expression there are several arts, and sciences, or phases, of intellectual pursuit at the same time. But take, for instance, the individual life, the typical expression of the Soul that has only passed all the stages of physical culminations, and physical weakness, and believes that, after all, physical strength is the greatest, but must be accompanied by mental power. Then the individual begins to know the mental, or rather commences the lines upon lines of mental approach to conquest.

The steps in the direction of art, for instance, are various and slow at first. In music, the one who struggles to that which can not be attained in one embodiment, for which there is little ability, and yet for which there is such desire, the struggle with persistence is continued through many embodiments. Among the average children, you will find, perhaps, nine of every ten who can learn music; seven of the ten learn indifferently, three out of the ten learn horribly; and all learners are as so many embodiments of torture. Your neighbor's child, over there, is on the road to a culmination in music, but through the various sounds you are made aware that the child is very far, as yet, from culminating. Is, not this true of poetry?  One genius writes a poem and sets a whole brood of janglers to making rhymes as near to poetry as the crowing of the cock is to the song of the nightingale. Some one sings, a song and the echo is caught up by every bluejay and catbird. Yet these who only croak now will one day sing.


We would name Mozart as a genius because, untaught, in childhood he knew the principles of harmony. He did not know because he had never had experience, but he knew because he had had experience in previous lives, he had taken all the steps until that life was the culmination. This enabled Mozart to know music at three years of age; not because his Soul, or spirit, was any more tuneful than any other, but because he had taken the preceding steps in preceding lives to that culmination; while another might be culminating in poetry, another in painting, or other art, he was culminating in music. This is encouragement for all those who do not know musical harmony now, encouragement to such of you as may be tortured by your neighbors, or friends, who imagine they are attaining some state of musical perfection; they will attain it. When genius, appears the world recognizes its light. All steps, toward genius are steps of aspiration. The man who wishes, to play, the one who wishes to sing, certainly shall play and sing because it is something yet to be attained. What a pitiful sight it was, in the minds of many of his friends, to see the giant genius of Goethe endeavoring to paint a picture! He could write a poem, he knew much of philosophy and science, he had spiritual intuitions that were deeper than those of other men around him, but he wanted to do that which he could not do, he must needs study painting!

If the art or gift is something that has been attained; if one has been a musical genius, that is evident from this fact: that one is not seeking for it, and yet is familiar with music. Here is a man who can play well, his friends say: why do you not follow music? He has no desire to do it because he can do it, because it is a part of his past experiences. People are most anxious to undertake that which they can not do. You will hear people say: oh, that is beautiful music but I have no desire to perform myself; but you will hear them criticize some particular portion with accuracy and taste; it is because they have been cultivated in that direction. Many art critics do not paint, but they certainly have a priori knowledge of art. We use all these illustrations because they come into your daily lives, and they show you the lines of experience in yourselves and others around you, and prove to you what is the meaning of these different degrees of unfoldment. Otherwise between the man who has no talent and a genius, like Mozart or Beethoven, there would be a wide space impossible to span in eternity, but when you know that the man who has no gift or talent, will have, that he is on the road to genius, and will culminate in that direction, it will clearly illustrate that genius travels in lines of unfoldment toward perfect expression, that there is achievement in one degree after another, that the one who can paint pictures is only at one end of the line and the one who cannot, but wishes to, is at the other end.

Genius is the culmination of many steps toward perfection in one direction. Then wherever there is genius distinctly manifested it is the final expression of the individual Soul in that one direction.

Each may know by the geniuses of the world what the culminations of all will be, or have been, for each Soul must express itself as perfectly as any other in those directions.

It is not best to speculate what the individual state is, or where one is on the earthly pilgrimage, what the stage of development one has just passed, or what one is entering into; just now each one must experience the line of the individual embodiment for what it presents itself to be, knowing that what one desires to attain is a prophecy.

In these lessons it is well to separate personalities from principles as far as possible, and yet know that every principle stated here applies to every individual Soul; and knowing this, there is an explanation for all the fragmentary existences seen in the world, and the experiences within one's self.

States of mental and intellectual unfoldment are sometimes mistaken for something higher; it is well to draw the line distinctly at once, and see that no amount of human achievement, such as victory through the methods of mechanical and intellectual labor, can be called victory in the end excepting as an illustration of what life is not for: just as the physical culmination is nothing in itself, but is an expression of what life will not finally express; so the intellect is an expression of that which the mind will not finally express, viz., intellect without spirit; as in the preceding illustration the expressions were of the body without intellect, but both are states of expression which every Soul, having entered this race, must surely run, must have passed through or must pass through, whichever the degree of the present expression may be, in the usual course.

We would again reiterate: the world is beyond the culminating period of mere physical strength, and we may call this the approach to the culmination of intellect. The power of the intellect is worshiped to-day as physical power was worshiped in past ages. The giant has simply advanced another decree; the giant of intellect has taken the place of the giant of physical strength. Now the whole civilized and enlightened world tends toward the worship of the god of the intellect, which is, of course, as fallacious a worship, as blind a worship, excepting as a stage of growth in expression, as the worship of the god of the senses.

Two lines, and indeed two degrees of culmination are often expressed at once, as in the Pharaohs, Caesars, Alexanders, and Napoleons of history, whose pride and ambition for conquest and earthly dominion were accompanied by equal ability to win the desired goal.

If one has passed the desire for earthly kingdoms, how barren seem the victories and achievements in that direction! Who would wish to be the Czar of all the Russias? Who would possess the throne, crown, and scepter of any kingdom of earth, having borne that burden and having had knowledge of the bauble of empire? But if one aspires to rule a kingdom, have pity, for he is in the line toward that expression, and he does not know what he seeks until he shall find it and know it is dust and ashes. So you understand why there still must be wars, why there still must be heroes in battle, why there still must be kings and kingdoms.

All who are upon the earth in human expression have not yet passed the condition of physical greatness or mental victory incident upon the overcoming of these states. Whole races have gone on beyond it, but all have not yet reached the very beginning of it. So there will follow other races that will begin the intellectual period that you are now culminating in.

As, you are now culminating in the directions known in Egypt and Greece in part time; as their intellectual culminations were prophecies of that which nations are now achieving; so your victories in intellect are prophecies of what the whole world will one day become.

Solon and Lycurgus in giving great laws to the State; Homer, Hesiod, Anacreon, Aeschylus, Pindar, the poets of Greece; Pythagoras, Euclid, and those who in mathematics handed down, even from the first, the numbers to the nations that were to follow; Memnon inventing letters; Thales and Cadmus in giving other letters and mathematics to Greece--these are all culminations in certain lines.

As the physical giant finds his, reaction in the dwarf, so the giant of intellect must find his antithesis in the imbecile; for frequently the giant in body is imbecile in mind, and in the dwarfed or deformed body the brightest spirit is seen. The imbecile in intellect is no greater monstrosity than the giant in intellect. The states of physical and mental imperfection thus reveal the true perfection that is still beyond.


In entering upon the consideration of this, the most complex stage of human expression, it should be remembered that, as there is no partiality in the Soul, so there is no partiality in the experience. Each Soul begins at the beginning of experience here, and passes through physical conquest and the physical disappointment, the intellectual conquest and the intellectual disappointment, and enters upon the spiritual conquest and all its difficulties to finally overcome them. The physical victory is not a conquest over the physical nature, nor is the intellectual achievement a conquest over the intellect.

When you see certain lives that begin better than others, when you see certain individuals that have moral qualities, and others that seem to have none; when you see those who have every opportunity, every means of advancement, yet can not avail themselves of them because of their condition, there must be some real solution, and that solution is found only in this system which we are explaining to you now. If you are journeying up a mountain and have commenced your journey sooner than another, you will be at a higher altitude than the one who commenced afterward; but as he follows along, he will find the same steep and stony places, the same briers and thorns, the same difficulties to encounter; for human nature is so constituted that only what one experiences does one really know. This is proven from the fact that no nation benefits by the history of any other nation. There never was a war that could not have been avoided if the lessons of history had been studied. But study does not make experience, and the lessons of history are not known until each individual or nation realizes them. This is why history repeats itself, that all may have similar experiences. This also becomes the leveler; the intellectual or moral giant and the intellectual or moral dwarf must somewhere be reconciled, or there is partiality in the kingdom of God. Then let us see how this reconciliation takes place. Under this light the intellectual giant is an imbecile spiritually, if he has not spiritual growth; and therefore, if he has pride of intellect, which he does if he has not spiritual growth, is not the natural reaction from that a descent into the valley to find the weakness of mere intellectual strength? A mother loves her imbecile child as well as her bright one; she is even more tender toward it, she knows somewhere there is a clue to that mysterious labyrinth that seems to imprison from the outward world the life that is within. If she could know that sometime there may have been pride of intellect, and triumph over the weaknesses of others, she would realize that this feeble condition is not more pitiable, and that behind that seemingly benighted brain there is the Soul that, one day, will shine forth, not in intellect alone, but in the greater and diviner light of spiritual beauty.

If the theory of the materialist, or the mere secularist, or even of the ordinary theologian were true, there would be no possibility of reconciling physical deformity with spiritual grace and power. But how often do you see, even in the child born with physical deformity, the light of the mind, the light of the spirit that teaches such marvelous lessons of patience that all the world can listen and learn wisdom. Look at the man who boasts merely of his physical power, and then behold the little child, perhaps a hunchback, whom he may trample ruthlessly beneath his feet, and see the light within that eye, the patience that is there, and the humility, and learn that this towering form is a dwarf beside the feeble one. Thus are outward conditions not only reconciled, but made to be steps in the individual growth and advancement. Woe unto those who feel strong in their mere physical might; that strength is of the earth, it is fleeting, it passes away; and they must learn by humility, by being conscious of weakness of body and mind, the greater strength of the spirit.

For the most part the ascent through matter, after taking the first steps in the infancy of life, is like a spiral pathway; but there are deviations which are the reactions from heights that are not real, as the superficial height of the body, or the superficial height of the intellect. So that which seems to be a descent is not so in reality; neither is it so in the mental or moral kingdoms, for, as said before, the giant of the intellect, or he who has no goodness or moral strength is a monstrosity, and the reaction from that leads to the simplest mind, but a mind of sweetness and goodness. You often hear people say: such a sweet nature, but no mind. What is the value of mind if it is not goodness? To encompass the universe with strong terms and technicalities and fail in the real essence of life! These simple minds, as they are termed, who must have descended from the height of superficial intellectuality to the humility, perhaps, of knowing nothing, to learn the lessons of sweetness and goodness, are really on the way to be giants of strength in spirit.

The strength of spirit is attained through struggles that may encompass all conditions of life. Not gigantic to the extent of over weening physical strength, but for the purpose of usefulness as much as strength as is needed; not gigantic to the extent of worshiping the intellect at the expense of the heart, but to succeed in all and to fail in all, until one can forward the work of the spirit, until it has conquered all states, not only sin but, the greatest of all sins, self-righteousness, and stands in sublime and exalted humility as the typical illustration of conquest over the earth. All states between that and the lowest condition which you can picture are states of human experience that every Soul must pass through. Meanwhile there infiltrates into these experiences a religious or spiritual element, a suggestion that that which the body, or the mind, only accomplishes is no, accomplishment at all.

The first religious experiences must have come like earthquakes and tornadoes, undoubtedly taking possession of the first great nation at the height of its physical and intellectual splendor; and as the lightning tears down the temple or destroys the giant oak, so the first religious thought, flashing into a mind blind with physical and intellectual power, must have been like the rending of the veil in the temple. This spiritual power is the beginning of inspiration in every age; we mean the recognized inspiration. Whatever flows into man's life from the divine, infiltrates through the body and, the mind. We do not call that inspiration which is the usual activity of spirit in the organic nature, this is simply the power which the spirit uses, but which is not spiritual power. The distinction between the two is evident; one may give expression to many things by a power which is from within, but when that which is from within is expressed it becomes an impelling force, a light divine. While each one, as an individual, may cause certain things to be done, still when the life that is Soul is manifested and recognized, it becomes the real life, and all that is done is acknowledged to be under its sway.

The spirit begins its triumph where the intellect fails: and we may say that this ascent is a gradual spiral ascent, increasing as one goes on, extending in new lines as one advances. But in the steps of expression, although there is continual ascent, there are also, seemingly, declensions: as between mountains there are depressions, but the valleys there are higher than the preceding mountain tops; so in the line of embodiments there are descents into the valleys of humility, but the seeming decline is not so in the absolute sense, for the valleys are among the heights.


The reaction from physical success and splendor must naturally follow, although this would be just the opposite to physical success and splendor; then following gluttony would there not be starvation? and following the Hercules would there not be the pigmy and deformed one? There must be the spiritual synonym and meaning for every physical fact. However you may trace the cause of physical deformity to physical sources, you can find no other solution, in the great world of moral and spiritual force, than that deformity has its complement and balance in overweening physical strength unaccompanied by moral force; also the valley from the height of a non-intellectual and non-spiritual physical expression is the valley of deformity, that being its vale of humility; and then and there, in that valley, is the beginning of mental power, as the descent from the intellectual height is an illustration of the beginning of spiritual strength.

The moral problems are most complex, and here is the whole conflict, here the battle ground seems to be after all; for when the moral perception enters, there is a different outlook, a different purpose, a different condition. That which under the mere physical existence seems right, under the moral light seems wrong. So that while it might be right under physical law for the ancient Spartans to slay the child that was born weak, the moral awakening reveals to the human mind that physical weakness may not be mental and spiritual weakness, and that human beings have no right to determine, as valuable lessons of life may be intended to be taught even by weakness.

How mistaken the Spartans were in putting the imperfect bodies to death was illustrated by the fact, that with all their physical and intellectual perfection the Grecians could not preserve their moral integrity; how wrong they were in supposing that physical or intellectual life could be the basis of all advancement was illustrated by the elements of corruption that crept in, sweeping them from the face of the earth.

Instead of now slaying imperfect children, they are protected and provided for. The blind are made to know of life by touch and hearing; they are aided to perform their tasks, and that which is a physical imperfection becomes the aid to songs divine, and sometimes to spiritual vision. Supposing Milton had been slain because blind, where would have been the visions of paradise; the illustration of that genius that exalted the world?

When the mental force is taking possession it is often veiled before recognition, the antitheses are the stepping from heights that are false; as the physical height has its downfall in order that a better height may be attained, so in the intellectual world there is the recession. Let no one suppose that, when placed in the spiritual balance, the human intellect without Soul weighs any more than the dust which expresses no intellect; let no one suppose that simply intellectual expression, unaccompanied by moral force or intention, can weigh any more in the great scale of real life, than that life whose intellect is veiled, and yet, in all appearances, wears a fair face, with features that are delicately chiseled, but under some law has come into the world with no intellectual outlook, with no face for earthly victory. These illustrations are extreme; but there is no more extreme depth, or fictitious height, than that of the pride of intellect, of which this extreme is the necessary and natural antithesis. So were you to see a beautiful form and face, as perfect as any divinity worshiped by Grecian worshipers of art, unaccompanied by qualities of the mind and Soul in keeping with that form, you might well say the next expression would be one of deformity.

As there is deformity in the world, and as it must have a mental and moral as well as a physical cause, or there must be injustice to some one, so it is but proper to recognize that imperfections in the physical and mental life are illustrations of moral propositions and are portions of the great equity of existence; then, too, in reconciling the relations of kings who wish to be peasants and peasants who wish they were kings, every one has an opportunity of trying both. No one at the end of all these different experiences can say that any line of expression or experience has been denied. All must know what it is to be slaves, as all have a natural tendency to be tyrants, all must know by the knowledge of possession what are the responsibilities, trials, and temptations, as well as the redeeming and excusing features in each expression. So he who labors for his daily bread is made to do double labor by the deflections of the millionaire, and he may be unreconciled to this; he who subsists by honest toil must be obliged to change places with the man whom he envies; when he experiences the poverty of riches he is glad enough then to return to the more humble and noble position. In fact, whatever men covet they will have an opportunity of trying. Whatever they do not care for in worldly possessions they have experienced and outgrown.

When we consider the moral world, as the intellectual is very much more complicated than the physical struggle, how much more intricate become the moral problems! The moment the spirit begins to assert itself the battle begins. It is not a battle between the intellectual nature and material life, when the intellect becomes, unqualifiedly, the victor; but here is the battle of ages; between the voice that finally works its way through from the Soul into outward expression, and man's unconquered, selfish, nature; here is the conflict and the battle ground; here it is that the Titans wage war; here it is that all final victories are won. The other struggles, for physical or intellectual supremacy, are merely different states of selfishness; but the first time man knows that he must forfeit self, or that there is a stage wherein he must vanquish  selfish desires, the battle begins; that is the moral starting point. The intellectual nature, and even the physical life, asserts man's supremacy; but what he can win by conquering self he learns for the first time in his moral nature, he has it in the voice of the Soul, which tells him he has no right to any possession merely because he can win it. As a giant would not be excused for treading down children in the street, as a man of intellect should not be excused for defrauding those who are ignorant, so man's moral nature begins, by slow degrees, to make him aware that his intellect and that his physical life do not justify their full assertion; that he has no moral right, even though he has the physical power, to win supremacy and hold it; and the real law of life is, when possessing strength not to use it against others, but for others.

The subtle difference between the man who cannot kill and the one who is a murderer, is the difference in conquest over self. He who says he can slay if he choose, does violence to either his moral or intellectual nature; for the choice depends upon the growth, upon the degree of conquest. There have been conditions of human civilization when it was a virtue to kill. There are states of society, even today, under the law of what is denominated self-defense, wherein it would be considered a virtue to kill. Between the man who slays for gold and the man who slays to protect gold, do you suppose there is any great moral difference? The conquest is to win a victory over self, not over another. And that which is denominated virtue in one state of growth, becomes impossible in another. A primal virtue in the ages of physical supremacy is conquest, slaughter for individual or national empire. Second only to this in lack of moral or spiritual perception is the sacrifice of life in what is commonly called "self-defense."  One can not slay, one can not do violence to another, one can not betray in any manner, one can not degenerate to any vice, one can not censure, if one has outgrown or overcome the state indicated. Neither angel nor demon can tempt the man who is above temptation.

It is in this moral battle ground that the wonderful equity of this divine system is more and more manifested. This is not only the reconciliation of the world, it is the hope of the world. There are those in the world today, illustrating the states devoid of all moral impulse, without power to overcome any passion, absolutely a prey to all the conflicting elements within and around them. There are other natures in whom saint-like qualities preponderate, who do not experience an unworthy thought. 'Where is the law of science or the scheme of any theology, other than we are announcing, that can explain the discrepance between these two states? what opportunity is given, in time or eternity, by any other system than this, to reconcile one man's goodness, that seems to be born in him, and the infamy of another, that seems to be born in him, with the Infinite love and goodness? Accounting the state of purity and perfection in expression as something man has won from within the Soul, the moral excellence as a height that the others will win, that all others will have opportunity to attain just as great a height, just as absolute a victory, the present seeming inequalities in moral states are no longer hopeless. If we did not know that the child would grow to become a man, how helpless and devoid of hope would infancy seem!  When we declare, therefore, that every step of expression in life is a step toward victory, does it not teach that those who condemn and censure, in an individual sense, have not outgrown the condition which they condemn and censure? If one sees a man who is a murderer or a criminal of any kind, one may pity the state of the criminal, one may say he has not outgrown hatred, malice, and revenge, but unless one has hatred, malice, and revenge, one can by no means wish to visit upon him that which he has visited upon others.

As life goes on there is no need to point to what is highest; the saints, martyrs, and philosophers put to death, the teachers of human history and the Messiahs who have been crucified, illustrate the highest thought of human conquest, and each state that is less than that is still a state that ultimately tends toward it. When we are asked: Do you declare, then, that it is necessary for all states of expression to be experienced by all Souls? we answer unqualifiedly,


It could not be made necessary for one unless for all. There would be moral chaos.

The feminine in all possible states of woman's life, the masculine in all possible states of man's life; and the true test of victory is in the fact that, not only is there no condemnation, but like John Bunyan, who, on seeing a convict being borne to the place of execution, said: "But for the grace of God there goes John Bunyan," or like Wilberforce, who said he never saw a criminal but he thought it might have been himself, or like the highest prophets and teachers who endeavor to aid the unfortunate, and do not insist upon condemning them--there is a sort of knowledge that it might have been one's self. Do not think that the state of being without sin is not won.

It is not our province to declare in what state any human being is. You will see some lives that seem to illustrate the highest moral growth today, and tomorrow they may be found under a cloud of human weakness and human censure; they fall, as it is termed, into temptation. There are no elernentaries nor personal demons in the upper or lower air lurking around to tempt mankind. Temptation is the natural consequence of this involution in matter, and is the selfishness of man's human nature; the triumph over it is that which at last overcomes self.

The flaming sword suspended at the gateway of Eden, that Adam and Eve could not return, was the sword of conscience, the awakened conscience, which prevents the Soul from returning again into the Eden state, the state of innocence. That which each must do, having entered the pathway of experience and knowledge, is to find the heavenly state in the final victory, and that final victory is in self-conquest.

It must not be forgotten that in the general system of unfoldment toward moral perfection in expression, there are false impressions and fictitious heights that are supposed to be real. There is no greater state of deformity than the state of supposed righteousness in the individual, we mean the, "I am holier than thou." What the physical giant is without intellectual and moral growth, what the intellectual giant is without goodness or virtue, so is the giant of self-righteousness, the typical scribe and Pharisee, the hypocrite, be who removes his garments lest they be contaminated by contact with the sinner; such is the self-righteous. Make no mistake, even that pride has its fall. Sometimes you witness that those who assume the greatest virtue are the soonest under a cloud. Sometimes those who have a superficial consciousness of being good are put to the profoundest test, and their goodness is found to be only on the surface. True goodness is so simple, so humble, so childlike, so divine, so beyond all compare, that it is not aware, nor boastful. The true moral victor, who can not sin, avoids not the sinner, but uplifts and strengthens him who errs. Only in this triumph does moral perfection become complete, after all the stage of struggle and attainment, when the world is overcome.

It will be well to remember that each separate state is conquered by knowing it, then by knowing it is not a real victory. The thesis might seem to be that the Soul conquers matter by yielding to it, the antithesis is that the Soul conquers matter by knowing that yielding to it is not the real victory. 

But enough has been said in this lesson to show, that each Soul enters expression in human embodiments in the most infantile state possible on earth; for all states are experienced by all Souls; and that each Soul in dual existence, the masculine and feminine, is always expressing similar states at the same time. That there are three distinct general degrees of achievement: the physical, the mental, and the moral. Each of there degrees has its seeming and its real victory.

The false.

First: The false physical strength, accompanied by pride of physical conquest.
Second: Intellectual power and achievement as a finality. 
Third: A fictitious moral strength, self-righteousness.
The weakness of physical strength, the fallacy of mere intellectual power, and the downfall of self-righteousness, are reactions.

The true.

First. Victory over the physical.
Second. Conquest over the intellectual.
Third: True goodness, the ultimate moral triumph over the world. 
For each of these degrees and states (as well as the reactions) many successive embodiments are necessary, until the final victory.

The next lesson will be a continuation of this subject: Embodiments in human life. 


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CORA L.V. Scott Hatch Tappan RICHMOND 
1840 - 1923
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