IS THERE a God?
IS THERE a God? What shall I believe
or not believe? How may I understand the meaning of existence?" These
are paramount questions in the minds of many who feel intuitively that
there must be a comprehensible interpretation of the enigma of
The Atheist denies there is an
intelligent, causative factor in nature and life. His
reasons for denial of an intelligent
Cause in the manifest universe and its activities
are largely based upon the apparent
contradictions found in the story of a theological God and observance of
the upheavals in the world and the many
wrongs so manifest on every hand in
Ruins of bygone ages prove to him
that numberless races aspired and struggled to
attain permanency, yet perished,
leaving only ruins as mute evidence that decadence is the end. He is
therefore convinced from superficial reasoning that there cannot be a
guiding Intelligence and that nature and life are the result of mere
chance. To him the Ship of the Universe is rudderless, without compass,
chart or Captain, subject to
the caprices and storms of blind force.
Agnosticism holds the theory that God
is unknown and unknowable, that "first truths, substance, cause,
especially the human soul and a First Cause, can neither
be proved nor disproved, and must
remain unknown and unknowable."
The average Agnostic believes that
nothing pertaining to creation and life is knowable, and, accepting the
foregoing theories dogmatically, avoids reasoning out problems for
himself, meanwhile refusing to accept the evidence obtained by research
of others in Nature's Arcana, which clearly indicates that much is
knowable relating to the purpose
IS THERE A GOD?
of the phenomena of nature and life.
In other words, "he will not enter himself, nor will he let others
Many physical scientists who
repudiate the illogical doctrines of orthodoxy become atheists and
formulate the theory that mind and intelligence are only the
resultant of the inter-action of
cells—when cells cease to act man is no more.
In rejecting the old worn-out theory
of orthodoxy, skeptical scientists reject with it an intelligent
Designer, thus attempting to "throw away the baby with the bath water."
Science is judging by cold intellect (Cain), and is pushing the
intuitive faculty (Abel) into the background.
Fatalists of various degrees deny a
future existence and are inclined to ignore the promptings of
conscience, assuming the attitude that "We live today, tomorrow we die."
Hence many live only for physical attractions, oftentimes becoming
callous and indifferent to higher ideals of conduct and, for want of
better understanding, do not
hesitate to stoop to any wrong activity or crime.
When a clergyman, supposed to be
especially protected by God, "goes wrong," deserts his wife and family
to elope with a sixteen-year-old girl, and his congregation
re-establishes him in his pulpit with full honors, ostracizing,
however, not only the girl but her
family as well, or when a minister of the gospel,
as reported recently, murders his
wife that he may marry a girl of nineteen, many
declare there is no Divine Justice in
Disasters overtake the just as well
as the unjust. Accidents, floods, epidemics or
appalling physical cataclysms afflict
believers in an all-wise Providence as well as
"sinners"; an earthquake may shatter even the very structure wherein a
reverent congregation is gathered in religious devotion. Such disasters
shake the faith not only of skeptics but of the believers in a loving
Father; they become despondent and conclude there is no God or Justice
whatever, contending that otherwise such distress would not be
The trials of mortal existence and
the apparent absence of a Guiding Intelligence in life are conducive, in
the average mind, to rejection of the possibility of any supreme Being,
THE GATEWAY OF UNDERSTANDING
purpose of life, existence of the
soul or a future life after death. This seeming enigma is the source of
much misery and sorrow, as well as evil, in the world today.
Dr. Frank N.
Freeman, of the University of Chicago, speaking to the Conference on
Research in Child Development in Chicago, declared, "There is no such
thing as intelligence apart from training."
Dr. A. Douglas
Singer, jointly with other authorities who assert that all metaphysical
views must be completely surrendered for a more scientific conception of
mind and that psychology must be properly placed in the scale of
biologic evolution, states, "It does away altogether with any appeal to
a separate will or soul."
asserted that he had no reason for hope of a continued existence. Many
brilliant men of science hold the opinion that the grave ends all human
efforts. The eminent Sir Arthur Keith asserted that as the light of a
candle is blown out, so is life extinguished when the body dies. Even
the brilliant Edison was
reported as believing that mind is the result of cell activity and that
when this activity ceases
there is no longer any mind.'.
Many persons who
are in distress from various causes read such theories given out by
those who are considered authorities and, concluding that after all life
is only a meaningless phantasm, are encouraged to attempt
self-destruction, hoping that this will end everything.
If it were
actually a fact that death ends all one would be inclined, in many
instances, to say, "So mote it be." But research in normal and abnormal
psychology proves facts to the contrary.
The conclusions of
these materialists are totally illogical. They reason only from the
materialistic sense, or intellect. Again is illustrated the Bible
statement (I Cor. 2:14), "The natural man receiveth not the things of
the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he
following Mr. Edison's death the Associated Press reported: "A few days
before Mr. Edison passed away he was sitting in his chair apparently
enjoying a pleasant dream. Suddenly opening his eyes and gazing upward
into space, his face illuminated with a smile, he said: 'It is very
beautiful over there.' Had the great inventor climbed the heights which
lead Into eternity and caught a
glimpse beyond the veil which
obstructs our earthly vision?"
IS THERE A GOD?
them because they are spiritually
discerned"; such persons judge only from appearances.
Since the physical body ceases to
function at death (so-called) it is therefore concluded that the
individual also is dead and that is the end of the chapter. Clarence
Darrow declared: "I am glad to take refuge in the one consolation that
life does not amount to much, and I should worry!" He also says that man
is a mere machine, yet he does
not explain what operates the machine.
The physical form has its beginning
from the union of two infinitesimal cells; through gestation an
intricate, complex body is developed, built up by a multitude of
different cells; each organ, in order to carry out its specific
function, requires a different class of cells. What is it that carries
on this building process?
It is unreasonable to suppose that
the individual cells could know where to place themselves in the
respective organs for which they are intended or that they could
construct each organ in the proper place in the body and develop the
organ and its function, all to culminate in a harmonious interaction of
organs, a completed, wonderful, living, acting structure.
To make this claim is the same as
saying that the individual bricks in a building, had they the faculty of
cells, would know where to place themselves, thus resulting in a
finished structure. We know how illogical that would be. It requires
the architect and the artisan
to place the material where it belongs. Always there is
the material plus Intelligent
A scientific journal recently
reported the microscopic observations of Dr. Carl Caskey Speidel,
University of Virginia
anatomist; these findings revealed the growth of nerves in the living
body and show that living nerves sprout from the spinal cord, going
directly to the muscle or sense organ they are destined to connect with
the central nervous system. The magazine commented upon this:
"But out of his success there will
arise, as is often the case in science, a still more
difficult question—How does the nerve know how to travel unerringly to
its destination? Thus the door is held open to some uncomprehended
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which some will call a manifestation
of some sort of god, to rule the course of the
growth of living things."
How can a thinking mind escape from
the realization that there is a living, organizing Something which
carries on the process of body-building, constructs the organs in their
respective places, each to carry on a particular function conjointly and
harmoniously with every other organ and its function, all resulting in
the wonderful human structure?
Foods of various kinds are placed in
the stomach, something activates them, subdividing them into
combinations to be carried through the circulation, finally
to be absorbed by the functioning
organ for which they are intended.
What is it that carries on this
chemicalizing process? Let the sophist study anatomy, biology,
physiology, organic chemistry and related subjects, always with the view
in mind of perceiving that there is a Something Plus, which
intelligently carries on the life
functions. "Know God by inference."
In studying the egg and the chick we
find at first no chick in the egg, yet, warm the egg for a sufficient
length of time and we marvel at what emerges from the
shell, a living creature, we may say,
a machine full of mechanical contrivances, in
number up to something like
twenty-one, all conforming to one definite, combined activity. Again,
what operates this internal machine shop? Did the yolk and the white
create that chick, or was it organized by an involved Something, plus a
The biologist strives to prove that
life originated in the ocean; beginning with the primary cell, life is
declared to evolve, stage after stage, from non-vertebrates gradually to
vertebrates, until it finally reaches the human stage only, however, to
end in the grave!
Why do not the scientists, eager to
uncover the origin of human existence, follow
up with similar enthusiasm the
question of what becomes of the ego after apparent
This is seemingly a conundrum. What
is the use of biological research to determine origins, if life ends at
the grave? Logically, from that standpoint, individual existence would
be a cruel mockery.
IS THERE A GOD?
After all, what
does the process of our physical evolution matter, or how we
arrived here? We are now here and
the question should be, WHY are we here?
Science speculates and endeavors to
measure the limits of the universe. "End there
is none to the universe of God," said
Jean Paul Richter. It should be evident that the present state of the
mind of man is too limited to fully comprehend the vastness of the
universe and creation.
Science, delving into chemistry and
physics, reveals processes of atomic interactivity
and fundamental laws of mechanics in the construction of atoms and their
activity in the formation of
various physical substances, demonstrating the interplay of the
invisible and objective nature.
illustrate the inter-play of visible and invisible, the three phases of
material activity are solid,
liquid and gaseous. Water is composed of H2O, that is,
two parts of
Hydrogen, an explosive, and one part of Oxygen, which supports
combustion, or fire, yet these two
combine as water and will put out fire.
Water exhibits threefold phenomena:
as liquid it evaporates and becomes invisible
vapor; through contacting lower
temperature it condenses back into liquid; a greater amount of coldness
congeals it into a solid, ice. Thus by the interaction of varying
temperatures these changes occur.
Likewise all material things may be
reduced from visible to invisible substance.
Attach a wire to a carbon element,
another wire to a zinc element, place the two in
a jar and add water and a little
acid. These are all visible elements, yet by connecting to the other
ends of the wires an electric light globe you will have
light, or attach a motor and you will
have power, energy, again revealing the interplay of visible and invisible nature.
So through all avenues of research in
the physical realm marvelous revelations are
obtained of an invisible Source. We
do not need to "believe" in the next life; we
need only use our minds to observe
the evidence on every side.
In contemplating the activities of
the universe vast wonders are revealed. Dr. Robert A. Millikan sees in
the universe God's fingerprints, and in the cosmic ray the operation
THE GATEWAY OF UNDERSTANDING
of a force which continually renews
the universe, a force to which he applies the word "Creator."
Dr. Albert Einstein, the noted German
scientist and philosopher, propounder of the theory of relativity,
according to a magazine article, "confesses to a profound
reverence and awe when he
contemplates the cosmic mystery. He does not believe
that God is man made large, nor does
he believe that there is any such thing as sin
in the commonly accepted meaning of
"But he has a point of view which he
says is common to those who, like he, have attempted to plumb the
sources of the universe and have ever been confronted with the secret of
its origin. He names it the 'cosmic religious sense,' and it is the
natural result of his research."
"Religion, he says, in effect, is the
response to man's inherent needs. Among primitive people it developed
into the 'religion of fear'—fear of hunger, of wild animals, of illness
and death showing itself in deeds and sacrifices intended to
secure the protective favor of an
anthropomorphic, or man-like divinity."
"Next came the religion which has its
source in the social feelings of human beings—in the longing for
guidance, love, comfort by a Providence who protects, decides, rewards
and punishes. This, he says, is the social or moral idea of God.
But all religions, he holds, are
mixed forms, though the moral element rules in the
higher levels of social life. Common
to these types is the anthropomorphic character of the idea of God."
"To these two forms Dr. Einstein adds
a third, which exceptionally gifted individuals may attain, though
traces of it are found in some who have never
made researches in the universe, as
the Psalmist David and the Prophets. And it is
this that he calls the 'cosmic
He says, "The religious geniuses of
all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which
recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image."
"For anyone who is pervaded with the
sense of causal law in all that happens, who
accepts in real earnest the
assumption of causality, the idea of a Being who
interferes with the sequence of
events in the world is absolutely impossible.
IS THERE A GOD?
Neither the religion of fear nor the
social-moral religion can have any hold on him."
"A God who rewards and punishes is
for him unthinkable, because man acts in
accordance with an inner and outer
necessity, and would, in the eyes of God, be as
little responsible as an inanimate
object for the movements which it makes."
"The ethical behavior of man is
better based on sympathy, education, and social relationships, and
requires no support from religion. Man's plight would, indeed,
be sad if he had to be kept in order
through fear of punishment and hope of reward
"I assert," he concludes, "that the
cosmic religious experience is the strongest and
the noblest driving force behind scientific research."
Dr. Constantine Panunzio, of the
faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles, "represents a
section of scientific thought that regards as futile any discussion of
an unprovable hereafter 'where all tears will be wiped away,'" states
the introduction to an article reporting an interview with Dr. Panunzio
on social psychology and the political, economic and cultural conditions
which are the cause of social evils prevalent in modern life. "He would
increase the sum of happiness in this life, ameliorate much of its
harshness through education rather
than faith, and take chances on the
life to come—if any."
Dr. Panunzio is quoted as saying:
"Today, owing to what I feel to be the passing of the influence of
dogmatic religion—the change from an age of faith to an age
of facts—I believe scientific
fact-finding will impress more persons than religious
"The idea that there is a cosmic
religion above all creeds, with the idea that eternity is an extended
here-and-now rather than endless time or timelessness— after death...
carries with it the desire to minimize the necessity of suffering and
sacrifice... and to find
prompt, present happiness."
It is necessary that we realize the
vastness of the human soul and mentally separate the limited from the
unlimited. Through contact with the physical we recognize ourselves
THE GATEWAY OF UNDERSTANDING
as sentient, conscious beings,
discern our transient condition and realize the limitation of the
earthly. The mind, freed from limitations through analytical
thinking, perceives the relationship
between the external and internal, the seen and the unseen and
ultimately realizes the importance of the earth experience received
through the physical form.
The celebrated Smaragdine Tablet of
Hermes Trismegistus wonderfully elucidates the nature of God, the origin
of the world, creation and divine illumination, the study of which
affords a rich mental pabulum, exercising as it does the mental
faculties, for it requires thinking and reasoning which, figuratively,
liberate the mind and soul from the mere physical.
"It is true without falsehood,
certain and absolute. That which is below is as that which is above, and
that which is above is as that which is below, to accomplish the
miracles of one thing, and as all things were from one, by the mediation
of one, so all born things
were from that one thing's adaptation."
"Separate the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross very carefully and with
ingenuity. It ascends from the earth
into Heaven, then again descends into the
earth and receives the force of above
"Thus shalt thou
have the glory of the entire world; then shall every darkness fly before
"Below" is the shadow side of the
Creator wherein mankind finds expression in nature, a necessary
condition. "Below" is the seen, the external, the mortal phase of
existence, the temporary.
"Above" refers to
the unseen, the internal, the immortal phase of existence, the eternal.
God is both spirit
and substance expressed in the external, at once both Creator and
In the dialog between Hermes and
Intelligence these characters should not be understood as personalities
but as principles, Hermes representing the Spirit of
Understanding, or the Desire to Know,
and Intelligence representing Wisdom.
IS THERE A GOD?
The dialog follows in part: Hermes
"The opinions upon the universe and
upon God are numerous and different, and I
know not the truth. Enlighten me, O
Master, for I can but believe thy revelation!"
"Learn, my son, what God and the
Universe is—God, Eternity, the World, Time,
and Generation. God causes Eternity,
Eternity causes the World, the World causes
Time, Time causes Generation. Good,
Beauty, Happiness and Wisdom are the essence of God."
"The essence of Eternity is Identity,
that of the World is Order, that of Time is change, that of Generation
is Life and Death."
"The energies of God are intelligence
and the soul, those of eternity are
permanence and immortality, those of
the world, composition and decomposition,
those of time are increase and
decrease, those of generation, quality."
"Eternity is in God, the world is in
eternity. Time is in the world, generation is in time. Eternity remains
fixed in God, the world moves in eternity, time is accomplished in the
world, generation is produced in time. The power of God is
eternity, the work of eternity is the
world, which has not been created at one time, but which is ever being
created by eternity; also will it never perish, for eternity is
imperishable, and nothing is lost in the world because the world is
enveloped by eternity."
Eternity is that in which
manifestation takes place; it is not a thing, empty and vacant; it is
formless, endless space, fixedness, permanence, changeless, forever the
In the eternal verities certain
causes produce certain effects, exact laws of nature and of mind permit
exact developments. In nature everything develops according to definite,
innate, unwritten laws.
There is dissolution of the physical
form yet the soul, or essence, which is invisible, persists after the
form is dissolved. Visible things may be transformed
into invisible. Life activity in
nature causes appearances which again
THE GATEWAY OF UNDERSTANDING
decompose and disappear, recurring
again in endless succession.
"The energies of generation are
quality," declares Intelligence. There are certain spirit essences in
everything—in plants, medicines, foods, animals, human beings—each has
its particular and differing characteristic. Yet that characteristic is
an invisible principle. This invisible essence is often sensed by
sensitives when contacting the external form.
Without "qualities" life would be
chaos. As in the arts the much-used "curve of beauty" is necessary to
disclose innate form possibilities, so without an objective
creation, a physical world, the
invisible principles could not become apparent.
The manifest is revealing itself in
an eternal void; all things evidence inherent, intelligent Principle,
Again quoting from the Smaragdine
"And what is the Wisdom of God?"
"Good, Beauty, Happiness, all Virtue
and Eternity. In penetrating matter, eternity
gives it immortality and permanence,
for its generation depends upon eternity, and
eternity depends upon God. Generation
and Time are the two different Natures in Heaven. Immovable and
incorruptible in Heaven, movable and perishable on
earth. The soul of eternity is God,
the soul of the world is eternity, the soul of the
earth is Heaven."
"God is in intelligence, Intelligence
is in the soul, the Soul is in matter, and all throughout Eternity. The
Soul fills the universal body that contains all bodies;
Intelligence and God fill the soul.
Fill the internal and envelope the externals. The
soul animates the universe; from
without, that great and perfect animal, the world;
from within, all living beings. There
on high in Heaven she dwells in identity;
here below on earth she transforms
sustains the world by necessity, by
IS THERE A GOD?
by nature; the explanation that can
be given matters little. God acts in all the
universe. This energy is a sovereign
power to which nothing human or Divine can
be compared. Believe not, Hermes,
that nothing below or above is like God; thou wouldst be far from the
truth. Nothing resembles to the dissimilar, the soul, the
One; and believe not that another
shares his power."
"To which other will you attribute
life, immortality, changes? What would it do
else? God is not idle, otherwise all
would be repose, for God fills all. Inertia exists
not in the world, nor anywhere, neither in the Creator, nor in the
creation—it is an empty word. It is necessary that all things should
become forever and everywhere,
for the Creator is all, has no
particular abode. He creates not one thing or another,
but all things. His creative power
dwells not in the beings he has created, they remain dependent on Him.
Were God to separate himself from his work life
would be withdrawn, and all would be
at an end; for He is at once the Creator and
"All is living, Life is One, and God
is Life. Life is the union of Spirit and Soul; Death is the rupture of
what was united. Man calls transformation Death, because
the material body is decomposed, and
life ceases to be visible or apparent; but my
dear Hermes, you may understand that
the world itself is transformed continually. Each day some part of it
disappears without its ever decomposing. These revolutions and these
disappearances are the passions (or phases) of the world. Revolution is
a return; disappearance is a renewal. The world contains every
form, they are not outside of it, it
transforms itself in them."
"But if every form is in the world,
what must be the form of the Creator? He cannot be without form, and if
he had but one form, he would be inferior to the world. What then shall
we say of Him that we may not say anything imperfect? For one cannot
think of God as incomplete. He has a form which is His own; which does
not appear to the eyes of the body, but which is in all bodies. Be not
astonished that He has an incorporeal form. So it is with the form of a
discourse, or the margin of a
manuscript which borders the lines, and is even and equal."
"Reflect upon a
word which is bold and true. Just as a
THE GATEWAY OF UNDERSTANDING
man cannot live without life, so God
cannot live without doing good. The life and the movement of God is to
move and make live. Some words have a particular sense; reflect then
upon what I shall tell you."
"All is in God, not as something
placed in a place, for the place is corporeal and immovable, and things
which are in a place have no movement. God is in the incorporeal,
otherwise than in appearance. Understand that He contains all;
understand that nothing is so rapid, so vast, so strong, as the
incorporeal; it surpasses
everything in capacity, in celerity, in power."
"Perceive this in yourself—order your
soul to go to India, and it is there, and it is there quicker than your
order. Order it to go to the ocean, and it is there at once, not by
moving from one place to another, but on the instant. Order it to mount
to Heaven, and to do so it requires no wings; nothing will stop it,
neither fire nor sun, nor ether, nor whirl-winds, nor the bodies of the
stars—it will traverse all and
will fly beyond all bodies."
"Do you desire to pass this limit and
to contemplate what is outside of the world?
If there is anything, you can do so.
See what power, what quickness you possess, and think you that what you
can do, God cannot? Conceive of God as having in Himself all thoughts,
the whole world. If you cannot equal and compare yourself to God, you
cannot comprehend Him. Like comprehends like. Enlarge yourself to an
immense size; outpass all bodies; traverse all times, become eternity,
and you will conceive and understand God. Nothing can prevent you from
supposing yourself immortal
and all-knowing, Arts, Sciences, the habits of all animals."
"Lift yourself above all heights;
descend below all depths, collect in yourself every sensation of all
created things, of water, of fire, of the dry and the wet. Suppose that
you are everywhere at the same time, on Earth, in the Sea, in Heaven;
that you have never been born; that you are still in embryo; that you
are young, old, dead, beyond death; comprehend all things at once, time,
place, things, quantities,
qualities, and you will comprehend God."
"But if you shut up your soul in the
body and if you humble yourself and say: 'I understand nothing, I can do
IS THERE A GOD?
nothing; I neither know what I am, nor
what I shall be,' what are you in common with God? If you are bad and
attached to a body, what can you understand of great and good things?"
"Not to recognize the Divine is the
perfection of evil, but to be able to perceive, to
desire it, and to hope for it, is the
means of reaching it by a direct and easy road. By following it, you will
see it everywhere; in the places and in the hour where you least expect
it; in wakefulness and in sleep; at Bea, in traveling, by night and by
day, in speaking and in keeping silence; for there is not anything but
what is the image of God."
"God is not invisible; there is nothing
more apparent than God. If he has created all things, it is that we may
see Him in and through all things. This is the good of God; this is His
virtue, to appear in all; nothing is invisible, even amongst the
"Intelligence is seen in thought; God
in creation. This is what I had to reveal to
you, oh, Trismegistus! Look for it in yourself and you will not lose your
It is impossible to think of God as
being outside of eternity; eternity is unlimited and God is unlimited.
"God is to the soul what the soul is to the body," said Plutarch. While
God, time and eternity are incomprehensible to mortal man they have,
according to enlightened spirits, a different aspect in the spirit world,
and fuller understanding of the original Source is attained in the next