Home

 

The Seven Purposes by Margaret Cameron 1867 - 1947

 

XI

 

ON the evening of his arrival, May 7th, Mr. Kendal asked his wife whether she could stay with us during his visit to New York, and she replied that she would outstay him, unless the forces attacking me were defeated before his departure.

 

"It really helps, then, for us to get together here," he inferred.

 

"Yes, indeed, it helps. All combination of force adds by the sum of its participation to the original amount of force combined."

 

Taken in conjunction with other, similar assertions in this connection—"Its force is freed and multiplied by the sum of your participation"; "For every vibration of pure constructive purpose among the Allied forces, we have added two"; "Force united is more powerful, by half than similar forces separately striving"; etc.—it seems probable that these expressions were intended as figures of speech, emphasizing the increased potency of united purpose on our lane and the ability of the free forces to reinforce


 

276

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

force it in proportion to its actual vitality, rather than as mathematical statements of the exact degree to which this reinforcement and co-operation may be carried.

 

Mentioning that sometimes they seemed to make a distinction between purpose and force, and again to use the terms interchangeably, Mr. Kendal said he would like to know the character of each. "Is purpose like the direction of an electric current, and force like amperage and voltage?" he asked. "Or is purpose the road, and force the velocity in following it? Is purpose qualitative, and force quantitative? Is the distinction between them along some of these lines?"

 

"It is along all those lines," was the reply. "Purpose is the force that draws. Force is the purpose that pushes."

 

Like various others to whom these messages first came through me, Mr. Kendal had been trying, with some success, to obtain direct communication. Mary facetiously described his pencil as "a good burro," and mine as "a real hawse." I had thought this dialecticism differently spelled, but he reminded me that "hoss" belonged to New England, and "hawse" to Mary's native state, Kentucky.

 

While the pencil-point rested idly on the paper, we talked about the sensations accompanying


 

277

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

its movement, and about the probable direction of the force propelling it. To him, the impulse seemed to come first and chiefly through the consciousness; to me, it seemed a physical force externally applied to the pencil, notwithstanding occasional consciousness of what the message would be; but we were agreed that it was difficult, at first, to be sure that the impulse was not in some unrecognized way our own.

 

"It has been amusing to us to see you two struggle against our psychical intrusions," Mary remarked, at this point. "We do push the pencil. We also reach the mind. Sometimes the one, sometimes the other, is what does the trick. It is easier for us to impress the mind, but harder for you to recognize that suggestion as ours. You think it's your own, and fight. Margaret is even more resistant than Manzie—perhaps because she has more responsibility to other people."

 

"Are present conditions—the gathering of the clans for the coming struggle—going to enable many people to do this, who have never done it before and otherwise would have been unable to do it?" he asked.

 

"Yes; but the danger of that is that the other forces will find their own channels, and steal and defile some of ours. So we can't


 

278

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

advise people to experiment, unless they can absolutely identify the force here, and only a few, comparatively, can do that."

 

He said that he had hesitated to ask questions of his own pencil, being unwilling to go too far in this until he had checked it up through me.

 

"He's scairt," she teased, before he had fairly started to speak. "You don't trust yourself or me."

 

Laughing, he retorted: "That's another!"

 

"You are right to be careful," she went on, serious again. "It's a dangerous adventure, unless you keep your balance, follow your own purpose, keep close tab on the force handling the pencil, and lean on it only spiritually. The minute advice in material things is sought, that minute there is danger."

 

"There's no danger that anybody can impersonate you and fool me," he declared.

 

"Never! The danger is that somebody might lie to you about me; or if you cease to stand on your own feet and make your own choice in matters of your plane, only then somebody might impersonate me for a moment. Sometimes I can tell you those things, but the habit of depending on them is bad for you."

 

A night or two later, beginning with a reply to a question concerning another subject, she


 

279

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

returned to the discussion of the force used in conveying these communications—"a force compared to which electricity is like spring water," she said—declaring, like Frederick, that its explanation is still impossible in terms of our plane.

 

"There is a vital and potent force, not yet isolated—and hardly discovered—by your most advanced scientists," she told us. "It has characteristics and attractions not explainable until its discovery and analysis give rise to a new set of words. There is no adequate comparison that may be used to indicate its force, or the conditions and degrees of its variations. It has some resemblance to electricity, yet the comparison in certain cases would be misleading."

 

"I am talking about the force we use in moving this pencil, and to some extent in affecting your thought," she continued, when Mr. Kendal had mentioned certain recent scientific experiments of which he had read. "The scientists have long associated the power of thought with the brain, and have seriously argued that, as we could not be seen, measured, weighed, or condensed, we did not exist. We do. And we have a force at our command that cannot be explained, as yet. It can only occasionally be demonstrated as clearly as


 

280

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

this. Electricity is the most likely to impress the man in the street as a comparison, but to argue from that as a premise would lead to misconception. At present, it must be accepted as a recognized but not understood force, only dimly perceived, as for years electricity was."

 

"Does it help, if we emphasize what we know of static electricity, as well as thinking of the comparison in terms of electric current? A static force in your plane, perhaps?"

 

"Yes, that helps; but the static force is in your plane, quite as much as here. We have more knowledge of the current, to continue the simile, but encounter static conditions both here and there, as well as counter currents here."

 

This would seem to offer reasons—in addition to David Bruce's explanation of the difficulties of translation when the messenger's reaction to certain word-symbols fails—for occasional delays in the transmission of these communications.

 

"Margaret hasn't tried us yet with an antagonistic force on your plane," she said, on another occasion. "We don't do it this way when the forces there are not harmonious."

 

"Is your forward sight much greater than ours?" her husband asked. "Or is it, in relation


 

281

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

to other planes, about what ours is in regard to yours?"

 

"We can see the end as you have not even dreamed it yet, but our detailed knowledge is limited to two or three planes beyond ours. Even here, development is uneven, and some of us see farther than others. We are far from omniscient or omnipotent. We have advanced beyond you, our individual purposes are clear where yours are confused, we know where we are bound and why, we see much farther ahead than you can, and we work in three planes—yours as teachers, ours as laborers, and the next as students."

 

Referring to the statements about Russia, of which we had told him, he asked whether there were the same relative differences of opinion and judgment among them as among us, as to psychological policies to be pursued for the Great Purpose, and as to the applications of those policies on this plane.

 

"There are some differences of perception. Light, for example, sees shadow and desires to dispel it. Truth sees error and wishes to correct it. But, broadly speaking, the opinions are the same. The impediments in the path of progress are many. Each purpose deals with its own; Light with darkness, Truth with error, and so on. Each may work


 

282

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

in the same field, even in the same individual, but here we work for the same ultimate purpose. We do not disagree. Each follows his own work, and recognizes the other's field."

 

"We have a united policy," she said, at another time, "but each our individual application of it in personal relations and messages like these. It is all intended to enlighten and inspire you, but only in certain fundamental and specific matters are we instructed what to say.

 

"Can you determine time there, by other than the memory of it here and by close inspection?" was another question.

 

"We have no time here, in your sense. We watch you, and remember, but we lose track of you, sometimes."

 

Mr. Kendal then said—explaining his phrase, "close inspection"—that he thought they saw time dimly, as we see through water or through fog.

 

"Is memory with you as acute as answers to some of these questions seem to indicate?" one of us inquired.

 

"Not of material things, generally. We don't pay much attention to them, unless they interfere with purpose. Just now they are interfering a good deal—or were, before the war, which is itself a material manifestation of


 

283

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

purpose." We said that we should have thought this interference in full force still, and she continued: "The real interference, from our point of view, came before the war, when the world outside of Germany was too much occupied in pursuit of material things to see what was happening. They failed even to see Germany's intention. Much less did they discover their own danger, of which Germany's purpose, materially, was the least. The war woke them up by degrees, fortunately, or there would be no use telling them this."

 

A question concerning the possibility of communicating with a person recently departed from this plane, was met with the statement that he had "free communion" still to learn. This expression had been used several times by others, and now I asked: "Mary, what is free communion?"

 

"You don't think we vocalize our talk, do you?"

 

Mansfield suggested that when a man found himself suddenly without his material veil, he must be at a loss how to proceed, and asked whether that was what she meant.

 

"Not entirely. The veil isn't missed particularly, but there is a… a…."

 

"Difference of medium?" he asked. "Like a water-color artist who can't paint in oil?"


 

284

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

"That's it."

 

"Referring to your assertion in March that truth is absolute," he said, "is not truth itself relative on this plane? Truth as a statement of eternal law is absolute, but when applied to concrete facts and ideas, it changes from time to time? That is, a concrete statement which expressed the relations of certain mundane conditions to the eternal verities in B.C. 1000, would not necessarily be a correct statement of the relations of corresponding conditions to those verities in the year 1900 A.D."

 

"That is the idea on which this whole revelation is based," she returned. "These things have always been true. They would not have sounded true in the year one, any more than a lot of the 'truths' of that day are true now."

 

A night or two after this, he said he would like more light on the practical application of these principles, especially those in relation to freedom. "How, for instance, would you go about helping a school?" he asked. "Take, as concrete examples, a University like ——, its Faculty held in subjection by hidebound trustees, and the proposed People's University, to be governed from day to day by plebiscite or referendum, with no defined policy or procedure beyond a general idea of freedom. 'You may lead a horse to water, but you can't


 

285

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

make him drink.' Should the construction of the trough be left to chance, or should it be planned carefully? In other words, should mundane provision and prevision be employed in building it?"

 

"It has been said already that men must first learn to think, and to govern themselves, before they can be free." It was Mary K. who answered. "If experience were not taken into consideration, progress would be impossible. Mundane prevision and provision is essential to all constructive activity on your plane. Opinions will differ as to ways and means of applying principles of progress. The first way to help a school is to establish unity among the teachers. Not only unity of purpose, but a certain large unity of method, that one may not tear down what his brother builds. Ideals of freedom have been confused by men resenting the first law of freedom—discipline. Lack of discipline, carried to its logical conclusion, would return the world to chaos. The school that is free in its teaching must be carried on by disciplined teachers, united in a purpose of progress clearly recognized and agreed upon, to teach discipline that the minds of men may dare to be free."

 

"The idea underlying that, I take it, is that as the athlete whose body is thoroughly trained


 

286

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

and co-ordinated dares to jump an abyss, without fear of falling, so the man whose mind and spirit are disciplined can jump an intellectual abyss, without losing balance or sanity."

 

"Yes. And as a man—trained to carry great weights on his shoulders must be trained to it from youth, so the man who would carry government and freedom of thought must train his mind to carry its weight—not alone to hold it briefly, but to carry it on."

 

"Is it true, then," he asked, "that safe freedom and constructive freedom are only possible after prior discipline and self-control?"

 

"How can undisciplined freedom be safe or constructive? It makes the wilderness. It makes the jungle. It makes the uncharted and devouring sea."

 

PART - 12