Home

 

The Seven Purposes by Margaret Cameron 1867 - 1947

 

XII

 

ONE day, about the middle of May, discussing these manifestations over a luncheon table, a man who described himself as "a sympathetic agnostic" mentioned that while all those on the next plane reported that they were busy, none to his knowledge had told just what they were doing.

 

At that time, we had received several statements concerning their activities. Frederick had spoken of his efforts in connection with "a pro-German newspaper editor." Maynard Holt's mother had told us that she worked "with undeveloped purposes, here before their time." It had been said of a famous editor: "He is for Justice…. He is one of the forces determining the grouping of the newly arrived." Anne Lowe had said: "I handle children. Some of them thought they were grown up when they left you." And the work of the healers, in receiving and soothing "war-stricken forces," had been repeatedly mentioned.

 

However, with the comment of the "sympathetic


 

288

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

agnostic" in mind, we asked Mary Kendal, apropos of some allusion to the healers on her plane, whether she could tell us of their work in detail.

 

"You have already seen that our ability to be specific, even about things here, is dependent on your ability to understand conditions of our plane," she reminded us. "As fast as we can, we give it to you. But as well explain the operation of wireless telegraphy to an illiterate 'cracker,' as to try to explain healing, as we understand and practise it, to the person unprepared by thought and study of these truths."

 

The next day, in another city, Frederick, writing through a member of his family, said that he had been doing some work in developing some spirits who had "let their lowest tendencies be their guiding force."

 

"They were men who were very unhappy, because they had left the world before they were ready, and did not know what this life meant," he said.

 

"Had they recently gone over?" he was asked.

 

"Yes, not very long on this side. They were so bewildered that they thought they were in some kind of dream that they could not wake from. They had been sick, but not long enough


 

289

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

to let them get any idea of death, or light after death, so they were sorry to come over."

 

"Do they call you teacher?" "No, just a friend."

 

Replying to a question about a specific activity on this plane, he said: "I can tell you that a lot of those things that seem bewildering are not important enough to be doing what we call work here."

 

"What do you call work?"

 

"Conscious development of spiritual forces."

 

A month later, a question about a woman known here as a sculptor brought the following reply from David Bruce.

 

"She is working with a development of the purpose of production, which is the foundation that underlay her work there. She is producing force by developing the undeveloped producers."

 

Probably the most specific information yet received by any of our small group concerning the practical application of these principles to the affairs of our plane, came through Maynard Holt.

 

"My work lies principally with business men on your plane," he said, one day, to a family connection. "We are much concerned about the lack of co-operation among persons of constructive tendencies, and my own job is to


 

290

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

apply this force we cannot fully explain to you, in any way that will influence men or women toward co-operation. Sometimes we use it to suggest a new idea. Sometimes we use it to so direct apparently consequential circumstances and events that the person we wish to influence gets an object lesson."

 

In support of this is a statement of his made in April. While writing a long message, most of which was intimately personal, he indicated his interest in business conditions, and urged a greater and more far-seeing co-operation among business men. In the midst of a sentence the pencil stopped, creating a long delay. Failing, after repeated efforts, to transmit the word he had attempted, he drew a series of singularly uniform arches across the whole width of the paper.

 

After puzzling over it a moment, I drew a line above the arches, and said, perceiving no significance in the symbol: "That looks like a viaduct."

 

"That's what I mean," he resumed, vigorously, and proceeded with an elaboration of his theme, comparing co-operation to a viaduct.

 

"In the end, the forces for progress will cross to all lands by that viaduct," he continued, "and those who balk and refuse it will be diverted and delayed by following old


 

291

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

paths through the tortuous chasm of competitive destruction. Not that we discourage competition. The individual organization, like the individual man, must follow its purpose and develop its force, but… competition at its best is entirely friendly and constructive. Boys have it taught them in the simplest form in college sports. There it is personal, but co-operative in the development of college spirit. Each man does his best for himself and his own record, but loyally and cheerfully supports against opposing forces the more successful man who is of his own group. With increasing responsibilities, temptations and difficulties increase, but experience should bring ability to meet them. The code of school and college forces may be developed and applied to business and productive forces. This is the first application of college training to competitive business."

 

Afterward, when Mr. Kendal had expressed his cordial sympathy with the theory of cooperation, widely applied, Maynard said: "That's where the college team has won and the union has failed. The union was good in conception, but has made for the suppression of individual development, where the college team encourages it."

 

Later still, following a conversation concerning


 

292

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

national economics and international commerce after the war, he said:

 

"Co-operation is moral. Commercial supremacy is material. Material success is constructive only if permanent, and permanent only if constructive. Until co-operation for permanent progress becomes a principle of international as well as national purpose, there will be little actual progress toward permanent peace, or lasting prosperity.

 

"As the college boy works first for his own power, but most for his team, and first, last and all the time for clean athletics, so the business man should work first for his unit, definitely for his country's welfare, but first, last and always for clean co-operation with all who make for the world's progress.

 

"The exponents of national supremacy at the expense of world progress are exactly in the position of the exponents of personal prosperity at the expense of national welfare. The situations are analogous to a degree as yet comprehended by few men.

 

"It took many years to convince the manufacturer that increased production would follow shorter hours and improved working conditions. It took many years to convince merchants that decreased cost and increased profit followed combination of forces. It took


 

293

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

some time to convince financiers and manufacturers that success, not failure, would follow the co-operation of competing concerns in the foreign field. Yet it is now recognized that all these things are true and practicable. No less—even more—is it practicable to unite world forces of progress in commerce as they are united now in war, the fight at all times being for construction and development, against destruction and regression.

 

"This cannot be done in a day or a year, but this is the goal toward which enlightened forces should move. It may sound Utopian now. So did model factories and tenements, a few years ago. Their advocates were scoffed at and discredited. Now, the manufacturer who fails to provide healthful working conditions for his operatives is called short-sighted and pig-headed, and cheats himself twice, while cheating his employees once.

 

"Co-operation is the basic principle of all progress, and the point at which it stops is the measure of strength of man or nation. The nation that refuses to co-operate for progress is a nation confessing itself deterrent."

 

Again, in June, Maynard returned to this subject, saying that men must become "strong enough to let the other fellow live and prosper, without fearing him." After mentioning "fear


 

294

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

of what may come, or lust for what may be seized," as motives making for destruction, he added: "Neither is constructive or progressive, and neither can win in the end."

 

"We have purpose to progress beyond the vision of man," he went on, "but even material progress, to be constructive and permanent, must be governed by a vision beyond the day. We are trying to extend that vision.

 

"Co-operation in individual enterprise has succeeded. Co­operation in national enterprise would succeed no less. More and more, men are recognizing the value of united effort in commercial enterprise, however long it took the truth to dawn. Must other centuries pass, other wars be fought, other dynasties rise and fall, before the larger truth ushers in a new day? Will co-operation in business, co-operation in war, teach them to study and practise co­operation in world welfare and progress? Will they learn that it is not only in war that a weakened Belgium means an endangered England, that a hungry France means short rations in America, that a link weakened means the chain weak?

 

"How many times must this premise be demonstrated before the argument is carried to its logical conclusion, and national co­operation,


 

THE SEVEN PURPOSES

 

free and voluntary, provide for the good of one by protecting and developing all?

 

"This is not a Utopian fantasy. It is common sense." 295

 

PART - 13