Social Degradation

Written in 1951 but is painfully more relevant now. Paragraph 2 perfectly describes social media. Goes to show no matter what tools we have available to us, we humans constantly make the same mistakes.

With conflict the dominant keynote in modern human relationships, the peacemaker is given slight consideration. He may be branded politically as a pacifist or accused of cowardice. We have long held that it is proper to maintain belligerently and aggressively both our principles and our opinions. Failure to do so is diagnosed as a deficiency of character. In spite of this, however, the long memory of the world still honors the men of peace and those kindly sages who courageously lived and died in defense of the right to be kind.

Living as we do in a social system becoming more intense and confused everyday, we are constantly tempted to become involved in the conflicts of those around us. We are expected to take sides, to defend and offend, to argue and debate, and most of all to appear appropriately disturbed. It is a social error to be composed when others are exhausting their resources in pointless agitation. To such contestants, the peacemaker is not blessed, for he reveals a measure of self-control, which is itself disquieting to the uncontrolled.

Peacemaking is not a profession; it is an instinct, and only succeeds when it is sustained by other gentle and kindly traits of character. When calmness pervades the atmosphere, radiating from a relaxed, well poised person, it is a force to be reckoned with, but when it is demanded or required by some moralizer who knows not whereof he speaks, it has no calming influence.

Manly P. Hall

Immaculate Conception

The mystic instinctively recognizes that two mysteries are mingled together in the Christian story. The process of interpretation have confused the patterns, but internally we have certain faculties of discrimination which refuse to accept the confusion. Our spiritual need requires the two fold realization, and this need cannot be denied. There is Jesus, the son of man, and Christ the son of God. We accept the fact that Jesus was Christened, but not that Jesus was Christ. As the folk hero, Jesus is humanity, considered individually or collectively. Christ is the redemptive power of God, the Supreme Being manifesting through and upon the human creation. Christ is the son of heaven, and Jesus the son of earth.

The life of Jesus, like the Mystery rituals of the ancient temples, describes “the perilous journey.” Jesus personifies the eternal neophyte seeking admission at the gates of the spiritual universe.

…the Christian mystic meditates upon Jesus as the mystical personification of his own higher nature. In this sense, Jesus was immaculately conceived. He was born of the virgin – the power of the soul – and he came as the fulfilment of the divine promise.

Manly P. Hall

Mystic Illumination

Mysticism escapes from the illusion of history. It frees the mind from its most natural inclination, which is to approach events from the outside. The mind seeks to possess facts by accumulating them and storing them away for future reference. Having arranged them chronologically in the filing system of memory, it considers itself to be well-informed. The heart has no time for such classification. It bridges intervals of time and quality by an instinctive appraisal of values. Mysticism in this way accepts history only as a dated record recording eternal verities. The records of nations are long accounts of hates, fears, hopes, dreams, and intense allegiances. All the manifestations of human instincts may be divided and arranged chronologically, the instincts themselves are not susceptible to such organization. Scriptural writings are important because they re state ever-present emergencies. The heart accepts the lesson, but rejects the historical framework. It gathers all doctrines into an eternal now and experiences them as an immediate impact. In this way the old becomes immanent and can be experienced and thereby known in the spirit rather than in the letter

Manly P. Hall

The Mystical Christ

I have been yearning to read a Manly P. Hall book, this is one I have on my shelf that I have yet to read. 

Mysticism is not a sect or a creed; it is a conviction, deriving its authority from the natural instincts of the human heart. The desire to know intensifies the rational faculties of the mind and the intuitive powers of the soul.

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Mysticism teaches the immanent availability of the divine power. It transforms, by process of interpretation, all doctrines from codes into qualities of conviction. The religious story is accepted, not historically, but as an eternal fact of consciousness.

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The Mystic does not renounce knowledge; he does not deny the wonderful accomplishments in all fields of learning. To him, all these achievements become better roads and paths. Because his understanding is deeper, his appreciation is more enlightened. Thus we say that mysticism is not a science or an art, but ensoulment of sciences and art. It ends by a conscious consecration of all things known and all things knowable to the service of the Great Cause, which is the source of the known and the unknown.

Manly P. Hall