From the book The Guiding Star

Writings made by visible full-form spirit materializations
through the mediumship of William W. Aber



Written by the Spirit,

The theorist that teaches that life originated in the germ, should remember that, a little further analysis shows the germ is a compound form, the same as any one of the stages that life passes through in its pathway to a more perfect expression.

The stickler for the cell as the primitive source of life, should be aware that, the cell is a result of chemical forces that have not yet arrived at the germ stage of life form; and that, every analysis of form you make only throws a little further back into the realm of chemical forces, the true source of life itself.

Evidently it is not in form that the life principle is to be found in its primitive state, and you shall have to look in some other direction for evidence of its true nature.


You have seen that, all of the thinkers of the past, to formulate a theory of the source of life, end in abstraction. The logic they use is: God is the source of life, and God made the world and all in it by fiat, or decree of his own free will. This is only the confession of ignorance and inability to produce evidence concerning the subject; and we mention this, here, to show how unable the untrained intellect is to discern any relation of force beyond the scope of the physical senses.

To discern the evidence that belongs to the realm of form beyond the physical senses requires a keen mental training, and it is in the mental realm that you shall have to seek it : For, as soon as it comes to the sphere of physical sense, although it appears to be more positive, yet really, it is not so for physical life and physical senses are lower in the scale of atomic results, and deductions that depend upon them only, are apt to be of inferior value, although not without interest that makes them worthy of consideration.

But, even in their province, they give you much evidence that is positive as far as it goes, and would, if better understood, go far toward clearing up the mystery that surrounds physical form. In all the reproductive functions of life, you find that, the elements cling to their primitive processes, no matter how high the organism may grade in the scale.

There is the principle of cozoic formation in the spermatozoa of the male which is the first evolution of electric life. It is the first chemical combination of elements in the living structure that has the proper temperature and interaction of elements by which the primitive cell was formed. If placed in a corresponding environment, it goes steadily forward through all the previous stages, until it has perfected its form and becomes a miniature reproduction of its parent structure.

In doing this, it thus unconsciously followed the line of forces and chemical elements of the parent organism whereby the organism came into being from its parent, and so on backward for generations and ages ; but, in this line, there are some deflections that are quite marked. There is a period when the forming organism is bisexual, or, rather, when it can become either sex, carrying it back to the period when organisms were bisexual ; but in order that it should perfect the power of sex to a higher degree or rather, when the inherent powers of the elements were surging into it to raise it to a higher plane.

Sex had to differentiate, and one became the power to preserve the energy, while the other became the environment to perfect the form. In this there was no miracle wrought, for the very fact that some organisms responded more to the waves of electric power in the planet at times than at others, would tend to make them more positive, while others, under less powerful currents, would become receptive to the influence of the stronger organisms and thus sexual functions became distinct in each. Now you have organic life responding to the wave-motion of the elements in the highest grades of atomic and molecular activity ; but with the difference of rates, made a basis determining which shall be the positive and negative expression in the form; and, between them, further evolution of form from the elements in this stage of formative action, according to the original principle of obtaining form from chemical balance.

Another strong witness to the birth of organic form under the conditions of planetary darkness, is the necessity that exists, even at this age, for the same condition, in almost all departments of the higher types, of darkness during the formative processes of embryotic life.

Perhaps the best evidence that can be given, is the existence of the mental power that, in the short space of thirty or fifty years, is able, from the germ cell of embryotic life to expand to the breadth and vigor of gigantic intellectual power that governs the world of material forces with perfect ease, and bids them respond to its wishes, yet, you see this, every day, in the teeming world of inventive and mechanical ingenuity.

Yet, even these exhibits of mental evolution may be said to only reflect upon the mental plane the grand growth of vegetable and animal organisms that once dwelt upon the earth as the best results of the forces in the planet at that stage of planetary development.

We say that the law of evidence in this age of mental growth, is not questionable there, but we know that, in all the previous ages of mental evolution there is no evidence that the present status was ever allowed by the race, although there are still remaining traces of a highly developed civilization in various quarters of the globe.

You can do, in this age, all that has been done in the past, with additional powers of control of natural forces that were unknown in the past ; but, this increase of mentality which is so striking an evidence of evolution upon the plane of the mind, is overlooked, almost entirely, by the advocates of special creation, who suppose that, mentality itself, is an evidence of the exercise of special creative power. The truer inference would be to examine if the increase of the mental power of the race is not presumptive, if not conclusive evidence of the transferral of the law of evolutionary growth to the plane of mind ; and if, by that method the world could not be read as an open book by the enlightened student of nature's laws. Certain it is that, the more highly the mental insight is developed the less do the evidences of any special creative processes appear to be truthful, or, in any degree, reliable.

All that they have as a basis, or ever had, is the dictum of a class of thinkers that never had any special qualification as judges of the subject. They wrote as they surmised, and that is all the world has ever had from that source as evidence. They knew little, but claimed much, and the world accepted them on the strength of their claims ; but, evidence of the truth of their claims was beyond the province of any one to bestow.

The forming worlds in space, that, at the present time, belong to the nebulous masses of matter, are certainly worthy of study and consideration. The principles of chemical balance whereby the elements in space are able to assume form are surely of as much value as the word of a prophet crying in the wilderness of ignorance.

The inherent energy of the elements in mass, is as good a source of vital power, as a Hypothetical Individual that neither can be discussed nor apprehended by any of His so-called exponents.

The evidence the world of thought seeks, must be in accord with the principles that produce the results that are evidence of the existence of the powers, and these principles are, certainly, demonstrated in the province of chemical forces, if nowhere else.

Consequently, it is here, that you are justified in seeking the evidence, rather than elsewhere. To these laws we refer as evidence of the causative power that produces the results in the world of physical forces.

To their study you look for the only revelation that is worthy of the name, for a solution of the problems of sentient, as well as invisible beings. In them you expect to find the true source of wonder working power that builds planets from the inchoate elements and peoples them with myriad hosts of life that reflect all degrees of animate and intelligent expression of power. Outside of them you do not expect any explanation of the source of planetary life that will be worthy of acceptance as being in accord with the truth or hardly approximating its real nature. That type of thought has had its time, upon the earth, and has only resulted in producing confusion and darkness to the mental world, thereby retarding the progress of the intellectual development of the race, by persistently refusing to consider the evidence that Nature gives for the enlightenment of all her children.

Now we come to the liberation and reconstruction of the elements into the different types of form;—but, rather, a steady modification of types and evolution of power that marks the status of the world at present. There are those in your world that claim to know how to answer these questions, but their answers differ widely in the principles of causation, and the thinker is forced to regard them as premature in their claims, or, unreliable in their statements. The most that we can say of them is that, their ability is not equal to their zeal, and they must be passed to one side as incompetent to deal with the question. Another class, who are interested in the subject, do not claim so much but, really, do give more light as they follow more closely upon the pathway of Natural Revelation, than, in the direction of the old theories ; but even they fall short of forming a full exposition of their convictions : For they hold a little in reserve that binds them to the self-constituted exponents of Creative Power.

This class are uncertain of the principles, because all along the pathway of evolutionary life, certain way-marks are supposed to be wanting, and so they wait until the missing links are restored, and the claim of external evidence is completed, ere they commit themselves to the complete endorsement of the new theory of life. It is to this class of exponents that the great mass of minds look for their instruction in the lines of new thought, and who really have to be the connecting links in the new evolution of mental power in transition from the old idea. This is the law of evolution in all its bearings upon the problem of human destiny, as well as the solution of the mysteries that belong to the department of planetary forms. It furnishes explanations for all the processes that form requires, and dispenses with the superstitious expositions that imperfect mentality has imposed upon the world as the true explanation of the action of creative intelligence.

There is, indeed, a period in the development of every tissue and every living thing known to you, when there are actually no structural peculiarities whatever—when the whole organism consists of transparent structureless, semi-fluid living Bioplasm. When it would not be possible to distinguish the growing moving matter which was to evolve the oak from that which was the germ of a vertebrate animal. Nor can any difference be discerned between the bioplasm matter of the lowest, simplest epithelial scale of man's organism and that from which the nerve cells of his brain are to be evolved.

Neither by studying bioplasm under the microscope, nor by any kind of physical or chemical investigation known, can you form any notion of the nature of the substance which is to be formed by the bioplasm.


Now we are nearing the point where the spiritual analogy appears. It is a very wonderful analogy, so wonderful that we almost hesitate to put it into words. Yet Nature is reverent ; and it is her voice to which you listen. There is another kind of life, of which, science, as yet, has taken little cognizance. It obeys the same laws. It builds up an organism into its own form. It IS THE SPIRITUAL LIFE. When man becomes a spiritual being the process is Natural.

Spiritualism is no disheveled mass of aspiration, prayer and faith. There is no more mystery in Spiritualism, as to its processes, than in Biology. There is much mystery in Biology. You know all about nothing of life yet, nothing of development. There is the same mystery in the spiritual Life. Has it ever occurred to you that Spiritualism is not only a philosophy, but that it includes a science, pure and simple? To look in this direction for the protoplasm of the spiritual life is consistent with all analogy.

The lowest, or mineral world, mainly supplies the material—and this is true even for insectivorous species—for the vegetable kingdom. The vegetable supplies the material for the animal. Then, in turn, the animal furnishes material for the mental; and, lastly, the mental for the spiritual. Each member of the series is complete only when the steps below it are complete;—the highest demands all. You have discovered that, in the womb, the new creature is to be born, fashioned out of the mental and moral parts, substance, or essence of the natural man. The thing to be insisted upon is that, in the natural man this mental and moral substance, or basis, must be spiritually developed.

When we look at this complex combination which we have predicated as the basis of spiritual life, we do find something which gives it a qualification for being the protoplasm of the spiritual life. The reason at least, not only why this kind of life should be associated with this kind of protoplasm, but why it should never be associated with other kinds which seem to resemble it—why, for instance, the spiritual life should not be engrafted upon the intelligence of a horse or the instinct of an ant. 

The animal in all its parts is mobile, sensitive ; the highest animal, man, is the most mobile, the most at leisure from routine, the most impressionable, the most open to change.

And, when you reach the mind and soul this mobility is found in its most developed form. Whether you regard its susceptibility to impressions, its lightning-like response, even to influences the most impalpable and subtle, its power of instantaneous adjustment; or, whether you regard the delicacy and variety of its moods, or its vast powers of growth, you are forced to recognize, in this, the most perfect capacity for change. The marvelous plasticity of mind, contains at once, the possibility, and prophecy of its transformation.

The natural man is its basis, the spiritual man is its product; the life itself is something different. This being made evident little remains here to be added.

No man has ever seen life. It cannot be analyzed, or weighed, or traced in its essential nature. You see no life in the first embryo in the oak, in palm, or the bird. In the adult it escapes you. You cannot expect to see it, for you are further removed from the coarser matter moving now among ethereal and spiritual things. It is because it conforms to the law of the analogy that men, not seeing it, have denied its being. Is it hopeless to point out that one of the most recognizable characteristics of life is its unrecognizableness, and that the very token of its spirituality lies in its being beyond the grossness of your eyes? You do not pretend that science can define this life. It has no definition to give—even of your own life, much less of this—the spiritual. According to this doctrine, [of evolution,] life can only come from life.

What does any man consciously do, for instance, in the matter of breathing? What part does he take in circulating the blood, in keeping up the rhythm of the heart? What control has he over growth? What part, voluntarily, does man take in secretion, in digestion, in the reflex actions? In fact, is he not, after all, the veriest automaton,—every organ of his body given him, brain, nerve, thought and sensation, will and conscience—all provided for him ready made? And yet he turns upon his soul and refuses to recognize that himself ! Oh, how preposterous and vain man is! You, who could not make a finger nail of your body—then you think to fashion the wonderful, mysterious, subtle soul of yours after the ineffable Image. Could science, in its most brilliant anticipations for the future of its highest organism, ever have foreshadowed a development like this?

Now that this revelation is made, it surely recognizes it as the missing point in Evolution, the climax to which all creation tends. It is a pillar with marvelous carving, growing richer and finer toward the top, but without a capital ; a pyramid, the vast base buried in the inorganic, towering higher and higher, life above life, mind above mind; it is perfect in its workmanship, more noble in its symmetry and yet, withal, so much the more mysterious in its aspiration.

The most curious eye, following it upward sees nothing. The cloud has covered it. Just what men wanted to see was hidden. This work of ages, begun by Nature, had no apex. As the veil is lifted by these phenomena, it strikes men dumb with wonder. Spirit life is the only life that ever will be completed. Apart from the spirit, the life of man is a broken pillar, and the race of men an unfinished pyramid. One by one, in sight of us all, all human ideals fall. One by one, before the open grave, all human hopes dissolve.

Is not the botanist astonished when his microscope reveals the architecture of sprat tissue in the stem of a plant? or the mineralogist who beholds, for the first time, the chaos of beauty in the sliced specimen of some common stone? So far as beauty goes, the organic world and the inorganic are one. No fundamental distinction in science depends upon beauty. He wants an answer in terms of chemistry : Are they organic or inorganic? or in terms of biology : Are they living or dead? But when we tell him that the one is living and the other dead, he is in possession of a characteristic and fundamental scientific distinction. From this point of view, however much they may possess in common of material substance and beauty, they are separated from one another by a wide and unbridged gulf.

Thus classification of form structures depends upon the standpoint, and we shall pronounce them like or unlike, related or unrelated, accordingly as we judge them from this point of view. Here, for example, are two characters, pure and elevated, adorned with conspicuous virtues, stirred by lofty impulses, and commanding a spontaneous admiration from all who look on them. There is a deep distinction between the spiritualist and the not-a-spiritualist as fundamental as that between the organic and the inorganic.

Examples of this are so numerous that if one were to proceed to proof, he would have to cite almost the entire philosophy of the last three hundred years. It may be well to state emphatically, that in proposing a new idea—or rather, reviving the primitive one—in the spiritual sphere, we leave untouched all of supreme value, in its own province, the test of morality. Morality is certainly a test of religion.

The spiritual man is a mere unformed embryo, holden in his earthly chrysalis case, while the natural man has the breeding and evolution of ages represented in his character. What are the possibilities of this spiritual organism? What is yet to emerge from this chrysalis case? The natural character finds its limits within the organic sphere. All life (manifestation) begins at the Amoeboid stage. Evolution is from the simple to the complex. A naturalist's only serious difficulty is when he comes to deal with low or embryonic form. At the bottom of animal senses, there are organisms of so doubtful a character that it is equally impossible to distinguish them. We mention this merely to show the difficulty of scientific arrangement, and not for analogy : For, the proper analogy is not between the vegetable and animal forms, whether high or low ; but, between the living and the dead.

These forces seem to be the controlling agents of all kinds of form, and you must study them carefully and you will be astonished at the diversity of these powers, as well as the inherent adaptability to bridge the supposed to be impassable chasm that exists between the visible and invisible universe.

Even more than this : It is seen that these are the natural paths whereby matter might be traced along the lines of all its exhibitions, and the scientific world awoke to the fact that, beyond the realm of visible was (is?) the true field of discovery, if the world would ever know the secrets of its own existence : For it is here that the secrets are veiled from physical sight, and the mental powers are the only means available to push discovery to its ultimate; and nobly has the world of science advanced to ascertain if the world invisible would yield up its secrets. It found no impassable barrier ; and it also found that, the only obstacle which had ever existed was the ignorance and stupidity of the undeveloped mind whose knowledge was limited by its lack of a more perfect mental evolution.

Beyond the border lines of the visible, lie the boundless realms of the radiant, or, invisible forces ; and, it is to our province that we now introduce the reader as the place to seek for reason why planetary forms are essential to the evolution of mentality of a new order. These forces, latent in the elements themselves, must have fields in which they can express themselves upon a perfect equilibrium of different planes.

The atom must move somewhere all the time, and the compounds of the elements must furnish it with a range of different capacities of expression. This enables the physical form to exist as a form or concretion of powers that reflects the action of the atoms in the form upon some of their different planes of expression. Coming into these relations in a form, they naturally correlate with the elements in proximate relations, and a new form ensues; having, in itself, a little different action from the others from which it springs. The planet holds these powers subject to certain modifications of its own inherent energy ; and, by the power of magnetic induction, keeps them in form long after they have vanished from the visible realm, but they are not, as you might suppose, dissipated in the universal ether. As sentient forms upon a higher plane, they exist; but, were it not for the influences of the planet, they could not exist as independent entities.

We have stated before that the office of a planet was to produce these entities and without their production the life of a planet is abortive, but from the fact that planets have their evolutionary processes, you need not consider it at all doubtful that, at some period of their existence they have their progeny of the sentient order.

You need not shrink from questioning the wisdom of the sentient hosts, who, through long residence in the realm of radiant forces, must be familiar with the principles by which worlds are constructed and minds evolved through their environment. But, you should remember that the mental evolution of the race, as yet, is so embryotic that it can hardly rise above the conviction that the planet on which it finds expression is the most important world in existence. Hence, it reasons that its creator must be the creator of all, the whole, and governing mind of all.

Now the mind that governs and creates your planet is the supreme Creator of all the worlds in space, or, otherwise, you certainly know that, the statement that it is so, is pure assumption, and an evidence of the ignorant mental status of the mind that makes or believes it: For the universal cosmos must have an equal importance in the consideration of creative wisdom with any individual planet, and to pronounce judgment in favor of one world to the exclusion of others is premature, to say the least, and worthy only of the mind biased by a defective education or the victim of craft and superstition.

Your planet is only one among many others in the same system. Turning from this to the deductions of scientific study, you enter the realm of the invisible, to explore its mysteries and discover its secrets.

It might be asked whether a complete and consistent theory of Evolution does not really demand such a conception? Why should evolution stop with the organic? It is surely obvious that the completement of Evolution is advolution, and the inquiry : Whence has all this system of things come? is, after all, of minor importance compared with the question whither does all this tend? Science, as such, may have little to say on such a question. And it is perhaps impossible, with such facilities as you now possess, to imagine Evolution with a future as great as its past.

So stupendous is the development from the atom to the man that no point can be fixed in the future, as distant from what man is now, as he is from the atom. But it has been given to Spiritualism to disclose the lines of a future Evolution. And, if science also professes to offer a future Evolution, not the most sanguine Evolutionist will venture to contrast it, either as regards the dignity of its methods, the magnificence of its aim, or the certainty of its hopes, with the prospects of the spirit realm. That science has a prospect, of some sort, to hold out to man is not denied. But its limits are already marked.

Spiritualism defines the highest conceivable future for mankind. It satisfies the Law of Immortality. It guarantees the necessary conditions for carrying on the organism successfully from stage to stage. It provides against the tendency to degeneration. And, finally, instead of limiting the yearning hope of final perfection to the organism of a future age—an age so remote the hope for thousands of years must still be hopeless—instead of inflicting this cruelty on intelligences mature enough to know perfection and earnest enough to wish it, Spiritualism puts the prize within immediate reach of man.

The attempt to incorporate the spiritual realm in the scheme of Evolution, may be met by what seems at first sight, a fatal objection. So far from the idea of a spiritual realm being in harmony with the doctrine of Evolution, it may be said that, it is violently opposed to it. It announces a new realm, starting off, suddenly, on a different plane, and in violation of the primary principle of development. Instead of carrying the organs of Evolution further on its own lines, Theology, at a given point interposes a sudden and hopeless barrier—the barrier between the natural and the spiritual—and insists that the evolutionary process must begin again at the beginning.

On the surface, the objection seems final, but it is only on the surface. It arises from taking too narrow view of what Evolution is. It takes Evolution of Biology for Evolution as a whole. Evolution begins, let us say, with some primeval nebulous mass in which lay, potentially, all future worlds. Under the evolutionary host, the amorphous cloud broke up, condensed, took definite shape, and in the line of true development assumed a gradually increasing complexity. Finally, there emerged the cooled and finished earth, highly differentiated, so to speak, complete, and fully equipped.

What followed this ? Let it be well observed—a catastrophe ! Instead of carrying the process further, the Evolution, if this is Evolution, abruptly stops. A sudden and hopeless barrier between the inorganic and the organic interposes and the process has to begin again, at the beginning, with the creation of life. Here, then, is a barrier placed by science at the close of the inorganic, similar to the barrier placed by Theology at the organic. Science has used every effort to abolish this first barrier, but there it still stands, challenging the attention of the modern world, and no consistent theory of Evolution can fail to reckon with it.

Any objection, then, to this catastrophe, introduced by Christianity, between the Natural and Spiritual Realms, applies with equal force against the barrier which Science places between the inorganic and the organic. The presence of life, in either case, is a fact, and a fact of exceptional significance. For now the case stands thus: Evolution, in harmony with its own law : That progress is from the simple to the complex, begins itself to pass towards the complex.

From the earliest dawn of its history, the elements of its being have been in constant strife and turmoil. The inhabitants of its latter ages have transferred the violence of the primitive stages to the plane of mental as well as physical action, and worse bloodshed and agony have been the birthright of its unfortunate children. Its history is not that of a wise effort to populate the eternal realms with a race of intelligent and well developed spirits ; but, rather, a breeding ground for the inception of life and the organization of the elements the first relations of sentient form.

This is the law of Evolution in all its bearings upon the problems of human destiny, as well as the solution of mysteries that belong to the development of planetary forms. It furnishes explanations for all the processes that form requires, and dispenses with the superstitious expositions that an imperfect mentality has imposed upon the world as the true explanation of the action of creative Intelligence.

(Signed) Faraday