Have you ever stopped to think why the following is true: that some people are poor, some rich; some deformed, some beautiful; some unfortunate, others lucky; some diseased and others healthy? Have you ever tried to find a reason for the inequality which is manifested everywhere in the world? Have you ever wondered why some members of the human family are inhabiting black bodies, others brown, and still others white? And then, have you ever stopped to think just why we are here at all — what is the meaning of life which at best is fleeting? Suppose you propound some of these questions to your friends, tabulate their answers, and compare them. It would be an interesting experiment. Some would say that the poor are shiftless and the rich thrifty. Others would tell you that the poor are just naturally unlucky, and the rich fortunate.
Again, you might be told that it is not right to question the conditions found in God's world: that the Creator in His wisdom has ordained them and so they just naturally must be right. Still another explanation might be given that God is responsible for all that is good and a reprehensible being commonly known as the devil is the cause of all evil. Many there are who will look at you with tired eyes and make the following statements: that they do not know; that Christian orthodoxy does not satisfy their sense of reason; that the atheist's conclusions terrify them and consequently they are quite confused and know not which way to turn. If God is just, why does He favor some of His creations and not others? If He is not just, then certainly He is not God. On the other hand, if there is no God, then how did the world and all there is therein come into existence?
Is there an answer to these various problems which are presenting themselves to the minds of thinking people of today — an answer which is logical and which will stand the test of reason? There certainly is such an answer.
The materialistic theory as postulated by the atheist can never be satisfactory to mankind. It is the child of despair. When the human mind has exhausted science, the laboratory, and the chemical retorts in its eager search for that intangible something which animates the human form, and has failed to discover it, in despair it declares that the illusive something for which it has so diligently searched is really nothing more than the result of certain correlations of matter, designated as mind, which perishes when the body disintegrates. Just why some individuals should possess a better quality of these "certain correlations" (mind) than others, this theory does not attempt to explain.
The theory postulated by the orthodox theologist is but little better. It asserts that all living things were created by God and have but one Earth life to live, that man alone was endowed with a Spirit which is immortal and, regardless of the station to which he was born, he is responsible for the deeds performed during that life; that his happiness or misery after death for all eternity is determined by his actions during the short period which intervenes between birth and death. Animals, planets — in fact all else that exists — are supposed to have been created for his express convenience and use.
Is it any wonder that the man who really thinks ultimately rejects this theory also, and finally decides to indulge in any and all things which produce a sense of pleasure for the time being, and help him to forget that at some time he must face death, which at best is a plunge in the dark.
Fortunately there is another theory, a theory which is founded on truth. It is known by the name "rebirth." The doctrine of rebirth postulates a slow process of development carried on with unwavering persistence through repeated embodiments in forms or bodies of increasing efficiency. Through this process, all created beings will in time develop their latent potentialities into god-like powers.
The God of our solar system creates in life waves and the beings belonging to each particular life wave do not cross into others. The life waves with which we are most familiar are the mineral, plant, animal, and human. Each life wave is composed of a large number of Virgin Spirits endowed in potentiality with all the powers of their Divine Creator, and the beings of each life wave will ultimately attain godhood. Each life wave develops in a manner particularly suited to its own inherent nature. The beings belonging to the angelic life wave will never become archangels. They will attain godhood by working along an entirely different line of development. Our humanity will never become angels; our development will be entirely different. The animals will never become human beings such as we are, although they will pass through a human-like stage.
We have never been animals, yet we have passed through an animal-like stage. Similarly, the plants will pass through an animal-like stage in a later period, and the minerals will reach the plant stage. In neither case, however, will they be of the same type as our present animals and plants. Each life wave has its own separate and distinct method of development, but eventually the Virgin Spirits composing it will attain perfection, for that is the ultimate object of evolution.
Now let us see how the theory of rebirth answers the problems of life:
Why are some people poor and others rich? Each life is one day in God's great school. Some of us are learning one kind of lesson and some are learning others. Those who are poor in one particular life are learning lessons pertaining to the true value of certain commodities, lessons in inventiveness which pertain to the best way to get the greatest amount of benefit out of the smallest amount of supply. They are learning how to plan and to appreciate everything which they possess.
Those who have wealth are learning what its true value is to them. They are learning its real purchasing power; whether it can exalt or degrade, whether it is a blessing or a curse. They are learning that it can sometimes buy a man's honor and a woman's virtue; that it may result in its owner's downfall, but that it can never purchase the things which are of true value to the Spirit. Eventually, all people entrusted with money must learn the lesson that they are only stewards of their possessions and that it behooves them to use wisely and well that with which they have been entrusted.
Why are some deformed in body? Generally speaking, no Spirit can inhabit a better body than it has learned to build during its previous lives, but the following is the exception to the rule: with regard to physical abnormalities and deformities, the rule seems to be that indulgence in passion in one life reacts on the mental state in a later existence; and abuse of mental powers in one life leads to physical disabilities in later existences. On the other hand, a beautiful form denotes that the owner has done expert work in body building during previous lives, sometimes to the detriment of the mental processes.
Unfortunate people are those who have willfully neglected opportunities in previous lives. Now they are deprived of the very thing they once held lightly in order to teach them to appreciate opportunities when they are again presented. The lucky man or woman in one life has earned that which seems to come to him or her so easily in this life. It is reality a reward of merit.
The individual whose body is diseased has broken the laws of nature either in this life or some other one and is now paying the penalty. The healthy man or woman has paid much attention to perfect organ formation in the past.
Why is one born in a particular race? Each race is following a definite line of evolution. We all have certain lessons to learn and the Egos inhabiting bodies of various colors do so in order to experience soul growth, which can only be attained under the particular conditions supplied by these race differences. We should, therefore, make every attempt to profit by the conditions of our birth and regard each situation as a privilege accorded to us for spiritual advancement. When we fail to make the best use of our embodiments, we take a step backward in our evolutionary development and increase the time needed to free ourselves from the cycle of rebirth.
Rebirth intelligently accounts for all the inequalities in life. Conditions as we find them are the composite results of all our past endeavors or lack of endeavors. Each man or woman is an exact sum of all his or her past activities and not the victim of a capricious God or scheming evil one. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we have made a mess of things. If we are not satisfied with life as we find it, now is the time to begin to prepare an improved environment for future lives; and if we are really wide awake at last and desperately in earnest, it is quite possible for us to improve our surroundings in the present incarnation.
The intelligent person of today is no longer satisfied with platitudes when searching for truth in relation to life. Therefore, we ask each reader who is seeking for a solution to the many problems which life presents to apply this master key, rebirth, and prove for himself its true efficacy.