January 4th, 1917
Received by:James Padgett
I am here, Luke.
I will write a few lines tonight on a subject that I desire to make known to you and others, for I know it will be of interest to all who may read it.
The subject is the truth of the statement that no man can possibly reach the condition of perfection unless his mental beliefs become in accord with the truth.
This perfection, you will understand, is the perfection that man possessed before his fall - that is, the perfection of his creation.
It has been asserted by many that the beliefs of a man do not count for much in determining his condition of soul and mind, and that only his acts and deeds and the qualities of his heart determine that condition; but this assertion I declare to be untrue, unless these acts and deeds and qualities of heart are the results of beliefs being in accord with the truth.
Belief is the mainspring of man's acts and the result of his thoughts; and thoughts are things that cause the realities of man's consciousness, and as he thinketh in his heart so is he. "Thinketh in his heart" means or comprehends the idea that the thoughts of his mind, which is the only part of man that has the powers or faculties for thinking, are suggested by, or flow from, the desires and appetites of the emotional part of man.
No thought originates itself, although it may seem to be a spontaneous creation, but is the result of some spiritual or physical perception - that is, of the perception of the spiritual dualities or of the sensuous organs of man's physical constitution.
And belief is the result of thought and that agency which causes man's acts or want of acts, and hence, the only guide or way shown to man in the progress of the development of his soul in its natural love, or of the mind to the state of perfection that I speak of.
Now, belief does not create truth or change truth, for it is absolute and unchangeable; and truth does not create belief unless that truth is comprehended by the thoughts from which emanate the belief. So, it is apparent that unless the belief, if erroneous, changes so that it becomes in accord with the truth, man, the possessor of the belief, can never get into a state of perfection, which can only exist when a man is in a complete condition of harmony with the truth.
Belief being the effect of the operations of the mind, unless these operations are in harmony with the truth, the belief cannot possibly cause the development of the man who is possessed of and controlled by that belief, into the perfect man, because every cause has an effect, and that effect must be, necessarily, only such as is the natural and inevitable result of that cause.
Out of untruth it is impossible for truth to emanate, and from the imperfect the perfect can never be constructed; and so it is impossible to develop a perfect love and mind out of an imperfect belief. The law that declares the effect of its operations to bring this result is invariable, and only by the observation of its requirements can the imperfect ever become the perfect.
So, therefore, I assert that no man can ever become the perfect man unless his beliefs become in harmony with the truth. As a matter of fact, irrespective of reason, established by my knowledge resulting from observation and experience in the spirit as well as in the mortal world, I declare the same to be a truth.
Then how important to man it is to seek for and obtain those beliefs that are in harmony with the truth in order to become as he was originally, the perfect man. This true belief may be found and acquired even by the mortal, and no man will be excused from the penalty of the great law of compensation by his plea that he did not think it very material what his beliefs were if he tried to do right in the world towards his fellow man. But here, you will see that in addition to the fact that this great law accepts no excuse is the fact that man's acts and deeds proceed from his beliefs, whenever such are strong enough to control him; and when the beliefs are unformed, and man acts from emotion or impulse or desire only, without the constraint of any belief, the result upon his progress to the perfect man is substantially the same, because this law, in order to escape the penalty for its violation, demands that beliefs, formed or unformed, or acts and deeds resulting from emotion or impulse, which are really beliefs without definite form, shall be in harmony with the truth.
The infidel who says he doesn't believe, the agnostic who says he doesn't know, the orthodox who believes, but whose belief is erroneous, and the free thinker who believes only what reason teaches him as he proclaims, if such beliefs are not in accord with the truth all come under the same penalty - that is, the impossibility of becoming the perfect man while such erroneous beliefs or want of true beliefs exist.
So I say, belief is a vital thing in the progress of a man towards perfection, and men should cease to declare and rest on the assurance of such declaration that it makes no difference what a man believes if he does what he may consider to be right and just.
Why, I, who know, tell you that the earth planes of the spirit world are crowded with the spirits of men who are in darkness and stagnation in their progress towards the perfect man solely from the causes that I have above written, and some men have been in that condition for many long years, and will not find progress except as such erroneous beliefs leave them and beliefs in accord with the truth take the place of the former.
But for man and spirits there is this consolation: that at some time, how long in the future I or no other spirit know, these erroneous beliefs will all be eradicated and man will again come into his original perfection. But the waiting may be long and distressing, and wearisome to many.
I have written enough, and in closing will say to all men: know and realize that the belief of a man is a vital and determining element in his progress to the perfect man.
I am pleased to write you tonight, and will soon come again. Keep your faith and courage and you will realize the promises.
Good night and God bless you.
Your brother in Christ,