Logic Taught by Love/Chapter 1
Logic Taught by Love
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE LOGOS
What creative Energy is, in Its own Nature, we do not know; It is The Ineffable I Am. What we do know about It is the fact that It pulsates. The very life of all that lives consists of some mode or other of Pulsation or alternate action. Without this Pulsating action, nothing grows. As the old writers said, It was in the world, and the world obeyed It by compulsion but knew it not. Then It made man, free to know It. Man, being free, sought out many inventions, all intended to substitute some fixed condition for incessant pulsation in human affairs; and to substitute the worship of some fixed entity for that of the Eternal Pulsator. But to some few the secret Wisdom revealed Itself; and to them It gave power to become Sons of God. And all the History of religion, of morals, and of Philosophy, is a history of conflict between the Seers who would teach the Law of Pulsation and the multitude who would pervert their teaching.
All Life is pulsation; and health is always rhythmic pulsation timed in accordance with the proper rhythm of the particular organ. Every baby's lungs learn this at their first contact with the air; the baby-heart has caught the secret long ago by sympathetic contagion from its mother's heart. Nature teaches her mighty secret to the baby heart and lungs; and leaves the "voluntary muscles" and the brain to learn it voluntarily. We have gone but a little way yet towards finding out how to do this; still the gymnast knows that much may be done towards hardening limbs against fatigue and disease, by a regular rhythmic alternation of extension and contraction; and logicians such as Gratry (and much greater men before him) knew that, to a large extent, the same can be done with the mental faculties. The future possibilities that open out before us as we study the great Logicians of the Pulsation doctrine, are overwhelming; one hardly dares realize all that they imply; but the fact is, that the heart and lungs do actually sing in their own language, the Eternal Hymn—Holy, Holy, Holy is the Logos, the Hidden Wisdom, the Principle of Rhythmic Pulsation, which was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, Creator of all that is, Preserver of what has proved itself worthy, Purifier by the destruction of all that is sluggish or disorderly. The goal to which we are tending seems to be to train all our faculties, one after another, to take their parts in the same Chorus. The very antagonism of the masses to the teachers of Pulsation is a suspension which enriches the Harmony, the means by which is created the possibility of the Highest Rhythm. Humanity toys and coquets with its own bliss; it dares not let itself know what the Logos has prepared for those who love Him.
For no one really doubts the doctrine of Pulsation. Every new birth is a witness to the truth that conception (whether physical or mental) is the result of re-uniting at a suitable moment elements that have been suitably differentiated. We all know it; but we fear to let ourselves believe. History, as the Apocalyptic Seers knew, is the story of the alternate withdrawal of man's mind from the Logos-doctrine and re-union with it.
That perennial Love-Story has been intertwined with another, not less solemn and vital. Far back in the ages a Tribe was differentiated, to be to the other races of the earth what the Unseen Logos is to Humanity as a whole; the subject of incessant misunderstanding; and the object of alternate fear, dislike, contempt, and superstitious reverence. We never understand the People of Israel (nor can it be said that they ever rightly understand us); but every now and then we are made to feel that some magnetism is coming forth from the incomprehensible Race, which acts as a solvent to our metaphysical perplexities; which is the witness to and preparation for a Life higher than anything we can conceive.
The complex and variable relation between Jews and Gentiles, so unutterably sweet in some aspects, so bitter often, so unsettled and incomprehensible always, seems to be one chief means by which Humanity is being made fit for the rapture of intelligent comprehension, and able to look into the Face of Love.
The Race of Israel is the hereditary priesthood of that Unity whose action is Pulsation. There is another such priesthood: occasional, unrecognized, consecrated by no hand but that of suffering, marked out by no special observance except that of being always peculiar everywhere; High Priests for ever after that order to which all official priesthoods are forced, sooner or later, to do homage. Out of the deeps they have called; and Truth has heard. Where steady health sees solid things and enduring systems, the sick often perceive, instead, a shimmering palpitation.
The man of whom it is said that he made the greatest advance in Logic since Aristotle, said of himself, that no one could do certain kinds of work unless he would consent to be ill. The majority decide, of course, that the perceptions of illness are "abnormal"; in old days these abnormal perceptions were called "miraculous." The name matters little; the important thing for us is to see that we do not waste the gifts that God sends through suffering.
Jesus, the High Priest of Pulsation, offered himself to death rather than support any one-sided rights or any fixed doctrine. And having been slain by one set of idolaters, He was made into the object of sensational worship by another set. And now, as ever, the teachers of the Eternal Logos are alone on the earth; and yet we are not alone, because the Father is with us, and all the Seers who went before us.
If we sorrow overmuch about the idolatry of our brethren, do not we thus prove ourselves to be also idolaters who would arrest the natural Pulsations? For the conflict between Seers of New Truth and the lovers of fixed ideas is the very palpitation of human life, the great witness to the doctrine that progress takes place by pulsation.
In some of the following Chapters an attempt is made to picture past episodes in the conflict between the Logos-Seers and their antagonists; in others, suggestions are offered of means whereby that very conflict might be converted into an orderly and peaceable mental gymnastic.