The Riddle of Life

© Alfred J. Parker

(During Mr. Parker's lifetime the reference to man and mankind had a universal meaning that included everyone. Rather than alter the original writings by changing all such references to humans and humankind, we ask you to interpret these references as universal terms that include all people.)

Man and civilizations have come and gone over the ages, and all the time man has attempted to solve the riddle of life: whether he is a product of the age or just how closely he is related to a power far greater than the age itself. What is this power called by many names by many races?

Man naturally has a sense of superiority to all other living species because of his analytical ability and conscious thinking which allows him to ponder upon cause and effect and to relate these two opposing forces. He has created many theories and philosophies concerning life as he sees it, but because he is what he is—only an individual without a knowledge of the true divine or universal principle—he sees things only with mortal and limited vision, much like the six blind Hindus who were trying to describe the elephant by touch; each said what he felt which was not what others saw. So man creates theory after theory, and as he thoroughly analyzes what he has created, he discovers many points he has overlooked in the first place, and is forced to change his theory. Perhaps man will never know the whole truth because man's mind grows in concept as his vision broadens and he continues to correct his mistakes. Thus does human mind grow from a mere individual concept influenced much through the senses and imagination, more toward a universal mind as analysis and deduction cause him to see the many, instead of mere self. The ages have produced their philosophers, all of whom have added their crumbs of wisdom to the many theories and to the growth of human mind.

Man being what he is (the composite of two forces, the abstract or spiritual quality of being and the mortal vehicle of chemical and mineral elements of the earth) he naturally feels the urge to think and understand himself, for it is the urge of the spiritual power within to unfold the same as a plant unfolds its flower. Man feels this natural urge to seek, but man in his different stages of mental growth translates this urge into many different degrees of desire, curiosity, or intense mental hunger to understand life. Most people become lost in the emotions because it is the path of least resistance and very pleasurable.

If man discovers a basic principle through which to think and analyze, he becomes philosophical and rises above the emotional desires and thus learns to think clearly and logically. By the way, logic is thinking based upon principle and is provable, factual, and as closely approaching exact truth as is possible to conceive.

Coming back to the subject of life in general, it represents the process of involution and evolution: the seeding or involutionary process of God, or the principle and reason of being, taking material form within the limited confines of earth life and through the human senses, emotions, and mind.

This abstract power called life comes into a newborn child through the breath of life and unites the physical or finite place to the abstract plane called spirit. Thus life is dual, material and spiritual, in its composition. Between the material and physical side of life and the abstract plane of reason and cause, there is the unifying link called mind, which feels the urges and desires of the physical emotions and yet senses its inner abstract power strongly urging man to see and reason, to know himself, or to understand the true relationship between the two planes of existence.

All our religions and philosophies are based upon the relationship between the body and the mind and spirit, between cause and effect and the reason thereby—called God's Plan. It is the laws governing this relationship of cause and effect that constitute the natural laws, i.e., that which governs and motivates being. It is the knowledge of, and application to, these laws that teaches man his relationship to nature and to the principle of reason and cause.

Thought for the Day