Rev. J. Todd Ferrier
1. [Original paragraphs.]
THE presentation given in The Perfect Way or the Finding of Christ is one full of the profoundest meanings for Humanity.
It is the presentation of the history of the Soul as a spiritual organism in its evolution from an unconscious state of being up through all the grades of consciousness which lie between a single organism and that perfect state known as Christhood.
It is the endeavour to present to the mind a history whose entire experiences are wholly spiritual, and to present it in terms which the mind of all who are truly seeking for a spiritual interpretation of the nature and history of the Soul might be able to apprehend.
It is the presentation of the history of the Soul in a manner suited to the special needs of the mind confronted by the terrible doctrine of evolution propounded by material Science and a semi-material Philosophy, showing how the Soul is not a mere physical organism, but a truly spiritual being making manifest its life through the various vehicles through which it functions as it rises to and passes from state to state.
It is the history of the Soul, not upon the physical planes as these planes are now understood and as they are at present constituted, but upon the planet when all its planes were in a perfect condition, and what is now understood by the term matter was in a pure spiritual state. For all the elements of the Planet were greatly changed from their original condition when what is known as “The Fall” took place, so that today they are in an imperfect state and often in a corruptible condition, and life born from them is liable to pass into that sad condition, even the highly evolved organism of the human body through which the Soul now functions – an experience which would not be possible in a perfect condition of the elements, an experience which this Planet knew not in its perfect state, and which it is no more to know when its Redemption is fully accomplished.
The story presented comprises, not the physical evolutionary history during which the Soul passed through the present Animal Kingdom, but the history of its evolution upon wholly spiritual planes when there was no evil in this world; when what is understood as Nature (the Mineral, Vegetable and Creature Kingdoms) was in perfect harmony and the Planet itself was as yet unfallen, when all its elements were pure spiritual substances and those in the outermost sphere were yet responsive to the magnetic attraction of the Divine Kingdom, so that there was nothing corrupt or impure or hurtful, but everything was good and helpful to the true unfoldment of the Soul: and it is also the history of all those Souls who, having passed upward in their evolution from simple spiritual organisms into the exalted state wherein the Soul becomes a microcosm of the Divine so that within itself are reflected the Life, Love and Wisdom of the Divine, have become the repositories of the Divine Love and Divine Wisdom and so are able to recover the inner meanings of the entire history of the Soul, the Planet and the Celestial Spheres.
And the story of what is known as “The Fall”, whilst in “The Perfect Way” related to the awakening of the Soul unto that state wherein evil becomes known through experience, and so is spoken of as actually a fall upwards, is really the story of the awakening of the Soul unto spiritual consciousness after the long ages of darkness resulting from its unspeakable history within the Animal Kingdom; and in that sense it is a fall upwards, because it is “The Awakening of the Soul”.
And, as set forth in the Perfect Way, the recovery unto it of all the most sacred and beautiful meanings implied in the sacred signs and symbols contained within all the Great Religions, bears eloquent testimony unto the history of the Soul, and reveals the profound experiences through which it must have passed prior to its descent into conditions wherein its Divine Light was extinguished and its true life lost. For, in the language of the Perfect Way, “Only that which the Soul knoweth may be given unto it”; and the Soul could only have known all the meanings of these sacred signs and beautiful symbols when it was in a higher and purer state than it now is, since comparatively few seem to know them when even now they are set forth and interpreted unto them, though they do cling to the signs and symbols as if drawn by some strange magnetic influence to them.
And the Recovery of these beautiful and sacred meanings by the writers of the Perfect Way bears a testimony of the most palpable and profound significance to the past history of their own Souls, and of all those Souls who are able to enter into the purpose and meaning of the presentation of the Soul’s history given through them from the Divine Kingdom.
The writers of the Perfect Way were undoubtedly of that Christhood Order whose members became the teachers and helpers of the children of this Planet when all its planes were spiritual and all its children pure, and when the Soul was performing its evolution under the purest and most beautiful conditions; who followed the fallen children down into the Animal Kingdom; who helped them there to rise again through providing all the gentle and beautiful forms of the perfect herbivorous creatures; who were the first to rise again on to the true Human Kingdom and once more prepare the way for all who were able to come up on to that Kingdom; and who, through all the long ages of the preparation for the Soul again entering upon its true evolution, have been its helpers, rising at times as high as the Spiritual Heavens so as to be able, to receive some measure of Illumination from the Divine Kingdom – Illuminations which may be discerned within the Great Religions – and thus becoming the spiritual Prophets, Seers and Teachers in all lands and all ages.
[From The Herald of the Cross Vol. 5. Published by the Order of the Cross, 1909. Reproduced by permission of the copyright owners, the Trustees of the Order of the Cross.]