THE

WORD

Vol. 14 MARCH, 1912. No. 6

Copyright, 1912, by H. W. PERCIVAL.

LIVING

(Continued.)

LIVING is the state in which each part of a structure or organism or being is in touch with Life through its particular current of life, and where all parts work coordinately to perform their functions for the purpose of the life of that structure, organism or being, and where the organization as a whole contacts the flood tide of Life and its currents of life.

As people of the world, are we living? We are not.

Man as a physical structure, as an animal life, as a thinking entity, as a divine being are together an organization, but an imperfect organization. These entities each interfere with or prevent the action of the other, and so they impede and prevent contact with their respective currents of life. The organization of man as a whole is not in touch with the flood tide of Life.

Structures and organisms are included in the organization of man, but man is more than structure and organism. He is a thinking entity and a divine being. The infinite looks out at and into itself through the organization of man, but all parts of the organization of man are not conscious of themselves nor of each other, nor conscious as a whole. The organization of man as a whole is unconscious of the sources of its life and its being, and is not conscious of the infinite which is through it. One part of the organization of man dominates the others. Man is an undeveloped, imperfect and inharmonious organization. Men are dissatisfied and at war with themselves and with others. Men are in a perturbed, undeveloped and immature state. Men do not live naturally as animals, nor do they live as divine beings with intelligence. A few types may illustrate this.

The laborer digging for a railroad across an alkali desert, or in the oozy bottom of a city sewer will at noon hour munch greedily at an onion, a bit of cheese and a hunk of black bread, and after his day of toil and his coarse fare at evening, he huddles together with other laborers in a low shed, or in a stuffy room with his family to sleep through the night for his next day of toil. There is little room in his life for the divine spark to enlighten his clay.

There is the mechanic who prides himself on his skill and with some importance and with jealousy guards some small secret of his craft from his fellow workmen, and with spartan heroism defends his union and his alleged rights.

There is the clerk who at his desk or behind a counter has long hours for a small wage and who with easy gait or a forced swagger stints his stomach to appear smartly dressed.

With less regard to dress, eager to gain favor and his pay, the fat cook prepares rich viands, rare dishes and new delicacies for the gourmand. The gourmand with cheerful glow, chuckles contentedly as each morsel passes his palate, and adds to the bulk and sensitiveness of his frame that is about to turn into a hot-bed of diseases, and at the end of the repast he lingers and plans, looking forward to others to come.

A stranger to plenty and to rich foods is the underfed woman in her needy room, who, with an occasional raising of her bent form for an anxious glance at her pallid child on its bed, plies her needle until her work is done and then gathers, with a yearning look behind, her scant garments closer as she goes through the biting wind to get a pittance for her work, which will buy enough to hold life in her child. Care has stamped its mark on her, and her features show that hunger has pinched her to the bone.

Beyond the needs of cruel want but with keen-edged hunger, the financier battles in the game of wealth. He plays for the kingdom of money. By his doings channels of the world’s supplies are opened and closed, stocks inflated, values depreciated, panics brought on, enterprises and whole industries wrecked, families made homeless, all in proper legal forms, while he moves men and courts and legislatures who are his pawns, and scatters bounties with a lavish hand or strangles commerce and institutions in his grasp. In the end he finds he is a broken reed, though he be accredited a prince of the world.

There is the lawyer, a puppet of universal law, though he should be its conscious agent. The lawyer and his business is created and maintained by the money power as well as by the avarice and cunning and iniquity of the people. He is the draughtsman of the man made laws and the instrument used to break or distort them. He is made to draw forms to legalize unlawful courses and is employed to defend them. He will engage to defend a man or is ready to prosecute him. His mind is at the service of either side and he receives loudest praise and most liberal reward when he secures freedom for criminals, weaves a legal net around his opponents, wins a case when the merits are overwhelmingly against him, and seems to prevent the administration of justice.

(To be continued.)