Wool and Water - Second Half

Studies in Alice XVIII, by Marc Edmund Jones

This lesson considers the second half of the fifth chapter of Through the Looking-Glass and the eighteenth great principle of wisdom in the Philosophy of Concepts as revealed through the adventures of Alice is that possession is destructive and that crystallization is the challenge of decay. Here is the very essence of fundamental natural process since if this were not so the universe in time would come to the condition of static rest that would bring all life and being to an end. Destruction is the foundation of construction. As long as there is no void in space there can be no new things as things superficially may be termed new until the old or space occupying things are cleared away or destroyed to make the necessary place available. Years ago in Mexico, during an early stage of conflict between the government and church, a law was passed granting possession of a church building only during such time as it was under construction. As a result every edifice in that land was unfinished and had workmen busy on it during the working hours of the week. This gives an excellent picture of the cosmic process. Proprietorship in the sense of perfect usufruct is the basis of real ownership and only as long as a thing may be put to use or under construction may it be held in possession. Whatever is not being constructed must decay to make room for new construction because the law of eternal or universal things is a growth, expansion and a building forward to ideals that are always on the horizon. Fixity is transition between growth and death and when something becomes too crystallized or too fixed it must begin to decay by the very law of its tenure of being. Man in order to retain possession of his property whether tangible wealth and possessions or intangible hopes and opportunities must constantly devise new uses and employment for it to keep it under process of construction and so safe from decay.

Here is the principle of stewardship or of ownership by principal that is eternally certain rather than by relatively uncertain fact. Proprietorship in anything is fundamentally admiration or a contribution to it of sustaining reality in consciousness, or encouragement as a similar contribution to it of sustaining reality in outer or manifest fact. Ownership can never be taken for granted. Miser's gold and hoarded wealth are lost sooner or later to thieves or to accident and circumstance. Great fortunes that are fixed or crystallized by their founders, if not lost in that generation, are usually dissipated before a second or third generation can be reached. The attempt to fix or establish things in a universe whose law is motion ends in disaster sooner or later. The man who achieves is the man who forever adjusts himself to the shifting panorama of being and who truly enjoys this adjustment. The symbolism of this section of the fifth chapter in Looking-Glass is therefore interesting in its picture of the moving boat. There is rare beauty in Lewis Carroll's work at this point. To read it sympathetically is to have the sense of music echoed to the ears.

The little girl who leans over until her hair or her senses, as in the Goose Girl in the fairy tale, falls unrestrained into the water and permits her slender arms to drip from the warm embrace of the river of life gives of herself until she is repaid by the spoils brought into the boat or into ownership. The boat is a magic boat as it should be and it is a symbol of the sustaining consciousness of life, as in the case of the ark of Noah, and no matter how far she leans over into new experience it is impossible for her to fall out. The oars must be feathered or handled so as to make the least possible disturbance in the water, and life must be handled as sympathetically as possible in order to achieve the greatest degree of stewardship. The rushes are scented because it is the law of all existence to make itself as attractive as possible and therefore invite ownership by higher orders of life. But when they are picked and placed in the bottom of the boat and Alice denies them consciousness and reaches out seeking for more beauty and more scent, those she already possesses promptly begin to fade and lose their scent. The price of proprietorship is constant attention and interest. Once the aspirant learns how to sustain all things in consciousness he commences to expand definitely and outwardly in growth and to gain possessions at last like the Hebrew patriarchs who blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.

The achievement of imagination in the chapter, or the eighteenth great scientific anticipation, is the revelation here of the principles of molecular activity or the basis of matter itself In recent years it has been seen that if matter is carried down fine enough to its smallest measurable subdivisions each of these will be seen to be a miniature universe existing in a state of ceaseless activity. Science is learning that all existence is sustained in motion or that nothing can really remain static and be. In all problems of life this principle may be carried out and demonstrated or made exceedingly useful to the individual. Pure activity, almost unrelated, will sustain any idea and in time carry it onward to completion. Every difficulty in the world fades away before the determined and persistently reiterated impact of active effort. Water wears away mountains and activity wears down and overcomes the most stubborn opposition irrespective of what the outer circumstances may be.

The symbolism of the old sheep's shop approaches so close to the actual phenomena of the astral realm that the investigator is apt to suspect Lewis Carroll of genuine clairvoyance. That author's material however is gained obviously through dream experiences during a life that was unhealthily introspective except in his clean and fine love for children. Wherever obtained, the incidents of this half chapter are wholly unique in their accurate presentation of cosmic principles. In the first place the shop is dark, as are all higher realms to those whose spiritual sight is as yet unopened. Then it is to be noticed that Alice cannot look at anything directly and this is so characteristic of clairvoyance as to be startling here to the occult student. Higher things cannot be fixed by lower or human sight, and to attempt to do so is to lose them altogether. All proprietorship in eternal reality is held in trust.

The law of applied psychology or the eighteenth big idea for the solution of personal problems is brought out in the technique of purchase. Nothing can be held in life by static means or be taken for granted, and a purchase hold on things is only to be gained through activity in connection with them. On the return to the shop there is the buying of the egg. She finds that two are cheaper than one. Thus wealthy people live far more economically than those just above the actual poverty class. But what is purchased must have sustaining consciousness given to it and since more must be given to the two than the one the initial price in the first instance is less. The less a person in life is able to use anything constructively, the greater the price exacted from him by life since it is the tendency of life to equalize. It is to be noted that the purchase is in the literal or material word conventionally enough but that it is necessary in this allegory for delivery to be taken in activity. This is the point that has just been explained. The student must learn to PAY MORE FOR LESS, but as a matter of essential warning only after he has learned to exact value in every purchase. He must raise his stratum of consciousness constantly or must rise consistently in his spending class and in his holding to his standards of life.