The Universal Law of Compensation
In our quest for the meaning of life, and in our effort to formulate the Law of Soul Progression, we have now arrived at certain definite conclusions. We have decided that any manifestation of intelligence implies a soul, and that back of the soul there is always an ego supplying it with the urge to struggle on. We have found that such souls are so numerous that whenever the conditions on earth permit the expression of a given type of intelligence there is always a soul of such degree of intelligence at hand ready to take charge. And all souls, due to the urge supplied by their egos, express successively in more complex forms; those that take charge and develop physical forms moving from simpler to more complex bodies in rather long steps, and never occupying the body of the same species twice.
But whether on earth or in the astral realm, the desire for continued life and individuality, by
which the ego energizes the soul, is recurrently thwarted by constantly changing environmental
conditions. To continue its life and individuality, the soul cannot just passively drift; for the new
conditions that come upon it tend to the destruction of the form it occupies. It, therefore, struggles
to retain the form through which it is manifesting, and when it loses this form it struggles to
occupy another form. And these struggles to retain a form develop the ability to overcome
obstacles, and thus in time, to handle a still more complex body.
That it may be aware of conditions which threaten the destruction of its form, the soul has
developed a sensation which we call pain. And that it may be aware of conditions which favor the
life and prosperity of its form, the soul has developed a sensation which we call pleasure.
The only possible means by which any soul learns to overcome obstacles, which alone
constitutes accomplishment, is through encountering obstacles. It does not immediately know
how to handle the affairs of a solar system; no more so than a child knows how to walk as soon as
it is born.
The child desires to reach certain objects which seem pleasant. In its struggles to do this it learns
to crawl. This method of locomotion, however, has its disadvantages, and before long the child
tries to walk. At first it supports itself more or less erect by whatever it can touch. When it falls
and bumps itself, as it does, it experiences pain. This pain, however, is not a matter of vengeance
meted out by its parents. The pain informs it that something has gone wrong. It struggles not to
fall, so as to avoid pain.
When it is successful in keeping erect it crows with pleasure. This pleasure is still further
heightened when it finally succeeds in walking across the room and gaining something it desires
in this more satisfactory manner. And this pleasure is an added inducement to encourage it to
walk in the future.
Unless there had been an obstacle to the attainment of some desire, it would have made no effort
to walk. It had not experienced pain when it failed to walk, or had not experienced pleasure when
it did make a successful upright trip, it would have made no effort to keep from falling. And the
naturalist, analyzing the performance of various individuals of any species, and analyzing the
past and present performances of as many types of life as he can contact, is forced to the
conclusion that this performance of the child is characteristic of life everywhere. It does progress,
but the progression is made through overcoming obstacles. Pleasure and pain are states of
consciousness which keep it informed when it should struggle and whether or not the struggle has
led to success.
How Would You Manage a Universe?
–Now if you or I were managing a universe, our narrow sense of justice might induce us to
endow each soul in the cosmos with just the same amount of energy, just the same attributes, and
just the same functions. Such a universe, however, would not be an organic structure, but merely
a homogeneous mass.
If every cell in the human body were just the same as every other cell, it would not be a human
body, but just an unorganized mass of protoplasm. An organism implies division of labor, and
division of labor implies specialization of parts. Thus if every individual connected with an
industry performed just the same kind and same amount of work, it could produce only the most
simple of articles.
In an industry in which every individual performed the same amount and same kind of labor, it
would be logical to give each individual connected with it just the same preliminary training. But
if the industry were to be handled according to even human standards of efficiency, different
individuals would be required to perform different kinds of tasks. There would be those who
would specialize in mechanical work, those who would specialize in management, those who
would specialize in accountancy and those who would specialize in salesmanship. And we would
not expect the accountant to be as capable in handling mechanical tools as the mechanic. Nor
would we demand that the mechanic be an expert accountant.
Yet to develop mechanical ability requires a kind of training that is entirely different from the
training necessary to educate an accountant. Salesmanship requires special training of another
sort. And in like manner each specialist should have had experience in work that other specialists
do not require.
Because even the division of labor required in modern civilization is so diverse, and requires so
many types of specialists, the heaviest indictment that can be brought against our public school
system is that all the children are trained for too many years as if they were to follow the same
occupations. Too long is the special training each requires to develop to the utmost its specific
faculties deferred. And because the different needs for individual training are thus so long
neglected, our social system loses much of value that better methods in education would bring to
it. It loses the high accomplishment that individuals would bring if their specialization had started
earlier in life.
It needs to take a leaf from Nature’s book of management. It needs to assay the natural aptitudes
of the child soon after birth, and decide just what type of work it is best qualified to perform in the
future. It is a decided loss to society for the child to spend years training to follow some
occupation in which it will fail. Every failure is a loss to society; for the individual who fails could
have been contributing something of value to the world. After failing in one type of work, he
usually turns to something else. And if his natural aptitudes and the harmonies of his
thought-cells, as revealed by his chart of birth, favor this something else, he probably will
succeed in it. But both he and society have lost years in training and years, perhaps, in the effort to
follow a calling for which he is unsuited.
Ultimately, when the function and value of astrology are widely enough recognized, no such
waste of time and energy and materials will be tolerated. The planetary prominence which
reveals each type of natural aptitude is now known through the statistical analysis of the birth
charts of 100 people who have followed each of 30 different vocations. And the tendency to
attract fortune or misfortune within the environment customary to each vocation is known.
These are set forth in detail in the reference book, HOW TO SELECT A VOCATION, which
contains the result of 18 years research relative to vocational selection by The Brotherhood of
Light Astrological Research Department.
With this information the type of work for which the individual is best qualified may be known
from birth. And for efficiency his training from infancy on should be such that it will enable him
to develop his natural aptitudes into abilities which will permit him to perform some specialized
work in the world. This does not preclude a liberal education; for a liberal education may increase
his value to society. But the object from birth should be to fit the individual for some particular
type of function in the world’s economy.
Usually with each combination of natural aptitudes which are shown by the chart of birth, there
are alternate vocations, or alternate functions within a selected vocation, which may be followed.
The choice of one of these may well be left to the child when he grows older. There should be no
effort upon the part of adults to force the youngster to follow a definite vocation. Instead, the
parents or society should see to it that he is given the type of education and vocational training
which will develop his natural aptitudes into abilities, leaving the final choice of the particular
field in which these abilities are to be used to the individual and the guidance offered him by his
chart of birth.
If the youngster has not been forced, and thus associated pain with the use of his abilities, he will
find great pleasure in using those in which he shows most excellence. His power to perform some
function better than the average individual can perform it will appeal to his Drive For
Significance. And a little encouragement and praise–instead of driving him against his
desires–will condition him to gain a high degree of pleasure from the exercise of his special
abilities and this pleasure in feeling superior because of accomplishment will cause him to exert
himself strenuously to give even better performance thus developing his abilities still more.
When such a youth reaches maturity, whatever natural talents he has will be developed into
abilities ready to be put to work both to benefit himself and to contribute to the welfare of society.
He is then a specialized part in the world’s industry, able to contribute his maximum to the
By watching the lives of those who have a thorough knowledge of astrology, and who apply
induced emotion and directed thinking based on this knowledge, I am convinced that through
astrological guidance and such application of induced emotion and directed thinking, the
effectiveness of human life can be doubled. Merely the guidance in training for the most suitable
vocation as above indicated results in great human gain. But if they were managing a universe,
those who insist all children should be given the same training, instead of educating different
souls to perform different types of work, probably would give to all souls the same experiences,
so that each could perform the same function as the other. Yet a universe inhabited by souls thus
incapable of any high degree of specialized labor would be a totally inefficient organization.
How the Divine Mind Runs the Universe
–But instead of deciding how many people would manage the development of a universal
organization, it is more profitable to look about and try to discern how the Divine Mind, which
actually does run the universe, handles such things.
And the most obvious thing of all is that life-forms are unlike and that they actually are
undergoing different training; that is, their experiences are different.
It is said that no two grains of sand on the beach are exactly the same, and certain it is that no two
undergo just the same experiences. No two plants of a certain species are the same, and no two
undergo the same training.
One stalk of wheat is devoured before maturity by ground squirrels, while its neighboring stalk
acquires a full head of grain. One fox is caught in a steel trap before it is a year old, endures untold
agony for a day or two, is found and killed by the trapper, and its fur goes to adorn some lady who
prides herself on her kindness and gentility. Another fox of the same litter escapes the trap and
roams the hills for years. But why give further examples, when observing the life of any living
thing cannot but bring the conviction that its experiences are different from the experiences of
any other living thing?
If we permit the evidence of our eyes to have weight, instead of the theories as to how a cosmos
should be run, we must soon be convinced that equality and sameness are not found in Nature.
And we must also quickly become convinced that each life-form is undergoing a somewhat
different training than any other life-form. These experiences, as I have pointed out in the
previous chapter, are the only means by which the soul occupying a life-form can acquire ability.
And, as we recognize even in the training of children, different kinds of training, which means
different experiences, develop different types of ability.
If we permit Nature to speak for herself, she tells us in no uncertain terms that her object, instead
of being a monotonous sameness, is to produce the utmost diversity. For nowhere, in any
kingdom of life, do we find exactly the same conditions, exactly the same opportunities, or
exactly the same fortunes. Instead, we are always confronted with diversity of form, diversity of
opportunity, diversity of fortune, and the consequent development of diverse characters which
have the ability to perform different and diverse functions.
Such observations, which anyone can make for himself, make it impossible to believe–unless
we think of man as under some special dispensation not shared by other life-forms–that in some
realm, past or future, all human souls will have the same opportunities, all undergo similar
training, and all achieve the same end and function. The divergency between the abilities,
opportunities and fortunes of men are the same types of divergencies that obtain among the
members of any species of life. For man is not unique. He is merely the highest type of life as yet
developed on the earth, differing from other types only in degree, but not in kind.
Therefore, for the moment disregarding the probable purpose of it, what we see daily on every
hand are life-forms each undergoing experiences that are different than the experiences of other
life-forms. All life-forms, due to changing conditions, are confronted with obstacles. But the
difficulties experienced by one life-form are slightly or greatly different from those experienced
by another life-form. Furthermore, because of difference in ability, what one life-form does when
confronted by a difficulty may be different from what another life-form does when confronted by
a somewhat similar difficulty.
Yet the difficulties met, and the struggles to overcome them, are the only sources of training by
which a soul can develop its abilities. They are the only means by which a soul can test and
develop its power. Even when the life-form is destroyed in its struggle to overcome a difficulty, it
has learned something, just as a marksman, even when he misses the mark, learns something
about shooting. People and other life-forms learn by their failures as well as by their successes.
But as the difficulties met and the way they are handled differ with different life-forms, they
inevitably also develop different kinds of ability. Just as a watchmaker undergoes one kind of
training and a locomotive engineer another kind, so all life-forms, as actually observed, are
undergoing different kinds of training. And these different kinds of training must inevitably
develop in them different kinds of ability.
Therefore, because we observe in nature the greatest diversity of form and the greatest diversity
of fortune used to train these forms, we are forced to the conviction that among all these
life-forms, either on the physical plane, or those on the inner plane, in so far as we can observe
them either by physical sight or clairvoyant vision, they are being trained in a manner to produce
the greatest diversity of ability.
Whatever theory we might develop to account for it, actual observation on any plane proves that
souls have not the same abilities, and that the training they are now undergoing is such as to
develop in each certain abilities that are not being developed by other souls.
Training For the Larger Organization
–While only the clairvoyant vision of one highly trained can perceive it, yet even to those
familiar only with some degree of efficiency in organization as found on the earth, it is not
difficult to conclude that this great diversity in ability fits them for performing specialized
functions in an intelligently planned organization. And the seer whose vision is not blockaded by
either the orthodox notions of the Occident or the orthodox notions of the Orient can actually
contact such larger organizations of souls. He can perceive somewhat of their workings, and
become convinced by first hand knowledge that in these organizations of souls who have
developed their abilities on earth, but have long since graduated from the need of earthly
experiences, there is high specialization and division of labor.
Some of the souls in these after-life organizations have had far more pain in their training than
others, some have had more pleasures, and while on earth some had greater worldly success,
some had greater worldly loss, some have had more extensive experiences with affectional
relations. In fact, their training called for just those inequalities of experience that we today
observe all around us. Pleasure and pain, success and failure, all have contributed to their
And to the orthodox of either East or West, this seems decidedly unfair. It seems like a
misapplication of justice that one individual, except for moral turpitude, should experience more
pain than another. Yet, as a matter of fact, just this does take place. And I am sure the exalted souls
who now consciously perform important functions in a super-mundane organization, none of
them feels he is unrepaid for the hardships of his training.
Lincoln, from the orthodox view, had a right to complain loudly, because few men of his time
underwent the privations and handled the difficulties that he did. Had he not become, in early life,
accustomed to painful burdens, he would not have been able to handle the still larger ones later in
life. When Lincoln, as President of the United States, became the instrument through whom the
slaves were freed, I imagine the joy and satisfaction of this accomplishment more than
compensated him for all the disappointments and pains he had ever experienced. Even when he
was assassinated I imagine he felt, not that he was an unfortunate creature, but that he was one
highly favored that his life had been instrumental in accomplishing so much for his country and
for the betterment of mankind.
The trials that most of us underwent while we were children in school, at that time seemed
important. When we failed in a lesson, when we were punished, when we had conflicts with other
children, when we were ridiculed for some mistake; all these things seemed momentous. But,
even though there were real hardships, sicknesses, difficulties and pain, most of us now, looking
back, have a healthy enough point of view to laugh at them.
From our present vantage point all the terrible vicissitudes which we then felt we were
undergoing seem important only for one thing; they were experiences which contributed to our
education. The thing that seems important now is not whether some other child was petted by the
teacher, whether some other child had better health, won the class contests, or gave us a
thrashing. These inequalities of that time now seem incidental. The thing that now looms large is,
whether or not we developed such abilities as fitted us for adult life.
But because we refuse, in the face of observing how Nature does act, to accept the notions of
orthodoxies which were formulated before anyone took the pains to observe what actually goes
on about us, does not signify that there is not a still higher justice.
Not because it is a theory which coincides with how we think the cosmos should be run, but
because actual observation of life-forms on earth and on other planes indicates it to be a fact, we
must accept the belief that there is always compensation for effort. The effort of a life-form,
whether on this plane or on some other plane, is never wasted. For effort expended, there is
always adequate return.
The Law of Compensation
–But the rewards of effort are not necessarily in the direction of gaining pleasure and avoiding
pain; nor in terms of health, wealth, affectional joys, or honor. The universal reward of effort is
There is the constant effort, upon the part of all life-forms, to triumph over the difficulties which
inevitably confront them. The struggle that ensues may be accompanied by pain, or the life-form
may become so conditioned that it is not conscious of pain, but experiences only pleasure in the
struggle. And while the pain and pleasure experienced do influence the type of events attracted in
the future, whether they shall be more severe or less severe, the pain and pleasure are not the
important things connected with the struggle. The important thing about any effort to surmount
an obstacle or weather a condition, in so far as the soul is concerned, is not whether the obstacle is
surmounted or the condition mastered, not the pain and not the pleasure, but that to the extent it
has tried to overcome the difficulty it has learned something.
To the body which it temporarily occupies, the success or the failure to adapt itself to a situation
may be a matter of life or death. But to the soul occupying the body, life and death are important
only as they furnish the experiences which develop the ability and character of the soul. The
supremely important thing to the soul is not whether the body has three square meals a day,
whether its followers give it due esteem, whether its affections are satisfied. To the soul the one
really important thing is the amount of its advancement in that training which is preparing it for
its own particular function in the universal organization.
Biologists are most insistent in this, that associated with every bit of protoplasm is something
which remembers, and thus possesses the fundamental quality which makes learning possible.
And any seer of experience is equally emphatic that all the life-forms he has contacted on the
inner planes have a similar quality. This property of learning through experience is an essential
quality of every soul, however simple or however complex. And the most significant thing
observed in the various life-forms around us is that through experience they learn to do things.
The amount of progress, however, depends upon the strength of the effort. When they struggle to
accomplish, either physically or mentally, people and other creatures learn faster than when they
make less effort. Such effort, of course, varies in quality as well as in volume, but other things
being equal, life-forms gain in ability fastest when they make the most effort to be successful in
overcoming whatever difficulties may be present. The principle of justice, therefore, which we
can actually observe in operation, and which applies to all life-forms, from the simplest to the
most complex, on all planes of existence, is that the soul advances in the development of its own
special abilities in proportion to the effort it makes. In soul-progression, this is the LAW OF
–Now, because of our familiarity with the class system of earth, in which one class, or one
occupation, is considered to be more dignified, enjoyable, and yielding in material advantages, if
you and I were to construct a universe, perhaps, we would permit each life-form in it ultimately to
perform just the same work, in order that one life-form might not receive an unjust reward. From
our viewpoint on earth, it is difficult to conceive of a society in which the reward for doing one
kind of work is not superior to the reward for doing another kind of work; for we think of reward
in terms of health, wealth, social success, and honor.
Yet even on earth, when the individual has found the particular work for which he is fitted, and
consequently in which he excels, it is seldom he would relinquish it in favor of some other work
which brings a higher reward in material things. Perhaps the athlete who wins a world record in
the pole-vault is envious of the salary paid to some writer of fiction; but in terms of self
satisfaction he feels that he has the superior reward. The painter may admire the orator, but if he
has a real flair for painting, and makes an unusual success of it, he would far rather remain an
artist than make speeches. And because being the president of a country is the place of highest
material honor, it is usually spoken of as a position anyone would be glad to fill. Yet I doubt very
much if the man who loves music, and is the best performer on some special instrument, would
trade places with the President, even if he felt sure he could manage the job.
There is no other reward that can compare with the abiding sense of satisfaction felt by the
individual who has found his work, and who believes he performs it better than any other human
being. Such superior accomplishment, and the sense of importance it brings, appeal directly to
the power urges, than which there is no stronger appeal.
Then there is the matter of the great and the small, and the more important and the less important,
to be considered. What is the great?
In comparison to ourselves the earth seems large; but it is small compared with the sun. The sun
seems large, but its place dwindles to minimum importance compared to our stellar galaxy. And
this galaxy is but a single life-cell, a cosmic amoebae, as it were, among the million other known
universes performing their life processes within the body of our cosmos. What grander
organizations of physical substance are there, of which such a cosmos is but a cell?
As to intelligence, that of man is important in comparison to the intelligence of a cell within his
body. But there are other intelligences which dwarf his puny mental faculties as completely as he
dwarfs those of a single cell. What, then, is important? What is large and what is small?
Then consider the human body. In one sense the heart may be more important than the stomach,
and the hand may be more important than the feet. The eye may be superior to the ear, and the
lungs superior to the liver. Yet all are essential to the proper functioning of the body, and each is
important in a way that the other is not. I can hardly believe that one organ of the body should feel
it unjustly treated because it is not performing the functions of some other organ. Each in its own
way is important, in that it is called upon to do something which it can do better than any other
And so, from observing how life-forms act on the inner, as well as on the outer plane, I have come
to the conclusion that large and small, important and unimportant, are rather misleading
conceptions when applied to a soul. For when a soul is performing a work in the universe that it
can perform better than any other soul, a work which is essential to the proper functioning of the
universal organism, that soul is important. And when it becomes conscious that it can do this
particular thing better than any other, and that doing it is important to the rest of creation, like the
workman on earth who excels, it then experiences a deep and abiding satisfaction.
As to the great and the small, the soul is limited in advancement along the line of its own type of
accomplishment only by the amount of effort it makes. For effort leads to soul progression.
–I have previously intimated that the universal and uniform law which is applicable alike to
every intelligence in the universe, which I call the Law of Soul Progression, that explains the
performance of all souls on all planes of existence, when fully formulated must embrace four
terms: energy, polarity, pleasure and pain.
And I have gone somewhat into detail to explain that pleasure is not something developed as a
reward for the righteous, but is a sense which the soul has developed to inform it when it is
successful. I have somewhat fully also explained that pain is not something developed as a
punishment for the wicked, but is a sense which the soul has developed to inform it when it is
being unsuccessful. And I have now indicated that energy devoted to the effort to overcome
difficulties always brings a commensurate compensation. This compensation, however, which
comes to the soul of a tuft of grass or to the soul occupying the body of a worm, as well as to the
soul inhabiting the form of man, is not in terms of physical success or physical failure, nor in
terms of pleasure and pain in some future life, but in terms of greater ability. All intelligences
expand in their knowledge of how to accomplish things through making the effort to overcome
difficulties. Nor does ability develop anywhere, to any soul, through any other means.
But I have not yet made any explanation of the part that polarity plays in the formula which
expresses the way in which all souls perform. By polarity I mean the quality of exerting an
attractive power in certain directions and of exerting a repellent power in other directions.
Now if all souls at the start of their differentiated existence had just the same polarity, just the
same amount and type of attractive force, they would all tend to attract to themselves the same
things, and would tend to have the same kinds of experiences; for experiences are attracted which
correspond to the polarity of the soul. But as I have been at considerable pains to point out, so far
as we can perceive, of all the life-forms in existence, no two seem to have just the same
experiences. Observation of their lives forces us to conclude that, on the contrary, the
experiences of life-forms, and therefore of the souls occupying them, are of the utmost diversity.
And to account for this, unless we adopt the manifestly erroneous view that the only difference
between one intelligence and another is that of age, we are compelled to believe that the attractive
and repulsive force with which they were endowed when differentiated was different.
If we ask why one soul should be given one type of polarity, or attractive and repulsive power,
and another soul a different type of polarity, it brings us back to what we observe. We observe that
the universe is an organization in which, as in any efficient organization, there is specialization of
parts and division of labor. Yet if all souls had the same polarity, and consequently underwent
similar experiences, there could be no such efficient organization, because the abilities of all
souls would be practically the same. Instead of being an organization capable of producing things
of great complexity, it would be merely a homogeneous mass; as man’s body would be if instead
of there being cells and organs to perform the different functions, it was just a group of all-similar
As the polarity of a soul accounts for the training it gets, through the type and amount of
experiences it attracts, this polarity determines what kind of work it shall later be able to perform
most effectively. That is, the kind of work that a soul shall be able to do in the cosmic scheme of
things is determined at the moment of its differentiation. It is endowed, at the very start, with
attractive and repellent qualities, and because of these, it attracts events that another soul does not
attract, and it avoids types of events that another soul attracts.
It would be preposterous for any human being to assume what is in the Divine Mind, other than
through turning in on as high an expression of it as possible and through observing its works. But
judging from what we actually see, that souls are being fitted to do different things, and that even
now, here on earth and in the astral spaces, souls do perform different functions which each add
something to the welfare of universal society, we are justified in concluding that the reason souls
are given different polarity at start is because they will be given different functions to perform in
the universal scheme of things.
Viewing the cosmos as a vast living organism, in which angelic intelligences are mere cells, and
intelligences such as man’s are still in the early stages of training, comparable to the electrons
within an atom of matter performing their movements as less than microscopic portions of a cell;
from this view, we are justified in believing that egos are differentiated by the Divine Mind to
develop souls to perform a given function. Souls are not developed just haphazard,
catch-as-catch-can. But under the law of a supply being provided to meet a specific demand, each
ego with its two souls is brought into differentiated existence for a definite purpose. There is a
future need forming in the ever-expanding, ever-progressing organism of Divinity for souls
which can do certain things. And to perform this function, this particular work, even as our large
corporations on earth train their executives and all their other help, starting them with simple
tasks, so a soul from its beginning is given a polarity which will attract to it those experiences
which will train it most effectively for the performance of the needed work.
If we take this view, which logically follows the observation of what is actually going on about
us, it gives us a very different conception of life and its purpose than that held by the orthodoxies
of the West or the orthodoxies of the East.
Instead of considering the multitudinous intelligences which are all about us, both in physical
life-forms and in astral life-forms, as under different laws and actuated by different principles,
this more inclusive perspective enables us to perceive that all intelligences come into existence
and perform their functions according to a single great law. Numerous as they are, rivaling in
number the photons of light that are radiated by sun and stars, each and every one is brought into
existence in answer to a definite demand arising in the cosmic organism.
The cosmos, like all those parts of it which we can observe, is in a process of development. It
moves ever forward, constantly expanding, constantly becoming more complex, constantly
increasing its capacities; a never ending progression. And this ceaseless expansion and
development of abilities creates a continuous demand for intelligences which have the ability to
perform those functions which the development within the cosmos makes necessary.
It is as if there were an industrial organization, or a chain-store organization, which was not static,
but which was constantly increasing in size and constantly taking upon itself the performance of
new and more complex duties. Older members, to the extent they exhibit sufficient ability, would
be promoted to stations of more importance. And to take their place new help would be hired. Yet
even though this new help were given simple tasks to perform at start, these tasks would be of
such a nature as to train them for definite positions higher up.
Some would be engaged to develop into accountants, some to become sales managers having
charge of a given territory, and others to be developed into heads of departments. And if, as in the
case with the cosmos, the organization should continue to expand, new help would be hired right
along, and old help of ability would be advanced to fill still more important positions. The
continuous demand for intelligences to perform more complex functions would have to be met if
the organization was to continue to make progress.
From what we see of life-forms, their number, and the way they behave, we are compelled to
conclude that some such process as this is taking place in the cosmos. The expanding cosmic
enterprise makes a demand for new intelligences. But these new intelligences are not just any
kind of intelligences. The demands of the cosmic organization are for intelligences with ability to
do specific needful things. Therefore, to meet this demand, new souls (for all intelligences are
souls) are differentiated. But in their differentiation they are not given the same polarity. The
polarity, which means attractive and repulsive power, with which each is endowed at the moment
of its differentiation is such as to cause it to have a “flare” for the particular kind of work that the
cosmic organization, in time, will have need of.
Just as the efficient president of a progressive corporation on earth looks ahead twenty years, and
hires his new help with a view to their ability to develop talents which will enable them to perform
complex duties at that future date, so cosmic intelligence brings souls into differentiated
existence with a polarity determined by the future demand for special talent.
Even as people when born on earth have the ability to develop certain traits which fit them to
perform specific kinds of work, and do not have the ability to develop into high grade workmen in
other lines, so souls at their differentiation are given a polarity which enables them to develop
certain talents and prevents them from developing other talents to any high degree. You may
think this is unjust that all should not fare just alike in the distribution of talent; but from the
broader point of view, it is a working of justice. For, after all, each soul is happiest and best
satisfied when doing the things which it is fitted to do. A hand is a hand, and a foot is a foot, and
neither should be envious of the other; for if it performs its own activities successfully it can gain
as much satisfaction as can the other.
But when we think of souls which are brought into differentiated existence to perform a future
function for which a demand is arising in the cosmic organization, we must not think merely of
human souls, or even of those souls which will ultimately incarnate in human form, or which
have in the past occupied a human form. We must consider that the intelligence occupying every
cell of our body, the intelligence occupying every little plant, the intelligence of each elemental in
the spaces, the intelligence of astral entities of all sorts which never incarnate in matter, spiritual
intelligences, angelic intelligences, and those even greater, all have come into differentiated
existence and developed in obedience to this law of cosmic demand and supply.
An intelligence implies a soul, and back of the soul an ego; and every soul in the universe, having
come into differentiated existence in answer to cosmic demand, has a polarity which attracts to it
events of one type and which repels from it events of another type. This attractive and repellent
quality with which the soul is endowed at very start thus determines the kind of training it will
The power which causes a soul ever to struggle onward, which does not permit it to cease its
efforts and sink into oblivion, is furnished by its ego. In this sense the power urges, which
developed in specific directions in human life become the most insistent of all mental factors,
date back to the very beginning of the soul’s existence. As yet it does not know the purpose of the
struggle, for even arrived at the state of manhood few souls grasp the real significance of their
existence, but the power urges, if we may call them this before consciousness has further
developed, cause it to make an effort to move forward, to develop a form, and to have
experiences. Like the newborn infant, it struggles without knowing why.
These struggles of the soul give it experience, and experience, recorded in its finer structure gives
it added attractive and repulsive power by which it attracts a new form which is more complex.
This process I have already considered in Chapter 1, as applied to the evolution
of souls through life-forms on earth. But the matter of polarity needs further attention. For each
soul, at start having different attractive and repulsive powers, no two souls attract the same
events, and thus no two have just the same training, and no two develop just the same abilities.
Harmony and Discord
–Due to the original polarity of a soul, some of the experiences it attracts are painful and some of
them are pleasurable; which is just another way of stating that at times it is confronted with
difficulties that tend to the destruction of its form or the blocking of its desires, and at other times
it overcomes such difficulties as are present and gains satisfaction for its desires.
But every experience which is recorded in the finer form as a discord, as painful, has a property of
attracting a discordant, or painful, event in the future. And every experience which is recorded in
the finer form as a harmony, as a pleasure, has a property of attracting a harmonious event in the
future. There is thus a tendency for a soul which has developed considerable harmony to attract
only harmonious conditions, and one which has had many hardships to continue to attract them.
But if a soul were always confronted with difficulties it could not surmount, that is only by
painful conditions, its training would be unduly severe, and through always being defeated in its
struggle it might tend to lose the incentive to struggle. And if the difficulties presented were
insignificant, and always easily triumphed over, giving rise only to pleasure, the greatest efforts
would not be called upon and the soul might not progress as rapidly as otherwise.
But in Nature we find a force constantly at work which tends to bring to the soul difficulties which
alternately are easy to overcome and difficult to surmount. This force is the impact of astrological
energies. That is, in addition to the attraction for painful events and the attraction for pleasurable
events, the attraction for great difficulties and for those easily resulting in success, which are
derived from its past experiences with pain and pleasure, there are astrological forces which
periodically accentuate certain of these harmonies within the finer form, so that events
exclusively of one type are not attracted.
How these astrological forces operate in human life is well understood through the study of
progressed aspects. And similar astrological conditions have an influence over life-forms of all
kinds and on all planes.
The types of events attracted to a soul at a given time are those which correspond to its need for
experiences which will give it the proper training to fit it for its functions in the universal
organization. But in addition to painful experiences and pleasurable experiences attracted
through the original polarity of the soul, there is an additional factor, that of the impact of
astrological forces, such as trines and squares, which modify this, and at times bring conditions
leading to success, which is the triumphing over conditions, and at other times bring loss, which
is failure to overcome difficulties. Yet such successes and failures are comparative. For even
under astrological impact, the difficulties encountered in comparison to the ability to overcome
them is chiefly determined by past experiences. Yet it is found that, when a soul learns how,
though not escaping severe difficulties, but going forth to meet them instead, it is able to avoid the
pain and get its training henceforth quite as speedily through the attractive power of pleasure.
That is, arrived at a certain point of evolution, a soul can employ the pleasure technique instead of
the pain technique in its further training, and advance even more rapidly and live even more