Let us advance another step in our argument. If there is such a thing as existence in the spiritual world after corporeal death, then it must occur in accordance with the law of evolution. It takes man from his place at the apex of the pyramid of matter, and lifts him into a sphere of existence where the same inexorable law follows him. And if it follows him, why not everything else in nature? Why not animals and plants, which have all a life-principle, and whose gross forms decay like his, when that life-principle leaves them? If his astral body becomes more ethereal upon attaining the other sphere, why not theirs? They, as well as he, have been evolved out of condensed cosmic matter, and our physicists cannot see the slightest difference between the molecules of the four kingdoms of nature, which are thus specified by Professor Le Conte:
4. Animal Kingdom.
3. Vegetable Kingdom.
2. Mineral Kingdom.
The progress of matter from each of these planes to the plane above is continuous; and, according to Le Conte, there is no force in nature
capable of raising matter at once from No. 1 to No. 3, or from No. 2 to No. 4, without stopping and receiving an accession of force of a different kind on the intermediate plane.
Now, will any one presume to say that out of a given number of molecules, originally and constantly homogeneous, and all energized by the same principle of evolution, a certain number can be carried through those four kingdoms to the final result of evolving immortal man, and the others not be allowed to progress beyond planes 1, 2, and 3? Why should not all these molecules have an equal future before them; the mineral becoming plant, the plant, animal, and the animal, man — if not upon this earth, at least somewhere in the boundless realms of space? The harmony which geometry and mathematics — the only exact sciences — demonstrate to be the law of the universe, would be destroyed if evolution were perfectly exemplified in man alone and limited in the subordinate kingdoms. What logic suggests, psychometry proves; and, as we said before, it is not unlikely that a monument will one day be erected by men of science to Joseph R. Buchanan, its modern discoverer. If a fragment of mineral, fossilized plant, or animal form gives the psychometer as vivid and accurate pictures of their previous conditions, as a fragment of human bone does of those of the individual to which it belonged, it would seem as if the same subtile spirit pervaded all nature, and was inseparable from organic or inorganic substances. If anthropologists, physiologists, and psychologists are equally perplexed by primal and final causes, and by finding in matter so much similarity in all its forms, but in spirit such abysses of difference, it is, perhaps, because their inquiries are limited to our visible globe, and that they cannot, or dare not, go beyond. The spirit of a mineral, plant, or animal, may begin to form here, and reach its final development millions of ages hereafter, on other planets, known or unknown, visible or invisible to astronomers. For, who is able to controvert the theory previously suggested, that the earth itself will, like the living creatures to which it has given birth, ultimately, and after passing through its own stage of death and dissolution, become an etherealized astral planet? “As above, so below”;harmony is the great law of nature.
Harmony in the physical and mathematical world of sense, is justice in the spiritual one. Justice produces harmony, and injustice, discord; and discord, on a cosmical scale, means chaos — annihilation.
If there is a developed immortal spirit in man, it must be in every thing else, at least in a latent or germinal state, and it can only be a question of time for each of these germs to become fully developed. What gross injustice it would be for an impenitent criminal man, the perpetrator of a brutal murder when in the exercise of his free will, to have
all immortal spirit which in time may be washed clean of sin, and enjoying perfect happiness, while a poor horse, innocent of all crime, should toil and suffer under the merciless torture of his master’s whip during a whole life, and then be annihilated at death? Such a belief implies a brutal injustice, and is only possible among people taught in the dogma that everything is created for man, and he alone is the sovereign of the universe; — a sovereign so mighty that to save him from the consequences of his own misdeeds, it was not too much that the God of the universe should die to placate his own just wrath.