Limanora, The Island Of Progress | Godfrey Sweven | Fantasy Fiction, Literary Fiction | 14/14

chapter 13 part 1 of Lyman aura the island of progress by Godfrey suave on this LibriVox recording is in the public domain religion part 1 after a few days reflection and observation I felt a change in the spirit of the people there was less of that serenity which had struck me so often as one of the distinctive characteristics of themselves and their actions every family seemed to hurry in its efforts at development and the pace of their advance might almost be called feverish now this was especially the case with all those who were engaged in the more spiritual investigations into the nature of the cosmos next to them an increase of eagerness and enthusiasm came the astronomical families the astrobiological and all whose researches bore upon stellar conditions and interstellar migration the gaze of the whole race was more distinctly outwards and extraterrestrial I had conjectured the cause of this acceleration and impetuosity and soon definitely knew it to be the result of our expedition to the south and the reports we brought back the elders on considering them saw that the safety of the island as a resting place and arena for their progress was not to be depended on for many generations more the increase in the rate of subsidence of their old home meant a transference of the destructive power of the subterranean fires to the other end of the ancient fissure within a measurable period the volcanic vents on the Antarctic Coast must be closed beneath the ocean before many centuries were over and the rushing waters in quenching their fires would find their way in uncontrollable steam towards the weakest point of the crust which they knew to be their own archipelago their many generations could come in goal is to rest reel home of the race would be blown to dust and new lands would appear at some other point on the line of Fisher where could they settle on the round of the earth there was no land except their old home to the south isolated enough to admit they're following up their ideals all the remote islands in other oceans were already fully occupied and were impracticable for them unless not the sacrifice of human life a condition that would outrage their whole idea of development the globe was closed for them except the region of everlasting ice where the remote ancestry had dwelled and that to mind at any moment flash into doubts before the explosive forces beneath the crust the alternative of seeking a home on another star it seemed to them the only one for many generations and they had been preparing for it by inventions that would enable them to flow clear of the terrestrial atmosphere for many centuries and by explorations in interstellar space but many discoveries and thoughts had thrown a new light upon the stellar migration that would have to exist in their circumscribed Faline 'as as they traveled through the ether for many generations of even their long lives and these ships would be their cradle and their tomb they would have to resign for many centuries the conquests of the elements of the forces of nature that they had achieved in Lyman aura the broad movement which these past ages of history had given to their life would be narrowed into a space no larger than one chamber of their own mansions they would live imprisoned and their imprisonment would lay its brand upon their natures and still more upon the natures of their descendants the proximity of so many in so small a space would breed physical and still worse spiritual disease that would haunt their posterity for generations after they should settle in their new stellar abode their offspring would have the habits and ideas of the Savage reared in the wigwam of the rover or the hut of the slave even if they could achieve individual flight through the ether they would have to keep close to their store ships and return every few minutes to the exhausted atmosphere of their Swift winging Faline 'as if every condition of their interstellar voyage were the same as their life in their own Wyman aura what disappointments might not they encounter in their comparative ignorance of the biology of the heavens would not most stars that were fit to be inhabited be already choked with life and life at a different state from that that they had attained if they struck upon a lower grade of existence it would be useless to attempt to raise it and contrary to their own morality to obliterate it if they met with a higher type of being they would be repulsed by it as likely as to degrade it it would be a wretched existence to lead a life of interstellar back a bondage poor beggars of the cosmos seeking a star whereupon they might wrest the sole of their foot not more than one world in each system could be at the stage that would fit their life evolution most stars would be too young and fired early crude or too old and exhausted to give them the conditions they sought for in many the life they would encounter would shock and repel them by its monstrosity what was to hinder some gigantic form as the Leo Manu had existed on the earth in its earlier geological ages some tremendous wings Arion and having the place on one or more of the stars they visited then man held upon earth it only meant the development of a brain proportionate to the hugeness of the bulk and some swiftly moving daft and adaptable limb like the human hand to give a complete dominance over all the forms of life around it the elephant needed only the mechanical Faculty of the beaver or of the ant to outstrip man in the struggle of life he had the delicate manipulator in his trunk he had the long life and he had the capacity of skull to transform him into the dominant race of the earth in order to the mastery of his conditions he had only to make the step from using anything that came ready to his trunk as a weapon into shaping it to his will circumstances accidents opportunities pilot the evolution of life upon a world and the accidental condition of an element or an energy or locality might have transform some terrific monster into the master of the first star they visited it was merely a matter of more or less intricate convolutions of the brain but perhaps the most terrible thing of all would be to land on a world whose inhabitants had developed the purely intellectual faculties and the section of the brain corresponding to them at the expense of the nervous centers that have to do with the control of the passions and with the subordination of the animal nature what a horror it would be to find a star full of Calla bands with more than human cunning and none of the human emotional morality the thought of these chances like these gave them pause in their maggot Oriole conquest they begin to feel that even life amongst the ruder of their fellow men might be better than landing amongst monsters unstirred by pity or compassion reverence or tenderness for highly-developed life to whom bloodshed was nothing it was true that there were in most nations men who were so constituted but they were except when they got the command of huge armies and became conquerors bridled by fear of the punishment that the laws of the country meted out to criminals it was better to live in proximity to beings amongst whom this moral and emotional neutrality is an exception than in a world filled with such monsters perchance when their island home was shattered to dust their true path lay along the surface of their own globe they might settle on the slope of some sky piercing mountain round whose feet lay untainted tribes of primitive savages there they might preserve their isolation as perfectly as in Lyman aura by a hedge of fear around them which their exceptional power over the forces of nature should forge but they knew that before many ages could pass civilized man would penetrate amongst the odd tribes with his potent weapons and his unscrupulous cunning then would they be unable to avoid bloodshed or hypocritical ambush or diplomacy ambition and hatred would enter in and turn their paradise into a hell on the whole they inclined to the other alternative that lay before them when the great catastrophe came that is let it do its worst on their physical or lower elements out of their shattered bodies would rise the energy of their systems to follow its career of development untrammeled by any slow-moving matter that was half inert whether living or dead death so sudden as that death under any circumstances or conditions was no stop or misfortune to the highest that was in them it was the swiftest way to achieve migration into the interstellar spaces as it was they were narrowed and localized in their development thought a higher thought alone finding its way unchecked to any point or sphere in the cosmos at death they would all be freed from the almost vegetative functions of human existence they would be released from the prison of locality and their whole being would have the ease of thought in winging from infinity to infinity and in disregarding the limitations of time and space together the whole of their race might find coalescence if not companionship in following out their career of development unburdened by lions with any lower type of energy and in more swiftly attaining a higher and higher goal in the scale of energies when this conclusion had been raged by the consciousness of the people the old serenity returned to them they were ready to meet whatever came not caring whether their ascent through the grades of being was traveled by terrestrial forms of energy or set free in the infinities of ether but i dimly felt that there was a sublime looking upwards in all they did or said added to their former serenity that transformed it into what approach to the noblest forms of devotional ecstasy I had seen amongst men they never allowed themselves to fall into the molds of thought that this bodily and terrestrial needs so freely supplied to man thought recognizing and the practical demands of the physical nature they satisfied and then dismissed them as rapidly as was possible and with all their marvelous machinery and inventions and their accumulation of power the time occupied in this satisfaction was so abbreviated as to be scarcely noticeable in the labyrinth of daily pursuits I had been greatly puzzled during my long period of training to see no trace of religious worship in this noble race growing up with the instinct in me that of all manifestations of human possibilities religion was the most sublime yet I had come to know before I left Europe how degraded girls and foul even lofty minded religion might become but the best men and women I had known there had ever been stirred with the spirit of religious reverence and love I could not account for these the noblest and ableist beings I had seen on earth ignoring the claims of what is the highest of all and I watched eagerly for any indication of acts or modes of worship early in my residence on the island I had discovered that there were no temples and no priests that was patent to the most casual glance of the stranger amongst all their public buildings there was none that could be taken as devoted to the worship of a deity and there was no family or caste or said of men whose chief functions were to superintend such a worship but perhaps their religious acts were private or even secret and I was on the alert many years for any sign of such a thing in the house of my pro parents or in that of thyri l finally discovery nothing that could be construed even in the most distant way into a ceremonial attitude or word I gradually abandon any expectation of such a thing my attention was now aroused by the new halo around their serene acceptance of the conditions of life there was a rapture and there was longing in there on view of the world yet the rapture and the longing never withdrew them from immediate pursuits and duties never gave them the on way of life that transport and passion generally in train they seemed to have the vision and the upward glance of the seer without his brooding and apartness it was rather an intensification of their usual feelings and attitude to life this was nearer than anything else I had experienced in Lyman aura to the unperturbed faith in a higher being and the yearning for proximity to him that I had witnessed in those whom we used in Europe to call for lack of a less trite term Saints at the next menorah or de Centennial review the predominating interest was the Apothic side of human nature and I discovered more of their views of religion in the few years preceding it than all the decades I had spent amongst them so devotional did I think the magnetism which ran through the community that I plucked a courage to ask about the religion my question was dealt with in the calmest and most rational way possible amongst human beings there was no immediate reply except an elevation of the finger to the brow and then to the white ball of the sky but I was led to a part of the field whom I had not visited it lay in a region of the valley that I had carefully avoided us full of gloom and damp with the vapor of a tumbling waterfall I had never noticed anyone enter it and my curiosity had never been awakened about it here were stored the records that illustrated the evolution of religion records made by light sound and magnetism it was intensely interesting for me to see so complete a Museum of the natural history of worship every faith in the world had its new place fixed according to its in her spirit and development so graphic was the map of the whole that in a moment I saw the common kinship of all and the differentiating qualities that made weren't worshipping and more advanced than the other my guide flashed living pictures of the ceremonies of each and then let me listen to the speeches and talks of the efficients and of many of the worshipers the magnetograph struck me into the feelings that pervaded the masses in the temples and those that filled the breasts of the solitary priest or devotee during the most solemn and enthusiastic act of worship I could feel how much or how little the religion introduced into the life of the people day after day I returned with eagerness to the site and the study of this absorbing phase of human nature and seemed to get to the very heart of every faith and its influence the mere accidents of its history were felt to be non-essential its inner development stood out as plainly as if written in letters of fire my guy did not need to teach me the lesson I knew it as well as if I had learned it from infancy I knew why there were no temples no ceremonies no Hierophant ik families no outward sign of faith amongst this far-seeing people their own early endeavors to purify and develop the faith and it down to them from their forefathers were there as vividly pictured as any faith from the world outside they had had temples as splendid as any I have ever seen or heard described their ceremonies were artistic noble and significant their music was as nearly sublime as earthly music can be and the priestly profession attracted many of the ablest and some of the best natures in the community by its princely salaries drawn from the gifts of former ages of the faithful and by its high prerogatives at first I wondered how it had been possible to uproot an institution that had evidently grown out of the most intimate instincts of the race the hired dignitaries were so lordly and influential they might easily control even by their private alliances and social dominance the powers of state and the poorer hierophants had ingratiate themselves with the middle classes and proletariat from whom they came River ins fear love ambition pride self-interest all the commoner emotions and passions of humanity were engaged and entwined with the worship how could such a widely rama fine profession allow itself to be overthrown when the x islands were over it was found that there was not a member of the priestly profession left on the island nor was there anything of the wealth of the church except the solid walls of the temples the dignitaries and most of the transferrable riches had found their way to a low Fane the bulk of the poor clergy landed in Turrell area and smaller bands drifted away to smaller islands like Surya establishing their communities marked by some extreme eccentricity of faith all the vestments and altars and ornaments of the temples had vanished before the last expedition left the shores of Lima Norah even the huge bells that had rung to service and the baser metals for making the roofs watertight had disappeared nothing but the stones and mortar were left to indicate where the great faith of the past had housed itself one or two expeditions were even seen to set out from Terrill area and alio feign to fetch the very temples away stone by stone to prevent the cupidity of the exiled from wastin itself on futile attempts against the island the edifices were tumbled into the sea and helped to make the bastions which guarded the shores having thus got rid of all the outward property and signs of their former worship they had to count the cost and consider how they were to meet the situation it had been inculcated by the officiants of the church for untold generations that all morality and in fact all civilization would vanish with faith religion was the foundation of everything in life that was worth preserving and most of the people trembled if any change were proposed in the national worship they feared that the object of their devotion would withdraw the light of his countenance from the should the slightest feature be modified even the scientific and culture thought that religion acted as an excellent watchdog or policeman keeping the uneducated within the bounds of the laws and traditions of the nation changes had crept in unobserved by the worshipers and had been sanctified by time then open proposals for change gave the shock and the alarm and made the whole fabric seemed to shake and taught her the unperceived changes were far greater and more revolutionary in their ultimate effect for they were generally changes of degeneration which ended in decay and ruin but everything that was deliberately intended to fit the old institution to the new times was looked on with horror a sacrilege never to be forgiven it was therefore with a certain tremor that they demolished the ancient temples and put their stones too new on seemingly secular uses but once the transformation was accomplished and no Greek catastrophe followed even the less bold gathered courage as time went on than the old faith was forgotten and no definite new Creed took its place it began to be felt that the terror of religious change and the belief that religion alone gave the guarantee of all morality and civilization were alike baseless after a decade or two when they began to reflect on their past and analyze their new states of mind and public feeling they discovered the most striking effect of this obeyence of ecclesiastic ISM to be the attainment of the ideal of all true religion into their very life at Salk the inner spirit of devotion every act was done with a reference to something higher than to herself to which the doer looked up with reverence yet with the sense of it's possible attainment in the future every piece of conduct every item of character was molded as if for all time all their work they labored at within earnestness enthusiasm and care that events the consciousness of its everlasting issues in short they found that the surest way to exclude religion from the life was to assign it to a special section of time a special profession and special edifices these acted as a conduit that drew it from the true business of existence men and women came to feel that these ones being set apart was all done that could be done for the object of their worship and that the rest of their life upon earth would be given up to whatsoever please them be it irreligious wicked or even vile the religious section of their lives through its consecrating and projecting shadow over the worst they might do or say or think thus came about the strange paradox that the vilest of criminals were often the most devoted to religion when they went into the temples the specialization of what should belong to the whole life and conduct lessens its value if there is a particular channel for religion it will be confined to that channel except in rare seasons of enthusiasm when it floods the adjacent regions and does universal havoc formerly the most religious had been the least trustworthy in the ordinary business of life and they had not been able to understand why for the deity they worshipped was a compound of all the noblest virtues they could conceive and honesty and truth and constancy were three of these now they perceived that having given a tithe of their civilization and energy to the object of their worship they had shut him and the virtues he embodied out from the rest he had no claim on that it was vain for the creed or the priest to insist that the faith should be carried into the life as long as there was a special part of life dedicated to it once the pails were down and there was no distinction between time and time between place and place and between act and act the nesting place of hypocrisy disappeared every day was sacred every place was the sanctuary every act was holy every moment of their life every action was a prayer for they were ever looking upwards and forwards towards the ideal and believed that the noblest reverence they could pay to the cosmos and to the presiding spirit of the cosmos was to raise their own nature's even higher in the cosmic scale everything that went through them from this cultivation of the special plot assigned to them in the universe from the development of their better selves was delaying the true purpose of existence even acts of reverence and ceremonies of faith were but a waste of cosmic energy as long as they kept raising their struggle for existence to higher plane so long as they were truly reverencing the greatest being of all the spirit that gave and was the palpitating life of the cosmos they acknowledged that every religion in its origin was a recognition of unknown elements or beings far above the plane of the worshippers but it rapidly degenerated into mere parasite ISM upon its deity the more spiritual faiths in their earlier stages expressed the yearning for higher scales of being in true efforts to bring life of the worshiper nearer to that of the worshiped but soon the curse of religion comes upon them they try to include races on lower plane than that of their first worshipers and moulders and to these they must adapt themselves for it is the mass the numbers that form the ultimate mold of a faith the noble nature's for whom they originally came into being are left neglected and undeveloped and the whole worship goes lower and lower to fit the needs of the increasing numbers of converts insignificant though the wyman Horan's felt themselves to be against the infinity of the cosmos they refused to formulate their worship lest it should fall into parasitism the source of most of the evil and retrogression in the universe they knew it was possible for the lower being to try to rise to the level of existence of the higher and worshiped and in advancing to help his advance but they had seen too much in history and in contemporary life of the symbiosis of worshipers becoming mere parasite ISM to trust themselves to anything definite and outward in religion in daily intercourse the lower and weaker nature's cling to the higher and stronger and if they fail to reciprocate the benefit they receive and cease to attempt to elevate themselves to the level of their hosts then they suck the lifeblood from them and degrade them the same holds true in religion the mean worshipers and the majority in mixed communities are mean make no effort to better themselves the higher ideal that they are taught to reverence as a God they batten upon for favours they pray to Him and yearn for him not that they may like him but that he may like them and become their active and efficient partner in material things and their accomplice in their mean or evil deeds the Lyman Oren's conceived that all the higher beings of space struggled to keep clear of such parasitic religionists as the majority of men are there is no road up the steep of being but by patient self development through generations and generations almost all religions after their early enthusiastic stage our Royal Roads does seem to lead to the heights of heaven and our but descents to hell they only delude men into thinking that there are other ways to divine happiness then that likeness to the divine nature which is to be obtained by nothing but slow gradual inward change they had seen so much of the degeneration and immortality of faiths not only in their own history but in the history of the world that nothing would persuade them to formulate or define in words what they meant by religion at any stage of their development for once they had to find there was a platform of self opinion and self-interest to fight for a nucleus of petrifaction rights and outward worship would follow and a priesthood whose interest it would be to teach that what they profess as a Creed is absolute Ruth right well the Lyman Oren's knew how false such teaching is no age can have a view of life that is not molded by contemporaneous circumstances and capacity of thought and feeling and the farther the people pass in time and spirit from the primitive age of the founders of the religion the more stoutly will they uphold every word of the Creed and every feature of the institution nothing but sanguinary revolution will avail to undo the tragic not with which the spirit of man has thus bound himself however good for progress and enthusiasm of a faith might be in its early stage it inhibit ibly became the tomb of the human spirit occult explanations of statements that did not tally with acknowledged facts or laws were bound to appear as soon as the mind of the people began to move and develop and the Lyman Oren's knew that their marvelous progress had largely been due to the early resolve to have nothing to do with the occult or merely mysterious their pioneering books dealt with what still lay under the horizon of the future but they started from recognized facts and principles and attempted to supply working hypotheses for the men of science there was nothing of magic or superstition in them nothing that did not appeal to the laws of reason and ascertain scientific data nothing that was not meant to be tested by the methods of daily practical life not that they never thought over the problems that were commonly called religious or urine for communion with existence as nobler than their own but their thoughts and feelings were kept out of the sphere of definite expression through fear that their temporary solutions might crystallize and become permanent their faith was purely individual and inward yet when some great step was to be taken in the onward march of the race as for instance when a new type of child or Enterprise was preparing to be born the whole community silently towards the living spirit of the cosmos all their being thrilled with one magnetism that seemed to quiver upwards through the ether and returned again to strengthen and console them in their work their ideal seemed to pass as by an inspiration into the child or the enterprise about to be born the universe they felt echoed to their thought but it would have been desecration to put their seer like longing into any form of human expression this was the nearest they came to what is called worship in other nations it was difficult to get them to speak of it for what they would have called their religion was their whole life there pressing forward and upward in development their religion was what Europeans would have defined as discovery of God rather than the worship of any idea of him it was based on the knowledge that the world had advanced from insignificant life to comparatively noble self conscious life and it held firmly that no finality could have yet been reached that there was nobler life beyond still to achieve ever as they climbed upwards in development they had described new ideals on the far horizon that threw into shadow what they had been aiming at on and on they would still climb nearer and nearer to the ultimate ideal of the cosmos which is God not to progress was to be irreligious even to look back and make a night a lot of the superseded ideal a hero out of a past Savior was to sin there had been revelations of the ultimate spirit of the cosmos but they were ever superseded by the advance of the race for every advance to a new type was revelation all true and developing life was a revelation no revelation could be other than for a time it was sure to lose its illuminating power as the years or the generations progressed many sacred books they had had books that were no longer sacred only retaining the reverence for that which at once aided in their development as long as it continued to hold a beacon ahead of the race a book remain sacred but once it's ideal had been overtaken by the national progress light died out of it for a dead book that retained his sacredness became a fetish and obstructed development not only did they reverence their sacred books every noble utterance every noble act that held out an ideal for men to strive after was sacred but as soon as the sentiment or thought or morality was seemed to be merely of the past it was set aside nothing could possibly be final in a universe that was ever developing with faculties and powers of observation that were ever getting more capable of comprehending new phases and energies of the cosmos to accept a book or a faith or an ideal as finally sacred was to offend against the ultimate the free spirit of the cosmos which was ever leading on towards new heights and new outlooks into the future there was no outer worship except life and all its works all other worship was a waste of time and effort which might have been used to raise the worshippers in the scale of being every attempt to conciliate God or imagined him or model him was blasphemy against the effort to rise towards him but every man had his own religious thoughts in silence and there was welding the whole race to a common purpose a magnetic sympathy which was deeply religious it was the sympathy with every thought that tended to advance but all vain contemplation or self-reflection not leading to a progressive purpose was a waste of life and therefore evil for evil they held is the rebellion of the past against the future and though new religion is in an effort of nature to make alliance with the future it soon by reason of having reached or seeming to have reached its ideal crystallizes and becomes the ally of the past the spirit of stagnancy and retrogression what we in Christendom would call the devil while set new religions and counts old religions as its best allies so ran a common maxim of theirs they would have nothing to do with what would withdraw any current of their life energy from the great work of advance if there was any division of the race that could be said to approach a priesthood it was the men and women of science especially the pioneers or the imaginative amongst them for they had their eyes bent unflinchingly on the future there's it was to see that the race was ever advancing they never suffered the present to interfere with the development that was to be they stirred their fill Oh Lyman Oren's to the enthusiasm of anticipation and watched with unfaltering jealousy every glance turned upon the past the moments Bend upon history and antiquarian research they counted lost unless their aim was to throw illumination upon the future mere students of the past were back sliders whom they had to chide for their offenses against the evolution of the cosmos they held up to the eyes of their countrymen the nobleness and beauty of the ideals that were soon to be attained or if need were the sublimity of those that lay just under the horizon in the dimness of twilight they would have nothing to do with mere mystery the basis of all superstition they never lost sight of the margin of the half gnome that was ever receding before the advance of investigation into the dark infinitude but they would have no dealings with it beyond the gates of scientific imagination as a planet itself upon the heights have already achieved knowledge such dealings led to growth superstition and Charl entry to pretence of more intercourse with the unknown than was warranted by the knowledge of time there was no standard by which they could be measured or checked and if once they were allowed they would give unlimited scope for self deceit and imposture faith was a matter for silent meditation and for dream speech or act would only bring it down to the dull level of memory the faith they spoke of was faith in the great future of man and the pioneers were encouraged to sketch out and foreshadow its possibilities by way of dream but that dream was ever the best which traced the whole faith through practice to complete achievement one of the great imaginative books of the time mapped out the route through self-abnegation it described the denial of power or material self and the reduction of it to insignificance in the human system it showed how by such a means and by meditation a man of lofty thought might comprehend the whole range of the universe and passing from spiritual height to spiritual height at last be capable of gathering infinitude within the scope of his soul thus he could approach to communion with the heart and soul of the cosmos with the Sun of all things but by the selection of parents who had brought such a habit of thought and life into their constitutions they might have in a century of generations beings who were all spirit unhampered by the physical modes of thought and feeling not even this ideal man of the future would they worship for he would still be man infinity short of the highest he could be in the cosmos and nothing short of absolute perfection should be the object of so intense a concentration and prostration of the soul was worship to accept any mere embodiment of humanity as the center of adoration was agnostic to the great ethical maxim that the ultimate object of every action or desire should be higher than the highest existing human life to worship even the idea of humanity were impossible for a spirit with its feelings and imagination limited to human moulds would lower the aspirations of thought apart from the difficulties of its abstractness it would be to open the objection of obstructing progress by setting up a deity who was but the amalgam of all the failings as well as all the virtues of mankind the wyman horn smiled at the ineptitude of making so imperfect creatures as ourselves the chief elements of Godhead when there were such infinite UD's around us and above us and such entities before us even if it should be possible to eliminate from the human idea of deity all but progress and the noblest virtue it would be obviously absurd to worship an ideal that was soon with the earth that dwelled on to vanish in the dust vapor and heat of cosmic collision all open worship was inevitably hampered they held by the limitations of human nature and anthropomorphic it must be despite all efforts to bar out the human from it and as anthropomorphic certain to be antiquated by any real progress on the part of the worshippers these elements in religions make them the enemies of all advanced except perhaps in luxury their Guardians feel that they are sure to be superseded if the spirit of man should rise above the conditions in which the worship were molded it is one of the strongest yearnings of life to remain as it is only there are forces material and spiritual ever goading it on the path of advance threatening inferiority or defeat or death unless it goes on but so infinitesimal is the progress thus made under the sting of natural law that it is scarcely noticeable in periods short of hundreds of generations few or no nations or races have attained historic dominance or even historic consciousness of their past so long this unconscious Millia ISM was considered by the Lyman Lawrence as little better than the development of animals when left to themselves only delivered of effort on the part of the state and its members can produce advance that is to be felt or that acts as a stimulus to farther advance it is seldom that unconscious progress is other than material whilst inevitably entails reaction to stagnancy or retrogression nay the whole human race at times takes a run forward and then stumbles and falls only to slide back into its old foot for some new impulse sweeping through the ether has stirred men in each race whose enthusiasm or as it is commonly called inspiration awakens the spirit of progress in the era and of chapter 13 part 1 chapter 13 part 2 of Lyman aura the island of progress by Godfrey swellin this LibriVox recording is in the public domain religion part 2 conservatism is the native or fundamental attitude of every being the tendency to make the rest of the adjacent world give way that it may penetrate its existence or that of its brood selfishness is thus the very texture of life and it is difficult to see how it can engender its opposite self-sacrifice the sexual and parent illan stinks are the crude material of the latter but the fire of thought and enthusiastic impulse is needed to refine this material into a love that stretches beyond the immediate object of these instincts and takes in the interests of the race and last of all those of mankind something higher and more alien to the instincts of man is demanded for the comprehension of his nobler development in the valley of memories was shown to me at one stage of my education a complete elucidation of the prehistoric phases of evolution first came the struggle for life amongst the innumerable claimants for the mastery of the new earth those elementary forms that coming out of space will settle on any world new or old that they may encounter the advanced seeking organization seeking only orbs well fitted for their progress across the geological ages I could see this competition raising the Manute cells of the primeval creatures into elaborately organized beans I saw sex saved the new existence from the dominion of mere brute appetite but from the outside world came the transformation which made it the savior of man the ultimate dominant animal upon the sphere this transformed instinct expanded by slow steps of love of children into love of race then into philanthropy at first bland and crude and often unreal in the presence of the old central and family love but finally strong and noble and able to embrace the progress of man as a spirit the last stage overlapped the prehistoric and came to be limited except in rare and isolated instances to Lyman aura enlightened philanthropy I could see held the attempt to reform all mankind as vain as to convert the lower animals into the human form of nature once more I went back to FEA loom and studied the panorama of evolution and I recognized the full meaning of it the great impulses upwards and forwards had come from outside the world and chiefest of all the longing to evolve a human nature to which death would be but an insignificant step from life to life which would recognize in itself more and more affinity to the highest life of infinite space but this section of feo loom only gave a bird's-eye view of the elevation of life upon the earth none were allowed to linger after they had drawn from it the lesson and force it could give them for marching forward maneuver study of the past might lead there used to think nobly of life and to accept mind is right as its fundamental maxim Nature has seen amongst the ravening beasts or amongst the naked cruelty and injustice of primitive men might be taken by them as dominant through all human evolution if any history was to be studied Manute Lee it was only the more recent history of their own race where the old laws of nature that were opposed to justice and charity and self-sacrifice have been sublimated and transcended for new senses of open gateways for a new knowledge which would once have been called supersensible what could this people learn from the study of collapsed civil nations that had risen out of childish savagery only to fall back again the sole aim of these was happiness and this ever degenerated into the pursuit of pleasure ending sooner or later in brutal selfishness it had been one of the earlier instincts from their post purgation life that they have leased happiness who think most of it happiness or even pleasure might be made at times the test of successful actions and pursuits but it never should be made a name in itself higher civilizations were less happy than savagery or barbarism their advances in Commerce and even in science only added more consciousness of misery to the many and more eagerness for new luxury to the few most civilizations as they advanced merely add to the desires and thus more effectually enslave human nature to locality and time the newer types produce no greater intellects no greater imaginations than those that have lived and fallen whilst their masses have greatly receded in happiness and in simplicity of virtue the changes of what is commonly called progress only brings new evils that have to be cured and the energetic minority who have produced the changes and supposed themselves to benefit by them at first refused to see the evils and after a time are driven to attempt their cure by drastic remedies which bring universal ruin all the quicker the Lyman horn horizon was too rapidly widening to allow off more than the most cursory survey of the degenerate past or of the contemporary present even had it been to their interest to study them more Manute lee their own future was expanding in so many directions as to demand all their energies world after world star after star universe after universe were revealing their character and stage of development to Lyman Orin science new marvels every year impressed upon them the wisdom of avoiding all denial and sysm with regard to what imagination or faith should suggest of holding neutrality towards all that was unprovable or even contrary to their knowledge of the laws of nature they ventured only in the safe track of facts whence they shot their flashes of conjecture into the dark but from past experience they learned to distrust denial or even skepticism in regions where knowledge could not venture yet imagination had been found a trusty pioneer and one of their recent books held out the hope that before long the suggestions of faith might be but the messages which flew through the ether over what might be called a cosmic Telegraph and that were these touch the souls of the noblest they came from the central spirit of the cosmos already they were far on the way along several lines toward such a consummation and modifications of their ruler an or so no architect had been employed in many channels of cosmic investigation they had long ago conjectured that the Earth's atmosphere acting as a giant Ola ran gathered the sound waves that travel through space and used them to shape the things of the earth as they came into being and recent discoveries had almost turned the conjecture into fact sometimes the vibrations came from an end court or a degenerate world and then as in the earlier or so Aryan Age of animal life and development the terrine creatures took monstrous shape under the resonator of the atmosphere sometimes they came from orbs that knew only beauty and grace of form and then as when the plants and trees and flowers and shells of the earth were branching into new species few terrestrial things but fell into graceful moulds and now having struck this far-reaching and fundamental thought they turned it to noble use they produced a huge modification of the Euler on which would fix upon the shape of a flower or fern or shell and translate it into the music that had originally molded it nothing earthly but would yield to them through this reversed sauna architect the sonnet or other vibrations that had first shaped it step by step this new art which interpreted the molding influences of the universe advanced into an organised and scientific division of the duties of the race step by step it mastered the harmony of form and gave the people the music that rang through interstellar space at the shaping of the beautiful things of the world a great book of the time showed how far the art could go in leading their religion from the silent to the sonnet form there were vibrations throughout the cosmos that came from no one of the worlds or their inhabitants they emanated from the center of all existence whence they had mysteriously moulded the spirits of great reformers and sages they were the voice of God ringing down through the aisles of creation it was now not only possible but within the limits of the practicable to find by the aid of one of their new sono architects the cosmic harmonies that had molded the souls of the great enthusiasts and sages of the world they might translate the voice of God into the vibrations that would appeal if not to their air to their higher and more recent senses the seemingly fantastic groupings of stars would send into their minds the divine secret guiding their movements nearer and their would they creep under the great dome of heaven to the center of energy whose voice these vibrations were true religion though this might be never would they consent to fix it in creed or ceremonial on and on must their art of musical son architecture go keeping pace with their ever advancing science but never reaching finality and interpreting the voice of God nothing in fact could be near to what other men call religion than Lyman or in science it was never weary of listening to the voice of God in the cosmos and ever looked upwards and onwards to a wider and loftier creation it refused to look back unless the retrospect was to assist its march forward every discovery was the truest act of devotion a step near to the center of being and anything that would have struck such discoveries or the advance they stimulated was retrogressive a sin against the beam who was drawing all things into the path of development fixity of beliefs was the surest obstruction to progress and along with superstition the grossest immorality there was no evil inherent in matter or any of the lower forms of life evil lay in returning to one of these after knowing and fulfilling something higher it is this against which the human spirit Gerdes when its lower elements at death go back into the grave for the Lyman dorrance held matter is not to be rigidly divided from spirit as something contrastive and antagonistic they saw none of the strict divisions in nature that Western science and philosophy knew arranging Tareen things into matter and spirit man and beast and cosmic things into God and the world matter was vital and moving as spirit was though not in the same degree animals were ever on the same path of evolution as man was though most species of them were far behind most of mankind the worlds were the speech of God methods of manifesting himself and making his lower manifestations evolved into higher there were gradations throughout the cosmos and the boundaries between them were difficult to discern man is the highest grade that man knows definitely for human personality is the amalgam of the noin and the know the animal as higher than the vegetable knows the world as separate from herself but it does not know or study itself as a world apart nor can it be conscious of the general being or purpose of the universe man is the first animal on earth so far as we know that has gained self consciousness and through self consciousness a glimmering vision of what God might be only by love of retrogression or sin can this higher element in him return to the ocean of decay again other parts and elements of a system have to suffer reformation like exhausted world's in order that they may rise higher than they have been this was one direction their science took in finding its way towards the highest of all grades of being but it had other lines of us truly religious investigation for example it had found as it proceeded more and more subtle mediums of energy in the universe mediums which had long evaded the root cognizance of their primitive senses but which now yielded the secret of their presence first to their imaginations then to the refined apparatus and last of all to their more recent developed senses the energies that came through them were impressed upon their senses before the mediums themselves were and not till the senses were touched would the reason be finally persuaded of their existence it took long ages to refine their senses or develop new senses out to the power of detecting new energies or the mediums through which these traveled imagination led the way but its lead could not be trusted unless guided by scientific fact and method its most trustworthy henchmen was invention for this supplied apparatus that increased the perceptive power of the senses a thousandfold and as their senses grew in refinement the instruments they invented to aid them increased in subtlety and magnifying power so that they were ever able to keep well in advance of their own unassisted perceptive faculty they're sciences too had grown subtler and farther reaching in their methods every generation to their older chemistry for instance the atoms had but a speculative existence the newer with magnetism and electricity as its main agents and the Clyro ones as chief aides dealt with them directly and a still more marvelous analysis was developing which adding will force to magnetism and electricity as reagents could find the mediums of nervous energy and classify its various kinds and modes of action by means of this analysis they were able to get at the physical basis of reflex action desire appetite and the various other semi spiritual phenomena of humanity a book of the time pointed out a science as far beyond this as this had been beyond the older chemistry for there were four subtler and higher media of energy to be discovered and analyzed then those of appetite and desire subtlest of all must be that in which the energy called soul moved it appeared predominantly in none but the higher types of the human race the men and women of wise creative power others had it as a faint aroma which asserted itself only in moments of great enthusiasm over the gross powers of appetite and passion and at other times seemed almost to vanish in the lineman Horan's it had grown to be dominant over all the faculties and powers of the human system the book foresaw that the medium of this noble energy would be found akin to that of the central energy of the cosmos the great being whose phases and manifestations were stars and universes and the loftier the mind the more of this medium did it possess and the clear affinity it had with the creative power of infinitude not far below this was the medium in which the energy of morality moved and the higher the morality the more sympathetic was its medium with that of Korea the new science foreshadowed by the book would display to the advanced race of the future the movements of these finer media and the modes of action by which moral energy and spiritual and creative energy worked through them then they would see their way to such continuance of their life as would seem to other men practical and mortality they would be able so to refine and sublimate the energies of their systems and the media through which they acted as to be free from any of the transformations called death for almost measureless periods of time for the subtler the medium the more self existent is the energy that moves in it the less is it subject to change and the less it needs change in order to fulfill the purpose of all being the nearer to creative power and energy comes the less it needs alliance with grosser and more perishable media in order to rise in the scale of existence decay and death become rarer and rarer incidents as yet Lima Norn science has not discovered absolute in mortality nor did they seem likely to discover it it's experience of the cosmos pointed to change as the most widely spread of all principles whatsoever is allied with any lower media must shut them in other words suffer death if it is to continue its march upwards the whole history of the earth was a continual record of these transformations the Lima Norns had taken the same of terrestrial existence into their own hands and by gradually rejecting the grosser and shorter lived elements of their system they had been able to extend their life at first to hundreds and afterwards to thousands of years they now saw before them a limitless Vista along which the necessity of death or transformation would be hunted farther and farther from birth and the same story they saw written all over the cosmos energy as it becomes purer and subtler and less dependent for evolution upon lower forms approaching near and near to what would seem a mortality from the human point of view coming closer and closer to the creative energy of the cosmos to them therefore all their life was religion and science was it's true Hierophant if the analytic sciences like chemistry revealed a path that led the minds of men towards God the wide range Sciences like astronomy astrobiology and Astro magnetism mind themselves be called highways to God the embodied energy and life of the earth on this site of death seemed to the human mind self-explanatory and self-involved but the enfranchised life and energy that fill space have no human philosophy to account for them and have generally been denied by men the Lyman Orin Sciences had found space as far as they could investigate it with their senses and their instruments no less full of energy and life than the world itself not merely the infinitesimal and attenuated life that they thought the debris of other worlds and systems but the enfranchise life of highly organized beings most of it so subtle and Noble as to evade even the new census of the Wyman Oren's it was the life of such beings that the science of this people aimed at knowing intimately on some stars they were certain existed inhabitants subtly enough organized to cognize this interstellar life without aid of instruments and they seemed themselves to be on the verge of attaining such a power when they gained it they might hold intercourse with that disembodied energy which perchance has close affinity with the soul of God towards this higher enfranchised energy they labored and struggled incessantly they believed that its existence could be accounted for only on the assumption of some perennial fountain of free energy in the cosmos that there must be some great center of completely enfranchised energy the course of cosmic evolution pointed that way and every so-called death order was but the enfranchisement of some higher type of energy from the lower forms with which it had been for a time allied even the fixed nuclei of energy what were called matter and the atoms were ever aiming at liberation of the energy that formed their essence every dissolution every step higher in the gradation implied an ultimate energy that was free from all the trammels of lower forms this must be the life of pure thought that sees time passed and time to be as clearly as time present that takes in the cosmos at a glance that needs no sustenance from lower energies and suffers no birth or dissolution towards this the whole cosmos strives and perhaps there may be a time in the history of existence when all the fixed forms of energy shall have evolved into the free form till at last there's nothing but space and disembodied thought which is universally perceptive and creative without the aid of mediums of energy or senses vast systems of worlds have come and gone in the infinite past only to distill the energy that was in them through living beings up into the final and immortal form that needs no process of dissolution or migration to purify it when they turn back from these heights to view the history of the earth it seemed to them that creative thought was written all over it could there be any clearer manifestations of the vast intelligence informing the whole than this marvelous lab eration of genius and species raising to rest your wife step by step upwards from the microbe to the highest type of man their astronomical sciences pointed still more unmistakeably upwards to the fountain of creative thought the evolution of stars and systems of life upon them seemed to them but the history of intelligence of infinitude they deliberately avoided all conventional idea of the thought of the cosmos yet were ever tempted through desire of firm ground to use the analogy of a living terrine just as the body of a plant or animal is ever decane every noon itself so is this cosmos the material existence the body of the Spirit we call God ever decane ever renewing itself ever raising its energies into higher and higher forms the universes and systems are molecules the stars the atoms of the infinite body of the cosmos and each one of them is moving and developing in strict relation to all the others and to the abiding spirit that is their aim and master there is law or thought guiding the history of every one of them and nothing of them is lost the energy of everything that seems to die has but distilled elsewhere or transmuted into something higher and less localized what seems to us decay is about the liberation of an energy from the less refined forms with which it has been allied every process moves in rhythm to the pulsations of everlasting thought that is and realizes all that was and is and is to be nothing falls by accident all is transformation growth development towards self-subsistent thought which moves through all the processes conscious of itself and of them all to this final spirit of the cosmos 10,000 ages are but as a moment the myriads of millions of years that some stars live and that crush our puny thoughts with their vastness are but one heartbeat of God the whirling universes are but molecules looked at from the point of view of the final spirit our telescopic is his microscopic thither words all their astronomy pointed round our Sun move our planets without failure of harmony and ever round some still farther point moves our son and his satellites as thousands of other Suns and systems do nor did the epicycle movement cease their great systems of universes still have more inward centers but all this infinitude of concentric ISM to some Altamonte centre which is again the pivot of the cosmos following their analogy from man they occasionally allowed themselves to think that this was the brain of God the concentration of his thought energy but they refused to let the analogy master them they threw it off as but a metaphor and waited for clearer and farther reaching light to define what lay so far beyond their horizon was to falsify and they knew too well from their own past history into what labyrinths of error a single untruth will lead a race especially if it is planted and watered by religion only where science flashed its light forth into the darkness would they dare to define any feature or form of religion God they felled was the infinite conservation of energy up an infinite scale it ever climbed towards the ultimate the purest of all energies the divine the goal to which creation groaned and struggled the grosser forms of energy were the kaput mortem of former mixed beans and worlds after the sublimation of their purest elements out of this residue and his new period of probation were distilled again energies that swept upwards if such lapses from the universal progress of the cosmos occur in self-conscious forms as in the soul of man then they are breaches of morality or from the point of view of all sins conversion is the entrance of consciousness of the universal law and of willing obedience to it into the nature religious and moral codes are striving after it and unfortunately attempts to define it that soon falsify a spirit miracles are for glimpses of this law of progress half understood intrusions of an energy loftier than the sect or circle or star has been accustomed to every new faith is a miracle to its early believers for it is a perversion of the universal law which is so far beyond their natural powers that it surprises them into enthusiasm it's miraculous quality makes them accept it as the final revelation and their descendants after they have advanced to a natural view of its truths still uphold the tradition that it is divine and strain every word and feature of it in order to find the divine in it a pioneer book of the time attempted to point the way of biological psychology towards the goal of religion it showed how the plant has a dim sense of its being molded from without chiefly by the grosser forms of energy and how the animal though subject to them is yet capable of moving amongst them and rebelling against their power whilst the human is attained when this rebellion rises into capacity to rule them and mold them to its will it emphasized the Lyman Horn distinction between the grossly human and the wisely human and held that there were geological ages of development lying between these four the one is consciousness of the self as merely allied with the grosser forms of energy like the animal the mark of the other is consciousness of self as a part of the all as allied with the law of the Hall it conceived that the next grade was the divine distinguished by consciousness of the all as created and guided by the self the wise amongst men in his view had thus in them a share of the divine there was it is true in all men the possibility of this knowing most who was latent the loftiest kind of energy they had yet discovered had his distinction in the sense of continuity of existence the power to think back through the past and forward through the future this is perhaps what is meant by personal identity in Western philosophy the capacity to keep the self from being emerged in the mass of energies that fill space men have attained it in but a fitful and shadowy way in savages and in those of the civilized who fall away from the universal law of progress it is obscured or buried by the dominance of the law and transitory forms of energy the book imagined that when the wise died this highest energy is so strong in them that they cannot amalgamate again with those they have been accustomed to upon earth it seeks higher alliances and higher spheres than it has hitherto known and once having found its new and sublimer affinities it can move amid the grosser forms and elements untainted unsubdued unrecognized by them gravitation and heat and electricity have no power over it and come into relationship to it only when it wills to use them for they are the mediate forms of energy that moved the molecules and atoms and they are moved and piloted by still higher forms that are per chance the willpower or Spirit of God these higher forms come not yet within the range of human senses but are inferred by human reason and conceived by human imagination as conscious of themselves evident everywhere by their results the marks of intelligence throughout the cosmos but this book imagined that the disembodied energy of the wise knew and felt them and thus came near to the Spirit and foundation of all once our universe has distilled its best energies into space and has accomplished the best it can our swarm of Firefly worlds paling there now ineffectual fires encountered their natural episodio course round unperceived centers the systems that they have encountered myriads of geological ages before and the collision of the two against ends them on their career of the revolution of their lower energies into higher but the Lyman Orient's were Chari of claiming anything that they discovered or conceived as the ultimate or the absolute so many absolutes of the past had after a time yielded points of view in two infinities beyond them hundreds of their scientific high roads led manifestly towards one center but they could not say that that was the final center of God just as their Sun with its satellites moved around another center which was itself in revolution so mind the common point to which their various Sciences seemed to converge beep but on the outer rim of a series of Sciences that had a still more inward Center their highest faculties might have above them faculties belonging to other beings in the cosmos as superior to reason and imagination has recent an imagination word if ascensions perceptions of the animals the Savage had no power to comprehend the results of the reasoning capacities of the uncivilized man and the soul of the sage when disembodied might begin to perceive the heights of development in faculty he still had to climb all their recent experience bade them wait for their light and refused to accept any revelation of being as ultimate and in the rejection of all dogmatism they attained the true religious attitude for imperfect seekers of knowledge like men the attitude of waiting for light the book had embodied in it an epilogue that put this belief concretely if the parasite of a microbe in the body of a flea were able to examine and analyze its conditions and surroundings and had the Faculty of reverence his first religion would have as its object the host on which it battened and would endow its deity with its own parasitic faculties and desires but as its horizons widened and have found its halls but the dependent of another vital center it would contend the media see of the microbe and fix all its reverence and adoration upon the flea which would seem to it a marvelous and omnipotent addition of a self with its vision and all its powers of observation fixed upon the host of its host it would soon come to see how its deity was not self-subsistent but ricocheted from spot to spot and the human body with its comparative infinitude would afterwards take the place of the flea in the reverence of the microbes parasite and be accepted as the fastest and most ethereal wised addition of his self the parasite could conceive having no means of ascertaining the real limits and faculties of its new deity as soon as it was able to measure and define these it would undef' I'm an and substitute for him that which man inhabited and endow it with all its own parasitic powers and limitations following the analogy the new books on infinitude of pitfalls and disillusion months before the religious faculty of man and refused to accept man similes and metaphors as in any way accurate representations of the truth similes and metaphors they must remain marked by all the narrowness of human limitations scientific discovery must be the only guide of religion and the more they advanced in their Sciences the nearer they came to the true God for this reason it was that they felt it to be sin to withdraw any portion of their energy or time from scientific pursuits and investigations to no the cosmos better was to approach nearer to the spirit of the cosmos to grow more truly religious the last decennial review that I witnessed occurring as it did just before I set out over the circle of mist impressed upon me the provisional as well as the fundamental character of their religious ideals most of the books dramatically presented in lumia at that period at the final aim of cosmic life and energy as their theme to me they struck far beyond all that was most idealistic of Western religious books at ever attempted to foreshadow and yet they were wholly based upon the indications that recent discoveries had given in a still more startling way they were taken as but temporary satisfactions of future ative yearnings they bent the highest energies of the Lyman Oren's into paths that led beyond what they could see from their actual standpoint in science but they knew from past experience that the full blaze of noon would before long fall upon these dim regions now lit up only by her sentient soul imagination these books they now reverence for their pioneering power but as soon as scientific advance should wither them into the trite and commonplace nothing could ever make them again guides into the darkness of the unknown nothing in short could ever restore their sacredness end of chapter 13 14 of ligh menorah the island of progress by godfrey swellin this LibriVox recording is in the public domain the last flight though this menorah seemed to me so solemn and almost sacramental in his spirit there was no withdrawal from any of the families from the duties of their daily life they were as eager for the advance of their special Sciences as they had ever been nay the progress seemed to me more and more rapid the faculties were wetted with their utmost keenness their energies were buoyant and free I had expected that this religious review of the whole of their life to find a relaxation of their intellectual temper a languor in their wills such as I had often noted in periods of great religious outbursts in the West I had been accustomed to look for an aloofness from a common pursuits of life and a prostration before the great ideals of faith whenever a wave of worship Allah newsy azzam broke over any community in Europe this people would have thought a religion that thus blanched common life of its interests and enthusiasms not merely useless but mischievous prostration before the infinities and eternity z' was the last attitude they would encourage for they considered it blasphemy against the spirit of the cosmos if the menorah had in any way withdrawn their energies from their forward march they would have abolished it progress was religion or the fulfillment of the irrepressible yearning of all things to rise in the cosmic scale of being and that anything religious should check or obstruct advance was to them the grossest contradiction in terms religion was in lime menorah the essence of practical life or rather practical life was the highest religion though the review was an intense pleasure to the whole nation throwing the thought as it did farther and farther into the future none neglected for a moment the severe physical labor that was their daily portion in the Center a force nun felt their spirits relaxed in their eagerness to perform the work of their life on the contrary the new religious enthusiasm added a zest to all that they had to do to know families did so many or so urgent demands come as to those of the Leo MOU for the great mountain had been more than ordinarily perturbed in spite of numerous new lava wells the crust of the whole island had been shaken by frequent earthquakes and out of the mouth of the crater it stormed far pennons of dust and ashes showing that something unusual was occurring in the deaths below then had come a sudden and ominous law during the latter half of the menorah the earth had grown quiescent and the whole summit of Lyman ørsted vivid and clear in the azure the glioma were not deceived by this sudden cessation of subterranean activity it meant new issues for the volcanic energy amid the Antarctic snows and new dangers from the possibilities of intrusion of southern waters most members of the families were needed in the island itself for the investigation of the new phenomena and the sinking of lava wells and only two could be spared for an inspection of the volcanoes of their old home thyri l and i were chosen to make the expedition for we had lately been accorded the high privilege of marriage and comradeship in danger was the usual and natural welder of the new bonds as soon as the review was over we had to set forth on our venture and we were instructed to return with all the speed we could manage we did not need such instructions our own quick and enthusiasms were incentive enough we knew that the reports by the a drove of Milan of Avance occurring so far to the South could not be wholly trusted for these regions were too often envelope tin missed or blinding snowstorm and it was difficult to float the observer in the teeth of their furious winds and impossible to send the telepathic line of to such a distance even if electric oral and visual records have been gathered by means of the machine reporters they would not have been Manute enough for the purposes of the glioma there was generally needed therefore of personal inspection of the lands away to the south whenever there were unusual perturbations in the great mountain and its precincts to have been selected for this difficult duty was an honor so great as to stir us to unwonted effort a few hours after the duty had been assigned us we had everything on board our Felina and from the hill of farewells we had started full of eagerness to do our best for our people we were too happy in our new comradeship and in our extraordinary task to allow any sense of separation or fear of disaster to cloud our thoughts so anxious were we to be on our way that we scarcely looked back at our companions and guardians as they stood watching our flight after giving us their magnetism nothing occurred to make the void south especially memorable we did notice far below us in the night one or two dark masses that were not identifiable with anything in our maps but we set them down as great icebergs born out of their usual course and the cap they seemed to bear we took for a turban of mist round their heads from our later observation of the southern lands we afterwards judged that they were temporary volcanic islands thrown up on the line of shallow water by the renewed violence of the fires below a great star met us as we approached the ice cliffs of the Antarctic nothing could be seen for the drift of snow and hail through the air and we were forced to rise high into the atmosphere beyond the region of winds and tempest sand clouds for days we could see no break in the massed blackness below us we chafed at the delay but knew that it was inevitable for even if we could have landed in safety we should have been able to see nothing for the thickness of the driving snowstorm and we would assuredly have imperiled our Felina in attempting to come to earth in the baffling winds at last we felt the magnetism of the upper atmosphere lesson in force and Caprice and we knew that the disturbances below would gradually vanish the Sun seemed to gather power and we saw the cloud floor rend like an ice sheet on flooding waters the fifth morning broke brilliant and clear there lay the heaving surface of the ocean blue as the sky and away to the South gleamed on the horizon the knife-edge of far stretching ice but there was something new and strange beyond it thick smoke trailed heavily above it and a dozen new points of light made it lurid we had drifted far to the north and anxiously we turned the prow of our ship towards the old home of the race we seemed to wing our way with an ordinance slowness so eager were our spirits to know the new phenomena and carry the report back to Lima Norah every league nearer made us more certain that some great disturbance had occurred in the crust of the earth the sea was covered with the debris of a world of ice huge icebergs swam lazily breasting the swell or clashed against each other and splintering collision in some of them we could see the dark malts that marked them as portions of the vast graveyard we had once visited closer still to them we could see many of the long buried bodies emerging from their tombs of frost like Lazarus is still bound in their grave clothes it was a strange sight this phantom like resurrection at the touch of sunlight over the unguided procession of icy funeral barges bearing their centuries sheet of dead to burial in the ocean we hurriedly wing to land there were still more striking sights in store for us the appearance of the cliffs and mountains had been completely changed it looked as we approached as if what had formerly been a great Plateau had been ridged and furrowed by some Titanic plow and where a dozen smoke vans had once bore witness to the living fires beneath hundreds belched forth ashes or send a red tongue of molten lava oozing and licking down their slopes we had to change our landing place far to the west for dozens of miles had been added to the eruptive area and the cliffs where we used to land were scarred by explosion or were tottering before the assaults of the billows the storm we had encountered had evidently been the companion if not the result of this fast upheaval and at the same time had hidden from us as we hovered above the clouds the Titanic Pro techne we flew along the cliff line till we reached a region that seemed untouched by the orgasm of the earth our airship we piloted into a cleft or valley which we thought could protect it from any showers or ashes or torrents of lava that might approach but to guard against possible disaster we adjusted our wings and took with us as much of the Manute stores of sustenance as we could carry in our garments we securely fastened down the Felina so that no storm might bear it away and then we rose into the air on our wings above the smoke and steam that hung over this region it was with great difficulty in some danger that we investigated the state of the land where the lava wells had been sunk for the vent spat out great showers of dust and ashes intermittently and the pall of smoke brushed this way and that as the light breeze rose and fell by dint of care and watchfulness we managed to see most of the ridge side that abutted on the ocean its whole appearance had been changed there was not a sign of our old lava wells the site of one hill had been blown away and a torrent of melted snow and ice raced down the ravine vents had been broken out where there had been glacier or precipice or rocky peak but as yet none of the vents were low enough to let the sea break over their lips the worst of all had not yet occurred we could not finish our investigation in the first day so we lay down in our Felina to sleep as the brief darkness approached we were well content with our day's work and we would have slept easily and well but for the tremors in the earth beneath us it's very foundation seemed a time to shake and threaten convulsion once we thought of taking to the air again for safety so billow like were the movements that tossed us as we lay however morning broke without catastrophe and we were soon busy at her work of inspection we flew to the other side of the range of mountains in order to note how the shores of the Inland Sea had borne the effects of the commotion in the crust of the earth at first we seemed to see no change but when we had left our Felina and followed the old line of cliffs the magnitude of the disturbance impressed us new precipices stood be lean over the still waters where we remember to have seen low shelving bays we searched for the old sections in which we had seen the stratification of the civilized abode but the strange palimpsest of prehistoric history a dozen times rewritten by the toil and hope of man had been again obliterated by the finger of fire a tongue of lava only just cool had licked out the record of the dead ages itani glaces of rock confronted us instead of the panorama of thousands of years everywhere we flew were marks of the recent volcanic work and not merely creative but destructive still farther off we found vast subsidences which had suddenly unveiled the secrets of many geological epochs some of them had been Titanic in the abruptness and extent of their work but the great ice planes and ice heralds had been already smoothing and rounding or leveling the serrated or sharp edge only in one new cliff did we see a repetition of the now hidden record a bold hill had been cut through as if by a sword and there had evidently been built and overwhelmed village after village we could discern here and there traces of their employment suddenly abandoned their looms and plows and anvils embalmed in rock and once or twice the forms of workers tragically surprised at their work by the showers of ashes showed empty and void the living tissues having fallen to dust leaving only the shell like the tunnel of a huge worm in the petrified debris we lingered over this open volume of human history longer than we would have done had we been older and wiser so deeply did it touch the fountains of romance and the dimmer Twilight of the brief Antarctic night overtook us before our task was done when we awoke at dawn we resumed our investigations only to find countless signs of renewed subterranean energy we hurried to the various points of danger and discovered only too clearly that the first storm would send the waters of the ocean breaching into many new volcanic vents we could have no hesitancy as to the conclusion to be drawn and the next steps to take it would be impossible for us unprovided as we were with instruments and engines to guard against the threatening catastrophe the best we could do would be to return with all swiftness to lima nora and warn the elders of our family perchance we should be able to anticipate the approach of any tempest and if temporary measures were taken the coming winter might stop the gaping mouths of ruin with her downward creeping glaciers we hastened back to the slope on which we had left our Felina even at a distance as we swept down from aloft we began to be troubled that the changes in the landscape where there had been a great ice cap crowning the precipitous ridge there was a gapping chasm rock and incrustation had together blown to atoms a new smoking cone was brushing the azure with its cloud of dust and as we descended we found its streams of lava still licking and hissing their way through the snow and ice that clothed its feet we recognized the features of the locality with difficulty and it was long before we fixed the valley in which we had left our airship still we could see no trace of our trusty Felina it had vanished after long search we came to the conclusion that it had been swept on by a billow of molten rock and overwhelmed and the realization of the calamity cast me despairing to the ground how different it was with thyri li perceived as soon as my dismay allowed me to rouse my consciousness from his palsy she was exploring the edges of the tongue of fire and up the side of the opposing hill she found a section of our flight car unmelted by the heat broken off by a bolt jet of rock that left scarred by the fire and twisted by the force of the sea of lava yet recognizable in its outlines happily it was the part that contained our store of sustenance and all our equipments for a long winged voyage spare chest and shoulder engines and the apparatus necessary for supporting them with electricity from the air we did not encumber ourselves with more than we thought would be essential for the long air journey back to real ro the Manute pellets of sustenance were easily disposed of but it puzzled us to know what to do with the additional apparatus for so long protracted a voyage my powers of flight were still so crude and undeveloped and my locomotion through the air so clumsy and slow that thy real head to carry both hers and mine I was greatly perturbed over the possible result of so dangerous a venture but a had to be undertaken and she had buoyancy and exhilaration enough for both my sinking heart felt the influence of her magnetism and I gained confidence after set out the first half of our voyage was marked by singular good fortune the breeze went with us every day and at night or when the muscles of my legs and arms grew numb from fatigue we cited an iceberg and rested on it though it heaved and rocked and on occasion threatened submersion our minds were at rest for we had our wings always attached and everything in readiness to sweep upwards from our perch the difficulty came when we pass beyond the Antarctic Ocean and voyaged high enough above the heaving trackless desert of water which lies between the region of icebergs and the first ring of the islets that stippled the tropical seas how were we to find resting places at night or during the day when my winged achievements grew lame and tardy even thigh riyals heart sank as she thought of the hundreds of leagues we had to traverse unbroken by any sign of land at first she kept along the immemorial line of bird travel from the south on the chance of finding here and there some spot of land thrown up by the growing disturbances beneath the sea for some days we were fortunate enough to find a nightly perching place above the billows upon the temporary vents of the submarine fires dangerous it is true yet with care and watching safe then we came upon a zone of calm water so strangely still and free from the action of wind and current that the albatross is Basque moveless upon it here thyri elder Wang together and made a raft on which we floated as we slept but that was only for two revolutions of the earth and was the prelude to her tornado from the Northeast a wind so unusual in those latitudes that the Lyman Oren's never take it into the calculations of their voyages through the air just when we were within three days wing journey of our home the tempest began and brought us almost to a standstill we tried to battle against it but our efforts were vain then we rose according to Lyman Orrin custom into the higher atmosphere where is usually found perfect calm and perfect freedom from cloud and storm but the fury of the disturbance seemed to be miles deep the upper air was as thick and turbulent as the lure our troubles culminated in disaster to my wing appendages I was never expert in their management but in the baffling storm I grew helpless and in my despair let them beat almost unguided the result was irreparable injury to the left wing and such an obstruction to the movement of the right has made it unmanageable I felt my heart sink for I saw that I must soon fall into the ocean below and be dashed to pieces or drown thyri l looked down and saw my peril in a flash of thought she abandoned all she carried except for her chest and shoulder engines and swooping down towards me caught me as I fell an upward sweep of the wind aided in her efforts and she buoyed me up till I had recovered energy and heart then she told me what she meant to do for a time I would not be persuaded and prayed that I might be abandoned to my fate but she would not hear of such a thing by the force of her will I soon gave way and nestled as I had often done when learning to fly in the hollow between her wings before the storm she let herself go and I could feel we were moving almost as swiftly as if we had been in our own Felina it was useless for her she showed me to fight against the wind especially after she had thrown away the apparatus for quickly renewing the power of her engines after a time I saw how much she laboured under her burden and I sent promptly into the Gulf beneath all I had carried my broken wings my engines and my stores of sustenance I felt that her spirit protested but she said nothing and I was relieved to feel that we were rising instead of falling she grew more buoyant and was even able to spare magnetism enough to put heart into me the core sia taken so promptly was the only one that could have saved both of us she might have weathered the storm alone and then found her way back to lima nora but as it was she knew that the tempest would bear us if she could keep us both high above the earth right across the long narrow cloud of New Zealand she fell by her bodily magnetism that we were approaching it and while it was still daylight we came within reach of it she seen that we were evidently coasting at southern shores but too far off to make them with her exhausted powers grew afraid that we would be blown far off to the South again and thus missing a resting place for we could see the coast round northwards happily at this juncture the winds suddenly veered round to the southwest and we were swept before it in the Twilight into a deep fjords our hearts were glad to feel that soon we would touch the earth and rest I was tempestuous Lee elated for I felt by the beat of her heart and the quick short breath she drew that she was near the end of her powers we were close to a precipice and I was eagerly preparing to leap from her back when she seemed suddenly to collapse I fell through the air and then knew no more till I awakened in your Hut what became of thyri elde me for long but I am persuaded that after seeing me drawn by you safely to land she went off before favouring the wind towards Lima Nora for help that she has been so long troubles my thoughts deeply at times but I believe that she will return for me if only I rest here long enough I dare not leave the place long lest she should come in my absence and the solitude and your gentle silence soothe me in my weary meditation end of chapter 14 epilogue of lima nora the island of progress by godfrey 7 this LibriVox recording is in the public domain we felt guiltily conscious as he came to this close of his narrative but we had not the heart to hint what we thought might have become of her almost three years had passed before his narrative reached the point of contact with our lives he now became Restless and jaded and flitted in and out amongst us like a ghost for days he vanished in the bush and again and again we thought he had finally disappeared but he ever returned more Restless and yet more gentle we could not bear to see as agony and yearning and at last propose that we should hire or purchase a small steamer and under his guidance make for real arrow he was long reluctant but after months of Hope deferred resigned himself to the enterprise traum and I made for the nearest port and brought our purchase round to our iord well provisioned and equipped for a tropical voyage ssam was left by our huts and our mind to guard our interests but still more too watched for the advent of any messenger from the strange land within the circle of mist the rest of us set out with our guests in search of his home nothing happened to our expedition beyond the usual mishaps of tropical seas a tornado made us take refuge within an inhabited at all in its harbor our craft was safe enough but it took all our powers to hold on to the scanty herbage that clung to the reef and prevent our being blown into the ocean beyond once or twice we had an awkward incident with sharks and once we came too close to an island whose Shore swarmed with threatening savages they sprang into their canoes and for us but our steam enabled us to outdistance them with ease our stranger knew the exact latitude and longitude of Rio laro he could point out his place on a map with confidence that made us feel we were about to enter with him into the mysterious arch Appel ago we sailed straight for the western side of the Ring of mist but never did we encounter any such feature as he had described to us once or twice we thought we saw in an extended haze on the horizon and made for it but it vanished as we approached it was only the Mirage of the ocean weeks and weeks we steamed around and over the region but not a trace of the great arch Appel ago or his nebulous fence did we find even her guide at last fell into silent bewilderment he could not believe that it had all disappeared like a dream unless as we fancied the subterranean forces had blown it into space nor could he mistrust his senses or his knowledge what to think of it he did not venture to decide he lay in stupor in silence for days but we knew that within a few weeks began the season of hurricanes and we determined to make back for our shelter in the southern fjord he reluctantly consented to our persuasion after making us promise that we should return again to search for his lost paradise in the meantime he would be able to study the charts of the region and to find the knowledge of it more exactly he knew by heart its relations to the Sun and the stars and with study he could tell the very place where to follow our search as it was he had doubtless made some mistake and he would rectify it in the interval of rest without mishap or obstructive weather we got back into the shadow over mountains and one day of brilliant sunshine we sailed into the fjord Sam was on the shore to welcome us he had no news to give no one had been near the place since we had left but he had had to make into a neighboring sound in order to supply as empty larder and as the wind seemed to favor his trip he had brought the mast and sails of our boat out of her cave our guests paced up to our Hut as in a dream seeming to hear and see nothing around him we let him find his way alone will sui beached and dismantled our little steamer in our bustle of work we had forgotten him suddenly estranged scarcely human cry awakened our attention we rushed up the steep pathway and found him lying in trance by the mouth of the cave stretched upon the wings that we had cast into our lumber hole when we rescued him from the water Somme had had to turn them out to get at the sails and cordage of the boat and had forgotten to return them to their place they were cobwebbed and covered with lichen and mould yet the transparency of them in spots gathered the Rays of the Sun upon the herbage underneath we raised him from his resting place and carried him into our spare hut there we tried to bring him back to consciousness but our efforts were vain there was life in him we were certain yet there was scarcely a sign of it in movement or breath only a fragment of the wings held to the mouth showed a trace of moisture so he left him for the night remembering that it was long before he recovered from the first trance in which we had found him we wrapped him round with warm clothing and placed him comfortably on a soft bed of fern put food and drink near him so that if he awakened he should know that we thought of him and were near the next morning at daybreak I rose and the incident of the previous evening rushed into my mind I made for the hut expecting to find him recovered and asleep but I found no human being there the wrappings had fallen on either side of the fern layer the bowls of meat and drink were almost empty but there were evident more of the claws and beaks of birds in them we search for him in the bush for days but we never found track of him the only sign of his movements was that the wings were gone whether he had adjusted them to his body and flown into the air or buried them in the sea we could not discover there clings to our thoughts the fancy that he faded away into the azure under the blow of assurance that thyri el was gone forever we kept our eyes on the alert for years after as we went prospecting through the forest and slowly the thought lurking in our minds passed into the shored belief that his ethereal texture had melded into the air at death that the earth received none of his material atoms when his energy fled from its surface it is only now when we are sure that he has gone from our orb that we venture on giving his story to the rest of mankind we know no better memorial to him and no better form for our gratitude than to let others know what he gave us to let others feel what has passed into our own wife's as an imperishable memory end of epilogue end of lima nora the island of progress by godfrey seven

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