A Human Movement
Monday, June 13, 2005
  Read this now and sigh and read it again
Circumstances are thought irresistibly to control the world, both collectively and individually; and, under this impression, man has consented to be controlled by them. But man holds the power to destroy those circumstances which are unfavorable to his happiness and peace; and by exercising this power, he will sustain and cooperate with the principles of Nature. These fleeting circumstances being destroyed, man will be controlled only by the operations of general law. This, however, has not yet been done, because man individually can not do it.

No one principle of government, unvarying in its nature, could be made to manifest its proper results, as applied to an isolated and detached community. Those who have founded, and put forth efforts to sustain, communities, have been persons who have striven to familiarize the laws, which governed them, to their feelings and affections. The condition of society and of the world has become repulsive to their feelings and sentiments; and their movements are but the outbreaking and gushing forth of those desires that have been so long concealed.

A knowledge of the natural laws which govern society should have been before understood; but the sources of knowledge which exist in the world have been perverted from their legitimate object and use. Institutions for the diffusion of knowledge are founded on an artificial basis. It is the interest of every institution to confine its knowledge to itself; whereas, it should be both the principle and interest of all such to cause their knowledge to become universal. Moreover, people who have not the capacity to comprehend the sciences, should not be educated for, and compelled to hold situations, where such knowledge is absolutely required.

The situations of professional men are exceedingly corrupting and vitiating. Those who would be honest, can not; for their interests oppose. The condition of these and of other members of society at this time, is an artificial representation of the circumstances by which the world is controlled. Generations that are past have neglected the great light of the knowledge of these truths. Their time and talents were engaged in the upbuilding of sectarian and denominational casts; and in protecting these, nations have warred against nations. Destruction and devastation were the legitimate results; and, neglecting the general and personal good, man lost his happiness by these inhuman proceedings. No man could utter a thought, or express himself in any respect, contrary to the prevailing sentiment. This vice, misery, illiberality, and uncharitableness, with all their legitimate moral and intellectual results, still exist; and man has lost much of the light and knowledge which he would now possess, if the real had existed in place of the artificial.

Free and unrestrained inquiry is necessary to moral and intellectual progress, and therefore should be encouraged. Truth is an eternal principle; and any institution, creed, denomination, or any influence a sectarian character, that opposes in any way the free and unrestrained investigation of truth, must evidently be founded on ignorance, superstition, and bigotry. And, moreover, anything which tends to restrict the spirit of inquiry, openly manifests its own error.

Every principle opposed to free and unrestrained investigation shows distinctly the fear of light and knowledge. Light upon any subject of a moral nature should be received free from interests or local prejudices; and if free investigation or the most unlimited exercise of the human mind, is obstructed, the obstruction proclaims its author's own condemnation: for this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men choose the darkness of bygone ages, and foster it, rather than light, because their institutions and actions are evil.

From: The principles of nature, her divine relations, and a voice to mankind. By and through Andrew Jackson Davis., Davis, Andrew Jackson, 1826-1910.
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