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Table of contents

The eye sees in light being formed of it. Dissolve the globe, and light alone remains. The eye may be said to owe its existence to light, which calls forth, as it were, a sense akin to itself. The magi said of God, "that he had light for his body and truth for his sO. John, " is light, and in him is no darkness at all. And this light shining in the darkness is the Creative Reason, the vitalizing Logos in which the worlds are conceived and brought forth. Nature is but the cloud that hides the face of the Godhead from human sight. Solidity is an illusion of the senses.

All matter is fluid and aflame, the metachemistry of combustion resolving its atoms into heat, heat into light, light into motion, motion into force, whereby spirit recoils on itself and mind becomes the common menstruum, thought the solvent of substance, ponderable and imponderable in Nature. Material substances are air-fed and fashioned in flame.

The dust of the earth being the spirit-fuel, the Phoenix rising perpetually from its ashes unconsumed, unconsumable, the life-touch dissolving all matter in smoke and motebeams. The cloud-lands are native lands for thought — the birthplace of ideas — who sits above and guides the steeds along the heavens, commands the worlds below, and circumscribes the horizon round. Even sight and sunshine become dazed and dimmed with the motes and mists rising, unless thought dispel and drive them away. The fleeting pageant all were nought Till orbed in Mind s creative thought.

Like other forms taking part in the formation of the various tissues and organs belonging to the organism, it has been derived by direct descent from the original matter of the embryo. From the growth and subdivision of that primitive mass have resulted, and in definite and pre-arranged order, numerous forms endowed with marvellously different powers. But the germinal matter which forms cuticle, that which produces fibrous tissue, muscle, nerve, or bone — the germinal matter which gives rise to biliary secretion, to the saliva and the gastric juice, as well as that which takes part in mental nervous action, have, so to say, one common parentage ; and if, as these several forms are evolving themselves, or are being evolved, the conditions which alone render possible progress towards their highest state become modified, the attainment of perfection is prevented.

Beale, Protoplasm, p.

A process of assimilation goes on in it as well as in animated bodies. Every particle of it is alive.

Stoop not down ; for a precipice Lies below on the earth, Drawing through the ladder which hath Seven steps, firm beneath which Is the throne of Necessity. Loaded with necessity, grave with fate, matter droops and declines in consequence, while spirit freely aspires and mounts. Thus the Person graduates itself through the series of Powers, descending hereby, and voiding the matter of their organs, recoiling therefrom and reascending. Instinct being the meter of their special susceptibilities, prompting and correcting, as by a hidden impulse, the mind s thoughts and acts.

Never failing, it is the sole undepraved power president in man; and, "taken with experience, shows him what he is. Being spirit in transition, matter is becoraingness only: void of Personality, it cannot of itself become ; can, at most, but seem, cannot be. To Be is the embosoming of seeming and becoming in itself.

Being is always issuing forth from and returning into itself; Nature is its recoil on itself in matter, first becoming last, then last first, in order of appearance and disappearance — Being -Becoming -Nothing, the cycle of Spirit.


Matter undergoes a process of graduated metamorphoses : Man, as an animal, and all animals below man in the scale, being transformed from type to type by means of the prevailing inclinations and re- creative instincts of each and all combined, the issue of their endeavors being the materialworld we behold around us. The differing types of lives descend and take on corresponding forms as they assume and animate bodies, completing thus their respective metamorphoses.

All archetypes reside in man, and pass by degradation into matter. The types shade into one another by gradations imperceptible ; all undergo incessant metamorphoses and metempsychoses, the cosmic life animating and refashioning all in turn ; one life in manifold forms. They become distinguishable, at some removes from one another, by their resemblances and differences near or remote : an unusual likeness between features of persons and the lower animals indicating a corresponding likeness of character.

Aristotle founded his Physiognomy on this law of resemblances, and Porta adopted it with finer discriminations ; Lavater after Porta, and now Darwin. It is also recognized in popular nicknames, as in the rhetoric of common speech regarding personal traits of character. These things the Father conceived, And so the mortal was animated ; For the Paternal Mind sowed symbols in soula,. Replenishing the soul with profound love.

For the Father of gods and men Placed the mind in the soul, And in the body He established you; For all divine things are incorporeal, But bodies arc bound in them for your sakes By reason of the corporeal nature In which they are concentrated, And they are in God attracting strong flames. Man is the great wonder. Man is the measure of all things. Man is a sample of the universe. Man is an epitome of the world. Man is the little world. Nature is the physiognomy of spirit, and man the image of God s personality. Cast the eye wheresover he may, man cannot fail of beholding the correspondences of his figure and faculties.

Nature throughout is as faithful a draught of his impress as matter can receive and exhibit. Crowned with forehead and face, he is the archetype and frontispiece of things in Nature. He epitomizes, idealizes all, these showing, under eveiy guise of feature and limb, some trait or trace of his fallen physiognomy. The recipient of all forms in matter, through him all descend by degradation of his essence into their corresponding organizations —animal, plant, mineral, material atoms.

Life descends and reascends in manifold metamorphoses. Taking its rise in spirit, thence plunging instinctively into matter and reascending, lifting this into its ascending types as it rises to its source. Abreast the source and topmost is man, below him are the animals, and still lower and lowest in the descending series the plant and mineral kingdoms. And the lower man himself descends, the more he resembles the brutes ; the higher the brute, the more he assumes the human likeness. A degrading passion persisted in long transforms the human type almost to that of the brute, as long intimacy with man exalts and individualizes the brute.

Possibly it is in the order of genesis that the human type becomes lost in the brute, the brute in turn rising into the human ; manhood assuming apehood, and the reverse, the mutual metamorphosis in its nexus being the while too occult to be detected by any senses of ours, aided by the most searching glasses yet invented. Certainly there are animals whose gifts and virtues especially , as designated by human names, transcend those of some men of the degraded types, and we may await their transitions into the near and the next in the living economy. As the scientist studies the dispositions and habits of animals by observing their external traits and classifying these in characteristic groups, so the psychologist studies and groups minds in like manner by their characteristic traits, and determines their rank in the scale of intelligence.

Nor can the time be far distant when man s Personality will be thus treated, his personal gifts grouped by their natural indications, and the foundation thus laid for a graduated system of human culture. May we affirm that matter had not been, had man preserved his rectitude inviolate? Does it not fill the void where he were else?

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Behold the lapsed man striving, throughout matter, to recover his lost self! Hereby spirit descends and embodies itself personally, thus peopling matter with its types ideally. And this the ancient. The Genesis is spiritual, Creation being a descent and degradation from Spirit —his stooping to organize. Effects depend from their causes in successive series and degrees ; the Spirit, cause of causes, first fashioning mankind, and through mankind generating the visible hierarchy of types in Nature. Subgods and Procreators under the spirit, mankind generate matter perpetually, life itself being essentially creative and formative.

Thus conspiring with the Creative Spirit, the human race beget all qualities of good which they enjoy, or, swerving wilfully from His intentions, the evils which they suffer, their conspiring interests and choices become in this wise the destiny of the planet which they people and occupy—the Providence in the world : nor does this mastery of matter content the race. Man aspires to yet mightier labors, predetermining other spheres of thought and activity in his creative work.

He therefore who fashioned the universe, fashioned an image of himself. But if this be the case, he contained in himself the causes of the universe, and these causes are ideas.

Empire of Dissent

To which we may add, that the perfect must necessarily antedate the imperfect ; unity, multitude; the indivisible, the divisible ; and that which abides perpetually the same, that which subsists in necessary mutation. From all which it follows that things do not originate from baser natures, but that they end in these ; and that they commence from natures the most perfect, the most beautiful, and the best.

For it is not possible that the intellect should be unable to apprehend things equal, similar, and the like ; and that the Artificer of the universe should not contain in himself the essentially equal, just, beautiful, and good; and, in short, every thing which has a universal and perfect subsistence, and which, from its residence in Deity, forms a link of that luminous chain of essences to which we may give the name of ideas. Living is a chemistry and an incarnation. Life were not life but death, were it not formative and creative : to live is to create — to organize life.

Our desires are live sparks of our personality. All delights are seminal, spirit in transfusion and bodies in embryo.

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Our desires are the mothers that breed and bear us bodily into matter, delivering us to mortality. Flesh and blood are formal and perishable, spirit alone essential and immortal.

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All creatures generate their substance, their desires sow the seeds of the flesh and blood in which they became incarnate. Let the pulsations pause for an instant on their errands, and creation s self ebbs into chaos and invisibility. The visible world being the extremest wave of the spiritual Hood, its flux being life, conflux body, efflux death ; and organization the confine of spirit, bodies its incarnation.

Every globule of blood reflects the sunbeam and shows the primary colors, according to the chemical habit of the owner. Form is spirit s outline or lymning in matter, Nature in its ultimates being throughout as faithful a draught of spirit as matter can receive and retain of its attributes.

The visible world is the apparition of the invisible and spiritual. Incarnation is life in movement, proceeding forth to organize itself in bodies. To live is to create.