The Coming Race HTML version

Chapter 14
Though, as I have said, the Vril-ya discourage all speculations on the nature of the
Supreme Being, they appear to concur in a belief by which they think to solve that great
problem of the existence of evil which has so perplexed the philosophy of the upper
world. They hold that wherever He has once given life, with the perceptions of that life,
however faint it be, as in a plant, the life is never destroyed; it passes into new and
improved forms, though not in this planet (differing therein from the ordinary doctrine of
metempsychosis), and that the living thing retains the sense of identity, so that it connects
its past life with its future, and is 'conscious' of its progressive improvement in the scale
of joy. For they say that, without this assumption, they cannot, according to the lights of
human reason vouchsafed to them, discover the perfect justice which must be a
constituent quality of the All-Wise and the All-Good. Injustice, they say, can only
emanate from three causes: want of wisdom to perceive what is just, want of benevolence
to desire, want of power to fulfill it; and that each of these three wants is incompatible in
the All-Wise, the All-Good, the All-Powerful. But that, while even in this life, the
wisdom, the benevolence, and the power of the Supreme Being are sufficiently apparent
to compel our recognition, the justice necessarily resulting from those attributes,
absolutely requires another life, not for man only, but for every living thing of the inferior
orders. That, alike in the animal and the vegetable world, we see one individual rendered,
by circumstances beyond its control, exceedingly wretched compared to its neighbours-
one only exists as the prey of another- even a plant suffers from disease till it perishes
prematurely, while the plant next to it rejoices in its vitality and lives out its happy life
free from a pang. That it is an erroneous analogy from human infirmities to reply by
saying that the Supreme Being only acts by general laws, thereby making his own
secondary causes so potent as to mar the essential kindness of the First Cause; and a still
meaner and more ignorant conception of the All-Good, to dismiss with a brief contempt
all consideration of justice for the myriad forms into which He has infused life, and
assume that justice is only due to the single product of the An. There is no small and no
great in the eyes of the divine Life-Giver. But once grant that nothing, however humble,
which feels that it lives and suffers, can perish through the series of ages, that all its
suffering here, if continuous from the moment of its birth to that of its transfer to another
form of being, would be more brief compared with eternity than the cry of the new-born
is compared to the whole life of a man; and once suppose that this living thing retains its
sense of identity when so transformed (for without that sense it could be aware of no
future being), and though, indeed, the fulfilment of divine justice is removed from the
scope of our ken, yet we have a right to assume it to be uniform and universal, and not
varying and partial, as it would be if acting only upon general and secondary laws;
because such perfect justice flows of necessity from perfectness of knowledge to
conceive, perfectness of love to will, and perfectness of power to complete it.
However fantastic this belief of the Vril-ya may be, it tends perhaps to confirm politically
the systems of government which, admitting different degrees of wealth, yet establishes
perfect equality in rank, exquisite mildness in all relations and intercourse, and tenderness
to all created things which the good of the community does not require them to destroy.