Man's titles higher than Nature.
Man is a great being; if he were not, how could he be degraded? But, independently
of this proof of the former dignity of our being, the following reflection
ought to convince us of our superiority over Nature, even now. Astral earthly
Nature works out the laws of creation, and came into existence by virtue
of those laws only.
The vegetable and mineral kingdoms have in them the effect of these laws, for they contain all the elementary, astral, and other essential properties; and that with more efficacy, and in greater development, than the stars themselves, which contain only one-half of these properties, or than the earth, which contains the other half. The animal kingdom has the use of these laws of creation, since animals have to feed, maintain, and reproduce themselves; and they contain all the principles which are necessary for this. But the Spirit-Man has, at once, the expect, the use, and the free direction or manipulation of these laws. I will give only one material example of this, and that a very familiar one, but, by its means, the mind may rise higher. This example is: First, a corn-field, which has in it the effect of these laws of Nature;
Secondly, a carnivorous animal, having the use of this corn, and may eat it; Thirdly, a baker, who has the control and manipulation of the corn, and can make bread of it; which, though in a very material manner, shows that the powers of Nature are possessed but partially by the creatures which constitute it; but, that the Spirit-Man alone, and in himself, embraces them all.
As for those material rights which man possesses, and which we have summed up above, in the manipulations of the baker, if we rise in thought to Man's true region, we shall, no doubt, find these rights proved more virtually, and on a grander scale, by sounding the wonderful properties which constitute the Spirit-Man, and exploring the high order of manipulations which these properties may lead to. If Man has the power to be the workman and handicraftsman of earthly productions, why should he not be the same of a superior older? He ought to be able to compare those divine productions with their Source, as he has the power to compare the total effect of Nature with the Cause that fashioned and guides her, and he alone has this privilege.
But experience alone can give an idea of this sublime right or privilege; and, even then, this idea will ever appear to be new, even to him who is most accustomed to it. But, alas! Man knows his spiritual rights, and he does not enjoy them! What need is there of any other proof of his deprivation, therefore, of his degradation?