WATER symbolizes the Spiritual Substance of Life - Living Reality; mobile, elastic, limpid and pure; cleansing, healing, brightening and strengthening every living thing with which it comes in contact.
Heat symbolizes the Spiritual Activity of the Universe, latent in all substance.
Steam symbolizes Spiritual Energy, which proceeds from the activities of living Reality.
The Boiler of the Engine, in its office and action, corresponds to Mind; because it is the instrument for developing and retaining Energy in the shape of developed activity. In its correct action the real purpose of the individual thinker is recognized.
Combustion, or fire, on the material plane, symbolizes ThoughtAction, which liberates the latent energy inhering in the substance of every intelligent being.
The Steamchest, a receptacle in which is stored all the energy and power designed for use in that particular machine, has its correspondence in the Cardiac membrane of the body, which extends - an unbroken receptacle - from the Heart through all vessels of the arteries, the veins and the Lungs.
Every engine and machine has its exact counterpart in some part of the mechanism of the human body with its vital organs, and whatever is true of the mechanical machine is true also of the human body; while all the principles involved in the one are of equally vital importance to the other, and each subjective element represented in the powerproducing forces of the machine is a constructive element of every mind. Without every part, every faculty and every function in perfect operation, the best result cannot be obtained, either with the vital or the mechanical machine.
Without heat, water would fail to develop steam, and without combustion there could be no heat. Without water, combustion and heat would be useless; and in the absence of a Boiler there could be no retention of force, and the energy of these elements could not be successfully applied through this particular machine. With no steamchest, energy could not be concentrated, and in the absence of special machinery the concentrated energy could not be applied for a definite purpose. Steam is the active agency of this design, and without it no possible action can be established in that machine.
To return for a moment to the list of elements combined and activities involved in the steam engine: The Objective list is composed entirely of physical elements. Each one is material in construction, and in its present state can never leave the earth; yet, in character, each is distinctly spiritual, deriving its characteristics directly from the corresponding subjective principle.
The Subjective list is entirely spiritual, and belongs to the realm of active, conscious Reality. Each item of the list is an Idea in Universal mind, and has its being independent of materiality. It cannot be manifested in sensation, except through some material construction embodying its principles. But the objective representation is not the same real entity that the subjective principle is. The subjective can continue to be, independent of the existence of the objective, while the objective can have no existence apart from the subjective.
Steam illustrates Energy. Now, Energy is an
infinite and eternal reality, always present in the Universe and susceptible at all times of demonstration in countless ways. Steam is but one of the existing modes of expression of the inherent power of spiritual energy. If Energy were not present in the Universe the power of Steam would never have been developed; for Steam is only the Energy that is latent in water, escaping from temporary restraint, and displaying the natural freedom of its real nature. Remove energy from steam, and its seeming qualities vanish, while the element instantly ceases to exist in that form.
By the same analogy, if the idea Substance was not present in universal mind, the element Water would have no appearance on this or on any other planet. Substance is the life of every earthly element, uniting and holding together all its particles. If all the water of the earth were destroyed, substance would still inhere in every remaining thing. The Idea Substance is an ever present reality, which can neither cease to be, diminish, nor change.
Activity is ever present in each atom of every element. Without this eternal entity - a spiritual Idea, possessed of eternal life even the atom would cease to hold its form, and would vanish. If there were no Activity there could be neither Combustion nor Heat; these constitute the body, while eternal activity is the spirit of their life. If there were no conscious Idea of a Purpose, a steamboiler never could have been invented, as the boiler only expresses the purpose for which it exists - namely, to develop and retain for use the energy in Water, but which is useless while seemingly confined within those narrow bounds. The 'Individual mind derives its idea of a Purpose from Universal Mind, where it subsists as an eternal entity of divine reality.
If the conscious Idea of Concentration were not present in universal mind, the steamchest never would have been conceived by man; and without 8 Purpose, concentrated for action, the machine would have no existence.
The Life of each Objective element inheres in the essence of its corresponding Subjective element; the substance endures, while its reflected expression constantly changes. The subjective or real is spiritual; its first reflection in the mind of man is mental action.
The Material body belongs entirely in the objective realm, and is governed by the laws which relate to objective things. Under the guiding influence of mind, intelligently exercised through conscious thought, it can be perfectly controlled in accordance with Nature's universal laws of life.
In pure action, Mind is entirely subjective, and has its field of action on the spiritual plane, dealing directly with subjective elements. The thoughtactions of mind transfer to and control molecular action in every part of the body, through the Mental Image of the Idea with which mind deals; for the thoughtaction forms a physical copy of the mental image of that idea.
In this action we may recognize a physical reflection of thought.