For a little while yet Phyris and I were not wholly one entity. But we were come to retrospection. With arms clasping each other, we walked slowly onward, till by the banks of the babbling brook we seated ourselves. Then I said:
"My twin, let us scan the past; let us draw aside the curtain of bygone ages, and see the record of the Book of Life, mirror of all events, sights, sounds, shapes, all things. We can do this, because we are karmaless, deathless, and are at one with the Father of Being, seeing, knowing as he knows, because He is in us."
We pondered the scenes of our Atlantean life, lives, and I saw ill-fated, sweet Princess Lolix, to whom I had been her ideal. Where had her sad soul gone when Mainin petrified its clay? In the imperishable record we saw where her life-line crossed ours. In her Poseid devachan she had found her dream of life seem realized. Reborn into activity, again her life-line crossed mine, her heritage pursued her, and she conquered it, for Lolix's individuality was Elizabeth's
(my wife). Her crime in Poseid was expiated, and so, too, was mine. Karma was fulfilled there. 1
Man's course upward to God is so blind, so untaught, instinctively like the sunward turning vine. I had so confidently, in the Sagum, taken a step irrevocable, except for Mendocus; and then had fallen again into blind darkness, despair, but instinctively true to law and to Elizabeth, the object of my efforts--so upward, till at last I had gained the immortal heights. So had my alter ago, Phyris. Down below were the deserts of life, and fair appearing fruits, apples of Sodom. These ashes are good, for they cause the soul to essay the heights.
Poseid, and all the lives, had meted us a large share of gall fruit, but our errors required it, and Karma is a sure paymaster.
Sin begot karma and karma had exacted pay. Thus had I, for I am not relating Phyris' history, given up hopes, happiness, as one gives his open veins in the Sahara to quench the thirst of his friend. 2 By this abdication I had lost my life and found it again. Karma, as the long record showed, was not always requiring pay; for every good act I had ever done I saw that I had been fully paid in kind my every jot. These were providences and benefices of life. There is no accident in life; allow that a man may die "by accident" and no man could be sure whether the ensuing night might not find the earth dropping into, or else away from, the sun; or, seeing the sun set, could feel sure it would rise again. All things, small or great, are ordered. Not always from any pre-existent incarnation; sometimes from one's last year's or yesterday's action the fruit springs. In short, I, we, saw that the lesson of life was, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," cause and effect. There are those who will make cavilling argument, contend that "accident does exist, and all is not order." I argue not, for "they that have ears to hear" will understand. One cannot see over a mountain range save he stand on a taller peak. To the greater vision, accident is but an are of design, and disorder is but an arc of order.
397:1 St. Matthew v: 17-18.
397:2 St. John xv: 13.