“One of the most respected ministers of the New Church, the Rev. Chauncey Giles, D.D., of New York, recently elucidated the subject in a public discourse as follows: Physical death, or the death of the body, was a provision of the divine economy for the benefit of man, a provision by means of which he attained the higher ends of his being.
But there is another death which is the interruption of the divine order and the destruction of every human element in man’s nature, and every possibility of human happiness. This is the spiritual death, which takes place before the dissolution of the body.
“There may be a vast development of man’s natural mind without that development being accompanied by a particle of love of God, or of unselfish love to man.”
When one falls into love of self and love of the world, with its pleasures, losing the divine love of God and of the neighbor, he falls from life to death. The higher principles which constitute the essential elements of his humanity perish, and he lives only on the natural plane of his faculties. Physically he exists, spiritually he is dead.
To all that pertain to the higher and the only enduring phase or existence he is as much dead as his body becomes dead to all the activities, delights, and sensations of the world when the spirit has left it. This spiritual death results from disobedience of the laws of spiritual life, which is followed by the same penalty as the disobedience of the laws of the natural life.
But the spiritually dead have still their delights; they have their intellectual endowments and power, and intense activities. All the animal delights are theirs, and to the multitudes of men and women these constitute the highest ideal of human happiness.
The tireless pursuit of riches, of the amusements and entertainments of social life; the cultivation of graces of manner, of tastes in dress, of social preferment, of scientific distinction, intoxicate and enrapture these dead-alive; but, the eloquent preacher remarks, “these creatures, with all their graces, rich attire, and brilliant accomplishments, are dead in the eye of the Lord and the angels, and when measured by the only true and immutable standard have no more genuine life than skeletons whose flesh has tuned to dust.”
A high development of the intellectual faculties does not imply spiritual and true life. Many of our greatest scientists are but animate corpses – they have no spiritual sight because their spirits have left them.
So we might go through all ages, examine all occupations, weigh all human attainments, and investigate all forms of society, and we would find these spiritually dead everywhere.”
H. P. Blavatsky