Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Boreham on Resurrection

Experiencing Resurrection
In an Easter editorial which F W Boreham submitted to the Argus as well as the Mercury and the Age, at various times in the 1930s and 1940s, he declared in typical fashion how, outside “the august setting” of the churches, “the fact of the resurrection was one of the dominating realities of life and experience”.[1]

Boreham quoted Oliver Lodge’s epigram, ‘That which exists persists’, then in down-to-earth language elaborated on life’s capacity to renew itself. He explained to his readers: “If a thing really lives, it must go on living. Life itself is incapable of dying; and, when it seems to die, there must, in the nature of things be something in the form of a return, a reaction, a revival, a resuscitation, a renaissance, a resurrection—call it what you will”.[2]

Jack-in-the-box Spirit
It was the truth of the renewing power of life that contributed to Boreham’s optimism about individuals and nations finding full expression, the prodigious regeneration in nature, the forward sense of progress throughout human history and the jack-in-the-box spirit that viewed the best arising from the worst.

While it may have appeared callous and unhelpful to write of the Depression of the 1930s and of the evils of the Second World War in terms of the “growing pains” which a nation must endure on its path to maturity, this idea arose from Boreham’s view that despite appearances of defeat, deprivation and death, the horrors of war were impotent in their fight to destroy life.[3]

Life’s Renewing Potential
Dr. Boreham spoke of life’s renewing potential many times, as in an end of the year editorial, when he wrote, “We only recognize the strength of the hold that life has upon us when there arises some question of its extinction”.[4] This insight helps explain Boreham’s concern about the increase in suicide, the victims of war and the despoliation of nature’s resources.

Ultimate Resurrection Assured
In various ways, Boreham personified life reaching toward humankind and craving mutual affection. These images included “life answering life”,[5] life aching for a response and existence being a matter of echoes.[6]

Viewing the endless implications of life’s renewing qualities, Boreham sketched some of his audacious convictions to his readers. According to Frank Boreham:

"If, in a statement, there is life—the life that people call truth—it may be contradicted, derided and shouted down; but its ultimate resurrection and victory are assured. If, in a movement, there is life—the life that people call justice—it may be whelmed in momentary defeat, but its final triumph is certain. And the beauty of it is that when life—in any phase or form—emerges from its temporary interment it appears more radiant than ever. We invariably attach peculiar value to the things we have lost—and recovered."[7]

Geoff Pound

Image: Beautiful life from 'dead' bulb.

[1] F W Boreham, Argus, 31 March 1934; Mercury, 10 April 1936; Age, 20 April 1946.
[2] Boreham, Argus, 31 March 1934; Mercury, 10 April 1936; Age, 20 April 1946.
[3] Boreham, Mercury, 9 March 1935; Mercury, 24 August 1946.
[4] Boreham, Mercury, 29 December 1945; Age, 27 December 1947.
[5] Boreham, Argus, 27 March 1937.
[6] Boreham, Mercury, 22 March 1958.
[7] Boreham, Mercury, 31 March 1934.