THE CREATIVE POWER ΔΔ
Esoteric Side of Sex
-Duality in Nature
-Cosmic forces in sex differentiation
-The exaggerated factor
-The quality of love
The Inner Development of Children
-The return to incarnation
-The "Book of Life"
-The first septenate: Physical
-The second septenate: Emotional
-The third septenate: Mental
-Our attitude toward children
Yoga of Motherhood
-The sacred nature of childbirth
-The Divine Feminine
-Woman's supreme power
THE ESOTERIC SIDE OF SEX
"There is no sex problem which cannot be solved by love."
"When there is a sexual problem, it can only be solved by love."
The physical world is a vast storehouse of symbology. There is not a single form, or part of a form, which does not symbolize an inner Reality. The Greek derivation of the word symbol means "something put together out of more." Hence a symbol is not a concrete representation of anything, but a signpost indicating in which direction, if we have the intuition to follow it, we may discern the eternal Reality it shadows forth. If it be a true and natural symbol it will put the observer into magnetic touch with the eternal thing for which it stands.
What is more, this inner Reality is a vast Intelligence. Behind every outer activity, even that of chemical action, there is the action of a "god", a mind not necessarily comparable to the human mind.Thus Professor Arthur Compton posits "an effective intelligence behind the phenomena of nature". The new physics, he says, admits the possibility of mind's acting on matter, and this conception throws new light on the evolutionary process and gives meaning to human life. The world and mankind are not developing at random out of atomic chaos. There is evidence of a "directive intelligence" or purpose back of everything.
Before a gathering of 5,000 of America's most distinguished scientists, Dr. Robert A. Millikan described how he had, in effect, finger-printed God in the heavens, and what he had discovered showed "a Creator continually on His job." An English scientist stated that there is a Master-Mind behind the universe and that this Master-Mind is a marvellous mathematician. The wonderful geometrical precision in the design of flowers and snowflakes recalls the ancient saying: "God geomerizes." The regular rhythm of all things in the universe, the ebb and flow of the tides, the waxing and waning of the moon, the circular waves of the human voice upon the air, all bear out the statement of Pythagoras the "Number lies at the root of the universe."
Not only is this true of the visible universe, but also of the boundless, rhythmic thought of the invisible. This is science, or exact knowledge, to the occult investigator, but its truths are intuitively perceived by many an artist and poet, because such genius pierces through into what Plato described as the underlying realm of Divine Ideation. Hence Francis Thompson wrote:
All things by immortal power
Near or far,
To each other linked are,
That thou can'st not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star."
Again there is the cyclic movement of time through morning, mid-day, and evening, returning to dawn again; through spring, summer, and winter, coming back to spring once more; the cycle of human life in youth, maturity, and old age, returning one day, after a rest-time for the immortal spirit in the inner worlds, to youth again in a never-ceasing spiral advance; "history repeating itself," but always upon a higher level.
This wonderful evolutionary scheme was beautifully summarized by the late Sir Oliver Lodge in the closing words of an address to the British Association."The universe," he said, "is the ever-growing garment of a transcendent God." Behind all action is a Doer, seen or unseen; behind all forms a Life seeking expression. Not untruly did the Greeks people nature with invisible Intelligences, while Maimonides, the Spanish-Jewish philosopher, wrote: "Natural forces and angels are identical," and the Bundakish states: "Every single flower is appropriate to an angel." All forms, all creatures, are epiphanies of God. The late Dr.Rudolph Steiner taught a system of meditation upon a flower which can lead to great heights of illumination. To the natural man these things seem foolishness, "because they can only be spiritually discerned."
The most wonderful storehouse of symbology in the whole macrocosm or universe is the microcosm, man himself. Have we not all as children sometimes wondered why we have two eyes and a mouth, two ears and a nose, five fingers, et cetera? They all represent, and are therefore in touch with, very deep underlying forces in the universe. This is pre-eminently true of the sex organs, for the represent in man the highest powers in the cosmos, the creative powers.
DUALITY IN NATURE
Occultism tells us that man and woman together represent the twin creative forces of the universe, positive and negative, centrifugal and centripetal, life in manifestation and life hidden. On the whole, man is positive, manifesting outwardly; woman is negative, receptive. But no man is entirely masculine and no woman wholly feminine. Medical science tells us that every man, physically, has female attributes undeveloped within him, and every woman has quiescent and undeveloped male characteristics. Sometimes when a sexual organ is removed the secondary characteristics begin to develop, as witness the feminity of the emasculated male, and the growth of masculine characteristics occurring sometimes in women when ovaries have been removed. There is also a period in foetal life when it is a question which sex will finally predominate. While one is paramount and visible, the other is always in the background, somewhat like the little man and woman who come out alternately on the weather gauge familiar to our childhood.
This is because no soul is absolutely man or woman, but the quintessence of both. Although after death we still wear the appearance of man or woman, it is only on this physical plane of being that sex organs are operative. The soul, being really beyond sex differentiation, on coming into incarnation puts on a body, or "coat of skin," sometimes on one side of life and sometimes on the other, in order to acquire a full development of all qualities. The duties and experiences of each sex are different, yet complementary. A man's life tends to develop decision and energy; a woman's patience and tenderness. Yet the most highly developed members of both sexes possess also the highest attributes of the other. What noble man is deficient in patience and tenderness, or what noble woman lacks energy and strength? These were learned through many lives on both sides of life, for it is easier to evolve complementary characteristics in complementary bodies. Here lies the true meaning of the words of the Christ that in heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage.
The general rule for incarnation is to run through a series of lives on one side of life, and then to change to the other for a series of lives. This change of sex in successive incarnations explains well-known phenomena, the little boy who furtively wants to play with dolls and the little girl who is a veritable tomboy. They have just changed sex; they must get used again to the other vehicle and this sometimes takes more than one life. Men and woman are not rivals, but co-operators, being entirely different in nature and outlook. To forbid one sex to use its peculiar powers and view point in the life of the nation is like permanently closing one eye and expecting to see as well as with both.
Lord Tennyson rightly wrote
"For woman is not undeveloped man,
But diverse ...
The woman's cause is man's; they rise or sink
Together, dwarfed or godlike, bond or free."
There was a time, long ages ago, when man, scarcely human as we know now, was one-sexed. He then propagated the race by methods still surviving in the vegetable kingdom. There will come a time, untold ages hence, when again the two sexes will merge. How then will he propagate the race? By a power already beginning to show forth, kriyashakti, the force of concentrated thought and will, creating upon the physical plane as we all create now upon the mental plane. Bodies in those days will be "mind-born".
COSMIC FORCES IN SEX DIFFERENTIATION
Man is not only a physical body. Closely knit and interpenetrating it, are other vehicles of consciousness composed of the subtler matter of surrounding, interpenetrating planes. Through these inner and outer bodies of man play forces which come down from the higher, subtler planes of being.
The eternal thing in matter is its ceaseless motion, the rhythmic ebb and flow of life. The most tremendous rhythm of all is the manifestation and apparent disappearance of the universe itself, called in the Indian scriptures: "Days and Nights of Brahma." The "nights" periods of non-manifestation, are caused by the final equalizing of all forces. The same thing can be seen in a little electrical experiment. Magnetize two needles; one-half of each needle will be positive and the other half negative. If floated on a basin of water, the positive pole of one needle will attract the negative pole of the other. Meeting, the electricity disappears not because it has cease to exist, but because being equilibrated, it becomes non-manifest.
When a "day" dawns, the first principle to come into action is the Third Person of the Hindu Trinity, Brahman, the Divine Mind. "Brahma meditated and the worlds sprang into being." If God had not "thought" us into being, we should never have been. The same things is true of our little worlds. Before we act, we think and therefore mentally create. During pralaya, or non-manifestation, spirit and matter, life and form, have become one as indeed they fundamentally always are. But during a "day" they draw apart and multiplication commences. This can be seen in the life of a cell. It has one nucleus, but, when it is going to produce another cell two poles appear with a line between and presently there are two cells. "The One becomes Two." Here lies the real meaning of the old myth of the Virgin Birth, attached to nearly all world-saviours. In ancient writings spirit is spoken of as male, and matter as female, Mother-matter, in fact. In the undifferentiated state mare, the sea or noumenon of matter, is quiescent, one with life or spirit. When manifestation once more appears, this perfect equilibrium is disturbed. The first thrill or wave-length of the Divine Mind spreads through shoreless space. "The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." From that contact with virgin matter the Cosmic Son of God, the universe, was born.
The same miracle is repeated between man and woman. From their contact a "son of man" is born. The physical creative powers in man reflect the tremendous creative powers of Deity. Hence their extraordinary sanctity in the eyes of simpler world of old. Because they are the highest physical powers in man their degradation produces terrible results. "Deus inversus demon est."
What for want of a better term we may call the positive force of the universe flows through the bodies of men, mostly along the lines of the bony and muscular systems. Thus, we quite naturally consider the glory of a man to be his strength. But through the bodies of women the opposite force flows, mostly using the glandular and nervous system, and so we instinctively know that the glory of a woman is her grace. The attractive pull towards one another is clearly to be understood. The positive male principle forever seeks the more negative female principle, that both may be fulfilled and at rest.In a happy and successful marriage two effects are evident: one is the joy of creation, the other the sense of great rest. All creation is joy, not only physical creation, but the same power expressed mentally or spiritually. Archimedes, on his discovery of a scientific principle, rushed into the street, shouting with joy: "Eureka, I have found it'" When God created the heavens and the earth all the sons of God shouted for joy, say the scriptures.
In the inner principles of man, constituting his subconscious or subjective self,the relation between the two sexes is reversed. On the emotional level woman is positive and man negative. Thus, the undeveloped woman is a mass of emotional contradictions, very possessive in her affections and when overstrained inclined to become hysterical. On the mental level the position is again reversed; man is positive, woman negative. The undeveloped man is inclined to be selfish and hard, a total unbeliever in anything not observed of the senses; the developed man has large and lucid powers of reasoning, and general has a more impersonal outlook and greater creative powers of mind than a woman. By nature men are more naturally fitted to "take the lead". In business organizations they are usually less personal and vindictive than women. Hence women nearly always prefer a man employer. But emotionally man is easily led. There is quite a touching element in a man's unspoiled love for a woman. He is so likely to worship, to look up to his goddess, to think her incapable of wrong. On the intuitive, spiritual levels woman again becomes predominant. The developed woman shines with intuitive wisdom and unselfish love. She has often a greater capacity for utter self-sacrifice than has a man. A woman in love is a natural devotee. Surrender and service are to her the supreme joy. Indeed, it may be said that to love and to be loved is the primal necessity of every woman's life. Byron knew this well, for he wrote:
is of man's life a thing apart,
'Tis woman's whole existence."
The fact to be observed here is that the opposite,yet complementary factors involved in sex differentiation make them highly necessary and helpful to each other. Quite apart form any question of physical congress, the active intercourse of thought and action between the sexes is highly beneficial to both. The friendship of a man helps a woman to define her thoughts; the friendship of a woman inspires and warms a man's imagination. Therefore, we find that so many great men have had either a great wife or a great mother while other gifted men have fallen short of what they might have achieved, had they been blessed with this kind of association.
The prevalent practice of sending little boys of eight or ten away from home to boarding schools where they are in the care of inexperienced young masters, is to be deprecated. A great Oxford coach wrote that of the hundreds of young men who had passed through his hands, most would never reach their full development because they were emotionally starved. The young need the influence of older people, grandfathers and grandmothers, uncles and aunts. They need to be part of the creative influences of ordinary life, to take part in the life of the workaday world around them, not to be herded in a more or less monastic establishment with other emotional starved boys and masters. Is it surprising that so many never become fully mature beings and are thereafter deficient in imagination and creative energy?
THE EXAGGERATED FACTOR
world-wide prevalence of sex problems comes from the exaggeration of one factor
in it, physical gratification. When physical gratification is the only, or
the predominant, factor in a sex relationship it is passion and not love.It
is as well to make a clear mental distinction between the two, for either
can exist without the other, but where passion is exalted, purified and lit
by love, physical union can take on a very beautiful and inspired meaning.
While it gives the greatest physical pleasure known to man, it can also provide
a channel for very exquisite and exalted emotion. Because the creative forces
of the universe play through the oppositely polarized bodies of men and women
there is an attraction between the two not equaled by any other for it is
complemental and fulfilling, and therefore immensely satisfying. The beneficial
effects of the inter-play of invisible magnetism already described becomes
in the marital act greatly heightened, often breaking down mental barriers
and enlarging the whole outlook of the participants. A happy and beautiful
marital embrace can lead to what may only be described as a mystical experience,
passing ever more deeply into an interior consciousness, so that the lovers
become to each other as a door to God. This is known in India as a special
form of yoga, called sahaja, leading to moksha, or liberation, through and
by means of a certain attitude and relation possible to be established between
lovers. This has nothing to do, say the sages, with the cult of pleasure.
It is the realization of the One by the path of non-pursuit in love.
"All love greatens and glorifies
Till God's aglow to the loving eyes
In that which was mere earth before."
This well-nigh perfect experience is extremely rare, as it demands such high and idealistic thinking on the part of the lovers, and such tremendous and true love. A great Egyptian Adept once wrote "Know, O Brother mine, that where a truly spiritual love seeks to consolidate itself doubly by a pure, permanent union of the two, in its earthly sense, it commits no sin, no crime in the eyes of the great Ain-Soph, for it is but the divine repetition of the Male and Female Principles - the microscosmal reflection of the first condition of Creation. On such a union angels may well smile! But they are rare, Brother mine, ... Man's atma may remain pure and as highly spiritual while it is united with its material body; why should not two souls in two bodies remain as pure and uncontaminated not-withstanding the earthly, passing union of the latter two."
In the vast majority such a consummation is never reached. Far too often passion is unlit by love, far too often the husband regards the use of his wife's person as a physical convenience, and his right, eagerly and inconsiderately sought after and indulged in with very disastrous results. There is a somewhat similar process in the matter of alimentation. The organs of taste are intended to heighten the enjoyment of eating, bringing into play the salivary glands and thus causing the best possible use of necessary food. When this is abused and gluttony results nature takes a very terrible reprisal. It is a thousand times more true of the sexual act. In the animal kingdom there are mating seasons and at all other times the mating urge is quiescent. Man, by virtue of his powers of memory and anticipation, has enormously heightened out of all natural order the sex impulse in himself. He is vulnerable to such impulses at all times.
The result is appalling. Let me quote The Secret Doctrine by H.P.Blavatsky: "The creative powers in man were the gift of Divine Wisdom, not the result of sin .. Nor was the Curse of Karma called down upon them for seeking natural union, as al the mindless animal-world does in its proper season; but, for abusing the creative power, for desecrating the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification . In the beginning, conception was as easy for woman as it was for all the animal creation. Nature had never intended that woman should bring forth her young "in sorrow"... For the seed of woman, or lust, bruised the head of the seed of the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, by turning the holy mystery of procreation into animal gratification; hence gradually changing physiologically, morally, physically and mentally, the whole nature of the Fourth Race of mankind, until, from being the healthy king of animal creation in the Third Race, man became, in the Fifth, our Race, a helpless, scrofulous being and has now become the wealthiest heir on the Globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases,the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals' ... This is the real Curse from the physiological standpoint ... The intellectual evolution, in its progress hand-in-hand with the physical, has certainly been a curse instead of a blessing - a gift quickened by the 'Lords of Wisdom' who have poured on the human Manas the fresh dew of their own Spirit and Essence." ( Opus cited, 3rd revised edition, Volume II, pages 428-429)
This was personified by the Greeks in the myth of Prometheus who brought the "fire" from heaven. H.P.Blavatsky continues:
and besides 'twas I that gave them fire.
Chorus: Have now these short-lived creatures flame-eyed fire?
Prom: Ay, and by it full many arts will learn."
"But with the arts, the 'fire' received has turned into the greatest curse; the animal element, and consciousness of its possession, has changed periodical instinct into chronic animalism and sensuality. It is this which hangs over humanity like a heavy funeral pall ... The animal world, having simple instincts to guide it, has its seasons of pro-creation, and the sexes become neutralized during the rest of the year. Therefore the free animal knows sickness but once in all its life - before it dies."(Ibid, page 430)
Th experience of some unsophisticated native peoples bears out Madame Blavatsky's statement as to woman not being intended to bear children in pain and sorrow, for an African savage will in her native state, bear a child by the side of a path and get up immediately afterward so to join the march of the tribe. That which is said of the true cause of man's hereditary and constitutional diseases is borne out by science, especially by the extraordinary discovery of Dr. Abrams of San Francisco, the "electronic reactions." The first wave-length that a practitioner of this system will look for is what is called "diminished resistance." This is a polite euphemism for a hereditary syphilitic taint. The vast majority of people have it in their blood streams, the nations most free of it being the Scandinavian and the Irish. If present, it provides a fruitful breeding-ground for all other diseases. All scrofulous diseases originally took their rise from the abuse of the sex function. In the above quotation Madame Blavatsky is referring to the period six and a half million years ago when nascent man, hardly man as we know him now, was subjected to a special stimulus of his thinking principle by certain great ones from another planet. They are generally spoken of in occult literature as the "Lords of the Flame" who endowed man with the "fire" of mind.
The unnatural economic character of our social system tends to multiply this evil. In a healthy, happy, co-operative world men and women would marry young and give birth to children during the years of their youthful vigour. The children of middle-age are not so well circumstanced. This was well provided for in the ancient system of India, which prescribed four periods to a man's life. First, that of his student days, during which he lived as a brahmacharya, without sex life. Then came the years of married life, in which he begot children as a duty to the state. After that, the third period when both he and his wife surrendered the sex life to seek religious ideals. The fourth period was not undertaken by all, for it involved the going out alone as a penniless mendicant, with no other ideal or hope but to find God. Even this could no undertaken without the consent of the wife.
The natural result of our haphazard system is to be seen in the prevalence of sex-suppression and all that that means to psychological health, and in the number of outcast races which are the outcome of illicit relationships. Sad also is it to relate that in many cases a healthy native race becomes infected with sexual disease by its white conquerors. In their native state many primitive peoples have excellent eugenic laws, and no native boy is left in the pitiful ignorance of many a white boy picks up misguiding and irreverent information from school-fellows as ignorant as himself.
A wonderful story was written sometime ago by a Central African chief, who as a little boy lived inside a stockage in a vast jungle. Venturesome as little boys will be, one day he and his play-fellows started to explore the surrounding country. They came to the sea which they had never seen before. Carried out to sea, many of them were seized by sharks, but the chief's little son was picked up by a passing ship and taken by the captain to Scotland. There he grew up with his Scotch foster brother and years later went back to his people and ruled them as chief. He describes in his book the ignorance and shame of sexual facts of his Scotch foster brother who had no one to consult, such subjects being taboo. In his native country, he writes, all little boys would have been fully instructed by the chiefs.
There are commoner than is usually supposed. By far the commonest is autoerotism. Medical opinion is divided on the question of its harmfulness and it would seem that in many cases its evil effect has been exaggerated. Children sometimes instinctively discover its practice. A little girl of six was found continually practising it. The agony of her mother was untold; although loving and kind by nature, she had recourse to severe punishment which obviously was not the right method of dealing with this unconsciously erotic behaviour of a little child. Regarding the subject of whipping, doctors and psychologists deprecate this form of punishment because of its frequent and undesirable reactions on the sexual nature of the child. Grown people sometimes discover the practice of autoerotism in response to an intolerable urge. A woman of thirty habitually practised it "because it stopped the feeling of awful loneliness." Many people do not realize that this is a common and dreadful symptom of sex starvation.
Then there is the question of these curious individuals who can fall in love only with their own sex. Numbers of these are know to every physician and psychologist. One young man, discovering that he love only his own sex, was in search of a cure. He was referred to a book written by a pervert, who claimed that standing as he did midway between the two sexes he could help and understand both, and that he had spiritually dedicated his life to such service. Where this tendency is genuine and innate, it is probably a karmic inheritance from other lives in ancient Greece, and Rome, where homo-sexual relationships were fostered.
There is also another explanation of this phenomenon. It has already been mentioned that we do not always return in a body of the same sex. It sometimes takes a life or two to become accustomed to the change. It may be that some of these abnormal cases are people not yet accustomed to the newly changed sex.
The problem of vice in public schools and prisons should not be surprising. Anyone with imagination can picture the barren, un-emotional life of many boarding schools; the same is still more true of prisons, full of lusty, unevolved men away from their wives and sweethearts. Life in army generates similar problems. Picture the conditions of any great army and the fate of woman in conquered territories.
Is there any cure for sex irregularities and excesses? No cure is instantaneous. The real solution lies in the gradual raising and education of human thought on this subject. There are two aspects of it, physical and psychological, and of the two the latter is by far the more important and potent.
On the physical side, certain factors tend to accentuate or diminish the physical sexual urge. Food exercises a grater influence in this respect than is generally understood. Both meat-eating and alcohol-drinking are contributing factors to undue sexual excitement. Meat, especially when taken in excess, adds to the potency of all the aggressive, passionate impulses. The Japanese are a rice-eating people, but the Japanese army was fed meat. "Otherwise," as a Japanese officer put it, "we should not get enough fight out of them." The undue consumption of alcohol has a similar effect as the Salvation Army has discovered. In a lesser degree, excessive smoking has the same results. This is evidence that pure diet and moderation in eating and drinking habits are aids in restricting excessive sexuality . Exercise is helpful also, while soft beds, hot baths and a self-indulgent life are all contributory causes to the evil . A merchant ship's captain once told how he learned to control his sex urges. Like all sailors he had perforce to go for long intervals without the sight or touch of a woman. So he determined upon a daily regime of forty-five minutes hard exercise and found that this proved successful for him.
The Psychological factors is more profound and here we touch upon some very occult facts. We read a good deal these days about sublimation, but most of it seems to be vague or of little practical value. Sublimation is possible, but is origin and rationale are not understood. The truth is this: in all the universe there is only one life and it is eternally creative. It flows through all planes of matter and all phases of being. The Hindus call it prana. Acting through our mental structure it stimulates discovery, mental enquiry, creative thought. The "joy of creation" here is the joy of discovery and invention. This is why intellectual people often have less sexual urge than many others. With them the creative force has taken another direction. Emotionally the life stream shows as admiration, love, ecstasy. Physically it exhibits as vitality, especially in the creative sex function. The answer clearly lies here. Increase the flow of the creative power on other levels of being, and the pull upon the physical plane will become less.
It is difficult to do this in our utilitarian, mechanistic age, where men have become machines instead of creative artists. There was a time ages ago when even in the making of household articles the worker could be an artist in his work. Now, in the factory system, a man makes a small part of an article and watches a tyrannical machine, so that he also becomes a machine, with no outlet for his creative, artistic abilities.
intellectual enquiry and study, controlled living and daily exercise are all
contributing factors toward sex control, but the greatest of all lies in the
emotional nature, and in its higher counterparts, the spiritual and intuitional
principles. Modern man has lost his free, natural play of feeling, He suffers
from endless "suppressions," and these date back in most cases to
No so long ago education consisted chiefly in stuffing endless facts into a child's head, or inflicting on him an intolerable burden of memory work. Hence the natural spontaneity of a child's brain was often ruined forever. Today education is being improved. It still lays too much emphasis on memory work.To be able to pass examinations does not mean that one will deal practically and sensibly with life's problems. Now we hear a great deal about the development of the physical body. This began largely with World War I, when England discovered that she was a C3 nation. The dictators then took up the cry for strength and health, but its meaning was sinister. The race must be healthy and strong to provide cannon-fodder and defeat other nations' Still this health movement is a step ahead of the starvation diet and hideous monotony of the schools described by Charles Dickens.
The greatest factor, however, is left unthought of an undeveloped: the emotional nature. More than bread, more than knowledge, a man's life depends upon the free, healthy growth of his love and desire nature. The very word "emotion" shows its meaning, the motive force behind life. It is necessary for man to love, to admire, to appreciate, to generously share, to co-operate. Otherwise he cannot live a happy and useful life. These qualities are the play of the creative life in his emotional self, and if they are free and beautifully grown, man has the finest sublimating force in creating. The poets are well aware of this. So often the poets teach us better than they know, better than the philosophers. Wordsworth wrote:
live by admiration, hope and love,
And even as these ar well and wisely placed,
In dignity of being we ascend."
Many people have forgotten how to exercise and express their emotions. They feel that they do not love anything or anybody and that no one loves them. Suppressed in normal avenues, the emotional nature takes revenge by expressing itself in undesirable ways. If we have taught our children to love truly and to admire generously they will have little trouble with their sex nature in their later years.
Connected occultly with the emotional nature is the spiritual man, working on what is called the aspirational and intuitional level. Thee is a subtle connection between the two, hence the enduring bond between religion and sex. It lies in the fact that the creative impulse on the physical plane is the lower pole of that mystical, creative force which finally brings a soul into "union with God." Religion can be and is a potent means of sublimation. Quite instinctively, therefore, do sex-starved women turn to religious ecstasy and the worship of priests. In spite of common ridicule on this subject they are unconsciously sublimating the sex impulse. The upper pole of physical love is worship, adoration. Indeed, no sex-love is perfect that does not include the element of worship. It is common to laugh at the adoring, self-giving of adolescent "calf-love", but it may be that only then, at that one pure awakening of his mind and heart, does a boy know the real meaning of the universe. Love, worship, adoration, appreciation: these are the real solvents. Many a married couple,joined by a sensual attraction only, can never forgive each other for being deprived of love and so that most dreadful thing of all, a deadly marital hatred, sets in.
THE QUALITY OF LOVE
Is love an "art" and can it be learned? From one standpoint we have really nothing else to learn. But love, true love, self-forgetting, generous, divine, is the product of slow growth and takes many incarnations to develop. It is both a science and an art, the eternal right and left hand of every potency. Science and religion, which latter is but the "artistic" approach to life, are not opposed to each other. The one but complements the other. The way of science is from below upwards, by patient, selfless investigation. The way of art is from above downwards, illuminating and inspiring the mind and heat with the shining down-flow of divine intuition. Each explains the other, but perhaps the divine flights of art pierce further into the supernal light than does the patient, steady tread of science, for, as George Sand put it: "The mind seeks, but it is the heart which finds."
Just as there is an art of worship to be learned in ever finer and nobler ways,so is there an art of love to be learned in even higher and nobler ways of loving. A great lover is an artist indeed, and has won by sacrifice and sorrow this divine capacity. Like the poet, he is born and not made, and he is not so common a phenomenon as many people would suppose. Happy is the man who has this capacity; let him ask no other blessedness for within him is the "Light of the World." There is an old proverb which says that it is love which makes the world go around. Without love, indeed, which is the creative force of Deity in our souls, all things would cease to be. Descartes said: "I think therefore I am." Let us put it thus: " I love therefore I am." For he who does not love is already dead.
A relationship in life is a class in the school of love, teaching an angle of loving. To reap its full power we must not let the vice of selfish possession grip us. Jealousy is commonly supposed to be a sign of love, but it is only a proof of self-love It is "natural" but we may grow out of the natural into the supernatural. In an ancient Tibetan scripture seven forms of love are enumerated,four belonging to the gods and three to men. The lowest of the three human form is mere physical attraction, shared also by atoms and molecules. This exhausts itself as soon as satisfied. A higher form may be called psychic; it is on a reciprocal basis: I will love you if you love me, and you owe me something for loving you. This form holds within itself the seed of its own death.The third form already borders on the ways of the gods and is a little difficult for men to achieve and so must generally be learned. This is to so love the beloved that we desire only his highest good and in his own terms. Such love is immortal and the ages cannot quench it. There is a tale of a devoted Indian wife who approached the Lord Buddha when He was upon earth to ask Him how she might be sure that she would be her beloved husband in all future lives upon earth.The Blessed One replied that if she could be unfailingly faithful, tender and forgiving, she would bind his heart to hear for al lives to come.
Love in its highest sense is purified of egotism and many a heartbreak, many a loss, is to teach the soul this supreme secret. Immortal love is as the sun, shining upon the world because he is light, and asking nothing back. Possessiveness is an unexpurgated impurity, and so the heavenly bliss of true love cannot yet come, for only to the "pure in heart" opens the Divine Vision in all its wonder.
When sex is ennobled by love,it is purified, exalted; and can, as said before, become indeed a doorway to God, to the King in His beauty. How rare, how wonderful,how fine, must be the lovers to whom this comes' Yet it can come.
world as Gods has made it, all is beauty,
And knowing this is love, and love is duty,
What further may be sought for or declared?"
Just to love another as a source of personal satisfaction is what Madame Blavatsky called " égoisme à deux." Such love cannot endure. The vibratory wave between the two loves must be closed, making a triangle. Love between man and woman has a curious quality; for itself alone it cannot live. It must be consecrated to and hallowed by a Higher than itself.
"I could not love thee, dear, so much
Lov'd I not honour more."
So God,the Ideal, must complete the triangle, the Other-worldly One to Whom the lovers owe obeisance. Or, in the other direction the blinding link may be a child, for he, when he comes, is the Christ Child, the King, whose father and mother are but his guardians, his supreme servants of state.
Should we, or should we not, divorce a partner with whom we no longer live at peace? This is a very vexed question. On the one hand there is the view that divorce should be had for the asking and on the other, the standpoint of the Roman Catholic Church which allows no divorce. Divorce has reached such heights in some countries that stability of the nation as well as of the family is seriously threatened. Even Soviet Russia, at first very free with divorces, now strives to prevent them whenever possible. Probably the religious view of the Church against divorce arises from the words of the Christ: "Those who God had joined together, let no man put asunder" Does occultism bear this out?
To a certain extent it does. The inner significance and psychic effect of the religious ceremony of marriage does produce an alteration in the psychic radiations of both partner, which in some cases persists after death. Does this mean that divorce should never be allowed? Probably not, but it is evident that the terrible prevalence of divorce in the modern world is really founded upon a serious lack in character and training and upon too hasty marriage. Marriage, particularly with the young, is so often an impulsive,glamorous act, lasting but a short time when put into contact with the sober facts of married life. Oliver Goldsmith opens his famous Vicar of Wakefield with the words: "I chose my wife as she did her wedding dress, for qualities that would wear well." How often the bemused young man is ruled by his untrained emotions and the equally bemused young woman has probably been nurtured on a diet of romantic and sentimental absurdities and is expecting, as so many young women do, a fairy prince on his knees continually before her. The tired mother; the inadequate housekeeper; the unshaven, prosaic husband who very soon takes his beloved wife "for granted," often bring early disillusionment.
Our young people should be trained for marriage which is the great business of most people's lives. The modern girl's ignorance of all that can conduce to a happy home is appalling. She should never grow into adult life unequipped in the arts of housekeeping, cooking, nursing, and nutrition, nor uneducated regarding a sane and balanced view of sex, and its real meaning. She should know that the happy and proper conduct of a home is her higher privilege, for therein lies not only her own happiness, but that of her husband and children and the whole future of the race.
Most men desire a "home" In his heart of hearts a man is simpler than a woman. He wants a woman of his own to come back from the working world, he wants a home and children for whom he can live and work. A happy, contented husband does not generally seek adventures elsewhere. But it is the children who suffer most from divorce. There is the poor little boy so unhappily confused with a succession of "daddies". There is the little girl of twelve who was so shocked at her beloved father's divorce from her mother that she developed a bad case of diabetes. Women must realize that home-making is the most sublime and lovely of all the arts, demanding qualities sensitive, unselfish, enduring beyond all other avenues of service. There can no hard and fast laws in these matters. That a husband or wife should be tied for life to a lunatic, or to a sadistic or brutal, selfish partner, is unthinkable. But these are few and far between among the general causes for divorce.
Does occultism look with favour upon the growing practice of birth-control. Certainly not. In the present state of our world it may sometimes be necessary to curtail the number of children, but the true limitation of a family should come from self-control. To use other means, especially for escaping the results of promiscuous sexual intercourse, brings great karmic penalties. Indeed, it may be said that all intercourse between the sexes,legitimate or otherwise, is productive of complicated karmic results.
Is celibacy to be recommend? There is a natural celibacy which occurs in the occultist or saint who has perfectly transmuted the creative urge to higher levels. When the creative powers are turned away from the physical level they increase intellectual perception and spiritual powers. Then, to clairvoyant vision, the pranic light flows upward through the spinal canal and radiates out above the head, instead of flowing downward to the sexual organs. This process cannot be hastened with impunity; it is the result of long and patient directing of thought and emotion towards divine and impersonal ends. As a great occultist once said: "The force which brings about the junction of two bodies here on earth, enormously sublimated and uplifted, brings about the union of the soul with God."
The are two periods in human life when profound physical and psychological changes take place: at the dawn of sexual life and at its close. It is not wise, when the age of puberty approaches, to overwork girls in school. It is a time of special adjustment and injury done then may affect the whole later life. They need great understanding and kindness, great tolerance and love to help them through experiences that are baffling to themselves. Such queer things can happen to them; they may experience sudden rushes of power which may be found to be endowed with a kind of compulsive magnetism whereby others can be influenced. Do we realize that sex magnetism is the source of all attraction in us, physical, artistic, creative? Then, too, psychical effects may occur, such as seeing whirling colours,passing into queer dream states when nothing seems real.The need for the interest of a strong, wise, kind, older person is paramount in those days. With boys, too, watchful care and tender love should guard the citadel of a boy's integrity. Above all, parents should win the confidence of their children, not by asking for it, but by being worthy of it, for the young need the assurance of security, care and love to prevent the psychological problems of later life.
At the other end of this cycle there is the disappearance of the pro-creational capacity. In highly evolved races, and especially among women who have lived celibate lives, the menopause or "change of life" as it is called sets in earlier. It seems to occur later in women who have borne many children. One cannot help feeling sorry for women when the difficulties of this change overtake them,for here again, queer psychological symptoms sometimes occur. During these two major changes in life those who are passing through them should be surrounded by the greatest sympathy and understanding and with the older women whose child-bearing days are drawing to a close, even more tender care is needed and the cessation of undesired marital union.
Does a man have a similar experience? In a more subjective way, yes. A very well-know sign of the climacteric in men is their sudden development of interest in younger women. Many a sober, respectable husband does foolish things at an advanced age.This is really the final flicker of the sex urge in man. To him youth and sex are often synonymous, so he must persuade himself that he is still young, still capable of exciting interest in the other sex.
Both the young and old need shelter and care. The intervening ages can stand on their own feet and fight their own battles. What is more heart-rending than the horrible "homes" in which some poor, old people are condemned to live and die. Two things hurt whenever they are seen: youth without hope and old age without peace.
THE INNER DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN
"Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.We should reduce the purely mechanical work of the memory of an absolute minimum and devote the time to the development and training of the inner senses, faculties, and latent capacities. .... We should aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish."
THE RETURN TO INCARNATION
What shall be our relationship to children? First let us realize that the child does not "belong" to us, nor is he a "clean slate" on which parents and teachers may write what they will. He brings with him his own character and the qualities and capacities he has developed in other lives. If he seems to "inherit" certain characteristics from his parents or other physical ancestors, it is due to the type of matter, more readily or otherwise expressing certain attributes,which his parents have provided, and also to the enormous formative influence of the environment in early years.
There are three forces operating to bring a soul to a certain place in life. First there is the general evolutionary trend, which unhindered, would automatically bring each soul into the best circumstances for his further advance in evolution. But this force, the true "Will of God," bringing all things to their ultimate fulfilment and beatitude, is often hindered by two other powers: the personal karma set up by the individual's deeds in past lives and the unbreakable bonds formed with other souls in that past.
When the hour is ripe the soul, after a long rest-time of fulfilment and peace in the inner worlds during which he has been assimilating the lessons of his last life's experiences and transmuting them into soul powers, returns to earth for yet another day in the great school of life. He comes back a day older, a little more experienced, with a little more of his innate faculties of mind and heart unfolded. This is the way he "grows" from life to life in eternity, and there will come a time when he will surely be made perfect:
sits he shaping wings to fly,
The type of perfect in his mind,
In nature can he nowhere find."
Is the soul conscious of its return? Only the highly developed. The ego on his own plane is awake and aware, but on these lower planes is largely unconscious and has to find again another body for expression and experience. The return to earth is similar to the withdrawal from it. At the last moments of earth-life the passing soul sees, as in a vision, the whole of his past life, travelling backward from age to childhood. There is a very real reason for this. It is as if the spiritual man, quitting the arena of life, turns and sees the whole of that past day of life, where he succeeded and where he failed.Then, the withdrawal complete, he sinks for a short time into a peaceful sleep, during which his psychic body is adjusted to a separate existence on the psychic plane. When he awakes he finds around him those who he loves who have preceded him to the after-death world.
Life on the other side, increasingly happier and more subtle, is really a process of psychic assimilation. Generally, nothing new is initiated there, but the ego lives through a long concatenation of events arising from his innermost consciousness. In the end his psychic body drops away from him, leaving him for a while in contact with the blissful spheres of the spiritual words. It is when this process is complete that he turns again earthwards. Tanha, the thirst for sentient existence, again arises in him much as physical hunger arises when digestion is complete.
This attention turned outward, toward the worlds of objective experience, again causes psychic matter similar to that of his last psychic body, to gather around him. It is not yet organized. Life will do that organizing as he lives, but it comes with the skandhas,or seeds of good and evil tendencies carried over from past lives. These begin to flower and to colour the auric radiations (which in a little child are pure white) as they come under the influence of the same qualities in action in the outer world. How wonderful it would be if little children never heard or saw anything ugly, rough or wicked. Then the good and beautiful in them would flower first,and thus acquire a preponderating influence throughout life. The first seven years of a child's life are in many ways the most important of all, for during that brief time the axes of future growth, physical and psychological, are determined and fixed. Was it not one of the Popes who said: "Give me a child until he is seven years old and all the world may do what they will with afterwards"?
The physical body is so pre-eminently the vehicle of karma that it is built for a man by the angelic orders. Nationality, parentage and environment are karmic inheritances form past lives. Deep in the inner worlds, at every moment of life, we write the record for our own future. This eternal, inner plane, where everything that has ever happened is still happening, is called by the Hindus the Gupta Vidya, or hidden record, and by the Christian Bible, "The Book of Life." "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." (Psalms 139, verse 16)
It is fairly easy to see how this is done. Everything is really a matter of wave-length or vibration. As we act, as we speak, as we think, we set going an ever-widening circle of vibration. The voice makes rhythmic wavelengths on the air, thought makes rhythmic wavelengths, called by Patanjali,the India sage, vrittis, on a still subtler form of matter. These all set up synchronous, though vastly subtler and quicker, wavelengths in the surrounding and permeating planes of ever subtler matter. Thus every action, word, motive and thought, resounds from sphere to sphere and finally records itself on that subtlest form of matter called by the Hindus the akasha, and by the philosophers, the Eternal Now.
THE "BOOK OF LIFE"
That living, moving "Book" is governed and guarded by mighty Intelligences, in Hinduism the Lipika or recorders, in Christianity, generically speaking, the "recording angel" who keeps the "Book of Life." From these self-written records these great Intelligences plan the leading outline of a man's life, what nation he shall enter, what family he should join, and the major, inescapable events of the coming life. The Muslim scriptures say: "The fate of every man is hung around his neck at birth."
This is the real horoscope, known to the ancient Chaldeans, but not yet fully recovered by the modern astrologer. We must not picture any kind of kismet, or pre-determined fate, in the karma of life. It is always a moving, flowing current, capable of being altered or re-directed at any moment though this is generally done only by the developed man. Ancient Indians describe three main types of karma. First the "ready-money" form, little events flowing from little causes, generated day by day as we live. Then the events coming from past lives, showing as unexpected major happenings. Lastly the "piled-up" form, awaiting suitable expression from the long past. Most men live upon the surface, but a man who ceases to do this, albeit unconsciously, and begins to live upon a deeper level, sometimes releases this form of karma, and this may bring apparent added trouble and disaster just when he is doing his best. Thus the good seem to suffer and the wicked to flourish like "the green bay tree," because nature does not ask child-souls to learn lessons too hard for them as yet. "God will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able." (I.Cor. X, verse 13). But one day the more difficult lessons will come and the heavier payment be exacted. "Be sure your sins will find you out." (Num. 32- verse 23).
Down tier upon tier through descending subtle intelligences comes the plan of a man's life, till at last it reaches the hands of a little angelic being whose mission it is to build the coming body within the mother, taking the materials form both the father and the mother and occasionally a very little from other people in the household. Many a mother has described how she felt invisible influences around her during her pregnancy.
The soul comes to a certain nationality because life in its ranks will round out and develop specific characteristics.He comes to certain parents because he has links with them from past lives. We should never talk about the expected "little stranger," for it never is a stranger. It is always someone we have known in the past and in most cases have loved. Knowledge of this truth would help to mitigate a prevalent evil, possessive motherhood. The child does not "belong" to us, we did not create him. He came to our care, while his body is still young and immature, because in the past we knew and loved him.
The child is influenced before birth through the mother. Hence the desirability of conditions of peace and happiness for all expectant mothers. The ancient Greeks placed beautiful statues before the expectant mother that her child might be moulded on beautiful lines. Is it to be wondered at that so many stunted, ill-formed bodies are born in in our great slums?
THE FIRST SEPTENATE: PHYSICAL
Invisible angels, devas, or shining ones, as the East calls them, accompany the phenomenon of birth as also of death. Very lovely these special angels are. When the child is born his physical body is laid bare to the influences of the surrounding physical world, but his inner principles are still shrouded. Indeed, he is "born" in successive layers, during seven-year periods until grown.
During the first seven-year period the child is becoming acquainted with the physical world and is therefore, as Maria Montessori teaches us, greatly attracted by colour and form; desiring to touch, to handle and to taste. Mothers should not be surprised if a little child has no sense of morality, is childishly selfish; he is recapitulating the past evolution of the race. Just as before birth, the foetus briefly runs through the vast periods of man's physical evolution, being at one time like a fish and later covered with fur like an animal, so after birth the child runs through the past psychological evolution of the race. A small child is in one way but a little animal, sweet and charming as he often is, and the chief thing that matters for him is that he should feel secure, acquire good physical habits and live in affectionate peace. Indeed, a loving atmosphere is essential for little children - the feathers that line the human nest, necessary even for their physical growth. A child who has not been loved and petted by his mother is handicapped for all his life. Now it can be understood why there is such a high percentage of deaths in orphanages, and doctors now recommend kind and suitable foster mothers for little orphans.
"Mother-love" should be calm and deep, wise and understanding, not excitable, passionate nor possessive. Mothers do not realize the harm they do their children by undue emotionalism. Peace, affectionate, secure peace, is requisite for every little child. Nor should a small child be continually asked to reason or to give demonstrations of feeling. Both of these will in time, but to hasten them unduly often blights what might have been a lovely power. How often is the baby exhorted to sit up and take notice; that this effort is unnatural is shown in the infant's unusually bright eyes; the baby should sleep away its early years and it should be loved silently. Worse still is the common, motherly habit of dragging emotional and unnatural feeling from children. "You do love mother, don't you? You don't want to hurt mother, do you?" It is a strain on a little child's heart and mind to put these problems to it.
On the other hand, many a lovely burgeoning blossom in a child's aura is blighted, sometimes blasted for life, by harsh, violent treatment. Beating often produces unnatural sexual excitation, and psychological warring produces in after years a twisted and thwarted soul. Indeed, the terrors of childhood are so many and varied that one sometimes wonders how most people are able to be as nice as they are.
Too much baby talk is not advisable for children and as early as possible they should be taught to take part in the world's work, at least in that part of it centered in and around the home. Few people realize how terribly bored many children are, especially the children of the rich. Poorer children at least join in the business of life, running errands, watching baby for mother, et cetera, but the poor, little rich boy or girl has nothing valid to do; he is supposed to play all day and is surrounded with expensive toys which leave no room for the exercise of his creative imagination. Older children need to feel not only that they "belong", but that they also are necessary adjuncts in the welfare and work of their small world. All children should be treated with gentleness and respect. Their bodies may be small and weak, but the ego behind is not, and may be older in evolution than his parents. Most adults can remember their helpless rage at the way older people treated them, calling them "naughty" (a term never understood by the child), and one wonders how a child would grow up who was treated from the very beginning with scrupulous consideration and respect.
During these first seven years a child learns by unconsciously imbibing from his surroundings and from the people in them. Hence the paramount important of example. We say: Children are such imitators," and so they are; their little auras reflect as in a mirror the passing moods of their elders.
Up to the age of approximately seven, the immortal ego is more or less overshadowing his new vehicle rather than actually being enclosed within it. He is put, unconsciously to himself, into touch with his new body by the angelic hosts at that moment before birth called "quickening". To inner vision that influence looks like an ever-increasing wedge of light in the brain. Hence some children are "psychic," living in awareness of both physical and psychic worlds at once. It should not be supposed that the child is necessarily untruthful if he talks about something that adults cannot see. Many sensitive children see the fairy world with its "little people" who are just beyond normal human visibility, but not beyond the psychic vision of the child. The fairies are the natural guardians of trees and flowers and the lower insects, and while generally of an elementary intelligence, are very imitative and sportive and sometimes are aware of children, see them and respond accordingly. Many times a child will have an invisible playmate who may be a fairy or a child who has passed from physical life; many a deceased mother comforts and plays with her children when they have left their bodies through the gateway of sleep. Who does not remember the lovely tale by Father R.H.Benson about the lonely little boy with whom Our Lady played each night. Rightly should we tell stories to little children and teach them poems; the haunting beauty aroused in their imaginations will stay with them all during life.
THE SECOND SEPTENATE: EMOTIONAL
At about the age of seven, when the second teeth begin to come, a very wonderful phenomenon takes place which can be observed by discerning parents and teachers. Almost suddenly the child appears a little different, perhaps not quite so angelic and charming. Up to this moment the guardian angel who built his body has also watched over him since birth. The angel is now departing and the child's own divine ego is taking charge. In the case of a great genius this sometimes occurs much sooner. Quite logically, therefore, the Greek Church does not hold a child responsible for "mortal sin" before the age of seven years.
During the second septenate, from seven to fourteen, the emotional sheath of consciousness is laid bare to the impacts of the world. Hence, fourteen, the average age of puberty, is called the sentimental age. Until seven, the outer physical world moulds the course of the new life; afterward the inner sense and values begin to unfold. Therefore, at this age teaching can be given by imagery and parable and the spiritual viewpoint can be assimilated. As it is the emotional nature which now flowers and develops, love, appreciation and mercy can best be inculcated during the early teen years. This is the age when children should be taught to care for pets, rather than during the earlier septenate. For the immature mind, much memory work can be exacted; it does not matter that the child does not understand fully what he learns for that will dawn on him later.
Nearing the age of fourteen in both boys and girls, the sex nature awakes. In some children and in some climates this change begins at a still earlier age. It is often accompanied by a great disturbance of the nervous system, more especially in girls. Examinations and mental strain are to be deprecated for girls of that age; too often schoolteachers and even mothers do not realize what this great change means to a girl's whole nature. Explanation of menstruation should be delicate and loving, and the child should be made to understand that it is nature's way of preserving the power to create a new body without loss or injury to herself in the future. Avoid the apprehension and dismay which may follow unwise instruction regarding this natural change. Boys have not this outward evidence of the arrival of puberty, yet something similar takes place in their constitution. In both sexes this a period of nervous and emotional instability and either may be seized with queer depressions and frightening ideas. This is the age when religion and art are potent means toward directing, and even sublimating, the creative life in the youth.
Children are almost always curious about their own origin. Should this be explained to them? Of course it should be, lovingly, gently, but sincerely and frankly, by the parents. Shrinking from this responsibility may have disastrous results as when the information is gained from ignorant nurse-maids or evil-minded school-mates. The facts of life can be explained so beautifully and simply that thereafter no evil thought regarding this function can touch the child.
THE THIRD SEPTENATE: MENTAL
During the third septenate, from fourteen to twenty-one years, the mind begins to unfold. At this time the society of elders is of immense importance. Perhaps we have gone too far in our glorification of youth as such; youth needs the steady influence of age, as age needs the glowing inspiration of youth. Co-education is advisable and segregation of the sexes is unnatural; for boys to see only boys like themselves, or callow young masters, brings about a curious lack of development noticeable in later years. A child should have the companionship of members of the opposite sex of his own age, as well as frequent society of, and conversation with, adults. He should come into touch as much as possible with the world's workers of all stations; let him help the gardener, the cook, the plumber; in his adult life he will be the richer in understanding, in wisdom and in soul.
OUR ATTITUDE TOWARD CHILDREN
Parents should be philosophic about children, not taking their little peccadillos too seriously nor yet expecting them to be good little "yes-men". Many mothers are too serious about their children who often thrive better with a good-natured, wholesome nurse. They should be glad if they have strong-willed child, vital and energetic, for he is more likely to accomplish something worthwhile later on than the colourless automation who is less 'trouble' during childhood. Children should be not coddle too much; the little child's ego finds joy and growth in trying to do things for himself, however stumblingly. Within reason, they should be allowed to make decisions and to choose their own clothes, for as one wise mother said, when questioned about allowing her son of ten choose his own suit at the tailor's: "Dear me, he has to paddle his own canoe in life and the sooner he begins the better." How much better this than to find men of fifty still tied to their mother's apron strings.
confidence can be gained, not by asking for it, but by their discovering that
their parents will always listen sympathetically and without condemnation
because they sincerely desire to help, not to dominate. Happy are the parents
whose children love and reverence them. Love and reverence are not the inborn
right of parents but must be won. Parents should not expect to be "pals"
to the boy or girl; age can never be quite that to youth, nor does youth want
it that way. Youth wants the comforter, the teacher, the guide, ready to sympathize,
ready to help, serene and understanding always. How much finer this relationship
than that of a "pal". How lovely is youth, yet old age can be very
lovely, too; the one is the complement of the other. The birth of a soul into
incarnation is a long process, and is not reached completely for many years
after the birth of the body. Here, again, how wonderful is the intuition of
a poet! These truths are beautifully expressed in Wordworth's
Intimations of Immortality:
birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, Who is our home.
Heaven lies about us in our infancy,
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The youth, who daily further from the East
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the man perceives it die away
And fade into the light of common day."
There are some in whom the shining ideals of youth never completely die away, and they are the young at heart, whatever their years. Many a man sneers at the ideals of his youth and says he is "wiser now," but he is not necessarily wiser. He has but laid down the sceptre of his own majesty and abdicated the throne of his own creative and imaginative might. Alas' that men should posses this power and never use it, this kriyashakti of the gods and men.
THE YOGA OF MOTHERHOOD
lieth at the feet of mothers."
THE SACRED NATURE OF CHILDBIRTH
The ancient Indian law-giver, Manu, ordained for the men of his highest caste, the Brahmin, a four-hour meditation beginning at dawn daily. When he was asked what he would ordain for the women, his answer was, "Motherhood is the Yoga of women." This statement of the great sage is born out by occultism and modern medicine.
The famous seer, C.W.Leadbeater, writes that when an ego has had a life as a woman, the heaven-life following it is often found to be longer than in the case of a male incarnation. It is easy to see why. What tremendous unselfishness, tenderness, patience, denial of self, must characterize a true mother. No wonder she has a long heaven-life to follow!
Many women fear childbirth. This is largely the result of wrong teaching and foolish talk. The fear itself contracts the muscles and hinders labour. Dr. Grantly Read, in his book, Childbirth without Fear, writes: "Childbirth is a normal and natural function. Its ultimate reward is out of all proportion to the sacrifices incurred. In the natural law it is the perfection of womanhood in the great design for the continuity of the species. It is the objective of the strongest emotional experiences of human nature. Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware. I have witnessed this so often, and become so profoundly conscious of the inexplicable transfiguration of women at the time of their babies' arrival that I have been led, as usual , to ask: Why this? It is not sentimentality, it is not relief from suffering, it is not simply the satisfaction of accomplishment. It is bigger than all these things. Can it be that the creator intended to draw mothers nearest to Himself at the moment of love's fulfilment? Can it be that it is the natural reward of those who perfect their ultimate purpose in life?"
The doctor's experience can be corroborated by many. More than one woman has declared that the birth of her child, especially the first, produced in them a kind of ecstasy comparable to the ecstatic consciousness of a saint. To them it was, and has always remained, as an "initiation." The Yoga of Motherhood is a very real yoga. It could be said to every true mother, as the Angel said to the Mother of our Lord: "Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb."
Occultism tells us that the process of birth is attended invisibly by certain orders of nature angels or devas, and that at the head of their ascending hierarchy stands one who was once the Mother of our Lord here on earth, the Lady Mary, now become the Mother of the World. all changes in human life are attended on the psychic plane by lovely angelic forms. Beautiful are the Angels of Death; still more beautiful are the Angels of Birth.
THE DIVINE FEMININE
India knows that one aspect of God is the Divine Woman. So her great Trimurti have each His wife, or Shakti, without whom He is utterly powerless. He is the static power, she the dynamic. Thus Brahma, the Creator, has as consort Sarawati, the Hindu Minerva, who is always depicted with the vina because she is the goddess of speech and song, while her husband is the god of creative thought. Vishnu, the god of love, has the Hindu Venus, Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty and joy. And the great Shiva has the lovely Parvati, the "daughter of the Himalayas," the Hindu "Our Lady."
Such lovely types of womanhood are to be seen in India, sometimes among women who cannot read or write but who know by heart the glorious stanzas of their ancient and wonderful literature. Nowhere else in all the world does one see such exquisite grace and beauty as are to be found in the high-caste Indian woman. A brahmin once said with tears in his eyes: "I am a man of forty, I am renowned in law courts as a Vakil with a very fierce tongue, yet not one day have I ever left my home without bowing down to my blessed mother's feet." India has mother-worship, not wife or woman-worship.
Woman is not fundamentally meant to fight in the hurly-burly of the world, to compete in the labour markets, nor to become as nothing but a brain-box. If she only realized where her great and divine powers lie the world could be saved in a few generations. Not that women should not be utterly free, and at liberty, if they so will, to do whatever work in life they choose; but if they had the right and ancient ideals they would in most cases choose that work which they alone can do. No man can do it. His power, compared with a woman's is that of a child. And in their manly hearts they know it, and long unconsciously for the ideal, wise and gracious woman to worship, to give their hearts to, and to come to as a haven of peace and love and understanding. For the husband is after all but a woman's eldest child, and the making of a home does not consists in rich furniture or appointments, but in the brooding spirit of love and patience and forgiveness which forms a veritable shrine of safety. But the one who creates a lovely home is the one who has forgotten herself, whose whole life is a self-abnegation laid at the feet of others. How much more lovely this can be than all the successes, social or political, in the outer world, because it is the service of living, growing souls.
WOMAN'S SUPREME POWER
Here is the true yoga of woman. There could not be a better, more beautiful way of finding God and becoming one with Him. These are the worlds of a great Indian Adept: "Woman's mission is to become the mother of future occultists, of those who will be born without sin. On the elevation of woman the world's redemption and salvation hinge. And not till woman bursts the bonds of her sexual slavery, to which she has ever been subjected, will the world obtain an inkling of what she really is, and her proper place in the economy of nature. The light that will come to the world when it shall discover and really appreciate this vast problem of sex will be like 'the light that never shone on sea or land.' Then the world will have a race of Buddhas and Christs."
To be a good mother is a life-time work and a very hard one. Too often must her mind be dulled by continual contact with very immature ones; too often must she grow weary of the unconscious selfishness of all small children. But when her sons grow to manhood what reward is hers! Her heart is full, ripe, still growing, for she has helped God fashion immortal souls. The author of the following lines is unknown, but how true the idea:
partnership with God is Motherhood,
What strength, what purity, what self-control,
What love,what wisdom, should belong to her
Who helps God fashion an immortal soul."
And to grow old as a woman and a mother, how lovely! A wisdom shines from such a face the wisdom of the heart. Not only her own children seek comfort there, but all the lonely, the bewildered, the lost. "Mater Consolatrix" is the lovelist title of Our Lady and of all women. An Irish poet, Joseph Campbell, has put this into very beautiful verse:
a white candle,
In a holy place,
So is the purity
Of an aged face.
Of a winter sun,
So is a woman
With her travail done."
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