OF LIGHT AND THE SECRET OF LOVE
COMPILED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
by FRANZ HARTMANN, M.D.
as published in “Theosophical Siftings” Volume 4
“And God said: Let there be Light: and there was Light.”
IF we take up any of the ancient books of Wisdom: be it the Vedas of the Hindus, the books of Hermes the Egyptian,
the Dhammapada of the Buddhists, the Cabala of the Jews, the Christian Bible, or any of
the secret doctrines, from Zoroaster and Confucius down to the Rosicrucian of the Middle Ages: down to the most
recent expositions made by H. P. Blavatsky, we find it stated most positively that the fundamental principle
of creation, that out of which everything was made, and which is the very foundation of the existence of everything,
of man as well as of gods: is LIGHT. Not that light which belongs to external nature, and which we are capable
to perceive with our physical senses: but a higher kind of light, of which the light in
external nature is only a reflection, comparable to an image in a mirror: but a higher kind of light, such as
can be perceived only by the senses belonging to the spiritual organisation of regenerated man.
In the ancient Vedas this light is described as Daiviprakriti, the Light of the Logos, the Mahachaitanyam of the whole cosmos: a conscious power and energy; whose presence is the condition, sine qua non, of all life, be it upon this planet, or upon others: on the "material" plane, or in eternity. [ See M Subba Row, Discourses on the Bhagavad Gita ]
The centre from which this spiritual Light emanates is the divine Logos: the Iswara of the Hindus; the Jesus of the Christians; the universal Christ, Saviour and Redeemer from darkness and death. There can be no other redeemer from darkness, than the true light: there can be no salvation from death except by the attainment of the true life: there can be no refuge from wrath except within the power of divine love. Being the cause of all consciousness in the world, it cannot be an unconscious force; being the source of all wisdom, it must be Divine Wisdom itself; for the low cannot generate the high: ignorance cannot manifest itself as knowledge: death cannot produce life. Wherever a principle manifests its presence, there that principle must be, before its presence can become manifest. To believe otherwise would be irrational, irreligious and unscientific. [Page 4]
In the Bhagavad Gita this Logos, speaking through the mouth of Krishna says: “The whole of the Cosmos is pervaded by me in my unmanifested form. I am thus the support of all manifested existences: but I am not supported by them...................". “There is nothing superior to me, and all this hangs on me as a row of gems with a string running through them........”.The Mahatmas devoted to Daiviprakriti and knowing me as the imperishable cause of all beings, worship me with their minds concentrated on me........”. “I am the source of all things: the whole universe proceeds from me. Thinking thus, the wise who share my nature, worship me”.
In the Egyptian books of Hermes it is written: “I am that light, the mind, thy God, who am before the moist nature that appeared out of darkness, and that bright lightful Word is the Son of God......" [ “In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God....... All things were made by him (it); and without him (it) not anything was made, that was made. (John i. I ] ....... God and the Father is Light and Life, of which man is made. If therefore thou learn and know thyself to be of the Light and Life, thou shalt again pass into Life...........". “Shining steadfastly upon and around the whole mind, it enlightened all the soul, and loosening it from the bodily senses and motions, it draweth it from the body, and changeth it wholly into the essence of God. For it is possible, Oh son, to be deified while yet it lodgeth in the body of man, if it contemplate the beauty of God".
In Buddhism, the very name “Buddhism" refers to "Light", and a “Buddhist" means a person whose mind is illumined by the Light of Divine Wisdom. Without that interior illumination, one may be a theoretical believer in the doctrines of Gautama Buddha, but he cannot be a real Buddhist, i.e., an enlightened one; as long as he prefers the darkness to the true Light.
If Nirvana were not a state or kingdom of Light, it would not be worth the while to strive for its attainment. Far from being the annihilation which it is supposed to be by some ignorant people, it is a coming into the true eternal life; a life so grand that all sense of personality is lost therein. It is an exchange of a merely human and limited existence for a divine and unlimited one. It is true, as Edwin Arnold says in his Light of Asia, that those who teach that Nirvana is to live, are in error, and do not know “what light shines beyond their broken lamps"; but it is the object of the true Buddhist to know that mysterious light; so that he may surrender his lesser light to it, and attain a higher life in that light; not as a mere personality, but as a divine being, as is expressed in the words of the Bible:“Not I live: but Christ the Light lives in me."
In the Christian religion, if properly understood, this divine Light is [Page 5] worshipped as the Holy Ghost; the Light of the universal Christ, that eternally emanates from the Father and Son. As in the case of Krishna, so through the mouth of Jesus of Nazareth the Logos says: " I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.........". "He who believes in me (meaning he who accepts me, the life) will live; even if he (his personality) were to die.....". "I am the Light of the world", etc. John the apostle., also says: "In him was the light and the life, and the life was (and still is, or ought to be) the light of men". Christ nowhere asserts that anybody can attain immortality outside of him; or to express it in other words: a man cannot become immortal as long as he clings to his own little personality and imagines himself to be something distinct and separated from Christ. If he draws a line of distinction between his own personal existence and that of the universal Christ, and wants to save and preserve the former (as if it were something of great importance to preserve), he puts himself in opposition to Christ, and is then not only not a Christian, but in reality an antichrist. [The Antichrist is he who claims that God is external to this world: so that he (the man) may rule over this world as a god". (Böhme, Three Principles. iv. 22.)] It is not "Mr. Smith" or "Mrs. Jones" who are immortal; but the divine Light of wisdom in them is immortal, and only that portion of them which becomes conscious of being itself that light, will be immortal in it.
If we take a glance at the writings of the mediaeval philosophers, we find the same truth; nor could it be otherwise, for there is only one eternal and universal truth, whose knowledge forms the basis of all sciences and of all religious systems worthy of that name; and everyone who wishes to deserve to be called a "philosopher", which means "a lover of wisdom”, must be in search of that eternal truth.
The Theophrastus Paracelsus tells us that the universe may be compared to a circle, of which the centre is the Father; the radius the Son, who was contained in the father from all eternity; and the substance of Father and Son, the Light and Life of the cosmos, from the incomprehensible centre to the unlimited periphery, is the Holy Ghost; while nature with all her forms is only a thought of God rendered objective and corporified: but which would disappear in a moment, like a reflected image; if the light that causes that image were to cease to be. To Jacob Böhme, the God-taught philosopher, the same truth was revealed. "When the Word in the Verbum Fiat moved, differentiation of matter took place and evolution began". (Mysterium magnum.) "God generates from eternity to eternity His eternal Word and Heart, and the Spirit ignites the bond of Nature and renders it luminous in the Love and the Light of His Heart by the power of the Light". (Three-fold Life, i. 11.) And in the Secret Doctrine we find it stated that the Light is called the "Son" because it is eternally born from a source which is inconceivable and therefore "Darkness" to us. This darkness is the "Father", [Page 6] of whom it is written that none can come to Him, except through the "Son"; and the Son, the Light, is that Light that eternally shineth into the darkness of the material mind: " but the darkness comprehendeth it not".
The darkness not only does not, but it cannot comprehend it: because no principle can realise the nature of anything superior to its own self.
Thus at whatever competent source we may inquire, we will always receive the same answer, namely that this divine Light of the Logos is the foundation of all existence; the only Redeemer from death; the A and O; the beginning and end of evolution; the most manifested thing upon the earth [The nobler a thing is, the commoner it will be; The sun, the heavens and God; what commoner than these three?" J. SCHEFFLER, 1624 ] and nevertheless the greatest of all mysteries; incomprehensible to all beings existing on a lower plane than its own. It is the Shekinah of the Jews, the Sophia of the Gnostics, the Daiviprakriti of the Brahmins, the Fohat of the Buddhists, the Mother of Christ of the real Christians, the Isis of the Egyptians, the spiritual Sunlight of the Parsees, and the only possible reasonable object of worship of everyone aspiring towards eternal life: its source, the divine Iswar or Jesus, or Osiris, Mahavishnu, or by whatever name the divine Logos may be called. It is the only possible, true, and reasonable object of worship for everyone aspiring towards eternal life, no matter to what religious denomination he may belong; or whatever system of thought he may be inclined to follow. Its plane of existence being far above the reach of material science, it cannot be an object of investigation for that science which necessarily deals only with terrestrial illusions, but not with the eternal Reality; or to express it in other words: deals only with the corporeal shadows produced by the reflections of the light: but cannot deal with the Light itself.
But while that which belongs to the eternal Divinity can be no legitimate object of investigation for a time-born physical science; it is the only object worthy the attention of the true occultist.
It is not sufficient that he should merely gather from books information regarding its nature; but he should seek to obtain self-knowledge of it. The true object of every follower of the Path of Light must necessarily be the attainment of that Light itself, and not merely the collection of theories and opinions in regard to its character. An investigator, being satisfied with mere theories, would not be a follower of the Path; but he would resemble a person sitting by the wayside, thinking to where the Path would lead, if he were to follow it. The investigation of such theories, is, as a matter of course, highly recommendable and profitable to the beginner: for unless he is persuaded to believe that such a light exists, he will not [Page 7] think of opening his eyes for the purpose of seeing it; but if he has once arrived at the conviction that there must be such a light, and if he then still persists to remain in his darkness, he will be in the condition of a blind person knowing theoretically all about the chemical action of the sun-rays in nature; but being unable to see the beauties of nature himself.
A merely theoretical knowledge of the higher possibilities of the nobler and better nature in the constitution of man is useless for practical purposes, if this knowledge is not practically applied. Such a mere "science" , without any religion [ “Religion” comes from religere, to bind back. Man originated from the Light of the Logos. and that which binds him back to his divine origin, is not his theories about the nature of that Light; but the possession of that Light itself ] in it, is as useless as it would be for a pauper to know how much money there is in the world. Spiritual progress does not consist in hypotheses in regard to what one might accomplish, but in accomplishing it. Occultism is not a matter of merely knowing or believing, but of being that which one desires to be.
In the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians of the 16th and 17th centuries, the mystery of the Logos and the action of its divine light within all planes of existence; the spiritual, the astral and the terrestrial planes, is fully described and pictorially represented: but for the clear understanding of the mysteries contained in that book, a key is required, such as cannot be furnished by any writer on Occultism; but this key is the recognition of the Light of the Logos itself; such a knowledge as everybody ought to strive to attain. It is impossible for anyone to clearly understand a description of the action of certain principles, if these principles themselves are entirely unknown to him. Thus a book on botany would be perfectly incomprehensible to one who had never seen a plant and did not know that a vegetable kingdom existed. Neither will even a study of the way in which the spiritual light acts within the different organized forms, material or spiritual, enable a man to know the true nature of it, if that Light itself is not living and conscious in him. Thus material science has for thousands of years studied the objects of nature, wherein life is manifest; but of the true nature of Life itself our modern philosophers know a great deal less than did their ancestors among the ancients. All that we truly know of life is that we live, the rest is all conjectures, and inferences, and mystery. A corpse cannot know even that, because it has no life, and a person who has no spark of eternal life in him, is in that respect like a spiritual corpse. He can form no conception of eternal life, because he is not in possession of it.
It is of no use for us to hunt for wisdom in books, if no wisdom exists within our own hearts; but as the looking into a clear mirror will enable us to see what we are externally; in the same sense the reading of a truly [Page 8] religious book, and meditating about the subjects presented, will enable us to grasp the wisdom hidden within our own better nature, and to unfold the germ of divinity contained therein. It is of no use to believe that the Church is in possession of the true light, if we ourselves are in darkness. It is only the Light becoming manifested within myself, and not any outside light of which I can perceive nothing, that can save me from ignorance. It is of no importance to cry: "Lo! The Christ is here!" or "he is there!" if the Christ does not become manifested within ourselves. The true "Lord" is the divine will acting in us; to Him we must obey, if we wish to attain divine wisdom; with "lords" that are strangers to us we are not concerned.
Leaving aside for the present all considerations of the fundamental constitution of "matter" and "spirit" and the tri-unity of all things; there are from our intellectual standpoint two classes of things observable: first there are forms, bodies or organisms; secondly, there are activities or powers, forces or energies, manifested within these forms. The former, we may observe, either by means of our physical senses, or by means of some higher perception; but the latter we cannot perceive with our sight, we can only observe the changes produced by their action.
Thus by means of our physical faculties we can investigate all the visible phenomena of external nature and observe the action of the forces manifested in the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms; the latter including the physical body of man. This is the department of investigation for the followers of natural science, and all that is beyond is to them a sealed book; nor is it of any use for us to invite them to rise higher than their perceptions can go.
But if our astral perceptions are opened, we may by means of these inner senses study the nature of the beings existing on the astral plane; that is to say within the soul of the world. If we are gifted with this unfortunate faculty, we may see the forms of beings existing in the Astral Light and be exposed to the unwelcome contact with Elementals and Elementaries, such as are mentioned in Eastern books and also described in the writings of Paracelsus; [The spirits of the elements, i.e. , the Spirits of Nature, are another class of beings. Of these Jacob Böhme says, “All that lives and exists, has been created for the glorification of God. There are many figurated spirits, having their origin not in the eternal fountain, but in the primitive will; such are the spirits of water, air, earth and fire, especially below the firmament, and the Ascendents, of which there are many and large classes. They are organized beings; but their forms are changeable and their shadows remain. They are not especially pure spirits, and they do not propagate their species, but are produced under certain conditions by the action of nature through the tincture of the upper heavens; the earthly ones having their centre from the lower globe, and the watery ones from the matrix of the water. (Threefold Life , iv. 54.)] but it is well that our faculties for perceiving such forms should not become active, as long as we have not acquired sufficient wisdom to discern their true character. [Page 9]
If spiritual perception has become active by the awakening of spiritual consciousness, one can then consciously live on a plane where he will come into contact with higher beings, Devas or demi-gods, some of which are beneficent while others are malicious, and we may even enter into communion with the souls of human beings existing in Devachan, waiting to become re-incarnated in human forms.
Within all these planes [ It must not be supposed that these planes are divided from each other by locality. The kingdom of heaven is within and not outside of man. Böhme says: The elemental spirit differs from the sidereal one; but they are not separate beings. They dwell one within in the other, like body and soul, but they are not identical. The astral spirit produces its own corpora, and so does the elementary one". (Mysterium Magnum, xi. 19)] and within all the beings living thereon, the one light of divine Love is their life-giving centre and the fountain of all the powers which they possess; but in the gross forms of matter this source is not the direct ray of the light of the Logos, but a secondary or tertiary reflection, having started a new centre of energy in them, comparable to the light of the moon, whose light is not her own; or, if still more removed, comparable to the image of the moonlight, caused by the reflected rays of her borrowed light in a pool of water. Only those beings, in whom the Logos itself has its dwelling, are immortal, because they alone are in possession of the substance of the true light.
Of this divine Centre Jacob Böhme says: "Each animal, plant, or spiritual being has its seed, or germ, or centre, wherefrom it became evolved. Each may be compared to a flame, whose light and life is dependent on the fire at its centre and within its own essence. Each of the three worlds has its centre or fundamental focus of will, and also each individual being. In this centre rests the character of that individual, and from it is evolved the form. The centre of each thing is a spirit, originating from the Word. Its corporeal formation originates from the experience of that will (in previous existences); because the centre of each thing, being a part of the outspoken Word, speaks itself out again and enters into formation, according to the kind and manner of its divine speaking".
"There are two centres; one of Fire, and one of Light. The Fire furnishes soul; the Light Spirit". (Epistles lvii. 9)
The Bhagavad Gita teaches the same truth: "I am the source of all things......... It is the amsa which emanates from me and which is manifested from the beginning of time, that becomes the Jiva in the world of living beings, and attracts the mind and the other five senses which have their basis in Prakriti".
In the Scala Philosophorum Cabalistica Magia of the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians the action of the Light of the Logos on all the planes of existence is graphically described. From the divine Centre we see emanating the angelic threefold power with seven rays; the seven angels with [Page 10] their thrones and dominions. In the chain below, representing the astral plane, we find the representatives of the same powers, issuing from the centre of Nature, as the seven planetary principles. In the next chain these same powers, issuing again from the third centre belonging to the corporified, physical world — but it would necessitate the writing of a whole book, if anyone were to attempt to explain the details of that figure, which represents the secrets of Alchemy. Nor would a theoretical explanation without practical experience be comprehensible to the reader. It is for this reason that these symbols are "secret". [ A clever critic remarks that the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians are now secret no longer, because they can now be bought for a few dollars; but the “secrecy" of these symbols does not consist in their outward appearance having been kept from public view: but in the fact that for their understanding, a higher intelligence than the ordinary mental faculties is required. Their comprehension requires the possession of some of that secret soul-knowledge that belongs to the inner man. This soul-knowledge or wisdom cannot be taught in schools, nor be bought in the book-market; but comes from the Light of Wisdom itself.]
If in some miraculous manner our sight were opened, so as to penetrate all the planes of existence, from the terrestrial shell up to the throne of God within the infinite depths of our soul; we would, for all that, not know the true nature of the divine light; we would only see the forms which it produces. We would know what it appears to be, but we would not know what it really is. Thus, an animal sees the form of a man; but for all that it can form no true conception of human nature. It would have to become Man, before it could know what man is. In the same sense, a man cannot conceive of God; he would have to become a god himself, before he could know what God is. No man can have self-knowledge of anything else except himself. He must be a God before he can know himself to be one.
Is it then impossible for man to know anything real in regard to God, until after billions of ages to come, at the end of the "seventh ring" of the "seventh round" he will have evolved into a god; provided that he succeeds in preserving his individuality so long from falling into the clutches of Evil ?
The answer to this all-important question is: "No! Man may know the divine principle now and at present; even if that principle does not manifest its presence before his eyes; because besides the sense of seeing, man has another and still more reliable faculty, namely, the capacity to feel; to say nothing about the rest of the senses.
I am not aware that there is any "scientist" or "philosopher", however sceptical he may be, who doubts that he has a consciousness and a will power: although he can neither weigh upon the scales nor dissect with a knife nor touch with his fingers either one of these powers. How could anyone know that he has a will power within himself, and how could [Page 11] he cause it to function, if he did not feel himself that there is such a power in him, and how could he feel it, if that power were not something substantial and capable to be perceived by the interior sense of touch? [ Each power is something substantial; if it were not so, it could not act upon “matter". Each power is the manifestation of a principle or “beginning": it cannot be nothing". Böhme calls it an “uprising will" :”Within the will is the impulse for being born. In that impulse or desire is born the fire, and in the fire the light. The light renders the will pleasant, lovely and sweet. In the sweet will is born the power, and of the power the kingdom of glory. Thus the light has the power. If the light becomes extinguished: that is the end of the power and of the kingdom". (Three Principles, viii. 21.)]. If it were a “nothing", how could it function ? If it were the result of the functions of the body, instead of their cause, what could be that which causes the body to function ? But as this paper is not written for bigots or rationalists, we may dispense with entering into the details of such puerile questions. We know that we are and that we are conscious and have the power to will and to live: and we know it because we feel it, and we require no logical proofs and arguments for the purpose of enabling us to make up our minds to believe that it exists. In fact, if we examine our own self, we easily discover that the will power within ourselves is the very foundation of our existence. A person might sooner dispense with his body than with his will; for without the will his body would be a useless thing.
All the sages agree that the Will is the fundamental Power and Essence out of which everything was made. Of course, by this we are not referring to the weak human will, manifested in the “Homo bipex" described in our books on Anthropology; but to the divine, primordial and universal Will, of which the human or animal will is merely a reflection. This divine Principle is the very foundation of consciousness in the All; in its spiritual aspect, as universal unmanifested, absolute consciousness, it is called Parabrahm, while in its material aspect it is called Mulaprakriti by the Hindus, and “primordial matter” by the Alchemists.
In its spiritual aspect as “Parabrahm" it is called “God", but it would be wrong to suppose that this God is some kind of a separate being, having certain faculties, and among others a “will". God is the Unity without any differentiation, and in its material aspect this Unity is the one undifferentiated Element, of which Böhme says: “It is the pure element, wherein our body stood before the Fall, and which is now in the Regeneration. It is the celestial corporeity; which is not merely a spirit wherein the pure Divinity dwells; nor the pure Divinity itself; but it is born out of the essences of the Father". (Three Principles, xxii. 24.) God can therefore not be said to “have” a will; but He is that Will Himself. I also believe, that to call this supreme source of everything "Will", is very proper: for if that Cause had never “willed" to create a world; or, to express it in other words, if the universal Will had not moved for the purpose of creation, there would have been no Creation and no evolution. T. Subba Row in [Page 12] his "Discourses on the Bhagavad Gita", tells us that this First Cause is eternal, having its periods of activity and passivity; i.e., "days and nights of creation”.
The Bible says that the body of God "is the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Ephes. i. 23); that He (in his spiritual aspect) "is greater than All" (John, etc., etc. ) and Jacob Böhme expresses himself as follows: "The first beginning of everything was a will. That will, by conceiving of its own self created a mirror within itself (became relatively conscious). There was nothing besides that will, towards which its impulse could have been directed. It therefore saw within itself as within eternity; it beheld what it is itself and thereby created within itself a mirror". (Forty Questions, i. 13.)
This manifested Will of the unmanifested First Cause is the divine Will, the Word, or Logos, which, comparable to a "two-edged-sword", enters into the world and divides the Light from the Darkness, or Good from Evil. Of this divine Principle every human being receives a spark as a birth-day present from God when he enters the world.
This is the "mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints". (Coloss. i. 26.) The reason why it has been a mystery so long, is because people have looked for God everywhere except in the right place. They have looked for the Christ above the sky, in church edifices, and in the pages of history; but they could not find Him because He was not there. They heard it said a thousand times in the words of the Bible: "Do you not know that you are living temples of God, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling within you?" They did not know it, and therefore they could not believe it; and they could not know it, because one must feel the Spirit of God moving within ourselves, before he can know that there is such a Spirit in him. Thus we must feel the God living within ourselves, before we can have any real knowledge of God; or to express it more correctly, before God in us can know Himself ; for when that divine Self-knowledge enters the soul, the sense of separation and "self" disappears like a fog in the sunshine. Man then ceases to believe himself to be a limited individuality, and assumes the self-consciousness of the divine state. It is not the speculating mind that can know itself to be God; because it is not God. It is the divine Principle itself, beholding its own image within itself. This truth is also expressed in the Bhagavad Gita, for Krishna says: "Those who worship Me with devotion are in Me and I in them". It is a truth known to all the sages in the world, that we cannot truly know any power, if we do not possess it. We would not know what "heat" is, if we did not feel it; we could not know light, if there were no light within ourselves; we cannot [Page 13] know God or Divine Wisdom, unless the Power of God, which is Divine Wisdom, becomes manifested in us.
Therefore to "find God" means to find the Divine. Will in ourselves, and there is no other way of accomplishing this feat, than by suspending the action of our self-conceited self-will, i.e., that will which is deluded by the illusion of the personal self.
Jacob Böhme says: "God breathed a living soul into man, out of the eternal will of the Father, which will has no other object than to eternally give birth to His Son. Man's eternal soul is to put her regenerated will into the eternal will of the Father, into the heart of God. Then will she receive the power of the heart (the centre of energy, the Logos) of God and also His eternal Light, wherein arises the paradise, heaven and eternal joy. In this power the soul can permeate everything without breaking anything. and be powerful in everything like God Himself; for she then lives in the power of the heart of God, and is born out of His Word." (Three Principles, xxii. 16.) He also says: " Salvation does not depend upon anybody's views, opinions or science, and not upon a belief in history, but upon good will and well doing. The will in us takes us to God, and can carry us to the devil. It does not depend upon your being called a "Christian"; there is no redemption in that. "A heathen" or a Turk are as near to God as one who is called a "Christian." If you are possessed by a false will, you are then outside of God; but if you put your will in God and desire Him earnestly: you will then receive Him in your will, and you will be born to Him in your will: for the whole world has been produced by will, and in the will is all our living and being". (Threefold Life, vi. 21.)
Now the question arises: What is this all-powerful will in its divine aspect, and the unanimous answer of all who have attained knowledge of the divine will in its godlike aspect, is that it is LOVE. It is not "charity", neither is it "altruism". These terms refer to certain kind sentiments between one egotistic being and others of a similar kind; but divine Love knows of no "self" and no differentiation. In divine Love all are one; there is no "other", and there can therefore be no room for merely "feeling kind towards another". A man may be very charitable and give away his fortune to the poor: but it is still Mr. So-and-So who is doing it, and not God in him. Love, i.e., God, has no part in his charity. It would be as absurd to speak of a "charitable" God, as it would be to speak of a "moral" God. To do so would imply that God is not the All, and that there exist beings outside of Him towards whom He could exercise charity or let it alone. Charity is based upon a personal sentiment ; altruism is the product of a system of thought, and not a divine Power. We can truly say: "God is Love", but it would be absurd to say: "God is altruism". [Page 14]
"Ye know God but as Lord; hence Lord His name with ye,
I feel Him but as Love; hence Love His name with me."
But if our love is to be worth anything, it must not be "our" personal
love that impels us to act; but the Love of God acting within us. Man's self-made love is as much a delusion
as his "self”. It
is merely a fancy or sentiment; but the true divine Love of God is a devouring fire, devouring first of all the
sense of self and separation, dividing a person from the rest of humanity and from the rest of the world.
A selfish love is not only that love which has for its acknowledged object the gratification of some selfish desire; but all loves having their origin in the self-will of man are selfish. There are numerous peoples whose hearts are so full of loves for such and such persons, objects, animals, pets, etc., that there is no room in them for divine and universal Love. They do not know what "divine love" is, because it is they who love, and not God, i.e., the light of Love itself, that loves in and through them. No one can unselfishly love anything as long as he sticks to his conception of self, and imagines that it is he who loves this or that. The "he" must have become not only convinced of his own personal absolute nothingness, but the "I" of the personality must have disappeared from the field of consciousness, before the Love of God can shine and act in and through personal man. Now, what the student of "occult dynamics" should above all, practically know and experience within himself, is the spiritual power of purely divine love, and without that practical knowledge all his occult learning will be worthless in the end. This is also taught in the Bible; for if properly translated it reads: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not Love, I am as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all the mysteries and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not Love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not Love, it profiteth me nothing".
Jacob Böhme says: "Love is the greatest treasure. No kind of life can express it, and no language describe the flaming love of God; it being whiter than the sun and sweeter than anything imaginable; "more powerful than food or drink, and sweeter than all the joys of this world. He who obtains it is richer than all the kings of this earth: nobler than emperors and stronger than all power". (Supersensual Life, 35.)
But such doctrines will neither be believed, nor will they be understood unless a ray of that love which is wisdom, is already shining within the heart of the student; for Divine Love is the most secret thing in the world; it cannot be taught by anybody, if it is not taught by Divine Wisdom itself. [Page 15]
True divine Love is self-existent and self-sufficient ; it is a power wherein exists no distinction of personality; in it exists nothing but Love alone; love, pure and simple. It does not originate from any personalities and has nothing to do with any particular personalities. It cannot therefore involve any partiality; but all persons or objects coming within its divine rays, receive it and enjoy it according to their capacity to receive and enjoy.
In the Bhagavad Gita it says: "I am the same to all beings: I have neither friend nor foe. Even if he whose conduct is wicked worships Me, Me alone, he is to be regarded as a good man; for he is working in the right direction". There can be no other object of divine love or worship than Divine Love itself. Thus the first epistle of St. John teaches us that "we love Him, because He first loved us". In the new version, Revised Version, the "Him" has been left out, because those who made the "correction" thought that we love not only God, but also some other things besides Him. It seems that they did not see that a love to that which is not divine, is not holy and not divine, and not coming from "Him" who is Love within the heart of man; but springing from selfish desire. If we wish to know true love, we must not seek for anything except Him, who has been left out of the Revised Version and who is the only divine principle of Love in the world. Personal affections originate in persons and belong to them; divine Love belongs to God.
Therefore the Khaggavisana Sutta, a sermon delivered by Buddha, says: "Having abandoned the different kinds of desire for child, wife, father, mother, wealth, corn, relations, let him walk alone"..........
In the same sense the Bible says: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind". (Matthew xxii. 37.) If anyone were to follow this commandment there would be not a particle of the love of self left neither in his heart, nor in his soul, nor in his mind; he would become forgetful of his own self and of all sense of differentiation and there would be no need for the second commandment for him, because, embracing the whole world within himself, there could be no "neighbour " in him. The loves of the world belong to the world; divine love belongs to God alone. Therefore it is stated in the Bible, that he who desires to follow Christ, "must leave father and mother, wife and child, and all his possessions". These things belong to self, and no one can leave them in his will and thought and desire, without leaving first of all his own illusive self or sense of egoism. After he has given up that, there will be nothing else for him to renounce, because all these above-mentioned possessions will not exist for him any longer; but if he were to give up all these things and still retain his own worthless self, instead of a God he would be a fool. "To love" means to worship, Krishna says: "I take an [Page 16] interest in the welfare of those men who worship me and think of me alone, with their attention always fixed on me". A man cannot worship God and have his attention always fixed on Him while he is loving and worshipping his little self.
Jacob Böhme says: "The love known in this world is only darkness, if compared with the love of God. I cannot express, compare it with anything, unless with the resurrection of the dead to life. Who can measure that light, who can explain it ? What is unspeakable ?" (Aurora, viii. 92.)......... "Love is greater than God; for where God cannot enter there penetrates love"......... " Love hates egoism. Love possesses heaven and dwells within itself; but egoism rules the world, and also dwells within itself“.Therefore the two are inimical to each other". (Supersensual Life, 27 and 24.)
There is probably nothing so little known in the world and so much misunderstood as the power of true love. The fool who debauches a woman for the purpose of obtaining a few moments of pleasure, thinks that this is "love". The mother who would be willing to destroy the world if she could thereby prevent the loss of her child, thinks that this is true love. The tiger killing a man for the purpose of feeding its young acts from the same impulse, which men call "love". A story is told of a sage who went with a friend to witness a public entertainment, and as they saw the men and women dancing and drinking wine and enjoying themselves, his friend expressed his admiration of how these people loved each other. The sage then requested him to wait and see how it would end, and soon a quarrel arose in the crowd, knives were used, and several persons were stabbed to death.
Merely personal love is only desire. It is the "falling in love" with a form created within the imagination. Böhme says: "That wherein the will-spirit introduces itself by means of the imagination, wherein it expresses itself and which it grasps, therein it forms its own substance; for no spirit can accomplish anything without substance, and if the eternal Unity were not substantial, then everything would be nothing. If that Unity were not a will, then there could be no desire, no power, no word and no expression". (Testaments i. 18.) He who loves merely a person, or an animal, or any other object, without perceiving and loving the divine power therein, loves merely a soulless form, which exists in his own imagination. Such lower forms of love belong to the lower kingdom, but not to the divine man. They are necessary for the lower forms of animal and human existence; but useless for the true nature of man. There can be no Divine Love without Divine Wisdom. To love God, means to love divine wisdom; to love wisdom is to be wise, and therefore the divine Love of God is nothing less than the self-knowledge of God in Man. [Page 17]
"To enter into the love of God" means that the principle of Love in man is becoming illumined by the Light of His Wisdom. It is thereby becoming intelligent and divine; while before it was directed to God, it was a love without Wisdom; a mere sentiment and fancy: acting according to man's instinctive impulses or according to the dictates of his selfish desires and speculations. We cannot love that which we do not feel or know. We cannot love God in any other way than by learning to know His Will. We cannot practically know that Will, without being obedient to it. If we wish to truly know the Will of God: we must rise above the sphere of "self", and let the Will of God be done in us; for it is said that not those who merely say Lord! Lord! are loving God; but those who are doing the Will of the Father in them: and that Will of the Father is that He should become manifested as the Son; i.e., as Love and Wisdom in One.
Love represents fire; and intelligence light. An intelligence without love is heartless, cold and cruel; [ What will it benefit you if you are learned in regard to all things, even in regard to the mystery of the Trinity, and if for want of divine universal love you cannot step out of your self-conceit, and will therefore be rejected ? (Kempis) ] while a love without intelligence is a destructive flame; but the love of God in man and in eternal nature is as inseparable from Divine Wisdom as the light and the heat issuing from a burning flame. To attain the love of God is to attain the knowledge of God; for the two are identical, and constitute divine wisdom. Man can know no other God than the one becoming manifested in him, and therefore divine wisdom in man is identical with divine knowledge of self. The true God who may become manifested in man is only one and universal, and therefore the man in whom he becomes manifest can no longer — as far as his consciousness is concerned — remain a limited being with personal likes and dislikes and self-interests; but the Love of God in him will embrace the whole world, and the Wisdom of God in him will penetrate all mysteries; even the depths of Divinity. [ He who does not feel this divine power of universal Love in his heart does not know God. This Love is the test of all religion. Without this Love there may be dogmas but no knowledge of God. The reason why modern “religion" is becoming a farce, is because its keepers have lost the knowledge of that God who is Love. The love of Love has departed from the churches, and the adulterous love of self has become such a strong power therein, that no reformation is possible. This is what Böhme refers to when he says: “Efforts have been made to transform a whore into a virgin; but her whoredom has only been ornamented and increased thereby". (Mysterium Magnum, xxxvi. 69)]
There are many sciences, but only one principle of knowledge. There are many desires and attractions, but only one supreme love. There are many kinds of manifestation of wisdom, but only one Divine Wisdom, and this divine Wisdom is the self-recognition of God in His aspect as Divine Love: that Love being the Light and the Truth in all. If we wish to attain this one knowledge, we must rise above the labyrinth of opinions and [Page 18] draw from the one fountain of truth; if we wish to attain divine love, we must rise above the many loves, desires, and attractions, to the one fountain of Love. If we wish to attain divine wisdom, we must cease to take cognizance of our terrestrial personality, so that God in us may know Himself in ourselves.
If we consider Wisdom from the point of view of the fourfold division of the principles in the constitution of man, and accordingly compare man to a musical instrument, having four octaves; we find that the one divine melody, existing upon the fourth, produces a living sound, whose echo on the lower octaves becomes differentiated into many multiple sounds. Each sound represents some kind of power, and thus we find on the lowest plane, in the physical body, a great many loves and friendships between the chemical elementary substances that go to make up the physical body of man. There the organs attract to themselves that which they need, and reject what is repulsive to them; but however important these attractions may be on that plane, they cease to be of any importance whatever when we enter the kingdom of mind, where a group of far higher and very different phenomena engage our attention. Thus on the astral plane we find a lot of instincts, and passions, loves and hates, virtues and vices, all of which are of great importance to those who exist on that plane; i.e., to that part of man, which receives its life from the astral plane: but they are of no further use to the divine man, who has risen above it. On the intellectual plane we find an endless number of theories, opinions, inferences, suppositions, conjectures, etc., all of which are very important to man as long as he remains merely a "scientist": but they are not of the least use to him after he has attained the divine wisdom; Self-knowledge in God.
Each of the four octaves of the instrument called "man" constitutes a separate state of existence. Each having its own kind of consciousness: its own memories, its own requirements and necessities: and what may be absolutely necessary on one of these planes, will be absolutely useless on the next. Thus human loves and affections are a necessity of human existence, and they exist, in a refined form, even on the spiritual plane; but the Divinity in Man knows of only one Love, and that Love is its own Divine Wisdom.
Thus the essential difference between pure Divine Love and merely human love is, that the former is directed to the Reality: the latter towards illusions; the one towards the true Man; the others towards the forms in which Humanity is temporarily manifesting itself. The Divinity in man recognises, perceives and loves that universal Principle, which is forming the inner man and also the outward form. It recognises itself to be one with that same universal Soul, that strives for becoming revealed in the bodies of idiots, villains, and animals, just as it does in the form of a saint [Page 19] or a sage, but the loves of men and women know nothing else but the personalities in which that universal Soul strives for expression; they follow its attractions and imagine this to be true love.
What then must the "student of Occultism" do, if he wants to know Divine Love ? He must cease to be merely a curious inquirer, and become a true "lover " of wisdom. He must not merely indulge in theories; but enter into practice. He must not merely think with his brain but pray for the power to feel with his heart. He must rise to a higher plane of existence; not by the power of idle dreams and fancies and sentimentalism, but by the wings of the soul. He must spiritually rise above the world and its illusions and renounce them in his will; and to accomplish this, he must first of all rise above his own human and animal selfhood and enter into the kingdom of God.
How can a man rise above his own self ?
A story is told about a "Baron Münchhausen", who fell into a swamp and pulled himself out of it by taking hold upon the hair at the top of his head. This is of course an impossibility, and it is equally impossible for a man to rise spiritually above his own "self" by the power of that "self”, which is to be conquered. The Bhagavad Gita says: "Self cannot kill self". We cannot overcome self and still remain subject to it. We cannot let go our hold of it, while we continue to cling to it. There is no way for an animal to turn itself into a human being; there is no way for a man to manufacture himself into a god; there is no other Redeemer from spiritual darkness and death, than the Sunlight of Divine Grace; which is the power of Love and Life and Truth, that comes from the kingdom of God.
This divine Grace is not to be found by anybody outside of his own divine state of being. It cannot be obtained by any prayer directed to some man-invented God. It means an entering into a higher state of consciousness, and how could anyone attain it unless it is attained in him ? If we wish to find the true Love and the true Power, we must seek for it at the Fountain; at the divine Centre within our own soul.
The Power which pulls man out of the swamp of his ignorance and sin is the universal power of Divine Wisdom; its Love and its Light: but although this divine Grace is as wide as the world, if it does not become active in man, it cannot be a saviour to him. Only that knowledge which exists in man, and not any knowledge of which he can know nothing, can save him from his own ignorance; only the love, the life, and the light in him, can cause him to love, to live, and to see.
"Within yourself salvation must be found". This means that the redeeming Power of Love is to be found within one’s own higher self: not within the illusive "self " of him who has not yet begun to know the true Life; but within the Divine Centre in him. [Page 20]
The Centre and fountain and source of all Light and Life, Power and Consciousness in the world and in each individual being, is the divine Word. From this centre, the Power or "Fire", arises the Light of Divine Wisdom; the Holy Spirit in eternal Nature; this power or spirit being itself the substance of the Father, made manifest through His Son. From the radiance of this Light in eternal Nature, another centre of power, or light, is formed, giving rise to a more external light, called the "light of nature" or the "Astral light". This again gives rise to a still more external centre of power or light: namely to the source of physical life and light, whose representation we behold in the shape of our visible sun. But these centres are not separated from each other according to locality; they are one within the other; and the Light of the Logos is the innermost of those three; neither should it be supposed that these Centres are confined to the body of our physical sun; they exist in every human being and in every molecule; in every organism and in every atom.
Each corporeal body is a compact and corporified mass of concentrated power or energy; whose latent forces may be awakened by the awakened action of the divine, the spiritual or physical centre within the innermost. "heart" of the form wherein it dwells.
One of the most interesting figures in the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians represents a heart, containing several concentric circles, one within the other; each representing one of the principles; not only in the constitution of man, but in everything; in the cosmos as well as in each atom of matter. The heart is "wide above, and narrow below", to indicate that we should open our hearts to the divine power coming from above, and keep it closed against all that is low. At the top we see the divine Word enter, like a flood of Light; but it then disappears within the material organization, until it reappears as the light in the centre: becoming manifested there in its Triunity of Will, Love and Intelligence.
Thus the divine Harmony from above enters the heart of the true lover of divine Wisdom, and the awakened sound arises from that new centre, penetrating the material principles of the constitution of man: changing the qualities of his physical organization no less than his method of thinking and elevating his mind; thus producing the "Regeneration" of man, and liberating the hidden powers in him: those powers which physical science cannot comprehend; because the principle from which they spring, the power of Love and its secret Fire, are unknown to her. [ If the divine centre of power can be awakened by the Power of the divine Word: and if the physical centre in a seed can be awakened by the power of the physical sun; and cause it to grow into a tree: there is no reason why it should not be possible to awaken the spiritual centre of nature in a physical body by means of the principle of sound. This in fact seems to be the law upon which the Keeley Secret rests; but if sound is to manifest such qualities, it must be endowed with some higher principle, coming from the operator himself; for as an unenlightened person cannot enlighten himself and cause himself to become regenerated without the presence of that Light, which is also the Word: so a physical force cannot be made to manifest any higher manifestation of life, without the action of such a life, coming from a higher than the purely physical plane.] [Page 21]
In the writings of the alchemists it is often stated that men seek for the Philosopher's Stone all over the world, while they might find it within their own house. This means that they are always in search of wisdom in foreign places, in books and in churches, in dogmas, opinions, and creeds; but they never seek it within their own heart, where alone it could become manifest to them, if it were not for the tumult caused by manifold desires and the will-o'-the wisps of delusive images existing therein.
Thus Angelus Silesius wrote: —There are many people engaged all their lives in "doctoring" their souls: while turning their backs to the kingdom of Love and Light. They seek to live according to man-made rules, and to save themselves according to some cleverly constructed plan; but they know nothing about divine Love. Such persons should seek first of all to learn the mystery of true Love. He who has found divine Love, may well say to the moralists what is said in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" to quacks of another kind: "Throw physic to the dogs, I'll none of it"; for he who possesses that love requires no further instructions, and to him who has none of it, no surrogates will answer. A love without wisdom is folly; a morality without Love is hypocrisy; all the "virtues" of man that spring from his egoism are contemptible; all his so-called "knowledge" a delusion in the end. All his personal hopes are deceptive when he enters eternity. Only that which comes from heaven rises to heaven again: only that Love which comes from God in Man can save Humanity.
“Lo! in the silent night a child to God is born,
And all is brought again that e'er was lost or lorn.
Could but thy soul, O man, become a silent night;
God would be born to thee,'and all things set aright."
“Though Christ in Bethlehem a thousand times is born:
If He's not born in thee, thy soul is all forlorn."
But the eternity of which we speak, is not to be found beyond the
sky, nor in a church. The true heaven and the true God are within the interior kingdom of the soul. In that
kingdom alone we can find the true Love, and the true Hope, and the true Faith: the spiritual
powers necessary to overcome the devil of "self". These
are the secret powers hidden in the constitution of man, whose unfolding is the "third object" of
the Theosophical Society, which object is followed out unfortunately by "only a portion" of its members,
but ought to be pursued by everybody.
Of this interior kingdom Jacob Böhme says: "Within myself will be the paradise. All that God the Father has and is, is to appear in me as in His own image. I am to be myself a revelation of the spiritual divine world; [Page 22] and not only I, but all my co-members in the magnificently prepared instrument of God are as strings sounding in the great harmony". (Signatura rerum.13.)
This means that when the Divine Saviour is born in the silent Bethlehem within the soul, there will be no end of interior manifestations of the kingdom of Light in man; for as the speaking of the divine Word, when God said: “Let there be Light", created the universe; causing suns to shine and planets to revolve in their orbits, and nature to open her beauties and clothe herself in magnificence: so will that same divine Word create a new kingdom of wonders in man: if he permits it to repeat the commandment saying: “Let there be Light!" Into this interior kingdom "flesh and blood", meaning the self-will and the illusion of self, cannot enter: it is those illusions, and not the physical body, that must die, before man can enter the realm of Freedom, the kingdom of Peace. The physical body with all its loves, its, tastes, likes and dislikes, opinions and theories, is nothing more than the house which the soul inhabits, and the "storage-battery" from which the spirit draws its power. A soul without self-knowledge is without Light, without Love, and without Wisdom; it cannot even be said to exist, because an existence of which one knows nothing, is no existence; true being begins only with the beginning of the knowledge of self. But he who succeeds in escaping from the illusion of self, and by the power of the divine Light in him succeeds in finding his soul, will have no other desire; for in him will consciously be the Love and the Light, the Wisdom and Power and Glory of God and Eternity.
All this is possible to attain, and has been attained: but no one can attain it by his own personal power. To accomplish it the power for such an accomplishment is required, and this power no person can give to himself : for it is a power that does not belong to man's personality; it belongs to the eternal, universal Word: the Light and the Life of the World. No man can attain it by his "own willing nor running; but by the mercy of God “ (Romans ix., 16). The Grace of God has no favourites: but like the sunlight it is open to all who are willing to enter. This entering into the Grace of Divine Consciousness, into the Light of Divine Wisdom, requires the surrender and sacrifice of the self-will to Divine Love. There are thousands of would-be Christians, repeating every day the words of the Lord's Prayer, saying: “Thy will be done”: but they know not the meaning of these words; neither are they willing that the will of the Father should be accomplished in them. What they usually mean, is that they are willing to permit that the will of some external God, of whose character they know nothing, should be done; provided that they themselves may be permitted to do as they please. But if among these people there were one, who would permit the true Son of God in his heart to speak [Page 23] the words: "Father; Thy will be done!" and if he were actually willing that the will of the Divinity should be accomplished in him; in speaking thus he would already be doing the will of the Father that dwelt in the celestial part of his own divine nature, and God could perform His miracles in and through him. Then would his whole being be filled with the divine power of Love towards All, his mind would become radiant in the Light of Divine Wisdom, and the Holy Spirit would show him the Truth and endow him with eternal Life.
The seven great sages, and likewise the four ancient Manus, whose descendants are (all) these people in the world, were all born from my mind (partaking) of my powers. Whoever correctly knows these powers and emanations of mine, becomes possessed of devotion free from indecision; of this (there is) no doubt. The wise, full of love, worship me, believing that I am the origin of all, and that all, moves on through me. (Placing their) minds on me, offering (their) lives to me, instructing each other, and speaking about me, they are always contented and happy. To these, who are constantly devoted, and who worship with love, I give that knowledge by which they attain to me. And remaining in their hearts, I destroy, with the brilliant lamp of knowledge, the darkness born of ignorance in such (men) only, out of compassion for them.
BHAGVAD GITA, Chapter 10
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