MAN: A PILGRIM GOD
by GEOFFREY HODSON
From Man the Triune God
Evolving man dwelling upon earth pursues his studies ever deeper into the interior regions of his own nature. He pieces through the illusion of separated form and sees the One Life; he breaks up material substance and finds the One Force. Plunging still deeper into the abstruse science of the Spirit, he discovers behind both Life and Force that eternal motion from which they spring. In his long and arduous search he breaks through the boundaries of the solar fields in which his earthly self is manifest and enters into the universe of which it is a part. From the universe he wins free of the cosmic whole, for his awakened will, one with the Will Divine, knows no obstacle within the realms in which he is made manifest. Then at last, beyond and yet within the boundaries of his cosmos, he finds himself, the triune God, the dweller in the realm of everlasting light.
The seed of omniscience, which slept in him from the first, now comes to full flower. He contacts within himself the principle of eternal motion and learns to wield its product, cosmic force. In worlds below his thought is now illumined, his knowledge is profound. No secret in all the realms of being may be hidden from his mind. He identifies himself with manifested life, knows it as he knows himself, and thus omniscience is won.
The secret processes of Nature now are known by hi. He understands the birth of jewel and of sun, the germination of the seed of plant, of animal, of man. He sees the myriads of the Angelic Hosts and comprehends Their function in the scheme of being. The geometry of life as manifest in cosmos, in universe, in system and in sum, as in the atom which contains the whole in miniature- all this is now revealed to him. Seeing the whole, he becomes a God of knowledge by virtue of his knowledge of God. No longer does he seek true knowledge from without, no more does he need to observe external forms or processes. He turns within, dwelling in that world of divine thought wherein all knowledge lies.
A giant of intelligence, he now reveals himself to the few. Did he choose to show forth his powers, he would walk among men a veritable God of knowledge and of power. Yet he veils his light lest its radiance should dazzle the eyes of men, lest the vision of another’s truth should blind them to the truth within themselves. He draws within the circle of his illumination those whose eyes are fixed upon eternal truth, those who seek the ultimate goal and in whom the Self transcendent has begun in some measure to shine forth. He becomes their teacher, they his students, in the Temple of Eternal Truth.
None may enter those sacred precincts save those who, through many lives of searching without, have learned at last to look within; who, deluded through centuries by separated forms, begin at last to see the One Life. They, and they alone, can be safely led to those spiritual heights from which the swinging of the pendulum may be observed. No one who clings solely to matter for support may behold eternal motion’s mighty waves lest, possessing naught but an illusion on which to hold, he be swept up by them and lost in the limitless immensity of being. No one who still things himself a separated form may see the One Life face to face.
So must they qualify who would enter that Temple of Truth which has existed throughout all ages; yet its doors are open wide. None guard the entrances. The great stairways extend downwards into the worlds wherein are lived the daily lives of men, nor are they too steep for any man to climb. Through the Temple has stood for countless centuries, though the stairways reach downwards into every land on earth, few indeed are they who have discovered them, while millions daily pass them by, too blinded by self-seeking and self-thought to perceive the stairway leading to the door.
Many men are seeking power, many seek to know, but few pursue that wisdom by which alone success may crown the search. Because of his innate triplicity, man may not discover truth unless his search is threefold also. All men have within themselves the germs of cosmic knowledge, cosmic power and cosmic love. Between the eternal Self-transcendent and the transit earthly self there is a triple bond of knowledge, power and love.
Man cannot win spiritual power or knowledge without their eternal complement, spiritual wisdom, which in the earthly man manifests as love. Without that essential third all search will be in vain. The altar of truth cannot be approached unless the heart is full of love; for love springs from compassion, compassion from intuitive vision of unity, and by intuition alone may divine knowledge and divine power be grasped and divine truth be perceived.
These aspects of his triune Godhead may be made manifest by man at will. He must learn the science of their release and practice the art of their employment.
The power which he seeks reside within the God which is his highest Self; therefore he first must know that God. To that end he must know as lower self the man of action, of feeling and of thought; must realize his higher Self as man of will, of wisdom and of knowledge. Then from the knowledge of his triple Higher Self he may pass into the knowledge of himself as God omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
The starting point for all his studies, therefore, is his daily life, which must be perfected. He must free himself from the great illusion of the external world in which he lives, must pierce the veil of that illusion, until he sees that what his fellow men deem real is but the vaguest unreality. When the real has been discovered amid the unreal, his daily life must be ordered in the light of that discovery.
The first great change occurs in the motive by which his actions are inspired. That change is radical. He ceases entirely to judge the worth of action and event by its value to himself, by the increase of happiness and material possessions which it brings. He learns to see in every man the evolving God which he is seeking in himself and, having seen, he serves that God. He comes to know the body as the transient and illusory covering which hides the God from view. He learns to meet and to deal with all men as God should meet and deal with God.
The hand so long outstretched to grasp or to repel is now held forth to give and to protect. The brain which planned the day’s activities to the end of increased material success now mediates upon the task of stewardship, and the proper use of all that has been gained.
He sees his home as the solar system over which, with great beneficence, he rules; his town as a universe, himself its sun, giver of life and light, a never-failing source of power and love. He looks upon his nation as a God regards the cosmos in which His labours are performed, namely as living organism, each human cell an embryonic God.
His growing powers, increasing wisdom and wider knowledge are not employed for the exploitation of those less favoured than himself, nor to gain wealth, fame and domination; for he learns that these are shadows, parts of the great illusion whose unconscious victim he hitherto has been. Now freed, his growing powers are used but to widen the sphere of his usefulness, to relieve the sick, the suffering and the sad, to uplift the downtrodden, to spread happiness abroad, to shine in increasing measure with the glory of his transcendent Self, the triune God Which is within.
Each of his triple attributes must now be equally employed, for he learns that power exerted without wisdom does not avail; love poured forth without knowledge and discrimination brings sorrow in its train; knowledge may give power, but is barren unless employed with love. Thus power, love and knowledge are as shining jewels in the crown of glory which now adorns his brow. Self-knowledge now is his, won by the discover of the Self.
RULER, SCIENTIST AND PRIEST
The long ages of his evolutionary past must form the subject of deep study by one who would discover and release the powers of his transcendent Self. To understand his present, to fulfil the promise of the future, he must know in some measure the story of the past. That story is imprinted in its entirety upon that vehicle of consciousness which persists from life to life, the Immortal Principle wherein are stored all the products of his age-long pilgrimage. His growing powers enable him to tap that perfect memory of his higher Self, and so to read the story of his many lives. Thus he studies his innate capacities, the instincts, intuitions and natural abilities with which he was born.
These are the expression, in terms of action, of feeling and of thought, of the faculties which have resulted from the past. He sees in himself, perchance, a tendency to achieve his ends by the power of his will. He finds himself a leader of his fellow men.
He seeks within for the cause of this phenomenon, this tendency to achieve all things by the force of will. He finds that in his many earlier lives he has been possess of temporal power. He seems himself as lord of many a savage tribe, and later as overseer, as captain of the armies of a greater lord, as leader of great expeditions and immigrations, as explorer, soldier, viceroy, king. He learns that in those many lives, the God within was seeking to express omnipotence; that gleams from the light of his transcendent Self shone though them and gave him the power to rule and to lead his fellow men.
The knowledge gained upon the Path which leads to the Temple of Truth tells him that power alone is of little worth. He beings to guard his actions, lest by the use of will alone he injure instead of heal, hurt instead of help, override rather than inspire. He seeks immediately to soften the harshness of his actions and decisions, and deliberately to enkindle within himself a love which shall be commensurate with his growing power. If need be, he will seek for lives when he was feminine and omnipresence expressed itself as tenderness, as compassion, as love, as wifely and maternal care.
Thus, studying himself, he notes his powers and deficiencies. He labours to perfect the powers and to remedy the deficiencies. If still unloving, or if love is second always to the will, then he will meditate on love and, Theseus-like, will guide himself by the thread of life which links him with the omnipresent God. One with the love of God, he will share the beauty and the meaning of the ever-open heart, and in his daily life will seek to emulate that sun, which is the earthly symbol of his omnipresent Self. He will associate deliberately with those in need, with every form of suffering and want, and shed on all the rays of his beneficence. In his own home he will be heart as well as head; he will pour forth light and love and tenderness, and will use his power to lead, to inspire and to protect rather than to rule and to overawe With will thus tempered and restrained, he enters the Temple of Truth by virtue of the omnipotence of the Self within.
The aspirant may find himself a scientist, a man who tends to plunge into the abstruse mysteries of Nature and of life; who seeks knowledge and yet perchance neglects his service to his family and state; who, when a secret force is found or a new principle discovered, instantly protects it so that he may gather in the greatest gain entirely for himself. Seeking now the highest truth, he will correct these errors and order all his actions according to the light shining above the altar of the Temple of Truth.
He will learn to recognize the unity behind the manifold diversity of men; to see the whole of humanity as compose of Gods, even as himself, not to be exploited but served. He will begin to realize the true function of the scientist in the service of the state and of the world. He will cease henceforth to probe the mysteries of Nature for individual gain; he will study but to give.
When this great change has been made will at last be able to win true knowledge, for Nature then will recognize his right to know her secret lore. Knowing now that knowledge by itself is worthless, that power used for selfish ends, may constitute the gravest danger to the human Soul, he deliberately fill his life with love. For love wedded to knowledge produces wisdom, which is the heart of all science and the light by which alone truth may be perceived.
He will read his earlier lives, too, and find therein the source of his present genius, will watch there the birth and gradual development of his love for knowledge. He will find himself in olden times as theurgist, soothsayer and astrologer, as alchemist and astronomer, as scientist and engineer. He will live again his lives in ancient lands, when he employed the powers of Nature to build the temples and the pyramids which still exist as monuments to the science of those ancient days. He will see himself as hermit and as monk, mayhap as sorcerer and student of magic in its many forms, sometimes coming to disaster and learning much therefrom, conscious always of a steadily increasing thirst for truth and a greater aptitude for science.
Thus the man of science seeks to discover and to remedy deficiencies; to fill his life with deeds of selfless love and altruism; to put at the service of the world his growing knowledge and the power which it gives. As an aspirant to truth, it will now become impossible for him to make his secret processes a means of self-aggrandizement and the acquisition of possessions. He pierces the great illusion of the material world and knows all the objects which men hold worthy of desire as worthless, transient as a mirage. Should he grasp them even for a moment, he will become enmeshed in the web of the great delusion from which now it is his purpose to emancipate the world.
He seeks, therefore, those awards which shall be more permanent. He knows that the just reward of knowledge used to serve is more knowledge, and wider fields in which to serve. Amid the transient he seeks the eternal, knowing that the real things are invisible, that all that is visible is unreal. Surrounded by physically generated energies, the supply of which can only be maintained by artificial means, he seeks that power which increases as it is employed, that light which shines more brightly as its splendour is revealed, that life which flows forth with increasing abundance as it is employed to nourish and sustain. He turns continually to the invisible, investigates the many hidden worlds and their inhabitants which, though physically ghostly and unreal, are far more permanent than the temporal world in which he hitherto has lived.
In this great search for truth he becomes conscious of an inner guidance and of teachers wiser, far, than he. Soon he discovers that the mighty Guardians of the Race are guiding him; that the angel agents of all natural powers recognize him as their friend, lay bare before him their special knowledge of the universal Life which permeate the ephemeral shadow world in which he lives. Thus guided by those Great Ones Who have gone before, and illumined by his own awakening omniscient, he passes through the door of knowledge into the Temple of Truth.
His brother aspirants, the priest, the healers and the philanthropists, will find their entrance through the door of love. Already they have learnt to serve and have begun to glimpse the splendour of the path of love. The love of God is already born in them; it shall grown into full stature and make them saviours of the world. Their lesson is to leave behind love limited to individuals, for this prevents the expression in their lives of universal love. All men must be to them as are their firstborn sons. Such love knows no distinctions, sees no barriers of family relationship, of race or of colour, knows nought of differences of sex.
The love of him who saves the world seeks nothing in return; it asks not even for an answering love. It pours forth continuously through the opened heart of the lover of mankind. Heedless of all refusals, undaunted by the selfishness of men, seeking neither to embrace nor to hold, he lives but to illumine and to save.
He who would thread the lover’s path to God must be passion-free, must emancipate himself from the dominion of desire. The faintest trace of lust, of passion, of sexual desire, will sully all his love and make it an unworthy offering on the altar of the God of Love. Therefore he must work to purify his Soul till it shines with the bright splendour of the sun which is his Archetype, the model upon which his live of service must be built. If he would serve as priest of love to men, the chalice of his Soul must be of a pure and exquisite translucency.
If, too, he seeks in earlier lives for understanding of the present and guidance for the future, he will find himself as priest in many an ancient land, as hierophant in the Temples of the Ancient Mysteries, as vestal virgin, sibyl, soothsayer and seer. In the great civilizations of long ago he will find himself as monk, as travelling preacher and healer, as loving friend of the poor, and as God’s messenger to man.
Perchance he will observe that his high ideal of love has been many times betrayed. He will see the need of intellect to guide, the expression of his love, of will for the transmutation of desire. He will recall the ancient lore and knowledge of the healing art. He will learn again to use the Life-force in his own body, and the properties of plant and herb, to heal the sick. He will heal by the power of the love of God, by means of natural energies, and by the assistance of the Angelic Hosts. Studying the past, he will see the power of religion in its early days when all its priest and servants still shone with the Light they saw within the Founder’s eyes, still bore the power which they had received from Him. He will restore the ancient sacramental art of healing and uplifting by the laying on of hands.
These many threads of his past lives he will gather up again and weave into a new design which shall display the beauties of the purest and most perfect love. He will strive to increase the potency of love by evoking from within himself, and blending with his love, the power of his divine omniscience and omnipotence. All his labours will be irradiated by the inexhaustible outpouring of his love. The omnipresent God will send down from on high His light and life, will widen the channels of its flow until His representative on earth seems more than mortal man, living as a veritable God of love.
Within these three main paths of knowledge, power and love are many lesser paths, all leading to the selfsame goal. Through these three doors there is a way for all into the Temple of Truth. The way is barred to none, the doors are never closed. The only barriers which exist are within man’s self; no hand can strike them down save his who built them up. The delusion of the separated self; the desire for personal gain; the craving for power and position, for pride of place, of race, of possession; lust and cruelty; these are the barriers which one by one must be cast down ere man may climb the steps leading to the doorway of the Temple of Eternal Truth.
A nation’s standing in the eyes of the Spiritual Guardians of mankind is measured not by the value of its possessions, the many lands which it has conquered, or by any physical achievements, but by the number of its sons who have found and trodden the pathway leading to Eternal Truth. All other honours pertain but to the nation’s separated self, to the realm of the unreal. Physical power and prosperity may even lower the value of a nation as an agent for the fulfilment of its highest destiny. He who would exalt his nation’s honour, remove the evils of its civilization, and make his people’s name great upon the earth, should turn to the transcendent Self within and from thence release the powers by means of which alone those ideals may be realized. He must purify and perfect his earthly self, must find his way in the Temple of Truth, before he can truly be a leader, guide and teacher of his race.
Those who thus have laboured, and by self-restraint, self-training and service have won the right to power, to knowledge and to love, comprise the true aristocracy of the God within them, not from the mere ‘accident’ of noble birth. They win their rank by intensity of effort, self-sacrifice and spiritual worthiness; their reward does not consists of social precedence or of any earthly fame. They are rewarded by the gift of greater power, deeper love, wider knowledge, with which to serve their nation and their race.
Unimagined spiritual treasurers await those who will tread this upward path. Undreamed-of glory awaits the nation which embraces and expresses high ideals and sets a spiritual standard to which all other nations may aspire. Its peoples shall become the leaders of the human race. They shall rule by virtue of their spiritual power, and to them shall be born splendid sons and daughters, great beings who by their lives and leadership shall exalt the whole race of man.
The foremost nations of the world approach the point in their evolution when the spiritual power which, unperceived, has guided and supported them must now begin to shine forth in their nation’s life and in their international relationships. The national transcendent Self must also be made manifest. Humanity as a whole must one day tread that road which now is trodden only by its foremost sons. A nation’s true wealth consists of the spiritual power of every member of the national community.
In the land of everlasting light, the transcendent cosmic Selves of those who earthly bodies constitute a nation or a race commune continually for the welfare and more rapid growth both of their lower representatives, the earthly men, and of the nation from which their earthly nurture and protection are derived. They seek to pour down an ever richer measure of the light, the power and the splendour which is theirs; to inspire their nation with their all-embracing vision of the beauty and the purpose of manifested life.
In ancient days the noblest nations of the world consulted and were guide by their Gods. Their rulers and their aristocracy were self-illumined men, through whom the wisdom of the God enthroned on high shone forth and was a beacon light to guide their nations through the stormy sea of life. Hosts of bright angels served the high Gods as messengers, served their earthly counterparts as companions, inspirers and guides. In those days men lived the godly life, knew the power of the God within, dreamed of the splendour of their own immortal Godhead, caught, and in their lives and works portrayed, the vision of the never-fading glory of the land of everlasting light.
Throughout millennia of centuries, nation after nation arising on the earth has lifted the human race to the highest pinnacle of spiritual and physical development attainable in the age to which the race belonged. Thus, in later days arose India, Egypt and Babylon. Then followed Greece, the light of whose divinity found a clear reflection in that Rome which was the mistress of her world in the days when she was God-inspired and divinely led.
To her dominions came the Christ, transcendent Love incarnate upon earth. Then darkness fell, as if the life-bearing pendulum had paused in its age-long and eternal swing; but now at last, amid the darkness, dawn appears. The dwellers in the land of eternal light know that the pendulum swings on from age to age, bearing with it resistlessly men and suns, systems, universes and cosmos. They see the dawning of a fairer day; they know that soon another nation shall arise in which the God shall once more rule and whose ministers, guided by the light of spiritual knowledge, shall lead their nation to greater evolutionary heights. Soon the day must dawn when humanity shall recognize the light of that divine wisdom which alone is the patent of nobility and bestows the authority to rule.
In days of old the Gods were the helpers of mankind. Glorified and saintly ones came from far-distant worlds and gave to men the lordly wisdom to which, unaided, they could not yet attain. In those olden days the earthly representatives of man the cosmic God dwelt in darkness, knowing nothing of the mighty power, the wisdom and the love which are truly theirs in their transcendent Selves.
Long ages now have passed. The outer Gods have been withdrawn in order that mankind may learn the rule and power of the God within and, learning, pay homage to that rule. The listening ears of the nations of the world even now begin to hear the voice of the Inner Ruler Immortal, for the transcendent Selves of men are sending down their power and their wisdom from the land of everlasting light into the outer realms of being. Earthly man begins to feel the tremor of that power, to perceive the awakening deep within himself of that higher reason from which, one day, wisdom will be born.
At last, after the passage of long ages, the Spiritual Self in man begins to shine forth; but not in every man. Small groups and isolated men, scattered widely over the earth, begin to hear the inner voice and to see the inner light. These strive to awaken the nations so that, God-guided, they may learn to live and rule in peace, and their people may be lifted towards those spiritual heights which it is their destiny to climb.
Yet still a yawning chasm separates the immortal Gods seated on high from their earthly counterparts. The Gods bend all their mighty powers to bridge the gulf. Man, too, must reach upwards and inwards into his immortal Self and clasp the hand of his own divinity, for thus alone may the great gulf be bridge. The bridge once built, the mind, brain and heart of earthly man will be illumined; power, wisdom and knowledge will be his. He will become a saviour of his nation and, later, a saviour of mankind.
He who thus would serve his fellowmen; he who, filled with anguish for their suffering and their woes, would heal their wounds and make them glad; he who would banish ugliness from the surroundings of the poor and give them the freedom of the woods and fields, pure air, bright sunshine and fresh food; he who would cure the sick and, healing all their pains, lead them to a new life of health and happiness; he would drive away all evil from his nation, and the world; he who would banish deceit, self-seeking, craftiness, and cruel cunning, with all their dread results upon the lives of those who fall beneath their power; he who would make his nation beautiful, a fit dwelling-place for God-illumined men; he who would see flowers of immortal loveliness blooming in the dark lives of those crushed down by need and by labour without hope, and would bring within their reach the joys of art and beauty, refinement, self-culture and high endeavour, where now are ugliness, self-indulgence and vice- let him first realize that these changes cannot be produced by an external power alone, however great, by any legislation, however wise; by any service to the form, however full of deep self-sacrifice. These are but the accompaniments and the necessary active expression of that hidden force for good which lies within both reformer and reformed.
The power by which alone the gulf between the spiritual and the earthly man may be bridged lies within. The reformer first must bridge that gulf within himself; he must be illumined by the light of his own divinity; for not till then may he help his brother man to bridge the gulf which he himself has crossed. Once bridged, the light beyond will shine through him in to his nation’s life, darkness will be banished and ugliness will disappear.
The world’s need is very great. Great, too, is man’s opportunity; for all the liberated Ones, the Saviours of humanity, are pouring forth Their light and power for the illumination of a darkened world. Many bridges have been built, many now are in the building, many more will yet arise. In the far future the nations themselves will become the bridge from earth to heaven, and the spiritual and the earthly Selves will be one. Until that time shall come the need is great, the labourers are few. Men must arise from every side who will perceive the gulf and begin to build the bridge.
The successful building of the bridge, both individual and national demands the exercise of will. By will alone the restless activity of the mind, the surging passions and emotions of the heart and the potent forces of the body may be controlled. The root powers of which each of these aspects of the earthly man are composed must be mastered and their energies directed inwards towards the Spiritual Self. Their energies thus mastered, the vehicles of thought, of feeling and of action may be used for the building of the bridge. To this end the mind must be harmonized and still, the emotions calm and pure and the bodily expression expert and rhythmical. All strain of mind, of feeling and of body must be replaced by equipoise and ease.
To achieve this self-mastery man must evoke and use his powers of spiritual will; for by will alone may be achieved that stillness which is essential to expert self-expression in the mental, the emotional and the physical worlds. Unless the mind itself is still, power is dissipated and higher vision is blurred. As the image of the sun, falling upon the wind-swept surface of a pool, is split into a thousand images, none of which is true, so is the image of the Spiritual Self distorted by an unquiet mind. Therefore the aspirant must practice quietude, passing many hours in contemplation of the equipoise of God; he must find that peace unshakeable which is beyond all motion and all sound. Then may he enter the hall of silence which is the antechamber of the Temple of Truth. There he will learn those lessons which silence alone can teach; for he must acquire the virtue of silence ere he may be entrusted with the potent knowledge which shall be his when his noviciate is passed. He must blend internal stillness with external silence and perfect self-restraint.
Deep sunk in contemplation of the silence behind all earthly sound, of the darkness behind all earthly light, a sound will break the silence in which his Soul is plunged, a light will steal across his darkened vision. Still undisturbed and still unmoved, a voice of surpassing sweetness will fall upon his inner ear and his Soul will be illumined by a vision of immortal loveliness. Its light will illumine the path by which he may pass through the ever open doorway into the Temple of Eternal Truth, will guide him to the altar, where at last he will hear the voice of his own immortal Self. Power then will arise within him, giving him strength and equipoise in the realms which he has newly won and enabling him to penetrate still deeper into the world of spiritual light where dwells the transcendent Self.
Thus awakened and illumined, he will review the problems, the sorrows, the doubts and diverse difficulties of the millions dwelling in the darkness of the world below. As he meditates, the light of wisdom will illumine him. With clear vision and unclouded mind he will perceive the causes of the sorrows of mankind and their cures. Even though as yet he sees but faintly the power and the splendour of the immortal Self of man, he knows with utter certitude that they are all-sufficient for the support and guidance of the earthly man; that where they are manifest no evil can resist their power, no darkness withstand their blazing light.
Self-illumined now, he studies the collective mind of man, sees the mental body of the world. He gazes upon it as a watcher, safe on land, surveys the restless, troubled sea, the foaming breakers, the storm-rocked coast, with heavens darkened overhead and ocean troubled from below. He sees both the splendour of the light above and the profundity of the darkness of the earth below. He sees that the many minds of man are but one world-mind; that the thoughts of one affects the whole; that a mental tumult in a nation or a man disturbs the equanimity of every nation and of very man. He sees the places in the world where there is mental peace, he also sees the gathering storms upon the distant horizon of the mental world. The dark clouds gather, lightnings flash, the thunder rolls, jagged streaks of flame play across the sea of human mind, inflaming and exciting as they play.
He sees an area in which all the mental ocean is a maelstrom whirling round a central point, a place where all the waves turn in upon themselves. He sees the circle widen, as league upon league of sea become involved and thousands of men are swept into the mental swirl. Looking down, he sees a nation on the earth below wholly concentrated upon itself, sublimely ignorant of the mental unity of man and seeking to absorb the powers and possessions of another for itself. He sees within the nation’s ranks self-seeking man, oblivious of the laws of brotherhood, contributing to the darkness and the maelstrom in the mental world. He sees a nation deep sunk in gross materialism, denying the divinity of man.
Sometimes it seems as if the restless waves would grown more peaceful of themselves, as if within them dwells and influence of calm, but as the turmoil appears to cease a sudden rumbling from the earth below disturbs the process of becoming still, once again great waves are flung on high, and where peace hovered, about to descend, the storms break out anew, and all the manifold disturbances are redoubled and increased.
Yet even amid the storms, the maelstroms and the dark clouds, bright lights are shining. The neophyte sees great men, seers, saints, wise rulers and philanthropists, and those who, like himself, have won their way into the Temple of Truth. He also sees clear mental skies under which are happy nations, still primitive and as yet untutored in worldly ways, unstained by doctrines of doubt and selfishness, conscious still of family and tribal love.
In yet another region of the mental world the glowing splendour of the spiritual sun shines full and fair and is mirrored with exactitude, for there is perfect peace on earth below. Here dwell the Holy Ones, the Hierophants of Truth, the Priests and Guardians of Its Temple, the Mediators through Whose translucency the light of the transcendent Self shines forth in all its glorious perfection. Here great hosts of angels pass and repass, robed in light, singing songs of joy, shining with myriad hues. They gather in vast companies around the Holy Ones and serve Them in Their labours for mankind. Continually they seeks to pierce the darkness, to drive away the storm clouds, to still the waves and stay the maelstrom’s awful spin. Some plunge, regardless of the lurid flashes and the angry waves, deep into the worlds below, bearing to those who dwell therein a vision of the wondrous light and beauty of the worlds above.
While thus he gazes on the aurs of the nations of the world, observes their mental atmospheres, their failings and their virtues, their future possibilities, their place upon the canvas on which the picture of earth’s humanity is slowly to appear, the neophyte grows in wisdom. He learns to see all men as one, all notions as branches of the human family of God. He recognizes kinship amid diversity, sees that each nation has its colour and its place on the canvas upon which the Supreme Artist paints from age to age. The boundaries which separate the nations of the world are but the tubes in which the paint is stored. Ere the picture may be complete, the colour must come forth and be applied. Thereafter the empty tubes are thrown away.
In the light of this vision of mankind as one, the neophyte becomes a citizen of the world. Though he recognizes kinship and nationality, these serve no more as barriers between him and the world. Thus he liberates himself from the prison walls of blood relationship, of class and of nationality; he knows all men as brethren of the house of God. Thus he attains the vision splendid of the One behind the many and learns to forsake the personal for the national, the national for the international, the international for the universal .He knows all Life as one and indivisible; he knows all form as vehicle for the One. He is illumined by the vision of the Whole; he bows low before the altar of truth, for at last he has seen truth face to face.
Heavenly man and earthly man are now united. The temple is needed no more, for he himself becomes a shrine. He has found the altar of his own Soul. The heavenly communion has been consummated; within his heart the Holy Eucharist is continually performed.
The beam of light and power which links him to the cosmic man in the land of eternal light grows wider and more intensely luminous. Light floods down to illumine and empower him in all his labours in the world below. He becomes an incarnation of the truth, for he has seen the vision of the Whole. The splendour of his vision shines about him,his eyes are filled with its light, he moves with the bearing of a king. His manhood is lifted up into his Godhead, for the power of the God has found release; henceforth he displays the attributes of that divinity which one day will raise him to the level of a solar God.
Liberated from every weakness, emancipated from every limitation, he has won his freedom from sorrow, from separation and from sin. He enters into the kingdom of bliss, of union and of translucent purity. He stands upon the summit of a spiritual mount. His vision of the worlds beneath and of the people of those worlds is perfect; it is the vision of a God Who one day will become the creator of peoples and of worlds. Serene, joyous, invincible and immaculate, he exults in the knowledge of his divinity and of the inexhaustible reservoirs of power which are now at his command. Exalted, illumined, he turns his most compassionate gaze upon the millions of his fellow men who still toil in the worlds below, unconscious of divinity,ignorant of their own power, lost in the maze of earthly life,helpless in the grip of the fate which they have created for themselves. He longs to lead them along the pathway of release, to show the vision of their immortality, to see the light of divinity shine forth, from their sorrow-laden eyes.
He stretches forth his hands in blessings; great floods of power pass downwards to the worlds below. Filled with intense and deep compassion, he turns once more to the world of men which he left as a suppliant, and to which he now returns with power to save. Still he broods upon his vision of the collective mind of man. He sees the everlasting light above, the transient darkness beneath, the restless human mind between. Thereafter he shares increasingly the age-long labours of the Hierophants of truth; he becomes a builder of the bridge across which earthly man will pass to knowledge of union with his own transcendent Self.
THE WAY OF RELEASE
The daily life of man on earth is far removed from the eternal life of his cosmic spiritual counterpart. As man treads the winding road which leads him to the stars, the eternal and the daily are gradually becoming unified. The light of the eternal will one day perfectly illumine the darkness of the world of days and hours.
The duration of eternity and the knowledge of the ever present now are lost as man descends into the dominions ruled by time. Man must therefore conquer time, must find the pathway of escape from all its limitations, must free himself from the illusion of the separated periods of past, present and future, learning to live in the eternal now. Freed from time, he will also be free from every limitation to which incarnation in the matter of the lower worlds has forced him to submit.
The way of release is found by the deliberate withdrawal of the consciousness away from the lower worlds of action and of form, and its gradual establishment in the higher worlds of pure being and of formlessness. The battle of life is far more easily decided in favour of the evolving God by a process of withdrawal of the human consciousness away from the field of action than by the concentration of spiritual powers and faculties upon the battle and the field. If the aspirant will withdraw the life and consciousness from vice, viciousness will disappear; if he will change the centre of interest from the self incarnate in the flesh to the Self in spiritual worlds, selfishness will disappear: if he will turn all the aspirations and ideals of the Soul towards achievement that shall be eternal, escape from the dominion of time and space will have been achieved. He must fight no longer, but withdraw; crave no longer for personal success and fleeting happiness, but seek only the fulfilment of the plan of God.
Within this simple truth lies the answer to every problem of human life. Failure to perceive and recognize it is the cause of every human sorrow. Sorrow is the great illuminator, for sorrow continuously demonstrates that failure until the truth has been perceived.
This lesson learnt, the neophyte withdraws himself from all these earthly pleasures which hitherto have claimed his life and interest, thereby gaining mastery over the worlds to which they belong. By withdrawing from objects of desire, he wins the mastery of desire itself. The pleasures of the world lose their hold upon him, its sorrows no longer depress him, for he has found the means whereby they may be relived. Though he may feel them deeply, may suffer with the sufferers, yet his heart is full of joy in the knowledge that sufferings belongs to time and space, while the bliss which now is his, and which one day will belong to all, endures throughout eternity.
With this knowledge in his hands as key of joy and pain, of life and death, the earthly man in search of liberation from the woes of life and the imprisonment of time may unlock the doorway of the dispensary of Nature and find the sovereign cure for every human ill; may find the pathway of release and, finding, point the way to all his fellowmen.
As he withdraws from the dominion of the lower worlds he draws nearer to that divinity which is the source of all his life and power. Approaching that source, more life and more power descend upon him. The transcendent Self exercises increasing control upon the earthly man, lends its will to strike off the shackles which have bound him to the earth, its wisdom to comprehend the cause of all his sorrow, its knowledge to discover the pathway of return.
One object then fills his mind, one ideal forms the background of his life. He lives to share the knowledge he has won, to point out the pathway of release from sorrow, and to lead his brethren thereon from suffering to bliss. Ere this great task may be accomplished, he himself must be utterly purified and his vehicles finally rid of all the grossness and impurity with which they have been sullied through many lives before the pathway has been found. No traces must be left behind, for he must achieve perfect translucency, so the the power by which he ministers to his brothers’ needs flows through him unsullied and unstained. Rather must it be beautified by the addition of human love and human tenderness.
This absolute translucency is attained by the application of the fire of the will. Retiring deep within himself, he draws forth from the transcendent Self floods of purifying power, streams of fiery energy, which will sweep through all his vehicles and burn up the dross by which they have hitherto been stained. Layer after layer of his nature will thus be cleansed until at last he, earthly man, is pure even to the inmost recesses of the Soul. Pure within, he moves unstained and unsullied amid impurity without. Desire no longer claims a place within his thoughts and feelings, for he has purged himself of all desire.
Within the earthly man thus purified, the transcendent Self takes up its abode. The radiance, the beauty, the power and the knowledge of the evolving God shine forth through the earthly man. The supernal light and power of the cosmic man is at last reflected in his earthly representative. The stability, the serenity and the poise of the land of everlasting light show forth in his activities on earth.
From his experience in time and space he acquires the knowledge of eternity; his human powers and faculties ar quickened and exacted to their divine expression. His vision now includes the past, the present and the future, the distance and the near. By its aid all knowledge lies within his reach; no secret within the orbit of the farthest planed of the system in which he dwells is hid from his all-penetrating gaze. As thus he grows, as the transcendent Self becomes more and more incarnation in the flesh, as earthly man becomes exacted into perfect godliness, he transcends even the limitations of his solar realms and moves at will throughout the universe. He becomes a servant of the solar Rulers, labouring throughout universal time and space. Exalted thus, the earthly man becomes one with the transcendent Self, later to be merged with his cosmic counterpart. Then, at last, he will take up his above in the land of everlasting light.
MAN THE SAVIOUR OF MANKIND
Behind the darkness of earthly existence the light of divinity is ever shining; behind its sorrow and distress exists eternal bliss; behind the toil, the labour and the strain are eternal rest, peace and serenity unshakeable; for these are pairs of opposite. Each proves the existence of the other, as darkness is a proof of light.
All men will complete their age-long pilgrimage through the darkness, the sorrow and the toil of the transient worlds and will pass into the eternal light, experience eternal bliss and enter into everlasting peace. The duration of their sojourn in the worlds below depends entirely upon themselves. If they dally in the darkness, seeking to grasp the elusive pleasures of the shade, their sojourn will be long and their passage full of woe; if, in answer to the vision of the light which comes to every man continually, they deny themselves the soft delights of dalliance amid the shadows of the illusory worlds, they may pass quickly from the darkness to the light and their passage will be full of joy.
Man, and man alone, decides the period and the nature of his pilgrimage, whether it be slow and painful or swift and full of happiness. As every man sees continually the vision of the light, so every man receives continually the necessary poor and knowledge to ensure his safe and rapid travelling through darkness to everlasting light. His sorrows are produced solely by the closing of his eyes to the vision of the light, by sloth in the employment of his power, and by failure to apply the knowledge which is his.
To save man from the sorrow which he thus inflicts upon himself and to hasten his pilgrimage, Messengers from the land of everlasting light from time to time have visited him. These are Mighty Ones Who have won freedom and are united with Their cosmic Selves. Voluntarily They assume the burden of earthly life and submit Themselves to the imprisonment of the flesh to aid mankind to gain a clearer vision of the light, and to call forth a fuller measure of their inherent power and knowledge.
Each of these Guardians of the Race has His special followers and devotees, who gather round Him when He comes and who worship Him throughout the centuries Which follow His departure. Every Saviour leads a number of His chosen people to their spiritual home, to union with their transcendent Selves. Yet mankind as a whole pays little heed; the great mass marches slowly and with infinite pain along the slow and winding road of human evolution.
Wars devastate their ranks and plague, famine, disease and Nature’s cataclysms decimate the people. The struggle for physical existence grows keener as the centuries pass. The burden of human incarnation grows heavier and more difficult to bear, in spite of rapid progress in the development of mind. Still the nations will not listen to the voices of their illumined Sons Who, age by age, come forth to teach the brotherhood of man. Religions are founded and churches built; still the nations walk in blindness, and stumble through fear and hatred into war.
The heavenly and the cosmic counterparts of nations and of men, save for the few, have as yet been powerless to save their earthly representatives. Blinded by the passion for material possessions and earthly sovereignty, these fail to see the light which shines upon them from above. Deafened by the clamour which accompanies their halting progress, they do not hear the voice of the all-wise Counsellor Who is their deepest Self.
The progress of humanity through this long age of darkness depends greatly upon the efforts of individuals. All great reforms power their initial impulse to the vision of one woman or one man. The emancipation of the world calls for superhuman efforts by those who would truly save. The tracks would seem impossible were it not that behind each person there is the heavenly person, himself or herself a representative of the cosmic man, wielding cosmic powers. Vast spiritual energies are locked up in the deepest Self of even the humblest member of the human race. By virtue of these powers there is not one who might not even now become a Saviour of his people, for the Saviour exists in embryo in every man.
That Saviour-to-be stands eternally at the doorway of the Soul and knocks. Few men give answer; still fewer open the door to let the Saviour in. That closed doorway to the heart of humanity is the greatest tragedy of human life; for limitless power, all-embracing wisdom and perfect knowledge lie as yet unused in the inner recesses of man’s being. Spiritually, the world without is as an arid desert; cries of suffering are heard on every side, yet human ears are deaf to the transcendent Self which ever stands and knocks. The spiritual power, the wisdom and the knowledge to which every man is heir remains undiscovered and unused, even in his hours of greatest need.
If man is to enter into the rich heritage of his spiritual possessions, the knock must be answered and the door opened wide. His true teacher then will guide him to self-knowledge of his powers and the method of their employment. Before that great privilege is won, the aspirant must emancipate himself from selfishness, be filled with longing to relive his fellow men from pain, become strong, pure humble and deeply compassionate. Thus prepared, he may enter into his spiritual heritage and learn to wield the mighty powers of his divinity; thus armed, there shall be no suffering which he cannot relieve, no evil which he cannot dispel, no troubled heart to which he cannot give peace. He shall enter on the Path which every Saviour of the world has trod. Mankind will be lifted up by every upward step he takes, be strengthened by every power which learns to wield, become illumined by his ever-widening vision and be healed by his all-embracing love.
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