This simple statement made by Noah to De Lawd in Green Pastures expresses several of the verities of universal being. What actually are we? and what part of ourselves can we claim as our own?
We are vast treasuries of eternity. Out of the spheres ethereal in nebula and comet, by attraction and repulsion weaning from the fulness of space our contacts, we have come. Air, water, and earth, have equipped us: we have shared the vigil of elemental, mineral, vegetable, and beast; and now, as man, we presage the infinite scope and sublimity of an endless future stirring within us. We are signets of eternity: we are children of the Universe — and we are human beings.
Truly, we are not what we ought to be. We are only that part of ourselves which is ensouled. We are intellectual and spiritual or moral, or moral and intellectual or spiritual, when we should be the three as one — the perfect Man. However, if what we are be true to the vision of our ideal at all times, that much reaches towards Godhood, and some day will lead us through manhood to divinity and onward. Our yearning aspirations speed our flight.
Yet all we can have and all we need lies within us. Our aspirations act as magnets in quickening our own universal contact-centers, whereupon all the forces of life rush in to exhilarate, to build, and to test every step in this process of ensouling. The result of this mystical alchemy is what we possess: a solar system in potentia is what we are!
We have known immeasurable heights, but vicariously, so to speak. During our sojourn on Earth we plumb the depths so that the human being, becoming universally ensouled, may win the heights by his own effort and right. And what then? To quote Mary Brent Woodside:
"Who has known heights must bear forevermore
An incommunicable thing
That hurts his heart, as if a wing
Beat at the portal challenging
And yet — lured by the gleam his vision wore —
Who once has trodden stars seeks peace no more.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE