The Theosophical Forum – June 1946

"WHAT I IN FACT DESIRE" — Gertrude W. van Pelt

"We must be ready to say at any moment under whatever circumstances, whether expected or unexpected, "It is just what I in fact desire." For only those ideals can be dissipated which rest upon a lower basis than the highest aim, or which are not in accord with Nature's (God's) law." — W. Q. Judge, The Path, Feb. 1890

It would seem as if these very challenging words of W. Q. Judge could be sincerely uttered "under whatever circumstances" only by one who recognized himself as a pilgrim of eternity, to whom life seemed like a moral gymnasium, a training school for higher levels with broader outlooks. Such a one would realize himself as an actual component of his Universe, responsible for his thoughts and actions on each rung of the Ladder upon which he had so far climbed or perchance failed to climb when it came in sight. He would further realize that golden-winged opportunity, which does not always show its gold on the surface, blesses only him who seizes it, while time flies bearing on its wings those claimed or unclaimed. He would foresee that though it might be easy to let the moments drift by, the awful result of this negative attitude would be some day almost crushing, when he could hardly be able to lift his head and say, "It is just what I in fact desire." He would also realize that the value of the day consists in the gain toward self-understanding and mastery, that the great moments are made from the small ones, that wrong trains of thought must be arrested before they gain momentum, that the joy of thought control far outweighs that of thought indulgence, and that the inevitable of today was the avoidable of yesterday.

A different point of view often changes the whole form and color of an object, and as it may be thus with the moments, such a pilgrim would shift his outlook and, if need be, use constantly a double focused lens to get the broad sweep of events and yet attend to the finest details. And further, he would have perceived that an aroma of good feeling does the service of a lantern in the darkness. Thus he would have learned to live in the present but to connect it with the eternal.

Finally, at some time must come the crises of life — the soul's examination days, when he will know how to write on the tablets of destiny, "This is just what I in fact desire" — and realize these further words of W. Q. Judge that "Any other course is blindness. All the passing shows of life, whether fraught with disaster, or filled with fame and glory, are teachers. He who neglects them, neglects opportunities seldom the gods repeat. And the only way to learn from them is through the heart's resignation. When we in heart become completely poor, we at once are the treasurers and dispersers of enormous riches."

The Theosophical Forum