Growth can be of many kinds and on many planes, but whatever its nature, it has a definite pattern that it is following. This pattern is the karman we have made for ourselves. So our growth, in the last analysis, is our responsibility.
Do you grow by fits and starts, swinging from one extreme to another? Or do you go around in circles until you are dizzy, without seeming to arrive anywhere? Have you ever tried to figure to yourself what course could be most easily followed in evolutionary progress? The course, indeed, that we all probably follow without realizing it?
Picture to yourself a spiral. A flexible wire spring will serve admirably in an objective study of the subject — but remember that the spring is only an "aid" in this study. It illustrates on the physical plane something that is fundamentally connected with consciousness. The source of our growth is our inner, real self, and the pattern it weaves, however it may affect our actions on the physical plane, has its origin in the realms of consciousness.
We travel a spiral course in our progress towards Divinity. Sometimes that spiral is compressed, and each stage is so close to the one below it and the one above that we seem to be making very little if any growth. At such times we do appear to be moving in a circle. If the compression is very great the coils of the spiral may even become entangled, and we shall appear to be going backward on our course. But if the spiral is extended, stretched a little, we shall perceive that growth is taking place as we pass from one coil to another. Of course the lowest point of the coil above will come below the highest point of the coil next below, and so from time to time we shall find ourselves experiencing an apparent drop. This, however, is in the natural course of things, and if we observe carefully we shall note that such a "low" is better, if only by a hair line, than the last one we experienced. Extend the spiral still more and there is a correspondingly greater difference between "lows" and "highs." Stretch the spiral to its utmost, and the consciousness of moving forward will become more and more pronounced.
Now, since we are our own karman, the directors of our lives, it is up to us to extend the coils of our evolutionary spiral, striving always to increase the distance between the coils. Spiritual growth comes through doing this very thing and doing it consciously. The spiral pathway that we follow, whatever the distances between its coils, is ourselves, but the part of us which directs the course is always superior to the course itself. It must forever remain so, and in our aspiration to go forward we should always keep this in mind — otherwise we shall lose sight of the goal in the fascination of watching our progress. This goal will seem to be constantly beyond our reach because it is a "forever becoming." We shall approach it through a day to day growth in the right direction.
The Theosophical ForumTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE