The Theosophical Forum – September 1947

SPIRITUAL RESERVE — Sylvan

A Fellow Theosophist writing from a war shattered country gives a heart-stirring impression of the dark years in which not only theosophical but all spiritual books were prohibited and destroyed; how they were robbed of spiritual food "so we had to live from our spiritual reserve." A phrase to ponder; a theme to fire the heart and mind. Spiritual reserve! Is it just a beautiful phrase, dropped like a pearl into the vortex of our busy life? Have we not enough for our needs? In a land of plenty why contemplate want? In the light of teachings abundantly at hand why worry about spoilers and robbers? In ecstacy why toy with the thought of anguish? Why should radiant youth give even a fleeting thought to age? Want, robbers, anguish will be dealt with when they come. Old age may never come. Why worry? Worry is of no avail, but a little thought should profit us much.

We know the value of physical and economic reserves, yet remain too often indifferent, then when need stares us in the face find it impossible to establish them. To one, young or old, who has felt its sustaining power, spiritual reserve seems of inestimable value, worth all that it takes to establish. Without it even material abundance cannot satisfy. It is more permanent than vast fortunes. It is the only reserve upon which we may with surety depend. It is the rightful heritage of youth as well as of age. Without spiritual reserve how are we going to meet the dark days of stress, disappointment, loneliness, ill fortune, disaster, failing or shattered health or old age? When these shadows fall across our path shall we have that fibre of spiritual consciousness that will fortify and sustain, and enable us to live from our spiritual reserve? Shall we be able to stand unaffected when doubt or destruction hacks at every gateway of the senses, when the fabric of life is torn by fingers of personal loss and frustration, condemnation or betrayal? It is then that the sore and hungry heart cries out; not in days of prosperity and well-being.

Does any one truly doubt that there is an indefinable fountain-head of something vital and enduring beyond the intricate web of our commonly accepted lives? Our ability and right to draw upon this source of supply depends upon the quality and the persistency of our contributions to life and to the living. We may not be conscious of spiritual accumulation. We cannot check up on total deposits or estimate interest due on the account. We may be sure, however, that according to our voluntary and continuous contributions we shall be able automatically to draw upon this reserve when all visible resources are swept away, when physical, mental and even moral strength is almost vanquished by dire circumstance. In times of stress there may be found a clear flowing spring of unshakable trust in the Law that works for righteousness, an out-flowing of a buoyant spirit from within which enables us to stand upright in the throes of anguish and say: "I know that my Redeemer liveth," or with Job declare "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

Perhaps this spiritual reserve is a natural outcome of habits of courage, endurance, kindliness, understanding, generosity and compassion engendered within and by the man himself. These and other active qualities of the heart and mind are the "deposits" we must make if we are to expect the reward, the safeguards pointed to and promised by all the Saviors of the world to those who seek to follow the light and the voice of the Divine Spirit which dwells within the consciousness of every man; to those who through lives of joy and sorrow, radiant health and devastating pain, days on mountain peaks and nights in dark valleys, hear and follow the higher promptings of the human heart and mind.

Our spiritual reserve! The resultant of lives devoted to one's own proper duties, be they humble or exalted, through which the Arbiter can trace the unbroken thread of service and sacrifice guided and sustained by a constant appeal to the Supreme Being, called by any name dear to the warrior's heart.


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