The Theosophical Forum – May 1948

THE FLAME OF SINCERITY — John Peck

True Individuality is revealed in the manner in which one dissolves the egoic nature.

I've a friend who is an amateur watchmaker, and I had never realized the beauty in the mechanism of a watch movement until he showed me. I believe the Universe is like that. When the darkness of the self is blown out, the mechanism is shown in its beauty. There is more; the mechanism — the movement of nature — exists because of the Supreme Spirit: THAT. Yet the Supreme Spirit is also apart, and it slowly changes the pattern, which is constantly crystallizing out of the movement, or harmony of nature. It is because of the unity between outer and inner, the deep fundamental unity out of which and because of which the "opposites," or poles come — the positive and negative, the higher and lower, mind and heart, action and inaction — it is because of the unity — THAT — between heaven and earth that at the crest or completion of every cycle, great and small, we have the influx of the Divine which is true Individuality. It is this ever-Being, or reality of the inwardness of Nature as she is eternally which is the Divine manifesting through Individuality; which is the Law made manifest, inwardly as a glorious constellation, web, or wheel of brilliant, white, dawn-like light.

Purged of the darkness of self we see the beauty of Nature, the form or movement. Within this form is the soul like a great starry unit; pure white yet faintly suffused with dawn-like colour from the heart in the innermost heart of which is forever . . . THAT.

What is it that forever rises out of the ashes of pure endeavor? What is that which "springs eternal" before the face of the Inexplicable? It is the consciousness of Divinity, which is the true inward way, the flame of sincerity which leads to the heart of the Universe. It is unconquerable.

To look outward, to rely upon outward things and personalities; to act from the error of separateness between "me" and "that"; to admire or yield to the enchantment of externals, is to be ignorant, is to be in darkness.

To know that darkness as the self, born of error; to know the self as the cause and continuance of error, is to see that error, or self, is the cause of darkness. To see against darkness, to struggle and strive is already enlightening action which causes freedom from darkness. It is to cease to be identified with past error. It is to know our error, our ignorance. It is to know that there is the true, the Real.

Thus knowing, we have separated the darkness of the past from the present, thus revealing our imperfections in the present. We are no longer in the darkness of the self. The impetus of much good done in the past, and great battles fought in past lives, holds at bay the darkness of self, and repels the phantoms of delusion, and reveals their emptiness. Now in the present the battle continues. To our aid comes the immortal flame from life to life. In the flame of sincerity our imperfections are revealed. Now is the time to be undaunted by these imperfections. It is the time to strike with the sword fashioned by past lives of unconquered effort. And what is this sword? Heed not the darkness, but heed the cause revealed by countless lives — the cause which is the illusion of separateness, the emptiness of externals. Turning inwards, know the Divine everywhere inwardly, in ourselves and in others inwardly. Heed the Law of the Divine, the Law of self-forgetfulness. Seek the Divine, and seek not its light, for its light will pass through to others and they will reveal it to you.

And what is the sword which is fashioned by suffering in the flame of sincerity? Knowing imperfections and seeing the cause of darkness in the illusion of separateness, strike for the cause of unity, of truth in thought and act and feeling. Unify one's whole being for TRUTH. The sword is — sincerity in the cause of TRUTH. It is that which evokes in others the knowledge of the Divine. It is the vision which rises ever anew from ideal to ideal — unconquerable. To see imperfection is to catch anew the vision, to be re-born, to see ever greater perfection.

How can a man be satisfied with imperfection? His very heart rises above it. With experience gained in such a Cause he can cleave a way through the darkness for others. His own Divinity will reveal through his own sincerity the Divinity in all. Self-forgetfulness is the very Law of the Divine; for not only do we rise again and again in a single lifetime, but we rise and live anew life after life. The truth of reimbodiment can be seen directly.

Thus, ever rising, ever pure, the Flame of Sincerity merges with the Universal Flame; which is the same as saying that the illusion of separateness is dissolved before the face of the eternal. And the God-Wisdom is directly revealed through the starry soul. When inwardly we see the inner cause we see that, however it may seem outwardly, there is no accident in our being Theosophists and that we should not be discouraged by outward circumstances, but join with each other in affirming and revealing the true.

And here is a "secret" which all true seekers share: In seeking to help others mysteries are revealed. Inwardly we know there is light, but in looking to help others we see darkness and suffering. Our very eyes seem blind, and we think that we must first see light. We are discouraged when light does not come. But when, listening, receiving and knowing inwardly, we have the courage to transmit it to others, despite the darkness, then the starry soul draws near, the light comes back to us from others and thus, at last, the world of light is built and the world of darkness is dissolved. I believe that this resolve to transmit despite the darkness is a step on the path of renunciation of self, and will lead us to realize the Supreme.


The Theosophical Forum

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