Copyright © 1977 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
A pure, strong, unselfish thought, beaming in the mind, lifts the whole being to the heights of light. From this point can be discerned, to a degree, the sacredness of the moment and the day.
When the disciple begins consciously to deepen and broaden his life according to the highest law of his being, he must remember that confusion of ideas, behind which lies desire, will meet him at every step. The beaming thought as the Watcher and Master, recognized as such, becomes the helping power.
Dismiss the things of the world, its ways, its interests and its limited habits of thought. Kill out in yourselves the desire for these and find the larger life. Truly, these selfish desires and demands are but phantoms placed in your way by karma, called up by karma out of the past of yourselves and revivified with a false and seeming life by the very force of your aspirations.
Why not recognize them as such, see them for what they are, dismiss them once and for all, and look through the mists of self and desire to the sublime reality beyond?
The very fact that you find stumbling blocks in your way should give you an influx of courage, a positive joy, because of the opportunity thus presented to you to cast them away forever. Self-conquest! Is that not what you are here for? Is it not what your soul led you here for? Is it not one of the very things that attracted you to theosophy — a great objective, an ideal, a mystic goal? Why not, then, look at the matter squarely and act without fear or compromise? Every time you compromise on this vital point, remember, you are holding back the world's great reconstructive work and just so many more hungry souls are left starving for the bread of the spirit. Move away from limitations and delusions and step into the larger life!
The cry of the present day is for receipts — receipts for this or that, brain-mind directions for everything, from how to succeed in business to how to talk with Mars. The soul does not need receipts. Study these words from the writings of William Quan Judge, reflecting truths as old as the universe itself:
"Those who ask for particularity of advice are not yet grown to the stature of a hero who, being all, dareth all; who, having fought many a fight in other lives, rejoices in his strength and fears neither life nor death, neither sorrow nor abuse, and wishes no ease himself while others suffer."
If you are in the right place, at the right time, and working in the right way, you have nothing in the universe to fear. If you are following your duty with that discrimination and resourcefulness that belongs to you as a soul, you are in the right place and working in the best possible way, however humble the duty may seem to be. "Nothing is great, nothing is small in the divine economy."
It is necessary, however, to discriminate between what is your duty and what is not; and the brain-mind cannot help you here. More than likely it will simply be in your way. You will have to seek refuge in the intuitional part of your nature, for intuition is the real, the mystic teacher. It is the voice of the soul in man.
A teacher may endeavor to impart the truth, but if the intuition of the pupil is not developed, at least to a degree, the effort is useless. We have not the intuition of the ancients.
We cannot bring great ideals into concrete expression untilwe are the living expression of those ideals. We cannot set right the affairs of the world in a way that shall build spiritually for the future, until our lives are based absolutely right. The nations are wandering today, and their statesmen admit as much, but no one can help them in a lasting way whose own little nation — the individual life — is not spiritually what it should be.
We cannot afford to be negative, for the opposing forces are active, and if we allow the moments to be unguarded, or neglect to fill the time with creative images and invigorating thoughts, these moments will be seized by the "enemy" and become surcharged with inimical energies and agencies.
Disintegrative forces are especially active and dangerous at the present time, owing to the general unrest, and are apt to work upon us destructively when we are asleep. That is, if we are will-less or negative. So that we should take the last half-hour before retiring, for spiritual rest, constructive thought, quiet, silent reflection on spiritual things. Such a course would place us beyond the reach of disintegrative agencies during those hours when the soul is free.
We are not so much at their mercy when awake, in a sense, for then we are on guard instinctively. But in sleep the body is in certain ways unprotected, unless guarded by the silent warrior-force of our aspirations and spiritual will.
In sleep the soul is free, winging its way into new spaces, finer worlds of thought and feeling, evolving, growing, expanding — and it longs to carry you with it, the you of prosaic daily life. The soul is within you — and yet it is not: there is a mystery here.
Harmony is the key to all occult advance, and it is a knowledge of its laws and the relations of sound, number and color as applied and directed by the pupils that enables the teacher to strike the higher tones and awake the spiritual vision. The forces have gone to the ends of the world, and opportunities for labor and success will be had such as none have dreamed of.
Kill out timidity! Kill out fear! We are constantly upon the fringe of great opportunities and at some crucial point; and then, instead of grasping these opportunities and moving on to a larger view and a broader spiritual life, we shrink, we hold back through timidity — and so we lose them all. The present is an unusual cycle, and never in this life will we meet present opportunities again.
Let us be careful, in making this forward step, that we do not ungird our armor through fear.
Fear nothing, for every renewed effort raises all former failures into lessons, all sins into experiences. Understand me when I say that in the light of renewed effort the karma of all your past alters; it no longer threatens. It passes from the plane of penalty before the soul's eye, up to that of tuition. It stands as a monument, a reminder of past weakness, and a warning against future failure.
So fear nothing for yourself; you are behind the shield of your reborn endeavor, though you have failed a hundred times. Try slowly to make it your motive for fidelity that others may be faithful. Fear only to fail in your duty to others, and even then let your fear be for them, not yourself. Not for thousands of years have the opposing forces been so accentuated. Not one of vow can remain neutral — if you think you can, and seek to do so, in reality you are adding your powers to those of darkness and lending your strength to the forces of evil. The cry has gone out to each, and each must choose. This is your opportunity.
Will you have it recorded that your vow was of the lips or of the heart? You have studied and thought, many of you long and faithfully; bring forth the fruit of this now as action, for the hour has struck. Humanity calls for aid. Who of you has the strength, the will to go forward?
We live very little in our bodies, actually in them; we live rather in a world of ideas and aspirations above and about us. Our great task is to bring these ideas and aspirations into concrete expression, to make them actual, practical; in a word, to make them into deeds. And in doing this we must learn to follow lines of least resistance, ever trusting in the Law.
To gain freedom, you will have to accentuate the spirit of brotherly love; to gain it you will have to work for it, also, and work understandingly. And yet it is so easy, so simple. If you hold close to duty, and keep a sweet, impersonal love burning in your heart, all the rest will come; and that has its practical application in many ways. For example, if you do not like another, if you do not like to work with him when it is a duty to do so, consider that a challenge, and stand up and meet the test. That is practical brotherhood.
There is nothing so lamentable as to see one who has touched our philosophy go on with duty half-heartedly. He is robbing the future and his own life of something that his soul is actually crying for. If you avoid issues which come up now in your lives, you will have to meet them later on and probably with less help than you have now.
Let it be remembered that the teacher's work, the real work, has naught to do with words written or spoken. In the past, when vibratory forces were still understood, words were never used or looked for in the conveyance of the higher teachings. Let me make this clearer:
Listen to the note of a bell resounding; its vibrations get fainter and fainter, but though there comes at last a point, different for different people, when the sound is utterly lost for the outer ear, we know that the thrill is broadening out, and will forever go on doing so, into eternal and boundless space. And especially where the note is from a human voice it carries out with it a quality from the consciousness of him who sent it forth.
The presence of the soul is eternally manifest — to the degree that you hold to the path of right action, to the degree that you love and aspire and strive. You must cultivate a larger trust, a larger hope. And there must be constant, quiet effort on a thoroughly balanced line, without this spasmodic shifting up and down. Holding to calmness and balance, striving continually and with no concern as to results, before you know it the victory will be yours.
Your spiritual energy grows day by day and hour by hour just so far as you permit it to grow and help it to evolve. It is a force that is very real and immensely powerful — a potent force that becomes, if you do not prevent it, a great wheel of activity in the universe.
People copy each other too much; it is a universal human tendency. But you should not do so; aside from the fact that you are all so very unlike, having evolved differently and through different experiences, you have immense resources spiritually if you but draw upon them. Each of you should learn to build your own atmosphere. Strike out on your own lines, not another's. In brief, have the courage to be yourselves.
Dare to be yourself — your greater self! Dare to leap forward and be something you never before knew it was in you to be! Dare to move out and upward in the strength of your soul and find something new in your makeup. It is a critical time for everyone who aspires, for many things are in the balance. The need is for energy, aspiration, trust, and the power of the spiritual will. "The more one dares, the more he shall obtain."
Think of the effort we have made to vitalize our theosophical work by protesting against the cold intellectualism of the age. The influence of this has spread out and has reached the so-called leaders of the time. In spite of the selfishness of the age, the heart-doctrine is permeating all strata of society. Yet how much, how very, very much, remains to be done.
One who declares himself a student of theosophy, in that moment invokes his higher nature, the warrior-quality of his soul. He also invokes the divine law which governs his life. He makes a larger demand upon that law and declares himself to be more receptive to it.
As to vigilance: how attentive we are to the material part of our lives in the sense of being vigilant! How much more attentive, as humanity goes, than to the spiritual! But as students of theosophy we have a sacred duty: to study the duality of our nature and take a stand for vigilance in the inner life. Let us see that the help which goes out from us to another is help to the higher self. Vigilance on our part will give us power to render such help. Vigilance in spiritual things — that is the supreme need.
The loyal and truehearted are always on the alert; they are ever ready. For them the gods are not a procession of phantoms, but living realities. They know how to profit by each new opportunity, and each day sees them at their post, ready for their allotted work. For them the granite and clay are luminous creations, resplendent with color, rich with enchantment. Unclouded by doubt or suspicion, they falter not nor fail.
Do not worry; do not fear; do not think about results. Set plans come from the brain-mind, and in creative work this cannot be allowed to rule. There is a method of fashioning the life so that this will not be; then the brain-mind will keep its place as the servant, not the tormentor of the soul. It is something to think about when you get up in the morning and when you retire at night. It is very close to what I mean when I speak of trust in the higher law.
As writers you are so often carried away with your themes and with the fear that you will not do them justice. If you could only learn the meaning of preparation — preparation in the theosophic sense. If you would only take part of the time at your command, however limited, for spiritual preparation, never taking up your pen until you are mentally in order, a book of revelations would come.
Effecting difficult things while they are easy, and managing great things in their beginnings — this is the way, as the sages of antiquity have taught. The wise man takes account of small things and so never has any difficulty. "Transact your business before it takes form."
Practice accuracy in every detail of thought, speech and action. While you need not look for results, results will speak to you and bring encouragement. Practice punctuality in everything. Promptness and neatness mean economy of time, money, material, energy and thought.
Practice system. This means a methodical arrangement of time, work and material, and also a methodical arrangement of thinking. Remember that system is a channel for effective utilization of one's forces.
In offering suggestions to others, remember that every suggestion carries in it a measure of criticism. Let your criticism begin at home. As H. P. Blavatsky says: "Be more severe with yourself than with others; be more charitable towards others than towards yourself."
There is always the superb energy of eternity in the heart of one who does his best. If at the moment when this is felt the man would pause, reflect and meditate, he would find his way to the light. The mysteries of his nature, of his own inner self, would be revealed to him.
As we move out into the future with this mighty soul-urge of universal love, we implant in the very atmosphere in which we live and breathe a something that was not there before — seeds that take root and grow and blossom in the hearts of all with whom we come in contact. So that, since these things are true, there must be a forgetfulness of self, a confidence superb in its power, a soul-confidence that will impregnate our very mental atmosphere with a wisdom that can be breathed in mentally by all those we meet.
And I hold that just so far as an individual makes his life true, strong, powerful, and selfless, just so far is he building mighty and glorious ideals for the future — ideals that the world cannot today comprehend, but that are recorded upon the mystic screen of time, although they may stand waiting for ages for our minds to understand them fully and for our souls to live up to them.
Unbrotherliness is the insanity of the age, as I have often said; and those who cultivate the feeling of separateness and self give evidence at times of the very absence of the ego. Truly the soul is not there. Unkindly criticism heaps up a terrible karma, for it shuts the soul away.
Climb! Ever keep climbing! The path winds upward — this wonderful path of self-mastery — but to the unselfish and courageous it is a path of victory and joy. Throw away the lower viewpoint, right out of your lives! You must unite for self-conquest; then all other things will come.
Difficult as it must be for you to believe what I say, yet it is true that the Kingdom of Heaven is nearer at hand than you can realize, and that all the storms, trials and sorrows that we see now raging in human life are but indications of the passing away of the old order of things. All that we have to do is to seize our opportunities, do faithfully our duties as they lie before us, ingrain in the very atmosphere in which we live the finer vibrations of the higher law, study and work, work and study.
Let us no longer crucify the Christ in ourselves. Bid him come forth and enter upon his noble work now, for the woes of humanity are great. See you not that this is the crucial moment for you to grasp the hand of your Warrior-companion reached out to you, to lead you on and up to the realm where your thoughts and deeds will be those of gods? Stand unfailingly on guard, the sentinel of your own inner chamber, vigilant against the entry there of the least of the lurking foes about the doorway of the sanctum. Through that doorway goes and returns the soul, and it is your task to see that it is unimpeded in its freedom to act and to help.
The Helpers of the race, the Elder Brothers, have trod, as we now tread, the dark valley to win final liberation. Our path is easier because they have already traversed it, easier yet because of the love and compassion they send back to us.
Oh, that every atom in my being were a thousand-pointed star to help men see the divine everywhere, to know their limitless power, to feel while in the body the exhaustless joy of real life, to wake and live instead of dreaming the heavy dreams of this living death, to know themselves as at once part of and directors of universal law. This is our birthright of wisdom, and the hour of attainment is now if we will.
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