Sunrise Magazine Online

Shadow and Light

By Johan Alin

Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men, Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.

A light is most brilliant at its source, and in direct proportion to its distance from the source its brilliancy decreases, the rays of light becoming more and more widely dispersed, appearing finally as a mere pinprick of light. The distance has not changed the brilliance of the light, but our distance away from the source causes us to receive fewer rays than we would receive were we to move nearer to the source.

If we could reflect all the dispersed rays as a whole, then we would behold the source as it is. Thus it is with great truths. They are like an all-encompassing light when they are given out, but as time passes the original truth is so dispersed into smaller rays that there is real difficulty in reassembling them for the purpose of understanding what really was their pristine glory.

"The quality or tendency of the mind is to doubt; that of our spiritual nature is to ascertain," says the Uttara-Gita. When guided by our heart and intuition, which is the voice of our spiritual nature, we recognize truth wherever we see it, and we do not need to have scientific and elaborate processes of cerebral activity to find it. Truth comes from our inner nature and not from the superficial brain; for our brain is a place of unrest and turmoil; in itself it is restricted, and its limitations are soon felt. As a servant it can be helpful; as a master it will delude us.

The real Self speaks to us with no words that are audible; yet we could hear those admonitions better than words if only we would heed their behest. We can all strive to discern that Inner Self and to allow it to lead us. It has been said that a life spent in service for others, in the service of humanity, gives intuition. It is a spiritual action that must bring this spiritual gift — a gift that does not die with the body, but becomes a part of a man's character and being. It gives the ability to see beyond the horizon of the mortal world; for that which belongs to our inner nature is quiet, peaceful. It is enduring and does not die when death comes to the body, whereas that which is impressed upon the brain will die with the brain.

The keynote of the age is Brotherhood. As a leading thinker expressed it: "A new hope, a new courage, is even now stirring the hearts of thousands. A message of Brotherhood has gone out to the world."

Brotherhood envisaged against the background of the present-day situation may not appear to be easy of realization, nevertheless the impact of brotherhood is felt throughout this atomic age, and we are witnessing the birth-throes as it forces its way into the consciousness of man. Potent signs of that work for brotherhood are surging throughout the world: the effort to achieve a union of all peoples; to help nations who are underdeveloped; to abolish national frontiers; to promote understanding and exchange of experiences in every field of life; to encourage young people of all nations and races to come together for the purpose of international understanding; the immense progress of worldwide communication; an international endeavor to promote understanding between Christian Churches and other religions; a tendency to break down discrimination among the races; the principle of democracy that permits freedom of thought and ideas. In short, a general effort towards brotherhood springing up from every quarter of the earth.

The ultimate issue is certain because the 'Wind of the Spirit' is blowing over the world and it will dissipate the fogs and illusions of the mind. The spirit of man is being freed, and the divine part of us, like a cork let loose at the bottom of the sea, speeds upward to the light naturally and with no strain.

How are we to distinguish the true from the false, the spiritual from the material, in the world today? The brain-mind will not tell us. It cannot enlighten us for it is void of inspiration, cold, very narrow in its views. It will only delude us, being mortal and temporary like the personality. But the voice of the heart is the expression of the spiritual part of man which is deathless, full of compassion, forgiving, merciful and understanding. It is the heart that shows the way.

Those who work against the realization of a Spiritual Brotherhood on earth are those who follow the dictates of the brain-mind which is the voice of the personality. And those who work to promote a Spiritual Brotherhood on earth are they who listen to the inner voice that comes from the Higher Self. We know which one we wish to follow, and to try to do so is the important thing for us, because we have not reached perfection, and must educate ourselves to distinguish the spiritual from the material, in whatever guise the latter may appear.

The man of shadow, the selfish man, works for his own ends; the man of Truth is the servant of humanity, and his labors are for the freedom of the Spirit.


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