The subject which I have chosen and for which I ask your attention is "Evolving Worlds"; and when I speak of evolving worlds our thoughts go out to the mighty universe surrounding our planet, strewn with glorious solar systems and galaxies that are messengers of a sublime creation manifesting itself out of the womb of Mother Nature.
We are taught that out of the depths of Space the Great Breath breathes Itself out and draws Itself back again; that worlds come into manifestation and dissolve again; that hierarchies of evolving life are built up, and that the great mansion of the Spirit perfects itself in ever grander fashion.
Meditating on this, we perceive that an unimaginably sublime Consciousness labors uninterruptedly to manifest Itself. In this Consciousness we live, move, and have our being. We ourselves are It. For each entity, every being in the boundless Universe, is ever growing to that which is greater and loftier, and is destined to become the vehicle of an even more sublime consciousness such as that animating the Universe.
Every being is activated by the same creative force which molded the Universe; this creative force manifests itself in forms ever more suitable.
When I speak of evolving worlds I concentrate my thoughts not only on the boundless Universe; but before every being, each center of consciousness, however small, if once awakened to life, there lies spread out a future sublime beyond imagination. In ever grander fashion the Spirit builds Itself mansion after mansion; ever again and analogously in the same manner the seeds of life germinate whether they carry within themselves a man, a plant, or a universe. Life is consciousness and progress is the fundamental law. Behind all the unreal and passing forms of manifestation stands Being, which expresses Itself in these forms. One, truly, and yet that from which all proceeds and to which all returns. Therefore, life as we see it is but a performance of dancing shadows, passing and unreal as compared to that which IS.
There are a number of ways along which man aspires to approach this Mystery; science, philosophy, and religion try to elucidate some part of it, while all great Seers and Sages have taught mankind that within man himself there lies the faculty to enter into the core of things.
This means that man in his search retreats within himself, deepening his own consciousness, and by so doing blends it with the wisdom and beauty of a more powerful Consciousness of which he is a child. In other words, he learns to tread the inner path that leads to the distant gateway of perfection, guided by the radiant Light of the Spirit.
There are two great driving powers which stimulate man to action: the lower desire binding man by psycho-magnetic force to the lower manifestations of life, and the yearning of the higher mind, which guides him to loftier planes of consciousness. These two, it says in the Bhagavad-Gita — light and darkness — are the world's eternal ways. If man chooses to follow the dark side of Nature, he calls into being the sad experiences that are inevitably connected with it. If the homesickness of the soul makes him long for spiritual peace and beauty, he delivers himself from the psycho-magnetic attraction of life and grows in harmony with Nature.
An evolving world! Indeed every being in the boundless Universe is such. In every being there lies a center, a central point, a pivot around which its consciousness extends and deepens itself. If we could observe this core, this central point, in the course of eternity that lies behind us, and could follow it throughout eternity spreading out before us, we then should realize the wonder of the course of Life. We human beings — and indeed all living beings — have a destiny exalted beyond thought or imagination, but a glorious descent as well.
Throughout eternity there exists an unbroken chain of Life. There is but one Life, divided into the many lives that we see around us. Curious thoughts arise in our minds when we ponder on the Theosophical teachings while beholding human life as it is lived in our present confused days. We see that ignorance is humanity's worst enemy. Man lacks vision, man lacks hope. For human life has no value unless it has a purpose. This is what lends significance, depth, and color to his existence, if man lives with a high ideal, an idea which governs his life, which lends him vision, to which he lifts his being, and which gives him the power to rise above himself. He needs an outlook on life occupying his mind day after day. If the millions of human beings on this earth did have such a view on life the world would offer a different outlook entirely. Men would act differently if they were guided from within, controlled by a loftier conception of life.
In these days we experience a revolution — not a revolution on the outward plane only, which is but a consequence, but a revolution in the way of thinking, of thought and opinions and the accompanying disharmony, lack of insight, the following of slogans instead of listening to the deeper truths, found and experienced in the silence only.
The swiftness with which the stream of life with its chaotic confusion of ideals — ideals of one day, not the lasting ones — proceeds, makes us realize that we are approaching rapids which may lead to a catastrophe. Towering high above all this there stands, immutable as a rock in the surge, Theosophy, the Wisdom for which time does not exist. He who approaches and beholds this Wisdom of the ages, and the infinite beauty hidden in it, never will be able to forget the grand vision. In his heart there live peace and silence. He realizes man's sublime descent and destiny; he understands that our present days of commotion are but a phase in the evolutionary course of life.
In the Bhagavad-Gita Sanjaya says:
And as I again and again remember, O mighty king, this wonderful sacred dialog between Krishna and Arjuna, I am delighted again and again. — ch. xviii
And so it is, indeed, with him who approaches the wonderful teachings of Theosophy and calls to life the vision given by them. Ever again he experiences the joy caused by its spiritual beauty.
'Evolving Worlds" is a subject continuously offering ideas to ponder upon. Our thoughts are evolving worlds; each life-atom is one, the beings around us, we ourselves are; the heavens above us contain innumerable evolving worlds, the hierarchies of life are composed of them. Through all these lives runs the thread of the One Life — which weaves the fabric of the evolving worlds.
Friends, I do but give some thought-seeds grown in my moments of silence. Allow these thought-seeds to germinate in your silent moments, when you meditate on these thoughts. Theosophy gives us entrance into the Temple of Beauty within ourselves, and this being attained:
Behold! Thou hast become the Light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art Thyself, the object of thy search: the Voice unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the Seven Sounds in one, The Voice of the Silence.
1. Translation of an address delivered at the European Convention of the Theosophical Society, The Hague, Holland, September 25-26-27, 1937. (return to text)