The Theosophical Forum – November 1940


What a life!" groans someone, tumbling out of bed on a wet Monday morning to take up again the week's relentless grind. And that, I am afraid, describes most of us.

Yet is this feeling really necessary? Life in itself of course is uninteresting. It's always the same thing, more or less, over and over and over again — from the stars and planets arriving on the dot at the same point in their heavenly pathways year after year through the millenniums, to the cook starting the percolator at 6.30 on every morning of the year!

Routine governs the universe. Fortunately for us too. For without almost endless repetition there could be no development, in other words no evolution. Doesn't it take any one of us a fearfully long time to learn anything? Walking, talking, controlling temper, learning to play a musical instrument — anything. So repetition and routine are facts that we have to reckon with. We cannot change the habit of the universe. But what I maintain is that there is still a whole lot we can do about it.

If you ask what that is, I reply: "By developing our occult powers." But don't let me mislead you. You may be thinking I am going to talk about the power to precipitate violets and carnations out of the atmosphere, or make an emerald turn up in the apple pie. And that would make life interesting, I admit. But the Editors would never let me get by with it.

Seriously, however, if you really were going to precipitate objects out of the ether you would have to use exactly those occult powers which every normal human being possesses in abundance. But few realize they have them because they are seldom taught to think about and train them. They are "occult" simply because they are concealed from observation by indifference, and because their true range of use is unsuspected.

The particular powers I am referring to are three — imagination, will, and impersonal love. Can you use your imagination whenever you wish to get creative results? To write a story or give a talk, or think up the real way to help a neighbor? Is your will-power right on the job the instant you need it — to control irritation or check unkind retort? Can you look with the piercing eye of impersonal love into every situation which confronts you and determine exactly what you ought to do about it?

Let us look into life as we know it and answer these questions in the light of every-day experience. Now "creative imagination" sounds like a large term, I agree. It may suggest to you only such pictures as Beethoven working out the "Moonlight Sonata," or Turner dashing upon canvass his inspired vermilion and gold, even of someone like the late S. S. Van Dine turning out one of his bestsellers. Strange, how seldom it occurs to anyone that life itself is the highest art of them all.

If we could only bring ourselves to realize that the principles of creative imagination can consciously be applied to marriage, parenthood, a business or professional career, there would be fewer failures. A human being has the powers within himself to take the most commonplace events of daily life — in the office, the schoolroom, the nursery, or the kitchen — and make each one of them a creative masterpiece. Perhaps it is neglect of this power in the home that sends children so often to the moving pictures.

But you must first want to do this. "Back of will stands desire," as the Sages tell us. And you must believe in your Divine Self and its creative powers. Are we not children of Buddhi-Manas? Within our own higher principles reside the germs of all the creative ideas and the power and glory of the unfathomable cosmos.

Think about this just before you sleep. Think about it. Train yourself to remember it the instant you wake in the morning. Rouse yourself to it before the groan and the gloom can get busy. Call at once upon the god within you to inspire you to create a happy day. You will have to use your will-power to accomplish it. This tiresome personality of ours takes more pleasure, seemingly, in being miserable than in standing up to things. It is far more dramatic to feel oneself unhappy and thwarted. It gives a chance to comfort our weaknesses with self-pity, the most destructive of all human qualities.

So let us gird ourselves and call upon the spiritual will. A mere sentimental desire will not do the work. It must be purposeful, determined, and continuous effort. If we will begin like this and keep it up day after day (repetition again, you see), our very cells will begin to change. We shall be transforming the life-atoms of our brains and nervous systems — so often drugged with the poison of egotism and self-pity — by using the electric, actually the fohatic, currents stepped down to us by our higher principles from the creative inner spheres.

If John Everyman will carry into his office work this creative use of his imagination, aided by a determined will purified by the power of impersonal love, surprising results will follow. By impersonal love is meant that kind of interest in others which puts their welfare before his own. This may sound to him impractical as applied in a business office. But has he really tried it? If he does, it can be confidently predicted that this attitude will open up within him all sorts of new channels of service. These will include inspired suggestions, new ideas for his own job, such as increasing his power of initiative and invention. For it is the Buddhic quality of universal intelligence within ourselves from which all inspiration flows. And Buddhi cannot register in a mind always constricted within its own selfish personal limits.

His standing as a human being will now go up about 75% with his office team mates. For he will be giving constructive sympathy instead of criticism or sentimentality. He will be a living example of fair play and helpful suggestion. And he will meet unfair criticism of himself either with goodnatured silence or some kindly impersonal response, even perhaps a touch of disarming humor at his own expense.

When in turn we consider mothers and school teachers, doctors and nurses, school principals and business executives, or any other career that might be suggested, we have only to apply creative imagination to realize how these occult powers of ours can be applied. Especially in the home life are these powers invincible.

In conclusion, to the many who sincerely aspire to the ultimate goal of direct chelaship under the Mahatmans another thought should occur. It is not, we can feel sure, until the daily problems of our own individual cosmos have been tackled and completely mastered that Karman will call us to higher and wider fields of action By developing today in our own environment the creative vision and a will purified by the understanding love that gives all and demands for itself nothing, we are taking the first step towards that desired goal. It will call out, strengthen and develop for practical use, every occult faculty of our being. Will it not then serve to make life, for the first time, supremely interesting?

Theosophical University Press Online Edition