The Theosophical Forum – March 1947


Worlds within worlds! When we use this phrase our first thought, perhaps, is of worlds not to be understood or glimpsed by our physical senses. But even on the physical plane there are worlds within worlds: worlds so different from each other in atmosphere, reactions, thought and feeling, and a multitude of other variances, that to become aware of them and of their divergences, is to understand somewhat of the interplay of action that goes on continually on this one plane, and similarly on and among other planes of being.

One may travel along a paved highway and fill one's soul with beauty — rolling hills, showing green here and there because of the heavy winter rains, but touched, however lightly, with autumn russet and gold; or pass fields where mounds of bean-straw, warm in the light of the sun, add richness to the coloring of the landscape. These are peaceful scenes, but the highway itself is a pulsing artery of life. The very pavement speaks of man's endeavor to cover the distance between any two points with the least expenditure of time, or wear and tear on his conveyance. Everywhere along that white-lined winding ribbon the demon speed makes his presence felt. Even in the midst of rural charm one is conscious of that world of hurly-burly — impinging, pressing hard upon one, and sometimes even threatening.

But take a by-road — preferably a good dirt road — and what magic results! One may be almost within touching distance of a highway, and yet, to all intents and purposes, be in a world apart. Hills, not so different from those others, dream lazily in the sun, uncaring though cloud shadows chase one another along their slopes. The fields, too, are under the same spell, and here are horse and plow or wagon rather than the noisy tractor. But even this triumph of a modern age, if used, is not the same impressive monster in this world apart that it contrives to be when working in a world ruled by machines. In the one it is a capable servant, in the other, it and its like are well-nigh master.

Fruit trees, nut orchards, grazing cattle, a lone rider on horseback, and vast expanses of hills and sky — these bring peace, for they loosen nervous tensions that exist almost unconsciously in this age of "getting somewhere" quickly. One comes to know the quiet places of the soul — the worlds within worlds of our own being — and to find the strength that lies in repose.

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