The Theosophical Forum – March 1947

THAT THOU ART! — Mary Martin

Theosophy teaches that all entities, from atoms to universes, are evolving beings; that what we call Monads are in themselves, in their very essence, partakers of eternity, of infinity. The heart, that Innermost Within of these beings, is utter divinity, expressed by Hindus and by Theosophists in the Sanskrit words, Tat twam asi!

We have so many revelations of understanding in this regard, as the poet who tells the little flower that if she will tell him what she is, he will tell her what God and man is, and they laugh quietly and joyously together, for each knows that the other has intimate knowledge of their true relationship.

Another so generously shares with us her mystical beauty in lines which the thought of the Psalmist evoked, " 'I will lay me down in peace to sleep, for Thou Lord makest me to dwell in safety.' I relax in the beautiful darkness, God's curtain of love drawn o'er the world that all may rest. Like the birds fold their wings after their evening vespers have been sung, I fold my aura of protection round about me and rest in the arms of infinite love. . . . 'Thou Lord makest me to dwell in safety.' I keep repeating these words until the assurance of that safety, under all conditions, glows with glory in my soul, and by my faith I draw from worlds unseen, the bright protective angels, waiting for the call to earth. They bring with them the same sweet peace that must have flown o'er Eden when in the cool of the day, God walked beneath the trees. 'Thou makest me to dwell in safety.' " (1)

I have recently re-read parts of The Garden of Vision, by L. Adams Beck in which is given the lesson of the Boundless All, and you may be interested in remembering parts of it with me; particularly that part where the little Japanese girl, Sayoko and the English girl Yasoma, are granted the privilege of hearing Professor Kitesato talk about a "Very strange No play, which turns on the true things which lie behind the world we see" and connect it with Western Science:

How beautiful it was in the wood as they went winding through the pale russet of heaped pine needles under the pines bathing in the afternoon sunshine! How much at home were all its Presences! They went into the hall. Outside, the sunshine was golden on trees and grass, but only a few of the golden arrows shot into the brown shadows and filled the emptiness with dancing notes. Very high was the roof of the hall, lost in glooms of wood so dark that it carried thought beyond the unseen bounds of man's handiwork. But that was only outward grandeur. All the rest was of the barest simplicity — a matted floor, nothing else but a sort of reading-stand upon which might be laid a book of scriptures or commentaries or the text of the reader's discourse. All was so quiet that the fluttering of a bird outside was a violence to the silence. Voices drew near, and the men trooped in. Kitesato put his manuscript on the reading-stand, and without any prologue, but a bow to all present, plunged into his subject. His English was perfect but for accent and an overfine scholastic attention to words.

"The No play being possibly the greatest art in Japan — or certainly among the greatest — may be approached from many different points of view. Today I take it from that which you study here, the opening of the spiritual eye (Zen Buddhism) and its relation to Western Science; and that being my aim, I choose two well-known passages as indication of the road I tread. The first is as follows:

"Before a man studies Zen, mountains are mountains to him and waters are waters. After he gets instruction in the truth of Zen by observing a good master, mountains are not mountains to him and waters are not waters. But after this, when he really attains to the Place of Peace, mountains are once more mountains and waters are waters.

"Most true, for, in the first instance he accepts them as what they seem — unquestioned realities — the matter of which the world is built in one of its most grandiose shapes. In the second instance, after a little instruction, he takes them as mere illusion, a deception of the senses. In the third, after he has received satori, that is to say 'Enlightenment,' he sees the mountains and waters as they are in truth and in their relation to Universal Power. And, this being so, it follows that he has realized the whole universe in its inmost mind-essence. He is a Master.

"Now the whole secret of the No Plays — that which makes them lucent to us and almost incomprehensible to the average foreigner — is yugen, a word of our own which has more than one meaning and which may be said to have been given to us by Zen Buddhism, since that form of Buddhism has most truly and deeply adjusted man to his place in the universe. It is for this reason that Zen has been hailed as the highest reach of human thought and the most practical of practicalities and is as such recommended in the No plays themselves.

"What then is this great word yugen given us by Zen? What does it mean? It means: That which lies below the surface. That which the obvious hides. It is yugen which gives the mysterious charm to great Chinese and Japanese landscape painting and to their portraits, whether of human beings, animals, or flowers. To them all are one. All reveal the Universal, sphinxlike beneath the obvious, yet answering the riddle freely to those who have opened the third eye of vision. We have used a symbol for this yugen — a white bird with a flower in its beak. A winged thing, as you perceive, with the simplest yet most exquisite form of earthly beauty as its device. Could a man understand the whole truth of that flower, he would have mastered the secret of the All, for yugen is the call of the Universal to the Universal in man.

"Consider the charm of anything which charms those educated as you are, whether in literature, music, or any other art. It is yugen, the hidden meaning of yourself, blending with what you love. You love it because it is yourself moving you to emotion and sharing emotion with you. Together, you make and share a common sacrament. For it also is your true Self, the One Self, of all nature and all it symbolizes. In the Universe is no room for two."

". . . the hidden meaning of yourself, blending with what you love. . . . Together, you make and share a common sacrament." We spoke above of so many revelations of understanding in this regard — many will come to mind bearing the tender message of the 'Christ Within.' My thought returns to a ward in a hospital with rows and rows of white beds. On this particular morning, I find many new faces on "my" (a receiving) ward. The Major says, Mary, take good care of these boys — give them anything they want! Then I perceive the ethereal quality about them and know them to be boys who were prisoners of the Japanese. One boy, an English lad who was taken at Shanghai and was a slave laborer in Burma, was frail of body but had in his eyes that Light that comes only when one has made direct contact with the All. One Saturday when I was very late in reaching the ward to which he had been transferred, I went in to talk with him and the others without giving any reason for my tardiness, and this boy said, O yes, another Gray Lady told me you were attending Ozaki's funeral services. (Ozaki, a Hawaiian-Japanese, was a member of the 100th, the Purple Heart Battalion). I had been so close to Ozaki that it had not occurred to me that anyone would question the propriety of my attending the service held in his honor. This came to me when this English lad smiled and said, "I knew a good Jap once." I was taken back for a moment and said, "You did"? He said, "Yes, it was a little old woman, and I and many others would have starved to death had it not been for the morsels of food she sneaked in to us." This was the only statement I ever heard him make about the Japs. Don't you believe this is another proof of that Compassionate Love that Dr. de Purucker refers to as the cement of the Universe?

The second passage given by Kitesato is as follows: "One knocked at the Beloved's door and it was asked from within, Who is there? He who knocked replied, It is I, and received the answer, There is no room for two. Finally, the Voice asking, Who is there? was answered by the rapturous cry, It is Thou! And the door was opened. Against that reply, the door is never shut."

From our beloved Voice of the Silence we receive this same Truth, Tat Twam asi! "And now thy Self is lost in Self, thyself unto Thyself, merged in That Self from which thou first didst radiate.

"Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present Ray become the all and the eternal radiance."

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. — 1 John 4:13


1. From Healing Silences. Evelyn Whitell. (return to text)

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