The Path – August 1887



When the mental vision has been searching with troubled and anxious gaze for some sure clue to the heavenward path, or when it has recoiled in horror before the picture of an effete civilization breaking up, and anarchy and violence taking the place of order, it is an intense relief to realize that there is an inner stronghold where the worn warrior may retire to, that there is a sure harbour where the storm tossed bark may find rest. And this harbour is ever at hand, this stronghold may be entered any moment. It requires but the conviction of its paramount necessity, it requires but the surrender — absolute and unconditional — of the man's lower nature to the other pole of his Being, and lo! he has attained a peace and a strength that the crumbling of the world in ruins at his feet could not shake. To be able to live in this state permanently is to have attained the condition of the Yogi or the Saint, but to have experienced it even for one moment teaches that it is the first step on the true spiritual path, which the mental vision might grope for through eternity without finding.

For one whose imagination can conjure up scenes of that human earthquake, a social revolution, where the impossibility of gauging the forces or of foreseeing the developments, adds so awfully to the horror of the situation. Surely strength and courage must be the paramount qualities required, courage to keep the heart from fainting at the dread anticipation, and strength to keep the brain from reeling in the conflict.

But if the man has so fixed his soul on the Supreme soul, has so surrendered his will to the divine Will, has so identified himself with the Deity, that he feels he is but a tool in the omnipotent hand, the divine carelessness will have entered into him, and that will give him strength. There will be no looking forward with dread anticipation, for he cares not what happens to him — the duty that lies at his hand he will do with a clear brain and a steadfast will, caring not for the result though it may be danger and death — but what matters that? the flesh may quail at the final parting, but the man who has identified himself with the spirit within, which has inhabited many a house of flesh, has raised himself above mortal fears.

It is only in moments of supreme concentration and by intense imaginative power that we who toil on on lower levels can occasionally get a glimpse of this serene condition, which as far as words can describe it would seem to be portrayed in the second part of Light on the Path (Rule 8). "You can stand upright now, firm as a rock amid the turmoil, obeying the warrior who is thy self and thy king. Unconcerned in the battle save to do his bidding, having no longer any care as to the result of the battle — for one thing only is important — that the warrior shall win; and you know he is incapable of defeat, standing thus, cool and awakened, use the hearing you have acquired by pain and by the destruction of pain, &c."

Even these who are still bound by the desires of action may occasionally reach in imagination the exalted serenity of this state of being, and such contemplation must doubtless help in freeing from the bondage of desire. Philanthropic work for Humanity will no longer seem an object for action, for the devotee will have become conscious that the Supreme Power that acts by him, is also guiding by invisible hands the whole course of human affairs, and the well-meant remedial actions of purblind men will, under the new illumination of the eternal light, appear to him in their true character as the ineffectual gropings of captives in a cavern. And the very fact of his no longer desiring to garner the fruit of his actions will cause his actions to be all the more far reaching in their results. The will becomes omnipotent when dissociated from human desire, for it is then part of the divine will.

His attitude towards Humanity will also find a parallel in his attitude towards Divinity, for the passionate adoration will have been left behind, and will have given place to the carelessness of the divine serenity.

The conquering of all earthly desires must be a work of ages, and many lessons will doubtless still remain to be learned by him who has attained to this state. It is written that the aspirant must always look forward with awe, and always be prepared for the battle, but in the vast scale of Being, great distance is lost in the infinite beyond, and from our present standpoint this higher carelessness would indeed seem to be the ultimate state realizable by man while still he bears the body, for what other is it than a foretaste while in the body of that "peace of God which passeth all understanding"?

The Path