The Path – January 1888



The longings of no human heart are to be lightly set aside; each one of them is a sub-tone in the great harmony of life; each one is the cry of some brother who has often forgotten his language, but still feels his wants. In his heart burns: however feebly, the spark from the Divine ever seeking the way back to the centre from which it came.

True it is that a man may have been initiated, in his past lives, into many degrees of knowledge and power, who yet had not had certain experiences necessary before entering on the next degree; and furthermore, that not one single degree can be lost to him, even though he may now appear before you, in a human garb not inviting, not puissant, not impetuous, nor in any sense free from faults.

symbol  once wrote: "An abyss opens behind each step; he cannot go back, and an irresistible impulse urges him forward."

That "abyss" is the "era of achievement," the passage from an "intermediate form" into a "new type." It is not mere absorption. Absorption goes on for periods anterior to it. During the absorption, and after saturation, the being goes on assimilating. Adjacent tissue — so to say — alters by either what your scientists call infiltration, or by what Patanjali calls supply of natures. There could not be, when the process is completed, any recession to the old type after the intermediate form has disappeared. But truly, just as in your material world, during vast shadowy periods, the vacated — almost — intermediate types floated about until the habit of nature had changed and they became useless, and many beings had again and again reoccupied these forms, so in each daily life, or moral life, the intermediate forms remain until your habit has totally altered. They then disappear forever. So it is an abyss, great, profound, wide, silent and tenantless.

In a sense it is like the closed valve in the circulation, which permits no blood to engorge the heart. And the impulse that urges forward, has its source in the great heart which urges on the astral light that makes our poor human hearts beat to and fro. And as the mere motion of the heart cannot be stopped at ease because it is the servant of the great heart, so the impulse cannot be resisted by him who has voluntarily gone into the vast circulation of the great Adam; who, urged on by reverberating echoes from a living past, has started toward the goal. Often he knows not why he does so, and is perhaps unaware that the echoes have transformed themselves, by the subtle alchemy of nature, into unconscious leanings very often called "atavistic" (wrongly) by scientific men. So he knows them not as echoes.

Perhaps failure to carry out a chosen plan is part of a necessary step. Our failures to encompass a set end are our best teachers, provided we recognize the real work that inevitably is contained in the failure.

The very rush of the onset made by him who impetuously enters the path, has in itself the recoil, and a brave ship is required; and not only a brave ship, but also the pilot called by the name "experience," and the captain who has sailed in many seas.

Each man keeps his own account — with his eyes closed; but his hand writes down the correct sums, and the balance has to be struck.

The examiner of accounts is deaf, dumb and blind; the entries are in relief, and he measures them by touch.

I charge you to give these words to those whom you know are waiting and anxious to hear or see any words of mine.

May we be guided towards the living Truth.

The Path