(Lecture delivered January 25, 1931)
CONTENTS: Are human beings exceptions to cosmic law? — Boundless space our home. — Man an invisible entity. — Scientific generalizations unsatisfactory. — One fundamental doctrine in world literatures. — Unconscious use of inner faculties. — The man-plant of eternity. — Laya-centers of theosophy. — Questions answered by Sir James Jeans. — Fortuity and fate. — Proofs of consciousness in the universe. — Conflict between religion and science impossible. — The path to immortality. — Plato and the ancient Hindu teaching.
Friends: come now with me; come with me into realms which are far removed from this fevered sphere of human ambition, of human joy and disappointment; and let us wander together a little while into those other realms of human thought and into those actually existing parts and places of the universe which have been adventured into and described by the great seers and sages of the past. In thus wandering for a while together, we may find at least for a short period a temporary surcease from our pains, our sorrows, our disappointments, and our heartaches.
What a grand thing it is to realize that this mere physical sphere is not all that there is of the boundless universe: that it is, so to speak, but one plane, one world, one veil, beyond which man's enterprising spirit may go out on the greatest adventure that it is possible for a human entity to undertake: the search for light, for truth, for wisdom, for knowledge of the supreme self.
From time immemorial the great ones of the human race have taught — and have taught with one voice and after one way of speaking although indeed in different tongues — that behind the outward veil of physical existence there lie vast ranges of cosmic consciousness, and vast ranges of cosmic being which that cosmic consciousness invigorates; and that in these ranges, on these planes, on these spheres, in these worlds — call them what you like — there live vast and incomputable multitudes, armies, hosts, of living beings, who are there because they are passing through their respective phases of their long evolutionary journey, precisely as we human beings here on this earth are passing through the earth phase of our own long, aeons-long, evolutionary pilgrimage.
We human beings are but one host of these countless hosts of hosts of hosts of hosts. We human beings are by no means solitary and inexplicable exceptions in the boundless universe. We entities here on earth merely exemplify one phase — our earth phase — of what the universe does and of what the universe brings forth from within its bosom. Do you get the thought? Admitting our own existence and our own powers and faculties as we must do, we thereby prove the rule, for we could not be here except by reason of cosmic law and cosmic energy and cosmic life. Our own existence automatically proves the existence of other hosts of entities living as well in the invisible as in the visible spheres.
Say you that we human beings are exceptions, and that our earth is an exception, in boundless space and in all the infinitudes of cosmic being and throughout endless and beginningless eternity? Say you that we are exceptions, that we are merely chance products of a crazy universe, producing order fortuitously out of an irrational cosmic disorder? If you say this foolish thing, then prove it to me, if you can. Such a thought I can never accept, for it would be accepting something against which my very spirit rebels. My mind is a logical one, and must follow logical processes; and logic invigorated by the inner spirit is illuminated. Where lies wisdom? Where lies knowledge? Where lies understanding? All lie within. Why should this dust-speck which we human beings call earth be the only dust-speck in boundless eternity and in boundless infinitude to bring forth sentient, self-conscious, and aspiring entities? Obviously the supposition is an absurdity. But the fact that we are here, proves that we by that fact exemplify and prove a general rule. One single rose proves the existence of the entire rose family.
We human beings essentially are kin to the gods, kin to the cosmic spirits. The universe is our home. Isn't it obvious? Here we are in it. We cannot ever leave it. We are its children, its offspring, and therefore all that there is of boundless space is we ourselves in our inmost. We are native there, and boundless space is our home, and our instinct tells us therefore that "all is well."
Man has will, and he exercises this will in choice. He can do, or he can refrain from doing. He has the vision of mind: he can discern, judge, discriminate, set apart and put together — and analyse, and synthesize — and these are godlike faculties. Where do these faculties exist? They exist in him, because they are intrinsic parts of himself: they are his faculties expressed through the physical body. Man per se is an invisible entity. What we see of him in and through the body is merely the manifestation of the inner man, because man essentially is a spiritual energy — a spiritual, intellectual, psycho-material energy, the adjective depending upon the plane on which you choose to discern his actions, for indeed he may be said to exist on all planes, inner and outer.
The heart of the heart of a human being is a god, a cosmic spirit, a spark of the central cosmic fire; and all evolution — which means unfolding what is within, unwrapping what is within the evolving entity, bringing forth what is locked up within — all evolution, I say, is merely bringing forth ever more and more into a more perfect manifestation, the infolded, inlocked, wrapped up, energies, faculties, powers, organs, of the evolving entity. And pari passu, with equal step, as these faculties and energies become more able to manifest themselves, more perfectly evolved forth, does the organism through which they work — the body — show the effects of this inner evolving fire, of this energy within, and thus also the body itself so evolves, because automatically reflecting in itself each inner step taken forwards.
Man is an invisible entity, but he needs a physical body in which to live and with which to work upon this physical plane. He is a pilgrim of eternity. He came forth from the invisible part of cosmic being in aeons so far bygone in the past that mankind, except the great sages and seers, has lost all count thereof. He came out of the womb of cosmic being as an unself-conscious god-spark, and after wandering aeon after aeon after aeon after aeon through all the various inner worlds, passing at different stages through our own material sphere, and out again into the inner worlds, he finally became man, a self-conscious entity; and here we are. Future aeons of time will bring forth even on this our earth, into a far more perfect manifestation than at present, the locked-up faculties and powers existent in every human being; and in those days of the far distant future man will walk the earth a god, and he will walk this earth communing with his fellow gods, for he will then have brought forth the godlike powers now unevolved but nevertheless within his essence.
What is the difference between the beast and the man today? Even the beast has all the potentialities of the human being, but they are not yet evolved forth as they are, although imperfectly, in man today. The human being has to a certain degree evolved them forth, but nevertheless the human being has passed only a part of his way through this present earth stage of evolutionary experience. He will finish this earth stage of experience in the distant future, by growing, ever growing, improving, evolving, progressing ever more forwards — for such is Nature's way — until the god within him shall shine forth in native splendor, and then all men shall not only be like gods but verily shall in fact be gods, and shall walk the earth as gods, and they will think godlike thoughts and feel like gods. Yes, such is our future destiny. These faculties and powers in the future to be evolved forth are existent in the invisible spheres even now, and they are parts of us because we are essentially invisible beings. We are inhabitants of these inner realms and spheres even more truly than we are, physically speaking, inhabitants of our physical earth sphere.
Do you realize that the greatest men of science today are teaching that the real world is an invisible world, and that this our physical sphere is a sphere of illusion? That the real physical sphere is not at all what we see with our physical sense apparatus, because that apparatus is so imperfectly evolved that our vision of what surrounds us is not a true vision; but that the real world is an inner and invisible world, in other words an invisible universe, wholly composite of interlocking and interpenetrating energies.
It used to be a common scientific teaching that energy was a mere offspring of the material world, no one knew how born; but now the ideas of our greatest scientific minds have run to the other extreme and have reversed themselves, and now these minds say that the material world is but the fruitage, the effect, the result, of invisible energies ever operating and cooperating.
Eddington and Jeans — to quote only two of such great scientific intellects — and even the great Einstein, talk about the fundamental thing in the universe as being mind, as they call it, or mind-stuff — consciousnesses I say — and that our material sphere is merely one of the effects of the incessant activities of this invisible agent.
Now, mark you, my Friends and Brothers, theosophists don't care to satisfy our minds by generalizations in that easy way. We gladly admit the general truth of the statement that mind is the fundamental essence of the universe, but we follow the old wisdom-religion of mankind which has existed in all ages, among all men, and which has been proved by every great Sage and seer whom the world has ever known, and we say that instead of mind or consciousness, which are merely generalizing terms, the background of the universe — in other words, the invisible spheres — is essentially composite of hosts of consciousnesses and wills, i. e., of living entities, just as we humans are.
We human beings on this earth merely exemplify the rule that the universe is filled with consciousnesses and wills, and the fact of the great variety of entities that exists in our sphere simply exemplifies once more the same rule of natural being: that consciousnesses are innumerable in the universe and are of all-various kinds. Just so are the varying consciousnesses of men exceedingly numerous in their great variety, and we know they are of various kinds: as for instance, the consciousness of the poet, the consciousness of the seer, the consciousness of the philosopher, the consciousness of the artist, the consciousness of the musician, the consciousness of the scientist, etc., etc. Endless variety in universality is nature's law. Therefore we as a human host are essentially invisible beings, because our consciousness is essentially an invisible energy. We inhabit the spheres, the vast spaces, of space; and I now and here allude more particularly to those invisible spheres where in very truth we are incomparably more at home than we are even in this physical universe, which we understand so ill, and where we have to work through a gross physical body which actually dims the inner fire and which cripples the expression of the inner faculties, the inner energies.
It is like the glory of the sun shut out from human eyes by veil after veil surrounding the divine splendor; but as we go behind veil after veil after veil we approach ever closer to the sunlight of the spirit within, which is the inner god.
We are more at home in the invisible spheres than we are here, because these spheres are closer to the essence of our being.
All the great sages and seers of all the ages have taught one common doctrine. Prove this for yourselves: search the sacred writings of the peoples, of the nations, of the earth, and search with an unprejudiced and a seeing eye. Cleanse your mind, wash it free from prejudice and preconception, so that your vision may be clear and strong; and I tell you that throughout all these different literatures of mankind you will find in them one common, fundamental, basic doctrine. Prove this statement. Don't believe what I say merely because I say it. Prove it for yourselves. I have proved it.
This fundamental doctrine is the doctrine of the great sages and seers, of those men who are farther evolved than the average man is, and who were initiated in the ancient Mystery schools; who, consequently, being more evolved than the average man is, had become more ready in the exercise, more exact in the exercise, keener and stronger in the exercise, of the interior or spiritual and intellectual faculties and powers; so that they could send the percipient mind, the percipient consciousness, deep into the womb of being, pass behind the physical veils, penetrating thereinto in full self-consciousness. What they brought back from this sublime adventure they formulated into human tongues as this fundamental doctrine I have spoken of, and taught it to their less evolved fellow men.
Such were the great sages and seers of humanity. Doubtless you know the names of some of them. I have often recited them here. Let me now repeat the names of a few who are perhaps the best known to Europeans: the Buddha-Gautama, Jesus the Avatara, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Apollonius of Tyana, Krishna, Sankaracharya, Lao-tse, even Confucius, the original Zoroaster, and many more; and all were founders of the greatest philosophical and religious schools that the world has known.
It is pathetic that Occidental professors so often rend and tear the teachings of these great ancient sages and seers, merely because they do not understand those teachings. Brought up as they have been in Occidental religions and scientific theories they are blinded to misbelieve that man has a percipient spirit which can cognize truth instantly, immediately; that man has an inner faculty which, so to speak, can go to the gates of the sun, or drink of the Pierian springs of the primal wisdom. Yet indeed man so can do if he be trained to do it, and the great sages and seers do this and always have done it. All of you can do it, my Brothers, if you will undertake the training and will live the life that will fit you to do it. And in future ages, when you shall have evolved forth what are now locked-up faculties and powers within you, and shall have developed keener inner senses than now you have, then such wondrous and mystical adventures will be common and natural and instinctive operations of the consciousness of all men.
But even now, even now I repeat, whence come the great works which mankind produces? Whence come the works of genius? Whence comes that intuitive vision which sees, and which in seeing transmits to others? All comes from within, from the exercise conscious or unconscious of the developing inner eye, of the evolving inner consciousness. Even now, more or less unconsciously to himself, man is using these inner faculties and powers, feebly evolved as they are, and he calls them by various names such as intuition, instinct, vision, genius, 'hunches,' and whatnot. Or intellect, or psychic sight — a horrible phrase — and by other terms. He uses these imperfectly evolved faculties even now, and by their use produces works of genius, and yet in most cases knows not self-consciously what he is doing or the source of his inspiration.
Whence comes the mathematical and philosophical vision of an Einstein? How did Newton, the Englishman, come to have his almost universal sense of mathematical proportion and cosmic law? From what source came the world-shaking power of a Buddha or of a Jesus? Again, whence spring forth all the great works of human genius? All come from within and in every case. All come from the invisible worlds. Out of the invisible into the visible, like the growth of a plant, comes man, the man-plant of eternity. Beginning in one life on earth as a human seed, which grows to maturity, and produces or evolves forth what is locked up within; and then, with the natural decay of power, sinking to earth the body dies; and after a long period of rest and assimilation of experience in the invisible worlds, the inner spiritual flame comes again to earth for a new reincarnation here.
Such in brief is the history of man, the man-plant of the ages. He is born and flowers a while and then dies down and rests, and with the returning life-season he springs anew into existence and again flowers and again dies down; but always the golden thread of self — the sutratman of the ancient philosophers of Hindustan — passes through both time and space.
Yes, my Brothers: what I am trying to drive home into your consciousness is the fact that each one of you is not only a spiritual energy, in other words an invisible being, but that actually each one of you is a child of the universe, a spark of its central fire, and therefore life of its life, bone of its bone, flesh of its flesh; an inseparable part of boundless nature is each one of you, and of invisible nature especially.
The greatest men both spiritually and intellectually that the world has ever seen, no matter what line of activity their genius may follow, the greatest men the world has ever seen in any line of human thought or effort, have taught these identic truths. Some have taught them in one way, some have taught them in another way, but they all have taught the same fundamental truths. They taught that this physical sphere is but the outer garment, the veil, the body, of invisible spheres; that these invisible spheres together compose the invisible universe, just as our physical spheres in their aggregate compose what we call our home-universe, which is all that is included within the encircling bounds of the galaxy, the Milky Way.
They further taught that these invisible universes are as incomputable in number as are the sands on the seashore; and this is just about what our modern physical-astronomical scientists are likewise coming to teach us, to wit: that every galaxy in distant, all-surrounding space is akin to our own galaxy, and is a Universe, an island-universe they call it, akin to ours; and of course it is so, because universal nature is one vast organic entity.
Just as this physical universe has its inhabitants, and is divided into spheres and various elements, so indeed is the invisible universe builded on exactly the same plan and in exactly the same order. This is not because our physical universe originates this earth, not because our physical universe is a standard by which to judge all else and after which all else is copied; but, on the contrary, my Brothers, our physical universe is as it is because itself is a reflection of the powers, energies, within, which come pouring forth into our physical universe and make it just what it is.
When Sir James Jeans, for instance, speaks of the existence in the nebulae of Space of what he calls singular points — which theosophists for ages in the past have called laya-centers — through which come pouring into our physical universe energies and matters from another dimension — to use his term — from other worlds theosophists say, from other spheres, from the inner and invisible universe, he merely repeats unconsciously to himself what the wisdom-religion of mankind, today called theosophy, has taught from immemorial ages.
What a declaration for an Occidental scientist to make! Our whole argument is thereby admitted: his singular points through which come pouring into our physical sphere the energies and matters of an invisible universe, are what theosophists call laya-centers, channels, canals, open doors, through which they pass upwards out of this universe into the invisible universe and inversely from the invisible universe downwards into this physical universe, the beings and energies and matters resident respectively in either. This is an old idea with us theosophists and also with the theosophists of other ages past, in Hindustan, for instance.
Furthermore, these great sages and seers taught that these invisible worlds of the invisible universes are as varied and as multiform and are as fascinating in their all-various differentiations as are our own — and vastly more so.
You know the old saying of the Egyptian Hermes, of the Hermetic School: "As above, so below; as below, so above." Why is this true? Because the universe is one organism with one fundamental law or system of laws, one fundamental mind-stuff or consciousness, so that whatever the whole has or is, in other words whatever the cosmic aggregate has or is, every minutest entity, every minutest part of the whole, also has. Do you understand? Inversely therefore, whatever the part has, the whole has: the vast, incomprehensible to human minds, boundless, frontierless space, invisible and visible, inner and outer.
Therefore it is that our physical sphere is but a reflection of what is above; and if you know how to read the cosmic riddle, if you know how to construe the cosmic enigma, you will understand that what we see here — if you know how to read it — will show you what the gods are and have and pass their lives in.
We are essentially kin with the gods; and therefore I say that the universe is very friendly to us. We are children of it; all that it is is in each one of you. All the emotions of your soul, all the movements of your intellect, on a cosmic scale and in spiritual qualities exist in the gods. Do you follow the argument? It is really very simple. Reflect how beautiful and inspiring is this picture. Discern how full of hope it is, how easy to understand. Children of the gods you are, therefore gods yourselves manifesting, oh so feebly as imperfect man, the divine faculties which nevertheless you do manifest in some degree at least, thereby proving your divine origin.
Give me the man who can see and who can clearly think; whose mind is not crippled and enslaved by the scientific or philosophical or religious ideas of some passing age. Give me the man whose heart can beat in tune with the universal pulse, and who, when he examines the literatures of his fellows of whatever age of mankind, can sense the working of the great human heart in them, and in reading them can say "Ay, that have I seen; that do I also know."
In the London Observer of Sunday, January 4, 1931, there appeared the report of an interview with perhaps the most prominent British astronomical physicist today, Sir James H. Jeans. From this report I have selected two questions which were asked of Sir James by the reporter and Sir James's answers; and I am going to read these two questions and their answers to you.
Question: Do you believe that life on this planet is the result of some sort of accident, or do you believe that it is part of some great scheme?
Answer: I incline to the idealistic theory that consciousness is fundamental, and that the material universe is derivative from consciousness, not consciousness from the material universe. If this is so, then it would appear to follow that there is a general scheme. My inclination towards idealism is the outcome largely of modern scientific theories — for instance, the principle of indeterminacy may provide an escape from the old scientific doctrine that nature is governed by strictly deterministic laws. In general the universe seems to me to be nearer to a great thought than to a great machine. It may well be, it seems to me, that each individual consciousness ought to be compared to a brain-cell in a universal mind.
How familiar these ideas seem to us theosophists! They were as familiar to past ages as the face of your beloved is to each one of you today. Old, old, old, old thoughts are these; nothing new. And now our great scientists are beginning to think them again, for these thoughts are in the air; and modern scientific thinkers emit them anew as wondrous thoughts, new thoughts, inspiring deductions from scientific research and discovery. We are glad of it. No matter how they come, if only they come again into the consciousness of men, theosophists are thankful for these new-old doctrines. It is the thing per se that we want, not the method of its coming.
This so-called principle of determinacy, this supposed principle of determinacy or of indeterminacy — you know what these ideas are, I suppose. The scientists of the last generation or two managed to persuade themselves that nature was a vast cosmic machine, unimpulsed, uninvigorated, unenlivened, by either mind or thought or consciousness or spirit or soul — call it what you like — and that the marvelously intricate and mathematically founded universe had run itself from all eternity, and would, mayhap, mayhap not, run itself through all the eternity of the future — how they did not know. How can a machine run itself forever? They answered: "We do not know. It may, perchance, have periods of 'life' and periods of cosmic 'death'; but we do not know." They said that this cosmic machine was fatalistic in character: that every cog fitted into every other cog, and that thus it ran by itself and for itself, without guidance, without governance, without thought, without consciousness — that it was but a physical machine, in fact; and this rigid concatenation of physical cause and effect is now called the principle of physical determinacy. Men said there was no escape from it; and that because it existed and because evidences of consciousness in it were lacking, de facto there was no inner or spiritual principle involved in it at all. Pathetic and futile conclusion.
To a theosophist, this very existence of ineluctable order and regularity in cosmic structure and operations, based on rigidly mathematical principles, announces an inherent life and consciousness in the universe.
Fortuity — curiously enough another scientific dogma of those days, strangely contradictory of the physical determinism so popular then — was the other pillar of the Temple of Scientific Theory.
The ideas were worshiped in this Temple, rather than truth, and the ideas were the offspring of the high priests of the Temple, and on its altars incense was raised to the mind-born children of its high priests rather than to the indwelling spirit and life of our cosmical universe, which is the spirit of truth, of order, of regularity, the fountain of consciousness, the source of all that is great and noble and holy. The modern hunger to throw off the shackle of the so-called principle of determinism, the bastard child of the materialistic nightmare of our forefathers, arises in the hunger to find soul or spirit, in other words free acting will and individual consciousnesses, in nature. This hunger is a natural one and a right one but, let us ask, why not do as the theosophist does, find that soul and spirit are and must be concordant with and part of universal nature and the cosmic scheme of things rather than something contradictory to it and out of causal relation with it.
This last supposition to the theosophist is the summit of absurdity. Souls, that is to say individual consciousnesses and wills, exist throughout universal nature physically separate as the atoms of being, for indeed universal nature is composite of them; but by this very fact these individual souls and wills are wholly concordant with natural processes of which they are inseparable parts and with the cosmic structure, rather than existing in opposition thereto or by virtue of an accident — a flash of rhetoric which is as idle as it is inept.
No wonder that our modern scientists, with a wisdom which has been evolved by the obtaining of a greater knowledge, are breaking away from the nightmare of materialism of our immediate forefathers. There was not one solid substantial proof of these old materialistic theories regarding the universe, for they were only theories; and Occidental men, in scrutinizing the outside universe so carefully as they thought, forgot the key to that outside universe, which key is for each man himself — his own spiritual selfhood. Man forgot his own spiritual soul, the movements of his own consciousness, the spiritual motions of his own inner being. If the universe has them not in any wise whatsoever, how is it that they exist in man, a part of that universe? And how can they be restricted to men alone? Obviously, what the part has, the whole must have.
Theosophists teach the existence of a rigid concatenation of cause and effect which is as strict as that of the old physical determinism which our modern scientists have so wisely cast to the winds; but we say that this rigid natural concatenation of cause and effect, cause and effect, cause and effect — every effect in turn immediately becoming a new cause — is itself but a manifestation of consciousness, the fundamental element or energy in the universe, or rather that this concatenation is the resultant or manifestation of hosts of consciousnesses pervading and permeating the visible and invisible universes, and existing in all grades or degrees on the beginningless and endless ladder of life.
Some of these cosmic movements are very great because the cosmic consciousness moves in universal sweeps, and within universal reaches, motions which are difficultly discernible by man's as yet imperfectly evolved mind. Do you understand? Just so might a man's pet dog or his beloved horse see what the master does in whistling and in calling, but does not understand. Just so we humans seeing the vast movements and motions in the universe think that because they are so majestic and take such long time periods to pass from their beginnings to their ends, they are but the working of a cosmic machine. So you see, my Brothers, that this passing from the principle of physical determinism to what they now call the principle of indeterminacy, is a willing effort to free themselves from the older materialistic nightmare; and may the immortal gods bless the effort!
But here is a danger that I see: in jumping from the frying pan of physical determinism, modern scientific thinkers may cast themselves into the fire of mere fortuity, mere chance. What will save them is such a teaching as this now held up by many scientific minds, that the fundamental element of the universe is consciousness. How indeed can anyone doubt it? You yourselves, my Brothers, are consciousnesses, sparks of the universal fire, children of the universal parent; you are what you are because the universe is as and what it is.
Here is the second question:
Do you agree with Einstein's remark that modern scientific speculations spring from a profound religious impulse?
Answer: I agree with that remark if the word, religious, be sufficiently widely interpreted. I think that the greatest achievements generally spring from what may be called a religious impulse. . . . And in science I think that the best work is that which is undertaken purely for the truth's sake, or undertaken wholly for the benefit of humanity. I suppose one could describe both these motives as religious impulses.
And so indeed they are. When will you Occidentals come to understand what the wisdom of the children of men has known from immemorial time, that science and philosophy and religion are but three operations of the human mind or soul or spirit — call it what you like — in any case, of the human constitution? Therefore they spring from one entity, one consciousness, and you cannot understand any one of the three without understanding the other twain, for they are like the three sides of one thing. You cannot understand true religion without understanding true science and true philosophy; you cannot understand true philosophy without understanding true religion and true science; and you cannot understand true science, which is ordered knowledge of the universe, unless you understand true philosophy and true religion. There can be no such thing in theosophy, I may add in passing, as a conflict between religion and science. It simply does not and cannot exist.
It is true that theosophists, in common with all men, hunger for a greater light; it is true that we want ever more light. But is not this the divine hunger of the human heart and can there ever come a time when no more light may be had — in other words, when evolution shall cease? Of course not. Immortal gods, give me more light! That is our theosophic prayer. No matter what it costs me as a person, I cast the cost aside if only the gods help in bringing to me light and thus satisfy the divine hunger of my soul. Remember this, that light for the mind, love for the heart, understanding for the intellect: all these three must be satisfied in every man before he has real peace.
Our universe is run according to law: in other words, it is strictly orderly, systematic, rigidly in accordance with the movements of the consciousnesses which infill and actually compose the universe both visible and invisible. The innumerable hosts of the gods in their thoughts and in the motions of their constitutions produce what appear to us as the laws of the physical universe. Consequently justice rules, because harmony is nature's own heart.
Everything is well ordered; everything is orderly and harmonious, for love, almighty, impersonal love, which is the noblest thing that human hearts have ever felt, is the very core of things, and impersonal love is harmony. Therefore, wipe the tears from your eyes; raise them aloft from the ground and look to the Mystic East within; for on those distant mountain peaks o'er which the spiritual light of the rising sun ever breaks, there is your home.
There is a law of compensation in the universe, meaning that all evildoing has its own retribution by nature's own act. Leave it therefore to the gods to avenge you if you have suffered, and suffered wrongly. "Vengeance is mine," said the Scriptures claimed by the Christians, merely re-echoing an ancient truth, a teaching of the sages and seers. Harmony is at the heart of things, for all nature is orderly, and beautifully moves in system and stately measures. Give justice when you receive injustice. Ally yourselves with the gods, with your own inner god. Requite never hate with hate, for thus you but add fuel to an unholy flame. Requite hatred with compassion and justice. This is the ancient law. Thus also you make no evil karma for yourself; thus you ally yourself with nature's own spiritual procedures and you become a child of the cosmic life, which thereafter will beat in your own heart with its undying pulses.
This is the path of immortality: allying yourself with the universe, with its spiritual essence. What prevents man from doing this, in other words from becoming at one with the god within him, with the inner Buddha, with the immanent Christ? It is selfishness — self-seeking, the hunger to satisfy the petty, personal desires at the cost of others' pain.
The path to immortality and glory is unselfishness; it is the path of forgiveness and of compassion; it is the path of impersonal love. Is not this the teaching of all the sages of all the ages? And why is it so? For this reason: that by so acting you act in accordance with nature's own most secret and recondite operations, laws, habits, procedures. And as I have told you, you are each one of you an inseparable part of the universe, and consequently — listen carefully to this wonderful ancient deduction — you are in the essence of yourself that very universe. Do you understand? That universe is you, for all your being is but the cosmic fire. You see now the pathway to follow, the pathway of the spiritual self, of this inner flame, of this god within? Follow it then, and your consciousness will ever expand more and more until it attains cosmic reaches.
Do you see the logic of this? Remember the teaching of the sages of Hindustan: Tat twam asi: That (boundless infinitude) thou art! It is true. Those sages used this technical word 'That,' rather than give to it some human descriptive title limiting it; therefore they simply called it by the demonstrative pronoun That. Even so did the divine Plato speak of 'This and the Other' — "This world" and "That world." Just so said the ancient Hindu: Idam and tad: "This" and "That." Thou art in very truth a child, O son of man, of the heart of things; and that heart of things is the core of the core of you. Follow that pathway. It is the pathway of immortality; it is the pathway of the spirit.