The men and women of the present time are being challenged by the condition of the world. Crime, disease, vice, and insanity are increasing rapidly, and the greatest remedial efforts that have been made have not brought us to a state of security. We all wish conditions could be better, but the challenging question is, how much are we doing to change them? Can we be satisfied with present conditions? Can we be satisfied to bring up children in the shadow of the world's present condition and not enlighten them as to their possibilities?
The light will not all come in a flash. Each one of us must seek the truth and find the way for himself. We must find strength; we must find our spiritual individuality, if one may call it such. We must strengthen our minds with a purpose so true, so high, and so constant that we cannot move away from it. It will stay with us all the time and fill us with that spiritual something that all humanity is crying for.
When we get this, then we will commence to climb. We cannot measure our steps, but we will find that something is happening to us. We will have more sympathy for the sin and sorrow of the world than we ever had before. We will find that we have more spiritual strength than we ever had before, and we can meet our trials and our difficulties much more courageously, because we are slowly delving into the depths of our nature and finding there those godlike attributes which every man possesses. Even the humblest, the most ignorant, the most forgotten, the most mistaken — all have this royal privilege.
The question is, are all the mothers and fathers perfectly satisfied about their children? Are they perfectly satisfied with themselves? The very fact that they are dissatisfied shows that there is still unfinished business in their natures. The great heart of the universe opens its doors for those who earnestly seek the light — without price. But they must find the warmth of the eternal love of the divine in their hearts, that we know exists. How much mothers know of that love, and how beautiful it is! And if they have it for their children, what must it not be in the great heart of the universe — deity?
You mothers know in your hearts that the children you have borne have something divine and splendid in them, and you try to keep it and to protect it. But you cannot keep it, you cannot make it grow, you cannot make it a living power in their lives unless you have faith in yourselves and in that thing which you most love in your children — the divine soul. When you feel the mightiness of the real, inner life and are growing in the richness of it, then you begin to know the fullness and the grandeur of the love of the divine. But remember, you have your own life to fashion, and you go only just so far as you permit yourselves to go.
We know the infinite laws exist because we feel the touch of them in our hearts at times. When we can build our natures, our characters, our souls, and our love for humanity on the great broad platform of these universal laws, in the atmosphere of continuous growth, evolution, of the exchange of the spirit of brotherly love and patience towards one another, then how different will life be to us.
This is the time of challenge to the real inside thinker, the loving mother and the conscientious father. We must awaken and find the key that will bring to every home and to every human heart that spiritual quality that so many seek. The eternal love of the divine is in every human being, down to the lowest type, even those who have sinned and whom we condemn. No matter! Underneath the enfoldment of all the miseries of life, there is the power of love.
All nature is challenging us. Those who have passed on are challenging us. Those who have failed, and some who have not failed utterly but have made mistakes, also are challenging us. All the miseries and heartaches of the past can go out of our lives if we can begin to make new records by bringing our souls into a higher state of consciousness. We live so much in our bodies and so bind ourselves to our physical needs that we forget our souls and our eternal future, and so we are only half living.
There is a challenge to every human being to use present opportunities, which will never come again. We must color our lives with a new hope, with a beautiful picture of the future, with confidence in ourselves. We must begin life anew. There will be no sounding of bells or cries from the house tops — only that wonderful inner touch of the sublime in man that opens the doors of the mind so that the spiritual sun can shine in and enlighten and warm our lives.
Then that beautiful, inner, eternal part of ourselves, which has so little recognition in the workaday world, will bloom and blossom like the flowers, and we shall find that after all, life is joy. We shall learn that much of what we call suffering means growth if we are only big enough to rise above it. And we shall realize that the other part, somewhere along the line, possibly without intention, we ourselves have caused and that we are but reaping what we have sown.
The great doctrine of reincarnation enables the broad mind to open the next page of life, to lift the veil. It shows him the wonder of the universe — not only of one universe, but of thousands of universes, millions of stars and suns and planets, all in their ordered places. And we are shut in, in a little town, or a little state, or a little country. It is too small for us — there is something more; try and find it!
This New Year is, on the one hand, a time of chaos, confusion, unrest, misery, and suffering; and yet we might also say, on the other hand, that it is a time of glorious possibilities. If we could stretch our imaginations, we might open up for ourselves a wonderful vista, for the reason that humanity, and each individual member thereof, holds within himself treasures of untold blessings — treasures of truth, of enlightenment, of godlike and god-given things that we are all asking for. The very fact that we are dissatisfied reminds us that things are all awry in ourselves. We have not to go to New York or Boston or to Europe or anywhere at all in order to find out what is the matter with human nature. All we have to do is just to look at ourselves. We must come down to basic facts and look at life as it is.
Nature in all its glory is singing to us everyday its wonderful song of peace and beauty and enlightenment, but we hear it only a little, just occasionally, because we are so held in with our mental attitudes, our states of mind, our limited knowledge. One must go a long way before finding many who will tell one of their absolute belief in something more than one earth-life. And with this limited conception of only one earth-life, I do not see how we can have a vista of possibilities that are encouraging, I do not see how we can have much to offer our children, I do not see how we can dare to live beyond a day, because everything on the outer plane, as far as we have gone, is incomplete.
It is impossible for so much misery to exist in the world without our taking part in it. We may not commit as great wrongs as some do, we may not suffer poverty and hunger and other misfortunes, but we do feel deeply, when we are true to ourselves, the suffering of humanity.
H. P. Blavatsky gathered up the teachings of theosophy, as she found them, and brought them to suffering humanity, hoping to do her part to lessen the world's misery; and she certainly did it most grandly. She never claimed that she originated the teachings, which are as old as the ages and were not invented by anyone. But she lifted the veil for us and made a vista so broad and high and eternal that following the path she indicated, we could not lose our way, for in following that path we would find the true key of life: a knowledge of the essential divinity of man.