Night is a mystic temple. Its dome the stars, its pillars the great trees, its portals veiled with the draperies of sunset and sunrise.
He who would enter this temple should pause when twilight transforms boisterous day into calmness and peace, inviting his soul to awaken and witness nature's hidden operations. For he will see that as the tranquility of the sunset hour softens the vivid contrasts of day, so the peace of man's spirit will bring the anxieties of brain-mind problems into a truer perspective.
Thus he may step forward fearlessly, receptive to the sacredness of the dusk that men sense but do not understand. Perhaps his thought dwells on the unfathomable mysteries of sleep as he observes little children transformed from human dynamos into angels slumbering peacefully; men and women relaxing for a few hours from the incessant demands of home and work, before retiring. Then, at last, after a time of prayer or meditation, sleep overcomes him, freeing his soul to go about its own celestial business. Time ceases to exist save for the measured movement of the clock, and the long silent hours slip by before the wandering soul returns. The weary brain, exhausted body, tired psychological nature renew themselves with miraculous efficiency. Life's consciousness stirs, the mind catches, in a fragmentary dream, a faint glimpse of the spirit's free journeying. The sleeper awakens to arouse his household and prepare for another day.
Now the lights of the temple are extinguished. The luminous stars have faded. The visiting pilgrim has withdrawn, yet the dawn's atmosphere vibrates with a hymn of gratitude, and aspiration for the strength and wisdom to sustain him on his pilgrimage through the ensuing twelve or fourteen hours. For now with his spiritual consciousness enshrouded by the illusions of earthly life, bewildered and deafened by the impact of his physical senses, he will be tested in a thousand different ways — his patience, honesty, his selflessness, and his love will be challenged again and again. Will the voice of the spirit or the man of flesh respond to the challenge?
If the former, the temple at evening will receive him joyously as one of its own, and in time, as one reborn, he will go forth into the day that has no night.
If, however, the demands of the earthly man cry too loudly he must remain encumbered to walk in darkness although the sun shines overhead. The temple doors will be invisible until, once more responsive to the beauty and silence of evening, he feels a divine power moving upon the earth, hears within the quiet of his own heart the stirrings of a god. Then he too may step unafraid into the darkness which is but the vestibule to the Temple of eternal Light.
(From Sunrise magazine, June 1952; copyright © 1952 Theosophical University Press)