Sunrise Magazine Online

Narrow Pathway

By A. H. van der Laan, Holland

What did I do wrong at a certain moment? When did I put wrong causes into action? No amount of wise words gives us the answer. In some rare cases the link between cause and effect is so evident that we need not look far. Daily, hourly, we may find ourselves in a situation which we did not want; still less do we like it. A very little mistake or a thoughtlessly spoken word may bring about an unpleasant situation. Later we wonder how we ever could have been so stupid and ungoverned. We are tempted to blame someone else for our mistakes, but generally feel that it would be unreasonable.

So much for outward and physical matters. But I ask, is the human economy limited to the material plane only? Nobody today would agree, for we are outgrowing that conception. Life itself, changing existence, makes it impossible for us to confine ourselves to our own little material world.

From the moment we awake and our opened eyes bring us to active life again, we take up our thread of life that stretches from day to day, from life to life, even from eternity in the past to eternity in the future. Our daily activities are concerned not only with the material basis of life, but are more strongly linked with the mental, intellectual, spiritual and even the divine qualities of each individual.

Every day we walk on a narrow pathway of experience where we meet thousands of human souls struggling as we do. Every event in which we become involved on that pathway is the result of coming into contact with one or another experiencing consciousness. We may meet one who is helpful to us. Another time an outstretched hand merely points in our direction, for a more experienced and developed being may need to give us only that little bit to help us climb higher on the road of growing toward perfection.

This process of self-conscious activity daily begins anew, whether it is an alarm clock that calls us back to life or some gentle breeze that wafts away the veil that fell over us when we closed our eyes the night before. The very first thought that comes to our mind at that time can never fail to do its work. It gives direction to the events which follow.

Everyone has to live his own life and must face his own problems, but in doing so he finds the whole world with its problems beside him on his road, and he will be taken up in that particular combined stream which is most attractive to him. Above all, we must free ourselves from the conception that we can stand alone for a fraction of a second. No one can live to himself alone; and by the very first thought at the moment of awakening he is shaping events in his own life and that of others.

We are far more our brother's keeper than generally is realized. But we are humans, and that is far away from relative perfection. Yet to come even this far, we as individuals must take the opportunities we meet by training ourselves, naturally and without stress, to attract those thoughts which are appropriate to attain that relative perfection. This first step in training is connected with life itself, of which we are no more and no less important parts than anything else.

In short, our thoughts and consequent actions should be directed more to the welfare of the whole rather than limited to ourselves alone. Every moment of the day should be a preparation for being better trained to meet the following day and its problems — for they are always awaiting us.

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