GdeP's last public address took place at one of the regular Sunday meetings held at the Society's headquarters in Covina on September 20, 1942. The move from Point Loma had been completed three months earlier, the Theosophical Endowment Corporation had received its charter of incorporation that week, and the world was entering the depths of World War II. After the formal presentation GdeP rose, as was his custom, to make a few closing remarks. It was the time of the autumnal equinox, the sacred season of the Great Passing, and he spoke briefly about the god within. At the end he paused, then opened his arms with a grand gesture and declared: "Consummatum est!" ("It is accomplished!"). A week later, on a routine walk about the grounds before breakfast, he suddenly collapsed and died. This address appears in Wind of the Spirit, pp. 305-8.— Eds.
Brilliance like the almighty wings of love knows no barriers, and can and does penetrate everywhere; and this thought was born in my mind this afternoon as I hearkened to our speaker giving us excerpts of great beauty, of great depth, from the archaic wisdom- teachings of mankind, teachings which belong to no race, to no age, and which, since they are essential truth, must be taught in spheres not earthly but divine, as they are taught here on earth to us men. For it struck me that the burden of his brilliant address was this: that we human beings, as indeed all other things and entities everywhere, are but parts of one vast cosmic whole, intimately united together, despite our failings and our stumblings, in the working out of our common destiny. And therefore in proportion to our own individual understandings, we respond to that cosmic source which the Christian calls God, and which I prefer to call the divine, from which we came, inseparable from which we are and always shall be, and into which again we are returning on our ages-long pilgrimage. Oh, just that one thought, if we could keep it alive in our hearts and allow it to stimulate our minds from day to day, how it would soften the asperities of human life, how it would teach us to treat our brothers like brothers instead of bitter foes!
Don't you see that this teaching is brilliant because it is a teaching of genius? It contains everything within it, all the Law and all the Prophets. And what is this teaching? Succinctly phrased it is simply this: that the cosmic life is a cosmic drama in which each entity, be it supergod, god or demigod, or man or beast, or monad or atom, plays his or its proportionate part; and that all these dramatic presentations are welded together, leading up to one vast cosmic climax — to which, by the way, there is no anticlimax. So that with every human day we are coming closer to that time in the immensely distant future when we all shall, once more reunited, enter into the deep womb of utter cosmic Being — call it God, divinity, spirit, call it what you wish. The drama then will have ended. The curtain will fall and pralaya will begin, the rest period. But just as in human affairs, when night is over there comes the day, so when the night of pralaya ends, the manvantara, the cosmic day, dawns again. The curtain on the cosmic stage once more rises. Each entity, each being, then begins its cosmic play, its role, exactly at the metaphysical and mathematical point where it stopped when the bells of pralaya rang down that cosmic curtain on the manvantara or world period just ended. Everything begins anew precisely like a clock or watch which, when it has stopped and is rewound, begins to run again at the exact point at which the hands themselves stopped.
Why, this single conception of human identity with the cosmos, together with all the religious and philosophical and scientific and moral implications which it imbodies, is older than thinking man. We are one and yet we know it not, we recognize it not; so that in the drama of life we commit all the follies on the stage, and tragedy becomes comedy and comedy, alas, through our own fault becomes tragedy.
GdeP addressing first public meeting at International Headquarters, Covina, July 12, 1942
I want to quote to you something that I love and have loved from boyhood. I learned it when I was a child and found it again once more in The Secret Doctrine of HPB when, in after life as a young man, I joined the TS. It is this: the picture is that of the Hindu guru or teacher. A pupil stands or sits before him, and he is testing the knowledge of this pupil regarding the teaching that this pupil has received, and he says: "Chela, Child, dost thou discern in the lives of those around thee anything different from the life that runs in thy veins?" "There is no difference, O Gurudeva. Their life is the same as my life." "O Child, raise thy head and look at the violet dome of night. Consider those wonderful stars, those beings radiating, irradiating, from the cosmic splendor above our heads. Seest thou that cosmic fire which burns in all things, and shines supremely bright in this and that and that and that yonder brilliant orb? Child, dost thou discern any difference in that cosmic light, in that cosmic life, from that which shines forth from our own daystar, or from that which burns in thine own heart both day and night?" And the child says, "O Gurudeva, I see no difference between life and life, and light and light, and power and power, and mind and mind, except in degrees. The light that burns in my heart is the same as the light that burns in the hearts of all others." "Thou seest well, Child. Now listen to the heart of all this teaching: Aham Asmi Parabrahma." And the child, who has been taught Sanskrit, the Vedic Sanskrit, understands and bows his head, "pranjali." The meaning is: "I am the Boundless, I myself am Parabrahma, for the life that pulses in me and gives me existence is the life of the divinest of the divine." No wonder the child has understood. Am I a child of God? Essentially it is the only thing I am and, if I fail to realize it, it is not the Divine's fault but mine.
You will find this teaching of divinity in every one of the great systems to which the genius of mankind has given birth. Religion is it; philosophy was born from it; science is now aspiring towards it, and is beginning to get adumbrations of what it means. Think even in our own small human affairs — small when compared with the vast cosmic majesty which holds us in its sheltering care — think, if every man and woman on earth were thoroughly convinced of the utter reality of this cosmic truth! Never again would the hand of man be raised against man. Always it would be the extended hands of succor and brotherhood. For I am my brother — in our inmost we are one. And if we are separate it is because of the smallnesses that make us each one an atom as it were, instead of the spiritual monad which for each one of us is our source. That monad is of the very stuff of divinity. As Jesus the avatara phrased it in his wonderful saying, "I and my Father are one" — the Father and the divine spark, the spark of divinity which is identic with the cosmic life, with the universal ocean of life, to use another metaphor. This idea of the cosmic ocean of life, of which we are all droplets in our inmost and in our highest, was in the mind of Gautama the Lord Buddha when he spoke of that ultimate end of all beings and things; for, as he said, all beings and things are in their essence Buddha, and some day shall become Buddha themselves, when, as phrased so beautifully by Edwin Arnold, the dewdrop slips into the shining sea. Consummatum est.
(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 2000; copyright © 2000 Theosophical University Press)