"Know ye not that ye are gods, and sons of the most high?" asked the Psalmist (82:6). If we feel bereft of the gods, it is because we have forgotten our true self. We sleep and dream dreams of matter, oblivious that gods are the very fabric of nature — its source, life, and substance, for Divinity is formed of countless divine consciousnesses. Galaxies and stars, animals, plants, and minerals, all are physical expressions of conscious, evolving divinities, sons of the most high. Like human children, each carries impressed within it the blueprint of its parent, and has the promise and capacity in time to achieve divine adulthood and take its place beside its source.
Humanity is one such host of spiritual entities. As gods, each of us is a universe in our own right. This is evident in our physical body, with its numberless lives: organs, cells, atoms, and particles. But as a microcosm we mirror and contain all the potentials of our parent-source. In its entirety our being extends from physical through ethereal, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms, until we arrive at a point human consciousness can no longer comprehend or imagine. To that point, and all beyond it, we give names like the Unknown, the Causeless Cause, That, Divinity, Parabrahma, Atman, Truth. Such terms do not represent an absolute ending or limit in nature, merely the limitation of our present understanding.
The Psalmist continues, however, reminding us that "Ye shall die like Adam, and fall like one of the princes" (82:7). Clearly human beings are not immortal; we die and vanish from the physical world. Does this contradict our divine status? Because our awareness is centered in psychological aspects which die as the body does, we are out of touch with the more fundamental parts of us which are eternal and in constant contact with the All. From the human viewpoint, to be immortal is to pass consciously through death, maintaining complete continuity of awareness despite physical dissolution. This can be achieved only by centering awareness in facets of ourself that do not disintegrate when the body dies. With effort and discipline, people can reach this state — though most of us choose to identify with the material realms and our more familiar, limited, mortal selfhood.
Nevertheless, throughout time there have been those who have delved into the mysteries of their own being, and some of them have left reports of their findings. These records tell us that as we ascend toward the divine source, unity becomes increasingly evident. This connectedness and identity make possible not only communication, but communion and conscious union of each with all and of the human with the divine. Our mind, caught up in the magical panorama presented by the senses, fails to perceive this fundamental oneness. Those striving toward fuller understanding of reality transcend the senses and learn to traverse the whole spectrum of selfhood. They experience in ever fuller measure the states and entities which form the cosmos, because a part of them corresponds to each.
Investigating the powers innate in man and cosmos is central to this process of understanding and growth. Among the objectives of the Theosophical Society since its early years, it is an invitation to "know yourself." By discovering the potentials within our own being, we realize and experience that life, perception, intelligence, free will — in fact, all our characteristics — have their counterparts on every plane of existence and in every entity. In this way our sympathies expand, our vision becomes more penetrating, and we are better able to control ourselves and the corresponding aspects of nature.
To be more we must become more, yet part of us has already reached the goal. Hidden from us by the limitations we usually call ourself, it is ready at any time to help us enlarge our awareness and self-direct our evolution. For each of us is the temple of a living god now, at this very moment — as the accounts of the Wise attest and our own investigations can prove.
(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 2001; copyright © 2001 Theosophical University Press)