So then, those gorgeous vegetable aromas, colors, forms, — are not they ours, part of the vesture of our soul, expression of our hopes and sighs, as they swell and rise towards the clear and cooling moon of pure intellect, and wave their tops, and distill their flavors according to the ebb and flow of the selenic tides.
O! when that vesture will become a part, to be taken by the soul into its bosom? Where is the soul with its light undying? Before the sunlight comes, the red, red shadows must precede the dawn. The animal fires must crowd the sea, the hot and boiling sea of brass, Gehenna of the birth of powers, who have legs and wings, as if to change their sighs into a race and flight towards their distant goal. They feel, they move, yet till they reach the mark, how many terrible battles must be fought. Pain must they suffer, and through terror must they pass, and themselves become the shadows of all they feel, the misty images on the clouds of the reflected red sunrise. But the Sun did not reach them yet, though they are now running to it, as the plants did turn their leaves and petals. In minerals the great Mother has touched the atom-sparks in plants — small lives, and shadows in the animals. Steadily rising, there streams upward her harmonious unifying power through these steps of the stairway of the angelic dreams, so that they might live a life and see what is around, thrill to it, sigh for and chase it, and by it feel their Source, as it feels them. Though the first acquaintance is made with tooth and claw, and the first friendly grasp is at the same time the grasp of death, yet it was made, imprinted, felt so suddenly, so strongly, that there is no time for hate, for malice, for revenge, the sublime punishment of a responsible man, who can rise so high, who can fall so low. No! innocent are the animals and brave, and their feelings are rather awe and admiration and interest aroused and the throbbing of the blood, at the sight of new and wonderful possibilities suggested, and after pain is past and a victim, for instance, of a tiger, rests in its shadow world, the tiger's burning breath seems to be in memory like a fiery kiss of some wonderful being of gold and black, of some power mercifully tearing the apathy of existence, destroying darkness with flashing yellow streaks of fire. Who can explain the first origin of the kiss? And if he can see something in this symbol, and trace it through all evolution, never more will he trifle again with that which means the Mother's touch, and by which the flesh and bones of apathy are torn to shreds, that the light may shine. Those, whose dim clouds of selfish passion and the crafty builder of their house will dare to call their joyous light of Mother, those will get themselves into the Karmic tiger-teeth, that will tear to shreds the earthly caller and its selfish hopes, and that which was to be gladness above all, will seem to turn into a black and yellow monster, merciful because of the destruction done, so that the pure and unselfish part of man, might be set free and bright again. Thus every animal is a symbol of an idea.
Who has not admired the beautiful colors of sea shells and fishes, of insects and birds, flashing in sunlight as some celestial speech of tints, so full of soul and harmony? Who has not asked: "What have you to say to me, dear creature?" and did not receive some answer? Who has not seen his soul expressed in those million forms and colors, movements and sounds? Who did not find some secret told, some good example given? Who has not in his bright moments felt one with nature and a friend of all creatures?
Let us then follow the footsteps of those, whose every moment is so bright, whose mind is eager to learn the great self by the smallest selves, whose heart is open to see and know the great Inner Life everywhere and feel that all creatures are not outside but inside, not inside of our personality, but, inside of that ray of the Great Divine Soul, which at such moments becomes ours.
Then only our Angel approaches to the power to take his ancient dreams into himself, to gather himself from the four corners of the world. Then the animal Gehenna of the boiling brazen sea of evolution will not scare him any more; no! it will turn into a welcome fuel for his spiritual flame to feed upon and grow in mighty energies. Then the red terrific shapes of dawn will lead him into sunlight, instead of frightening back into the night. Then the gigantic passions, the sleeping, vibrating lightnings of his soul, will be simply helpers to tear the clouds, to clear the sky, to open space toward the rising sun of Spirit. Obeisance will they show, and their great sport and glee will turn into the power of the marching order and they will grow themselves more transparent, tender, pure, as they merge into the dawn.
And so they did at the twilight of the Gods, and the first wonder of clear sky was the morning moon appearing. The Lords of the sublunar kingdom came from above, grand, perfect in their way as some aerial glories, pure and luminous in the morning of their descent, human, half-divine and yet mortal, and in them plants and animals of the new cycle, of the Fourth Round of our renovation.
These were the first men, themselves the shadows and the dreams, — yet dreams sublime, full of quiet power and serenity of the great cyclic essence, tender, restful, bright. They know, yet their knowledge is outside, they love, yet their love is dual and knows the meeting and the parting ways. They are not earth-born, the whole grand path of lunar evolution is their past, the selenic rest and the radiance of a cycle; do not speak lightly of them, O mortal man, for they are thy Fathers, and do not worship them, but only learn how thou earnest into the world. Look up from thy gross and suffering body to their diaphanous shining shapes, and know that they are thine, in ages past, in ages future, and that thy present hard and restless form was built by lower earthly powers around thy lunar glory.
Yet in those times the outer coat of skin was slight and just forming, the beings were fresh and clear, and looked up high full of ecstasy and contemplation.
If thou wouldst meditate like them, and become a Son of Will and Yoga, first dispel the clouds, murky, red and wild, from thy soul's sky that thy moon may shine in the clear morning heavens of thy endeavor and that its heaving sigh of the aerial tide and winds keep the air cloudless, fresh and breezy — with such a power that no red monster-cloud endures. When thus uplifted to thy Fathers' plane, when thus entranced with the vastness of the skies, when thus made transparent, pure and cold as virgin snow, (1) when all thy nature becomes an enraptured longing toward that glorious approaching Morn which will warm thy heart and illuminate thy soul, then thy Moon's face will grow so tenderly tinted, so rosy warm, so trembling with the inner light, as if thy dearest love would beam upon thee from the Universal Mirror of the World.
(To be continued.)
1. Secret Doctrine II, 100. (return to text)
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