Theosophical University Press Online Edition
The question arises, what are we to do to enter the Kingdom of the Spirit? Is there a possibility of sharing the experiences of our Higher Consciousness in full awareness of it?
In other words, how can we raise and enlarge our consciousness and see the truth of things and remove our blindness?
So we possess slumbering capacities which we can develop, capacities which have been lost under the effort of the human being to make himself at home in this world? The world of the spirit is no abstraction, but a real world, which our consciousness may get to know after we have found the way to it. All people should be fully alive to the importance of this truth.
Why would the great spiritual teachers of humanity speak with so much authority, with such conviction, if they were not seers -- i.e., people who have seen the vision in all its splendor? And should it not also be possible for us to follow the path they have gone?
However, would people who are taken up with life outside themselves be able to be absorbed in their internal life? Would people who are driven hither and thither by their thoughts, have the possibility of finding in themselves the peace which is necessary to enter a world of stillness and peace? Can they concentrate on the spiritual truths when their souls do not yearn for them?
Asking these questions means answering them. He who wants to unseal his mind to the world of the spirit should do this in quiet and stillness.
The intellect has a quality which enlarges its activity.
It may be directed to, or concentrate itself in, one point. This directional and concentrated thinking compares with the activities of a lens. When we catch sunbeams in a lens, they are concentrated in the focus and in this point an increased activity results from the united activities of the rays, which makes it possible to burn something through.
The mind acts in the same way. If we want to consider or to see through something, we must adjust the lens of our consciousness in such a way that all our thought-rays are focused in one point.
Even in ordinary social life, people must know how to concentrate their thoughts on one single point. How could a person achieve something in spiritual matters when his thoughts fly hither and thither and escape his control?
How can an unpracticed intellect proceed a single step in the regions of a higher consciousness? And yet in the development of our consciousness not a single capacity of man may be left idle; they are the only tools nature gave us on our journey to the Endless. Concentration is the first requirement, the first step on the way to a deeper insight.
But we can also use the mind in a different way.
We can practice bringing our thoughts to rest, withdrawing them from the things of everyday life, in which we are absorbed day in and day out.
And then, when this mind is at rest, we must direct it to spiritual truths.
Reflection on the highest truths results in true contemplation. This exercise, performed at the beginning of the day, gives us rest and happiness which impart a special splendor to the day.
We call this meditation, a word that I use only hesitatingly, partly because the word has so often been misused, partly because meditation breathes such a devotion and rest that we may put meditation on a level with true prayer.
It is generally assumed that meditation is an oriental practice -- that by their very nature westerners live in a world of action and activity. As if the happiness of inner vision or introspection were reserved for only part of humanity!
It is abuse of meditation when we aim at a forced stimulation of psychical powers by making ourselves over-sensitive, and consequently lose control.
Real meditation is something different: meditation is guiding the stream of our thoughts either upwards or inwards, after the ordinary hurrying thoughts of every day have been eliminated. Meditation means -- with the mind at rest -- dwelling on the highest truths we know.
That's why rest is one of the first requirements in our thinking.
Spiritual growth requires devotion. This growth demands daily practice, but the consequence of this practice is that it rouses a dynamic force in the spiritual life of the devotee.
If our minds are disturbed and under the influence of our emotions, it is as if we look through a blurred window-pane.
A quiet mind reflects the light of the spirit unbroken.
When we make this daily meditation a habit, it will have a profound and beneficial effect in our lives. It brings peace, rest, love, sense of spiritual beauty, and more -- it brings the ecstasy which inspires and pervades man like a living, radiant force; meditation makes us attract the highest thoughts and ideas as a magnet does. It brings evenness of temper in foul and fair, and under the magic it conjures up, our super-consciousness opens slowly like a flower.
Let us imagine what it means when our highest consciousness becomes active, and let us understand what perspectives are opened then.
Let us imagine what it means when the Mystery of the endless, boundless evolution of our consciousness is revealed to us, and what it means to dwell in the highest regions of human thinking, on the summits of spiritual enlightenment.
Behold . . . in the quiet, virginal fields of our highest consciousness the first rays of the spiritual Sun break through and gradually set these fields aglow.
We are surrounded by an ocean of wisdom, beauty and spiritual light in which we can be absorbed infinitely, but of which we are able to take in only a part. In order to penetrate it, it is necessary to develop within ourselves a capacity that reaches beyond mere thinking; we must rouse our intuition, that is -- reach a state of spiritual vision. I do not write about unreal things. They are not far from us or strange. The entire Creation is suffused with a spiritual life and light, it is an expression of it, and we live in its middle. We have come from it, and we shall return to it.
We keep only a memory, a hankering of the soul for that which is inexpressible. Approaching it is our highest spiritual joy, it raises us above this world which has resulted from it -- above life as we know it, it makes us see the unity of all that is.
What do we really know about life? We can penetrate it, but we shall never be able to get to the bottom of it. Look at man; how lonely and lost he is in the silence of the night, surrounded by myriads of suns and solar systems. How much is there of him in this infinitely large universe, in this wonderful creation? And yet a divine longing, an irresistible craving for investigation and understanding urges him on to search deeply the world about him, an irresistible craving to solve the problem of his existence. Thousands upon thousands of stars twinkle in the night sky; solar systems and milky ways speak of the greatness of creation and its beauty penetrates the soul of the investigator and makes him silent.
The more man loses himself in this grand spectacle, the more he is absorbed by it and becomes conscious of his greatness. Is it no wonder that he is able to bend his thoughts on this mystery, that he is able to open his spirit to the majesty of creation, and to experience the marvel that he can become conscious that he is all this? In that -- which is beyond thinking and understanding, from which this creation resulted -- he finds the essence of his being.
He comprises, and finds within himself, all that he absorbs, the greatness and the beauty of which he becomes conscious; he himself is all this. And in the only mysterious center of his existence, the center which is his only mainstay and reality -- the Self -- all is concentrated. This center is indestructible, infinitely great in its smallness, unfindable and yet comprising everything. Is this no wonder -- has not it always been and will it not always be, did not it comprise everything and will it not comprise everything? Man is infinitely small and at the same time infinitely great: limited in his essence, as long as he partakes only of earthly life, but universal when he rises to the Boundless. If we dare to lose ourselves in the mystery in which we are nothing, the boundless spirit blooms and we have allowed ourselves to be absorbed by the Divine, in a state of pure contemplation.
There is a world above boundaries, space and time, where real happiness may be found. This truth will one day reach the dejected people, like a message from higher spheres.
The people who have called forth this catastrophic war did not know this peace. Religion was no longer a living force, because it forgot the Kernel of Faith -- devotion. They did not observe the daily exercise of the faculties that were to gain for them entrance to the Eternal Observer -- the Spirit.
This practice does not lead man outside life, but shows it to him in its higher sense, and suffuses life with a splendor of beauty, and illumines it.
But how many disasters and how much suffering, which humanity has drawn towards itself, must be gone through before it will begin to live in a meditative world of contemplation instead of losing itself in a world of desires, before the only source of inspiration and spiritual life, the Internal Self, is roused and begins to flow?
It is not sufficient to open the gate to show an unknown world of beauty for a single moment; there must be a constant longing for a hidden world of infinite greatness and happiness which can only be entered slowly, and which grows more beautiful every moment.
In reality there is such a world within man.
Our consciousness opens but slowly to it and never before the searcher has found rest and peace, and the Internal Way to that which I have called the background or the soul of life.
The earthly sphere in which we live comprises only a fragment of the great cosmic creative consciousness, part of which is revealed and becomes active in this life on earth. The great perceiving Spirit, our real "I," registers all impressions and experiences of the infinite consciousness. Our "I" is affected by means of the faculties that are in the possession of earthly man only to the extent that this "I" has become active in the human existence, however sublime this may become.
But consciousness is infinite when man is boundless. From many sides, along many channels, by endless capacities, the great spiritual Perceiver, or the Spirit, absorbs these impressions. And yet the wisdom of this everlasting and immortal "I" is our wisdom, Its love and rest are ours.
In the fabric of our boundless existence wonderful mysteries are hidden, but they are only within reach of him who succeeds in gaining entrance to the internal worlds of contemplation, of him in whom the divine light of intuition burns.
The image we call forth keeps receding and leads us further on the path of investigation. And the most wonderful thing is that as our insight takes us further into the unsuspected depths of our being, the world in which we live and which seemed to us the only reality, becomes more and more unreal to us, and the unknown, quiet, unreal world of consciousness that we are about to enter becomes our security.
If we want to rise beyond human knowledge to superhuman contemplation we enter an unknown world in which we have to orient ourselves; we are born again in a new world. And as a child which is born on earth becomes conscious only after years of growth, we must grow to find our place in this new world in which we are born again.
I am thinking of Jesus' words: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." But in that case man enters a very real world, he develops one by one his slumbering faculties by his devotion to higher life.
At present brutal things happen. The things people make their fellow creatures suffer are indescribable. The things that take place about us, the persecution of the Jews, the seizure of their goods, the carrying off of these unhappy people, the keeping of hostages who forfeit their innocent lives, the total lawlessness; we must accept it without any possibility of protest. What judgment is called forth by the absolutely blinded persons who commit these things? The people are unconscious of a higher law that holds everyone responsible for his actions; they do not know what they are doing.
The noblest instincts of man are violated, feelings of love and compassion are considered weakness.
On this small planet, this obscure, out-of-the-way spot of the universe, hatred reigns supreme. In ordinary life people have an even temper; as soon as great events come into play, everyone becomes deaf to anther's insight. No understanding, no patience, no compassion. So much are people absorbed and fascinated by the world in which they think they are living that they deny their highest principles of life. The words of their sublime Master -- "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also; and whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain," -- which breathe a commandment not to resist violence, have not become popular.
People want to defend themselves, and, as a matter of fact, it is the only thing they can do.
In my heart lives a feeling of compassion for the people who steel their hearts and who have to do this because they cannot rise above themselves, because they do not know themselves. But by acting thus, people close themselves against their higher consciousness. When the delicate and noble impulses of the soul are forced back, man remains deserted; deserted in the most literal sense of the word.
It is my deepest conviction that man is never completely deserted, that only a limited insight makes him inaccessible, that compassionate powers are only waiting till man becomes conscious of them. Compassion and love are magic powers, and the more man opens his heart to them, and the more he forgets himself and thinks of others, the closer he approaches the heart of the universe. The heart of life is love, because everything originates in this heart, and after endless wanderings everything returns to it.
The evolution or unfolding, the development of consciousness, is the course of the limited and finite life to the unlimited and infinite life. It is the development or growth of the seed which germinates in the fields of the boundless existence, because the heart of life is concentrated there.
That which is supreme, cannot be thought of as limited. However, it is from this supreme, this boundless, that sprang limited creation. There -- in the boundless -- lies the origin of all limited life; there is the Heart of all that is.
The journey which the human Self makes, the endless development of his inner life from the boundless to the boundless, is the "mystic Path" that the I sets foot on. This path, sprung from and forming a part of the Boundless, is also trodden by men, while it is continued far beyond the human form and never ends. This is the Path along which the Pilgrim travels and on which he, paradoxically speaking, remains immovable.
For, whatever man achieves, where his growth may lead him -- he has always been this. We may consider this a journey from the finite to the infinite, but also a journey back from it. We are the Infinite and now we are going along the road of the Finite back to the Infinite.
We may say that "the unlimited has limited itself"; the Infinite has made itself finite, as if the eternal has concentrated itself on this world of time and space and has limited itself to it, to bring about this Creation, this temple of life and consciousness.
The Infinite has concentrated itself within us, in one point, in the numerous creatures in numerous points; it is just like one life that focuses itself in a germ, while the number of germs is legion. Every germ contains the complete entity. Thus every creature contains in itself the possibility of infinite growth, every creature, from the smallest infusoria to the completely developed universe. All these creatures are repositories of a certain form of consciousness. Each separate life, each being sprung from creation, is driven to ever grander unfoldment under the irresistible impulse of his inner being.
The unlimited has divided itself (as a source of light or a beam of light divides itself into numerous rays) into as many separate centers of consciousness, which I have called the infinite I of the percipient Spirit that comprises everything.
These seeds of life are numerous and distributed all over the universe. They are the building stones of Creation and it is immaterial whether in their present phase of growth they manifest in the form of plants, animals, or men. From these germs spring the centers of consciousness. They may reveal themselves in human or other beings, in a solar system or in a Cosmos.
They compose the infinite chain of life of which universal life and consciousness has been built.
Together they form the fabric of cosmic consciousness, a fragment of which enlightens our earthly sphere. Each life is one of the numerous lives, each life contains the Boundless in itself.
Just as the sunlight, when the rays are broken, shows a play of colors, life, broken by the numerous facets of different kinds of consciousness, shows the shades of the spiritual splendor that enlighten cosmic consciousness.
In the course of the infinite duration of Creation these lives have been produced, and now they are in different phases of growth. On this earth we see only a small part of the great life; i.e., just as much as our perception enables us to see. That is why there must be numerous hierarchies of life which we do not know, and which do not exist for us any more than the colors and sound vibrations that are beyond our power of observation, which science teaches us do exist, although we cannot perceive them.
What induces people to think that eternal Creation should have exhausted itself? That all through the aeons it has produced no creature higher than man, and no spiritual being of a higher order?
Is not everything that lives visibly or invisibly suffused with, and one with, the infinite spirit that produced this Creation? Is not every being, whether plant or cosmos, animal, man or solar system, the outgrowth of a divine seed, an invisible, indestructible center boundless life within this being, but different only in its manifestations, as they are all in different phases of growth?
When we reflect on these things, it is as if a veil that was thrown over our view of life is suddenly removed. For, how important is the thought that life is consciousness -- one great consciousness in different form material, psychical, mental, spiritual or divine -- and yet, in spite of its variations, one! And how important is the thought that man is closely connected with the great cosmic consciousness! He originates from it, he rises: from it, he returns to it, and the path that leads him back lies within himself. If we manage to withdraw ourselves from the grip of life, if we know how to stem its tide which tries to carry us along, if we live on quietly, confiding in the higher laws which regulate our spiritual unfolding, we are heading for a revelation of ever increasing, sublime consciousness. If we suffer ourselves to be impressed by this thought, we banish our baser impulses. Peace, love, wisdom and light fall to our share.
It was a decline in the perspective of the life of men when they began to consider themselves the center and highest manifestation of life and took the hour of their birth on this earth for the starting-point of their existence.
If the spirit is eternal, we men are only one of its vehicles or lives, built after aeons of time and active in a lower sphere of life. Then life is a peregrination through the eternal and boundless, with a prospect of possibilities of life that are far beyond our highest imagination. Then there are intelligent entities, so sublime that our own intelligence sinks into insignificance compared with them -- spiritual entities with whom our life is closely connected.
Neither science, philosophy, nor religion is built on this view today, though Science, growing bold, throws its spotlight on a wider field of investigation, giving us hypotheses that revive our imagination. These three attempts to investigate man confine their observations to the perceptible and cannot give us an insight beyond the sphere of their investigation. But that is why the spiritual life of man is so dull, so colorless, without inspiration and without devotion to the sublime within him; and that which we cannot perceive is consigned to the world of phantasy. What a restriction of our insight!
What is to become of the world that has drawn around itself such a narrow sphere of thoughts? For if man has no spiritual perspective, if he lives without inspiration, the lower life becomes everything to him. Then he allows himself to be absorbed by the things to which his desire drives him, a chase for possessions or pleasure.
Is it to be wondered at that this catastrophe has come? Would a humanity guided by higher principles, conscious of an idea of the splendor and beauty of its beings, have caused such a conflict?
Would a humanity guided by an insight into the divine laws of life have dared to unchain such a bloody war, unworthy of man? Would not a purer idea of the brotherhood that binds us all together have prevented us from hating others and from treating them hard-heartedly?
Were there no ways to find each other, without a conflict of material interests?
What will the generations that come after us think about this time?
Will not the conditions under which we are living now seem barbarous to them? Will they be able to form an idea of this narrow cycle, in which the thoughts of man moved without the Gospel of Hope that is implied in these doctrines?
Time was when people thought that they lived on a flat earth, surrounded by stars which moved around the Earth. What widening of horizon when people realized at least that they inhabited a small planet lost in an infinite world of suns and milky ways in a boundless space! What will be the reaction of people who have made the great discovery of the Divine Worlds and their Sublime Consciousness, and who have opened their eyes to a vision that makes them see behind the veil of life, whose intuitive capacities have been roused, and who have penetrated into this world, whose spiritual eyes have opened, and who have brought their lives into harmony with the wonderful discovery of their souls?
They will wonder how people of our days could live. They will speak about us as we speak about the Middle Ages. They will say: these people thought that they were the only intelligent, rational entities and that only the Earth on which they lived, this single house of life, has produced living creatures; and that the rest of the universe was dead and deserted.
They thought that for aeons Creation had produced only man as the highest form of the manifestation of life. They thought that of all living creatures only their existence had a special purpose and that the rest of the creatures which came behind them in growth and development had been created without use and without any purpose. They lived their lives hastily, without thinking, many of them paralyzed with terror when they thought of death. They thought that after their death part of them would go through a great many horrors and another part would spend eternity in the joys of Heaven; why they lived on this earth they did not know.
Those generations will not be able to follow these ways of thinking, this lack of Divine vision. They will wonder if there were no spirits broad and great enough to paint a sublimer picture of life, and how we could live without inspiration, without any conception of the great beauty within us.
We are lonely people, strangers to each other and estranged from our Selves. Periods of unknown duration passed away before we came to this earth, and now that we are here we live in a world which is quite in conflict with our being.
We have fettered ourselves in our visible form, separated ourselves from our fellow creatures, imprisoned ourselves in cocoons of egoism; thus has been the course of fate.
In spite of this blindness we are connected with the highest spiritual consciousness by invisible ties, and at the same time we are blind to its beauty, losing ourselves in an illusory world of strife and desire: lonely people, though we are brothers by nature, strangers, though together we form the life of the universe.
Oh, this loveless world of ignorance! Within ourselves we keep the soul-memory of a remote and glorious past; in front of us we see a perspective of infinite beauty and growth, we border upon worlds of unknown peace and rest, we can realize that we are the cosmic consciousness, the universal Self, but how much sorrow and misery is necessary to make a man realize his inner self!
We are lonely people and strangers to each other, we pass each other without noticing those who go by amidst millions, and yet every one of us is a Child of the Boundless!
In the treasure chamber of our life we find the images, the mind images, the ideas born in quiet hours of meditation.
Consciousness directed to the invisible worlds of a higher invisible existence has attracted these images like a magnet; images, still suffused with the splendor of these worlds. The artist who calls up these images in our minds, the sculptor who evokes them, is the Spirit. `From the formless and wordless beauty of the soul they take shape within us as the fruit of golden hours passed in quiet meditation, which raises us above the grievous experiences of our everyday life.
Creation is the expression of the cosmic thought of the Universal Spirit; it forms itself as man forms his mind images, growing slowly to greater perfection, and evolves the formless and speechless beauty of the universal soul.
When I call forth in myself this sublime picture of life, I feel as if I were standing on a mountain overlooking the vast landscape below me.
This is life as it really is, full of, and enlightened by, the Divine power of the universal Spirit, the universal Spirit with whom I am one.
I see the vision before me in all its beauty. This small world at my feet, a world of hatred and strife, with narrow limitations, is not the real life.
In these few years a world has perished that will not return for many centuries to come. Our attention will be drawn to new economic problems, great social changes.
But I am convinced that, as life goes on, and in spite of all the misery we shall have to go through, the spiritual truths will one day again spread the light for which a weary humanity, tired of fighting, will be longing.
It is the only wisdom which can be built upon with safety. It is the only road along which the growth of humanity can make progress. The new world which people want to build will also perish. They will turn away from it, because the soul keeps searching and searching till it has found its destination, the way to its boundless home. One day people will be looking for it again; the truth lies within man himself, the way to enlightenment is always the same, the craving of the soul is of eternity.
Nearly five years have passed since the moment that I began to write this book. Five years of nameless sorrow and horror for the whole population, culminating in the winter of 1944, when, isolated from any connection with the outer world, we were at the mercy of misery, hunger, cold and darkness. How much that made life even more unbearable has not happened since that time! How much about which we are hardly able to speak now!
We think of the fate of our persecuted Jewish fellow-citizens, the liquidation of their possessions, and finally, after they had been in concentration camps for some time, their deportation.
How few of them will come back to tell us the story of their sufferings!
We think of the numberless men and women who were arrested, locked up and maltreated in concentration camps; of our workmen, the army, officers and soldiers, who were deported, and of the persecution of those who went into hiding. The barbarous house-searches for hidden fugitives, the confiscation of our houses and furniture, the requisition of motor-cars, bicycles, wireless sets and other valuable objects, the plundering of factories, and finally darkness, hunger and cold.
Shall we who went through all this, ever lose the memory of the endless throngs in search of food all over the country, or of the wanderings of exhausted people driven away from hearth and home, the evacuees who had lost everything they possessed and became dependent on the charity and pity of their fellow-men? I see them again, with their fixed, almost dazed looks, loaded on carts along with their last objects of value, sorrow marked on their faces. Shall we not recall the exhausting sawing and dragging away of trees for fuel, the hunger that gnawed at us, or the long and lightless nights? Or the picture of hostages who were shot and whose bodies lay in the streets as a warning?
Or the humiliating and unworthy picture of the black marketeer, who asked his usurious profits at the cost of the misery of his fellow-men?
How should we have been able to bear all this if we had not been supported in all our misery by other pictures, pictures of helpfulness, of spiritual strength, of loving understanding, of sorrow patiently borne, as expressions of the compassionate influence of the soul, the action of a higher consciousness?
And yet, in spite of the night around me, my thoughts raised me above these heavy ordeals, and others with me, for these thoughts began to spread their light and surrounded life with a lustre of profound beauty which transcended hunger, cold and sorrow; my inner experience made me realize that man keeps his most valuable possessions within himself.
Others might have been able to express the thoughts that entered my head better, more fully, or more simply; I have only been able to speak in my imperfect language, but the thoughts that occupied my mind penetrated deeper and deeper into my life and gave me a refuge which saved me from weakness or despair. I cherished them as jewels, at which I looked again and again, and when I had put them down I took them up again to revel in their radiations.
Before me there was always a greater picture, a light that remained with me in the darkest and most difficult hours of life, and which gave me a quiet and lasting joy.
What I could not describe, what I could not express and what was the most important thing, was my life itself, that which I felt. Although the misery around me told on me, and the sorrow which I had to bear personally was a heavy burden to me, it did not occupy all my moments.
Gradually a greater light began to dawn in my life, and when I look back on the period of these last five years, I keep a memory of many moments of beauty and peace, which surrounded my days as a beneficial light.
Our life is dominated by the nature of our thoughts, our fancies, our ideas. And we ourselves can influence them, if only we realize sufficiently what our thoughts really mean in our life.
If we allow our thoughts to be influenced by our higher consciousness, then the whole plane of our life is raised. Meditation opens for us the gate to a higher consciousness.
For many years past I have experienced the truth of this statement by losing myself in meditation for some moments early in the morning and for a short time in the evening.
Let us see what it means, early in the morning shortly after the day has begun, to turn our thoughts silently towards this day. Behold, the day lies before us like a blank page of our book of life, a page that we are going to fill with our thoughts, our acts, a day that we can spoil by our doings, or raise in a lustre of quiet beauty.
We direct our thoughts upon our higher nature; we call forth the powers of our souls that are ready to help us; we realize that the background of our life is the Boundless and Eternal Self, and as far as it is possible we allow our thoughts and our feelings to dwell there. By regular practice we shall experience its influence every day. And how important the day is! What else is our life but a series of days, of which each day has a value of its own?
If we begin our day like this, and if in the evening we look back on the day behind us, we shall learn how to guard against oncoming emotional storms, sentiments, passions. For in the evening we see these before us as merciless failures of our goodwill.
The question arises, what should we meditate about, what should be the object of our attentive musing? I would mention three of these objects, which, in succession, enlarge our consciousness considerably.
Let us realize and ponder on the fact that each of us is an incarnate divine being. Our highest consciousness is divine. It has been drawn from the absolute universal divine consciousness.
This consciousness lives within us and can penetrate our souls more and more in proportion as we open ourselves to it. But if we do so, we shall have to act during the day like men who realize their divine nature.
Thus we meditate on the fact that we are children of the universe, that our constitution has been drawn from, and is composed of, all that is contained in eternal and ensouled creation itself. We have sprung from this creation as separate beings, we have come from it and we are one with it.
Then we meditate on the fact that we are the Boundless, that we have always been it and always shall be, and that as our present detaches itself more and more, it will dissolve and become one with that which transcends all human thinking.
Look for the core of your being within yourself; it is a revelation, a discovery that may give you all you want of insight and enlightenment.
You will experience what a force is hidden in meditation; your entire being will be turned to the light that shines within you. If ever a time was suitable to trying this meditation, it was this time, which taxed our confidence, our courage, our strength and our piety.
Meditation exceeds prayer when the latter is used for personal ends. It is the raising of the soul to the highest spiritual splendor within ourselves.
Acting thus, we attain a harmony between our inner and outer life. For he who borrows his life from the spirit, is irradiated in everyday life by its light, raised by its strength, ruled by its influence.
You may ask: is meditation the proper attitude for everyone? Let us realize that every man, irrespective of personal character, is in fact the same. We are all children of the Boundless, we were all born to be carried along by a universal evolution, so that every man has the same possibilities.
If he wants to cooperate and lose himself in it, every man will have to go the same way, the inner way which will liberate us from the restrictions we have made ourselves. And it is meditation which opens the way for us. Why should we remain in this narrow sphere of everyday life; why continuously expose ourselves to all the grievous experiences involved?
Who shall say what contact there is among, the consciousnesses of separate beings? Though we are apparently completely separate beings, yet there is a higher sphere of consciousness by which we are all influenced and held together. When our souls rise beyond the sphere of personal interest, when we withdraw ourselves from the impressions of the outer life of every day, when we succeed in coming closer and closer to a condition of consciousness that binds us all universally, we take the others along with us. It is done without words or deeds, it is the silent influence of the soul, it is a power that comes from the inner and sacred core of ourselves.
Though we seem to be separate beings, we form together the tissue of the universal consciousness, it pervades us, it raises us, it binds us, we are the facets through which the light shines in a variety of colors and shades.
We are all bound together by each other's sorrows, bound together by each other's loves, bound together by quiet and imperceptible influences, unspoken and intimate.
The trouble we cause others is turned against ourselves, what we give will in the end prove to have benefitted us. In the deepmost abyss of our existence complete silence reigns; there all threads of life and consciousness come together, there is no separateness, but life, the cohesion that binds everything and everyone.
Meditation brings us into contact with this sphere of existence; here begins a new life, a life that springs from the deepest ground of our being, a life whose influence envelops us all. There our highest consciousness expands and reveals itself to us, the light that shines eternally.
From this atmosphere, which is to us eternal silence, rises a world of manifestation, the world we see, with its numerous separate centers of consciousness, different in their development. Truly, life is full of beauty: in its manifestation a chaos, in its essence a unity of love and light.
Let us, then, confidently surrender to life, with the knowledge that we are cared for by eternal laws, and let us feel one with all that lives, bound together by close ties of brotherhood and love, and by understanding of the background of things, which is left unassailed and unapproached by the stream of life, where reign silence, peace, love and light.
Images of contemplation, collected in disturbed times, arisen in quiet hours.
Images of contemplation, full of variety, but essentially one, because one idea of eternity binds them together, the most sublime idea of all, that of Boundless Being.
May the sun of this Eternal Idea shine into the hearts of men.