The Kingdom of Heaven Within

By Katherine Tingley

Godlike qualities lie sleeping within us, the spiritual things that mark us immortal, for here within the heart is the kingdom of heaven, and the only recompense a man needs is to become aware of his own divinity. It is there, a creative power within us, by whose virtue he who has patience to endure and work shall behold the fruit of his efforts: the human family glorified and brought to the goal his heart tells him may be reached.

An order of life shall yet be established by those who have gone through the schools of experience, birth after birth, round after round, until they have lifted themselves out of the strain and sorrow of the world in order that they might heal the world of its strain and sorrow; and their building will be of a new kind -- a type of civilization higher than anything we have read of or imagined. The minds of men will expand in the atmosphere of universal brotherhood; earth will give up its secrets and the stars declare the mighty mystery of their lives.

How many believe it possible to establish the kingdom of heaven upon earth? The majority even of the so-called spiritually-minded carry their thoughts into far spaces when they think of it; yet it is here within the heart: it is in man, it is on earth, and we can come into it because we are part of the universal scheme.

There is no limit to the possible expansion of human life and the growth of the soul -- nature is entirely beneficent; the universal laws that have us in their keeping are forever dependable. The god in us is always striving to bring us to that higher life which is lived solely to benefit mankind; the souls of men are calling always to the minds of men to listen, obey, and be free.

The soul is not a thing to be set aside and, as it were, locked up for awhile and brought out upon occasions. It is that nobler part of our nature that rises to every situation and meets it with patience and courage -- the power that often sweeps into a man's life unawares and carries him out beyond all brain-mind thought into the great broad road of service. It must be given breadth and scope and the large environment it demands.

The knowledge of it comes not in any world-startling or magical way -- and is not to be purchased save by the surrender of a man's passionate and lustful nature to the god within. It is a knowledge that steals upon us in the quiet of the nighttime and in all our peaceful moments, when we serve our fellows and ask for no reward but the glory that shines through the silence on him who has done his utmost and the peace of mind that is for those who are striving. Through our smallest actions it may enter: when we are at our best and in love with what is truest and noblest; when we are in despair, yet cling to our high ideals and dreams. Something comes home to us and we say, this will of mine is free that but now wavered and was surrounded and oppressed; I can look with perfect trust into tomorrow and into eternity.

It is a knowledge that must be evoked from within: each must earn it through his own efforts. It cannot be conveyed in words -- the greatest of seers could not explain it nor the greatest of orators make it clear. Each must find within himself the light and the key, the fire and redemptive stimulation, making his mind free and receptive as the flowers to the sunlight, awaking to the glory of the morning and ascending to the mountain peaks of light. But let a man seek it for his own sake, and all his efforts will amount to nothing. He must do it for the salvation of the race, aware that there is no separateness on the inner planes, that we are all brothers and our brothers' keepers, and that not until we get real knowledge of the inner self in ourselves can we interpret our other selves, our fellowmen. We must understand the delicate and intricate interaction and functioning of the different parts of our own being before we can claim understanding of the laws of universal life.

At any moment in every life the hour of revelation may be at hand. It requires no epoch or special season, nor the beginning or end of any outer cycle. In regions within ourselves where intellect is not, but imagination has full scope for its greatness, we touch the infinite off and on at all times and stand on the brink of vast possibilities and truths. We can draw upon resources greater than we dream of.

Imagination is not the peculiar property of men of genius and exceptional talent, but a power innate in everyone, that which might help each to find his soul. It is the handmaiden of the god in man and our guide into that kingdom of heaven within, which is the realm of thought where the soul speaks to the heart and mind in the silent places of our lives, in the moments when we verge upon greatness, when an overwhelming consciousness comes in upon us of the universality of the divine life and of the divine possibilities latent in man; when the silences of great nature cry to us tidings of the god in ourselves and we feel the nearness, the companionship, of that which it would be presumption to define, but in whose universal presence we must tinge our thoughts and feelings with a certain solemnity, a mystery and grandeur, before the mirror of this infinite beauty -- in the temple of this majesty -- standing in an attitude of larger reverence . . . in silence.

(Condensed from The Wine of Life, pp. 10-14; reprinted in Sunrise magazine, December 1993/January 1994. Copyright © 1994 by Theosophical University Press.)

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