The Newsletter of the Northwest Branch of the Theosophical Society
September 2008 -- Vol. 11 Issue 8
The one who believes in the outer life, and has put faith and trust in it, is still asleep: spiritual knowledge has not yet awakened. It is only in self-confidence, in reliance on the inner life, that spiritual strength can be found.
Self-knowledge begins when we, trying to hold our mind silent a few moments in aspiration, turn inward to what is holding it. When this holding can be to any degree accomplished, we may become conscious of our Greater Self, our immortality, our divinity.
Where you find unbroken gentleness, enduring patience, self-control, self-forgetfulness and deep and abounding sympathy, you can look there for wisdom. Seek the company of such, for there abides in their hearts the steady flame of love. They have realized the divine within them. – Mary O'Reilly
As human beings, we are essentially spiritual beings. Our hearts seek, yearn, for spiritual light and life. We inwardly realize that the whole material world is the outer garment of Spirit. It is a shell, a husk. The human heart can never be satisfied with husks. Let us crack the nut of life and seek within for the kernel. Reject the husks, yet treat them respectfully, for they may be very useful in their place, if wisely and properly used. The Great Quest is the search for Reality, for the heart of things, for the kernel of the nut. Our spiritual nature demands a spiritual life. It will never, for long, be satisfied with less.
Matter and spirit are not distinct and separate entities. They are One. Spirit is the eternal, divine life that shines through matter, on which matter rests, of which matter is the lowest plane, state or degree – the dregs. We live in spirit as the great earth does in the free and fluid spaces of space, which penetrate and sustain it and us; yet we see it not, though we are of it, bathed in it, and penetrated by it.
When an individual realizes his own divinity and recognizes in all around him the same divinity, the eternal beauty shining through, he fastens his attention, his interest, on That. All his life undergoes a change for the better. Illusions and burdens fall away. Hope springs eternally in his heart and he feels that that hope is being, to a degree, eternally realized. The hope grows perennially and its realization grows along with it.
When the higher nature awakens, pessimism, ennui, depression, discouragement, despair, and even the blues, are gone forever. He may suffer, but having discovered the source of his being, he no longer says that Life is just one difficulty after another. True, it may be. But difficulties are no excuse for dejection. Difficulties are the spice of life to the strong. Overcoming them is the athletic training by which strength of character is developed. Without difficulties our wills would atrophy. We should welcome them. They are more useful than pleasures. Pleasures teach us nothing, it is said. Some seek pleasures as an end in themselves, but pleasures overindulged in bring reactions and satiety. The wise accept pleasures as the dusty traveler accepts the wayside inn or the refreshing spring and shady grove – temporary refreshments.
When a person has found his own soul he has found within himself a place of peace and of exhaustless energy that is infinitely more than pleasure. Within the human heart is a place of peace where love and joy abide forever.
These are not negative virtues, but strong and positive qualities that cannot be irritated by any disturbance or overcome by any difficulty.
All this is not an idle dream, or just a beautiful picture. It is what evolution has in store for every evolving entity. It is a hope, a promise, and a possibility, which every questing soul strives for and eventually will attain. – Abbott Clark
We were born to unite with our fellowmen, and to join in community with the human race. – Cicero
Open to the public, unsectarian, non-political, no charge
These subjects are currently being considered for the Monthly Discussion group. As always, those who have a particular topic they would like to have featured are encouraged to contact us.
October 9: Is the End of the World Coming?
November 13: Becoming Completely Human
December: Agreement among Religions
The mystic is one who lives ever in the consciousness of his divinity. He senses intuitively the divine life in all things. He sees within the outer, which is fleeting and perishable, an inner which is imperishable and eternal.
He in whom the soul is ever active, ever urging to compassionate thought and deed – he is the true mystic.
The path of the mystic is a secret path, in a sense, and a silent and wonderful path. Yet it is open to all, and is so simple and so near at hand that many who long to tread it yet turn away from it, thinking it to be something else. Mere book study will avail little. To gain the true doctrine the student must enter by the only door which gives entrance -- the living of the life.
Success does not come without long and often repeated effort, but the very desire to make the effort shows that there is already a living power within the heart that demands and will reward beyond all conception strong and unfaltering service. "Progress," said H. P. Blavatsky, "is made step by step, and each step gained by heroic effort. Conquered passions, like slain tigers, can no longer turn and rend you. Be hopeful, then, not despairing. With each morning's awakening try to live through the day in harmony with the Higher Self. 'Try' is the battlecry, taught by the Teachers to each pupil. Naught else is expected of you. One who does his best does all that can be asked. normal"
Once we attune our minds to the great principles of brotherhood and service, our hearts open, our minds clear, and the new light that we long for will break. Let us not forget that we are working together for the purpose of serving humanity and bringing to it the knowledge that it needs. It is a spiritual effort in the highest sense; and for that reason we must be spiritually endowed with those qualities that make for true nobility. I echo the words of William Quan Judge: "There is no idleness for the Mystic. He finds his daily life among the roughest and hardest of the labors and trials of the world perhaps, but goes his way with smiling face and joyful heart, nor grows too sensitive for association with his fellows, nor so extremely spiritual as to forget that some other body is perhaps hungering for food."
We must take time for self-analysis. There must be time for the calm, reflective attitude of mind. Study the conditions surrounding you, the motives that actuate you in this or that effort or work, and determine with absolute honesty whether they are selfish, unselfish, or mixed. This will be an uplifting, clarifying process, for the conscience is at work. It is a confession, really, to the higher self, the divinity within you.
You invoke in such an effort the magic power latent in the silences of life. False ideas are gradually eliminated and true ones find their way in. Things once deemed necessary become no longer so; and in thus moving out into a larger field of thought and aspiration you move towards self-adjustment. In such thought you eliminate your weaknesses, and learn also a great truth accentuated by the Nazarene: that you cannot serve two masters. You cannot ride two horses at once; and those who try it are certain to find themselves, sooner or later, arriving nowhere and more than likely trampled under the feet of both.
A vow is an action rising like a star high above the level of the common deeds of life. It is a witness that the outer self has at that moment realized its union with the inner, and the purpose of its existence, registering a great resolve to become one with the Father in Heaven. At that moment the radiant path of light is seen with the eye of pure vision, the old life is left behind, we enter a new way. For a moment we feel the touch of a guiding hand ever stretched out from the inner chamber, our ear catches the harmonies of the soul. All this and more is the experience of those who make this vow with their whole hearts, and as they constantly renew it, and constantly renew their endeavor, the harmonies come again and again, and the clear path is once more beheld.
They carry the inspiration into outer life, and energize with it their common duties: gain from it strength for self-sacrifice; and thus bringing the inner into the outer, pouring forth in deeds that wine of divine life of which they have learned to partake, they achieve, little by little, the harmony of perfect life. Each effort carves the path of the next, and in no long time one single moment's silence will bring forth to their aid the strength of their souls. We have but to take the first step in the true spirit of brotherliness, and all other steps will follow in natural sequence. We have to be warriors and fight the old fight unceasingly, but leagued with us in this ancient fight are all the hosts of light. Behind each person, back of all things, broods the eternal spirit of compassion.