By Rutger Bergstrom

What is it that awakens man from the "sleeping beauty" sleep? Certainly not a mere toying with ideas of religion in idle moments. It is more a profound anguish. Only this may cause us to take the divine truths seriously. Maybe this anguish awakens new awareness and contains an arousing factor. It is as though nature in its self-preservation constantly works forward without looking back. Several months ago I heard a scientific exposition on TV on the microworld of single-celled organisms living in water. A microscope was connected to the camera; the result was fascinating. Few of us have ever seen such tiny animals in their natural habitat. Some were threadlike and translucent; others rounder and bigger. Entering this microworld was like being carried back in time millions of years, and you could see that even at this primitive stage there is struggle for life. One of the threadlike creatures acted as if about to attack one of the rounder and larger ones, which tried to escape its enemy. You could feel the anguish of the prey, like a small beating, frightened heart. It rushed away like a tiny racing car in a cloud of dust and gas. Isn't it amazing that we human beings, who live in a whole different dimension, lightyears away, so to speak, at an entirely different stage of growth, have the same kind of feelings of anxiety, and that we can understand symptoms of fear and anguish in such minute lives as amoebae? We must have very finely tuned inner senses, not yet observed by researchers, but on which we must depend for our spiritual development. Nature must be implicit with a creative intelligence, whose grandeur made Professor Einstein, for instance, humbly regard it as "the great schoolmaster."

Our responsibility must be tremendous in our relationship with the lives existing at other stages of growth than our own. In the world of animals, and even on planes beneath, there must be points of contact with us. How else can we experience the impulses of fear and anxiety in such microscopic, primitive organisms, if these creatures do not in some way experience ours? We do know that there are plants that react sensitively to human attitudes.

What vistas are opened when we think of our situation as human beings within the spheres of influence of planets and stars, within the cosmic hierarchy of galaxies in their evolutionary transformations, or in the development of high spiritual beings. Surely, if our hearts reach out to those who are ahead of us in evolution, we must find relationships that can bring us an intense consciousness of divinity. This god-consciousness has induced many to worship "the unknown god" which cannot be understood. Perhaps here lies the real truth about the spiritual wellspring of attraction, wherein the gods and high protectors in their beauty and strength not only vibrate in synchrony with all living things, the least as the greatest, but wherein man also can alleviate the anguish which has for so long been a dominant factor in his own soul. He may then experience the "circulation" of the universal heartforce through its many arteries and know the brighter side of life's true attributes, which also can be found within our own spirit when we feel a little more understanding for others, a little more compassion, a little more humility.

Life is remarkably delicate in its simplicity, in its grandeur and beauty.

  • (From Sunrise magazine, December 1978. Copyright © 1978 by Theosophical University Press.)

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