THE WAY OF PEACE by James Allen – FULL AudioBook | Greatest Audio Books


THE WAY OF PEACE BY JAMES ALLEN AUTHOR OF “AS A MAN THINKETH,” “OUT FROM THE
HEART” CONTENTS THE POWER OF MEDITATION THE TWO MASTERS, SELF AND TRUTH THE ACQUIREMENT OF SPIRITUAL POWER THE REALIZATION OF SELFLESS LOVE ENTERING INTO THE INFINITE SAINTS, SAGES, AND SAVIORS; THE LAW OF SERVICE THE REALIZATION OF PERFECT PEACE THE POWER OF MEDITATION Spiritual meditation is the pathway to Divinity.
It is the mystic ladder which reaches from earth to heaven, from error
to Truth, from pain to peace. Every saint has climbed it; every sinner
must sooner or later come to it, and every weary pilgrim that turns
his back upon self and the world, and sets his face resolutely toward the Father’s
Home, must plant his feet upon its golden rounds. Without its aid you
cannot grow into the divine state, the divine likeness, the divine peace,
and the fadeless glories and unpolluting joys of Truth will remain hidden
from you. Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought,
upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it,
and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon you will not only come to understand,
but will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become
incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self.
If, therefore, you constantly dwell upon that which is selfish and debasing,
you will ultimately become selfish and debased; if you ceaselessly think
upon that which is pure and unselfish you will surely become pure and
unselfish. Tell me what that is upon which you most frequently
and intensely think, that to which, in your silent hours, your
soul most naturally turns, and I will tell you to what place of pain or peace
you are traveling, and whether you are growing into the likeness of the divine
or the bestial. There is an unavoidable tendency to become
literally the embodiment of that quality upon which one most constantly thinks.
Let, therefore, the object of your meditation be above and not below,
so that every time you revert to it in thought you will be lifted up; let it
be pure and unmixed with any selfish element; so shall your heart become
purified and drawn nearer to Truth, and not defiled and dragged more hopelessly
into error. Meditation, in the spiritual sense in which
I am now using it, is the secret of all growth in spiritual life and
knowledge. Every prophet, sage, and savior became such by the power of meditation.
Buddha meditated upon the Truth until he could say, “I am the Truth.”
Jesus brooded upon the Divine immanence until at last he could declare,
“I and my Father are One.” Meditation centered upon divine realities
is the very essence and soul of prayer. It is the silent reaching of the soul
toward the Eternal. Mere petitionary prayer without meditation is a
body without a soul, and is powerless to lift the mind and heart above
sin and affliction. If you are daily praying for wisdom, for peace, for loftier
purity and a fuller realization of Truth, and that for which you
pray is still far from you, it means that you are praying for one thing while
living out in thought and act another. If you will cease from such waywardness,
taking your mind off those things the selfish clinging to which
debars you from the possession of the stainless realities for which you pray:
if you will no longer ask God to grant you that which you do not deserve,
or to bestow upon you that love and compassion which you refuse to bestow
upon others, but will commence to think and act in the spirit of
Truth, you will day by day be growing into those realities, so that ultimately
you will become one with them. He who would secure any worldly advantage
must be willing to work vigorously for it, and he would be foolish
indeed who, waiting with folded hands, expected it to come to him for the
mere asking. Do not then vainly imagine that you can obtain the heavenly possessions
without making an effort. Only when you commence to work earnestly
in the Kingdom of Truth will you be allowed to partake of the Bread
of Life, and when you have, by patient and uncomplaining effort, earned the
spiritual wages for which you ask, they will not be withheld from you. If you really seek Truth, and not merely your
own gratification; if you love it above all worldly pleasures and gains;
more, even, than happiness itself, you will be willing to make the effort
necessary for its achievement. If you would be freed from sin and sorrow;
if you would taste of that spotless purity for which you sigh and pray;
if you would realize wisdom and knowledge, and would enter into the possession
of profound and abiding peace, come now and enter the path of meditation,
and let the supreme object of your meditation be Truth. At the outset, meditation must be distinguished
from _idle reverie_. There is nothing dreamy and unpractical about it.
It is _a process of searching and uncompromising thought which allows nothing
to remain but the simple and naked truth_. Thus meditating you will
no longer strive to build yourself up in your prejudices, but, forgetting
self, you will remember only that you are seeking the Truth. And so
you will remove, one by one, the errors which you have built around yourself
in the past, and will patiently wait for the revelation of Truth
which will come when your errors have been sufficiently removed. In the silent
humility of your heart you will realize that “There is an inmost centre in us all
Where Truth abides in fulness; and around, Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in;
This perfect, clear perception, which is Truth, A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Blinds it, and makes all error; and to know, Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape, Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.” Select some portion of the day in which to
meditate, and keep that period sacred to your purpose. The best time is the
very early morning when the spirit of repose is upon everything. All natural
conditions will then be in your favor; the passions, after the long bodily
fast of the night, will be subdued, the excitements and worries of the
previous day will have died away, and the mind, strong and yet restful,
will be receptive to spiritual instruction. Indeed, one of the first efforts
you will be called upon to make will be to shake off lethargy and indulgence,
and if you refuse you will be unable to advance, for the demands
of the spirit are imperative. To be spiritually awakened is also to be mentally
and physically awakened. The sluggard and the self-indulgent can have
no knowledge of Truth. He who, possessed of health and strength, wastes the
calm, precious hours of the silent morning in drowsy indulgence is totally
unfit to climb the heavenly heights. He whose awakening consciousness has become
alive to its lofty possibilities, who is beginning to shake off
the darkness of ignorance in which the world is enveloped, rises before
the stars have ceased their vigil, and, grappling with the darkness within
his soul, strives, by holy aspiration, to perceive the light of Truth
while the unawakened world dreams on. “The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.” No saint, no holy man, no teacher of Truth
ever lived who did not rise early in the morning. Jesus habitually rose
early, and climbed the solitary mountains to engage in holy communion. Buddha
always rose an hour before sunrise and engaged in meditation, and all
his disciples were enjoined to do the same. If you have to commence your daily duties
at a very early hour, and are thus debarred from giving the early morning
to systematic meditation, try to give an hour at night, and should this,
by the length and laboriousness of your daily task be denied you, you need
not despair, for you may turn your thoughts upward in holy meditation in
the intervals of your work, or in those few idle minutes which you now waste
in aimlessness; and should your work be of that kind which becomes by
practice automatic, you may meditate while engaged upon it. That eminent
Christian saint and philosopher, Jacob Boehme, realized his vast
knowledge of divine things whilst working long hours as a shoemaker.
In every life there is time to think, and the busiest, the most laborious
is not shut out from aspiration and meditation. Spiritual meditation and self-discipline are
inseparable; you will, therefore, commence to meditate upon yourself
so as to try and understand yourself, for, remember, the great object
you will have in view will be the complete removal of all your errors in order
that you may realize Truth. You will begin to question your motives, thoughts,
and acts, comparing them with your ideal, and endeavoring to look upon
them with a calm and impartial eye. In this manner you will be
continually gaining more of that mental and spiritual equilibrium without which
men are but helpless straws upon the ocean of life. If you are given to
hatred or anger you will meditate upon gentleness and forgiveness,
so as to become acutely alive to a sense of your harsh and foolish conduct.
You will then begin to dwell in thoughts of love, of gentleness, of abounding
forgiveness; and as you overcome the lower by the higher, there will
gradually, silently steal into your heart a knowledge of the divine Law of
Love with an understanding of its bearing upon all the intricacies of life
and conduct. And in applying this knowledge to your every thought, word,
and act, you will grow more and more gentle, more and more loving, more and
more divine. And thus with every error, every selfish desire, every human
weakness; by the power of meditation is it overcome, and as each sin,
each error is thrust out, a fuller and clearer measure of the Light of
Truth illumines the pilgrim soul. Thus meditating, you will be ceaselessly fortifying
yourself against your only _real_ enemy, your selfish, perishable
self, and will be establishing yourself more and more firmly in the divine
and imperishable self that is inseparable from Truth. The direct outcome
of your meditations will be a calm, spiritual strength which will be your
stay and resting-place in the struggle of life. Great is the overcoming
power of holy thought, and the strength and knowledge gained in the hour
of silent meditation will enrich the soul with saving remembrance in the hour
of strife, of sorrow, or of temptation. As, by the power of meditation, you grow in
wisdom, you will relinquish, more and more, your selfish desires which
are fickle, impermanent, and productive of sorrow and pain; and will take
your stand, with increasing steadfastness and trust, upon unchangeable
principles, and will realize heavenly rest. The use of meditation is the acquirement of
a knowledge of eternal principles, and the power which results from
meditation is the ability to rest upon and trust those principles, and
so become one with the Eternal. The end of meditation is, therefore, direct
knowledge of Truth, God, and the realization of divine and profound peace. Let your meditations take their rise from
the ethical ground which you now occupy. Remember that you are to _grow_ into
Truth by steady perseverance. If you are an orthodox Christian, meditate
ceaselessly upon the spotless purity and divine excellence of the character
of Jesus, and apply his every precept to your inner life and outward conduct,
so as to approximate more and more toward his perfection. Do not be
as those religious ones, who, refusing to meditate upon the Law of Truth,
and to put into practice the precepts given to them by their Master, are
content to formally worship, to cling to their particular creeds, and to continue
in the ceaseless round of sin and suffering. Strive to rise, by the
power of meditation, above all selfish clinging to partial gods or party
creeds; above dead formalities and lifeless ignorance. Thus walking the high
way of wisdom, with mind fixed upon the spotless Truth, you shall know
no halting-place short of the realization of Truth. He who earnestly meditates first perceives
a truth, as it were, afar off, and then realizes it by daily practice. It
is only the doer of the Word of Truth that can know of the doctrine of Truth,
for though by pure thought the Truth is perceived, it is only actualized
by practice. Said the divine Gautama, the Buddha, “He who
gives himself up to vanity, and does not give himself up to meditation,
forgetting the real aim of life and grasping at pleasure, will in time envy
him who has exerted himself in meditation,” and he instructed his disciples
in the following “Five Great Meditations”:– “The first meditation is the meditation of
love, in which you so adjust your heart that you long for the weal and
welfare of all beings, including the happiness of your enemies. “The second meditation is the meditation of
pity, in which you think of all beings in distress, vividly representing in
your imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep compassion
for them in your soul. “The third meditation is the meditation of
joy, in which you think of the prosperity of others, and rejoice with their
rejoicings. “The fourth meditation is the meditation of
impurity, in which you consider the evil consequences of corruption, the effects
of sin and diseases. How trivial often the pleasure of the moment,
and how fatal its consequences. “The fifth meditation is the meditation on
serenity, in which you rise above love and hate, tyranny and oppression,
wealth and want, and regard your own fate with impartial calmness and
perfect tranquillity.” By engaging in these meditations the disciples
of the Buddha arrived at a knowledge of the Truth. But whether you engage
in these particular meditations or not matters little so long
as your object is Truth, so long as you hunger and thirst for that righteousness
which is a holy heart and a blameless life. In your meditations, therefore,
let your heart grow and expand with ever-broadening love, until, freed
from all hatred, and passion, and condemnation, it embraces the
whole universe with thoughtful tenderness. As the flower opens its petals
to receive the morning light, so open your soul more and more to the glorious
light of Truth. Soar upward upon the wings of aspiration; be fearless,
and believe in the loftiest possibilities. Believe that a life of absolute
meekness is possible; believe that a life of stainless purity is
possible; believe that a life of perfect holiness is possible; believe that
the realization of the highest truth is possible. He who so believes, climbs
rapidly the heavenly hills, whilst the unbelievers continue to grope darkly
and painfully in the fog-bound valleys. So believing, so aspiring, so meditating,
divinely sweet and beautiful will be your spiritual experiences, and glorious
the revelations that will enrapture your inward vision. As you realize
the divine Love, the divine Justice, the divine Purity, the Perfect Law
of Good, or God, great will be your bliss and deep your peace. Old things
will pass away, and all things will become new. The veil of the material
universe, so dense and impenetrable to the eye of error, so thin
and gauzy to the eye of Truth, will be lifted and the spiritual universe
will be revealed. Time will cease, and you will live only in Eternity.
Change and mortality will no more cause you anxiety and sorrow, for you
will become established in the unchangeable, and will dwell in the very heart
of immortality. STAR OF WISDOM Star that of the birth of Vishnu,
Birth of Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Told the wise ones, Heavenward looking,
Waiting, watching for thy gleaming In the darkness of the night-time,
In the starless gloom of midnight; Shining Herald of the coming
Of the kingdom of the righteous; Teller of the Mystic story
Of the lowly birth of Godhead In the stable of the passions,
In the manger of the mind-soul; Silent singer of the secret
Of compassion deep and holy To the heart with sorrow burdened,
To the soul with waiting weary:– Star of all-surpassing brightness,
Thou again dost deck the midnight; Thou again dost cheer the wise ones
Watching in the creedal darkness, Weary of the endless battle
With the grinding blades of error; Tired of lifeless, useless idols,
Of the dead forms of religions; Spent with watching for thy shining;
Thou hast ended their despairing; Thou hast lighted up their pathway;
Thou hast brought again the old Truths To the hearts of all thy Watchers;
To the souls of them that love thee Thou dost speak of Joy and Gladness,
Of the peace that comes of Sorrow. Blessed are they that can see thee,
Weary wanderers in the Night-time; Blessed they who feel the throbbing,
In their bosoms feel the pulsing Of a deep Love stirred within them
By the great power of thy shining. Let us learn thy lesson truly;
Learn it faithfully and humbly; Learn it meekly, wisely, gladly,
Ancient Star of holy Vishnu, Light of Krishna, Buddha, Jesus. THE TWO MASTERS, SELF AND TRUTH Upon the battlefield of the human soul two
masters are ever contending for the crown of supremacy, for the kingship and
dominion of the heart; the master of self, called also the “Prince of
this world,” and the master of Truth, called also the Father God. The master
self is that rebellious one whose weapons are passion, pride, avarice,
vanity, self-will, implements of darkness; the master Truth is that meek and
lowly one whose weapons are gentleness, patience, purity, sacrifice, humility,
love, instruments of Light. In every soul the battle is waged, and as
a soldier cannot engage at once in two opposing armies, so every heart is
enlisted either in the ranks of self or of Truth. There is no half-and-half
course; “There is self and there is Truth; where self is, Truth is not,
where Truth is, self is not.” Thus spake Buddha, the teacher of Truth, and
Jesus, the manifested Christ, declared that “No man can serve two masters;
for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold
to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” Truth is so simple, so absolutely undeviating
and uncompromising that it admits of no complexity, no turning, no qualification.
Self is ingenious, crooked, and, governed by subtle and snaky
desire, admits of endless turnings and qualifications, and the deluded
worshipers of self vainly imagine that they can gratify every worldly
desire, and at the same time possess the Truth. But the lovers of Truth
worship Truth with the sacrifice of self, and ceaselessly guard themselves
against worldliness and self-seeking. Do you seek to know and to realize Truth?
Then you must be prepared to sacrifice, to renounce to the uttermost, for
Truth in all its glory can only be perceived and known when the last
vestige of self has disappeared. The eternal Christ declared that he who would
be His disciple must “deny himself daily.” Are you willing to deny yourself,
to give up your lusts, your prejudices, your opinions? If so, you
may enter the narrow way of Truth, and find that peace from which the
world is shut out. The absolute denial, the utter extinction, of self is the
perfect state of Truth, and all religions and philosophies are but so
many aids to this supreme attainment. Self is the denial of Truth. Truth is the
denial of self. As you let self die, you will be reborn in Truth. As you cling
to self, Truth will be hidden from you. Whilst you cling to self, your path will be
beset with difficulties, and repeated pains, sorrows, and disappointments
will be your lot. There are no difficulties in Truth, and coming to Truth,
you will be freed from all sorrow and disappointment. Truth in itself is not hidden and dark. It
is always revealed and is perfectly transparent. But the blind and wayward
self cannot perceive it. The light of day is not hidden except to the
blind, and the Light of Truth is not hidden except to those who are blinded
by self. Truth is the one Reality in the universe,
the inward Harmony, the perfect Justice, the eternal Love. Nothing can be
added to it, nor taken from it. It does not depend upon any man, but all men
depend upon it. You cannot perceive the beauty of Truth while you are
looking out through the eyes of self. If you are vain, you will color everything
with your own vanities. If lustful, your heart and mind will be so clouded
with the smoke and flames of passion, that everything will appear distorted
through them. If proud and opinionative, you will see nothing in
the whole universe except the magnitude and importance of your own opinions. There is one quality which pre-eminently distinguishes
the man of Truth from the man of self, and that is _humility_.
To be not only free from vanity, stubbornness and egotism, but to regard
one’s own opinions as of no value, this indeed is true humility. He who is immersed in self regards his own
opinions as Truth, and the opinions of other men as error. But that humble
Truth-lover who has learned to distinguish between opinion and Truth,
regards all men with the eye of charity, and does not seek to defend his opinions
against theirs, but sacrifices those opinions that he may love
the more, that he may manifest the spirit of Truth, for Truth in its very
nature is ineffable and can only be lived. He who has most of charity has most
of Truth. Men engage in heated controversies, and foolishly
imagine they are defending the Truth, when in reality they
are merely defending their own petty interests and perishable opinions. The
follower of self takes up arms against others. The follower of Truth takes
up arms against himself. Truth, being unchangeable and eternal, is independent
of your opinion and of mine. We may enter into it, or we may stay outside;
but both our defense and our attack are superfluous, and are hurled back
upon ourselves. Men, enslaved by self, passionate, proud,
and condemnatory, believe their particular creed or religion to be the Truth,
and all other religions to be error; and they proselytize with passionate
ardor. There is but one religion, the religion of Truth. There is
but one error, the error of self. Truth is not a formal belief; it is an unselfish,
holy, and aspiring heart, and he who has Truth is at peace with all,
and cherishes all with thoughts of love. You may easily know whether you are a child
of Truth or a worshiper of self, if you will silently examine your mind,
heart, and conduct. Do you harbor thoughts of suspicion, enmity, envy,
lust, pride, or do you strenuously fight against these? If the former,
you are chained to self, no matter what religion you may profess; if the
latter, you are a candidate for Truth, even though outwardly you may profess
no religion. Are you passionate, self-willed, ever seeking to gain
your own ends, self-indulgent, and self-centered; or are
you gentle, mild, unselfish, quit of every form of self-indulgence, and are
ever ready to give up your own? If the former, self is your master; if the
latter, Truth is the object of your affection. Do you strive for riches?
Do you fight, with passion, for your party? Do you lust for power and leadership?
Are you given to ostentation and self-praise? Or have you given
up the love of riches? Have you relinquished all strife? Are you content
to take the lowest place, and to be passed by unnoticed? And have you ceased
to talk about yourself and to regard yourself with self-complacent pride?
If the former, even though you may imagine you worship God, the god of
your heart is self. If the latter, even though you may withhold your
lips from worship, you are dwelling with the Most High. The signs by which the Truth-lover is known
are unmistakable. Hear the Holy Krishna declare them, in Sir Edwin Arnold’s
beautiful rendering of the “Bhagavad Gita”:– “Fearlessness, singleness of soul, the will
Always to strive for wisdom; opened hand And governed appetites; and piety,
And love of lonely study; humbleness, Uprightness, heed to injure nought which lives
Truthfulness, slowness unto wrath, a mind That lightly letteth go what others prize;
And equanimity, and charity Which spieth no man’s faults; and tenderness
Towards all that suffer; a contented heart, Fluttered by no desires; a bearing mild,
Modest and grave, with manhood nobly mixed, With patience, fortitude and purity;
An unrevengeful spirit, never given To rate itself too high–such be the signs,
O Indian Prince! of him whose feet are set On that fair path which leads to heavenly
birth!” When men, lost in the devious ways of error
and self, have forgotten the “heavenly birth,” the state of holiness and
Truth, they set up artificial standards by which to judge one another, and
make acceptance of, and adherence to, their own particular theology,
the test of Truth; and so men are divided one against another, and there
is ceaseless enmity and strife, and unending sorrow and suffering. Reader, do you seek to realize the birth into
Truth? There is only one way: _Let self die_. All those lusts, appetites,
desires, opinions, limited conceptions and prejudices to which you have
hitherto so tenaciously clung, let them fall from you. Let them no longer
hold you in bondage, and Truth will be yours. Cease to look upon your own
religion as superior to all others, and strive humbly to learn the supreme
lesson of charity. No longer cling to the idea, so productive of strife
and sorrow, that the Savior whom you worship is the only Savior, and that the
Savior whom your brother worships with equal sincerity and ardor, is
an impostor; but seek diligently the path of holiness, and then
you will realize that every holy man is a savior of mankind. The giving up of self is not merely the renunciation
of outward things. It consists of the renunciation of the inward
sin, the inward error. Not by giving up vain clothing; not by relinquishing
riches; not by abstaining from certain foods; not by speaking smooth
words; not by merely doing these things is the Truth found; but by giving up
the spirit of vanity; by relinquishing the desire for riches; by abstaining
from the lust of self-indulgence; by giving up all hatred,
strife, condemnation, and self-seeking, and becoming gentle and pure
at heart; by doing these things is the Truth found. To do the former, and
not to do the latter, is pharisaism and hypocrisy, whereas the latter
includes the former. You may renounce the outward world, and isolate yourself
in a cave or in the depths of a forest, but you will take all your selfishness
with you, and unless you renounce that, great indeed will be your
wretchedness and deep your delusion. You may remain just where you are,
performing all your duties, and yet renounce the world, the inward enemy.
To be in the world and yet not of the world is the highest perfection,
the most blessed peace, is to achieve the greatest victory. The renunciation
of self is the way of Truth, therefore, “Enter the Path; there is no grief like hate,
No pain like passion, no deceit like sense; Enter the Path; far hath he gone whose foot
Treads down one fond offense.” As you succeed in overcoming self you will
begin to see things in their right relations. He who is swayed by any passion,
prejudice, like or dislike, adjusts everything to that particular
bias, and sees only his own delusions. He who is absolutely free from
all passion, prejudice, preference, and partiality, sees himself as
he is; sees others as they are; sees all things in their proper proportions
and right relations. Having nothing to attack, nothing to defend, nothing
to conceal, and no interests to guard, he is at peace. He has realized
the profound simplicity of Truth, for this unbiased, tranquil, blessed state
of mind and heart is the state of Truth. He who attains to it dwells with
the angels, and sits at the footstool of the Supreme. Knowing the Great
Law; knowing the origin of sorrow; knowing the secret of suffering; knowing
the way of emancipation in Truth, how can such a one engage in strife
or condemnation; for though he knows that the blind, self-seeking world,
surrounded with the clouds of its own illusions, and enveloped in the darkness
of error and self, cannot perceive the steadfast Light of Truth, and
is utterly incapable of comprehending the profound simplicity of the
heart that has died, or is dying, to self, yet he also knows that when
the suffering ages have piled up mountains of sorrow, the crushed and burdened
soul of the world will fly to its final refuge, and that when the ages
are completed, every prodigal will come back to the fold of Truth. And so
he dwells in goodwill toward all, and regards all with that tender compassion
which a father bestows upon his wayward children. Men cannot understand Truth because they cling
to self, because they believe in and love self, because they believe
self to be the only reality, whereas it is the one delusion. When you cease to believe in and love self
you will desert it, and will fly to Truth, and will find the eternal Reality. When men are intoxicated with the wines of
luxury, and pleasure, and vanity, the thirst of life grows and deepens
within them, and they delude themselves with dreams of fleshly immortality,
but when they come to reap the harvest of their own sowing, and pain
and sorrow supervene, then, crushed and humiliated, relinquishing self
and all the intoxications of self, they come, with aching hearts to the
one immortality, the immortality that destroys all delusions, the spiritual
immortality in Truth. Men pass from evil to good, from self to Truth,
through the dark gate of sorrow, for sorrow and self are inseparable.
Only in the peace and bliss of Truth is all sorrow vanquished. If you suffer
disappointment because your cherished plans have been thwarted, or because
someone has not come up to your anticipations, it is because you are
clinging to self. If you suffer remorse for your conduct, it is because you
have given way to self. If you are overwhelmed with chagrin and regret because
of the attitude of someone else toward you, it is because you have been
cherishing self. If you are wounded on account of what has been done to
you or said of you, it is because you are walking in the painful way
of self. All suffering is of self. All suffering ends in Truth. When you
have entered into and realized Truth, you will no longer suffer disappointment,
remorse, and regret, and sorrow will flee from you. “Self is the only prison that can ever bind
the soul; Truth is the only angel that can bid the gates
unroll; And when he comes to call thee, arise and
follow fast; His way may lie through darkness, but it leads
to light at last.” The woe of the world is of its own making.
Sorrow purifies and deepens the soul, and the extremity of sorrow is the prelude
to Truth. Have you suffered much? Have you sorrowed
deeply? Have you pondered seriously upon the problem of life? If so,
you are prepared to wage war against self, and to become a disciple of
Truth. The intellectual who do not see the necessity
for giving up self, frame endless theories about the universe, and call
them Truth; but do thou pursue that direct line of conduct which is
the practice of righteousness, and thou wilt realize the Truth which has
no place in theory, and which never changes. Cultivate your heart. Water
it continually with unselfish love and deep-felt pity, and strive to shut
out from it all thoughts and feelings which are not in accordance with
Love. Return good for evil, love for hatred, gentleness for ill-treatment,
and remain silent when attacked. So shall you transmute all your selfish desires
into the pure gold of Love, and self will disappear in Truth. So will
you walk blamelessly among men, yoked with the easy yoke of lowliness, and
clothed with the divine garment of humility. O come, weary brother! thy struggling and
striving End thou in the heart of the Master of ruth;
Across self’s drear desert why wilt thou be driving,
Athirst for the quickening waters of Truth When here, by the path of thy searching and
sinning, Flows Life’s gladsome stream, lies Love’s
oasis green? Come, turn thou and rest; know the end and
beginning, The sought and the searcher, the seer and
seen. Thy Master sits not in the unapproached mountains,
Nor dwells in the mirage which floats on the air,
Nor shalt thou discover His magical fountains In pathways of sand that encircle despair. In selfhood’s dark desert cease wearily seeking
The odorous tracks of the feet of thy King; And if thou wouldst hear the sweet sound of
His speaking, Be deaf to all voices that emptily sing. Flee the vanishing places; renounce all thou
hast; Leave all that thou lovest, and, naked and
bare, Thyself at the shrine of the _Innermost_ cast;
The Highest, the Holiest, the Changeless is there. Within, in the heart of the Silence He dwelleth;
Leave sorrow and sin, leave thy wanderings sore;
Come bathe in His Joy, whilst He, whispering, telleth
Thy soul what it seeketh, and wander no more. Then cease, weary brother, thy struggling
and striving; Find peace in the heart of the Master of ruth.
Across self’s dark desert cease wearily driving; Come; drink at the beautiful waters of Truth. THE ACQUIREMENT OF SPIRITUAL POWER The world is filled with men and women seeking
pleasure, excitement, novelty; seeking ever to be moved to laughter
or tears; not seeking strength, stability, and power; but courting
weakness, and eagerly engaged in dispersing what power they have. Men and women of real power and influence
are few, because few are prepared to make the sacrifice necessary to the acquirement
of power, and fewer still are ready to patiently build up character. To be swayed by your fluctuating thoughts
and impulses is to be weak and powerless; to rightly control and direct those
forces is to be strong and powerful. Men of strong animal passions have
much of the ferocity of the beast, but this is not power. The elements
of power are there; but it is only when this ferocity is tamed and subdued
by the higher intelligence that real power begins; and men can only grow
in power by awakening themselves to higher and ever higher states
of intelligence and consciousness. The difference between a man of weakness and
one of power lies not in the strength of the personal will (for the stubborn
man is usually weak and foolish), but in that focus of consciousness
which represents their states of knowledge. The pleasure-seekers, the lovers of excitement,
the hunters after novelty, and the victims of impulse and hysterical
emotion lack that knowledge of principles which gives balance, stability,
and influence. A man commences to develop power when, checking
his impulses and selfish inclinations, he falls back upon the higher
and calmer consciousness within him, and begins to steady himself upon a principle.
The realization of unchanging principles in consciousness is
at once the source and secret of the highest power. When, after much searching, and suffering,
and sacrificing, the light of an eternal principle dawns upon the soul, a divine
calm ensues and joy unspeakable gladdens the heart. He who has realized such a principle ceases
to wander, and remains poised and self-possessed. He ceases to be “passion’s
slave,” and becomes a master-builder in the Temple of Destiny. The man that is governed by self, and not
by a principle, changes his front when his selfish comforts are threatened.
Deeply intent upon defending and guarding his own interests, he regards all
means as lawful that will subserve that end. He is continually scheming
as to how he may protect himself against his enemies, being too self-centered
to perceive that he is his own enemy. Such a man’s work crumbles
away, for it is divorced from Truth and power. All effort that is grounded
upon self, perishes; only that work endures that is built upon an indestructible
principle. The man that stands upon a principle is the
same calm, dauntless, self-possessed man under all circumstances.
When the hour of trial comes, and he has to decide between his personal
comforts and Truth, he gives up his comforts and remains firm. Even the prospect
of torture and death cannot alter or deter him. The man of self
regards the loss of his wealth, his comforts, or his life as the greatest
calamities which can befall him. The man of principle looks upon these incidents
as comparatively insignificant, and not to be weighed with
loss of character, loss of Truth. To desert Truth is, to him, the only happening
which can really be called a calamity. It is the hour of crisis which decides who
are the minions of darkness, and who the children of Light. It is the epoch
of threatening disaster, ruin, and persecution which divides the sheep from
the goats, and reveals to the reverential gaze of succeeding ages the men
and women of power. It is easy for a man, so long as he is left
in the enjoyment of his possessions, to persuade himself that he believes
in and adheres to the principles of Peace, Brotherhood, and Universal
Love; but if, when his enjoyments are threatened, or he imagines
they are threatened, he begins to clamor loudly for war, he shows that he believes
in and stands upon, not Peace, Brotherhood, and Love, but strife,
selfishness, and hatred. He who does not desert his principles when
threatened with the loss of every earthly thing, even to the loss of reputation
and life, is the man of power; is the man whose every word and work
endures; is the man whom the afterworld honors, reveres, and worships.
Rather than desert that principle of Divine Love on which he rested, and in
which all his trust was placed, Jesus endured the utmost extremity of agony
and deprivation; and today the world prostrates itself at his pierced feet
in rapt adoration. There is no way to the acquirement of spiritual
power except by that inward illumination and enlightenment which is the
realization of spiritual principles; and those principles can only
be realized by constant practice and application. Take the principle of divine Love, and quietly
and diligently meditate upon it with the object of arriving at a thorough
understanding of it. Bring its searching light to bear upon all your habits,
your actions, your speech and intercourse with others, your every secret
thought and desire. As you persevere in this course, the divine Love
will become more and more perfectly revealed to you, and your own shortcomings
will stand out in more and more vivid contrast, spurring you on to
renewed endeavor; and having once caught a glimpse of the incomparable
majesty of that imperishable principle, you will never again rest in your
weakness, your selfishness, your imperfection, but will pursue that Love
until you have relinquished every discordant element, and have brought
yourself into perfect harmony with it. And that state of inward harmony
is spiritual power. Take also other spiritual principles, such as Purity
and Compassion, and apply them in the same way, and, so exacting is Truth,
you will be able to make no stay, no resting-place until the inmost garment
of your soul is bereft of every stain, and your heart has become incapable
of any hard, condemnatory, and pitiless impulse. Only in so far as you understand, realize,
and rely upon, these principles, will you acquire spiritual power, and that
power will be manifested in and through you in the form of increasing dispassion,
patience and equanimity. Dispassion argues superior self-control; sublime
patience is the very hall-mark of divine knowledge, and to retain
an unbroken calm amid all the duties and distractions of life, marks off
the man of power. “It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion;
it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who
in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of
solitude.” Some mystics hold that perfection in dispassion
is the source of that power by which miracles (so-called) are performed,
and truly he who has gained such perfect control of all his interior forces
that no shock, however great, can for one moment unbalance him, must
be capable of guiding and directing those forces with a master-hand. To grow in self-control, in patience, in equanimity,
is to grow in strength and power; and you can only thus grow by focusing
your consciousness upon a principle. As a child, after making many and
vigorous attempts to walk unaided, at last succeeds, after numerous
falls, in accomplishing this, so you must enter the way of power by first attempting
to stand alone. Break away from the tyranny of custom, tradition,
conventionality, and the opinions of others, until you succeed in walking
lonely and erect among men. Rely upon your own judgment; be true
to your own conscience; follow the Light that is within you; all outward
lights are so many will-o’-the-wisps. There will be those who
will tell you that you are foolish; that your judgment is faulty; that
your conscience is all awry, and that the Light within you is darkness;
but heed them not. If what they say is true the sooner you, as a searcher
for wisdom, find it out the better, and you can only make the discovery
by bringing your powers to the test. Therefore, pursue your course bravely.
Your conscience is at least your own, and to follow it is to be a man;
to follow the conscience of another is to be a slave. You will have many
falls, will suffer many wounds, will endure many buffetings for a
time, but press on in faith, believing that sure and certain victory lies
ahead. Search for a rock, a principle, and having found it cling to it;
get it under your feet and stand erect upon it, until at last, immovably
fixed upon it, you succeed in defying the fury of the waves and storms of
selfishness. For selfishness in any and every form is dissipation,
weakness, death; unselfishness in its spiritual aspect is conservation,
power, life. As you grow in spiritual life, and become established
upon principles, you will become as beautiful and as unchangeable as
those principles, will taste of the sweetness of their immortal essence, and
will realize the eternal and indestructible nature of the God within. No harmful shaft can reach the righteous man,
Standing erect amid the storms of hate, Defying hurt and injury and ban,
Surrounded by the trembling slaves of Fate. Majestic in the strength of silent power,
Serene he stands, nor changes not nor turns; Patient and firm in suffering’s darkest hour,
Time bends to him, and death and doom he spurns. Wrath’s lurid lightnings round about him play,
And hell’s deep thunders roll about his head; Yet heeds he not, for him they cannot slay
Who stands whence earth and time and space are fled. Sheltered by deathless love, what fear hath
he? Armored in changeless Truth, what can he know
Of loss and gain? Knowing eternity, He moves not whilst the shadows come and go. Call him immortal, call him Truth and Light
And splendor of prophetic majesty Who bideth thus amid the powers of night,
Clothed with the glory of divinity. THE REALIZATION OF SELFLESS LOVE It is said that Michael Angelo saw in every
rough block of stone a thing of beauty awaiting the master-hand to bring it
into reality. Even so, within each there reposes the Divine Image awaiting
the master-hand of Faith and the chisel of Patience to bring it into manifestation.
And that Divine Image is revealed and realized as stainless,
selfless Love. Hidden deep in every human heart, though frequently
covered up with a mass of hard and almost impenetrable accretions,
is the spirit of Divine Love, whose holy and spotless essence is undying
and eternal. It is the Truth in man; it is that which belongs to the Supreme:
that which is real and immortal. All else changes and passes away;
this alone is permanent and imperishable; and to realize this Love by
ceaseless diligence in the practice of the highest righteousness, to
live in it and to become fully conscious in it, is to enter into immortality
here and now, is to become one with Truth, one with God, one with the
central Heart of all things, and to know our own divine and eternal nature. To reach this Love, to understand and experience
it, one must work with great persistency and diligence upon his heart
and mind, must ever renew his patience and keep strong his faith, for
there will be much to remove, much to accomplish before the Divine Image
is revealed in all its glorious beauty. He who strives to reach and to accomplish
the divine will be tried to the very uttermost; and this is absolutely necessary,
for how else could one acquire that sublime patience without which
there is no real wisdom, no divinity? Ever and anon, as he proceeds, all
his work will seem to be futile, and his efforts appear to be thrown
away. Now and then a hasty touch will mar his image, and perhaps when
he imagines his work is almost completed he will find what he imagined to
be the beautiful form of Divine Love utterly destroyed, and he must begin
again with his past bitter experience to guide and help him. But he who
has resolutely set himself to realize the Highest recognizes no such thing
as defeat. All failures are apparent, not real. Every slip, every fall,
every return to selfishness is a lesson learned, an experience gained, from
which a golden grain of wisdom is extracted, helping the striver toward the
accomplishment of his lofty object. To recognize “That of our vices we can frame
A ladder if we will but tread Beneath our feet each deed of shame,” is to enter the way that leads unmistakably
toward the Divine, and the failings of one who thus recognizes are so
many dead selves, upon which he rises, as upon stepping-stones, to higher
things. Once come to regard your failings, your sorrows
and sufferings as so many voices telling you plainly where you are weak
and faulty, where you fall below the true and the divine, you will then
begin to ceaselessly watch yourself, and every slip, every pang of pain
will show you where you are to set to work, and what you have to remove out
of your heart in order to bring it nearer to the likeness of the Divine,
nearer to the Perfect Love. And as you proceed, day by day detaching yourself
more and more from the inward selfishness the Love that is selfless
will gradually become revealed to you. And when you are growing patient and
calm, when your petulances, tempers, and irritabilities are passing away
from you, and the more powerful lusts and prejudices cease to dominate
and enslave you, then you will know that the divine is awakening within
you, that you are drawing near to the eternal Heart, that you are not
far from that selfless Love, the possession of which is peace and immortality. Divine Love is distinguished from human loves
in this supremely important particular, _it is free from partiality_.
Human loves cling to a particular object to the exclusion of all else, and when
that object is removed, great and deep is the resultant suffering to the
one who loves. Divine Love embraces the whole universe, and, without
clinging to any part, yet contains within itself the whole, and he who
comes to it by gradually purifying and broadening his human loves until
all the selfish and impure elements are burnt out of them, ceases from
suffering. It is because human loves are narrow and confined and mingled
with selfishness that they cause suffering. No suffering can result from that
Love which is so absolutely pure that it seeks nothing for itself. Nevertheless,
human loves are absolutely necessary as steps toward the Divine,
and no soul is prepared to partake of Divine Love until it has become
capable of the deepest and most intense human love. It is only by passing
through human loves and human sufferings that Divine Love is reached and
realized. All human loves are perishable like the forms
to which they cling; but there is a Love that is imperishable, and
that does not cling to appearances. All human loves are counterbalanced by human
hates; but there is a Love that admits of no opposite or reaction; divine
and free from all taint of self, that sheds its fragrance on all alike. Human loves are reflections of the Divine
Love, and draw the soul nearer to the reality, the Love that knows neither sorrow
nor change. It is well that the mother, clinging with
passionate tenderness to the little helpless form of flesh that lies on
her bosom, should be overwhelmed with the dark waters of sorrow when she sees
it laid in the cold earth. It is well that her tears should flow and her
heart ache, for only thus can she be reminded of the evanescent nature of
the joys and objects of sense, and be drawn nearer to the eternal and imperishable
Reality. It is well that lover, brother, sister, husband,
wife should suffer deep anguish, and be enveloped in gloom when the
visible object of their affections is torn from them, so that they
may learn to turn their affections toward the invisible Source of
all, where alone abiding satisfaction is to be found. It is well that the proud, the ambitious,
the self-seeking, should suffer defeat, humiliation, and misfortune; that
they should pass through the scorching fires of affliction; for only thus
can the wayward soul be brought to reflect upon the enigma of life;
only thus can the heart be softened and purified, and prepared to receive
the Truth. When the sting of anguish penetrates the heart
of human love; when gloom and loneliness and desertion cloud the soul
of friendship and trust, then it is that the heart turns toward the sheltering
love of the Eternal, and finds rest in its silent peace. And whosoever
comes to this Love is not turned away comfortless, is not pierced with
anguish nor surrounded with gloom; and is never deserted in the dark hour
of trial. The glory of Divine Love can only be revealed
in the heart that is chastened by sorrow, and the image of the
heavenly state can only be perceived and realized when the lifeless,
formless accretions of ignorance and self are hewn away. Only that Love that seeks no personal gratification
or reward, that does not make distinctions, and that leaves behind
no heartaches, can be called divine. Men, clinging to self and to the comfortless
shadows of evil, are in the habit of thinking of divine Love as something
belonging to a God who is out of reach; as something outside themselves,
and that must for ever remain outside. Truly, the Love of God is ever beyond
the reach of self, but when the heart and mind are emptied of self then
the selfless Love, the supreme Love, the Love that is of God or Good becomes
an inward and abiding reality. And this inward realization of holy Love is
none other than the Love of Christ that is so much talked about and so
little comprehended. The Love that not only saves the soul from sin, but
lifts it also above the power of temptation. But how may one attain to this sublime realization?
The answer which Truth has always given, and will ever give to this
question is,–“Empty thyself, and I will fill thee.” Divine Love cannot
be known until self is dead, for self is the denial of Love, and how can that
which is known be also denied? Not until the stone of self is rolled away
from the sepulcher of the soul does the immortal Christ, the pure Spirit
of Love, hitherto crucified, dead and buried, cast off the bands of ignorance,
and come forth in all the majesty of His resurrection. You believe that the Christ of Nazareth was
put to death and rose again. I do not say you err in that belief; but if
you refuse to believe that the gentle spirit of Love is crucified daily upon
the dark cross of your selfish desires, then, I say, you err in this
unbelief, and have not yet perceived, even afar off, the Love of Christ. You say that you have tasted of salvation
in the Love of Christ. Are you saved from your temper, your irritability,
your vanity, your personal dislikes, your judgment and condemnation of
others? If not, from what are you saved, and wherein have you realized the
transforming Love of Christ? He who has realized the Love that is divine
has become a new man, and has ceased to be swayed and dominated by the old
elements of self. He is known for his patience, his purity, his self-control,
his deep charity of heart, and his unalterable sweetness. Divine or selfless Love is not a mere sentiment
or emotion; it is a state of knowledge which destroys the dominion of
evil and the belief in evil, and lifts the soul into the joyful realization
of the supreme Good. To the divinely wise, knowledge and Love are one
and inseparable. It is toward the complete realization of this
divine Love that the whole world is moving; it was for this purpose that
the universe came into existence, and every grasping at happiness,
every reaching out of the soul toward objects, ideas and ideals, is an effort
to realize it. But the world does not realize this Love at present because
it is grasping at the fleeting shadow and ignoring, in its blindness,
the substance. And so suffering and sorrow continue, and must continue
until the world, taught by its self-inflicted pains, discovers the Love
that is selfless, the wisdom that is calm and full of peace. And this Love, this Wisdom, this Peace, this
tranquil state of mind and heart may be attained to, may be realized
by all who are willing and ready to yield up self, and who are prepared to
humbly enter into a comprehension of all that the giving up of self involves.
There is no arbitrary power in the universe, and the strongest chains of
fate by which men are bound are self-forged. Men are chained to that which
causes suffering because they desire to be so, because they love their chains,
because they think their little dark prison of self is sweet and beautiful,
and they are afraid that if they desert that prison they will lose
all that is real and worth having. “Ye suffer from yourselves, none else compels,
None other holds ye that ye live and die.” And the indwelling power which forged the
chains and built around itself the dark and narrow prison, can break away
when it desires and wills to do so, and the soul does will to do so when it
has discovered the worthlessness of its prison, when long suffering
has prepared it for the reception of the boundless Light and Love. As the shadow follows the form, and as smoke
comes after fire, so effect follows cause, and suffering and bliss follow
the thoughts and deeds of men. There is no effect in the world around
us but has its hidden or revealed cause, and that cause is in accordance
with absolute justice. Men reap a harvest of suffering because in the
near or distant past they have sown the seeds of evil; they reap a harvest
of bliss also as a result of their own sowing of the seeds of good. Let
a man meditate upon this, let him strive to understand it, and he will then
begin to sow only seeds of good, and will burn up the tares and weeds
which he has formerly grown in the garden of his heart. The world does not understand the Love that
is selfless because it is engrossed in the pursuit of its own pleasures,
and cramped within the narrow limits of perishable interests mistaking,
in its ignorance, those pleasures and interests for real and abiding
things. Caught in the flames of fleshly lusts, and burning with anguish,
it sees not the pure and peaceful beauty of Truth. Feeding upon the
swinish husks of error and self-delusion, it is shut out from the mansion
of all-seeing Love. Not having this Love, not understanding it,
men institute innumerable reforms which involve no inward sacrifice,
and each imagines that his reform is going to right the world for ever,
while he himself continues to propagate evil by engaging it in his own heart.
That only can be called reform which tends to reform the human heart,
for all evil has its rise there, and not until the world, ceasing from
selfishness and party strife, has learned the lesson of divine Love, will
it realize the Golden Age of universal blessedness. Let the rich cease to despise the poor, and
the poor to condemn the rich; let the greedy learn how to give, and the
lustful how to grow pure; let the partisan cease from strife, and the uncharitable
begin to forgive; let the envious endeavor to rejoice with others, and
the slanderers grow ashamed of their conduct. Let men and women take this
course, and, lo! the Golden Age is at hand. He, therefore, who purifies his
own heart is the world’s greatest benefactor. Yet, though the world is, and will be for
many ages to come, shut out from that Age of Gold, which is the realization
of selfless Love, you, if you are willing, may enter it now, by rising above
your selfish self; if you will pass from prejudice, hatred, and condemnation,
to gentle and forgiving love. Where hatred, dislike, and condemnation are,
selfless Love does not abide. It resides only in the heart that has ceased
from all condemnation. You say, “How can I love the drunkard, the
hypocrite, the sneak, the murderer? I am compelled to dislike and condemn
such men.” It is true you cannot love such men _emotionally_, but when
you say that you must perforce dislike and condemn them you show that you
are not acquainted with the Great over-ruling Love; for it is possible
to attain to such a state of interior enlightenment as will enable you
to perceive the train of causes by which these men have become as they are,
to enter into their intense sufferings, and to know the certainty of their
ultimate purification. Possessed of such knowledge it will be utterly
impossible for you any longer to dislike or condemn them, and you
will always think of them with perfect calmness and deep compassion. If you love people and speak of them with
praise until they in some way thwart you, or do something of which you disapprove,
and then you dislike them and speak of them with dispraise, you
are not governed by the Love which is of God. If, in your heart, you are
continually arraigning and condemning others, selfless Love is hidden
from you. He who knows that Love is at the heart of
all things, and has realized the all-sufficing power of that Love, has no room
in his heart for condemnation. Men, not knowing this Love, constitute themselves
judge and executioner of their fellows, forgetting that there is the
Eternal Judge and Executioner, and in so far as men deviate from them in
their own views, their particular reforms and methods, they brand them as fanatical,
unbalanced, lacking judgment, sincerity, and honesty; in so far
as others approximate to their own standard do they look upon them as being
everything that is admirable. Such are the men who are centered in self.
But he whose heart is centered in the supreme Love does not so brand and
classify men; does not seek to convert men to his own views, not to convince
them of the superiority of his methods. Knowing the Law of Love, he lives
it, and maintains the same calm attitude of mind and sweetness of heart
toward all. The debased and the virtuous, the foolish and the wise, the
learned and the unlearned, the selfish and the unselfish receive alike the
benediction of his tranquil thought. You can only attain to this supreme knowledge,
this divine Love by unremitting endeavor in self-discipline, and
by gaining victory after victory over yourself. Only the pure in heart
see God, and when your heart is sufficiently purified you will enter into
the New Birth, and the Love that does not die, nor change, nor end in
pain and sorrow will be awakened within you, and you will be at peace. He who strives for the attainment of divine
Love is ever seeking to overcome the spirit of condemnation, for where
there is pure spiritual knowledge, condemnation cannot exist, and
only in the heart that has become incapable of condemnation is Love perfected
and fully realized. The Christian condemns the Atheist; the Atheist
satirizes the Christian; the Catholic and Protestant are ceaselessly
engaged in wordy warfare, and the spirit of strife and hatred rules where
peace and love should be. “He that hateth his brother is a murderer,”
a crucifier of the divine Spirit of Love; and until you can regard men
of all religions and of no religion with the same impartial spirit, with
all freedom from dislike, and with perfect equanimity, you have yet to strive
for that Love which bestows upon its possessor freedom and salvation. The realization of divine knowledge, selfless
Love, utterly destroys the spirit of condemnation, disperses all evil,
and lifts the consciousness to that height of pure vision where Love, Goodness,
Justice are seen to be universal, supreme, all-conquering, indestructible. Train your mind in strong, impartial, and
gentle thought; train your heart in purity and compassion; train your tongue
to silence and to true and stainless speech; so shall you enter the way
of holiness and peace, and shall ultimately realize the immortal Love.
So living, without seeking to convert, you will convince; without arguing,
you will teach; not cherishing ambition, the wise will find you out; and
without striving to gain men’s opinions, you will subdue their hearts. For
Love is all-conquering, all-powerful; and the thoughts, and deeds,
and words of Love can never perish. To know that Love is universal, supreme, all-sufficing;
to be freed from the trammels of evil; to be quit of the inward
unrest; to know that all men are striving to realize the Truth each in
his own way; to be satisfied, sorrowless, serene; this is peace; this is
gladness; this is immortality; this is Divinity; this is the realization
of selfless Love. I stood upon the shore, and saw the rocks
Resist the onslaught of the mighty sea, And when I thought how all the countless shocks
They had withstood through an eternity, I said, “To wear away this solid main
The ceaseless efforts of the waves are vain.” But when I thought how they the rocks had
rent, And saw the sand and shingles at my feet
(Poor passive remnants of resistance spent) Tumbled and tossed where they the waters meet,
Then saw I ancient landmarks ‘neath the waves, And knew the waters held the stones their
slaves. I saw the mighty work the waters wrought
By patient softness and unceasing flow; How they the proudest promontory brought
Unto their feet, and massy hills laid low; How the soft drops the adamantine wall
Conquered at last, and brought it to its fall. And then I knew that hard, resisting sin
Should yield at last to Love’s soft ceaseless roll
Coming and going, ever flowing in Upon the proud rocks of the human soul;
That all resistance should be spent and past, And every heart yield unto it at last. ENTERING INTO THE INFINITE From the beginning of time, man, in spite
of his bodily appetites and desires, in the midst of all his clinging
to earthly and impermanent things, has ever been intuitively conscious
of the limited, transient, and illusionary nature of his material existence,
and in his sane and silent moments has tried to reach out into a comprehension
of the Infinite, and has turned with tearful aspiration toward
the restful Reality of the Eternal Heart. While vainly imagining that the pleasures
of earth are real and satisfying, pain and sorrow continually remind him of
their unreal and unsatisfying nature. Ever striving to believe that complete
satisfaction is to be found in material things, he is conscious of an
inward and persistent revolt against this belief, which revolt is at once
a refutation of his essential mortality, and an inherent and imperishable
proof that only in the immortal, the eternal, the infinite can he
find abiding satisfaction and unbroken peace. And here is the common ground of faith; here
the root and spring of all religion; here the soul of Brotherhood and
the heart of Love,–that man is essentially and spiritually divine and eternal,
and that, immersed in mortality and troubled with unrest, he is
ever striving to enter into a consciousness of his real nature. The spirit of man is inseparable from the
Infinite, and can be satisfied with nothing short of the Infinite, and the
burden of pain will continue to weigh upon man’s heart, and the shadows of
sorrow to darken his pathway until, ceasing from his wanderings in the
dream-world of matter, he comes back to his home in the reality of the Eternal. As the smallest drop of water detached from
the ocean contains all the qualities of the ocean, so man, detached in
consciousness from the Infinite, contains within him its likeness;
and as the drop of water must, by the law of its nature, ultimately find
its way back to the ocean and lose itself in its silent depths, so must
man, by the unfailing law of his nature, at last return to his source, and
lose himself in the great ocean of the Infinite. To re-become one with the Infinite is the
goal of man. To enter into perfect harmony with the Eternal Law is Wisdom,
Love and Peace. But this divine state is, and must ever be, incomprehensible
to the merely personal. Personality, separateness, selfishness are
one and the same, and are the antithesis of wisdom and divinity. By the
unqualified surrender of the personality, separateness and selfishness
cease, and man enters into the possession of his divine heritage of immortality
and infinity. Such surrender of the personality is regarded
by the worldly and selfish mind as the most grievous of all calamities,
the most irreparable loss, yet it is the one supreme and incomparable blessing,
the only real and lasting gain. The mind unenlightened upon the inner
laws of being, and upon the nature and destiny of its own life, clings
to transient appearances, things which have in them no enduring substantiality,
and so clinging, perishes, for the time being, amid the shattered wreckage
of its own illusions. Men cling to and gratify the flesh as though
it were going to last for ever, and though they try to forget the nearness
and inevitability of its dissolution, the dread of death and of the
loss of all that they cling to clouds their happiest hours, and the chilling
shadow of their own selfishness follows them like a remorseless
specter. And with the accumulation of temporal comforts
and luxuries, the divinity within men is drugged, and they sink deeper
and deeper into materiality, into the perishable life of the senses, and
where there is sufficient intellect, theories concerning the immortality
of the flesh come to be regarded as infallible truths. When a man’s
soul is clouded with selfishness in any or every form, he loses
the power of spiritual discrimination, and confuses the temporal
with the eternal, the perishable with the permanent, mortality with immortality,
and error with Truth. It is thus that the world has come to be filled
with theories and speculations having no foundation in human experience.
Every body of flesh contains within itself, from the hour of birth, the
elements of its own destruction, and by the unalterable law of its own nature
must it pass away. The perishable in the universe can never become
permanent; the permanent can never pass away; the mortal can never
become immortal; the immortal can never die; the temporal cannot become eternal
nor the eternal become temporal; appearance can never become reality,
nor reality fade into appearance; error can never become Truth,
nor can Truth become error. Man cannot immortalize the flesh, but, by overcoming
the flesh, by relinquishing all its inclinations, he can
enter the region of immortality. “God alone hath immortality,” and only by
realizing the God state of consciousness does man enter into immortality. All nature in its myriad forms of life is
changeable, impermanent, unenduring. Only the informing Principle of
nature endures. Nature is many, and is marked by separation. The informing
Principle is One, and is marked by unity. By overcoming the senses and the
selfishness within, which is the overcoming of nature, man emerges from the
chrysalis of the personal and illusory, and wings himself into the glorious
light of the impersonal, the region of universal Truth, out of which all
perishable forms come. Let men, therefore, practice self-denial;
let them conquer their animal inclinations; let them refuse to be enslaved
by luxury and pleasure; let them practice virtue, and grow daily into
high and ever higher virtue, until at last they grow into the Divine, and
enter into both the practice and the comprehension of humility, meekness,
forgiveness, compassion, and love, which practice and comprehension constitute
Divinity. “Good-will gives insight,” and only he who
has so conquered his personality that he has but one attitude of mind, that
of good-will, toward all creatures, is possessed of divine insight,
and is capable of distinguishing the true from the false. The supremely good
man is, therefore, the wise man, the divine man, the enlightened seer,
the knower of the Eternal. Where you find unbroken gentleness, enduring patience,
sublime lowliness, graciousness of speech, self-control, self-forgetfulness,
and deep and abounding sympathy, look there for the highest
wisdom, seek the company of such a one, for he has realized the Divine,
he lives with the Eternal, he has become one with the Infinite. Believe
not him that is impatient, given to anger, boastful, who clings to pleasure
and refuses to renounce his selfish gratifications, and who practices
not good-will and far-reaching compassion, for such a one hath not wisdom,
vain is all his knowledge, and his works and words will perish, for they
are grounded on that which passes away. Let a man abandon self, let him overcome the
world, let him deny the personal; by this pathway only can he enter
into the heart of the Infinite. The world, the body, the personality are mirages
upon the desert of time; transitory dreams in the dark night of spiritual
slumber, and those who have crossed the desert, those who are spiritually
awakened, have alone comprehended the Universal Reality where all
appearances are dispersed and dreaming and delusion are destroyed. There is one Great Law which exacts unconditional
obedience, one unifying principle which is the basis of all diversity,
one eternal Truth wherein all the problems of earth pass away like shadows.
To realize this Law, this Unity, this Truth, is to enter into the Infinite,
is to become one with the Eternal. To center one’s life in the Great Law of Love
is to enter into rest, harmony, peace. To refrain from all participation
in evil and discord; to cease from all resistance to evil, and from
the omission of that which is good, and to fall back upon unswerving obedience
to the holy calm within, is to enter into the inmost heart of things,
is to attain to a living, conscious experience of that eternal and infinite
principle which must ever remain a hidden mystery to the merely perceptive
intellect. Until this principle is realized, the soul is not established
in peace, and he who so realizes is truly wise; not wise with the
wisdom of the learned, but with the simplicity of a blameless heart and of
a divine manhood. To enter into a realization of the Infinite
and Eternal is to rise superior to time, and the world, and the body, which
comprise the kingdom of darkness; and is to become established in
immortality, Heaven, and the Spirit, which make up the Empire of Light. Entering into the Infinite is not a mere theory
or sentiment. It is a vital experience which is the result of assiduous
practice in inward purification. When the body is no longer believed
to be, even remotely, the real man; when all appetites and desires are
thoroughly subdued and purified; when the emotions are rested and
calm, and when the oscillation of the intellect ceases and perfect poise
is secured, then, and not till then, does consciousness become one with the
Infinite; not until then is childlike wisdom and profound peace secured. Men grow weary and gray over the dark problems
of life, and finally pass away and leave them unsolved because they
cannot see their way out of the darkness of the personality, being too much
engrossed in its limitations. Seeking to save his personal life, man forfeits
the greater impersonal Life in Truth; clinging to the perishable, he is
shut out from a knowledge of the Eternal. By the surrender of self all difficulties
are overcome, and there is no error in the universe but the fire of inward
sacrifice will burn it up like chaff; no problem, however great, but will
disappear like a shadow under the searching light of self-abnegation. Problems
exist only in our own self-created illusions, and they vanish away
when self is yielded up. Self and error are synonymous. Error is involved
in the darkness of unfathomable complexity, but eternal simplicity is the
glory of Truth. Love of self shuts men out from Truth, and
seeking their own personal happiness they lose the deeper, purer, and
more abiding bliss. Says Carlyle–“There is in man a higher than love
of happiness. He can do without happiness, and instead thereof find
blessedness. … Love not pleasure, love God. This is the
Everlasting Yea, wherein all contradiction is solved; wherein whoso walks
and works, it is well with him.” He who has yielded up that self, that personality
that men most love, and to which they cling with such fierce tenacity,
has left behind him all perplexity, and has entered into a simplicity
so profoundly simple as to be looked upon by the world, involved as it is
in a network of error, as foolishness. Yet such a one has realized the
highest wisdom, and is at rest in the Infinite. He “accomplishes without
striving,” and all problems melt before him, for he has entered the region
of reality, and deals, not with changing effects, but with the unchanging
principles of things. He is enlightened with a wisdom which is as superior
to ratiocination, as reason is to animality. Having yielded up his lusts,
his errors, his opinions and prejudices, he has entered into possession
of the knowledge of God, having slain the selfish desire for heaven, and along
with it the ignorant fear of hell; having relinquished even the love of
life itself, he has gained supreme bliss and Life Eternal, the Life which
bridges life and death, and knows its own immortality. Having yielded
up all without reservation, he has gained all, and rests in peace on the
bosom of the Infinite. Only he who has become so free from self as
to be equally content to be annihilated as to live, or to live as to be
annihilated, is fit to enter into the Infinite. Only he who, ceasing to
trust his perishable self, has learned to trust in boundless measure the
Great Law, the Supreme Good, is prepared to partake of undying bliss. For such a one there is no more regret, nor
disappointment, nor remorse, for where all selfishness has ceased these
sufferings cannot be; and whatever happens to him he knows that it is
for his own good, and he is content, being no longer the servant of self,
but the servant of the Supreme. He is no longer affected by the changes
of earth, and when he hears of wars and rumors of wars his peace
is not disturbed, and where men grow angry and cynical and quarrelsome, he
bestows compassion and love. Though appearances may contradict it, he knows
that the world is progressing, and that “Through its laughing and its weeping,
Through its living and its keeping, Through its follies and its labors, weaving
in and out of sight, To the end from the beginning,
Through all virtue and all sinning, Reeled from God’s great spool of Progress,
runs the golden thread of light.” When a fierce storm is raging none are angered
about it, because they know it will quickly pass away, and when the storms
of contention are devastating the world, the wise man, looking
with the eye of Truth and pity, knows that it will pass away, and that
out of the wreckage of broken hearts which it leaves behind the immortal
Temple of Wisdom will be built. Sublimely patient; infinitely compassionate;
deep, silent, and pure, his very presence is a benediction; and when he
speaks men ponder his words in their hearts, and by them rise to higher levels
of attainment. Such is he who has entered into the Infinite, who by
the power of utmost sacrifice has solved the sacred mystery of life. Questioning Life and Destiny and Truth,
I sought the dark and labyrinthine Sphinx, Who spake to me this strange and wondrous
thing:– “Concealment only lies in blinded eyes,
And God alone can see the Form of God.” I sought to solve this hidden mystery
Vainly by paths of blindness and of pain, But when I found the Way of Love and Peace,
Concealment ceased, and I was blind no more: Then saw I God e’en with the eyes of God. SAINTS, SAGES, AND SAVIORS: THE LAW OF SERVICE The spirit of Love which is manifested as
a perfect and rounded life, is the crown of being and the supreme end of
knowledge upon this earth. The measure of a man’s truth is the measure
of his love, and Truth is far removed from him whose life is not governed
by Love. The intolerant and condemnatory, even though they profess the
highest religion, have the smallest measure of Truth; while those who
exercise patience, and who listen calmly and dispassionately to all sides,
and both arrive themselves at, and incline others to, thoughtful and
unbiased conclusions upon all problems and issues, have Truth in fullest
measure. The final test of wisdom is this,–how does a man live? What
spirit does he manifest? How does he act under trial and temptation? Many
men boast of being in possession of Truth who are continually swayed
by grief, disappointment, and passion, and who sink under the first
little trial that comes along. Truth is nothing if not unchangeable, and
in so far as a man takes his stand upon Truth does he become steadfast
in virtue, does he rise superior to his passions and emotions and changeable
personality. Men formulate perishable dogmas, and call
them Truth. Truth cannot be formulated; it is ineffable, and ever beyond
the reach of intellect. It can only be experienced by practice; it can only
be manifested as a stainless heart and a perfect life. Who, then, in the midst of the ceaseless pandemonium
of schools and creeds and parties, has the Truth? He who lives it.
He who practices it. He who, having risen above that pandemonium by overcoming
himself, no longer engages in it, but sits apart, quiet, subdued,
calm, and self-possessed, freed from all strife, all bias, all condemnation,
and bestows upon all the glad and unselfish love of the divinity within
him. He who is patient, calm, gentle, and forgiving
under all circumstances, manifests the Truth. Truth will never be proved
by wordy arguments and learned treatises, for if men do not perceive
the Truth in infinite patience, undying forgiveness, and all-embracing
compassion, no words can ever prove it to them. It is an easy matter for the passionate to
be calm and patient when they are alone, or are in the midst of calmness.
It is equally easy for the uncharitable to be gentle and kind when they
are dealt kindly with, but he who retains his patience and calmness under
all trial, who remains sublimely meek and gentle under the most trying
circumstances, he, and he alone, is possessed of the spotless Truth.
And this is so because such lofty virtues belong to the Divine, and can
only be manifested by one who has attained to the highest wisdom, who has
relinquished his passionate and self-seeking nature, who has realized the
supreme and unchangeable Law, and has brought himself into harmony with it. Let men, therefore, cease from vain and passionate
arguments about Truth, and let them think and say and do those things
which make for harmony, peace, love, and good-will. Let them practice
heart-virtue, and search humbly and diligently for the Truth which
frees the soul from all error and sin, from all that blights the human heart,
and that darkens, as with unending night, the pathway of the wandering
souls of earth. There is one great all-embracing Law which
is the foundation and cause of the universe, the Law of Love. It has been
called by many names in various countries and at various times, but behind
all its names the same unalterable Law may be discovered by the eye
of Truth. Names, religions, personalities pass away, but the Law of Love
remains. To become possessed of a knowledge of this Law, to enter into
conscious harmony with it, is to become immortal, invincible, indestructible. It is because of the effort of the soul to
realize this Law that men come again and again to live, to suffer, and to
die; and when realized, suffering ceases, personality is dispersed,
and the fleshly life and death are destroyed, for consciousness becomes one
with the Eternal. The Law is absolutely impersonal, and its
highest manifested expression is that of Service. When the purified heart has
realized Truth it is then called upon to make the last, the greatest
and holiest sacrifice, the sacrifice of the well-earned enjoyment of
Truth. It is by virtue of this sacrifice that the divinely-emancipated soul
comes to dwell among men, clothed with a body of flesh, content to dwell
among the lowliest and least, and to be esteemed the servant of all
mankind. That sublime humility which is manifested by the world’s saviors
is the seal of Godhead, and he who has annihilated the personality, and has
become a living, visible manifestation of the impersonal, eternal,
boundless Spirit of Love, is alone singled out as worthy to receive the
unstinted worship of posterity. He only who succeeds in humbling himself with
that divine humility which is not only the extinction of self, but is also
the pouring out upon all the spirit of unselfish love, is exalted above
measure, and given spiritual dominion in the hearts of mankind. All the great spiritual teachers have denied
themselves personal luxuries, comforts, and rewards, have abjured temporal
power, and have lived and taught the limitless and impersonal Truth.
Compare their lives and teachings, and you will find the same simplicity,
the same self-sacrifice, the same humility, love, and peace both lived
and preached by them. They taught the same eternal Principles, the realization
of which destroys all evil. Those who have been hailed and worshiped
as the saviors of mankind are manifestations of the Great impersonal
Law, and being such, were free from passion and prejudice, and having no
opinions, and no special letter of doctrine to preach and defend, they never
sought to convert and to proselytize. Living in the highest Goodness,
the supreme Perfection, their sole object was to uplift mankind by manifesting
that Goodness in thought, word, and deed. They stand between man the
personal and God the impersonal, and serve as exemplary types for the salvation
of self-enslaved mankind. Men who are immersed in self, and who cannot
comprehend the Goodness that is absolutely impersonal, deny divinity to
all saviors except their own, and thus introduce personal hatred and doctrinal
controversy, and, while defending their own particular views with
passion, look upon each other as being heathens or infidels, and so render
null and void, as far as their lives are concerned, the unselfish beauty
and holy grandeur of the lives and teachings of their own Masters. Truth
cannot be limited; it can never be the special prerogative of any man, school,
or nation, and when personality steps in, Truth is lost. The glory alike of the saint, the sage, and
the savior is this,–that he has realized the most profound lowliness,
the most sublime unselfishness; having given up all, even his own personality,
all his works are holy and enduring, for they are freed from every taint
of self. He gives, yet never thinks of receiving; he works without regretting
the past or anticipating the future, and never looks for reward. When the farmer has tilled and dressed his
land and put in the seed, he knows that he has done all that he can possibly
do, and that now he must trust to the elements, and wait patiently
for the course of time to bring about the harvest, and that no amount of expectancy
on his part will affect the result. Even so, he who has realized Truth
goes forth as a sower of the seeds of goodness, purity, love and peace,
without expectancy, and never looking for results, knowing that there is
the Great Over-ruling Law which brings about its own harvest in due time,
and which is alike the source of preservation and destruction. Men, not understanding the divine simplicity
of a profoundly unselfish heart, look upon their particular savior as
the manifestation of a special miracle, as being something entirely apart
and distinct from the nature of things, and as being, in his ethical excellence,
eternally unapproachable by the whole of mankind. This attitude of
unbelief (for such it is) in the divine perfectibility of man, paralyzes effort,
and binds the souls of men as with strong ropes to sin and suffering.
Jesus “grew in wisdom” and was “perfected by suffering.” What Jesus was,
he became such; what Buddha was, he became such; and every holy man became
such by unremitting perseverance in self-sacrifice. Once recognize this, once
realize that by watchful effort and hopeful perseverance you can rise
above your lower nature, and great and glorious will be the vistas of attainment
that will open out before you. Buddha vowed that he would not
relax his efforts until he arrived at the state of perfection, and he
accomplished his purpose. What the saints, sages, and saviors have accomplished,
you likewise may accomplish if you will only tread the way
which they trod and pointed out, the way of self-sacrifice, of self-denying
service. Truth is very simple. It says, “Give up self,”
“Come unto Me” (away from all that defiles) “and I will give you rest.”
All the mountains of commentary that have been piled upon it cannot
hide it from the heart that is earnestly seeking for Righteousness. It
does not require learning; it can be known in spite of learning. Disguised
under many forms by erring self-seeking man, the beautiful simplicity
and clear transparency of Truth remains unaltered and undimmed, and the unselfish
heart enters into and partakes of its shining radiance. Not by weaving
complex theories, not by building up speculative philosophies is Truth
realized; but by weaving the web of inward purity, by building up the Temple
of a stainless life is Truth realized. He who enters upon this holy way begins by
restraining his passions. This is virtue, and is the beginning of saintship,
and saintship is the beginning of holiness. The entirely worldly
man gratifies all his desires, and practices no more restraint than the law
of the land in which he lives demands; the virtuous man restrains his passions;
the saint attacks the enemy of Truth in its stronghold within his
own heart, and restrains all selfish and impure thoughts; while the holy
man is he who is free from passion and all impure thought, and to whom
goodness and purity have become as natural as scent and color are to the flower.
The holy man is divinely wise; he alone knows Truth in its fullness,
and has entered into abiding rest and peace. For him evil has ceased; it
has disappeared in the universal light of the All-Good. Holiness
is the badge of wisdom. Said Krishna to the Prince Arjuna– “Humbleness, truthfulness, and harmlessness,
Patience and honor, reverence for the wise, Purity, constancy, control of self,
Contempt of sense-delights, self-sacrifice, Perception of the certitude of ill
In birth, death, age, disease, suffering and sin;
An ever tranquil heart in fortunes good And fortunes evil, …
… Endeavors resolute To reach perception of the utmost soul,
And grace to understand what gain it were So to attain–this is true wisdom, Prince!
And what is otherwise is ignorance!” Whoever fights ceaselessly against his own
selfishness, and strives to supplant it with all-embracing love, is a
saint, whether he live in a cottage or in the midst of riches and influence;
or whether he preaches or remains obscure. To the worldling, who is beginning to aspire
towards higher things, the saint, such as a sweet St. Francis of Assisi,
or a conquering St. Anthony, is a glorious and inspiring spectacle; to
the saint, an equally enrapturing sight is that of the sage, sitting serene
and holy, the conqueror of sin and sorrow, no more tormented by regret and
remorse, and whom even temptation can never reach; and yet even the
sage is drawn on by a still more glorious vision, that of the savior actively
manifesting his knowledge in selfless works, and rendering his divinity
more potent for good by sinking himself in the throbbing, sorrowing,
aspiring heart of mankind. And this only is true service–to forget oneself
in love towards all, to lose oneself in working for the whole. O thou
vain and foolish man, who thinkest that thy many works can save thee;
who, chained to all error, talkest loudly of thyself, thy work, and thy
many sacrifices, and magnifiest thine own importance; know this,
that though thy fame fill the whole earth, all thy work shall come to dust,
and thou thyself be reckoned lower than the least in the Kingdom of Truth! Only the work that is impersonal can live;
the works of self are both powerless and perishable. Where duties, howsoever
humble, are done without self-interest, and with joyful sacrifice,
there is true service and enduring work. Where deeds, however brilliant
and apparently successful, are done from love of self, there is ignorance
of the Law of Service, and the work perishes. It is given to the world to learn one great
and divine lesson, the lesson of absolute unselfishness. The saints, sages,
and saviors of all time are they who have submitted themselves to this
task, and have learned and lived it. All the Scriptures of the world are framed
to teach this one lesson; all the great teachers reiterate it. It is
too simple for the world which, scorning it, stumbles along in the complex
ways of selfishness. A pure heart is the end of all religion and
the beginning of divinity. To search for this Righteousness is to walk the
Way of Truth and Peace, and he who enters this Way will soon perceive that
Immortality which is independent of birth and death, and will realize
that in the Divine economy of the universe the humblest effort is not
lost. The divinity of a Krishna, a Gautama, or a
Jesus is the crowning glory of self-abnegation, the end of the soul’s pilgrimage
in matter and mortality, and the world will not have finished its long
journey until every soul has become as these, and has entered into the
blissful realization of its own divinity. Great glory crowns the heights of hope by
arduous struggle won; Bright honor rounds the hoary head that mighty
works hath done; Fair riches come to him who strives in ways
of golden gain. And fame enshrines his name who works with
genius-glowing brain; But greater glory waits for him who, in the
bloodless strife ‘Gainst self and wrong, adopts, in love, the
sacrificial life; And brighter honor rounds the brow of him
who, ‘mid the scorns Of blind idolaters of self, accepts the crown
of thorns; And fairer purer riches come to him who greatly
strives To walk in ways of love and truth to sweeten
human lives; And he who serveth well mankind exchanges
fleeting fame For Light eternal, Joy and Peace, and robes
of heavenly flame. THE REALIZATION OF PERFECT PEACE In the external universe there is ceaseless
turmoil, change, and unrest; at the heart of all things there is undisturbed
repose; in this deep silence dwelleth the Eternal. Man partakes of this duality, and both the
surface change and disquietude, and the deep-seated eternal abode of Peace,
are contained within him. As there are silent depths in the ocean which
the fiercest storm cannot reach, so there are silent, holy depths in
the heart of man which the storms of sin and sorrow can never disturb.
To reach this silence and to live consciously in it is peace. Discord is rife in the outward world, but
unbroken harmony holds sway at the heart of the universe. The human soul,
torn by discordant passion and grief, reaches blindly toward the harmony
of the sinless state, and to reach this state and to live consciously in
it is peace. Hatred severs human lives, fosters persecution,
and hurls nations into ruthless war, yet men, though they do not
understand why, retain some measure of faith in the overshadowing of a
Perfect Love; and to reach this Love and to live consciously in it is peace. And this inward peace, this silence, this
harmony, this Love, is the Kingdom of Heaven, which is so difficult to
reach because few are willing to give up themselves and to become as little
children. “Heaven’s gate is very narrow and minute,
It cannot be perceived by foolish men Blinded by vain illusions of the world;
E’en the clear-sighted who discern the way, And seek to enter, find the portal barred,
And hard to be unlocked. Its massive bolts Are pride and passion, avarice and lust.” Men cry peace! peace! where there is no peace,
but on the contrary, discord, disquietude and strife. Apart from
that Wisdom which is inseparable from self-renunciation, there
can be no real and abiding peace. The peace which results from social comfort,
passing gratification, or worldly victory is transitory in its nature,
and is burnt up in the heat of fiery trial. Only the Peace of Heaven endures
through all trial, and only the selfless heart can know the Peace of Heaven. Holiness alone is undying peace. Self-control
leads to it, and the ever-increasing Light of Wisdom guides the
pilgrim on his way. It is partaken of in a measure as soon as the path
of virtue is entered upon, but it is only realized in its fullness when self
disappears in the consummation of a stainless life. “This is peace,
To conquer love of self and lust of life, To tear deep-rooted passion from the heart
To still the inward strife.” If, O reader! you would realize the Light
that never fades, the Joy that never ends, and the tranquillity that cannot
be disturbed; if you would leave behind for ever your sins, your sorrows,
your anxieties and perplexities; if, I say, you would partake
of this salvation, this supremely glorious Life, then conquer yourself.
Bring every thought, every impulse, every desire into perfect obedience
to the divine power resident within you. There is no other way to peace
but this, and if you refuse to walk it, your much praying and your strict
adherence to ritual will be fruitless and unavailing, and neither gods
nor angels can help you. Only to him that overcometh is given the white stone
of the regenerate life, on which is written the New and Ineffable Name. Come away, for awhile, from external things,
from the pleasures of the senses, from the arguments of the intellect,
from the noise and the excitements of the world, and withdraw yourself
into the inmost chamber of your heart, and there, free from the sacrilegious
intrusion of all selfish desires, you will find a deep silence, a holy
calm, a blissful repose, and if you will rest awhile in that holy place,
and will meditate there, the faultless eye of Truth will open within you,
and you will see things as they really are. This holy place within you
is your real and eternal self; it is the divine within you; and only when
you identify yourself with it can you be said to be “clothed and in your
right mind.” It is the abode of peace, the temple of wisdom, the dwelling-place
of immortality. Apart from this inward resting-place, this Mount of Vision,
there can be no true peace, no knowledge of the Divine, and if
you can remain there for one minute, one hour, or one day, it is possible
for you to remain there always. All your sins and sorrows, your fears
and anxieties are your own, and you can cling to them or you can give
them up. Of your own accord you cling to your unrest; of your own accord you
can come to abiding peace. No one else can give up sin for you; you must
give it up yourself. The greatest teacher can do no more than walk
the way of Truth for himself, and point it out to you; you yourself must walk
it for yourself. You can obtain freedom and peace alone by your own efforts,
by yielding up that which binds the soul, and which is destructive of
peace. The angels of divine peace and joy are always
at hand, and if you do not see them, and hear them, and dwell with them,
it is because you shut yourself out from them, and prefer the company
of the spirits of evil within you. You are what you will to be, what
you wish to be, what you prefer to be. You can commence to purify yourself,
and by so doing can arrive at peace, or you can refuse to purify
yourself, and so remain with suffering. Step aside, then; come out of the fret and
the fever of life; away from the scorching heat of self, and enter the inward
resting-place where the cooling airs of peace will calm, renew, and
restore you. Come out of the storms of sin and anguish.
Why be troubled and tempest-tossed when the haven of Peace of
God is yours! Give up all self-seeking; give up self, and
lo! the Peace of God is yours! Subdue the animal within you; conquer every
selfish uprising, every discordant voice; transmute the base metals
of your selfish nature into the unalloyed gold of Love, and you shall realize
the Life of Perfect Peace. Thus subduing, thus conquering, thus transmuting,
you will, O reader! while living in the flesh, cross the dark waters
of mortality, and will reach that Shore upon which the storms of sorrow
never beat, and where sin and suffering and dark uncertainty cannot come.
Standing upon that Shore, holy, compassionate, awakened, and self-possessed
and glad with unending gladness, you will realize that “Never the Spirit was born, the Spirit will
cease to be never; Never was time it was not, end and beginning
are dreams; Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth
the Spirit for ever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though
the house of it seems.” You will then know the meaning of Sin, of
Sorrow, of Suffering, and that the end thereof is Wisdom; will know the cause
and the issue of existence. And with this realization you will enter into
rest, for this is the bliss of immortality, this the unchangeable gladness,
this the untrammeled knowledge, undefiled Wisdom, and undying Love;
this, and this only, is the realization of Perfect Peace. O thou who wouldst teach men of Truth!
Hast thou passed through the desert of doubt? Art thou purged by the fires of sorrow? hath
ruth The fiends of opinion cast out
Of thy human heart? Is thy soul so fair That no false thought can ever harbor there? O thou who wouldst teach men of Love!
Hast thou passed through the place of despair? Hast thou wept through the dark night of grief?
does it move (Now freed from its sorrow and care)
Thy human heart to pitying gentleness, Looking on wrong, and hate, and ceaseless
stress? O thou who wouldst teach men of Peace!
Hast thou crossed the wide ocean of strife? Hast thou found on the Shores of the Silence,
Release from all the wild unrest of life? From thy human heart hath all striving gone,
Leaving but Truth, and Love, and Peace alone?

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Nice, if we start feeding ourselves with this type of content, instead of reading about J-Lo…good things are going to happen…

  2. This really is the truth! I have been searching for all my life, now that I know it is real,  I am enthused to learn more.

  3. Thank you very much.Wishes of peace, good health, harmony and joy to you, all yours and everyone else everywhere in this great Cosmos.:)

  4. Wow. This makes truth sound so hardcore. Who wants to be shown how you have been walking away from truth your whole life?

  5. this feels like it is from the soul and has no permanent value, I don't feel anything from the spirit, that makes eternal changes. To say that a religion that kills infidels to attain peace is a religion that is peaceful and seeking brotherhood is foolishness. Common ground of faith is that the Kali that worship death and murder for their goddess are seeking love, and that man is essentially divine and eternal is is really a load of bull manure. You must seek the very person who created the word Love or agape, that would be Jesus.

  6. I love this book I thank Jesus for creating this man to help further God's kingdom be blesses my friends.

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