THEOSOPHY, Vol. 47, No. 3, January, 1959 (Pages 116-118; Size: 10K)
OF the four seasons, surely the one which captivates the imagination and brings hope to the harried traveller is the season of spring, with its gentle zephyrs heralding the approach of the golden summer days. During springtime it is truly a joy to tarry in the open spaces and view with unmitigated thankfulness the superb transformation, the new birth unfolding all around us. And in the exuberance of our gratitude for the superlative beauty of the spring flora, the stirrings of myriads of creatures, the memory of the bleak, grim days of winter is forgotten. Could we have the faintest conception of the intricate operations of the World Mind, engaged in bringing to fruition the radiant spectacle of a May morning, or even the gracious symmetrical beauty of the fragrant lily, doubt would no longer assail the mind, obscuring the vision of a divine intelligence underlying and overshadowing all of nature's manifold activities. No longer, either, would we fear the "grim reaper," for we should then recognize death as deliverer -- in that after having toiled all day, we shed the remnants of our sensual desires before entering the devachanic(1) state for a well-earned rest.
By analogy, if not by intuition, it would then dawn on the budding consciousness that even as the outer garments of the earth are renewed periodically, the Eternal Ego, after each period of rest, is attracted under the inflexible Law of Karma to an environment of opportunity. Let us not then decry our station in life, for, depend upon it, it is the best-suited to aid our spiritual growth; and if we apply our best efforts, bereft of selfish motives, as counselled in the Gita, we will unquestionably be working for the common good and preparing ourselves for further travelling upon the Path.
To develop the inner faculties of sight, hearing, and speech, it is not necessary to have had the advantage of a formal education. Indeed, one of average learning who has "killed out ambition," yet is able to work as those who are ambitious, one who has awakened to a realization of his intrinsic duty, namely, service to others without thought of personal profit, has a golden opportunity of eventually seeing, if not entering, The Path, -- making it possible for a New Birth to have taken place in the course of a single lifetime.
Each Ego, upon donning a physical garment after a rest in the devachanic state, enters the school of life to continue his education. Some may have to stay in the same grade in order to absorb certain lessons not thoroughly mastered in a previous incarnation, while others who applied themselves more competently in the previous life, advance to a higher grade. The earth-life is truly a school in which very few pupils fail, each one pursuing his studies to the end. But advancement or retardation depends solely on individual effort. No favoritism is shown; each student has the choice of gaining laurels if his work has been such as to merit recognition; or he may elect to fritter his energies away in futile activities for a time. The wise pupil, realizing that one grade of the school of life is not an end-in-itself but simply a preparatory course for more advanced instruction, will apply himself to learning the necessary lessons; he will cooperate intelligently with his Teacher, doing a maximum of work in order more speedily "to come of age" and enter into his rightful spiritual heritage. By reading, and especially by studying, such works as The Secret Doctrine and The Key to Theosophy, we learn the laws under which the school of life should be lived, if we wish to advance rapidly. We sense the great law of evolution, under which each individual should labor to be born again into a perfect individual instead of allowing his divine possibilities to lie fallow. We learn that while occupying our rightful place in society, and working in the factory or office, we can project through our thoughts and actions our influence for the good of those with whom we come into daily contact. We learn to maintain our mental equilibrium in this highly geared industrialized age.
In the hustle of this modern age, more than ever before, it would seem that the majority are obsessed with the functions of grasping, by any means whatsoever, the straws of material comfort and security, instead of delving into the inner recesses of the Self. While we should not shirk the physical or mental work allotted to us, to let it engulf all our waking thoughts is to stunt the growth of the most important part of our nature -- Manasic awareness.(2) When one listens to the average conversation, with its emphasis on the material aspects of life (such as the state of the stock market, "escapism" by foreign travel, plans for entertaining or being entertained -- anything, in short, which silences the soundless, obscures the Light emanating from the Self), one is moved to amazement, if not pity, that such stupendous energy should be dissipated on ephemeral activities. We may think it is truly tragic that so few give any deep thought to the hidden meaning of the apparent preponderance of the trivial in our everyday life, yet when pondering on what we consider to be the uselessness of such efforts, it might be well to ask ourselves why we are studying Theosophy. Is it because we wish to generate "good karma" by keeping ourselves unsullied from the common herd, or because we feel that by non-participation in such infantile activities, we augment the development of our powers and hasten entrance into The Path? Instead of harboring such illusions, it might be well to ask if what we are pleased to term futile practices have not, after all, their rightful place in the scheme of things -- as stepping stones, perhaps, from the realm of Maya(3) to that of Reality. To those who have not pondered the meaning of spiritual evolution, it could be that what we call trivial or useless activities play a very necessary part in the development of personal karma.
For example, to play the stock market with disastrous results could conceivably teach us the futility of giving thought to the acquisition of wealth. Likewise, to entertain or be entertained offers an outlet for gaining an embryonic "sense of psychology." Foreign travel, in many instances, brings home to the tourist the almost insupportable poverty existing in many lands, from which a desire, if not a determination, may be born to alleviate such ills with material aid. A New Birth could then have taken place, and instead of being content to drift with the material current of the stream, we could find ourselves giving understanding or help to those in need.
We should strive to be "born again" in this incarnation, not alone through our theosophical studies, but also through willingness to serve humanity for the common good.
The "Involved" Entity
THREE (3) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
COMPILER'S NOTE: I added these footnotes; they were not in the article. If any of them don't paint an accurate enough picture, or are incorrect, I hope the Editors of THEOSOPHY magazine will spot them and point the inaccuracies out to me, so that I can make the necessary corrections.
(1) "Devachan" is the after-death dream state that we enter into between incarnations. This state of consciousness is always that of the personality we were in the life just finished, and where we experience only pleasant dreams that play out to fruition our highest aspirations for what we could have been in the life just finished, how we wanted the people we loved and knew to be, and harmonious world conditions as we would have had them be. It lasts as long as the energy we put into those types of thoughts in our lifetime. This is where the distorted religious idea of Heaven comes from. But it is a heaven of our own making, and is unique for each of us -- as unique and different as the thoughts, words, deeds, and experiences of each of us are. Once the energy wears down naturally, and we wake up, we are soon naturally drawn magnetically by our karma to our next rebirth, where we will outwardly be known as a new personality.
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(2) "Manas" means Mind.
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(3) "Maya" means Illusion.
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