by W. W. HarmonBoston, MA: Tudor Press, 1915
One Sunday morning in August, a most delightful morning from several points of view, was made especially so because the Master invited a discussion upon any subject I desired. Of course I realized later that He wished to draw me out, and as I look back upon that time, I guess He did, and most effectively, for it lasted fully an hour, and I remember being quite exhausted with the earnestness of my purpose.
I can see Him now in that most majestic and sublime attitude with which those who are nearest to Him are so often impressed. His almost supernatural - for the want of a better word to express it - power. And one has to feel it and see it in order to understand the fullness and completeness of His
majesty; for it is only under certain conditions that He drops the outer semblance of that all-loving man, Abdul Bahá, and stands revealed for what He really is; fortunate are they who are permitted to see Him then. Fortunate, also, are they who have the eyes to see and the cars to bear Him in those rare moments when He lets fall the veil from the manifestation (or temple) of the Divine effulgence He so gloriously exemplifies revealing the One to whom all men must do homage in time to come. Fortunate too are those who can understand and realize in some degree the fullness and completeness of a Divine incarnation when it stands before them in all its radiance.
Thus being impressed, thus seeing, and with my eyes focused on His, He said, "I want you to write a book on 'Divine Illumination."' To say that I would, or would even try, was impossible; the subject was too vast, too incomprehensible, too utterly elusive for the mind to grasp or to put into words, even were it possible to see with the inner vision only the outer fringe of such glories, to witness that absolute perfection which the illumined eye must disclose, - so awe-inspiring that with one or two exceptions no living mortal has been able to endure more than the slightest glance, and then all but perish.
Could I - could I promise to undertake
such a task knowing and deeply realizing then as now how flat short must fall? Such was my feeling deep within, even when replying as I did "that if I promised I must fulfill the promise," but how could I promise? Intuitively I knew that sooner or later I would make the attempt, because the Master wished it, and only because He so requested. At that moment He assumed His natural similitude as Abdul Bahá, and seating himself bade me sit close beside Him. Then taking my hand conversed quietly and lovingly, and so gradually restored my mind and being to a more normal condition.
It was just a year from that time that I sent to Him the manuscript of my poor effort. It was only by months of brooding upon the subject that I could make even a start. I could not seem to find a point of departure. How best to begin, where to begin, was the great problem, for I realized the necessity of bringing the mind of the reader to the consideration of something wholly foreign to the every-day life, something which would lift the mind to the memory of the softer and more gentle experiences in our life here on earth, before it would be possible for the mind to grasp the meaning of the words necessary to frame that most elusive and subtle state of the soul's progress under the divine illumination
of one's God - the Father which art in Heaven!
I wrote Abdul Bahá, when I had outlined the book, that as soon as ready I would forward the manuscript for His consideration or rejection, should it not prove to His liking. This is His reply:
Dated Ramleh, Egypt, Sept. 13, 1913.... "Praise be to God that thou hast become assisted in the writing of the book. Whenever it is finished, forward a copy of it to me."
On Sept. 13, 1913 - note the date - I sent by registered mail the manuscript. Later came a tablet dated "Mount Carmel, Haifa, Syria. April 20, 1914. . . . Publish and circulate the book that thou hast written. Undoubtedly, the friends of God will assist thee in its circulation."
- [Signed] Abdul Bahá.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Now I feel I owe an apology to the reader. To say that my task is a satisfactory one, or that I have fulfilled it in a way pleasing to myself, or satisfactory to you, is not true, and bad I the power of expressing myself as have the writers of the sacred books of the world, could I even then convey to the minds of my readers a trace
of the meanings and understandings of the soul's wisdom as exemplified in each individual's interior longings, ideals, and sublime feelings, during those rare moments of exaltation and aspiration; those moments when the soul expands the coarser fibers of the physical body to the exquisitely painful desire to join the spirit and be free to experience the full radiation of the divine effulgence and illumination of his GOD, if even only for one brief moment, I should feel I had tendered you at least a slight service. But no-man can put into words that beauteous state and convey that holy thought to another, be he unprepared, be he unbelieving or even believing. It must be individually experienced and the memory retained, otherwise words are inadequate and meaningless.
W. W. HARMON.
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All the sacred books of every nation, and of every form of worship, teach and proclaim it. The more ancient, the more explicit and philosophical they are in the treatment of this great truth.
The oldest book in the world is one whose history goes far back into the night of time, so far back, in fact, that no man knows who its author or authors were, or when written. It is a gigantic production three syllables and expresses the threefold power of Deity, and by correspondence the three degrees of receptive life in the human form - the universal Trinity, discoverable in every form by which life is expressed.
The chapter on "The Interior and Exterior Life" treats of those things suggested by the title. The interior or higher spirit, which man accepts as being the immortal part of himself, is called Krishna; the one to whom He is speaking is Arjuna, the man of the exterior life. Arjuna, being much concerned and troubled (as, indeed, are most men), calls upon Krishna to inform him regarding existence as developed from within, by "spirit" power and of the forms by which it is expressed in consciousness. Krishna discloses much, but we merely desire to quote a few lines as a prelude to the subject in hand:
. . . "Now, learn! that Spirit, matter, both of these, without beginning are:, and is said to contain one hundred thousand stanzas, or two hundred and twenty thousand lines, divided into eighteen books, called the Mahabharata.
In approaching this ancient system of philosophy and ethics, we draw very near to the fountain-head, or center, from whence has sprung all the systems of religion now known upon the habitable globe.
Near the center of this vast literature is the Bhagavad Gita or "Song of Deity," which freely interpreted means "The Revelation of God." Bhagavad is compounded of
That change in State, and qualities, to outer life alone pertain.
Within the outer form there is a principle which operates, and uses as its instruments the organs of the outer frame. Still more interior, Spirit is, that is the moving principle, which causes all the changing states of misery, or joy, or pain. The Spirit, when 'tis clothed upon, as in the mortal earthly form, participates in all the qualities expressed in outer life,
And influences thereby; and this connection with the qualities
Determines whether it is born again, through good or evil womb.
The soul, that inmost principle within all forms of life, is called, -
The Guide; Preceptor; Witnesser; Sustainer and, the inmost Mighty God!
And, He, who comprehends these three,
- the Soul, the inmost principles;
- The Spirit, which enshrouds the Soul, -
- and Body, with its qualities,
Whatever path in life he takes, no more regeneration needs.
By intuition and perceptive power, by some, the Soul is seen;
By intellectual thought, 'tis seen by some, who meditate thereon;
And some, the sight attain, by means of thought with virtuous life combined.
But, some there are who know not of the inmost life as thus, described:
Yet, when they bear of it by others spoken of, due reverence yield;
And, even these, who act on such report and due attention give,
To study of these sacred truths, shall never die the second death." (Oxley's translation.)
"O Son of Man! The Light hath shone upon thee from the horizon of the Mount, and the Spirit of Purity hath breathed in the Sinai of thy heart. Therefore, empty thyself of doubts and fancies; then enter into this mansion that thou mayst be prepared for the Eternal Life and ready to meet Me. Herein there is no death, no trouble nor burden!" - (BAHA'O'LLAH.)
There comes a time in nearly every one's life when grief and sorrow at the loss of some loved one often-times changes the whole attitude of mind towards life — perhaps only for a brief period, perhaps for all time — when the interests, pleasures and cares of the daily life seem trivial and small as compared with the newly aroused emotions wherein is wonderment as to what life really is, and, above all, — what is death?
All who have ever stood in the presence of death recognize a change of mind, especially if death has taken the nearest and
dearest, and a feeling of awe envelops and subdues all who come within its influence.
For the time being, this influence softens the mind and heart, and brings on a chain of thought and self analysis; so the greater the grief and sorrow, the deeper the feeling and abandonment to the emotions; closer becomes the analysis and wider the search for some solution as to the relationship between one's self and his God. One then becomes more gentle, more considerate, more thoughtful. It makes enemies and friends alike more tolerant, more forgiving, more loving, and oftentimes many changes are brought about which are of lasting benefit.
Whence comes this beautiful and Godlike influence? It comes, to the lowly as well as to those who sit in high places! All are touched by this wonderful power, maybe but once, maybe many times during their life, maybe this influence when once aroused remains as a lasting impression, acting as an incentive to investigation, to an understanding, whereby a knowledge may be obtained of the real meaning of this sudden influx of a spiritual illumination.
From whence does it come and whither does it go? It is so true and keen for the time being, then seemingly withdrawn, leaving but a fleeting memory, until soon even the memory of it passes, perhaps to return no more, perhaps to return once or is [? -ed.]
Where one person retains the memory or incentive to further understand this peculiar phase of human emotion, this illumination of the interior life (by no means invariably caused in the above manner, however, but by many other circumstances also), there are thousands who do not seek to retain even the memory, much less to cultivate it. We do not mean the sorrow and grief, but that which sorrow and grief liberates - that spirit of love which illumines the soul and mind, softening the harshness and unresponsiveness of the every-day nature, making of a man something greater and nobler even if it is only for the brief period mentioned.
It is the memory of the strangeness and unaccustomed action of this spirit which should be retained, for it has the power to give great illumination to the mind, so that the spiritual insight thus gained may gradually unlock the thraldom of the mind from the slavery of the senses, and, therefore, of environment.
The man or the woman who cannot recognize and feel this wonderful power and presence, no matter how occasioned, especially when death has stepped in and taken some one dearly beloved, is certainly encased in a shell impenetrable alike by the softening
influence of love or of fear of God in their hearts.
It is not pleasant to contemplate such a character, nor are there many such, for all have a secret chamber in their hearts wherein dwells the more God-like qualities that are rarely manifest to their fellowmen. Were it not for this "still small voice of conscience," softening the terrible daily harsh of life, toning down the evil effects of life's doings, the spirit of love would soon die out and leave humanity in a very sad state indeed.
Were it not for grief, sorrow and suffering this spirit of love would not flower, and the illuminating power of its light would never reach the minds of men. The mind untouched by the spirit is then abandoned to the greater thraldom of the senses, and the gradual loss of the soul may then ensue.
Were it not, also, that every illumination occasioned by some intense and unusual action is followed by a corresponding reaction, there would be no contrasts for the mind to grasp and the soul to experience. For all contrasts received by the mind, such as joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, sickness and health, happiness and unhappiness, etc., are the educators of the soul's wisdom and the source of the illumination of the mind of man. Were it not for these contrasts there would be but small charity,
realization or love for one another, or another's troubles, misfortunes and shortcomings; forbearance would cease and loving-kindness become non-existent. Therefore, intense grief and sorrow call forth the loving sympathy of one's friends and the milk of human kindness nourishes and influences all who come under its mystic sway.
A sensitive nature suffers more keenly than one that is not sensitive; therefore, when death stretches out its hand and removes the nearest and dearest of all the world besides, such a nature is more deep; touched, the mind is more greatly affected. Thus exaltation of the spiritual nature is overshadowed by the blackness of despair, and oftentimes desire becomes permanently enthroned for a greater worthiness of the life hereafter - the life after death, which every human being longs to know more about.
Such a man was Mr. D. A man of the middle class, strong of character, great depth of feeling, and naturally of a sensitive and idealistic nature. He dearly loved his young wife and the beautiful home she made for him. They had been very close in their love and comradeship, for she was a type of beautiful womanhood, such as all could admire and respect.
Mr. D. was about to face his one great crisis in life, and he intuitively knew it, but reason would not admit it, the brain-
mind would not accept it. He hoped and prayed that all would be well, even as he was deeply affected first by one emotion and then another - hope that word would be brought to him by the nurse or physician in the next room that all was well, and the little life so long expected and so often talked of by his dear wife and himself in the days gone by would be brought into the world normally and safe.
Hope! His intuitions told him there was no hope? Reason said, why not? Seemingly there was absolutely no earthly cause for fear; on the contrary was there not every cause for hope? While he was torn by these conflicting emotions the door opened, and with its opening the knowledge of the little life given, but at the most awful sacrifice of the mother's life.
The blow was overwhelming, intense. His comrade; his very life; his one great joy on earth was dead - gone forever. His sorrow and grief rent his soul in twain, and a great and wonderful light seemed to envelop the whole room. While he stood amazed at such a phenomenon the thought came, "a life given, a life taken " - what was this awful mystery; from whence came the one given and whither the one taken? These were the thoughts, and the answers he seemed to understand, and while he was trying to realize this, together with his
strange condition, the phenomenon of light failed, and with its passing he came back to earth with a suddenness that seemed to rend him.
As he looked around like one dazed, he saw that he was standing by the bedside, the physician on one side, the nurse with the "little messenger from heaven" in her arms on the other. He looked at what was his beloved, so calmly and peacefully reposing on the bed. He looked again and saw a majesty stamped upon the countenance which he had never seen there before. He looked with all his eyes, and his very soul cried out for the longing of it - a great cloud of blackness seemed to envelop him, he felt dizzy, a sinking down, down, and he knew no more for many days.
When he came to himself he found he was lying in his own bed, very weak and helpless. It was sometime before he was able to hear the particulars of his great loss and realize that his dear wife had left him these many days past. But had she not left him the . "little messenger," as the nurse called the baby, when she laid it beside him on the bed?
He looked at the little life. Gently his fingers rested for a moment on the little face. He smiled. He raised himself and slowly bent over the child - slowly and a little fearfully. At last his lips touched the baby's cheek, and his own countenance convulsed
with the memory of the sacrifice, took on the hue of death as he nestled against the little form of the new mysterious life presented to him at the fearful cost of the mother's life so dear to him.
For a time grief mastered him again, leaving its trace in the lines on his face, but softening the roughness of his whole nature, until he seemed a new being, and an intense longing was born in him to know and to understand the mysteries of the divine life - life everlasting. As he resolved and made the vow to himself to do it, he became conscious of a new joy, even in his great grief. It filled him with a new happiness that was growing deeper and stronger every moment. He could feel the tiny beat of the little one's heart against his breast, be could feel its little breath against his cheek. One of the little hands had gripped his thumb. A hundred questions ran through his brain. Whence came this life, and the mother, where was she? What was this mystery? A life given, a life taken, in the same moment.
He felt the great sorrow, but to balance it came a great joy, as the glow of illumination arising from new emotions filled him with a new light - a unique understanding was then born in him. The mind expanded like unto a flower under the rays of the glorious light of the mid-day sun, and he lay
like one entranced. When of a sudden a keen realization of his loss came over him and sent him trembling once again into the blackness of despair; deeper and deeper he seemed to plunge into an unknown void where nothing reached his consciousness save his own soul's power to sustain him from sinking into the fathomless depths.
All this in a few moments' time: first, the illumination of heaven's own joys filled his soul with thoughts undreamed of before, and then the blackness of his grief enfolded him like a great cloud from the regions of sorrow and death.
During his convalescence, much of his time was spent in analysis of his recent interior experiences and he now realized life, life in its truest sense. It was a glimpse of the life to follow the life well spent here on earth. A life to be cultivated and a philosophy for him to know and to understand. For he now knew that it could be understood, even while engaged in his daily duties so full of cross purposes in his dealings with his fellowmen, and he felt convinced that it was only necessary to take the first step to engage in this study, when the way would be open and clear for him to go on with it.
He realized clearly and surely that no light upon any subject would ever teach his consciousness unless he put forth the effort. If he wished to have a knowledge of music,
for instance, he must study music; it be wished to have a knowledge of chemistry he must study chemistry, and so it was if he wished to have a knowledge of life on earth or life after death, he must study those mysteries. Furthermore, he realized that he was surrounded by those mysteries and a study of man in the light of the divine principles within, the mystery of his own being would surely bring him a knowledge of those principles, just as a study of chemistry would bring him a knowledge of the elements composing the various substances.
Finally he realized that sorrow and grief have their compensations, if the mind would only retain the spirit of the illuminating qualities and powers so freely flowing from spiritual principles of the divine cause of his existence as a human being on earth. That the effulgence of these principles flowed into his physical being, stimulating his growth, just as the sun in the heavens stimulates the growth of the flowers, the trees and all living things.
All this he seemed to know, and it was much. It showed clearly how free he was from the binding grip the senses usually exercise upon the mind, and how well prepared he was to take his destiny in his own hands and step out of the normal stream of life and think for himself upon the supreme cause of his being.
Mr. D. will never forget the first day he spent at his business after his long illness. How harsh and unresponsive to the better qualities of life business and business transactions were. It must be remembered that he was still under the influence of his deep sorrow and of the divine illumination he had so strangely experienced. His friends did all they could to make everything pleasant and cheerful in the office. His employees had placed flowers on his desk, and all had greeted him with pleasant words and cheerful manner, showing as fully as possible their pleasure at his return. But even as he gratefully accepted their attentions and appreciated most fully their efforts in his behalf, he realized such a tremendous change in his whole attitude towards life, and especially towards business, that every effort he put forth in conducting the affairs of the day was excruciatingly painful, so much so that he found himself wholly unfit to go on as he had in the past.
Matters became a problem - if it was necessary to conduct business along the lines laid down by the methods followed to-day he could not see how it were possible for him to do it while in his present state of mind. He saw clearly that for him to follow the divine command "Do unto others as ye would that others do unto you" was
not the golden rule of business, and especially so in corporation affairs.
While his business was not of the nature of a corporation, yet it was of such a nature as to allow him to feel corporation greed. There was no particular trouble, but he knew full well it was only a question of time before an immense struggle to save his life's work was before him. Others had gone to the wall, and in their efforts to save themselves, every fibre of their being had been strained to its utmost. Finally, he could see the wrecks of many prosperous business enterprises, ruined hopes, ruined homes, children left orphans and thrown onto the world without the fathers' and, perhaps, the mothers' guiding hand. For were there not many suicides, as one life after another was wrecked through the methods of corporation greed and desire to kill out all competition in order to create a monopoly? He knew he had escaped being swallowed up so far, and he knew it was only because they had not yet reached his particular district. It was only a question of time before the fight would be on. Could he fight? Was it worth the fight? Stronger men than he had gone down before the unscrupulous and corrupt methods adopted, and why not he?
There is no use of reciting all his thoughts concerning these matters. Every thinking man knows of this terrible state of affairs; if
he does not, it is easy enough to inform oneself concerning them. It is sufficient to say that D. was fully informed, but poorly equipped either mentally or financially to stand up against the storm. He was not mentally equipped, because he had experienced enough during the last few weeks to show him that worldly possessions were not the sum of life's existence, that there were greater treasures to be gained than the things men sell their souls and bodies for.
The hardness, the harshness, the utter abandonment of the better qualities of life to greed and cupidity, to wild luxury and pleasure on the one hand, to misery, poverty and crime on the other, was sickening to the extreme. And what was the need? Oh, for a Divine Messenger of the Gods to appear among men and teach them a better and truer way to live.
He well knew that were he to speak out of the fullness of his heart, to tell his thoughts to those about him, would result in naught but scoffings and insult. If he spoke of love - God's love, of the brotherhood of man; if he told them to "first seek the Kingdom of Heaven and all things would he added unto them," and poured out his heart's longing for their welfare, laughter and scorn and, perhaps, something worse would be his reward, and so he resolved to keep silent and let his thoughts and his
deeds speak for him. For thoughts are as potent or either good or evil as are deeds in this world .
How to do this was a problem, and as he sat at his desk absorbed in his meditations, something seemed to impel him to go out and walk up the street, and that was all - no particular direction, but just go, and he would receive something which would give him consolation and light upon all questions troubling him.
And so he went out and walked aimlessly on, with no thought of direction. Presently he met an acquaintance, accompanied by a gentleman of no particular characteristics, plainly a gentleman, affable and kindly, that was all - nothing especially distinctive about him which would mark him as being any different from other men. Mr.
X presently invited him to go home with him, which he did. There was something about his new acquaintance which seemed to invite confidence, and it was not long before he told him of his strange experience, at the time of his wife's death, of his illness, and, lastly, how he obeyed his impressions and, came to meet him in such a strange manner, for he presumed it was to meet him. "Do you doubt it?" said Mr. X. "Things do not happen by chance so much as people imagine."
Therefore, Mr. X. told him many things
in explanation of his experiences which were strange and wonderful, yet withal so logical and convincing that he felt and knew the truth of them. He told him what the strange illumination was which he had experienced at the bedside of his dead, and explained its source. He told him how to cultivate it and how to attain to the philosophical knowledge of it all; of its immense value to him in his future life on earth and after death. He told him how to evolve a working hypothesis of that which would give him knowledge of many of the mysteries of life and death. Although X. talked as plainly and simply as possible of these things, yet he could but faintly grasp a small portion of it, as everything was so new and strange to him.
There was one thing he could understand. It seemed, however, to be of a more intuitive or innate understanding, for when he tried to put it into words, he failed utterly, and Mr. X., seeing his difficulty, explained why this was so, and instructed him what to do and gave him a roll of manuscript to read and study:
In explaining, Mr. X. said, "that like the study of music, everything in the beginning is new and strange and until one familiarized himself with the theory and practice of music he could not give it expression either in thought, deed or action,
nor could he appreciate the beautiful melodies of the over-tones until long after he became familiar with theory and practice.
"To be sure," said he, "there are some people born with the faculty of giving expression without any previous study of theory, but who is to say how they were so born and why? If they were so born, and all recognize this to be a fact, was it any more strange that another may be born with a knowledge of those hidden things in nature; with a knowledge of nature's finer forces and their operation on the physical plane; of a knowledge of man and his destiny or of acknowledge even life and death? This knowledge can be cultivated to a degree far beyond the conception of the most learned men in the world to-day. Men of great learning, such as the world calls learning, discard from their curriculum the one great factor which forever shuts them from knowing and understanding greater things, things undreamed of or unthought of, and that is the spiritual nature and the principles composing it. Therefore, where some are born with this knowledge and can spontaneously give expression to it, there are others born with it who do not know that they possess it, because it lies latent until wine [?] great sorrow or shock causes an awakening of this power, and knowledge is power in this case, and the forces thus liberated will give such
a man no peace or rest until the very end of his days on earth. Such a man must study and cultivate it, must think it, must strive to live it and must, above all, suffer greatly, for this is his destiny, and in so suffering he may in time arrive at the state wherein spontaneous expression may be given, just as the musical genius or mathematical prodigy gives expression to those particular qualities in him.
"How much greater then the knowledge of divine things and practice are than that of the worldly knowledge and practice, you have no conception. One born with such knowledge and with the power of expressing it, can, at will, confound the most learned scientist, the most learned theologian and the greatest among kings and emperors of the earth, upon their own grounds, and upon their own learning and powers.
"So, you see, my friend, where you stand to-day. You must go on, you cannot turn back, once the divine effulgence enters your consciousness there is no turning back. Some seek this illumination by study and otherwise, and never realize it; others seek it not and it comes unbidden. There is much in store for you, much sorrow and suffering, but with it comes joy and consolation, for you know and realize that you are laying up treasures in the realm of the hereafter, and, furthermore, you learn why this
is the one necessary thing for you, as well as for all humanity to do; each must do it for himself, no one can do it for him.
"Is there anything more glorious to work for? When you know full well that by sacrificing the divine birthright for those things transitory and impermanent at the expense of immortality - for immortality is conditional - then is it not greatly to the advantage, putting it on the most material grounds, of every living mortal to try for perfection and become as God-like as possible in all the transactions of life?
"I think you will agree with me that this is true. Fill yourself with the divine compassion, cultivate it, nourish it by all your thoughts, deeds and actions, and the illumination of the divine self-conscious ego, which is yourself, will permeate and express itself more and more in its manifestation of itself on this plane of life, and so, after death of the physical body, enter upon a state which yon will understand more and more as time goes on.
"Now, just a point or two more before you go," said Mr. X., "you will see the value later. You are very much concerned about your business affairs, do not let them worry you, but attend to them according to your best judgment, exact your rights, and respect the rights of others, be just to yourself and just to others, work as do those
who are ambitious, but not with the same motives, i. e., let your motives be worthy of truth, justice and righteousness. Say to yourself - how would a perfect being act under the circumstances? and you cannot go far wrong. Lay every act of your life upon the altar of the Supreme, so to say, by comparing it with your conception of supreme right and justice. Do this every night just before retiring, and you will have no need to worry. For you must believe firmly that in doing your utmost each moment in the day, and doing it with these motives, untainted by selfish motives for self, and for selfish power and gain, all things must turn out for the best. And, although seemingly everything is lost in your business ventures, you will see that even this is for the best. I know this statement may seem very strange to you now, but later you will understand perfectly why it is so.
"Now, this manuscript I have just given you to study is for the purpose of helping you to acquire a knowledge of man. The number seven plays a very important part in this universe of ours, and in reality the number seven is the foundation of all philosophical knowledge of the things bidden from the eyes of man. The chemist in the study of chemistry separates a substance into its component parts for the purpose of analysis, and so we do the same with the
principles composing man, but with this one exception, the chemist deals with matter, while we deal with the spirit hidden in the matter, so on this one point, especially, we transcend science. Science only deals with the things tangible, i. e., what can be cognized with the five senses, while we deal with things intangible and cognized with the seven senses, being two more senses than are recognized by the materialist; also we consider even the five senses as having hidden powers of which science makes no note.
"Consequently we are studying the living forces and powers in matter, but not for the purpose of utilizing those forces and powers for something that will make our own powers greater on this plane or to coin them into dollars and cents, but to cultivate and exalt our divine principles to the glory of the 'Supreme Concourse,' or plane of those exalted beings, who have for ages augmented their ranks from just such men as yourself; men who have the courage to step out of the sluggish stream of mortal accomplishment into the stream of immortal attainment and everlasting life. A plane wherein perfect adjustment of spiritual forces are united in each God-like being for the welfare of humanity as a whole. Were it not for this, the evil men do would soon overwhelm them and destroy them utterly. I shall make no comments upon this latter point, but leave
it for you to evolve an understanding for yourself, and by so doing realize the force of it.
"Realization is knowledge in the realm of spiritual life, and the attainment of spiritual desires inevitably brings realization and, consequently, knowledge. Knowledge, too, which ever remains as a permanent factor for all time and which is, therefore, unlike worldly knowledge and power, - soon lost and forgotten. Finally, in the development of this exalted state, you soon perceive your dual nature - the personal and the spiritual natures as being quite distinct and separate."
"Mind has a plane of its own, not the brain-mind - the psycho-physiological brain - but a plane wherein you perceive yourself as a thinking power, using the instrument of the mind, or brain, as you would any instrument, and later a consciousness of being a director of the whole physical body, rather than as the slave to its desires. Now it is in this dual nature and a conscious action and reaction between one and the other that the illumination of the Divine God-man may manifest Itself to the consciousness of Its manifestation - or the physical man on this earth-plane of life - one degree after another, as the man himself wills and desires.
"There is much," concluded Mr. X.,
"in all I have told you that is new and strange, perhaps unbelievable and possibly incomprehensible to you now. This is not to be wondered at; but remember what I told you regarding music or any of the arts and sciences as well, and of which we will say you know nothing now, but you know it is absolutely sure that were you to direct your attention to any one or all of them, and take the proper steps to inform yourself, it would not be long before the knowledge sought for would be yours beyond a shadow of doubt. Therefore, the same rate applies to all I have told you, and a thousand-fold more besides; for what I have told you to-day is as nothing, merely a step, that you may have something to stand upon when you reach out for more light upon these subjects, and to weave the memory of it into your study as you go along,
"There is nothing more to say now. I see many questions in your mind which you would like to ask, but it is much better for you to seek the answers for yourself. You must make every effort, by yourself alone, to draw from within yourself the fund of knowledge now latent within your spiritual principles. Seek and search for answers to every question arising in the mind, analyze and sift closely for the reason and the wherefore of these questions. By so doing you develop your powers. Take the initiative
and learn for yourself, otherwise no progress is possible for you or any one else along these lines.
"While I shall be pleased to meet you socially at any time, I must tell you that I am doing you a much greater service by not talking with you upon these subjects until you feel sure you have at least an intellectual conception of the manuscript I have given you. Then, if you wish, I will gladly give you all the time you desire to talk it over."
On the way home Mr. D. began to think deeply upon what he had been told. There were three points in particular which stood out more prominently in his mind than anything else, and which he desired above all else to have answered more fully. First, the mind has a plane of its own. Second the duality of himself and the cultivation of this duality. Third, that the illumination he had so recently experienced was not a kind of an hysterical illusion, such as reason was inclining him to think ; but it was a fact, and although the potency of it had become dulled by such reason, he found by putting forth the effort, he could recall much of its power to sustain him in the convictions he had formed when it was more fully alive in his consciousness.
He also perceived that much depended upon keeping at least the memory of it free from a certain low quality of the reasoning
faculties, or else the mind -Good God! and like a flash of light his answer to all these questions came in a great wave of realization, filling his soul with gratitude and humbleness, exalting him to a point of certainty. His whole body tingled with joyous expectation as he stood on his doorstep and looked up into the deep blue vault of the heavens, and he saw the stars twinkling brightly and wondered why they looked so new and so strange. They seemed to tell him a story, a story in which the mysteries of the whole universe were concealed - a story, too, which he intended, by the help of his Divine preceptor, to solve.
"0 Son of Man! in my Ancient Entity and in my Eternal Being was I hidden. I knew my Love in thee; therefore I created thee; upon thee I laid my Image and to thee revealed my Beauty. . . .
Mr. D. had a room in the upper story of his house, which was fitted up as a study. To this he went, filled with pleasurable anticipations. The manuscript received from his new friend was unrolled and he was prepared to spend the night reading it. As he glanced hastily through it, he noticed the headings of the different parts were correspondingly the same as were the three questions dominating him to the exclusion of all else at the present time. He also perceived it to be a philosophical, and what he thought might be termed a spiritual, scientific treatise upon
these very subjects. This was just what he desired, for he felt the necessity of a philosophical solution to these questions before he could know where he really stood with himself.
He soon found that a technical treatise, which read like a Greek acrostic the first time, made sense in spots the second time one read it, and was quite intelligible by the fourth reading. After considerable study and thought upon the text and symbol, he finally concluded to go at it more systematically and see if he could not evolve a system of his own in which to tabulate certain correspondences he found, and then create logical sequences for a still greater understanding of the whole subject. He saw very early in his study that as soon as he opened one door another confronted him, until, with what he was fast understanding, then was such a vast and seemingly limitless field of investigation he feared to find himself in a hopeless jumble of unintelligible and incomprehensive hypotheses as to be valueless to him unless he did so. Therefore, he spent several months in this task to great advantage.
During all this time he had not neglected the spiritual and ethical aspirations which were natural to him. He had no desire to become an intellectual monster nor a cold-blooded philosopher - a man
without love, without compassion, and without the divine effulgence so gloriously and so unsparingly streaming forth to all that lives and breathes and has being in this great and wonderful universe of ours. That men do not partake of it more freely is the fault only of those men themselves. It is ever present and is theirs for the seeking. D. desired it above all, as was his right, and there was no hypocrisy about it. He loved the good, the true, the noble and God-like qualities and only studied the philosophical in order that he should have the knowledge and realization of the mysteries, because it belonged to him, as it belongs to all true seekers of the truth. These things are called hidden and mysterious only to him who will not seek for their solution. To the properly balanced mind and to the persistent seeker they are no longer hidden, except in-so-far as he is unable to understand them, as there are limits to every one's capacity.
His friend, Mr. X., spent many evenings with him as soon as he had mastered the task which had been set for him on that never-to-be-forgotten day when they first met in so fateful a manner. He had also become acquainted with others of the same inclination, of the same desires and of the same ambitions, any one of whom were men of affairs in the world, and seemingly no
different from other men who were attentive to their home and business affairs. But upon further acquaintance he found that their daily lives were actuated by different motives entirely from those he had previously known. They lived differently and thought differently, but this was all hidden except to the careful observer; however, their influence was great, and D. knew how great this could become for universal good, because he knew now that there were thousands of such in the world who were engaged in the same silent work. He also knew that they were united in one great Brotherhood linked together by ties of love - a universal love, such as no man knoweth unless attained to by his own desires and efforts, and when attained in some degree, each gravitated towards the other, even as it is said, "birds of a feather flock together." Thus they became mutually helpful to one another, sustaining and supporting one another in times of stress and darkness, such as all who enter the door of wisdom to attain ever experience in greater abundance than normal, for every action is followed by a reaction, and the higher one aspires and goes into the spiritual realms of understanding, the deeper he descends into the void.
However, the strength is equal to the needs, and D. found much to sustain and support him all this time. After many severe
trials and temptations to do differently from what he knew to be right and true, his business finally shaped itself into a substantial and well-defined system, which required close attention during the day, but leaving him free evenings to devote himself to his new life so full of wonders and never-ending problems. With each problem solved came undisputed proof, but he learned to know that this was no proof to another, except to those who could understand; and those who could understand were not the ones he had known before the one great sorrowful day, when one life was taken from him and another given in the same hour. Ah! but now, he knew and understood much, and was reconciled thereby.
He always commenced his investigations with a prayer to his "Father in heaven" for light and guidance in his great undertaking. He did "not pray in public places and in a loud voice as do the Pharisees and Publicans." He did not shout from the housetops for the material welfare of his household, but he did retire to his room and there he sat in silent communion with his "Father which art in secret" - he turned his thoughts within and listened for His voice.
The manuscript was ever a source of inspiration and delight to him, for besides being a treatise explaining many things, there were the many beautiful colored diagrams [?].
He could not understand why it was not more constant, especially when he was so filled with the longing. He knew he had tried with all his mind and heart to have the experience repeated. The memory of it was undimmed, but that was all. He now understood the philosophy of its source, and felt a new life and was filled with new joys and sorrows. He found himself to be more sensitive, more idealistic and more everything which was unlike his old self. He thought differently, and there was a new something which made him look different, even to himself.
The things he used to enjoy were his no more. In fact, his whole attitude towards the world was different; it was more universal; he thought in large areas, such as nations, epochs and of great cycles of time; of the millions of people who had lived and died ages upon ages past.
In fact, as he reviewed the situation he found some consolation when he came to the very logical conclusion that in some manner the illumination, or, rather, the light force had remained with him in such concrete form as to tincture his whole being with its wondrous powers; otherwise, how could it be that the great changes had come about from so many directions and in so many ways? He knew that were it not for the advent of this illuminating power, his great understanding,
great as compared with men in general, of so many problems, would surely remain hidden from him. Also, that these things came not for the bidding of any man.
He had, during the past months, talked with some of the brightest minds of the age, so-called, and while explaining some of the problems of the hidden things of life they failed to grasp them in the smallest details. And so he was convinced that the secret of it was involved in the illuminating quality, or power of the Spiritual Soul, through the corresponding principles of the soul's manifestation on the earth-plane, or in other words - himself - his real Self.
This power of the Spiritual Soul, under certain conditions, manifested Itself through and by some unknown law which he was beginning to understand more and more fully, wherein he realized that this law must operate before any one could receive, understand, know and realize any of those divine mysteries, so securely hidden from the eyes of mortals - so near, so close it seemed that all one had to do was to reach out his hand, or make but a step to enter the realms of the sublime.
"Oh, people of God! The Supreme caused higher spiritual states or conditions to appear, and hath bestowed this Ideal Light to illuminate the world through the doing of deeds in His name, and the mind of man may receive this, the illuminating power, and reach the spiritual states and conditions even while on earth. Such is the promise and such is the mind of man."
Therefore, as D. pondered and reviewed, there marshalled before him these facts to bestow:
"In turning the consciousness within, as in prayer, or, properly speaking, in secret communion with the divine, one gradually learns to know that the divine (Ego) is the Master whom many are searching. Ordinarily this is not recognized, because the universal idea seems to be with most people to look afar for help, guidance and consolation a mistake, which should be manifest to the understanding first of all. It is not intended from this to imply that there are not those who do not help humanity, for they are a logical necessity and need no argument to establish Their existence, but until one learns to know his own spiritual preceptor, guide or divine self-hood and strives to live the life of his Master, how is it possible for any man to raise himself to the plane of Their illumination and powers without first becoming as They? It is only thus that one may graduate from the school of life through right and proper methods. Therefore, look not outside, nor lean upon wrong and illogical conceptions to attain to the impossible by weak and childish notions.
"Seek the way within your own heart learn to listen for the Master's voice (conscience), and profit by it. His language
is by symbol and impressions; these symbols and impressions cannot be translated into the brain until the 'voice' is listened to and obeyed. This is the first step towards 'Spiritual Illumination: and any one who willfully drowns and stifles the voice of conscience, surely destroys the first possibility of going any further in solving the mysteries, and the brain-mind becomes dulled in its perceptions of those spiritual insights. If the 'voice' is listened to and followed, the brain-mind responds more and more readily to the spiritual impressions.
"As a further training one must learn to separate those qualities which go to make up the ordinary brain-mind from what he now requires to establish as an extraordinary center within that brain-mind. Ordinarily speaking, the brain-mind is merely made up of the experiences induced by the operations of the five senses or sense perceptions, hereditary biases, such as accrue from creed, dogma, superstition, environment and materialistic educational methods; also, in this connection, a certain fear in which the animal soul of man plays an important part. This fear is set up in the various centers of the brain by the lower animal tendencies, thus causing the mind to turn away from the higher and listen to the temptations of the lower. For be it understood these lower tendencies, unless checked, master the mind
and surely shut out and prevent the flow of the illuminating qualities of the divine light radiations from the spiritual soul centers. Animal man does not want to be deprived of its mode of obtaining life's essence and enjoyment thereof, and so the life forces are absorbed and wasted in sensuous pleasures and desires, and for worldly possessions to satisfy them.
"Logically and conversely, the same rule applied to the divine prerogatives of a man will bring about different desires and tendencies which are applicable to the spiritual realms of his being. Consequently, the question is, why fear to sever oneself from the narrow path of animal and sense perceptions, and why fear to entertain the seeming impossible and the unorthodox why not learn the true from the false?
"Thus, opinions and biases derived from environment and materialistic education, creed and dogma, surely shut out the possibility of the brain-mind receiving anything otherwise than derived from these sources, because of the compelling attitude of the mind towards anything of a nature which cannot be squared to these same creeds, dogmas and hereditary educational methods. The mind is surely blocked and bound against a separation, and the only remedy is a vigorous attack against the jailor who
holds the true mind a prisoner from the enjoyment of its freedom.
"All people and all nations are for the greater part thus tied to sense perceptions and orthodox predilections, and the effects of them are born generation after generation as hereditary tendencies and educational methods, and are never gotten rid of except by a tremendous effort on the part of the few in the broad fields of true ethics and metaphysical study. Therefore, it should be clear to any one, who will stop to think deeply enough, that it becomes absolutely necessary to learn to center the mind firmly on the desire to know and to understand those things outside of the old tendencies, accept and analyze them, but never try to fit them into old conditions and states of mind, they will not dovetail.
"Create a new center in the brain-mind free from these old hereditary tendencies, learn to bold this center clean and clear, like unto a saucer filled with quicksilver, and ever ready to respond to the slightest vibration sent outwards from within, responding quickly to that 'still small voice!' 'Tis thus one may reach that 'Master' of his destiny, and 'tis only thus one may raise himself to the planes of the Divinely Self-conscious. It is but a step, and the veils which shut it out from the understanding are very thin - very thin indeed.
"Science has established the fact that new centers are created, and new convolutions of the brain are developed by thought. Now thought cannot come from nowhere, it must be born from somewhere and somehow. Certain combinations find birth from the lower tendencies, or physical environment, and some from the higher and divine tendencies. Cultivate the lower, and they are prolific and tremendous; cultivate the higher, and they become greater and more wonderful, and much more satisfying to the soul, than do those of the lower by many, very many, degrees. Therefore, the mind of man is made up of his thoughts by his desires, and by his will, for will and desire are but one and the same thing, and his desires become fruitful in some degree if he persists in the effort. Logically, then, the mind has a plane of its own, and it cannot be confounded with the brain, but uses the brain as an instrument. Upon analysis, it will be found that it enters the body by a certain road, and spreads its forces in the various channels and centers for the execution of its purposes. The method is complicated, constructive and destructive on all the planes and in all the kingdoms, as well as in man himself.
"If a man wills and desires for the illumination of his higher and more spiritual qualities, he destroys the lower and constructs
the higher centers, and builds his bodily constituents and principles to respond to the higher vibrations and to the exclusion of the lower sensuous pleasures and tendencies. Thus 'the house is built without the sound of a hammer,' and 'Solomon's Temple' becomes a suitable dwelling-place for the supreme intelligence - or tenant.
"Roughly speaking, the mind is reason, thought and force. Thought may be associated with low and debasing ideas, or with intellectual and spiritual ideas. The former has been assigned to what may be called the lower mind, and the latter to the higher mind. In either case, the exact status of the mind, per se is neither one of these, but is akin to both. Defining this statement accurately, it means that the higher mind is divine, and not yet able to manifest on this earth-plane, except in a very imperfect manner, as the vehicle or physical body is not receptive to those higher vibrations, owing to the predominating qualities of the lower sensuous mind.
"The lower sensuous mind, as the name indicates, is, defining it in the same exact manner, the manifestation of the action of the five senses. In other words, it is instinct and intelligence made rational, and, with the power of association of ideas, developing thought and mason [?] according to the ability of the mind to respond to the vibration
of the divine mind. Know, that if the molecules of the body are not evolved to the proper degree of sensitiveness to respond to and receive the illuminating power of the higher mind, and to respond to the light-vibrations of the divine principles, the brain cannot register them, therefore the mind cannot cognize them. If the brain could respond fully and perfectly, the man would then be as are the perfected - such as the Master Jesus, Buddha and certain many others.
"Force, localized, is the vital, living, dynamic power in the blood. The red corpuscles of the blood are the vehicles of this vital electric force. It vitalizes and electrifies the power of thought and makes of it a living power in every one's life. From this primal force is born desire and will in action, but as it becomes tinctured by the instinctual and intellectual qualities of man, it looses the power of its divine possibilities and mission, for the simple reason that man perverts this force into channels of materialistic nature, rather than into the divine and spiritual natures - considering these natures as previously defined.
"From all this we may deduce the fact that the mind has a plane of its own, and is born in each life from the action of this higher form of mind, or the true self, upon the lower sensual form of mind, or manifestation
of the true self, developing those qualities of the personality by which one person is different from another in thought, deed and action, will, desire and expression of itself.
"Many will ask, Why cannot this all be changed, as there are thousands in the world who desire to reach the Kingdom of God; to know and to understand the mysteries of life and of death; to receive the illumination of the divine effulgence? It can be changed but, as said before, the mind must be free, it must be cleansed from much of the hereditary tendencies, and, by communion with oneself in the light of their highest possibilities. This latter is the form of prayer the Master Jesus recommended when He said to His disciples (St. Matthew, chap. vi, verse 6): 'But thou, when thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.'
"Then another reason why all this cannot be readily changed is because of the inability to hold the mind firmly upon any one thing. We all know how fatiguing and how difficult it is to train the mind into a continuous effort in any given line of abstract thought. The mind wanders, and to hold it to this continuous direction and effort requires long and persistent training.
"Now, were the mind of the higher quality this would not be; therefore, the 'force' is greatly expended in refining the molecules of the body so they can respond more and more readily to those higher vibrations and, when done, even to a limited degree, it becomes much easier to think, and the more it is practised, the greater the power of constructive effort in the required direction, and according to the newly aroused desire-will which is born from this 'secret' form of prayer and communion with thy Father which art in 'secret.'
"The more this is practised, both in thought and in action, the more one realizes the mind as having a plane of its own, and the more easily one may function on that plane. Thus man becomes dual and of a totally different type of a man from what he formerly was.
"The question here arises, what becomes this mind at death, if it is, as stated above, formed by man himself? If a man has thought and acted during his life but little along the lines such as are required by his divine progenitor, but otherwise he has been what is called a good man, that 'good-man' quality is the best of his life and of his life's effort. This is provided for in the heaven world, and is taken care of by the progenitor, who causes his manifestation to appear among men to help on in evolution
and involution. Except under very rare and extraordinary conditions, this ex-personality that was, is beyond, far beyond the reach of mortals - no communication is possible.
"But the dregs, the dross of that mind, now deprived of the illumination of the Divine Light and force of that progenitor, may become an entity of such a nature that the least said of it here the better. Sufficient to say, it slowly dies and fades away in accordance with the law of persistency which the man himself established during the life of ungodliness on the earth-plane.
"As to the meaning of the 'building of Solomon's temple without the sound of a hammer' - Solomon means Sun, son of man or 'Son of God,' and by the process described above, the construction of the temple signifies fitting dwelling-place for the 'Son of God,' even during the life of His manifestation on earth. But, it also means much more - as man perfects his physical nature and develops his spiritual nature there comes a certain cohesion of spiritualized-matter which may be likened, unto the likeness of a God, a spiritual body, an independent organism, so to say, in which all the efforts of life's perfection may manifest themselves upon those spiritual planes wherein dwell the 'Perfected Ones' of the human family."
Proof of this was not wanting to Mr. D., for had he not seen the cold, implacable and stern monitor of his dearest friend, Mr. X., and of several of his associates as well? The majesty of these, as his eyes were opened for the first time to this wonderful sight, was awful in its sublimity, its majestic beauty, its silvery brightness, as the Presence overshadowed his dear friend.
Implacable, because of its universality and love for all that lives, centered on none, not even upon His Son, to whom he was the sternest, the most severe, and, therefore, the most loving - a paradox. Loving only in-so-far as the Son did 'His' bidding; stern and implacable when the law was not fulfilled. For, it must be borne in mind, that the life of men on earth has a far greater significance, a far greater and deeper mean than what is seeming, and the evolution of the Divine Soul of man is mighty, sublime and wondrous, and the laws governing that state are vast, more compelling and more universal than are those of the earth-plane and immeasurably different.
"0 Son of Existence! Thy heart is my Home; purify it for My descent. Thy spirit is my outlook; prepare it for my manifestation."
As Mr. D. reviewed these things, he pondered deeply, saying to himself, - there are many, very many, gradations lying between these extremes; but in the higher extreme he could readily see that "many were called, but few were chosen." Why, because for the want of
continuous and unremitting effort on the part of the too easily discouraged individuals. Discouraged, because for the want of "proof," and, behold, no proof was forth-coming to them who lacked faith, and who feared, when given the proof, it were but illusion.
Yet, how readily the illusions of the senses were accepted. And, as his mind wandered in the domain of analysis of this problem, he seemed to enter into the psychic held of the illusions, of the ungodly mode of
life which nations have instituted and have developed in those systems of such compelling power, that nearly all men are but slaves to them. He saw how hard and grinding these systems are, and how seemingly impossible it is for the masses to lift them out of the slough of despair and misery, and how many hearts longed and prayed for release from this three-tiered car of the juggernaut.
Many, for the want of faith, persistently throw away their birthright. Many, in the terrible struggle of keeping soul and body together, lost sight of the better life, and so the minds from generation to generation became more and more bounded by creed, dogma, superstition and hereditary tendencies thus instituted.
Where was the "One" who was to come on earth to establish righteousness and to change the principles of injustice and oppression ignorance and superstition into principles of justice and freedom, education and spiritual enlightenment, and, above all, to establish love to replace hatred and bigotry. "When, oh when," he cried aloud in his agony, "shall these awful curses afflicting humanity be lifted? When and how will it come about?"
Even as he cried aloud in his earnestness and forgetfulness of self, there came a voice from within his consciousness saying, "soon,
my son, it is at thy door now." In not many minutes the doorbell rang. He hastened to open, whereupon his dear friend, Mr. X., entered and told him something which gave him joy and great peace.
. . . . . . . .
The years rolled on until twenty of them had passed. During this period much had happened to D. He had lost his little daughter, the "little messenger," the little life given him when another had been taken. His business had flourished for a time, but this was engulfed at last, leaving him to experience what poverty really meant. And, finally, to cap the climax of his misfortunes, his one friend on earth died, leaving him to face life alone and to solve the great problem unaided.
But never for a moment did he lose that center from which inspiration and knowledge had come during the long years passed. It was but the culmination of a cycle of physical experiences, of which he knew full well, the value.
It is not necessary to go into the details of his feelings and sufferings during all this, time. It is sufficient to say that the divine purpose was fulfilled and perhaps accomplished. A greater insight, a greater knowledge, and a far greater understanding of the universal law of cause and effect was his, and
it but remained for him to assimilate it and apply it to himself: "He whom the gods love they chasten." Certainly this thought was a great consolation to him, for his faith was deeply centered and unswerving, although outwardly, perhaps, much concerned. His mission in life was not yet clear to him. He was, filled with great longings to accomplish something of a universal value to humanity, but he seemed helpless and cast out from doing even small things. His power to study and to assimilate greater knowledge was gone. He could but review what he had accomplished since the beginning. That he had, for had he not carried out his early intentions and systematized in symbol and writing the results of his investigations into the realms of the unknown? But even this he could not enjoy except now and then, when a flash of the old enthusiasm would return.
No, he must learn to stand alone, absolutely and wholly sustained by the inner man, that duality of which he had become so familiar in times gone by, and of which he was equally familiar now, but it seemed to him that he had become it, in a way, so that the recognition of the two in one was not so sharply defined in his consciousness as formerly.
Perhaps it was analogous to his analysis of the "illumination." Both were there
as of yore, although tinctured by the experiences of his daily life, thus making of him a personality in full accord with what he had gained. He knew well from whence came the abstract thought and power of expressing things totally foreign to the minds he came in touch with now. This again shut him out from his fellowmen, except in-so-far as he was able to fall in line with their mode of life, either in thought, deed, or action, and this was only torture in a way. Yet in another way it served to a certain purpose. However, be it as it may, he shortly met the "One" who "was to come," and to establish righteousness on earth, peace and good-will to men.
How well he remembered that night in his study when he called aloud for His coming, and his friend, Mr. X., came at the moment and gave him the message of His coming. He remembered asking his friend how the Master would be known, and how he summed it up in a few words, saying:
"If you have not the inner sight sufficiently developed, you cannot see, you cannot understand. His coming, will not be of any degree of the supernatural in outward manifestation. Therefore, I pray you will remain steadfast to the light of your spiritual illumination, and to ever seek for greater and greater powers of discernment for the
'good' whenever found and in whatever body it may dwell, do this and remember. . . "
. . . . . . . .
In answer to the same question put to Abdul Bahá in April, 1913, at Budapest, as translated by Mr. Ahmad Sohrab, the Master said:
"Now as to the coming of the Great Master; His appearance is dependent upon the realization of certain conditions. Investigate the reality, and in whomsoever those conditions are fulfilled, know you of a certainty He is the Great Master.
"Firstly: That Great Master will be the Educator of the world of humanity.
"Secondly: His teachings must be universal and confer illumination upon mankind.
"Thirdly: His knowledge must be innate and spontaneous, and not acquired.
"Fourthly: He must answer the questions of all the sages, solve all the difficult problems of humanity, and be able to withstand all the persecutions and sufferings heaped upon Him.
"Fifthly: He must be a joy-bringer, and the Herald of the Kingdom of Happiness.
"Sixthly: His knowledge must be infinite and His wisdom all-comprehensive.
"Seventhly: The penetration of His Word and the potency of His influence must be so great as to humble even His worst enemies.
"Eighthly: Sorrows and tribulations must not vex Him. His courage and conviction must be God-like. Day by day He must become firmer and more zealous.
"Ninthly: It must be the Establisher of Universal Civilization, the Unifier of the Standard-bearer of Universal Peace, and the embodiment of all the high and noblest virtues of the world of humanity.
"Whenever you find these conditions realized in a human temple turn to Him for guidance and illumination."
. . . . . . . . .
"These things will come about in the most ordinary way," continued Mr. X., "and in the most unassuming and unostentatious manner possible, so ordinary and so quietly will He establish His Kingdom on earth that even the scoffers are not aroused. There will be others to claim His coming, and also claim that He dwells with them, but remember He will dwell with no one. He comes as the Host and will be received alike by kings and emperors, by the rich and the poor, because He wills individual recognition of His Presence followed
by silence from the individual and from the public and press alike as he goes about the world to every nation, lighting every lamp possible in the hearts of individual men, giving illumination to each one ready to receive it.
"Such, my friend, is the manner of His coming, and I hope you will live to see Him, and to recognize Him when you do see Him. Furthermore, I pray you may not live to pass Him by when you meet Him, as you surely will live to see Him. I shall not be with you long, and, therefore, I shall not see or remember all I have told you, see Him, bless and prosper you in your great undertaking."
How well D. remembered it all to-night as he sat alone in his room. How true and how perfectly it was foretold of his meeting with the Master and how he knew of His greatness and goodness. But now that he had met Him! The sweet memory of his experience with the Master will ever abide with him. For had not the Master clasped him in His arms and blessed him, and above all He said: "This man knows me, this man understands me," for which he praised the Lord that he was in a condition to receive such a blessing and confirmation.
It was with considerable difficulty this much was obtained from D. Nothing more was said concerning this particular experience
as he was very reluctant about showing anything but the humble spirit at all times. His mind was seldom of self, but seemed to he always absorbed and concerned with the terrible conditions existing in the world of humanity. He was constantly protesting them, and seemed ever to be engaged in silent prayer for the better influence to overshadow and nullify these evils.
Shortly after this D. disappeared and none knew where he went, but just before leaving he bestowed a sort of a summary, which showed conclusively how the three great questions were still in his mind, as the one problem, for some greater or for some final solution:
"A problem: If a man receives the 'light of illumination' but once, and the force and the power is so great as to remain with him twenty years or more, and, if during that time he dwells principally in the higher 'duality,' transmuting the leaden principles of his physical manifestation into the golden glow of his spiritual principles, constituting his spiritual body, or vehicle of the higher nature; carrying this to the degree of such physical exclusion as to cause but a slender hold upon the earth life, realizing all the while that he is extracting the best there is in him, and laying it all, daily, upon the altar of his supreme position, what could be accomplished were he to have the force
of two, three or even more such illuminations?
"Furthermore, if this is done consciously and knowingly of the results about to accrue, and when he had gone so far as to realize it to be but a step from the darkness into the light of immortal being, and he then refused to take that step for fear of leaving some duty unperformed here, or perhaps for other reasons, what is his right when no ties of duty hold him further, and the second coming of the power of the illumination does not come?
"Again: If a man upon refusing to take the step mentioned above and deliberately turns about and reconstructs the physical body into what may be said to be a vehicle of health and strength, physically considered, retaining within himself the power of returning to that inner principle or center at will; what will be the result of his seeking for further and greater heights, perhaps yet unconceived?"
All this is no fantastic tale, but a stern reality, and, approximately, one which many have passed during the ages past, and approximately the problem Mr. X. met and solved in a manner suitable for a fulfillment of his one great desire. This man lived among men and taught them many things. His spiritual influence was great and its effects seen, and without a doubt he slipped
into the sphere of the "Perfected Ones" in full and complete consciousness.
No ordinary man can do this, because at the moment death occurs his psycho-physiological brain-mind is shocked into a state of unconsciousness - this is his center, it has not yet been transmuted into the immortal center, or, in other words, he has not united the lower with the higher in consciousness, consequently he has no hold upon his spiritual principles, no cohesion of the particles of his spiritual body, therefore, all the principles commence to separate resulting as previously stated.
On the other hand, the Father and the Son are one, and the Holy Ghost is the form thereof. Speaking plainly, transference of the lower into the higher, the living divine self-conscious Being steps into his perfected spiritual body at the moment of death in full possession of his heritage.
Finally, those who sincerely desire the good, the true and the most God-like qualities may receive the Divine effulgence within their consciousness by considering the following seriously, and try to understand its significance:
The spiritual man, i. e., the true man, is free during sleep, and, though his physical memory may not be aware of it, lives robed in his highest essence in other realms and on other planes. Therefore,
it is a natural law operative every twenty-four hours, but man is unconscious of its significance and its value, and because of the many years of custom and familiarity with it, he passes it by as having no particular significance otherwise than to rest, the body.
After a little consideration this "going to sleep" should have a far greater meaning and a far greater significance to the man or woman who retires at night with the consciousness of having acted during their waking hours in a manner worthy of divine consideration, of divine love and compassion. Silent communion and prayer for spiritual guidance in these last moments before going to sleep - "Turn thy sight to thyself that thou may'st find me standing within thee, Powerful, Mighty and Supreme," says Bahá'o'llah.
Thus, one's answer is given to his question of what must I do; what is my first step towards the accomplishment of my spiritual illumination, which I desire.
This form of communion is easy of ac [?] in the last moments of each day's work, and if persistently followed out day by day will certainly bring permanent results. Slowly but surely a great change will be noticed in one's mode of thought, consequently, in one's life's doings.
If one could only realize with what simplicity and ease nature hides her most cherished
secrets, he may at the same time perceive how for all the years of his life certain things have been accomplished, certain answers to problems solved, and certain inspirations been inculcated during sleep. From whence come they? Now, these divine illuminations of such minor character so unconsciously gained, are accelerated and increased by specific and one-pointed effort such as we have tried to impress you with in these pages. The will and the desire to be perfect "even as your Father in heaven is perfect," and the illumination of the Spiritual Man is accomplished.
"If thou desirest to he confirmed in the service of the Kingdom of God, live in accord with the teachings of Bahá'o'llah, and that is: real love for the world of humanity and the utmost kindness for the believers of God. This real love, like unto the magnetic power, attracts the Divine confirmations." - (ABDUL-BAHA.)