The Correlation of Spiritual Forces

The Correlation of Spiritual Forces
By Franz Hartmann, M.D.

First Article

The author of these articles, having been for many years acquainted with a society of German mystics who instructed him in their views, has herein attempted to reduce their teachings to a system and to add such explanations as may render them more comprehensible to the seeker for truth and immortality. It may be added that the said mystics are quite illiterate people, being not even able to read, and therefore cannot be suspected of having gathered their opinions from books. They are not “mediums,” such as speak by inspiration of things which they do not understand in their normal condition, but have been taught by their own spiritual Self. What they know is the result of continued efforts to rise to the plane of that higher Self. Vol. III.-17

Before attempting to examine the correlation of energies—physical, psychical, or spiritual it is first of all necessary to answer the question, What is force? External observation and internal experience teach that force is a quality or function of something. This function consists in motion, and that which moves is undoubtedly something substantial, as otherwise it could not be felt and would cause no sensation either within our organs of sense or our minds. This motion (or emotion) is a function of energy, and, as every atom of matter manifests some kind of force, energy is said to be inherent in matter; but it would be more correct to say that all of that which we call matter is merely bound up energy, and that there is no such thing as matter without its aspect force. In fact the assumption of the existence of matter apart from energy contradicts both common sense and philosophy, unless we imagine all bodies to be dead whose energy is not manifest; but this evidently erroneous, since even the grossest material bodies are capable of exhibiting chemical action. On the other hand, any motion or emotion is a certain aspect of matter, for without something that moves it would be quite unimaginable. Thus every force is something substantial.

Substance (from sub, under, and stare, to stand) means the basis of all existence, and this basis or understanding is energy. Death cannot create life; neither can inertness cause motion or force. Existence itself is a phenomenon. It is the manifestation of the power to be. Nothing is produced in the absence of any power adequate to produce it, and everything gives birth only to its like. The whole world is the product of energy-an accumulation of energy without any dead matter. What we call matter is merely the visible manifestation of accumulated or latent energy in various forms. The word matter merely expresses a certain condition of energy, and force a certain state of substance. This energy or substance may be described in its active state as Will, or its passive state as Space-provided we do not imagine space to be an empty nothing or a kind of room filled with cosmic ether. Space means extension, and extension is a manifestation of energy, which being universal may be called Cosmic energy (Universal world-power), or in a higher aspect a manifestation of the Universal Spirit. The cause of this universal energy, which manifests itself in three aspects as space, matter, and force, cannot be scientifically known, because it is infinitely greater than the human intellect. It is everywhere in space, but is not space itself. We may call it Life, or Consciousness, or Will; but this brings us no nearer to its comprehension. Perhaps it is best to call it Being itself.

In its spiritual aspect the universe appears to us a manifestation of the power and splendor of the eternal, indivisible, universal, infinite, nameless One, as a product of Will and Wisdom, manifesting itself as various states of Being and producing forms, whether visible to us or not, upon the different planes of existence-physical, psychical, and spiritual. Even material science is beginning to open its eyes to this view, and the time seems to be not far distant when it will be understood that matter itself is nothing, and that a great scientific truth is expressed in the Bible where it says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (St. John I, 1-4). This also fully agrees with the doctrines of the ancient Indian sages, for they teach the omnipresence of a Universal Spirit (Atma), whose manifestation is Life (Prana) and whose product is Nature (Prakriti), with its multifarious forms, each representing a certain sum of qualities (Tattwas) originating in the activity of the Universal Spirit. These forms and qualities are continually subject to change, but the power that produces them is unchangeable. It is eternal, one, and indivisible, thought the form which it produces are innumerable and apparently without end. But, however true these explanations may be, they cannot be demonstrated objectively to the materialistic intellect without any definition of God; and as God is beyond all intellectual comprehension and cannot be defined, the fundamental cause of all existence will remain forever a mystery to natural science, unless science becomes spiritual and men call to their aid the power of spiritual perception, and learn to know God by realizing the nature of the divine ideal within their own hearts.

There has been a great deal of talk about the “exactness of science,” and exact science is usually supposed to be attained by closing one’s heart against every high an exalted influence, suppressing every noble emotion, denying the existence of such principles as justice and truth, and rejecting the recognition of everything that is not of a grossly material nature. It is to relegate all ideals to the garret where exploded superstitions are kept; to fancy that life is a product of matter; that the appearance of a thing is its reality, and that no other reality exists. The time for this kind of “exact science” appears to be nearly at an end; spiritualism (not spiritism) has sounded its funeral knell, and it is not worth while to waste more words about it. Folly is always in its own way; it therefore cannot see the truth; neither can the presence of truth be proved to a fool, who is incapable of understanding any proof beyond his own folly.

There is another kind of exact science, however, which consists in recognizing not merely the appearance of things but the soul whose symbols they are. This sort of really exact science is not merely the result of external observations, but has for its basis the recognition of principles. It requires for its acquisition the capacity to feel and realize the presence of that which is invisible, high, and elevating in nature; to discern that truth, beauty, justice, benevolence, etc., are not mere forms of speech, or adopted “ethics,” but principles, capable of developing into actual powers; also a clear mind, a sound judgment, and a certain degree of purity of heart. The means for the acquisition of this interior knowledge are the possession of soul and the observation of the action of its powers after they have awakened and entered into one’s own consciousness. External observation can teach us only that which is superficial. He who desires to find the pearl that rests upon the bottom of the ocean must dive below the surface of error into the sea where the waters are deep. He must draw his wisdom from the living fountain of wisdom itself, and not from speculations and sophistry-must cease to live merely in theory, and realize eternal life in himself. The well-known astronomer, Camille Flammarion, says:

“Infinity! Eternity! The study of astronomy bathes and drowns us therein. What measure can we take? If we could travel through space with the velocity of lightning, we would require millions of years to arrive at those regions where the distant worlds are shining; but, having arrived there, we would find that we have not advanced a step nearer to the limits of space: for space is infinite; the infinite is without limitation, and in all directions are so many worlds, so many consecutive suns, that if we were to expose a photographic plate long enough to their rays it would finally be covered with so many luminous points touching each other that the whole field would represent only one radiating heaven—for wherever we look there are innumerable suns, one beyond the other. And we live upon one of these worlds, upon one of the most insignificant ones, at some point of the limitless infinity which is illumined by one of these without number. We live within a limited horizon, like silkworms in their chrysalis. We know nothing of the causes of these phenomena; we ourselves are evanescent creations of the moment, whose knowledge does not penetrate deeper than to that which seems, and whose field of vision is comparatively as good as nothing; while it is big enough to cause us to fancy that we know something, and we even flatter ourselves and are bloated by a sense of superiority, imagining that we are lording nature. We pride ourselves not a little about the possession of that which we fancy to be real, and which after all is nothing but an illusion.”

As it is above, so it is below: the internal world is like the external one. Beyond and within we find the glamour upon the surface and the reality in the deep. No man has ever intellectually sounded the depths of his own being. Within himself he finds infinity and eternity, if he enters deep enough. Within his soul are unmeasured worlds, infinite space, and no end. Within the world which we call our own we find the same powers and qualities as in the external world by which we are surrounded. These powers are states of our own self, whether conscious or unconscious. If we penetrate still deeper we come to a region in which all conception of self, personality, and limitation ceases: we enter the formless, where nothing exists but God in silence and rest.

Space, Power, Energy, Substance, and Quality are convertible terms; they merely refer to the different views we take of one and the same thing. Space is the extension of world-power, or energy; force, the action of energy; substance, force in action; matter, the manifestation of energy; and qualities, the manifestation of power. Thus is consciousness a condition, or quality, but also power and space. It may be concentrated upon a mere point, or may extend far into infinity. Purity of mind is a state, or condition, but it is also a power which protects the soul against the entrance of that which is impure and contrary to its own nature. Knowledge is a power which enables man to perform certain works. Ignorance is a power sufficiently strong in appearance temporarily to oppose the truth; conceit is a power just strong enough to reject knowledge; self-love, superstition, bigotry, malevolence, hate, envy, greed, wrath, etc., are all external powers of various kinds, representing the absence of the opposite realities or true qualities of the real principles.

Whenever a principal becomes manifest, it is a power. Heat, light, magnetism, etc., manifested as powers, endowing bodies with their own qualities. Heat causes water to become warm; light causes glass to luminous; magnetism causes steel to attract iron. These bodies would not possess such qualities if the respective powers were not manifested in them; nor could any man be loving, wise or knowing if the powers of love, wisdom, and knowledge were not manifested or active in him. All powers, forces, and activities are ultimately nothing but modifications of the activity of the Divine Will in nature, manifesting itself in individualized forms according to their conditions, and endowing them with certain qualities. In an acorn the power by which an oak-tree grows manifests itself in that growth, without knowledge on the part of the acorn. From a pine-seed the same powers produces a pine. Man, having an individual consciousness of his own, is conscious of the presence of the powers that move within his soul, and he imagines these forces to be his own products and property. A tree cannot intelligently employ the energies with which it is endowed by nature; but man, having intelligence, may employ them for his own benefit, and thus establish the conditions under which he may grow to still higher states, in which even greater powers will become manifested in him and endow him with higher, nobler, and more potent qualities.

The greatest of all spiritual powers, one which lifts man above and beyond his animal nature and frees him from error and illusion, is that of spirituality recognizing the truth. This does not mean the intellectual assent to this theory or that theory being true, but the realization of divine truth within the understanding—the true understanding of the real, itself, apart from all theories, opinions, deductions, arguments, dogmas, doctrines, and fancies pertaining thereto. We know what we ourselves are as soon as we fully realize our condition, and, recognizing it, we require no argument or dogma concerning it; nor will any theory, hypothesis, or opinion help us to know our state if we do not experience and realize it ourselves. All explanations and theories serve merely to enable us to liberate ourselves from such errors and prejudices as stand in our way in recognizing the truth. But the truth itself is not thereby revealed; it becomes known only when its power becomes internally manifest. Wisdom is not a matter of knowing, but of becoming. Truth can neither be manufactured nor created. No one can manifest the light of truth in the soul of another: this can only be accomplished by the light of the truth itself. As in the animal kingdom one animal serves as nutriment for another, so in the intellectual realm one mind feeds upon the products of another. Each man lives upon the thoughts that have grown in the garden of another; but the spirit of God in man is free, and a soul in whose consciousness that spirit has entered lives in the recognition of truth, independent of all theories and speculations. The soul, having awakened to a realization of its divine nature, lives in its own immortality, independent of all things—in its own divine consciousness. No such state can be created by means of the imagination or fantasy, nor by means of hypnotism or suggestion. It is a condition produced in no other way than by the manifestation of the power of wisdom in man. Thus darkness cannot create light, but when the light becomes manifest the darkness disappears. Likewise, there is no wisdom created by ignorance or conceit; but when the power of wisdom becomes manifested in man, there is an end of these conditions.

An imaginary conviction that this or that thing is true, even if such conviction be based upon the strongest reasons of plausibility and probability, is no real knowledge or self-recognition of truth. The truth is really known to no man until it is realized in him; but when the light of truth arises as a living power within his soul, penetrating and illuminating his understanding, causing him to enter into full harmony and become one with the truth, he may then truly say, not only “I know the truth,” but like one of old, “I [im my personal state] am the Truth.” This, however, is not to be interpreted as if to mean that we should reject all theories or treat opinions of others with contempt. Theories are means by which to arrive at practice; they are like crutches used by children before they are able to walk. They are sometimes good for discarding errors; but a knowledge of theories is not identical with the recognition of truth.

The first requirement for the attainment of real knowledge, of any power or quality whatever, is its possession. We may obtain knowledge in regard to the action of external forces by observing that action, even if these forces are not in our conscious possession. Thus we behold the effect of a stroke of lightning, hear the rolling of thunder, witness the action of steam , etc., and obtain a knowledge of certain effects, making our deductions in regard to the nature of the causes; but we cannot know the real nature of love or hate, desire or contentment, spirituality or benevolence, purity or justice, unless we consciously possess these qualities. No one can really know what hunger is unless he has experienced it himself. All that is beyond our experience is to us mysterious and occult. Man, in the aspect of an intellectual animal, knows nothing real in regard to spiritual powers; but when a spiritual power enters his consciousness it becomes a part of his being and ceases to be occult. He knows that power as soon as it consciously enters into his possession. After that he will need no scientific arguments to prove that such powers exist; while without that possession all such scientific speculation amounts to nothing but theory.

All existence is relative. There is no personal God in existence for those who do not experience the power of the divine state of being within their own persons; but as soon as the power of divinity begins to stir within the depths of our hearts, we know beyond doubt that it is capable of endowing us with divine qualities by manifesting itself therein and raising us into a higher, impersonal state. Those who deny the possibility of such a transformation, or refuse to believe in it unless they receive external scientific proof, thereby prevent the realization of the divine ideal within themselves. The blind clamor continually for external proofs in regard to the existence of God; but the wise, in whom the fire of divine love has burned the illusion of self, and in whom the divine power of eternal truth has become manifest, need no external proof. As soon as the God within has conquered the animal in his nature, thus allowing him to enter into the divine state, he is himself an impersonal, divine being, even while occupying a personal form.

The first step in this progress is the attainment of purity. The mind of man collects and combines ideas and erects an artificial system of knowledge—a patchwork constructed of theories and built upon sand; but real soul-knowledge, founded upon the rock of wisdom, is not attained unless the light of eternal truth penetrates the soul as the light of the sun shines in a pure crystal. The self-knowledge thus attained is not like objective science, which springs from external observation, philosophic speculation, and a knowledge of appearances and probabilities—a product of one’s own fancy; but a revelation of the truth, produced by the power of truth itself. Such spiritual knowledge does not belong to the external, personal mind of man, but to the spiritual, celestial, inner state of being, whose light becomes reflected in the mind of the terrestrial man. To feel the presence of God within the soul is to be already in possession of the divine power of spiritual perception; for only that which is divine in man can feel and experience that which belongs to the divine state: only the God in man can sense the presence of God in the universe. The soul enters into possession of God as soon as it becomes conscious of his presence; while, on the other hand, the possession of even the highest latent divine faculties is practically useless to a man who is ignorant of their possession—just as legs would be to a man unable to walk, or money to one who did not know that it belonged to him. But when these spiritual powers become manifested in our bodies, they become as it were our own properties, endowing us with their qualities. We may then study their action within ourselves and use them just as the physicist studies and uses the action of the external forces of heat and electricity; and we will find that even these spiritual powers are ultimately only modifications of one fundamental power; consequently they are correlated to each other and their activity is mutually conditioned in each.

These powers do not belong to our personal self, any more than heat, electricity, life, etc., are created by our own bodies; but they are forces of universal nature becoming manifest in us. In the same sense, that which we call our virtues are not our own productions, but manifestations of divine principles which belong to the spiritual state of Being and become manifested in the personalities of human beings. Self-created virtues are products of the illusion of self. Self-righteousness, self-conceit, etc., are not true powers, but fanciful creations which hinder the manifestation of truth. The vices of egotistic persons are less repulsive to behold than their assumed self-made so-called virtues, because the former are the natural outcome of the illusion of self, while the latter are the unnatural products of ignorance and conceit, misleading in every sense. True virtue does not belong to the illusion of self, but to the true and impersonal state of man. All that is real in man belongs to God, the immortal reality; all that is illusive in him belongs to the illusion of self, the father of lies.

Purity is freedom. To be pure is to be free. If we were purified of the illusion of self-conceit, limitation, and form, we would be free of that power that binds us to material existence, and recognize that in our real essence we are not “worms of the earth,” but spiritual beings, omnipresent, all-penetrating, and all knowing. Our essence (Atma), or Universal Self, is one and indivisible. I am Atma, but I do not realize the fact because I am deluded by the isolation and limitation of the corporeal form with which I am firmly connected and identify myself. When I begin to recognize Atma (my universal) I shall know myself in reality. There is nothing to keep me from this spiritual recognition, except those elements in my material nature which do not belong to my real self. Foremost among these is my power of self-reasoning, which, owing to the delusion of sense, causes me to make the mistake of identifying myself with my personal form, and thus to ignore the true Self, which is without limitation.

Within the superficial strata of the soul, the images produced by the world of phenomena are produced in a manner comparable to the inverted images produced upon the surface of a lake by the objects standing at the shore; but within the depths of the soul, to which these reflections do not penetrate, rests the divine spark of truth, which, when it is fanned into a flame by divine love, illumines the kingdom of mind and destroys its illusions. The more the soul is filled with carnal desires and the mind with sensuous images—the deeper those desires penetrate toward the centre and the more such images take substantial shape—the greater will be the obstacles to the internal revelation of truth; but when the soul is purified of desires the mind becomes free of illusions. It is said that when the external eye of the soul opens, its internal eye closes itself. When the soul turns away from the delusions of the senses and rises upon the wings of the will to the region of truth, the door of the sanctuary in which the truth is unveiled will open itself. The soul in its essence is pure, requiring no improvement. The sky is pure, but the smoke and the vapors arising from the earth cause impurities and clouds therein which obstruct our view of the sun. The soul in its essence is free; our own misconceptions and the errors to which we cling are the “naughty sisters” which keep the “beautiful princess” captive. The strong will, illumined by the light of true understanding, I the “radiant prince” for whom she waits to liberate her from her prison.

Purity dwells in the love of the real and not in the attraction of “self.” The love of truth does not consist in fanatically clinging to some opinion which we fancy to be true; it is a power that springs from the recognition of that which is eternal and real. Love of truth is not self-righteousness, but the realization of the unity of all being. It is the love of that power which resides in all things, holds all worlds together, and moves all objects. This power is Love itself; for the truth is the life, and the life of all things is Love. He who loves the truth loves in reality nothing else but the divine and universal Self, which is the One of the universe. Human love, so-called, is the desire for the gratification of some personal desire; but love in its true and spiritual meaning is the presentiment or recognition of the divine oneness of the All, and ultimately its realization. He who sacrifices himself to the love of truth yields nothing, but gains everything; he merely gives up his captivity and enters into freedom.

Man in his essential nature is “Mind” (Manas), an inhabitant of the celestial sphere; his material, limited form is the product of sensuous desires. He is spiritually asleep and dreams of physical existence; while he sleeps his dream is enacted and appears to him as a reality. During the dream his will is bound to his desires, becoming free only when he awakens; but this awakening does not depend upon the life or death of his physical body. The body may die and man be still bound to material existence, because he is yet bound to his personality and his personality to the earth. Only when man, whether in or out of the body, awakens to the realization of his own real, impersonal state, does his will become free. Then he enters into freedom. The will of a man in freedom is the will of God, because it is one with the law and not subject to anything. He who attains self-knowledge in truth knows the will of God.

Second Article

Man is an ethereal being, dwelling within a material, animal form—a mask that constitutes his personality. When he attains consciousness of his true, immortal state, he may either throw off his “shell” or retain it; he is free. This attainment of freedom is gained by self-sacrifice, which is merely the renunciation or abandonment of an illusion, and by no means difficult to perform when its nature is understood. Without this understanding, however, asceticism is a very useless quality, for all sacrifices for the love or aggrandizement of self are foolish. The self cannot conquer the self; the illusion cannot destroy the illusion. Such liberation and redemption take place, not through self-conceit, but by the power of that entity which is the divine self of all beings. Such attainment of divine self-knowledge is not an “absorption into nothing,” but an ascending in divine power.

An icicle is formed in the ocean; in form it is different from the water that surrounds it, but in essence it is identical therewith. It melts and becomes what it was before. It has not lost anything save its personal form. Within the all-consciousness is formed a speck of “matter,” owing to the birth of a delusion of self caused by previous Karma—congealed by self-love and incrusted by self-conceit. Penetrated by the heat of that love which springs from the realization of truth, the crust is dissolved and man again enters into his true, celestial, all-conscious state. To surrender that which is no longer required, and is merely an impediment in our way, is not a sacrifice, but a blessing. In the enjoyment of freedom there is no room for the desire for bondage. The discrimination between freedom and slavery, between the enduring and the evanescent, is the key to the understanding of the great mystery. Grasp that key yourself and open the door that leads to immortality. Pure is that which is true, because it is free from falsehood; pure is that which is real, for it is free from the unreal; pure is that which is innocent, for it is free from sin; pure is that love which is free from egoism; pure is renunciation, when it is free of all expectation of personal reward. Knowledge is pure when free from error, and from that freedom arises tranquility. Within tranquility resides beatitude and contentment, and within contentment is bliss; for it consists in the absence of all unfulfilled desires. Tranquility is the fountain of the revelation of wisdom, because only in a mind undisturbed by passions can the light of truth reflect its own purity and the image of God assume substantial form.

Freedom is purity, because the soul that is free of all selfish desires is purified of egoism and error. Freedom is mastery over self. Where the elusive selfhood ceases, there is nothing to be subservient nor to rule. He is not free who, owing to the unruliness of his lower nature, is forced continually to stand guard over it; free is he who has outgrown that self. He who has become one with the law is not its subordinate. Freedom is the law by which all humanity (and through humanity all nature) aspires. Freedom is the true life, for it is that state in which no death exists. Forms die; the activity of life therein ceases to manifest itself, but life itself does not die. True freedom consists in obedience to the divine law—the will of God. This is divine, universal Love, which is the power of the realization of truth. God wills only to manifest himself to himself, and whoever strives to obey the law and thus to fulfill the conditions under which this manifestation can take place—he alone loves God, and not he who cries, “O Lord!” Neither do those love God who with prayers and incantations seek to explain to him their personal desires, or with the beating of drums and the blowing of trumpets to persuade him to obey their requests. The will becomes free through the recognition of truth. The free will of God and the free will of man are identical. Freedom is the completion of love: the union of the love of man to God with the love of God to his own manifestation in man. This love is self-knowledge. A merely intellectual knowledge is like an empty shell; it contains no real love. Neither does the love for illusions give birth to self-knowledge. Real love springs from the recognition of the oneness of the All. It is the at-one-moment, or harmony, by which the Divine essence in all things becomes known.

It is with the action of spiritual powers in matter as with the hen and the egg: if there had been no hen there would be no egg; and if no egg had existed the hen would not have grown. The activity of each other is conditioned by that of the other; one gives birth to the other and is born from it. In the Eternal there is neither “first” nor “last.” If I recognize God as my own impersonal Self, all that I sacrifice to God will be sacrificed to myself. In sacrificing or letting go my hold of that which in reality is nothing, I make no sacrifice, but gain the possession of all. For the purpose of enabling me to let go of that which is nothing, however, it is necessary to possess the power to recognize its nonentity, and this power comes only from the possession of truth. No one can endow himself with that which he does not possess. The truth is not of man’s making; therefore no man can recognize the truth by his own efforts alone. That power comes to him only through the “grace of truth;” in other words, it is the result of Karma, caused by his obedience to the law in previous incarnations. When he is ready to receive it, it will descend upon him like the sunlight upon the earth.

He who surrenders himself internally to God is free; but he who without sacrificing his self only sacrifices treasures for the sake of gratifying his desire for personal freedom gains nothing, for he is still bound by that personal desire and acts under the impulse of the delusion of self. That which enables man freely to surrender all his desires and possessions is the realization of the power and bliss of freedom itself, void of selfishness. Freedom is not merely a state, but a power; otherwise it could not be experienced and known. A quality or condition becomes an experienced power in us when it is alive in our own consciousness. A king insensible to his imperial dignity would be a poor ruler. A man who never experienced his own dignity as a human being is only an animal in human shape. To be conscious of the state in which we exist endows us with the power to fulfill its functions and develop its qualities. Freedom is not bound to any locality; the spirit of man in freedom is everywhere, and has the power to act in any place where it chooses to manifest its individual consciousness. Keeping in mind the fact that substantial forms (not only material, but also spiritual forms) are created by the spirit of man, there is nothing astonishing in the circumstance that a self-conscious spirit may produce thought-images and apparitions representing his own character in places where the conditions for such manifestations are present. The thoughts of people continually act mutually upon each other, and at great distances, even across the ocean. Many are not aware from whence their thoughts, ideas, and inspirations come. Thoughts are free to wander to whatever place they may be attracted; but the will is not free unless it have mastery over the thoughts. The enlightened will must be the lord and the desires the servants; if the master obeys his servants they will make him an object of sport.

To arise in freedom is to arise in power. This is not accomplished by weakness, nor by a flight of fancy, nor by means of pious dreams or assumed indifference, nor by ignorance of contempt, nor by asceticism, vegetarianism, assuming certain postures, or holding one’s breath; it is accomplished only in the power of that spirit which lifts us out of the sphere of self—and this power is our own when it becomes manifested in us. While we remain in that power, it is active within us. It forms the nutriment by which the soul grows, the mind firm, and the body healthy and beautiful. Without that power all our philosophy will be only theoretical and imaginary, and our life only a vapor and dream. The present age, while excelling in intellect, is sadly deficient in that power.

Conclusion

Wisdom is born to us by means of the revelation of truth within ourselves. Truth is a power by the manifestation of which the world is what it really is. If the world were not real in some sense it would not be here. Some philosophers fancy that the world exists merely in the imagination; but imagination changes nothing in the existence of the world. It is true that “I” know nothing about my surroundings, except the images produced on my mind by sensations coming from external objects, whether I know of their presence or not. Thus that which we perceive is an appearance; but behind this is the truth from which it proceeds. If there were no sun there would be no sun-rays; if there were nothing, nothing would seem to exist. The truth is the light, the objects its shadows; the shadows are instruments for the external manifestation of light.

By means of the manifestation of truth in man, a mortal and animal human being becomes transformed into a divine being. This does not take place through belief in theories, however true they may be, but by means of the self-revelation of truth. What the ancient Indian sages meant to say—which has been widely misinterpreted by modern writers—was that the world is a representation of images on the universal mind. If we were to know our divine Self, we would find that the universal mind is our own, and that the world is God’s creation; but as long as we merely fancy ourselves to be anything higher than what we really know, our own existence is not that of God, but illusory, and we ourselves are the products of a passing illusion.

From wisdom the recognition of beauty is born; for whatever is wise is good, and whatever is good is spiritually beautiful. The possession of wisdom clarifies the soul, and through the soul it beautifies the body, because the body is the ultimate expression of the qualities of the soul. Wisdom manifests itself only to those who love wisdom, and the love of wisdom is realized by following its dictates. The power to obey the dictates of wisdom originates in true faith in the power of wisdom to manifest itself, and this faith again springs from a real love for the manifestations of real wisdom, which becomes active by works. True faith is always accompanied by true deeds, whether internal or external; but faith without true, unselfish love is an illusion—a dead tree bearing no fruit. Not even the highest human intellect can create a particle of divine wisdom, any more than a piece of iron can make itself red hot, or become so without an effective cause; but as the metal may be rendered hot means of exposure to heat, likewise a clear mind will be illumined by the light of wisdom when the truth becomes manifest in the heart.

Theories change, but wisdom remains always the same. For this reason the wisdom of those who found the truth thousands of years ago differs not in quality from that of those for find it now, or in whom it may become manifest in the future. The revelations of wisdom are ever the same, because wisdom alone reveals its own eternal self. Eternal truth never varies; but its manifestations differ in form, according to the conditions under which it becomes manifest. Thus the light of the sun is always in space; but whether it is day or night with us depends on our being in either in the light or in the shadow. Wisdom is only one; but it may become manifest in a greater or lesser degree: just as the sunlight is one, but acts with more or less intensity, according to conditions.

No man creates his own powers; he at best establishes conditions under which universal energies may grow into power within him. No man is wise, good, or beautiful unless the principles of wisdom, goodness, and beauty are active within, endowing him with their own qualities. The principle is the essential thing; the form is only the medium or instrument for its revelation. Principles are eternal and imperishable; but they do not exist for us as long as they are not manifest. When a power is becoming active, it constitutes a “principle,” which means beginning. All self-made virtues are only delusions and hypocrisy; they do not spring from energy and reality, but from the illusion of self and self-admiration. They are mere imitations. Egoism is an illusion, and all that is born from it is unreal. He who thinks that his self is better than that of another in the eyes of God will laugh at his folly when the day of self-knowledge dawns; for then he will know that, his real Self being the Self of all, his personal self is a delusion and not a reality. That which prevents men from realizing the presence of divine power within themselves is the fact that they regard nothing something real and reality as nothingness. The stars are not to be found by means of a torch. The artificial light of self-conceit serves no purpose in seeking for the light of divine wisdom. Our self-created qualities have to become as nothing before the divine and real qualities can become manifested in us.

The knowledge which belongs to the illusive self is useful for that self, so far as it concerns the things of this life of illusions; but the illusions of self can have no real knowledge in regard to that which belongs to the real. If I were to know theoretically all the mysteries of the Trinity, it would amount only to a theory. To attain real knowledge of the Holy Trinity I would have to become holy myself (which means to overcome the delusion of self), and enter into the oneness of the Trinity—that divine consciousness in which the knower, the known, and the knowledge are one. To enter into that state of selflessness, in which all idea of self and limitation disappears and the power of the divine “Master,” the Self, arises within the soul, tearing away the veils of error that hide the truth, has become the object of all the mysteries of the past and will be that of those of the future. Among human intellectual animals each wants to be personally more clever, more knowing, more self-wise and self-righteous than his neighbor; and even among the leaders of sects, churches, and societies we repeatedly hear the song: “I am better than thou!” But the real sage desires no other wisdom than that which belongs to his God; the true mystic is content to know in regard to spiritual things only that which is known to the God within, and in the light of that knowledge the illusion of the personal ego disappears like a shadow in the light of the sun. When the divine man in his power and glory arises within the soul, there will be no longer room for the personal self with its dreams. A real mystic never seeks to obtain occult knowledge or magic power for personal gratification or aggrandizement, because he knows that the conception of self, instead of being an aid, is the greatest obstacle to his progress; and that, far from that self having to be magnified and glorified, it ought to be entirely abandoned.

As the hammer is nothing without the smith, so in the kingdom of spirit the personality is worthless except as an instrument for the manifestation of spiritual power. A saw having a life and volition of its own, squirming in the hands of the carpenter, would be rejected. Likewise a man whose thinking, willing, and acting are inspired by his own self and its errors is a useless instrument for the manifestation of truth. He who has entered into the spirit of wisdom and abandoned self knows of no I and thou, no mine and thine; he only knows the One, who includes and embraces and penetrates all, and is nothing else but himself. This is a truth self-evident to the wise, but incomprehensible to those who love their own selves above all. If a man ignores or denies God and calls himself wise, he declares himself an ignoramus, because real wisdom is the wisdom of God in man, which belongs to Deity alone and to no mere person.

Divine wisdom is a state of consciousness of the universal Spirit. How, then, can a narrow or limited intellect be in a state of universality, or having any real knowledge thereof? How can a person have the qualifications of a god while he knows practically nothing of God? Spirituality and intellectuality are quite different things: the latter belongs to the intellect and the former to the spirit. Personality cannot inclose universality; but the intellect may enter into a state of spirituality, thereby ceasing to be personal. This accomplished by the adaptation of individual consciousness to universal spiritual consciousness, when the light of divine wisdom becomes manifest in the mind. This adaptation does not depend upon the will and pleasure of every individual; it requires the possession of the power for adaptation. This power is called divine, universal Love, and its exercise consists in obedience to the law of love.

Truth means reality. Only that which is real is true, and whatever is true is real; all else is illusive. That which is true appears unessential as long as the reality is not known and appearances are mistaken for truth. Truth is eternal, and it does not change the nature of truth whether a man recognizes it or not; but the real existence of man depends on his recognition of truth. Without that recognition he himself remains only a dream. Those who do not love the truth close their eyes before it while clamoring for proofs of its existence; but the wise man knows the truth, because his personality is absorbed in it. The blind man seeks to arrive at a knowledge of light by means of arguments and deductions. The wise man departs from error and enters into the truth, the life of which is the death of error; therefore those who love their errors dislike the truth. They ask for it, perhaps, but rejects it when it offers itself. The revelation of truth is the annihilation of self-conceit; at first it appears as a frightful object, but in the end as an angel of light. After the illusion of self is destroyed, we find that it was nothing more than a shadow in the kingdom of light.

The fountain of wisdom is inexhaustible; it furnishes nutriment to the soul, and thus the latter grows into power. Not by means of a creed or belief in respectable authorities, but by the power of wisdom does the Lotus-flower of divine self-knowledge become unfolded, like the blossom of a rose that opens its leaves to the sunshine. The fruits of self-knowledge ripen in the light of truth, which can never grow less. The whole universe is a mirror of truth. We see the images reflected therein by the light of truth; but the truth itself can be seen only by the light within ourselves. The recognition of truth elevates and fortifies the true faith, whose soul is hope and which is penetrated by love. Hope, in its spiritual meaning, is not the expectation of a personal reward here or hereafter; but as the lark joyfully greets the sun at the dawn of day, without thereby taking into account the benefit which it is to receive, so the soul at the dawning of the day of wisdom rejoices because it knows that the sun will rise for it in the east.

The life of all faith is the Will; it is the foundation of all being. The will of the creatures for life, whether it acts consciously or unconsciously to them, is said to be the cause of their existence. As long as that will, pervaded by ignorance, is stronger than knowledge, man will not succeed in rising above the ever-moving circle of necessity. A will born from imagination is only imaginary; but the will that is illumined by real knowledge is spirit, and free. Spirit is not a product of man; man is a product of the action of spirit. In his present existence man is the product of his actions in previous existences, and these actions were the result of imagination and will. Mortal man being earth-bound, has no free will of his own. His body follows the laws of material nature and his actions are guided by his desires. He begins to have a will of his own only when he attains self-knowledge by becoming one with the law, because in that case the will of the law is acting through him, and he himself is the law. The fulfillment of the law is the fulfillment of duty, which takes place when in consequence of man’s highest aspirations and abandonment of the illusion of self the law reveals itself to him within his own consciousness.

The spirit (consciousness) is the fructifying principle; the will is the womb that gives birth. Imagination is the masculine and the will the feminine, and in the full-grown spirit the “male and female are one.” Consciousness does not exist without something that is conscious; imagination without will is without substance; spirit without substance remains unrealized and unmanifest. The will is the soil in which the imagination deposits its eggs. Within the will-substance are developed the seeds of instincts that grow into desires, develop into ideas, and bloom into thoughts, finally bearing fruit as actions. A man ignorant of his own real nature is nothing but an empty shell, because he is filled with ignorance. Ignorance is nothing; it is the absence of knowledge, and be nothing it can have no origin. In that empty shell the imagination of nature performs its seeming works; nature’s powers attain sensation and consciousness therein; they feel and desire and think within him, creating a false self-consciousness; hence that bundle of qualities imagines itself to be something and mistakes the thoughts of its inhabitants for its own. As the wind plays among the leaves of a tree, moving them in whatever direction it happens to blow, so the will of nature in man moves his thoughts and guides his actions. He thinks that he rules, but all the time he is ruled by influences which he does not recognize. Only the spirit that has attained self-knowledge has power over the will. This power is called faith; it is the power which may move mountains of error after it has become like a mountain itself.

Existence is one—therefore there can be only one foundation or cause of all that exists; but the forms of existence are innumerable, and each has its own cause, all of which have a common origin in the one Cause of all, whose modifications they are. This cause is Reality; but what the Reality is cannot be described, because it is infinitely greater than the limited power of the human intellect. It can be grasped spiritually only by the spirit of man—when that spirit has attained consciousness of its own infinite expansion. The possibility of such an expansion of spiritual consciousness is not amendable to any proof that would convince a skeptic; it can only be known by experience. The skeptical mind keeps itself from experiencing that state of infinity, because it is imprisoned in its own ignorance and its horizon is obstructed by its own doubts. The possibility of the attainment of a higher state can be actually known to us only when we have attained that state ourselves.

All that the narrow, terrestrial mind may know are the theories regarding the action of the universal law, but not the law itself. God alone can know his divine law, for he is himself the Law. The law of God is divine and perfect, but its action is not perfectly manifested under all circumstances; perfection consists in harmony, and whenever the conditions for the manifestation of a power are inharmonious the manifestation itself will not be perfect. That which is called matter, but which has no absolute existence and is therefore unreal, is opposed to spirit; the will of that which is “solidified ignorance,” so to speak, hinders and perverts the manifestation of wisdom. The divine will is the spiritual, self-conscious will; in other words, the will in a state of divine wisdom. This will, in freedom, is its own law; therefore, it is not guided by fancies, desires, whims, and passions. It is divine, because it is one with divine, universal law, unchangeable by anything, and eternal. It is the law itself. Its manifestation differs according to the conditions under which it becomes manifest. What may be lawful and right in an animal is not the same in man; for in the animal the law of egoism is the ruler and lord supreme, while in man’s real nature the true king and ruler is wisdom. The animal needs to obey the law of self-preservation; man has the power to rise above self. If all creatures had been so constituted in the beginning that there would have been no egoism to overcome, they would have had no opportunity to test their strength or to attain individual power and freedom. The development of the power of egoism upon the animal plane furnishes to man the conditions for its overcoming within his own two-fold nature.

There is no scientific definition of God. He is nothing objective and nothing different from man’s real Self. We can only attribute to him negative qualities and say that he is infinite, eternal, without beginning and without end. A god whom limited intellect could comprehend would not be a God; the intellect would be the greater. But we may form certain conceptions in regard to the state of divine being, according to the way in which divine power becomes manifest to us. If we, therefore, call God by different names, they refer merely to the various aspects in which we view that state. All scientific, philosophic, and theological speculations in regard to the essence of God are fruitless attempts of human self-conceit to grasp that which the terrestrial intellect has not the power to comprehend; they are foolish, because based upon the misconception that the eternal Reality in the universe is something different than our own.

We may form a conception of God as being All-consciousness in a state of tranquility, in which there exists no disharmony; as absolute Being, having no other cause for subsisting than its own Self; as the eternal Fountain of all existences and the Essence of all things; or as the only Reality, without which nothing real exists; but all these definitions are inadequate. God is everything, and yet nothing special. God is far more than space. Space is not God, but only his body. God is all things, and yet no particular thing. We may speak of his breath as the life of everything; of his Justice as the fulfillment of his law; of his Word as the whole of creation; of his Will as infinite Love; of his Spirit as the truth. But if we regard him as the Source of all good, he appears to us as a loving Father; in his aspect as the Fountain of happiness, he is himself eternal Bliss; manifesting his power in all nature, he reveals himself as a divine Teacher; and revealing himself in our hearts, he comes to us as our Redeemer. The motion of his power in the universe is his Will, his activity in all things their life, and his manifestation in the soul of man the revelation of wisdom. His dwelling-place is in all that he has called into existence; his seat is the self-consciousness of the spiritually awakened man; he is himself (in his own essence) eternal rest, being, and bliss; his kingdom is wisdom, his word is the truth, his life is light, and the way to him is through patience.

In his aspect as the Absolute, God is related to nothing; but the Absolute is not he. God comes into existence for us only when we enter into relationship with him. The law of God is to reveal himself to himself, and the law of man is to serve as a suitable instrument for that revelation. The Absolute has no relative qualities; there is nothing to which it could be related. When the presence of the Absolute becomes manifest, however, it assumes relative qualities. Reality does not exist for us unless we realize it; the ideal is only a dream unless its realization takes place. God (in his own essence) is neither good nor evil; there being nothing real but God, he is above both conditions. There is in reality nothing in regard to which he could be evil or good, for he is the All. God is neither an angel nor a devil; neither a man nor an animal; neither moral nor immoral; neither virtuous nor depraved. God is the Reality, and for us he is precisely that which we in reality become ourselves. Relative qualities come into existence in consequence of the relationship of things to each other. God is not a thing, but a state of being. Good appears as evil if it manifests itself in what seems the wrong place, or under what seem to be wrong circumstances; evil is good whenever it is necessary.

God for us has no divine qualities. These come into existence for us only when they enter into being in ourselves. We learn to know them only by obtaining possession of them; we attain their possession only when they become manifested in us; and it is this manifestation that causes us to enter into the divine, impersonal state. Thus the question, What is God? resolves itself into the corollary, What am I? To answer this question is not a matter of natural science, but of self-consciousness; and he who has attained that state cannot satisfactorily describe it to another who has not experienced it himself. To attempt it were useless, because he would be little understood as God himself, whose sole object for untold ages has been to manifest himself, and whose manifestation is the whole of the universe, but who is still misunderstood and unknown. Real knowledge of God is not a matter of understanding for the mortal mind; it belongs alone to the “Son of God,” having become revealed in man. Only the God in man can really know the Divinity of the universe to be his own real Self.