The foundation for the goal of illumination must be well and truly laid, for it will affect and determine our whole future life. Once we have set our hearts firmly on the mystical path, our lives will not be the same as they formerly were. However, we will leave behind only the worst part of ourselves. The better part we will carry into a future made more beautiful and valuable than ever before.
Our studies and experiments, as well as many experiences of life, will prepare us in reaching the goal which we ourselves must strive for. An understanding of the meaning of life brought about by a comprehensive knowledge of man and the universe, together with the knowledge of the laws and principles operation through them will help lay a foundation for the ideal we seek.
Much time must be given to meditation and contemplation on the whole spectrum of life, and our relationship to it. Such knowledge and experience is an indispensable foundation in our search for the truth of life, which can prove so valuable to us in our endeavours to find the secrets of our being and all they can mean to mankind.
This preparation entails much study and reflection. Step by step we must make headway into the realm of the known and the unknown. We seek to embrace all knowledge, and we seek this knowledge from many sources in the world’s literature, as well as in our studies. A persistent searching must pervade our consciousness. The desire to know and understand must be a daily ideal. We seek the unknown within ourselves by plunging into the secrets of our own hearts and penetrating into the depth of our own consciousness to reveal the hidden side of life. So much of our past lives lies ready to be revealed, and the vast wisdom of the centuries awaits our discovery and use.
The Inner Life
A love of life and of our brothers and sisters must ever guide our search into the life of the soul. This is not simply an exercise in thought control or something easily achieved after a few periods of meditation. It is a condition of attunement, brought about through a lifetime of devotion to spiritual things and a sympathetic love for one’s fellow man. By way of meditation and service, we come to align our objective life to the inner life, and thus our progress in mystical endeavours is assured.
Purification of our hearts and minds is a most important requirement of the mystical life, one that is often overlooked by those who search for the meaning of life with the eyes of the intellect. But the inner life of the soul will not reveal itself to those who cannot see with the eyes of the heart.
The high ideals we seek and the desire for illumination exact a price of devotion to a new and higher way of life. Purity of heart and mind and the natural goodness of our desire to serve will carry us forward to a point where we can be inwardly initiated into the life of the soul. Many are not yet ready to meet the challenge of the inner life. They must continue their preparation on another level. Those who are prepared will find that life will make increasing demands upon them so that their preparation for illumination is brought to a point where an inner initiation will carry them to a deeper level of the consciousness of the soul.
The Preparatory Path
Illumination is the goal of every mystic. It is acquired after many years of preparation of the physical, mental, and emotional life, along with a specific training of the psychic consciousness and the acquirement of an ever-deepening understanding of the spiritual self. The illumination that comes is in direct proportion to the training and development we have acquired. The musician will be inspired through music, the artist through art, and the mystic will be inspired in the degree that he can serve others through writing, speaking, or in personal contact. The greater Light, Life and Love that illuminated the mind must find a channel of expression which must be highly prepared and developed over a long period of time. Only through well-prepared channels of expression will the light of the Cosmic come down to those who are prepared to receive it.
Through preparation, purification, and initiation, illumination will finally come to those whose life best expresses the light of God here where it is most needed.
It is sometimes thought that in order to pursue the inner life successfully, we must change our vocation to one where there are more harmonious and satisfactory conditions to work in, and that every attempt should be made to remove all the trying and disturbing circumstances from our environment. It is a mistake, however, to think that there are certain types of work, particularly manual labour, which will relent successful meditation and the proper inner development. It is often thought that spiritual development will be advanced if we are working in a more humanitarian occupation, but our greatest achievements with the inner self will lie in our ability to overcome the obstacles in our path rather than trying to circumvent them.
The most useful service we can perform for the benefit of others will be in our own environment, where people are seeking, often quite unknowingly, the light of a new life. Our presence there can be an encouragement and a source of comfort and inspiration when it is most needed.
We never know the extend of the good we do when we sit in silence and send out thoughts of peace and harmony to others. It is therefore important that we continue to send good thoughts and radiate the harmony of the inner self as often as possible.
The path of attunement is an ever-growing desire for inner light. It is not the frustrating battle to reach a goal in mundane affairs; rather, we step out into a world of new adventures, whereby many hidden talents are awakened from within, revealing latent abilities quite unknown to us.
In mysticism, we set our own goals and thereby set our own standard of thought and action. These acts are deeply personal ones, and we should not be too concerned what other people think when we, ourselves, are striving for the best we know in thought and action.
Mystical attainment is an individual accomplishment. Others influence our way of approaching life, but the development of the inner self must be undertaken in solitude. Others may look outside, but the real student knows that only by retreating within, facing the real self, and by relying on one’s own resources, that the way to the mastery of life is achieved.
The ultimate end of knowledge on the mystical path is its application in real and useful service to mankind. Our own progress will be accelerated in proportion to our unselfish service in the interest of others, and we will know that our giving will bring real joy and happiness where it is most needed.
The greatest mystics of the past were men and women whose talents shaped the world we know today. They were writers, artists, inventors, statesmen, thinkers, and philosophers, whose ideas and values were brought forth from the light of the spiritual self. Theirs was not an easy life or a bed of roses. Many were persecuted for their ideals and some give their lives for their beliefs. But mystics they were, first and last. The mystical ideals burned strongly in their hearts, and this is what is needed today: Men and women, dedicated to their ideals, who, by their own resolve, reveal the light of the Soul within and demonstrate the truth of the mystical life, and leave no doubt as to their mastery of the spiritual life and its great value to all mankind.
- Author Unknown