It is very often said by those who cannot comprehend competently the true aim and purpose of the mystical and spiritual study that such persons thus inclined are given to “living in the clouds.” It is generally meant to be a derogatory comment, or at least an intimation of fanatical tendencies. It always implies an attitude that is not universally normal, and more or less impractical in these modern times.
In truth, the student of spiritual values, and the seeker after that form of arcane knowledge which reveals the higher principles of life, is not one who is given to abstract thinking and impractical living. He may at times dwell in the clouds in his spiritual thoughts, and he may very often lift his consciousness to a higher realm or a plane greatly beyond the material things of this life. But such an individual realizes keenly the fact that man is here on earth for some very definite purpose, and that since his consciousness was projected from a divine spiritual source to be enclosed in a physical form here in the material world, there is some very definite mission in life for him, and this mission can be fulfilled only by meeting its conditions and carrying out the worldly duties and obligations.
The real mystic is not one who bases his explorations into the spiritual world upon the false premise of a negation of worldly conditions and material interests. The mystic is ever a seeker for mastership, and this mastership includes a conquering of the worldly problems, as well as a masterful comprehension of spiritual truths. He realizes, therefore, that the spiritual unfoldment and the higher glories of life are to be attained by rising step by step from this earthly plane to the planes that may lie before him, and that this attainment must be brought about through the mastering of the natural obstacles or limitations surrounding it.
Mystic’s View of Life
It is only the idle dreamer and the one unfamiliar with the fundamental truths who believes that he may lift himself arbitrarily and wilfully out of and beyond the specific environment here on earth in which God and the cosmic principles have placed him. The mystic does not look upon the incidents of his birth as incidents of chance, but rather of law, order, and system. He does not consider that all earthly experiences are secondary, but rather primary. He does not attempt to deceive himself with the philosophy that the ultimate end of life is the annihilation of worldly experiences or worldly efforts. Since some Divine Law or principle has ordained his incarnation here on earth, and since there is some very definite purpose to be carried out by this incarnation, he ever seeks to find the why and the wherefore of earthly existence, and the specific work which has been allotted to him or planned for him as the medium of his personal evolution.
The true mystic believes that man evolves from the primitive and fundamental activities of earthly existence to the higher and more perfect conditions of spiritual unfoldment. He recognizes in the trials and tribulations of earthly life the contest between good and evil, light and darkness, and the challenge to his own fortitude. He becomes convinced that the law of the survival of the fittest is not solely the mechanism of earthly life, but a principle of the evolution of the inner self and the personality. As the ancient philosophical mystics believed in the smoothing of the cubic stone and the rounding off of its edges in order that it might be a more perfect stone, so the mystic believes that the grosser elements of his worldly nature and the rougher edges of his personality must be eliminated in order that the pure gold of his consciousness and ego may rise to the sublime heights which he keeps in mind as the goal of his existence.
But he does not allow his vision to dwell exclusively upon an ethereal and intangible portal nor does he allow all of his thinking and acting to be influenced by any fanatical dream or hope of a Nirvana in which he may live as a being suspended above and beyond all worldly duties and obligations. He is as keenly interested in the laws and principles of the atomic and molecular construction of matter as he is in the spiritual integrity of the divine source of life. He is just as practical in his application of nature’s worldly laws as in the application of the spiritual principles. His dreams are equally divided between the physical accomplishments here on earth and the spiritual attainments of the future. He keeps his feet solidly upon the earth, and upon the rock of this material existence, while permitting his consciousness at times to soar into greater heights of this life beyond.
Nor does he anticipate and hope for any indefinite period in the future when all productiveness at his hands and all creation of his material consciousness will be brought to an end, and his usefulness in the great schemed of things here on earth will be terminated by an ethereal, spiritual existence of no value to God or man. He anticipates, rather, that his attainment here on earth will lead him into a spiritual school of more profound unfoldment wherein he will be prepared for another opportunity to make greater victories here on earth and to accomplish even a more extensive campaign of unfoldment and contribution to man’s development, and that this will be repeated from time to time until all men and all beings here on earth will have reached that degree of perfection when material existence may no longer be necessary.
But while he hopes for that inevitable result for all beings, he rejoices in the opportunity of living among men, of being a friend to men, and of working out the great cycles of evolution which God has decreed. His ambition is to serve and to labour in the vineyard rather than to rest in the eventide and to find eternal peace without accomplishments or responsibilities. This is what constitutes the true nature of the mystic, and of the seeker of illumination and wisdom and spiritual light. Such should be the ideal of every mystic for such is the spirit which animated all mystics and leaders throughout the centuries who have brought power, happiness, contentment, and inner joy to its leaders and followers of all times.
- By Dr. H. Spencer Lewis