Questions We All Ask by G. de Purucker
Theosophical University Press Online Edition

No. 19 (February 4, 1930)

QUESTIONS WE ALL ASK

(Lecture delivered October 20, 1929)

The first question that I shall try to answer this afternoon is about eating — not, perhaps, a very spiritual subject to talk about, but at least to most people it is an interesting one; and as we all know that human beings in general eat too much, perhaps what I say may have some slight beneficial effect in reducing your grocery bills. The question came to me as follows:

"It always seems to me that if we could remember when eating to eat to our higher selves, it would have a great regenerative effect on our own lives and on the lives of other people. Surely, eating is or ought to be a sacred function. There is so much time spent on the preparation of food and on the partaking thereof, that it appears to me, as most of us act now, it is, like the tide, a vast force going to waste. I would be glad of a few words from you on the subject."

Well, I agree with the writer. I think that eating is a dignified function when properly done; and, moreover, that it is a function which should be pursued with due regard to the conventionalities of the soul as well as with due regard to the conventionalities of social practice. I know that at home, where I was brought up, the time of eating, or meal time, was always considered to be as much a philosophical banquet as it was a feeding of the body; and I think that in most European countries this tradition derived to us from the Greeks and Romans still prevails.

People there do not, as too often happens in this our own beloved land, merely stoke their bodies full of so much food fuel in order to keep them going; but educated Europeans make of meal time a period of intellectual pleasure, of which the physical eating of food is a mere concomitant.

I think that this idea of a spiritual and intellectual banquet of the mind taking place coincidently with the feeding of the body, has a very good effect on the body. The digestion is undoubtedly improved. One is also inclined to eat less than otherwise one is inclined to do. And furthermore, meal time, instead of becoming a period of hurried repast, becomes a delightful hour, an hour of friendly intercourse, where mind may meet mind on fields of mutual interest.

I have spoken of the tradition derived to us from the Greeks and Romans; and it is true that such is the fact. But of course I do not refer to the habits of gluttony into which the Greeks and Romans in the later periods fell. Yet we moderns cannot reproach them very much on that score. I think that on the whole we also eat as much, if not more, than they did, although perhaps not so much at one meal time. In some European countries today, people partake of five meals during the twenty-four hours, and I think that this is much more than is necessary.

Now, there is a more mystical side to this question of taking food. I mean that food partaken of in the right spirit and in an atmosphere of friendly social intercourse enters the body as nutriment in a different manner from what the food partaken of in other fashions does. Finer atoms are drawn from the food, and taken into the body. More ethereal elements, so to speak — a more ethereal nutriment — is inbuilded into the physical vehicle. Although this statement is quite unscientific, perhaps, nevertheless calling it unscientific is not saying anything of worth at all; because our science, splendid as it is, is yet a baby and is learning much from day to day, and just like a growing child abandons in one year what five years previously was the creed of the most eminent scientific circles of that time.

The next question to be answered is a question regarding hypnotism. This question enclosed a clipping taken from a newspaper — an advertisement purporting to teach you how to hypnotize yourself and other people, and things like that; and also this advertisement specifies certain acts which these people undertake to teach you how to do for a price, such as, for instance, how to make a person's hands stick to a table. I don't know that there is anything particularly fine or elevating in acts of this kind. I think that there is not. I think that it is rather contemptible to desire to make somebody else's hands stick to a table. I don't see anything high-minded or noble-souled in it. Such an advertisement certainly would not attract me, and I should be inclined, if I received a letter soliciting patronage of that kind, to put it into the hands of a police officer.

Furthermore, I am not a thief — a psychological thief. I don't want to steal somebody else's thought by hypnotizing him, or to mulct him of sums of money that I may be able to squeeze from his pocket by giving him promises as to how to do this or that or the other thing upon someone else.

The question is:

"What light does theosophy throw on this and other kindred dangerous subjects mentioned in this item?"

Well, the light that it throws is very great. First, it shows the danger of these psychological practices — dangers moral and otherwise. It shows the contemptible nature of the practice of a species of psychic thievery. It shows the impositions, as I believe them to be, that are practiced on an unsuspecting public merely because that public is so prone to believe what it sees printed in the newspapers or advertised for a price. This itself is a species of psychologization against which every man of common sense is always on the alert.

Do you ever find advertisements telling you how to love impersonally and to forgive; how to conquer yourself and your own weaknesses; to help your fellows to do the things which are lasting and high, noble and true; or, again, suggesting methods of splendid and glorious self-sacrifice for the benefit of others? Never. These things cannot be boughten for a price because they belong to the spirit and the soul of man. But you may have them, if you will, without price; for they are the teachings of the ancient seers and sages of the ages and are to be had for the asking, for they are as free — I was going to say as the air we breathe, but in our days even the air is beginning to cost us something.

Hypnotism, psychologization, is not only a dangerous practice on others, but on yourself, and it is likewise in my view a cowardly practice. To me it is a contemptible act. I think that the man or the woman who would study in order to find out how to make another human being's hands stick to a table, is a fit candidate for a lunatic asylum. He lacks a complete ethical sense, to say nothing of the sense of the proprieties, of decency, of high and generous feeling, of the instinct of human brotherhood. Think it over. Such is my answer!

Here is another question containing a certain pathos:

"When we are old, past seventy years of age, and seem to live in the wants and desires of this body only, where is the soul? Is it slowly withdrawing, or covered up with desires, or is it hovering over us like the guardian angel of small children?
"I am sure the reason why so many young folk put their old folk in homes for them (the old people) lies in your solution of it. [?!]
"Is there a way for us who are not so old, fifty or so, to avoid that kind of old age? What is its cause? Do we have to be old in that way?"

No. In the first place, there are many questions involved here, and the pathos of the main thought here has touched me deeply. I will tell you what the ancient wisdom has to say about old age, an answer which this questioner intuitively has discovered. For a certain period of time, dependent upon the interval preceding death, the soul is withdrawing from the aged body. This accounts for the so-called breakdown of the physical vehicle, for the so-called advance in the symptoms and physical phenomena of old age. But such withdrawal of the soul, in the normal course, is peaceful and quiet, and is nature's way of making death come as a quiet blessing of peace and harmony.

Death is birth, birth; and instead of the wrench that there actually is in the case of youth when death comes, death to our old ones comes in peace and quiet, stealing like an angel of mercy into their being, releasing the bonds binding the soul to its vehicle of flesh; and the passage is as quiet and gentle as the coming of the twilight preceding night, and it is a blessed sleep.

But sometimes, when the life has been lived in gross physical desires — when, so to say, the bonds uniting the soul to the body have been so riveted into the vehicle of flesh by self-indulgence in the gross appetites — then even in age death is painful; for the natural withdrawal of the soul has not taken place, or at least to such a large degree, nor is the physical age attained so great before death finally comes.

Yes, any human being can avoid a painful old age, or at least very largely modify its troubles; and this can be attained by living humanely, by living humanly, that is all: living just like men, living in your higher self, instead of idealizing the wants and desires of your bodies. Then old age comes stealing upon you, bringing blessings with it, and increase in all the higher faculties and powers; so that the approach of old age is vibrant with the harmonies of another world, and beautiful with its visions of truth and glory.

No, these are not poetical words. They are words painting actualities. Old age is a blessing, if the previous life has been lived right. It brings with it things otherwise unattainable, such as an expansion of consciousness which youth knows nothing of. It brings with it increased intellectual power which, because of its very reach, the undeveloped person, the youth, the man of middle age, does not understand, and therefore ascribes to the vague generalizations of granddaddy. Granddaddy in such circumstances is nearer the truth and sees more than does the still unseeing eye of the youth. That is a fact. A fine old age brings an expansion of soul, not only of the intellect, but of the spiritual consciousness and its vision.

A man or a woman who has lived aright, who has lived cleanly, and thought highly, as age comes on him and the body weakens and the physical veils thin, sees, and seeing knows. His vision passes behind the veils of matter, for he is slowly becoming acquainted with the mysteries beyond the veil which men call death. Old age is nothing to fear. It is a blessing. It is a splendor seen as through a veil, of the life beyond, the higher life, the life in which the higher incarnating ego lives, literally.

Shadows: coming events casting their shadows before, the shadows of the splendor to be — such is a fine old age! No, these are not poetic rhapsodies; they are statements of actual facts; and if you study the old people whom you know, study them with sympathy, you younger people, you will see and understand.

Here is a question of another type:

"I have attended many of your interesting lectures on Sunday afternoons, and was particularly attracted by your lectures on Questions that Children Ask. As a teacher of children I have come up against this problem:
"In their better moments children often express high thoughts both in writing and speech, and show a real, sincere enthusiasm for the more lofty things in life. But at times, in their everyday affairs, they do not hold to these higher things, or seem to care anything about them, and forget to make any attempt to put them into practice.
"This is my question: Should it be pointed out to the children that until they can 'live up to their high ideals,' and put these things into practice, they are being hypocritical by expressing them in mere words; in other words, they are not 'practicing what they preach'?
"Should they, on the other hand, not be made to feel that even if they are not strong enough to hold to their high principles, the more they can dwell on them in their better moments, the easier will it be to make them a power for good in their times of difficulty?"

I think that there is a slight confusion here. This questioner has a very kindly heart, is very earnest and sincere. I certainly think it proper to tell a child that merely preaching beautiful things, and thereby thinking to hide the doing of things of another type, is hypocrisy. Tell children the truth. And furthermore, as a teacher, you yourself set the example, which the children will follow, because a child learns infinitely more by what it sees its elders do, than by any amount of mere talking to it.

But never tell a child that it is not to think of noble and high things, and that it is not to voice these thoughts — that it is not to think of beautiful things, of highly ethical things. On the contrary, teach your children to let their minds dwell on these things, to cultivate them as thoughts; encourage them in this line; teach your children to express in words their thoughts along these lines; but also tell them sincerely to live what they preach. That is all there is to it.

Poor children! When they see around them every day in the week their elders doing just what their elders tell the children not to do! There is the difficulty. A child's impressionable mind, so sensitive, so quick to catch anything that is hypocritical in its teachers, parents, elders, finally learns to disbelieve what it is told when it sees its teachers acting contrary to their own precepts. Never, never, never cripple a child's higher nature by telling it not to think and not to practice beautiful things; and never forbid it to voice these thoughts.

On the contrary, lead these thoughts into verbal expression and try to teach the child to practice what it preaches. Teach it the heroic aspect of this, and finally the child will grow to love such actions and be proud of doing them. Teach your children to be proud of voicing high and noble thoughts. Flaunt — as I often say — flaunt your colors in the face of the sun. Be courageous and stand up for what you believe in; and then your children will do so likewise, and will be proud of it. Let your children feel that you yourself believe in what you teach, and that you are trying to practice it, and your children will follow suit. Never let them see you a hypocrite, teaching one thing and living the opposite! They will find it out very quickly indeed and shame you to your face!

"Please interpret the quotation: 'My son, the whistle does not pull the train.'"

When I got this question and read it for the first time, I said to myself: What next! And then my eye caught the kindly sentence following, written in faint pencil. "Do not misunderstand me. I do not imply that you are the whistle."

I never heard this quotation before, but I think it is a very apt one. "My son, the whistle does not pull the train." I have not had time to give to it the thought that I would like to, but I think that its meaning is that it is not the man who makes the most noise who accomplishes the most in action. Toot, toot, toot, as we used to say at home when I was a little boy, "blowing your own horn." It is usually the quiet man, the man who talks the least, who does the most; but sometimes the man who talks the least also whistles! It lets off energy which other men let off in useless talk. The whistle is thus merely significant of something greater than what is moving into operation, or trying to do so.

Here is another question:

"How do drugs or narcotics affect the physical body, the soul, the spirit, of man? How do the early cravings originate? What is the best way to combat this growing evil?"

It is an evil, and a rapidly growing one. In answer to the first question, our wonderful theosophical teachings show us that drugs or narcotics do not affect the spirit of man at all. The spirit of man is the inner sun and shines upon the soul, somewhat as our own physical day-star does upon earth. But the soul is the intermediate nature of the human being, which is bound into the body, so to say, or more accurately is conjoined to it by psychic bonds, riveted to it, and therefore suffers by the reaction that ensues when the physical body is in process of being ruined; and ruin of the physical body is the effect of constant use of narcotics or baneful drugs.

"How do the early cravings originate?" In habit, in use, like everything else, just as all other cravings do. It becomes a hunger. That is all there is to it. It becomes a habit. "What is the best way to conquer this growing evil?" Expose it for just what it is. Tear the veil from the falsehoods that are published about these things. Let in the light.

Here is another question:

"It is said that an occultist of high development has so attuned his consciousness to the harmony of the inner planes, that 'the music of the spheres' is, for him, a vivid and continuous reality. Does this experience of the cosmic harmony, the voice of the silence, spoil his appreciation for the only form of music that we know — the sounds produced by musicians?"

Not at all. This music of the spheres is a fact. The Pythagoreans were right. Sound is the production, or rather one of the phenomena, of the movement of material things, and actually there is not a movement of any particle of matter, small or great, which is not accompanied by a sound which we could hear had we the ears attuned to receive. But some of these sounds are too great, some of them are too small, for our gross physical sense apparatus to perceive; and so great is the sound produced by the moving spheres in their courses, a sound so great and majestic, that we consciously hear nothing at all of it.

Nevertheless, the vibrations are there, and an occultist, one whose inner nature is far advanced, and whose inner sense is developed, awakened, so to speak, perceives the music of the spheres as the voice of the silence. He perceives it as vibrations by his inner sense; and this harmony attunes even his physical ear — because his soul itself is so attuned — attunes even his physical ear, so that the music produced by men on physical instruments is understood and interpreted by him with a keener pleasure and a more vivid sense.

Here is a question belonging to Greek philosophy. I will answer it very shortly, very briefly, because I do not know how many of you have studied the philosophy of the great Greek, Aristotle. But I like to answer all the questions that come to me. It takes all kinds of people to make a world, and whether one is interested in the value of knowing how to eat, or how to understand a Greek philosopher, is perhaps all one in the last analysis. Here is the question:

"What is Aristotle's 'entelechy'?"

"Entelechy" is a word used by Aristotle to signify the origin of a thing, the principle of its coming into being: what the Stoics called its seed, its ultimate root, the cause of it. It has been misinterpreted in modern European philosophy to mean the resultant of a thing. For instance, I have seen it stated that the Aristotelean entelechy meant that the soul was the entelechy of the body, signifying that the soul was the resultant of perfect bodily functioning; and the exact reverse is the truth, and the exact reverse was Aristotle's meaning, to wit, that the body is the resultant of the functioning of the entelech of man, the cause, the seed, the spirit-soul.

Entelechy in Aristotle's philosophy, therefore, means the principle of a thing, the root of it, its seed, that which gave it birth, or produced it. In the case of man, it is what theosophists call the monadic essence, the higher ego if you like.

"Can the continuous identity of the ego be explained?"

It can. It would not be an ego unless its identity were continuous. The ego is itself, and is one of the phenomena of the root-cause of all manifestation, which is consciousness: what the ancient mystics of Hindustan called Brahman, the original manifestor of life, of matter, of all things, the cosmic self of which every human being is a ray; and this ray, manifesting in a physical vehicle, forms the characteristics which the physical vehicle manifests as differentiating it from the characteristics which another physical vehicle, manifesting another ray, manifests — and this is individuality.

The ego, the continuity of the ego, is inherent in itself. There is no other explanation, because that is sufficient. The root of the ego is consciousness, and when this consciousness manifests as a ray in matter through a vehicle, it becomes an ego, and self-consciousness is the root-thing of the universe, and is ever-enduring. The identity of the ego is therefore continuous.

"What do you mean by 'superhuman'?"

This question seems simple enough, and the answer is: anything which is above ordinary humanity. Please note, however, that it does not mean supernatural at all, but superhuman. Nor is it quite the same thing as the "superman" of the German philosopher Nietzsche. That is a particular case of human arrogance, I think, which does not apply to anything that is above ordinary humanity that I should define as being superhuman.

"Are there any superhuman qualities?"

Oh! many of them: self-sacrifice, impersonal love, impersonal devotion at whatever cost to the individual. These are superhuman, and yet humans manifest them, and other humans recognize their greatness and their beauty; and, thank the immortal gods, great men love them and great women love them too. There are many such qualities which are the reflection of the working of the immortal god in every human being. These are superhuman qualities. And oh, how our human heart warms under the life-giving rays of inspiration when we read of the noble deeds of some superhuman being — superhuman for the time! How a little child loves to read about the deeds of the heroes!

Do you think that all this just happens so? No! I tell you that it is from a hunger of the human heart, for the human heart loves greatness, loves grandeur, loves all things sublime and high, loves the superhuman qualities.

"What exactly are the Masters or mahatmas, as I believe they are called?"
 
I have often answered this question before, and I shall try to answer it briefly again this
afternoon. The questioner goes on:
"I have heard that they work for the welfare of mankind and have done so throughout the ages; that they have extraordinary powers, which they exert beneficently for men."

That is true, all true. What are they? They are what the Chinese philosopher, Confucius, called "Superior Men" — superhuman men; and what the Greek philosopher Plato called "Godlike Men"; and what we in our own pragmatical European age would call highly evolved men, or supermen, perhaps. They are men who are farther advanced along the path of evolution than ordinary men are; but they are men. They are not gods; they are not spirits; they are not spooks; nothing of the sort. They are merely men who have gone higher and farther than the average run of humanity.

You know the names in history of many of them. I will mention a few: the Buddha, Jesus called the Christ, Pythagoras, Plato, Lao-tse, Sankaracharya, Krishna, Apollonius of Tyana — and many more such. Among themselves they have different grades of development. There are among them great men, greater men, greatest men — these last being men who are literally on the threshold of human divinity. These men have lived; that is a fact. That is all that these mahatmas are, these Masters of Compassion and Wisdom; and what the human race has once produced, shall it never again produce? What nature has once brought forth, can it never again bring forth? Answer these questions for yourself.

They form an association or band or society. They have lived throughout the ages, each generation of them transmitting to the succeeding generation the accumulated wisdom and knowledge that had been gained from immemorial time. They have wonderful powers over nature, because they have learned to know nature. They work entirely with nature, with the law. That is the reason that they are great. They are in harmony with things as they are, with the roots of things. That is why they are great. Oppose nature and what happens? Who goes to the wall? Nature or you? "Work in harmony with Nature, and she will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance unto thee" — a literal fact.

"Why do they not eradicate the evils that afflict man, warn him against disasters, or avert them?"

But they do, as far as they can. But how can you eradicate an evil when the act would be contrary to all natural law? They are the servants of the Law, and in that lies their power. They work with nature, and not contrary to her mandates. They warn men as far as men will let them. They are warning continually. Now and again, every now and every then, they send forth from among their own number someone to teach men, to carry a new message of wisdom and knowledge of nature's secrets into the world. They have done this through the ages, warning, warning, teaching, encouraging, consoling, constantly saying: Come up higher; come to us.

Jesus, the Buddha, Sankaracharya — all these great men have been messengers from the Lodge, the great White Lodge, as we say — all of them! But if men will not listen, if men turn a deaf ear — they continue working nevertheless, constantly.

"Where do they abide?"

Wherever they will!

"Why do they not move among ordinary men, and shield them?"

They do, as far as they can.

"Can you elucidate the mystery of this so-called exalted race?"

It is not an exalted race. They are exalted men, the chosen ones of the ages, the fine flowers of evolution.

"What are the requisites for seeing and communicating with such superior beings?"

That is an easy question to answer. Become like unto them. It is the old, old mystical thing to do. Knock, and the door will be opened unto you. But you must knock with the right knock. Become like unto them, and you will know them. Do the Law and you will know the Law. Know the Law and you will do it!

If you want to learn something, where would you go to learn it? Where it is taught. And you would follow the rules and regulations of that school in order to learn to know. The same rule applies here. Follow their teaching faithfully, without discouragement, and you will become like them, and you will know them, and they will know you. That is all.

Where can you find these teachings? You may find them in all the great religious philosophies of the world, and you may find them today in theosophy. These great Masters of Wisdom are back of The Theosophical Society today. They sent forth H. P. Blavatsky from among themselves, as their messenger and teacher to the world in this our age. There is the declaration and the promise; and we theosophists look upon a promise as a sacred thing. We never fail in our promises.

"In reference to the question asked last Sunday: 'Why are the Christian nations the most warlike?', and your reply to the effect that nations have to go through a cyclic period of war, and later comes the cycle of peace, might not some people erroneously argue as follows: 'What is the use then, during one of these war cycles, to try to prevent war? Why not wait until the peace-cycle comes?' "

In the first place, I did not put the matter in that way. I did not say that nations 'have' to go through a period of wartime. I said that periods of wartime come during the life course of all peoples; but that it comes as an affliction; it comes as a temptation; and if they fall under the temptation, war succeeds war. But that need not be. That is all that I meant.

War is not a necessary thing at all. It is an example of human imbecility and lack of judgment, and particularly so is aggressive warfare an example of human selfishness. You may say: Should not a nation protect itself? Yes, but what sane man has ever called that warfare? Warfare means but one thing — war for purposes of conquest. And you need not do it, and if you do it you will reap the consequences. The duty of every sane and normal man is to work for peace, to work for the settlement of international disputes by means of measures based on reason and justice. Does anyone disagree with that?

"Two Sundays ago you told us about Jesus being an avatara, and that after his single manifestation on earth, he would not come again.
"(a) What happens to all the karma he created while he was here on earth?
"(b) Does the Divinity from which came this 'continuous flow of inspiration into the human soul and mind' of Jesus absorb and work out this karma, or does it remain unattached to anyone, and is it finally taken up by a great soul who is willing to undertake its fulfillment?"

The idea here seems to be — it is a wrong idea of course — that karma is something apart from the actor, something that exists outside of one. Karma is a Sanskrit word. It is one of our fundamental teachings, the word karma signifying a philosophical doctrine. It means the law of consequences; that what ye sow ye shall reap. It does not mean something existing outside of you, which falls on top of you and crushes you flat, and therefore it is not fate.

It means that what you have inbuilt into your character will be yours to meet and face in the next and in future lives; and that your character being thus straightened or distorted, as the case may be, advances or retrogresses, as the case may be. Karma is in you yourself, in you the actor.

But how about the case of Jesus? It is true that Jesus as an entity never existed before, and never will exist again. It is not a case of reincarnation here, but the case of an avatara, as I explained before: the incarnation, in certain very mystical circumstances, of a ray of a Divinity, of the fire of a Divinity, for the purposes of cyclic teaching. The coming of the ray flashes across the horizons of human history like a great light, and then is gone.

But what happens? Acts have been done, teachings have been given, so that the whole destiny of races of men perhaps has been changed. Who is responsible? That part of the avatara which was the intermediate nature of the avataric being who lived. An avatara consists of three things: a physical body; an intermediate part; and a ray — actually the spiritual fire of a god, of a divine being working through this intermediate part and both then expressing themselves through the physical body. Such is an avatara.

An avatara's intermediate part is furnished, as I have tried to explain before, by one of the Masters of Wisdom who loaned, as it were, his own soul for this cyclic work: who loaned his own intermediate nature, so that the holy body of the child could receive the spiritual fire from the god or divinity. Therefore the Master of Wisdom who loaned himself takes upon himself the load of responsibility for what has been done. That is where the karma inheres: the consequences, and therefore the responsibility.

This is a very deep and profound question, and those of you who were not here on other occasions, and were not able to hear what was then spoken of, I fear may have some little difficulty in understanding this; but it is a fascinating tale of some of nature's most secret mysteries, and if you want to know more, study our theosophical books.

Two more questions:

"I believe you have told us that if we understood the secrets of the laws of vibration, we could, for instance, destroy a solid wood table, or something of that sort. Could one explanation of earthquakes and other disastrous catastrophes be that some person accidentally hit upon one of these laws, thereby causing destruction on a large scale, and also thereby becoming an agent of the lower forces?"

It is possible, but most exceedingly unlikely. It would take a human titan to do it. Furthermore, why should it be thought that an earthquake is the result of the working of evil forces? I don't think so. Is the tidal wave the result of the working of evil forces? Is the cyclone the result of the working of evil forces? I don't think so. You ask my opinion, and I will tell you that my feeling is just the contrary.

These natural happenings are the working of nature's laws of readjustment of disturbed equilibrium; they are the karma of nature, and actually they are the working of the higher forces, those forces which are rooted in cosmic harmony; and it is one's individual karma which puts him within the sway of nature's operations when she seeks to restore equilibrium. One reaps what one has sown. Never tell me that nature is ruled by evil forces. Why, you would have half the population of the earth in a lunatic asylum out of sheer fear, if that were the case; and it is not true.

Nature is not ruled by evil forces in that way at all. The root of nature is celestial peace; the root of nature is harmony, and love; but love itself is a restorer of equilibrium; and when things move on a cosmic scale, on a universal scale, the phenomena accompanying such movements are of necessity great. I leave this thought with you for your own consideration, because my time to close has now come.

This is the final question:

"In the great heart of humanity there is a deep homesickness. Why?"

Yes, there is. There is a hunger in every human heart, which nothing can satisfy or appease — a hunger for something more true than ordinary human beings wit of, a hunger for the real, a hunger for the sublime. It is the nostalgia of the soul, of the spirit-soul of man. It is the homesickness brought about by the soul-memory of our spiritual abode, whence we came and towards which we are now on our return journey.

Men unconsciously, intuitively, unknown to the brain-mind, see the vision sublime on the mountain-tops; and oh! this yearning homesickness for the indescribable, for the immortal, for the deathless, for that which bringeth unutterable peace and a love which is frontierless in its reaches! Every human heart feels this, and it is the saving power in men, the thing which gives them hope and aspiration, which raises the souls of us with the recognition of the glory that once was ours; for, as I said, it is the nostalgia of the soul.


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