Admirable and beautiful is the outer plane of existence, this physical world of ours; many are the attempts to fathom its mystery. Unity seems to pervade all: the one sky blazes with sun, moon and stars, with clouds, meteors and bows of wondrous colors; — do they move together, or each its way? Why do we see and feel them as the one beauty? The eyes of the child-mind open with blissful wonder. Why do these ever-shifting beauties seem to strike the soul as something ever present, beyond a doubt, ideal, everlasting?
In deep reverie, the soul takes this picture to itself, a moment seems eternity; the picture is, it must be, it always will be. Then when the soul is perfectly satisfied, glad and content, and returns back to the physical eyes, the skies are shifted, the picture is gone, another is in its stead. You can protest, close your eyes again, return to it in perfect surety, then once again opening your eyes, lo! a third picture is on the sky.
O, wonder of it! Why do things move and stand at the same time, — move in the world and stand in the soul, — where is the centre, where the circumference? What is this middle space? Where is a refuge, whence the origination?
Surely it must be, says the spectator who is now trying to search it out. But his outer eyes are too open, his inner powers too sleepy. In the outer world alone he tries to find the Law.
He studies sciences, he sees the order of Nature everywhere, he imagines that his chase after the shifting things is ended, and that his mind will vibrate with perfect harmony with the sequences of things. Light, heat and sound, — all are waves for him, just as the seasons of the year and the birth and death of planets.
Now he craves for numbers to count his modes of motion. He makes many calculations, but satisfaction is as far away as ever.
Motion is, that is true! But who moves, who lives? Then in his search he dissects the things to find the molecules in their perpetual dance. Out of these innumerable points he builds his world. But a new wonder springs. How do those small things feel the presence of all their comrades throughout the world, how do they move unerringly in space and take cognizance of their co-workers, no matter how far away? Does space speak to them, or they know themselves? Are they the microscopic Gods?
Then the investigator returns back. He sees a power of strength and a beauty of form beyond the crystal, he sees vitality beyond the plant .... and so on he goes.
Again he turns to man, to earth, to star, till he stops at the threshold of the Unknowable and becomes silent for a while and bows before the ineffable mystery.
Then he returns with a new message to his world. He brings forth a truer philosophy and lifts up the thought of men. Thus he vibrates from one extremity to the other, the dweller of the middle plane. Now he sees the One expressed in the many, again he listens to what the many speak of the One.
And what speak they indeed?
They speak of the one form of space, wherefrom many forms do spring. Who has ever touched space? Some even doubt its existence and call it a subjective form of thought. Yet all forms speak of this form, and all solid things speak of this dream. Without it all would be solid and we could then touch nothing.
Who has ever seen matter? Colors we perceive, and the darkness beyond, without which no color could be seen, and without admixture of which no relativity could exist.
Who has ever heard force? All forces speak of silence, and the meaning of all, purpose of all, is silent.
So then things speak of dreams, yet dreams are unknown as long as they remain but symbols — and veils of the beyond. Who will lead out of this astral world of real phantoms? If the spectator has faith and is not bewildered, it is well for him. Though the world now is a double field of dreams, the one seemingly so hard and unyielding, the other apparently so transitory and elusive, yet he lives, and in that life he feels, though the reality is hidden.
And as he feels so, the rosy dawn of life congeals into the red clouds of passions. Between the touchable things and the untouchable dreams he chooses the things and separations. And yet he feels that it is for the sake of dreams that the chase goes on. In that period of life all the world around him takes a very hard and perishable aspect. It becomes friend and enemy in turn. This middle period is the most illusive. Symbols and dreams turn into dragons full of life and implacable power.
Where to escape? The human mind creates in thought the better world. The mind ceases to serve the passions and becomes the lord. The world has its origin in the mind-stuff, but has forgotten to dissolve after the thought was ended, and has become hardened by desires.
It seems that much of man was absorbed in the world, and much of the world sank into man. Having it in himself, the spectator began to create a world of his own and was satisfied. The original plan and unity for the first time appeared understood as much as man could imitate them in the creation of his own civilizations. The great dragon of mystery now turned into the silent and meditating Sphinx. The mystery is nearer. It is within man himself.
We stand now on the threshold of the new race. If the unity is within, what is that power that can perceive it? The Heart is that power, and it conforms and arranges the mind creations. It discovers the new, it knows what is best, it is full of harmony. It gives the keynote, it sounds forth the sweet chord, it enjoys the beauty. It is the Universal Chant of Glory, sounding as sweetly in the heart of my brother man as in myself and everywhere, one and the same. Different shells on the seashore of mystery gather it and re-tell it in different ways, yet it is the same story everywhere. Every child will recognize the note, no matter how faint and incomplete, and smile a bright response. It is its voice that we hear at the gray dusk and in the silence, . . . let us listen intently; the Heart of the World is speaking, and in its voice are the eternal voices of the living and the departed.
In it are all voices, which are One Voice — the Voice Divine. Issued from the Unknown Cause of Being, it stands as an Eternal Witness. Let us then bow our heads before the awful Mystery and keep our song of life in perfect harmony with that one divine keynote and all its overtones which are in ourselves and everywhere. At every right place and time let us add each his own clear note. O! what sweet privilege to find our place in the universe and to be part of the All.
Universal BrotherhoodTHEOSOPHICAL UNIVERSITY PRESS ONLINE