GREAT deal of confusion seems to exist in many minds concerning the
precise avenue through which the Divine Power is to be approached, and
realization and harmony attained. So many schools of thought seem
to be competing for the attention of the student; so busy is the
printing press; so many new books and pamphlets are written; so many
magazines come and go; that people have told me that they have felt
quite in despair of ever discovering what it really is that they must do
to be saved.
it seems as though the story of Babel were repeating itself in the
metaphysical movement - and yet we all know in our hearts that the true
Gate is narrow and the real Way is strait. One well known Eastern
teacher of great spiritual power has actually published a pamphlet from
which it appears that the genuine criterion of authenticity is to have
no Path at all. This is the reductio ad absurdum which
pulls us up short and restores the light.
truth, of course, is this, that the only solution of the problem is
definitely to contact the Divine Power which dwells within your own
soul; and, having consciously done that, to bring it to bear upon the
various difficulties in your life, taking them in due order, that is,
attacking the most urgent first. This is the right way of working,
and it is the only way that can possibly help you, or your affairs, in
the long run. The real remedy for every one of your difficulties
is, as we are told on every page of the Bible, to find and know
the Indwelling Presence. Acquaint now thyself with Him and be
at peace. In His Presence is fulness of joy. Behold, I am
with you alway.
then, is the task, and the only one - to find, and consciously know,
your own Indwelling Lord.
see now how the confusion disappears, melts away, and the perfect
simplicity of the whole thing emerges once you realize this fact.
From this it necessarily follows that all schools and churches; all
teachers, under whatever name they may be called; all the textbooks,
magazines, pamphlets, and what-not; are but temporary expedients for
enabling you to make this contact. In themselves they are of no
importance except as a means to an end. The best mode of approach
to Divine things for you is the one that happens to make it easiest for
you to locate the Inner Light within yourself.
things as temperament, education, family tradition, and so on, will make
one book, or one teacher, or one school, more useful than another; but
never as anything more than the means to a certain end. That end
is effective self discovery. "Man know thyself" - thy
true self which is the Divine I Am. And so we see that the best
"movement," the finest textbook, the greatest teacher, is just
the one that happens best to fit the individual need. It is
entirely a practical matter, and the only test that ever could, or ever
will, be of any use, is the practical one of judgment
by results. Of course, Jesus anticipated this
difficulty, and met it, as he has met all our difficulties. He
gave us the simple and perfect standard:
By their fruits ye shall know them.
great peril to true religion has always been the building up of vested
interests in wealthy organizations, or in the exploitation by
individuals of their own personalities. An
organized church is always in danger of developing into an
"industry" which has to provide a living for numerous
officials. When this happens the rank and file are sure to be
severely discouraged from seeking spiritual things for themselves at
first hand. A tradition of "loyalty" to the organization
is built up as a means of self-protection. Not loyalty to Truth,
or to your own soul, be it remarked, but to the ecclesiastical machine.
Thus the means becomes an end in itself and spiritual power then fades
out. Rash promises and vague claims take the place of real
In the case of leaders who
exploit their own personalities, the student is discouraged from going
elsewhere for enlightenment or help; and here again "loyalty"
to something other than God is allowed to block the avenue of Truth, and
therefore becomes antichrist. What is this but the jealousy of the
petty tradesman who warns a doubtful customer of the danger he runs in
going to the "shop next door"?
Remember that you absolutely
owe no loyalty whatever to anything or anyone but your own soul and to
the furtherance of its spiritual development. Your most solemn
duty is to make everything secondary to that. "To thine own
self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not
then be false to any man." - Shakespeare
So It Is!