And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow; and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? —Mark IV. 38.
That part of the sea of human life which lies within the latitude of the intermediate or psychic zone of man's threefold constitution is subject to sweeping storms and tempests. During the long and adventurous voyage of the soul's spiritual unfoldment, the craft is freighted with a miscellaneous cargo of varying and untold value, while the sailing-master in charge has not fully mastered the science of navigation. In the subjective hold are stored a variety of earthy forces, untamed emotions, wild passions, experimental and unsymmetrical imaginations and impulses. Various intellectual lading is also found upon deck which seems snugly stowed for ordinary weather, but often it remains untested until the passage is well advanced.
The voyage begins well. There are many days when the weather is calm, the sky serene, the sunshine bright and the surface of the great deep glassy and unbroken. During the dreamy days of spring and summer, there are periods when the zephyrs hardly raise a ripple. The sails are lightly filled, and the course lazily followed. Everything goes smoothly.
But suddenly, at the close of a long summer afternoon, heavy clouds roll up around the horizon, the lightning flashes, and peals of thunder break the stillness of the atmosphere. Now the wind howls through the shrouds, the angry waves threaten and the crew are seized with the utmost alarm. There is a hurrying to and fro. The craft pitches and rolls violently, and the cargo shifts and sets up a corresponding commotion. The ship's timbers creak and groan, and there is imminent danger of sinking. All on board are affrighted, and as a last resort, the cry is heard "Awaken the Christ!" Ever since the voyage had begun, he had been comfortably "sleeping upon a pillow." So far, only the psychic faculties have manned the yards, shifted the sails, set the compass and handled the rudder.
The noble vessel now seems likely to sink. The spiritual ego is prostrate, unconscious and out of sight. Call him on deck! He only can rebuke the soul's tempest. It is now his office to command the winds, and to cry with authority, "Peace, be still!"
The storm had been invited. But for its appearance the divine self would have remained latent and undiscovered. The Christ, or spiritual ego, was hardly known to have been on board, or if so he had been forgotten. As an actual passenger he had not been visible, and as a commander no need of him had previously been felt.
The Christ of the Jesus of 1900 years ago is present even though quiescent, in the deep background of every soul today. He is no mere historic character or supernatural visitant from a far-away heaven, but the normal and present divinity, always and everyday "on board." He is waiting to be awakened. Bless the psychic storm which alarms the crew, for nothing less than its buffeting would serve the purpose. The tempest is neither evil nor in vain.
Put the divine ego in command and let him remain on deck. Then though the winds shriek and the billows surge mountain high, order and discipline will prevail, and the noble vessel will keep an even keel and make good progress. In spite of the stress of psychical storm and physical tempest the soul-craft will triumphantly ride the waves, and in due time reach the desired haven.