"We cannot lose anything by the Progress of the Soul."
The soul's possessions are real and everlasting. The soul's expectations shall not be disappointed.
There can hardly be a doubt in any mind that there is much more in existence than simply sleeping and waking and eating and drinking, and turning Nature's products into material for physical sustenance.
The round of daily human life is narrow and unsatisfactory, and the range of human thought is apt to be limited by the physical environments and the relationship they seem to hold to our own appetites and desires—to our own physical existence and well-being.
The mind may become so bound by these immediate physical demands that an individual may live through days and days without once looking beyond what we term the utilities of life; the human mind becomes so engrossed with the simple struggle for uttered by any human voice—but that it lies behind all manifestation of being.
He learns that only as he turns away from traditions and customs and creeds and societies, and the authority of man, can he advance towards that which the soul yearneth after.
If a man should pin his faith in happiness upon some particular cloud-form he would find himself continually bereft. But he has learned to look upon the shifting clouds, the opening and fading of flowers, all the transient and beautiful forms of nature, simply as fleeting expressions of a life—force or principle of Intelligence that lies behind this outward change, and which is permanent and sure.
There will come a time in the soul's unfoldment when it will recognize that to place one's hope of happiness upon any individual thing or person, is like placing one's hope of happiness upon being able to hold unchanged some billowy drift of cloud.
In reality the one is as fleeting as the other, and behind each transient form or expression lies the same divine essence—the same Eternal Principle.
The only happiness which does not perish, the only peace that does not end in pain, is to be found as one relinquishes these outward fleeting forms, as one gives up the shadow for the substance, and places his feet upon the Everlasting.
Man, in his intellectual and spiritual development, holds a certain relationship to childhood. He sees quite plainly that the child's occupations are but play, that its griefs and pains and disappointments, its loves and hates, are trivial, and that to a wiser mind they have no reality.
So to those who have risen into the Higher Life, man's occupations and pains and griefs and disappointments and pleasures seem as do the child's to the man.
Take comfort then from this—that man rises continually, and that each step of the ascent leaves behind some limitation of vision or understanding that seemed to hurt his life; that we are all travelling away from sorrow and pain and weakness towards completeness, towards happiness and strength and freedom, and that in this journey the soul loses nothing.
As the child grows into manhood you recognize that it grows away from childish limitations in many ways and that its growth is not a losing but a gaining—and thus it is with man in his journey towards his soul's complete inheritance.
"We need not fear that we can lose anything by the progress of the soul."
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead,
From joy to joy.