One of the greatest difficulties which the truth-seeker experiences on his upward path is the overcoming of dislikes. We can easily increase our love for those who are already dear to us, but we find it a very difficult task to lose sight of the wrongs done to us by our so-called enemies. We are also apt to look down on those who are undeveloped, and whose way of living repels us.
But if we do not rid ourselves of these thoughts we cannot find the right path.
One will find it a great help and very comforting to imagine everybody as a living light differing in degree of brightness, for if we study our artificial lights and their sources, and compare with them the evolution of the human mind, we shall detect a close resemblance between the two.
The earliest light used by our forefathers was the burning chip of pine-wood; then the candle, the wax-light, and different kinds of oil lamps came into use; and in the last century the petroleum, gas, and electrical lights followed each other in quick succession; and now we are just learning of a still greater one—radium.
The burning chip of pine-wood resembles a person who cannot radiate until he receives some small measure of light from another. So far as he receives and profits by instruction he serves a good purpose. The more steady oil lamps are those who have a greater capacity for light, and are of greater service. The candle or wax-light is a person who, receiving the light from without, gives it back, though it is somewhat unsteady. The petroleum lamp resembles a man who has the ability to radiate a good steady light and only needs a little help from without. So it is with the man symbolized by the gas, whose inner source is better furnished with light-producing material, but who also needs assistance, though little, from without.
We now come to the electrical light, which is the highest light at present known; it represents the thinking class who get their light from within, from the great inexhaustible Eternal Source. Now when we claim to belong to this latter class we must not forget that there is a greater light coming—radium, which is still a mystery to most of us, but we must remember that we must become that light, the Truth, and knowing that there are greater lights, brighter, purer, and more glorious, we shall become meek and calm and shall no more look down on others but overcome our dislikes. We do not dislike any of our artificial lights; we are still using them in our daily life, from the burning crackling pine-wood in our fireplace, near which we love to sit and gaze into its light, and from the modest taper and oil lamp, up to the glittering, bright electrical chandelier of the drawing-room—they all dispel the darkness.
Where again can we draw a line and say: This or that system of light is the best? Are there not also different strengths of light in electricity even, and does not many a gas light or a petroleum-lamp outshine a poor little electrical one?
Knowing this, let us see the deep Truth of Henry Wood's words about so-called Evil. "Evil is the aspect presented by any definite stage of development or evolution, as seen from a plane more advanced." Let us call no one evil, and judge no one, remembering that if anybody should try to harm us and we retaliate, dark clouds will surround our light, lessening its brightness, and that it will take some considerable time to restore it to its former power, and thus we will have lost time and wasted our energy which we could better have used for increasing the brilliancy of our own light. On the other hand, if we dwell in thought upon the true Divine Self of our adversary, we not only increase the brightness of our own light, but we also—as Good is always stronger than Evil—strengthen our brother's light, and thus instead of lowering ourselves to the level of the man who wants to harm us, we are not only climbing higher ourselves, but are also raising our brother and sister up to greater heights. We shall then see how foolish it is to look down upon or despise anybody or anything. The Sun of Truth is always within every one, though hidden by many clouds perhaps, but some day the clouds of sin and ignorance will be cleared away, and the bright glorious light will shine forth, and warm and illuminate all who come near it.