He was a wise man who first told the world that the Philosopher's Stone existed, and that it would change the baser metals into pure gold. Like many wise and deep sayings this was also misunderstood. Men searched for this stone but overlooked it because it lay in their own hearts. It goes under the name of Purity, for let a man purify his heart and the world should also become beautiful. Each judges events by his own experience, and therefore as a man who suffers pain sometimes thinks the world as bad as his feelings, so does a man having the sense of beauty think the world as beautiful. "To the pure all things are pure."
To become pure a man should set a watch over his thoughts and actions. If he acts imperfectly he should not be sorrowful but should let the failure act as a spur to prick him on to further victories over self. Failures are sign-posts pointing the way to perfection, and so when others seem to fail in acting rightly with us we should remember that their failures are quite as necessary as ours. The man of a pure and gentle mind regards others as he does himself.
After reading an elevating book one is sometimes apt to think oneself far above others in wisdom and goodness. But true greatness is lowliness, and reading of virtue is not being virtuous. A man may read a thousand books on purity and yet if he does not become pure he is foolish. Happy is he who reads truth and lives it.
However lonely a man may think himself, if he will but cultivate the sense of pure beauty he will never lack friends. Read what Coleridge says:—
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to Love and Beauty.
Amid the populous city the man of Purity and Love finds his friends in passers-by. To watch children playing in parks, and to be a silent listener to their conversation gives him a delight words cannot express. The animals around him, the birds, the trees and flowers are all unchanging friends to him of Purity. If he dwells among human friends he carries out his ideals in the little acts of love which redeem the world. It is in the home-life where Love and Purity should flourish. The every-day meeting and association with other members of the family often cause a carelessness in conduct which makes many homes unhappy. And this should not be. If a man is harsh and unkind at home, where there is such a wide scope for the doing of good or ill, he is impure and ignorant. Without delay let him cast aside such selfishness and with a purified heart become cheerful and gentle. By so doing he will find his own life, and by his example will help others to tread the Perfect Path.
To attain to Purity there is no need to develop the mysterious gifts of clairvoyance, mind-reading, etc. lf for the sum of one penny I can send four ounces of messages; to anyone in the United Kingdom, why should I waste precious hours trying to send a message by telepathy, which is not so reliable a form of transmission as letter writing? For in the search after that which piques curiosity one is apt to depart from the search for the Kingdom of God which consists of Purity and Humility. Some are anxious to know the state of those dead, and so blind do they become that they often accept without question accounts of occurrences said to take place after death. The man of Purity forgoes this idle speculation, and in the peacefulness of his heart is quite content to rest until death claims him, when he may be able to know what is and what is not. There is so much to be done amongst the living that there ought to be no leisure for communication with the dead.
Purity and Love never fail, and Love is the anchor of the soul. Whatever doubts may arise let a man embrace this ever-enduring virtue and he shall be anchored firmly in the ocean of peace, and having found rest himself is able to serve others in life's pilgrimage.