In an age of hurry and bustle, aggravated by the stress and strain of War, what an uplifting influence is exercised by one who has learned the secret of Tranquility of soul! Such an one cannot but be a source of inspiration to those who are carried by the surging tumult of the world. The spirit of repose which seems to emanate from such blessed ones,—their serenity and Holy calm cannot but induce peace and quietness in those agitated by care. What a wonderful gift it is to be able to move in the world in an atmosphere of peace—to meet difficulties and disappointments with a smiling upturned face which indicates the unruffled spirit within! To be able to go on placidly in spite of the soul killing and ceaseless activity which the majority of men think is necessary. Those who would cultivate Tranquility must follow right principles, and be obedient to the dictum of the Great Teacher who said that His disciples must be in the world but not of it. An old prophet, whose outlook upon life had been influenced by the stillness of the Palestinian hills and deserts once said "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
An old prophet, whose outlook upon life had been influenced by the stillness of the Palestinian hills and deserts once said "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
Never was the message more needed in the world than it is today when all nations are passing through the chastening tire of tribulation. It should be the duty of all to cultivate the spirit of Tranquility, and to seek to lift the heads that are bowed in woe—to heal the bruised and broken hearted—and to encourage and cheer those who are faint. All who have attained to any degree of tranquility should be messengers of Hope and Happiness to their less fortunate fellows.
The cultivation of Quietness depends upon conformance to certain elementary laws, which, in turn depend upon powers of cultivated self-control. Like the beginning of all branches of knowledge the initial stages are essentially simple.
The first qualification is Faith—the simple confidence of a little child—that perfect trust which a child has in its parent, which, though danger may threaten, knows no fear because of the presence of its protector. This faith so simple is the faculty whereby truths most profound are apprehended. He, or she, who aspires to tranquility must exercise a simple unquestioning faith in God as a loving father who is gradually but surely developing a scheme for the perfecting of the Happiness of His children. This exercise will lead to the power of distinguishing between what is merely transient and what is eternal—the difference between the seeming and the real. The quickening of that perceptive faculty which recognizes that "All things work together for good to them that love God." This is the outcome of a cultivated faith which is deepened and intensified by what is perceived thro’ the clarified vision, such faith leads to Hope which is an advance in the way of achievement.
It is well to remember that faith is the heritage of all, because most people have a tendency to lose sight of it in the complexities of the life of the world. Hence, before the average adult can begin the journey, there must be an awakening—a quickening of the dormant faculty, which will rediscover the relationship to God, and will reveal the would be pilgrims utter dependence upon Him. This must involve the turning away from all pursuits which would hinder progress. This does not by any means mean the cultivation of a spirit of narrow-mindedness; but rather the broadening of one’s outlook, so that there can be a fuller appreciation of the wonder and magnitude of the works of God, involving, of course a corresponding increase of real enjoyment. A newly awakened faith leads to a perception of beauty and splendor in the universe hitherto undreamed of, and so begins the habit of contemplation—the recognition, in nature of the handiwork and life of the Eternal. This leads to a stage in the journey where everything will tell of the love of the Father. Where earth and sky, land and sea, sun, moon, and stars, with all things that live and move, are parables full of lessons which inspire with awe and wonder, and an ever increasing love.
The awakening of faith is the quickening of a Divine impulse in man whose activity leads to the consciousness of the wonderful fact that the human spirit is the shrine of the Divine—nay more than that, it is actually part of the Divine if such a phrase be permitted, and as a phrase it is a feeble attempt to express what is ultimately a profound truth—a Truth which in theological language is expressed as the Immanence of God—the indwelling-Spirit. The conception which St. Paul tried to express when he spoke of "Christ in you the Hope of Glory"—The idea which lay behind the words of Christ Himself—"The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." This realization of the Divinity of man is but half the Truth, and of itself cannot bring the Tranquility we all need. With the recognition of the Divine within there must be a response to the Divine without. We must also recognize the Transcendence of God—His Greatness and Independence; His Supremacy and Omnipotence,—and until this is realized there cannot be recognition of God in all. When these conceptions have dawned (The Immanence and Transcendence of God) and their harmony and necessity to one another has become apparent, then achievement of the desired Calmness is not far off. Meditation will have become a soul habit whereby consideration of the wonder of God’s indwelling leads to profounder conceptions of His majesty and grandeur or His Transcendence, and that will in turn influence the conception of His Being in All—-the two aspects being entirely dependent upon each other. We shall find the Eternal quiet, when we find God within, and know Him to be the Almighty one without. Invisible but Real, Indivisible and yet in All, for He is All, unchangeable altho' manifested in so many forms.
Such thoughts will become more profound as the wayfarer progresses in his journey. Deeper, vaster, meanings will be unfolded; and life will be seen to be part of the unfolding of an eternal scheme whose beauty becomes more wonderful as day succeeds day. The mind will be possessed with the knowledge gained, and the fret and anxiety of the world will be unable to cause suffering other than that which is essential to the unfolding of the scheme. Everything that happens will be accepted as a part of that great scheme, for all things will be seen in their true and eternal setting. In the surge and tumult of war, when hatred, vice, and avarice seem to be dominant, the Tranquil pilgrim will go steadfastly on his way hearing in Nature’s harmony words which will find an echo in his heart—"Be still and know that I am God."
Oh what numbers of men and women there are today who are like that ship of long ago tossed about by wind and wave! In the ship there lies One sleeping in peace and rest. He is awakened by the anguish caused by the storm and stress. He stands still serene and calm and speaks to the angry waters—"Peace! be still." And there was a great calm without and within. The care, the anxiety and the fear, were all allayed when the guest was awakened!
Let us yearn for the Living Stillness of the Heart of God—The Eternal Quiet of creations centre—The Tranquility of Soul which, as a lady said to the writer not many days ago, will make us, one and all, a "restful influence to all with whom we come into contact."