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Do the Will and Ye Shall Know

How futile are all arguments and contentions where there is no illumination, no first-hand knowledge. The mediocre standard of relationship between man and men, nation and nation, notwithstanding a contrary appearance of trust and amiability, are based on very uncertain foundations, there is underneath this complacent exterior attitude an undercurrent of suspicion and distrust, which only awaits some contravention of national opinion or right, to burst out into active antagonism and conflict. And so it is with the ordinary man, his relation to his fellows is, as a rule, one which has for its foundation, rights which he considers his own, and his actions are swayed by the motive of preserving or confirming the possession of these rights. An ordinary man is thus an individual who has in his constitution a factor, which, at all times, or at any moment when adverse conditions arise (that is, adverse to his own particular object), may prove a fruitful source of discord and difference. This is the state of most ordinary people, and here the statement:—He that doeth the will—He that liveth the life shall know of the doctrine: has its practical bearing. There is not enough humility in man's constitution, he does not study to "know himself," hence his pride, arrogance and self-complacency. He makes much of "opinions" "ideas" and "disputations," and loses sight of the fact that "No man liveth unto himself." The great need of men is a true knowledge of the purpose of life; not their own superficial, separate purpose, but the basic, internal unanimous purpose of the whole humanity. The doctrine reveals this purpose, when this knowledge is reached a man not only finds his relation to his nation, community, family and associations clearly indicated, but he also discovers his true relation to humanity and to the Universe. ln gaining this true knowledge of the Purpose of Life, he also comes to recognizing the rights of others, and to understand that all are working with an essentially common aim. Thus the causes of difference disappear and he becomes a harmonious instead of a discordant note in the scheme of things. This true knowledge of the Purpose of Life cannot be theoretical, theory is not knowledge, no real guidance can be found in opinions: seeing that at best, they are but passing mental states, beginning probably from wrong or personally colored conceptions, their effect cannot be permanent, they cannot reach the true center of action, the Inner Knowing Man. If this were fully realized, there would be less talk, a greater love of Silence, and a more determined advance on the path of doing—the only path that leads to true knowledge. A true mental stability can only come from the shining out of Inner Truth, and this may be called conviction.

To know of the doctrine implies having reached certitude,—the result of the right performance of action—the ordering of life on cleanly, selfless and courageously altruistic lines. It implies a life dominated by Love. When this is done the affinities and tendencies which go to make up the selfish, personal man, crumble and fall away, and the Inner Truth begins to shine out. Then is revealed the Purpose of Life—the Unity in essence of all beings, and the realization of this.

This truth has an intensely practical bearing to the ordinary man, in that when this life has been entered upon, at a comparatively early stage new light is thrown upon things and events: one’s vision is clarified: all that before seemed offensive, all that had an odor of injustice, whatever appeared unnecessary, are now seen to be essential parts of a great scheme. There is no more cynical criticism, no more rebellion. The man begins to realize that he has opportunities in his own life of conforming to this Divine scheme, lifting his fellows and truly progressing himself. All his former personal considerations which made life so seemingly livable and happiness so elusive, now gradually vanish or are estimated at their true value, and from this estimation comes a regard for the rights and happiness of others, a power to stand alone, an ability to do something for the real good of mankind. The immediate task, then, is to "Do the Will,"—man’s first step towards helping humanity—and towards the attainment of inward Peace and "Divine Union."

And out of this tranquility shall rise
The end and healing of his earthly pains,
Since the will governed sets the soul at peace.
The soul of the ungoverned is not his.
Nor hath he knowledge of himself; which lacked,
How grows serenity? and, wanting that,
Whence shall he hope for happiness?

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Arthur E. Massey

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