Comfort ye! The heights of Blessed Vision ye shall reach.
Eolaus: I know that sorrow follows passion; know that grief and emptiness, and heartaches wait Upon all earthly joys; so am I sad; Yet Truth must be, and being, can be found; And though I am in sorrow, this I know— I shall be glad when I have found the Truth.
Prophet: There is no gladness like the joy of Truth. The pure in heart swim in a sea of bliss that evermore no sorrow knows, nor pain; for who can see the Cosmos and be sad? To know is to be happy; they who have attained Perfection; these are they who live, and know, and realize the Truth.
He findeth Truth who findeth self-control.
Not in any of the three worlds can the soul find lasting satisfaction, apart from the realization of righteousness.
Every soul, consciously or unconsciously, hungers for righteousness, and every soul seeks to gratify that hunger in its own particular way, and in accordance with its own particular state of knowledge. The hunger is one, and the righteousness is one, but the pathways by which righteousness is sought are many. They who seek consciously are blessed, and shall shortly find that final and permanent satisfaction of soul which righteousness alone can give, for they have come into a knowledge of the true path. They who seek unconsciously, although for a time they may bathe in a sea of pleasure, are not blessed, for they are carving out for themselves pathways of suffering, over which they must walk with torn and wounded feet, and the soul will cry out for its lost heritage— the eternal heritage of the righteous.
Blessed are they who earnestly and intelligently seek.
Glorious, radiant, free, detached from the tyranny of self!
The journey to the Kingdom may be a long and tedious one, or it maybe short and rapid. It may occupy a minute, or it may take a thousand ages. Everything depends on the faith and belief of the searcher. The majority cannot "enter in because of their unbelief"; for how can men realize righteousness when they do not believe in it, nor in the possibility of its accomplishment? Neither is it necessary to leave the outer world and ones duties therein. Nay, it can only be found through the unselfish performance of one’s duty. But all who believe, and aspire to achieve, will sooner or later arrive at victory, if, amid all their worldly duties, they faint not, nor lose sight of the Ideal Goodness, and continue, with unshaken resolve, to press on to Perfection."
The outward life harmonizes itself with the inward music.
The regulation and purification of conduct.
The whole journey from the Kingdom of Strife to the Kingdom of Love resolves itself into a process which may be summed up in the following words: the regulation and purification of conduct. Such a process must, if assiduously pursued, necessarily lead to perfection. It will also be seen that as the man obtains the mastery over certain forces within himself, he arrives at a knowledge of all the laws which operate in the realm of all these forces, and by watching the ceaseless working of cause and effect within himself, until he understands it, he then understands it in its universal adjustments in the body of humanity.
The process is also one of simplification of the mind, a sifting away of all but the essential gold in character.
He lives no longer for himself, he lives for others: and so living, he enjoys the highest bliss, the deepest peace.
Apart from the earnest striving to live out the teachings of Jesus there can be no true life.
A good man is the flower of humanity, and to daily grow purer, nobler, more Godlike, by overcoming some selfish tendency, is to be continually drawing nearer to the Divine Heart. “He that would be my disciple, let him deny himself daily," is a statement which none can misunderstand or misapply, howsoever he may ignore it. Nowhere in the universe is there any substitute for Goodness; and until a man has this, he has nothing worthy or enduring. To the possession of Goodness there is only one way, and that is, to give up all and everything that is opposed to Goodness. Every selfish desire must be eradicated; every impure thought must be yielded up; every clinging to opinion must be sacrificed; and it is in the doing of this that constitutes the following of Christ.
That which is above all creeds, beliefs, and opinions is a loving and self-sacrificing heart.
To dwell in love always and towards all is to live the true life, is to have Life itself.
Jesus so lived, and all men may so live, if they will humbly and faithfully carry out His precepts. So long as they refuse to do this, clinging to their desires, passions, and opinions, they cannot be ranked as His disciples; they are the disciples of self. “Verily, verily, I say unto you: whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” is the searching declaration of Jesus. Let men cease to delude themselves with the belief that they can retain their bad tempers, their lusts, their harsh words and judgments, their personal hatreds, their petty contentions and darling opinions, and yet have Christ. All that divides man from man, and man from Goodness, is not of Christ, for Christ is Love.
Sin and Christ cannot dwell together, and he who accepts the Christ-life of pure Goodness ceases from sin.
When Christ is disputed about, Christ is lost.
It is no less selfish and sinful to cling to opinion than to cling to impure desire. Knowing this, the good man gives up himself unreservedly to the Spirit of Love, and dwells in Love towards all, contending with none, condemning none, hating none, but loving all, seeing behind their opinions, their creeds, and their sins, into their striving, suffering, and sorrowing hearts. "He that loveth his life shall lose it." Eternal life belongs to him who will obediently relinquish his petty, narrowing, sin-loving, strife-producing personal self, for only by so doing can he enter into the large, beautiful, free, and glorious life of abounding Love. Herein is the Path of Life; for the Straight Gate is the Gate of Goodness.
The narrow way is the Way of Renunciation, or self- sacrifice.
A man can learn nothing unless he regards himself as a learner.
How am I acting towards others? "What am I doing for others?" "How am I thinking of others?"
"Are my thoughts of, and acts towards others, prompted by unselfish love, as I would theirs should be to me; or are they the outcome of personal dislike, of petty revenge, or of narrow bigotry and condemnation?" As a man, in the sacred silence of his soul, asks himself these searching questions, applying all his thoughts and acts to the spirit of the primary precept of the Christ, his understanding will become illuminated, so that he will unerringly see where he has hitherto failed; and he will see what he has got to do in rectifying his heart and conduct, and the way in which it is to be done.
Evil is not worth resisting. The practice of the good is supremely excellent.
Personal antipathies, however natural they may be to the animal man, can have no place in the divine life.
Whilst a man is engaged in resisting evil, he is not only not practicing the good, he is actually involved in the like passion and prejudice which he condemns in another; and as a direct result of his attitude of mind, he himself is resisted by others as evil. Resist a man, a party, a religion, a government, as evil, and you yourself will be resisted as evil. He who considers it as a great evil that he should be persecuted and condemned, let him cease to persecute and condemn. Let him turn away from all that he has hitherto regarded as evil, and begin to look for the good. So deep and far-reaching is this precept that the practice of it will fake a man far up the heights of spiritual knowledge and attainment.
He who will keep the precepts of Jesus will conquer himself, and will become divinely illuminated.
Humanity is essentially divine.
So long has man dwelt in the habitations of sin that he has at last come to regard himself as native to it, and as being cut off from the Divine Source, which he believes to be outside and away from him. Man is primarily a spiritual being, and as such, is of the nature and substance of the Eternal Spirit, the Unchangeable Reality, which men call God. Goodness, not sin, is his rightful condition; perfection, not imperfection, is his heritage, and this a man may enter into and realize now if he will grant the condition, which is the denial or abandonment of self, that is, of his feverish desires, his proud will, his egotism and self-seeking—all that which St. Paul calls the "natural man."
Jesus, in His divine goodness, knew the human heart, and He knew that it was good.
He who would find how good at heart men are, let him throw away all his ideas and suspicions about the "evil" in others, and find and practice the good within himself.
Man has within him the divine power by which he can rise to the highest heights of spiritual achievement; by which he can shake off sin and shame and sorrow, and do the will of the Father, the Supreme Good; by which he can conquer all the powers of darkness within, and stand radiant and free; by which he can subdue the world, and scale the lofty pinnacles of God. This can man, by choice, by resolve, and by his divine strength, accomplish; but he can only accomplish it in and by obedience; he must choose meekness and lowliness of heart; he must abandon strife for peace; passion for purity; hatred for love; self-seeking for self-sacrifice, and must overcome evil with good.
This is the holy way of Truth; this is the safe and abiding salvation; this is the yoke and burden of the Christ.
The Gospel of Jesus is a Gospel of living and doing.
That Jesus was meek, and lowly, and loving, and compassionate, and pure is very beautiful, but it is not sufficient; it is necessary that you also should be meek, and lowly, and loving, and compassionate, and pure. That Jesus subordinated His own will to the will of the Father, it is inspiring to know, but it is not sufficient; it is necessary that you, too, should likewise subordinate your will to that of the overruling Good. The grace and beauty and goodness that were in Jesus can be of no value to you, cannot be understood by you, unless they are also in you, and they can never be in you until you practice them, for, apart from doing, the qualities which constitute Goodness do not, as far as you are concerned, exist.
Pure Goodness is religion, and outside it there is no religion.
They are the doers of the Father’s will who shape their conduct to the Divine precepts.
To us and to all there is no sufficiency, no blessedness, no peace to be derived from the goodness of another, not even the goodness of God; not until the goodness is done by us, not until it is, by constant effort, incorporated into our being, can we know and possess its blessedness and peace. Therefore, thou who adorest Jesus for His divine qualities, practice those qualities thyself, and thou too shall be divine.
The teaching of Jesus brings men back to the simple truth that righteousness, or right-doing, is entirely a matter of individual conduct, and not a mystical something apart from a man’s thoughts and actions, and that each must be righteous for himself; each must be a doer of the word, and it is a man’s own doing that brings him peace and gladness of heart, not the doing of another.
It is only the doer of forgiveness who tastes the sweets of forgiveness.
The Christ is the Spirit of Love.
When Jesus said, "Without Me ye can I do nothing," He spoke not of His perishable form, but of the Universal Spirit of Love, of which His conduct was a perfect manifestation; and this utterance of His is the statement of a simple truth; for the works of men are vain and worthless when they are done for personal ends, and he himself remains a perishable being, immersed in darkness and fearing death, so long as he lives in his personal gratifications. The animal in man can never respond to and know the divine; only the divine can respond to the divine. The spirit of hatred in man can never vibrate in unison with the Spirit of Love; Love only can apprehend Love, and become linked with it. Man is divine; man is of the substance of Love; this he may realize if he will relinquish the impure, personal elements which he has hitherto been blindly following, and will fly to the impersonal Realities of the Christ Spirit.
In this Principle of Love, all knowledge, Intelligence, and Wisdom are contained.
Love is not complete until it is lived by man.
Every precept of Jesus demands the unconditional sacrifice of some selfish, personal element, before it can be carried out. Man cannot know the Real whilst he clings to the unreal; he cannot do the work of Truth whilst he clings to error. Whilst a man cherishes lust, hatred, pride, vanity, sell-indulgence, covetousness, he can do nothing, for the works of all these sinful elements are unreal and perishable. Only when he takes refuge in the Spirit of Love within, and becomes patient, gentle, pure, pitiful, and forgiving, does he the works of Righteousness, and bears the fruits of Life. The vine is not a vine without its branches, and even then it is not complete until those branches bear fruit.
Daily practicing love towards all in heart and mind and deed, harboring no injurious or impure thoughts, he discovers the imperishable Principles of his being.
Man’s only refuge from sin is sinless Love.
Before a man can know Love as the abiding reality within him, he must utterly abandon all those human tendencies which frustrate us perfect manifestation.
A man can only consciously ally himself to the Vine of Love by deserting all strife, and hatred, and condemnation, and impurity, and pride, and self-seeking, and by thinking and doing loving deeds. By so doing he awakens within him the divine nature which he has heretofore been crucifying and denying. Every time a man gives way to anger, impatience, greed, pride, vanity, or any form of personal selfishness, he denies the Christ; he shuts himself out from Love. And thus only is Christ denied, and not by refusing to adopt a formulated creed. Christ is only known to him who by constant striving has converted himself from a sinful to a pure being, who by noble, moral effort has succeeded in relinquishing that perishable self, which is the source of all suffering and sorrow and unrest, and has become rational, gentle, peaceful, loving, and pure.
Such glorious realization is the crown of evolution, the supreme aim of existence.
As self is the root cause of all strife and suffering, so Love is the root cause of all peace and bliss.
Those who are at rest in the Kingdom do not look for happiness in any outward possession. They see that all such possessions are mere transient effects that come when they are required, and, after their purpose is served, pass away. They never think of these things (money, clothing, food, etc.) except as mere accessories and effects of the true Life. They are, therefore, freed from all anxiety and trouble, and, resting in Love, they are the embodiment of Happiness. Standing upon the imperishable Principles of Purity, Compassion, Wisdom, and Love, they are immortal, and know they are immortal; they are one with God, the Supreme Good, and know they are one with God. Seeing the realities of things, they can find no room anywhere for condemnation.
All men are essentially divine, though unaware of their divine nature.
All so-called evil is seen to be rooted in ignorance.
Let it not be supposed that the children of the Kingdom live in ease and indolence (these two sins are the first that have to be eradicated when the search for the Kingdom is entered upon); they live in a peaceful activity; in fact, they only truly live, for the life of self, with its train of worries, griefs, and fears, is not real life. They perform all their duties with the most scrupulous diligence, apart from thoughts of self, and employ all their means, as well as powers and faculties, which are greatly intensified, in building up the Kingdom of Righteousness in the hearts of others, and in the world around them. This is their work, first by example, then by precept. They sorrow no more, but live in perpetual gladness, for, though they see the suffering in the world, they also see the final Bliss and the Eternal Refuge.
Whosoever is ready may come now.
Heaven is not a speculative thing beyond the tomb but a real, ever-present Heaven in the heart.
The only salvation recognized and taught by Jesus is salvation from sin, and the effects of sin, here and now; and this must be effected by utterly abandoning sin, which, having done, the Kingdom of God is realized in the heart as a state of perfect knowledge, perfect blessedness, perfect peace.
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God." A man must become a new creature, and how can he become new except by utterly abandoning the old? That man’s last state is worse than his first who imagines that, though still continuing to cling to his old temper, his old opinionativeness, his old vanity, his old selfishness, he is constituted a new creature in some mysterious and unexplainable way by the adoption of some particular theology or religious formula.
Heaven is where Love rules and where peace is never absent.
To the faithful, humble, and true will be revealed the sublime Vision of the Perfect One.
Good news indeed is that message of Jesus which reveals to man His divine possibilities; which says in substance to sin-stricken humanity, "Take up thy bed and walk; which tells man that he need no longer remain the creature of darkness and ignorance and sin, if he will but believe in Goodness, and will watch and strive and conquer until he has actualized in his life the Goodness that is sinless. And in thus believing and overcoming, man has not only the guide of that Perfect Rule which Jesus has embodied in His precepts, he has also the inward Guide, the Spirit of Truth in his own heart, "The Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world," which, as he follows it, will infallibly witness to the divine origin of those precepts.
Realize the perfect Goodness of the Eternal Christ.
The Kingdom of Heaven is perfect trust, perfect knowledge, and perfect peace.
The children of the Kingdom are known by their life. They manifest the fruits of the Spirit—"love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance, self-control "—under all circumstances and vicissitudes. They are entirely free from anger, fear, suspicion, jealousy, caprice, anxiety, and grief. Living in the Righteousness of God, they manifest qualities which are the very reverse of those which obtain in the world, and which are regarded by the world as foolish. They demand no rights; they do not defend themselves; do not retaliate; do good to those who attempt to injure them; manifest the same gentle spirit towards those who oppose and attack them, as towards those who agree with them; do not pass judgment on others; condemn no man and no system, and live at peace with all.
That Kingdom is in the heart of every man and woman.
Find the Kingdom by daily effort and patient work.
The Temple of Righteousness is built, and its four walls are the four Principles—Purity, Wisdom, Compassion, Love. Peace is its roof, its floor is Steadfastness, its entrance door is Selfless Duty, its atmosphere is Inspiration, and its music is the Joy of the perfect. It cannot be shaken, and, being eternal and indestructible, there is no more need to seek protection in taking thought for the things of the morrow. And the Kingdom of Heaven being established in the heart, the obtaining of the material necessities of life is no more considered, for, having found the Highest, all these things are added as effect to cause, the struggle for existence has ceased, and the spiritual, mental, and material needs are daily supplied from the Universal Abundance.
Pay the price...the unconditional abandonment of self.
All things are possible now, and only now.
Now is the reality in which time is contained. It is more and greater than time; it is an ever-present reality. It knows neither past nor future, and is eternally potent and substantial. Live every minute, every day, every year is a dream as soon as it has passed, and exists only as an imperfect and unsubstantial picture in the memory, if it be not entirely obliterated.
Past and future are dreams; now is a reality. All things are now; all power, all possibility, all action is now. Not to act and accomplish now is not to act and accomplish at all. To live in thoughts of what you might have done, or in dreams of what you mean to do, this is folly; but to put away regret, to anchor anticipation, and to do and to work now, this is wisdom.
Man has all power now.
Cease to tread every byway that tempts thy soul into the shadow-land.
Man has all power now; but not knowing this, he says, "I will be perfect next year, or, in so many years, or in so many lives." The dwellers in the Kingdom of God, who live only in the now, say, I am perfect now, and refraining from all sin now, and ceaselessly guarding all the portals of the mind, not looking to the past nor to the future, nor turning to the left or right, they remain eternally holy and blessed. "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Say to yourself, "I will live in my Ideal now; I will be my Ideal now; and all that tempts me away from my Ideal I will not listen to; I will listen only to the voice of my Ideal. "Thus resolving, and thus doing, you shall not depart from the Highest, and shall eternally manifest the Truth.
Manifest thy native and divine strength now.
Be resolute. Be of single purpose. Renew your resolution daily.
In the hour of temptation do not depart from the right path. Avoid excitement. When passions are aroused, restrain and subdue them. When the mind would wander, bring it back to rest on higher things. Do not think—"I can get Truth from the Teacher, or from the books." You can acquire Truth only by practice. The teacher and the books can do no more than give instructions; and you must apply them. Those only who practice faithfully the rules and lessons given, and rely entirely upon their own efforts, will become enlightened. The Truth must be earned. Do not be led away by phenomenal appearances, or seek communications with spirits, or the dead; but attain to virtue, wisdom, and knowledge of the Supreme Law by the practice of Truth. Trust the Teacher; trust the Law; trust the path of Righteousness.
Put away all wavering and doubt, and practice the lessons of wisdom with unlimited faith.
Avoid exaggerations. The Truth is sufficient. Speak only words which are truthful and sincere.
Do not deceive either by word, look, or gesture. Avoid slander as you would a deadly snake, lest you be caught in its toils. He who speaks evil of another cannot find the way of peace. Put away all dissipations of idle gossip. Do not talk about the private affairs of others, or discuss the ways of Society, or criticize the eminent. Do not recriminate, or accuse others of offences, but meet all offences with blameless conduct. Do not condemn those who are not walking in the righteous path, but protect them with compassion, walking the path yourself. Quench the flame of anger with the pure water of Truth. Be modest in your words, and do not utter, or participate in, coarse, frivolous, or unseemly jests.
Gravity and reverence are marks of purity and wisdom. Do not dispute about Truth, but live it.
Abstinence, sobriety, and self-control are good.
Do your duty with the utmost faithfulness, putting away any thought of reward. Let no thought of pleasure or self entice you from your duty. Do not interfere with the duties of others. Be upright in all things. Under the most severe trial, though your happiness and life should seem to be at stake, do not swerve from the right. The man of unconquerable integrity is invincible; he cannot be confounded, and he escapes from the painful mazes of doubt and bewilderment. If one should abuse or accuse, or speak ill of you, remain silent and self-controlled, striving to understand that the wrong-doer cannot injure you unless you retaliate, and allow yourself to be carried away by the same wrong condition of mind. Strive, also, to meet the evil-doer with compassion, seeing how he is injuring himself.
The pure-minded cannot think, "I have been injured by another." They know no enemy but self.
Let your charity increase and extend till self is swallowed up in kindness.
Bear no ill-will. Subdue anger and overcome hatred. Think of all, and act towards all, with the same unalterable kindness and compassion. Do not, under the severest trial, give way to bitterness, or words of resentment; but meet anger with calmness, mockery with patience, and hatred with love. Do not be a partisan, but be a peacemaker. Do not increase division between man and man, or promote strife by taking sides with one party against another, but give equal justice, equal love, and equal goodwill to all. Do not disparage other teachers, other religions, or other schools of thought. Do not set up barriers between rich and poor, employer and employed, governor and governed, master and servant, but be equal-minded towards all, perceiving their several duties. By constantly controlling the mind, subduing bitterness and resentment, and striving to acquire a steadfast kindness, the spirit of goodwill will at last be born.
Be strong, energetic, and steadfast.
Be right-minded, intelligent, and clear-seeing.
Bring reason to bear on all things. Test all things. Be eager to know and understand. Be logical in thought. Be consistent in word and action. Bring the searchlight of knowledge to bear on your condition of mind, in order to simplify it and remove its errors. Question yourself with searching scrutiny. Let go of belief, hearsay, and speculation, and lay hold on knowledge. He who stands upon knowledge acquired by practice is filled with a sublime yet lowly confidence, and is able to speak the word of Truth with power. Master the task of discrimination. Learn to distinguish between good and evil; to perceive the facts of life, and understand them in their relation one to another. Awake the mind to see the orderly sequence of cause and effect in all things, both mental and material. Thus will be revealed the worthlessness of pleasure-seeking and sin, and the glory and gladness of a life of sublime virtue and spotless purity.
Truth is. There is no chaos.
Train your mind to grasp the Great Law of Causation which is unfailing justice.
Then you will see, not with fleshly eyes, but with the pure and single eye of Truth. You will then understand your nature perceiving how, as a mental being, you have evolved through countless ages of experience, how you have risen, through an unbroken line of lives, from low to high, and from high to higher still—how the ever-changing tendencies of the mind have been built up by thought and action—how your deeds have made you what you are. Thus, understanding your own nature, you will understand the nature of all beings, and will dwell always in compassion. You will understand the Great Law, not only universally and in the abstract, but also in its particular application to individuals. Then self will be ended. It will be dispersed like a cloud, and Truth will be all in all.
Find no room for hatred, no room for self, no room for sorrow.
Be self-reliant, but let thy self-reliance be saintly and not selfish.
Folly and wisdom, weakness and strength, are within a man, and not in any external thing, neither do they spring from any external cause. A man cannot be strong for another, he can only be strong for himself; he cannot overcome for another, he can only overcome for himself. You may learn of another, but you must accomplish for yourself. Put away all external props, and rely upon the Truth within you. A creed will not bear a man up in the hour of temptation; he must possess the inward Knowledge which slays temptation. A speculative philosophy will prove a shadowy tiling in the time of calamity; a man must have the inward Wisdom which puts an end to grief. The Unfailing Wisdom is found only by constant practice in pure thinking and well-doing; by harmonizing one's mind and heart to those things which are beautiful, lovable, and true.