LIFE CAN be looked at from two points of view: from the
point of view which sees the outline and from the point
of view which sees the detail. With the point of view by
which one sees the general outline of life one soars upwards
continually and one attains to the knowledge of life's synthesis.
This is the view of life of the one who is looking from
the top of a high mountain. As to the one who sees into
life's details, naturally his horizon becomes smaller, his
outlook narrower. He makes the analysis of life and so becomes
acquainted with the details of life.
The former point of view gives insight into a wider horizon
and lifts the consciousness to a higher realization, whereas
the latter point of view gives knowledge in the details
of life, which one calls learning. Therefore learning is
one thing, knowing is another thing. Learning without knowing
is incomplete knowledge, knowing without learning is not
satisfactory either. The knower can best explain his knowledge
if he has learning.
The mystics of all ages have raised their consciousness
to view the outline of life in the wide horizon and have
felt upliftment being raised high above all the miseries
of life. Those who have ever reached that stage of consciousness
have only reached it by right meditation under the guidance
of masters of spiritual culture.
In these modern times people consider an intellectual
life or a life of manual labor a normal life. A practical
man is considered a man of common sense, and common sense
reaches no further than its limited boundaries. A practical
man is the one who knows best how to guard his material
interests in the continual struggle of life. Common sense
sees no further than it sees. Many call it positivism only
to believe in all that proves to be realistic to our higher
senses and in all that can be perceived, felt and experienced
by our mind.
For this reason, in spite of great and unceasing progress
in the material world, we have closed the doors to another
world of progress, a progress that can only be made by opening
the doors to the deeper side of life. Man, by his form and
features, by his physical construction, looks at one side
and covers the other side with his own self. Man sees before
him, but not behind him. As he is made so by nature and
it happens to be his nature, he therefore cannot look into
the deeper side while absorbed in the life on the surface.
Since there is faith these days, but absence of inner
life, there seems to be a greater need of the inner life
than there has ever been before. It is the head quality
which is developed and it is the heart quality which needs
to be developed in order to bring balance in life. Life,
so balanced, is then prepared for the inner culture or spiritual
life. Many consider sentiment something quite unimportant,
something that should be kept aside from the central theme
of life today which is intellectuality. No one who has given
a thought to the deeper side of life will deny for one moment
the power and inspiration that manifest themselves once
the heart is kindled. A person with heart quality need not
be simple, he need not discard intellect; only the heart
quality produces that perfume in the intellect which is
as fragrance in a flower. Morals learned from logic are
dry morals, a fruit without juice, a flower without fragrance.
It is the heart quality that as a course of nature produces
virtues which no one can teach; a loving person, a person
with sympathy in his heart, teaches morals through himself.
It is the balance of mind and heart, or the balance of thought
and feeling that makes the ground ready for sowing the seed
of the inner life.
There are three steps which one must take in order to
come to spiritual life.
The first step is knowledge of the nature and character
of man. A seeker takes his first step in the path of truth
when he is able to understand his fellow man fully and when
he is able to find the solution to his problems.
The next step is to have insight into the nature of things
and beings, to understand cause and effect and to be able
to find the cause of the cause and the effect of the effect,
to be able to see the reason of the reason and the logic
of the logic. When a person is able to see the good of the
bad and the bad side of the good, and when he is able to
see the wrong side of the right and the right of the wrong,
then he has taken the next step on the spiritual path.
The third step is to rise above the pains and pleasures
of life, to be in the world and not of the world, to live
and not to live at the same time. Such a one becomes a living
dead person, in other words: a dead person living for ever.
Immortality is not to be sought in the hereafter; if it
is ever gained it is gained in one's lifetime. In this third
stage of development one is able to attain happiness, power,
knowledge, life and peace within oneself, independently
of all things outside.
The spiritual knowledge which has always been sought
by the wakened souls will always be sought by them. In ancient
times the seekers looked for a guide on this path, the guide
who initiated them into the mysteries of the deeper side
of life, and once the secret was revealed it no longer remained
a mystery for them. The man who is not yet awakened to the
inner side of life has not experienced life fully. He has
only seen one side of life, perhaps the more interesting
side, but the less real. The one who has experienced both
sides of life, the outer and the inner, has certainly fulfilled
the purpose of his life on earth.