Volume IX - The Unity of Religious Ideals
THE SPIRIT OF GUIDANCE
The Spirit of Guidance may be called in other words the divine mind; and as the human mind is completed after its coming on earth, so the divine mind is completed after manifestation. In fact, the Creator's mind is made out of His own creation. The experience of every soul becomes the experience of the divine mind; therefore the divine mind has the knowledge of all beings. It is a storehouse of perfect wisdom. It is the soul of Christ and the spirit of prophecy. Intuition, inspiration, vision, and revelation, all come from the same source whence every kind of revelation comes, and that is the divine mind.
There are some who receive knowledge from the divine mind indirectly, and some who receive it directly. In those souls, which happen to receive the central current of the Spirit of Guidance, the spirit of prophecy is conceived. The messengers of all times, of whom we hear in the histories and traditions of the world, have been souls in whom the central current of the divine light has functioned. In other words, the prophets of all ages have been the reflections of the divine mind on earth. No one has ever seen God, and if evidence of God's existence has ever been manifested, it was in the man who reflected God. Apart from all that the prophets have taught, it was their personality, which proved their prophecy. In their thought, speech, and word they reflected God, which was more than morals, doctrines, and teachings could do.
Every inspired person reflects in his own way some divine spark hidden in his soul, which wins the world. A musician may show his inspiration in music. A poet may show it in his poetry. An artist may show his inspiration in his art. But the central ray of light, which the prophets reflect, falling upon every plane and every aspect of life, makes all things clear to their sight. Therefore the presence of the prophet clears away perplexity from the minds of those who are confused. In his presence a person can feel and think more clearly, even without having spoken to him. Many forget their questions when before a prophet, for the light falling upon their hearts brings them the answer, and they realize that the answer was in themselves, something that they already knew. No doubt both the question and answer are in the soul. The first step of the soul's progress raises questions, and the second step brings the answer. This is why a prophetic soul is also a physician, a scientist, and an artist. A prophetic soul is capable of commerce, industry, and business, and he is qualified in warfare and competent in peacemaking.
The Spirit of Guidance is like the yeast, which is used to make bread, preparing humanity for the purpose for which it was created. The Spirit of Guidance is a plant that grows and blossoms when it meets with response and care; and when it is watered by the rainfall of divine inspiration it blooms in the light of the divine sun. The Spirit of Guidance is the light of God, which may be likened to a lantern that the farmer carries when walking on the farm in the darkness of night. It is like a searchlight, which shows up any object upon which it is thrown; and so when the light of the Spirit of Guidance is thrown upon any aspect of life, man receives a keen insight into it. In the Spirit of Guidance one finds a living God active in the heart of every person.
One who depends upon the Spirit of Guidance to direct his life, is guided rightly. We always have a counsel within, but the one who ignores the existence of the Spirit of Guidance is left alone by it for some time, so that he has to look out for himself. It is like the mother and the dependent child that tries to hold its mother's hand at every step it takes; so the mother's whole attention is drawn to every step of her child. But when the child tries to move about by its own will, and tries to keep away, then the attention of the mother, to some extent, becomes released. This does not mean that the mother entirely gives up the care of the child. It only means that she allows the child to have its own way to some extent, and feels sorry when the child falls and hurts itself. In point of fact, all souls are children of God, but such souls as are conscious of their relationship with God, like that between a child and its parents, certainly deserve to be called children of God. They are especially cared for. They are always guided, because they ask for guidance.
The soul of the prophet, therefore, shows the innocence of a child. Of what is known to the world about Jesus Christ and his life, the most lovable attribute of the Master was his innocence in spite of his perfect wisdom. Certainly he deserves to be called the only-begotten son who has all his life depended for everything that he said or did upon the guidance of God.
Divinity is that aspect of God, which emanates from God and forms itself into the Spirit of Guidance. The Spirit of Guidance may thus be called the heart of God, a heart which is the accumulator of all feelings, impressions, thoughts, memories, and of all knowledge and experience. It is like putting a man at the head of a factory who has been in that factory from the beginning. He has had experiences of all kinds, of the pioneer work and of how things have changed, of the new methods and of the right or wrong results, which have come out of them. All such impressions have thus been collected in that one person.
In this mechanism of the world, all that happens, all that is experienced in the way of thought and feeling, is accumulated. Where? In the heart of God. Divinity is that heart which contains all wisdom and to which all wisdom belongs. The heart of God is the intelligence and the current of guidance in the heart of every man, and therefore it is not disconnected from the heart of man. Indeed, the heart of man is one of the atoms, which form the heart of God.
If people have called Christ divine that is right too. The heart of the Master, which fully reflected the divine heart naturally, showed the sign of divinity. Not understanding this, people made this idea exclusive and incomprehensible, and by this they have taken away the ground from under the feet of the Master. And by this, too, further harm has been done, taking away the worthiness of man who was made to be the representative of God. The Hebrew scriptures say that man was made in the image of God, and the Muslim scripture says that man was made the Khalif of God, which means His representative.
When one says that man was born in sin, that man is on earth and that God is in heaven, one separates man from God; and this takes away the possibility of human perfection of which Christ has said, 'Be ye therefore perfect, as your father which is in heaven is perfect.' That possibility of human perfection is taken away by making the idea of divinity exclusive and remote, and thus depriving man of the bliss of God which was meant for him. That is why disputes have arisen among the followers of different religions, each of them thinking their teacher to be the only teacher. For that reason wars have taken place in all ages, and people have disagreed with one another. People from one community have called the others heathen, depriving themselves of the bliss, which constantly is, which was, and which always will be.
In reality the Spirit of Guidance may be pictured as one thread; and all the great masters of humanity are like the beads on that thread: one spirit and many individualities; one soul and many personalities; one wisdom and many teachers who have expounded wisdom according to their own personality. But at the same time, wisdom always being one they cannot be compared with different scientists. For scientists when they have discovered something new say they have made a new discovery; but the prophets have never said that they had made a new discovery. They have always said, 'What those who came before me perceived I perceive, and those who come after thousands of years will perceive the same.' Yet in spite of that it is always new, for every moment has its new joy. As Hafiz says, 'Sing, my soul, a new song that every new moment inspires in you.'
Once the soul awakens, it begins to see that truth is always new and renews the soul, giving it perpetual youth. When one finds differences between the teachers of humanity, these are only in the lives they lived. But no matter what their life was, whether they were kings or faqirs, whether they walked or rode on an elephant's back whether they were on a throne or in mountain caves or in deserts, they all had the same experience: realization. They might appear to be comfortable and rejoicing, but they heard the same note which others heard in tortures. Those who were kings such as Solomon and David, and those who were sages such as Krishna and Buddha, all these different souls had the same realization, the same philosophy. There could never be an argument if they were all to meet. But they are not meant to meet because they are all one. It was the Spirit of Guidance, which manifested through all these different names and forms.
When one looks at this subject from a metaphysical point of view, one observes that light has three principal currents: one current that takes the central line and shoots out, one current that goes to the right, and a third one that goes to the left. It is these three currents which are the secret of what is called Trinity, and by this threefold aspect the mystery of manifestation can be interpreted.
The current of the Spirit of Guidance, which runs to the right, is significant of power; that is why those who came under that current were called masters. The characteristic of such a soul is power. He is one who conquers himself, who contends with circumstances, struggles with life, and rises above conflicts.
The story of Daniel in the lions' den is the picture of the master: of the magnetism, power, and peace that make lions tame. The same power spreads and in time makes all hard things soft. The master therefore is a living power. His power of mind, of feeling, of heart, of spirit has its influence on all living beings, things, and objects to what extent, the human mind cannot imagine.
The other current, which runs to the left, is the sign of the saintly inspiration; of that passive character which has the desire to serve, an overflowing sympathy, a tender heart, widespread compassion, continual forgiveness, a gentle manner, a constant self-sacrifice, and perpetual renunciation.
And the central current, which is prophetic, is both, the
power of the master and the wisdom of the saint. Such a character
has been directed to go into the world, to the crowd, to endure
the coarse vibrations of men, to go through all the experiences
of life and yet to retain that fineness, delicacy, and tenderness
which keep the soul close to God and in communication with the
Spirit of Guidance, which ever-flows and manifests in the form
of the message.