After reading about the arrangement in creation-that agents and subsidiary powers from the Greatest down to the least, rule the lower activities of life with which we are acquainted—one naturally wonders WHERE and. HOW can one contact the Supreme Father, the Creator of all? Where can He be found?
Since man is a microfilm of everything there is, created and uncreated, then all these powers and principalities are also within him. We have within ourselves the faculties of mind powers, emotional ener-gies and physical forces, which are our administrative representatives for the expression of the soul in creation through our bodies—fine and gross. The same quali-ties as are in the universe are also in us.
Which do we want to use and why? Which energy or principal quality do we tune into daily? And how can we learn to do this consciously and intelligently in the first place ? Where are our main interests ? Where is our heart's desire? When we take time to ascertain those things which we wish for, and desire most, and long to obtain and possess, or to fulfill our longings, then our primary motive in life stands out clearly be-fore us as the root of thoughts, wishes and deeds, and indicates to us the direction in which we are going.
Each soul could and should ask himself daily, "Whither goest thou, 0 soul, 0 mind, 0 desire and action ?" From whence do the energy breezes blow, on whose currents we are sailing? Is it from self, for selfish gain and pleasure? or is it from the heights of Love, Devotion and Service which lead to God-Reali-zation? Then and then only is it apparent in whose dominion we like to dwell, where we enjoy ourselves most, and where we actually abide—consciously or unconsciously—day and night.
What soul longs for conscious union with God, the Essence of Love, Kindness, Truth and Humility, night and day; and , sheds silent tears in this longing throughout the night and in the early morning hours ? Only Saints and True Mystics constantly dwell on God and in God, through love and devotion to Him at all times, in every thought, word and deed. Even one breath, without the consciousness of the Beloved God, is truly non-existence and unconscious darkness in matter. Material wealth is of no comfort or solace to the True Mystics.
To the Mystic, God is all in all. He sees Him everywhere as the heart and goodness in all things and beings. The True Mystic performs his dai-ly duties with his hands and feet, but His consciousness always dwells in the Reality and He sees with the One eye of Love and deep understanding.
In that Inner Region of True Devotion, True Humility and Selflessness, only God resides; for those who have reached that stage are ONE with Him. Good-will and kindness, in fact, Infinite Mercy and Grace, flow out of such a fountain of Reality more easily and naturally than from a bubbling spring. These are the Real Waters of Life and the Stream is referred to in the Mystic Writings as the Holy Shabd, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost (REV. 22 :-1) , the Comforter,. the Never-failing Spring (IsA. 58 : 11), Oil of joy and Comfort (IsA. 61 : 3), Breath (or Wind) Reviving (EZEK. 37 : 5, 9, 10), Well of Living Waters, .the Water of the Holy Spirit (JOHN 4 : 5-27), Rivers of Living Water (Ps. 1 : 3, 16 : 4; IsA. 41 : 18; JOHN 7 38, 39), etc.
When living the True Mystic Way, no effort what-soever is required in order to be good or righteous, as that happens automatically when one is devoted to Him to the extent of being ONE with Him in Spirit. How-ever, the ego or the self, like a child, needs to be praised and encouraged until it can be properly tuned in to the wavelength of that Reality where the ego is not.
For souls who wish to tune in on this wavelength, ,the Holy Shabd, the Supreme Father provides the True Mystics or True Masters in human form. These Great Masters deign to incarnate in a human body for the very purpose of connecting the souls of those who wish to return Home, to this very Sound Current which will lead them and carry them; the Master Himself being an Incarnation of God and the Current which leads the soul back to Him.
In the Mystic's life, God does everything. The Mystic stands by and listens to the heavenly music within, and keeps tuned in, much the same as we listen to a radio playing in the background while carrying on our work; but with all our attention when not other-wise occupied. So also with the Holy Shabd. The Saints say, "the better the tuning, the better the recep-tion."
Once we have been properly connected by a True Master, it is up to our attention to do the tuning. And when the attention is properly tuned in, then the static of the mind and senses is automatically eliminated. Also, as with the radio, if there is some defect, it must be re-paired before the reception is satisfactory, no matter how loud and clear the broadcast may be at the source. These defects symbolize the karmic conditions with which we have covered the soul through our own thoughts, words and deeds, and which must be cleared before we can hear the Holy Shabd within.
When the radio is beyond repair, or we wish to have one of better quality for still better reception until one actually feels as though one is at the very source of the broadcast, we obtain a new one of the quality desired. The human body is the top quality equipment, and we have it right here and now, with which to get perfect reception and on which to travel Home, if we but find a True Master to connect us, and then, through devotion, tune in accordingly.
The Saint lives as simply as a child. He is utterly unconscious of His virtues. While He actually toils day and night in God's Vineyard, He claims that He of Himself does nothing, but that His Beloved does everything for Him. So completely is He One with God in His Consciousness ! (JOHN 5 : 19—20; JOHN 8 : 16; JOHN 10 : 30; JOHN 14 : 10—11, JOHN 17 : 21, 22 , etc.)
Such simplicity of faith, love and humility is the very keystone of righteousness referred to in the Bible, in the life of the Patriarch Abraham. That is how he walked and talked with God. Only such selfless deeds of utter surrender and devotion are acceptable to our Heavenly Father, and they are all accredited to the devotee as Righteousness. Whether with or without creed or religion; circumcision or uncircumcision; with or without temples or forms of ceremonies ; this TRUTH remains the same in all creation.
The Commandments are good, the Sermon on the Mount is excellent, all religions are good. They are all rules of conduct and teach us to lead an honest and up-right life, which is most essential before one can even begin to think of ascending beyond the realms of Kal or Satan. Yet, without the guidance and protection of a True living Master, we cannot even succeed in perma-nently living an honest and upright life in this world, much less accomplish anything spiritually.
He that lives the Life, shall know the Truth and dwell under the Protective Wings of the Almighty. Why should the Mystic be bound according to the dictates of men of flesh and mind, or any set forms, when the Living God shows the Way?
Who can declare the Way to the Lord, but a True Mystic ? Who can play good music, but one who loves that art and is an artist in that field ? The same is true of all endeavors. Genuine interest, to the extent of undivided attention, absorbs and dissolves all ideas of work, of labor and of time. Attention to the keynote of any art furnishes the necessary energy to carry on. There is no drag nor lag in real creative-ness in any art where the interest and attention come naturally. Then the accomplishment is without effort. It is an expression of that which the heart and mind are full of.
All this is well-known and understood on the surface in the arts, crafts, professions, executive ability through intensive interest, etc. But the Mystic Way is rare, unknown and unique. That is why the Mystic is not understood.
The true artist in any field, whether it be in paint-ing, sculpturing, music, any profession or trade has no selfish motive. He works for the Love of it, and the good Lord gives all and more than he needs. His real food and gift consist in a greater ability and ab-sorption in his beloved art. Many times prosperity and physical abundance are withheld so he can better fulfill his devotion to art and selfless creativeness, with-out interruption.
A true artist would rather starve in an attic with his beloved art than sell even one of his creations. It has happened many times, and cannot be termed a mere physical attachment because the love of the art itself was greater than all physical wealth. That is why great souls are seldom heard of or appreciated during their lifetime, but often become famous after death.
Great souls do not want nor need fame. They want only peace and quiet for their art, their concentration and Inner Work, close to the Source. All outer things distract the mind, scatter the attention and interrupt the true devotion to the Beloved God, the art, or the point of absorbing interest where the heart is consciously attached. In the light of art, perhaps the ways of the Real Mystic can be understood. Also, by analogy, perhaps the True Religious, Mystic Life and Way can be understood or pointed out when cornpared with true art or creativeness in any field requiring undivided attention 'to the extent of full absorbing interest.
Here we find the key of Creation repeated over and over again : The primary starting point, the pivot of all, is our attention and interest, in a totally self-less way. It is the first commandment, applied practically :"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind." (MAT. 22 :37)
Whenever the combination of mind and ego re-places that of soul and mind, and enters into any such concentrating and absorbing interest in arts, beliefs or .creeds, it becomes fanaticism by declaring and in-sisting on limitations of interpretations, set observations, special beliefs and formalities, etc. These then spring up like weeds and want to overrun the world in reform, each forming a separate sect. Each group wants numbers and followers to rule. over, as it happened in the fall of Satan in the beginning. The creative mind turned from true birth, stumbleth on abuse. (SHAKESPEARE)
If mere physical endeavor and skill call forth such devotion and concentration for its successful accomplish-ment, cannot the devotion to God do likewise? Is the most important endeavor in life less worthy than the other? Does any one need to ask how to become a good artist, a good doctor or lawyer, or a good trades man?
Is it not simply a matter of love for the work, seeking and finding the right teacher, and then practising with attention, attention and more attention and practice? The ways, the means, the principles involved and all other things reveal themselves as the attention is applied, and often excel all accepted beliefs and traditions. Only in such a manner are new ideas and concepts born, which are a boon to humanity. Souls perish for lack of vision., (PROVERBS 29 : 18)
Naturally, the resistance of the old or obsolete is great. This is true in public life and within each one of us as the small world in which we rule and govern. We form set ideas and habits, and how we fight to hang on to them even after superior ways and means have been offered. It is the same. We suffer, in the without as a cosmic reaction, and within ourselves as our own individual reaction to the powers that are of our own making and doing.
Thought-forms, habits, beliefs, emotional qualities and stability are all molds and patterns of energy for us to overcome and train into new concepts and fields by a greater vision and devotion to that which is the most desired accomplishment in our life.
The very Truth which we wonder about and the questions we would ask about -it in a religious and devotional life, are similar to our daily life and pursuits.. Truth is in life itself, as it is in art or any worthwhile objective. The main point is our sincerity in our first choice or that which we deem most important, and the attention we give to it.
God is Life, as Life is God-given. Then how do we expect to find Him in mere mental concepts and be-liefs, without the vitality of Life and a sincere devotion to Him? Where does God dwell, if not in the hearts of His Mystic devotees ? So our search is really a sincere effort toward deeper tuning in ourselves, to attract from within and without, that which we need for our next step forward on the Way of Truth.
God is the Word of Life and, as the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Shabd, dwells within the very core of our being. We can tune into this Eternal Energy by sincere and deep devotion, through the aid of a living Mystic Master who is one with that Energy.
We tune into our mind energy by thinking; into our emotional energy by feeling; and into our physical energy by action. If the mind's ten enciee are down ward, it keeps the soul in bondage along with it, and both are miserable. Whereas, if the mind tunes in and co-operates with the soul, everything else falls in line and both are happy in their upward or Homeward journey
Is there any question as to where we would like to be? Do we tune into the programs we want, or listen to those we don't want when we know that something better is on the air? The difference between serving God or Mammon can be as simple as all that. It all depends on whether we wish to continue to labor and suffer in the world of Kal, or prefer to be devoted to the Eternal. One within us by tuning into the Holy Shabd which is calling each and every one of us Home, if we will but listen to His Word within this temple.
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. (1 COR. 6 : 19)
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock : if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (REv. 3 : 20,21)
Let your loins be girded about, your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching :" (LUKE 12 : 35, 36, 37) "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (I CoR. 3 : 17)
Love and Love alone is the key to Life's `Open sesame'. If we would dive deep, we must put on the garment of Love and Humility, which alone can sustain us in that depth of inner pressure and intense Light. How can we escape forever from the dominion of Kal and his world? By practising the virtues and powers of the soul, which are natural and inherent in the Eternal Realm. Devotion with attention gradually leads to true Love. The ego has no place in the Eternal Abode, and when one has True Love, the ego no longer exists. The Supreme Being can be approached only through His qualities and Essence.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of (JEHOVAH) the Lord? or who shall stand in His Holy Place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." (PSALM 24: 3–4)
In other words, sincere devotion is the approach; Love is the Way; and Humility is the non-ego or the selflessness which is the essence of purity before God. This is the Way of the Bible, and this is the Way of the Living Saints. Are we ready to choose that way and walk it?
Saints say that this is not only possible, but can best be done while living an ordinary, everyday life, because it does not depend on external observation of forms but on internal effort and devotion, while at the same time fulfilling our duties and obligations in this world. Thus, while we are working in the world for temporal things, we are in Kal's or Satan's world but not of it, because the heart, mind and soul—as a result are set upon God and depend on His Love and Grace leaving all results in His Hands.
Whose tools are we working with? When we work in the realms of thoughts and deeds of the mind and the senses, the emotions and physical accomplishment, we are working with Kal's tools because all this equip-ment belongs to his domain. It is necessary for our livelihood and education in this material world. Even the obstacles, thorns and sufferings are necessary goads to overcome the self and get out of Kal's realm. There-fore, trials and tribulations often descend on the devoted who are about to be freed, to enable them to pass the final test. (J®B) .
The Spiritual Life is not a trouble-free life on this earth, but the earth life is a test in our overcoming those lower tendencies by the strength of the Inner _,.Grace and Love. How can we grow strong in spiritual muscles, without tests and trials ? Does one gain physical strength without exercise? Sant Sat Guru, Baba Sawan Singh Maharaj ji, used to say that the idea is not to remove the thorns, for they may grow again, but to put on strong boots so that we can walk over the thorns without being harmed or hindered. The greater the devotion and love in our efforts on the Path, the greater is our protection. This protection is referred to as the 'strong boots' that enable us to proceed under all circumstances.
It was not intended that the Path be smooth and easy, until we have been sufficiently purified. That w lc as terna an rue as a •so ute y ' ure, and nothing with the slightest taint of impurity (ego) can enter that Realm. As gold is refined by fire, so is the soul by trials and- tribulations. Even Jesus and His disciples went through constant tribulations and sufferings. Spiritual grace can be earned by effort on our part. The Great Master Sawan Singh used to say that the more effort we make, the more Grace we receive to make more effort; that effort and Grace go hand in hand, until we reach the Goal.
Merely to remove all difficulties is not the answer. Our vehicles of mind and emotions would not get the training in strength and fortitude gained through resis-tance by trials. Neither would the soul have an op-portunity to remain steadfast in faith and devotion. throughout all vicissitudes. If this earth and our ex-periences in it were not necessary, they would not exist.
Only that which has usefulness or serves a purpose survives in Nature. All else perishes the moment it has outlived its usefulness. The same is true of the experiences which the soul has in its descent and ascent, until it reaches its final Goal. This Kindergarten of Life is a testing ground for souls, and is very neces-sary for progress to the Eternal Regions. Experience and more experience, with a sincere effort at im-provement, is the way of understanding through learn-ing with objective tools. Such is life—learning through suffering.
To sum it all up in a few words, it could be said that Spiritual qualities, when used, produce Spiritual re-sults; mind, when used, produces mental effects; emo-tions, emotional effects; and physical effort produces physical effects. Only the quality, of the essence can produce reactions . in that Essence or Substance. The mind is the link which, when co-operating with soul qualities, travels via the True Spiritual qualities of Holy Shabd—the higher the region, the purer and clearer the Sound and the swifter the travel—until the Highest Heaven or Supreme Abode is reached.
So the choice is not a mystery, but a preference in our own selection and consequent action or inaction. God is nearer than breathing and closer than hands and feet. But the mind, in the cleverness of Kai, puts God far off in an external heaven or attempts to con-fine Him in a temple or other structures made by the hands of man; when, in reality, God Himself built the temple of the human body and dwells therein, waiting for us to consciously contact Him so that we need not again be born in the flesh. Until that time it will be necessary for us to assume coverings of flesh in one birth after another, seeking without for that which is within us.
Most of us have been wandering in the lower realms for so many countless ages that we have forgotten not only from whence we originally came and want to return, but we have also forgotten God's Omni-presence as well as His Love which sustains the soul with every breath.
While God dwells within every living being, He is also beyond the comprehension of mind and reason, as these do not go deep enough. Those who would worship Him, can do so in Love and in Truth. So the questions as to where God is and how to find Him have been answered. It is merely a matter of whether we are ready for the mystic life or not.
There are souls in all stages of development of involution and evolution. Some have labored long in the Vineyard of the Lord and the take to the Msti'c Way at once in this life; others may have been in but a short time; still others may be mentering for the first time; and most have yet to enter.
All karma is individual; and it is the individual's own previous thoughts, words and deeds which deter-mine not only the nation but also the race, the family, the environment and circumstances into which he is to be born; also whether he is to be tall or short, lean or fat, healthy or sickly, rich or poor, etc. So it is with Spiritual progress. It is dependent on the individual awakening of each soul and its inner lorIging„,'orAbe. Lord. Thus the soul can attract the Lord's Grace and benefit by its abundance.
Saints can only shower Grace on those who are ready to receive it and benefit by it; otherwise it would be squandered in useless pursuits. A wise father does not give his son the physical heritage until he is able to properly manage and use it. Even physical wealth, not used or improperly used, is of no benefit to anyone. The true aspirant or devotee is the one who recognizes the Word of the real Mystic at once and applies himself accordingly.
"Blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it (Luke11.28)