Continued from Part 2
The path of sacrifice and attainment has been described as a razor’s edge; one seems to be incessantly falling off on one side or the other of it.
Although aspiring people will from time to time be conscious of being in a sort of state of grace and acting, as it seems to them, under some form of spiritual guidance, they generally discover later, to their disappointment, that they were still merely acting under the influence of a sublimation of some aspect of their own protean egoism. They are aware at the time that this is a ‘higher’ impulse than usually guides their lives, and so they jump to the conclusion that it is the Master who talks to them. Later they may find that they were only listening to their own self-created gods – at a higher than usual desire level, perhaps, but still well within the sphere of egoism and error.
Bringing the Egoistic Life Under the Rule of the Divine Element – A Convenient Test
There are, however, recognisable successes in bringing the egoistic life under the rule of the divine element. And there is, fortunately, a convenient test by which the value and true origin of experiences and phases of change of consciousness may be estimated.
It is simply that if the result of the experience is to give the neophyte a sense of personal expansion, achievement, and gratification in newly discovered or increased personal powers of his own – the ‘enlightenment’ is spiritually worthless or it may be dangerous.
If, alternatively, the aspirant, as a result of the experience feels a peaceful and happy diminution of and release from his egoism, personal anxieties and individual equation generally, and perhaps accompanied by a feeling of union or contact with a Presence whose power is felicity and whom it is pure happiness to serve, then he is fortunate and has felt a touch of the Divine.
The test-formula is simple – increase of egoism, more error; decrease of egoism, more light.
Decrease of egoism – this is the key to achievement. It will not be gained in any other way than by the power of the most desperate sincerity with and within oneself.
Seen our issue on Sincerity? Click HERE.
The dangers of half-lights and small illuminations are well known to students of Yoga and the paths of the spirit; quite apart from the cruder self-deceptions, it is almost inevitable that the first glimmers of spiritual light should be seized by the powers of the personality and turned to the advantage and actual strengthening of its own egoism.
When spiritual power is absorbed into the personality, instead of being transmitted through it, the best that happens is that another saint comes into enjoyment of his holiness. There may be no loss to anyone, so long as this is recognised as a temporary stage in the sacrifice of the personal powers that still hinder the light from flowing as freely out of the personality as it flows into it.
The Culmination of the Personal Sacrifice
That “light into the world” (John XII. 46) can only shine from a vessel purified of all taint of personal limitation. This is epitomised in the prayer of the Mother dated September 14, 1914:
“There is no longer an “I”, no longer an individuality, no longer any personal limits. There is only the immense universe, our sublime Mother, burning with an ardent fire of purification in honour of Thee, O Lord, divine Master, sovereign Will, so that this Will may meet with no farther obstacle in the way of its realisation.”(The Mother, CWM, Vol, 1, p. 246)
This is the authentic note and call of spiritual power, the culmination of the personal sacrifice, and it is of the essence of Sri Aurobindonian teaching.
But the neophyte is a long way from the fullness of such illumination, and is anxiously concerned with the day-to-day decisions that he faces. Gradually, no doubt, though falling off first on one side and then on the other of the narrow path he will approach the source of the light that he has seen fitfully glimmering in the distance.
He will find that the peculiar construction of narrowness of the path is the best to afford the utterly sincere soul the sharp guidance that he must have to reach the unique goal. Whenever his feet wander and he falls off he is quickly shocked back into the straight and narrow way – provided his guardian angel of sincerity never leaves his side.
After he has reached the Light and bathed in it, we are told that a magical opening of his soul takes place. It seems that he looks back with his new spiritual eyes over the dark and terrible landscape now behind him and sees, not one razor-edge path nor even a dark and terrible landscape, but paths everywhere and nothing but paths all leading to the throne of God, where he now stands.
But this is a fourth dimensional consciousness and, literally, quite out of this world of human perceptions. Probably we should not muddle our minds by thinking about it, because it is not tangible by the mind and is not made of the stuff of the mind.
Continued in Part 4. . .
~ Design: Beloo Mehra