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The Word of the Ascended Masters is the ultimate Authority in any question relating to Truth.
by Gottfried de Purucker in collaboration with Katherine Tingley
Chapter VI -- Clothed With the Light. The Inner God
H. P. Blavatsky: The Mystery (1929)
Perhaps the noblest detail of the wonderful doctrines which H. P. Blavatsky, as Messenger of her Great Teachers, brought to the Western World, is the one which recalls to the consciousness of modern man the age-old truth of the living reality of one's own essential Divinity, the existence in every normal human being of his own Inner God. There is not a great World-Religion, there is not a great World-Philosophy, existing in the past or still existent in the present, which does not teach this same fundamental truth of human existence. Indeed, it may be called the very foundation-stone on which were builded the great systems of religious and philosophical thinking of the past; and rightly so, because it is founded on Nature herself.
The Inner God in man, man's own inner, essential Divinity, is the root of him, whence flow forth in inspiring streams into the psychological apparatus of his constitution, all the inspirations of genius, all the urgings to betterment. All powers, all faculties, all characteristics of individuality which blossom through evolution into individual manifestations, are the fruitage of the working in man's constitution of those life-giving and inspiring streams of spiritual energy. It is they which furnish the urge behind all evolutionary progress. It is they which in their intricate and complex connections and workings in the material substances of which man's constitution is composed, not only build that constitution itself into individual form, but lead it on to develop or throw forth into manifestation the innate or rather the inherent characteristics composing it. It is thus that personality is born, and out of personality through evolution, combined with the luminous stream above spoken of, arises, phoenix-like, the glorious individuality in genius and in impersonal power that mankind of the future is destined to manifest, and which even man today manifests in some degree.
It is no wonder, then, that those ancient World-Religions and World-Philosophies are based upon this fact of man's essential Divinity. It was this natural fact which took form in those different systems of thinking as a doctrine; which brought also into being the many and various schools of religious development existing at different times throughout the ages; and it was a more or less distorted vision of this great truth which led many individuals of either sex to seek the monastic life, thinking that by so doing, they could have better chances for cultivating the divine consciousness and super-normal faculties belonging to this highest essential nature of man. This natural fact formulated into doctrine, furthermore, is at the back of all the systems of mystic training pursued in various lands and in various ages, by both individuals and schools; while it is a matter of common knowledge that the mystics of all the ages have united in teaching the existence and ever-present power of the Inner God in man as the first principle governing the progress of man out of material life into the spiritual.
Nevertheless, while the main idea has been invariably clear from remotest times, an accurately reasoned formulation of the doctrine, and clear-cut proofs of its philosophical sufficiency, as shown and demonstrated by human beings who already have attained in some degree union with their Inner God, was utterly unknown to the Occident until H. P. Blavatsky appeared in 1875 as the Voice and Expositor of the wonderful teachings of the archaic Wisdom-Religion. Thereafter, for all who were hungering for truth, and were willing to set aside personal or philosophical or religious predilections or prejudices in favor of a provable system of doctrine, the doors were opened, the path shown, and the Light, towards which this path led, was clearly designated and logically proved.
The fact alone that H. P. Blavatsky recalled to the consciousness of Western men and women the existence of the Association of these great Sages and Seers, awakened anew in Western minds their sleeping intuitions, and thenceforward they could for themselves not merely see but also understand that those great Seers and Sages were the evolutionary manifestation of the transcendent powers of the Inner God in man, and that, as such, they proved what all men could attain to, if they but willed to do so.
She pointed likewise to the existence of the great geniuses of the world, and argued with irresistible logic and force of illustration that it would be imbecile to suppose that such examples of human greatness existed by chance, or could be otherwise than the manifestations or effects of causes of a spiritual and intellectual nature working in the human constitution, and bringing forth these fine Flowers of the human race as the necessary evolutionary fruitage of the invisible powers and potencies working in man's inner economy. Further, once grant the existence of these great geniuses and Great Men in human history, and it would be absurd to say that as the human race had already attained in such beings a certain high level of capacity and ability and spiritual power, men could go no higher; or, equivalently, that no greater men than those already known to history ever existed or could in the future ever exist.
The argument was irresistible, the illustrations were appealing, the call to the understanding was both immediate and fruitful. It became at once apparent to every thoughtful man that the existence of the great Seers and Sages of the world, as taught by H. P. Blavatsky, was not only a necessary result of human evolution, but a logically necessary result from the premises which it was impossible to avoid accepting.
No human mind could admit that there was a path which abruptly stopped at some halfway period, or at some one-third-way period, marked by the examples of human genius thus far known; and that thereafter this path was mysteriously and ineluctably broken. This curious supposition needs only to be stated in plain words, in order to ensure its immediate rejection.
What Nature has once done, she almost invariably will do again. What she has once brought forth, is necessarily a promise of what she will again bring to birth; and as no two men are identical, any more than two leaves on the millions of trees in the forests of the world are identical; and as also no two human beings stand in perfectly identical stages or degrees of human evolution -- for if they did they would be the same person -- therefore it is impossible to call a halt anywhere, or to fix boundaries anywhere, or to say that here and no farther extend the powers of Nature.
The example of King Knut (Canute), as legend tells the story, who set his arm-chair on the strand washed by the waves of the North Sea, and said: "Thus far, O sea, and no farther!" is one which the wiseacres and know-everythings of history have always been prone to follow; but Nature has little patience with the egoisms of human limitations, and seems to take delight in destroying human illusions of this type.
Oh! if men and women of the Occident could only get the conviction of the existence within themselves of the individual's living God as the fountain of his noblest parts, what a revolution in human thinking it would bring about! If they could only get the conviction, as they will in time most assuredly, that at the core of each one of them, at the heart of the heart of each one of them, is this glorious Sun of consciousness: then indeed not only would their lives change immensely for the better, not only would human relations be softened and refined, not only would the horrors attending our present civilization disappear as do the mists before the morning sunlight, but to the individual himself there would come inspiration, a sense of high human dignity, a sense of well-being, and of undeveloped power -- which both intuition and instinct would then tell them could only be developed through altruistic use. And could this idea become the conviction of their minds and the persuasion of their hearts, then indeed should we be members of a new race, enlightened with an all-embracing and high racial consciousness, and the Theosophical ideal of Universal Brotherhood would follow fully and in completeness as a necessary sequence. Our fellow human beings would act, think and dwell among each other almost as a race of incarnate Gods -- for that in the name of holy Truth is just what we human beings are.
It has been nobly said by some Western thinker that when he laid his hand on a fellow human being he did so with awe, because he felt that he was touching the garment of Divinity; and this, in very truth, is the case. It is but the imperfection of our present understanding which blinds our eyes and which causes us to dwell, through selfish fear, in our own small spheres of petty interests, and cuts us off from the heart-elevating influences which we otherwise should receive in full flood from the hearts of our fellows.
The human race at the present time is passing through only one of the phases of its long evolutionary journey back to Divinity; and it is ignorance of this fact that has produced the hard and harsh outlines of human thinking today, which in its turn is the imperfect mother of the imperfect civilization of which we boast.
It is to be the destiny of the human race, through slow degrees of evolutionary progress, to transfer the seat of the individual-personal consciousness upwards from the brain-mind, and out of it and up from it, into a nearer approach to the noetic or spiritual-intellectual part. And this transferring of the seat of individual-personal consciousness, will of course be attended with an equivalent ennobling and betterment of human thinking, and therefore also, of human civilization; until finally in the far distant aeons of the future the reunion will be made with the God within -- the ever-living Inner Spirit -- by the upward evolving personal consciousness of the human being. Then there will occur that atonement of which the great Seers of all the ages have taught us.
Meanwhile it is these great Seers and Sages themselves who have outrun the army of the human host in evolutionary development, and who therefore now live among us as exemplars of what the remainder of the human race will be in the distant future. They are the forerunners, and being ahead and higher than we, they see more and farther than we. They are the Prophets and the Seers and the Sages and the Illuminated Ones and the Wise Ones merely because they are in closer and straiter union with their own Inner God. In very truth they may be said to be 'clothed with the Sun,' that inner sun of essential Divinity existent in the core of the human being, which, as the Christian New Testament puts it, lights every man that cometh into the world.
Plato has a very telling description of men as they now are: beings living in the deep recesses of the cave of material existence, almost unconscious of the sunlight streaming in in feeble rays from without. They see the dancing of shadows on the walls, mistake them for realities; and only when they learn more and turn their faces towards the light with will and objective purpose do they see the pathway outwards towards the outer splendor.
So it is with us today. Most see these dancing shadows of consciousness and circumstance, mistaking them for ultimate realities. So firmly convinced are they that what they see is true and that the shadows are real, that their minds are crystallized in that conviction and they deny the very existence of the inner sun, of which the shadows are but the deceptive illusions of the human brain-consciousness.
The Divine Fire which moves through Universal Nature is the source of the individualized Divine Fire in man, man's Inner God. And as Universal Nature manifests in all-various and bewilderingly diverse forms and shapes and powers and energies and substances -- the effects of the working in itself of the Cosmic Fire -- just so is man himself the effectual result, the phenomenal product in his own multiform and manifold characteristics and diversities as between individuals, of the working in each one of us of each individual's own central Divine Fire -- his own Inner God.
All through the ages the truth of the actual existence of the Inner God in human lives has been voiced and exemplified in the teachings and lives of the great World-Figures and Sages, and their teaching is always one in fundamentals, ever varied though it may be through the necessities of circumstance, such as language, or type of civilization, or manner of presentation.
But fundamentally that truth is always the same: Come up higher, ye children of men, look within, leave the valley of shadows for the sunlighted peaks of wisdom and illumination. There is no other pathway for you individually than the pathway leading ever inwards towards your own Inner God. The pathway of another is the same pathway for that other; but it is not your pathway, because your pathway is your Self, as it is for that other one his Self. All tread the same pathway, but each man must tread it himself, and no one can tread it for another; and this pathway leads to unutterable splendor and expansion of consciousness, to unthinkable bliss, to perfect peace, for it is the pathway of evolution in the Theosophical sense: the unrolling, the unfolding, the unwrapping, the coming forth into manifestation, of the powers, faculties, energies, substances, lying dormant or partly dormant, or latent or partly latent, into consciously realized activity -- consciously realized in and by the individual who experiences it.
Within you lie all the mysteries of the Universe, for any human individual is the Microcosm of the Macrocosm, the Little World of the Great World, and all truth and wisdom and power for the individual, are rooted in his own Inner God, in his own Spiritual Heart of Hearts, in the Core of his own Being.
This is the pathway of evolution. This is the way to freedom for men; the way to light for men; and there is no other way. And all the Sages of all the ages have taught nothing but this: Be one with your own Inner God. The pathway is difficult to follow in the beginning, but only in the beginning, because the difficulties arise in the individual himself or herself, and are utterly non-existent outside of the individual. It is his own nature that he must master and control and direct. Man must direct his own evolution, self-chosen, self-followed, for we can progress and grow only through self-directed evolution.
O you men and women of the race, do your hearts yearn for better things? Do your minds aspire towards a larger light? Do you wish to become more truly yourselves, your better selves? Do you wish to feel growing within your souls an ever-expanding consciousness of spiritual and intellectual strength and power and capacity? Do your hearts yearn to help your fellow-men on the difficult pathway of self-conquest? If so, open your hearts and minds to the message of Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion of archaic ages. Hearken to its message, and become brothers and co-workers in their labor of love with these great Sages and Seers who, having become cognizant in themselves of the actual ever-presence in them of the God within, have taught the everlasting Truth. This message is as religious as it is truly philosophical, and as scientific as it is religious. There is nothing of worth that can be said against it. There is everything of worth that can be said for it. It is not imaginary, because these great Seers and Sages have lived, and have themselves proved by their own lives and spiritual powers what they taught, and they have moved the world with their teachings; and while you aspire as you do, and yearn as you do, to be more and to do better, do not turn deaf ears to the lessons of their teaching.
Turn then your eyes to the unspeakably beautiful Power within yourself, realizing at the same time that it is the same unspeakable glory in essence which illuminates the core of the being of all your fellows. Wisdom without bounds will in time be yours; knowledge solving the most wonderful problems of the universe and of man will in time be yours. Love without bounds, all encompassing, all-embracing, will fill your hearts in time; and together with these blessings you will attain a Joy and a Peace impossible to describe in words.
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