Sir Godfrey Gregg
Viewing This Pattern Of ever-widening realms of consciousness and realization it must gradually dawn upon us that there is no limit set to what we can, each one of us, achieve, except that limit impose upon ourselves.
We can all become, if we so choose, increasingly receptive to the powers and attributes, the love and the glory of that Divinity Which, we are assured, exists in Its Wholeness, Its unlimited potentiality, in every single being in Its creation.
This is, of course, one of those mysteries which are too profound for any ordinary man to understand until he has reached great heights of spiritual perception. But we have evidence that many of the saints have done so, and we are always being assured that what they have done we can also do if we are ready to follow the paths they indicate. One thing, however, seems quite certain; the greater the extent to which we can “forthshine” as a Hebrew Scripture graphically expresses it that is, make ourselves transparent to this infinite Power within us which is Love so that it flows through us outward, the nearer to understanding the significance of Divinity we shall be and the more perfectly shall we carry out our responsibility towards God.
But however united we may all be in our Reality in this universal movement towards the same goal, we have a measure of free will and can refuse to follow the dim impulses which draw us upward the Voice of the Divine calling us home. Yet at some time or another the troubles and sorrows caused by our own self, self-will and our resistance to the tide of evolution will open our eyes and we shall turn and listen. The moment this happens we shall not be left without help and guidance.
So when we feel bereft, cut off, lonely and afraid; when we can see no clear goal to strive for and are lost in the dark forest; when we succumb to a thousand fears, let us remember that it is only because we have become confused by the miasmas of earth and forgotten our high destiny. And we have probably forgotten something equally important the enduring love and watchfulness of Those above us but not so far above that they cannot reach down and help to pull us up to the rung of the ladder upon which they stand. But again and this cannot be stressed too often this depends entirely on whether we make the effort to reach up and grasp their hand. The great desire of these Elder Brothers is to aid and strengthen us in the long climb. But they cannot do so if we turn our back on them and can’t be bothered to make the initial effort to respond, to create the conditions in which their help can be received. Our aim must be to balance ourselves upon each rung, reaching up towards the next in aspiration but with arms wide stretched, poring out all that we have hitherto received in love, wisdom and service to our fellow men. As we so stand, we perceive that we ourselves form one of the most ancient and profoundly significant symbols in the world, that of the equal armed cross.
This attitude typifies our two types of responsibility, upward to God, outward to man. Which attitude, paradoxically, is the only one which will bring us to the top, for we and the ladder are the same.
Of these two responsibilities the first and foremost is, of course, that towards God and until this fulfilled to the greatest extent possible, which means until some measure of dedication has been achieved, our other responsibilities are not likely to be perceived with any great degree of clarity. We shall continue to wobble between the pairs of opposites clinging desperately to one side or the other to keep our balance and never able to maintain ourselves upon the Middle Way of Wisdom in alignment with our Soul.
This is obvious. For only in the light which flows from above and gives a more inclusive vision can the basic Reality behind any phenomenon, activity or problem in daily living be rightly assessed and met.
For normally we see life in all its aspects through the distorting mirror of our own very partial and imperfect vision which is coloured by our separative nature and self-will.
Although every power we manifest, everything we ARE, is, as all the great Experts stress over and over again, divine in its inner nature and essence, distortion has taken place because we normally do not recognise this fact and act upon it. The sense fog in which we habitually live, the fog of our own-clouded vision, the illusions engendered by our immersion in dense matter and our concentration upon it, all play their part in veiling Reality.
So, clearly, these sages are right when they insist that our first responsibility to the Divine is to cleanse this mirror so that it may reflect a more accurate and clear view of the truth and show us things as they really are and not just as they appear to us to be.
Until we have done so, to some extent at least, we are as a man who seeks an object in a dark room. His hands touch this and that, trying to assess their value and guess whether they are what he is looking for. Nine times out of ten he will guess wrongly and when eventually he sees them in the light will discover that he holds some worthless imitation or something entirely different which, in his blindness, seemed to be the pearl of great price.
And the more penetrating and accurate our vision becomes the more we come to realise that this responsibility towards God does not lie so much in the conventional realms of prayer and praise but rather in a very practical work of learning how to “let through the light” so that we may rightfully fulfill our duty and obligations also towards His creatures in the material world where we have been placed, and serve them with love and wisdom.