Sir Godfrey Gregg
For the man or woman who makes a god of any of the forms through which the Divine is expressed or revealed is bowing down to idols. And this is true whether these “forms” are those of human beings or of things or even of thoughts, desires and ideas, the energies which are loaned us for a while to use in the service of God and our fellow men. Ideologies (the half perceived shadows of Divine Ideas) can become gods too. So can our own self-interest, vanity or greed; so can our loves and hates.
All these gods create in their devotees a deceptive sense of their absolute importance to the happiness of the individual. But as they are by nature ephemeral, possessing no permanence in Real Being, they engender sorrow and pain through an almost frantic fear of loss.
But the Reality, the Divine within, can never be lost. When This and This alone is perceived in every form and worshipped and served as Itself in its every phase, whether in appearing, abiding for a time, or passing away, fear of loss will increasingly weaken as realization of True Gain and the impossibility of losing that Gain dawn in the heart and mind of men.
So another of our responsibilities towards God consists in setting up no altars to any thing or being less than the Divine; seeing It in all things, but worshipping It in nothing less than Its Wholeness.
“All very well”, we exclaim again, with some impatience, “theoretically we know all this, of course, but how on earth can we be expected to retain this picture of an ever-present Deity in the pressure of living, while trying to keep going at all in the ever more complex demands of daily life, torn as we are by emotional conflicts and practical problems, confused by the threats of the contemporary World? How can we undertake this responsibility of being constantly aware of and giving service to ‘The One in Whom we live and move and have our being’? How can we perfect these lines of communication between our personality and our Soul, if that is what responsibility to God implies? We just haven’t got the time or opportunity”.
The point is, of course, that we have. We can always do what we want to do enough and find time in which to do it. And here the stress must be upon the word “enough”.
Supposing we really became convinced that our whole happiness, our sense of security, our freedom from fears and our general efficiency in living depended upon finding time? Supposing we grasped the fact that once this alignment with our Soul was achieved, even to a small degree, everything else in life would begin to make sense and fall into its proper place, beauty and order would be seen emerging from chaos, hope would blossom from despair? Perhaps then we would blossom from despair? Perhaps then we would begin to desire this union with our Source enough to find time to learn how to develop it. In fact it might soon become the prime factor in our lives, the most interesting and even the most exciting thing in existence. For it would give meaning and purpose to everything we thought or did or experienced.
It has been suggested that one of the purposes for which we have been created is to render back to God the divine powers and energies of which all things on our planet are composed and which have been lent to us, as it were, so that we might do His work on earth.
But these powers have, for long ages, been perverted, debased and vitiated through misappropriation and misuse so that our task now, as self-conscious human beings, is to regenerate and purify them, recharge them with divine energy through our own efforts, for only then can the work to which they were originally dedicated be fulfilled.
One thing we must never do bury them, ignore them and above all, not fear them. They can become our most precious heritage. How can we set about this all important work and the methods which exist to enable us to do so will be discussed in another lecture.