THEOSOPHY, Vol. 32, No. 1, November, 1943
(Pages 12-13; Size: 8K)
(Number 2 of a 6-part series)



The entry upon the Path cannot be made until resignation is consummated.... Once resign and all is possible.
--William Q. Judge
If thou hast tried and failed, O dauntless fighter, yet lose not courage: fight on, and to the charge return again and yet again.
--H. P. Blavatsky
THE above and similar statements in the teachings have led certain types of minds now and then to bring forth against the teachers the charge of inconsistency. "How is it possible," they will say, "to understand a philosophy that is obviously indefinite and even confusing? How can one be expected to carry out in practice a teaching that constantly contradicts itself?" Such critics will not take time to acquaint themselves with the point of view taken by the writers nor with the underlying principles of the system they expound. Because the whole science of life is not set down in a few simple sentences for our easy comprehension, we fall back into apathy, charging the teachers with treason, and preferring meantime to remain ignorant of our own true natures. But the riddle of life is not to be solved with a single stroke of the pen. Human existence is complex. However painstaking the efforts of the Messengers, their works must needs be studded with paradoxes. But, say these teachers, through resolving paradoxes, illumination comes. The key to all paradoxes is the dual nature of Mind.

The idea of resignation finds little response in the mind of the western man of action, enamoured as he is with the doctrine of survival of the fittest. For most, it means indifference or surrender, the passive giving-up of one's lawful due. It is, at best, submission to the inevitable. "For why break your head against a stone wall," one will say. "If there be no other way out, is it not the better part of logic to acquiesce? Is not this the intelligent thing to do?" Such is the reasoning of the lower mind, which has for its aim the welfare of the personal self. One unacquainted with the doctrines of Karma and the eternal nature of Soul will hardly find in himself the elements for understanding the spiritual aspect of resignation. While yet embued with the idea of the "struggle for life," resignation will be a mere expediency and nothing more, a marking of time awaiting more favorable conditions for further combat.

Resignation, theosophically considered, is a spiritual quality of the Higher Mind, and concerns more the reincarnating Ego than the man of clay. It is rooted in a perception of the reign of Law and signifies willingness to obey. Can there be peace and contentment in the heart of man while the whole of his life runs counter to the Will of Nature? Can there be rest while passions and desires constantly war among themselves as well as against the purposes of soul? "The way of inward peace," say the books, "is in all things to conform to the pleasure and disposition of the Divine Will. Such as would have all things succeed and come to pass according to their own fancy, are not come to know this way; and therefore lead a harsh and bitter life; always restless and out of humor, without treading the way of peace." True resignation is that inner relinquishment which loosens the knots of the heart, and makes possible the free and harmonious adjustment of cause and effect. It ever implies a spiritual triumph of the higher over the lower nature.

Resignation therefore of a spiritual kind is in no sense the attitude of indifference which veers and shifts with every gust of changing wind. It requires not that one relax in effort towards that which he sees to be true. Nor is it unwilling conformity to a fate he feels to be unjust. Some have been known to accept outwardly the circumstances of life, while in their hearts they chafe under feelings of injustice. This is the nailed to the cross idea expressed in the words: "Yes, damn it, I'll do it, but ..." This is submission, of a sort, but it is base, shallow, incomplete. It goes no deeper than the lower mind and leaves still bound the inner knots of discord. While intellectually admitting the doctrine, such men have failed to make of it a living factor in their lives, have failed to understand that the whole of man's nature must be used in the carrying out of this law. The act of true resignation requires firmness, constancy, control.

Karma, of its own weight, moves to good and right. It is a friend to the soul, the faithful comforter of all who learn its way. But by indifference, doubt, and cross-currents of desire, man ceaselessly inhibits the action of its helpful hand. How else than by working with the Law can its fine and delicate adjustments be achieved? How else avail of the wisdom of its all-seeing eye, the power of its omnipotence? "Not my will, but thine, be done," are the words of One who evidently knew in full the Law which moves to righteousness. It is Arjuna's position in the ninth chapter of the Gita when he had ceased to find fault, and was made thus ready for a higher path. It is the position of all who trust the Law, and who in trust resign.

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