THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 12, October, 1929
(Pages 565-567; Size: 8K)
THE ONE DESIRE
ALL types of men in all times and in the most widely diverse conditions have been possessed of one common desire -- the desire to find the Reality anteceding all manifestation, and to establish their "relation" with that Reality. It would seem that so exalted a propellant might have constituted a strong and fraternal bond between widely separated branches of the human family -- a bond capable of cementing all men in universal brotherhood such as the human race has never yet achieved in actuality.
So intense has been man's desire to find Reality for his own upliftment that the very ardor of his selfish purpose has built barriers of bigotry and hate that have resulted in pages of history drenched with the blood of those who also had the one desire, but found that its force led them to search in devious ways which were not the ways of their persecutors.
If we turn to primitive man, we find him in the heart of the forest perhaps laying one stone upon another in an attempt to build an altar to his conception of the One Reality. It may be that he conceived his god as manifesting through the sun or through the great oaks of the forest. However inadequate his conception, his desire is one with the desire of all other men. He is reaching to the limit of his capacity, and the pile of stones is the tangible manifestation of his dominant desire.
We find civilized man building cathedrals and churches, mosques and synagogues to the glory of a personal god or a tribal deity. His method differs from that of his brother but his desire is identical. It is to find Reality and "relate" himself thereto.
Turning to spiritual man, we find him fixing his attention, not upon some distant manifestation of nature, not upon an anthropomorphic god made in the image of man, but turning his attention inward. He searches the divine possibilities of his own nature. He recognizes no temple save the body of man. His altar he builds from lofty thoughts and kindly deeds, and he places it within the recesses of his own being.
It has been truly said that man has never been without a friend. If men of modern times will turn in their search for Reality to the most recent expression of the most ancient truth, the "Secret Doctrine" of H. P. Blavatsky, they will find there established three fundamental propositions, faithful study and clear understanding of which may lead to the realization of the desire so long unsatisfied; these propositions indicate the law and the life by which not relation, but identity, may be established with Reality.
These ancient axioms deal with one Absolute Reality which antecedes all manifested conditions, being an Impersonal Principle which transcends the power of human conception. If man thinks of the most remote point in space, it is there and yet it is always most near, being in and about him wherever he may be. It is to be found in the tiniest underground root, and in the most distant star, as in all that is, between, beneath, and beyond. Truly there is no place nor thing where it is not, though because of the dullness of the vehicle it does not always shine forth. It is here today as it was in all the yesterdays and as it will be tomorrow -- a Principle Boundless, and Eternal. In a world of change it remains changeless. It is the Causeless Cause and the Rootless Root, beyond all thought or speculation.
Man cannot associate Infinite Reality with the wrath or love of God, nor can he relate it in thought to any attribute whatever. It is that man may grow out of personality into Reality that the old and narrow path exists. The way from the limited and circumscribed to the Infinite and Boundless is the way of evolution and the object of human existence.
Once man passes in thought from the One Reality, duality supervenes in the contrast of spirit and matter. If in his ignorance man attempts to separate spirit and matter, he becomes befogged in a maze of confusion, for form exists because of spirit, and spirit, in order to manifest, needs a vehicle of expression. And both are aspects of Reality. He who conceives of the many apart from the One wanders away from his goal and prepares for himself a weary road back, for one day he must return to a knowledge of the Unity from which he came forth.
The Secret Doctrine further asserts the absolute universality of the law of periodicity. Man may relate the law to himself and to all else in the universe and thereby lighten his darkness to the extent of his powers of true deduction. In all departments of nature he may observe the ceaseless operation of the law of cause and effect and effect again becoming cause. Life is a great school in which man may vastly learn from his observations of the working of the law. If he does not learn, how can he apply; and without application, where does man find himself on the journey?
The Secret Doctrine establishes as a third proposition, the fundamental identity of all Souls with the Universal Over-soul, and the obligatory pilgrimage of every Soul through the Cycle of Incarnation in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law during the whole term.
Man moves ever onward in accordance with the law. Though if he is unobservant his progress may be slow. The very fact that he has reached the stage of independent conscious existence proves the vast distance he has traveled since the spark which issued from the pure essence of the Over-soul must of necessity have passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal world before the man stage was reached. The brain reels at the vastness of his past experience and the duration of his journey, and yet man, the Eternal Pilgrim and the Immortal Spirit, is still piling stone upon stone, still rearing spires and altars in his search for the One Reality. And so will he continue to beat against the bars of his own making and struggle madly in the darkness, though light is at hand.
The human cry out of darkness and ignorance rings in wailing cadence down the ages, "Lighten Thou our darkness, O Lord." In this cry is indicated man's chief difficulty, for by self effort alone is light brought out of darkness; there are no favors along the way.
When man recognizes himself as one with Reality and by sustained effort is able to make that Reality a living power in daily life; when the law becomes his refuge and his guide in thought and deed; when life shall be seen in all its glory as the journey of Consciousness to know itself as one with all that is, then is man no longer struggling in fog and darkness, for he himself is the living embodiment of the three ancient axioms of the Secret Doctrine. He has become the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Then only does the One Desire bear its fruit.
Arguments on Reincarnation
I: The Single Source