THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 9, July, 1926
(Pages 408-409; Size: 7K)
[Part 8 of an 11-part series]Desire nothing. Chafe not at Karma, nor at Nature's changeless laws. But struggle only with the personal, the transitory, the evanescent, and the perishable.IN the Voice of the Silence are given the rules of the science of life. One of these rules is in reference to what we call our desire nature. All of us live according to our desire. We learn to do a thing because we like it, or we do not want to learn to do a thing because we don't like it. Here, it says "Desire nothing" but the spiritual life, that which enables us to come in contact with our own Inner Self -- with our own Divine Ego, and therefore in contact with the Divine Egos of all. But, it is said, at the same time, "chafe not at Karma": many things come our way, some of which attract us and others of which repel us. We are to use all of them the best way we can. Many things in life come which we do not like. We have to recognize the fact that they have been produced by ourselves in the past; they are of our own making. Whatever comes to us, from a simple headache in the body to a moral or mental ache in the inner nature -- pain, sorrow, suffering never come from outside -- everything comes from within. No God or Devil, angels or demons bring these things upon us; parents, friends, family, relatives, acquaintances do not bring them to us. Whatever comes -- good, bad, indifferent -- in body, moral nature and mind comes because of our desire. Why do they come? So that from them all we can learn.
Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.
And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom. Unsullied by the hand of Matter, she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit -- the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.--The Voice of the Silence.
Now your coming to school, or merely buying books, or listening to the teacher in the class will not enable you to learn; you can do all those things for twenty years and not learn a thing. What makes you learn? Not only going to school, not only attending to what the Teacher says, not only buying books, but using them, reading the books, understanding, and thinking things out for yourselves. Similarly, people can give us food, but we have to eat it; so also with mental food, moral food; each one of us has to acquire knowledge and experience of and in ourselves.
In one sense, there is no difference between pleasure and pain: both teach lessons. If the power of learning lessons is to be gained, then pain is a thousand times better than pleasure, because when we have a smooth and pleasurable time, we do not sit down and ask why did this happen, as we do when we pass through pain. When we have a very nice day, we do not ask why is it so? But have a simple headache and we begin to ask, "why is it I have a headache?" Because we do not learn through harmonious things, and pleasurable ways, we run to excess in them; therefore comes reaction, which we call pain, sorrow, suffering. Pain is a great teacher. Pain is the most wonderful master that ever was, because it compels us by drawing attention to Karma -- we made the pain, therefore we can remove it.
The Voice says "chafe not at Karma." Whatever the Karma, face it, learn from it. After all, it does not matter whether we have headaches, bodily pains or not, provided we learn from them. It is the learning that is called the "wheel of life." We want everything made easy for ourselves -- our body, mind, and moral nature. So, people come into conditions which they are not able to overcome. If a great snowstorm comes, or a great heat wave, all of us suffer. Why? Because we have learned to pamper our bodies to such an extent that only a little above or a little below the accustomed temperature affects them. We think that the body learns. So it does for 40, 50, 60, 70, or 80 years; then, the body dies. The desire nature learns. Yes, but after death the desire nature ends. The mind learns. Yes, but that mind goes, and a new mind is acquired. The Soul learning through the mind, moral, and bodily nature acquires something that is permanent. Another thing we want to learn, is that Nature is not going to change for us; Theosophy is not going to change for us. We have to change for Nature, and according to Theosophy. Masters won't change for us. We have to change if we want to know Masters.
"Seek for the impersonal," says the book. What is that? To look not from our own narrow point of view, but from the point of view of the Whole. Put away that which is temporary, changing, that which is evanescent, and try to seek for the impersonal which always is -- our Higher Self. Masters are impersonal. Masters are beings with Knowledge which is universal, and with it They work for the Whole. Let us kill out the lower desires. We have good and bad desires. Let the desires go, save one desire -- the desire to lead the spiritual life; that is, the desire to help the Masters in their work. All other desires produce pleasure and pain. From pleasure to pain we go, and from pain to pleasure, unless we kill out desires, and look upon the universe governed by Law, universal and impersonal. The earlier we learn, the better, to possess this one noble desire, and follow it out to the end of our days.
[Part 9 of an 11-part series]
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