THEOSOPHY, Vol. 14, No. 10, August, 1926
(Pages 457-458; Size: 7K)
[Part 9 of an 11-part series]A man is said to be confirmed in spiritual knowledge when he forsaketh every desire which entereth into his heart, and of himself is happy and content in the Self through the Self. His mind is undisturbed in adversity; he is happy and contented in prosperity, and he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a man is called a Muni. When in every condition he receives each event, whether favorable or unfavorable, with an equal mind which neither likes nor dislikes, his wisdom is established, and, having met good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one nor is cast down by the other.IN THIS passage is the idea that one who wants to obtain tranquility of mind, peace of heart, and happiness for himself, has to learn reflection. When the mind wanders we go from one object to another, desiring one thing now and then another; having obtained one thing, we go after another, and so on and on. Thus is produced confusion of mind, and confusion begets unhappiness. Now people do not realize that. They think that to be happy is to desire something and then quickly get it. Suppose that you desire something and you get it, what happens? Having got that thing, you want something else.
The man whose heart and mind are not at rest is without wisdom or the power of contemplation; who doth not practice reflection, hath no calm; and how can a man without calm obtain happiness? Bhagavad-Gita, Chap. III, pages 18 and 20.
There are many people who desire money. They get it, unfortunately; but then difficulty arises; what are they going to do with the money? They don't know how to use it. With the help of the money they buy lots of things and again more things. With money you buy a house. Having got the house you have to furnish it; having furnished, you require servants to look after the things, and then you have to look after the servants, and so it goes. More, when you have obtained money, the desire arises for something else: you want to become famous. You do all kinds of things to get fame, and peace of mind evaporates, tranquility of heart vanishes.
What then is the lesson? Is money bad, house bad, furniture bad, fame bad? The Gita teaches us a point of view not ordinarily held. What is that point of view? Everything that we have, whatever it is, is to be used for the good of all. Now all of you have heard the word, "trustee." What is a trustee? Before a man dies he makes a will, and he leaves certain wealth, certain property, to be managed by the trustee. He does not give money to the trustee, but he gives the responsibility of managing those things to the trustee.
As souls, all of us are the trustees of our possessions. Our possessions are threefold; possession of the body, of the mind (all knowledge is mental possession), of the moral nature -- or character. You have three possessions. You are the soul. The soul is the trustee. He has to know the art, the science, the philosophy of how these possessions are to be used. That is the business of the soul.
Most of us think we are very poor. A person says, "I am very poor, I have no money, no bank account." Well, in reality, we have possessions, which we have collected in previous lives. According to the use we made of our mind then is our mental possession today; as we made use of our moral nature so is our character -- our moral possession -- of today; as we used the things of the world in previous bodies, so are the things of the world for and surrounding our bodies today. We were trustees then; and our use, good or poor, of our trust has produced effects which we call Karma.
We are trustees today once more. Theosophy says, find out how to best use your trust fund -- in that lies happiness. Imagine two men each of whom possesses a million dollars; one man does not know how to make the best use of it, and the other does; of the two, who is really happy? He who can use his wealth. Therefore, we have to learn to know how to make use of our possessions and capacities. A person may be very intelligent, but if he does not know how to make use of his intelligence, what is he to other people? Nothing. Make use of your possessions; your mental wealth, or knowledge; your moral wealth, or character, your money, or physical wealth.
The Master is the greatest of trustees, for He knows the real value of all his possessions, knows how best to use, and -- note, now -- uses them. That is the third factor. We all know we possess a body. We all know what the capacities of the body are. Even Mr. Lazy-Bones knows that; but he doesn't work. To know how to work, how to use our possessions, and do so: in that doing we gain greater physical, greater moral, greater intellectual wealth.
So the Soul is the great Trustee. Possessing three kinds of wealth -- moral, mental, and bodily -- the Soul is evolving by learning to make the right use of them for the benefit of others. Thus comes knowledge, and knowledge produces happiness. So a man who possesses little of all these, but knows how to act -- and acts, is happier even than the man who possesses in greater abundance and does not know how to use his possessions.
[Part 10 of an 11-part series]
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