February 1933 Vol.5—4
Meditations—By S. Y.
Let the embers of my devotion
Glow with Thy Presence evermore.
I have made an altar of devotion
In every thought. Come Thou,
Oh, Mother Divine,
And rest on the humble altar of my thoughts.
I behold the pores of Thy body in the sky.
I watch Thy eyes twinkle through the stars
And through the wisdom of human thoughts.
I behold Thee listening through my devotion.
I hear Thee talking to me
With Thy voice of inner quietness.
I feel Thee caressing me
Through the cool breeze
And the warm sunshine.
I feel Thee soothingly touch me
With the joy of meditation.
I enjoy Thy fragrance
In the blossoms of my devotion.
May Thy feeling, will, and reason
Breathe through my feeling, will, and reason.
I feel Thy heart throb through my own
And through all other hearts.
I feel Thee walking through all feet,
Working through all hands,
Thinking through the thoughts of all minds,
Throbbing through all hearts,
Enjoying through all souls.
I feel Thy feeling through my Universal love.
I feel Thy will
Through my sacred will
And holy determinations.
Father, may Thy wisdom
Be the guide of my reason.
Be Thou, Oh, Father,
The only thrill of my joy.
Make me feel
That Thy perfect image of health
Is reflected in my body.
Make me feel that Thy perfect,
Almighty power flows through my mind.
Make me feel that Thy perfect Wisdom
Is manifesting through my wisdom.
Make me feel that Thy Spirit
Is reflected in my soul.
Make me feel Thy perfect Presence
By manifesting through all my body parts.
As by closing my eyes I can shut out the sun,
So by closing the eyes
Of my devotion and meditation
I lose sight of Thee.
By peering intently
Through the open eyes of my devotion,
I found Thee right here with me,
Surrounding and enveloping me,
Just as the sun
Is seen when the eyes are opened.
By re-establishing my identity with Thee,
Let me know that all that Thou hast
Belongs to me also.
On the altar of dawn, I will worship Thee.
I shall destroy the demon of jealousy
And establish Thy List of Love in my soul.
I shall destroy peace-devastating anger
And will establish
The altar of calmness in my soul.
May Thy joy rest forever
On the altar of my constant inner calmness.
I will behold
Only the good traits of people I meet.
I will cease beholding
The negative qualities of people.
I will rejoice in the sacred joys of others.
I will cry and burst my heart
With the secret unceasing prayer:
Until Thou dost appear unto me.
I want to learn the truth
About the mystery of life
From Thy own lips of intuition.
Take away the intoxication
Of spiritual indifference toward meditation
So that I may unceasingly seek
Until I find Thee.
First, I shall seek Thee with all my might;
Secondly, I will think and study;
Thirdly, I will look after my health;
Fourthly, I will earn my livelihood;
I will enjoy material things
With Thy Joy.
I will overcome meanness by nobility.
I will burn hatred
In the roaring embers of my spreading love.
I shall be moderate in everything.
I shall be balanced in my actions.
I will eat, not to satisfy greed, but for health.
I will sleep, not for sloth, but for rest.
The Eternal Question
By James M. Warnack
WHAT reason did Jesus have for not answering Pilate’s question: "What is Truth?"
It is probable that the great Nazarene could have answered His interrogator, but He refused with the knowledge that His silence would be worth more to this struggling world than any words He might have spoken.
The Master knew, for one thing, that the human race knows more of Truth than it is willing or courageous enough to live up to, and that the presentation of Truth, in its fullness, would have been an act of irresponsibility on His part. It is probable, also, that He was well aware of the fact that the finite mind, confronted with the blazing light of eternal Truth, would immediately collapse, thus destroying the possibility of further attainment.
It may be, too, that the Master, saw the need of man for mystery, and understood that the presentation of Truth, in its probable great simplicity, would rob man of his ideals, and so hinder his growth and appreciation of life’s sublimities. If that is the explanation, then the wisdom of Jesus, in this respect, is borne out by the history of the centuries.
The proof of this assertion lies in the fact that today, when men claim to be more civilized, more advanced, more learned than any generation in the past, the love of mystery is more noticeable than at any time in the history of the world. We insist upon the mysterious to such an extent that when we have a feeling that some scientist has really tapped the source of knowledge and that he is preparing to spring his discovery upon the world, we fear that he may indeed be preparing to clarify existence, and we join the army of doubters. To see Truth everywhere, at all times, evidently is not our desire, since this would end the quest, and would "kill the game."
Man is glad to make use of substances and forces, but he seems to be rather happy in the knowledge that there is something about all things and events that is elusive, something that he cannot fathom, nor does he seem to be any too anxious to fathom the secrets of life. The poet, the mystic, and the priest feel that they must always hold something back, even from themselves, that they must never allow themselves to be satisfied, and that they must insist upon an ideal beyond their brightest conceptions and perceptions. The excuse for human activities and the joy men take in labor, lies in the fact that the human mind will not allow itself, or else is not allowed, the idea of completion, excepting in an abstract way. This fact seems to be the fundamental key to progress.
Getting Your Prayers Answered
By S. Y.
Praying Without Response
DO YOU realize that you may have been praying to an unknown God and may not have been getting any response? Every Sunday you get into the church vibration and pray with both earnest and indifferent souls. You feel religious, and you feel afraid of God. Sometimes you get emotional, and sometimes you philosophize about Him, but have you ever taken time to think that your ordinary daily prayer to God is almost always a one-sided affair? Do you like to talk to a deaf, mute person? Do you want to go on appealing or talking to someone who never replies.
Are You Sure
Your Prayers Are Answered?
You may say: "I know my prayers are answered, for I hear God talking to me. I have demonstrated His response to my prayers." "Well," I ask, "are you sure that your prayers reached God, and if they did reach Him at all, did He consciously respond to them?" What is the proof? You prayed for healing and you became well. Do you know whether your cure was due to natural causes, or medicine, or to your own or another’s prayers, bringing help from God? Sometimes there may be no casual relation between your prayer and your cure.
Testing a Prayer
The conclusion that you were well after your prayers may be a fallacy. The fact that the comet rose and then King Edward died may have had no causal relation. Many people in the same condition as King Edward did not die after the advent of the comet. The clock is about to strike twelve and I clap my hands and say: "Now the clock is going to strike." The clock strikes after I clap, but there is no causal relation between the two events, for the clock would have struck even though I did not clap. Likewise, even if you happen to pray before an inevitable recovery, that does not mean that your prayer healed you. You might have been healed even if you had not prayed. This is the reason why we should find out whether the law of cause and effect can be scientifically applied to prayer.
The method of agreement and difference ought to be applied to prayer. If, every time you get sick, you pray and get well immediately, and then again, if sometimes you get sick and do not pray and your sickness continues, and as soon as you pray your sickness disappears, then you can say: "Ah, yes, my prayers produce results to a scientific certainty."
Then comes the question: Would a conscious God, Almighty in Nature, subject Himself to be commanded by the law of cause and effect which He created Himself? Why not? The maker of all laws certainly does not want to break the laws of His own making. Of course, we must remember that, although God is approachable through the law of cause and effect, still He, being above the law of cause and effect, has the right to respond or not to respond to a mechanical prayer. God is something more than can be demonstrated in a laboratory.
It must be found out what kind of prayers bring response from God. The following prayers will serve to compare the different kinds and show the best prayer which can be used for bringing response from God.
The Mechanical Prayer
In Sunday morning services there will be found many people who say the Lord’s prayer in unison with others, not for any other reason than because they are in church. Such people pray and sing like the victrola, which does not know what it sings. They wink their eyes, and watch through the corners of their half-opened eyes what the minister is doing. They listen to the creaking chairs around them, or to the purr of autos passing the church, and especially do they concentrate upon their watches, so as to know when the service will end and they can go home to enjoy their Sunday dinner.
Such people pray because other members of their family pray and they are compelled to go to church for fear of being called irreligious. Most husbands go to church because their wives do. Such prayers are better than nothing, and they produce few results. Of course, it is good for restless people to go to church, for its sacred vibration may sometime awaken them when they are afflicted enough to seek God sincerely.
The Emotional Prayer
Some people pray with excited emotion and become intoxicated with the exuberance of their own passion. Such people feel satisfied by being drunk with their own blind feelings and they think that they are inspiration from God. Such emotions often lose their force in tears, or in religious dances or muscular demonstrations. Visitation of God through intuition is different from emotional outbursts. Emotional prayers bring activity and excitement, while devotional prayers bring the calm joy of the soul.
Some ministers pray with high-sounding voices, high-sounding words, and sophisticated language to please the ears of intellectual audiences instead of praying to please God only. God does not reveal Himself unto the theoretically wise, but unto babes, who surrender themselves, their egoism, their pride, and their mustard-seed-like knowledge before the vastness and humbleness of His measureless wisdom. Intellectual prayers may uplift the intelligence, but not the soul. They may give intellectual satisfaction, but they do not bring conscious response from God.
The All-Round Prayer
Response-bringing prayers must be intellectually coined. You must understand what you are praying for, whether for money, fame, health, wisdom, or love of God. The intellectual prayer must be sugared and saturated through and through with calm emotion. It should be spiced with continuous devotion and boiled in all-surrendering love. Pray intelligently, with a bursting soul, seldom loudly, mostly mentally, without displaying to anyone what is happening within. Pray intelligently, with the utmost devotion, as if God were listening to everything you were internally, mentally affirming. Pray on into the depths of night in the seclusion of your soul. Pray until He replies to you through the intelligible voice of the utmost bursting joy tingling through every body cell and every thought, or through visible visions depicting what you should do.
Don’t cry to Divine Mother like the baby who stops crying immediately when his mother sends him a toy, but cry unceasingly, rending the heart of the Divine Mother like a Divine Naughty Baby, throwing away all lures and toys of name, fame, power, and possession, and then you will find the answer to your prayers.
Above all, pray unceasingly until you are absolutely sure of the Divine contact, then claim your material, mental, or spiritual need from the Most High as your Divine Birthright.
East and West
By James Warnack
(With Apologies to Kipling)
Though East be East and West be West,
God loves them both the same—
And so do all those loving hearts
That reverence His name.
And East and West shall meet as One,
When they shall understand
That heaven’s gate swings wide
Who enter hand in hand.
Oh, Gracious Mother,
In Thy vast eternal sunlight
Heal us, Thy foolish children, from our sins;
Who heed Thee not,
But careless of Thy Presence
Turn our bent backs on Thee,
And scratch and scrabble
In ash-heaps ....for Salvation.
The Religion of a "Householder"
By Louis E. Van Norman
WHY the term "Householder?" Because it fits most nearly the group that has been, and continues to be, the stay and support of any social order—the man, or woman, with a family, a certain amount of what we call property, and a real practical stake in the community. The householder cannot withdraw from the world. During most of his life, he must face it and conquer its difficulties.
In Hindu spiritual history of modern times there is one splendid example of this; namely, the master of Swami Yogananda’s master, Lahiri Mahasaya, who literally lived his religion every day while at his work. He was a government functionary in India, and while performing his daily tasks, he would keep his mind meditating on God at every possible opportunity.
No religion may be said to "work" until it gets down to the householder. What did the faith of Buddha count for until it had radiated outward from the saint, fasting and meditating for forty days under the banyan tree, to the fruit sellers in the market-place? Of what human significance was the inspiration of Mohammed until the camel drivers of Mecca and Medina felt its urge to proselyte? How far would the uplifting and cleansing doctrines of the gentle Jesus have gone had they not so soon touched and fired the souls of the humble fishermen of Galilee and the other lowly folk of Judea? As it concerns a householder, any religion must be judged and appraised.
As applied to a householder, what is religion? To me it seems fairly, if not quite adequately, described as the adjustment of the facts and contacts of every day life to practical spiritual ideals. While making a living, one keen observer has said, we must not forget to make a life. But are we doing that in America today? Some of us, an increasing number, alas, are realizing, with sad hearts, that, whatever our virtues as a people, we Americans have no national ethic or ideal.
The writer of a recent book, "This County of Yours," by Morris Markey, after travelling all over our country and quietly interviewing several thousand of our "average" men and women, has come to the conclusion that we are "one of the most aimless great nations the world has even known." Nowhere, he says, did he encounter "a genuine religious feeling." Everywhere he found "skepticism, distrust, or amusement at the beliefs of our forefathers."
It is commonly understood that the ancient virtues are no longer taught in our country, according to the following statement:
"Children are not reared to the stern chant of goodness. They climb haphazardly into adult life. The fetish is:
They are not immoral. They are simply without morals, save for those instinctive and defensive morals which survive unconsciously from more harshly ordered generations."
The pain of such a national aimlessness is felt, unconsciously, no doubt, by nearly every individual among us. It is one reason, this writer believes, for our restlessness, our urgent desire for leadership, or for "some not-too-painful catharsis (from the Greek Katharsis, a cleansing, or purification) that will cleanse us of our chaos and put purpose into our lives".
Some time ago a number of "average" intelligent women were discussing another woman whose gaiety and courage had withstood circumstances that would crush an ordinary mortal and still had commanded the respect and affection of their entire community. Said one:
"I can’t think what keeps her going."
"Perhaps she has a religion," ventured a second.
"Oh, no. It can’t be that. She’s too intelligent!"
These women had discovered that most of the enlightened women of their communities today unconsciously assume that religion and intelligence have nothing in common.
We certainly need something to shake us up and give us an aim in life. We are so much concerned about reputation, but so little about character or spiritual ideals. Yet, as has been so well said, reputation is what people think you are, character is what you are, and spiritual ideals are what differentiate us from the brutes.
What is the religion of a householder; that is, what sort of a religion is it? First of all, and above, all, it seems to me, the religion of a householder must be a practical one. It must "work" in the affairs of every-day life. We Americans love that word "practical," generally contrasting it with "theoretical," to the disparagement of the latter. We are apt to forget that every good and useful practice, every "practical" idea or scheme, must have a sound theory behind it. It would not "work" unless it first rang true as a theory.
What theory, what philosophy, then, does the practical man, the householder, need behind his practice? There are all sorts of religious and spiritual theories and philosophies. Mankind has been evolving them and experimenting with them for thousands of years. Most of them, nearly all, in fact, have come out of the East. How have they served Westerners? A light may be thrown on this by a conversation recently reported in the press. A modern skeptic is asking the questions, a practical Christian supplying the answers.
Q. "Do you realize that you are only a tiny atom of humanity, and that humanity is a transitory scum on the surface of a minor planet?"
A. "What you say is true, but it is just as true that, if we think of ourselves as scum, we will behave like scum. If we think of ourselves as significant parts of a scheme that has meaning, consistency, and possibilities of growth, we may—even while we realize that the wind passeth over us and we are gone, and the place thereof shall know us no more—accomplish something of eternal life . . . Christ’s great contribution to the religious philosophy of mankind, ‘A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another,’ I believe, is the surest way to human happiness."
In our own time we have an example of this in Gandhi. The powerful spiritual radiations of the thinking of that one tiny atom of scum have profoundly troubled a great empire and threaten the economic stability of the whole world.
A householder has a number of relationships which meet him every day. How is he to find help in his religion, practical help, in meeting these? These relationships are to:
All must be cultivated.
The first in importance, because all the others depend upon it, is a man’s relation to his own spiritual nature. He must learn to know God. Not until he, himself, has known God can he get into right, helpful, spiritual relationship with the rest of the world. How can he do this? He can do it best by meditation and constant watchfulness against bad habits and wrong desires. His relations to his family and the other wider groups are only extensions of those to his own spiritual nature. We are all children of one Father.
The religions of the East are best exemplified, perhaps, by the four-fold formula of the Yogi. The Way may be followed by the path of :
Our own Yogoda method will help us in all these. It will enable us to realize the essential unity of the physical, the mental, and the spiritual.
There is a formula, or, rather, a practice, followed by the Yogis in guiding their lives, which assumes a century as the normal span of a man’s, a householder’s, life. This span they divide into four periods of twenty-five years each.
We Western folk must make our own adaptation of this formula or practice. We cannot expect, like the Hindus, to live for a century. Let us estimate, perhaps, a little more than the Biblical three-score years and ten. Let us say we can reasonably expect to live here on this earth plane for eighty years. How can we most profitably divide this time? I don’t know. Perhaps psychologically this span of life should be divided into four periods of twenty years each, which may be described as the periods of :
Our first years, perhaps the first score, are largely taken up by what we call education, or schooling. From the days when the infant first learns that the toe he reaches for is nearer than the ball at the other side of the room until the youth begins to understand that many things must always elude his eager grasp, life is a series of discoveries about perspective, or relationship to the physical and social universe in which we live.
Our second two decades make up the period of adjustment. What can’t be cured must be endured. Young men and women begin to regulate their lives by facts and conditions, by actualities, not by wishes or dreams. It becomes with them less and less a matter of "I want," and more and more one of "I must" or "I ought to." It is then that we learn how best to live among our fellow men. Most of us are married and many have children. There is no better way of adjustment to life than by that way, the way of love for a wife or husband, and the rearing of a family. The discipline and training are invaluable. One learns how to become a good citizen as well.
Now we have come to the beginning of the third period, the third score of years. At forty, say the French, a man is his own physician, or a fool. We have perhaps achieved something, perhaps amassed some of what the world calls riches, but we realize that the period of renunciation has come, that life, which had heretofore been addition, has now become subtraction. We may lose our dear ones, we shall probably begin to lose our worldly possessions, or maybe our friends, but we must learn to renounce cheerfully and say with Job: "The Lord hath given, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Finally, sunset glows begin to tinge the western sky. The fourth score of years begins. This is the period of fulfillment. If we have sown well, we shall reap an abundant harvest. What is this nonsense we hear and read so frequently about youth being the only worth-while period of life, about age always being an affliction? Recently an older lady—over seventy—spoke of the astonishment she had caused a group of her friends by saying that she was enjoying her age. She told them that she was literally "having the time of her life." To the exclamations of amazement and disbelief that greeted this statement, she replied:
"Oh, I know you think this can’t be true, because the one thing we all fear most is age, and we use up most of our strength and energy in fighting it off, but when it finally comes we discover that it is a time of communion with the unseen, of peace and quiet happiness, such as we have never enjoyed before. It is, in fact, like arriving at the end of a long, hard journey, like sitting down in the twilight after the stress and rush of the day’s work is over, and folding one’s hands and having time to think and philosophize and get a perspective on things, and trying to find out what they were all about.
We are so full of fears when we are young and so worried about little things. . . . Age is the great emancipator. Only the old are free. When you are young, you are bound by a million conventions and policies and social necessities and restrictions. You have to run with the herd and do the things that are expedient to do, and generally keep up with the procession, but when you are old you can do exactly as you please . . .
Life has taught me that most of the things I was afraid of never happened at all, and if they did happen, they weren’t half as bad as I thought they were going to be. Age has virtually no disappointments, and that alone would make it worth the price."
Yes, age is the great emancipator, particularly if you have made that inner adjustment, that peace with God that passeth all understanding. The plan of the universe, of our lives, must be right, because God is good. Our task is to find out what the plan is and to harmonize our lives with it.
Every age presents the form and manner of satisfying religious need—of approach to God, in a new way. Every age must synthesize what it has learned—must make a new body of belief, paint a new picture of life, slowly, carefully, honestly, from the scattered, separate, more or less isolated units which have resulted from study, research, deep thought, sincere investigation—into the truths of nature and of human relations.
The Hindu sages did this through the centuries. The Jewish prophets did it every so often and proclaimed a new idea of the One God. Bacon gathered the scattered wisdom of all ages into his Novum Organum, and modern science was born. Every six or seven centuries, the Hindu sages tell us, when human life has wandered far from God, who is the Truth, a new Avatar of the Cosmic Consciousness comes to earth to point mankind more impressively to the Eternal.
The ordinary man, the householder, has always been the final repository, the conserver, the exponent of the Truth as each age sees it. He it is who makes the new ethical and social standards. He can be trusted to "carry on" the message to his children and his children’s children, for it is he who faces realities and must subdue the world, the flesh, and the devil, not by running away from them, but by rising above them to the heights where he can see God.
(Louis E. Van Norman is chairman of the Washington, D.C., Yogoda Center.)
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
"Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto Him, "If thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning Thee, to keep Thee; And in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering, said unto him,
(It is written again,
Thou shalt not tempt
The Lord thy God.)
"Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him," All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them; for it is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever will I give it. If Thou therefore will fall down and worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him,
(Get thee behind me Satan;
For it is written,
Thou shalt worship
The Lord thy God
And Him only shalt thou serve.)
"And when the devil had ended all the temptation he departed from Him for a season. And, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him."
Quoted from "Walks and Words of Jesus" by Rev. M. N. Olmsted.
THERE are two meanings to the above passage. The Cosmic Intelligent Force, which turned away from God, threw Its searchlight of consciousness upon matter to extol it, and to tempt man with its tinsel glory. Any man who turns his consciousness externally upon matter, automatically finds his vision matter-bound, along with Satan’s vision. To be a slave to the senses is to use the soul’s searchlight of attention for worshipping the glory of changing, temporary, pleasure-yielding matter. To reverse the searchlight of attention upon the soul is to behold and enjoy the changeless, everlasting, joy-giving Spirit.
The first meaning is that the Psychological Satan of Ignorance took hold of the mind of Jesus while He was on the very height of the Temple of Meditation situated in the Holy City of His Universal Christ Consciousness. This means that the mind of Jesus, although it had reached the pinnacle of meditative intuition in His Christ state of consciousness, was still subject to the temptation of ignorant delusion. His past delusive habit of yielding to temptation, finding constant defeat in the sacred consciousness of Jesus, was making a last effort to dislodge his Divine habit of right thinking and claim Him as its own. The memory of His past delusive habit cast a tempting thought in His mind, and He was led to think: "Since I have regained my lost high state of Divine Sonhood by deep meditation, it is safe for me to cast myself down into temptation, because God will protect me through my guardian angels of spiritual conviction, intuitive experiences, and meditation-born wisdom. Even if I fall into temptation, the angels of spiritual thoughts will lift me up again to my high estate of consciousness, and will prevent my strong foot of will power from dashing against the stone of misery-making spiritual error."
The better spiritual habit conquered, and Jesus replied by thought to temptation within Himself. The highest wisdom, as written in the great Scriptures, says: "Attention must not stray from God, the Father, the Creator of all forms of consciousness, but that consciousness must remain identified with and concentrated upon God. It must not separate itself from Him and try to drag Him matter-ward."
All craving and desire in man should be transmuted and turned toward God, instead of allowing it to try to delude the God in man. Temptation is a delusive, compelling, conflicting, joy-expecting thought which should be used to pursue happiness-making truth and not misery-producing error. Although God is the creator of consciousness, still the vitiated consciousness in man turns away from Him and tries to lure the soul to concentrate upon the temporary joy of the senses. When Jesus found this, He snubbed His temptation, and told it not to be audacious enough to tempt the God in Him.
Again, the psychological temptation followed Jesus to His very high, mountain-like state of Self-Realization, and in a quick mental vision showed Him all the power and temporary glory that material possessions could give Him, and thus lured Him with the thought: "I will give you all this power and wealth." Further, His psychological delusive habit made Him feel that it had complete power over all temporarily-glorified material things, and that it had the power to give Him enjoyment of all material objects if only He would fall from His high state of self-control and happiness in Spirit, down to the plane of sense enjoyment.
A superman, even though he is fixed in a high state of consciousness by deep meditation, he is still subject to the temptations of his past pre-natal and post-natal memories of sense enjoyments, which promise all kinds of quickly obtainable pleasures in place of the hard-earned, lasting joy of self-control and meditation.
Jesus answered within Himself: "Oh, ye senses of smell, taste, and touch, you were made to be devoted to the everlasting joy of Spirit, and to constantly act and serve in such a way that the joy of Spirit would become a permanent habit of the soul."
The sense of taste was not given to create greed and indigestion by overeating, but to joyously select the right food in order to help build the Temple of God. To eat only for the pleasure of taste, produces greed, slavery, indigestion, and death. To eat for the maintenance of the soul’s body temple, produces self-control, long life, health, and happiness.
"My senses were given to serve me," thought Jesus, "and were not made for me to cater to their insatiable appetite." As a man cannot satisfy his hunger by feeding someone else, so also the soul cannot be happy by catering to the unnatural appetite of the senses.
When the Psychological Delusive Habit had finished tempting Jesus with memories of pre-natal and post-natal material habits, the delusion of mortal habit departed, for a time at least, giving rise to the feeling of victory of the good habit. The departing of Satan for a season signifies the transcendental state of fixed self-control, when the devotee rises above the state of struggle with evil.
As soon as the mortal delusive habit disappeared, the angels of Intuition, Calmness, Omniscience, and Self-Realization appeared in the consciousness of Jesus to serve Him with lasting joy and happiness.
Astrological World Cycles
By Laurie Pratt (Tara Mata)
WE NOW COME to a consideration of the authenticity of this plan of the Four World Ages, in the light of known history and the evidence of pre-history, including that dim stretch of time which begins about 6000 B.C., when the "Dawn of History" appears.
What reason have open-minded students to believe in the truth of this ancient Hindu system of Yuga-chronology, based on the Equinox-Precessional Cycle? Are we really, in our present era, on the Ascending Arc of progress? Has mankind truly emerged, in 1698 A.D., from the Iron Age of Kali into the brighter Bronze Age of Dwapara? Was there actually a Golden Age of the world which ended in 6702 B.C.? Why should we believe in the validity of this Cycle-plan, which conflicts with many others offered in various standard metaphysical and astrological writings, and is unsupported by modern historical interpretation? In short, what are the facts, records and events of the immediate past and of far-distant ages, which can reasonably be admitted as valid evidence of a profound connection between a 24,000 year Equinox-Precessional Cycle of the heavens, and the rise and fall of nations and civilizations on this earth?
In an attempt to answer these questions we must, first of all, consider the orthodox historical view and background, as furnished by our leading anthropologists, geologists, archaeologists, and scholars today.
Beginning of Exact Chronology
H. G. Wells, in his "Outline of History," says, "Chronology only begins to be precise enough to specify the exact year of any event after the establishment of the eras of the First Olympiad (776 B.C.) and the building of Rome (753 B.C.)."
These dates roughly coincide with the beginning of the Dark Age, Kali Yuga of the Descending Arc, in 702 B.C. (It will be necessary for the reader to refer back to the Time-Diagram of the Ages in the October 1932 article of this series, in order to properly understand these date-references.)
Thus, we may say that the beginning of history, so far as our modern era has been able to establish an exact chronology is concerned, is coincident with one of the time or Yuga-divisions of the Equinox-Precessional Cycle, whose reliability we shall presently test. The scope of history extends, however, in a far less exact and comprehensive way, to a period about 6000 B.C., which is the date given by modern archaeologists to the Sumerian cities of Nippur and Eridu in Mesopotamia. "Perhaps the earliest people," writes Wells, "to form real cities . . . in any part of the world, were a people of mysterious origin called the Sumerians . . . They developed their civilization, their writing, and their shipping, through a period that may be twice as long as the whole period from the Christian era to the present time. The first of all known empires was that founded by the high priest of the god of the Sumerian city of Erech . . . There flourished the first temples and the first priest-rulers that we know of among mankind."
History Covers Several Yugas
If, then, we take the year 6000 B.C. as marking the "dawn of history," we shall see that this date roughly corresponds to the beginning of the Treta of Silver Age of the Descending Arc, which began in 6702 B.C. In this way, the records of history, starting from the Sumerian empire of a vague 6000 B.C., down to the present day, reveals, completely or partially, the story of mankind for a period of years that would include, by the Age Time-Chart we are using, the entire Yugas of Treta, Dwapara and Kali of the Descending Arc, as well as of the entire Kali and a brief span of Dwapara of the Ascending Arc. Thus, four whole Ages and part of a fifth Age are within the historical period, to whose records we shall presently go in our effort to determine whether or not the distinctive influences of the Yugas can be traced in the life of mankind.
Modern Historical interpretation
Geologists assign to the earth an age of about 1,600,000,000 years. (Einstein, however, has recently stated his estimate as ten billion years.) Anthropologists and other specialists claim that nearly all of that span was without any human life, and put the time of the first appearance of a true human type, the neanderthal man, at about 50,000 B.C., when the fourth and last Glacial Age was disappearing. By 20,000 B.C., man is represented as having reached, in Egypt and Mesopotamia, the beginning of the agricultural state, the Neolithic or New Stone Age. Finally we arrive, about 6000 B.C., at the "dawn of history" and the first-known cities and civilization of the Sumerians. From then down to the present day, historians claim to discern a more or less steady growth and expansion of civilization and progress among men.
"There are set-backs, massacres, pestilence;" writes Wells, "but the story is, on the whole, one of enlargement. For 4000 years (B.C.) this new thing, civilization, . . . grew as a tree grows; now losing a limb, now stripped by a storm, but always growing and resuming its growth."
This theory of Wells is the theory of nearly all representative modern scholars. Their conception of civilization as a growing tree, first planted, like an acorn-seed of an oak, not earlier than 10,000 B.C., and increasing in stature by slow degrees to the majestic elevation and girth it has now attained, is their primary premise, from which are drawn all their conclusions about the relative importance and height of all civilizations within historical limits. Stated as a syllogism in logic, the argument of historians is this: (1) The path of civilization, seen as a whole, has pursued a straight, upward line through the centuries; (2) The civilizations of ancient Egypt, India, China, Mesopotamia, Cnossus and other centers of early culture, predate modern progress by many thousands of years; (3) Therefore, the ancient world must necessarily have been inferior to those of modern civilization, as represented by the leading nations and greatest minds of our era.
Simple, But Not True
Simple, isn’t it? It is also a passably accurate and workable hypothesis, so far as it concerns the evidence of the really well-known historical periods, which date, as we have seen, only from the founding of Rome and the beginning of the Kali Yuga of the Descending Arc. Alas, for a theory of such simplicity and one so flattering to the builders of modern culture, "heir to all the ages,"—it is not true. It will not and cannot fit the facts and records of those mighty civilizations which passed through their Golden, Silver and Bronze Ages during the years 11,502 B.C. to 702 B.C.
Civilization, the practical outcome of man’s capacity to understand and utilize the powers of knowledge, does not pursue the straight, upward line claimed by historians. Instead, it follows a circular (rather, a spiral) course, with upward and downward half-circles which blend into each other as naturally and inevitably as day follows night, and season succeeds season.
Scholars grant that a cycle of growth and decadence is evident in the history of all past empires and cultures, but they have not yet perceived that the trend of civilization as a whole follows a similar cycle.
"As In Heaven, So On Earth"
The Hermetic axiom, "As above, so below; as in heaven, so on earth," from the Hermetic Law of Correspondences, is the clue. All creation, everything under nature (i.e., Maya), is under a cyclical law. All planets and suns swing around their orbits to complete and resume their individual cycles. The sphere or circle represents perfection of form, and is the archetype of universal structure.
"A philosophy of the history of the human race, worthy of its name," writes Friedrich Ratzel in his History of Mankind, "must begin with the heavens and descend to the earth, must be charged with the conviction that all existence is one—a single conception sustained from beginning to end upon one identical law." Though Ratzel does not perceive the grand implications of his thought, and fails completely to grasp any connection between the heavens and the earth in any sense deeper than the physical realms, yet his words are profoundly true.
Our modern historians and scholars do not understand the universal laws which govern all mundane matters, nor have they yet been able to trace the true and immensely ancient story of civilization during innumerable Equinox-Precessional Cycles or even during one 24,000 year Cycle. Spiritual perception must precede the discovery of truth in even the material worlds, and no human knowledge is ever a certainty until the spiritual law which underlies it is comprehended. To err is human, to know, divine.
"Those who have not practiced devotion conceive erroneously of the nature of the world," runs a passage from the ancient Hindu Puranas. "The ignorant, who do not perceive that this Universe is of the nature of Wisdom, and judge of it as an object of perception only, are lost in the ocean of spiritual darkness.
Viewing civilization as a "new thing" in the story of mankind, and comparing it, as Wells has done, to a tree, starting from an acorn-seed beginning some 6000 or 10,000 years ago and growing steadily, weathering all storms to achieve its present grandeur of size and extent, is a misconception which future historians, in the light of much fuller research and more unfettered minds, will discard.
A 12,000 Year Old Tree.
It is true, however, that the increase of civilization during the 12,000 years of the Ascending Arc of a complete 24,000 year Equinox-Precessional Cycle, can well be likened to a growing tree. Thus, starting with the year 498 A.D., when the Autumnal Equinox had reached the nadir of its circle and began a climb which will culminate in the year 12,498 A.D., we can discern a slow and gradual improvement of civilization, in comparison with the turmoil and decadence of the world in the preceding 1200 year period of Kali Yuga of the Descending Arc, which lasted from 702 B.C. to 498 A.D.
But the other half of any 24,000 year Equinox-Precessional Cycle, the side represented by the Descending Arc, will never be accompanied by an increase of the general civilization and enlightenment of the world, but will witness the immense spiritual heritage of the Descending Golden Age gradually being lost through the period of the still-glorious Silver Age, and the wonderful material civilizations and achievements of mankind during the Descending Bronze Age being slowly but inexorably broken up and lost during the dark Iron Age. Thus, the last Descending Arc of history measured from 11,502 B.C. to 498 A.D., and the inconceivably high (to our present understanding) Golden Age civilization, which lasted until 6702 B.C., vanished so completely that modern historians will not admit it ever existed. Year by year, during the passage of the Autumnal Equinox down the Descending Arc of it cycle, the knowledge and power of mankind dwindled and perished, until the lowest point of the cycle had been reached, in 498 A.D., and the world was plunged into the near-barbarism that accompanied the fall of Rome and the smash-up of the Western Empire, and the ancient light of India, Egypt and China was nearly extinguished.
The Tree Perishes
If we compare the civilization of the Ascending Arc period to a tree which grows from an acorn-seed to a giant oak in 12,000 years, then we may follow the illustration further and liken the civilization of the Descending Arc to a mighty oak which revolves back to its original state of an acorn-seed, in a manner similar to that shown by a backward exposure of motion picture film. Another comparison would be to a magnificent tree, slowly cut down through the 12,000 year period, its sap drying up and its roots dying in an increasingly barren soil.
Milton, Shakespeare, Solomon
"Time will run back and fetch the age of gold." So wrote Milton, and his use of the words, "run back", is extremely apt, implying both the cycle which links the periods of time to the various Ages, and the retrograde motion of the Autumnal Equinoctial point, against the order of the twelve Zodiacal Constellations.
Shakespeare’s works abound in references to the Four Ages of the world. The following passage shows his knowledge of cyclical recurrence (Julius Caesar, 3.1):
"How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted o’er.
In states unborn and accents yet unknown."
The imperishable wisdom of Solomon has left us these profound lines (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11):
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.
"Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us.
"There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after."
He again says (Eccl. 3:15), "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."
The cyclical law necessitates both evolution and involution, progression and retrogression, regeneration and degeneration. The Sun, sole external life-giver to our planet, wheels around its own orbit, regulating the position of the Autumnal Equinox on the zodiacal path. When the autumnal equinoctial point is falling on the ascending half of its circle of the Zodiac, mankind rises from ignorance to enlightenment, and when it falls on the descending half, the mind of man gradually sinks from illumination to darkness.
This is the law; this is the key to the correct interpretation of the story of mankind through the ages.
This key—an understanding of the connection of the Equinox-Precessional Cycle with the rise and fall of civilizations—has been hidden from the world for over 2400 years, during the course of the two 1200 year periods of the last two Kali Yugas, one of the Descending Arc and one of the Ascending Arc. Now, in our present year of 234 Dwapara Yuga of the Ascending Arc, this knowledge is here being brought to light, for the first time in the Western World, so far as the present writer is aware.
With this key, the historian of some not far distant day in our own Dwapara Yuga, will unlock the door which now separates us from a true understanding of the ancient civilizations whose grandeur could, and will instruct and inspire us.
(To Be Continued in Next Issue)
Just Out . . . .
New Book by Swami Yogananda!!!
Deepest meditations in the Infinite made tangible and practical for the beginner, whose thoughts run away during concentration, and also for the deep student in Metaphysics who is tired of vague spiritual realizations.
Written in the unique musical diction of "Whispers from Eternity."
The Bhagavad Gita
The Battle between Habits of Meditation and Restless Activity
First Chapter, Third Stanza
The X-Ray of Soul Wisdom
Translation and interpretations
Of third stanza.
Pshaitam Panduputranan Acharya Mahateem Chamum.
Budham Drupadputrana taba shishayana dhimata.
Pshaitam (behold this); Acharya (teacher); Mahateem (great); Panduputranam (of the sons of Pandu); Chamum (army); Budham (arrayed); Drupadputrana (by the sons of Pandu); taba (your); Shishayana (by your disciples); Dhimata (skillful.)
"Oh, Teacher, behold this great army of the sons of Pandu, held in battle array by the son of Drupada, your talented disciple."
Pashaitam (the introspection says within: "Behold this.")
Acharya (Oh, Thou Preceptor, Past Habit.)
Panduputranam (of the discriminative forces.)
Chamum (occult psychological soldiers.)
Budham (entrenched in the spinal plexuses, ready for psychological battle) under the guidance of Drupadputrana.
Drutam Shigram padam gatirjasha shah drupadah teebragah tajjata putrana tadbishista kriyaa prokashitana, or, dhristadumnana—chanchalya charsanana jad dahjoti bidyata—The calm inner light, which is the disciple of past habits (Drona) of meditation, taba (your); shioyana (by your disciple—the inner light is the disciple of the habit of meditation) Dhumata (inner light, which is skillful in battling the restless forces of the mind.)
"Oh, Thou Preceptor, Past Habit, behold Thy own trained disciple, The Calm Inner Light, skillful in psychological wars, leading the occult soldiers of discrimination."
Elaborate Spiritual Interpretation
The second stanza of the Bhagavad Gita describes how the spiritual aspirant first finds that King Material Desires is trying to arouse his evil tendencies to fight his forces of discrimination.
Material Desire is very much astonished to find that Calm Inner Light is a relative and an off-shoot of the same Past Habit tendency, and that it is arranging the pure discriminative faculties for a psychological battle.
King Material Desire was very much chagrined to find that Past Habit was not only his Preceptor, but also the teacher of the good spiritual discriminative tendencies. When Material Desire and Restless Thoughts try to reinforce themselves by Past Material Habits, and try to dissuade the spiritual aspirant from meditation, they find to their amazement that the Past Spiritual Habits of Meditation and their offspring of Calm Inner Light, along with all discriminative faculties, gather to give metaphysical resistance.
It is a psychological fact that habit is the Preceptor of both good and evil tendencies in man. When evil Material Desire tries to exercise the influence of habit to destroy the power of good, it is amazed to find that the good offspring of habit is ready to give resistance. It is very consoling to know that no matter how strong the powers of evil habit and material desire are, at any moment in life, there are the soldiers of good habits of this life and of past incarnations ready to give battle.
The occult soldiers are redoubtable, sturdy, intuitional powers which are the rear guard of King Soul. These remain hidden behind the psychological armies of discrimination, ready to stem the tide of the victorious sense-soldiers of Material Desire.
No matter how many times a man suffers from very powerful attacks of sense-habits and restlessness-producing material desires, he finds that the meditation-born, occult soldiers of this life and past lives still come to his aid. A man who is always restless and never meditates thinks that he is all right because he has become accustomed to being a slave of restlessness. However, as soon as he tries to meditate and be calm, he finds resistance from the bad habits of mental fickleness. Then, again, when the habits of restlessness try to usurp the throne of the devotee’s consciousness, they find the occult soldiers of past lives offering resistance.
It must be remembered that it is just as difficult for some people to be evil as it is difficult for others to be good. Evil cannot keep man under the influence of error forever, because he is made in the image of God. In the beginning, the spiritual aspirant finds his soldiers of discrimination guided by the desire to be good. Later, as he meditates longer and prays ardently for inner help, he finds that the clam conviction of unborn intuition, or awakening Inner Light, a veteran occult General, emerges from the superconscious go guide the forces of discrimination. This awakening Inner Light is the offspring of good Past Habit (Drona).
Habits of meditation, whether acquired recently or in the distant past, bring forth the General of Inner Light, who leads the armies of discrimination to battle all past bad habits (Drona) and King Material Desire.
The trouble with most people is that they voluntarily allow their kingdom of consciousness to be ruled by the evil tendencies born of past habits. Thus the discriminative tendencies, which are also born of past habits, remain ostracized and the occult soul soldiers, which are metaphysical rear guards hidden behind the armies of discrimination, also remain without action.
These occult soldiers appear on the scene of a psychological battle on two occasions only; first, when the advance soldiers of discrimination are completely routed by the soldiers of sense lures, and second, when the discriminative soldiers ask the aid of the occult forces through the trumpet call of meditation. Of course, it must be remembered that the occult soldiers can easily rout the forces of restlessness when they are reinforced by the soldiers of discrimination and before the throne of consciousness is usurped by King Material Desire.
It is good to start meditation at an early age, or failing in that, to start meditation as soon as the mental discriminative inclination is receptive. It is very difficult for the occult soldiers to help to reclaim the kingdom of peace after it has fallen into the hands of restlessness and material desire. Therefore, make spiritual hay while the sun of willingness to meditate shines.
Restless people are unaware of the evil-resisting power of their discriminative tendencies and occult soldiers. People who are prisoners in the hands of restlessness, and who are trying to calm themselves, will often become aware that the hidden occult soldiers are trying to emerge from the superconsciousness, to offer spiritual aid.
In the beginning, the spiritual aspirant finds that his soldiers of discrimination are guided by the desire to be good. Later, as he meditates longer, and prays ardently for inner help, he finds that the calm conviction of unborn intuition, or awakening Inner Light, a veteran occult General, emerges from the superconscious to guide the forces of discrimination. This awakening Inner Light is the offspring of good Past Habit (Drona.)
Habits of meditation, whether acquired recently or in the distant past, bring forth the General of Inner Light, which leads the armies of discrimination to battle all Past Bad Habits (Drona) and King Material Desire.
This Material Desire is so displeased that he thinks and says: "See, Mr. Past Bad Habit, my preceptor, it is your own skillful disciple, Inner Light, (born of Past Good Habits of Meditation) who is leading the discriminative forces to destroy you and me."
The good powers, born of habit, destroy their brothers, material desires, and the evil powers born of the same habit.
(The spiritual interpretation of the fourth stanza of the first chapter will be given in the March issue of East-West.)
By Michael Shay
JUST as Technology comes as a beacon light in the present economic chaos, showing us the path toward the "humanization" of the machine through the adjustment of demand, as against output and supply plus the revaluation of the medium of exchange, both in terms of money and labor, the "Fellowship of Self-Realization" comes as a lamp in the desert of Ignorance to show us the path toward the spiritualization of humanity, that it might function harmoniously with one accord. Technocracy represents those ideals in material adjustment so necessary to our general welfare, but let us not overlook the vital factor, so necessary to its continuance, of first awakening realization of brotherhood within each one of us.
Experience has taught us a bitter lesson these past fourteen years, that unless the people are educated to accept an ideal, as in the case of Prohibition, it is doomed to failure. Analysis reveals that it is the method and not the ideal that is lacking. Compulsion does not insure its success. Through reason it might be achieved. We have only to look to Gandhi who, through his ability to reach the hearts of his people through reasonable persuasion and through the awakening of their spiritual responsibility, was able to reduce the liquor traffic 80% in India. A glorious record beside our ignominious failure.
Until we are aroused spiritually, no power on earth is strong enough to push an universal ideal through to established success, for on every hand Ignorance blindly links its hands with sin in defeating the forces of God. Body-hunger might lead us for a time along the path of its immediate fulfillment, but when that is satisfied, what urge is left to follow an ideal? Soul-hunger, on the other hand, can only be appeased through continuous constructive activity.
The harnessing of the Machine and the equal division of profit in itself is not sufficient to bring us content. To those who place in materiality the goal of their happiness, the mere acquisition of a few more dollars will not bring peace. Their ideals are still anchored in money and what it can buy and their every leisure moment will be directed toward its accumulation, while all thoughts of brotherhood and equal-sharing are cast aside. A miser cannot be changed into a saint by taking away his gold. At heart his desire still burns with an ever-increasing flame. Remove that false concept and establish within him the realization of the true value of things and because he believes, his desire is automatically destroyed. Then there are those whose perspective has never extended beyond the confines of their own Ego. They must be shaken out of the rut of their selfish personalities, to see the world and its people as one huge family whose mission and motive, however obscure, cannot help but have at its root a common purpose.
We were born on this earth, not to cut each others’ throats with our material successes, neither as countries, families, nor individuals. The machine, as Technocracy has so ably demonstrated, was not given us to bring misery, but comfort. Those great inventors which have come to us through Divine Inspiration have come also to show us the way to real happiness. They should be used. We should not be used by them. We have in us the power to turn this age into one of the greatest epochs of Freedom this planet has ever known. Within ourselves lies the power to see these great inventions in terms of bringing us material freedom, so that we might develop our finer spiritual qualities. But if we place in this great material development of our Machine Age the false values of those selfishly ambitious to acquire wealth, this age has the potentiality of enslaving mankind by his own invention.
No matter who we are, what we are, none of us can deny the genuine expression of Universal Love as demonstrated by the great spiritual teachers who have come to us—by those great philanthropists who, having obtained monetary power, chose to use it to alleviate suffering and bring happiness. Our welfare was their sole ambition divorced from any selfish motive. Compare with such individuals those whom we, through our false standards of seeing only material success, have placed in the category of our popular "gods"—to be admired, respected, aped. When an individual through various machinations, obtains control over a portion of humanity and uses the energy and lives of living beings to provide him with material gains and advantages which they can never hope to enjoy, what ideal impels him to that action? Fellowship? An interest in anyone outside himself? Is he, through his actions leaving this earth a better place? Or is he confusing the pattern of our existence by the misuse of this power? Even those least perspicacious can read in his motive its bald greed.
The time has come for considering what is generally called "the human equation" in this Machine Age. Our rapid advance in science and invention during the past quarter century has blinded us with the light of our own conceit, viewing in myopic retrospect the glory we have brung upon ourselves. We have lost sight of the fact that the very purpose of those inventions is drowned in the selfish sea of individual greed. Out of all proportion to the true value of things, we wear our lives away in blind conformity to a gigantic industrial mechanism which unfortunately has been under the monopoly of some who are not altogether activated by an altruistic motive.
Blinded by egoism, blinded by materiality, Capital and Labor plod on individually seeking the road to Happiness. Blocked by the wall of Ignorance one is on one side and the other opposite, pushing against each other to clear the way. Tear the veil from their eyes and they will see that unless they unite their efforts it cannot be cleared. In harmonious cooperation, brother working with brother, the obstacle is removed and the way lies clear.
Into this rising tide of industrial reorganization must come the guiding hand of understanding . . . when with the clear eyes of reason we can truly look upon each other, not in the terms of material success or failure, but in the light of potential spiritual equality—the ideal of the Self-Realization Fellowship, so that we might function as a mass with the common purpose of universal welfare. Then only can Technocracy become an established success and we embark upon the Golden Age of Spiritual and Material Freedom.
Moments of Exaltation
By Br. Nerode
THE mind of man is mystically linked with the moods of Nature. Who can decipher why the human mind raves about Nature, the screen over which light and shade, sound and color, eternally play. Mind and Nature are co-equal twins born in the creative womb of Eternal Beauty. In spite of the claims of certain schools of philosophy, the objective and phenomenal world still exists, and does not seem to be non-existent, as an illusion. Even if it be an illusion, I will cling to the beauty of the lingering shadows as the dying sun lies low, nor will I ever let loose my hold upon the liquid gold that each dawn brings to my door. So beautiful is life to me, even with its attendant ugly phases, that not even heaven seems to be half as gracious and beautiful as this earth.
Beauty is the spoken word of God painted across the heart of Nature as well as on the soul of man. At any time, you can enter into the soul of Nature through the portals of your own soul. At times, when one’s mind is heavy and clouds are thick, Nature is the only open doorway through which to enter the deeper regions of mind, and thence to solemn silence and dear God.
To rise above the dust and dirt of the day, I often take the winding way along the edge of sauntering hills leading to the more open view of the blue sky, or, in places where hills are rare but rivers provide luxuries to fancy, I stroll along the serpentine banks, rippling with the laughing stream and singing with the gladdened birds. Again, when the moon throws its silvery dreams over the sleeping meadows, I wash my mind with silvery light, with no other prayer but to see it saintly white.
You may wonder what I gain by this way of dreaming. This sanguine surrender of self to Nature drowns the surging waves of subconscious thoughts, giving mind a lift to the higher ethers of God. This process of oblivion, or transformation of self, is so swift and without strain that mind forgets its existence in the limited realms of time and space, unconsciously touching the bottom of soul and the bed-rock of peace. In this sublime association with Nature, the focus of the mind suddenly shifts from the gross to the fine, from the limited to the unlimited, from earthly despair to hope eternal. Such communion gives wings to the soul and freedom to the enchained thoughts of the earthly man.
Whatever duties may fetter your liberty, always find time to retire to Nature’s lap and give rest to your tired brain. Where else will you find this impersonal beauty and joy to baptize your Being with the least effort on the sand-dunes of this active and anxious life? You may spend countless hours in the darkened nook of your remote cloister in order to concentrate on the sublime and the lofty, the Divine and the etherial, possibly without any appreciable result, yet a little communion with the nearby brook, or a friendly glance at the smiling blue sky, or even a passing word with the inviting trees or chirping birds, can bring to you such exaltation as otherwise is beyond your mortal reach.
No mathematical formula is needed to be observed in releasing the mind of its atrophy and troubles. Anything that helps should be openly welcome and unreservedly greeted. In this lies the key to the many-sided developments of many great minds. No temple was tempting to the Son of Man. The Child of the open, He preached on the Mount, under the trees, or on boats floating on limpid waters. Nature is an inspiration. It touches the heart with the quickening flight of a falcon.
At times, the pressure of work is so great that mind has no time for respite. The work demands the monopoly of attention. In such useful moments of life, I get out through the window of my imagination for an adventure into the glorified beauty spots of mother earth. As if in reality, I stand before the grandeur of the geological chasm of the Grand Canyon with the wonderment of a barbarian and the appreciation of an artist. I scan the strata, the colors, the river, the sky, as well as the solemnity of ages engraved in the epic of this Canyon.
What a relaxation thrills every tissue of my body and sinew of my mind! In the midst of burdening weight, many a time I have mentally stood before the stony seats washed by the trickling waterfalls of the Yosemite Valley. Similarly, countless times the thundering of Niagara Falls, the symbol of eternal motion, has fallen on my head and heart, cooling off the tension of my mind and deepening my concentration on the object in view.
This is not all. The marble poem of the Taj-Mahal, the snow-clad silence and majesty of the Himalayas, the meandering dreams along the Columbia river, and the clappings of the Pacific and the Atlantic, have often spread soothing balm over my fatigued brain, endowing fresher vigor and ever-new inspiration to my soul.
This method of relaxation and concentration by the aid of virile imagination and appreciation of beauty makes heaven come nearer to, and dusty earth shift farther and farther away, from the eyes of the worker. Thus drudgery is replaced by poetry and inspiration, and weariness is washed away by the infinite perception of beauty. Almost simultaneously, one’s mind is occupied by work, beauty, and poetry, so that labor becomes joy, and joy increases the capacity to work. Thus joy and work woo success.
Health, Intellectual and Spiritual Recipes
Famous Frances Recipes
(Specially Endorsed by S. Y.)
(Service for Five People)
One-quarter cup Pearl Barley. Soak in 1/2 cup of water over night. Add to one quart water, 2 cups onions diced about 1/2 inch; one cup of green onions cut about 1/2 inch; 1/2 cup of fresh or canned tomatoes; 1/2 cup of celery; 2 large bay leaves or 3 medium sized; 1/2 teaspoonful of garlic, cut fine; 1/2 teaspoonful thyme. Boil gently one hour, then add 1/8 lb. butter, melted and browned, and 1/4 cup of cream. Salt and pepper to taste. In each service dish place 3 or 4 inch-square pieces of La Sierra Soy Loaf.
NEWTON PIPPIN DESSERT
(Service for Five People)
Place 4 cups Newton Pippin apples, peeled and cut up; one cup orange juice; one cup sugar; one teaspoonful orange peel, cut fine, in granite or pyrex, in oven; cook until apples are soft, then take apples from juice and place in a large granite pie dish; cover with one cup ground walnuts, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and a large tablespoonful butter cut in slices; sprinkle 1/2 teaspoonful cinnamon over the top. Place back in oven and brown very delicately; take out and spread 2 tablespoonfuls of ground pistachio nuts on top.
Sauce for Individual Service:
Make of juice left over from apples added to top milk or cream, making 1/2 pint in all.
* * * * * * * * * *
By S. Y.
AMERICA is the most prosperous, starving nation on the face of the earth. I never heard such dollar-begging cries of mentally-poor millionaires even in the streets of Bagdad. It is natural to expect shameless beggars with tattered dress in the streets of the Orient to harass the passer-by with the request for pennies but it is pitiful to see how mentally-poor rich people sit in the panic-stricken and deserted streets of business crying out about the depression.
The stock market made mentally-rich people, who were satisfied with paper profits. Since the fall of the stock market, they have become mentally poor. The false paper securities made them imagine that they were rich. Now a few strokes of the pen on those same securities makes them think that they are poor. They would do well to write every day in their minds with letters of concentration—that they are rich. It is better to be rich in your thoughts than to believe in melting, fickle securities which make you think that you are rich when you are not.
If you are a person who once believed so much in well-printed, well-signed securities and now are disillusioned, you should try to realize more and more the unchangeable value to yourself of your ability, which you write on the parchment of your determination. Remember that the wealth of mental happiness, securely acquired, never can decrease in value, as do stocks and bonds. The latter are controlled by others, whereas, you can control your own gold of happiness by your unchanging mental attitude and your resolution "To be happy always."
Your hard-earned money kept for safety in a bank may be lost completely through the failure of that bank, but your well-controlled spiritual happiness, saved in the bank of your staunch, unchangeable determination, never can be lost, but will ever increase in value. You are all the officers, the president, and the directors, as well as the investors, in your own happiness-bank, and if you know how to play these various roles, continually creating, preserving, and adding to your happiness deposits, then no failure ever can be possible for you, in this, your very own, BANK OF HAPPINESS.
Yogi Drugless Method of Curing Chest Colds
TAKE this treatment before retiring: Wring a Turkish bath towel out of very hot water. With the damp, hot towel, rub throat and chest until the pores are open and the towel gets cold. Then wipe with a dry towel. Repeat this five times. Then, with the towel prepared as above, rub and wipe abdomen, back of chest, and hands and feet, four times. Put feet in hot water, as hot as you can stand. Then wipe your whole body with a dry Turkish towel. Get into bed and cover up with plenty of warm blankets. Repeat this every night until chest cold is gone.
Drink fruit juices (natural temperature, not cold) in the morning. Eat plenty of lettuce at your heaviest meal, which should be at noon. Eat fruit and ground nuts at night. Don’t drink or eat anything just before going to bed. Be very strict in observing the laws of continence.
Opening the pores of the body allows the unbalanced heat in it to pass through the skin surface. This extra heat, unless it is let out, passes through the mucous membrane of throat and lungs and causes ulcers and pus formations.
Mussolini has released thousands of prisoners from jail. This certainly is an adoption of Christ principles in politics, inaugurated by a great man.
Is America approaching toward capitalism, socialism, or equality of all men and women, with free education, free board and lodging, and free transportation by spiritual law of brotherhood and mutual agreement? The last-named seems to be the goal toward which all nations are moving, led by the example of Gandhi in India.
Q. When will the depression end?
A. As soon as people have more employment and there is less industrial competition and greed, and when capital and labor join hands to share in prosperity, and when people consent to plain living and high thinking.
Hon. Vithalbhai J. Patel and Shaukat Ali are in America.
Latest Scientific Discovery
on Age of Creation
Dr. Harlow Shapley, world-famous Harvard astronomer, spoke before the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Dec. 28, 1932, when he gave official sanction to the biblical idea that the earth, the sun, the stars, and planets were created all at once in one mighty action instead of being condensed piecemeal from a "nebula."
It all happened about ten billion years ago, as Prof. Albert Einstein recently suggested. The new theory is an outgrowth of the idea of Abbe le Maitre, Belgian astronomer, that Creation originally was just one big atom, which exploded into the present "expanding universe."
A new discovery was announced, describing why tuberculosis is sometimes dangerous and sometimes mild. It has been discovered that the tuberculosis germ can produce either form of the disease. The "weak" or less virulent type of germ can produce "strong" or highly virulent offspring, and virulent germs can produce the relatively harmless type.
Doctors M. Luckless and Frank Moss reported that our whole body wastes energy when our eyes are strained by trying to see in a bad light. They have discovered that the nervous muscular tension of a person reading a book increases or decreases in direct proportion to the amount of light that falls on the book.
Scientists are invited to write for this page. The subjects will include Psycho-Physical Inventions, which throw light on the inner powers of man; discoveries pertaining to good health, and discoveries of benefit to industries, society, and the home.
Note: All short articles must reach the editors on or before the 5th of each month.
We invite our readers to send in a description of the good points in their particular religious belief. Write clearly in about twenty-five words, without criticizing any other religious belief.
Following are some concrete examples:
1. Hinduism and Yogoda both teach us to seek the positive God: "The ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss."
2. Yogoda teaches us to have fellowship with all religions; to avoid theological bull fights; to find the shortest highway to Self-Realization, where all bypaths of religious beliefs meet and which straightway lead to God.
3. Christian Science teaches us to live more by unlimited mind-power and less by physical means.
4. Unity teaches the theory of Reincarnation, as the Hindus do. Without Reincarnation, they contend, there cannot be justice in human affairs. For instance, if a baby is born a cripple, it is because he did not destroy his consciousness of being a cripple before he died in his previous life. According to the law of causation, what we are today is the result of all yesterdays, and tomorrow we shall be exactly what we are today unless we initiate a new cause. We do not become angels after we die unless we become angels before we die. Reincarnation explains why man himself is responsible for his own sorrows, disease, and premature death. Calamities do not come by chance, and are not sent as punishment from God.
On the Art of Thinking
ERNEST DIMNET is the author of the non-fiction best-seller, "The Art of Thinking." In this book he has given us many valuable lessons, presented in a clear and fascinating style. We quote from the book as follows:
"When trying to think, if we at once feel a weariness, a drowsiness, or a tendency to repeat mere words, we do not know what thought is. The object of reflection is invariably the discovery of something satisfying to the mind which was not there at the beginning of the search.
Keep away from trivialities, and instead stock your mind with knowledge that is worth while. Many men absorbed in business show such a rare quality of culture that we are surprised at it. The reason is, that there is no room in such lives for inferior mental occupation. Great books, great men, great problems, great doctrines, and great facts and their lessons cannot but result in high thinking. The busier we are, the more severe our selection should be. Facts are only the material for thought. The thoughts themselves, that is to say, the illumination produced in our mind by the presence of rich facts, should be preserved even more carefully.
Educated people look for relations between ideas or between facts, and never see a thing without visualizing another beside it, or behind it. To keep no track of what one learns or thinks is as foolish as to till and seed one’s land with great pains, and when the harvest is ripe, turn one’s back upon it and think of it no longer. We must develop the capacity to have our own opinion about an idea, a poem, a doctrine, or a work of art, and see it clearly enough to give it forcible expression. Comprehension is criticism, and criticism or judgment is a synonym for thought.
Do not read good books only. Life is too short for that. Read only the BEST books, and of those read only the books that afford you the greatest pleasure and knowledge. We should not study anything that does not interest us. Whatever we read from intense curiosity gives us the model of how we should always read. We must make a distinction between what we read for our information and what we read for our formation, between what we want for our use, and what we need for our development, but whatever we read, we must first comprehend and, when we have comprehended, we must criticize.
You have no time, you say. Examine your conscience and answer. Is there no time that you can reclaim from your work or pleasure? Do you know how to gather up fragments of time lest they perish? Do you realize the value of minutes? One of the Lamoignons had a wife who always kept him waiting a few minutes before dinner. He finally had paper and ink laid in a convenient place, and several volumes of spiritual meditations were written while he was waiting.
Greek Axiom: Very busy people always find time for everything. Conversely, people with immense leisure find time for nothing.
Schopenhauer said: "Do not read—think."
By Jeanette Nourland
ALMOST a score of centuries have passed
Since first the lowly Nazarene proclaimed:
"I am the Way, the Truth, the Life!"
Since then this problem
Has our greatest minds engaged,
To solve the mystery—of Life and Death;
To state with truth, both definite and clear,
The source from which
Life comes and whence it goes
When that which we call Death
Has closed the door.
Yet, notwithstanding all the mental toil,
Intensive study, and profound research,
The mystery—remains a mystery still.
This narrow span of years that we call Life,
Connects two great unknown eternities.
One that precedes our entrance into Life;
And one that follows after Life has gone.
Behind these curtains,
Screened from mortal sight,
Death’s silent hand unlocks the door of Life,
And Love and Hope implants in every heart
A trust, inspired by Spirit’s guiding hand,
To teach our groping, seeking finite minds
That there are problems
Which we may not solve,
That there are secrets
Which we may not know
Immorality puts on—
And finite Life
Ella Sheeler Wilcox
The thought of that last journey back to Him,
When there is no more longing and desire
For anything but God ....left in my Soul,
Shines in the distance
Like a great, white flame!
I think the day will lead thro’ golden clouds
Skirting the shores of seas of amethyst,
And winding gently upward; past old worlds,
Where body after body was outlived;
Past hells and heavens,
Where I have had my day
With comrade Spirits from the lesser spheres,
And paid my penalty for every sin,
And reaped reward for every worthy act:
Past Realms Celestial and their singing hosts,
Where once I chanted with the Cherubim,
Out into perfect Silence.
An all-enveloping, vast consciousness
Of long, long journeys finished!
One more turn
Then Glory! . . Glory! . . Glory Infinite!
And selfhood lost ...in being One with God,
The ray ....once more absorbed into the Sun,
The cycle done!
By Edith Bills
The virgin earth is everywhere.
The streamlets ripple like a prayer;
No sound but pulsing harmony.
Majestic Om, we tryst with Thee.
The healing of our doubts and fears,
The tragedy of all our years, is gone—
And so are all our words.
In reverent awe we face towards
The grandeur that has always been
Above our petty noise and din.
In silent awe we tryst with Thee,
And feel Thy wondrous Majesty.
When a Thousand Years Have Passed
That the love thou enterest into today
Is for a few months or years:
The little seed set now
Must lie quiet before it will germinate,
And many alternations
Of sunshine and shower descend upon it
Before it becomes even a small plant.
When a thousand years have past,
Come thou again. And behold!
A mighty tree that no storms can shake.
Love does not end with this life
Or any number of lives;
The form that thou seekest
Lies hidden under wrapping after wrapping;
Nevertheless, it shall at length appear
—More wondrous far
Than aught thou has imagined.
Therefore, leave time: Do not, like a child,
Pull thy flower up by the roots
To see if it is growing;
Even though thou be old and near the grave,
There is plenty of time.
By Frances Wierman
That day was at the noon.
The Sun stabbed through the lowered shade
In vivid lances.
Odorous hum of life seeped in
And made its way to me ...
Who lay so weak
And still and thin.
The hum droned off to naught;
The odors deepened as I breathed them in,
Distilled to cyclamen and marguerite,
And drew my quiet thought
To a certain garden I once knew
But long, long since, forgot.
The light took on translucence
And a tender hue like Spring
In morning hours; I heard—
Across the years—my mother sing;
And someone said:
"Look! She is dead!
"All truth is an achievement.
If you would have Truth at its full value,
Go win it."—Munger.
Hereby it is announced that the following are ordained ministers of The Self Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Sat Sanga Society) of America.
Honorary Vice Presidents
Yogi Hamid Bey
Ranendra Kumar Das
Salome E. Marckwardt
Yogi F. Sevaka
NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC
INTERESTED IN EAST-WEST TEACHINGS
Since the EAST-WEST is a magazine of self-realization, it should be read not only once but many times, intellectually, and then meditated upon, individually and in specially conducted groups, in order to fix the Truth in intuition.
For this reason we will permit EAST-WEST groups to be opened all over America and in foreign countries to meet weekly and study the articles on the Second Coming of Christ and interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita and their inner meanings. They can study together the EAST-WEST teachings and meditate on them. Whispers from Eternity, by Swami Yogananda, can be studied to teach how to listen to the Whispers of God within.
We shall be glad to hear from people interested in forming such groups, and we will then send permission from Self-Realization Fellowship Headquarters to qualified leaders suggesting how to conduct such Centers. Instruction sheets will then be sent to you regularly to help you carry on from week to week. Write to EAST-WEST Magazine, 3880 San Rafael Ave., Los Angeles, and your letters will receive prompt attention.
Spiritual and Cultural Requisites
Sacred beads and charms (Rudraksha, Tulsi and Madulis), ancient images of stone and brass, symbolical paintings and statues, modern replicas of old works of art and architecture, Hindu musical instruments and perfumeries, holy medicines from Himalayan roots and herbs, a whole museum on historic gems, coins, relics, curios, pictures, and manuscripts of all kinds.
As Old As I
I AM older than the first vapors of Heaven,
Or the first baby star that was born
Out of the womb of the blue Heavens.
I was born before life opened its eyes
On earth’s cradle.
I was born and my mind
Worked beneath my skiey skull.
My thoughts spread in the veins
Of the all-pervading Cosmic Rays
And tingled in the space cells
Of my finite body.
I breathed the breath of life into everything.
I am the oldest in existence,
For it is my One self,
My One memory, which has been thinking
Through all the human brains
Of all incarnations in all Eternity.
Yes, it was I who sang
Through the birds of centuries,
And I who played the flutes of atoms.
It was I who made the ornaments
Of diamond planets, ruby starlets,
And blue sapphires
To decorate my skiey body.
Yes, I slept many times in many lives
In caves of diamonds,
In the bower of rose petals,
In the breasts of bluebirds,
And in countless babies.
But as I awoke
In the Omnipresent minds of supermen,
I remembered that I was the same One,
The oldest, the One who had been thinking,
Working, laughing, coming and going,
And waking and sleeping,
In the bowers of countless brains.
All souls who have known this,
Know that they too ....are As Old as I.
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