CAUSE AND EFFECT.
BY your great enemy I mean yourself. If you have the power to face your Own Soul in the darkness and silence, you will have conquered the physical or Animal-Self that dwells in sensation only."—"Light on the Path."
The above sentence embodies in a nutshell the very cream of the Yoga Philosophy. It is the quintessence of Occultism. 'The lips of wisdom are closed except to the ears of understanding.' You who read this will profit thereby only if you are bent upon spiritualising yourself. The One Thing that I want of you is Earnestness: not the earnestness of a-small-pot-soon-hot style, but one deep, abiding and constant impulsion that shall compel your being right through life. There is a widespread impression amongst those of the West that the Yogi is fit only for the lunatic asylum. But before you so clap them into Bedlam, please read, mark, and inwardly digest this lesson and judge it on its merits alone. "Never utter these words 'I do not know this thing, therefore it is not true.' One must study to know, know to understand, and understand to judge." The man whose thoughts are matter-bound,
is treading upon beds of quicksand. He is sitting upon a mine that may explode any moment. The only safe course is the Life of the Spirit. Those that lead this life seem to live and breathe in quite a different sphere. They are the true Yogis; the first fruits of humanity. In matters of Self-discipline they neither spare themselves nor others that would learn at their feet. To those moles that are still burrowing into the mud their methods, ever drastic, appear far-fetched. But this is emphatically not so. The Yogi is thoroughly rational. He has a profound intellect. He is the picture of health. He is full of kindness and pity. He is ever self-sacrificing, ever strong and as to chastity, he is the very embodiment of it;—he simply radiates purity. Wherever the Yogi goes he seems to cleanse the very atmosphere of the place by his mere presence. He is calm, serene, and even-minded. He has almost superhuman self-control. In the moment of action, he is the man of cool nerves, of level head, and great penetrating concentration.
One mental scientist in America puts health upon the heights. Why? Simply because there are fifty millions there who are disease-ridden and many a suffering one is a Moriturus i.e., at the point of death. This is the result of materialism. The gods have put their ban upon it. "Seek ye the kingdom of heaven and all else shall be added unto thee." This is the tremendous advice of the Supreme Master.
The higher life is the only life that is worth living.All else is mere touch-and-go. Now one great secret of success was enunciated by a perfect Yogi. It is the greatest I know. I am fully convinced of its potent force. Let me give it to you:
Join the means to the end, and you have the sum-total; the objective; the goal that you are striving for and aiming at. The result is in direct ratio to the intensity of the effort. The greater the effort, the greater the result. There is an ever-continuing, never-slackening tension of this spiritual law of cause and effect, of sowing and reaping. We only get what we deserve;—not an iota more or less. The gods hold the scales evenly and Nature deals in even-handed justice. No honest seeking ever goes unrewarded. We have to perfect the means. We have to adjust efforts to obstacles. If the action is incoordinate, so shall be the result. Give and it shall be given unto you. Everything is in a circle. What we do, that we have. In taking all possible care of the means, you are simply starting currents of force into activity. These must complete the circuit and come back to you, the centre, in time. Therefore what we have to do is to work, work, and work. The results cannot but come. Your body is so constituted that it renews itself after each exertion; with each fresh effort, there is a corresponding inrush of force. He who works his hardest, has the most energy. Energy is ever withdrawn from those that would spend same with a niggardly hand. The supply is exactly in proportion to the exhaust. It is the pressure
at which we live that counts most. Life is unnecessarily long;—only, so much time we spend in vegetating rather than living. For only the spiritual man can appreciate the fine art of living. As a great thinker said: We ask for long life, but 'tis deep life, or grand moments, that signify. Life culminates and concentrates. Homer said "The gods ever give to mortals their appointed share of reason only on one day."
"Just to fill the hour—that is happiness. Fill my hour ye gods, so that I shall not say, 'whilst I have done this, Behold, also an hour of my life is gone,' but rather, 'I have lived an hour.'"
"In stripping time of its illusions, in seeking to find what is the heart of the day, we come to the quality of the moment and drop the duration altogether. It is the depth at which we live and not at all the surface extension, that imports. We pierce to the eternity of which time is the fitting surface; and really the least acceleration of thought and the least increase of power of thought, make life to seem and to be of vast duration. We call it time, but when that acceleration and that deepening effect take place, it acquires another higher name;—Eternity"
"God works in moments."
"The measure of life, O Socrates, is with the wise;—the speaking and hearing such discourses as yours."
"There is no real happiness in this life but in intellect and virtue."
"It is the deep today that all men scorn, the rich
poverty which men hate; the populous, all-loving solitude which men quit for the tattle of towns. He lurks, he hides;—he who is Success, Reality, Joy and Power. One of the illusions is that the present hour is not the critical hour, the decisive moment. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly until he knows that every day is Doomsday. ’Tis the oldest secret of the gods that they come in low disguises."
"Nature shows herself best in leasts."
The above are just a few thoughts to convince you that each stroke, each swing of the Will, each moment of utter devotion to the means, each hour of day, uncongenial labor, each spell of painful, patient concentration shall count in the Eternal Summation.
Hence pay homage to and worship the means. Honour the present moment. Set up the strong Present Tense against all else. The present moment is the crystalisation of the Past. Build into the structure of the Past the richest and finest materials, vitalize it with the rich, red, life-blood of youth, and surely, most surely, the spirit shall shine out in all its columnar majesty. Your Past is laden with the cumulative force of thoughts, desires and actions. Everything turns upon how you have lived in the past.
How cramped, how down-trodden, how sorrow-laden, how miserable, how low, mean, and hard-hearted and cruel we men and women are!
It all seems to have been ground in with our life-force.
[paragraph continues] Stop right now, now, and examine yourself in the clear light of the intellect. Ten to one, you shudder at your hideous weaknesses, that darken and defile your Nature.
"What I would that I do not; what I would not, that I do." "When I would do good, evil is present with me."
This is the tale of the age. It is a staggering blow to one's optimism. It dampens one's spirits. It plunges one into the bottomless pit of despair. Standing by men steeped to their lips in weaknesses, one turns inwards and doubtingly says "Am I really Strong?"
"I failed." Why? "Because, sir, you neglected the means and simply killed your time in spinning airy webs. You did not throw in your heart and soul. Here is the cause and cure of failure. In our struggles to cheat Nature, we simply cheat ourselves. In trying to drown the voice of conscience, we simply sink ourselves. In trying to follow the eat-drink-and-be-merry policy we simply retard our own inner unfoldment.
Please remember therefore:—All Yogis are tremendous causationists. There is method in their madness. They believe in methodical and persistent work. They say with me in effect:—
"Marshal your forces properly and powerfully and success is sure."
Is it not meet that we turn to something permanent, something that will live through the ages, some-
thing that will be a powerful lever to uplift, inspire, and ennoble others?
"It is! It is!" that's what you say.
To be able to appreciate greatness at its full value, we must ourselves have the germs of greatness stirring within us. The power of the spirit is struggling to uncoil itself. Your being vibrates to the thrills of spiritual forces. Your complex though confused ideas regarding your mission, your Divine Heritage, your birthright, are shooting into order. The pressure of your chains is telling upon your nerves. Your sufferings, your little independent twists and angles and blind gropings are the promises of your future.
Intensify yourself then along these channels. Carry these thoughts constantly with you. Make them the part, nay, the whole, of your lives. They shall fit in everywhere. Ever they ring true. I hear this complaint from many men. "I am deeply impressed when I read these things or when you talk of them to us. I am full of noble resolves. I feel quite different from hum-drum humanity. But alas! the impression wears off as soon as the world demands my attention."
That shows positively that the latter compels your nature. The superficial glamour of worldism claims you for its own as Mephistopheles claimed Faust. Your carnal and sex-sensational tendencies occupy the "principal seats" in your nature. Your talk of the Higher Life is vapory in the extreme; you are like Clarence Glyndon in Lytton's "Zanoni:"—"Unsustained Aspiration"
would follow instinct, but is deterred by conventionalism—is overawed by idealism, yet attracted and transiently inspired; but has not steadiness for the initiatory contemplation of the Actual. He conjoins its snatched privileges with a besetting sensualism and suffers at once from the horror of the one and the disgust, involving the Innocent (others) in the fatal conflict of his spirit:" (Mirror of young manhood.)