There is a sentence in the Bible : "Knock, and there is an answer for you". The
Message is the answer to the cry of the individual and collective souls. The
voice of God is speaking all the time, but no one listens. Therefore God has
manifested as man, that He might speak with a yet louder voice. But then also
man does not listen. In the time of Christ the inspiration was there, the voice
was there and the divine power, but how few were they who listened and
understood! It has always been so, and it will always be so.
It is no wonder that Jesus had so few disciples, and even among them perhaps no
one who had a true understanding of the Master. In the hour when Muhammad was
passing, when hundreds of his disciples were there, he pointed out one and said
: "I am wisdom and Ali is the door." Great perplexity has arisen as to why this
was so, when the Master had the power that could make everyone understand. It is
not meant to be so. Each has his own puzzle to solve. How uninteresting the
world would be if all men were perfect. It would be like a piano in which all
the notes were the same.
Whenever the Spirit of God has come forth in its true form, the world has been
against it. Why has this been so. It is because man has two sides to his nature,
one false and the other real. Before the true Messenger can penetrate to the
reality of man's being, he first touches the false or unreal part, and that
revolts. And even in the case of a man who does not revolt, though the light
reaches him, yet his heart is covered and the ligth only touches the cover. That
man is attracted, yet he doubts.
There are egos who are not willing and ready to accept all that attracts them.
The more something attracts them, the more they rebel aainst it, doubting if it
were not a temptation. Even if they saw an ideal in a thing that attracted them,
they consider the tendency of being attracted a weakness in them. There are egos
who refuse to accept what their friend has accepted, and refuse to admire fully
what that friend has admired. Even if they wished to take something they saw
that their friend had taken, they will refuse to take it. For the tendency of
that ego is to swim against the tides, it is an ego of strength. Against this
strength Christ has said : "Blessed are the poor in spirit".
It is the same strength of mentality which has in most parts stood against the
Messengers, building a wall of fortification between the Messenger and the souls
who long for guidance. There are those who are lighted candles, they can light
other candles, they are those who can inspire others. But the other candles must
be of wax; if they are of steel, they cannot be lighted. The heart must be like
wax, it must melt; if it is like steel, it cannot be illumined.
Absence of the ideal makes it easier for the idealistic devotee to make his
ideal greater, but presence of the ideal most often hinders the devotee in
strengthening his ideal. For the ideal that grows and expands in the imagination
of the devotee will always excel the ideal personality which is living on earth
the life of limitations.
The souls who believe in a Messenger because of his miraculous powers, or
because they see the belief of his adherents, are the followers, but the souls
to whom the presence of the Messenger is the evidence and his words are a proof,
and to whom their own belief is their conviction, are the foundation of the
world's new Temple.
The disciples are to the teacher as all objects of heaven and earth to the sun.
Some are responsive to te light of the sun and become hot and cold. Some grow
and thrive and bring out their colour and fragrance. Some close their eyes and
become blind in the light of the sun. Some begin their life's activities as the
sun rises, and some await the rising of the sun during dark, depressing night,
in pain and suffering. Some look forwards to the clearing of the clouds and to
see the smiles of the sun. But the stars and planets in heaven are still more
responsive and connected with the special current of the sun, and so are the
disciples who are close to the spirit of the teacher. They are his special
apostles, they give out the light of the sun that is reflected in their heart.
There are three stages of action which the sincere followers of the Message have
to pass through, and the difficulty is that each stage has the tendency to keep
the followers of the Message back from going to the next stage. The reason is
that in every stage, that the sincere follower of the Message has to go through
in his life, there is no end of interest and happiness. Another reason is that
one stage is quite different from another stage, and therefore each stage is a
kind of contrary action to the previous stage.
These three stages may be called receiving the Message - assimilating the
Message - representing the Message.
For a sincere mureed the first stage can be so interesting that he may
think it never enough : that endless knowledge. And the heart of the seeker
after truth which is never full - fill it and there is still a place to fill -
may receive for ages, and it is yet never enough. When the receiver of the
Message is in that stage, then the activity of the further stages remains
For the next stage, which is the stage of assimilation, is most necessary. Very
few can imagine how long it takes for the spirit to assimilate knowledge of
truth. One assimilates it by the power of contemplation. By pondering over the
subjects that one hears, by practising the teachings in one's life, by looking
at the world from the point of view which has been taught, by observing one
thing in its thousand different positions, one assimilates.
Many, before assimilating the knowledge, wish to reason it, wish to discuss it,
wish to justify it and to see how it fits in with their own preconceived ideas.
In this way they disturb the digestive fire of the spirit, for as the mechanism
of the body is always working to help to assimilate the food, so the spirit is
constantly working to assimilates all that one learns through life. Therefore,
it is a matter of patience and it is taking life easily without troubling the
mind too much over things, and allowing the knowledge, which one has received as
a food of the spirit, to have time to be assimilated. By trying to assimilate
before the time, man loses his normal health. It is just like taking a drug to
help digest food, which is not beneficial in the end.
But the third process is also necessary, and those who care little for the third
stage, the stage or representing, miss a geat deal in life. A person who has
seen something beautiful, who has heard something harmonious, who has tasted
something delicious, who has smelt something fragrant alone, has enjoyed it, and
yet not completely. The complete joy is in sharing one's joy with another. The
selfish one who enjoys himself and does not care for others - whatever he
enjoys, things of the earth or things of Heaven, his enjoyment is not complete.
So it is in this third stage that the following of the Message is fulfilled :
when a soul has pondered upon it and has passed the same blessing to the others.