The Pathway of Roses/The True Order of Things
THE TRUE ORDER OF THINGS
What the individual life is to be, as a whole, or in any of its parts, depends upon where the consciousness of being is established, and there are three distinct planes in which this consciousness may be established; viz., the physical, the psychical and the spiritual.
To establish life in the physical is to become a materialist; there will be no consciousness of the finer things of existence, and the understanding of things in general will be one-sided; in consequence, the mind cannot see anything as it really is, and will make mistakes at every turn.
The materialist lives for the body alone, and depends upon the physical senses exclusively, both for knowledge and enjoyment; but the physical senses are never wholly reliable unless when employed by mental faculties that are above the physical; therefore the knowledge of the materialist is composed principally of illusions and half-truths, and his enjoyment is but an inferior imitation of real happiness.
The life of the materialist is necessarily full of troubles and ills because he cannot be in harmony with the true principle of life so long as he is living on the surface of life instead of in real life itself. In brief, all the ills of life can be traced to materialism, in one or more of its various forms; therefore, the materialist is not simply one who denies the existence of the soul; the materialist is any one who lives in the body, who has established his life in physical existence, and who employs objective senses and faculties only, regardless of what he may believe about God, the soul or the future.
Though a person may be thoroughly religious, as far as he knows, and may believe everything that sacred literature may say about things spiritual, if he cannot comprehend the spiritual except as it is expressed in physical acts, physical ideas, physical rites or physical symbols, he is still a materialist; he is living in the world of tangible things, and has no consciousness of that higher power that produces things.
To be spiritual he must discern the spirit that is within things, back of things, above things; while his senses admire the outer symbol, his spiritual discernment must understand the interior significance of that symbol, otherwise he has not found real religion or real spirituality.
The mind that has not entered into real spirituality, is living in materiality, and to live in materiality is to be in bondage to the ills of this world; therefore true existence cannot be realized so long as life is established in the physical plane.
To establish life in the psychical plane is to be guided almost entirely by feeling and emotion; but no feeling is absolutely true unless it originates in the soul, and our feelings cannot originate in the soul unless we have established life in the spiritual plane. Therefore, the person who is living in the psychical plane, is living in a world of feelings, emotions, desires and sensations that are more or less abnormal. His mental world is artificial, composed principally of imaginations that are patterned after things from without instead of the understanding of absolute truth from within.
The imagination is always influenced a great deal by the play of the emotions; and when the emotions are the results of external suggestions, as they always are unless when we live in the spirit, the imagination will likewise be under the control of things, good and otherwise. This means that our thinking will be worldly, materialistic and more or less disordered, because as we imagine, so we think.
Therefore, to live in the psychical world is to live in a world of abnormal feeling and misdirected imagination; but true being cannot find its foundation in such a world. True being can be established only in the consciousness of truth, and the consciousness of truth can be gained only in the spirit.
When life is established in the spiritual state, the physical ceases to be materialistic, and the psychical ceases to be a troubled sea of conflicting emotions. Instead, the physical becomes an orderly expression of the pure, wholesome life of the soul, and the psychical becomes a world of the richest thought, the most sublime feeling and the highest mental enjoyment.
The spiritual state of being is the true foundation of being, because the spiritual alone has the necessary qualities. To establish life in any other state or upon any other plane is to act contrary to the true order of things, and trouble must necessarily follow. There is only one place for man to live, and that is in the soul. When he tries to live elsewhere, in mind or body, he separates himself from his great inheritance and does not receive what he has the right and the privilege to receive.
When there seems to be nothing in life, the fault lies with the man himself, not with the laws of his being. Instead of living in the spirit, where he could receive everything, he has gone to live in the emptiness of the material, where there is nothing to be had but the undesirable consequences of wrong-doing; and wrong-doing is the direct result of wrong-going, going away from the true state of being.
To live in the spiritual state is to give expression to everything that is in the spirit, because what we actually live we bring out into tangible existence; and the spirit contains everything that may be required to perfect the whole of existence—physical, mental and spiritual.
The belief that the spiritual life is apart from the mental and physical is not true; it is the spiritual alone that can make the physical and the mental complete; in brief, we do not begin to enjoy the body and the mind until we begin to live in the soul.
We cannot attain the most perfect physical health and the most perfect physical development until we can begin to draw upon the inexhaustible life of the spirit, nor can we attain the greatest intellectual power and the highest mental brilliancy until our minds are opened to real spiritual illumination.
To have health and wholeness of body, we must have an abundance of that life that is health and wholeness, and that life comes only from the soul. To gain that life we must live in the soul, and the life that we live we invariably bring forth into mind and body.
To perfect the beautiful in the physical form, we must, likewise, receive the necessary elements from the spiritual state. Beauty of form is produced by harmony in formation and soul in expression; but we can give forth neither harmony nor soul until we actually live in the soul.
The true development of mind, character and life, all depend upon our ever-increasing expression of the perfect qualities of the spiritual life; therefore the truest, the best and the greatest results from physical existence and mental existence can come only when we actually enter spiritual existence.
But to enter the spiritual is not simply to provide those essentials through which we may realize the ideal in the physical and the mental; to enter the spiritual is to enter another and a greater world—the transcendent kingdom of the soul—the sublime world of cosmic consciousness. It was into this world that Jesus entered when "his face did shine as the sun and his garment became white as the light." We can therefore imagine what is in store for those who open their eyes to its splendor and glory.
"Be not therefore anxious for the morrow. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The term "evil" signifies incompleteness, or that which needs perfecting, development and fulfillment now. The statement therefore means that we have sufficient to do to make the present moment full and complete, without giving any thought to what we are to be or do in the future. When the present moment is filled with the most perfect life that we can possibly realize, the seeming incompleteness of the present moment will simply become a perpetual growing process. Incompleteness will thus become a real step in growth; it will be like a growing bud, and will not be evil, only lesser good on the way to greater good. When the bud ceases to grow it decays, and becomes unwholesome, disagreeable. Likewise, when the buds in human life are checked in their growth they produce disagreeable conditions. And here is the cause of all the ills of the world. The remedy is to so live that all the power of life is centered upon the present moment. To give the whole of life to the present moment is to promote the growth of everything that exists in the life of the present moment. To live a full life now is to live more and more life now.