After the Glimpse
When a man’s consciousness is turned upside-down by a glimpse, when what he thought most substantial is revealed as least so, when his values are reversed and the Good takes on a new definition, he writes that day down as his spiritual birthday.
He has had the glimpse. The after-period is important. For as he returns to his ordinary self and to the ordinary persons around him, the opportunity is offered to make an adjustment, a fresh start by the light of what the experience revealed.
Here is goodness and beauty which worldly objects and worldly creatures do not possess. The man who has once glimpsed them can never again be completely satisfied with the world’s offerings, for this reason, but will again and again be haunted by, and attracted to, the vision of this higher possibility for man.
The glimpse is a precious thing but it is not enough. The man who has had it has also a new problem: how to find it again and how to turn it into an all-time state of mind, continuing through all kinds of circumstances and experiences. And how can he bring his everyday life into harmony with it?
Once he has attained this inner realization, the student should cling persistently to it, for the world’s multifarious forces will come to hear of it and seek to drag him away.
He returns from his first initiation into the egoless life with a rich cargo. He carries the stability of peace. A strange feeling of safety takes possession of him at that time. He knows neither care for the uncertain future nor regret for the unpleasant past. He knows that henceforth the life of his being is in the hands of the higher self, and with this he is quite content.
He emerges from the experience feeling surrounded by peace and protected by supernormal powers.
He realizes that he has had an important experience which will be followed at intervals by others, when he stands on the fringe of cosmic consciousness. Through proper metaphysical study, meditation practice, and philosophic action, it will not be difficult for him to come into the awareness of his own Overself to some extent… Even to enjoy a fraction of this wider consciousness is to transform his life in every way.
If the glimpse is not to remain an isolated event, he must try to put less of his mind on himself and more on the Overself, less into emotional reactions to it and more into pure contemplation of it.
Whoever has had this beautiful experience, felt its glorious freedom and known its amazing serenity, has had something which he will always remember… The knowledge that a life of truth goodness and beauty is somewhere and sometime possible will continue to haunt him.
… The glimpse is a fleeting one because he is still too unprepared to remain abidingly in such a lofty order of being… But he who has once seen the goal, felt its sublimity, discerned its reality, enjoyed its beauty, and known its security, should draw from the experience the strength needed for the hard upward climb.
… To that diviner self thus glimpsed, he must henceforth address all his prayers; through its remembrance he must seek succour; in its reliance he must perform all his endeavors; by its light he must plead for grace…
Merely to enjoy such a glimpse is not enough. It must be turned to use, made into a standard for thought and living, applied to every situation in which he finds himself. He must let its beneficent memory shed peace, goodwill, and kindliness on all around.
A sense of being lifted up from all worldly cares will pervade him for some time as an afterglow of this experience. The gracious feeling swims away again and leaves him not forlorn but forsworn. He will never again be alone. The remembrance of what happened is by itself enough to be company for him the rest of his life.
With this awakening he begins to relate his own purposes in life to the universal purpose.
Those who have had this overwhelming experience require no arguments to make them believe in the soul. They know that they are the soul.
He should try to remember the inner and outer conditions under which the glimpse came to him and, temporarily, try to make them again part of himself and his surroundings. He is to do so as if he were an actor appearing in this part on a stage. For the time being, he must think, feel, and live as if the experience is really happening, the glimpse really recurring…
The glimpse is impermanent, its satisfactions fugitive; but it leaves behind a residue of hope and revelation which the impermanent and fugitive pleasures of the world can never do.
…Let him remember those glorious moments when the higher self touched his heart. In these moments all that was noble in him overflowed. Enemies were forgiven, grievances let go and the human scene viewed through the spectacle of tenderness and generosity…
… Those aspirants who bemoan the loss of their early glimpse should remind themselves, in hours of depression, that it will recur before they leave the body.
The glimpse will always be an incandescent memory in his life, a token of grace to prove that reality does dwell somewhere behind the seeming fatuity and illusoriness of the world’s life.
He may have to weep for a mere glimpse of the soul. But this got, he will certainly weep again for its return. For he knows now by unshakeable conviction and by this vivid demonstration that the durable realization of the Soul is what he is here on earth for.
These glimpses may be looked upon as brief, minor illuminations leading to the final major illumination that will quash the ego’s rule forever.
You have been given a glimpse of the goal. Now you must strive to attain that goal…
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