Experiencing a Glimpse
With both the brief Glimpse and the lasting Fulfilment comes a strong feeling of release. This refers to release from all the various kinds of limitation and restriction which have hemmed and oppressed him heretofore.
With the glimpse a feeling overspreads his heart of benevolence towards all living creatures–not only human but also animal and not only animal but even plant. He would not, could not knowingly harm a single one. The Christians call this love, the Buddhists compassion, the Hindus oneness. My own term is goodwill, but all are right…
… During this rare experience the man feels that he is free from earthly attachments and worldly desires, that the intense peace he enjoys is the true happiness, that God’s reality is the overwhelming fact of existence…
At such times, unexpected and unsought though the glimpses are, he feels the nearness of God, the love of God, the reality of God. Whoever ventures to call them delusions is himself deluded.
In these moments of a glimpse, he discovers the very real presence of the Overself. They provide him with a joy, an amiability, which disarms the negative side of his character and brings forward the positive side. These are precious moments; they cannot be too highly valued. And though they must pass, some communication with them is always possible through memory.
In the mystical happening of the Glimpse, the man gets the intuition that this is what he belongs to; here he can find rest.
In these brief but glorious moments we discover that we are divine beings. If most of us are worse than the front we present to our neighbours, all of us are better than they think through our affiliation with divinity.
There is a sense of the total absence of time, a feeling of the unending character of one’s inner being.
It is in those uplifted moments that one has the possibility of coming near to confirm the Pythagorean belief that the human soul is an emanation of the Universal Divine Mind.
With the glimpse there comes a curious feeling of absolute certitude, happy certitude, utter doubtlessness. The truth is there plainly before him and deeply sensed within him.
… He will feel an overwhelming sense of relief as the glimpse deepens and all cares, all burdens, fade away.
In those moments when he touches the still centre of his being, he forgets his miseries and enjoys its happiness. This provides a clue to the correct way to find real happiness, which so many are seeking and so few are finding. It lies within.
During such unforgettable moments the Soul will speak plainly, if silently, to him. It may tell him about his true relationship to the universe and to his fellow creatures. It will certainly tell him about Itself. It may separate him from his body and let him gaze down upon it as from a height, long enough to permit him to comprehend that the flesh is quite the poorest and least significant part of him. And perhaps best of all it will certainly fill him with the assurance that after his return to the world of lonely struggle and quick forgetfulness, It will still remain beside and behind him.
The passing from hope to certainty comes with the glimpse.
Whenever a glimpse is given to him, he should stretch its duration to the utmost. This can be markedly helped by being very careful to keep his physical position unchanged, by not even slightly moving hand or foot or trunk. The perfectly still body offers the best condition for retaining the perfectly still mind. If attention is to be placed anywhere in the body, it should be placed in the region of the heart.
The concentration upon the glimpse must be full, complete, and sustained. If, for only a single moment, he allows his attention to be diverted toward some outer thing or person, or to be divided with some inner idea, the glimpse may instantly disappear.
He can hold himself in this egoless state for a brief while only. The ego soon rises up again and the glorious presence retires, for the two are incompatible.
It is never present without certain qualities being present with it, too. There is first an utter serenity, then a steady joy, next an absolute conviction of its truth and reality, finally the paradoxical feeling of a rock-firm security despite any appearance of adverse outer circumstances.
What are the signs whereby he shall know that this is an authentic glimpse of reality? First, it is and shall remain ever present. There is no future in it and no past. Second, the pure spiritual experience comes without excitement, is reported without exaggeration, and needs no external authority to authenticate it.
There are three stages in each glimpse. The initial one brings a soft feeling of its gentle approach. The second carries the man to its peak of upliftment, enlightenment, and peace. The final one draws him down again into a fading glow which occupies the mind’s background and later survives only in memory.
Just as the sun can be seen only by its own light, so truth can be discerned only by its own self-revelation in the mind. That is, only by grace leading to insight. There is no other way.
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