There is something in man which does not belong to this world, something mysterious, holy, and serene. It is this that touches and holds him at certain unforgettable moments.
The mystery into which we have been born is not penetrable by weaving fancy or logical intellect. But intuition, if we are patient enough and willing enough to follow it, can lead us into an overwhelming experience where we discover that IT is there, always there.
The divine self reveals itself for a few thrilling moments and then draws back into the void where it dwells. But the glimpse is enough to tell him that a higher kind of life is possible and that there is a being beyond the ego.
The experience explains a man to himself for the first time, lights up the fact that he lives in two planes at one and the same time. It reveals his ego as the illusion which envelops his consciousness and his Overself as the reality behind his consciousness.
The glimpse gives a man either a revelation or a confirmation that something exists which transcends this ordinary life, that it is holy, beautiful, satisfying, and that he may commune with it.
The glimpse is a spiritual miracle, for it not only transforms his character but also releases some latent powers.
These brief flashes bring with them great joy, great beauty, and great uplift. They are, for most people, their first clear vivid awakening to the existence and reality of a spiritual order of being. The contrast with their ordinary state is so tremendous as to shame it into pitiful drabness…
The soul is present and active in every man. This is why it is quite possible for every man to have a direct glimpse of the truth about his own inward non-materiality.
The concept of the Overself’s presence among us originated with the ancients but is validated by modern experience. This experience of the Overself provides the best evidence of its existence and reality: no other is needed…
If illumination does not become permanent, if it does not stay with its host, that is because it does not find a proper place within him for such abiding stay. His heart is still too impure, his character still too imperfect for the consciousness of the Overself to associate constantly with him.
Since there are no negative emotions in the Overself, how can it stay in the same breast as an ego filled with them? This is why the glimpse can be only a brief one, and why it can be stretched into permanency only by first cleansing the nature of all negatives.
If it is to be a continuous light that stays with him and not a fitful flash, he will need first, to cast all negative tendencies, thoughts, and feelings entirely out of his character; second, to make good the insufficiencies in his development; third, to achieve a state of balance among his faculties.
These glimpses will last longer and come more easily, hence more often, if the mind and the feelings are properly balanced, and if, at the same time, the body is purified, its organs co-operated with, and its forces regenerated.
The difference between the intermediate and the final state is the difference between feeling the Overself to be a distinct and separate entity and feeling it to be the very essence of oneself, between temporary experience of it and enduring union with it.
If he will compare those rapturous and illumined moments with his prosaic ordinary days, he will have an excellent clue to what his life’s goal should be, what his true self really is, as well as how and where he should look for both.
Sometimes the glimpse may pass unrecognized for what it really is, but in later years this is usually rectified.
Many people pass through these experiences of the glimpse and do not really know what is happening to them because they have never studied or been taught anything about such experiences.
Those who have followed the Quest in previous lives will generally receive a glimpse at least twice during the present one. They will receive it in early life during their teens or around the threshold of adult life. This will inspire them to seek anew. They will receive it again in late life during the closing years of the reincarnation. This will be bestowed as a Grace of the Overself…
The isolated glimpses will have this effect, that they will not only whet his appetite for farther ones but also for a lasting identity with the Overself.
This momentary glimpse of the Overself provides the real beginning of his quest. The uninterrupted realization of it provides the final ending.
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