… Here then is a teaching, very old and very wise, which summarizes all human knowledge, actual and possible, and which shows man how best to shape his personal and practical life. I am not its originator. I can but try to re-present it to a troubled, broken, and blinded world which waits for this knowledge in modern form…
The message for this age must satisfy its primary needs, hence must contain three elements. First, the doctrine that there is a divine soul in man. Second the gospel that it is possible through prayer and meditation and study to commune with this soul. Third, the fact of the Law of Recompense and hence the necessity of good thoughts and righteous deeds.
This is the truth that must be proclaimed to our generation, that the Soul is with us here and now–not in some remote world or distant time, not when the body expires–and that it is our joy and strength to find it.
… The time has come to develop the knowledge and extend the understanding of a teaching which few know and fewer still understand. Occupied principally, as it is, with matters of eternal rather than ephemeral life, it finds today a larger opportunity for service than it could have found at any earlier period in consequence of the evolutionary forces which have been working on man’s history, ideas, attitudes, communications, and productions. It is the most important knowledge which any human being could study.
It is perhaps the amplitude and symmetry of the philosophic approach which make it so completely satisfying. For this is the only approach which honours reason and appreciates beauty, cultivates intuition and respects mystical experience, fosters reverence and teaches true prayer, enjoins action and promotes morality. It is the spiritual life fully grown.
These teachings have appeared in the world in their present form and at the present time because they correspond to a genuine need of a certain section of humanity.
As one reflects upon the majestic grandeur of this teaching, its amplitude and height, one feels like a traveler who stands for the first time at a vantage point of the Himalayas, where loftier and ever loftier snowy summits fill the whole horizon to his left and right, as far as his eyes can see.
We may begin by asking what this philosophy offers us. It offers those who pursue it to the end a deep understanding of the world and a satisfying explanation of the significance of human experience. It offers them the power to penetrate appearances and to discover the genuinely real from the mere appearance of reality; it offers satisfaction of that desire which everyone, everywhere, holds somewhere in his heart–the desire to be free.
Philosophy explains life, guides man, and–by removing his misunderstanding about his own identity–redeems him.
… This philosophy rightly understood and rightly used will make men who make history. It calls for people who are ready and able to raise it above the status of a tea table topic, and to devote to its study and practice not merely an occasional free evening, but their whole lives; who will not only understand these great truths intellectually, but feel their transforming power in their hearts, and courageously live them in everyday life…
… For meditation will have calmed his temperament and disciplined his character; the metaphysics of truth will have sharpened his intelligence, protected him against error, and balanced his outlook; the philosophic ethos will have purified his motives and promoted his altruism, whilst the philosophic insight will have made him forever aware that he is an inhabitant of the country of the Overself…
Deep within his own heart, hidden within his own consciousness, every person carries all the evidence for the truth of these teachings that he or she is ever likely to need.
The human race has evolved to a point where its condition of receptivity to these teachings is more favourable than at any previous time.
Philosophy may be–indeed must be–written afresh for every fresh generation but its principles are imperishable. They cannot change. Only the methods of expounding them, only the phraseology of expressing them can change.
… The philosophy of truth, which is the highest kind of enlightenment possible to mankind, will become as easily accessible as it was remotely hidden in former centuries…
These teachings have first to become known, then understood, next accepted, and lastly made a part of day-to-day living.
The philosophic movement is a loose and free one. Its strength cannot be measured by numbers or institutions, for externality and rigidity are out of harmony with its teaching and character. Yet, unorganized and unadvertised though it be, it is not less vital and not less significant than more visible movements.
By refusing to join philosophy to any built-up structure, social or cultural organization, or particular group of people, this approach keeps its own freedom and bestows that same freedom on those who study it.
With every year of growing experience and continued application, he will find more and more the truth of these teachings. He will in consequence be unable not to love them more and more.
This universal message is destined to flow all over the world. Its bearers will be none other than the writings of ancient and modern seers. It will bring people the opportunity to grow, to go forward…
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