CHAPTER 4 – APPEARANCES
The Stairway To Freedom
Indifference to one’s condition is a position assumed by people at opposite ends of the spectrum of spiritual development. On one hand, those who are so undeveloped as to be in a moribund state have not developed the degree of awareness required for judgement to be made concerning states of existence above and beyond that necessary for the retention of life itself. Those people are in a state similar in essence to that of a plant in terms of spiritual progress and would accept without question the rigours of life, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, without comprehending the possibility of being able to ameliorate that situation.
Undoubtedly, such people suffer but their suffering is a suffering of discomfort, not the anguish of intelligent souls who realise greater comforts and who find themselves without them. Should one, therefore, feel pity for such a person for he feels no pity for himself? Should one attempt to offer that person comfort when that comfort may in fact cause anguish as he realises that he is without comfort? Those questions are often not asked by those who move with compassion amongst the failures and dregs of our society, attempting to improve the situation of such people.
If they ask themselves such questions, one would perhaps doubt if they could bring themselves to the conclusion that it is better to ignore such people. It is not in human nature so to do and yet, by disturbing the relative tranquility of those whom we consider to be unfortunate, we assume a heavy burden of responsibility for the pain that we cause them by bringing light into their world. They do not ask us to help them. They specifically reject that help. They live by a different set of rules to us. Their existence is valid and is part of the totality of all life.
At some time, of course, they will change. All humans are God-like in nature and the destiny of all humans is to sit upon the right side of God. Therefore, the individuals of whom we speak must too rise to those heights one day. But who is to say when they are ready to assume that path? Certainly not us who cannot control our own lives, who can see no further than the ends of our noses. The dawn of awakening of their souls is in God’s hands and we must wait until the individuals concerned come to us for help.
At that moment, we should rejoice, rejoice in the knowledge that another disciple is on the path to God and we must offer what help, gently, we can. Great care is needed as the awakening of that soul is fragile and we must do nothing to damage its progress. Therefore, our help must be tailored to the simple requirements of providing food, shelter, warmth, and God’s blessing. Lectures and admonitions should be avoided at all cost.
As for those who sleep still, go amongst them if you will, administer to their physical needs if it brings you pleasure, but do not waste your time in trying to make them conform to your reality. They tread their own path and are content so to do. Do not feel sorrow as you gaze upon them. Imagine how you appear to an elevated spirit. Do not sneer at nor reject them. They are still part of you as is all life. Do not try to rid yourself of them. They have the right to their existence as do you. Accept them for what they are – humans like yourself but further down the spiritual scale. They will achieve your status one day as you yourself will achieve a higher position. Accept them as you accept yourself and all life.
Conversely, there are those of elevated consciousness who care not for the creature comforts of life. Such people are equally mystifying to the ordinary person. They often take the guise of fakir or mystical man living in a remote cave high in a mountain. They may take the guise of a holy man of a western faith, Catholic, for example, and live a lonely life in a monastery or cell carved out of rock. These people, so advanced, so sensitive, and so holy, often appear to be living a life of forced austerity for some particular ascetic reason.
Do not let appearances deceive you. Man needs nothing to be at one with God. Those who have achieved sufficient advancement so as to have realised this are in a position to reject the glamour of material objects and to be at one with the God made manifest in them. Therefore, such souls require no help from you. Should you visit one of them, they do not even require your company as, by being at one with God and themselves, they are automatically at one with all life. They have everybody as friend, neighbour, and brother. They are not lonely.
Should they condescend to see you, it is because they are willing to disturb their peace and tranquility to descend to your level in order to communicate some of their wisdom to you. They have nothing to gain from you and in fact such contact as they have with you is as unpleasant as your experience would be in contacting those of low existence mentioned before. Therefore, do not imagine that the wise ones who live without their creature comforts in any are way lacking. They have transcended the illusions of the Earth and have no further need of any material thing.
It may seem strange that on Earth we are able to view the two extremes of spiritual development. On one hand, we have those who require nothing because they are sufficiently undeveloped as to be outside the spectrum of material things and, on the other, we have people similarly dressed and in an identical state to our eyes who have totally transcended material requirements. Make sure you do not confuse the one with the other. Make sure also that you do not offer your help or advice to either group unless it is asked for. Stay within your own group. There is enough to do.
That is the end of the fourth chapter.