A Study in

Synthetic Consciousness


George Sidney Arundale


First published 1926


Dr George S Arundale

1878 - 1945


Dr Arundale was International President of

the Theosophical Society (Adyar) from 1933 to 1945



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The Immanence

Of Light


Paris, March 7th. It was dark and rather cold, I was gloomy and walked because I had nothing to do. I passed by some flowers placed breast-high upon a wall. A jonquil in bloom was there. It is the strongest expression of desire: it was the first perfume of the year. I felt all the happiness destined for man. This unutterable harmony of souls, the phantom of the ideal world, arose in me complete. I never felt anything so great or so instantaneous. I know not what shape, what analogy, what secret of relation it was that made me see in this flower a limitless beauty … I shall never enclose in a conception this power, this immensity that nothing will express; this form that nothing will contain; this ideal of a better world which one feels, but which it would seem that nature has not made.




It is an interesting experiment to look out of the window upon the scene without and gradually to withdraw from each object seen the various associations with it on different planes. Things are, apart from that which 3they appear to be.


Every object I perceive has a being different from my conception of it. It is all I think it to be, or it maybe less than I think it to be, in so far as I attribute to it that which in reality it does not possess (to this extent I am very truly misunderstanding it); but it is also far more, for it represents a principle of life, a law of evolution, the nature of which, at my particular level, I can only very partially grasp.


As I look out of my window upon Sydney Harbour, or upon a certain portion of it, withdrawing my habitual associations, the first thing that strikes me is the unity of it all. Everything belongs to everything. Everything needs everything else, is the comrade of everything else. I see that part of the harbour which is open to my gaze as a tender whole, almost crying out against the vandalism of man which would resolve it into independent, unrelated, too often antagonistic elements. Why should everything live against each other when in fact everything depends upon everything else, and can only truly grow as this interdependence is recognized and lived? I perceive everything as helping to fulfil everything, as contributing towards the purposefulness of everything.


The vessel on the sea helps the sea to grow and the sea helps the vessel to grow. The houses dotted upon the slopes help the land on which they are builded, just as the land helps the houses. The tiniest pebble resting upon the beach is necessary to the beach, is necessary to the mighty sea which seems to treat it so haughtily, so cavalierly, so contemptuously. How could the earth grow without its earthworms, its vegetation, the creatures that live upon it? How could all these grow save with the co-operation of the earth? I perceive entities everywhere, living entities, with more or less consciousness. The ships, the houses, the trees and shrubs and flowers, the very pebbles - all are entities. The whole harbour is one great being, yet various parts of the harbour are beings too.


I see all in these terms, each entity with its own small life, yet enfolded in the one Life Universal, a part of the one Great Whole, each dependent upon all the rest. I see each helping to fulfil the others. But at this word “fulfil” I stop, and I notice that these various things do not by any means always fulfil each other, though they ought to. Sometimes they profane and degrade each other, as, for example, when an ugly building is put up, when the open spaces are desecrated by hideous erections of any kind or by the loathsome litter of man’s careless selfishness.


Whenever and wherever one part lives ruthlessly at the expense of another, then there is no fulfilment, but rather a debasement in which all, by very reason of the enfolding unity, must needs share. I find that I begin to grow sensitive to these defilements. Apart from the fact that they defile and degrade me, they also jar me and sadden me, for I know how glorious a thing is that mother-Unity to which they are so unfilial.


Now all this is consequent upon the withdrawal of all lower associations and the substitution of Buddhi, a veritable transubstantiation. But I think I can go a step further and view my landscape in terms of Nirvanic consciousness. At the Buddhic level it is the marvellous interrelation that strikes me. Let me blot out this sense of interrelation and seek still further within. I make what is to me a most interesting discovery. Expecting to perceive everything in terms of light, I find that everything resolves itself into power-units. I perceive the power in everything, and am almost appalled by it. I hardly notice the forms. These do not seem to matter at all. They are trivial compared with the ensouling  power. And then I suddenly begin to notice that this power is imprisoned Light.


Here I must use a phrase which I hope is intelligible - it is the only phrase I can find Light unconscious is veiled in matter that it may become Light self-conscious; and the power I so strongly perceive is the irresistible potentiality of the Light self-conscious veiled as Light unconscious. Power and Light are, therefore, one and the same thing; but the  transubstantiation from Buddhic to Nirvanic consciousness seemed to emphasize Light as  Power, perhaps because the first thing I noticed was the splendour of that Light which is slowly but surely transcending its imprisonment in all things. I saw victory everywhere, everywhere the Light unconscious growing into self-consciousness in those various stages of intensification which we call kingdoms of nature.


Perceiving these rays of Light-Power in all things, I notice a great harmony-in-the-becoming. At the Buddhic level of interpretation I should have described this harmony in terms of interrelation, each object essentially fitting in to every other. At the Nirvanic level of interpretation, I describe this harmony in terms of all-pervading Light-Sound, so that the object loses its objectivity and shares in a universal subjectivity. At the Buddhic

level objectivity remains. At the Nirvanic level objectivity disappears, and archetype takes its place. At all levels of interpretation one notices, of course, the growing harmony - not yet without marring discords, I fear.


But at the Buddhic and Nirvanic levels, the harmonies are infinitely deeper - in the one case the underlying unity being disclosed, while in the other the power that makes for unity is opened to our gaze. Below the Buddhic level diversity is more apparent than unity, but it is through living amidst that diversity that perception and realization of unity becomes possible.


We cannot afford to do without diversity, for diversity, if we only knew it, is the most wonderful testimony to the unimaginable splendours of the unity. And happy are those whose vision is keen enough to enable them to perceive the unity notwithstanding the distractions of diversity. He who has reached the Buddhic or Nirvanic quality of consciousness can never lose the unity, be the diversities what they may. I feel able to say, then, that as I look out of my window I perceive imprisoned within every single object in every kingdom of nature the unity of Buddhi, the power of Nirvana, however embryonic and unconscious. And I know that the very imprisonment itself is the gift of God that the unity may some day realize its inherent power to burst all bonds. The One Life, with all constituent elements, pervades all things and there is no region, however lofty, but has its reflection in all things.


Let me add here a few words regarding Light-Power. Curiously enough, while I notice Light-Power in all things and a unity of Being enfolding them, each specific object seems like a puff of power within a vast cloud of power. The word “Ray” hardly seems adequate to express the facts, for “Ray” suggests travelling, while in Nirvana there is essentially Being. Objects seem to be cloud-bursts (the word “cloud” is of course unfortunate) within a mighty cloud-burst which is the act of manifestation - a microcosmic puff within a macrocosmic puff. To put my thought in another way, all objects looked at from the Nirvanic level seem to be explosions, microcosmic explosions within a macrocosmic explosion - explosions which give the sense of pulsations. We might even go one step further and regard objects as innumerable beats of the Universal Heart. I wonder whether you are at all following my line of thought? It is so difficult to express, but I am endeavouring to reconcile

individuality with universality.


I perceive, of course, individuality, but individuality is a mode of universality; true enough, yet not the whole truth. There is nothing which is not Divine. We tread Divinity when we tread the earth. Whatever we touch, whatever we see, whatever we hear, whatever we feel - all is Divinity. My landscape, therefore, is renewed in the new Light. Every object of which it is composed reveals a hitherto hidden Divinity, and hence has new and richer values. These objects, the ships, the little boats, the ferry-steamers, the buildings, the lamp-posts, the shops and the objects for sale in them, the trees and flowers, the furniture in the rooms - all are now instinct with new meaning, and therefore with new purpose, with new inter-relationships, with a new message, with a new appeal, with a new comradeship. In each there is much more relativity yet no less individuality than before, and, what is more, I seem able more definitely to discern the extent to which each reproduces or distorts its archetype, for there is nothing without archetype.


It may be that in terms of eternity there is no distortion; but in terms of time there often is, and we have the task of readjusting the distortions which are noticeable from the point of view of the time-world. Hence I am now more able to judge what is out of harmony and what is harmonious. Each object is a personalization of Light-Sound, the personalization being the translation of Light-Sound in our lower worlds. Each object is a sun in humblest miniature, a tiny star, a world, a universe. Each object is a microscopic harmony.


But each object, too, may have its elements of darkness and of discord, in which its true light and sound-values are thwarted. It is interesting to me to listen to and observe objects and to endeavour to sense their respective Sound and Light-formulae, their various vital notes and mystic chords. I am just at the

beginning of this, and can at present say no more.


I realize that the Nirvana I am beginning to know at the fringe, is itself not merely a reflection of para-Nirvana, whatever para-Nirvana may be, but also a reflection of a cosmic Nirvana, of which it is the direct representation; that this very Nirvana is the Reincarnation of the Nirvana realized by our Lord the Sun on His own upward Path in a period prior to the being of our

system. I realize that every plane has its cosmic archetype or counterpart.


I should like at this point to advance the theory that countless ages ago our Lord the Sun travelled more or less the same pathway that evolution is treading to-day. Step by step He ascended, bond after bond was burst asunder, until the

spark became the Fire, the heart of which is that physical orb we call the Sun.


And as the ascent was made the sum total of the experiences on each plane was, as it were, memorized in terms of potentiality, so that as He grew He built into His Being the seeds of a Universe like unto the Universe of which He was then a growing fragment. He became Life self-conscious, but was composed of Life in

innumerable layers below self-consciousness. I, George Arundale, am partially self-conscious, but I am composed of life - of microcosmic universes and worlds - more or less unconscious. The process of growth is a process of

internalization, of in-breathing.


The process of fulfilment is a process of externalization, of out-breathing. It is this function which our Lord the Sun is performing, so far as this universe is concerned, and the out-breathing, the externalization, consists in fanning into flame the innumerable sparks built into Himself during the course of His own evolution aeons, myriads of aeons, ago. Our Lord the Sun is doubtless also internalizing, but of this I know nothing. We, too, Suns in the becoming, are building into ourselves the material of which some day we shall be Suns, upon which some day we shall shine as the Sun shines upon us all to-day. Where we are, He has been. Where He is, we shall be.


Every plane is thus an externalization of a potentiality which itself is the gathered fruit of experience and consummation. Our own contacts - in whatever manner - with the various planes of nature are not merely for our personal growth, but that in a future beyond time there may be in us the potentialities

of a Universe, that as our Lord the Sun is to His, to all His kingdoms, so may we become to ours. Having become centres, radiances, transcendences, having breathed in, after the great out-breathing, there will take place once more an out-breathing to circumferences, or in other words, a manifestation. As our Lord the Sun breathes, in mighty life-giving breaths, so shall we.


Such seems to be the law of all being, at least of all which we can conceive, for to us being is pulsation. It may be that there is being destitute of this quality, but this does not seem to be the case in the schemes we know. Though we naturally postulate un-manifestation as an apotheosis of in-breathing and call it pure

being, still, ourselves manifest, we cannot conceive of the unmanifest without the potentiality, the seed, of manifestation.


We therefore postulate great in- and out-breathing, and while the attainment of self-conscious Divinity may be the apotheosis of in-breathing we look for a succeeding out-breathing, as night

follows day.


Having in my own nature begun a transubstantiation of consciousness, the Nirvanic consciousness slowly beginning now to be my positive substans instead of negative as hitherto, I proceed to follow up the process by an endeavour in the direction of effecting a similar transubstantiation in regard to the outer world. I say “an endeavour,” for it is just the halting and feeble beginning of a wonderful transformation leading in the distant future to the consciousness of the Adept. First, I obtain a general impression of the world viewed

Nirvanically, and immediately all ugliness disappears - the pathway merges in the goal, processes are perceived in terms of their results. I idealise, and therefore realize.4As a general statement, I may say that Nirvana is a consummation, an apotheosis, an archetype, of world conditions. It sounds

strange, perhaps, to bring into juxtaposition the words “consummation” and “archetype,” yet Nirvana is both. It is both seed and flower - seed in all things, flower in a few, flower in all things some day.


In the outer world I am living amid innumerable conditions, circumstances and events. I invest this outer world with Nirvana - somehow I seem able to do this - and I perceive the Real. The real-in-the-becoming, which is the outer world, has become the Real, for I have touched it with the magic of the Eternal Now which is the Time of Nirvana. Immediately I perceive a new significance to the phrase “God is Love.” He is infinitely more than Love. He is ourselves. And every circumstance of the world, in every kingdom and on every plane, is a fulfilling of God, however we define this word, an unfoldment of Himself, of His

Nature. We are of His very Substance, and the Holy Eucharist, whether in Christianity or in any other Faith, is a veritable remembrance of this supreme Truth, a sounding of its ineffable Note amidst the discords of growth and becoming.


I substitute God positive for God relatively negative, and the world stands self-explained and justified. I have found God in everything. Nothing is there which is Godless, nothing which is not Godlike, may I say “Godfull”? I can conceive an entirely different system of evolution in the course of which growth

takes place without friction, without the swinging process, if I may so call it, between the innumerable pairs of opposites - good and evil, right and wrong, and so forth. But I realize that the methods and processes enjoined for our own particular evolution are perfectly adapted to such ends as I am able to grasp.


Whether they are the shortest possible cut to these ends I do not know. One presumes that what is best has been chosen, and it is futile, not to say presumptuous, to speculate further. May I at least say that Life is essentially lazy, takes the line of least resistance, never does with trouble what can be done with ease, the most elaborate complications being in all cases the simplest

available means to reach the desired end? Life is marvellous, but it is more than marvellous, it is simple; and you and I grow near to Life, approach God, as we substitute simplicity for the confusion, fuss, and elaborateness of that modern artificiality which is called civilisation.


When I am able to say, not merely as a pious belief or hope or yearning, but as an experience, that God is Love, I have effected a transubstantiation, that is to say, I have emphasized Reality.


The world thus becomes far more real in every circumstance of its being. Essentially, of course, all is real, for all is God.

But there are, if I may say so, gradations of God, from the unconscious to the self-conscious. The transubstantiation I effect is to substitute comparative self-consciousness for unconsciousness, or, to put the process another way, to

assert the self-conscious in the unconscious. I realize here how useless words and phrases are, for in the Light of Nirvana there seems to be no difference between the two.


But if I have to try to explain out here, I can only say I assert the Real in the midst of the unreal, or I know the unreal as the Real.Hence, Nirvana interprets; in the dark places shines its Light. Elsewhere I have written of the new values Nirvana gives to things, of the readjustment Nirvana effects. Let me here put this fact in another way. I am beginning to live in a new world which is 4nothing more than the old world “realized”. I am beginning to “realize” everything, so that nothing seems out of place. Everything seems inevitable - gloriously inevitable. I have used that phrase before with regard to the future, but it is equally true of the present.


We cannot do without a single circumstance of it.I feel that this must sound very strange in view of the terrible condition in which the world finds itself to-day. Yet nothing is terrible unless we linger when we should proceed. Nothing is terrible until we cling to it long after it has served its purpose. Nothing is wrong until we have outgrown it. Evil is but a worn-out garment we still wear; and it is worth while to remember that what one has done with, and should cast off, may well be a new suit of clothes for another. In world-terms, Truth grows, however much there may be Truth absolute and eternal; and we must grow with Truth. Truth unfolds; and we must unfold with Truth. We cannot, must not, wait. We must not be sluggards. To stagnate is to decay, and the only really terrible thing in the world is the decay which is stopping still, for that is the beginning of falling back. Other decay of a noble kind, there is, which is but the reverent putting aside of that which has served its purpose. It is the former which is dangerous; against it the whole world must be on guard, lest it repeat the bitter experience of the past.


In the light of the Nirvanic consciousness I perceive, as I have said, the Real in all things. The changing world has become a world changed; and I know that nowhere is any waiting inevitable. There is nothing so hardened that it can no

longer move. Strange as the statement may sound, the Great War itself helped to loosen the hardnesses, though I am not prepared to say that they could not possibly have been relieved in any other way. In any case, the very Coming of the World-Teacher is proof that the world has the ears to hear Him. Does not His moving among mankind effect a transubstantiation for the whole world? A marvellous tangible Real will thus be substituted for the infinitely lesser Reals with which the world has for so long had to be contented. He takes their place. The very writing of this phrase thrills me, for it embodies the wonderful fact that He re-enters into an intimate relationship with us He comes down among us, entering into our little world, taking His place in us, substituting Himself for our own higher selves, which is the same thing as saying that He raises us far beyond our normal selves, or that He purifies our higher selves

and draws the lower into accord with the higher. In the Light of Nirvana, I see how all this is brought about, for He is embodied Nirvana, a Nirvana which the world shall be allowed to see and hear and know. Nirvana becomes tangible!


For all things I perceive the Nirvanic counterpart, but this perception has more meaning to-day than it has had for many centuries. The world is about to enter upon a new spring-time. Already I perceive the tiny shoots of Buddhi forcing their way through the denser layers of the lower planes; and, looking forward into the far distance, I see how these little shoots shall become buds, finally blossoming into the Buddhic flower. We must water these shoots by treading the Path of Righteousness, or they will decay back into unconsciousness.


Nirvana shows me, as I have never before seen, the potentialities within the actualities of these worlds of ours. I know what the world can do. But the world must not wait. It must move, and all men and women of goodwill must help it to move. Utopia is waiting to enter, but the world must open its doors; and I am utterly clear that there is nothing in the world which is an insuperable barrier to this opening. I seem to observe the world as from a great height. Its needs are very great. It cries aloud for help-the cry that the Lord has heard and answers with the words: “I come.” I see good promise for the future, if only the world’s leaders will lead it from the pursuit of separateness, whether individual, or class, or nation, or sect, or race, to the pursuit of Unity and Understanding.


Nirvana is not yet for the world, but for many the Sun of Buddhi should not be so very far below the horizon, and already the roseate colours of its dawning should begin to dispel the night of separateness. Have you ever stood upon a mountain watching before dawn for the rise upon the world of our Lord the Sun?


Have you stood awestruck at the miracle of a world of darkness being transmuted into a world of softest colour? Have you marvelled at the glory disclosed in every part of the landscape by the magic touch of the Sun’s rays?


Have you noticed how beautiful is the re-awakening of everything into life different? Have you watched the glorious innocence and yearning of all that is, in its dawning? The great English mystic, Thomas Traherne, gives beautiful

expression to the dawning of childhood on the physical plane; almost similar words might be used for childhood on any other plane, for the first awakening of higher consciousness. Traherne tells us:


Certainly Adam in Paradise had not more sweet and curious apprehensions of the world, than I when I was a child. All appeared new, and strange at first, inexpressibly rare and delightful and beautiful. I was a little stranger which

at my entrance into the world was saluted and surrounded with innumerable joys.


My knowledge was Divine … My very ignorance was advantageous. I seemed as one brought into the Estate of Innocence. All things were spotless and pure and glorious; yea, and infinitely mine, and joyful and precious. I knew not that

there were any sins, or complaints or laws. I dreamed not of poverties, contentions or vices. All tears and quarrels were hidden from mine eyes.


Everything was at rest, free and immortal. I knew nothing of sickness or death or rents or exaction, either for tribute or bread. In the absence of these I was entertained like an Angel with the works of God in their splendour and glory, I

saw all the peace of Eden; Heaven and Earth did sing my Creator’s praises, and could not make more melody to Adam, than to me. All time was Eternity, and a perpetual Sabbath. Is it not strange, that an infant should be heir of the whole

World, and see those mysteries which the books of the learned never unfold?


The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown.  I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting. The dust and stones of the street were as precious as gold; the gates were at first the end of the world. The green trees when I saw them first through one of the gates

transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap, and almost mad with ecstasy, they were such strange and wonderful things.


The Men! O what venerable and reverend creatures did the aged men seem! Immortal Cherubims! And young men glittering and sparkling Angels, and the maids strange seraphic pieces of life and beauty! Boys and girls tumbling in the street, and playing, were moving jewels. I knew not that they were born or should die. But all things abided eternally as they were in their proper places. Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared; which talked with my expectation and moved my desire.


The city seemed to stand in Eden, or to be built in Heaven. The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was

mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it … So that with much ado I was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world. Which now I unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.


Is it not at the dawn that we perceive the beauty even in the things that otherwise we should call ugly?


So have I stood upon the mountain of Nirvana. So stand I still, and watch the world once more stirring into Buddhi as the Lord Christ dawns again upon it. Only stirring, perhaps. How long before the awakening? Ah, who can tell! Yet we may be thankful that dull sleep has given way to dreaming, and that out of that dreaming comes a stirring upon the threshold of awakening. I see, of course, that this is not the first of such. Many Suns have dawned upon us, and step by step the world has grown. There have been the great and glorious dawns, as when Great Saviours have illumined us. There have been the lesser stirrings, as in the periods of renaissance, as towards the close of every century since the twelfth.


This brings me to a further perception of the Theosophical Society as one of these mighty stirrings which the Saviours alone can give. I see the Theosophical Society as the living witness of that Buddhic consciousness which the world has yet to know, but towards which, in part consciously, yet for the most part

unconsciously, it yearns. The Society is, as it were, the touchstone and nucleus of Buddhi in the outer world, reflecting Buddhi or Brotherhood, pointing the way to Brotherhood in its three great Objects, awakening Brotherhood in the world in innumerable forms, subsidiary to the supreme archetype as disclosed in the first Object. Those who are beginning to be ready for Buddhi inevitably turn towards the Society as its physical-plane symbol and expression. Their faces are turned towards the dawning; in the Theosophical Society they find its Herald, and they add their voices to the Voice of the Dawn

calling the world to awaken to a newer day.


I perceive the Society itself to be an Himalayan range, with its peopled plains in the outer world, with the lesser hills of the Esoteric School, and with the ascending peaks and ranges of discipleship culminating in those lofty Supermen Who constitute its inner Light and Life. I see what the Society has to become - a channel for Buddhi, for the Buddhic consciousness to the outer world. I see that while the true standard of righteous living is elsewhere than among mankind, yet the Theosophical Society reflects that standard, and that our movement is intended to become a world within the world - a world from out the  future, dwelling in the present as a living example of a partly realized ideal.


The Theosophical Society must become a World-State in miniature, and its members citizens thereof. That which we exhort the world to do we must ourselves be doing. In every field of life our Buddhic consciousness must be growing active. We must stand for Brotherhood in daily life, in religion, in politics, in industry, in education, in international relations. I have sought to convey a glimpse of what this means in “The Australian Section: A Vision” (See Appendix E), for that which I have written there of Australia I conceive to be true of every Section and of the whole Society. Our precepts are valuable, for they constitute an unveiling of Truth which the world has forgotten or needs to know.


But example founded on these precepts is far more valuable, for it is better to see Theosophy than to hear it, as it is better to live it than to see it. If we could only live our Theosophy in the world, accustoming the world to suffer it gladly, the time might come for the world to be ready to suffer gladly our Masters to live Their Theosophy in the world. But to a world yet in the twilight the sunshine can come safely only by degrees. Let the Theosophical Society be the dawn heralding that glorious day when in the very outer world itself the mighty Circle of Brotherhood shall be complete. Within the Society there must be no such problems as those which disfigure the world. Within the Society-State there must be comradeship in all things, be the diversities of custom, opinion or outlook what they may.


The Theosophical Society is greater than its members, for is not the shadow less than the  substance, the sunshine less than the Sun Never for an instant may we forget that our primary allegiance is to the Society itself apart both from any of its members or from any of the beliefs which they may hold. We must learn to recognize that no identification by the ignorant, of certain specific doctrines with the Society as a whole, makes such identification a fact. It is as if some people passed before a great mansion and, seeing through an open window a room with a green carpet, green furniture, green wall-paper and green decorations generally, declared that the whole house was entirely green. In the mansion of the Society are many rooms, each with its own colour, but all within the house and belonging to one community, though some members of the community live in one room and others in another.


the Society is a great receiving-station for Brotherhood from the inner worlds, transmitting it now specifically in the shape of definite Truths, now generally as vitalizing force. Through the latter Brotherhood-spirit in mankind is stimulated and finds expression according to individual temperament and place in evolution. All are welcome to membership in whom Brotherhood is stirring, no matter what form it takes. The Society stands for Brotherhood unqualified, encouraging all movements, all individuals, sincerely dedicated to Brotherhood, be their objectives what they may. It is doubtless possible to define Brotherhood. Each individual should be able to define it more or less satisfactorily to himself; and on every plane of consciousness there is a definition appropriate to the plane, as I have suggested in my definitions of Buddhic and Nirvanic consciousness. But the Society offers no definition. It asks from each his acts of Brotherhood, leaving him to define it as he will, and

as he can.


I have had to write this, because it seems to follow from my Nirvanic meditation upon the Society. Standing, as the Society stands, for Buddhi in the outer world, it is, as it were, a kind of half-way house, between Nirvana (and all that is beyond Nirvana), between the ideal such as we can grasp (and all that may lie beyond out grasping), and these planes of nature upon which normally dwells the outer world. The half-way house must by no means become an obstacle to the passage of the Sunlight of Nirvana to the plains of the outer world beneath, even though in travelling through the denser medium the rays must needs grow less intense. We must never forget the fact that the Society is but this half-way house, is merely a channel for that of which Brotherhood itself is a modification, for there is more than Brotherhood before us, though we may have yet to attain Brotherhood. Thus only can we hope to keep unsullied our great ideal.


I notice particularly that the problems of our outer life are non-existent in Nirvana. Nirvana may have its own problems; it has certainly none of ours. I do not know whether I am able to distinguish between a problem looked at in the light of Buddhi and looked at in the light of Nirvana. In either case, every circumstance that contributed to the making of the problem becomes resolved or transmuted. It ceases to be a problem, for the problem-constituting elements have disappeared. These elements are the products of the separative forces, of ignorance, and can find no place in the higher worlds. The selfishness which is the root cause of them all has burst its bonds, having no further cause for being. The world needs to be full of problems upon which we may exercise God’s gift of choice, discrimination. But less and less do we need to choose deliberately as choice through experience becomes automatic, instinctive, or, let us say, intuitive.


In Buddhi we reach the Unity. In Nirvana we are the Light which is the heart of Unity, the essence of its being. The world thus becomes in many ways a far simpler and easier place in which to live. The solutions of the problems are so obvious, however hard it may be for the world as a whole to accept them; and not only are they obvious, but simple, easy to bring about, provided we are big enough to grasp them firmly. Therein 6lies the difficulty, of course. All that leads to Light is right. All that leads to darkness is wrong.


It is no longer a question of creed or colour, or race, or nationality. All is perceived in terms of greater or lesser Light. “Let there be Light,” we echo. “More Light!” we exclaim, with Goethe. The growing consciousness of Nirvana intensifies the Light of our being - the very world itself is the brighter for the entry of one of its children into Nirvana - and darkness of whatever kind grows increasingly unnatural. We rule out black even down to its apparently most insignificant expressions, as for example in the case of ink or dress, and we only use it faute de mieux, under protest. There is nothing black either in Nirvana or in Buddhi. Life is much simpler than it appears. Complexity is the muddle of ignorance. The more we know the simpler life becomes. Nothing is difficult to do if we want to do it. It is not difficult to do even if we have to do it alone, against the crowd, provided we want to do it. Where there is the will there is the way.


It is interesting to look at a special problem, let us say, the industrial problem. What is the solution? Obviously, comradeship, complete fellowship between the two classes of workmen, whom down here we call employers and employed - rather distorting terminology since the employed employ the employers as much as the employers employ the employed. In these higher regions there is this fellowship. Nothing else could exist. In the lower worlds the difficulty is to obtain it. In the higher worlds it is impossible to avoid it. The solution of the industrial problem lies in the two sections working together as one, as they will have to work sooner or later. That is easier said than done, we are told.


Yet it ought to be done as easily as said, for it is the final truth. With brotherhood on both sides it would be an accomplished fact. With brotherhood on neither side it becomes impossible. No compulsion from without will ever bring it about; no legislation or arbitration of any kind. All these are compromises, bargainings, between truth and falsehood, and cannot last. There must be the urge from within.



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