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finds the lesson written on Nature's page. "Consider the lilies how they grow" is our lesson to-day as when Jesus of Nazareth taught the multitudes from Nature's book. In the growth of a chestnut, what is our law of judging of its ripeness? Not by the prickly husk, for that seems perfect when the kernel is scarcely formed. Not by the shell, for that has reached its perfection when the nut within is still unripe. We must look to the perfection of the nut alone for a knowledge of its condition. So with man: it is neither physical strength nor intellectual attainment that marks his ripeness, but the development of the true interior, that seeks the Light as the kernel seeks the sun.

Through the six thousand years of biblical record we can see the husk, the shell, and inner self of man, in plainly marked successive stages: from the time when God was dimly seen, through gross material eyes, as a Being to fear and obey; a Being who could command his children to cut off, root and branch, those who could not see him in his world; a Being swift to punish, slow to love; a Being who could say that kings should be deprived of thumbs and great toes-yet a Being that, more clearly seen in David's time, was worshipped and adored as merciful, slow to anger, and full of watchful love. Even this was but a shadow of his outline, as revealed by Jesus of Nazareth when he called him "Our Father." Has the Centre of the Universe changed? Is It not the same yesterday, to-day, and forever? Where is this change of vision, and when can man hope to find true realization of Spirit and Spirit-working?

Higher knowledge must always be a relative knowledge, an approximation toward that which can never be fully known. It is the child trying to understand the parent, and yearly coming to clearer vision, but never into exact and full comprehension of that which even in a finite way must ever escape and transcend its powers. We, as children of God, can only hope to see the outermost manifestations of his power; but, thus seeing, we shall be satisfied, for we shall then awake in his likeness.

If man, in his triune nature of body, soul, and spirit, is a ray from the infinite Sun sent forth into material darkness, it must needs be that, as he awakens from the outer to the inner, he must feel the drawing of his spirit-nature toward God, his Father-Mother. It was impossible for a race, so buried in material darkness that it scarcely knew its own powers, to reach. out after a realm that belongs entirely to a higher consciousness. A being scarcely having attained self-consciousness could not know universal consciousness. Only when the spiritgerm belonging to the Universal was awakened could this be experienced.

"Keep ever in mind the Subject, the Object, and the Cause," says a Sanskrit writer; "learn to know the Knower." When man knows the Knower, the thing known, and the Cause of the knowing, he has come to that radiant border-land where the rays of the Ineffable blind his eyes to all lesser beings. He has stepped from a world of sense to one of perception, through feeling. He has passed the first initiation-of which no soul can speak-referred to by Paul.

Life-force, Spirit, and Mind are interchangeable terms used to denote that ethereal, invisible something that so infuses itself into living organisms as to be absolutely unrecognizable except in its results. When the apparently dead tree puts forth new leaves and branches; when the wounded bird or beast becomes healed; when even man shows a light in the eye and a radiance. on the cheek not there before we know that this Power has done the work. And, strange to say, the insensate tree and dumb beast know the secret of attracting this force far better than a Huxley or a Tyndall, for through all nature the rule is, instinct and intuition can receive help when intellect and knowledge fail. Instinct and intuition yearn, and yearning is feeling. Intellect is not feeling, hence intellect cannot yearn. As the ancient mystics taught: "If thou wouldst know the secret of life, learn to know how a blade of grass is born from cold, dry earth." This was true wisdom. Kingdoms might pass and continents be removed, but wisdom abideth through all changes, for "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath

hewn out her seven pillars." She said: "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever earth was. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth." Thus was the law of life established, and only the truly wise can understand.

From the first ray of light sent out into the dark abyss, vibration was established as a universal force working through darkness. As light was motion, so motion generated vibration, and from unity to complexity these two have been the agents throughout all worlds. If the rate of vibration is increased by the rapidity of the motion, and from gross to fine all gradations are according to this law, it seems very natural to realize that the coarser and more sluggish vibrations must belong to the physical and material realm. To rise to the intellectual and spiritual is but to increase the rate of vibration. What can do this? Desire only. Man could never, by outward pressure, have been driven from mere animal existence to intellectual life. Desire from within alone could do the work. Even at this day we find it impossible for a child to be forced to study, unless the desire is first created. To know how to increase desire, or rather to carry desire from lower to higher, is but to know the secret of increasing vibrations. On this hangs all power of healing, of prophesying-of knowing God.

Whatever the germ that hungers for life; whatever the organism that longs to be filled; whatever the nature craving food-whenever the intensity of desire raises the vibrations to the highest pitch, the supply always comes, regulated by the environment of the seeker and its plane of desire. The parched. oak on a barren cliff, languishing for life, must struggle in leaf and root (as the oak in a fertile valley knows nothing of) because its conditions are adverse; but in the struggle, and by overcoming, it gains a strength that adds to its tissues and broadens its girth until it stands king. Could it have spoken in audible tones it would have said to every leaf: "Quiver, O leaves, at your greatest speed, and draw from the storehouse of Nature the breath of life!" And to the roots it would have said: "Stretch out, O roots, to your outermost limit, that ye may

drink from the water of life that is waiting for you beyond the obstacles that fetter you!"

With the oak there is no division of purpose. Its eye is single; therefore its whole body is full of life. But with the human how different! Self lies behind the longing. Only in sorrow does it quiver with desire; only in anguish does it reach out for life; only in adversity does it long for God, hoping to find something to comfort self. It is not love that yearns for love's sake only; it is human desire crying out for something that will bring joy for the yearning. It is the soul turning away from objects of sense, that have brought nothing but disappointment, and saying: "Surely, if I turn to the spirit, I must receive." When the desire fails to bring light, and joy, and peace, the soul cries out in despair, “There is no God!" When the child cries for its mother, it reasons not, nor has a thought of reward. It loves for love's sake only. When the mother gives her years, her thought, and her life to the care of the child she loves, no thought has she of a future time when that love will be repaid. She loves, and could do no other than serve. Love, that sets every heart-string quivering; Love, that blinds the eyes to all earthly good; Love, that cries day and night for Light and Life-this is the Love that conquers and brings the soul to its own, by the law of all vibratory action. Paul the initiate said: "Though I give my body to be burned, though I speak with divers tongues and understand all mysteries, it profiteth nothing if love be not there."

All desires fail of accomplishment, but the heart's desire for God never fails to bring to pass.* We must love him because we are only at peace when united to him. We must seek him because there is none other. We must cry to him because we long for his voice alone. But no thought of return must enter our minds; no desire for health, or happiness, or knowledge, or even that by knowing him we can help others. All this is barter. It is buying with a price; and the wisdom which is from

* Desire has for its object only the lower plane of existence. That which tends toward the higher is not desire, but aspiration.-ED.

above is "without money and without price." When this desire is awakened in the heart, the Light is born, never to go out. This Light will shine brighter and brighter to the perfect day.

Having discovered the secret of attaining, we must now learn the process of assimilation and progression. This is always from the universal to the individual, returning to the universal. At the moment of intense, unselfish longing, we have risen to a realm of finer vibrations, and a connection has been established between the Cause and the individual soul. The bosom of the infinite Father-Mother has received its child, and a new life has been breathed into the soul's centre. From that moment it receives according to its desires, and the spirit of life, which up to that moment had belonged to the universal All, is henceforth under the law of individual control, according as it has been appropriated. In the lower orders, if a blade

of grass, or a flower, or a tree appropriated the life-force, it would henceforth be under the law of each to increase their growth. So in man, according to the source of the vibration that either consciously or unconsciously attracted the life, would be the result. If he lives in animal desires, all that gives him strength will go to that part of his nature, and he becomes more and more animal. If he lives in his intellect, the result will be the same. Only when he consciously desires life for his immortal spirit can he obtain a single atom of spiritual life. "Ye must be born again," said Jesus. Birth means life, and breath, and struggle. Only the musician really hears music; only the artist can interpret art aright; and only the man truly new-born can hope to know God, and breathe back to the Universal the life he has appropriated, in the truest and highest sense.

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