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December 2020, #82 Perspectives Selections

Conditions in today’s world have caused us to seek greater spiritual guidance and get some measure of whatever understanding is possible amid the confusion and stress of the pandemic. Paul Brunton has written extensively on philosophy and metaphysics, on prayer and meditation, on the world situation, and on human experience. The Notebooks, Volume 1, Perspectives, is an excellent way to survey all 28 categories; the other 15 volumes explore the categories in greater detail.

This E-teaching offers quotes from paras in Categories 25 and 26, “World Mind in Individual Mind” and “The World Idea.” (Volume 16 explores more thoroughly.) We realize once again that we are more than this little ego, so preoccupied with selfish concerns and we see the benefits of identifying with a higher, more impersonal view.

“The soul in man, the Overself, is linked with, or rooted in, the soul in the universe, the World Mind.” (p. 341) “The unit of mind is differentiated out and undergoes its long evolution through numerous changes of state, not to merge so utterly in its source again as to be virtually annihilated, but to be consciously harmonized with that source whilst yet retaining its individuality.” (p. 342)

“To be the witness is the first stage; but to BE is the final one. For consciousness lets go of the witness in the end. Consciousness alone is itself the real experience.” (p. 348)

“When we gaze observantly and reflectively around an object—whether it be a microscope-revealed cell or a telescope revealed star—it inescapably imposes upon us the comprehension that an infinite intelligence rules this wonderful cosmos. The purposive way in which the universe is organized betrays, if it be anything at all, the working of a Mind which understands.” (p. 361)

“The ideas in a man’s mind are hidden and secret until he expresses them through actions, or as speech, or as the visible creations and productions of his hands, or in behavior generally. Those ideas are neither lost nor destroyed. They are a permanent part of the man’s memory and character and consciousness and subconsciousness, where they have been recorded as automatically and as durably as a master phonograph disc records music.

“Just as a wax copy may be burnt but the music will still live on in the master disc, so the cosmos may be annihilated or disintegrate completely but the creative idea of it will still live on in the World-Mind as his Soul. It will not die. It’s his real Self, his perfect Self. It is the true Idea of him which is forever calling to be realized. It is the unmanifest image of God in which man is made and which he has yet to bring into manifestation in his everyday consciousness.” (p.370)

“There is no choice in the matter, ultimately, although there is immediately. The entire human race will have to traverse the course chalked out for it, will have to develop the finer feelings, the concrete intellect, the abstract intellect, the balance between the different sides. If men do not seek to do so now, it is only a question of time before they will be forced to do so later. (p. 371)

“It is not possible to know what lies at the heart of the great mystery, but it is possible to know what it is not. The intellect, bound by the forms of logic and conditioned by the linkage between cause and effect, here enters a realm where these hold no sway. The discoveries of Germany’s leading nuclear physicist, Professor Heisenberg, were formulated in his law of indeterminacy. The ancient Egyptian sages symbolized this inscrutability under the figure of the veil of Isis. The ancient Hindu sages called it Maya, that is, the inexplicable.

“ Argument and debate, ferreting and probing among all available facts, searching and sifting of records are futile here. This is the real truth behind the doctrine of agnosticism. Every man, no matter who he be, from the most knowledgeable scientist to the profoundest philosopher, must bow his head in acknowledgment of the human limitation. He is still a human being; he is not a god.

“Yet there is something godlike within him, and this he must find and cling to for his true salvation, his only redemption. If he does this, he will fulfil his purpose on earth and then only he finds true peace of mind and an end to all this restless, agitated, uncertain mental condition. Study what this planet’s best men have given us. It is no truer message than this. ‘Seek for the divine within yourself, return to it every day, learn how to continue in it and finally be it.’” (p.371)