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January 2022, #93 The Divine Order of the Universe and The Idea of Man

from the Notebooks of Paul Brunton, Volume 16, Part 2

Whatever we call it, most people feel—whether vaguely or strongly—that there must be a God, and that there must be something which God has in view in letting the universe come into existence. This purpose I call the World-Idea, because to me God is the World’s Mind. This is a thrilling conception. It was an ancient revelation which came to the first cultures, the first civilizations, of any importance, as it has come to all others which have appeared, and it is still coming today to our own. With this knowledge, deeply absorbed and properly applied, man comes into harmonious alignment with his Source. (Volume 16, 26:1,64)

These studies point out that the idea of man exists in and is eternally known by the World-Mind, as a master-idea. In Chapter 4 we read: “What is man? This is the most important question which has ever been put before the mind.” When we can learn what the true worth of man is and wherein lies real salvation, we shall learn the most practical of all things. For this, more than anything else, will show us how to live on earth peacefully, prosperously, healthily, and usefully. (Ibid: 26: 4.3)

If there were no World-Idea there would be no world as we know it, for its elements would have interacted and associated quite irresponsibly by mere accident and chance. In the result the sun might or might not have appeared today, the seasonal changes would have no orderly arrangement nor food crops any predictable or measurable probability; instead of man there might have evolved a frightful monstrosity, half-animal and half-demon, utterly devoid of any aspiration, any conscience, any pity at all. (26:1.10)

The forces which move mankind and bring about events are not always to be found by rational analysis. There is another factor present which eludes such analysis. It may be called the evolutionary intent of the World-Mind. Within the Overself, the infinite absolute principle of mind, there arises the idea of the cosmos, and from this original idea proceed all other mental constructions that constitute a universe. “The pattern of the whole universe is repeated in the pattern of the solar system, and that again in the atom’s structure. There is no place and no being where the World-Idea does not reincarnate itself.” (ibid.,72). Because the Overself is formless and unindividuated, we have to picture it under the glyph of darkness. The cosmic idea will then appear as a primordial germ of light, called by the Hindus Hiranyagarbha (the golden embryo). (26:4.178)

In Volume 16, Category 26, Part 2, in The Notebooks of Paul Brunton, there is an interesting discussion about the ‘True Idea of Man.’ When we identify man by gender, we miss the real self. When PB speaks of man in his writings he often refers to this ‘True Idea’ as the Overself. “If we do not know the ‘why’ of universal existence, we do know the ‘why’ of human existence. It provides the field of experience for discovering the divine soul. The integral quest which ends in this discovery is, consequently, the greatest and most important of human undertakings.” (26:4.82)

We can learn the laws and the processes which the World Mind has imprinted on the cosmos. Their violation through ignorance leads to suffering and unhappiness. Philosophy offers as a first truth the affirmation that we live in an orderly universe, not an accidental one, one where the movements are measured, events are plotted, and its creatures develop towards a well-defined objective. The principle of order exists in the spinning of earth on its axis and the balancing of planets around the sun. The same is true of the relation and balancing of human beings to the World-Mind and among themselves, here known as karma. (26: 1.2-6)

Events may seem to happen at random, but this is not really so. They are connected with our own thinking and doing, with the pattern of the World-Idea and with the activity of the World-Mind. (26:1.29)

If the Mind behind this universe is perfect, then the pattern of the universe itself must be perfect too. And so it will show itself to be, if we muster up the heroism needed to cast out our feeble, sentimental, and emotional way of looking at things, if we put aside for a few minutes our personal and human demands that the universe shall conform to our wishes. (26:1.38)

You are part of the World-Mind’s World-Idea. Therefore, you are a part of its purpose, too. Seek to be shown what that is and how you may realize it, rather than mope in misery, frustration, or fear. Look upon your situation—personal, domestic, career, mental emotional, spiritual, –as having significance within that purpose, as teaching you some specific lesson or telling you what to do or not to do. (26:4.101)