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The Principle of Essential Divinity
We are innately divine. This may be refuted by those who do not acknowledge any divinity, but, without going into particular concepts or beliefs, it is well documented that we are part of a great life process that must have an originating impulse and must have a purpose underlying the rhythm, the precision, and the patterns that surround us and are also within us.
“Essential” means in this case, not “necessary,” but “fundamental.” A first evidence of our essential divinity is found in our “I-consciousness,” that self-conscious spark that urges us to assert our individuality, fight for freedom, search for peace, and strive on, always toward something that we sense is greater than ourselves. It is a reality that we cannot negate, but at the same time it is so far beyond the encompassment of our minds that it is often refuted. Our intellects form many theories of our origin and destiny and search for the meaning of our lives. We use all our modern skill to find methods of becoming the masters of nature, but only the “essence” in us can begin to discover the secrets we are looking for, and attain a conscious contact with the Existence of which we are an inseparable part.
Within us all are qualities that spring from a Source beyond our “normal” personality. Love, creativity, the spirit of service, aspiration — the “urge” of the Prodigal Son to return to his Father’s house; appreciation of truth, beauty, goodness; a sense, however vague, of “reality” and of “something more,” the “divine discontent”; the spirit of adventure; the constant endeavour to achieve — all this is evidence that “man is an animal, plus a living God.”
Most of us, too, have cycles of greater or lesser expression of this energy, and it may take many different forms. But as a deep inner pull brings the rising and ebbing of the tides, as the light attracts the growing plant, and as the leaven in the meal changes its substance, so is humanity fundamentally urged on by the inherent divinity that lies within it.
We should remember also that evolution is not found only in humanity. Even the mineral kingdom, previously thought to be inert, is now known to be extremely dynamic, and what might be called the “lowest” aspect of divinity, matter, is now revealed as energy, atomic life, with all its stupendous implications. As Sir James Jeans has said: “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a machine.”
Those working in the fields of science are the chief agents revealing divinity for our present age. We are catching a new vision of the wonders of the Life in which “we live and move and have our being” through a different medium from that of the past. Then, penetration was made into the unknown chiefly by the mystics, who sought through prayer and intensity of endeavour to reach and experience divinity. Today, we are gaining our knowledge of God and Life more specifically. The scientific approach to the unknown is a mental penetration. When an impression or an idea has been contacted, it is tested pragmatically through experiment whenever possible, and by correlation with what is already known, thus “proving” its validity. In this way, we are learning about the substance and energies that compose our universe — our area of existence.” Our part in the Whole, our essential divinity, is being brought to both our reason and our understanding.
Often, our first recognition or feeling of divinity comes through the wonders of the kingdoms of nature, which demonstrate on every side a planned creative basis for the life we know on earth. The poet A. E. has written of this experience in the following way:
“. . . Are not sunlight, twilight, color, form, element, melted into meanings so that they seem voices out of that ever living nature? Does not the very air we breathe seem at times to be the Holy Breath? Are we not for ever passing into what we contemplate? Have not solid earth, stone and hill become at times transparent to us? . . . Do we not at times go out from ourselves, our being expanded, so that we seem to mix with the life in nature as if we permeated it and had come together in the infinite yearning of center and circumference for each other?” ... A. E., The Avatars, p. 147
This experience expands, in its turn, our realization of the existence of some principle, some extra factor within ourselves, some “pulling power” beyond the form and personality we are familiar with - the reflection of the “Unknown God,” as the thinkers of the period before Christ called the innately felt, yet indefinable Presence.
The period in which we are living now is extremely interesting, but at the same time is one of the most difficult in the history of humanity. It is a period of confusion and of acute conflict in every department of life. All the old and cherished forms are rapidly deteriorating, and in many cases crumbling away under the impact of the new surging energies. The forms that remain are proving to be more and more inadequate to the new conditions, and to the new mentality of the younger generation. On the other hand, the first expressions of the new trends often appear to be crude, tentative, and unsatisfactory in many ways; in them, however, there is the germ and hope of the future. It is most uncomfortable to live in such a chaotic period; it requires much wisdom and skill in action and a constant criticism, and fear that are so widely spread at present. But clear appraisal of the situation and right valuation of the trends and activities emerging at present are of great help.
A fundamental distinction has to be made between the original quality, the essential nature of the new trends which we have enumerated and the various and often very questionable ways in which they are expressed and applied - or misapplied.
Awareness of the difficulties, dangers, and pain of the period of transition should not overwhelm us, so that we lose sight of the positive aspects of the situation, the great achievements already reached and, above all, the wonders which are approaching and which will be the glory of a new age of increased awareness and growing realization of our essential divinity and oneness with all life. The obstacles can be overcome and the deviations can be set aright by the inrush of new life, and by the action of the new and tremendous energies that are operating with increasing momentum.
Our problem, and that of the whole of mankind, is to handle these energies rightly and every way in which we can contribute to this is therefore extremely important. Not least of these ways is meditation—Meditation for the New Age. It is also important to realize the close connection between essential divinity and the will, because, as it has been said, “the distinctive quality of Divinity is will.” At the personality level also, the will is the psychological function which is more directly related to the “I,” or Self.
Essential Divinity is Touching Your Essence of Love
The interpersonal and group relations fostered by unification and synthesis generate solidarity, cooperation, and comradeship capable of developing into group love, understanding, compassion, and finally brotherhood. In this connection we should realize the qualities that love in the New Age will reveal. We can expect it to be less emotional, personal, and exclusive: more comprehensive, more altruistic and impelling to humanitarian action, and to display social responsibility and consequently group endeavour directed towards the service of our fellow men.
The positive techniques for achieving unification and synthesis could be summarized as:
1. Right Information
One of the causes of friction and conflict is lack of mutual information between individuals, groups, and nations.
Even the best kind of factual information is not sufficient to lead to right approach and unification if it is not rightly evaluated and does not lead to true understanding.
This is obviously advantageous to all concerned. It eliminates the great waste of all kinds produced by conflict. Cooperation pools resources, and mutually integrates abilities and a more enlightened self-interest should induce all, both individuals and groups, to practice it.
This is the most effective means of eliminating obstacles and achieving unification and synthesis.
Essential divinity is not a subject for intellectual research, or something that can be “proved” by reason and explained by words. It is a living reality which must be experienced, an inner revelation, and illumination. To realize it means that we “awaken” to an existent but previously unrealized aspect of ourselves—the highest aspect, the true essence of our being.
Excerpts from “Serving Humanity” by Alice Bailey. Pp. 301 and 458-463
Universal Laws Committee
The World Service Association - P.O. Box 733, Salmon Arm, BC. V1E 4N8
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