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LIGHT ON THE PATH
Note on Sect. II — To be
able to stand is to have confidence; to be able to hear is to have
opened the doors of the soul; to be able to see is to have attained
perception; to be able to speak is to have attained the power of
helping others; to have conquered desire is to have learned how to
use and control the self; to have attained to self-knowledge is to
have retreated to the inner fortress from whence the personal man can
be viewed with impartiality; to have seen thy soul in its bloom is to
have obtained a momentary glimpse in thyself of the transfiguration
which shall eventually make thee more than man; to recognize is to
achieve the great task of gazing upon the blazing light without
dropping the eyes and not falling back in terror, as though before
some ghastly phantom. This happens to some, and so when the victory
is all but won it is lost; to hear the voice of the silence is to
understand that from within comes the only true guidance; to go to
the Hall of Learning is to enter the state in which learning becomes
possible. Then will many words be written there for thee, and written
in fiery letters for thee easily to read. For when the disciple is
ready the Master is ready also.
OUT of the silence that is peace a resonant voice shall arise. And
this voice will say, It is not well; thou hast reaped, now thou must
sow. And knowing this voice to be the silence itself thou wilt
Thou who art now a disciple, able to stand, able to hear, able to
see, able to speak, who hast conquered desire and attained to
self-knowledge, who hast seen thy soul in its bloom and recognized
it, and heard the voice of the silence, go thou to the Hall of
Learning and read what is written there for thee.
1. Stand aside in the coming battle, and though thou fightest be
not thou the warrior.
2. Look for the warrior and let him fight in thee.
3. Take his orders for battle and obey them.
4. Obey him not as though he were a general, but as though he were
thyself, and his spoken words were the utterance of thy secret
desires; for he is thyself, yet infinitely wiser and stronger than
thyself. Look for him, else in the fever and hurry of the fight thou
mayest pass him; and he will not know thee unless thou knowest him.
If thy cry meet his listening ear, then will he fight in thee and
fill the dull void within. And if this is so, then canst thou go
through the fight cool and unwearied, standing aside and letting him
battle for thee. Then it will be impossible for thee to strike one
blow amiss. But if thou look not for him, if thou pass him by, then
there is no safeguard for thee. Thy brain will reel, thy heart grow
uncertain, and in the dust of the battlefield thy sight and senses
will fail, and thou wilt not know thy friends from thy enemies.
He is thyself, yet thou art but finite and liable to error. He is
eternal and is sure. He is eternal truth. When once he has entered
thee and become thy warrior, he will never utterly desert thee, and
at the day of the great peace he will become one with thee.
5. Listen to the song of life.
Note on Rule 5. — Look for
it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it
is not there; when I search I find only discord. Look deeper. If
again you are disappointed, pause and look deeper again. There is a
natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be
hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced — but it is there. At
the very base of your nature you will find faith, hope, and love. He
that chooses evil refuses to look within himself, shuts his ears to
the melody of his heart, as he blinds his eyes to the light of his
soul. He does this because he finds it easier to live in desires. But
underneath all life is the strong current that cannot be checked; the
great waters are there in reality. Find them, and you will perceive
that none, not the most wretched of creatures, but is a part of it,
however he blind himself to the fact and build up for himself a
phantasmal outer form of horror. In that sense it is that I say to
you — All those beings among whom you struggle on are fragments of
the Divine. And so deceptive is the illusion in which you live, that
it is hard to guess where you will first detect the sweet voice in
the hearts of others. But know that it is certainly within yourself.
Look for it there, and once having heard it, you will more readily
recognize it around you.
6. Store in your memory the melody you hear.
7. Learn from it the lesson of harmony.
8. You can stand upright now, firm as a rock amid the turmoil,
obeying the warrior who is thyself and thy king. Unconcerned in the
battle save to do his bidding, having no longer any care as to the
result of the battle, for one thing only is important, that the
warrior shall win, and you know he is incapable of defeat — standing
thus, cool and awakened, use the hearing you have acquired by pain
and by the destruction of pain. Only fragments of the great song come
to your ears while yet you are but man. But if you listen to it,
remember it faithfully, so that none which has reached you is lost,
and endeavor to learn from it the meaning of the mystery which
surrounds you. In time you will need no teacher. For as the
individual has voice, so has that in which the individual exists.
Life itself has speech and is never silent. And its utterance is not,
as you that are deaf may suppose, a cry: it is a song. Learn from it
that you are part of the harmony; learn from it to obey the laws of
9. Regard earnestly all the life that surrounds you.
10. Learn to look intelligently into the hearts of men.
Note on Rule 10. — From an
absolutely impersonal point of view, otherwise your sight is colored.
Therefore impersonality must first be understood.
Intelligence is impartial: no man is your enemy: no man is your
friend. All alike are your teachers. Your enemy becomes a mystery
that must be solved, even though it take ages: for man must be
understood. Your friend becomes a part of yourself, an extension of
yourself, a riddle hard to read. Only one thing is more difficult to
know — your own heart. Not until the bonds of personality are
loosed, can that profound mystery of self begin to be seen. Not till
you stand aside from it will it in any way reveal itself to your
understanding. Then, and not till then, can you grasp and guide it.
Then, and not till then, can you use all its powers, and devote them
to a worthy service.
11. Regard most earnestly your own heart.
12. For through your own heart comes the one light which can
illuminate life and make it clear to your eyes.
Study the hearts of men, that you may know what is that world in
which you live and of which you will to be a part. Regard the
constantly changing and moving life which surrounds you, for it is
formed by the hearts of men; and as you learn to understand their
constitution and meaning, you will by degrees be able to read the
larger word of life.
13. Speech comes only with knowledge. Attain to knowledge and you
will attain to speech.
Note on Rule 13. — It is
impossible to help others till you have obtained some certainty of
your own. When you have learned the first 21 rules and have entered
the Hall of Learning with your powers developed and sense unchained,
then you will find there is a fount within you from which speech will
After the 13th rule I can add no words to what is already
My peace I give unto you.
14. Having obtained the use of the inner senses, having conquered
the desires of the outer senses, having conquered the desires of the
individual soul, and having obtained knowledge, prepare now, O
disciple, to enter upon the way in reality. The path is found: make
yourself ready to tread it.
15. Inquire of the earth, the air, and the water, of the secrets
they hold for you. The development of your inner senses will enable
you to do this.
16. Inquire of the holy ones of the earth of the secrets they hold
for you. The conquering of the desires of the outer senses will give
you the right to do this.
17. Inquire of the inmost, the one, of its final secret which it
holds for you through the ages.
The great and difficult victory, the conquering of the desires of
the individual soul, is a work of ages; therefore expect not to
obtain its reward until ages of experience have been accumulated.
When the time of learning this seventeenth rule is reached, man is on
the threshold of becoming more than man.
18. The knowledge which is now yours is only yours because your
soul has become one with all pure souls and with the inmost. It is a
trust vested in you by the Most High. Betray it, misuse your
knowledge, or neglect it, and it is possible even now for you to fall
from the high estate you have attained. Great ones fall back, even
from the threshold, unable to sustain the weight of their
responsibility, unable to pass on. Therefore look forward always with
awe and trembling to this moment, and be prepared for the battle.
19. It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity
no law can be framed, no guide can exist. Yet to enlighten the
disciple, the final struggle may be thus expressed:
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
20. Listen only to the voice which is soundless.
21. Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and
the outer sense.
PEACE BE WITH YOU.
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