Before the Soul can see, the harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion.
This earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare thy Ego by the delusion called “Great Heresy (Separateness.”)
—Voice of the Silence.
|Vol. 1||FEBRUARY 1905||No. 5|
|Copyright 1905 by H. W. PERCIVAL|
THE soul is an eternal pilgrim, from the eternal past, and beyond, into the immortal future. In its highest consciousness the soul is permanent, changeless, eternal.
Desiring to detain the soul in her domains, nature has provided for her immortal guest many varied vestures which she has cleverly woven together into one body. It is through this body that nature is enabled to throw her glamour over the soul and to dull the understanding. The senses are the magic wands which nature wields.
Glamour is the magic spell which nature casts about the soul. Glamour causes beguiling many-colored phantoms to attract, bewildering tones of melody to charm, the fragrant breath of perfumes to allure, causes sweet pleasures which gratify the appetites and stimulate the taste, and the soft yielding touch that starts the blood tingling through the body and entertains the mind.
How naturally the soul is beguiled. How readily ensnared. How innocently it is enchanted. How easily a web of unrealities is spun about it. Nature well knows how to hold her guest. When one toy ceases to amuse, another is cunningly proposed by which the soul is led ever deeper into the meshes of life. It continues to be amused, occupied and entertained in a continual round of change, and forgets the dignity and power of its presence and the simplicity of its being.
While imprisoned in the body the soul gradually awakens to the consciousness of itself. Realizing that it has been under the spell of the enchantress, appreciating the power of her wands and understanding her design and methods, the soul is enabled to prepare against and frustrate her devices. It tempers itself and becomes immune against the magic of the wands.
The talisman of the soul which will break the spell of the enchantress is the realization that wherever or under whatever condition, It is permanent, changeless, immortal, hence that It can neither be bound, be injured, nor destroyed.
The glamour of the wand of touch is feeling. It is the first and last which must be overcome. It brings the soul under the sway of all sensations. The openings through which nature works are the skin and all the organs of the body. This sense has its roots deeply seated in the mystery of sex. In the wonderful statue of Laocoon, Phidias has portrayed the soul struggling in the coils of the serpent which has been thrown up by the spell of the wand. By looking steadily at the talisman the serpent begins to uncoil.
Another of the ways by which the enchantress enslaves is the tongue, the palate and the appetites of the body, which come under the spell of the wand of taste. By looking at the talisman the soul makes the body immune against the intoxication of taste, and allows only what will keep the body in health and be sufficient for its needs. The wand of taste then loses its glamour and the body receives that nourishment which the inner taste only supplies.
By the use of the magic of odors nature affects the soul through the organ of smell, and so bewilders the brain as to allow the other senses to steal away the mind. But by looking at the talisman the influence of the spell is broken and instead of man being affected by the fragrance of nature, the breath of life is drawn.
Through the ear the soul is affected by the sense of sound. When nature wields this wand the soul is charmed and enraptured until the talisman is seen. Then the music of the world loses its charm. When the soul hears the harmony of its own motion all other sound becomes noise and this magic wand of nature is forever broken.
Over the eyes nature throws a glamour by the touch of her wand of sight. But with a steady gaze at the talisman the glamour disappears, and color and forms become the background on which the soul’s own reflection is perceived. When the soul perceives its reflection on the face and in the depths of nature it contemplates real beauty and is invigorated with new strength.
The wresting of the wands from nature brings to the soul two other wands: the knowledge of the relation of all things, and the knowledge that all things are One. With these wands the soul completes its journey.
It is not pessimism to look at the illusions of life if done for the purpose of understanding its deceptions and the glamour of the world. Were this all that could be seen the vapors and darkness would be impenetrable indeed. It is necessary for one who is searching for the real to first be dissatisfied with all that is not real, for when the soul would perceive the real in life it must be able to distinguish the unreal.
When the mind is wedded to and controlled by the action of the senses, glamour is produced and the faculties of the soul are aborted. Thus come into existence the vices: the brood of anger, hatred, envy, vanity, pride, greed, and lust: the serpents in the coils of which the soul writhes.
The ordinary human life is a series of shocks from infancy to old age. By each shock the veil of glamour is pierced and riven. For a moment the truth is seen. But it cannot be endured. The mist again closes in. And strange, these shocks are at the same time made bearable by the very pains and delights that produce them. The mortal continues to float along on the stream of time, carried hither and thither, whirled into an eddy of thought, dashed against the rocks of misfortune or submerged in sorrow and despair, to rise again and be borne through the chasm of death to the unknown ocean, the Beyond, whither go all things that are born. Thus again and again the soul is whirled through life.
The body in days of old was accepted as the revealer of the mysteries of this enchanted world. The object of life was to understand and realize each revelation in turn: to dissipate the glamour of the enchantress by the consciousness of the soul: to do the work of the moment, that the soul might continue on its journey. With this knowledge the soul has the consciousness of tranquility and peace amidst a world of glamour.