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Divine Adjustment Henry Thomas Hamblin

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Divine Adjustment

by Henry Thomas Hamblin

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Love, Light and Light

"In Him Was life; and the life was the light of men."
John 1.4

It has been said that if a man would but meditate for a certain time every day upon the first five verses of John's Gospel, he would enter into that state of consciousness and Divine union which Jesus termed the Kingdom of God or Heaven. St John's Gospel is not primarily historical, but mystical. Outwardly it conforms more or less to the historical tradition; but inwardly it is a great mystical work, the object of which is to reveal to those who are sufficiently read, and who possess the necessary earnestness, the great mysteries which have been hidden from the foundation of the world.

This expression (from the foundation of the world) used several times in the New Testament, is very apt and expressive. Truth is eternal, and therefore always was and is, and forever will be. It is always present, and always has been present. Although present, it is not revealed. That is to say it is never revealed to the uninitiated, but only to those who are ready. Truth, if it were revealed to the vulgar gaze. or to the unprepared, in heart and understanding, would destroy. It is because of this that one should never make use of occult methods which awaken certain centers, artificially. Breathing exercises of an occult nature may be very fascinating, but they are fraught with danger. Deep interior breathing develops itself as we become more advanced in spiritual understanding: therefore, it should never be practiced artificially.

The mysteries of the Kingdom are hidden and veiled. This is the reason for symbolism, myths, parables, etc. Their interior meaning can be understood by those who are ready for a measure of the Truth, but the uninitiated can only see the exterior meaning. Truth (or the Divine Mysteries), is withheld from a person until he is ready for a revelation of it. It is equally true that when man is ready, the teaching that he needs always comes to him just at the right moment. In some apparently chance or accidental manner, he receives something that changes his life altogether.

Truth then is eternal, without beginning or end. It is also veiled or hidden from the vulgar gaze. But, at the same time, it is open to all, and is withheld from none. This is a paradox; but all Truth is paradoxical. Everything is, and yet is not; and there are always two sides to the shield. What is obvious on the outer, is different from that which is on the inner side. Yet both are true, at the time. External or exoteric truth is Truth to the beginner, but is very different from the esoteric Truth known as Truth by the initiate. Each one has revealed to him that aspect of Truth, or that amount of Truth for which he is ready and capable of receiving at the time. When he has assimilated that which he is ready to receive, he passes on to acquire further knowledge, and to enter into deeper understanding.

NOTHING HAPHAZARD

There is nothing haphazard about the life of even the humblest seeker of Truth. Everything is Divinely arranged. There is a Path which all aspirants have to follow, and the great example of this is the life of Jesus.

When we realize that we have to live a similar life and also to pass through similar experiences, either literally or mystically, it becomes easier to understand life, and to co-operate with its experiences. We enter into peace when we awaken to the fact that life is not haphazard at all, but that it is governed by immutable laws, which, if acknowledged and obeyed, bring us always to our highest good, and to our eternal joy and happiness.

One who sets out on the search for Truth soon discovers that he is being disciplined. But this is only in order that he may be prepared to receive Truth and all the blessings and joys that Truth brings. Being disciplined is sometimes called passing through 'the stripping process', and sometimes, 'passing through the fire'. It is always a good process, although it may not always be to our liking.

It is a great help if we co-operate with the experiences that come to us, or which we come up against. Indeed, the painfulness is almost entirely due to the resistance and opposition that we offer to the refining experiences that we have to meet. The stripping process is for this sole purpose, to remove from us those things which are a hindrance to us, and which prevent us from entering into the true life of Joy an liberty, and Infinite progression.

I do not mean that when we are bereaved through the loss of a loved one, that that loved one has been a hindrance to our unfoldment, but through the apparent loss, we are led to seek for God more earnestly, and to cast off the things which hinder us, and bind us to earth. Some men, living wicked lives, have become changed through the loss of someone whom they loved very dearly. The shock and grief have caused them to hate the life they were living, and to desire, strongly, to live a life worthy of the great love of the one who had been, as it were, snatched from them. The loved one was not a hindrance, but the grief caused by the passing produced a change of heart and mind that in turn produced a hatred and loathing of sin and a great desire for pure and holy living. In this way does life deal with us, stripping us of all that hinders and obstructs our true progress, or causing us to give it up of our own volition, so that we can be brought into the Way of Truth.

Many of Us make life more difficult than it need be through looking upon the experiences, which are inseparable from the new life as evil instead of good. To the regenerating soul there can be no evil in any experience that may come to it. By this I do not mean that there are not terrible evils in the world, for everyone must admit that there are. What I mean is that the aspiring soul is led by the Holy Spirit, and every experience that is encountered is designed by Infinite Wisdom and Love, and therefore cannot be evil, but only good. If it looks evil, that is only an appearance, for nothing that is brought to us by Infinite Wisdom and Love can be anything but good. Because this is true, we make a practice of blessing every situation, even when the appearance may seem dark. We then find that each experience works out in ways of good.

ALL EXPERIENCES GOOD

We may meet with disappointments. difficulties and apparent losses in life. These are not evil; because, if we bless them, and meet them with co-operation, they turn out to be very good, and stepping stones to higher and better things. Thus we find that there is no evil in life, but only good; that is if we think and act in the right way.

We meet with temptation of course, and the thing that we are tempted to do is evil. Because of this we have to watch and pray, so that we are not ensnared by it, even as our Lord said. Through not becoming ensnared, and through our victory and overcoming in the power of the Spirit, the experience is turned into a blessing, so that good comes out of it in the form of virtue, and a stronger character.

There is an infinitely wise object in every experience that comes to us. If it flings us into a rage, then we may know we have both pride and resentment to overcome.

If it fills us with fear, we know that we have fear and the sin of doubt to overcome. If it depresses us, then we may know that we have not yet entered into our true life in God which is infinite joy. There is always something to be learnt from every experience; for, if it were not necessary, we would not attract it.

Life, then, becomes very much easier, and the aspirant very much happier, if experiences are met in an understanding manner. The reason why an initiate's life is so calm and peaceful is largely due to the fact that, through knowledge and self-control, he is able to meet all experiences in the right way. The reason why the beginner's life is in such a turmoil is largely due to the fact that through lack of knowledge and self-control he does not meet his experiences in the right and best way. But, he learns from experience, progressing step by step, until he too becomes an adept. We all have to learn to walk before we may run: we must never despise the day of small things. The beginner's failing is that he runs about too much, first reading this, and then trying that. He does not allow himself to be quiet; he is in a turmoil all the time. When he fails to obtain good results he wants to know what is the matter. He leaves undone the things he ought to do, and does the things he ought not to do, consequently there is no health in him. In spite of his mistakes, however, he is striving for the Kingdom, and because of this he is guided into the Way of Truth, through many failures.

QUIETNESS ESSENTIAL

His mistake is that he never allows himself to become quiet, This of course is the secret of all attainment, 'Be still and know that I am God.' Be still and know what God is, The beginner must cease fluttering about like trapped bird, and must learn to discipline his mind, so that he can become quiet, with his whole attention fixed upon God. When the surface mind becomes stilled, the One Mind that is perfect is enabled thereby to function. Be still, and then know. Truth does not come through the intellect, or through searching for knowledge, or through asking questions, or through discussions or arguments. It is not in the wind, or the earthquake, or the fire, but in the 'still' small voice, which is not a voice, really, but welling up of Truth from within the soul.

Most people, before they become conscious Truth-seekers (that is, they who are seeking of their own volition, instead of being blindly driven by circumstances) pass through the storm and the earthquake. They pass through experiences which wreck and ruin their lives and circumstances. They cannot find God in these great and trying events, but through them they are pushed forward to the experience which might be described as the fire, And God is not to be found in the fire; but the fire purges and burns up all that hinders and separates, so that the aspirant is prepared for the next stage which is 'Light'.

God is not the disorder, the violence, or the fire, but is the Light. It is true that Paul said: 'For our God is a consuming fire,' but by that he meant that all who would seek and find God, must pass through the fire, before they could come to the Light. This is described by some as the purging stage, which is merely another term for the stripping stage. Through it the aspirant parts company with that which hinders and keeps him from his highest good.

It must not be thought, however, that man is deserted and forsaken when passing through the experiences which precede his entrance into the Path. While, in one sense, God is not in the wind, earthquake and fire, yet in another He is never nearer than at such times. Jacob Boehme teaches that the Love of God can be and can go where God (in His essentiality) cannot. The Light may shine in the darkness, but the darkness apprehends it not. Man may not be able to apprehend the Presence, but Love is with him all the time. It is Love that leads him and draws him towards the Light.

PASSING THROUGH THE FIRE

It might be said that the Light is the outcome of the fire. But, actually, fire is the Light incompletely or imperfectly apprehended. One who is in the Light is unaware of the fire. Man has to pass through the fire because of his separateness from the Light. Instead of the Light being the outcome of the fire, it is seen that the fire and the anguish are but a form of disorder that man, as it were, creates for himself through his own state of disorder and separateness. The Light is always and forever the Light.

That it appears as fire to the aspirant is no fault of the Light, but is due to man's separation from, and unlikeness, to the Light. 'God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.'

If we walk in the light, as He {the Eternal Son or Archetypal Man) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son (symbol of the regenerative life and power of the Logos) cleanseth us from all sin (destroys in us the tendency to sin, so that we sin no more).

'He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.'

From these extracts from John's Epistle we see that love is the key, and also the standard by which we are judged. If we love our brother (or neighbour) we walk in the Light.

'But if we do not love our brother we are in darkness, and walk in darkness, and do not know where we are going, because the darkness has blinded our eyes (1. John ii. II.)

What has to be overcome in us, then, is mostly a lack of love for our brother man, which means that our self-love has to be destroyed. It is even as this is achieved, and a genuine love and compassion cultivated within our hearts, that we are able to pass into and abide in the Light. The fires of bereavement and sorrow burn away our hardness of heart, our selfishness and love of self. Have not we all found that our own deep sorrow has made us compassionate and gentle towards others ? Yes, the fire prepares us for the Light, through generating in our hearts a true love and genuine compassion.

THE LIFE OF THE LOGOS

But God is not only the Light. He is also the Life and the Source of all life.

'In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.'

William Law says that the only salvation is the life of God in the soul; and there are few who would find fault with his definition. Just as the life was in Him (the Logos), so also must it be in us. And as the Logos found bodily form in Jesus, so also must He live in us. The Eternal Word has forever to be made flesh. Said Meister Eckhart: 'When all things were in mid-silence, God spake His silent Word into my soul'. It is through this new life in us that we are able to join with John in his ecstatic cry: 'Beloved, now are we the sons of God.' It is through our awakening to this great fact that we realize that inwardly and truly we are at-one with the Power that produced the stars, and called universes into being.

'In the twinkling of an eye shall we be changed', said Paul. One moment we may be poor, blind, feeble earth-bound creatures, groping amongst the dust on an insignificant mud-ball, lost in an immensity of stellar space; and the next moment we may realize our true inward nature, and rejoice in the fact that we are verily sons of God - sons who are growing up to be like their Father - in other words, gods in the making.

It might be thought that there is a danger in all this - a danger of self-pride and glory. But actually there is none, for the reason that it is only the humble in heart who find God. 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see the God.' That is, the heart that is purged of all self, self-interest, self-serving, self-love, and self-pride. It is only as we let go of self, thus removing the personal ego out of the way, that Christ (the Son) in us can arise and bring the glorious truth into actuality and consciousness.

It follows, then, that because we can never realize our Sonship, and true inward nature, except we surrender our 'self', and all pride and egohood, that there is no danger of this knowledge making us puffed up. Much rather does it make us feel humble, so that we acknowledge that of our finite material selves we can do nothing. It is only the life of God in our soul that makes such glorious things possible, and by which we possess any life at all.

This is the great mystery hidden from the foundation of the world, this change of consciousness, when the old life, is given up, making room for the new life, which is the life of God, no less.

CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE SOUL

At Christmas we celebrate the birth of the infant child Jesus. This happy event has its mystical counterpart in the birth of Christ in our own soul. This again is a mystical way of describing the birth of a new life within us, which is no less than the life of God.

But some may want to know how it is possible to awaken the new life within them. They may be earnest seekers, yet they cannot find God, neither can they realize Truth, or find within themselves any trace of the new spiritual life. Let such meditate upon the text at the head of this article 'In Him was life, and the life was the light of men'. Let them sit upright in a chair, quietly with nerves and muscles relaxed, breathing freely, deeply, but naturally, and while they direct their attention to the words, keeping out all extraneous thought, let them see interiorly within themselves the Inward Light. Let them make a practice of doing this every day, and they will surely become conscious of Light within, and of new life animating them, making them conscious of the glorious fact that they are sons of God.

'Christ is in you and is the hope of your glory', said Paul, according to one translator. May Christ live in each one of us, and arise in us in glory and power.

 

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