The growth of the essence gifts of the matter assumes various forms, but the root a speech, to wit, man must not do reverence of it is to his restraint of own sect or disparage that of another without reason. The result, other was the of the natural among things, development sciences. I the with a kwah the and until blade, gently apply stay my hand, to the I withdraw like earth Then crumbling ground. It is to is The temporal world seems to emulate in part that which it cannot fully obtain or express, tying itself to whatever presence there exiguous and fleeting moment a presence which, since image of that abiding Presence, gives to whatever may partake of it the quality of seeming to have being. For Christians there has been and, ex hypothesi, can be but one such divine incarnation; for Indians there can be and have been many. The Lankavatara Sutra, from which the following extract is taken, was the scripture which the founder of Zen Buddhism expressly recommended to his first disciples. the modern semanticist is so busily (and, also, so unsuccessto drum into fully) trying contemporary minds namely, that words are not the same as things and that a knowledge of words about facts is in no sense equivalent to a direct and immediate apprehension of the facts themselves. Samsara (the world of becoming) is not hated by him, nor is Nirvana loved. The ground in which the multifarious and time-bound is rooted is a simple, timeless awareness. Preface to Prayer (New York, 1944). And yet, in spite of the warnings pronounced by those who, through selflessness, have passed from letter to spirit and from theory to immediate knowledge, the organized Christian churches have persisted in the fatal habit of mistaking means for ends. 'Bravo!' By fits and starts most of us contrive to forget, if only partially, our preoccupation with 'I,' 'me, 'mine,' and so become capable of condemned to 5 receiving, if only partially, the graces which, in that are being offered us. The extract that follows crimes and follies is a moving protest against the name of religion by those perpetrated in the who had turned to God without from and who were therefore far themselves turning away more keenly interested in the temporal aspects of historic sixteenth-century Reformers the ecclesiastical organization, the logic-chopChristianity of Scripture than in the Spirit who must be letter the ping, worshipped in spirit, the eternal Reality in the selfless knowledge of whom stands man's eternal life. Jalal-uddin Rumi freedom (and even Determinists consistently act they were certain of it) and if (as everyone who has qualified himself to talk about the subject has always been convinced) there is a spiritual Reality, which it is the final end and purpose of consciousness to know; then all life is in the nature of an intelligence test, and the higher the level of awareness and the greater the potentialities of the creature, the more For, in searchingly difficult will be the questions asked. last thirty centuries many attempts have been made to work out a classification system in terms of which human differences could be measured and described. In the words of one whom we have often had occasion to cite in earlier sections, it is necessary for all of us to learn the true nature and worth of all self-denials and mortifications.' Eckhart With the lamp of word and discrimination one must go beyond word and discrimination and enter upon the path of realization. To worship polytheistically may be one's dharma ; nevertheless the fact remains that man's final end is the unitive knowledge of the Godhead, and all the historical formulations of the Perennial Philosophy are agreed that every human being ought, and perhaps in some way or other actually will, achieve that end. Chapter 17 SUFFERING Godhead is impassible; for where there is perfection can there be no suffering. The Society far Promoting Christian Knowledge: DIONYSIUS THE AREOPAGITE, translated b^ C. E. Rolt. If you, illustrious Prince (the words were addressed to the Duke of Wiirtemberg) had informed your subjects that you were coming to visit them at an unnamed time, and had requested them to be prepared in white garments to meet you at your if would do on what arrival find that, should you you coming, instead of robing themselves in white, they had spent their time some insisting that you in violent debate about your person others that were in in were France, you Spain ; some declaring on come would others that you would come that you horseback, some would that come with great pomp holding you by chariot; would that come without train or following? If I know that I cannot succeed and yet try to force success, this would be but another source of error. of reunion with the Intelligible Light, to renounce the bliss of immediate liberation in order to return as saviours and teachers again and again into the world of suffering and time and evil, until at last every sentient being shall have been delivered into eternity. TILLYARD, AELFRIDA. different modern forms of is the case with the developed and ! Yea, some souls there are conducted by Almighty God by no other way, but only by such prayer of aridity, finding no sensible contentment in any recollection, but, on the contrary, continual therefore that their time 336 THE PERENNIAL PHILOSOPHY pain and contradiction, and yet, by a privy grace and courage imprinted deeply in the spirit, cease not for all that, but resolutely break through all difficulties and continue, the best way they can, their internal exercises to the great advancement of their spirit. sincerity, which is a It is not the same as much humbler virtue. Nature perpetual perishing and a is as incompreand If the Divine bountiful. For example, if we have already achieved a certain degree of alert passivity in relation to Reality and distractions intervene, we can simply 'look over the shoulder* of the malicious and concupiscent imbecile who stands between us and the object of our 'simple regard.' Bayazid of Bis tun Two of the recorded anecdotes about this Sufi saint deserve to be quoted here. Dai-o Kokushi There is nothing true anywhere, is nowhere to be found. But he refuses, in Brahmananda's words, to mistake tamos for sattvas, sloth and sub-consciousness for poise and super-consciousness. Often they produce but, lacking the power to forgive sins or spectacular cures even to understand the psychological correlates, conditions or causes of the symptoms they have so miraculously dispelled, they leave a soul empty, swept and garnished against the coming of seven other devils worse than the first.