What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe!
— Blaise Pascal 1
This chapter begins with an overview of dualism in metaphysical and practical terms. Defining selections on the fog of separateness, informed versus blind faith, validation of imagination, and devotion versus worship follow immediately after. In the remaining sections the antics of the mind, the only impediment to spiritual progress, is exposed so that Otherness can surrender joyfully to “a final harmonic tendency to One-ness.” 2
Universally all desire of things good, and all that longing after happiness, which is in every individual of human kind, is the mighty Deity of Love, who by secret ways and stratagems subdues and governs the hearts of all.3
Happiness cannot exist where Truth is absent. Erected upon the shifting sands of human fiction and hypotheses, happiness is merely a house of cards tumbling down at the first whiff; it cannot exist in reality as long as egotism reigns supreme in civilised societies. As long as intellectual progress will refuse to accept a subordinate position to ethical progress, and egotism will not give way to the Altruism preached by Gautama and the true historical Jesus (the Jesus of the pagan sanctuary, not the Christ of the Churches), happiness for all the members of humanity will remain a Utopia. Whereas the Theosophists are the only ones at present to preach this sublime altruism (even if two-thirds of The Theosophical Society should have failed in this duty), and some of them alone, in the midst of a defiant and sneering mob sacrifice themselves body and soul, honour and possessions, ready to live misunderstood and derided, if only they can succeed in sowing the good seed of a harvest which will not be theirs to reap, those who are interested in the destiny of the miserable people should at least abstain from vilifying them.1
“There is no happiness for one who is ever thinking of Self and forgetting all other Selves.” 2
Dualism seeks to explain the world by the assumption of two radically independent and absolute elements: the doctrine of the entire separation of spirit and matter; thus, dualism is opposed to idealism and to materialism. And the doctrine of two distinct principles: good and evil.3 In Occultism, however, dualism is Divine Mind’s instrument of choice for gathering knowledge about itself:
No Entity, whether angelic or human, can reach the state of Nirvana, or of absolute purity, except through æons of suffering and the knowledge of EVIL as well as of good, as otherwise the latter remains incomprehensible.4
In other words, what is the meaning of goodness if there is no badness to overcome? By threshing the corn from the chaff, the virtuous from the wicked, the noble from the depraved, spiritual discrimination grows and turns terrestrial Man to celestial. And by self-effacing action and trust on Self, self expands allowing latent potencies to emerge as virtues: they enrich the soul and strengthen the resolve to actualise them.
Good and Evil are twins, the progeny of Space and Time, under the sway of Maya. Separate them, by cutting off one from the other, and they will both die. Neither exists per se, since each has to be generated and created out of the other, in order to come into being; both must be known and appreciated before becoming objects of perception, hence, in mortal mind, they must be divided.5
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.6
On the plane of action everything is dual.7 Even mind is dual, “lunar in the lower, solar in its upper portion.” 8
Great intellect and too much knowledge are a two-edged weapon in life, and instruments for evil as well as for good. When combined with Selfishness, they will make of the whole of Humanity a footstool for the elevation of him who possesses them, and a means for the attain- ment of his objects; while, applied to altruistic humanitarian purposes, they may become the means of the salvation of many.1
Duality causes separateness; separateness gives rise to selfishness; selfishness heaps strife and suffering on innocence. Man’s fatal attraction to self and its downward spiral of disintegration can be only outmatched by the Power of Fortitude. Plato explains this Spiritual Force by connecting and analysing the Greek words for man and manliness:
Ανηρ (aner), that is, man and male nature derived “from ανω ροη, or a flowing upwards.” 2 . . . Ανδρεια (andreia), literally manliness or manly spirit, commonly rendered into English as fortitude or “courage in endurance.” 3 Andreia-Fortitude is the kind of moral, inner strength, which has been equally ascribed to women.4
And, through Socrates, he defines Fortitude as the strength of mind to counterpoise Materialism and rescue Man from its wanton attraction downstream and terrible sufferings. Fortitude is a behest of the Solar Mind.
. . . fortitude signifies that it derived its appellation from contention, or battle. But contention in a thing, if it flows, is nothing else than contrary fluxion. If anyone, therefore, takes away the δ from this name ανδρια fortitude, the name ανρια,5 which remains, will interpret its employment. Hence it is evident that a fluxion, contrary to every fluxion, is not fortitude, but that only which flows contrary to the just; for otherwise fortitude would not be laudable.6
Amidst duality’s conflicts and uncertainties, Compassion-Sacrifice lights our path. It is the ultimate key to our spiritual redemption.
The more a man is united within himself, and becometh inwardly simple and pure, so much the more and higher things doth he understand without labour; for that he receiveth intellectual light from above.7 A pure, sincere, and stable spirit is not distracted, though it be employed in many works; for that it works all to the honour of God, and inwardly being still and quiet, seeks not itself in anything it doth. Who hinders and troubles thee more than the unmortified affections of thine own heart? 8
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