A still small voice spake unto me, “Thou are too full of misery, Were it not better not to be?” — Alfred Lord Tennyson 1
The Voice of the inner God may be heard only by the exceptionally virtuous, 2 Vach is identical with Brahma, and is called the female Logos. In the Rig Veda, Vach is “mystic speech,” by whom Occult Knowledge and Wisdom are communicated to man, and thus Vach is said to have “entered the Rishis.” . . . “Connecting himself through his mind with Vach, Brahma (the Logos) created the primordial waters.” In the Kathaka Upanishad it is stated still more clearly:
“Prajapati was this Universe. Vach was a second to him. He associated with her . . . she produced these creatures and again reentered Prajapati.” 3
When Heart speaks to Mind, But vice, and an ignorance of divine concerns, are dire, through which a man is led to despise and defame things of which he has no knowledge; since nature does not proclaim these particulars with a voice which can be heard by the ears, but being herself intellectual, she initiates through intellect those who venerate her.
In the secret and sacred solitude of initiation. Since the days of the earliest universal mysteries up to the time of our great Shakya Tathagata Buddha, who reduced and interpreted the system for the salvation of all, the divine Voice of the Self, known as Kuan-yin, was heard but in the sacred solitude of the preparatory mysteries.
Elijah heard It. The Ineffable name, 1 in the search for which so many Kabbalists — unacquainted with any Oriental or even European adept — vainly consume their knowledge and lives, dwells latent in the heart of every man. This mirific name which, according to the most ancient oracles, “rushes into the infinite worlds ακοιμητω στροφαλιγγι [in sleepless whirling],” 2 can be obtained in a twofold way: by regular initiation, and through the “small voice” which Elijah heard in the cave of Horeb, the mount of God. And “when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him.”
Apollonius heard It. When Apollonius of Tyana desired to hear the “small voice,” he used to wrap himself up entirely in a mantle of fine wool, on which he placed both his feet, after having performed certain magnetic passes, and pronounced, not the “name,” but an invocation well known to every adept. Then he drew the mantle over his head and face, and his translucid or astral spirit was free. On ordinary occasions he wore wool no more than the priests of the temples. The possession of the secret combination of the “name” gave the hierophant supreme power over every being, human or otherwise, inferior to himself in soul-strength.3
And read its Immortal Thought alone, upon a starry night, with tears. The Living Word is silent mind, And every book is closed and sealed.4 . . . We cannot read God’s silence, as we ought, And Nature’s voice falls oftenest on deaf ears Yet can I sometimes lift enraptur’d eyes. And sometimes, too, divine immortal thought. Alone, upon a starry night, with tears.5
Holy men, philosophers, and kings heard It. Sanchoniathon and Philo Byblius, in referring to these bætyles, call them “Animated Stones.” 1 Photius repeats what Damascius, Asclepiades, Isidorus of Seville and the physician Eusebius had asserted before him. The latter (Eusebius) never parted with his ophites, which he carried in his bosom, and received oracles from them, delivered in a small voice resembling a low whistling. 2 Arnobius (a holy man who, “from a Pagan had become one of the lights of the Church,” Christians tell their readers) confesses he could never meet on his passage with one of such stones without putting it questions, “which is answered occasionally in a clear and sharp small voice.” 3 Where is the difference between the Christian and the Pagan ophites, we ask? . . . It is also known that the famous stone at Westminster was called liafail 4 — “the speaking stone,” — which raised its voice only to name the king that had to be chosen. Cambry says that it caused the following couplet to be written:
And even to this day the Scots hold sway of their land by its Presence. “Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quocumque locatum Invenient lapidem, regnasse tenentur ibidem.” 5, 6
Greek and Roman historians have spoken of It. Finally, Suidas speaks of a herakleia lithos and of a certain Heraiskos, who could distinguish at a glance the inanimate simulacra from those which were endowed with motion; 1 and Pliny mentions stones which “ran away when a hand approached them.” 2
The Voice “of a pure spirit is like the tremulous murmur of an Æolian harp echoed from a distance.” 3 When you hear It, you will remember the TRUTH of Truths, Listen, then, to a passage from the sixth book of the Iliad, in which last night I seemed to see glimpses of some mighty mystery. You know it well: yet I will read it to you; the very sound and pomp of that great verse may tune our souls to a fit key for the reception of lofty wisdom. For well said Abamnon 4 the Teacher, that “the soul consisted first of harmony and rhythm, and ere it gave itself to the body, had listened to the divine harmony. Therefore it is that when, after having come into a body, it hears such melodies as most preserve the divine footstep of harmony, it embraces such, and recollects from them that divine harmony, and is impelled to it, and finds its home in it, and shares of it as much as it can share.
A voice within our souls hath spoken, And we who seek have more than found.6
And will never forget your Brothers, whether in honour or dishonour. “O ye Bhikkhus and Arhats — be friendly to the race of men — our brothers! Know ye all, that he, who sacrifices not his one life to save the life of his fellow-being; and he who hesitates to give up more than life — his fair name and honour to save the fair name and honour of the many, is unworthy of the sin-destroying, immortal, transcendent Nirvana.” 7
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