The Hill of Discernment

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The Hill of Discernment

By Alfred Trevor Barker

Forgiveness and Love

I expect you all remember that phrase of G. de P.'s — "Love is the cement of the Universe: learn to forgive, learn to love. Each one of you is an incarnate God. Be it!" Do you realize how many of us at the present time are prevented from liberating ourselves from all our old troubles and miseries, and the things that are holding us back in our own personal lives; the things we have erected, the obstacles that we have put there with our own hands by a hundred-and-one misunderstandings of our own sublime teachings. Take the doctrine of reincarnation: how many of my Brother Theosophists have I heard say, "Ah! but to gain real illumination, real knowledge, and the power to help people will take me lives of effort. I am only beginning now." And they think they have said something. Well, they have! They have erected the most gigantic barrier with their own hands to gaining that knowledge here and now. Do you think, do you believe, that the great Masters of Wisdom have given us the Teachings of Theosophy, with its message of hope and inspiration to men, for the sake of one or two or three or a few? Oh! It is an impossible thought. We have to understand that Theosophy and its realization is possible for us here and now; and it is because so many have not believed in its practical possibilities that Theosophy is not today a tremendous success all over the world — I mean as a Movement. Often do we ponder together as to why the millions do not take Theosophy, and that is why: because we do not believe — really and truly believe — that it is for the man in the street. We have got what is really (although we do not recognise it) a kind of egotistic feeling "Ah! But it is only for the few." That is not true. Theosophy is for all. Just think of that sentence "Each one of you is an incarnate God. Be it!" Would G. de P. say that if it were impossible? Obviously not. It means that every man, woman and child can, if he will, gain something of the inspiration of his own Inner Divinity, and find the way out of all difficulties through the power that that alone can give him, through that energy which is his only Savior in this world or the world to come.

You remember what H. P. B. said in The Secret Doctrine on page 280 of Volume I:

the Eternal KARANA alone, "the Causeless Cause of all causes, should have its shrine and altar on the holy and ever untrodden ground of our heart-invisible, intangible, unmentioned, save through 'the still small voice' of our spiritual consciousness . . . making their spirit the sole mediator between them and the Universal Spirit, their good actions the only priests, and their sinful intentions the only visible and objective sacrificial victims to the Presence.
That is a virile doctrine, a manly doctrine, and in the year that is opening before us I do pray with all my heart that those who have been touched by the real fire of Theosophy, who feel it as a living force pulsing and beating within them, will come and join hands with us here; I mean our fellow Theosophists, members of this Society or any other, sitting in this room here and outside it. I hope they will come and get vocal about it, and say what is in their hearts. And if they have difficulties, I hope they will come and share these difficulties with their Brother Theosophists, with the faith that if Theosophy means anything at all "the way out," in terms of the Masters' teaching, will be given to them. I have proved that to be possible in my own life, and others are proving it in theirs; and it is on that that the real spiritual fellowship of the future will be built.

I tell you, there is no brotherhood, Companions, amongst those who only have a lip-Theosophy, an intellectual Theosophy. It is all very well to explain the Universe in the most marvellous language; but, if you have not experienced the Divine Life in your own heart, and if you have not found the Companionship of fellow-Theosophists who have likewise experienced it, and felt its saving and transforming power, then you do not know the meaning of what real brotherhood can be; real brotherhood is a thing of the soul, of the spirit, which finds expression here in human life. But believe me, though you may have all the compassion in the universe, you cannot build the Temple of Wisdom that the Masters are trying to get us to build, out of men and women who have not brought about that spiritual revolution in their own lives which comes from realization — because they have experienced and know for themselves.

Shall we not together, in the year that is now opening before us, in our work, in our studies, in our Lodge Meetings, concentrate upon the essential things, the vital things, the things that will help us to live our lives? Let us share with others those difficulties that we want to get over; and let us be willing to give to others the light that we ourselves have found, and on occasion to accept helpful advice and criticism.

We have many things to face in 1934. First ourselves individually: to find the God within us and to make restitution to those that we have injured in thought or otherwise; being willing to say Mea culpa and then with the hand of fellowship join with those people that you could not get on with before, and could not work with, and could not co-operate with; and perhaps by telling them the difficulties that you have had, get a new light; get the grouch out of your system and start again. Learn to forgive and learn to love. Aye, forgive others first and then forgive yourself if you can. The past can then be wiped out. We can afford to forget, good lord, the personal difficulties that we have had in the last year, can't we, and join together as a great army of the Spirit? Of course we can.

We have got to organize for success, and success means that we believe and know it is possible, for us and for the man in the street. We have a message for ourselves because we are solving our problems; and if you individually have got problems that you have not solved, well, give your brother Theosophists a chance to help you; so may we find something worth while in 1934!



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