PREVIOUS | HOME | TOC
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS OF BUDDHISM
- Existence in the phenomenal universe is inseparable from suffering and sorrow.
- The cause of suffering is desire for existence in the phenomenal universe.
- The cessation of suffering is attained by eradicating desire for phenomenal existence.
- The Path to the cessation of suffering is the noble eightfold path.
It was the realisation of the urgency of man's need to be delivered from his own desire-nature which led Christ to emphasise the necessity to seek the good of one's neighbor in contra-distinction to one's own good, and to advise the life of service and self-sacrifice, of self-forgetfulness and love of all beings. Only in this way can man's mind and "the eye of the heart" be turned away from one's own needs and satisfaction to the deeper demands of the race itself.
THE EVOLUTIONARY PROGRESS OF MAN
The progress of the undeveloped and the average man can be covered by the following statements, taken sequentially and describing the stages of his progress under the promptings of desire:
- The urge to experience, to exist, and to satisfy the instinctual nature.
- Experience, grasping, existing, followed by renewed demand for more satisfying compliances of fate or destiny.
- Cycle after cycle of demand for satisfaction, a period of satisfaction of a temporary nature, and then further demands. This is the story of the race.
- Experience, steadily sought and pursued upon the three planes of human evolution.
- Then the same experience, but this time as an integrated personality.
- Demand met until satiety is reached, for in time all men do eventually achieve that which they demand.
- Then comes the demand for inner Spiritual compliances, happiness and bliss. The "heaven wish" becomes powerful.
- A vague realisation that two things are needed; purification and the power to choose aright, which is right discrimination.
- A vision of the pairs of opposites.
- The realisation of the narrow path which leads between these pairs of opposites.
- Discipleship and the repulsing or repudiation (over a long period of time), of the not-self.
The Law of Repulse is equally difficult of understanding by the disciple as he enters upon the Path. He has to learn to recognise its influence; then he must himself learn to do three things:
- Through service, steadily to decentralise himself and thus begin occultly to "repulse" the personality. He must see to it that his motive is love for all beings, and not desire for his own release.
- Through an understanding of the pairs of opposites, he begins, esoterically, to "isolate" the "noble middle path" of which the Buddha spoke.
- Through comprehension of the words of Christ, enjoining men to "let their light shine," he begins to construct the "path of light" which leads to the center of life and guides him out of darkness into light, from the unreal to the real, and from death to immortality. This is the true path of the Antahkarana, which the disciple weaves from out of himself (speaking symbolically), just as the spider weaves his thread.
Service, an understanding of the Way, and the building of the true line of escape—that is the task to be carried forward upon the Path of Discipleship. Such is the object set before all the students of the esoteric sciences at this time; provided they desire it enough, and can train themselves to work selflessly for their fellow men. As they succeed in doing this and approximate ever more closely to that which is not the pairs of opposites (and thus achieve "the Central Way"), steadily the Law of Repulse begins to swing into operation. When the third initiation is taken, this law will begin to hold the dominant place in the ruling of the life.
PREVIOUS | HOME | TOC | NEXT