"The Life of The Spirit"
by Henry Thomas Hamblin
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THIS little work attempts to deal only with inner religion. In the Spirit we can all become one, although on the surface we may not be able to agree at all. The Kingdom of the Spirit is eternal and unchanging. Theology and doctrine change from age to age, but the inner Spiritual Reality is the same always. Now, as in olden time, we can make contact with this inner world or Kingdom and find God, and in Him be satisfied. Scientific discoveries threaten to overwhelm Christianity from time to time, but they make no difference to the Inner Kingdom. When Science or the Higher Criticism has demolished everything, apparently, the mystic still contemplates the Supreme, and walks with his Lord. Nothing is changed really. Everything essential is just the same. It is only the non-essentials that have been shuffled about somewhat.
Quite recently there has been a great controversy about Darwinianism. A school teacher in America was arraigned because he taught Evolution. Most educated people in this country accept evolution as a matter of course, just as they accept the law of gravitation. Because of this some think that Christianity is exploded. But nothing is altered in reality. It does not matter, even if it is the fashion to believe in evolution, for we can retire into the Secret Place of the Most High just the same.
The earth is still the same, now that people believe it to be a globe, as it was when people thought the world was flat. The earth is not altered--it is only beliefs that change.
The exterior part of a religion does not matter much--although it is about this that people quarrel so bitterly--it is its inner meaning and experiences that are of importance. The end and object of religion is Divine Union, and if another soul attains to this blissful state by a different road from that which is the only one that can be used by us, let us be glad and praise God, instead of wasting our time explaining to him that he is wrong and our way the only one. Let us all be broad-minded. Our Lord said, when speaking from the super-conscious, wherein He realized that He was consciously indwelling the advanced souls in every nation and religion: "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.'' Let us be glad that this is so, and rejoice in that the Truth can be found in so many different ways.
Strange though it may seem to many, some people are afraid of what is going to become of them when Divine Union takes place. They are afraid that they will lose their personality or individuality. They argue that if they get back to the Father like a drop of water returning to the Ocean, they will be swallowed up and lose consciousness, so to speak. Nothing of the sort happens, of course, the consciousness is not lost -- it expands. But this is a great mystery and little can be said about it, but the following, taken from the writings of Dr. Rufus Jones, may prove helpful to some:
need be involved no loss of personality, no abandonment of selfhood.
The self is not merged into a nameless absolute. Personality remains,
but it is now a Personality conscious of its divine environment,
conscious that its life is God's Life--a Personality that chooses to
will the divine Will and that is conscious of its two sides or surfaces
of expression. It all feels, then, as if there is around one a
Conscious Ocean, an Ocean of Consciousness with conscious inlets
opening out of it--one of which inlets constitutes yourself. The inlet
on its shore side may have it, defined shape and margin, but on its
seaward side it may open to the ocean and feel the influx of its tides
and currents. The tides of that measureless expanse may sweep in to
stir the shallows of the inlet. The inlet is in the ocean and the ocean
is in the inlet."
H. T. H.
NOT OCCULT, BUT SPIRITUAL THROUGH DAILY EXPERIENCE
LET it be said at once that the writer does not claim to possess any knowledge of Occult Initiation. What he does know, however, is that life itself is the great Initiator, and that all of us who have set out upon the Path are daily being tested and tried and prepared for higher service. Actually, life consists solely of a series of experiences, and it depends entirely upon how we deal with these experiences as to whether we make any progress along the Path or not.
It is the writer's experience that it is not necessary to practise anything of an occult nature. Some people think that they must wait for some great psychic or spiritual experiences, during which they shall leave their body and go through a Mystic Initiation in which they are tested in various ways. This may be necessary for some, but the writer knows by experience that life itself furnishes a series of tests and experiences which provide all the initiation that some of us apparently need.
"Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.'' It is one thing to leave all and follow the Gleam, and quite another thing to prove ourselves worthy of our high calling. Those who set out upon the great spiritual adventure must prove their worth. No one can be admitted to the inner circle, or higher mysteries of the Spiritual Life, and vested with power, until he has overcome himself and certain weaknesses of the flesh.
"For many are called, but few are chosen.'' Many who set out on the Path do not get very far--they fail at the tests. They find themselves vested with a certain amount of power, or they believe that they possess a certain amount of power, and then comes the temptation to misuse it. At this test many fail.
however, is not the first test by any means. Upon the first starting
out upon the new life there is great joy and uplift. Everything goes
smoothly and the neophyte is apt to think that there is nothing easier
than living the life of the Spirit. But, before long, the first test is
met with. Everything appears to go wrong. Spiritual uplift goes and all
the old passions, temptations and
The first test safely passed through, the sun again comes out and life is once more a joy. But old habits and passions still keep cropping up, and it is only by continually turning to the Spirit and drawing upon His inexhaustible powers that they can be overcome.
Apart from all these experiences connected with the overcoming of the lower nature, and the old desires, it is found, sooner or later, that subtle tests are, from time to time, being brought to bear upon one. If they are not dealt with in the right way; if we refuse to learn their lesson; or if we shirk the experience that they bring, because it entails trusting ourselves more completely than ever before to the Spirit and pushing out into much deeper waters; then the tests are applied again and again until their lessons are learnt and the weak point in our character built up and strengthened. When we have learnt our lesson, without a shadow of doubt, the tests are removed, and not before. When they are no longer necessary these particular tests are removed forever, and we are advanced another step in the new life, greater power and responsibilities being then given us.
After a time of rest and preparation, we are next subjected to a series of tests more strenuous, searching and subtle than previous ones. This is necessary, because, as we advance, the tests have to be of a different character and quality. The tests applied to an archangel must of necessity be of a very different character from those applied to a human being. In every case the tests are perfectly adapted to the individual soul. No one is tested or tempted beyond his powers. We can always overcome if we are faithful to the Light, refusing either to give way, or to turn our backs to the Light.
We proceed by a series of steps, each step being preceded by a testing time. All this takes place as we pursue our ordinary everyday duties.
"The Life of The Spirit" by Henry Thomas Hamblin
Order in Adobe PDF eBook or printed form for $2.95 (+ printing charge)