by Robert Wilkinson
Today's offering is from Manly P. Hall, one of the most remarkable men of the 20th century. A prodigious writer on too many subjects to list here, he was a master astrologer, philosopher, artist-sculptor and spiritual disciple of the best of both Eastern and Western Wisdom traditions. Among his outstanding works are "The Secret Teachings of All Ages" and "Man - Grand Symbol of the Mysteries," along with such profound subjects as "Buddhism and Psychotherapy," "The Lost Keys of Freemasonry," "The Mystical Christ," "Twelve World Teachers," "The Secret Destiny of America," and today's text, "Self-Unfoldment By Disciplines of Realization," which offers us a glimpse at a natural way of being our Highest Self.
He founded the Philosophical Research Society, and as it is said in one publication, "Manly P. Hall has always emphasized the practical aspects of philosophy and religion as they apply to daily living. He restates for modern man those spiritual and ethical doctrines which have given to humanity its noblest ideals and most adequate codes of conduct.... Mr. Hall has steadfastly sought recognition of the belief that world civilization can be perfected only when human beings meet on a common ground of intelligence, cooperation, and worthy purpose."
Here's just one gem from "Self-Unfoldment By Disciplines of Realization," a book I have wholeheartedly recommended to spiritual seekers for decades. If you want a solid guide to a greater realization of how you can grow into your Higher Self, this work is outstanding, regardless of your background. It is non-dogmatic, and its wisdom is profound, timeless, and universal. From the work:
Growth is natural to man. No one thinks of a flower trying to bloom, or of a tree trying to grow. The blossoming of the flower is a manifestation of universal law flowing through the plant; it is the will of the Infinite made manifest in the finite. Illumination is the blossoming of the soul in man; it is just as natural, simple, and inevitable as the flowering of the rose. The wise man does not try to be wise; wisdom is as natural to him as folly is common to ordinary mortals. Man does not have to try to be himself.
Effort is evidence of inconsistency in the individual. Most religious organizations impose strict rules and regulations upon their members. These rules and regulations consist principally of "thou shalt nots," the purpose being to force man into a state of grace by inhibiting and limiting him. Any individual who tries to crush out with brute force of will the vices within himself, achieves only inhibition and neurosis.
When through realization we come to understand the divine energy that causes us to exist and grow, we cease to impede its natural flow in and through ourselves. When through realization we become aware of this divine virtue within ourselves, our inner nature is enlightened, with the result that our outer nature inevitably is transmuted.
Metaphysical disciplines should not be directed toward material ends. The true mystic does not meditate or concentrate in an effort to attract to himself the things of the material world; nor does he attempt to find in meditation an escape from the responsibilities or problems of his objective life. This does not mean, however, that metaphysical disciplines produce no physical result. When a man puts his inner life in order, through meditation and realization, the result is a happier and better physical existence.
If you can be taught the philosophical life, that is, the effortless way to grow, you will have been established in the foundations of wisdom. If this book can reveal in some way through the insufficient medium of words the wordless truth that being wise is the most simple and natural state of the evolved man, a great and permanent good will be yours.
The Chinese goddess, Kuan Yin, the "Lady of Mercy," is depicted robed in flowing garments which are, to the Buddhist mind, symbolical of the cosmic pattern of life. Existence is really a patterned flowing toward the real; a motion in space; a flowing of all life toward wisdom and truth.
Metaphysical disciplines are not to be regarded as competitive exercises in which one vies with another in the magnitude of his imaginings, or yearns toward some metaphysical aristocracy. All metaphysical exercises worthy of the name are an unfolding of self into the light of virtue, beauty, and wisdom.
So as things fracture, transmute, and recombine in this Autumn of radical change, remember to breathe, love, and flow naturally toward your wisdom. It alone is real; all else is part of the passing parade of thoughts and perceptions.