THE ESSENTIALS FOR PURGATION
The first essential for purgation is HUMILITY, arising from an honest and objective review of oneself.
As fallen microcosms, we are all imperfect, or we would not be here in this undivine world. Our faculties are limited, our spiritual vision suffers on the slightest cause, our purposes waver with varying moods. Compared with the limitless Light, Life and Love of the Infinite, we are babes.
Therefore all pride and egotism must go, we must lose our lower life, to find the Higher Life.
The greatest sages have ever felt that their wonderful knowledge is very insignificant and is indeed as foolishness before God, for God’s Wisdom is utterly incomprehensible to the unaided human mind.
Without humility there can be no beginning upon the True Path. The more the aspirant is emptied of the little self, the more he is filled with the Spirit of the AllSelf.
In humility he will realise what is meant by the injunction: “Know thyself'”, and in humility he will receive the Strength and Protection of the Supreme. He must beware of looking ill on the faults of others: they perhaps see his better than he does himself, and he knows not when he may fall.
The second essential for purgation is SELFDENIAL. This does not mean any severe asceticism or rigid austerities, but just the minimum selfcontrol demanded by the Path. The aspirant freely chooses either to follow the selfish promptings of his own personal will or else the Perfect Will of Christ as far as he knows it: there is no alternative. A fall does not mean that he has abandoned this Higher Will with full consent of the mind, but is to be regarded as only a momentary lapse. He should, therefore, rise up resolutely after every fall, with the renewed intention to follow the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. To deny these ideals is to be unhappy and to invite misery and purposelessness. “He who is one with failure, will fail in all his works.” Lao Tzu.
But to deny self, rightly understood, means the denial of selfish interests and ambitions, and all that holds the self from victory. It means death in oneself of the source of all evil, the stripping away of all ugliness of the little self, and the pouring out of this self into the Grail of the Divine Life.
Each divine-spark entity carries within itself an interior monitor, which enables it to discern between the unselfish and the selfish, right and wrong actions, pure and impure motives. Therefore the aspirant should learn to listen and obey this inner voice and so control his desires for riches, honours, and pleasures, his passions, fears, the idle and selfish use of his time, and the wrong use of his tongue.
Self-abnegation or sacrifice is the consecrating of our personal will and our pleasure to the Will and Purpose of the Divine Plan, and this is not always pleasing to the self. But immolation of selfishness means serenity and joy to the Soul.
Real sacrifice is not the givingup of something in order to secure something more pleasurable for the self. It is the sacred offering (or act of worship) of the mind, heart and will, the possessions and the very life, to the Hierarchy of Christ. It means that one must be ready and willing to do things which at first are not always pleasant and which the ordinary worldly man may refuse to do, due to his socalled common sense.
It is not always easy to confess a wrong, or to deny an impulse to retaliate. But true selfdenial requires that selfish inclinations are to be sacrificed to the obedience and promptings of the inner voice.
The true spiritual aspirant, therefore, denies himself for the sake of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, which is Christ.
The third essential for purgation is NONATTACHMENT. This is the true spirit of impartiality, and is not indifference as is ordinarily understood. Spiritual nonattachment does not mean a turning away from friends, healthy amusements, and the legitimate participation in social functions; but rather it means that all ‘attachments’ are made in and for the Great Plan of Salvation, to the realisation of which all action can be made to contribute directly or indirectly. Thus, that which is worthy of attachment - friends, possessions, or accomplishments becomes prized more for its intrinsic value, because it is not the little self, but the Greater Self, which is attached to it. Instead of a cold indifference, there will be a greater love and compassion for humanity and for all the creatures of Nature, while the Cosmos will constantly take on more wondrous beauties.
Non-attachment also assists the aspirant in distinguishing between the promptings of the Soul and the urges that come from others or from the personal emotions and tendencies of the little self.
The measure of success in nonattachment is shown by the degree of one’s resignation and indifference to whatever happens to the little self in the course of the workings of the Divine Law and Providence. If any precious object or friend is lost, this sweet resignation and inward content knows with certitude that although the little self has suffered loss, yet the Greater Self has not, nor can it ever.
The novice going the Path should not complain about his troubles, or foolishly imagine that by occult processes or formulae his life can be freed from all troubles; for there is no other way under the sun by which to become conformable to the Perfect Idea, save by resignation to all the dispensations of God’s Divine Providence.
The fourth Essential for purgation is CONFORMITY TO THE DIVINE WILL. This leads to harmony and justice of life; the free choice to follow the Plan and to allow the leaven of the Heavenly Kingdom to work in the Soul, to the harmonisation of all one’s labours in the Vineyard of the King of Life.
Such conformity to the Highest of which one has become aware will eventuate in the spontaneous demonstration of Love, which is not merely a sentimental feeling, nor a fanatic zeal to thrust one’s ideals upon everyone. True spiritual Love is not separate from the Will of the Divine Trinity, but works hand in hand with it in Action for the greatest possible Good. True Love denotes: (i) a voluntary choice to conform to the Divine Law, to follow the One True Path with a calm and reasonable aspiration for union with God, Who is the Greatest Good and the Wholeness of Perfection; and the longing for this completion is itself the love of God; (ii) a search for the Ideal Beauty which exalts the imagination, swells the heart, and alone gives perfect satisfaction to every desire; (iii) the determination of the will to serve with the devotion of the lover who serves his ideal, who serves that is, who obeys the Inner Light.
“If ye love Me, keep My commandments.” Jesus the Christ. This is the test of true spiritual Love. But to serve the Ideal, the aspirant must overcome all distractions that tend to separate him from the Divine Object of his love. This is how purification of the heart may be known.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”