The spiritual mountain is a wonderful metaphor for the concept of The SELF, and mountain climbing is a perfect corollary to living the spiritual life. In this section we attempt to bring into focus the critical tools and skills needed for us to collectively ascend the mountain of the Spiritual SELF.
The insight and wisdom found in this section is drawn from three crucial Theosophical sources.
H.P. Blavatsky’s rendition of The Voice of the Silence,
Mr. Judge’s poetic rendition of the Bhagavad-Gita, and
Mabel Collins faithful recording of the instructions of a Master called Light on the Path.
This week, we highlight our section On Compassion with an extended quote from the Voice of the Silence, wherein the all-important distinction is made between the path of liberation and the path of renunciation or compassion:
… the first Path is LIBERATION.
But Path the Second is—RENUNCIATION, and therefore called the “Path of Woe.”
. . .
The “Open Way,” no sooner hast thou reached its goal, will lead thee to reject the Bôdhisattvic body and make thee enter the thrice glorious state of Dharmakâya which is oblivion of the World and men for ever.
The “Secret Way” leads also to Paranirvânic bliss—but at the close of Kalpas without number; Nirvânas gained and lost from boundless pity and compassion for the world of deluded mortals.
. . .
Thy time will come for choice, O thou of eager Soul, when thou hast reached the end and passed the seven Portals. Thy mind is clear. No more art thou entangled in delusive thoughts, for thou hast learned all.
Unveiled stands truth and looks thee sternly in the face. She says:
“Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of Self; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty. Aye, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow men.”
He, who becomes Pratyêka-Buddha, makes his obeisance but to his Self. The Bôdhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the prize within his palm, yet says in his divine compassion:
“For others’ sake this great reward I yield”—accomplishes the greater Renunciation.
A SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD is he.
. . .
Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bôdhisattva—Compassion speaks and saith: “Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer?
Shalt thou be saved and hear the whole world cry?”
Now thou hast heard that which was said.
Thou shalt attain the seventh step and cross the gate of final knowledge but only to wed woe—if thou would’st be Tathâgata, follow upon thy predecessor’s steps, remain unselfish till the endless end.
Thou art enlightened—Choose thy way.
. . .
Self-doomed to live through future Kalpas, unthanked and unperceived by man; wedged as a stone with countless other stones which form the “Guardian Wall”, such is thy future if the seventh gate thou passest. Built by the hands of many Masters of Compassion, raised by their tortures, by their blood cemented, it shields mankind, since man is man, protecting it from further and far greater misery and sorrow.
Withal man sees it not, will not perceive it, nor will he heed the word of Wisdom . . . for he knows it not.
But thou hast heard it, thou knowest all, O thou of eager guileless Soul. . . . . and thou must choose.