Chapter 3

Birth and Death


Life stirs in the womb, heralding a birth. Only life can praise and give thanks. Lord of life known to the ancients, bearer of gifts from the gods, source of poetry and truth; only life can mourn.

On earth, soul is attached to the body as the ox is attached to a cart.

The soul of man is snared by illusion when attached to the things of this world; so say the sages. But God created all the sources of creation. From him all things sprang, and to him all things must return.

According as a man acts, so he becomes. According as a man desires, so he becomes. According as a man hates, so he becomes. According as a man loves, so he becomes.

He that does good becomes good. He that does evil becomes evil. He whose actions are pure becomes pure. He whose actions are vile becomes vile.

We pray: May the lord of life protect us as a mother protects her baby! Glory and wisdom alike stem from life, with its invisible form that dwells in the mind, in the voice, in the eye, and in the ear. Leave us not, Oh life!

We should pray: May we know the grace of Spirit, that death may be defeated!

The greatest sacrifice of man is his own life.

In his youth when he falls sick, he should pray: "May I live until my noonday prayer."

In his middle years when he falls sick, he should pray: "May I live until my evening prayer."

In his old age when he falls sick, he should pray: "May my evening prayer last to the end of my life, and may I live as long as God wills."

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The patriarchs of old said: "Why suffer illness when there is no death?"

God is the only sure refuge in all eternity - the one who reveals his grace in the glory of light, who sends his Spirit to enter the souls of men that their hearts and minds might bear witness to his love.

From God alike comes the inter-flow of earthly souls, and their liberation from the thraldom of birth and death. From God alike comes the bondage of time, and the freeing of souls from their earthly span.

Man is a creature of faith. Where his faith goes in this life, that place will receive him after death. As he lives, so shall he become. The wise man pursues his life with clear vision and a steady faith.

God is the only sure refuge, radiating peace, beauty, perfection, and love. In him alone may we find peace in the silence of eternity. His is the bridge of faith leading to immortality, arising out of the loving unity of mankind. His is the Spirit of fire that burns away the foulness and folly of earthly life.

The ailing body near death is like a heavily laden cart, creaking and groaning beneath its load. When the body gives up its breath of life, Spirit leaves his earthly home and returns to the life of Spirit. Spirit is greater than creation, yet is bound by the worldly desires of man.

Clever men hold that the chemistry of nature brings about life, the birth of men and planets. Others speak of abstract time and the permutations of chance. But wise men see that the glory of God alone brings about the cycle of life, both elemental and complex.

God may be seen by the pure in heart; so say the sages. But where is a heart that is pure? Faith in the God of love is a saving grace; faith in the love of God can lift one to grace, leaving behind the endless succession of birth and death.

Whatever form there is, whatever fate there is, God is never absent. God is ever present in all his creatures, great and small. Knowledge of this can lead the soul to freedom.

The man who lives in desire goes to birth and death again, according to the pattern of his desiring. Myths tell of birth and death vying for power; but simple acceptance is greater than either.

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The flame of life springs from something greater than itself. Wise men in their meditation surrender their flame to that which is greater. By allowing their thoughts, their passions, and their senses to subside and be still, they attain the Spirit that gives eternal life.

Every man is his own judge. All his past actions are reflected on him alone at death. All his deeds, thoughts and desires are stored within his own soul.

The human soul may be light and airy, or heavy and earthly, according to the weight of past thoughts and actions. Thoughts and actions can lead on to freedom, or hold in thraldom through life after life; through death after death.

The relentless current of time bears away all its results; even the good works done on earth come to an end and are gone for ever. Those who do not find their soul in this world will not find their soul in any other. Those who do find Spirit in this world will not find Spirit in any other.

In heaven, Spirit is seen as an all-pervading light. In the soul of man, Spirit is seen as a well lit mirror. In the land of shadows, Spirit is seen as the troubled remembrance of dreams. In the nebulous world of ghosts, Spirit is seen as ripples on deep water.

When the fire of life goes out, senses and mind become one with the soul. It is the clear mirror of self within the soul that leads a man wherever his past actions and imaginings have merited.

God's seed is universal consciousness, sown in God's mind at the very beginning. Spirit rises from that seed. Within the soul of man, Spirit is smaller than a tiny seed; smaller even than the kernel of the tiniest seed. Yet within the soul Spirit is greater than this planet; greater than the dome of sky; greater than heaven itself.

He who has faith in Spirit, to Spirit shall he go when he leaves this life. In Spirit shall he go, enfolding the whole universe with love, above all earthly works, above all desires, tastes and perfumes - he who has faith in Spirit, freed from doubt.

As a snake sheds its skin, leaving the dead slough on an anthill, even so is the mortal body abandoned by soul. But Spirit is immortal.

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The goldsmith, using his skill, remoulds an old ornament into something yet more beautiful. The soul, impelled by past deeds, may also gain a fairer home in which to dwell. But Spirit is immortal.

Beneath the dross of earthly cares and pleasures the light of Spirit is clouded. With the innocence of a child, the light of Spirit is revealed.

When childish innocence is lost, Spirit is forgotten. But when knowledge of Spirit is regained, childish innocence returns to the soul; in truth, man becomes again as a little child.

Spirit appears in the soul of man when the senses are stilled, as in a sleeping child; when the power of life are all one. Though men may say: "The breath of life is gone," soul and Spirit are one in eternity.

When all the bonds that tie the soul to the heart are loosened, when all the desires that cling to the heart are abandoned, mortal man becomes immortal; material man becomes immaterial, evermore one with Spirit.

Who submits in obedience to the mastery of Spirit with love and joy, becomes his own master with infinite freedom. Who submits not to the mastery of Spirit finds himself in thrall to other masters in worlds that pass away.

Those who see Spirit in this life become free from the cycle of birth and death. Those who find their own souls as a little child filled with Spirit, become free from the cycle of birth and death.

As a man in the arms of the woman he loves finds only peace, so the soul in the embrace of Spirit finds only peace. When the whole of desire has been attained, there can be no more desiring. Doubt and sorrow drift away.

As the sun rises and brings movement to the earth, so life rises and brings movement to the body. Who acknowledges the rising of life, and feels the movement of Spirit - he and his children and forebears will find eternal life.

The sun reflects the light of Spirit and has mastery over the earth. The moon reflects the light of the sun and pays homage to the earth.

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Good actions witnessed by the soul lead upwards to the pure world of the sun. Evil actions witnessed by the soul lead downwards to the cold world of the moon.

Most men have their share of both, and soon find their way back to this world of sorrow.

The laws of nature cause creatures and plants to produce their seed, and from this source come new creatures and plants in the process of creation. But human souls who follow nature's law blindly place themselves under dominion of the moon.

The light of Spirit draws mankind towards the radiant orb of the sun. Human souls who live their lives in steadfastness and purity, wishing no harm to their fellows, may well visit this shining realm. But they are not yet with Spirit.

The human body near death is like an over-ripe fruit about to drop from the tree. When it falls, its flesh may disappear, but its seed sinks into the earth to take root.

As a fruit leaves the tree, so Spirit leaves the body. The soul of man can find solace in the seed, or depart in Spirit.

When a royal visitor is expected in earthly realms, all the local dignitaries assemble, with food and the best quarters prepared, waiting to see what their visitor will do.

When the human body is about to die, the powers of life wait to see what their visitors will do. He may stay or go on, as he wills.

When the powers of life assemble, all the many facets of man's awareness become one, no longer divided into seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. When all is one within the soul, Spirit shines in radiance to light the soul on its way. A wise man's wisdom and all his past works take him by the hand.

Man casts a shadow of darkness on the earth, but Spirit casts a bright shadow of light. As a shade of countless former lives, the spark is cast like a shadow of light into the unborn babe.

The newborn child perceives the reflection of countless former lives in the mirror of the soul, brilliant with Spirit. The multiplicity may be atoned in Spirit.

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Spirit within the soul of man requires the obedience of love and truth; they are the property of Spirit. Those who by finding their own soul receive Spirit in this world, inherit the freedom of Spirit in worlds to come. They possess the seed of immortality.

Spirit is the beginning and end of all life; the secret behind the mystery of birth and death.

Spirit is beyond earthly life, yet shares in it. Never born and never to die, he watches over the life and death and deeds of men, dwelling secretly in the soul, eternal messenger and guide to the infinite source of all creation.

Spirit is the key to eternity, eternal messenger of God, guiding the steps of man through the terrors of death.

Between time and eternity there is a great gulf fixed, to contain the current of earthly life. Within eternity there is no time; within time there is no eternity. The two are remote, but the gulf that divides them is spanned by a bridge - the bridge of Spirit.

The bridge of Spirit linking time and eternity cannot be crossed by death or sorrow, by old age or infirmity, by day or night. These belong to the world of time. Evil cannot get across, for the world of Spirit is pure. Sin and hatred belong to this world of suffering. Of all that man knows in this world, only love can go with Spirit.

When they cross the bridge between time and eternity, the sick are healed, the blind are made to see, and the burden of years falls away in the purifying light of Spirit.

When Spirit guides the soul to eternity, leaving behind these lands of good and evil, there is no longer father, mother, thief, hero, rogue, priest, pilgrim, hermit, outcast, or noble. There is none of the things that men admire or despise. There is Spirit.

The gulf between time and eternity cannot be crossed by the powers of life, acting separately. It can only be crossed by the powers of life, acting as one.

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Even the humblest mind can learn this great truth: There are not many, but only one. He who sees only variety where there is unity is obliged to wander aimlessly from death to death. All things work together for the good.

He who sees only the variety, and not the unity, is doomed to wander on from death to death. This is the fate of the beasts. Even by the earthly mind this truth must be seen: There are not many, but only one.

All things rest on life, as all the spokes rest on the hub of a wheel. All actions and all prayers rest on the central hub of life. When life itself rests with its subordinate powers, all beings become one; all beings must offer praise and adoration.

God rules in majesty and upholds the oneness of the universe, both that which is seen, and that which is unseen. The soul of man is shackled with pleasure and pain; but when he sees God and feels his love he is freed from his fetters.

In this world the wealth of possession is called great, and the possession of wealth is called greatness. But with earthly greatness one thing depends on another. Infinite greatness does not depend on things. Infinity encompasses both wealth and poverty, shallowness and depth.

Those who achieve success and wealth in this world find great joy; but the joy of those who rest in heaven with their ancestors is a hundred times greater.

Those who depart this world and attain the celestial realm of angels find great joy; but the joy of those who enter the heaven of human saints is a hundred times greater.

Those who depart this world and enter the heaven of human saints find great joy; but the joy of those who reach the realm of purity and freedom from desire is a hundred times greater.

Those who depart this world and reach the realm of purity and freedom from desire find great joy; but the joy of those who are close to God is a hundred times greater.

Those who are close to God find great joy; but the joy of those who are one with God is a hundred times greater.

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Copyright© 2007, Undiscovered Worlds Press