And every day, it raises its head higher
23. The more self-knowledge deepens, man renders his subconscious into conscious, meaning he knows whatever the subconscious also knows. "That, which we don't bring into the conscious", Jung says, "appears in our lives as fate". Fate is our subconscious guidance from the universal forces – our Masters and guides – towards necessary and indispensable experiences so as to learn how to make decisions, support our desires and our self, because our self is the total sum of our desires.
As long as man is subject to this compulsory guidance, he faces the lack of happiness as a situation, which he ought to bear until "fate" brings him a change. On the contrary, for the man that walks the path, lack of happiness means that he has to act immediately in order to restore balance. Man must ask, because only in that way can he activate the movement of the Forces towards him. As long as he does not ask, the Universe sends him only that which indirectly concerns him, but have been put into motion by other forces, that is to say he receives only impersonal results and not personal.
Man will spend a great part of his course in the fatalistic drift – he will wait, he will be worn down and he will be bored – without realizing that only if he recognizes and fulfils his real desire every time, will he be able to be guided to the happiness of Love and Union. The student of Ammonius Saccas also walks the arduous way along which men fumble in a dark paradise. The diagram of his life is characteristic:
He remained a student of Ammonius Saccas for two years;
but was bored with both philosophy and Saccas.
Afterwards he entered politics.
But he gave it up. The Prefect was a fool;
and those around him formal and pompous ugly carved masks:
their Greek utterly barbarous, the miserably wretched.
His curiosity was drawn
a little to the Church; to be baptized
and pass as a Christian. But he quickly
changed his mind. He would surely fall out
with his parents, ostentatiously pagans;
and they would immediately stop – a horrible thing –
the very generous allowances.
But he had to do something. He became the frequenter
of the depraved houses of Alexandria,
every secret den of debauchery.
His destiny seemed favourable in this;
it gave him extremely handsome looks.
And he enjoyed the divine gift.
At least for ten more years
his charms would last. Afterwards –
perhaps he would go to Saccas again.
And if in the meantime the old man died,
he would go to another philosopher or a sophist;
there is always an appropriate person to be found.
Or finally, maybe in politics
he would return – praiseworthily remembering
his family traditions,
the duty to his country, and other such high-sounding matters.
We should remember that everything impinges on man's free will and nobody, no matter how high standing he may be, can violate this Principle and move towards a person who has not asked for any such thing. Besides, only through this process, which constitutes a process of realizing the Unity and the Total Functioning and Co-operation, can man become capable of realizing the responsibility he shares in the Work of God's Plan and reap the fruits of the teachings and experiences which are necessary for him.
24. When man has become fatalistically complacent, he will meet external factors in his life, which will deliberately make things hard for him, seemingly blind alleys, big surprises and twists and turns. The universe will send a series of trials in order to guide man into undertaking the responsibility and joy of his choices, since only in that way will he become free and complete. Freedom is experienced when man manages to assure for himself the decision for the situations he lives. This is always feasible, even when it seems that nothing is in his jurisdiction. The knowing man also assumes responsibility for the very fact of his reappearance on earth, as he does for the moment of his departure. As for completeness, this comes in our life and in our task when we ourselves decide the flow of the existence of things.
A Syrian of the 2nd century BC symbolizes with his attitude to life, man, everywhere and forever, who is at the initial stages of evolution and hence will inevitably meet what "fate" sends him, calling him to love his self and life.
I am reduced to almost homeless and a pauper.
This fatal city, Antioch
nibbled away at all my money:
this fatal city with its costly life.
Afterwards, he examines the only three choices he thinks he has, and his decision is a chance result, given that none satisfies him, but he thinks:
And my conscience is clear
for the recklessness of the choice.
All three of them harm Syria just the same.
But, a ruined man, how am I to blame.
I, the wretched one, ask to get by.
As it also happened with this "wretched" man, we usually receive the results of our choices during the present incarnation, in order to realize how interrelated everything is and to advance. God knows exactly what we want. What must be done is that we ourselves come to know what we are asking for, and this is the reason for the materialization of some thoughts in an immediate time span; as well as to try out the consequences our will may effectuate in some direction.
But it is also a fact that we are not to "blame" for many of the things that happen to us in life, at least not as far as we can remember or interpret from the facts of the present incarnation. It is not possible to entrench the conception of Truth into our own data, neither can we always fully understand the function that is taking place in our life. The trials, to which people are submitted, do not receive sufficient and precise interpretation, because this would mean revelations which they would not be able to perceive. A mother, for instance, is tested many times before she becomes capable of attracting a strong soul on the earthly plane, which she knew when she chose to return, but this is known to her only subconsciously, by "instinct" as we say.
Moreover, when people are found to be under the influence of a strong emotional charge, they are not in the position to realize that the strictness of the universe does not derive from superiority, but from love and prompting for the better. It is a presence of love and understanding, and aims to set man's movements in such a way, that he becomes capable of gaining whatever he seeks; in other words, it is care and love for the chosen ones. In some cases, this strictness even seems disproportionate to man's action in order to prevent, even his potential fall. The universe does not want to scare us; it wants to awaken us from the nightmare, the awakening is simply unpleasant.
Again at other times, man goes through particularly powerful experiences, because he has chosen to exhaust the existing possibilities, which are indeed very great, to condense the necessary experiences, in order to advance to a subsequent stage of development, a choice which he may not remember. This certainly explains many of the "injustices" people consider happening in a man's life.
What man encounters in his life, in the course of self-fulfillment, is not only what he "deserves", but also some things he needs to encounter for other reasons, just as for instance, in order to know them when it is necessary, some time afterwards, to pass on to other people; or because his karma connects with the karma of people who are on another course and this has an indirect influence on his own life; or, even, because he has chosen it himself indirectly, when he chose other elements – for example, someone who has chosen to be born a pioneer of an Art and inevitably faces the rejection of his contemporaries as well. For this man, trials have a completely different character, since he knows the purpose they serve for the Plan almost simultaneously. Therefore, the situations we are facing do not constitute an efficient criterion for us to evaluate our self.
Let the frivolous call me frivolous.
In serious matters I have always been
most diligent. (…)
This correctness, probably, is the cause of the blame.
In every case, though, the fact that we are not to "blame" for something, does not retract our responsibility to handle it correctly. And the correct handling is not as if we were reacting, but as if we were acting initially. Countless similar experiences will come with the aim of our realizing that what we have to do is to act and not re-act. This happens in order to examine the motives of an action honestly, without trying to hide ourselves not even from ourselves. If our intention is sincere and pure, this means that we will act in the same way regardless of what the others are doing or did, because this will be determined by our own principles.
And the ruined man who "isn't to blame" and that is why he has his conscience clear for the recklessness of the choice, ends up asking for the solution from the "gods", transferring the responsibility to them:
The mighty gods should have cared
to create a fourth good one.
With pleasure I would have gone with him.
Often, we people ask to be given things, which we have not earned and that is why they do not come. And then we do not concern ourselves with earning them, but with asking for them: we become beggars instead of becoming workers, indeed without even realizing it.
It is important to understand that we must not ask, because nobody else has the power of activation other than our self, who encompasses Everything, therefore lack is unfounded and in reality it is a flight from Work. In other words, when we ask it means that we do not experience the Now, and experiencing is the course of the Soul. When we identify with the non-Now we nullify ourselves, and that is why we feel the solitude and pain of separativeness. That was the primary pain the "first" people of Mythology felt, when they desired the non-Now, what they did not have, meaning when they denied the Course of Experiencing, which God initiated by dividing his Self in order to become conscious of It, when they were placed outside the Work. Flight from the Now, consequently, may only inflict pain on man, because it reminds him of his separation from the One, from God.
Everything exists from within Conscience, and what we do not define does not exist. When God named his Creations, he then gave them life, because the name, the Word is the manifestation of the divine, the materialization of his Will. In that sense, when we ask, then we cannot have, because only by naming a lack, we immediately give it material dimensions for realization in earthly life. Hence, what is a paradox for us is explained; acquiring something when we stop seeking it, because then we cease giving substance to its absence.
Desire has the meaning of choice and differentiates from the sense of lack, which entails requesting. Asking implies that you do not have – absence – whereas desiring implies that you choose to direct your attention to one of All, the partial of the Whole.
25. Man's future is determined by his desires. These are pre-decided, even before the soul acquires earthly dimensions. The course towards their fulfillment is not predetermined, what we people call "future" does not pre-exist as energy. What pre-exists, though, is the power that will urge man towards some specific ways and the ways that lead to the specific result are known. This power is will, desire, and under this context, man's "future" can be detected in his present. (This is what astrology can foresee, when the stars, during the moment of arrival in this time-space dimension, describe the desires of the soul that is arriving).
Therefore, whatever we have a premonition about, is whatever we desire, as eternal and imperishable souls and the driving force of universal Creativity directs our life towards it. If our level is subject to forces that we do not control, then we are not "free" (as far as the earthly consciousness is concerned) to choose our way. Then, as we mentioned before, we are subject to specific guidance and we are unaware of the Universe’s influences. The more we evolve, however, choices are left to our own initiative, since we are from then on capable of clearly seeing the results of our choices. This immediacy does not mean that we have been abandoned in a course without guidance, but that we can from then on come in contact with the initial plan that has been drawn up for our present life and participate actively in it. Then our desires and our wishes are immediately fulfilled and we can direct the situation without the help of "fate", which is none other than the subconscious guidance of those who are found at a lower level of development.
The capability of choosing the way – the "future" – is given theoretically, but because the knower-man is by definition in accordance with his initial desires, in practice it leads him to a life that converges with the predetermined tendencies. This is naturally a result of a decision and not a fatalistic letting go, because in this second case, surprises are shocking: sometimes it is more important for man's responsibility and creativity to be awakened rather than the initial life plan to be followed. This twist may derive either from the surrounding circumstances, when man has fatalistically contented himself, in order to "make" him again realize the necessity to assume responsibility that characterizes him archetypically, or it derives from man himself, when he experiments with how much he can influence things. After he makes sure, from then on he goes along with the initial plan willingly. Going along with it can not be carried out while man has even the slightest doubt about the degree of his influence and the extent of his will's enforcement on matters.
Responsibility devolves exclusively upon the specific entity concerning the path it follows. We can liken it to an actor who is free to choose the part he wants, but after his choice he is "bound" by the specific script, at least as far as the external, the shape-like part is concerned. Because, the interpretation, the internal part, is what he will offer, his personal presentation, the work he will release for the World.
The transformation of energy, that man performs in the World, is exactly this "interpretation of a role", the manifestation of uniqueness along predetermined roads. He, who manages to distinguish the capacity for creation, personal and free, from within patterns externally rigid and determined, will be the one who became capable of expressing God in the World.
Give – I preach –all your strength to your work,
all your care, and again remember your work
through the ordeal, or when your time is past and fading.
That's what I expect from you and demand.
And not (…)
to have as a memory that
o n l y amidst the soldiers' ranks, the masses
you also fought …
We are called, therefore, to become aware of the weight of the choice. Fear is the reverse force of repressing creation, by suspending choice, which is the propulsive force of life. In that way fear specifies the power of death. Death is the situation of the deadened stagnation when the ability of choice, which continues Life, has been weakened. So, there exist no wrong or right choices: the assumption of the responsibility of each road leads to life, to the preservation of the Universe's Eternal Movement. That is why it is necessary to chase away fear, that holds us prisoners, and advance in the road of Life, with courageous decisions that lead to motion. See to our own interpretation, our own creation: to lay down our interpretation in every new role of life without models which determine the alleged right or wrong, because right and wrong do not exist. There exists the uniqueness that is expressed through every being.
Man has the capacity to process internally, to work with persistence, but although this work may be action, it cannot overthrow Laws and Supreme Procedures relative to him. In practice this means that he can and must be called into action dynamically, to move in space, to exhaust creative thinking, to seek, to desire and to experience, knowing at the same time that all this does not relate directly to the final manifestation of every situation. Namely, pertaining to himself, he must act, so that he should realize and control anything that happens (to him), but pertaining to the result, he should trust the Forces which function above and beyond his limited earthly consciousness.
According to earthly analogy, the good parent prepares his child to start its life as well as possible, and tries to foresee as many pitfalls as he can. Then he frees his child and trusts the work he has done up until then. This happens with every kind of "child", meaning man's creation, material or immaterial. The good parent does not continue to long for control forever, because then both he and his Son remain captives, and he impedes the operation of the Laws. This naturally happens in the spiritual plane as well, when people, with their limited earthly consciousness, insist on wanting to direct the situations themselves, towards the specific result, which they consider partially as right.
Let us work, therefore, with devotion and steady will, but let us entrust our "child" to the World.
Progress is a great edifice – each one
carries his own stone; one words, volition, another
deeds – and every day it raises its head
higher. Should a hurricane, a sudden swell
come, the good workers rush together
in a throng and defend their futile labour.
Futile, because each ones' life is spent
for the benefit of a future generation, enduring injuries and pains,
so that this generation will know happiness
pure, and long life, and wealth, and wisdom
without base sweat, or servile work.
But the legendary generation will never live;
this perfection of his will demolish the work
and all their vain labour will start again.
Besides, everything we do, we do because we feel the need and not in order to have some specific result, determined by our mind. Anyway, the result does not exist, at least as far as we, being inside the form of life, can judge. No matter how much we postpone the judgment of the result of an action of ours into the future, when the time comes for the future to become present, the "result" will escape us, because it will again be a fleeting moment in progress. The future will always be ahead for as long as earthly life lasts, and as far as the future expands no result can be judged conclusively. So, let us not struggle and let us not agonize over the result. Life is constant motion, where we should advance by following desire and not teleological aims. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself" (Mathew 6:34).
And yet faith would be kept inviolate
When man ceases identifying with the result, he realizes the real destination of his work, which is to become just, wise, brave / and even the best of all, Greek: he has, therefore, only to examine, after every ordeal and regardless of the outcome of a situation, if he ensured a step in the direction of the inner attributes which he nurtures. This is the work of incarnated man and on this he ought to focus; those beyond are found with the gods.
26. He, who lives without expecting the tangible results of his actions in this dimension to give him the real dimensions of the events, but simply follows his path, without trying to judge from the facts or the results, he is the one who has essentially defeated stagnation.
We people ought to understand the necessity of change and not insist on consolidating psychological states or external ones, because this opposes the flow of universal energy, which is none other than difference of potential. Just like difference of potential in Physics is responsible for the flow of electric current, likewise in Meta-physics it leads to the motion of cosmic energies.
We people often have the desire to stop life and we confuse this stopping with Eternity: we wish to continue having something unchangeably and irrevocably for Ever and Ever or be in some way forever – as it seems to us that we are satisfied – and we do not understand that the Laws of Eternity are far from related to stagnation. On the other hand, a situation that satisfies us under given circumstances will not continue to be judged the same under other circumstances – unless we are ambitious to stop the whole Universe! – and something like that is certainly identified with death. Beyond every change, though, there exists exactly the same situation of Supreme Tranquility, which throughout every motion ensures the sense of the One, the Eternal, the Timeless.
And things can not and must not be everlasting, because man would then be "stiff" and would stagnate in emotional inertia, due to lack of change.
In our effort to go along with the eternal Principles, we must be ambitious not to maintain happiness – as a feeling – for ever, because something like that, apart from unfeasible, is futile and harmful since it means immobility=death, but the certainty of disidentification with any feeling, to experience them with a-pathy* - being the final desire, on an essential level.
(* Both in ancient and modern Greek, the word "a-pathy", consists of the prefix "a", that means no, and the word "pathos", which means "passion" and is used positively.)
Furthermore, people think that what is realized every moment of our life, is the only existing thing. We are unaware, though, that irrelevant to whether we materialize one facet in the specific moment, we ourselves are all facets, and naturally we can materialize another facet. The problem with linear time is that the facets are manifested linearly, meaning successively and not simultaneously, holistically. This perception makes us identify with every phase and not expand ourselves mentally to the understanding of the flow, which anyway constitutes a law of general life, for instance the succession of day and night, of the seasons, etc. It is as if someone stops the projection of a movie and stays in the frozen frame.
In life, the movie is determined by us. We must simply choose the shots, the frames we wish, and "run" them: then we will be living the script we have chosen.
When suddenly, at midnight
an invisible company is heard passing by
with exquisite music, with voices –
do not uselessly lament your fortune that is now surrendering,
your deeds that failed, the plans of your life
which all proved to be delusions.
As if long prepared, as if brave,
bid farewell to it, to Alexandria that is leaving.
Above all, don't fool yourself, don't say that it was
a dream, that your ears deceived you;
do not stoop to such vain hopes.
As if long prepared, as if brave,
as befits a man who was blessed with such a city,
approach the window with firm step,
and listen with emotion, but not
with the entreaties and complaints of the coward,
as a last enjoyment, the sounds,
the exquisite instruments of the secret company,
and bid farewell to it, to the Alexandria you are losing.
We must be ready to resign from every emotional attachment, because we shall never manage to be happy and truly promised to life, as long as even one shadow of the fear of loss exists.
He, who is not capable of losing, is not capable of having.
Besides, each time man bids farewell to the Alexandria he is losing, there always comes a secret company to call him with exquisite music, with voices to another city, a new land. God did not forsake Anthony, He protected him as much as He protects all people, and even every creature of Creation, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Because the tree does not sprout without soil, the house is not built without stone. Man has the feeling that God forsakes him, each time he lets the fear of loss conquer him.
When he was forsaken by the Macedonians
and they proved they prefer Pyrrhus
king Demetrius (a great
soul he had) not in the least – that's what they said –
did he behave like a king. He went
and took off his golden garments,
and threw off his shoes
the purple ones. With simple clothes
he quickly dressed and slipped away.
Making like an actor
who, when the performance is over,
changes costume and departs.
The man who has leveled selfishness – a great soul he has – wipes fear and needs out of his mind, is assured of divine Providence and then he will see the dark tunnel coming to its end. And every time life calls upon him to a new role, he forgets everything that distorts the essence of spiritual exercise, everything that moves beyond the truth, he is completely cut off from every insecurity that has to do with earthly adversities, changes costume and departs.
Because only then do we not interrupt the work of gods: when we let things be led to where they are destined, without our own mental or emotional interference; in other words we believe in our Self and we let it show us the way. Our Self is the Gods, who always come to bring some order and when this perfection of theirs demolishes our futile work, this happens in order to help us find the way again, which will bring us to our predetermined task.
We then realize that behind all that is happening in our life, there is the Providence of divine Thinking, which prepares the coming of the New, spiritual and awakened Life within ourselves. The traces of pain vanish, because pain is caused when we feel vulnerable, weak and powerless against evil, meaning when we forget that the Power is on our side in every movement, in every step.
Not the bitter lament for the futility of everything, that very ancient complaint of the suffering man, "all lies, all shadows", but the brave lament, full of love and full of sparkle is the one that brings redemption. When the sun sets, we (in Greek) say it "reigns" and when man experiences pain, he gains the kingdom of Heaven.
Phaeton's sisters were mourning, the wretched ones for his loss in his watery grave, Eridanus, / and day (and) night the miserable ones wept. The laboratory of Nature transubstantiated their pain, transformed their tears into amber of eternal lustre.
With utmost emotion the earth was accepting
the venerable tears of the nymphs
and was making a fortune. And when seven days
were closed, and the eighth sunrise shone,
into eternal lustre their plentiful crying
and into bright amber was transformed.
Oh, exquisite stone! Oh, noble tears!
Brave lament, enviable lament,
full of love and full of sparkle –
honest sisters, with tears of light
you cried the best young man on earth.
When our every hour hurts, if we listen to our heart, it will tell us that this pain is the birth of a new life, is the meaning you do not find, wherever else you may search. Pain is the blessing of new life, of Birth, of Creation. However much we may suffer, our heart knows that pain will be nothing but a faint memory when the miracle of New Life has been configured into our life. And the miracle is put into motion by love, that which is not subjugated by fears or commands of emulation.
Let us train our love like a real child, let us consolidate it, let us make it strong, and when it resides within ourself, then God will reside with it as well. The Light of love will, for good and all, disrupt the long tedium, which surrounded his (man's) spirit with a thick fog when he had concluded: each hour of mine wounds; the final one slays, and will lead him to the insight:
"A different mission
was given to the chorus of hours by the Lord.
Each one rekindles; the final one gives birth."