The things of the body and the mind pass away, but those of the spirit endure. No true spiritual growth is ever lost, no matter what. We learn countless lessons on earth in the way of life experiences, intellectual knowledge, and physical skills, but only that which has become more than intellectual and physical in us will survive death—only those things that have entered so deeply into our inner being that they've become authentic spiritual influences in our lives and will affect the "weight" of our soul in its hour of judgment. Such forces have the power to shape our souls, and they do—and it is they which, for better or for worse depending upon their inner quality, survive death and are carried over into future life. All that is truly spiritual in us continues its growth far beyond our earthly passing, regardless of the twists and turns our futures take, or how often it is, for the moment, forgotten.
This is precisely what makes love so important, for it is the grandest, most enduring, and most elevating power of all. For that reason it is essential for us to permeate ourselves as much as possible with its power, for love above all other impulses will continue to work in us throughout our many lives in the eons of the cosmos.
All I have is the course of my life. If I want to do anything before I die — make any kind of meaningful contribution, if such would even be possible — than I might as well write about the life I’ve led, the things that I have come to know to be important. After all, that has been the whole point of it all, and most assuredly the direction and goal of all my conscious questing: to understand.
It would seem, then, that that should be the subject, for I have surely accomplished nothing in the world. Viewed from the outside, my life is a flat failure. But viewed from the inside, the perspective to which only I am party, my long path has been a profound if very painful success, for I have come a long way indeed in the deepest depths of my being from the person I was when I first set knowing foot on the path of this life.
The value of this journey has been inestimable to me and my soul. But how much meaning would have to anyone else? What about it can I share with others that would help?
The answer, I suppose, must be to outline somehow those things I’ve come to understand — so I could tell how I was taught, and how it all brought me, most slowly and painfully, to Christ.
What is the absolutely central, the absolute center, of the Christian revelation is the Incarnation
— the Word become flesh. And the absolutely central reason for the Incarnation is Salvation
. Not only the salvation of man, but deliverance from death of everything on earth, including the earth herself — from certain demise because of the lethal effects on all things of man’s self-service and his titanic struggle to overcome himself and finally be what he was created to be: the 10th Hierarchy.
Everything that animates sinning is due to our living in a physical body. Without it, there would be little sin indeed. Why then are we here at all? Why does there even exist a condition that is so inimical to us, so powerful as well, that we are unable, too weak, to deliver our own selves from it? That we can be saved only through divine intervention? Why? Because we are the 10th Hierarchy, created to bring free will into Creation and through the exercise of it eventually to master ourselves and voluntarily surrender our own overweening self-interest, egocentricity, in order to unite our will with God’s that we might finally serve the furtherance of His plan, as Christ and all the rest naturally do.
To no longer strive to manifest one’s self-interested will in the world, but rather to simply seek Christ and to deal with whatever is brought upon one by the world: to hope to do this one must have faith — the strength and the works of faith — in order to survive and overcome and attain in that seeking.
How then does one attain to faith, and thereby obtain such great assistance? How is such a battle fought and won?
First of all, one fights and wins by identifying the adversaries and understanding them. Pride may not be the first opponent, but it will surely be the Greatest.
Only when humility dims the clamor of self-interest and egoism can one listen and thereby grow. Only in real inner silence can one truly hear.
Egoism allows little room for faith because so much inner space is taken up by fear of losing what one ardently desires for oneself. Thus humility learned painfully through countless humblings is a priceless blessing, for it frees up the requisite silence for hearing to be possible.
Another reason why Christ allowed himself to be crucified when He had all the power needed to prevent it is that in enduring the most terrible kinds of suffering and tragedy that befall man every day, He not only opened a window through which the spiritual world, the Divine, could catch a real glimpse into the life of the estranged human being, the human race, but it enormously enriched Christ Himself. Because He only of all the Divinities of the world religions has through His sufferings come to the deepest possible understandings of the pain and darkness of humanity’s lot, having experienced them Himself, and thereby has become a unique Intercessor and Savior for us, the single Divinity truly possessed of the nature and quality of understanding of and compassion for man’s situation necessary for his Salvation, and the power and Grace to help.
To do all that He had to live it.
That was His Way.
And, in the end, ours.
The Unicorn Hunt describes the journey we all must make, sooner or later, in the way appropriate to each. True, we have been on this pilgrimage throughout many lifetimes, but the point must eventually be reached when the quest is contracted into a single lifetime in which the focus becomes powerful and sharp, with all the necessary elements of the long, long trek made ready, so that finally in a single sojourn they can be assembled and integrated into a unified Understanding that makes the way clear and the Path straight that leads us at last into our destiny, our inheritance.
The idea that lead is in reality polluted gold. Through alchemical purification our base metal is gradually brought back into what it and all matter originally was: gold. It is no wonder then that the Unicorn should have become a key symbol in alchemy for this seemingly magical process. After all, in the ancient lore of the Unicorn, this most elusive of beasts can only be captured by the one thing that has forever attracted him: purity. He cannot resist the allure of the virginity of a young maiden left comfortably alone in the forest as a lure, and after long hesitation he is at last brought by that purity to approach and finally lay his head in her lap. With this brief surrender he joins for a moment with otherwise unworthy humanity.
Of course, none is immaculate in this earthly life, and that is precisely the point. The deepest part of us knows what we too were once pure and still seek to be in the center of our hearts. Thus the mere glimpse of the Mystical Unicorn brings alive in us once again the highest yearnings of our deathless soul.
Purity, innocence, has nothing to hide, nothing to regret, nothing to protect or conceal — that is to say, nothing to weaken it. How difficult, then, for Darkness to oppose it. It is here that faith must enter.
Faith is that connection through which Divine Grace and help can flow directly into our individual life. It is the opening in us through which Christ can pour His promised aid. To the extent that we are prevented by our lack of faith from enabling this connection, we must sustain ourselves with the inadequate and diffuse sustenance naturally provided to all creation by the Father that it not perish.