The purpose of life is to understand that our development is part of a mighty scheme of cosmic evolution.
The third aspect of our world which is hidden from the majority
is the plan and purpose of existence. Most men seem to muddle through
life without any discernible object, except possibly the purely physical
struggle to make money or attain power, because they vaguely think that
these things will bring them happiness. They have no definite theory as
to why they are here, nor any certainty as to the future that awaits them.
They have not even realised that they are souls and not bodies, and that
as such their development is part of a mighty scheme of cosmic evolution.
When once this grandest of truths has dawned upon a man' s horizon there comes over him that change which occidental religion calls conversion-- a fine word which has been sadly degraded by improper associations, for it has often been used to signify nothing more than a crisis of emotion hypnotically induced by the surging waves of excited feeling radiated by a half-maddened crowd. Its true meaning is exactly what its derivation implies, ` a turning together with.' Before it, the man, unaware of the stupendous current of evolution, has, under the delusion of selfishness, been fighting against it; but the moment that the magnificence of the Divine Plan bursts upon his astonished sight there is no other possibility for him but to throw all his energies into the effort to promote its fulfilment, to ` turn and go together with' that splendid stream of the love and the wisdom of God.
His one object then is to qualify himself to help the world, and all his thoughts and actions are directed towards that aim. He may forget for the moment under the stress of temptation, but the oblivion can be only temporary; and this is the meaning of the ecclesiastical dogma that the elect can never finally fail . Discrimination has come to him, the opening of the doors of the mind, to adopt the terms employed for this change in older faiths; he knows now what is real and what is unreal, what is worth gaining and what is valueless. He lives as an immortal soul who is a Spark of the Divine Fire, instead of as one of the beasts that perish-- to use a biblical phrase which, however, is entirely incorrect, inasmuch as the beasts do not perish, except in the sense of their being reabsorbed into their group-soul.
Most truly for this man an aspect of life has been displayed which erst was hidden
from his eyes. It would even be truer to say that now for the first time he has
really begun to live, while before he merely dragged out an inefficient existence.
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