The Spiritual Life
Eugene Del Mar
The life that functions in spiritual realization is the life of love, which is the conscious recognition of mutuality, harmony, correspondence, unity.
This is a Universe of Love; and God or Good pervades all space, all time, and all life. The Universe is permeated with a kindly motive, and all the principles of Nature or of God are inherently beneficent All experiences and environments are the manifestations of love. There is no Principle of Evil; and there are no dual principles. There is no Deity separated from or outside of the Universe, and no distant space reserved as a future Heaven. \Heaven and Hell are conditions of mind, and each of us makes his own Heaven and Hell, here and now.
There ii but One Life, inseparable and indivisible. Ignoring the body, deprecating the material, or mutilating the physical, is a denial of God and a defamation of the Spirit. And whoever is “living in the clouds” and neglecting his physical life and the needs of his material existence, is frittering away his spiritual opportunities.
All that is, is spiritual; and all that exists is the manifestation of the spiritual. All is Spirit, visible or invisible; all is God, manifest or unmanifest. To deny either the in¬ visible or the visible is to deny both; to immolate the one is to immolate both; to defame the part defames The Whole.
Being and manifestation are One. There are not two separate lives, one the spiritual and the other the physical. There is but One Life; and while that life is fundamentally spiritual, it is also primarily material. The One Life is both manifest and unmanifest, visible and invisible, tangible and intangible, material and immaterial, physical and spiritual. To deny, ignore or degrade the manifestation of life, is to deny, ignore or degrade all life.
One of the necessities of the Spiritual Life is prayer. Not the service of forms. Not the observances of a special hour and place. Not necessarily the prayer of words but the prayer of actions. A life of unceasing prayer1 Not offerings to an imaginary Being whom one cannot possibly assist but to one’s fellow beings who are in need of his ministrations. The Spiritual Life recognizes the Eternal Present, and the necessity of living the life now.
The Spiritual life voices a religion of Love and of Humanity. Now is the time to live the Spiritual Life, and here the place to live it There will never be a greater opportunity than is afforded now for a life of love or a manifestation of the Spiritual Life. Man’s duty is to man; his highest duty is to the Self. The individualized Self is an inseparable portion of the Universal Self that constitutes God, Infinite Spirit, the Universe. To degrade the Self—the Soul, unmanifest or manifest—is to degrade God.
The Spiritual Life is the life of principle, the life that takes as its guide that which is eternal and unchanging. It manifests a consistency of thought and action, a comprehension of the grandeur of the Self, and an understanding of its inherent Godhood. The Spiritual Life reflects the knowledge that every disregard of principle inevitably provokes discord and inharmony, and that enduring happiness may be attained only through the observance of principle.
The Spiritual Life, above all, means a Life of Integrity. It means the fulfillment of obligations, the payment of just debts, the faithful discharge of all duties. Forms and observances bear no direct or even necessary relation to the Spiritual Life. Motives and actions alone constitute its vitality.
The one who cheats, who steals, who lies or who hates, does not live the Spiritual Life. Nor does one who lacks in honesty, in fair dealing, in toleration, in love, in integrity. He may be a church-member of the highest standing, his intense respectability may be beyond dispute and his reputation may be the highest, but he is not living a Spiritual Life. The Spiritual Life involves a vital recognition of the principles of Equitable Exchange; that one receives as he gives, and reaps what he sows. Such a consciousness demands and compels full payment of whatever is received. To live the Spiritual Life involves a gladness and a joyfulness in paying one’s debts, and fulfilling one’s obligations. If one is unwilling to discharge his just debts, to give full return for what he receives, to pay the price of what he has bargained for—if he is not disposed to transfer that which he has expressly or implicitly agreed to exchange for what he receives—is it likely that he will willingly give to others what is more important, more valuable, more beneficial? If he will not pay in material wealth, will he render compensation in the spiritual wealth that is far more valuable?
Is it possible to do this? Does he not close himself to the consciousness of the spirit when he degrades himself on the material plane? Can he lead a life of beauty in the realm of Cause while he manifests a life of ugliness in the realm of Effect? Is it possible to lead a life of spiritual integrity while violating die principles of material integrity? Are there two contrasting sets of Principles?
The Spiritual Life requires no outward authority. The Soul is its own authority. It links itself to no special observances; it requires no church or organization; it demands no holy book or sacred scripture. All these have their use, and they all have their place as the agents of growth and development and all of these instruments are possessed of beauty and value as one discerns in them their spiritual significance and discovers beneath the form and the word the underlying essentials.
The Life of Principle, the life of equitable exchange, the life that gladly gives it full measure of return, is possible to all. The Life of Integrity of thought and action is at the command of each. No great learning is necessary; no highly developed intellectual faculties. No; the higher the truths the more simple they are, and the easier are they to follow after one has vitally absorbed their significance. It is the confused or ignorant who are mysterious, and it is lack of wisdom or knowledge that is reflected in clouded and obscured expression of the truth.
It is not always sufficient to “love your neighbor as your Self.” That is not a complete statement of the requirement When one degrades the Self—when one degrades either the spiritual or the physical from its high estate—and then “loves his neighbor as himself,” he is simply hating his neighbor as he hates the Self. One must elevate and glorify the Self, and then only may he elevate and glorify his neigh¬ bor. One cannot raise others except as he raises the Self.
The man who lives the Spiritual Life is a man of character. He holds his head erect in his Godhood, whatever others may say or do. He recognizes love only in what has the appearance of abuse or calumny. He is unmoved by the anger or passion of others. He recognizes God and love in all life and all of life’s manifestations. He pays his debts, whether they are spiritual, moral, mental, physical, financial or otherwise. He cheerfully gives full compensation, for what he receives. He faces the world fearlessly. Discharging his obligations as he progresses, he is nowise in arrears. He senses the spiritual and the materials as One, and infuses into the physical a consciousness of the spirit that inherently pervades it Such a one is living a Life of Integrity to high ideals. And this is the Spiritual Life.